Shawano Leader News

Subscribe to Shawano Leader News feed
Updated: 27 min 53 sec ago

Public Record

Thu, 04/24/2014 - 6:44pm

Shawano Police Department

April 23

Police logged 21 incidents, including the following:

Juvenile — Police responded to a juvenile problem in the 1300 block of East Lieg Avenue.

Suspicious — Police responded to a suspicious person complaint in the parking lot at Walmart, 1244 E. Green Bay St.

Theft — Police investigated a reported theft attempt in the 1200 block of South Smalley Street.

Suspicious — Police responded to a suspicious person complaint at the Super 8 Motel, 211 Waukechon St.

Theft — Police investigated a reported theft attempt at Walmart, 1244 E. Green Bay St.

Hit and Run — Police investigated a property damage hit-and-run at Center and Main streets.

Theft — Prescription medication was reported stolen on Prospect Circle.

Suspicious — Police responded to a suspicious person complaint in the parking lot of the Shawano City-County Library, 128 S. Sawyer St.

Shawano County Sheriff’s Department

April 23

Deputies logged 43 incidents, including the following:

Disturbance — Authorities responded to a domestic disturbance at the Ho-Chunk Casino, N7198 U.S. Highway 45, in Wittenberg.

Juvenile — Authorities logged two truancy complaints from the Wittenberg-Birnamwood School District.

Theft — Authorities investigated a property theft complaint on Cecil Street in Bonduel.

Trespass — Authorities responded to a trespassing complaint on Hiawatha Court in Wescott.

Disturbance — Authorities responded to a domestic disturbance on Lake View Drive in Aniwa.

Suspicious — Authorities responded to a suspicious vehicle complaint on Oak Drive in Wescott.

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

Clintonville Police Department

April 23

Police logged eight incidents, including the following:

Juvenile — A juvenile was cited for curfew and tobacco violation on Eighth Street at Hemlock Street.

Disturbance — A domestic abuse complaint on North 12th Street was under investigation.

Rate this article:  Select ratingGive it 1/5Give it 2/5Give it 3/5Give it 4/5Give it 5/5 No votes yet

Tornado drills scheduled today

Thu, 04/24/2014 - 10:25am

With no severe weather expected today in Wisconsin, the scheduled statewide tornado drill is a "go."

At 1 p.m., the National Weather Service will issue a mock "tornado watch" for all of
Wisconsin. A watch means tornadoes are possible in your area. Remain alert for
approaching storms.

At 1:45 p.m., the National Weather Service will issue a mock "tornado warning" for all of
Wisconsin. A warning means a tornado has been sighted or indicated on weather radar.
Move to a safe place immediately.

The mock drills will end at 2 p.m.

Most local and state radio, TV and cable stations will be participating in the
drill. Television viewers and radio station listeners will hear a message at 1:45
p.m. indicating that “This is a test.” The mock tornado warning will last about
one minute on radio and TV stations across Wisconsin and when the test is finished,
stations will return to normal programming.

In addition, alerts for both the mock tornado watch and warning will be issued over
NOAA weather radios. Be sure your weather radio is turned on for this test. If the
alarm on your weather radio does not go off for this test, check your weather
radio's programming and quality of reception.

Rate this article:  Select ratingGive it 1/5Give it 2/5Give it 3/5Give it 4/5Give it 5/5 No votes yet

Sheriff's Department closes Noffke investigation

Wed, 04/23/2014 - 8:41pm
Anonymous tip led to unsuccessful search for drugsBy: 

[email protected]

Shawano County authorities Wednesday closed the books on an investigation that led to a futile search for drug activity at a county supervisor’s home last week.

Shawano County authorities executed a search warrant at County Supervisor Deb Noffke’s home April 15, but came away empty-handed, according to documents filed in the Clerk of Court’s office.

Detectives started an investigation after receiving “anonymous information” in February that Noffke and her daughter were growing and smoking marijuana at the Shawano residence and at Noffke’s business, Radio Shack, 221 E. Green Bay St., in Shawano, according to information in the search warrant.

Nothing was located during the execution of the search warrant at Noffke’s residence on West Division Street.

Sheriff Randy Wright said statements taken during further investigation were inconclusive.

“We’re closing it out until we receive any further information to substantiate it or start something new,” he said.

Wright said he did not feel Noffke was owed any apology.

“We followed the protocol. We followed procedures. We had probable cause,” he said.

Based on the anonymous tip, detectives started monitoring Noffke’s residence and Radio Shack in mid-February for any trash being put curbside.

Authorities collected two trash bags left outside the residence on April 4 and took them to the Sheriff’s Department to be searched.

