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Amazon’s Kenosha leader brings military background to job

3

The general manager of Amazon.com’s soon-to-open Kenosha fulfillment center, comes to town with a long resume of success.

Brian Urkiel is a graduate of the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, where he earned a bachelor of science degree in systems engineering before being deployed on active duty for five years in the Army as an armored calvary officer.

Following his military service in which he earned a commission as captain, Urkiel studied at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where he earned an master’s of business administration and a master’s of science in civil and environmental engineering.




Man’s hand crushed in grinder

A man was taken to a local hospital after his hand was apparently crushed in a grinder at Fair Oaks Farms, 8922 102nd St., Tuesday night.

Pleasant Prairie police and the village fire department responded to the call at 8:19 p.m., but upon their arrival they were told that the man was taken by a third party to Aurora Medical Center for treatment, according to Lt. Dan Reilly.

Police issue nearly 12,000 alternate-side parking citations during winter restriction

For the next eight months, drivers won’t have to worry about odds or evens when parking overnight on city streets.

Authorities said it issued 11,725 citations for alternate-side street parking violations during its enforcement period from Dec. 1 to March 31. The $30 citation amounts to $351,750 in fines.

It’s Stoner vs. Harbarch for Somers town chairman

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Two men with extensive roots in Somers are vying for the job of town chairman in the April 7 election.

Incumbent Ben Harbach is being challenged by Town Board member George Stoner, the town’s former public works superintendent.

Man chased down, then charged with child sex assault

A man suspected of raping a 10-year-old girl three years ago in Kenosha was chased down recently in Waukegan, Ill., by people wielding two-by-fours, according to a criminal complaint.

Waukegan police were called to help Cleounsse F. Fisher, 34, of Zion, Ill., on March 12, after he said he was being chased by a van. When police arrived, they found Fisher on the ground, with a man and five to seven women circling him. Fisher had several scrapes and cuts on his face.

UPDATE: Shooting suspects still at large; victim released from hospital

Authorities said a 52-year-old Kenosha County man suffered non-life threatening injuries from a single gunshot wound in a Lake Shangri-la subdivision Monday night.

The shooting occurred about 9:30 p.m. in the 22000 block of 121th Street. Kenosha County Sheriff’s Department said two suspects, one of whom may have been shot during the incident, remained at large as of Tuesday evening.

Two charged in teen girl’s overdose

Two people were charged with recklessly endangering safety after a 15-year-old girl overdosed on heroin.

Olivia L. Agnew, 20, and David J. Albrecht, 21, both of Kenosha, were arrested Monday after another person at the home called for help for the girl. Each is charged with second-degree recklessly endangering safety and delivering heroin, as party to the crimes. Agnew is also charged with bail jumping.

Local Mustang makes Snap-on calendar

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July may be the favorite month of 2015 for Don and Judy Nuttall of Kenosha.

The local couple’s car, a bright red 1965 Ford Mustang Fastback, was selected to be featured in Snap-on Inc.’s 2015 Mini Snap-shot calendar as the car for July.

Kenosha-area men fined for illegal cigarette sales scheme

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Two Kenosha County men have been fined thousands of dollars for selling unstamped cigarettes out of a Burlington smoke shop last year.

Thomas E. Banner, 46, and Ronald F. Runkles, 43, were arrested in August after a search of their homes and store netted a cigarette rolling machine and boxes of rolled cigarettes. Their arrests came after a six-week investigation by the Wisconsin Department of Revenue Alcohol and Tobacco Unit, Burlington and Pleasant Prairie police, and the Kenosha County Sheriff’s Department.

News briefs: Former coach pleads not guilty

The former Indian Trail High School and Academy teacher and basketball coach accused of sending sexually charged text messages to players entered not-guilty pleas Tuesday to the nine child enticement charges against him.

Jeffrey L. Spencer, 25, of Kenosha, was charged in February after someone reported the inappropriate messages to authorities. During the investigation, one of the girls said Spencer kissed her while they were at the school.

Amazon’s Kenosha leader brings military background to job

3

The general manager of Amazon.com’s soon-to-open Kenosha fulfillment center, comes to town with a long resume of success.

Brian Urkiel is a graduate of the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, where he earned a bachelor of science degree in systems engineering before being deployed on active duty for five years in the Army as an armored calvary officer.

