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Updated: 28 min 36 sec ago

Gresham siren rebuilt, back on line

Fri, 04/18/2014 - 7:48am

Sewer rates in Clintonville will increase nearly 22 percent over the next two years to help pay for $3.5 million in upgrades at the city’s wastewater treatment plant.

The first increase, of about 12 percent, will take effect with the July bills. The second increase, of about 10 percent, will take effect when the improvement project is completed in late 2015 or early 2016. The city last increased sewer rates in 2008.

The Common Council approved the plant upgrades and rate increases April 8.

City Administrator Lisa Kuss said for a family of four using 7,000 gallons per month, with a five-eighths-inch meter, the monthly base rate would increase from $8.50 to $11 in July and to $13.25 when the project is completed. The rates are higher for customers with larger meters.

The volume charge, per 1,000 gallons of water, also will increase, from the current $3.90 to $4.15 in July and to $4.40 upon project completion.

“I don’t like to have an increase — none of us like an increase — but things need to be replaced, and we’re going to have to pay it sooner or later,” Alderman Jerry Jorgenson said.

Alderman Greg Rose said that the proposed increases and resulting rates were not out of line when compared to area communities.

The city is still considering how to finance the project. A 20-year Wisconsin Clean Water Fund loan would be among the options. The current interest rate would be 2.625 percent.

Phil Korth, of Foth, an engineering consulting firm working with city, said the wastewater facility is not facing capacity limitations but improvements are needed. The most recent upgrades were made 25 years ago, he said.

The upgrades are expected to cost about $3,485,000, or about $135 per square foot.

“Your plant is well-maintained, and your operations staff and the city here, you should be proud of them for maintaining and operating it well,” said Korth. “If you don’t do it now, you will do maintenance as things break, but you will start to see higher and higher yearly maintenance costs including emergency repair costs.”

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Clintonville sewer rates going up

Fri, 04/18/2014 - 7:47am
By: 

Grace Kirchner, Leader Correspondent

Sewer rates in Clintonville will increase nearly 22 percent over the next two years to help pay for $3.5 million in upgrades at the city’s wastewater treatment plant.

The first increase, of about 12 percent, will take effect with the July bills. The second increase, of about 10 percent, will take effect when the improvement project is completed in late 2015 or early 2016. The city last increased sewer rates in 2008.

The Common Council approved the plant upgrades and rate increases April 8.

City Administrator Lisa Kuss said for a family of four using 7,000 gallons per month, with a five-eighths-inch meter, the monthly base rate would increase from $8.50 to $11 in July and to $13.25 when the project is completed. The rates are higher for customers with larger meters.

The volume charge, per 1,000 gallons of water, also will increase, from the current $3.90 to $4.15 in July and to $4.40 upon project completion.

“I don’t like to have an increase — none of us like an increase — but things need to be replaced, and we’re going to have to pay it sooner or later,” Alderman Jerry Jorgenson said.

Alderman Greg Rose said that the proposed increases and resulting rates were not out of line when compared to area communities.

The city is still considering how to finance the project. A 20-year Wisconsin Clean Water Fund loan would be among the options. The current interest rate would be 2.625 percent.

Phil Korth, of Foth, an engineering consulting firm working with city, said the wastewater facility is not facing capacity limitations but improvements are needed. The most recent upgrades were made 25 years ago, he said.

The upgrades are expected to cost about $3,485,000, or about $135 per square foot.

“Your plant is well-maintained, and your operations staff and the city here, you should be proud of them for maintaining and operating it well,” said Korth. “If you don’t do it now, you will do maintenance as things break, but you will start to see higher and higher yearly maintenance costs including emergency repair costs.”

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Sheriff's Department honors dispatchers

Fri, 04/18/2014 - 7:43am

The Shawano County Sheriff’s Department is honoring its dispatchers this week as part of National Telecommunicators’ Week. which runs April 13-19.

In 1991, Congress set aside the second week of April for the nationwide honors.

“Public safety agencies, nationwide, have recognized the pivotal role played by dispatchers who, with their technical skills, provide support to law enforcement, fire services and emergency medical services,” Sheriff Randy Wright said in a news release.

Wright praised the work of Communications Supervisor Maria McCoy and dispatchers Jason Boldt, Mary Beck, Lisa Onesti, Rogene Wegner, Deb Godding, Kim Krause, Lucy Klosterman, Kasey Cross, Deanna Schuebel, Jennifer Peterson, Nicholas Uttecht, Jamie Koenig, Kathleen Poole and Malorie Notz.

“Shawano County is fortunate to have these individuals dedicated to calming the anxious and frightened individuals requesting emergency services,” Wright said.

“These people represent some of the most talented and dedicated individuals answering the calls when citizens need help,” he said. “Those calls can range from normal squad radio traffic to talking a person out of suicide; giving CPR instructions to a parent whose child is choking; dispatching ambulance and fire personnel to traffic accidents; listening to the voice of an elderly person just wanting someone to talk to.”

