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Kenosha News Week in Review

Have you had a busy week and lost track of what's going on? Kenosha News editors suggest the following articles to catch up:

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More than just a building


Like many people looking for a new home, Curtis McMiller of Kenosha has a growing family that needs more space.

Unlike most other people, McMiller is also a pastor, his family is a congregation, and the home he needs is a bigger church.

Feeding a multitude


First United Methodist Church provided Thanksgiving to hundreds of hungry locals unable to cook for themselves or with no place to go.

More than 350 pounds of turkey was served, along with plenty of mashed potatoes, vegetables and pie.

Alternate-side parking begins Tuesday


The first day of winter varies according to the particular calendar consulted; the first day for alternate-side parking in the city of Kenosha remains constant, starting Dec. 1 and running through March 31.

Violators will be ticketed by Kenosha police at $30 a pop — and their vehicles may be towed.

Fun, friendship greet Black Friday shoppers


PLEASANT PRAIRIE — The rain didn’t dampen the spirits of Thanksgiving shoppers who lined up outside local department stores in the hopes of scoring big savings.

Hundreds of shoppers waited outside J.C. Penney, Best Buy and Target for steep discounts on pricey appliances, clothing and electronics. Most began lining up around 2 p.m.

Police called after heated exchange at School Board meeting

A tense Kenosha Unified School Board meeting ended with police being called after an angry exchange between a board member and another member’s husband.

At the meeting Tuesday, several board members exchanged criticism at the outset of the meeting. Among the accusations exchanged, Kyle Flood said board president Tamarra Coleman lied in discussions about staff compensation.

Prosecutors: Deaths linked to Zelich were premeditated


Prosecutors have put forward a new, more sinister theory connecting the deaths of Jenny Gamez and Laura Simonson, the two women whose bodies were found stuffed in suitcases and dumped outside Lake Geneva.

Former West Allis police officer Steven Zelich has been charged with their deaths. He allegedly killed Gamez in a Kenosha hotel in August 2012 and Simonson in Minnesota in November 2013. He has claimed that both deaths were accidental, taking place as part of “breath play” during sex.

Newly released video shows Obregon chase


The Kenosha County Sheriff’s Department has released video of the first attempt by deputies to locate Andrew Obregon last month, and the 911 call by the woman who reported that he punched her and stole her car shortly before his capture.

Obregon is charged here with 32 felonies for incidents in September and October — including the killing of Tywon Anderson, armed robbery, burglary and fleeing from police — and has an earlier case for fleeing from police stemming from an incident in March.

Obregon mother sentenced to year of probation


Andrew Obregon’s mother was given one year of probation Wednesday for the help she provided him while he was evading capture for the killing of Tywon Anderson.

Susan Obregon, 60, of Brighton, was arrested Oct. 2, the same night her son led police on the first of a series of high-speed chases throughout the rural parts of Kenosha and Racine counties.

Officers rescue toddler from vent

Kenosha police officers rescued a toddler who fell through a vent opening in the floor of a home at 5907 18th Ave. Tuesday afternoon.

Officers were able to free the 1-year-old boy who had become trapped 10 feet below the opening at about 4 p.m., according to Sgt. Dan Cooper of the Kenosha Police Department. He was freed within 20 minutes.

Police seek information on possible abductions

With two men charged recently with attempted kidnapping for three separate incidents, Kenosha police wonder if there might be other women or teenage girls who had similar experiences but did not report them.

Leroy Johnson, 62, of Kenosha, was charged last month with two of the incidents. In both, he is accused of showing a gun — first to a 52-year-old woman and later to a 14-year-old girl — and demanding they get in his car.

KEA votes to recertify

Kenosha teachers have voted to recertify their union.

According to preliminary vote totals from the Wisconsin Employment Relations Commission released Tuesday afternoon, 963 teachers voted to recertify the Kenosha Education Association as bargaining agent for teachers, while 37 actively cast no votes.

