News

Fri
19
Apr

County braces for possible flooding


The playground at Holtwood Sporting Complex and Park in Oconto sits on a temporary island Thursday. County officials issued an emergency declaration through Monday, April 22, for the possibility of flooding. (Times Herald photo by Warren Bluhm)

Oconto County has issued an emergency declaration until 11:59 p.m. Monday (April 22) due to the potential for flooding in the area.

County officials are continuing to monitor waterways and assess the conditions created by the rising water levels. Emergency Management Director Tim Magnin has been in contact with local municipalities and state officials sharing information and monitoring county waterways.

There are no funds available at this time for damage due to flooding. Residents should take preventative measures to mitigate damage. Check home exterior for structural damage and basements for water. There have been limited evacuations. Residents near waterways should begin making plans and preparing now should an evacuation become necessary.

"Should water rise over roads, remember: Turn Around, Don’t Drown. NEVER drive through flood waters or barricades," Magnin said.

Tue
16
Apr

Krumrei honored to have served


Ron Leja, left, and Sharon Stodola-Eslien, elected to three-year terms April 2, are sworn in by Oconto Falls School Board clerk Clint Gardebrecht during the board’s April 8 meeting. (Times Herald photo by Warren Bluhm)

An 18-year veteran of the Oconto Falls School Board said he was honored to have served, while his successor was sworn in, during the board’s monthly meeting April 8.

Tracey Krumrei has been on the board for 18 years but finished third in the April 2 election for two open seats.

Superintendent Dean Hess said Krumrei was on the team that worked on several building projects, positive improvement processes, and other difficult tasks.

“Bottom line is you took time away from your family, things you could be doing elsewhere for the service that you provided to the district, and I thank you,” Hess said.

Krumrei said he was honored to be a board member and will miss it. He told an anecdote about how teachers stepped forward with his daughter’s best interests in mind when she needed help.

Tue
16
Apr

A new vision for Memorial Park


Point of Beginning consulting firm drafted this concept plan for redevelopment of Memorial Park, using the existing softball fields, left, and adding new baseball diamonds and a green space large enough for a football and soccer field. The street along the right side of the park is Chestnut Avenue (State Highway 22). The Oconto Falls City Council gave its blessing to the proposal and fundraising effort April 9. (Contributed image)

Memorial Park in Oconto Falls would be reconfigured to accommodate four ball diamonds and a football-field-sized green space in a concept plan approved by the City Council at its April 9 meeting.

Scott Groholski with consulting firm Point of Beginning presented the plan, which utilizes two existing ball fields and adds varsity and junior varsity baseball diamonds separated by a greenspace large enough to accommodate football and soccer games.

Groholski has been meeting for about six months with local youth groups interested in redeveloping the park that was the home of the Oconto Falls High School football and track teams until ST Paper Stadium was built near the high school.

The original focus had been almost exclusively on baseball and softball, but the growing Oconto Falls Youth Football program appeared before the council last summer to express concern that the park continue to be a place their teams can use.

Tue
16
Apr

Human trafficking programs scheduled in Oconto Falls, Little Suamico

Two programs are scheduled next week to inform the community about human trafficking in this area.

Local health and public safety experts this month will lead a community presentation at HSHS St. Clare Memorial Hospital about human trafficking. The event is scheduled for 6 p.m. April 22 in the Assisi Conference Rooms at the hospital, 855 S. Main St., Oconto Falls.

St. John’s Lutheran Church is also planning a program from 9-11:45 a.m. April 27 at the church, 1253 County Road J, Little Suamico.

Lisa Sennholz, founder and executive director of the nonprofit ministry Damascus Road, is scheduled to speak on the topic of international and domestic human trafficking and commercial sexual exploitation, with an emphasis on sex trafficking occurring in Wisconsin. Damascus Road is a faith-based organization dedicated to curtailing human trafficking and commercial sexual exploitation.

Tue
16
Apr

Gillett retains Tree City USA label

For the second year in a row, the city of Gillett has been named a 2018 Tree City USA by the Arbor Day Foundation in honor of its commitment to effective urban forest management.

Gillett achieved Tree City USA recognition by meeting the program’s four requirements: a tree board or department, a tree care ordinance, an annual community forestry budget of at least $2 per capita, and an Arbor Day observance and proclamation.

“Tree City USA communities see the impact an urban forest has in a community first hand,” said Dan Lambe, president of the Arbor Day Foundation. “Additionally, recognition brings residents together and creates a sense of community pride, whether it’s through volunteer engagement or public education.”

