News

Tue
28
May

Oconto Falls School Board pays down $500K of 2012 note

The Oconto Falls School Board voted unanimously last week to pay down some of a $9.09 million general obligation promissory note established in December 2012.

Superintendent Dean Hess said the note has been used to stablize the mill rate and plan for the future, working with the consultants at Baird Financial Group.

An opportunity exists to reduce the debt by $500,000 in addition to the district’s regular payments, Hess said.

He likened it to being able to pay off a 20-year mortgage in 15 years.

“As anybody knows, if you can do that, you save significant dollars on the interest,” Hess said.

Tue
21
May

Vi McDermid is 2019 Oconto Falls parade marshal


Vi McDermid, 93, has been selected as grand marshal of the 2019 Oconto Falls Memorial Day parade. (Contributed photo)


The Oconto Falls American Legion Post 302 color guard leads off the 2018 Memorial Day parade. (Times Herald file photo)

When Vi McDermid’s granddaughter Jessica Angus Andrich was in sixth grade, she interviewed her grandmother for a school paper.

“I asked her if she would like to live any part of her life over? She said that she would like to live it all over, because she had so many friends there and she really truly loved it,” the young girl wrote in 1989.

Violet Rose Trudeau McDermid, who has lived in Oconto Falls for all of her 93 years, has been named the grand marshal of the 2019 Memorial Day Weekend Celebration Parade, which will wind its way through downtown starting at 12:30 p.m. Monday.

The parade is one of the crown jewels of the annual four-day festival, which runs Friday through Monday with many events based at Memorial Park.

Barb Salscheider submitted a biography of this year’s grand marshal:

She was born April 17, 1926, the ninth of 10 children, and attended St. Anthony’s School and church.

Tue
21
May

Veterans get the go-ahead to build


The final artist’s rendering of a proposed veterans monument for Oconto Falls shows the addition of a community sponsor wall to the left and a wall honoring veterans who were POW/MIA or killed in action to the right. (Art Courtesy of Oconto Falls American Legion Post 302)

After many years of effort and many months of conversation, it appears a monument honoring veterans will be built this summer in Oconto Falls on school district property not far from Woodlawn Cemetery.

At its May 13 meeting, the Oconto Falls School Board gave the go-ahead for local veterans groups to construct the monument on green space just south of the school district office at 200 N. Farm Road.

Bob Maloney, who has served as spokesman for the effort since it was revived a year ago, told the board that the final design adds a wall on both sides of the monument, which is expected to be about 70 feet wide and 70 feet deep, with a 5-foot-high wall emblazoned with the symbols of the five military branches, tapering down to 3 feet on either side.

To the left of the monument will be a community sponsor wall recognizing large monetary and in-kind donations.

Tue
21
May

Oconto Falls to host 2020 wrestling regional, sectional

Oconto Falls High School hosted a WIAA track and field regional for the first time on Monday — and there’s a wrestling sectional tournament in its near future.

Athletic Director Jerry Moynihan told the School Board last week that the state high school athletic association awarded Oconto Falls the hosting duties for its division sectional next February.

As an added bonus, the school will also host regionals the week before.

“As you recall, Suring used our (track and field) facility the previous two years to host their regional,” Moynihan said. “Now we felt our facility was ready to handle it and we were ready to handle it, because it is such a big deal.”

Hosting the wrestling sectional next year will be a big boost for the school’s overall athletic attendance, he said.

Tue
21
May

Oconto Falls City Council remembers Jay Kostreva


Oconto Falls Police Chief Brad Olsen hugs Jay Kostreva’s widow, Judy, as Mayor Brad Rice looks on during the May 14 meeting of the City Council. Kostreva, an alderman and former police chief, died April 23. (Times Herald photo by Warren Bluhm)

Former Oconto Falls alderman and police chief Jay Kostreva was honored at the May 14 meeting of the City Council, the first to be held since the 69-year-old public servant died.

Mayor Brad Rice formally retired Kostreva’s chair, then walked to Judy Kostreva, his widow, and read a resolution honoring his memory. Kostreva died April 23 after a short illness.

