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home : news : news
July 3, 2020

1/2/2008 1:28:00 PM
Chilton Headlines 2007

By Mike Mathes
TC News publisher

Anyone following the pages of the Tri-County News the past year would have little difficulty picking out the top news story of 2007 for the Chilton area.

A combination of news coverage, opinion pieces and paid advertising regarding the topic of wind turbines in areas surrounding Chilton was the hot button for the year 2007.

Wind power generation isn't new to the Calumet County political scene, but it definitely moved to the front burner in 2007.

As wind energy firm EcoEnergy moved closer to signing agreements with landowners, those objecting to wind power and omni-present wind turbines stepped to the forefront to voice their opposition.

Throughout the year, as the Calumet County Board found itself in the middle of the discussions, several informational meetings were held to look at the pros and cons of wind power.

Discussions boiled down to safety and health issues, but the main focal point continues to be property rights and land uses.

Opponents of the wind turbines, led by the CCCRE group pushed for, and achieved, a temporary reprieve in getting the county to enact a moratorium. The moratorium served as a temporary restraint to halt the proliferation of wind turbines while the county took time to study more carefully the types of local ordinance restrictions needed to police wind power in the county.

Political debate over wind turbines spilled over into investigations of potential voting improprieties by at least two Calumet County Board members.

Though investigations revealed no illegal activity, they did produce a warning to all involved that they should cast no vote concerning issues that might impact them financially.

Wind turbine opponents pushed for a recall election for the seat held by Supervisor Jerry Criter, which is pending at this time.

While CCCRE and other groups have moved forward with their opposition, wind energy companies have warned that recommendations for wind power in Calumet County may become so restrictive as to prevent the installation of turbines at all. They hinted that such restrictions might provoke legal challenges.

As the winds of the turbine discussion continue to howl through Calumet County, neighbors to the south in Fond du Lac County are already seeing the erection of several wind turbines on one of the largest planned wind farm areas in Wisconsin along the Niagara Escarpment.

While the discussion of wind energy dominated the local scene, Chilton was also the focal point of state news media early in the year with two high profile murder trials taking place at the Calumet County Courthouse.

Calumet County was the venue for the trials of Steven Avery and his nephew Brendan Dassey for their roles in the murder of Teresa Halbach.

The two trials brought a crush of media from around the state to Chilton, and the community was noted in the headlines of major daily newspapers, as well as the broadcasts of all local television stations and websites.

Both trials resulted in guilty findings.

Economic picture changes

Chilton's retail landscape saw some significant changes in 2007, as the new Wal-Mart Super Center opened its doors north of Highway 151 on Chilton's east side.

The opening of the new store left the former Wal-Mart store on Highway 57 vacant. The vacancy became even more glaring when Chilton's Econofoods store announced it would close its doors in early October.

Another retailer, Sears, moved earlier in the year from Chilton to a new location in Kiel. Family Dollar also closed its doors in 2007.

While these closures marked setbacks for the community's retail picture, other positive notes unfolded. A new coffee shop and craft store were opened. A new ice cream parlor took shape. A liquor store was reopened under new ownership. City officials report that Chilton continues to be an attractive community for other retail interests.

Retirements in the news

Chilton's headlines were also pocked with several key retirement announcements, most coming near year's end, as candidates scrambled to consider their political futures.

Atop the list was the decision of eight-year mayor William Engler, Jr. to call an end to his tenure with the conclusion of the current term.

Candidates Tom Reinl and Dorothy Gruber have been circulating papers for that office.

On the Calumet County front, County Board chairperson Merlin Gentz announced he will not seek re-election. Calumet County administrator William Craig will also be retiring.

On the education front, the Chilton School administrative ranks saw a year of transition. District Administrator Steve Patz took on duties with the Franklin School District near Milwaukee, opening the door for a replacement search.

Chilton's search panel recommended the hiring of Dr. Claire Martin as his replacement. Chilton Middle School principal Robert Knadle became the Viroqua District Administrator.

Homestead sold

After considerable discussion in recent years, the sale of the Calumet County Homestead was made official.

The facility was sold to Rice Partnerships who operates several other area nursing home facilities.

A compilation of a year's worth of news headlines from the Tri-County News appears below.


