Shawano Leader News

Subscribe to Shawano Leader News feed
Updated: 51 min 33 sec ago

Clintonville man killed in Waupaca County rollover

Sat, 07/20/2019 - 8:31am

A 27-year-old Clintonville man was killed in a rollover accident just after midnight in the town of Matteson, the Waupaca County Sheriff’s Department reported.

The crash occurred on Jepson Road north of Anton Road.

The driver was identified as Tyler Pfefferle.

The truck had been traveling southbound on Jepson Road, entered the west ditch of the roadway, overturned, and came to rest upside down in the west ditch, according to the sheriff’s department.

Authorities responded to a 911 call reporting the crash at 12:01 a.m.

Pfefferle was ejected from the truck during the crash and was pronounced dead at the scene by the Waupaca County medical examiner. He was the only occupant of the truck.

Waupaca County Sheriff’s Office, Marion Police Department, Embarrass Fire Department, and Clintonville Area Ambulance initially responded to the scene.

No further information is being released at this time while the investigation is still ongoing, according to the sheriff’s department.


Fri, 07/19/2019 - 4:54am

A temporary ban on credit and debit cards meant business was “a lot slower” at The Store, a gas station and convenience store at 404 E. Green Bay St., Shawano, said cashier Rachel Ebert, right. She handled a cash transaction from Leslie Jarchow during the internet/telecommunications outage in Shawano on Wednesday afternoon. Phone and internet service was down in the Shawano, Clintonville and Marion areas for about five hours, about 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., on Wednesday. The cause has yet to be released. Jim Davel, Shawano County emergency management director, said the outage was due to a fiber cable that was cut. He didn’t have any more details as of press time but added the outage did not affect the county’s 911 emergency system.

Osprey chick returns home

Thu, 07/18/2019 - 9:42pm
Shalagoco, WE Energies, The Feather bring the bird homeBy: 

Carol Ryczek [email protected]

Leader photo by Carol Ryczek Cam Gardner, WE Energies lead lineman, holds the osprey chick as The Feather’s Mike Young attaches a band to its leg. The band was added before the chick was returned to its nest at the Shawano Lake Golf Club on Thursday.

An osprey chick played through at the Shawano Lake Golf Club on Thursday and found itself safely perched high above the course, next to its nest mate, with its parents circling nearby.

The bird was returned to its nest on a platform at electric-pole height, thanks to the efforts of the Shawano Lake Golf Club, two bird rescue societies and WE Energies.

The unnamed chick had been found Wednesday by Rob Schroeder, a maintenance grounds worker at the golf club. Club general manager Matt Schroder called a bird rescue operation in Antigo, who referred him to The Feather Wildlife Rehab/ Education Center in New London.

The Feather does a lot of work with ospreys, according to Pat Fisher, who was one of the Feather members bringing the chick back to Shawano. She said it appeared that the chick had fallen from the nest, though it was impossible to say for certain. What she knew was that the chick needed to be returned to its parent to survive.

Fisher said the chick was not eating well and was vomiting the food she tried to give it.

“We need to get him back to where he belongs,” she said.

Osprey are summer residents in Wisconsin. They are listed as threatened on Wisconsin’s Endangered Species List, according to the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources. Adult ospreys can have a wingspan of up to six feet. They eat mostly fish.

Ospreys have a high death rate during the first two years of life due to weather, predation and accidents. An average of one chick per nest dies each year.

When a chick is in distress, The Feather jumps into action, Fisher said. She said WE Energies is a frequent partner in the New London area in restoring chicks to their nests, which are found on human-built platforms or very high in trees. This was a first for the Bonduel WE crew, though.

The chick from the golf club was about five weeks old, she said. It weighed 117 grams, a little over four ounces.

Mike Young, a retired game warden from Shiocton, was also on hand to return the chick. He would also use the opportunity to band the chick — which means attaching a metal number to the chick’s leg.

The rescue operation involved shutting down a portion of the golf course to allow a lift truck from WE Energies to drive to the platform. After banding the young bird, Young and Vince Rynish, WE Energies lineman, used the left to raise the bird up to the nest.

The operation was witnessed by a group of golfers and four ospreys. The birds cried loudly as the WE truck raised its bucket toward the platform. Fisher said it looked like the parents of the bird and another nearby nesting pair were overseeing the operation.

“They never like seeing us and they always complain,” she said.

As soon as the chick was in the nest, Fisher asked all of the spectators to move away.

Fisher and Young watched for the mother from a distance to allow her to return as quickly as possible.

“There she is,” Young said, watching through a pair of binoculars.

“We’ve done what we can do,” Fisher added, “and now we will just wait and see.”

Powers recalled as strong public servant

Thu, 07/18/2019 - 9:38pm
Longtime community activist dead at 85By: 

David Wilhelms Leader Correspondent

Cliff Powers

Clifford Anthony Powers, a long-time public official in the Town of Angelica, Pulaski School District, farm organizations and the Shawano County Board died July 13 at Forest Glen in Seymour.

He was 85.

Rich Ferfecki, current Town of Angelica chair and county board member, remembers Powers as a mentor.

“When he got off the county board, he sort of guided me into it,” said Ferfecki, who was first elected to the county board in 2012.

Powers served on the county board for 16 years and was a member of the highway, public safety and human services committees. Ferfecki noted that Powers was deeply involved in building the new jail. Powers also served for nine years on the Pulaski School Board and was a director of the Pulaski-Chase Cooperative for four years. He was a supervisor on the Town of Angelica board for 12 years.

“He put his heart into everything he did,” Ferfecki said. “He was very upfront on things. If he didn’t like something, he wasn’t bashful in telling you.”

He added Powers was “not outspoken but frank.”

Ferfecki said his personal experience was, “We disagreed on a number of items but we remained friends. And he was right most of the time.”

Ferfecki now is a member of the county board’s Human Services committee just as Powers was and called him a “cherished member. They still speak of him in committee meetings.”

