News

Wed
05
Jun

Bond Foundation provides $40K for Nurse’s Nook


Nuala Nowicki has spearheaded the Nurse’s Nook program at Oconto County schools since 2014. (Times Herald file photo)

The Leon H. and Clymene M. Bond Foundation has awarded a $40,000 grant to support Nurse’s Nook, a program that provides aid to children and families in need in all five school districts in Oconto County: Gillett, Suring, Oconto Falls, Oconto and Lena.

“We are immensely grateful to the Bond Foundation for their generous support of Nurse’s Nook and the children and families we serve here in Oconto County,” said Nuala Nowicki, founder of the Nurse’s Nook program. “These funds will allow us to maintain programming, purchase additional supplies and serve more families in Oconto County.”

This is the second Bond Foundation grant to be awarded to Nurse’s Nook. In 2018, it awarded Nurse’s Nook $30,000 which was used to help expand the program to the Oconto and Lena school districts.

Wed
05
Jun

Chamber donation puts Oconto Falls Dog Park campaign over $20k

Emily Gonnering, Girl Scout and new Oconto Falls High School graduate, accepts a $3,000 check from Gail Yatso, president of the Oconto Falls Chamber of Commerce, toward the campaign to build a dog park along North Maple Avenue.

Gonnering has now raised over $20,000 for the $25,000 project.

Yatso said the chamber’s donation is in line with the city’s Bronze Level award from Wisconsin Healthy Communities.

“With the addition of the Oconto Falls Dog Park, our furry family members can stay healthier, too,” Yatso said. “Playtime is a perfect way to spend time with our pups and get the exercise we both need.”

Wed
05
Jun

A grand surprise


Vi and the late Neil McDermid’s 1925 Ford Model T is among the highlights of the 2019 Memorial Day parade in Oconto Falls. (Times Herald photo by Warren Bluhm)


Vi McDermid, left, is treated to a ride in the antique Ford owned by her late husband, Neil, and lovingly restored by her grandson, Rich Wranosky, of Detroit. (Times Herald photo by Warren Bluhm)

As if being named grand marshal of the 2019 Oconto Falls Memorial Day Parade wasn’t sweet enough for Vi McDermid, there was icing on the cake when she reported for duty that Monday morning.

There at the front of the line, ready to pull in behind the veterans and firefighters who lead the parade, was a perfectly restored 1925 Ford Model T.

And not just any old Model T: It was the exact automobile she and her husband, Neil McDermid, owned for a quarter-century and rode together in a few parades themselves.

“She got this big smile and started crying, and then we all started crying,” said Rich Wranosky, of Detroit, third-generation owner of the family jalopy who has taken the legacy seriously. Since his grandparents’ old Ford was restored to pristine condition, he has kept it preserved in a specially designed plastic bubble — except when it comes out for occasions like this one.

“I couldn’t believe it,” Vi McDermid said.

Wed
05
Jun

'More unites us than divides'


A bell is rung for each name as the list of local veterans who have died in the last year is read during the Gillett Memorial Day 2019 ceremony. The rifle squad stands by to salute after all are remembered. (Times Herald photo by Warren Bluhm)

A steady rain fell and church bells rang nearby as lay preacher Gina Patzer gave the invocation May 27 in Gillett for the Memorial Day ceremony honoring fallen military heroes.

“When the need was the greatest, they stepped forward and did their duty to defend the freedoms that we enjoy and to win the same for others,” Patzer prayed. “Oh God, you have taught us yourself that no love is greater than that which gives itself for another.”

Despite the inclement weather, close to 200 people attended the ceremony at the memorial park at the corner of West Main and Elm streets, including the Gillett High School band and choir.

The guest speaker was Tom Carlson, a Gillett area veteran and former American Legion post member who now lives in Green Bay.

Wed
05
Jun

Business theft case deferred in plea agreement

Prosecutors have made a deferred judgment agreement with a Marion couple accused of theft in a business setting in connection with a 2015 auction, avoiding a trial that had been set to begin May 29.

Leroy and Mary Beechy, who own and operate Beechy’s Dairy Cattle Auctions LLC auctioneers, were accused of using much of the proceeds of a farm auction for their personal and business use that were supposed to go to Nerfarms and farm owner James L. Nerenhausen Jr.

During an appearance before Oconto County Judge Jay N. Conley, the Beechys pleaded no contest to felony charges of theft in a business setting and misdemeanor charges of issuing a worthless check and theft by false representation. Under the agreement, Conley suspended the felony case for up to 15 years and scheduled sentencing on the misdemeanor counts for June 27.

