September 28, 2016
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Flanked by a portrait of her daughter Alexis, Melanie Crandall describes her overdose death during Tuesday night's heroin program at Indian Trail High School. ( KENOSHA NEWS PHOTO BY BILL SIEL )

Fighting an epidemic


Dozens of parents, students, advocates and educators learned about southeastern Wisconsin’s heroin epidemic Tuesday evening.

“Stairway to Heroin” was presented by Your Choice — Live, a nonprofit advocacy organization founded by the Lybert family, at Indian Trail High School and Academy. The event aimed to help educate parents and teens about the dangers of prescription opioid abuse and heroin addiction.

“We wanted to do something proactive to try and help the community and get resources to our kids,” said Assistant Principal Tony Casper. “We want to get out in front of the problem.”

Somers OKs ordinance regarding excessive police calls

SOMERS — The Village Board approved an ordinance Tuesday that would fine local retailers for excessive shoplifting and theft calls.

The board voted 4-1, with two abstentions, on the ordinance that requires a business to pay $500 for each shoplifting or theft call after exceeding a threshold of 20 per month. A business would also be fined a similar amount for each call exceeding two that does not result in prosecution.

The ordinance would remain in effect for a year. The board could renew it, however.

Mary Lichter, left, speaks with Somers Village Board member Rich Heinisch before the board's meeting in the former Somers Town Hall in Hawthorn Hollow Tuesday. ( KENOSHA NEWS PHOTO BY SEAN KRAJACIC )

Nature sanctuary to grow


SOMERS — A local nature sanctuary is expected to double its size in the near future after the purchase of 50 acres of property.

Hawthorn Hollow, a private nature sanctuary and arboretum on 40 acres at 880 Green Bay Road, is in the process of acquiring land that was purchased by anonymous benefactors, according to Executive Director Joe Fonk.

The announcement was made during the Village Board meeting Tuesday in Somers’ original Town Hall built in 1857. It is part of a group of historical buildings in Hawthorn Hollow that includes the original Pike River School house built in 1847, second Pike River School built in 1906 and others.

Flanked by a portrait of her daughter Alexis, Melanie Crandall describes her overdose death during Tuesday night's heroin program at Indian Trail High School. ( KENOSHA NEWS PHOTO BY BILL SIEL )

Fighting an epidemic


Dozens of parents, students, advocates and educators learned about southeastern Wisconsin’s heroin epidemic Tuesday evening.

“Stairway to Heroin” was presented by Your Choice — Live, a nonprofit advocacy organization founded by the Lybert family, at Indian Trail High School and Academy. The event aimed to help educate parents and teens about the dangers of prescription opioid abuse and heroin addiction.

“We wanted to do something proactive to try and help the community and get resources to our kids,” said Assistant Principal Tony Casper. “We want to get out in front of the problem.”

Plans are progressing to redevelop the former Chrysler Engine Plant site. ( KENOSHA NEWS FILE PHOTO BY BILL SIEL )

City has high hopes for Chrysler site


Though the funding mechanism for the former Chrysler Engine Plant site is in its infancy, Kenosha officials are already making plans for the type of businesses they want to entice.

City officials are carefully planning the development as a technology incubator for startups and firms that want to relocate to Kenosha, but that do not need to be in business parks close to Interstate 94.

Preliminary plans for the redevelopment of the 102-acre site call for a high-tech business complex, featuring a health and fitness center and an array of other types of offices.

Tom Clark, winner of the 2016 Lucy Beck Award, poses with Mary Norris, winner of the 1997 Lucy Beck Award, in Clark's home on Monday. ( KENOSHA NEWS PHOTO BY SEAN KRAJACIC )

Local storyteller honored


One day, weary kindergarten teacher Tom Clark closed the book.

He was trying to keep the attention of his students while reading “Three Bill Goats Gruff,” not long after taking a storytelling class at National Louis University.

“I had a cathartic moment,” Clark said. “I was trying to keep the attention of four or five boys at the back of the carpet. On impulse, I closed that book and told the rest of the story.

Riverview to see slight levy increase

SILVER LAKE — A slight increase in the tax levy was approved by the electorate during the Riverview School district’s annual meeting Monday.

Administrator Jon Schleusner said the increase is a result in a projected decrease in state to the district.

The final state aid figures will not be released until next month, however.

News briefs: Boy admits painting racial slurs

A 15-year-old Salem boy was cited for criminal damage to property Sunday after he admitted spray painting racial slurs on political signs in a family’s yard.

