A Look Back at Some of the Marquette County Tribune Headlines in 2021


Marquette County officials take oaths on January 4th to begin new terms of office

Marquette County government welcomed four officials to new terms of office beginning Monday, January 4, 201.

Register of Deeds Bette Krueger was re-elected in November to continue her position in Marquette County.

New to the county officials list were County Treasurer Jody Myers and County Clerk Kiley Lloyd. Myers replaces Diana Campbell, longtime treasurer who has retired.

Lloyd replaces another longtime official, Gary Sorensen. While retiring as County Clerk, Sorensen will continue for now in his other role as Administrative Coordinator for Marquette County.

Also beginning a term in office is District Attorney Brian Juech, who was elected in November after being appointed in 2019 to replace Hendee as DA when he was elected Circuit Judge.

Vaccine rollout continues in the area

Local health officials continue to follow the government’s phased vaccine distribution guidelines by vaccinating those at greatest risk, including healthcare personnel and long-term care residents. Due to limited supply, the COVID-19 vaccine will not be widely available for some time. Local health officials continue to follow the government’s phased vaccine distribution guidelines by vaccinating those at greatest risk, including healthcare personnel and long-term care residents. Due to limited supply, the COVID-19 vaccine will not be widely available for some time.

Fire breaks out at Town of Harris home

On January 14, 2021 at 4:49AM the Marquette County Sheriff’s Office received an emergency 911 call reporting a structure fire at W5723 Elk Ave. in the Town of Harris Marquette County Wisconsin. The homeowner and an infant were inside the house at the time of the fire and were able to escape without any injuries.

Village Fire Department officers are honored

On January 12th, the Westfield Village Board had their regular January meeting and honored former Chief Paul Parker and former Secretary/Treasurer Larry Manzetti for their many years of service to the Village. Chief Parker has had 27 dedicated years as the Village of Westfield Fire Chief from 1994-2021. He has been with the department since 1983 and has plans to continue as an active member. Larry served 40 years as the Secretary / Treasurer from 1981-2021. Larry started with the fire department in 1975. The fire department thanked both men for their dedication earlier this month when the retirements were announced.

At the Village Board meeting, incoming Chief Jason Stauffacher and incoming Secretary/Treasurer Jason Hockerman were also sworn in by Village President Cathy Rohner.

County Board sets plans for new County Administrator position

The Marquette County Board of Supervisors met on January 19 to approve several resolutions, including one to create a new County Administrator position, replacing the current Administrative Coordinator upon his retirement. The resolution, which passed on a 12-5 vote, calls for a full-time administrator to be hired in a process that will be led by a contracted consultant. In the past few months, the supervisors have had meetings to educate them on the differences between the two administrative position choices. The supervisors learned that there is little difference between the average salaries of an administrator vs. an administrative coordinator but they vary in authority and powers. The resolution calls for up to six candidates to be presented to the Executive & Finance Committee, which will then pick up to three finalists to present to the County Board for final selection.




Westfield team advances 5 wrestlers to Sectional competition

Following great performances at the regional competition in late January, leading the Pioneers to sectionals will be Regional Champs Darren Leibsle at 182 lbs. with a 14-0 record and Mason Peters at 285 lbs. with an 11-0 record. Following the two seniors will be junior Lucas Knoch at 170 lbs., Junior Hayden Hockerman at 138 lbs. and freshman Holden Hockerman at 145 lbs. 

The five Pioneers will be traveling to Dodgeland for sectionals.

Darren Leibsle advances to State Wrestling Tournament!

The Westfield Pioneer wrestling team took five to individual Sectionals at Dodgeland. Darren Leibsle went right to work winning his first match of the day and never looked back. He only gave up one point on the day and finished as the 182 lb. Sectional champion. He is heading into the State tournament undefeated with a record of 17-0. Mason Peters at 285 lbs. lost his first match on the day and wrestled back to take 3rd place but never got a chance for a wrestleback match for second place.

Westfield Varsity Ladies boast double celebration against Mauston

The Westfield varsity ladies’ win over Mauston on February 2nd was an occasion for a double celebration. Not only did senior Lexi Brakebush record her 1000th career point, but the team also earned a guaranteed share of the top spot for the season in the South Central Conference!

