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Tigerton woman injured in Hwy. 45 crash

Tue, 06/21/2016 - 11:26pm
By: 

Leader Staff

A multi-vehicle crash that seriously injured a Tigerton woman and closed U.S. Highway 45 in the village for more than two hours Monday remains under investigation, according to the Shawano County Sheriff’s Department.

Authorities had no additional information Tuesday.

A preliminary crash analysis indicates that a 2010 GMC Acadia being driven by a 16-year-old Tigerton boy and a 2016 Hyundai Elantra operated by a 52-year-old Tigerton woman were both southbound on U.S. Highway 45 just south of County Road M about 10:20 a.m.

The GMC rear-ended the Hyundai and pushed it into the path of a northbound semitractor-trailer unit, which overturned, the sheriff’s department said.

The woman was flown from the scene by the ThedaStar helicopter to receive treatment for substantial injuries.

The driver of the semi received injuries that were not life-threatening.

No information was available on the condition of the driver of the GMC.

Sheriff’s deputies, Tigerton Police Department and Wisconsin State Patrol responded to the scene. The Tigerton Fire Department, Tigerton Ambulance Service and Wittenberg Ambulance Service all assisted at the scene of the crash.

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Public Record

Tue, 06/21/2016 - 11:25pm

Shawano Police Department

June 20

Police logged 29 incidents, including the following:

Vandalism — Car tires were reported slashed in the 400 block of West Green Bay Street.

Theft — A bike was reported stolen in the 200 block of East Center Street.

Accident — Police responded to a property damage accident at Walmart, 1244 E. Green Bay St.

Shoplifting — Walmart, 1244 E. Green Bay St., reported a female shoplifter in custody.

Warrant — A 36-year-old woman was taken into custody on a warrant at Hamlin and Green Bay streets and cited for operating after suspension.

Shawano County Sheriff’s Department

June 20

Deputies logged 42 incidents, including the following:

Disorderly — Authorities responded to a disorderly conduct complaint at the North Star Casino, W12180 County Road A, Gresham.

Disturbance — Authorities responded to a domestic disturbance on Oak Street in Bowler.

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

Fraud — Authorities investigated a fraud complaint on Nightingale Road in the town of Wittenberg.

Disturbance — Authorities responded to a disturbance on County Road MMM in the town of Richmond.

Theft — Authorities responded to a theft complaint on Blueberry Road in the town of Herman.

Disturbance — Authorities responded to a disturbance on Swanke Street in Tigerton.

Clintonville Police Department

June 20

Police logged 19 incidents, including the following:

Accident — Police responded to a minor two-vehicle accident at West and Waupaca streets.

Accident — Police responded to a property damage accident at Madison and Bennett streets.

Theft — A theft was reported on Anne Street.

Disturbance — Police responded to a family disturbance on South Main Street.

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Mystery manufacturer finally named

Tue, 06/21/2016 - 1:31pm
De Pere packaging plant to open in ShawanoBy: 

Tim Ryan [email protected]


Contributed Photo Belmark Inc.’s De Pere facility is seen in this photo from the company. Belmark plans a new facility in Shawano.

It’s Belmark.

The De Pere-based flexible packaging manufacturer revealed Tuesday that it is the “Project Dorothy” mystery company that plans to start construction on a Shawano facility next year.

The company released the official announcement after meeting with employees Tuesday so that they could be told first.

The Shawano project was shrouded in secrecy for months and previously went by the code name Dorothy II.

City officials were prohibited from naming the company due to confidentiality agreements.

“We’re very excited about Shawano,” said Karl Schmidt, president and CEO of Belmark Inc.

Schmidt said Belmark is looking forward to becoming part of the Shawano community.

“We’ve always been quiet, but very active,” he said, supporting local schools, police and fire, and other organizations. “We’re a good charitable organization.”

The company considered more than 100 sites in nine states before settling on Shawano.

Schmidt said the company liked the idea of a location in its backyard, and likes the small-town feel of Shawano. He also said the company decided to keep its operations in Wisconsin.

“The Wisconsin manufacturing credit enables us to stay competitive in a global economy and we look forward to working with the city of Shawano to grow their manufacturing base and enhance the community as a whole,” Schmidt said.

“Our Belmark family is really important to us,” he said. “We are really happy to continue our expansion in the state of Wisconsin, a home where we have grown through the continued development of Belmark’s highly motivated and educated workforce, the best employees in the industry.”

Mayor Jeanne Cronce said she was happy to finally announce the name of the company.

“Belmark will be a wonderful addition to the community,” she said, “bringing quality jobs and continued growth.”

City Administrator Brian Knapp said Schmidt and his team have been great to work with.

“The Belmark development will be a high quality addition to the industrial park and a great neighbor to the Hillcrest school and surrounding properties,” Knapp said.

Knapp and Assistant City Administrator Eddie Sheppard recently toured the manufacturing plant in De Pere.

“We were very impressed with the facilities and the obvious pride they take in their employees as well as in maintaining their buildings and production areas,” he said. “The technology Belmark uses in flexible packaging manufacture and printing is state of the art and will offer exciting new job opportunities and options for our community.”

Knapp added that being able to attract a business like Belmark shows what Shawano has to offer: “A developing work force with a strong work ethic, a well-established progressive manufacturing culture, high quality schools, modern health care facilities, good quality affordable housing and the ‘can-do’ attitude of our city staff, appointed committees, and elected officials.”

“These projects are always team efforts, and many people in the city were involved,” he said.

Knapp offered special thanks to former Mayor Lorna Marquardt and Cronce for their support and guidance, Dennis Heling and Shawano County Economic Progress Inc. for coordinating the city’s effort, and the city economic development team of Sheppard, Rob Koepp and Brian Bunke, “who all pulled together to make sure Shawano shines like it deserves to.”

