News

Tue
20
Aug

Gillett to hire superintendent by Sept. 1

The Gillett School Board is close to hiring a new school superintendent to replace Kyle Ransom, who resigned in June.

“We think we’re to the point of having someone in place by Sept. 1,” said Cliff Gerbers, a member of the personnel committee.

Unlike the last two times the district hired a superintendent, the position was not posted this time because committee members are taking a different approach than in the past, Gerbers said.

“The intent was to bring in a known commodity,” he said. “It’s a case of, if you continue to do the same thing you’ve always done, you’re going to get the same results.”

Gerbers said the personnel committee is contacting people who would be a good fit for the district. The committee contacted CESA to assist in the search.

The district plans to announce the name of the new superintendent at the staff in-service meeting before the start of school. Classes begin Sept. 3.

Tue
20
Aug

Strehlow quits as Suring trustee

Jim Kohlwey has been named trustee of the village of Suring to replace Ron Strehlow, who is moving out of the village.

The Village Board on Aug. 13 accepted Strehlow’s resignation and unanimously approved Kohlwey’s appointment. President Jay Tousey thanked Strehlow for his 12 years of service.

Kohlwey, a retired engineer who has lived in Suring for about four years, will fill the remainder of the two-year term, which expires in April of 2015.

Kohlwey serves on the Suring Community Development Authority board, is a member of Mount Olive Lutheran Church and serves on the church board.

Tue
20
Aug

Resource center eyes move to larger office

A local outreach office has outgrown its facility and plans to move to a new location.

The Aging and Disability Resource Center of the Wolf River Region requested a permit to move to the Custom Metals Specialists building, 229 Van Buren St., Oconto Falls.

Since it opened in January 2012, the center leased the front rooms of Kallies Electric, 7436 REA Road, Oconto Falls, just off state Highway 22. The Oconto Falls City Council on Aug. 13 approved a conditional use permit for the ADRC to relocate to the Van Buren Street location. Final approval for the move is scheduled to take place Thursday at the Oconto County Board meeting.

Tue
20
Aug

Ranger station, office proposed

Smokey Bear will stick to the main drag in Oconto Falls, but the ranger station he represents will move a few blocks away.

That’s the vision proposed by representatives of the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, who want to purchase land in the Oconto Falls industrial park to upgrade and enlarge the ranger station.

The Oconto Falls City Council last week approved the DNR’s offer of $15,960 to purchase a 4.56-acre parcel on Hank Marks Drive, next to Luiser Well Drilling.

“It was my goal to find a spot close to the present one. People know where we’re at,” said Tim Mella, one of three DNR representatives to attend the meeting Aug. 13.

He said the current station’s 1-acre lot is not large enough to accommodate the new building, and attempts to purchase additional land adjacent to it were unsuccessful.

Tue
13
Aug

Humvees roll into Gillett

The Delta and Charlie companies of the 432nd Civil Affairs Battalion completed a three-day training exercise, Operation Tiger, last week in Gillett. The operation earned its name because of the school mascot.

The soldiers conducted assessments of the local community from their base at the Oconto County Fairgrounds at Zippel Park. Their Humvees were parked in one, neat row outside the Expo building.

Inside, whiteboards were placed against the back wall, listing details of their missions. Computers and communication equipment filled several tables where soldiers entered data from their missions.

Gillett provided an ideal environment for the soldiers’ annual training, said Sgt. Patrick Leon, the noncommissioned officer in charge of the civil-military operations center.

“It’s a smaller community like many of the communities we would go to overseas,” he said.

Tue
13
Aug

Solutions slow to come for Suring apartments

The Suring Non-Profit Housing Corporation met on Thursday to discuss its ownership of the deteriorating Pioneer Villa apartments, 415 N. Mill St.

The corporation for months has looked for funding to make major repairs to the building’s roof and to address other structural issues.

It has also considered changing the management firm overseeing the property or selling the complex, where residents have complained about a leaky roof, cockroach infestation and overall building deterioration.

Manager Ken DePouw, of Housing Management Services, of Oconto, said it is a constant struggle to maintain financial viability for upkeep because it is a government-funded property.

Village officials have threatened to condemn the building if substandard living conditions are not corrected.

Tue
13
Aug

Policy change sought for county sick leave

The county’s sick leave policy should be modified to allow the payout of nearly $26,000 to the former corporation counsel, a committee decided Aug. 7.

The Law Enforcement/Judiciary Committee unanimously agreed to create a new policy for employees who are eligible to retire but instead resign after at least 30 years of county employment.

At issue is a $25,944 payout to Robert Mraz, a half-time corporation counsel and half-time assistant district attorney (ADA) working in Oconto County for 32 years.

In July, he accepted a full-time ADA position funded by the state. In accepting his new position, he lost his accrued sick leave for the corporation counsel position; sick leave is to be paid out only after retirement or death.

Tue
13
Aug

Oconto County Circuit Court

Proceedings from Aug. 8

A preliminary hearing is set Sept. 16 for Daniel J. Vandenack, 53, Fond du Lac. He is accused of being party to burglaries between May 26, 2012, and May 28, 2012, at Commando Paint Ball, at Helmle Construction on June 9, 2012, New Visions, all town of Abrams, between June 17 and 18, 2012, of Jo Jo’s Diner, and Firelite Ice Service, town of Stiles, between June 1 and June 22, 2012. A $1,000 cash bond was set, and he is to have no contact with any of the businesses.

A pretrial conference will take place Sept. 12 for Jason M. Sutrick, 33, Oconto Falls. He is charged with causing substantial battery intending to cause bodily harm and disorderly conduct on April 18 in Gillett. He entered a not guilty plea at his arraignment. A $1,000 cash bond was posted.

Tue
13
Aug

Oconto County Sheriff’s Department

A burglary was reported Aug. 5 at Tom Mary Trail, town of Little Suamico. Taken from a locked construction equipment truck parked on the roadway were a miter saw, generator, air compressor, stapler gun, six 100-foot extension cords and six air hoses.

At 4:07 p.m. July 23, a car driven by a male from Pound failed to negotiate a curve on Goatsville Road in the town of Lena, struck a road sign and entered a ditch. The driver was not injured. His auto sustained severe damage.

Tue
13
Aug

Lure of county fair endures over time

Anyone growing up in rural areas likely has memories of attending a local county fair. Whether as an exhibitor, vendor or attendee, almost all of us have been to the fair.

In Webster’s New Collegiate Dictionary, you have to read nearly a quarter-page worth of definitions of the word “fair” until you find sub-sub-definition 5.2a: “a competitive exhibition (as of farm products) usually with accompanying entertainment and amusements.”

The definition may fit as an overall, simplistic view of area county fairs, but a closer look reveals a lot more. Open class entrants are really entering as competitors with their crafts, artwork, produce or livestock and being judged against other exhibitors’ entries. They can gain bragging rights, but also can see new types of techniques, cultivars, species or breeds that they may be able to utilize to strengthen their own production systems.

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