News

Wed
14
Jun

Suring graduates 30 seniors

The 2017 Suring High School commencement exercises were held May 27 in the high school gymnasium.

A valedictorian/salutatorian farewell was presented by Courtney Heimerl, Katherine Stegeman and Blake Seppel. A senior video presentation created by Greta Sleeter and Courtney Stelzer was shown. Class President Preston Fischer read the Senior Plans.

Daphne Ruley presented the annual dedication. The 2017 Soaring High was dedicated to Tamara Steffeck.

Diplomas were presented by Dennis Piepkorn, Wayne Sleeter and Wendy Wozniak of the Suring School Board.

Wed
14
Jun

A tree-planting party in Gillett


Contributed Photo

Volunteers planted more than five dozen cedar trees at Nicolet Trail Campground on June 7 as part of the city of Gillett’s Arbor Day celebration.

The city of Gillett took a step toward earning its Tree City USA designation with an Arbor Day and tree-planting ceremony June 7 at the Nicolet Trail Campground.

Volunteers planted 63 cedar trees that were obtained through a grant from the state Department of Natural Resources and the American Transmission Co., city clerk-treasurer Kim Gruetzmacher said.

The volunteers were led by Boy Scout Troop 1035, the Gillett High School National Honor Society and the Mayor’s Youth Advisory Association. Gillett Mayor William Pecha, who has been ailing, was able to take part in the festivities.

The grant was awarded to assist with phytoremediation (technologies that use living plants to clean up soil, air and water) in Zippel Park and the Nicolet Trail Campground, as well as reduce noise, provide privacy and future canopy, and enhance the aesthetic value of the campground.

Wed
07
Jun

Gillett mayor sidelined by stroke

The Gillett City Council is taking a wait-and-see approach and hoping Mayor William Pecha recovers enough to return to work.

The mayor suffered an apparent stroke and has been incapacitated since the second weekend in May. City officials said they don’t know much more than that because of the privacy restrictions in HIPAA, the federal Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act.

By city ordinance, in the mayor’s absence, City Council President Nanette Mohr has been serving as acting mayor.

Mohr told the council that city department heads have been handling the day-to-day operation well.

“I’m very confident – I feel we’ve gone through more scenarios over the last several years, and I’m just hoping for a speedy recovery for Bill,” she said.

City Attorney Tim Schmid said the city has a number of options should Pecha be unable to return to his duties, but it’s premature to act until more is known about his condition.

Wed
07
Jun

Bike to School Day organizers hope to expand


Photo by Keri Hicks

JoJo Reyes, left, and Ana Grover hold the flag for Bike to School Day in Gillett while those riding bikes and preparing to walk the route to the school get ready on May 10.

Organizers of last month’s successful Bike to School event in Gillett are hoping to expand the effort to the Suring School District next spring.

Danielle Risner, coordinator of Safe Kids Oconto County, received a grant from Safe Kids Worldwide to institute an International Bike to School Day event in Oconto County.

Risner worked with Gillett School District nurse Nuala Nowicki to coordinate efforts in planning the event, the first of its kind in Oconto County.

The goal is to provide a fun event that encourages kids to experience the health benefits of biking and walking.

Gillett Police Chief Jess Keplinger told the City Council last week that the May 10 event drew 176 participants.

Wed
07
Jun

Community Square working out as planned


Times Herald Photo by Warren Bluhm

Shoppers check out the deals Thursday during the first Downtown Market of the season in Gillett.

Music wafted over a crowd of people chatting, catching up with each other under a bright sun Thursday as vendors sold their wares at a dozen booths at the Ebenreiter Community Square in downtown Gillett.

The scene at the inaugural Downtown Market of the summer was exactly what local leaders envisioned three years ago when they embarked on a makeover of the area adjacent to the Gillett Public Library.

After the BMO Harris Bank branch office closed March 1, 2014, library officials paid $120,000 for the 2,367-square-foot building at 204 E. Main St. The Friends of the Library and library board of directors saw an opportunity to provide meeting rooms for the community, open up space at the library facility and develop a community square – an outdoor area for community use on the green space between the two neighboring buildings.

