News

Wed
20
Jun

Gillett school referendum probable Nov. 6

With a majority of respondents to a community survey recommending the move, the Gillett School Board has taken the first step toward placing a referendum question on the Nov. 6 ballot.
The planning committee recommended asking voters for permission to exceed state-imposed levy limits by $600,000 a year for three school budget years (2019-20, 2020-21, and 2021-22) in order to maintain the current level of educational services to students.
The survey taken in April found that a majority of district residents preferred that the board go to referendum rather than make deep cuts to staff, programs and services.
“I think the survey was very revealing that our community did not want to see changes to our courses and our opportunities here for kids,” Superintendent Todd Carlson said. “That was very important to our community, and our community did speak and say, ‘It is time for a referendum for our school district.’”

Wed
20
Jun

Adams Street rebuild gets underway in Oconto Falls


Crews are hard at work Thursday, June 14, two days after the Oconto Falls City Council gave final approval to the Adams Street reconstruction from Washington Middle School to Monroe Street. (Times Herald photo by Warren Bluhm)

The Oconto Falls City Council gave final approval to plans to rebuild a stretch of Adams Street on June 12, and the project was in full swing by the end of the week.
Aldermen held a public hearing on the improvements before their regular monthly meeting, drawing a couple of dozen residents but only a handful of questions about the details of the project.
The work covers an area of Adams Street from Monroe Street to Union Avenue, where Washington Middle School is on the corner.
In addition to replacing the street and underlying water and sewer mains, the project includes sewer updates, driveway aprons, curbs, gutters and sidewalks. Quotes for installation for those items amount to approximately $260,000, City Administrator Vicki Roberts said.
Of that total, homeowners will be responsible for between 20 and 100 percent, Roberts said. She shared a spreadsheet showing how much each individual property owner will be billed.

Wed
20
Jun

It’s official: Gillett is a Tree City USA

Gillett city officials gathered at Zippel Park on Thursday to hear an official proclamation and accept materials marking the city’s new status as a designated Tree City USA.
Tracy Salisbury of the state Department of Natural Resources said Gillett is currently the only community in Oconto County with that designation. As part of the Tree City USA celebration, the city of Gillett obtained 20 new trees for planting at Zippel Park, Honey Park and the Orby Jones Sports Complex.
Gathered around with the official banner and street signs are, from left, deputy clerk-treasurer Chelsea Hensel, Jessica Anderson, Lloyd Johnson, Salisbury, Norm Finnell, Bill Tyler, clerk-treasurer Kim Gruetzmacher, Russ Gable, public works foreman Shane Rank, former mayor William Pecha and utility manager Ron Anderson.

Wed
20
Jun

Oconto Falls School Board continues review of land options

The Oconto Falls School Board has authorized Superintendent Dean Hess to move forward with a buyer’s agent to look more closely at a parcel of land across the road from the existing school campus.
The high school, elementary school, district offices and athletic fields are all located on the west side of County Road I at the Oconto Falls city limits. District officials have estimated they’re about five years away from a decision on whether to replace the aging Washington Middle School building.
About 100 acres are expected to be made available for sale on the east side of the road, although it’s possible it could be broken into smaller parcels. As of the May board meeting, the asking price was in the neighborhood of $6,000 an acre.
“I anticipate we’ll be working to gather information and provide options to the board,” Hess said Monday.

Wed
20
Jun

Appeals court: NEWCAP need not return $185K

WAUSAU — NEWCAP Inc., an Oconto-based, family-planning provider to low-income individuals, does not have to repay $185,074 to the Department of Health Services for allegedly failing to maintain adequate records, a state appeals court ruled last week.
The District III Court of Appeals ruling June 12 upholds Oconto County Circuit Judge Jay Conley, who had dismissed the health department’s attempts to recover Medicaid payments made to NEWCAP for failure to retain invoices for drugs it purchased for Medicaid patients.
DHS conducted strict audits in 2014 on family-planning agencies like NEWCAP, and if it found the agencies had not kept required records, it would claw back reimbursement payments the agencies received for providing contraceptives and birth control devices.

