February 25, 2017
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Storm-lashed California roads, dams could cost $1B to fix

The bill to repair California's crumbling roads, dams and other critical infrastructure hammered by an onslaught of storms this winter could top $1 billion, including nearly $600 million alone for damaged roadways that more than doubles what the state budgeted for road repair emergencies, officials said Friday.

Adding to the problems, many communities have drained their emergency budgets and are looking to the state and federal government for help. But on top of the latest damage, the nation's most populated state is struggling with a $6 billion annual backlog of repairs for roads, highways and bridges that leaders can't agree on a way to fund.

Winter storms have dumped enough rain and snow on the northern part of the state to end a five-year drought. But with the wet weather, comes a host of problems for crumbling infrastructure.


NASA weighing risk of adding crew to megarocket's 1st flight

NASA is weighing the risk of adding astronauts to the first flight of its new megarocket, designed to eventually send crews to Mars.

The space agency's human exploration chief said Friday that his boss and the Trump administration asked for the feasibility study. The objective is to see what it would take to speed up a manned mission; under the current plan, astronauts wouldn't climb aboard until 2021- at best.

NASA is shooting for an unmanned test flight for late next year. Putting people on board would delay the mission and require extra money. The space agency's William Gerstenmaier said if adding astronauts postpones the first flight beyond 2019, it would probably be better to stick with the original plan.


Today's forecast: Windy, snow

The weather outlook for today calls for a morning snow shower and windy conditions. The high will be 30 degrees, the low 20.


Kenosha News takes honors in state contest

The Kenosha News took second place in the General Excellence category en route to 19 total awards in the Wisconsin Newspaper Association Foundation's 2016 Better Newspaper Contest.

The contest recognizes outstanding work from the state's newspapers, with nearly 60 categories evaluating reporting, photography, ad and page design, and special sections. Awards were presented Friday night at the WNA Convention and Trade Show in Middleton.

The Kenosha News earned five first-place awards and four second-place awards competing in the top circulation category in the state.

See more in Saturday's Kenosha News.



City hires operations supervisor for Kenosha Transit Department

A former United Parcel Service official has been hired as operations supervisor, the No. 2 job in the Kenosha Transit Department.

Jerrad Jones, who in 19 years worked his way to a supervisory position with the UPS warehouse in Oak Creek, will begin March 13.

Jones, 36, was one of 27 candidates for a position that was vacant for several months.

See more in Saturday's Kenosha News.



Aldermen want body cameras for city police

Two Kenosha alderman want the city to buy body cameras for city police officers for 2018, but the mayor and police chief say the legalities of recording police interactions are still uncertain.

Aldermen Kevin Mathewson and Mitchell Pedersen introduced their resolution Wednesday, asking $200,000 be included in the 2018 capital improvement plan to fund the purchase of body cameras and implementation of a program for the police department.

See more in Saturday's Kenosha News.



Pleasant Prairie to pay $37.5M for land

Pleasant Prairie intends to spend $37.5 million to purchase 458 acres of land on the northwest corner of Interstate 94 and Highway 165, across the street from the Uline headquarters.

The land is owned by Abbott through a subsidiary. The village plans to turn it into a new corporate park, Prairie Highlands, with a focus on manufacturing, office and commercial uses.

See more in Saturday's Kenosha News.



Tremper's Jackson falls in state semifinal

Tremper senior Noah Jackson lost a 5-4 sudden victory decision to Waukesha West senior Shane Gantz in a WIAA Division-1 152-pound state semifinal match Friday night. Jackson will face Pulaski senior Jake Gille in a consolation bracket match Saturday morning and still has a chance for third place. See tomorrow's News or check www.kenoshanews.com later for more.



Schevikhoven advances to state final

Shoreland Lutheran junior Lucas Schevikhoven beat Ladysmith sophomore Trent Vollendorf 8-2 Friday night to advance to the WIAA Division-3 finals at 113-pounds. Schevikhoven faces Coleman sophomore Caleb Gross at 5 p.m. See tomorrow's News or check back later for more.





Second man charged in Chicago shooting death of 2-year-old

Chicago police said a second man has been charged in a shooting captured on video that killed two people, including a toddler, and wounded a pregnant woman.

Dionel Harris was charged today with first-degree-murder in a shooting on Valentine's Day that killed 2-year-old Lavontay White and Lavontay's uncle, 26-year-old Lazaric Collins.


DHS report disputes threat posed by 7 nations in travel ban

Analysts at the Homeland Security Department's intelligence arm found insufficient evidence that citizens of seven Muslim-majority countries included in President Donald Trump's travel ban pose a terror threat to the United States.

A draft document obtained by The Associated Press concludes that citizenship is an "unlikely indicator" of terrorism threats to the U.S. and that few people from the countries Trump listed in his travel ban have carried out attacks or been involved in terrorism-related activities in the U.S. since Syria's civil war started in 2011.


U.S. to seek extradition of ex-Guatemalan vice president

The United States government will seek the extradition of former Guatemalan Vice President Roxana Baldetti and ex-Interior Minister Hector Mauricio Lopez Bonilla on drug trafficking charges, the U.S. embassy said in a statement today.

