May 24, 2017
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This is a Partners in Design rendering of the beer garden in Petrifying Springs Park. It is due to open Friday. ( KENOSHA NEWS FILE PHOTO BY BILL SIEL/PARTNERS IN DESIGN RENDERING )

Petrifying Springs Biergarten gets entertainment license

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SOMERS — The Village Board on Tuesday unanimously approved a probationary license for entertainment for Kenosha County’s beer garden at Petrifying Springs Park along with beer and liquor licences for other village restaurants and taverns.

The board voted 6-0 for a six-month probationary cabaret license for Petrifying Springs Biergarten, located at the south end of the park, in the 4600 block of Highway JR.

The beer garden would be open 11 a.m. to 9 p.m., and entertainment would be limited to Saturdays, according to the license application.


Rehana Ftacek, director and founder of Peesh Wildlife Rehabilitation in Paddock Lake, offers alternatives to a proposed Canada geese roundup in Twin Lakes. She spoke to concerned residents Tuesday afternoon at Salem Community LIbrary. ( KENOSHA NEWS PHOTO BY SEAN KRAJACIC )

Alternatives sought to proposed goose roundup

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SALEM LAKES — Rehana Ftacek never expected to spend time lobbying for Canada geese.

But Ftacek, director and founder of Peesh Wildlife Rehabilitation in Paddock Lake, is now leading a campaign to stop the culling of geese in Twin Lakes.

“Last Tuesday there was an article in the newspaper — the title was, ‘Their goose is cooked,’” said Ftacek, a science teacher at Central High School. “It was very upsetting.”

This robin's nest was enough to prevent mail delivery at a Kenosha couple's house for nearly two weeks as the mail carrier feared an attack by the bird. ( submitted photo )

Dive-bombing robins keep mail carrier away from Kenosha home

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Reaching into her family’s mailbox, Courtney Pierce waved her hand around the hollow interior.

A day went by, and then a few more. A week and half later, still no mail.

So Matt Pierce called the post office in an attempt to figure out what was going on.

John Swallow has been selected as the next president of Carthage College. ( SUBMITTED PHOTO )

Update: Carthage College names new president

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John R. Swallow has been named to become the 23rd president of Carthage College.

He succeeds Gregory S. Woodward, who is leaving to assume the presidency at the University of Hartford in his Connecticut hometown.

Swallow brings an entrepreneurial approach and highly relevant experience as a senior administrator, trustee, and faculty member at three small, private liberal arts institutions. He comes to Carthage from The University of the South, known informally as “Sewanee” for the Tennessee community in which it’s located. As chief academic and operating officer, he has overseen advancements in that university’s curriculum, fundraising, equity and inclusion, enrollment, student life, faculty and staff development, and strategic planning.

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Home sales heating up

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Sold in a day.

It's an almost unheard-of phenomenon when it comes to selling homes. Home sellers list a property in the morning, and before day’s end they have multiple offers, some higher than the asking price.

But according to local real estate agents, multiple offers are becoming the norm over the last couple of months, and the median price has gone up because of the tight supply and bidding wars, according to David Clark, an economist with the Wisconsin Realtors Association.

In this photo from 2015, Dick Sauls, far right, and other volunteers from Fellowship Baptist Church in Kenosha work the serving line at the Shalom Center as clients arrive for a meal. An anonymous donor has contributed $90,000 to fund the center's soup kitchen and wants area businesses to match it. ( KENOSHA NEWS PHOTO BY BRIAN PASSINO )

Anonymous donor issues challenge to fund Shalom Center’s soup kitchen

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An anonymous donor is challenging community businesses to help fund annual operations for the Shalom Center’s soup kitchen.

The donor, who previously challenged the community to come up with building funds for the center’s new permanent site, has put up $90,000 and is calling on area businesses to match it.

Shalom Center Executive Director Lynn Biese-Carroll said Monday the cost to run the center’s soup kitchen is about $180,000 a year. The donor,

Benjamin Spasogevich-Lee appears for his initial appearance on Monday. He reportedly tried to abduct a 4-year-old girl. ( KENOSHA NEWS PHOTO BY SEAN KRAJACIC )

12-year-old Kenosha girl thwarts abduction attempt

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A 12-year-old girl stopped an alleged abduction of a 4-year-old neighbor last week, pulling the girl away from a man who was leading her away by the wrist.

The man, Benjamin Spasogevich-Lee, 27, of Kenosha, is being held on $15,000 bond, charged with abduction of a child and disorderly conduct.

In court Monday, a prosecutor said it is the second time Spasogevich-Lee has been charged with kidnapping. He said he was charged with kidnapping in 2010 in Illinois, but that charge was eventually reduced to disorderly conduct, the prosecutor said.