The homeowner told Kenosha County Sheriff’s deputies she suspected the boy because in the past he sent texts to her daughter with racial slurs. The family is multi-racial.

The boy told deputies he “is in no way racist” and “in no way had any intent to hurt anyone” and didn’t know why he painted the slogans on the signs.

Curbside pickup of yard waste begins Monday

Fall curbside yard waste collection begins Monday and continues through Nov. 26.

Kenosha requires residents to place their yard waste in city-approved biodegradable bags during curbside collection. Acceptable bags include Bag To Nature, BioBag or Ecoguard.

The city processes the yard waste into high-grade compost, which is available to city residents for free.

Anne Holton, right, wife of Democratic vice presidential candidate Tim Kaine, will speak in Kenosha on Thursday. In this photograph, from earlier this month, Holton is speaking with the mother of a boy with autism. ( AP PHOTO )

Kaine’s wife to campaign in Kenosha


Anne Holton, wife of Democratic vice presidential candidate Tim Kaine, will be in Kenosha Thursday to meet with voters and talk about the election.

Holton is the former secretary of education in Virginia, and has been campaigning for her husband and Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton.

Holton will appear at the Kenosha County Democratic Party Office, 5712 Seventh Ave., at noon Thursday. To RSVP, visit:

Event briefs: Program focuses on understanding medicines

BRISTOL — “Let’s Talk About Medicines,” a free one-hour educational program, begins at 12:30 p.m. Thursday at the Westosha Community Center, 19200 93rd St., Bristol.

Sponsored by Wisconsin Health Literacy, the program seeks to provide resources, knowledge and strategies for people to better understand their medications.

Participants will learn how to understand medicine labels, dosage instructions, drug interactions and basic storage techniques.

Central High School students Hunter Conrad and Nikki Stratton, both seniors, were part of the winning team in the school's Business Challenge. ( SUBMITTED PHOTO )

Homeroom: Business Challenge at Central mimics ‘The Apprentice’


Some of the Central High School students competing in a business and marketing contest inspired by the television show, “The Apprentice,” were “fired” after the first challenge.

But, they did not fail to learn valuable lessons about how to lead or be a good teammate in stressful business situations, which makes them all this week’s School Standouts.

Nine teams from the advanced marketing class at Central are taking part in the Business Challenge. The first task was to develop, market and sell a product or service. All of the members of the team that made the most money in one day were guaranteed to move on.

Work to remove the faulty flooring at the Kenosha Dream Playground has begun. ( KENOSHA NEWS PHOTO BY SEAN KRAJACIC )

Faulty flooring removed from Dream Playground


All of the faulty rubberized flooring at the Dream Playground has been removed, revealing leveled gravel underneath.

Last month, the Kenosha City Council voted unanimously to approve $650,000 to Greenfield-based Bluemel’s Maintenance Service Inc. for removal of the playground’s faulty flooring and installation of new flooring.

The million-dollar playground could re-open by the end of the year.

Emily Alderin makes a presentation on Selah Freedom during Monday night's Kenosha Junior Woman's Club meeting. Selah Freedom wants to open a home in Kenosha County for victims rescued from sex trafficking. ( KENOSHA NEWS PHOTO BY BILL SIEL )

Helping the victims of sex trafficking


A national organization that helps survivors of sex trafficking is seeking assistance to purchase a home in Kenosha to safely house them.

The home would be the first in the state for Selah Freedom, the Sarasota Fla.-based non-profit organization that has been raising awareness of sexual slavery and human trafficking since 2009.

Emily Alderin, a representative from Selah Freedom, spoke Monday night with members of the Kenosha Junior Woman’s Club.

A settlement has been reached that would fix cracks in the concrete of the newly renovated Washington Park Velodrome. ( KENOSHA NEWS FILE PHOTO BY SEAN KRAJACIC )

City to pay $25,000 for velodrome fix


It will cost the city of Kenosha $25,000 to fix the newly renovated Washington Park Velodrome.

The city’s Parks Commission unanimously approved the settlement agreement between the city and Rasch Construction and Engineering Monday evening.

Under the agreement, Rasch would replace portions of the track’s cracking concrete surface and hire a soil-testing firm to ensure proper base compaction.

Committee delays vote on Airbnb licensing

The Kenosha Public Safety and Welfare Committee on Monday deferred a vote on an ordinance that would license Airbnb vendors in the city.

Sponsor Ald. Jan Michalski proposed the measure in response to a handful of complaints he said he received from residents of his district who live near homes rented through the online service.

“(The ordinance) is still being worked on,” Michalski said. “There may be changes.”

