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Updated: 22 min 36 sec ago

2 local schools recognized by magazine

Thu, 05/01/2014 - 10:51pm
Bonduel, Gresham schools earn bronze awardsBy: 

Lee Pulaski, [email protected]

Two Shawano County schools have been recognized as among the top high schools in the U.S. for 2014 by the U.S. News and World Report.

Gresham Community School and Bonduel High School received bronze awards from the news magazine, which publishes its rankings annually.

Gresham has been ranked as a top school twice previously by the U.S. News and World Report, in 2009 and 2012.

“I think it’s a great honor for our school,” said Keary Mattson, school principal and district administrator. “Just to get it once is an honor, but three times in the last five years, it speaks a lot for our teachers and our school.”

The school was recognized for all students, not just those who are college bound, scoring above average on proficiency tests for reading and math. The school had 66 percent of its high school students proficient in math and 89 percent in reading.

Bonduel also had high percentages of students passing math and reading tests, with 74 percent proficient in math and 82 percent proficient in reading.

The report for Gresham also noted the school’s low student-to-teacher ratio, which was 12-1. The high school population includes 41 percent minorities, and 62 percent of students considered to be economically disadvantaged.

In Bonduel, the student-to-teacher ratio was 15-1. Forth-three percents of the high school students are economically disadvantaged; the minority population is 4 percent.

The magazine’s criteria includes college-readiness performance, as shown in Advanced Placement and International Baccalaureate exams, but Gresham does not regularly use the exams, which meant the bronze award was the highest the school could get, according to Mattson.

Bonduel had a 31 percent participation rate on AP exams.

Mattson said having two small schools in the county receive recognition is proof that small schools can succeed.

“I really think it makes such a difference in a school such as ours, where we have such a high percentage of low-income students, Mattson said. “Having small class sizes makes a huge difference in dealing with all of our students.”

Bonduel High School Principal Patrick Rau did not return phone calls Thursday from the Leader seeking comment.

The U.S. News and World Report analyzed 31,242 public high schools in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. The report recognized 114 Wisconsin schools with either gold, silver or bronze awards.

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SCMS associate principal leaving district

Thu, 05/01/2014 - 10:50pm
Bagstad takes principal job in ClintonvilleBy: 

Jason Arndt, [email protected]

Another administrator is leaving the Shawano School District.

Tami Bagstad, associate principal at Shawano Community Middle School, will resign, effective June 30, to become principal of Rexford-Longfellow Elementary School in Clintonville.

Shawano School District Superintendent Gary Cumberland said Bagstad would be missed, but he understood her decision.

“Being a principal is what she has wanted,” he said.

“She is very personable and relates well with the students and has a positive attitude,” Cumberland said. “She was the director of our summer school program and put it all together.”

“This is a growth opportunity for me. … I have had a wonderful experience here at Shawano,” Bagstad said. “This community is very lucky to have the caring, understanding and driven staff to do what is best for students, and I hope they realize all of the work that everyone puts into helping all of our students experience success.”

In addition to moving into the principal chair, Bagstad will also get a raise. She earned $70,000 this year in Shawano, according to the state Department of Public Instruction, and will earn $80,000 at Rexford/Longfellow.

She also won’t have to make the daily commute from Clintonville, where she lives with her husband, Lance, who is principal of Clintonville High School.

Lance Bagstad was not involved in the elementary school’s principal search, said Tom O’Toole, superintendent of the Clintonville School District.

“He could not even review the applications,” O’Toole said.

Clintonville received 25 applications to replace Kris Straumann, who will retire at the end of the school year. She has served as the principal of the kindergarten through fourth grade school for 17 years.

Tami Bagstad was one of two finalists and impressed the Clintonville administrators and School Board.

“She has the energy level and knowledge of our school district and system and has past administrative experience with (Shawano),” O’Toole said.

Bagstad said her expectations or goals as principal would be “to work with the staff and continue helping them with their professional endeavors, create positive and caring relationships with staff, students, families and community members, and find a way to communicate the importance of education and our schools in order to have a successful society.”

Bagstad earned her bachelor’s degree in instrumental music education K-12 from the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse in 1996. She earned a master’s in educational leadership from Viterbo University in La Crosse in 2012.

She previously worked as band director for nine years at Bangor Middle/High School, as ninth-grade learning disabilities teacher for one year at Clintonville High School, and as band director and coordinator of the gifted and talented program for five years at Clintonville Middle School. She also taught life skills to fifth-graders.

She joined the Shawano district two years ago as associate principal.

Bagstad is the fifth administrator to leave Shawano School District since the start of the 2013-14 school year. Superintendent Todd Carlson took a similar job with the Gillett School District just days before the school year started. Shawano Community High School Associate Principal Steve Linssen also went to Gillett to become principal.