Coast Guard Seaman Adiar Parker, left, explains some of the gadgets on the Coast Guard's Response Boat-Medium to, from left, Aiden Herr, 2, Elisabeth Earnest and her son Charles, 1, as they tour the U.S. Coast Guard Station in Kenosha on Monday. ( KENOSHA NEWS PHOTO BY SEAN KRAJACIC )

Survivor of Kenosha boat crash nine years ago thanks Coast Guard

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Nearly nine years after a devastating boating accident, Andrea Pearson got a chance to thank the Kenosha Coast Guard for saving her life.

She also thanked them on behalf of her three children, who she says would not have been born had she died that August day in 2008.

Pearson’s opportunity to visit the Coast Guard station came about Monday during a field trip with her children’s play group.

Amee Janus, the founder of Wisconsin Initiative Safety Education, shows a sign that urges drivers to slow down near children in neighborhoods during a distribution event at the Kenosha Public Safety building on Friday. ( KENOSHA NEWS PHOTO BY BRIAN PASSINO )

Snapshot: She wants motorists to see the signs — and slow down

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Amee Janus is the founder of the Wisconsin Initiative Safety Education, a grassroots initiative which produces and distributes signs reminding drivers to slow down near children in neighborhood streets. Janus works as an information technology network analyst at Cardinal Health.

Q. What first gave you the idea for doing this work?

A. As our girls were getting older and learning to ride their bicycles, playing and roller skating in our neighborhood, concern grew for their safety as cars sped on our neighborhood street. In the county, we do not have sidewalks, as this is even more concerning when children are riding bicycles alongside cars. I had purchased a small plastic sign that said, "SLOW, children at play,” but it got ignored and just fell over. I started to sit out on our street corner and yelled at cars to slow down. I thought there must be a better way to remind drivers to slow down where our girls were playing near our home. With the help of a friend, Michele Allen, who owns Crux Creative, a local woman-owned business, we designed a sign to remind drivers to slow down.

Carthage graduate and baseball player Reed Hero, right, picks up his diploma off home plate after posing for a photo on the baseball field with fellow teammates on who also graduated on Sunday. ( KENOSHA NEWS PHOTO BY SEAN KRAJACIC )

Carthage College grads told to ‘follow knowledge like a sinking star’

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More than 600 new graduates of Carthage College were urged to continue the intellectual pursuit of knowledge and ideas during Sunday’s commencement ceremony.

Tim Tennyson, of Pleasant Prairie, delivered the address to his fellow students as recipient of the 2017 distinguished student award.

Tennyson, a political science major, gave a thoughtful address about “mental cultivation” and “self-reflection.”

Bullen Middle School sixth-grader Angel Pena collects a water sample Friday at the mouth of the Pike River as part of a five-week multi-disciplinary project studying the local watershed and erosion. ( KENOSHA NEWS PHOTO BY KEVIN POIRIER )

Bullen students learn about Pike River watershed

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Just as local conservationists attempt to imprint patterns of young fingerlings at the rearing pond, Somers resident Dave Giordano used a similar approach with Bullen Middle School students on Friday.

About 200 students visited the mouth of the Pike River to understand watershed connectivity and the basic principles of what happens on land ultimately ends up in the storm sewers, rivers and lakes.

“We work with kids to try and get them to understand all of this,” said Giordano, executive director of the Root-Pike Watershed Initiative Network. “I have five kids, and they’re constantly bringing things home about all kind of different subjects. It sticks with them. That’s why we feel it’s really important to educate early.”

Cody Mallory drops to the floor to show off his moves during the fourth annual "A Night to Remember" prom at Festival Hall in Racine on Sunday. ( KENOSHA NEWS PHOTO BY SEAN KRAJACIC )

Special-needs prom truly ‘A Night to Remember’

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RACINE — From the limo to the red carpet to the dance floor, the cheering, the hugs and the smiles seemed to never stop.

And the 120 special guests during Sunday’s “Night to Remember”prom wouldn’t have it any other way.

Sponsored by the Kenosha-based Great Lakes Church, the fourth annual event at Festival Hall honors special needs individuals, many of whom are students who in the Kenosha and Racine area.

Matt Geary, owner of Public Craft Brewing, talks about the block party Saturday in front of his establishment, 716 58th St., which served as a finale for Kenosha Craft Beer Week. ( KENOSHA NEWS PHOTO BY BILL SIEL )

Kenosha Craft Beer Week wraps with block party

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Chilly weather and early rain couldn’t dampen the second annual Kenosha Craft Beer Week block party Saturday.

