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Public Record

Fri, 07/22/2016 - 7:36am

Shawano Police Department

July 20

Police logged 25 incidents, including the following:

Auto Theft — A vehicle reported stolen in the 800 block of East Green Bay Street was recovered in Menominee County.

Theft — A bike was reported stolen in the 200 block of West Richmond Street.

Warrant — A 19-year-old man was taken into custody at the probation and parole offices, 1340 E. Green Bay St.

Warrant — A 24-year-old woman was taken into custody at the probation and parole offices, 1340 E. Green Bay St.

Threatening — Police responded to a threatening complaint in the 300 block of South Washington Street.

Shawano County Sheriff’s Department

July 20

Deputies logged 29 incidents, including the following:

Auto Theft — A vehicle was reported stolen on Witt-Birn Town Line Road in the town of Wittenberg.

Threatening — Authorities responded to a threatening complaint on Micks Road in Bowler.

Threatening — Authorities responded to a threatening complaint on Fairview Road in Bowler.

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

Theft — Authorities responded to a property theft complaint on Old Keshena Road in the town of Wescott.

Theft — Authorities responded to a property theft complaint on Lake Drive in the town of Wescott.

OAR — A 43-year-old woman was cited for operating after revocation on U.S. Highway 45 in the town of Birnamwood.

Clintonville Police Department

July 20

Police logged eight incidents, including the following:

Sexual Exploitation — Police were investigating a complaint of sexual exploitation of a child.

Disturbance — Police responded to a domestic disturbance on Ninth Street.

Assault — A complaint of sexual assault of a child was under investigation.

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Shawano Lake tops attractions in tourism survey

Thu, 07/21/2016 - 7:48am
Visitors spent nearly $63M in county last yearBy: 

Tim Ryan, [email protected]

Shawano Lake remains the area’s top tourist attraction, according to a tourism destination assessment recently released by the Shawano Country Chamber of Commerce.

The report was put together by the Shawano Country Chamber of Commerce and Tourism Council with the help of the state Department of Tourism.

In addition to Shawano Lake, other top area assets cited by visitors included the Wolf River, casinos, the area’s rustic atmosphere, dining, Twig’s Sun Drop Museum, barn quilts and friendly people.

Empty buildings and a lack of shopping opportunities were viewed as the area’s biggest weaknesses.

“Most of these should not be a surprise to us, but it’s a good reminder from visitors that this is why they are coming to our area,” said Nancy Smith, the chamber’s executive director.

Smith shared the report with the Shawano Common Council at a meeting last week.

“The reason why it’s so important to us is because tourism is important,” she said. “It’s important to our businesses, to the city and to residents.”

Visitors spent $61.9 million in Shawano County in 2015, Smith said, supporting 886 jobs.

That spending figure is up slightly from $60.2 million in 2014 and up from $56.7 million the year before, according to the report.

The report did not include Menominee County numbers, but, according to information provided by the chamber, visitors spent $2.4 million in Menominee County in 2014 and $2.5 million in 2015.

Smith said the chamber and tourism council were working to increase the number of visitors to the area.

“In order to grow tourism in Shawano and promote our area effectively, it’s important to understand our visitors,” she said, “Who they are, where they’re coming from, what they like to do when they’re here, how they heard about us, what they like, what they don’t like. This assessment helped us gather that information.”

Chamber and tourism officials surveyed 430 people over the course of the summer of last year, including visitors and residents, Smith said.

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Shawano kids getting chance to join the club

Thu, 07/21/2016 - 7:47am
Green Bay group branching out hereBy: 

Scott Williams, [email protected]

A three-year effort to provide Shawano children with after-school activities and guidance is culminating in the creation of the new Boys & Girls Club of Shawano.

The club will begin offering services in January for third-, fourth- and fifth-graders inside Olga Brener Intermediate School, 1300 S. Union St.

For a fee tentatively set at $10 a year, kids will be able to participate in structured after-school programming in such areas as academics, sports and health.

The club, which could expand later to include other age groups, is designed for working families whose children are left without supervision after school is dismissed, sometimes for hours every day.

“That’s a gap and a need in the community,” organizer Joe Stellato said. “There are youth that need something like that.”

A steering committee of civic leaders is launching the program as an outreach of the Boys & Girls Club of Green Bay, which has been in operation for 50 years and has about 4,000 members.

The Green Bay club will provide administrative support, including accounting and human resources, while allowing the new Shawano group to function independently. It will be the first time that the Green Bay club has established a chartered site outside of Green Bay.

Eric Vanden Heuvel, chief academic officer of the Boys & Girls Club of Green Bay, said that, while other communities in the past have explored a similar partnership with his organization, the Shawano group was strongly committed and was willing to perform the difficult task of making it happen.

“That’s what separates this opportunity,” Vanden Heuvel said. “It’s one thing to show the interest. It’s another thing to get the work done.”

Acting on an idea from then-Shawano Mayor Lorna Marquardt, a group called Leadership Shawano County in 2014 conducted a needs assessment on after-school options for local schoolchildren. That was followed by a study on the structure needed to implement a local Boys & Girls Club.

Members of Leadership Shawano County, which is offered through the Shawano Country Chamber of Commerce, were later joined by leaders from the Shawano School District, the city of Shawano, the local University of Wisconsin-Extension office and others.

Wendy Crawford, program manager for Leadership Shawano County, said organizers knew that getting a club established would be difficult, but they continued working at it together.

“It feels great to finally be where we are,” Crawford said. “It’s been a lot of work.”

With services scheduled to start in January, organizers plan a community kickoff event next week to promote the new club and announce fund-raising efforts.

