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Updated: 28 min 36 sec ago

City lists historic sites as blighted

Thu, 06/30/2016 - 10:27pm
County objects to redevelopment actionBy: 

Scott Williams, [email protected]


Leader Photo by Scott Williams The two buildings shown at Heritage Park were listed by the city as blighted, but county officials have raised objections and received assurances that no repairs are required.

Shawano County has joined other property owners voicing concern about seeing their properties listed as blighted in a city of Shawano redevelopment plan.

The county raised objections after receiving notification that the city had cited part of the Shawano County Historical Society complex in county-owned Heritage Park.

City officials have responded with assurances that they have no plans to require any improvements or enforce any new standards on the historical society properties.

Historical society board president Michael Eidahl said he was surprised by the city’s blight designation, noting that the organization’s properties are, by definition, historic structures.

“They’re going to look old,” Eidahl said. “We’re trying to maintain some history there.”

The nonprofit historical society, located at 524 N. Franklin St., is included among 391 properties listed in the city’s new redevelopment plan to combat deteriorated or neglected properties, largely in the city’s downtown area.

Acting through its Redevelopment Authority, the city plans to create a special redevelopment district to direct resources at fixing up certain targeted properties — or possibly condemning them.

City Administrator Brian Knapp said the historical society’s properties are not targeted for any sort of crackdown.

“They’re not a priority at all,” he said. “We appreciate the historic nature of those buildings.”

In drawing the proposed redevelopment district, the city was required under state law to demonstrate that at least 50 percent of the properties are blighted in one way or another. State law sets that threshold before allowing a city to create a district harnessing tax revenue for focused repair efforts.

Noting that the definition of blight can include such minor issues as vacant land or peeling paint, Knapp said the historical society’s properties were included because they are under-utilized by state law standards.

“It meets the statutory definition of blight,” he said. “Therefore, we called it blighted.”

Other affected property owners were similarly alarmed last month when the city sent letters notifying them that they were included in the proposed redevelopment district. About half of the 391 properties are categorized as blighted, but officials have said only 32 are targeted as clean-up priorities.

The historical society properties identified as blighted include an industrial structure that is several decades old and another that was built at Heritage Park as a storage facility for the society.

The county’s corporation counsel, Tony Kordus, responded with a June 24 letter to the city expressing concern about the blight designation.

“The properties are not blighted,” Kordus wrote, “but are properly used and well maintained by the historical society.”

If the city changes its approach on the redevelopment district to require any improvements at Heritage Park, the letter added, the county would consider that “an improper burdening of publicly owned and publicly utilized property.”

The historical society is open to the public at Heritage Park to showcase a variety of historic structures and teach visitors about the community’s heritage.

Eidahl acknowledged that some of the group’s buildings could stand a fresh coat of paint and other upkeep. The nonprofit organization uses a planned maintenance program to care for its properties as funding allows, he said.

He voiced confidence that the properties would meet the city’s standards.

“Hopefully they will be taken care of and they will not look so bad,” he said. “I’m sure they’ll pass the test.”

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Authorities seeking suspect in Cecil assault

Thu, 06/30/2016 - 10:25pm
By: 

Leader Staff

Shawano County authorities are seeking the public’s help in locating a suspect believed to have been involved in an assault in Cecil on Saturday.

Sheriff’s deputies were called out to the assault complaint about 4 p.m.

A man sustained substantial injuries as a result of the assault, which appeared to stem from a possible road rage incident that occurred a short time before the altercation, according to the sheriff’s department.

Witnesses reported seeing a white Mercedes leaving the village eastbound on Freeborn Street.

They reported seeing a male driver in his 40s, 5-foot-10, muscular, combed-back hair, clean shaven and wearing a bright blue shirt with a possible tear. There was a female passenger in the vehicle. She was likely a witness to the altercation, the sheriff’s department said.

The male and female remain unidentified at this time.

The vehicle was seen in the area of White Clay Lake a short time after the altercation.

The driver might have an injury in the area of his left eye as a result of the incident.

Anyone that was in the area at the time of the incident and has information that would assist with identifying the vehicle or suspect is encouraged to call the sheriff’s office at 715-526-3111.

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Lakeland Care wins national award

Thu, 06/30/2016 - 10:24pm

The Lakeland Care District has received national recognition as one of the “Healthiest Companies in America” by Interactive Health, a provider of health management solutions.

Lakeland Care District, which serves Shawano County residents, was one of 153 companies throughout the United States recognized for embracing the mission of implementing life-changing preventive health care in the workplace. This is the second year Lakeland Care District has won the award.

The award is given to organizations that have helped transform their employees’ lives by offering wellness programs combining thorough health evaluations with personalized results. The initiatives help organizations such as Lakeland Care move employees from high-risk health status to lower risk through high levels of employee participation.

Lakeland Care District implemented annual health evaluations for its employees six years ago and today continues to target healthy initiatives focused on five risk factors. Employees have made improvements in key areas such as reduced blood pressure; glucose, triglycerides, LDL cholesterol levels; and smoking cessation. Seventy-two percent of its participants in the 2015 health evaluation scored in the low-risk category.

Lakeland Care District encourages its employees to walk throughout their workday, and supports employee participation in quarterly wellness challenges and various local activities such as 5K runs/walks and marathons.

“Lakeland Care employees provide important long-term care supports and services to the elderly and people with disabilities living in communities throughout Northeastern Wisconsin,” CEO Katie Mnuk said. “Supporting our employees’ health and well-being is a natural extension of our company’s mission.”

The Lakeland Care District operates Family Care, a Medicaid Managed Care program that provides long-term support and services to thousands of eligible frail seniors and adults with disabilities in Northeastern Wisconsin, helping them live more independently. The LCD partners with a wide range of service providers so its members have choices for how they live at home and in their community.