Ferfecki said public service was a family tradition for Powers as his father was Angelica town chair for many years and his wife was Angelica town clerk for 20 years. That may have influenced his choice of favorite quote: “Take time; make time. There might not be another time.”

A lifelong member of Assumption BVM Parish in Pulaski, Powers served on the parish school board.

The son of Michael and Frances (Drzewiecki), Powers was born at home in Angelica on June 2, 1934. He attended Angelica Grade School and graduated from Pulaski High School in 1952. He farmed with his father after high school until he enlisted in the Army. He served in Germany with the 264th Field Artillery Battalion as a driver for an atomic cannon rig and received recognition as Soldier of the Month.

Cliff met his wife, Janet Eleanor Runge, in March 1963. The couple married Jan. 4, 1964, at Sacred Heart Church in Sherwood. They purchased his father’s farm in 1964.

Cliff received the 1968 Shawano County Outstanding Young Farmer Award and was said to be very proud of the family’s all-registered Holstein herd. The family planted and sold sweet corn in front of their home for 31 years.

Funeral services will take place at 11 a.m. Assumption BVM Church, 119 E. Pulaski St., Pulaski, on July 27. The Rev. Patrick Gawrylewski will preside over the Mass, which will be followed by military honors by the Pulaski Area Veterans. Burial will be in Hillside Cemetery in Angelica.

Students pumped over city water system tour

Thu, 07/18/2019 - 9:36pm
Tour part of CMN sustainability programBy: 

David Wilhelms Leader Correspondent

Photo by David Wilhelms Patrick Bergner, Shawano water and sewer foreman, guides a group of high school students from the Menominee Indian, Gresham and Shawano school districts on a July 11 tour of the city’s water system. The students are part of a Sustainability Leadership Cohort through the College of Menominee Nation.

Residents of Shawano use about 1.5 million gallons of water daily and there’s a lot that goes on before the turn of the tap.

The city’s water supply comes from four groundwater wells drilled in Cambrian sandstone, said Patrick Bergner, Shawano’s water and sewer foreman. The city distributes and stores its water through 58 miles of water main, 981 valves, two reservoirs and one water tower.

Bergner said about 400,000 gallons are pumped out and replaced each day at the reservoir. The tank, built in 1970, is inspected every five years and drained and inspected on the 10th year, he added.

The water tower, at a height of 129 feet, provides the pressure that keeps the taps flowing. Its 500,000 gallons of water are drained to about 33% of capacity and then refilled, usually happening three times per day, Bergner said.

Those facts were among the takeaways for 20 students from the Menominee Indian, Gresham and Shawano school districts in the College of Menominee Nation’s Sustainability Leadership Cohort when they toured the city’s water system July 11 as part of the course learning about water with an infusion of culture. The group will apply the knowledge to a Science Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) project they are putting together for third- through fifth-graders. They are also making a movie about the experience as part of the non-credit course. College students majoring in education at CMN as well as faculty members are assisting cohort participants.

One of the four wells (despite being known as “Well No. 5”) was drilled in 1940. At a depth of 250 feet, the well pumps between 750 and 1,000 gallons per minute. Bergner said the well, like all facets of the water system, is monitored regularly for contaminants.

“We monitor many different contaminants in our drinking water according to state and federal laws, which include potentially harmful bacteria,” Bergner said.

Contaminants are monitored on a weekly basis in the city’s distribution system and quarterly in all the wells, he added.

Because security is an issue, the foreman noted that cameras and an alarm system have been installed at the wells, the 2 million gallon above-ground reservoir and the city’s water tower.


Water system facts

• Four groundwater wells

• One 500,000 gallon storage tank

• One 2 million gallon above-ground storage reservoir

• 58 miles of water main

• 438 fire hydrants

• 981 valves

Public Record

Thu, 07/18/2019 - 9:26pm

Shawano Police Department

July 17

Police logged 42 incidents, including the following:

Fleeing — A vehicle fled from a traffic stop at Fifth and Sawyer streets. The officer terminated the pursuit after he lost sight of the vehicle while northbound on Main Street. The pursuit distance was 0.9 mile and the speed was 70 mph. The investigation is on-going to try and determine who the driver is.

Disturbance — A charge of battery/domestic is being referred to the DA for a 26-year-old Shawano man who fled from a domestic disturbance before officers arrived in the 100 block of Acorn Street.

Juvenile — Police responded to a juvenile problem in the 100 block of Woodlawn Drive.

Trespass — Trespassing was reported at The Gathering, 2600 E. Richmond St.

Harassment — Police responded to a harassment complaint in the 900 block of South Washington Street.

Assault — Police investigated an assault complaint at Fifth and Franklin streets.

Fraud — People’s Express South, 716 S. Main St., reported a counterfeit $100 bill.

Shawano County Sheriff’s Department

July 17

Deputies logged 51 incidents, including the following:

OAR — A 29-year-old man was cited for operating after revocation on state Highway 47-55 in the town of Wescott.

Disturbances — Authorities responded to a domestic disturbance on Cardinal Lane in the town of Wittenberg and disturbances on Norway Lane in the town of Belle Plaine, Herman Street in the town of Herman and Rollman Street in Bowler.

Theft — Authorities investigated property theft complaints on West Line Road in the town of Aniwa and Loon Lake Circle in the town of Wescott.

Juvenile — Authorities responded to a juvenile problem on Smalley Street in the town of Wescott.

Warrant — A 22-year-old woman was taken into custody on a warrant at the North Star Casino, W12180 County Road A in the town of Bartelme.

Clintonville Police Department

July 17

Police logged nine incidents, including the following:

Theft — A juvenile referral was completed for a retail theft on North Main Street.

Disturbances — Police responded to two family disturbances on West Morning Glory Drive.

Harassment — A harassment issue was reported on West Morning Glory Drive.


