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City Council Approves Rezoning Property

The Kenosha City Council voted 13-1 to approve the rezoning of a 52-acre parcel at the southeast corner of 120th Avenue and 38th Street Wednesday night for a proposed warehouse.

Somers residents who live north of the property, which is in Kenosha, protested the rezoning due to traffic concerns and wanted developers to negotiate a fair price for their properties. A motion to defer the rezoning decision two weeks so owners could negotiate with developers failed 6-8.

Racine Co. Fatal Crash Victims ID’d

The two men killed in a Tuesday crash in the Racine County town of Dover have been identified.

Jarrett Heck, 20, of Salem, and Zachary Faulhaber, 22, of Kansasville, were the two occupants in the vehicle that went off the road about 5 a.m. Tuesday. Both were thrown from the vehicle and pronounced dead at the scene, according to the Racine County Sheriff’s Office.

The crash remains under investigation, but speed appears to have been a factor, a sheriff’s news release said. Their vehicle left the road in the 1900 block of Highway 75, struck a culvert and went airborne before striking a tree and power pole.

Walker Signs Law Loosening Campaign Finance Rules

Gov. Scott Walker today signed into law a sweeping measure loosening Wisconsin’s campaign finance regulations.

The measure was one of two major bills Walker signed. The other eliminated the state’s nonpartisan state elections board.

The campaign finance changes include doubling the limit for individual campaign contributions to statewide candidates to $20,000 and eliminating a requirement that donors giving more than $100 identify their employer. It also allows, for the first time, corporate donations to political parties and legislative campaign committees.

Men Held on $1 Million Bond for Drug Operation

Four local men are being held on $1 million cash bond for allegedly running an elaborate drug trafficking operation out of a Kenosha residence.

On Tuesday, the Kenosha Drug Operations Group raided a house in the 1600 block of 50th street. They reportedly found more than 11,000 grams of THC and 17,000 grams of amphetamine, along with a large amount of highly flammable chemicals and drug paraphernalia.

The drugs and equipment were traced back to Alex Luna-Diaz, Eleazar Diaz-Sanchez, Alexsander Diaz and Ruben Luna, according to prosecutors. They are all related.

The charges carried maximum prison terms totaling 25 years. It was not immediately clear whether Porter would be tried again.

Neighbors Concerned about Doctor’s Rezoning Plans for Home

A meeting will be held Thursday at Somers municipal building to discuss concerns over a proposed zoning change for a home at 4824 Green Bay Road being remodeled by a family doctor.

The meeting is at 6 p.m. in the Leon T. Dreger Hall, at the village municipal building, 7511 12th St. Residents who live near property at 4824 Green Bay Road, which is being remodeled by Dr. Abdul Durrani, are concerned about his request for rezoning.

While the building is expected to eventually house offices, the proposed rezoning would also allow uses such as bars, taverns and adult entertainment.

Lance “40 Challenge”

KENOSHA – Lance Middle School is initiating the “40 Challenge” to help those less fortunate in Kenosha this year. Donations can be dropped off at Lance Middle School’s main office, 4515 80th St., from Dec. 1-17between 8:35 a.m. and 3 p.m.

Each donation will help ensure that winter is a little warmer and the holidays are a bit merrier for families who may be struggling this year. The goal is to collect 40 of each of the items listed below for families in need in the Lance community and beyond. One item can truly make a difference.  Contact Tanya Ruder Executive Director of Community Partnerships & Media Relations 262.359.7612.

Federal court rules Wisconsin abortion law unconstitutional

A Wisconsin law that requires abortion providers to get admitting privileges at nearby hospitals is unconstitutional, a federal appeals court panel ruled today.

The 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals panel’s 2-1 decision doesn’t put the question to rest. Nearly a dozen states have imposed similar requirements on abortion providers, and the U.S. Supreme Court agreed last week to hear a challenge to Texas’ law in a case that could settle the issue nationally.

Silver Lake to sell building slated for library

The Silver Lake Village Board voted unanimously Wednesday to sell the building on Second Street, purchased for $200,000 in December 2013 for use as a library. The decision comes after failed attempts to split the purchase price with other municipalities in the Community Library System and to lease it to the Community Library.