Wed
20
Jun

High court suspends court commissioner for 15 days

The Wisconsin Supreme Court on Friday suspended Oconto County Court Commissioner Frank M. Calvert from office for 15 days without pay for judicial misconduct.
Calvert, who has been a circuit court commissioner for 19 years, had not been previously disciplined by the court.
The suspension, which begins July 16, stemmed from Calvert’s presiding over a request for a restraining order and a harassment injunction beginning in September 2015 involving next-door neighbors who had been feuding for about 12 years.
According to the 12-page order:
The unnamed persons requesting the injunction alleged their neighbors repeatedly harassed them and pointed surveillance cameras at their house to record their conduct.

Wed
20
Jun

Oconto Falls support staff, school bus drivers get a raise

The Oconto Falls School Board has approved raises for the district’s support staff and bus drivers for the 2018-19 academic year.
Board members voted June 11 to OK 2.5 percent increases for support staff, effective at the beginning of the fiscal year July 1.
Superintendent Dean Hess told the board that the increase is what they budgeted for this year.
Hess said a comparison to similar school districts indicated a need to review support salaries.
“In general, what I can tell you is we’re competitive on the positions that are less compensated; we have some room for growth on the ones that are higher compensated,” he said.
Specifically, the review found positions where Oconto Falls pays $13-$14 per hour are in the higher end compared with their peers, but not so much in the $18-$19 range.

Wed
13
Jun

Highway 22 to close for 3 days from Gillett to Oconto Falls

The Wisconsin Department of Transportation (WisDOT) Northeast Region office has announced a chip seal operation will take place on state Highways 22 and 32 between the cities of Gillett and Oconto Falls from Monday, June 18, to Wednesday, June 20.

Highway 22 will be closed in the project limits, while Highway 32 will remain open with lane closures and flagging operations. The project covers an area from just south of Gillett Town Hall Road in Gillett to Highland Drive in Oconto Falls

Chip seals consist of a layer of crushed stone placed on top of an application of liquid asphalt to reduce roadway deterioration and prolong the life of the pavement.

Wed
13
Jun

Gillett earns Tree City USA status

Gillett city officials and students will gather at Zippel Park on Thursday morning to plant trees and celebrate the community’s new status as a Tree City USA.

The Arbor Day event was made possible in part by a second-year Department of Natural Resources grant, said Clerk-Treasurer Kim Gruetzmacher. An allocation of trees provided by the DNR will be planted in Orby Jones Sports Complex, Honey Park and Zippel Park.

The Tree City USA program is sponsored by the Arbor Day Foundation in partnership with the U.S. Forest Service and the National Association of State Foresters.

Municipalities attain Tree City USA status by meeting four core standards of sound urban forestry management: maintaining a tree board or department, having a community tree ordinance, spending at least $2 per capita on urban forestry and celebrating Arbor Day.

Wed
13
Jun

Dozens of cats rescued from 'horrific' conditions

The Oconto Area Humane Society is asking for the public’s help in caring for nearly three dozen animals that were among more than 60 rescued in what the shelter director described as a “horrific” situation.

Oconto County authorities rescued 21 mother cats and their kittens, as well as one dog, from a residence in the county May 30, said Lexi Woodworth, shelter director. Another 42 were taken to the Wisconsin Humane Society shelter in Green Bay.

“The cats were living in carrying kennels, with no litter box and only newspaper lining the bottom,” Woodworth said. “They were all full of lice, extremely emaciated, dehydrated and had upper respiratory infections. The dog had a very large tumor growing from her side.”

The animals are doing well at the humane society, but the expenses for their care is mounting, and it will be several weeks before any of them are healthy enough to adopt out, she said. The organization is asking for donations.

Pages

Subscribe to RSS - News