Community

Wed
28
Sep

Scenic road rally is Saturday

The search begins Saturday for Pinwheel, Hummingbird Haven, Tumbling Blocks and Octagon Burst.

The first ever Oconto County Scenic Road Rally, based on the county barn quilt trail, will take place Saturday, coordinated by the Barn Quilts of Oconto County, New View Industries, Oconto County University of Wisconsin-Extension and Oconto County Economic Development Corporation.

The idea of a rally was conceived by a volunteer in the quilt project at New View Industries, where the gargantuan wooden art pieces are painted. In researching road rallies, organizers found only one other road rally linked to barn quilts in the U.S., quilt project co-coordinator Kay Rankel said.

“We’re trying to highlight the unique things in Oconto County,” she said. “We want to promote tourism and the preservation of barns.”

Wed
28
Sep

Oconto native named top citizen in Tasmania


Photo by Ashleigh Force

Allen Hansen, right, was awarded Citizen of the Year for 2016 at the Smithton, Tasmania, Lions Club’s annual changeover dinner on July 13. With Hansen is his son, Darvin.

Editor’s note: Allen Hansen was born in Oconto and graduated from Lena High School. His siblings are Carol (Ken) Lindow and Gail (Al) Lumby, of Horicon; Kirt (Angie) Hansen and Brian Hansen, of Gillett; Irving Jr. (Carol) and Kevin (Cathy), of Green Bay; Dean (Barb) Hansen, of Shawano; and Vern Hansen, of Kimberly.

The following article was published July 21 in the Circular Head Chronicle, Smithton, Tasmania, and is being reprinted with permission. Some minor edits were made to the story to fit Times Herald style.

Allen Hansen was named the Smithton Lions Club’s Citizen of the Year for 2016 at the annual changeover dinner July 13.

“I’m exhilarated,” Hansen said of the honour. “It came completely out of the blue. I’m so flattered, I can’t express how much.”

Born in Oconto, and of Danish and German decent, Hansen is one of 10 children to Anna (nee Otto) and Irving Hansen.

Wed
28
Sep

Quilt giveaway planned at Taste of Fall

Lena will host its inaugural Taste of Fall, beginning at 9 a.m., Saturday, Oct. 1, as part of the Oconto County Barn Quilt tour.

The main event will be the amateur Barbecue Cook-off and Best Potato Salad Contest hosted by the Wooden Shoe. Over 30 crafters and vendors will display their wares. Dennis Clark, of De Pere, will present a blacksmith demonstration.

The Lena Volunteer Fire Department will serve chicken booyah, and Bergeson Farms will sell fresh produce. Pie and ice cream, caramel apples, deep-fried cheese curds and a pork plate also will be available for purchase.

The following businesses are participating in a quilt raffle: Wooden Shoe, Kugel’s Cheese, McGuire’s Sports Bar and Lena Lanes.

Wed
21
Sep

Author John Maino reflects upon WW II


Photo by Anna Olson

John Maino and World War II veteran Dick Jenkins pose for a photo after Maino’s presentation Sept. 10 in Oconto Falls. Jenkins said he was looking forward to the presentation and a chance to meet Maino, because both men are Michigan natives.

TV and radio personality John Maino combined humor, sports stories and World War II history as he shared excerpts from his three books about World War II veterans from Northeast Wisconsin. The presentation at the Falls Area Performing Arts Center on Sept. 10 drew an audience of about 70 people.

Maino, of Green Bay, said the media never seems to feature the men and women serving our country helping people.

“I was going to carry that torch any time I had the chance to talk to someone,” he said.

Through his interviews, veterans shared their hopes and fears with Maino, which inevitably opened old wounds from the war.

Maino said he sometimes asked himself, “Maybe I shouldn’t be doing this?” But he knew the stories were worth sharing with the future generations.

Wed
21
Sep

Morgan resident shows off flower gardens

Hello Morgan! I always welcome your news story or photo to be included in this column. Please contact me at megan.stranz@gmail.com with your news. I would love to hear from you!

The Northern Gardeners met Aug. 17 for a garden walk at the home of Bernice Birr on Morgan Marsh Road. Quite a crowd gathered for the event, which featured a short business meeting and then socializing while taking in the delights of the garden.

Bernice’s beautiful yard features numerous flower beds, some with a theme, as well as many mature trees. It is immediately obvious that these gardens are tended by someone who truly enjoys flowers. The centerpiece of her backyard is a gazebo.

When asked about her favorite flower, Bernice replied with a smile, “They are all so nice.”

