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

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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

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“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

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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.

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Women’s March draws Kenosha women

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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?

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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

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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.

Jacques Van Landuyt, left, Lori Staaden, Candice Glowinksi, Kelli Kopenski, and Jeffrey Szulczwski watch the inauguration of President Donald J. Trump at Mason's on Friday. ( BRIAN PASSINO )

Local Republicans gather for inauguration viewing party

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The official transfer of the presidency in Washington, D.C., Friday at noon was celebrated locally with a much less formal gathering of President Donald Trump’s supporters.

Rep. Samantha Kerkman, R-Salem, said the viewing party at Mason’s Pub & Eatery, 7000 74th Place, was also meant to celebrate the achievements of Somers resident Reince Priebus, chief of staff for the new president. She explained that between Priebus at the White House and Rep. Paul Ryan serving as Speaker of the House of Representatives, the area will be well looked after in Washington.

“We’re blessed to have Speaker Paul Ryan and now Reince in the White House,” Kerkman explained.

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

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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

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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.

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

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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.

Brianna Roark, right, knits with other students in a math knitting class at Carthage College on Thursday. ( SEAN KRAJACIC )

Knitting numbers in math class at Carthage College

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If a stitch in time saves nine, can a needle and yarn teach math?

Carthage College students are discovering an interesting connection between these seemingly unrelated subjects in Mathematics of Knitting, a unique J-Term offering taught by Carthage assistant professor of mathematics Sara Jensen.

J-Term, short for January Term, is a month-long study designed for students to explore subjects outside of their majors or minors and a time for professors to get creative. Mathematics of Knitting, a first-time course, teaches modular arithmetic, advanced concepts of symmetry and pattern generation entirely with two needles and a skein of yarn.

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

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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

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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.

Margaret Brown points out where flooding water come up to nearly the floor level in her home at 1689 Green Bay Road. Brown said the water was 4 inches deep in some parts of the house. ( BRIAN PASSINO )

Water floods Somers home, displacing residents

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SOMERS — The walls were gurgling.

And that very sound woke up Margaret Brown at 3 a.m. Tuesday while she and her boyfriend were asleep in a home they rent at 1689 Green Bay Road.

Before long, the floors of at least two rooms became soaked in water.

Coffee Pot owners Janis Barnhill, left, and Julie Zorn speak with Tove Bjorgaas, a reporter with NRK Norwegian Broadcasting Corp. at the Coffee Pot on Wednesday. ( KENOSHA NEWS PHOTO BY BRIAN PASSINO )

Norwegian TV crew takes political pulse in Kenosha diner

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The Coffee Pot, a Harborside restaurant noted for its hot, tasty breakfasts and lunches, is fast becoming a hot spot for political commentary and television film crews.

Less than week after CBS recorded a segment of “48 Hours” at the diner, NRK, Norway’s public broadcasting company, was there Wednesday, asking diners their views on national politics.

The show is to air in Norway soon after the presidential inauguration. Meanwhile, the “48 Hours” segment is to air at 7 p.m. Friday.

Members of the Tremper Travel Club include, from left, Savannah Novak, Ebony Beard, Faith Wrycha and Vincent Watring. They will be traveling to the inauguration Friday in Washington, D.C. ( Brian Passino )

Tremper Travel Club headed to Washington for inauguration

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Eighteen Tremper High School students are about to witness history.

When Donald Trump takes the oath of office as the 45th president of the United States on Friday, they will be there on the National Mall along with a crowd estimated at 800,000 to 900,000.

The students, members of the Tremper Travel Club, will be taking in the inauguration along with an inaugural ball and sightseeing excursions during a four-day tour of Washington, D.C.

Joshua Erickson ( )

Trevor man charged in drunken-driving crash that critically injured woman

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A Trevor man is facing up to 12 years in prison for a drunken-driving crash that left one of his passengers critically injured.

Joshua D. Erickson, 22, is being held on $15,000 cash bond on a charge of injury by intoxicated use of a vehicle, along with a series of traffic offenses, for the Sunday crash.

According to the criminal complaint, Erickson lost control of a pickup truck he was driving in the 8700 block of Camp Lake Road at 1:45 a.m., crashing into a tree.

Ice at Silver Lake Park beach on Tuesday. The Department of Natural Resources is urging caution by people who are going out on the ice after the recent warm weather and rain. ( Brian Passino )

Thin ice a dangerous situation

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Ice conditions on inland lakes are poor in spots and getting worse, according to reports from across Kenosha County.

“It’s terrible,” said Randy Rogness, owner of Paddock Lake Sporting Goods. “All the lakes have certain areas that are open, or where the ice has heaved. You’ve got to be careful when you go out.”

Department of Natural Resources Warden Brandon Smith said two all-terrain vehicles broke through the ice on Camp Lake and another went through on Silver Lake over the weekend.

The people running scams that target the elderly could be subject to greater penalties under legislation proposed by Sen. Bob Wirch, D-Somers. ( SHUTTERSTOCK PHOTO )

Deterring fraud against seniors with new legislation

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State Sen. Bob Wirch has re-introduced a bill to combat a growing problem: “heartbreaking” scams targeting the aged and ill.

The legislation, which is being circulated for co-sponsors and has received bipartisan support, creates a civil cause of action for financial exploitation of a vulnerable person, defined as someone who is elderly, incapacitated or living with certain disabilities.

Under the bill, a court must award such a person who can successfully prove that he or she was defrauded up to three times the damages, plus attorney fees and reasonable fees for any necessary services of a conservator or guardian ad litem.

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