News

Tue
27
Nov

Marion couple charged over 2015 auction

A hearing is scheduled for Dec. 14 in Oconto County Circuit Court regarding a motion to combine the trials of a couple accused of theft in a business setting in connection with a 2015 auction.

Leroy and Mary Beechy, who own and operate Beechy’s Dairy Cattle Auctions LCC auctioneers in Marion, are accused of using much of the proceeds of a farm auction for their personal and business use.

Proceeds of an auction for Nerfarms were supposed to be paid to farm owner James L. Nerenhausen Jr.

Leroy F. Beechy, 47, was charged June 1, 2017, with theft in a business setting and issuing a worthless check. The case was about to go to trial in August when it emerged that Mary E. Beechy, 46, is alleged to have issued the worthless check that began the dispute, court records indicate. The trial was suspended, Mary Beechy was charged with the same crimes last month, and prosecutors were granted permission to file revised information against her husband.

Tue
27
Nov

The Lights are on


North Main Street’s Avenue of Lights display in Oconto Falls was illuminated for the first time Saturday night. (Times Herald photo by Warren Bluhm)

A light drizzle was still falling Saturday evening, but that didn’t dampen the enthusiasm of the kids who came to East Side Beach in Oconto Falls to see Santa and Mrs. Claus in person.

Kids cheered when the Jolly Old Elf climbed down from the fire engine that had taken him to the park pavilion, where a chorus of students from Oconto Falls High School began the festivities by serenading about 200 people gathered for the occasion.

The children lined up for their chance to visit with Santa Claus and share their Christmas wishes, while the Lioness Club served up cookies and hot cocoa, compliments of Witt’s Piggly Wiggly.

The Clauses’ arrival coincided with the moment that the Avenue of Lights was turned on, lighting North Main Street in Christmas color from the beach to the city limits.

Tue
27
Nov

Dave Polashek remembered as a fighter for education


Dave Polashek just after he retired in 2015 as superintendent of the Oconto Falls School District. Polashek, 70, died suddenly of natural causes on Nov. 18. (Times Herald file photo)

Advocate, warrior, mentor, friend – all words shared on social media over the past week after the unexpected death of David Polashek, who served as superintendent of Oconto Falls schools for more than 20 years.

Polashek, 70, died suddenly of natural causes Nov. 18 at his second residence in Hartford, Connecticut.

A memorial service is being planned, with an announcement expected later this week.

He spent 45 years in education, the last 37 of them as a superintendent, first in Wauzeka and then 22 years in Oconto Falls.

Always an advocate for public schools, he announced his retirement in March 2015 with a salvo against state funding policies that he said amounted to a “systematic dismantling” of public schools.

Fri
23
Nov

Victim of fatal crash identified

The victim of a fatal traffic accident Nov. 19 has been identified as David D. Piper, 62, of Whitelaw.

According to the Oconto County Sheriff's Department report, Piper was driving south on U.S. 141, and a light snowfall had caused ice to accumulate on the overpass at state Highway 22.

Piper's 2001 Dodge Ram pickup truck started to spin, and it left the roadway on the right side and rolled down a steep embankment that leads to the southbound on ramp from Highway 22. Piper was partially ejected from the vehicle and trapped by the wreckage.

Oconto Falls Ambulance with assistance from County Rescue transported Piper to a local hospital, where he was later pronounced dead. The accident occurred at about 9:35 a.m.

Tue
20
Nov

City workers recognized for life-saving action


Oconto Falls Mayor Brad Rice, center, presents certificates “for extraordinary actions that led to a life being saved” to street department workers Brad Magnin, left, and Bryce Roberts during the Nov. 13 City Council meeting. (Times Herald photo by Warren Bluhm)

Two Oconto Falls city workers say they were just doing what anyone would do. But the fact that they did saved a life.

Mayor Brad Rice and the city council honored Brad Magnin and Bryce Roberts last week for their actions of Oct. 10, when they came upon a man having a medical emergency and called 911.

The two men, who work for the street department, were doing their rounds in a corner of the Oconto Falls Industrial Park when they passed a contractor who “looked funny,” slumped by the side of his car, Magnin said.

