Nature’s renewal unfolds

Times Herald Photo by Warren Bluhm

Marie Rose and Dick Doeren, of Oconto, have been making the eagle’s nest near Breakwater Park part of their daily nature ride.

Photo by Dick Doeren

This bald eagle and its mate have taken up nesting on property owned by the Oconto Sportsman’s Club near Breakwater Park.

Few sights in nature are as exhilarating as a bald eagle soaring through the sky. For the past year, visitors to Oconto’s Breakwater Park have had an opportunity to see it every day.

In spring 2016, a pair of eagles built a nest in a tree in a swampy area on property owned by the Oconto Sportsman’s Club, not really accessible but very much viewable for people with a good pair of binoculars or a telephoto lens, like Dick Doeren and Marie Rose have.

The two nature lovers weren’t the first to spot to the nest, but they have led the effort to let area residents know what a rare treat is available, especially now that the eagles appear to be getting ready to greet young eaglets into the world.

“We come every day as nature lovers,” Doeren said. “A lot of people come and look.”


Pianist Winston coming to Oconto Falls PAC

The Oconto Falls Friends of the Arts will present Grammy award-winning pianist George Winston as part of the 2016-2017 Fine Arts Series at 7 p.m. April 29 in the Falls Area Performing Art Center, 210 N. Farm Road, Oconto Falls.

Winston grew up mainly in Montana, and also spent his later formative years in Mississippi and Florida. During this time, his favorite music was instrumental rock and instrumental R&B, including Floyd Cramer, the Ventures, Booker T & The MG’s, Jimmy Smith and many more. Inspired by R&B, jazz, blues and rock (especially The Doors), Winston began playing organ in 1967.

In 1971 he switched to the acoustic piano after hearing recordings from the 1920s and the 1930s by the legendary stride pianists Thomas “Fats” Waller and the late Teddy Wilson. In addition to working on stride piano, he also came up with this own style of melodic instrumental music on solo piano, called folk piano.


Auditions scheduled for September play

Abrams Spotlight Productions is holding auditions next week for “The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee,” its first PG-13 production.

The 2005 Broadway production won two Tony Awards, including Best Book.

Auditions are scheduled from 6-9 p.m. April 25, and April 26 at the Byng Community Theater, 5842 Maple St., Abrams. Performers ages 15-17, with parental permission, and older are invited to audition.

Nine roles are available, including five men (four singing roles and one nonsinging role) and four women (all singing roles).

Individuals who audition should be prepared to sing a song that is not from the show. They can sing a capella or with a track, or they can bring sheet music and an accompanist will be available. There will also be a group choreography audition, so performers are encouraged to wear comfortable clothes.


Machickanee Players announce ‘Odd Couple’ cast

Contributed Photo

The cast of the Machickanee Players production of “The Odd Couple” is, from left, standing, Nannette Macy, Christopher LaChance, Amanda Bornfleth, Jeannie Young, Denise Markowski and Travis Rysewyk; sitting, director Diane Nichols, Margaret Dakins and Margi Diny.

The Machickanee Players this week announced the cast for their May production of the female version of Neil Simon’s “The Odd Couple.”

The story line of the play is very familiar to all. Unger and Madison are at it again – Florence Unger and Olive Madison, that is – in this contemporary comic classic.

Instead of the poker party that begins the male version of “The Odd Couple,” Ms. Madison has invited the girls over for an evening of Trivial Pursuit. The Pidgeon sisters have been replaced by the two Constanzuela brothers, but the hilarity remains the same.

The comedy is being directed by Diane Nichols and Debi Wood, with production dates of May 12-14 and May 19-21.

The cast consists of Jeannie Young, Denise Markowski, Margaret Dakins, Amanda Bornfleth, Margi Diny, Nannette Macy, Chris LaChance and Travis Rysewyk.


Oconto County Sheriff’s Department

April 7

Deputies logged 40 incidents, including the following:

Car-Deer – A car hit a deer on U.S. 41 and Galuska Road, Abrams. The deer busted the windshield. No injuries were reported to the driver.

Suspicious – Caller reported a male subject in a Pontiac with no visible license plate pulled in her yard on Moody Lake Circle, Suring, and stated he worked for Oconto County. He said she had 10 days to clean up her yard or receive a citation and large fine.

April 8

Deputies logged 40 incidents, including the following;

Criminal Damage – A caller stated his vehicle was spray-painted sometime during the night while parked on St. Johns Road, Suring.

Animal Problem – Caller reported the neighbor’s dogs were loose in the area of Bismark Lane, White Lake.


