News

Wed
28
Mar

O’Harrow, Wahl running for term on County Board

District 21 of the Oconto County Board was represented for 24 years by Supervisor Mary Lemmen, until she passed away in October.

The board appointed Tim O’Harrow to fill the last few months of her latest term in office, and he is running for a two-year term in his own right. O’Harrow is challenged by Leonard Wahl on Tuesday’s ballot.

The district covers parts of the towns of Oconto Falls and Morgan. Here are O’Harrow’s responses to the Times Herald questionnaire; Wahl, who is Green Valley-Morgan fire chief and a member of the Morgan Town Board, declined to participate.

Tim O’Harrow

Education: 14 years

Occupation: Dairy farming, many years

Previous elected experience: presently serving on Town of Oconto Falls Planning Commission, appointed District 21 supervisor Oconto County Board

Wed
28
Mar

Matravers, Stiloski seek Oconto-based seat on County Board

Supervisor Gerald Beekman of Oconto resigned from the Oconto County Board at the end of November, a few months shy of his 40th anniversary on the board, and died a month later.

John Matravers and Joseph Stiloski are the candidates to succeed Beekman in representing District 14 on the board. Here are their responses to the Times Herald’s candidate questionnaire.

John Matravers

Education: Oconto High School, University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh business administration

Occupation: Retired after 40 years as owner-manager of Matravers Stores in Oconto; work part-time at Roberts Hardware

Previous elected experience: None

Community involvement: Maple Valley Insurance board of directors, Lena; City of Oconto Planning Commission and Industrial Development; Church Council, First American Lutheran Church, Oconto; Elks Club

Why do you want to be elected to this position, and what makes you the better candidate?

Wed
28
Mar

Oconto County Circuit Court proceedings

Proceedings of March 23

Brian J. Malcore, 33, Oconto Falls, pleaded not guilty to charges of felony possession of THC (second or subsequent offense) and misdemeanor possession of drug paraphernalia in connection with an incident that allegedly occurred Dec. 16. A pre-trial conference was scheduled for April 12.

Christal A. Wozniak, 28, Gillett, waived her right to a preliminary hearing and was bound over on a charge of maintaining a drug trafficking place and misdemeanor possession of drug paraphernalia after an incident that allegedly occurred Oct. 27. Arraignment was scheduled for April 12.

Proceedings of March 21

Wed
28
Mar

Patterson challenges Ballestad for County Board seat

Incumbent Oconto County Board Supervisor Karl Ballestad is being challenged for re-election by Cynthia Patterson.

District 11 is comprised of parts of the town and city of Oconto. Ballestad was first appointed to the board in February 2013 and is now seeking his third full two-year term.

Karl Ballestad

Education: Bachelor of Science, University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh

Occupation: Retired educator, Oconto School District

Previous or current elected experience: Oconto County Board

Community involvement: I am a 4-H leader, a member of the Oconto Hospital Foundation, chairperson of the Town of Oconto Sanitary District, treasurer of the Friends of Farnsworth Library, a member of the Rural Urban Committee and, in the past, have belonged to several organizations that serve Oconto County.

1. Why do you want to be elected to this position, and what makes you the better candidate?

Wed
21
Mar

Adams Street reconstruction progresses

The Oconto Falls City Council got a briefing last week on plans to rebuild a residential street near downtown this summer.

The project will cover Adams Street from Union Avenue, where Washington Middle School is on the corner, to Monroe Street — a distance of 1,700 feet or three blocks.

“There’s going to be a lot going on on Adams Street – curb, gutter, new road base and surface, driveway aprons, new stormwater collection, sidewalk replacement in some places, sewer laterals,” city attorney Larry Jeske told the council during its March 13 meeting. Homeowners were briefed at an informational meeting the night before.

Part of the sewer work was done on an emergency basis last summer after an examination showed so much deterioration of the old pipe that city officials were concerned the roadway could collapse, Utility Manager Greg Kuhn said.

Wed
21
Mar

Governor visits Gillett schools


Gillett High School student Alex Young talks to Gov. Scott Walker about his experience at Badger Boys State while Cole Watts listens. The governor waded through the audience of students, shaking each student’s hand. (Photo by Keri Hicks)

Gillett Secondary School rolled out the proverbial red carpet Thursday for the highest elected official in Wisconsin.

