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Revenue secretary wants more transparency

Fri, 04/26/2019 - 2:57am
Barca visits Shawano as part of northern tourBy: 

David Wilhelms Leader Correspondent

“We want the regulatory climate to be one that helps businesses to comply with regulations, helping businesses and entrepreneurs to understand what’s on the books,” but also to make sure the state doesn’t over-enforce its regulations, Peter Barca, Wisconsin Department of Revenue Secretary, said on Monday in Shawano.

Barca explained he made the trip to Shawano because, “The governor has really encouraged us (Cabinet secretaries) to get out around the state … finding out what needs are and that our initiatives do meet the needs of all of the parts of the state.”

“When I talk to Governor (Tony) Evers, he’s very supportive of balancing needs for regulations” against the costs to businesses, the secretary added.

Barca has stops planned for Green Bay, Appleton, and other northern Wisconsin cities.

He pointed out that while most people associate the DOR with taxes, the department also calculates the financial costs attached to legislation. More important to the rest of the state, however, he said DOR has a staff of economists charged with forecasting the state’s economic direction.

Barca added the Evers administration is “not just focused on large corporations in southeastern Wisconsin but everywhere in the state. Where there are stronger partnerships between state agencies like the WEDC (Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation) and local organizations such as chambers of commerce, it helps to build jobs.”

Barca noted, “Foxconn (the large development in southeastern Wisconsin for a Taiwanese electronics manufacturer) is not the issue per se. More important is what’s done to bolster business development in all of rural Wisconsin — being mindful of entrepreneurism and other opportunities.”

He also met with Menominee Tribal Enterprises representatives in Keshena.

Barca said one of his missions was to share more of the DOR’s expertise and resources across the state beyond the offices in Green Bay and Appleton for “regular” department business.

Barca said he wants his department to be “transparent as possible” and share its expertise. One example of that effort is the resumption of the quarterly Wisconsin Economic Outlook report.

Suspended by then-Governor Scott Walker in 2015 after more than 40 years of publication, he said the report will again provide an overview of the state’s current economic conditions and a forecast for a variety of economic metrics, including employment, housing and personal income.

The secretary said there will also be weekly reports on new home construction and other economic data.

He said the DOR has extensively revised its website to offer more information and “be as interactive as we can … to help businesses make better decisions.”

He highlighted the re-design of the site for local officials where they can find information on all required DOR reports and their due dates. The site also offers copies of the forms and video tutorials.

The secretary, a lifelong Kenosha-area citizen, said he is leveraging his over 30 years of public service in his current position.

Barca served as 64th Assembly District representative from the from 1985 until 1993, when he was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives. He returned to the Assembly in 2009 and served seven years as the Assembly Minority Leader. He resigned when Evers selected him for the cabinet post in January 2019.

Barca also spent nearly five years as the Midwest Regional Administrator of the U.S. Small Business Administration during the Clinton Administration. During that time, he led the National Regulatory Fairness Program, an initiative aimed at making regulatory enforcement more small business friendly.

It is this experience, especially working with the Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act of 1996, that shaped his approach to regulations as an administrator and legislator, he said.

Public Record

Thu, 04/25/2019 - 4:05am

Shawano Police Department

April 23

Police logged 33 incidents, including the following:

Disorderly — Police responded to a disorderly conduct complaint at the Super 8 Motel, 211 Waukechon St.

Disturbance — Police responded to a disturbance in the 200 block of East Richmond Street.

Theft — A phone was reported stolen at Shawano Community Middle School, 1050 S. Union St.

Fraud — Police investigated a scam complaint in the 200 block of South Sawyer Street.

Shoplifting — Charlie’s County Market, 521 S. Main St., reported a shoplifting incident.

Shawano County Sheriff’s Department

April 23

Deputies logged 35 incidents, including the following:

Drug Offense — A 38-year-old Bonduel man was arrested for possession of narcotics and drug paraphernalia and an outstanding warrant on Cecil Street in Bonduel. A 28-year-old Bonduel woman was also taken into custody for a probation violation.

Disorderly — Authorities responded to a disorderly conduct complaint at Wittenberg-Birnamwood High School, 400 W. Grand Ave. in Wittenberg.

Disturbance — Authorities responded to a domestic disturbance on Valley Road in the town of Herman.

Burglary — An attempted burglary was reported on Short Lane in the town of Birnamwood.

Warrant — A 77-year-old Keshena man was arrested on a warrant on Raguse Road in the town of Wescott.

Accidents — Authorities logged three deer-related crashes.

Clintonville Police Department

April 23

Police logged seven incidents, including the following:

Disorderly — Disorderly conduct was reported on Ninth Street.

Disturbance — Police responded to a family disturbance on Motor Street.

City, school officials review proposed joint rec center plan

Thu, 04/25/2019 - 3:52am
Project could go to school district referendum in April 2020By: 

Tim Ryan [email protected]

The estimated cost of a proposed joint city and school district recreation center was placed at anywhere from $24 million to $28 million, as currently envisioned, according to a consultant contracted by the Shawano School District.

An early draft of the design layout and projected costs were presented Wednesday to the Shawano School Board, Shawano Common Council and the city’s park and recreation commission.

“These are not final plans,” said Park and Recreation Director Matt Hendricks. “But we do feel that at this point in time that it’s a tangible plan that we can get feedback from the community and then drive from there.”

One of the questions the city will be asking before it commits to the project, Hendricks said, is whether the new facility would continue everything the city recreation center is already doing and everything the community wants.

The proposed facility would be located adjacent to Shawano Community High School, on the north side of the building, and would include the school’s existing competition pool.

It would add a separate community pool area; a fitness area, including weights and cardiovascular equipment; a multi-purpose space; gymnasium; racquetball court; and indoor multi-purpose facility and walking track; as well as offices, bathrooms, lockers, storage and other amenities.

“When we started looking at it, we wanted to make sure certainly that we’re including all of the necessary components for all the various stakeholders,” said Melanie Parma, senior project manager for Somerville, the architectural firm hired by the school district.

Craig Uhlenbrauck, vice president of education for Miron Construction, said the range of $24 million to $28 million was still preliminary at this point.

“At this point right now, we haven’t defined exactly how it’s going to be constructed, what types of materials are going to be used, what types of systems are going to be put in place mechanically and electrically and that type of stuff,” he said.

According to school district Business Manager Louise Fischer, the tax impact of taking on debt for the project would be 90 cents per $1,000 of equalized valuation at the high end, depending on which scenario the district went with in terms of borrowing.

