August 25, 2016ELKHORN — New doesn't always mean different.
In many ways, this is the approach former court commissioner Daniel Johnson is taking to his new position as a Walworth County circuit court judge, which began on Aug. 1.
"I think overall my style (as a judge) will be pretty similar to the way I ran the courtroom as a family court commissioner," Johnson said.
This is due to the experience that Johnson gained during his time as a court commissioner.
A court commissioner can do many of the basic tasks that a judge does, Johnson said.
This is something he believes has been helping him with the transition to judge.
"He's already been doing it (a judge position) to a certain extent," said Walworth County Circuit Court Judge Kristine Drettwan.
Drettwan was also a court commissioner before she became a judge and was even Johnson's direct supervisor during his time as court commissioner.
"It (being a court commissioner) definitely helps, that's for sure," she said. "Just because you're already used to having to make decisions from the bench. It's definitely a transition to go from being a practicing attorney where you're advocating for a particular side to having to make the decision about the matter. So he definitely has the advantage there."
With this background knowledge in place, Johnson said he will continue to follow the convictions he had as a court commissioner.
"I think that fundamentally, everyone who comes into the courtroom should be treated with respect and dignity by the judge and by the court staff who are there," Johnson said. "I (also) think it's important that when people leave court, they feel like the judge listened to them, that the judge cared about what they had to say, and even if they didn't win their case, (I want them to) feel like the judge understood the issues and understood what they were trying to say."
Drettwan said that Johnson carried out this conviction during his time as court commissioner.
"He wants to listen to people and give them their day in court," she said. "So making sure they have the right and the opportunity to tell their position and to have it decided, whether they like the outcome or not, just the fact that they get the chance to participate is important."
But even though a court commissioner has similar duties to a judge, Johnson said that there are still ways he will need to learn and grow in this position.
"I think one thing it really boils down to his simply hard work," Johnson said.
And Johnson has already proven himself to be a hard worker, according to Drettwan.
"He's very thoughtful," she said. "And by that I mean he puts thought into his decisions. He does the research if it's necessary, he considers the different positions."
But beyond all of these smaller convictions, Johnson said he does have one big conviction that he plans to follow.
"I don't think there's a lot of things that I'm going to change in the way I run my courtroom, but I'll just definitely be trying to make sure that every case that comes in front of me, I've researched it, I've researched the law, I've looked at the facts and I'm making a decision that complies with the law," Johnson said. "That's the most important thing for me."...subscribers>>
| (click for larger version)|
August 25, 2016Fees.
Who pays them, who doesn't. When to collect them, when to waive them.
This issue has been before the Lake Geneva City Council again and again, and it still generates plenty of heat and smoke.
This time the city Business Improvement District and the chamber of commerce, doing business as VISIT Lake Geneva made requests for special event permits asking that the city waive certain fees.
But those requests, once granted without question, are facing questions and outright opposition by some council members. Originally part of the council's consent agenda, which is a collection of permit and license requests considered noncontroversial enough to approve en masse with a simple roll call vote, bid-waiving requests by BID and VISIT were pulled off the approval assembly line for individual scrutiny by Alderman Bob Kordus and Alderwoman Elizabeth Chappell.
The BID is comprised of downtown businesses that self-impose a tax to maintain downtown amenities, such as the hanging flower baskets, trash receptacles and benches along the sidewalks.
The BID also sponsors the Taste of Lake Geneva, Sept. 8 to 10 this year at Flat Iron Park. The council approved the BID's request to use the park and the Brunk Performance Pavilion, but did not approve the district's request to waive all fees.
On a motion by Kordus, the city waived only the fees for the Brunk Pavilion, barricades and the security deposit.
Kordus said the permit applications were to be in 10 weeks before the event to give the city park commission and staff time to process the paperwork.
The application came in late, putting pressure on staff to get the paper work done on time, he said.
The council also will require the BID to pay $410 for the cost of reserving 20 parking spots on Center Street during Taste of Lake Geneva.
Chappell then asked that the council require the BID to pay $100 for five banner poles from Aug. 24 through Sept. 10 to advertise Taste.
Chappell argued that the fee to post banners on the downtown poles was based on the cost of using city staff and equipment to put up the banners.
