Broadband grant decisions expected by late March

Applications for two projects that could increase broadband accessibility in Oconto County were submitted to the state Public Service Commission in late January.

The Oconto County Economic Development Corp. facilitated the applications, and the county board approved a resolution committing $10,000 in matching funds should the commission approve the grants.

Paul Ehrfurth, executive director of OCEDC, told the board last week that applications totaling $22.5 million were submitted. The commission has $7.5 million available.

Ehrfurth added that another $7 million in grants will be available in June.

“I will be working with our providers so that we may submit applications for that cycle as well,” he said.

Ehrfurth said he is encouraged by the public support given to the larger of the projects, a $600,000 grant request to serve the northern half of the county.


Oconto County Circuit Court Proceedings

Proceedings of Feb. 23

An April 10 jury trial was scheduled for Chris L. Lincks, 57, Crivitz, on a charge of fleeing an officer and causing bodily harm or property damage in connection with an incident that allegedly took place Jan. 1. A final pre-trial conference was scheduled for April 9.

After a preliminary hearing, Jessica M. Hensel, 27, Suring, was bound over on charges of bail jumping for failure to appear for a Jan. 25 court hearing, as well as charges of possession of THC (second or subsequent offense) and bail jumping for an alleged Nov. 10 incident. Arraignment was scheduled for March 8.

Proceedings of Feb. 21

On the eve of a jury trial, Daryl J. Tekus, 64, Suring, changed his plea to no contest on a charge of operating a motor vehicle while intoxicated (fifth or sixth offense) in connection with an incident that occurred May 21. Sentencing was scheduled for April 30.


Oconto County Sheriff's Department: Feb. 15-21

Feb. 21

Deputies responded to 34 incidents, including the following:

Suspicious — reported in the 17000 block of Mosquito Lake Road, Oak Ridge Lane, Townsend, 2:22 a.m.

Traffic crash — U.S. 41 and County Road A, Little River, 7:01 a.m.

Traffic crash — County Roads D and EE, Abrams, 8:01 a.m.

Fire — reported in the 9000 block of Yurek Road, Chase, 12:35 p.m.

Threatening — reported in the 8000 block of Gohr Road, Chase, 8:06 p.m.

Traffic crash — County Road A and state Highway 32, Maple Valley, 11:09 p.m.

Feb. 20

Deputies responded to 29 incidents, including the following:

Traffic crash — County Roads E and C, Morgan, 7:02 a.m.

Traffic crash — truck tipped over at Cross Road and Geano Beach Road, Little Suamico, 8:16 a.m.

Traffic crash — County Road S two miles east of U.S. 41-141, Little Suamico, 8:47 a.m.

Squad damage — Reported along Landing Lane, Stiles, 10:17 a.m.


Well-traveled vision missionary

A group of Dominican girls show off their new eyeglasses provided with the help of Sue Laskowski, center. (Contributed photo)

In 1990, the niece of a Green Bay area priest encouraged optician Sue Laskowski to travel to rural Mexico with the gift of sight.

The experience so moved her, Laskowski has gone on 28 more optical mission trips, most recently a month ago.

She credits her old friend Myra Tlachac and her uncle, the late Rev. Roy Conard, for convincing her to take that first trip to Etzatlan after she learned about optical mission trips via a doctor’s presentation in Green Bay.

“On every mission, it is great to see the reaction of the person when they can see clearly for the first time,” said Laskowski, who works at BayCare Clinic Eye Specialists in Oconto Falls. “For the children, many start saying what is on the eye chart that they could never see before, or the woman with the high prescription yelling ‘Yahoo!’ when she could see far away with her glasses she received.”


Denominations come together in discipleship

Alex Wolf, left, principal at St. Anthony Catholic School, and the Rev. Gary Olson of Grace Lutheran Church say the Oconto Falls community embraces a spirit of ecumenism that enables the two institutions to work together. (Times Herald photo by Warren Bluhm)

There may have been a time when the idea of Lutherans and Catholics working together was as unlikely as the lion lying down with the lamb. That’s no longer the case in Oconto Falls.

The church council of Grace Lutheran Church has decided to invest part of its Benevolence Fund to help sponsor several of its young people and staff who attend and work at St. Anthony Catholic School.

The parish council unanimously approved a donation to the school that will support a portion of the students’ tuition and staff’s wages.

