June 27, 2016
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Riders wave at members from the Kenosha Fire Department as they head out of Kenosha while on a multi-day bike ride to honor fallen members of EMS teams. ( SEAN KRAJACIC )

Honoring fallen EMS heroes


For someone who spent nearly all of her adult life helping others, Camp Lake resident Rebecca Schwuchow is giving back to those who assisted her when she needed it the most.

Schwuchow, a Flight For Life nurse, called 911 nearly 23 years ago she woke up in labor with her daughter Kelsey. Town of Salem Fire and Rescue volunteer Emergency Medical Technicians Dale Merrill and Grace Merrill arrived and not only helped with the unexpected home delivery but also resuscitated Kelsey when she stopped breathing.

Rebecca and Kelsey Schwuchow were among nearly two dozen cyclists who stopped briefly Sunday morning at Kenosha Medical Center, 6308 Eighth Ave., as part of the National EMS Memorial Bike Ride Midwest Route. The five-day, 400-mile route began 7 a.m. Sunday at Northbrook (Ill.) Fire Station No. 12 and ends with a memorial service at the Woodbury (Minn.) Public Safety Building on Thursday.

Nikki Misurelli and the motorcycle she rode on a six month trip from Alaska into Central America. She is now returning home to Anchorage. ( SUBMITTED PHOTO )

‘Keep chasing your dreams’


Kenosha native Nikki Misurelli put 12,000 miles on a 2005 Honda CBR600 sport bike, visited nine countries and learned a new language during a unique journey from Alaska to Central America.

Misurelli left Anchorage on Oct. 21, 2015 and flew back from Panama City, Panama on April 22. The 29-year-old recently returned to Kenosha to visit with family and reflect on six of the most interesting months of her life.

Q: What will you remember most about this trip?

Tommy Salazar of California, a nationally known auto detailer, right, gives a demonstration with help from Linda Meyer during a car show hosted by the Kenosha Car Club at the Moose Lodge on Sunday. ( KENOSHA NEWS PHOTO BY SEAN KRAJACIC )

Car lovers turn out for tips from a pro


One might say Tommy Salazar is a car “buff” in more ways than one.

That is he loves cars. And, he loves the buffing, the polishing, the waxing — in short, the details that go into making a vehicle shine to stay in its prime.

Salazar, who is nationally renowned in car and aircraft detailing circles, was the special guest of the Kenosha Car Club’s 23rd annual show held Sunday at the Moose Lodge, 3003 30th Ave. The event raises money for Stars and Stripes Honor Flight, a program which flies war veterans to Washington D.C. to visit their respective memorials.

Mike's Donuts and Chicken Assistant General Manager Nicholas Mercier gives a rides to Kari Lehman, left, her friend Kendall Gamble, both of St Charles, Illinois and Rachael Cholak, of Kenosha (hidden) in the restaurant's rickshaw. ( KEVIN POIRIER )

Snapshot: In need of a lift?


Putting a little sweat in to make their customers happy, Mike’s Chicken and Donuts employees offer rickshaw rides to their customers. Assistant General Manager Nicholas Mercier has been behind the handlebars of the three-wheeled contraption.

Q: How does it feel to ride that bike?

A: I am a cyclist at heart (but), it is completely different from most bikes. The shifting, the gears, … it is a lot harder than it looks. You are carrying a lot of weight so the gears have to account for that. So you have three different shifting gears on the left side and the right side is regular shifting, it is 10 speeds so that it is a little bit easier going uphill.

News briefs: Kenosha man arrested after apartment incident

A Kenosha man was arrested for allegedly breaking down the door of an apartment following an argument with a woman in the 7500 block of 104th Avenue Saturday night.

Thomas C. Rotton, 35, was taken into custody on a charge of disorderly conduct involving domestic violence in the 10:37 p.m. incident, according to a Kenosha Police Department report.

According to the report, the two argued and Rotton left the apartment. The woman then locked the door and told police she attempted to flush Rotton’s keys down the toilet.

