March 29, 2017
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Signs of support for more preparation time for elementary school teachers are raised during Tuesday night's Kenosha Unified School Board meeting. ( KENOSHA NEWS PHOTO BY BILL SIEL )

Kenosha Unified School Board gets an earful from students, teachers


Increased teacher prep time, strident calls for a sixth-grade honors program and characterization of the dress code policy regarding yoga pants as “gender oppression” took center stage Tuesday night at the Kenosha Unified School Board meeting.

Some 28 speakers paraded to the podium during the public comment portion of the meeting.

Teachers had the strongest and most visible presence, led by the Kenosha Education Association, their union, as they accepted Superintendent Sue Savaglio-Jarvis’ invitation to express their concerns directly to the board regarding the need for sufficient on-the-clock prep time.

This semitrailer was struck by a train at 104th Street near 264th Avenue in Trevor Tuesday after becoming stuck on the railroad tracks. ( KENOSHA NEWS PHOTO BY KEVIN POIRIER )

Freight train strikes semitrailer


A freight train struck a semitrailer stuck on railroad tracks that run through a Trevor subdivision Tuesday afternoon.

According to the Kenosha County Sheriff’s Department, a semi pulling a lowboy trailer hauling construction equipment became stuck and was struck by a train heading south on the Canadian National Railway tracks at 104th Street west of 264th Avenue.

The semi was on 104th Street, a narrow residential street that runs through the Sunset Oaks subdivision.

Star Rondeau of Marina Gardens serves split pea soup while Paul Greb grabs a spoon during last year's Bowls and Books. ( KENOSHA NEWS FILE PHOTO BY BRIAN PASSINO )

The soup’s still on at Wednesday’s Bowls and Books fundraiser in downtown Kenosha


The 17th annual Bowls & Books fundraiser will go on Wednesday — without organizer Judy Rossow.

Rossow, the event’s chairwoman, broke her hip while setting up for the annual event this week. She is in stable condition, but underwent surgery Tuesday.

“She has been working hard on this for six months, building the volunteer force that is already in place,” said volunteer Scott Holloway, who also works with Rossow at the Copy Desk printing shop.

Ald. Kevin Mathewson speaks at a January Kenosha Unified School Board meeting. Mathewson announced this week that he will be moving out of his district and stepping down as alderman. ( KENOSHA NEWS FILE PHOTO BY SEAN KRAJACIC )

Mathewson to move out of district


This article has been revised since its original posting.

The Kenosha City Council will soon have an open seat.

Ald. Kevin Mathewson, who represents Kenosha’s 8th District, said he will move out of his district in late summer and into a home in the village of Somers. He will not be able to serve on the council after when he moves.

Students from Brass Elementary School dash across 63rd Street near 14th Avenue after dismissal Monday afternoon. While there is currently no crossing guard at the intersection, a city committee voted Monday to put an adult guard there. ( KENOSHA NEWS PHOTO BY BILL SIEL )

Preliminary OK given for additional crossing guard near Kenosha’s Brass Elementary School


Brass Community School is in line to get another adult crossing guard.

The Kenosha Public Safety and Welfare Committee voted Monday to relocate a guard from 75th Street and 10th Avenue, near Southport School, to 63rd Street and 14th Avenue, near Brass School.

The vote was unanimous. If the Kenosha City Council approves the move next month, the change would take place immediately and would not increase costs.

First Step Services Inc., 1017 63rd St., is no longer open during the day. It is now open from 6 p.m. to 7 a.m. to house the homeless. ( KENOSHA NEWS PHOTO BY SEAN KRAJACIC )

First Step halts daytime service for Kenosha’s homeless


First Step Services is closings its doors during daytime hours, hoping to placate neighbors and city officials in the hope of savings its license.

The organization, which since 2003 has provided a place to stay, food and support services for homeless people, will go before the city April 10 for a hearing on its shelter license renewal.

“Basically what I’m trying to do is make a compromise with the neighbors to keep everyone happy and still be able to serve our homeless,” said Tracy Krisor, First Step’s founder and chief executive.

The Kenosha Unified School District ( )

Elementary teachers say adequate preparation time is lacking in Kenosha Unified School District


Teachers plan to address the Kenosha Unified School Board Tuesday about a lack of preparation time.

They say their current planning time on Fridays is consumed by professional development and learning sessions, taking away time to prepare lesson plans and address the needs of their students.

“I feel that each year more of our valuable independently led prep time is being controlled so that we are not able to collaborate on items that will best meet the needs of our students,” teacher Jennifer Kahle said in a press release issued by the Kenosha Education Association, the district’s teachers union.

