News

Wed
17
Oct

Gillett Mayor, superintendent plan referendum town hall

Gillett Mayor James Beaton and Superintendent Todd Carlson are collaborating on a town hall-style meeting Sunday evening to discuss the upcoming Gillett School District referendum.

District voters will be asked Nov. 6 for permission to let the school budget exceed state-imposed revenue limits by $600,000 in each of the next three years to maintain educational programs.

“I’ve heard lots of ‘stories’ and, as your mayor, I thought it would be appropriate for you to have an opportunity to get the facts and make an informed decision,” Beaton said in an “Event” post at Facebook.com.

Beaton and Carlson will appear at 5 p.m. Sunday in the Secondary School Commons, 208 W. Main St., Gillett. Carlson will make a presentation about the referendum and then take questions from the mayor and audience.

Wed
17
Oct

Suring receives second-round school safety grant

The Suring School District was awarded $20,122 from the latest Department of Justice School Safety Grant, announced last week.

“This money will be used to add some key fobs to exterior doors so they are never left unlocked, to add auto-locking mechanisms to the student and district office and to start adding safety doors to our entryway,” Principal Pamela Berg said.

The district will also send members to a school safety training, including a resource officer training, she said.

“Lastly, we will send team members to a mental health training that focuses on helping our youth, and bring a trainer to one of our in-service trainings,” Berg said.

Attorney General Brad Schimel announced 263 schools and school districts will receive $21,281,933 from the second round of the School Safety Grant program, which focuses on advanced initiatives to bolster student mental health.

Wed
17
Oct

State Patrol officers earn recognition

Two state troopers from Oconto County were among 25 law enforcement officers honored during the Wisconsin State Patrol’s annual awards ceremony, held Thursday at the State Capitol.

Trooper Megan LaFave of Oconto received a Lifesaving Effort Award, and Trooper Alex Trofin of Little Suamico was awarded a Superintendent’s Star of Recognition.

The ceremony recognized 25 law enforcement officers for lifesaving efforts and exemplary public service. Seven officers received awards that involved administering the opioid antidote Narcan to overdose victims. As of Jan. 19, 2018, all Wisconsin State Patrol officers were trained and equipped to administer Narcan.

“Wisconsin is extremely fortunate to have so many outstanding law enforcement officers and emergency responders,” Gov. Scott Walker said. “These annual awards serve as powerful reminders of their extraordinary courage and dedication to duty.”

Wed
17
Oct

Oconto County Circuit Court proceedings

Proceedings of Oct. 10

A Jan. 15 jury trial was scheduled for Caitlynn J. Testolin, 26, Oconto Falls, who is charged with two felony counts of bail jumping and four related misdemeanors in connection with incidents that allegedly occurred May 21 and June 18. A final pretrial conference is set for Jan. 14.

Cesar Uriel Castaneda-Hernandez, 36, Crivitz, pleaded no contest to a charge of operating a motor vehicle while intoxicated (fifth or sixth offense), in connection with an incident that occurred July 6. Judge Michael T. Judge ordered a presentence investigation and scheduled sentencing for Nov. 29.

Proceedings of Oct. 9

A deferred prosecution agreement was reached with Joel S. Willmann, 24, Pound, and he was placed in the Oconto County Volunteers in Probation program for two years, in connection with a possession of methamphetamine charge related to a Jan. 4 incident.

Proceedings of Oct. 8

Wed
10
Oct

Gillett sets $10.5 million school budget for 2018-19


Members of the Gillett School Board review documents while Superintendent Todd Carlson addresses the school district’s annual meeting Oct. 3. From left, Cliff Gerbers, Tracy Winkler, James Karls, Ron Lenz, Preston Peterson, Jamie Young and Jamie Heroux. (Times Herald photo by Warren Bluhm)

The Gillett School District adopted a $10.5 million budget for the 2018-19 academic year, supported by a $2.376 million property tax levy, at its annual meeting Oct. 3.

