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Updated: 35 min 12 sec ago

17 apply for Bonduel school administrator job

Thu, 03/20/2014 - 7:55am
By: 

[email protected]

With an hour to go before deadline Wednesday, the Bonduel School District had received 17 applications from job candidates interested in filling the post of district administrator.

Peter Behnke will retire at the end of the school year, ending 25 years overseeing the district and 40 years in education.

Behnke said there were still some last-minute applications coming in via email Wednesday and that there could be others coming in under the wire before the 4 p.m. deadline.

He had previously told the School Board he anticipated anywhere from 15 to 25 applicants.

The School Board will review the applications Monday and narrow them down to a half dozen or so who would be scheduled for interviews, with the first round of interviews tentatively scheduled for April 7-8.

Behnke said the applicants included a variety of positions, including principals and superintendents, and a wide range of experience.

The majority are from Wisconsin, but some are from out of state and some even have “international assignments,” Behnke said.

The applicants also include some from other school districts in this area, but the School Board will not release any names until after it has narrowed down the finalists.

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.

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

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Deported sex offender faces new charge

Thu, 03/20/2014 - 7:54am
By: 

Leader Staff

A convicted sex offender who was deported to Mexico in February is facing a felony charge in Shawano County of failing to inform the state Sex Offender Registry of his new whereabouts.

Antonio S. Marquina, 41, was convicted of second-degree sexual assault of a child in Shawano County in 2007 and sentenced to prison. He was also ordered to register with the state as a sex offender after his release.

Marquina was released from Racine Correctional Institution on Jan. 14 and immediately taken into custody by federal authorities with the Department of Immigration and Naturalization Service. He was deported on Feb. 3, according to court records.

The state Sex Offender Registration Program listed Marquina as noncompliant on Feb. 13 and referred the matter to the Shawano-Menominee County District Attorney’s office for a felony charge.

The state registry requires convicted sex offenders to notify the state of any change of address within 10 days.

A criminal complaint, along with an arrest warrant, was filed against Marquina on Monday. He could face six years in prison and a $10,000 fine if convicted.

District Attorney Greg Parker said the warrant ensures Marquina will face arrest and prosecution if he ever returns to the United States.

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Public Record

Thu, 03/20/2014 - 7:53am

Shawano Police Department

March 18

Police logged 20 incidents, including the following:

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

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

Drug Offense — Police investigated a drug complaint at Aarrowcast, 2900 E. Richmond St.

Disturbance — Police responded to a disturbance at Shawano Community Middle School, 1050 S. Union St.

Theft — Money was reported stolen in the 100 block of Prairie Street.

Warrant — A 20-year-old male subject was taken into custody after a traffic stop at Division and Main streets. Another 20-year-old male in the vehicle was cited for possession of marijuana.

Shawano County Sheriff’s Department

March 18

Deputies logged 32 incidents, including the following:

OWI — Authorities responding to a suspicious vehicle complaint on Beauleau Lake Road in Red Springs arrested a 22-year-old Gresham woman for operating while intoxicated.

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

Reckless Driving — Authorities responded to a reckless driving complaint on County Road D in Almon.

Accident — Authorities logged one accident involving a sheriff’s squad versus a deer on Butternut Road in Richmond. There was no significant damage to the vehicle.

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Farmers market vendors learn about 2014 plans

Wed, 03/19/2014 - 7:50am
By: 

[email protected]


Leader Photo by Tim Ryan Shawano Farmers Market Board member Bob Dumke shows a site plan for the farmers market’s new location at Franklin Park to vendors who attended an organizational meeting Tuesday at Angie’s Main Cafe, 132 S. Main St.

The new nonprofit group that will operate the Shawano Farmers Market starting this year met with vendors Tuesday to talk about the market’s move to a new location.

“Our vision for this site was to have a market in a city marketplace on a square where there’s more green present. That was really our goal in setting this up,” said Richard Sarnwick, president of the Shawano Farmers Market Board.

The market will move from the City Hall parking lot to Franklin Park, the grounds of the old Franklin Middle School at the corner of Division and Washington streets.

Vendor booths will be located along the eastern edge of the park, facing Washington Street, which will be blocked off to traffic at both ends.

Board member Bob Dumke said there is space for at least 50 vendors along Washington Street.

As with the old location, there will be a music tent, information tent and a spot for nonprofit vendors.

“We’re still ironing out some of the details,” Dumke said. “I feel comfortable we can manage the site better than ever, with reduced traffic and congestion.”

Electricity will be available to vendors that require it, with Shawano Municipal Utilities installing a meter that the market will have to pay for.

Vendors will make use of the Civic Center parking lot across the street and will have access to the center’s restrooms.

Dumke said locating at Franklin Park would further a long-range vision of the farmers market that would mesh with the city’s eventual development of the park site.

“As the city develops this into a park — hopefully a residential, neighborhood type park — they will include in their planning the use of the site as a farmers market and hopefully establish more permanent facilities,” Dumke said.

