Category “Lakeshore News”

Petri to Announce Retirement on Monday

Con­grats to Amer­i­can Majority-Wisconsin and Media Track­ers.  Now go find us can­di­dates who can hang onto the state Senate.

Joe Leibham’s going to win this.  Count on it.

Wash­ing­ton, D.C. –U.S. Rep­re­sen­ta­tive Tom Petri (R-WI) will make a state­ment on Mon­day, April 14, at his town hall meet­ing in Neenah, Wis­con­sin, announc­ing that he will not be a can­di­date for reelec­tion to Congress.

The town meet­ing will be held from 4:00 — 5:00 p.m. at the Neenah City Hall (211 Wal­nut St.), in the City Coun­cil Chambers.


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Gas Main Leak Causes Evacuation of Half of New Holstein

This is never good, imme­di­ately scary news.

New Hol­stein police report a major gas main break, affect­ing half the city.

Some res­i­dents and busi­nesses have been evac­u­ated. A shel­ter is set up at City Hall, 2110 Wash­ing­ton Street.

Accord­ing to police, a road con­struc­tion crew struck one of the city’s pri­mary gas mains while work­ing at the inter­sec­tion of Wis­con­sin Avenue and Mason Street Wednes­day afternoon.

Wis­con­sin Pub­lic Ser­vice is on the scene, as well as Calumet County and New Hol­stein emer­gency man­age­ment and first responders.

Local news reports out of Green Bay are expected to be updated through­out the night.

UPDATE I — Appar­ently the gas line was rup­tured around 3:30 PM CT.

UPDATE II — Media reports put the evac­u­a­tion at around 30 homes and effect­ing nearly 600 residents.

FINAL UPDDATEWLUK in Green Bay reports the leak was finally fixed around 2:45 AM.

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Kohler Co. Confirms Plan to Build 5th Golf Course


(…the very rich guys who can afford greens fees at these sim­ply amaz­ing golf courses.)

Kohler Co. offi­cials have con­firmed plans for a fifth golf course in She­boy­gan County, but oth­er­wise remain tight-lipped on the details.

Speak­ing Mon­day night to the Wil­son Town Board and a crowd of close to 100 peo­ple at the board’s meet­ing, com­pany offi­cials said they’re plan­ning an 18-hole golf course on a 247-acre prop­erty Kohler owns along Lake Michi­gan, just north of Kohler Andrae State Park.

That’s the same site where Kohler had been look­ing to build a lux­ury wilder­ness retreat called the Tented For­est, which they recently scrapped.

Michael Belot, gen­eral man­ager of Kohler’s hos­pi­tal­ity divi­sion, spoke briefly to the board and said the com­pany is plan­ning a golf course with a club­house, main­te­nance facil­ity and golf cart barn. Golfers would access the devel­op­ment from South 12th Street.

Belot declined to pro­vide addi­tional details after the meet­ing, but said the com­pany will pro­vide more infor­ma­tion once the pro­posal goes before the town’s Plan Commission.

The Town Board will be asked to issue a conditional-use per­mit for the project. That will allow the com­pany to respond to any con­cerns raised by the community.

Town Attor­ney John St. Peter said a golf course fits the exist­ing zon­ing for the prop­erty and no other local approval will be needed.

The meet­ing marked the first time Kohler pub­licly acknowl­edged its plans for a new golf course since word got out in late Feb­ru­ary that the com­pany was look­ing to expand its golf empire in She­boy­gan County.

The fact that they will have golf carts is a sign they want to make this course closer to what Black­wolf Run has at its 36-holes and what the Irish Course is at Whistling Straits — a much more com­par­a­tive, but upper ech­e­lon, golf course the rest of She­boy­gan Co. is used to.

If I were to take a guess, I’d say Kohler Co. would want these up and run­ning by 2020.  That’s when Whistling Straits is sched­uled to host the Ryder Cup and what­ever this golf course is even­tu­ally named would be a wel­come attrac­tion to an area that con­tin­ues to prove to be Wisconsin’s Golf Mecca.

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Sheboygan to Get a Sam’s Club

Missed this from last week.

Town of She­boy­gan offi­cials have approved a plan by Wal-Mart Stores Inc. to build a Sam’s Club at the for­mer Menards prop­erty near Inter­state 43 and Wis­con­sin 42.

