May 3, 2016
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The Kenosha Velodrome, shown here on Monday, has been resurfaced and is ready for races to begin later this month, although some restoration issues remain. ( KENOSHA NEWS PHOTO BY DANIEL GAITAN )

Cracks seen in newly rebuilt velodrome

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The city will investigate cracks and fencing surrounding the newly renovated Washington Park Velodrome before approving payment for the contractor and opening the facility.

The Kenosha City Council deferred a vote on the contract for velodrome, 1901 Washington Road, for 30 days, citing concern over “hairline” cracks running throughout multiple concrete slabs and warped fencing. A grand opening ceremony planned for May 14 could be rescheduled.

“We got a couple little things with some fencing; we’re monitoring some cracks that have appeared in the velodrome, and there’s a couple outlying restoration items that we’re working on,” said Shelly Billingsley, director of public works. “We’re investigating it.”


Village’s compost site to move

PLEASANT PRAIRIE — The village’s compost site will be moving to a new site in June.

The compost area at the Roger Prange Municipal Center, 8600 Green Bay Road, will close June 4 before re-opening the same date at its new digs at 8000 128th St., according to village officials. It will reopen at 9 a.m. at its new location.

“Most of the site is ready, and the paving will be completed in two weeks,” said Christine Christenson, spokeswoman for the village.

In this file photo from June, a water filtration system at the BP Amco station on Highway 165 in Pleasant Prairie cleans previously contaminated ground water and releases it back into the creek. ( KENOSHA NEWS PHOTO BY JON BRINES )

Gas station gets OK to shut down treatment system

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PLEASANT PRAIRIE — A gasoline station undergoing monitoring and testing for previous illegal discharge of petroleum products into a ditch will be allowed to shut down a remedial treatment system for now.

The Pleasant Prairie Village Board on Monday approved a plan for owners of the BP Amoco gas station at 10477 120th Ave. to shut down a groundwater pumping and treatment system.

An engineering and environmental firm outlined a strategy to shut down the system, which has been operating within the limits of a Wisconsin pollutant discharge elimination system permit for the past two years.

Firefighters work at the scene of a house fire at18512 Burlington Road Monday afternoon. ( KENOSHA NEWS PHOTO BY SEAN KRAJACIC )

Teens escape Paris blaze ignited in dryer

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PARIS — A fire that started inside a dryer forced two teens to escape their home Monday afternoon.

Town firefighters were called at 3:56 p.m. to the blaze on the second floor of the home at 18512 Burlington Road, according to Paris Fire Chief Roland Iwen.

“The fire then started the washing machine on fire and then spread to the walls,” he said.

The Kenosha Velodrome, shown here on Monday, has been resurfaced and is ready for races to begin later this month, although some restoration issues remain. ( KENOSHA NEWS PHOTO BY DANIEL GAITAN )

Cracks seen in newly rebuilt velodrome

1

The city will investigate cracks and fencing surrounding the newly renovated Washington Park Velodrome before approving payment for the contractor and opening the facility.

The Kenosha City Council deferred a vote on the contract for velodrome, 1901 Washington Road, for 30 days, citing concern over “hairline” cracks running throughout multiple concrete slabs and warped fencing. A grand opening ceremony planned for May 14 could be rescheduled.

“We got a couple little things with some fencing; we’re monitoring some cracks that have appeared in the velodrome, and there’s a couple outlying restoration items that we’re working on,” said Shelly Billingsley, director of public works. “We’re investigating it.”

The Kenosha City Council is being asked to roll back alternate-side street parking rules so the end at the end of February, rather than March 1. ( KENOSHA NEWS FILE PHOTO BY SEAN KRAJACIC )

Council tables vote to shorten winter parking schedule

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The Kenosha City Council deferred voting on an ordinance that would shorten winter’s alternate-side parking schedule.

Under the proposal by Alds. Rocco LaMacchia Sr. and David Bogdala, alternate-side parking restrictions would end each year at the end of February, rather than March 31. The council will revisit the issue in next month.

Bogdala said he does not believe parking restrictions are needed in March, especially when the weather is mild.

Man hurt in warehouse fall

PLEASANT PRAIRIE — A worker was airlifted to a Milwaukee-area hospital Monday afternoon after falling 20 feet from a scissor lift at a warehouse.

The man, whose name was not immediately available, was flown to Froedtert Hospital in Wauwatosa by Flight for Life helicopter after the 3:31 p.m. incident at Central Storage & Warehouse Co., 7800 95th St., according to the Pleasant Prairie Police Department.

The man fell after the scissor lift was struck by a forklift, police said.

Man charged in January shooting

A Kenosha man is facing felony charges for his role in the January shooting of a grandfather who was with his 2-year-old grandson.