The report alleges that brown and green plant material was found, including what appeared to be a small leaf from a marijuana plant. There was also a large amount of dirt and soil in the bag, according to the report.

The report alleges that both the plant material and soil tested positive for marijuana. Results of a field test filed with the search warrant claim marijuana residue was found.

Wright said a Langlade County assistant district attorney and Langlade County judge reviewed the results and found probable cause for a search warrant. He said the Shawano County district attorney’s office was bypassed because of concerns over the appearance of a conflict of interest.

Wright said the anonymous tip was sufficient to go ahead with the garbage collection.

“It would be a reason for going out and looking,” he said. “In this day and age we try doing aggressive work on drugs. And the anonymous information led to a positive (test for marijuana residue).”

Wright said the department has since been trying to determine who was responsible for the anonymous tip.

“We’ve been attempting to locate the person,” he said. “So far we haven’t come up with the anonymous person.”

Noffke said an anonymous tip shouldn’t be enough to warrant what happened to her and said the same thing could happen to anyone.

“Maybe (Wright) better go and read the Constitution he’s always spouting,” she said.

Noffke has previously said she has no explanation for why there would be a positive test for marijuana residue in her garbage.

Likewise, Wright said, he had no explanation for why a positive test result should end with nothing being found at the residence.

“That’s a good question. I don’t know,” he said. “That’s why we made sure the detective, the people that were working on this followed up with whoever they could to try to find out. It’s a very good question. I wish I could answer that.”

Rate this article:  Select ratingGive it 1/5Give it 2/5Give it 3/5Give it 4/5Give it 5/5 No votes yet

Standoff suspect getting mental health assessment

Wed, 04/23/2014 - 8:40pm
By: 

[email protected]

A 28-year-old Gillett man arrested Tuesday after a two-hour standoff with sheriff’s deputies in Wittenberg was transferred Wednesday afternoon from the county jail to a mental health facility, according to authorities.

Shawano County Sheriff Randy Wright said the man was undergoing a mental health assessment.

The incident initially reported as a robbery at the Wittenberg Shell station and McDonald’s, 413 N. Genesee St., began about 2 p.m. when the armed man entered the business and threatened law enforcement. He did not demand any money.

Wright said the man was apparently trying to provoke a confrontation with authorities.

“He wanted to have an incident with law enforcement,” Wright said.

The suspect permitted all individuals within the area to leave the building except a lone McDonald’s employee, whom he kept as a hostage for about an hour.

Wright said the employee — Jacob Kujawa, 26, of Wittenberg — handled the situation amazingly well.

“He was calm and cool,” Wright said, adding that Kujawa’s composure probably played a big part in bringing a peaceful end to the incident.

Kujawa was released just after 3 p.m. The suspect surrendered peacefully about 4 p.m. after talks with a Sheriff’s Department hostage negotiator.

Shawano County officials, with the assistance of the Marathon County Sheriff’s Office, secured the area and closed U.S. Highway 45 for the duration of the incident.

Nearby Wittenberg-Birnamwood School District elementary and high schools went into lockdown for about 45 minutes as a precaution, according to school officials.

The case was still being reviewed by the Shawano County District Attorney’s Office late Wednesday. Charges were expected to be filed Thursday.

It is The Shawano Leader’s policy not to name suspects who have not been charged.

Rate this article:  Select ratingGive it 1/5Give it 2/5Give it 3/5Give it 4/5Give it 5/5 No votes yet

Public Record

Wed, 04/23/2014 - 8:32pm

Shawano Police Department

April 22

Police logged 22 incidents, including the following:

Arrest — A 29-year-old Shawano man was taken into custody on a probation and parole violation in the 100 block of East Richmond Street.

Burglary — Police investigated a burglary to a room at the Wisconsin House, 216 E. Green Bay St.

Disorderly — Police responded to a disorderly conduct complaint at Shawano Community Middle School, 1050 S. Union St.

Vandalism — A bicycle was reported vandalized in the 100 block of Military Road.

Shawano County Sheriff’s Department

April 22

Deputies logged 27 incidents, including the following:

Disturbance — An 18-year-old Little Chute man was taken into custody on a probation and parole warrant, possession of marijuana and possession of a switchblade after a domestic disturbance on Cecil Street in Bonduel.

Disturbance — Authorities responded to a disturbance on Old Keshena Road in Wescott.

Theft — A feeder wagon was reported stolen on County Road BE in the town of Hartland.

Disturbance — Authorities responded to a disturbance on Warrington Avenue in Cecil.

Harassment — Authorities responded to a harassment complaint on Washington Street in Shawano.

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

Clintonville Police Department

April 22

Police logged six incidents, including the following:

Trespass — Police responded to a trespassing complaint on North Main Street.