Under the rules of the national Boys & Girls Club organization, the new club must start with one year of operating funds in the bank, estimated at $100,000, and with pledges for enough funding for the following two years. Crawford said the group has nearly reached the first $100,000 goal, but many more donations will be needed to keep the group going.

Starting with third- through fifth-graders, organizers hope to expand later to include older students at the middle school level.

The club’s after-school programming will aim to engage students in education and career development, character and leadership, health and life skills, sports and recreation, and the arts. Other details, such as the group’s exact hours of operation at Olga Brener, have not been announced.

Stellato, who oversees 4-H youth groups through the UW-Extension, said most 4-H clubs meet in evenings because that is when most parents are available to transport kids to the meetings. Stellato said he hopes 4-H staffers will be able to visit the Boys & Girls Club to help with programming and reach new populations of kids.

“That’s something we’re looking forward to — having a partnership,” he said.

AT A GLANCE

WHAT: Boys & Girls Club of Shawano kickoff event

WHEN: 5:15-7 p.m. July 28

WHERE: Luigi’s Pizza & Pasta, 607 S. Main St., Shawano.

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Excessive heat warning for much of Wisconsin

Thu, 07/21/2016 - 7:46am
Central US braces for ‘heat dome’By: 

The Associated Press

The National Weather Service says it’s been four years since Wisconsin has had the potential for the oppressive heat and humidity expected Thursday and Friday.

The weather service issued an excessive heat warning for much of the state because heat indices are expected to climb into the triple digits. The last time such a warning was issued was in July 2012.

Temperatures in Shawano are forecast to reach highs of 96 on Thursday and 93 on Friday.

The state Public Service Commission issued a reminder Wednesday that Wisconsin law prevents a utility from disconnecting service to an occupied dwelling when heat advisories are in effect.

The utility is also required to try to reconnect service to an occupied dwelling that has been disconnected for nonpayment when the resident says there’s a potential health threat.

High temperatures and humidity will bake much of the central U.S. this week, making it feel as hot as 115 degrees in some places and leading some cities to open cooling stations and take other precautions.

The high pressure system, sometimes called a “heat dome,” will push conditions to their hottest point so far this summer, though record hot temperatures aren’t expected, according to the National Weather Service.

Authorities from Minnesota to Louisiana are warning people to take precautions and check on the elderly and other vulnerable neighbors and relatives.

The temperature in the South Dakota capital of Pierre reached 105 degrees Wednesday afternoon. Temperatures were forecast to reach the 90s for most areas of the central U.S. starting Wednesday and lasting into the weekend in some places. High humidity will make it feel anywhere from 105 to 115 degrees.

Excessive heat warnings put out by the weather service were in effect for parts of Minnesota, the Dakotas, Nebraska, Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, Illinois and Wisconsin.

Thunderstorms and a cold front descending south across Lake Michigan could provide some relief Friday for parts of the Great Lakes region.

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Fairest of the Fair enjoying busy summer

Thu, 07/21/2016 - 7:45am
Taylor Przybylski helping promote Shawano County FairBy: 

Brady Van Deurzen, [email protected]


Leader File Photo Taylor Przybylski waves to the crowd as she rides the Shawano County Fair float during Bonduel’s Fourth of July parade. Przybylski sees her role as Fairest of the Fair as a “walking beacon” for the fair.

Optimism, persistence and an affection for animals helped Taylor Przybylski, of Pulaski, become Shawano County’s Fairest of the Fair for 2016.

“It feels surreal,” Przybylski said. “I am still in shock. It feels more like being in a dream than reality.”

Przybylski, 21, was runner-up in the 2014 contest. She was selected as the 2016 Fairest in April from among four candidates. The competition included a personal interview, group interview, construction of a 30-second radio ad and then final questions from a panel of three judges.

“I knew what to expect this year because I did all of it already,” Przybylski said. “I could prepare better for it. It was easier to just be myself.”

Przybylski, daughter of Diane and Gary Przybylski, grew up on a 250-cow dairy farm. Her interest in agriculture as well as horseback riding (she started when she was 2 1/2) prompted her to join Country Korner 4-H when she was 10 years old. Two years later Przybylski participated in the fair for the first time, showing horses and baked goods.

“The fair has been in my life basically forever,” she said.

Przybylski participated in the fair and 4-H throughout high school, where she participated in sports, art and Spanish clubs, and coached basketball. She graduated from Pulaski High School in 2013.

When asked about why she wanted to be the county’s 43rd Fairest of the Fair, Przybylski responded: “Growing up with the fair being such a big part of my life, I just wanted to give back. When I was young I always saw (Fairest of the Fair) as the princess, and I wanted to give young people that same vision.”

Her term as Fairest of the Fair has kept her busy. She has modeled at the Shawano Women’s Club Spring Fling Fashion Show (her first official event as Fairest), and participated in Brunch on the Farm, the Packers tailgate tour, a Shawano Speedway event, Fourth of July parade in Bonduel and others. She is participating in Pulaski Polka Days this week and, of course, the Shawano County Fair at summer’s end.

“I am the walking beacon for the fair,” Przybylski said. “People from the events can approach me and ask me questions about the fair, and my job is to answer them in any way I can.”

In January, she will represent Shawano County at the state Fairest of the Fair competition.

Przybylski said the job can be “exciting but overwhelming.”

She is thankful for the support she has received from family, friends and the community.

“It is awesome to see people in the community and hearing that they are proud of me,” Przybylski said. “There has been so much help from everyone so far, too, whether it is them helping to build floats or even organizing everything, it has all been so helpful.”

When she is not busy promoting the fair, Przybylski continues her studies at the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay. She is on track to graduate in August and hopes to build a career in dairy agriculture.

Her role as Fairest of the Fair will help her achieve her goals, Przbylski said.