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Tribal college’s founder says farewell

Thu, 06/30/2016 - 10:23pm
Fowler helped build Menominee higher learning instituteBy: 

Lee Pulaski, [email protected]


VERNA FOWLER

On her last day of work at the College of Menominee Nation, Verna Fowler still carried the weight of providing a quality education to her students.

When the college’s founder and president starts her retirement Friday, that burden will be lifted, and she will be free to do whatever she wants.

Don’t ask her what she wants to do once she’s retired, however. For the first time in decades, Fowler will have no itinerary.

“It’s supposed to be retirement. Why should I have to do anything?” Fowler said.

Pursuing new challenges might not be out of the question, as Fowler has made a habit of taking on difficult tasks. If she hadn’t, CMN might not exist today.

“When the Tribal Legislature asked me to develop a tribal college, my initial response was no,” Fowler said, noting that a lot of her educational experience came from leading parochial schools — Sacred Heart Catholic School in Shawano and St. Rose Catholic School in Clintonville.

When the tribe came knocking again, however, Fowler decided to accept the challenge, because she was able to see that the post-high school options for students on the reservation were limited.

“Kids were either looking at going into the military, working in the forest, or working at the mill,” Fowler said.

Fowler was hired to develop CMN in fall 1992, and she had a plan in place by the start of 1993. The issue was whether she could succeed. As she opened up enrollment for CMN’s initial classes — four in all — she was unsure about whether, like in “Field of Dreams,” if she built it they would come.

Fowler was pleasantly surprised, however, when almost 50 students registered for the spring 1993 semester. The majority of the students were not recent high school graduates, though; they were mostly adults with some life experience under their belts, usually heads of their household.

“It took about six or seven years before the younger students started to take notice,” Fowler said, noting that the initial classes of older adults had the side effect of those graduates encouraging their children to further their education through college.

Tribal colleges provide a benefit to students as they transition from high school to higher education, Fowler said. Students who spend their first two years at CMN have a 50 percent higher probability of graduating with a bachelor’s degree from a four-year university than those who go directly to a university, she said.

“If you graduate from here, your success at a university is almost guaranteed,” Fowler said.

She has never wavered from that belief, having heard from countless students who have gone to a university for a year or two and returned to the reservation more than $10,000 in debt. Choosing to go to a tribal college, where tuition is lower, gives students a chance to get more input from teachers than they get at universities, where some classes are held with several hundred students in a lecture hall, Fowler said.

“You hear so much about how costly it is to get into college, and the average student out of the UW System graduates with about $28,000 in debt,” she said. “I think people should be careful going after education loans, because parents don’t realize that when you co-sign that loan, and the students ignore it … they’ll come after you.”

When Fowler first started the college, which was the 29th tribal college in the country at the time, she had no first-hand knowledge of what it took to run a higher learning institution. She said she relied heavily on other tribal college leaders to give her the knowledge she needed to make CMN a success.

Diana Morris will serve as interim president when Fowler steps down but has not thrown her hat in the ring to hold the post permanently, according to a CMN press release. A date for appointing a permanent leader has not been determined by the college board of trustees.

In the 23 years she has operated the college, Fowler has transitioned from the newcomer needing input from others to being the mentor helping other aspiring college leaders.

“Tribal colleges are the most underfunded in the country,” Fowler said. “You can’t just sit back and wait for things to get done. I like to be at the table. I serve on boards. I serve on committees. That way, I know ahead of time what’s coming, and I can position myself.”

While many credit Fowler with giving Menominee children a better chance for future success, she says faculty members were responsible for many of the ideas that made CMN the success it is today.

“I believe that you should always hire people who are smarter than you, because they will be the ones to get things done,” Fowler said.

Fowler will leave the college with no regrets. She said it’s not because she hasn’t made mistakes or had some bumps or roadblocks on the path, but because she has never been the kind of person to look back.

“I don’t believe in looking back. I believe it’s better to look forward,” Fowler said.

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Fourth of July Schedule

Thu, 06/30/2016 - 10:22pm

Here’s a guide to area activities over the Fourth of July weekend:

Saturday, July 2

Cloverleaf Lakes Kiddie and Pontoon Parades: Cloverleaf Lakes Chain, town of Belle Plaine. Parade at 10 a.m. at boat launch on County Road Y, pontoon parade at 6:30 p.m. on Pine and Grass lakes.

Shawano Farmers Market: Franklin Park, Shawano. 8 a.m. to noon. More than 20 regular vendors selling fruits, vegetables, flowers, cheeses, crafts or other products. Music by Skip Jones. Nonprofit fundraiser: SAM25.

Gresham: Parade 11 a.m. Family Fun Fest from noon to dusk at Veterans Park on Main Street. Bike raffle, cake walk, petting zoo, bounce house, games, water play area, dance performances, food vendors, craft and sale vendors, 50/50 raffle and fireworks at dusk.

Middle Village: Fireworks sponsored by Town of Menominee Fire Department. Dusk.

Sunday, July 3

Clintonville: DJ, food, music and activities begin at 5 p.m. at Olen Field. Fireworks at dusk (rain date July 5).

Bonduel Civic Association Antique Car Show: Cedar Park, 617 W. Green Bay St., Bonduel. Seven classes of vehicles. Food and beverages. 8 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Gillett: Truck and Antique Tractor Pull, 7-11 p.m. at Zippel Park. Music by Rapid Transit starting at 7 p.m.

Shawano: Ski Sharks show, Wolf River Beach, Smalley Park, 6 p.m.

Shawano: Fireworks at 9 p.m. at the Shawano City-County Airport.

Monday, July 4

Bonduel: Parade starts at 11 a.m. Bonduel Bike giveaway drawing will be held at 3 p.m. at Village Park. Bonduel Broncos will play at 1:30 p.m. Bonduel American Legion team will play Shawano following the Broncos’ game. TNT Polka Band will play from 1-6 p.m., followed by The Presidents from 7-11 in Village Park. Fireworks will begin about 9:45 p.m.

