News

Wed
22
Aug

Oconto County Circuit Court Proceedings

Proceedings of Aug. 10
Mark A. Cleereman, 57, Pulaski, waived his right to a preliminary hearing and was bound over on charges of stalking and misdemeanor disorderly conduct in connection with incidents that allegedly occurred during Memorial Day weekend, as well as bail jumping for incidents that allegedly occurred May 31. Arraignment was scheduled for Sept. 13.
Proceedings of Aug. 9
A Nov. 27 jury trial was scheduled for Jason M. Hendricks, 43, Oconto Falls, who is charged with child abuse recklessly causing harm and misdemeanor disorderly conduct in connection with an incident that allegedly occurred March 9. A final pre-trial conference was scheduled for Nov. 26.

Wed
22
Aug

Gillett school referendum placed on Nov. 6 ballot

Gillett School District voters will be asked Nov. 6 for permission to raise $600,000 a year in property taxes beyond the state-imposed levy limits for the 2019-20, 2020-21 and 2021-22 school years.
The state law that created the revenue limits authorizes districts to exceed them with approval from local voters in a referendum.
The school board voted unanimously Thursday to approve the wording of the question to be placed on the ballot: “Shall the Gillett School District, Oconto and Shawano counties, Wisconsin, be authorized to exceed the revenue limit specified in section 121.91, Wisconsin statutes, by $600,000 per year beginning with the 2019-2020 school year and ending with the 2021-2022 school year, for non-recurring purposes consisting of sustaining educational programming, student opportunities and operations?”

Wed
22
Aug

Street delays lead to engineering switch


Looking up Richmond Avenue from the Main Street intersection in Gillett in anticipation of road reconstruction work recommencing. The city is likely to switch engineering firms on the project, which is more than a month behind schedule. (Times Herald photo by Warren Bluhm)

The city of Gillett and its street reconstruction engineering firm are in the midst of what felt like an amicable divorce at a special city council meeting on Aug. 15.

The council voted unanimously to give Lynch & Associates Engineering Consultants a required seven-day notice that they will be canceling the company’s contract to lead the reconstruction of Richmond and Birch avenues and part of First Street.

The city’s public works and utility committees have scheduled a joint meeting for 5 p.m. Wednesday at City Hall, 150 N. McKenzie Ave., to review the project, which is an estimated 35 to 40 days behind schedule. Work on Birch hasn’t even started yet.

Based on the conversation Aug. 15, the committees are likely to hire one of two other firms to complete the Richmond and First project and postpone Birch Avenue until 2019.

Wed
15
Aug

Todd Skarban elected Oconto County sheriff

Deputy Todd Skarban has been elected sheriff of Oconto County.

Skarban has spent 20 years in law enforcement, most of it with the Oconto County Sheriff's Department. He has been a visible public presence for the department as a K-9 officer handler and president of the Wisconsin Law Enforcement Canine Handlers Association. With all municipalities reporting except the village of Pulaski, Skarban led Ed Janke 4,504 to 2,144, or about 2-1.

He thanked his wife, Heather, in a brief speech to his supporters at the Steel Moose Bar & Grill that was streamed on Facebook Live.

Wed
15
Aug

Donors help protect law officers


Oconto Falls Police Chief Brad Olsen displays one of the rifle-rated vests and helmets that were purchased for Oconto County officers with private donations during a news conference Thursday. (Times Herald photo by Warren Bluhm)

Even in a small, rural community, when law officers leave home in the morning, there’s no guarantee that they’ll be back.

“It’s just a matter of time,” Oconto Falls Police Chief Brad Olsen said Thursday. “Officer-involved shootings have happened all the way around us, every county adjoining us. We’ve been fortunate that we haven’t had any … now we’re prepared for it.”

Thanks to the generosity of 10 local individuals, businesses and nonprofit foundations, the Oconto County Law Enforcement Executive Group recently purchased 50 bullet-resistant vests and helmets to protect officers in the event they have to confront a suspect who is holding a rifle, an investment of about $50,000.