The 90 cents per $1,000, or $90 on a $100,000 home, assumes borrowing of $30 million at a 5 percent interest rate and repayment of the debt over 20 years.

Fischer called that a worst-case scenario.

“We don’t believe it’s going to go anywhere near $30 million,” she said. “But if we’re going to do this, we want to do it right. We don’t want to cut corners.”

School Board President Michael Sleeper said the reason the district is in this situation is because corners were cut when Shawano Community High School was designed and built in the late 1990s. He said the weight room and wrestling practice area were particularly impacted.

“It was pretty clear it was insufficient for the needs at that time, and that became more apparent as time went on,” he said.

The proposed project will have to go a district referendum, probably in April 2020, before it could move forward.

Uhlenbrauck laid out a timeline of what would happen between now and then.

Approval would be needed in the next month or two from the council and school board to enter into an agreement and move forward.

“Once we get that approval we want to continue to get feedback from the community and businesses as well,” Uhlenbrauck said.

From July through September, work would continue to refine the core concept and finalize the scope of the project, he said.

As the new school year starts this fall, a communitywide survey would be put together to gauge interest and support for the project. The survey would probably go out to the public in October, Uhlenbrauck said.

Results would be presented to the school board, council and park and recreation commission late this year.

“Pending those survey results, then we would take December through January to start to refine the concept based on that feedback, continue to engage the community, and then ultimately the board of education would have to adopt a resolution to go to referendum,” Uhlenbrauck said.

Officials got a smattering of community feedback at Wednesday’s meeting, with about half of the two dozen audience members who attended sharing their thoughts and questions.

Most were in favor of the project, but some had mixed feelings, including the employee of a local fitness center who said such a facility could put private fitness centers in the community out of business.

Another speaker said she felt it was the wrong time for the school district to be making this a priority.

The park and recreation commission voted to recommend to the council that the city enter into an agreement with the school district for the proposed facility.

City picks up Tree City, other awards at Arbor Day ceremony

Thu, 04/25/2019 - 3:43am
Maple tree planted at Kuckuk ParkBy: 

Leader Staff

Leader photo by Tim Ryan Shawano City Forester Mike Kroenke preps students for their help in planting a maple tree at Kuckuk Park during the annual Arbor Day ceremony Wednesday. Fourth graders from Olga Brener Intermediate School, St. James Lutheran School and Sacred Heart Catholic School assisted with the planting of the tree.

City officials Wednesday held their annual Arbor Day observance at Shawano’s Kuckuk Park, getting a jump on the actual Arbor Day, which is Sunday.

The city’s commitment to the environment helped net three more awards this year from the Department of Natural Resources, presented to Mayor Ed Whealon by DNR Regional Forester Coordinator Tracy Salisbury.

Shawano was named a Tree City USA recipient for the 25th year, which came with a Tree City flag and plaque. The city also won the DNR’s Growth Award for the ninth time.

“That shows a commitment to the community trees that are located within the city,” Salisbury said. “The trees are what makes Shawano such a beautiful community.”

Shawano Municipal Utilities picked up its 16th Tree Line USA award, which was presented to SMU Electric Supervisor Rob Koepp.

Koepp presented a $2,000 check from SMU that will go to tree planting and replacement.

Several others also picked up honors Wednesday.

Wayne Habeck, who is retiring this year from the city’s tree advisory committee, was recognized for his 12 years on the board.

William and Kathryn Grahl were honored with the residential Nature’s Friend Award for cultivating the shrubs and trees that grace the home they purchased in Shawano 44 years ago.

Divine Savior Lutheran Church was honored with the commercial Nature’s Friend Award for maintaining a number of pine trees along state Highway 47.

The ceremony was attended by fourth graders from Olga Brener Intermediate School, St. James Lutheran School and Sacred Heart Catholic School, all of whom were given young saplings to take home and plant in their yards.

The students also helped plant a maple tree at Kuckuk with the guidance of City Forester Mike Kroenke.

Master of ceremonies for the event was tree advisory board chairman William Erdmann.

Tavern Front turns 1 year old

Thu, 04/25/2019 - 3:41am
Customer appreciation party planned SaturdayBy: 

Miriam Nelson [email protected]

Leader Photo by Miriam Nelson Owners Hugh and Denell McAloon will celebrate the one-year anniversary of Tavern Front with a customer appreciation party Saturday.

Hugh and Denell McAloon are celebrating their first anniversary as owners of Tavern Front in downtown Wittenberg with a customer appreciation party from 11 a.m. Saturday to closing time.

The event includes food and drink specials, games, prizes, a disc jockey and footlong Big Willie Brats specially made for the bar.

“We have a great customer base and staff,” Hugh McAloon said. “I’m thankful for all the support we have received and really look forward to a fun party.”

McAloon said he had an opportunity to take over his brother’s bar in the Oshkosh area last year but decided to settle in Wittenberg, Denell’s hometown, and opened Tavern Front at 207 W. Vinal St.

“We feel so blessed and fortunate. The entire community has welcomed and supported us,” Denell McAloon said. “We could never have expected to have such a great first year.”

Hugh McAloon has tapped into his degree in advertising, promotions and public relations plus his experience in the bar business to make Tavern Front unique. Oversized barware features the Tavern Front logo. The bar’s chicken wings are the largest available, and the Friday fish fry features perch, haddock and poor man’s lobster (boiled cod served with melted butter) rather than the more traditional beer-batter cod. Tavern Front’s menu also includes broasted pork chops in addition to the usual broasted chicken popular in this area.

Hugh McAloon said people especially like the food prepared on the char grill.

“We’re fortunate to have Hanke’s Sentry in town,” he said. “Jim Borchardt is the retired butcher but still goes in two mornings a week to cut all our steaks and pork chops for us – nice to have that special treatment.”

The owners said the one thing that surprised them in their first year was the complexity of the business.

“It’s not just serving beers and flipping burgers,” Denell McAloon said. “It’s the kind of business where you really need to keep an eye on things. Family and friends help us.”

The McAloons recently developed a new line of merchandise and this summer plan to do some renovations, which will include a new tile floor and an outdoor beer garden.

New, expanding businesses highlight economic summit

Thu, 04/25/2019 - 3:39am
City officials see Shawano making progressBy: 

Lee Pulaski [email protected]

Leader Photo by Lee Pulaski Bob Stratton talks about the process of building his new business, Big City Gyros, with wife Heather during the Shawano County Economic Progress Inc. Economic Summit on Tuesday night. Stratton’s shop, located in the old Domino’s building, will open July 1.

