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Janesville police announce a suspect in double homicide


Police have a suspect in the double homicide of two young women early Monday morning.

The announcement came two days after a 911 call that led police to find the women, wounded by gunfire, in the 3200 block of Midvale Drive on Janesville’s east side.

Seairaha J. Winchester, 30, of Janesville and former Janesville resident Brittany N. McAdory, 27, died later at a Janesville hospital.

Lt. Charles Aagaard of the police detectives unit would not identify the suspect and would not give his or her gender or age.

Submitted by Briana Neely 

Brittany N. McAdory, left, and Seairaha J. Winchester, right

The suspect and the victims knew each other, Aagaard said, although they were not friends. Aagaard knew of no romantic relationship between the suspect and either of the victims.

The suspect was not in custody, Aagaard said Wednesday evening.

Police believe the killings were not a random act, which eases concern about a threat to public safety, Aagaard said.

Aagaard said police have gathered enough evidence to focus on one person as the suspect but not enough to issue an arrest warrant.

Anthony Wahl 

An emotional Kiara Mcadory, 18, secures a vase of flowers in the snow next to a roadside memorial for her cousin Brittany N. Mcadory, 27, and Seairaha J. Winchester, 30, who were shot and killed early Monday on Midvale Drive in Janesville.

In a news release, police characterized the investigation as still in its early stages.

Aagaard said police are trying to discover where the suspect is, and law enforcement agencies in the region have been asked to help in that effort.

Aagaard said there’s still not enough evidence to be able to say for certain what the motive was.

Aagaard said he could not name the suspect because investigators must be sure they have collected all the evidence needed to ensure they don’t name the wrong person.

The 911 call came at 3:17 a.m. Monday from a passerby. Police arrived to find “a particularly violent scene,” Police Chief Dave Moore said Monday.

A Jeep SUV belonging to one of the women was found at 4:30 a.m. along Interstate 90 in Hoffman Estates, Illinois.

Police said earlier that the two women were in the Jeep at the TA Express Travel Center at 3222 Humes Road at 2 a.m. Monday and stayed 10 to 15 minutes.

The truck stop/convenience store is just around the corner from the scene of the shootings.

Police said Tuesday they were working to find out where the women were for the hour between leaving the TA Express and being shot.

Police said in the news release that officers have interviewed numerous witnesses, reviewed video footage and collected other evidence in the ongoing investigation.

McAdory and Winchester were friends, and both were mothers. More than 100 people turned out for a vigil at the crime scene Tuesday night.

McAdory had recently moved to Joliet, Illinois, and had plans to go back to school and become a nurse, loved ones said.

Seairaha J. Winchester

Brittany N. McAdory

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‘Always a gentleman’: Janesville loses a liberal lion


Theodore D. “Ted” Kinnaman was a passionate liberal who valued the political process and was always a gentleman, no matter how hot the issue, friends and family said.

Kinnaman, who also made prominent contributions in public service to the community, died Thursday at age 91.

Kinnaman’s community and political activism were done hand-in-hand with his wife, Jan Kinnaman, who survives him.

“They were very much a duo,” said their eldest daughter, Jackie.

Kinnaman was part of the peace wing of the Democratic Party as the party fractured in 1968 over the Vietnam War. He supported peace candidate Sen. Eugene McCarthy and once drove actor Paul Newman around town for political appearances, Jackie recalled.

Newman attended a reception at the Kinnaman house, where generations of political activists would spend time.

“Ted and Jan opened their home to local people (who were) moved to advance civil rights and to protect the rights of working people,” said another local liberal activist, David Feingold.

“Ted courageously fought for peace, even when our country was embroiled in endless wars,” Feingold said. “Generations of people, working to build a just world, owe a great thanks to Ted Kinnaman.”

Kinnaman was a delegate to the Democratic National Convention in 1968, as anti-war protesters clashed with police outside. Kinnaman was among delegates who marched in support of the protesters.

