space
space
Peshtigo Times
space
space
space
Perspectives
* Country Cousin
space
space
Sports Shorts
* Area Teams Advance To Golf Sectionals
* Marinette Wins Tourney Opener
* Area Atheletes Advance To Track Sectional
* Mother Nature Stops First Round Games
* Marinette Takes Third in Waupaca; Bay Tourney Starts Thursday

space
Peshtigo Fire
space
e-Edition
Now Available
For more information
click here
dot
THE CITY REBORN FROM THE ASHES OF AMERICA'S MOST DISASTROUS FOREST FIRE
space
dot
space

County Has High Hopes For First Drug Court, TAD Grant

Heroin and opiate abuse continues to be a growing problem in Marinette County, but steps are being taken to reverse the trend, provide local treatment for drug abusers, and eventually reduce the number of crimes committed by addicts. The county’s Health and Human Services Department has been assigned the lead role in establishing drug treatment services, but the entire county law enforcement community has come together to prepare plans and seek financial support for a comprehensive effort to attack the problem from all sides.

Health and Human Services Director Robin Elsner reported to the county’s Criminal Justice Coordinating Committee on Friday, Oct. 18, that prior to the deadline on Oct. 17, he had submitted application to the Wisconsin Department of Criminal Justice for $285,349 in grant funds to help establish a local Treatment Alternatives and Diversion (TAD) program and related Drug Court here in 2014. The required county match of $94,183 will come from programs and personnel already provided through county departments, mainly his, Elsner said.

County Administrator Ellen Sorensen reiterated that no new county taxes will be levied for the program. However, she felt it eventually could reduce jail and law enforcement costs here if the goal of reducing repeat offenses is achieved.

The grant is for a two year process, but application will need to be submitted again for additional funding next year, Elsner said. He expects need then to be less, because the costs of equipment and training will already be covered.

Elsner thanked State Representative John Nygren and his office staff; Marinette County Circuit Court Branch II Judge James Morrison; and DHHS Community Services Supervisor Rob Valentine, Financial Manager Stacy Strasler and Administrative Assistant Bobbie Doliver. “I couldn’t have done it without their help,” Elsner declared.

The idea for a local Drug Court and TAD program originated with the Criminal Justice Coordinating Committee months ago when Morrison and District Attorney Allen Brey began expressing frustration with lack of local treatment alternatives for addicts. Morrison said he had sometimes sentenced relatively minor offenders to state prison in hopes the treatments available there would help them get away from drugs. So far, that has not worked. Reports to the various county committees involved have been that treatments so far, including prison time, have had a zero percent success rate with addicts.

Plans for the grant were endorsed by several county committees, and Elsner was assigned to write the grant application, with input from Sorensen, Morrison, and others.

The Drug Court, which has the full support of Morrison, Brey and Branch I Circuit Court Judge Dave Miron, will be operated in partnership with Brown County’s Drug Court and Brown County Judge James Zuidmulder. Elsner predicted eventually the Drug Court could become regional, with perhaps Oconto, Forest, Florence and Shawano counties becoming involved.

“I don’t think that I’ve ever seen a more applicable and appropriate program for what this group (the Criminal Justice Coordinating Committee) is designed to do,” declared Sheriff Jerry Sauve. He thanked Elsner for all the work he had done in planning the TAD program and preparing the dual application.

Sorensen also thanked Elsner, and declared he had done “an absolutely brilliant application collaboratively with members of his department. I congratulate Robin on a job well done.”

If the grant is approved, the Criminal Justice Coordinating Committee, which currently is purely advisory, will probably be expanded into a formal steering committee for the TAD and Drug Court programs. That committee will meet weekly to refer addicts to drug court, and monitor progress of those assigned to the programs.

Confidence appeared high that the grant application will be approved. Elsner said the state’s decision has to be made before the first of the year, but he expects it will be within 30 days, and he plans to move forward very quickly after that.

“It’s a full court press...We’ve got a lot of talent here,” declared Sorensen. The Criminal Justice committee includes Sorensen, Morrison, Public Defender Bradley Schraven, Sauve, Clerk of Courts Linda Dumke-Marquardt, Elsner, Brey, Marinette City Police Chief John Mabry, County Board Supervisor Paul Gustafson, Child Support Director Corina Dionne, former member of Wisconsin State Patrol, Bryan Peth, State Corrections Officer Bobbie Christopherson, and Marinette High School Principal Corry Lambie.

