Home sales cool in August

Despite hopes for a hot summer, August housing sales cooled for the second consecutive month while home prices rose in Kenosha County.

For more, check www.kenoshanews.com or see Thursday's newspaper.



Work aims to improve water quality at Eichelman Beach

A second Kenosha beach is due for improvements.

Work is expected to begin this fall at Eichelman Beach, one of two city beaches that have received grant funding to pay for long-term restoration projects aimed at reducing pollution and beach closures.

For more, check www.kenoshanews.com or see Thursday's newspaper.



Ex-Chicago police commander getting out of prison

A former Chicago police commander serving a sentence for lying about the torture of suspects by officers under his command is getting out of prison.

More than 100 men have accused Ex-Lt. Jon Burge and officers under his command of shocking, suffocating and beating them into giving false confessions during the 1970s and 1980s.


UW-Parkside retention rates over 70 percent

Programs put in place several years ago to help University of Wisconsin-Parkside full-time freshmen make it to the next year appear to be working, with the university's retention rate climbing for the third year in a row.

Officials report 73.8 percent of the first-time, full-time freshmen who started in 2013 returned this fall, representing a 15 percent increase over the 2011 retention rate. The last time the retention rate was higher was for freshmen who started in the fall of 1989. For much of the past 25 years, the rate has been in the mid-60s.

Read more later today at www.kenoshanews.com or in Thursday's Kenosha News.


Beheading suspect ordered held without bond

A man accused of beheading a woman at an Oklahoma food processing plant after being suspended from his job was ordered held without bond today and asked a judge to name a Muslim as his court-appointed lawyer.

Alton Nolen, 30, is charged with first-degree murder in the death of Colleen Hufford, 54, and with two counts of assault. Prosecutors said Nolen was stabbing another employee when he was shot by a plant manager in an attack Thursday at the Vaughan Foods plant in Moore.


Alderman: replace Statue of Liberty at Civic Center Park

After looking at a barren pedestal at Civic Center Park for months, Alderman Jan Michalski is asking the city to get moving on a replacement to the departed replica of the Statue of Liberty.


The 64-year-old replica of lady liberty was taken to the Kenosha History Center Museum in April after it was determined it could no loner stand the punishment of Wisconsin weather.

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



U.S. sharply criticizes new Israeli construction

The Obama administration warned Israel today that plans for a controversial new housing project in east Jerusalem would distance Israel from "even its closest allies" and raise questions about its commitment to seeking peace with Palestinians.

The strikingly sharp criticism from the White House and State Department came just hours after President Barack Obama and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu met at the White House. Obama spokesman Josh Earnest said the president raised his concerns about the construction project with Netanyahu privately, though the two leaders made no mention of the matter in their comments to reporters.


Secret Service chief resigns

Secret Service Director Julia Pierson resigned Wednesday, a day after bitingly critical questioning by Congress about a White House security breach. There had been increasing calls for her departure during the day.

Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson said she offered her resignation and he accepted it.

Pierson will be replaced by Joseph Clancy, a former special agent in charge of the president's protective detail who retired in 2011. Pierson has been with the agency for 30 years.

She was widely criticized during and after her testimony Tuesday.

Pierson took over the embattled agency last year after embarrassing incidents involving misconduct by officers and agents, including the 2012 Colombia prostitution scandal.



Structure fire reported in Walworth County

A three-mile stretch of Highway 120 in Walworth County remains closed due to a structure fire, according to the Walworth County Sheriff's Department.

Emergency crews responded to the fire around noon and closed both lanes of traffic at the intersection of Highway 120 and Highway 11 in Elkhorn. Highway 120 is closed from Highway 11 to Highway 36.



Wis. budget panel to consider voter ID info campaign

The Legislature's budget committee plans to meet Tuesday to consider a request to spend about $461,000 to educate voters about the voter identification law before the Nov. 4 election.

The Joint Finance Committee announced the meeting date today. It comes after the state elections board asked the committee for approval to spend the money on a statewide television, radio and online education campaign.

Elections board spokesman Reid Magney says approval of the spending next week would be the "best case scenario" to move ahead with the voter education campaign.


Walker slightly ahead of Burke in new poll

With less than five weeks until Election Day, a new poll shows Gov. Scott Walker is slightly ahead of Democrat Mary Burke in the race for Wisconsin governor.

The Marquette University Law School poll released today shows Walker with 50 percent support among likely voters compared with 45 percent for Burke.

That is just above the poll's 4.1 percentage point margin of error.
This is the first poll since March where the candidates were separated by more than the margin of error. The election is Nov. 4.
The poll of 585 likely voters was done between Sept. 25 and Sunday.

Among registered voters, Walker has 46 percent compared with 45 percent for Burke. That has a 3.5 percentage point margin of error.


Today's Weekday Report is up at kenoshanews.com

Today's Weekday Report is at kenoshanews.com

Among our top stories: The city and county are busy replenishing their depleted stockpiles of road salt. And the city of Kenosha's first dog park is expected to open later this month.