Progress is being made in Shawano and Shawano County, according to the lengthy list of speakers who spoke at the 21st annual Shawano County Economic Progress Inc. Economic Summit on Tuesday at The Gathering.

City officials lauded the long-awaited arrival of Culver’s, which opened last summer, while noting there are new projects like Big City Gyros and the Stubborn Brothers Brewery that are close to opening their doors. There are also business expansions like Reinhart’s Food Service, which is building a larger facility on Waukechon Street between County Road B and state Highway 29.

“Things are going on to set the city up for the future, not just two or three years down the road. I’m talking five, 10, 15, 20 years down the road,” said Mayor Ed Whealon.

Brian Lovelien, owner for the Shawano Culver’s said he is looking forward to having a big tourism market to serve this summer. He noted that his opening in July 2018 yielded the biggest opening week for a Wisconsin Culver’s and the second busiest week in history.

Lovelien plans to keep doing more to attract visitors and said he is working with the FFA to possibly have a petting zoo outside the restaurant during the summer.

“We looked at how many communities didn’t have Culver’s, and this, by far, was the biggest one,” Lovelien said. “We didn’t have any issues with the permitting process. It was a great experience from the conceptual experience to the opening nine months ago.”

Big City Gyros is a story of a local couple wanting to start a business. Bob Stratton said he and his wife, Heather, wanted to start a gyro shop to have something different in the community, but it was mostly so Heather, who loves gyros, didn’t have to travel to Green Bay to get her fix.

“We wanted to do a new fast, casual restaurant in Shawano, and we wanted something that was a bit of a different option for the city, different than what anybody else was doing, so we decided on gyros and cheesesteaks,” said Stratton, who’d previously worked for Genex for 20 years before pursuing his food dreams. “Shawano is home, and we wanted to do something for the city and something that’s fun.”

Big City Gyros is remodeling the old Domino’s on East Green Bay Street. Stratton is anticipating opening July 1.

The Stubborn Brothers Brewery has been in the works for more than two years, but owner Aaron Gilling is seeing light at the end of the tunnel, as he estimates the brewery will be open in August. Gilling said he’d been looking at starting his brewery in Milwaukee and Oshkosh before deciding on Shawano.

The craft brewery and entertainment venue project started out as a renovation of the old Crescent Theater, but has since included the expansion of that building and turning the building next to it into the kitchen, according to Gilling.

“When we acquired (the building), we were going to do a three-barrel system with no food. We were just going to have beer and maybe some light appetizers,” he said. “Then we realized, maybe we can do a little more.”

Doing more is what Reinhart’s is hoping to do. After 38 years of constant increasing sales, the food processing company found itself out of space in its landlocked location on East Richmond Street, according to Pehr Peterson with Reyes Holdings, Reinhart’s parent company.

“The bet that Reyes Holdings is making is that Reinhart’s is going to continue to grow in the next 20 years in Shawano,” Peterson said. “We’re willing to make this investment to the community.”

The new Reinhart’s is expected to be completed in February 2020, with everything moved over by April 2020.

Besides the new and expanding businesses in Shawano, there are other signs of progress, Whealon said. Partnering with Menominee Transit has produced a new and improved taxi system for the city, and there is the possibility that bus routes could be established in the future, a feat he says is unusual for a community of Shawano’s size.

Despite the growth that the area is experiencing, there’s room for more, Whealon said. He wants Shawano to continue developing partnerships with surrounding townships and other entities.

“This blue-collar town, I think, is on the cusp of taking off and doing some great things,” Whealon said. “I’m looking forward to that.”

Options presented for fixes to Highway 29/County U intersection

Tue, 04/23/2019 - 8:35pm
Interchange not financially practical, state saysBy: 

Tim Ryan [email protected]

It will be at least two years before the state Department of Transportation can address safety concerns at Shawano County’s most dangerous intersection along state Highway 29 and the solution is not likely to be an interchange.

DOT representatives met Tuesday with the county’s highway safety commission, highway and parks committee and public safety committee to outline possible options and a timetable for when those proposed fixes could be implemented.

Five intersections along state Highway 29 in Shawano County have been identified as the county’s most dangerous, with a total of 467 crashes over the last five years and eight fatalities.

Of highest concern to state and county authorities, however, is the intersection of Highway 29 and County Road U, where there have been five fatal crashes since January 2013, according to sheriff’s department records, with the most recent occurring just three weeks ago.

That intersection was the subject of Tuesday’s meeting.

Some steps have already been taken to address that particular intersection, including rumble pads, stop signs with metal orange flags, LED flashing stop signs on County Road U, and double-marked intersection warning signs with 55 mph advisory speeds on the westbound highway approach to the intersection.

DOT Traffic Safety Engineer Tony Kemnitz outlined four possible additional steps that could be taken and what those alternatives would cost.

They include a J-turn, at a cost of about $2.4 million, which will require motorists crossing Highway 29 to have to cross only two lanes before entering a median pocket lane that will take them to a turnaround.

After that, drivers will have the next two lanes of traffic to contend with.

Kemnitz said having to cross only two lanes at a time rather than all four would significantly reduce crashes.

“Typically what we see in these (type of) intersections is they get hit in that second set of lanes,” he said. “This reduces the opportunity for a vehicle to cross paths with another.”

Another alternative, a median U-turn, would be similar to the J-turn but with a shorter pocket lane and a turnaround closer to the intersection.

That is estimated to cost $1.9 million.

Another alternative, lowering the hill to the east of the intersection to increase sight distance, did not have a cost estimate.

The option of a diamond interchange was also evaluated, Kemnitz said, which would necessitate relocated County Road U to the east to avoid impacting the cemetery, as well as acquiring property for frontage roads.

That alternative was estimated to cost nearly $17 million.

Kemnitz said the state would probably not be able to justify the cost of an interchange versus the safety benefits when applying for federal assistance.

Kemnitz said there would be another local meeting after the design process on the alternatives moves forward, probably in late summer or early fall.

There would then be a public information meeting to look at design alternatives in November or December.

Kemnitz said the goal would be to have a final design selected by February of 2020 so a final plan can be put together by the end of year.

Construction bids would go out in March 2021 with intersection improvements constructed later that year.

Supervisor Tom Kautza, who chairs the highway committee, said he was not interested in a J turn.

“I can’t see how that’s going to fix or resolve any of the problems,” he said.

Supervisor Rick Giese said the intersection has multiple problems, including blind spots, and that a solution was needed that help prevent people from making poor decisions when crossing the highway.