Wed
07
Jun

Former Ansorge property donated to Gillett

The Gillett City Council took a big step toward creation of a new city park Thursday when it accepted the donation of a nearly 2-acre property on Savage Lake.

Dr. Evelyn Hauser-Frederick purchased the former Emory Ansorge property at 144 S. Woodlawn Ave., which fronts the lake and includes an area that Ansorge maintained for many years for public access with posted signs that said “Enjoy, Don’t Destroy.”

The dentist has divided the land, intending to sell the house, and donated the park-like area, which can be accessed from Fourth Street, to the city.

“Truly my goal is to allow the public to have access to the lake in that a beautiful piece of property will be very much enjoyed by the public, and the city will have the opportunity to reclaim that lake so it’s more of an asset to the community,” Hauser-Frederick told the council.

The 6-acre lake south of downtown is 29 feet at its deepest point and is largely surrounded by woods and a handful of homes.

Wed
31
May

Heroux is new Peshtigo National Bank president, CEO

The Peshtigo National Bank board of directors has announced the promotion of Kelly Heroux to president and CEO, effective Thursday.

Heroux joined Peshtigo National Bank in 2004 and has 25 years of banking experience. She is a member of the PNB board and most recently served as executive vice president over operations.

A Coleman High School graduate, she holds a Bachelor of Science degree in business administration from the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh. She is also a graduate of the Graduate School of Banking at UW-Madison.

Her promotion is part of a planned succession as the bank’s current president, Keith Shallow, transitions into the role of executive chairman of the board. Shallow’s new role is continuing to provide strategic leadership for development of community and customer relationships as well as mentoring the lending team.

Wed
31
May

A future war hero’s grief unveiled


LT. JAY F. SIMPSON

An active volunteer with the Gillett Area Historical Society has unearthed an old newspaper article that sheds some light into the childhood of Lt. Jay F. Simpson, the first Gillett man to die in World War II and a hero to one British village.

Simpson died while test-flying a Thunderbolt P-47 in England in early January 1944. It flew out to sea, and on its return over Hoylake, Simpson reported that the plane was on fire. He circled over the Royal Air Force camp at West Kirby, then lost height and flipped, landing in a field near the Arrow Brook.

The community honors Simpson at a yearly memorial for his successful effort to avoid crashing in a populated area.

Nancy Smith, whose grandparents lived in the home that is now the historical society’s museum, was researching material to add to the booklet “Jay Simpson – The Rest of the Story,” which is available at the museum.

Wed
31
May

This playtime is serious learning


Contributed Photo

Teachers, from left, Melani Lindbeck, Kristen Sanderson and Megan Valley play hopscotch in an exercise that will help their students develop gross motor skills.

A step inside the CESA 8 facility in Gillett on Thursday revealed a group of adults playing hopscotch, crawling on the ground and otherwise doing things once associated with a normal childhood.

Call it the lab segment of a three-day workshop in S.M.A.R.T. – Stimulating Maturity through Accelerated Readiness Training – an educational program developed by Minnesota Learning Resource Center around the premise that movement anchors learning.

“Some studies have shown that movement really is the brain’s first teacher,” said Jessica McFarland, assistant director of MLRC and one of three mentors who led 45 teachers from 27 school districts through the training.

The program takes brain research and directly correlates it to how teachers interact with their students, McFarland said.

Wed
31
May

Radkes are parade marshals


Times Herald photo by Warren Bluhm

Lorraine and Reuben Radke reigned as grand marshals of the 2017 Oconto Falls Memorial Day parade.

Reuben and Lorraine Radke reigned Monday as grand marshals of the 2017 Oconto Falls Memorial Day parade. The unofficial “West Side Mayor” and his wife have been making a difference in their community for the 59 years they have been married.

Both born in Oconto Falls, Reuben and Lorraine (Kobs) Radke raised five children who also attended Oconto Falls public schools – Jerry, Steve, Dan, Kristen and Craig – and they have 17 grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren.

One of 17 children of William and Wanda (Schmidt) Radke, Reuben shared an upstairs attic space with his eight brothers, sleeping on feather beds his mother made from animals raised on their farm. He attended Elm Lawn School and graduated in 1955 from Oconto Falls High School.

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