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Updated: 34 min 48 sec ago

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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Gresham candidate drops out of County Board race

Wed, 03/26/2014 - 7:29am
By: 

[email protected]

A Gresham Village Board trustee who was making a bid for the Shawano County Board has withdrawn from the race.

Lauralee Roe was challenging District 20 incumbent Supervisor Rick Giese in Tuesday’s spring election.

However, Roe confirmed this week she has dropped out of the race because of a pending move to Arizona where her husband has gotten a new job.

“It was a sudden thing,” Roe said.

Roe will still be on the ballot Tuesday but has been putting the word out that people shouldn’t vote for her.

She will also be giving up her seat on the Village Board when the move happens, in mid to late July.

Roe said she had been encouraged to run for the County Board in hopes of gaining “better representation” for the district.

“I didn’t know much about it, but I was willing to learn,” she said.

Roe said she has already informed Giese so he would be spared any further campaign expenses.

“I wish Rick the best,” she said.

The district includes Ward 1 of the town of Herman, Ward 2 of Red Springs and all of the village of Gresham.

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Public Record

Wed, 03/26/2014 - 7:26am

Shawano Police Department

March 24

Police logged 15 incidents, including the following:

Warrant — A male subject was taken into custody on a warrant at the Probation and Parole offices, 1340 E. Green Bay St.

Suspicious — Police responded to a suspicious person complaint in the 300 block of South Union Street.

Juvenile — Police responded to a juvenile problem on Robin Lane.

Theft — Police responded to a property theft complaint in the 900 block of East Randall Street.

Shawano County Sheriff’s Department

March 24

Deputies logged 39 incidents, including the following:

Disorderly — Authorities responded to a disorderly conduct complaint on Maple Street in Birnamwood.

Juvenile — Authorities logged four truancy complaints from Bonduel Middle/High School, 400 W. Green Bay St., in Bonduel.

Fraud — Authorities investigated an identity theft complaint in Bonduel.

Drug Offense — Authorities investigated a drug complaint on Main Street in Bowler.

Warrant — A 43-year-old man was taken into custody on a warrant on Green Valley Road in Angelica.

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

Clintonville Police Department

March 24

Police logged 10 incidents, including the following:

Fraud — A subject was referred for two counts of forgery and uttering on North Main Street.

Juvenile — A juvenile was referred for disorderly conduct at the Middle School.

Disturbance — A warning was issued for disorderly conduct at a family disturbance on 18th Street.

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Tax cut bill signed in county

Tue, 03/25/2014 - 7:07am
By: 

Lee Pulaski, [email protected]


Leader Photo by Lee Pulaski Gov. Scott Walker signs a bill providing for income and property tax relief as part of his Blueprint for Prosperity on Monday at Horsens Homestead Farms in the town of Green Valley. He was joined by, from left, state Rep. John Nygren, R-Marinette, Rep. Gary Tauchen, R-Bonduel, Curtis Horsens, Abbey Horsens, Ryan Horsens, Connie Horsens and Jeff Horsens.
Leader Photo by Lee Pulaski Lt. Gov. Rebecca Kleefisch talks about the income and property tax cuts mapped out in Gov. Scott Walker’s Blueprint for Prosperity on Monday at Horsens Homestead Farms with state Rep. Gary Tauchen, R-Bonduel, and Rep. Jeff Mursau, R-Wausau.

Gov. Scott Walker chose a farm in the town of Green Valley as the place to sign a bill cutting Wisconsin residents’ income and property taxes.

With Lt. Gov. Rebecca Kleefisch, several state representatives and the owners of Horsens Homestead Farms watching, Walker on Monday signed legislation that is expected to give the average Wisconsin resident $46 in income tax relief beginning April 1 and will give the average property owner a reduction of $131 in state taxes in December.

The signing caps Walker’s Blueprint for Prosperity, which he introduced in his State of the State address in January. With a $911 million surplus in Madison, Walker pushed for tax relief and socking away some of the money — $100 million — in the rainy day fund.

Walker said picking the Horsens farm for the signing made sense.

“They represent both a business and a family, and what we’re going to sign into law here as part of the Blueprint for Prosperity is about helping families and employers prosper,” Walker said. “What we’re doing is taking that surplus and putting it in the hands of the people.”

