March 23, 2017
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Mike Stone, general manager of Amazon, speaks on a panel during the Kenosha Area Business Alliance's annual meeting at UW-Parkside on Wednesday. ( KENOSHA NEWS PHOTO BY SEAN KRAJACIC )

KABA’s report card shows high marks for economic development


In front of a packed audience, the Kenosha Area Business Alliance presented a report card of sorts as part of its 2017 annual meeting.

During the luncheon Wednesday at the University of Wisconsin-Parkside, business leaders, government officials and an array of interested parties heard a scorecard of activities and successes made possible by the funds and efforts of the public-private organization.

KABA President Todd Battle said the organization is four years into a five-year economic development plan for Kenosha County. KABA's efforts “have resulted in 5,500 new jobs, $728 million of capital investment and nearly 9.5 million square feet of new development in the county.”

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Work on Highway 165 resumes; lane closures expected


Lane closures on Highway 165 will cause traffic delays over the next several months as the state resurfaces the road.

Work resumed Wednesday on the project from Interstate 94 east to Green Bay Road.

"The initial work is anticipated to take place off-road with limited traffic impacts," state Department of Transportation spokesman Brian DeNeve. "The week of March 27, long-term single lane closures on (Highway) 165 are scheduled. Some congestion may occur with these closures."

A woman holds her pets after Kenosha firefighters helped her out of a second floor apartment window and down the ladder at an apartment fire at 516 60th St. on Wednesday, March 21, 2017. ( Brian Passino )

Firefighters rescue two from downtown apartment fire


This article has been revised since its original posting.

Two people had to be rescued from a second-story apartment and 10 people were displaced by a fire in a downtown apartment building Wednesday morning.

Kenosha firefighters were called to 516 60th St. at 9:03 a.m. for a report of a fire in a bedroom in a first-floor apartment.

Kenosha Police Officer Kendal West was arrested on New Year's Day for a personal incident that occurred while on duty. He is due to enter a plea in April to charges against him. ( KENOSHA POLICE FACEBOOK PHOTO )

Plea pending for charged officer


The Kenosha police officer accused of, while on duty, punching an emergency department doctor is expected to enter a plea next month.

West, 30, is charged with misconduct in public office, a felony, along with battery and disorderly conduct for the Jan. 1 incident. West is accused of punching a man he believed was romantically involved with his wife.

West appeared in court briefly Wednesday morning. The plea hearing is set for April 5.

In this file photo from July, Pleasant Prairie Police Officer Mike Algiers holds a body-worn camera. While the village police force uses the cameras, Kenosha is still weighing their use. ( KENOSHA NEWS FILE PHOTO BY KEVIN POIRIER )

Kenosha officials push state for guidance on police body cameras


The Kenosha City Council unanimously approved a resolution Monday requesting state legislators to adopt statewide rules and regulations for police-worn body cameras.

The request will be sent to all state legislators and Gov. Scott Walker.

According to the resolution, body cameras will help local law enforcement officials in numerous ways by:

Stinky, a feral cat, stretches while waiting for dinner at the Sherman Gardens on Oct. 21, 2016 in Evanston, Ill. ( CHICAGO TRIBUNE PHOTO BY KEVIN TANAKA )

Kenosha weighs program to trap, neuter, release feral cats


The Kenosha City Council on Monday deferred a vote on a proposal to change the way the city deals with feral cats.

The proposal authorizes Safe Harbor Humane Society to neuter/spay and vaccinate captured cats before releasing them back into the city. Freed cats would have a portion of an ear clipped for identification purposes.

The ordinance change will be taken up again next month.

Edna Williams, left, helps tutor children at Bose Elementary School on Tuesday, including Eveyana Garcia, middle, and Javiona Jackson, second from right. Williams is involved with the Foster Grandparents group. ( KENOSHA NEWS PHOTO BY BRIAN PASSINO )

Foster Grandparents also learn from kids while being mentors


In some ways, it sounds like the plot of a television show: Put senior citizens in the middle of dozens of kids in a grade school and watch the non-stop hilarity that ensues.

While it might not make it as a CBS sitcom, the Foster Grandparent Program from Goodwill Industries of Southeastern Wisconsin does seem to create a great deal of joy for both the kids and the senior citizens who make the program possible.

