News

Wed
19
Dec

Memorial Day Celebration organizers recognized


Oconto Falls School Board President Ron Leja, left, presents the Friend of Education Award to Josh Long, center, and Chad Trudell during the board’s Dec. 10 meeting. (Times Herald photo by Warren Bluhm)

The organizers of the Memorial Day Weekend Celebration in Oconto Falls have been recognized with the 2018 Friend of Education Award from the Oconto Falls School District.
Josh Long and Chad Trudell have been running the Memorial Day festivities for well over a decade, Athletic Director Jerry Moynihan said as he introduced the award at the Dec. 10 school board meeting.
“Organizing this event and working every Memorial Day weekend takes a tremendous amount of time and effort, and both do this without asking for anything in return,” Moynihan said. “That event annually raises about $10,000 for Panther Pride.”
Long and Trudell were instrumental for many years with the Oconto Falls Booster Club, which has now merged with the Panther Pride Association and directly supports outdoor athletic facilities for students in Oconto Falls, Moynihan said.
Long also runs the Panther Pride Golf Outing, which funds the high school football team.

Wed
19
Dec

Memorial Day Celebration organizers recognized


Oconto Falls School Board President Ron Leja, left, presents the Friend of Education Award to Josh Long, center, and Chad Trudell during the board’s Dec. 10 meeting. (Times Herald photo by Warren Bluhm)

The organizers of the Memorial Day Weekend Celebration in Oconto Falls have been recognized with the 2018 Friend of Education Award from the Oconto Falls School District.
Josh Long and Chad Trudell have been running the Memorial Day festivities for well over a decade, Athletic Director Jerry Moynihan said as he introduced the award at the Dec. 10 school board meeting.
“Organizing this event and working every Memorial Day weekend takes a tremendous amount of time and effort, and both do this without asking for anything in return,” Moynihan said. “That event annually raises about $10,000 for Panther Pride.”
Long and Trudell were instrumental for many years with the Oconto Falls Booster Club, which has now merged with the Panther Pride Association and directly supports outdoor athletic facilities for students in Oconto Falls, Moynihan said.
Long also runs the Panther Pride Golf Outing, which funds the high school football team.

Wed
19
Dec

Quick action, CPR saves a life


Dan and Brenda (Yatso) Lowrence were vacationing at the Grand Canyon this summer when she helped save a young man who had been struck by lightning. (Contributed photo)

A nurse with Oconto Falls roots was in the right place at the right time this summer to save a man who had been struck by lightning.
Brenda Lowrance, Phoenix, is an RN senior manager and was celebrating her birthday Aug. 17 by taking a trip to the North Rim of the Grand Canyon with her husband, Dan.
“It was raining hard, really hard, with lots of thunder and lightning. My husband and I were sitting out on the porch at our cabin listening to the rain and thunder,” Lowrance said. “Suddenly we heard a loud crack that seemed very close to us, and then we heard screaming.”
People were yelling, “Help, help! Someone’s been hit by lightning,” she recalled. The couple ran toward the screaming and found a young man lying on the ground, unresponsive.
“He was pulseless. He was dead,” she said. “I immediately started CPR, and two other nurses also arrived and helped with CPR.”

Wed
19
Dec

Oconto Falls tubing hill ready for snow


Healthy snowfall last winter made the tubing hill at River Island a popular spot. (File photo)

The tubing hill at River Island Golf Course in Oconto Falls is ready when the snow is.
“The ski tow is ready to roll,” Street Superintendent Terry Magnin told the City Council at its Dec. 11 meeting. “We checked the tires inside the building yesterday where the rope goes around them; they’re ready to go. Everything’s greased,” he said. “We brought picnic tables down, garbage cans and I’ll have the PortaPotties delivered next week before the holidays, in case they do get snow.”
A new permanent storage shed and serving area built by the Oconto Falls Lions Club is also complete. Alderman Tim Holman, also a Lion, said the electrical work was due to be completed Thursday, with the steel inside the building installed Friday.
The 12-by-24-foot building replaces a small ice shack on top of the hill and a trailer used to store tubes and serve cocoa and food. The shack and trailer were on loan from the Oconto Falls Sno Jokers.

Wed
12
Dec

Gillett's new/old fire engine arrives


Alderperson Irene Drake listens as Gillett Fire Chief Kurt Hicks talks about the Seagrave pumper truck that the city recently purchased and put into service. (Times Herald photo by Warren Bluhm)

Gillett Fire Chief Kurt Hicks showed off his department’s new pumper truck to the City Council and others in attendance Thursday night (Dec. 6).

“It handles super, pumps great,” Hicks said. “It’s just simply a lot of truck.”

