News

Wed
07
Mar

Oconto County Sheriff's Department: Feb. 22-March 1

March 1

Deputies responded to 36 incidents, including the following:

Disturbance — reported at Abrams Elementary School, Abrams, 2:52 p.m.

Trespassing — reported in the 5000 block of County Road N, Oconto, 5:43 p.m.

Feb. 28

Deputies responded to 29 incidents, including the following:

Animal neglect — reported in the 7000 block of County Road G, Maple Valley, 12:11 p.m.

Theft — reported in the 200 block of Pleasant View Drive, Chase, 12:44 p.m.

Feb. 27

Deputies responded to 45 incidents, including the following:

Suspicious — reported near County Road J and Lilac Road, Little Suamico, 3:10 a.m.

Trespassing — reported in the 1000 block of Cottage Road, Little Suamico, 2:58 p.m.

Trespassing — reported in the 5000 block of County Road B, Oconto Falls, 3:45 p.m.

Structure fire — reported at 4437 Molitor Road, Oconto, 4:18 p.m.

Wed
07
Mar

Ronald Hayes wins Heckendorf award


NEW Credit Union President Lisa Gilligan, left, presents the 2018 H.P. Heckendorf Community Service Award to Ronald Hayes of Oconto. (Contributed photo)

Ronald Hayes of Oconto is the recipient of the 2018 H.P. Heckendorf Community Service Award, NEW Credit Union announced last week.

Hayes received a $250 check, and the charity of his choice, Bread by the Bay in Oconto, received a matching donation of $250.

The award, sponsored by NEW Credit Union for the 16th year, is named for Harold P. Heckendorf — a longtime volunteer board member who promoted the credit union’s philosophy of “people helping people” and was very active in his church and local community.

Hayes has been president of the Oconto Area Chamber of Commerce since 2008 and is also a member of the Oconto Tourism Committee, NEWCAP civic revitalization program and OCEDC Micro Loan program.

Wed
07
Mar

Jobs of the Future


Nearly 70 businesses, organizations and agencies had booths to talk with students and, later in the afternoon, the general public about available jobs and opportunities during the SkillsUSA Future Fair at Oconto Falls High School on Thursday. (Times Herald photo by Warren Bluhm)

About 350 students from around the area interacted with representatives from 68 businesses, organizations and agencies Thursday during the SkillsUSA Future Fair at Oconto Falls High School.

The job fair was held to help address the need for skilled labor in the trade and manufacturing sectors as baby boomers retire.

Fair coordinator John Bursa, one of the three technical education teachers at Oconto Falls, said the goal was to bring the companies, students and parents together to share some of the career opportunities that are available.

The businesses had a chance to highlight what they have to offer in the way of youth apprenticeships, co-ops, internships and job shadowing programs and pass along information about what the students will need to get started on successful careers.

Wed
28
Feb

Raider Products introduces students to the real world


Logan Bellow works on the side of a shuffleboard in the Raider Products woodworking class Wednesday at Pulaski High School. (Times Herald photo by Warren Bluhm)

Students at Pulaski High School are getting some real-world training for careers that will leave them better equipped to step into a well-paying job after graduation.

The Raider Products program is providing hands-on experience in welding, woodworking and auto mechanics that students and teachers alike say will help launch their full-time careers.

The high school held a media day Wednesday to give the community a glimpse at the program, which began in the metals shop. Woodworking instructor John Pitzen said Raider Products has expanded this year to the woodworking and auto shops.

Wed
28
Feb

Sheriff, clerk of court salaries set for 2019-22

The Oconto County Board has approved the salaries for the county sheriff and clerk of circuit courts for 2019 through 2022, the next four-year term.

The positions are up for election in November, and state law requires counties to set their salaries before nomination papers begin circulating on April 15.

Supervisors on Feb. 22 unanimously approved a salary schedule that pays the sheriff $91,686 in 2019 with 2 percent increases up to $97,298 in 2022. The clerk of circuit courts would earn $65,091 in 2019 with similar 2 percent increases to $69,075 in 2022.

