December 4, 2016
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Kenosha Police Officer Dusty Nichols and Jennifer Monroy-Alcaide, 10, break into an impromptu hula hoop showdown during the annual Shop with a Cop event Saturday at Meijer. Store employees Bethany Houtsinger, right, and Domonique Cleveland look on. ( KENOSHA NEWS PHOTO BY KEVIN POIRIER )

Cops, kids connect in toy aisle


Uniformed Kenosha police officers took off-duty time Saturday morning to create community ties and bear witness to Christmas joy.

The occasion was the annual Shop with a Cop event, which has been conducted for more that 20 years by the Kenosha Professional Police Association.

Sixty-five students from area schools were chosen to partake in the shopping at Meijer, 7701 Green Bay Road.

New pizza restaurant to open

PLEASANT PRAIRIE — MOD Pizza, the latest eatery in the Highway 50 corridor west of Highway H, will open Friday.

The restaurant, 9250 76th St., will open with a ribbon cutting at 11:50 a.m. At noon, the first 52 people in line will receive a free pizza or salad.

For the grand opening, MOD Pizza will donate 100 percent of all proceeds from pizza sales to the parent-teacher groups of Nash, McKinley, Stocker and Pleasant Prairie elementary schools.

Man seriously hurt in Burlington crash

A 55-year-old Burlington man was seriously injured in a drunken-driving-related crash Friday.

According to the Racine County Sheriff’s Department, the man crashed his vehicle into a ditch in the 8800 block of McHenry Street in the town of Burlington at about 11:40 p.m. Friday, rolling the vehicle at least once.

The driver, who was the lone occupant, had to be freed from the vehicle. Fire and rescue crews from Wheatland, Twin Lakes and the town and city of Burlington fire departments responded to the scene and worked on the rescue.

Marilee Lehmann, of Kenosha, and her friend Juergen Witt, of Pleasant Prairie, look at a display at the Kenosha History Center during Saturday's holiday open house. ( KENOSHA NEWS PHOTO BY KEVIN POIRIER )

Cars and Christmas


Kenosha’s past as a hub for auto manufacturing was at center stage for the Kenosha History Center’s annual “Historic Holiday” open house.

The Saturday afternoon event showcased the center’s new spotlight exhibit, “Cars of the Decades.” The exhibit features one car from each decade of auto manufacturing in the city, beginning with a 1902 Jeffery Rambler and ending with a 1972 AMC Gremlin.

Curator Cynthia Nelson said all of the vehicles on display are on loan from collectors. By happenstance, all of the cars displayed in the center of the museum are similar in color, although the style shows a sharp shift in design over the years.

Tracy Sorensen, of Kenosha, a DJ with True Entertainment, browses the trees and baskets offered by Jerry Smith at HarborHoliday. ( KENOSHA NEWS PHOTO BY KEVIN POIRIER )

HarborHoliday shines for the season


Annual holiday events combined with Kenosha’s HarborMarket on Saturday to create Kenosha HarborHoliday.

The event included the annual International Market and Festival at the Kenosha Public Museum, 5500 First Ave., featuring food, crafts and entertainment, including Korean and Mexican dancers and a German choir.

At the Civil War Museum, 5400 First Ave., visitors enjoyed period-themed festivities during the Victorian Christmas celebration including a reading of “The Night Before Christmas.”

Janice Osbourne smiles after receiving a pile of wrapped Christmas gifts from Mrs. Claus for her children Shariiya, 6, left, Sha-mirah, 4, (behind her) and Madison Phillips carrying her own son Andre Daniel, 2, at Saturday's outreach event at St. Joseph Catholic Academy. ( KENOSHA NEWS PHOTO BY KEVIN POIRIER )

St. Joseph brings Christmas to 700


On Saturday, just under 700 people — including 450 children — found the Christmas spirit at St. Joseph Catholic Academy.

