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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Twin Lakes man charged in fatal lawnmower crash

The Twin Lakes man who fatally struck a teenager driving a lawnmower last summer was using heroin at the time of the crash, according to court records.

Thomas H. Johnston IV, 28, is charged with vehicular homicide while using heroin. If convicted, he could spend up to 15 years in prison and have his license revoked for five years.

Work begins on 104th Avenue

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Workers have begun repaving portions of 104th Avenue that were badly deteriorated after the harsh winter.

Work began this week on the portion of 104th Avenue between 60th Street and 64th Street.

EMCO, village push for rail crossing signals on Highway H

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The president of a Pleasant Prairie chemical distributor is warning that a lack of warning signals at a rail spur leading to the facility could cause a disaster.

Speaking at a hearing Wednesday, EMCO Chemical Distributors President Edward Polen said he supported the village of Pleasant Prairie’s call for warning signals to be installed at the rail spur crossing at the 9600 block of Highway H (88th Avenue).

Most schools see increase in ACT scores

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Wisconsin’s average ACT score increased slightly last school year, with the state’s average the second highest in the nation.

According to data from the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction, the 2014 average composite score increased one-tenth of a point to 22.2. About 47,000 Wisconsin students took the test, representing about 73 percent of the state’s public and private high school graduates.

Unified seeks to fill 100 open positions

Kenosha public schools are still working to fill about 100 open positions for the approaching school year.

The school district lists 85 open certified staff positions and 26 support-staff openings in its employment listings. Many are part-time positions or one-year contracts.

Parks Commission sets special meeting on Kennedy Drive

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The Kenosha Parks Commission has announced it will consider the master plan for Kennedy and Pennoyer parks on Sept. 2.

The plan calls for closing Kennedy Drive and turning it into a walking path with scenic overlooks.

New analysis projects Medicaid expansion’s effect on counties

More than 2,800 additional Kenosha County residents would be eligible for BadgerCare if Wisconsin would accept federal money for Medicaid expansion, according to an analysis by an advocacy group.

Citizen Action of Wisconsin used data from the non-partisan Wisconsin Legislative Fiscal Bureau to do a county-by-county estimate of the number of people would be eligible for Medicaid if the state accepted the federal money, and the financial impact for each county.

County eyes Brookside overhaul

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Brookside Care Center could be in store for a major expansion and renovation if the Kenosha County Board approves County Executive Jim Kreuser’s proposed $18.6 million project.

As presented, the project would be funded by bonds paid back by projected increases in Brookside revenue as a result of the proposed changes.

Authorities eye troubled rail crossing

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PLEASANT PRAIRIE — Authorities are butting heads on what to do with a troubled commercial railroad crossing that saw two accidents in as many weeks earlier this summer.

The location in question is on Highway H (88th Avenue) just south of 95th Street, where a spur crosses into EMCO Chemical for daily tanker deliveries.

Zelich enters not-guilty plea in suitcase death

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A former West Allis police officer accused of killing a woman in Kenosha and stuffing her body in a suitcase pleaded not guilty Monday.

Steven Zelich, 52, appeared in Kenosha County Circuit Court for arraignment on charges of first-degree intentional homicide and hiding the corpse of 19-year-old college student Jenny Gamez of Cottage Grove, Ore. He also is charged in Walworth County with hiding the corpses of Gamez and 37-year-old Laura Simonson of Farmington, Minn.

Aldermen seek to keep Kennedy Drive open

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A number of aldermen have crafted a resolution asking the Parks Commission to consider saving Kennedy Drive.

Parks Commission members will soon vote on a master plan for Kennedy and Pennoyer parks which includes a proposal to close Kennedy Drive and turn the road into a walking path with scenic overlooks.

Kenoshans to vote on Medicaid expansion

Voters in Kenosha will be able to weigh in on the expansion of Medicaid in Wisconsin when they vote this November.

On top of voting for governor, attorney general and a number of other offices, city voters will be asked whether state leaders should accept millions in federal funding for the expansion of Medicaid, a provision of the Affordable Care Act that Gov. Scott Walker previously denied.

