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Updated: 7 min 47 sec ago

Public Record

Fri, 06/24/2016 - 4:13pm

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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Driving to success

Fri, 06/24/2016 - 2:32pm
High school, on-the-job training prepare SCHS grad for careerBy: 

Carol Wagner, Leader Correspondent

Photo by Carol Wagner Sean Shively, center, will join the automotive program at Milwaukee Area Technical College in the fall. He earned $12,000 in scholarships and awards with the help of his employer, Jeff Roloff, right, president of Shawano Auto Sales, and Jeremy Hodkiewicz, Shawano Community High School automotive teacher.

Everything is in alignment for Sean Shively.

The 2016 Shawano Community High School graduate will continue his education in the automotive program at Milwaukee Area Technical College in September.

He got there with help from Jeff Roloff, president of Shawano Auto Sales, and Jeremy Hodkiewicz, technical education teacher at SCHS.

“It feels pretty good,” Shively said. “I appreciate it a lot.”

Three years ago, Roloff was looking to hire a young employee and asked Hodkiewicz for some recommendations. Roloff, who serves on an advisory committee for the school’s automotive program, recognized Shively’s name from 4-H softball.

Then a sophomore, Shively started doing some detailing and cleanup work. From there, he advanced to lube technician.

Roloff and Hodkiewicz “could both see that he had talent,” Roloff said.

Starting his junior year, Shively began taking more advanced classes and enrolled in the School to Work program. He attended school in the morning and worked in the afternoon, getting a minimum of 900 hours while taking the automotive courses.

Laura Warning, youth apprenticeship director for School to Work, said Shively earned elective credits in the program while gaining opportunities and knowledge.

“It gives them some real world experience,” Roloff said.

In Shively’s senior year, Roloff and Hodkiewicz talked to him about tech schools. Shively signed up for a Mopar Chrysler Apprentice Program. Mopar is Chrysler’s parts and service division.

Through sponsorship by Shawano Auto Sales, good grades and entry level testing, Shively applied to and was accepted by Milwaukee Area Technical College.

Then Roloff sponsored Shively’s application for a 2016 Automotive Technician Award through The Foundation of the Wisconsin Automobile & Truck Dealers. Shively received a $3,000 tuition scholarship and a set of tools valued at $3,667 from Snap-On Corporation.

He also received a tuition scholarship of $5,000 for two years through the state for Career Technical Excellence.

In total, Shively has earned close to $12,000 in scholarships and awards.

“It’s very unique for one individual,” Hodkiewicz said. “He’s one of the most mechanically inclined students that I’ve had come through the program.”

The SCHS automotive program helped Shively achieve Automotive Service Excellence certification through the National Auto Technician Education Foundation.

“We’re teaching standards that are required to prepare students for a career in the transportation industry,” Hodkiewicz said.

Shively plans to be an auto technician for Chrysler.

“I moved forward a lot from when I started,” he said.

That is just what Roloff had in mind.

“Skilled tradesmen are hard to come by,” Roloff said. “Sean has been an exceptional young employee with a good work ethic and a bright future. This is a grow-your-own situation.”

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Clintonville conducting voter registration drive Tuesday

Fri, 06/24/2016 - 2:28pm

Grace Kirchner, Leader Correspondent

The city of Clintonville will participate in a voter registration drive that will be held in over 40 Wisconsin municipalities on Tuesday.

Communities in over 20 counties will have extended hours and additional staff to accommodate residents who either need to register or to update their information. Clintonville City Clerk Peggy Johnson said voters can register from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. at City Hall, 50 10th St.

Voters also can register or update their information any time during regular business hours at the clerk’s office except for the day before an election.

There are three voter registration periods in Wisconsin: open registration, late registration and Election Day registration. The open registration period is from the day after one election and up to 21 days before the next election. The late registration period starts on the 20th day before an election and runs through 5 p.m. on the Friday before an election. The Election Day period is on Election Day. Each registration period has different processes and requirements.

The open registration period is the fastest, most efficient, most accurate and most cost effective time to register.

For the primary election on Aug. 9, the open registration period ends on July 20. For the general election on Nov. 8, the open registration period runs from Aug. 10 through Oct. 19.

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Bonnin family opening the barn doors

Thu, 06/23/2016 - 11:36pm
Bonduel farm hosting annual brunch SundayBy: 

Lee Pulaski, [email protected]

Leader Photo by Lee Pulaski These are some of the cows visitors will get to see on Sunday at the Bonnin Family Farm during the 33rd annual Brunch on the Farm, sponsored by the Shawano County Farm Bureau. Farm tours will be one of many activities visitors can participate in.
Leader Photo by Lee Pulaski Cassie Bonnin, Kevin Bonnin’s daughter, checks the tube on the milking unit as she starts to milk one of the 65 dairy cows on the family farm. Milking all of the cows takes about 2 1/2 hours, according to Kevin Bonnin, and is done twice a day.

