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ELKHORN -- A coalition of business and government groups is hosting a forum on the long-delayed completion of the U.S. Highway 12 freeway expansion between Elkhorn and Whitewater.

WALWORTH COUNTY SUNDAY -- Dan Dailey, whose first job out of college was as a certified personal trainer, has a background in education and sports science, so he knows the value of regular exercise. Now working in the electronic monitoring department at the Walworth County Sheriff’s Office, Dailey, 43, finds he’s become a little more attuned to other healthy habits since joining Walworth County’s Wellness Council a little over a year ago.

“A portion of my job involves working at a desk, and rather than staying rooted in a chair all that time, I make a point of getting up and moving around a bit,” he said. “The program has made me more well-rounded. I probably pay more attention to nutrition and food labels, whether or not I’m getting enough sleep at night, just becoming overall more health conscious.”

A Harvard, Illinois man was killed in a two-car crash on U.S. Highway 14 near the village of Walworth Thursday morning, according to a release from the Walworth County Sheriff’s Office.

Luis Gutierrez-Fernandez, 39, died after his car lost control on icy pavement and hit another vehicle, according to the release.

Deputies and Walworth Fire and Rescue units were dispatched at about 6:44 a.m., Thursday, March 2, to a report of a two-car crash on Highway 14 just south of the village of Walworth.  

Initial investigation indicated a white 2008 Chevrolet Avalanche, driven by 59 year old Steven Johnson of Fontana, was southbound on Highway 14, when Gutierrez-Fernandez, driving a black 2001 Hyundai northbound on Highway 14, lost control of the car and crossed over the center line into Johnson’s car.  

 Gutierrez-Fernandez was pronounced dead at the scene by the Walworth County Medical Examiner’s Office.  

Johnson was transported to a local hospital with injuries.

The drivers were the sole occupants in each vehicle.

The crash remains under investigation by the Walworth County Sheriff’s Office Crash Investigation Unit.

Agencies who responded to this scene include the Walworth County Sheriff’s Office, Walworth, Fontana, and Sharon Police Departments, Walworth Fire and Rescue, Mercy MD-1, Paratech Ambulance Service, and the Walworth County Medical Examiner’s Office.

Wednesday, 15 February 2017 11:53

Town of Geneva house damaged in fire

TOWN OF GENEVA—A single-family house in Lake Geneva was seriously damaged in a fire Monday night, but no injuries were reported, according to a release from the Lake Geneva Fire Department.

Firefighters responded to a call of a structure fire at N3393 Oak Road in Lake Geneva about 10:31 p.m. Monday.

Upon arrival, crews saw flames on an exterior wall of the house.

The home’s occupants had gotten out of the house before crews arrived.

Before firefighters arrived, town of Geneva police officers used a fire extinguisher to knock down some of the fire, according to the release.

The fire spread into the walls and roof of the structure.

During overhaul operations, firefighters tracked down remaining hot spots and extinguished the fire.

The Elkhorn Area Fire Department also responded to the scene.

According to the release, the home also sustained smoke and water damage.

Crews returned to quarters at 1:05 a.m. Tuesday, according to the release.

The cause and origin of the fire remain under investigation.

WALWORTH COUNTY SUNDAY -- Walworth County lost its longest-serving supervisor earlier this month. Joe Schaefer’s seat, which he held since 1974, sat empty at our January meeting.

Schaefer passed away Jan. 11, ending a 43-year tenure, which was the longest in the history of our county. Schaefer was well known to many in the county for his board service and ownership of the Ye Olde Hotel in the town of Lyons. I had the privilege of knowing Schaefer since 1996 and working with him for 17 years.

LINN TOWNSHIP--Police recovered the body of a man who drowned on Geneva Lake while ice fishing Tuesday, according to a release from the Town of Linn Police Department.

The body of Michael Zielinski, 60, of the town of Linn,  was recovered by divers from the Linn Fire Department Tuesday afternoon, according to the release.

Thursday, 19 January 2017 12:30

Dog rescued from car fire in Lake Geneva

Lake Geneva firefighters rescued a dog trapped in a burning van as they battled a fire in a Wal-Mart parking lot Wednesday afternoon. The fire caused damage to at least five vehicles, according to news releases from the Lake Geneva police and fire departments.

According to a release, emergency responders were dispatched at 12:56 p.m. Jan. 18, to a car fire in the parking lot of the Wal-Mart at 201 N. Edwards Blvd. in Lake Geneva.

Crews found a fire engulfing two vehicles and used foam and dry chemicals to battle the blaze, which spread to three adjoining cars.

Firefighters entered a burning van to rescue a trapped dog. Crew members resuscitated the animal and transported it to the Lake Geneva Animal Hospital for treatment.

No other injuries were reported.  

“This was a serious and stubborn fire. Our crews worked hard to prevent further loss.  We’re glad the dog was rescued and that no one was injured,” Lake Geneva Fire Chief John Peter said.

The fire’s cause and origin remain under investigation. Criminal activity is not suspected at this time, according to a release.    

Two vehicles were total losses and one sustained minor damage.

When Joe Schaefer  of Lyons was re-elected as a Walworth County Board supervisor  April 5, he earned the distinction of the longest continuous-serving board member in the county’s history at 42 years.

Schaefer, 73, died Wednesday, Jan. 11 at the St. Luke Medical Center in Milwaukee.

TOWN OF WHITEWATER—Two men were hospitalized—one in critical condition—after  a car collided with a semi-tractor on U.S. Highway 12 in the town of Whitewater Wednesday morning, according to a release from the Walworth County Sheriff’s Office.

Ryan Gellings, 21, of Whitewater was taken to an area trauma center in critical condition. Marc Tracy, 43, of Carpentersville, Illinois, was transported to an area trauma center with moderate injuries.  

At 10:10 a.m. Wednesday, Walworth County Sheriff’s deputies, City of Whitewater police, University of Wisconsin-Whitewater police and Whitewater Fire and Rescue units received reports of a semi versus car head-on crash at the Highway 12 bypass, just east of the S. Wisconsin Street overpass in the town of Whitewater.

Emergency responders found a green 1997 BMW with extensive front end damage on the eastbound shoulder of the highway. A 2012 Volvo semi-tractor with an attached tanker trailer was in the southbound ditch. Debris was scattered across the road.

A preliminary investigation revealed that Gellings was driving the BMW eastbound on Highway 12 when his car crossed the center line.  The semi, driven by Tracy, was westbound on Highway 12 and swerved to the right to avoid the collision. Both vehicles collided head on in the westbound lane.

The drivers were the only occupants of each of their vehicles.

Highway 12 was closed for about 6 hours in the Whitewater area for investigation and cleanup, according to the release.

 The crash remains under investigation by the Walworth County Sheriff’s Office Crash Investigation Team and the Wisconsin State Patrol.

Agencies who responded to this scene include Walworth County Sheriff’s Office, City of Whitewater Police Department, University of Wisconsin Whitewater Police Department, Whitewater Fire and Rescue, Wisconsin DOT, Wisconsin State Patrol, Walworth County Department of Public Works.

A woman was seriously injured and a man arrested Monday after a methamphetamine cook ignited at a Lake Geneva hotel, according to a news release from the Lake Geneva Police Department.

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