Snapshot: Renaissance Faire whip cracker combines skills, laughs

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Adam “Crack” Winrich is a professional whip cracker who performs in a “Fire Whip” show at the Bristol Renaissance Faire. Winrich, who is originally from Fall Creek, Wis., and has been performing professional since 2006, has traveled extensively with his performances.

Q: How did you first get interested in whips?

Northwestern’s visit to Parkside spurs Kenosha potshots

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1

Heard any Kenosha jokes lately?

What about this one? Kenosha was so boring that “someone once paid a cab driver $140 to help him escape Kenosha.”

Small animal auction helps cap fair’s final day

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WILMOT — The small animal auction drew quacks, clucks, nibbles and a heap of fun for observers and bidders at the Kenosha County Fair Sunday afternoon.

Among the auctioned were ducks, geese, chickens and rabbits during the live event on the last day of the fair.

    UW System seeks additional $95 million

    MADISON (AP) — University of Wisconsin System officials want Gov. Scott Walker to give them an additional $95 million in tax dollars in the next state budget to fund a new plan to create jobs, boost graduation numbers and deal with a tuition freeze.

    The Board of Regents is scheduled to take up the plan and vote on whether to send it on to the governor during a meeting at UW-Oshkosh today. Regents President Michael Falbo didn’t immediately return a telephone message Wednesday morning.

    Documents in Walker probe remain sealed

    MADISON (AP) — A federal appeals court may hold off on releasing nearly three dozen sealed documents tied to a secret investigation into Gov. Scott Walker’s campaign, according to a lawyer representing groups which want the documents made public.

    A coalition of media and open government advocates had asked the court to release sealed documents in the case. The court had planned to release 34 sealed documents Tuesday.

    Targets of probe ask court not to unseal documents

    MADISON (AP) — Three targets of a secret investigation into possible illegal coordination between Gov. Scott Walker’s campaign and conservative interest groups have asked a federal appeals court not to release sealed documents pertaining to the case.

    The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals planned to make 34 documents public today. Wisconsin Club for Growth filed a motion on Monday asking the court to keep nine documents sealed. The motion followed a request late Friday by two unnamed parties asking the court not to release any of the 34 documents.

    State media, cities compromise on open records

    MADISON (AP) — Wisconsin open records advocates and municipal leaders have brokered a truce in a fight over police record redactions, creating a request form that allows the public to get clean copies if they reveal who they are and why they want the documents.

    The deal is a departure from Wisconsin’s open records law, which does not require either piece of information.

    Mini pot-bellied pig provides comfort to Eau Claire veteran

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    EAU CLAIRE (AP) — A miniature pot-bellied pig has brightened the life and home of a 37-year-old Eau Claire veteran.

    Shane Wilsonsaid that he received the 5-month-old pig as a wedding present in May.

    AG candidates clash on big issues

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    MADISON — They both love motorcycles, earned law degrees in Madison and have spent years fighting crime in the courtroom, but those are about the only things Wisconsin’s two attorney general candidates have in common.

    Republican Brad Schimel and Democrat Susan Happ have vastly different philosophies, promising a far more intense campaign leading up to the Nov. 4 election than the sleepy Democratic primary contest that wrapped up this week.

    Recount likely in open congressional seat’s primary race

    MADISON (AP) — A recount appeared likely Wednesday in the Republican primary for Wisconsin’s lone open congressional seat, where unofficial results showed just 214 votes separating two state senators.

    State Sen. Glenn Grothman led state Sen. Joe Leibham by just three-tenths of a percentage point, and 1,500 absentee ballots were outstanding, but it wasn’t clear how many of those had been returned or were Republican ballots. They could be counted if postmarked in time.

    Prep football season begins Thursday night

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    KENOSHA — The Indian Trail football team will get a jump-start on the 2014 season when it hosts Plymouth in a non-conference game at 7:30 Thursday night at Jaskwhich Stadium.

    While most season openers will be played on Friday, the Indian Trail-Plymouth matchup is one of 25 openers scheduled for Thursday night around the state.

    Prep soccer roundup: Conference Clash wraps up

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    KENOSHA — Scheduled to face each other twice in eight days, the Bradford and Wilmot soccer teams played to a 1-1 tie on the second day of the Conference Clash on Wednesday at Ameche Field.

