News

Wed
18
Apr

State grant will boost broadband access

Paul Ehrfurth wasn’t mincing words.

“This is huge,” the executive director of the Oconto County Economic Development Corp. said Thursday after the state Public Service Commission approved a $600,000 state grant to expand internet broadband access to nearly 4,000 households and 107 businesses in several northern townships in the county.

The state grant will be matched by Bertram Communications, of Random Lake, which plans to construct five towers and lease space on two existing towers to boost internet speeds by five to 10 times current rates within the next 12 months, according the grant application.

“This is one of the most significant (economic development) projects in some time” in the county, Ehrfurth said. “I’m thrilled and overjoyed we received this award. I wasn’t expecting that we’d be the largest one in the state, but I’m certainly happy with that.”

Wed
18
Apr

Some kind of April showers


Two volunteers help clear the entrance to Atrium Post Acute Care in Oconto Falls on Monday morning. Photographer Greg Thomson concedes: “The Bobcat did most of the work!”

Times Herald readers stepped forward over the weekend to help record a once-in-a-lifetime snowstorm for posterity.

Southern and eastern Oconto County bore the brunt of the storm Friday night through Sunday that dropped more snow than Oconto County has seen since a two-day snowstorm in 1888.

While the National Weather Service office in Green Bay announced a final measurement of 23.7 inches at its site near Austin Straubel Airport, higher totals were being observed north of the city. Oconto registered a final total of 25 inches, and a site in Stiles measured 32 inches.

By late Sunday afternoon, 29 inches had fallen in Sobieski, and Lena and Pulaski were each reporting 22 inches as of mid-afternoon Sunday.

Wed
11
Apr

Nurse at Oconto Falls hospital is HSHS Nurse of the Year

Hospital Sisters Health System-Eastern Wisconsin Division has announced Paula Bake, a registered nurse who works in the Emergency Department at HSHS St. Clare Memorial Hospital in Oconto Falls, as the 2017 Nurse of the Year.

HSHS-Eastern Wisconsin Division hospitals include St. Clare as well as HSHS St. Vincent Hospital and HSHS St. Mary’s Hospital Medical Center in Green Bay and HSHS St. Nicholas Hospital in Sheboygan. Each year, one nurse is chosen from within the division as Nurse of the Year.

Nurses nominate a colleague from their unit, and those nominations are then reviewed by nursing leadership and HSHS-Eastern Wisconsin Division’s Professional Nurse Practice Council.

Wed
11
Apr

Oconto County Circuit Court Proceedings

Proceedings of April 6

Bond was set at $25,000 cash for Matthew R. Haag, 43, Pulaski, who is charged with five counts of possession of child pornography in connection with an incident that allegedly occurred April 4. The balance of his initial appearance is scheduled for April 12.

After a preliminary hearing, Jeremy A. Hanna, 38, Oconto, was bound over on charges of fleeing an officer and misdemeanor bail jumping in connection with an incident that allegedly occurred Feb. 12. Arraignment was scheduled for April 12.

Proceedings of April 4

Wed
11
Apr

Marvin Whitehouse retiring from Northport Marine


Celebrating Marvin Whitehouse’s 48-year career with MirroCraft Boats are, from left, Tage Klein, vice president of manufacturing; Whitehouse; Jason Blazek, chief financial officer; Tim Allen, vice president of sales; and Mike Belongia, president. (Contributed photo)

MirroCraft Boats by Northport Marine of Gillett has announced that after 48 years in the marine industry, Marvin Whitehouse is retiring.

Whitehouse started his tenure with the Mirro Aluminum Co. right out of high school, building MirroCraft boats in Manitowoc. He left for a short period to serve his country, then returned in 1972 to Mirro Aluminum, where he held many positions within the company.

In 1982 when MirroCraft Boats was moved to Gillett, Whitehouse made the decision to move his family with the company.

His commitment and dedication to Northport Marine led him to play an important role in the growth and success of the organization. For many years, he was instrumental in new product development as well as production management.

The company would like to congratulate Whitehouse and wish him well in his retirement.

Wed
11
Apr

Communities gather Tuesday for annual town meetings

A tradition that forms one of the building blocks of democracy is due to be repeated April 17, the third Tuesday in April, as towns across Oconto County and Wisconsin hold their annual meetings.

Each meeting is a gathering of all electors who live in their respective towns; electors are eligible voters of the community.

An annual town meeting may transact any business over which a town meeting has jurisdiction. According to a fact sheet prepared by the University of Wisconsin-Extension, attendees may act directly on certain matters, delegate powers to the Town Board or authorize appropriation of funds for special purposes.

Among their direct powers are the authority to levy taxes to be spent by the town, fix compensation for town offices, combine certain town offices (such as clerk and treasurer) or make certain town offices part-time positions.

Wed
11
Apr

New law allows tribal ID for voting, other purposes

Gov. Scott Walker last week signed a new law co-authored by state Rep. Jeffrey Mursau that allows the use of tribal identification cards for a variety of purposes.

Mursau, R-Crivitz, and state Sen. Jerry Petrowski, R-Marathon, shepherded the bill through the Legislature in response to discussions by the Special Committee on State-Tribal Relations, which Mursau chairs.

Senate Bill 488 allows the use of tribal identification cards for picking up prescription medications, purchasing alcohol, purchasing cigarettes or tobacco products, selling scrap, selling antiques, and selling secondhand articles to a pawnbroker.

Wed
11
Apr

Gillett School District looks for community input

The Gillett School District is sending a community survey to all residents and parents to gather input regarding future planning. The School Board Planning Committee, made up of community members, parents, staff and school board members, worked with the private company School Perceptions LLC to accomplish this. School Perceptions is an independent educational research firm that will conduct the survey and ensure all responses are kept confidential.

During the first week in April, that survey should have arrived in the mailboxes of everyone who lives in the Gillett School District. In addition to paper copies, parents and staff received surveys in an email. If residents and parents did not get the survey, they are encouraged to contact Lynda Zeitler in the district office at 920-855-2137 to get a copy.

Wed
11
Apr

First responders recognized for life-saving work


The Eagle III rescue helicopter lands on the highway near the intersection of state Highways 32 and 22 on Feb. 5, responding to a report that a man had suffered a gunshot wound. (Contributed photo)

The state Justice Department has recognized three local law enforcement personnel whose quick action and teamwork saved a life Feb. 5.

Cited were Oconto Falls Police Officer Jamie Kuhn, Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources Conservation Warden Paul Hartrick and Oconto County Sheriff’s Lt. Mike Mason, who were the first to respond after a man suffered a gunshot wound to the chest near the intersection of state Highways 32 and 22.

Kuhn, Hartrick and Mason immediately began lifesaving measures and attempted to stabilize the wounded man. Later, medical director Dr. Steven Stroman commended the officers on the initial care and the application of special occlusive dressings that had not been previously used by law enforcement in this capacity.

Wed
04
Apr

Todd Skarban formally launches sheriff campaign

Oconto County Sheriff’s Deputy and K-9 handler Todd Skarban made it official this week: He is running for sheriff.

Skarban, who has had a “Todd Skarban for Oconto County Sheriff” page on Facebook since the beginning of the year, released a formal announcement of his candidacy for the post held the last 16 years by retiring Sheriff Mike Jansen.

“I have spent the last 20 years of my adult life preparing to be your Oconto County sheriff,” he said in his announcement. “I have spent a majority of my career with the Sheriff’s Office following strong role models within Oconto County. Many have played an important role molding me into the man I am today. Some have taught me and coached me; others have supervised me and prayed with me; and, many have impacted me on a personal level, for which I am extremely grateful.”

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