News

Tue
20
Nov

City budget public hearing is Tuesday

The annual public hearing on next year’s City of Oconto Falls budget is scheduled for 6 p.m. Tuesday (Nov. 27) at City Hall, 500 N. Chestnut Ave.

The city is limited to a property tax levy increase of $50,774 under state-imposed revenue limits, city officials say. The proposed levy of $1,007,009 stays within that limit.

The city’s 2019 budget has general fund revenues and expenditures of $2,564,311 and $195,192 for capital projects. The largest capital expenditure is about $142,000 for new street department equipment; $26,000 is allocated for sidewalk improvements, less than half the 2018 budget.

Aldermen plan to meet after the public hearing to consider passing the 2019 budget as well as the city’s proposed fee schedule for the new year.

Wed
14
Nov

New county board member sworn in

Former Abrams Town Board supervisor Tim Cole took the oath of office Thursday as the newest member of the Oconto County Board.

Cole succeeds Vernon Zoeller, who stepped down in September after 17 years for health and family reasons. He will fill Zoeller’s unexpired term through April 2020.

“Glad to be here; I’m happy to serve. I’ll learn the system here and hope everything works out,” Cole told his new colleagues after being sworn in by County Clerk Kim Pytleski.

He will represent District 8, which covers parts of the towns of Abrams and Pensaukee.

Wed
14
Nov

Suring School District electors approve tax levy

At the annual district meeting held Oct. 22, the electors of the Suring School District approved a budget of $6,344,456. The tax levy was set at $4,491,469 for the purpose of defraying the cost of the operation and maintenance in Fund 10 General Operation and $7,062 for Fund 80 Community Service for the 2018-19 school year.

The general levy (Fund 10 and Fund 80) will require an estimated mill rate of $7.10 per $1,000 of assessed value on the October 2018 recertified equalized valuation of $633,409,510. The owner of a property valued at $100,000 can expect a tax bill that includes $710 for Suring School District purposes.

Wed
14
Nov

Oconto Falls, Gillett receive school safety grants

The Oconto Falls and Gillett school districts have been awarded part of the second round of safety grants that the state Department of Justice has distributed this fall.

Oconto Falls received a grant of $95,537, and Gillett received $28,923. They are among 549 grants that have been awarded across the state as part of the School Safety Grant Program.

“We will continue to work with the DOJ,” Oconto Falls Superintendent Dean Hess told his district’s school board. “Those dollars will be primarily put toward training for staff relative to mental health, and then some will be utilized from dollars that we weren’t able to cover all the items from the first round.”

Gillett Superintendent Todd Carlson briefed his school board on some of the projects that the two grants will cover.

Wed
14
Nov

Gillett Fire Department gets pumper

The Gillett Fire Department is getting a new rescue pumper — or, to be precise, the department is getting a less-old rescue pumper.

The City Council on Thursday approved the purchase of a 1992 Seagrave rescue pumper for $27,500, minus a $4,000 trade-in allowance for the department’s 1985 Ford pumper, for a net cost of $23,500.

Fire Chief Kurt Hicks said the older truck only had room to seat three firefighters, while the Seagrave is a six-seater. Firefighters who couldn’t fit into the Ford had been riding to fire scenes in an old utility truck.

“Seagrave is a good name,” Hicks said after the council meeting. “It’s also an upgrade year-wise, and we can eliminate the utility truck. That’s going up for sale.”

The city is buying the pumper from Fire Unlimited LLC of Appleton.

Wed
14
Nov

Oconto County honors its veterans


Lisa Lindow is overcome with emotion as Brian Gottlieb, left, reveals the new step-in shower that his Tundraland crew installed for her husband, Craig, on Thursday, Nov. 8. (Times Herald photo by Warren Bluhm)

On the 100th anniversary of the end of World War I, Northeast Wisconsin spent several days honoring veterans.

At the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month of 1918, the guns fell silent across Europe after an armistice was declared to what was then known as The Great War.