The UW Marching Band performs at halftime of a night football game in 2010. The band is in the lineup for the Kenosha Civic Veterans Parade on July 3. ( UW-Madison file photo by Jeff Miller )

A-list music groups set for Kenosha parade


Four noteworthy music groups will march through Kenosha’s streets on Sunday for the annual Kenosha Civic Veterans Parade.

The parade steps off at 1 p.m. with the theme, “A Star-Spangled Celebration.”

This year’s event will include:

The class of 1941 pose for a reunion photo on Sunday. Pictured are front row (left to right), Aline Whitten Ziesener, 93; Betty Haubrich Bruno, 93; Harry Peck, 93; second row (left to right), Ray Kontof, 94; Grace Davis Thomas; Adele Haney; Lorraine Pitts Schultz, 94; Martha Call, 93; Frank Young, 93; Howard Zelenski, 92. Back row (left to right), Elmer Schmidt, 92; Ed Adams, 93. ( PHOTO BY CHRISTINE A. VERSTRAETE )

Bradford class of 1941 celebrates 75th reunion


Some memories have dimmed, but the years faded away as 12 members of the Bradford (then Kenosha) High School graduating class of 1941 got together Sunday for their 75th reunion at the Baker Street Restaurant and Pub.

The best part was “enjoying the company of my classmates and talking to them,” said 93-year-old Adele Jenotis Haney of Kenosha.

Some of the classmates — like organizer Elmer Schmidt and Howard Zelenski — went on to work together later at American Motors as tool and die makers. Frank Young, who worked 37 years with the Kenosha Fire Department, said of seeing his classmates again: “We still are friends.”

Jim Schmidt playing with grandson Grant Cowan. ( submitted photo )

A Life Remembered: Striking the right balance


Jim Schmidt was an energetic, happy man, known to walk quickly to and from work, eager to get home to his family.

“When we picked Dad up from work ... he had almost a bounce in his step and he was grinning from ear to ear,” wrote his daughter, Carol Wermeling. “He was smiling and happy to be going home to his six kids after working eight hours. Happy to go and sit at the kitchen table, have a snack and talk with mom about their day.”

“Jim was happiest when the whole family was gathered around; that’s when he’d have that beam on his face,” said his daughter-in-law Ann Schmidt.

GO Events: Annual Corpus Christi blood drive is Tuesday

KENOSHA — The annual multi-parish Corpus Christi Blood Drive will be held Tuesday from 2:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. in DeSimone Hall at Holy Rosary, 4500 22nd Ave.

The BloodCenter of Wisconsin states 800 donors are needed daily to keep up with the state’s demands. Local donations stay local.

KENOSHA — The Red Witch, a schooner “tall ship” that offered sails out of the Southport Marina May 14 to June 5, is returning to Kenosha.

Green Bay contestant is Miss Wisconsin

Miss Green Bay Area Courtney Pelot was crowned Miss Wisconsin 2016 at the statewide pageant tonight in Oshkosh.

The two contestants with Kenosha-area ties — Miss Kenosha Brynn Weinzirl and Miss Metropolitan Milwaukee Mary O’Connell, a former Trevor resident — placed in the top 11, but did not make the final round of five contestants.

Rounding out the top five, along with Pelot, were Miss Great Lakes Madeline Kumm, Miss Madison-Capital City Sarah Newton, Miss. St. Francis Gina Miliacca and Miss Harbor Cities Tianna Vanderhei.

News briefs: Treatment facility resident alleges battery

BRISTOL — The Kenosha County Sheriff’s Department is investigating an incident in which a staff member allegedly broke a boy’s nose at a Bristol youth residential treatment facility,

A deputy was called to Benet Lake Allendale treatment facility, 12603 224th Ave., at 8:30 p.m. Friday for an altercation between a staff member and a 16-year-old resident of the facility.

When the deputy arrived, the boy had been taken to the hospital, and the staff member was gone. Two other staff members refused to give statements because they said they had not seen the incident.