    The teams will meet again in a non-conference match on Aug. 27 at Jaskwhich Stadium.

    Elsen takes third at State Open

    Kenosha native Jordan Elsen rebounded from a rough third round Wednesday to shoot a 6-under par 66 in the final round and take third at the 94th Wisconsin State Open golf tournament at The Bull at Pinehurst Farms in Sheboygan Falls.

    Menasha’s Ryan Helminen won the tournament with a 279 (68-69-75-67), earning $7,200. Daniel Woltman, the leader after the third round, finished second at 280 (71-71-68-70) to earn $4,800. Elsen shot a 281 to earn $3,400.

    Trojans blank Eagles

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    The Tremper boys soccer team got its season off to a strong start Tuesday with a 6-0 non-conference blanking of Christian Life in the Conference Clash at Ameche Field.

    The Trojans took a 4-0 lead into halftime on the strength of four different goal scorers. Jaime Colin scored in the sixth minute, Ray Oseguera got a tally in the 23rd, Joey Capponi netted one in the 25th and Rafa Munoz got his first of the year in the 41st.

    Bradford shifts gears

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    After having its seven-year playoff streak snapped in 2013, some changes were in order for the Bradford football program.

    Not just a few tweaks either. We’re talking a bonafide head-to-toe makeover.

    Nikolai heads talented, veteran Tremper squad

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    When Tremper football coach Frank Matrise Jr. talks about senior defensive back Hunter Nikolai, a former Trojans’ standout defensive back comes to mind.

    That player, 2009 Tremper graduate Kyle Sebetic, is currently in training camp with the New York Giants trying to make an NFL roster. So comparing Nikolai to Sebetic isn’t light praise.

    Falcons out to turn things around

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    Win the day. That is the mantra of the Central Falcons football team this season as they look to erase the memory of last year’s 0-9 record.

    Second-year head coach Tyson Mengel said his players are focused on the task at hand and have been working hard preparing for their season opener 7 p.m. Friday at Big Foot.

    Hawks try to keep it rolling

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    KENOSHA — While some public address announcers outside of Kenosha still annoyingly refer to the school as Indian Trails, the Indian Trail football program made a name for itself in 2013.

    In just their second varsity season, the Hawks won their first seven games and were ranked as high as No. 3 in the state by WisSports.net (and No. 6 by the Associated Press) en route to finishing 5-2 in the Southeast Conference and 8-3 overall. Two of those losses came against eventual state runner-up Franklin, including a heartbreaking 17-14 defeat in the second round of the WIAA Division-1 playoffs.

    Prep soccer season gets underway with Conference Clash

    The boys high school soccer season will kick off Tuesday with the annual Conference Clash at Ameche Field.

    The tournament features eight teams, seven from Kenosha County, from the Southern Lakes Conference, the Midwest Classic Conference, the Metro Classic Conference and the Southeast Conference. The tournament concludes Thursday.

    Elsen in eighth place at State Open golf

    Kenosha native Jordan Elsen fired a 1-under par 71 (37-34) in the opening round of the 94th Wisconsin State Open golf tournament on Monday at The Bull at Pinehurst Farms in Sheboygan Falls.

    Elsen is in a seven-way tie for eighth place out of 156 golfers. The former University of Wisconsin standout birdied both par-5 holes on the back nine after playing the front nine in 1-over.

    Prep golf roundup: Wilmot fifth in Mukwonago

    The Wilmot girls golf team finished fifth out of 15 teams in the Mukwonago Invitational on Monday at Edgewood Golf Course in Big Bend.

    Playing the Pines Course, Mukwonago Blue had a winning score of 350 and Arrowhead was a distant second at 379.

    Health paramount

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    Staying healthy is vital to the success of most prep football teams.

    For Shoreland Lutheran, it is a necessity.

    Reinke wins IRA race at Wilmot

    Howards Grove’s Mike Reinke scored a late Interstate Racing Association victory in the 36-lap Roger Illes Tribute before a standing-room only Kenosha County Fair crowd on Saturday.

    Reinke’s well-timed restart with six laps to go secured him in the lead, going on to the win by a dozen car lengths.