The pro­posal was unan­i­mously approved by the Town Board and Plan Com­mis­sion, clear­ing the way for the Arkansas-based retailer to build the nearly 140,000-square-foot store, which would become the 13th Sam’s Club in the state.

Town offi­cials favored the project because of the poten­tial to grow the local tax base, spark new devel­op­ment and draw shop­pers from sur­round­ing counties.

Cur­rently, the clos­est Sam’s Club loca­tions are in Green Bay and Milwaukee.

You could add Apple­ton to that list, but I can under­stand the I-43 ref­er­ence.  (Though given the qual­ity of Ozau­kee Co. roads, I’d head to Green Bay myself just to spare my shocks the dam­age.  Seri­ously, drive I-43 South from Oost­burg to Port Wash­ing­ton, you notice the difference.)

The plan dic­tates that Sam’s Club will find homes for the remain­ing ten­ants at the cur­rent loca­tion.  Last I checked, that’s a rental stor­age facil­ity man­aged by Menards.  The loca­tion was tran­si­tioned to its cur­rent use when Menards couldn’t find another buyer for the prop­erty when they built a “Super Menards” across the high­way.  At one time, there was a Jo-Ann Fab­rics there, but they moved to the city’s south side.

Wal­mart (of which there is one down the street from this loca­tion) hopes to have the Sam’s Club open by 2015.

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Guy Zima Recaptures His Old Green Bay Council Seat

He’s BAAAAAAAaaaaaack!

Well, I will give Zima’s folks up in Green Bay credit for this.  You can’t keep a fire­brand and cur­mud­geon down.

Among the win­ners in Tuesday’s local elec­tions was for­mer Alder­man Guy Zima, who reclaimed his Dis­trict 9 coun­cil seat by defeat­ing Angela Warner in a closely watched contest.

Zima defeated Warner by nearly a 2-to-1 mar­gin. Healso beat her hus­band, Jim Warner, who gave up the Dis­trict 9 coun­cil seat to try unseat­ing Zima in a County Board race decided Tuesday.

Zima said vot­ers sent a strong mes­sage that they were dis­sat­is­fied with the rep­re­sen­ta­tion they received after he was dis­placed from city gov­ern­ment two years ago.

The peo­ple spoke very loudly and clearly,” he said. “They want some­body who will speak up and have some debate, rather than just a rub­ber stamp.”

Of the husband-and-wife team that he van­quished on two fronts Tues­day, Zima said: “They kind of ran as a team, and that team lost. I think these folks beat themselves.”

Angela Warner, who was mak­ing her first bid for elected office, said she was shocked and dis­heart­ened that vot­ers had rejected she and her husband.

Warner, how­ever, defended the strat­egy of chal­leng­ing Zima in two races, say­ing that she thought vot­ers were ready to “get rid of him completely.”

What is wrong with our city?” she added. “They want it run by a bunch of crazy people.”

Zima isn’t crazy.  He’s just highly entertaining.

In real­ity Zima — who leans con­ser­v­a­tive and once upon a time was in the state Assem­bly I believe — has long been a light­ning rod for his actions, stances (and out­bursts) on the city coun­cil.  But, he also is known to be very respon­sive to his dis­trict even if that flies in the face of actions that Green Bay Mayor Jim Schmidt wants to accom­plish for the city.

It was a strange, silent two-year reprieve.  That is over now.

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Kestell Announces He Won’t Seek Re-Election

Well, heads up to Wis­con­sin Elec­tion Watch, they had this rumor over a month ago. (Dis­claimer: I occa­sion­ally write for them, but did noth­ing on this subject)

This now makes the third Repub­li­can retire­ment from the Assem­bly for She­boy­gan Co.  The 27th (where my par­ents live) includes the lower third of Man­i­towoc Co. and the north­ern part of She­boy­gan Co.  It should be a Repub­li­can hold, but I’m unsure who the bench is at the moment.

The last one who con­sid­ered chal­leng­ing Kestell in a pri­mary was She­boy­gan Falls Mayor Randy Meyer, and he’s fac­ing re-election today.

Just over a month ago, Rep. Steve Kestell said he hadn’t yet decided whether to seek re-election to his 27th Assem­bly Dis­trict seat.