The levels were recommended by the board’s Personnel and Wages Committee. For 2018, Sheriff Mike Jansen is making a salary of $83,658, and Clerk of Circuit Courts Mike Hodkiewicz is earning $61,563.

Wed
28
Feb

Strategic plan to protect Oconto County waterways passed

A strategic plan for surface water management and protection cleared the Oconto County Board by unanimous vote Thursday.

The 42-page plan is the product of 18 months of study by a group of farmers, naturalists and other citizens, said Dale Mohr, community development educator with the county’s University of Wisconsin-Extension office.

“We didn’t really have a strategy at the county to deal with the issue of water-related concerns,” Mohr said.

The document, developed with the help of the Center for Watershed Science & Education at UW-Stevens Point, aims to provide guidance to the county and its various partners in maintaining healthy bodies of water in Oconto County.

The group met in focus groups with 200 people who live on the water, surveyed 400 residents from all walks of life and conducted an all-day focus meeting with county department heads, Mohr said.

Wed
28
Feb

Vote delayed on deputy officials’ pay

After giving the deputy treasurer a pay raise to retain her in January, the Oconto County Board last week balked at giving the same pay increase to the deputy county clerk, deputy register of deeds and deputy clerk of circuit courts.

The board passed a resolution in January raising the deputy treasurer’s wage from $22.96 an hour to $24.09 to entice her not to resign, after Treasurer Mandy Peterson made an impassioned plea on her behalf.

Giving similar increases to the other three deputies would cost the county $8,317, the Personnel and Wages Committee said in its resolution.

Supervisor Ryan Wendt made a motion to postpone the vote until its April meeting, following the spring election.

“I think we’re going to have a big turnover in the county board,” said Wendt, who is one of seven supervisors not running for re-election. “I think when we start going down this road, it’s dangerous for the county, and I think the next board should make this decision.”

Wed
28
Feb

Sheriff announces plans to retire

Oconto County Sheriff Mike Jansen has announced that after four terms and 41 years in law enforcement, he will not be a candidate for re-election this fall.

Jansen threw his support behind his chief deputy, Ed Janke, to become his successor.

“I want to thank all the citizens of Oconto County who put their trust in me 16 years ago and continued to support me over the years,” Jansen said in a statement announcing his pending retirement. “It has been a privilege and honor to be your sheriff.”

Jansen, who will be completing his fourth four-year term at the end of 2018, thanked everyone who has been part of his career — from his wife, Sharon, and son, Michael, to the county board and Sheriff’s Department employees and other emergency services departments, and the former sheriffs he described as his mentors: Jerry Gehling; Ken Woodworth; and Doug McMahon.

Wed
28
Feb

Participants welcome to Leadership Oconto County

A Leadership Oconto County program is being launched, similar to Leadership Shawano County and programs in other counties that are designed to provide participants with a broader knowledge of the ideas, issues and concerns faced by local communities.

Paul Ehrfurth, executive director of the Oconto County Economic Development Corp., told the Oconto County Board last week that a nine-person steering committee has been formed to oversee the new program under the auspices of OCEDC.

“We will have a nine-month curriculum that will be offered to businesses and employers to designate people that they feel or believe are potential leaders in their communities to participate in that program,” Ehrfurth said.

Wed
28
Feb

Oconto County sets Lean projects for 2018

The Oconto County Board has contracted with Cooperative Educational Service Agency 8 to work with three departments on “Lean” projects for 2018.

Lean is a process of studying work processes with an eye toward streamlining and reducing waste. Supervisors voted 27-0 to approve the work at an estimated cost of $16,740.

CESA 8 will work with health and human services to examine its clinical intake process, with human resources on its hiring process and with maintenance on as-yet-undefined processes.

County Administrative Coordinator Kevin Hamann said the maintenance review will be whatever department head Kevin Noack is working on when the process begins in late March.

“He probably has an idea what we’re going to do, but you know, things change – main water pipes break and other things get postponed,” Hamann said. “It’s something Kevin’s going to make a decision on when we get to the end of March.”

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