Wed, 07/17/2019 - 9:35pm
Shawano resident tells of Oneida culture through mother’s eyesBy: 

Lee Pulaski [email protected]

Leader Photo by Lee Pulaski Edi Cornelius-Grosskopf, center, signs a book while standing between Holly Zander and Dan Labby during a presentation she gave on “Traveling Home: Blessed by Spirit Songs” on Saturday at Beans and Books in Shawano. The author is working on providing a comprehensive look into Oneida history and culture with the book.

Shawano resident Edi Cornelius-Grosskopf was told stories by her mother about a journey to Indian boarding schools and the return back home to Wisconsin, and she never forgot them.

Cornelius-Grosskopf knew from the time that she was young that she wanted to put her mother’s history into some kind of book, but it took turning 60 to really motivate her to start the book.

“My father died when he was 61, and my brother died when he was 61,” Cornelius-Grosskopf said. “I thought, I’d better write this book before I turn 61 or I might not make it.”

That revelation came about seven years ago, but Cornelius-Grosskopf is still alive and kicking today, and her book “Traveling Home: Blessed by Spirit Songs,” is now a reality, sharing the tales of how Alice, her mother, dealt with hardships and overcame obstacles as an Oneida woman growing up in the early 1900s.

Alice was born in 1907, and at that time, all Native Americans were required to go to the boarding schools run by the U.S. government. Cornelius-Grosskopf said the children had to get rid of their possessions, abandon their tribal traditions and were stripped of the culture in order to be assimilated into American society.

“The Christians and the government had separate schools, but they would work together for these boarding schools,” Cornelius-Grosskopf said. “They would pull them away from their families specifically so they would assimilate into mainstream American society.”

She pointed out that African-Americans were allowed to keep their spiritual beliefs while integrating into society, but “assimilation” was what Native Americans endured as they were changed to reflect the beliefs of a predominantly white country.

“That’s a keyword that I think is important,” Cornelius-Grosskopf said.

Cornelius-Grosskopf said her grandmother managed to keep Alice out of the boarding school until 1918, but eventually had to send her away to the boarding school in Tomah to become a “good American citizen.”

Cornelius-Grosskopf’s book is written so middle school students and older can read and understand the material.

Besides putting her mother’s story into print, Cornelius-Grosskopf wanted to bring more attention to the Oneida culture and history. Even though there are 11 recognized Native American tribes in Wisconsin, and Act 31 requires the teaching of tribal history in the schools, there are not a lot of stories beyond traditional history books to draw on, she said.

“There’s very little known, and there’s not a lot of it in children’s books,” Cornelius-Grosskopf said. “I wanted to deal with subjects like abandonment and alcoholism and death and other things that aren’t necessarily cool, but in our culture, they’re part of life, so it’s natural.”

She also wanted to illustrate the importance of music in the Oneida culture.

“The Oneida spiritual hymns are very spirit-filled; they’re very biblical,” Cornelius-Grosskopf said.

The book also stresses the importance of religion in spirituality.

“I wanted people to know about Jesus,” Cornelius-Grosskopf said.

Alice lived to be 97 and passed away in 2004, which gave Cornelius-Grosskopf a lot of life information to draw on. Cornelius-Grosskopf kept a journal and wrote down her mother’s stories as she told them. Many of those stories focused on the family’s values.

“I feel like some of these basic values—unconditional love, how to plan and save,” Cornelius-Grosskopf said. “Just like you use a bank today (to save money), they had to do the same things with food and that kind of thing.”

The values also included the importance of sharing a meal with other family members and planning ahead with the garden.

“They’re cross-cultural, and they’re things that I think kids need to hear, too,” Cornelius-Grosskopf said.

She is working on having her book serve as the basis for a family class on the Oneida Reservation near Green Bay. Families could attend four nights, one per month, and learn about many of the historical and cultural values of the Oneida people.

Cornelius-Grosskopf said she’s also working on getting “Traveling Home” into the public schools, but she fears that school officials might be concerned that the parts about Christianity might cause concern over religious indoctrination.

“I’m in the process of making a guidebook for teachers to use in their classrooms,” Cornelius-Grosskopf said.

She also hopes to meet with state representatives and PBS to further get out the word about the Oneida. The Oneida Tribal Council has already recognized Cornelius-Grosskopf for writing the book and trying to get the tribe’s history and culture in the spotlight.


WHAT: Book reading and signing for “Traveling Home” by Edi Cornelius-Grosskopf

WHEN: 6-7:30 p.m. June 26

WHERE: Cafeteria, St. James Lutheran School, 324 S. Andrews St., Shawano

Search continues for Bonduel man in Ashland County

Wed, 07/17/2019 - 9:31pm

Leader Staff

Contributed photo A photo of Richard Dilabio, Bonduel, was taken at the Kwik Trip in Park Falls on July 9 and released by the Ashland County Sheriff’s Department. Dilabio was reported missing since July 12.

The search continues for a Bonduel man in Ashland County.

Richard J. Dilabio checked into an Ashland County campground on July 10. He was reported missing on July 12.

According to the sheriff’s office, agencies are conducting ground searches in the area with dog teams from Sawyer County Search and Rescue and St. Louis County Search and Rescue. They have no new leads at this time.

On July 12, at about 9:30 a.m., the Ashland County 911 Communications Center received a telephone call from a U.S. Forest Service park ranger reporting a camper was unaccounted for at the East Twin Lake campground in the township of Gordon, just north of Clam Lake.

Sheriff’s deputies responded and assisted the U.S. Forest Service with an initial search of the area.

Dilabio was last seen wearing a dark green shirt, blue jeans and motorcycle leathers. He is 5 feet, 11 inches tall, weighs 163 pounds, and has brown hair and brown eyes. He was riding a green and yellow 1990 BMW motorcycle. The motorcycle was still at the camp site.

The sheriff’s department released a photo of Dilabio taken at the Kwik Trip in Park Falls on July 9.

Anyone who has seen Richard since July 10 or knows anything of his whereabouts, should contact the Ashland County sheriff’s office at 715-682-7023, ext. 1.

