Salem Lakes poised to extend fireworks sales from tents one more season

/Photo by Tim Zänkert on Unsplash

The Salem Lakes Village Board appears ready to extend the ability of two fireworks retailers — and perhaps a third — to sell their product from tents through this season.

The board discussed the issue at a committee of the whole meeting Monday.

The board passed a fireworks sales ordinance allowing sales from tents through the 2018 season, but requiring a permanent structure meeting specific safety specifications including a sprinkler system after that.

However, both of the companies that have been operating in Salem Lakes from tents had difficulty moving to a permanent structure for this season. In one case in March 2018, the board denied issuing a conditional use permit to sell fireworks from a building on Antioch Road in the Cross Lake neighborhood after residents turned out to a village meeting to object to the permit.

Expressing support for extending tent sales for another year were Trustees Ron Gandt, Ted Kmiec, Bill Hopkins and Mike Culat along with village President Diann Tesar. Opposing the extension were Trustees Dennis Faber and Dan Campion.

The village requires a permit for individual fireworks sales, which is issued by the retailers on the village’s behalf. Last year, those permits generated about $10,000 for the village. That permit allows someone to possess and transport fireworks, not use them. Use of aerial fireworks such as bottle rockets, roman candles, mortars, firecrackers and others that leave the ground is illegal in Wisconsin unless a permit allowing their use has been issued by a proper authority.

Salem Lakes Fire/Rescue conducts inspections of any fireworks sales operation to make sure safety regulations are followed. Salem Lakes Fire/Rescue Chief Mike Slover said there have been no safety problems with the tent sales operations in the past, but he added that he questioned allowing any fireworks sales in the village.

“It’s illegal to light fireworks off in Wisconsin,” Slover said. “I don’t know why we would want to sell them.”

Two years ago his department responded to a fireworks related injury in which a patient suffered a severe hand injury requiring a medical transport helicopter to Milwaukee for treatment, Slover said.

No formal vote was held at Monday’s meeting since it was a committee of the whole.

A word from our sponsors: Wisconsin Emissions Testing available at Wilmot Auto Service

wilmot-auto-exterior-2011-webNote: Wilmot Auto Service is a sponsor. — DH

Wisconsin Emissions Tests can now be done at Wilmot Auto Service.

The test is free to you. Call 862-6300 for an appointment. Hours are Monday through Friday 7:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Saturday 7:30 to 11 a.m.

Wilmot Auto Service, Inc is an independent auto repair shop and has earned the Blue Seal of Excellence Recognition as prescribed by the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence, (ASE), a non-profit organization dedicated to improving the quality of vehicle repair and service by means of voluntary testing and certification for automotive repair and service professionals.

Dwayne & Cindy Garwood are the owners and Dwayne is an ASE Master technician and has been in the automotive repair business for over 25 years. Dwayne’s grandpa Harmon Garwood started Wilmot Auto Service in 1951. They are celebrating 68 years in business. He employs ASE certified and ASE master technicians. Dwayne’s commitment to you has always been to offer the highest quality, honest and friendly auto service.

Wilmot Auto Service offers a variety of services like alignments, brakes, tires, timing belts, check engine lights and state inspections. They can be reached at 262-862-6300. They are located at 11307 Fox River Rd. Wilmot, WI 53192 with the BP gas station in downtown Wilmot.

Brighton School dedicates Kindness Rocks Garden

Brighton School students and staff on Thursday dedicated their new Kindness Rocks Garden.

Students recently took the opportunity to paint rocks for the garden.  Rocks were planted in the garden, which was unveiled Thursday.

Plans were for an all-school ceremony to be held outsdie at the garden but wet, cool weather kept the ceremony indoors. Students read poems and Deputy Raymond Rowe spoke on what true kindness is all about and most importantly, students showing love for their peers. Here is video of Rowe’s remarks:

Students are encouraged to take a rock, leave a rock or share a rock. The messages on the rocks cover a wide range of inspiring messages from “Be Yourself” to “Eat More Carrots.”

Fox River slips below 12 feet; flood warning remains in effect

The Fox River as measured at the New Munster Gauge has slipped below 12 feet and continues to recede.