Anthony M. Stanley, 20, was charged Monday with armed robbery and first degree reckless injury, as party to a crime, and use of a dangerous weapon.

Stanley is accused of being one of three men who approached a Kenosha man in the 4100 block of 28th Avenue on Jan. 19 as the man was leaving his truck with the child after picking up the boy from day care.

News briefs: Unified board to consider premium increase

The Kenosha Unified School Board will meet Tuesday night on a proposal to double the amount the district’s lowest-paid workers would pay toward their insurance premiums.

Educational assistants, the support staff for teachers, currently contribute 6 percent toward their health insurance premiums, compared with the 12 percent paid by most other workers. Interpreters and secretaries contribute 10 percent.

At a board meeting last month, assistants told district officials they would not be able to afford the increase.

State Supreme Court to hear Kenosha case

The Wisconsin Supreme Court is taking up the case of a Kenosha man convicted of residential burglary.

The court agreed to consider whether Brian Harris’ Miranda rights were violated in a 2011 case.

According to the court, Harris was charged with residential burglary and a series of related crimes in August 2011 after a resident of a townhome called police to say she heard suspicious noises coming from a neighboring unit.

( KENOSHA NEWS PHOTO BY BILL SIEL )

Local firm pioneering new fertilizer technology

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Kenosha-based Centrisys, a manufacturer of wastewater treatment equipment, is looking to expand into pig farm waste with a unique process that turns manure nutrients into fertilizer.

While the company is still developing the technology and could begin manufacturing the equipment some time next year, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has already honored the company for the technology during the Nutrient Recycling Challenge.

While Centrisys conducts lab tests, the company will be preparing for the second phase of the EPA Challenge in hopes of winning a financial award to conduct a pilot.

Event briefs: Parkinson’s support group to meet

KENOSHA — A Parkinson’s disease support group meets at 2 p.m. Wednesday at Brookside Care Center, 3506 Washington Road.

There will be a general discussion and sharing of information and ideas.

For more information, call Julie Topolovec at 657-7276.

Majestic Realty property ( KENOSHA NEWS GRAPHICS )

California company takes chance on Pleasant Prairie

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The California-based Majestic Realty Co. will break ground next week on its first Wisconsin project, a $20 million speculative industrial building that signals an expansion move and is testament to the lucrativeness of Kenosha County’s hot economic development environment.

Projected for completion by year-end, the 424,164-square-foot project has already garnered interest from prospective warehousing tenants, according to Taylor Talt, a Majestic vice president. Shortly afterward, the company will begin marketing phase two, though construction for that phase has not begun.

The 87.5-acre site is located on the east side of 88th Avenue about a quarter-mile south of Bain Station Road.

KUSD may hike support staff insurance costs

The Kenosha Unified School District’s lowest-paid workers want the School Board to halt a proposal that would require them to contribute the same amount as other employees, doubling what they pay toward insurance premiums.

Educational assistants, the support staff for teachers, contribute 6 percent toward their health insurance premiums, compared with 12 percent paid by most other workers. Interpreters and secretaries contribute 10 percent.

However, the assistants, many of whom earn less than $21,000 a year as full-time employees, said they would not be able to afford the increased premium contributions.

UW-Parkside students, from left, Rachel White, Jeni Meekma, Olivia Brunner and Cassandra Flannery, collaborate on a market research project at the SEG Center on Wednesday. ( KENOSHA NEWS PHOTO BY SEAN KRAJACIC )

Invitation to the business world

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The University of Wisconsin-Parkside is opening its doors to more than just students.

Local businesses and other organizations are welcomed on campus to help give real-world experience to students studying everything from business and computer science to anthropology and design.

The Kenosha County four-year state university has received national accolades for the level of community involvement and outreach it incorporates on campus, receiving the Carnegie Classification for Community Engagement from Campus Compact, first in 2006 and again in 2015.

From left, Jean Walrath, Mary Petersen, state Rep. Peter Barca and Woman's Club president Carol Schweinfurth share a laugh at the 125th anniversary celebration program at the Woman's Club on Sunday. ( KENOSHA NEWS PHOTO BY SEAN KRAJACIC )

Kenosha Woman’s Club marks 125 years

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The Woman’s Club of Kenosha celebrated 125 years Sunday with an intimate luncheon, presentation of its history and a vow to continue expanding its membership with diverse voices.

The event featured past presidents of the local group, leaders of the state organization and number of dignitaries at the club, 6028 Eighth Ave., the only club in the state with its own dedicated building.

Among the attendees were former Mayor Keith Bosman and former Police Chief John Morrissey, who were acknowledged for their many years of service.

