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Storm wallops Kenosha; blizzard warning in effect

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The snowstorm predicted to hit Kenosha has lived up to its expectations. And then some.

A blizzard warning is in effect until midnight tonight, according to the National Weather Service.

Snow will be steady throughout the day, at times moderate to heavy, with a lake effect factor. Considerable blowing snow and low visibility as winds gust up to 35 mph. Whiteout conditions are possible, making travel extremely dangerous.




Event briefs: Seniors can learn about healthy breakfasts

KENOSHA — A program on heart-healthy breakfast foods begins at 2 p.m. Tuesday.

Those interested in taking part in this telephone conference should call Julie Cannon at 658-3508, ext. 118, before noon Tuesday.

Storm wallops Kenosha; blizzard warning in effect

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The snowstorm predicted to hit Kenosha has lived up to its expectations. And then some.

A blizzard warning is in effect until midnight tonight, according to the National Weather Service.

Weather cuts short Band-O-Rama

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Before Band-O-Rama got underway at Indian Trail High School and Academy Saturday, there was an announcement.

Given the winter storm warning issued for Sunday, Kenosha Unified School District officials were canceling the second performance of the 58th annual event. In the crowded fieldhouse there were both groans and applause.

News briefs: One person hurt when car, deer collide

A passenger reported neck injuries after the car she was riding in struck a deer on Highway KR west of 120th Avenue in Paris.

Kenosha County deputies said Lori C. Hemauer, born in 1967 of Kansasville, was transported to a hospital just after 6 p.m. Thursday when the eastbound car driven by Patrick C. Hemauer, born in 1967 of Kansasville, hit a deer.

Wisconsin, Illinois teams sweep snow-sculpting contest

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LAKE GENEVA — Fifteen teams of snow sculptors from across the country transformed 9-foot-high snow cylinders into works of art this weekend for the 20th annual U.S. National Snow Sculpting Competition as part of the annual Winterfest event.

For the team members, who came from as far as Alaska, it was a chance to challenge themselves, and each other, as they sought to turn snow into carved, sculpted art.

New exhibit offers a view from space

5

In celebration of a new space-themed exhibit, the Kenosha Public Museum on Saturday hosted an afternoon of free festivities educating locals about rockets, satellites and stars. 

The downtown museum, 5500 First Ave., will be offering "Earth from Space," a collection of satellite images provided by the United States Geological Survey and the Smithsonian Institution, through June 21. 

Habitat for Humanity dedicates second home

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Lisa Lavine can point to the exact spot high in the hallway of her new home where she broke her finger while hammering a nail on a beam.

The incident happened during the 250 hours of “sweat equity” she and her family were required to put into their new Habitat for Humanity home built at 4711 60th St.

Biggest snowstorm of season to sock Kenosha County

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Kenosha County is expected to be socked with its biggest snowfall of the season Sunday.

The National Weather Service issued a winter snow warning, with snow expected to begin to fall late Saturday and continue throughout the day Sunday.

Possible fire reported at fire station under construction

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Pleasant Prairie firefighters were called to their own station, under construction, for smoke coming from the structure Friday.

Pleasant Prairie Fire Department Chief Doug McElmury said workers on site and a passerby called 911 shortly after 4:20 p.m. to report a possible fire after seeing the smoke at the site, 3801 Springbrook Road.

Event briefs: Meeting to focus on starting Makerspace

KENOSHA — An exploratory meeting on establishing a Makerspace in the area begins at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday in the library of Harborside Academy, 913 57th St.

Makerspaces are places where people who like to build, invent, tinker and/or learn new skills gather to share and create together.

That History Column: Danish Brotherhood lodge continues to thrive

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Brick by brick. That’s the way the Danish Brotherhood Lodge 14 at 2206 63rd St. was built in the Danish enclave that was known as Uptown Kenosha.

The Danes constructed their lodge during their lunch hours, evenings and weekends over a seven-month period in 1910.

Artifact of Month: vintage valentine

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A vintage valentine is the Kenosha History Center’s Artifact of the Month.

Long before modern technology yielded talking greeting cards and email salutations, romantics found a way to express themselves with paper valentines.

