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Updated: 8 min 17 sec ago

Public Record

Tue, 04/01/2014 - 7:06am

Shawano Police Department

March 30

Police logged 14 incidents, including the following:

Theft — A wallet was reported stolen at The Shelter, 142 S. Main St.

Disorderly — Police responded to an intoxicated person complaint in the 100 block of South Washington Street.

Disturbance — Police responded to a report of a fight in progress in the 1100 block of South Main Street.

March 29

Police logged 13 incidents, including the following:

Disturbance — Police responded to a disturbance on Aspen Court.

Disorderly — Police responded to an intoxicated person complaint in the 100 block of South Main Street after a man was reported urinating on the sidewalk.

Accident — A 14-year-old girl on a bicycle sustained minor injuries after being struck by a vehicle at Lieg Avenue and Main Street.

March 28

Police did not provide an incident list.

Shawano County Sheriff’s Department

March 30

Deputies logged 20 incidents, including the following:

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

Disturbance — Authorities responded to a domestic disturbance on Country Lane in the town of Washington.

OWI — A 27-year-old Weston man was arrested for operating while intoxicated on Highway 29 in Wittenberg.

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

March 29

Deputies logged 45 incidents, including the following:

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

Theft — Authorities responded to a property theft complaint on Railroad Street in Bowler.

Drug Offense — Authorities investigated a drug complaint on Highway 29 in the town of Herman.

OAR — A 27-year-old man was cited for operating after revocation on County Road G in Red Springs.

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

March 28

Deputies logged 46 incidents, including the following:

Theft — Authorities responded to a property theft complaint on Highway 22 in the town of Washington.

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

Drug Offense — A 19-year-old Lac de Flambeau male was arrested for possession of marijuana on Highway 29 in Seneca.

Warrant — A 27-year-old Eland woman was arrested on a warrant on County Road A in Red Springs.

Accidents — Authorities logged 14 accidents, including injury accidents in Maple Grove and Red Springs and two deer-related crashes.

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Bus lost in transit station fire

Mon, 03/31/2014 - 11:46am
By: 

Leader Staff

Keshena firefighters battled a bus fire Saturday evening at the Menominee Public Transit Building.

Crews were called to the scene around 5:30 p.m., according to fire officials. A transit bus inside the storage building was fully engulfed in flames when firefighters arrived.

Crews got the blaze under control within an hour, avoiding it from spreading to other buses inside the building. The bus sustained heavy damage and was a total loss. The building’s interior had minor smoke and flame damage.

The cause of the fire was not available Monday.

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Child sex sting nets 19 suspects

Mon, 03/31/2014 - 11:45am
By: 

Leader Staff

Shawano County authorities working with the Brown County Sheriff’s Department and other agencies arrested 19 people, including what investigators said was a man training to be a bus driver in Shawano, in a three-day sting operation aimed at getting potential child predators off the streets.

Detectives posing as juveniles on the Internet were contacted by the suspects who arranged to meet them for a sexual rendezvous. When the suspects showed up, they were arrested on a charge of using a computer to facilitate a sex crime.

Three of the suspects were arrested in Shawano County. One of those arrested in Brown County was from Shawano County, according to authorities.

The trainee bus driver had never driven a route alone, authorities said.

Operation Vanguard, as it was dubbed, wrapped up Saturday night with the arrest of a 50-year-old Menasha man who believed he was meeting a 15-year-old girl in the town of Wescott.

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Public Record

Sat, 03/29/2014 - 3:55am

Shawano Police Department

March 27

Police logged 26 incidents, including the following:

Accident — Police responded to a property damage accident on North Bartlett Street.

Drug Offense — Police investigated a drug complaint at Shawano Community High School, 220 County Road B.

Juvenile — Police logged three truancy complaints from the Shawano School District.

Hit and Run — Police investigated a property damage hit-and-run in the 300 block of North Franklin Street.

Accident — Police responded to a property damage accident at Lincoln and Elizabeth streets.

Accident — Police responded to a two-vehicle property damage accident on Madison Way.

Assault — Police investigated a reported assault in the 100 block of South Washington Street.

Shawano County Sheriff’s Department

March 27

Deputies logged 52 incidents, including the following:

Auto Theft — A vehicle was reported stolen on Putnam Lane in Bowler.

Fire — Authorities responded to a fire on Town Line Road in the town of Washington.

Accidents — Authorities logged 24 accidents, including two deer-related crashes.

Clintonville Police Department

March 27

Police logged eight incidents, including the following:

Hit and Run — A hit-and-run accident report was completed.

Disorderly — Police responded to a disorderly conduct complaint at the middle school.

Assault — A sexual assault complaint was under investigation.

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Election could continue board overhaul

Sat, 03/29/2014 - 3:47am
By: 

[email protected]

Two veteran members are hoping to hold onto their seats on the Shawano School Board in Tuesday’s election, while a challenger is hoping to join the ranks of the board’s recent newcomers.