Schmidt said there are still a couple of legal formalities that have to be signed-off on, but the project is otherwise a go.

Belmark will occupy 15 acres of city-owned property in an undeveloped area north of County Road B, east of Waukechon Street and west of Industrial Drive. The development agreement approved by the Common Council earlier this month calls on the city to extend Engel Drive to the new facility.

The council this month also approved the creation of a new Tax Incremental Finance District that would include the 15-acre parcel and nearly 100 acres more to accommodate the possibility of future business development.

The city will also offer the company a $5.26 million municipal revenue obligation as an incentive that will be paid to the company over the next 20 years using the increase in property tax revenue expected to be generated by improvements to the existing property.

The company will construct an approximately 120,000-square-foot, $12 million light manufacturing, paper products related facility on the property and install approximately $24 million in related equipment, according to the development agreement.

Construction on the technologically advanced facility is scheduled to start by spring 2017 with full production beginning by spring 2018.

Belmark, a converter of pressure sensitive labels, printed flexible packaging, and folding cartons, was established in 1977 and now has four facilities on its campus in De Pere.

Schmidt said continued business growth led to the company’s need for an additional large facility.

The company will open its Shawano facility with a staff of 35 employees, but expects to grow to around 120 over a seven-year period.

The developer’s agreement describes the jobs as skilled and semi-skilled with an average hourly wage of $17.50, plus fringe benefits.

Schmidt said job interviews will begin when construction starts next year.

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Public Record

Tue, 06/21/2016 - 8:17am

Shawano Police Department

June 19

Police logged 20 incidents, including the following:

Suspicious — Police responded to a suspicious person complaint in the 400 block of West Richmond Street.

Harassment — Police responded to a harassment complaint in the 700 block of South Main Street.

Disturbance — A 40-year-old woman was arrested for domestic violence-related disorderly conduct after a disturbance in the 400 block of South Washington Street.

June 18

Police logged 24 incidents, including the following:

OWI — A 27-year-old man was arrested for operating while intoxicated in the 1200 block of East Green Bay Street.

OWI — A 34-year-old woman was arrested for operating while intoxicated and hit-and-run of an unattended vehicle in the 200 block of South Andrews Street.

Drug Offense — A 20-year-old man turned in a stuffed animal he had purchased at a flea market. The animal had a secret compartment with a drug pipe inside.

Auto Theft — A vehicle was reported stolen in the 600 block of East Center Street.

Hit and Run — Police investigated a property damage hit-and-run at Main Street and Lieg Avenue.

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

OAR — A 25-year-old woman was cited for operating after revocation at Green Bay Street and Fairview Avenue.

June 17

Police logged 27 incidents, including the following:

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

Suspicious — Police responded to a suspicious person complaint in the 600 block of Wolf River Avenue.

Disturbance — Police responded to a disturbance in the 300 block of East Maurer Street.

Hit and Run — Police investigated a property damage hit-and-run at Green Bay Street and Airport Drive.

Accident — A car versus deer accident was reported at Rusch Road and Richmond Street.

Shawano County Sheriff’s Department

June 19

Deputies logged 35 incidents, including the following:

OWI — Authorities responding to a report of a vehicle going the wrong way on state Highway 29 in the town of Herman arrested a 17-year-old Clintonville boy for operating while intoxicated.

OWI — A 17-year-old Shawano boy was arrested for operating while intoxicated on County Road MMM in the town of Richmond.

Theft — Chains were reported stolen off of a pontoon on Lake Drive in the town of Wescott.

Theft — An iPhone was reported stolen on Butternut Road in the town of Richmond.

Hit and Run — Authorities investigated a property damage hit-and-run on Lake Drive in the town of Wescott.

Disturbance — Authorities responded to a disturbance on Cedar Street in Tigerton.

Accidents — Authorities logged four deer-related crashes.

June 18

Deputies logged 50 incidents, including the following:

OAR — A 43-year-old woman was cited for operating after revocation on state Highway 29 in the town of Waukechon.

Burglary — A burglary was reported on School House Road in the town of Bartelme.

Suspicious — Authorities responded to a suspicious vehicle complaint on School House Road in the town of Morris.

Disorderly — Authorities responded to a disorderly conduct complaint on state Highway 29 in the town of Wittenberg.

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

Hit and Run — Authorities investigated a property damage hit-and-run on state Highway 29 in the town of Wittenberg.

June 17

Deputies logged 46 incidents, including the following:

Juvenile — Authorities responded to a juvenile problem on Hemlock Road in the town of Wittenberg.

Disorderly — Authorities responded to a disorderly conduct complaint on Green Valley Road in the town of Green Valley.

Disturbance — A 28-year-old Shawano woman and a 47-year-old Shawano man were both referred for disorderly conduct charges after a domestic disturbance on Old Lake Lane in the town of Wescott.

Accidents — Authorities logged four deer-related crashes.

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Multi-vehicle crash closes Highway 45

Mon, 06/20/2016 - 3:23pm
By: 

Tim Ryan [email protected]

A 52-year-old Tigerton woman sustained substantial injuries Monday in a multi-vehicle crash that closed U.S. Highway 45 in the village for more than two hours.

According to the Shawano County Sheriff’s Department, a preliminary crash analysis indicates that a 2010 GMC Acadia being driven by a 16-year-old Tigerton boy and a 2016 Hyundai Elantra operated by the Tigerton woman were both southbound on U.S. Highway 45 just south of County Road M about 10:20 a.m.

It appears the GMC struck the Hyundai and pushed it into the path of a northbound semitractor-trailer unit, which overturned, the sheriff’s department said.

The woman was flown from the scene by the ThedaStar helicopter to receive treatment for substantial injuries.

The driver of the semi also received injuries from the crash.