“It took us a while to get to this point, but we are very grateful to the community that helped us out,” said Phil Christenson, Suring police chief. “This initiative here is really going to protect the officers in this county.”

Wed
15
Aug

Legend and message of peace inspire UWGB student artist


University of Wisconsin-Green Bay junior Sunshine Tourtillott was inspired by the story of a young Hiroshima survivor who resolved to make 1,000 origami cranes after she developed leukemia. Tourtillott’s art installation is on display at the UW-Green Bay library through Sept. 5. (Photo by Dan Moore, UW-Green Bay)

Inspired by a Japanese legend, University of Wisconsin-Green Bay junior Sunshine Tourtillott of Oconto Falls produced a 1,000-piece origami crane installation that is on display this month in the school’s Cofrin Library.

The legend became known worldwide because of a girl named Sadako Sasaki, who was only 2 years old when the atomic bombing in Hiroshima during World War II exposed her to radiation. She was hospitalized at age 12 after she developed leukemia and began folding origami cranes while hospitalized, in hopes of making 1,000.

According to the legend, anyone who folds 1,000 origami cranes gets their wish granted by the gods. Sasaki was hoping for recovery.

Wed
08
Aug

Flight of a lifetime


Visitors to the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C., on July 27 are reflected on the surface of the black marble, which is etched with the names of the more than 58,000 service members who died during the long conflict. (Photo by Rodney Goodell)

Editor’s note: Rodney Goodell of Oconto Falls was one of 130 Vietnam-era veterans who were on the Yellow Ribbon Honor Flight from EAA AirVenture Oshkosh to Washington, D.C., on July 27. He shares his thoughts and feelings about that day.
Today I am in our nation’s capital at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial, “The Wall” as it is often called, looking for two names on The Wall. I am having trouble locating the names, but a friendly park attendant is nearby.
She references the names and location on The Wall and leads me to the right panel. A steady stream of visitors moves along the memorial, and everyone displays respect. Many bring flowers and reverently place them at the base.

Wed
08
Aug

Gillett mayor, council work on differences

It took more than an hour of sometimes passionate discussion behind closed doors, but Gillett Mayor James Beaton has been granted a key to the front door at City Hall.

Tensions that apparently had been bubbling under the surface since Beaton’s write-in election in April spilled over Thursday during a hastily called meeting of the City Council’s Finance and Personnel Committee before the council’s regular August meeting.

The agenda, posted at City Hall 25 hours before it began but not shared with local media, called for discussion and possible action of a formal complaint against a city employee, the keys to the clerk-treasurer and deputy clerk-treasurer offices and posting for a new city attorney.

It also called for a closed session under the open meetings law exemption that allows public bodies to close the doors to discuss “matters of employment, promotion, compensation or performance evaluation data of public employees.”

Wed
08
Aug

CDBG funds $500K for Suring water system

The village of Suring has been awarded $500,000 for water system improvements through the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) Public Facility and Planning Funds.

Gov. Scott Walker’s office announced the grant among almost $15 million to 33 Wisconsin municipalities for local infrastructure and community projects that improve streets and water systems, as well as construct new community buildings.

The state Division of Energy, Housing, and Community Resources awards these funds to local governments annually through a competitive process. The funding itself comes from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

Wed
08
Aug

Little Hearts for Life event saves lives

The eighth annual Little Hearts for Life corn roast fundraiser for Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin is scheduled for noon to 6 p.m. Sunday at the home of Joel and Ginny O’Harrow, 8187 Gray Lake Road, Oconto Falls.

There are activities for the kids, a huge bake sale, tons of bucket raffles and an interactive paddle wheel raffle throughout the day. The event is held under tents, and the cost of admission includes all-you-can-eat corn, hot dogs, sloppy joes, baked beans and a drinks. Tickets are $10 for ages 13 and up, $5 for ages 4-12 and free for 3 and under.

Little Hearts for Life is a local nonprofit working toward raising awareness, funding research and ultimately changing lives of those who are living with congenital heart defects or disease.

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