Originally known as Armistice Day, Nov. 11 was changed to Veterans Day to honor all who have served in the wars that followed “the war to end all wars,” as well as in peacetime.

On Thursday in Little Suamico, Craig and Lisa Lindow’s bathroom got a makeover as part of the “Baths for the Brave” initiative spearheaded by Tundraland Home Improvements.

Craig Lindow is a U.S. Navy veteran, having served as a damage control specialist from 1984 to 1989. He re-enlisted after 9/11 and served from 2001 to 2004. He has muscular dystrophy, a degenerative disease that weakens and causes pain in his muscles and made climbing into his old bathtub a challenge.

Wed
14
Nov

NWTC unveils Strategic Directions


The Regional Learning Center at 649 E. Jackson St., Oconto Falls, is one of six such facilities across the eight-county Northeast Wisconsin Technical College district. (Times Herald file photo)

Northeast Wisconsin Technical College President Jeffrey Rafn presented his annual report to the Oconto County Board on Thursday, using the opportunity to talk about the school’s Strategic Directions document that sets goals and metrics for the next five years.

The school provides technical education and two-year degrees over an eight-county area with three campuses and six Regional Learning Centers, including the facility in Oconto Falls.

Rafn introduced Dan Mincheff, NWTC’s chief information officer, who said the five-year plan’s goals are geared toward student success.

“That is our core mission, making students successful,” Mincheff said.

Wed
07
Nov

Railroad Street site approved for Gillett trailhead facility

A site has finally been chosen for a trailhead facility that has been discussed for years near the base of the Nicolet State Trail in Gillett.

The Parks & Cemetery Committee took to the internet for the answer, posting a poll on the “Gillett Community & Events” Facebook page that asked people to choose between the two final options.

Committee Chairperson Sandra Hubbard told the City Council on Thursday that the online poll received 248 responses, and another 13 people brought postcards to City Hall with their input.

About 78 percent of those responses favored a site along Railroad Street across from the former Gillett Meat Market, over an alternative along McKenzie Avenue across from Pat’s Market, where volleyball courts were once located.

The council unanimously approved the Railroad Street site.

Wed
07
Nov

Oconto Falls officer nominated as Hero of the Month


Oconto Falls police officer Keith Fischer’s dedication to duty inspired firefighter Dakota Winkler to nominate Fischer as a Haix Hero of the Month. (Facebook.com/OcontoFallsFD)

An Oconto Falls police officer has been nominated to be the Haix Hero of the Month, an honor determined online by Facebook “likes.”

Officer Keith Fischer was nominated by Oconto Falls firefighter Dakota Winkler, who credits the officer not just for his community service but for his work with kids — including the young Winkler.

Winkler said Fischer pushed him to be his best.

“I was in high school, and I was taking EMT classes on top of working at a sub shop. Often times when I was working he would come in, order his sub, and when it was slow, we would sit down and talk about life like a father talks to his son,” Winkler wrote. “He really encouraged me to keep going and better myself even though the hours and all the combined homework was grueling and daunting.”

Winkler said he is still learning from Fischer’s dedication to duty.

Wed
07
Nov

Two injured in separate crashes

Fifth OWI charge for man hurt in motorcycle crash

An Abrams man seriously injured when he wrecked his motorcycle Oct. 31 was charged with operating a motor vehicle while intoxicated for at least the fifth time, according to an Oconto County Sheriff’s Department accident report.

Jeremiah E. Andresen, 33, was eastbound on Brookside Road near the intersection with U.S. 41 just before 11 p.m. when the vehicle tipped on its side and skidded down the road into the east-side ditch, the report said. Andresen was found in the opposite ditch and transported by ambulance to an area hospital.

He was charged with OWI (fifth or sixth offense) and operating a motor vehicle while his license was revoked. Online court records indicate Andresen has been charged with operating while suspended or revoked several times in the last five years, most recently in connection with a May 2 incident in Oconto County.

Woman injured in semi-truck crash

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