January 22, 2017
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"I got my two biggest fish of the year," said John Gryzb after he rescued two youths who fell through the ice while on an ATV on Camp Lake last Sunday. He's holding the tow rope he used to pull one of the boys from the water. ( KENOSHA NEWS PHOTO BY BRIAN PASSINO )

Camp Lake rescuer called a hero


The parents of two teenage friends who went through the ice on Camp Lake last Sunday are calling the fisherman who came to their aid a hero.

"If it wasn't for him, it could have been a much different outcome," said the father of the teen who was driving the all-terrain vehicle end up in the water.

John Gryzb, who lives near the lake, said he knew the two boys were headed toward open water and tried to get their attention.

U.S. Rep. James E. Clyburn of South Carolina addresses the attendees of Saturday's 35th Annual Martin Luther King Jr. Commemorative Program at the U.A.W. Local 72 headquarters. ( KENOSHA NEWS PHOTO BY KEVIN POIRIER )

UAW Local 72 King event stresses faith


Faith was the central theme of Saturday’s Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Commemorative Program, as lawmakers told of the importance of remaining steadfast in the pursuit of justice and equal rights — and in sending a message to the newly installed administration.

More than 350 celebrated the deeds of King and were told of the importance of public education and faith. The 35th annual event was sponsored by the United Auto Workers Local 72’s Civil and Human Rights Committee.

The theme of the event, which concluded Kindness Week, was “Faith is Taking the First Step Even When You Can’t See the Whole Staircase.”

Matt Glaman on Thursday. Glaman is a Drupal developer who works from home. ( Brian Passino )

The Agenda: Working at home not the same as working alone


Those of us who get up five days a week and head to an office, warehouse, lumberyard, manufacturing plant or nursery are carrying on a long tradition of how work is accomplished. Even if we are second-shift food service workers, UPS drivers or concession stand employees at Tinseltown, we all go somewhere to work.

But there is an ever growing class of home-based knowledge workers, both around the world and right here in Kenosha. Many of them work the same kind of hours as the rest of us, but many don’t. They work from basements, second bedrooms, converted garages or the kitchen table. And those men and women toiling at home aren’t just stuffing envelopes or doing medical transcriptions, the work-at-home jobs that existed a generation ago.

Matt Glaman is a developer who works in the field of open source software. Many times a week he is busy all around the world. Most of the time, however, he hasn’t left his basement.

"I got my two biggest fish of the year," said John Gryzb after he rescued two youths who fell through the ice while on an ATV on Camp Lake last Sunday. He's holding the tow rope he used to pull one of the boys from the water. ( KENOSHA NEWS PHOTO BY BRIAN PASSINO )

Camp Lake rescuer called a hero


The parents of two teenage friends who went through the ice on Camp Lake last Sunday are calling the fisherman who came to their aid a hero.

"If it wasn't for him, it could have been a much different outcome," said the father of the teen who was driving the all-terrain vehicle end up in the water.

John Gryzb, who lives near the lake, said he knew the two boys were headed toward open water and tried to get their attention.

Volunteers cut bolts of fabric during the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. day of service sponosred by the Service Learning Center Gateway Technical College on Saturday. ( KENOSHA NEWS PHOTO BY BRIAN PASSINO )

Volunteers offer day of service to mark Kindness Week, King holiday


“This is beautiful,” said Maddie Carrera as she viewed more than 30 volunteers gathered to donate their time assembling care boxes for local non-profit agencies Saturday at Gateway Technical College.

The event was a day of service, organized as part of Kindness Week and the observance of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day.

“Because Dr. Martin Luther King Day is considered as a day of donating your service to the community, Gateway is proud to sponsor an event that connects our families to the community,” said Carrera, the service learning coordinator at Gateway.

Paul and Jolleen Pillizzi dance as Larry Hines and Sarah Sorensen play during the Downtown Kenosha Fall Fest Block Party on Oct. 8. Numerous block parties and growing popularity of other downtown events has buoyed Downtown Kenosha Inc. ( KENOSHA NEWS FILE PHOTO BY SEAN KRAJACIC )

Downtown Kenosha Inc. works toward goals


While Downtown Kenosha Inc. is searching for a new executive director, the board and its committees still have some projects to complete and some new ones to launch.

