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Updated: 22 min 11 sec ago

Optimists hand out Officer of the Year Awards

Fri, 05/09/2014 - 7:10am
By: 

Leader Staff


Leader Photo by Tim Ryan Winners of the 2014 Officer of the Year Awards sponsored by the Optimist Club are, from left, Jody Johnson, Shawano Police Department school liaison officer, and Keith Sorlie, Shawano County Sheriff’s Department detective. Evidence storage technician Ann Holcomb, right, accepted the award on behalf of Detective Wade Wudtke. The officers were honored at a ceremony Thursday at the American Legion Post 117 clubhouse.

A Shawano police officer and two Shawano County sheriff’s detectives were the recipients Thursday of the Optimist Club’s annual Officer of the Year Award.

Shawano School Liaison Officer Jody Johnson and sheriff’s detectives Keith Sorlie and Wade Wudtke were honored with plaques at the ceremony held at the American Legion Post 117 clubhouse.

“She’s really a damn great school resource officer that we have working for the community of Shawano and the school district,” Chief Mark Kohl said as he introduced Johnson. “I’m so proud of her efforts. She’s got the tenacious attitude to do what’s right for the children, and she makes our agency look good, as well.”

Johnson started at the Shawano Police Department as a dispatcher 30 years ago, then went on to work for the Department of Natural Resources before being hired back at the Police Department, where she has been for nearly 20 years.

“Thank you for this award,” Johnson said. “Thank you for recognizing law enforcement. We all do our best. This award is not just for me. We have a lot of great officers at the department.”

Sheriff Randy Wright said he asked and was given permission to nominate two officers from the department this year.

“The two that I’m going to mention are definitely a team,” he said. “They’re the people that are going around right now giving a lot of their time and effort to do the drug presentations throughout the county.”

Wudtke was not present for the ceremony because he was coaching his softball team, Wright said.

Evidence storage technician Ann Holcomb accepted the award on Wudtke’s behalf. She read a letter from Wudtke thanking the Optimist Club for the honor and praising Sorlie, whom he called his partner and mentor.

“He has been an inspiration to me and many others in and out of law enforcement,” Wudtke wrote. “Keith is always willing to lend his hand in anyone’s time of need, both an and off duty. He has sacrificed his personal time to make sure the job is done correctly and to help others.”

A clearly emotionally moved Sorlie read a statement of his own praising the teamwork of the Sheriff’s Department.

“That includes deputies, dispatchers, corrections officers and all the staff. I would like to accept this award on their behalf,” he said.

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Public Record

Fri, 05/09/2014 - 7:07am

Shawano Police Department

May 7

Police logged 22 incidents, including the following:

Juvenile — The school liaison officer dealt with a chew tobacco complaint at Shawano Community Middle School, 1050 S. Union St.

Vandalism — A vehicle was reported vandalized at Union and Randall streets.

Theft — Several firearms were reported stolen in the 300 block of East Maurer Street.

Suspicious — Police responded to a suspicious person complaint in the 1100 block of East Richmond Street.

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

OAR — A 26-year-old woman was cited for operating after revocation at Green Bay and Main streets.

Shawano County Sheriff’s Department

May 7

Deputies logged 47 incidents, including the following:

Vandalism — A mailbox was reported vandalized on U.S. Highway 45 in Fairbanks.

Hit and Run — Authorities investigated a property damage hit-and-run on State Road in Birnamwood.

Theft — A wedding ring was reported stolen on Nichols Drive in Krakow.

Disorderly — A 16-year-old male was cited for disorderly conduct at Wittenberg-Birnamwood High School, 400 W. Grand Ave., Wittenberg.

Warrant — A 29-year-old Jacksonville, Fla., man was taken into custody on a warrant and charged with obstructing an officer at the state Highway 22 Shell station in Belle Plaine.

Fire — Authorities responded to a chimney fire on Riverside Drive in Pella.

Theft — An antique jar full of change was reported stolen on Rainbow Circle in Wescott.

Clintonville Police Department

May 7

Police logged five incidents, including the following:

Fraud — A fraud incident was reported on North 12th Street.

Fraud — A fraud incident was reported on Lincoln Avenue.

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Public Record

Thu, 05/08/2014 - 7:09am

Shawano Police Department

May 6

Police logged 18 incidents, including the following:

Suspicious — Police responded to a suspicious person complaint in the 100 block of North Hamlin Street.

Suspicious — Police responded to a suspicious vehicle complaint in the 300 block of East Center Street.

Suspicious — Police responded to a suspicious person complaint in the 1200 block of East Ridlington Avenue.

Juvenile — Police responded to an issue at Shawano Community Middle School, 1050 S. Union St.

Property Damage — Police responded to a traffic incident in the parking lot of Olga Brener Intermediate School, 1300 S. Union St.

Shawano County Sheriff’s Department

May 6

Deputies logged 41 incidents, including the following:

Restraining — Authorities investigated a harassment complaint in Bowler.

Trespassing — Authorities investigated a trespassing complaint in the 100 block of Spaulding Street in Tigerton.

Disturbance — Authorities responded to a domestic disturbance on Railroad Street Road in Bowler.

Suspicious Vehicle — Authorities responded to a suspicious and abandoned vehicle complaint on Blueberry Road in Bowler.

Fraud — Authorities investigated a fraud complaint at the Village Hall in Bonduel, 117 W. Green Bay St.

Suspicious — Authorities responded to a suspicious person complaint in the 100 block of Cecil Street in Bonduel.

Vandalism - Authorities responded to a property damage to a door at Cecil Park on Hofman Street in Cecil.

Harassment - Authorities responded to a harassment complaint on Kildeer Lane in Birnamwood.

Disturbance - Authorities responded to a domestic disturbance on Webb Street in Wittenberg.

Traffic - Authorities cited three buses for expired license plates and operating without insurance at North Star Casino.

