2012: East county year in review
Readers of the County Post East will remember 2012 for many things.
JanuaryCounty Post East, County Post West, the North Star Journal in Rhinelander, the Merrill Foto News and Silent Sports. The sale also included the Buyers’ Guides in Waupaca, New London, Clintonville, Marathon County, Wood County, Stevens Point and Rhinelander. County Post East, New London Buyers’ Guide and Clintonville Shoppers’ Guide.
• Two of the nation’s leading Midwest-based general merchandise retail chains, Shopko Stores and Pamida, announced Jan. 4, 2012 that they will merge to create one of the largest U.S. retailers focused on serving smaller and rural communities.
• At the Jan. 16 Manawa Board of Education meeting, the Manawa Activity Complex Fundraising Committee informed the board that it had received pledges of $127,150 up to that point.
• The Manawa Common Council announced that it could cost $200,000 to repair the dam in Manawa. It also announced that a drawdown of Manawa Pond was needed to make the repairs.
• A program to serve the health care needs of farm families was launched in Waupaca County in January 2012. Nurses with the Rural Health Initiative are now visiting farmers and their families, performing basic health risk assessments, providing information about healthier lifestyles and referrals.
• A sum of $1,429,000 was distributed from the Robert and Jane Billings estate on Jan. 26, at the Clintonville Public Library. The partial distribution of funds from the estate gave $1,000,000 to Christ Congregational United Church of Christ; $286,000 to the Clintonville Public Library; and $143,000 to the Clintonville Area Historical Society.
• On Feb. 1, Gov. Scott Walker signed a bill that expanded the period for students to open enroll into other school districts from three weeks to three months. The County Post reported that some area school districts experienced a net loss in enrollment in the 2011-12 school year. New London gained 44 students who enrolled into the district but lost 94 who enrolled out of the district. Manawa, Clintonville and Weyauwega-Fremont each experienced a net loss of at least 20 students to open enrollment, while Waupaca had a net gain of 13 and Iola-Scandinavia had a net gain of nine students due to open enrollment in 2011-12.
• Gabe Roberts signed a letter of intent to play football for the University of Pittsburgh. Roberts was a standout football player for the New London Bulldogs, and received a full ride scholarship offer.
• The School District of Manawa announced it was going to a block schedule format for Little Wolf High School for the 2012-13 school year.
• Former Green Bay Packers player Mark Tauscher spoke to New London High School students as part of National FFA Week.
• With the success the Manawa Activity Complex Fundraising Committee achieved in a short amount of time, the committee requested that the Manawa School Board approve construction of a new track as part of the Manawa Activity Complex. The added cost of the new track would be $150,000. The board approved the construction of a new track.
• The New London Area Chamber of Commerce and New London Youth Baseball begin renovations to the former Kwik Trip property located at 420 N. Shawano Street. The building was donated to the city of New London, which leased it to the two groups.
• Park and Rec Director Dick Writt retires after 37 years with the city of Clintonville.
• Jim and Ellen Clarke are named 2012 Irish Man and Irish Rose.
• Loud booming noises in Clintonville sparked more than 60 calls from local residents and drew national media attention. The mysterious sounds were subsequently attributed to a 1.5 earthquake after the U.S. Geological Survey installed seismic meters.
• The New London Lady Bulldogs win their second straight Division 2 state championship with a 43-39 win over previously unbeaten New Berlin Eisenhower at the Kohl Center in Madison on March 24. The win capped a 28-0 season for the Lady Bulldogs.
• Chad Magolski, 35, was convicted of first-degree intentional homicide after a four-day trial in late March 2012. On Dec. 15, 2007, the body of 77-year-old James Park was discovered in his apartment directly across the street from the New London Police Department. An autopsy revealed that Park had died six to eight days before he was found. The killer had brutally stabbed Park 11 times.
Although none of Magolski’s DNA was found at the murder scene and there were no witnesses to the actual murder, Magolski had repeatedly made statements to neighbors that someone could kill Park “and he would lay there and rot and no one would find him.”
“When hubris and self-absorption coalesce at their apogee, you have a sociopath,” Judge Philip Kirk said when sentencing Magolski to life in prison in April. “You are a remorseless killer beyond redemption.”
• On April 7, ground was broken for the construction of the Manawa Activity Complex.
• The Manawa City Council approved a short-term drawdown of the Manawa Pond. The drawdown will allow for repairs to be made to the dam. The short-term drawdown would be for only the amount of time needed to repair the dam.
• Waupaca County District Attorney John Snider filed vehicular homicide charges on May 7 against Chistopher L. Royer, 23, Mukwonago. Royer was involved in a 2010 crash that led to two fatalities on State Highway 54 in Royalton.
*The Department of Natural Resources refers the city of New London and Superior Excavation of Hurley, LLC, to the Department of Justice for violations of state statutes regarding control of asbestos emissions and solid waste facilities, alleged at the location of the former Simmons property.
• Baylake Bank announced it was selling four Waupaca County branch offices to Premier Community Bank. Premier purchased the Baylake branches in Waupaca, King, Manawa and Fremont.
• The baseball stadium at W.A. Olen Park in Clintonville was dedicated in Don Jirschele’s honor on July. 14.
• The New London Clippers American Legion team went 3-0 in regional play to earn a trip to the state tournament in Onalaska.
• Daune Braun resigned as Little Wolf High School principal effective Aug. 13, to take the job of superintendent of the Iola-Scandinavia School District. Braun was with the Manawa School District for 11 years.
• The conversion of the Pamida store in Clintonville to a Shopko Hometown store begins.
• The Creative Converting Consumer Division of Hoffmaster Group, Inc. announced that it will transfer all production and distribution activity at its InnoWare Paper plant in Menomonee Falls to its Clintonville site as part of an overarching business simplification strategy.
• Waupaca County District Attorney John Snider filed reckless homicide and strangulation charges Sept. 17, against Kevin J. Lombard, 24, Winnebago. Lombard was accused of choking 18-year-old Amelia Anne Schmitz to death while the two of them were staying in a room at the America’s Best Value Inn in New London on Aug. 12, 2011.
• The Manawa Wolves football team plays its first home game at the newly constructed Manawa Activity Complex on Sept. 14.The Wolves fell to Amherst 27-6. Fireworks, sponsored by the newly formed Manawa Booster Club, followed the game.
• The New London Common Council approved a technology building project that included phone and internet upgrades.
• The Clintonville girls’ cross country team was awarded a team trip to the WIAA Cross Country State Championships event, on Oct. 27, in Wisconsin Rapids. The team finished in eighth place at state.
• Fire destroys the Tree Stand in New London on Nov. 12. The New London Fire Department responded to the bar at around 1:33 a.m.
• The Waupaca County Zoning Commission voted on Nov. 29 to postpone a decision on whether to grant a permit for the proposed sand mine in the town of Union. The sand mine issue has been a controversial topic for several months.
• Dave Wood is named Acting General Manager of the
• Two men are accused of breaking into 10 taverns and churches in the Waupaca and Manawa areas. Andrew P. Akright, 27, Manawa, faces a 30-count indictment that includes multiple charges of burglary, theft, criminal damage to property, theft of a firearm and armed burglary. His alleged accomplice, Wesley A. Martin, 23, Waupaca, faces a 26-count indictment with similar charges.