Sarnwick noted those permanent facilities could include such things as storage and restrooms.

“We’re hoping when the city sees how fantastic this is going to be, that they’re going to start to participate more,” Sarnwick said.

The farmers market, which operates Saturday mornings starting June 21 this year through October, was run through the Business Improvement District since it began in 2008, though most of the members of the new board were the original proponents of the event.

Treasurer Jennifer Langlois said it costs about $8,000 to $9,000 to run the market, with two-thirds of that money coming from vendor fees and the rest from donations.

Being a nonprofit will now allow the farmers market to also go after grant money.

An added expense this year, estimated at close to $1,000, will be insurance.

“This year, a big chunk is going to private insurance since we don’t fall under the city anymore,” Langlois said.

Vendors at Tuesday’s meeting had a few logistical questions, but there were no reservations expressed about the new location.

About 30 people attended the meeting in the back room at Angie’s Main Cafe, 132 S. Main St.

Vendors did have some concerns about ongoing issues not related to the new site, including some vendors who pack up and leave early, which they said discourages visitors who think the market is closing for the day.

Sarnwick said there is nothing the board can do to keep them from packing up, but they won’t be able to leave early at the new location. For safety reasons, they won’t be allowed to bring their vehicles out of the parking lot onto Washington Street until the market closes at noon.

Vendors also wanted to ensure that the produce being sold at the market is being grown locally, which, Sarnwick said, was why the certified local vendor program was being reinstated.

“In many farmers markets across Wisconsin and across the nation, there are some vendors who will come in and buy potatoes at Walmart and package them up and say they’re selling them as freshly grown potatoes and they’ll use the market under that guise and they’ll mark the price up,” he said.

Sarnwick said none of the vendors present was doing that, but starting this year volunteers would go to local farms to certify they are producing the product they’re selling.

The certifications are not mandatory, and vendors can still be part of the market without the certification. Those that are certified get a banner to place on their booths.

“Our vendors like the program because they get credit for all the hard work they do in developing their product,” Sarnwick said.

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Bill eases accident liability for farms

Wed, 03/19/2014 - 7:48am
By: 

Lee Pulaski, [email protected]

A bill that would allow farmers to feel more comfortable about hosting the public for educational and tourism activities is still making its way through the state Legislature, but it has broad support in Shawano County.

Known as the agritourism liability bill, the measure provides immunity to providers for injuries and deaths on their property. There are exceptions, such as not providing signs warning about unseen problems or acting in a way that puts visitors’ safety in jeopardy.

The bill passed the Assembly 85-9 on Feb. 20, received unanimous support from the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Small Business and Tourism on March 10 and is waiting to be scheduled for debate on the Senate floor.

Troy Porter, owner of Porter’s Patch, is pleased that the bill is moving through the Legislature. Besides hosting thousands of visitors each year to pick pumpkins, berries and other produce, Porter’s Patch also has a Farmtoberfest that includes hay rides, a corn maze and other family activities.

“It’s almost impossible to pick every rock out of the field so someone doesn’t trip over it, because this is a working farm,” Porter said. “You’re still going to have to do your due diligence and have certain management practices in place.”

Porter said he has talked with people from the insurance industry, and they are unsure how AB 746 would affect rates.

“That is a huge safety net, because it could make or break me,” Porter said. “There could be a huge lawsuit, and this farm isn’t around anymore.”

Rep. Gary Tauchen, R-Bonduel, one of the sponsors of the bill, said the measure would protect farmers while promoting agritourism.

“When I was in school, there were students that were three generations away from farming,” Tauchen said. “Now, many of the kids I talk to in schools are five generations away from the farm. It’s important to show them where their food comes from.”

Jamie Patton, University of Wisconsin-Extension agriculture agent for Shawano County, noted the bill could greatly impact the county, where 47 percent of the land is owned and managed by farmers, and its neighbors.

She noted there are already popular activities, such as the Bike the Barn Quilt tour started last year and the annual Brunch on the Farm, that connect visitors with local farmers, but with the bill providing immunity for most accidents on farmers’ land, it increases opportunities to show people what farmers do.

“This is a nice bill to limit liability from some of the things that do come with farms, such as uneven surfaces and farm animals, which can be unpredictable at times,” Patton said.

Patton said a recent agricultural needs assessment found several farms and agriculture industries that were interested in providing agritourism opportunities. The bill would be a win for both the agricultural and tourism industries, she said.

“This provides another potential to not only provide recreational activities for those outside activities and bring more monies into the county but also to bring some more monies to the farms who are providing some unique opportunities,” Patton said.

Patti Peterson, tourism manager with the Shawano Country Chamber of Commerce, is eager to see which farms and ag producers step forward to develop events that draw visitors to the area.

“We have a number of places in this area that sell things like pumpkins and berries and have corn mazes. There are a lot of people that fall under the umbrella of agritourism that we don’t even think about,” Peterson said. “Hopefully, it will encourage more people who maybe hadn’t previously invited the public into their farm to do that.”

