100 YEARS AGO: A fire started, it is believed from the sparks from the chimney of the Menominee county jail, set fire to the roof of the building and caused damage that is estimated at about $2,000 ($25,947.91 in 2019). The entire roof was destroyed. While fireproof construction of the lower part of the building proved a barrier to the flames, the paint and fixtures on the second story were badly burned and broken and the main floor of the jail and office was flooded with water which flowed from the steel floor of the second floor. It was reported that there was a boy in the jail at the time of the fire but according to Sheriff Duqauine’s statement, there were no prisoners in the place. The fire started about 6 o’clock this morning (April 7), and it was after 8:30 before the fire department had finished their work. The jail building was a mass of ice after the work of fighting the fire was finished. Many people living in close proximity to the jail did not know of the fire until it was over. The sheriff’s office which is also in the building was not damaged by fire, but considerable water had worked through the ceiling and walls. 

50 YEARS AGO: The winds of change swept across Menominee originating at the polls Monday to over-turn 10-year tenure mayor John Reindl and approve $500,000 ($3,338,460.56 in 2019) bond issue for a new bridge. Menominee has been in turmoil since 1967 over bridge financing plans and to find progress toward solving it with federal help was the big surprise of Monday’s balloting. The better than to two to one margin by which the bridge referendum won indicated an unsuspected reservoir of favorable sentiment in the city electorate. When it developed was a matter for hot stove league speculation. Taxpayers supported the bridge project 2,111 to 1,062. Proponents of the bridge issue started slowly in promoting the project but they had made tremendous gains in the past week selling taxpayers on the proposal. Menominee and the State of Michigan have been the hangups on the bridge project. The City of Marinette, Marinette County and the State of Wisconsin have previously indicated they are ready to proceed with their share in the financing of the estimated $2.5 million ($16,692,302.81 in 2019) bridge. 

25 YEARS AGO: Parents, teachers and concerned citizens came out in droves Thursday night to express their opinions about the Menominee Area Public School District’s proposed elementary school restructuring plan that would house grades pre-k-2 in one building and grades 3-5 in two other buildings. About 140 people attended the public hearing, with most speakers opposed to ending neighborhood schools. “I live near Central School and I like having my kids near me,” said Jon Sbar, 1818 18th St. “I think neighborhood schools are a good thing. If we’re restructuring, there should be some evidence that this type of program improves test scores. It seems to me this is just an idea that’s speculative. We shouldn’t panic just because we had a bad year with reading scores.” School board members and administrators have proposed the plan to help improve student learning; to deal with lower test scores; to make alternative curriculum like multi-age groups, all day kindergarten and transitional classrooms an option for parents and teachers; to even out class sizes; and to prepare for projected enrollment decreases in the district. 

FIVE YEARS AGO: A Menominee teen received two awards during Wednesday night’s Marinette City Council meeting. Brennan Bardowski, 17, was presented with a lifesaving award from Marinette Police Chief John Mabry and the Sheriff’s Super Citizen Award from Marinette County Sheriff Jerry Sauve. “Mayor and members of the city council, Sheriff Sauve and I wanted to get your help in recognizing someone who went above and beyond,” Mabry said. “On the night of Feb. 11, 2015, here in Marinette, it was about to turn into a pretty tragic night. The action of one person changed all of that for the better. Bardowski saved the life of a woman who was going to jump off the side of the Hattie Street Bridge. According to Mabry, Bardowski’s observation and actions made a significant difference in the community. “He (Bardowski) saw someone in trouble, someone who needed help and took immediate action to save this person’s life,” Mabry said. “Because of Brennan Bardowski’s quick actions, the woman’s life was saved.”