News

Wed
03
Jan

Oconto County Sheriff's Department: Dec. 22-28

Dec. 28

Deputies responded to 46 incidents, including the following:

Traffic crash — U.S. Highway 41 northbound near Bell Bridge Road, Pensaukee, 3:12 a.m.

Trespassing — reported near state Highway 64 and Pete De Foure Road, Bagley, 7:41 a.m.

Animal neglect — reported in the 7000 block of County Road B, Spruce, 8:31 a.m.

Property damage — reported in the 200 block of East Frontage Road, Little Suamico, 11:09 a.m.

Disturbance — reported in the 11000 block of Harris Road, Breed, 2:30 p.m.

Fire — reported on Cross Road north of South Chase Road, Little Suamico, 2:38 p.m.

Suspicious person — reported near County Road J and Funk Road, Oconto, 2:52 p.m.

Traffic crash — U.S. Highway 141 southbound near County Road A, Lena, Micheal James Anderson, 29, Wausaukee, rear-ended Nathan Ray Kuchenbecker, 24, Oconto Falls, after a passing semi-truck caused a temporary whiteout, no injuries, 3:19 p.m.

Wed
03
Jan

Justice arrives in Pulaski


Contributed photo
The Pulaski Police Department got an early Christmas present in the form of Justice, who replaces the department's retired K-9 officer.

The Pulaski Police Department held a news conference the day after Christmas to introduce its newest officer, a German Shepherd named Justice.

MyPulaskiK9.org, a committee of area residents, professionals, and law-enforcement personnel, and the department recently reached their goal to raise the funds needed to replace the recently retired K-9 patrol. Justice arrived recently and is now ready to begin patrols with his handler, Officer Kyle Betzner.

“We started this funding and community awareness campaign almost a year ago and through the dedicated efforts of the MyPulaskiK9.org group and the generosity of our community, including a number of outside contributors; it is really remarkable,” Police Chief Mark Hendzel said. “We are extremely thankful for the show of support.”

MyPulaskiK9.org organized a number of community events, including a 5K run/walk and a bowl-a-thon, with all proceeds going to the K-9 fund.

Wed
03
Jan

Oconto County Circuit Court Proceedings

Proceedings of Dec. 28

After a preliminary hearing, Alex James Vandenhoven, 24, Green Bay, was bound over for trial on charges of possession with intent to deliver heroin, possession with intent to deliver narcotics, and possession of THC (second or subsequent offense) in connection with an incident that allegedly occurred Oct. 6. Arraignment and a bail/bond hearing were scheduled for Feb. 2.

After a preliminary hearing, Randy M. Soper, 59, Gillett, was bound over on a charge of operating a motor vehicle while intoxicated (fifth or sixth offense) in connection with a traffic incident that allegedly occurred Oct. 21. Arraignment was scheduled for Jan. 10.

Proceedings of Dec. 27

Keith E. Guerrero, 32, Oconto, was charged with stalking and a midemeanor count of resisting or obstructing an officer, in connection with an incident that allegedly occurred Nov. 18. A preliminary hearing was scheduled for Feb. 2.

Wed
03
Jan

Bill to memorialize Korea veteran advances

A bill authored by state Rep. John Nygren memorializes an Oconto native who was killed in action during the Korean War.

Assembly Bill 699 designates the bridge on U.S. Highway 41 that spans the Oconto River in the city of Oconto to be named the Pfc. Valentine T. Warrichaiet Memorial Bridge, in honor of the soldier killed in action on July 9, 1953, while serving in the U.S. Army.

Warrichaiet was the only citizen of the city of Oconto to be killed in action during the Korean War.

The driving forces behind this proposal — Vernon Warrichaiet and Melvin Warrichaiet, brothers of Valentine T. Warrichaiet, and Clyde Bridger, a friend and classmate — traveled to Madison in December to testify in support of the measure.

Wed
03
Jan

Pulaski schools superintendent contract extended


Rebecca J. Kurzynske

The Pulaski School Board on Dec. 20 unanimously approved a renewal of contract for Superintendent Rebecca J. Kurzynske. She was named superintendent by the board in February 2016 after serving as interim superintendent since May 2015.

“The board is pleased to renew Mrs. Kurzynske’s contract,” said board President Michael Voelker. “She understands the values of our diverse district and is very visible in the community. She has a deep concern for the well-being of our students and staff and is a strong advocate for our children and schools.”

“I look forward to continuing to work with the board, our staff, students, and the community for years to come, and I thank the board for trusting me to serve the best interests of our district,” Kurzynske said.

