News

Wed
12
Mar

Residents advised to keep a faucet running

Despite the recent milder temperatures, the threat of frozen water mains remains. Gillett and Oconto Falls residents are reminded to run a steady stream of water—about the width of a pencil—from one faucet at all times.

“Just because its warmer doesn’t mean the frost is out of the ground,” said Chuck Grady, Oconto Falls Utilities supervisor. He said homes in the city continue to experience freeze-ups.

Gillett Utilities Supervisor Ron Anderson said homes will be tagged by city workers when it is safe to turn off the water. Several homes in the city are being serviced with garden hoses for their water supply, he told the City Council on Thursday.

The city experienced a frozen water main March 3 on Fourth Street, and contractors fixed the problem the next day. Anderson expects more problems as the frost leaves the ground.

“The ground will shift, and we can expect several water main breaks,” he said.

The frost is almost 7 feet deep, he said.

Wed
12
Mar

Little libraries coming to Gillett

The Gillett Elementary School staff has developed an idea to keep students reading over the summer months and is asking for the community’s help to launch the project.

At Thursday’s City Council meeting, reading teacher Kathleen Tracy outlined a plan for the school to provide “little libraries” around the city in an effort to prevent summer reading loss. Research shows that students’ reading development declines over the summer if they are not involved in some type of literacy program.

Little libraries are small, wooden boxes where students can take a book or return a book, at no cost. Similar programs exist in the area and around the country.

Several property owners have agreed to allow little libraries on their land, said Tracy, who plans to meet with the city’s Planning Committee on Wednesday to ask permission to place boxes on city-owned land. The program is scheduled to be in place this summer, contingent upon cooperation from the community.

Wed
12
Mar

Elementary school to reverse traffic flow Monday

Traffic patterns will change Monday at Oconto Falls Elementary School, in an effort to reduce traffic back-ups and improve safety for students arriving in the morning.

According to Principal Dan Moore, traffic congestion from 7:50-8:10 a.m. prompted the change.

Beginning Monday, traffic from Farm Road will enter the school parking lot at the north entrance and exit to the south, on Maria Volk Drive. This is a reversal of the current traffic flow, and signs will be posted to remind motorists of the change.

In addition, students will no longer enter through the front doors of the school. Instead, students in kindergarten, first grade and second grade will enter through the cafeteria doors in the rear of the school. Vehicles dropping them off will make a clockwise loop in the playground behind the school before stopping at the cafeteria doors to drop off the students.

Wed
12
Mar

Oconto Falls Police Department

An Oconto Falls man, 55, was cited for sex offenses on Feb. 18.

An Oconto Falls girl, 16, was cited Feb. 20 for smoking.

A Little Suamico man, 20, was cited for retail theft Feb. 20 after allegedly shoplifting at Radio Shack, 323 E. Highland Drive.

An Oconto Falls man, 32, was cited Feb. 28 for domestic abuse after a disturbance on North Main Street.

A Lena man, 46, was cited for disorderly conduct, harassment and unlawful use of a telephone March 1. The incident involved a woman living on North Main Street.

An Oconto Falls man, 39, was cited March 2 for domestic abuse and disorderly conduct after a disturbance on North Main Street.

An Oconto Falls woman on March 4 reported the theft of jewelry from her residence on North Main Street.

An Oconto Falls man, 34, was cited for disorderly conduct and battery March 6 following a disturbance on North Main Street.

Wed
12
Mar

3 County Board races on April 1 ballot

Three County Board supervisors face opposition in the April 1 election.

Competing for two-year terms are Thomas Kussow and incumbent Darrel Pagel in District 2, which covers part of Little Suamico; Joyce Stoegbauer and incumbent Vernon Zoeller in District 8, which covers parts of Abrams and Pensaukee; and David Rakowski and Terry Brazeau in District 27, which covers Brazeau and part of Spruce.

Here are their profiles.