SCHS Associate Principal and Athletic Director Tim Mayer left the district in December to pursue a position in the private sector, and district Business Manager Gail Moesch retired in February.

Bagstad said her position to leave was in no way a reflection on the direction or quality of the Shawano district.

“After being an involved member of our (Shawano) leadership team, I can tell you that the decisions we make are all based on best practice and what is best for students,” Bagstad said. “I think that we have great leaders in place who take the time, energy and reflection to keep our schools moving forward. My hope is for the community to have more of an understanding of the decisions of the leadership team, and trust that we are making the best decisions for student success.

“Education has changed greatly in the last 10 years, and is not what many people think it is. I would also hope that more parents are able to visit our schools to see all of the wonderful things that truly happen on a daily basis.”

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ThedaCare helps tribal clinic upgrade records system

Thu, 05/01/2014 - 10:48pm

The Menominee Tribal Clinic in Keshena recently partnered with ThedaCare to upgrade its electronic medical records system to Epic software.

The widely used electronic medical records platform effectively and efficiently connects health care facilities and providers to better provide a seamless continuum of care for patients.

According to Rod Boivin, information technology director at the Menominee Tribal Clinic and the project leader for the software change, the upgrade makes it more convenient for patients at the tribal clinic who must also travel to see specialists in Shawano, Green Bay or Appleton.

“Even though (the previous system) was electronic, it did not transfer data smoothly to other systems, so our people often relied on paper or faxed copies,” Boivin said.

All health care systems using Epic medical record systems can easily access each other’s records once patients give their approval. In addition to ThedaCare and Menominee Tribal Clinic, there are hundreds of other health care systems nationally using Epic, including Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin, Froedtert & the Medical College of Wisconsin, Gundersen Health System, Aspirus System, Bellin Health, University of Wisconsin clinics and hospitals, and soon Community Health Network and Wild Rose Community Memorial Hospital.

Dr. Kevin Culhane, clinical director at the Menominee Tribal Clinic, said staff members can now see a more complete picture of the care that a patient has already received, whether in the emergency room or at another provider’s office.

“Epic shows us the problems a patient has had in the past and the care he or she received,” he said. “We eliminate the need to run duplicate tests.”

Culhane sees an advantage to less paperwork, too. “Having so much high quality, up-to-date data at our fingertips means we no longer have to fill out request forms to obtain records that take days to arrive,” he said.

The Indian Health Service Facility, established in 1977 at its location at W3275 Wolf River Drive in Keshena, had 7,500 patient visits in March and 93,263 in 2013.

The six-month software upgrade project was made more complex by the multiple clinics that are housed within the singular Menominee Tribal Clinic facility, including general medicine, radiology, lab, pharmacy, emergency medicine, dental, audiology, behavioral health, community health, diabetes, WIC/nutrition and women’s health services.

Future applications for Epic at the Menominee Tribal Clinic include patient access to individual medical records via an electronic portal.

“This upgrade to Epic will pay dividends far into the future for our patients and the providers who care for them,” Culhane said.

Epic is a Verona-based company that builds electronic medical record systems. All ThedaCare facilities use Epic, and Care Everywhere connects Epic records at different locations. There are security measures built in the system, and entry is made in a patient’s record if another health system requests his or her records.

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Court News

Thu, 05/01/2014 - 10:47pm

Strangulation, child abuse

A Wittenberg teen pleaded not guilty Monday to felony counts of strangulation and suffocation and physical abuse of a child in Shawano-Menominee County Circuit Court.

Tyler J. Gray, 18, is accused of choking a 16-year-old boy and causing injury during an April 12 incident in the town of Wittenberg. The incident allegedly happened at the Homme Home Acceptance Unit, W18090 Hemlock Road, in Wittenberg.

He could face a maximum possible penalty of 12 1/2 years in prison and a $25,000 fine if convicted of child abuse, and six years and a $10,000 fine if found guilty of strangulation and suffocation.

Gray is scheduled for a pre-trial conference May 30. He was being held on an $8,500 cash bond set by Judge William Kussel Jr.

Possession of cocaine

A Shawano man is scheduled for a preliminary hearing Tuesday on a felony charge of possession with intent to deliver cocaine.

Theodore J. Miller, 37, was arrested April 24 at the Headquarters bar in the city after allegedly trying to pass drugs to a bartender, who threw them into the garbage.

Shawano police were already investigating an assault case outside the bar when they were notified of the incident. Police retrieved a baggie from the garbage that contained 0.2 grams of cocaine, according to the criminal complaint.

Miller could face a maximum 10 years in prison and a $25,000 fine if convicted. He was being held on a $500 cash bond set by Judge William Kussel Jr.

