Veterans-Monument

Veterans Monument in Oconto Falls.

The Oconto Falls Monument Committee is raising money to build a Veterans Monument in Oconto Falls.

The monument will be built on the hillside overlooking Woodlawn Cemetery, where some of our local veterans are buried.

This location offers visibility in the community and is adjacent to the Oconto Falls walking trail.

Our fundraising goal is $125,000, which includes funding for upkeep for years to come.

With the generous support of more than 170 community donors, we have already raised $90,000.

We need your help to reach the finish line. We have several different sponsorship opportunities available, which we have laid out below. Once you make a selection, we have included an order form for your convenience.

Wisconsin Healthy Communities Designations announced

MADISON – More than 30 communities around the state have been recognized for their work to improve health in their communities.

The Wisconsin Healthy Communities Designation is a new initiative offered by the Mobilizing Action Toward Community Health (MATCH) group of the UW Population Health Institute (UWPHI), in collaboration with diverse statewide groups. The program, funded by the Wisconsin Partnership Program, is designed to celebrate and encourage achievements in health improvement in Wisconsin, and to serve as a guide for communities to expand and enhance their health improvement efforts.

The designation program recognizes communities that focus efforts across the multiple factors that influence health – including health behaviors, clinical care, social and economic factors, and the physical
environment – with a focus on equity, multi-sector partnerships and sustainable solutions.

“Achieving equitable health outcomes takes years to accomplish, and this program is all about celebrating the hard work happening across Wisconsin,” said Sheri Johnson, director of the University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute. “Our goal is to acknowledge and support ongoing efforts in local communities to improve health for everyone.”

This year, 31 communities received either a bronze, silver or gold designation. Four communities received a gold designation. The tiers are meant to provide a trajectory and serve as a guide for communities as they work toward comprehensive solutions for better health – the gold level representing the most difficult to achieve. However, receiving a designation, at any level, does not indicate that health or health equity has been achieved in a community; rather, the designation is meant to commend the efforts and the partnerships working to improve health.

The initiative’s definition of community is broad and can include counties, municipalities, neighborhoods and other self-defined, place-based communities in Wisconsin.

“This initiative was developed in response to a request from rural communities across the state and gives communities of all shapes and sizes – rural and urban – an opportunity to be recognized for the great work that they are doing to improve their own health,” said Tim Size, executive director of the Rural Wisconsin Health Cooperative, a collaborative of 42 rural hospitals and local health systems, and a member of the UW Population Health Institute’s advisory board.

The Healthy Community Designation lasts for three years, at which point a community may reapply. To learn more about the program and the application process, visit the program website: www.wihealthycommunities.org

The communities were recognized at the 2018 Healthiest State Summit, Sept. 20 and 21, at the KI Convention Center in Green Bay. This two-day summit was a statewide gathering of leaders to work on shared priorities around health equity and to build skills.

For more on the summit please visit: https://www.wpha.org/mpage/HealthiestState

More about the Designation program

The Wisconsin Healthy Communities Designation program is an initiative of the Mobilizing Action Toward Community Health (MATCH) group’s Making Wisconsin the Healthiest State project at the University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute. The Making Wisconsin the Healthiest State project, funded by the Wisconsin Partnership Program of the UW School of Medicine and Public Health, seeks to help us understand and improve health across Wisconsin.

Developers Join Packerland Websites’ Team

Packerland Websites has added two experienced website designers to its staff. From right, Tom Norman and Miranda Schlise-Gomez have joined website developer Mike McGraw and owner Bill Koehne. Their team creates powerful, effective websites for businesses, nonprofits and municipalities.

Packerland Websites is growing. Two experienced website designers, Tom Norman and Miranda Schlise-Gomez, have joined the staff. The website builder now employs three full-time developers who create powerful, effective websites for businesses, nonprofits and municipalities.

“Having three full-time developers on staff gives our company a wide breadth of abilities and deep scope of talent,” said Bill Koehne, owner of Packerland Websites. “It also allows me to shift my focus from developing sites to developing business strategies and goals for each client. We have so much more to offer clients today than I imagined eight years ago when we opened.”

Norman, of Green Bay, worked in the security field for 15 years before changing careers to web development. In 2013 he earned a Web Development Certificate at Northeast Wisconsin Technical College. He has nine years of experience designing websites.

“I enjoy trying new processes and can adapt to new and unknown situations,” Norman said. “Every project is different. Different design, issues, challenges. I really love the building process, putting it all together.”