Kestell, R-Elkhart Lake, has now decided, and the answer is no.

In a release sent to media Tues­day after­noon, Kestell, 58, said his deci­sion has the bless­ing of his family.

Dur­ing my years in the state Leg­is­la­ture, I’ve worked every day to uphold the belief that elected offi­cials should strive to do the right thing, for the right rea­son, and in the right way,” he said. “I am proud of what we’ve accom­plished together, and I look for­ward to new chal­lenges as the future unfolds.”

Kestell, who serves as chair­man of the Assem­bly Edu­ca­tion Com­mit­tee, was on the fore­front of the push this win­ter against a Repub­li­can bill that would have cre­ated sanc­tions for poorly per­form­ing pub­lic schools and pri­vate schools that accept taxpayer-subsidized students.

Repub­li­cans ulti­mately dropped the plan and instead adopted a bill that would require all schools that accept pub­lic dol­lars to include per­for­mance data on report cards the pub­lic can view.

Kestell was first elected to his seat in 1998.

That being said, if Jack Lech­ler is the best RACC can come up with on short notice, I’m going to bang my head against the wall.

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Devin LeMahieu to Run for 26th Assembly

Well, I thought he’d at least would have waited until Monday.

Devin LeMahieu, of Oost­burg, on Sat­ur­day announced his can­di­dacy for the 26th Assem­bly Dis­trict as a Repub­li­can, fol­low­ing She­boy­gan Rep. Mike Endsley’s announce­ment Fri­day that he would not seek re-election in November.

LeMahieu has served on the She­boy­gan County Board of Super­vi­sors for eight years where he has been a mem­ber of the Exec­u­tive Com­mit­tee, Finance Com­mit­tee as well as chair­man of the Human Resource Com­mit­tee. He has also owned and oper­ated the Lakeshore Weekly pub­li­ca­tion for the last 12 years.

Dur­ing my eight years on the County Board we have reduced payroll-related expenses by over $13 mil­lion, stream-lined pro­grams, reduced the tax levy four of the last seven years and avoided bur­den­ing She­boy­gan County res­i­dents with a county sales tax all while main­tain­ing high qual­ity ser­vices and employ­ees,” LeMahieu said in a news release.

LeMahieu is the son of retir­ing Rep. Dan LeMahieu, R-Cascade, who rep­re­sents the 59th District.

Devin LeMahieu ran against End­s­ley in 2012 and was defeated in the primary.

In that pri­mary, End­s­ley beat LeMahieu by 60 to 40 per­cent.  Unless some­thing unfore­seen hap­pens, I truly don’t see a pri­mary mate­ri­al­iz­ing this time around against the younger LeMahieu.

As for the Democ­rats, they’re likely to run some She­boy­gan school board mem­ber for all I know or have heard in the rumor mill.  The new redis­tricted look of the 26th pretty much makes a Demo­c­ra­tic upset highly unlikely.  Hav­ing a LeMahieu on the bal­lot for that por­tion of She­boy­gan County all but assures it is stay­ing in GOP hands.

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Endsley Not to Seek Re-Election

Well, looks like Devin LeMahieu can win an assem­bly seat after all.

Rep. Mike End­s­ley, R-Sheboygan, announced Fri­day he will not seek re-election in November.

Since my elec­tion in 2010, it has been an honor to serve the fine peo­ple of Wisconsin’s 26th Assem­bly Dis­trict,” End­s­ley said in a news release. “I am proud of what I have been able to accom­plish over the past two terms, but after con­sult­ing with fam­ily, I feel that this is an appro­pri­ate moment for me to explore new oppor­tu­ni­ties in the pri­vate sector.”

End­s­ley upset long­time Demo­c­rat incum­bent Terry Van Akkeren in 2010. End­s­ley had no polit­i­cal back­ground the year before had lost his job as Mid­west regional sales man­ager for Thomas Prod­ucts, which closed its She­boy­gan plant in the fall of 2009. End­s­ley cred­ited his vic­tory to knock­ing on every door in the 26th Dis­trict at least once.

With fel­low Repub­li­cans Sen. Joe Leib­ham and Glenn Groth­man, and Rep. Dan LeMahieu and Steve Kestell, Endsley’s vic­tory also gave She­boy­gan County its first all-GOP leg­isla­tive con­tin­gent since the 1950s, observers said.

