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Stray Bullets Lead to Closure of Hipke Road Range

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07/18/2019- A Marinette County shooting range is being shut down following safety concerns. Marinette County Sheriff Jerry Sauve says the Hipke Road range in the Town of Peshtigo is closed indefinitely following discussions with the Wisconsin DNR about reports of people in watercrafts on the Lower Peshtigo River being in danger of bullets fired from those using the range. Complaints of houses and garages across the river from the range being struck by bullets have also surfaced. Sheriff Sauve says the closure is an unfortunate, but necessary action taken in the interest of public safety. The Sheriff’s office will continue to work with the DNR to identify safety improvements that must be made before the range can be reopened.

Marinette Biosolids Will be Transferred to Oregon, Tyco to Foot the Bill

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07/18/2019- There’s now a plan in place to dispose of the two years’ worth of wastewater biosolids that Marinette has stored up since the DNR-mandated hold due to elevated PFAS contamination levels. They City’s Wastewater Utility Commission approved a reimbursement agreement with Tyco Fire Products Wednesday for on-site dewatering and transportation of the remaining material to a hazardous waste site in Oregon. Water and Wastewater Operations Manager Warren Howard calls it an “involved process,” but says under the terms of the contract, Marinette will be indemnified of any liability for the contaminated biosolids.
The agreement only addresses the existing biosolids and Howard says their disposal strategy moving forward is dependent upon the release of more regulations on biosolid contamination limits and sampling results of the incoming wastewater.
The cost for the biosolids disposal comes in at about $2.2-million. The only expense Marinette will be responsible for is the dewatering process, which Howard says equates to what the City would have spent under their normal disposal process. The work is expected to get underway by early August and will likely take between 30 and 60 days to complete.

Marinette Considers Consolidating Schools

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07/18/2019- It’s happening at school districts across the country and right here at home: declining enrollment and a related drop in revenue with which to keep the schools open. That has the Marinette School District considering a plan to consolidate their schools into three buildings, cutting the number of facilities they operate in half. Superintendent Dr. Wendy Dzurick says the recommendation comes from a community advisory group consisting of parents, teachers and school staff, Board of Education members, and representatives of government and higher education. That group reviewed facilities reports provided Sommerville Architects and suggested closing the Garfield, Merryman, and Sunrise locations. Under the plan the district would then have one building for early childhood through grade 3 or 4, one intermediate school, and one high school for grades 8 through 12. Dr. Dzurick says no final decision has been made yet and the next steps are to offer listening sessions September 25th and 26th, as well as send out a community-wide survey in October. If adopted, the consolidation plan likely wouldn’t take effect until 2021.

Finance Committee Approves Walking Track Fundraiser

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07/18/2019- Plans to upgrade the surface of the walking track at Marinette’s Community REC Center are moving forward. Director of Recreation and Events Gavin Scray says some walking track users requested the track be rubberized because the current cement surface is hard on their joints. The project could cost as much as $135000, part of which Scray suggested could come from the $95000 Focus on Energy rebate check the City received for the REC Center, and the rest would come from a public fundraising effort. Alderperson Rick Polzin is in favor of the project and says he wants to see it completed sooner rather than later. Marinette’s Finance Committee asked Scray to begin reaching out to contractors to get an idea of what their timelines and availability look like so the City can better anticipate whether the resurfacing will be completed this year or next. Scray will also update the committee on fundraising efforts next month and a determination on how much of the Focus on Energy check will be put towards the track project will be made once final fundraising figures are in.

Nominations Open for Queen Marinette Award

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07/18/2019- The Women’s Giving Circle of Marinette and Menominee Counties is seeking nominations for its 6th annual Queen Marinette Award. The award was created to recognize women who work to make a positive impact on the lives of other women and girls by helping them achieve personal and professional goals. Nominees must live, work, or volunteer in Marinette or Menominee Counties and members of the Women’s Giving Circle Steering Committee and/or the Grant Committee are not eligible for this award. Nominations may be made online and a link to the survey can be found on the Giving Circle’s Facebook page. The deadline for these nominations is September 1st and the Queen Marinette Award will be presented at the Women’s Giving Circle’s Annual Meeting and Grant Ceremony on September 19th.