Forgery

An Auburndale woman is facing two felony counts of forgery for allegedly passing bogus checks using someone else’s name at casinos in Wittenberg and Bowler.

Shannon S. Steuck, 37, is due in Shawano-Menominee County Circuit Court for an initial appearance May 19.

According to the criminal complaint, Steuck passed two checks totaling $654 at the Ho-Chunk Casino and Wittenberg and the North Star Casino in Gresham in October.

The checks were apparently stolen from Steuck’s former mother-in-law and bore her name, according to the complaint.

Steuck could face a maximum six years in prison and $10,000 fine on each count if convicted.

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Public Record

Thu, 05/01/2014 - 10:46pm

Shawano Police Department

April 30

Police logged 18 incidents, including the following:

Juvenile — Police responded to a juvenile problem at Sacred Heart Catholic School, 124 E. Center St.

Burglary — Police investigated a report of an attempted burglary in the 100 block of South Main Street.

Disturbance — Police responded to a disturbance at Olga Brener Intermediate School, 1300 S. Union St.

Juvenile — Police responded to a juvenile problem at Shawano Community Middle School, 1050 S. Union St.

Disturbance — Police responded to a fight in progress in the 400 block of South Sawyer Street.

Fraud — Police investigated a fraudulent bill complaint in the 300 block of East Fifth Street.

Shawano County Sheriff’s Department

April 30

Deputies logged 34 incidents, including the following:

Disturbance — Authorities responded to a disturbance on County Road P in Germania.

Fraud — Authorities investigated a credit card fraud complaint on Nichols Drive in Angelica.

Fraud — Authorities investigated a fraud complaint at the North Star Casino, W12180 County Road A, in Bowler.

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

OAR — A 41-year-old man was cited for operating after revocation on Lake Drive in Wescott.

Disturbance — Authorities responded to a disturbance on First Street in Eland.

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Sheriff may face election challenge

Thu, 05/01/2014 - 7:48am
SCSD captain, city officer circulating papersBy: 

[email protected]

A Shawano County sheriff’s captain and a Shawano police officer have taken out papers to run against Sheriff Randy Wright in the Republican primary this fall.

Officer Adam Bieber took nomination papers out on Tuesday and Capt. Tom Tuma on Wednesday, according to the Shawano County Clerk’s office.

They and Wright each have until 5 p.m. June 2 to return 200 signatures to get on the ballot.

The primary for the Republican nomination will be held Aug. 12.

The general election will be held Nov. 4, but barring any Democratic challenger stepping forward, the August primary could decide the race for sheriff.

“It should be a good race,” said Wright, who has been sheriff since 2007. It is a four-year term.

Prior to being sheriff, Wright was a police officer with the Shawano Police Department.

“I believe I have been doing what I promised to do: keeping the citizens of Shawano County safe and secure and maintaining the sheriff’s office,” Wright said. “I hope the citizens of Shawano County will see it that way.”

Tuma said he doesn’t see his bid for the office as necessarily a challenge to Wright.

“I’m applying for a job, not running against the sheriff,” he said. “He’s a good and decent man who has served the community for 38 years.”

Tuma said he has the utmost respect for Wright and Bieber and any law enforcement officer.

Tuma, who will have been with the department for 25 years in August, said there are challenging issues ahead.

“The current state of the economy and the issues before the sheriff’s office are extremely complex,” he said.

Tuma said he believes he has the abilities and education to address challenges that include budget cuts, inflation and uncontrollable costs that make it difficult to maintain services and be proactive.

“We need to find creative ways to work with the County Board,” he said.

Bieber said he had no agenda and was not suggesting there is anything wrong with the current direction of the Sheriff’s Department. He said it has always been his goal to be in a leadership position and he felt the time was right.

Bieber said communication with other agencies and elected officials is important. He also said he would bring a different point of view to the table.

“I’m a conservative and we have to be wise with taxpayer dollars,” Bieber said. “The citizens expect us to use their money wisely.”

Bieber has worked in law enforcement for 14 years and has been with the Shawano Police Department since 2003.

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Chickens might be able to roost in Shawano

Thu, 05/01/2014 - 7:47am
City will review ordinance banning poultryBy: 

[email protected]

A Shawano man is hoping to get the city to pluck chickens and ducks out of its ordinance banning urban poultry.

Scott Krueger went before the Plan Commission on Wednesday with a proposed rewrite of the ordinance that would allow up to four chickens and/or ducks, as long as they are kept in a secure enclosure. The ban would still apply to roosters.

The item was not on the agenda, so no action was taken.

However, the commission was open to the idea and hopes to get some community feedback, said Mayor Lorna Marquardt, who chairs the commission.