Bonduel Village Centennial: Village Park pavilion, Bonduel. Community Archives presents historic photographs, music, question-and-answer on village’s 100-year anniversary. 1-5 p.m. Free admission. 715-758-2687.

Leopolis Triathlon: The triathlon is sponsored by the Leopolis Booster Club and consists of three races: the jock class (50-yard swim, 12-mile bike and 5-mile run), the beer belly (50-yard swim, 5-mile bike, 2-mile run) and the 16 and under (50-yard swim, 5-mile bike and 2-mile run). Race begins at 11 a.m. There’s also a parade at 1:30 p.m., ballgame, refreshments, raffle, entertainment. 715-787-4402.

Gillett: Antique Car and Truck Show, 9 a.m. Horse pull starts at 10 a.m. Parade begins at 2 p.m. Lena Mini and Modified Tractor Pull starts at 6 p.m. Music by Jess Hav’n Phun at 3 p.m, professional wrestling show at 6 p.m. and Starfire Band at 8 p.m. Fireworks. All at Zippel Park.

Tigerton Block Party: Music, games, silent auction, and food at Community Park, Cedar Street. 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Fireworks at dusk.

Breed: Parade on County Road AA in Breed, bike giveaway, food, beverages and raffles all sponsored by the Breed Sportsman’s Club.

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Public Record

Thu, 06/30/2016 - 10:21pm

Shawano Police Department

June 29

Police logged 22 incidents, including the following:

Disturbance — A 25-year-old woman was arrested for domestic violence-related disorderly conduct after a disturbance in the 400 block of East Center Street.

Disturbance — Police responded to a disturbance involving a juvenile in the 1100 block of Birch Hill Lane.

Theft — A flat screen TV was reported stolen in the 500 block of East Green Bay Street.

Disturbance — Police responded to a disturbance in the 700 block of South Hamlin Street.

Shawano County Sheriff’s Department

June 29

Deputies logged 42 incident, including the following:

Suspicious — Authorities responded to a suspicious vehicle complaint on Butternut Road in the town of Richmond.

Warrant — A 23-year-old man was taken into custody on a warrant on state Highway 22 in the town of Belle Plaine.

Disturbance — Authorities responded to a domestic disturbance on U.S. Highway 45 in Tigerton.

Juvenile — Authorities responded to a juvenile problem on state Highway 156 in the town of Navarino.

Suspicious — Authorities responded to a suspicious person complaint on Railroad Avenue in Birnamwood.

Suspicious — Authorities responded to a suspicious person complaint on state Highway 156 in the town of Navarino.

Warrant — Authorities responding to a reckless driving complaint on Lake Drive in the town of Wescott arrested a 52-year-old Shawano man on a warrant.

Accidents — Authorities logged two deer-related crashes.

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Still no answers on 3rd anniversary of hit-and-run death

Wed, 06/29/2016 - 8:41pm
Family seeks public’s help againBy: 

Tim Ryan, [email protected]

Tuesday marked the third anniversary of the death of a Michigan man in a hit-and-run case that remains unsolved.

The family of Timothy J. Meade is once again calling for the public’s help in solving the case.

Meade, 22, of Stephenson, Michigan, was found about 2:30 a.m. June 28, 2013, in the eastbound lane of traffic on County Road M at the state Highway 29 overpass.

“He was struck in the eastbound lane and left to die,” the family said in a media release.

Meade had been visiting friends in the area and was headed back to their residence after leaving The Shack, a nearby drinking establishment. He left The Shack between 1:45 a.m. and 2 a.m.

He was seen by a passing motorist near the tracks just south of The Shack, talking or texting on his phone a short time later.

Around 2-2:10 a.m., a call was made from Meade’s phone.

His body was found a short time later.

“As much as we believe the driver is from the Shawano area, it is just as possible he/she was just passing through town,” the family said. “We do know the vehicle was traveling into Shawano at the point of impact.”

Detectives determined Meade was struck by an SUV or large vehicle that would have been headed eastbound on County Road M.

Autopsy results indicate Meade was lying down in the road at the time he was struck.

Shawano County Sheriff’s Detective Sgt. Gordon Kowaleski said extensive time and investigation has gone into the case over the last two years.

“It’s still an open case, but it’s gone cold,” he said.

“Somebody out there has knowledge of what happened,” Kowaleski said. “The family has a right to know what happened. We’d like to get closure for them.”

Anyone with information, no matter how insignificant, is asked to call the Sheriff’s Department.

People can also contact family members by private messaging Steve Edwards or Eileen Edwards on their Facebook pages, or by emailing [email protected] or [email protected].

“We fully believe somebody knows something,” the family said. “Please keep this story fresh in your minds and help us find the person/persons responsible.”

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Veterans seek peace from fireworks

Wed, 06/29/2016 - 8:40pm
Consideration urged during holidayBy: 

Scott Williams, [email protected]


Leader Photo by Scott Williams Michael Engel, a U.S. Army veteran, relaxes on the stoop outside his Shawano home, with a yard sign on display seeking consideration with fireworks displays.

Before setting off fireworks this Fourth of July, holiday revelers might want to consider whether their celebration is troubling military veterans who suffer lingering effects from combat duty.

Veterans often experience episodes of post-traumatic stress disorder when fireworks mimic the gunfire or explosions that fighting men and women have experienced on the battlefield.

With about 3,500 veterans living in Shawano County, advocates are urging fireworks fans to show a little respect this Fourth of July season.

Nick Maulson, a veteran who lives in Shawano, said a fireworks display last year in Clintonville triggered such nightmarish memories for him that he had to get away as quickly as possible.

“I couldn’t really handle it,” he said. “It set me off. I had to go hide.”

Maulson, 23, served in the U.S. Army for three years, including a tour of duty in Iraq that left him with both physical and emotional battle scars.