Kevin Bonnin is proud to still operate a farm that thrives on the sweat and determination of his family.

He’ll get the chance to show off the farm started by his family in 1957 when he hosts the 33rd annual Shawano County Brunch on the Farm on Sunday.

With the help of dozens of volunteers, the farm, located south of Bonduel, will serve up brunch beginning at 9 a.m. There will also be plenty of activities throughout the morning to keep folks on the farm and to show them where their food comes from.

“Folks will see that we’re a very small, family-run farm, which is not the norm so much these days,” Bonnin said.

Bonnin and his wife, Shawn, are the second generation to run the farm. They milk 65 cows. With the dry cows and young calves, the count comes to almost 130.

The Bonnins also own some miniature horses, along with some pigs and goats.

Bonnin sees advantages and disadvantages to keeping the farm within the family. The big advantage is that he and his wife work the farm with their children, promoting family togetherness. The flip side is that he doesn’t get to leave the farm for an extended period because he doesn’t have workers to mind the farm in his absence.

“It’s our family working together. We benefit from the laughs, but we share in the grief, too,” Bonnin said.

Because he has been involved in agriculture all of his life, he feels the need to keep improving the farm and has no intention of throwing in the towel.

“I enjoy being my own boss,” Bonnin said. “That’s a huge benefit.”

Warm weather is expected Sunday, which means the brunch volunteers expect to serve up plenty of ice cream, topped with either strawberries or maple syrup. The meal consists of scrambled eggs with diced ham, sausages, hash browns, cheese, cinnamon bread with butter, milk and juice.

When visitors are not eating, they’ll be able to go on wagon rides and farm tours, and kids will be able to play games and check out the petting zoo.

A family church service will take place from 8-8:30 a.m.

For those eager to get in a run before brunch, the second annual Dairy Dash and Stroll kicks off at 7:30 a.m.

A new addition to this year’s brunch is a dairy bake-off sponsored by the Shawano County Farm Bureau. Children can make a variety of treats, as long as they include two dairy ingredients.

“One of the families I talked to, his daughter has been practicing and trying different recipes to see what they want to bring,” said Jamie Patton, University of Wisconsin-Extension agriculture agent for the Shawano County. “Whenever you have these ongoing events, it’s fun to introduce something new to keep people’s interest up.”

Patton enjoys tasting the variety of cheeses available during the brunch, noting she’s not “adventurous enough” to buy different cheeses when she prepares meals. Her son also enjoys the brunches, she said, because it gives him a chance to play in the sandbox and check out the livestock.

Brunch on the Farm is a signature event for the agriculture industry, in Patton’s view, as it helps to shine a spotlight on farms and gives those who are non-farmers some insight into how farmers make their living.

“To me, brunches are a wonderful opportunity to get people who aren’t actively engaged in farming out on a farm and interacting and asking questions,” Patton said. “It’s a lot of fun to watch kids touch a cow for the first time. We have some people who are not from the region but come in from the larger cities asking questions about where their food comes from.”

In the end, Bonnin hopes visitors will come away with a better idea of how farmers produce the food they consume, and that smaller farms like his take care of their animals and do not abuse them.

“Our animals are taken care of and kind of pampered,” Bonnin said. “We have tiled mangers that the cows eat off of. We have rubber mats and straw where they lay on, and we have rubber mats that they walk on.”


WHAT: Brunch on the Farm, sponsored by Shawano County Farm Bureau

WHEN: 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Sunday

WHERE: W3752 E. Slab City Road, Bonduel

DIRECTIONS: State Highway 29 to Highway 47 (south) to Slab City Road (east) to farm.

COST: $7, $4 ages 5-12, free under 5.

FYI: More information is available on the farm bureau’s Facebook page.

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New leader takes over The Well

Thu, 06/23/2016 - 11:33pm
Shawano youth center could see changesBy: 

Scott Williams, [email protected]

Leader Photo by Scott Williams Pastor Jacob Smith, shown outside The Well youth center in downtown Shawano, was planning to become a teacher when his plans changed.

The downtown Shawano youth center known as The Well is under the leadership of a new director who hopes to deepen the facility’s impact with local teenagers.

Pastor Jacob Smith has joined River Valley Church as the new youth pastor, which puts him in charge of the church’s youth center at 136 S. Main St.

He succeeds Pastor Bob Junak, who stepped aside after three years to join a new church in Minnesota.

Smith, who recently graduated from college, said he was impressed to discover that Shawano has such a large and well-developed youth center, with attendance sometimes exceeding 100 teens for events or activities.

Many youth pastors elsewhere, he said, must work in a church basement or gymnasium where it is difficult to make an impact.

