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Power outage closes Regency Mall Tuesday

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RACINE COUNTY — A power outage related to a car crash early Tuesday afternoon closed Regency Mall and affected other nearby local businesses and traffic signals, police and utility officials said.

Regency Mall closed at about 1 p.m. Tuesday and most stores were not expected to reopen Tuesday due to the outage.

“The mall will be closed for the rest of the day,” said Sean Phillips, regional director of marketing for CBL & Associates Properties, the mall’s owner.

Phillips said the mall was scheduled to reopen completely at 10 a.m. Wednesday. He said there was a possibility of some power returning Tuesday to businesses located on the mall’s perimeter, so he encouraged shoppers to call to find out if their power was back on and they were open.

According to Racine Police Sgt. Tom Riegelman and We Energies spokesman Brian Manthey, the outage was caused by a vehicle striking a power box near the intersection of Durand Avenue and Roosevelt Avenue.

Manthey said that more than 300 customers at and near the mall lost power. The utility received a call about the crash and outage at about 12:50 p.m., he said.

We Energies spokeswoman Amy Jahns said power returned to all customers in the area at about 3 p.m. Utility crews rerouted power away from the damaged transformer.

“There are going to be extensive repairs on transformer,” Manthey said.

Generators help some

Power at Target, located at 5300 Durand Ave. just east of the mall had not been restored as of 4 p.m. Tuesday, according to Jahns. The department store was operating on generator power, as was the Pick ‘n Save at 2820 S. Green Bay Road in Mount Pleasant.

Target had associates at the front door to help customers. Shoppers wheeled carts through semi-dark aisles, with ceiling lights about every 30 feet functioning.

Penny Laird of Burlington stopped at the Target on her way home from visiting her sister in Racine. She wasn’t going to let a little power outage stop her from buying beach toys for her boys, Robert, 4, and Michael, 7.

“They won’t be happy if I come home empty-handed,” she said. “We’re headed to the beach this weekend.”

The outage also affected traffic signals at several intersections among them: Highway 11 and Highway 31, Highway 31 and Newman Road, Durand Avenue and Wood Road.

Racine Police Sgt. Tom Koetting said officers had placed stop signs at intersections without working lights. He did not know as of Tuesday afternoon whether the driver involved in the crash with the caused the outage had been cited.

Reporters Michael Burke, Mark Feldmann and Pete Wicklund contributed to this report.

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Kevin Dubiak, the owner of Doobie’s Beer Joint, located within Elmwood Plaza at 3701 Durand Ave., was before the Public Safety and Licensing Committee on Monday due to a formal expression of concern issued in the wake of a serious car crash involving a driver who had just left the bar. After testimony, the committee members voted to “receive and file” the expression of concern on the condition Dubiak attend a Good Neighbor’s Meeting where he will meet with members of the Racine Police Department and the City Attorney’s Office.

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