The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs estimates that post-traumatic stress disorder affects as many as one in five veterans who served in the recent wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Nick Benzinger, veterans service officer for Shawano County, said he has heard several veterans over the years express concern about the explosive sights and sounds of fireworks. He suspects that many more have the same adverse reaction but are hesitant to discuss the problem.

People should check with veterans around them before setting off firecrackers, bottle rockets or other popular holiday items, Benzinger said.

“Yeah, fireworks are neat and cool,” he said. “But for some people, they’re not so fun.”

Michael Engel, another veteran in Shawano, has posted a sign outside his house requesting consideration with fireworks and indicating, “Combat veteran lives here.”

Engel, a U.S. Army veteran who saw combat in both Iraq and Afghanistan, said he has tried leaving town during the holidays or wearing headphones with loud music. Being exposed to fireworks, he said, triggers tormenting flashbacks of dead bodies and other wartime horrors.

“I’m gone,” he said. “I’m somewhere else.”

The 32-year-old father of three, injured during his tour in Iraq, has gotten mixed reactions when asking neighbors to refrain from fireworks.

His wife, Stephine Engel, who purchased the yard sign for him, said she has seen him struggle with traumatic side effects from fireworks in the neighborhood or at the nearby Shawano Speedway. She has learned to recognize the blank stare that comes over his face.

“He shuts down,” she said.

Engel said he has undergone treatment for post-traumatic stress disorder.

Maulson said he has not been diagnosed or treated for anything, and he is hoping to try another fireworks display this holiday season to see if he can tolerate it.

Acknowledging that fireworks are a Fourth of July tradition, Maulson hopes people can enjoy themselves while showing consideration for military men and women.

“It’s part of the holidays,” he said. “Just be a little more cognizant of your surrounding veterans.”

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Hobbyist publisher was hot off the presses

Wed, 06/29/2016 - 8:38pm
Krause enjoyed printing success in ShawanoBy: 

Scott Williams, [email protected]


CHET KRAUSE
Leader Photo by Scott Williams The Wolf River Media printing plant in Shawano continues to print some of the specialty publications created by Chet Krause and his company, Krause Publications.

As a publishing entrepreneur, Chet Krause was a visionary whose visions came to life in a printing plant in Shawano.

The founder of Krause Publications built his empire on hobbyist periodicals, rolling out specialty magazines that catered to audiences ranging from antique lovers to animal trappers.

Krause contracted with a printing plant in Shawano and grew his Waupaca County-based company into a nearly $100-million-a-year operation that left a lasting imprint on his beloved community of Iola.

“He was a visionary,” Iola Village President Joel Edler said. “He meant such a great deal to this village.”

Krause, who suffered a stroke in 2014 and also had been battling congestive heart failure, died Saturday at a nursing facility in Iola. He was 92.

Born near Iola, Krause was the youngest of six children growing up on the family farm. As a young man, he turned his love of coin collecting into a publication called Numismatic News, theorizing that others who enjoyed the hobby would appreciate having their own magazine.

As circulation grew, Krause in the early 1960s struck a printing deal with the owners of the Shawano Evening Leader newspaper, predecessor to The Shawano Leader. The Shawano plant soon was printing and shipping thousands of copies of the coin collector magazine, along with others that Krause introduced for car buffs, toy collectors, sports fans and other hobbyists.

Rod Christensen, former publisher of the Leader, recalled that Krause Publications became such a formidable customer that the newspaper built a larger printing plant at 1464 E. Green Bay St., where the Leader remains today.

Christensen said the hobbyist magazine niche at one point included 18 periodicals and created jobs for more than 100 people in Shawano.

“That was the real mainstay of everything,” he said. “It was quite impressive.”

Krause Publications, in turn, was able to introduce more publications targeting new audiences because of the capacity of the printing plant in Shawano. Some of the magazines recorded circulation numbers as high as 60,000 readers throughout the United States and overseas in some cases.

Clifford Mishler, a longtime executive for Krause Publications, said he remembers hauling materials to Shawano, sometimes more than once a day, to keep numerous publications rolling off the presses and heading out the door to subscribers on a tight schedule.

“We had a wonderful, wonderful relationship in Shawano over the years,” Mishler said. “It was one of the central elements of our successful growth.”

Wolf River Media LLC, which purchased the Leader in 2006, continues printing many of the same periodicals for the new owners of Krause Publications. After peaking at nearly $100 million a year in sales, Krause Publications was acquired in 2002 by an outside investment group.

Although retired, Chet Krause remained active and continued philanthropic work in and around Waupaca County. He was founder of the Iola Car Show and Swap Meet, which draws more than 100,000 visitors a year. He also supported Rawhide Boys Ranch, Marshfield Clinic and other causes.

Funeral services are Friday in the gymnasium at Iola-Scandinavia High School in Iola.

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Open house planned at former Finney Library

Wed, 06/29/2016 - 8:35pm
Clintonville building was 1 of the Carnegie librariesBy: 

Grace Kirchner, Leader Correspondent


Photo by Grace Kirchner The former Finney Public Library was built with Carnegie Foundation funds 100 years ago. The building was built on a hill that was cut down 7 feet to accommodate the library. The land was donated by the late Dr. W.H. Finney. The public is invited to see the historic building at an open house from 4-6 p.m. Sunday.
Photo by Grace Kirchner Building owner Gerry O’Connor accumulated a large collection of books to fill the shelves of the former Finney Public Library, which is now home to O’Connor Realty.

The public is invited to an open house from 4-6 p.m. Sunday at the former Finney Public Library in Clintonville.

The library was built 100 years ago with funds from the Carnegie Library Foundation on land donated by Dr. W.H. Finney at 95 S. Main St. Since 1994, the building has been occupied by O’Connor Realty.

Gerry O’Connor, owner of the realty company, bought the building when it was put up for sale after a new library was constructed at the corner of Hemlock and Eighth streets.

“When I took a look at the sun shining through those beautiful windows, I decided to put my office here,” O’Connor said, although some people, including his mother, were a bit skeptical the building would fit the needs of him and his 14 employees.