The event was the school’s 15th annual community outreach event, which included a performance of the school production of “Bah, Humbug! Scrooge’s Christmas Carol,” gift-giving and visits with Santa.

“It’s pretty exciting when you see all the kids and families coming. They are so excited, and so many have come for years in a row. They look forward to it,” Vicki Alia, program coordinator, said.

Kenosha Police Officer Dusty Nichols and Jennifer Monroy-Alcaide, 10, break into an impromptu hula hoop showdown during the annual Shop with a Cop event Saturday at Meijer. Store employees Bethany Houtsinger, right, and Domonique Cleveland look on. ( KENOSHA NEWS PHOTO BY KEVIN POIRIER )

Cops, kids connect in toy aisle


Uniformed Kenosha police officers took off-duty time Saturday morning to create community ties and bear witness to Christmas joy.

The occasion was the annual Shop with a Cop event, which has been conducted for more that 20 years by the Kenosha Professional Police Association.

Sixty-five students from area schools were chosen to partake in the shopping at Meijer, 7701 Green Bay Road.

News briefs: Fight mars local basketball game

A large fight broke out Friday night at Indian Trail High School and Academy during a basketball game, bringing a large police response to the school.

Kenosha Police said the fight began in the school commons area between current and former Indian Trail students and teenagers from Racine Park High School. It spread to the front of the school, according to the police report, with school security reporting a “huge fight” with more than 50 people throwing punches.

The report stated that staff members were “very disappointed” with the actions of some teens at the school and described it as a “dangerous and tense” situation.

Kenosha police detective Jason Melichar, left, and Kenosha firefighter Scott Arneberg pose with the special burgers created for the Battle of the Burger, which begins Wednesday at the Waterfront Warehouse. ( KENOSHA NEWS PHOTO BY SEAN KRAJACIC )

Burger battle to raise money for charities


Most taverns will go to great lengths to avoid a fight on their premises.

In an except to this rule, Waterfront Warehouse, 3322 Sheridan Road., is asking for a fight: a Battle of the Burgers pitting the Kenosha Professional Police Association against the Kenosha Firefighters C.A.R.E., the charitable arm of the firefighters union.

On Wednesday, the restaurant will debut two customized burgers — one representing each organization. The burger ordered the most often through Dec. 31 will win the honor of being listed on Waterfront Warehouse’s menu during the coming year.

"Santa's Big Surprise Book" is the December Artifact of the Month at Kenosha History Center. ( KENOSHA NEWS PHOTO BY BRIAN PASSINO )

Artifact of the Month: Santa activity book


A copy of “Santa’s Big Surprise Book,” an activity book for children, is the December Artifact of the Month at Kenosha History Center, 220 51st Place.

Illustrated by James & Jonathan Inc, and published by Samuel Lowe publishing house in Kenosha in 1958, the activity book included sections for coloring, a cut-out nativity scene with angel and lambs, cut-out ornaments, mazes, connect-the-dots and a Santa Claus paper doll with stickers to decorate it.

On the back cover is an illustrated telling of “The Night Before Christmas,” the classic Christmas poem.

Event briefs: Paralegal information program set at Carthage

KENOSHA — A free information session about Carthage College’s paralegal studies program for adults will begin at 6 p.m. on Wednesday in the Clausen Center at Carthage College, 2001 Alford Park Drive.

Each 14-week session provides coursework leading to a Paralegal Generalist Certificate of Completion.

To register, go to or call 800-551-5343.

Lori Andrekus decorates a Christmas tree, one of thirteen on display, at St. John the Evangelist Catholic Church Community Center at 701 N. Lake Ave. in Twin Lakes on Friday, December 2, 2016. Andrekus said, "I think it's a really nice community event. It's nice to see the community engagement." ( BRIAN PASSINO )

Trees on Parade in Twin Lakes


TWIN LAKES — The soft strains of “Slient Night,” sung by the Wilmot High School Chorus, filled the crisp air in Twin Lakes Friday evening — silent at least until that big guy in that familiar red suit rolled in.