Gresham Village President Lyle Grosskopf said whatever option is chosen has to allow for fire trucks to cross the highway.

“I agree the J-turn will probably have less fatalities, but you’ll still have a lot of accidents,” Grosskopf said. “People on a Friday are headed up north and they’re going 80 mph, and you can’t stop it. Everyone does it. It’s very important make sure we get the safety equipment across the highway.”

DOT Planning and Program Manager Mike Wendt said J-turns have worked elsewhere.

“I understand that’s something different than what we’re used to and there may or may not be an appetite for something we’re not used to, but it has been a proven alternative to reduce fatalities and severe injury crashes,” he said.

“We’re looking at a very accelerated schedule to deliver a product in 2021,” Wendt said.

He said there is federal funding assistance available for the three options other than the interchange.

Wendt said finding additional money for the interchange would be difficult and likely push the project several more years into the future.

“If we can fix a big part of the problem at a lower cost as stewards of the taxpayer dollar, I think we’re expected to do that,” he said. “We should be doing what has proven to be safe in other locations.”

Though the county will have input, it will ultimately be up to the DOT to make the final decision on the alternative chosen.

Names released in Seymour deaths

Tue, 04/23/2019 - 8:28pm
Services set for two children found in homeBy: 

By Leader Staff

Contributed Photo Matteline A. Samson, left, and Hailey K. Poppe died in Seymour and were discovered by Seymour police on last week. The case is still under investigation.

Authorities Tuesday released the names of three people found deceased in a Seymour home last week in a case that continues to be under investigation.

Seymour police were dispatched to a residence in the 600 block of North Main Street on April 18 for a report of a domestic disturbance. The initial responding officers were unable to make contact with anyone inside.

After repeated attempts to make contact, assistance was requested from the Outagamie County Emergency Response Team.

The Emergency Response Team took over operations and entered the home, where they found a man and two children dead.

They were identified Tuesday as Andrew R. Poppe, 35, Matteline A. Samson, 4, and Hailey K. Poppe, 3 months.

No information was released as to the cause of death.

Services have been set for the two girls.

Visitation will take place on Thursday at St. John Catholic Church, Seymour, from 3 p.m. until the funeral Mass at 6 p.m. with the Rev. Bob Kabat and Deacon Rich Matuszak officiating.

Muehl-Boettcher Funeral Home, Seymour, is assisting the family with arrangements. A full obituary can be found on Page A3.

Police said in a news release Sunday that a memorial fund would be established through the funeral home.

Police also said they were aware of other fundraisers, such as Go Fund Me, circulating on social media and that a family member could not verify their autheniticity.

Police said they contacted the creator of one of the frundraising efforts, whom they described as well-intentioned but who had mounted the effort without any coordination with the family.

“The safest way to donate is to do so through Muehl-Boettcher Funeral Home,” police said.

Per the request of the Seymour Police Department, the Wisconsin Department of Justice (DOJ) Division of Criminal Investigation (DCI) is leading the investigation.

No further information was available.

The DOJ said the incident was isolated and the public is in no danger.


Donations will be accepted at Muehl-Boettcher Funeral Home, c/o Mattelin and Hailey, 358 S. Main St., Seymour, WI 54165.

Cecil man pleads guilty to embezzlement

Tue, 04/23/2019 - 8:26pm
Reyment owes over $350K to victimsBy: 

By Leader Staff


A Cecil man pleaded guilty Monday to three counts of embezzlement for false representations made to investors in a fishing lure company.

Andrew J. Reyment, 38, is scheduled for sentencing June 21 at the Brown County Courthouse.

Reyment was charged with embezzlement and is accused of a theft scheme in which he made false representations to investors about his fishing lure company and then illegally converted the investor funds for his personal use.

Reyment posted on multiple social media sites that he was seeking investors for his corporation, Screamline Lures, according to the state Department of Justice.

As a result of the posts, several individuals responded to Reyment, and based upon false representations, they ultimately invested in Screamline Lures.

The victim investors, located in Wisconsin, Illinois, and Italy, were interviewed by the DOJ Division of Criminal Investigation.

During the investigation, special agents found that Reyment had made several false representations to investors and then embezzled their money.

“One of the many ways that the Wisconsin Department of Justice works to make our communities safer is by investigating and prosecuting financial crimes,” said Attorney General Josh Kaul. “Embezzlement is a serious crime, and I’m glad that DOJ’s work on this case has resulted in a conviction.”

The Shawano County Sheriff’s Office assisted DCI agents with the arrest of Reyment in Shawano on May 23, 2018, and he was transferred to Brown County Jail on May 24, 2018.

Reyment’s crimes hold a penalty up to $75,000 in fines and up to 30 years in prison. Request for restitution to victims totals $350,518.40.

The case is being handled by DOJ Criminal Litigation Unit Assistant Attorney General Rich Chiapete.

Woman pleads not guilty to St. Pat’s drug charges

Tue, 04/23/2019 - 8:24pm
Krause allegedly handed out marijuana cookies at Wescott paradeBy: 

Tim Ryan [email protected]


A Shawano woman accused of handing out marijuana-laced cookies during the St. Patrick’s Day festivities in the town of Wescott last month waived a preliminary hearing in court Monday and entered a plea of not guilty.

Cathleen K. Krause, 57, is facing two felony drug charges in connection with her alleged activities. She is scheduled for a pre-trial conference on Aug. 6.

Krause was arrested after Shawano County authorities received a call reporting that a woman was handing out drug-laced cookies during the annual holiday parade in Wescott’s Mooseyard.

According to the criminal complaint, a sheriff’s deputy was told that a woman wearing a green St. Patrick’s Day hat and wearing a leather coat had handed out a cookie that she said had marijuana in it.

The reporting party had taken a picture of the woman, later identified as Krause, and showed it to the deputy, who located and questioned Krause.

The complaint states Krause was visibly intoxicated, and her breath smelled of alcohol and marijuana.

After being asked about the cookies, Krause pulled out a large gallon-sized bag of cookie crumbs and consented to a search, according the complaint.

During the search, a number of prescription pills were found along with a package of gummy candy, the complaint states.

According to the complaint, the cookie that Krause allegedly gave to the person who reported it to authorities and the gummy candy tested positive for marijuana.

It’s unknown how many marijuana cookies Krause allegedly handed out.

Krause is facing a felony count of manufacture and delivery of marijuana for allegedly handing out the cookies, and a felony count of possession of marijuana for the drug-laced gummy candy.