Walker noted personal income for the state has gone up 4.5 percent, and the state will be taking less in withholding from paychecks. That means the average family with both parents working can expect to take home an additional $522 by the end of the year, he said.

“We think the best way to keep the economy humming is to put the money in the hands of the hard-working taxpayers,” Walker said.

This is the third straight year Wisconsin has cut taxes in some form or fashion, Walker said, with the total tax cuts approaching $2 billion. In contrast, neighboring Minnesota and Illinois have increased taxes, he said.

Walker panned claims by Democrats that he is taking this action because of the gubernatorial election in November.

“I’ve cut taxes every year I’ve been in office, so I think it’s hard to say it’s a gimmick when I’ve done it three years in a row,” Walker said. “I think what they’ve got is the frustration that we’ve kept our promises.”

Property taxes this December are expected to be lower than they were in December 2010, Walker said.

Rep. Gary Tauchen, R-Bonduel, called the tax cut bill the biggest piece of legislation passed this year, save for the budget. He was excited to have the legislation signed into law in Shawano County, as agriculture is one of the state’s biggest economic drivers.

“It’s really important that we give back to the people who have helped expand and grow our state, and this is our opportunity to do that,” Tauchen said. “We need so much money to run the state, but if there’s extra, instead of spending it or starting new programs, we’re trying to give it back so we can help the people through the recession.”

Kleefisch said the increase in money circulating around the state can be attributed partially to the agriculture industry, especially exports. She noted that total exports from Wisconsin increased 9 percent last year, with the dairy industry seeing a 41 percent hike.

“When there is a surplus, there’s nobody who wants to see that more than the people who earned that money, the taxpayers,” Kleefisch said.

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Public Record

Tue, 03/25/2014 - 6:56am

Shawano Police Department

March 23

Police logged 10 incidents, including the following:

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

Disturbance — Police responded to a domestic disturbance on Mountain Bay Trail Drive.

Theft — Police investigated a property theft complaint in the 700 block of South Main Street.

Drug Offense — A bag of suspected marijuana was reported dropped by a woman while shopping at Walmart, 1244 E. Green Bay St., and turned over to police.

Juvenile — A juvenile was cited for carrying a concealed weapon and prowling in the 200 block of South Main Street.

March 22

Police logged 12 incidents, including the following:

Juvenile — Police investigated a juvenile tobacco complaint in the 700 block of South Main Street.

Juvenile — Police responded to a juvenile problem in the 100 block of River Heights.

Shoplifting — Police responded to a shoplifting complaint at Kwik Trip, 1241 E. Green Bay St.

Drug Offense — A bag of suspected marijuana was reported dropped by two individuals at the self-checkout at Walmart, 1244 E. Green Bay St.

March 21

Police logged 18 incidents, including the following:

Fire — Police assisted at the scene of a chimney fire in the 900 block of South Weed Street.

Disorderly — Police responded to a disorderly conduct complaint at Richmond and Olson streets.

Suspicious — Police responded to a suspicious person complaint in the 600 block of South Main Street.

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

Harassment — Police responded to a harassment complaint in the 900 block of South Weed Street.

Shawano County Sheriff’s Department

March 23

Deputies logged 32 incidents, including the following:

OWI — A 19-year-old Shawano woman was arrested for operating while intoxicated on Big Lake Road in Red Springs.

Warrant — A 31-year-old Milwaukee man was taken into custody on a warrant after authorities responded to a reckless driving complaint on U.S. Highway 45 in Birnamwood.

Disturbance — Authorities responded to a disturbance on Cecil Street in Bonduel.

Warrant — A 52-year-old Suring man was taken into custody on a warrant and cited for operating after revocation on Main Street in Shawano.

Drug Offense — Authorities investigated a drug complaint at the Ho Chunk Casino, 7198N U.S. Highway 45 in Wittenberg.

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

March 22

Deputies logged 41 incidents, including the following:

Disturbance — Authorities responded to a disturbance on County Road E in Green Valley.

Disorderly — A charge of disorderly conduct was referred against a 37-year-old Birnamwood man on County Road N in Birnamwood.