Board leaders Kevin Ervin and Paul McDonough said 2016 was somewhat of a landmark year, with several new projects begun and the maturing of some existing ones.

Three initiatives have been completed and 14 are in progress, according to a report submitted to the Lakeshore Business Improvement District board. The Lakeshore BID is the funding administrator for Downtown Kenosha Inc.

Event briefs: World Series trophy on display Sunday

GURNEE, Ill. — The World Series trophy will be on display Sunday as part of the Chicago Cubs Trophy Tour.

Fans can see the trophy and take pictures from 2 to 3:30 p.m. at the Gurnee American Legion Post 771, 749 Milwaukee Ave.

KENOSHA — The next Senior Center Without Walls telephone conference will be 2 to 3 p.m. Tuesday.

Kenosha’s ‘48 Hours’ interviews cut into part of post-inauguration coverage

CBS’ “48 Hours” highlighted Kenosha County Friday night during a special segment that aired hours after President Donald Trump’s inauguration.

The episode featured the views of residents in a county that narrowly favored Trump over Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton.

The “48 Hours” crew, with Emmy award-winning reporter Erin Moriarity, spoke with several locals at the Coffee Pot diner, 4914 Seventh Ave. Kenosha County was chosen because it went for a Republican for the first time since 1972, with Trump winning by a scant 255 votes. However, Clinton easily beat Trump in the city of Kenosha.

Today’s News briefs: Woman held after making threat with knife

A 29-year-old Kenosha woman is in custody after reportedly threatening to harm people in her residence with a knife Thursday evening.

According to the criminal complaint, Miesha Keener threatened people in the 4300 block of Fifth Avenue around 4:30 p.m. and threw a knife in the direction of one person. When Kenosha Police attempted to question and search her for weapons, Keener began screaming and resisting. When placed in a squad car, she began to kick at windows and call officers demeaning names.

She has been charged with second-degree recklessly endangering safety, a felony, along with four misdemeanor charges. A preliminary hearing is set for Jan. 27.

Jenfry Martinez prepares a pina colada at Waves, a Caribbean-themed bar and grill that he and his wife, Heather, are opening at 2232 Roosevelt Road, where Bindelli's Safari was located. Jenfry is originally from the Dominican Republic. ( KEVIN POIRIER )

New bar, The Waves, features Caribbean theme


The Waves Bar and Grill, a tavern and eatery with a decidedly Caribbean theme, will open its doors Saturday. Located at 2232 Roosevelt Road, the bar takes over the space most recently known as Bindelli's Safari.

“We've been working on remodeling since Thanksgiving,” said Heather Martinez, who owns the bar with her husband, Jenfry Martinez . “It will have a fresh new look and a different atmosphere than it had before.”

She said they had been busy remodeling and obtaining all the required licenses and permits. “My husband and I have been looking for a place for a while,” Martinez said. “We tried to open at a different place in June, but our permit was denied.”

( )

Women’s March draws Kenosha women


Dozens of local women will join rallies across the nation in support of women’s rights and gender equality this weekend.

Sandra Butler carpooled to Washington, D.C., with friends. She plans to join tens of thousands of women for the Women’s March on Washington, a grassroots movement following the inauguration of President Donald Trump.

“I am a lesbian and I fear that my rights will be moved back in time,” said the 55-year-old retiree.

Boyles Ice House, which was on the main rail line through Salem and Silver Lake. The rail stoppedr unning in May 1939. ( Image courtesy of Valentine digital collection )

Is there a train at the bottom of Silver Lake?


An anonymous Curious Kenosha visitor asked us this question: “I’ve heard there was a train that you use to go across Silver Lake during the winter, and that there is a train car sunken. Is this true?”

We looked into it, and have a definitive answer:

The rumor that a train car is sunken in Silver Lake is false.

Kenosha Police officer Kendal West appears in intake court with attorney Larry Keating earlier this month. He faces charges of battery, disorderly conduct and misconduct in public office. ( KENOSHA NEWS FILE PHOTO BY KEVIN POIRIER )

Police officer waives hearing in battery, misconduct case


Kenosha Police Officer Kendal West waived his preliminary hearing Friday morning and the case was set for arraignment next month in front of a judge.

