News

Thu
12
Sep

Good to be home again


Times Herald Photo by Joan Koehne
Colorful walls and sunlit classrooms are two aspects students and staff appreciate at St. Anthony School in Oconto Falls. The school building was renovated after a 2012 fire and opened for classes Sept. 3.


Times Herald Photo by Joan Koehne
Brailyn St. Louis carries her "Things I Like" poster to her desk Friday morning at St. Anthony's School. Students returned to a renovated school Sept. 3 after an arson fire displaced them in February 2012.

An Oconto Falls Catholic school wrote a new chapter in its 100-year history last week. St. Anthony School, closed since February 2012 following an arson fire, reopened Sept. 3 for students and staff.

“It’s just amazing from the ashes what we’ve received. It’s just a beautiful building,” teacher Sue Beschta said.

“It’s the best school ever!” fifth-grader Adam Haines said.

Principal Rosie Marifke said everyone is happy to be “back home.” Students attended class in the Sunday School classrooms at Grace Lutheran Church after the fire, then portable units on the Jefferson School site on Sherman Street for the 2012-13 school year.

“It’s nice to be able to get the kids up. We can make a circle without bumping into walls,” teacher Pam Beschta said.

On Friday morning she asked the fifth-grade students to journal about “being home again” and returning to St. Anthony School on Franklin Street.

Thu
12
Sep

Settling in at Gillett


Times Herald Photo by Joan Koehne

Gillett Secondary School principal Steve Linssen, left, shares a laugh Friday with resource teacher Chris Brooks at the school. Linssen was hired as principal days before the start of the school year.

Hired just days before school opened in Gillett on Sept. 3, two new administrators are quickly adjusting to their roles.

“The first week has been a lot of coming in and figuring things out,” said Steve Linssen, while apologizing for his messy office.

Linssen, Gillett Secondary School principal, and Todd Carlson, district superintendent, left the Shawano School District in late August to take positions in Gillett.

Carlson said his first week went well.

“The staff was very positive and very excited, so I think things are going in a good direction,” he said.

The Shawano School Board on Sept. 3 accepted the resignation of Carlson with a 5-4 vote following a 2½-hour, closed-door session. Carlson was hired as Shawano’s superintendent in August 2007 after being in the Suring School District for 19 years.

Carlson, a Gillett native, submitted his resignation Aug. 27, saying he had been offered a position in Gillett.

Thu
12
Sep

Herald promoted to police chief

A Lena native who joined the village’s Police Department two years ago has been promoted to police chief. James Herald, 37, was hired Aug. 21 by the Village Board.

Village President Steve Marquardt said Herald’s experience with the department and involvement in the community made him a likely choice for the job.

“He’s a home-grown boy, and he’s got a good rapport with the village of Lena,” Marquardt said.

Village officials worked with a consultant from Northeast Wisconsin Technical College to assist with the hiring process. Residents filled out a survey regarding the Police Department, and the consensus was to “pretty much continue with the hours and full-time chief,” Marquardt said.

Herald, who was employed part-time with the department, took on many of the chief’s responsibilities after the May 13 departure of Jess Keplinger, who was hired as Gillett’s chief of police.

Thu
12
Sep

Gillett plans to build new salt shed

The city of Gillett will construct a 24- by 24-foot shed to store salt for the winter.

The City Council on Thursday approved $44,000 in bids for the project, funded with a five-year loan from Peshtigo National Bank.

The city will make monthly payments of $805, with an interest rate of 2.75 percent.

The shed will be larger and sturdier than the wooden one removed from Washington Street to make room for Nicolet Trail Campground.

The concrete shed will be 20 feet tall and built at 310 W. Park St., south of the fire station in the industrial park.

“As soon as we get the ball rolling, the contractor says he is ready to go, which is good for us because we need to get it up in a quick hurry,” said Tim Christensen, Public Works director.

The city previously shared its shed with the town of Gillett, but town leaders decided not to partner with the city to construct a new shed.

Thu
12
Sep

Oconto County Circuit Court

Proceedings from Sept. 5

An arraignment is Oct. 10 for Gary G. Rosek, 58, Suamico, who is charged with driving while intoxicated and driving with blood alcohol content greater than the legal limit, each fifth or sixth offense. He was arrested July 28 in the town of Little Suamico. His $2,500 cash bond continues.

Christopher L. Elliott, 19, Oconto, pleaded no contest to theft and identity theft for financial gain, which occurred Nov. 2, 2012, in Oconto. The court withheld the finding of guilt and suspended proceedings for a year. He was sentenced to six months in jail for the identity theft charge, which was imposed and stayed, and he was placed in the Volunteers In Probation program a year with the conditions he spend 30 days in jail with work release privileges, pay $1,102.30 restitution and $253 court costs. He must also seek full-time employment.

