News

Wed
08
Aug

Flight of a lifetime


Visitors to the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C., on July 27 are reflected on the surface of the black marble, which is etched with the names of the more than 58,000 service members who died during the long conflict. (Photo by Rodney Goodell)

Editor’s note: Rodney Goodell of Oconto Falls was one of 130 Vietnam-era veterans who were on the Yellow Ribbon Honor Flight from EAA AirVenture Oshkosh to Washington, D.C., on July 27. He shares his thoughts and feelings about that day.
Today I am in our nation’s capital at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial, “The Wall” as it is often called, looking for two names on The Wall. I am having trouble locating the names, but a friendly park attendant is nearby.
She references the names and location on The Wall and leads me to the right panel. A steady stream of visitors moves along the memorial, and everyone displays respect. Many bring flowers and reverently place them at the base.

Wed
08
Aug

Gillett mayor, council work on differences

It took more than an hour of sometimes passionate discussion behind closed doors, but Gillett Mayor James Beaton has been granted a key to the front door at City Hall.

Tensions that apparently had been bubbling under the surface since Beaton’s write-in election in April spilled over Thursday during a hastily called meeting of the City Council’s Finance and Personnel Committee before the council’s regular August meeting.

The agenda, posted at City Hall 25 hours before it began but not shared with local media, called for discussion and possible action of a formal complaint against a city employee, the keys to the clerk-treasurer and deputy clerk-treasurer offices and posting for a new city attorney.

It also called for a closed session under the open meetings law exemption that allows public bodies to close the doors to discuss “matters of employment, promotion, compensation or performance evaluation data of public employees.”

Wed
08
Aug

CDBG funds $500K for Suring water system

The village of Suring has been awarded $500,000 for water system improvements through the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) Public Facility and Planning Funds.

Gov. Scott Walker’s office announced the grant among almost $15 million to 33 Wisconsin municipalities for local infrastructure and community projects that improve streets and water systems, as well as construct new community buildings.

The state Division of Energy, Housing, and Community Resources awards these funds to local governments annually through a competitive process. The funding itself comes from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

Wed
08
Aug

Little Hearts for Life event saves lives

The eighth annual Little Hearts for Life corn roast fundraiser for Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin is scheduled for noon to 6 p.m. Sunday at the home of Joel and Ginny O’Harrow, 8187 Gray Lake Road, Oconto Falls.

There are activities for the kids, a huge bake sale, tons of bucket raffles and an interactive paddle wheel raffle throughout the day. The event is held under tents, and the cost of admission includes all-you-can-eat corn, hot dogs, sloppy joes, baked beans and a drinks. Tickets are $10 for ages 13 and up, $5 for ages 4-12 and free for 3 and under.

Little Hearts for Life is a local nonprofit working toward raising awareness, funding research and ultimately changing lives of those who are living with congenital heart defects or disease.

Wed
08
Aug

Driver in fatal crash was under the influence

The accident report from a fatal Oconto County accident indicates the driver was driving under the influence when his vehicle crashed in the town of Underhill in the early morning of July 29.

Joseph G. Gallagher, 54, of Fair Haven, New Jersey, was killed in the crash. Funeral services were held Saturday in Fair Haven; Gallagher left a wife and three children.

He was a passenger in a 2015 Mercedes Benz Model S driven by Guy N. Maras, 54, of Naperville, Illinois. According to the accident report, Maras was driving north at a high rate of speed on Shawano County Road V at 1:34 a.m.

At the Shawano-Oconto County line, the county road makes a righthand turn, and going straight takes the driver onto Klatt Road. Just after the vehicle sped through the intersection, it crossed the center line and went into the opposite ditch, which has a steep embankment.

Wed
08
Aug

Oconto County Circuit Court proceedings

Proceedings of July 31

Rick L. Wappler, 37, Cascade, pleaded no contest to possession of THC (second or subsequent offense) in connection with an incident that occurred Oct. 6. Judge Michael T. Judge ordered a presentence investigation and scheduled sentencing for Sept. 17.

