News

Wed
21
Mar

Adams Street reconstruction progresses

The Oconto Falls City Council got a briefing last week on plans to rebuild a residential street near downtown this summer.

The project will cover Adams Street from Union Avenue, where Washington Middle School is on the corner, to Monroe Street — a distance of 1,700 feet or three blocks.

“There’s going to be a lot going on on Adams Street – curb, gutter, new road base and surface, driveway aprons, new stormwater collection, sidewalk replacement in some places, sewer laterals,” city attorney Larry Jeske told the council during its March 13 meeting. Homeowners were briefed at an informational meeting the night before.

Part of the sewer work was done on an emergency basis last summer after an examination showed so much deterioration of the old pipe that city officials were concerned the roadway could collapse, Utility Manager Greg Kuhn said.

Wed
21
Mar

Governor visits Gillett schools


Gillett High School student Alex Young talks to Gov. Scott Walker about his experience at Badger Boys State while Cole Watts listens. The governor waded through the audience of students, shaking each student’s hand. (Photo by Keri Hicks)

Gillett Secondary School rolled out the proverbial red carpet Thursday for the highest elected official in Wisconsin.

Gov. Scott Walker toured the school, then spoke briefly to members of the FFA, Student Council, FBLA, National Honor Society and Hi-Q team, in a visit designed to promote a newly passed law increasing state aid to small, rural school districts.

The law increases “sparsity aid” payments to rural school districts like Gillett. Currently at $300 per pupil, payments will be increased to $400 per pupil.

It also boosts the “low-revenue adjustment” in state school aid, increasing the base for districts near the lowest revenue limits — now set at a minimum $9,100 per pupil — by an additional $100 per year before reaching $9,800 in the 2022-23 school year.

Wed
21
Mar

Bond set at $500K in Lena standoff

A 50-year-old town of Lena man is due back in Oconto County Circuit Court on April 12 after being charged in connection with a 10-hour standoff March 11, during which he allegedly fired shots at sheriff’s deputies.

Judge Jay Conley set bail at $500,000 for Thomas Benser, who was also being sought in connection with an alleged attack on an ex-girlfriend the night before.

Benser is charged with five counts of attempted first-degree intentional homicide, five counts of first-degree reckless endangerment, strangulation-suffocation, substantial battery, failure to comply with an officer’s attempt to take a person into custody and misdemeanor disorderly conduct.

According to the criminal complaint, the woman was awakened around 11:15 p.m. by Benser, who had sneaked into her house.

Wed
21
Mar

Oconto County Circuit Court proceedings

Proceedings of March 16

A $50,000 cash bond was set for Jeremy J. Hanna, 39, Oconto, who is charged with four counts of manufacture or delivery of amphetamines and one count of misdemeanor disorderly conduct in connection with separate incidents in December and January. Conditions of bond include absolute sobriety and no involvement with illegal drugs or drug paraphernalia. The balance of his initial appearance was scheduled for April 12.

A bench warrant was issued for Nicholas G. Patron, 36, Oconto, after an incident that allegedly occurred March 13. Patron is scheduled to go on trial in June on two counts of causing a child younger than 13 to view or listen to a sex act and one count each of child abuse intentionally causing harm and strangulation-suffocation, in connection with alleged incidents from early 2017. New charges of felony bail jumping and misdemeanor bail jumping and disorderly conduct were filed.

Wed
21
Mar

Sheriff hosts School Safety Summit


Law enforcement officials and educators from Oconto County meet March 5 at the county Law Enforcement Center to talk about school safety.

The Oconto County Law Enforcement Executive Group sponsored a School Safety Summit at the Oconto County Sheriff’s Law Enforcement Center on March 5. To ensure the safety of kids in the classroom or participating in extracurricular activities, the sheriff and chiefs from the group invited school superintendents and their staff from all the school districts in Oconto County to address safety and security issues.

School districts represented included Wabeno, Suring, Coleman, Gillett, Oconto Falls, Oconto and Pulaski, meeting with Oconto County Sheriff Mike Jansen and Chief Deputy Ed Janke, Oconto Acting Police Chief Mike Rehberg, Oconto Falls Police Chief Brad Olsen, Gillett Police Chief Jess Keplinger, Lena Police Chief James Herald and Suring Police Chief Phil Christenson, the law enforcement group chairman. The meeting was also attended by county officials and state Rep. Jeff Mursau.