Incumbents Julie Van Dyck and Marcia Yeager, both of them with 15 years on the board, are seeking re-election in Area 4 and are being challenged by Beth McFarlane. The two top vote-getters will be elected to three-year terms.

If one of the incumbents is ousted, it would add to what’s become a slow overhaul of the board over the last couple of years.

Tyler Schmidt edged out veteran John Granchay two years ago. Derek Johnson and Bruce Milavitz joined the board last year.

The most recent addition, Michael Sleeper, was appointed to the board in October to replace Jim Heinz, who resigned in September amid concerns about the direction the district was headed.

Sleeper is also on Tuesday’s ballot, but has no challenger.

At present, only four members of the nine-member board have served for more than two consecutive terms.

Here are the candidates’ responses to a questionnaire provided by the Leader:

Name: Beth McFarlane

Age: 46

Family: Husband, Jeff; three daughters

Education: BA, University of Northern Iowa 1989

Employment: Social Studies teacher, Shawano Community High School, 1992‐98; business manager, Advanced Veterinary Services, 2006‐present

Experience: Six-year member of Sacred Heart Board of Total Catholic Education (president for two years). I have been involved in Junior Achievement, athletic booster and parent-­teacher organizations.

Statement: “I am an experienced teacher who understands the need for communication between parent, teacher, administration and the school board — the entities responsible for making sure our students succeed. Being a taxpayer and small business owner, I understand the need to budget and prioritize in order to have a balance between needs and wants. While I will be a new face to the School Board, I am not new to how a school board functions. I bring to the board different perspectives and life experiences. I believe in and am passionate about education. I want to see our school district not only provide quality programs, but define quality programs that other districts want to copy. I will strive toward this goal while keeping in mind that the money entrusted to us by the hard-working people of this community is to be used wisely and with gratitude.”

Name: Julie Van Dyck

Age: 53

Family: Four children

Education: Master’s degree from Marquette University

Employment: Speech and language pathologist at Menominee Tribal School

Experience: Shawano School Board, 15 years; one of the founders of the Shawano Area Youth Football League; Junior Achievement teacher for middle school students; Rotary member

Statement: “I really do take pride in being a member of the Shawano School Board. It is a good school district, but I think there is always room for improvement. I’ve invested my time into educating myself through seminars offered by the Wisconsin Association of School Boards and National School Boards Association because I think it’s important to keep up knowledge of current trends in education. The budget is always a concern. With our new business manager, there will be increased involvement of the board. We want to have a team approach to formulating the budget. We try to deliver the best education possible at a reasonable cost to the taxpayer. I want to look into untapped resources for funding.”

Name: Marcia Yeager

Age: 61

Family: Married, with three grown children

Education: Shawano High School, River Falls University, NWTC

Employment: I have worked for the Wisconsin Towns Association as a bookkeeper for 12 years and also am the bookkeeper for our family owned business, Yeager’s Sugar Shack.

Experience: Shawano Board of Education for 15 years, holding vice president and treasurer positions; member and president of the Wescott Cemetery Association for 26 years; coached volleyball at Shawano High School for seven years, and officiated high school volleyball for 10 years. I was a member and president of the Sacred Heart Booster Club for eight years.

Statement: “I have been very involved in the community throughout my life. I started the Partners In Education Program at Shawano School District, with the help of Cheryl Koening, and remained on board for nine years. I implemented the “Don’t Laugh at me Program” for the Shawano School District, which I think is so important, because it addresses bullying. I am seeking re-election because I truly believe in the value of education. I believe I have the experience necessary to meet some of the challenges that are facing the education system. This past year we have experienced a lot of positives for our district, and I am proud of some of the accomplishments we have made. The building of the Tech Ed Department has not only advanced the learning for our students, but is also building a partnership with businesses in the industrial park with the hopes of bringing revenue into our school. We need to continue to work together as a community and school district, so we can provide the best education for our students. I will continue to work hard and be a voice of the taxpayer.”

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Election Previews

Sat, 03/29/2014 - 3:45am
By: 

Leader Staff

County Board, District 5

District 5 incumbent Shawano County Supervisor Sandy Steinke will face a challenge from John Granchay in Tuesday’s election. The district includes Wards 9 and 10 in the city of Shawano.

Supervisors serve two-year terms.

Here are the candidates’ responses to a questionnaire provided by the Leader:

Name: John Granchay

Age: 59

Family: Single, no children

Education: BA degree, Marquette University, 1980

Employment: Retired social worker, Shawano County

Experience: Shawano School Board 12 years, Shawano County Commission on Aging six years, past president Wisconsin Social Service Association

Statement: “I am running because decisions are not being made by the board. They are wasting money by continually having committee meetings and not doing anything on problems that are facing the community. Eventually something will have to be done, and it will cost more money down the road. The board had studies done and they do not follow through on what is recommended. In addition, they do not follow plans that they have agreed to in the past. I hope to present some forward and out-of-the-box thinking.”

