News

Wed
15
Mar

Yoga studio opens in new location


Contributed Photo

Joining a ribbon-cutting ceremony for Northwoods Yoga and Wellness are, from left, Deanna Smith of the Cracked Cup; Mitch Meunier of Meunier’s True Value; Julie Meunier of Wells Fargo; Marilyn Mueller of Rural Insurance; James Beaton, Gillett Business Association president; Dianna Hakes, proprietress of Northwoods Yoga; Marie Blaser, Gillett City Council member; and Steve and Irene Drake.

Northwoods Yoga and Wellness recently opened its new Gillett location at 101 E. Main St.

Owner Dianna Hakes established the business in 2005 at her Suring studio. In May 2012, she opened a second studio at 124 E. Main St. in Gillett.

Currently practicing out of both her Suring and Gillett studios, Hakes hold classes daily between the two sites. For those who are brand new to yoga, there will be two beginner classes offered at the Gillett studio.

Northwoods Yoga and Wellness classes are accessible to anyone who has a desire to improve their quality of life as a whole being.

For information, call 920-842-2411.

Wed
15
Mar

Kids stick the landing on skateboard park


Contributed Art

A rendering provided by consultants at American Ramp Co. shows the proposed new facility in Oconto for kids on BMX bikes and skateboards.

When Dylan Lukas and his friends wanted to ask Oconto city leaders to build a park for bicyclists and skateboarders, the teenage boys knew exactly where to start.

They turned up on the front porch of then-Mayor Victoria Bostedt, winning over the mayor over with their handwritten requests and drawings of what they envisioned as the ideal park.

Nearly two years later, the young group’s lobbying efforts could be about to pay off, as civic leaders prepare to break ground on special facilities for biking and skateboarding at city-owned Sharp Park.

Construction could begin this summer if organizers are successful with a March 25 fundraising event that they hope will push them closer to the financial support necessary to give Oconto-area kids a place to indulge their passion for BMX bikes and skateboards.

Wed
15
Mar

Gillett family feels support after tragedy


Contributed Photo

Jamie Wetzel, second from right, who died in October, is shown with, from left, his son Jacob, his wife Carmen, and his son Jerry.

Jamie and Carmen Wetzel’s young son, Jerry, had been fighting pneumonia for a couple of weeks. So when Jamie started feeling sick, everyone assumed he had pneumonia, too.

He did not.

Eight days after being admitted to the hospital, the Oconto County father and business owner was dead at age 46 from blastomycosis, an infection caused by breathing in fungus.

Although devastated by their loss, Wetzel’s wife and children soon discovered that they were not alone.

Friends, neighbors, co-workers and others in the community of Gillett and the surrounding countryside have rallied around the family to offer support and encouragement.

“It’s just been overwhelming,” Carmen said. “You see these people every day, and never think anything of it. And all of a sudden, they’re showing up with gifts and everything.”

Wed
15
Mar

Oconto County profiled for ‘Discover Wisconsin’

Oconto County and its many tourism draws are getting its turn in the spotlight. The tourism TV show “Discover Wisconsin” and its hosts, Mariah Haberman and Eric Paulsen, are showcasing a handful of local communities and recreational opportunities. The episode, called “Oconto County – A Place For You,” airs March 18-19 and was produced in partnership with Oconto County Economic Development Corporation and Discover Wisconsin.

The program airs locally at 11:30 a.m. Sunday on WFRV-TV 5. It may also be streamed online at discoverwisconsin.com.

“Oconto County may be considered a hidden gem for now but we can’t wait to help show off this area of the state to our 500,000 loyal viewers,” Haberman said. “Our crew is thrilled to name Oconto County a 2016 Choice Destination!”

Wed
15
Mar

Superintendent tackles questions about bussing, planning

Editor’s Note: Oconto Falls School Superintendent Dean Hess has released the following statement to the community regarding the school district’s $11.5 million referendum on the ballot April 4:

Dear community members,

As I have outlined in previous articles, voters in the Oconto Falls School District will be presented with an April 4 referendum question that, if passed, will allow the district to exceed its revenue limit by a total of $11.5 million over five years. This would help stabilize the district’s finances and protect its educational offerings. The measures the referendum authorizes would replace expiring measures voters approved in 2014.

