News

Wed
09
Apr

Gillett to sell Ridgewood lots

The city of Gillett will try to find buyers for five residential lots, the last it owns in the city, in the Ridgewood Heights Subdivision.

The Gillett City Council on Thursday unanimously agreed to place a notice in the Times Herald advertising the lots for sale.

The decision came one month after Mayor Irene Drake vetoed a similar agreement adopted by the City Council, 3-2, and two months after the council shied away from a proposal to sell the lots to a developer for $1 each.

Drake said the revised agreement includes an important provision not included in the original: the city may accept or reject any proposal. The city will consider a minimum of $4,950 for each lot.

Drake said she still has reservations about the agreement.

“I would’ve preferred to see the lots sell for more, because I do think they’re worth more than that,” she said.

Wed
09
Apr

Drug take-back event planned in Suring

The Oconto County Sheriff’s Department will participate in the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration’s National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day on Saturday, April 26, in Suring.

Community members can drop off their medications free and anonymously from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Suring Police Department, 604 Main St. Residents are encouraged to bring expired or unneeded medicines to the collection site, eliminating the potential for diversion, misuse, abuse or accidental poisoning.

Participants may dispose of solid medications by removing the medication from its container and placing it directly into a disposal box. Blister packages are acceptable without the medications being removed. Liquids will be accepted, also, and must be in their original packaging. Inhalers and needles/sharps will not be accepted.

Wed
09
Apr

Trailhead facility grant put on hold

The Gillett City Council on Thursday delayed its plan to seek funding for a trailhead facility at the base of the Nicolet Trail, deciding to wait a year to have a better handle on its design, cost and long-term upkeep.

The city has been working on a grant application, due April 15, to request an estimated $400,000 from the Department of Natural Resources to cover the project.

According to design proposals, the trailhead facility would include a computerized kiosk featuring trail information, vending machines, picnic tables, restrooms and shower facilities. Other improvements would include an asphalt parking area, signs, security cameras and landscaping.

Wed
09
Apr

Oconto County Circuit Court

Proceedings from April 4

An arraignment was held for Tim W. Lintner, 61, Green Bay, on charges of burglary of a building and aggravated battery of an elderly person, which allegedly occurred Feb. 14 in the town of Gillett. The court ordered a competency exam. A cash bond of $20,000 continues. A status conference is May 12.

Proceedings from April 1

An initial appearance was held for Kyle L. Davis, 17, Mountain, on two charges of burglary of a building or dwelling as party to a crime, which allegedly occurred Jan. 27 and Feb. 15 in Riverview. A cash bond of $15,000 was set. A continued initial appearance is April 10.

Proceedings from March 31

A preliminary hearing was held for Cory R. Basten, 24, Mountain, on a charge of operating a motor vehicle without the owner’s consent on Oct. 11 in Little Suamico. A cash bond of $200 continues. An arraignment is May 8.

Thu
03
Apr

Neenah man charged with death of friend

A Neenah man faces homicide charges after his friend was killed Saturday when the pickup truck they were in crashed into a tree.

Zachary J.E. Romnek, 19, was charged on Tuesday in Oconto County Circuit Court with homicide by intoxicated use of a motor vehicle for the death of Thorton Lee Gressler, 19, of Bonduel, a back-seat passenger. Gressler was pronounced dead at the scene.

Tests showed Romnek’s blood alcohol level to be 0.11 percent. Wisconsin’s legal limit is 0.08.

According to a criminal complaint, Romnek was standing on top of his Dodge Ram pickup when an Oconto County sheriff’s deputy arrived at 2:45 a.m. at County Road W in Riverview, south of Martha Lane. The vehicle was approximately 15 feet off the road, resting on its driver’s side in the south ditch against a large tree.

Wed
02
Apr

Newcomer elected to Falls School Board

Local races were decided today throughout Oconto County. Here are the unofficial results.