Westfield Ladies earn Regional Champs title

The Westfield Varsity Ladies continued celebrating title achievements in early February when they added D3 Regional Champions to their resumé, defeating Adams-Friendship 61-36 on Saturday night, Feb. 13th. The Lady Pioneers earned a bye in the first round after winning a share of the South Central Conference crown, then advanced to Saturday after Friday’s scheduled game against Omro was forfeited. Westfield now advances to Sectional rounds, beginning with a game at Bonduel on Thursday, February 18th.

Leibsle finishes wrestling career with 3 titles

Darren Leibsle competed in the WIAA State Wrestling Tournament. He wrestled very well against the top kids in the state at 182 lbs. Darren was eliminated in the second round of the tournament, however. He finished the season with a 17-2 record. Along the way to the state tournament he picked up quite a bit hardware - South Central Conference Champ, Regional Champ, and Sectional Champ!

Lady Pioneers win D3 Sectional Title, earn a trip to State Basketball Tournament!

In one of Westfield’s toughest battles this season, the third-seeded varsity ladies pulled off a 58-55 win in the final round of Sectionals on Saturday, February 20th, to gain the D3 Sectional crown, along with a ticket to the State WIAA Basketball Tournament on Saturday, February 27th, in Oshkosh. basketball program’s first entry into the state tournament – only the second Westfield team to make a state contest along with the girls softball team in 2018. This is the 3rd regional win for girls basketball and the first sectional crown. The South-Central Conference co-crown was the first since 2011. In honor of their trip to the tournament, being held Friday, February 26th, at the Menominee Nation Arena in Oshkosh, the district closed its schools on that day, encouraging fans to come to the game or tune in to watch a broadcast of the game.



Westfield girls finish exciting year with trip to D3 State Tournament

The Lady Pioneer entered the WIAA Division 3 semifinals at the Menomonee Nation Arena in Oshkosh Friday, Feb. 27th, to face the 22-0 Aquinas team from La Crosse. Preparedness and optimism were certainly present for the Westfield team but a win was not to be, as they ended the round losing 45-69, advancing Aquinas to the finals where they were outmatched by Lake Mills.

The team issued a giant list of thank yous to everyone from the school and coaching staff, to the community supporters, families and teammates who all helped to make it happen. It finishes with the positive note, “We cannot wait for another season of excitement and success to represent our wonderful town next year.”

Leading up to the big day, the girls were treated to a ride around town atop a Westfield fire truck, each with a bouquet of flowers, finishing at the high school for a virtual pep rally and more gifts while placing a “2021” on their big girls basketball banner under the “Regional Champions” section.

They were the focus of a parade of sorts on Friday morning, receiving a police car and multiple fire truck escort, complete with all the bells and whistles plus fans cheering them on from the sidewalks, on their way out of Westfield heading to Oshkosh, where the state tournament took place.

Grandstand demolition is underway

Demolition of the historic Marquette County Fairgrounds grandstand was underway the second week of March. A successful bidder from the WI Surplus Auction was contracted to remove some of the materials. County  maintenance crews are assisting with removal of some items as well. In January, the County Property Committee voted to remove the structure after an engineering study showed the aging grandstand does not meet commercial building codes. The newer metal bleachers can still be used, but will be removed for the time being as the site is studied to determine how the County wants to replace with structure.

Health Department issues COVID-19 vaccine announcements and updates

Marquette County Health Department, and community partners Bentley’s Pharmacy in Montello and Gundersen Moundview Healthcare System, are making great progress in getting Marquette County residents vaccinated. As of March 15th, there are 3,546 residents that have had at least one dose of their COVID-19 vaccine, and 2,237 Marquette County residents that have completed their COVID-19 vaccine series. The Health Department was continuing to have weekly first dose clinics on Wednesdays by appointment. These clinics are only for those that are currently in eligible groups per the state guidelines. 

