News

Wed
13
Sep

Oconto County Circuit Court

Proceedings of Sept. 6

A preliminary hearing was scheduled for Sept. 22 for Philip J. Padilla, 31, Ford City, Pennsylvania, who was arrested Aug. 12 and charged with child enticement for sexual contact and using a computer to facilitate a child sex crime. Padilla is being held in lieu of $50,000 cash bond.

Brandon L. Hunter, 26, Oconto Falls, faces a Sept. 22 preliminary hearing on a felony charge of strangulation and suffocation, as well as misdemeanor battery and disorderly conduct, in connection with an incident at his home Aug. 12.

Proceedings of Sept. 5

Wed
13
Sep

Oconto Falls linemen join Irma recovery effort


Contributed photo

Heading to Florida to help with the Hurricane Irma cleanup are Justin Beaman, left, and John Salscheider of the Oconto Falls Municipal Utility.

Two linemen and a truck from Oconto Falls left Friday morning for Florida, where Hurricane Irma wreaked havoc over the weekend.

Justin Beaman and John Salscheider were among 30 workers from communities that are part of Municipal Electric Utilities of Wisconsin who responded to a call for people interested in helping out to restore power after the outages. Shawano also sent a crew of three.

“MEUW put out a feeler for anyone interested to go and lend a hand,” utility manager Greg Kuhn said.

The group was expecting to check in around the Kissimmee, Florida, area, but once they arrive they’ll be dispatched to wherever the need is, he said.

Wed
13
Sep

Mining bill receives public hearing

A bill to overturn the state’s moratorium on sulfide mining – which was only in draft form when the Oconto County Board voted to oppose it three weeks ago – was introduced Aug. 29 and has already received a public hearing.

State Sen. Tom Tiffany, R-Hazelhurst, introduced the “Mining in America Bill” as Senate Bill 395 on Aug. 29, and he hosted a public hearing at Ladysmith High School on Sept. 7 under the auspices of the Senate Committee on Sporting Heritage, Mining and Forestry, which he chairs.

Tiffany surrendered the gavel long enough to testify in favor of the bill, saying that because of the moratorium, Wisconsin is exporting jobs and importing pollution in the form of contaminated air from mines overseas.

He also said northern Wisconsin is the most rapidly aging part of the state because young people are not staying or relocating here after graduation.

Wed
13
Sep

Cat house issue decision expected soon


Times Herald Photo by Warren Bluhm

Oconto County Judge Jay N. Conley (back to camera) talks with Oconto Falls city attorney Larry Jeske outside the home at 305 Jackson St. after a tour of the house, which the city has condemned as uninhabitable because of an infestation of cats several years ago. Listening on the porch is Mary Jakopovich, a friend of property owner Roberta Olshesky who has spent hundreds of hours trying to clean the house and avoid its demolition.

Oconto County Judge Jay Conley is expected to issue a written decision regarding the fate of an Oconto Falls house that the city condemned as inhabitable after clearing out 30 cats.

Conley visited Roberta Olshesky’s house at 305 Jackson St. on Monday, spending about 20 minutes inside with Olshesky and several friends, along with city attorney Larry Jeske, after holding a court trial about the case on Sept. 5.

“They filled 75 dumpsters cleaning the place out,” said Mike Jakopovich, of Greeen Bay, whose wife, Mary, helped do most of the cleaning work. Olshesky has stated she can’t afford the estimated $18,000 to $26,000 it would take to have the work done professionally.

The house was condemned in 2015 after authorities found the infestation of cats in the house. The City Council voted in February 2016 to authorize a raze order, extensions were granted and deadlines ran out.

Wed
13
Sep

Oconto County Sheriff's Department

Sept. 8

Deputies responded to 42 incidents, including the following:

Traffic crash — vs. deer, state Highway 32 and Hanson Lane, Maple Valley, 12:02 a.m.

Harassment — reported in the 14000 block of Old 32 Road, Mountain, 6:43 a.m.

Traffic crash — vs. deer, 6000 block of Allen Road, Little Suamico, 6:51 a.m.

Drug investigation — reported in the town of Underhill, 10:20 a.m.

Trespassing — reported in the 900 block of Aubrey Lane, Little Suamico, 5:01 p.m.

