Wisconsin DHS names Paul Krupski Director of Opioid Initiatives

The Wisconsin Department of Health Services (DHS) announced today that Paul Krupski has been selected to serve as the new Director of Opioid Initiatives to coordinate the department’s efforts to end the state’s opioid crisis, effective yesterday. DHS Secretary Linda Seemeyer observed that Opioid overdoses and the misuse of opioids, either heroin or prescription pain medications, affects every corner of the state and is destroying families, and that we must do whatever we can to end the heartbreak affecting so many. She also noted that Krupski’s experience and skills support the efforts to make sure the response to this crisis is as aggressive and effective as possible. Krupski, a native of Brown Deer, Wisconsin, is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay with a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Social Change and Development. He has previously worked at DHS as a Prevention Coordinator with the Division of Care and Treatment Services and as Preparedness Training and Exercise Coordinator with the Division of Public Health Office of Preparedness and Emergency Healthcare. His career has centered on administering and implementing substance abuse policies and strategies. Krupski shared that almost every division in DHS is involved in some way with fighting the opioid epidemic, and that he looks forward to bringing all of those efforts together to meet this crisis head on and put an end to the devastation caused by opioid misuse. In September 2016, Governor Scott Walker issued Executive Order #214 that created the Task Force on Opioid Abuse, which is chaired by Lieutenant Governor Rebecca Kleefisch and Representative John Nygren. The governor also called on every state agency to take an “all hands on deck” approach to ending the crisis in Wisconsin.  Last week, DHS announced a $17 million investment to improve access to substance abuse and mental health treatment.

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Peshtigo Schools drop tax rate, Approve Tax Levy

Property owners in the Peshtigo School District got some good news at Monday night’s Annual Meeting. Superintendent Kim Eparvier says the tax rate is going to drop to $8.14 per $1,000.00, Ninety seven cents lower than last year.

(Eparvier Levy sound bite, Board Approval sound bite)

The Peshtigo Board of Education approved the 2017-18 Tax Levy, as well as the budget.

HEAR NEWS CLIP WITH SOUND BITES HERE  > >

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Menominee County Board weighing options for 911 operations

Would joining the State Police regional 9-1-1 dispatch be a better deal than continuing to operate its own 9-1-1 dispatch center?  Tuesday Night the Menominee County Board was presented with the reasons to consider that option, as J Walding reports..

At a presentation from the State of Michigan to The Menominee County Board Tuesday night regarding consolidation of 911 services, Brian McEachern from the State of the E-911 dispatch center outlined the options for Menominee County and proposed dispatching for the state out of Negaunee, from which 5 other counties are currently being dispatched. He said the myth of inability to smoothly dispatch services in a community that operators don't live in is impractical & outdated with today’s technology, and the E-911 center operates dependably every day for the 5 counties is serves. In review of preliminary numbers for handling the size of Menominee County, he says they can easily handle it. The state currently has five Motorola  MCC7500 consoles, operating 4 networked units with a 5th as a backup. Asked if there were any pitfalls with multiple counties usng one dispatch center, McEachern replied no, that this is simply a better system. Costwise, McEachern estimated a $200,000 a year contract for Menominee County.  Over a five year period, around 2 million dollar savings would be realized. Commisionner John Nelson had this to say:

“A 636 THOUSAND DOLLAR NUMBER WAS PASSED ON A PASSIVE EQUIVALENT, WITH NO ACCOUNTING, NO COST OVERRIDES INVOLVED. THIS HAS NOW OPENED PANDORA’S BOX, AND THAT’S WHAT IT’S DONE!!”

The County Board did not vote on any decisions regarding the purchase of a new 911 console, or the option of joining E-911 and having the state dispatch take it over. Commissioners were in agreement that a lot of research still needed to be done before any decisions were made. 

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Marinette County Highway Committee says NO to ATVs and UTVs on trunk highways

Faced with concerns expressed by the Marinette County Sheriff, the Marinette County Highway Committee yesterday voted 3-1 to rescind a recommendation made at their last meeting to open all county trunk highways to ATV’s and UTV’s.

(SOUND BITE: “BLOW TO TOURISM…”)

In a letter and sent to all 30 supervisors, Sheriff Jerry Sauve  called the recommendation to allow ATV’s and UTV’s on county highways poor public policy and a recipe for tragedy, multitude of complaints and enforcement concerns.