Youth Education Committee names Paige Lietz winner in state Speaking Contest

The Wisconsin Land and Water Conservation Association (WI Land+Water) hosted its 68th Annual Conservation Conference virtually on March 2-5, 2021.  The youth speeches are always the highlight of the conference and usually kick off the WI Land+Water conference. This year, with a virtual conference, the Youth Education Committee hosted its 64th Annual Conservation Awareness Poster and Speaking Contest and first virtual competition. Paige Lietz, a student at Westfield Area High School, was named the 1st Place Winner in the Senior Division with her speech, “Not So Boring News?” which highlighted the negative impact the Emerald Ash Borer has had on most of the Ash trees in our state.

Marquette County Board of Supervisors discusses American Rescue Plan funds

The Marquette County Board of Supervisors met on Tuesday, March 16th, where they discussed potential ways of using stimulus funds that are expected to arrive shortly. Administrative Coordinator Gary Sorensen gave the board an update on the American Rescue Plan Act. The Marquette County allocation is $3,020,000 and the allocation for Marquette County municipalities is $1,500,000. This amount was determined by population, and local governments can use the funds to cover costs incurred until December of 2024. Sorensen asked the board to think about how the money can benefit the county in both the short term and long term. The major example he gave was building out the county broadband infrastructure, which was one example the bill strongly suggested. He thought that investing in broadband infrastructure for the county would help citizens be able to have faster internet speeds and would potentially attract younger families and business to the county.



City light poles get fresh new banners

Montello’s downtown district got a Spring refresh this week, as new light pole banners went up. The banner design was selected with the input of the new Downtown Revitalization Committee and give a fresh welcome to our visitors. The banners say: Montello/A Destination For Generations and depict the waterfalls.

Phoenix return to the football field for Spring season

The Montello/Princeton/Green Lake Phoenix returned to the game of football in March for the alternate Spring season after the regular Fall season didn’t happen. The Phoenix got ready for fall with practices and even got in one scrimmage before COVID-19 caused some issues and cancelled the remainder of the season for them.

The team returned for the alternate Spring season, squeezed in-between the regular winter and spring seasons and running from the last week of March to the end of April. The Phoenix are scheduled for six games including last Friday’s contest with New Glarus/Monticello that was played at Princeton. The Phoenix lost that game, 6-47.

Spring Elections

Montello School District voters elected Steve Barganz, Danielle Pierce and Chuck Harsh to 3-year terms of office, finishing in the top 3 of 6 candidates. In the Westfield School District, Mark McCartney and Dennis Fenner were re-elected with no competition.

Endeavor elected Steve Biba as Village President and Kevin Boodry and Lori Sayles as Trustees. Butch Meyer won the Village President seat in Oxford, as did three incumbent Trustees. Westfield’s incumbent Trustees, Mark Borud, Nancy Nelson and William Laughlin, were also re-elected. Results in the City of Montello were: Ward 1 – Lucas Stelter, Ward 2 - Venise Mugler, Ward 3 – Ken Streich, Ward 4 – Dennis Schrimpf.

Former DA receives award

Richard Dufour, former Marquette County District Attorney and more recently an Assistant Attorney General for the Department of Justice, was bestowed a Distinguished Service Award in mid-April in a surprise ceremony held at the Marquette County Sheriff’s Department. The award was presented by the Wisconsin Association of Homicide Investigators, celebrating Dufour’s long career as a prosecutor. Numerous colleagues were in attendance to congratulate Dufour, a Montello resident, on his accomplishments.

Montello District Administrator announces move

Dr. Marggie Banker, who has held the position of Montello School District Administrator for the past four years, announced her resignation to the school board at an April 22nd meeting, effective with the end of the fiscal year in June. Banker will go on to head the Cambridge School District as the Montello School Board discusses next steps in finding her replacement here.

Fish N Fun Festival returns to Montello for 2021

It’s almost here! The Montello Area Chamber of Commerce is bringing the Fish N Fun Festival back to Montello after taking a year off due to the pandemic. The fun began on Friday, April 30th and ran through Sunday, May 2nd. Food trucks, refreshments and live music took over West Street downtown, while the carnival and other attractions were located at City Park. Located halfway between these two locations were the crafter, vendor, and flea market area on Park Street and Doty Street. There were also activities sponsored by Muirland Birding Club and American Legion Post 351.