“This is incredibly rare,” he said of The Well. “It was like, ‘OK, this is the place I want to be.’”

River Valley Church acquired the downtown storefront and converted it more than 10 years ago into a live music venue with pool tables, a snack bar, TV video games and more.

Designed for students in sixth through 12th grade, the center is open every Wednesday evening during the school year and also for special events throughout the year.

Joe Verbrigghe, an adult volunteer involved in the center, said Smith exhibits a strong commitment to young people and seems to have ideas for building on The Well’s success.

“I am so super-excited that he came to Shawano,” Verbrigghe said. “His heart is definitely in the right place.”

Smith, 23, who goes by “Pastor Jake,” grew up in the Chicago suburbs and was considering becoming a teacher when he changed plans midway through college. Deciding to pursue the ministry, he enrolled at North Central University, a Bible-based institution in Minneapolis.

After graduating with a bachelor’s degree in pastoral studies this year, he earned his license as a pastor in the same Pentecostal denomination as River Valley Church.

River Valley Pastor Dan Taylor said he was impressed by Smith’s personality, his commitment to young people and his administrative skills for managing a facility like The Well.

Noting that the congregation has made a significant investment in the youth center, Taylor said he looks forward to seeing what sort of strategy and vision the new director brings forward. No specific changes have been announced.

“I know changes will take place,” Taylor said. “I would love for that to grow and become even more and more effective.”

The center is open to all local teenagers regardless of their church affiliation.

Smith said he aims to boost The Well’s visibility and to focus efforts on ensuring that teens who visit the center feel welcome and engaged.

“This place presents a really good opportunity for the community,” he said. “It’s more about equipping and empowering people who come here, to make this place their own.”

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Trial date set in former detective’s civil suit

Thu, 06/23/2016 - 11:31pm
Wudtke case will be heard in June 2017By: 

Tim Ryan, [email protected]

A trial date has been set in the civil suit of a former Shawano County sheriff’s detective who claims he was harassed and forced out of his job.

Wade Wudtke maintains he was targeted by Sheriff Adam Bieber and several members of the Shawano County Board over his support for then-incumbent Sheriff Randy Wright in the 2014 election.

Shawano County has denied the charges.

The suit specifically names Bieber and five county supervisors who were serving at the time on the county’s administrative and insurance committee: Jerry Erdmann, Deb Noffke, Bonnie Olson, Gene Hoppe and William Switalla.

Wudtke resigned in March 2015, about two months after Bieber took office, and took a job with the Clintonville Police Department; a job that the suit maintains involved “harder hours and a much lower rate of pay.”

The suit seeks damages for both past and future wage and benefit loss; compensatory damages for emotional distress, loss of reputation and loss of earning capacity; punitive damages against the individual defendants; and legal fees and court costs. There is no dollar amount specified.

The case has been scheduled for a jury trial before Chief Judge William Griesbach in Green Bay on June 26, 2017.

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Workshops focus on emergency preparedness for businesses

Thu, 06/23/2016 - 11:29pm

Several area agencies are sponsoring a workshop to help area businesses prepare for emergencies.

“Safeguard Your Business From Disaster” is a six-part series designed to provide businesses with information and tools to help them prepare for today’s threats. Attendance at all workshops is not required, but strongly encouraged.

All workshops include breakfast and are scheduled from 7:30-9:30 a.m. at the Shawano Four Seasons Resort, 201 Airport Road, Shawano.

Topics include the following:

- Aug. 3: “Active Shooter” — Learn from a Shawano County Sheriff’s Office deputy about steps you can take to protect your business in the event of an active shooter.

- Aug. 17: “Cyber Security” — A panel discussion by FBI cyber security specialists discussing vulnerabilities and actions you can take.

- Aug. 31: “Emergency Preparedness” — Interact with local emergency managers to learn what their roles are during an emergency and steps you can take now to prepare.

- Sept. 7: “Weather Awareness” — Hear from a National Weather Service warning coordinator meteorologist about severe weather.

- Sept. 21: “Crime Prevention” — Converse with a panel of local law enforcement professionals on ways to make your business less vulnerable to crime.

- Oct. 5: “Continuity of Operations” — Gain the tools necessary to develop a strategy to keep your business operational after a major disaster such as tornado, flood, power outage, etc.

Businesses interested in attending are asked to RSVP to [email protected] for the workshops they plan to attend.

The program is sponsored by Shawano County Emergency Management, Menominee County Emergency Management, Stockbridge-Munsee Tribe Emergency Management, Shawano-Menominee Counties Health Department and Shawano County Economic Progress Inc.

Funding for the workshop series is provided by a U.S. Department of Homeland Security grant.