Krueger modeled his proposed ordinance on rules covering city poultry already on the books in more than a dozen other municipalities in the state, ranging from the village of River Hills (population 1,641) to Oshkosh (population 65,000). A number of other communities, including several in Brown County, are also looking at similar ordinances.

Krueger, a dietitian who has lived in the city for 18 years, said the idea interested him as a way of promoting more sustainable food sources.

“I also have children, and I think it would be a good learning experience for kids to see where their food comes from,” he said.

Krueger said he has 20 letters of support from other Shawano residents, some of whom, he said, were surprised that keeping live poultry is banned within city limits. The ban exempts the Shawano County Fairgrounds.

“It seems a lot of people would like to see this ordinance,” he said.

The ordinance as offered by Krueger would forbid the slaughter of chickens anywhere other than a licensed facility.

It also recommends chickens be kept on single-family parcels in predator-proof chicken houses no closer than 15 feet from any residential structure.

The proposed ordinance would make it unlawful for poultry-keepers to allow the animals to be a nuisance to the neighbors, whether through noxious odors or noise.

Krueger said the limit on the number of chickens or ducks would also limit noise and odors from waste.

“We want to be good stewards for the poultry and for the neighbors,” he said.

City Attorney Tim Schmid said he would review the proposed ordinance and draft something similar to bring back to the Plan Commission at its meeting in June.

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Buss expansion just awaiting better weather

Thu, 05/01/2014 - 7:46am
Grand reopening being plannedBy: 

Jason Arndt, [email protected]


Leader Photo by Jason Arndt Partners and brothers Ronald, left, and Rory Buss oversaw the second expansion of Buss Motors in 14 years.

Buss Motors, a fixture of the Shawano business community since 1992, is nearing completion of its second expansion in 14 years.

Given the uncooperative weather, including the harsh winter and recent rainfall, the dealership has been unable to schedule a grand reopening celebration.

“The whole building still has to be painted. … I am going to have the whole blacktop redone, but the weather is hurting us,” said Rory Buss, who owns the company with his brother, Ronald.

The Chevrolet franchise began its expansion project in March 2013 following approval by General Motors and input from California-based architectural firm Gensler.

Rory Buss said the expansion hit some roadblocks due to the departure of the initial consultant on the project.

“When this person left, all of the information we had went with her,” Buss said. “We had to start all over.”

Construction was completed in November, but work continues on enhancements prior to the grand reopening.

The 4,000-square-foot expansion is an addition to the rear portion of the prior 7,500-square-foot building. Buss noted the change was needed in order to be more efficient.

“It was in another building and now it is all under one roof,” Buss said.

Additions to the building included more office space, service drive-ups and a four-wheel alignment area where they can also wash vehicles.

Buss credits the addition to a boost in sales and influx of new customers interested in purchasing new vehicles.

“God blesses us here,” Buss said. “I am a firm believer in that, and we have seen at least an increase of sales at about 25 percent.”

Although Buss does not have specific numbers, seeing is believing.

“Every day, we are seeing new customers,” Buss said.

The Buss brothers’ original plan was to have a grand opening in early spring, but the delays have pushed it back.

“We’re hoping to have the re-grand opening the first part of June,” Rory Buss said.

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New home planned for recently released felons

Thu, 05/01/2014 - 7:42am
By: 

[email protected]

A new facility will replace the New Era House for housing recently released offenders in the community.

The state Department of Corrections has contracted with ATTIC Correctional Services for an eight-bed facility at 227 E. Richmond St. in Shawano, just a block away from the New Era House at 105 E. Richmond St.

New Era’s contract expires at the end of June. The new contract goes into effect July 1.

The DOC opened the service up for bids with the pending expiration of New Era’s contract, said Joe Sumner, DOC program and policy analyst.

The two-year contract is renewable for another four to five years, up to seven years, when the DOC will have to go out for bids again.

Sumner said New Era House had the contract for the last six or seven years.

The facility will provide transitional housing services for convicted felons that are under the DOC’s supervision, including recently released sex offenders.

In December, the city revised its ordinance covering where convicted sex offenders can reside in Shawano. The change adopted by the Common Council removed the specific reference to the New Era House and the address.

Former Police Chief Ed Whealon said at the time that the New Era House contract with the DOC was set to expire soon and the city wanted the placement facility reference to be generic in the event the contract was ever terminated.

Madison-Based ATTIC Correctional Services operates 16 facilities in the state, including Milwaukee, Madison, Appleton and Green Bay.

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CoVantage earns key accreditation

Thu, 05/01/2014 - 7:35am

CoVantage Credit Union has been certified by the U.S. Treasury’s Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFI) Fund.

