News

Wed
25
Jul

School board cautious about veterans memorial site


A memorial to Oconto Falls area soldiers who were killed in action has stood at the corner of Central Avenue and Franklin Street since shortly after World War II. Some veterans still believe this is still the best site for a proposed veterans memorial, although the project has been stalled for years. (Times Herald photo by Warren Bluhm)

The Oconto Falls School Board will let local veterans decide on the location of a proposed memorial before acting on a request to place it on school district property.
The board heard a request in June from Bob Maloney of American Legion Post 302 to consider allowing the long-delayed memorial to be placed on a small parcel of land just down the hill from district offices on North Farm Road in Oconto Falls.
Loretta Shellman of the Legion Auxiliary stepped forward at the board’s July 16 meeting to speak on behalf of the original proposed location of the memorial, near the corner of Central Avenue and Franklin Street, where a memorial to fallen Oconto Falls soldiers has stood since shortly after World War II.
Superintendent Dean Hess told the board that if it decided to move forward with Maloney’s request, it would have to decide a number of questions.

Wed
25
Jul

Sheriff race: Janke cites experience, training

While growing up, Ed Janke’s family was highly devoted to the community. His father was a volunteer firefighter, and his mother volunteered throughout the community along with supporting the fire department.
The youngster knew several traffic officers from the Oconto County Sheriff’s Department who he thought of as “larger than life.” After having the opportunity to ride with the now-retired Lt. Mike Zahn in a squad car, Janke aspired to work in “a profession that could achieve so much good.”
After numerous years working in law enforcement, Janke is now running for Oconto County Sheriff and will face Todd Skarban in the Aug. 14 Republican primary. No opposition will face the winner of the primary in the Nov. 6 general election.

Wed
25
Jul

Sheriff race: Personal experiences shaped Skarban

After a friend of Todd Skarban was hit and killed by a driver when he was a child, a deputy sheriff shielded Skarban from the accident and stopped in to talk with Skarban a number of times during that summer and later on in life to see how he was doing. This deputy eventually inspired Skarban to become a deputy sheriff himself.
Early on in Skarban’s law enforcement career, he made it a goal to become the Oconto County sheriff. Skarban, one of the county’s K-9 officer handlers and president of the Wisconsin Law Enforcement Canine Handlers Association, is now attempting to fulfill that goal and will face off against Ed Janke in the Aug. 14 Republican primary. The winner of the primary will face no opposition on the Nov. 6 general election ballot.
As county sheriff, Skarban said he would aim to help end drug problems by altering the county’s approach.

Wed
25
Jul

Gillett School Board moves referendum forward

The Gillett School Board plans to put a referendum question on the Nov. 6 ballot.
The board unanimously passed a resolution Thursday asking voters for permission to exceed state-imposed revenue limits by $600,000 a year for three years starting with the 2019-20 school year to fund educational programming for students.
The approval would be non-recurring, meaning that the board would have to come back to voters if it wants to maintain that additional $600,000 for the 2022-23 school year and beyond.
The resolution passed on a 7-0 roll call vote. The precise language of the referendum question will be decided at the board’s Aug. 16 meeting.
Quarles and Brady, the board’s consulting firm, shared the ballot questions from six successful referendums around the state for board members to review the wording of the enabling resolution and the question.

Wed
25
Jul

Oconto County Circuit Court Proceedings

Proceedings of July 19
Brian J. Malcore, 33, Oconto Falls, was placed on 18 months probation for felony possession of THC (second or subsequent offense) in connection with an incident that occurred Dec. 16. A 120-day jail sentence was imposed but stayed. As conditions of his probation, Malcore must maintain absolute sobriety and undergo any assessments deemed appropriate by the Department of Corrections, and follow through with any and all recommendations.
After a preliminary hearing, Darin F. Dietz, 52, Neenah, was bound over on a charge of stalking and three related misdemeanors in connection with an incident that allegedly occurred May 20. Arraignment was scheduled for Aug. 9.
Proceedings of July 18

Wed
25
Jul

More school safety grants greenlighted by the state

Funding has been approved for four more Oconto County school districts through the School Safety Grant initiative, and at least one superintendent said he expects to get word about his district’s application very soon.
In the latest round of grants announced Thursday, the Oconto Falls School District was awarded $122,496 and the Suring School District was awarded $38,502 from the state Department of Justice.
Wabeno stands to receive a $39,477 grant and Coleman $59,945 in the latest round. Lena was awarded a $61,720 grant in June.
The grants are part of a $100 million program announced earlier this year to improve safety in school buildings from kindergarten through 12th grade. Proposed expenditures should enhance or improve upon existing school or district efforts to prevent, mitigate, prepare for, respond to, and/or recover from violence.