John Angelici appears in intake court on Monday with attorney Michael Kopp. Angelici was charged with sexual assault of a child and teenager. ( KENOSHA NEWS PHOTO BY SEAN KRAJACIC )

Man faces charges of sexual assault of child, teen


A Kenosha man is being held on $35,000 cash bond, facing charges that he sexually assaulted a child and a teenager.

John R. Angelici, 50, was charged Monday with repeated sexual assault of a child, first-degree sexual assault of a child under 12, and repeated sexual assault of a child. A fourth criminal count, third-degree sexual assault, was dismissed.

Angelici was arrested Friday evening at his home, 3323 85th St. Unit C. Kenosha Police served a warrant on Angelici’s home, breaking down the door to the apartment to take him into custody after he refused to answer the door. Once officers entered the home, they took Angelici into custody without resistance.

News briefs: Neighbors intervene when woman cries for help

A group of Kenosha neighbors stepped in to help a woman after they overheard her being beaten.

According to a Kenosha Police report, three neighbors from two separate apartments in a building in the 4700 block of 37th Avenue intervened when they heard a woman crying, “Please don’t kill me,” about 2 a.m. Sunday.

One neighbor, a 66-year-old woman, entered the apartment and said she saw Dwayne E. Barner, 35, punching a woman repeatedly and throw the woman’s 3-year-old child against a wall. Two men who lived in another apartment also intervened.

Event briefs: Community Library hosts movie break

TWIN LAKES — The Midday Movie Break begins at noon Wednesday at Community Library, 110 S. Lake Ave.

Adults are invited to watch “Some Like It Hot,” starring Tony Curtis, Jack Lemmon and Marilyn Monroe, and enjoy popcorn.

No registration required. For more information, go to

Casey Pruitt appears in intake court on Monday, Sept. 26,2016. ( SEAN KRAJACIC )

Man charged with bringing gun to salon, threatening ex


A Racine man who turned up outside a former girlfriend’s workplace with a weapon earlier this month made his first appearance in court Monday.

Casey Pruitt, 25, was charged Monday with disorderly conduct with a dangerous weapon, disorderly conduct, substantial battery, strangulation and suffocation, and possession of drug paraphernalia. His bond was set at $1,500.

Pruitt is accused of going to his former girlfriend’s workplace, Salon Sage Spa, 12027 Antioch Road in Salem with a gun on Sept. 9. The salon is in the same complex as a daycare center.

John Tapley served as shelter director and president of the board of the Kenosha County Humane Society from 1959 until his death in 1971. ( SUBMITTED PHOTO )

Archival Revival: Safe Harbor Humane Society


Local history research is usually a crap shoot: You never know if you will find supporting evidence to fill in the gaps on the documentation you have.

In the case of Safe Harbor/Kenosha County Humane Society, the single documentation was the incorporation papers, dated Jan. 8, 1916.

Kudos to society member Kathy Easton. With help from Kenosha History Center archivist Cynthia Nelson, Easton found newspaper stories from late 1915 and early 1916 that told the story.

Kathy Couston, of Schaumburg, Ill., casts out on the shore of Lake Michigan by the mouth of the Pike River Wednesday morning. Her husband Tom, who was fishing with her, said this has been "the worst year ever" for fishing near the mouth of the Pike River. ( KENOSHA NEWS PHOTO BY KEVIN POIRIER )

Reality bites: Fall fish run off to a slow start


The fall fish run for area anglers is underway, with salmon and trout making their annual trek to spawn upstream in the Pike River.

However, according to those who fish regularly, the fish aren’t biting as much as they have hoped.

“I haven’t caught anything today,” said Vaidas Betkus, fishing Sunday near the mouth of the Pike River at Lake Michigan. Betkus lives near Chicago has come to Kenosha in recent years for the fall run.

From left, Ralph Rufolo, owner of Southport Rigging; Emily Burhani, daughter of the late John Burhrani; and Frank Lenfestey III, son of the late Frank Lenfestey Jr.; talk about the skateboard deck that Ruffolo has produced in Lenfenstey and Burhani's honor at Southport Rigging on Sunday. ( KENOSHA NEWS PHOTO BY SEAN KRAJACIC )

Skateboard decks honor pier legends


Two of Kenosha’s iconic “pier” peers have a special deck dedicated to their memories.

On Sunday, Ralph Ruffolo, owner of Southport Rigging, unveiled the special skateboard deck in honor of:

— Frank Lenfestey Jr., punk rocker and founder of the annual Punks on the Pier concerts.