Name: Sandy Steinke

Age: 54

Family: Married, one daughter, two grandchildren

Education: Wittenberg-Birnamwood High School, NWTC

Employment: Eye and Vision Clinic in De Pere

Experience: Shawano Common Council for 11 years; Shawano County Board since 2006

Statement: “Serving the city works well with cooperating with the county. We have cooperated on a number of joint ventures. I enjoy serving the people of Shawano County. There are many projects I’d like to see through, that we have been busy with for a while. One of them is evidence storage. I think there’s a common solution for that.”

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County Board, school board seats up for election Tuesday

Sat, 03/29/2014 - 3:44am
By: 

Leader Staff

Following is a list of contested Shawano County and area school board races that will be decided in Tuesday’s election. Races where candidates are not opposed are not listed.

Polls are open from 7 a.m. until 8 p.m.

Shawano County Board

• District 5 incumbent Sandy Steinke will face a challenge from John Granchay. The district includes Wards 9 and 10 in the city of Shawano.

• District 10 incumbent Robert Krause will be up against challenger David Korth. The district includes Ward 3 of the town of Washington and Wards 1 and 2 of Green Valley.

• District 12 incumbent Kathy Luebke will face a challenge from Ken Bierhals. The district includes the town of Maple Grove, Ward 2 of the town of Lessor and the part of Pulaski in Shawano County.

• District 18 incumbent Steven Gueths will be up against challenger Cheryl Klapste. The district includes Wards 2 and 3 of the town of Richmond.

• District 19 incumbent and County Board Vice Chairman Arlyn Tober will face a challenge from Leone Schneidewend. The district includes the town of Pella, Ward 2 of the town of Herman, Ward 1 of the town of Grant and Wards 4, 5 and 6 in the city of Marion.

• District 23 incumbent Ray Faehling will go up against challenger Annette Rockey. The district includes Fairbanks and Tigerton.

• District 27 incumbent Marion Wnek will face a challenge from former county supervisor Jon Zwirschitz. The district includes the towns of Hutchins and Almon and the village of Mattoon.

Shawano School Board

Incumbents Julie Van Dyck and Marcia Yeager are seeking re-election in Area 4, and are being challenged by Beth McFarlane. The two top vote-getters will be elected.

Gresham School Board

Incumbents Holly Schmidt and Marge Eberhard are running for two at-large seats on the board, and are being challenged by former board member Gary Olsen. The two top vote-getters will be elected.

Wittenberg-Birnamwood School Board

Incumbent Rose Tryba and Cindy Matteson are vying for the Area 5 seat.

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PSC approves Gresham water rate hike

Thu, 03/27/2014 - 11:03pm
By: 

Kevin Murphy, Leader Correspondent

Water rates for Gresham Municipal Utility residential customers will increase by 26 percent or, approximately $9.60 per month, under an order the Wisconsin Public Service Commission issued Tuesday.

Residential customers currently paying $36.39 monthly in volume charges for 3,000 gallons of water will pay $45.99 for the same amount when the new rates take effect April 15.

Bills reflecting the new rates will be mailed at the end of April, said Grace Schwefel, utility finance supervisor.

The order also increased the monthly meter charge for most residents by $4 to $14.30 from $10.07.

Rates for the utility’s commercial, industrial and public entity customers also will increase by 26 to 29 percent.

The first rate hike since a 40 percent jump in 2008, the increase boosts utility income by $42,393 annually to an estimated $198,447. After estimated 2014 expenses of $154,401, the utility should finish the year with a $44,046 net income and a 6.25 percent rate of return on the $707,740 net value of its infrastructure investment, according to the PSC analysis.

Without the rate increase, the PSC projected the utility finishing 2014 with a $1,653 net operating income and a .023 percent rate of return.

The utility has posted income deficits in each of the past four years. The deficit topped out at $42,526 in 2010 but has steadily decreased, reaching $12,198 last year, according to PSC analysis.

The utility has decreased its operating and maintenance expenses in each of the past four years. Those expenses totaled $152,891 in 2001 and are estimated to fall to $101,900 this year, according to the PSC.

Less spending on salaries and wages have led the decrease in expenses. Total administrative and general labor costs fell from $55,146 in 2010 to an estimated $33,500 this year.

Labor costs were reduced when two employees left the utility and were replaced by one worker, Schwefel said.

Repair expenses have also decreased in the past few years.

Spending on fuel, chemicals and outside services have increased since 2010, according to the PSC analysis.

A resident, Laura Potts, opposed the rate increase in a March 16 email to the PSC stating that her monthly electric, sewer and water bill from the village had climbed over $200 while area wages remain stagnant.

A meter reader 15 years ago, Potts wrote that she knows utility employees can be more productive.

Calls to utility administrator Art Bahr were not returned before deadline.

