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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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Biggest snowstorm of season to sock Kenosha County


Kenosha County is expected to be socked with its biggest snowfall of the season Sunday.

The National Weather Service issued a winter snow warning, with snow expected to begin to fall late Saturday and continue throughout the day Sunday.

Habitat for Humanity dedicates second home


Lisa Lavine can point to the exact spot high in the hallway of her new home where she broke her finger while hammering a nail on a beam.

The incident happened during the 250 hours of “sweat equity” she and her family were required to put into their new Habitat for Humanity home built at 4711 60th St.

New exhibit offers a view from space


In celebration of a new space-themed exhibit, the Kenosha Public Museum on Saturday hosted an afternoon of free festivities educating locals about rockets, satellites and stars. 

The downtown museum, 5500 First Ave., will be offering "Earth from Space," a collection of satellite images provided by the United States Geological Survey and the Smithsonian Institution, through June 21. 

Weather cuts short Band-O-Rama


Before Band-O-Rama got underway at Indian Trail High School and Academy Saturday, there was an announcement.

Given the winter storm warning issued for Sunday, Kenosha Unified School District officials were canceling the second performance of the 58th annual event. In the crowded fieldhouse there were both groans and applause.

‘Don’t give up’: Holocaust survivor tells her story


The day after Holocaust survivors gathered to mark the 70th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz, Nesse Godin remembered her own liberation.

“Russian soldiers came, and they told us, ‘You are free, you are free,’” Godin said. “At that point I was 17 years old and I weighed 69 pounds.”

Series of Schroeder courtroom snafus leaves DA blaming schedule, staffing


Prosecutors had a rough day in Kenosha County Circuit Judge Bruce Schroeder’s courtroom earlier this week, when the judge took them to task for a host of deficiencies — problems District Attorney Robert Zapf chalked up to a overly busy schedule and an understaffed office.

There were 22 cases on Schroeder’s morning calendar, with prosecutorial missteps noted in seven of them.

Jury acquits man in UWP sexual assault trial


Jurors acquitted a former University of Wisconsin-Parkside basketball recruit of sexually assaulting a fellow student in September 2013.

Austin Robinson, 20, of Bolingbrook, Ill., was found not guilty on second-degree sexual assault-use of force and false imprisonment Wednesday. Robinson was a former basketball player for Parkside, and his scholarship was revoked as a result of the incident. He now attends Indiana University, family members said.

Walker stands by casino denial


Despite a request from 10 Wisconsin legislators, Gov. Scott Walker said Wednesday he will not reconsider his decision to deny a Kenosha casino.

The letter, dated and delivered Wednesday morning to Walker, was signed by six Republicans and four Democrats.

Bryan bows out of School Board race


Kenosha Unified School Board member Carl Bryan wants no one to vote for him in the April 7 election.

Bryan, a two-term School Board incumbent, announced his withdrawal from the race on Monday, saying he has accepted a position as a budget and policy analyst with the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction in Madison.

Anti-streetcar group says it doesn’t support recalls


A member of Common Sense Kenosha said Monday the group is not behind any potential attempts to recall Kenosha aldermen for not putting streetcar expansion on the April ballot.

Merike Phillips, a member of the group — which gathered some 6,700 petition signatures in an effort to sway city leaders to hold a referendum on the issue — said it is “very unfortunate” group treasurer Joe Clark’s comments threatening recalls were taken as the group’s official position.

Group plants seeds for future auto museum


KENOSHA — Dozens of curious Kenoshans braved the snow Monday evening to learn about proposals for an automobile museum that would highlight the city's rich manufacturing history.

The event, held at United Auto Workers Local 72 Hall, aimed to help foster support for a future museum or studio, which would honor Kenosha’s connection to American Motors Corp., Nash Motors and even Chrysler.

Mayor foresees bright future for Dairyland property


Mayor Keith Bosman said Monday the nixing of a Menominee-Hard Rock casino likely means other potential developers will be waiting in the wings.

“We’ll recover from this. I feel bad for the Menominee. They have to go back to the reservation with nothing now. But we at least have a backup plan,” Bosman said.

Elementary school census reflects declining birth rate


Nearly every elementary school in Kenosha Unified School District has fewer students this school year as declining birth rates lead to fewer kids in the classroom.

School districts in Wisconsin track enrollment through official counts designated by the state during the year. The first is the “third Friday count” taken in September shortly after schools open for the year.

Planning for college begins now, speaker says


When it comes to college, now is the time to start planning.

That was the advice from Isaias Ortiz, who addressed about 75 high schoolers and middle schoolers at an event last week designed to encourage pursuit of higher education.

Passenger takes the wheel after bus driver collapses

Quick action by a Illinois woman helped stop a bus that had crashed after its driver collapsed Saturday night in Bristol.

