A1 A1
hot featured
Man wanted in Oconto shooting
  • Updated

OCONTO—The Oconto Police Department is seeking help in finding a suspect in an armed robbery and attempted homicide Friday morning in Oconto.

Police say Cody Krueger, 24, is believed to be armed and dangerous. He is known known to drive with a sawed off shot gun pointed at the driver door and has made previous comments about being willing to “shoot anyone trying to take his freedom away,” law enforcement officials told WBAY-TV. Officials also said he has made comments about suicide by police.

Oconto Police Chief Mike Rehberg, in a statement, said Oconto Emergency Dispatch Center received a call of a subject that had sustained a gunshot wound in the 200 block of Superior Avenue. Shortly after, a 35-year-old Oconto man and a 31-year-old Marinette woman were arrested in near Second Street. Their names have not been released.

Krueger is the third suspect in the incident and Rehberg said he may be in Kewaunee or Door County and he may be driving a silver or gray Honda Accord, with self-painted racing stripes. Law enforcement states Krueger may be traveling with another person, who is identified as 19-year-old Kyra Saldana.

Krueger is described as 6′4, weighs 200 pounds, and has blonde hair and blue eyes.

Police also say Krueger has a swastika tattoo on his abdomen, a “skinhead” tattoo on his abdomen, a cross tattoo and a skull tattoo on his left calf, a barbed wire tattoo on his left hand and fingers, a swastika tattoo on his left knee, a “High Life” tattoo on his left wrist, a “Forever and Always” tattoo on his right breast area, a “KRK” tattoo on his left forearm, and a “1488″ tattoo on his left wrist.

In addition, both of his ears are pierced.

Police say if you see Krueger, you’re asked to call 911 immediately, move to a safe place, and to not approach him.

The name or condition of the person who was shot has not been released.

Oconto Police was assisted in the incident by the Oconto County Sheriff’s Office, the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources and the Oconto Fire and Rescue Department. The Wisconsin State Patrol and Oconto County Emergency Management was immediately notified of the incident.

The Menominee student section erupts in cheers after the Maroons make a big play against Marinette during the 115th edition of the M&M game Friday at Walton Blesch Field in Menominee. The Maroons defeated the Marines 25-16. See story and more photos starting on B1.

hot featured
Marinette has a new marketing and tourism director

EagleHerald Staff Writer

MARINETTE—“It was steaming hot,” Shawn Katzbeck said, remembering his first time visiting the City of Marinette.

“My in-laws didn’t have air conditioning, but everybody’s front door was open. I’m walking down the street, it’s 2 a.m., and I came back and I asked my wife, ‘Why is everybody’s front door open, does everybody stay awake this late?’ She goes, ‘ No, we just leave our front door open, it’s hot out!’ And I just thought, that’s where I want to live.”

Katzbeck is the new City of Marinette Marketing and Tourism Director. He grew up in Hoffman Estates, a suburb about 30 miles from downtown Chicago, and lived in a community across the street from a small pond where he fished for carp and bullhead and bluegill.

“During the summer months, I’d wake up before my mom and dad and write a note, I’d say, ‘I’ve gone fishing,’ and I would just take my fishing pole and go across the street.”

He hunted, too. His father took him out pheasant hunting east toward Rockford, way out near the cornfields.

“My father loved hunting,” he said. “I enjoyed hunting because I could be around my dad, it was just dad time. It was a special time for me. I always liked fishing and hunting and walking, doing outdoor stuff like that, that was kind of my thing.”

Katzbeck joined the Air Force after high school and moved west to the George Air Force Base in Victoville, California, a desert town about an hour northeast of Los Angeles, just below the longitudinal line where Nevada spears California and Arizona. He was an aircraft electrical system specialist, and he worked on McDonnell F-4 Phantom fighter-bombers, aircraft that can travel at twice the speed of sound.

Then Katzbeck got married to his wife Teena, a Marinette native. On his wedding day, the Air Force gave him orders to go to Germany.

Katzbeck grew up speaking German in his family because his grandfather was an immigrant from Germany.

He also took German classes in high school. During his senior year, he went to Germany for a month as an exchange student and attended Bertolt Brecht Gymnasium in Passing, a suburb of Munich.

“We had so much fun,” he said, laughing hysterically. “Let’s just say that I was a senior in high school, and they weren’t carding anybody.”

“We would go to this little local bar and we’d just sit there and drink and laugh. We got to know the guys, taught ‘em how to play quarters. They thought that was the coolest thing in the world!”