“The importance of (Fairest of the Fair) for me personally is that this role promotes professionalism and leadership,” Przybylski said. “You learn how to eat properly, sit properly and all kinds of other things that will help you with your future, and that is what I hope that I get out of it.”

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Clintonville studying Pigeon River Dam repairs

Thu, 07/21/2016 - 7:40am
City would seek DNR grant to help fund projectBy: 

Grace Kirchner, Leader Correspondent

Repairing the Pigeon River Dam could cost the city of Clintonville as much as $165,000. Throw in a sliding gate, and the price tag could grow to $255,000.

Peter Haug, project manager at Ayres Associates, the firm hired to do the engineering on the dam, told the city’s street committee earlier this month that the major problem is the abutment wall on the side of the dam is shifting and pulling down the alleyway behind it.

He said there are two solutions: a gravity wall or an anchor wall.

The anchor wall would cost less, but the city does not own the adjoining property.

The gravity wall would cost more than an anchor wall, but it would not intrude on the adjoining property.

A gravity wall would need to be constructed over the existing concrete wall abutting the Pigeon River Dam, he said.

Concrete portions of the dam and the walkway above the dam also need to be repaired.

Haug reported that much of the cost depends on the condition of the concrete in the dam, which won’t be known until the contractor starts removing the gunite overcoat that was used when the dam was redone in the 1990s.

According to Public Works Director Toby Kersten, there are leakage problems in the dam gates as they expand and contract, and a lot of ice buildup. A sliding gate would solve that problem.

Repairs could range from $150,000 to $350,000, according to City Administrator Chuck Kell.

At a Common Council meeting on July 12, Kell listed an estimated $165,000 in repairs, including $60,000 for the gates and seals; $20,000 to $30,000 for concrete spill spoil repairs; $60,000 for the north side retaining wall; $2,500 for the walkway.

Replacing one of the dam gates with a sliding gate would add $90,000 to the cost.

An application for a state Department of Natural Resources grant is due by October 2017. If approved, the grant would cover 50 percent of the cost of the repairs, up to $400,000.

Construction would be scheduled for 2018.

Kell said the city should keep the project on the “front burner” because the dam repair issues were ignored in the past. He suggested that it be included in the budget over two years.

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Court News

Thu, 07/21/2016 - 7:34am

Sexual abuse of a minor

A Keshena man has been charged in federal court with sexual abuse of a minor under the age of 16.

Matthew T. White Jr., 27, is accused of engaging in a sex act with a 13-year girl at a location outside Keshena on the Menominee Indian Reservation.

The case was investigated by the Menominee Tribal Police Department and the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

If convicted, White could face a sentence of up to 15 years in prison, a $250,000 fine, and a period of supervised release of at least five years and up to the rest of his life.

Assault/serious bodily harm

Two men are each facing a charge in federal court of assault resulting in serious bodily harm.

Johnny L. Kinney, 22, of Neopit, and Bo Peters, 20, of Keshena, could each face a sentence of up to 10 years imprisonment, a $250,000 fine, and up to 3 years of supervised release if convicted.

According to the indictment, Kinney and Peters assaulted a male who suffered a broken nose and damaged sinuses. The alleged incident occurred in Neopit.

The case was investigated by the Menominee Tribal Police Department and the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

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Public Record

Thu, 07/21/2016 - 7:34am

Shawano Police Department

July 19

Police logged 21 incidents, including the following:

Vandalism — A vehicle was reported vandalized in the 600 block of West Eagle Street.

Juvenile — Police responded to a juvenile problem in the 700 block of South Union Street.

Theft — Police investigated a theft complaint in the 1100 block of East Green Bay Street.

Accident — Police responded to a two-vehicle property damage accident at Third and Main streets.

Shawano County Sheriff’s Department

July 19

Deputies logged 49 incidents, including the following:

OAR — A 39-year-old man was cited for operating after revocation on Lodge Road in the town of Washington.

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

Juvenile — Authorities responded to a juvenile problem on U.S. Highway 45 in the town of Wittenberg.

Juvenile — Authorities responded to a juvenile problem on Hemlock Road in the town of Wittenberg.

Assault — Authorities investigated an assault reported on Country Lane in the town of Washington.

Clintonville Police Department

July 19

Police logged eight incidents, including the following:

Theft — A theft was reported on South Main Street.

Assault — A sexual assault complaint was under investigation.

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Poverty tops 11 percent in Shawano County

Wed, 07/20/2016 - 7:38am
Help your neighbors, speaker urgesBy: 

Scott Williams, [email protected]


Leader Photo by Scott Williams Nancy Schultz, standing, addresses an audience Tuesday at the Shawano City-County Library on the current state of poverty and homelessness in Shawano County.

More than 4,500 people in Shawano County are living in poverty and face the prospects of a downward spiral that could lead them to depression and even suicide.

That was the grim prognosis offered Tuesday in a presentation on local poverty and homelessness, and the issues that contribute to and aggravate the problem.

Nancy Schultz, family living educator for the University of Wisconsin-Extension, said some local residents routinely must choose between food and other basic necessities for themselves and their families.

“Can you imagine what it feels like to go through this on a day-to-day basis?” Schultz told an audience. “It’s so overwhelming.”

In a presentation called “Faces of Poverty,” Schultz addressed a crowd at the Shawano City-County Library in downtown Shawano. The library is featuring a photo exhibit related to homelessness, and officials invited Schultz to discuss related issues.

About a dozen people attended the program, and some were disheartened to hear the extent and impact of poverty so close to home.

“I was stunned,” said Dennis Zopp, a retired schoolteacher who questioned whether Shawano County has the right kind of job opportunities needed to lift people out of poverty.