Devin LeMahieu is the son of retir­ing state Rep. Dan LeMahieu (R-Cascade), in 2012 the younger LeMahieu — straight off of redis­trict­ing which put their native Oost­burg and the rest of  south­ern She­boy­gan Co. in the 26th Assem­bly Dis­trict — chal­lenged the then-freshman leg­is­la­tor in an ill-wanted pri­mary which split the She­boy­gan Co. GOP and angered many in Madi­son.  Prior that, the city of She­boy­gan was the entire 26th district.

Over­all, I per­son­ally liked End­s­ley and thought he was a fine fit for She­boy­gan.  But if a guy has other pri­or­i­ties, or  a bet­ter offer on the table, who are we to do any­thing but thank them for their pub­lic service.

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Thieves Target Sheboygan-Area Churches

All of these churches are Catholic if I remem­ber from my time in Sheboygan.

There’s a spe­cial level of hell for peo­ple like this.

The She­boy­gan Police Depart­ment is inves­ti­gat­ing a series of bur­glar­ies at area churches and a business.

Accord­ing to a news release, bur­glar­ies occurred at St. Cyril and Method­ius Church, 828 New Jer­sey Ave. on Nov. 4; at Holy Fam­ily Church, 818 Huron Ave. on Dec. 2; at St. Peter Claver Church, 1444 S. 11th St. on Feb. 23; and at the Pro­fes­sional Build­ing, 1407 N. Eighth St., on March 11.

In addi­tion, an attempted bur­glary was reported at St. Cyril and Method­ius Church on March 7.

In all the bur­glar­ies, the sus­pects forcibly broke in and tar­geted col­lec­tions and petty cash.

All, of these loca­tions are through­out cen­tral She­boy­gan, so there’s no real pat­tern to it other than they all appear­ing to be Catholic. (Cen­ter street divides the city between north and south, by City Hall.)  The far­thest north appears to be the church on Huron Ave., with St. Peter Claver being the south­ern most.

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Manitowoc Co. to Move Manufacturing of Ice Machines to Mexico

Bad news, very lit­tle doubt about that. 

The worst part, no mat­ter how Man­i­towoc Co. spins this, all the city and sur­round­ing area will think is one word: Mirro.

Man­i­towoc Food­ser­vice, an oper­at­ing group of Man­i­towoc Co., plans to cut 150 jobs in Man­i­towoc and move assem­bly of its Indigo ice machines to a plant in Mon­ter­rey, Mex­ico, accord­ing to a press release.

Job cuts will occur dur­ing the next two years. Affected employ­ees are rep­re­sented by the Inter­na­tional Asso­ci­a­tion of Machin­ists union.

Man­i­towoc Co. said by mov­ing pro­duc­tion to Mex­ico, it will be able to “more effec­tively serve” cus­tomers in Latin Amer­ica and the U.S.

The intended trans­fer of assem­bly for Indigo sup­ports the Food­ser­vice man­u­fac­tur­ing strat­egy that includes cap­i­tal­iz­ing on emerg­ing mar­ket growth and will allow us to bet­ter com­pete in the increas­ingly com­pet­i­tive global mar­ket,” the release states.

The Food­ser­vice facil­ity in Man­i­towoc will con­tinue to pro­duce ice machine evap­o­ra­tors and a num­ber of other prod­ucts, tak­ing advan­tage of a recent $3.2 mil­lion invest­ment in the 26th Street plant, the com­pany said.

Prod­uct devel­op­ment, engi­neer­ing, mar­ket­ing, finance and ser­vice func­tions for Man­i­towoc Ice prod­ucts also will remain at the Man­i­towoc facility.

Dur­ing the late 1980s and early 1990s, Mirro, which made alu­minum cook­ing ware in the city, was gob­bled up by Newell-Rubbermaid and then moved south of the bor­der piece by piece until the com­pany folded around 2003.  Just this month, the process of demo­li­tion in one of the old­est of the Mirro build­ings began.  It’s expected to take a year as they slowly try to recy­cle as much of the maple hard­wood, mar­ble tiling and other fix­tures as they can.

It was sold to its cur­rent owner for a mere $200.

Nat­u­rally, it still remains a sore spot for many in the area.

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