Years later, he moved with his wife to Falkenstein, a small town about an hour and a half drive southeast of Frankfurt. He could see the Falkenstein Castle from his back window, and there was a walking path that meandered past it and down through town. There, he worked on Lockheed C-130 Hercules planes, tactical aircraft with multi-mission uses.

While he was stationed in Falkenstein, his sister’s husband got electrocuted and was seriously injured. He took a 30-day emergency leave and flew back stateside to be with family.

Katzbeck wanted his wife’s parents to meet their grandson, so he visited Marinette for the first time during this trip.

“I just fell in love with it,” he said.

Katzbeck got out of the service in 1989 and moved with his family straight to Marinette. He worked at Capitol Interiors, Enstrom Helicopters, Fincantieri Marinette Marine. He met Bay Cities Radio Host Kit Donaldson at the local YMCA when he was working at the shipyard.

“We were talking and he’s like, ‘you really know sports, would you like to do high school sports broadcasting?’”

Katzbeck started out broadcasting high school basketball.

“I loved it, I just thought it was so cool to be able to highlight kids and talk about them and what they were doing,” he said.

“They had me doing an on-air shift Sunday mornings. Chuck Kreuzling was training me, and he says, ‘Shawn, you’re doing great, I’m going to go outside to take a smoke break.’ So I’m just going and I’m putting music on and having a great time. And so afterward I said, ‘hey Chuck, how did that sound?’ He had the radio on back by him where he was taking a smoke break. And all of a sudden the phone rings, so I pick up the phone and the guy goes, ‘it sounded great, but turn your mic off!’”

Katzbeck said he found his niche selling radio. “The people at the radio really really dove into teaching us marketing,” he said. “I just fell in love with it.”

Then the Tourism and Marketing Director position opened, and he ultimately secured the position.

“This job is everything I’ve ever studied everything I’ve ever put time into. There are stories here. We have to get the stories out, and we have to tell them in a way that’s engaging,” Katzbeck said.

“I just was like, ‘okay God, you’re saying the door is open for a reason,’ so I walked through it.”

hot featured
Employers, employees share thanks this Labor Day

EagleHerald Staff Writer

Xpress Self Storage just opened in June in Marinette, but its workers had the day off on Labor Day just like countless others in the area.

“We’re closed,” Property Manager Jackie Horsell said, in observance of the holiday that acknowledges the hard work employees put in.

“I think it’s an opportunity to be thankful for this job,” Edward Jones Financial Adviser Ian Wetzel said about the Labor Day holiday. But the day is also a way for employers to say thanks, especially in this area where recruiting new talent is important to the communities’ continued growth, he said.

Labor activists fought for better working conditions over 100 years ago, and their efforts during the Pullman strike and railroad boycott led to the national holiday, authorized in 1894 by President Grover Cleveland. He agreed workers’ contributions to America’s economic growth should be recognized.

Giving workers a paid day off is the way most employers in the Marinette-Menominee rewarded their employees on Monday.

Recognition and rewards are often the best way to retain workers, and retention is becoming more important in this area as unemployment levels fall, said Sue Erdman, Manpower area manager.

As workers retire, companies are having to work harder to find new talent.

“It’s definitely an employee’s market right now. I haven’t spoken to one employer that they’re not struggling to find workers,” Erdman said.

In the Marinette area, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported a July unemployment rate of 4.5% for Marinette, down from 8.1% a year ago. The July unemployment rate for Green Bay was 3.6%, the Bureau said.

Menominee County’s July unemployment rate of 4.3% ranks ninth-lowest among all Michigan counties, and it’s lower than the Upper Peninsula’s July unemployment rate of 5.1%, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

The result is ample opportunity for skilled workers and challenges for employers with jobs to fill to meet customer demand. Wages are rising as a result, Erdman said.

Wetzel said he relocated from the Appleton area to the Menominee Edward Jones office where adviser Joe Peacock plans to retire in the next few years. “I got hired in Appleton, but they saw more opportunity up here,” Wetzel said. “We decided, why not? My wife and I didn’t feel tied down to Appleton. We feel it’s one of the best choices we’ve ever made.”

The aging of the population means many communities are retiring at a faster rate than new workers are joining the talent pool, he said. “Where the jobs are and where the workers are don’t always line up, and sometimes we forget about that,” he said.