Artwork a fruit of county’s summer youth jobs program

Kenosha County’s 2015 Summer Youth Employment program officially ended for the season today, with the presentation of artwork that will hang as a tribute to the hard work and development of job and life skills that 210 Kenosha County youths learned in the program.

Established in 2009, the program has helped several hundred at-risk youth learn skills, gain partial high school credit and find private-sector jobs. This year’s program began in June and ended in August.

Consultant delivers year-round Kenosha market report

A consultant hired to study the feasibility of a year-round, indoor public market in Kenosha presented his report today.

Based on the concept and assumptions offered within a proposed plan, a public market facility is feasible for Kenosha, but the development process is complex, said Ted Spitzer, president of Market Ventures Inc.

Bradford boys volleyball takes first

Bradford boys volleyball team defeated host Indian Trail, 3-1, to finish the 5-0 in the South Division of the Southeast Conference. Details later at and in Thursday’s Kenosha News.

Land use map changes approved for Festival Foods, apartments

The Somers Village Board Wednesday night approved changes to a map that will allow for the eventual rezoning of land for proposed Festival Foods grocery store and 280-unit apartment complex at northwest of highways 31 and 142.

The board voted unanimously to change the land use from business/industrial park to commercial for property at 6226 31st St. for the proposed grocery store and from commercial to high-density residential for Bear Development’s apartment complex. Both hope to break ground by late November or early December.

Shalom Center to Seek Funding before Rezoning

At the suggestion of Kenosha’s mayor, the Shalom Center is seeking community financial support before moving forward with plans to seek a property rezoning allowing for development of a homeless center.

Executive Director Lynn Biese-Carroll said the Shalom Center’s board is pleased with the renovation estimates for the former JHT Holdings building, 4214 39th Ave. She said after a meeting with an architect Tuesday, the estimated cost of purchasing and renovating the building is $1.8 million to $1.9 million.

Wheatland Center levy set to decrease

WHEATLAND — The Wheatland Center School District levy is set to decrease for a third consecutive year, Administrator Marty McGinley said.

The levy, or amount of revenue needed to be generated from local taxpayers to support the 2015-16 budget, was approved at $3,335,351. This is $1,969 less than last year’s levy of $3,337,320.

Wilmot High School levy to Stay the Same

WILMOT — The Wilmot High School tax levy, or amount of money needed to be generated locally, will remain flat for 2015-16 at $11,908,520.

The levy, subject to change after final state figures are released, will support general operation expenses of $14,236,492, down $11,077 over last year’s cost of $14,247,569.

Police Release Photos, info on Skimming Scam

The Kenosha Police Department released new information Wednesday in a fraud case involving five southeastern Wisconsin Educators Credit Union locations, including a local branch at 4215 Green Bay Road.

Authorities obtained surveillance video of up to six people responsible for compromising ATMs with skimming devices and hidden cameras on Sept. 6 in Racine and Sept. 12 in Kenosha and Milwaukee.

Kenosha Home Sales Humming Along

Home sales have been so brisk in Kenosha County during the first seven months of the year there were fewer attractive homes to sell in August, according to local real estate agents.

Home sales decreased in August due to a smaller inventory of homes, Realtors said. This has helped drive up prices and is slowly turning the buyers’ market into a sellers’ market.

The Wisconsin Realtors Association reported home sales declined by nearly 9 percent in August compared with the same month a year ago. Realtors sold 197 homes in Kenosha County in August, compared to 216 a year ago.

Fall colors starting in northern Wis.

Wisconsin’s fall color show is beginning in northern regions of the state and forestry specialists expect this year’s red, yellow and russet hues to be spectacular.

The state Department of Natural Resources says weather during the growing season is essential for the quality of leaves that provide the stunning color. DNR forestry sciences section chief Carmen Hardin says the growing season has been excellent across much of Wisconsin. Hardin says the shortened day length is the primary trigger for trees to begin changing color.

The DNR says peak fall color usually occurs in far northern Wisconsin during the last week of September and the first week of October. Significant color can appear earlier in isolated, lower lying areas by mid-September.