Homeroom: Nash student among state’s top spellers

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Hanna Ghouse, a fifth-grader at Nash Elementary School in Kenosha, was among the top spellers in Wisconsin at the 2015 Badger State Spelling Bee.

Hanna placed in the top ten at the March 28 bee.

Deputies seek suspects in shooting

Law enforcement officers were searching for two people, at least one who might be injured, in connection with the shooting of man at a Lake Shangri-la home in the 22000 block of 121st Street Monday night.

One man suffered a non-life-threatening gunshot wound in the 9:31 p.m. incident, according to Sgt. Rory Zuerlein of the Kenosha County Sheriff’s Department. Salem Fire and Rescue transported the man to a local hospital.

News briefs: Clerk’s office open Friday only for voting

Most city offices will be closed the Friday.

However, the city clerk's office will be open to conduct early voting for the spring election from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. in Room 105. The city clerk's office will not be open to conduct other business that day.

Long investigation takes major turn

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Kenosha prosecutors worried in 1994 that they "would have a homicide on our hands" if Dennis Brantner were to be released from custody.

At the time, no one knew that his fingerprints were sitting on evidence recovered from the van of Berit Beck, an 18-year-old Sturtevant woman killed in Fond du Lac County in 1990.

Probe continues in police shooting

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The Kenosha Police officer involved in two shootings earlier this month will remain on administrative leave until the investigation for both incidents is completed, according to Kenosha Police Chief John Morrissey.

Patrol officer Pablo Torres shot and killed Aaron Siler, 26, of Kenosha, on March 14 after a car chase and foot pursuit in the 2100 block of 56th Street, according to police.

Illinois man charged in stabbing

An Illinois man was charged on Monday in a stabbing that occurred Saturday night at a Trevor bar.

David E. Erbst, 56, of Ingleside, Ill., was charged with second-degree recklessly endangering safety and disorderly conduct. A $500 cash bond was set on Monday.

Harborside garners national recognition

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Harborside Academy is one of nine schools in the nation credentialed as an Expeditionary Learning school.

Harborside, a Kenosha Unified School District charter school for student in grades 6-12, has been a mentor school for the national Expeditionary Learning network, which emphasizes character education and student work ethic as well as test results.

Drive-in’s days appear numbered

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The Keno Drive-in is now without an operator, and any hopes of it reopening this year appear dead.

Just weeks before a public hearing on a new plan for the site at 91st Street and Sheridan Road, owner Bear Development terminated its lease with Cinema Management Corp. The Glenview, Ill.-based company was on its last year of a nine-year contract to run the drive-in.

Judge lets stand sentence in homicide case

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The sentencing for a man who admitted to killing his girlfriend will stand.

Matthew McDowell of Kenosha was sentenced in August to 32 years in prison after he pleaded guilty to first-degree reckless homicide in the October 2013 death of his girlfriend Erin Ziemendorf.

Event briefs: Libraries hosting spring break activities

A number of events are planned this week at Community Library branches in Salem, 24615 89th St., and Twin Lakes, 110 S. Lake Ave., for students on spring break:

— Lego Day will be noon to 2 p.m. Wednesday at Twin Lakes. Participants can build whatever they like. All materials stay in the library, so bring a camera. Personal Legos should be left at home.

History Mystery: Pioneer cabin in Bong ended up elsewhere

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Question: In 1958, a pioneer cabin was discovered during the building of the Bong Air Base runway. To what location was the cabin moved?

Answer: The cabin was moved to Fox River Park, where it stood for another 35-plus years.

County ranks near bottom in health outcomes

Kenosha County continues to struggle when it comes to residents staying healthy.

According to the 2015 County Health Rankings released last week, the county remained 64th out of the 72 counties in Wisconsin for health outcomes.

Snapshot: The night sky beckons to former Adler technician

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Patrick Frendreis, who teaches classes on telescopes and astronomy at the Kenosha Public Museum, was theater technician and sky-show operator at the Adler Planetarium in Chicago for 25 years.

Frendreis was responsible for keeping equipment running in three different theaters and for the constellation show in one of the theaters, including programming and writing for that show.

News briefs: Probe of stabbing incident continues

Authorities on Sunday continued to investigate an alleged assault that occurred at a Trevor tavern a day earlier.