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2nd arrest warrant issued in child sex assault case

Thu, 06/23/2016 - 11:28pm

Tim Ryan, [email protected]

An arrest warrant has been issued for a second time for a Pulaski man accused of multiple counts of sexual assault of a child.

Pedro Noriega-Avila, 33, failed to show up Monday for an initial court appearance in his case.

He is accused of multiple instances of child sex assault that authorities say took place between 2009 and 2015 in the towns of Lessor and Maple Grove. The assaults allegedly began when the girl was 11, according to the criminal complaint.

An arrest warrant was initially issued on June 10 when the criminal complaint was filed. He was later taken into custody and posted a $5,000 cash bond.

The Shawano County Sheriff’s Department is asking anyone with knowledge of his whereabouts to call or text the tip line at 715-850-2677.

Noriega-Avila could face a maximum possible penalty of 60 years in prison on the charge of first-degree sexual assault of a child under the age of 13 if convicted, and 40 years and a $100,000 if found guilty on each of two counts of sexual assault of a child under the age of 16 and two counts of incest with a child by stepparent.

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Survey will help determine future of Clintonville school

Thu, 06/23/2016 - 11:24pm
Residents will be asked whether they prefer building or remodelingBy: 

Grace Kirchner, Leader Correspondent

A survey to be distributed this fall will give Clintonville School District residents an opportunity to share what they think should be done with Rexford-Longfellow Elementary School.

A task force created by the Clintonville Board of Education recommended that residents be asked whether they prefer building a new elementary school at the Rexford-Longfellow site, 105 S. Clinton Ave., or remodeling the current school.

“The costs are a little jaw dropping. They’re close to $20 million for the cheap one,” said board member Ben Huber, who also serves on the task force.

Huber said that if a new school is built, it would be built where the Rexford-Longfellow parking lot is located now, and a parking lot would be built where the school is now.

Board member Jim Dins asked if the task force had considered building a new school at the Dellwood Early Learning Center site, 238 Harriet St., which is near Clintonville Middle School, 255 N. Main St.

Huber said several options were discussed, but all of them included mothballing Dellwood. Costs of renovating the building or adding a few classrooms seemed prohibitive, he said.

Nobody wanted to immediately tear Dellwood down to build a new school, Huber said.

Business Manger Lynette Edwards said she was surprised how quickly the committee came together on a plan that did not include keeping Dellwood. Task force members preferred moving the children to the Rexford-Longfellow facility, she said.

Superintendent Tom O’Toole said the survey is still being developed. The task force will meet with the board on Aug. 11.

About 30 community members plus some district staff served on the task force.

“There should be good support from the community because community members worked on the committee,” Dins said.

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Court News

Thu, 06/23/2016 - 11:24pm

Sexual assault of a child

An arrest warrant was issued Wednesday for a Bonduel man charged with repeated sexual assault of a child.

Oscar R. Martinez Ordonez, 47, is accused of sexually assaulting a girl on multiple occasions between October 2014 and July 2015.

According to the criminal complaint, the assaults began in Green Bay when the girl was 11, then continued after he moved to the town of Hartland until she was 13.

Martinez Ordonez could face a maximum 40 years in prison and $100,000 fine if convicted.

Felony bail jumping

An Oshkosh man out on bond in a computer sex crime case is now facing two counts of felony bail jumping for allegedly using the internet in violation of the conditions of his bond.

John M. Mobley, 46, is accused of creating a Facebook page that came to the attention of authorities through an anonymous tip, according to the criminal complaint.

He could face six years in prison and a $10,000 fine if convicted on the new charges.

Mobley was charged in October with using a computer to facilitate a child sex crime. He could face a maximum 40 years in prison and $100,000 fine if convicted of that charge.

A status conference in that case was set for Monday, along with an adjourned initial appearance on the new charges.

Mobley was ordered held on a $15,000 cash bond.

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Public Record

Thu, 06/23/2016 - 11:22pm

Shawano Police Department

June 22

Police logged 25 incidents, including the following:

Arrest — A 31-year-old man was taken into custody at the probation and parole offices, 1340 E. Green Bay St.

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

Disturbance — Police responded to a disturbance in the 1100 block of South Franklin Street.

Harassment — Police responded to a harassment complaint in the 1200 block of South Prospect Street.

Shoplifting — Walmart, 1244 E. Green Bay St., reported a 74-year-old woman in custody for shoplifting.

Shawano County Sheriff’s Department

June 22

Deputies logged 38 incidents, including the following:

Theft — A utility trailer was reported stolen on Maple Street in Birnamwood.

Burglary — An attempted burglary was reported on Grand Avenue in Wittenberg.

Fraud — Authorities investigated a fraud complaint on Marble Avenue in Mattoon.

Fraud — Authorities investigated an identity theft complaint on Hofa Park Drive in the town of Maple Grove.

Accidents — Authorities logged nine deer-related crashes.

