News

Wed
11
Dec

Gillett Public Works pleased with salt shed

Gillett’s newly constructed salt shed provides a safer and easier method for the delivery of salt, according to Public Works Director Tim Christensen.

“It works just as planned,” Christensen said of the $43,000 storage facility constructed south of the fire station at 310 W. Park St.

The shed holds 45 tons of salt for the Street Department to use on icy streets and sidewalks.

“We’re going to be in good shape,” Christensen said.

Depositing salt in the new facility is safer and involves less labor than the old method, which required the roof to be lifted and propped up. Trucks can back into the new building and unload the salt easily.

“Dumping the salt in there, it’s just night and day difference,” Christensen said.

The 24- by 24-foot concrete shed is 20 feet tall and nearly completed. The electrical hookup for the garage door and trim above the door are yet to be finished.

Wed
11
Dec

Oconto County Sheriff’s Department

At 8:40 p.m. Dec. 6, a pickup truck driven by a Peshtigo woman swerved to avoid striking a deer while traveling north on County Road Y in the town of Little River. Her vehicle left the roadway and entered a ditch. She was cited for failure to notify authorities of the accident. Her pickup sustained moderate damage.

At 2:35 p.m. Dec. 5, a car driven by a woman from Mountain was eastbound on Paya Lake Road in the town of Riverview when it skidded on ice, traveled up an embankment and struck a snow bank. Moderate damage was reported to her vehicle.

At 5:15 p.m. Dec. 3, a car driven by a Pulaski man was attempting to stop and turn right onto Frontier Road from County Road S in the town of Little Suamico. His vehicle slid on ice and struck a car driven by a man from Green Bay that was stopped at the intersection. Minor damage was reported to both vehicles. No injuries resulted.

Wed
11
Dec

Applications accepted for conservation program

The USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service is accepting new applications for the Conservation Stewardship Program. Farm and forest landowners may apply by Jan. 17 for possible 2014 funding.

In 2013, 308 Wisconsin farmers and forestland owners enrolled in CSP, with an average payment of $5,408 per contract. Over $1.6 million in payments will be made to those farm families this year and over $8.3 million over the course of the five-year contract.

“For many farmers, CSP offers reward and recognition for the conservation they are already doing, plus a little extra incentive to try a few more or new practices,” said Jeff Maroszek, NRCS district conservationist for Marinette and Oconto counties.

Eligible lands include cropland, pastureland, nonindustrial private forestland and tribal agricultural lands.

Thu
05
Dec

Trial begins in 1998 homicide case

A chance encounter almost 16 years ago led a Green Bay teen to cross paths with two men in Abrams, and the end result was murder. That’s what special prosecutor Vincent Biskupic told an Oconto County jury Wednesday in the intentional homicide trial of Peter Hanson, 52, of Oconto Falls.

In his opening statement, Biskupic said 19-year-old Chad McLean's death “can only be described as senseless,” claiming Hanson shot McLean in the head with a .22-caliber gun Hanson modified and showed off to neighbors before Feb. 22, 1998, when McLean was last seen alive.

Wed
04
Dec

Homicide trial begins for Oconto Falls man


Times Herald Photo by Joan Koehne

Peter Hanson, followed by his attorney, Jeffrey Jazgar, enters an Oconto County courtroom Nov. 27 for a motions hearing. Opening arguments were scheduled to be presented Wednesday in the case against Hanson, accused of the homicide of Chad McLean 15 years ago.

A 12-person jury will decide if an Oconto Falls man, after a night of drinking, shot and killed a Green Bay teenager 15 years ago.

Peter J. Hanson, 52, of Oconto Falls, faces one count of intentional homicide — party to the crime, for the death of Chad McLean, 19, who died of multiple gunshot wounds to the head. McLean’s body was found on March 22, 1998, in the Pensaukee River in Abrams, one month after he was reported missing.

The charge of party to homicide means the individual either committed the crime or assisted someone else.

Special prosecutor Vince Biskupic, after Hanson’s initial appearance in April, said prosecuting a 15-year-old case has both challenges and advantages.

“Memories fade and you have to make sure you have witnesses who have their memories properly refreshed, but sometimes time yields better evidence and people feel more comfortable coming forward,” he said.

