Community

Wed
22
Jan

Robotics challenge draws budding engineers to test their skills at OFHS


Photo by Mark Mortell

Graham Welch, right, makes a point to his team members Saturday at the Northeast Wisconsin VEX Robotics Challenge held at Oconto Falls High School. Welch is a member of Team Green, of the Oconto County 4-H Robotics Project. With him are team members Jacob Delzer, left, and Jake Selhausen. The team competed against a robotics team from Kingsford Mich., left, during the day-long tournament.

Amid the pumping rhythms of “We Are the Champions,” students dressed in team T-shirts hovered over boxy robots fitted with wheels, intake mechanisms and lifts, while referees kept score Saturday at Oconto Falls High School.

Thirty-five teams from three states, representing 15 schools and organizations, participated in the Northeast Wisconsin VEX Robotics Challenge held in the high school gym. For the first time, the competition was held in Oconto Falls, hosted by Oconto County’s Team Green 4-H robotics project.

Teams were given a challenge — tasks for their robots to complete — and competed against other teams. Each team had several months to study the challenge, build prototypes and perfect its unique robot to perform the tasks.

Wed
22
Jan

Drama tells story of death-row puzzle


Contributed Photo

From left, Kathy Campshure, Marly Thomson, Denise Kallies, Russ Johnson and David Woosencraft rehearse for “High Ground,” to be performed from Feb. 7-9 and 14-16 by the Machickanee Players.

It was a dark and stormy night. This is the setting for the latest Machickanee Players production, “High Ground,” written by Charlotte Hastings.

The town’s dam has broken, and everyone comes to the high ground where the convent/hospital is located, even a convicted murderer, Sarat Carn, on her way to her execution. Sister Mary believes Carn is wrongly convicted and does all she can to help her avoid the executioner. Will Sister Mary be successful in her quest?

All productions will take place at the Park Avenue Playhouse, 408 Park Ave., Oconto.

Dinner shows will be performed at 7 p.m. Feb. 7, 8 and 15 at a cost of $25 per person. A dessert show will be performed at 7 p.m. Feb. 14 at a cost of $17 per person. Both require a prepaid reservation.

Matinee shows will be performed at 2 p.m. Feb. 9 and 16. The cost is $12 in advance or $15 at the door.

Wed
22
Jan

Wenzel chosen as outstanding student


Contributed Photo

John Wenzel, a senior at Lena High School, holds the Student of the Month certificate he received from the Lena Lions Club. Tedd Nadler, club president, left, presented the award. John is the son of Clint Wenzel, right, and the late Dana Wenzel.

The Lena Lions Club honored John Wenzel as the Student of the Month for January. He is the son of the late Dana Wenzel and Clint Wenzel, of rural Coleman.

Tedd Nadler, president of the Lena Lions Club, presented the senior with a certificate and a leatherette clipboard. The award was based on John’s academic record and extra-curricular activities.

John participates in forensics, National Honor Society, the High Q team, Academic Bowl and band. He enjoys outdoor activities, including hunting and fishing. He also likes to build models and read.

His community activities include participating in the National Night Out, Salvation Army bell ringing, Red Cross blood drives, Lena Dairyfest and highway cleanup.

After graduation, he plans to attend the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point to attain a degree in geo science. His goal is to work for a mining company.

Wed
22
Jan

Theatre on the Bay announces auditions

University of Wisconsin-Marinette’s Theatre on the Bay will hold auditions for “Crimes of the Heart” by Beth Henley, to be directed by Rebecca Stone-Thornberry.

There are roles for four women (anyone who can play early 20s to mid-40s considered) and two men (seeking actors who can play 30s to mid-40s). Age ranges are flexible.

A copy of the play is on reserve in the UW-Marinette library.

All interested actors are encouraged to audition. Those auditioning do not have to be UW students, nor do they need to have any experience with theater or acting. UW students may receive one to three course credits for acting in or providing technical or management assistance for the production.

Those interested in working on any aspect of the production, speaking to the director or seeking more information are invited to an informational meeting from 4-5:15 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 29, in Room T-139 in the Fine Arts building.

Wed
15
Jan

Two times the blessings


Photo by Ryan Spaude

Twin brothers the Rev. Joel, left, and Benjamin Sember serve four congregations in Oconto County and one in Forest County. They are shown at St. Anthony’s Catholic Church in Oconto Falls.

A career in ministry begins as a personal calling for most people. For the Rev. Benjamin and Joel Sember though, it was also a family affair.

The twin brothers, who are both ordained priests in the Roman Catholic Church, serve four churches in Oconto County and one in Forest County. Joel has led three parishes since September 2010. Benjamin relocated to the area in July to oversee two parishes.