Slurs reportedly shouted in parking lot dispute

A Pleasant Prairie man was arrested Friday after he — with his teenage son in tow — screamed obscenities, racial slurs and “go back to Mexico” at a 64-year-old woman who was helping her disabled husband get out of a car in the Wal-Mart parking lot in Somers.

According to a Kenosha County sheriff’s report, deputies were called to Wal-Mart at 12:30 p.m. Friday for a report of several people arguing in the parking lot. When they arrived, they found several people congregated in the handicapped parking area, including the 64-year-old woman who said the incident began with a dispute over a handicapped parking space.

The woman told deputies she was waiting to pull into the spot while another customer was pulling out. After she pulled into the spot and began helping her husband get out of the vehicle, she said she was approached by a man, later identified as Neil Barron, Jr., 41, his 17-year-old son and a third man.

Stephanie Vogt, the lead singer of Donoma, whips her hair around as she performs at the annual Punx on the Pier concert at the foot of the Kenosha Pierhead Lighthouse on Saturday June 25, 2016. Also in the band are Israel Alpizar on the drums, Tim King on guitar, Nick Campolo on violin and Michelle Mounce on bass. ( KENOSHA NEWS PHOTO BY KEVIN POIRIER )

Punx on the Pier rocks Kenosha’s lakefront


The annual Punx on the Pier concert continued its run on the North Pier in front of the Pierhead Lighthouse on Saturday.

It was the first edition without its founder, Frank Lenfestey Jr., who died in September. But his son, Frank Lenfestey III, was part of the program, playing a set of his late father’s band’s favorites with his band, Officer Down.

Performances began at noon and continued through the afternoon with appearances by several punk bands.

Bong State Recreation Area naturalist Beth Goeppinger shows off a tiny bug to first-time visitors Eliana Caldoza, 5, and Eden Caldoza, 2, at the "Celebrate Pollinators" event on Saturday. ( PHOTO BY CHRISTINE A. VERSTRAETE )

People abuzz over bees at pollinators event


BRIGHTON — People were buzzing Saturday as they learned fun facts about bees at the first “Celebrate Pollinators” event at the Richard Bong State Recreation Area.

The event, which marked this being National Pollinators week, was aimed at opening visitors’ eyes to the importance of bees and making their backyards friendly for them and other insects like beetles, ants and butterflies that also pollinate our food and flowers.

While honeybees have been in the news because of the colony collapses, 25-year beekeeper and speaker Tim Fulton of Somers and Lori Artiomow, Hawthorn Hollow Nature Center ecologist, told visitors there are many other bees that are even better pollinators.

The Followers of Jesus dance troop from Coleman Chapel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Kenosha perform at the annual Juneteenth event Saturday at Pennoyer Park. Dancers are, from left, Talea Moore, Turea Hughes, Aoniyca Marshall, Tracee Tolefree and Jennifer White. ( KENOSHA NEWS PHOTO BY KEVIN POIRIER )

Juneteenth festival replete with sunshine, history


A beautiful beachside day brought steady crowds to the annual Juneteenth celebration at Pennoyer Park Saturday afternoon.

The event commemorates the Juneteenth holiday, which celebrates the June 19, 1865, announcement of the abolition of slavery in Texas, and more broadly the abolition of slavery throughout the Confederate southern states.

The annual Kenosha celebration is organized by the Urban League of Racine and Kenosha, which this year partnered with a local group organizing a three-day reunion of people who graduated from Kenosha high schools between 1966 and 1986. That group, the Kenosha Old School Reunion, used the Juneteenth celebration as its daytime gathering Saturday.

Event Briefs: Celebrate Mud Day at Pringle

BRISTOL — An International Mud Day Celebration will take place 1:30 to 3:30 p.m. Wednesday at Pringle Nature Center, 9800 160th Ave.

International Mud Day aims to connect children around the globe through the Earth.

Participants can come and play in mud pools; a change of clothes is strongly encouraged.