But this time, the council decided that it could forgo the $100. Still, Mayor Al Kupsik had to break a 4-4 tie, as Chappell, and aldermen Edward "Ted" Horne, Rich Hedlund and Chris Gelting voted to collect the fee.
The motion to waive all the fees for the banners again deadlocked with Kupsik casting the deciding vote to approve the waiver. Chappell, Horne, Hedlund and Gelting voted against the waiver.
But on to more banners and more fees.
BID asked to use five banner poles for Sept. 11 to 24 and 11 banner poles for Sept. 25 to Oct. 11 to advertise Lake Geneva Oktoberfest and again asked to waive fees. Chappell moved and Horne seconded that the BID be required to pay the $320 fee for the banners. That passed 5 to 3 with only Kordus, Alderman Doug Skates and Alderwoman Cindy Flower voting against imposing the fee.
VISIT's application for a parade permit for the 41st annual Electric Christmas Parade on Broad Street and Main Street from 3 to 6:30 p.m. Dec. 3 was quickly approved. There was no request by VISIT to waive the $25 permit fee.
VISIT did ask to waive the fee for closing 112 parking spaces on Broad from Marshall to Main streets and on Main from Broad to Cook streets.
Gelting defended the request, saying that closing off parking along the parade route was at the suggestion of the police department and was for public safety. The council agreed to waive the fee.
The last request by VISIT was for the 11 banner poles to advertise Winter Fest starting Nov. 21 through Feb. 12, 2017. Darien Schaefer, president of VISIT, said the banner poles are seldom used during that time of year. VISIT plans to advertise Winter Fest to those who come to Lake Geneva for Thanksgiving and to do Christmas shopping, he said.
It took the council nearly 20 minutes to come to a decision to charge VISIT $220 for the 11 banner poles over 13 weeks (a discount from the fee schedule which calls for $10 per pole per week.) If in the unlikely event another customer pays for the poles, the Winter Fest banners will come down. But VISIT is guaranteed to have the banner poles for Winter Fest banners during the last three weeks into Winter Fest.
Kupsik summed up the more than one hour of agonizing over the fees and waivers.
"This is a very simple process," he said. "We're making this very complicated."
| (click for larger version)|
August 25, 2016For 54 years, Venetian Festival has come to Lake Geneva. The festival provides an annual event for both Lake Geneva residents and visitors.
The festival included an entertainment pavillion with adult beverages, a craft fair on Saturday and Sunday, a brat stand, water ski show, live music, a carnival and plenty of carnival games, a traditional Venetian boat parade and a fireworks-filled closing ceremony.
Venetian Festival is created and sponsored by the Lake Geneva Jaycees. The festival was founded in 1962, and since then it represents one of the largest events for the Lake Geneva Jaycees Chapter.
According to the Jaycees, Venetian Festival is the largest revenue generator for the club. All net profits go back to the local community and organization.
Doug Bartz, president of the Lake Geneva Jaycees, said many local organizations benefit from Venetian Festival including the Lake Geneva Police Department and Fire Department, Geneva Lakes YMCA, Badger High School Scholarships and many more.
Food pantries, Special Olympics and local animal shelters also benefit from the proceeds of Venetian Festival.
Three parks, one festival
Venetian Festival used three different parks in Lake Geneva in order to fit everything planned. Library park hosted the craft fair and the brat stand, which was only Saturday and Sunday.
Bartz said Library Park also offered a unique vantage point for the special ceremonies on Sunday.
"Behind, not on the beach, and down the side of the Riv and on Wriggly Drive, you can see the water-ski show and the traditional lighted boat parade," he said.
Seminary Park, which is the park behind Harbor Shore and The Cove, was set up as one part of the carnival.
"That park (Seminary) is set up to do children's rides," he said. "These are for littler children, and the rides are not as wild."
Flat Iron Park held the rest of the carnival, and is also what Bartz describes as the "main hub" of the festival.
"The hub or home base of the Jaycees is Flat Iron Park," he said. "That is where the entertainment pavilion, the midway, the rest of the carnival games and our food booths with our nonprofit partners was."
Craft vendor Sheryl Janic has been a part of the Venetian Festival craft fair for 10 years. She said the community plays a huge impact on why she keeps coming back every year.
