News

Wed
19
Jul

Oconto County Sheriff’s Department

July 11

Deputies responded to 36 incidents, including the following:

Criminal Mischief — The Townsend post office reported that someone took a priority mail bag and filled it with feces, leaves and a piece of asphalt, and put it in the collection box. Envelopes and boxes also were dumped all over the lobby.

Fire — Authorities responded to a report of a dump truck on fire on Klaus Lake Road north of Gillett Town Hall Road. Flames were coming from underneath the truck at one point.

Burglary — An ATV was reported stolen sometime between May 1 and July 8 from a residence on Bagley Rapids Road, Mountain.

July 10

Deputies responded to 48 incidents, including the following:

Property Damage — Investigators received a report that a door was kicked in again at the Oconto Gun Club, County Road S, Oconto, and some tools were missing.

July 9

Deputies responded to 48 incidents, including the following:

Wed
19
Jul

Oconto County Circuit Court

July 13

Julie J. Nicklas, 34, Lena, made her initial appearance on two counts of forgery-uttering. Cash bond was set at $1,500, and a preliminary hearing was scheduled for July 19.

An Aug. 15 plea hearing was scheduled for Renee L. Reinboldt, 39, Whitelaw, charged with two counts of possession with intent to deliver narcotics and two counts of possession of narcotic drugs, along with three related misdemeanors, in connection with her Jan. 1 arrest. A $3,500 cash bond has been posted.

A Sept. 1 plea hearing was scheduled for Eric J. Erickson, 52, formerly of Townsend, who is charged with abuse causing bodily harm and theft of movable property in connection with a Feb. 17 incident.

Wed
19
Jul

Bird tests positive for West Nile virus

The Oconto County Health Department on Monday reported that a dead crow found in Oconto County on July 2 has tested positive for West Nile virus. This is the first bird that tested positive for the virus in Oconto County since surveillance for the mosquito-transmitted virus began May 1.

“The positive bird means that residents of Oconto County need to be more vigilant in their personal protective measures to prevent mosquito bites,” said Debbie Konitzer, the county health officer.

West Nile virus is spread to humans through the bite of an infected mosquito. Mosquitoes acquire the virus by feeding on infected birds. Although many mosquito species can carry West Nile virus, these are not the same mosquito species that transmits Zika virus, which has not yet been found in Wisconsin.

Wed
19
Jul

Gillett announces parade float winners

The Gillett Fourth of July Parade Committee has released the judges’ decisions from the 2017 parade, which had the theme “Hail Our American Heritage.”

Cash awards were presented to the top three winners in their respective categories. First place received $100, second $75 and third $50.

Best Use of Theme: Klaus Lake Bar & Grill, first; Underhill Sportsman Club, Gillett Handiworks, Legacy Funeral Chapels, second; NEW Credit Union, third.

Civic/Community: Pat’s Market, first; Gillett Music and Drama Department (“The Addams Family”), second; DAV, third.

Youth: Gillett High School marching band, first; Bridge the Gap for Autism, second; St. John’s Lutheran Church, third.

Wed
19
Jul

Healthy Oconto County AODA workgroup provides update

Bellin Health Oconto Hospital has provided an update on the alcohol and other drug abuse aspect of the Oconto County Community Health Improvement Plan.

In 2015, the community health improvement plan was presented to about 40 health professionals, county partners and others who had responded to an invitation in the county papers. Public health officials in each county in Wisconsin are responsible for assessing health needs of county individuals and developing a plan to meet key health factors needs.

In Oconto County, Bellin Health Oconto Hospital and HSHS St. Clare joined the effort to assess, develop and implement the plan. Using data collected every year by the state, two major health priorities for Oconto County were identified: use, misuse and abuse of alcohol and other drugs, and nutrition and physical activity.

Wed
19
Jul

Oconto Falls eyes possible industrial park land

Members of the Oconto Falls City Council have given Alderman Kevin Rusch the go-ahead to continue “casual conversations” with a property owner who might be willing to sell the city just under 140 acres west-northwest of the industrial park for future expansion.

