News

Wed
19
Mar

Money is issue for Suring candidates

Two candidates are competing for a seat on the Suring School Board: incumbent Eugene School Jr. and Erika Schindel. The winner of the April 1 election will represent the towns of Bagley, Maple Valley and Spruce.

Here are the candidates’ profiles.

Eugene School Jr.

Age: 55; born and raised in Suring, lived in Maple Valley 32 years

School-aged children: None; wife, siblings, two sons and daughter-in-law graduated from Suring High School; a granddaughter is in sixth grade

Education: Suring High School graduate

Employment: Maintenance manager for the past 15 years, Dimension Lumber Co., Suring

Experience: Suring School Board, 24 years; member of St. Michael’s Catholic Church, served on the church board

Wed
19
Mar

Oconto County Circuit Court

Proceedings from March 13

An initial appearance was held for Michael R. Knight, 32, Oconto Falls, on a charge of strangulation and suffocation, domestic abuse, which allegedly occurred Feb. 28 in Oconto Falls. A cash bond of $500 was set. A preliminary hearing is March 26.

A status conference and initial appearance were held for Douglas M. Vandehei, 17, Little Suamico, on a charge of exposing a child to harmful material, which allegedly occurred Feb. 2 in Little Suamico. A cash bond of $3,250 was set. A preliminary hearing is March. 20.

An adjourned initial appearance was held for Justin A. Marquardt, 17, Oconto, on a charge of operating a motor vehicle without owner’s consent, which allegedly occurred Feb. 28 in Oconto. A $200 cash bond continues. A preliminary hearing is March 20.

Wed
19
Mar

Oconto County Sheriff’s Department

At an unknown time on March 16 in Little Suamico, a vehicle driven by a Little Suamico man was northbound on Careful Lane. His vehicle veered off the roadway into the ditch, traveled up a snow pile and came to rest on its passenger side. The driver stated he fell asleep. He admitted he had been drinking prior to the crash and did not notify law enforcement, planning to remove the vehicle later. A person delivering newspapers found the vehicle and notified law enforcement.

At 12:15 a.m. March 15 in Oconto, a woman from Oconto was backing out of a parking space in a parking lot on Logtown Road and struck a parked vehicle, causing minor damage. Her vehicle sustained no damage. She was cited for unsafe backing.

Wed
19
Mar

Suring, Gillett working on softball, baseball co-ops

By the narrowest of margins, the Suring School Board last week approved an agreement to partner with Gillett for baseball and softball for the 2015 and 2016 seasons.

With a 4-3 vote March 12, the board approved a two-year co-op contract with the Gillett School District that is modeled after the districts’ wrestling cooperative.

“I just think it’s another opportunity for the kids,” said Suring School Board member Wayne Sleeter. “Suring’s never had baseball, and I think the kids are excited about it.”

Sleeter, Dennis Piepkorn, Cheryl Ustianowski and Mark Strehlow voted in favor of the agreement. Cathy Lundgren, Eugene School and Melissa Trepanier opposed it.

School said he opposed the agreement because of its financial impact.

According to the contract, the districts would split the costs 60/40, with Gillett paying the larger share. The estimated annual cost of each sport is $7,000.

Wed
19
Mar

2 challengers, 2 incumbents vie for Falls School Board

Four candidates are competing for two seats on the Oconto Falls School Board: incumbents James Spang and Jan Stranz, and challengers Stephanie Wijas and Duane Rogatzki. The election is April 1.

Here are the candidates’ profiles.

James Spang

Age: 51; 17 years in the district

School-aged children: None. Two adult children are graduates of Oconto Falls High School

Education: Gillett High School graduate, associate’s degree in facility management

Employment: Plant facilities manager at Krueger International (KI) in Bonduel

Experience: “I am currently on the Oconto Falls School Board finishing my first three-year term. I also have over 30 years of experience in facilities and business management.”

Wed
12
Mar

Sale of Ridgewood lots blocked again

For the second month in a row, a proposal to market six city-owned lots in Gillett has been put on hold.