Each count carries a maximum possible penalty of 3½ years in prison and a $10,000 fine if convicted.

She also faces three misdemeanor counts of possession of a controlled substance for being in possession of amphetamine and Alprazolam and Tremadol without a valid prescription.

According to court records, Krause was previously convicted of a misdemeanor count of possessing marijuana in Shawano County in 2015.

Public Record

Tue, 04/23/2019 - 8:23pm

Shawano Police Department

April 22

Police logged 27 incidents, including the following:

Intoxicated Person — Police responded to an intoxicated person complaint in the 100 block of Acorn Street.

Juvenile — Police investigated a juvenile alcohol complaint in the 600 block of East Randall Street.

Auto Theft — A vehicle was reported stolen in the 700 block of West Richmond Street.

Arrest — A 41-year-old man was taken into custody at the probation and parole offices, 1340 E. Green Bay St.

Shoplifting — Charlie’s County Market, 521 S. Main St., reported a shoplifting incident.

Shawano County Sheriff’s Department

April 22

Deputies logged 42 incidents, including the following:

Warrant — A 37-year-old Birnamwood woman was arrested on a warrant after authorities responded to a disorderly conduct complaint on U.S. Highway 45 in the town of Aniwa.

Warrant — A 55-year-old Keshena man was arrested on a warrant on Lake Drive in the town of Wescott.

Accidents — Authorities logged two deer-related crashes.

Clintonville Police Department

April 22

Police logged seven incidents, including the following:

Disturbances — Police responded to disturbances on West Street and on Sixth Street.

County supervisor expected to plead to OWI charge

Tue, 04/23/2019 - 8:22pm
Capelle arrested after traffic stop in NovemberBy: 

Tim Ryan [email protected]

A Shawano County supervisor arrested for alleged drunken driving in November has been scheduled for a plea and sentencing hearing.

Supervisor Kenneth E. Capelle, 78, was pulled over shortly after 6:30 p.m. on Nov. 29 after a sheriff’s deputy spotted his vehicle going through a stop sign at Freeborn Street and Warrington Avenue in the village of Cecil, according to the deputy’s report.

The report states Capelle failed a roadside sobriety test and a preliminary breath test showed a blood-alcohol level of 0.14 percent, almost twice the legal limit.

Capelle refused to submit to a blood draw to determine his blood/alcohol count. A warrant was obtained to get a blood sample.

Capelle represents County Board District 9, which is comprised of Cecil and Ward 1 of the town of Washington.

He had initially demanded a jury trial in the case and a pre-trial conference had been scheduled for last week.

He is now scheduled to enter a plea and be sentenced on June 6, according to court records.

Capelle is facing a citation for first-offense operating while intoxicated, which is a forfeiture and carries a fine of $937.50, as well as failing to stop at a stop sign and refusing to take a test for intoxication.

An additional citation was issued against Capelle on Dec. 22 after the results of the blood test were known. According to the state crime lab, Capelle had a blood alcohol level of 0.168.

The new citation is for operating a vehicle with a prohibited alcohol count greater than 0.15 percent, according to court records.

That is also a forfeiture carrying a $937.50 fine.

Water levels ease since last week but flood warnings remain

Mon, 04/22/2019 - 9:02pm
Shawano, Menominee counties see isolated road floodingBy: 

Tim Ryan [email protected]

Leader Photo by Lee Pulaski A bench that normally sits on the sidewalk at Sturgeon Park is partially submerged under water as the Wolf River floods some areas of Shawano on Friday. A flood warning continues on the river in Shawano, Shiocton and New London this week.

Flooding issues that plagued some low-lying areas of Shawano County late last week, particularly in the northwest portion of the county, had subsided by Monday, but officials were keeping their eyes on another inch or so that was forecast to fall overnight Monday and into Tuesday morning.

Traffic hazards due to water flooding the roads were reported Thursday on a section of County Road A in the town of Herman, U.S. Highway 45 in the town of Birnamwood and County Road Q in the town of Aniwa.

South Cherry Street between Front and Vinal streets in the village of Wittenberg was also closed for a time Thursday morning as was a portion of River Road in the town of Aniwa.

Water was also reported coming up over the roadway by the Leopolis dam and pond at Shawano Avenue and Edwards street in the town of Pella.

Shawano County Emergency Management Director James Davel said it is typically the northwest portion of the county that is most prone to flooding in low-level areas.

“The Embarrass is typically the river in the county that we have the most difficulty with,” he said. “In Bowler on the Embarrass, we had some washouts from the rain. County crews had to go out there and fix some culverts Thursday morning.”

Though there were no county roads that had to be closed, Davel said, “we had one area of School House Road by Bowler that they shut down to fix a culvert.”

More problems were reported on Friday, when the Shawano Dam requested about 50 sandbags to protect the powerhouse on Poplar Road in the town of Richmond.

“They were getting some water in the powerhouse,” Davel said. “At no time was the dam in any kind of danger.”

The county highway department and emergency management both responded.

Davel said the problems began after the storms last Wednesday that dropped about two inches of rain in Shawano County.

“The problem we really had was north of us,” Davel said. “They got close to three or four inches. That affected the Wolf and the Embarrass rivers.”

Even the Red River was at highly unusual water levels before it began receding over the weekend.

“The Red is the highest it’s been in almost 50 years,” Davel said. “There were some homes on the Red that did get some water in. It started receding Friday and it’s been coming down steady.”

Davel said the big concern right now isn’t in Shawano County but along the Wolf River near Shiocton, which was already above flood stage and affecting homes and businesses in the area.

Davel noted that the county does not have to resources to assist private property owners that could be vulnerable to flooding.

“If you can get flood insurance, get flood insurance,” he said. “That’s the number one thing. Second thing is, you need to have a plan of where to go if your home starts flooding. If you live along the river,” you need to have a plan.”

Davel said the county can’t hand out sandbags that it might need and doesn’t have the manpower to protect homes.

“Each individual is responsible for their home, their property,” he said. “If they live on the river they should have their own set as a kit of sandbags.”

Davel said Shawano County has so far fared better than some other areas in terms of flooding.

“We’ve been very fortunate,” he said. “We’re in good shape.”

Meanwhile, flooding problems that Menominee County experienced last week have also subsided, according to Menominee County Emergency Management Director Shelly Williams.

“The river is still a bit high, but we’ve been fortunate. We haven’t had any horrendous flooding,” she said.

Rising water did cause some problems, however, including the closing down of state Highway 55 between County Road M East and County Road M West where part of the shoulder was washed away.