At 10 a.m., the river was at 11.8 feet. Flood stage is 11 feet.

A NWS flood warning remains in effect.

The latest, local National Weather Service forecast calls for some dry days ahead, which should help. The only precipitation in the forecast through Sunday is a 40-50 percent chances of rain (or rain/snow) Sunday and Sunday night.

Bristol Village Board reviews plans for Village Center, Hansen Park expansion

A rendering of the Highway 45 entrance to the Bristol Village Center showing buildings with commercial space on the ground floor and residences above.

Village Board members got a look at plans for what an expansion of Hansen Park along with development of a village center could look like at the March 11 regular monthly board meeting.

The plan included new sports facilities for an expanded portion of the park, a village center with commercial and residential development along with a new village hall and an office park or senior development south of that. The land is almost 70 acres of land the village owns on the east side of Highway 45 just south of Hansen Park.

The concepts presented last week are just planning at this point and nothing will be implemented until funding is available, village officials stressed.

“This is really the culmination of the beginning steps,” said village President Mike Farrell, who added that discussion of the project and its possibilities has been taking place for a couple of years.

“It will require a lot more work going forward,” said Farrell, adding that the plans were a “very nice start.”

Funding would likely come from selling property the village owns in Kenosha near I-94 or interest by developers in developing parts of the planning area, village officials said.

“It doesn’t pay to get too excited until we have some money to do something,” village administrator Randy Kerkman said.

Trustees John McCabe and Carolyn Owens both expressed concerns about traffic with there being only one exit and entrance to the site from Highway 45 being shown.

“I have great concern for the traffic down there,” Owens said.

Kerkman explained that access to Highway 45 is controlled by the Wisconsin Department of Transportation and they are allowing only the one access point.

Village planner Craig Huebner gave the presentation on the village center updates.

Here is video of the presentation:

Here is video of some of the board’s questions and discussion:

Note: Video by Earlene Frederick. 

The site plan for the village center and park expansion. (Click for larger view).

Deaths March 20, 2019: Allen Edward Portzen, Richard William Domka Jr.

This post sponsored by Westosha Floral.

The following deaths of local residents and those with local connections are being reported by funeral homes today. Click on name to see obituary/service information:

Continue reading →

Fox River slowly receding; flood warning continues

The Fox River is still receding, but at a slow pace.

At 4 a.m., Wednesday the river as measured at the New Munster Gauge was at 12.03 feet. That’s just about a quarter of a foot lower than it was at 8 p.m., Monday.

A flood warning remains in effect.

The current National Weather Service forecast has the river slipping below flood stage of 11 feet sometime Saturday afternoon.

Rain is in the forecast for the area on Wednesday, with a tenth of an inch or less expected.

A word from our sponsors: St. Alphonsus Parish hosting Lenten fish boil on March 22

Note: This is a paid announcement from St. Alphonsus Parish. — DH

St. Alphonsus Parish is hosting its second Lenten fish boil on Friday, March 22, 2019 from 4:30 to 8:00 pm at St. Alphonsus Parish Center, 6211 344th Avenue, New Munster, WI.

The fish boil features all-you-can-eat boiled fish, potatoes, onions, carrots, coleslaw, bread, dessert, milk and coffee. Grilled cheese sandwiches are also served. Carryouts are available.

Ticket prices: Adults (12 & older) $13.00, children (ages 4-11) $6.00, ages 3 and under free.

For more information call St. Alphonsus Parish at 262.537.4370.

Units responding to crash in Twin Lakes

This post sponsored by StateLine Legal LLC.

At about 9:55 p.m., Twin Lakes Fire and Rescue and Randal Fire Department units and Twin Lakes Police are responding to a report of a crash in the 37500 block of Highway Z in Twin Lakes.

UPDATE about 9:57 p.m. — Police officer on scene reports this is a single vehicle crash with one person possibly injured.

UPDATE 10:03 p.m. — Traffic being shut down by police in both directions on Highway Z.