Disturbance - Authorities responded to a disturbance complaint on Crescent Drive in Birnamwood.

Suspicious -Authorities responded to a suspicious vehicle complaint on Oak Drive in Shawano.

Accidents - Authorities logged two deer-related crashes.

Clintonville Police Department

May 6

Police logged 12 incidents, including the following:

Accident - Police responded to an accident involving a vehicle and light pole on North Main Street.

Found - Police received a bicycle found on Pigeon River Road and Memorial Circle.

Traffic - Police responded to a complaint of reckless driving on South Clinton Avenue.

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New contractor will be cleaning Shawano schools

Thu, 05/08/2014 - 7:07am
Board ousts GCA despite lower bidBy: 

Jason Arndt, [email protected]

Shawano School Board members voted Monday to pay $63,000 more annually for cleaner schools.

GCA Services won the school district’s contract for cleaning services for 2013-14 with a bid of $447,000. The company this year bid $477,000, and lost the contract to Building Services Group, which bid $510,000.

The board OK’d the contract 8-1, with Bruce Milavitz dissenting.

“My concern is that every year we spend more and more for the same type of services,” Milavitz said. “I am not comfortable with spending that much more. We can spend it on a teacher in our district, which is way more valuable than cleaning services.”

Jeff Easter, district maintenance director, said the Cleaning Service Contract Review Committee was dissatisfied with GCA’s performance despite its six-year relationship with the district.

“We had issues in the past where the prior company has had shortage of staff and the cleaning suffered as a result,” Easter said. “We had a large problem between November through January.”

Easter said GCA did not have a large enough pool of relief workers and suffered some staffing shortages that affected the cleaning.

Building Services Group, he said, hired 20 full-time employees not assigned to specific areas to enhance its customer service.

Easter also said Building Services Group’s customers include Green Bay and Fox Valley area school districts, while Shawano had been GCA’s only school district.

“After consulting with our committee members, we felt it was the best option available to us,” Easter said of the change. “We have a whole other standard we hold ourselves to.”

Easter said he was impressed with Building Services Group’s proactive efforts to meet with him and the committee regarding the district’s expectations.

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City looking at possible landfill expansion

Thu, 05/08/2014 - 7:05am
By: 

[email protected]

City officials Wednesday approved a $10,000 contract with a consulting firm to study the feasibility of expanding the Shawano landfill.

The Common Council unanimously approved Foth Infrastructure and Environment LLC for the work. The multi-state company has Wisconsin offices in Milwaukee and Madison.

The contract still needs the approval of the Shawano County Solid Waste Management Board.

Department of Public Works Coordinator Eddie Sheppard said the landfill, on Rusch Road on the eastern edge of the city, has capacity for about another five years.

“We’re just kind of doing our homework now to get all of our ducks in a row,” he said.

Sheppard said the landfill feasibility study would be in conjunction with the solid waste management plan being done by the county.

“We’re looking at the existing site specifically to see if there’s any options of expansion there first before we would expand out beyond there,” he said.

As part of the study, Foth will look at DNR siting requirements related to groundwater and floodplain, and provide cost and capacity estimates.

The process of either starting a new landfill or expanding the existing one could take two or three years, Sheppard said.

“In the next year or two, we do need to get moving on, ‘OK, what’s the plan here?’” he said.

Sheppard said the option of burning some waste to extend the life of the landfill is also being explored.

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Bonduel clerk retires after 16 years at Village Hall

Thu, 05/08/2014 - 7:03am
Wickman plans more family timeBy: 

Jason Arndt, [email protected]


Leader Photo by Jason Arndt Bonduel Village Clerk/Treasurer Barb Wickman is retiring from the position after 16 years of service with the village.

After more than 16 years as Bonduel’s village clerk, Barb Wickman will retire, effective May 16, to spend more time with her family.

“I have a great-granddaughter I will be babysitting,” Wickman said. “I am doing it for my family.”

Willa Rusch, deputy clerk for the past six years, will become clerk/treasurer when Wickman leaves.

Wickman started her tenure with Bonduel in 1997 after receiving a paralegal certificate from the American Institute of Paralegal Studies.

“It kind of interested me at the time and I decided to give it a try,” Wickman said.

Prior to working for the village, she was employed at Citizens Bank in Shawano, which is now Associated Bank. Wickman said her experience in accounting convinced her to pursue the paralegal certification.

“I guess in looking what I perceive the clerk and treasurer to be, you have to have a background in budgeting and accounting and billing,” she said. “That would be a nice way to tie it all together, which it does.”

The clerk is responsible for preparing meeting agendas, taking minutes, overseeing elections, preparing utility bills and collecting local taxes.

Wickman oversaw many changes over the last 16 years, especially to the voting process and in technology.

The hanging chad problems in Florida during the 2000 presidential election prompted many states and communities to upgrade the voting process, she said.

“It has really changed a lot since I started, especially (since) the election issue in Florida,” Wickman said.

Following the 2000 election, there needed to be more training and certification of votes by local governments.

“There are more rules and regulations in the process, which is not a bad thing,” Wickman said. “It is just more than what we have to deal with and making sure we are doing things right.”

Wickman said it takes a village of agencies and individuals to keep Village Hall running smoothly, and credited a strong network of other clerks and treasurers around the area for making her job easier.

“This position is unique,” she said. “There is usually one per town or municipality. You can always call a clerk to help you through a situation you have never been through.”

Wickman said she will miss the camaraderie she felt with the people of Bonduel throughout her tenure.

“I will miss all of the people … and being able to converse with them and help them with any issues,” Wickman said.

Not only will Wickman miss the citizens of Bonduel, but she also will leave a large mark within the village.

“I think she is the best clerk the village has ever had in the last 20 years,” Village President Mel Wendland said. “She was very efficient and knowledgeable.”