Wright said the calls come in at no set pace.

“Officers’ lives depend on them to know exactly where they are,” he said. “It can be quiet one moment and then go to complete chaos when, at the same time, every caller expects the person who answers their call for help to give them their complete attention. All of this must be done with style, grace and uncompromised competence.”

In 2013, the Shawano County Dispatch Center answered 28,309 calls for service. Of those, there were approximately 10,502 calls made to 911.

“Please join us in recognizing the important work these individuals do on a daily basis,” Wright said. “It is our hope that you never have to make that frantic call. But if you should ever have to, you can rely on these skilled professionals to guide you through your emergency.”

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Public Record

Fri, 04/18/2014 - 7:43am

Shawano Police Department

April 16

Police logged 15 incidents, including the following:

Juvenile — Police logged three truancy complaints from Shawano Community Middle School, 1050 S. Union St.

Reckless Driving — Police responded to a reckless driving complaint at Main and Third streets.

Shawano County Sheriff’s Department

April 16

Deputies logged 27 incidents, including the following:

Disturbance — Authorities responded to a domestic disturbance on First Avenue in Birnamwood.

Warrant — A 41-year-old woman was taken into custody on a warrant after a traffic stop on state Highway 47-55 in Wescott.

Juvenile —Authorities responded to a juvenile problem on Bluebird Road in Wittenberg.

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

Clintonville Police Department

April 16

Police logged eight incidents, including the following:

Juvenile — An officer responded for an uncontrollable juvenile on Flora Way and a warning was issued.

Suspicious — A suspicious incident on Sixth Street was reported.

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Detectives search county supervisor's home

Thu, 04/17/2014 - 7:29am
Pot allegations based on anonymous sourceBy: 

Tim Ryan, [email protected]

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

Shawano County sheriff’s 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, at 221 E. Green Bay St. in Shawano, according to information in the search warrant.

Noffke said Wednesday she believed the allegation was politically motivated but couldn’t say where it originated.

“I don’t want to make accusations,” Noffke said. “If you’re in office long enough, you’re bound to make some enemies.”

Noffke said she got out of the shower just as the search warrant was being executed Wednesday morning because she thought she heard a noise. She put on some clothes and went to the door to see “a whole yard full of cops with guns.”

Noffke said what followed was like having her home broken into and ransacked as authorities searched “every drawer, every cupboard, every cabinet, every bookshelf.”

Noffke said authorities seemed to realize after a short time that there was nothing to be found.

“After about 20 or 30 minutes, I think they realized their information was not on the up-and-up,” she said. “Maybe they realized halfway through that somebody hosed them.”

However, Sheriff Randy Wright said the matter is still under investigation.

“There’s still a few things being checked into,” he said.

According to a statement included in the search warrant, 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 West Division Street 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.

Noffke had no explanation for the test results.

“It can’t possibly be,” she said.

Noffke also said she was angry that such an investigation could go forward based on anonymous information.

“I would hope before you’d do this to anyone’s house you would have some solid evidence,” she said. “Nobody should have to go through this.”

Noffke speculated that the anonymous tip could be connected to hate mail sent to some County Board members earlier this year, also anonymously.

Noffke represents county District 1, which includes Wards 1 and 2 in the city of Shawano.

The search warrant was granted by a circuit court judge in Langlade County.

The warrant sought a wide range of potential evidence at the residence that could “establish the existence of a conspiracy to deliver controlled substances.”

The warrant was returned on Wednesday morning with a single-line detective’s statement attached noting, “nothing located on scene.”

The search warrant was executed about 7 a.m. Tuesday, two hours before Noffke was due at a reorganizational meeting of the Shawano County Board.

Wright said the timing was based on when the warrant was issued and what manpower was available.

The warrant shows that it was received by sheriff’s detectives at 10:37 a.m. Monday.

Langlade County sheriff’s deputies and Stockbridge-Munsee police assisted in the search.

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Local reading, math scores below state average

Thu, 04/17/2014 - 7:28am
By: 

Lee Pulaski, [email protected]

The percentage of local students scoring “proficient” or “advanced” on the Wisconsin Knowledge and Concepts Exam (WKCE) in math and reading dropped again in 2013, according to data released recently by the Department of Public Instruction.

The tests were taken in October and November by students in grades 3-8 and 10. Administrators last year said the lower scores on the annual tests were due primarily to higher benchmarks imposed by the state. The increased expectations were a prelude to a more rigorous testing system as the state eliminates the WKCE next year and implements its new Common Core standards.

A new assessment will be put in place for reading and math assessments in grades K-8, while ACT exams will be used to assess high school students.

“The new assessments will allow students to show more of what they know and provide information for parents and teachers to target timely instruction for those who need more challenges or additional help,” Wisconsin Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Evers said.