West is charged with battery, disorderly conduct and misconduct in public office. If convicted of the two misdemeanors and one felony he could be sent to prison for as many as 1 1/2 years, with additional time on supervised release. Fines could be as much as $21,000.

The preliminary hearing is a chance for the defendant to require prosecutors to show there is probable cause that a felony was committed and that the defendant probably committed it. Waiving the hearing admits the state would be able to meet that standard.

Farming is still an important part of Kenosha County's economy, though it has changed significantly in the past 100 years. ( KENOSHA NEWS FILE PHOTO BY KEVIN POIRIER )

Agriculture industry, then and now


The 59-page publication, “Soil Survey of Kenosha and Racine Counties, Wisconsin,” from the year 1919 might not be a page-turner, but for anyone interested in history, it’s an interesting look back on what this area was once like.

The survey was one of many early studies of soils in counties throughout the United States, a cooperative effort between the federal government and land-grant universities to describe the soils in a particular area, classify them according to a standard system, and map the boundaries of different soil types. Soil surveys provide valuable information to farmers, land use planners and others, helping to make decisions on the best uses for a piece of land based on the characteristics of its underlying soils.

Conducting a soil survey is no easy task, and certainly was much harder without the use of modern vehicles and technology. Soil scientists would visit a county, get to know the farmers and landowners, and traverse each bit of undeveloped land, collecting soil samples, recording their characteristics, and mapping as they went.

President Donald Trump pumps his fist after being sworn in as the 45th president of the United States during the 58th Presidential Inauguration at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, Friday, Jan. 20, 2017. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik) ( AP PHOTO )

UPDATED: Donald Trump delivers inaugural speech


WASHINGTON — Donald John Trump swore the oath of office Friday as the 45th president of the United States, one of the most polarizing figures to assume the office shouldering a promise to reclaim prosperity for millions who have felt abandoned by their government.

Trump, who won the presidency by smashing nearly every convention in politics, celebrated one of the most solemn and sober rituals in American democracy, a peaceful transfer of power that culminated with him ascending to an office that few thought was within his grasp.

In his 16-minute inaugural address, Trump painted a stark portrait of a country hobbled by lost jobs and threats from terrorism and immigrants.

Planning continues on new Firestone auto center in Somers

SOMERS — Developers are continuing work on plans for a tire and automotive center in the village and expect to break ground a month later than originally anticipated, according to village officials.

Last month, the Plan Commission and Village Board approved conditions in concept for a proposed Firestone automotive care center, but the plans for the building have yet to be submitted.

At a Tuesday work session, village attorney Jeff Davison said the actual documents for the conditions along with a developer’s agreement were in the process of being drafted.

Jasmine Davis-Morris (left), Joan Davies (right), Minister Essie Bennett (center left) and Bill Gregory talk about the first time they experienced racism during Courageous Conversations About Black Lives Matter at the Civil War Museum Thursday night. ( BILL SIEL )

Community members meet to talk frankly of racism


Dozens gathered at the Civil War Museum to discuss systematic racism and the Black Lives Matter movement Thursday evening.

The event, held during Kindness Week, included people of various races, ages, sexual orientations, socioeconomic backgrounds and education levels.

Rochelle Anderson-Moore, a professional life coach, and Gregory Bennett Jr, vice president of the local NAACP branch, helped organize the event along with community leaders and museum staff.

Aurora Quick Care Clinic inside the north side Piggly Wiggly grocery store on January 19, 2017. ( BRIAN PASSINO )

Aurora to close QuickCare clinic in local grocery


Aurora Healthcare is closing its Kenosha-based Aurora QuickCare Clinic before the end of the month in a plan that calls for the healthcare provider to offer more services in other facilities, some of which will be located in Walgreen’s pharmacies throughout eastern Wisconsin.

The Aurora QuickCare Clinic located in the Piggly Wiggly supermarket at 2801 14th Place, will close Jan. 27.

“We’re in the process of making some changes to our QuickCare model and, as part of that, we’re transitioning our QuickCare clinics into select Walgreens locations,” Doug Koch, president of the Aurora Racine, Kenosha and northern Illinois service area,” he said in a statement.