Because of the building’s historical significance, the integrity of the building has to be maintained and renovations are limited. People from the State Historical Society advised O’Connor on what changes he could make.

He said he worked day and night because there were many things that had to be repaired.

The main counter is an exact duplicate to the original. The building has been insulated. O’Connor would like to lower the ceiling to lower his heating bills, but that is not allowed.

Visitors will see shelves filled with books and card catalogs that were used to keep track of the books being checked out (the cards were destroyed).

When the new library was built, students from the public school held a book brigade as they carried books from the Finney Library to the new library.

Since then, O’Connor has acquired many books to fill what were empty shelves. Many of the books came from the old Manawa library, and many have been donated. The collection includes law books from the late attorney William Kuester. Others came from donations from the new library.

Many of the shelves are also filled with antiques that were acquired at auctions or donated, such as milk cans, political signs, horse collars, water cooler, milk bottles, lanterns and more.

The library was constructed in 1916 and officially dedicated in 1917. The city received a grant of $9,000 in April 1915 from the Carnegie Library Foundation for the construction of a public library.

The money was donated by Scottish/American businessman and philanthropist Andrew Carnegie. Between 1886 and 1919, Carnegie’s donations of more than $40 million paid for 1,679 new library buildings in communities across America. The last one was built in 1919.

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Public Record

Wed, 06/29/2016 - 8:27pm

Shawano Police Department

June 28

Police logged 18 incidents, including the following:

Harassment — Police investigated a harassment complaint at Shawano Community High School, 220 County Road B.

Shoplifting — Goodwill Industries, 300 Lakeland Road, reported a shoplifting incident.

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

Assault — A sexual assault complaint was under investigation.

Hit and Run — A property damage hit-and-run was reported in the parking lot of the Shawano County Courthouse, 311 N. Main St.

Fireworks — Police responded to a fireworks complaint in the 200 block of South Union Street.

Shawano County Sheriff’s Department

June 28

Deputies logged 35 incidents, including the following:

Suspicious — Authorities responded to a suspicious person complaint on Bierman Road in the town of Aniwa.

Harassment — Authorities responded to a harassment complaint on Cozy Oaks Circle in the town of Wescott.

Threatening — Authorities responded to a threatening complaint on Cloverleaf Lake Road in the town of Belle Plaine.

Suspicious — Authorities responded to a suspicious person complaint on Peach Road in the town of Richmond.

Accidents — Authorities logged three deer-related crashes.

Clintonville Police Department

June 28

Police logged 11 incidents, including the following:

Theft — Theft of a controlled substance was reported on West Green Tree Road.

Fire — The fire department was dispatched to East 12th Street for a transformer on fire.

Suspicious — A suspicious incident was reported on 10th Street.

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2nd suit accuses police chief of sex discrimination

Tue, 06/28/2016 - 7:52pm
Investigation found only ‘communication issues’By: 

Kevin Murphy, Leader Correspondent

A Shawano Police Department employee has filed a civil suit in federal court against the city of Shawano over alleged sexual discrimination by Police Chief Mark Kohl and the city’s alleged inaction in responding to the issue.

It is the second suit filed alleging sexual discrimination by Kohl in as many months.

On Friday, Laura Chartraw alleged Kohl began sexually discriminating against her in February 2015, and when she complained to him and to city officials, Kohl retaliated by creating a hostile work environment.

Chartraw’s suit alleges Kohl commented on Chartraw’s appearance, telling her she wore “hooker boots” and remarked about her lack of makeup and her hair style.

When Chartraw complained to Kohl, he told her that is the way he talks to his wife and called Chartraw his “work wife,” according to the court filing.

Chartaw also alleged Kohl several times made comments to her about police officer NiCole Hoffmann, mentioning Hoffmann’s chest size, weight and eating habits. Chartraw told Kohl that his comments made her uncomfortable, but Kohl continued to make similar comments, she said.

Hoffmann filed suit against Kohl in May alleging sex discrimination for bypassing her and hiring a lower-ranked male applicant for a police officer vacancy in July 2014. The city is not named as a defendant in that case.

Kohl subsequently hired Hoffmann in January 2015, but her suit seeks damages for loss of past and future income.

Chartraw alleged that Kohl’s pattern of sex discrimination includes requiring female employees to tell him when they come or go to lunch. Chartraw is also required to personally greet Kohl, smile more and make eye contact with him when she is around him, according to the suit, which maintains Kohl does not require the same behavior from male employees.

When Chartraw told Kohl she does not appreciate the way he treats female employees, Kohl called her “insubordinate” and told her she “can’t handle her job,” despite no documented performance deficiencies, according to the suit.

The suit also alleges Kohl created a hostile environment at work by isolating Chartraw physically in her office, excluding her from management meetings and advising other employees not to speak to her.

On Nov. 4, 2015, Kohl yelled and belittled Chartraw at a meeting to a point where she feared for her safety and her job, the suit states.

Chartraw talked to then-Mayor Lorna Marquardt about Kohl’s harassment, but she took no action and Kohl continued to threaten Chartraw’s job and intimidate her, according to the suit.

Chartraw complained to City Administrator Brian Knapp, which resulted in the city hiring an outside attorney to investigate her complaints.

The investigation characterized the incidents between Chartraw and Kohl as “communication issues” and not sex/gender-based conduct, and did not analyze any of the incidents as retaliation.

The investigation found there was not sufficient evidence of illegal discrimination to pursue further action. The report did not recommend any disciplinary action against Kohl.

Kohl was not available for comment Tuesday.

Knapp said the city would not comment on any of Hoffmann’s or Chartraw’s allegations since they were matters in pending lawsuits.

Knapp also declined to release the report from the investigation of Chartraw’s complaint to city officials. He said it was a privileged attorney work product not subject to disclosure.

The suit alleges that the city failed to stop and thus condoned the hostile work environment created by Kohl, and failed to prevent and correct Kohl’s alleged harassment.

