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Straka honored for business growth

Christopher Straka, owner of the local Fish Window Cleaning franchise, was recently recognized for top sales at the company’s annual convention in St. Louis. Straka was recognized for adding more than 500 accounts to his customer base in 2014. He was also recognized for increasing his annual production at least $100,000 over the previous year. This is the second consecutive year that Straka received both recognitions.

“The top sales award recognizes franchise owners who are committed to growing their business,” said Randy Cross, President, Fish Window Cleaning. “Success doesn’t happen overnight, and meeting people daily and building relationships in the community is what makes Fish owners so successful.”

Straka opened his business in 2012, and his office provides service to commercial and residential customers in Burlington, Lake Geneva, Waterford, Elkhorn, Paddock Lake, Delavan, Twin Lakes, Salem, Trevor, Genoa City, Williams Bay, Kansasville and Wind Lake. In Illinois, his office serves Gurnee, Antioch, Waukegan, Grayslake, Zion, McHenry, Lindenhurst, Fox Lake, Winthrop Harbor, Lake Villa, Round Lake, and Ingleside.



The Agenda: Not just coffee and books

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Odds are when you visit Thirst Edition for the first time, you will find one of the owners on hand. Or you may find all of them.

The recently opened coffee shop and used bookstore at 5000 Seventh Ave. is not just as a place to enjoy a cup of coffee and browse for books, it was also created as a way for a tight knit family to be able to work together.

The Ladder: Schmitz named to Milwaukee YMCA VP-CFO position

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Tina Schmitz has been appointed Vice President of Finance/CFO for the Milwaukee YMCA. As VP of Finance/CFO, Schmitz will set the financial policy and direction for the Milwaukee Y and lead all financial administration, business planning, and budgeting efforts for the Association. In addition, she will manage the finance and customer service teams.

Schmitz has over 25 years experience working in areas of finance and accounting. Most recently, she was the CFO for Kenosha Area Business Alliance, and CFO for Kenosha Unified School District. Schmitz has also held financial leadership positions with Gateway Technical College and various manufacturers in Souteast Wisconsin. She holds a master’s degree in Leadership from Capella University, a bachelor’s degree in Business/Accounting from Carthage College, and an associate’s degree in Accounting from Gateway Technical College.

State investigates complaints that Meijer prices violate law

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The Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection is investigating complaints that Meijer is violating the state’s Unfair Sales Act by pricing goods below cost.

Jerry Gonzalez, partner at Milwaukee law firm Gonzalez Saggio & Harlan, has filed six complaints against Meijer, alleging violations of the state’s Unfair Sales Act. Gonzalez said he is not at liberty to name the client. None of the complaint letters filed with the state named the client.

The Ladder: Zoerner earns senior living adviser designation

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Josh A. Zoerner of Kenosha, a financial representative for Modern Woodmen of America, has earned the designation of Chartered Adviser for Senior Living from The American College, Bryn Mawr, Pa.

The college specializes in professional education in life insurance and related financial services.The Chartered Adviser for Senior Living is the first professional designation from a fully accredited, nonprofit educational institution to focus exclusively on the unique needs of mature clients. It provides advisers with comprehensive knowledge of financial, health, psychological and sociological issues confronting older clients.

Kenosha shopping plazas sold

The Chicago-based Speedwagon Properties has purchased Kenosha’s Southport Plaza and the Indian Trail Plaza shopping centers from the Northfield, Ill-based Raymond and Associates in a multi-million dollar deal that includes multiple properties.

The Southport Plaza and Indian Trail Plaza are located at the intersection of Highway 50 and Green Bay Road. Built in 1994, the Southport Plaza is anchored by Gordman’s and Bed Bath and Beyond.

Digity sells WLIP, WIIL

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Digity LLC is selling its stable of 116 radio stations, including Kenosha’s WLIP-AM and WIIL-FM, to Portland, Ore.-based Alpha Media for an undisclosed amount.

The acquisition will make Alpha Media the fourth largest broadcast company in the country in terms of station count and the third largest in terms of markets count.

Training programs aim to reduce driver shortage in U.S.

With a demand for truck drivers to fill an ever-growing shortage, some trucking companies provide their own training, while other local companies have turned to college programs close to home that have proven records of producing road-ready drivers.

To meet the growing need for technology-savvy drivers, schools offer an intense combination of classroom, simulator and behind-the-wheel experience. These programs aim to produce drivers who have a Class A commercial driver’s license and can step into a job right away.

Rosie the road warrior? Trucking industry aims to recruit more women

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An ever-increasing shortage of truck drivers, along with changing technology, attractive wages and updated equipment, are creating opportunities for women in the trucking industry.

As trucking companies struggle to fill the cabs of their vehicles, many companies are extending a welcome hand to qualified women who do not mind driving for a living.

Filling the big rigs:

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A growing shortage of truck drivers is prompting companies to update equipment, consider younger drivers and add more women to attract more people into the motor carrier transportation industry.

