News

Wed
23
May

Oconto County remembers its fallen veterans


The Oconto Falls High School marching band steps lively down Maple Avenue during the 2017 Memorial Day parade. (Times Herald file photo)

The owner of Peterson Ford and his wife have been selected as grand marshals of the Oconto Falls Memorial Day parade.

Donald “Toby” and Shirley Peterson will be riding in style near the head of the parade, which launches at 12:30 p.m. Monday from the staging area on Sherman Street.

Oconto Falls’ four-day Memorial Day Weekend Celebration will be the centerpiece of local observations, but communities across Oconto County are preparing to honor America’s fallen heroes in solemn ceremonies Monday morning.

Memorial Day – originally known as Decoration Day – stems from the longstanding tradition of decorating soldiers’ graves with flowers. But it gained momentum as a national holiday beginning in 1868, when Gen. John A. Logan, commander of the veterans group Grand Army of the Republic after the U.S. Civil War, issued a proclamation calling for Decoration Day to be observed every year nationwide.

Wed
23
May

Birds roost at school


Katie Needles, one of REGI’s raptor educators, holds up Fonzie, a horned owl, to show students at Gillett Elementary School on May 7. (Photo by Willow Pecha)

Children at Gillett Elementary School might have previously seen hawks and other birds of prey from afar, but they got the chance to see the birds close up May 7.

Raptor Education Group Inc. visited students in the third through sixth grades to educate them about the birds — emphasizing why it’s important to leave them alone in the wild, and why they would not make good pets. REGI’s presentation was made possible by the Mason Woods Lodge in Cecil.

“We want to teach the kids, and the best way to do that is to show them what the birds are and how they survive,” said Carl Loving, who coordinated the school visits on the lodge’s behalf. “I think the kids learned a lot. They were very attentive.”

This was the first time the Masons had invited representatives from REGI, based in Antigo, to the area schools, and Loving hopes to expand the visits in the future. Earlier in the day, REGI also presented at Bonduel Elementary School.

Wed
23
May

Gillett school officials review survey results

More than two-thirds of the taxpayers and parents who responded to a recent survey say they are satisfied or very satisfied with the Gillett School District.

Results of the survey conducted by School Perceptions, a Slinger-based research and consulting firm, were reviewed by the school board May 17.

“We asked some tough questions,” Superintendent Todd Carlson said. “The answers will drive our school district for years to come.”

The survey was sent out in April to the entire school district, and 396 people responded, or about 21 percent. Carlson said School Perceptions usually gets back about 16 percent of surveys, so the response rate is considered fairly high.

Wed
23
May

School board considers land purchase

The Oconto Falls School Board continues to explore a parcel of land that is going up for sale near the high school and elementary school as a possible site for a future middle school.

Superintendent Dean Hess told the board at its May 14 meeting that the property is across County Road I from the high school and elementary school complex.

“Recently, I was contacted by counsel for the Gauthier family to let me know that they would be working with a third-party representative and also a Realtor to offer that land, make it available, and the school district would be one of the parties that they would be contacting specifically for that potential purchase,” Hess said.

The board first learned about the property’s availability a few months ago. Although a decision is at least five years away, the aging Washington Middle School will need to be extensively renovated or replaced, and the proximity to the existing schools makes the property attractive for a new school.

Wed
16
May

Pickleball gets a boost


Alice Emerick, foreground, prepares to return a volley Sunday in a game of pickleball at Pleasantview Park in Oconto Falls. Looking on are her playing partner, Dennis O’Neill, and opponents Kristy Knutson and her husband, Mark Emerick. (Times Herald photo by Warren Bluhm)

Mark and Alice Emerick arrived at Pleasantview Park in Oconto Falls at 3:45 p.m. Sunday; it was their turn to set up the pickleball nets for the 4 o’clock crowd.

Asked whether anyone would come out to play on Mother’s Day, Mark Emerick chuckled.

“Some of the people you’re about to meet would come play on Christmas morning if they had a chance,” he said.

Sure enough, within a half-hour about a dozen people were taking turns on the converted basketball court playing pickleball — a paddle sport, played with a plastic ball resembling a wiffle ball, that combines elements of tennis, ping pong and volleyball.

The Oconto Falls City Council last week gave its blessings to a plan to use private dollars to refinish the court, which has its share of nicks and cracks, with three permanent pickleball courts painted into the new surface.

