The Journal Times from Racine, Wisconsin on May 8, 1995 · 9
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The Journal Times from Racine, Wisconsin · 9

Racine, Wisconsin
Issue Date:
Monday, May 8, 1995
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2B. 3B. Obiituaries .Oscar Mayer, tryouts CITYCOUNTY the Journal Times MONDAY imes "Tl IDAY O 1995 H ion JLy May 8, page editor. Steven T. Loveoy SECTION Laairop woa Jl WJC t sun in lombo JOE BUTTWEILER Joima Times You've heard of a bridge over troubled waters., Well, with apologies to Simon and Garfunklc, Racine has a troubled bridge to pore over. It seems no one will own up to owning the Lathrop Avenue viaduct, a deteriorating, graffiti-covered bridge that neighbors fear could be the' scene of another bad fall someday. They'd like someone to do something about the span but can't find the owner. City of Racine officials say the city doesn't own it. Wisconsin Electric Power Co. says it doesn't own it. And Racine Area Chamber of Commerce says it doesn't own it, but would like to find out what to do with the bridge. Should it be torn down so the city can fill in the dip in Lathrop Avenue, thereby making Lathrop safer to travel and less prone to flooding? Or should the bridge be saved for a bicycle trail planned to stretch from Willow Road to West Boulevard? And in the meantime, should something be done to make the viaduct safer? A 15-year-old boy fell off it and was seriously injured in 1993. Tadd Anderson's doing fine now, but, like his dad, Jerry, thinks something should be done to prevent another accident. "Every time I go underneath it it kind of makes me shudder," said Jerry Anderson, Tadd's father. "I still see kids playing on it. The railing's getting rusty and tailing apart. It's just a matter of time before someone else gets hurt. "If they're not going to take it down, they should at least put a fence up there," he said. Anderson said he contacted an attorney after the accident. "They were hot to go on it, but dropied it when they found the city owned it," he said. He said his insurance covered 80 to 90 percent of Tadd's medical bills and isn't pursuing legal action because he thinks the deadline for filing suit has passed. Vickie Mertins, whose house at 1824 Lathrop Ave. is just south of the viaduct said she sees kids playing on it every day. "They sit up there with their legs, hanging and watch the traffic go by, or throw stones whatever turns their crank at the moment," she said. "It's even worse in the summertime. They have parties up there. I can hear them at night talking and yakking. There's a potential there for something really tragic to happen." Mertins said she'd like to see the viaduct removed because then the city could level off Lathrop Avenue, which would prevent her driveway from flooding after heavy rains. City officials have talked about doing just that but currently have no such plans. Thomas Statz, Racine County park planning director, said he would like to see the bridge stay in place as part of the bike trail. He said he didn't know if the county would be willing to acquire the bridge, though. The county applied for a state grant to cover 80 percent of the estimated $300,000 project's costs, but won't find out until late summer if it will get the money. More on VIADUCT, Pae SB tfc ft imij ii m i i nun n mn In 1 PAUL ROBERTS Journal Taws A Vickie Mertins wants bridge torn down. KIDS TAKE THE BAIT i - ' if-ii, -l.i.l..M..ii1.i.iffmT"")'"'-IJ " -' ''' ..'-i",wiififw ii uuuiMiiiiiiii i itTwfr ftT k?? . PAUL ROBERTS Jtwn,il Tint's ClN: y",,- r-51 V A Rob Chartier, 13, Union Grove, baits up near the dam. cr .a bin l ira "ill'-1 ! 1 PAUL ROBERTS Juir'u' fi": .:; A The Fox River was tHe hot spot for older kids in the 27th annual fisheree. They were .elbow to elbow below the dam at Echo Lake Park in Burlington Sunday for the 27th annual kids fisheree held by the Burlington Conservation Club. At right, Mindy Kadlec, 6, Bohners Lake, holds her hard-fought prize after her mom removed the hook. The club provided lunch, soda and bait for 597 kids; Matt Jones, Burlington, won the 10-speed bike in the grand prize drawing. 7 W'&$& Jf. 1 i r i I Violence targeted in kids show GARY METRO Journal Times ids from across the state will share their thoughts on violence in a live, one-hour broadcast on Wisconsin Public Television. "Listen to the Kids" is the first offering from "Act Against Violence," .public television's two-year outreach effort against brutality and rage. The show is scheduled for 7 p.m. on Tuesday. A studio audience of 100 youths "and panelists mtt describe the causes and solutions for violence. Kids at home will be able to join the discussion by phoning in their comments and questions. Taped segments will profile youths from across Wisconsin, including three girls who are confined at the Female Youth Development Center near Union Grove. They will explain their ! rx Conga players Orlando Sanchez and Jose Santaella, Milwaukee, perform on PBS show. feelings about violence and the effect confinement will have on their lives. Other taped segments feature a Milwaukee high school student P who will recite an original poem, 'Please don't kill me; I'm not ready to die," a group of Madison high school students who support one another, and a 16-year-old rural Wisconsin girl w ho was physically, sexually and mentally abused as a child. An unscientific survey of 18)3 state youths by public television shows they are no strangers to violence. Most believe the increasing brutality results from boiling emotions, poor parenting, substance abuse and troubled neighborhoods not th availability of guns, low self-esteem or other beliefs often expressed by adult professionals. Some described their brushes with violence, including a 15-year-old girl from Janesville. - "My ex-boyfriend got his face smashed in with a crowbar by some guys that wanted to steal his stereo, tapes and a bottle of cologne. It almost cost him his life." she said. "People kill for possessions every day. I just want people to ask themselves one question before they do something like this Is it really worth a life?" AJ5-vear:oldM.ilvyaukee boy confined in a state correctional center expressed a thought held by youths who were surveyed in schools, rural clubs and elsewhere. "Violence starts when you are a child," he said, "If you've grown up around violence, you'd think it was a normal way of life to act