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Wednesday, 23 November 2016 13:20

Business profile: Kwik Key automotive locksmith

Business name: Kwik Key

Owner: Brandon Newhouse

Address: N6645 Juniper Road, Elkhorn

Hours: Open 24/7

Phone: 262-842-KEYS (5397)

Website: KwikKeyLLC.com

Type of business: Automotive locksmith

When did the business open? September

ELKHORN—An Amerigas employee is charged with crediting customer accounts and modifying refund checks so they were in her name, racking up $28,337.53 from 42 transactions at the Whitewater business.

1123 klingmanJessica A. Klingaman, 36, of 1016 N. Sumac Drive, Janesville, is charged in Walworth County Court with 42 counts of identity theft and one count of theft of over $10,000 by false representation, according to the criminal complaint.

On April 21, two supervisors at the Whitewater propane store reported Klingaman to the police, according to the complaint.

Another employee told the supervisors Klingaman entered refunds or discounts into a customer's account, which created a customer credit balance, according to the complaint. A check would then be generated in the balance amount, but Klingaman would change the customer's name and address to her own.

Klingaman told police she randomly selected accounts and issued fraudulent checks in either her name or her maiden name, Dorsey, according to the complaint. She had access to Whitewater and McFarland Amerigas accounts.

Klingaman told police she issued the checks to herself when she needed money for bills, according to the complaint.

The first transaction was on or about Sept. 29, 2014, and the most recent was April 11,  2016, according to the complaint. Klingaman was a part-time employee in December 2013 and a full-time employee in April 2014.

Klingaman is due in court for a preliminary hearing at 2 p.m. Monday, Dec. 12, 2016.

A former police officer accused in Walworth County of dumping suitcases containing the bodies of two women he killed began court proceedings in Minnesota this month for one of the homicides.

Steven M. Zelich, 55, of West Allis was sentenced March 30, 2016 in Kenosha County to 35 years in prison for first-degree reckless homicide and hiding the corpse of Jenny Gamez, 19, of Oregon.

LAKE GENEVA -- The resident of a Lake Geneva home escaped injury Saturday night after noticing smoke coming from the walls around their fire place.

Lake Geneva firefighters responded to the call at 11:11 p.m. Nov. 19, 2016 and found fire in the area of the fireplace chimney and ceiling of the single family home at 1113 Madison St.

The resident, who had exited the home, called 911 after noticing light smoke and the wall above the fireplace turning brown, according to a fire department news release.

Fire crews quickly knocked down the fire and conducted a primary search. Truck crews ventilated the roof and assisted with overhaul and salvage.

The living room and fireplace received extensive damage.

The cause and origin are under investigation.

Crews cleared the scene at 1:10 am.

"Our crews worked hard and did a great job, containing the fire and preventing further loss. We are grateful there were no injuries, since nighttime fires can be very dangerous for sleeping residents. We encourage everyone to have fireplace chimneys cleaned and inspected regularly, as well as having working smoke detectors," Lake Geneva Fire Chief Chief John Peters was quoted as saying in the news release.

WALWORTH COUNTY TODAY -- A pole barn fire killed more than 20 sheep and cost $125,000 in damages Friday night.

At approximately 9:54 p.m. Nov. 18, 2016, Darien and Sharon Fire departments responded to a fire at W8694 Kilkinney Road in Richmond Township. Additional assistance came from city of Delavan firefighters, according to a Darien Fire Department news release.

When units arrived on scene they found the barn engulfed in flames, according to the news release.

Strong winds caused the fire to spread quickly, but the fire fighters were quickly able to get the fire under control, according to the news release.

The fire was contained within the barn, according to the news release.

There were no human injuries in the fire, according to the news release.

The cause of the fire is still under investigation, according to the news release.

ELKHORN -- American Transmission Company faces another lawsuit aimed at preventing the company from cutting trees in Geneva Township

An emergency motion for a temporary restraining order will be heard in Walworth County Court at 3 p.m. Monday, Nov. 21, 2016.

In October, Fellow Mortals Wildlife Hospital, owned by Yvonne and Steven Blane, filed suit to stop the utility from clear cutting a row of trees that protects the property.

ATC owns a utility easement for a power line at Fellow Mortals. ATC attorneys argued the company needed to trim or remove multiple trees to increase safety and service reliability.

However, Walworth County Judge Daniel Johnson ruled Oct. 13, 2016, that ATC could trim or remove trees near the Fellow Mortals Wildlife Hospital.