“We turned around and saw that he was unresponsive; I checked, and he had a pulse,” he said. “Bryce ran to get help, and I called for an ambulance.”

Help arrived quickly.

“It seemed like only a few seconds and we had people coming from all directions,” Magnin said.

Officer Joe Cruz said the man was transported to HSHS St. Clare Memorial Hospital, then transported to St. Vincent Hospital in Green Bay.

Tue
20
Nov

Lifelong resident celebrates 100 years


Arnold Anderson Sr. of Oconto Falls celebrated his 100th birthday on Nov. 11. (Contributed photo)

EDITOR’S NOTE: Arnie Anderson of Oconto Falls turned 100 years old on Nov. 11, and the family celebrated with a birthday party at Romy’s Holiday Inn at Kelly Lake. The family also assembled this biography of a man who has lived in and served Oconto Falls all his life:

What does a child do for entertainment when there is no TV, no computer, and no smartphone?

Arnold W. Anderson Sr. can tell you what life was like growing up in the 1900s. He was born Nov. 11, 1918, the third of seven children for Anton and Astrid (Nelson) Anderson. He still lives less than a mile from the home where he grew up in the area then known as Swede Town.

Tue
20
Nov

Meeting set to discuss veterans monument


A fundraising campaign about four years ago raised $65,000 toward the cost of a veterans park at this site along Central Avenue in Oconto Falls. Some question why a veterans group is eager to build instead at a site next to the Oconto Falls School District offices on Farm Road. (Times Herald file photo)

Oconto Falls Superintendent Dean Hess is scheduled to meet Monday with representatives who want to erect a veterans monument just south of the school district office, to discuss the terms for the use of the land.

But members of the Oconto Falls School Board seem to be increasingly uncomfortable about being in the middle of a disagreement over where the monument should be located. And the idea of putting the matter to the people in a referendum is gaining traction.

Some members of Eick-Sankey American Legion Post 302 approached the board earlier this year seeking approval to put the monument to local veterans on school district property after a request to place it in Woodlawn Cemetery was declined.

The monument would be built in part using funds raised several years ago for a veterans monument on city property along Central Avenue, said the group, which plans to raise additional funds.

Tue
20
Nov

Whitelaw man dies after rollover

The Oconto County Sheriff’s Office says a driver was killed Monday morning in a vehicle rollover at U.S. 141 and state Highway 22 in the town of Stiles.

According to a press release Monday afternoon, the department received a call at 9:34 a.m. that a vehicle had left the roadway and ended up rolling down the embankment toward the on-ramp to southbound U.S. 141. The sheriff’s office responded to the scene along with Oconto Falls Ambulance and Lena Fire Department, with assistance of emergency services from Oconto Falls Fire Department.

The driver, a 62-year-old man from the Whitelaw area, was found unresponsive in the vehicle. Oconto Falls Ambulance along with assistance from County Rescue transported the man to a local hospital, where he was later pronounced dead.

Tue
20
Nov

County goes Lean for greater efficiency

The Oconto County Board heard Nov. 8 how four Continuous Improvement projects are making county departments more efficient in working with their external and internal customers.

Continuous Improvement, also known as Lean, is a methodology that identifies ways to streamline everyday processes and reduce wasted time.

Kevin Hamann, the county’s administrative coordinator, said CESA 8 personnel have been helping to review and upgrade processes in health and human Services, maintenance and his own office.

The board got a report from Lisa Sherman, business manager for health and human services, about the department’s study of the clinical intake process, from when a person first calls or comes to the office until the time they meet a counselor.

Over the years, the intake had morphed into a lengthy, cumbersome process that was not very client-focused or client-friendly, which they discovered when they mapped it out, Sherman said.

Tue
20
Nov

Generally passing grades or better for area schools

Area school districts generally fared well in their annual “report cards” from the state Department of Public Instruction, a measure of how students scored in standardized tests. Overall, the Gillett and Suring school districts exceeded expectations, according to the DPI, and Lena and Oconto Falls met the expectations.

An increasing percentage of public and private schools and public school districts met expectations on report cards issued for the 2017-18 school year compared to the prior year, the DPI announced. Overall, 83.7 percent of rated schools meet or exceed expectations, as did 96.4 percent of the state’s 422 public school districts.

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