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Walker raises limits for casino study

Thu, 03/27/2014 - 11:02pm
By: 

The Associated Press

Gov. Scott Walker’s administration has agreed to triple to $1.5 million the potential payment to a national law firm hired to help examine whether to allow the Menominee Tribe to open an $800 million casino in Kenosha.

The original contract signed in December capped payments to the Dykema Gossett law firm at $500,000. An amended contract released Thursday by Walker’s administration raises the cap to $1.5 million.

Walker’s Department of Administration Secretary Mike Huebsch (HIPSH) said the increase in potential payment “reflects the complexity of both the Kenosha casino proposal and its economic impact on Wisconsin.”

Huebsch says raising the cap “ensures we will be able to provide accurate, relevant information about the viability of this project.”

Walker has not said when he will make a decision.

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Election Previews

Thu, 03/27/2014 - 11:00pm
By: 

Leader Staff

County Board, District 10

District 10 incumbent Robert Krause will face challenger David Korth in a Shawano County Board of Supervisors race in the spring election Tuesday.

The district includes Ward 3 of the town of Washington and Wards 1 and 2 of Green Valley.

Supervisors serve two-year terms.

Name: David Korth

Age: 57

Family: Two sons, Ben and Jacob.

Education: Not provided.

Employment: Owner of 4 Seasons Disposal Inc. and Crossroads Drivers Ed.

Experience: Past supervisor of the town of Washington; present chairman of Cecil/Washington Fire Commission; president of the Wisconsin Professional Driving School Association.

Statement: “As a County Board member, you need to make responsible decisions that will affect your district and the county. The attitude to keep spending cannot continue as it is going. You need to use the resources that you have here before outsourcing. As an example, the blacktop work done at the fairgrounds by North East Asphalt and not the county. Asking the county after the fact. You need to rely on your department heads for information but still ask questions.”

Name: Robert W. Krause

Age: Not provided.

Family: Married 34 years to Doreen; three adult children and three grandchildren.

Education: Bonduel High School and UW-Madison

Employment: Self-employed farmer

Experience: Served the public in various capacities over the last 20 years: Zion Lutheran Church, Bonduel School Board, CESA 8 Board, town of Green Valley Planning Commission, Shawano County Farm Bureau and Shawano County Board of Supervisors serving on various committees. Also serves on state boards as a representative of UW-Extension.

Statement: “I have been blessed with the opportunity to ‘give back’ to Shawano County. I was born and raised here, and growing up, I took full advantage of all Shawano County had to offer. I would like to continue to help provide opportunities and services to all residents. We are living in very challenging economic times. Now more than ever, we need to conserve and spend wisely. I believe if we work together, we can continue the heritage that has made Shawano County a great place to live and work.”

County Board, District 18

District 18 incumbent Steven Gueths will be up against challenger Cheryl Klapste in a Shawano County Board of Supervisors race in the spring election Tuesday.

The district includes Wards 2 and 3 of the town of Richmond.

Supervisors serve two-year terms.

Here are the candidates’ responses to a questionnaire provided by the Leader:

Name: Steven Gueths

Age: 62

Family: Two sons

Education: Shawano High School; NWTC-Green Bay

Employment: Retired; 34 years with the Shawano County Highway Department

Experience: Richmond town chairman for 34 years; six years on the Shawano County Board; officer with the Red River Sportsman’s Club, including past president

Statement: “I enjoy being a public servant and working for the people of Shawano County. One of the issues we face is getting evidence storage taken care of. We have to rent or buy or build a new storage facility. We have to get this done. We just have to come up with a way of funding it. We also have to get the wage study done and get our employees situated properly. We also have to keep taxpayers in mind so we don’t overtax them and stress them out.”

Name: Cheryl Klapste

Age: 65

Family: Husband and four dogs. Our children are grown

Education: Wittenberg High School

Employment: Formerly owned Sleepy Haven Motel; milk distributor; rental properties and mobile home park; formerly owned laundromat in Cecil

Experience: Was on Wittenberg Village Board for five years; involved with Meals on Wheels

Statement: “I think the County Board needs a new perspective; a new look at the way things are done. That’s true of any board. I don’t like the way our money is being spent. I would like the board to take a more careful look at things

County Board, District 19

District 19 incumbent and County Board Vice Chairman Arlyn Tober will face a challenge from Leone Schneidewend in a Shawano County Board of Supervisors race in the spring election Tuesday.

The district includes the town of Pella, Ward 2 of the town of Herman, and Ward 1 of the town of Grant.

Supervisors serve two-year terms.

Name: Leone Schneidewend

Age: 66

Education: High school and one year college.

Employment: Retired.

Experience: I was in some management positions in my travels.

