News

Wed
20
Nov

Pay plan adopted for county employees


Times Herald photo by Joan Koehne

Charlie Carlson tells county supervisors about a classification/compensation study performed by Carlson-Dettmann Consulting.

The Oconto County Board on Thursday adopted a compensation plan for its 250 employees that simplifies the system that evolved over several decades of collective bargaining.

With the passage of Act 10 in 2011, the bargaining rights of public sector unions were restricted, with the exception of protective service employees. Previously, the county bargained with separate employee unions and ended up with different outcomes.

The plan adopted by the County Board last week will be implemented in January 2014.

“What this will do is put everybody on one pay plan,” said Charlie Carlson, of the Madison-based Carlson-Dettmann Consulting.

Wed
20
Nov

Staff positions OK’d for county

In an effort to curb overtime costs, Oconto County will hire a part-time employee for the 911 dispatch center.

County officials said overtime in the center has surpassed $94,000 already this year.

The center has eight full-time employees and one part-time employee. It is staffed 24 hours a day, seven days a week. A minimum of two people work each shift.

The part-time employee works close to full-time hours because the department is short-staffed, according to Sheriff Mike Jansen.

The employees are responsible for receiving and dispatching police communications, 911 emergency calls and emergency medical services radio communications, in addition to other duties. The new employee will work approximately 24 hours per week and earn $17 to $22 an hour.

Wed
20
Nov

Chamber gets council OK for welcome signs

The Oconto Falls Chamber of Commerce has gained City Council approval for two new welcome signs.

At the City Council meeting Nov. 12, Chamber of Commerce President Gail Yatso presented three options for one of the signs. The three options, prepared by Jones Sign of Green Bay, consist of 16-foot-tall pylon signs, with 5- by 10-foot rectangular sign faces with electronic, full-color message centers.

The third option has a larger sign face to accommodate a curved band across the top incorporating the year the city was settled, in 1912. The sign fronts all display the message “Welcome to Oconto Falls, Your destination to outdoor recreation.” All three sign options are double-sided, with the backs displaying a “Thank you for visiting” message.

Wed
20
Nov

Oconto County Circuit Court

Proceedings from Nov. 13

Yvahn L. Shaw, 26, Oconto, made an initial appearance on charges of negligent handling of a weapon and disorderly conduct, both classified as hate crimes. She was arrested Nov. 12 in Oconto, after threatening another with a knife. Her bond was set at $200 cash, and her appearance is continued to Dec. 5.

Dylan J. Wittock, 19, Lena, pleaded not guilty to charges of being party to burglary, party to causing criminal damage to property and theft, all of which allegedly took place May 9 in the town of Stiles, and to being party to theft May 13 in Oconto. His pretrial conference will be Jan. 7, and a $5,000 signature bond continues.

Wed
20
Nov

Oconto County Sheriff’s Department

At 2:30 a.m. Nov. 9, a car driven by an Oconto Falls man lost control traveling on Sunshine Road north of County Road A in the town of Lena. The vehicle left the roadway and struck a tree. Severe damage was reported to the vehicle. The driver was not injured.

At 6 a.m. Nov. 16, a pickup truck driven by a man from Green Bay left Diamond Roof Road in Townsend, entered a ditch and struck several trees. He was not injured. His vehicle sustained moderate damage.

Wed
20
Nov

CMS wins partnership award


Contributed photo

Custom Metal Specialists President Keith Skovera, right, and CMS Vice President Jim Ash, left, accept the Educational Partnership Award presented to CMS in recognition of its partnership with students at Oconto Falls High School and other area schools. Tom Karban, OFHS welding and small engines instructor, nominated CMS for the award.

Custom Metal Specialists Inc. of Oconto Falls was recently recognized by the NEW Manufacturing Alliance at the Excellence in Manufacturing/K-12 Partnership Award ceremony at the KI Convention Center in Green Bay. The firm was singled out for this year’s Educational Partnership award.

Oconto Falls High School tech ed teacher Tom Karban nominated the company. He noted that the partnership has strengthened the career and technical education program through the donation of welding supplies and equipment to OFHS and other schools in the area.

“CMS always has open doors to plant tours and having its employees mentor students,” Karban noted in the nomination.

In addition to supplying metal for student welding experience, the firm has worked with the school to rework other large, donated materials into more appropriate sizes for student work. A number of alumni from Karban’s classes have found employment with CMS and other fabrication centers in northeast Wisconsin.

Wed
13
Nov

Parisey leaves ambulance service post


Robert Parisey

Robert Parisey, squad director of the Oconto Falls Ambulance Service, has resigned after 27 years of service.

The board announced Parisey’s departure Nov. 8, saying the resignation was effective Oct. 31.

“As a board we felt it was time to move forward in a different direction, ” said Ron Korzeniewski, board of directors chairman.

Parisey could not be reached for comment.

Assistant Squad Director Amy Brauer has stepped in as interim squad director.

“All of this was a little unexpected,” board member Marty Coopman said. “We’re going to put together a plan to move forward, but it will take time to work through the process.”

Brauer met briefly with the board to discuss the change in leadership.

“Once Amy determines the necessity to meet again, either this month or next, we’ll discuss plans more fully,” Coopman said. “We have no tentative time line set.”

Wed
13
Nov

Gillett changes course on garbage pickup

The city of Gillett reversed its plan to outsource residential garbage collection in 2014 after hitting a snag regarding its recycling contract with Oconto County.

The contract requires that garbage be taken to the MAROCO Landfill if a municipality partners with a private firm for garbage collection. Gillett officials were not aware of the MAROCO requirement until the county alerted the city in mid-October. The MAROCO Landfill is jointly owned by Marinette and Oconto counties.

Hauling the garbage to MAROCO would substantially increase the cost of contracting with a private firm, said Public Works Director Tim Christensen, who estimated it would add $12,500 to the bill each year.

Wed
13
Nov

Gillett picks engineer for campground project

The city of Gillett will begin the environmental cleanup of contaminated soil at Nicolet Trail Campground, prompted by a surprise discovery of pollution-causing underground storage tanks this summer.

Mayor Irene Drake told the City Council on Thursday the city will receive state funds for the project but will be responsible for a deductible, which she estimated at $7,500 to $10,000, and possibly other costs.

“Until they determine the extent of the damage, we don’t know what they’ll make us do,” she said.

The 20-site Nicolet Trail Campground was developed earlier this year to cater to ATV users. It opened in August to sparse use.

Representatives from three engineering firms were interviewed by city officials to oversee the work required by the Department of Natural Resources. METCO, of La Crosse, was selected for the job. Work is scheduled to begin within a few weeks.

Wed
13
Nov

Oconto Falls Police Department

On Oct. 16, it was reported that approximately 10 gallons of gasoline were siphoned from a vehicle parked on King Street.

On Oct. 16, two men, ages 19 and 20, were issued disorderly conduct citations following a disturbance at BP, 418 N. Main St.

On Oct. 18, a 12-year-old girl experiencing behavioral issues at her Oconto Falls home was referred to Oconto County Health and Human Services.

On Oct. 18 and Oct. 29, an Oconto Falls woman reported she was receiving harassing phone calls.

On Oct. 22, ST Paper, 106 E. Central Ave., reported the theft of copper wire valued at $1,500 from a locked storage facility.

On Oct. 23, Peterson Ford, 300 N. Main St., reported gas was siphoned from several vehicles.

On Oct. 23, a 44-year-old man from Oconto Falls was cited for disorderly conduct following an incident at Main St. Pub, 172 N. Main St. He was also cited for driving without a valid license.

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