Harassment — A harassment complaint on East Morning Glory Drive was under investigation.

Rate this article:  Select ratingGive it 1/5Give it 2/5Give it 3/5Give it 4/5Give it 5/5 No votes yet

Sturgeon awaiting warmer temperatures

Wed, 04/23/2014 - 12:46pm
By: 

Leader Staff

The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources reports the Wolf River is five degrees from reaching prime temperatures for sturgeon spawning.

“Water has to be at least in the mid 50s before they start spawning and it is 45 degrees at the Wolf River,” DNR biologist Ryan Koenigs said this week.

Koenigs anticipates sturgeon could begin spawning as early as Saturday, but the annual journey up the Wolf could be delayed if river temperatures do not rise above 50 degrees. The run did not begin until April 30 last year.

The annual run draws up to $350,000 in tourism to the city of Shawano and $3.5 million in areas surrounding Lake Winnebago, according toKoenigs.

Rate this article:  Select ratingGive it 1/5Give it 2/5Give it 3/5Give it 4/5Give it 5/5 No votes yet

Board OKs $185K for science labs updates

Tue, 04/22/2014 - 6:23pm
By: 

Lee Pulaski, [email protected]


Leader Photo by Lee Pulaski Jeff Easter, Shawano School District maintenance director, talks about the issues plaguing science labs at Shawano Community Middle School while showing one of the existing labs to the School Board and visitors Monday night. The board approved spending $185,000 to update the facilities, which have largely gone unchanged since 1970.

The Shawano School Board voted unanimously Monday to fund a renovation project that will bring the science labs at Shawano Community Middle School into the 21st century.

The board approved spending $185,000 from the school district’s fund balance to remove old equipment and replace it with up-to-date equipment. After a tour of the labs, board members were horrified at what they saw.

“This is humiliating to me. I cannot believe we have had a significant number of science classes go without for so long,” outgoing board president Julie Van Dyck said. “I don’t feel this is a want. This is a need.”

Jeff Easter, who was hired as the district’s maintenance director in 2013, made it a priority to visit every room in every school to check on the district’s needs. He was surprised when he made it to the middle school and found out the science labs had not been updated since 1970, when the middle school was Shawano High School.

“I thought, ‘Oh, no, this doesn’t look good,’” Easter said.

Faucets in one lab did not work. Faucets in another lab had been removed because they no longer worked. The work stations are not compliant with the Americans With Disabilities Act, and in some cases, all the stations are connected to one electrical source, which has caused some fuses to blow.

Easter has fixed the nonfunctioning faucets in the one lab, but he said it was evident that a lot more needed to be done to make the lab functional again.

“I met with all the science teachers and asked them what they needed to satisfy their current curriculum,” Easter said.

The district will pay about $175,000 to Diversified Casework, a Suring-based company that specializes in lab furniture and fixtures, to fabricate and install the equipment. The remaining money will go toward the demolition work, which will be done by Easter’s employees, and the electrical work, which will done by a company to be determined.

Easter and Superintendent Gary Cumberland said it was important to get the work done this year. When board members expressed concern that the project did not go out for bids, Cumberland noted that the price tag to do the work could be higher if the district waits a year.

Several board members agreed the renovations should take place as soon as possible.

“Walking through the school, we’ve updated the lockers and the floors and everything to make it beautiful in appearance for the community with the taxpayers’ dollars, and yet we’re not giving these teachers the facilities they need,” board member Marcia Yeager said. “I think this project should have been done 10 years ago.”

“The equipment is hopelessly outdated. It should be sold at antique shops,” board member Michael Sleeper said.

The renovation work will take place this summer so the labs can be ready for the new school year in September.

Rate this article:  Select ratingGive it 1/5Give it 2/5Give it 3/5Give it 4/5Give it 5/5 No votes yet

Standoff in Wittenberg ends peacefully

Tue, 04/22/2014 - 6:20pm
By: 

[email protected]

A two-hour standoff with an armed man at the Wittenberg Shell station ended peacefully Tuesday afternoon with the man’s surrender, according to the Shawano County Sheriff’s Department.

Authorities received a panic/hold-up alarm, along with verbal reports, that a gunman was inside the station just before 2 p.m., the Sheriff’s Department said.

Authorities said a 28-year-old Gillett man had entered the station and threatened law enforcement, but did not demand money.

The suspect permitted all individuals within the area to leave the building except a lone worker. A Sheriff’s Department hostage negotiator successfully talked the suspect into letting the employee go just after 3 p.m.

Shawano County officials, with the assistance of the Marathon County Sheriff’s Office, secured the area and closed U.S. Highway 45 for the duration of the incident.