Baldetti and Lopez Bonilla were indicted in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia on Wednesday, according to the statement. Each faces a charge of conspiracy to distribute cocaine and knowing that it would be imported to the U.S.


SpaceX makes good on space station delivery a little late

SpaceX made good on a 250-mile-high delivery at the International Space Station on Thursday, after fixing a navigation problem that held up the shipment a day.

Everything went smoothly the second time around as the station astronauts captured the SpaceX Dragon cargo ship as the two craft sailed over Australia. On Wednesday, a GPS system error prevented the capsule from getting close enough to be grabbed by the station's big robot arm.

The Dragon - loaded with 5,500 pounds of supplies - rocketed away Sunday from NASA's historic moon pad at Kennedy Space Center in Florida. Now leased by the SpaceX, the pad had been idle since the close of the shuttle program almost six years ago.

The station's six-person crew will accept another shipment today, this one from the Russians.


Counting the county's homeless

A recent overnight count of homeless in Kenosha County found 184 people total on the streets, in shelters and transitional housing or rapid re-housing programs.

The count was part of the nationwide Point in Time campaign to count every homeless person and bring them needed resources. Lisa Haen, with Kenosha Human Development Services Inc, said 17 volunteers canvassed the county from 11 p.m. to 3 a.m. one night last month.

Volunteers survey the homeless to determine if they ever served in the military and if this is the first time they have been homeless, for example. They also bring them a care package with hygiene items, water, snacks, socks, hats and scarves.

See more in today's Kenosha News.


Counting the county's homeless

A recent overnight count of homeless in Kenosha County found 184 people total on the streets, in shelters and transitional housing or rapid re-housing programs.

The count was part of the nationwide Point in Time campaign to count every homeless person and bring them needed resources. Lisa Haen, with Kenosha Human Development Services Inc, said 17 volunteers canvassed the county from 11 p.m. to 3 a.m. one night last month.

Volunteers survey the homeless to determine if they ever served in the military and if this is the first time they have been homeless, for example. They also bring them a care package with hygiene items, water, snacks, socks, hats and scarves.

See more in today's Kenosha News.


Today's forecast: Rain and snow

Today's weather forecast calls for showers, a thunderstorm, and snow at night. The high will be 42 degrees, the low 23.


Rangers top Flyers

The UW-Parkside men's basketball team defeated Lewis 69-62 in the teams' regular-season finale Thursday night at DeSimone Gymnasium in Somers.

UWP's win, coupled with Truman State's loss, clinched the No. 4 seed and a first-round bye for the Rangers (21-6, 13-5 GLVC) in next week's Great Lakes Valley Conference Tournament.

For more, read kenoshanews.com later and Friday's News.



Illinois man convicted in 2013 slaying of mother outside church

A suburban Chicago man has been found guilty of first-degree murder in the shooting death of his mother.

A DuPage County jury deliberated two hours today before finding Michael Zaky Bassaly of Downers Grove guilty of murdering 61-year-old Yvonne Bassaly. The woman was shot in the head in August 2013 as she sat in the backseat of her car parked in the lot of a Coptic Christian church in Burr Ridge.


McDonald's honors Cooks as All-American

St. Joseph Catholic Academy senior Sidney Cooks was presented with an honorary McDonald's All-American jersey by the organization's Hometown Heroes crew during an early-morning assembly Thursday at the St. Joseph Auditorium, 2401 69th St.

Cooks was one of 24 girls nationwide chosen for the 40th annual McDonald's All-American Game, which will take place on March 29 at the United Center in Chicago. It will be televised live on ESPN2.

See more in Friday's Kenosha News.



Downtown Kenosha narrows candidate field for new director

The search for a new Downtown Kenosha Inc. executive director, the chief central business district economic development leader, has been narrowed to eight candidates, at least three from Kenosha.

The DKI selection committee interviewed two candidates Thursday afternoon and more are scheduled for interviews next week, according Kevin Ervin, president of the non-profit organization's board. The application process ended earlier this week with 50 seeking the job vetted to to 15, then further vetted to a final eight.

See more in Friday's Kenosha News.



Plea deal likely for mom who kept kids, dogs in house filled with garbage

A woman is expected to take a plea deal for allegedly keeping her five children living in squalor and then abandoning three dogs inside their uninhabitable house.

Tabitha Ruiz, 34, was charged in December with five counts of child neglect, three counts of intentionally abandoning an animal, and charges of intentionally providing improper animal sanitation and failing to provide food to an animal.

In court Thursday, attorneys indicated that Ruiz planned to enter a guilty plea to the five counts of child neglect, with the state agreeing to drop the other charges.



Schimel announces deal on drug overdose treatment

Wisconsin Attorney General Brad Schimel has made a deal with the manufacturer of a drug used to reverse overdoses to make it more readily available at a lower cost.

Schimel today announced the partnership with Adapt Pharma for the drug Naloxone. Known as Narcan, it is used in emergencies to treat people who have overdosed from heroin, fentanyl and prescription opioids.



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