Peterson noted the barn quilts have already drawn attention to Shawano’s agriculture industry. She has gone to a number of sports shows where people have asked what else there is to do in Shawano County, she said.

“More people naturally want to be on the farm,” Peterson said. “It’s really something we should be proud of. People have worked for generations on these farms.”

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Shawano schools eye 1-to-1 program

Wed, 03/19/2014 - 7:48am
By: 

Lee Pulaski, [email protected]

Shawano School District could be going down the same path as some neighboring schools when it comes to technology.

The School Board signed off Monday on a three-year district technology plan that will be sent to the Department of Public Instruction. That plan includes a one-to-one technology initiative that would give every student a technology device to be used for learning.

Bonduel School District implemented a one-to-one initiative in 2007 after voters approved a referendum enhancing the district’s technology budget by $150,000 and renewed it in 2013. Wolf River Lutheran High School has provided devices for every student for years, and Gresham School District began a one-to-one initiative in January.

Craig Young, technology director for the Shawano School District, told the board the cost to provide every student with a tablet or laptop is similar to the current cost of maintaining computer labs in each school. Young did not go into specifics about cost, and the plan did not provide information about the cost to make such a conversion.

“We can immediately start using learning resources (in class) instead of everyone going to a lab,” Young said. “Each student will be responsible for their own device, and in many cases they take better care of it because it is theirs. We’d have less maintenance costs during that time frame.

Board member Derek Johnson expressed reservations about a one-to-one initiative. He questioned whether it was necessary for each student to have a personal device.

“I don’t know why we need that,” Johnson said. “We’re not going to have every kid on a computer all at the same time. Some kids are in gym. Some kids are in cooking class. Some kids are here or there. Obviously, we don’t need to have every kid have a computer or device all the time.”

Board member Michael Sleeper questioned whether students would be allowed the alternative of using their own devices, potentially saving money for the district.

Young explained that all devices the district would purchase would come with a warranty in the event of malfunction, something the district could not extend to students’ personal tech devices. Students would be responsible for any major damage caused by their own neglect.

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Public Record

Wed, 03/19/2014 - 7:47am

Shawano Police Department

March 17

Police logged 20 incidents, including the following:

Assault — A sexual assault complaint was under investigation.

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

Disturbance — Police responded to a domestic disturbance in the 200 block of East Center Street. A 45-year-old Bowler man left the scene before police arrived. The matter was still under investigation.

Disturbance — Police responded to a disturbance in the 100 block of South Washington Street.

Shawano County Sheriff’s Department

March 17

Deputies logged 21 incidents, including the following:

Fire — Authorities responded to a roof fire at a residence on Old 22 Road in Green Valley.

Suspicious — Authorities responded to a suspicious vehicle complaint on Rosemary Court in Wescott.

Reckless Driving — Authorities responded to a reckless driving complaint on state Highway 47 in Hartland.

Clintonville Police Department

March 17

Police logged 12 incidents, including the following:

Juvenile — Police responded to a truancy complaint on West Street.

Fraud — Counterfeit money was reported on South Clinton Avenue.

OWL — A woman was cited for operating without a license after police responded to a hit-and-run complaint on South Main Street.

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Public Record

Tue, 03/18/2014 - 8:56am

Shawano Police Department

March 16

Police logged 18 incidents, including the following:

Disturbance — Police responded to a verbal dispute on Aspen Court.

Accident — Police responded to a two-vehicle property damage accident at Green Bay and Bartlett streets.

Harassment — Police responded to a harassment complaint in the 1100 block of South Weed Street.

Shoplifting — Police responded to a shoplifting complaint at Charlie’s County Market, 521 S. Main St.

Drug Offense — A 16-year-old male was cited for possession of drug paraphernalia.

March 15

Police logged 15 incidents, including the following:

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

Drug Offense — Police investigated a drug complaint in the 700 block of South Main Street.

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

OWI — A 50-year-old Shawano man was arrested for operating while intoxicated after a short pursuit when he failed to yield for a traffic stop on East Green Bay Street.

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

March 14

Police logged 19 incidents, including the following:

Warrant — A male subject was taken into custody on a warrant in the 500 block of South Union Street.

Hit and Run — Police investigated a property damage hit-and-run at Shawano Community High School, 220 County Road B.

Fraud — Police investigated a fraud complaint at Associated Bank, 129 E. Division St.

Hit and Run — Police investigated a property damage hit-and-run in the parking lot at Walmart, 1244 E. Green Bay St.

Theft — Medication was reported stolen in the 100 block of South Main Street.

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

Shawano County Sheriff’s Department

March 16

Deputies logged 31 incidents, including the following:

Disturbance — Authorities responded to a domestic disturbance on Lessor-Navarino Road in Navarino.

OWL — A 23-year-old man was cited for operating without a license on County Road C in Green Valley.

Vandalism — Mailboxes were reported vandalized on Swamp Road in Pella, and Spruce Road and Pioneer Road in Belle Plaine.