One person was injured; however, no further information was being released, according to the Kenosha County Sheriff's Department.

Two Kenosha County women advance to Miss Wisconsin pageant

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Former Miss Kenosha 2014, Victoria Lynn Bogren, 22, of Kenosha, and former Miss Burlington Area 2011, Mary Martha O'Connell, 23, of Trevor, each won a state "at-large" pageant crown over the weekend.

Bogren, the daughter of Steve and Peggy Bogren of Glen Ellyn, Il., was awarded the Miss Fox River Valley title Saturday afternoon while O'Connell claimed the Miss Heart of the Valley title at the conclusion of a three-way state open pageant in Appleton.

Students, businesses benefit from Gateway’s Fab Lab

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When John Thorson started his business in 2011, he knew he had developed a niche that would be a winner in the precast concrete industry.

A mechanical engineer, his specialty was designing time- and money-saving products using aluminum. However, as the owner of a Wauwatosa-based concrete casting solutions company, he had difficulty convincing prospective customers to buy the products because it was difficult for them to visualize them from his drawings. He clearly needed better presentation models.

Cuts spell end to dual enrollment program at Wilmot

Planned budget cuts for the University of Wisconsin System are putting an end to a program that allowed Wilmot High School students to earn college credits.

With Gov. Scott Walker’s budget proposal calling for $300 million in cuts to the UW System, university officials say they will no longer fund a program called Course Options-Dual Enrollment that allow students to earn college credits through courses taught at their high school.

Event briefs: Legion to serve pizza dinner

TWIN LAKES — The Twin Lakes American Legion, 989 Legion Drive, is hosting a pizza dinner from 4:30 to 7 p.m. Wednesday.

Cost is $6 for adults, $3 for ages 6-12.

Kenosha had a friend in Kris Roemer

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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.

Long before there was Facebook, there was Kris Roemer.

News briefs: Two reportedly stabbed late Saturday

Two people were reportedly stabbed at a Trevor tavern Saturday night.

According to police scanner reports, two people were stabbed in the arm at about 9:48 p.m. Saturday at State Line Inn, 12725 Antioch Road in Trevor.

Grass fire burns about 25 acres in, near park

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SALEM — A grass fire burned through about 25 acres along the Fox River near Silver Lake Saturday afternoon, prompting a warning about dry conditions.

Firefighters from the Salem Fire Department quickly extinguished the blaze that burned along both sides of the river in Fox River County Park and just outside the park at about 4 p.m., said Battalion Chief James Lejcar.

Easter parade, egg hunt draw thousands downtown

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Approximately 30 seconds.

That’s about how long it took the huge crowd of over 1,200 children armed with bags, baskets and buckets to grab up more than 3,000 Easter eggs at the Downtown Kenosha Easter Egg Hunt Saturday.

Kids, Family Expo draws a crowd

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The crowd was thick at the annual Kids and Family Expo at RecPlex Saturday, drawing in families for some indoor fun.

It was the eighth year for the exposition, said Chris Finkel, RecPlex assistant director of recreation.

Yet to begin, vet tech program at Gateway already popular

The building is still under construction and the courses haven’t begun, but Gateway Technical College’s veterinarian technician program is so popular that there’s already a waiting list.

More than 60 students have signed up for the program, which will only admit 12 to 16 when it begins Sept. 8 on the Elkhorn campus, where a 66,500-square-foot building is being renovated to accommodate the program.

Groups seek to imprint fish to return to Kenosha’s waters

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A local conservation group and a state environmental agency are hoping to bring fish back to the Kenosha area in a unique effort to spawn more tourism.

This spring, the Kenosha Sportfishing and Conservation Association and the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources are re-opening the fish-rearing pond at Seventh Avenue east of Sheridan Road, with 25,000 chinook to be released about the first week of May.

Somers mulls new fire agreement with Pleasant Prairie

Somers is working with Pleasant Prairie to improve fire and rescue service for an underserved area of the town.

Somers Fire Chief Tom Smith is looking to change the town’s automatic aid agreement with Pleasant Prairie Fire and Rescue to cover what’s called the “B” areas, or properties surrounded by the city of Kenosha that are actually part of Somers. The pockets of town are south of Highway K between Highway 31 and I-94.