Wed
05
Jun

Federal grant enables opioid abuse effort

A $200,000 grant from the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) will provide additional resources to address substance use disorders, with a special focus on opioid use disorder, in Oconto, Marinette, Menominee, Shawano and Florence counties.

The grant was awarded in May to HSHS St. Vincent Hospital in Green Bay, which operates Libertas Treatment Center in Marinette. Starting June 1, Libertas Treatment Center in Marinette will use the HRSA grant, as well as a $20,000 matching grant from the Hospital Sisters of St. Francis Foundation, to lead and operate the Heroin Opioid Prevention Education (HOPE) Consortium.

Wed
05
Jun

Drug sweep results in numerous arrests

Numerous arrests and citations were issued May 23 when the Northeast Tri-County Drug Enforcement Group (NETCDEG) conducted an organized criminal drug interdiction in and around the city of Oconto and village of Lena.

According to a news release from Oconto County Sheriff Todd Skarban, NETCDEG was able to bring several agencies together to target criminal activity in Oconto County.

“As a result of this operation there were 123 traffic stops, 121 warnings issued, 60 citations issued, and 39 K-9 deployments with 26 positive K-9 indications and 13 negative K9 indications,” Skarban said.

Tue
28
May

Class of 2019 takes on the world


The Oconto Falls High School Class of 2019 takes its position during Sunday’s graduation ceremony. (Times Herald photo by Warren Bluhm)


Pat Trudell acknowledges applause from the graduation ceremony crowd after being introduced as the latest member of the Oconto Falls High School’s Wall of Fame for distinguished alumni. (Times Herald photo by Warren Bluhm)


The Oconto Falls High School Class of 2019 takes its position during Sunday’s graduation ceremony. (Times Herald photo by Warren Bluhm)

A 1987 graduate of Oconto Falls High School told this year’s graduates on Sunday (May 26) that “life is a group project.”

“Along the way be sure to surround yourself with people who support you in healthy ways,” said Dr. Rellen Hardtke, a professor of physics at the University of Wisconsin-River Falls who has made three trips to Antarctica to work at the IceCube Neutrino Observatory, which studies the cosmos from deep within the South Pole ice.

“It is important that all of you find your people, your place, your niche, the people and the environment that surround you that make you feel normal, appreciated, supported, welcomed and respected,” Hardtke said. She described her education at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology “a formative experience,” studying astrophysics with 40 other women from around the world who were science and engineering students.

Tue
28
May

Dog park construction may start soon


Emily Gonnering and Rocky put up the sign on a rainy May 19 at the site of the future Oconto Falls Dog Park on North Maple Avenue. (Photo courtesy of Emily Gonnering)

A new Oconto Falls High School graduate will be leaving a lasting mark on the community, one that is expected to become more visible sometime in June.

Emily Gonnering has been raising funds for a Girl Scout Gold Award Project for about a year and has now raised enough to begin construction of the new Oconto Falls Dog Park on North Maple Avenue.

She told the Oconto Falls City Council this month that Fence Link Inc. did some test holes at the site and has put the project on its work schedule.

A member of Troop 4312, Gonnering has been scouting for more than 10 years and has already earned Bronze and Silver awards.

With close to 80 percent of the $25,000 goal in hand, she has enough for construction and is currently fundraising for benches, picnic tables, the park’s informational kiosk and other amenities.

For information about the park or to make donations, visit the Oconto Falls Dog Park page on Facebook.

Tue
28
May

Towns agreement would support Lakewood library

Information meetings are scheduled June 11 and June 17 to explain a new four-town agreement designed to secure the future of the Lakes Country Library in Lakewood while protecting property taxpayer interests.

The meetings are scheduled for 6 p.m. June 11 and 2 p.m. June 17 at the library, 15235 State Highway 32, Lakewood.

A Joint Library Task Force Committee (JLTFC) has been meeting since last May to discuss complicated provisions in state law that require property taxpayers in the towns of Doty, Riverview, and Townsend to help fund libraries located elsewhere, some hours away in neighboring counties.

Committee members include Oconto County Supervisor Don Bartels Jr., Riverview Town Chairwoman Ann Hogan, Doty Town Chairman Dick Kendall, Lakwood Town Chairwoman Joanne Roy, Townsend representative Kathleen Marsh, as well as Linda McKenna, Lakes Country Library Board president, and Nicole Lowery, the library director.

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