No information was available on the condition of the driver of the GMC.

Sheriff’s deputies, Tigerton Police Department and Wisconsin State Patrol responded to the scene. The Tigerton Fire Department, Tigerton Ambulance Service and Wittenberg Ambulance Service all assisted at the scene of the crash, which remains under investigation.

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Shawano girl reaches for the stars

Fri, 06/17/2016 - 7:17pm
NASA researcher grew up hereBy: 

Scott Williams, [email protected]


Contributed Photo Sue Lederer, a space scientist for NASA at the Johnson Space Center in Houston, addresses young students on a recent educational outreach effort in Scotland.
Contributed Photo Sue Lederer, shown as a cheerleader during her sophomore year at Shawano High School, developed a love of astronomy by stargazing on Shawano Lake.

With all due respect to former Shawano students who have conquered the world in their chosen professions, Sue Lederer is one whose achievements are positively other-worldly.

The onetime Shawano High School cheerleader now works for NASA and is part of a team of astronomers who have discovered three Earth-sized planets orbiting a star far beyond our solar system.

Not bad for a kid who grew up stargazing from a boat on Shawano Lake.

“I still have such amazing memories of being on the lake and wondering what was up there,” she said. “I had no idea that I would someday help to figure that out.”

Lederer, who grew up in Shawano during the 1970s and 1980s, works at the Johnson Space Center in Houston as a space scientist tracking thousands of objects within the Earth’s orbit.

The daughter of Ken and Kathryn Lederer, she attended St. James Lutheran School and then Shawano High School. The second-oldest of four children, she excelled in the classroom, particularly in math, and also participated in band, forensics and cheerleading.

Her father recalls that Lederer grew up wanting to be a teacher. But sensing her strong instincts for scientific research, he encouraged her to dream bigger.

“She had much more to offer,” he said.

After the family relocated to Appleton, Lederer graduated from Appleton West High School. A teacher at Appleton West first opened Lederer’s eyes to the study of physics, challenging the young math whiz to start thinking in terms of how the universe works.

When Lederer’s mother presented her with a magazine article about Christa McAuliffe — a teacher who had been chosen for a 1986 space shuttle mission, Lederer began to realize the breadth of potential careers that could be within her reach.

A bachelor’s degree in physics and math from the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire was soon followed by a master’s degree in astronomy and astrophysics from New Mexico State University. While working on her doctorate from the University of Florida, she was chosen for a special international summer school program in Italy.

One of the astrophysicists leading the program, Faith Vilas, was so impressed with Lederer that she invited the Wisconsinite to the Johnson Space Center to engage in some post-doctoral research for NASA.

Vilas was surprised to discover just how advanced Lederer was in her understanding of research far out among the stars.

“I didn’t have to teach her anything,” Vilas said. “She knows what she’s doing when she goes to a telescope.”

At the urging of friends and colleagues, Lederer applied to become an astronaut, only to discover that being a petite 5-foot-3 made her too short for the job.

Following a stint as a college physics professor in California, she was invited back to NASA — this time for a full-time job. She joined the orbital debris program office, which is responsible for monitoring and tracking some 17,000 asteroids and other objects within the Earth’s orbit.

The position allows her to utilize her math skills, to apply her understanding of physics, and to indulge her passion for research.

“If I was looking for a challenge, this is it,” she said.

Last year, she joined a team of scientists who were studying an extremely large star situated outside our solar system. Located in the constellation of Aquarius about 39 light years from Earth, the star dubbed “Trappist 1” is 80 times bigger than Jupiter and is believed to be about 500 million years old.

Led by an astronomer in Belgium, the international team of 15 researchers spent months working to verify the presence of three Earth-sized planets orbiting the star. The discovery was published this spring in the scientific journal known as Nature, and it was hailed as the first discovery involving multiple planets orbiting around this particular type of star.

Because of the size and temperature of the newly discovered planets, the scientific world has begun speculating whether they could be inhabited by life forms.

Lederer, whose job involved calculating the precise telescope settings to capture and observe the new planets, said she and her colleagues celebrated with champagne when their historic finding was confirmed. She said she feels fortunate to have participated in the project.

“I’ve just gotten very lucky,” she said. “It’s such an exciting job.”

Her father, a retired funeral home director who still lives in Appleton, said he recalls taking young Lederer and her siblings out on Shawano Lake for stargazing on the family boat. He also watched his daughter’s love of science blossom over the years.

Still, the moment when she told him that her team had discovered a new system of planets millions of miles away was mind-boggling, Ken Lederer said.

“It was kind of like a ‘wow’ moment,” he said. “It was like, ‘Wow, you really did this.’”

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32 properties on RDA’s priority list

Fri, 06/17/2016 - 7:10pm
SIST owns 11 of themBy: 

Tim Ryan [email protected]

The Shawano Redevelopment Authority has identified 32 properties at the top of its to-do list for addressing blighted parcels in the city, including 11 owned by the Samanta Roy Institute of Science and Technology or its subsidiaries.

Also on the list is a residential property in the 200 block of South Main Street owned by Mayor Jeanne Cronce and her husband. The city had planned to purchase that property for future development, along with several others along the 200 block, but the purchase was pulled from the Common Council agenda at its last meeting.

Assistant City Administrator Eddie Sheppard said the purchase was dropped because of guidelines from the League of Wisconsin Municipalities that advised against such purchases.

“There shouldn’t be land transactions with city officials,” Sheppard said.

The Cronces had made the offer to purchase in November, prior to Jeanne Cronce’s run for mayor, but wasn’t considered until other adjacent properties also became available.

The Cronce property at 232 S. Main St. is one of five in that block targeted for renovation and blight removal, according to the RDA action plan.

