News

Wed
03
Oct

Homecoming fires burning


Gillett Tigers fans, some wearing glowing accessories, crowd around a bonfire at Zippel Park on Sunday evening as a homecoming tradition is reborn. (Times Herald photo by Warren Bluhm)

A group of Gillett residents aiming to rekindle homecoming traditions succeeded Sunday night as a big crowd gathered for a bonfire at Zippel Park to kick off the week.

Future Business Leaders of America sold out of the chili they’d cooked as a fundraiser. Students gathered around a wagon to work on a parade float. All through the evening, DJ Jake Rock kept a musical beat rolling.

The centerpiece was the big pile of pallets and other flammable materials that was set ablaze around sunset. For the rest of the evening, it was a place to stand and chat with friends and family, warm up against the cool temperatures or simply become mesmerized by the light and the embers shooting up into the night sky.

Another new/old tradition — a community tailgate potluck — is planned starting at 5 p.m. Friday, two hours before kickoff of the clash between the Gillett Tigers and the Sevastopol Pioneers.

Wed
03
Oct

Death at the library


Writing a novel is like an architect designing a building — everything inside has to support the whole, author Patricia Skalka tells a Sunday night audience at Gillett Public Library. (Times Herald photo by Warren Bluhm)

It’s better to be a plotter than a pantser, author Patricia Skalka said at an Oconto County Reads event Sunday night at the Gillett Public Library Community Center.

Skalka is the author of the Dave Cubiak Door County Mysteries series of books published by the University of Wisconsin Press, following a former Chicago police detective who eventually becomes sheriff of Door County. The author lives in Chicago but also has a cottage in Door.

She always wanted to write, she told the Gillett audience. When she won $25 in an essay contest, she realized she might be able to make a career of it.

“I wrote all through high school at the school paper, as feature editor,” she said. “It just was something that felt right and natural to me.”

Skalka’s “big break” came when she was hired as a regional freelance staff writer for Reader’s Digest, a role she filled for several years.

Wed
03
Oct

Back in the old hometown


Lambert and Doris Anderson will be speaking Sunday about their long work with the Ticuna people. (Contributed photo)

Lambert and Doris Anderson are visiting in Oconto County, having just returned from six months of missionary work in Peru. Lambert grew up in rural Oconto Falls and graduated from the Oconto Falls High School with the class of 1945.

The Andersons, serving under the Wycliffe Bible Translators, have translated the Bible into the Ticuna language spoken by more than 50,000 people living along the Amazon River in Peru, Colombia and Brazil. The Times Herald featured several stories about the work from 1970 through the ’80s.

The couple will be speaking at the Oconto Gospel Chapel at 8 a.m. and 10:30 a.m. Sunday, Oct. 7. They will also be speaking at 6 p.m. Sunday at the Section Eight Baptist Church, Coleman, to report on what God has been doing among the Ticuna tribe of people, where the Andersons first began their ministry in 1953.

Wed
03
Oct

Tickets on sale for Rural-Urban Banquet

Tickets are on sale for the biennial Oconto County Rural-Urban banquet, which is scheduled for Oct. 15 at the Holiday Inn Supper Club, 9600 County Road G, Kelly Lake.

The meal time is 7 p.m. Honorees are expected to arrive between 5:45 and 6:45 p.m. for pictures.

The purpose of the event is to honor longtime Oconto County residents who have contributed many years of volunteer service to their communities. In order to be considered for this honor, the nominees must be 70 years of age or older and have lived in Oconto County for a majority of their life.

The first year that Oconto County held this banquet was in 1964, and originally the banquet was held yearly. After a few years, the committee decided to hold the event every two years.

Nominees are proposed by committee members and others. Usually 20 people are picked, but this year only 19 nominees accepted the honor.

The entertainment will be provided by The Sapphires.

Wed
03
Oct

N.E.W. Credit Union hosts legislator open house


Taking part in the N.E.W. Credit Union open house for lawmakers are, standing from left, William Kamke credit union board chairman; Paul Chamberlain from U.S. Sen. Ron Johnson’s office; Tammie McCarthy and Tamara Steffeck, credit union board members; Ken Harter, board vice president; and state Representative Gary Tauchen, R-Shawano. Seated are Diane LaPlant, credit union board member; Jennifer Garner of U.S. Sen. Tammy Baldwin’s office; and state Rep. John Nygren, R-Marinette. (Contributed photo)

N.E.W. Credit Union hosted an open house for area legislators Sept. 25 at its corporate office in Oconto Falls. The big highlight of the visit was a trip to the student credit union that N.E.W. Credit Union maintains within the Oconto Falls High School.