"The people make me come back each year," she said. "It is a good crowd, a really good crowd."
She said the festival also allows Lake Geneva to draw in income, something which remains a huge positive for the community, said Janic.
"Venetian Festival brings in income from tourists," she said. "I am glad to be a part of such a great festival."
| (click for larger version)|
August 25, 2016It's been an unusual summer for boat sinkings.
Ted Pankau, director of the Lake Geneva Water Safety Patrol, said the patrol responded to seven swamped and sinking boats so far this year.
No one was injured in any of the accidents, but in one incident, eight people had to be pulled from the water, and in another, three anglers found themselves swimming for shore as their boat sank and then capsized.
None of the boats sank to the bottom. Pankau said most small boats retain enough buoyancy to keep part of the vessel above water, or at least near the surface.
While not a record, Pankau said the number is high compared to the lake's average of three or four boats sunk annually.
In three cases, boats have taken on water while moored to buoys.
But other mishaps occurred while boats were in use with people onboard.
According to Pankau, the most common causes of boats sinking or capsizing has been from overloading, defective hulls, or anchoring from the stern.
The patrol advises all boaters to thoroughly inspect their hulls, and to pay attention to their boats' maximum capacity.
Boaters also need to take into account weather and lake conditions before heading out onto the lake, Pankau said.
And never anchor a boat from the stern, he said. That makes it easier for waves to splash over the transom, which usually dips down for installation of the outboard motor.
All seven sinkings happened during roughly a six-week period from June 1 to mid-July, Pankau said.
Although the boating season isn't done, there have been no other reports of boats sinking, he said.
The first boat to go down this season was a classic wooden boat. Defective planking on the bottom of the hull caused the boat to take on water near the Narrows off the south shore of Geneva Lake.
The three occupants in the board put on lifejackets before the boat was swamped.
Everyone was safe, but the boat was heavily damaged, Pankau said.
In another incident, three anglers in a fishing boat dropped anchor over the stern.
A few tall waves from the lake caused trouble for the anglers, who found they had to swim to shore as their boat foundered and then capsized off Black Point.
The boat was righted and then towed to shore by the Water Safety Patrol.
On July 3, the patrol had to pull eight people out of the drink after the deck boat they were on was swamped and capsized near Lake Geneva Country Club.
The boat was righted and towed to shore by the Water Safety Patrol, where it was trailered and towed away by the owners, Pankau said..
Pankau said the patrol believes that the boat was overloaded and got caught by some high waves.
Although Geneva Lake is small compared to the Great Lakes, thanks to the lake's narrow shape and the direction of prevailing winds, it has Great Lakes-class wave action.
Pankau said in one case, a boat owner was not used to Geneva Lake's waves and was swamped.
In three cases, boats sank while moored at buoys, Pankau said.
Those sinkings can sometimes be attributed to weather. A heavy rain can fill a boat that's uncovered or that has an ill-fitting cover, Pankau said.
Or, during the course of a season, a boat can sustain damage to its hull or a seal can fail beneath the water line leading to its gunwales sinking beneath the waves.
Sometimes boats just spring leaks, he said.
Some boats do have automatic bilge pumps that empty water from the boat, but the pumps are run by battery. If the battery runs down or a short circuit cuts the power, the pump can no longer keep up with the water entering the boat, he said....subscribers>>
| (click for larger version)|
August 25, 2016
| (click for larger version)|
Sometimes it takes a car wash and a bake sale to get a band ready to hit the road.
Audiophilia, a local rock ‘n roll band, has scheduled a bake sale from noon to about 4 p.m. Aug. 28 in front of Good Vibes, 234 Broad St., Lake Geneva.
The four-member group from southern Walworth County are Chase Albrecht of Genoa City, lead guitar; Lindsey Rae “Lynzi” Hayes of Elkhorn, lead vocals and rhythm guitar; Kayla “Wrukus” Wruk of Lake Geneva, bass and backup vocals; and Cj (Seejay) Gochanour of Elkhorn, drums.
Audiophilia started two years ago. Chase, who joined last year, is kind of the newcomer.
They’re also members and former members of other bands that have played locally.
The band has the talent to compete and perform at the regional level.
In late June and early July, Audiophilia took part in the Bitter Jester Battle of Bands in Highland Park, Illinois, and, on July 4, came in second only to a local favorite.
