News

Wed
05
Mar

Yatso honored for community service


Contributed Photo

Gail Yatso, right, accepts the 2014 Harold P. Heckendorf Community Service Award from N.E.W. Credit Union’s president, Lisa Gilligan. The award was presented Thursday at the credit union’s annual membership meeting.

Gail Yatso has been selected to receive the 2014 Harold P. Heckendorf Community Service Award.

The award, sponsored by N.E.W. Credit Union for the 12th year, pays tribute to Harold P. Heckendorf, a long-time volunteer board member who was a firm believer in the credit union philosophy of people helping people.

In addition to a plaque, Yatso received $250, and the charity of her choice, Home Respite Care Inc., received a matching donation.

“We are all very fortunate to have dedicated volunteers such as Gail Yatso active in our community,” said Laura Schenkoski, director of marketing at N.E.W. Credit Union.

As president and charter member of the Oconto Falls Lioness, Yatso has participated in many local and state projects. Some of these projects are The Avenue of Lights, Lions Camp, dictionaries for students and blood drives.

She is also the committee chair for the American Cancer Society Relay For Life at Memorial Field.

Wed
05
Mar

Spruce to pay $57K for legal fees

The town of Spruce has agreed to pay $57,000 to the attorney who filed an open records lawsuit to obtain documents regarding use of Holt Park, according to Town Clerk Barb Baugnet.

After winning his lawsuit against the town, attorney James Webster originally sought $72,548.11 for his legal costs. The town offered $47,215. Webster sought $57,000 in a counter-offer, which the town accepted, according to Baugnet.

The settlement became final Feb. 21 at a hearing before Oconto County Circuit Judge Michael Judge.

The town also has paid, as of Dec. 31, its attorney, Vance Waggoner, $15,395 for his work in the case. Baugnet said Waggoner has not yet presented his final bill.

The fees stemmed from a lawsuit Webster began in 2011 after becoming concerned about the town’s operation of a 48-site campground on land the Holt Lumber Company deeded to town residents in 1923 for use as a park.

Wed
05
Mar

Students acclimate to college with 4X4 program

Northeast Wisconsin Technical College is working to ease the transition from high school to college for high school graduates by offering an innovative learning option.

Last fall, the Oconto Falls Regional Learning Center began enrolling recent high school graduates in the 4X4 general studies program, which focuses on learning one general study subject over a four-week period. Classes are held four hours a day, four days a week, for four weeks.

The consolidated learning format allows a student to complete one subject before beginning the next. The program eliminates the difficulty students may experience in a traditional college setting where they juggle more than one subject at a time.

Students can enter the program any time of the year, and classes will be offered in four-week periods this summer.

Wed
05
Mar

City Looks opens in Gillett

One of the oldest buildings in downtown Gillett is home to the city’s newest business. Angela Blaser opened City Looks by The Barbers in December.

Having previously rented a space just down the street, Blaser wanted to own a building and chose a location on Main Street with a lot of foot traffic.

A dentist office, eye doctor, restaurant and hardware store are nearby, making it handy for customers, said Blaser, the shop’s owner and manager.

It took about six months for her to renovate what once was a barber shop. With the help of her sister, Ellen White, Blaser made it her own.

“We had everything down to the studs,” Blaser said.

Her husband, Jason, who was away at a construction site, provided moral support and checked the progress when he could.

Blaser said she is passionate about her work and wants to keep up with the latest trends. Her client Wendy Freeman said she won’t go anywhere else.

Wed
05
Mar

Oconto County Circuit Court

Proceedings from Feb. 28

A sentencing hearing was held for Jeremy L. Dey, 36, on two counts of burglary of a building or dwelling and one count of theft of movable property – special facts. He was sentenced to six years of incarceration, including three years of extended supervision for the first two counts and one year incarceration with one year of extended supervision for third. All sentences will be served concurrently. He received credit of 207 days for time served and is eligible for the Challenge Incarceration and Substance Abuse programs. He must pay $19,152.64 in restitution and court costs of $556. He must have no contact with the victims, maintain absolute sobriety and employment, obtain his GED and complete an intervention program. Read in and dismissed were two felony counts of burglary of a building or dwelling, a felony count of possession of burglarious tools and four misdemeanor charges.