In addition to watching after her 16-month-old great-granddaughter, Wickman will hone her skills as a gardener.

“When it is nice out I will probably be out gardening, and if it is raining I will be inside the house,” Wickman said. “I am looking forward to more gardening.”

She will also be able to spend more time with her husband of 41 years, Randy, who works with Murphy Construction in Appleton.

However, her great-granddaughter will be her top priority.

“She is a little charmer,” Wickman said.

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Sturgeon already drawing a crowd

Wed, 05/07/2014 - 7:31am
Weather has delayed annual spawningBy: 

Jason Arndt, [email protected]


Leader Photo by Jason Arndt Dozens of onlookers observe the sturgeon in the Wolf River at Sturgeon Park in Shawano on Tuesday afternoon.
Leader Photo by Jason Arndt Sturgeon swim near the Shawano dam at Sturgeon Park in Shawano on Wednesday.

Dozens of onlookers arrived at Sturgeon Park in Shawano on Tuesday to witness the marvel of the sturgeon after weeks of delay due to cold temperatures.

“We weren’t quite sure when they would show up. We came a couple of weeks ago—they weren’t here yet, so we came today,” said Elizabeth Sanders, a first-grade teacher at Sacred Heart Catholic School.

Lifelong Shawano resident Timothy Martens, 22, made his annual pilgrimage — like the prehistoric fish — to the Shawano dam to observe the sturgeon.

“I like to come because I enjoy the outdoors and I enjoy seeing the fish come up here on the dam,” Martens said. “It is a part of God’s creation, and these fish have been around for so long.

“I have been coming here ever since I was a little kid. I grew up in Shawano and have been coming here since I was 5 years old or probably in grade school.”

Ryan Koenigs, chief sturgeon biologist for the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, reported earlier this week that the fish were arriving in Shawano but spawning activity would peak when the water temperature rose above 50 degrees. Temperatures along the Shawano dam registered as high as 51 degrees Tuesday.

According to the DNR, sturgeon typically exhibit some pre-spawn behaviors. The first is porpoising—rising up above or jumping out of the water, which begins a few days before spawning begins and increases in intensity as spawning activity gets closer. The second behavior is known as “cruising” and involves sturgeon, usually males, moving up and down the shoreline, usually one to two days before spawning gets under way.

Both pre-spawn behaviors were evident Tuesday.

Sturgeon were seen jumping out of the Wolf River by Tuesday afternoon and activity intensified as the day progressed.

Gillett resident Leonard Schroeder decided to make his first visit to the Shawano dam after 75 years and enjoyed his initial stay.

“This is the first time I have ever been down here. It is interesting they come right up shore here and see their fins,” Schroeder said.

“I am amazed that they keep coming back here every year to continue this life cycle,” Martens said. “These fish are so old, they are ancient and prehistoric. It is just beautiful to me.”

Schroeder said he will make an effort to return in 2015 to again witness the sturgeon run.

“I never have gotten this close to a sturgeon before,” Schroeder said. “Never been here before, so maybe I will come down here more often.”

The prehistoric fish have been in the ecosystem for thousands of years and can weigh up to 200 pounds and more than 6 feet long.

DID YOU KNOW?

- Lake sturgeon migrate to their annual spawning grounds between late April and early June, preferring to spawn in shallow, rocky areas along river banks.

- Males arrive at the spawning sites ahead of the females, cruising in groups of eight or more, often so close to the surface that their tails, backs or snouts are out of the water.

- The males swim alongside the female, usually against the current, vigorously thrashing their tails as they release milt (sperm) while the female drops her eggs. The fertilized eggs, each about one-eighth inch in diameter, are sticky and cling to rocks and other solid materials in the water until they hatch.

- The quantity of eggs produced by a female can range from 50,000 to 700,000 in one season.

- A female sturgeon reaches sexual maturity when she is 24 to 26 years old and about 55 inches long, and will spawn once every four, five or six years thereafter.

- Males mature at about 15 years, when they are about 45 inches long. Most males spawn every other year, while some do so every year.

- Lake sturgeon grow larger and live longer than any other fish in Wisconsin. Females live longer than males; 97 percent of all sturgeon over 30 years old are females.

- An 82-year-old caught in Lake Winnebago in 1953 is on record as the oldest lake sturgeon in Wisconsin.

— Source: Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources

You can see the sturgeon near the Shawano dam via webcam at www.wolfrivercam.com/Shawano%20Dam.html.Rate this article:  Select ratingGive it 1/5Give it 2/5Give it 3/5Give it 4/5Give it 5/5 No votes yet

Wescott man's death ruled accidental drowning

Wed, 05/07/2014 - 7:27am
By: 

Leader Staff

Authorities believe a Wescott man reported missing last year accidentally drowned after falling into a pond shortly after he was seen for the last time.

The body of Paul Hudson, 42, was found in a pond near his home in the Whispering Pines area of Wescott around 3 p.m. Sunday.

An autopsy performed Monday concluded the cause of death was drowning.

Shawano County Coroner Mike Jesse said it is believed Hudson accidentally fell into the pond.

Though the time of death could not be determined, it’s also believed the drowning occurred shortly after a family member saw him walking in the vicinity of the Loon Lake boat landing on July 9.

The family reported Hudson as missing to the Shawano County Sheriff’s Department on Oct. 10.

Sheriff’s investigators said it was not unusual for Hudson not to have contact with the family for periods of time.

After he was reported missing, investigators interviewed friends and family, and followed up on a number of leads, the Sheriff’s Department said, including a report that Hudson might be with friends in Michigan.

Sheriff’s officials say they searched Hudson’s most probable destinations for several months, but came up empty.

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Deputy disciplined for off-duty incident

Wed, 05/07/2014 - 7:26am
Motorist thought he was impostorBy: 

[email protected]

The Shawano County Sheriff’s Department said Tuesday that one of its deputies has been disciplined for an off-duty incident last month involving a confrontation with a motorist.