Event briefs: Info sessions slated at Carthage

KENOSHA — Free information sessions about Carthage College programs for adults are being offered Wednesday in the A.W. Clausen Center for World Business on the campus, 2001 Alford Park Drive:

— A session on the paralegal studies programs begins at 6 p.m. Each 14-week session provides coursework leading to a Paralegal Generalist Certificate of Completion.

Senior Spellers’ foes didn’t have a prayer

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They won the spelling bee literally on a prayer.

For the second year in a row Westosha Senior Spellers — organized from the Westosha Senior Community Center on Highway C — won Kenosha Literacy Council’s Corporate Spelling Bee. The 16th annual affair was held Friday at Gateway Technical College.

Teen arrested for trying set car on fire

A Racine teenager was charged Thursday evening for recklessly endangering safety and disorderly conduct after she allegedly attempted to ignite the vehicle she was riding in. There were nine people in the vehicle, including five children under the age of 7.

According to a statement from the Mount Pleasant Police Department, around 7:40 p.m., the Racine County Communications Center received a 911 call from a cellphone near Racine Street and 23rd Street in Mount Pleasant. The caller asked for a squad car and hung up. Two minutes later, an officer checked the area and did not notice any problems, according to a statement.

School officials urge legislators to restore state funding

School districts in Kenosha County are letting legislators know exactly how Gov. Scott Walker’s plan to reduce per pupil aid by $150 will affect students.

With resolutions and letters to legislators and taxpayers, district administrators are lobbying for a change to the proposed 2015-17 biennial budget that keeps it in line with inflation.

Landscape work aims to improve water quality at Eichelman Park

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A project underway at Kenosha’s Eichelman Park aims to improve water quality off the beach.

Crews are bringing in sand and rebuilding the breakwater at the beach, the first phase of a multi-year $760,000 project designed to reduce runoff and pollution issues that have led to frequent beach closings at the park.

Driver in fatal crash waives preliminary hearing

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An 18-year-old Kenosha man charged in a fatal motorcycle crash waived his preliminary hearing on Friday.

Jordan Winters is accused of being impaired when he drove his pickup truck into the path of two oncoming motorcyclists on March 16 in the 6800 block of 39th Avenue. The crash resulted in the death of 34-year-old Shawn Delaney of Bristol. Kevin Daugherty, 36, of Racine suffered minor injuries.

Trevor-Wilmot Board selects new administrator

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TREVOR — Michelle Garven, director of Learning Services in the Grafton School District, will be the new district administrator at Trevor-Wilmot Consolidated, the district announced Friday.

Board president Tom Steiner said the board interviewed six highly qualified individuals from a large pool of candidates provided by the search firm of Hazard, Young and Attea.

Suspicious package stops traffic on Roosevelt Road for three hours

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The joint Kenosha Police Department and Kenosha County Sheriff’s Department bomb squad responded Thursday morning to a call about a suspicious package found outside the entry door at Planned Parenthood Health Center.

Starting shortly after 11 a.m., nearby streets were closed to traffic for nearly three hours, as police evacuated occupants of the center, adjoining businesses and upstairs apartment residents, while restricting pedestrian access to the two-block area taped off around the site at 3601 Roosevelt Road.

Today’s event briefs: Somers Legion post to host breakfast

SOMERS — American Legion Post 552, 8229 12th St. (Highway E), will hold its annual pancake and pork sausage breakfast from 8 a.m. to noon Sunday.

Cost is $6 for adults, $3 for kids.

School officials urge legislators to restore state funding

School districts in Kenosha County are letting legislators know exactly how Gov. Scott Walker’s plan to reduce per pupil aid by $150 will affect students.

With resolutions and letters to legislators and taxpayers, district administrators are lobbying for a change to the proposed 2015-17 biennial budget that keeps it in line with inflation.

Survey seeks consumers’ thoughts on indoor market

Five organizations, hoping to gather public input into developing a year-round indoor market, are seeking suggestions with an online survey.

Downtown Kenosha Inc., the City of Kenosha, the Kenosha Area Business Alliance, Kenosha County and the HarborMarket Association are appealing to the public to help determine whether an indoor HarborMarket is viable.

