News

Wed
19
Dec

Dog park fundraiser hits $10k

An Oconto Falls Girl Scout’s effort to raise $25,000 to establish a dog park in the city has reached the $10,000 mark.
“She has a lot of aspirations for Christmas presents and trees for the pups,” City Administrator Vicki Roberts told the City Council during its Dec. 11 meeting. “So things are looking good in that area.”
The council in July gave its blessing to Emily Gonnering’s campaign to create a dog park on city-owned green space along South Maple Avenue, just southwest of the bridge near downtown.
For information, visit the Oconto Falls Dog Park page on Facebook.

Wed
19
Dec

Oconto Falls City Council approves Memorial Field survey

The Oconto Falls City Council has approved a survey of the Memorial Field grounds to allow for a full-scale workup of future plans.
The former home of the Oconto Falls High School football team has been eyed for several years as a site for a complex of baseball and softball diamonds, but the growing Oconto Falls Youth Football Program wants to ensure a place to play and practice, too.
City Council President Kevin Rusch said the interested parties have been working with Point of Beginning — a civil engineering, surveying and landscape architecture firm that has worked up plans for a couple baseball fields and a full-sized football field on the property.
“They’ve come down with three options, one of which we’re kind of leaning towards hard, although nothing’s carved in stone yet,” Rusch said during the council’s Dec. 11 meeting. “The next step Point of Beginnings is requesting is that a full survey be done, so they could now get it dialed in to scale.”

Wed
19
Dec

Traffic accidents claim two lives


Friends of September Deneys build a memorial at the site of the crash that claimed the 14-year-old Abrams girl’s life Friday night. (Photo by C.J. Townsend)

A 14-year-old girl from Abrams and a 57-year-old man from the Oconto Falls area were killed in separate crashes that occurred within 24 hours of each other Friday and Saturday nights in Oconto County.
Authorities say the girl, identified as September Deneys, was a passenger in a vehicle driven by an 18-year-old man that left Sampson Road east of Horse Road and crashed into two trees around 7:30 p.m. Friday.
The driver and another passenger, a 17-year-old boy, were being treated for serious but non-life-threatening injuries at area hospitals. Investigators said speed was a factor in the crash.
The second fatal accident occurred at 7:13 p.m. Saturday on County Road E about a quarter mile west of Havlik Road in the town of Morgan.
The Oconto County Sheriff’s Office said the victim’s sport utility vehicle crossed the center line and crashed head-on into a pickup truck driven by a 47-year-old Sobieski man.

Wed
19
Dec

Memorial Day Celebration organizers recognized


Oconto Falls School Board President Ron Leja, left, presents the Friend of Education Award to Josh Long, center, and Chad Trudell during the board’s Dec. 10 meeting. (Times Herald photo by Warren Bluhm)

The organizers of the Memorial Day Weekend Celebration in Oconto Falls have been recognized with the 2018 Friend of Education Award from the Oconto Falls School District.
Josh Long and Chad Trudell have been running the Memorial Day festivities for well over a decade, Athletic Director Jerry Moynihan said as he introduced the award at the Dec. 10 school board meeting.
“Organizing this event and working every Memorial Day weekend takes a tremendous amount of time and effort, and both do this without asking for anything in return,” Moynihan said. “That event annually raises about $10,000 for Panther Pride.”
Long and Trudell were instrumental for many years with the Oconto Falls Booster Club, which has now merged with the Panther Pride Association and directly supports outdoor athletic facilities for students in Oconto Falls, Moynihan said.
Long also runs the Panther Pride Golf Outing, which funds the high school football team.

Wed
19
Dec

Memorial Day Celebration organizers recognized


Oconto Falls School Board President Ron Leja, left, presents the Friend of Education Award to Josh Long, center, and Chad Trudell during the board’s Dec. 10 meeting. (Times Herald photo by Warren Bluhm)

The organizers of the Memorial Day Weekend Celebration in Oconto Falls have been recognized with the 2018 Friend of Education Award from the Oconto Falls School District.
Josh Long and Chad Trudell have been running the Memorial Day festivities for well over a decade, Athletic Director Jerry Moynihan said as he introduced the award at the Dec. 10 school board meeting.
“Organizing this event and working every Memorial Day weekend takes a tremendous amount of time and effort, and both do this without asking for anything in return,” Moynihan said. “That event annually raises about $10,000 for Panther Pride.”
Long and Trudell were instrumental for many years with the Oconto Falls Booster Club, which has now merged with the Panther Pride Association and directly supports outdoor athletic facilities for students in Oconto Falls, Moynihan said.
Long also runs the Panther Pride Golf Outing, which funds the high school football team.

