Interim fire chief named for Pleasant Prairie Fire and Rescue

The Pleasant Prairie Police and Fire Commission has named an Interim Chief of Fire & Rescue.

Assistant Fire Chief Doug McElmury was selected as Interim Chief on Oct. 18. McElmury will serve as Interim Chief throughout the recruiting and selection process, which could last as long as six months.

McElmury has been with the department since March of 1989 and has subsequently served as Firefighter/Paramedic, Training Officer, Captain, and Assistant Chief. Prior to his service with Pleasant Prairie, McElmury was a member of both the Wheatland and Lake Geneva Fire Departments.

During September, Fire Chief Paul G. Guilbert, Jr., announced his retirement after 25 years with the Department and 41 years in the field.

The Village will conduct a national search for a new Chief of Fire & Rescue. An Assessment Panel comprised of other area Fire Chiefs will interview top candidates. Top candidates will then be presented to the Police and Fire Commission for their consideration. It is anticipated that a final selection will be made during the spring of 2012.

“We appreciate Doug’s willingness to lead the Department through the selection of a new Chief of Fire & Rescue,” commented Carol Willke, Director of Human Resources for Pleasant Prairie. “His leadership and experience will provide continuity for the Department as they continue to provide high quality fire and rescue services to residents and visitors in Pleasant Prairie.”

Well known children’s book author Florence Parry Heide dies

Florence Parry Heide, the Kenosha-based but internationally known author of children’s books, died Sunday at the age of 92, wgtd.org is reporting.

Officials praise agreement on clean-up of engine plant site

Wisconsin Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen speaks while Kenosha Mayor Keith Bosman looks on.

City, state and federal officials praised the agreement for the clean-up of the former Chrysler Engine Plant site at 30th Avenue and 60th Street at a press conference today.

There was not a lot of new information from the previous announcement of the agreement being reached. However, city officials did emphasize that clearing the site of buildings would not cost city taxpayers.

The press conference was held at the Kenosha Civil War Museum, another redeveloped industrial brownfield site.

“It’s certainly not the end,” said Mayor Keith Bosman. “It’s more of a beginning.”

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WWBIC hosting free business classes

The Wisconsin Women’s Business Initiative Corporation is hosting workshops this month in Kenosha.

Registration is required for all workshops. Register at www.wwbic.com or 654-1234, extension 118.

Workshops are:

  • Oct. 18 – Basic Business Banking, 6 to 8 p.m., at 600 52nd St. #130, Kenosha. Is your bank the right fit for your business? It is essential that every business owner finds a bank that meets their financial needs. Learn how to make your money work for you while maximizing your cash flow. Free.
  • Oct. 20 – Basics of Marketing, 6 to 8 p.m., at 600 52nd St. #130, Kenosha. Learn the Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats of Your Business! A SWOT Analysis is important for your own understanding of your business and circumstances it will be operating in. Free.

County executive proposing 1.88 percent increase in tax levy for 2012

Kenosha County Executive Jim Kreuser unveiled his 2012 Budget Plan — which includes a 1.88 percent tax levy increase — at Tuesday night’s County Board meeting.

The following is from a statement released by Kreuser’s office:

“Included in this budget are difficult choices – and changes – that will ultimately make our community stronger in the years ahead,” Kreuser said. “This budget is designed to make the necessary cuts, but avoid unnecessary pain. That is not to say that people won’t experience waiting lists or experience some modest change in service.”

Kreuser’s proposal seeks significant health care changes for county employees. Under the proposal, employee health care contributions would increase 50 percent. The change will impact more than half of county employees in 2012 – non-classified employees and those whose labor contracts have expired. Nearly all of the remaining employees would be moved to the new plan in 2013.

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Lynch gets go ahead from planners for new dealership in Pleasant Prairie

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Site and Operational Plans were approved for Lynch Chevrolet to construct a new Chevrolet sales and service center in Pleasant Prairie, during a Plan Commission meeting Monday.

The new dealership will be located south of Highway 50 in approximately the 10800 block.

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DNR monitoring air quality due to smoke from Minn. fire

The Wisconsin’s Department of Natural Resources and Department of Health Services released the following information regarding smoke that has been detectable throughout Kenosha County today:

The smoke is from the Pagami Creek Fire, which is burning about 15 miles east of Ely, Minnesota, in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness. As of Tuesday morning, the fire was more than 60,000 acres in size. It grew 50,000 acres Sept. 12, the result of a 16-mile run in strong westerly winds. The fire started on Aug. 18 from a lightning strike and had grown to about 2,500 acres as of Sept. 10. Strong winds in the last few days have turned it into a significant fire with a large smoke column. It is expected to grow even more given strong northwesterly winds today.
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Units responding to crash in Somers

Photo by kconnors with morgueFile.com

At 7:40 a.m., deputies and Somers Fire and Rescue are responding to a report of a crash in the 5900 block of Highway E, Somers.

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Fire in second floor of home on 11th Avenue

Earlene Frederick photo

Kenosha Fire Department personnel fought a fire late last night.

Smoke was showing  from the house in the 7400 block of 11th Avenue when firefighters and police arrived.