“They closed it, and our highway department, once the water calmed down a bit, ended up having to go out and lay new bedrock and gravel and basically rebuild the shoulder, which they did an awesome job,” she said.

Williams said a creek and culvert running under the highway got so much water so quickly that the culvert was overwhelmed.

In other areas, there was some sandbagging done by the Menominee Tribe in the area of state Highway 47 and County Road VV.

“We do have people who have been dealing with water in the basement,” Williams said.

Williams said things might have actually been helped by the depth of frost that set in during the winter.

“The frost line have must have dropped down fairly significantly because a lot of areas I see that are normally really muddy and really bad actually have dried out fairly decently,” she said.

Keshena man arrested on Texas warrant

Mon, 04/22/2019 - 9:00pm
He’s accused of smuggling illegal immigrantsBy: 

Tim Ryan [email protected]


A Keshena man was arrested Thursday in Shawano on a Texas warrant accusing him of smuggling illegal immigrants in that state.

Jason K. Pyawasit, 40, was initially arrested in McMullen County, Texas in May of last year when his pickup truck was pulled over by sheriff’s deputies for not displaying a front license plate.

Also in the vehicle were four men, all determined to be in the country illegally. Three of the men were found concealed in the truck’s bed under a soft cover, according to court records.

Pyawasit was also found to be in possession of methamphetamine.

The four men he was transporting were sent back to Mexico, according to authorities.

Pyawasit was a passenger in a vehicle pulled over Thursday by Shawano police at Andrews and Center streets for having a loud exhaust shortly before midnight.

Police said Pyawasit had an active warrant out of Texas for smuggling of persons and drug trafficking. He was taken into custody and is being held on the Texas warrant with a bond of $150,000.

Also arrested in Thursday’s traffic stop was the driver, a 38-year-old Neopit woman, taken into custody for possession of Schedule II & III controlled substances and possessing a prescription drug without a prescription.

Public Record

Mon, 04/22/2019 - 8:57pm

Shawano Police Department

April 21

Police logged 26 incidents, including the following:

Burglary — An attempted burglary was reported at the Wisconsin House, 216 E. Green Bay St.

Disturbances — A charge of disorderly conduct/domestic violence was referred against a 29-year-old Shawano woman after a disturbance in the 400 block of East Division Street. Police also responded to a disturbance in the 300 block of West Division Street and a domestic disturbance in the 1300 block of South Evergreen Street.

Threatening — Police responded to a threatening complaint in the 200 block of East Randall Street.

Drug Offense — Police investigated a drug complaint in the 300 block of West Swan Street.

April 20

Police logged 22 incidents, including the following:

Theft — Medication was reported stolen in the 600 block of South Lincoln Street.

Drug Offense — Two juveniles from Marinette County were turned over to their parents after police investigated a drug complaint at Lincoln and Schurz Street.

Accidents — Police responded to property damage accidents at Fifth and Union streets and at Engel and Industrial drives.

Disturbances — Police responded to disturbances in the 100 block of Acorn Street and at Airport Drive and Green Bay Street, and a domestic disturbance in the 200 block of South Union Street.

Disorderly — Disorderly conduct was reported in the 900 block of South Washington Street.

April 19

Police logged 32 incidents, including the following:

Prowling — A 21-year-old Shawano woman was cited for prowling after a short foot pursuit.

Disturbances — A 21-year-old Shawano woman was arrested for disorderly conduct/domestic violence after a domestic disturbance in the 400 block of Humphrey Circle. Police also responded to disturbances on Mountain Bay Trail Drive and in the 600 block of South Cleveland Street, and domestic disturbances in the 400 block of West Picnic Street and 1700 block of Estates Lane.

Theft — Police responded to theft complaints in the 200 block of South Union Street and at CoVantage Credit Union, 911 E. Green Bay St.

Shoplifting — Walmart, 1244 E. Green Bay St., reported a shoplifting incident.

Warrant — A 40-year-old man was arrested on an Oconto County warrant in the 2900 block of East Richmond Street.

Trespass — Police responded to a trespassing complaint at Quality Inn and Suites, 104 N. Airport Drive.

April 18

Police logged 40 incidents, including the following:

Fraud — Police investigated a fraud complaint at Kwik Trip, 1241 E. Green Bay St.

Trespass — Police responded to a trespassing complaint in the 200 block of South Sawyer Street.

Truancy — Police logged five truancy complaints from the Shawano School District.

Drug Offense — Police investigated a drug complaint in the 800 block of East Richmond Street.

Hit and Run — A property damage hit-and-run was reported at Aldi’s, 1253 E. Green Bay St.

Disorderly — Police responded to a disorderly conduct complaint at ThedaCare Medical Center, 100 County Road B.

Drug Offense — A 38-year-old Neopit woman was arrested for possession of Schedule II & III controlled substances and possessing a prescription drug without a prescription after police pulled over a vehicle for a loud exhaust at Andrews and Center streets. A 40-year-old Keshena man who was a passenger in the vehicle was arrested on a Texas warrant.

Shawano County Sheriff’s Department

April 21

Deputies logged 28 incidents, including the following:

Disturbance — Authorities responded to a domestic disturbance on County Road M in the town of Grant.

OAS — A 30-year-old Shawano man was cited for operating after suspension on East Green Bay Street in Shawano.

OWI — An 18-year-old Bonduel man was arrested for operating while intoxicated on County Road A in Bowler.

April 20

Deputies logged 55 incidents, including the following:

Disturbances — A 31-year-old Wittenberg woman was arrested for a probation and parole violation after a disturbance on Genesee Street in Wittenberg. Authorities also responded to a disturbance on Primrose Lane in Tigerton and a domestic disturbance on Red Oak Lane in the town of Wittenberg.

OAR — A 26-year-old Shawano man was cited for operating after revocation on state Highway 29 in Shawano.

Warrants — A 35-year-old Shawano woman was arrested on a warrant on state Highway 47-55 in the town of Wescott and a 28-year-old Stetsonville man was arrested on a warrant on state Highway 29 in the town of Hartland.

Theft — Authorities responded to a property theft complaint on Potch Ha Chee Road in the town of Wittenberg.

OWI — A 22-year-old De Pere man was arrested for operating while intoxicated after a minor accident on Soo Line Road in the town of Lessor.

Accidents — Authorities logged three deer-related crashes.

April 19

Deputies logged 47 incidents, including the following:

OAR — A 33-year-old Marinette woman was cited for operating after revocation on Cecil Street in Bonduel.