Units responding for investigation in Trevor

This post sponsored by StateLine Legal LLC.
At about 8:45 p.m., Salem Fire/Rescue units and a sheriff’s deputy are responding to the 10400 block of 268th Avenue in Trevor for an investigation.

Per dispatch: Caller reports sound of an explosion.

UPDATE 9:41 p.m. — We Energies on the scene. Fire units clearing the scene.

A word from our sponsors: Wheatland J1 School District seeks part-time School Van Driver

Note: This is a paid announcement from Wheatland J1 School District. — DH

Wheatland J1 School District is currently seeking to fill a part-time School Van Driver position. The qualified candidate will be responsible for safely and promptly transporting students to and from school, along with ensuring compliance to safety rules.

Starting rate $14.86 per hour

Minimum one route in afternoon (3:30-5:00), with possibility of a route in the morning (7:00-8:00).

Please visit for more information on this and other positions available.

Deaths March 19, 2019: James Brown Campbell IV, Julie Ann Higgins, Doris L. Roach

This post sponsored by Westosha Floral.

The following deaths of local residents and those with local connections are being reported by funeral homes today. Click on name to see obituary/service information:

Continue reading →

Units responding to Salem School for medical call

Note: This post sponsored by StateLine Legal LLC. — DH

At about 1:16 p.m., Salem Fire/Rescue units are responding to Salem School for a medical call.

Per dispatch: Patient is having a seizure.

Salem Lakes chicken ordinance headed for revision

It appears the Salem Lakes backyard chicken keeping ordinance is headed for an overhaul.

The Salem Lakes Village Board and over 20 interested community members discussed the need for revising the village’s current ordinance governing the keeping of chickens in a residential area.

The village’s current ordinance allows the keeping of six hens on a minimum of two acres  for a residential property. An exception to the lot size requirement exists for birds kept to be shown in a fair.

The discussion went back and forth between members of the audience saying the current ordinance is too restrictive and board members admitting they were not chicken keeping experts, but that they need to look out for the overall good.

“How do we make sure we’re protecting everyone that’s involved?” said Trustee Dan Campion. “That’s what’s on our shoulders. We are not going to satisfy everyone.”

An illustration of how complex the issue seems to be can be seen in a key provision of a draft of a new ordinance under development by village staff based on research of other nearby municipalities’ laws. One provision of this draft ordinance would allow the keeping of four hens on any sized residential property.

That seemed to be a key breakthrough given the current minimum two acre lot size for any chicken keeping. But after it was mentioned it was quickly challenged by Peter Poli, one of the leaders of the chicken keeping advocates, who said the small number of hens allowed is impractical. Poli said allowing just four hens does not allow much room for a viable flock if one or more birds should die. And introducing new birds is not an easy process, but instead requires a long period of introducing the new bird to the old ones gradually.

Debate over the current chicken ordinance arose most recently when a family with 1.7 acres sought an exception to the current ordinance so they could continue to keep chickens. A neighbor had complained about that property, which at one point had 32 chickens on the property.

Votes on the lot size in the past have been split, but a slim majority of the board had seemed solidly behind the two-acre limit. Signs of that weakening some were apparent Monday.

For example, Trustee Dennis Faber, who backed the two-acre limit in the past, on Monday called it “very, very restrictive.”

Trustee Mike Culat asked at one point if anyone in the audience objected to chickens being kept in the village. No one responded.

Acting village administrator Mike Murdock said he had ordinance enforcer John Carrier research the issue and develop a draft ordinance. That draft ordinance included the provision of allowing four hens on any size residential property. The draft ordinance also includes other standards referring to coops, enclosures and setbacks that would have to be met.

“We’re allowing everyone to have their chickens and do it the right way,” Carrier said of the draft ordinance. That draft ordinance provides for the revocation of keeping chickens for violations of the law.

While the village doesn’t necessarily go on active chicken violation patrol, they do need to have standards that can be addressed when there are complaints.

“We have to create an ordinance that is enforceable,” Murdock said.

Poli said he was organizing a meeting of residents interested in and knowledgeable of chicken keeping for next week to develop a detailed alternative to the village’s current ordinance. Village President Diann Tesar suggested the village take that work and the work done by staff and try to fashion a new ordinance.

