Oconto Falls teen killed in crash

The Shawano County Sheriff's Department has released the name of the 19-year-old man from Oconto Falls who was killed in a two-vehicle crash in the town of Washington early Friday.

The crash took place on state Highway 22 at Resort Road just before 2:30 a.m.

A southbound vehicle driven by Devin Michaud crossed the center line and collided with a northbound milk truck. Michaud died from the injuries he sustained in the crash, the sheriff’s department said.

The northbound vehicle was driven by a 63-year-old Marion man, who was not injured.

Michaud was on his way to work at Aarowcast Inc. in Shawano, Chief Deputy George Lenzer said Tuesday.

“Either he fell asleep at the wheel or some other inattentive driving was involved,” Lenzer said. Alcohol was not a factor, he said.

The Shawano County Sheriff’s Office was assisted by the Shawano Ambulance Service, Cecil-Washington Fire Department and the Shawano County Highway Department.


Couple’s $2.4M gift will help area students attend college

Kenneth C. Dittman and Loraine M. Dittman left a bequest to Gillett and Suring schools that Char Larsen of the Shawano Area Community Foundation calls a “huge opportunity.” (Contributed photo)

Two farm kids from Northeast Wisconsin who worked hard to succeed at their careers have left behind a $2.4 million gift to a Shawano Area Community Foundation charitable fund that, by 2019, will be awarding $100,000 a year in college scholarships to six Gillett High School graduates and five from Suring High School.

Loraine Dittman established a permanent endowment with SACF in 2007, putting in place a giving plan that the couple, who had no children, had decided on after attending a financial planning seminar. Kenneth died in 2001.

Their fund has been providing smaller scholarships over the past decade. With Loraine’s passing at age 82 in 2015, a bequest sent $2.357 million to the Kenneth C. Dittman and Loraine M. Dittman Scholarship Fund at SACF, a regional affiliate of the Community Foundation for the Fox Valley Region.


Tim O'Harrow named to Oconto County Board

Tim O’Harrow, left, thanks the Oconto County Board for accepting his appointment by Chairman Lee Rymer to fill the term of the late Supervisor Mary Lemmen. County Clerk Kim Pytleski administered the oath of office moments later. (Times Herald Photo by Warren Bluhm)

The Oconto County Board opened its meeting Oct. 19 with a moment of silence in memory of Supervisor Mary Lemmen, who died Oct. 12 at age 82.

County Board Chairman Lee Rymer said Lemmen had resigned from the board nine days before her death, saying her District 21 needed continuity of representation.

“That’s the way Mary was,” Rymer said. “She did this so we would treat it as soon as we could.”

The board approved Rymer’s appointment of Tim O’Harrow as Lemmen’s successor on a voice vote.

O’Harrow said he appreciated the opportunity to serve out the rest of Lemmen’s term, which expires in April.

“I certainly appreciated Mary’s input over the years,” he said. “I had the pleasure to sign her nomination papers many times.”


125 years in prison for child sex assaults

"You'd have to be reincarnated and come back to do the time that you deserve," the judge told Rodney Enneper.

An Oconto man convicted of sexually assaulting five boys was sentenced to 125 years in prison Thursday, but the judge said spending the rest of his life behind bars wasn’t enough.

“You’d have to be reincarnated and come back to do the time that you deserve,” Oconto County Circuit Judge Jay N. Conley told Rodney Enneper, 48, during the sentencing hearing.

A jury convicted Enneper of four counts of child enticement, five counts of second-degree sexual assault, one count of first-degree sexual assault and one count of repeated sexual abuse of the same child. The boys were 10 to 14 years old when the attacks occurred, beginning in 2005.

He was also convicted of 14 counts of possession of child pornography. Investigators found hundreds of images on his home computer after arresting him.


Counties Association recognizes Lee Rymer

Oconto County Board Chairman Lee Rymer (Times Herald file photo)

The Wisconsin Counties Association has honored Oconto County Board Chairman Lee Rymer with its 2017 Friend in County Government Award “in recognition of his efforts to protect county interests and further better county government.”

The award is the highest honor given by the association to an individual who has performed outstanding service not only in their own county, but also for the association and counties statewide.

It was presented during the organization’s annual conference Sept. 25-26 at the Kalahari Resort & Convention Center in Wisconsin Dells.