Nearby Wittenberg-Birnamwood School District elementary and high schools went into lockdown for about 45 minutes as a precaution, according to school officials.

The hostage negotiator successfully encouraged the suspect to surrender about 4 p.m. It has been confirmed that the suspect was armed with a handgun, the Sheriff’s Department said.

“The suspect in the incident is in custody, and his well-being will be assessed,” Sheriff Randy Wright said.

The gas station, at 413 N. Genesee St., is in the same building as a McDonald’s.

No additional details were being released Tuesday afternoon.

Rate this article:  Select ratingGive it 1/5Give it 2/5Give it 3/5Give it 4/5Give it 5/5 No votes yet

Convicted murderer faces sex assault charge

Tue, 04/22/2014 - 3:01pm
By: 

[email protected]

A Shawano man previously convicted of murder in Sheboygan County is facing new charges of sexual assault and false imprisonment after an incident last month.

Randy L. Schoerner, 56, was on lifetime parole for a 1976 first-degree murder conviction when he allegedly choked and assaulted a woman and held her against her will at his residence in Shawano on March 3, according to the criminal complaint.

According to the complaint, Schoerner sought the assistance of a female acquaintance to help him pack for a return to Sheboygan, where his parole was being transferred.

The complaint states Schoerner became upset that the woman was talking with another man on her cell phone, and he began yelling at her and prevented her from leaving.

The complaint alleges Schoerner choked the woman and tried to force her pants off. The complaint also alleges Schoerner threatened her with a knife during the incident.

According to the complaint, the woman was able to escape the residence when someone came to the door.

Because of his previous conviction, Schoerner could face an enhanced maximum penalty of 26 years in prison and a $50,000 fine if found guilty of second-degree attempted sexual assault.

He could also face 14 years and a $25,000 fine as a repeat offender if found guilty of strangulation and suffocation, and 10 years and a $10,000 fine if convicted of false imprisonment.

He is also charged with misdemeanor counts of battery, disorderly conduct and obstructing an officer.

Schoerner, who was remanded back to prison on a parole violation, is scheduled for an adjourned initial appearance on the new charges in Shawano-Menominee County Circuit Court on May 5.

Rate this article:  Select ratingGive it 1/5Give it 2/5Give it 3/5Give it 4/5Give it 5/5 No votes yet

Sirens to blow for tornado awareness week

Tue, 04/22/2014 - 2:58pm

Tornado sirens will sound in Shawano and Menominee counties Thursday as part of a statewide drill marking Tornado and Severe Weather Awareness Week.

At 1 p.m., the National Weather Service will issue a statewide mock tornado watch and at 1:45 p.m. a statewide mock tornado warning. Many radio and TV stations will participate in the drill. In addition, NOAA weather radios (also known as emergency weather radios) will issue alert messaging and weather sirens will sound across both counties.

Wisconsin Emergency Management, ReadyWisconsin, the National Weather Service and the Wisconsin Broadcasters Association are also teaming up for the drill.

“We all remember the severe thunderstorm last year that was so devastating to many in our community and want everyone to be prepared when severe weather strikes our area,” said Shelley Williams, Menominee County emergency management director.

Natalie Easterday, Shawano County emergency management director, said the drill provides an ideal opportunity for schools, businesses and families to practice safe procedures for severe weather.

“Taking just a little time out of the day to participate in the drill and talk about severe weather safety will go a long ways in helping everyone be more prepared,” she said.

The tornado drill will take place even if the sky is cloudy, dark and/or rainy. If actual severe storms are expected in the state on Thursday, the tornado drill will be postponed until Friday with the same times. If severe storms are possible Friday, the drill will be cancelled.

Residents will be notified of any changes through local media as well as the ReadyWisconsin web page, Facebook and Twitter.

Rate this article:  Select ratingGive it 1/5Give it 2/5Give it 3/5Give it 4/5Give it 5/5 No votes yet

Public Record

Tue, 04/22/2014 - 2:55pm

Shawano Police Department

April 21

Police logged 22 incidents, including the following:

Theft — A stolen dog complaint in the 200 block of East Center Street was determined to be unfounded after the dog was located.

Fraud — Police investigated a fraud complaint at Walmart, 1244 E. Green Bay St.

Accident — Police responded to a property damage accident in the 500 block of South Union Street.

Shawano County Sheriff’s Department

April 21

Deputies logged 31 incidents, including the following:

Warrant — A 45-year-old man was taken into custody on a warrant on U.S. Highway 45 in Tigerton.

Warrant — A 22-year-old man was taken into custody on a warrant on Webb Street in Wittenberg.

Theft — Tools were reported stolen from a storage shed on Apple Road in Pella.

