News

Wed
06
Nov

Oconto County Circuit Court

Proceedings from Nov. 1

Stanley B. LeClair, 64, Athelstane, entered a plea of not guilty by reason of mental defect to a stalking charge, which allegedly occurred between May 23 and June 2 in the town of Townsend. A status conference is set for Dec. 23, and a $10,000 cash bond continues.

Breanna J. Heller, 22, Green Bay, entered not guilty pleas to causing substantial battery and disorderly conduct. She was arrested July 6 in the town of Lena. Her pretrial conference is Dec. 16, and a $2,000 cash bond continues.

A pretrial conference is Dec. 5 for Thomas J. LaViolette, 42, Oconto. He is accused of strangulation and suffocation, battery and disorderly conduct and was arrested Aug. 10 in Oconto. A $500 cash bond continues.

Wed
06
Nov

Oconto County Sheriff’s Department

At 2:30 a.m. Nov. 3, a car driven by a woman from Altoona left County Road J in the town of Oconto and entered a ditch. She left the scene and when contacted later told authorities she swerved to avoid striking a deer. She was not injured. Her vehicle sustained moderate damage.

At 10:55 p.m. Nov. 3, a woman from Oconto Falls was traveling north on U.S. 141 south of Chicken Shack Road, town of Stiles, and struck a deer on the roadway. She sought her own treatment for injuries she sustained when the airbag in her vehicle deployed. Moderate damage was reported to her automobile.

At 7:08 p.m. Oct. 30, a car driven by a man from Little Suamico was northbound on West Frontier Road in Little Suamico and was turning west onto Havenwood Hills Drive. He entered the northbound ditch and struck a dead end road sign, causing moderate damage to his vehicle. He was not injured.

Wed
06
Nov

Tax levy up 1 percent for county

Oconto County will rely heavily on its reserve funds to retain its debt-free status for a fourth consecutive year. The Oconto County Board on Thursday unanimously approved the 2014 county budget.

“The Finance Committee did a great job in better years putting money away for a rainy day. But we are now at that rainy day,” said Kevin Hamann, administrative coordinator. “We can use the general fund balance for maybe another year or two, and then it’s going to dry up.”

The county tax rate, or mill rate, will increase 1.5 percent, to $5.227, from $5.149, per $1,000 assessed property value.

The tax levy will increase from $17,987,812 to $18,168,492, up 1 percent from last year. The county’s equalized value dropped about $18 million from a year ago.

The county will draw $7 million from its reserve funds, with $4.7 million for one-time spending and $2.3 million for ongoing operations.

Wed
06
Nov

Guilty pleas expected in tavern arson case

Prosecution of three area residents responsible for several intentional fires is winding down, with two more guilty pleas expected today.

Jessica Miller and Donald Halbur Jr., both of Crivitz, are scheduled to plead guilty today in federal court to arson in connection with the July 2012 fire at Miller’s bar in the town of Bagley.

Their trial was to begin Monday in federal court in Green Bay before defense attorneys notified the court on Oct. 25 that their clients intend to plead guilty.

Terms of the plea agreement were not available.

According to court documents, Miller asked Drew Christensen, of Suring, to set fire to Miller’s Jaded Bar in Bagley to collect the insurance proceeds.

Christensen, 29, a former town of Brazeau volunteer firefighter, subsequently also confessed to burning down Miller’s town of Stephenson residence in June 2011 so Miller could obtain insurance money to buy a bar.

Wed
06
Nov

K-9 unit fetches new dog with memorial gift


Photo by RJ Reinhold

Barron, a German shepherd new to the Oconto County K-9 Unit, is anxious to get to work. “He’s still very active,” said his handler, Deputy Chad Angus.

For Mark Zeitler, a commitment to keep alive the memory of his father has produced the memory of a lifetime for himself.

For the past three years, the Zeitler family has organized the Memorial Bird Dog Field Trial Hunt in memory of Karl Zeitler, who passed away in 2010.

The proceeds from the 2013 event, $10,500, were donated to the Oconto County Sheriff’s Department K-9 unit to buy a new dog.

Mark Zeitler, of Abrams, accompanied deputies Todd Skarban and Chad Angus to the Steinig Tal Kennel in Campbellsport when they chose the dog — 17-month-old Barron.