Proceedings from Feb. 26

Wed
05
Mar

Oconto County Sheriff’s Department

At 1:18 p.m. Feb. 17 in the town of Pensaukee, a car driven by a woman from Menominee, Mich., was northbound on U.S. 41 at 75 mph when she lost control of the vehicle and entered the median at Erdman Lane. The vehicle overturned, causing severe damage. The driver and a male child passenger restrained in a car seat required medical transport. The driver was cited for driving too fast for conditions.

At 10:20 a.m. Feb. 21 in the town of Brazeau, a vehicle driven by a man from Athelstane was eastbound on state Highway 64, following an Oconto County snow plow driven by a man from Suring. His vehicle skidded and struck the snow plow, causing severe damage to the vehicle and moderate damage to the snow plow. The driver and a female passenger from Silver Cliff were injured and required medical transport. The snow plow driver suffered no apparent injury but was transported to a medical facility. The driver of the vehicle was cited for following too closely.

Wed
26
Feb

Learning center proposed at bank location

BMO Harris Bank will close its Gillett branch on March 1, but the building may quickly find a new purpose.

According to Gillett Mayor Irene Drake, the city hopes to partner with the Gillett Public Library to purchase the building to use as a community activity and learning center. The city has made an offer on the building and is waiting for a response, she said.

It wouldn’t be the first time a bank building is converted in Gillett; the current library was once a bank.

The library’s board of directors is raising funds for an expansion to provide space for programming and meeting rooms. Purchasing the bank building, which is next door to the library, would change the plans but not the need for the addition, Library Director Kay Rankel said.

“The expansion project will continue no matter what,” she said.

Wed
26
Feb

Lena seeks financing for radium-reduction effort

The Lena Village Board on Feb. 17 began pursuing $3.4 million in financing needed for a project to reduce radium in the village’s water system.

The village closed Well No. 1 last year under an agreement with the Department of Natural Resources, which found the well’s output exceeded U.S. Environmental Protection Agency standards for radium.

The village has been using Well No. 2 since closing No. 1, but the DNR requires municipalities to have at least two wells that operate in compliance with water quality standards.

To meet the requirement, the village proposes to pipe water from Well No. 1 to a new water treatment plant on village-owned land on Rosera Street.

Well No. 2 also will be tied into the new plant to allow treatment of its output should that ever become necessary, said Craig Schuh, an engineer with Ayers Associates, the village’s consulting engineers.

Wed
26
Feb

Representatives elected to FSA county committee


Contributed photo

Karen Pelner of the Oconto-Marinette FSA office presents a certificate of appreciation to John Fendryk for his eight years of service to the Marinette County Farm Service Agency. Fendryk served as chairperson of the Marinette County Committee.

Patrick Caine, Lynn Bauer, Mary Noll, Richard Gilles and Robert Jahnke have been elected to the Oconto-Marinette Farm Service Agency county committee.

Caine will represent Niagara, Pembine, Beecher, Amberg, Wausaukee, Dunbar and Goodman.

Bauer will represent Athelstane, Silver Cliff, Lakewood, Townsend, Doty, Riverview, Mountain, Stephenson, Middle Inlet and Wagner.

Noll will represent Lake, Beaver, Brazeau, Bagley, Pound, Maple Valley, Spruce, Breed and How. James Mahoney was elected as first alternate and Bruce Berth as second alternate.

Gilles will represent Porterfield, Peshtigo, Grover, Little River, Lena and Oconto. Carlon Strutz is the alternate.

Jahnke will represent Underhill, Gillett, Oconto Falls, Stiles, Morgan, Abrams, Pensaukee, Chase and Little Suamico.

Wed
26
Feb

Gillett gears up for educator evaluations

The Gillett School District is on the brink of implementing the training process needed to promote improvements in educator practices. The goal is to improve student learning in the classroom.

The Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction has released the training module for the Wisconsin Educator Effectiveness System to school districts for use in evaluating the effectiveness of educating methods used by teachers and principals, based on student outcomes.

Superintendent Todd Carlson gave a presentation about the system to the Gillett School Board on Thursday, emphasizing the importance of having the system in place for the start of the 2014-15 school year.

Educators will be evaluated on six performance standards, including professional knowledge and instructional delivery. Evaluators will gather data related to the standards by using observation, teacher self-assessments and student surveys to make determinations about the educator’s level of performance.

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