Mikki Moesch, another audience member, said she is exposed to the issue first-hand while volunteering with a local church’s food basket program for needy families.

“It’s not necessarily new to me,” she said. “But when I first started hearing some of those statistics, it was shocking.”

With the number of people living in poverty estimated at 4,548 in Shawano County, that represents more than 11 percent of the countywide population. Poverty is defined as an individual earning less than $11,770 a year or a family of four earning less than $24,250 a year.

Schultz said the largest demographic in poverty was once the elderly, but the largest now is single mothers and the fastest growing group is children.

Contributing factors include rising food prices, a lack of affordable housing, cuts to government aid programs and poor transportation options.

A former longtime nutritionist in the federal aid program known as Women, Infants and Children, Schultz said people stuck in poverty with no relief in sight often develop mental health issues that can include depression and thoughts of suicide. She recalled one mother calling for help after running out of baby formula for her newborn, with no way of getting more.

“I continue to see many, many people desperate and depressed,” she said.

Schultz pointed to last year’s successful opening of a homeless shelter in Shawano as an encouraging sign that members of the community are starting to recognize poverty as an issue. She said the shelter recorded more than 300 individual overnight stays during its first winter season.

She urged audience members to be sympathetic toward their neighbors living in poverty — and to offer a helping hand whenever possible.

“It can make a huge difference in their lives,” she said. “It really does take a community to turn this all around.”

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Belmark project will get school land

Wed, 07/20/2016 - 7:37am
District approves selling 2 acresBy: 

Scott Williams, [email protected]

Plans for a much-anticipated manufacturing plant development near Hillcrest Primary School are getting an assist from the Shawano School District.

Members of the Shawano School Board have agreed to sell 2 acres of real estate for the Belmark Inc. facility projected to cost $36 million.

Planned along Engel Drive just east of the school, the 120,000-square-foot plant development was code-named “Project Dorothy” by local officials before Belmark announced its intentions last month.

The company says it will pay about $25,000 for the school district property so that the manufacturing facility is surrounded by sufficient green space to create the proper aesthetics.

“We’ll put it to good use,” said Jeff Dowd, director of sales and marketing for Belmark.

School Board members voted unanimously Monday night to approve the sale.

School Superintendent Gary Cumberland told board members that the district had no use for the surplus property, and that Belmark would pay the same $12,500-an-acre price that the district originally paid for the land.

“We do have an offer from the company at that price,” Cumberland said.

Belmark, based in De Pere, announced June 21 that it had chosen Shawano from among 100 potential sites in nine states for a new production facility. The company makes flexible packaging and related materials.

Belmark executives said they picked Shawano because of its small-town charm and its proximity to the De Pere headquarters.

Scheduled to begin construction next year, the manufacturing facility will occupy 15 acres currently owned by the city.

The additional 2 acres owned by the school district is east of the school, behind a row of trees that will separate the school campus from Belmark.

Shawano City Administrator Brian Knapp said the city controls another extra parcel — about 1 acre in size — that Belmark also hopes to acquire, in addition to the school property.

“It cleans up the site,” Knapp said, adding that he is pleased the school district has a hand in facilitating a major new business development in the community.

“It’s good for both the city and the school district, as well as Belmark,” he said.

IN OTHER BUSINESS

- The Shawano School Board on Monday learned that Johnson School Bus Service Inc. has transferred Shawano manager Neal Hinz to another location and replaced him with Larry Slaght.

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DOT sets Highway 47 construction meeting

Wed, 07/20/2016 - 7:36am
By: 

Leader Staff

The Wisconsin Department of Transportation will hold a public meeting next week to discuss construction plans for Airport Drive between Green Bay Street and state Highway 29.

The meeting is scheduled from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. Tuesday at Shawano City Hall, 127 S. Sawyer St.

Construction on Airport Drive, which is also state Highway 47, is scheduled to begin on Aug. 1.

The work will include reconstructing the existing four-lane road to a two-lane road between Green Bay Street and County Road B; repairing curb and gutter and storm sewer; improving intersections; and reconstructing the railroad crossing.

Crews will close Airport Drive between Green Bay Street and County Road B on Aug. 1. Detour routes will be posted. The road is scheduled to reopen in late October.

Motorists on can expect to encounter single lane closures and flagging operations on Airport Drive, the DOT said, as well as single lane closures and flagging operations on Green Bay Street during traffic signal construction.

The Beauprey Street and Engel drive intersections with Airport Drive will be closed during construction.

Richmond Street will be closed at the intersection with Airport Drive for approximately two weeks. This is currently scheduled to occur in October.

Access to adjacent properties will be maintained. However, it might be necessary to temporarily limit access to driveways and/or intersections for short periods of time, the DOT said.

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Area voters have state, congressional races to decide

Wed, 07/20/2016 - 7:35am
By: 

Leader Staff

While most attention is on the presidential race in the November election, there will also be a number of down ballot races for area voters to decide, some of which will have to first go through a primary on Aug. 9.

Former U.S. Sen. Russ Feingold is looking to take back the seat he lost six years ago to Republican incumbent Ron Johnson, but first Feingold will face a primary challenge from Democrat Scott Harbach. Libertarian candidate Phil Anderson will also be on the ballot in November.

The 8th U.S. Congressional District will be up for grabs in November with Republican incumbent Reid Ribble’s decision not to seek re-election. Republican candidates Frank Lasee, Terry McNulty and Mike Gallagher will compete for their party’s nomination in August. One of them will go up against Democratic candidate Tom Nelson on Nov. 8.

One state legislative race in the area will need to go through a primary.

In the 35th Assembly District, three Democrats — Derek Woellner, Erik Pfantz and Renea Frederick — are vying for the chance to take on Republican incumbent Mary Czaja.

