|1/2/2008 1:45:00 PM|
New Holstein Headlines 2007
The recently concluded year was another busy one in the news business in the New Holstein area.
Continuing the trend of recent years, there was plenty to pick from and difficult choices to be made in ranking the top 10 news stories of the year in the New Holstein area, according to Tri-County News Editor Mark Sherry.
"The number-one spot almost came down to a flip of a coin between the Heus Manufacturing deal and the Timm House rededication," Sherry said. "In several ways the two stories are similar in that both buildings could have sat deteriorating for years, but now both have the potential to hopefully be very important parts of the community for many years to come."
Following is a week by week recap of some of the major New Holstein area news stories of 2007:
As the new year began, four more New Holstein Boy Scouts joined the ranks of Eagle Scout-Jeremy Sippel, Jonathon Delehanty, Kerry Fredrich and Andrew Walber.
New Holstein's relatively new utility superintendent, Randy Jaeckels, was introduced to the community via a feature story and said he was looking forward to a busy year ahead with construction of a new water tower, a new electric substation and other improvements.
The first 2008 chapter in the continuing saga of what to do with the Calumet Homestead Rehabilitation Center was a 10-8 vote by Calumet County Board supervisors to not sell the county-owned nursing facility. The New Holstein School District saved an estimated $914,783 in debt service costs because of a favorable interest rate received on a bond sale to fund construction of the new middle school.
The Bauer Community Players prepared their performance of "M*A*S*H." A fire destroyed a garage and damaged the adjacent home at the Barry Medved residence on Randolph Avenue.
Foreign exchange student Amornat Kaewmueangmun-also known as "Faa"-was introduced to the community via a feature story. Bob Bosma was elected president of the New Holstein Area Chamber of Commerce replacing Scott Wink, who chose not to seek re-election.
Officials of Heus Manufacturing of rural New Holstein announced they were working toward possibly purchasing the soon-to-be-vacant Tecumseh Products Company building in New Holstein and moving their operation there.
After decades of fears, years of rumors and months of waiting for word from the company, Tecumseh Products made it official-it would be closing its New Holstein plant beginning in mid-April. The former Apothecary Shop in New Holstein was springing back to life as Schneider and Schneider Construction was renovating the building and moving its offices there.
A group of former parishioners at St. Martin Church in the Town of Charlestown announced their plans to try to turn the former Catholic church and grounds into a public heritage park. A survey was being conducted to determine whether or not New Holstein parents would support a before- and after-school child care program for school-age children.
Another month, another chapter in the Homestead story...The County Board brought the issue of considering the sale of the facility back to the table on a 13-8 vote. Paul Depies retired from 42 years of service in New Holstein city government without having ever missed a meeting. New Holstein High School's forensics team was in the middle of a very good season as it won the Subdistrict team title.
With its grand reopening just months away, work was progressing rapidly on the renovation of the Timm House in New Holstein.
M&I Bank Milwaukee was the winning bidder in the sale of $1,025,000 in general obligation bonds for the City of New Holstein which will allow for major street improvements in the city over the next two years.
New Holstein's Alex Weber is a Pokémon prodigy, having placed fourth in a recent contest involving the popular card game.
It was announced that five wind turbines could be destined for the area covered by New Holstein Utilities. Representatives of EcoEnergy and Wisconsin Public Power Inc. presented the idea to the New Holstein Common Council. No concerns were voiced that night-unlike what was to come in Calumet County later in 2007. Heading into the spring election there was competition for three aldermanic seats on the City Council.
Jerry Hallstrom was elected as New Holstein's new alderman in Aldermanic District 3, the seat formerly held by Paul Depies. Incumbents Marvin Hoerth and Ken Draheim also fought off challengers to be re-elected. Displaced workers at Tecumseh Products, Chilton Products and Brillion Iron Works will be sharing a $1.2 million federal grant. An area to recognize retired New Holstein firefighters was being constructed outside the Fire Station. The entire NHHS forensics team was headed to the State Contest.
The process began to create a new Tax Increment District for Heus Mfg. The ad hoc New Holstein Swimming Pool Committee started talking about what amenities it would like to see in the proposed new aquatic center, including waterslides, a zero-depth entry area and a whirlcove.
The musical "Guys and Dolls" was staged at New Holstein High School. The New Holstein School Board considered making changes to the public input portion at its monthly meetings.
City of New Holstein aldermen unanimously approved a resolution in support of a wind power project within the service area of New Holstein Utilities.
New Holstein High School's forensics team finished in the top 5 percent among all of Wisconsin high school squads.
The New Holstein Fire Department put its new "Tower 25" 100-foot ladder truck through its paces at a public open house held at the Community Center. Lee Watson was hired as the new part-time economic development coordinator for New Holstein.
With summer's sun not far away, Stell's Piggly Wiggly in New Holstein was helping to fight skin cancer with several special promotions. Separate accidents in May claimed the lives of two area young people-Greg Schanke, 22, of New Holstein and Candy Holstein, 16, of Fond du Lac.
Fundraising efforts kicked off just before Memorial Day for a new 40-foot circular veterans memorial in New Holstein's Kiwanis Park. Oscar Beilke was elected president of the New Holstein School Board over incumbent Bob Bosma.