Wearing a really big smile, Santa was greeted warmly as cheering children rushed to greet him during the village’s tree-lighting ceremony.

The Twin Lakes Area Chamber and Business Association sponsored Friday night’s activities.

Jordan Reyes ( BILL SIEL )

These students are good Samaritans


An annual campaign at Indian Trail High School and Academy focuses on helping the families of students in need.

The Indian Trail Good Samaritan Fund operates each year before the holidays, gathering money from school staff, students and families, then using the money they collect to help the families of students who are struggling financially.

Guidance counselor Art Preuss said he and other staff started the program in 2006.

Today’s News Briefs: Weapon found in apartment

Two men from a cleaning crew working on a vacant apartment on the 3600 block of 48th Street found a gun and what they believed was cocaine left in the unit.

The men called police Thursday after they found a gun submerged in a bathtub, along with a crack pipe and white powder in small plastic baggies.

Kenosha Police said the gun turned out to be a pellet gun. The white powder appeared to be cocaine, but tested negative for presence of the drug.

Bagged leaves sit on the curb in the 7000 block of Third Ave. in the Allendale neighborhood. ( KEVIN POIRIER )

Don’t just ‘leaf’ them alone


The city’s yard waste drop off site, 4071-88th Ave., will remain open for two more weeks, after Public Works reportedly received numerous phone calls from city residents unable to dispose of yard waste and leaves.

The drop-off site will remain open until Saturday, Dec. 17. The yard waste site will open for the regular hours of operation: 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Saturday.

“With the mild weather, we’re extending the hours,” said Cathy Austin, deputy director of Public Works. Many yards across the city remain covered with leaves or with trash bins full of yard waste. The unusually mild November allowed locals to spend more time pruning – or maybe put off raking.

Members of the Boys & Girls Club of Kenosha were treated to Craisins and other treats at a party to announce a new partnership between Ocean Spray Cranberries and the club. ( submiited photo )

Boys & Girls Club, Ocean Spray set new partnership agreement


The Boys & Girls Club of Kenosha has announced a partnership agreement with Ocean Spray Cranberries that includes naming rights for the concession stand at the club on 52nd Street along with the concession stand at CYC Park on 67th Street.

On Nov. 22, the club hosted the leadership team from the local Ocean Spray operation to unveil new signage for the Ocean Spray Cantina.

Ocean Spray will also work with the club during its Summer Youth Employment Program, as well as develop a calendar of volunteer engagement opportunities. The goal is to provide a well-rounded partnership that provides its employees hands-on opportunities to make an impact on the youth in Kenosha.

UW-Extension: Understanding why our central cities are so disinvested

Why have our central cities seen such disinvestment in recent decades? What explains concentrated urban poverty that marks so many cities, particularly in the midwest?

I came across an author and Sociologist scholar from Harvard University named Dr. William Julius Wilson. He has written extensively on the topics of concentrated urban poverty, racial divides and inequity.

I came across his 2009 book “More Than Just Race: Being Black and Poor in the Inner City” that connected a lot of dots for me relating to historical context of central cities.

Today’s event briefs: Streetcar gets the Christmas spirit

KENOSHA — The Kenosha Transit Streetcar will host several holiday-themed events today.

A story reader from the Kenosha Public Library will be on the streetcar from 10 a.m. to noon, a barbershop choir from 2-3 p.m. and Santa from noon-4 p.m.

KENOSHA — The sixth annual Kenosha Holiday Coin Show will be 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday at the Union Club, 3030 39th Ave.


Fourth suspect arrested in Kenosha murder


A 16-year-old Chicago boy charged in the murder of Kenosha resident Willie Owens is now in custody.

Latonio Simpson is one of five people charged charged in Owens’ death. He was fatally shot Oct. 24 while trying to intervene in a fight in his front yard on the 1900 block of 62nd Street. Three of the suspects have been in custody since shortly after the homicide, but Simpson and a second Chicago man — James L. Butler, 22 — were being sought on warrants.