Rules were strict about anti-war messages inside the convention hall, so Kinnaman and others smuggled paper with silk-screened stop-the-war messages under their shirts. Jackie recalls having her father’s copy on her bedroom wall for years.

Kinnaman was elected chairman of the Wisconsin branch of the New Democratic Coalition in 1969.

“He wasn’t a hippie. He wasn’t out there throwing bottles at cops or anything. He was always committed to electoral politics,” Jackie said.

Ted and Jan had moved their family from Galena, Illinois, to Janesville in 1966 when Ted took a job at the newly opened UW-Rock County as a professor of music.

They liked Janesville, getting involved while enjoying access to the arts in the nearby big cities, Jackie said.

“He never would’ve thought of moving anyplace else. He put down roots here and was so connected to things here. It gave him lot of pleasure,” Jackie recalled.

Ted directed the youth choir at First Congregational Church and served on the city library board and Shade Tree Advisory Committee. At UW-Rock County, he established a fine arts group that brought in internationally recognized artists such as musicians Pete Seeger and James Galway and author Ralph Ellison.

The three Kinnaman children embraced education. Jackie got a law degree and practiced in the Chicago area. Kathie taught French in Neenah. Ted J. Kinnaman earned a doctorate in philosophy and is a professor at George Mason University.

Ted supported Les Aspin in his first run for Congress in 1970, and Aspin slept on the Kinnamans’ couch at the family’s longtime home on Columbus Circle during campaign stops.

Ted later broke with Aspin over their stances on the military. Aspin became chairman of the House Armed Services Committee and later Secretary of Defense under President Bill Clinton.

Tim Cullen, who worked for Aspin, met Ted during the campaign. Cullen, who went on to serve in the state Senate, said Ted never wavered in his progressive views.

“He had a very kind way of expressing himself,” Cullen said. “He was never in your face on these views. He expressed them with logic and calmness. That was who he was ... always the gentleman.”

Ted was a veteran of the U.S. Air Force Reserves and was on active duty for the Cuban missile crisis in 1962. He had graduated from high school in 1946, too late to serve in World War II, Jackie said.

“He was not a pacifist, but after World War II, I don’t think he ever saw a war that he ever fully supported,” she said.

Ted was highly educated and read voraciously, but he didn’t fit the mold of an elitist, Jackie said.

“He was able to connect to people. He never lost that ability, and a lot of people do,” she said.

Ted served on the Janesville School Board from 1994 to 2006. He was easy to get along with, said fellow school board member Susan Jacobson, whose political views rarely matched his.

They didn’t talk about their differences, Jacobson said. “I always enjoyed talking to him. He was always a gentleman and cared about the kids.”

Jacobson said she and Ted found a common cause in supporting the district’s music program and worked together to buy new band uniforms for the two high schools.

Steve Engelbert volunteered with Kinnaman to staff the Democratic Party tent at the Rock County 4-H Fair.

“He was good at that,” Engelbert recalled. “You’d get all kinds of people, including people who don’t like you who’d come in there, and Ted very much had the common touch, and I think he valued people from every walk of life, but he also happened to be somebody who had a grasp of philosophers and other things that are above my education.”

“He was a lion in the Democratic Party and of liberal causes, probably the most important liberal voice in Janesville,” Engelbert said.

Engelbert served on the school board with Ted.

“His approach was always reasonable and civil,” Engelbert said, “and I think partly because of Ted we had reasonable and civil discussions on our board.”

Another school board contemporary was Debra Kolste, now a Democratic Assembly member. Ted had encouraged her to run for the school board.

“He was the most well-read person I know,” Kolste said. “Sometimes I’d look at him and say, ‘How do you know that?’ He just read everything. He was such a prolific learner.

“What I enjoyed most about Ted is that he was very firm in his beliefs, but he never got angry. He just wanted to convince you to do something better. He really believed it was essential to help people.”