Chartraw has been employed by the Shawano Police Department since 1998, is the support services manager — a civilian position — and reports directly to Kohl.

Chartraw’s attorney, Sandra Graf Radtke, said her client followed proper procedures in reporting Kohl’s alleged discriminatory conduct but the city failed to properly investigate it.

“They found no sexual motivation (to Kohl’s conduct), but a hostile work environment doesn’t have to be motivated by sex but sex-based conduct, which we think there was,” Radtke said Tuesday.

Kohl’s most egregious incident occurred in the November meeting where many employees witnessed him lunge across the table, which resulted in his being told to undergo anger management training, Radtke said.

“It’s really unfortunate that the chief of police can’t conduct himself in a reasonable and professional manner, and that the mayor did nothing to help,” Radtke said.

Chartraw “really likes her job and is good at it,” but continues to work in a hostile environment, Radtke said.

Chartraw’s suit seeks a court order finding she has been sexually discriminated against and damages for wages she has lost and will lose based on alleged unlawful conduct.

She is requesting a jury trial in the case.

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ThedaCare-Shawano CEO Erdmann to retire

Tue, 06/28/2016 - 7:51pm
New London CEO also will oversee ShawanoBy: 

Leader Staff


DOROTHY ERDMANN

After leading the former Shawano Medical Center through a period of transition, integration with ThedaCare and the opening of a new hospital, ThedaCare Medical Center-Shawano CEO Dorothy Erdmann on Tuesday announced she will retire at the end of the year.

“I’m honored and proud of the hard work we did to bring the community together to enjoy this beautiful new medical center,” Erdmann said in a statement from ThedaCare. “It’s been a privilege to be part of securing health care for the Shawano community for the next 100 years.”

Erdmann said ThedaCare Medical Center-Shawano is the third hospital that she helped bring to life during her career.

Erdmann was named the new administrator and CEO at Shawano Medical Center in 2009, after 15 years of experience in hospital management at both a community and system level.

The position in Shawano was something of a homecoming for Erdmann and her family. She is originally from northeast Wisconsin, and completed both undergraduate and graduate studies at UW-Oshkosh. Her husband, Roger, is also from the area.

“I love community-based care,” Erdmann said during an interview in 2009. “My husband and I were already familiar with this area — we knew it was a nice community.”

Erdmann brought to SMC a background as a family nurse practitioner. She saw her position in administration as one with close ties to patient care.

“(My experience in nursing) brings a nice perspective to a leadership role. I understand the value of quality patient care,” Erdmann said in the 2009 interview.

She also saw the administrator’s role as a community leader and advocate for patients in the face of a changing political climate.

Erdmann took over SMC shortly after an expansion of the hospital facility, but by 2010 confidential discussions were already taking place about merging with ThedaCare.

In October 2010, the integration was announced.

The agreement included a $1.5 million contribution to the Shawano Medical Center Foundation, matching the foundation’s current assets, and plans for a new, shared facility that would eventually replace the existing SMC building.

Erdmann said the hospital would retain local control and its own governing board even after the integration.

Bill Schmidt, CEO at ThedaCare Medical Center-New London, will expand his role to include new responsibilities as CEO at ThedaCare Medical Center-Shawano after Erdmann’s retirement.

“Dorothy has been an incredible leader in the Shawano community,” said Brian Burmeister, senior vice president, ThedaCare Medical Centers. “She was instrumental in helping us build the new hospital in Shawano and created an environment where her team and the community welcomed the new facility and what it represents for the future. She will be missed.”

Burmeister also said he’s excited about the future as Schmidt expands his role early next year.

“Bill and Dorothy have worked as a team to evolve health care options in our rural areas, so he’s very familiar with the Shawano community,” he said. “He will lead the strategic work at both hospitals and expects to become more involved in the Shawano community.”

Peg School, ThedaCare Medical Center-New London, and Penny Block, ThedaCare Medical Center-Shawano, who are both directors of patient services and nursing, will continue to lead the clinical work at their respective hospitals.

“Dorothy and I approach leadership in similar fashion,” Schmidt said. “We believe it’s critical to establish a strong team culture, where everyone feels like they can share and learn from each other. ThedaCare is losing an outstanding leader, but I will do everything I can to make it a seamless transition. My goal is to continue the work she started there five years ago to ensure the Shawano community understands ThedaCare’s commitment to improving the quality of health care.”

Erdmann previously served as CEO at Owatonna Hospital, in Owatonna, Minn., part of Allina Hospitals & Clinics.

Prior to that, Erdmann was executive director of cardiovascular services for Abbott Northwestern Hospital in Minneapolis, also part of the Allina system.

She has also served in management positions at BellinHealth in Green Bay and Howard Young Healthcare in Woodruff.

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Shawano kids stricken with bug

Tue, 06/28/2016 - 7:50pm
Health department reports shigellosis outbreakBy: 

Scott Williams, [email protected]

Shawano County health officials have reported an outbreak of a bacterial infection that can cause severe diarrhea and has reached summer school students.

Officials identified the infection as shigellosis, which is highly contagious and often requires antibiotics for treatment.

The Shawano-Menominee Counties Health Department reported that the infection has occurred in recent weeks among children at Hillcrest Primary School in Shawano and at child care centers that were not identified.

The infection also has spread to some children’s families and adults, the health department said.

No estimate was released on the number of diagnosed cases.

Shawano School District Superintendent Gary Cumberland said he was unsure how many summer school students have been infected, but he said Hillcrest Primary School is taking precautions to avoid spreading the disease.

“The school is doing a deep clean each night after summer school gets out of each room that is being used, sanitizing each of the classrooms,” he said in an email. “We have also put a hand sanitizer gel for the students, and taking regular hand-washing breaks throughout the day.”

Cumberland indicated that the school district had sent information about the outbreak home to parents.

Health officials said regular hand-washing helps control the spread of shigellosis, especially after using the restroom and before handling food.