Other contested legislative races on the ballot in November include the following:

6th Assembly District

Gary Tauchen (R) (inc)

William Switalla (D)

State Senate District 2

Robert Cowles (R) (inc)

John Powers (D)

State Senate District 12

Tom Tiffany (R) (inc)

Bryan Van Stippen (D)

State Senate District 14

Luther Olsen (R) (inc)

Brian Smith (D)

40th Assembly District

Kevin Petersen (R) (inc)

Dmitri Martin (D)

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Public Record

Wed, 07/20/2016 - 7:33am

Shawano Police Department

July 18

Police logged 18 incidents, including the following:

Disorderly — Police responded to a disorderly conduct complaint in the 500 block of South Main Street.

Disturbance — Police responded to a disturbance in the 400 block of South Franklin Street.

Disturbance — Police responded to a domestic disturbance in the 200 block of South Andrews Street.

Theft — A backpack was reported stolen from a vehicle at Flamingo’s, 1017 E. Green Bay St.

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

Shawano County Sheriff’s Department

July 18

Deputies logged 41 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.

Disturbance — Authorities responded to a disturbance on Old Shawano Road in the town of Pella.

OWL — A 44-year-old man was cited for operating without a license on Cecil Street in Bonduel.

Disorderly — Authorities responded to a disorderly conduct complaint on Hemlock Road in the town of Wittenberg.

Fraud — A counterfeit check was reported on Gumaer Road in the town of Wescott.

Disturbance — Authorities responded to a disturbance on Old Lake Lane in the town of Wescott.

Clintonville Police Department

July 18

Police logged 12 incidents, including the following:

Accident — Police responded to a two-vehicle property damage accident in a business parking lot on South Main Street.

Disorderly — Police responded to a disorderly conduct complaint at Main and Fifth streets, and a warning was issued to a male subject.

Harassment — Warnings were issued for harassment at 11th and Memorial streets.

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Public Record

Mon, 07/18/2016 - 7:00pm

Shawano Police Department

July 17

Police logged 13 incidents, including the following:

Suspicious — Police responded to a suspicious person complaint in the 300 block of South Main Street.

Suspicious — Police responded to a suspicious person complaint in the 800 block of East Green Bay Street.

Harassment — Police responded to a harassment complaint in the 500 block of South Smalley Street.

July 16

Police logged 22 incidents, including the following:

Juvenile — Police responded to a juvenile problem in the 400 block of South Main Street.

Harassment — Police responded to a harassment complaint in the 500 block of South Main Street.

Disturbance — Police responded to a disturbance in the 1200 block of South Lafayette Street.

July 15

Police logged 31 incidents, including the following:

Disturbance — Police responded to a disturbance in the 800 block of East Richmond Street.

Disorderly — Police responded to a disorderly conduct complaint in the 100 block of County Road B.

Juvenile — Police responded to a juvenile problem in the 900 block of South Cleveland Street.

Disturbance — Police responded to a disturbance in the 500 block of North Main Street.

Shoplifting — The Store, 404 E. Green Bay St., reported a shoplifting incident.

Shawano County Sheriff’s Department

July 17

Deputies logged 39 incidents, including the following:

OWI — Authorities responding to a suspicious person complaint on Hidden Pines Lane in the town of Washington arrested a 54-year-old Stevens Point man for operating while intoxicated and possession of marijuana.

Disorderly — A charge of disorderly conduct was referred against a 22-year-old Weston man at North Star Casino, W12180 County Road A, Gresham.

Theft — Authorities responded to a property theft complaint on Maple Street in Birnamwood.

Harassment — Authorities responded to a harassment complaint on County Road U in the town of Herman.

Accident — Authorities responded to an injury accident on Lake Road in the town of Belle Plaine.

July 16

Deputies logged 33 incidents, including the following:

Drug Offense — A 34-year-old Wausau man was cited for possession of marijuana and arrested for a probation and parole violation at the Ho Chunk Casino, N7198 U.S. Highway 45, in the town of Wittenberg.

OWI — A 55-year-old Shawano woman was arrested for operating while intoxicated on County Road MMM in the town of Richmond.

OWL — A 26-year-old Antigo man was cited for operating without a license on state Highway 47 in the town of Hartland.

Theft — Authorities responded to a property theft complaint on Birch Street in Tigerton.

July 15

Deputies logged 36 incidents, including the following:

Vandalism — A yard was reported vandalized on County Road A in the town of Richmond.

Drug Offense — A 21-year-old Neenah woman was cited for possession of marijuana on state Highway 47 in the town of Grant.

Warrant — A 32-year-old Oshkosh woman was taken into custody on a warrant and two other subjects were cited for operating without a transient merchant permit on Grand Street in Tigerton.

Drug Offense — A 35-year-old Marion man was arrested for possession of marijuana and drug paraphernalia, and similar charges were referred against a 23-year-old Eland woman on Wood Avenue in Wittenberg.

Theft — A theft attempt was reported on Oak Street in Bowler.

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Public Record

Sat, 07/16/2016 - 4:38am

Shawano Police Department

July 14

Police logged 22 incidents, including the following:

Suspicious — Police responded to a suspicious vehicle complaint in the 500 block of North Main Street.

Suspicious — Police responded to a suspicious person complaint in the 300 block of South Washington Street.

OWL — A 42-year-old woman was cited for operating without a license at Sawyer and Randall streets.

Theft — Police responded to a property theft complaint in the 500 block of North Main Street.

Shawano County Sheriff’s Department

July 14

Deputies logged 37 incidents, including the following:

Theft — A railroad crossing sign was reported stolen on Peach Road in the town of Richmond.