The April 13 incident at County Road BE and State Highway 117 in Bonduel was initially reported as someone impersonating an officer.

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.

The Sheriff’s Department conducted an internal investigation after the incident.

Gutho said because it was a personnel matter he could not give any further information, including the identity of the deputy, or discuss what discipline was imposed.

The matter will be discussed in closed session at the next Public Safety Committee, Gutho said.

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Birnamwood man charged in alleged marijuana operation

Wed, 05/07/2014 - 7:25am
By: 

Leader Staff

A Birnamwood man is facing felony drug charges after authorities allegedly found a marijuana growing operation in his home Friday.

Curtis J. Jensen, 29, was charged Monday with manufacture and delivery of marijuana, maintaining a drug trafficking place and second or subsequent possession of marijuana.

Each of the charges carries a maximum possible penalty of 3 1/2 years in prison and a $10,000 fine.

He is also charged with a misdemeanor count of possession of drug paraphernalia.

The Shawano County Sheriff’s Department received a tip about the operation on Thursday and executed a search warrant the next day, according to the criminal complaint.

The complaint states authorities discovered a room that has been constructed beneath the stairs leading to the basement and hidden by a piece of drywall.

Authorities seized 37 marijuana plants, according to the criminal complaint, along with grow lights, potting soil, fertilizer, a vent and tubing used for an exhaust, and various drug paraphernalia.

Jensen posted a $500 cash bond and is due back in Shawano-Menominee County Circuit Court for a preliminary hearing Tuesday.

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1-to-1 learning coming to Gresham

Wed, 05/07/2014 - 7:24am
School planning computers for every studentBy: 

Lee Pulaski, [email protected]

Erika Jonsson is used to working on a computer. When she isn’t in school, she utilizes technological devices throughout her daily life.

“With the school laptop, I connect with my teachers (outside of class) with notes. I can write papers and turn them in online,” Jonsson said. “That way, I can use my computer at home for myself to talk to friends and post things.”

The Google Chromebook the Gresham Community School sophomore uses also allows her to share papers with teachers while she is still writing them, allowing teachers to add comments and suggestions. Jonsson also finds it more convenient to tote one computer rather than different textbooks and notebooks for each class.

“It’s not like forgetting your pencil or your notebook; it’s all here,” Jonsson said.

Gresham is the latest school in the area to embrace a one-to-one technology initiative that provides computers to every student. A test run with the school’s 15 sophomores is under way this semester, and school officials hope to have every student equipped with a technological device for learning within three years.

The original initiative was to put a Windows-compatible laptop in every student’s hands, according to Troy Kuhn, science teacher and one of the committee members working on the project. However, research done by the teachers over the past two years has shown it would be better to utilize tablets for the elementary students and Chromebook laptops for grades 6-12.

“What we’ve found is that a Windows device can do a lot of other things — download songs and all that. There are times when it is not used as an educational device,” Kuhn said. “We’re now looking at the Chromebooks as something that can be managed and controlled by the district.”

Chromebooks can be programmed with software that prevents students from accessing inappropriate content, Kuhn said, but it will be a constant effort to plug any gaps.

When the school converts completely to individual laptops and tablets, students and teachers alike will need to adjust, Kuhn said. A training session is planned this summer for staff so they can better assist students once school resumes in September. School officials are still deciding how many computers they will add next year.

“Curriculum changes are going to have to be made because we’re going to try to save on paper,” Kuhn said. “How you’re getting information to and from the students is going to change. That has been the biggest learning curve.”

Kuhn has already made the shift from textbooks to online learning in his biology class. He said most of his lesson plans have been derived from websites and YouTube, which has been more visual and exciting for students.

“The kids are more engaged. They ask more real-life questions,” Kuhn said. “Overall, the class is more active than what I call ‘sit-and-get teaching.’”

Sophomore Tatelyn Ferguson finds she works more efficiently with the Chromebook, which enables her to do classwork in class instead of having to go to the library or computer lab to use a computer.

“I use it a lot to do notes, write papers, look at PDF files of packets that teachers have shared. I even have my geometry textbook on here so I can review stuff,” Ferguson said. “We downloaded some biology books, too.”

Ferguson finds it is easier to have one device for everything, as opposed to five or six notebooks and textbooks filling her locker.

Newell Haffner, math and physics teacher, said the desire to integrate technology in the classroom started several years ago when the school first started getting Smartboards, interactive digital whiteboards, in the classroom. After testing those in a couple of classrooms, it “infected” the rest of the staff, he said.

“About two or three years ago, we started building the infrastructure to handle it,” Haffner said.

District staff worked out most of the bugs related to the technological transition by visiting other schools that have similar initiatives and learning how to make it work for Gresham, Haffner said.

“It’s been neat to travel to the other schools and see how they’ve done, so we don’t make the same mistakes they told us not to make,” Haffner said.

The computers also eliminate students’ excuses for not turning in homework due to illness or other absences, and even when teachers have to miss class, they can still work with students. Haffner was out of town for a conference, but he was able to answer student questions via instant messaging.

“I’d get my notice on my iPad, would quickly look at it and type really quick to send it off so they could finish their homework,” he said.

The project’s total cost, which includes equipment and infrastructure, is expected to be about $135,000 over the next three years — $120,000 for tablets and laptops with all the programs and applications, and the remaining $15,000 to increase the school’s Wi-Fi capacity to allow more devices to access the Internet, according to Holly Burr, business manager.

Burr said the school spends $30,000 to $35,000 annually for maintenance and other costs related to its computer labs. With an anticipated marked decrease in the amount of paper used, the school is expecting to break even on the transition, she said.

“The lion’s share of this was already in the budget,” Burr said. “We can make the rest of this up through efficiencies like less copy paper and using ebooks instead of hardcover textbooks.”