Marinette-Menominee needs to recruit more workers, said Wetzel, who belongs to Wave Marinette-Menominee Young Professionals, which aims to welcome young professionals to the area and encourage them to become active community members. “For us to keep our town going, we need enough workers not only for labor but for our tax base,” he said.

“If we’re not able to catch this before we have more and more and more labor shortages, who knows what our labor situation may look like,” he said.

While pay is important to workers, so is cost of living and lifestyle. “What retains me and keeps me going is a desire to share our community,” Wetzel said.

With a low cost of housing, the Marinette-Menominee area is more affordable than many larger cities. “Being in a small town, you’re also going to spend less on gas going to work,” Wetzel said.

For other young adults, creative maternal and paternal leave might be the draw.

The talent shortage is slowing development of new businesses by creating a bottleneck for those relying on skilled trades.

Horsell said it took longer than planned to build the new Xpress Self Storage facility, which opened in early June, because of a shortage of workers in the construction trades. “Every company complains about a shortage,” Horsell said.

To staff the new self storage business, Xpress hired two workers. “We were pretty lucky we were able to connect with the two people we ended up hiring. It happened when we needed it to,” she said.

Erdman said most companies in the Marinette-Menominee area are hiring. Throughout the Midwest, about one out of three businesses surveyed said they expect their payrolls to rise in the next quarter, according to Manpower’s quarterly employment outlook. That is if they can find new workers.

Among leisure and hospitality businesses, about 54% expect to add workers, followed by 40% for durable goods manufacturing, 36% for nondurable goods manufacturing, 33% for wholesale & trade, and 31% for construction. At the other end is information business, where 17% expect their payrolls to expand in the next quarter, the Manpower survey said.

Retailers and restaurants are stretched especially thin, and Erdman attributes it to a drought of younger workers. “Kids now have a lot of obligations between school and sports,” she said, and many aren’t seeking jobs. The short supply has boosted wages at some fast-food employers to $15 or more per hour from $8 an hour not long ago, she said.

The Peshtigo Chamber of Commerce is planning an Expo day for area students to introduce them to career options by hearing from presenters about various opportunities, from health care to manufacturing. The Expo was the focus of its Sept. 2 meeting. It’s timely given the number of help-wanted signs in the area, said Tony O’Neill, president of the Peshtigo chamber.

While a higher wage might lure an applicant, pay alone doesn’t guarantee the worker will last, Erdman said. In an employee’s market, workers who aren’t happy in their current positions often have no trouble landing work elsewhere.

But a revolving door can take a toll on the employer’s profits because recruiting, hiring and training new workers adds up. “From what I’ve been told, it can be up to $10,000 to hire somebody,” Erdman said, when advertising, human resources, and managers’ time is considered. A September 2021 Manpower report on “Predicting the talent pipeline” suggests hiring new workers costs the employer about 25% more than retaining existing employees.

What will keep workers from jumping ship? “They need to be appreciated,” Erdman said. They need to be acknowledged, whether monetary or saying thank you in another way.

The Labor Day holiday is one way to remind workers they’re valued. “It’s a way to appreciate all those hard-working people, all those who intend to work,” Erdman said. “Without good labor, it will be a very negative effect on the economy and the world in general,” she said.

Neenah man dies in ATV collision with dump truck
  • Updated

MARINETTE—A 55-year-old Neenah, Wisconsin, man died Saturday following a crash between an ATV and a dump truck.

Michael J. Goffard died at the scene after the ATV he was driving collided with a dump truck early Saturday afternoon on Caldron Falls Road near Camp Bird, according to a release from Marinette County Sheriff Jerry Sauve.

The 911 call campe at 12:48 p.m. and DNR wardens and sheriff’s deputies were on the scene in six minutes, Sauve said.

According to the report, the dump truck was northbound when the lead ATV in a group came around the corner southbound, lost control and went left of center into the dump truck. The driver, Goffard, was thrown form the machine, the statement reads.

Rescue and paramedic attempts to save him were unsuccessful and he was pronounced dead at the scene. The driver of the dump truck from Port Washington, Wisconsin, and his minor passenger were not injured. The name of the dump truck driver was not released.

The Sheriff’s Office was assisted by the Town of Stephenson Fire Department, Twin Bridge Rescue Squad, Bay Area Medical Paramedics, Wisconsin DNR Wardens and the Marinette County Medical Examiner’s Office. This crash remains under investigation by law enforcement and the medical examiner.

This is the sixth traffic fatality in Marinette County in 2021.