All four band members are local high school graduates and also graduates of the former School of Rock ‘n Roll, Williams Bay, and Rock Central, Lake Geneva.
Chase is now an instructor at Rock Central.
Band members had a car wash Aug. 21 at the Mobil station on Interchange North, Lake Geneva,
In fact, Audiophilia will have a series of fundraisers to afford the tools to become a national touring act, said Hayes in a telephone interview.
“We’re currently working with an artist development company called Green Kite who is giving us advice and assisting in the process,” she said.
The program is run by Green Kite Records of Phoenix.
Hayes said Green Kite contacted Audiophilia. Representatives of Green Kite came to Lake Geneva in June where they auditioned Audiophilia at Rock Central, Hayes said.
Hayes said she was told Audiophilia was one of three Milwaukee-area bands who were invited to Green Kite’s mentoring program.
Most of the mentoring will involve marketing.
“We have to build an image,” she said. That includes photo shoots and videos.
August is turning into a busy month for members of Audiophilia. Not only are they fundraising, but on Aug. 14, they won the Lindenfest Battle of the Bands in Lindenhurst, Illinois, Hayes said.
Winning the Lindenfest contest will help. Hayes said the prize was $500 and 10 hours of recording time.
An attempt to get a comment from Green Kite before deadline was unsuccessful.
But, according to the Green Kite website, in the year-long mentoring program, the band is being taught how to look like a national touring band.
At the end of the year, if deemed successful, Green Kite will start booking the band on national tours, opening for more established acts, the website said.
Green Kite selects mentorship bands for their “positive, hardworking attitude and potential,” according to the website.
The program guides artists to improve songwriting abilities, create solid work ethics and learn the ins and outs of the music industry.
The Green Kite program also offers a $5,000 scholarship awarded to the most deserving band.
August 25, 2016
| (click for larger version)|
Symphony Bay, a subdivision with more than 400 homes planned for the southeast side of Lake Geneva, will have to wait.
Brian Pollard, president and founder of Fairwyn Inc., which owns the 145-acre Symphony Bay site, said the lead contractor on the project, Taylor Morrison Homes, Scottsdale, Arizona, has pulled out of the Chicago area market.
Pollard announced Taylor Morrison’s pullout on Aug. 17.
Construction on the subdivision was to have begun this year.
The homes were to be marketed toward empty-nesters 55 and older.
Plans called for moving dirt in late summer or early fall this year with an eye toward being ready for the spring 2017 market.
Pollard said he hopes to have things in place so construction can begin in 2017 with marketing beginning later that year or in 2018.
While Taylor Morrison’s move came as a surprise, Pollard said that he has already been contacted by several potential partners.
According to a statement from Pollard, Fairwyn originally contracted with Orleans Homes, Chicago, to do the Symphony Bay project. Taylor Morrison bought out Orleans in 2015 and took over as partner.
The project called for 427 single family and duplex homes on the property that was once the Lake Geneva Raceway, at State Highway 120 and Townline Road.
Pollard said that Fairwyn is committed to completing the project.
Taylor Morrison planners and engineers spent months guiding the project through the city planning and approval process.
On March 14, the Lake Geneva City Council approved a planned development for Symphony Bay, which included a residential final plat and an onsite club house amenity center.
The property is zoned PD, or planned development.
Approval of the planned unit development also included a developer’s agreement and declaration of covenants and restrictions.
The plat is recorded, the grading plan is done and sewer water and storm water utilities are also planned, said Ken Robers, city building and zoning administrator.
The lots “are set in stone,” he said.
Robers said Pollard is now in the process of getting everything transferred from Taylor Morrison’s name to Fairwyn’s name.
Pollard will also have to be back before the city council to have the agreement and covenant turned over to his name, Robers said.
If Fairwyn or the new partners want to change things, it means having to go through the city planning approval process again, Robers said.
Otherwise, the approved plans, covenants and agreements are good for the next five years, he said.
Robers estimated that the engineering and study needed to reach this point of development usually costs about $1 million.
The race track closed in December 2006. The property was going to be developed as a 170-acre subdivision called Southland Farms.
Plans and permits for Southland were approved by the city council in 2006.