“This is fantastic! This is what we’ve needed in this area for a long, long time,” declared Greg Block of Marinette, who said he is a recovering drug addict, one of the very few who remains drug free after being released from prison. He said he now works to help others get free of drug addictions. He and Peter Noppenberg of the Marinette County Jail Outreach program invited anyone attempting to get off drugs to attend ADA meetings from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. every Friday at the Menominee Covenant Church on 13th Street in Menominee.

Marinette County’s dismal drug record made the national news some months ago, in an article in the Wall Street Journal and was mentioned on some national TV shows.

In his grant application Elsner summarized the rapid growth of the drug problem in Marinette and Menominee since 2006, when a Menominee physician was found to be prescribing high amounts of narcotics (methadone, morphine and oxycodone) to local patients. He was arrested by DEA agents on Nov. 29, 2006 and is now in prison. With their source of narcotic drugs removed, many of his former patients turned to the more readily available heroin.

In the past three years Marinette County has one of the highest drug overdose death rates in the state, Elsner wrote in his application.

He cited figures showing six recorded heroin overdose deaths in Marinette County in 2012, plus four overdose deaths related to other opiate drugs. In Menominee County that year there were four heroin overdose deaths, and so far this year there have been four heroin deaths there, plus four overdose deaths from other drugs.

Confidence is high that Marinette County will get the grant. A team of state grant writing experts even came to the county last month to conduct a training session for county officials who would be writing the application.

Elsner said the goal is to assist addicts, which will reduce jail and prison recidivism. He said it is only for non-violent offenders. He said they will probably contract with a half-way house for 10 or 28-day residential treatments, after which other intensive counseling, treatments and testing will be involved. They will be helped to get jobs and become contributing members of the community, away from their former drug-connected companions.

Morrison said half the Drug Court money is going to provide community based treatment, “which we don’t have now.” The TAD and Drug Court are actually separate programs, but need is closely intertwined, and the state had advised the county to seek funding for both programs on a single application.

“This is good,” Block declared of the plans. “As a recovering addict myself, when I got out of treatment I had no where to go. It’s very important to have structure in your life, and to have somewhere to call home!” He said he had lived at the local homeless shelter when he was first released.

The detailed application includes “nuts and bolts” of how the TAD and drug court programs will work. Morrison said they will change the court process to try to divert people who will benefit from the programs, “but if they don’t follow through they will go right back to the regular system.” He said they had tried to seek out and incorporate all the “best practices” used around the state and the nation, “but there will be much need for local input and tweaking.”

There will be weekly meetings of the drug court and its steering committee for referrals and progress assessments.

Elsner said the TAD program will include six month and 24-month programs, “all very intensive.” The goal is to get 20 people served the first year. Intent of the diversion program is to get people into treatment within a week to two weeks of their first contact with his department. He feels it is realistic for one case manager to handle 20 to 35 cases at a time, and intent is to use all the currently available community services that they can.

While Drug Court will be led by Judge Morrison, Morrison stressed that Judge Miron also fully supports the program and has told him that he will be happy to take his turn on the Drug Court. “This is not a one-man band,” Morrison declared.

Elsner said the grant involves possible use of drugs like Seboxin to treat addicts, and he and members of his staff were to meet during the coming week with members of the State Department of Health and Human Services to talk about that.

The local anti-drug task force consisting of community members and businesses also will be critical to the program, Elsner said, since either gainful employment or meaningful community service is essential to their program.

Valentine said by Phase Three of their treatment they will expect the recovering addicts to go into the community to help counsel others.

Block, speaking from his own experience, said helping others is essential to an addict’s recovery.

Elsner said his department is trying to an agreement with the state Probation and Parole office for daily reporting, and Christopherson said they are already working on that.

“We can’t lose sight of the fact that these are people who have committed illegal acts, that even though they need help, they are criminals,” Sheriff Sauve quickly responded when a lady in the audience said some jail inmates felt it unfair that they were jailed for “an illness.”

He agreed, though, that treatment opportunities are needed, and that if successful the work load on his department will decrease.

Elsner said in the beginning the program will take more time from the Sheriff’s Department, the judges, the District Attorney and Clerk of Courts office, but once it becomes successful, the number of crimes, arrests and jail inmates should go down, so everyone will benefit.