Public Record

Wed, 07/17/2019 - 9:30pm

Shawano Police Department

July 16

Police logged 24 incidents, including the following:

Trespass — Trespassing was reported in the 700 block of South Cleveland Street.

Disturbance — Police responded to a report of a fight in progress in the 300 block of Lakeland Road.

Disorderly — Disorderly conduct was reported in the 200 block of West Lieg Avenue.

Auto Theft — A vehicle was reported stolen in the 200 block of East Maurer Street.

Shawano County Sheriff’s Department

July 16

Deputies logged 43 incidents, including the following:

Fleeing — A 14-year-old Bear Creek male was arrested for fleeing, speeding, failure to yield to at two stop signs and operating a vehicle without a valid driver’s license after a chase that started in Oconto County. The teen eventually crashed the vehicle and was was arrested after a suspicious person complaint on Meadow Road in the town of Washington. The caller said the teen had showed up at the door of the residence asking for a ride to Clintonville.

Theft — Mail was reported stolen on U.S. Highway 45 in the town of Fairbanks.

Disturbances — Authorities responded to disturbances on Old Shawano Road in the town of Pella and on Fourth Street in the town of Herman.

Dive Team Call — A 14-year-old girl was reported missing on Wilson Lake in the town of Wittenberg after a flotation device was spotted on the lake. The girl was found safe onshore a few minutes later.

Accidents — A 54-year-old Shawano man was taken to ThedaCare Medical Center after an injury accident on state Highway 22 in the town of Belle Plaine. Extent of the injuries were unknown. The vehicle was later reported stolen. A 15-year-old Cecil male was cited for failure to yield for a stop sign after an injury accident on Mill Street in Bonduel. Authorities also responded to an injury accident on Town Hall Road in the town of Red Springs.

Clintonville Police Department

July 16

Police logged nine incidents, including the following:

Fraud — Police investigated a fraud complaint on Modoc Street.

Disturbance — Domestic abuse was reported on North 12th Street.

USDA extends flood reporting deadline

Wed, 07/17/2019 - 9:21pm

The U.S. Department of Agriculture is extending the deadline for agricultural producers in states impacted by spring flooding and heavy moisture. The new Monday deadline applies to producers in Wisconsin, Illinois, Minnesota and 10 other states for reporting spring-seeded crops to USDA’s Farm Service Agency county offices and crop insurance agents.

“These are challenging times for farmers, and we are here to help,” said Bill Northey, USDA undersecretary for farm production and conservation. “This deadline extension is part of our broader effort to increase program flexibility and reduce overall regulatory burden for producers who are having to make some tough choices for their operations.”

Filing a timely crop acreage report is important for maintaining eligibility for USDA conservation, disaster assistance, safety net, crop insurance and farm loan programs. A crop acreage report documents all crops and their intended uses and is an important part of record-keeping for your farm or ranch.

Producers filing reports with FSA county offices are encouraged to set up an appointment before visiting the office. Acreage reports from producers in the affected states who set up appointments before Monday are considered timely filed, even if the appointment occurs after the deadline.

“We encourage you to contact your FSA county office today to set up an appointment,” Northey said. “Our team is standing by to help you complete this important process that keeps you eligible for key USDA programs.”

For information, contact your FSA county office or visit

Superintendent candidates meet the public

Tue, 07/16/2019 - 9:38pm
3 finalists talk students, staff with communityBy: 

Lee Pulaski [email protected]

The three finalists for the Shawano School District superintendent position had to make their cases to the Shawano School Board behind closed doors Monday night, but they also had to face the public in a separate forum.

Annette Deuman, Randi Anderson and Gereon Methner each answered questions for about an hour in the Shawano Community High School auditorium, talking about their backgrounds as educators and administrators while giving their thoughts on the future of Shawano schools. The forum was facilitated by the Wisconsin Association of School Boards.

Methner had the advantage of working previously with the public schools in Shawano, but Dueman and Anderson trumped him in that they’re both currently superintendents, while he is currently a middle and high school principal.

Deuman described herself as someone who enjoyed teaching but only entered the administrative side of education reluctantly at the request of others. She taught in Stevens Point and Waupaca before becoming an administrator in De Pere for 13 years. She’s currently the superintendent for the Columbus School District in Columbus, Wisconsin, which has about 1,400 students.

Anderson has been involved in education in multiple states. After starting her career in Colorado, she has also been involved with strategic planning in La Crosse, as well as working with inner-city school systems with as many as 22,000 students. Anderson has spent the last two years as a district superintendent in Pelican Rapids, Minnesota.

Methner has twice been part of the Shawano School District. His first time was as a French teacher and coach for several sports. After leaving for grad school, he returned in 2013 to work as the district’s at-risk coordinator and executive director for the LEADS Charter School. He is currently a principal for the Gibraltar School District in Fish Creek.

The candidates were peppered with questions about working with education associations, incorporating career and technical education into the essential core classes, school safety, their experiences with one-to-one technology programs and their visions for the district. They were also asked why they wanted to make their home in the Shawano area.

For Deuman, having family in the Wausau area and wanting to be closer with those loved ones was a factor in her pursuit of the superintendent position.

“I am not getting any younger, and I’m looking for a position that is long-term for me,” Deuman said. “As I’m rounding out my time in education, where would that be? Family is important to me, and it is clear in this community that it is important to you.”

Anderson said working in the larger school districts has made her yearn to be a part of a smaller system.

“What I need, as an administrator, is relationships,” Anderson said. “I need to be able to know who you are, what you’re doing and what you stand for.”

For Methner, the reason for returning to Shawano is to give back. He noted the skills he learned working locally came in handy when he became an administrator in Fish Creek.

“I have a great job, but the opportunity to be in this community and to raise my children … I couldn’t be more excited to have my son graduate as a Hawk,” Methner said. “Shawano has given me far more than I’ve given back, and I don’t feel like I’m done yet.”

Shawano County Sheriff Adam Bieber asked all three candidates what their plans were to curb school bullying.

