News

Wed
30
Aug

County board waits on wage package

For the second month in a row, the Oconto County Board delayed a vote on a package of wage increases for county employees in 2018.

On a motion from Supervisor Rose Stellmacher, the board voted 24-6 Thursday to send the package back to the personnel and wages committee.

The resolution before the board contained a 1.5 percent increase in general employee pay rates along with any applicable step increases, a $488,000 impact on the 2018 budget for wages and fringes.

Stellmacher asked that the committee reconsider its recommendation for an across-the-board percentage increase, which she said resulted in raises as high as 81 cents an hour for one employee but only 29 cents for others.

“I don’t think it’s fair to all employees to do it that way,” Stellmacher said. “We have some employees that are getting a $1,500 wage increase, and then I see there’s one that’s almost $4,000.”

Wed
30
Aug

Oconto County Circuit Court

Proceedings of Aug. 11

Jenna R. Garrigan, 28, Oconto Falls, was placed on three years probation with 180 days in the county jail, given credit for 117 days already served, for one count of aggravated battery rising from an April 17 incident in which she stabbed her live-in boyfriend with a butter knife during a fight. A three-year prison sentence plus three years of extended supervision was imposed but stayed, pending the successful completion of her probation. Among other conditions, she must maintain absolute sobriety and have no direct contact with the man, including having child visitation and placement arranged through third parties. Related charges of second-degree endangering safety and disorderly conduct were dismissed on the prosecutor’s motion.

Wed
30
Aug

Shot fired during domestic dispute

An Oconto Falls couple both face domestic abuse charges after an incident in which a shot was fired while they were wrestling for a gun.

Deborah Simon, 24, was charged with felony second-degree recklessly endangering safety, as well as misdemeanor battery and disorderly conduct in connection with the Aug. 16 incident.

Brandon Hunter, 26, was charged with strangulation and suffocation, a felony, and also faces misdemeanor battery and disorderly conduct conduct for an incident that allegedly occurred while they were arguing a few days earlier.

According to the complaints filed in Oconto County Circuit Court, police were called to the couple’s home the afternoon of Aug. 16 when a man called to say a woman had been holding a gun to his head.

The couple had been fighting, and he left after she threw an office chair, laptop computer and a piece of wooden furniture down the stairs at him, the complaint said.

Wed
30
Aug

Suring man charged with sexual assault, drugs

A warrant was issued Friday for a Suring man charged with sexual assault and maintaining a drug trafficking place at his home.

The complaint filed in Oconto County Circuit Court charges Daniel J. Newell, 56, with two counts of second-degree sexual assault, maintaining a drug trafficking place and possession of THC with intent to deliver, all felonies. He also faces misdemeanor counts of disorderly conduct and possession of drug paraphernalia.

A 47-year-old woman called police Aug. 14 to report a sexual assault that allegedly occurred two days earlier. The woman said she waited until she knew Newell would be out of town for a few days.

She told police that Newell had “a large amount of marijuana on the premises,” according to the complaint. A search warrant executed later that day yielded mason jars labeled “THC” and containing a total of 2.72 ounces of marijuana, the complaint said.

Judge Michael T. Judge issued the bench warrant for Newell’s arrest.

Wed
30
Aug

County Board endorses bridge memorial

The Oconto County Board has joined the city of Oconto and several service clubs in endorsing the idea of naming the U.S. Highway 41 bridge over the Oconto River as a memorial to Pfc. Valentine T. Warrichaiet, the first Oconto County soldier to die in the Korean War.

“The first to die in the first world war, second world war and in Vietnam have been recognized locally by their names being part of the American Legion post in Oconto — (Clyde) Jones, (Donny) Modrow, (John) Young,” said Clyde Bridger, representing Jones-Modrow-Young Post 74. “Somehow or another Valentine Warrichaiet got passed. Our procedures now to a great degree are to name, where we can, bridges over rivers.”

The city, American Legion, AMVETS, VFW, Lions and Kiwanis have all endorsed the idea, Bridger said.

Wed
30
Aug

Oconto County Sheriff’s Department

Aug. 23

Deputies responded to 41 incidents, including the following:

Disturbance — 700 block of state Highway 22, Oconto Falls, 12:07 a.m.

Traffic accident — Superior Avenue and Jackson Street, Oconto, 1:03 a.m.

Fraud — 500 block of Snapdragon Circle, Little Suamico, 10:52 a.m.

Theft — 1000 block state Highway 32, Breed, 4:10 p.m.