“Jay Kostreva has dedicated his time and talents to our community in so many ways,” Rice said, including his work with the street department, police department, as a volunteer firefighter and serving 11 years on the council. He also volunteered numerous hours at the Oconto County Humane Society.

“Jay also spent many morning with his buddies at the local garage, trying to solve the world’s problems over a generous cup of coffee or two,” Rice read. “Most of all, he was a devoted husband, father and grandfather to his family and treasured the time spent with each of them.”

Tue
21
May

Gillett Middle School recognized

Gillett Middle School was among 114 Title I Schools of Recognition that were honored Monday at the state Capitol.

State Superintendent of Public Instruction Carolyn Stanford Taylor presented the honors that recognize success in educating students from families who are economically disadvantaged.

Gillett was among 81 Beating the Odds schools that are in the top 25 percent of high-poverty schools in the state and for 2017-18 had above-average student achievement in reading and mathematics when compared to schools from similarly-sized districts, schools, grade configurations and poverty levels.

Tue
21
May

Highway 32 improvements to start

Gov. Tony Evers has signed a $4.1 million contract to improve state Highway 32 in northern Oconto County from County Road AA to Parkway Drive within the towns of Breed and Mountain, and from County Road W to County Road F within the towns of Mountain, Riverview and Lakewood.

Work is scheduled to begin May 28 and finish in late August. The highway will remain open during construction.

Northeast Asphalt of Greenville is the prime contractor for the project, which includes milling and resurfacing Highway 32 with hot mix asphalt pavement, widening shoulders from three to five feet, applying pavement marking, and installing centerline and shoulder rumble strips.

Wed
15
May

Sheriff asks public help in fight against heroin

The Oconto County Sheriff’s Office is asking for the public’s assistance reporting any tips on the illegal sale and distribution of narcotics in the community.

Brian A. Blasing and Chasity M. Denny, both of Oconto, were back in court Thursday, facing first-degree reckless homicide charges in the Sept. 12 heroin overdose of Jeffrey Pecha. Judge Jay N. Conley scheduled Blasing’s preliminary hearing for May 20, while Denny’s initial appearance was continued until June 13 pending appointment of a public defender.

Both are being held in the Oconto County Jail in lieu of $100,000 cash bond.

A news release from Sheriff Todd Skarban acknowledges the help of the Northeast Tri-County Drug Enforcement Group in the investigation that led to the arrests of Blasing and Denny, including the Marinette County Sheriff’s Office and the Marinette Police Department.

Wed
15
May

Drug take back initiative is effective

About 46 pounds of unused and/or unwanted prescription medications were dropped off at HSHS St. Clare Memorial Hospital on April 27 as part of the National Prescription Drug Take Back Initiative.

This is the second time the Oconto County Sheriff’s Department and HSHS St. Clare have teamed up to participate in the initiative, which is designed to provide county citizens with a safe, convenient, and responsible means to dispose of medications.

During the initiative, 31 citizens participated through the Oconto Falls hospital.

The next initiative will be held this fall. In the meantime, a drug disposal box is available at the sheriff’s office, 220 Arbutus Ave., Oconto, from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday-Friday.

Tue
14
May

Prison sentence handed down in fatal crash


Bailiffs escort Eric Solomon into an Oconto County courtroom Monday to be sentenced for second-degree reckless homicide. (Times Herald photo by Warren Bluhm)

An Oconto County judge went beyond the prosecutor’s recommendation Monday in sentencing a Wyoming man for his role in the Sept. 11 crash that killed Cory Folts of Oconto Falls.

“The criminal conduct of Eric Solomon has brought the Folts family into this courtroom this morning asking for justice, pleading for justice and a justice that I cannot give them,” Judge Michael T. Judge said before sentencing Solomon, 32, to 10 years in prison followed by 10 years of extended supervision. “There is no way I can heal their hurt that they are experiencing and will experience in some form for the remainder of their lives.”

As part of a plea agreement, Assistant District Attorney Robert Mraz and defense attorney Brent DeBord had recommended 7½ years in prison followed by 7½ years of extended supervision. Judge’s sentence split the difference between the recommendation and the maximum 25-year sentence for second-degree reckless homicide.

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