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Lake Geneva News

City declares snow emergency

January 27, 2011
As what some predict to be a historic snow storm begins, Lake Geneva City Administrator Dennis Jordan declared a snow emergency Tuesday morning, Feb. 1. The city is under a snow emergency from noon Tuesday until noon Thursday, Feb. 3. Jordan said this means people shouldn't park their vehicles on downtown streets so the Street Department has room to remove snow.

Breaking: Authorities probing bomb scare

January 27, 2011
Schools within the Badger High and Joint 1 districts were evacuated Monday morning so police could investigate a bomb scare. According to a press release from Lake Geneva Police Assistant Chief Michael Reuss, district administrators received an e-mail claiming bombs were located in Badger High School and other area schools. The e-mail was received at 9:03 a.m. Since then, students from Badger High, Lake Geneva Middle, Central-Denison, Star Center and Eastview Elementary schools were sent home. Reuss stated these students were "evacuated as a precautionary measure."
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Man pleads not guilty in fatal crash

No drugs, no alcohol in Dees' system

January 27, 2011
Elkhorn — Bizarre. That is how Walworth County District Attorney Phil Koss described Jeremy C. Dees' behavior in the days leading up to a fatal two-car accident in Como more than two months ago. On Friday, Dees appeared in Walworth County Court in an orange jail jumpsuit with his left arm in a sling. In front of Judge John Race, Dees pleaded not guilty to homicide by negligent use of a vehicle and two misdemeanors charges for reckless driving causing bodily harm.

Winterfest almost here

January 27, 2011
Just days from now, orange dump trucks will be hauling loads of "artificial" snow made at Grand Geneva to Riviera Park. The white stuff will be worked into 10-foot tall cylinders, padded down by workers until the 3-ton chunks of snow are as perfect as possible. Then, it will be time for elite teams from as far away as Alaska, to spend the next three days using saws, axes, files and shovels as they carve intricate and creative sculptures from the thick white snow. It all means Winterfest will be under way soon. Commonly referred to as Lake Geneva's most widely known event, this year it runs from Feb. 2 to 6 and focuses mainly around the U.S. National Snow Sculpting Championships, the top snow sculpting competition for U.S. carvers.

Purchase could expand trail

January 20, 2011
Lake Geneva city officials are a few steps closer to purchasing about 60 acres of environmentally sensitive land which weaves along the White River through the former Hillmoor property. While the long-term future of the Hillmoor land remains unknown, the city apparently is moving toward buying part of the property with help from a Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources Urban Rivers Grant. City Administrator Dennis Jordan said the 50-50 grant is expected to be about $90,000. He said the city will have to chip in the same amount as the state.

Historians want to save theater

January 20, 2011
Since the summer of 1928, the Geneva Theater has been a fixture in downtown Lake Geneva. For a long time, it was the only theater in the area. But, things have changed. The property has been on the market for $949,000. Now, with a possible purchase of the property in the works, some local historians are hoping a piece of the building's history can be saved. Lake Geneva Historic Preservation Committee Chairman Ken Etten said a number of interested community members have met to discuss the future of the building. He also has discussed the possibilities with local leaders and groups.

Recent Lake Geneva News
Council removes staff assessor
January 13, 2011
A third City Council vote regarding the city’s assessor meant bad news for Grace Lininger.On Monday, the council voted 6-2 in favor of removing Lininger, the current assessor who has worked for the city for more than 21 years.Instead, the city will contract with Accurate Appraisals, a firm which will act as an independent contractor providing assessment services. Although there was no discussion Monday night prior to the removal of Lininger, aldermen previously stated the issue had nothing to do with Lininger’s work. Elected officials stated it was all about cost savings for the taxpayers of the city of Lake Geneva.
DA will not charge for misconduct
January 13, 2011
There will be no charges filed against Lake Geneva city staff, specifically City Administrator Dennis Jordan, for alleged violations of misconduct in public office. Walworth County Assistant District Attorney Diane Donohoo submitted a letter to the city recently stating what was done did “not rise to the level of felony behavior.”Upon the April request by the city’s Personnel Committee, the Lake Geneva Police investigated four specific allegations made by Alderwoman Mary Jo Fesenmaier, most of them against Jordan. The allegations revolved around the use of undesignated reserve funds to purchase the WE Energies building, petty cash use, payments for park benches and library credit cards.
INTERNET EXCLUSIVE - Who's running for office in the city?
Fesenmaier doesn't file nomination papers for re-election
January 06, 2011
All but one race appears to be set for the upcoming spring elections in the city of Lake Geneva.In order to be placed on the ballot, nomination papers, including signatures, were due Tuesday Jan. 4, at 5 p.m.However, Second District incumbent Mary Jo Fesenmaier did not file for re-election or noncandidacy. That means the filing of nomination papers for that district runs until Friday, Jan. 7, at 5 p.m. for anyone except Fesenmaier.
City may borrow for projects
January 06, 2011
It appears as though the city of Lake Geneva may borrow up to $3.2 million to fund capital improvement projects during the next three years.Council president Todd Krause asked aldermen during Monday’s Committee of the Whole meeting to voice their opinion about a possible bonding and a two-page list of proposed capital projects. A majority of aldermen were in favor of borrowing, but which items, projects and a total still need to be discussed. The capital improvement list, which was discussed during a nearly five-hour meeting last month, includes a new aerial ladder fire truck, police radios, street repair work, a plow truck and large mower. Those are some of the higher priced items. A new fire truck is expected to cost about $1 million, as is the street repair program over the three-year time span.
Hummel says master plan invalid, void
January 06, 2011
Geneva Joint Ridge Venture, the ownership group of 718 acres on the southeast side of the city, is asking a federal judge to make a determination that the city’s comprehensive plan adopted in December 2009, is invalid and void.According to a motion filed Dec. 29, in U.S. District Court, Geneva Ridge (also known as Hummel) is asking for a summary judgement on its claims regarding the city’s master plan. The motion states city officials have “intentionally inflicted economic harm and delay upon Geneva Ridge, hoping to cause Geneva Ridge to abandon its plans to develop its properties and force a sale to a more desirable property owner. They arbitrarily and improperly modified the planned use designations for the Geneva Ridge properties during the city’s Smart Growth planning process to retaliate against Geneva Ridge for the exercise of its Constitutional right to petition for a redress of grievances.”
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