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Suspect in April 2013 double murder enters guilty plea

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A double murder trial stopped abruptly Tuesday morning when the defendant agreed to an 11th-hour plea deal offered by the state.

Darshawn Frison, 19, was on trial for killing Zachary Hernandez and Carlos Garcia in April 2013. He had been charged with five felonies — two counts each of first-degree intentional homicide and armed robbery, and one count of illegally possessing a firearm. His two co-defendants were expected to testify against him.

Hernandez and Garcia were shot and killed in a 25th Avenue backyard on April 5, 2013. Frison, Karlos Hamilton and Dequan Young had set up a robbery, and Hamilton and Young later told police that Frison fired the fatal shots.




Leadership projects to benefit local agencies

Participants in a local program designed to develop leadership skills while addressing community needs will be embarking on projects that involve assisting older adults with meals, enhancing literacy, providing career counseling for young women and helping parents connect with schools.

Kenosha Area Family and Aging Services, Kenosha Literacy Council, Kenosha Unified PTA Council and Genesis House are beneficiaries of team projects from 16 members of Leadership Kenosha. Teams were assembled following a call for participants in September and projects developed are as follows:

Old county radio tower to come down

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An old radio communications tower that has served the county for at least half a century is expected to be dismantled next month.

The tower at 60th Street near 54th Avenue was taken off line earlier this summer. The only part of the old tower that is still functional is a flashing light at the top in accordance with Federal Aviation Administration regulations.

Squad video shows dangerous I-94 chase as it unfolds

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One of the riskiest high-speed chases in recent memory was documented by stunning dash-cam video, released by the Kenosha County Sheriff’s Department on Wednesday.

The pursuit, which involved three law enforcement agencies, began at 11:42 a.m. Oct. 16 in the 9500 block of Interstate 94 and traveled both directions on the interstate through Kenosha and Racine counties.

News briefs: Police searching for hit-and-run car

Kenosha Police said it is searching for a hit-and-run vehicle involved in a rollover crash Monday in the 2600 block of Alford Park Drive.

A Chevrolet Blazer carrying six passengers rolled multiple times before landing in a wooded area. Police said a second vehicle, described as a champagne-colored two-door coupe, was driving alongside the Blazer when the vehicles made contact.

Gateway tweaks budget, reduces taxes

Gateway Technical College, in an amendment to its fiscal 2015 budget, is giving Kenosha County homeowners an early Christmas gift — a tax reduction.

Tax bills that are scheduled to go out in December will show a reduction in the tax rate, from 80 cents for $100,000 of equalized value, which was approved by the board in May, to about 77 cents.

Those who make less give more to charity, statistics show

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Congratulations, Kenosha County. You gave $60,728,000 to charity in 2012.

A new study in The Chronicle of Philanthropy found that adults in Kenosha County gave an average of $2,134 to charity that year, which amounted to 2.2 percent of each person’s annual income.

Snyder: Surviving a haunted house takes nerves, proper footwear — and cash

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At this point in election season, the scariest thing for me is being bombarded by TV ads depicting candidates for political office as evil incarnate.

Apparently, Mary Burke is out to destroy the very fabric of our great state. Or am I thinking of Scott Walker?

Central to see tax levy decrease

PADDOCK LAKE — A 7.9 percent decrease in the tax levy for Central High School was approved Tuesday.

Business manager Sharon Llanas said the levy will decrease $667,871, from $8,436,512 for the 2013-14 school year to $7,768,641 for 2014-15.

Kenosha County offers first-time home bargains

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Kenosha County housing sales dropped in September, but median prices continued to climb slightly compared to the same month a year ago.

Meanwhile, first-time buyers might still find some real bargains on homes priced under $100,000.

Wisconsin Supreme Court takes Daniel case

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The appeals aren’t yet over for one of the teenage boys convicted of murdering Capri Walker in 2008.

