News

Wed
25
Apr

Oconto County Circuit Court Proceedings

Proceedings of April 20

A May 4 preliminary hearing 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.

Bond was set at $5,000 for Ryan Bunner, 34, Menominee, Michigan, who is charged with interfering with child custody in connection with an incident that allegedly occurred April 8. The balance of his initial appearance was scheduled for May 17.

Proceedings of April 19

Bond was reduced to $1,500 for Jeffrey L. Vele, 28, Bowler, who has pleaded not guilty to a charge of felony bail jumping and misdemeanor possession of drug paraphernalia, in connection with an incident that allegedly occurred Jan. 16. A pre-trial conference was scheduled for May 17.

Wed
25
Apr

Oconto Falls hotel project said to be completely dead

The effort to attract investors to build a hotel in Oconto Falls has collapsed, the executive director of the Oconto County Economic Development Corp. announced April 19.

“You’ll never hear me talk about a hotel in Oconto Falls again,” Paul Ehrfurth said during his monthly report to the Oconto County Board. “That project, barring some sort of a miracle, is completely dead.”

A 2013 study showed Oconto Falls could be a prime location for a hotel of up to 50 rooms to accommodate tourists and other visitors.

As recently as a year ago, officials were saying they were confident that Oconto Falls boasts the sort of attributes that a developer would find appealing, including a diverse population base, central location, strong business climate and such natural resources as the Oconto River.

Although the city did get some nibbles from outside developers, it turned out the local support wasn’t there, Ehrfurth said.

Wed
25
Apr

New Gillett mayor, council get started


The new Gillett City Council prepares for work just before convening the April 17 meeting. From left, Aldermen Josh McCarthy, Wayne Stroik and Irene Drake; new city attorney Katie Sloma; Mayor James Beaton; Clerk-Treasurer Kim Gruetzmacher; and Aldermen Sandra Hubbard, Nanette Mohr and Marie Blaser. (Times Herald photo by Warren Bluhm)

For the first time in nearly a year, a full six-member Gillett City Council convened for an organizational meeting April 17.

Aldermen appointed Wayne Stroik during a special meeting the night before to wrap up the business of the old council.

At that April 16 meeting, the council also approved a three-year contract with accounting firm Hawkins and Ash to continue to do the auditing work for 2018 through 2020.

Newly elected Mayor James Beaton took the gavel starting with the April 17 meeting. The council usually meets at 6 p.m. on the first Thursday of the month.

Stroik represents District 1 along with Marie Blaser; District 2 aldermen are Josh McCarthy and Sandra Hubbard; and District 3 is represented by Irene Drake and Nanette Mohr.

Wed
25
Apr

Officials compile storm damage reports

Oconto County officials were still dealing with the aftermath of a historic April snowstorm late into the week, with some roads still closed and an assessment of storm damage in progress.

And, as seasonal temperatures finally arrived and the massive snow began melting, concerns were raised about water levels on the Oconto River.

The National Weather Service reported minor flooding in Oconto as the river was at 9.72 feet as of Tuesday morning; flood stage is considered 9 feet. The river was expected to fall below flood stage later in the week.

With the forecast predicting a major storm that eventually dropped 24-32 inches of snow over the area, county officials declared a flood and snow emergency early April 13, shortly before the snow actually started falling.

Emergency Management Director Tim Magnin told the Oconto County Board that calling the emergency ahead of time was a proactive step.

Wed
18
Apr

Fairest of the Fair candidates announced

The 2018 Oconto County Senior and Junior Fairest of the Fair will be selected at the annual program, scheduled for Saturday at Gillett High School.

Interviews and judging will take place in the morning. The public portion of the program will start at 11 a.m. at the Gillett High School Performing Art Center, where all of the contestants will have the opportunity to speak on stage in front of an audience and judges.

The program will include introductions, radio spots, impromptu questions, event announcements and farewell speeches from outgoing Senior Fairest Victoria Hull and Junior Fairest Grace Seefeldt. The contest concludes with the crowning of this year’s Senior and Junior Fairest of the Fair.

This year’s contestants are:

Wed
18
Apr

Rep. John Nygren declares for re-election

State Rep. John Nygren, R-Marinette, has announced his intention to run for a seventh two-year term representing the 89th Assembly District, which includes parts of Oconto, Marinette and Brown counties.

The co-chair of the Joint Committee on Finance described the session just concluded as “the most productive Legislative session since I have been elected to the State Assembly” in a re-election statement released last week.

“When I first ran for office 12 years ago, I pledged to listen to my neighbors and work hard every day to ensure their voice is heard in Madison,” Nygren said. “Over this time, we have invested more money into public education than ever before, unemployment is at a record low of 2.9 percent and taxes have been cut by over $8 billion. We are moving Wisconsin forward, and I look forward to building on this work.”

Wed
18
Apr

Gillett police help apprehend suspect from Green Bay shooting

Gillett police officers played a key role in the apprehension of a person of interest in a Green Bay shooting incident last week.

Shots were fired outside a Shawano Avenue home in Green Bay on April 11 and, at 2 a.m. the next morning, the Gillett Police Department was asked to try to locate a suspect vehicle and a 28-year-old male driver for questioning in the incidents.

Officers located the vehicle at an area motel at 2:20 a.m. and received information the driver and possibly other accomplices were inside, all of whom were suspected of being heavily armed, according to a news release from Gillett Police Chief Jess Keplinger.

Wed
18
Apr

Oconto County Circuit Court proceedings

Proceedings of April 11

John J. Mellinger, 39, Sobieski, waived his right to a preliminary hearing and was bound over on charges of strangulation-suffocation and misdemeanor battery and disorderly conduct in connection with an incident that allegedly occurred Jan. 28. Arraignment was scheduled for April 19.

In a plea agreement, Alex James Vandenhoven, 25, Green Bay, pleaded no contest to a charge of possession of narcotic drugs in connection with an incident that occurred Oct. 6. He had previously been charged with possession with intent to deliver. Sentencing was scheduled for June 6.

Proceedings of April 9

Wed
18
Apr

Oconto Falls Business Park fiber project funded

Nsight Telservices has been selected to receive a broadband expansion grant through the Public Service Commission of Wisconsin (PSC) for a fiber construction project supporting businesses in the Oconto Falls Business Park.

The telecommunications firm partnered with the Oconto County Economic Development Corp. for a grant to construct a 2.2-mile fiber route through the Business Park. The fiber route will serve 33 businesses and a retirement facility and offer speeds up to 250 Mbps service, more than 10 times the speed currently available.

The project received a grant of $49,230. Local partners Oconto County Economic Development Corp. (OCEDC), City of Oconto Falls, and Oconto County will invest $4,500 and Nsight Telservices will invest an additional $66,342. In its selection memo, the PSC staff noted that this application was a strong example of promoting growth of the local economy.

Wed
18
Apr

Gillett elementary, middle schools earn state recognition


Gillett Middle School was also recognized this year.

The state Department of Public Instruction has named Gillett Elementary and Middle Schools as Title I “Beating the Odds Schools.” It’s the the seventh consecutive year that the elementary school has been honored and a first for the middle school.

The schools are among 135 being recognized for their success in educating students. All of the schools receive federal Title I funding to provide services to high numbers or high percentages of economically disadvantaged families.

The Beating the Odds designation is for schools whose students achieve in the top 25 percent of high-poverty schools in the state, with above-average reading and mathematics achievement compared with similarly sized districts, schools, grade configurations and poverty levels.

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