September 28, 2016
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Brandum Landrum, who has worked for Costco since 2009, unloads a customer's shopping cart at the company's store in Pleasant Prairie. Costco will add a number of seasonal employees to handle increased holiday business. ( KENOSHA NEWS PHOTO BY BRIAN PASSINO )

At work for the holidays

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The notion of a retailer hiring a few housewives to work the cash registered during the busy Christmas season is as dated as the term “housewife” itself. With the relentless growth of online shopping — and the logistical infrastructure that supports it — the practice of up-staffing for the holiday season has morphed into a complex puzzle.

That’s not to say retailers aren’t adding thousands of jobs for the Christmas shopping season of 2016. The jobs themselves are often more than stocking shelves with toys, gifts and holiday decorations. They are just as likely to involve back-office operations or customer service roles as they are unloading trucks.

By some estimates, retailers roll up a third of their annual sales and generate nearly 40 percent of their profits during the holiday season. The season is usually seen as stretching from a day after Thanksgiving and continuing into early January. But in some cases, support, logistics and other positions were filled weeks ago.


The former SuperValu store at 3401 80th St., vacant since 2013, would turn into a self-storage facility under a Canadian developer's plans. ( KENOSHA NEWS PHOTO BY BRIAN PASSINO )

Self-storage business proposed for old SuperValu

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A Canadian developer has plans to turn the former SuperValu supermarket at 3401 80th St. into a self-storage business.

The building has been empty since 2013. It most recently served as the temporary location for a Festival Foods grocery store as its new building was under construction just to the east.

“A conditional use permit has been given,” said Brian Wilke, the city's development coordinator, of the self-storage plan. “It’s subject to conditions that they will have to come back to staff for approvals.”

The Agenda: Notes, Post-Its and scribblings have grown into quite a pile

As I have been busy annoying readers the past few weeks with strolls through Kenosha’s downtown and the post-industrial wasteland we call the “Chrysler site,” I thought it was time to take a break. I needed to clean my desk of assorted phone messages, Post-It notes, buried ideas in stacks of Professional Reporter’s Notebooks®, and random thoughts scribbled on the backs of grocery store receipts.

And rather than throw away these gems and bon mots, I thought I would inflict them on you. In advance, I want to thank you for your patience and indulgence.

Having arrived on the north side of Kenosha just about a year ago, Sweet Eats Bakery and Cafe, 2700 22nd Ave., needs to relocate.

Paddock Lake grocery to change name

PADDOCK LAKE — Festival Foods will change the name of its Paddock Lake grocery store.

The store, known as Lakeside Sentry since Festival Foods began operating it last spring, will soon be known as Lakeside Foods.

Festival Foods operates 24 other locations throughout the state and chose to maintain the Sentry Foods brand when it acquired the 27,500-square-foot store last April.

After 30 years, a prime piece of downtown real estate, which is owned by the city, remains on the market. The site, on the east side of the 5400 block of Sixth Ave., has been vacant since the Bode Brothers furniture store building burned down in 1986. ( KENOSHA NEWS PHOTO BY BILL SIEL )

The Agenda: 30 years later

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It’s been 30 years since the Chicago Bears won Super Bowl XX, Jan. 26, 1986.

It was a bitterly cold night here, and locals who could make themselves watch the game saw the Bears smack around the New England Patriots, winning 46-10.

While some Kenoshans were among the 92.57 million people watching the game, about 70 firefighters were busy battling a massive fire in downtown that ultimately brought about the end of the Bode Brothers furniture store building at 5431 Sixth Ave.

This artist's conception shows the new facility Uline plans to build (foreground). It faces I-94. The current headquarters is at upper left. ( KENOSHA NEWS FILE PHOTO BY BILL SIEL )

Uline to be named KABA Business of the Year

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The Kenosha Area Business Alliance will its present its 2016 Ovation Awards at a dinner and ceremony on Nov. 3 at the University of Wisconsin-Parkside Student Center Ballroom.

Registration and networking will begin at 4:30 p.m., with dinner to follow at 6 p.m. The awards presentation will get underway at 7 p.m.

The cost is $100, with tables of eight seats available.

The Ladder: Wier named a shareholder at Habush Habush & Rottier

Andrew Wier, an attorney with Habush Habush & Rottier S.C., has been named a shareholder.

Wier has been with the firm since 2014. He previously worked as an assistant district attorney with the Racine County district attorney’s office.

Wier received his J.D., cum laude, from the University of Wisconsin Law School. While a law student, he worked in the Wisconsin Department of Justice, the United States attorney’s office for the Western District of Wisconsin, and the Rock County district attorney’s office.

