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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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History Mystery: Jane Addams spoke twice in Kenosha


Question: What social activist and suffragette came to Kenosha on at least two occasions to speak?

Answer: Chicago’s Jane Addams, co-founder of Hull-House, who received the Nobel Peace Prize in 1931, was here in 1903 and 1912.

Judge questions plea deal in sexual assault

A drastically reduced charge in a child sex assault case canceled a trial, but raised questions for the judge on whether justice has been served.

In accepting a plea deal, Jerry Kerkman, 54, was ordered Monday morning to spend one year on probation, with 59 days in the county jail, after being found guilty of fourth-degree sexual assault.

Teacher gets prison for sexual relationship with student


The former Bullen Middle School teacher who had a sexual relationship with a high school student is headed to jail.

Christopher Hemba, 32, of Racine, pleaded guilty to a felony, sexual assault of a student by a school staff member.

Documents: Drug deal gone bad led to Kenosha man’s death


Law enforcement officials suspect Andrew Obregon may have killed Tywon Anderson over a dispute about a drug deal-related robbery.

According to documents filed as part of a search warrant request, witnesses said Obregon admitted to at least two people that he had killed Anderson, saying he shot him after Anderson had struck him and after he overheard Anderson threatening to kill him.

UPDATE: Sheriff details latest in Obregon hunt


This article has been revised since its original posting.

The Kenosha County Sheriff’s Department is actively pursuing tips from the community, trying to flush Andrew Obregon out of hiding.

Refinery work blamed for spike in gas prices


Kenosha motorists can expect slightly higher gasoline prices over the next couple of weeks as Midwestern refineries undergo routine maintenance and repairs.

While the average price of unleaded regular across most of the state is at $2.49 per gallon, Kenosha County motorists can expect prices to average around $2.57, said Nick Jarmusz, a spokesman with AAA Wisconsin.

State, local officials bask in Amazon’s glow


It was a big pat on the back Wednesday morning for Amazon and the government officials who helped bring the online retail giant to Kenosha.

Gov. Scott Walker and other state and local officials, business partners and the students who created a sculpture for the facility came together to applaud the new fulfillment center and the cooperation that let it happen.

Man struck, killed by Metra train


A man died Wednesday night when he was struck by a northbound Metra train on railroad tracks behind Simmons Field, 7817 Sheridan Road.

The man’s body was discovered by the tracks near a storage business after a call to authorities at 5:38 p.m., according to Sgt. James Beller of the Kenosha Police Department.

Deputy charged with pocketing drug evidence


The Kenosha Drug Operations Group set up a sting to catch a Kenosha County sheriff’s deputy suspected of pocketing drugs during investigations.

Brenda A. Bullamore-Hysell, 36, of Kenosha, is charged with misconduct in public office and obstructing an officer, after the summer setup. She could be sentenced to 18 months in prison, if convicted.

Obregon now a homicide suspect


Andrew Obregon is armed, addicted to crack, formally named as a homicide suspect — and still on the run.

Law enforcement engaged in a short chase with a white Ford pickup truck and subsequent search of fields near 18th Street and 240th Avenue late Tuesday night, but there was no word as of midnight if anyone had been apprehended.

Amazon opens its doors


In operation since early June, the Amazon fulfillment center in Kenosha has already doubled its projected employment and is poised for more growth.

The Seattle-based online retailer opened the fulfillment center with 1,000 employees, nine months after opening a sortation center with 500 employees.

Challenges seen for county budget

Mental health services, courtroom renovations and replacement and overhaul of a key financial system are among the major items driving the proposed Kenosha County budget for next year.

On Tuesday night, County Executive Jim Kreuser presented a budget that is expected to be funded with a 2.5 percent increase in the tax levy, which will rise from $60.6 million about $62.1 million next year.

    Nass cancels vote on civil service bill

    MADISON (AP) — The fast track for a Republican-sponsored bill making it easier to hire and fire state workers slowed down a bit Monday, with the cancellation of a committee vote that would have cleared the way for the full Senate taking the measure up next week.

    It’s not yet clear whether the cancellation will be just a speed bump or sign of larger problems for the bill that would overhaul Wisconsin’s 110-year-old civil service system that covers about 30,000 state workers.

    State Capitol undergoes repairs

    MADISON (AP) — Nearly 200 feet up, out of view of the schoolchildren on field trips and the thousands of other tourists to Wisconsin’s Capitol, there’s a problem.

    Inside the outer dome, beyond the interior one seen from the rotunda and adorned at the top with the “Resources of Wisconsin” mural, plaster is peeling away from the bricks laid in place more than 100 years ago when the Capitol was built. The plaster is deteriorating due to a moisture problem caused by humidity changes, leaking water and non-breathable oil-based paint.

    Walker picks conservative high court hopeful


    MADISON — Gov. Scott Walker appointed conservative-backed appellate judge Rebecca Bradley to the Wisconsin Supreme Court on Friday, giving her the advantage of incumbency heading into the spring election.

    Walker introduced Bradley at a news conference Friday, formalizing a widely expected move. It’s the third time Walker has appointed Bradley to a judicial opening in three years.

    UW panel backs lifting out-of-state cap

    MADISON (AP) — A University of Wisconsin System committee approved a plan to lift UW-Madison’s cap on out-of-state students Thursday after the campus’ chancellor and system president insisted they need more freedom to attract fresh talent for Wisconsin employers.

    Chancellor Rebecca Blank and system President Ray Cross told the Board of Regents’ education committee that the number of Wisconsin high school graduates has been declining since 2009, resulting in decreasing college enrollment and exacerbating the state’s shortage of skilled workers. Lifting UW-Madison’s cap would allow the university to attract more top students from out of state who, they hope, would remain in Wisconsin after graduation.