There are 831 certified CDFIs in the U.S., including loan funds, credit unions and community banks. CoVantage is one of three credit unions in Wisconsin to receive this designation, and the only institution in Wisconsin outside of Milwaukee to be designated.

To receive this certification, financing organizations must have a primary mission of promoting community development and provide development services in conjunction with its financing activities. CDFI certification allows CoVantage Credit Union to better serve low- and moderate-income consumers and promote financial inclusion in the communities it serves.

The benefits of certification include access to financial grants from the CDFI Fund, partnership opportunities with banks that are seeking Bank Enterprise Awards, access to New Market Tax Credits and enhanced ability to raise funds from foundations, corporations and state and local governments.

According to Brian Prunty, CEO of CoVantage Credit Union, the CDFI certification helps validate that the credit union is meeting its mission “to welcome all regardless of wealth, provide outstanding value and exceptional service, work with members experiencing financial challenge, and remain financially strong.”

In July 2011, CoVantage received a $1.5 million grant to support its rescue refinance program to aid families in danger of losing their home to foreclosure. Designed for borrowers who would not have been eligible for a traditional mortgage refinance, CoVantage leveraged the $1.5 million grant with $10.5 million of its own funds to provide affordable loan terms for individuals struggling with mortgage debt. More than 100 families were able to lower their monthly mortgage payment and keep their home, instead of losing it to foreclosure. As of April 1, all grant funds awarded will have been utilized for that program.

CoVantage Credit Union worked with the National Federation of Community Development Credit Unions’ consulting group, CU Breakthrough, on CDFI certification.

“CDFI certification is a valuable credential that helps credit unions increase their capacity to meet the needs of low-income consumers and to develop strategic partnerships to better connect with the community,” said Pablo DeFilippi, vice president of membership and business development at the federation.

CoVantage Credit Union is a community chartered credit union that serves members throughout Brown, Clark, Florence, Forest, Langlade, Lincoln, Marathon, Menominee, Oconto, Oneida, Outagamie, Portage, Price, Shawano, Taylor, Vilas, Waupaca and Wood counties in Wisconsin, as well as in Iron and Dickinson counties in Michigan.

The financial cooperative is headquartered in Antigo and has branch offices in Shawano, Wausau, Weston, Rib Mountain, Rothschild, Rhinelander and Crandon, as well as Iron River and Crystal Falls, Mich.

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Public Record

Thu, 05/01/2014 - 7:29am

Shawano Police Department

April 29

Police logged 22 incidents, including the following:

Disturbance — Police responded to a fight between two men in the 600 block of Eagle Street.

Theft — Police responded to a theft of a bicycle in the 200 block of East Center Street.

Vandalism — Police responded to a defaced vehicle at the Shawano Medical Center, 309 N. Bartlett St.

Disturbance — Police responded to a fight between two juveniles at the Shawano Park and Recreation Center, 220 E. Division St.

Disturbance — Police responded to a disturbance in the 700 block of Union Street.

Burglary - Police responded to a burglary complaint in the 500 block of Washington Street. The complaint was unfounded and involved a homeowner who locked himself out and had to crawl in through a window.

Burglary — Police investigated an apparent burglary attempt in the 300 block of East Center Street.

Shawano County Sheriff’s Department

April 29

Deputies logged 24 incidents, including the following:

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

Burglary — Authorities investigated a burglary at Buzz & Mac’s tavern, W8489 Cloverleaf Lake Road, in Belle Plaine.

Threat - Authorities responded to a threatening complaint at Bonduel High School, 400 W. Green Bay St., Bonduel.

Disturbance — Authorities responded to a disturbance on state Highway 47 in the town of Lessor.

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

Clintonville Police Department

April 29

Clintonville police logged 13 incidents, including the following:

Accident - Police investigated a hit-and-run accident on Green Tree Road.

Disorderly - Police responded to a disorderly conduct complaint on South Clinton Avenue.

Harassment - Police responded to a harassment complaint at Clintonville Middle School, 255 N. Main St.

Disorderly - Police responded to a disorderly conduct complaint on North Main Street.

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Kressin to oversee integration of clinic, medical center

Thu, 05/01/2014 - 7:28am

Julie Kressin has accepted the role of director of business integration for ThedaCare in Shawano.

She will be responsible for integrating the separate ThedaCare Physicians-Shawano clinic with that of the new ThedaCare Medical Center-Shawano, slated for completion in early 2015.

Until this time, the clinic and medical center have operated separately. Kressin will streamline the two operations into a single campus, set of common business practices, and work flow.

“We have fixed financial and operational goals, but I see my job as creating a new environment for providers and staff that re-energizes their clinical passion,” Kressin said.