Fire — U.S. 41-141 southbound south of County Road D, Abrams, 5:16 p.m.

Aug. 22

Deputies responded to 38 incidents, including the following:

Traffic accident — vs. deer, state Highway 32 and Cottonwood Lane, Maple Valley, 5:22 a.m.

Harassment — 800 block of County Road G, Maple Valley, 1:58 p.m.

Property damage — 400 block of Sampson Road, Pensaukee, 3:52 p.m.

Wanted person — 13000 block of County Road VV, Underhill, 6:29 p.m.

Harassment — 700 block of County Road S, Chase, 7:03 p.m.

Wed
30
Aug

Area farmers eligible for wind damage aid

Farmers operating in Oconto County are potentially eligible for federal loans to cover damage from a severe thunderstorm and tornadoes that rumbled across the area in June.

Chris Beyerhelm, acting administrator of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Farm Service Agency, announced Friday that physical loss loans are available for Brown, Outagamie and Shawano counties.

Additionally, 10 counties contiguous to the designated disaster area are also potentially eligible for support programs. The counties are Calumet, Kewaunee, Langlade, Manitowoc, Marathon, Menominee, Oconto, Portage, Waupaca and Winnebago.

FSA’s low-interest emergency loans may be available to any applicant with a qualifying loss. Approval is limited to applicants who suffered severe physical losses only.

Wed
23
Aug

Oconto County Sheriff’s Department

Aug. 15

Deputies responded to 54 incidents, including the following:

Traffic accident — Vs. deer, state Highway 22 near Military Road, Oconto, 5:32 a.m.

Traffic accident — Vs. deer, state Highway 22 near Klaus Lake Road, Gillett, 5:58 a.m.

Property damage — Jagiello Road and Goatsville Road, Lena, 11:01 a.m.

Theft — 500 block of County Road J, Oconto, 11:31 a.m.

Traffic accident — U.S. 41 southbound just north of Woodview Road, 1:24 p.m.

Theft — 400 block of Brookside Road, Pensaukee, 2:46 p.m.

Threatening — 1100 block of Laura Lane, Riverview, 4:27 p.m.

Property damage — 600 block of County Road B, 5:23 p.m.

Disturbance — 700 block of County Road I, Stiles, 5:28 p.m.

Theft — 500 block of County Road I, St. Patrick’s Rummage Hall, Stiles, 6:41 p.m.

Aug. 14

Deputies responded to 41 incidents, including the following:

Disturbance — 1000 block of state Highway 32, Breed, 12:09 a.m.

Wed
23
Aug

Memorial garden to be dedicated to Oconto Falls grad

A garden in memory of an Oconto Falls woman who died after a skiing accident will be dedicated Sept. 16 in Waukesha.

The Brain Injury Resource Center of Wisconsin Inc. has scheduled the dedication of the Bethany Rieth Memorial Garden as part of a day that also includes a Walk-Roll-Run for Brain Injury event at Cutler Park in Waukesha.

Rieth was 24 when she died Feb. 6, 2016. She had earned a second-place finish in pole vault at the state track and field meet when she attended Oconto Falls High School, and served as homecoming queen and the 2011 Oconto County Fairest of the Fair.

Passionate about brain injury because her older brother, Gary Rieth, sustained such an injury in 2007, Bethany graduated from the University of Wisconsin with a nursing degree in 2015.

The memorial garden was created by volunteers at the Brain Injury Resource Center of Wisconsin’s home office at 511 N. Grand Ave. in Waukesha with money donated by the Rieth Family.

Wed
23
Aug

Board considers naming bridge for Korean War veteran

The Oconto County Board on Thursday will consider naming a highway bridge in memory of an Oconto soldier who lost his life during the Korean War.

Valentine T. Warrichaiet was a 1949 graduate of Oconto High School who was inducted into the U.S. Army in October 1952.

Assigned to a front-line unit in Korea in April 1953, Warrichaiet was acting squad leader in the absence of his sergeant and was mortally wounded July 9, 1953, while directing his infantry squad during the Battle of Pork Chop Hill in North Korea. He was 21 years old.

The resolution names the bridge on U.S. 41 spanning the Oconto River the “Pfc. Valentine T. Warrichaiet Memorial Bridge” and resolves “that the Oconto County Board of Supervisors express their appreciation for the life of endeavors of Pfc. Valentine T. Warrichaiet and his extreme sacrifice on behalf of our country.”

The board meets at 9 a.m. Thursday at the county courthouse, 301 Washington St., Oconto.

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