Disturbances — Authorities responded to disturbances on state Highway 22 in the town of Belle Plaine, Cedar Street in Eland and Mill Street in Eland, and a domestic disturbance on Hillview Road in the town of Herman.

OWL — A 17-year-old Oneida male was cited for operating without a license on Cecil Street in Bonduel.

Burglary — A burglary was reported on Short Lane in the town of Birnamwood.

Accidents — Authorities logged five deer-related crashes.

April 18

Deputies logged 44 incidents, including the following:

Fraud — A 34-year-old Green Bay man was arrested for theft by fraud and resisting arrest at Kwik Trip, 102 W. Express Way in Bonduel. Authorities also investigated an internet scam complaint on Ellms Street in Wittenberg.

Disturbance — Authorities responded to a disturbance on Grand Avenue in Wittenberg.

Accidents — Authorities logged four deer-related crashes.

Clintonville Police Department

April 21

Police logged five incidents, including the following:

Disturbance — Police responded to family disturbance on East 14th Street.

April 20

Police logged eight incidents, including the following:

Disturbance — A disturbance was reported on East Second Street.

WisconsinEye to continue to broadcast

Mon, 04/22/2019 - 8:56pm

On behalf of their state Legislative chambers, Senator Scott Fitzgerald (R-Juneau) and Speaker Robin Vos (R-Rochester) have signed a new, four-year agreement with the WisconsinEye Public Affairs Network, ensuring the actions of the Legislature are accessible to citizens everywhere.

WisconsinEye provides live and archived coverage of state Capitol proceedings, including floor sessions, public hearings, committee meetings, news conferences, and other events in both houses of the legislature.

“We are excited to continue providing nonpartisan, gavel-to-gavel coverage and insightful programming on state-related issues,” said WisconsinEye president Jon Henkes. “This independent, privately funded network would not exist were it not for the support of the Legislature. Our thanks to Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald and Assembly Speaker Robin Vos for their commitment to Wisconsin’s tradition of accessibility to, and openness in state government.”

“WisconsinEye provides an invaluable service to Wisconsinites, and I’m excited that we’re continuing to partner with them to bring more transparency to the legislative process,” said Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald. “The Legislature’s activities will continue to be readily accessible for our constituents.”

“WisconsinEye allows for more public engagement in the legislative process by bringing the legislature to homes and cell phones across the state,” said Assembly Speaker Robin Vos. “I’m glad that we’re continuing this important public service.”

Senate and Assembly coverage is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week on the WisconsinEye website ( and Spectrum cable TV statewide.

Dairy Margin Coverage payments announced

Mon, 04/22/2019 - 8:55pm

USDA’s Farm Service Agency (FSA) announced this week that the February 2019 income over feed cost margin was $8.22 per hundredweight (cwt.), triggering the second payment for dairy producers who purchase the appropriate level of coverage under the new but yet-to-be established Dairy Margin Coverage (DMC) program.

DMC, which replaces the Margin Protection Program for Dairy, is a voluntary risk management program for dairy producers that was authorized by the 2018 Farm Bill. DMC offers protection to dairy producers when the difference between the all milk price and the average feed cost (the margin) falls below a certain dollar amount selected by the producer.

Sign up for DMC will open by mid-June of this year. At the time of sign up, producers who elect a DMC coverage level between $8.50 and $9.50 would be eligible for a payment for February 2019.

For example, a dairy operation that chooses to enroll an established production history of 3 million pounds (30,000 cwt.) that elects the $9.50 coverage level on 95 percent of production would receive $3,040 for February.

Sample calculation:

$9.50 - $8.22 margin = $1.28 difference.

$1.28 x 95 percent of production x 2,500 cwt. (30,000 cwt./12) = $ 3,040.

DMC premiums are paid annually. The calculated annual premium for coverage at $9.50 on 95 percent of a 3-million-pound production history for this example would be $4,275.

Sample calculation:

3,000,000 x 95 percent = 2,850,000/100 = 28,500 cwt. x 0.150 premium fee = $4,275.

The dairy operation in the example calculation will pay $4,275 in total premium payments for all of 2019 and receive $6,626.25 in Dairy Margin Coverage payments for January and February combined. Additional payments will be made if calculated margins remain below the $9.50/cwt level.

All participants are also required to pay an annual $100 administrative fee in addition to any premium, and payments will be subject to a 6.2 percent reduction to account for federal sequestration.

Operations making a one-time election to participate in DMC through 2023 are eligible to receive a 25 percent discount on their premium for the existing margin coverage rates. For the example above, this would reduce the annual premium by $1,068.75.

“The Dairy Margin Coverage program will provide an important financial safety net for dairy producers, helping them weather shifting milk and feed prices,” FSA Administrator Richard Fordyce said. “We continue to work diligently to implement the DMC program and other FSA programs authorized by the 2018 Farm Bill.”

Additional details about DMC and other Farm Bill program changes can be found at

Plan to extend hunting season scrapped

Fri, 04/19/2019 - 3:36am
County seeing overabundance of deer per square mileBy: 

Lee Pulaski [email protected]

Plans to recommend a holiday hunt over Christmas and New Year’s Day, along with extending the crossbow and archery season until the end of January 2020 were scrapped by the Shawano County Deer Advisory Council.

The council voted unanimously against holding a holiday hunt after many spoke out Wednesday against having an extended season that infringed on snowmobilers enjoying their winter sport. While there is no law that prevents snowmobilers from enjoying the trails any time there is snow on the ground, some private property owners do not opt to open trails on their land until hunters have left for safety reasons.

The CDAC had originally brought up the idea of extending the hunting season as a way of reducing an overswollen deer population in the county. James Weinmann said he had initially brought it up to give hunters more time to help trim the herd, which is estimated at more than 70 deer per square mile for Shawano County.

“You can look at me and blame me. I’m the chief proponent for proposing the holiday hunt and extending the bow season to Jan. 31,” Weinmann said. “We’ve realized what a huge blessing and curse we have in Shawano County to have this number of deer, and now we have too many deer, and we have to do something about it.”

It is preferable for hunters to get the deer and use the meat and skins as they see fit, Weinmann said. The alternative to that is seeing deer starve due to a limited food supply in the county during warmer seasons or potentially losing thousands of deer in a harsh winter season.

“Something like this we can avoid by being good stewards of the land,” Weinmann said.

Carl Barkow suggested that something be done to push for more private property owners to shoot deer on their land, as that is where most of the deer hide once hunters are permitted to hunt.