OAR — A 21-year-old man was cited for operating after revocation and taken into custody on a Probation and Parole hold on Genesee Street in Wittenberg.

Accidents — Authorities logged two deer-related crashes.

Clintonville Police Department

April 21

Police logged nine incidents, including the following:

Fraud — Police investigated a fraud complaint on West Madison Street.

Disturbance — Police responded to a neighbor dispute on Ninth Street.

Rate this article:  Select ratingGive it 1/5Give it 2/5Give it 3/5Give it 4/5Give it 5/5 No votes yet

Governor announces plan to expand Family Care

Tue, 04/22/2014 - 2:46pm
Shawano among next 7 countiesBy: 

The Associated Press


The Associated Press Gov. Scott Walker smiles during an event Monday at Options for Independent Living in Green Bay where he announced the expansion of Family Care, a state-administered program that provides long-term care to disabled and elderly residents under Medicaid.

Wisconsin health officials are ready to begin expanding the Family Care program that provides in-home care to seven additional counties, but it could take as long as three years to get things ramped up.

Gov. Scott Walker said Monday his administration is ready to start work on extending Family Care to Brown, Door, Kewaunee, Marinette, Menominee, Oconto and Shawano counties. The expansion would include 2,434 people who use similar county-based care programs, 977 people on waiting lists for county services and anyone else who resides in the counties and meets the eligibility requirements.

“The expansion of this program allows more people to stay in their homes, where they prefer to be,” Walker said in a statement. “By extending Family Care services, they can have a better quality of life, more independence, and they can avoid the expense of moving into a nursing home before it’s necessary.”

Expansion is contingent on approval from the Legislature’s powerful Joint Finance Committee, which would have to sign off on any contracts with health care providers to cover Family Care services. The Legislature has adjourned for the year but committee co-chairwoman Sen. Alberta Darling, R-River Hills, generally supports the idea, a spokesman said, adding the committee could meet on the matter before the end of 2014. A message left at the office of co-chairman Rep. John Nygren, R-Marinette, wasn’t immediately returned Monday.

Family Care offers a variety of programs through Medicaid for long-term care for the disabled and elderly, helping to keep them out of nursing homes. The program is currently available in 57 of the state’s 72 counties and serves about 41,000 people.

Walker imposed a Family Care enrollment cap in the 2011-13 state budget that began July 1, 2011, but the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services ordered him to remove the cap that December. Walker announced at the time he wanted to expand the program to the 15 counties where it wasn’t offered.

Since then, the state Department of Health Services has worked to complete a cost-effectiveness study as required in the 2011-13 budget; evaluate whether expansion was feasible statewide; and identify efficiencies, DHS spokeswoman Stephanie Smiley said. The current 2013-15 state budget called for the state Department of Health Services to conduct another cost-benefit study, which found a statewide expansion would be $34.7 million cheaper than the counties continuing their own programs.

“The Department believes that it has the support it needs to move forward,” Smiley said in an email to The Associated Press.

Walker’s administration decided to start with the seven northeastern Wisconsin counties because they’re closest to being ready to put Family Care in place, Smiley said. All seven counties have approved resolutions creating a long-term care district to provide or contract for Family Care services, according to documents from the Legislative Fiscal Bureau.

Smiley said DHS hopes to start enrolling people by the end of 2015, but warned starting Family Care in other counties has sometimes taken up to three years. She said DHS has to select providers, certify their abilities, get finance committee contract approvals and shift county program participants over to Family Care.

Smiley said the state will cover the expansion through cost savings generated through improved efficiencies. She did not elaborate.

Jeremy Kral, executive director of the Brown County Human Services Department, didn’t take issue with DHS’ time frame, saying the switch from county programs to Family Care will require an extensive overhaul of health care delivery models.

But he said the move is historic; it will eliminate waiting lists and save the county tax dollars devoted to long-term care costs.

“It will change lives,” Kral said.

Smiley said it’s unclear when DHS would start moving to expand Family Care into the remaining eight counties: Adams, Dane, Forest, Florence, Oneida, Rock, Taylor and Vilas.

Rate this article:  Select ratingGive it 1/5Give it 2/5Give it 3/5Give it 4/5Give it 5/5 No votes yet

Assault in Cecil sends man to hospital

Tue, 04/22/2014 - 9:25am
By: 

Leader Staff

Rate this article:  Select ratingGive it 1/5Give it 2/5Give it 3/5Give it 4/5Give it 5/5 No votes yet

Public Record

Tue, 04/22/2014 - 9:23am

Shawano Police Department

April 20

Police logged 14 incidents, including the following:

Theft — A wallet was reported stolen in the 200 block of Mills Street.