The city has already approved the purchase of a retail property at 224 and 226 S. Main St. and a residential property at 228 S. Main St. for a total of $62,000.

The RDA also lists the former Crescent Pitcher Show at 220 S. Main St. as a priority.

SIST properties on the RDA priority list include vacant properties at 201 N. Main St. and 202 N. Washington St.; the former Subway at 951 E. Green Bay St.; the former Taco John’s restaurant at 1214 E. Green Bay St.; a property at 143 S. Main St. being rented to Hunan’s Chinese Restaurant; vacant properties at 303 and 311 E. Green Bay St. and 214 and 216 S. Main St.; as well as a vacant lot at Fourth and Main streets.

Also on the list is the former Ponderosa Steak House at 1247 E. Green Bay St., which was recently purchased at a sheriff’s sale by VDG LLC.

There are 391 properties in the proposed RDA district, which still needs to go to the Common Council for approval. Just over half of them are considered blighted or in need of redevelopment.

Most of the 32 properties on the RDA priority list are centered in the downtown area, primarily along Main Street.

Sheppard said the priority list is not in any particular order of importance.

City officials say they want to work cooperatively with property owners to address blight issues by providing resources to assist them.

A public hearing on the proposed RDA district and action plan will be held on July 14.

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Public Record

Fri, 06/17/2016 - 6:29pm

Shawano Police Department

June 16

Police logged 27 incidents, including the following:

Harassment — Police responded to a harassment complaint in the 800 block of East Richmond Street.

Harassment — Police responded to a harassment complaint at Walmart, 1244 E. Green Bay St.

Suspicious — Police responded to a suspicious person complaint at Franklin and Eagle streets.

Suspicious — Police responded to a suspicious person complaint in the 900 block of South Evergreen Street.

Juvenile — Police responded to a juvenile problem on the middle school playground at 1050 S. Union St.

Suspicious — Police responded to a suspicious person complaint on School Court.

Shawano County Sheriff’s Department

June 16

Deputies logged 49 incidents, including the following:

Suspicious — Authorities responded to a suspicious person complaint on County Road SS in the town of Fairbanks.

Suspicious — Authorities responded to a suspicious person complaint on Main Street in Bowler.

Harassment — Authorities responded to a harassment complaint on Robin Road in the town of Wittenberg.

Harassment — Authorities responded to a harassment complaint on Basswood Road in the town of Richmond.

Bail Jumping — A 36-year-old woman was taken into custody for bail jumping on Main Street in Gresham.

Suspicious — Authorities responded to a suspicious vehicle complaint on U.S. Highway 45 in Birnamwood.

Accidents — Authorities logged eight accidents, including four deer-related crashes and a vehicle versus bear.

Clintonville Police Department

June 16

Police logged eight incidents, including the following:

Accident — A property damage accident was reported at Main and Seventh streets.

Disorderly — Police responded to a disorderly conduct complaint on South Main Street.

Suspicious — A suspicious incident was reported on South Main Street.

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Gresham fund offering $1,000 scholarships

Fri, 06/17/2016 - 6:27pm

Gresham Scholarship Fund is offering a community scholarship for any community member who has completed one semester in a post-secondary education institution and earned a minimum grade-point average of 2.0.

The fund is planning to give up to three $1,000 awards in 2016.

Applications are due by 4 p.m. June 30. Applications are available at the Gresham Community School office and at www.cffoxvalley.org. Click on the scholarship listing tab, find the link to “Available Scholarships.” Follow this and locate “College and Non-Traditional” and scroll down the list to the link (Shawano Area Community Foundation Gresham Scholarship Fund Community Scholarship) to download the instructions and application form.

For information, call 920-830-1290 or Robert Klopke at 715-787-3386.

GSF has enjoyed great support from the community and is in a position to expand upon its mission to assist community individuals in furthering their education, Klopke said.

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RDA recommends blight district map, project plan

Fri, 06/17/2016 - 7:36am
Plan commission, council to review proposalBy: 

Tim Ryan, [email protected]

A tool to assist property owners improve and develop their properties, not a weapon to be used against them.

That’s how city officials are hoping the public will view the Shawano Redevelopment Authority (RDA), which met Thursday to finalize the boundaries of a new redevelopment district and a project plan.

The city will hold a public hearing on the RDA map and project plan on July 14. It will also need the approval of the Shawano Plan Commission and Common Council.

The recently re-established RDA does have the power to invoke eminent domain and take matters to court if necessary, but officials say they are hoping for cooperation from property owners to address areas of blight within the district.

“This is a positive,” Assistant City Administrator Eddie Sheppard said. “We’re not working to attack or to come down on anyone. This is a tool we’re creating to help, because there’s a lot of folks that are going to need this or will be interested in this.”

The proposed RDA district includes some long-vacant and deteriorating properties owned by the Samanta Roy Institute of Science and Technology and its subsidiaries.

Those properties were not addressed directly at Thursday’s meeting.

Sheppard suggested there could be some property owners unwilling to work with the RDA.

“There are going to be those ones that we are going to have to approach differently, but the idea is, this is a tool we’re creating for the community,” he said.

City officials are hoping to stave off any alarm or concerns that property owners might have after being notified their properties are in a blight elimination district.

“You can understand people are frightful,” Sheppard said. “They don’t want to hear that their business is considered blighted by any stretch of the imagination. We want to get people to understand this is a program for them to utilize.”

RDA chair Amanda Sheppard said the authority’s goal is to clean up areas of blight by making property owners aware of the resources available to them.

“This is one avenue we have, to be able to use some existing sustainable resources that are available already,” she said. “We’re not creating new resources; we’re trying to point folks toward them.”

She also noted that some of the properties in question have also been identified as a concern by members of the community.

“It’s not just folks sitting around a table,” she said. “This is the community saying, ‘we need to do something about this.’”

