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County asked to join legal fight against drug makers PDF Print E-mail
Daily News
Written by BILL SCHANEN IV   
Wednesday, 04 October 2017 18:14

Counties argue that irresponsible companies fuel addiction crisis that costs billions of dollars

For years, Ozaukee County has fought in criminal court to lock up drug dealers who peddle narcotic pain pills and heroin to feed a seemingly insatiable demand for addictive opioids.
    Now the county is being asked to join other counties in a civil court battle against the pharmaceutical companies that make and market the drugs blamed for a national addiction epidemic that is sapping the local, state and federal agencies tasked with helping those whose lives have been shattered by opioids, a class of drugs that includes prescription pain-killers such as oxycodone and morphine, as well as illegal drugs like heroin.
    “Opioid addiction and mental health issues, which are pretty much intertwined,  drive a significant amount of our budget,” County Administrator Jason Dzwinel said. “Look at our case load in the child protective services and you’ll see it’s drastically up. We don’t have enough foster homes for kids. This is being driven by mental health problems and opioid addiction.”
    The County Board was asked Wednesday to sign onto a lawsuit being organized by the Wisconsin Counties Association against so-called Big Pharma, the pharmaceutical companies that, according to background information distributed to supervisors, “flooded the market with highly addictive drugs claiming they were safe and efficacious for long-term use, manufactured studies to support these false claims and knowingly misrepresented the addictive nature of these drugs.
    “As a result of these misrepresentations, millions of American lives have been impacted or destroyed. The opioid epidemic has in turn imposed huge costs on both county and state governments around the country ....”
    The goal of the lawsuit is to “hold Pharma responsible for their role in creating the opioid epidemic and return to the counties the money spent battling the epidemic at the expense of other critical programming,” according to county documents.
    Ozaukee County and others that join the lawsuit would not bankroll the legal effort. Instead, the law firms representing the counties — the Milwaukee-area firms of van Briesen & Roper and Crueger Dickinson and the national firm of Simmons Hanly Conroy — would bear all costs of litigation and be reimbursed only if there is a judgment in the plaintiff’s favor.
    The responsibility of the counties involved in the lawsuit would be to work with lawyers to document the cost of dealing with opioid addiction. Daily Press   
    
   

 
Lion’s Den hunting applications available PDF Print E-mail
Daily News
Written by Ozaukee Press   
Wednesday, 04 October 2017 18:10

Hunters may apply through Friday, Oct. 20, to hunt in Lion’s Den Gorge Nature Preserve in the Town of Grafton during the gun deer season this year.
    A lottery system will be used to select 10 hunters who may hunt at the county park during the gun deer season, which runs from Nov. 18 to 26.
    The hunters will be selected on Monday, Oct. 23, with preference given to Ozaukee County residents.  Those selected must pay a $65 fee for their permit.
    Hunters will be refunded $32.50 of the fee if they return the county’s hunting report and survey by the designated time.
    They are also eligible for a $32.50 refund if they provide proof of taking a doe from the property.
    Lion’s Den will be closed to the public during the gun deer season.
    There won’t be a lottery for bow hunters. However, they must obtain authorization from the county to hunt in Lion’s Den during the bow season, which runs from Nov. 27 through Jan.7. These authorizations may be completed anytime during the season.
    To obtain authorization and lottery forms for the bow or gun-hunting seasons, visit the Planning and Parks Department at the Ozaukee County Administration Center, 121 W. Main St., Port Washington, call the department at 284-8257 or 238-8257 or e-mail requests to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .Daily Press

 
Hidden gem of a nature area to be topic of meeting PDF Print E-mail
Daily News
Written by Ozaukee Press   
Wednesday, 04 October 2017 18:08

City launches effort to restore forgotten about nature preserve in Port

A public information meeting on proposed improvements to the Birchwood Hills Nature Area on Port Washington’s northeast side will be held at 6 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 12, in the city’s Parks and Recreation Department office, 201 N. Webster St.
    Although the 26.3-acre property has been owned by the city for almost 20 years, little has been done to improve access to it.
    A plan by the city’s Environmental Planning Committee would include managing and improving habitat for wildlife, including birds and monarch butterflies, removing invasive species and replacing them with native plants, creating a prairie in the process and enhancing the woodland.
    Walking trails would be developed through the property and better public access created.
    The management plan was developed by students in an environmental studies class at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.
    “We want to make sure the public is on board with this,” committee member Derek Strohl said.
    Work on the property could begin this fall, officials have said.Daily Press

 
Port fire, police departments to host open houses PDF Print E-mail
Daily News
Written by Ozaukee Press   
Wednesday, 27 September 2017 19:06

The Port Washington police and fire departments are holding open houses from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 1.
    The fire department open house, held in conjunction with Fire Prevention Month, begins with an all-you-can-eat pancake and egg breakfast from 9 a.m. to noon.
    The cost is $7 per person, and children five and younger eat free.
    Activities during the open house include equipment demonstrations, fire engine rides, a firefighter obstacle course and hands-only CPR training.
    Those attending can also see downtown from atop the department’s ladder truck.
    The police department’s open house will include tours of the police station, information on the propane-powered squad cars, bike patrol demonstrations and Crash Enforcer and drunken driving computer simulations.
    Goodie bags for children will also be distributed. Daily Press

