News

Wed
22
Jan

Healthy living is goal of donation

An international company with local ties has thrown its support behind the Oconto Falls softball complex in an effort to improve the community.

According to a spokeswoman for Saputo Cheese, the $25,000 donation proposed for development of the fields is a way to improve the health of area residents.

“From a community outreach perspective, we want to support projects that get kids moving … and help people live healthier lives,” said Olivia Goodfellow, senior adviser of the Sponsorships and Donations Department of Saputo Cheese.

She said Saputo Cheese looks to invest in small, community projects wherever it has a facility, whether it be in the U.S., Canada or Argentina. Saputo Cheese, 317 N. Rosera St., Lena, employs 530 workers.

“We’re just really proud of being part of the project and helping out the community,” she said.

Wed
22
Jan

Audit uncovers error in retirement benefits

The Oconto Falls School Board heard welcome news from its auditor Jan. 13 regarding its post-employment obligations.

Dave Maccoux of Schenck Associates said previous reports had overstated the district’s liability because payments for sick leave were also counted as post-employment obligations. When employees retire, they may use some of their acquired sick leave to pay health insurance claims, he explained.

“Because it’s based on their earnings as an employee, it is really not a post-employment benefit, but basically a sick-leave payout,” Maccoux said.

Correcting this miscalculation reduced the projected liability costs by about $1.5 million.

“The change is huge. Is there anything else you can find like that?” School Board member Charles O’Harrow said, drawing a laugh.

Maccoux said the district had a good budget year, and the audit did not uncover any significant concerns.

Wed
22
Jan

Schmidt sentenced to life without parole


Wolf River Media Photo by Joan Koehne

Daniel Schmidt confers with his attorney, Eric Maciolek, Tuesday at Schmidt’s sentencing hearing for the murders of Kimberly Rose and Leonard Marsh. Oconto County Circuit Court Judge Michael Judge sentenced Schmidt to two consecutive sentences of life in prison, without parole.

A Shawano man, maintaining his innocence, was sentenced Tuesday to the maximum penalty allowable for the double murder of a brother and sister in 2009.

Daniel Schmidt, 30, was sentenced to two consecutive sentences of life in prison, without chance of parole, for the intentional homicides of his ex-mistress, Kimberly Rose, 32, and her brother, Leonard Marsh, 22, on May 19, 2009.

Schmidt was arrested in September 2012 and found guilty by an Oconto County jury in October of the shotgun slayings, which occurred at the home Rose and Marsh shared in the town of Gillett.

In his short remarks to the judge, Schmidt offered his condolences and prayers to the family of Rose and Marsh, but offered no apology.

“I can’t apologize for something I did not do,” he said with a clear voice.

Wed
15
Jan

3 races contested for County Board

The speculation this fall that Oconto County Board supervisors would lose their seats for supporting a $25 million law enforcement center was largely unfounded.

Incumbents will face challenges in three of the 31 districts, including two in which the supervisors—Vernon Zoeller and Terry Brazeau—voted against the law enforcement center project.

The County Board’s decision was controversial because supervisors abruptly selected a residential site near the courthouse, abandoning a plan to build in the town of Little River. Supervisors also sidestepped a long-promised voter referendum, which many predicted would fail.

District 2

Wed
15
Jan

Residents want say in proposed jail


Times Herald Photo by Joan Koehne

Alderman Al Schreiber gestures to make his point Jan. 7 at a Committee of the Whole meeting in Oconto. Schreiber said it would be good to discuss the proposed law enforcement center with the county leaders but warned against trying to stop the county from building on the site it approved.

Before a law enforcement center is built in their city, Oconto residents are invited to offer their input by volunteering for a city committee that will meet with those spearheading the project.

The Oconto City Council, at the Jan. 7 Committee of the Whole meeting, authorized the formation of an ad hoc law enforcement center committee; the decision required approval at Tuesday’s City Council meeting in order to take effect.

The council in October passed a resolution supporting the construction of the law enforcement center in or near the city of Oconto but did not specify a location. The potential loss of property tax revenue and the demolition of the homes on an entire city block has raised questions from some residents, who formed a citizens group and brought their concerns to city leaders.