Reading

Of the nine school districts in the area, only Bonduel had above-average scores in all areas.

The statewide passing rate, meaning students achieved “proficient” or “advanced” scores, was 36.2 percent in reading for all grades combined. Bonduel had a passing rate of 41.6 percent.

Bonduel District Administrator Peter Behnke attributed the higher WKCE scores in reading to the district’s participation in the Response To Intervention program, where teachers regularly assess students to see if they are learning on grade level. If they aren’t, teachers and staff work with the students to bring them up to speed.

“They’ve put in some computer-based initiatives that are helping,” Behnke said. “It would not surprise me if those were making a little bit of a contribution. We just always try to redouble our efforts.”

Shawano School District’s passing rate for reading was 29.9 percent across all grades. At the elementary level, 28.3 percent mastered state standards. The passing rate at the middle school level was 28.1 percent; at the high school, 38.3 percent.

Menominee Indian School District had the lowest passing rate in the area for reading, with 10.1 percent across the board, 11.8 percent for the elementary level, 8.8 percent for the middle school level, and 8.5 percent for the high school level.

Math

Marion School District was the only district in the area to have a higher passing rate on the math test than the state average. The state average for all grades was 48.3 percent; Marion’s was 51 percent.

Several schools saw higher passing rates for math among the elementary students. Shawano’s passing rate was 51 percent, Bonduel, 55 percent and Gresham, 60.4 percent. The state average was 49.5 percent.

Two school districts, Bonduel and Wittenberg-Birnamwood, saw higher passing rates at the high school level, with 50.7 percent and 47.2 percent, respectively. The state average was 46 percent.

The lowest math scores in the area were recorded at Menominee Indian, with a 13.3 percent passing rate for all grades. At the elementary level, the passing rate was 21.3 percent, while only 5.3 percent of middle school students and 6.4 percent of high school students mastered the state standards.

New test coming

WKCE exams are mostly multiple choice tests on paper. The Smarter Balanced Assessments being introduced for grades K-8 in reading and math are computer-based and provide multiple methods to answer a question.

“One of the nice things is that we have had, for a number of years now, a second test to administer to our students that is computer-based,” Behnke said. “Our students are fairly used to the system.”

An advantage with having all the test data on the computer, Behnke said, is that school districts will find out results much sooner. Results from the WKCE are five months old, as the test was taken in October, but with Smarter Balanced, schools can start seeing test data within 48 hours, according to Behnke.

“This will be something the teachers can immediately start utilizing, instead of waiting four to six months,” he said.

Gary Cumberland, Shawano School District superintendent, likes that there will be more critical thinking with the Smarter Balanced tests, which will provide more of a challenge. Another advantage, he said, is Smarter Balanced will be taken in the spring, when the information is still fresh in students’ mind. The WKCE was taken in the fall, after students had a summer vacation to forget what they had learned.

“Everything we’re hearing about the Smarter Balanced is that it’s going to give us more information than what the WKCE had,” Cumberland said. “It’ll also be more challenging because it won’t be just a multiple choice test.”

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BHS principal selected to lead district

Thu, 04/17/2014 - 7:26am
By: 

Tim Ryan, [email protected]

Bonduel High School Principal Patrick Rau has been offered the job of Bonduel School District administrator.

The Bonduel School Board chose Rau after a second round of interviews Monday with two finalists for the post being vacated by Peter Behnke.

Behnke is retiring in June after 25 years overseeing the district.

Rau has been with the school district as principal for six years. Prior to that he was dean of students at the Mishicot School District, where he had also previously been a math teacher.

Coleman School District Superintendent Brian Walters was the other candidate considered during the second round of interviews.

Behnke said the School Board and Rau are in talks to determine the provisions and conditions of his contract, including salary and benefits.

Behnke’s salary is $124,388.

The School Board’s goal is to officially confirm the new district administrator at the board’s regular meeting Monday.

The school district received 17 applications for the position before narrowing that down to six finalists.

All six were interviewed over a two-day period last week and were also taken on tours of the district.

They included Bonduel Elementary Principal Peggy Jones, Washington Island School District Superintendent Timothy Raymond, De Soto School District Administrator James Kuchta and River Valley School District Pupil Services Director Mati Palm-Leis.

Behnke said the board was pleased with the applicant pool and all of those interviewed were solid candidates.

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November election filing season under way

Thu, 04/17/2014 - 7:25am
By: 

Leader Staff

Tuesday was the first day to circulate nomination papers for the November election, and all three Shawano County incumbents hoping to be on the ballot this fall have taken out papers for another four-year term.

Sheriff Randy Wright, Clerk of Courts Sue Krueger and Coroner Mike Jesse are all up for re-election.