“We’re all on the same mission as far as bringing these kids closer to Jesus,” said Alex Wolf, principal of St. Anthony.

The Rev. Gary Olson, pastor of Grace Lutheran, went to a multi-denominational seminary and said working together with the local Catholic school is an extension of what he learned in that daily interaction with students from so many branches of the Christian faith.


Beaton launches write-in campaign for Gillett mayor

James Beaton

Gillett funeral home director James Beaton has announced his write-in candidacy for mayor. Beaton said he plans to bring a fresh approach to city government, based on his business experience and outsider’s perspective.

Campaigning with the slogan “Taking Action, Getting Results,” Beaton believes in collaborating with other leaders to better manage the city’s resources, nurture a business-friendly climate and broaden the base of Gillett’s economy.

The election for the two-year term is April 3. Acting Mayor Nanette Mohr will be the only candidate on the ballot for mayor, so voters who wish to vote for Beaton will need to write in his name. Mohr has been serving for Mayor William Pecha during his leave of absence because of a medical condition.


Oconto County Circuit Court Proceedings

Proceedings of Feb. 14

Bond was set at $500 cash for Ronald J. Dodge, 27, Madison, who is charged with bail jumping and possession of methamphetamine, along with two related misdemeanors, in connection with an incident that allegedly occurred Feb. 13. Bail includes no contact and absolute sobriety provisions. His initial appearance was adjourned until March 8.

Bond was set at $10,000 cash for Alexander D. Hamilton, 26, Suamico, who is charged with bail jumping, possession of methamphetamine and possession of THC (second or subsequent offense), in connection with an incident that allegedly occurred Feb. 13. His initial appearance was adjourned until March 8.


Oconto County Sheriff's Department: Feb. 9-14

Feb. 14

Deputies responded to 25 incidents, including the following:

Disturbance — reported in the 100 block of Second Street, Oconto, 1:32 a.m.

Traffic crash — U.S. 41-141 near East Brown Road, Little Suamico, 4:31 p.m.

Sexual assault — reported at an address in the town of Brazeau, 11:48 p.m.

Feb. 13

Deputies responded to 50 incidents, including the following:

Traffic crash — South Shore Drive north of Crab Apple Road, Breed, 6:09 a.m.

Trespassing — reported in the 17000 block of Pickerel Lake Road, Townsend, 4:06 p.m.

Hit and run — County Road R at County Road M, How, 5:25 p.m.

Sexual assault — reported at an address in Little Suamico, 6:07 p.m.

Animal bite — reported in the 3000 block of Airport Road, Oconto, 8:27 p.m.

Feb. 12

Deputies responded to 39 incidents, including the following:


Light turnout for spring primary

David Parmentier and Terry Brazeau will face each other in the April 3 general election for the Oconto County Board seat now held by Supervisor Ryan Wendt.

In Tuesday's primary election to narrow the three-man field, Parmentier picked up 90 votes to Brazeau's 59 and 34 for David Rakowski. Wendt decided not to run for another term representing parts of the towns of Spruce and Brazeau.

In the statewide primary for Wisconsin Supreme Court, Michael Screnock was the top vote getter in Oconto County. Screnock received 1,571, Rebecca Dallet 652, and Tim Burns 316. Only 9 percent of eligible voters came to the polls, according to the Oconto County Clerk's office.


School’s video earns a top prize

St. Anthony Catholic School Principal Alex Wolf, left, introduces Charlie Haas and Elizabeth Kostichka of Catholic Financial Life during an assembly to award the school the $2,500 second prize in the insurance company’s Give Back Contest. (Times Herald photo by Warren Bluhm)

A promotional video for St. Anthony Catholic School in Oconto Falls took second place in a national competition sponsored by Catholic Financial Life.

The second annual “Give Back Contest” promotion, timed to coincide with the national Catholic Schools Week celebration (Jan. 17-25), asked schools to create a one- to three-minute video that shows how the school forms disciples of Jesus, said Charlie Haas, vice president of business development for Catholic Financial Life.

The company selected the 11 finalists from about two dozen submissions, most from the Midwest but also from as far away as Vermont, and then Facebook users voted on their favorites.

“Your community was one of the smaller communities that submitted videos, but your vote total was one of the highest,” Haas told St. Anthony’s students at a special assembly last week.


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