Miss Kenosha Scholarship Pageant ( MISS KENOSHA SCHOLARSHIP PAGEANT )

11 contestants ready for Miss Kenosha Pageant Saturday


The 2017 Miss Kenosha Pageant is 7 p.m. Saturday St. Joseph Catholic Academy’s Upper Campus.

The pageant will include appearances by Joya Santarelli (Miss Kenosha 1998 and Miss Wisconsin 2000), Tori Bogren (Miss Kenosha 2014), Kristina Maloney (Miss Florida 2011) and Laura Kaeppeler Fleiss (Miss Kenosha 2010, Miss Wisconsin 2011 and Miss America 2012).

Tom Karnes will serve as master of ceremonies.

Mohammad Bawani, left, talks with Kathy Misun, left, and Rita Kauffman during the small group discussion portion of an interfaith seminar hosted by the American Albanian Islamic Center, 6001 88th Ave., on Sunday. ( KENOSHA NEWS PHOTO BY SEAN KRAJACIC )

Faiths come together at Kenosha mosque


The most diverse representation of faiths made its presence known Sunday night in Kenosha at the oldest registered Islamic center in the state.

More than 150 people gathered at the Albanian American Islamic Center, 6001 88th Ave., for the first-of-its-kind “interfaith seminar.”

But more than a seminar, the convergence of faiths — including Christian, Jewish, Baha’i and Muslim — brought diverse members of the community to stand together. The event was co-sponsored by the center, Kenosha Young Progressives Coalition and Congregations United to Serve Humanity.

Diane, right, smiles as she receives a meal from C.J. Ricciardi at her home on Thursday as part of the Meals on Wheels program. Many fear proposed funding cuts could hurt the program. ( KENOSHA NEWS PHOTO BY SEAN KRAJACIC )

Proposed budget cuts could endanger Kenosha County Meals on Wheels, other senior-help programs


The meal Diane, 79, gets delivered to her door each day provides needed nutrition, her daughter Lucretia, of Pleasant Prairie, said.

"I feel good knowing she is getting at least one good, balanced meal per day," Lucretia said.

But the Kenosha County Meals on Wheels program is about more than just the food, she said.

Robin Shiels, owner of Robin's Nest Cakery, frosts cupcakes at her business, 621 56th St. ( KENOSHA NEWS PHOTO BY BRIAN PASSINO )

Snapshot: Owner of Kenosha cakery expands, offers classes


Robin Shiels owns and operates Robin’s Nest Cakery, 621 56th St., in downtown Kenosha, which is a custom cake, cupcake and pastry baking business.

The former mortgage loan officer decided to switch careers after the economic downturn in 2009.

Q. How did you first get interested in doing this?

Marcia Siehr with the Kenosha Public Library shows the Hoopla app on the Google Play Store for Android. Library patrons can borrow up to eight items a month on their mobile devices with immediate access with Hoopla. ( KENOSHA NEWS PHOTO BY BRIAN PASSINO )

Hoopla allows Kenosha library patrons to stream movies, books, music


Kenosha Public Library is offering more than just books — and you don’t have to go to the library to get it.

The library system has adopted a new service allowing patrons to stream audiobooks, comics, music and movies for free.

Hoopla — available on the App Store, Google Play and Amazon — allows people with valid Kenosha library cards to stream or download up to eight digital titles per month for free. The service operates similar to Netflix and Amazon Prime. Downloads are also available offline.

The entry, dubbed "101 Peeps," was a tribute to the Disney classic "101 Dalmatians." ( PHOTO BY CHRISTINE A. VERSTRAETE )

Peeps make for a sweet show at Kenosha library


Everyone’s — well, almost everyone’s—favorite Easter candy was celebrated Saturday at the Southwest Library’s fourth annual Peep-O-Rama show featuring Peeps-centric dioramas.

This year’s contest featured 14 Peeps-tastic, book-based scenes, with five entries in the teen category and six entries in the family category. Voters also picked the winner of the new Battle Peeps category where entrants built scenes on-site Friday using the library’s art supplies.

There were three Battle Peeps entries, including “Jurassic Peep,” “Mario Kart” and “Little House in the Big Woods” based on Laura Ingalls Wilder’s book, though others had registered.

