October 21, 2016
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State: Nearly 34,000 kids get private school vouchers

Nearly 34,000 Wisconsin students have enrolled in the state's voucher school subsidy program this year.

Data the state Department of Public Instruction released Friday shows 33,781 students received a subsidy to attend one of 209 participating private schools. The program is expected to cost the state about $245 million this school year.

Jail, probation in Christmas Day beating

A man originally facing up to 20 years in prison for beating his girlfriend's father with a baseball bat was sentenced to three years probation Friday.

Alexander Garcia, 25, was initially charged with aggravated battery with a dangerous weapon for the Christmas Day beating of his then girlfriend's father. Garcia allegedly beat 58-year-old Thomas Eppers of Twin Lakes with a metal baseball bat, leaving him unconscious with a serious head injuries.

Garcia pled guilty last month to aggravated battery-intended bodily harm.

Jail, probation in Christmas Day beating

Man boarding dog in Bristol to save its life

NEWS NOW A dog deemed dangerous by Pleasant Prairie village officials is now staying at kennel in Bristol, according to its owner.

Jack Thomsen, owner of Bookie, a 6 1/2 year old mastiff, had until Wednesday, to move the dog from his home or have the canine euthanized. Last month, the Village Board found the dog to be dangerous to the community after police alleged it bit two boys and its owner.

Man boarding dog in Bristol to save its life

Survey: More Americans now have access to bank accounts

More Americans have access to a checking or savings account, according to a survey released Thursday by federal regulators, a sign that the improving economy is helping lift the nation's poorest households.

Having a checking or savings account is considered a cornerstone of financial stability in the U.S. Without one, households must rely on check-cashing services, prepaid debit cards and other costly ways to pay bills and make routine transactions.

The portion of Americans who do not have a bank account, known in industry jargon as the "unbanked," declined to 7 percent in 2015 from 7.7 percent in 2013, according to the survey from the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp.

U.S. confirms 11th death due to Takata air bags

A 50-year-old woman who died after a car wreck last month in California is the 11th U.S. victim of Takata Corp.'s defective air bag inflators.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration confirmed the woman's death on Thursday but didn't release her name. Up to five people also may have been killed by the air bags in Malaysia, bringing the number of deaths globally to as many as 16.

Today's forecast: Partly sunny

Partly sunny with a high of 53 degrees and a low of 33.

Up to the minute forecast

Firefighter thrown up to 20 feet in Portland gas explosion

An injured firefighter who's being hailed as a hero for helping to evacuate a building before a powerful gas explosion in a Portland shopping district said Thursday he was tossed up to 20 feet by the blast.

The explosion hurt eight people Wednesday morning, demolished a three-story historic building and ignited a fire that sent a plume of smoke over the city. Three firefighters, two police officers and three civilians were injured.

None of the injuries were life-threatening.

Early voting strong in Wisconsin's most Democratic counties

About 29 percent of all absentee ballots cast in Wisconsin so far have come from the state's most heavily Democratic counties.

The latest data posted on the Wisconsin Elections Commission website Thursday shows ballots cast in Milwaukee and Dane counties are far outpacing those that have come from the conservative suburban counties of Washington, Waukesha and Ozaukee.

Donald Trump mocks his critics

Mocking his critics, Donald Trump pledged Thursday to fully accept the outcome of next month's presidential election - if he wins. The Republican said he reserved the right to contest questionable results, deepening his unsubstantiated assertions that the race against Hillary Clinton could be rigged against him.

Trump's comments came a day after his stunning refusal in the final presidential debate to say whether he would concede to Clinton if he loses. His resistance, threatening to undermine the essence of American democracy, was roundly rejected by fellow Republicans.

See more in Friday's Kenosha News.

Johnson breaks with Trump on election result acceptance

Republican U.S. Sen. Ron Johnson of Wisconsin, in a break with his party's presidential nominee, Donald Trump, said through a spokesman Thursday that the results of the election should be respected.

Trump created a bipartisan uproar after refusing during Wednesday's presidential debate to say whether he would accept the outcome of the election. On Thursday, at a campaign rally in Ohio, Trump said he won't commit to honoring the outcome of the Nov. 8 election because he wants to reserve his right to file a legal challenge "in the case of a questionable result."

But Trump's two highest-ranking Republican supporters in Wisconsin - Johnson and Gov. Scott Walker - both distanced themselves from his position on Thursday. Neither withdrew their backing.

Lakeshore BID approves tax increase

The Lakeshore Business Improvement District Board has approved a $125,000 budget calling for a property tax increase to commercial property owners within the downtown BID.

The Lakeshore BID board, the funding agency for Downtown Kenosha Inc., Thursday voted 6-3 to adopt a proposal that would have commercial property owners paying $2.50 per $1,000 of assessed property value, $1 more than the current rate.