 
Port High grad, soldier killed during Ranger charity ride PDF Print E-mail
Daily News
Written by KRISTYN HALBIG ZIEHM   
Wednesday, 27 September 2017 19:05


    Port Washington High School graduate Dustin Brede, 42, was killed in a motorcycle accident in Alabama Saturday, Sept. 23.
    Brede, a former U.S. Army Airborne Ranger who had been deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan 14 times and was on the verge of retirement, was participating in a charity event for a fellow Ranger at the time.
    According to the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency, Brede was driving a 2010 Harley-Davidson motorcycle south of Phenix City at 2:05 p.m. when he left the roadway and struck an embankment.
    Brede, who lived in Fort Mitchell, Ala., was pronounced dead at the scene.
    Alabama State Troopers continue to investigate the accident.
    Brede, a sergeant first class, recently celebrated his retirement from the Army, although he remained on active duty until February, his family said.
    An avid motorcyclist, he was a member of the Ranger Brotherhood and KMS, both military Harley-Davidson groups.
    A member of the Port High Class of 1994, Brede was married and had three sons, one of whom was born on Sept. 15.
    He is the son of Vickie Zuklaitis and William Brede.
    A complete obituary for Mr. Brede can be found in this issue of Ozaukee Press. Daily Press

 
Proposed NOAA marine sanctuary sparks debate PDF Print E-mail
Daily News
Written by KRISTYN HALBIG ZIEHM   
Wednesday, 27 September 2017 19:00

Opponents voice concerns at forum but one-time critic says Alpena preserve has been a boon to area

    Opponents of a proposed shipwreck sanctuary that would stretch from Ozaukee County north turned out in force at a public forum in Sheboygan last week, but the concerns they voiced can be alleviated simply, one panel member said.
    Get involved in the process and let your voices be heard, Steve Kroll, a diver and member of the Sanctuary Advisory Council for the Thunder Bay National Marine Sanctuary in Alpena, Mich., said.
    Then, the management plan will address the concerns of everyone and truly become a plan for all, Kroll said.
    Getting involved is how he went from being opposed to the Thunder Bay sanctuary to being a proponent of it, Kroll said in an interview with Ozaukee Press.
    “When they picked me (for the council), I thought, they put the fox in the chicken coop,” he said. “I was against it.”
    But he learned that the council “actually drove the ship,” Kroll said.
    “After a year or so, I realized the things we wanted as a group were actually happening,” he said. “I said to them, prove it. Prove you’re going to do the things you said you were. They did.”
    It benefits the sanctuary to have opponents involved, Kroll added, because they bring up concerns that might not otherwise be addressed.
    “Their environmental concerns should be duly noted and addressed,” he said. “But this is about maritime history and shipwrecks.”
    When the Alpena sanctuary was proposed, Kroll said, the process was different than it is today. It was a top-down process, he said, with officials from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration seemingly telling the local residents what they were going to do.
    Now, he said, NOAA officials get input from the community first.
    “You’re going to come up with a management plan that does what people want it to do,” Kroll said.
    He added he doesn’t think the area should be called a sanctuary.
     “I consider sanctuary to be an unfair word,” Kroll added. “It implies ‘keep out.’ In reality, this is managing something for the best use of everyone.”
    Although opponents of the sanctuary fear state and local communities will be giving up their rights to control the lakefront and the lake and property owners will find their riparian rights diminished if not eliminated, that’s not the case, Kroll said.
    “The sanctuary is going to stop at the water’s edge,” he said. “This is about shipwrecks.”
    It doesn’t mean that beachcombers won’t be able to collect driftwood or beach glass, he added, addressing another concern expressed by opponents.
    People will be able to dive on the wrecks, Kroll said, adding that the resources brought to the area by NOAA make it likely that additional shipwrecks will be found within the sanctuary borders.
    Educational outreach is a priority, he added, noting the sanctuary staff has developed a curriculum for students from fourth grade through college.
    “The sanctuary is able to bring the maritime history to everyone,” he said, not just divers.
    The Thunder Bay Sanctuary has 10 to 15 employees, as well as a friends group and 300 volunteers who give 8,000 hours a year to the sanctuary.
    The sanctuary in Alpena has been a boon to the area, he said, something opponents have said isn’t likely to occur.
    The Thunder Bay Sanctuary draws about 100,000 visitors annually, Kroll said, many of whom stay in the area for several days, spending money at local businesses, restaurants and hotels.
    And the visitor’s center is a LEED-certified facility in a converted paper mill, he noted, adding that since NOAA leases the building, it remains on the tax rolls.
    “Alpena is not the city it used to be,” Kroll said, noting another new hotel has opened on the waterfront. The downtown is more vibrant, and the entire area is finding new life.
    Officials in Alpena are willing to share what they have learned with the proposed Wisconsin sanctuary, Kroll added.
    “We’re as excited as you to have another sanctuary in the Great Lakes,” he said. Daily Press

 
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