Theft — A boat motor was reported stolen on Balsam Row Road in the town of Wescott.

Theft — A wallet was reported stolen at the Ho-Chunk Casino, N7198 U.S. Highway 45 in the town of Wittenberg.

Fraud — Authorities investigated a scam complaint on Willow Creek Road in the town of Pella.

Harassment — Authorities responded to a harassment complaint on Golden Sands Avenue in Cecil.

Clintonville Police Department

July 14

Police logged 10 incidents, including the following:

Disturbance — A 21-year-old Clintonville man was arrested for domestic abuse-related disorderly conduct after a domestic disturbance on Memorial Circle.

Harassment — A warning for harassment was issued on North 12th Street.

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RDA stall could affect city addressing SIST properties

Sat, 07/16/2016 - 4:37am
Questions raised about need for authorityBy: 

Tim Ryan [email protected]

The Shawano Common Council’s rejection this week of a blight district map proposed by the Redevelopment Authority could make it harder for the city to tackle a longstanding problem that was largely the reason for establishing the RDA in the first place.

That would be long-vacant and deteriorating buildings, primarily downtown but also along Green Bay Street, most of them owned by the Samanta Roy Institute of Science and Technology and its subsidiaries.

“There have been concerns expressed repeatedly in Shawano about vacant buildings and their dilapidated condition in commercial areas,” said City Administrator Brian Knapp. “Without the RDA, it’s going it’s going to be difficult to address that.”

City officials have seldom referred directly to SIST properties in discussing blighted conditions, usually referring only obliquely to vacant and deteriorating properties.

At least one SIST property came up at Wednesday’s council meeting as Knapp addressed why property values in some areas of the city have gone down.

“We have a number of properties — Ponderosa and two or three others — that were revalued because of their significant deterioration due to the blight that exists there,” he said. “And that is what we are trying to arrest. That is the problem we are trying to address. And if we don’t arrest it, then we will continue to see and possibly continue to see significant reductions in property values that support the activities of the city, the tax base that supports the activities of the city.”

Mayor Jeanne Cronce said in an interview Friday that complaints about vacant SIST properties were not the only reason that the RDA was formed.

“It was also to provide assistance for people who want to rehabilitate their properties,” she said. “A lot of the things the RDA can do, the city can’t.”

SIST properties on the RDA priority list include vacant properties at 201 N. Main St. and 202 N. Washington St.; the former Subway at 951 E. Green Bay St.; the former Taco John’s restaurant at 1214 E. Green Bay St.; a property at 143 S. Main St. being rented to Hunan’s Chinese Restaurant; vacant properties at 303 and 311 E. Green Bay St. and 214 and 216 S. Main St.; as well as a vacant lot at Fourth and Main streets.

Also on the list is the former Ponderosa Steak House at 1247 E. Green Bay St., which was recently purchased at a sheriff’s sale by VDG LLC.

The SIST properties at at 143 S. Main St. and 214 S. Main St. were inspected last month by health and safety officials.

Building inspector Brian Bunke said the inspections at both locations showed damage due to water and other problems.

The matter was expected to be handed off to the RDA to determine how to proceed, though that’s up in the air until the RDA’s proposed redevelopment boundaries and an action plan are approved.

At this point, the RDA is still in operation and is seeking input from council members on new map boundaries ahead of its next meeting on Thursday. The council on Wednesday felt the boundaries should be redrawn to take some properties out.

Any redesigned blight district would have to include at least 50 percent of properties considered blighted in some way.

Without boundaries approved by the council, the RDA would be unable to go forward with an action plan for dealing with blighted properties, which would raise the question of whether the RDA even needs to exist.

“That’s a reasonable question,” Knapp said.

It was also a question raised at Wednesday’s council meeting by Alderwoman Lisa Hoffman, who wondered if the RDA’s redevelopment district was redundant given that most of the properties included are already part of blight elimination districts.

Those would be Tax Incremental Finance districts 4 and 6 along South Main Street and East Green Bay street.

“If TIF 4 and TIF 6 already exist and we have already determined them blighted, and (properties) already qualify for financial assistance from the city, why does this redevelopment area need to exist at all?” Hoffman said.

Knapp said that while the city can already exercise many of the same powers, the RDA provides for “a more elegant tool” that removes a political body like the council from making property determinations and allows for more citizen input.

“The intention is to make it more transparent and clear and get more public input and require public hearings,” he said.

“If you do take a property as a Redevelopment Authority, it requires a public hearing,” he said. “The city council doesn’t need a public hearing to do that. After the building inspector has done everything he can to bring a property into compliance, if you decide it’s necessary to take that further step and for the city to acquire that property, then you as the city council need to meet probably in closed session to talk about the legal ramifications and make decisions about whether or not this is a prudent thing to do. You’re doing it on your own with staff input and without any citizen input.”

Knapp said the RDA can also provide more assistance to property owners than the city can.

Some of the opportunities available to property owners through the RDA could include a variety of federal, state and local home improvement and facade grants, low-interest loans and loans from the city’s and county’s revolving loan funds, brownfield grants for properties that could be environmentally contaminated, and additional financial assistance from the Department of Natural Resources and Department of Housing and Urban Development.

The RDA can also do its own borrowing, which would not effect the city’s borrowing limits.

There are steps to address blighted properties the city can take without a Redevelopment Authority, but those tools are “more blunt, less transparent and not as friendly,” Knapp said in an interview Thursday.

There are ordinances that “could be enforced more strictly,” he said, and at the more extreme end, there is the possibility of condemnation and raze and remove orders “for significantly impaired properties.”

Knapp and RDA officials have said, however, that the city hopes to work in cooperation with property owners to improve their properties.