Board rejects ethics complaint against Twin Lakes chief

TWIN LAKES — The village Ethics Board Thursday dismissed an ethics complaint filed against Police Chief Dale Racer by Kevin Mathewson, regarding actions Racer allegedly took during Mathewson’s bid for hire with the police department.

The complaint was received by the village on March 17 and presented to the Ethics Board Thursday night. The board spent more than two hours in closed session reviewing the merits of the complaint before reconvening in open session and taking action.

Soup kitchen celebrates 32 years of free meals

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Thirty-two years ago, the Shalom Center served its first soup kitchen meal.

Every day since, seven days a week, 365 days a year, Shalom Center volunteers have served hot meals to Kenosha residents in need — more than 1.5 million meals by organizers’ estimation.

Somers residents seek answers about village referendum

SOMERS — Town Chairman Ben Harbach with assistance from attorney Rogers Clark and an army of town and county officials welcomed Somers residents to their last public meeting on incorporation. Residents will decide if 12 square miles, including most of the popualtion of the current town, will be split off into a village on April 7.

“The boundary agreement with the city of Kenosha cost us $5-million and the thought process was if we’re going to pay $5-million for a boundary agreement why would we not want to incorporate to protect this town,” Harbach said.

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    Deputies seek suspects in shooting

    Law enforcement officers were searching for two people, at least one who might be injured, in connection with the shooting of man at a Lake Shangri-la home in the 22000 block of 121st Street Monday night.

    News briefs: Clerk’s office open Friday only for voting

    Most city offices will be closed the Friday.

    Long investigation takes major turn

    4

    Kenosha prosecutors worried in 1994 that they "would have a homicide on our hands" if Dennis Brantner were to be released from custody.

    Probe continues in police shooting

    1

    The Kenosha Police officer involved in two shootings earlier this month will remain on administrative leave until the investigation for both incidents is completed, according to Kenosha Police Chief John Morrissey.

    Illinois man charged in stabbing

    An Illinois man was charged on Monday in a stabbing that occurred Saturday night at a Trevor bar.

    Harborside garners national recognition

    1

    Harborside Academy is one of nine schools in the nation credentialed as an Expeditionary Learning school.

    Drive-in’s days appear numbered

    2

    The Keno Drive-in is now without an operator, and any hopes of it reopening this year appear dead.

    Judge lets stand sentence in homicide case

    5

    The sentencing for a man who admitted to killing his girlfriend will stand.

    Event briefs: Libraries hosting spring break activities

    A number of events are planned this week at Community Library branches in Salem, 24615 89th St., and Twin Lakes, 110 S. Lake Ave., for students on spring break:

    History Mystery: Pioneer cabin in Bong ended up elsewhere

    4

    Question: In 1958, a pioneer cabin was discovered during the building of the Bong Air Base runway. To what location was the cabin moved?



    County ranks near bottom in health outcomes

    Kenosha County continues to struggle when it comes to residents staying healthy.

    Snapshot: The night sky beckons to former Adler technician

    2

    Patrick Frendreis, who teaches classes on telescopes and astronomy at the Kenosha Public Museum, was theater technician and sky-show operator at the Adler Planetarium in Chicago for 25 years.

    News briefs: Probe of stabbing incident continues

    Authorities on Sunday continued to investigate an alleged assault that occurred at a Trevor tavern a day earlier.

    Two Kenosha County women advance to Miss Wisconsin pageant

    1

    Former Miss Kenosha 2014, Victoria Lynn Bogren, 22, of Kenosha, and former Miss Burlington Area 2011, Mary Martha O'Connell, 23, of Trevor, each won a state "at-large" pageant crown over the weekend.

    Students, businesses benefit from Gateway’s Fab Lab

    3

    When John Thorson started his business in 2011, he knew he had developed a niche that would be a winner in the precast concrete industry.

    Cuts spell end to dual enrollment program at Wilmot

    Planned budget cuts for the University of Wisconsin System are putting an end to a program that allowed Wilmot High School students to earn college credits.

    Event briefs: Legion to serve pizza dinner

    TWIN LAKES — The Twin Lakes American Legion, 989 Legion Drive, is hosting a pizza dinner from 4:30 to 7 p.m. Wednesday.

    Kenosha had a friend in Kris Roemer

    4

    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.