News

Wed
14
Nov

NWTC unveils Strategic Directions


The Regional Learning Center at 649 E. Jackson St., Oconto Falls, is one of six such facilities across the eight-county Northeast Wisconsin Technical College district. (Times Herald file photo)

Northeast Wisconsin Technical College President Jeffrey Rafn presented his annual report to the Oconto County Board on Thursday, using the opportunity to talk about the school’s Strategic Directions document that sets goals and metrics for the next five years.

The school provides technical education and two-year degrees over an eight-county area with three campuses and six Regional Learning Centers, including the facility in Oconto Falls.

Rafn introduced Dan Mincheff, NWTC’s chief information officer, who said the five-year plan’s goals are geared toward student success.

“That is our core mission, making students successful,” Mincheff said.

Wed
07
Nov

Railroad Street site approved for Gillett trailhead facility

A site has finally been chosen for a trailhead facility that has been discussed for years near the base of the Nicolet State Trail in Gillett.

The Parks & Cemetery Committee took to the internet for the answer, posting a poll on the “Gillett Community & Events” Facebook page that asked people to choose between the two final options.

Committee Chairperson Sandra Hubbard told the City Council on Thursday that the online poll received 248 responses, and another 13 people brought postcards to City Hall with their input.

About 78 percent of those responses favored a site along Railroad Street across from the former Gillett Meat Market, over an alternative along McKenzie Avenue across from Pat’s Market, where volleyball courts were once located.

The council unanimously approved the Railroad Street site.

Wed
07
Nov

Oconto Falls officer nominated as Hero of the Month


Oconto Falls police officer Keith Fischer’s dedication to duty inspired firefighter Dakota Winkler to nominate Fischer as a Haix Hero of the Month. (Facebook.com/OcontoFallsFD)

An Oconto Falls police officer has been nominated to be the Haix Hero of the Month, an honor determined online by Facebook “likes.”

Officer Keith Fischer was nominated by Oconto Falls firefighter Dakota Winkler, who credits the officer not just for his community service but for his work with kids — including the young Winkler.

Winkler said Fischer pushed him to be his best.

“I was in high school, and I was taking EMT classes on top of working at a sub shop. Often times when I was working he would come in, order his sub, and when it was slow, we would sit down and talk about life like a father talks to his son,” Winkler wrote. “He really encouraged me to keep going and better myself even though the hours and all the combined homework was grueling and daunting.”

Winkler said he is still learning from Fischer’s dedication to duty.

Wed
07
Nov

Two injured in separate crashes

Fifth OWI charge for man hurt in motorcycle crash

An Abrams man seriously injured when he wrecked his motorcycle Oct. 31 was charged with operating a motor vehicle while intoxicated for at least the fifth time, according to an Oconto County Sheriff’s Department accident report.

Jeremiah E. Andresen, 33, was eastbound on Brookside Road near the intersection with U.S. 41 just before 11 p.m. when the vehicle tipped on its side and skidded down the road into the east-side ditch, the report said. Andresen was found in the opposite ditch and transported by ambulance to an area hospital.

He was charged with OWI (fifth or sixth offense) and operating a motor vehicle while his license was revoked. Online court records indicate Andresen has been charged with operating while suspended or revoked several times in the last five years, most recently in connection with a May 2 incident in Oconto County.

Woman injured in semi-truck crash

Wed
07
Nov

Oconto County Circuit Court proceedings

Proceedings of Oct. 31

After a preliminary hearing, Tracy L. Johnson, 39, Seymour, was bound over on charges of burglary and misdemeanor counts of criminal trespass, battery and disorderly conduct, in connection with an incident that allegedly occurred Sept. 2. Arraignment was scheduled for Dec. 13.

Proceedings of Oct. 29

Wed
07
Nov

Oconto Falls School board meets to clarify veterans monument vote


A photo illustration shows the proposed veterans monument just south of Oconto Falls School District offices. (Times Herald file photo)

Members of the Oconto Falls School Board met Oct. 29 to make sure they were all on the same page regarding the potential construction of a veterans monument on school district property.