The 11:38 p.m. crash in the 8200 block of southbound Interstate 94 sent 11 of the 34 passengers to area hospitals, all reportedly with minor injuries.

    Walker fundraising improves after Romney’s exit

    DES MOINES, Iowa — Mitt Romney’s exit from the presidential campaign has unleashed a frenzy of fresh fundraising and set off a new race for the backing of donors who had remained loyal to the 2012 Republican nominee.

    Big dollars were said to flow immediately on Friday to former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, who already had won over several of Romney’s past donors. New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie claimed the support of others who were waiting on Romney to make a decision about whether to seek the White House a third time.

    UW System head rips Walker over faculty workload

    MADISON (AP) — The University of Wisconsin System president fired back Thursday against Gov. Scott Walker’s suggestion that faculty teach more classes as a way to help absorb a $300 million funding cut, saying the governor doesn’t understand that professors already face a huge workload.

    President Ray Cross told The Associated Press he’s frustrated by the suggestion, saying the governor shouldn’t target professors at the system’s 26 campuses. Cross said he partly blames himself for not informing state officials that professors on average work more than 50 hours a week and help attract research worth hundreds of millions of dollars.

    Walker: K-12 school aid to stay ‘largely intact’

    MADISON (AP) — Gov. Scott Walker said Wednesday he plans to keep funding for Wisconsin’s public schools “largely intact” in the state budget he will release next week, even if he’s proposing cutting $300 million in funding for the University of Wisconsin System.

    Walker has released some of the budget details, including the 13 percent cut to UW. But he has said very little about what’s in store for public schools. Aid to K-12 schools is the largest single part of the budget, accounting for about 33 percent of all state spending at more than $10 billion over the past two years.

    Judge tells Vos his comments were ‘just not true’

    MADISON (AP) — Assembly Speaker Robin Vos’ criticisms of the nonpartisan board overseeing Wisconsin elections, campaign finance and ethics laws were “just not true,” the chairman of the board said in a letter made public Monday.

    Government Accountability Board Chairman Gerald Nichol sent the letter to Vos, a Republican, last week. It comes as Republicans who control the Legislature are looking at overhauling the makeup and function of the board, partly in response to anger over its role in the John Doe investigation that looked into alleged illegal activity by Gov. Scott Walker’s 2012 recall campaign and conservative groups.

    Couple struck, killed by SUV in Caledonia

    CALEDONIA (AP) — Parishioners consoled each other Sunday about the deaths of an elderly couple who were struck and killed by an SUV as they left church a day earlier.

    Oscar and Vernetta Lang, both 83 and from Caledonia, were hit by the SUV at about 5:30 p.m. Saturday, police said. They had just attended Mass at St. Louis Catholic Church in Caledonia, where they were longtime members.

    Rangers keep the pedal to the floor


    SOMERS — Things went just about perfectly for the UW-Parkside men’s basketball team on Saturday afternoon at the DeSimone Gymnasium.

    Before an appreciative crowd of 1,406 on Alumni Day, any worries that the 20th-ranked Rangers would suffer a hangover after Thursday’s scintillating win over top-ranked Indianapolis were quickly made to seem silly, as first-place Parkside routed last-place Saint Joseph’s 82-55 in a Great Lakes Valley Conference game.

    Bonnin leads Lancers past Prairie

    KENOSHA — Becky Bonnin has been a part of three conference championship teams in softball.

    You better believe the St. Joseph girls basketball team’s lone senior wants to be part of the school’s first conference championship in girls basketball.

    College ticker


    Pete Willson Invite

    Freshman helps Carthage women shake skid

    KENOSHA — The Carthage College women’s basketball team halted its four-game losing streak in convincing fashion on Saturday.

    The Reds led for virtually the entire game in downing Illinois Wesleyan 68-57 in a College Conference of Illinois and Wisconsin game at Tarble Arena.

    Parkside thrives at closing time

    SOMERS — The UW-Parkside women’s basketball team needed a strong finish Saturday to stay perfect at home and stretch its winning streak to nine.

    The Rangers scored the game’s final six points to pull out a 59-54 Great Lakes Valley Conference win over Saint Joseph’s before 817 at the DeSimone Gymansium.

    Prep ticker



    Red Men stall at the start



    Twenty minutes of terrible.

    Carthage basketball teams take on Illinois Wesleyan

    KENOSHA — The Carthage men’s and women’s basketball teams will try to snap losing skids when they host Illinois Wesleyan in a College Conference of Illinois and Wisconsin doubleheader Saturday at Tarble Arena.

    The women’s game starts at 5 p.m. with the men’s game to follow at 7 p.m. Both games will be broadcast on WLIP-AM 1050 (wlip.com).

    Atmosphere electric for Parkside’s big win


    SOMERS — In his tenure as the UW-Parkside men’s basketball coach, now in its 12th season, Luke Reigel has endured his share of lean years.