The council last month approved the purchase of the huge 1992 Seagrave truck at a net price of $23,500 after a $4,000 trade-in for the department’s former utility truck, a 1987 Ford vehicle.

Wanting to make sure the purchase made sense to the roughly two dozen firefighters who will be using it, Hicks said he brought a number of them to check it out and put it through its paces before bringing it before the council.

“For the price and what was here, it really was serving our needs very well,” he said.

The truck has been out on two calls so far and is working great, the chief said.

Wed
12
Dec

New sheriff in town


Oconto County Sheriff-elect Todd Skarban takes the oath of office with his family – daughter Ellayna, wife Heather and son Emerich – in Judge Jay N. Conley’s courtroom with friends, family and co-workers standing by Dec. 7. (Times Herald photo by Warren Bluhm)

The new sheriff of Oconto County doesn’t officially start work until Jan. 7, but his oath of office is administered, signed, sealed and delivered.

Judge Jay N. Conley took care of that business Friday, swearing in Todd Skarban as the new sheriff and re-upping Mike Hodkiewicz for another four-year term as clerk of courts, a job he has held for 28 years.

Skarban defeated Chief Deputy Ed Janke in the Aug. 14 Republican primary. He and fellow Republican Hodkiewicz were then unopposed on the general election ballot Nov. 6.

The two men exchanged compliments in a courtroom packed with friends and family, with Skarban saying his big victory in August owed a lot to advice from Hodkiewicz about how to campaign for local office.

“Back in 1990, there’s a method that I had learned, and I was very fortunate,” Hodkiewicz said. “Todd and his family did an outstanding job, and it was step by step by step.”

Wed
12
Dec

Gillett Council finalizes city budget

Property owners in the city of Gillett can expect to be assessed $9.54 per $1,000 of equalized value for city purposes when the tax bills arrive in a few days.

The City Council unanimously approved the $1.3 million budget for 2019, which represents a 6 percent increase over this year. No residents appeared at the annual budget hearing to question or comment on the document.

The main increase is a result of the ongoing street projects; Richmond Street and a portion of First Street were completed this year, with Birch Street on the agenda for 2019.

Otherwise there are no major increases and no new borrowing in the 2019 budget, which was developed over a series of committee meetings during November, Mayor James Beaton said.

Alderperson Nanette Mohr thanked council members, department heads and Beaton for their work on the budget.

“It’s never an easy task,” Mohr said. “Thank you very, very much.”

Wed
12
Dec

Probation, jail time for embezzlement

An Oconto woman reimbursed $77,944.81 she embezzled from her former employer and was placed on two years of probation Dec. 7 in Oconto County Circuit Court.

Carrie Anderson, 42, pleaded no contest two four misdemeanor counts of theft in a business setting for taking money while she was employed as a bookkeeper for K.W. Rusch Inc., a trucking company owned by Oconto Falls Alderperson Kevin Rusch, in 2016 and 2017. She was charged in April with three felonies and one misdemeanor.

Judge Jay N. Conley ordered Anderson to spend 90 days in the county jail and perform 100 hours of community service as conditions of her probation, in addition to the restitution — which has been paid in full — and various court costs.

Wed
12
Dec

Timber sales from national forest continue to grow

Timber sale levels on the Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest (CNNF) increased for the sixth year in a row.

In fiscal year 2018, which is from Oct. 1 to Sept. 30, the Forest sold 128.7 million board feet (MMBF) of timber through the competitive timber sale bidding process.

“The Forest hasn’t sold 128 MMBF of timber since the early 1990s,” said Paul Strong, forest supervisor, Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest. “I am very proud of the great staff and partners we have in making this achievement possible.”

In addition to the Forest’s regular timber sale program, which sold 98 MMBF this year, 30.7 MMBF was sold through the Good Neighbor Authority agreement with the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources.

Wed
12
Dec

Area Republicans disagree on special session

A Republican leader whose district includes parts of eastern Oconto County is defending bills passed in a recent extraordinary session that Democrats have criticized as a power grab by a “lame-duck” Legislature to weaken the incoming Democratic governor.

The bills were awaiting Gov. Scott Walker’s signature. Republicans maintained strong majorities in the state Legislature in the Nov. 6 election, but Democrats swept executive branch races.

“Voters entrust us with the task of moving Wisconsin forward. Part of this equation is maintaining the Legislature’s oversight of various areas of state government. We cannot afford to go back to the days of unaccountable government, massive tax increases and record job loss,” said state Rep. John Nygren, R-Marinette. “At the end of the day, the incoming governor and attorney general will have the same constitutional powers that the current governor and attorney general have.”

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