Roddee W. Daniel was 15 years old when he and Kawanis Trotter broke into Walker’s home, beat her to death, and stole a video game system. Daniel, a diagnosed schizophrenic, was found competent to stand trial, convicted, and sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of release.

Homeroom: Open Wings marks ‘Mayor Bosman Day’

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Kenosha Mayor Keith Bosman visited Open Wings Learning Community, a private, non-profit school in Kenosha, as part of students’ studies.

Executive Director Kim Hufferd-Ackles said the school’s students are spending this year “learning about our community, how it works, who the people are that make it work and how we can have an impact on our community.”

Event briefs: Boofest Saturday at downtown museums

KENOSHA — BooFest will be 1 to 4 p.m. Saturday at Kenosha Public Museum, 5500 First Ave.; Civil War Museum, 5400 First Ave.; and the Dinosaur Discovery Museum, 5608 10th Ave.

There is no charge.

County Board OKs Arbet’s return

The Kenosha County Board unanimously approved the appointment of Ray Arbet to serve as director of the Public Works and Development Services Department at its meeting Tuesday night.

Arbet, who was the county’s public works director from 2008 to 2012, left to become director of Bradshaw Medical. He replaces Chris Masin, who went back to his former job in Tennessee after resigning this summer.

Trevor-Wilmot to use fund balance to offset tax increase

TREVOR — A 3.4 percent increase in the Trevor-School Consolidated School District tax levy was approved by the electorate Tuesday.

The levy will increase $90,111, from $2,652,629 to $2,742,740. The corresponding tax rate is $9.36 per $1,000 of equalized value. This means the owner of a $200,000 property will contribute $1,872 to help operate the school and pay district debt.

New downtown director excited about possibilities

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The newly hired Downtown Kenosha Inc. executive director said Tuesday the city’s pro-development outlook and infrastructure attracted him.

Christopher Naumann resigned Friday from a similar position in Green Bay with On Broadway Inc. to take the job here.

News briefs: Elaborate phone scam reported

A 76-year-old Twin Lakes man reported an elaborate phone scam Monday morning involving the Internal Revenue Service and Kenosha County Sheriff’s Department.

The man said he received a voicemail from a woman claiming to be with the IRS criminal division, stating he needed to return the phone call to receive important information.

Man reportedly groped patrons in haunted house

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A Kenosha man was charged on Monday with three counts of sexual assault after reportedly terrifying several patrons and employees inside an area haunted house.

Daniel Lee Rosmann, 51, was detained by security and taken into custody by Mount Pleasant Police at about 10:30 p.m. Sunday at the Abandoned Haunted House Complex, 2825 SE Frontage Road. In addition to three counts of fourth-degree sexual assault, Rosmann was charged with disorderly conduct and lewd and lascivious behavior.

St. Joseph celebrates state tennis champ

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St. Joseph Catholic Academy celebrated honored state tennis champion Claire Czerwonka Tuesday, with an assembly full of adoring peers.

On stage with a bouquet of flowers in hand and her teammates behind her, Czerwonka expressed her gratitude.

Tax impact of village dissolution: ‘murky’

SILVER LAKE — If the referendum to dissolve the village of Silver Lake is approved, residents will most likely see a decrease in the municipal part of their tax bill, according to Dale Knapp, research director of the Wisconsin Taxpayer's Alliance.

However, the county and school sections of the tax bill will also be affected, Knapp said. To what degree and in what direction is more difficult to determine.

Defense reviewing thousands of pages to prep for Zelich case

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The defense has reviewed thousands of pages of discovery materials in the Kenosha County case against a man accused of strangling a woman during a sexual encounter, then hiding her body for several years.

Steven Zelich, 52, a former police officer from West Allis, was arrested in June after evidence found with two bodies dumped in Walworth County led investigators to his door. The two women — identified as Jenny Gamez, 19, of Cottage Grove, Ore., and Laura Simonson of Farmington, Minn. — had been stuffed into suitcases left off a rural road outside Lake Geneva.