“It was an amazing experience to see the dogs in action,” Zeitler said.

Seeing what instructors teach the dogs and the amount of control they have was awesome and exciting, he added.

Zeitler said it was an easy decision to give this year’s profits to the Oconto County K-9 Unit when the family discovered Oconto County was in need of a new dog.

Wed
30
Oct

Oconto County Sheriff’s Department

At 6:05 p.m. Oct. 25, a car driven by a Green Bay man was traveling north on U.S. 141 north of Guelig Road, town of Stiles, and struck a couch on the roadway. It had fallen from a trailer being towed by a Chilton man. There was minor damage to the Green Bay man’s auto. No injuries were reported.

At 3:55 p.m. Oct. 24, a car driven by a man from Abrams was southbound on Timberline Road in the town of Abrams, failed to negotiate a curve, entered a ditch and overturned. He sought his own treatment for injuries sustained in the accident. The car required towing from the scene.

Wed
30
Oct

Oconto County Circuit Court

Proceedings from Oct. 25

An arraignment will be Nov. 15 for Daniel R. Williams, 21, Pulaski. He is charged with repeated being party to burglary and repeated party to theft, which allegedly took place Oct. 1 in Chase. His $20,000 cash bond continues.

An arraignment will be Nov. 15 for Ryan G. Larson, 19, Sobieski. He is accused of burglary of a building on Sept. 9 and burglary and theft between Sept. 1 and 13, all in Little Suamico. His $2,000 cash bond continues.

Julie S. Mann, 51, Oconto, entered a no contest plea to, as a felon, possessing a firearm. She was arrested Aug. 28 in Oconto. Her sentencing is scheduled for Dec. 19, and a $2,500 cash bond continues.

^

Proceedings from Oct. 23

Wed
30
Oct

Gillett residents OK 16% higher tax levy


Photo by Anne Renel

Gillett School Superintendent Todd Carlson welcomes attendees to the district’s annual meeting and budget hearing Thursday night. Carlson emphasized the educational success of the district, citing recent state report card ratings of exceeding expectations for the elementary and middle schools and above average ACT scores of high school students.

The Gillett School District annual meeting was quiet and businesslike Thursday night as school officials proposed a significant tax increase to residents.

Superintendent Todd Carlson told the audience a 16 percent hike in the tax levy was needed to cover significant decreases in general state aid to the district. He said when state aid is cut, school districts are forced to make up the difference to cover costs, which usually results in a higher tax levy.

Voters at the meeting reviewed a 2013-14 budget of $7.347 million for the district’s general fund and overall expenditures of $9.609 million, an increase of less than 1 percent from 2012.

Wed
30
Oct

Courthouse site set for proposed jail


Times Herald photo by Joan Koehne
Don Nerenhausen, former mayor of Oconto, speaks to the County Board Thursday, requesting a delay in the law enforcement center project.

The Oconto County Board charged ahead with its plan to build a law enforcement center in the middle of Oconto, snubbing an attempt to slow momentum on the project to consider alternative sites.

The board on Thursday approved a six-part resolution that follows its September decision to build the center adjacent to the courthouse. With the resolution’s 28-1 passage, supervisors reversed their decision to build on a 14-acre parcel in Little River and voted to put that land up for sale. They confirmed last month’s vote to build the center on the block north of the courthouse and agreed to begin the process of acquiring the 14 properties located there.

The county will negotiate with the city of Oconto to relocate utilities for the proposed center and vacate Adams Street from Park Avenue to Arbutus Street and two alleys on the block north of the courthouse.

Wed
30
Oct

Engineering hub planned in Gillett


Times Herald file photo
Renovations are under way for the Wausaukee Composites building on North Main Street in Gillett.

A Gillett manufacturing building, closed in 2012, will reopen as a center for engineering excellence, according to Paul Ehrfurth, director of the Oconto County Economic Development Corporation.

Ehrfurth said the project is a sign that the economic recession is reversing course.

Wausaukee Composites in Gillett, makers of Fiberglas components, closed its East Main Street facility in September, displacing 45 workers. Ehrfurth told the County Board on Thursday the building will be completely renovated to create an engineering center and accommodate one of the largest computer numerical control machines in the area.

“By the second or third quarter, they will have anywhere from 50 to 60 high-paying, designer engineer positions working out of that facility,” he said.

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