Deuman noted that it was not something that was heavily dealt with when she first started in education, but the 1999 Colombine High School shooting forever changed that. She said it’s made worse by bullying going from face-to-face attacks to cyber assaults via social media.

“Whoever thought we’d be at this point in society and education when we’d have to talk about safety by actually talking about it, where our buildings are locked and secure?” Deuman said. “It’s important for all of us to pledge to be role models, because our kids are watching what we’re doing.”

Anderson also noted the influence of social media on the escalation of youth bullying. She recommends emphasizing problem-solving skills in education to find alternatives to bullying.

“Bullying has happened since we were in school,” Anderson said. “We can do a couple of things: We can lock out the world and say it won’t happen, or I prefer to take a proactive approach. We have to keep our kids safe in the building, on the bus, on the playgrounds.”

Methner noted that bullying can be combated but only when victims come forward.

“I fail at 100% of the bullying cases that I know nothing about,” Methner said. “That responsibility isn’t just on the kid. What are we putting into place so that all kids feel comfortable making that report in the first place?”

The school board reviewed video footage of the forum and evaluation forms that community members filled out afterward. The board’s next meeting is 5:30 p.m. Monday in the district conference room at Shawano Community High School, 220 County Road B, Shawano. It is expected to make a decision on hiring a superintendent then.

Go ahead and play

Tue, 07/16/2019 - 9:37pm
Memorial fountain was designed for interactionBy: 

Carol Ryczek [email protected]

Leader photo by Carol Ryczek The fountain at Franklin Park in Shawano, shown here before an evening concert at ShawanoFest, is intended to be used by all — whether by watching the water, sitting near it or playing in it, as these girls are doing, according to the Shawano Park and Recreation Department.

Let the kids play. Without a doubt.

That was what Matt Hendricks, Shawano Park and Recreation director, said when asked if it was OK for children to play in the water feature at Franklin Park, 235 S. Washington St., Shawano.

“We won’t be seeing any ‘Do not play in the water’ signs anywhere,” he said.

The water feature is a rock bordered by shooting water and concrete benches. The installation is at the north side of the park, under an installation of flags near Division Street.

“There is a splash pad at Memorial Park, and it is a true splash pad, but there are many different water features in parks for all different ages,” he said. “We fully anticipated that people would react to it. You can watch the water, or stick your hand in or be a kid and play in it. It’s totally permissible.”

Traditional fountains contain water in a small pool, Hendricks said, but the Franklin version is an “at grade” feature. It was designed to be enjoyed not only for what it looks like, but how it feels.

Unlike the Memorial Park splash pad, with age-appropriate areas, the fountain at Franklin Park isn’t set up to be a play area, Hendricks said. He said he expects parents to set rules and step in if the kids exceeded their parents’ “risk tolerance.” It’s like that for everything in a park, even playgrounds, he said.

Hendricks added that the fountain water is not reused and goes into wastewater.

“It is always fresh,” he said to allay fears of parents who saw children trying to catch drops of water to drink.

Hendricks said he was aware that there had been questions about the appropriateness of kids’ in the fountain area on social media.

Although there is a memorial to World War I veterans on the park grounds, he said, the entire park is not a memorial. The Veterans Memorial at Shawano’s Woodlawn Cemetery serves that purpose, he said.

Instead, he said the park included a restoration of the original World War I monument as one of the stories the park tells.

“Parks tell stories,” Hendricks said. “We have art and culture. We have a bronze statue and bench, in memory of Linda Grams. It’s near the little free library. The bronze statue was donated by Mart Grams, fully funded and donated by him. It is both art and a bench; you can sit there.

“The grounds used to be a school. We have the work of the Wild Ones, and we have the farmers market. Memorials are monument to the people who made the community. We are giving thanks to those community members who paved the way in the past.”

He said he agreed with the sentiment that those who “gave so much” would appreciate that their sacrifices allowed children to play joyfully in the water, and that they could look up and see flags above them.

“That will instill a sense of pride,” he said.


Thursdayz at Franklin, a new Shawano Park and Rec project, continues today, weather permitting, with the Copper Box performing at 6 p.m. The performance is sponsored by the Rotary Club of Shawano. Admission is free. Seating is limited, so lawn chairs are recommended.

Committee recommends bridge repairs

Tue, 07/16/2019 - 9:34pm
Clintonville street committee suggests up to $10,000By: 

Grace Kirchner Leader Correspondent

Photo by Grace Kirchner The Clintonville street committee has recommended spending up to $10,000 for repairs to the pedestrian bridge in Clintonville. The closed sign has been posted for on the bridge after the railing was found to be unsafe. The bridge connects the parking lot at the Community Center, 30 S. Main St., and the parking lot of the shopping center at the corner of West 12th Street and South Main Street.

The Clintonville street committee has recommended that the city spend up to $10,000 to make repairs to the pedestrian bridge located near the Community Center.

The street committee referred the matter to the Clintonville finance committee for funding. It is then referred to the Common Council for the final say.

The walking bridge, over the Pigeon River, connects the parking lot at the Community Center, 30 S. Main St., and the parking lot of the shopping center at the corner of West 12th Street and South Main Street.

The estimated cost to make the repairs to reopen the bridge is estimated at $7,000 to $10,000. The bridge has been closed since July 2017 when an assessment found the femcing to be unsafe.

At a June 27 meeting, City Administrator Sharon Eveland said that the estimate was from the MSA Professional Services. This were not a firm that would be bidding on the work.

MSA did have some concerns with the long-term viability of the bridge. According to Eveland, the assessment said that if some repairs are made to the fencing on the bridge, the bridge could be reopened. An assessment would then be needed every year to inspect for further deterioration.

MSA recommended replacing the bridge. The cost to do that was estimated at $90,000 to $100,000. Taking the bridge out would cost $10,000 to $20,000.

The city finance committee will see if there are funds available from the capital account for the repairs.

“Is there a need to spend $7,000 to $10,000 to repair the bridge if it is only a temporary fix?” asked committee member Brandon Braden.