Giggles is a fawn that was shot by the DNR after it was found at a Bristol animal shelter that was not licensed to rehabilitate deer. The Kenosha County Deer Advisory Council has supported a measure that would continue a ban on rehabilitating deer in parts of the state where chronic wasting disease has been found. ( SUBMITTED PHOTO )

Local Deer Advisory Council supports rehabilitation ban


Yvonne Wallace Blane, director of Fellow Mortals Wildlife Rehabilitation Center in Lake Geneva, is disheartened the Kenosha County Deer Advisory Council voted 3-2 to recommend continuation of a statewide ban on rehabilitating deer in chronic wasting disease-affected areas.

The ban is listed as a means to “prevent new introductions of CWD.”

Blane contends the ban will prevent licensed facilities from caring for injured and orphaned fawns, which will lead the general public to take matters into its own hands.

Woman who stabbed boyfriend gets probation

A woman who stabbed her boyfriend in the back will not serve any jail time if she successfully completes probation.

Alexandra Kamm, 26, of Kenosha, was charged with second-degree recklessly endangering safety and substantial battery for the incident in June. She was charged after her 26-year-old boyfriend turned up at an emergency room with a kitchen knife embedded in his back just below his shoulder blade.

The man told police he had gone to his girlfriend’s house to break up with her and they had argued. As he went to leave, he said she approached him as if to give him a hug and then he felt what he at first thought was a hard punch to his back. He then realized he had been stabbed and drove himself to the hospital.

Twin lakes woman faces charges from escape attempt

A Twin Lakes woman who made a brief attempt to escape custody at the Kenosha County Courthouse appeared in court again Thursday.

Elizabeth Cooper, 30, waived a preliminary hearing for charges of escape, resisting and bail jumping, and was bound over for trial. Prosecutors said they would remain open to negotiations for a plea deal.

Cooper was already facing a first-degree reckless homicide charge for the July death of 31-year-old Christopher Stachura of Trevor. She was out on bond for that charge when she went to court last week for a hearing.

Jubilee Braithwaite appears in intake court on Wednesday. He is accused of robbing three bank in September. ( KENOSHA NEWS PHOTO BY SEAN KRAJACIC )

Court: Enough evidence to hold bank robbery suspect


It would perhaps have been more prudent for a bank robbery suspect to wear a mask rather than a wig.

Jubilee Braithwaite, 27, appeared in court Thursday for a preliminary hearing on whether there was probable cause to hold him on 12 felony counts related to the Sept. 13 armed robberies of three Kenosha banks.

Detective Keith Dumesic testified Thursday there was security video of each of the robberies that day that showed a lone man come into the banks and speak to tellers, demanding cash and indicating he had a weapon. In the videos it appears the suspect was wearing a blond wig, but his face was clearly visible.

Brad Kovachik ( )

Kovachik joins CMG Financial


Kenosha native Bradford Kovachik has joined the Waukesha office of CMG Financial, a privately held mortgage banking firm. Headquartered in San Ramon, Calif., CMG Financial is expanding its Midwestern and Eastern efforts.

Kovachik is entering his 19th year in the mortgage industry. Previously he has held other mortgage banking leadership positions including senior loan originator at GSF Mortgage, branch manager at Team USA Mortgage and vice president of the Koscinski Mortgage Group.

He has also owned and operated his own business.

A firefighter is framed by a burnt window at the site of a house fire at 27835 100th Street in Camp Lake. Multiple fire departments were sent to the scene on Thursday. ( KEVIN POIRIER )

Camp Lake house fire starts in dryer


A Camp Lake woman is grateful she was home when a quick-moving fire began in the house she shares with her boyfriend Thursday morning.

Maureen O’Neil said she was home alone and getting ready for work late Thursday morning when she smelled smoke in the house, 27855 100th St. “I was just about ready to leave,” she said. Investigating, she saw smoke coming from the clothes dryer in the laundry room. “I opened the door to the dryer and smoke started pouring out.”

O’Neil said she called 911 and got her two dogs out of the house. By the time firefighters from the Salem Fire Department arrived a short time later, the fire had started to spread. “When the battalion chief arrived he saw smoke showing,” Salem Chief Mike Slover said. “By the time he was able to get out and do an assessment there was smoke and flame coming from the back of the house.”

