Shawano Leader News

Subscribe to Shawano Leader News feed
Sed ut perspiciatis unde omnis iste natus error sit voluptatem accusantium doloremque laudantium
Updated: 23 min 22 sec ago

Governor announces plan to expand Family Care

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

The Associated Press


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“It will change lives,” Kral said.

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

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

Assault in Cecil sends man to hospital

Tue, 04/22/2014 - 9:25am
By: 

Leader Staff

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

Public Record

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

Shawano Police Department

April 20

Police logged 14 incidents, including the following:

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

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

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

April 19

Police logged 23 incidents, including the following:

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

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

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

April 18

Police logged 21 incidents, including the following:

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

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

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

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

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

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

Shawano County Sheriff’s Department

April 20

Deputies logged 30 incidents, including the following:

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

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

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

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

April 19

Deputies logged 32 incidents, including the following:

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

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

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

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

April 18

Deputies logged 42 incidents, including the following:

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

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

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

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

Farms ordered to report pig virus cases

Sat, 04/19/2014 - 7:07am
By: 

The Associated Press

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Shawano grocery bill above state average

Sat, 04/19/2014 - 7:06am
By: 

Lee Pulaski, [email protected]

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

City approves equipment purchases

Sat, 04/19/2014 - 7:05am
By: 

Leader Staff

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Council approves Judd Park

Sat, 04/19/2014 - 7:03am
By: 

Leader Staff

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Public Record

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

Shawano Police Department

April 17

Police logged 26 incidents, including the following:

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

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

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

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

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

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

Shawano County Sheriff’s Department

April 17

Deputies logged 40 incidents, including the following:

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

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

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

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

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

Clintonville Police Department

April 17

Police logged 19 incidents, including the following:

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

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

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

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

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

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

Hearing set for SMU rate increase

Fri, 04/18/2014 - 7:49am
By: 

[email protected]

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Gresham siren rebuilt, back on line

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Clintonville sewer rates going up

Fri, 04/18/2014 - 7:47am
By: 

Grace Kirchner, Leader Correspondent

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Sheriff's Department honors dispatchers

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Wright said the calls come in at no set pace.

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

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

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

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

Public Record

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

Shawano Police Department

April 16

Police logged 15 incidents, including the following:

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

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

Shawano County Sheriff’s Department

April 16

Deputies logged 27 incidents, including the following:

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

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

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

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

Clintonville Police Department

April 16

Police logged eight incidents, including the following:

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

Suspicious — A suspicious incident on Sixth Street was reported.

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

Detectives search county supervisor's home

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

Tim Ryan, [email protected]

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

According to a statement included in the search warrant, based on the anonymous tip, detectives started monitoring Noffke’s residence and Radio Shack in mid-February for any trash being put curbside.

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

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

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

Noffke had no explanation for the test results.

“It can’t possibly be,” she said.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Local reading, math scores below state average

Thu, 04/17/2014 - 7:28am
By: 

Lee Pulaski, [email protected]

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

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

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

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

Reading

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

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

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

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

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

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

Math

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

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

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

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

New test coming

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

BHS principal selected to lead district

Thu, 04/17/2014 - 7:26am
By: 

Tim Ryan, [email protected]

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

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

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

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

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

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

Behnke’s salary is $124,388.

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

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

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

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

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

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

November election filing season under way

Thu, 04/17/2014 - 7:25am
By: 

Leader Staff

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

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

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

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

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

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

Public Record

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

Shawano Police DepartmentC

April 15

Police logged 18 incidents, including the following:

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

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

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

Shawano County Sheriff’s Department

April 15

Deputies logged 29 incidents, including the following:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Clintonville Police Department

April 15

Police logged eight incidents, including the following:

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

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

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

Gresham couple wins young farmer award

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Perry Initiative steers girls to medicine, engineering

Wed, 04/16/2014 - 7:28am
By: 

Lee Pulaski, [email protected]


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Pages