The plan includes a list of resources for property owners and other available assistance the RDA can provide, largely through the city’s Tax Incremental Finance districts, or direct people to, such as a variety of federal, state and local home improvement and facade grants, low-interest loans and loans from the city’s and county’s revolving loan funds, brownfield grants for properties that could be environmentally contaminated, and additional financial assistance from the Department of Natural Resources and Department of Housing and Urban Development.

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.”

It also goes on to say that if remodeling, restoration or renovation isn’t possible, the authority “may consider acquiring vacant, obsolete, deteriorating or deteriorated buildings that are causing a blighting influence, or contain environmental deficiencies which detract from the functional unity, aesthetic appearance, and economic welfare in the district.”

Under state law, a municipality can designated a blight redevelopment district if at least 50 percent of the property within the proposed district is blighted, which means “a predominance of structures, buildings, or improvements that are dilapidated, deteriorated, obsolete, or conditions that are detrimental to public health and safety.”

Shawano’s proposed RDA district roughly follows the contours of TIF districts already designated along Main Street from the Wolf River bridge on the north to Wescott Avenue on the south, and along Green Bay Street from Main Street on the west to Rusch Road on the west.

It slightly expands those TIF districts, however, to include some surrounding properties.

The district encompasses 391 properties covering about 353 acres. Just over 50 percent of them are considered blighted, according to the redevelopment plan.

The blighted conditions described in the 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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Clintonville woman donates 17 acres to city

Fri, 06/17/2016 - 7:35am
Property must be used for nature area or parkBy: 

Grace Kirchner, Leader Correspondent

The Clintonville Common Council on Tuesday accepted a donation of 17.2 acres from local resident Lynne Simpson, who wants the city to use the land to create a park or nature area.

Simpson stipulated in her gift that any plans to use the land at 150 13th St., which will be designated the Seven Maples Nature Area, for anything else would need her approval.

The city will be required to maintain any buildings and improvements located within the nature area in a neat and attractive condition.

Simpson also agreed to make a grant to the city so it could demolish a fire-damaged house on the property.

City Administrator Chuck Kell said the property is a great gift to the city. He said state Department of Natural Resources grants could be available to help develop approved uses for the property.

Some of the permitted uses outlined by the agreement include a nature preservation for fish, wildlife, or plants; a city, county or state park; fishing grounds or access; boating access; disc golf; hiking, biking, cross-county skiing; tent campground; picnic pavilion; playground equipment; farmers market; community garden; skate park; dog park; pavilions, restrooms, and other similar structures; environmental classroom for use by schools in the community, provided that all public and private schools in the community shall be provided comparable access.

The property cannot be used for hunting grounds, motorized recreational trails, RV or other modern-style campground; athletic fields or facilities; school, hospital or clinic; municipal office building or city hall; police or fire station; municipal water or waste treatment facility; fairgrounds; permanent structures related to a public farmers market or flea market; senior living or nursing home; golf course (excluding disc golf); commercial, industrial, residential or other development not related to preservation of green space; sales to private parties; or a radio or cellphone tower.

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Public Record

Fri, 06/17/2016 - 7:34am

Shawano Police Department

June 15

Police logged 19 incidents, including the following:

Threatening — Police investigated a threatening complaint in the 800 block of East Richmond Street.

Shoplifting — Walmart, 1244 E. Green Bay St., reported a juvenile shoplifter in custody.

Burglary — A garage break-in was reported in the 200 block of South Sawyer Street.

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

Fire Call — Police and fire departments responded for a smoking microwave at Aurora Health Care, 1346 E. Green Bay St.

Shawano County Sheriff’s Department

June 15

Deputies logged 37 incidents, including the following:

Auto Theft — A vehicle was reported stolen on Hillside Drive in the town of Angelica.

Auto Theft — A vehicle was reported stolen on Quartz Avenue in Mattoon.

Vandalism — A mailbox was reported vandalized on Deer Lane in the town of Washington.

Vandalism — A mailbox was reported vandalized on Broadway Road in the town of Richmond.

Drug Offense — Authorities investigated a drug complaint at the Ho-Chunk Casino, N7198 U.S. Highway 45, in the town of Wittenberg.

Clintonville Police Department

June 15

Police logged five incidents, including the following:

Harassment — A juvenile was cited for harassment after an incident on Brix Street.

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Vigil for Orlando victims focuses on tolerance

Thu, 06/16/2016 - 7:21am
Crowd gathers for somber event in ShawanoBy: 

Scott Williams, [email protected]


Leader Photo by Scott Williams Addison Uttecht, 9, lights a candle during the Orlando nightclub shooting vigil Wednesday inside First Presbyterian Church in downtown Shawano.
Leader Photo by Scott Williams Janine Brunner lights a candle inside First Presbyterian Church in Shawano during Wednesday’s vigil promoting peace and tolerance after the Orlando mass shooting.

Unthinkable hate and violence in a faraway place brought people together in Shawano on Wednesday with the hope of promoting understanding and peace.

About 40 people gathered inside First Presbyterian Church for a vigil in memory of those lost in the worst mass shooting in U.S. history.

Representatives of the Shawano gay community joined others to light candles and issue a plea for increased tolerance toward people of different religions, cultures and sexual orientations.

The event came four days after a gunman in Orlando, Florida, opened fire inside a gay nightclub, killing 49 people and wounding about 50 others.

Pastor Susan Phillips of First Presbyterian told those in attendance Wednesday that she was unsure initially how to respond to the tragedy. She urged everyone gathered inside the church to take a deep breath, to look at one another’s faces, and finally to join hands and sing.

“While I’m devastated by the occasion, I’m grateful for your presence,” Phillips said. “Your presence here matters. You matter.”