The American Trucking Associations suggest the shortage is growing partly because baby boomers are retiring, the prospect of stiffer federal transportation regulations, relatively low pay, and the fact that fewer young people are interested in getting into the profession. New regulations will have truckers switching from paper logs to digital logs for better drive-time accuracy.

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    Neighborhood comes together for ‘Home’

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    With free popcorn, punch and hot dogs in hand, about 40 children and their parents spread blankets and sheets before a large screen where the the movie “Home” was about to play in the parking lot outside the Urban Outreach Center Thursday night.

    Today’s event briefs: All for a Cure 5K walk/run on Sunday

    KENOSHA — The seventh annual All for a Cure 5K will begin at 8 a.m. Sunday at the south end of Kennedy Park, 4051 Fifth Ave.

    Concrete work begins at Velodrome

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    The new racing surface for the Washington Park Velodrome began taking shape Thursday, with a Rasch Construction & Engineering crew forming, pouring and finishing some 300 feet for the north straightaway.

    Bank robbing couple head to prison

    It’s prison time for the Kenosha couple that worked together to rob banks last year, with her writing the notes and driving the getaway car and him going in to get the money.

    Four local schools top state ACT average

    Four Kenosha County high schools exceeded the state average ACT score, while Wisconsin itself is second in the nation in the college entrance exam scores for 2015 graduates.

    Randall voters to weigh in on property tax plan

    RANDALL — Taxes will not increase if Randall School District residents approve an additional $460,000 in annual funding for the next three years, district administrator John Gendron said.

    County unemployment rate drops to 5.2%

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    BY JAMES LAWSON

    News briefs: Two armed robberies reported

    Kenosha Police are warning people to be cautious after two armed robberies were reported in the last five days in the residential neighborhood between 75th and 80th streets, and 30th and 39th avenues.

    Woman pleads guilty in secret video case

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    A woman accused of secretly taking videos of people in locker rooms at the Pleasant Prairie RecPlex and Uline pleaded guilty Thursday morning to 47 felony charges.

    Fix It: Walkway is dark at marina, Wolfenbuttel Park

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    This week’s problem: A reader contacted Fix It with a concern about the overhead lights being out along walkway at the Southport Marina and Wolfenbuttel Park.

    After chasing mini motorcycle, police find weapons cache

    Kenosha Police found an AK-47 style assault rifle, a handgun, a large supply of ammunition and high capacity magazines in the home of a man who led an officer on a brief chase on a mini motorcycle.

    Paris clerk appoints deputy

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    PARIS — Town clerk Beverly McCumber named Heather Nikula as deputy clerk on Thursday.



    County weighs ideas for addressing mental health budget deficit

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    Kenosha County Board supervisors surveyed a variety of ideas Wednesday night aimed at addressing a budget deficit for mental health services.

    Museums a success, despite not meeting lofty projections

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    When proposed in 2005, the $15 million Civil War Museum was projected by some to attract 300,000 visitors a year.

    Centenarian sisters share tips for a long life

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    Two centenarian siblings are on track for a world record. Like a good wine, they have a few more years before their combined ages are ripe for a record.

    Budding entrepreneurs hit home runs at FastPitch

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    Gary Krause, George Carlozzi and Daniel Haas dreamed of ways to make life easier and safer for others.

    WestoshaMarket enjoys successful inaugural season

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    BRISTOL — The plentiful, bright produce at the last WestoshaMarket of the season Wednesday served as both a metaphor for the market's attendance, as well as its future.

    Unified alters snow day notifications

    Kenosha Unified School District families will get a slightly earlier announcement of snow days.

    Unified to acquire land near EBSOLA

    A plan to cleanup an industrial site near Edward Bain School of Language and Arts will move forward after a vote from the Kenosha Unified School Board.

    Social media threats may have led to shots being fired at a Kenosha home Tuesday night.

    It’s party time in Twin Lakes

    TWIN LAKES — Main Street in Twin Lakes will close to traffic from 9 a.m. to midnight Saturday for a daytime car show and an evening block party.

    Unified schools get upgrades

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    At Jane Vernon Elementary School, teachers are busy readying classrooms for students who will return to a newly renovated — and more energy efficient — building next week.

    Teacher pleads guilty to sexual assault

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    A former Bullen Middle School teacher and coach pleaded guilty Wednesday to the charge that he sexually assaulted a high school student while he was employed by the Kenosha Unified School District.

    Snyder: This Grill Games team cooks up fun along with food

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    Let’s make something clear right up front: Laura Tyunaitis is not going to share her award-winning grilling recipes.

    Event briefs: Fundraiser to aid college tour organization

    KENOSHA — A fundraising “Back to School Rally” for Education Youth Development Outreach begins at noon Friday and will continue until noon Saturday at Second Baptist Church, 3925 32nd Ave.

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