Clintonville Police Department

June 22

Police logged nine incidents, including the following:

Disorderly — Disorderly conduct was reported at Olen Park.

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

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Police searching for Clintonville teen

Thu, 06/23/2016 - 10:31am


The Clintonville Police Department is seeking information about the whereabouts of 16-year-old Austin Arnold, of Clintonville.

He was last seen by his parents at approximately noon Tuesday and was reported missing about 12:30 p.m. Wednesday.

Officers conducted searches of areas where his cellphone was last pinged but could not locate him.

Anyone with information about Arnold's whereabouts are asked to contact the Clintonville Police Department at 715-823- 3117.

-- Grace Kirchner, correspondent

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CMN prepares search for new president

Thu, 06/23/2016 - 7:22am
Fowler will retire at end of month

Verna Fowler, the College of Menominee Nation’s founding president, will retire at the end of the month.

The college’s board of trustees has unanimously chosen Diana Morris to serve as interim president, effective July 1, as a special committee conducts the search for Fowler’s permanent replacement.

Fowler, who was hired by the Menominee Tribal Legislature in fall 1992, opened the college in spring 1993. She has piloted the tribal college to standing as an accredited baccalaureate institution with a regional economic impact exceeding $37 million.

Virginia Nuske, chairwoman of the college’s board of trustees, said the board has known about Fowler’s intention to leave for several months and has begun transition planning.

“The replacement of a longtime leader, and especially of a founding president, is always a challenge for an organization,” Nuske said. “President Fowler has given nearly 24 years of time and talent to building an institution of higher learning that is an asset for our tribe, a major benefit for students in this region, and a model among tribal colleges.”

The search committee members are Lori Corn, Gary Frechette, Sarah Harkey and Nuske, with Bernard Kaquatosh, of the tribe’s human resources department, and Rachel Tuma, of the college’s human resources department, as ex officio members.

Morris, the college’s chief academic officer, has served CMN since 1997 as a faculty member and administrator.

Nuske said Morris holds relevant credentials and has extensive experience working as Fowler’s deputy on a broad range of functions.

Morris will not be a candidate for the presidency, Nuske said.

CMN is a baccalaureate degree-granting institution accredited by the Higher Learning Commission. Its main campus is in Keshena. An urban campus in Green Bay serves students in the city’s metropolitan and Oneida Nation areas.

As of its spring graduation, the college has more than 1,100 alumni.

New trustees join board

The College of Menominee Nation’s board of trustees elected officers for the coming year at their June meeting. Virginia Nuske, of Shawano, was elected chairwoman, and Karen Bowman Dillenburg, of Clintonville, was elected vice chairwoman. Filling vacated trustee positions are Gary Frechette, of Shawano, Cedar Kakkak, of Keshena, and Jesse Waukau, of West Allis. The departing trustees are Georgiana Ignace, of Milwaukee, who completed 14 years of service in May; Elaine Peters, of Keshena, who completed 11 years of service in November; and the late Michael Chapman, who was board chairman at the time of his death in February. Continuing members on the board are Lori Corn, of Keshena, and Sarah Harkey, of Shawano.

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Redevelopment notification letter sparks concerns

Thu, 06/23/2016 - 7:20am
Language worries some property ownersBy: 

Tim Ryan, [email protected]

Maybe they should have added a postscript. “PS: Don’t panic.”

A letter sent to Shawano property owners informing them their properties are located in a proposed redevelopment district intended to address blight has raised some alarms, with some owners worried that the city plans on seizing their properties.

Officials say the concern is unwarranted, and is being set off by language in the letter that the city was statutorily required to include.

The Shawano Redevelopment Authority recently recommended a proposed redevelopment district that still needs to be approved by the plan commission and Common Council.

A public hearing on the proposed district and redevelopment project plan was set for July 14.

The city was required to notify property owners that they are within the district, and, according to City Administrator Brian Knapp, was also required to let the owners know that the city could invoke eminent domain laws if necessary.

The letter even points out that the city had no choice but to include the language, stating, “We are required by Wisconsin Law to state that ‘the owner’s property might be taken for urban renewal.’”

The letter also states that, “If condemnation does occur, there would be due process and just compensation.”

Knapp said two of the property owners he heard from were already planning improvements to their properties when they received the letter.

“They said they weren’t going to make the improvements if the city’s going to take their homes,” he said.

Knapp said the city has no plans to invoke eminent domain, and wants instead to work with property owners to either provide or direct them to resources available to help them make improvements to their properties.

According to the RDA project plan, the authority’s primary objectives are to “encourage economic development, promote historic preservation, and enhance quality of life for all residents and visitors.”

The plan would also “encourage property owners to remodel, restore or renovate structures in the Redevelopment District.”

