News

Wed
23
Jan

Veterans monument moves forward


A soil test and additional fundraising are the next steps before a veterans monument, shown here in an artist’s rendering, can be built just south of Oconto Falls School District offices. (File image)

After months of discussion, the Oconto Falls School Board has approved the terms of a memorandum of understanding with local groups for the construction and maintenance of a veterans monument on school district property.

Those terms include bringing a completed plan back to the board for final approval. Construction cannot begin until the veterans groups have raised at least 75 percent of the costs in cash and in-kind contributions.

Veterans groups must also establish a $20,000 sinking fund and pay annual fees of $300 for maintenance and $1,300 for insurance for the monument, which would be located just south of the school district office on North Farm Road. The veterans and school district each agreed to pay half of the attorney fees the district has incurred in negotiating and developing the memorandum.

Wed
23
Jan

Deadline nears for United Way applications

The deadline is fast approaching for area nonprofits to apply for funding through the Tri-City Area United Way 2019 Community Investment grant process. Each year, United Way welcomes new and existing partners to apply for funding in the areas of education, financial stability, health and community needs.

Tri-City Area United Way assists nonprofit organizations in Marinette and Oconto counties in Wisconsin, and Menominee County, Michigan.

Community Investment funding is open to any registered 501(c)(3) health and human services nonprofit organizations that align with United Way’s mission and funding priorities. The application is found on the website https://www.tricityareaunitedway.org/grant-application. The deadline to apply is Jan. 31.

Wed
23
Jan

Gillett graduation move seems permanent

The Gillett High School Class of 2020 can probably expect to graduate on the first Sunday in June, following the precedent to be set by the Class of 2019.

After a number of years when commencement was held during Memorial Day weekend, the school district set the ceremony for June 2 this year. According to teachers, the absence of seniors for nearly two weeks after graduation changed the school atmosphere and made it harder for remaining students to get end-of-the-year work completed.

“We’d like to have it on that last Sunday before the last week … (to maintain) that teaching time as much as we can with our students,” Superintendent Todd Carlson told the Gillett School Board on Thursday.

At that meeting, the board also got a report from Gillett FFA members who traveled to Indianapolis for their annual convention.

Wed
16
Jan

All in the family


The Tyczkowskis produced milk for White Clover in Hollandtown until 1994 before raising heifers. Today, beef cattle rule the barn. From left: Melissa, Reece, and Joseph Tyczkowski. (Photo by Charles Collier)

About five miles northwest of Pulaski, nestled in the flatlands of 100-acre fields and roads which are not-quite paved yet not-quite dirt is a piece of Wisconsin’s agrarian history.

Though the farm of Joseph and Melissa Tyczkowski just this year earned its designation as a Century Farm — one which has been in continuous family ownership for 100 years — it is neither the first in the area, much less the first in the bloodline.

“Grandpa bought this land in 1918,” said Joseph, who is named after his grandfather. “His father had a farm just up the way, and he was expanding the family farm off of that.”

The elder farm was founded in the mid-1880s by Polish homesteaders who carried the traditions and language of the old country with them. Generations of Tyczkowskis walked from their respective farms — as many as four different neighboring plots at one time — to the Hofa Park schoolhouse, where lessons were taught in Polish.

Wed
16
Jan

Morgan electors set their April ballot


This sign, created by Connie and Floyd Hilsabeck, announces details of the town of Morgan caucus, which was held Saturday. “Not too many people know what a caucus is,” said Connie Hilsabeck. (Photo by Eden Witt)

The town of Morgan held its caucus Saturday to nominate candidates to be on the spring ballot for chairperson, town supervisors, town clerk and treasurer.

Around 50 members of the community attended the town caucus, one of four held in the county to nominate the candidates for township positions that will be on the April 2 general election ballot instead of holding a primary.

Julie Belongia, who was nominated for town clerk, said holding a caucus is beneficial to candidates.

“The town decides that they don’t want to do a primary election so that the officers don’t have to worry about a February election,” said Belongia, who is currently the town clerk office holder. Primaries are held the third Tuesday in February if more than two people file for an office, and the top two vote-getters advance to the election in April.