Charley Craig, 8, left, has his bike blessed by Rev. Marvin Oechler during a bike blessing at St. Paul's Lutheran Church on Sunday. ( KENOSHA NEWS PHOTO BY SEAN KRAJACIC )

200 brave rain to receive blessing at St. Paul

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A cold, steady drizzle didn’t deter more than 200 motorcyclists who trekked to St. Paul’s Lutheran Church Sunday to receive blessings for a safe riding season.

Members of the Lake Shore Harley Owners Group rode from Libertyville to Kenosha for the 27th annual event. And while the weather cut in half the typical number of participants, those who took part were in good spirits, despite temperatures in the mid-40s.

The Rev. Marvin Oechler, the retired pastor who founded the bike blessing nearly three decades ago, performed the duties Sunday, though he stood on a footstool instead of a 10-foot ladder pastors have used recently.

News briefs: Candidate Breu to meet with public

KENOSHA — Tom Breu, Democratic candidate for Wisconsin 1st District Congressional seat, held by Paul Ryan, will meet with residents today and Tuesday in public libraries in Kenosha County.

Today’s schedule:

— Genoa City, 126 Freeman St., 4 to 5:30 p.m.

Public meeting set on hazard mitigation plan update

A public information meeting on Kenosha County’s hazard mitigation plan update begins at 6 p.m. May 23 in the Kenosha County Center, 19600 75th St., Bristol.

The meeting will begin with a presentation by the Southeastern Wisconsin Regional Planning Commission, followed by an open-house format, during which residents can learn more about the plan and provide written comments.

The plan includes recommendations related to reducing damages from hazards such as flooding and related stormwater drainage problems; weather-related hazards such as tornadoes, winter storm, and severe thunderstorms; and hazardous material incidents.

An eagle found with battle injuries and lead poisoning regained its strength thanks to treatment at Fellow Mortals in Lake Geneva. ( KENOSHA NEWS PHOTO BY SEAN KRAJACIC )

Fellow Mortals balks at power line plans

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GENEVA — Owners of Fellow Mortals Wildlife Hospital fear a power line company will remove the trees and vegetation they consider necessary to their operation.

Steven and Yvonne Wallace Blane said they were told in February by people working for American Transmission Co. they would clear-cut in front of the hospital, W4632 Palmer Road.

"It's going to take away our screening, so all of a sudden, we're going to be exposed to everybody who drives by on this road," Wallace Blane said.

Bikers pulled into the parking lot at Calvary Congregational Church in Twin Lakes after riding from Kenosha for Sunday's bike blessing. ( PHOTO BY CHRISTINE VERSTRAETE )

Weather can’t stop annual bike blessing

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TWIN LAKES — For only the second time in its 19-year history, the annual biker blessing Sunday at Calvary Congregational Church in Twin Lakes was held indoors due to the misting and threat of more rain.

“It’s just so iffy,” said church pastor, the Rev. Judy Wang, of the unpredictable weather.

The weather also cut down on attendance, with only 80 motorcycles making the trek from Kenosha, compared to the usual 200 or more.

Victim Witness Coordinator Heather Beasy works in the courtroom with Assistant District Attorney James Kraus. ( KENOSHA NEWS PHOTO BY KEVIN POIRIER )

Advocate helps victims negotiate criminal justice system

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What started as an internship at a domestic violence shelter has turned into a vocation for Kenosha native Heather Beasy. She was an advocate for Women and Children's Horizons before going to the Kenosha County District Attorney's Victim Witness program in 2007. She was promoted to coordinator in 2014.

In addition to guiding victims through the court process, she also helps them contact legislators to change existing laws. One recent case resulted in Assembly Bill 566, which changed the penalties for taking nude photos or video of people in locker rooms.

Q: What is your job?

Michael Olsen points out the names on the side of his breast-survivor-themed race car. ( KENOSHA NEWS PHOTO BY KEVIN POIRIER )

Racing against cancer

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Michael Olsen bought his first race car with cash he received for eighth-grade graduation gifts.

Olsen, 20, of Paddock Lake, said racing is in his blood — his father and grandfather raced at local tracks, and his brother and sister are regularly in the garage and on his pit crew, working on the 1988 Monte Carlo he competes in Street Stock races at Midwest tracks including Wilmot Raceway.

His close-knit family also influenced his decision to use his race car to honor breast cancer survivors. Ever since he started racing, he decorated his car with the emblem of a pink ribbon for breast cancer support.

Elnor Bellaver ( )

A Life Remembered: Local woman was ‘worker bee,’ music lover

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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.

Elnor Bellaver loved the arts, her family and Kenosha.

She loved singing and dancing, became an accomplished painter and ceramicist, worked as a medical technician and made men’s hairpieces.