A few years ago, a speaker who visited the apartment complex where Darlene Pauna, 83, lives told a small group about how to get involved.

Kenosha Police Department ( Kenosha Police Department )

Mother could be charged in infant’s death


A Kenosha woman may be charged with reckless homicide related to the death of her 9-month-old daughter over the weekend.

According to Kenosha Police, officers were called to Kenosha Medical Center, 6308 Eighth Ave., about 7 a.m. Saturday. They learned that a 9-month-old girl had been brought into the hospital and had died.

Sgt. James Beller said that the child “appeared lifeless or in need of very urgent care” when brought to the hospital.

Council OKs fire, police pay

The Kenosha City Council approved across-the-board wage increases for employees of the police and fire departments Monday night.

The council approved the 2016-2018 contract with the Local 414, the union representing Kenosha Fire Department firefighters. It also approved a separate resolution increasing pay for non-represented police and fire employees, such as division and battalion chiefs.

Affected staff will receive a 3 percent wage increase effective Jan. 1, 2018. Local 414 had been operating without a contract for more than a year. A similar agreement with the Kenosha Professional Police Association, the union representing police, was reached last March.

From left, Jim Coleman, Cindy Bryan and Mark Hasenberg volunteer in the library of the Kenosha County Detention Center. ( KENOSHA NEWS PHOTO BY SEAN KRAJACIC )

Volunteers enjoy their work at Kenosha County Detention Center, Downtown Pre-Trial Facility


Usually when people think of volunteering, they imagine distributing food to the needy or reading books to little kids. What they don’t imagine is going to jail.

But the jail needs volunteers as much as any other place in Kenosha.

“There’s a stigma about the jail, but inmates appreciate the volunteers. They respect the volunteers,” said jail chaplain Hasan Hakeem. “Volunteers here have a spiritual connection to the work they do. There’s no better place to be if you’re a believer.”

Colleen Jazdzewski, left, draws a blood donation from Kenya Howell, a Tremper High School junior, during the blood drive at the school on Thursday. The BloodCenter of Wisconsin is in critical need of blood donations. ( KENOSHA NEWS PHOTO BY BRIAN PASSINO )

BloodCenter of Wisconsin in critical need of blood donations


Last week’s snowstorm and the flu season hitting its peak have created a critical need for blood.

The BloodCenter of Wisconsin reported Monday it has less than a one-day supply of Type O-negative blood and less than a two-day supply of most other blood types.

The center prefers to have three-day supplies on hand in order to be prepared for a trauma situation, said Fay Spano, public relations director for the BloodCenter.

Cyclists take a turn as they train in the Business Park of Kenosha on Sunday. Many cyclists are anxiously awaiting the reopening of the Washington Park Velodrome, closed for repairs since 2015. ( KENOSHA NEWS PHOTO BY SEAN KRAJACIC )

Cyclists eager for velodrome to open


The sun shone brightly as a pack of cyclists took laps during timed races Sunday at the Business Park of Kenosha.

At the 38th annual event coordinated by Kenosha Velosport, a series of weekend races dubbed the “spring training” for cyclists, there was a buzz in the air, but not just from racers churning against the wind.

In a few weeks, many of the riders are hopeful for the long-awaited opening of the new track at the Washington Park Velodrome. According to the velodrome’s website, opening night is planned for May 16.

Mayumi "Amisha" Gaines performs an Asian fusion dance during a benefit for Shriners Hospitals for Children at the Parkway Chateau on Sunday. ( KENOSHA NEWS PHOTO BY SEAN KRAJACIC )

Dancers belly up for a cause


Belly dancers, folk and fusion performers, singers and dancers brought their passion for their arts to the stage at the Parkway Chateau Sunday afternoon.

But they especially gave their heart in support of an organization that has helped 14-year-old Allen Gaines of Zion, Ill., with surgeries he has needed to correct the deformities caused by Crouzon Syndrome, which he was diagnosed with when he was just 7 months old.

Allen and his mother Mayumi, who was among the 16 performing acts at the second “Dance with Passion” event, have been giving back to Shriners Hospital for Children, where Allen has undergone numerous surgeries, for a number of years.

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Salem Lakes board hopefuls outline visions for village


SALEM LAKES — Candidates for the Salem Lakes Village Board recently shared their vision for the area as part of their campaigns.

Voters will select three trustees in the April 4 general election to serve their new village, a merger of Salem and Silver Lake.

