News

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.

Tue
13
Aug

A run for the money

The committee in pursuit of a new law enforcement center will take a fresh approach to the issue next month, delaying the issues of location and design and instead asking supervisors to back a plan to start billing taxpayers for the $25 million project.

The Law Enforcement/Judiciary Committee hopes to muster the 24 votes needed, reckoning the 75 percent supermajority support for funding will indicate sufficient backing for the overall project.

“You skip all the other processes and go right to that 75 percent vote,” Administrative Coordinator Kevin Hamann said.

“I would favor that 100 percent. You put people on the spot,” committee member Paul Bednarik said.

Hamann suggested the tactic as a way to move ahead with the project, which has stalled over uncertainties regarding the proposed site and whether to hold a referendum to gain voter acceptance.

Tue
13
Aug

St. Anthony’s overhaul impresses guests

Small groups wandered through the newly rebuilt St. Anthony School on Saturday, expressing their delight in the transformation.

“Beautiful! Gorgeous!” said Carol Marquardt, a Grace Lutheran Church member interested in the remodeling project.

Grace Lutheran, in Oconto Falls, opened its doors to St. Anthony’s students after the school was damaged by an arson fire in February 2011. That generosity allowed the school to continue with classes after only a brief interruption.

“We were glad to help the school. I was very proud that we helped,” Marquardt said.

The remodeling work also impressed those closely associated with the school.

“I think some people are going to realize how much the school means to everyone involved,” said Trisha Blaser, a 2002 St. Anthony graduate who attended the open house with her family.

Tue
13
Aug

Suring man found guilty of arson

A Suring man pleaded no contest and was found guilty of arson in Oconto County Court on Monday, just one of several charges that stem from an arson spree from 2009-2012 that has landed him in three court systems.

Judge Jay Conley accepted Drew Christensen’s plea agreement and found him guilty of two counts of arson. Christensen set fire to a trailer home belonging to Michael Borchradt, Kristine Trojan and Kenneth Trojan in August 2011 and a garage belonging to Dennis Lasky in January 2012, both in the town of Bagley.

Sentencing is set for Nov. 18, just days after Christensen, 28, is scheduled to be sentenced for other arson charges in federal court and Marinette County Circuit Court. In the Oconto County case, Christensen faces maximum sentences of 40 years in prison and $100,000 fines on each count.

Attorney Tricia Nell said her client takes responsibility for the crimes and will prepare letters of apology to be sent to the victims.

Tue
13
Aug

Falls schools seek 3.5% levy hike

Residents in the Oconto Falls School Board District on Monday will review a budget of just over $18.5 million for the 2013-14 school year.

The budget includes an overall expenditure increase of 1.5 percent, or $285,000, in the general fund over the previous year.

The two main sources of revenue for the district are state equalization aid and property tax. As result of the budget passed recently by state officials, the Oconto Falls School District will see a reduction of just under $328,000, or 3 percent, in state aid from last year.

“Even though they allowed us additional spending authority, the money behind it from the state is not there,” School Superintendent Dave Polashek said.

As a result, the budget includes a general fund levy increase of 5 percent, or $289,000, to offset that decrease in state aid.

The tax levy for all funds will increase of $289,000, or 3.5 percent, over the previous year.

Thu
08
Aug

Low on energy

With each light bulb screwed tight and window replaced, the Oconto Falls School District moves closer to making a name for itself in the state.

The district is one year into a contract with a Massachusetts-based firm to make sweeping changes at its six buildings. Energy efficiency is the objective.

Oconto Falls is the first school district in the state to partner with Ameresco, and once the renovations are complete and the savings start to grow, the district will serve as a model for others, according to the company.

“We’re going to take the Oconto Falls district and use it as a … case study for school districts across Wisconsin,” said Kent Wolf, Ameresco business development manager.

Last August, the School Board pursued the energy savings contract as a way to complete upgrades without an outlay of funds, a goal that became more acute after a referendum, which would have provided $825,000 in additional revenue over three years, failed that month.

Thu
08
Aug

Oconto County Circuit Court

Proceedings from July 30

Dennis J. Krajewski, 54, Oconto Falls, pleaded no contest to a disorderly conduct charge for an incident that took place Oct. 20, 2012, in Oconto Falls. A 90-day jail sentence was imposed and stayed, and he was placed on probation for one year with the conditions he attend alcohol and other drug abuse assessment and pay $279.32 restitution and $243 court costs. He is to have no alcohol or illegal drugs.

Kimberly G. Rhoads, 39, Oconto Falls, was sentenced after revocation to six months in jail. She had been placed on probation three years on five counts of public assistance fraud, which occurred between October 2006 and April 2008. Remaining to be paid in restitution and court costs is $11,505.84.

Proceedings from July 29

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.

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