News

Thu
08
Aug

Oconto County Sheriff’s Department

At 2:50 a.m. July 28, a Suring man was traveling south on Alder Lane, south of state Highway 32 in the town of How. His vehicle entered the south ditch and overturned, causing severe damage to the auto. He was not injured.

At 2:25 p.m. July 29, a pickup driven by an Abrams man was southbound on Cream City Road in the town of Oconto and collided with a semi driven by a man from Laval, Canada, who was traveling east on state Highway 22 at Cream City Road. There was moderate damage to the pickup and the semi. No injuries were reported.

Thu
08
Aug

Gillett outsources garbage collection

A Wittenberg firm has been selected to pick up garbage in the city of Gillett, beginning in January.

The City Council on Thursday selected Harter’s Fox Valley Disposal as its trash collector. Harter’s submitted the low bid for the service now provided by city crews.

City officials have discussed garbage collection alternatives since late 2012, when it projected to be $61,816 in the red for 2013.

The Public Works Committee requested bids from five companies and received proposals from two. The city plans to enter a five-year contract at a cost of $8.35 a month per resident, although the city does not plan to pass along the full cost to residents.

Instead, garbage pickup fees are expected to remain the same for residents, who now purchase stickers for $1.50 each. The annual cost is about $78, which is the cost proposed for 2014.

The method of billing residents has not yet been determined.

Thu
08
Aug

Walkway to be added at Memorial Wall

A monument dedicated to loved ones, many of whom died of cancer, will undergo a transformation in Gillett. A walkway will be constructed at the Memorial Wall, located just south of City Hall in Zippel Park, to create a tranquil spot for reflection.

The Memorial Wall was originally linked to the Relay for Life event, formerly held in Gillett, for the American Cancer Society. Wells Fargo Bank, a Relay for Life supporter, began selling bricks for the wall in 1996 as a way to raise money for cancer research, office manager Julie Meunier said.

“It’s always been a very worthwhile cause,” she said.

Initially the bricks were placed on the ground, but later they were moved to the vertical wall to preserve them better. About 150 bricks have been sold at $100 apiece, and there’s room for another 40 to 50 more. Bricks may be purchased at the Wells Fargo office, 100 E. First St., Gillett. The bricks can be sponsored in memory of or in honor of an individual.

Thu
08
Aug

Oconto Falls Police Department

A husband and wife from Oconto Falls were taken into custody Aug. 4 after a police search uncovered merchandise believed to be stolen from area stores. The couple is under investigation for thefts of an estimated $1,500 in merchandise from the Shawano Walmart and an undetermined amount from United True Value, in Oconto Falls, and the Main Street Laundromat, in Gillett. In addition to the merchandise, 469 boat launch envelopes from the city of Oconto Falls docks were found at the John Street home of the woman, 33, and her husband, 35. Each had $5 inside, for a total of $2,345.

A vehicle driven by Zachary Anderson, 17, Oconto Falls, was backing from a driveway onto South Maple Avenue on Aug. 5 and struck a legally parked car belonging to Cindy Jones, Belleview, Fla. Both vehicles sustained minor damage. Anderson was cited for inattentive driving.

Wed
31
Jul

County on verge of hiring ag agent

Five months after losing its agriculture agent, Oconto County is close to hiring a replacement.

Two finalists were interviewed Monday by the Extension Education Committee of the County Board, after advancing from an initial interview conducted by University of Wisconsin-Extension personnel.

According to Guy Gooding, committee chair, both candidates were well-qualified and would be a good fit for the county. The committee selected a top candidate and an alternate and forwarded the recommendation to state UW-Extension officials.

“We hope to have a commitment back from the state in a week or two,” Gooding said.

The position has been vacant since Abby Huibregtse left Feb. 20 to take an associate editor position at Hoard’s Dairyman and to get married.

Although only three individuals applied for the position, university officials determined it was a strong enough candidate pool to continue the hiring process.