Watch the video here.


Possible gas leak reported

Emergency crews are responding to a possible gas leak at 6623 20th Avenue, according to scanner traffic.

Backup was called when a strong smell of natural gas was confirmed emitting from the residence.



Students celebrate Farmer Day at Central High School

Students at Central High School drove their tractors to school this morning, in honor of the school's annual homecoming week Farmer Day celebration.

To see photos and video, click here.


Castle doctrine doesn't apply outside dwelling

A state appeals court has ruled that Wisconsin's castle doctrine law doesn't apply outside a dwelling.

The 2nd District Court of Appeals ruling Thursday stems from the case of Charles Chew, who fired at two men as they fled across a parking lot after they beat him in his apartment in 2012.

Chew was convicted of reckless endangerment and sentenced to more than two years in prison. He argued on appeal that the trial judge improperly blocked him from invoking the castle doctrine.

The appeals court disagreed.



Accidents with deer hitting peak season

The Wisconsin Department of Transportation says drivers should stay alert for deer this fall after more than 18,000 vehicle crashes with deer were reported last year.

Post-Crescent Media reports the agency says most wrecks occur in October and November due to the mating season. It says eight people died in Wisconsin in 2013 out of the 18,338 crashes with deer reported. Transportation officials say 17 percent of car crashes and 14 percent of truck crashes resulted in fatality or injury, compared with 68 percent for motorcycle crashes.



Gasoline prices falling in Wis.

Average retail gasoline prices in Wisconsin have fallen 2.8 cents per gallon in the last week, averaging $3.36 a gallon, according to GasBuddy's daily survey of 3,112 gas outlets in Wisconsin.

In Kenosha, prices have stayed at an average of $3.29 a gallon in the last week.

Nationally, prices are 1.2 cents per gallon in the last week to $3.34 a gallon, according to gasoline price website GasBuddy.com.



Obama to speak at Chicago fund-raiser

President Barack Obama is headed home to Chicago on Wednesday to speak at a fund-raiser for Democratic Gov. Pat Quinn.

Obama will speak on Thursday at Northwestern University and then head back to Washington.

The president is to return to Washington afterward on Thursday. Quinn is in the middle of a tight re-election bid with Republican candidate and businessman Bruce Rauner.



Hot off the press: Wednesday, Oct. 1

Here is a look at the top stories available now at KenoshaNews.com and in today's Kenosha News:

* The city and county are stocking up on salt in preparation for the upcoming winter.

* The city of Kenosha's first dog park is expected to open soon in Anderson Park.

* Now-defunct Senior Community Services of Southeastern Wisconsin Inc. is giving the Shalom Center a $42,700 donation for its proposed homeless shelter.

* Local real estate agents are shaken by a Realtor murder in Arkansas.


Chrysler Group sales up sharply in Sept.

Chrysler Group says its U.S. sales rose 19 percent in September thanks to strong demand for the new Jeep Cherokee SUV and the Ram pickup.

Cherokee sales rose to 14,639, surpassing the bigger Grand Cherokee and helping the Jeep brand increase sales by 47 percent over last September. The Cherokee went on sale last November.

Ram truck sales rose 30 percent to 36,612. Fiat and Chrysler brand sales also rose. Dodge sales were down. Chrysler sold 169,890 cars and trucks, its best September since 2005.



4 Milwaukee area YMCAs to be sold

A federal bankruptcy judge has approved the sale of four suburban Milwaukee YMCA properties for $9 million.

The YMCA of Metropolitan Milwaukee filed for bankruptcy in June after its debt rose to $29 million. The sale will allow the Milwaukee Y to restructure into a more urban organization.

The YMCA of Central Waukesha County will buy the Y in Greenfield, another in Menomonee Falls and the West Suburban Y in Wauwatosa for $7 million.



Weather today

Today's weather: Intervals of clouds and sun. High 66, low 55



Royals win AL Wild Card game

The Kansas City Royals defeated the Oakland Athletics 9-8 in 12 innings in the American League Wild Card game early Wednesday morning.



Charitable organization donates $42,700 toward Shalom Center homeless shelter

Before closing down earlier this week, the Senior Community Service of Southeastern Wisconsin, Inc., donated $42,700 in leftover federal grant money to Kenosha's Shalom Center.

Center officials said today they were thrilled and grateful for the nonprofit agency's generosity, which Ronald J. Frederick, former executive director of Senior Community Service, hopes will spur more contributions.

Read more about this story later at www.kenoshanews.com and in Wednesday's Kenosha News.



COLLEGE SOCCER: UWP women ranked 11th

The UW-Parkside women's soccer team was ranked 11th in the latest National Soccer Coaches Association Division II Top 25, which was released Tuesday.

The Rangers were also ranked No. 2 in the Midwest Region.



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