Statement: “I was born and raised in Shawano, I attended school in Shawano. At the ripe old age of 18 after high school, I left the area to seek my fame and fortune (smile). What I found was my husband of 36 years. We have two adopted children. Our son lives in southern Wisconsin, and our daughter, who is disabled, lives with us on a small hobby farm east of town. I am running for County Board because I feel we need change. Some items have been waiting a decision far too long. Questions need answers, and I would like the opportunity to seek out those answers.”

Name: Arlyn Tober

Age: Not provided.

Family: Married; four children.

Education: 12 years.

Employment: Retired farmer and cheesemaker.

Experience: County Board vice chairman

Statement: “Shawano County has a very bright future. We have very good department heads and employees. The county debt is paid down and, according to our auditors, we are in excellent financial condition. We just have to watch our budgets to see that it stays that way and keep our budgets balanced. Every supervisor knows we need an evidence storage building. Maybe in 2014 a compromise can be reached and build one or remodel an existing building to meet our need and not our wants. Another major item is our highways. Each year, we blacktop less and are not keeping up with our maintenance schedule. We are only doing half of what we should. Working into the future with the knowledge of the past, I believe, are some of my best assets.”

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Public Record

Thu, 03/27/2014 - 10:53pm

Shawano Police Department

March 26

Police logged 22 incidents, including the following:

Theft — A vehicle was reported stolen in the 300 block of North Franklin Street.

Disturbance — A 33-year-old Shawano woman was arrested on charges of disorderly conduct and resisting arrest after a domestic disturbance in the 700 block of South Union Street.

Accident — A school bus struck a Shawano Municipal Utilities bucket truck in the 300 block of South Main Street. There were no injuries reported.

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

Disorderly — A 19-year-old Shawano male was taken into custody on a probation hold after a disorderly conduct incident in the 900 block of South Main Street.

Accident — A 2-year-old was struck by a vehicle backing into a parking space in the 800 block of East Richmond Street. Police said there was a possible injury, but no information on the extent. The child was taken to Shawano Medical Center.

Shawano County Sheriff’s Department

March 26

Deputies logged 26 incidents, including the following:

Fraud — Authorities investigated a mail scam on Koeller Lane in Richmond. A man reported getting a letter claiming he won the London lottery.

Warrant — A 26-year-old Shawano man was taken into custody on a warrant on County Road B in Waukechon.

Harassment — Authorities responded to a harassment complaint on Cecil Street in Bonduel.

Harassment — Authorities responded to a harassment complaint on U.S. Highway 45 in Birnamwood.

Accidents — Authorities logged two accidents, including a deer-related crash.

Clintonville Police Department

Police logged seven incidents, including the following:

Disorderly — Disorderly conduct was reported at the middle school.

Theft — A theft was reported on East 12th Street.

Drug Offense — A 30-year-old Clintonville woman was referred for possession of controlled substance and bail jumping after a traffic stop on U.S. Highway 45 at Hilltop Road.

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County Board adopts parks plan

Wed, 03/26/2014 - 9:00pm
By: 

Lee Pulaski, [email protected]


Leader Photo by Lee Pulaski Heritage Park is one of two parks in Shawano County managed by an outside organization. The county’s outdoor recreation plan proposes establishing park management agreements with the Shawano County Historical Society, which oversees Heritage Park, and Shawano County Arts Council, which manages the Mielke Arts Center.
Leader Photo by Lee Pulaski One of the high priorities in Shawano County’s recently adopted outdoor recreation plan is to replace the playground equipment at Shawano Lake County Park.

The Shawano County Board gave a unanimous endorsement Wednesday to a new five-year outdoor recreation plan.

The plan, which was developed by the East Central Regional Planning Commission through a grant, maps out multiple priorities for the county park system and suggests some options that could be implemented.

The plan’s adoption does not mean any of the projects are approved to be done, according to Parks Manager Keith Marquardt, and there are no monetary amounts attached to any of the projects.

“Anything that we do here has to go through the budgeting process and the CIP (Capital Improvement Projects) process,” Marquardt said.

One of the priorities is to create park management agreements with the Shawano County Historical Society, which operates out of Heritage County Park and the adjacent Sunset Island, and the Shawano County Arts Council, which manages the Mielke Arts Center at Mielke Park.

Also high on the priority list is improving trails in some of the parks. Waukechon Riverside Park’s trail system should be expanded, according to the plan, and upgraded for easier accessibility. At Oconto River Park, the plan calls for developing hiking trails through the wetlands.

The creation of a new dog park, a topic of considerable debate in 2012, is in the plan, although it is not scheduled for development until 2018.

The plan also recommends looking at other potential sites for recreational development. The county owns land in the towns of Almon, Bartelme and Wittenberg that could be utilized for future park use.

Under long-term projects, the plan suggests future acquisition of land for park use. The Alexian Brothers Novitiate property near Gresham is listed as a possibility, and it is recommended that the county purchase more property along Shawano Lake for another park.

The plan also recommends that the county integrate a 60-acre site on the Red River into the parks system if the town of Richmond does not have the resources to develop it.