The fire was quickly extinguished, with two dogs that were inside escaping. No one else was inside.

Photos by Earlene Frederick

/Earlene Frederick photo

Wirch victory speech video

Here’s some video of state Sen. Bob Wirch’s victory speech last night in the recall election.

Wirch was facing a challenge from republican Jonathon Steitz. The latest unofficial resutrns from this morning have (with all polls reporting):

Wirch 24,443 votes — 57%.

Steitz 16799 votes — 43%.

Here’s the video from Wirch headquarters last night at Local 72 in Kenosha from freelance journalist Mike Gordon:

(photos by Earlene Frederick)

Wirch-Steitz forum coverage

State Sen. Bob Wirch and his challenger in the Aug. 16 recall election Jonathon Steitz traded views in a forum at the Kenosha Country Club this morning.

The forum was hosted by the Kenosha Area Business Alliance  and the Kenosha Area Chamber of Commerce.

The recall election was spurred by Wirch’s participation in the flight from the state of the 14 state Senate Democrats during debate of Gov. Scott Walker’s budget repair bill in February in order to avoid a quorum call for a vote on the  bill. Here Wirch and Steitz give their views on the issue (in all further seated videos Wirch is on the right and Steitz on the  left):

Here’s video of  the candidates opening statements, with Wirch speaking first:

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Devin Kunich: “He was a character in life”

Devin Kunich

Devin Kunich of Kenosha is being remembered by his parents, Gary and Ruth Kunich of Kenosha, as a person who loved to make people laugh, loved to act, a big fan of the color pink and “a character in life.”

Devin Kunich died after being struck by a car while riding his bicycle along Highway H in Pleasant Prairie very early Sunday morning. The driver of the car, Quashae D. Taylor, 18, of Kenosha, told police that she had her eyes closed at the time of the crash and also said that she received a cell phone call at about the same time. She made an initial court appearance Monday and has been charged with homicide by negligent operation/vehicle, according to online court records.

I spoke with Gary and Ruth Kunich today. Following are some of their thoughts about their son:

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Bristol and other departments responding for report of structure fire

Photo by kconnors with morgueFile.com

At 5:52 p.m., Bristol Fire and Rescue, Pleasant Prairie Fire and Rescue and Antioch Fire Department are responding to a report of a structure fire at Bristol Renaissance Fair.


Multiple departments responding to report of fire at Renaissance fair

Photo by kconnors with morgueFile.com

At 5:52 p.m., Bristol Fire and Rescue, Pleasant Prairie Fire and Rescue and Antioch Fire Department are responding to a report of a structure fire at Bristol Renassience Fair.

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Daily Buzz: Get educated at the School Exhibits Building

If you’re looking for a place to get inspired about the school children you might check out the School Exhibits Building at the Kenosha County Fair.

The building is literally decorated wall-to-wall, floor-to-ceiling with school work of Kenosha County students. Some are art, some are more explanatory, all are visually interesting. Public and parochial elementary schools from anywhere in the county are eligible.

Students earn ribbons and premiums for their projects displayed in the building.

The school exhibits building is located just west of the Westosha Kiwanis food building and north of the Midway on the main east-west fairgrounds road.

The Kenosha County Fair runs Aug. 17-21 this year at the fairgrounds in Wilmot.

St. Mary Catholic Church announces music line-up for festival

St. Mary Catholic Church is pleased to announce the dates and musical lineup for its August festival.

The St. Mary Festival will be held on Saturday, Aug. 20 and Sunday, Aug. 21.

Musical acts on Saturday will be: “Boys and Toys” and “Catch a Wave.” On Sunday, Aug. 21, the “Dancing Showtimers Seniors,” “Anthony ‘Frank’ Cassano and Joe Brigante,” “Matt Meyer and the Smooth Riders,” and “Bella Cain” will perform.

Returning attractions to the 2011 St. Mary Festival include the “Win a Dream Raffle,” “Spin and Win,” “Chuck O Luck,” “Chip n Win,” musical entertainment, a food tent, cream puffs, a beer garden, and many of the favorite children’s games and activities of years past.

The festival grounds will officially open on Saturday  at 3 p.m. and will remain open until 11 p.m. Grounds will reopen Sunday, Aug. 21, from noon until 9 p.m. The drawing for the St. Mary “Win a Dream Raffle” will be held on Sunday, Aug. 21, at 9 p.m.

“Festival goers are invited to save the date and join us for a great lineup of musical entertainment, games, great food and beverages at the St. Mary Festival this August,” said John Schmidbauer, festival chairperson.

Kenosha accepting Community Development Block Grant proposals

The city of Kenosha Department of City Development is accepting proposals from eligible not-for-profit organizations, which will assist the city in the development of the 20112 Community Development Block Grant Program.

The city expects to receive $966,167 from the US Department of Housing and Urban Development for allocation to eligible projects under the 2012 CDBG program.

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Units responding to report of smoke from residence

Photo by kconnors with morgueFile.com

At 12:24 p.m., Pleasant Prairie Fire Department is responding to a report of what appears may be smoke coming from a residence in about the 10100 block of Green Bay Road.

