County Government

Friends of the Kenosha County Dog Parks to host meeting Wednesday

dog-park-committee-mascot-web-cropThe Friends of the Kenosha County Dog Parks invite everyone with an interest in improving the Kenosha County off-leash dog parks to a committee meeting on Wednesday, January 23, starting at 6:30 pm at the Kenosha County Center, 19600 75th St, Bristol, in Conference Room A.

For more information, contact the Kenosha County Parks office, 262-857-1869.

Free cable gun locks available from county health department

Free cable gun locks are available from the Kenosha County Division of Health through a grant from the Charles E. Kubly Foundation.

What is a cable gun lock? A cable gun lock is a device that blocks the chamber to prevent a cartridge from being fired. While a securely locked gun cabinet or safe provides good protection, cable gun locks also provide added safety.

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Youth in Governance nominations sought

YouthInGovernance_Logo-webKenosha County Youth In Governance, a youth empowerment program that offers area teens the chance to directly participate in local government and community service, is seeking nominations for outstanding and motivated young people for the 2013 – 2014 year.

The requirements to participate in Youth in Governance are:

  • Youth must currently be a high school student in the 10th or 11th grade.
  • Youth must have a GPA of 2.5 or greater.
  • Youth must be a Kenosha County resident.
  • Youth must be able to attend the monthly meetings and additional committee meetings that are combined with other committees.

To nominate a young person, Google: Kenosha County Youth In Governance or contact John de Montmollin, Youth & Family Educator, Kenosha County UW-Extension at (262) 857- 1945.  Nominations are due by February 8, 2013.

County health division offers holiday coping advice

sadnessThe Kenosha County Division of Health offers the following:

Happy Holidays! Or is it?

For many, holidays bring feelings of sadness or depression, not joy and fond memories. Recognizing that this is not a happy time for you, that it’s OK to cry, and acknowledging your feelings, are essential steps in trying to make the holiday season a happier time.

Some tips for coping with the holidays:
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Highway K, west of Green Bay Road, open again

Kenosha County has announced that, after a delay due to work on a railroad crossing that took longer than expected, that Highway K (60th Street) west of Green Bay Road, is open again.

The whole announcement from the county follows:
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County to host open house meeting regarding Comprehensive Bike Plan

An open house-style public information meeting on Kenosha County’s Comprehensive Bike Plan will be held  from 4:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 18th, in the Public Hearing Room at the Kenosha County Center, 19600 – 75th Street, in Bristol.

From the announcement of the meeting from the office of County Executive Jim Kreuser:
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County executive proposing 0% tax levy increase

County Executive Jim Kreuser is calling for a 0 percent increase in the county’s tax levy this coming year.

Kreuser revealed his plans for the budget in his annual budget address delivered to the County Board Tuesday evening.

From the prepared text for the speech:
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Iaquinta interviews Kerkman and Steinbrink

State Representatives Samantha Kerkman and John Steinbrink      (61st District)

This morning, Len Iaquinta, from WGTD’s weekend show, “Community Matters,” interviewed state representatives Samantha Kerkman and John Steinbrink, who are both vying for the 61st assembly district seat.  Kerkman, R-Randall, and Steinbrink, D-Pleasant Prairie, are the two incumbents who have been redistricted into the same district.

The district includes the towns of Brighton, Paris, Randall, Salem, Somers (wards 1, 2, 3, 4, and 11) and the Villages of Bristol, Paddock Lake, Pleasant Prairie, Silver Lake, and Twin Lakes, and ward 88 in the city of Kenosha.  This interview/debate was produced at WGTD and took place at the Gateway Bioscience Building, and will air on Saturday, October 6th.

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Effective Oct. 1 Health Department will not be able to provide vaccines to fully insured

The Kenosha County Health Department has made the following announcement regarding immunizations:
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County reporting two cases of H3N2v virus

The Kenosha County Division of Health is reporting that 2 cases of variant influenza A (H3N2v) viruses have been identified in Kenosha County.

Since July 2012, 276 cases of H3N2v were reported and confirmed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) among 10 different states.

The Kenosha County Division of Health is recommending the following precautions:

Dead crows here test positive for West Nile virus

Center for Disease Control photo. Public domain.

The Kenosha County Division of Health reports that two dead crows found in Kenosha County on Aug. 1 and 9 have tested positive for West Nile virus. These are the first birds testing positive for West Nile virus in Kenosha County since surveillance for the mosquito-transmitted virus began May 1.

“The positive bird means that residents of Kenosha County need to be more vigilant in their personal protective measures to prevent mosquito bites,” Cynthia Johnson, Health Officer/Director said. West Nile Virus is spread to humans through the bite of an infected mosquito. Mosquitoes get the virus by feeding on infected birds.

