News

Wed
06
Sep

Pieces of history


Contributed Photo

Members of the Suring Area Historical Society burn the mortgage Thursday for the former Groninger Building, now known as the Opera House Museum. Shown are, from left, front row, Chique Tousey Tabar, secretary Helen Heimerl, treasurer Ruben Rakow and president Adelaide Boettcher; middle row, Linda Gerndt (in white, center), Melodie Wardecke and Mae Adams; back row, historian Duane Wardecke, Dick Poquette, Cris Miller and Ardis Poquette.

In the dim light on the back wall of the partially dissembled stage above 639 Main St. in Suring, the scrawled words from 78 years ago are still legible:

“Senior Class Play of 1939: ‘Sunbonnet Jane of Sycamore Lane,’” followed by the characters’ and actors’ names and “Directed by Miss Hazel Pederson.”

“It became a tradition to write the name of the school play and the people who were in it on the backstage walls,” said Helen Heimerl, secretary of the Suring Area Historical Society, while offering a look upstairs during an open house Saturday at the society’s new headquarters, held in conjunction with Suring’s 87th annual Labor Day Weekend Celebration.

The organization purchased the old Groninger Opera House from William and Stacey Stewart three years ago and held a mortgage burning on Thursday to celebrate a successful fundraising campaign for what is now the Opera House Museum.

Wed
06
Sep

Face to face with the paranormal

They are the people who come up to Chad Lewis after he speaks or send him an email that says, “I think my house is haunted.”

They are the people who insist they have braked for a chicken in the middle of a Seymour road where there were no chickens and stood in the crossroads and heard the chicken farmer clearly shout, “Get off the road,” when no one else was there.

They are the people who fill Chad Lewis’ books, 20 of them now and counting.

“I never run out of stories,” Lewis said last week. “In the average week, I’ll receive over 200 emails from around the country about people and their paranormal event or place that they want me to check out.”

Lewis plans to make a multimedia presentation about “Paranormal Wisconsin” starting at 6:30 p.m. Saturday in the Gillett Public Library Community Center.

Wed
06
Sep

Oconto County Sheriff’s Department

Aug. 31

Deputies responded to 65 incidents, including the following:

Drug offense — reported in the 800 block of South Main Street, Oconto Falls, 2:10 a.m.

DNR complaint — reported in the 9000 block of County Road I, Spruce, 7:29 a.m.

Harassment — reported in the 17000 block of Evergreen Lane, Lakewood, 9:09 a.m.

Disturbance — reported in the 9000 block of County Road G, Spruce, 5:45 p.m.

Property damage — reported in the 200 block of South Rosera Street, Lena, 6:32 p.m.

Wanted person — A suspect was picked up in the 17000 block of North Road, Lakewood, 6:38 p.m.

Traffic crash — vs. deer, County Road S and Schwartz Road, Chase, 7:37 p.m.

Traffic crash — vs. deer, along state Highway 32, Lakewood, 10:07 p.m.

Aug. 30

Deputies responded to 52 incidents, including the following:

Squad damage — reported in the 100 block of Van Dyke Street, Oconto, 10:10 a.m.

Wed
06
Sep

McClure recognized for commitment to continuing education

The Society of Certified Insurance Counselors recently recognized James P. McClure of McClure & Associates Insurance Specialists Inc., Oconto Falls, with a certificate honoring his 30 years of participation in advanced education.

McClure earned the designation through a series of examinations and has maintained his CIC designation by annual attendance at an approved continuing education program.

“The professional dedication and commitment represented by James P. McClure sets the standard within our industry.” said Dr. William T. Hold, president of the society. “This 30-year accomplishment signifies a career of active leadership in advanced education. James P. McClure’s emphasis on professional development positively reflects on the insurance profession as a whole.”

Wed
30
Aug

Powerball ticket worth $200k for Lena woman

A Lena woman won $200,000 in the Powerball drawing Aug. 19.

Kristin Vahl matched four out of five numbers plus the Powerball, which is good for $50,000, and she also purchased the optional Power Play option, increasing her prize to $200,000.

