News

Wed
08
Jan

Incumbents decide to leave Gillett council


Times Herald Photo by Joan Koehne

Gary Langer, senior vice president of Wausaukee Composites, tells members of the Gillett City Council about updates to the Gillett facility. At left are alderpersons Tod Anderson, Nanette Mohr and Rick Raatz, whose terms expire in April. Anderson and Raatz will not run for another term.

Two Gillett aldermen say they will not run for re-election because they are unhappy with the workings of the City Council.

Rick Raatz, Ward 1, and Tod Anderson, Ward 2, submitted noncandidacy forms in December. Anderson served on the council from 2006-2008, lost the election in 2008 and returned in 2010. Raatz joined the council in 2010. They will complete their terms in April.

Their departure follows the resignation of alderman Greg Rudie one year ago. Rudie said he was troubled by the lack of trust that developed when Mayor Irene Drake took office in 2012, saying it hindered progress within the council and city.

Anderson said he felt ineffective in office and was inhibited by the action of other council members.

“It’s becoming too strenuous, too frustrating, too stressful to try to keep up with what needs to be done and is not being done,” he said.

Wed
08
Jan

Lena pursues project to curb radium in drinking water

The village of Lena is seeking state approval to spend $3.74 million to install equipment that would reduce radium levels in drinking water to accepted standards.

Radium levels in one of the village’s two wells have increased during the past four years. The average of samples drawn last year exceeded maximum contamination levels set by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, according to documents filed with the Wisconsin Public Service Commission on Friday.

The village has closed Well No. 1 located on the village’s east side and has used Well No. 2 on the west end.

The village has been under a Department of Natural Resources consent order since June 2013 in which it agreed to design and submit plans for a treatment system and begin construction by July 2015.

The timetable should be easily met, said Sarah Nunn, an engineer with Ayers Associates.

Wed
08
Jan

Oconto County Circuit Court

Proceedings from Jan. 2

Keith A. Manecke, 51, Gillett, made an initial appearance on charges of strangulation and suffocation, domestic abuse and disorderly conduct. He was arrested Dec. 30 in the town of Underhill. His appearance is continued to Jan. 9, and a $500 cash bond was set.

Wed
08
Jan

Orthopedic surgeon joins CMH

Board certified orthopedic surgeon Dr. Gregory Peyer, of Prevea Regional Orthopedic Center, is now seeing patients at Community Memorial Hospital in Oconto Falls. Peyer specializes in comprehensive orthopedic care, total shoulder replacement and arthroscopic rotator cuff repair.

“Dr. Peyer brings over 30 years of comprehensive orthopedic experience to our organization and is a welcome addition to our medical staff,” said David Lally, CMH business development manager.

Peyer received his medical degree from Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine in Chicago, where he also completed his residency. He is board certified by the American Board of Orthopedic Surgery and a fellow of the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons.

Wed
08
Jan

Gillett police officer resigns

Officer Ben Hicks has resigned from the Gillett Police Department to accept a position with the Marinette County Sheriff’s Department. The Gillett City Council on Thursday accepted his resignation, which took effect Dec. 31.

The city plans to promote one of its three part-time officers to fill the position. Interviews are scheduled Jan. 16, with an applicant expected to be approved at the Feb. 6 council meeting.

In his Dec. 20 letter of resignation, Hicks said it was bittersweet to resign. The Gillett native thanked the City Council members for their trust and for “their continued efforts in making this department as strong as it can be.”

Police Chief Jess Keplinger said Hicks was instrumental in updating the technology and equipment of the department. He also served as a field training officer, teaching new employees patrol techniques and department policies and procedures.

Wed
08
Jan

Claimants include hunting-law criminals

At least four individuals who have filed verified claims to receive compensation from the state of Wisconsin for hunting dogs killed by wolves had prior criminal convictions for hunting-related offenses. These payments, as well as those to individuals with less serious hunting-related forfeitures, are legal.

The four convicted criminals are:

Josh K. Schlosser, 31, of Oconto: 2009 misdemeanor conviction for killing a bear without a license; was fined $2,108 and had his DNR hunting privileges revoked for three years. Filed a claim seeking $4,500 for the death of a hound in 2011; received the maximum $2,500.

The state Department of Natural Resources is now investigating whether Schlosser was hunting without a license in 2011. Schlosser, in an interview, said his wife was doing the hunting when the hound was killed, adding of the DNR, “There’s not a damn thing they can do.”

Wed
08
Jan

State pays lawbreakers after hound deaths


Photo by Jane Belsky

Wolves are highly territorial and may kill dogs and other animals. The state has a program to compensate the owners of these animals.

Wisconsin, the only state with a program that compensates the owners of dogs killed by wolves while hunting other animals, has paid tens of thousands of dollars during the past decade to individuals who have violated state hunting or firearms laws.

Seven individuals received a total of $19,000 in payments after they were convicted of crimes or paid forfeitures for hunting or firearms-related offenses, according to an analysis by the Wisconsin Center for Investigative Journalism. An additional $20,000 went to four claimants who were subsequently fined for such offenses, including bear hunting without a license.

Wed
08
Jan

Ownership change under way for Suring apartments

A Madison-based corporation has agreed to buy a Suring apartment building that village officials threatened to condemn because of substandard living conditions.

Village leaders are confident the change will result in better living conditions for the tenants of Pioneer Villa Apartments, 415 N. Mill St., who have reported problems that include a leaky roof, building deterioration and an insect infestation.

“It should be good for everybody because they have the ability to improve the living standards,” said Carol Heise, village clerk.

Wisconsin Housing Preservation Corporation of Madison will purchase the 20-unit Pioneer Villa Apartments and eight-unit Manor Drive Apartments, 416 Manor Drive, from the Suring Non-Profit Housing Corporation, which will be dissolved.

Wed
08
Jan

Farm storage loans available from FSA

The Farm Service Agency offers low-interest loans to producers to build or upgrade storage facilities and permanent drying and handling equipment.

Loan opportunities include new conventional-type cribs or bins, oxygen-limiting and other upright silo-type structures, flat-type storage structures designed for whole grain storage, perforated floors, safety equipment, quality improvement equipment, electrical equipment and concrete components considered essential for a fully functional storage facility. Loans are also available for remodeling existing storage facilities to increase storage capacity.

Farm storage facility loans must be approved prior to site preparation, equipment purchase and construction. They must be secured by a promissory note and security agreement. The maximum principal loan amount is $500,000.

Participants are required to provide a down payment of 15 percent.

Wed
08
Jan

Slight turnover projected for County Board

Three Oconto County Board supervisors will not seek another term in office, including one whose wife is running for the seat he will soon vacate.

Judith Buhrandt, of Mountain, has filed as a candidate for supervisor of District 29, a position held by her husband, Don, who is completing his second two-year term.

Judith Buhrandt was Mountain’s town treasurer for 20 years, leaving the position about 10 years ago. She said she has accompanied her husband to the County Board and committee meetings and is knowledgeable of the issues. Several individuals encouraged her to run for office when they learned Don would not seek another term, she said.

The District 29 supervisor represents Mountain and part of Riverview.

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