May 3, 2016
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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


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


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


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


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.

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


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.

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


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.

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


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


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.

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


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


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.

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


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.

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


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.

House fire on highway N ( KEVIN POIRIER )

PHOTOS: Paris home burns for second time


A Paris home was destroyed in an early-morning fire Friday; the house was the site of an earlier arson fire this year.

The Paris Fire Department was alerted to the fire at the vacant 19400 38th St., at 5:17 a.m. The single-story home was gutted by the fire before firefighters were able to extinguish the blaze.

Firefighters from several departments provided mutual aid, and 38th Street was shut to traffic throughout the morning.

Dennis Duchene and Meredith Jurnisko from Kenosha's Convention and Visitors Bureau during an interview at the Kenosha News Thursday. ( KENOSHA NEWS PHOTO BY BILL SIEL )

Tourism a consistent boost to local economy


In 1986, at the onset of perhaps the lowest point in the local economy since the Great Depression, the Kenosha Area Convention & Visitors Bureau was established.

For the first few years, in the wake of large numbers of newly unemployed residents, darkened manufacturing plants, and a crumbling local infrastructure, it was difficult to envision Kenosha County as a tourist destination.

Thirty years later, a much different picture has emerged. Tourism has become a vital part of the local economy, creating new jobs, adding tax revenue and enhancing the overall quality of life in the community.

Pat Mangi,, left, Patty Friss, center, and Andrea Scheuermann, far right, get ready to bring fresh flower arrangements to residents at the Hospitality Nursing and Rehabilitation Center. Kerry Andersen, third from left, and Crystal Batey, second from right, join them. ( Brian Passino )

Flower deliveries brighten days of nursing home residents


A Kenosha woman is working to create a new organization to brighten the lives of people living in nursing homes by linking volunteers with elderly residents.

Kerry Andersen launched New Friends this spring, hoping to build a network of volunteer visitors.

“I really have a strong sense that there are people out there who would like to do this, especially people who have had a loved one in a nursing home in the past,” she said.

Parent Steffany Caputo speaks during a meeting between area residents and parents of KTEC-West students at the school Tuesday. ( KENOSHA NEWS PHOTO BY BRIAN PASSINO )

Parents, residents vent about KTEC-West traffic woes


The only thing area residents and parents of students at Kenosha School of Technology Enhanced Curriculum-West agree on is that there’s a major traffic problem.

During a meeting Tuesday evening at the charter school, 5710 32nd Ave., angry and frustrated residents voiced their concerns over the dearth of street space during afternoon student pickup. It was designed to provide Kevin Risch, a project manager for Clark Dietz Inc., with ideas for possible solutions.

Some complained of “uncooperative” and “lazy” parents who sometimes park in the middle of roadways or block homeowners in their driveways while waiting on their kids. Others complained of speeders who endanger the safety of young students and end up sideswiping their vehicles.

Mars Cheese Castle opposes Paris-Somers land deal

Mars Cheese Castle wants to join other town of Paris property owners trying to stop annexation by the village of Somers.

An “intervenors’ proposed complaint” filed Friday in Kenosha County Circuit Court by Milwaukee attorney Alan H. Marcuvitz on behalf of the business alleges his clients were not provided proper legal notice of the April 7 hearing at which the boundary agreement between Paris and Somers was approved.

If granted by Judge Bruce Schroeder, Marcuvitz’s clients could be included as plaintiffs in a temporary restraining order Schroeder issued April 15 against Somers.

Some of the 17 dogs taken Saturday from a filthy car housing homeless people are shown at Safe Harbor Humane Society. ( KENOSHA NEWS PHOTO BY SEAN KRAJACIC )

Shelter caring for 17 dogs taken from filthy car


The 17 dogs confiscated from a dilapidated vehicle being used to house homeless people are adjusting to their temporary home at Safe Harbor Humane Society.

“They are eating and drinking well; some of them have injuries,” said Megan Gonterman, executive director of the humane society. “The dogs are really scared. It’s a very stressful time for them.”

Some of the dogs are being treated for giardia, an intestinal infection that causes bloody diarrhea and stomach pain, and are being kept away from people and other animals until cured.

Elizabeth DeJesus ( SUBMITTED PHOTO )

Woman charged in Sunday stabbing


A Kenosha woman has been charged with several felonies for a stabbing reported about 1 a.m. Sunday.

Police were called to Aurora Medical Center’s emergency room, where they found a man being treated for seven or eight stab wounds in his arm and chest. He told police he had been stabbed in his vehicle while in the 2400 block of 52nd Street.

The man received 33 stitches or staples to close the wounds.

Teens question Unified’s transgender bathroom policy

Advocates of transgender students called on the Kenosha Unified School Board Monday to allow them to use restrooms in schools and district buildings for gender with which they identify.

Earlier this month, Ash Whitaker, 16, a Tremper High School transgender student who identifies as male, took on administration when he was initially not allowed to run for prom king. The decision was later overruled after public pressure locally. His case made national headlines.

While Whitaker won victory on one front, bathroom use continues to be an issue, he said. Whitaker, who transitioned from female to male, was not allowed to use boys’ restrooms, despite providing the district with documentation.

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