Orthopaedics program expands at CMC...Joint panel recommends Homestead sale...Russ Rautmann a candidate for Chilton School Board...Calumet Supervisors turn down resolution for Homestead sale...Stolen car found submerged in Lake Winnebago near Stockbridge...Annual winter concert set for CHS...M-B acquires Oregon equipment firm...Best Western Stanton receives quality award...Uptown could get a boost from $5 million in senior housing units...Long-term care situations changing for Calumet County...Charlesburg Knights set plans for new year...East Central Construction welcomed as new Chamber member...


Chilton School District eyeing reductions to meet levy limits...Steven Avery jurors interviewed for his murder trial...Liaison officer program gets positive reviews from police chief, sheriff...Chief Seipel gives briefing on registered sex offenders...Numbers, history, force board to closely examine swim program for CHS...Aladdin brings young actors to Chilton stage...Gerald Arenz Construction named Builder of the Year for Mid-Shores Homebuilders...Chilton Furniture named Associate of the Year...Jury selection continues in Avery case...Chilton Chamber sets sights on new goals for '07...CACF tops $1 million in assets...Alex Touketto wins spelling bee...Rich Appel nominated for Lt. Col. role in US Army...Photo shows a wind turbine upright pieces parked along West Main Street in Chilton on its way to Texas...Avery trial begins in

Chilton...City defines policies for sidewalks...Chilton schools call halt to liaison program...Proposed manure handling rules aired...Rezoning will allow Latter Day Saints to rent space for worship...Doutes closing Chilton Sears store, moving franchise to Kiel...Meeting seeks ideas for now-closed St. Martin Church in Town of Charlestown...CARE group makes life easier for those with cancer...Chilton earns 13th designation as Tree City...


County board seeks appraisal for Homestead, renews possibility of sale...Late Feb. storm dumps snow over eastern Wisconsin...CPD conducts speed study on Breed Street...Students learn firsthand about the Depression...Blood evidence discussed in Avery trial...Chilton Chamber promotes careers in Chilton area...Former Tigers play with collegiate bands...Avery maintains innocence, tells judge he has no need to testify...County officials talk with real estate reps over Homestead sale...Fire Chief Gary Halbach outlines training plans...CMC paramedic Katalinick honored for service with WI Star of Life Award...Steven Avery found guilty of murder in death of Teresa Halbach...Maple Syrup Sunday held at Ledge...St. Martin Heritage Park has a new sign...School board targets energy savings...Dr. Mark Kehrberg named Affinity's chief medical officer...Targeted detectives, sheriff respond after Avery verdict...Former alderman Al Schuette returns to thank Council for progress...Scoops Ice Cream Parlor opens doors in Chilton...


Chilton Cooperative, Farmers Progressive Cooperative agree to merge...Katie Klessig named Calumet County Fairest of Fair...Careers Here! fair brings job hopefuls to Chilton...Mayor Bill Engler, Jr. casts tie breaking vote to install disputed sidewalks...City eyes water treatment expansion proposal...Mormon congregation takes shape in Chilton...Record grant money to be awarded by CACF...William Schroeder beats challenger for Town of Chilton chair...Incumbents Andrew Pethan, Tim Lau and David Gasch also win seats...Trial opens for Brendan Dassey, accused in murder of Teresa Halbach...Ribbon cutting ceremony marks the grand opening of the new Chilton Wal-Mart Supercenter...Attorney Derek McDermott honored as Chilton's Citizen of the Year...Mayor Engler shares his top 10 goals for 2007...Chilton Lions report on Mission to Mexico...Chilton Middle School principal Robert Knadle accepts position as district administrator with Viroqua Public Schools...Well testing yields "terrible" results in Calumet County...


Pat Laughrin honored for 15 years of Ag/Extension committee service...Arbor Day plants roots for future...CACF awards 13 community grants...CACF approves new set of by-laws...CHS band presents German-American favorites...A third and final vote on sidewalk installation ends with Mayor Engler's tie-breaker supporting installation...Chamber honors CHS students, Citizen of Year with banquet...Summer festival plans listed...Wisconsin Micro Brewers Beer Festival brightens gloomiest of days...Brothertown archaeological project planned...School budget study could cost up to $15K...Donkey baseball brings smiles...Grant money to help Chilton PD...Calumet Tourism spending reaches $39 million record level...City approves land sale for Lisowe Dairy Systems expansion...Renee Wenig, Colleen Hannon and Patricia Kolbe named top students in 2007 CHS graduating class...Helen Schmidlkofer to head state treasurer's group...Calumet County adopts Smart Growth plan...Daniel Hedrich earns Summit Circle Award...Dr. Neetu Chakravarti joins Affinity Group medical clinic...Victim//witness coordinator from Calumet County, Julie Leverenz, feted...Chilton HS newspaper wins state awards...Best Friends sponsor golf scramble...