    GOP bill calls for reforming elections board

    MADISON (AP) — Republicans moved Wednesday to assert more control over Wisconsin elections, introducing bills that would dramatically reshape the state elections board and rewrite campaign finance law.

    The GOP has been talking for months about overhauling the Government Accountability Board, a group of six retired nonpartisan judges that oversees state elections and administers ethics laws. The party is furious with the board over how it handled recall elections and its involvement in a secret investigation into Republican Gov. Scott Walker’s campaign.

    Civil service bill draws mixed reaction at hearing

    MADISON (AP) — State workers testified Tuesday against a Republican-backed bill that would make it easier to hire and fire public employees, saying the proposed overhaul of Wisconsin’s 110-year-old civil service system would lead to political patronage and cronyism.

    Members of Gov. Scott Walker’s administration joined with the bill’s sponsor as the only testifiers in support of the measure that is moving quickly through the Legislature. The Senate Labor and Government Reform Committee hearing came just one week after the bill was publicly released.

    Report: UW tuition balances shrank in 2014-15

    MADISON (AP) — The University of Wisconsin System’s tuition balance shrank last fiscal year and will drop dramatically over the next year as the system contends with a Republican-imposed tuition freeze and budget cuts, according to system financial reports and projections released Monday.

    The reports show the system’s four-year schools, two-year campuses and UW-Extension finished the year that ended June 30 with $337 million in tuition money on hand. That’s about 15 percent less than the $395 million that was left over at the end of the previous fiscal year.

    Local briefs

    All eight Kenosha County girls volleyball teams will be in action tonight.

    Home matches pit Racine Case at Bradford (6:30 p.m.), Central at Wilmot (6:30), Racine Lutheran at Shoreland Lutheran (7 p.m.) and Lake Country Lutheran at Christian Life (6:45).

    Monday’s local ticker



    Christian Life 1, St. Joseph 1

    Gordon, Chargers fall at buzzer

    SAN DIEGO — Le’Veon Bell scored on a 1-yard wildcat run as time expired to give Mike Vick and the Pittsburgh Steelers a stunning 24-20 victory over the San Diego Chargers on Monday night.

    With 5 seconds left, Bell took the direct snap, ran left and was buried in traffic before diving for the end zone and getting the ball across the line as Donald Butler dragged him down.

    ‘I’ve come a long way’


    FRISCO, Texas — As he inches closer toward his goal of becoming a college or NBA head coach, Kenosha native Nick Van Exel is still somewhat haunted by the events of December 2010.

    A Dallas County jury sentenced Van Exel’s son, then 22-year-old Nickey Maxwell Van Exel, to 60 years in prison for the shooting death of his longtime friend, Bradley Eyo. The jury surmised that the younger Van Exel shot Eyo and then dumped his body on the east side of Dallas.

    Cub power!

    CHICAGO — The young sluggers of the Chicago Cubs are making themselves at home in the playoffs.

    On a rare off night for Jake Arrieta, the Windy City kids bashed their way to the brink of the NL Championship Series — and a spot in the record book.

    Monday Morning Quarterback: Panther duo thrives in the air



    The connection between Wilmot quarterback A.J. Frisby and wide receiver Christian Janssen continues to be productive.

    Local briefs: Qualifiers added for state tennis

    Kenosha County added a few more representative for the upcoming Wisconsin Interscholastic Athletic Association Girls State Individual Tennis Tournament.

    Bradford freshman singles player Giana Apostoli (12-5) was added to the Division-1 field as a special qualifier, the WIAA announced over the weekend.

    Monday Morning Quarterback: Bradford backup QB comes ready to play


    One thing the Bradford football team has been able to count on this season is that backup quarterback Tony Martin will be ready if called upon.

    The sophomore came in midway through the third quarter of Friday’s 37-6 Southeast Conference win over Tremper at Ameche Field with the game still in doubt when senior starter Mitchell Hoff suffered a head injury after being popped near the sideline at the Tremper 12-yard line.

    Rangers fit to be tied in another OT


    Even two overtimes weren’t enough to settle Sunday’s Great Lakes Valley Conference clash between the UW-Parkside and Southern Indiana men’s soccer teams.

    The teams played to a 1-1 draw spanning 110 minutes at Wood Road Field in Somers.

    Prep ticker: Bradford boys run to first place


    Shorewood Invitational

    College ticker: Rangers runners first in Rosa Invitational


    Lucian Rosa Invitational

    Top volleyball teams invade Central


    The field at Saturday’s Central Smash was a loaded one to say the least, with several of the state’s top girls volleyball programs in attendance.

    And for Tremper and Central, it was a chance to see where each program sits as the campaign approaches the post-season.

    Red Men run over Elmhurst

    The Carthage football team ran for a season-high 336 yards on 40 carries in its 31-17 College Conference of Illinois and Wisconsin victory over Elmhurst (Ill.) on Saturday afternoon at Langhorst Field.

    In doing so, the Red Men (2-3, 1-1 CCIW) snapped a four-game losing streak to the Bluejays (3-2, 0-2).

    Lancers take care of business



    KENOSHA — After taking care of business in a game that started poorly and ended a bit nervously, the St. Joseph football team was free to look ahead to Week 9.

    Turnovers holding back Carthage

    The turnover battle has been a lopsided one for the Carthage football team this season.

    In four games, the Red Men have turned it over 14 times (11 interceptions, three fumbles) and have only four takeaways of their own (two interceptions, two fumbles).

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UPDATE: Sheriff details latest in Obregon hunt
State, local officials bask in Amazon’s glow
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