Wed
31
Jul

Sentence delayed in arson case

A federal judge has postponed a Suring man’s sentencing so he can testify against his co-defendants who face arson charges in state and federal courts.

Drew S. Christensen, 28, was to be sentenced Monday before District Judge William Griesbach. Christensen had pleaded guilty in May to setting fire to the Klondike Community Church, a resort bar in Mountain and a town of Bagley tavern. The fire at the tavern last July was allegedly at the request of Jessica A. Miller, 37, and Donald A. Halbur Jr., 32, both of Crivitz.

Miller owned the Jaded Bar for about a year and lived above the bar with Halbur. Christensen said Halbur asked him to burn the bar so he and Miller could collect the insurance money.

Christensen, who occasionally worked at the bar, called 9-1-1 to report the fire. Investigators later determined it and the other fires had been intentionally set.

Wed
31
Jul

Oconto-to-Gillett ATV trail at dead end

Connecting an ATV route from Oconto to Gillett has been a five-year undertaking that hasn’t budged an inch, much less the 25 miles between the two cities.

According to Dave Dreshek, an officer with the Oconto ATV Club, the club has spent five years searching for a route out of the city and into Gillett, the self-proclaimed ATV Capital of the World and a noted launchpad for Nicolet State Trail ATV riders.

“It’s probably another five years away, but you have to go through these channels and keep climbing that ladder,” Dreshek said.

Dreshek was among about a dozen people at a July 23 informational meeting of the Forest, Parks and Recreation subcommittee of the Oconto County Board. They met to discuss a cross-county ATV route.

Wed
31
Jul

Cold-case trial on hold in McLean homicide

One of the men accused in the killing of a Green Bay teenager was granted more time to prepare for his arraignment, after being charged with homicide earlier this month and assigned a new attorney.

Charles Mlados, 54, of Oconto Falls, was scheduled to be arraigned July 23 for his alleged role in the shooting of Chad McLean after a night of drinking 15 years ago.

Also accused of the homicide is Peter J. Hanson, 52, of Oconto Falls, who in April pleaded not guilty and is scheduled for a December trial.

An amended criminal complaint filed July 3 added a party to first degree intentional homicide charge against Mlados, claiming he was with Hanson when Hanson allegedly pulled the trigger. The upgraded charge also accuses Mlados of helping to hide the body and the gun. Mlados was charged in March with two counts of perjury for allegedly lying about the case to a judge at a John Doe hearing.

Wed
31
Jul

Fighting poverty with seed money

A seed may be the tiniest tool used in the fight against poverty, but for two Gillett women, a seed represents the start of something big.

Michele DeBauch and Sara Peterson are spearheading a project to develop a school/community garden behind Gillett Elementary School and teach children how to grow, preserve and love the fresh produce they harvest.

“Our ultimate goal is to teach these students a way to sustain themselves,” Peterson said. “To get good produce, they can grow it themselves, and they can preserve it so it lasts them all year round.”

To help achieve this goal, they secured grants of more than $75,000, most recently a $51,884 gift from the Basic Needs Giving Partnership, for their project, Seeds to Service.

“I think that’s one of the things that helped get the grant, that we are addressing the food security issue in the area,” said John Pinkart, Nutrition Education Program coordinator for the University of Wisconsin-Extension.

Wed
31
Jul

Lena barbershop is back in business

When the Lena Village Board began discussing reopening the town barbershop, it was the wish of LeAnne Pillath that it remain loyal to her late husband’s style of barbering.

And with the shop now open for business, that is exactly what customers will experience.

“Her husband ran a barbershop so she wanted a barbershop,” Village Trustee Chad Misco said. “A beautician wanted to come in to do women’s hair, but LeAnne said, ‘Nope. Lena Barbershop.’ That is what her husband did and that is what she wanted.”

“We had different leads on people, and for some of them, it just wasn’t the right time,” Pillath said. “I wanted to leave it the way it was.”

The shop, which opened in the 1930s, was originally run by Emil Pillath Sr. His son, Emil Pillath Jr., worked with him before taking over in 1984 when his dad retired.

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