Burglary — Authorities investigated a break-in to a residence on Richards Street in Gresham.

Drug Offense — Authorities investigated a drug complaint on Cecil Street in Hartland.

Hit and Run — Authorities investigated a property damage hit-and-run on Old 47 Road in Hartland.

Fire — Authorities responded to a chimney fire on Maplewood Road in Birnamwood.

Accidents — Authorities logged 10 accidents, including in Almon and two deer-related crashes.

March 21

Deputies logged 46 incidents, including the following:

Warrant — A woman was taken into custody on a warrant on Cloverleaf Lake Road in Belle Plaine.

Harassment — Authorities responded to a harassment complaint on Main Street in Gresham.

Fraud — Authorities investigated a forged check complaint on Main Street in Gresham.

Disorderly — Authorities responded to a disorderly conduct complaint on Lake Drive in Wescott.

Fire — Authorities responded to a vehicle fire on state Highway 29 in Maple Grove.

Assault — Authorities responded to an assault at the Shawano County Jail, 405 N. Main St., in Shawano.

OAR — A 45-year-old man was cited for operating after revocation on County Road G in Red Springs.

Fraud — A Wittenberg couple on Meadow Lark Road was scammed out of $2,000 after receiving a telephone call claiming their grandson was in jail and needed bail money.

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

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Promoting food production requires 'agvocacy'

Sat, 03/22/2014 - 7:53am
By: 

Lee Pulaski, [email protected]


Leader Photo by Lee Pulaski Amy te Plate-Church, manager for alliances and industry relations at Cooperative Resources International, talks to a group of women Friday about the importance of agvocacy during the Heart of the Farm conference at The Main Event in Cecil.
Leader Photo by Lee Pulaski Judy Peterson, a Lena farmer, talks about the ways she explains farm practices to people who might have never set foot on a farm.

There is a new buzzword to define advocacy for farmers and other agriculture producers — agvocacy.

Agvocacy was a topic eagerly embraced by the audience at the Heart of the Farm conference put on by the University of Wisconsin-Extension offices in Shawano, Oconto and Marinette counties Friday at The Main Event in Cecil.

With agriculture a major industry in northeast Wisconsin and across the state, today’s food producers are looking for ways to connect people to where their food comes from.

Amy te Plate-Church, manager for alliances and industry relations at Cooperative Resources International, grew up on a dairy farm in northeast Iowa and knows exactly how her food is grown and raised. However, only 2 percent of Americans work and live on farms today, she said, so getting the word out on how animals and plants become food is critical.

Despite most people never setting foot on a farm, food buyers still want to connect the food they eat with the face of a person who grows it, te Plate-Church said.

“There’s a new hot thing (to benefit agriculture advocates) every week or two,” she said. “Maybe it’s opening your farm to tours. Maybe it’s getting into the classrooms, or maybe it’s social media.”

Every state with animal agriculture has been hit with negative undercover videos showing animal abuse on farms, te Plate told the audience. One video of a farm in Ohio has been viewed on YouTube more than 344 million times since it was posted in 2010, she said.

Despite the bad news, which te Plate said is outweighed by the good, farmers generally rank high in trust. Still, ignorance of how farms operate makes it easy to shock people when animal rights groups allege abuse of cows or other farm animals, she said.

“We can’t start agvocacy efforts when a crisis happens,” te Plate-Church said.

Judy Peterson, a farmer from Lena, has had many children visit her farm, and she recommends trying to explain farm activities and practices in simple terms.

“Some children came to our farm, and our cows were in a freestall barn, not outside,” Peterson said. “They asked, ‘Why don’t they go outside?’ and I said, ‘What more could they want? They have free access to a salad bar, and they get to lay on a sandy beach all day.’”

Sarah Mills-Lloyd, agriculture agent for Oconto County, agreed that it is important to make sure what the public is told in a way that doesn’t make farmers look like they’re in the business to make a profit.

“They don’t want to know that you’re profitable, but that it’s your livelihood,” Mills-Lloyd said. “It’s not what you say but how you say it.”

Another new term that helps to promote agvocacy is the term “felfies,” a subset of selfies, when people take photos of themselves. According to te Plate-Church, some farmers are taking photos of themselves with their animals to create personal connections with the people who visit farm websites and other sites that promote agriculture.