Wed
04
Dec

Gillett adopts 2014 tax levy with 4-2 vote

Although the proposed 2014 budget came under fire from two aldermen Nov. 25, the city of Gillett plans to use tax money to pay for a fourth full-time police officer whose employment was funded by a grant since 2011.

Aldermen Rick Raatz and Tod Anderson voted against the proposed $392,627 tax levy, which was approved 4-2. The levy is up 4 percent over last year.

The budget included total expenditures of $1.21 million, down .02 percent from last year. A tax rate for residents has not been determined, city officials said.

At a budget hearing attended by a dozen residents, several speakers accused the council of overspending for public works projects — including the 2012 purchase of a new snow plow — and poor planning, claiming the council should have developed a way to pay for the police officer long before the grant funding disappeared.

Wed
04
Dec

VIP program benefits offenders, taxpayers


Times Herald Photo by Joan Koehne

Joe LaFortune, shown in an Oconto County courtroom, is recruiting agents for the Volunteers in Probation program, which he directs.

A “double-benefit” is how Gerome Finn described Oconto County’s Volunteers in Probation program.

The program, an alternative to jail or state probation for first-time offenders of nonviolent, misdemeanor crimes, helps rehabilitate first-time offenders (benefit No. 1) at no expense to county taxpayers (benefit No. 2).

“The main thing is there is more of an individual, personal relationship between the agents and the clients where we can meet them and work with them,” said Finn, comparing VIP to state probation. “For that reason, and also financially, I think it is a great program.”

It’s a “great program” in need of more volunteers, said Joe LaFortune, VIP director who has worked with the program for 11 years.

VIP was established in 1997 by Larry Jeske, a circuit court judge, and modeled after an Outagamie County program begun in 1971.

Wed
04
Dec

Candidates can begin quest for local offices

Oconto County residents interested in holding public office have five weeks to file nomination papers for the spring election.

Nomination papers are available at Wisconsin’s Government Accountability Board website, gab.wi.gov, or at municipal buildings for town, village and city positions, school district offices for school board races and the Oconto County Courthouse for supervisory seats.

Candidates must submit the papers before 5 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 7. A primary will be held Tuesday, Feb. 18, if needed, with the spring election on Tuesday, April 1.

Following is a list of incumbents:

County supervisors

All 31 Oconto County supervisory districts will be on the ballot. Supervisors are elected for two-year terms.

Wed
04
Dec

CMH welcomes surgeon to staff

Board certified general surgeon Dr. Seth Smith of Prevea Health has joined the medical staff of Community Memorial Hospital.

Smith provides a full range of surgical services including minimally invasive breast surgery, thyroid and parathyroid disease surgery, and advanced laparoscopic surgery of the colon, gallbladder, adrenal, hernia and spleen.

“As a general surgeon, I enjoy providing my patients with the most advanced methods available to give the best outcome and superior cosmetic results,” Smith said. “Some of the greatest recent medical advancements have been in breast and laparoscopic surgery. I’m proud to have the latest training in these areas.

“I also strive to put my patients at ease by thoroughly discussing any questions or concerns they have.”

Smith received his medical education from the University of Nebraska College of Medicine in Omaha. He completed his residency at Iowa Methodist Medical Center in Des Moines.

Wed
04
Dec

Oconto Falls Police Department

Two 13-year-old boys from Oconto Falls were stopped by police Nov. 10 after throwing eggs at a home on West Highland Drive.

A concrete deer on display on the lawn of St. Anthony Church, 253 N. Franklin St., was tipped over Nov. 11, and one of its antlers broke, causing $400 in damage. An outdoor water spigot was also damaged.

A 44-year-old woman from Cecil and 41-year-old man from Oconto Falls were arrested on outstanding warrants after causing a disturbance Nov. 13 at an apartment on Jackson Street.

A dark-colored SUV lost its side mirror after striking a mailbox Nov. 14 on West Highland Drive. The vehicle left the scene. The mailbox was not damaged.

Police responded to a false alarm at N.E.W. Credit Union on Nov. 20.

The door to a storage area at a Park Avenue apartment was damaged Nov. 21, but nothing inside the storage area was reported missing.

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