Disturbance — An 88-year-old Shawano man was cited for disorderly conduct after a domestic disturbance on First Street in Waukechon.

Hit and Run — Authorities investigated a property damage hit-and-run on County Road M in Pella.

Assault — Authorities investigated an assault on Lake Drive in Wescott.

Accidents — Authorities logged three minor accidents.

March 15

Deputies logged 35 incidents, including the following:

Fire — Authorities responded to a machine shed fire on Old 47 Road in Lessor.

Fraud — North Star Casino, 12180W County Road A in Gresham, reported a counterfeit bill.

Juvenile — Authorities investigated an underage drinking complaint on Lake Drive in Wescott.

OWI — A 53-year-old Gillett man was arrested for operating while intoxicated on Lake Drive in the town of Washington.

Disturbance — A 56-year-old Bowler man was arrested on a charge of disorderly conduct after a disturbance on River Road in Bowler.

Accidents — Authorities logged two minor accidents.

March 14

Deputies logged 40 incidents, including the following:

OWI — A 32-year-old Iron River man was arrested for operating while intoxicated after putting his truck into a ditch on Middle Drive in Angelica.

Reckless Driving — Authorities responded to a reckless driving complaint on Highway 29 in Richmond.

Fire — Authorities responded to a vehicle fire on County Road G in the town of Herman.

Disturbance — Authorities responded to a domestic disturbance on County Road A in Gresham.

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

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Tauchen proposes state beer marketing group

Fri, 03/14/2014 - 11:07pm
By: 

Kevin Murphy, Leader Correspondent

What the Wisconsin Milk Marketing Board has done for consumption of dairy products, A similar organization can do for the beer industry, says state Rep. Gary Tauchen, R-Bonduel.

The Wisconsin Beer Commission would promote Wisconsin-made beer. Under Tauchen’s plan, four members of the seven-member board would represent microbrewers, defined as breweries producing less than 300,000 barrels of beer annually, one would represent major breweries, and one would represent beer wholesalers. The commission also would include a chairman.

The commission would reflect the diversity of Wisconsin’s beer industry, which has 87 small brewers and two majors, Tauchen said.

Tauchen said the idea came to him when thinking about the state’s three most famous products: beer, brats and cheese.

“We created the Milk Marketing Board in 1983. Last year (the Legislature) changed rules to help export brats and other meats out of the state, but we haven’t done much to promote the beer industry,” he said.

Tauchen’s bill, Assembly Bill 856, brings the industry’s stakeholders to the table in an effort to make Wisconsin beer even more famous.

“This would be a vehicle to help market and to do research related to marketing beer,” Tauchen said. “It would be part of the Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection, which works other trades.”

While the WMMB is funded from fees producers pay, the commission’s budget would be funded through beer sales at the Wisconsin State Fair.

Except for beer vendor stands, Wisconsin’s brewing industry has not had a presence at the fair, which Tauchen said presents a great opportunity to get information to out-of-state visitors.

The Wisconsin Brewers Guild, which also promotes craft brewing in the state, welcomes creating a beer commission, said Jeff Hamilton, a WBG board member and president of Sprecher Brewing Co.

“The mission of the guild is to promote and protect the smaller brewers in the state but there isn’t a central marketing force especially for smaller brewers in the state that effectively promotes their beer. This would give everyone a starting point to market,” Hamilton said.

Bill Tressler, owner of Hinterland Brewing Co., of Green Bay, also is a solid supporter of Tauchen’s proposal.

“Absolutely, the Wisconsin Brewers Guild hasn’t spent a lot of time on marketing, mainly on legislative issues. The commission represents an opportunity to promote Wisconsin beer as something special and unique and that we’re a region where good, quality beer is brewed,” he said.

Deb Carey, co-owner of New Glarus Brewing Co., sees the commission has an opportunity to help level the playing field in the Legislature between big and small breweries.

“Craft brewers don’t have lobbyists like others in the beverage industry. I wouldn’t say it’s a level playing field now, it’s difficult for small wholesalers or brewers to get started,” she said.

Carey also wants some regulatory certainty and tells that to legislators visiting her brewery.

“Each session has drastic changes in the way I do business, and that takes away your peace of mind,” she said.

Building a brewery is a “substantial investment,” costing at least $2,000 per square foot and those making that investment deserve some protection, she said.

The commission could also highlight the importance to the state of the $900 million micro brewing business, which supports more than 9,800 jobs, she said.

Tauchen said his bill has gone through three drafts before getting introduced this month, which is late in the current legislative session.

Instead of seeking a public hearing and passage of the bill, Tauchen wants more industry and public input before re-introducing it in January.

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Bullying occurs almost daily at middle school

Fri, 03/14/2014 - 11:05pm
By: 

Lee Pulaski, [email protected]


Leader Photo by Lee Pulaski Dan Labby, Shawano Community Middle School principal, points out results of a student survey on bullying during a presentation Thursday night at the school. School administrators have dealt with at least 100 incidents of bullying this school year, with about three months of school left.

Dealing with bullying is an almost daily occurrence for administrators at Shawano Community Middle School.