Simpson and Butler are believed to have each shot Owens.

Kenosha Community Health Center, 6226 14th Ave. ( KENOSHA NEWS FILE PHOTO BY BILL SIEL )

Kenosha aldermen want feds to investigate KCHC


Three Kenosha aldermen want the City Council to request a federal investigation into the Kenosha Community Health Center, another mark in the now-sour relationship between community leaders and the nonprofit meant to assist low-income residents.

If passed by City Council Monday night, the city will formally request that the Health Resources and Services Administration — which oversees federally funded health centers — open an investigation into the community center.

“It’s a result of the center’s unwillingness to address some very specific and important questions,” said resolution co-sponsor Ald. Kevin Mathewson. “It’s seems very odd, very suspicious, like they’re hiding something.”

Kenosha County Clerk Mary Schuch-Krebs, left, gives instructions to tabulators Connie Tews (seated), of Somers, and Verna Lamothe, of Kenosha. Behind them, Green Party Observer Steve Poland watches the process. ( KEVIN POIRIER )

Kenosha County presidential recount aims to show integrity


Kenosha County Clerk Mary Schuch-Krebs said today that the hand count of presidential votes is proving that the county’s election machines are accurate.

Into its second day, the statewide presidential recount is going well locally and by noon Friday the results in seven of the 14 municipalities — about 10,000 ballots — had been tabulated.

There are 77,576 ballots total in Kenosha County to be counted by the 8 p.m. Dec. 12 deadline.

A house is under construction in the Golf Glen Estates subdivision at the corner of highway A and 22nd Ave. ( KEVIN POIRIER )

Search Kenosha building permits by map


A free app to find out what kinds of remodeling projects are going on in Kenosha neighborhoods and who is doing the work is being made available through a company that matches homeowners to contractors.

BuildZoom, a San Francisco-based company, which has compiled building permit data for more than 85 million home improvements throughout the country from over 600 cities and counties, as of this week added Kenosha to the list, according to founder Jiyan Wei. The firm analyzes trends in the construction industry and began compiling for permits last year. The company generates leads for contractors, who pay only if they win the job, according to the firm’s website.

“Our goal is to provide homeowners with a free, public resource to help them better understand what’s happening in their neighborhoods,” he said.

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Help to spot charity scams


1. Be wary of every opportunity that presents itself — especially when it presents itself in the wake of a disaster that gets plenty of media attention.

2. Scam artists will lie to get your money. Be skeptical of receiving a “Thank you” for a past pledge you did not make.

3. Avoid donating immediately. Do not give in to high pressure sales pitches or guilt trips about suggested donations. Give yourself time to investigate the legitimacy of the organization.

Randall fifth grade students collaborating and designing a robot as part of the Project Lead the Way. ( submitted photo )

Projects lead the way to learning for Randall students


RANDALL — Randall Elementary students recently designed an orthodic device for people with cerebral palsy.

And they are only in sixth-grade.

A generation ago it was rare for science curriculum to start before seventh grade in rural Kenosha County elementary schools and engineering wasn’t even part of the school day.

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Beware of charity scams this holiday season


You have many friends and relatives now without power. Motorists are stranded and many other people are in need of food.

The day after the snowstorm, a nicely dressed woman knocks on your front door representing the Snow Control and Mobile Medical Emergency Disaster fund, or SCAMMED. She asks for a donation to help the needy people suffering in Anytown.

You have never heard of the charity being represented, but you would like to help. What will you do?

Today’s News Briefs: Man carrying TV has run-in with police

A 25-year-old Kenosha man was arrested Wednesday morning for obstructing police, resisting arrest and disorderly conduct after he was seen walking in the area of 45th Street and 29th Avenue while carrying a large flat screen television.