Supervisor Gene Hoppe criticized the plan for having typographical errors, including listing one piece of land in the town of Richmond instead of the town of Wescott. He felt the plan should be postponed until the Highway and Parks Committee corrects any errors.

“Why should we vote on something that isn’t correct?” Hoppe said. “When we put our stamp on it, it needs to be correct.”

A motion to postpone failed 20-5.

Marquardt pointed out that many of the errors came from the comments provided by people who took the parks survey online. Comments were included verbatim.

“It doesn’t affect the overall plan,” Marquardt said.

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Write-in challenger declares in District 6

Wed, 03/26/2014 - 8:56pm
By: 

[email protected]

A write-in candidate has registered to run against District 6 Shawano County Supervisor Randy Young in Tuesday’s election.

William Ecke, co-chair of the Shawano County Concerned Taxpayers Association, formally filed a declaration of his candidacy last week with the Shawano County Clerk’s office.

“The group that I’m connected with needed someone to run, so they pushed me to run as a write-in,” Ecke said, referring to the taxpayers association.

The group is not connected with the Shawano County Concerned Property Taxpayers Association, which has mostly been involved with land-to-trust issues with area tribes.

Ecke said his group was formed in 2009 during the fight over the county’s Maple Lane Health Care Center, in opposition to a referendum that would have raised the tax levy to fund the center’s expected deficits.

The referendum was voted down 2,998 to 1,831. The county sold off Maple Lane shortly after that.

Ecke would not say who else was involved with his group.

“It’s businessmen, business leaders, community leaders,” he said. “Most people know who I’m connected with.”

Ecke also wouldn’t reveal the name of the group’s other co-chair.

“He’s a business man,” Ecke said. “When you mix politics with business, it’s going to hurt business.”

Ecke said it was time Young had some competition.

“He likes to spend a lot of our taxpayer money,” he said. “Some of us are a little concerned about how he’s spending our money.”

Young said he would need to know specifically what spending Ecke was referring to before he could respond to the charge. He said he has never been contacted by anyone in the group raising any concerns.

“I would recommend the voters of District 6 look at my comments, look at how I voted, look at how I represented them,” he said.

Young said he had no problem with someone running against him and voters have the choice of voting him out if they don’t think he’s done a good job representing them.

“That’s the American way,” he said.

However, Young said, he encouraged people to review his record.

“I hope people will do their homework,” he said.

District 6 includes wards 11 and 12 of the city of Shawano.

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Bill would ease road restrictions on farm machinery

Wed, 03/26/2014 - 8:55pm
By: 

Lee Pulaski, [email protected]

A bill that will ease road restrictions for agricultural equipment is heading back to the state Senate for one more vote.

Senate Bill 509 was amended by the Assembly last week, so the Senate must vote on the amendment before the bill can go to Gov. Scott Walker’s desk for approval. The Senate has one more day left in its session, April 1, and the bill is scheduled to be discussed then.

Rep. Gary Tauchen, R-Bonduel, said earlier this week that many people thought farm equipment was exempt from vehicle weight restrictions, but reports of tickets being issued to equipment operators in Marathon and Kewaunee counties led to SB 509.

“It became a necessity to look at this year because the last two years, people were getting tickets for overweight farm machinery,” Tauchen said. “We’ve been working to develop some legislation that will bring some common sense to the vehicles that we use on the farm.”

The bill increases the maximum axle weight and total weight for agricultural equipment by 15 percent to 23,000 and 92,000 pounds, respectively. It also allows machinery over 15 feet wide to be operated on the road without a permit if it meets marking and lighting standards.

There is a provision in the bill that would allow towns and counties to pass ordinances if they want a permitting process for agricultural equipment. No-fee permits for specific state roads would be issued by the Wisconsin Department of Transportation and would automatically renew annually unless the road changes or the farmer amends the permit.

“The information can only be used by law enforcement and the Department of Transportation,” Tauchen said. “It’s not open records.”

The bill includes a moratorium on State Patrol enforcement of the weight limits until 2015, but Tauchen pointed out that local and county law enforcement are not under such an obligation.

The regulations are expected to be reviewed in five years, Tauchen said. There is a sunset clause that ends the higher weight limits and permitting provisions in 2020 unless the Legislature extends or changes them.

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Governor applauds Specialized Products' 20th anniversary

Wed, 03/26/2014 - 8:53pm
By: 

Grace Kirchner, Leader Correspondent


Photo by Grace Kirchner Gov. Scott Walker congratulates Carol Oestreich on Specialized Products’ 20th year in manufacturing during a visit to the Clintonville plant Tuesday. Shown, from left, are Chris Oestreich, Scott Witt, Carol Oestreich, Wayne Oestreich, Walker and Lori Schmidt.

Gov. Scott Walker stopped in Clintonville on Tuesday to tour Specialized Products Ltd. to celebrate the company’s 20th anniversary and talk with employees about the importance of manufacturing in Wisconsin.

