Zion-Benton News

Stories from the April 17, 2014 Issue

City Council approves budget with surplus

By Mona Shannon
Zion-Benton News staff 

The Zion City Council approved a budget for Fiscal Year 2014/15 with a modest surplus of $40,000 in the General Fund and a reduction in the tax levy of 1.3 percent. Finance Director David Knabel said a surplus was the goal and department heads cooperated by finding places in their budgets to cut.

Knabel said the city will see the end to some significant revenue extremes this year.
These include the final payment of $625,000 from Zion Solutions, the company decommissioning of the Zion nuclear power plant and the final payment of $130,000 from the SAFER Grant which covered the salary and benefits of three firefighter/paramedics for two years.

Knabel said added expenses will include bond payments and contractual salary increases. He predicts a deficit of $1 to $1.5 million in 2015. “We need to look now at how to generate significant revenue streams for the city,” Knabel said.  More ...

Video cameras discovered in RecPlex lockers

By Mona Shannon

Zion-Benton News staff 

Video cameras were discovered inside two lockers in the women’s locker room at the RecPlex in Pleasant Prairie, Wis. on April 7 after a RecPlex member alerted a staff member that there appeared to be a camera inside a locker.

Melissa A. Wenckebach, 27, of Pleasant Prairie, admitted to placing the cameras in the lockers. She was arrested by Pleasant Prairie Police that evening and was charged with Representations Depicting Nudity, which is a felony. A Waukegan man was indicated as a party to that act.

Pleasant Prairie Police worked with Waukegan Police and the Illinois State’s Attorney’s Office and on April 8 a search warrant was executed at a Waukegan residence.

On April 10, Karl J. Landt, 36, of Waukegan, was charged with 11 Felony I counts of Capture an Image of Nudity Without Consent in Kenosha County Circuit Court. The criminal complaint indicates that three of the images appear to be juvenile females.
The police investigation continues in an effort to learn how much video was collected; which areas of the locker room were involved; how the video was used or if it was distributed; and to identify potential victims from the evidence collected. It appears the videotaping occurred between January and early April. More...


Photo of the Week


Children in the Zion Park District’s Kiddie Korners use spring clothes pins as the base for colorful caterpillar magnets. Kaylee Patt (left) and Alyssa Novak carefully place the fuzzy balls while Haylee Cornellius-Jones (inset) shows
off her finished critter.


Wildfires at Illinois Beach State Park

A wildfire burns along the railroad tracks last week halting train traffic for hours.


Katelyn Munro demonstrates holding a
hockey stick with her display board at last
week’s Academic Fair in Wadsworth. Munro received a first place for her research project on Women’s Hockey.


North Prairie Track took first at the Alden Hebron Meet. Pictured is Alexia Caldron competing in hurdles.