During the visit, legislators and their representatives got a chance to talk to the teachers about the benefits of the partnership that the credit union has with the school, and they interviewed one of their student employees, Zach Schwantes.

N.E.W. Credit Union currently host three credit union in-school branches, run by and for students at Oconto Falls, Oconto and Suring high schools. While these branches aren’t necessarily moneymakers, they invested in them because it was in the best interest of the communities. The credit union works with teachers to provide supplemental financial education, provide on-the-job experience and set students up to better achieve their dreams.

Wed
03
Oct

Oconto County Circuit Court proceedings

Proceedings of Sept. 26

Kenneth E. Johnson, 48, Menasha, was released on a $2,500 signature bond after being charged with possession of THC (second or subsequent offense) and three related misdemeanors in connection with an incident that allegedly occurred Aug. 23. His initial court appearance was adjourned until Oct. 11.

Proceedings of Sept. 24

Guy N. Maras, 54, Naperville, Illinois, waived his right to a preliminary hearing and pleaded not guilty to charges of homicide by intoxicated use of a motor vehicle, homicide by driving with a prohibited alcohol content and homicide by negligent use of a motor vehicle in connection with the July 29 crash that killed Joseph Gallagher, 54, of Fair Haven, New Jersey. A pretrial conference was scheduled for Dec. 3. Judge Patrick F. O’Melia set a signature bond of $75,000 with conditions that Maras must maintain absolute sobriety and drive only for occupational purposes.

Wed
26
Sep

Settlement announced in Gillett power surge

Gillett city officials say they have reached an agreement with WE Energies in which the electric utility will pay the city to reimburse customers affected by an August power outage and surge.

About 1,200 homes and businesses lost power when the electrical surge occurred at 12:40 p.m. Aug. 24, and an undetermined number of meters were damaged along with some customers’ electronic equipment.

At first, WE Energies declined responsibility for any losses sustained in the incident, claiming the problem was an “act of God.” But Mayor James Beaton and other city officials said that was unacceptable.

“The mayor’s office did reach a compromise with WE Energies, in which they will be making a grant to the city for the purpose of reimbursing those affected,” the city announced in a press release last week.

According to the notice:

• Affected customers will have until Oct. 31 to provide receipts to City Hall detailing their losses.

Wed
26
Sep

St. Clare welcomes new CEO


Christopher Brabant, left, answers a call to serve as president and CEO of HSHS St. Clare Memorial Hospital, responding to questions posed by Therese Pandl, president and CEO of Hospital Sisters Health System’s East Wisconsin Division. (Times Herald photo by Warren Bluhm)

With the pomp and circumstance of a celebratory Catholic Mass, Hospital Sisters Health System on Thursday formally welcomed Christopher Brabant in his new role as president and CEO of St. Clare Memorial Hospital in Oconto Falls.

Brabant took the helm Aug. 20 after five years as the HSHS Eastern Wisconsin Division executive director of surgical services for the Heart, Lung and Vascular Center and Prevea Health Vascular Surgery in Green Bay. He had earlier spent 15 years in another health care system.

In his homily, the Rev. John Girotti told the story of a young woman who recently joined a Carmelite cloister in Denmark, where he serves as chaplain. The nuns devote their lives to prayer, never leaving the convent, and their families are allowed only two visits a year.

Wed
26
Sep

Manitowoc man dies in one-vehicle accident

Oconto County authorities say a 58-year-old Manitowoc man is dead after a one-vehicle crash along U.S. 41 Monday morning.

The victim was identified as James Hastreiter.

The Sheriff’s Department reported it received a call just after 8 a.m. that a vehicle had left the highway near Brookside Cemetery Road in the town of Pensaukee and ended up in some trees. The man was found unresponsive in the car and was transported to an area hospital, where he was pronounced dead, the department said.

The crash remains under investigation, but speed and alcohol do not appear to be factors in the crash.

Wed
26
Sep

Oconto County Circuit Court proceedings

Proceedings of Sept. 21

Samuel R. Knorr, 42, Neenah, waived his right to a preliminary hearing and was bound over to face 11 felony counts of failure to support a child from 2014 to 2017. Arraignment was scheduled for Oct. 11.

Proceedings of Sept. 20

Alfonso Lopez, 33, Kewaunee, pleaded no contest to a charge of possession of THC (second or subsequent offense). As part of a plea agreement, the prosecutor will move to have a related bail-jumping charge and two misdemeanors dismissed but read into the record at sentencing, which was scheduled for Oct. 30.

Proceedings of Sept. 19

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