News

Wed
01
May

Oconto Falls loses two well-known figures

Two prominent citizens of the city of Oconto Falls died within a day of each other last week.

Alderman and former police chief Jay Kostreva died April 23 at St. Vincent Hospital in Green Bay after a short illness. Marie Magnin, an active volunteer and former co-owner of Magnin Hardware with her late husband, Chub, died suddenly April 24 at home.

Kostreva, 69, was a patrol officer and later chief of the Oconto Falls Police Department from 1976 until his retirement in 2002. In addition to serving on the Oconto Falls City Council, he was active in the city fire department and the Oconto County Humane Society.

Wed
24
Apr

Distance-learning consortium nears an end


Gillett Superintendent Todd Carlson administers the oath of office to reelected board members, from left, Preston Peterson, Jamie Young and Cliff Gerbers during Thursday’s regular monthly meeting. The three men were unopposed for three-year terms in the April 2 spring election. (Times Herald photo by Warren Bluhm)

The TRITON (Three Rivers Instructional Telecommunications Operational Network) distance learning initiative, which for years has helped small rural school districts expand their curriculum offerings, may vote to dissolve when member schools meet on Thursday.

The need is still there, but technology has advanced to the point where TRITON’s services are no longer required, two member superintendents told their school boards this month.

When TRITON was formed in 1996, it was state-of-the-art technology for an educator to teach students in several school districts at once via a television signal transmitted over dedicated phone lines and later the internet.

Students who wanted to learn a subject not offered by their home districts could now take a class, providing they had a free period during the time when the teacher would be broadcasting.

Wed
24
Apr

Maple Valley Mutual officials declare a good year


Maple Valley Mutual Insurance Co. officers, directors and employees who received service awards and gifts at the company’s annual meeting were, from left, Al Schuettpelz, John Matravers, Tom Bitters, Wanda McCarthy, Chad Schuettpelz and Fran Wranosky. (Contributed photo)

Maple Valley Mutual Insurance Co. held its 128th annual meeting for policyholders March 26 at The Ravine Pub & Grill in Green Bay. Approximately 200 policyholders, guests, agents and employees were in attendance.

President Chad Schuettpelz reported that corporate performance for calendar year 2018 showed very favorable results. Premiums written increased to $6,734,454, the Company’s surplus increased by $986,000, underwriting income increased to $816,473, incurred losses were down from the previous year with a gross loss ratio coming in at 36.6% and the Company’s combined ratio came in at an excellent 85%.

Wed
24
Apr

Oconto Falls turns 100 without community fanfare

The 100th anniversary of the declaration of Oconto Falls as a city passed without a word at the City Council meeting April 9.

It was April 9, 1919, that Gov. Emanuel L. Philipp signed a Letters Patent declaring the village of Oconto Falls was now a city, according to information researched by Deputy Clerk Nancy Brye.

The last meeting of the Village Board, and the first meeting of the City Council, were held May 5, 1919. Village President W.J. Munsert won the spring 1919 election to become the first mayor of Oconto Falls, a position he held until 1922.

No formal plans to mark the centennial have been announced.

Fri
19
Apr

County braces for possible flooding


The playground at Holtwood Sporting Complex and Park in Oconto sits on a temporary island Thursday. County officials issued an emergency declaration through Monday, April 22, for the possibility of flooding. (Times Herald photo by Warren Bluhm)

Oconto County has issued an emergency declaration until 11:59 p.m. Monday (April 22) due to the potential for flooding in the area.

County officials are continuing to monitor waterways and assess the conditions created by the rising water levels. Emergency Management Director Tim Magnin has been in contact with local municipalities and state officials sharing information and monitoring county waterways.

There are no funds available at this time for damage due to flooding. Residents should take preventative measures to mitigate damage. Check home exterior for structural damage and basements for water. There have been limited evacuations. Residents near waterways should begin making plans and preparing now should an evacuation become necessary.

"Should water rise over roads, remember: Turn Around, Don’t Drown. NEVER drive through flood waters or barricades," Magnin said.