Eveland said that she knows the bridge is really important to this community. She said there have been a lot of calls about it.

She also noted that the city’s vision for the area of the bridge is for a riverwalk to be added in the future and having the pedestrian crossovers would be nice.

“I think, long term, we are looking at a full replacement, but that could be 15 to 20 years down the road before we could really do what we want for that area,” Eveland said. “I think $7,000 to $10,000 to give the community something that they have been asking for is well worth it.”

Clintonville Mayor Richard Beggs said the pediatrician bridge is important to Clintonville, and the city has to stop shutting things down and not reopening them.

“We have to start adding back to our value, to our overall appearance,” Beggs said.

He recommended approving the repairs needed to reopen the bridge.

Braden asked if the city has to pay an annual fee to have the pedestrian bridge inspected.

Eveland said that Waupaca County can perform he inspection. The city has to have all of the bridges inspected annually.

Committee member Steve Kettenhoven said he would hate to have the city make the fencing repairs only to find out in a year the structural integrity of the bridge would force it closure again.

“I agree that’s a lot of money, but I think that’s the chance we should take and have to take because it makes the people of the community have something good in their eyes and perspective,” said Tammy Strey-Hirt, committee member. “There have been lots of people who have been very upset about that bridge because it’s a part of Clintonville.”

Eveland said the city could not afford to replace the bridge now.

Public Record

Tue, 07/16/2019 - 9:32pm

Shawano Police Department

July 15

Police logged 22 incidents, including the following:

Arrest — A 52-year-old woman was taken into custody at the probation and parole offices, 1340 E. Green Bay St.

Harassment — Harassment was reported at Walmart, 1244 E. Green Bay St., and in the 200 block of North Riverside Drive.

Assault — Police investigated an assault complaint at Franklin Park, 235 S. Washington St.

Vandalism — Two vandalism incidents were reported in the 200 block and 500 block of East Richmond Street.

Shawano County Sheriff’s Department

July 15

Deputies logged 48 incidents, including the following:

Burglary — Burglaries were reported on County Road MMM in the town of Richmond and on Winkle Road in the town of Herman.

Disturbances— Authorities responded to disturbances on Main Street in the town of Angelica and on County Road E in the town of Washington.

Fire — Authorities responded to a vehicle fire on Fourth Street in Mattoon.

Fraud — Authorities investigated a fraud complaint on River Drive in the town of Wescott.

Trespass — Trespassing was reported on Park Street in Bonduel.

Accident — Authorities responded to an ATV injury accident on Comet Road in the town of Germania.

ShawanoFest brings visitors to downtown area

Mon, 07/15/2019 - 9:27pm
BID teams up with city staff to increase activitiesBy: 

Carol Ryczek [email protected]

Leader photo by Carol Ryczek A car show took all the parking in the 200 block of South Main Street during ShawanoFest on Saturday. The annual event included the car show, crafters, food trucks and music.

Street food, music and a lot of inflatable fun brought crowds to Shawano downtown’s ShawanoFest on Saturday.

New activities on Main Street and the nearby Franklin Park were part of the plan for this year, according to Lindsay Johnson, Shawano business improvement coordinator and one of the organizers of the event.

“We added a lot of activities with the Franklin Park being available,” Johnson said, adding that Matt Hendricks, city park and recreation director, and Dana Dillenburg, the park and rec activities coordinator, were core team planners this year.

Working with Shawano Park and Recreation Department opened up a lot of opportunities that were not available in the past, Johnson said. Instead of being limited to just Main Street, the event had activities on Division Street and into the park.

Activities at the park included an assortment of bounce-houses, a sidewalk chalk drawing contest sponsored by Shawano Rotary and several hours of knockerball, an activity that allows participants to wear large inflatable armor and try to knock each other down.

“It went really well for the first year,” Hendricks said. “We wanted to have kids and family-friendly activities, for free, and support the BID event. It’s also the first year for Franklin Park. It wasn’t our first activity but we though it would be a good introduction to the park.”

Music was played throughout the day on both Main Street and the park.

“We also included groups like the Farmers Market. They extended their hours from noon to 1 p.m.,” Johnson said, and that helped drive some new people to ShawanoFest.

She did not have an estimate on attendance at the free event.

“There were people all over Division Street, Main Street and Franklin Park most of the day,” Johnson said.

The food truck alley along Division Street was a popular addition, she said.

ShawanoFest is a project of the Shawano Business Improvement District (BID). The BID was created on April 13, 1988, by the city of Shawano. This area represents the heart of Shawano’s downtown, linking Main Street business with business on Green Bay Street. In addition, there are associate members of the BID, who choose to be part of it but are not included in the contiguous area.

The objective of the BID is to promote the development, redevelopment, operation and promotion of Shawano downtown for the benefit of all businesses and property owners within the BID.

ShawanoFest is a way to bring people to Shawano’s business district, Johnson said.

“It was started to bring foot traffic to the area. People come for an event, and they are open to a visit for some of our businesses and will come back another time,” she said.

Businesses that Johnson talked to reported “excellent” traffic, she said.

The major sponsor for Shawano Fest was Qualheim’s True Value, Johnson said. Senzig’s Fine Home Furnishings sponsored the food truck rally.

Winners of the ShawanoFest car show are:

Mayor’s Choice: Jim Huxhold, Shawano

People’s Choice: Mike Ritchie, Shawano

Antique: George Schumacher, Antigo

Classic: Russ & Nancy Wise, Shawano

Muscle: Kelvin & Joanne Olson, Shawano

Truck: Larry Gast, Tilleda

Car Show sponsors include the City of Shawano, Martin Jewellers, Automotive Supply Company, Wegner’s Quality Auto Body and Jim Martin.

Public Record

Mon, 07/15/2019 - 9:24pm

Shawano Police Department

July 14

Police logged 13 incidents, including the following:

Shoplifting — Charlie’s County Market, 521 S. Main St., reported a shoplifting incident.