Social media is a vital tool for ag producers today. Mary Lou Kugel, of Shawano, noted that she uses her Facebook page to get the word out about area farm activities such as Brunch on the Farm.

Anyone can engage in agvocacy, te Plate-Church said. She noted that 4-H members at a county fair can explain why they’re shearing a sheep, and adult farmers can explain practices such as dehorning and tail docking.

“We don’t have to be celebrities to make a difference,” te Plate-Church said.

Above anything else, it is important not to be confrontational in agvocacy, she noted. It might seem natural to want to stand up for agriculture in a defensive way, but in the end, some people will stick to their differing views no matter what, te Plate-Church said.

“We won’t change everybody’s mind,” she said. “What we’re working to do is to change that vast majority — maybe 60 percent — of people in the middle who just don’t know. We’ll be more successful if we take a step back and treat it like a conversation.”

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Water main repairs could become legal issue

Sat, 03/22/2014 - 7:50am
By: 

[email protected]

The bill hasn’t come in yet for the cost of repairing a water-main break that cut off water to numerous businesses along East Green Bay Street last week, but when it does there could be a dispute over who should pay it.

Shawano Lake District Sanitary District Administrator Jerry Weisnicht said the break was caused by a leak in a private fire protection line belonging to a Green Bay Street business.

The force of the water from that leak caused the sanitary district’s water main to break, Weisnicht said.

Weisnicht declined to name the business because of the likely difference over the bill.

“It’s going to be a legal issue,” he said.

Weisnicht estimated the cost of repair, along with water loss resulting from the rupture, could be anywhere from $10,000 to $25,000. The repairs were done by a contractor.

The break occurred early in the morning of March 10, just west of Airport Road.

Water was shut off to a number of businesses west of the break from about 6 a.m. to 3 p.m. Tuesday while the water main was repaired. Businesses were affected as far west as McDonald’s, 1202 E. Green Bay St.

That area is served by the sanitary district because the city limits ended at the cemetery next to McDonald’s in 1973 when the water main was installed, Weisnicht said.

The water main break — and how to avoid having to turn off water in the event of another one — will be a topic of discussion when the Shawano Lake Sanitary District Commission meets on Tuesday.

Currently, water customers in that area are on a water line that crosses Green Bay Street past McDonald’s and extends to some homes behind Pick ‘N Save where it dead-ends. If water has to be shut off at some point along the line, all of the customers beyond that point lose their water.

The district has been looking for a way to continue the water line into a full loop.

“It’s going to be a priority to get that done this year,” Weisnicht said.

One option would make use of the Mountain Bay Trail, but that would require the approval of the Department of Natural Resources.

Weisnicht said an application for the necessary permits was filed with the DNR a year ago, but there has been no response.

He said there have been talks with property owners about possible right-of-ways for another route.

A third option could be hooking into the city’s water system for use as a backup when needed.

City Administrator Brian Knapp said Public Works Coordinator Eddie Sheppard would be consulting with Weisnicht on whether that’s feasible.

Knapp said the impact on city businesses during last week’s break was a concern.

“We want to do anything we can to keep them in service,” he said.

The water main already taps into the city system near Airport Road, Weisnicht said, but because it was on the other side of the water main break it wasn’t able to help in this case.

Hooking up west of McDonald’s could be tricky, Weisnicht said, because the line would have to cross the cemetery. He said it could require an archaeological study to make sure there are no unmarked graves disturbed.

He said it will be one of the options on the table when the commission meets.

THE NEXT STEP

WHAT: Shawano Lake Sanitary Commission will discuss options for looping the Lake District water main or connecting to the city system.

WHEN: 9 a.m. Tuesday

WHERE: Administrative Office, Wastewater Treatment Facility, N4802 River Bend Road, Belle Plaine

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12 apply for police chief job

Sat, 03/22/2014 - 7:49am
By: 

[email protected]

Twelve people have submitted applications to the city to replace Shawano Police Chief Ed Whealon after he retires in two weeks.

Whealon will leave the job on April 4 after more than 34 years with the department and 12 years as chief.