They each have until 5 p.m. on June 2 to return 200 signatures to the county clerk’s office, as will any potential challengers. As of Tuesday afternoon, no one else has yet taken out papers, County Clerk Rosemary Rueckert said.

Rueckert said a new rule added this year will require those who sign the nominating papers to also print their name. Signatures that are not legible will not be counted.

The general election will be held Nov. 4. If a primary is necessary in any of the races, it will be held Aug. 12.

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Public Record

Thu, 04/17/2014 - 7:24am

Shawano Police DepartmentC

April 15

Police logged 18 incidents, including the following:

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

Juvenile — Police logged two truancy complaints from Shawano Community Middle School, 1050 S. Union St.

Reckless Driving — Police responded to a reckless driving complaint at Main and Mills streets.

Shawano County Sheriff’s Department

April 15

Deputies logged 29 incidents, including the following:

Disturbance — Authorities responded to a disturbance on Hemlock Road in Wittenberg.

Disturbance — Authorities responded to a disturbance on Oak Street in Bowler.

Disorderly — Authorities responded to a disorderly conduct complaint at Gresham School, 501 Schabow St., in Gresham.

Theft — Mail was reported stolen on Maple Road in the town of Herman.

Disturbance — Authorities responded to a disturbance on County Road C in Angelica.

Disturbance — Authorities responded to a domestic disturbance on County Road G in Seneca.

Disturbance — Authorities responded to a disturbance on Park Street in Gresham.

Clintonville Police Department

April 15

Police logged eight incidents, including the following:

Disturbance — Police responded to a domestic abuse/disorderly conduct complaint on East 12th Street.

Accident — A two-vehicle accident was reported when a vehicle rolled into another while parked on South Main Street.

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Gresham couple wins young farmer award

Thu, 04/17/2014 - 7:24am

Contributed Photo The Shawano County Agricultural Society handed out its 2014 awards on April 4. From left, seated, Jay and Angie Schultz, Outstanding Young Farmers; Lindsay Anderson and Ashley Bergsbaken, Farm Bureau Scholarship recipients; standing, Gary Tauchen, Friend of Agriculture; Roger Neumann, 2nd Miler; Allen Kohn, Soil & Water Conservation award; and Jack Kucksdorf, Tree Farmer of the Year.

The award for the 2014 Outstanding Young Farmer was given to Jay and Angie Schultz, of Gresham, on April 4 at the 57th annual Shawano County Agricultural Awards held at The Main Event.

The Schultzes operate a fifth-generation, 96-cow dairy farm consisting of Holsteins, Brown Swiss and Jerseys. They also farm about 380 acres of alfalfa, corn and small grains. The Schultzes are members of the Gresham Town & Country 4-H Club, Shawano County Farm Bureau, Gresham FFA Alumni and Miniature Horse Club.

Rep. Gary Tauchen, R-Bonduel, was recognized with the Shawano County Friend of Agriculture award. He is an active member of several area organizations, including the Rural Health Initiative.

Roger Neumann, of Krakow, was recognized with the Second Miler award. Neumann is an active member of the Shawano County 4-H Junior Dairy Key Committee and the Small Animal Key Committee. He has also volunteered at the Shawano County Fair for 34 years.

The Jack Kicksdorf family, of Red Springs, was recognized as the Tree Farmer of the Year. The Kicksdorfs own 77.5 acres of mixed woodlands and have actively managed their forest, consisting of red oak, sugar maple, basswood, white pine, aspen, balsam fir and black ash, since 1979.

Allen Kohn, of Angelica, was awarded the 2014 Conservation Farmer award. Kohn farms 500 acres of alfalfa and corn. He maintains buffer strips to reduce soil erosion and sediment transport from his fields and has planted more than 2,000 trees to aid in soil and water conservation.

Shawano County Farm Bureau awarded two $500 scholarships to students who have previously volunteered at Brunch on the Farm. Scholarship award winners were Lindsay Anderson, of Gresham, and Ashley Bergsbaken, of Bonduel. Anderson will study agricultural education at the University of Wisconsin-River Falls. Bergsbaken plans to major in communications and public relations with an agriculture minor at UW-La Crosse.

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Perry Initiative steers girls to medicine, engineering

Wed, 04/16/2014 - 7:28am
By: 

Lee Pulaski, [email protected]


Leader Photo by Lee Pulaski Jenni Buckley, right, instructor for the Perry Initiative, explains the dynamics of bones in the human body Saturday at Shawano Community High School as Kaylee Schweitzer, left, a junior at New London High School, and Anna Fierek, a junior at Kimberly High School, listen. About 40 girls from more than a dozen schools in eastern Wisconsin attended the program, designed to inspire women to be leaders in orthopaedic surgery and engineering.
Leader Photo by Lee Pulaski Taylor Klitzka, a sophomore at Pulaski High School, carves into a bone Saturday afternoon in the Shawano Community High School science lab during the Perry Initiative program, which tries to encourage more young women to pursue careers in medicine and engineering.

