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VA Nursing Home Given 5 Star Rating

A review by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs gives high marks to the Iron Mountain VA nursing home. The Oscar G Johnson VA Medical Center announced its nursing home received 5-stars as part of its annual performance rating. Brad Nelson, Public Affairs Officer with the Oscar G Johnson Medical Center says the new rating system compares VA nursing homes with their private sector equivalents and the Iron Mountain facility was listed as one of the best in the nation.
Nelson says because they host a unique type of resident, the challenges VA nursing homes face and the services they offer are much different than private nursing homes.
The Oscar G Johnson VA Medical Center provides services for all of the Upper Peninsula and nine Wisconsin Counties. Because they cover such a large area and only have a 40-bed nursing home in Iron Mountain, Nelson says they frequently contract with private and Medicaid nursing home facilities to allow veterans to live closer to home while still receiving VA benefits.

Grant for Food Pantry Milk Purchase

A grant from the Community Wide Fund held at the M&M Area Community Foundation will the St. Vincent de Paul of Marinette’s Food Pantry meet the increased demand for milk this summer. The food pantry received three-thousand dollars from the Foundation to help supply more milk to families in need while school is out of session. Because it is one of the items least often donated, the organization plans to purchase around 1300 quarts of milk, which costs about $1500. St. Vincent de Paul will apply the remainder of the grant funds toward paying off a replacement truck for the food pantry.

Safety Grant Awarded to Crivitz

A local school district is one of twenty around the state awarded grant funding to make its schools more secure. Wisconsin Attorney General Brand Schimel announced last week the Crivitz School District received a $20000 safety grant. The money is being handed out as part of a new law enacted in March in the wake of the mass shooting at Stoneman Douglas High School in Florida. The law allows a total of $100-million to be distributed to schools for safety upgrades, staff training, and youth mental health services.

US 8 Resurfacing Complete

The Wisconsin DOT announces the resurfacing work on US 8 in Marinette County is complete. The project began early last August and consisted of milling and resurfacing the highway between the west county line to just east of Dunbar. Crews also replaced storm sewers, curbs and gutters, and sidewalks through the town of Goodman. The DOT notes the contractor is still wrapping up punchlist items for the project, so drivers should be aware of occasional flagging operations in the area.

Work Planned for County Highway G

Four miles of County Highway G in Marinette County will be reconstructed next year. The county’s Infrastructure Committee reviewed a presentation by Joe Malenofski of CBS Squared, the design and project management consultant for the work. Due to poor pavement condition, the deterioration of culverts, and the five existing curves that do not meet standards, Malenofski and his team are planning to pulverize and re-lay a portion of County G from County E to Spur Road. The project also involves re-grading the road’s side slops and increasing the superelevation of the curves. Interim Highway Commissioner Eric Burmeister says 80% of the construction funding will come from the state as federal pass-through dollars and the remaining 20% will be paid for by the county. Work is expected to begin in the summer of 2019 and take approximately three months to complete. County G will be closed to through-traffic during this time. A public information open house on the project will be held July 21st from 5:00 until 7:00 PM at the Town of Lake Hall.

BAMC Prepares for Move

Although they’re only moving about a mile down the road, the relocation of Bay Area Medical Center from their current facility on Shore Drive to the new hospital on University Drive is a process that’s been three years in the making. The hospital officially opens August 16th, though Bernie VanCourt, BAMC’s Chief Operating Officer says the move will begin nearly two weeks earlier on August 6th. She says some of the biggest considerations in the planning process included deciding what equipment would be transferred from the existing facility to the new one and how to make that move without interrupting patient care.
VanCourt says perhaps the most important move is that of the hospital’s patients. That’s a process the staff has been working to perfect.
Bay Area Medical Center is planning to host a pair of open house events to give the public their first look at the new hospital. Those will be held July 20th and 21st.

Committee Approves Fire Truck Refurbishment

One of Menominee’s fire trucks may be getting a facelift. The city’s Public Safety/Public Works Committee heard a recommendation from Fire Chief Mark Petersen Tuesday to hire Red Power Diesel Service of Fremont, Wisconsin to refurbish their 2000 Pierce aerial ladder truck. Petersen says the work involves repairing rust, fixing suspension and brake issues, and replacing several other parts and systems. Petersen anticipates the refurbishment will give the truck another ten years of useful life. The project cost is capped at $155000, the funds for which have been included in the 2018-2019 capital outlay budget. Petersen estimates the cost to replace the truck would be closer to $1.2-million. The committee recommended the proposal to the full city council.

Committee Approves Attorney Funding Increase

More money could be coming to Menominee County’s court-appointed attorneys. After discussing the issue at the county board meeting Tuesday night, the county’s finance committee met Wednesday to consider a proposal that would allocate $30-thousand to the county’s five indigent attorneys for July through October until a state grant of over $400-thousand takes effect in October. Judge Mary Barglind says the indigent attorneys are severely undercompensated for their time and are having a hard time just keeping their offices open at the current rates. She adds, a new state mandate will lock in the county’s current contribution for indigent attorneys and any charges above that will be covered by the state grant.
Judge Barglind says another way to help increase the funding available to indigent attorneys would be to raise the court costs for those convicted of a crime.
Of the additional money being provided by the count, 70% will go to the circuit court, 20% will benefit the family court, and the remaining 10% will be given to the probate court. These funds will be drawn from the county’s reserves fund. The committee voted to recommend the increase to the full county board for final approval.

Remainder of 13th Street Work Planned

The remainder of the reconstruction of 13th Street in Menominee will be completed next year. Tuesday, the Public Safety/Public Works Committee approved a recommendation from the engineering department to hire GEI as the consultant for both design engineering and construction engineering for the work on 13th Street from 34th to 38th Avenue. The project includes replacing the existing curb and gutter and sidewalk on the west side of the street, as well as creating a full bike lane in each direction. City Manager Tony Graff says the work will start in the late spring or early summer of 2019 and will take around four months to complete. The cost of the project is estimated to be around $700-thousand. A grant from the Michigan Department of Transportation will cover $375-thousand of that work.

Remember Our Fallen Could Stop in Menominee

A travelling memorial honoring the US service men and women that have died in the War on Terror may make a stop in Menominee next summer. The Remembering our Fallen memorial features 31 glass towers bearing the names and photographs of the nearly five-thousand people who have died in the war since 9-11. Menominee’s Parks and Recreation Committee heard a proposal Tuesday to bring the exhibit to the Veterans’ Memorial Park next August. Resident Dave Thompson says the local Disabled American Veterans group will cover the associated costs and security needs for the four-day event. The committee asked City Attorney Rob Jamo to draft a resolution in support of the Remembering our Fallen memorial to submit to City Council for approval.