“Kenosha County residents should be aware of West Nile virus and take some simple steps to protect themselves against mosquito bites,” Cynthia Johnson said. “The West Nile virus seems to be here to stay, so the best way to avoid the disease is to reduce exposure to and eliminate breeding grounds for mosquitoes.”

The Kenosha County Division of Health recommends the following:

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Healthy People Kenosha County 2020 receives $460,000 grant

Healthy People Kenosha County 2020 has announced that it was awarded a Transform Wisconsin grant to spearhead a program that helps Kenosha County residents lead a healthier, more active lifestyle. The grant will invest in promoting physical activity, healthy food systems, and smoke-free living over the next two-and-a-half years.

“This is exciting news for Kenosha County residents,” said Jim Kreuser, Kenosha County executive. “We have been working hard to improve people’s health and with this unprecedented opportunity, we can elevate our work to reach even more citizens.”

Healthy People Kenosha County 2020 received $460,000 to work on three specific areas in the Kenosha County area: expanding smoke-free environments to include apartment buildings, strengthening farm-to-school programs so Wisconsin students have access to fresh fruits and vegetables, and increasing physical activity for kids by promoting and implementing open gyms between schools and community agencies.

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County to host Pillars of Honor visit for WWII veterans

Kenosha County Executive Jim Kreuser and Ret. Lt. Col. Derrell Greene, the Kenosha County Veterans Service Officer, in cooperation with Pillars of Honor Inc., a non-profit organization, are pleased to invite World War II Veterans, family, friends and the general public to a Day of Honor & Unveiling of the Original Scale-Model of the National World War II Memorial at 2 p.m., on Sunday, Sept. 9, at the UAW Local 72 Hall, 3615 Washington Road, in Kenosha.

This special reception will feature the beautiful, original-scale model of the WWII Memorial in Washington D.C., designed by world renowned architect Frederick St. Florian.

Pillars of Honor Inc. is a non-profit organization dedicated to honoring WWII veterans unable to travel to Washington D.C. to see their memorial in person. Pillars of Honor has the Traveling WWII Memorial model on loan for a limited time before it will have to be returned and placed in the Smithsonian Institution. The event will also honor World War II veterans with a special certificate and preferred seating.

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Burning banned in all county parks due to dry weather

The Kenosha County Parks Dvision issued the following statement today regarding burning in county parks:
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Fun photo contest at Petrifying Springs Park

County Executive Jim Kreuser and the Kenosha County Parks Division are hosting a photo contest of unusual sightings of legendary and mythical beings at Petrifying Springs Park. This is a contest for everyone with a camera and a sense of humor.

Get your friends and family to join in and let your imagination run amuck. The county is seeking photos, such as: Elvis and Jimmy Hoffa having a picnic, Bigfoot and ET on the seesaw, or maybe a favorite superhero saving the park from space invaders.

There is no entry fee! Awards will be given for 1st, 2nd, and 3rd places. Each contestant may submit up to 3 photos. One recognizable landmark at Petrifying Springs must be in the photo.

These are for as-is photos, so no cropping, cutting, pasting or digital enhancement. This isn’t about lighting, camera quality or composition. This is about fun, and photos will be judged on originality, creativity, and hilarity by our “Expert” panel of Judges. The harder you make them laugh, the better.

Entry forms, rules, and a flyer can be found at index.html.  All photos must be submitted by July 29, 2012.  Photos submitted will become the property of Kenosha County.

Road and lot construction at Petrifying Springs to start Monday

The Kenohsa County Executive’s Office has made the following announcement about work at Petrifying Springs Park:

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“DairyAir Dairy Breakfast Ride” is June 16

Photo by Armin Hanisch via stock exchange

Kenosha County Executive Jim Kreuser is inviting people to participate in a free family fun ride to the Kenosha County Dairy Breakfast on June 16.

The “DairyAir Dairy Breakfast Ride” will begin at 7 a.m. at Mars Cheese Castle, 2800 West Frontage Road, in Paris, for a 7.5 mile ride (15 miles round-trip) to the Kenosha County Dairy Breakfast, at the Mighty Grand Dairy Farm, 22811 – 18th Street, in Brighton. The ride is moderately difficult, with some hills. People are asked to use their best judgment and participate based on their own skill level.

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County executive seeking more foster families

“May is National Foster Parent Appreciation Month, and more foster families are needed here,” County Executive Jim Kreuser said.  “Our goal is to add another 20 to 25 new foster homes in order to address the need for Kenosha County children,” Kreuser said.

Recent experience seems to suggest that the county is up to the challenge.

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Kenosha County awarded Lead-Based Paint Hazard Control grant

The Kenosha County Health Department, in partnership with the city of Racine, has been awarded a $2,480,000 Lead-Based Paint Hazard Control Grant.

The program will conduct a wide range of activities to protect children and families from dangerous lead-based paint and other home health and safety hazards. The grant funding will clean up lead and other health hazards in nearly 140 high-risk homes, train workers in lead safety methods, and increase public awareness about childhood lead poisoning.