On Friday, Gillett Mayor Irene Drake vetoed a plan approved Thursday by the Gillett City Council to advertise the six remaining lots in the Ridgewood Heights Subdivision for $4,950. The council had voted 3-2 to place a notice in the Oconto County Times Herald offering the lots for sale.

In February, the Planning Committee recommended selling the lots to Northern Homes Development LLC for $1, but the plan was referred back to committee after the city attorney and owners of other lots in the subdivision raised concerns. Two individuals who paid fair market value for the lots several years ago objected to the $1 deal, and attorney Tim Schmid said the city could be exposed to a taxpayers’ lawsuit for essentially giving away the land that was purchased and improved with taxpayers’ money.

The city purchased the lots in 1991.

Wed
12
Mar

Sign controversy swirls at Frye bridge

The Wisconsin Department of Transportation opposes a local group’s efforts to relocate road signs to a bridge named in honor of a Lena soldier killed in action in 2004.

The bridge crosses Kelly Brook on state Highway 141, north of Lena. In 2006, a sign installed on Kottke Lane, at least 200 feet from the bridge, proclaimed it the SPC Nichole M. Frye Memorial Bridge. Frye was the first female special operations soldier killed in combat during Operation Iraqi Freedom.

The Rolling Thunder Wis. Chapter 3 motorcycle club this year worked with State Rep. Jeff Mursau, R-Crivitz, to author legislation to have the signs attached to the bridge.

The DOT, however, wants to keep the sign out of the Highway 141 right of way, said Kim Rudat, a regional spokesman.

“You don’t put those (kind of) signs on bridges,” Rudat said Tuesday.

Wed
12
Mar

CMH to expand partnership with health system

The board of directors at Community Memorial Hospital and Hospital Sisters Health System recently announced they have signed a letter of intent to begin the process of expanding the partnership between CMH and the HSHS Eastern Wisconsin Division, which includes St. Vincent Hospital and St. Mary’s Hospital Medical Center in Green Bay, St. Nicholas Hospital in Sheboygan, and the partnership with Prevea Health.

In May 2011, CMH and HSHS entered into an affiliation agreement in an effort to enhance physician recruitment, successfully implement an electronic health record system and improve delivery of care. With these goals accomplished, all entities are interested in exploring additional opportunities.

Wed
12
Mar

Residents advised to keep a faucet running

Despite the recent milder temperatures, the threat of frozen water mains remains. Gillett and Oconto Falls residents are reminded to run a steady stream of water—about the width of a pencil—from one faucet at all times.

“Just because its warmer doesn’t mean the frost is out of the ground,” said Chuck Grady, Oconto Falls Utilities supervisor. He said homes in the city continue to experience freeze-ups.

Gillett Utilities Supervisor Ron Anderson said homes will be tagged by city workers when it is safe to turn off the water. Several homes in the city are being serviced with garden hoses for their water supply, he told the City Council on Thursday.

The city experienced a frozen water main March 3 on Fourth Street, and contractors fixed the problem the next day. Anderson expects more problems as the frost leaves the ground.

“The ground will shift, and we can expect several water main breaks,” he said.

The frost is almost 7 feet deep, he said.

Wed
12
Mar

Little libraries coming to Gillett

The Gillett Elementary School staff has developed an idea to keep students reading over the summer months and is asking for the community’s help to launch the project.

At Thursday’s City Council meeting, reading teacher Kathleen Tracy outlined a plan for the school to provide “little libraries” around the city in an effort to prevent summer reading loss. Research shows that students’ reading development declines over the summer if they are not involved in some type of literacy program.

Little libraries are small, wooden boxes where students can take a book or return a book, at no cost. Similar programs exist in the area and around the country.

Several property owners have agreed to allow little libraries on their land, said Tracy, who plans to meet with the city’s Planning Committee on Wednesday to ask permission to place boxes on city-owned land. The program is scheduled to be in place this summer, contingent upon cooperation from the community.

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