Vahl purchased her winning ticket at BP North, N4005 U.S. 45, Antigo.

Wed
30
Aug

Pulaski area man killed in motorcycle crash

A Pulaski area man died Friday when his motorcycle struck a pontoon boat being towed in the town of How.

The victim was Mark A. Wojkiewicz, 44.

The Oconto County Sheriff’s Office said it responded at 5 p.m. Friday, along with rescue services from Gillett and Suring, to the crash along County Road M about 200 yards east of St. Johns Road.

Wojkiewicz was traveling eastbound and crossed over the center line while trying to negotiate a curve. He struck the pontoon boat, which was behind an SUV driven by a 70-year-old Alvin man.

Wojkiewicz was pronounced dead at the scene. The driver of the SUV and his passenger were not injured. The sheriff’s department said the crash remains under investigation.

Wed
30
Aug

Inmates move into new county jail

The jail inside the new Oconto County Law Enforcement Center is occupied. The inmates were moved Aug. 7 after the state inspector gave the final OK, Sheriff Mike Jansen told the County Board on Thursday.

Demolition of one of the cellblocks in the old jail has been delayed after asbestos was found in an area, county Administrator Coordinator Kevin Hamann told the board.

Conversion of the old jail into the new home of the county’s technology services department and a connection from the courthouse to the new jail was planned to be completed by Nov. 30, but that date will probably be pushed back to November, Hamann said.

Wed
30
Aug

Ethel Firgens is Suring parade grand marshal

Ethel Firgens has been named the grand marshal of the 87th Suring Labor Day parade, representing the town of Breed.

The parade begins at 10 a.m. Monday, one of the centerpieces of the traditional Labor Day weekend celebration in Suring.

Firgens will be honored at a Senior Citizen Award event at noon. She was born on Jan. 18, 1943, in Oconto Falls, the first child of Leo and Elsie Schuettpelz, nee Brusewitz, and grew up on a farm in the town of How.

Firgens started first grade at Breed Central School, a one-room country school, then attended St. John’s School in Hayes, where she was confirmed. She graduated from Suring High School in 1961 and ranked in the top 10 in her class.

Wed
30
Aug

Suring stages 87th annual Labor Day festival


Times Herald File Photo

Sunday’s demolition derby, sponsored by Suring FFA Alumni, is always a crowd pleaser during the Suring Labor Day Celebration.

The place to be every Labor Day weekend is Suring, and for the 87th year the village is pulling out all the stops once again.

The big parade, fireworks, a 5K/10K run and activities for all ages are all part of the annual Suring Labor Day Celebration.

The “weekend” actually begins Wednesday with the start of the “Twice Sold Tales” book sale sponsored by the Friends of the Suring Area Public Library, which continues from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily through Saturday at the Village Municipal Building, 604 Main St. Special bag sales will be held Saturday.

The ladies of Mount Olive Lutheran Lutheran Church, 206 Burk St., are having their annual rummage and bake sale from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Friday and 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday. A large variety of items will be for sale, including household goods and furniture. All clothing is $3 a bag, and all other items are a free-will donation. Free coffee will be served, and all proceeds will be used for church projects.

Wed
30
Aug

Board opposes metallic mine along Menominee River


Times Herald photo by Warren Bluhm

Menominee Tribal Vice Chairman Craig Corn urges Oconto County Board supervisors to add their voices and votes in opposition to the proposed Back Forty Mine.

The Oconto County Board on Thursday became the 11th municipal body in Northeast Wisconsin and Upper Michigan to register its opposition to a proposed gold and zinc mine along the Menominee River in the Upper Peninsula.

Supervisors also added a paragraph to their resolution opposing a proposed bill from state Sen. Tom Tiffany, R-Hazelhurst, that they said would weaken Wisconsin mining regulations.

The Back Forty Project mine is located in a region that owner Aquila Resources said has rich deposits of gold and zinc. The plan is to attract the valuable metals through sulfide mining, a process that opponents say poses a threat to clean water and the environment.

Aquila has already received three permits (air, mining and national pollutant discharge) from the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality. It still needs a wetlands permit, which could be approved later this year or in early 2018.

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