CLICK HERE TO LISTEN TO FULL REPORT WITH SOUND BITE  > >

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Another U.P Spruce sent to Lansing as Official Michigan Christmas tree

SOUND BITE  (Timber)

It was a proud day for the City of Stephenson and the U-P logging industry as the official Michigan Christmas tree was harvested and sent on its way to Lansing with hundreds of citizens, students, and officials looking on. The 60 foot spruce was donated by Alex Stevens and his Grandfather Bill Winters.  Each year the Michigan Department of Technology, Management, and Budget, Michigan Association of Timbermen and Great Lakes Timber Professionals  team up to select the tree and get it to Lansing to stand near the State Capitol.  It’s the 31st year that an official Christmas tree has been sent to Lansing, and 23 of those have come from the Upper Peninsula. 

Denny Olson, a log trucker who emceed the ceremony noted the importance of the timber industry to our area….

SOUND BITE  (Denny Olson)

The tree has been named as a memorial to long time Menominee County logger Earl St. John who died in the past year.  Members of his family and company cut the tree.  The harvested tree was suspended from a 110 foot boom crane provided by Plutchak Crane and Fabricating.  Due to adjacent houses and power lines, the crane was necessary to move the tree from its location to the awaiting truck that hauled the tree to Lansing.  The tree will be lit during Lansing’s Silver Bells celebration on November 17th.

CLICK TO LISTEN HERE for entire report with sound bites  > > 

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Menominee Area Public Schools in deficit, pay increase for substitute teachers

The Menominee School Board approved the 2016-17 audit during Thursday night’s meeting. While Karen Kerber of Kerber, Rose & Associates S.C. said this year’s audit ran much more smoothly than last year, the district’s fund balance is in the red. Last year, Menominee Area Public Schools enlisted the help of the Menominee ISD after the business manager resigned, observing that this year’s audit was much smoother with the ISD handling those functions. Kerber noted that it’s never good to have a negative fund balance, which can leave you with cash flow issues. Also reporting that MAPS incurred a loss of about $79,000 this year. (Kerber sound bite) Kerber recommended MAPS obtain their financial reporting on a monthly basis to more efficiently monitor activity, adding that it’s important to have a trackable fund balance, so that when unexpected items pop up, available resources are accurate. While the district is in the red, Kerber said the measures taken to better the district from last year have been noteworthy. Superintendent John Mans noted that this year, the audit is on time and the bank reconciliations are complete. (Mans sound bite) Mans expects the budget and fund balance to improve because enrollment is higher than first projected, noting that everyone at MAPS has pitched in, thus more is getting done for less, thanks to a true team effort. In addition to audit approval, the board approved the motion to raise pay for all substitute teachers from $75 to $95 per day effective November 1st.

CLICK HERE FOR FULL STORY WITH SOUND BITES  > > 

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Stegeman resigns position at United Way

The Tri-City Area United Way Board of Directors will begin a search for a new executive director after accepting the resignation of Jean Stegeman, who is currently serving in the role. The board says Stegeman cited her desire to pursue personal interests as one of the reasons in her decision to resign.  She will remain with the organization until Nov. 15 to ensure a smooth transitioning of duties.   The Tri-City Area United Way recently kicked off its 2018 fundraising campaign. Stegeman, who also serves as the Mayor of Menominee, took the United Way position earlier this year.  She announced at this month’s Council meeting she would be serving out the remainder of her term through 2019.

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Colton's Haunted House a screaming success

The Peshtigo Food Pantry weighed the food donated on Saturday October 21st for Coltons Haunted House it was 1301.43 pounds. On October 7th 943.31 pounds were collected. The combined total was 2244.74 pounds! Colton McKenney doubled the amount earned from last year. His original goal this year was to collect 1500 pounds. 440 people came through on October 7th and 619 on October 21st making it 1059 people that came through the Haunted House. Everything went perfect. The actors were phenomenal!! Colton stated "this has been fun and helping the community was even better. I will miss doing this but it was fun while it lasted." Colton pictured by the food collected on day two. Group picture of Colton and the volunteers - Back row from left: Greyson Jones, Kianna Kotecki, Alexis Witak, Lucy Rose, Emma Kobus, Kicca Lopez, Autumn Falk, and Meghan Finger. Middle row from left: Lorelei Maxwell, Mary Jo Seidl, Autumn Clement, Meiah Beck, Kayly Durocher, Lexi Tharp. Front row from left: Gabrielle Smith, Olivia Smith, Colton McKenney, Olivia Lewis, and Bryan McClury. THANK YOU ALL FOR A WONDERFUL LAST YEAR!
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Marinette School Board approves budget

The Marinette School District approves a new budget. The school board held a special meeting Monday to vote on the district’s 2017-2018 budget, which was presented and discussed in full at the board’s regular meeting last week. Director of Business and Finance Brian Walters says although this year’s budget is balanced, two important factors led to a nearly- 9-percent increase in the district’s proposed property tax levy from the previous year. The Marinette School District approves a new budget. The school board held a special meeting Monday to vote on the district’s 2017-2018 budget, which was presented and discussed in full at the board’s regular meeting last week. Director of Business and Finance Brian Walters says although this year’s budget is balanced, two important factors led to a nearly- 9-percent increase in the district’s proposed property tax levy from the previous year.