Marinette Still Seeking Permanent Attorney

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07/17/2019- It’s been five months since Marinette’s City Attorney officially retired and the City has yet to find a successor. Attorney Jon Sbar agreed to stay on at an hourly rate following his February 7th retirement after Marinette’s attempt to find a replacement proved unsuccessful. The City’s Personnel and License Committee revisited the topic Tuesday, agreeing the sooner they determine what their strategy is, the more successful they’re likely to be in hiring a new attorney. While some suggested Marinette might consider making the position part-time or permanently contractual, Alderperson Jeff Skorik says he feels the duties of the role require a full-time employee.
The agreement between Marinette and Sbar comes with a one year-term and Sbar doesn’t anticipate terminating the contract early, but says if he does decide to step down before February of 2020, he’ll give the city as much advance notice as possible.
The Personnel and Labor Committee briefly discussed seeking entry-level applicants in their next round of postings for the City Attorney position to try to broaden their candidate pool. The Committee will take up the issue again at their meeting in August.

Council Approves Agreement for Municipal Legal Services

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07/17/2019- An Iron Mountain-based law firm will come on board to provide legal services to the City of Menominee until the city can identify a permanent replacement for outgoing City Attorney Rob Jamo. Jamo’s last day of work with the City is Friday as he moves into his new role of Menominee County’s 95A District Court Judge. Mike Celello with Mouw and Celello says he and his team of six other attorneys have already reviewed Menominee’s budget and other community information since initial talks about a potential agreement started with City Manager Tony Graff.  City Council approved a 6-month engagement letter with the firm at a rate of $175 per hour. That agreement can be terminated at any time.

Community Kids’ Day Thursday at the DAR

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07/17/2019- Have fun and keep cool at an annual event for the entire family this week. The DAR Boys and Girls Club’s Community Kids Day is tomorrow at the DAR on 8th Avenue in Menominee. Program Director Koreen Gardon says several activities including carnival games, bounce houses, and a petting zoo will be offered free of charge as a way to celebrate area kids.
About 400 people took part in last year’s Community Kids Day. Gardon says it’s a community effort, but one that businesses and agencies on both sides of the river are happy to take part in.
There’s no age limit to attend Community Kids Day, but children will need to be accompanied by an adult. The event runs from 4 until 6 p.m.

School Supply Drive on for Area Kids

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07/17/2019- You can help local kids in need to be better prepared as they head back to school. The Salvation Army is now accepting school supplies to support their Back to School Assistance program. They’re also collecting $25 gift cards for families to purchase new clothes and shoes for their children at places like Walmart, Kohl’s, TJ Maxx, and Kmart. Donations can be dropped off at several area locations including: Abundant Joy Gifts and Gathering, Ace Hardware, Anchor Coupling, Associated Bank, Emmanuel Lutheran Church, First National Bank and Trust, Johnson Control, Kmart, Menards, Mighty Pet, Nicolet National Bank, PCM Credit Union, Pied Piper Day Care, Security Finance, Stephenson National Bank and Trust, Tri County Credit Union, Walmart, and Zion Lutheran Church.

Residents can also bring their items to the “Stuff the Bus” event being held in the Walmart parking lot August 3rd. For more information, call the Salvation Army at 715-735-7448.

Green Bay Man Drowns Near Faithorn

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07/16/2019- The Menominee County Sheriff’s Office reports one man died in a drowning accident on the Menominee River Sunday. The incident happened near the Sturgeon Bend Campground in Faithorn around 11:30 a.m. Authorities say 41-year-old Bryan Bidwell of Green Bay was working to load a fishing boat onto a trailer at the boat landing there when the boat broke loose and was taken away from the landing by the current. Bidwell was attempting to swim to boat back to the landing when he went underwater. His body was recovered 75 yards downstream by the Wisconsin DNR. Nearly a dozen rescue agencies from Michigan and Wisconsin assisted in the search and recovery effort.

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