Related posts

Salem Lakes Village Board sends fireworks and chicken keeping issues to committee

Salem Lakes to reopen chicken keeping discussion

Salem Lakes keeps two acre minimum for chicken keeping

Chickens likely to continue to be limited to larger lots in Salem Lakes

Salem Lakes to explore backyard chicken ordinance

Salem Lakes considering allowing chicken keeping

Deputy responding for crash in Trevor

Note: This post sponsored by StateLine Legal LLC. — DH

At about 8:32 a.m., a sheriff’s deputy is responding to the 26000 block of Highway C in Trevor for a crash.

Per dispatch: Two vehicles involved. Roadway is not blocked.

Fox River recedes to near 12 feet; Flood warning still in effect

The Fox River is still receding, reaching 12.29 feet as of 8 p.m., Monday as measured at the New Munster gauge.

A National Weather Service flood warning remains in effect.

That downward trend is expected to continue with only a slight chance of precipitation on Wednesday in the latest, local NWS forecast through Sunday.

Screens for Teens: Film Outreach offering free short film showings March 21 at Wilmot UHS

Screens for Teens: Film Outreach brings the Wisconsin Film Festival experience directly to middle and high school students in their own environment.

Wilmot Union High School is  be hosting the screening of three short films – all shows open to the public free of charge:

  • Daytime Program: Cliff, Superfan! & Brown Girl | Thursday, March 21st at 11:30 a.m.
  • Evening Program: Rwanda & Juliet | Thursday, March 21st at 6:30 p.m.
  • Where: Wilmot Union High School Auditorium 308th Ave., Wilmot.

Educational materials and an opportunity to speak with filmmakers and University of Wisconsin–Madison experts enriches the experience and fosters conversations about compelling topics and the art of filmmaking.

Deal of the Day: Luisa’s $25 gift card half off

Have you heard about our feature at West of the I called Deal of the Day? It offers you great values on goods and services from local businesses. Here’s how it works. We offer a gift certificate or gift card from a local business for half price of its face value. For example, you get a $50 gift card but only pay $25 for it. Now that’s a deal! Our offering today is from Luisa’s Restaurant, 317th Avenue and Highway 50 in Wheatland. Luisa’s is the place for a taste of Italian & American cuisine. Known for their pizzas, their classic thin crust is legendary! For the hearty appetite they can prepare pan or stuffed pizza and they dare you to try to eat more than one piece! Luisa’s menu doesn’t stop at pizza. They also feature pasta dishes, sandwiches, burgers and more. Their Friday Fish Fry is a hit with the locals and be sure to check out the daily specials. Today’s offer is a $25 gift card which we are selling for $13.50 (includes $1 processing charge). Gift card must be used for eat in only.Full description of conditions is available here. It’s easy to purchase a Deal of the Day! Click the button below and you will be taken to PayPal’s site, where you can securely pay with a credit card or through your PayPal account. A PayPal account is not needed. We instantly receive notice of your purchase and we mail out the certificate usually the same day. Click the button to get your Deal of the Day!


Fox River under 13 feet; flood warning continues

The Fox River has slipped below 13 feet.

The river at 6 p.m., was at 12.63 feet as measured at the New Munster Gauge. With flood stage being 11 feet, the National Weather Service continues to have a flood warning in effect.

With the latest, local NWS forecast showing no precipitation through Saturday, the Fox is expected to continue to recede, getting back below flood stage early Thursday morning.

A word from our sponsors: March 17, 2019 open houses from Bear Realty’s Glenda and Butch Dupons

AD-bear-realty-glenda-butch-revise2Note: Glenda and Butch Dupons, of Bear Realty, are sponsors. This is a paid announcement — DH

Here are open houses being hosted today by Glenda and Butch Dupons, of Bear Realty (click the links below for more information):

10511 292nd Ave, Trevor

23410 112th St, Trevor

24724 74th St, Salem

7610 242nd Ave, Salem

6618 244th Ave, Salem

602 East St, Silver Lake

23634 124th St, Trevor

Deaths March 16, 2019: Brenda C. Berger

This post sponsored by Westosha Floral.