Participants said they were shaken by the Orlando massacre, and they attended the vigil hoping to find a sense of comfort among their neighbors.

Kim Shubinski said she came “to feel the peace.”

“Those people did not deserve to lose their lives,” she said of the shooting victims. “It just breaks my heart.”

Also in attendance were Shawano Mayor Jeanne Cronce and Police Chief Mark Kohl.

Inside the downtown church, the sanctuary was decorated in rainbow colors symbolizing gay pride. Musical selections and personal messages reinforced the theme of opposing violence by promoting tolerance, especially for those of diverse sexual orientations.

Nick Uttecht told the crowd about the difficulties he has faced since coming out as a gay man. Introducing his children in the audience, Uttecht said they have endured frequent taunting among their peers because their father is gay.

“Just remember that we are part of this community,” he added. “We are a family just like you.”

Such testimonials elicited applause and calls of “thank you” from others at the vigil.

The hourlong event ended with participants joining hands in a circle and singing a rousing chorus of the gospel hymn “This Little Light of Mine.”

The Rev. Marty Black from neighboring Peace United Church of Christ called the Orlando massacre “a hate crime.” She urged those in attendance not to let their anger about the tragedy dictate how they respond.

“Hate cannot drive out hate,” she said. “Only love can do that.”

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SAM 25 celebrates shelter’s 1st year

Thu, 06/16/2016 - 7:20am
Nearly 1,000 meals servedBy: 

Tim Ryan, [email protected]


Leader Photo by Tim Ryan Entertainment provided by Burnt Toast and Jam was pushed inside by the weather Wednesday, but that didn’t dampen the celebratory spirit as dozens turned out to commemorate the first year of operations of Sam’s House, the homeless shelter established by Shawano Area Matthew 25.

Shawano Area Matthew 25 threw an anniversary party Wednesday to celebrate its first year of operating Shawano’s only temporary homeless shelter, known as Sam’s House, and to thank community members who gave it their support.

Muffy Culhane, president of SAM 25, said there had been an “incredible outpouring” of support from the community.

“It’s been remarkable,” she said. “We had a lot of support from so many people in the community with meals and volunteering and supplies. We were just really blessed.”

SAM 25 had been working to open the shelter since 2013. It opened in November and finished its first year of operations at the end of April.

The shelter housed 58 people during its first year of operation, providing more than 500 nights of shelter and nearly 1,000 meals.

“It went really quite well,” Culhane said. “It was certainly a steep learning curve, and we learned a lot this first season. Now we are happy that we have a little chunk of time to reassess what went right and what we need to change and expand upon. So we’re working on those things.”

The shelter will look at staffing and possibly tweaking its hours, particularly in the morning, “so folks don’t need to get up so early,” Culhane said.

Under the current schedule, the shelter is open from 5 p.m. to 8 a.m. from Nov. 1 to April 30.

There are still plans to eventually add a clinic, and possibly dental services, to serve people who are uninsured.

Culhane said another goal is to coordinate with other area organizations so people will be aware of and be able to take advantage of other services in the area.

She said she’s hoping to create a website that would coordinate all that information.

“We want to somehow organize all the beautiful services we have in our area so folks know where to go for help,” she said.

Culhane said there had been a few “bumps in the road” during the first year, but nothing significant.

“We’ve been fortunate that we’ve been able to work those out,” she said. “We’ve had great help with law enforcement; the sheriff’s department and police department. We fortunately didn’t have to call on them very often. When we did, they were very helpful.”

Culhane said authorities occasionally also dropped people off at the shelter that they came across during the night.

“It was a successful, safe, good first season,” she said. “We’re very thankful.”

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Antigo board votes again to close Mattoon elementary

Thu, 06/16/2016 - 7:19am
Court filing requests at least another year for schoolBy: 

Tim Ryan, [email protected]

Antigo school officials Tuesday reaffirmed their previous vote to close Mattoon Elementary School this fall, even as a circuit court hearing is pending on a restraining order that would keep them from doing that.

The School Board voted 5-4 Tuesday, as it did in April in a vote that some Mattoon elementary parents say was taken without any public notice.

The village of Mattoon and two of the parents subsequently filed for a court injunction to stop the Unified School District of Antigo from closing the school at the end of the current school year.

They are asking the court to order that Mattoon Elementary be kept open until at least the end of the 2016-2017 school year to give parents adequate time to find other educational options for their children.

Both Shawano County judges have recused themselves from the case, which has since been assigned to Forest County Judge Leon Stenz.

No hearing date has been set.

Donald Childs, interim district administrator for the Antigo district, said Tuesday’s board vote was on whether the district should wait a year or close the school this fall.

The board voted to go forward with plans for a fall closure.

Childs said that operating a school that serves fewer than 100 students is not financially sustainable.

“The cost is exorbitant,” he said. “We can’t continue to support it.”

Childs said information would be going out to parents as soon as possible, giving them information about the closure and possible school reassignments.

The request for a temporary restraining order was filed in Shawano-Menominee County Circuit Court last month.

It maintains the village and parents of elementary school students in Mattoon were blindsided by the board’s April 25 decision.

During discussion of an agenda item covering “next steps” for district facilities, board member Patrick McKenna made a motion to close the Mattoon school, according to the complaint. The motion passed by a 5-4 vote.

The complaint alleges that board members “conspired to surprise the public with the action to close Mattoon Elementary School without proper notice and out of spite and retaliation against the residents of Mattoon for the board members’ perception that residents of Mattoon did not show sufficient support for the board’s proposed referendum.”

The $25.9 million referendum plan would have closed five of its district’s seven elementary schools, renovated the remaining two, and built a brand-new, centralized school in the city.

Mattoon and Crestwood schools would have stayed open under that plan.

The referendum failed by a vote of 3,787-2,615.