The tax rate works out to $8 per $1,000 of equalized value for school purposes, or a tax bill of about $800 for a property valued at $100,000. The rate is down 34 percent from a high of $11.64 in the 2013-14 school year, Superintendent Todd Carlson told about two dozen people who attended the meeting in the Secondary School Commons.

“I think there’s a misconception out there that the Gillett School District is spending more money and more money each year,” Carlson said. “That is so untrue; that is not exactly what’s happening at all.”

Wed
10
Oct

SchoolGuard system will save lives, Suring officials say

The Suring Public School District, in partnership with the Village of Suring Police Department, announced the implementation of a new alert system in the school district called SchoolGuard.

Suring is the first school district in Oconto County to have this system. The SchoolGuard system allows school staff members to use an app on their phones to alert police and other staff members that a major incident is occurring in the school. Once the app button is pushed, the SchoolGuard system is activated.

The system automatically calls 911 and connects that staff member directly with a 911 dispatcher. It also notifies all other staff members that there is an incident occurring so they can take action.

Additionally, the system automatically sends text messages to all law enforcement officers in the area who have the Hero911 app installed on their phones. This means even off-duty officers will know of the incident immediately and can respond.

Wed
10
Oct

Menominee man charged with Brown County homicide


Anthony Kitchenakow

Bond was set at $2 million cash Friday for a Suring area man who has been charged with the shooting death of a Bellevue woman two years ago.

Anthony J. Kitchenakow, 46, was arrested Sept. 26 at his home on the Menominee Indian Reservation and extradited to Brown County, where he is charged with first-degree intentional homicide. Authorities believe he shot and killed Suzette Langlois, a 52-year-old mother of two, while she was parked in her driveway on Manitowoc Road in the early morning of Aug. 29, 2016.

According to the criminal complaint filed in Brown County Circuit Court, Langlois was talking on her cellphone with a friend and said she was being followed by someone in a red pickup truck.

The friend quoted Langlois as saying “there was a male and female approaching her, but she was unable to see their faces because they had their faces covered.” A moment later, she heard yelling and Langlois saying, “No, don’t,” and then silence.

Wed
10
Oct

No contest pleas entered in standoff case

The man charged with firing at police from his home in the town of Lena on March 11 pleaded no contest to three felony charges Friday in Oconto County Circuit Court.

Thomas S. Benser, 51, was originally charged with five counts of attempted first-degree intentional homicide, five counts of first-degree reckless endangerment, strangulation-suffocation, substantial battery, failure to comply with an officer’s attempt to take a person into custody and misdemeanor disorderly conduct.

During a hearing before Judge Michael T. Judge, Benser entered no contest pleas to two counts of first-degree reckless endangerment and one count of second-degree reckless endangerment for shots fired at sheriff’s deputies Matt Morrissey, Christopher Baribeau and Patrick Callahan. The shots were fired after the officers came to Benser’s house to check on his welfare and arrest him for an alleged domestic violence incident from the night before.

Wed
10
Oct

Budget time for area municipalities

’Tis the season for local governments to prepare their tax and spending plans for the coming year. Budgets are on numerous agendas during the month of October.

Oconto County is going through a series of meetings that included three days in late September for a department-by-department review of the proposed 2019 budget. A public hearing will be scheduled in late October, and the county board approves the budget at its November meeting.

The board approved budget goals for the year in June, aiming “to adopt a 2019 budget with a minimal increase in tax rate and levy that complies with any state-imposed rate/levy limits as well as fund(s) the essential services that the residents of Oconto County expect.”

The plan projected a 1.5 percent wage and salary increase for county employees, in addition to whatever compensation they gain by progressing a step on the county’s salary schedule.

Wed
10
Oct

Oconto County Circuit Court proceedings

Proceedings of Oct. 3

Charges were dismissed against James Edward Bieber, 39, Green Bay, who had been scheduled for trial on charges of operating a motor vehicle while intoxicated (fourth offense) and a misdemeanor count of resisting or obstructing an officer, in connection with a traffic accident that occurred Nov. 21 in the town of Little Suamico.

Proceedings of Oct. 2

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