The following deaths of local residents and those with local connections are being reported by funeral homes today. Click on name to see obituary/service information:

Continue reading →

Fox River receding; flood warning remains in effect

It appears the Fox River is now receding after reaching a crest of 13.38 feet Friday evening as measured at the New Munster Gauge.

At 10 a.m., Saturday the river was measuring at 13.22 feet.

Friday’s mark is the seventh highest historic crest recorded at the New Munster Gauge.

Flood stage is 11 feet. A flood warning remains in effect.

The latest, local NWS weather forecast has no substantial chance of rain in the next seven days (there is a 20 percent chance of rain/snow showers Tuesday night), which should help bring the river down.

UW-Extension offer planning and preparing for farmers program on March 20

Photo by Patrick Hajzler via stock.xchng

UW-Extension is offering a program on March 20 in Burlington for local farmers planning and preparing for the future of their farm business in the context of current challenging economic conditions.  The world of agriculture is always shifting, and developing a plan will help farmers navigate the future and regain a sense of control of their future.

This program will provide a blueprint for navigating important decisions. “Wisconsin farmers are evaluating their options for 2019 and beyond, and will need to take stock of their business and their goals for the future. The blueprint will outline important financial and succession considerations in order to make informed decisions about the future,” says Jenny Vanderlin, UW Center for Dairy Profitability.

Participants of the program will become more confident about understanding their farm financial position and performance in order to discuss the future with family members, farm business partners, legal professionals and consultants.

The program is sponsored by the UW-Center for Dairy Profitability, UW-Extension Farm and Risk Management Team and by the local UW-Extension County offices.

This program will be held on Wednesday, March 20, from 10 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. at the Gateway Campus in Burlington, Room 100, 496 McCanna Pkwy, Burlington.  The fee to attend is $15, which includes lunch.  Similar programs will be held at other locations throughout the state.

Contact the Walworth County UW-Extension office to learn more and register: (262) 741-4951 or email

Units responding to alarm in Bristol

Note: This post sponsored by StateLine Legal LLC. — DH

At about 8:50 p.m., Bristol Fire and Rescue units and a sheriff’s deputy are responding to an alarm at a business in the 8200 block of 120th Avenue in Bristol.

Per dispatch: This is being reported by the alarm company as a general fire alarm.

UPDATE 8:56 p.m. — Fire units arriving on scene report no signs of fire from three sides.

Fox River crest forecast downgraded; flood warning continues

The National Weather Service has downgraded its forecast for a crest of the Fox River from recent flooding at the New Munster gauge.

The latest NWS forecast calls for a crest of 14 feet, about six inches lower than the previous crest forecast. A crest of 14 feet would be the fifth highest on record. The crest is now expected to be reached in the very early morning hours of Sunday.

A flood warning remains in effect.

At 6 p.m., the river was measuring at 13.38 feet. Flood stage is 11 feet.

Central HS finishes second at 2019 forensics conference meet

/Submitted photo

Westosha Central High School’s Forensic team competed on March 9 at the conference meet held at Lake Geneva Badger High School.

Central finished in 2nd place. The team was led by James Talbert, public address champion; Maria Greyno, storytelling champion; Kaitlyn Shaffer/Amelia Kusch, Group Interpretation champions.

Second place finishers were: Emily Thomas, solo serious; Isabelle Brenton, poetry; and Tyler Holewinski, extemporaneous speaking.

Units responding to Salem School for medical call

Note: This post sponsored by StateLine Legal LLC. — DH

At about 2 p.m., Salem Fire/Rescue units and a sheriff’s deputy are responding to a medical call at Salem School.

Per dispatch: Patient is having chest pains.

A word from our sponsors: Come drive a bus with Dousman Transport


The Dousman Transport entry in the 2017 Libertyfest Parade in Twin Lakes.

Note: Dousman Transport is a sponsor. This is a paid announcement. — DH

Dousman Transport is looking for a few good individuals to join its bus driving team based at its facility in Wilmot.