Voelker said the school district has undertaken numerous projects to improve facilities while being responsible to taxpayers by operating within budget.

Wed
27
Dec

Referendum victory tops news stories of 2017


Oconto Falls School District Superintendent Dean Hess, right, meets with the Oconto Falls Chamber of Commerce to discuss the upcoming referendum during the chamber’s March 15 membership meeting. Looking on are Gail Yatso, chamber president, and Deb Arndt, treasurer. (Times Herald photo by Warren Bluhm)

The year 2017, like any year, had its share of ups and downs, triumph and tragedy, and significant milestones.

Choosing a “top 10” list of stories is always a challenge, and this is our attempt to begin that conversation.

1. Oconto Falls school referendum passes

Oconto Falls School District officials worked hard to inform voters about a referendum they said was necessary to maintain educational services.

The measure asked voters for authority to exceed state-imposed revenue limits by a total of $11.5 million over the next five school years. The district said the funds were necessary to maintain buildings and update the school bus fleet, technology infrastructure and curriculum.

The hard work paid off when the question passed, 1,151-849.

In a newsletter mailed during the summer, Superintendent Dean Hess outlined progress made on all four fronts and thanked the community for its support.

Wed
27
Dec

Kiosk to be moved to Nicolet State Trail in Suring

The way has finally been cleared for a kiosk to be erected along the Nicolet State Trail in the village of Suring.

The kiosk once stood in a National Forest wayside across from Chute Pond that has since been closed; the village was the successful bidder to obtain the tree-shaped kiosk, Oconto County Forestry/Parks/Recreation Director Monty Brink told the County Board during its Dec. 14 meeting.

“The village of Suring got there first, and they were working with the National Forest Service to obtain the permit to acquire that kiosk,” Brink said.

In the fall of 2016, Brink worked with the village on a memorandum of understanding that also includes the state of Wisconsin, because the county leases the trail from the state.

The memorandum was reviewed by a county committee in December 2016 and forwarded to the village in January. The village replied in November, Brink said.

Wed
27
Dec

Oconto Falls City Hall HVAC controls to get an upgrade

The Oconto Falls Municipal Offices building will be getting a long-awaited upgrade to its heating and cooling system after approval by the City Council at its Dec. 12 meeting.

“Seventeen years ago, when this building was built, they put a boiler and what-not in, obviously. But really, the system hasn’t ever worked properly ever since day one,” Alderman Marty Coopman said. “It’s been working, but there’s been no updates in the 17 years.”

ACC Planned Service Inc. of Appleton submitted the lowest of three bids to replace the outdated software and hardware to control the HVAC at a cost of $12,925.

“The scope of work would include upgrading the automation control on the air handling units, hot water heating system, cooling system and office variable air volume units,” said the cover letter from Paul Kreiling of ACC. “The upgrade also offers increased capabilities (for) alarms sent via email/text/phone, lighting controls, door access and cameras.”

Wed
27
Dec

Oconto County Board backs redistricting reform

The Oconto County Board has passed a resolution calling for redistricting reform, but some supervisors expressed unhappiness about the board taking a stand in a debate that has divided Wisconsin Republicans and Democrats for the past six years.

The resolution, which was first passed by the Lincoln County Board in March, has been passed by about two dozen county boards at the urging of the Wisconsin Democracy Campaign and similar organizations.

It calls for the state Legislature to “pass legislation that creates a fair, nonpartisan procedure for the preparation of state legislative and congressional redistricting plans, that promotes more accountability and transparency, and that prohibits the consideration of voting patterns, party information, and incumbents’ residence information or demographic information in drawing the maps, except as necessary to ensure minority participation as required by law.”

Wed
27
Dec

Oconto County Circuit Court Proceedings

Proceedings of Dec. 19

Rock H. Gerow, 60, Mountain, stood mute and not guilty pleas were entered on his behalf for possession of narcotic drugs, manufacturing amphetamine with the intent to deliver, and three counts of bail jumping. The amphetamine charge and two bail-jumping counts are in connection with an incident that allegedly occurred April 14, 2016, and were filed in October on the day before he was to stand trial for possession of materials to manufacture methamphetamine and two counts of possession of narcotic drugs, in connection with an incident that occurred July 24, 2016. The latest narcotics and bail-jumping charges were filed after a search warrant was executed at Gerow’s home Oct. 18. A pre-trial conference was scheduled for Jan. 11.

Casey L. Messenger, 29, Pulaski, pleaded no contest to three counts of arson in connection with a fire that occurred Jan. 18, 2014. Sentencing was scheduled for Feb. 2.

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