December 4, 2016
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NOW: 32°
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Marilee Lehmann, of Kenosha, and her friend Juergen Witt, of Pleasant Prairie, look at a display at the Kenosha History Center during Saturday's holiday open house. ( KENOSHA NEWS PHOTO BY KEVIN POIRIER )

Cars and Christmas


Kenosha’s past as a hub for auto manufacturing was at center stage for the Kenosha History Center’s annual “Historic Holiday” open house.

The Saturday afternoon event showcased the center’s new spotlight exhibit, “Cars of the Decades.” The exhibit features one car from each decade of auto manufacturing in the city, beginning with a 1902 Jeffery Rambler and ending with a 1972 AMC Gremlin.

Curator Cynthia Nelson said all of the vehicles on display are on loan from collectors. By happenstance, all of the cars displayed in the center of the museum are similar in color, although the style shows a sharp shift in design over the years.

Janice Osbourne smiles after receiving a pile of wrapped Christmas gifts from Mrs. Claus for her children Shariiya, 6, left, Sha-mirah, 4, (behind her) and Madison Phillips carrying her own son Andre Daniel, 2, at Saturday's outreach event at St. Joseph Catholic Academy. ( KENOSHA NEWS PHOTO BY KEVIN POIRIER )

St. Joseph brings Christmas to 700


On Saturday, just under 700 people — including 450 children — found the Christmas spirit at St. Joseph Catholic Academy.

The event was the school’s 15th annual community outreach event, which included a performance of the school production of “Bah, Humbug! Scrooge’s Christmas Carol,” gift-giving and visits with Santa.

“It’s pretty exciting when you see all the kids and families coming. They are so excited, and so many have come for years in a row. They look forward to it,” Vicki Alia, program coordinator, said.

Kenosha Police Officer Dusty Nichols and Jennifer Monroy-Alcaide, 10, break into an impromptu hula hoop showdown during the annual Shop with a Cop event Saturday at Meijer. Store employees Bethany Houtsinger, right, and Domonique Cleveland look on. ( KENOSHA NEWS PHOTO BY KEVIN POIRIER )

Cops, kids connect in toy aisle


Uniformed Kenosha police officers took off-duty time Saturday morning to create community ties and bear witness to Christmas joy.

The occasion was the annual Shop with a Cop event, which has been conducted for more that 20 years by the Kenosha Professional Police Association.

Sixty-five students from area schools were chosen to partake in the shopping at Meijer, 7701 Green Bay Road.

Kenosha police detective Jason Melichar, left, and Kenosha firefighter Scott Arneberg pose with the special burgers created for the Battle of the Burger, which begins Wednesday at the Waterfront Warehouse. ( KENOSHA NEWS PHOTO BY SEAN KRAJACIC )

Burger battle to raise money for charities


Most taverns will go to great lengths to avoid a fight on their premises.

In an except to this rule, Waterfront Warehouse, 3322 Sheridan Road., is asking for a fight: a Battle of the Burgers pitting the Kenosha Professional Police Association against the Kenosha Firefighters C.A.R.E., the charitable arm of the firefighters union.

On Wednesday, the restaurant will debut two customized burgers — one representing each organization. The burger ordered the most often through Dec. 31 will win the honor of being listed on Waterfront Warehouse’s menu during the coming year.

Jordan Reyes ( BILL SIEL )

These students are good Samaritans


An annual campaign at Indian Trail High School and Academy focuses on helping the families of students in need.

The Indian Trail Good Samaritan Fund operates each year before the holidays, gathering money from school staff, students and families, then using the money they collect to help the families of students who are struggling financially.

Guidance counselor Art Preuss said he and other staff started the program in 2006.


Fourth suspect arrested in Kenosha murder


A 16-year-old Chicago boy charged in the murder of Kenosha resident Willie Owens is now in custody.

Latonio Simpson is one of five people charged charged in Owens’ death. He was fatally shot Oct. 24 while trying to intervene in a fight in his front yard on the 1900 block of 62nd Street. Three of the suspects have been in custody since shortly after the homicide, but Simpson and a second Chicago man — James L. Butler, 22 — were being sought on warrants.

Simpson and Butler are believed to have each shot Owens.