    The Rangers have traditionally been something of an afterthought, not respected around the Great Lakes Valley Conference like some of the league’s usual stalwarts. Reigel would talk about playing in crowded arenas with boisterous student sections, only to come home to the DeSimone Gymnasium, where you felt like you could count the attendance in about a minute.

    Rangers get right back to the GLVC grind

    KENOSHA — Following his team’s colossal 72-68 Great Lakes Valley Conference win over top-ranked Indianapolis at the DeSimone Gymnasium on Thursday night, UW-Parkside men’s basketball coach Luke Reigel planned to celebrate in only the way that coaches do.

    He was going to watch film.

    Reuther boys remain unbeaten in conference play

    KENOSHA — An undefeated conference season is what coach Cliff McKenzie said the Reuther boys basketball team wanted most this season, and after routing Faith Christian 76-45 at home on Friday night it might just reach that goal.

    The Bulldogs are 9-6 overall and sit atop the Indian Trails Conference Blue Division at 9-0. After winning just eight games all of last season, McKenzie said this season has been unexpected.

    Pacers make powerful Dominican work for victory


    SOMERS — For almost one half on Friday night, the Shoreland Lutheran boys basketball team was poised to shock the state.

    With a jacked-up crowd buzzing, the Pacers pulled the upset alert siren when they took the lead with less than four minutes to play in the second quarter against powerhouse Whitefish Bay Dominican.

    Local ticker


    Indian Trail 88, Racine Park 63

    UW-Parkside women sharp in overtime


    SOMERS — The UW-Parkside women’s basketball team made 13-of-14 free throws in overtime to defeat Indianapolis, 75-66, in a Great Lakes Valley Conference game at DeSimone Gymnasium on Thursday night.

    It was the eighth win in a row for Parkside (15-4 overall, 8-2 GLVC).

    Parkside knocks Indy from ranks of unbeatens



    SOMERS — With the DeSimone Gymnasium splitting at the seams, maybe it was fitting that UW-Parkside junior point guard Andy Mazurczak was the one who stood at the free-throw line four times in the final 10 seconds and calmly sank four free throws before a momentarily quiet crowd waiting to explode.

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    Waukegan’s casino hopes now revived


    The mayor of Waukegan, Ill., says the collapse of the Kenosha casino has given his city’s hopes to build a gaming center a boost.

    Joseph Kiser, retired city fire chief, dies


    When he retired as chief in 2004, Joseph Kiser, signed off as a 38-year veteran of the Kenosha Fire Department, saying he had “turned the department around to a futuristic department.’’

    Winter storm likely to begin today


    You won’t need snow shovels or blowers this morning and into the early afternoon, but keep them handy.

    Walker to lawmakers, tribe: Still no on casino


    In a virtual form letter Thursday addressing a bipartisan coalition of 10 state lawmakers, including six Republicans, Gov. Scott Walker dismissed requests he reconsider his decision to deny the Menominee tribe’s application to open an $800 million Kenosha casino with Hard Rock International as their partner.

    Flu cases declining here

    St. Alphonsus School struggling to keep doors open


    NEW MUNSTER — St. Alphonsus students proudly showed family members around the school Friday for “Share Your Faith Day” during Catholic Schools Week — and for what may be the last time.

    Casino revenue declines; some call gambling market saturated

    While debate over the rejection of Kenosha’s Hard Rock Hotel & Casino project continues, gambling industry insiders are mulling the overall business climate for the gaming industry.

    Today ‘s event briefs: Suicide survivors’ support group to meet

    KENOSHA — The Survivors of Suicide support group will begin meeting 6 to 8 p.m. Tuesday at Piasecki Althaus Family Services Center, 2002 52nd St.

    Lake Geneva’s Winterfest kicks off Saturday


    LAKE GENEVA — Winterfest activities — from a cocoa crawl to human dogsled races — will extend the annual Lake Geneva event a full week this year.

    Identify theft victim gets bills for $13,000

    A 41-year-old Kenosha man told authorities he was a victim of identity theft after receiving a cell phone bill and cable bill totalling over $13,000, according to the Kenosha Police Department.

    Trials set for shooting in downtown Racine

    RACINE — Trials have been set this year for two men charged in connection with Dulonden Ratliff's death last March..

    Crash leaves pizza driver’s vehicle overturned


    No one was seriously hurt in a rollover crash Thursday night at the intersection of 48th Street and 23rd Avenue.

    Bristol seventh-grader suspended for bringing knife to school

    A Bristol Grade School seventh-grader brought a knife to school last week and threatened to stab a fellow classmate in the head and slit another student’s throat, according to a Kenosha Sheriff’s Department report.

    Terri Ward: Making mealtimes a positive family experience

    What did you learn about food as a child?

    Kenosha man acquitted of child assault charges

    A man whose case went before the state Supreme Court before it got to trial here was acquitted last week of two of the four counts against him.