BRIAN WALTERS AUDIO: “…rather than the state.”

Under this budget, the total tax levy would rise to nine-point-two million dollars, while the district’s total expenditures and other financing uses come to just over 23-million dollars. The Marinette School Board unanimously approved the proposed 2017-2018 tax levy and budget as presented.

FULL AUDIO HERE  > > 

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Marinette Moose Lodge Fish Fry Saturday October 28th 5 to 8pm

The Marinette Moose Lodge will be holding another Fish Fry this Saturday from 5 to 8pm.  Proceeds will go to the new Community REC Center.  The Moose are asking a free will offering, with a $12 doantion suggested.  A fish fry on October 14th raised nearly $2400 for the REC Center.  The Moose Lodge is located north of Marinette on Highway 180 at Nettleton Road.

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Citizens for Menominee County Law Enforcement ask for November 7th YES vote

Coming up on November 7th, Citizens for Menominee County Law Enforcement are asking you to go to the polls and vote Yes for the Menominee County Sheriff’s Emergency Response / 24-hour Patrol millage. If passed, the first tax bill would be sent out in December 2018. The millage is a renewal and continuance of the road millage due to expire this year. If approved, the millage will be earmarked for the vital Road Patrol services provided by the Menominee County Sheriff’s office, which includes emergency response, road patrol, medical first response, drug enforcement, school resources, criminal investigations, emergency resaponse to automobile accidents, search & rescue, assistance at fire scenes, security checks of private & business property and numerous other services to all Menominee County citizens. The millage rate continuation is $1.795 per thousand of taxable value, an example is with a taxable valuation of $40,000.00 the cost would be $72 dollars per year on your tax bill. If NOT passed, keep in mind road patrol operations are funded from this millage, and all law enforcement services of the Menominee Sheriff’s office would stop, including the School Resource Officer who covers all county and city schools. The millage also pays for city & county Drug enforcement teams, K9 drug searches in school districts, and deputy patrols of of 1,120 miles of county roads to enforce traffic laws and dunk driver arrests. Again the request from Citizens for Menominee County Law Enforcement is to vote YES on November 7th.

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City of Marinette chooses new health insurance provider

Like just about everyone else, the City of Marinette is wrestling with rising health insurance costs, and Tuesday the city council voted to switch providers and double deductibles.  Mark Nygren, the city’s Health Benefits Consultant explained while they had good rate experience in past years with the Wisconsin Employer Trust Fund, the state’s attempts to control costs caused some of the major carriers to drop out….

 

SOUND BITE  Mark Nygren explains 

The city was looking at a 24 percent increase in the family premium if they stayed with the current plan.   After some shopping, Nygren found two plans that would result in only a five percent increase, but that required increasing deductibles from $1000 to $2000, and reducing co-insurance from 100 to 90 percent.  Of the two plans, Nygren recommending going with the Wisconsin Counties Association, which Marinette County, the Marinette Schools, and several other county school districts are using.  Nygren said an advantage  with the Counties Association plan is employees using Bellin Clinic for primary care services would have zero deductibles and zero co-insurance on those services.  The council unanimously approved going with Wisconsin Counties Association for health coverage and Delta Dental for dental coverage in 2018.

FULL AUDIO HERE  > >

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Theatre on the Bay continues its season Saturday night with War of the Worlds

Theatre on the Bay

Theatre

Since 1966, Theatre on the Bay has been a community mainstay, providing culture, entertainment, education and enrichment for our residents, tourists and business people alike. 

 

A MUST SEE - THIS SATURDAY OCTOBER 28th ONLY...

The War of the Worlds

October 28, 2017 at 7:30 p.m. ONE NIGHT ONLY
Theatre on the Bay 

War of the Worlds

This infamous radio play convinced terrified listeners in 1938 that an actual alien invasion of Earth was taking place. Watch and listen as Theatre on the Bay becomes Orson Welles' Mercury Theatre on the Air just in time for an extraterrestrial Halloween treat!

