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Man dies due to injuries sustained in Highway 38, Caledonia crash

CALEDONIA — A man who was a passenger in a vehicle involved in a crash at the intersection of highways 38 and H on Tuesday has died as a result of his injuries.

Kee Ko Yee, 55, died on Wednesday, according to the Caledonia Police. Yee most recently resided in Milwaukee.

Yee was a passenger in the back seat of a vehicle that pulled out to turn north at the intersection in front of another vehicle that was headed south. The wreck took place at approximately 11:30 a.m. on Tuesday, where Highway 38 curves to the east.

Yee was subsequently transported via Flight for Life to Froedtert Hospital due to the severity of his injuries.

The driver of the vehicle Yee was a passenger in and the other passenger in that vehicle were transported to Wheaton Franciscan hospital in Franklin, according to Lt. Gary Larsen, of the Caledonia Police Department. He did not believe that their injuries were life threatening.

The four occupants of the other vehicle suffered only minor injuries.

Larsen said the department deals with only a few wrecks at the intersection each year, most due to failure to yield or because drivers go into the curve too fast.

Caledonia Police are still investigating the cause of the crash, with the assistance of the Wisconsin State Patrol.


Gunner, a golden retriever, swims with his training duck at Club Aqua Paws, 2711 Lathrop Ave., Racine, on Thursday afternoon. He was there with his owner, Ken Snyder, of Gurnee, Illinois. They came to train hunting retrieval techniques and help Gunner burn energy through swim exercise. To see more photos from Aqua Paws see Local, Page A7 and

Burlington cafe opens; Sugar Bean brings a dream for your sweet tooth

BURLINGTON — In the display cases at the Sugar Bean Café, 256 E. Chestnut St., Elisabeth Swirth’s brightly colored chocolate truffles shimmer like marbles.

A chocolatier with almost 20 years of experience in Milwaukee, Swirth makes them in small batches completely by hand.

“It’s a labor of love,” she said. “The thing that makes it worth it is all the smiles on everybody’s faces when they’re in here.”

The small café offering coffee and an assortment of desserts was a longtime dream for Swirth and her boyfriend Tim Bocek; they’d tried to open a similar business together before, but it had never been the right time.

This time they’re determined to stick with it, come hell or high water — a phrase that became quite literal this past summer.

Something fun to do

Bocek had worked at restaurants growing up but has worked as a bio technician, repairing medical equipment, for 21 years. But he decided it was time for a change.

“As I’m getting older, I’m looking for something more fun to do,” he said.

Swirth and Bocek decided they wanted to do a dessert café, a combination of tasty treats and delicious coffee. Bocek stressed that for the items they don’t make in-house, they sought out the best vendors for their cookies and doughnuts.

They recently signed an agreement with Colectivo Coffee and Troubadour Bakery so that starting Saturday, they’ll carry their coffee and baked goods in the café. They’re also going to expand their coffee menu to include espresso and cappuccino.

Sometime in the future, Bocek said he’d like to offer treats such as crème brûlée or chocolate soufflé.

“In order to get these kind of things, you have to go to a fancy restaurant, spend $200 on a meal to have these kinds of desserts,” said Bocek. “What I want to do is bring it here to where people can come in and they could get crème brûlée, chocolate soufflé, a piece of lemon cake or some very good chocolate.”

Eventually they’d also like to offer sandwiches, soups and other café fare. But they’ve been forced to open slowly, building onto the business as they go.

Initial challenges

When Bocek and Swirth signed the lease last summer, the space was just four bare walls, so Bocek got to work on the construction. Then one month later, in mid-July, the flood filled their basement. Fortunately, it didn’t touch the upstairs with all the equipment, but it made Bocek’s life pretty miserable.

“I worked in here for two months. It was 85, 90 degrees, no air conditioning, nothing but fans and the windows open,” he said. “This was a labor of love for me, too, because nothing was easy for me at the start of this. It was just one thing after another.”

The café opened in late October in time for the holiday season.

“When we finally got the doors open, it was a great accomplishment and relief,” said Bocek.

Because of the flood, they were $20,000 in debt, but largely through word-of-mouth and social media, they have brought in a regular stream of customers. In addition to Burlington-ites, the store has drawn people from the Milwaukee and Kenosha areas.

Swirth said one reason she thinks the café has done so well so far is the emphasis on food that not only looks good but tastes good as well.

“What I hated the most was when I bought something because it was absolutely beautiful and then I took it outside and it didn’t exactly taste too good,” said Swirth. “I wanted to make sure we had both things here — we both wanted to make sure that we use very high quality Belgian chocolate, we use very high quality natural fruit purees and natural fruit ingredients to make sure that everything tastes as good as it looks.”

Mick Burke / Submitted photo  

A Flight For Life helicopter was called Tuesday, following a serious two-car crash at highways H and 38 in Caledonia. A man who was a passenger in one of the vehicles involved in the crash died as a result of his injuries.

Vos: Juvenile corrections changes could create opportunity for counties

RACINE — With the recent announcement by Gov. Scott Walker to overhaul the juvenile corrections system — including closing the troubled Lincoln Hills and Copper Lake schools complex in Irma — officials have been working to determine how the new system would operate.

Assembly Speaker Robin Vos, R-Rochester, said he met with some of the governor’s officials on Tuesday to iron out more details.

Although details about how the new facilities will operate have not been revealed yet, Vos said this could be an opportunity for counties to get involved to reduce cost and create healthy competition “as to which facility has the best practices that could reduce recidivism.”

“Perhaps there’s a way we can form a partnership where counties, who pay 100 percent of the costs anyway, could be the ones that operate the facility,” Vos said during a visit to The Journal Times Editorial Board on Wednesday, accompanied by state Sen. Van Wanggaard, R-Racine. “Maybe the state gives them a grant to build the facility but they operate it because they’re responsible for it.”

Vos said the counties with the facilities could look for different ways to increase services, reduce cost and have better outcomes.

“I just think that’s a better model, in my opinion, than just saying five facilities do the exact same thing and hope for the best,” Vos said.

Vos complimented the way Racine County runs its Alternatives to Corrections through Education (ACE) program.

The program, based on the fourth floor of the county’s secure detention facility on Taylor Avenue, includes four hours of school each day and programming until 8 p.m., six days a week. Youth in ACE are required to participate in group programs where they learn about things like anger management, leadership and criminal thinking. Participants also take part in individual therapy as well as therapy with a caregiver or parent.

The cost to the county to house a child in state corrections is $397 a day. In contrast, the ACE program costs the county $185 per day, per child.

For Racine County youths who spend time in the state corrections facility, 99 percent re-offend within 12 months of discharge.

For those who complete the ACE program, that rate drops to 25 percent.

Families involved in ‘healing’

Wanggaard said the counties could have the manpower and resources to make a positive impact, especially since the facilities would likely be closer in proximity for the families of those detained.

“If you keep it local … you’re going to have better outcomes because you don’t have transportation issues for the families,” Wanggaard said. “(The families) can be part of this healing process.”

But overall, Wanggaard said the goal is to get those juveniles to be productive members of society.

“I’m not looking to rehabilitate anybody, this is not what we should be doing,” Wanggaard said. “I’m looking to reform them.”