A week earlier, the board had voted to have Superintendent Dean Hess negotiate a memorandum of understanding with local veterans who propose building the monument on an approximately 100-by-100-foot space just south of the district office on North Farm Road. The land is currently green space.

Hess said he was contacted by some board members who wanted clarification of exactly what the decision had been, and one board member asked about the process for reconsidering the decision.

“There seemed to be some misunderstanding as to what that motion was for,” Hess said.

Wed
07
Nov

Communities plan Veterans Day events


A line of veterans enters the Oconto Falls High School auditorium to applause at the start of the 2017 Veterans Day program. (Times Herald file photo)

Veterans Day 2018 marks the centennial of the ending of The Great War, now known as World War I, at the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month, 1918.

Oconto County communities are among many across the nation marking this Veterans Day.

Oconto Falls

Oconto Falls High School plans to host area veterans and their spouses in its 64th annual Veterans Day observance Nov. 12.

“This is a time for us to pause and reflect upon the sacrifices of our nation’s military veterans, past and present,” Jake Beschta, high school principal, wrote in a memo to local veterans. “It is a time not only to recognize you with public ceremonies, but also to seek out, thank and learn from each of you who gave so much. The willingness of America’s veterans such as yourself to sacrifice for our country has earned you our lasting gratitude.”

Wed
07
Nov

Gillett school referendum passes; Oconto County backs GOP


A sign points the way to the polling area at Oconto Falls City Hall on Tuesday. (Times Herald photo by Warren Bluhm)

The third time was a charm for the Gillett School District.

After back-to-back failed referendums in 2016, the school board went back to the drawing board, conducting a survey of district residents to gauge their support before coming back for another vote.

This time, about 54 percent of district voters gave their approval to exceeding state-imposed revenue limits by $600,000 annually for three years. The unofficial final tally was 1,012 yes, 864 no.

Most of the winning margin came from the large portion of the school district in Oconto County, which voted 902-758 yes. In the small part of Shawano County that goes to Gillett schools, the ayes had it by just four votes, 110-106.

Oconto County was a “red” county, voting comfortable margins in favor of every Republican on the ballot, including ones who did not prevail statewide.

Wed
31
Oct

Gillett schools will pilot Smithsonian science curriculum

The Leon H. and Clymene M. Bond Foundation has awarded a $12,000 grant to the Einstein Project for a transformation of the Gillett Elementary School science curriculum that’s being described as “a game changer.”

The grant enables Gillett, in collaboration with the Einstein Project, to be the first school district to use a new elementary school curriculum designed by the Smithsonian Science Education Center, Curt Angeli, elementary school principal, told the Gillett School Board on Thursday.

“This is almost bigger than I thought it was,” he said. “As the details came through, we began to realize how exciting this is — how much it’s going to align with next-generation standards, how much it’s putting us in line with Wisconsin standards for science education. This is a nationally vetted model.”

The school is making room for the Einstein Project, the Bond Foundation and even visitors from the Smithsonian itself, Angeli said.

Wed
31
Oct

Trauma kits donated to Gillett schools


Posing with materials donated by the Regional Trauma Advisory Council are, from left, Ron Lenz, Gillett School Board president; Superintendent Todd Carlson; Todd Orlik of Gillett Area Ambulance; Dave Taylor of RTAC; and Theresa Johnson and Kiaya Doll of Gillett Area Ambulance. (Times Herald photo by Warren Bluhm)

The Northeast Regional Trauma Advisory Council has donated 56 emergency first-aid kits, and the training on how to use them, to help the Gillett School District be prepared for the unthinkable.

Dave Taylor, coordinator of the regional council, told the Gillett School Board on Thursday that he has been working with Oconto County Chief Deputy Ed Janke and other local leaders to develop training efforts aimed at helping law enforcement, emergency medical services and fire personnel work together in case of a major event like a bleacher collapse or an active shooter.

“So if something happens in a school, law enforcement mitigates the threat but then brings in public safety right behind to get to the patients so we can start doing care right away,” Taylor said.

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