Friday was the last day for those interested in the job to submit their names.

According to city officials, some of those who applied were upset Friday with a local radio station’s broadcast that named one of the applicants from within the department.

A city official who did not want to be quoted on the issue said some candidates were concerned about the appearance of bias because a radio station employee is a member of the Police and Fire Commission.

The city has not named any of the candidates.

“We don’t disclose those at this point,” City Administrator Brian Knapp said. “I didn’t hear the broadcast, but I heard about the uproar.”

Knapp, who was authorized by the commission to advertise the position and accept applications, said there was a good selection of candidates, some of them from within the department.

The rest are mostly from the southeast corner of the state, he said, “from here to Milwaukee and east of Madison.”

A subcommittee of the Police and Fire Commission will meet sometime next week to review the applications and narrow the applicants down to a list of finalists. The full commission will meet the week after to go over the short list and arrange interviews.

The new chief will be chosen by the commission, but the chief’s salary will be set by the Common Council.

Knapp said in a previous interview that the commission could choose to hire a new chief from within the department, but wanted to advertise the position to ensure a wide range of candidates.

“The Police and Fire Commission has in the last two recruitments opened it up to all applicants to ensure themselves and the community that they’re getting the best candidate,” he said.

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Public Record

Sat, 03/22/2014 - 7:30am

Shawano Police Department

March 20

Police logged 22 incidents, including the following:

Warrant — A 37-year-old man was taken into custody at the Probation and Parole offices, 1340 E. Green Bay St.

Drug Offense — Police investigated a drug complaint at Shawano Community Middle School, 1050 S. Union St.

Hit and Run — Police investigated a property damage hit-and-run in the 200 block of Mountain Bay Trail Drive.

Accident — A driver was cited for following too closely after a two-vehicle property damage accident in the 1300 block of East Green Bay Street.

Warrant — A 32-year-old man was taken into custody at the Probation and Parole offices, 1340 E. Green Bay St.

Shawano County Sheriff’s Department

March 20

Deputies logged 39 incidents, including the following:

Warrant — A 35-year-old man was taken into custody on a warrant at Division and Lincoln streets in Shawano.

Shoplifting — A 65-year-old man was cited for shoplifting at Kwik Trip, 102 Express Way in Bonduel.

Warrant — A 29-year-old woman was taken into custody on a warrant at the Shawano County Courthouse, 311 N. Main St. in Shawano.

Disorderly — Authorities responded to a disorderly conduct complaint on Camp 14 Road in Bowler.

Auto Theft — A vehicle was reported stolen on River Road in the town of Almon.

Harassment — Authorities responded to a harassment complaint at Wittenberg-Birnamwood High School, 400 W. Grand Ave. in Wittenberg.

Accidents — Authorities logged two deer-related crashes.

Clintonville Police Department

March 20

Police logged nine incidents, including the following:

Accident — Police responded to a property damage accident at Morning Glory Drive and Ginger Spur.

Accident — Police responded to a three-vehicle accident on North Main Street.

Warrant — A 27-year-old Shawano man was taken into custody on a warrant.

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Plea entered in CoVantage robbery

Fri, 03/21/2014 - 7:53am
By: 

[email protected]

A Shawano man accused of robbing the CoVantage Credit Union last year entered a plea of no contest to that and other charges Thursday.

Darrin H. Church, 48, is scheduled for sentencing July 9.

Church was accused of robbing the CoVantage Credit Union at 911 E. Green Bay St. and attempting to rob Cash Tyme at 705 E. Green Bay St.

Thursday’s hearing was scheduled as a pre-trial conference, but no trial date had been set and, according to court records, Church’s attorney Steven Weerts informed the court earlier this month that he was dropping plans for an insanity plea.

The case had been delayed for several months while the defense awaited a doctor’s report.

Church was initially found to be not competent to stand trial after a court hearing in June, but it was also determined he could become competent if treated.

He was ordered held for treatment and incarcerated at the Mendota Mental Health Institute until a November court hearing at which he was found to be competent.

According to the criminal complaint, Church walked into the CoVantage Credit Union just after 3:30 p.m. April 8 and passed a note to the teller demanding money. He then made off with more than $6,000 in cash.