No construction is scheduled on Interstate 94 in Kenosha County this summer, according to the Wisconsin Department of Transportation. ( KENOSHA NEWS PHOTO BY KEVIN POIRIER )

Lake County gets largest share of county commuters

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A Kenosha Area Business Alliance study of out-bound commuters reveals that approximately 34,000 Kenosha County residents commute outside of the county to work.

Lake County gets the largest share of commuters, according to the study, with about 44 percent heading to Kenosha’s southern neighbor for work. Racine County had the next highest number of commuters, with about 22 percent driving slightly north. A combined 20 percent work in Cook or Milwaukee counties, and the remaining 14 percent commute elsewhere, according to the study’s summary report.

The survey, a component of KABA’s labor market analysis, was conducted during a three-month period that began March 21.

The cleared Chrysler plant site, seen from the air in 2013. ( KENOSHA NEWS FILE PHOTO BY BILL SIEL )

The Agenda: More voices need to be heard on plans for future of Chrsyler site

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Last week we wrote about ideas from several far-flung design firms on how the empty land that once held the city’s former massive auto manufacturing property might be developed. A number of the ideas, presented by people who had never spent a single minute Kenosha, were silly or way beyond blue sky.

The city, on the other hand, has sought advice from the Urban Land Institute on how to best use the former Chrysler property.

The ULI says it “provides leadership in the responsible use of land and in creating and sustaining thriving communities worldwide.” Its members represent “the entire spectrum of real estate development and land use disciplines.”

Georgine Levine ( KENOSHA NEWS FILE PHOTO )

Local credit union mourns CEO’s death

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The recent death of Georgine Levine, longtime CEO and president of Southern Lakes Credit Union, came as a loss personally and professionally to those who knew her outside of business and as a friend, including John Morrissey.

As a 20-year member of the Southern Lakes board, Morrissey, who retired in April as chief of the Kenosha Police Department, said this week he worked closely with Levine in her professional role. But he also came to know Levine and her family well.

A two-time cancer survivor, Levine, 65, died Aug. 19 while hospitalized due to illness.

The Ladder: 2 named to Community State Bank board

Union Grove-based Community State Bank has announced the appointment of Christopher Antonneau and Michael Bannon to its board of directors.

“We are very excited to welcome both Chris and Mike to our board,” said Scott Huedepohl, the bank’s president and CEO. “Both will be an asset to our organization by helping us expand our relationships in eastern Racine County.”

Antonneau, a lifelong Racine resident, is the president of David Insurance Agency. He also serves on the Racine Area Manufacturers and Commerce board of directors, as well as and the University of Wisconsin Parkside Foundation board.

Downtown Kenosha, as seen from the air in 2014. ( KENOSHA NEWS FILE PHOTO BY KEVIN POIRIER )

Pair of business owners seek to dissolve Lakeshore BID

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Two downtown-area business owners have gone to work at trying to dissolve the Kenosha Lakeshore Business Improvement District.

Jim Matzur, owner of the Boathouse Pub and Eatery, 4917 Seventh Ave., and Robert Greskoviak, who owns Villa D’Carlo, 5140 Sixh Ave., are contacting property owners in the BID area to gauge opinions as to whether a collection of signatures for dissolution will bear fruit.

Both of the restaurants are at the north end of the taxing district, with the Boathouse barely falling inside the boundary. The restaurant owners say they have little in common with downtown merchants when it comes to promotion efforts and marketing spending.

Looking like the Pyramids, piles of crushed concrete dot the site of the razed Chrsyler plant in Kenosha. While the city has given the OK to a site use plan from experts from the Urban Planning Institute, a set of alternative ideas were developed. ( KENOSHA NEWS PHOTO BY KEVIN POIRIER )

The Agenda: Another look at the Chrysler site

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As work on soil remediation and destruction of acres of concrete continue on the site of the demolished Chrysler manufacturing complex, opinions, ideas and concepts abound on the best use for the land.

In late 2015, the City Plan Commission recommended adoption of a plan created by a panel from the Urban Land Institute, the third time the city had sought its input on revitalization projects. The plan notes that the expanse of the property will make it unlikely that a single project will be the ultimate use, and the timeframe for redevlopment could be 15 years or more.

Land remediation has been underway for several years, and will continue into the near future.

Local postal workers’ credit union merges with TruStone

Members of the Kenosha Postal Employees Credit Union have agreed to merge with Minnesota-based TruStone Financial Federal Credit Union.

Officials with the two financial institutions announced the merger Wednesday.

“Our members will now have access to a full-service financial institution offering an expanded product line and online services while continuing to strengthen the relationship we have built within the community,” Patrick Nels, chairman of the postal workers’ credit union, said in a news release.

