News

Wed
24
Jul

OFHS Spanish classes in limbo

School officials in Oconto Falls struggling to find a high school Spanish teacher may rely on online instruction for advanced students for the 2013-14 school year.

The School Board on July 15 approved the resignation of Jessica Wettstein, a five-year veteran who accepted a position in the Coleman School District. A replacement has not been found.

Assistant Superintendent Candie Lehto said online learning for third- and fourth-year students was one of several options under consideration. Other options include employing long-term substitute teachers, sharing an instructor with a nearby district or offering classes via a long-distance learning network.

“There’s just a brainstorming right now. There’s lots of possibilities,” she said.

Classes for first- and second-year students are expected to be taught by another instructor already on the staff.

Wed
24
Jul

Outlook murky for proposed new jail

A proposal to build a law enforcement center in the town of Little River faces new uncertainty, this time due to an updated wetlands map that changes the boundaries at the proposed site.

According to the map, the flood fringe boundaries are now closer to the proposed center, nearer to where a parking lot is proposed. The flood fringe may not to be disturbed.

The County Board has considered constructing a 122-bed jail, 9-1-1 communications center and Sheriff’s Department offices in Little River to replace the aging and too-small facility in the courthouse complex in Oconto. Opponents of the Little River site have called the land too swampy to build upon, but studies done several years ago determined it’s a buildable site.

The middle of the 14-acre parcel will provide ample space for the proposed facility, along with room for expansion, Oconto County Administrative Coordinator Kevin Hamann said.

Wed
24
Jul

Health and Human Services Dept. adds to staff

Two people who provide services through Oconto County’s Health and Human Services (HHS) Department will transition from contracted workers to county employees.

“Without the unions here now, we want to have the ability to hire people in these positions,” said Craig Johnson, director of HHS.

Contracted employees tend to leave the positions because they don’t have insurance, retirement and other benefits, he said.

The County Board on Thursday approved the employment of Dustin Coopman as its employment/training specialist, with a starting wage of $17.42 an hour. He has provided this service on a contracted basis for more than two years. Kim Reissteck was hired as fraud investigator, at $17.42 an hour. She has provided this service for Oconto County for the past nine years.

Wed
24
Jul

Oconto County Circuit Court

Proceedings from July 19

Jason L. Holtger, 39, Oconto, was sentenced to four years in prison for driving while intoxicated, fifth offense. He was arrested Oct. 6, 2012, in Oconto. The sentence was imposed and stayed, and he was placed on probation three years with the conditions he spend 10 months in jail, pay $250 DNA surcharge, $3,527 fines and court costs, maintain full-time employment, attend alcohol and other drug abuse assessment, have no alcohol or illegal drugs, not be in bars or places alcohol is sold or served except for restaurants and then to eat only. His driver’s license is revoked 36 months, and an ignition interlock was imposed for 36 months.

Wed
24
Jul

Fair completes bleacher replacement

Fair patrons at the demolition derby, pull and catch-a-pig events at the 2013 Oconto County Fair will enjoy more comfortable and safer seating with the replacement of the major portion of bleacher seating at the track on the fairgrounds.

County fair directors and volunteers completed construction of the 80 feet of new bleachers on July 1. They worked mostly in the evenings over two weeks to erect the bleachers in time for the Gillett Fourth of July celebration. The new bleachers replace the steel and wood bleachers that had served for many years but in recent years had been deteriorating faster than they could be maintained.

Custom Metal Specialists, of Oconto Falls, designed and fabricated the new bleachers.

The fair runs from Thursday, Aug. 22, through Sunday, Aug. 25.

Wed
24
Jul

Donation jump-starts Gillett library expansion

A $29,000 donation from the estate of Ann Horick will act as a catalyst for the Gillett Public Library expansion project, according to Library Director Kay Rankel.

“Ann was a fan of everything that went on in Gillett,” said David Pelow, president of the library board of directors. “She was just a community person and a very civic-minded person.”

Horick, who passed away in June 2012, was always involved with the community, Rankel said. Horick worked at the Gillett State Bank for over 30 years and was a lifelong member of St. John’s Catholic Church.

Horick left her estate to various recipients in the Gillett community, including the school district, police department and ambulance service.

Wed
24
Jul

Oconto County Sheriff's Department

At 5:50 a.m. July 21, a vehicle driven by a Lena woman swerved to avoid striking a deer on Midway Road north of County Road A in the town of Lena, entered a ditch and overturned several times. Her vehicle sustained severe damage.

At 10:55 a.m. July 20, a vehicle driven by a New Berlin man was backing up and struck the Stiles Junction Food and Fuel building on Duame Road in the town of Stiles, causing moderate damage to the building. The impact caused items inside the store to fall and injured an Oshkosh woman. An ambulance was called, but medical personnel determined she did not require transportation to a medical facility.

Wed
24
Jul

Just how popular is a vegetarian diet in US?

Will the real vegetarian please stand up?

I’m not being cynical with that question, but being realistic, at least according to data from self-identified U.S. vegetarians.

First, let’s look at some of that data. According to the Vegetarian Resource Group’s annual national survey, less than 3 percent of Americans do not eat meat in any given year. However, there are multiple studies that make that data even a bit suspect.

Two separate nationwide polls conducted in the early 2000s found that between 3 and 6 percent of respondents identified themselves as being vegetarian. However, when asked follow-up questions, 63 percent of those individuals admitted to eating meat within the past 24 hours. So, their image of themselves and their own reality seem to differ just a bit.

Wed
17
Jul

Bosacki gets 3 years in prison

A Green Bay man, whose high-speed ride on a country road ended in tragedy, will spend one hour at the grave of the girl who died in the crash on the anniversary of her death, for 10 years.

He will also spend three years in prison.

A teenage girl died and two friends riding in the back seat were seriously hurt when Brandon Bosacki lost control of the car and crashed on Oak Orchard Road in Pensaukee in June 2012.

The 21-year-old college student said because of the injuries he suffered, he doesn’t remember what happened, but admitted he was driving too fast.

“I regret it every day of my life,” he said at his sentencing hearing July 10.

Judge Michael Judge sentenced Brandon Bosacki to a 10-year term, three years in prison and seven years of probation, for the death of Jamie Bialozynski, 17, of Abrams.

Wed
17
Jul

Oconto County Sheriff’s Department

At 8:20 p.m. July 1, a female driver was westbound on County Road W in the town Riverview, left the road and struck a porch on a house about 75 feet off the roadway. The exact location of the home was not available. Her van sustained minor damage.

At 1:04 p.m. July 5, two female drivers were injured in a two-vehicle accident on County Road I at Fuller Lane in the town of Oconto Falls. One woman stopped her car on County Road I to turn onto Fuller Lane and was struck from behind by a car driven by the second woman. After impact, both vehicles entered a southbound ditch. Severe damage was reported to each vehicle.

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