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CWD Found in UP

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10/22/2018- The first case of Chronic Wasting Disease has been confirmed in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. The fatal nervous system disease was discovered in a deer killed in Waucedah Township in Dickinson County, about four miles from the Michigan-Wisconsin border. While more than 600 deer-damage permit, roadkill, and hunter-killed deer have been tested from Dickinson, Gogebic, Menominee, and Iron Counties this year alone, this is the first time CWD has been found in the UP. Immediate action to deal with the issue includes increasing testing and surveillance of a 10-mile core area centered on Waucedah Township .The Michigan DNR plans to test a minimum of 600 deer here to better determine if and how far the disease may have spread.

Committee Approves Public Art Proposals

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10/22/2018- Two new public art projects are given the go-ahead by Marinette’s Finance and Insurance Committee. The group heard a request to provide a portion of the funding for a sculpture crafted by Jim LaMalfa that would stand near the entrance of Marinette Marine. While LaMalfa has donated much of his own time and material, an additional $10000 is required to complete the work. The second project was proposed by Kim Brooks of Rusty Wolfe Studio and involves creating artwork out of benches that could be placed primarily throughout Marinette’s downtown. Brooks has asked the City to kick-start that program by paying for four benches and believes other individuals and businesses will then pitch in to pay for additional ones. She says the initiative was designed to drive more traffic to the downtown area.
Brooks anticipates having the benches ready by next spring. The Committee recommended approving funding $16500 for the two projects. That money would come from the city’s Economic Development Funds.

Jail Population Climbing

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10/22/2018- The population at the Marinette County Jail is on the rise. Jail Administrator Bob Majewski says the jail is nearing maximum capacity with around 130 inmates. It’s a combination of factors that has led to the increase, including officers making more drug arrests, increased efficiency in the District Attorney’s office, and a shortage of public defenders to represent those awaiting trial.
Sheriff Jerry Sauve says while inmates who pose a potential threat to society should remain in jail his department is working with the Marinette County judges to find more appropriate penalties for others who are there on less serious offenses.
The Marinette County Jail is just 14 years old. Sauve says he’s not prepared to seek an expansion for that facility. The 130-inmate count does not include the nearly two dozen people released on SoberLink or electronic monitoring.

Veriha Trucking Receives FastForward Grant

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A company headquartered locally is among those to receive state funding to train unemployed and underemployed workers in new skills. Veriha Trucking was awarded a $400000 Wisconsin FastForward Grant to train 143 new hires to earn a commercial driver’s license. Department of Workforce Development Secretary Ray Allen announced the recipients last week. In total, Wisconsin awarded more than $1.8-million in FastForward grants to ten businesses who will train nearly 1100 workers throughout the state.

Finance Committee Sees First Draft of 2019 Budget

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10/19/2018- Marinette gets their first look at next year’s budget. Finance Director Jackie Miller told the Finance and Insurance Committee Marinette’s preliminary 2019 general budget is balanced at this point and she’s predicting the city will be able to increase their general fund budget by four-point-four percent over last year.
However, the capital outlay budget isn’t looking quite as fair. The City approved $330000-worth of improvement projects, but currently only has around $291000. The Department of Public Works expects an increased need for funding to repair or replace some failing equipment and the cost to furnish the new REC Center is also taking a toll on the capital budget. Additionally, the fire station’s alerting system was estimated to cost around $16000 and actually came in at about $30000.
The Finance and Insurance Committee won’t be able to vote on the 2019 budget until the City receives final Consumer Price Index figures, which Miller anticipates will come in in the first part of November. The Committee plans to meet again November 12th to review the budget and consider forwarding it on to the full common council.

NEW Concert Band Prepares for Fall Performance

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10/19/2018- The Northeastern Wisconsin Concert Band takes the stage this weekend for their Fall concert. The band will perform at 3:30 this Sunday at the Marinette High School Auditorium under the direction of Bob Berndt and Glen Reinke. Trumpet soloist Adam Gaines, an Associate Professor of Music at UW-Green Bay, joins the performance this season. Reinke says Gaines brings a wealth of experience to the group.
The NEW Concert Band is always accepting new members and Reinke says each of their two annual performances are put together in just six rehearsals.
Those interested in learning more about the NEW Concert Band should visit their website, newconcertband.com. Tickets for Sunday’s Fall Concert are available at the door only and cost $5 for adults and $2 for students.

Sheriff’s Department Phone Scam

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10/19/2018- The Marinette County Sheriff’s Office is warning residents about another phone scam targeting the area. Callers claiming to be with the Sheriff’s Department ask victims to donate money for various Department programs. The Sheriff’s Office says they will never call residents seeking donations and anyone who receives one of these or other suspicious calls should contact the Sheriff’s Department or the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade, and Consumer Protections.

Interim Action System Requested for Ditch Near Tyco’s FTC

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10/18/2018- Tyco is looking to put another interim action system within the City of Marinette to filter PFAS contamination detected in surface water. The system, similar to the one proposed for Runnoe Park near the UW-Green Bay Marinette Campus, would treat water running through a ditch at the company’s Fire Technology Center on Industrial Parkway. The project was presented to Marinette’s Plan Commission Wednesday. Ben Verburg, Principal Engineer with Arcadis- the consulting firm working with Tyco on their cleanup efforts- joined in over the phone and says the interim action system will remove PFAS compounds from the water before reintroducing it to the ditch.
Chris Behrend is a Senior Program Manager with Tyco. He is hopeful the system will be up and running by the end of the year, but adds the project is still awaiting final permits from the Wisconsin DNR and the Army Corps of Engineers.
The Plan Commission approved Tyco’s proposal for the interim action system on the Industrial Parkway property. PFAS have also been detected in a ditch that runs near Marinette High School through Runnoe Park. Marinette County has already approved a request to install an interim action system to filter that water and Tyco will bring the proposal to the City of Marinette in November.

Menominee City Hall Hours Changed

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10/18/2018- Menominee is cutting back on the number of hours City Hall is open to the public each week. The City Council voted Monday to change City Hall operating hours from the current 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM Monday through Friday to 8:00 to 4:30 Monday through Thursday and 8:00 to 4:00 on Fridays. City Manager Tony Graff says the move will increase staff safety by allowing them to arrive at and leave work at the same time and cut down on hourly wages being paid to staff who don’t have much to do by the end of the day.

Yacht Club Lease Approved

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10/18/2018- Upgrades will be coming to the M&M Yacht Club as part of a new lease deal between the Club and the City of Menominee given the green light this week. City Council approved the agreement which would have the Yacht Club performing improvement work totaling around $75000 in lieu of rent for ten years. The Yacht Club’s project mainly involves bringing the building into ADA compliance by raising a portion of the floor inside the building and building access ramps outside. Lease terms require the work to be completed within 24 months.

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