The proposed redevelopment district includes 391 properties, just over half of which are considered blighted to some degree.

The RDA project plan lists 32 of those properties as priorities, though, Knapp said, some are lower priorities than others.

Also, he said, “some just happen to be contiguous” or are located in areas the RDA has listed as priorities.

Blighted conditions described in the RDA project plan include windows in poor condition, peeling paint, exposed wood, rusted metal, boarded-up storefronts and bricked up windows, broken awnings, cracked and crumbling facades, abandoned signage, and outdoor dumping of garbage and debris.

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Thu, 06/23/2016 - 7:17am
Ag producers sell their wares at Shawano Farmers MarketBy: 

Lee Pulaski, [email protected]

Leader Photo by Lee Pulaski Yvonne Van Lanen, left, displays samples at her Y Salsa booth as Sharon Doro looks them over Saturday at the opening day of the Shawano Farmers Market. The market continues weekly through Oct. 8.
Leader Photo by Lee Pulaski Customers walk along the market route Saturday in search of fresh produce and other items grown by local farmers.

The Shawano Farmers Market was back in business Saturday as almost 30 vendors and hundreds of potential customers took over the front of Franklin Park.

The weather was sunny and warm, which was just fine with Nathan Falk, the market’s coordinator.

“No rain. We like that,” Falk said. “We’re going to be averaging around 30 vendors. Some of the vendors don’t have their vegetables in just yet. We’ve grown in the last couple of years.”

While some of the vendors are brand new, others are veterans of the market. Lesley Nemetz, who was offering maple syrup to customers, is in her second year of selling goods at the market, but she is keeping her appeal fresh by offering a new product — maple-flavored root beer.

She said working at the farmers market has been fun.

“It’s been a good learning experience,” she said.

Nemetz has been harvesting maple syrup in Belle Plaine for five years. She said this year was a good one, harvesting 90 gallons.

Nemetz’s syrup is 100 percent maple. She said adding other flavors diminishes the quality of the maple.

“It can be used as a substitute for other sugars. From a health benefit, that’s important,” Nemetz said. “You can substitute it for sugar in some recipes; my mom makes some amazing maple frosting.”

Becky Wyne, of Bowler, is a new vendor to the market but previously patronized it because of the fresh produce available.

Wyne makes a variety of soaps and sells them on Facebook and through other venues. She took up the craft .

“I watched my mom make them. She made soap and candles,” Wyne said. “It’s a fun hobby. My 3-year-old boy even helps me. It gets him into it, and he likes the soaps.”

Even in the first hour Saturday, Wyne had a lot of traffic. She said people saw her post on social media that she would be at the market and came early to buy.

Wyne knew her soaps would be a hit because they’re all natural.

“People come to farmers markets because they like homegrown, not mass produced,” Wyne said.

Bruce Beuttel and Jennifer Morris agree with that. They’ve been coming to the market for four years, usually making trips every other weekend to support local farmers.

“We come at least six times during the summer,” Beuttel said.

Morris said she and Beuttel used to have a huge garden at their home in Gresham while their children were growing up, but when they all left home, they decided a garden was not necessary, since there were plenty of produce options at farmers markets like Shawano’s.

“We can just come and buy what we want for the two of us,” Morris said, noting they purchase honey and maple syrup in addition to the produce.

The couple bring their own bags for what they purchase. Morris commented that she was pleased Saturday to find a vendor who makes reusable plastic sealing bags.

“We like that stuff isn’t prepackaged, so we can avoid all the extra packaging,” she said.

Kathy Paddock, of Shawano, has been an eager fan of the market for years, going back to when the market was located in the parking lot of Shawano City Hall. The market made the move to Franklin Park in 2014.

“I don’t come every week,” Paddock said. “We’re fair-weather fans. We just come and make our purchases and head back home.”

Ken and Marilyn Kroenke just moved back to Shawano from Illinois, and on the advice of Richard Sarnwick — one of the market’s founders — they decided to give the market a try.

They were also amazed that there was more than just produce and plants at the market.

“I’m always looking at flowers and vegetables,” Marilyn Kroenke said. “But I saw that there are other interesting vendors here like soaps and jewelry and all that business.”

The Kroenkes were surprised by the size of the market.

“I was thinking there’d be 10, 15 stands,” Ken Kroenke said. “I can see that there’s more than that. We look forward to exploring today.”

The Shawano Farmers Market runs every Saturday from 8 a.m. to noon until Oct. 8.

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County emergency department splits from sheriff

Thu, 06/23/2016 - 7:15am
Board approves change effective Jan. 1By: 

Scott Williams, [email protected]

Shawano County’s emergency management operation will break away from the sheriff’s department effective Jan. 1.

Despite reservations about the cost and questions about the structure, the Shawano County Board voted, 21-4, Wednesday to approve a reorganization designed to make emergency management its own department.