Much of my work over the last month — and certainly before April 4 — will include presenting information on the referendum and answering questions from community members. Recently, I have been asked a variation of three questions that I wanted to address here.

Wed
15
Mar

Sewer plant has new ideas to protect river


Times Herald Photo By Scott Williams

With the Oconto River just behind the trees in the background, worker Adam Filz checks the flow of treated wastewater at the Oconto municipal wastewater treatment plant.

Wastewater discharging into the Oconto River would be tested less frequently and would be subject to relaxed pollution standards under a plan pending before state environmental regulators.

Oconto city officials have asked the state Department of Natural Resources for a revised permit covering the city-owned wastewater treatment plant at 1620 Main St.

The plant treats and discharges into the river about 500,000 gallons of wastewater daily on average from residents in the city of Oconto and in surrounding communities.

With some large industrial customers ceasing operations in recent years, the plant is handling lower volumes of wastewater, and officials want the facility reclassified from a “major” to a “minor” treatment plant under state regulations.

Wed
08
Mar

Highway 22 detours could start in March

State highway planners have announced that work on state Highway 22 in Oconto County will begin this week and that traffic could be detoured starting later this month.

The state Department of Transportation plans to repave the highway and make other improvements along a four-mile stretch between Oconto Falls and U.S. 141. Traffic will be detoured north along U.S. 141 to Lena and then directed west and south toward Oconto Falls.

State officials said crews this week would begin clearing and grubbing operations, and that detours could begin by the end of March. Work is scheduled to continue about four months.

Contractors Michels Corp. is leading the $3.5 million project.

Wed
08
Mar

Check’s not in the mail

The city of Gillett qualifies for reimbursement of some of the costs associated with cleaning up the Nicolet Trail Campground, but it might be a while before the check arrives.

Alderperson Nanette Mohr reported to the City Council on Thursday that the city’s claim for $4,420 had been accepted, but because of an increase in claims under the Petroleum Environmental Cleanup Fund Award program and budget shortfalls, some reimbursements are being delayed.

Mohr read three communications from the state Department of Natural Resources that essentially said the money will be released on a first-come, first-served basis.

“Hopefully we’ll find out that we’re first-come,” she said.

The city purchased the campground property at Washington and Richmond streets in 2012 and converted it into a recreational site for campers in spring and summer.

Wed
08
Mar

School district loses building supervisor

The Oconto Falls School District’s supervisor of buildings, grounds and maintenance has stepped down after 18 years with the school district.

Kevin Judy, who was earning more than $60,000 a year in his job, submitted a resignation that was approved Jan. 29 during an unusual Sunday school board meeting.

Records show school board members met behind closed doors for 30 minutes to discuss the situation before voting to accept Judy’s resignation.

One week later, however, Judy submitted a request to retire from the district and to receive retirement benefits that would have been unavailable with a resignation.

The board voted Feb. 13 to accept the retirement and make it effective retroactive to Jan. 27.

Judy gave no explanation in his letter for why he was leaving the school district, and he could not be reached for comment.

Wed
08
Mar

Superintendent hopes voters will protect schools

Editor’s Note: Oconto Falls School Superintendent Dean Hess has released the following statement to the community regarding the school district’s $11.5 million referendum on the ballot April 4:

Dear community members:

As last week’s column noted, on April 4, the Oconto Falls School Board will ask district voters to consider a referendum question. If passed, the referendum would allow the district to exceed its revenue limit by a total of $11.5 million over five years to stabilize the district’s finances and protect its educational offerings. The measures that the referendum authorizes would replace expiring measures that voters passed in 2014.

Since my last column, a number of community members have asked me to explain why the district needs these measures now. To answer this question, some background is necessary.

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