The complaint states families that expected to have their children attend the school next year will have their lives and schedules — including travel, work and child care — irreparably disrupted by the closure, which will traumatize young and vulnerable children.

The complaint also maintains the the school’s closure will make the village of Mattoon a less attractive place to live, leading to a decline in population, business presence and economic vitality.

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Clintonville plans to review garbage collection costs

Thu, 06/16/2016 - 7:18am
Multiple haulers’ trucks damaging city streetsBy: 

Grace Kirchner, Leader Correspondent

Unhappy with how garbage trucks are tearing up city streets, Clintonville officials will consider getting back into the garbage pickup business.

City Administrator Chuck Kell and Public Works Manager Toby Kersten have agreed to gather information on how much it would cost the city to haul its own garbage for consideration in next year’s budget planning.

Kersten would like to see one hauler and fewer trucks picking up garbage in the city. Currently, Advanced Disposal, Harter’s Fox Valley Disposal, Graichen Sanitation and Waste Management provide garbage pickup in Clintonville.

“We need to cut down,” Kersten said. “The trucks are bigger and heavier over the years. The 73,000-pound trucks are on the side streets that have soil, cement and little base. They are not built for this.

“The trucks are passing each other and it’s apparent they are destroying the streets. … If we have another year like the last one, it could use my entire budget up just for the repairs.”

Kersten told the city street committee June 7 that the city formerly had one garbage truck.

“In my neighborhood there are three garbage trucks, and I notice damages,” Alderman Jim Supanich said. “We could get a lower rate or we could get back into hauling it ourselves.”

Kell said he was not aware of other communities with multiple haulers.

“It is crazy the way it is now,” he said. “Most cities pick it up themselves or have one hauler.”

Kell said he and Kersten will need to consider costs of staff and equipment, and how it would affect the city’s budget.

Kersten noted that the initial investment to get back into hauling garbage would be substantial, but the savings on the streets could be even greater.

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Mom sentenced for fracturing son’s skull

Thu, 06/16/2016 - 7:17am
She failed to get him help for 6 daysBy: 

Kevin Murphy, Leader Correspondent

A rural Keshena woman was sentenced Monday in federal court to four years in prison plus three years of supervised release for fracturing her 19-month-old son’s skull on Sept. 30 and neglecting to get him medical help for nearly six days.

Loni M. Tepiew, 28, admitted in court documents to hitting her infant son with a shoe and punching him.

“I had one bad night when I drank too much and took it out on my baby. … There is much worse moms out there than me,” Tepiew told a FBI agent, according to Assistant U.S. Attorney Daniel Humble.

In imposing his sentence, District Judge William Griesbach classified the crime as a “brutal beating” that “cried out for justice,” according to a news release issued by the U.S. Attorney’s office.

In a memo to the court, Humble said it took the combined efforts of tribal police, social workers and Tepiew’s daughter to discover the crime.

Authorities did not learn of the infant’s injuries until Menominee Tribal Police kicked in the door of Tepiew’s trailer for Child Protective Service workers, who were investigating Tepiew’s 7-year-old-daughter’s statement that her mother had a black eye from being beaten.

“For the better part of six days, the victim lay suffering from the pain of his skull fracture and healing tibial fracture,” Humble wrote Griesbach. “He was helpless, incapable of letting the world know of his need for immediate medical attention, incapable even of wiping the dried blood from his face. For well over 130 hours, the one person who could have and should have sought medical treatment on his behalf did nothing.”

Tepiew’s three children have been in protective custody with Menominee County Human Services since October, according to court documents.

Tepiew pleaded guilty to assault of a minor causing serious bodily injury.

Tepiew’s attorney, Thomas Phillip, asked that she be placed on probation, saying that Tepiew had blacked out from alcohol use before noticing the infant’s injuries and did not have a working car or telephone to seek help.

Tepiew has maintained contact with her children, has worked steadily before and during the case, and wants to support herself and her family, Phillip wrote.

Phillip said that putting Tepiew on probation would allow her to continue to seek treatment for alcohol abuse and hold open the possibility of reuniting with her children.

“But other than retribution, what other purpose would prison serve?” he asked. “It would halt any progress that Tepiew has made and is making. It would certainly delay any reunification of Tepiew and her children, and it could possibly even prevent reunification from ever happening.”

Tepiew faced a maximum 10-year sentence. Humble sought four years.

“A lesser sentence, and especially one of probation, would fail to promote respect for the law and would send the message to Ms. Tepiew and others in the community that the physical abuse of a child and subsequent failure to render medical aid is an excusable offense,” Humble wrote.

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Public Record

Thu, 06/16/2016 - 7:16am

Shawano Police Department

June 14

Police logged 29 incidents, including the following:

Shoplifting — Walmart, 1244 E. Green Bay St., reported two shoplifters in custody.

Assault — A sexual assault complaint was under investigation.

Vandalism — A vehicle was reported vandalized in the 700 block of South Main Street.

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

Reckless Driving — Police responded to a reckless driving complaint at Green Bay and Main streets.

Reckless Driving — Police responded to a reckless driving complaint at Randall Street and Maiden Lane.

Shawano County Sheriff’s Department

June 14

Deputies logged 43 incidents, including the following:

Suspicious — Authorities responded to a suspicious vehicle complaint at Ho-Chunk Casino, N7198 U.S. Highway 45, Wittenberg.

Suspicious — Authorities responded to a suspicious person complaint on Freeborn Street in Cecil.

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

Fraud — Authorities investigated a fraud complaint on Pine Road in the town of Birnamwood.

Burglary — A burglary was reported on First Street in Aniwa.

Assault — Authorities investigated an assault complaint on Hemlock Road in the town of Wittenberg.

Theft — A binge drinking awareness sign was reported stolen on Highway 22 in the town of Belle Plaine.