School Board

One incumbent, Jan Stranz, was re-elected to the Oconto Falls School Board, earning 464 votes, and a second, James Spang, was defeated, with 297 votes. Stephanie Leanna Wijas will join the board after tallying 379 votes. Duane Rogatski, the fourth candidate, received 235 votes.

For the Suring School Board, incumbent Eugene School Jr. successfully reclaimed his position representing the towns of Bagley, Maple Valley and Spruce with 206 votes, beating Erika Olson Schindel, with 176. Two other incumbents ran unopposed and were re-elected: Cathleen Lundgren for the towns of Doty, Mountain and Riverview seat, and Mark Strehlow for the town of How seat.

County Board

Wed
02
Apr

RGI seeks applicants for Forever Fund

Revitalize Gillett Inc. is seeking applicants for the 2014 Forever Fund. Established in 2008, this annual award promotes growth in the community by awarding money to an individual or business located within the Gillett School District.

The award is granted based on the applicant’s plans to use the money to further the development of the area and support RGI’s mission statement, which is to make the Gillett community “a better place for all ages to live, work, shop and play.” The award this year is $2,000.

The Forever Fund is made possible through donations from the community. Each year, 5 percent of the fund’s balance is awarded for projects. Past recipients are Sunshine Child Care Center, Gillett Rail Runners ATV Club, The Cracked Cup, The Seat Doc, Howlin’ Grooming & Training, and Main Street Laundromat.

Wed
02
Apr

Safe water is goal of Lena’s $3.4 million project


Times Herald Photo by Joan Koehne

Craig Schuh, an engineer with Ayres Associates, points to a blueprint of a proposed water treatment facility to be constructed south of St. Anne’s Catholic Church in Lena. Construction will begin this summer. The treatment process is required to bring the water supplied by well No. 1 into compliance with Department of Natural Resources radium regulations.

Just over a year after Lena closed one of its two wells, the course is set to rectify the problem.

In February 2013, Well No. 1, at the Village Hall, was above 5 picocurie per liter of water (pCi/l) and out of compliance with U.S. Environmental Protection Agency standards. It was immediately shut down, and the village began operating with only one well—and studying its options.

At an informational meeting Thursday, village leaders and a consulting engineer unveiled plans for a new water treatment facility and related underground infrastructure, plus modifications to the two wells in the village. The $3.4 million project is scheduled to begin this summer.

The meeting occurred just three days after the village received some good news in the form of a $750,000 Community Development Block Grant from the Department of Administration. The village is also in the running for an EPA grant of $500,000 in principal forgiveness.

Wed
02
Apr

Committees hash out law enforcement center issues

The city of Oconto will be changed forever.

Come 2015, a residential neighborhood in the city will give way to a modern jail facility and related offices. Just how much the city will change is a concern of an ad hoc committee created by the Oconto City Council.

On March 26, the committee met with Oconto County officials to learn about plans for the $25 million project, scheduled to be completed in December 2017.

Administrative Coordinator Kevin Hamann said the county will consider a number of design options, such as underground parking below the Sheriff’s Department, for the law enforcement center, which will include a jail to accommodate 125 inmates and an Emergency Operation Center.

Hamann said the center has the potential to expand in the future, adding another 50 to 60 beds.

Ad hoc committee member Marsha Present was concerned about the center’s appearance.

“I don’t want an industrial park area,” she said.

Wed
02
Apr

Oconto among less healthy counties in Wisconsin

Oconto County ranks among the less healthy counties in the state, according to the annual County Health Rankings released by the University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

The County Health Rankings rank the overall health of nearly every county in all 50 states. The rankings allow counties to see how well they are doing on 29 factors that influence health, including smoking, high school graduation rates, employment, physical inactivity and access to healthy foods.

Oconto County ranks in the bottom half for health outcomes, with a rating of 57 out of 72 counties. In 2013, it ranked 46th in this area, which measures length and quality of life by determining the number of poor physical or mental health days and the occurrence of premature death and low birth weight.

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