Waukegan’s casino hopes now revived

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The mayor of Waukegan, Ill., says the collapse of the Kenosha casino has given his city’s hopes to build a gaming center a boost.

Like Kenosha, Waukegan has been pursuing plans to develop a casino for years. The Illinois city came close to winning approval for its plans when, in 2004, it was among three finalists for Illinois’s 10th and only available casino license. The state instead chose Rosemont, which several years later lost its bid amid corruption charges. The project eventually was built in Des Plaines.

Joseph Kiser, retired city fire chief, dies

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When he retired as chief in 2004, Joseph Kiser, signed off as a 38-year veteran of the Kenosha Fire Department, saying he had “turned the department around to a futuristic department.’’

“We kind of went backwards for about 10 years. We lost some newness to the fire service,” Kiser said at the time, adding he “tried to make that up ... to enhance it and bring it up to the year 2004, which is where it should be. And I think I almost got there.’’

Winter storm likely to begin today

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You won’t need snow shovels or blowers this morning and into the early afternoon, but keep them handy.

AccuWeather meteorologist Mike Doll said Friday night that high winds, dropping temperatures and lots of snow appear to be heading our way by evening hours today.

Walker to lawmakers, tribe: Still no on casino

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In a virtual form letter Thursday addressing a bipartisan coalition of 10 state lawmakers, including six Republicans, Gov. Scott Walker dismissed requests he reconsider his decision to deny the Menominee tribe’s application to open an $800 million Kenosha casino with Hard Rock International as their partner.

Walker said he asked Department of Administration Secretary Mike Huebsch to address the issues outlined in the letter.

Flu cases declining here

Kenosha County’s influenza season appears to be on the wane.

Casino revenue declines; some call gambling market saturated

While debate over the rejection of Kenosha’s Hard Rock Hotel & Casino project continues, gambling industry insiders are mulling the overall business climate for the gaming industry.

In Wisconsin, business at casinos operated by the state’s Native American tribes fell in 2014, with the total earnings by tribal casinos falling about 2.5 percent to $1.16 billion, their lowest earnings since 2006.

Today ‘s event briefs: Suicide survivors’ support group to meet

KENOSHA — The Survivors of Suicide support group will begin meeting 6 to 8 p.m. Tuesday at Piasecki Althaus Family Services Center, 2002 52nd St.

Sessions will continue the first and third Tuesdays of the month through May 19.

Lake Geneva’s Winterfest kicks off Saturday

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LAKE GENEVA — Winterfest activities — from a cocoa crawl to human dogsled races — will extend the annual Lake Geneva event a full week this year.

“This year we are celebrating the 20th anniversary of Winterfest here in Lake Geneva — which is a great milestone,” said Darien Schaefer, president of the Lake Geneva Area Convention and Visitors Bureau. “It’s tough for events to even make it to their 10th anniversary much their 20th.”

Identify theft victim gets bills for $13,000

A 41-year-old Kenosha man told authorities he was a victim of identity theft after receiving a cell phone bill and cable bill totalling over $13,000, according to the Kenosha Police Department.

The man said the accounts were somehow created in his name and traced to a Chicago address. He said he was informed of the balances after receiving letters from collection agencies.

Trials set for shooting in downtown Racine

RACINE — Trials have been set this year for two men charged in connection with Dulonden Ratliff's death last March..

Ratliff, 21, of Kenosha, was walking with friends in downtown Racine on March 9 when they were approached by another group of people. During that interaction, someone took out a gun and fired, fatally shooting Ratliff.

Crash leaves pizza driver’s vehicle overturned

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No one was seriously hurt in a rollover crash Thursday night at the intersection of 48th Street and 23rd Avenue.

The two-car accident at 6:35 p.m. resulted in one vehicle landing on its roof near the northwest corner of the intersection. The driver of the overturned Domino’s Pizza delivery vehicle was treated at the scene.

Bristol seventh-grader suspended for bringing knife to school

A Bristol Grade School seventh-grader brought a knife to school last week and threatened to stab a fellow classmate in the head and slit another student’s throat, according to a Kenosha Sheriff’s Department report.