The Somers municipal building. ( KENOHSA NEWS FILE PHOTO BY BRIAN PASSINO )

No Facebook for Somers Fire Department


SOMERS — The village won’t be taking a leap into social media any time soon — at least not without a policy in place.

Village Board president George Stoner cited the “nightmare” of a previous experience with Facebook — in which the Somers firefighters association reportedly used Facebook to paint Somers in a not-so-favorable light — as his reason for not buying into the social media platform.

“We’ve got a fantastic website. I want the residents in Somers — and around the world — to concentrate on that. We have total control on that,” he said during a Village Board work session last week.

Waterfront Warehouse offers Super party contest

A pair of lucky patrons of Waterfront Warehouse will win a Super Bowl viewing party at the restaurant, 3322 Sheridan Road. The first-place prize includes the use of Waterfront’s new party room on the lower level for up to 30 people. It includes free food, drink specials, and access to 10 big screen TVs.

The second place winner will claim free food and drink specials for 10 people on the restaurant's upper level.

“I hear stories about people going to Vegas to watch the big game,” said, Dino Katris, managing director of Roots Hospitality Group, which owns and operates Waterfront Warehouse and the neighboring La Fogata Mexican Grill. “But not everyone has that opportunity. We wanted to thank our customers by giving them the chance to have a party with us.”

Simmons Island Park is in need of a fence to keep people from driving off of the road and all over the landscape. ( Brian Passino )

Fix It: Off-road driving on Simmons Island


Today’s problem: Off-road driving on Simmons Island Park, one of the jewels of the City of Kenosha’s lakefront park areas.

Fix It has noticed that over the past couple of years vehicles are leaving the roadway near the park entrance, at the beach and on the hill areas and tearing up the grass and sand. You know, like it’s their own personal muddin’ track. Lately, this has become a constant problem. On a recent drive on the island, Fix It saw several areas of damage.

There are numerous tire tracks on the park grass areas near the bath house, up on the hill close to the park trees and over the sand areas. The city had installed a split-rail fence on the north side of the road when the old road extension was removed to help prevent this, but only on the north side of the hill portion of the road. Some of these are near long-standing pine trees and over what would be their root areas.

Plans to renovate this building at 4314 39th Ave. into a permanent homeless shelter for the Shalom Center are progressing. ( KENOSHA NEWS FILE PHOTO BY KEVIN POIRIER )

Kenosha City Council supports shelter for homeless


The Kenosha City Council on Wednesday unanimously approved a conditional use permit for the Shalom Center’s new permanent homeless shelter, which could be completed by the end of summer.

The center has raised more than $500,000 in the past month, nearing its goal to help renovate the site at 4314 39th Ave., according to Lynn Biese-Carroll, the nonprofit agency’s director.

Biese-Carroll said the Shalom Center is committed to moving ahead with the shelter, a project complicated when an $850,000 federal grant application went unfunded. Nearly $1 million more is needed.

Kenosha Police Office Kendal West, left, and Kenosha Ald. Kevin Mathewson, right ( )

NAACP backs Kenosha police officer


Local NAACP members voiced support for Kenosha Police officer Kendal West at Kenosha City Council’s meeting Wednesday night.

Earlier this month, West was charged with battery, disorderly conduct and misconduct in public office for a New Year’s Day incident.

West is accused of leaving his assigned patrol area while in uniform and punching a man who was in a romantic relationship with his wife at Kenosha Medical Center.

The ice that covered Pike River is breaking up and moving downstream as temperatures rise. ( KENOSHA NEWS PHOTO BY KEVIN POIRIER )

Rain, snow melt swell Kenosha County rivers, creeks


Rivers and creeks in Kenosha County are swelling due to recent rains and snow melt brought on by rising temperature.

Kenosha received more than an inch of rain Monday through Tuesday, as temperatures remained steadily above the freezing mark, according to the National Weather Service.

The Pike River level shot up dramatically starting Monday, according to the U.S. Geological Survey, rising from less than 2 feet to more than 5 feet at the official gauge near Racine County.

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