July 13

Police logged 29 incidents, including the following:

Disturbance — Police responded to a disturbances at Richmond Street and Maiden Lane, at Lieg Avenue and Main Street and in the 400 block of South Andrews Street.

Accident — Police responded to a property damage accident in the 1300 block of East Green Bay Street.

Assault — Police investigated an assault complaint in the 700 block of East Fifth Street.

Fraud — Police investigated a fraud complaint in the 900 block of South Main Street.

July 12

Police logged 25 incidents, including the following:

Disturbances — Charges of disorderly conduct/domestic and suffocation/domestic were referred against a 21-year-old Shawano man after a disturbance in the 400 block of South Lincoln Street. Police also responded to a disturbance at Memorial Park, 901 S. Lincoln St.

Fraud — Counterfeit $20 bills were reported passed at a garage sale in the 500 block of South Washington Street and a rummage sale in the 1400 block of South Union Street.

Theft — Prescription medication was reported stolen in the 100 block of Acorn Street.

July 11

Police logged 21 incidents, including the following:

Warrant — A 17-year-old Shawano man was arrested for a probation warrant at the probation and parole offices, 1340 E. Green Bay St.

Disturbance — Charges of disorderly conduct/domestic and battery/domestic were referred against a 46-year-old Shawano man after a domestic disturbance in the 700 block of East Randall Street.

Shawano County Sheriff’s Department

July 14

Deputies logged 46 incidents, including the following:

OWI — A 35-year-old Mattoon woman was arrested for operating while intoxicated on Fourth Street in Mattoon.

Theft — Two cement statues were reported stolen from a yard on Westgor Avenue in Wittenberg.

Trespass — Authorities responded to a trespassing complaint on Moh He Con Nuck Road in Bowler.

Threatening — Authorities responded to a threatening complaint on Bierman Road in the town of Aniwa.

Accidents — Authorities logged five accidents, including three deer-related crashes.

July 13

Deputies logged 37 incidents, including the following:

Theft — A ring was reported stolen on Old W Road in the town of Lessor.

Drug Offense — Authorities investigated a drug complaint on Pioneer Avenue in Wittenberg.

Assault — Authorities investigated an assault complaint on Hemlock Road in the town of Wittenberg.

Disturbances — Authorities responded to a disturbances on Quad Park Lane in Tigerton and Ah Toh Wuk Circle in Bowler.

July 12

Deputies logged 57 incidents, including the following:

Drug Offense — Authorities investigated a drug complaint at the Ho-Chunk Casino, N7198 U.S. Highway 45 in the town of Wittenberg.

Theft — Authorities responded to property theft complaints on Honeysuckle Lane in Tigerton and on County Road D in the town of Seneca.

Warrant — A 37-year-old Iron River man was arrested on a warrant on state Highway 47 in the town of Lessor.

Hit and Run — Authorities investigated a property damage hit-and-run on County Road D in the town of Seneca.

Disturbance — A 245-year-old Pulaski man was arrested for possession of meth and drug paraphernalia after a disturbance on County Road C in the town of Angelica.

Disorderly — Authorities responded to a disorderly conduct complaint on County Road C in the town of Angelica.

Trespass — Trespassing was reported on Loon Lake Drive in the town of Wescott.

Accident — Authorities responded to an injury accident on County Road D in the town of Seneca.

July 11

Deputies logged 42 incidents, including the following:

Disturbance — Authorities responded to a disturbance on Ho-Chunk Road in the town of Wittenberg.

Disorderly — Disorderly conduct was reported on Nauman Road in the town of Green Valley.

Threatening — Authorities responded to a threatening complaint on County Road Y in the town of Belle Plaine.

Theft — Authorities responded to a property theft complaint on Island Lake Lane in the town of Red Springs.

Accident — Authorities responded to an injury accident on state Highway 156 in the town of Morris.

Credit union breaking ground in Pulaski this week

Mon, 07/15/2019 - 9:23pm

Fox Communities Credit Union will hold a groundbreaking ceremony Thursday for its new location, 1061 Corporate Way, Pulaski.

This location will join the other 22 locations throughout the Green Bay, Fox Valley and surrounding areas.

“We are very excited to become a part of the Pulaski community, said Greg Hilbery, FCCU president. “Over the years, we have been hearing our members ask for a location in Pulaski. This location will have a member-friendly design featuring teller islands instead of the traditional teller counter. This will allow for a more interactive conversation between the teller and member. It will also have a coffee bar.”

FCCU anticipates opening the office in December. This will be a full-service branch offering mortgage, consumer and business loans, easy access drive-up lanes and ATM.

Gries Architectural Group is the architect for the project and DeLeers Construction from Green Bay is the construction firm.

FCCU is 82 years strong and today serves over 104,000 members with 22 branches. In 2019, FCCU was voted best credit union in both the Fox Valley and Green Bay areas in the “bank or credit union” category.

5 teens arrested after home invasion

Sat, 07/13/2019 - 1:12pm
Suspects facing multiple felony chargesBy: 

Leader Staff

Five teenagers are in custody and facing multiple felony charges in connection with a home invasion that took place in the city Wednesday night, Shawano police said Saturday.

Officers Brian Burkel and Brent Dilge were dispatched to the 600 block of South Maiden Lane at about 10:40 p.m. Wednesday for a report of a disturbance and home invasion, Police Chief Dan Mauel said.

A resident reported that six teenage boys had forced their way into her home, went upstairs and accosted her grandson.

The teens fled the residence before the officers arrived.

The investigation developed several persons of interest and one suspect was taken into custody at 3 a.m. Thursday.

Four other teens were taken into custody by the officers on Thursday evening.

The investigation is ongoing and was a targeted incident, police said. One person in the residence received a minor injury.

Two 14-year-old Green Bay boys, a 15-year-old Shawano boy and two 13-year-old Shawano boys are being referred to social services for burglary; arming self with a dangerous weapon during the burglary; robbery involving a dangerous weapon; disorderly conduct; and criminal trespass to a dwelling.