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    City Council backs county’s plan for downtown Wi-Fi

    It wasn’t exactly, “Presto, change-o” Monday night at the Kenosha City Council meeting.

    Ryan, Zerban debate highlights differences

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    JANESVILLE — The debate between 1st District Congressional candidates Rob Zerban and Rep. Paul Ryan was remarkable for its civility while highlighting a clash of political philosophies.

    County budget hearings begin this week

    Public hearings on the proposed 2015 Kenosha County budget begin this week.

    News briefs: Gun fired inside HarborPark townhouse

    Kenosha Police said a 67-year-old Chicago man was getting ready to attend a concealed-carry weapons class when he picked up a handgun in his HarborPark townhouse and blew out a sliding glass door in his kitchen.

    Trial begins in 2013 double homicide

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    A man is on trial this week for the April 2013 fatal shooting of two men in a 25th Avenue back yard.

    The changing face of the Kenosha Unified School District

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    Declining birth rates and shifting demographics are changing the look of Kenosha Unified School District.

    Local veteran gets handshake, challenge coin from president

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    For Ben Dowell, meeting President Barack Obama earlier this month, shaking hands and briefly conversing with him still seems surreal.

    Detention officer beaten in attack by Braithwaite

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    Less than one day after being convicted of murder, Kenosha’s Joshua P. Braithwaite was arrested for felony battery after a brutal attack on a Kenosha County Jail correctional officer.

    Anti-freeze spill forces school evacuation

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    SOMERS — Alarm bells rang early Monday morning after a suspicious chemical smell forced school officials at Somers Elementary to evacuate the school.

    Where and when can you vote early in person in Kenosha County?

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    In-person early voting began Monday but the hours and days for voting vary by municipality. These are the dates and times city, village and town residents can vote. The last day for early in-person voting is Oct. 31. Election Day is Nov. 4.

    Event briefs: Gardening workshop slated at Gateway

    KENOSHA — A free gardening workshop begins at 4:30 p.m. Wednesday at the Center for Sustainable Living at Gateway Technical College, 3520 30th Ave.

    History Mystery: Long-serving police chief had checkered history

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    Question: How many years did Police Chief Owen O’Hare serve on Kenosha’s police force?

    Rematch: Ryan vs. Zerban

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    The First Congressional District contest in November involves two men who have done battle before.



    Arbet in line to return to county

    A familiar face is expected to return to the Kenosha County Center as early as December.

    News briefs: Family uninjured in house fire

    A family escaped uninjured from a Saturday fire that started in a laundry room of a two-family home at 1507 53rd St., Kenosha Fire Department officials said Sunday.

    DOT mulls roundabout at highways 83, C

    A roundabout at the intersection of highways 83 and C in Salem is being considered by the state Department of Transportation, spokesman Brian DeNeve said Friday.

    Snapshot: Makeup artist revels in the Halloween season

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    Paul Hoepner is a quiet, unassuming family man who likes to stay out of the spotlight and goes to church on Sunday. Then he spends the rest of the week scaring the bejeezus out of people.

    Event briefs: Fun ’n’ Fit fair slated at YMCA

    KENOSHA — The eighth annual Fun ’n’ Fit Recreation and Fitness Fair will be 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Tuesday at the YMCA, 7101 53rd St.

    Life Remembered: Hearing impairment didn’t deter Verdelle Fulmer

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    Each Monday, the Kenosha News takes a look at the life of a Kenosha County resident who recently died. We share with you, through the memories of family and friends, a life remembered.

    Family continues pumpkin-carving tradition

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    Perhaps against his better judgment, Kenosha’s David Breiling offered one of his secret pumpkin-carving tips.

    Ten questions with Ryan, Zerban

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    MILWAUKEE (AP) — U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan, a Janesville Republican, faces Democrat Rob Zerban, a former small business owner from Kenosha, on the Nov. 4 ballot. The Associated Press asked them to answer the same questions in 130 words or less. Their responses follow.