At the council’s July 11 meeting, Rusch said he had been approached by Eugene Stoll to gauge the city’s interest in the land, and he asked his fellow aldermen if they thought it was worth pursuing.

Mayor Brad Rice admitted he was skeptical.

“There’s no development in the industrial park,” Rice said. “We haven’t had any interest in there as far as major industry.”

Other council members were willing to explore the possibilities.

“I’ll quote my father; he said they don’t make land every day,” Alderman Jay Kostreva said. “We might not see it, but down the road, you know – I can remember driving to Green Bay and there was nothing (between here and there).”

Wed
19
Jul

Highway 22 reopens to traffic


Times Herald Photo by Warren Bluhm

The reconstruction of state Highway 22 included the addition of right-turn lanes at three intersections, including this one at Younger Road.

Traffic began flowing again July 12 along state Highway 22 between Oconto Falls and Stiles Junction, four months after the road was closed for a major reconditioning project.

When the road was closed in early March, the state Department of Transportation had estimated the work would take until mid to late August.

“All in all they’re five weeks ahead, which is amazing given the wet summer we’ve had,” City Administrator Vicki Roberts said.

The 4.22-mile, $3.4 million project involved milling the existing asphalt pavement and placing a new driving surface between Highland Drive just inside the Oconto Falls city limits and Duame Road just west of the U.S. 141 interchange.

Other work included adding right-turn lanes at County Road I, Larson Road and Younger Road, removing and replacing two concrete box culverts, replacing existing culvert pipes at various locations, and installing new pavement marking and permanent signs.

Wed
19
Jul

Streisand tribute, Dorf Kapelle among Friends’ 2017-18 highlights

From a country take on a classic fairy tale, to a tribute to one of the great pop singers of the 20th century, to authentic European folk music, the Oconto Falls Friends of the Arts have collected a variety of entries for their 2017-18 Fine Arts Series.

This marks the group’s 16th season of bringing quality entertainment to Northeast Wisconsin, with most performances staged at the Falls Area Performing Arts Center inside Oconto Falls High School.

• The season begins with the Missoula Children’s Theatre presentation of “Beauty Lou and the Country Beast” on Aug. 5. The troupe will hold auditions for 50 to 60 local students who will perform in the original country-western adaptation of the classic fairy tale.

Wed
12
Jul

Gillett council reviews PR opportunities

Efforts to keep Gillett residents and the general public informed on social media about what’s happening in the city are picking up, Alderman Josh McCarthy said at Thursday’s meeting of the Gillett City Council.

McCarthy said Jake Steldt of the city tourism and marketing committee has been working to improve the city’s visibility through the Gillett Community Events page on Facebook. It used Facebook Live to show the world the Fourth of July fireworks display, for example.

“I believe the website and social media page that he’s running is really picking up steam with the amount of followers and people who are viewing the pages,” McCarthy said.

He used a recent job posting to illustrate the effectiveness of an online presence.

“I posted that Sintex Wausaukee Composites were hiring, and it tells you how many people viewed it, and over 5,100 people viewed it, so a lot of people are being reached,” McCarthy said.

Wed
12
Jul

Passion for the past


Times Herald Photo by Warren Bluhm

Sharie and Jay Merline enjoy learning about Oconto County history and sharing what they’ve discovered.

An Oconto couple is using modern social media technology to share their love for small-town historical treasures.

Jay and Sharie Merline have five Facebook pages and a YouTube page chock full of imagery and information from the last 200 years of local history, much of it from Jay’s personal collection.

“I was raised in a gas station in Oconto” — more precisely Merline’s Circle Restaurant and Texaco — “and over the years I’ve collected a lot of local stuff,” Jay said.

In 2010, he started sharing images from his collection on his Facebook page, and the posts were so popular he launched the Oconto History page a year later. That page now has 1,898 images and more than 2,600 Likes, and it led to the pages History of Spruce, Wisconsin, Oconto Falls Heritage Center, Suring Area Historical Society and Marinette County History Preservation — the last one because Sharie grew up in Pound.

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