News

Wed
24
May

‘Joking’ threat to middle school gets serious response

Police kept an eye on Oconto Middle School on Monday after receiving word of a student threat that had been made through social media, although they found out the post was intended as a bad joke.

A statement from the Oconto Unified School District indicated that school staff and administration learned of the threat Sunday night.

“The police were involved and remained in communication with the school throughout their process,” the district said. “The threat was deemed not to be credible; however the district and the police are taking steps to ensure the safety of staff and students through heightened awareness and presence.”

The Oconto Police Department said an investigation revealed the student was joking.

Wed
24
May

Memorial Day ceremonies planned

The Suring American Legion will visit six cemeteries Monday for Memorial Day observances. At each site, the names of the veterans laid to rest at that cemetery will be recited, and a rifle salute will follow along with the playing of taps.

The Post 283 schedule is as follows:

9 a.m.: St. Michael’s Cemetery, County Road M.

10 a.m.: St. Johns and Pleasant Hill at Pleasant Hill.

10:30 a.m.: Breed Cemetery, state Highway 32.

11 a.m.: Woodland Village Nursing Center, 430 Manor Drive, Suring.

11:45 a.m.: Frostville and Trinity at Trinity Cemetery.

2 p.m.: Hickory Cemetery.

The public is invited to join the Legionnaires in remembering those who fought and died for freedom.

Mountain-Northern Oconto

Zitske-Estabrook VFW Post 2119 of Mountain and Northern Oconto County will conducting its Memorial Day ceremony at the Doty, Mountain, Riverview Cemetery in Mountain.

Wed
24
May

Mursau bill gets public hearing

A bill introduced by state Rep. Jeffrey Mursau would clarify that Wisconsin’s Indian tribes are eligible for the same state grants available to counties to set up drug courts, veterans courts and other alternatives to jail or prison for low-risk defendants.

Assembly Bill 112 was one of five bills that received public hearings May 16 from the Assembly Committee on Corrections.

Mursau, R-Crivitz, chairs the Legislative Council’s Special Committee on State-Tribal Relations, and this is one of three bills that came from that committee’s deliberations last fall, he said.

Treatment and diversion program grants were created in 2005 to allow counties to offer substance abuse treatment options as an alternative to jail or prison time, Mursau said.

Wed
24
May

Highway 22 construction is way ahead of schedule

It appears that drivers will be able to traverse state Highway 22 between Oconto Falls and Stiles again up to four weeks sooner than originally planned. On the down side, the detour will be extended farther into the city earlier than expected.

Wisconsin Department of Transportation project manager Matt Ternes said last week that the contractor now plans to begin stage 2 of the project, between County Road I and Highland Drive, on May 30. A detour will route traffic up County Road B to County Road A to U.S. 141 and back to Highway 22.

The intersection of Highway 22 and County Road I will remain open until after the regular school year is complete. After the school year, the contractor will be allowed to start work in the intersection.

Wed
24
May

A literal Dash O.F. Color

The third annual Dash O.F. Color Run is scheduled for Saturday. The non-timed 5K is hosted by the Oconto Falls Lioness Club at Memorial Field in Oconto Falls. The course runs through the streets of Oconto Falls, and participants will be hit with color along the way.

Approximately 550 people participated last year.

“This is one of those events that everyone should try at least once,” chairperson Stephanie Holman said. “Getting doused with those colors and that color explosion at the end are truly something you should experience.”

Anyone can take part in the event along with teams of four or more participants. There is no limit on how many people can be on a team. Teams can win prizes for their costumes, colorfulness, size and more.

Wed
24
May

Intruder training goes well

The Oconto County Courthouse was closed to the public for three hours Friday afternoon while emergency personnel and county employees went through an exercise designed to test their readiness in the event of an active shooter incident.

Administrative Coordinator Kevin Hamann said the drill went well with good participation from the county workers.

“We only had a few issues,” Hamann said Monday, “one regarding access to some doors that the people sweeping the building did not have access to. We’re going to have to talk to maintenance and get them keys.”

The drill involved evacuating employees to predetermined locations outside of the building, making sure everyone got out safely, and moving them away from a perceived danger zone.

“The phone list – the check-in list – needs to be updated,” Hamann said. “But generally everybody seemed to be very impressed with how it went.”

Wed
17
May

Mother and daughter killed in Saturday collision


Screen capture from gofundme.org

Gillett community members contributed more than $1,000 in 24 hours to a crowdfunding web page set up to aid the family of Connie Schuettpelz and her daughter, Crystal Marohl, who were killed in a traffic crash Saturday afternoon.

Gillett was plunged into mourning Saturday after a talented high school senior and her mother were killed in a collision between their car and semi-trailer truck.

Crystal Marohl, 18, was due to graduate May 28 with the rest of the class of 2017. She and her mother, Connie Schuettpelz, 54, were pronounced dead at the scene, Oconto County Sheriff Mike Jansen said.

The Oconto County Sheriff’s Department statement said the crash occurred at about 4 p.m. on County Road B at Beaver Lake Road in the town of Oconto Falls when the westbound passenger car pulled out in front of the northbound truck.

The preliminary investigation indicated the driver of the car failed to yield from the stop sign and was struck by the truck in the intersection. Speed and alcohol do not appear to be factors in the crash, the department said.

Despite rescue efforts the two occupants of the car were pronounced dead at the scene. The operator of the semi was not injured.

Wed
17
May

Communities, groups plan Memorial Day observances

The annual Memorial Day parade through Oconto Falls is scheduled for 12:30 p.m. May 29, part of the four-day Memorial Day weekend celebration that begins May 26.

Groups that want to participate in the parade honoring soldiers and veterans are asked to send a registration form by May 26 to memorialweekendcelebrationof@gmail.com. For more information, call 920-848-8293 or 920-604-0821.

Other highlights of the celebration include a modified pitch tournament Friday through Monday, fireworks Saturday night, live bands Sunday afternoon and evening, a Show-N-Shine Car & Truck Show on Monday, and a big bike giveaway for kids at the old football field after the parade.

Christman Amusements of Wautoma is staging the carnival Friday night through Monday.

Wed
17
May

Zak family to host Breakfast on the Farm

The 2017 Oconto County celebration of June Dairy Month, Breakfast on the Farm, is scheduled for June 11 at Rockledge Farms near Lena. A sunrise service will be held at 7 a.m., and breakfast will be served from 8 a.m. until 1 p.m.

Entertainment will be available for all ages, including live music, a petting zoo, children’s games and activities, and much more. All-you-can-eat breakfast is $8, $4 for kids 4-10, and 3 and under free.

Presale event tickets are available at Peshtigo National Bank’s Coleman, Gillett and Oconto Falls branches; N.E.W. Credit Union’s Oconto, Oconto Falls and Suring branches; and Lena Fast Stop. Visit ocbotf.com or find Oconto County Breakfast on the Farm on Facebook.

Wed
17
May

Council: Memorial Field makeover still approved

Oconto Falls city officials want to get the word out: The first stage of a $1.3 million renovation project at Memorial Field has been approved, and Parks and Recreation Director Sheila Manns has the authorization to help raise private funds and incrementally finish that first stage.

The city and the nonprofit Panther Pride Association have been working since the fall of 2015 on a plan to repurpose the park formerly used for middle and high school football games and track meets. The project is to be funded entirely through sponsorships and donations.

The Oconto Falls School District now has its own track and football field at the high school, leaving the city park open for redevelopment.

The City Council in November 2015 authorized Manns to proceed with the first of five stages to renovate the park — building a baseball field where the former track and football field are located.

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