The 12-year-old girl faces charges for possession of a dangerous weapon on school premises and disorderly conduct.

Terri Ward: Making mealtimes a positive family experience

What did you learn about food as a child?

When I was growing up, my family had certain rules about food and mealtimes: “take only what you can eat” and “don’t waste food” are the main ideas I recall and pass on to my own children.

Kenosha man acquitted of child assault charges

A man whose case went before the state Supreme Court before it got to trial here was acquitted last week of two of the four counts against him.

Charles E. Butts, 61, of Kenosha, was charged in 2012 with six felonies related to sexual contact with children. He was accused of inappropriately touching two girls in 2001, one age 11 and the other age 4.

Victim’s family encourages lighter sentence for driver in fatal crash

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Christopher Orozco knew what he did was wrong and he could not bring his friend back.

On Thursday, he told the parents of Brian Smith he was sorry for causing their son’s death during a hearing in which a Kenosha County judge sentenced him to 10 years probation.

Indian Trail students prepare artwork for Amazon

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If no home is complete without some artwork, Amazon’s fulfillment center has a head start on making its newest fulfillment center complete.

The online retailer has commissioned Indian Trail High School and Academy art students to create a one-of-a-kind sculpture that will be displayed near the entrance of the fulfillment center at 11211 Burlington Road. More than 30 art students from grades 10 through 12 will work on the project, which will be made from 40 cubic yards of Amazon’s scrap construction materials. The artwork is expected to be an 8-foot-by-7-foot structure that will hang on a wall.

Making art out of snow

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LAKE GENEVA — By mid-afternoon Thursday, what started as giant cylinders of snow began to take on mystical, geometric and abstract forms in Riviera Park.

At what was the halfway point in the U.S. National Snow Sculpting Competition, teams of sculptors sawed, chiseled and chopped feverishly, taking advantage of favorable conditions.

Unified Board may consider creating student advisory council

A Kenosha Unified School Board member hopes a tudent advisory council he is proposing would give high school kids a stronger voice in district policy.

Board member Kyle Flood is suggesting that students at each high school in the district elect two representatives — a sophomore and a junior — much like they hold in-school elections for student council. The Advisory Council would meet four times a year, once each academic quarter.

County schools ‘not rural enough’ for big boost in state aid

Most western Kenosha County schools are not rural enough to fully benefit from 2015-17 budget provisions introduced by State Superintendent of Schools Tony Evers as part of the “Investing in Rural Schools” package.

The Department of Public Instruction’s 2015-17 budget requests full funding for sparsity aid, which is aimed at helping rural schools. It would provide $300 per student to qualifying districts.

Man charged in Johnson Bank robbery

A 29-year-old Kenosha man is charged in the Jan. 22 robbery at Johnson Bank, 2729 18th St.

Adrian D. Moore made his initial court appearance on Thursday and was held on a $100,000 cash bond. If convicted, he faces up to $100,000 in fines and up to 40 years in prison.

Today’s News Briefs: Common Grounds loses water supply

A local coffee shop reopened on Thursday after two straight water main breaks temporarily shut down the business.

Common Grounds, 5159 Sixth Ave., lost its water supply twice on Wednesday and opened three hours late on Thursday, according to a store employee.

Wheatland Center School opposes new power line routes near district buildings

WHEATLAND — The Wheatland Center School Board approved a resolution Wednesday opposing plans by American Transmission Company to install transmission lines along school property on Highway O.

According to the resolution, the school board “strongly opposes the preferred route projected for the Spring Valley-North Lake Geneva Electric Reliability Project” proposed by ATC.

Fix It: 30th Avenue railroad crossing

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Today’s Problem:

Fix It reader Stephen Miller wrote, “Unbelievably there is a RR crossing that is even worse. When traveling south on 30th Avenue, south of 60th Street, you come upon a section of pavement alongside the track itself that is about a foot long and at least 2-3 inches in height. If you haven’t seen it, it’s a real potential tire-popper.” Later, Miller added, “The area of asphalt that is dangerously sticking up is in the traffic lane running directly beside the rail running across the pavement. It’s very obvious to see even at road speed while traveling south toward the left side of the lane.”