Specialized Products has added jobs and completed three expansion and upgrade projects at the facility since 2011.

“I applaud Specialized Products for their 20 years of service in the manufacturing industry,” Walker said. “Manufacturing is a top driver of our economy, and companies like Specialized Products are key to growing and keeping jobs in Wisconsin. We will continue our work to support our job creators with tax relief, streamlined regulations and investments in training skilled workers.”

Specialized Products, 200 Summer St., has been involved in the electrical assembly contract manufacturing industry since 1994. The company’s 134 employees produce wire harnesses, cable assemblies and wire managers.

The company’s 14-acre site in the North Industrial Park includes more than 75,000 square feet of manufacturing and warehouse space.

“Specialized Products is proud to be a part of the manufacturing industry in Clintonville,” said Chris Oestreich, company president. “Specialized Products is excited about the direction Gov. Scott Walker is taking the state of Wisconsin, and we look forward to continued growth and adding to our experienced workforce.”

Walker toured the plant and presented owners Wayne and Carol Oestreich with a plaque proclaiming Tuesday as Specialized Products Day in Wisconsin.

“We want to create a climate for anyone who wants to work can find work,” Walker said. “We want our veterans to find meaningful employment.”

He noted the state Legislature recently approved more than $35 million for job training, with most of it going to technical colleges that train workers for manufacturers such a Specialized Products. Walker signed the job training bill into law last week.

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Clintonville ballot features several races

Wed, 03/26/2014 - 8:51pm
By: 

Grace Kirchner, Leader Correspondent

Clintonville voters will have school, city and judicial races to decide when they go to the polls Tuesday.

Three candidates are vying for two seats on the Clintonville Board of Education. Incumbents Ben Huber, a farmer from rural Clintonville, and retiree Tom Neely, of Bear Creek, are being challenged by retired teacher Jim Schultz.

Mayor Judith Magee has no opponent listed on the ballot, but Tricia Rose, owner of a local newspaper, is running a write-in campaign after missing the deadline for filing nomination papers. Magee, who is retired, is seeking her third term.

In District I, former Alderman Jim Krause, a retired policeman, is seeking to defeat incumbent Al Miller, retired, who was appointed to the position. In District III, incumbent Steve Kettenhoven, a fishing and hunting outfitter, is facing opposition from former Alderman John Wilson, retired. In District IV, incumbent Mike Hankins, an account executive, is facing opposition from retiree Mary Beth Kuester.

Incumbents Gloria Dunlavy and Jeannie Schley are running unopposed in Districts II and V, respectively.

The Waupaca County Circuit Court Branch 2 judicial race pits Vicki Taggatz Clussman, of Waupaca, against Keith Steckbauer, of New London. Steckbauer was appointed by Gov. Scott Walker as interim judge following the retirement of Judge John Hoffmann after 30 years on the bench. Clussman is an assistant district attorney.

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Court News

Wed, 03/26/2014 - 8:49pm

Felony OWI

A Gresham man who was out on bond in an alleged drunken driving case is now facing a felony charge of fifth-offense operating while intoxicated after his arrest in Shawano earlier this month.

Randall K. Marquette, 50, was taken into custody March 15 after ignoring an attempted traffic stop, according to the criminal complaint. He continued driving into a restaurant parking lot and continued to ignore officers as he attempted to go into the restaurant.

The complaint alleges Marquette resisted and had to be subdued when he was arrested.

Marquette could face a maximum of six years in prison and a $10,000 fine if found guilty of the OWI charge. He also faces the same possible penalty for each of four separate felony counts of bail jumping.

Marquette, who allegedly had a marijuana and a pipe with him when he was arrested, is also charged with felony possession of marijuana — which carries a maximum 3 1/2 years in prison and $10,000 fine — and misdemeanor counts of possession of drug paraphernalia, disorderly conduct and resisting an officer.

He is being held on a $5,000 cash bond. His next court date has not been set.

Possession with intent to deliver marijuana

Less than a week after being charged in connection an alleged domestic violence incident, a Shawano man was charged Monday with a felony drug count and bail-jumping.

Dillon R. Chapin, 21, was pulled over by Shawano police early Sunday morning and was found to be in possession of 46 grams of marijuana and an Adderall pill, according to the criminal complaint.

Chapin was out on bond at the time stemming from an alleged domestic disturbance March 19. He faces a felony charge of false imprisonment and misdemeanor counts of battery in connection with that incident.

Chapin could face a maximum of 3/12 years in prison and $10,000 fine for possession with intent to deliver marijuana if found guilty, and six years and a $10,000 fine for bail jumping.

He also faces a misdemeanor count of possession of a controlled substance.

Chapin is free on a $500 cash bond and is due in Shawano-Menominee County Circuit Court for a preliminary hearing April 2.