FYI

• The Bonduel School District started its one-to-one technology initiative in 2007 in response to the state cutting its aid for technology by $150,000. The district went to the voters and asked for an override of its budget to keep the money in, with the promise of eventually having laptops for every student. The override was renewed by voters in 2013.

• Wolf River Lutheran High School also started its technology initiative in 2007, providing laptop computers for students through congregational funds. The parochial school in Cecil currently has an enrollment of 18 students.

• The Shawano School Board recently approved a three-year technology plan, and a one-to-one initiative is part of the plan, although the effort is still in the exploratory stage. Shawano School District has allowed middle school and high school students to use their own personal devices in school since 2011.

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Public Record

Wed, 05/07/2014 - 7:22am

Shawano Police Department

May 5

Police logged 18 incidents, including the following:

Warrant — A 27-year-old man was taken into custody at the Probation and Parole offices, 1340 E. Green Bay St.

Disturbance — Police responded to a disturbance in the 300 block of East Maurer Street.

Juvenile — Police responded to a juvenile problem in the 1100 block of South Lafayette Street.

Warrant — A 32-year-old woman was taken into custody on a warrant in the 300 block of Lakeland Road.

Theft — A cell phone was reported stolen on Humphrey Circle.

Shawano County Sheriff’s Department

May 5

Deputies logged 58 incidents, including the following:

Suspicious — Authorities responded to a suspicious vehicle complaint on Beech Road in Richmond.

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

Theft — A chainsaw was reported stolen on State Road in Birnamwood.

Fraud — Authorities investigated a fraud complaint at the Coachlight, W5814 Lake Drive, in Wescott.

Juvenile — Authorities logged three truancy complaints from the Bonduel School District and one from the Wittenberg-Birnamwood School District.

Theft — Car keys were reported stolen on Webb Street in Wittenberg.

Hit and Run — Authorities investigated a property damage hit-and-run on Birch Street in Tigerton.

OWI — A 26-year-old Mattoon man was arrested for operating while intoxicated after an injury accident on Maple Road in the town of Herman.

Fraud — Authorities investigated a telephone scam complaint on Harrison Street in Wittenberg after a woman sent $150 to a supposed representative from the Nevada gaming commission to claim a $2.5 million prize.

Theft — Authorities investigated a property theft complaint on Slab City Road in Hartland.

Accidents — Authorities logged five accidents, including one deer-related crash.

Clintonville Police Department

May 4

Police logged 13 incidents, including the following:

Disturbance — A battery and disorderly conduct complaint was under investigation on North Clinton Avenue.

Disturbance — A disturbance as reported on East 12th Street.

Auto Theft — A vehicle was reported stolen on North Clinton Avenue.

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Public Record

Mon, 05/05/2014 - 11:03pm

Shawano Police Department

May 4

Police logged 17 incidents, including the following:

Disturbance — Police responded to a disturbance at the Four Seasons Resort, 201 N. Airport Drive.

Disturbance — Police responded to a domestic disturbance in the 100 block of East Division Street.

Disturbance — Police responded to a fight in progress in the 300 block of South Main Street.

Disturbance — Police responded to a disturbance in the 200 block of East Division Street.

Fire — An outdoor grill was reported burning on Kleeman Court.

May 3

Police logged 17 incidents, including the following:

OWI — Police responded to an operating while intoxicated complaint at Pine and Weed streets.

Trespass — Police responded to a trespassing complaint in the 900 block of Waukechon Street.

Juvenile — Police responded to a juvenile problem in the 100 block of South Union Street.

Suspicious — Police responded to a suspicious vehicle complaint on Eberlein Park Drive.

Fraud — Police investigated a fraud complaint on Kleeman Court.

Prowler — Police investigated a report of a prowler in the 100 block of South Andrews Street.

May 2

Police logged 18 incidents, including the following:

Disturbance — Police responded to a disturbance in the 1000 block of South Franklin Street.

Fraud — Police investigated a forgery complaint in the 600 block of South Main Street.

Disturbance — Police responded to a disturbance involving a juvenile in the 400 block of Fairview Way.

Disturbance — Police responded to a domestic disturbance in the 300 block of East Maurer Street.

Drug Offense — Police investigated a drug complaint at Kuckuck Park, 500 Oak Drive.

Shoplifting — Charlie’s County Market, 521 S. Main St., reported a female shoplifter in custody.

Drug Offense — Police investigated a drug complaint at The Shawano Leader, 1464 E. Green Bay St.

Shawano County Sheriff’s Department

May 4

Deputies logged 39 incidents, including the following:

Drug Offense — A 48-year-old Pound man was cited for possession of marijuana on state Highway 117 in the town of Washington.

Disturbance — Authorities responded to a disturbance on Laatsch Road in the town of Grant.

Disturbance — Charges of disorderly conduct and battery were referred against a 45-year-old Eland man after a domestic disturbance on Elm Road in Wittenberg.

Accident — A 25-year-old Clintonville man was arrested for operating while intoxicated after an injury accident on County Road A in the town of Herman.

Trespass — Authorities responded to a trespassing complaint on Warrington Avenue in Cecil.

Trespass — Authorities responded to a trespassing complaint on Butternut Road in Richmond.

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

May 3

Deputies logged 42 incidents, including the following:

OWI — A 45-year-old Shawano man was arrested for operating while intoxicated and bail jumping after an injury accident on Elliot Street in Wittenberg.

Warrant — A 39-year-old Shawano man was taken into custody on a warrant on Little Road in the town of Red Springs.

Disorderly — Authorities responded to a disorderly conduct complaint on Rollman Street in Bowler.

Warrant — A 31-year-old Gresham man who reported a theft of a cell phone was taken into custody on a warrant on Little Road in Gresham.

Accidents — Authorities logged four accidents, including an injury ATV accident in Navarino and two deer-related crashes.