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Shawano bar opening things up

Sat, 07/16/2016 - 4:22am
Brothers Pub plans new conceptBy: 

Scott Williams [email protected]


Leader Photo by Scott Williams With the existing Brothers Pub in the background, crews work on a 2,700-square-foot expansion that will double the size of the popular sports-themed bar and grill.

Patrons at Brothers Pub can already see Shawano Lake from their seats inside the bar and grill. Soon they will be able to feel the lake, too.

Owners of the establishment formerly known as The Landing Club have embarked on an expansion that will include a unique feature: garage doors that can slide open when the weather is nice.

Refreshing lake breezes will waft through Brothers Pub in an atmosphere that owners believe will be unlike any other bar and grill in the area.

“It’s going to be a totally new concept,” said Jeff White, who owns the town of Wescott business along with his wife, Kathy.

The expansion, which is scheduled for completion by September, will double the size of Brothers Pub and is designed to transform the lakeside establishment from an eatery into a destination.

Alex White, who co-manages the business with his brother, Dustin, said he has seen the sliding-glass garage door feature on taverns in Green Bay and elsewhere. With Shawano Lake just across the road, Brothers Pub customers will find the open concept appealing, he said.

“You feel like you’re outside,” he said. “It’s going to be huge for this area.”

Located at N5867 Lake Drive on the west side of Shawano Lake, the bar and grill operated for many years as The Landing Club. With seating for about 90 people, the place is known for its burgers and sandwiches, its variety of beers, and its sports-themed furnishings.

Jeff and Kathy White, who also own White Pines Lodge and the Woodland Supper Club, both in the Gresham area, purchased the bar and grill in April 2015.

Turning over management to their sons, the couple renamed the business Brothers Pub, for the brothers Alex and Dustin.

The family soon discovered that the lakeside attraction was drawing big crowds, especially during certain televised sports events or busy evenings. When they found themselves occasionally forced to turn customers away, the owners decided it was time to consider building an addition to Brothers Pub.

“Our business is thriving,” Alex White said. “It’s an expansion that is needed.”

Led by Bayland Buildings Inc. of Green Bay, the project broke ground about a week ago. Plans call for a 2,700-square-foot addition that will provide seating for an additional 90 customers. The project also includes a large outdoor patio, an expanded kitchen and facilities for live music.

With the number of TV screens jumping from nine to about 20, officials hope to unveil the expanded accommodations in time for the Green Bay Packers home opener Sept. 25 against the Detroit Lions.

The business intends to hire additional staff in the kitchen and elsewhere to serve bigger crowds.

Andrew Beam, head chef in the kitchen, is planning to expand the menu to include more specialty dishes and maybe a few surprises.

“Everybody should get good food,” Beam said. “This is what I live and breathe.”

Between the larger facilities, good customer service and the unique garage door feature, Jeff White envisions a time when Brothers Pub is as much a destination for visitors and residents of Shawano County as other marquee establishments.

“It’s going to look really top-notch,” he said.

For watching Packers games on TV, White hopes the bar and grill is at the top of every sports fan’s list.

“It’s game day — this is the place to be,” he said.

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Should school board be smaller?

Sat, 07/16/2016 - 4:06am
Shawano district officials talk reapportioningBy: 

Scott Williams [email protected]

The Shawano School Board could be downsized or reconfigured because of a vacant board seat in a community where nobody has stepped forward to serve.

Board members are considering creating a special committee to examine options for reapportioning the district and realigning elected representation that reaches into nine area municipalities.

Among the options that could come up for discussion are tweaking geographic boundaries within the district and reducing the size of the nine-member school board.

“It’s all on the table right now,” District Superintendent Gary Cumberland told board members at a meeting earlier this week.

Board members directed staff to assemble updated population statistics showing the current apportionment of the district’s residents in the city of Shawano and beyond. The district also includes all or part of the towns of Belle Plaine, Herman, Navarino, Pella, Richmond, Washington, Waukechon and Wescott.

The current school board includes three seats representing the city of Shawano, two seats representing Washington and Wescott, and four others scattered among the other geographic areas.

Any changes would have to be approved by residents at the district’s annual meeting in September.

Tom McCarthy, a spokesman for the state Department of Public Instruction, said state law gives local school districts considerable autonomy in deciding how their districts are apportioned and how elected representatives are chosen. McCarthy said it is not unusual for districts to make adjustments because of difficulty recruiting board members.

“They can do as they see fit,” he said. “When issues pop up, they don’t have to go to the state.”

The situation driving reapportionment discussion in the Shawano School District centers on the town of Herman, where no residents are stepping forward to serve on the school board. An election held in April attracted no candidates, and the seat has been vacant ever since.

The same thing happened previously, prompting outgoing incumbent Jay Jones to remain in his board seat temporarily as an appointee at the time.

Herman Town President Joe DeBaker said the town’s 700 residents are divided among three school districts — including the Gresham and Marion districts — and the section of town within the Shawano School District is relatively rural and sparsely populated.

DeBaker said residents would likely agree with reapportioning the Shawano district so that Herman and the surrounding area would be represented in school district decisions.

“It’d be best to have somebody looking out for the interests of those folks,” he said.

At the board committee meeting earlier this week, board members briefly discussed the idea of reducing the board to seven members or perhaps five. They also talked about creating at-large board seats and also about ensuring fair representation for all geographic areas of the district.

The committee reached no conclusions and issued no recommendations.

Michael Sleeper, the board’s vice president, said the nine-member format allows for a robust committee structure that keeps the district operating efficiently.

“Nine is quite large,” Sleeper said, “but I like the way it works.”

Cumberland noted that the current nine-member board has been in place since before segments of the district broke away to form new school districts in Gresham and Menominee County.