Principal Dan Labby said this week there were about 100 reported bullying incidents at the school since the start of the 2013-14 school year, and there are still three months of school left.

He noted during a community presentation Thursday at the school that middle school students are at a unique stage of development—socially, mentally and physically. They’re not as dependent as elementary school students nor as independent as high school students.

“They’re still going to want a hug, but they’re not going to ask you for it,” Labby said. “They are going to be different from one minute to the next.”

Associate Principal Tami Bagstad said there are bullying cases that are not reported to administrators, because the students choose instead to tell friends or parents, with the latter often angrily asking officials why steps have not been taken to deal with the bullies.

“Once we have the information, we definitely check into it, because we do take it seriously,” Bagstad said.

Even when administrators are aware of bullying, she said, they cannot tell victims’ parents what consequences the bullies are facing because of the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act.

The administrators said the schools deals with four types of bullying: verbal, physical, incidental and cyberbullying. The cyberbullying is growing at an alarming rate, they said, which is why the school is presenting two public presentations on the subject March 27.

According to survey results presented by Labby, some SCMS students reported being bullied seven or more times during the school year. It was more common, he said, for students to have been bullied once or twice during that time.

School officials did not furnish survey results to the Leader by press time.

The most common reasons for bullying were to show off, try to be popular or to feel powerful, according to the survey. Less common reasons were issues such as race, size, gender, disability and sexual orientation, Bagstad said.

Labby estimated that the school spends about 30 hours per year talking to students about bullying through assemblies and homeroom lessons.

THE NEXT STEP

WHAT: Shawano Community Middle School officials will talk about cyberbullying.

WHEN: 1 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. March 27

WHERE: LGI classroom, Shawano Community Middle School, 1050 S. Union St., Shawano

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2 vacancies opening on Airport Commission

Fri, 03/14/2014 - 11:02pm
By: 

Leader Staff

Two longtime members of the Shawano City-County Airport Commission have announced they are stepping down.

Chairman Larry Sperberg said he is retiring effective May 1, after 18 years on the commission.

Secretary/Treasurer Lee Lemke also announced he is resigning, effective at the end of April, after nine years with the commission.

Sperberg is a city appointee whose latest six-year term is set to expire April 30.

Lemke was appointed by the county, which will need to appoint a replacement to fill out his term, which was not set to expire for another two years.

Mayor Lorna Marquardt said the commission would make recommendations for people to fill the vacancies.

Marquardt usually puts out a call to the public for citizens interested in serving on commissions. However, in this case, she said, the posts require people with specialized knowledge.

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Man charged with false imprisonment

Fri, 03/14/2014 - 11:01pm
By: 

Leader Staff

A rural Shawano man is facing two felony counts of false imprisonment after an alleged domestic disturbance in Wescott on Thursday.

Deion J. Boivin, 20, could face a maximum possible penalty of six years in prison and a $10,000 fine on each count if found guilty. He is also charged with misdemeanor counts of disorderly conduct, criminal damage to property, possession of drug paraphernalia and intentionally abusing a hazardous substance.

Boivin had allegedly been “huffing” compressed air prior to the disturbance, according to the criminal complaint.

The complaint alleges Boivin prevented two women who live in the residence from leaving after what started as a verbal dispute.

A third person who lives in the home apparently left through a window and ran to a neighbor’s home to contact authorities.

A Shawano County sheriff’s deputy responding to the scene saw an open window at the back of the house with a screen removed and footprints leading away.

Boivin was ordered held on a $2,500 cash bond after an appearance Friday before Shawano-Menominee Circuit Court Judge William Kussel Jr. He is scheduled for a preliminary hearing Thursday.

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Winter proving costly for Clintonville

Fri, 03/14/2014 - 11:00pm
By: 

Grace Kirchner, Leader Correspondent

Costs of the unusually cold winter continue to mount for the city of Clintonville.

City Administrator Lisa Kuss told the Common Council this week that the cost to keep water running in area homes so far totals about $47,000, a freeze-up at the waste water treatment plant cost $15,000, city employees have racked up about 200 hours in overtime due to the weather, and the city spent several hundred dollars to send a letter to its water customers about its run-water order.

Kuss said residents should continue to keep their faucets running until at least the end of March to avoid frozen water pipes.

Kuss said 50 homes had frozen pipes so far this winter.

“With one exception, all the freeze-ups have been from 12th Street south,” she said. “The soil in Clintonville is sand or clay. It is easier with sandy soil for the frost to go deeper and faster. Most pipes in Clintonville are 6 feet deep. Frost has been found 7 feet and more.”

A 6-inch, mile-long pipe from the waste water treatment plant to the sludge tank froze in mid-February. For three days, 2,500 gallons of waste was hauled to a tank at the Randy and Carol Erickson farm southeast of the city. This spring, the sludge will be spread on fields where plants for human consumption are not planted.

Immel Construction, Kersten Excavating, Schoenike Septic and city workers were able to thaw the pipe after three days. City workers spent about 200 hours working on the problem, according to Kuss.