Wed
19
Dec

Quick action, CPR saves a life


Dan and Brenda (Yatso) Lowrence were vacationing at the Grand Canyon this summer when she helped save a young man who had been struck by lightning. (Contributed photo)

A nurse with Oconto Falls roots was in the right place at the right time this summer to save a man who had been struck by lightning.
Brenda Lowrance, Phoenix, is an RN senior manager and was celebrating her birthday Aug. 17 by taking a trip to the North Rim of the Grand Canyon with her husband, Dan.
“It was raining hard, really hard, with lots of thunder and lightning. My husband and I were sitting out on the porch at our cabin listening to the rain and thunder,” Lowrance said. “Suddenly we heard a loud crack that seemed very close to us, and then we heard screaming.”
People were yelling, “Help, help! Someone’s been hit by lightning,” she recalled. The couple ran toward the screaming and found a young man lying on the ground, unresponsive.
“He was pulseless. He was dead,” she said. “I immediately started CPR, and two other nurses also arrived and helped with CPR.”

Wed
19
Dec

Oconto Falls tubing hill ready for snow


Healthy snowfall last winter made the tubing hill at River Island a popular spot. (File photo)

The tubing hill at River Island Golf Course in Oconto Falls is ready when the snow is.
“The ski tow is ready to roll,” Street Superintendent Terry Magnin told the City Council at its Dec. 11 meeting. “We checked the tires inside the building yesterday where the rope goes around them; they’re ready to go. Everything’s greased,” he said. “We brought picnic tables down, garbage cans and I’ll have the PortaPotties delivered next week before the holidays, in case they do get snow.”
A new permanent storage shed and serving area built by the Oconto Falls Lions Club is also complete. Alderman Tim Holman, also a Lion, said the electrical work was due to be completed Thursday, with the steel inside the building installed Friday.
The 12-by-24-foot building replaces a small ice shack on top of the hill and a trailer used to store tubes and serve cocoa and food. The shack and trailer were on loan from the Oconto Falls Sno Jokers.

Wed
12
Dec

Gillett's new/old fire engine arrives


Alderperson Irene Drake listens as Gillett Fire Chief Kurt Hicks talks about the Seagrave pumper truck that the city recently purchased and put into service. (Times Herald photo by Warren Bluhm)

Gillett Fire Chief Kurt Hicks showed off his department’s new pumper truck to the City Council and others in attendance Thursday night (Dec. 6).

“It handles super, pumps great,” Hicks said. “It’s just simply a lot of truck.”

The council last month approved the purchase of the huge 1992 Seagrave truck at a net price of $23,500 after a $4,000 trade-in for the department’s former utility truck, a 1987 Ford vehicle.

Wanting to make sure the purchase made sense to the roughly two dozen firefighters who will be using it, Hicks said he brought a number of them to check it out and put it through its paces before bringing it before the council.

“For the price and what was here, it really was serving our needs very well,” he said.

The truck has been out on two calls so far and is working great, the chief said.

Wed
12
Dec

New sheriff in town


Oconto County Sheriff-elect Todd Skarban takes the oath of office with his family – daughter Ellayna, wife Heather and son Emerich – in Judge Jay N. Conley’s courtroom with friends, family and co-workers standing by Dec. 7. (Times Herald photo by Warren Bluhm)

The new sheriff of Oconto County doesn’t officially start work until Jan. 7, but his oath of office is administered, signed, sealed and delivered.

Judge Jay N. Conley took care of that business Friday, swearing in Todd Skarban as the new sheriff and re-upping Mike Hodkiewicz for another four-year term as clerk of courts, a job he has held for 28 years.

Skarban defeated Chief Deputy Ed Janke in the Aug. 14 Republican primary. He and fellow Republican Hodkiewicz were then unopposed on the general election ballot Nov. 6.

The two men exchanged compliments in a courtroom packed with friends and family, with Skarban saying his big victory in August owed a lot to advice from Hodkiewicz about how to campaign for local office.

“Back in 1990, there’s a method that I had learned, and I was very fortunate,” Hodkiewicz said. “Todd and his family did an outstanding job, and it was step by step by step.”

Wed
12
Dec

Gillett Council finalizes city budget

Property owners in the city of Gillett can expect to be assessed $9.54 per $1,000 of equalized value for city purposes when the tax bills arrive in a few days.

The City Council unanimously approved the $1.3 million budget for 2019, which represents a 6 percent increase over this year. No residents appeared at the annual budget hearing to question or comment on the document.

The main increase is a result of the ongoing street projects; Richmond Street and a portion of First Street were completed this year, with Birch Street on the agenda for 2019.

Otherwise there are no major increases and no new borrowing in the 2019 budget, which was developed over a series of committee meetings during November, Mayor James Beaton said.

Alderperson Nanette Mohr thanked council members, department heads and Beaton for their work on the budget.

“It’s never an easy task,” Mohr said. “Thank you very, very much.”

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