“I’ve been pushing for this since I got out of prison,” declared Block. “It’s so good to see that it’s coming along...to take people out of prison and make them into contributing members of the community...it’s a miracle!”

Christopherson said her Probation and Parole department is working with the county on a daily reporting program, and that reporting center would be an additional tool that her department could use as well. She said they already have some treatment programs and are working for collaboration with the county as well. Her new budget year starts in July, but soon after that, AODA groups and after care contracts will be awarded. She spoke on the use of Vivitrol or Maltroxon, medications which negate the effects of opiates or alcohol. Valentine said he is also looking into those treatments, and their Dr. Powers is looking at getting certified for them.

Asked about possible use of the old jail adjacent to the courthouse as a residential center for recovering addicts, Sorensen said they currently have a prospective tenant, “but if that falls through, we have been talking about using it for this program.”

Sorensen said once the grant goes through there will need to be some visioning sessions “to determine and beef up the Criminal Justice Coordinating Committee’s role in regard to the program.”

In other business at the meeting, Marinette City Police Sergeant Scott Ries introduced personnel who demonstrated a “DRAGER” opiate detection machine that could help get impaired drivers off the road. Morrison said the test results would not be admissible in court, but would allow officers to not allow impaired persons to drive, and to send them on for blood tests.

Ries said officers often stop a vehicle for erratic operation, and observations show the driver is impaired, but alcohol tests are negative. Sometimes the driver in affected by legal prescription drugs, and other times by illegal drugs, dealing with that is complicated with the fact that drug laws have not kept up with the times. He said the machine shows presence of marijuana, and if any THC shows on the test, “You’re guilty!”

One of the demonstrators commented that if the drugs a person takes impairs their abilities, even entirely legal drugs prescribed for them, then the person should not be driving.

Brey said the test results could be helpful to his office, in that it narrows down what the lab tests would have to look for, for example opiates and cocaine versus amphetamines, so they would get results more quickly.

Brey said, however, the courts still depend most on observations made by the officers involved.

The machine costs $4,000, and each test kit costs $25. If the county gets one of the machines early in the game lifetime maintenance will be included.


Recent stories, opinions and photos

Issue Date Department Headline
05-28-2015Sports
Area Teams Advance To Golf Sectionals

05-28-2015Sports
Marinette Wins Tourney Opener

05-28-2015Sports
Area Atheletes Advance To Track Sectional

05-28-2015Sports
Mother Nature Stops First Round Games

05-28-2015Perspectives
Country Cousin

05-28-2015Perspectives
From our readers

05-28-2015Perspectives
Tales from the old-timer

05-27-2015Obituaries
Michael Wood

05-27-2015Obituaries
Annette L. Wirtner

05-27-2015Obituaries
Mary L. Westergaard

05-27-2015Obituaries
Charles F. Seymour

05-27-2015Obituaries
Joyce E. Pultz

05-27-2015Obituaries
Joseph Porter

05-27-2015Obituaries
Luella L. Petrosky

05-27-2015Obituaries
Delores Peterson

05-27-2015Obituaries
Bernice A. Moutray

05-27-2015Obituaries
Jeffrey A. Mech

05-27-2015Obituaries
Donald L. Marks

05-27-2015Obituaries
Barbara K. Lindsay

05-27-2015Obituaries
Thomas R. Kempka

05-27-2015Obituaries
James Johnson

05-27-2015Obituaries
Patricia A. Jashinsky

05-27-2015Obituaries
Mary L. Harteau

05-27-2015Obituaries
Mary A. Hamilton

05-27-2015Obituaries
Mary B. Haavisto

05-27-2015Obituaries
Phyllis J. Gottschalk

05-27-2015Obituaries
Justin A. Dequaine

05-27-2015Obituaries
Lorraine D. Behnke

05-27-2015Obituaries
Elton W. Westman

05-27-2015Obituaries
Ronald C. Wahlen Sr.

05-27-2015Obituaries
Joyce E. Pultz

05-27-2015Obituaries
Erle A. Ouellette

05-27-2015Obituaries
Carla J. Hirsch

05-27-2015Obituaries
June L. Headson

05-27-2015Obituaries
Edith L. Guizzetti

05-27-2015Obituaries
Vito M. Cinquepalmi Sr.