Fraud — Police investigated a fraud complaint in the 1400 block of East Elizabeth Street.

Disorderly — Police responded to a disorderly conduct complaint at the Wisconsin House, 216 E. Green Bay St.

April 19

Police logged 23 incidents, including the following:

Disorderly — Police responded to a disorderly conduct complaint at Shawano Medical Center, 309 N. Bartlett St.

Juvenile — Police responded to a juvenile problem at Lincoln and Richmond streets.

Shoplifting — Police responded to a shoplifting complaint at Walmart, 1244 E. Green Bay St.

April 18

Police logged 21 incidents, including the following:

Theft — A cable box was reported stolen in the 300 block of West Stevens Street.

Assault — Police investigated an assault complaint in the 500 block of South Franklin Street.

Drug Offense — Police investigated a drug complaint in the 500 block of South Main Street.

Drug Offense — Police investigated a drug complaint at Main and Maurer streets.

Disturbance — Police responded to a disturbance in the 500 block of West Pine Street.

Fraud — Police investigated a fraud complaint in the 700 block of South Union Street.

Shawano County Sheriff’s Department

April 20

Deputies logged 30 incidents, including the following:

OWI — A 37-year-old Appleton man was arrested for operating while intoxicated on Balsam Way in Richmond.

Theft — Authorities investigated a theft complaint on Seneca Town Line Road in the town of Morris.

Burglary — Authorities investigated a burglary in the town of Richmond.

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

April 19

Deputies logged 32 incidents, including the following:

Disturbance — Authorities responded to a disturbance on Warrington Avenue in Cecil.

OWI — A 35-year-old Keshena woman was arrested for operating while intoxicated on Curt Black Road in Wescott.

Disorderly — Authorities responded to a disorderly conduct complaint on Mill Street in Wittenberg.

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

April 18

Deputies logged 42 incidents, including the following:

Disturbance — Authorities responded to a disturbance on state Highway 22 in Green Valley.

Theft — Authorities investigated a theft complaint on Mill Street in Wittenberg.

Accidents — Authorities logged four accidents, including two deer-related crashes.

Rate this article:  Select ratingGive it 1/5Give it 2/5Give it 3/5Give it 4/5Give it 5/5 No votes yet

Farms ordered to report pig virus cases

Sat, 04/19/2014 - 7:07am
By: 

The Associated Press

Farms stricken with a deadly pig virus must report outbreaks as part of a new program to help monitor and possibly control the spread of the disease, the federal government announced Friday.

Porcine epidemic diarrhea has killed millions of pigs in 27 states since showing up in the U.S. last May, with Illinois, Iowa, Minnesota and North Carolina being hit hardest. The disease has been blamed for recent increases in bacon and pork prices. Farmers have struggled to control the virus, because little is known about how it spreads and there is not yet a federally approved vaccine.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture said it would step up efforts by requiring farms to report infections and labs to report positive tests from submitted tissue and fecal samples. Farms that suffer an outbreak also will have to participate in a program to help control the spread of the disease; details of that program have not yet been worked out.

Previously, the USDA and the nation’s pork industry tracked PED with voluntary reports from the labs.

The USDA said Friday it would commit $5 million to fight the disease, boosting the $1.7 million research effort already begun by the pork industry. It also will require farmers to report cases of a similar disease, swine delta coronavirus.

“Today’s actions will help identify gaps in biosecurity and help us as we work together to stop the spread of these diseases and the damage caused to producers, industry and ultimately consumers,” Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said in statement.

Believed to be from China, PED poses the most risk to newborn piglets, which die from dehydration. It does not infect humans or other animals.

Dr. Paul Sundberg, vice president of science and technology for the National Pork Board, said the new reporting requirements would provide better information on how many farms have been infected by PED and where. They also set a model for how similar diseases could be handled.

“The issue of accuracy of information is a really important one for the future of PED, as well as other diseases,” Sundberg said. “The issue of being able to analyze data to control disease, and to analyze data, you have to have good data.”

The USDA has already been looking at how diseases like PED could spread within the United States, and said it will work with state agriculture departments to track the disease and keep tabs on the movement of animals, vehicles and other equipment from infected farms.

Some states now require a veterinarian to certify that pigs coming to farms or slaughterhouses are virus-free.

Sundberg said one important aspect of the announcement was that the USDA did not appear likely to institute quarantines, which could cripple the pork industry by stopping the movement of animals to slaughter.

Rate this article:  Select ratingGive it 1/5Give it 2/5Give it 3/5Give it 4/5Give it 5/5 No votes yet

Shawano grocery bill above state average

Sat, 04/19/2014 - 7:06am
By: 

Lee Pulaski, [email protected]

Customers shopping in Shawano grocery stores might be shelling out more money than others in the state, according to the latest Marketbasket Survey done by the Wisconsin Farm Bureau.