“Obviously, this was not the best month,” Kuss said. “The cooperation from the companies we work with was awesome. Nobody was without water for more than 24 hours, and obviously it was very cold at the time.”

Kuss noted there is no charge to users to run the water the size of a pencil stream. However, residents who experience a freeze-up and were not running the water will be charged.

Kuss noted that after receiving complaints from residents who were unaware of the run-water order, the city sent a letter to each customer. The mailing cost between $700 and $800, she said.

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Public Record

Fri, 03/14/2014 - 10:59pm

Shawano Police Department

March 13

Police logged 21 incidents, including the following:

Juvenile — A student was cited for possession of tobacco at Shawano Community Middle School, 1050 S. Union St.

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

Juvenile — Police responded to a juvenile problem at Busy Bee Day Care, 840 Olson St.

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

Shawano County Sheriff’s Department

March 13

Deputies logged 40 incidents, including the following:

OWI — A 53-year-old woman was arrested for operating while intoxicated on County Road U in Herman.

Assault — Authorities investigated an assault on Main Street in Birnamwood.

Disturbance — Authorities responded to a disturbance at Wittenberg-Birnamwood High School, 400 Grand Ave., in Wittenberg.

Theft — A portable utility trailer and truck tires and rims were reported stolen on Dump Road in Navarino.

Disturbance — A 20-year-old Shawano man was arrested after a domestic disturbance on Lafayette Street in Wescott.

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

Clintonville Police Department

March 13

Police logged seven incidents, including the following:

Theft — A retail theft was reported on South Main Street.

Juvenile — Police responded to a juvenile problem on Rosa Park Court.

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County wage study adoption delayed

Fri, 03/14/2014 - 7:46am
By: 

Lee Pulaski, [email protected]

Shawano County will not approve a wage study this month as originally planned.

Representatives from Madison-based Carlson Dettmann Consulting LLC gave the Administrative Committee and department heads draft recommendations of pay levels for all positions during two meetings Thursday. The committee and managers are expected to take about a week to review the recommendations and respond to Carlson Dettmann.

At that point, the firm anticipates taking at least a week to finalize pay levels and determine minimum and maximum hourly and salary rates. The Administrative Committee has tentatively scheduled a meeting for 12:30 p.m. April 14 to review the study.

The County Board meets on April 15, but it likely will not vote on the study until May.

Consultant Charlie Carlson said the county is at a “key juncture” in the study.

“We’re going to counsel people to be calm. We’ve got a ways to go yet,” Carlson said. “We just need your thoughtful reactions.”

Carlson noted that the county’s original plan to complete the study before the April 1 general election was not feasible. He advised taking up the plan after the board reorganizes in April and implementing the wage changes in 2015, so the county has sufficient time to budget accordingly.

Carlson said municipal and county governments are able to control wages more effectively since most public unions disbanded following implementation of Act 10 in 2011. Prior to that, public employee unions negotiated pay increases and other perks. Act 10 took away most union rights, save for modest wage increases.

“Most public employers in Wisconsin, for four decades, have engaged in a political process of wage determination,” Carlson said. “This is a process about logic and system and method and control. We try to get as much error out of the process as possible.”

The firm has compared Shawano County’s wages with 23 other Wisconsin counties and two sources in the private sector.

Consultant Barbara Petkovsek said there are three basic pay plans — developing annual or biennial steps across a range, having pay-for-performance similar to what is used in the private sector, or developing a hybrid plan that allows regular steps to a control point and then having future raises or bonuses depend on performance.

“There are ways to design a plan you can afford,” Petkovsek said. “We help you understand so you can make good decisions with the information you provide.”

She said most counties want their employees to at least match the average pay of other counties, but that depends on the county’s budget situation and the need to retain and attract good employees.

Petkovsek pointed out that the county has hired 72 people since 2012 and has several vacancies, including the county planner job, that are expected to be filled in the coming months.

Once a plan is adopted, there is an appeal process for employees, but changes will only be made to correct errors by the consultants or for substantial changes in an employee’s job duties, Carlson said. Changes should not be based on policy decisions by the County Board, or the study will fail, he said.

“This really has to be the art of what’s possible,” Carlson said. “If all we can accomplish in this study is to get positions arrayed appropriately internally and paid competitively, that would be a good day.”

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Tauchen proposes state beer marketing group

Fri, 03/14/2014 - 7:45am
By: 

Kevin Murphy, Leader Correspondent

What the Wisconsin Milk Marketing Board has done for consumption of dairy products, A similar organization can do for the beer industry, says state Rep. Gary Tauchen, R-Bonduel.

The Wisconsin Beer Commission would promote Wisconsin-made beer. Under Tauchen’s plan, four members of the seven-member board would represent microbrewers, defined as breweries producing less than 300,000 barrels of beer annually, one would represent major breweries, and one would represent beer wholesalers. The commission also would include a chairman.