“It’s been nine for a long time,” he said. “There’s been a huge change demographic-wise.”

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County treasurer’s race heats up

Sat, 07/16/2016 - 4:04am
August primary could be pivotalBy: 

Scott Williams [email protected]

Two candidates vying for Shawano County treasurer are offering different approaches on how the treasurer should work with other county officials in tracking public funds.

Incumbent Debra Wallace faces challenger Mary Hagen in an Aug. 9 Republican primary that could prove decisive, with no Democrat or other candidate running in November.

Voters elected Wallace four years ago to succeed Kay Schroeder, who stepped aside after 20 years as county treasurer.

Hagen, who is making her first bid for elected office, has worked for many years as an accountant in the county’s finance department.

The winner of the November election will serve four years in a $56,000-a-year position responsible for overseeing all county property tax collections, processing other payments to the county, issuing employee paychecks and balancing the county’s main bank account.

Hagen said the treasurer’s office under Wallace has been withholding information from county finance staffers related to balancing a bank account that typically has millions of dollars in public funds.

If elected treasurer, Hagen said she would resign her position in the county finance department and would be more forthcoming with that department about sharing information needed to track the bank account.

“It’s very difficult to get information from that office,” she said of the treasurer’s office. “There is definitely room for improvement.”

Wallace said her office does not share its bank-balancing work product with the county finance department because doing so would compromise the integrity of government accounting practices and would be like a school teacher giving students “the answers to the test.”

Wallace said her financial records are all open to the public, but county finance officials are supposed to maintain their own records and balance their own books, she said.

“I strongly believe in those checks and balances,” she added.

The county collects about $15 million a year in property taxes, plus another $25 million in other revenues, and processes about $16 million a year in employee paychecks.

The treasurer’s salary is scheduled to increase to $61,000 a year by 2020.

Wallace, who served as deputy treasurer under Schroeder, said she has implemented web-based improvements in automation that make it easier for taxpayers to pay their tax bills online and also to get access to records of their tax payments. Over the next four years, she hopes to expand that automation to include area towns and villages that collect property taxes.

“This just makes it more easy for everybody, more efficient,” she said. “It’s the sweetest program ever.”

Hagen, who has worked 16 years for the county, said her current accounting job involves overseeing the county’s accounts payable and all its fixed assets, such as buildings, real estate and vehicles.

She said she thought carefully about running for county treasurer because she feels strongly that improvements are needed in the treasurer’s office.

“I think it’s time for a change,” she said. “It’ll be good for me, and it’ll be good for the county.”

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Future of RDA in limbo after council vote

Thu, 07/14/2016 - 11:48pm
Group waits on council feedback for new mapBy: 

Tim Ryan, [email protected]

The Shawano Redevelopment Authority is in a holding pattern after the Common Council’s vote Wednesday to send a proposed blight district map back to the RDA for reconsideration.

City Administrator Brian Knapp said the RDA would be looking for guidance from the council on what district boundaries would be acceptable before moving forward.

“At this point, it’s difficult to justify spending any more time and money on it until the RDA understands what the council will accept,” Knapp said.

The city has spent about $19,000 so far, including $15,000 in consulting fees and $4,000 to send out notifications via registered mail to property owners.

Knapp said it could cost an additional $9,000 in consulting fees to do a complete re-evaluation of the district boundaries, plus the cost of sending out new certified notifications, for a total of about $12,000 to $13,000.

The council heard from more than a dozen property owners at Wednesday’s meeting upset that their properties were included in the district.

Knapp said a redrawn district map will likely be greeted with the same objections.

“It’s very difficult to create a district that doesn’t impact or won’t include many of the same individual properties,” he said.

Under state law, a municipality can designated a blight redevelopment district if at least 50 percent of the property within the proposed district is blighted, which means “a predominance of structures, buildings, or improvements that are dilapidated, deteriorated, obsolete, or conditions that are detrimental to public health and safety.”

Shawano’s proposed RDA district roughly follows the contours of Tax Incremental Finance districts already designated along Main and Green Bay streets.

The district encompasses 391 properties, just over 50 percent of which are considered blighted, according to the redevelopment plan.

The council Wednesday called for a new boundary map that eliminates properties that have been improved since property assessments were done more than a year ago.

If a new map that includes at least 50 percent of properties considered blighted can’t be approved, it raises the question of whether there is any point in the RDA’s existence.

“That’s a reasonable question,” Knapp said.

In the meantime, however, city staff will meet with RDA consultant Vierbicher to review options, he said.

Assistant City Administrator Eddie Sheppard, who has been working closely with the RDA as part of city support staff, said there is an RDA meeting that had already been scheduled for Thursday.

“We will have the meeting,” he said. “I don’t know what the content will be.”

Sheppard said he would be touching base with council members ahead of that meeting for further feedback on the district boundary map.

The RDA held an informal meeting with council members last month and walked them through the proposed district boundaries and project plan.

According to Sheppard, some of the questions and concerns raised Wednesday had been addressed at that informal meeting.

The new wrinkle that hadn’t previously been addressed was whether a property could get out of the blight district once improvements to the property are made.

Sheppard said the focus of the district map and the resolutions that were before the council Wednesday was to set boundaries for the district, not to label any particular property as blighted.

“We were not able to communicate that as well as we should have,” he said.

Sheppard said the RDA was aware from the start that the term “blighted” would have negative connotations, but the RDA was stuck with the word under state statutes.

“I wish we could have called it something else,” he said.

Statutes also required the RDA to inform property owners of the potential use of eminent domain, even though, Sheppard said, “the goal has never been to take people’s property.”

Sheppard said the district was being created to assist property owners by providing them with or directing them to resources to help them improve their properties.

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