Patrick Nettesheim runs Guitars for Vets, a national organization that provides guitars and music instruction to veterans. The organization is based in Kenosha, and is holding a fundraiser on Monday. ( SUBMITTED PHOTO )

The Big Cut’s a-coming


“Hair grows back, arms and legs don’t.”

That’s the message Patrick Nettesheim hopes resonates enough with people to get them to come out for a haircut while helping at Guitars for Vets’ The Big Cut on Monday.

The Kenosha-based nonprofit provides veterans with free guitars and a forum to learn and play. More than half of the 2.6 million veterans from the Iraq and Afghanistan wars struggle with physical and mental challenges, according to the organization.

Austin Haak looks over the rigging of the tall ship Red Witch as it is docked at Southport Marina Saturday. he Red Witch's home port is Chicago, but it is returning to Kenosha July 1 and will likely be here through much of the summer. ( KENOSHA NEWS PHOTO BY BRIAN PASSINO )

The Red Witch to return for the summer


Sails are on the horizon as the tall sailing ship Red Witch is returning to Kenosha in July.

The schooner, which is based out of Chicago, will offer public sailings and private event hosting in Kenosha beginning July 1.

The ship last lifted its anchor to leave Kenosha’s harbor June 15, after spending a month sailing locals on the lake.

Today’s News Briefs: Rescued horse finds new home

After being rescued near death, a local horse has recovered and been adopted.

Captain, originally named Blackie, was rescued by Pleasant Prairie Police when they found him in the road near Highway H and 122nd Street in November 2015.

When he was found, Captain was terribly malnourished and had a severe case of “rain rot,” which occurs when the horse is left in cold, wet conditions.

Adam Lantz, right, sings as the American Folk band performs during Hawthorn Hollow's Pike River Benefit Concert Series at the Nature Sanctuary and Arboretum in Somers Friday evening, June 24, 2016. ( BRIAN PASSINO )

Hundreds attend Hawthorn Hollow summer concert


“Batman! Batman! Batman!…nana nana nana nana…“

Not exactly the refrain you would expect at a folk music concert, but one of the members of the American Folk band exhorted concertgoers with it.

“Come on, you know the words,” he said. during the opening night show of Hawthorn Hollow’s Pike River Benefit Concert Series at the Nature Sanctuary and Arboretum Friday evening.

Salem Fire Chief Mike Slover ( KENOSHA NEWS FILE PHOTO )

Difficulty fighting fire has chief wanting more info on tenants


SALEM — Difficulties fighting a commercial fire in Trevor earlier this month prompted Salem Fire Chief Mike Slover to request a new ordinance be drafted to require the fire department be notified of new occupants.

“Any time you change occupancy, the fire department should be notified,” Slover said. “That’s not happening. I’m going to be looking for some support from the board.”

The June 8 fire at Salem Business Center, 28501 Wilmot Road, quickly got out of control due to the number of flammable materials and accelerants being stored in more than one of the units.

GO Events: Triathlons slated for this weekend

PLEASANT PRAIRIE — Prairie Springs Park and Lake Andrea will host the Pleasant Prairie Triathlon Sunday.

The triathlon, beginning at 6:30 a.m., offers sprint and international divisions, a sprint division duathlon and sprint and international division relays for teams of two or three.

A junior triathlon for ages 7-14 will take place today beginning at 8:30 a.m.

Sewer mains to get an upgrade

PLEASANT PRAIRIE — Some of the village’s clay sewer mains will be lined with PVC this year, in an effort to keep the village from having to completely replace them.

Historically, clay was one of a few construction materials for sewer mains, as it’s not affected by the gases sewage generates, said Director of Public Works John Steinbrink Jr. Still, they have a limited life span.

“We’re at the point right now where we are getting a lot of infiltration,” Steinbrink said.

Andrew Obregon appears in court in April, with his attorneys Kristyne Watson and Carl Johnson. His attorneys have requested the trial be moved outside Kenosha County. ( KEVIN POIRIER )

Attorneys ask more time to prepare motions in Obregon case


Andrew Obregon will return to court in July, his attorneys seeking to move the place of the trial.