Today’s event briefs: Six-week program offered for caregivers

KENOSHA — A six-week program for caregivers is being offered twice starting next month.

Sessions are 2 to 4 p.m p.m. Wednesdays, Feb. 4 through March 11, at the Kenosha County Job Center, 8600 Sheridan Road, as well as 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. Thursdays, Feb. 12 through March 19, at Salem Township Hall, 9814 Antioch Road (Highway 83), Salem.

Walker stands by casino denial

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Despite a request from 10 Wisconsin legislators, Gov. Scott Walker said Wednesday he will not reconsider his decision to deny a Kenosha casino.

The letter, dated and delivered Wednesday morning to Walker, was signed by six Republicans and four Democrats.

Jury acquits man in UWP sexual assault trial

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Jurors acquitted a former University of Wisconsin-Parkside basketball recruit of sexually assaulting a fellow student in September 2013.

Austin Robinson, 20, of Bolingbrook, Ill., was found not guilty on second-degree sexual assault-use of force and false imprisonment Wednesday. Robinson was a former basketball player for Parkside, and his scholarship was revoked as a result of the incident. He now attends Indiana University, family members said.

Series of Schroeder courtroom snafus leaves DA blaming schedule, staffing

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Prosecutors had a rough day in Kenosha County Circuit Judge Bruce Schroeder’s courtroom earlier this week, when the judge took them to task for a host of deficiencies — problems District Attorney Robert Zapf chalked up to a overly busy schedule and an understaffed office.

There were 22 cases on Schroeder’s morning calendar, with prosecutorial missteps noted in seven of them.

News briefs: Village police locate missing children

Two Nevada children believed to be kidnapped were found by Pleasant Prairie Police just after 1 a.m. Wednesday at an apartment complex in the 7800 block of 88th Avenue, according to Pleasant Prairie Chief David Smetana.

Lake County Sheriff’s Department arrested a Nevada couple about 11:30 p.m. Tuesday at a truck parking lot in Russell, Ill. Pleasant Prairie Police then assisted Lake County deputies in locating a 14-year-old boy and a 9-year-old girl. The children were then turned over to authorities, according to Smetana.

Police offer tips for staying safe when walking

“Horrifying” was how Patty described the assault.

On a cold, dark January night, Patty put on her warmest winter coat, slapped on a set of earmuffs and left the restaurant in the small town where she worked.

Medical condition leads to vehicle fire

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A 48-year-old Bristol man had what authorities called a “medical event” when he lost consciousness in a running vehicle Wednesday morning at Woodman’s, 7145 120th Ave.

Eric Whitmire was airlifted by Flight for Life helicopter to a Milwaukee hospital from Aurora Medical Center, 10400 75th St. Emergency crews responded at 8:36 a.m. for the report of an unconscious man being pulled from a burning SUV.

‘Don’t give up’: Holocaust survivor tells her story

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The day after Holocaust survivors gathered to mark the 70th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz, Nesse Godin remembered her own liberation.

“Russian soldiers came, and they told us, ‘You are free, you are free,’” Godin said. “At that point I was 17 years old and I weighed 69 pounds.”

Kenosha Meijer store to open in June

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Meijer will open its Kenosha supercenter at 7701 Green Bay Road in June, the retailer announced Wednesday.

That, along with the concurrent opening of a store in Grafton, will mark the company’s official expansion into Wisconsin.

Snyder: Local artist helps businesses release their inner fabulousness

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What is art?

That question has been asked since the first cave dwellers inked the first woolly mammoth onto a wall.

Event briefs: Vocal group to perform at Randall School

RANDALL — The Cat’s Pajamas Vocal Band will perform at 7 p.m. Friday at Randall Consolidated School, 37101 87th St., as part of its annual Music in Schools Tour.

The cost is $10 in advance, $15 at the door.

Unified names new administrator

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A familiar face in the Kenosha Unified School District will have a new role as the liaison for Hispanic and Latino students, families and community liaison.