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Household hazardous waste disposal day is May 5; e-waste May 19

If you have any household hazardous waste or old electronics to get rid of, County Executive Jim Kreuser has a message for you:

More info on the household hazardous waste event on May 5 is available here.

More info on the electronics disposal day on May 19 is here.

County Board contested election result

Here’s a round-up of all of the contested County Board races in Tuesday’s election, except for exclusively Western Kenosha County districts. Results are final unofficial totals:

  • County Board Dist 3 — Jeffrey Gentz 696, Tom Tassi 293.
  • County Board Dist 4 — Angelina Montemurro 609, Michael Goebel 519.
  • County Board Dist 8 — Ronald L. Johnson 478, Aaron Petroski 389.
  • County Board Dist 12 — Gabe Nudo 730, David C. Singer 711.
  • County Board Dist 14 — Boyd Frederick 445, Jonathan V. Long 311.
  • County Board Dist 15 — Mark A. Molinaro, Jr. 858, Mary Braun Modder 509.
  • County Board Dist 18 — Anita Johnson 550, Larry Matson 537.
  • County Board Dist 19 — Mike Skalitzky 1000, Gail Gentz 913.

County Community Health Survey Report released

The Kenosha County Health Department, in partnership with Aurora Health Care, the Center for Urban Population Health Research, and Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin have released the results of their 2011 Kenosha County Community Health Survey Report. The survey report supplements a prior community health assessment survey conducted in 2008 with updated data and provides analysis of trends over time.

“This recent survey provides valuable health data that will help guide community organizations as they plan and implement programs and services for our residents to meet the most pressing health needs of our community,” Cynthia Johnson, Kenosha County Health Department Director, said.

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Mayor and county executive announce plan for transferring highways

The Highway G Plan /Courtesy of Kenosha County (Click for larger view)

An intergovernmental agreement to transfer Highway K (60th Street), from 60th Avenue to I-94, and Highway G (30th Avenue), from Washington Road to Trunk Highway E, from the county to the city was announced Wednesday at a joint city-county press conference.

The agreement will allow the roads to be transferred in segments from Kenosha County to the City of Kenosha as improvements are made. Improvements will include increasing the two-lane rural roads to four-lane urban roads. The terms of agreement must be approved by the County Board and the Common Council.

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Miss Amercia signs posted along highways

/Contributed photo

Kenosha County’s Highway Division installed permanent Miss America signs today at various highway locations.

The signs are purple and also sport a tiara.

Locations of the signs are:

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Native varieties of trees and shrubs available through Kenosha County Tree Program

A wide variety of trees and shrubs are available for sale through the Kenosha County Tree Program. Kenosha County has offered these native species for more than 25 years and, in that time, nearly one million trees have been sold. The purpose of the program is to promote conservation and to help area residents to plant a more beautiful, healthy, and ecologically balanced environment. The program offers transplants and seedlings of a variety of pines, hardwoods, and shrubs in bundles of 25 at a cost of $20-$25 per bundle. Varieties of trees and shrubs change from year-to-year depending upon availability, weather conditions, past sales success, tree performance, and general demand trends. This year, among various other species, available are White Pine, Frasier Fir, Black Walnut, White Flowering Dogwood, Canoe Birch, Hazel Nut, Lilacs, Oaks, and Maples. The sale is open to the interested public in the Kenosha County area. Order forms can be obtained at the Department of Planning and Development, 19600 – 75th St., in Bristol, or on the Kenosha County Website at Deadline for ordering is March 2. Tree pickup is typically in mid- to late April. Purchasers will be contacted by mail when the pick-up date is finalized. Supply is limited, so don’t hesitate. For more information, contact the Kenosha County Department of Planning and Development at (262) 857-1895.

County’s nursing home named among top in US

Brookside Care Center, the county-owned nursing home, was recently named one of the Top Nursing Homes in the Country by US News & World Report. According to the rankings, Brookside was 13th overall among the top Wisconsin nursing homes. All of the homes selected have earned five-star ratings for health services, the highest overall rating from the federal government’s Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. A facility’s overall rating is based on its performance in health inspections, nurse staffing, and quality care indicators. Homes are ranked in tiers according to their star rating in these individual areas. Brookside was surveyed in December of 2011 and received a perfect health survey, meaning there were no deficiencies identified or cited.

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County Parks division to host meeting on open space plan

The Kenosha County Division of Parks is hosting a meeting for county residents and stakeholders to provide information about the county’s park and open space plan, currently in draft form, and to gather public input on the proposed recommendations. The meeting will be from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. on Thursday, March 8 at the Pringle Nature Center, 9800 160th Avenue, Bristol (inside Bristol Woods County Park).

Kenosha County Executive Jim Kreuser encourages people to attend.

