Oconto County Circuit Court proceedings

Proceedings of Nov. 1

Bond was increased to $7,500 for Jeffrey S. Wenzel Jr., 18, Oconto, who faces a felony charge of driving or operating a vehicle without the owner’s consent and a misdemeanor count of resisting or obstructing an officer, in connection with an alleged Aug. 28 incident. He was taken into custody Oct. 31. A bench warrant was issued after he failed to appear for a court hearing Sept. 14, and he was charged with bail jumping. His next court appearance is scheduled for Nov. 9.


Oconto County Sheriff's Department call logs: Oct. 26-Nov. 2

Nov. 2

Deputies responded to 34 incidents, including the following:

Traffic crash with injuries — reported on Geano Beach Road east of Sandalwood Road, Abrams. Nadia May, 18, Abrams, crossed center line, left the road and struck a tree, suspected minor injury, 6:48 a.m.

Burglary — reported in the 14000 block of County Road T, Doty, 1:38 p.m.

Traffic crash with injuries — reported near County Road E and Garrity Road, Morgan, 4:33 p.m.

Nov. 1

Deputies responded to 50 incidents, including the following:

Threatening — reported in the 18000 block of Jack Pine Lane, Townsend, 9:33 a.m.

Property damage — reported in the 200 block of Pleasant View Drive, Chase, 10:31 a.m.

Theft — reported in the 300 block of Pond Court, 6:12 p.m.

Disturbance — reported along Central Avenue, Oconto Falls, 6:09 p.m.

Disturbance — reported in the 1000 block of Cross Road, Sobieski, 8:39 p.m.

Oct. 31


OEC employees stand up for veterans

Oconto Electric Cooperative employees worked all year on fundraisers to present $7,000 checks to Old Glory Honor Flights and the Patriot Guard Riders of Wisconsin. (Contributed photo)

Oconto Electric Cooperative (OEC) employees will be giving back to U.S. veterans with a donation of $14,000, the greatest amount of money that OEC employees have raised since their charity program began in 2004.

Donations were split between Old Glory Honor Flight and Patriot Guard Riders of Wisconsin.

OEC employees worked all year to raise $9,000. The largest events were the charity golf outing, a motorcycle ride and the “Bag Lunch To Go” program. CoBank, one of the co-op’s lenders, also donated $5,000 as part of its Sharing Success program.

“In March, we held our popular Bag Lunch To Go. We delivered 330 bag lunches to businesses in the community within two hours, 100 more than the previous year,” said Katie Jagiello, co-op employee. “People enjoyed the pulled pork sandwich and the fact that lunch is delivered to them at their workplace, and that all proceeds go to charity.”


Stolen property recovered; 4 charged

Mark Gerow of Mountain is one of four people charged after search warrants were executed in northern Oconto County on Oct. 19. (Oconto County Jail photo)

Four people have been charged in Oconto County Circuit Court as a result of an investigation into a rash of thefts, burglaries and drug trafficking in northern Oconto County this spring and summer.

The suspects were arrested after a multi-jurisdictional team executed search warrants at four properties on the morning of Oct. 19, Sheriff Mike Jansen announced Friday. Two warrants were in the town of Mountain, one was in Lakewood and one was in Doty, he said.

“The warrants yielded numerous articles of stolen property that are believed to have been taken during reported thefts and burglaries,” Jansen said. “Also, drugs and drug paraphernalia were seized.”

The suspects:

Paul F. Cleereman, 21, and his wife, Georgena Vladik, 29, Lakewood, are each charged with bail jumping and two counts of theft of movable property.


Law enforcement targets drug trafficking

An Oconto County Circuit Court judge set bail for Alex Vandenhoven at $25,000 cash. (Oconto County Jail photo)

A saturation patrol conducted Oct. 6 in northern Oconto County resulted in several arrests, including the apprehension of a suspect wanted for sexual assault in Illinois and a drug suspect from Green Bay who had cut off his ankle bracelet the day before.

Sheriff Mike Jansen said his office and multiple law enforcement partners conducted the “high-intensity interdiction” as part of their ongoing opiate reduction efforts.

“The initiative was designed to meet the following goals: make Oconto County safer for our citizens; detect and arrest illegal drug users and sellers; promote public awareness of the dangers of drugged driving; most importantly, demonstrate to the citizens of Oconto County that its law enforcement agencies care about the drug epidemic affecting them,” Jansen said. “We are united in our commitment to eradicate it.”