Police attempted to stop the man, suspecting he had stolen the television. The man refused to talk to them, eventually putting down the television and walking away. He attempted to pull away from officers who tried to stop him, finally giving up his name when the officer threatened to use his Taser if the man did not stop resisting. Later, he admitted that he gave police his brother’s name because he was on probation.

Police checked the address where the man said he had picked up the television and learned from the homeowner that she had put the television in the trash, and that the man was welcome to take it.

Police cite man for disorderly conduct for allegedly threatening driver with handgun

A Kenosha man was cited for disorderly conduct while armed after he allegedly pulled out a handgun to threaten a man after that man had objected to the gunman calling him a racial slur.

An African-American man called police at about 1:45 p.m. Wednesday saying a white man on a bicycle had threatened him with a handgun while he was in the parking lot at Walgreens, 7525 Sheridan Road.

The victim said he had been driving his car on Sheridan when the man on the bicycle crossed his path, forcing him to slow down. He said the man on the bicycle shouted at him, but he could not hear what he said. He then pulled his car into the Walgreens parking lot, and the man on the bike followed him into the lot.

Realtor signs advertise houses for sale on 56th Street in downtown Kenosha this week. Total annual home sales now are projected to be the best Kenosha County Realtors have seen since 2007.By year-end, real estate agents expect to sell more than 2,400 houses in Kenosha County. ( KEVIN POIRIER )

Home sales surge in county to pre-recession levels


Home sales in 2016 started off slowly, picked up steam in the spring and now are projected to be the best Kenosha County Realtors have seen since 2007.

By year-end, real estate agents are expected to sell more than 2,400 houses in Kenosha County, exceeding last year’s sales by nearly 200 homes and 339 more than Realtors sold in 2007, the year before the Great Recession began, according to statistics released by the Wisconsin Realtors Association.

The WRA did not have home sales statistics listed for individual counties prior to 2007.

An angler works his line in the Kenosha Harbor near the U.S. Coast Guard station on Wednesday.After enjoying one of the area's warmest Novembers on record, local residents can expect more active weather patterns coming with Thursday's start to the meteorological winter. There is a chance of snow locally on Sunday and again in the middle of next week. ( KENOSHA NEWS PHOTO BY SEAN KRAJACIC )

Trade the mowers for the blowers


It might finally be time to put away the lawn mower.

After enjoying one of the area’s warmest Novembers on record, local residents can expect more active weather patterns coming with Thursday’s start to the meteorological winter, according to National Weather Service meteorologist Marcia Cronce.

“We’re seeing the pattern shifting,” Cronce said. “This is very typical for what we’d see in late fall and winter, a pattern change. We’re getting into our normal time of change with more active weather.”

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Man held for stealing scents


A Milwaukee man is being held in Kenosha County Jail awaiting trial for a 2015 robbery from a Pleasant Prairie cosmetic store.

That theft was reportedly part of a multi-state spree of hits on the retail chain by a group dubbed “the Grab and Go Five.”

Travis Arrington, 31, is being held on $10,000 cash bond after being transferred to Kenosha’s jail this week from an Iowa prison where he served a sentence for a robbery on the retailer there.

Jeffrey Schmeckel testifies during a hearing in June. On Thursday, he got probation and a small fine for his role in the deaths of numerous calves on his two farms. ( KENOSHA NEWS FILE PHOTO BY SEAN KRAJACIC )

Farmer charged with mistreating cattle gets probation


Even after pleading guilty to one count of mistreatment of animals causing death, a Brighton farmer did not seem inclined to take responsibility for the deaths of 80 calves on two farms.

Jeffrey Schmeckel, 32, was charged last year with three felony counts of mistreatment of animals causing death and seven counts of intentionally providing improper animal shelter and sanitation.

Charges came after an inspector came upon terrible conditions in the Brighton farm, where dead calves lay in several feet of manure, tied among still living but skeletal animals. Piles of dead calves were behind the barn, and rotting carcasses lay in the barn’s walkways

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