However, tough economic times kept that subdivision from getting off the ground.
By the time Pollard and Fairwyn were ready to resurrect plans for the former race track property, the five year time limit on the plans for Southland had expired.
According to documents submitted to the city, the Symphony Bay project plan calls for 432 homes, both single family and duplex, targeted to 55-and-older, retired buyers.
The development will feature a three-acre amenity center for residents.
As planned, the amenity center is to provide meeting rooms, a pool and pickle courts.
The project would also add 2.5 miles of walking trails with workout stations to be connected to the city’s regional trail system.
Woodlands to the northwest side of the subdivision and wetlands on the east side are to be preserved in a conservancy.
Streets in Symphony Bay are planned to be city streets, with curb, gutter and sidewalks. Lawn maintenance and sidewalk snow removal will be the responsibility of a homeowners association.
Approved subdivision plans called for three different types of dwelling units, the most common type being single-family homes. Most of the lots were platted at 50 by 120-feet with minimum sideyard set backs of 5 feet on either side.
Homes on those lots would vary from 1,556 to 1,933 square feet.
A total of 374 single family homes were planned. Twenty-nine duplexes (with 58 living units) were planned for lots 90-by-120 feet.
According to documents filed with the city, housing density in Symphony Bay was set at about three dwelling units per acre.
The planned, tree-lined main entry to the subdivision is through the northwest corner of the subdivision on Townline. Curvilinear streets would discourage cut-through traffic.
Construction was planned to proceed in four phases, with an estimated build-out time of 10 years.
Recent Lake Geneva News
Tattoo zoning change will have to waitAugust 18, 2016Finally, after long discussions about potential changes to the city’s tattoo zoning ordinance, the Lake Geneva Plan Commission on Monday was ready to hold a final public hearing and make a recommendation on two possible amendments. But it wasn’t to be. At least not this meeting. Terry O’Neill, a former alderman, got up and noted that although the agenda was technically correct, reading: “Public hearing and recommendation on zoning text amendment for section 98-206 commercial land uses,” there was no further explanation that the hearing was actually on changing zoning for places that tattoo. When another citizen got up and made the same observation, City Attorney Dan Draper held a brief conference with Mayor Al Kupsik. Kupsik, who chairs the plan commission, then announced that on advice of the attorney, the plan commission should continue the hearing to next month’s meeting, with a more complete description of what the public hearing was about on the agenda. Maybe next time. Lake Geneva’s tattoo ordinance came up in January at a city council meeting. Alderwoman Elizabeth Chappell noted that there was at least one salon in the downtown that offers permanent makeup. Cosmetic tattooing can also be used to cover over scars and skin deformities. Chappell asked the council whether the city’s tattooing ordinances could be changed. Under the current city zoning ordinance, tattoo parlors are allowed only areas zoned heavy industry. There are no areas in the city zoned for heavy industry. City Administrator Blaine Oborn has said the city council in the 1970s considered tattooing a sexually-oriented practice and limited it. The two tattoo parlors in the city were grandfathered in when the current ordinance was approved in the 1970s. But, according to a short study done by Vandewalle & Associates, Madison, the city’s planner, social attitudes toward tattooing have been changing, making it more acceptable. In fact, Ken Robers, city zoning administrator, and John Gibbs, plan commissioner, said they have tattoos and see nothing wrong with them. Mike Slavney, city planner with Vandewalle, presented the plan commission with five options. After a short and lively debate at their July 18 meeting, the plan commission generally agreed on two zoning amendment options: either control where tattoo shops can locate or control where on their bodies customers may be tattooed. Those options, in ordinance form, were presented to the commission on Monday. n Allow tattooing as a professional service in all business zones by right, but limit the tattooing to above the clavicle. n Reclassify all tattoo parlors as personal and professional services confined to central business and general business zoning requiring a conditional use permit. Conditional use permits require plan commission review, a public hearing and city council approval.
...subscribers>> Two Children on a Bench sculpture now at libraryAugust 18, 2016
They sit like perfect children, boy and girl, side by side, engrossed in a book about the alphabet.
Made of bronze? You bet.
On Thursday, Aug. 11, the members of the Lake Geneva Public Library Board and library staff met with Julie and Mike Sarton to dedicate the sculpture donated by the Sartons on behalf of the late Monik Sadowski, who died of cancer last year.