Jaime Bodden, the county’s public health director, could not be reached for comment.

In a prepared statement released Tuesday, the health department reported that shigellosis typically causes abdominal cramping, mild or severe diarrhea, and fever. Sufferers should stay home from work or school and should contact a physician, the department said.

The statement also indicated that cases of shigellosis are not uncommon during summer.

“It has been a while since we’ve had an outbreak,” the department said, “but we have been working closely with our partners to make sure parents and staff are educated.”

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Fireworks blamed for Wescott house fire

Tue, 06/28/2016 - 7:49pm
By: 

Leader Staff

Fireworks are being blamed for a residential fire Saturday in the town of Wescott.

Authorities responded about 4:45 p.m. to a call from homeowners on Lake Drive reporting that a firework had started their house on fire.

They initially believed they were able to put it out, according to the Shawano County Sheriff’s Department report, but deputies arriving on scene saw smoke still coming from the roof and paged out the Shawano Area Fire Department.

Sheriff’s Capt. Tom Tuma said the fire had been caused by a sparkler-type firework.

Tuma noted that it’s the time of year, with the Fourth of July approaching, that authorities begin seeing numerous fireworks complaints, usually due to the noise and the unreasonable hour some are set off.

Authorities are also often called when the fireworks raise concerns about the proximity of nearby structures.

People using fireworks, he said, “have to be sensitive to their surroundings. People are responsible for what they’re igniting.”

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2 injured in separate motorcycle crashes

Tue, 06/28/2016 - 7:48pm
By: 

Leader Staff

Two people were injured in separate car versus motorcycle crashes in Shawano and Cecil on Friday.

The first happened in Cecil shortly before noon when a 29-year-old Gillett man was struck on his motorcycle by a vehicle driven by a 65-year-old Cecil man.

He told authorities he did not see the motorcycle, according to the Shawano County Sheriff’s Department.

The crash took place at state Highway 22 and Freeborn Street. The extent of the motorcycle driver’s injuries was not known.

Shawano police then responded about 1 p.m. to a vehicle versus motorcycle crash at Green Bay and Main streets.

A vehicle driven by a 44-year-old woman was turning from northbound Main Street onto westbound Green Bay Street and entered the intersection on a green light, according to the police report.

The motorcycle driven by a 65-year-old man then entered the intersection from southbound Main Street and struck the rear passenger door.

The man was thrown from his motorcycle and sustained a head injury, according to the police report.

No citations have been issued, and both accidents remain under investigation.

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Brunch showcases classic family farm

Tue, 06/28/2016 - 7:47pm
Crowds flock to annual eventsBy: 

Scott Williams, [email protected]


Leader Photo by Scott Williams Children and adults take their turn looking around a barn Sunday during the Shawano County Brunch on the Farm at the Bonnin Family Farm.
Leader Photo by Scott Williams Grilling hash browns for hungry patrons Sunday at the Shawano County Brunch on the Farm are Jacob Sherman, 17, left, and Bryce Stomberg, 15, both of Shawano.

The sights, sounds and smells of farm life were on display Sunday as hundreds gathered for the annual Shawano County Brunch on the Farm.

Overnight thunderstorms cleared out just in time and the sunshine broke through for an enthusiastic crowd eager to sample farm cooking and experience a Shawano County farm up close.

Lisa Collett, who traveled from Pulaski with her kids, said they were spending an entire day tasting the food, petting the animals and playing on the tractors.

“We do everything,” she said. “We’ve got to see it all.”

The 33rd annual traveling showcase of Shawano County agriculture took place Sunday at the Bonnin Family Farm, a small dairy farm located just outside Bonduel.

Sponsored by the Shawano County Farm Bureau, the event featured an eggs-and-sausage breakfast for patrons who also were invited to tour the farm, meet the dairy cows, play children’s games, enjoy live music and much more. Admission was $7 for adults, $4 for kids.

Although thunderstorms hammered the area overnight, the storms caused no damage at the farm and were long gone before the festivities got started at 9 a.m.

Organizer Sheri Beilke estimated that 4,000 people would attend, which would be an increase from last year’s turnout of about 3,000.

Beilke, who co-chaired this year’s event with Bob Krause, credited Sunday’s sunny weather with drawing out the crowds.

“It’s been beautiful,” she said. “People have come out, and we’re so happy to see them.”

Some participants traveled from as far away as Wausau, Green Bay and Racine for the chance to experience a Shawano County dairy farm. Long lines developed at times, although patrons did not seem to mind waiting for a meal that also included cinnamon rolls, cheese and other treats.

Diane Milz, of Sheboygan, said there is just something special about farm-fresh food.

“It was a feast,” she said. “Even the ice cream is out of this world.”

The Bonnin farm, led by husband and wife Kevin and Shawn Bonnin, is a third-generation family farm that started in 1957 and today includes about 130 cows, as well as pigs, goats and miniature horses. Unlike some extra-large operations that have hosted Brunch on the Farm in the past, it is a more typical-sized traditional farm.

Patrons enjoyed getting a glimpse at a classic Shawano County family farm the way such farms have existed for generations.

Doug Jung, of Shawano, who attended with his grandchildren, said he grew up on a farm, and he enjoys showing his grandkids what it was like.

“They don’t know the farm life,” Jung said. “But they still like to see it.”

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Public Record

Tue, 06/28/2016 - 7:40pm

Shawano Police Department

June 27

Police logged 23 incidents, including the following:

Disturbance — Police responded to a disturbance in the 300 block of South Washington Street.

Disturbance — Police responded to a disturbance in the 300 block of South Sawyer Street.

Theft — People’s Express East, 1206 E. Green Bay St., reported the theft of 299 gallons of diesel fuel from an underground storage tank.

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

Shoplifting — Walgreens, 401 E. Green Bay St., reported a shoplifter made off with an 18-pack of Budweiser.