Janesville’s Jake Schaffner, center, led the Bluebirds co-op boys hockey team in scoring last season. The Bluebirds were scheduled to open play this week but instead are now hoping for a Dec. 17 start.

Freshly formed supports are seen in the foreground Wednesday as a crew builds a cofferdam near the east bank of the Rock River where an abutment will be for the pedestrian bridge under construction in downtown Janesville. The bridge, officially the Blain Gilbertson Family Heritage Pedestrian Bridge, will span the river between Milwaukee and Court streets. When construction began last summer, it was expected to be finished by Dec. 1, but the same river conditions that hampered the Milwaukee Street bridge reconstruction also slowed down work on the pedestrian bridge.

Obituaries and death notices for Feb. 13, 2020

Charles T. “Chuck” Anstedt

Joseph E. Bidwill

Sterling H.M. Blazier Espanoza

Daniel R. Brace

Bradley Scott Burkett

Loren J. Clark

Jeffrey Alan Czarapata

Willis D. “Will” Erber

Leonard W. Loertscher

Lucille Pacholczak (Laudato)

Bruce I. Pettibone

Prossa Schypko

William Jay Silveus II

Gerald K. Stork

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Janesville's ‘prototype’ Golden Corral opens Monday


Janesville’s newest sit-down restaurant adds another buffet option for local and traveling diners on the restaurant-heavy north side.

But “another buffet” isn’t how the Golden Corral’s owner describes his 290-seat franchise, located just off the interchange at Interstate 90/39 and Highway 14.

Chris Gomes said the new restaurant at 3111 Wellington Place underwent a monthslong, multimillion-dollar overhaul to the former Quaker Steak and Lube that closed abruptly in June 2018.

When the Golden Corral opens Monday, it’ll be the first of its kind: a prototype design the 500-restaurant chain is unveiling in Janesville, Gomes said.

This location is the only Golden Corral to have an open-air, stone-paved dining patio on the side of the building. In the dining room, the buffet is sleek and modern with an ambiance designed to appeal to business-casual diners with softer, more “intimate” lighting, Gomes said.

It’s also among the first Golden Corrals with a fireplace.

Drinks are served at the table, and there’s a separate 50-seat banquet room for private events. And, yes, like other Golden Corral locations, guests can watch at an open grilling station as a chef grills their choice of steak to order.

Gomes wouldn’t discuss the price he paid for a full face-lift, fireplace and new-era ambiance to the former Quaker Steak and Lube. But city construction permit applications filed last year pegged the restaurant conversion at more than $1.5 million.

Gomes said the project’s ultimate cost was “significantly higher” than earlier estimates.

A Boston native, Gomes said the prototype is being introduced in Janesville as part of a plan to appeal to a demographic that tends to avoid buffet restaurants.

“This new casual-theme look, as opposed to a more cafeteria-style buffet, is purposeful,” he said. “It’s more geared toward ‘Mom.’ The average male would come into an older Golden Corral and want to know how much ribs and chicken they can possibly eat. But Mom is coming in with the whole family. She’s looking for a salad. She’s looking for service and softer, intimate lighting.”

Gomes hopes that will set the new Golden Corral apart from other buffet or steak restaurants along Highway 14, including Texas Roadhouse and Hometown Buffet.

Unlike those chains, Golden Corral includes a house-cut and marinated steak cooked to order with a full buffet. Gomes said the price is comparable to a meal at either competitor.

Gomes said Golden Corral will open over the weekend with a grand opening Monday. The restaurant, which is nestled next to two hotels, also will be the first Golden Corral to have a drive-thru for takeout orders.

Despite hefty competition from an ever-growing bevy of chain restaurants on Highway 14 and I-90/39, Gomes said he believes there’s room for new players.

“We feel great with this site right off the Interstate. It’s the main corridor between Maine and Washington in the northern part of the country,” he said. “We just think we’re gonna be massive successful here.”