On her passing, Sadowski left many works of art in the care of her good friend and executor, Julie Sarton.
“She left me many beautiful things to share with others,” Julie Sarton said of Sadowski. “She knew we would find a good home for them.”
Sarton said this sculpture, Two Children on a Bench, was one of Sadowski’s favorites.
On the sculpture is a plaque with a quote from author Neil Gaiman: “A book is a dream you can hold in your hands.”
Also at the dedication were the Sarton’s daughter and son-in-law, Kara and Collin McCanna, Alvero Colin, who designed the sculpture’s setting and did the installation; Library Board President Fritz Oppenlander; library board members Larry Kundert, Chris Brookes and Linda Boilini; Library Director Andrea Peterson, Sharon Aspenson, a friend of the library; and Alderman Chris Gelting, city council representative on the library board.
The sculpture was created by Max Turner, a California-based artist. The piece is entitled either Two Children on a Bench or Two Kids on a Bench. Peterson said she preferred Two Children on a Bench.
According to largeart.com, website for The Large Art Co., Baltimore, which sells licensed copies of the artwork, the sculpture is almost life-sized, 36-inches tall by 44 inches and 32 inches deep. The front bench leg to the back bench leg is 18 inches. The sculpture weighs about 300 pounds.
Art in the Park draws artists, art loversAugust 18, 2016
Thousands of art lovers wended their ways through the avenues of tents looking at the works and wares of 82 artists who participated in Art in the Park in Flat Iron Park this past weekend.
The annual juried fine art fair is sponsored by the Geneva Lake Arts Foundation.
In addition to the artists, the fair included a children’s area where kids created their own art. This was Art in the Park’s fourth year in Flat Iron Park. Prior to that, it was at Library Park.
The children’s area, in the Flat Iron Park gazebo, has been a regular feature at Art in the Park for the past five years, said Nikki Marsicano. Marsicano also teaches art at St. Andrew’s School in Delavan and gives art classes at the Geneva Lake Art Foundation, 223 Broad St.
Kasey and Roberta Karstetter were helping in the children’s section. Roberta said that the kids could paint on canvas boards, do self portraits or make their own art.
Jessica Fairchild, 9½, of Three Lakes, was working on a string of hearts. It looked like a bracelet in the making, but Jessica said she was still uncertain about what it was going to become.
Dad Stephen and mom Monika Fairchild were nearby. Both work in metal. Monika said their daughter had helped her create a set of earrings that were for sale.
“Anything they want to do to be creative,” Roberta said.
Among the artists at the fair was David Gaura, Franksville. While most artists work in oils, water colors, acrylics and metals, Gaura works in cutlery.
That’s right. Gaura transforms the everyday utensils people use to move food from their plates to their mouths into fantastical frogs, flowers, dinosaurs and even crowns.
For Gaura, it’s no big deal.
“I’m a blacksmith,” he said.
He does horseshoes, but the cutlery is a lot easier.
“My raw material is cheap,” he said. “People know I do this.” Neighbors bring him their used spoons and forks. And he makes visits to Goodwill.
He joked that friends no longer invite him to dinner parties, or if they do, they check his pockets before he leaves.
But Gaura isn’t after the expensive stuff. Grandma’s silverware is hard to work with, he said. Silver is a particularly difficult metal to heat and shape. And it’s expensive.
However, he did have several spoon rings on display that were once silver-plated flatware.
Most of his work is in stainless steel, however. It’s a lot easier to work with, he said.
And his cutlery at home? “I eat with chopsticks. Really,” he said.
The Geneva Lake Art Foundation operates under the direction of an elected board of directors and is funded through donations, membership dues, gallery fees, sponsors, fundraisers and the proceeds from Art in the Park.
The award winners for this year’s Art in the Park are:
ò Best in Show: Steve Brewster
ò Jill Acker Memorial Award: Richard & Liz Robertson
ò China West Gem Award: Donald Pekarek
Merit awards went to Ynon Mabat, Martin Knapp, Stephen Fairchild, Russell Grace and Angela Kullman, and Mark Mueller
For information about the Geneva Lake Arts Foundation and Art in the Park go to genevalakeartsfoundation.org.