The commission would reflect the diversity of Wisconsin’s beer industry, which has 87 small brewers and two majors, Tauchen said.

Tauchen said the idea came to him when thinking about the state’s three most famous products: beer, brats and cheese.

“We created the Milk Marketing Board in 1983. Last year (the Legislature) changed rules to help export brats and other meats out of the state, but we haven’t done much to promote the beer industry,” he said.

Tauchen’s bill, Assembly Bill 856, brings the industry’s stakeholders to the table in an effort to make Wisconsin beer even more famous.

“This would be a vehicle to help market and to do research related to marketing beer,” Tauchen said. “It would be part of the Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection, which works other trades.”

While the WMMB is funded from fees producers pay, the commission’s budget would be funded through beer sales at the Wisconsin State Fair.

Except for beer vendor stands, Wisconsin’s brewing industry has not had a presence at the fair, which Tauchen said presents a great opportunity to get information to out-of-state visitors.

The Wisconsin Brewers Guild, which also promotes craft brewing in the state, welcomes creating a beer commission, said Jeff Hamilton, a WBG board member and president of Sprecher Brewing Co.

“The mission of the guild is to promote and protect the smaller brewers in the state but there isn’t a central marketing force especially for smaller brewers in the state that effectively promotes their beer. This would give everyone a starting point to market,” Hamilton said.

Bill Tressler, owner of Hinterland Brewing Co., of Green Bay, also is a solid supporter of Tauchen’s proposal.

“Absolutely, the Wisconsin Brewers Guild hasn’t spent a lot of time on marketing, mainly on legislative issues. The commission represents an opportunity to promote Wisconsin beer as something special and unique and that we’re a region where good, quality beer is brewed,” he said.

Deb Carey, co-owner of New Glarus Brewing Co., sees the commission has an opportunity to help level the playing field in the Legislature between big and small breweries.

“Craft brewers don’t have lobbyists like others in the beverage industry. I wouldn’t say it’s a level playing field now, it’s difficult for small wholesalers or brewers to get started,” she said.

Carey also wants some regulatory certainty and tells that to legislators visiting her brewery.

“Each session has drastic changes in the way I do business, and that takes away your peace of mind,” she said.

Building a brewery is a “substantial investment,” costing at least $2,000 per square foot and those making that investment deserve some protection, she said.

The commission could also highlight the importance to the state of the $900 million micro brewing business, which supports more than 9,800 jobs, she said.

Tauchen said his bill has gone through three drafts before getting introduced this month, which is late in the current legislative session.

Instead of seeking a public hearing and passage of the bill, Tauchen wants more industry and public input before re-introducing it in January.

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Shawano Masonic Lodge to host Shriner ceremony

Fri, 03/14/2014 - 7:44am
By: 

Tim Ryan, [email protected]

The Shawano Masonic Lodge has been chosen to host installation ceremonies of new Shriners from around northeast Wisconsin later this month, and a community parade along Main Street will mark the occasion.

The event is usually reserved for the Beja Shrine of Green Bay, but Beja Potentate Nicholas Brosig, the head of the shrine, hit upon the idea of having local lodges host the ceremonies, according to Shawano Mason representative Dale Vannes.

“A couple times a year they have an installation of Masons who wish to become Shriners and there’s a big ceremony that goes on,” Vannes said.

Vannes told the Shawano Common Council on Wednesday how the plans for the ceremony and the parade that will take place March 29 came about.

Vannes said several Shriners recently visited the Shawano lodge.

“They were really impressed with the new building,” he said.

Shawano Masons No. 170 was previously located at 201 1/2 S. Main St., but in 2010, the lodge purchased a facility on 1.5 acres at 2324 E. Richmond St. The building was renovated to make it energy-efficient and handicapped-accessible, and new landscaping was added.

The lodge is used as a gathering space for other community groups as well as the Masons.

“The Masons are very proud of this new building here,” Vannes said.

Vannes said it was also Brosig’s idea to hold a parade prior to the ceremonies; one that would also feature other Shawano community groups that are involved with youth.

“He didn’t want it to be just the Shrine and the Masons,” Vannes said. “There’s a lot of organizations in every community that gets involved with youth, and we’re inviting those organizations to participate.”

Vannes said the 4-H is already on board and he has been reaching out to other community organizations.

Vannes said it would be good exposure for all of the groups involved and could boost membership.

“This would be a great opportunity for the spectators to see the organizations participating in the parade,” he said. “I’m sure there are other people out there, once they find out what these organizations do, they may want to get involved.”

Vannes said it would also be a boost for Shawano, with representatives coming from a number of northeast Wisconsin lodges, along with their wives and friends.

“There’s going to be a lot of people here spending some money,” he said. “I think it’s great for Shawano. It’s great exposure for Shawano, and I think it’s a good thing to toot our community’s horn a little bit and brag about the other organizations that are involved with youth.”

The parade, which was approved Wednesday by the Common Council, will start at 11 a.m. and run north on Main Street from Elizabeth to Division Street, where it will turn west and end at Franklin Park.