However, a WFB spokeswoman pointed out that the prices depend where one shops and that prices overall have remained relatively stable.

According to survey results taken in March, Shawano residents paid about $58.53 for 16 everyday items, compared with $50.04 statewide and $53.27 for the nation. In March 2013, locals paid $51.10 for the same items.

Meat and cheese prices jumped the most. Out of the 16 items, only three items dropped in price, and one remained the same.

The biggest prince increases was for shredded cheddar cheese, which went from $3.50 per pound in 2013 to $5.98 today. The average state consumer paid $4.38 for cheese, according to the survey results.

Sliced deli ham jumped $1.50, to $3.99, per pound, but the price was lower than the state average of $4.95. Boneless chicken breasts increased by $1.70 per pound, to $4.99, well above the $3.34 state average.

Locally, the price of white bread dropped 50 cents, to $2.49, for a 20-ounce loaf, and a 32-ounce bottle of vegetable oil was also $2.49, a 90-cent decrease.

Amy Manske, WFB communications coordinator, noted that many of the volunteers that look at grocery prices visit only one store, even though communities such as Shawano have multiple options for food purchasing.

As for the future, meat prices are not expected to increase due to the spread of the Porcine Epidemic Diarrhea Virus, which has killed more than 4 million young pigs, according to Jamie Patton, University of Wisconsin-Extension agriculture agent for Shawano County. Since PEDV is an unreportable disease, it is unclear how much of an impact it has had on supply numbers, she said.

Shrinking cattle herds will also not impact meat prices, Patton said.

“We don’t believe food prices can go a whole lot higher, so they’ll probably stay at the rate of inflation,” Patton said. “People are maxed out on how much they can spend on food.”

Beef demand is also going down while the demand for chicken is going up. Patton said that more people are eating more chicken than beef for the first time in a century.

“For the long time, beef was our number one meat protein source, and now just recently, after the first of the year, chicken became our number one meat-based protein source,” Patton said, noting that chicken has been touted as a healthier and cheaper food choice than beef.

Patton noted that chicken prices have stayed constant over the last few years because, unlike beef and pork, chicken can be fed a variety of items, not limited to corn or grain.

Patton is keeping a closer eye on grain prices, particularly wheat. She said the unrest with Ukraine and Russia could cause those prices to go up, as Ukraine supplies 6 percent of the world’s supply of wheat.

Also, major wheat growth areas are just coming out of a drought, Patton said, and the recent freezing weather could impact this year’s crop.

Rate this article:  Select ratingGive it 1/5Give it 2/5Give it 3/5Give it 4/5Give it 5/5 No votes yet

City approves equipment purchases

Sat, 04/19/2014 - 7:05am
By: 

Leader Staff

Shawano officials this week approved a bid for the 2014 concrete sidewalk program, along with more than $200,000 in other spending on capital equipment purchases and services.

Work on the city’s sidewalks was awarded to Cerveny Construction Inc., of Shawano, in the amount of $41,150. The city had budgeted $45,000 for the program this year.

The Shawano Common Council also approved annual transformer purchases for Shawano Municipal Utilities from Resco (Rural Electric Supply Cooperative), of Madison, in the amount of $56,943.

Several purchases were also approved for the Department of Public Works, including a Volvo L60G rubber-tire wheel loader with grapple in the amount of $132,140 from Airing Equipment, of De Pere. The amount includes the trade-in of an older model. The city had budgeted $135,000 for the purchase.

The council also approved the purchase of a Geo 6000 GeoXH Handheld GPS in the amount of $6,690 from Seiler Instrument Inc. The company is headquartered in St. Louis. The city uses a hand-held GPS to mark and locate infrastructure and update it into the city’s mapping system.

Also awarded to Seiler was a $37,995 bid for the purchase of a Trimble S6 robotic total station. Public Works Coordinator Eddie Sheppard said the station is the department’s primary piece of surveying equipment, and the primary tool for engineering city streets and utility infrastructure.

The Common Council also awarded this year’s crack sealing program to Crack Filling Service Corp., of Cross Plains, in the amount of $1.19 per pound for up to $ 10,000 worth of crack sealing repair work. The sealant is used in city streets to prevent water from infiltrating and damaging the base material.

Rate this article:  Select ratingGive it 1/5Give it 2/5Give it 3/5Give it 4/5Give it 5/5 No votes yet

Council approves Judd Park

Sat, 04/19/2014 - 7:03am
By: 

Leader Staff

Judd Park and Boat Landing is now an official part of Shawano’s park system.