District 2

TOM KUSSOW

Age: 78, lifetime resident of Oconto County

Education: Bachelor of Science degree in agriculture, University of Wisconsin-Madison

Employment: Dairy farmer 1958-1992; district sales manager for Dairyland Seed 1995-2002; part-time farmer

Experience: Appointed to the County Board in 1999 to finish term for his first wife, Bev

Wed
12
Mar

Oconto County Circuit Court

Proceedings from March 7

A continued initial appearance was held for James E. McDonald on a charge of strangulation and suffocation, which allegedly occurred Sept. 8 in Oconto Falls. He is also charged with physical abuse of a child-intentionally cause bodily harm, attempted strangulation and suffocation, and intimidation of a victim, which allegedly occurred Feb. 13 in Oconto Falls. Cash bonds of $500 and $20,000 continue. A status conference and preliminary hearing are March 20.

Proceedings from March 5

Wed
12
Mar

Oconto County Sheriff’s Department

At 6:05 p.m. March 6 in the town of Abrams, a vehicle driven by a man from Abrams was backing from a driveway on Oak Orchard Road and struck a vehicle operated by a man from Oconto Falls who was stopped in traffic at the end of a driveway opposite the first driveway. The Abrams vehicle sustained minor damage; the Oconto Falls vehicle, moderate damage. Neither driver nor a female passenger from Abrams in the first vehicle was injured. Large snowbanks in the area reportedly blocked the driver’s view.

At 7:46 p.m. March 9 in the town of Spruce, a man from Porterfield was westbound on County Road M at Parkway Road, followed by a vehicle driven by a woman from Suring. The first vehicle braked quickly and was struck from behind by the second vehicle. The first vehicle sustained minor damage, the second, severe damage. The woman was cited for not carrying liability insurance and following too closely. The man was cited for a taillight violation and following too closely.

Wed
05
Mar

Hanson sentenced to life in prison

Sixteen years ago, the mother of a 19-year-old entered the Green Bay Police Department, frantic over the disappearance of her son. On Thursday, exactly 16 years to that day, the man responsible for taking her son’s life was sentenced for the crime.

Peter Hanson, 53, was sentenced to life in prison for first-degree murder, as party to a crime, for the death of Chad McLean. He will serve his sentence in the Dodge Correctional Institution in Waupun.

“It’s what we’ve been waiting for for 16 years,” said Robert Neilson, brother of McLean’s mother, Carol Neilson. “It means a lot, and it’s the resolution we wanted.”

McLean traveled to Abrams in February 1998 with a longtime friend to seek out fishing spots in Oconto County. After ending up at the home of his friend’s relatives drinking beer, he accepted the offer of a ride home with two men.

Wed
05
Mar

Yatso honored for community service


Contributed Photo

Gail Yatso, right, accepts the 2014 Harold P. Heckendorf Community Service Award from N.E.W. Credit Union’s president, Lisa Gilligan. The award was presented Thursday at the credit union’s annual membership meeting.

Gail Yatso has been selected to receive the 2014 Harold P. Heckendorf Community Service Award.

The award, sponsored by N.E.W. Credit Union for the 12th year, pays tribute to Harold P. Heckendorf, a long-time volunteer board member who was a firm believer in the credit union philosophy of people helping people.

In addition to a plaque, Yatso received $250, and the charity of her choice, Home Respite Care Inc., received a matching donation.

“We are all very fortunate to have dedicated volunteers such as Gail Yatso active in our community,” said Laura Schenkoski, director of marketing at N.E.W. Credit Union.

As president and charter member of the Oconto Falls Lioness, Yatso has participated in many local and state projects. Some of these projects are The Avenue of Lights, Lions Camp, dictionaries for students and blood drives.

She is also the committee chair for the American Cancer Society Relay For Life at Memorial Field.

Wed
05
Mar

Spruce to pay $57K for legal fees

The town of Spruce has agreed to pay $57,000 to the attorney who filed an open records lawsuit to obtain documents regarding use of Holt Park, according to Town Clerk Barb Baugnet.

After winning his lawsuit against the town, attorney James Webster originally sought $72,548.11 for his legal costs. The town offered $47,215. Webster sought $57,000 in a counter-offer, which the town accepted, according to Baugnet.

The settlement became final Feb. 21 at a hearing before Oconto County Circuit Judge Michael Judge.

The town also has paid, as of Dec. 31, its attorney, Vance Waggoner, $15,395 for his work in the case. Baugnet said Waggoner has not yet presented his final bill.

The fees stemmed from a lawsuit Webster began in 2011 after becoming concerned about the town’s operation of a 48-site campground on land the Holt Lumber Company deeded to town residents in 1923 for use as a park.

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