News

Wed
26
Feb

Upgrades planned at Chute Pond Park

A Hobart engineering firm will design and oversee construction of two restroom facilities at Chute Pond County Park and Campground.

A proposal from Robert E. Lee & Associates was approved Thursday by the Oconto County Board. For a fee of $16,000, the company will perform a site survey, develop construction plans, bid out the project, obtain permits and oversee construction.

The 750-square-foot buildings will have a men’s restroom, a women’s restroom and four separate shower rooms.

The buildings are expected to cost $30-$50 per square foot to construct. Construction is scheduled to begin this spring and be completed during the camping season. The county budgeted $125,000 for a new building that will replace the existing one.

Supervisors Guy Gooding and Jim Lacourciere voted against the project. Gooding recommended delaying approval so the county could solicit other engineering bids. Only one bid was obtained.

Wed
26
Feb

Oconto County Sheriff’s Department

At 6:57 p.m. Feb. 11 on Watercress Road in the town of Stiles, a woman from Lena backed from a parking space in a parking lot into another parked vehicle. Moderate damage was done to the parked vehicle, with minimal damage to the driver’s car.

At 5 p.m. Feb. 14 in the village of Suring, a man from Gillett traveling west on Main Street slowed to make a left turn onto Mill Street. A second vehicle driven by a man from De Pere following him thought the first vehicle was turning right and moved to pass on the left. The first vehicle turned into the passing vehicle, causing moderate damage to both vehicles.

At 2:38 p.m. on Feb. 14 in the town of Little Suamico, a man from Little Suamico driving a pickup truck was northbound on U.S. 41 in the passing lane, following a flatbed semi tractor-trailer unit when debris flew off the semi trailer and struck the front of his truck, causing minor damage.

Wed
26
Feb

Oconto County Circuit Court

Proceedings from Feb. 20

Eric A. Bayer, 35, Suring, pleaded no contest to possession of THC (tetrahydrocannabinols) – second and subsequent offense. He was fined $750, must pay DNA surcharge of $250 and court costs of $2081.75 and have all drugs confiscated. He received credit for one day in jail.

A preliminary hearing was held for Howard Lucas, 39, Green Bay. He faces a charge of operating a motor vehicle without the owner’s consent as party to a crime. A $1,500 cash bond continues. His arraignment is March 10.

Proceedings from Feb. 18

Christopher R. Nelson, 28, Coleman, pleaded not guilty at his arraignment on a felony charge of operating a motor vehicle without the owner’s consent as party to a crime, which allegedly occurred Jan. 11 to Jan. 13 in Oconto County. Bond was modified from $1,500 to $500, and a pretrial conference is March 13.

Wed
19
Feb

Herzog loses bid for Gillett School Board

Paul Herzog was eliminated from the field of candidates competing for a position on the Gillett School Board. According to unofficial results from Tuesday’s primary, Herzog received 66 votes, the lowest among the five candidates.

Four others will advance to the April 1 election.

Jamie Heroux, with 96 votes, led all candidates. Incumbents Nanette Mohr and John Timm followed, with 88 and 85 votes respectively. Brandon Nygaard earned 82 votes.

On April 1, two candidates will be elected for three-year terms on the School Board.

Wed
19
Feb

Bostedt, Hayes advance in mayoral election

First-term incumbent Victoria Bostedt and Ron Hayes, Oconto Area Chamber of Commerce president, will face off for mayor of Oconto in the April 1 election. Bostedt received 400 votes, while Hayes tallied 362, according to unofficial results from Tuesday’s primary election. Alderman Ron Daul was eliminated from the race, earning only 72 votes.

In the nine-person race for alderman, Tony Daul was eliminated and eight others advanced. Daul received 200 votes.

Incumbents were the favorites; Lauren Resch earned 552 votes, Roger Reed, 446, and Al Schreiber, 417.

Next in line were John Wittkopf, 314 votes, Jodette Bostedt, 292, OraLee Martin, 263, Darrell Anderson, 258, and Shelley Rosenfeldt, 247.

Four positions are open on the Oconto City Council.

