The Secretary of the U.S. Navy makes it official. During a ceremony in Washington D.C. Thursday, Navy Secretary Ray Mabus officially declared a future Littoral Combat Ship to be built at Marinette Marine would be named the USS Marinette. Northeast Wisconsin Congressman Reid Ribble had been involved in the five-year effort to get a forthcoming LCS named after the city in which she’s built. Representative Ribble says it wasn’t an easy sale, and plenty of help was needed to convince the Navy Secretary. The USS Marinette will be the nation’s 25th Littoral Combat Ship and the 13th constructed locally at Marinette Marine.
Frustration and confusion were just some of the feelings during the discussion at this week’s Marinette School Board meeting. The Marinette School Board proposed the Teachers Compensation Model at this week’s tension filled Board Meeting. The Teachers and Board members wanted further clarification on how the model works which resulted in a rejection of the Model for now. School Superintendent, Wendy Dzuirck, has no problem with the delay. While the compensation model is a sensitive subject and the teachers in the district have great angst about this major change, Dzurick says the compensation model is designed to create the kind of educator that is needed for today’s student. While everyone agrees that a compensation model is needed. There is some debate as to how their 2% pay increase is going to be dispersed. That could be addressed at a special meeting on the compensation model planned for Monday.
Wisconsin Public Service is urging extreme caution near area dams this weekend. This week’s heavy rains will create more dangerous conditions near dams due to the increased river flows. WPS is encouraging recreationists to avoid areas directly above and below dams for the next several days as the water moves downstream. Residents downstream from dams should also take precautions for watercraft and other items at their docks and on the shoreline.
Car accidents are among the top causes of death among kids in the U.S., but experts say the risk can be reduced with proper use of restraints. Child Passenger Safety Week (9/18-9/24) runs through this Saturday with the goal of educating parents and caregivers about proper seat-belt and car-seat use. Kendell Wingrove with the Office of Highway Safety Planning with the Michigan State Police says every 33 seconds a child age 13 or younger is involved in an auto accident. Michigan law require kids under age four to ride in a car seat in the back seat. Children must also be in a car seat or booster until they are either eight years old or four-feet-nine-inches tall. Wingrove says once a child grows out of a car seat or booster, seat belt use always should be reinforced. And he recommends children stay in the back seat until they are at least teenagers.
This is Peshtigo’s big weekend to shine. The City of Peshtigo’s annual Historical Day event is this Saturday. Joe Nystrom is the Chair for Peshtigo Historical Day. He says this is a big draw for the city. Peshtigo Historical Day activities include Saturday morning’s parade, historical reenactors, car show, bouncers for the kids, food, live music, and a fireworks show at dusk.
Five-years ago, a husband and wife embarked on what was essentially a first-of-its-kind business venture for the M&M Area. It’s turned into quite a success story for Joe and Lindsay Callow, owners of Forgotten Fire Winery in Peshtigo. Joe Callow says they’ve expanded their facilities and beverage list in that half-decade. Forgotten Fire Winery will be throwing a 5th anniversary party this Saturday from 10 AM-5 PM. Besides offering a taste of their award-winning wines, Forgotten Fire Winery will have live music, a pie-eating contest, prizes, and a cookout benefitting River Cities Habitat for Humanity during the celebration.
There's still a push to update an aging Peshtigo school. The referenda funding the construction of a new Peshtigo Middle and High School were defeated in November and April. But that hasn't changed the need to address the aging facility. Hoffman Planning, Design and Construction representatives detailed ideas for upgrading the current middle and high school at a special Peshtigo School Board meeting Wednesday. Catherine Cruickshank is with Hoffman. Peshtigo Schools Superintendent Kim Eparvier says the district still needs to look at the feasibility of this and other plans. The ideas presented by Hoffman include additions with added and remodeled classrooms and gym space for the current Peshtigo Middle and High School building. The estimate for all this work is between $25.7million and $29.3 million
The Marinette County Board of Supervisors voted at this week’s County Board Meeting not to remove a Clause in the County’s sales tax. The Marinette County Sunset Clause in the County’s tax ordinance calls for the half-percent sales tax to expire at the end of 2021. While some supervisors were against the repeal others are confident in the County’s tax payers understanding. Supervisor, Don Pazynski, says a lot has happened in 15 years since the clause was introduced. According to the US Census Bureau the tax burden of Marinette County is the third lowest in the State of Wisconsin. County Supervisor, Vilas Schroeder, says Marinette County is a high tourist attraction county and this tax will help with those utilizing the county’s infrastructures. The intention of ordinance is to pay for future Marinette County debt service, funding capital outlay, economic development, and tourism.
A second Oconto County student accused of spiking a teacher’s drink is now convicted. 17-year old Gavin B. Gilbertson was one of two students accused of putting cleaning solution in a Gillett High School Teacher’s drink in October of 2015. The teacher had to be hospitalized. Gilbertson has now entered a no contest plea to a felony charge of Placing Foreign Objects in Edibles-as a party to a crime. His sentencing hearing is scheduled for November 9th in Oconto County Court.
The Marinette School Board unanimously passed the purchase use agreement with the City of Marinette for the Proposed Recreation and Convention Center at this week’s District Board Meeting. This is the final step in the agreement between the City of Marinette and the School District. The final approval for the Center will occur next month when it’s brought to the City Council for their vote.
The City of Marinette’s Finance and Insurance committee is entertaining the idea of hiring an Architect for repairs to the Chapel at the Forest Home Cemetery. Upon discussion with Jason Flatt, a Historic Preservation Committee member, the desire to turn the chapel into a columbarium is going to be quite costly. It was agreed that infrastructure must first be addressed before moving forward with hiring of an architect. It is suggested that the City Engineer, Public Works Superintendent, and Flatt, review the building and create an itemized, prioritized list of items that would need to fixed. During that time they will also review if a heating system is in place and if a columbarium is structurally possible
Menominee students are back in class. Menominee High School students have been back in classes for two weeks now and already have experienced a lot. Aside from the new renovations, the gymnasium had a new look last Monday when it was filled with college representatives from numerous colleges in Michigan and Wisconsin for Menominee’s annual college fair. Currently in sports, the Menominee High football team is 4-0 heading into its second conference game against Kingsford. For the lady maroons, tennis and volleyball are in full swing as well. Meanwhile, Cross-Country is also going on for both boys and girls at Menominee. (Thanks to our Menominee High School Student Correspondent Coleton Kotecki for this story.)