Performing surgery is probably not everyone’s idea of how to spend a weekend, but almost 40 high school girls did just that Saturday at Shawano Community High School.

The daylong outreach program was part of the Perry Initiative, a campaign to encourage teenage girls to explore careers in medicine and engineering. Both fields are lopsidedly dominated by men, according to Jenni Buckley, one of the instructors for the Shawano event.

“Orthopedics, which is the study and treatment of the muscular and skeletal systems, has very few women on both the engineering side, the people who make implants, and on the surgery side,” Buckley said. “There are fewer than 8 percent women professors and fewer than 4 percent women orthopedic surgeons.”

Students performed mock orthopaedic surgeries and conducted biomechanical engineering experiments, while also hearing from prominent women engineers and surgeons in the field.

In the morning, the girls helped suture severe cuts on skin and learned how to do spine fusions for scoliosis, Buckley said. They also learned about fixing severely broken legs.

The afternoon session gave the girls a more in-depth look at bones and ligaments, and they learned a variety of procedures that help people continue to function despite being temporarily or permanently disabled.

“We definitely need women in these fields. These professions are lucrative, and you can make a good living for yourself and your family in these fields,” Buckley said.

Orthopedic surgeons make around $200,000 per year, she said, and the engineering field offers similar pay.

Buckley said the role of engineering in health care is often overlooked by many colleges.

“They tend to focus on robotics and cars and aerospace, which is wonderful, but it doesn’t represent the whole of what engineers do,” said Buckley, who has a doctorate in engineering. “A lot of engineers are working in health care.”

Even the pills many people take are developed by engineers, Buckley said.

Rachel Castleton, a sophomore at Bay Port High School in Suamico, has known for a long time that she wanted to pursue a career in medicine, but she wasn’t sure which specialty would best suit her. She found the Perry Initiative’s look at orthopedics intriguing.

“Learning how to suture, that’s applicable in any field of medicine, even if I don’t decide to go into orthopedics,” Castleton said. “It gave me something to think about.”

Jordyn Bucholtz, a sophomore at New London High School, had been unsure of what she wanted to do as a career, but the Perry Initiative experience has her leaning toward a career in oral surgery.

“I didn’t know about any of this before, so it was very interesting to me,” Bucholtz said. “Normally in school, you just sit and learn about it or see pictures, but with this, you actually got to do it.”

Buckley was particularly impressed with the girls on Saturday, noting they were more willing than most to get in the trenches.

“I don’t if it’s the environment around here, but they’re particularly hands-on,” Buckley said. “They’re phenomenal.”

The Perry Initiative offers between 25 and 30 programs at sites nationwide each year. The Shawano program, sponsored by the Shawano Medical Center Foundation, was the group’s first visit to Wisconsin.

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City, SCEPI discuss pending Kmart closure

Wed, 04/16/2014 - 7:23am
55 employees will be affectedBy: 

[email protected]

The pending closure of the Shawano Kmart store in July has prompted concern about the fate of the dozens of employees who will be out of work in a few months and questions about what will happen to the site once its vacated.

The store at 1211 E. Green Bay St. will begin its liquidation sale on May 4 and will close its doors in mid-July, according to officials of Sears Holdings, the parent company of Kmart.

Dennis Heling, chief economic development officer of Shawano County Economic Progress Inc. (SCEPI), addressed the issue at Tuesday’s Common Council meeting.

“The mayor contacted me to have a discussion about what does this mean to us and what are our next steps,” he said.

Heling said he has been in touch with the Shawano Job Center to see what assistance can be provided to the employees, including possible benefits and job training that might be available.

Sears Holding said the Shawano Kmart employs 55 people.

Heling said SCEPI would put out the word about the site once it becomes available, but, he said, attracting a new business into that location is more complicated than simply soliciting potential retail chains.

“In today’s business world it’s more than my just knocking on a business door,” he said.

Heling said companies contract with site selectors that are often scoping out prospective locations under the radar to maintain confidentiality.

“Many times we don’t even know that a firm is out in our community looking, and many times we don’t know ‘till the day they make the announcement,” he said.

At some point, however, a site selector or the company would probably make contact to get information on such things as demographics and community statistics, Heling said.

Heling said SCEPI is continually seeking new ways to promote the community and attract new business.

“We’re constantly looking for ways to market the community, put our best foot forward and help people understand what’s in the community,” he said.

Mayor Lorna Marquardt said she has gotten a number of calls from Shawano residents who have given their opinions on what they’d like to see move into the Kmart space.

Some of the stores mentioned, she said, include Kohl’s, Target, Fleet Farm and T.J. Maxx.

“It would be great if we could make some communication and invite them to come to our community,” she said.