Kressin has been with ThedaCare for 20 years. She first helped implement a single platform electronic medical record across the health care network. Since that time, she held positions in process improvement, practice administration, and as director of Encircle Health, a multi-specialty outpatient facility in Appleton that houses both employed and nonemployed providers who utilize centralized services.

“Integration has always been my passion and what I love,” Kressin said. “It’s people coming together and working effectively and efficiently toward a shared goal of excellent patient care. Shawano area community involvement is an important aspect of this project. We prioritize community involvement and open communication as we plan and implement these changes.”

Kressin has degrees in both accounting and business and a master’s degree in organizational behavior and leadership. She began her new responsibilities on March 17 and will fill the role for two years.

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SMU remaining with BMO Harris

Wed, 04/30/2014 - 7:33am
By: 

Leader Staff

The Shawano Municipal Utilities Commission on Monday voted to stick with BMO Harris, formerly M&I Bank, in Shawano for another five years.

The commission is required to request proposals for its banking services every five years.

The commission heard presentations from BMO and Premiere Community Bank.

Brian Knapp, SMU general manager and city administrator, said the two banks were very close in terms of scoring on all of the criteria, but BMO’s size and the utility’s experience dealing with that bank tipped the scale in BMO’s favor.

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Soil borings on Main Street to start soon

Wed, 04/30/2014 - 7:31am
By: 

[email protected]

The city of Shawano is hoping to start boring into the soil on Main Street within the next few weeks to determine just how serious the problem is that led to several water main breaks over the last four years.

High levels of chloride in the soil were responsible for three water main breaks along Main Street since December 2010, according to an engineering study that ruled out any problem with the materials used in Shawano’s downtown reconstruction project.

Eddie Sheppard, assistant city administrator and public works coordinator, said the Department of Public Works sought quotes from two companies on the cost of doing soil borings at 20 locations up and down Main Street.

Sheppard said the DPW sought quotes rather than put the project out for bid given the specialized nature of the work.

One of the companies has given a price of $4,600, Sheppard said, and he is waiting to hear from the other one.

The company would bore about 6 to 8 feet into the soil to gather samples from around the water main.

Sheppard said the work should not cause any traffic disruption and would involve a 1- to 2-inch bore located off the side of the road.

Corrosion of stainless steel saddles that hold in place the service connection to the water main were the common denominator in the three breaks, and it was uncertain for a while whether there was a soil problem or the saddles were defective.

But tests done by TPS Consulting Engineers, of Green Bay, found the saddles met metallurgical standards and had been properly welded in place.

Meanwhile, soil tests at the locations of the three water main breaks showed high levels of chloride, mostly likely caused by road salt leaking down through cracks in the pavement over the years.

City officials said there are no health concerns because there is no contact between the chloride and the city’s water.

The Main Street reconstruction project in 2002 and 2003 stretched from the channel to the Mountain Bay Trail at Oshkosh Street.

The contractor on the project was Degroot Construction of Green Bay, which purchased the saddles from Davies Water Equipment of Appleton. The saddles were manufactured by Smith Blair Inc. of Texarkana, Texas.

The first two water main breaks occurred in the 100 block of North Main Street in February 2009 and December 2010, only about 50 to 75 feet away from one another. The most recent was in the 200 block of South Main Street on Sept. 25.

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City, DOT to meet over Airport Drive proposal

Wed, 04/30/2014 - 7:29am
By: 

Leader Staff

City of Shawano officials will sit down with representatives of the Department of Transportation next month in hopes of talking the agency out of a proposal to reduce Airport Drive to one lane.

Airport Drive also serves as state Highway 47-55, and the DOT has plans to resurface it next year between County Road BE and Green Bay Street.

As part of that resurfacing, the DOT is also considering cutting the road to one lane from its current two, said Eddie Sheppard, assistant city administrator and public works coordinator.

Sheppard said the DOT used traffic counts on Airport Drive to come to that recommendation.

Sheppard said the city wants to keep it a two-lane street because of the heavy industrial usage it gets.

The DOT will visit with city officials on May 9.

“They’re coming down to hear us out,” Sheppard said.

After that, the DOT will return for a public hearing later in May, he said.

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Public Record

Wed, 04/30/2014 - 7:28am

Shawano Police Department

April 28

Police logged 18 incidents, including the following:

Suspicious — Police responded to a suspicious person complaint in the 700 block of South Main Street.

Harassment — Police responded to a harassment complaint in the 700 block of South Union Street.

Harassment — Police responded to a harassment complaint in the 200 block of East Division Street.

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

Shawano County Sheriff’s Department

April 28

Deputies logged 33 incidents, including the following:

Fire — Authorities responded to a vehicle fire on Maple Road in Maple Grove.

Fraud — Authorities investigated a fraudulent check complaint on Bartelt Boulevard in Wescott.