“It was a semi-coincidence,” Benjamin said. “The diocese thought it would be good for us to be in the same general area.”

Joel serves as the pastor of St. Anthony in Oconto Falls, St. Patrick in Stiles, and Holy Trinity in Oconto. Benjamin leads the parish of St. Mary’s of the Lake in Lakewood, as well as St. Ambrose in Wabeno.

Wed
15
Jan

Family programs help curb risky behavior

Programs aimed at reducing underage alcohol and drug use typically focus on young people themselves. But positive parenting and strong relationships between parents and youth are more effective at steering teens away from risky behaviors, research shows.

“Many prevention programs focus on youth only, and most have small effects,” said Karen Bogenschneider, University of Wisconsin-Extension family policy specialist and professor of human ecology at UW-Madison. “Programs that change family dynamics proved nine times more effective than approaches that focus on individual youth.”

According to Donna Doll-Yogerst, UW-Extension family living agent, one effort that has shown positive results in Oconto County is the Strengthening Families Program 10 to 14. UW-Extension trains local family professionals to conduct the program.

Wed
15
Jan

Huberty recognized by Lena Lions


Contributed Photo

Cole Huberty, son of Kristan and Michael Huberty, is recognized by Tedd Nadler, president of the Lena Lions, left, as the Lions Student of the Month.

The Lena Lions Club honored Cole Huberty, son of Kristan and Michael Huberty, of rural Lena, as the Lions Student of the Month.

Cole is a senior at Lena High School and was nominated based on his academic record and school activities. He is a member of the golf team, L-Club and FFA. His hobbies are snowmobiling, fishing, hunting, four-wheeling and trap shooting. His community activities include Salvation Army bell ringing and helping to mark snowmobile club trails.

Cole has worked at Lena Area Builders and Nick Holtger Construction.

After graduation, Cole plans to attend Northeast Wisconsin Technical College to earn a degree in industrial mechanics.

Wed
15
Jan

Local kennel fares well in national contest


Contributed Photo

Nikkie Kinziger of Ri Lee Kennels and her dogs won several awards at the Tibetan Terrier Nationals in Greensboro, N.C.

Owner and operator Nikkie Kinziger of Ri Lee Kennels, Oconto Falls, won top honors recently at the Tibetan Terrier Nationals in Greensboro, N.C. Dogs from all over the world competed in the weeklong competition.

Kinziger’s entries brought home awards in several categories and included a new champion. Ri Lee Tibetan Terriers was awarded top honors in the Breeder’s Class for the seventh time in eight years — more than any other kennel in the country.

Kinziger said she was honored to be a repeat winner in the category, as it shows the consistency in her breeding program.

Home to the top-winning female in breed history, Ri Lee Kennels is known worldwide for its dogs and their winning records.

For information regarding Ri Lee Kennels’ boarding, grooming and handling for all breeds, visit www.rileekennels.com.

Wed
15
Jan

Library hosts backyard fruit production series

The Oconto Falls Community Library and Oconto and Marinette County University of Wisconsin-Extension will offer a series of sessions designed to help backyard fruit growers. The discussion will be led by Scott Reuss, UW-Extension horticulture agent.

Raspberries and blackberries will be discussed on Jan. 22, apples and pears on Jan. 29, grapes and blueberries on Feb. 12, and strawberries and stone fruits on Feb. 19. Each of the two-hour sessions will begin at 6 p.m. at the Oconto Falls Community Library, 251 N. Main St.

Participants will review cultivar selection, placement and planting issues, pest management and plant management. The discussion will be oriented toward home fruit growers and focus on the key production aspects and steps to allow for efficient management and consistent, high-quality fruit production.

Wed
15
Jan

Improvised musical to be staged at PAC


Contributed Photo

Master improvisers will present “Broadway’s Next H!t Musical” Jan. 31 at the Performing Arts Center.

The Oconto Falls Friends of the Arts will present “Broadway’s Next H!t Musical” at 7 p.m. Friday, Jan. 31, at the Falls Area Performing Arts Center at Oconto Falls High School.

Broadway’s Next H!T Musical is an unscripted theatrical awards show. Master improvisers gather made-up, hit song suggestions from the audience and create a spontaneous evening of music, humor and laughter.

The audience votes for its favorite song and watches as the cast turns it into a full-blown improvised musical, complete with memorable characters, witty dialogue and plot twists.

Tickets may be ordered online at www.ocontofallsfriendsofthearts.com or by calling 920-848-7469. Tickets are $30 per person, which includes a $2 processing fee.

This event is sponsored in part by Community Memorial Hospital and Neva Hodge Lemorande.

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