Representatives of both emergency management and the sheriff’s department administration urged County Board members to approve the change.

“This is a good fit,” emergency management director Natalie Easterday said. “It’s a really good move forward for the county.”

Those opposing the change tried unsuccessfully to postpone action until after a county consultant reports on whether current salary structures for county employees would warrant a pay raise for Easterday, who now earns about $54,000 a year.

Supervisor Tom Madsen, who voted against the reorganization, also noted that the county in recent years has been combining departments and making government more lean and efficient. By making emergency management a standalone department, Madsen said, seems to be creating a new bureaucracy with potentially new costs.

“This just doesn’t make sense,” he said.

Proponents of the change argued that it would not change the county’s current budget, which includes $161,000 for emergency management as part of the sheriff’s department.

As approved Wednesday, the new standalone department also will assume management of county emergency communications, with a communications analyst being transferred from technology services to work under Easterday.

Emergency management is the county agency responsible for planning and managing local response and recovery in natural disasters and other types of large-scale emergencies. Although it once operated as its own department, it has been part of the sheriff’s department for at least 10 years.

Officials said about two-thirds of the counties in Wisconsin have a standalone emergency management department.

“It makes life a lot easier and better,” said Supervisor Roger Miller, who supported the reorganization.

Others questioned whether the change would end up costing county taxpayers more through salary increases or other expenses.

Supervisor Deb Noffke, who voted “no,” argued for postponing action until more information is available about budget projections.

“We have all these questions,” Noffke said. “There’s no numbers here — nothing.”

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Public Record

Thu, 06/23/2016 - 7:14am

Shawano Police Department

June 21

Police logged 20 incidents, including the following:

Noise — Police responded to a noise complaint at the Lincoln Apartments, 237 S. Sawyer St.

Juvenile — Police responded to a juvenile problem in the 200 block of South Sawyer Street.

Juvenile — Police responded to a juvenile problem in the 1300 block of East Lieg Avenue.

Juvenile — Police responded to a juvenile problem in the 1100 block of Birch Hill Lane.

Vandalism — A vehicle was reported vandalized in the 500 block of West Third Street.

Shawano County Sheriff’s Department

June 21

Deputies logged 34 incidents, including the following:

Threatening — Authorities investigated a threatening complaint on Red River Road in the town of Herman.

Disturbance — Authorities responded to a disturbance on Fourth Street in Mattoon.

Fireworks — Authorities responded to a fireworks complaint on First Street in Aniwa.

Juvenile — Authorities responded to a juvenile problem on Main Street in Gresham.

Accidents — Authorities logged three deer-related crashes.

Clintonville Police Department

June 21

Police logged 12 incidents, including the following:

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

Theft — Theft of a bicycle was reported on Motor Street.

Noise — Warning issued for loud noise on 10th Street.

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Packers cheer on Red River Riders

Tue, 06/21/2016 - 11:52pm
Surprise visit welcomed by organizationBy: 

Chris Caporale, [email protected]

Leader Photo by Greg Mellis Cara Becker, of Milwaukee, wearing her Robert Brooks jersey, meets Brooks, a member of the 1996-1997 Super Bowl champion team, during the Green Bay Packers Tailgate tour’s surprise visit to the Red River Rivers facility.
Leader Photo by Greg Mellis Wrapping up five days on the road, the 2016 Green Bay Packers Tailgate Tour bus travels through Shawano County on its way to the final event Tuesday at the Crawford Center in Shawano.

The Green Bay Packers Tailgate Tour made a surprise stop Tuesday afternoon at the Red River Riders, crashing in on a riding class of five students.

Jared Abbrederis, Jayrone Elliott and Sam Barrington were among the group that surprised guests at the Red River Riders, standing along the railing to cheer on and wave at the riders who circled the arena as part of the class.

President and CEO Mark Murphy and various Packers alumni, including LeRoy Butler, Robert Brooks and Sean Jones, also were on hand to mingle with the families and clients outside of the arena.

“I think the added bonus of having the Packers here with them and getting to meet them and having them interact with our clients and our riders is going to be great,” Red River Riders treasurer Carrie Barribeau said.

Red River Riders is a nonprofit group that provides therapeutic horseback riding to address physical and emotional needs of disabled people.

“I kind of like the small-group surprise visits because there’s not much structure,” Abbrederis said. “You get to go around and talk to people and really make it what you want.”

Abbrederis, who rode horses as a child, was excited to visit the Red River Riders, even if he wasn’t able to get back on a horse during the 45 minutes the Packers spent around the class.

The third-year receiver out of Wisconsin asked where the horses were as he stepped off the bus.

“I always loved (riding horses) when I did,” Abbrederis said. I’d probably just get out of control here and make them run real fast, and they’d probably get mad at me.”