Rymer has been a county board supervisor for more than 30 years, including almost 20 years as chairman since 1998. His father, Morris T. Rymer, served 18 years as county board chairman.


Law Enforcement Center project sets safety record

The Oconto County Law Enforcement Center construction site has set a state record with more than 644 days without a lost-time accident.

Project manager Tim Harman drew applause when he made that announcement at the Oconto County Board’s meeting Oct. 19.

“It doesn’t look like we’ll hit 700 (days) if we finish in December, but it’ll be close,” Harman said.

Fourteen workers were still on site, building the bearing walls for the last steel that has to be set. A connector between the courthouse and the new center is the last piece of the puzzle.

“I was concerned, like Tim was, when we demolished A and B block what we found,” Administrative Coordinator Kevin Hamann said, referring to the old jail. “But as of right now, we don’t know of any big unknowns.”


County Board joins Big Pharma lawsuit

The Oconto County Board has agreed to join a pending class action lawsuit against several pharmaceutical companies that might have played a role in exacerbating the nation’s opioid epidemic.

Supervisors voted 24-3 on Oct. 19 to sign an engagement letter with three law firms that are preparing a class action suit against the companies. Ten other Wisconsin counties have already joined, and Oconto was one of seven additional counties scheduled to vote on the matter last week. So far, only Polk County has chosen not to participate, according to Oconto County Corporation Counsel Cheryl Mick.

Mick said Wisconsin Counties Association lawyers made a presentation about the effort during the organization’s annual conference last month.


Fire destroys barn, outbuilding

Six area fire departments responded Friday after fire broke out in a barn at 7165 Waterbrook Lane in the town of Oconto.

The Oconto Fire and Rescue Department was dispatched just after 5 p.m. for a report the barn was fully engulfed in flames.

According to Fire Capt. Josh Bostedt, flames were showing from all sides of the building when crews arrived, and thick, black smoke could be seen for miles. Oconto County land records indicate the property is owned by Michael Lorang.

Upon arrival, the metal roof had already collapsed, which made it more difficult to reach the fire underneath, Bostedt said.

Bostedt said the crews battled the blaze for hours, utilizing 1,400 feet of 2.5-inch hose along with 800 feet of 1.75-inch hose, and the Oconto Falls aerial truck used its elevated master stream.

In addition to Oconto Fire and Rescue, assisting departments came from Pensaukee, Little River, Lena and Oconto Falls.


Oconto County Circuit Court Proceedings: Sept. 25-Oct. 16

Proceedings of Oct. 16

Blaze L. Agen, 54, Oconto, waived his right to a preliminary hearing and pleaded not guilty to repeated sexual assault of the same child, child enticement, causing a child younger than 13 to view or listen to a sex act, causing a teenaged child to view sexual activity, and exposing his genitals to a child. A pretrial conference was scheduled for Dec. 14. Agen is being held in lieu of $50,000 cash.

Andrew A. Cherry, 19, Green Bay, was placed on two years of probation after being convicted of one charge of possession with intent to deliver prescription drugs, in connection with a March 16 incident. A two-year prison term was imposed and stayed pending the successful completion of the terms of his probation, which begins with 60 days in the county jail. A second charge was dismissed but read into the record. Cherry must maintain absolute sobriety and stay clear of known drug users or drug houses, among other conditions.


Oconto County Sheriff's Department: Oct. 12-19

Oct. 19

Deputies responded to 37 incidents, including the following:

Attempted burglary — reported in the 15000 block of Old 32 Road, Riverview 9:53 a.m.

Harassment — reported in the 6000 block of County Road E, Abrams, 2:36 p.m.

Noise disturbance — reported along Lilac Road, Little Suamico, 3:38 p.m.

Traffic crash — 8000 block of County Road I, Stiles, 3:39 p.m. Daniel A. Alsteen, 54, Lena, was stopped for a school bus and was rear-ended by Marshall C. Kotecki, 17, Lena. No apparent injuries.

Fraud — reported in the 12000 block of Willow Road, How, 3:38 p.m.

Fire — reported at FBM, 338 East Frontage Road, Little Suamico, 5:23 p.m.

Noise disturbance — reported in 7000 block of County Road I, Stiles, 7:10 p.m.

Oct. 18

Deputies responded to 40 incidents, including the following:

Disturbance — reported in the 5000 block of Mayflower Lane, Underhill, 8:41 a.m.


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