May 2

Deputies logged 38 incidents, including the following:

Vandalism — A vehicle was reported vandalized at the ATV Park on Quad Park Lane in Tigerton.

Vandalism — A vehicle was reported vandalized on Old D Road in Aniwa.

Fire — Sparks and a small fire were reported in an electrical box on a roof of a residence at Beech and Cedar streets in Tigerton.

Theft — Gas was reported siphoned from a backhoe on Taconic Drive in Bowler.

Disturbance — Authorities responded to a disturbance on County Road T in Waukechon.

Accidents — Authorities logged four accidents, including two deer-related crashes and a vehicle versus owl.

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Sturgeon spawning expected tomorrow

Mon, 05/05/2014 - 5:13pm
By: 

Leader Staff

Ryan Koenigs, of the Department of Natural Resources, expects sturgeon will be spawning Tuesday at the Shawano dam.

“The fish are already there; it is just a matter of them getting active,” said Koenigs, who also indicated the water temperature was reported at 51 degrees Sunday at the dam. “It is just matter of time.”

Ideal water temperatures for spawning occur between 48 degrees and 53 degrees, and the temperature was reported as 49 degrees Monday afternoon.

Koenigs said DNR conservation wardens should have a “heavy presence at the Shawano dam” Tuesday.

Spawning season generally occurs between April 15 through early May 2. Unusually cold weather delayed the annual run both last year and this year.

There were reports of spawning activity 40 miles south of the Shawano dam in the Shiocton and New London area Monday.

Fish movement was visible on the webcam along the Shawano dam by Monday afternoon.

The prehistoric fish spawn on rock outcroppings on the outside of river bends or the upwelling of a current.

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Fallen officers honored at county program

Sat, 05/03/2014 - 7:33am
By: 

Leader Staff


Leader Photo by Tim Ryan Kathy Stoltenow recalls her late husband, Deputy James Stoltenow, Friday during the second annual Law Enforcement Observance at the Shawano County Courthouse.
Leader Photo by Tim Ryan The Shawano County Sheriff’s Department color guard carries in the colors Friday during the second annual Law Enforcement Observance in the Board Room of the Shawano County Courthouse.

The Shawano County Sheriff’s Department on Friday hosted its second annual Law Enforcement Observance at the Shawano County Courthouse, paying tribute to those who have fallen in the line of duty.

“They have served and given their all to keep us safe and secure,” Sheriff Randy Wright said.

In 2013, 105 deaths of law enforcement officers in the line of duty were recorded nationally.

The focus of Friday’s ceremony was a Shawano County deputy, James Stoltenow, who was in a car accident involving a high-speed pursuit in January 1987.

On Jan. 27, 1987, one week after the crash, Stoltenow succumbed to his injuries.

Mike Erickson, a retired member of the Green Bay Police Department who started as a deputy in Shawano County in 1975, recalled paying tribute to Stoltenow while he was in the hospital.

“Two by two, we walked up to Jim’s hospital bed and saluted,” he said. “In the end, Jim did what he did best — helping others.”

Stoltenow was honored in Washington, D.C., the following year during National Police Week.

In 1991, his was one of more than 12,000 names etched into the new National Law Memorial Wall. The wall now has some 20,000 names on it.

“It’s not how these officers died that made them heroes, it’s how they lived their lives,” Erickson said.

Kathy Stoltenow, who was given a standing ovation by attendees, recounted the day of her husband’s death; hearing the news there had been an accident involving a police officer and then learning it had been James.

“I lost my husband and best friend. We were supposed to grow old together,” she said.

Stoltenow left behind two sons, one of whom was born after he died.

Kathy Stoltenow said she would always be grateful to the Sheriff’s Department and city officers for their support.

“You are family and Jim’s dear friends,” she said.

“Today is the day to remember the fallen officers who gave the ultimate sacrifice of their lives to keep their community protected, but we need to also recognize and honor the officers who put their lives on the line daily to keep our city and community a safe place,” Stoltenow said.

Wright recognized other law enforcement agencies the department works with, many of which had representatives in the audience, including the Shawano, Bonduel, Stockbridge-Munsee, Marion and Pulaski police departments.

“Without each and every one of us working together, the mission of keeping not only our county but our country safe and secure would be impossible,” he said.

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Visitor spending up nearly 4 percent in county

Sat, 05/03/2014 - 7:08am

Tourism directors from across the state celebrated a state-funded report released Friday that showed steady spending growth last year in all but six of Wisconsin’s 72 counties.

Travelers pumped about $17.5 billion into the state economy, an increase of about 4 percent from the year before, according to the report funded by the Wisconsin Department of Tourism.

The agency said tourists — including Wisconsin residents on vacation — directly put about $10.8 billion into the economy, up from about $10.3 billion in 2012. The state’s 100 million visitors accounted for about $2.3 billion in federal, state and local taxes and directly supported more than 131,000 jobs.

Travelers to Shawano County spent $56.8 million in 2013, an increase of 3.84 percent over the previous year. Among the contributing factors for local tourism growth was the marketing campaign that focused on Shawano Country Miles of Art and the strong interest in the Barn Quilt Program, according to Patti Peterson, Shawano Country tourism manager.

“The Shawano Country Miles of Art weekend event created an economic impact of $160,000 for our area,” Peterson said.

According to state figures, traveler spending in Shawano County supports 860 jobs with total personal income of $16.59 million.

“Tourism plays a critical role in our community and continues to grow, and from an economic standpoint, the numbers reflect that,” Peterson said. “Last year’s numbers are very encouraging and we hope to capitalize on this momentum in the coming summer season.”

Direct visitor spending was up 4 percent in Menominee County, from $2.18 million in 2012 to $2.27 million in 2013. The overall economic impact of tourism increased 3 percent, from $4.16 million in 2012 to $4.28 million in 2013.