Tue
16
Apr

Committee tackles Gillett parking issues

The Gillett Health, Protection and Licensing Committee voted April 8 to approve parking passes that Main Street businesses may issue to clients and customers who likely will park for more than two hours.

Also, a letter will be sent to landlords whose tenants habitually park on the street.

About four dozen people jammed the City Council chambers on April 4 after a backlash when the city started enforcing a long-ignored two-hour parking limit in the 100 and 200 blocks of Main Street, which has seen great business growth in recent years.

Only a handful attended the follow-up committee meeting.

Alderwoman Nanette Mohr said tenants of apartments above the storefronts shouldn’t park for hours on the thoroughfare.

Tue
16
Apr

‘He’s gone because of me’


Oconto County Assistant District Attorney Robert Mraz wishes Guy Maras, right, well after the Illinois man was sentenced to 15 years of probation in the drunken driving death of his friend in July. (Times Herald photo by Warren Bluhm)

An Illinois attorney convicted of homicide by drunken driving was spared a prison term Friday (April 12), thanks to the widow of the college classmate he killed.

Guy A. Maras, 55, of Naperville was sentenced to 15 years of probation in the July 29 crash near the Oconto-Shawano county line that killed his friend Joseph Gallagher, 54, of Fair Haven, New Jersey. He had pleaded guilty Feb. 5.

Patty Gallagher, the victim’s widow, asked for leniency in a letter she wrote to Oneida County Judge Patrick O’Melia, who heard the case in Oconto County Circuit Court.

“My family has been irrevocably broken,” she wrote. “I do not want to see the same thing happen to Guy’s family – and I know my husband Joe would not want that, either.”

Wed
10
Apr

Gillett grapples with Main Street growing pains


Vehicles line the 100 block of Main Street in Gillett on Saturday morning, April 6. A recent decision to start enforcing the long-standing two-hour parking limit raised a public outcry. (Times Herald photo by Warren Bluhm)

UPDATE: At the Monday meeting referenced in this story, the Gillett Health, Protection and Licensing Committee voted to approve parking passes that Main Street businesses may issue to clients and customers who likely will park for more than two hours. Also, a letter will be sent to landlords whose tenants habitually park on the street.

CORRECTION: Rennae Ryan works for Dr. Steven Drake, O.D., at Family Vision Care, which is located next to OJ's Midtown Restaurant. The name and location of the clinic were incorrect in the original version of this article. We apologize for the errors.
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Gillett city officials got a big surprise when they started to more stringently enforce the two-hour parking limit on Main Street.

Wed
10
Apr

Learning that pours


Cole Gorecki, a seventh-grade student at Pulaski Community Middle School, stirs a pan full of xylem sap as it’s being cooked down to pure maple syrup Friday outside the school. Gorecki learned about the process last year and is one of the students helping with the process this year. (Times Herald photo by Lee Pulaski)


Pulaski Community Middle School sixth-grade teacher Jon Wood shows students what a hydrometer is during an outdoor learning day at the school Friday. Wood started teaching about the process of making maple syrup first at Fairview Elementary School, but he brought his curriculum with him four years ago when he transferred to PCMS. (Times Herald photo by Lee Pulaski)

The steam enveloped a group of students Friday morning at Pulaski Community Middle School as they observed a batch of sap from a maple tree boiling on top of a wood-fired cook stove.

Group by group poured out of the school to observe in person how maple syrup makers get what they need from the trees to create the topping for countless pancakes, waffles and slices of French toast.

The outside class was the culmination of several weeks of work that started with students and staff tapping trees outside the school and within the nearby school forest. It is a project that PCMS teachers Jon Wood and Dave Landers have spearheaded for four years. Before that, Wood conducted the education for a decade at Fairview Elementary School, the Pulaski Community School District’s northernmost school.

Wed
10
Apr

Local farmers eligible for winter-damage loans

Wisconsin agricultural producers who lost property due to recent natural disasters may be eligible for U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) physical loss loans.

The Farm Service Agency (FSA) offers these low-interest loans to agricultural producers in Oconto, Marinette and 22 other counties who incurred losses caused by multiple winter storms with blizzard conditions, excessive snow, high winds, and extreme cold that occurred between Jan. 27 through March 2. Approval is limited to applicants who suffered severe physical losses only, including the loss of buildings and livestock. Applications are due Nov. 25.

“Wisconsin’s hardworking ag producers feed our neighbors, the nation and the world,” said state executive director Sandy Chalmers. “When they suffer losses because of extreme weather, helping them get back on their feet is important. We encourage those affected to reach out to their local USDA Service Center to apply for these emergency loans.”

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