Kenosha Community Health Center, 6226 14th Ave. ( KENOSHA NEWS FILE PHOTO BY BILL SIEL )

Kenosha aldermen want feds to investigate KCHC


Three Kenosha aldermen want the City Council to request a federal investigation into the Kenosha Community Health Center, another mark in the now-sour relationship between community leaders and the nonprofit meant to assist low-income residents.

If passed by City Council Monday night, the city will formally request that the Health Resources and Services Administration — which oversees federally funded health centers — open an investigation into the community center.

“It’s a result of the center’s unwillingness to address some very specific and important questions,” said resolution co-sponsor Ald. Kevin Mathewson. “It’s seems very odd, very suspicious, like they’re hiding something.”

Kenosha County Clerk Mary Schuch-Krebs, left, gives instructions to tabulators Connie Tews (seated), of Somers, and Verna Lamothe, of Kenosha. Behind them, Green Party Observer Steve Poland watches the process. ( KEVIN POIRIER )

Kenosha County presidential recount aims to show integrity


Kenosha County Clerk Mary Schuch-Krebs said today that the hand count of presidential votes is proving that the county’s election machines are accurate.

Into its second day, the statewide presidential recount is going well locally and by noon Friday the results in seven of the 14 municipalities — about 10,000 ballots — had been tabulated.

There are 77,576 ballots total in Kenosha County to be counted by the 8 p.m. Dec. 12 deadline.

An angler works his line in the Kenosha Harbor near the U.S. Coast Guard station on Wednesday.After enjoying one of the area's warmest Novembers on record, local residents can expect more active weather patterns coming with Thursday's start to the meteorological winter. There is a chance of snow locally on Sunday and again in the middle of next week. ( KENOSHA NEWS PHOTO BY SEAN KRAJACIC )

Trade the mowers for the blowers


It might finally be time to put away the lawn mower.

After enjoying one of the area’s warmest Novembers on record, local residents can expect more active weather patterns coming with Thursday’s start to the meteorological winter, according to National Weather Service meteorologist Marcia Cronce.

“We’re seeing the pattern shifting,” Cronce said. “This is very typical for what we’d see in late fall and winter, a pattern change. We’re getting into our normal time of change with more active weather.”

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Man held for stealing scents


A Milwaukee man is being held in Kenosha County Jail awaiting trial for a 2015 robbery from a Pleasant Prairie cosmetic store.

That theft was reportedly part of a multi-state spree of hits on the retail chain by a group dubbed “the Grab and Go Five.”

Travis Arrington, 31, is being held on $10,000 cash bond after being transferred to Kenosha’s jail this week from an Iowa prison where he served a sentence for a robbery on the retailer there.

A group of paid volunteers work with county staff to hand recount ballots from the presidential election of Nov. 8 at the kenosha County Job Center on Thursday. The recount is part of a statewide effort to confirm vote totals, as requested and paid for by Green Party candidate Jill Stein. ( BILL SIEL )

County hand recount starts smoothly


Kenosha County Clerk Mary Schuch-Krebs and 20 tabulators began checking nearly 78,000 local ballots for the state’s presidential recount on Thursday at the Kenosha County Job Center.

Workers have until 8 p.m. Dec. 12 to complete the hand recount.

Representatives of president-elect Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton and Green Party candidate Jill Stein were present for the recount along with a member of the Kenosha County Corporation Counsel.

Jeffrey Schmeckel testifies during a hearing in June. On Thursday, he got probation and a small fine for his role in the deaths of numerous calves on his two farms. ( KENOSHA NEWS FILE PHOTO BY SEAN KRAJACIC )

Farmer charged with mistreating cattle gets probation


Even after pleading guilty to one count of mistreatment of animals causing death, a Brighton farmer did not seem inclined to take responsibility for the deaths of 80 calves on two farms.

Jeffrey Schmeckel, 32, was charged last year with three felony counts of mistreatment of animals causing death and seven counts of intentionally providing improper animal shelter and sanitation.

Charges came after an inspector came upon terrible conditions in the Brighton farm, where dead calves lay in several feet of manure, tied among still living but skeletal animals. Piles of dead calves were behind the barn, and rotting carcasses lay in the barn’s walkways

A car receives a warning ticket alerting the owner to alternate-side street parking in this photo from 2014. The parking restrictions start Thursday and continue through March 31. ( KENOSHA NEWS FILE PHOTO BY SEAN KRAJACIC )

Alternate-side parking restrictions begin


It’s that time of year again.