Obregon was briefly in court Friday morning for a hearing scheduled on the issue, and on a motion from his attorneys to suppress some evidence. However, both prosecution and defense attorneys asked for more time to prepare.

Deputy District Attorney Michael Graveley told Circuit Court Judge Chad Kerkman that both sides believe additional preparation time will streamline the process for the court.

Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation ( Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation )

Two companies expected to get WEDC tax credits


Two Kenosha County companies are actively negotiating with the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation on the terms of business development tax credit contracts that could commit the firms to create new full time jobs.

The job guarantees would be in exchange for funds to expand their business operations.

WEDC has declined to name the companies, disclose the value of the tax credits or the length of the tax credit period until negotiations are completed. Negotiations have been ongoing will be finalized as soon as the companies and the agency agree on the terms.

Paul Just discusses the future of the properties owned by his family with real estate specialist Steve Boll, who will handle property acquisition for the proposed Highway F relocation project if it's approved. ( KENOSHA NEWS PHOTO BY JILL ROZELL )

Opponents speak out at hearing on Hwy. F relocation


RANDALL — Janet Orenic, 73, thought she moved in 2011 into the house she would retire in.

Instead, she is now faced with being displaced as a result of the proposed relocation of Highway F from Bassett Park to a new intersection with Highway O.

“I thought this would be my retirement home,” Orenic said.

(From left) Skylar Farr, Sophia Steinke, Catherine Casadont and Emma Anderson brainstorm ideas as they get ready for departmental presentations Wednesday for MEME Corp, the company students created at KTEC-West. ( KEVIN POIRIER )

These students are all business


With time fast approaching for MEME Corp to bring its customizable backpack to market, company departments scrambled Wednesday afternoon to finalize a business plan, create an accountability report and prepare a pitch to potential investors.

Members of some departments appeared more in tune with each other this day than their counterparts in other departments.

That becomes apparent as team leaders took turns in front of their company peers, CEO and advisers to present departmental reports.

Today’s event briefs: Garden Walk tickets going on sale

KENOSHA — Tickets for the Four Seasons Garden Club Secret Garden Walk will be sold 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday and on July 2 at Kenosha's HarborMarket.

Club members will offer plant advice along with information on the 2016 Garden Walk, set for July 9.

The self-guided tour features seven private Kenosha area gardens.

State Sen. Robert Wirch, D-Somers, photographed during a 2014 interview. ( KENOSHA NEWS FILE PHOTO BY KEVIN POIRIER )

Wirch calls for audit of state veterans department


State Sen. Robert Wirch, D-Somers, is circulating a letter seeking support for an audit of the state Department of Veterans Affairs after learning how much money goes to administrative costs.

“I find this very troublesome, especially as a veteran,” Wirch said Thursday. “We have the highest administrative costs in the Midwest, which means less money for veterans.”

The letter requests the Legislative Audit Bureau be directed to conduct a review of spending by the department.

News briefs: Cold case murder trial continues

The trial continues in Fond du Lac County for a Kenosha man charged with the 1990 murder of a Sturtevant teenager.

Dennis Brantner, 62, was charged last year with the death of Berit Beck.

Beck disappeared as she drove from her home to Appleton for a work seminar. Her body and van were later found in Fond du Lac County.

Kenosha teen arrested for armed robbery of homeless man in park

A 16-year-old Kenosha boy is facing armed robbery charges after his arrest in connection with an attack on a homeless man in Wolfenbuttel Park early Wednesday.

The boy, whose Facebook page police said was filled with gang references and photos showing him and other teens with handguns and other weapons, was arrested at his father’s apartment Wednesday.

The robbery victim, a 51-year-old man, said he was walking in Wolfenbuttel Park about 5:45 a.m. Wednesday when he encountered several teenagers, including three boys and a girl walking a pitbull. The man said he spoke to the teens, and briefly borrowed the girl’s cellphone.

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