Wed
19
Feb

Count uncovers 1 unsheltered person

One person was found homeless in Oconto County on Jan. 29, the only person in a five-county area living outside a shelter, according to the results of a biannual homelessness count.

Forty-five others were residing in domestic violence shelters or homeless shelters, according to Amanda Anderson, community access director for NEWCAP, which coordinated the count for Oconto, Marinette, Menominee, Shawano and Florence counties.

The highest homelessness numbers were reported in Menominee County, with 27 individuals in shelters, followed by Shawano County with 12 and Marinette County with six. No individuals were found to be homeless in Florence County.

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development requires counts be conducted on the last Wednesday in January and July, and the results are used to evaluate the scope of local homelessness, engage in program development and assist in determining future funding for the community.

Wed
19
Feb

An explosion of speed and sound


Photo by Mark Mortell

Josh Simpson, of Otisville, Mich., makes a fast start Friday at the World Series of Ice Drags. For a third year in a row, the Oconto Falls Sno-Jokers club hosted the races at the West Side Beach in Oconto Falls.

The scream of the engines could be heard across town, but you had to get up close to truly appreciate the speed of the sleds as they whizzed past in a blur of color and sound.

“They’re a little crazy out there,” said Christina Bekkela, of Stiles, who spent her Valentine’s Day watching the races with her fiance, Neal Rebman. The couple rode their snowmobiles to the World Series of Ice Drags and watched the races from the bleacher area Friday and Saturday at the West Side Beach in Oconto Falls.

“We’re winter sports enthusiasts,” Rebman said. “We love snowmobiling, and we love going fast.”

“That might be a little fast for us,” Bekkela said, watching the action. “We’ll have a little competition between us and friends, but never something like this.”

Wed
19
Feb

Icing forces plane to make emergency landing

Icing caused a small plane headed for Menominee, Mich., to make an emergency landing Thursday afternoon at the Oconto airport.

The pilot of the twin-engine Beechcraft reported the emergency at 3:30 p.m. to air traffic controllers at Austin Straubel Airport in Green Bay.

Due to rainy and snowy conditions, the pilot had difficulty locating the runway at the Oconto-J. Douglas Bake Municipal Airport, according to Oconto Fire Chief Jack Mlnarik. The Oconto County Highway Department plowed the runway minutes before the plane landed.

The plane came down hard on its landing gear, breaking the gear and causing the plane to skid off the runway on its belly. The Fire Department applied foam to the aircraft’s engines to prevent a fire.

Wed
19
Feb

Gillett, Suring closer to spring sports co-op

The Suring School Board is set to approve a sports co-op agreement with the Gillett School District that would allow Suring students to play high school baseball and softball for the first time. Where the games will be played is still under consideration, according to Suring Superintendent Robert Ray.

The Suring School District has no softball or baseball facilities, so Suring officials propose the use of nearby parks in the town of How or Breed or the village of Suring, in order to play games in the Suring area. The fields are being measured and evaluated to assure they comply with Wisconsin Interscholastic Athletic Association regulations, and discussions have begun with town and village officials.

Gillett athletes compete at the Orby Jones Family Sports Complex, which has baseball and softball fields. Gillett Superintendent Todd Carlson said the School Board is aware of the request to host games in the Suring area and is open to discuss site options.

Wed
19
Feb

Revised comp time plan adopted

The Oconto Falls City Council on Feb. 11 voted to increase the number of compensatory hours available to city employees. With a unanimous vote, the council increased the limit from 40 to 80.

City Administrator Vicki Roberts requested the change, citing the extra hours employees are dedicating to snow removal and frozen water lines this winter.

Roberts could not provide an estimate of the number of extra hours needed for winter work this year, saying only, “It’s been a lot.”

According to federal statute, the city may give employees one and one-half hours of time off for every hour of overtime rather than pay the overtime rate. Roberts said the city would benefit financially by using compensatory time, and employees would have more vacation time.

Employees can choose which option they prefer and have no time limit in which to use the hours. The amount of time an employee can accrue cannot exceed 80 hours.

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