Gov. Scott Walker applauded the latest numbers and said the state should continue investing in marketing to bring visitors to the state.

“The travel and hospitality industry continues to be an important and strong performing sector for Wisconsin’s economy,” Walker said in a written statement.

The state has seen the industry’s growth taper off since 2010, which tourism department communications director Lisa Marshall said reflects a national trend since the recession.

Counties with the biggest tourism spending were Milwaukee, Dane, Sauk, Waukesha, Brown and Walworth.

Counties that saw tourism spending decline were Pierce, Price, Iron, Grant, Lafayette and Trempealeau. Pierce County in western Wisconsin had the largest percentage drop at 6.7 percent.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.Rate this article:  Select ratingGive it 1/5Give it 2/5Give it 3/5Give it 4/5Give it 5/5 No votes yet

High corn prices help grain farmers

Sat, 05/03/2014 - 7:07am
More cows but fewer dairy farmsBy: 

The Associated Press

Wisconsin farmers saw the value of their grain double with high corn prices during the ethanol boom, and new data show the number of grain farms in America’s Dairyland rose sharply during that time.

The growth in grain farms came even as Wisconsin lost dairy and other types of farms.

The changes were detailed Friday in information from the 2012 Census of Agriculture. The U.S. Department of Agriculture conducts the count every five years to gather information on the nation’s farms and the people who run them.

The latest census found fewer, larger farms in Wisconsin than five years earlier, a trend seen nationwide. Milk remained the state’s most valuable product, accounting for nearly $5 billion of the state’s $11.7 billion in agricultural sales in 2012. Grain sales doubled from $1.6 billion 2007 to nearly $3.4 billion in 2012, with much of the gain coming from the increased value of corn.

Wisconsin had about 69,800 farms in 2012. That’s about 8,700 less than in 2007, when the previous census was done. Data released earlier this year showed the state also lost about 620,000 acres of farmland.

The Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection said Friday that much of the loss could be explained by sales of woodland that farmers weren’t tilling and decided to no longer keep. Florence and Vilas counties, on the border with Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, saw the largest decreases in farm acreage.

“While no one likes to see the decrease in the number of farms and land in farms, it represents the evolving agricultural industry,” DATCP Secretary Ben Brancel said in a statement. “There are several trends we’ll look for as we analyze these numbers such as neighbors and multiple families combining farms to develop efficiencies or acreage in production through a rental or lease agreement rather than sole ownership. Land may have been repurposed from agricultural production to recreational use.”

The number of dairy farms shrank by 20 percent from about 13,000 in 2007 to roughly 10,400 in 2012, reflecting continued consolidation in the industry. The census considers a farm a dairy farm if its main business is producing milk. About 1,500 other Wisconsin farms also had at least one dairy cow in 2012.

The state added about 20,000 dairy cows even as the number of farms shrank, bringing the population to nearly 1.3 million animals. About 30 percent of the herd is kept on nearly 400 farms with 500 or more cows each.

Yet at the same time, most of the state’s dairy farms remained small, with less than 100 cows.

The number of farms that earned most of their income from grain increased 46 percent from 13,500 in 2007 to 19,700 in 2012. DATCP spokesman Jim Dick said the reason for the increase wasn’t immediately clear, but one explanation might simply be that farms that once made more money from beef or milk saw the value of their grain soar when corn and soybean prices jumped around the time of the census.

The USDA categorizes farms by their most valuable product.

Wisconsin saw a 4 percent increase in sheep and goat farms amid growing demand for goat cheese. Nationwide, the number of dairy goat farms increased from nearly 27,500 in 2007 to more than 29,500 in 2012. Wisconsin had 994 farms with 44,500 dairy goats, the largest herd in the nation in 2012. The USDA did not provide a state-by-state breakdown in 2007.

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Public Record

Sat, 05/03/2014 - 7:06am

Shawano Police Department

May 1

Police logged 26 incidents, including the following:

Disturbance — A 27-year-old Shawano man was arrested for disorderly conduct after a domestic disturbance in the 1100 block of Waukechon Street.

Harassment — Police responded to a harassment complaint in the 300 block of Mountain Bay Trail Drive.

Juvenile — Police logged three truancy complaints from Shawano Community High School, 220 County Road B.

Juvenile — The school liaison officer handled a tobacco complaint at Shawano Community High School, 220 County Road B.

Disorderly — Police responded to an intoxicated person complaint in the 300 block of South Washington Street.

Shawano County Sheriff’s Department

May 1

Deputies logged 30 incidents, including the following:

Disorderly — Authorities responded to a disorderly conduct complaint on state Highway 22 in Green Valley.

Disturbance — An 18-year-old male was arrested for disorderly conduct after a disturbance on Lake Drive in Wescott.

Warrant — An 18-year-old female was taken into custody on a probation and parole warrant on Dent Creek Road in the town of Morris.

Theft — A vehicle was reported broken into on Cherry Street in Wittenberg.

Hit and Run — Authorities investigated a property damage hit-and-run on Hickory Street in Red Springs.

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

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ALICE can save lives

Thu, 05/01/2014 - 10:54pm
School staff trained for response to active shooterBy: 

[email protected]


Leader Photo by Tim Ryan Participants throw rubber balls at a gunman and prepare to swarm him during a training exercise Thursday in the Board Room at Shawano Community High School.
Leader Photo by Tim Ryan Ed Dorff, professional consultant and certified ALICE trainer, left, briefs participants wearing protective gear for an active shooter drill Thursday at Shawano Community High School.

Several unthinkable, but very possible scenarios were played out Thursday at Shawano Community High School, as staff and visitors were suddenly faced with a gun-wielding intruder launching into a killing spree.

The drills were part of a training exercise intended to provide options for responding to a situation that has become all too familiar across the country in recent years.