Wed
16
Jan

TIF District No. 2 serves its purpose

The city of Oconto Falls has successfully closed its Tax Incremental Financing District No. 2.

The district was formed in 2002 to fund infrastructure improvements in a large area of the Oconto Falls Industrial Park to the west of Chestnut Avenue and the Pleasantview residential development to the east.

Under Wisconsin law, a TIF district can be formed for projects that promote economic development in the community. All taxing districts continue to receive property tax payments from the affected area at a base level, but the city keeps any increase in property taxes that the development generates to pay for its share of the improvements.

After the district has served its purpose, the other taxing entities, such as the Oconto Falls School District and Oconto County, receive their share of the higher tax revenue.

Wed
16
Jan

Ice fishing derby scheduled for Saturday

The White Potato Lake Sportsmen’s Club will hold its 31st Annual Ice Fishing Derby on Saturday, Jan. 19.

It will be held at Wouter’s Front II at landing three, on the shore of White Potato Lake. Fish registration begins at 8 a.m. and ends at 3 p.m.

Cash prizes will be awarded for the first-, second- and third-largest fish in the walleye, northern, bass, perch, bluegill and crappie categories. Attendance tickets are required for the fishing contest and will also enter participants in hourly drawings during the day.

The day’s festivities will take place in an 80-by-40-foot heated tent and include raffles, music, hot lunch and refreshments. Advance ticket sales will be available Jan. 18 at Wouter’s Front II, starting at 3 p.m.

Wed
16
Jan

Bank branches to close in Lena, Suring, Townsend

Huntington Bank branches in Suring, Lena and Townsend are among 11 to be closed as a result of the recent acquisition by Associated Banc-Corp.

When Associated completes its purchase of the Huntington Wisconsin branch network later this year, 17 locations of the two banks are likely to close. Six existing Associated branches are also on the list.

Accounts from the Suring and Lena branches would be consolidated into the Associated branch in Oconto Falls, according to filings with regulators cited by numerous media reports last week. Townsend would be absorbed into the Crandon office.

The agreement between Associated and Huntington is subject to regulatory approval, and the branches are expected to close during the first half of this year.

Tue
08
Jan

Spring election ballots set

A primary election will be held Feb. 19 in the Pulaski School District, which emerged as the most competitive local race after nomination papers were submitted last week.

Trina Townsend, Zone 1, is not seeking re-election to the Pulaski School Board. There will be a primary for the three candidates who are vying for that seat, with the top two vote getters advanceing to the April 2 general election.

Candidates had until 5 p.m. Jan. 2 to submit the necessary documentation to get on the spring election ballot. The deadline was extended in the town of Lakewood, where an incumbent supervisor who is not running for re-election failed to submit a Declaration of Noncandiacy as required by state law. Candidates had until the close of business Monday to file papers for Lakewood Town Board.

Tue
08
Jan

Nontraditional funeral setting available in Abrams


Funerals and memorial services are now available at the versatile Byng Community Theater in Abrams. James Beaton, funeral director of Legacy Funeral Chapels, said the theater gives Abrams-area residents a new setting for personalized farewells. (Contributed photo)

A new setting for memorial services and funerals is available in southern Oconto County. Legacy Funeral Chapels has partnered with Abrams Spotlight Productions Inc. to provide an alternate venue for funerals, giving Abrams-area residents a funeral setting close to home. Families can remember and pay tribute to a loved one at the Byng Community Theater, 5852 Maple St., Abrams.

Formerly used as a church, the Byng Community Theater has the ambiance of peace and spirituality. The stained-glass windows are reminiscent of the church’s Catholic origins, but today, people of all faiths or no faith at all are invited to gather there to say farewell.

“For people who don’t have a church but want a church setting, this fills the gap,” said James Beaton, funeral director of Legacy Funeral Chapels in Green Bay and Gillett. “People don’t have to come to the funeral home to pay their respects. Other options, like this venue in Abrams, are available.”

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