Suitable for all ages, best for 11 and older

 

Menominee River Mysteries: The Summer of ’27

November 10-12 & 17-19, 2017
A Theatre on the Bay World Premiere!

Menominee River Mysteries: Summer of '27

A Theatre on the Bay world premiere! Despite Prohibition, the Marinette County Bootleggers are making a name for themselves, that is until a corpse washes ashore the bank of the Menominee River and they’re to blame! As local law enforcement take sides, unlikely heroes emerge in this hysterically fictional, yet historically factual, murder mystery. 

This new play is written by Menominee, Michigan resident Tony LaMalfa, a long-time Theatre on the Bay performer and first-time playwright. Based on local historical figures with names many audience members may recognize (Howard Emich, Charles Goldberg and Harvey Higley, to name a few), this fictional story is set against the backdrop of Marinette of 1927. Come celebrate local history as Theatre on the Bay’s season of intrigue continues!

Suitable for all ages, best for 11 and older

 

TO HEAR BAY CITIES RADIO's INTERVIEW with UW Marinette Professor Rebecca Stone Thornberry and Menominee River Mysteries playright Tony LaMalfa, click on the (below) three segments of OUR TOWN, our public affairs program, which aired on Tuesday October 24th...

 

CLICK HERE FOR INTERVIEW AUDIO  > >

 

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Cassandra Nygren charged

28-year-old Cassandra Nygren, daughter of state representative John Nygren was formally charged in Brown County Court yesterday. She faces two counts of Reckless Homicide in connection to the overdose death of a pregnant woman and her unborn child. Her boyfriend, 33-year-old Shawn Gray, was also arrested and will be in court today. The two are suspected of selling heroin laced with fentanyl to 31-year-old Jennifer Skeen, who then overdosed on June second of this year. Nygren is also charged with delivering Heroin, child neglect, possessing drugs and drug paraphernalia, and resisting an officer,  A preliminary hearing is et for November 8th.

FULL AUDIO HERE  >  >  

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Arrest made in Coleman school threat

A 24 year old Coleman man faces charges in connection with a threat that caused Coleman Schools to be evacuated and school cancelled for the day on Monday.  The threat was left as a telephone message. Marinette County Sheriff Jerry Sauve says formal charges of Terroristic Threats, Disoderly Conduct, Resisting/Obstructing and Criminal Damage to Property are being sought against Jacob Petersen.  Sauve says during the investigation into the threat, Coleman Police Chief Ida Soletske identified the suspect who was then taken into custody.  The Marinette County Sheriff’s Office, Brown County Sheriff’s Office K9 unit, and the Crivitz Police department assisted the Coleman Police Department in the investigation.

FULL AUDIO HERE  > >  

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Marinette School District gets straight "A"s in Business & Finance

Finances are in good shape for one local school district. At an annual budget hearing Tuesday, Marinette School District’s Director of Business and Finance, Brian Walters, presented the 2017- 2018 revenue and expenditures list. He says one of the most notable highlights is the achievement of a balanced budget for next school year and that required more than just looking at the district’s immediate needs and resources.

AUDIO: “…we’re financially stable.”

Walters adds the new budget will impact local taxpayers, but the district’s mill rate remains lower than the state average.

AUDIO: “…ability to pay.”

The Marinette School Board was unable to formally adopt the 2017-2018 budget Tuesday because the action item was not added their regular meeting agenda. A special meeting will be held next Monday, October 23rd, so that board members can officially vote on the budget.  (Written by Amber Myszka)

FULL AUDIO HERE  > > 

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Bissell Pet Foundation "Empty the Shelters" a barking success

WELL, IT WORKED!  “EMPTY THE SHELTERS”, the Bissell Pet Foundation SPONSORED EVENT THIS PAST SATURDAY AT THE MENOMINEE ANIMAL SHELTER FOUND 30 RESCUE ANIMALS A GOOD HOME – 23 CATS AND ALL SEVEN DOGS, WITH 2,142 ADOPTED OUT ACROSS MICHIGAN IN ONE DAY. BISSELL PET FOUNDATION COVERED ADOPTION FEES FOR PETS SPAYED & NEUTERED. STOP BY the Menominee Animal Shelter AT N184 Haggerson Court, BUT YOU MIGHT WANT TO GIVE THEM A MINUTE TO FIND NEW FURRY BOARDERS. FIND THEM ON FACEBOOK, OR ONLINE AT m-a shelter DOT org.

