Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Voting begins; Feingold says GOP 'peaked too early'

 Sen. Russ Feingold at City Hall voting rally

 Today is Election Day, Oct. 4.

Sticklers will insist there are still 29 days before the Nov. 2 general election, but through the magic of state law and absentee balloting, voting began this morning at City Hall.

Sen. Russ Feingold joined State Sen. John Lehman and Representatives Bob Turner and Cory Mason for a short get-out-the-vote rally on City Hall's front lawn -- being careful to keep all electioneering signs at least 100 feet from the polling place in the City Clerk's office, where ballots arrived this morning.

And what a party it was ...

Pirate Sean Radford added to the festivities

Racine's 8th Party on the Pavement may have been overshadowed by the stuck Ferris Wheel that stranded 17 people for over two hours -- all were brought down safely -- but that was not all that was happening Downtown.

The street fair celebrating the reconstruction of Main and Sixth Streets was its usual exuberant affair. Party-goers brushed off the cold (some wrapped in blankets, like the fellow at left) and occasional drizzle to enjoy lots of music, dance, arts and food. Here's some of what we photographed, mostly before the Ferris Wheel rescue took place. From what we saw, there was plenty of party for all.

At top is Sean Radford, of London, who was helping kids (and adults) dig for buried treasure compliments of Plumb Gold. More than 150 pouches of pirate booty -- jewelry, toys and candy -- were buried in a sand-filled pool. Anyone with $5 ransom was permitted to dig, with all proceeds earmarked for the Racine County Food Bank.

Folkswagon entertained from the main stage on Monument Square

Metal sculptor Ed Janecek adds a finishing touch

Titus, Rench and Wheary harmonize

Macyn Taylor sings and plays guitar while Raiders mascot greets a fan

Chainsaw carving was just one of the demonstrations Sixth Street offered

Final Approach's Barb Halsima rocked Main Street

Horlick Cheerleader braved the dunk tank

Chris Duerkop wore his own artwork to the Art Walk

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38-year-old arrested for home invasion on 20th Street

A 38-year-old man was arrested Sunday for a home invasion in the 3600 block of 20th street, according to police. 

Demetrius Johnson was arrested on charges of attempted first-degree intentional homicide, strangulation, robbery, burglary, false imprisonment, and substantial battery.
Here's a police press release on the incident:
On October 3rd, 2010 Demetrius Jackson was arrested for this incident. The Racine County District Attorney’s Office is expected to issue formal charges later today.
On Friday October 1st, 2010 at about 9:04 A.M. the Racine Police Department responded to the 3600 blk. 20th St. for a home invasion. Officers learned a suspect had entered the home and assaulted a 61 year old female. The victim was transported to Wheaton Franciscan-All Saints and treated for her injuries.
The Racine Police Department had responded to a suspicious vehicle and person in the 3600 blk. of 20th St. at 8:43 A.M., just prior to the reported home invasion. Officers located the suspicious vehicle parked and unoccupied. The suspicious person could not be located. The suspicious vehicle was no longer parked in the area when the officers returned for the reported home invasion at 9:04 AM.
Racine Police investigators have developed a person of interest for this home invasion. The 38 year old person of interest was located at his home and transported to the Racine Police Department. A search warrant was subsequently executed at his home. This person of interest is currently in custody for a Probation hold and is at the Racine County Jail.
Racine Police investigators are interested in any additional information that you may have about this crime. You are urged to call the Racine Police Department at 262-635-7700 and ask for Investigations or Crimestoppers at 262-636-9330, or by texting to CRIMES (274637) and referring to Tipsoft I.D. #TIP417 with your text message.
The investigation into this incident is ongoing. No further information will be released at this time. 

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Republicans skipping local candidate forum

 Update, Oct. 5: See below.

As we reported earlier today, two Republican candidates have refused to participate in the lone legislative candidate forum scheduled so far for Racine County. The two are Van Wanggaard, who is running against John Lehman for the State Senate in the 21st District, and Chris Wright, who is running against Cory Mason in the 62nd Assembly District.

Here's the release from the three co-sponsoring organizations:
The Southeast Gateway Group Sierra Club, The Racine Branch of American Association of University Women and Community for Change will host a candidate forum and open house at Gateway Technical College in Racine on Thursday, Oct. 28. The forum will be held in the Great Lakes Room from 7 p.m. until 9 p.m.

All candidates in contested races for the Wisconsin legislature were invited to participate. Wisconsin State Sen. John Lehman, Reps. Cory Mason and Robert Turner and Independent Party Assembly candidate George Meyers have indicated that they will attend.

Senate candidate Van Wanggard and Assembly candidate Chris Wright have declined our invitation. Despite the willingness of the organizations to reschedule the forum, neither was able to provide one date in which they would be able to participate within a six-week time period. Consequently, neither candidate will be participating in any public forum with the incumbents.

The public will be allowed to submit questions and overflow seating will be available with tele-conferencing in nearby rooms. Each candidate and their campaign is invited to participate in a public open house beginning at 6 p.m. and will be provided a table outside the forum room so attendees may ask questions, inquire about volunteering or pick up yard signs. Special Voter Registration Deputies from the GAB will also be in attendance to answer questions about poll locations and voting eligibility.
Melissa Warner and Betsy Georg, Southeast Gateway Group Sierra Club
Marcia Colsmith, American Association of University Women, Public Policy
Kelly Gallaher, Community for Change Coordinator
Update: "Organizers from the Sierra Club, AAUW and Community for Change are glad to add the confirmation of Libertarian candidate for State Assembly Anthony De Cubellis to the candidate forum."

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Saturday, July 31, 2010

Blue bins

The city reported good news Wednesday about its blue bin recycling program. Here's our story.

Filling the Cupboard on Hubbard

We stopped by the first "Fill the Cupboard on Hubbard" on Saturday for a look around at what organizers hope will be an annual event. Story and photos

Iron Woman triathlon has a winner

The drizzle at 6 a.m. called me back to bed, but I resisted and headed down to North Beach -- where more than 350 women athletes got themselves psyched for the inaugural Aflac Iron Girl Racine Triathlon.

To all I spoke to, the weather was a plus -- well, maybe not the 68-degree Lake Michigan water temperature, but at least there was no stifling heat.

The race got off without a hitch, four divisions separated by age and about five minutes, starting at 7 a.m. First was an 800-meter swim, followed by a 30K bike race and a 5K run.

First finisher in slightly more than an hour  was Lauren "Shark" Jensen, 43, of Muskego, who led all the way. Jenson, a pro athlete, has a Racine connection: her husband, Todd, is a Horlick High School graduate. She is a professional triathlete and physical therapist and has been teaching swimming and coaching athletes for over 20 years. She's finished second or third in half a dozen triathlons so far this year. 

Second across the finish line was Shirley Crocker, 52, of Madison, seen at right.

The official results show:  First,  Lauren Birkel, 1:06:16; Second, Lauren Jensen, 1:06:28; Third, Stacey Kiefer, 1:07:08.