Thu
12
Sep

Oconto County Sheriff's Department

At 6:39 p.m. Sept. 7, a car driven by an Oconto woman was traveling on state Highway 22 west of County Road J in the town of Oconto. She drove unto the gravel shoulder, lost control, entered a ditch and overturned. She was not injured but was cited for inattentive driving.

At 12:20 a.m. Sept. 8, a Green Bay man was driving a pickup truck on County Road J at Lade Beach Road in the town of Little Suamico and stated a deer was standing on the roadway as he entered a curve. He swerved to avoid the animal, struck a mailbox and entered a ditch. Neither he nor either of two passengers in the truck was injured. Minor damage was reported to his truck.

At 3:10 p.m. Aug. 31, a Lena man suffered injuries when the motorcycle he was driving struck a deer on Guelig Road, town of Stiles. He was transported to a medical facility.

Thu
12
Sep

Oconto Falls Police Department

Several thefts of lawn ornaments were reported from residents on West Highland Drive from Aug. 24-31. Missing items were bird feeders, a bird bath and solar lights valued at $472; a bird feeder and solar lights valued at $100; two concrete frogs valued at $420; and solar lights from two residences.

Garbage and recycling bins were overturned Aug. 25 at the East Side Beach, 627 N. Main St.

Two TVs, a game system and jewelry valued at $2,900 were missing Aug. 27 from a residence on Maple Avenue.

A resident on Maple Avenue reported Aug. 27 that a lock on a back door had been damaged.

An ATM was damaged Aug. 27 at 248 N. Main St.

A welcome sign valued at $50 was reported stolen Sept. 2 from a North Oakland residence.

Hunting gear was reported missing Sept. 3 from a garage on North Main Street.

Thu
12
Sep

Whispering Pines tree takes state honors


Contributed Photo

Chris Duffy, left, and Dave Vander Velden, of Whispering Pines Tree Farm, Oconto, exhibited the grand champion Christmas tree in a contest sponsored by the Wisconsin Christmas Tree Producers Association. They shared the title with Tom Happersett of Happ’s Homegrown Christmas Trees, Neshkoro.

A tree grown in Oconto County was selected as a state winner in a contest organized by the Wisconsin Christmas Tree Producers Association at its summer convention.

Dave and Mary Vander Velden of Whispering Pines Tree Farm, Oconto, and Tom Happersett of Happ’s Homegrown Christmas Trees, Neshkoro, were the co-champions in the annual event. Members in attendance voted for the best tree in each of five classes and for an overall grand champion.

Whispering Pines has won the championship for thee of the past four years.

The winners will present a tree to Gov. Scott Walker to be displayed in the state Capitol in December. The growers are also eligible to enter the National Christmas Tree Association contest, which will be held in August 2014. The winner of the national contest will present a tree to the first lady in the White House.

Wed
04
Sep

Oconto County Sheriff's Department

At 1:30 a.m. Aug. 28, a car driven by a Green Bay woman swerved to avoid striking a deer on County Road W east of Bear Paw Road, town of Mountain, entered a ditch and struck a small tree. The driver was not injured. Her car sustained moderate damage.

At 6:16 p.m. Aug. 21, an Oconto Falls woman was westbound on a curve on County Road CC in the town of Oconto Falls when her vehicle traveled onto the gravel shoulder, entered a ditch and came to rest in a cornfield. She was not injured. Her vehicle sustained moderate damage.

At 7:45 a.m. Aug. 23, an Oconto woman was driving from a field to cross County Road J in the town of Oconto to enter a driveway when she collided with a westbound auto driven by an Oconto man. Both vehicles sustained moderate damage. No injuries were reported.

Wed
04
Sep

Oconto County Circuit Court

Proceedings from Aug. 28

Mary A. Holzberger, 53, Lena, entered not guilty pleas to theft of movable property, theft from a business setting and fraudulent writings, which allegedly occurred between Aug. 24, 2007, and Sept. 4, 2008, in the town of Lena. A teleconference and status conference are Dec. 5. A $5,000 signature bond continues.

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Proceedings from Aug. 27

A status conference is Sept. 6 for Katrina M. Huempfner, 25, Green Bay. She is accused of possession of a controlled substance, second violation, and possessing drug paraphernalia. She was arrested Jan. 6, 2013, in the town of Pensaukee. A $200 cash bond continues.

Robert S. Brostrom, 76, Abrams, made an initial appearance on two charges of driving while intoxicated, fifth or sixth offense. He was arrested Aug. 14 and again Aug. 25, both in the town of Abrams. His appearance will continue Sept. 12, and a $5,000 cash bond was set.

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Proceedings from Aug. 26

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