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Public Record

Fri, 03/14/2014 - 7:43am

Shawano Police Department

March 12

Police logged 14 incidents, including the following:

Warrant — A 28-year-old man was taken into custody at the Probation and Parole offices, 1340 E. Green Bay St.

Hit and Run — Police investigated a property damage hit-and-run in the 200 block of South Washington Street.

Shawano County Sheriff’s Department

March 12

Deputies logged 26 incidents, including the following:

Disturbance — Authorities responded to a domestic disturbance on Sportsmans Drive in Aniwa.

Theft — Gas was reported siphoned from a vehicle on Harrison Street in Wittenberg.

OAR — A 22-year-old woman was cited for operating after revocation on County Road A in Red Springs.

Disturbance — Authorities responded to a disturbance on Steno Trail in Pulaski.

Accidents — Authorities logged two deer-related crashes.

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Council approves park, Civic Center improvements

Thu, 03/13/2014 - 7:59am
By: 

Tim Ryan, [email protected]

City officials Wednesday gave their approval to long-sought improvements at Memorial Park and the Civic Center.

Bids were approved for a new restroom and concession shelter at the park and for updated lighting and a new restroom at the Civic Center.

Shawano Common Council President Woody Davis said the Civic Center improvements were long overdue.

The new facility at the park was one of the most requested items on a Park and Recreation survey conducted last year.

The council approved a bid from A&M Concrete & Construction, of Seymour, for the demolition of the Memorial Park concession stand and restroom facility and construction of a new concession/restroom/shelter facility in the amount of $172,980.

Though it was the lowest of four bids, it came in above the $150,000 budgeted.

A $15,995 bid from Wallace Carpentry, of Bonduel, for the construction of a new restroom in the lower level of the Civic Center was also approved, though it, too, was slightly above the $13,500 budgeted.

The overbudgeted amounts for those projects will be reallocated from elsewhere in the city’s Capital Improvement budget.

A $5,214 bid from Kallies Electric Inc, of Shawano, for updated lighting in portions of the lower level of the Civic Center was also approved. That bid came in under the $7,000 budgeted.

IN OTHER BUSINESS

The Shawano Common Council on Wednesday approved the following:

• Bid of $966,975 by DeGroot Inc., of Green Bay, for this year’s street and utility reconstruction projects.

• Quotation of $38,983 from Ewald Chevrolet, of Oconomowoc, for a dump truck for the Department of Public Works. The price includes a trade-in.

• Quotation of $145,621 from Dueco Inc., of Waukesha, for an aerial bucket truck for Shawano Municipal Utilities.

• Class A liquor license for Anew Tea Emporium & Antiques, 103 S. Main St., and Class B liquor and beer licenses for Trail’s Edge, which will be located in the Four Seasons Resort, 201 N. Airport Road.

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Radio communications issues cleared up

Thu, 03/13/2014 - 7:55am
By: 

Lee Pulaski, [email protected]


Leader Photo by Lee Pulaski Jeff Schuh, right, reports on the status of the Bonduel radio tower at the Shawano County Public Safety Committee meeting Wednesday as coroner Mike Jesse, left, and audience members listen. The tower has been transmitting without problems since Feb. 20, Schuh reported.

Shawano County officials made it clear Wednesday that their radio transmissions were just as clear, and that the bugs with the simulcast system were almost all fixed.

Jeff Schuh, the county’s radio specialist, and representatives from Northway Communications of Wausau informed the Public Safety Committee that the equipment needed to fix the radio tower in Bonduel had arrived well ahead of schedule, and that few issues had popped up since the new equipment was brought online Feb. 20.

It had originally been estimated that the equipment would take 10 days to arrive, but it arrived in two.

Last month, several fire chiefs from eastern Shawano County reported broken communications on the county’s new simulcast system, even when emergency crews were within a mile of the Bonduel tower. Many were concerned that if the system failed to transmit during a fire or other emergency, lives could be lost.

Scott Pagenkopf, Northway owner, said his crews have eliminated the problems with the tower and conducted tile testing — radio tests at half-mile intervals — to ensure that the tower was no longer at fault.

“We have not had any errors reported since then,” Pagenkopf said.

Schuh noted that there have been some portable equipment programming issues reported, but nothing involving the tower. One instance involved a faulty radio battery, he said.

“We have been able to isolate all problems to those radios,” Schuh said.

County Board Chairman Jerry Erdmann said he had attended a Grant Town Board meeting last week and was informed of issues that central Shawano County community was having with radio transmissions between county dispatch and town firefighters. Erdmann said the transmissions were “crackly.”

Schuh said he had no knowledge of Grant’s radio issues but said he would look into it.

Supervisor Marvin Klosterman suggested that Schuh get in contact with all fire chiefs in the county to make sure all radio problems are resolved. The fire chiefs and other officials attending Wednesday’s meeting did not report any continuing issues.

Schuh did not anticipate any additional issues with the county’s simulcast equipment.

“We’re fairly confident that the system is working properly,” he said.

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