Theft — reported in the 12000 block of Lone Lane, Maple Valley, 6:47 p.m.

Sept. 7

Deputies responded to 42 incidents, including the following:

Traffic crash — vs. bear, Yatso Road and Ridge Road, Spruce, 12:14 a.m.

Traffic crash — vs. deer, Silver Hill Road, Mountain, 6:15 a.m.

Disturbance — reported in the 1000 block of state Highway 32, Breed, 12:21 p.m.

Traffic crash — County Road C and Harvest Valley Lane, Chase, 4:46 p.m.

Wed
13
Sep

Police juggle county fair, drug warrant

The Gillett Police Department had its hands full on the first day of the Oconto County Youth Fair, juggling a search warrant for drugs with the job of monitoring the annual festival that fills Zippel Park with visitors.

Police Chief Jess Keplinger told the City Council on Thursday that the Aug. 17 warrant to search a house on Pine Street “took a lot of good intelligence, good eye” on the part of Officer Kevin Schneider.

“On the 15th, he had taken some information, did some surveillance, really put a lot of time into it,” Keplinger said. “A lot of departments or officers would have thought, oh, we have too much going on with the fair, we’re going to have to put this on the back burner. We talked about it in-house and said we thought if we waited we may not have fresh enough information for the judge to grant us the search warrant.”

Wed
13
Sep

Oconto County Farm Bureau to host annual meeting

Members of the Oconto County Farm Bureau have scheduled their their annual meeting for 7 p.m. Sept. 26 at S&S Hometown Bar and Restaurant, 211 S. Maple Ave., Oconto Falls.

All Farm Bureau members are encouraged to attend the meeting to help create policy resolutions and to elect county board directors. Also being selected will be the county’s voting delegates for the WFBF annual meeting in Wisconsin Dells from Dec. 2-4.

The Wisconsin Farm Bureau is often asked to get involved in issues affecting production agriculture and rural Wisconsin both in Madison and Washington, D.C. This fall, Farm Bureau members across the state will be crafting, discussing and forwarding policy recommendations on emerging agricultural issues including water quality, labeling and marketing of agricultural products, and the 2018 farm bill.

Wed
13
Sep

Tree cutting becomes an issue

The Gillett City Council took a step back Thursday from approving a $1,350 contract to cut down an old tree along Elm Street.

The tree has grown to the point where the curb and a small portion of the street are damaged.

“Yes, I know it’s affecting the road, but it is also on the homeowner’s property,” Alderman Tod Anderson said. “We start cutting trees down at our expense, when do we quit?”

“I think it’s a matter of looking at each of the projects individually,” said Alderman Irene Drake, who chairs the board of public works committee.

“Our policy doesn’t really specify or spell it out,” Anderson said. “That’s why I have mixed emotions about this.”

The council voted 3-1 not to approve the contract and sent it back to committee.

Wed
06
Sep

Credit union accepts supplies for hurricane relief

N.E.W. Credit Union is taking up a collection of items to be sent to Texas for the hurricane victims. Items can be dropped off at any N.E.W. Credit Union office through Friday.

“Your help is desperately needed, as damage is unprecedented and relief efforts are expected to last for for many months with recovery taking several years,” the credit union’s president, Lisa Gilligan, said in announcing the drive.

Requested supplies include new underwear, new socks, and new warmups for men, women, children and infants; pillows, pillow cases and blankets; flip-flops for showers; towels and wash cloths; toiletries/hygiene products; and baby formula and baby wipes, bottles and diapers.

Wed
06
Sep

Hearing Thursday on mining bill

A public hearing is scheduled Thursday in Ladysmith on a mining bill that the Oconto County Board opposed during its August meeting.

Senate Bill 395 repeals the existing moratorium on issuing sulfide ore mining permits and makes other changes in regulations regarding exploration, prospecting, and mining for nonferrous metallic minerals such as copper or zinc.

State Sen. Tom Tiffany, R-Hazelhurst, introduced the bill Aug. 29. The county board added its opposition to the bill, then in its drafting stages, to a resolution opposing the proposed Back Forty sulfide mine along the Menominee River on the Michigan side.

The hearing is scheduled to begin at 9 a.m. Thursday at Ladysmith High School. The Wisconsin Eye video system plans to provide a live feed at wiseye.org.

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