Office Max closing Lake Geneva storeAugust 18, 2016Office Max is quitting its Lake Geneva location at 200 N. Edwards Boulevard.The announcement was made in a big way, with the store front festooned with signs announcing the closing and a 40 percent off sale.Store clerks said the store is slated to close Oct. 8.Indications that Office Max was leaving the store came in December 2015 when Aldi Food Stores applied for a conditional use permit for the building.The Lake Geneva City Council approved the conditional use request filed by Tom Howald from Aldi Inc., Oak Creek Division, on behalf of Interra-Sky Lake Geneva LLC, Houston, Texas, (the property owners) for a front façade change and single loading dock at the rear of the building.“Aldi’s is going to move into the Office Max space,” explained Mayor Alan Kupsik, who was then the alderman representing the council on the plan commission.When contacted earlier this year about the possible change in the building’s occupancy, Office Max ignored Regional News inquiries.Aldi did respond, but said nothing.“Thanks for your interest in Aldi. At this time, we don’t have any details to share regarding a possible Lake Geneva store,” said an email from Erica Hoey, account executive at Weber Shandwick, a Chicago ad agency.A check of the Aldi USA website did not indicate any plans to locate a store in Lake Geneva.According to Regional News archives, Office Max has been at that location for about 10 years. The site was home to a Sentry food store, which moved out in 2006.In addition to Office Max, a PetCo store and a Sears store moved in after Sentry moved out.The Sears store has since moved out and was most recently replaced by a HomeGoods store.
Police recover two guns in separate incidentsAugust 18, 2016
In at least two incidents in July, Lake Geneva police officers came across firearms either connected to or used in a crime.
The incidents were among those related during the Aug. 4 Lake Geneva Police and Fire Commission meeting, where Police Chief Michael Rasmussen mentioned some of the more important investigations completed by his department.
ò On July 8, about 9:10 p.m., officers responded to a report of a drug deal in the McDonald’s parking lot during which a handgun was displayed.
Officers conducted a traffic stop of the suspect vehicle with weapons drawn.
A Ruger P29 9mm handgun with an extended magazine was found in a backpack in the trunk of the car as well as a small bag of marijuana.
The handgun was not loaded, however, a secondary magazine was found with four bullets in it.
A 20-year-old Burlington man was arrested for bail jumping, disorderly conduct while armed, battery and carrying a concealed weapon. A 17-year-old Burlington girl was arrested for bail jumping and resisting/obstructing an officer. Two other occupants were in the vehicle and were released with no charges.
ò Two days later on July 10, at about 11:15 p.m., officers were sent to the area of Wrigley Drive at West Main Street on the report of two juveniles who had been robbed at gunpoint.
Officers decided to search the beach area. They learned that some of the persons at the beach were underage and had been drinking alcohol. They were taken into custody and taken to the police department.
Five .357 caliber bullets were found on one person. Another individual in custody told officers that a gun had been passed among the group.
Officers went back to the site of the reported robbery and found a .357 caliber snub nose revolver.
Charges have been referred to juvenile intake and the Walworth County District Attorney’s office.
Some individuals received municipal citations for curfew and underage possession/consumption of alcohol.
During that same evening Speaker of the House Paul Ryan was at the Riviera and had been on the Lady of the Lake as well.
ò At 4:09 a.m. on July 17, an officer noticed a car traveling west in the eastbound lane of State Highway 50.
The officer tried to pull the car over, but the driver accelerated and speeds reached up to 80 mph.
The car turned off on Deerpath Road and stopped. The driver got out and fled on foot.
Officers discovered that the car had been reported stolen.
Later, the suspected driver, a 25-year-old man from Elgin, Illinois, was arrested and taken to Walworth County Jail.
The suspect faces charges of operating a motor vehicle without consent, operating a motor vehicle while intoxicated and driving the wrong way on a divided highway.
ò At 3:39 p.m. on July 14, officers were sent on an EMS call for a possible drug overdose.
On arriving, officers found that both persons on the scene had used heroin and that a 21-year-old man had overdosed.
Two doses of Narcan had been administered by the other user before the officers’ arrival.
Police found the 21-year-old alert and walking around. Both persons were taken to a local hospital for medical evaluation.