UPDATE 12:38 p.m. — Dispatch tells responding squads to slow response.

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Units responding for capsized boat

Photo by kconnors with morgueFile.com

At 10:39 a.m., multiple Kenosha Fire Department and police units are responding to Kenosha Harbor for a report of a capsized boat.

Dispatch reports that boat may have had two occupants, one who is back in the boat and one that may still be in the water. Dive team being alerted.

UPDATE 10:41 a.m. — Fire Department command at the scene holding additional units in quarters and having dive team stand down.

UPDATE 10:42 a.m. — Fire Department command confirms that this is a sailing training exercise and not an emergency.

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Severe thunderstorm watch issued

At 6:20 p.m, the National Weather Service has issued a severe thunderstorm watch for Kenosha County.

The watch is in effect until midnight.

Units responding for overturned boat in harbor

Photo by kconnors with morgueFile.com

At 3:35 p.m., Kenosha Fire Department is responding to a report of an overturned boat in the Kenosha Harbor.

Dispatch reports that boat is overturned off of the 5100 block of 6th Avenue. Someone is holding on to boat. Dive team also being called to quarters.

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Brighton Dale Links to host Men’s County Open

Photo by ppdigital via morgueFile.com

Brighton Dale Links will play host to the 2011 Kenosha County Men’s Open Golf Tournament, July 29 through July 31.

They will kick things off with a shotgun start at 1 p.m. on Friday, July 29, on the White Birch course. On Saturday, July 30, they will shotgun again at 7 a.m. on the Blue Spruce Course. And finally, on Sunday, July 31, they will start at 7 a.m. with straight tee times on the White Birch Course.

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Units responding to alarm at downtown business

Photo by kconnors with morgueFile.com

At 6:14 p.m., Kenosha Fire Department units are responding to a  report of a supervisory alarm at a business in the 5800 block of Seventh Avenue.

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Carthage’s Campbell to retire in Aug.

Dr. F. Gregory Campbell, president of Kenosha’s Carthage College for almost 24 years, will retire in August, according to the Evangelical Lutheran Church in  America website.

Campbell is the longest-tenured president of a college or university affiliated with the ELCA.

Kenosha storm damage photos and video

Here are some photos from the storm that a little before 8 p.m. last night tore through the far east end of Kenosha County. Photos are by Zamba Creative, Mike Gordon, and Earlene Frederick (put cursor over photo for specific caption info).

Here’s a video from Mike Gordon showing damage in Eichelman Park and Southport Marina:

Supper club fire photos

Firefighters from Pleasant Prairie and other neighboring departments fought a two-alarm fire at the Village Supper Club, 10909 Sheridan Road, Pleasant Prairie, early Thursday morning.

We will share more info when it is made available. Here are some photos from freelance photographer, Earlene Frederick:

Storm photos

We are expecting some storm photos from some of our regular contributors.  In the meantime, if you have some photos to share — and power to share them with — please email them to us at darren@kenowi.com, and we will post them.

Units responding to report of apartment fire

Photo by kconnors with morgueFile.com

At 4:55 p.m., Kenosha Fire Department units are responding to a report of an apartment on fire in the 4600 block of 38th Avenue.

UPDATE 4:58 p.m. — Personnel on scene reports that fire was on outside of building. Appears to be out now. Building has been evacuated.
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Kenosha Police Department: Heed the speed

This is the first in a series of articles that will regularly appear on KenoWi.com from Kenosha Police Department Crime Prevention Unit Officers Jeff Wamboldt and Ron Francis:

You have been diagnosed with Spring Fever and are eager to join your children for some outside fun. Unfortunately, housework dampens your plans so you send the kids to play on their own. Suddenly, you hear the sound of screeching car tires and the screams of a child in pain. You drop everything and hurry outside. A group of people are gathering in the street around the front of a car. Someone yells, “Call 911!” You reach the group and discover your child has been hit. How can this be? You live in a safe neighborhood and the speed limit is only 25 mph.

Speeding in excess of the posted limit, inattentive driving, or reckless driving can occur on any roadway, whether in a quiet suburban neighborhood or a busy business district. One Kenosha Common Council member stated that speeding in residential neighborhoods is the number one complaint from his constituents. Traffic complaints also lead the list of Neighborhood Watch participant issues.

Pedestrians and children are most at risk when speeding occurs in residential neighborhoods. Vehicle accidents are the leading cause of death for children age two to fourteen. When vehicles are traveling 30 mph, 45 percent of the pedestrians hit will die. Fatalities jump to 85 percent when the vehicle is traveling 40 mph.

To combat the problem of speeding and aggressive driving in residential neighborhoods, the Kenosha Police Department has developed a three phase initiative called Heed the Speed.

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Police Department gives notice of sex offender release

The Pleasant Prairie Police Department is making notification of the release of convicted sex offender Bobby D. Coleman into the village.

Coleman will be moved to a residence in the area of the 12100 block of 120th Court in Pleasant Prairie on Monday, June 20,  after being released from prison on June 7, 2011.

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