OAR — A 25-year-old man was cited for operating after revocation on Highway 47 in the town of Red Springs.

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

Clintonville Police Department

June 14

Police logged 12 incidents, including the following:

Theft — A theft from a vehicle was reported on Harrison Avenue.

Theft — A purse was reported stolen on 16th Street.

Burglary — A burglary was reported on 19th Street.

Theft — Theft from a vehicle was reported on Garfield Avenue.

Hit and Run — A property damage hit-and-run was reported in a north side parking lot.

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County fair building upgrade proposed

Tue, 06/14/2016 - 10:39pm
Funds requested in 2017 capital spending planBy: 

Scott Williams, [email protected]


Leader File Photo The existing Junior Fair Building on the Shawano County Fair grounds needs a new roof, lighting, insulation and more, according to a county funding request.
Contributed Photo As shown in a rendering, the improved Junior Fair Building would be transformed with repairs and a new red-and-green exterior.

Shawano County Fair boosters are trying again to attract county funds to remodel a building that, for many families, is the center of attraction throughout the fair.

If funding is approved, the Junior Fair Building would get an overhaul next year to include a new roof, doors, lighting, insulation and painting.

The project would cost an estimated $170,000, of which the county is being asked to provide $125,000.

A previous county funding request to make improvements in 2016 stalled after officials determined that it had come too late in the county’s annual budget-making process.

With the 2017 budget just getting started, county leaders are sounding optimistic about identifying funds this time around for the building.

“I would hope it’s a popular project,” County Supervisor Randy Young said. “I’d be all for backing that project.”

County Board members will get their first look Wednesday at a list of projects for which funds are being requested under the county’s capital spending plan for 2017.

Along with the Junior Fair Building, the list includes such proposals as $130,000 for a new shelter at Waukechon County Park, $90,000 to resurface a section of the Mountain Bay Trail, $65,000 to build a new highway storage shelter, $35,000 to install new equipment in the county jail kitchen, $33,000 for playground equipment at Sunset Island Park and $26,500 to upgrade county courthouse security video, among many others.

A committee will review all the proposals, starting Wednesday, and send recommendations to the County Board later this year.

For 2016, the County Board approved about $460,000 in capital spending as part of an overall county budget of $51 million, which included $15.4 million in property tax collections.

The county fairgrounds is owned by the county, but managed by the private Shawano County Agricultural Society. The society has agreed to raise $45,000 for the Junior Fair Building improvements if the county will allocate $125,000.

Dale Hodkiewicz, president of the agricultural society, said although the 50-year-old building “isn’t going to fall down,” some repairs and upgrades are needed.

“We want to keep the place looking nice,” he said. “It’s functional — it just needs some tender loving care.”

Also sometimes known as the 4-H Building, the structure is home to 4-H club members and their families throughout the county fair, which takes place from Aug. 31 to Sept. 5 this year.

In addition to structural repairs and upgrades, plans call for repainting the exterior in bright red and green colors.

It is the only capital spending proposal submitted by the University of Wisconsin-Extension office and endorsed by the County Board agriculture committee.

County Supervisor Marvin Klosterman, a member of the committee, said he plans to advocate funding for the project in capital spending priorities for next year. Noting the Junior Fair Building’s high-profile location on the fairgrounds, Klosterman said the building should be improved.

“That’s one of the focal buildings on the fairgrounds,” he said. “That would really enhance the looks of the fairgrounds.”

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Bonduel moves closer to demolishing downtown building

Tue, 06/14/2016 - 10:36pm
Owner misses repair deadlineBy: 

Scott Williams, [email protected]

Demolition could get started this summer on a downtown Bonduel building after the property owner missed a village deadline for completing repairs.

Village Board members have agreed to begin soliciting estimates on the cost of razing the vacant commercial-residential building at 101 E. Green Bay St.

The village had given owner Keith Block until approximately late May to fix a leaky roof, crumbling walls, moldy basement and other problems.

Village President Sharon Wussow said the landlord failed to comply with the order and has been unresponsive to attempts at addressing the building’s troubles. Wussow said village officials are concerned that the two-story building has become a public safety hazard.

“The safety comes first,” she said. “Who knows when that building could come down and do some damage?”

Contacted by telephone, Block said repairs inside the building have been started. Block said he hopes to get the property repaired and then find a buyer. He would not comment further, saying he wanted instead to communicate with village officials.

“I would much prefer to deal with them,” he said.

Asked how he would respond to village demolition efforts, he said: “I guess we’ll cross that bridge when we get there.”

Located in the heart of downtown at the intersection of Green Bay Street and Cecil Street, the property once housed an ice cream shop, a sporting goods store and other attractions. The upstairs includes several apartments that have long since been vacated.

Block, who lives in Wrightstown, also owns the Wisconsin House Inn hotel in Shawano and has similarly battled with city leaders over that property.

After trying for months to persuade Block to address the troubled Bonduel property, village leaders in March issued the property owner an order to complete repairs or raze the building within 60 days. Officials said the deadline passed without any response from Block.

If the village now demolishes the property, it would be at public expense and could result in the village placing a lien on the property to recoup its costs.

The Village Board is scheduled to meet on June 21 to review the first initial estimate on demolition costs.

Depending on costs and other factors, Wussow said, demolition could conceivably take place as soon as this summer or fall.

Village Board member Luka Zischka called the building an eyesore and a safety hazard, saying that the move to gather demolition estimates is “proactive but precautionary.”

Acknowledging the need for extensive repairs, Zischka said he wishes there was a way to avoid demolition and to restore the property and make it useful again. But he agreed that such an outcome would seem unlikely without the property owner’s cooperation.

“I’d love the building to stay there,” he said. “I would like to do anything I could to keep the building intact.”

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