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Erdmann elected board chairman for 3rd term

Wed, 04/16/2014 - 7:21am
By: 

Lee Pulaski, [email protected]

District 22 Supervisor Jerry Erdmann will be the chairman of a clearly divided Shawano County Board of Supervisors for a third two-year term following Tuesday’s election of officers.

Erdmann defeated District 6 Supervisor Randy Young, of Shawano, 15-12. Before the vote, the two made their case on whether they believed the board had moved the county forward over the last two years.

“I think there’s a difference between saying you’re going to move the county forward and moving the county forward,” Young said. “I don’t think the County Board has done a lot in the last two years.”

He cited the lack of progress on an evidence storage facility as a key issue. County officials are looking for grant funding to pay for a standalone building next to the Huber Work Release Center.

“We’ve come up with a plan. We haven’t funded it, and it hasn’t gone away,” Young said.

Young also suggested the county needs a full-time administrative coordinator again, the board should be more active in collaborating with area tribes, and employee morale is at an all-time low.

“I think we need to put our trust back in our employees,” Young said. “They are our biggest asset.”

Erdmann, of Tigerton, said the board has moved forward as much as it could in lean financial times.

“Times are tough,” Erdmann said. “We’re still hearing from people countywide that say they’ve lost jobs, and they’re down to one income.”

Erdmann pointed out that funding for the county has steadily dropped over the last decade, and it can’t do as much as before. He vowed to continue moving things forward.

“I think we have a board here that does work,” Erdmann said. “It’s slow, but we’re moving forward.”

District 19 Supervisor Arlyn Tober, of Pella, will remain vice chairman for the board. He received 17 votes, to four for District 5 Supervisor Sandy Steinke, of Shawano, and three for Young and District 9 Supervisor Ken Capelle, of Cecil.

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Deputy admits being 'impersonator'

Wed, 04/16/2014 - 7:20am
By: 

Leader Staff

A man suspected of impersonating a police officer in Bonduel on Sunday was actually an off-duty sheriff’s deputy, the Shawano County Sheriff’s Department said.

The incident took place at the intersection of County Road BE and State Highway 117 about 12:30 p.m.

A caller said a person in a beat-up, newer model car was stopped in front of his vehicle at the stop light, when someone got out, approached the caller’s car, and showed a gold-colored, 5-point star badge.

The caller said the man told the driver to stop following him or he would write him citations. The caller said the man was not wearing a uniform, and he did not have emergency lights on his vehicle.

Chief Deputy John Gutho said the officer came forward after seeing that a complaint had been filed and said he was involved in the incident. The deputy said he warned the caller about following too closely, according to Gutho.

Gutho said the Sheriff’s Department is conducting an internal investigation.

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Public Record

Wed, 04/16/2014 - 7:19am

Shawano Police Department

April 14

Police logged 23 incidents, including the following:

Fireworks — Police responded to a fireworks complaint in the 700 block of East Maurer Street.

Trespass — Police responded to a trespassing complaint at Walmart, 1244 E. Green Bay St.

Theft — Police logged four theft complaints from the Shawano City-County Library, 128 S. Sawyer St., for unreturned library materials.

Shawano County Sheriff’s Department

April 14

Deputies logged 73 incidents, including the following:

OAR — A 20-year-old Bonduel woman was cited for operating after revocation after a minor accident on Oakcrest Drive in Hartland.

OWI — A 30-year-old Clintonville man was arrested for operating while intoxicated after his vehicle went into a ditch on U.S. Highway 45 in the city of Marion.

Harassment — Authorities responded to a harassment complaint on Birch Street in Tigerton.

Fraud — Authorities investigated a fraud complaint on Richmond Street in Shawano.

Vandalism — A garage door was reported vandalized on Angelica Street in Angelica.

Warrant — A 35-year-old man was taken into custody on a warrant on Lawn Road in Lessor.

Accidents — Authorities logged 48 minor accidents, including two property damage accidents.

Clintonville Police Department

April 14

Police logged seven incidents, including the following:

Harassment — A harassment complaint was filed on Flora Way.

Harassment — The middle school reported a bullying complaint.

Suspicious — A suspicious incident was reported on South Main Street.

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Public Record

Tue, 04/15/2014 - 8:46am

Shawano Police Department

April 13

Police logged 12 incidents, including the following:

Harassment — Police responded to a harassment complaint at Flamingo’s, 1017 E. Green Bay St.

Disorderly — Police responded to a disorderly conduct complaint in the 900 block of South Washington Street.

Juvenile — Police responded to a juvenile problem at Division and Sawyer streets.

Fire — A stove fire was reported in the 300 block of South Hamlin Street.

April 12

Police logged 20 incidents, including the following:

Disturbance — A 27-year-old Wittenberg man was arrested on charges of domestic violence/disorderly conduct in the 200 block of South Union Street.

Juvenile — Police responded to a juvenile problem in the 200 block of Green Bay Street.