Gov. Scott Walker toured the school, then spoke briefly to members of the FFA, Student Council, FBLA, National Honor Society and Hi-Q team, in a visit designed to promote a newly passed law increasing state aid to small, rural school districts.

The law increases “sparsity aid” payments to rural school districts like Gillett. Currently at $300 per pupil, payments will be increased to $400 per pupil.

It also boosts the “low-revenue adjustment” in state school aid, increasing the base for districts near the lowest revenue limits — now set at a minimum $9,100 per pupil — by an additional $100 per year before reaching $9,800 in the 2022-23 school year.

Wed
21
Mar

Bond set at $500K in Lena standoff

A 50-year-old town of Lena man is due back in Oconto County Circuit Court on April 12 after being charged in connection with a 10-hour standoff March 11, during which he allegedly fired shots at sheriff’s deputies.

Judge Jay Conley set bail at $500,000 for Thomas Benser, who was also being sought in connection with an alleged attack on an ex-girlfriend the night before.

Benser is charged with five counts of attempted first-degree intentional homicide, five counts of first-degree reckless endangerment, strangulation-suffocation, substantial battery, failure to comply with an officer’s attempt to take a person into custody and misdemeanor disorderly conduct.

According to the criminal complaint, the woman was awakened around 11:15 p.m. by Benser, who had sneaked into her house.

Wed
21
Mar

Oconto County Circuit Court proceedings

Proceedings of March 16

A $50,000 cash bond was set for Jeremy J. Hanna, 39, Oconto, who is charged with four counts of manufacture or delivery of amphetamines and one count of misdemeanor disorderly conduct in connection with separate incidents in December and January. Conditions of bond include absolute sobriety and no involvement with illegal drugs or drug paraphernalia. The balance of his initial appearance was scheduled for April 12.

A bench warrant was issued for Nicholas G. Patron, 36, Oconto, after an incident that allegedly occurred March 13. Patron is scheduled to go on trial in June on two counts of causing a child younger than 13 to view or listen to a sex act and one count each of child abuse intentionally causing harm and strangulation-suffocation, in connection with alleged incidents from early 2017. New charges of felony bail jumping and misdemeanor bail jumping and disorderly conduct were filed.

Wed
21
Mar

Sheriff hosts School Safety Summit


Law enforcement officials and educators from Oconto County meet March 5 at the county Law Enforcement Center to talk about school safety.

The Oconto County Law Enforcement Executive Group sponsored a School Safety Summit at the Oconto County Sheriff’s Law Enforcement Center on March 5. To ensure the safety of kids in the classroom or participating in extracurricular activities, the sheriff and chiefs from the group invited school superintendents and their staff from all the school districts in Oconto County to address safety and security issues.

School districts represented included Wabeno, Suring, Coleman, Gillett, Oconto Falls, Oconto and Pulaski, meeting with Oconto County Sheriff Mike Jansen and Chief Deputy Ed Janke, Oconto Acting Police Chief Mike Rehberg, Oconto Falls Police Chief Brad Olsen, Gillett Police Chief Jess Keplinger, Lena Police Chief James Herald and Suring Police Chief Phil Christenson, the law enforcement group chairman. The meeting was also attended by county officials and state Rep. Jeff Mursau.

Wed
21
Mar

Gillett mayoral candidates address the issues

The candidates for mayor of Gillett recently responded to a questionnaire prepared by the Oconto County Times Herald. Acting Mayor Nanette Mohr will be the only name on the April 3 ballot, but James Beaton has entered the race as a write-in candidate.

Incumbent Mayor William Pecha filed a declaration of noncandidacy in December; Mohr has been filling in while Pecha recovers from a medical emergency that occurred last May.

The winner of the spring election will earn a two-year term as mayor.

James Beaton

Education: Mortuary Science degree, Funeral Institute of the Northeast, Norwood, Massachusetts

Occupation: Business owner and funeral director, Legacy Funeral Chapels, Gillett and Green Bay

Previous or current elected experience: None

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