Montello High School hosts Junior/Senior Prom

The 2021 Prom combined both this year’s Junior class and last year’s Juniors - now Seniors - who missed out on their 2020 plans due to the pandemic. The Grand March was held outdoors at the high school, while the dance, with limited attendance and masks, was held in the gym on Saturday afternoon May 1st.

Montello Junior Prom Court: Alex Royce, Paris Roberts, Cole Steege, Haylie Crandall, Nathan Barganz, Taylor Emmons, John Wagner, Brianna Czarnecki, Autumn Loveland, Stephen Penland, Landen Tollefson, Courtney Gardner, Ivan Goldsmith, Nellie Kendall, Tiffany Klapper, Caleb Postler, Aleisha Fluker, Joel Eaches, Prince Landon McGwin, Princess Evelyn Peyton.

Montello Senior Prom Court: Emily Baker, Payton Hickman, Stephanie Anderson, Kaleb Jones, Kaylee Fischer, Mark Baker, Emmersyn Urbaniak, Damyeon Ellsion, Abby Bond, Nate Postler, Jaden Richards, Casey Hall, Alexandria Tuinstra, Worren Schehr, Faye Hawley, Garret Isberner, Kylie Kearns, Owen Urbaniak, Prince Brantley Postler, Princess Teal Laitinen.

Westfield holds Junior/Senior Prom

This year’s Westfield Area High School Prom included courts for both the Junior and Senior classes, since the pandemic cancelled Prom for 2020. The coronations and dance were held at a pavilion in the Pioneer Memorial Park in Westfield on a beautiful, warm evening on Saturday, May 1st. 

Westfield Junior Prom Court: Cole Barton, Kimmy Sengbusch, Brandon Steinberg, Emily Bittelman, Hunter Goodwin, Trista Drew, Jesse Ramsey, Lizzie Wahl, Jack Marotz, Braylee Wolff.

Westfield Senior Prom Court: Hunter Schehr, MacKenzie Frank, Carter Stauffacher, Mitchell McGrath, Paige Lietz, Trevor Gray, Morgan Vetrone, Lucas Thompson

Historic quarry property donated to City of Montello

The City of Montello was the recipient of a generous donation this week from the Daggett Charitable Trust. The donation includes 7.7 acres of property on the site of the historic granite quarry downtown, as well as a large cash contribution for future upkeep and repair of the waterfall pumps. This land now connects Daggett Memorial Park on Montello Street with the grassy area north of the waterfalls along Park Street. The original Daggett Memorial Park and waterfalls were designed, built, and gifted to the city by the late Irv and Alyce Daggett over 20 years ago. Two small parcels containing the replica church and the nativity scene remain owned by the Daggett Charitable Trust.

Wildland fire burns 100 acres of marsh east of Montello


On Monday, May 17, 2021 at 9:57AM, the Marquette County Sheriff’s Office received a 911 call reporting a wildland fire off CTH C in Montello Township, Marquette County Wisconsin. Montello Fire Department, Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources and Sheriff’s Deputies were dispatched. The Sheriff’s Office drone was used to scout ahead of the fire to see if it was going to jump an irrigation ditch and continue spreading.  Approximately 100 acres of marsh burned. The drone assisted with assessing the size of fire and resources needed.

Westfield Class of 2021 graduates on May 23rd

Commencement exercises for the Westfield Area High School Class of 2021 took place Sunday, May 23rd, starting at 1:00 p.m. This year’s ceremony was held in the high school gym, with limited attendance due to COVID. It was not be open to the general public but each graduate is received 4 tickets for their guests and masks were required.

This year’s valedictorian is Jameson Abbott and the class salutatorian is Alexa Brakebush. Honor graduates include: Caitlin Albright, Trevor Gray, Weston Hoffa, Paige Lietz, Connor Robinson, Carter Stauffacher, Kaylee Stevens, Lucas Thompson and Evan Wolzen. Class Officers for the seniors are President Morgan Vetrone, Vice President Carter Stauffacher, Secretary Hunter Schehr and Treasurer Paige Lietz.