Alternate-side parking begins Thursday and runs through March 31.

From 1 to 6 a.m., city residents must park on the proper side of the street, depending on the date. Violators may be ticketed $30 by Kenosha Police for each infraction and risk having their vehicles towed.

Families line up to take part in the Holiday House toy and food distribution last December at the Kenosha County Job Center, 8600 Sheridan Road. This year's event is Dec. 19-22, with registration due by Dec. 8. ( KENOSHA NEWS FILE PHOTO BY BILL SIEL )

Registration underway for Holiday House


Registration for the next Holiday House — the Christmas Toy and Food Basket Distribution — continues through Dec. 8.

Holiday House is a series of events that provides assistance to Kenosha County children in need and their families during the holiday season.

The events include the Winter Wraps Children’s Coat Distribution, which took place in October, and the toy/food distribution, which will be Dec. 19-22. The giveaway is coordinated by Goodwill Industries of Southeastern Wisconsin Inc.

Inspiring Designs by Christine Johnson fashioned a tree featuring a Nativity scene among its branches. ( kenosha news photo by Elizabeth Snyder )

Snyder: Need a little Christmas now? Head to Kemper Center


This is the time of year when I usually have visions of sugar plums dancing in my head.

In 2016, however, it’s been more difficult than usual to focus on the festive when we’re just a few weeks past a most divisive presidential campaign. (And, no, draping tinsel over your Trump yard sign does not count as holiday decorating.)

But there is a place — right here in Kenosha — that offers a welcome dose of holiday splendor, with a sprinkling of nostalgia thrown in among the twinkling lights.

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Spring election begins Thursday


Would-be candidates for spring elections may begin circulating nomination papers Thursday.

The deadline to file papers with the appropriate municipal or school clerk’s office is 5 p.m. Jan. 3.

If required, primaries will take place Feb. 21. The spring election will be April 4.

Caleb Rausch stands Tuesday with trees he planted in 2008. He planted the trees with the goal of selling them to raise money for college. ( KENOSHA NEWS PHOTO BY BRIAN PASSINO )

Trees for tuition


When Caleb Rausch planted 200 saplings at age 10, he didn't know they would grow into a college fund.

"We planted them over two days in July of 2008," Rausch said, adding his father Timothy Rausch helped him with the project.

The trees matured, and his hard work has come to fruition just in time to provide a source of income for Caleb, 18, a Burlington High School graduate, to offset his college tuition.

Frank Elementary School first-grader Luis Lagares hands Uptown Brass Pick 'n Save cashier Mary Fugate a dollar to buy two non-perishable food items on Tuesday. First-graders sold cookbooks to buy food, which was then donated to the Shalom Center. ( KENOSHA NEWS PHOTO BY KEVIN POIRIER )

Learning the spirit of giving


It was crowded in the canned goods aisle at the Uptown Brass Pick ’n Save Tuesday morning as 66 young students from Frank Elementary School gathered a harvest of non-perishable items for the Shalom Center.

Each of the students had a dollar to spend in the spirit of giving.

“Mrs. Ball has a couple of extra dollars if we go over,” teacher Georgette Ball announced to the group before entering the store.

Carol Ricker, left, said her daughter saved every penny she had as she deposits them in the Salvation Army kettle as Joe Goetluck rings the bell at Festival Foods in Kenosha on Tuesday. ( KENOSHA NEWS PHOTO BY BRIAN PASSINO )

Salvation Army hopes kettles keep clinking


It’s Red Kettle time again, with the Salvation Army of Kenosha hoping to raise $126,000 this holiday season.

To do that, the organization is using more bell ringers and more locations and depending on the generous spirit of shoppers.

Last year’s drive raised $100,000.

Mary Coffey is reportedly the executive director of Kenosha Community Health Center. A memo stating she had resigned has never been verified. ( KENOSHA NEWS FILE PHOTO BY SEAN KRAJACIC )

Health center official breaks silence


Breaking her silence, Mary Coffey, reportedly the executive director of the Kenosha Community Health Center, went public Tuesday on WGTD 91.1 FM’s “Morning Show” hosted by Gregory Berg.

But for some, what she said left questions unanswered and fostered a few new ones.

After hearing the interview, Ald. David Bogdala went as far as to say he felt “the leadership of the center is doing everything it can to ignore legitimate questions.”

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