All five teens were transported to a secure juvenile detention facility.

Mauel credited Burkel and Dilge for their work in the investigation.

3 make final cut to be interviewed for school district superintendent

Thu, 07/11/2019 - 11:24pm
Candidates to meet the public MondayBy: 

Lee Pulaski [email protected]

The Shawano School District released its finalist list Thursday for filling the superintendent position being vacated by Gary Cumberland’s retirement.

The Shawano School Board will interview three candidates next week in closed session, but the public will get the chance to meet them at a forum at 6 p.m. Monday in the auditorium at Shawano Community High School, 220 County Road B, Shawano.

The candidates are:

• Randi Anderson, who is currently superintendent of the Pelican Rapids School District in Pelican Rapids, Minnesota.

• Annette Deuman, who is currently superintendent of the Columbus School District in Columbus, Wisconsin.

• Dr. Gereon Methner, who is currently the secondary principal for the Gibraltor Area School District in Fish Creek, Wisconsin. Methner has previously worked in the Shawano School District as its at-risk coordinator and LEADS Primary Charter School’s executive director from 2013 through 2015..

There were 27 applicants for the superintendent post, according to school board president Tyler Schmidt. Eight were chosen for a first round of interviews with the board, held earlier this week, and then the list was pared down to three.

Vision was a key factor for the board when considering which candidates they would interview. Schmidt said the district wants to develop a long-term strategic plan, and the new superintendent would be instrumental in creating that.

“The board really felt that having a clear vision and a path to get to that vision was necessary,” Schmidt said. “There were a lot of key things. As a board, we learned recently that we need a strategic plan, and we’re going to move forward with that.”

Schmidt noted the interview process was “extensive,” and the entire search was comprehensive, with community focus groups established and recommendations made as to what needed to be required for the district’s next leader.

“There are tons of things that you look for,” Schmidt said. “Everything from being leaders to how they interact with the community.”

Schmidt said the interaction with the community will be put to the test on Monday with the public forum. Each candidate will be presenting to the audience for an hour, either before or after the second school board interview, which will be taking place around that time.

“We want the community to pepper them with questions and get their questions answered,” Schmidt said. “The community will have a voice in this.”

The public forum will be recorded so that the board can, once the interviews are concluded, look at how the candidates performed.

The school board could hold another closed session at 6 p.m. Tuesday in the district board room at SCHS to deliberate further if discussions continue too late on Monday.

A salary range for the new superintendent has not been established, according to Schmidt. He said the board would likely discuss pay and benefits during deliberations.

Schmidt said a final decision on hiring a superintendent will take place at its next regular meeting on July 22.

Cumberland announced in May that he would be retiring to take a position as principal at Sacred Heart Catholic School. Cumberland was promoted from assistant superintendent to superintendent in August 2013 after then-superintendent Todd Carlson abruptly announced he was leaving to take a superintendent position with the Gillett School District.

Group discusses historic school’s fate

Thu, 07/11/2019 - 11:22pm
Clintonville School District planning new referendumBy: 

Grace Kirchner Leader Correspondent

Rexford-Longfellow Elementary School’s designation as a historic building could change what the Clintonville School District plans to do if it holds another referendum, but not as much as some might think.

Jennifer Lehrke, principal architect and historic preservation consultant with Legacy Architecture in Sheboygan, addressed the district’s facility concept planning group Monday to explain what can and cannot be done with the elementary school complex now that it is listed on the National Registry of Historic Buildings.

Clintonville resident Mary-Beth Kuester nominated the school complex for the historic designation.

The group has been meeting on a regular basis to address the facility needs of the district and how to solve them. The firm works on historic preservation all over the state.

“It is a myth that you can’t do anything once the building is listed,” Lehrke said. “You can paint, you can demolish it, you can do anything.”

Plans for buildings on historical lists require notifying the Wisconsin Historical Society. Within 30 days, the society would review the plans and get back to the district. A 30-day extension could be requested by the society, according to Lehrke.

“The Wisconsin Historical Society will give you options. You can negotiate,” Lehrke said.

She said that some districts will sell an old building.

“There is a market. Developers may want it for multi-family housing. There are tax perks for them. They would be required to keep the historical building looking like a historical school building. That is a financial benefit. The building would be put on the tax roll of the city,” Lehrke said.

Any remodel or modification would have to work through the office of historic preservation and submit complete plans before going to referendum.

Lehrke noted the board may decide to see what developers would make of the building and request proposals for its use. The district would not have to accept the offer, she said.

Superintendent Dr. David Dybe said there seems to be an emotional attachment to the building for a lot of people.

According to Lehrke, the windows in the 1918 building have already been replaced and in that case, developers could do what they want with them. A developer may be required to keep things like the terrazzo floors, the wood floors, the stairway, some light fixtures, and the arches to receive the tax credits.

Lehrke commented that Rexford-Longfellow has been very well maintained. There have been no “band aids” put on them as some districts have done, but the building may not be able to deliver the education as it is today.

“There is resale for buildings already listed on the National Register that are well maintained,” Lehrke said. “They can be apartment buildings. It is in a nice neighborhood. Often a developer will invest in the community.”

When asked if the building could be taken off the listing on the National Registry, Lehrke said it would be difficult, costly, and would probably involve demolishing the building.

Historic schools in New London and Shawano have been made into apartments.

Jody Andres with Hoffman Architects said the historic building is handicap-accessible but it still may be a challenge to navigate with a wheelchair.

The facility concept planning group will meet again at 6 p.m. Monday at Clintonville Middle School, 255 N. Main St., Clintonville. It plans to look at all of the options and costs for meeting the districts needs.

The school board is contemplating another referendum. On April 5, 2016, voters turned down the district’s proposed $24.9 million referendum 1,140 to 733. The plan at that time was to raze Rexford-Longfellow, including the historical 1918 building. The referendum would have constructed a new elementary school facility at the same location.

For information, contact Dybe at 715-823-7215, ext. 2604.