News

Thu
11
Jul

Rebirth proposed at ex-Oconto hospital

A proposal to develop an apartment or office complex at the boarded-up hospital building in Oconto was greeted with enthusiasm last week by city leaders.

Representatives of Smet Construction Services, of Green Bay, met with the city’s Industrial Development Commission on Thursday to unveil their plans for the facility, which closed about 10 years ago.

According to a proposal submitted by Smet’s Memorial Gardens Redevelopment of Wisconsin, the original hospital building will be renovated into offices or apartments. The building additions would be demolished and the land incorporated into the project. Located at the corner of First Street and Collins Avenue, the two-story building is approximately 12,000 square feet.

“I love that building and it needs to be utilized,” Mayor Victoria Bostedt said.

“We are supportive of that as well,” said Kevin Hamann, administrative coordinator for Oconto County.

Thu
11
Jul

Gillett campground slow to develop

“Slow” is the word to describe the development of Gillett’s new campground.

“It’s going slower than I wanted it to,” said Rick Raatz, chairman of the Community Development Authority subcommittee in charge of the project.

Hopes were scuttled that Nicolet Trail Campground would open before the prime camping week of the Fourth of July, but Raatz remained optimistic the 20-site campground will be ready in a few weeks.

Gillett’s Community Development Authority is developing the campground on Washington Street to cater to ATV enthusiasts and others who use the Nicolet State Trail.

A few stakes, scattered mounds of dirt and a pile of shiny culverts at the property fail to resemble a campground, but not all preparations for the campground are visible from the street.

Raatz said fire pits are on order and picnic tables are under construction by a local craftsman.

Thu
11
Jul

Oconto County Circuit Court

Proceedings from June 26

A plea and sentencing hearing is set for July 19 for Levi J. Liebergen, 19, Oconto. He is charged with manufacturing a controlled substance, possession with intent to deliver a controlled substance, and possession of drug paraphernalia. He was arrested April 14 in Oconto. His $1,500 cash bond continues.

Lauren S. Ireland, 33, Green Bay, made an initial appearance on being party to burglary and theft, which allegedly took place May 10 in the town of Chase. Her appearance is continued to July 11, and a $10,000 signature bond was set.

Paul L. Linde, 65, Green Bay, was sentenced after revocation to spend a year in jail. He violated his probation by possessing drug paraphernalia. He owes court costs and fines of $722.

Thu
11
Jul

Oconto County Sheriff’s Department

An Appleton resident reported June 22 a six-gallon gasoline tank was removed from his pontoon, while it was docked at a lagoon in the town of Brazeau. Replacement value of the tank and its contents was listed at $105.

On June 20, a Suring man reported the theft of a rod and reel combo taken from a dock where his boat was parked. The location was not disclosed.

A five-gallon gasoline tank was reported stolen from a boat on a lake in the town of Riverview. The report was made June 20. Total valued of the tank, gasoline and a tank strap was listed at $160.

Thu
11
Jul

Pest alert: Time to walk the fields

This is one of those years where disparity and differences abound. Some fields haven’t been planted yet; others appear normal. Some areas are rather wet; others could use rain. And so it goes.

The one aspect of managing crops that doesn’t change too much from year to year is the need to manage pests. The trick is that the pests can differ significantly from year to year. Thus, now is the time for farmers to get out into the fields and start their pest scouting regimens, or make sure their crop consultants are doing so.

Proper scouting can prevent a pest problem from becoming a devastating loss in a field or crop, or can prevent a problem from even occurring. Farms always have to be on the lookout for new weed species, so they can change their weed management programs to properly account for what is present. Finding a small patch of a new weed and eradicating is much cheaper and simpler than changing your entire system.

Thu
11
Jul

Gillett hires clerk/treasurer

A rural Gillett woman with seven years of accounting experience is the new clerk/treasurer for the city of Gillett.

Beth Rank has been hired to fill a vacancy following the resignation of deputy clerk/treasurer Stephanie Schmutzer, who handled the city’s bookkeeping since November 2010.

Seventeen candidates applied for the position, and Rank was among three final ists. Her employment was confirmed June 17 at a special meeting of the Gillett City Council.

“I am hoping to work with the citizens of Gillett and the City Council to bring the best possible service to Gillett,” she said.

Since 2006, Rank, 31, has been employed at All-Ways Accounting of Clintonville. In 2010, she earned a Bachelor of Science in accounting from the University of Phoenix online program.

A native of Clintonville, Rank moved to Gillett three years ago. She is married to Jordan Rank, a former Gillett alderperson, and her father was a town board chairman in Marathon County.

Thu
11
Jul

Trial delayed in 2009 double homicide

The trial of a rural Shawano man accused of killing his former mistress and her brother has been postponed. The trial of Daniel Lee Schmidt, 30, scheduled to start on Monday will be delayed until Oct. 14, due to a change in prosecutors.

Schmidt is accused of two counts of first-degree intentional homicide for the shotgun slayings of Kimberly Rose, 32, and Leonard Marsh, 22.

Assistant Attorney General Richard Dufour has been assigned to the case as a special prosecutor, replacing Assistant Attorney General David Wambach, who was appointed judge for the Jefferson County Branch III Circuit Court. The schedule change was arranged at a status conference Monday with Judge Michael Judge in Oconto County Court.

Jury selection is scheduled Friday, Oct. 11, with the trial to take place the following week.

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.

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