Hosted by the Public Craft Brewing, the party stretched along 58th Street between Seventh and Eighth avenues. It featured eight live bands, food trucks and brews from Kenosha three craft brewers.

It signaled the tail end of the fourth annual Kenosha Craft Beer Week and coincided with the national American Craft Beer Week.

U.S. Coast Guard Petty Officer 3rd Class Caleb Lucree throws a dummy in the water during a man overboard drill outside of the Kenosha harbor on Tuesday. ( KENOSHA NEWS PHOTO BY KEVIN POIRIER )

Kenosha Coast Guard prepares for boating season, change in staffing

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Staffing of the U.S. Coast Guard station in Kenosha is changing.

While the station will be staffed around the clock, every day, from Memorial Day through Labor Day, staff will relocate to Milwaukee for the colder months, when Lake Michigan has fewer boats and swimmers. Milwaukee is the area’s parent unit.

“As far our service to the boaters, you’re probably not going to notice much of a change,” said Coast Guard Boatswain’s Matt 2nd Class Brian Cross “The difference will be in the winter time. When it’s frozen and there are no boats, Kenosha won’t be manned.”

‘20 Under 40’ awards unveiled by Kenosha News

Recognizing rising stars among younger professionals in Kenosha County is the aim of a new program and event for 2017.

Presented by the Kenosha News, “20 Under 40” will shine a light on members of the community who demonstrate leadership in business and the community.

“When people are nominated, they will be judged on professional achievement and community involvement,” said Kenosha News Publisher Randy Rickman. “Their impact on the community will also be considered. We think there are people out there who cruise under the radar but are really important to the community.”

Mark F. Moran, author of dozens of antiques reference guides, looks at Ian Bagley's grandfather's lithograph during a community antiques appraisal at Southwest Library Saturday. ( KENOSHA NEWS PHOTO BY KEVIN POIRIER )

Kenoshans get their keepsakes valued at appraisal event

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Some had cleaned out their attics. Others pulled out old toys, lamps, sewing machines and keepsake pictures.

But they all came to Southwest Library Saturday with one hope — that there was great value in their old stuff.

Mark F. Moran, a noted antiques and fine arts appraiser, spent three hours appraising the pieces. Some learned their items were worth several hundred dollars. Most, however, learned otherwise.

Mustafa Ahmed laughs with classmates during a World Dragon Shooting Day benefit for him at Brompton School Friday night. In back are his family members (from left) Yaser (brother), Souad (mother), Aziza (sister) and Lina Rios, a cousin. ( BILL SIEL )

‘Everyone has a dragon to slay’

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Mustafa Ahmed was enjoying his final weeks of summer when he began feeling pain in his back.

After numerous hospital visits, doctors found a cancerous mass on the boy’s spine. The usually high-energy Brompton School student required immediate surgery and treatment. The first-grader entered the 2017 school year on monthly chemotherapy regimens. He is about halfway through his treatments.

Brompton, a Kenosha charter school, quickly rallied behind Mustafa and created “Mustafa’s Army.” His army battled dragons Friday evening during a “World Dragon Shooting Day” fundraiser for Mustafa. Students and parents purchased $5 pictures of dragons and shot arrows at them in the school gym.

State Rep. Peter Barca, D-Kenosha, minority leader of the Assembly, has called for a special legislative session on jobs and economic growth. ( SEAN KRAJACIC )

Barca calls for special session on jobs, economic growth

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In the wake of a report from the state’s Legislative Audit Bureau and a report from an outside foundation, Rep. Peter Barca, D-Kenosha, has called for a special legislative session to focus on job creation and economic growth for Wisconsin.

“This is nothing new,” said Barca about the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation report that places Wisconsin last among all 50 states in business startup activity for the third year in a row.

“For years, we’ve been trailing the rest of the country in entrepreneurship. This trend must end,” Barca said. “We need to invest in our world-class universities, (the) keys to the creation of new ideas and invention.”

A view of the van that struck a bus carrying students to Westosha Central High School Friday morning. ( Image courtesy WISN 12 )

No sign driver tried to stop before colliding with bus

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It appeared the driver of a van made no attempt to slow down before smashing into the back of a Central High School bus that had stopped on a rural road to pick up a student on Friday.

A 21-year-old Antioch, Ill., man was killed in the crash, which also left four Central students with minor injuries. The man’s name has not yet been released.

The crash happened in the 24500 block of Wilmot Road (Highway C) in Salem at about 7 a.m. The bus had just stopped to pick up a student, who had stepped onto the bus and sat down when the collision occurred.

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