The traditional response for schools faced with an active shooter entering the building has been to go into lockdown. A more aggressive approach called ALICE provides an “options-based strategy” that espouses key components of Alert, Lockdown, Inform, Counter and Evacuate.

Lockdown is still an option, but with the added initiative of barricading the door if there’s no way out.

In cases where evacuation isn’t possible, the ALICE model promotes the “counter” option, which could include anything from distracting the shooter by throwing things at him to swarming over him and taking him down.

“The key thing here is survival,” said Ed Dorff, a professional consultant and certified ALICE trainer with E&B School Security, who led the training sessions at SCHS.

Participants went through classroom sessions Wednesday, learning about ALICE, and put what they learned into practice Thursday with four drills.

The first was a traditional lockdown “to show what happens if you don’t do anything,” Shawano Community High School Principal Scott Zwirschitz said.

In that first drill, the shooter was able to hit 26 of the 36 participants.

The second drill gave participants a chance to flee, and the number hit dropped to about seven or eight, Zwirschitz said.

Participants were then put through two scenarios that also gave them the option to swarm the shooter and take him down.

Both scenarios were played out in the school district Board Room, where a disgruntled member of the public suddenly produces a gun and starts firing. Some participants fled and others threw rubber balls they had been provided with at the shooter.

In the first of those exercises, seven people swarmed the shooter and managed to grab his gun. Five people were hit and two of those shots would have been fatal had they been real.

Ten people swarmed the shooter during the second run-through and only two were hit this time, including what would have been a fatal shot to the shooter’s intended target — a superintendent making a presentation.

Dorff said it should be clear the difference the ALICE options and training can make.

“Heaven forbid you ever have to use it, but you can see, lockdown alone isn’t enough. There are other options,” he said. “The more we think about it, the more we train for it, the more instinctive it will become.”

Dorff said these are life skills that can be applied in just about any situation.

“God knows active killers don’t just go into schools,” he said. “Forty percent of the time they attack schools, but they also attack churches, they attack malls, they attack places of business.”

Shawano Police Officer Kurt Kitzman said he has been teaching his 12-year-old what to do to be prepared in any public place where a shooter could show up.

“If you’re in a restaurant, if somebody comes in that door with a gun, where do you go? He’s already got a plan, and that’s literally half the mindset,” Kitzman told participants. “If you guys sit in different rooms and start thinking about that, you’re one step ahead.”

Kaitlyn Gitter, a therapist with the Department of Community Programs, said she felt the training was important.

“We need to be prepared for these sorts of things that can happen anytime,” she said.

Gitter conceded, though, that her first instinct was to flee during the exercises.

“Apparently I’m more of a runner,” she said. “I wouldn’t be one to swarm, but it’s important to have at least thought about it.”

Stephanie Landerman, dean of students at Seymour Middle School, said she felt more prepared after the training.

“I feel much more equipped to handle a situation if there was an intruder in school because rather than relying strictly on instinct, I would rely on the training that I received,” she said.

Jeannie Jafolla, regional learning manager for the Northeast Wisconsin Technical College’s Shawano center, said it was an excellent opportunity to learn what to do in a situation like this.

“You hope it never happens, but if you’re more prepared you have a chance to survive and help others to survive,” she said.

Hillcrest Primary School Principal Troy Edwards said the Shawano School District’s Safety Committee has been talking about ALICE for a while.

He said participants from Shawano schools will be able to train other staff in each building.

Edwards said the drills showed how helpless it feels to be part of a lockdown.

“When you have options, you feel a lot more empowered and trained and equipped, that you could handle an emergency situation,” he said.

Zwirschitz said anything school staff can do to keep the kids safe needs to be on the table.

“Having those options is the right choice for the school district,” he said.

Zwirschitz also praised the cooperative efforts of school and law enforcement.

“It’s great that the schools and police are working together to keep our kids safe in the Shawano community,” he said.

FYI

• The ALICE training Wednesday and Thursday included participants from the Shawano, Antigo, Merrill, Pulaski, Seymour and Wittenberg-Birnamwood school districts, as well as Unity School District in Balsam Lake.

• Other participants included Northeast Wisconsin Technical College and the Shawano County Department of Community Programs.

• Law enforcement agencies involved included the Shawano Police Department, Shawano County Sheriff’s Department and officers from Antigo, Leona, Marion, Janesville and Marinette.

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Ho-Chunk Casino in Wittenberg plans expansion

Thu, 05/01/2014 - 10:52pm
Hotel, conference center plannedBy: 

Leader Staff

The Ho-Chunk Casino in Wittenberg will add a new hotel and conference center as part of a multi-million dollar expansion of its gaming facilities, according to a resolution passed by the tribe.

The Ho-Chunk Nation Legislature conducted a special legislative session on March 7 to discuss expansion plans for its gaming locations and approved a resolution calling for a $143 million expansion of four of the tribe’s six gaming facilities.

That includes a $27 million expansion of the Wittenberg casino, where the tribe plans to build a $14.4 million hotel and $5.8 million conference center, along with a $6.7 million casino floor expansion. Both projects include parking structures.

The tribe’s Wittenberg facility currently has 11,000 square feet of gaming and 500 slot machines.

The tribe also plans to build an $11.2 million hotel and $4.5 million events center in Nekoosa in central Wisconsin. The projects also include expansions and improvements to the tribe’s casinos in Wisconsin Dells and Black River Falls.

The tribe anticipates the project will create 317 jobs at the four locations, including 82 new jobs in Wittenberg and 75 in Nekoosa, according to its website.

Tribal officials will be sending some documentation to agencies at the state and federal level concerning the plans.

A representative from Gov. Scott Walker’s office said Thursday that because the casinos are on tribal land and the expansions appear to conform to terms of the Ho-Chunk compact with the state, the state does not have to approve the plans.

Tribe officials were unavailable for comment.

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