Since then, crews have been clearing trees along along the powerline route on Palmer Road. Property owners have expressed concern to the town board about the extent of the trimming.

The township lawsuit asks that ATC stop “cutting, trimming, removing or otherwise destroying any vegetation” along the ATC power line in the town of Geneva, according to the lawsuit filed Nov. 11. The main area in question is for an ATC line that runs from the intersection of County NN and Highway 12 to Palmer Road at Highway 67.

Town of Geneva Police Chief Steven Hurley wrote in an affidavit filed with the town's lawsuit that the town has issued citations to ATC for violating a town ordinance regulating tree removal. ATC refuses to comply, according to his affidavit.

The ordinance, No. 58, says a building permit from the town of Geneva building inspector is required before removing any trees or brush and prohibits clear-cutting trees with some exceptions, which still must be submitted to the building inspector.

Jackie Olson, an ATC spokeswoman, said in an email to The Gazette that ATC told local officials “on several occasions” the company believes the local ordinance does not apply to public utilities.

A letter from an ATC attorney to the town reads: “The (recent) court ruling (affirms) that ATC has the right to trim and remove trees within the area covered by ATC's easement."

In the same letter, the attorney wrote ATC “will not be 'clear cutting' properties, but rather trimming some trees and removing incompatible ones within our easement strip to keep our lines safe and reliable.”

ATC did not end up needing to remove vegetation from the entire easement width on the Blanes' property, so some vegetation will remain intact, according to the letter.

Olson said they would have no further comment because the lawsuit is still pending. Richard Torhorst, the attorney representing the town of Geneva, could not be reached for comment.

Thursday, 17 November 2016 11:49

Shed destroyed after fire near Clinton

CLINTON—Fire destroyed a 20-by-40-foot shed in rural Clinton on Wednesday.

“It was a total loss,” Clinton Fire Chief John F. Rindfleisch said.

Owner Jared Nortier at 5:21 p.m. Wednesday reported the fire at 8719 E. Highway 67.

Rindfleisch called it a "fairly large fire." Firefighters dispatched from the village about four miles from the fire could see a glow from the flames in the sky, he said.

Area fire departments were called for help, he said.

Firefighters found the structure engulfed in flames and partially collapsed, Rindfleisch said.

“It had gone up pretty fast,” he said.

All of the fire departments except the town of Turtle and Sharon were called off before they arrived, Rindfleisch said.

Damage is estimated at $20,000. The cause is undetermined, he said.

The homeowner told fire officials he was burning leaves and brush earlier in the day but not next to the shed, Rindfleisch said.

There was no electricity to the building, he said.

MORE

DARIEN -- Phil “Putsy” Putman was known as a kind-hearted handyman with a love for Tootsie Rolls. He spent years as a village trustee in Darien and died Nov. 6 at 80 years old.

1116 putmanThe community seemed to love Putman nearly as much as his family did. On his 80th birthday, he received more than 100 cards in the mail, Phyllis said.

During his service as a village trustee, Putman never missed a meeting, Phyllis said. Village Administrator Rebecca LeMire added he served on all standing committees in the village during his tenure.

Read the full story at Gazettextra.com HERE.

MADISON—Assembly Republicans on Monday unanimously re-elected Rep. Tyler August, R-Lake Geneva, as speaker pro tempore.

This will be August's third consecutive session in the job, which is the second-highest constitutional position in the state Assembly, according to a news release from August's office.

The speaker pro tempore presides over the Assembly floor and works with the minority party to negotiate debate and speaking times for bills and issues, according to the release.

“As the speaker pro tempore, I am dedicated to run the floor debate as fairly as possible," August said in the release. "

At a time of political division, we need to find a way to do a better job of discussing our differing opinions with respect and dignity."

MADISON—Assembly Republicans on Monday unanimously re-elected Rep. Tyler August, R-Lake Geneva, as speaker pro tempore.

This will be August's third consecutive session in the job, which is the second-highest constitutional position in the state Assembly, according to a news release from August's office.

The speaker pro tempore presides over the Assembly floor and works with the minority party to negotiate debate and speaking times for bills and issues, according to the release.

“As the speaker pro tempore, I am dedicated to run the floor debate as fairly as possible," August said in the release. "At a time of political division, we need to find a way to do a better job of discussing our differing opinions with respect and dignity."

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