Hit and Run — Police responded to a property damage hit-and-run in the 1300 block of East Green Bay Street.

Shoplifting — Dunham’s Sports, 1211 E. Green Bay St., reported a shoplifting incident.

Disturbance — Police responded to a disturbance at Kwik Trip, 1241 E. Green Bay St.

Shawano County Sheriff’s Department

June 27

Deputies logged 38 incidents, including the following:

Suspicious — A suspicious vehicle was reported on East Green Bay Street in Bonduel.

Suspicious — A suspicious vehicle was reported on Butternut Road in the town of Richmond.

Theft — Items were reported stolen from a garage on U.S. Highway 45 in the town of Birnamwood.

Burglary — Authorities investigated a report of a possible burglary on Main Street in Gresham.

Fraud — McDonald’s, 413 N. Genesee St. in Wittenberg, reported receiving a counterfeit bill.

Theft — Authorities responded to a theft complaint on County Road M in the town of Grant.

Theft — A wallet was reported stolen at Hanke’s Sentry Foods, 110 S. Mission St., Wittenberg.

Accidents — Authorities logged four deer-related crashes.

Clintonville Police Department

June 27

Police logged 14 incidents, including the following:

Child Porn — A possession of child pornography complaint was under investigation.

Burglary — A burglary was reported on North 12th Street.

Hit and Run — A property damage hit-and-run was reported on South Main Street.

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Public Record

Tue, 06/28/2016 - 7:26am

Shawano Police Department

June 26

Police logged 23 incidents, including the following:

Suspicious — Police responded to a suspicious vehicle complaint in the 800 block of East Center Street.

Suspicious — Police responded to a suspicious vehicle complaint at Shawano Community High School, 220 County Road B.

Burglary — A burglary was reported in the 700 block of West Picnic Street.

June 25

Police logged 34 incidents, including the following:

Disorderly — Police responded to a disorderly conduct complaint at Walmart, 1244 E. Green Bay St.

Disturbance — Police responded to a disturbance in the 300 block of South Sawyer Street.

Threatening — Police responded to a threatening complaint in the 300 block of South Washington Street.

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

Disorderly — Police responded to a disorderly conduct complaint in the 400 block of West Third Street.

June 24

Police logged 31 incidents, including the following:

Disturbance — Police responded to a disturbance in the 500 block of South Washington Street.

Accident — A bicyclist was struck be a vehicle in the 200 block of South Main Street. No serious injury was reported.

Theft — A purse was reported stolen in the 1200 block of South Park Street.

Accident — Police responded to a vehicle versus motorcycle accident at Main and Green Bay streets. A man was transported to the hospital. Police did not provide any further information.

Theft — A laptop was reported stolen in the 300 block of South Sawyer Street.

Shawano County Sheriff’s Department

June 26

Deputies logged 49 incidents, including the following:

Suspicious — Authorities responded to a suspicious person complaint on Hummingbird Road in the town of Wittenberg.

Prowler — Authorities responded to a report of a prowler on Oak Street in Bowler.

Trespass — Authorities responded to a trespassing complaint on Bluebird Road in the town of Birnamwood.

Disorderly — Authorities responded to an intoxicated person complaint on Gumaer Road in the town of Wescott.

Suspicious — Authorities responded to a suspicious person complaint on Country Lane in the town of Washington.

June 25

Deputies logged 56 incidents, including the following:

Hit and Run — Authorities investigated a property damage hit-and-run on County Road G in the town of Red Springs.

Suspicious — Authorities responded to a suspicious person complaint on Red Oak Lane in the town of Wittenberg.

Fire — Authorities responded to a residential fire caused by fireworks on Lake Drive in the town of Wescott.

Theft — Medication was reported stolen on Emma Street in Aniwa.

Theft — Medication and money were reported stolen on U.S. Highway 45 in Tigerton.

Accidents — Authorities logged seven deer-related crashes.

June 24

Deputies logged 67 incidents, including the following:

Suspicious — Authorities responded to a suspicious vehicle complaint on Airport Drive in the town of Wescott.

Suspicious — Authorities responded to a suspicious vehicle complaint on Genesee Street in Wittenberg.

Harassment — Authorities responded to a harassment complaint on Mork Avenue in the town of Wescott.

Fraud — Authorities investigated a fraud complaint on Lake Drive in the town of Wescott.

Suspicious — Authorities responded to a suspicious person complaint on East Street in the town of Washington.

Disorderly — Authorities responded to a lewd and lascivious behavior complaint on state Highway 29 in the town of Hartland.

Fire — Authorities responded to a residential fire on County Road Z in Aniwa.

Hit and Run — Authorities investigated a property damage hit-and-run on U.S. Highway 45 in Birnamwood.
Accidents — Authorities responded to injury accidents in the towns of Herman and Lessor, and a vehicle versus motorcycle in Cecil. Authorities also logged four deer-related crashes and two vehicles versus raccoons.

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Public Record

Fri, 06/24/2016 - 4:19pm

Shawano Police Department

June 23

Police logged 29 incidents, including the following:

Fireworks — Police responded to a fireworks complaint in the 600 block of South Hamlin Street.

Threatening — Police responded to a threatening complaint in the 500 block of South Washington Street.

Disorderly — Police responded to a disorderly conduct complaint in the 200 block of North Airport Drive.

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

Disturbance — Police responded to a report of a fight in progress in the 300 block of West Picnic Street.

Shawano County Sheriff’s Department

June 23

Deputies logged 48 incidents, including the following:

Harassment — Authorities responded to a harassment complaint on Leopolis Road in the town of Herman.

Fireworks — Authorities responded to a fireworks complaint on Jensen Lane in the town of Morris.

Disturbance — Authorities responded to a disturbance on Woodland Road in the town of Washington.

Theft — A compacter was reported stolen on County Road C in the town of Angelica.

Disorderly — Authorities responded to an intoxicated person complaint on Lake Drive in the town of Wescott.

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