  • Driving a bus with Dousman has a number of advantages, such as:
  • Bring pre-school age children along with you on your route.
  • Summers off!
  • A good parents job. Your schedule syncs up with local school calendars.

Starting pay is $14.50, more with CDL and experience. $500 signing bonus and quarterly safety bonus up to $0.35 per hour.

Dousman gives paid training. These positions are part-time with flexible hours (4 hours per day on school days). A.M. and P.M. hours available now.

For more information about a rewarding career transporting school children please apply in person at Dousman Transport, 28401 Wilmot Road, between 9 a.m. and 1 p.m. Phone: 262-862-6086.

Dousman Transport drivers Sue Morton and Jessica Koltz collect dog food and toys for Meals on Wheels at a Central-Wilmot basketball double header.

Dousman Transport drivers Sue Morton and Jessica Koltz collect dog food and toys for Meals on Wheels at a Central-Wilmot basketball double header.

County offers flood safety information

With the Fox River over flood stage and heading higher, the Kenosha County Division of Health has offered the following information on flood safety:

With a Flood Warning in place along the Fox River and Flood Safety Awareness Week coming up the week of March 18-22, the Kenosha County Division of Health is urging people to take precautions to stay safe when flooding events occur.

“Springtime flooding is already happening on the Fox River, and it’s likely to pop up elsewhere, too, as all of that snow that we saw over the winter melts rapidly,” said Cynthia Johnson, Kenosha County Division of Health Director and Health Officer. “It’s important for people to emphasize personal and family safety, and to prepare before flooding begins.”

Follow these tips to prepare before a flood:

  • Stock an emergency supply kit: Kits should include a three-day supply of food and water, a cellphone and charger, a flashlight and batteries, a can opener, first aid kit, extra cash, and a change of clothes.
  • Move electronics off the floor: If there is an active flood warning, move electric appliances off the floor and make sure your sump pump is working and has a battery-operated backup.
  • Consider adding flood insurance: Standard insurance policies generally don’t cover flooding. Flood insurance is available for homeowners, renters, and business owners through the National Flood Insurance Program.

Follow these tips during and after a flood:

  • Do not drive through floodwaters: It takes just 12 inches of rushing water to carry away a car. When you encounter flood water, turn around, don’t drown.
  • Stay out of floodwaters: Floodwater can contain bacteria, sewage, sharp objects, and other dangerous items.
  • Make sure tetanus vaccinations for you and your family are up to date: A same-day tetanus vaccination should be administered to those who acquire a puncture wound in floodwater or have open wounds exposed to floodwaters in the home or outdoors.
  • Drain basements slowly: Basements containing standing water should be emptied gradually – no more than 2-3 inches per day. If a basement is drained too quickly, the water pressure outside the walls will be greater than the water pressure inside, which may cause the basement floor and walls to crack and collapse.
  • Shut off electrical power if you suspect damage to your home: Even if the damage isn’t easily seen, shut off electrical power, natural gas and propane tanks to avoid fire, electrocution, or explosions.
  • Use battery-powered lanterns to light homes rather than candles: Candles could trigger an explosion if there is a gas leak.
  • Use generators at least 20 feet from your home: Generators create carbon monoxide. In enclosed spaces, the carbon monoxide can build up and cause sickness or death.
  • Throw out food if you can’t be sure it’s safe: Throw out any refrigerated food if your power was out for four hours or more. If frozen foods still have ice crystals, they can be refrozen. Any food that was touched by floodwaters – even canned food – should be thrown out.
  • Look out for mold: Follow the recommended steps for cleaning mold growth. More details are here:
  • Check your water supply. If you have municipal water, run your faucet for at least five minutes before using it. If you have a well that touched flood water, follow steps to disinfect it. Well water testing instructions from the Kenosha County Division of Health are available here:

For more information, visit the Wisconsin Department of Health Services’ Flood Hazards and Recovery page at

Deaths March 14, 2019: Annalorraine Eckberg, Ronald W. Dunham

This post sponsored by Westosha Floral.

The following deaths of local residents and those with local connections are being reported by funeral homes today. Click on name to see obituary/service information:

Continue reading →

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