Chilton School administrator Steve Patz to leave for post with Franklin School District...Senior Fest planned for Chilton...Street dance, parade highlight summer festival...CACF golf fundraiser planned...Citizens continue to examine school costs...2007 CHS band awards presented...CHS principal Schaid tells Class of 07 to sort asset priorities...Street work plans shared with Council...Calumet Transplant group reports on area activities...Nicholas Kopitzke named principal for the day...New computers system wired in area libraries...Phase 1 of St. Martin's Heritage Park in full swing...Chilton's M-B plant hosts open house...Edith and Vern Knoespel serve as honorary parade marshals for Chilton Father's Day parade...Building permits okayed in Chilton...M-B throws a 100th birthday party...Aquatic Club organizes in support of swimming...Job Club helps area unemployed...Homestead purchase offers sent to committee...Board interviews search consultants for district administrator hire...Lori Popp tells her story in a new book...Board approves local agriculture performance standards...


City working hard to protect its water...Chilton Library plans 75th anniversary celebration...Benefit set for Danielle Jacobs...Chilton Farmer's market open Friday evenings...Negotiations on Homstead sale advance...Oklahoma staged at Engler Center...Memorial bench for late brewer Bob Rowland installed on Brewer's Hill...Relay for Life plans announced for Calumet County...Bike tour plans to celebrate 20 years...Zoning change allows garden and home decor shop in former church...Chilton plans to buy new squad car...City backs senior housing project with $700K second mortgage...


County board cleans up language on wind energy...Mercury thermometer exchange planned...East Main Street resurfacing in full swing...Parsons Brothers reaches 50 year milestone...Huhner Fest a big success in Chilton...City of Chilton wells produce quality water with good taste...Ad Hoc community committee presents school recommendations...Wind power issue brings large turnout to Engler Center...Shear America holds grand opening in Chilton...Dr. Claire Martin of Neenah schools to get second interview for administrator's job...Chilton family creates wildlife easement...Departments provide updates to Chilton Council...55th Annual Steam Engine Show brings crowd to Calumet Fairgrounds...Salms open Collins Supper Club...Tracy Halbach joins Keller, Inc....Dr. Claire Martin hired as Chilton's new superintendent...Ledge View Nature Center hosts third annual fall food festival...Fun and frolic promised at Calumet County Fair...Community-built park project needs volunteers...Chilton Optimist Club celebrates 25th anniversary...CACF golf outing another huge success...Clydesdale team hits Calumet County Fair...Wind energy review planned...Chilton's ACT scores exceed state averages...Walk-in clinic started at Calumet Medical...Crafty Apple Fest preparations under way...Relay for Life another successful event...New teachers get oriented to Chilton...City can't stop resident hunting for cans...


County starts new strategic planning effort...Entertainment scheduled at Fall Food Festival...Morrissey Park effort gets started with fall meetings...Tempo named best free paper in Wisconsin...Medal of Honor winner tells students some things are worth fighting for...Crafty Apple Fest brings another great crowd...Open space, recreation plan adopted in Chilton...Medicinal waste effort deemed successful...Improvements underway at Chilton veterans memorial...Optimists host benefit brunch for Joe Thielmann...two teachers join Chilton Area Catholic School staff...Main Street project finished at last...School board looks at possible tax impacts...Calumet County Board will stick with East Central Wisconsin Regional Planning Commission...Legacy society being formed as foundation outreach...Eternity and Voices of Peace perform Gospel concert at Engler...Legion Auxiliary installs new officers...Deputy Clerk Meyer completes professional development program...Benefit held for Chilton Area Catholic Schools...Calumet County adopts wind turbine moratorium to gather data...Calumet County okays sale of Homstead to Rice Partnership, LLC...Wall of Honor created for Calumet County 4-H...2030 plan approval delayed at Chilton Council...Econofoods store announces pending closure Oct. 6...Aquatics Club offers gifts to district...CMC adds van service for radiation patients...Debra Mueller named Fraternal MVP for Catholic Knights...New Calumet County planner Dena Mleziva ready to share ideas with county...


