Chicago City Council committee OKs plastic bag ban

A Chicago City Council committee has approved a ban on plastic bags at most retailers in the city.

The Committee on Health and Environmental Protection unanimously approved the measure on Thursday. The full Chicago City Council will take up the issue next week.

The partial ban exempts restaurants and small independent or non-franchise retailers.

Restoration work underway at county administration building

Work is underway to restore the facade and other areas of the historic Kenosha County Administration Building.

On Thursday, crews erected a fence around part of the building at 1010 56th Street, enclosing the sidewalk areas adjacent to it and on 10th Avenue as they continue to work on the $2.7 million restoration project. Work began earlier this month. The building's main entrance will remain open for business.

The full restoration, which is expected to be completed the first week of November, is needed as the 88-year-old building is deteriorating, according to county officials.

13 injured in California school bus crash

Authorities said at least 13 people were injured in a school bus crash in Southern California.

Anaheim Fire Marshall Jeff Lutz said at least 13 patients were being treated after the crash reported at about 3:30 p.m. today. The extent of the injuries is unclear, but there are no reports of any deaths.

Commission votes to deny homeless shelter plans

The City Plan Commission tonight voted to deny a rezoning that would have paved the way for Kenosha's first permanent homeless shelter.

Commission members said adding a homeless shelter to the Columbus Park neighborhood would be overburdening the area with the city's social services center.

For more on this story, check back to and see Friday's edition of the Kenosha News.

West-side Hampton Inn moves forward

The Kenosha City Council this week approved a conditional use permit for a 93-room hotel to be built west of Interstate 94, at 7300 125th Ave.

The hotel, which has been in the works for years, will be a Hampton Inn and will reside just west of the Brat Stop.

For more on this story, check and see Friday's Kenosha News.

Kerry: U.S. won't write off Mideast peace negotiations

Secretary of State John Kerry said today that the U.S. isn't ready to write off Mideast peace negotiations, even after Israel broke off talks with Palestinian leaders who are trying to create a coalition government with the militant group Hamas.

"There is always a way forward," Kerry told reporters in brief remarks at the State Department.

Fire station repairs, expansion to proceed

City administration and a majority of the City Council believe that repairs to Fire Station 5 and an expansion of Fire Station 4 can be done simultaneously.

The City Council on Monday voted to deny an alderman's request that money earmarked for station 4's expansion go toward station 5's repair.

For more on this story, check back to and see Friday's edition of the Kenosha News.

UPDATE: Milwaukee fire under control

Milwaukee firefighters have taken control of a three-alarm fire at an auto-salvage yard about two miles from the city airport.

The fire was reported just before noon today. The initial indication was that seven propane tanks exploded in a warehouse at the back of Roz Auto Salvage. No injuries were reported.

Homes in the area have been evacuated and a freeway ramp was closed briefly. The fire was brought under control within about two hours, although firefighters were still putting out a number of small fires.

Judge hears arguments in abortion lawsuit

A state attorney urged a judge today to dismiss a lawsuit seeking to void statutes that require doctors to decide if a woman is consenting voluntarily to an abortion and to be present when the woman gets abortion-inducing drugs.

Planned Parenthood sued Dane County Circuit Court last year alleging the statues are too vague. Doctors don't know how they're supposed to tell if a woman is lying and don't know whether they need to be present when the drugs are handed out or when the woman ingests them, the organization contends.

Assistant Attorney General Maria Lazar told Judge Richard Niess during oral arguments that no real dispute exists. Planned Parenthood and the state reached an agreement on how to interpret the statutes during a short-lived federal challenge last year.

Bond set for third homicide suspect

The man police believe arranged an April 14 robbery that turned fatal has been charged with felony murder.

Brandon Horak, 20, appeared in court Thursday. Police say he made the call that put Anthony M. Edwards and his 15-year-old passenger in the path of Markese Tibbs and Joseph-Jamal Brantley. Tibbs and Brantley planned to rob Edwards of marijuana he brought to what he thought was a drug sale.

Brantley fired at Edwards as he drove off, according to court records, fatally shooting him. Edwards was pronounced dead after crashing his car in the 6500 block of Sheridan Road.

Horak is being held on a $100,000 cash bond. All three are due in court next week for a preliminary hearing.

Read more later today at or in Friday's Kenosha News.

Fire breaks out near Milwaukee airport

Milwaukee firefighters are responding to a fire at an auto-salvage yard, about two miles southwest of General Mitchell International Airport.

The Milwaukee fire department says the fire was reported today just before noon. Casey Kloss, an office worker in the fire department, says dispatch logs report that seven large propane tanks exploded in a warehouse at the back of Roz Auto Salvage. She says there's no immediate report of injuries.

An airport spokesman didn't immediately return a message asking whether the plumes of black and gray smoke were interfering with visibility.

Kenosha, Racine consortium ranks tops in state for income maintenance delivery

A Kenosha County income maintenance unit that partners with Racine County to assist people in need received the state's highest rating for timely service and other criteria, officials said this week.