Burglary — Police investigated a burglary in the 900 block of Waukechon Street.

Accident — A 16-year-old female was cited for driving too fast for conditions after a property damage accident on Humphrey Court.

April 11

Police logged 29 incidents, including the following:

Disturbance — Police responded to a disturbance in the 1100 block of Waukechon Street.

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

Theft — Police investigated a property theft complaint on Prospect Circle.

Disorderly — Police assisted sheriff’s deputies with a disorderly conduct complaint on a Menominee Tribal Transportation bus at state Highway 29 and Highway 47.

Suspicious — Police responded to a suspicious person complaint in the 800 block of South Weed Street.

Accidents — Police logged two deer-related crashes on County Road BE and one on Airport Drive.

Shawano County Sheriff’s Department

April 13

Deputies logged 29 incidents, including the following:

Disorderly — Charges of disorderly conduct and resisting/obstructing an officer were referred against a 27-year-old Bowler man after a disorderly conduct complaint at North Star Casino, W12180 County Road A, in Gresham.

Burglary — Authorities investigated a burglary at The Elbow Room, 201 S. Warrington Ave., in Cecil.

Reckless Driving — Authorities responded to a reckless driving complaint on state Highway 29 in Wittenberg.

Accidents — Authorities logged two minor accidents.

April 12

Deputies logged 25 incidents, including the following:

Vandalism — A mailbox was reported vandalized on County Road G in Leopolis.

Reckless Driving — Authorities responded to a reckless driving complaint on Poplar Road in Richmond.

Harassment — Authorities responded to a harassment complaint on Cherry Road in Aniwa.

Theft — Authorities investigated a property theft on Grand Avenue in Wittenberg.

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

Assault — Authorities investigated an assault on Warrington Avenue in Cecil.

Accidents — Authorities logged three deer-related crashes.

April 11

Deputies logged 49 incidents, including the following:

Disturbance — Charges were referred against a 23-year-old Shawano man for disorderly conduct and bail jumping after a disturbance on Oak Avenue in Richmond.

Fraud — Authorities investigated a fraud complaint on Cherry Road in the town of Herman.

Theft — A gun was reported stolen from a residence on Lake Road in Aniwa.

OAR — Charges of operating after revocation, tampering with an ignition lock and bail jumping were referred against a 54-year-old Neopit man on Upper Red Lake Road in Red Springs.

Disorderly — Authorities responded to a disorderly conduct complaint on a Menominee Tribal Transportation bus at state Highway 29 and Highway 47.

Accidents — Authorities logged seven accidents, including six deer-related crashes.

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Funding new Lutheran school could be problem

Mon, 04/14/2014 - 11:05am
Consultant recommends educational campaignBy: 

Lee Pulaski, [email protected]

The campaign to build a new campus for Wolf River Lutheran High School could depend on whether the 13 associate congregations share the contributions.

School officials and church representatives received an update Saturday on surveys taken over the last month to determine the feasibility of building a $1.3 million campus at the intersection of state Highways 22 and 29 in Shawano.

According to Jeffrey Davis, a managing partner with Cornerstone Stewardship Ministry in Lake Mills, the school could raise at least $800,000 within the next two to three years, but more education would be needed in order to achieve some or all of the remaining $500,000.

“There is support that exists. It’s probably not as widespread as you hoped it would be, but it does exist at various levels,” Davis said. “We’re suggesting the campaign continue.”

Davis recommended, however, proceeding with caution.

Principal Jay Lindsey said the future of the school could hinge on a new building.

“It’s no secret that there are a lot of people, including myself, who feel that building a new campus … would help our school to grow and to prosper,” Lindsey said.

Davis suggested that the school’s board of directors make a decision whether it wishes to continue as soon as possible. The board is planning to meet in May.

After that, if the plan moves ahead, he recommended the school and church volunteers initiate a silent campaign, trying to seek lead gifts for the project. One survey respondent indicated he was willing to give a $100,000 gift for the school, Davis said, but the person did not leave a name and contact information.

If the silent campaign shows promise, the school could initiate its public fundraising campaign as soon as December, and a final decision on the building could come in 2015.

Some of the strengths for Wolf River Lutheran, according to some of the more than 300 survey responses received, were the school’s positive influence on the community and the school’s biblical influence and concern for students’ spirituality.

Respondents also said the school, which opened in 2004, has an ideal student-to-teacher ratio, and the teachers provide excellent academic instruction.

Davis said the biggest obstacles for fundraising campaign would be that the school, which is based in Cecil, is not very well known and has low enrollment. That could make it difficult to get the 13 associate congregations to find enough financial support.

Davis recommended a Partnership in Ministry approach, where monetary gifts could be split evenly between the school and the congregation where the gift was given. With that approach, Davis estimated $1.8 million to $2.4 million could be raised.