“Until you figure out a plan to get the private landowners to get the does off their property, this isn’t going to work,” Barkow said.

Carol Gruenewald, a county landowner and director of the Shawano County Snowmobilers Association, said she didn’t see the likelihood that hunters would continue hunting into January, and that the proposal would only hurt snowmobilers.

“As a landowner, I think I’m doing my fair share to shoot does. We shoot does before we shoot a buck,” Gruenewald said. “We’re trying to help the county out, but we have issues with people surrounding us who have tons of deer, who feed the deer who get caught, but then they come back on the snowmobile clubs and harass us by shutting the trails down.”

Gruenewald added that the new laws reporting kills online rather than at designated stations around the county have greatly reduced patronage at area bars, whereas snowmobilers help to fill hotel rooms and patronize gas stations, restaurants and other businesses.

“It’s more of an economic benefit to the county and for tourism to represent the snowmobile club, because we’re putting the money out there,” she said.

Sally Jo Stevens, a landowner in Germania and the general manager of a Wittenberg hotel, said that her hotel counts on snowmobile business in order to help get through winter months. Stevens also is president of the Shawano County Tourism Council and expressed concern that limited time for snowmobiling would make a dent in the economy.

“I feel that I would experience a drastic impact if the snowmobile trails were not opened,” Stevens said.

Kevin Marquette, of Shawano, urged hunters to resist the temptation to pursue only bucks and instead kill does as a better way to manage the deer population. He noted that, even if hunters have enough meat to suit their needs, there are organizations that collect meat and distribute to those in need.

“If you don’t want them all, there are programs like Hunt for the Hungry, where you can donate the deer to the food pantry,” Marquette said. “I personally collected over 800 pounds of meat one year for St. Martin’s in Cecil. It does go to good use.”

Although the CDAC voted down the extended hunting season, members hinted at looking at a doe-only season in 2020 in order to cut down the deer population.

RDA takes possession of 2 blighted buildings

Fri, 04/19/2019 - 3:35am
Agreement ends SIST condemnation proceedingsBy: 

Carol Ryczek [email protected]

The Samanta Roy Institute of Science and Technology has agreed to sell two blighted downtown Shawano buildings to the Shawano Redevelopment Authority, ending months of inaction as SIST fought condemnation proceedings in court, Shawano City Administrator Eddie Sheppard announced at the Shawano Business Improvement District annual meeting on Thursday.

SIST agreed to the sale of the 214-216 S. Main St. properties for what Sheppard said was the original offer, $32,000 for both properties. That figure represents what was considered a fair market value for the buildings, he said.

The RDA is allowed to use Tax Incremental Financing funds for property acquisition, he said.

The announcement, and speculation that the buildings would come down this summer, brought a round of applause from the attendees, mostly downtown business owners, at the BID meeting at Angie’s cafe.

The Shawano RDA, a semi-independent panel tasked with addressing vacant and blighted buildings in the city, filed a condemnation petition in March against the long-vacant SIST properties at 214-216 S. Main St. and 143-145 S. Main St., citing building inspections that raised health and safety concerns.

The proceedings were scheduled for a court hearing in June. City officials had said they reached out to SIST to attempt to settle the matter out of court.

Sheppard called the negotiation process “long and arduous.” He said SIST representatives indicated they wanted to keep the 143-145 S. Main St. properties and the RDA agreed to allow more time to upgrade them in exchange for quicker action on the 214-216 buildings.

The agreement on the 214-216 S. Main St. buildings was reached last week, Sheppard said.

“We were pleased that we could come to an agreement,” Sheppard said. He said that recently, there have been “productive conversations” with the attorney for the SIST group.

The next steps, he said, will be to assess whether or not the buildings can be salvaged. If not, they will be demolished and replaced with a “green space” until the city decides what direction to take in downtown redevelopment.

At one point, the concept of a city plaza connecting the east and west sides of the 200 block of Main Street had been proposed, but without ownership of those properties, it was impossible to even discuss the proposals, he said.

Main Street saddle replacement underway

Fri, 04/19/2019 - 3:33am
Project expected to take 2-3 weeksBy: 

Tim Ryan [email protected]

The long-awaited saddle replacement project on Main Street got underway this week, beginning north of Main Street up to Third Street for the first phase.

The entire project will cover Main Street from just south of the channel to the end of the 200 block of South Main Street.

At issue are stainless steel saddles (a type of metal sleeve) that hold the service connection to the water main. They were installed during the Main Street reconstruction project in 2002 and 2003. The project stretched from the channel to the Mountain Bay Trail at Oshkosh Street.

The Shawano Common Council approved borrowing up to $180,000 from the Shawano Lake Sanitary District to cover the cost of replacing 71 saddles along Main Street.

The loan will be paid back over a five-year period with an interest rate of 3 percent.

The project is being done by DeGroot Inc.

Funding for the project will come from the Department of Public Works’ water utility fund, though the utility will borrow the money from the State Trust Fund.

Main Street will remain passable during the project, but traffic will be cut to single lanes, with parking prohibited.

Public Works Director Scott Kroening said each phase of the project should take three to five days, depending on the weather.

Work south of Main Street should begin some time next week, he said.

Water will be cut off to most properties during at least a portion of the work day, but, Kroening said, public works and the contractor are working with businesses to make sure they have water when they need it and, in some cases, like restaurants and hair salons, ensuring they will have water at all times.

The project was supposed to take place last September, but due to weather and the contractor falling behind on other projects, the work was delayed until now.

A corroded saddle was blamed for a water main break outside Dreier Pharmacy at 117 S. Main St. on Jan. 4 of last year, the latest in a series of saddle failures over the last several years.

The city has been plagued with failing saddles since 2009.

Two water main breaks occurred in the 100 block of North Main Street in February 2009 and December 2010, only about 50 to 75 feet away from one another. Another saddle failed in the 200 block of South Main Street in September 2013.

It was determined that high levels of chloride in the soil were responsible for those saddle failures.

Random soil tests were done in 2015 by Mach IV Engineering, of Green Bay. Out of 20 locations sampled, chloride levels above 500 parts per million were found at three locations. Five others had chloride levels above 300 ppm.

The stainless steel used in the saddles could start to deteriorate at chloride levels over 300 ppm, according to city officials. At levels above 500 ppm, the deterioration is much faster.

Chloride levels in the area of the three previous water main breaks were in the range of 900 ppm, as a result of years of street salt seeping into the soil.

The new saddles, which will be brass this time, will be wrapped in heavy plastic, and additional backfill will be added to protect the saddles from the chloride.