Event briefs: Southport Lighthouse to open for season

KENOSHA — Southport Lighthouse will open for the season on Thursday.

Hours are 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays and noon to 4 p.m. Sundays through Oct. 30.

Admission is $10 for non-member adults, $5 for members and children

Rick Tunkieicz pushes his mother Helen's wheelchair as she admires the work of fellow Brookside Care Center residents displayed at the center Saturday. The art was part of the Alzheimer's Association "Memories in the Making" program which offers creative art expression for individuals with early to the middle stages of Alzheimer's disease. ( KENOSHA NEWS PHOTO BY KEVIN POIRIER )

Painting memories

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Saturday afternoon may have been cold and rainy, but for nine Kenosha residents, it was a day to shine in the spotlight of an exhibition of their artwork.

As with other art openings, family and friends gathered to support the artists, while refreshments were served and a pianist played in the background.

Unlike some art shows, however, this one took place at a long-term care facility, and the artists were all in some stage of Alzheimer’s disease or other dementia.

The Wilmot High School Decathlon team pose with its national championship banner. Kneeling, from left, are Isaac Bruley and Carl Simmons. Standing, from left, are coach Don Serkowski, Alexa Lewis, Brenna Simmons, Kyle Kostrova, Joseph Burba, Carlie Banchi, assistant coach Kaitlyn Keleher, Angela Schumacher and Ashley Dabbs. ( submitted photo )

Wilmot repeats as national Academic Decathlon champs

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The Wilmot High School Academic Decathlon team has struck gold again, this time in Alaska.

For the second year running, the nine-member crew won the Division II national championship. The finals took place Thursday and Friday in Anchorage, Alaska.

The team includes honors members Carlie Banchi, Carl Simmons and Brenna Simmons; scholastic members Joseph Burba, Alexa Lewis, Isaac Bruley; and varsity members, Angela Schumacher, Ashley Dabbs and Kyle Kostrova.

Assistant District Attorney Thomas Binger is shown during closing arguments of an April 2015 murder trial in Kenosha County. Binger, a Racine County resident, has announced he will run for that county's open district attorney seat. ( KENOSHA NEWS FILE PHOTO BY SEAN KRAJACIC )

Local attorney to run for Racine D.A.

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A Kenosha County assistant district attorney his throwing his hat into the race to be Racine County's next district attorney.

Thomas Binger, a Racine County resident, has worked for the Kenosha County District Attorney's Office for about 18 months. He was a prosecutor in Milwaukee County from 1999-2005, and was in private practice in Racine County during the intervening nine years.

Binger, who will run as a Democrat, said he wants to give his home county a district attorney “who acts with integrity and honesty and accountability.”

Prairie Lane Elementary School pupils, from left, Sophia Murphy, 6, her brother, Aidan, 4, and Aidan Litz, 5, wave flags while walking in the Loyalty Day parade Saturday around Lake Andrea in Prairie Springs Park. ( KENOSHA NEWS PHOTO BY KEVIN POIRIER )

Rain can’t stop Loyalty Day parade

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PLEASANT PRAIRIE — It did indeed rain on their parade, but some 41 organizations were nevertheless staunchly represented at the annual statewide VFW Loyalty Day observation Saturday.

Hosted by Pleasant Prairie Memorial Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 7308, the event took place in Prairie Springs Park.

Members of Kenosha’s long-established Patriot Guard joined their counterparts from the more recently founded village chapter to brave a stiffly blowing northerly wind as the parade slowly wended its way around Lake Andrea.

News briefs: Local groups receive mini-grants

Two groups have received mini-grants from the Mayor’s Youth Commission:

— G:1 (God 1st, Young Adult Ministry) and J-Walkers (Parish Teen Youth Group) were awarded $500 for their 2016 Easter retreat for teens from Kenosha, Racine and Burlington, the first of its class at St. Mark the Evangelist Catholic Church.

The parish hosted between 120-150 teen participants March 24-27. The retreat emphasized the importance of serving others, finding one's true worth as human beings, living a stress-free life, healthy dating relationships and how to better serve the community.

University of Wisconsin-Parkside students Izzy Betancourt, middle, and Reyes Perez, back, serve food recently at the Senior Center. At the table are Bob Brunker. left, and Pat Savaglio. ( KENOSHA NEWS PHOTO BY KEVIN POIRIER )

Bringing the ivory tower to the street

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At the University of Wisconsin-Parkside, the ivory tower isn’t exactly toppling, but its walls are getting a little more permeable.

Parkside students do not just study for degrees and come out into the world looking for jobs, but are out and about in the community long before graduation day.

These college kids are teaching in classrooms, designing mobile apps for businesses and non-profit organizations and volunteering at senior centers and soup kitchens.

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