Critics of the plan also say a jail will be an eyesore, and the location was chosen in haste, without suitable public input.

Wed
15
Jan

Saputo Cheese to donate $25K for softball fields

The softball complex at Oconto Falls High School has scored another major donation.

Saputo Cheese, one of Oconto County’s largest employers, plans to contribute $25,000 toward the development of the softball fields north of the high school.

Superintendent Dave Polashek announced the donation to the School Board on Monday. The agreement is scheduled to be finalized by attorneys before the School Board meeting Feb. 10, then approved by the board.

Calls to a Saputo Cheese representative involved with the contribution were not returned on Tuesday morning.

According to Athletic Director Jerry Moynihan, a check presentation will take place at an upcoming basketball game and will involve Saputo employees from the Lena location and Panther Pride, the community group overseeing the project.

Wed
15
Jan

Rogatzki makes run for OF School Board

A former Oconto Falls High School teacher and football coach is a candidate for the Oconto Falls School Board.

Duane Rogatzki, of Oconto Falls, is among four individuals vying for two seats on the board. Other candidates are Stephanie Wijas, of Little Suamico, and incumbents Jan Stranz, of Abrams, and James Spang, of Oconto Falls.

The election takes place April 1.

Suring

Voters in the Suring School District will have one contested race on their ballot. Incumbent Eugene School Jr. and Erika Schindel filed for the seat representing the towns of Bagley, Maple Valley and Spruce.

Two other incumbents are running unopposed: Cathleen Lundgren for the towns of Doty, Mountain and Riverview seat, and Mark Strehlow for the town of How seat.

Gillett

Wed
15
Jan

Court to hear case regarding drainage district

A hearing is set for 10 a.m. Wednesday, Jan. 22, at the Oconto County Courthouse on several lawsuits filed against the Oconto County Drainage Board concerning the operation of the Lena/Stiles Drainage District.

Lawsuits have been filed by Paul M. Murphy; the John J. Murphy Revocable Trust, by Rosalie A. Murphy, trustee; and the Jerome P. Murphy Revocable Trust, by Rosalie A. Murphy, trustee.

The focus of the lawsuits concerns the board’s denial of petitions to restore, repair and maintain the district drainage ditches.

According to a press release from the board, these petitions were denied for a number of reasons, including that the district specifications are invalid since they were not submitted to a proper public hearing.

The board also said in the press release that the repair and maintenance being sought by the Murphys is cost prohibitive.

Wed
15
Jan

73 county workers challenge new pay scale

The appeal process hits full swing this week for 73 county employees—triple the number anticipated—who are dissatisfied with a pay scale adopted by the County Board in November.

At the time of the plan’s adoption, Administrative Coordinator Kevin Hamann estimated about 10 percent of the 250 employees affected by the plan, which took effect with the Dec. 29 pay period, were likely to appeal.

Under the plan, compensation increased from 0 to 8 percent. No employees had their wages cut; the few determined to be overcompensated had their pay frozen.

The first round of appeals is scheduled to be discussed Friday and Monday between department heads and representatives of Carlson-Dettmann Consulting. The Madison-based consultants performed an employee classification/compensation study for a fee of $55,000 and recommended the pay scale approved by supervisors.

Wed
15
Jan

Ballots due Friday for FSA committee elections

Farmers and other agricultural producers in Oconto and Marinette counties are encouraged to vote in FSA county committee elections by Friday, Jan. 17.

“FSA county committees provide producers with the opportunity to help implement federal farm programs in their communities,” said Nancy Swenty, director of USDA’s Oconto-Marinette County Farm Service Agency. “It is important that all farmers and ranchers, especially women and minorities, participate in the election process to ensure the opinions expressed in committee meetings reflect an area’s agricultural needs and concerns.”

Producers must return ballots to their local FSA offices by the close of business on Jan. 17. Newly elected committee members and alternates take office Feb. 18.

Pages

Subscribe to RSS - News