Norman also enjoys working with varied clientele who look to Packerland Websites to grow and promote their business or organization.

“Each client is unique in their needs and behaviors which makes every interaction important,” he said.

In his free time, Norman enjoys reading, writing, watching sports, playing video games and doing woodworking and refinishing projects.

Schlise-Gomez, of Green Bay, graduated in 2017 from NWTC with an Associate Degree in Web Development. She was previously employed as a web developer for an Oshkosh advertising agency. Schlise-Gomez said she enjoys the “puzzle aspect” of designing websites.

“There is always a new piece to put together,” she said. “When it comes to working with clients, I enjoy the satisfaction on their face when they see their website come to life.”

She tackles web development from a practical standpoint, integrating the technical and artistic elements into a unified package.

“My approach is to find out what the client needs and do my best to accomplish it,” she said.

After hours, Schlise-Gomez enjoys playing guitar, singing, and writing songs. She also enjoys the challenge of Escape Rooms and the excitement of attending Brewers games.

With the addition of two developers, Packerland Websites is ready to serve more clients at its Green Bay and Abrams offices. Contact the website professionals at 920-826-5901 or Bill@PackerlandWebsites.com.

Prevea Internal Medicine Care Coming to Shawano and Oconto Falls

Prevea Health is pleased to announce it will begin offering internal medicine care in the communities of Shawano and Oconto Falls, beginning in September, with Dr. Alexa Gavaga.

As an internal medicine physician, Dr. Gavaga provides routine medical care for adults, including chronic disease management, medication management and preventive medicine. She will begin seeing patients at the HSHS St. Clare Memorial Hospital Prevea Oconto Falls Health Center, 835 S. Main St. in Oconto Falls, on Sept. 17; and at the Prevea Shawano Health Center, 1300 East Green Bay St. in Shawano, on Sept. 19.

“I enjoy working with adults of all ages,” says Dr. Gavaga. “I find it rewarding when my patients make progress toward their health care goals, resulting in them living their best possible life.”

Dr. Gavaga graduated medical school at St. George’s University School of Medicine and completed residency at RWJ Barnabas Health Jersey City Medical Center.

Appointments with Dr. Gavaga at the Prevea Shawano Health Center can be made by calling (715) 201-0870; and the HSHS St. Clare Memorial Hospital Prevea Oconto Falls Health Center by calling (920) 846-8187.

Preventing and Recognizing Heatstroke

With summer in full swing and high temperatures in the forecast, HSHS St. Clare Memorial Hospital in Oconto Falls encourages everyone to be familiar with the signs and symptoms of heatstroke, as well as the steps that can be taken to avoid heatstroke.

Heatstroke is a condition caused by your body overheating, usually as a result of prolonged exposure to or physical exertion in high temperatures. It requires emergency treatment to prevent serious complications or death. If you suspect someone is experiencing heatstroke, call 911 or seek medical assistance immediately.

Heatstroke signs and symptoms

  • High body temperature – The main sign of heatstroke is a core body temperature of 104 degrees or higher.
  • Altered mental state or behavior – If a person who has been in hot temperatures is confused, agitated, slurring their speech, irritable, delirious or experiences a seizure, then heatstroke may be suspected.
  • Nausea – Vomiting may occur.
  • Flushed skin – An increase in body temperature can lead to skin turning red.
  • Rapid breathing – Breathing may become rapid and shallow.
  • Racing heart rate – When a person experiences heatstroke, the heart works overtime to help cool the body, therefore increasing the heart rate.
  • Headache – Heatstroke can cause a throbbing headache.

Preventing heatstroke

  • Wear loose-fitting clothes – Loose-fitting clothes allow for your body to cool properly as opposed to tight or heavy clothes.
  • Drink plenty of fluids – Staying hydrated will help you maintain a normal body temperature and will help your body sweat.
  • Protect yourself against sunburn – Use sunscreen and reapply every two hours. Also wear a hat and sunglasses to protect against sunburns. Sit under the shade from time to time.
  • Take it easy during the hottest parts of the day – Try to schedule outdoor activities in the cooler parts of the day, such as early morning or the evening. The hottest part of the day is generally 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
  • Better yet, stay indoors – Avoid the heat altogether by staying inside an air-conditioned, well-ventilated space.