The measure now goes to the City Council, which will consider it as part of the general operating budget. If approved there, it would go into effect in January.

Cubs beat Dodgers

The Cubs beat the Dodgers, 8-4, Thursday night to take a 3-2 lead in the NLCS.

Metra proposes fare increase starting in February

Metra has proposed a fare increase as part of its $1.06 billion budget for 2017.

The budget would increase fare revenue by 5.8 percent and spend the resulting $16.1 million on the agency's huge capital needs.

Customers who buy one-way tickets would pay 25 cents more per ticket; customers who buy 10-ride tickets would pay $2.75 more per ticket; customers who buy monthly passes would pay $11.75 more per month.

If approved, the changes will take effect on Feb. 1.

Bond set for mom in prostitution sting

A Kenosha woman accused of operating a place of prostitution using teenage girls is being held on $7,500 cash bond.

Paula Whittaker, 55, was charged Thursday with keeping a place of prostitution.

However, the information in the criminal complaint differs from earlier information provided to the Kenosha News by the FBI, which indicated Whittaker had two daughters she had involved in prostitution.

Local club gets large gift grant

The Boys & Girls Club of Kenosha is one of 12 organizations that will share $2 million in personal contributions made by Rob Katz, CEO of Vail Resorts, Inc, and his wife, Elana Amsterdam, in the communities where the company operates.

Vail Resorts purchased Wilmot Mountain in 2015 and has invested more than $13 million in the property in preparation of its grand reopening this winter. The Kenosha youth organization, which serves more than 12,291 children in kindergarten through 12th grade, was presented $33,500 as part of the giving campaign.

Jake McGhee, CEO of the Boys and Girls Club, said the donation will help meet increased programming demands as a result of increased membership. Grants from Kenosha County and Palmen Motors helped expand free transportation to the facility from schools, which increased attended from 50 kids per day last year to 130 kids per day this year, he said.

Packers defeat Bears

The Packers defeated the Bears, 26-10, at Lambeau Field on Thursday night. For more, see Friday's Kenosha News.

Mastiff deemed dangerous now at Bristol kennel

A dog deemed dangerous by Pleasant Prairie village officials is now staying at a kennel in Bristol, according to its owner.

Jack Thomsen, owner of Bookie, a 6 1/2 year old mastiff, had until Wednesday to move the dog from his home or have the canine euthanized. Last month, the Village Board found the dog to be dangerous to the community after police alleged it bit two boys and its owner.

Watch this morning's Kenosha News Minute

Our top story: A Kenosha man wanted for three bank robberies added bail jumping to his list of charges.


Earth's 16-month record heat streak ends but warming remains

Earth's 16-month sizzling streak of record high temperatures is finally over, according to one group of federal meteorologists.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said last month's 60.6 degrees was merely the second hottest September on record for the globe.

That's ever so slightly cooler - a few hundredths of a degree - than the record set in 2015. But it was quite a bit warmer - 1.6 degrees - than the 20th century average.

NASA: Jupiter spacecraft detects problem, turns off camera

A NASA spacecraft circling Jupiter has hit another snag.

The space agency said Wednesday that Juno detected a problem, went into safe mode and shut off its cameras and instruments hours before it was supposed to pass over Jupiter's dense cloud tops on Wednesday.

Juno rebooted its onboard computer and can communicate with Earth, but its activities are limited until engineers diagnose what went wrong.

Today's forecast: Breezy

Breezy with clouds breaking. High: 56; low: 35.

Up to the minute forecast

Cubs even series with Dodgers

The Chicago Cubs broke out of their offensive slump, pounding out 13 hits in a 10-2 win over the Los Angeles Dodgers in Game 4 of the National League Championship Series at Dodger Stadium on Wednesday night. The series is tied at two games apiece, with Game 5 scheduled for 7:08 p.m. Thursday night in Los Angeles.

Trump won't say he'll accept election result

Threatening to upend a fundamental pillar of American democracy, Donald Trump refused to say tonight that he will accept the results of next month's election if he loses to Hillary Clinton. The Democratic nominee declared Trump's resistance "horrifying."

See Thursday's Kenosha News for more details.

Paris recall election scheduled for Nov. 22

A recall election of the Paris Town Board will go forward next month.

The Town Board voted unanimously Wednesday night certifying that petitions filed in August were sufficient in seeking to recall Town Board Chairman Virgil Gentz, and supervisors Ronald Kammerzelt and Kenneth Monson. The recall election will take place Nov. 22.

Tax levy to rise slightly as Lakewood School state aid falls

State aid is the only area of the 2016-17 Lakewood School Budget that will decrease.

Administrator Joe Price said the district is "looking at relatively minimal increases" in the levy and mill rate given state aid will drop $306,860, or 15.2 percent, from $2,017,233 last year to $1,710,373.

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