Wed
21
Sep

Name the dragon contest running at GPL

The Gillett Public Library is asking for help in naming a friendly dragon featured in a new mural in the children’s area.

Local artist Diane Wilke and her daughter Dena created the mural, which spans the entire children’s space. The mural includes a castle courtyard scene complete with a dragon, unicorns, a princess in her carriage and a long scroll that reads: “Once upon a time in a land far, far away there lived a beautiful princess and a brave prince.”

The dragon is a big part of the mural. And it needs a name. The library is looking for something original and invites the public to submit ideas.

The person with the winning submission will receive a stained glass kaleidoscope. One entry is allowed per person. The winner will be chosen by library personnel and will be announced at the library’s open house with Mad Dog and Merrill on Oct. 1.

Sponsored by Carmen and Bob Brown, the mural completed in August is the second of three planned by the library.

Wed
21
Sep

Cyclist encounters ‘wonderful people’ on cross-country route


Contributed Photo

The Florida-to-Michigan biking trip of Jeffrey K. Richards included an overnight stop in Lakewood, where he befriended Evie Knoll.

You never know who you might meet.

Evie Knoll was walking through downtown Lakewood recently when she happened upon a man near the Lakewood shelter with his bicycle, iPhone and backpack. He had spent the night in the shelter in his long johns and hammock because the Lakewood motel was full.

The temperature the previous night was down to 58 degrees.

She stopped to chat with him.

His name was Jeffrey K. Richards. He had come from Orlando, Florida. He was 72 days on the road and had put 2,600 miles on his bike. He planned to continue biking up to Copper Harbor, Michigan, before returning home to Orlando by bus.

He was keeping a journal, and she would be included in it. She told him about the candy store, and he planned to stop in and check it out.

They exchanged business cards and he said, “Don’t ever quit walking; it is one of the best things to keep you healthy.”

Wed
21
Sep

Air Force veteran begins ministry at Grace Lutheran


Photo by Anna Olson

The Rev. Gary Olson has answered the call to lead Grace Lutheran Church as pastor. He gave his first sermon at the church on Aug. 14. The Wisconsin native worked as a full-time youth director in Nebraska for two years before arriving in Oconto Falls last month.

A retired Air Force master sergeant has landed in Oconto Falls as the new pastor of Grace Lutheran Church.

Pastor Gary Olson moved to the community with his wife, Barbara, and two daughters, Bethy and Lillian, from Bellevue, Nebraska, where he was a youth director at Thanksgiving Lutheran Church for the past two years.

Olson said he looks forward to meeting and getting to know the people of the congregation and the community.

Olson grew up in New Richmond and attended the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse, where he pursued a degree in music performance. While at La Crosse, he met his wife, who is from De Pere.

Olson then pursued a master’s degree in music at Baylor University in Texas, and he began his ministry as a church choir director at First Lutheran Church in Waco, Texas.

Wed
14
Sep

Hawaiian native shares her state’s story

In commemoration of the introduction of Hawaii as our 50th state on Aug. 21, 1959, Woodlands of Oconto nursing center held a Hawaiian theme day. Hawaiian native Ashley Boldt, an occupational therapist assistant at the facility, shared information ab0ut Hawaiian culture.

Boldt was born on the island of Oahu and moved to the island of Maui when she was 4. Her mother worked for a local school, and her father was a mechanic. She met her husband, Carter, on the island and went to the mainland with him in 2004. She has been employed at Woodlands of Oconto for four years.

Boldt shared the history and general facts about Hawaii, plus pictures and memorabilia from her childhood. She told the group about popular island foods and slang words.

The group enjoyed eating fresh pineapple and drinking Mai Tais.

She closed her presentation with a demonstration of a hula dance. She said girls were required to learn the dance in the fifth grade.

Wed
14
Sep

Quilts presented to veterans

The Quilts for Veterans project gave away 11 quilts at the Oconto County Fair in August, bringing the total number of quilts presented over six years to 75. This coincidentally matched the 75th anniversary of the fair this year.

Winners of quilts were Jean Young, Don Rooney, Rodney Grenke, Randy Resch, Al Runge, Bob Herman, Ken Bohl, Wayne Kruschke, Keith Druckrey, Penny Nicholas and Allyn Christensen. A twelfth quilt has not been awarded yet.

Residents of Oconto County who are veterans were eligible to register to win a quilt created by Oconto County quilters and exhibited at the fair.

For information about the Quilts for Veterans project, call Donna Bubolz at 920-604-3396.

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