Drug Offense — Authorities investigated a drug complaint on Green Bay Street in Bonduel.

Fraud — Authorities investigated a fraud complaint on Second Drive in the town of Washington.

Assault — Authorities investigated an assault on Adams Street in Bonduel.

Burglary — Authorities investigated a burglary on County Road M in Wittenberg.

Theft — Tools were reported stolen on County Road A in Bowler.

Disturbance — Authorities responded to a domestic disturbance on River Road in Almon.

Accidents — Authorities logged two deer-related crashes.

Clintonville Police Department

April 27

Police logged five incidents, including the following:

OWI — A 30-year-old Clintonville man was arrested for operating while intoxicated and without a valid driver’s license after a traffic stop at Main and Seventh streets.

Warrant — A 34-year-old Clintonville man was taken into custody on Flora Way on multiple warrants through Outagamie and Waupaca counties.

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Sturgeon watch still on hold here

Tue, 04/29/2014 - 9:11am
By: 

Leader Staff

Shawano residents will likely need to wait at least another three to five days before they will be able to view sturgeon spawning along the Wolf River at the Shawano dam.

Ryan Koenigs, of the Department of Natural Resources, reports there is little activity in the Shawano area due to the cold weather. “It will be at least a few more days from spawning at the Shawano dam,” Koenigs said Monday.

The DNR reported on its website the sturgeon guard tagged 91 fish in the New London area Sunday, including a 68.5 inch female.

In addition, Koenigs reported preliminary spawning activity along the Wolf River in Shiocton on Monday, about 40 miles away. Sturgeon typically begin spawning between April 15 and May 1.

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Public Record

Tue, 04/29/2014 - 9:07am

Shawano Police Department

April 27

Police logged 11 incidents, including the following:

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

Suspicious — Police responded to a suspicious person complaint in the 400 block of West Picnic Street.

OWI — A 21-year-old woman was arrested for operating while intoxicated at Main and Prairie street.

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

April 26

Police logged 27 incidents, including the following:

OWI — A 23-year-old man was arrested for operating while intoxicated at Green Bay and Bartlett streets.

Disturbance — Police responded to a domestic disturbance at the Wisconsin House, 216 E. Green Bay St.

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

Disturbance — Police responded to a disturbance at the Wisconsin House, 216 E. Green Bay St.

Fraud — Police investigated a fraud complaint in the 100 block of Woodlawn Drive.

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

Disturbance — Police responded to a disturbance at Lakeshore Lanes, 210 N. Airport Drive.

April 25

Police logged 27 incidents, including the following:

Disturbance — Police responded to a disturbance in the 900 block of East Randall Street.

Disturbance — Police responded to a disturbance at the Shawano County Courthouse, 311 N. Main St.

Disorderly — Police responded to a disorderly conduct complaint at Green Bay Street and Airport Drive.

Juvenile — Police responded to a juvenile problem at Third and Lafayette streets.

Shawano County Sheriff’s Department

April 27

Deputies logged 33 incidents, including the following:

Suspicious — Authorities responded to a suspicious vehicle complaint on state Highway 47-55 in Wescott.

Theft — Three chainsaws and a can of gas were reported stolen on Robin Road in Wittenberg.

Disorderly — Authorities responded to a disorderly conduct complaint on Warrington Avenue in Cecil.

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

April 26

Deputies logged 43 incidents, including the following:

Vandalism — A vehicle was reported vandalized on state Highway 47-55 in Wescott.

Disturbance — Authorities responded to a disturbance on Maple Street in Birnamwood.

Drug Offense — Authorities investigated a drug complaint at the North Star Casino, W12180 County Road A, in Gresham.

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

Vandalism — Windows were reported broken on a building on Warrington Avenue in Cecil.

Disturbance — A charge of bail jumping was referred against a 53-year-old Birnamwood woman on Forest Street in Birnamwood.

Accidents — Authorities logged two accidents, including an injury accident on River Road in Bowler.

April 25

Deputies logged 43 incidents, including the following:

Theft — Two trailers were reported stolen on Green Valley Road in Green Valley.

Disturbance — Authorities responded to a disturbance at the Shawano County Courthouse, 311 N. Main St.

Disorderly — Authorities responded to a disorderly conduct complaint on Marsh Road in Aniwa.

Vandalism — A mailbox was reported vandalized on Birch Road in Birnamwood.

Fraud — Authorities investigated an identity theft complaint on Green Bay Street in Bonduel.

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

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Noffke warrant might have violated policy

Fri, 04/25/2014 - 9:22pm
Searches usually based on 3 garbage picksBy: 

Tim Ryan, [email protected]

The investigation that led to a search warrant executed at a county supervisor’s home last week apparently did not follow a longstanding policy of the Shawano-Menominee County district attorney’s office.