Thu
19
Jul

Christopher Brabant named CEO of Oconto Falls hospital


Christopher Brabant has been named the next president and CEO of HSHS St. Clare Memorial Hospital in Oconto Falls. (Contributed photo)

HSHS St. Clare Memorial Hospital of Oconto Falls on Thursday announced the appointment of Christopher P. Brabant, MBA, FACHE, to serve as the hospital’s next president and CEO.

Brabant succeeds Dan DeGroot, who became CEO of Stoughton Hospital on May 7. Paula Hafeman, chief nursing executive of HSHS Eastern Wisconsin Division, has been serving as the interim president and CEO while HSHS conducted the search that led to Brabant's appointment.

Since 2013, Brabant has served as the HSHS Eastern Wisconsin Division executive director of surgical services for the Heart, Lung and Vascular Center and Prevea Health Vascular Surgery in Green Bay.

Wed
18
Jul

Dog park gets preliminary OK


This green space along South Maple Avenue in Oconto Falls has been identified by Girl Scout Emily Gonnering as a promising site for a dog park. (Times Herald photo by Warren Bluhm)

A proposal to explore building a dog park in Oconto Falls is off the leash.

The City Council on July 10 approved the idea being spearheaded by Girl Scout Emily Gonnering for her Gold Award project to create a dog park on city-owned green space just southwest of the bridge near downtown.

The Gold Award is the highest achievement a Girl Scout can attain for completing an important community service project.

Gonnering, a senior at Oconto Falls High School, said her next steps are to get approval from the scouting organization, work out a budget and begin fundraising. The council will have to give final approval for construction of the park once she shows she has enough money.

She went through a lengthy list of rules for the use of the park, including a requirement that owners remove their dogs’ waste. She shared photos from other parks showing double-gated entrances and park benches with the backs designed in the shape of dog bones.

Wed
18
Jul

New stage and concert at county fairgrounds


The band members of Saliva are, from left, Bobby Amaru (vocals), Wayne Swinny (lead guitar), Paul Crosby (drums), and Brad Stewart (bass). (Contributed photo)

Celebrate summer with a historic concert at the Oconto County Fairgrounds in Gillett this Saturday. Multi-platinum rock band Saliva will headline, with opening performances by local band Jamie Fontaine and the Level, Michael Alexander of the Southern cover band Big Whiskey, and Grammy-nominated country artist Rick Monroe.

Starting at 1 p.m. Wisconsin rockers Black Knight will kick off the event at the pavilion, with various concessions and local vendors in Zippel Park. Gates for the first national main stage act at the fairgrounds open at 6 p.m.

Saliva quickly gained popularity in the early 2000s with their double-platnum album “Every Six Seconds” and certified Gold album “Back into Your System,” and were featured in the movie “The Fast and the Furious” as well as Extreme Championship Wresting. With 15 songs on the Billboard Mainstream Rock Chart, Saliva has cultivated a solid fan base with edgy yet catchy rock anthems and high energy performances.

Wed
18
Jul

Memorial Field plans held up a month


A standing-room-only crowd at Oconto Falls City Hall listens to discussion of long-standing plans to build ball diamonds at Memorial Field. A map of those plans is clipped to an easel in the foreground. Much of the crowd wanted consideration of the growing Oconto Falls Youth Football Program, which has used the old high school football field for games and practice. (Times Herald photo by Warren Bluhm)

The city of Oconto Falls has hit the pause button for one month on the future of Memorial Field, the former high school football stadium and track near downtown that has been replaced by ST Paper Stadium at the school district campus along North Farm Road.

The Panther Pride organization, which has been slowly raising funds to convert the land into a complex of baseball/softball diamonds, announced last month it has enough money to get started by removing the obsolete field lights and part of the track.

Members and supporters of Oconto Falls Youth Football packed the council chambers July 10 to try to preserve a piece of the park for their swiftly growing football program.

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