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Public Record

Wed, 03/26/2014 - 8:48pm

Shawano Police Department

March 25

Police logged 27 incidents, including the following:

Arrest — Police took a subject into custody on a Probation and Parole hold in the 100 block of East Richmond Street.

Accident — Police responded to a property damage accident at Richmond and Lincoln streets.

Vandalism — A vehicle was reported vandalized in the 1000 block of South Evergreen Street.

Juvenile — Police logged eight truancy complaints from the Shawano School District.

Harassment — Police responded to a harassment complaint in the 900 block of East Randall Street.

Disturbance — Police responded to a report of a fight in progress at the Wisconsin House, 216 E. Green Bay St.

Shawano County Sheriff’s Department

March 25

Deputies logged 35 incidents, including the following:

Warrant — A male subject was taken into custody on a warrant on Old D Road in Almon.

Trespass — Authorities responded to a trespassing complaint on Shorewood Lane in Pella.

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

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

Theft — Medication was reported stolen on Oak Street in Bowler.

Burglary — Authorities investigated a residential burglary on Beech Drive in Hartland.

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

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

Clintonville Police Department

March 25

Police logged seven incidents, including the following:

Assault — A sexual assault complaint was under investigation.

Fraud — Police investigated seven worthless check complaints.

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Bonduel names school administrator finalists

Wed, 03/26/2014 - 7:33am
By: 

Leader Staff

Two Bonduel School District principals are among the six finalists named Tuesday for the job of district administrator when the post becomes vacant at the end of the school year.

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

The school district received 17 applications for the position. The School Board met Monday to choose six candidates who will be interviewed.

Behnke released the names of the finalists Tuesday.

They include Bonduel High School Principal Patrick Rau and Elementary Principal Peggy Jones.

Others in the running are Coleman School District Superintendent Brian Walters, 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.

The first round of interviews is scheduled for April 7-8, with another round of interviews on April 14, if necessary, Behnke said.

Behnke’s current salary is $124,388. His last day on the job will be June 30.

Behnke is only the third administrator the district has had since 1950. Frank Weix was administrator from 1950-1979, followed by Lyman Franzwa from 1979-1989, when Behnke took over.

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Fundraiser aids Rustic Resort owner

Wed, 03/26/2014 - 7:32am
By: 

Lee Pulaski, [email protected]


Leader Photo by Lee Pulaski A boy watches the band TnA and the Explosions on Saturday night at Neighbors Bar and Grill. The band was one of numerous groups that played at the benefit for Chris Dewey, owner of the Rustic Resort, which was destroyed by fire earlier this year.
Leader Photo by Lee Pulaski Chris Hidde, donning a dress and wig, talks with patrons at Neighbors to solicit donations for the Rustic Resort benefit Saturday.

The Rustic Resort was more than a place to eat and drink for the hundreds of people who gathered Saturday for a benefit for its owner.

The place was a second home for some who lived near the business in Belle Plaine. For others, a visit to the resort was a family tradition.

The Rustic burned to the ground on Feb. 19, leaving owner Chris Dewey with little more than the clothes on her back. The Neighbors Bar and Grill in Waukechon opened its doors Saturday for a benefit for Dewey, who suffered burns and carbon monoxide poisoning from the fire.

Officials with the Shawano Fire Department have said the cause of the fire might never be known.

Dianne Bostel-Smith, of Nichols, donated $100 because she knows how devastating a fire can be.

“Mine wasn’t as bad as Chris’, but I did lose pets,” Bostel-Smith said, pointing out that Dewey lost two dogs in the Rustic fire. “I came out OK, and my heart just goes out to her.”

Bostel-Smith had only been to the Rustic twice, but her daughter was a bartender there.

“They had wonderful food,” she said.

Connor Ford, who lives in the Cloverleaf Lakes area near the Rustic, attended many events and held a high school graduation party there. The 19-year-old said he had a lot of fond memories of the Rustic.

“My family grew up with the Rustic. My parents got married at the Rustic,” Ford said. “It meant so much to so many people that it’s just a shame to see it go.”

Jim Burton donned a dress, wig and red lipstick to wander around as a drag queen Saturday soliciting additional donations at the benefit.

“I’m not going to turn them down,” Burton said. “They did so much for me. I might as well give a little back.”

Burton’s early years were spent in Appleton, but the family still went to the Rustic on a regular basis. When he moved to Belle Plaine in 1994, the Rustic was 50 feet from his home.

The money raised Saturday was enough to pay Dewey’s medical bills and to clean up the site, according to Tracy Druckrey, one of the coordinators for the event.

“It was wall-to-wall packed,” Druckrey said. “I was a little surprised, but it was great.”

Thrivent Financial presented a $1,200 check to match what had been donated at Associated Bank in the days leading up to the benefit. Coordinators of the event declined to say exactly how much money was raised for Dewey.

Dewey could not be reached for comment, but Druckrey said the Rustic owner planned to take a little time for herself. It is unknown if Dewey plans to rebuild.

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