News

Thu
11
Jul

Boat landing blitz spreads message

Lake associations statewide spent the Independence Day weekend educating boaters and other water enthusiasts about invasive species and the threat they pose to native fish and plant life.

Berry Lake drew about 40 people Friday morning at a boat landing blitz as officials talked about phragmites, eurasian milfoil and other invasive species and how some boaters could be transporting them from one lake to another without realizing it. Because of the threat, a number of organizations in Menominee and Oconto counties are involved in education and prevention efforts.

“Berry Lake, right now, is in fairly good condition as far as the number of invasives. Our neighbors have more than we do,” said Brian Ewart, president of the Berry Lake Association Inc. “You never know when they’re going to appear because everybody is moving boats between all of the lakes.”

Thu
11
Jul

Funding approved for assistant DA

After more than two decades of waiting, Oconto County has secured state funding to expand its assistant district attorney position from half time to full time. A biennial budget signed June 30 by Gov. Scott Walker includes $77,800 for a 0.5 full-time-equivalent assistant position.

Robert Mraz, Oconto County ADA for 32 years, has decided to move to full-time work. Funding for the position takes effect July 14.

Before the full-time position was approved, Mraz divided his time between the positions of ADA and county corporation counsel. The corporation counsel prosecutes and defends civil actions involving the county, advises the County Board and all departments, and reviews and drafts contracts, resolutions, ordinances and county code revisions.

The county will shop for a new corporation counsel.

Thu
11
Jul

Oconto County Sheriff’s Department

At 12:05 a.m. June 20, a car driven by a male left County Road V in the town of Underhill and overturned several times. He was cited for failure to notify police of an accident and driving after his license was suspended. It was undetermined which direction the vehicle, which sustained severe damage, was traveling before the accident.

At 2:05 p.m. June 27, vehicles driven by a female and a male were each traveling north on state Highway 32 at County Road CCC in the town of Morgan. The female was making a left turn onto Church Street near County Road CCC when the male attempted to pass her vehicle but hit the rear side of her auto. He was ticketed for unsafe passing.

Thu
11
Jul

Back-to-back years of deficit proposed for Suring

The Suring School Board in June approved a preliminary $7 million budget with a deficit of $175,000, and for a second year in a row, will tap into its $3 million fund balance to cover the shortfall.

Last year the budget was projected at a $169,000 deficit, which Suring Superintendent Robert Ray said is on target.

“We don’t have all the June bills in yet, but it’s going to be that or a little bit more,” he said. “I’m a little more excited about this year.”

The 2013-14 preliminary budget does not include forestry income money the school district will receive, and although Ray did not know the exact amount, he said the additional funds will put the budget “in a little better shape later on.”

School officials will not know the tax impact for district residents until October, but Ray predicted little change. The tax rate for the 2012-13 school year was $7.17 per $1,000 of equalized valuation.

Thu
11
Jul

Oconto Falls Police Department

On June 25, a resident on Cherry Avenue reported a doorknob was damaged at the residence and footprints were found inside the home. Nothing was reported missing.

On June 27, a resident on South Washington Street reported someone attempted to gain access to a garage at the residence.

On June 28, a man reported two people were trying to enter his vehicle, which was parked on South Washington Street. The individuals fled before police arrived.

A 19-year-old Oconto Falls man was cited for disorderly conduct June 27 after allegedly making threatening remarks regarding an ex-girlfriend.

Scrap cinder blocks piled on the playground of St. Anthony’s School, 253 N. Franklin St., were reported smashed on June 30.

On July 1, Rocky Ridge Shooters Supply, 136 N. Main St., reported its phone and cable lines were cut.

Thu
11
Jul

Mlados charged in Abrams murder

A second man from Oconto Falls has been charged with homicide in a 15-year-old murder case. Prosecutors allege Charles J. Mlados, 54, was present at the shooting of a Green Bay man and helped to hide the body.

Mlados is charged with one count of intentional homicide — party to the crime in the death of Chad J. McLean, a 19-year-old who went missing Feb. 22, 1998. His body was found March 22, 1998, in the Pensaukee River near a bridge by Sandalwood Golf Course in Abrams. According to autopsy reports, McLean died of multiple gunshot wounds to the head.

Also accused of the homicide is Peter J. Hanson, 52, of Oconto Falls, who in April pleaded not guilty. He goes to trial in December.

According to an amended criminal complaint, McLean was last seen at a home in Abrams, where he was drinking beer with friends when Mlados and Hanson arrived. McLean, who wanted a ride to Green Bay, reportedly left with Hanson and Mlados.

Thu
11
Jul

Think meat safety as you fire up grill

A few columns ago, I told about drinking unpasteurized milk or other types of unpasteurized dairy products. This time, I’ve got new data on meat product safety that gives me the chance to tell about meat industry safety as we go full bore into grilling season.

Remember that proper food handling and safe cooking practices in the home are the absolute most important part of food safety. Properly stored and thoroughly cooked meat products will be safe to eat, even in the odd chance that they had a positive microbial incidence.

The first study I want to summarize is the just-released 2012 salmonella testing data from the nearly 31,000 random samples collected across the U.S. from the meat and poultry packing industry by the USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service. Overall, the incidence of salmonella was down from 2011, indicating that new techniques are working to help minimize bacterial contamination of the food supply.

Thu
11
Jul

Fire destroys building on Main Street in Oconto

A fire of suspicious nature destroyed a vacant building on Oconto’s Main Street early Sunday morning but did not spread to a home and business next door.

Fire Chief Jack Mlarnik said the fire at the former Danz Video building is being investigated by the fire and police departments as an arson case, because no ignition source existed in the building. Because the utilities were no longer hooked up, there was no heat source to start a fire, he said.

Oconto Fire and Rescue units were called to 808 Main St. at approximately 12:30 a.m. and immediately noticed a large amount of black smoke coming from all sides of the building. The two-story, wood-frame building had been vacant for at least two years. According to online tax records, the building is owned by VDZZ Plus Inc.

Thu
11
Jul

Oconto County Circuit Court

Proceeding from July 2

David G. Shepard Jr., 26, Lakewood, entered no contest pleas to repeated disorderly conduct and obstructing an officer. He was arrested Dec. 20, 2012, in the town of Lakewood. He had been charged with battery causing injury but after plea negotiations, that charge was amended to repeated disorderly conduct. His sentencing will take place Aug. 9, and his $2,500 signature bond continues with the condition he have no alcohol and must not be in any bars or places alcohol is sold or served.

Proceedings from July 1

Brandon M. Lewis, 23, Oconto, was sentenced to six months in jail for theft which occurred Feb. 14, 2013, in Oconto. He was also ordered to pay $1,033 restitution and $253 court costs. A charge of operating another’s vehicle without the owner’s consent was read in and then dismissed.

Proceedings from June 28

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