“It’s a unique approach because the high school doesn’t gather all the funds, and it’s not just for the high school but split between the two,” Davis said. “The congregation can identify some projects they would like funded, and those dollars flow to the congregation as well as the high school.”

The bulk of the funding is estimated to come from four congregations. Three of them — St. James in Shawano, St. Paul in Bonduel and St. John in Suring — operate elementary schools. The fourth congregation would likely be St. Jakobi in the town of Richmond because of its close proximity to where the school would be built, according to Davis.

However, some people attending Saturday’s meeting suggested St. Martin Lutheran Church in Clintonville also might be interested, as the proposed location would be more convenient for Clintonville parents.

The Rev. Ted Andrada, director of ministries for St. James Lutheran Church, said the campaign needs to be about more than money.

“It’s about building relationships. Building the building is very key to the future, absolutely, but it’s not a magic dart,” Andrada said. “There’s other work that has to be done, also.”

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Police impersonator sought by real cops

Mon, 04/14/2014 - 11:04am
By: 

Leader Staff

The Shawano County Sheriff’s Department received a report of a person impersonating a police officer in Bonduel on Sunday. The incident took place near the intersection of County Road BE and State Highway 117 about 12:30 p.m.

A caller said a person in a beat-up, newer model car similar to a Pontiac or Honda Civic was stopped in front of his vehicle at the stop light, when someone got out, approached the caller’s car, and showed a gold-colored, 5-point star badge.

Authorities said the impersonator told the driver to stop following him or he would write him citations. The caller said the man was not wearing a uniform, and he did not have emergency lights on his vehicle.

The impersonator returned to his car and drove east on County Road BE. He was described as a white male in his early 40s, about 6-feet tall, with short blond and gray hair, rotting teeth and wearing blue jeans and T-shirt.

The Sheriff’s Department said if you are concerned the person stopping you is not a real law enforcement officer, stop in a safe place, and request to see the officer’s badge or identification. If you are still not sure, call 911.

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Shawano Kmart closing in July

Fri, 04/11/2014 - 11:13pm
By: 

[email protected]

The Kmart store in Shawano will close to the public in mid-July, a company official confirmed Friday.

The store will remain open for customers until then and will begin its liquidation sale on May 4, according to Howard Riefs, director of Corporate Communications for Sears Holdings, the parent company of Kmart.

Riefs said in an email that the store has 55 employees. Those that are eligible will receive severance and have the opportunity to apply for open positions at area Sears or Kmart stores.

The store, at 1211 E. Green Bay St., opened in 1989.

A manager at the store Friday would not comment and referred all questions to the corporate office.

“Store closures are part of a series of actions we’re taking to reduce ongoing expenses, adjust our asset base, and accelerate the transformation of our business model,” Riefs said in the email. “These actions will better enable us to focus our investments on serving our customers and members through integrated retail — at the store, online and in the home.”

The Shawano store joins four others in Wisconsin that have been slated for closure so far this year. Kmart announced in January that its stores in Hales Corners, Greenfield and Portage would shut down this month.

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Delay for Kenosha casino decision granted

Fri, 04/11/2014 - 11:12pm
By: 

The Associated Press

Gov. Scott Walker could wait until after the November election to decide the fate of a casino in Kenosha.

Walker’s administration announced Friday that it received a six-month extension to make a decision on whether to approve the Menominee tribe’s request to open an $800 million off-reservation casino in Kenosha.

That moves the deadline from Aug. 23 to Feb. 19. The election is Nov. 4.

Both the tribe and its partner, the Hard Rock Casino, had supported the delay.

The Menominee tribe has been pushing for opening an off-reservation casino for more than 20 years, saying it will help pull its tribal members out of poverty. The tribe wants to build the casino complex on the grounds of the old Dairyland Greyhound dog track in Kenosha.

Walker has said he wouldn’t approve the casino unless all of the state’s 11 tribes agree to it. The Ho-Chunk and Forest County Potawatomi tribes, which operate other casinos in Wisconsin, have steadfastly opposed the proposal.

In addition to unanimous agreement among the tribes, Walker said the casino needed community support and must result in no new net gambling.

Walker’s administration has ordered an independent analysis of the economic impact of the proposed casino and entertainment complex that would include a Hard Rock Hotel. The Menominee have said the $800 million project will create 5,000 direct and indirect jobs, while the Potawatomi have said it will cost the Milwaukee area where that tribe operates a rival casino about 3,000 jobs.

Economic impact was not one of the original criteria Walker said he would use for deciding whether he would approve the project.

Walker and tribal chairwoman Laurie Boivin said in the February letter to the U.S. Bureau of Indian Affairs requesting the extension that more time is needed to “develop and analyze independent data, and facilitate discussions with the interested parties.”

Democratic gubernatorial candidate Mary Burke has criticized Walker for seeking a delay in the decision until after the election.

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