Animal Abuse Investigation Underway in Marinette County

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The Marinette County Sheriff’s Office is investigating a possible case of animal abuse. An update on the department’s Facebook page states a Marinette County Highway employee observed a cat come out the window of a moving truck traveling south on Highway 41 near the Schacht Road exit. The 2-year-old cat survived but was injured and taken to Countryside Veterinary Clinic. Staff at the vet clinic continue to tend to the cat’s needs thanks to a trust fund made available through the Marinette County Public Health Department and a “goodwill” fund established at the Clinic for such cases. Anyone with information about this case is asked to contact the Marinette County Sheriff’s Office or Crimestoppers.

Oconto County Couple Suspected in Marinette County Overdose

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12/17/2019- A couple in Oconto County Court on drug dealing charges are also suspected of playing a role in an overdose death in Marinette County. Last week, a jury found 30-year-old Chasity Denny guilty of manufacturing or delivery of methamphetamine, while acquitting her of charges of first-degree reckless homicide. Denny’s boyfriend, 29-year- old Brian Blasing, is also facing similar charges, but has been ordered to undergo a competency exam. Both were charged in May of this year following the 2018 overdose death of 33-year-old Jeffrey Pecha. Denny and Blasing are also under investigation for allegedly selling the fentanyl that killed one person in Marinette county in February of this year. That investigation has been forwarded to the Marinette County District Attorney’s Office for consideration of charges.

Rip Rap Project Approved for Marinette and Menominee Shoreline

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12/17/2019- A joint effort between Marinette and Menominee aims to protect the shoreline of the bay from further erosion and damage. Monday both Marinette’s Water Utility Commission and the Menominee City Council approved an emergency project to install additional rip rap at Marinette’s inlet facility, Tourist Beach, and a portion of Harbor Drive. The project was awarded to Barley Excavating at a cost of around $65000. Menominee will pay 40% of that while Marinette will be responsible for the other 60%. Menominee City Manager Tony Graff says it’s not only the high water level that’s causing problems, but the increased wave action that comes with it.
Both the Army Corps of Engineers and Michigan’s Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy have identified the work as a priority and expedited the permitting process so the project could be done as quickly as possible. Graff says the project will not only prevent further erosion now, but should provide protection for the shoreline there even if conditions get worse.
The rip rap project is expected to get underway within the next week and should only take three to four days to complete.

AG Kaul to Attend PFAS Listening Session

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12/17/2019- Wisconsin’s Attorney General Josh Kaul will join representatives from the DNR and Department of Justice to answer questions and hear concerns from community members regarding local PFAS cleanup and investigation efforts tomorrow. The event takes place at the Community REC Center in Marinette and is the fourth of six planned listening sessions being held on the issue. These legacy contaminants have made their way into the environment through training with PFAS-containing firefighting foam, disposal of PFAS-containing materials, discharges of PFAS-containing wastewater to treatment plants and other activities. AG Kaul and others will be on hand from noon until 2 p.m. and again from 6 to 7:30 p.m. State agency staff will also be available from 2 until 3:30 p.m. to answer one-on-one questions from the public.

LCS 19 Acceptance Trials Complete

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12/17/2019- LCS 19, the future USS St. Louis, recently completed Acceptance Trials in the icy waters of Lake Michigan. Now that trials are complete, the Marinette Marine-built ship will undergo final outfitting and fine-tuning before delivery to the US Navy. Representatives with Lockheed Martin say as each Freedom-variant hull deploys, they’re seeking out and incorporating fleet feedback to roll into new hulls, meaning the Navy’s LCS fleet is growing in both numbers and capability. LCS 19 is the tenth Freedom-variant LCS designed and built by the Lockheed Martin- led industry team. She was launched in December of 2018 and is slated for delivery to the Navy early next year.

EGLE Provides Update on Status of Back 40 Permitting

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12/16/2019- The Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy is offering an update on Aquila Resource’s new air permit and an updated mining permit for its proposed Back Forty project. Aquila has chosen to withdraw the project’s dam safety permit application prior to the December 31st deadline to incorporate information determined to be relevant during the review of the project’s contested wetlands permit which is awaiting a decision from an administrative law judge. EGLE has issued Aquila an amended mining permit based on technical review of the amendment application and public comment received and they’ve also issued a new Air Permit to Install reflecting changes to Aquila’s mining plan and further public comment on the proposed project. Aquila is expected to resubmit a dam safety permit application in 2020, which will restart the permit review process, including new opportunities for public review and comment. The company will not be authorized to begin construction of the mine until all permits have been approved by EGLE.