“Everyone who lives, visits, or has a business in Kenosha County has a stake in protecting our natural environment, as well as in how the county parks are developed and what types of outdoor recreation activities are created,” Kreuser said. “This meeting is an opportunity for people to learn about the plan for our parks and open spaces and to share their ideas about the future of Kenosha’s natural areas.”

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Kenosha County Youth In Governance seeking nominations

Kenosha County Youth In Governance, a youth empowerment program that offers area teens the chance to directly participate in local government and community service, is seeking nominations for outstanding and motivated young people for the 2012 -2013 year.

The requirements to participate in Youth in Governance are:

  • Youth must currently be a high school student in the 10th or 11th grade;
  • Youth must have a GPA of 2.5 or greater;
  • Youth must be a Kenosha County resident; and
  • Youth must be able to attend the monthly meetings and additional committee meetings that are combined with other committees
  • Go here to nominate a young person,  or contact John de Montmollin, Youth & Family Educator, Kenosha County UW-Extension, at 857-1945.

Nominations are due Feb. 10, 2012.

County encouraging winter activities at parks

Photo by Denis Tarantola via stock.xchng

With some snow finally falling here, your thoughts may be beginning to turn to outdoor winter fun.

Kenosha County Executive Jim Kreuser is encouraging people to embrace the winter by participating in the outdoor activities available through the Kenosha County Park System.

“We’re pleased to be opening the lighted cross country ski trail at the Petrifying Springs Park,” Kreuser said. “The trail has been dark for about a decade. But, with the help from community volunteers, it will be available for people to enjoy.”

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County gets grant to remove Petrifying Springs park dam

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The Kenosha County Division of Parks will receive $234,000 from the Fund for Lake Michigan to support the Pike River Fish Passage Dam Removal, bridge construction, and stream bed and bank restoration at Petrifying Springs Park, Kenosha County Executive Jim Kreuser announced Friday.

“We appreciate the Fund for Lake Michigan recognizing the importance of this project to improve the health of the fish, the Pike River and, ultimately, the health of Lake Michigan,” Kreuser said. “This is also an important safety improvement for the families who enjoy the park, as well as a way to mitigate the long-term costs associated with the constant flooding of the bridge and parkland.”

This is the second grant Kenosha County has received from the Fund for Lake Michigan. In 2011, the Fund for Lake Michigan provided a $102,000 grant for an engineering study for the dam removal project.

The mission of the Fund for Lake Michigan is to support efforts, and in particular those in southeastern Wisconsin, that enhance the health of Lake Michigan, its shoreline and tributary river systems for the benefit of the people, plants and animals that depend upon the system for water, recreation and commerce. The Fund for Lake Michigan is a donor-advised fund of the Greater Milwaukee Foundation, Inc. The Root-Pike Watershed Initiative Network, which is working to improve adjacent Lake Michigan watersheds, has also been a Fund for Lake Michigan grant recipient, as well as an important partner with Kenosha County to clean and restore the Pike.

Also involved in clean-up and restoration efforts have been the Kenosha Sport Fishing and Conservation Club and the Hawthorne Hollow Nature Sanctuary and Arboretum. Both Carthage College and UW-Parkside have been doing water quality testing in the Pike River.

“These partnerships and community collaborations are critical to make the Pike River clean-up efforts successful for the long haul,” Kreuser said. The roughly three-month project is expected to begin on or about June 1. The total estimated cost is $655,000. Kenosha County is expecting to receive another grant to assist in the cost of the project, Kreuser said.

The 360-acre park, located at 761 Green Bay Road, was purchased in 1927 and is comprised of the floodplain of the Pike River, as a lagoon, bluff lands and upland forests surrounding the river corridor. Petrifying Springs Park Golf Course is located to the north of the park.

The earthen dam was built in 1936 when the Work Progress Administration constructed the Petrifying Springs Golf Course. The lagoon was deepened and the dam was constructed to create a lake to be used for irrigation water for the golf course. Later, an irrigation system was built for the golf course and it no longer relied on the lagoon. In its 2010 Pike River Watershed Plan, the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources found the Petrifying Springs dam to be illegal and recommended its removal and streambank stabilization to improve fish migration to Lake Michigan. The Petrifying Springs Park dam is the last physical fish passage barrier in the watershed. After removal, the dam and roadway will be replaced by a vehicular bridge that will allow fish passage. The streambanks, both upstream and downstream, will be stabilized and restored to native vegetation. Invasive reed canary grass upstream of the dam will be removed and replaced with native vegetation to prevent the spread of the invasive vegetation. Steep slopes leading to the floodplain upstream of the dam will be restored for erosion control.

“Petrifying Springs Park is one of the jewels of the county’s park system,” Kreuser said. “This is a critical step toward restoring the park and ensuring it will be available for future generations to enjoy.”