The search also seems to have disregarded a protocol of informing other law enforcement jurisdictions about the action beforehand.

Shawano County sheriff’s detectives executed a search warrant at the home of District 1 Supervisor Deb Noffke in Shawano on April 15. The search for any controlled substances or drug-related activity turned up nothing.

The request for a warrant was reviewed by an assistant district attorney in the Langlade County District Attorney’s Office, who gave it a “verbal OK,” according to Sheriff Randy Wright.

The warrant was signed by Langlade County Judge Fred Kawalski.

The request was not brought to the district attorney’s office here, and no one from the Shawano-Menominee office reviewed the document.

“We went to Langlade because we knew we were dealing with a County Board member and we wanted to have it to be as impartial as can be, so we didn’t involve our D.A. here in Shawano County and we also didn’t involve the city Police Department,” Wright said.

A woman who answered the phone at the Langlade County district attorney’s office on Friday afternoon said there was no one available to take questions on the matter and she had been “instructed not to discuss it.”

The warrant request shows that sheriff’s detectives acted on anonymous information they received in February claiming 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.

Detectives collected garbage from the Noffke residence April 9 and performed a field test that allegedly turned up marijuana residue.

The detective’s report states the garbage pick was done on April 4, but that would appear to be in error. The field test results state April 9, which would have been a garbage collection day.

Also, the complaint number for the report would have had to have been generated on April 9, based on a review of other complaint numbers from that date.

The results of the field test were used as probable cause for a search in the warrant request.

However, the Shawano-Menominee County district attorney’s office has a policy requiring at least three garbage picks and three positive test results for controlled substances before moving ahead with a search warrant.

The district attorney’s office would not comment on the Noffke search warrant or the investigation, but sources there did confirm that the policy has been in place for many years and was in place when former District Attorney Gary Bruno was in office. Bruno left in 2007.

Shawano Police Capt. Jeff Heffernon also confirmed that three garbage picks and positive results were also required by the district attorney’s office for Shawano police.

Wright, however, said that was “not necessarily” the policy.

“It depends on the circumstances,” he said. “I think it’s just something that would be an additional verifier.”

The circumstances in this case, he said, included garbage not being put curbside on a regular basis and the approaching growing season when it was likely that marijuana plants were being transplanted and moved elsewhere.

Wright said the decision to seek a search warrant after only one garbage pick was a joint decision made in discussions with the detective on the case.

Not notifying Shawano police would seem to violate a jurisdictional protocol.

Heffernon, without commenting on the Noffke incident, said local law enforcement is supposed to be notified.

“They inform us. That’s the protocol,” he said.

Wright said any calls to local police would have gone through dispatch, which was aware of the search warrant being executed.

Wright said the main consideration was keeping the operation impartial, which was why, he said, Shawano County authorities were assisted by Stockbridge-Munsee police and Langlade County deputies.

“We wanted an impartial agency to help us out,” he said.

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County official's trash searched for drug evidence

Fri, 04/25/2014 - 9:21pm
Investigation focuses on Madsen family membersBy: 

Tim Ryan, [email protected]

An investigation is under way into alleged drug paraphernalia found at the home of Shawano County Administrative Coordinator Tom Madsen during the execution of a search warrant March 31.

The search warrant indicates two family members, not Madsen, were the target of the search.

According to information in the search warrant, Stockbridge-Munsee police received information from a confidential informant that two members of Madsen’s family had visited a house where officers recently seized marijuana. However, the warrant states it was not certain that the two had purchased any marijuana.

Police collected garbage from the Madsen residence in Gresham on five occasions from January to March. Out of the five garbage picks, at least three included items that tested positive for marijuana or marijuana residue, according to the search warrant.

The warrant was returned with seized items that included three pipes with residue, green plant material inside a wooden container, incense and several cut straws, according to the statement of a Stockbridge-Munsee detective.

No charges have been filed.

Madsen said he could not comment on the matter because it was under investigation.

County Board Chairman Jerry Erdmann said at this point there are no repercussions for Madsen, given that the probe is focusing on other family members.

“Law enforcement would have to act first,” he said. “Then the Administrative Committee would have to discuss it.”

The case is not being handled by the Shawano County District Attorney’s Office and is expected to be transferred to an independent agency. It could not be confirmed Friday whether that has been done yet or which agency would handle the matter.

The Shawano County Sheriff’s Department was also not involved in the investigation, partly because Stockbridge-Munsee police contract with the village of Gresham for law enforcement, but also because of the possible appearance of a conflict of interest because of Madsen’s position with the county.

“That was one of the reasons,” Sheriff Randy Wright said. “We tried to keep it as impartial as could be.”

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