Avery Hoffman plays Connect 4 at the State Farm Insurance booth at the Kids and Family Expo at the RecPlex in Pleasant Prairie Saturday. ( KENOSHA NEWS PHOTO BY BILL SIEL )

Kids, Family Expo draws a crowd in Pleasant Prairie


PLEASANT PRAIRIE — More than 1,000 people turned out for the Kids & Family Expo at the RecPlex Saturday.

The free event included more than 50 exhibitors who offered demonstrations, products, information and activities related to youth and families.

“We had at least 600 kids here,” said Mallory Magnoni, youth services coordinator with the RecPlex. “Today went pretty well.”

Speaker of the House Paul Ryan speaks to Kay Buske, Racine County Board supervisor, and her husband husband Dave at Saturday's annual Lincoln Day Dinner in Racine. ( KENOSHA NEWS PHOTO BY KEVIN POIRIER )

‘It was a rough week’ Paul Ryan tells GOP faithful at Lincoln Day Dinner in Racine


RACINE — House Speaker Paul Ryan addressed the elephant in the room during the Lincoln Day Dinner Saturday evening:

“It was a rough week in the salt mines,” he said.

Ryan, the third-highest-ranking Republican in the U.S. government, was the keynote speaker at the annual event sponsored by the Republican Party of Kenosha County and Republican Party of Racine County.

Central High School student Grace Bendix, left, works with Subway owner Erica Feeney, right, to help make sandwiches before school in Paddock Lake on Tuesday. ( BRIAN PASSINO )

Community involvement needed for special needs students


PADDOCK LAKE — Special needs students at Central High School have employable skills. From food prep and meeting/banquet setup, to mail sorting and product assembly, they are ready and able to be hired.

Their employment needs were the topic of a Community Conversation last week at the school in an effort to connect them with gainful opportunities.

More than 20 social service providers, business representatives, community leaders and parents met to collaborate and network on behalf of the students.

Shannon Behm, left, a speech and dramatics teacher with the Racine Unified school district, works with All Saints students Paul Capelli, middle, and Cal Heinisch as they do a frozen image tableau of the tree from the novel, "The Night Gardener" during the 33rd annual English Fest 2017 at the University of Wisconsin-Parkside on Thursday, March 23, 2017. ( Brian Passino )

English Festival celebrates literature


Kenosha and Racine middle school students continued a celebration of reading at the 33rd annual English Festival on Thursday at the University of Wisconsin-Parkside.

The event was spread out over two days to accomodate nearly 600 students. Seventh and eighth graders who attended the event — complete with 30 reading and writing workshops — were required to read six of the seven novels chosen by the event’s selection committee.

Jonathan Auxier, author of New York Times best-selling novel “The Night Gardener,” wrapped up the event with a presentation that informed, encouraged and greatly entertained students and educators.

Premium Outlets in Pleasant Prairie ( kenosha news file photo )

Premium Outlets sees spring activity


The Pleasant Prairie Premium Outlets Mall is adding a new store, True Religion, a designer jeans retailer, and announced four stores with spring expansion and remodeling plans.

Cristin Newton, a mall marketing and business development director, said True Religion, a Vernon, Calif.-based designer jeans retailer will open April 24 in a 2,700-square foot space that had been vacant. It will be in the south plaza between the Chico’s and Brooks Brothers Factory stores.

“We are so excited to bring True Religion, one of the most iconic denimwear brands around, to our center this spring,” Newton said.

People wait in line for the grand opening of the new Aldi grocery store on Thursday. ( Brian Passino )

Second Aldi opens in Kenosha


North side residents welcomed another new supermarket, discount grocer Aldi, into their neighborhood Thursday morning.

Two hours before the official 8:30 opening, shoppers and curiosity seekers were lining up outside the store hoping to become one of the first 100 to receive a gold ticket that could have won them a gift card worth up to $100.

The new Aldi store at 3524 57th Ave., near the intersection of Green Bay and Washington roads, is the city’s second of that chain. It is located near the Somers Wal-Mart supercenter, which includes an expanded grocery section, and Festival Foods store.

HARIBO, a German company known for manufacturing goldbears and other gummi treats, will be building a 500,000-square-foot facility in Pleasant Prairie. About 400 jobs will be created in the first phase. ( ap file photo )

Haribo to build in Pleasant Prairie


Kenosha County is about to get a little sweeter.

German candymaker Haribo will build a $242 million manufacturing facility in Pleasant Prairie, on the Abbott site the village recently purchased for investment.

Haribo is the maker of the Gold-Bear gummy candies. This will be the company’s first manufacturing facility in North America. It is expected to bring about 400 jobs to the area when it opens in 2020.

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