Montello Class of 2021 graduates on May 29th

The Senior Class at Montello High School took part in commencement exercises on Saturday, May 29th. The ceremony took place outdoors on the athletic field, beginning at 2:00 p.m. Graduation was livestreamed on the District’s Twitch channel. The Class of 2021 is led by valedictorian Abigail Bond and salutatorian Jaden Richards.

High Honors students include: Stephanie Anderson, Abigail Bond, Michaela Bush, Kylie Kearns, Isabel Krueger, Jaden Richards, and Emmersyn Urbaniak.

Honors students are Emily Baker, Faye Hawley, Bridget Hutchinson, Reiley Lange, Nathaniel Postler, Warren Schehr, Dillan Schwochert, Noah Slaughter, Tia Teichmiller, and Owen Urbaniak. Class officers are President – Jaden Richards, Vice President – Nathaniel Postler, Secretary – Abigail Bond, and Student Council Representatives are Emmersyn Urbaniak and Damyeon Ellison.

High Marq Charter School graduates 6 seniors June 5th

The Class of 2021 at High Marq Environmental Charter School took part in graduation exercises on Saturday, June 5th, beginning at 10:00 a.m. The ceremony took place next to the Forest Lane Elementary School Garden. This year’s graduates include: Kenneth Burckhardt, Jarrett Foster, Kendall Hering, Nicholas Jeisy, Emily “Syd” Ritz and Jay Schwartz. Congratulations to the Class of 2021!

Halie Maier of Endeavor is named 2021 Marquette County Fairest of the Fair

Maier, 20, the daughter of Susie and Kevin Maier of Endeavor, is our 2021 Marquette County Fairest of the Fair. She attends UW-Platteville pursuing degrees in animal science and agribusiness. She is the treasurer for Sigma Alpha (a professional agricultural sorority) and treasurer for Rotaract (campus community service organization). Maier is also a UW-Platteville Ag Ambassador.  Maier graduated from Portage High School, where she served as vice president of the FFA chapter. Maier was crowned by Tori Timme, the 2018 Marquette County Fairest of the Fair.  

Westfield area is of dairy & summer celebrations June 12-13

Lots of popular events are returning to the Westfield area this year, after a year’s absence due to the pandemic.

Dairylicious Day 2021 will be returning to downtown Westfield on Saturday, June 12th, for a day of fun including a parade, live music by Best Practice and lots more! The day features the annual parade, music by Best Practice, food, drink, games and fun!

At 9 a.m. Saturday, the 15th annual Dairylicious Day Run/Walk, sponsored by the Westfield Cross Country Team, took place at Pioneer Memorial Park.

From 1-3 p.m., the Marquette County Historical Society hosted their 40th annual Strawberry Sociable at their museum located at 125 Lawrence Street, on the banks of the millpond.

Topping off the weekend was a June Dairy Month celebration, featuring a grilled cheese meal and ice cream sundae event, held at two local farms. Marquette County Farm Bureau members and volunteers served “So-Fine Grilled Cheese” at So-Fine Bovines farm, W7560 Ember Avenue, Westfield, and a “Sundae” at Slowey Farms, N5339 County Road A, Westfield.

New Marquette Park moves forward in Montello

Marquette Park on the Mont L’eau or Montello River has been progressing, albeit slowly. The project, started in 2019, will soon take shape as a Marquette County Park open to the public with enhanced fishing areas, natural playground and walking trail.  As of June, it’s not ready for visitors, but you’ll soon see more activity taking place there that bodes a bright future for a beautiful park in downtown Montello. Over two years ago, Bette Krueger, Marquette County Register of Deeds and lifelong resident of Montello, took her sister’s advice and began a conversation with Pat Kilbey, County Conservationist and the Parks Committee of the County Board about developing the raggedy piece of property that held so much potential.  Bette’s sister is Jean Metcalf Campion.  After an initial positive response from the Parks Committee, she talked with Bud Daggett, owner of the property who then donated the land to the county after approval of the County Board. A portion of the park is also on DNR property.  The DNR has given approval for the land to be used by Marquette County for the park trail.