Local Higher Education Coalition Broadens Opportunities for Community Growth

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12/16/2019- Individually they’re transforming students, but together they’re working to transform the community. Administration and staff from both the NWTC Marinette Campus and UW-Green Bay, Marinette Campus have joined forces to establish the Marinette Area Higher Education Coalition and bring a shared vision of public higher education to the region. Cindy Bailey, Campus Executive Officer at the local UW campus, says it’s about reducing duplication, increasing collaboration, and creating new opportunities.
“We’re very fortunate in this community to have two areas of higher education and what really makes sense is, together we can really offer more. We’ve had some duplication of services in the past and what we’re really trying to do is streamline those services and streamline the course offerings for our community and really listen to our community’s needs…and the coalition is driving those efforts forward.”
Through the coalition, the two schools are now sharing various student resources and events. They’re also meeting jointly with community and industry leaders to craft new solutions to the need to attract and retain a skilled workforce. Jennifer Flatt is the Dean of NWTC’s Marinette Campus.
“We know that higher education is one of the great draws to an area because you’ve got families that are trying to move here or to stay here and they need to know that there are cultural events, there are trades opportunities, you know, the whole wide range, and so we’re working together to communicate who we are as higher education in the area to help with recruitment and retention. And, of course, we can better serve industry needs because we can offer more classes together and more degrees together when we reduce duplication.” 
The campuses are jointly hosting Quick Start events to provide more information about the Marinette Area Higher Education Coalition or NWTC or UWGB, Marinette Campus individually on January 9th. There prospective students can also apply to either of the schools or take their admissions tests at no charge.

Two Marinette County Teens Complete National Guard’s Challenge Academy Program

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12/16/2019- 105 Cadets from 38 counties graduated from the Wisconsin National Guard Challenge Academy over the weekend. The Challenge Academy is designed to re-shape the lives of at-risk 16-to-18-year-olds by offering a structured, military-style environment and state-certified teachers and counselors to build cadets’ academic abilities, character, self-confidence, and personal discipline. After graduating from the 22-week residential phase of academy training, cadets are paired with hometown mentors who offer guidance and encouragement in pursuing their new direction in life. Among the most recent grads are two cadets from Marinette County. The National Guard Youth Challenge Program currently operates 41 different programs and nationwide, more than 145,000 teens have graduated.

Police Search for Suspect in Aggravated Assault

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12/16/2019- The Marinette Police Department is asking for the public’s help in identifying a person of interest involved in an aggravated assault earlier this month. The incident happened on the evening of December 11th in the 1800 block of Stephenson Street. The suspect is described as a 25- to 30- year-old male with light blond hair. He was wearing a green or gray flannel shirt at the time and a stocking cap. Anyone with information should contact the Marinette Police Department or Crime Stoppers.

Admin Committee Approves Resolution in Opposition of Legislation Impacting Gun Ownership

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The Marinette County Board of Supervisors will take up an amended recommendation to become a second amendment sanctuary county of sorts this month. While the Public Services Committee failed to come to a decision on the matter at their most recent meeting, Thursday the county’s Administrative Committee did approve forwarding a resolution to formally oppose the enactment of any legislation that might infringe upon the right of citizens to keep and bear arms. Supervisor John Guarisco introduced the issue to both committees and says it’s about taking a stand for what he and other Marinette County residents believe in.
“I just think it’s the way that Marinette County tax payers feel as a whole and I think it’s a good idea that we do it…This is a policy and, like any resolution, it’s worth about the paper it’s printed on, but it’s lets us send a message to Madison.”
However, County Board Chairman Mark Anderson opposes the resolution, saying while he’s not a proponent of stripping all gun rights, he does see a need for certain measures- like Governor Tony Evers’ proposed Red Flag law- to keep these weapons out of potentially dangerous hands.
“Having a very close family member in a hostage situation kind of brings it home to me. And if there’s a way to prevent any type of situation that that person in my family had to go through, I’m all for it. I’m with you on guns- I don’t have a problem and I understand all the uproar sometimes, but the reality is, it’s mental health.”
The resolution was amended by the Administrative Committee to actually remove any language formally declaring Marinette County a sanctuary county, while still providing some of the same protections as one. If ultimately approved by the board next week, Marinette County would be just the second county in the state to do so after Florence County passed a similar measure last month.

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