Local merchants gear up for Small Business Saturday


Kenosha County merchants are hoping local residents do more of their holiday shopping downtown and with local merchants during the annual national Small Business Saturday this weekend.

American Express launched the campaign nationally to get people to patronize local businesses on the Saturday after Thanksgiving — between Black Friday and Cyber Monday.

Judge orders prison in fatal Twin Lakes crash


An Eagle Scout known for helping others may have, in his death, helped one last person: the man who killed him.

Thomas H. Johnston IV, 29, of Twin Lakes, fatally struck 16-year-old Nathaniel Walter in June 2013. The boy had been on a riding lawnmower on 116th Street in Twin Lakes, near the intersection with 342nd Avenue.

Falling gas prices make for a happy holiday


Gas prices are the lowest they’ve been in nearly seven years.

The average price for a gallon of unleaded gasoline in Kenosha is $1.78, down about 87 cents from this time period last year.

Somers town, village set public hearings on budget

Somers residents can weigh in on the proposed 2016 budget for the town and village at respective public hearings Tuesday.

The proposed spending plan for both municipalities encompasses a single tax levy for general government of $3,625,889, for an increase of $62,326, or 1.75 percent, compared with this year.

    Wisconsin school nixes reading of book about transgender girl

    MOUNT HOREB (AP) — A southern Wisconsin elementary school cancelled a planned reading of a children’s book about a transgender girl after a group threatened to sue.

    The Mount Horeb Area School District released a statement Wednesday saying it will not proceed with its planned reading of the book “I am Jazz,” the Capital Times reported.

    Ex-deputy who killed 2 seeks release from institution

    MADISON (AP) — A former Dane County sheriff’s deputy who shot and killed his wife and her sister last year is asking to be released from the mental institution where he’s committed.

    Andrew Steele, 41, had pleaded guilty to two counts of intentional homicide for the Aug. 22, 2014, shooting deaths of his 39-year-old wife, Ashlee Steele, and her sister, 38-year-old Kacee Tollefsbol, of Lake Elmo, Minn.

    Court: State troopers can stop drivers for littering

    MADISON (AP) — Smokers, beware. The Wisconsin Supreme Court said state troopers can legally stop you if you toss your cigarette butts on the road.

    The court handed down the decision Wednesday in a case involving Daniel S. Iverson of Amery. According to court filings, Iverson was driving in La Crosse during the early morning hours in January 2014 when a state trooper noticed his vehicle drift within its lane and stop at two yellow lights.

    Republicans propose term limits for state lawmakers

    MADISON (AP) — State lawmakers and the governor would be term limited under a long-shot proposal being circulated by three Republicans in the Legislature.

    The constitutional amendment being floated this week comes 15 years after the last state imposed restrictions on how long someone can remain in office and seven years after the idea was last floated in Wisconsin.

    Deer hunter killed, 2 injured

    MADISON (AP) — An Alaska man died after his hunting companion apparently shot him during opening weekend of Wisconsin’s gun deer season — the first firearm-related fatality during the season in three years, state officials said Monday.

    The 39-year-old Fairbanks man was hunting with a 35-year-old Wisconsin woman in Columbia County on Sunday morning, state Department of Natural Resources Warden Jon King said. The man apparently tried to hand a loaded rifle to the woman, who was in a tree stand. The woman had mittens on and grasped the gun near the trigger when the weapon discharged. The man was struck just below the armpit, King said.

    Lawmakers seek school crime data

    MADISON (AP) — Momentum is growing in the Wisconsin Legislature to require that data about crimes committed on school grounds be more readily available for parents and others to view alongside test scores and graduation rates.

    The push for such a law comes on the heels of the voucher program expanding statewide and the lifting of enrollment caps. Advocates of the school choice program have used crime data to persuade public school students to transfer to voucher schools — private schools funded by taxpayers — or charter schools, particularly in Milwaukee, saying their schools are a safer option than urban public schools.