Richard R. Volm, 58, Pound, pleaded no contest to a misdemeanor charge of possession of a controlled substance in connection with an incident that occurred Oct. 6. The charge was reduced from a felony in a plea agreement. He also pleaded no contest to possession of drug paraphernalia, a misdemeanor case stemming from a Nov. 20 incident. He was sentenced to 60 days in the county jail.

Proceedings of July 30

Wed
01
Aug

Teacher charged with sexual assault of student


Timothy D. Grimes (courtesy Oconto County Sheriff's Office)

The Suring School Board is planning a special meeting Thursday night to discuss "the procedural status of an investigation into alleged employee misconduct."

The meeting was posted Tuesday, the day a Suring teacher was arrested and charged with six counts of sexual assault of a student by school staff.

Timothy D. Grimes, 24, allegedly climbed into the bed of a 17-year-old girl while staying with the girl's family overnight between 10 and 20 times during April and May, performing sexual acts, according to the criminal complaint filed Monday.

The girl did not welcome the advances but didn't tell anyone for fear of causing problems and "she felt like no one would believe her because Tim is a school teacher and a coach," the complaint said.

The girl eventually confided in her parents and gave a statement to authorities on July 26, according to the complaint.

Wed
01
Aug

Energy-saving work on track at Gillett schools


Building materials await installation at Gillett schools for work scheduled for completion by the start of the new school year. (Times Herald photo by Warren Bluhm)

Work on a variety of energy-saving projects at Gillett Public Schools has been progressing more or less on schedule through the summer.

“We meet as a group every two weeks with Chris Deleeuw from Honeywell to make sure we’re on track with all our projects,” Superintendent Todd Carlson told the School Board at its July 19 meeting. Deleeuw is the project manager who has shepherded a number of upgrades at Gillett schools in recent years.

Building materials, especially roofing material, have been piled in the lot between the elementary and secondary school buildings since shortly after classes broke for the summer. Crews have been working their way down a list that includes roof replacements, insulation and heating, ventilation and air conditioning upgrades through Focus on Energy.

Wed
01
Aug

Shakespeare troupe comes to Copper Culture

A stripped-down version of “Twelfth Night” and a 45-minute educational workshop about William Shakespeare highlight the Summit Players Theatre’s visit to Copper Culture State Park in Oconto on Saturday evening.

Wisconsin’s only traveling free Shakespeare in the state parks troupe, now in its fourth season, will present the family-friendly workshop “Playing with Shakespeare: Get Outside with Will” at 5:30 p.m. and the performance at 7 p.m.

The group’s goal is to bring arts and culture to underserved communities, highlight Wisconsin’s abundant natural resources and prove that Shakespeare can be fun, said company founder Hannah Klapperich-Mueller, a 2015 graduate of Marquette University.

“Whether it’s your first Shakespeare show or you’re a total pro, there’s something in it for everyone,” she said.

Wed
01
Aug

Oconto Falls School Board recognizes gold medalist


Oconto Falls High School graduate Jared VanHaren describes to the school board how he crafted the piece in his hands, which earned him the school’s first gold medal in the SkillsUSA National Championships earlier this summer. (Times Herald photo by Warren Bluhm)

The Oconto Falls School Board last month recognized recent graduate Jared VanHaren for becoming the high school’s first-ever national champion in the SkillsUSA competition.

VanHaren won a gold medal in the sheet metal competition by crafting a specialized connection in the SkillsUSA National Championships, which were held June 27-28 in Louisville, Kentucky.

His adviser, John Bursa, told the board that VanHaren scored 916 points out of a possible 1,000.

“There are nine different areas that you can be graded on,” Bursa said. “He attained the highest score on eight of the nine areas.”

VanHaren told the board the competition began when he was handed a three-page blueprint for a metal piece comprised of two round pipes at 90-degree angles, with one of the pipes opening to a round coupling.

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