> >  FULL AUDIO HERE  > >  

 

 

WATCH VIDEO HERE

https://www.facebook.com/BissellPetFoundation/videos/1493124617401328/

 

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Marinette Downtown Trick-or-Treat OCT26 and Halloween OCT31 - Tips & Times

City of Marinette Downtown “Trick or Treat” will be held Thursday, October 26, 2017 from 3 P.M. until 5 P.M.  Watch for the bright orange signs indicating participating merchants. Attention Downtown Businesses: If you would like to participate in the Downtown “Trick or Treat” activities, please display the orange Halloween sign mailed to you in a visible spot indicating you are a participating business. If you do not receive a sign before October 20th, stop by Community Development, Marinette City Hall to pick one up. The downtown area includes:  Main, Ludington, Wells, State and Stephenson Streets, along with Hall, Maple and Pierce Avenues. The City of Marinette has partnered with Menominee Downtown business owners so that Downtown “Trick or Treat” are on the same date and time.

City of Marinette Halloween Night “Trick or Treat” hours are set for Tuesday, October 31st from 4 P.M. until  6 P.M. and urge everyone to follow these TIPS FOR TRICK OR TREATING: Always Trick or Treat with an adult. Cross the street at corners, using traffic signals and crosswalks. Look left, right and left again when crossing and keep looking as you cross. Put electronic devices down and keep heads up, and walk - don’t run - across the street. Teach children to make eye contact with drivers before crossing in front of them. Always walk on sidewalks or paths. If there are no sidewalks, walk facing traffic as far to the left as possible.  Children should walk on direct routes with the fewest street crossings. Watch for cars that are turning or backing up. Teach children to never dart out into the street or cross between parked cars. Also note these TIPS FOR DRIVERS: Slow down and be especially alert in residential neighborhoods. Children are excited on Halloween and may move in unpredictable ways. Take extra time to look for kids at intersections, on medians and on curbs. Enter and exit driveways and alleys slowly and carefully. Eliminate any distractions inside your car so you can concentrate on the road and your surroundings. Drive slowly, anticipate heavy pedestrian traffic and turn your headlights on earlier in the day to spot children from greater distances. The City of Marinette wants to emphasize that safety must be foremost in our minds during “Trick or Treat” activities, and do have a happy and safe Halloween. Also note that Halloween night Tuesday October 31st recommended Trick or Treat hours in Menominee and Peshtigo are also from 4 to 6 PM.

> >  FULL AUDIO HERE  > >  

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Menominee Kiwanis "Fall Back Bash" benefits education & sports Friday NOV 3

The Menominee Kiwanis Club’s “Fall Back Bash” 50/50 Raffle happens Friday November 3rd at Riverside Golf Club, 3459 Fourteenth Avenue in Menominee. A  twenty dollar ticket admits 2 people, and there are many opportunities for prizes. The drawing begins at 6pm. Food and refreshments are included along with bucket raffles. Tickets are available from Kiwanis members, Ron Nerat with Rerun Furniture, Diane St. Martin at Stephenson Bank & Trust, or Bill St. Martin at Cycle Path, all in Menominee. Funds raised at the raffle will provide College Scholarships, sponsor Baseball, Football, and Middle School Agendas, Imagination Library (giving children 0-5 a free book each month), The Salvation Army School Supply Program, Special Days for Special people, Make-A-Wish Foundation for local children, Menominee High School Key Club and much more. Menominee Kiwanis Club invites anyone to become a member.  Save the date for The Menominee Kiwanis Club’s “Fall Back Bash” 50/50 Raffle, Friday November 3rd at Riverside Golf Club, 3459 Fourteenth Avenue in Menominee.

> >  FULL AUDIO HERE  > >  

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Menominee City Council OCT 16 Back Forty Mine, Mayor to complete mayoral term

The Back Forty mine project again took center stage at last night’s Menominee City Council meeting.  The item was not on the agenda, but Council member Frank Pohlman again made a motion to add to the agenda discussion of whether the city should take a stand on the controversial mine.  The council declined to add the issue to the agenda on a 6-3 vote, with only Pohlman, Steve Fifarek, and Mayor Jean Stegeman supporting it. Opponents of the mine once again were heard during a sometimes heated public comment period.   (Public Comment audio, 1min 4sec) Mayor Jean Stegeman announced that she will be fulfilling the final two years of her term.  (Mayor Stegeman audio) Earlier this year, Stegeman indicated she had a decision to make on whether to remain as Mayor as she was taking the Executive Director’s position at the Tri-City United Way.

> >  FULL AUDIO HERE  > >  

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