He was also accused of trying to pass a similar note to a teller at Cash Tyme shortly before the CoVantage robbery.

Church had been contacted earlier that same day by sheriff’s deputies who warned him he had to turn over more than $400 he had collected from the sale of Girl Scout cookies. Church told deputies he would pay for the cookies later that day.

Church had also been confronted the day before about unpaid rent, according to the criminal complaint.

After his arrest, Church initially told authorities he had gotten money from his aunt. However, he later admitted to writing the robbery notes at Cash Tyme and CoVantage, as well as one he wrote at Bank Mutual but did not use.

The note was apparently discarded by Church and has not been recovered, but Church told police the note read, “Give me all the money and hurry and everything will be OK.”

There was no information available Thursday on what the state was offering under the plea deal. The robbery charge carries a maximum possible penalty of 40 years in prison.

A count of resisting an officer was dropped as part of the plea agreement.

Church also pleaded no contest Thursday to several misdemeanor counts in two other cases, including defrauding a taxicab driver, issuing worthless checks and bail jumping.

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Teen faces multiple vehicle theft charges

Fri, 03/21/2014 - 7:52am
By: 

[email protected]

A Keshena teen is facing multiple charges of auto theft and attempted auto theft for being part of an alleged joyriding spree with a group of juveniles in December.

Kyle J. Peters, 18, is accused of stealing a vehicle in the town of Lessor, the attempted theft of a vehicle in the town of Richmond and being party to the crime of stealing a vehicle, also in Richmond. He is also accused of being a passenger in a stolen vehicle, which is a misdemeanor.

The alleged incidents all occurred Dec. 9, according to the criminal complaint.

Peters is the only suspect charged so far as an adult in the case. He was allegedly with a group of juveniles, including a 14-year-old and a 15-year-old. Other ages were not listed in the complaint.

One of the vehicles was found abandoned in a ditch near where another vehicle was reported stolen, according to the complaint. Another vehicle was recovered by Green Bay police after being involved in a crash in the city.

Green Bay police took a juvenile into custody who told them he had gotten the vehicle from another juvenile at a party. He said he believed the vehicle had been stolen in Shawano County, according to the criminal complaint.

Interviews with the juveniles by Shawano County sheriff’s deputies eventually led to Peters.

According to the complaint, Peters told deputies he was with the juveniles during the thefts, but did not steal any of the vehicles.

Peters is due in Shawano-Menominee County Circuit Court for an initial appearance April 7.

If found guilty, Peters could face a maximum of six years in prison and $10,000 fine for being party to the crime of taking and operating a motor vehicle without the owner’s consent. A lesser felony charge of operating, but not taking, a motor vehicle without the owner’s consent carries a maximum 3 1/2 years in prison and a $10,000 fine.

Peters could also face a maximum 3-year sentence and $5,000 fine for attempting to take and operate a vehicle without the owner’s consent, and a maximum nine months and $10,000 fine on the misdemeanor count of being a passenger in vehicle being operated without the owner’s consent.

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Public Record

Fri, 03/21/2014 - 7:40am

Shawano Police Department

March 19

Police logged 21 incidents, including the following:

Disturbance — A 21-year-old Shawano man was arrested on a felony charge of false imprisonment and misdemeanor counts of battery and possession of marijuana after a disturbance in the 200 block of Teddington Lane.

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

Juvenile — Police responded to a juvenile problem at Olga Brener Intermediate School, 1300 S. Union St.

Suspicious — Police responded to a suspicious person complaint in the 1000 block of South Main Street.

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

Warrant — A 46-year-old woman was taken into custody on a warrant after a traffic stop at Main and Mills streets.

Disturbance — Police responded to a disturbance on Humphrey Circle.

Shawano County Sheriff’s Department

March 19

Deputies logged 35 incidents, including the following:

Warrant — A 30-year-old Shawano woman was taken into custody on a warrant on Lake Drive in Wescott.

Warrant — A 34-year-old Wittenberg man was taken into custody on a warrant on Webb Street in Wittenberg.

OAR — A 23-year-old man was cited for operating after revocation on County Road A in Red Springs.

OAR — A 23-year-old De Pere man was cited for operating after revocation on state Highway 29 in Waukechon.