The slate includes former Salem supervisors Dan Campion, Mike Culat, Dennis Faber and Ted Kmiec, and former Silver Lake trustees Eric Ericksen and Pat Dunn, who are serving as de-facto trustees on the Salem Lakes Village Board.

Vick Fredrick is shown with his great-grandsons Jacob and Isaac Mayer at the Southport Light Station Museum. In his scuba diving days, Fredrick recovered artifacts from the SS Wisconsin and donated them to the museum, where he also served as a tour guide. ( submitted photo )

A Life Remembered: Longtime Kenosha adventurer loved underwater exploration


Each Monday, the Kenosha News takes a look at the life of a Kenosha County resident who recently died. We share with you, through the memories of family and friends, a life remembered.

Vickery “Vick” Fredrick had two very full lives.

One was as a man who nearly always worked two jobs to support his family. The second was as an explorer and adventurer who backpacked the Minnesota wilderness and scoured the floors of the Great Lakes seeking underwater treasure.

Emilie Valdez, a senior at Indian Trail High School and Academy, who has multiple sclerosis, displays a T-shirt sold to support her efforts to raise funds and awareness for multiple sclerosis. ( KENOSHA NEWS PHOTO BY BRIAN PASSINO )

Student’s fight against MS inspires classmates at Indian Trail


Emilie Valdez was overcome with emotion Friday at Indian Trail High School and Academy when Donna Binninger handed her a computer printout.

Binninger, the school secretary, had just tallied $2,773 in donations from students, staff and teachers for Valdez and her team, the Orange Ninjas, for this year’s Walk MS, coming up May 6 to benefit the National Multiple Sclerosis Society.

Valdez, 18, has been participating Walk MS since she was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis as a 15-year-old sophomore. Her goal this year was to raise $500.

The Kenosha Unified School District ( )

Kenosha Unified, KEA engage in ‘meet and confer’ discussions


Since Act 10 was signed into law in 2011, public school teachers unions and local school districts in Wisconsin have been barred from negotiating collective bargaining agreements.

However, early on, the Kenosha Education Association and the Kenosha Unified School District butted heads over whether that restriction also prohibited the parties from meeting altogether, either formally or informally, to confer on matters affecting teachers and other represented union members.

Within the past year or so, that view seems to have softened, as there have been several “meet and confer” sessions between district administration and the KEA.

Tremper High School sophomore Jamal Hanson performs Handel's Sonata No. 3 in F Major during the Wisconsin School Music Association District Solo & Ensemble Music Festival at Indian Trail Saturday. Judge Brittany Broman of Waukesha said to Hanson, "I love the enthusiasm for the allegro. ... You did a great job." ( KENOSHA NEWS PHOTO BY BRIAN PASSINO )

Student musicians soar at solo-and-ensemble festival


They had practiced countless times. They all wanted to put forth their best effort. Some had the nervous jitters, but nevertheless they were prepared for their own version of March Madness, the annual district district Solo and Ensemble Festival.

Middle and high school students performed at Saturday’s event at Indian Trail High School and Academy. Some sang, some played instrumental solos and others performed as an ensemble. The festival is an opportunity for student musicians to put their practice and music ability to a test.

This year’s daylong district festival featured 1,300 events in 25 different sites throughout the school. The students performed before judges from the Wisconsin School Music Association with the hope that they would be selected as a a top performer with an opportunity to advance to the state festival in May at the University of Wisconsin-Parkside.

Boy Scouts Jayden Smith, left, and Noah Dostalek, Troop 1570, unload donated food items with dad Jody Smith as Ralph Tollas, right, is ready with a shopping cart. They were dropping off food at the Shalom Center's food pantry Saturday as part of the annual Scouting for Food food drive. ( KENOSHA NEWS PHOTO BY BRIAN PASSINO )

Scouts collect 14,000 pound of food for Shalom Center


The Gateway District Boy Scouts’ 29th annual Scouting for Food drive generated several tons of food Saturday for the Shalom Center.

Scouting for Food chairman Ralph Tollas said Kenosha residents’ response was very good. The Scouts delivered 14,200 pounds of non-perishable food Saturday to the Shalom Center Food Pantry, 8043 Sheridan Road.

This year’s collection was about the same as last year, when the the Scouts delivered a record amount of food.

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