Referendums, Lawsuits, Economy Among Top News Stories For 2018Issue Date: January 3, 2019
At midnight on Monday, Dec. 31, the year 2018 passed into the annals of history, and 2019 came in as a bright new year, hopefully ready to be filled with mostly good news for everyone in TIMESland.
A review of top news stories printed in the Peshtigo Times during 2018 shows that as always, the year brought bad news along with the good. There were stories of retirements, resignations and replacements; successes and failures; school referendums, lawsuits, groundwater contamination, deaths, accidents, fires, murders, and arrests, along with stories of awards, grand openings, building dedications, and the record-breaking blizzard on April 13.
The economy boomed, and instead of focusing on creation of new jobs, Marinette County Board efforts turned to seeking ways to attract and retain the workers companies need to prosper and grow. Coleman was selected as the site of a new cheese factory expected to eventually employ 80 persons and raise the village tax base by about $80 million.
Among other "good news" stories of the year was the coming of "The Wall That Heals" replica of the Vietnam Memorial to Crivitz, which attracted record numbers of visitors and an outpouring of support for Vietnam veterans, and in fact all veterans of American military service. A Vietnam Veterans Memorial was dedicated in Peshtigo's Riverside Cemetery, and numerous war veterans had the privilege of participating in "Honor Flight" visits to Washington, DC. and then enjoying gala welcome home receptions. Those flights will continue, with preference given to veterans from the oldest conflicts.
Marinette County Board voted to end the part-time elected position of County Coroner, and replace it with a full time hired medical examiner.
A long-running dispute with the Wisconsin Department of Health over placement of 袤" sex offenders - the worst type- under supervised release in a home an outside investor purchased for that purpose in the town of Pound resulted in a change in state law. There still 袤" offenders in the home, but the new law requires recommendation of a mostly local committee before placement, and requires that these individuals be released in either their home community or the community in which they were convicted.
Local groups continued their efforts to prevent opening of the Back 40 Mine on the Michigan side of the Menominee River.
The new Aurora Bay Area Medical Center and the Wisconsin Maritime Center of Excellence buildings in Marinette, the new Elizabeth R. Washbek Memorial Building in the Town of Brazeau, and the new Crivitz Food Pantry building in Crivitz were dedicated. There were problems with construction of the Marinette Civic and Convention Center encountered problems but is now nearing completion.
Read more about 2018 news highlights in the week by week summaries that follow:
Koronkiewicz to Retire
At its meeting on Jan. 2, Peshtigo City Council reluctantly accepted the resignation of Clerk/Treasurer Vicki Koronkiewicz effective May 18. Alderman Mike Behnke stressed that he wants to get someone hired in time for Koronkiewicz to train before she leaves city employ.
Sewage, Not Water Problems
Problems with the Village of Wausaukee's Wastewater Treatment Plant (WWTP) that surfaced last month in regard to testing and other issues have absolutely nothing to do with the village's water supply, President Hilbert Radtke assured everyone at the meeting on Dec. 20. "This is not, and never was, a water issue. The problems are strictly with the sewer system and wastewater treatment plant," Radtke repeated.
Committee Favors New School
Price estimates between the cost of remodeling the existing Peshtigo Middle School/High School building or replacing it with an entirely new facility were discussed at a meeting of the Citizens Advisory Building Committee on Jan. 2. Cost to remodel was estimated at about $25,250,000 versus an estimated $29,960,000 cost to build new. More than 50 percent of those who responded to a recent survey said they were in favor of building new, but weren't in favor of the original $34,000,000 cost.
Packer Fan Nominee
Ten finalists were named in the search for the 20th member of the Packers Fan Hall of Fame including Sue "Stolty" Stoltenberg of Wausaukee. Fans can now vote to make the selection. Packers fans were asked to nominate themselves or a friend for the honor with an essay of 500 words or less, accompanied by a photo, explaining why he or she should be recognized. Persons can vote online by visiting
www.packers.com/FHOF or by paper ballot by visiting the guest relations desk in the Lambeau Field Atrium. The deadline is Jan. 31.
MCABI Hires Callow
Marinette County Association for Business and Industry (MCABI) hired Lindsay Callow as its new executive director and appears poised to take on an expanded role in county economic growth by accepting responsibility for promoting tourism as well as other business and industry in the county. Callow and her husband, Joe, own and operate the Forgotten Fire Winery in rural Peshtigo and Falling Waters Winery in Crivitz.
DA Clears Officers
After thorough investigation, Marinette County District Attorney DeShea Morrow has determined the shooting death of a Virginia man in early December by two officers of the Marinette City Police Department and two Marinette County Sheriff's deputies was justified under the circumstances and no criminal charges will be brought against the officers. Morrow gave summary of the investigation and concluded the evidence clearly shows that the officers acted appropriately and in accordance with their professional training.
Find Missing Man Dead
The body of a 19-year old man was found off Barlow Lake Road in the Town of Niagara on Jan. 8. Jacob Gleason was believed to be traveling through the area on his way back to Houghton, Mi. before he ended up in the woods. At 1:45 p.m. Jan. 7, someone reported a car with Michigan plates that had been abandoned off Barlow Lake and Brown Spur on a snowmobile trail. The car belonged to Gleason who hadn't been heard from in over 24 hours. The following day a group of Niagara firemen found Gleason's body.
Arrest at Drug House
Execution of a search warrant for an apartment located across the street from Menominee High School on Jan. 5, ended with four persons in the Menominee County Jail on charges that include possession of methamphetamine and heroin, possession of methamphetamine with intent to deliver within a school zone, and maintaining a drug house within a school zone. A search of the residence revealed small quantities of suspected methamphetamine, heroin, a drug ledger, narcotics/packaging baggies, drug cutting agents, digital scales, and Narcan, an opioid antagonist used for the complete or partial reversal of an opioid overdose.
Porterfield House Fire
A Town of Porterfield home and garage owned by Karen Stujenske at N6118 Highway 180 was destroyed in a fire on Jan. 3. Stujenske, along with her son were at home when the fire started and were able to get out of the home safely. When firefighters arrived they found the garage, which was attached to the residence fully engulfed in flames. They immediately called for mutual aid from other fire departments. Over 30 firefighters battled the blaze and remained on scene for over 5 hours.
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