Times Herald introduces new editor

Contributed Photo

Warren Bluhm was editor of the Door County Advocate for most of the last 15 years and is now editor of the Times Herald.

Wolf River Media has hired Warren Bluhm as the new editor of the Oconto County Times Herald.

He succeeds Joan Koehne, who left after almost eight years at the end of January to open a new business. Scott Williams served as interim editor until Bluhm took over on March 1.

“Joan did a great job building the Times Herald into a strong community newspaper, and we are confident Warren will take it even further,” said Roger Bartel, editorial director for Wolf River Media, which also publishes The Shawano Leader, Wittenberg Enterprise & Birnamwood News, Super Shopper and other publications.

Born in New Jersey, Bluhm has considered himself a native of Wisconsin for more than 40 years after graduating from Ripon College. He had a long career in radio news, most notably at WDUZ radio in Green Bay, before joining the staff of the Green Bay News-Chronicle in 1997.


Falls board gets down to business

Times Herald Photo by Warren Bluhm

Oconto Falls School Board clerk Stephanie Wijas, left, applauds Monday after swearing in new board member Lisa Peitersen and incumbent Jan Stranz, who were elected April 4. Wijas, who decided not to run for a second three-year term on the board, was thanked for her work during her tenure.

The Oconto Falls School Board scheduled executive sessions for April 5 and again Monday to discuss notices of contract non-renewal for teachers in the event a referendum measure failed last week.

The closed-door meetings turned out to be unnecessary, as the question passed, 1,151-849. A comfortable 57.5 percent of voters authorized the board to exceed state-imposed revenue limits by a total of $11.5 million over the next five school years. The district said the funds are necessary to maintain buildings and update the school bus fleet, technology infrastructure and curriculum.

“We will be working with the administrative team to move forward with deferred maintenance issues, with busing issues, and looking out over multiple years to address these,” Superintendent Dean Hess said. “We did some initial work leading up to the referendum, so now we’ll be able to drill down more specifically as to the district’s needs.”


Highway construction in full swing

Times Herald Photo by Warren Bluhm

Access to businesses and homes remains along state Highway 22 between Oconto Falls and Stiles Junction.

A chunk of asphalt pavement on state Highway 22 west of Duame Road in Stiles Junction has been removed in the early stages of the four-month reconditioning project that is expected to detour traffic east of Oconto Falls through mid-August.

Drivers are making their way from U.S. 141 along (officially) County Road A through Lena and (unofficially) County Road I through Stiles while the work progresses on the $3.4 million, 4.22-mile project.

The reconditioning consists of milling the existing asphalt pavement and placing a new driving surface. Other work includes adding right-turn lanes at County Road I, Larson Road and Younger Road; removing and replacing two concrete box culverts; replacing existing culvert pipes at various locations; and installing new pavement marking and permanent signs.


St. John’s presents Easter cantata

An ecumenical community choir is rehearsing its presentation of “The Day He Wore My Crown,” the ninth annual Easter cantata at St. John’s Lutheran Church in Gillett.

In 1981, creator and arranger David T. Clydesdale wanted to write a musical from the top 12 songs concerning the Passion story. The list included “Cornerstone,” “Behold the Lamb” and “There’s Something Different About Him.”

When Clydesdale presented his idea to the president of the Benson Co., he was shocked by his response: “Absolutely not! Musicals are created by one writer, not 12 writers. It just won’t hold together. Bad idea. Sorry!”


Spring election results

+ Bagley Town Board (2): Herb Fischer 45, Darryl Houska 42, Tom Bauer 34.

+ Breed town chairman: Brian M. Moran, Richard VandeWettering 52.

+ Doty Town Board (2): Andrew Dryja 49, Bob Gale 37, Andrew Stemp 35.

+ Lakewood treasurer: Virginia Nelson 158, Nancy Gardebrecht 106.

+ Oconto Falls town clerk: Heather Fifield 200, Jan Betts 95.

+ Riverview Town Board (2): Jim Zittlow 169, Dick Booth 110, Harlan Trosch 58, Geri Hammer 53.

+ Spruce town chair: Terry L. Brazeau 148, Mary Marks 67.

+ Spruce Town Board (2): Fred Witt 166, Brian Rieth 127, James W. Kuckenbecker Jr. 71.

+ Stiles Supervisor 1 - Blaine Konitzer 165, Allen Kopczynski 90.

+ Stiles treasurer - Laurie Parisey 160, Jo Ann Usiak 106.

+ Townsend town chair: Carla Van Camp 255, Michael Vande Walle 182.

+ Townsend Town Board (2): Linda Adamczyk 321, Daniel Martin 232, Joanne Jones 153, Michael Lavin 73.


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