Suspect in Bank Robbing Spree Sentenced

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02/25/2020-The man accused of robbing a northern Marinette County bank last year will spend 13 years behind bars. 43-year-old Jason Burgett was sentenced last week in US District Court for holding up the Stephenson National Bank and Trust in Pembine July 8th, as well as attempting to rob an Escanaba credit union a few days prior, and the robbery of a bank in Lake Hallie, Wisconsin July 15th. Following his prison stay, Burgett will also serve three years of extended supervision.

Easter Basket Project Underway in Marinette

02/25/2020- Although Spring hasn’t sprung quite yet, the City of Marinette is already hard at work with their annual Easter Basket Project. Through it, pre-filled baskets made by several partnering volunteers, groups, and organizations will be donated to children in need throughout the community. Businesses or residents who would like to contribute to the project are encouraged to bring pre-assembled baskets, items, or monetary donations to Marinette’s Community REC Center during regular operating hours prior to April 3rd to ensure timely distribution through local agencies. In years past, as many as 400 baskets were delivered to local children through the Easter Basket Project.

Menominee Announces New Trash Guidelines Under GAD Agreement

02/25/2020-Trash day might look a little different- but not much- for Menominee residents. The city’s new waste collection contract with Great American Disposal takes effect March 1st, bringing with it a few adjustments to how people put out their trash. City Manager Tony Graff says for the time being, the collection schedule will remain the same, but people now have the option to place their garbage inside 32-gallon containers at the curb. He adds another difference is the closure of the city’s recycling center to instead offer weekly recycling collection, as well.
The only other major change that comes with the new contract is the move away from monthly bulk item pick-up to just twice yearly.
Graff says the GAD agreement is about 20% cheaper than the former Waste Management contract, offering Menominee between $60000 and $65000 in savings annually. The City is distributing fliers to residents notifying them of the updates and will also post the information on their website.

MMACF Offers Scholarships to Area Students

02/25/2020- The M&M Area Community Foundation is continuing their efforts to make higher education more accessible to residents in Marinette and Menominee Counties. The Foundation has scholarships available for both high school and non-traditional students with the application period opening up March 2nd. You can find those applications and more information about these scholarships online at mmacf.org. Applications are due by March 31st. In 2019, the Community Foundation awarded over 65 scholarships to area students totaling nearly $105000.

Threat Reported at Marinette Dance Determined to Be Rumor

02/24/2020- A Marinette high school dance was overshadowed by a rumor of a threat of violence this weekend. According to the Marinette Police Department, officers were notified of the possible threat that there a student attending the event saying there would be a shooting at the dance Saturday night. The on-duty school liaison officer began to immediately investigate while several other patrol units also arrived on-scene within minutes of receiving the call. The incident was determined to be a verbal rumor started by an unknown person, as no weapon was found, no social media post was located, and no first-hand witnesses came forward. Officials say there is no ongoing threat to the community.

PFAS Amendments Approved by Assembly in Last-Ditch Effort During Final Session

02/24/2020- A pair of bipartisan bills aimed at addressing the local PFAS contamination issue did not make it to the Assembly floor for a full vote last week. Assembly Bills 842 and 843 would have allowed for a cancer cluster study and the sampling and analysis of PFAS in blood levels of residents in or near the contaminated areas in Marinette and the Town of Peshtigo, fund additional testing and research of PFAS chemicals and direct the DNR to establish emergency rules for the regulation of PFOA and PFOS. The legislation was drafted by Representative John Nygren and Senator Dave Hanson and although Nygren requested the package receive a vote by the full Assembly after being overwhelmingly passed at the committee level, the items did not appear on the final Assembly session’s agenda. However, Nygren says, an amendment to another bill passed did include some language addressing the PFAS issue.
Several constituents have voiced their concern that this new amended legislation doesn’t go far enough in combatting PFAS contamination or aiding in clean-up efforts, and while Nygren himself admits it was somewhat of a compromise, he also says he doesn’t believe 842 and 843 stood much of a chance of becoming law, and something is better than nothing.
The bill approved by the Assembly Friday must next pass the Senate before heading to Governor Tony Evers’ desk. The Senate is expected to meet once more next month.

One of Two Suspects in Coleman OD Pleads Not Guilty

02/24/2020- The Oconto County woman accused of helping supply the drugs that killed a Coleman man in 2019 is bound over for trial. 30-year-old Chasity Denny of Oconto waived her preliminary hearing Friday. She pleaded not guilty to a charge of 1st degree reckless homicide/deliver drugs for allegedly selling fentanyl-laced heroin to Terry Westphal in February of last year. Denny’s boyfriend, Brian Blasing, is also facing similar charges in the matter. Denny is due back in court for a status conference April 8th.

New Study to Examine Dam Impact on Hattie Street Bridge Piers

02/24/2020- Menominee will spend $27500 for a deeper study of the condition of their half of the Hattie Street Bridge. The City Council approved entering into an agreement with Ayres Associates for a pier scour evaluation as well as design for countermeasures. The study involves developing a 2D hydraulic model for the Menominee River and determining what kind of repairs may be necessary on piers 3 and 4 to maintain the structural integrity of the bridge. City Manager Tony Graff says high water levels and their impact coming from the dam have damaged the piers and the time to act is now.
Graff says there is the possibility that the City could work with the hydraulics company that operates the nearby dam to prevent these types of issues from happening again in the future, but the first step is examining the true extent of the problem.
The hydrographic survey will be completed as soon as weather permits. The hydraulic monitoring and design report is then expected to be submitted within 60 days of that survey.

Ice Conditions Could Warrant for Ice Shanty Removal in MI

02/24/2020-The Michigan DNR is alerting anglers that changing ice conditions could call for the removal of fishing shanties before required removal dates. They’re also saying people venturing onto the ice should use extreme caution as temperatures begin to rise or fluctuate. The repeated thawing and refreezing of ice weakens its integrity, decreasing its ability to support additional weight of people, vehicles, and shanties. If ice conditions don’t warrant early removal, the final date for shanty removal on Michigan-Wisconsin boundary waters in the UP is by midnight March 15th, while shanties on all other UP waters much be taken down by midnight March 31st. Shanty owners whose structures fall through the ice could be subject to penalties or even jail time. If a shanty is removed by a government agency, the court can require the owner to reimburse that agency for an amount of up to three times the cost of removal.

Cassie Nygren Sentenced to 13 Years for Role in Overdose Death

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02/21/2020- The daughter of a state lawmaker from the area will spend more than a decade in prison for supplying the drugs that killed a pregnant woman in 2017. 30-year-old Cassie Nygren, daughter of Representative John Nygren, was sentenced in Brown County Court Thursday to 13 years initial confinement followed by 17 years of extended supervision on convictions of 1st degree reckless homicide/deliver drugs, manufacture/ deliver heroin, and possession of narcotics. She and 35-year-old Shawn Gray allegedly sold the fentanyl-laced heroin that killed Jennifer Skeen in June of 2017. Gray was sentenced last year to 12.5 years in prison.

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