    Warship commissioned in Milwaukee


    MILWAUKEE (AP) — The USS Milwaukee littoral combat ship, a warship built in Wisconsin, was commissioned Saturday and is now ready to report for duty in the South China Sea.

    An estimated 4,000 people turned out on a snowy, windy day for the ship’s commissioning ceremony on Lake Michigan at Milwaukee’s Veterans Park, the Journal Sentinel reported. Speakers included Gov. Scott Walker, Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett, U.S. Rep. Gwen Moore and U.S. Sens. Ron Johnson and Tammy Baldwin.

    Tremper motto: ‘We before me’


    There is no denying that last year was a tough one for the Tremper boys basketball team.

    Hawks have high hopes

    KENOSHA — Josh Washburn has heard it before, but he really believes in the Indian Trail boys basketball team’s chances.

    “I know every team says it, but I actually think we can make it to state this year,” Washburn said. “All the guys are so motivated from that loss.”

    UW-Parkside women lose to Alaska-Fairbanks

    The UW-Parkside women’s basketball team fell into an early hole and never recovered in an 88-77 loss to Alaska-Fairbanks in the Mount McKinley Bank North Star Invitational on Friday at Alaska Airlines Court in Fairbanks, Alaska.

    Parkside’s Lauren Boerger converted a three-point play with 8 minutes, 16 seconds left in the first quarter to tie the game 5-5, but Fairbanks went on a 15-3 run, capped by Jordan Wilson’s jumper, to take a 20-8 lead. The Nanooks stretched the lead to 44-28 by halftime, and after a Tara Knapstein layup got the Rangers within nine at 46-37 with 7:43 to play in the third, Fairbanks immediately came back with a 10-3 run to go up 56-40.

    ‘Complete’ foe visits Parkside men Saturday


    The undefeated UW-Parkside men’s basketball team passed its first big tests of the season last week with a home win over Minnesota-Duluth on Saturday and a road win at Walsh (Ohio) on Monday.

    St. Joseph boys finish strong to beat Vincent


    MILWAUKEE — Facing his alma mater for the first time — “and hopefully my last time” — St. Joseph boys basketball coach Jose Winston found the experience to be a stomach-churning one.

    The final five minutes sure didn’t help.

    St. Joseph boys basketball team shooting for the top

    KENOSHA — The St. Joseph boys basketball team has been looking up at Whitefish Bay Dominican and Racine St. Catherine’s in the Metro Classic Conference standings for the past several seasons.

    The Lancers hope they can turn the tables on the league’s top teams this season as they challenge for conference supremacy.

    Thunder hockey team talented

    KENOSHA — Kenosha Unified hockey coach JR Litkey was asked if this year’s team, his sixth, features the most returning talent that he’s possessed.

    His answer was direct.

    Turkey Day Run draws 2,275 entrants


    KENOSHA — Steve Ludwig said it’s becoming more difficult to find time to train as he gets older.

    Those who compete in future Mayor’s Turkey Day Runs, at least if they want to win the two-mile race, better hope the aging process moves a little more quickly for Ludwig than for everyone else.

    Parkside women’s basketball team loses in Alaska


    Northwood 80, UW-Parkside 67

    All-County football team unveiled


    KENOSHA — As expected, Kenosha County’s four Wisconsin Interscholastic Athletic Association playoff qualifiers — Indian Trail, St. Joseph, Shoreland Lutheran and Wilmot — are well represented on the 51st annual Kenosha News All-County football team.

    While Christian Life’s quest for its first postseason berth fell short, the Eagles did receive a consolation prize: Senior Luke Willkomm became the first player to earn first-team All-County honors in the three-year history of the program.

    Bradford’s Iverson aiming for the top spot


    Bradford has had its share of individual state champions over the years, and it displays their pictures on plaques in the school.

    And despite owning every boys swimming record at Bradford, that makes Ivar Iverson want to join them.