    Wilmot expects to compete under new coach

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    ahorschak@kenoshanews.com

    Hit hard by graduation and breaking in a new head coach, the Wilmot football team would seem to be in rebuilding mode in 2014.

    Downsized Lancers turn to quickness

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    mjohnson@kenoshanews.com

    When opposing defenses line up against the St. Joseph football team this season, they might be a little surprised at what they see.

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    County eyes Brookside overhaul

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    Brookside Care Center could be in store for a major expansion and renovation if the Kenosha County Board approves County Executive Jim Kreuser’s proposed $18.6 million project.

    Consumer prices fall a bit

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    Consumer prices for the area that includes Kenosha dipped slightly last month.

    News briefs: Authorities ID driver in fatal Somers crash

    Authorities have identified the Kenosha man who was killed in a one-vehicle crash Saturday afternoon in the 1600 block of Highway H (88th Avenue) in Somers.

    New analysis projects Medicaid expansion’s effect on counties

    More than 2,800 additional Kenosha County residents would be eligible for BadgerCare if Wisconsin would accept federal money for Medicaid expansion, according to an analysis by an advocacy group.

    Probe into city records tampering continues

    The investigation into records tampering at Kenosha city hall is open and ongoing, the Racine County Sheriff’s Department says.

    Man charged in severe beating

    A Kenosha man is charged with substantial battery after he asked a gas station clerk to call police Aug. 9 because he feared he may have killed someone.

    Parks Commission sets special meeting on Kennedy Drive

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    The Kenosha Parks Commission has announced it will consider the master plan for Kennedy and Pennoyer parks on Sept. 2.

    Bostrom takes ALS plunge on council floor

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    Kenosha aldermen can be cold to one another when it comes to city business. But at Monday’s City Council meeting, one alderman was freezing and it had nothing to do with the night’s discussions.

    Unified seeks to fill 100 open positions

    Kenosha public schools are still working to fill about 100 open positions for the approaching school year.

    Event briefs: Blood drive slated at county center

    BRISTOL — A blood drive will take place 2 to 6 p.m. Thursday in the Kenosha County Center, 19600 75th St., Bristol.



    City plans bailout of under-performing TIF districts

    The Kenosha City Council on Monday approved a plan to rescue three faltering tax incremental financing districts by allowing the city to borrow from its well-performing TIFs.

    Kenoshans to vote on Medicaid expansion

    Voters in Kenosha will be able to weigh in on the expansion of Medicaid in Wisconsin when they vote this November.

    Wellness plan saving county money

    A wellness plan for employees is saving Kenosha County close to $450,000 in claims costs annually, according to personnel officials.

    County poised to collect nearly $12 million in sales tax revenue this year

    Kenosha County’s sales tax collections are expected to approach $12 million by the end of the year, the highest amount ever, according to county officials.

    Aldermen seek to keep Kennedy Drive open

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    A number of aldermen have crafted a resolution asking the Parks Commission to consider saving Kennedy Drive.

    County poised to collect nearly $12 million in sales tax revenue this year

    Kenosha County’s sales tax collections are expected to approach $12 million by the end of the year, the highest amount ever, according to county officials

    Zelich enters not-guilty plea in suitcase death

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    A former West Allis police officer accused of killing a woman in Kenosha and stuffing her body in a suitcase pleaded not guilty Monday.

    Event briefs: Leinenkugel’s to visit Rustic Road

    KENOSHA — Representatives of the Jacob Leinenkugel Brewing Co. will be at Rustic Road Brewing Co., 510 56th St., at 5 p.m. Wednesday to celebrate the release of a new Leinenkugel’s beer named after a former Rustic Road product.

    County fair attendance nearly sets record

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    WILMOT — Attendance at the Kenosha County Fair this year came in just under the record total, with 104,314 people coming out for the five-day event.

    Authorities eye troubled rail crossing

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    PLEASANT PRAIRIE — Authorities are butting heads on what to do with a troubled commercial railroad crossing that saw two accidents in as many weeks earlier this summer.

    News briefs: Boy carrying BB gun stopped at gunpoint

    A Kenosha boy was stopped at gunpoint Sunday after he was seen carrying a BB gun.