The basketball nets would remain in place, and the fenced-in area could be used as a basketball court anytime.

Wed
16
May

Wolf River Media completes restructuring

With a renewed focused on community affairs and local journalism, Wolf River Media LLC, the parent organization of the Oconto County Times Herald, Super Shopper and octimesherald.com, will now operate as NEW Media Inc.

This announcement marks the completion of a capital restructuring, which included Wolf River Media’s exit from the commercial print business and divestiture of its real estate holdings to focus exclusively on its newspaper, shopper and website businesses.

NEW Media Inc. is based in Shawano and located at 1464 E. Green Bay St. on the city’s east side. NEW Media also operates and manages the Wittenberg Enterprise & Birnamwood News, Your Community Shopper and The Shawano Leader, along with their respective websites.

Wed
16
May

Red geraniums needed for Falls memorial stone

Members of the American Legion Auxiliary Eick-Sankey Unit 302 plan to plant red geraniums around the memorial stone starting at 1 p.m. May 24 at the Oconto Falls Woodlawn Cemetery; rain date is Friday, May 25.

Anyone wishing to donate geraniums to honor or memorialize a loved one may bring them to 199 Highland Drive, Oconto Falls, no later than May 23. They can also be brought to the cemetery that Thursday. Include a note saying who is donating the geranium and who is being honored or memorialized. Please make sure they are red, as this makes for a more uniform and beautiful effect around the stone.

Red geraniums may be purchased from the Oconto Falls High School greenhouse to help the horticulture and agriculture class fundraiser. Sale hours are 3-7 p.m. Wednesdays and Thursdays, 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Fridays and 8 a.m. to noon Saturdays through May 24.

Wed
16
May

Oconto Falls police sergeant retires to part-time


Oconto Falls Police Sgt. Corey Rank, second from left, is congratulated for his service to the city by Mayor Brad Rice, left, City Administrator Vicki Roberts and Police Chief Brad Olsen. (Times Herald photo by Warren Bluhm)

The Oconto Falls City Council and City Administrator Vicki Roberts paid tribute to police Sgt. Corey Rank at their May 8 meeting.

Rank, who has been a member of the Oconto Falls Police Department for 23 of his 25 years in law enforcement, is retiring from full-time employment.

“Your passion for this community is outstanding,” Roberts told him. “Your ingenuity and dedication to the city of Oconto Falls speak volumes, and I thank you for that.”

Roberts said she is pleased that Rank plans to remain on the force as a part-time officer.

Police Chief Brad Olsen said part-time Officer Garrett Baeten has been offered the full-time position and will start full time May 30.

The city’s Personnel Committee will meet before the regular June 12 meeting to discuss promoting one of the department’s full-timers to the vacant sergeant position.

Wed
16
May

Girl Scout proposes dog park in Oconto Falls

An Oconto Falls Girl Scout appeared before the city council on May 8 seeking approval to build a dog park for her Gold Award project.

Emily Gonnering, a junior at Oconto Falls High School and a member of Troop 4312, has been scouting for 10 years and has already earned Bronze and Silver awards.

“The Gold Award is the highest achievement a Girl Scout can earn,” she told the council. “A few requirements for the project include that it benefits the community, and it is sustainable. I will fulfill these requirements by strategically placing this dog park in town so it is readily available for those of the city.”

The idea is to have a fenced-in area for dogs to run off-leash, not unlike similar parks in area communities like De Pere, Bellevue and Howard.

Wed
16
May

Tourism spending up, report indicates

Tourism spending in Oconto County rose by nearly 4 percent in 2017, according to statistics released Friday by the state Department of Tourism.

Visitors spent $87.1 million in the county in 2017, up from $83.9 million in 2016. The report also shows $122.2 million in total business sales related to tourism, a 3.58 percent increase from $117.9 million the year before.

Tourism-related businesses employed 903 people in 2017, up from 886 in 2016 — an increase just below 2 percent.

Statewide, tourism spending reached $20.6 billion in 2017, a $631 million boost from $20 billion in 2016. The report was released to kick off National Travel and Tourism Week, which runs May 6-12.

“Wisconsin’s travel and hospitality industry is booming,” said Gov. Scott Walker in a news release accompanying the report. “Our tourism industry continues to be crucial to our state and is consistently a top-performing sector of our economy.”

Pages

Subscribe to RSS - News