violent." Utilities merger raises concerns KAU CLAIRE APi - An environmentalist is among those who fear the merger of Wisconsin Energy Corp. and Minnesota-based Northern States Power Co. may result in less responsiveness to citizens. Some west-central Wisconsin residents have complained about fluctuating water levels below some of the 19 hydroelectric plants and dams operated by Northern States, said Will Fantle of the environmental group Northern Thunder. . ; t "A bigger company is more removed from local pressure and contact," Fantle said. In Milwaukee, business leaders and advocates for the poor worry about Wisconsin Energy's economic contribution to the area after managerial control shifts to a new company, called Primergy Corp. and based in Minneapolis. "We already have so few corporate headquarters and major philanthropies." said Leo Ries. a spokesman for Milwaukee neighborhood improvement programs. John Noer. president of NSP-Wisconsm. said the merged company would emphasize customer service. : "We are committed to being responsive we're trying to reduce bureaucracy, not add to it." Noer said. The merger, subject to state and federal approval, has also raised questions about monopoly domination of electricity prices and the reduction of jobs. The utilities have promised a modest electric rate reduction followed bv a rate freeze for retail customers through the year 2000. Wisconsin Energy has cut its payroll from 5,300 people to 4.500 in the last 18 months. It is expected to make rnore lavoffs'as job duties become shared with NSP. Wisconsin Energy 'chairmarT Richard Abdwrsatd his-corporation will be "every bit as connected to Milwaukee and Wisconsin as we have ever been." But even continued funding in community projects cannot entirely compensate for the loss of jobs, Felm-ers Chanev. chairman of the Milwaukee chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, said. "How do we rebuild the state if we're going to lose employment?" Chancy said. "Why does Wisconsin Energy hare to merge with anybody?" AS I SEE IT Emmort Dose He's casting around for the right word Have you ever heard of a bird called the stonechat? It's a European bird that gets its name from its call which is similar to the sound of two stones being slapped together? It looks something like a robin with a white collar. The stonechat has nothing to do with what we are about to discuss here. I jiist ran across it when I was going through the dictionary looking for the definition of the word "stupid" which has everything to do with thjs column." There are several definitions of ""stupid." J Among them: Boring as in "This is a stupid job." Infuriating, as in "The stupid car won't start." j Proper noun, as in "Hey, Stupid, watch where you're going." Showing a lack of smarts, as in "Newspaer columnnists who face east while standing on a stepladder that is facing south and leaning west are stupid. Or in "islewspaper columnists who face east while standing on a stepladder that is facing south and not only leaning west but sinking into soft ground on that side are stupid, stupid, stupid". I know. I am wearing a stupid cast on my stupid leg because I was stupid enough to stand on a stepladder which was slanting the other way on soft ground. Actually, it's not a stupid cast. It's more v like a synthetic designer cast. I'm hobbling around with a bunch of Bucky Badgers on a red background walking up my left leg. Journal Times reporter Elizabeth McGowan, seeing my crutches, asked if I had tripped over a word or stumbled on a sentence. Nothing that clever. I broke the fibula that's the smaller of the two lower leg bones when the stepladder I was standing on tipped over late Wednesday afternoon. I thought I had pulled some ligaments or something like that and poohpoohed suggestions from the family that I should have X-rays taken. I got out a pair of crutches we had in the basement and hobbled around Wednesday night and early Thursday morning. But when the pain lingered Thursday, I decided X-rays and a Visit to the doctor might be a good idea. My bride called the Placebo Palace Doctor Place and set up appointments for X-rays at 10:30 and with Dr. Albert Cabala at 11:15. My son took me over. I still didn't think I had broken anything. But I started to think I had more damage than stretched ligaments when the woman who had taken the X-rays showed.up with a wheelchair. She gave me a big white envelope with my X-rays. My son pushed me to Cabala's office, "You have a broken libula," said Cabala, looking at my X-rays. "How did you do it?" Cabala sent me the orthopedics department where Dr. John Trotter looked at my X-rays ; and said, "How did you do it.?" Trotter wrapped my leg- with white padding, then yellow cloth and then the Bucky Badger strip before applying the hardening substance for my cast. "I suppose this will itch," I said. Trotter said it would. Then. I thought he said, "Don't put a hand grenade down there." What he really advised. I soon learned, was not to push a hanger inside my cast to scratch the itch. Learning to get along on crutches and putting no weight on my left leg can be a bit challenging. Getting ready for bed and going down steps, for example, are a lot of fun. ' I'm not silly enough to say that now I know what handicapped people have to put up with. This is minor. 'In other words, although I may have had a bad break, I can't kick. Luckily, I got out of the doctor place a few . minutes before 1 p.m. giving me just enough time to get to my dental appointment. Former Community Editor and Journal Times reporter Emmert Dose writes his 4s ' See It" column weekly. Minnesota reservist dies in 1-94 crash OSSEO. Wis. ( AP i An Army Reserve truck driver from Minnesota died when she swerved to avoid another vehicle in a convoy and her truck . rolled, authorities say. The accident happened on Interstate 94 about 11 p.m. Friday as the group headed to Fort McCov near Sparta for weekend training exercises, the State Patrol said Saturday. Staff SgtTDenise Paulsrud, 28, of Montevideo; Minn., apparently swerved as the group of vehicles slowed down. Her 5-ton truck entered the median and rolled over several times, the patrol said.. Paulsrud had been the non-commissioned officer in charge of supplies fox the 302nd Maintenance Battalion based in Arden Hills, Minn., for four years. A passenger in the truck was hospitalized briefly.

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