    Shoreland rolls past Christian Life


    In a season opener for two teams playing short-handed and adjusting to the new 18-minute halves, not too much could be extracted from Tuesday night’s non-conference game between the Shoreland Lutheran and Christian Life boys basketball teams at CLS.

    Except this: Shoreland’s Lucas Wendt was the best player on the floor, and he probably will be on many nights this season.

    Prep basketball roundup: Pacers thrive at the foul line

    Freshman Chelby Koker was 20-of-27 from the free throw line en route to 30 points as the Shoreland girls basketball team made it 2-for-2 with a 64-47 non-conference win at Racine Case on Tuesday night.

    Koker was 16-of-23 from the line in the second half as the Pacers defeated a Racine Southeast Conference school for the second time in as many tries this season.

    Unselfish Red Men

    When a basketball team tops the 100-point mark, there are bound to be a number of contributors.

    That was the case on Tuesday night as nine Carthage players combined for 17 3-pointers — one shy of the school record — in a 106-93 victory over Olivet College in a non-conference game played at the Cutler Event Center in Olivet, Mich.

    Pacers figure to be in the Metro Classic Conference hunt

    When 10th-year Shoreland boys basketball coach Paul Strutz looks at the Metro Classic Conference, he sees any number of teams that will be in the mix.

    And he fully expects the Pacers to be among them.

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Latest Gas Prices

Area Gas Prices provided by GasBuddy.com

Photo Gallery

    Elsie Mae’s enjoying taste of success


    Sometimes growth is hard. Other times, it can be as easy as pie.

    Tree, hearts glow at ‘Lightin’ Up’


    The chilly weather and Black Friday fatigue didn't stop hundreds from turning out for the annual Christmas Tree lighting ceremony and festivities.

    Singers get together for one reason: fun


    They don’t sing for money; they don’t sing for fame; they don’t even sing because they’re in a church choir. These folks sing just for the fun of it.

    News briefs: Shoreland reports possible hacking case

    SOMERS — The Kenosha County Sheriff’s Department is investigating computer crimes at Shoreland Lutheran High School, 9026 12th St.

    Drivers should be prepared for winter emergencies

    Winter is coming.

    Teen charged as adult in pizza driver robberies

    A 16-year-old Kenosha girl has been charged in adult court for a string of pizza delivery person robberies and a convenience store burglary.

    October unemployment up slightly in city, county

    After several months of a falling unemployment that have dropped the jobs indicator to the lowest mark in more than 10 years, the Kenosha County rate rose slightly to 4.3 percent last month, matching the statewide rate, but still significantly lower than in October 2014.

    Event briefs: Help available for health care enrollment

    Those applying for health care insurance through the Affordable Care Act can get assistance starting next week.

    News briefs: Deputies take in two dogs

    Two dogs were taken into custody Wednesday afternoon after neighbors expressed concern for their well-being.

    Volunteers play important role at Sharing Center


    TREVOR — The donation of time and talent is as important to the work of the Sharing Center in Trevor as the donation of food and clothing, director Sharon Pommaville said.

    Feeding a multitude


    First United Methodist Church provided Thanksgiving to hundreds of hungry locals unable to cook for themselves or with no place to go.

    Fun, friendship greet Black Friday shoppers


    PLEASANT PRAIRIE — The rain didn’t dampen the spirits of Thanksgiving shoppers who lined up outside local department stores in the hopes of scoring big savings.

    More than just a building


    Like many people looking for a new home, Curtis McMiller of Kenosha has a growing family that needs more space.

    Fix It: Highway 50 traffic signal timing


    Today’s problem: A Fix It reader questions the timing of the left-turn signal arrows at the intersection of Highway 50 and Green Bay Road.

    Alternate-side parking begins Tuesday


    The first day of winter varies according to the particular calendar consulted; the first day for alternate-side parking in the city of Kenosha remains constant, starting Dec. 1 and running through March 31.