Customers order food at the new Potbelly restaurant, which opened Tuesday at 9330 76th St. in Pleasant Prairie. The sandwich shop, also features salads, milkshakes and live music. Musicians interested in performing there should contact general manager Chris Price. The restaurant had a fundraising "Oven Warming" event Monday, with proceeds going to the Kenosha Literacy Council. The restaurant is one of a handful of new shops opening near Costco along Highway 50 in the coming months. Others businesses on tap ( KENOSHA NEWS PHOTO BY BRIAN PASSINO )

The Agenda: Potbelly first in the next wave of new Pleasant Prairie eateries

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I doubt that even on the coldest January evening the potbelly stove in the newest quick casual restaurant in Pleasant Prairie will be lit, but it’s part of the aura of one of the nation's fastest growing chains.

Potbelly Sandwich Shop opened this week at 9330 76th St., making it the first in a new wave of eateries all within sight of one another near Costco.

Coming soon are Five Guys, Chipotle, MOD Pizza, and Corner Bakery Cafe.

Premium Outlets to hold job fair

Pleasant Prairie Premium Outlets, 11211 120th Ave., will conduct a job fair to connect local job seekers to 60 fall retail positions.

The fair is scheduled for 4 to 7 p.m. Aug. 30 in the Pavilion Eatery, where the hiring retailers will distribute applications and conduct interviews.

Some of the hiring retailers include Coach, Corningware, Corelle, Loft Outlet, Fossil, Hush Puppies, Merrell, Sebago, Lacoste, White House Black Market and New York & Co.

A parking lot that remains at the corner of 58th Street and Eighth Avenue was an outgrowth of a squabble over downtown-area parking that was in the news in the mid-1980s. ( KENOSHA NEWS PHOTO )

The Agenda: Old news

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You may have missed the news, but during the first week of August the organization that represents downtown businesses backed away from plans to develop off-street parking in downtown Kenosha.

The idea was to create surface parking lots with both attendants and payment-activated gates. It came with a request for city funds, approximately $270,000, to make it happen.

The downtown businesspeople complained that a lack of sufficient and well-lit parking spaces kept people from shopping or doing business downtown.

Jeff Zimmerman ( )

The Ladder: Olive Garden GM honored by Darden

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Jeff Zimmerman, general manager of Olive Garden in Pleasant Prairie, has been honored by parent company Darden Restaurants.

Zimmerman joined a group of top-performing general managers recognized this year for their commitment to delivering guest experiences at the highest level.

“Jeff embodies our belief at Olive Garden that everyone who walks through our doors should be treated like family — from our guests to our team members,” said Dave George, president of Olive Garden. “He demonstrates outstanding leadership of his restaurant as well as passion for the Pleasant Prairie community, and I am proud to have him represent Olive Garden.”

Davenport: Kenosha News’ new look is slimming!

It would be understandable if our readers underwent a bit of whiplash over the past two weeks. Following a path taken by most daily newspapers in the United States, the Kenosha News got a bit narrower on July 26. Well, the printed area got narrower. The page width will follow soon.

To use an industry term, we narrowed our web width. Our new page is 11 inches wide. Newspapers are generally printed on a wide roll of newsprint in multiples of eight pages, usually in two sections of four pages. Those pages then go through a slitter and are assembled with other sections to make a single copy. It all happens at a lightning-quick pace with an output of hundreds of copies a minute.

(I was never a printer, but one of my early jobs in the business was on the back end of a newspaper printing plant. I caught and jogged newspapers as they rolled off the end of the press, making sure they were ready for the device that bundled and tied them in stacks. That was decades ago, however, and I am sure some piece of Swiss or German machinery handles that task today.)

The Kenosha News building at 5800 Seventh Ave. ( KENOSHA NEWS FILE PHOTO )

The Agenda: It’s slimming!

1

It would be understandable if our readers underwent a bit of whiplash over the past two weeks. Following a path taken by most daily newspapers in the United States, the Kenosha News got a bit narrower on July 26. Well, the printed area got narrower. The page width will follow soon.

To use an industry term, we narrowed our web width. Our new page is 11 inches wide. Newspapers are generally printed on a wide roll of newsprint in multiples of eight pages, usually in two sections of four pages. Those pages then go through a slitter and are assembled with other sections to make a single copy. It all happens at a lightning-quick pace with an output of hundreds of copies a minute.

(I was never a printer, but one of my early jobs in the business was on the back end of a newspaper printing plant. I caught and jogged newspapers as they rolled off the end of the press, making sure they were ready for the device that bundled and tied them in stacks. That was decades ago, however, and I am sure some piece of Swiss or German machinery handles that task today.)

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