Men encouraged to audition for Abrams show

Abrams Spotlight Productions Inc. will hold auditions for its fall show, “Escanaba in da Moonlight,” a hunting story to beat all hunting stories.

When the Soady clan reunites for the opening day of deer season at the family’s Upper Peninsula camp, 35-year-old Reuben Soady brings with him the infamous reputation of being the oldest Soady to never have bagged a buck. “Escanaba in da Moonlight” spins a tale of humor, horror and heart as Reuben goes to great lengths to shoot that elusive buck.

The play calls for six male roles of various ages and one cameo female role. Performers will have two opportunities to audition, from 6-8 p.m. Monday, July 8, or 6-8 p.m. Tuesday, July 9, at the Nancy Byng Community Theater, 5852 Maple St., Abrams. Callbacks will be from 6-8 p.m. Wednesday, July 10.

Anyone 16 and older is encouraged to audition.

The show is produced by ASPI’s After Dark Division. Performance dates are Sept. 12-15 and 19-22. ““Escanaba in da Moonlight,” is presented by special arrangement with Dramatists Play Service, Inc., New York.

For more information, visit abramsspotlightproductions.com or call 920-826-5852.

Yoga on the Beach

HSHS St. Clare Memorial Hospital invites the community to Yoga on the Beach, July 17 and August 21, at the West Side Beach in Oconto Falls.

Certified yoga instructors from LPI Fitness will lead a one-hour slow flow yoga class that is designed for all skill levels, including beginners. Attendees are encouraged to bring a yoga mat or long towel. While classes are free, registration is required for each class as space is limited.

Yoga on the Beach

  • 6 to 7 p.m.
  • July 17 and August 21
  • West Side Beach, N. Flatley Ave. in Oconto Falls (near the pavilion)
  • To register: Call (920) 834-2280 or email Betsy@lpifitness.com

Dr. Stacee Goedtel Birr, family medicine physician at the HSHS St. Clare Memorial Hospital Prevea Oconto Falls Health Center, will also be present at each class to talk about the benefits of yoga and answer questions.

For more information about Yoga on the Beach, visit: www.stclarememorial.org/yoga

Ten Tips to Stay Safe during Fireworks Season

In the month around the July 4th holiday, approximately 280 people in the U.S. go to emergency rooms every day with fireworks-related injuries, according to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission.

Though fireworks can be exciting, festive and fun – they can also be very dangerous. HSHS St. Clare Memorial Hospital recommends the following tips and reminders to ensure a safe experience:

  1. Children should never play with fireworks. Firecrackers, rockets and sparklers can be extremely dangerous if not used properly. If you give sparklers to kids, make sure to keep them outside and away from faces, clothing and hair. Sparklers burn at temperatures of about 2,000 degrees – hot enough to melt some metals.
  2. Buy legally and store safely. Observe local laws and make sure fireworks are legal in your area. Store in a cool, dry place and keep unused fireworks away from firing areas.
  3. Don’t DIY. Do not experiment with homemade fireworks.
  4. Be prepared. Always use fireworks outside and have a bucket of water and hose nearby.
  5. Keep a distance. Steer clear of others and never throw or point fireworks at someone. Light fireworks then move back quickly.
  6. Take precautions. Don’t hold fireworks in your hand or have any part of your body over them while lighting. Wear some sort of eye protection and avoid carrying fireworks in your pocket. Never light fireworks in a glass or metal container.
  7. Know your surroundings. Point fireworks away from homes. Keep away from brushes, leaves and other flammable substances.
  8. Quality, not quantity. Light one firework at a time and never try to re-light or pick up fireworks that have not ignited fully. Do not try to relight or handle malfunctioning fireworks. Soak them with water and throw them away.
  9. Make sure the fire is out and dispose of properly. Don’t allow kids to pick up pieces of fireworks after an event as they may still be hot. After fireworks complete their burning, douse the spent device with plenty of water before discarding it to prevent a trash fire.
  10. Better yet, leave fireworks to the experts. This is the recommended course of action by the National Safety Council.

If an adult or child is injured by fireworks, immediately call your doctor or go to the hospital. If an eye injury occurs, don’t touch or rub it, as this may cause more damage. If it’s a burn, remove clothing from the burned area and run cool, not cold, water over the burn and then call your doctor immediately.

Sports Physical Exams – Oconto and Oconto Falls

Prevea health centers in Oconto Falls and Oconto are now scheduling appointments for sports physical examinations for athletes wanting to participate in a Wisconsin Interscholastic Athletic Association (WIAA) sport.