Accidents — Authorities logged seven accidents, including a vehicle versus turkey and a vehicle versus cow.

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Wolf River Lutheran considers move to Shawano

Thu, 03/20/2014 - 7:59am
By: 

Lee Pulaski, [email protected]


Leader Photo by Lee Pulaski Wolf River Lutheran High School students, from left, Anne Buchholz, Kanon Schneider, Andrew Schmidt and Andrew Jess work on an accounting exam Wednesday morning at the school in Cecil. Officials hope to build a new $1.3 million school in Shawano.
Leader Photo by Lee Pulaski Wolf River Lutheran High School owns this land at the intersection of state Highways 22 and 29, west of Boarders Inn and Suites. If there is enough support, the school hopes to build a new facility here.

Wolf River Lutheran High School, a small parochial school in Cecil, is considering building a new $1.3 million school in Shawano.

The proposed 18,000 square-foot building would consist of five classrooms, a gymnasium with two locker rooms, office space and other basic needs.

The school has hired Cornerstone Stewardship Ministry, based in Madison, to conduct a survey to determine the level of support that such a capital undertaking would have. The surveys, which were due back this week, will determine whether the school will attempt to move forward with a new building, according to school officials.

Principal Jay Lindsey said the school will learn the survey results on April 12. If results are favorable, the school will launch a fundraising campaign with the goal of having a new building within the next three years, he said.

The school already owns more than 25 acres at the intersection of state Highways 22 and 29 in Shawano.

Wolf River Lutheran opened in 2004. It has four Lutheran-trained teachers providing education for 18 students, and Lindsey as its first full-time administrator. The school has also been expanding its extracurricular activities, including a girls basketball team, drama productions and a forensics team.

According to Lindsey, the existing building, formerly an elementary school for the Bonduel School District, is at the end of its useful life.

“It’s not so much the infrastructure — the safety or suitability of the building — as much as it is whether it is appropriate for our needs,” Lindsey said. “It’s an elementary school. It has a gymnasium, which we’re grateful for and able to practice in, but it’s not big enough to have home games in.”

Lindsey noted the classrooms are also too small to suit the needs of a high school education. Having bigger classrooms, and more classrooms, will be essential for the future, he said.

Although a bigger facility could potentially expand the high school’s extracurricular activities, increasing enrollment is the primary goal.

“Location-wise, we don’t feel like we will draw (students) as well in the future here in Cecil … as we would at the land we already own at 22 and 29 there in Shawano,” Lindsey said.

Shawano and Bonduel are home to three parochial schools, all serving kindergarten through eighth grade, and Lindsey suggested the area can use an alternative to the public high schools.

“We recognize there are a lot of good things going on in public schools in Shawano and Bonduel, but we also believe an important aspect of high school can be the Christian focus,” Lindsey said. “Some people are looking for that in education, and we want to be available to provide that to them.”

The possibility of having a parochial high school in Shawano appeals to Susan Longmire, principal of St. James Lutheran School, a K-8 school in Shawano. As the product of a lifelong Lutheran education, Longmire sees value in mixing reading, writing and arithmetic with religion.

“I believe really strongly that if we can make Christian education available for our kids all the way through high school, why not do it?” Longmire said. “This is a tough world we’re living in right now, and I just think there’s more to an education than just the classes. The morals, the values and the environment they’re in shape who they become.”

Longmire noted that Wolf River Lutheran has managed to develop some good programs, despite few funds and low enrollment.

Unlike public schools, Wolf River Lutheran does not receive state education funds. Instead, it relies on tuition, annual contributions from 13 area congregations, donations and fundraisers.

St. James and Wolf River Lutheran both have a curriculum that adheres to state public school standards, Longmire said, and because class sizes are small, the students get much more one-on-one attention from teachers than in public schools.

“I think it would be a good addition to the community. It gives parents another choice,” Longmire said. “I know there are some parents who hope that this will become a reality because they want to send their children on to a Lutheran high school.”

Lindsey is confident the new campus will become a reality.

“I’m telling freshmen that are coming in, including my daughter, that there’s a better than even chance they’ll have a new building by the time they’re seniors,” he said.

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