Juan Torres, program director of the district’s Even Start program since 2008, was named to the position by the School Board Tuesday.

Residents oppose route for new power lines

If the Public Service Commission selects the preferred route for a new 25-mile electricity transmission line, it will kill plans for an equestrian development on Highway 83 in Paddock Lake, the property owner said at a public hearing on the project Tuesday night.

“If they put the lines in here, we won’t move forward with it,” Brian Filiatreault said of the 14-lot equestrian development called The Paddocks. “This is a $15-million to $20-million project.”

Rehab projects on hold

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Two much-anticipated proposals to restore Kenosha historic landmarks remain on hold as the respective developers await needed approvals for tax credits, city officials said Tuesday.

In September, Ted Matkom, of Gorman & Co., said — pending approval of tax credits under several programs — he was confident his firm was on track to close by March 31on a deal to convert the former Elks Club/Heritage House, 5706 Eighth Ave., into a 65-room, boutique hotel with a restaurant and banquet facilities.

‘Blessings in a Backpack’ making a difference

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A group of Mahone Middle School students’ ambitious plan to provide weekend meals to students in need proved such a success the kids are creating a sequel.

Last year, the Mahone students used their annual school talent show to raise money to start a “Blessings in a Backpack” program, providing backpacks with meals and snacks each weekend for kids from struggling families at Curtis Strange Elementary School.

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    Waukegan’s casino hopes now revived

    2

    The mayor of Waukegan, Ill., says the collapse of the Kenosha casino has given his city’s hopes to build a gaming center a boost.

    Joseph Kiser, retired city fire chief, dies

    1

    When he retired as chief in 2004, Joseph Kiser, signed off as a 38-year veteran of the Kenosha Fire Department, saying he had “turned the department around to a futuristic department.’’

    Winter storm likely to begin today

    2

    You won’t need snow shovels or blowers this morning and into the early afternoon, but keep them handy.

    Walker to lawmakers, tribe: Still no on casino

    1

    In a virtual form letter Thursday addressing a bipartisan coalition of 10 state lawmakers, including six Republicans, Gov. Scott Walker dismissed requests he reconsider his decision to deny the Menominee tribe’s application to open an $800 million Kenosha casino with Hard Rock International as their partner.

    Flu cases declining here

    St. Alphonsus School struggling to keep doors open

    4

    NEW MUNSTER — St. Alphonsus students proudly showed family members around the school Friday for “Share Your Faith Day” during Catholic Schools Week — and for what may be the last time.

    Casino revenue declines; some call gambling market saturated

    While debate over the rejection of Kenosha’s Hard Rock Hotel & Casino project continues, gambling industry insiders are mulling the overall business climate for the gaming industry.

    Today ‘s event briefs: Suicide survivors’ support group to meet

    KENOSHA — The Survivors of Suicide support group will begin meeting 6 to 8 p.m. Tuesday at Piasecki Althaus Family Services Center, 2002 52nd St.

    Lake Geneva’s Winterfest kicks off Saturday

    7

    LAKE GENEVA — Winterfest activities — from a cocoa crawl to human dogsled races — will extend the annual Lake Geneva event a full week this year.

    Identify theft victim gets bills for $13,000

    A 41-year-old Kenosha man told authorities he was a victim of identity theft after receiving a cell phone bill and cable bill totalling over $13,000, according to the Kenosha Police Department.

    Trials set for shooting in downtown Racine

    RACINE — Trials have been set this year for two men charged in connection with Dulonden Ratliff's death last March..

    Crash leaves pizza driver’s vehicle overturned

    2

    No one was seriously hurt in a rollover crash Thursday night at the intersection of 48th Street and 23rd Avenue.

    Bristol seventh-grader suspended for bringing knife to school

    A Bristol Grade School seventh-grader brought a knife to school last week and threatened to stab a fellow classmate in the head and slit another student’s throat, according to a Kenosha Sheriff’s Department report.

    Terri Ward: Making mealtimes a positive family experience

    What did you learn about food as a child?

    Kenosha man acquitted of child assault charges

    A man whose case went before the state Supreme Court before it got to trial here was acquitted last week of two of the four counts against him.