Last year’s top stories in New London, Hortonville
By Scott Bellile
Blastomycosis, the Newton Blackmour state trail opening, a former village administrator’s sentencing, the completion of dam reconstruction in Hortonville and a horse assault were big news in the area in the second half of 2015.
This is part two of a look at New London and Hortonville in 2015.
Resurfacing on North Shawano Street began July 13. The project lasted approximately five weeks and affected traffic to the city’s business district.
Eleven-year-old Maddie Kloehn, whose late grandfather was a lieutenant for New London Police Department, raised $1,600 for the department to purchase a defibrillator.
An overnight storm downed trees, knocked out electricity and took a roof off a barn in Hortonville on July 13.
The New London Capital Projects Committee approved $3 million in projects that include street work, repaving park trails, extending boat launches and upgrading playgrounds.
On July 14 the New London City Council approved phase one of a downtown mural project along the Wolf River, an earthwork bid for a new city garage and the use of Taft Park as the site of the New London Veterans Memorial.
John Brush, 35, was charged in Waupaca County Circuit Court with first-degree reckless homicide, possession of methamphetamine and five other charges July 24. Brush’s 3-year-old son died of blunt force trauma to the head after what Brush said was a fall down the stairs. Police said Brush refused to call 911 because there were warrants for his arrest.
The New London Jaycees dissolved after 68 years of community service. The Jaycees were succeeded by a new civic group, Raise Up New London.
The recreational Newton Blackmour State Trail, which connects New London to Seymour, celebrated its grand opening on Aug. 2.
CHS Larsen Cooperative closed its New London Auto and Small Engine Shop and Pump 24 fueling station.
Scientists linked a summer blastomycosis outbreak to the Little Wolf River. There have been 49 confirmed cases of blastomycosis among people who used the river as of Dec. 15.
On Aug. 10 the Pearl Street bridge was renamed after former New London mayor and city attorney Sigurd Krostue. A memorial rock was also installed next to the bridge in his honor.
Former Hortonville Village Administrator Patrick Vaile was sentenced to eight years in prison and eight years on extended supervision for one count of possession of child pornography on Aug. 7.
The School District of New London announced Aug. 10 the Catalyst Academy received a $125,000 grant.
A $325,000 project to replace baseball stadium lighting at Hatten Park in New London received approval.
Waupaca County sheriffs found $9,600 in marijuana at the Royalton home of Carl and Mimi Ganzen.
The Hortonville football program honored retired Hortonville High School coach Mike Sexton Aug. 28 on Akin Field for his spring 2015 induction into the Wisconsin Football Coaches Hall of Fame.
New London’s Douglas Street electric substation that received $200,000 to $300,000 in fire damage back in March was up and running with new parts in August.
A standoff over stolen auto parts in a Town of Ellington barn ended safely Sept. 2 with the arrests of Marvin Adams, Catrina Williams and Patrick Briggs.
New London Fire Chief Bart Roloff resigned Sept. 10 and was succeeded by Dick Muskevitsch.
New Hortonville Village Administrator Diane Wessel took office Sept. 14.
Wolf River Trips and Campground ended its 2015 season run in mid-September, and owner Mark Flease said the business didn’t take a hard hit by the Little Wolf River blastomycosis outbreak.
Heather Schmidt of New London was sentenced to one year in county jail and 10 years probation for killing 18-year-old Dylan Thorne in a drunk driving crash in 2012.
Anthony J. Trentlage of Hortonville was charged in Outagamie County Court with armed robbery, possession of body armor by a violent felon, false imprisonment with a weapon and disorderly conduct, in connection with the May 13 Jernegan’s Health Mart robbery in New London.
Hortonville High School junior Emily Nickel was killed in a one-vehicle rollover in Greenville on Sept. 25. Nickel was a passenger and three other 16-year-old females in the car were injured. They were on their way to a movie.
Gage M. Howard of New London was charged with felony hit and run on Sept. 29 for a July 2014 late-night incident that resulted in the death of 18-year-old pedestrian Tyler Court in the Town of Lebanon.
The Hortonville School Board approved a contract with local architectural company Blue Design Group on Sept. 29. to redesign Akin Field at Hortonville High School.
The State Highway 15 bypass project received a one-to-two-year delay in early October. The delay was reversed later in the fall when state lawmakers settled on agreements over state funding.
The New London Parks and Recreation Committee on Oct. 6 voted down a proposed slow-no-wake ordinance for a stretch of the Wolf River between the Sigurd Krostue Memorial Bridge on Pearl Street and New London Utilities.
Earthwork began Oct. 7 on New London’s future city garage next to the current sledding hill. The hill was also reworked so the slope wouldn’t send sledders near the future garage. The garage should be completed in late 2016.
McDonald’s in New London closed Oct. 15 for a two-month demolition and rebuild project.
Shannon (Arendt) Laroux was inducted into the Lawrence University Intercollegiate Athletics Hall of Fame on Oct. 16. The 2000 Hortonville High School grad played softball and volleyball.
Former School District of New London payroll and accounting specialist Wendy L. Swinton was given five years probation and ordered by a judge to pay more than $108,000 in restitution and court costs. She was accused of embezzling at least $90,000 from the school district over a five-year period.
Hilker Warehousing purchased the former Saputo Cheese building on Wolf River Avenue.
Hortonville attorney Rene L’Esperance purchased Hortonville’s former village administrative office for $40,000 on Nov. 6 to move his law firm there.
The Nash Street bridge in Hortonville reopened Nov. 13 after more than six months of construction on the Black Otter Lake dam.
The Green Bay Packers visited Greenville Middle School on Nov. 17 to present a $15,000 fitness grant to Hortonville Area School District.
Sean R. Brigando of New London was charged with attempted first-degree homicide, first-degree sexual assault with a weapon and six other charges after he was accused of beating his girlfriend with a towel bar, dropping an electric heater on her head, raping her twice and other extensive domestic abuse over the first weekend of November.
A fire likely caused by an electric heater damaged the building at 203 W. Main St. in Hortonville on Nov. 29.
Bank Mutual announced Dec. 1 it would close its Hortonville branch along with three other Wisconsin branches in March 2016.
Cesar Daniel Rens of Menasha died Dec. 1 from complications related to blastomycosis, which his family said he contracted while tubing on the Little Wolf River over the summer.
Tori Mann resigned as a trustee for the Village of Hortonville on Dec. 3. The village opted not to fill her position, which was up for re-election in April 2016.
The City of New London Capital Equipment and Projects Committee on Nov. 19 approved $462,050 in 2016 capital projects. Projects will include public pool shower upgrades, parks repaving projects, further development of the Newton Blackmour trail stretch in New London and more.
McDonald’s in New London reopened Dec. 11 after two months of renovations.
The Hortonville School Board voted Dec. 14 to fire a first-year teacher in the Hortonville Area School District who was not licensed by the state. The district declined to say who the teacher was or how he or she was hired.
Waupaca County honored Sarah Binder of New London on Dec. 15 for rescuing a 9-month-old boy who was pinned under a buggy wheel on Nov. 3.
ThedaCare announced Dec. 16 it will cease accepting Network Health insurance on July 31, 2016, affecting all local Network Health customers who utilize ThedaCare’s services in New London.
A pregnant 5-year-old mare was sexually assaulted on a farm north of New London in late November died on Dec. 19. As of the end of 2015 there were no arrests.
Heavy rainfall in mid-December caused the Wolf River to rise 5 feet in less than a week and peak at 9 feet.