A preliminary hearing is scheduled this week for the man accused of trying to rob a central Marinette County bank. A Marinette County judge will have to decide Thursday if there’s sufficient evidence to bind 32-year old Ross A. Bertucci of Crivitz over for trial on six charges, including felony counts of Attempted Armed Robbery. On August 5th, a nearby gas station clerk alerted employees at the State Bank of Florence in Wausaukee that a suspicious masked man was approaching their building. Employees locked the bank’s doors and the masked man was unable to gain entry. Bertucci, matching the description and carrying a handgun, was arrested a short time later east of the bank. Bertucci remains at the Marinette County Jail with his bail set at $500,000 cash.
They had a $6 million goal in mind- now the fundraising group for Marinette’s new recreational center says that number is well within reach. An informational session was held by the City of Marinette and the Marinette School District Tuesday to update board members and the public on the progress of the $12 million multi-use facility to be built on a parcel of vacant land adjacent to the high school. Tim Stauss with Stephenson National Bank and Trust says $4 million has already been pledged/collected from local donors. Marinette Mayor, Steve Genisot, says the new rec center will consist of three structures- an ice arena, turf, and a convention space- to appeal to the widest range of users possible. In March, Marinette’s Common Council agreed to $6 million in bonding for half the cost of the construction of the rec center. The 15 acres of land the facility is to be located on will be sold to the city by the Marinette School District for one dollar. (Written by Amber Myszka)
A Marinette County man will spend a decade in prison for a child sex crime. 45-year-old Keith R. Szela of Pound was sentenced to ten years initial confinement and six years of extended supervision last week in Marinette County Court after pleading no contest to a count of second degree sexual assault of a child. Two additional counts were dismissed, but read in at sentencing. Szela was arrested in April after sheriff’s deputies received a complaint that he’d allegedly assaulted a 13-year-old girl. (Written by Amber Myszka)
One Operating while Intoxicated arrest is recorded during the latest deployment of the Marinette County OWI Task Force. The task force reports it was on patrol this past Saturday, with four officers on the road conducting a total of 30-traffic stops and issuing 14-citations. One of those citations was for an OWI, one was for having open intoxicants in the vehicle, and one was a drug arrest. The OWI Task Force is a joint effort between the Marinette County Sheriff’s Office and the City of Marinette Police Department.
A new Menominee County Courthouse security measure is still on hold. On Tuesday, the county commissioners discussed the purchase of a Checkpoint X-Ray System for the courthouse in Menominee. County Board Chair Charlie Meintz says he has concerns about the lack of planning. The total cost for the X-Ray system, setup and training comes in at over $25,000. Menominee County Administrator Brian Bousley says grants will be pursued for the new X-Ray security system. Action on the X-Ray security system has been tabled until next month's Menominee County Board meeting.
A new report shows kids in Michigan are bullied more often than anywhere else in the nation. The data, release by WalletHub, focuses on schools, state laws, and suicide rates and Michigan had the highest overall score of the 46 states included in the study. Karianne Lesperance is the co-director of the Healthy Youth Coalition. She says the issue is something they continue to deal with locally. Lesperance says they’re now enlisting the help of area high schoolers to help combat the problem. WalletHub cites cyber-bulling and a lack of LGBT protections as some of the top concerns for Michigan in their bullying survey. (Written by Amber Myszka)
A candidate for the U.S. Senate pays a visit to our area. During his time in Marinette Monday, incumbent Ron Johnson made stops at local manufacturers to speak with them about the challenges they face and what can be done to ensure Wisconsin’s manufacturing industry continues to thrive. Johnson says he decided to run for a second and final Senate term to help create reform and restore the country’s sense of security- a common concern he’s heard from residents across the state. Johnson will face off against Democratic challenger, Russ Feingold, in the November 8th election.
As expected, more people are coming to the new Menominee homeless shelter. Abundant Life Pastor Dave Pennell says they have roughly 50-people residing at the shelter, and the mission had helped over 200-people so far this year as of August 1st. Besides continued funding for its operations, Pennell says right now, the Abundant Life Homeless Shelter is also in need of bunk beds. Abundant Life Church and Mission officially moved from its facility along Highway 41 to the former Menominee Catholic Central School building in June when they were granted a temporary occupancy permit from the City of Menominee. The homeless shelter is still working on getting that final permanent permit.
There were a number of pigs on the loose in Escanaba this weekend. Saturday night or early Sunday, a vandal released nearly 20 hogs destined for slaughter from their pens at the Upper Peninsula State Fair. The animals were eventually captured, though some sustained minor injuries. The incident remains under investigation by the Escanaba police.
A man that eluded Marinette County authorities in a high-speed chase is now behind bars. Police arrested 31-year old Eric L Petrie of Phillips Wisconsin Saturday. He was found in the City of Oconto and is now lodged at the Marinette County Jail awaiting formal charges from the District Attorney's Office. On Friday, a Marinette County Sheriff's Deputy spotted a vehicle matching the description from a gas drive-off reported in Pembine. As the deputy attempted to pull the suspect's vehicle over near Wausaukee, the driver began to flee at a high rate of speed. The vehicle, reported as stolen out of Adams County, eventually went off the road as impacted a tree in the Town of Silver Cliff. However, the suspect managed to flee into the woods on foot and was not located until Saturday in Oconto.
The Menominee Fire Department will be conducting fire hydrant flushing this week starting today. The flushing helps maintain the water quality and evaluates the amount of water available for firefighting purposes. The flushing will be done between 17th Avenue on the South and 39th Avenue on the North, including all streets from 10th through 23rd. Flushing will begin today and continue through Friday September 16th. Residents may experience some discoloration of water and possibly lower than normal water pressure. These conditions do not represent a health hazard. However, customers are cautioned that staining may occur when washing clothes. Menominee residents that experience discolored water are advised to run cold water from their faucets for approximately 5-10 minutes.
Bug sightings in some trees in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula are causing concern among residents, but D-N-R officials say there’s no need to worry. What most are mistaking as the destructive tent caterpillar are actually fall webworms, which lay their eggs and feed on the underside of leaves of more than 80 different species of trees and shrubs. While pruning and disposing of infested branches is common practice, the D-N-R says the work is unnecessary for the health of the tree, as mid- to late-season loss of leaves doesn’t typically harm it. Fall webworms are native to Michigan and the population typically only spikes for a couple of years at a time. Biological sprays can be used to curb the issue, but because the spray doesn’t penetrate the insect’s webbing, it is best to spray just outside the infested area so the webworms are impacted as they expand their feeding.