The tour stopped at Twig’s Beverage before heading over to the Crawford Center for the final event of the trip, which made it back to Green Bay around 9:15 p.m. Tuesday.

The Shawano stop of the Packers Tailgate Tour is expected to raise around $30,000 for the organization, which will be used to build an addition to the riding area. The expansion will help the Red River Riders service its riders better during inclement weather.

The funds would also help expand the client base for the organization, which plans to start working with disabled veterans.

“A once-in-a-lifetime opportunity is the way we’re looking at it,” Barribeau said. “We were so thrilled and excited. We’re a small program so this will help us tremendously with getting the word out that we’re here.”

The Packers chose which nonprofit organizations would benefit from each of their stops on the tailgate tour.

“It’s been a tremendous help for us,” Barribeau said of the tour. “We appreciate the community has been 100 percent behind us. It’s been wonderful.”

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Former tribal chairwoman remembered

Tue, 06/21/2016 - 11:29pm
Flags lowered in Waukau’s honorBy: 

Scott Williams, [email protected]

The Menominee Indian Tribe is mourning longtime tribal leader, educator and advocate Lisa Waukau.

Waukau, a schoolteacher who taught Menominee history and who served four terms as the tribe’s chairwoman, died Saturday at her home in Keshena. She was 71.

Menominee leaders ordered flags at all tribal facilities to be flown at half-staff for 10 days in her memory and honor.

“The Menominee Nation has lost an extraordinary leader,” Tribal Chairwoman Joan Delabreau said in a prepared statement.

Officials said Waukau, who had been battling cancer, was determined to complete her final term as a member of the Menominee Tribal Legislature. With term limits ending her time in office, she attended her final meeting of the governing body on Feb. 4.

She died Saturday at home surrounded by family members.

Nanette Corn, a member of the Menominee Indian School Board, said Waukau was a popular teacher in the classroom and also was a community leader who often could be seen stopping to talk with former students or others on the reservation north of Shawano.

“She was well liked by everyone,” Corn said. “She’s sure going to be missed.”

Waukau dedicated much of her life to the betterment of the Menominee tribe, serving for 37 years as a teacher in the Menominee Indian School District. She focused on social studies and always emphasized that students should know their Native American history and culture.

In 2009, she co-authored a book titled “Teach Native American Across the Curriculum: A critical inquiry.”

In 1995, Waukau was elected to the Menominee Tribal Legislature. She held several leadership positions and served four one-year terms as tribal chairwoman.

In announcing Waukau’s death, Delabreau hailed her as “strong, inspiring and honorable in her resolve.”

“She exuded the air of diplomacy and was able to do battle from one issue to the next, while also maintaining friendly relationships with her peers and constituency,” Delabreau said. “She will be greatly missed, but will live on in the memory of all whose lives she touched.”

Funeral services are scheduled for Friday in Keshena.

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Upgrades set for school courtyard

Tue, 06/21/2016 - 11:27pm
Middle school project will cost $50,000By: 

Scott Williams, [email protected]

The courtyard at Shawano Community Middle School will get its makeover after all.

The Shawano School Board has agreed to spend $50,000 in an effort to transform the courtyard area into a functional space for outdoor learning and enjoying.

“It’ll just come to life,” said Jeremy Gretzinger, a landscaping contractor awarded the job of renovating the courtyard.

The project was previously included in a list of improvements planned as part of a comprehensive middle school renovation, which was approved by school district voters in a referendum in November.

But with cost estimates for the courtyard improvement running as high as $500,000 at the time, it was trimmed from a package ultimately reduced to about $10 million.

School district administrators have since identified surplus district funds to move forward with a scaled-back courtyard effort.

School Superintendent Gary Cumberland said the project no longer includes drainage improvements or other high-dollar components.

“It’s a little less complex, but looks nice,” Cumberland said.

School Board members approved the contract Monday night.

Officials said work on the courtyard area at the center of the middle school complex, 1050 S. Union St., will include removal of deteriorated trees, installation of new brick pathways, and the addition of such amenities as circular patios, benches and tables.

Work is expected to begin soon and must be finished by mid-July because of other renovation work planned all summer under the voter-approved initiative being led by Miron Construction Co.

For the $50,000 courtyard project, district administrators selected Gretzinger Landscaping & Evergreens LLC of Shawano after soliciting competitive bids.

Gretzinger, a former Shawano student, said the middle school courtyard has been under-developed and under-utilized dating back to when the building housed the high school. Comparing it with other schools in the region, Gretzinger said the courtyard should be more of a public resource.

He plans to add some accents in the red-and-black colors of the school district.

“It’d be kind of nice, to take some pride,” he said.


- The Shawano School Board on Monday approved spending $26,000 for new Shawano Community Middle School band uniforms.

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