Kids share ideas for Chilton community built park...Main Fiesta opens with Mexican fare...Kaytee passes birds on to Missouri sanctuary...Stockbridge Business group hosts October in the Park...Michael Jacobs wins AP Scholar Award...New Hope Center, Roads to Freedom merging...Calumet County Advocates host meeting on wind turbines...Chilton School Board looks at its mission statement...Morrissey Park build effort set for June 18-22, 2008...Chilton Council approves water system evaluation...Terra Verde coffee house fills dream for Chilton area couple...Travis Andersen leaving Calumet Medical Center presidency for St. Elizabeth Hospital...Chilton City Council honors library staff...Committee begins work on wind turbine rules without representation from wind companies...Original work on wind rules dates back to 2003...Community playground will steer clear of playing fields...Runway to Reality set for Chilton High...Chilton Planning Commission reviews 2030 documents...Personal Expressions opens as new gift shop in Chilton...Haunted Hay Rides held at Hickory Hills...CHS presents Cinderalla at Engler Center...Chilton Library turns 75 and celebrates...Nitrates, arsenic and coliforms prevalent in water in Brothertown, Woodville...Rowlands named one of top 10 Oktobertests by Draft Magazine...eBay storefront at 46 W. Mainhelps sellers find the right price...Remote Control addresses violence issues...CMC earns stroke center certification...Nick Sattler and Jackie Rollmann are CHS Homecoming royalty...


Calumet County approves 2008 budget...Thrivent gives $50K to Harbor House...Dr. Martin getting to know Chilton community...Donations of toys help cheer kids in ER...Cinderella takes center stage at Engler Center...Thanksgiving Day Express turns 25...Calumet County Board supports agreement between union, Homestead...School Board finalizes levy for 2007-08...AFS fall potluck features students from Chile, Italy...Winter snow, ice practice reminders issued...Mayor Engler announces he will not seek another term...EcoEnergy says 70 percent of voters favor wind farms in Calumet County...Citizens groups says survey slanted to favor companies...Rich Appel selected as 432nd Civil Affairs Battalion's rear commander...Young hired as newest member of Chilton PD...Citizens group seeks recall of Supervisor Jerry Criter due to votes on wind power...Christmas Walk set in Chilton...Sponsors sought for Morrissey Park effort...Holiday Expo to benefit abuse victims...Village Wine opens with fresh ideas...Krueger joins ADRC as health/wellness coordinator...Chilton Legion holds Vets Day banquet...Calumet County's Bill Craig announces retirement...Criter expresses disappointment over recall effort...RDA to try again on Uptown Commons application...Parade of Lights, Santa visit, fireworks highlight holiday fare...Engler's DMV experience leaves him asking questions...CPD issues speed study findings for Madison Street...More parking considered for Nennig Park area...


Merlin Gentz, Calumet County Board chairman, announces he will not seek re-election...Citizens for Responsible Government seek investigation on Supervisor William Scholz...Snow postpones Chilton's Christmas activites a week, including parade and fireworks...Herrick, Kolbe named for Kohl Scholarship program...Chilton schools seek input on strategic planning...Tom Reinl takes out papers for mayor's office...Calumet Turbine Committee prepares recommendations for County Board review...Chilton's comprehensive plan receives the green light...Chilton's tax bills show 3.7 percent increase for 2008...Chilton's city tax rate stays the same...Thieves break into Bread of Life Center, taking items to be distributed for Christmas...Homestead sale price higher than appraisal...Chilton MS and HS students come to rescue, raising more than $2,500 to assist with Bread of Life's Christmas programs...Valders-Chilton swim coopertive effort ends...Low swimming numbers cancel middle school program for 2008...EcoEnergy says recommendations in Calumet County may hinder green power efforts, and may be challenged legally...Jerry Criter and William Scholz both file re-election nomination papers...Criter will receive opposition in the recall election and on the April 1 ballot from Ralph Prescott...District Attorney Ken Kratz finds that Criter has acted properly in dealings on the Calumet County Board...Kratz advises Criter to avoid further actions on items in which he might have a financial interest...Kaytee acknowledges difficult financial year for parent firm, plant closure rumors quashed.

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