Tue
16
Apr

Krumrei honored to have served


Ron Leja, left, and Sharon Stodola-Eslien, elected to three-year terms April 2, are sworn in by Oconto Falls School Board clerk Clint Gardebrecht during the board’s April 8 meeting. (Times Herald photo by Warren Bluhm)

An 18-year veteran of the Oconto Falls School Board said he was honored to have served, while his successor was sworn in, during the board’s monthly meeting April 8.

Tracey Krumrei has been on the board for 18 years but finished third in the April 2 election for two open seats.

Superintendent Dean Hess said Krumrei was on the team that worked on several building projects, positive improvement processes, and other difficult tasks.

“Bottom line is you took time away from your family, things you could be doing elsewhere for the service that you provided to the district, and I thank you,” Hess said.

Krumrei said he was honored to be a board member and will miss it. He told an anecdote about how teachers stepped forward with his daughter’s best interests in mind when she needed help.

Tue
16
Apr

A new vision for Memorial Park


Point of Beginning consulting firm drafted this concept plan for redevelopment of Memorial Park, using the existing softball fields, left, and adding new baseball diamonds and a green space large enough for a football and soccer field. The street along the right side of the park is Chestnut Avenue (State Highway 22). The Oconto Falls City Council gave its blessing to the proposal and fundraising effort April 9. (Contributed image)

Memorial Park in Oconto Falls would be reconfigured to accommodate four ball diamonds and a football-field-sized green space in a concept plan approved by the City Council at its April 9 meeting.

Scott Groholski with consulting firm Point of Beginning presented the plan, which utilizes two existing ball fields and adds varsity and junior varsity baseball diamonds separated by a greenspace large enough to accommodate football and soccer games.

Groholski has been meeting for about six months with local youth groups interested in redeveloping the park that was the home of the Oconto Falls High School football and track teams until ST Paper Stadium was built near the high school.

The original focus had been almost exclusively on baseball and softball, but the growing Oconto Falls Youth Football program appeared before the council last summer to express concern that the park continue to be a place their teams can use.

Tue
16
Apr

Human trafficking programs scheduled in Oconto Falls, Little Suamico

Two programs are scheduled next week to inform the community about human trafficking in this area.

Local health and public safety experts this month will lead a community presentation at HSHS St. Clare Memorial Hospital about human trafficking. The event is scheduled for 6 p.m. April 22 in the Assisi Conference Rooms at the hospital, 855 S. Main St., Oconto Falls.

St. John’s Lutheran Church is also planning a program from 9-11:45 a.m. April 27 at the church, 1253 County Road J, Little Suamico.

Lisa Sennholz, founder and executive director of the nonprofit ministry Damascus Road, is scheduled to speak on the topic of international and domestic human trafficking and commercial sexual exploitation, with an emphasis on sex trafficking occurring in Wisconsin. Damascus Road is a faith-based organization dedicated to curtailing human trafficking and commercial sexual exploitation.

Tue
16
Apr

Gillett retains Tree City USA label

For the second year in a row, the city of Gillett has been named a 2018 Tree City USA by the Arbor Day Foundation in honor of its commitment to effective urban forest management.

Gillett achieved Tree City USA recognition by meeting the program’s four requirements: a tree board or department, a tree care ordinance, an annual community forestry budget of at least $2 per capita, and an Arbor Day observance and proclamation.

“Tree City USA communities see the impact an urban forest has in a community first hand,” said Dan Lambe, president of the Arbor Day Foundation. “Additionally, recognition brings residents together and creates a sense of community pride, whether it’s through volunteer engagement or public education.”

Tue
16
Apr

Committee tackles Gillett parking issues

The Gillett Health, Protection and Licensing Committee voted April 8 to approve parking passes that Main Street businesses may issue to clients and customers who likely will park for more than two hours.

Also, a letter will be sent to landlords whose tenants habitually park on the street.

About four dozen people jammed the City Council chambers on April 4 after a backlash when the city started enforcing a long-ignored two-hour parking limit in the 100 and 200 blocks of Main Street, which has seen great business growth in recent years.

Only a handful attended the follow-up committee meeting.

Alderwoman Nanette Mohr said tenants of apartments above the storefronts shouldn’t park for hours on the thoroughfare.

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