The unit, which is under the Wisconsin's Kenosha Racine Partnership consortium, ranked first in most performance categories over a two-month period in delivering support through programs that include FoodShare, BadgerCare, Medical Assistance and Caretaker Supplement.

For more on this story, check and see Friday's Kenosha News.

Woman must repay $2,700 for stolen goods

A Pleasant Prairie woman must repay stores $2,700 for merchandise she stole to support her drug habit.

Nicole R. Surber, 26, was sentenced Wednesday for retail theft. She must spend 46 more days in the Kenosha County Jail, and then spend two years on probation.

She stole electronics, household items and personal care products worth thousands of dollars from stores in Kenosha and Racine counties to support a cocaine habit.

Read more later today at or in Friday's Kenosha News.

Today's Weekday Report is up at

Today's Weekday Report is at

Among our top stories: March was another month of declining sales, but real estate professionals remain optimistic about the housing market. And the man charged with murdering a Kenosha man in downtown Racine last month pleaded not guilty in court this morning.

Watch the video here.

UPDATE: Wanted Chicago man in custody in Illinois

A man wanted on felony pimping charges is in custody at an Illinois jail, according to the Kenosha Police Department.

Walter Risper, 18, skipped a Kenosha court appearance on Thursday. Kenosha Police Department then posted an alert on its Facebook page.

Kenosha police searching for Chicago man

Kenosha police are searching for a Chicago man that failed to appear in court Thursday morning on felony pimping charges.

Walter Risper, 18, was arrested during a prostitution sting at the Value Inn, 7221 122nd Ave., on March 27. He faces seven and a half years in prison if convicted.

Risper may have connections in the Waukegan and Chicago areas, according to Kenosha police.

Anyone with additional information should call the Kenosha Police Department at 656-1234 or Det. Warren Den Hartog at 605-5266.

Man gets prison for drug deal at Taco Bell

A Kenosha man will spend more than three years in prison for delivering heroin.

Alonzo Conner III, 28, was sentenced Thursday morning. He and two others met with a confidential informant at a Kenosha Taco Bell and exchanged drugs in the bathroom, according to court records.

Conner was the first of the three co-defendants to be sentenced. He has been in jail for 218 days, and will get credit for that against his four-year prison term. Once released, he will be on community supervision for three years.

Read more later today at or in Friday's Kenosha News.

CHS stages mock accident pre-prom

Westosha-Central High School juniors and seniors got a visual - and loud - message about the dangers of drinking and driving Thursday, prior to Junior Prom on Saturday.

Fellow classmates were "victims" of a mock two-car crash with fatalities, staged with help from the Kenosha County Sheriff's Department, fire and rescue departments from Salem and Bristol, Flight or Life, Joint Services Dispatch and the county Medical Examiner. The entire emergency call was broadcast over speakers as the disaster scene unfolded.

Racine man pleads not guilty of Ratliff murder

Christopher S. Brown this morning pleaded not guilty of the March 29 murder of Dulonden Ratliff, 21, of Kenosha.

Brown, 23, of Racine, is charged with shooting Ratliff during an early-morning argument in downtown Racine.

For more on this story, check later at and see Friday's Kenosha News.

HIGH SCHOOL BASEBALL: Shoreland, CLS at home today

Home games for the Shoreland, Wilmot and Christian Life baseball teams highlight today's local high school baseball schedule.

Shoreland hosts Greendale Martin Luther in a Metro Classic Conference game, CLS plays Milwaukee Messmer at Simmons Field and Racine Horlick is at Wilmot for at 4:30 p.m. games

In action on the road today are Bradford and Indian Trail, who both play in Florida.

Third person arrested in April 14 homicide

Kenosha resident Brandon L. Horak was arrested Wednesday, in connection with the April 14 shooting death of Anthony M. Edwards.

Police believe Horak set up the drug deal that brought Edwards to the place where he was shot. Also charged are Markese Tibbs and Joseph-Jamal Brantley.

Read more later today at or in Friday's Kenosha News.

Sturgeon spawning season to start

The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources says the sturgeon spawning season is about to begin.

The traditional rite of spring in Wisconsin is a big draw for nature lovers who come to the Wolf, Fox and Embarrass rivers each year about this time. DNR biologist Ryan Koenig says male sturgeon have been "cruising" the Wolf River. That means spawning will likely start today or Friday with heavy spawning activity by the weekend.

The large, ancient fish spawn in the shallow, rocky areas of the rivers, so it's easy to get a look at a unique fish that spends most of its life in deeper water.

Vehicle blocking traffic at Green Bay Road and Hwy 50

A vehicle has stalled in one of the turn lanes, blocking traffic at Green Bay Road and Highway 50, according to scanner reports. The vehicle is in the right turn lane on Highway 50, attempting to head north on Green Bay Road.

Statewide tornado drill is today

The National Weather Service is issuing a statewide mock tornado drill, beginning at 1 p.m. today. The tornado sirens are expected to sound at approximately 1:45 p.m.

Walker listed in TIME magazine top 100 list

Gov. Scott Walker is listed as one of the top 100 most influential people in the world, according to an upcoming edition of TIME magazine set to be released on Friday.

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