05-27-2015Obituaries
Edward L Bergles Sr

05-27-2015Community - Crivitz
Village Crivitz Gets Good Audit Report

05-27-2015Community - Crivitz
Summer Food Service Program

05-27-2015Community - Crivitz
Raffle Benefit for Crivitz Food Pantry

05-27-2015Community - Crivitz
Christmas in June at Crivitz Church

05-27-2015Community - Coleman
Woman’s Club Yard Sale in Beaver

05-27-2015Community - Coleman
Senior Club Sets Meet, Bingo June 1

05-27-2015Community - Coleman
Equity Park Craft, Flea Market June 20

05-27-2015Community - Coleman
Coleman ‘70 Class Reunion on Aug. 22

05-27-2015Front Page
Arrest 3 In Marinette Meth Drug Investigation

05-27-2015Front Page
“Soberlink” Program Helps Keep Jail Population Down

05-27-2015Front Page
Hammes New Elementary Principal at Wausaukee School

05-27-2015Front Page
Unearth Headstone of Peshtigo Civil War Vet, Services This Memorial Day

05-27-2015Front Page
Crivitz Proposes Random Athletic Drug Testing

05-22-2015Sports
Marinette Takes Third in Waupaca; Bay Tourney Starts Thursday

05-22-2015Sports
Jordan Jones Three Run Homer the Difference

05-22-2015Sports
Undefeated Bulldogs Run Away With Conference Title

05-22-2015Sports
Peshtigo Boys Three-peat; Dominate Running Events

05-22-2015Perspectives
Country Cousin

05-22-2015Perspectives
From our readers

05-22-2015Perspectives
Tales from the old-timer

05-22-2015Obituaries
Evelyn F. Wood

05-22-2015Obituaries
Jesse D. Tice

05-22-2015Obituaries
Jaren E. Smith

05-22-2015Obituaries
Mary J. Pestrui-Murphy

05-22-2015Obituaries
Robert W. Roggendorf

05-22-2015Obituaries
Charles H. Olsen

05-22-2015Obituaries
Thomas Joseph McCarthy

05-22-2015Obituaries
Vincent C. Hanson

05-22-2015Obituaries
Ruth L. Grosse

05-22-2015Obituaries
Barbara M. Goetz

05-22-2015Obituaries
Dorothy J. Forcey

05-22-2015Obituaries
Alice K. Czajkowski

05-22-2015Obituaries
Raymond L. Bogardus Sr.

05-22-2015Obituaries
Betty M. Winter

05-22-2015Obituaries
Joyce E. Thompson

05-22-2015Obituaries
Delbert E. Rentmeester

05-22-2015Obituaries
Judith Ann Osterman

05-22-2015Obituaries
Robert L. Olson

05-22-2015Obituaries
Richard P. Okray

05-22-2015Obituaries
Cecilia M. Mayo

05-22-2015Obituaries
Marliss-ann Lundquist

05-22-2015Obituaries
Stephen D. LaCombe

05-22-2015Obituaries
June L. Headson

05-22-2015Obituaries
Jack K. Donovan

05-22-2015Obituaries
Richard D. Davis

05-22-2015Obituaries
Betty Allen

05-22-2015News
Aromatherapy Topic at Library

05-22-2015News
Legion Trap/22 Shoot is May 23

05-22-2015News
ResCare To Open Adult Day Center

05-22-2015News
Church Women Big Rummage Sale May 23 

05-22-2015Community - Wausaukee


05-22-2015Community - Wausaukee
Meet, Greet for New Principal

05-22-2015Community - Wausaukee
Athelstane Adds ATV Roads, Public Comments

05-22-2015Community - Wausaukee
Village Board Seeks Grants, Buy Vehicle

05-22-2015Community - Crivitz
Art Topic at Loomis Historical

05-22-2015Community - Crivitz
Stephenson Okays Licenses, Hiring, Town Hall Repair Work

05-22-2015Community - Crivitz
Red, White and Music Festival at Crivitz May 23

05-22-2015Community - Crivitz
Crivitz Elementary Receives Chromebooks Initiative

05-22-2015Community - Coleman
Woman’s Club Yard Sale in Beaver

05-22-2015Community - Coleman
Equity Park Craft, Flea Market June 20

05-22-2015Community - Coleman
Pound Woman’s Club To Award Scholarships

05-22-2015Community - Coleman
Village of Pound Picnic, Car Show June 26, 27

05-22-2015Front Page
Halvorson On Honors Flight For WWII, Korea Veterans

05-22-2015Front Page
New Marinette County Admin. Now On The Job

05-22-2015Front Page
Middle Inlet Again Offers $1,000 Reward for Street Sign Theft Info