The Shawano Common Council this week formerly approved the name change recommended by the Park and Recreation Commission to honor Judd for 31 years of service to the city.

Judd retired on March 7 as the park and recreation director. Matt Hendricks took over as director on April 1.

The newly named park includes a parcel of property recently acquired by the city to expand the Lieg Avenue boat landing.

The council approved the new name at its reorganizational meeting Tuesday and recommended that Judd Park and Boat Landing be added to the city’s master plan.

There would be the 27th park in the city overseen by the Park and Recreation Department, which is also responsible for Woodlawn Cemetery.

Of those, 13 parks were developed or expanded under Judd’s tenure, including Don Martzke Sports Park, Eberlein Park, Sturgeon Park, Spirit of Shawano, Feivor Park, Huckleberry Harbor and Kuckuk Park.

Rate this article:  Select ratingGive it 1/5Give it 2/5Give it 3/5Give it 4/5Give it 5/5 No votes yet

Public Record

Sat, 04/19/2014 - 7:02am

Shawano Police Department

April 17

Police logged 26 incidents, including the following:

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

Accident — Police responded to a two-vehicle crash at Andrews and Highview streets. No injuries were reported.

Harassment — Police responded to a harassment complaint on South Main Street.

Hit and Run — Police investigated a property damage hit-and-run at Green Bay and Washington streets.

Accident — Police responded to a two-vehicle property damage accident in the 1200 block of East Green Bay Street.

Trespass — Kids were reported running through the construction area at the former Lincoln School, 237 S. Sawyer St.

Shawano County Sheriff’s Department

April 17

Deputies logged 40 incidents, including the following:

Disturbance — Authorities responded to a disturbance on Pine Drive in Red Springs.

Theft — Authorities investigated a property theft complaint on Red Oak Lane in Wittenberg.

Theft — Authorities investigated a report of an attempted theft on Sandy Lane in Waukechon.

Disturbance — Authorities responded to a domestic disturbance on County Road MM in Richmond.

Accidents — Authorities logged seven accidents, including an injury accident on Park Avenue in Herman and two deer-related crashes.

Clintonville Police Department

April 17

Police logged 19 incidents, including the following:

Juvenile — Inappropriate behavior, truancy, disorderly conduct and harassment complaints were filed at Clintonville Middle School, 255 N. Main St.

Disorderly — Disorderly conduct incident was reported at Clintonville High School, 64 Green Tree Road.

Juvenile — Two truancy issues were reported at Honey Creek Alternative School.

Disturbance — Officers responded to a family disturbance on West Morning Glory Drive.

Vandalism — A business on North Main Street reported being egged.

Rate this article:  Select ratingGive it 1/5Give it 2/5Give it 3/5Give it 4/5Give it 5/5 No votes yet

Hearing set for SMU rate increase

Fri, 04/18/2014 - 7:49am
By: 

[email protected]awanoleader.com

A public hearing has been scheduled next month to consider Shawano Municipal Utilities’ request for an increase in electric rates.

The Wisconsin Public Service Commission will hold a teleconference at 9:30 a.m. May 8 from Madison with utility officials in the SMU conference room at 122 N. Sawyer St.

Residential customers would barely be impacted by the increase, City Administrator and SMU General Manager Brian Knapp said.

Instead, large commercial operations and industrial customers would bear the brunt of the rate hike, with their bills going up anywhere from 2 percent to 6.6 percent, depending on their size.

Aarrowcast, at 2900 E. Richmond St., in the city’s industrial park, has filed as an intervenor in the case, objecting to the rate increase.

SMU originally requested an increase that would allow for a 5.5 percent rate of return in net revenue, with hopes that a rate increase would be in place by the end of last year.

Delays in the approval process led PSC to suggest the utility request a 6.25 percent rate of return, which the SMU Commission voted to support.

PSC determines what rate increase would be needed and how it would be broken down among customers to reach that rate of return.

SMU last increased its rates in 2010 after being given approval for a 4 percent rate of return, but revenue has fallen short since then due to a decrease in industrial power use and higher labor costs.

The utility had a rate of return of only 1.07 percent for 2013, compared to 3.21 percent in 2012.

The rate of return for the first two months of this year was 0.13 percent.

The utility had a net income of $158,754 from February 2013 to February 2014. The net income for the previous 12 months was $371,475

Because of the economic conditions at the time, the SMU Commission had mixed feelings about its 2010 rate hike and initially debated asking for a 6 percent rate of return before settling on a request for 4 percent.

However, some commissioners felt it was inevitable the utility would have to come back and ask for more.

Rate this article:  Select ratingGive it 1/5Give it 2/5Give it 3/5Give it 4/5Give it 5/5 No votes yet

Pages