Wed
21
Mar

Gillett mayoral candidates address the issues

The candidates for mayor of Gillett recently responded to a questionnaire prepared by the Oconto County Times Herald. Acting Mayor Nanette Mohr will be the only name on the April 3 ballot, but James Beaton has entered the race as a write-in candidate.

Incumbent Mayor William Pecha filed a declaration of noncandidacy in December; Mohr has been filling in while Pecha recovers from a medical emergency that occurred last May.

The winner of the spring election will earn a two-year term as mayor.

James Beaton

Education: Mortuary Science degree, Funeral Institute of the Northeast, Norwood, Massachusetts

Occupation: Business owner and funeral director, Legacy Funeral Chapels, Gillett and Green Bay

Previous or current elected experience: None

Wed
21
Mar

Three candidates for two positions on Gillett School Board

The candidates for Gillett School Board have responded to a questionnaire sent out by the Oconto County Times Herald. Two incumbents and one former board member are on the ballot; the top two vote-getters will earn a three-year term on the board.

Jamie Heroux

Education: Coleman High School, Class of 1991; Michigan Technological University, B.S. in electrical engineering, 1995

Occupation: Electrical project engineer, Paper Converting Machine Co., Green Bay.

Previous elected experience: Gillett School Board 2014-2017, vice president for the 2016-17 school year; served on the buildings/grounds, policy, and finance/personnel committees.

Community Involvement: Recently elected president of Christ Lutheran Church in Hintz, after six years as a trustee. I also am involved in coaching youth football and Bellin kids for running in Gillett.

Why do you want to be elected to this position, and what make you the better candidate?

Wed
21
Mar

Oconto County Board District 7 candidates respond

David Behrend and Fran Wranosky are the candidates for the Oconto County Board seat in District 7; incumbent Supervisor Ron Korzeniewski decided not to run for re-election.

District 7 includes parts of the towns of Chase and Morgan.

David Behrend

Behrend said he is retired after a 26-year military career. He is active in the Veterans of Foreign Wars national and state Unmet Needs program, offering financial and family assistance to current military soldiers and veterans. He enlisted in the U.S. Navy after high school, serving time in Vietnam on board the USS Benjamin Stoddert DDG 22, and later re-enlisted in the Coast Guard spending time in Desert Storm at the Port of Dhahran with USCG Port Security Group 303.

Wed
21
Mar

Farming for Profit farm management workshop planned

Although a fairly straightforward thought, the process of managing a profitable farm entails many decision-making steps. The University of Wisconsin-Extension of Oconto, Marinette and Shawano counties are sponsoring an event that is designed to help producers as they make some of these extremely important decisions.

The event is being held from 9:45 a.m. to 3 p.m. April 4 at Romy’s Holiday Inn, 9600 County Road G, Kelly Lake.

Many farms are facing distinct financial challenges as the 2018 planting season approaches. Understanding more about these challenges will be the focus of one part of the day’s discussion, led by Dan Kaufman, financial services officer with Greenstone Farm Credit Services. Specifically, he will focus on short- or long-term issues that can affect decision making.

Wed
14
Mar

Negligent homicide charge filed in fatal crash

The driver who apparently caused a fatal three-car accident in September has been charged with homicide by negligent operation of a motor vehicle.

Bernard A. Poradek, 31, of Mountain, has been ordered to make his initial appearance in Oconto County Circuit Court at 9 a.m. April 12.

Poradek was the driver of a car that rear-ended a vehicle driven by Robert Lusardi, 30, of Suring, pushing the vehicle into the path of an oncoming Jeep Wrangler. Lusardi was killed, and a passenger in the Jeep was airlifted to an area hospital with serious injuries.

According to the criminal complaint, Lusardi and Poradek were driving south on state Highway 32 in the town of Breed the afternoon of Sept. 29, when Lusardi stopped to make a left turn into Rhode’s Oasis.

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