Calumet County Board Chairman Merlin Gentz was the guest speaker at the New Holstein Memorial Day program. Commitments from parents were still being sought to try to get the "Care Square" child care program off the ground.
As June unfolded, work was nearing completion at the Timm House, while ground was just getting ready to be broken for the new middle school. Heather Nennig and Ben Greuel were co-valedictorians at NHHS this year.
The proposed after-school child care program in the New Holstein School District was put on hold as an insufficient number of parents showed an interest in the program. Plans for the week-long celebration leading up to the dedication of the Timm House were being announced, including the "Night on the Town" event.
Several preliminary purchase offers for Calumet Homestead Rehabilitation Center were received by Calumet County.
Plans were under way for the annual New Holstein Firemen's Picnic, while at the same time a "Day in the Square" event was planned for the following week.
Harbor House officials talked about how domestic violence is not just an urban problem as many of the people it helps are from Calumet County's rural areas. A 24-hour swimming pool marathon was being planned at the New Holstein Municipal Pool.
New Holstein Historical Society members raised eyebrows a half dozen years ago with their plans for the Timm House. On Sunday, July 15 eyes were wide open in amazement again with what had been accomplished as the historical home was reopened and rededicated in a gala ceremony. Retiring teachers Jim and Grace Flora reflected on their many years of service at New Holstein High School.
Calumet Homestead celebrated its 50th birthday in New Holstein, and new administrator Dave Mueller was featured in the Tri-County News. City officials were working to try to keep Tecumseh Products engineers located in the community.
Friday, July 27 marked the last day of production at Tecumseh Products Company. Later in the fall, however, some limited production did start up again to fill some orders the company had. A summer wind and thunderstorm did a little damage but failed to dampen the spirits of the SuperCub pilots who made their annual gathering at the New Holstein Municipal Airport.
A dodgeball tournament was planned in Sheboygan to raise funds for a storybook garden at the University of Wisconsin-Sheboygan in memory of Charlotte Kestell, who was a New Holstein resident in 2006 when she was the victim of a murder-suicide at the hands of her boyfriend. StarGazer Limousine was welcomed as a new business in New Holstein.
New and popular summertime music shows at Maximillian's in Mount Calvary were featured in the News. Mark Stellpflug of Stell's Piggly Wiggly in New Holstein was recognized with an Excellence in Operations award by the Wisconsin Grocers Association.
The New Holstein Common Council received an update on plans for the new aquatic center. The New Holstein School Board said it would continue to work to keep Wednesdays as event-free as possible so that area churches could continue to plan youth religious education classes on those days.
The American Cancer Society's annual Relay for Life was held again at New Holstein High School, and cancer survivor Bonnie Lau told her story in the Tri-County News.
Emotions ran high at times during a meeting of the New Holstein Utilities Commission at which a representative of EcoEnergy attempted to answer some of the wind turbine questions posed by rural residents.
The following week, Mike Donahue, executive vice president of Midwest Wind Energy, spoked to a packed house in the Town of Brothertown garage.
A motion was made but later withdrawn at a meeting of the New Holstein Board of Education to eliminate the police-school liaison officer position. The board later voted to continue funding the program but remains at odds over the 60/40 split it has with the City of New Holstein for the PSLO's wages. New Holstein's Deborah Reinhart was named the Star Dairy Woman at the World Dairy Expo.
Authorization to sell Calumet Homestead Rehabilitation Center to Rice Partnership was approved on a 13-7 vote by the County Board. The City of New Holstein approved a bid to tear down the former tavern building at the corner of Wisconsin Avenue and Mason Street on the city's east side.
Homecoming 2008 at New Holstein High School featured the return of the parade after an absence of a few years. Workers were busy painting the new water tower on New Holstein's north side.
New Holstein Utilities and New Holstein True Value teamed up on an effort to get more people to use energy saving compact fluorescent lights.
New Holstein forensics students put their speaking skills to a different kind of use as they approached the Board of Education urging forensics coaching contracts to be settled. The Board of Education also considered closing the high school campus because of some disciplinary concerns at lunchtime.
The Charlesburg Stars 4-H Club completed work on new flower beds at Villa Loretto Nursing Home in Mount Calvary.
"Cheaper by the Dozen" was the fall play staged by New Holstein High School students.
M-B Companies, Inc. employees went out on strike in New Holstein and Chilton, unhappy with their proposed contract. Carol (Heft) Newman provided historical information about the better days seen by the corner tavern which the city had torn down. The New Holstein Community Chest approved a record goal of $25,000.
New Holstein Public School District officials explained why the mill rate would be going up, with the new middle school being only part of the explanation.
The Board of Education discussed whether or not changes should be made to the district's expulsion procedures. Three students had been expelled so far during the 2007-2008 school year.
Mayor Ron Karrels announced he would not be seeking re-election as he had been elected the president of a national organization which serves retired postmasters. Oscar Beilke was named New Holstein Distinguished Person for 2007.
The overall tax rate in the city was rising by 9.9 percent, up $2.35 per $1,000 of valuation from the previous year.
The Timm House was featured in Period Homes, a magazine distributed worldwide.
Alderman Terry Thiessen announced his plans to run for mayor of New Holstein. School officials announced the high school campus would likely go to "closed" lunch hours at the semester break.
New Holstein Fire Chief Jim Roehrig announced he would be retiring after 36 years of service to the department, the last 11 as chief.