Fire damages home in town of Oconto

Two dozen firefighters from five departments responded when fire broke out Oct. 24 in the attic of a home along state Highway 22 in the town of Oconto.

The Oconto Fire and Rescue Department was dispatched around 9:43 a.m. to 2983 State Highway 22 for a report of a residence with smoke coming from attic vents and windows, Capt. Josh Bostedt said in a news release.

Dark smoke could be seen coming from the attic vents, roof vents and the soffit of the two-story home, Bostedt said. The occupants had evacuated just prior to the department’s arrival.

Crews made entry to the second floor and accessed the attic space, where flames could be seen, he said.

Additional area departments were called in for manpower and for shuttling about 5,500 gallons of water to the scene, including Pensaukee, Oconto Falls, Lena and Little River, Bostedt said.


Lakewood man sentenced for bank fraud and identity theft

GREEN BAY – A Lakewood man who drew Social Security disability benefits while also working and earning wages using his son’s name and Social Security number was sentenced Friday in federal court to two years in prison and one year supervised release.

James Robert Kaster, 65, was indicted in February for bank fraud and identity theft. He has been in custody since pleading guilty in August to bank fraud by using another person’s birth certificate in connection with defrauding a bank.

According to court documents:

In 2008, Kaster was approved to receive Social Security disability benefits retroactive to Feb. 1, 2007. In March 2008, Social Security Administration discovered that Kaster, while working at Diversified Wood Products in Suring, had earned $3,676 that had been assigned to the Social Security number of his son, identified as B.K., who was 15 years old at the time. The administration reassigned the earnings amount to Kaster’s earnings records.


Oconto County Board passes 2018 budget

The Oconto County Board on Thursday passed a $39.7 million county budget for 2018, a spending increase of 0.4 percent over this year.

The budget will be funded in part by a county property tax levy of $18.27 million, a library tax levy of $525,789 and a county bridge aid levy of $102,804. The mill rate for county purposes is $5.297 per $1,000 of equalized value, down from $5.37 in 2017.

The meeting began with a public hearing, but no one from the public asked to speak.

The budget resolution was amended to accommodate an additional $102,591 in state transportation aid than was originally expected for the highway department. The funds were applied to the snow and ice removal account. At the regular County Board meeting Oct. 19, highway department head Pat Scanlan said his oversight committee would like the board to consider an assistant patrol superintendent position that previously was denied during budget deliberations.


Oconto County Circuit Court Proceedings

Proceedings of Oct. 25

James D. Ulrich, 21, Neenah, pleaded no contest to a charge of driving a vehicle without the owner’s consent in connection with a July 21 incident. Michael T. Judge scheduled sentencing for Dec. 8.

Bond was set at $1,000 cash for Daniel Ray Greatens, 33, Howard, who is charged with a fourth offense of operating a motor vehicle while intoxicated in connection with his arrest after a crash Sept. 10. The balance of his initial appearance was scheduled for Nov. 9.

During a preliminary hearing, John J. Meng, 48, Oconto Falls, was bound over for trial on a charge of strangulation and suffocation, along with a misdemeanor count of disorderly conduct, in connection with an incident that allegedly occurred Oct. 7. Arraignment was scheduled for Nov. 9.


Oconto County Sheriff's Department: Oct. 20-25

Oct. 25

Deputies responded to 37 incidents, including the following:

Threatening — reported in the 7000 block of state Highway 32, Maple Valley, 8:55 a.m.

Criminal damage — reported near County Road J and Williams Lane, Little River, 10:33 a.m.

Burglary — reported in the 14000 block of Berry Lake North Shore, Underhill, 11:28 a.m.

Burglary — reported in the 8000 block of Red Bank Road, How, 11:36 a.m.

Animal neglect — reported in the 8000 block of Belgian Road, Lena, 11:50 a.m.

Theft — reported in the 12000 block of East Shore Drive, Mountain, 12:30 p.m.

Burglary — reported in the 14000 block of Berry Lake North Shore, Underhill, 12:48 p.m.

Traffic crash — U.S. 41-141 and County Road D, Abrams, 5:57 p.m.

Fire — reported at 6578 Young Road, Oconto, Jeep Grand Cherokee Laredo parked in driveway, fully engulfed in flames, no injuries but vehicle was total loss, 7:56 p.m.

Oct. 24


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