05-22-2015Front Page
Two Residents Object To Kozuzek Road Dog Park

05-22-2015Front Page
Airport Seeks Proposals On Roof Repair, Cameras

05-14-2015Sports
Peshtigo Boys Win Home Invite; Marinette Girls Finish Second

05-14-2015Sports
Wausaukee Wins M&O Golf 9-Hole Meet

05-14-2015Sports
Barbarians Fall to Orions

05-14-2015Sports
Crivitz Topples Peshtigo; Cougars Take M&O Lead

05-14-2015Obituaries
Thomas E. Zeratsky

05-14-2015Obituaries
Donald H. Woller

05-14-2015Obituaries
Marie Werner

05-14-2015Obituaries
Janet D. Sundquist

05-14-2015Obituaries
Calvin L. Siegrist

05-14-2015Obituaries
Gordon A. Myers

05-14-2015Obituaries
Barbara L. Moss

05-14-2015Obituaries
Dwaine J. Mellen Sr.

05-14-2015Obituaries
Susan Daryl Lindberg

05-14-2015Obituaries
Ward E. Kimball, Jr.

05-14-2015Obituaries
Marvin R. Gusick

05-14-2015Obituaries
Charles M. Gibbons

05-14-2015Obituaries
Janice M. Everson

05-14-2015Obituaries
Lillian M. Chaltry

05-14-2015Obituaries
Phyllis Borie

05-14-2015Obituaries
Harold F. Amenson

05-14-2015Obituaries
June Zeugner

05-14-2015Obituaries
Nichole A. Skog

05-14-2015Obituaries
Robert G. Shaw

05-14-2015Obituaries
Dorothy C. Scheer

05-14-2015Obituaries
Vicki L. Miller

05-14-2015Obituaries
Michael R. McCormick

05-14-2015Obituaries
Evelyn M. Kanack

05-14-2015Obituaries
Mary Ann Hamilton

05-14-2015Obituaries
Eleanor R. Gorski

05-14-2015Obituaries
Kathleen A. Geltz

05-14-2015Obituaries
Maureen E. Frawley

05-14-2015Obituaries
Lois A. Doffek

05-14-2015Obituaries
Charles W. Carter

05-14-2015Obituaries
Maxine H. Bartels

05-14-2015Perspectives
Country Cousin

05-14-2015Perspectives
From our readers

05-14-2015Perspectives
Tales from the old-timer

05-14-2015News
PHS 1985 Class Reunion is Aug. 15

05-14-2015News
Marinette Legion Brat Fry May 21, 22

05-14-2015News
Legion To Place Flags on Graves

05-14-2015News
Can Order Wagner Centennial Books

05-14-2015Community - Wausaukee
Legion Post 66 Lists Memorial Day Services

05-14-2015Community - Wausaukee
Silver Cliff Fire Auxiliary Gives Award

05-14-2015Community - Wausaukee
Legion Auxiliary Unit 66 Lists Memorial Services

05-14-2015Community - Crivitz
Crivitz School Lists Students of Month

05-14-2015Community - Crivitz
Middle Inlet Potluck Reunion Is May 21


space
Peshtigo Times
WEB Poll!
Do you think ISIS will be hitting targets in America?
space Yes
No
Undecided
space
TO VOTE CLICK
YES, NO or UNDECIDED

Suggest a Question
space .
space
FRONT
space
.
space
CLASSIFIEDS
space
.
space
COMMUNITY
space
.
space
GUEST BOOK
space
.
space
NEWS
space
.
space
OBITS
space
.
space
PERSPECTIVES
space
.
space
SPORTS
space
.
space
SUBSCRIBE
space
.
space
.
space
PESHTIGO FIRE
space
.
space
CUSTOM PRINTING
space
.
space
TIMES' SAVER
space
.
space
Click for Peshtigo, Wisconsin Forecast
FORECAST
space
Quick...
News or Ad Search
Enter News key words.
Enter Ad key words.



Peshtigo Times
841 Maple St
PO Box 187
Peshtigo, WI 54157
Phone: 715-582-4541
Email:
News@
PeshtigoTimes.com

space
Fax: 715-582-4662
© 2000-2015
All right reserved
space
Powered by
WEB Media
Interactive
COMMUNITY
WEB sites