The original 1857 Somers Town Hall is shown in Hawthorn Hollow Nature Sanctuary and Arboretum, 880 Green Bay Road. ( Photo courtesy of Jacqueline Klapproth Nelson )

Somers boards to meet in old town hall


SOMERS — The village and town boards will hold their respective regular meetings on Tuesday at the original 1857 Somers Town Hall, located in the Hawthorn Hollow Nature Sanctuary.

The Village Board will meet at 5:30 p.m., immediately followed by the Town Board. Hawthorn Hollow is located at 880 Green Bay Road in Somers.

The boards are taking the figurative step back in time as a way to recognize a new museum-quality historical display that was recently installed inside the old Town Hall building, according to Jacqueline Nelson, the municipalities’ website manager and a Somers historian. The display teaches of Somers’ history back to the 1830s.

News briefs: Man arrested for possession of marijuana

A Kenosha man was arrested after police discovered drugs in a home in the 5700 block of 19th Avenue early Saturday.

Joel E. Riley, 25, was arrested in the 12:56 a.m. incident, according to a Kenosha Police Department report. Police are recommending a charge of possession with intent to deliver marijuana.

According to the report, officers initially responded to the home for a disorderly conduct call where there were at least 20 to 30 people outside.

Jill Frederickson works a turtle puppet she made for storytelling. ( KENOSHA NEWS PHOTO BY SEAN KRAJACIC )

No strings attached (usually)


Jill Frederickson, 44, is a puppeteer and a puppet maker.

She performs largely in Chicago and owns and operates The Little Puppet Company, a Kenosha business that focuses on puppet shows.

Q. How would you define puppeteering?

Event briefs: Genealogy sessions offered Tuesday

KENOSHA — The Kenosha County Genealogy Society and the Kenosha Public Library are teaming up to help people with genealogy research.

People can meet one-on-one with a genealogist from 6 to 8:30 p.m. Tuesday at Southwest Library, 7979 38th Ave.

Participants should bring whatever research they already have.

Rudy Ferraro ( )

The thinking man


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.

Rudy Ferraro knew a good problem when he saw it.

“He wasn’t into problems with right or wrong answers; he was interested in the theory behind them,” said his daughter, Mary Hoffman. “They were problems of higher-level thinking.”

Brandum Landrum, who has worked for Costco since 2009, unloads a customer's shopping cart at the company's store in Pleasant Prairie. Costco will add a number of seasonal employees to handle increased holiday business. ( KENOSHA NEWS PHOTO BY BRIAN PASSINO )

At work for the holidays


The notion of a retailer hiring a few housewives to work the cash registered during the busy Christmas season is as dated as the term “housewife” itself. With the relentless growth of online shopping — and the logistical infrastructure that supports it — the practice of up-staffing for the holiday season has morphed into a complex puzzle.

That’s not to say retailers aren’t adding thousands of jobs for the Christmas shopping season of 2016. The jobs themselves are often more than stocking shelves with toys, gifts and holiday decorations. They are just as likely to involve back-office operations or customer service roles as they are unloading trucks.

By some estimates, retailers roll up a third of their annual sales and generate nearly 40 percent of their profits during the holiday season. The season is usually seen as stretching from a day after Thanksgiving and continuing into early January. But in some cases, support, logistics and other positions were filled weeks ago.

Window art adds a splash of color to a block and alley party for Kenosha Creative Space Saturday in downtown Kenosha. ( KENOSHA NEWS PHOTO BY BILL SIEL )

Creative Space fundraiser brings music, art-lined alleys and food to downtown


Although the sun danced behind clouds most of the afternoon, weather didn't keep a good-sized crowd out of the alley between Sixth and Seventh Avenues downtown for a fundraising event.

Volunteers and supporters for the Kenosha Creative Space threw a block and alley party to raise funds and awareness of their effort to convert the former Kresge store at 5722 Sixth Ave. into a gallery, office space and community asset to support arts program in Kenosha.

“We're really appreciative of the response,” said event organizer Francisco Loyola. “There's a lot of collaboration going on here today.”

News briefs: Vandals damage playground sidewalk

A newly poured cement section of walkway leading to the Dream Playground in Petzke Park, 2900 14th Ave., was damaged by vandals Friday.

Tammy Conforti, president of the Dream Playground organization, reported the incident Saturday morning. The damage is a result of vandals drawing names and initials in the wet cement.

Conforti filed a police report. The Kenosha Police officers at the scene said they will attempt to retrieve video footage of the incident from cameras on the adjacent pavilion.

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