Sports physicals are performed by Prevea Health providers and licensed athletic trainers. “We are examining everything from heart issues to musculoskeletal issues,” said Mike LaMere, Prevea Sports Medicine Outreach Manager. “We want to make sure athletes are healthy and ready to compete.”

Prevea Oconto Falls Health Center (853 S. Main St., on the campus of HSHS St. Clare Memorial Hospital in Oconto Falls)

  • Thursday, July 25, 3 to 5 p.m.
  • Wednesday, July 31, 3 to 5 p.m.
  • Call (920) 846-8187

Prevea Oconto Health Center (620 Smith Ave. in Oconto)

  • Tuesday, July 23, 1 to 5 p.m.
  • Wednesday, July 31, 1 to 5 p.m.
  • Call (920) 834-4110 to make an appointment

For more information, visit: www.prevea.com/wiaa-physicals

Downloadable physical forms are available at: www.wiaawi.org

ASPI Proudly Presents “Footloose: The Musical”

The cast of “Footloose: The Musical” rehearses a scene at the Byng Community Theater in Abrams. Abrams Spotlight Productions Inc. will present “Footloose: The Musical” on the weekends of June 21-23 and June 28-30. From left to right are Charis Wirtley, Jack Anderson, Owen Goffard, Katie Koehn, Abby Frank, Akeem Edmonds, Tyler Otto, and Bella Frank.

Abrams Spotlight Productions Inc. proudly presents “Footloose: The Musical” for a two-weekend run on June 21-23 and June 28-30. The story follows city teen Ren McCormack and his move to the small town of Bomont, Utah, where dancing and rock music are not only discouraged, but banned. Follow Ren, his newfound friends, and the community as they grapple with love, loss, rebellion, and the right to dance.

The musical is based off the hit 1984 film and features 80’s Billboard hits such as “Let’s Hear if for the Boys” and “Holding Out for a Hero”.

“When Footloose was being adopted as a stage musical the writers transferred many of the songs directly from the movie soundtrack,” explained ASPI “Footloose” director Michael Laskowski.

“It was actually one of the very first musicals to be based on a non-musical movie which I think makes this production quite special and unique,” he continued.

“Footloose” is Laskowski’s first production with ASPI and his directorial debut of a musical. Though new to the ASPI family, Laskowski is no stranger to theater. He holds a bachelor’s degree in Theatre Arts from UW-Oshkosh and has been involved in several area theatre companies including Evergreen Theatre, Green Bay Community Theatre, Riverside Players, and Wolf River Theatre.

“One of the many reasons why I adore my cast is that there is such a wide range of talents and experiences among them,” said Laskowski.

The show spotlights Akeem Edmonds as newcomer Ren McCormack and Abby Frank as reverend’s rebel daughter Ariel Moore.

“One of the special things we have with this cast is that it truly is a family affair,” explained Laskowski.

The “Footloose” cast features several family member ties, including sisters Abby and Bella Frank, (portraying Ariel and Rusty), along with two father/daughter duos, Jerry Wirtley and Charis Wirtley (portraying Rev. Shaw Moore and Wendy Jo) and Mark Koehn and Katie Koehn (portraying Coach Dunbar and Urleen).

“When you put together a cast for any type of show, that cast becomes like a family. And these coincidences just put a delightful ironic touch to that thought,” he continued.

Showtimes for ASPI’s production of “Footloose: The Musical” include June 21, 22, 28, and 29 at 7pm and June 22, 23, 29, and 30 at 1pm. All shows will be performed at the Byng Community Theater, 5852 Maple St., Abrams.

ASPI will celebrate opening night on Friday, June 21, with a gala after the show. The audience is invited to enjoy complimentary hors d’oeuvres and drinks with the cast and crew.

To purchase tickets, check out the ASPI website at abramsspotlightproductions.com or by calling the box office at 920-826-5852.

“Footloose” is presented through special arrangement with R&H Theatricals. All authorized performance materials are also supplied by R&H Theatricals, 229 W. 28th St., 11th Floor, New York, NY 10001. Tel: (212) 541-6600 Fax: (212) 586-6155 www.rnh.com. Stage Adaptation by Dean Pitchford and Walter Bobbie. Lyrics by Dean Pitchford. Music by Tom Snow and additional music by Eric Carmen, Sammy Hagar, Kenny Loggins, and Jim Steinman.