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Shawano County Fair Schedule

Thu, 09/01/2016 - 7:42am

Thursday, Sept. 1

Events

9 a.m.: Gates open; junior class swine show and pee wee showmanship class with open swine show to follow, Coliseum

5 p.m.: Open and junior beef show, Coliseum

6 p.m.: Homemade beer and wine judging, Crawford Center

Entertainment

6 p.m.: Wasted Stay, under the Grandstand

6-10 p.m.: New Generation, President’s Park

Dusk: Fireworks, Grandstand

Activities

5 p.m.: Bingo, north side of fairgrounds

5-10 p.m.: Rainbow Valley Rides

6 p.m.: Choose to Move 5K, Grandstand

9 p.m.: Cosmic Bingo, north side of fairgrounds

Friday, Sept. 2

Events

9 a.m.: Open and junior rabbit show, Small Animal Building; open and junior sheep show and pee wee showmanship class, Coliseum; open and junior dairy and meat goat show, Coliseum

11 a.m. to 8 p.m.: Classic car show, Crawford Center

3 p.m.: Horse trail class, horse barns; open and junior class exotic domestic animal show, Coliseum

5 p.m.: Decorated cake auction

6:30 p.m.: Market animal auction of beef, swine and sheep

Entertainment

1-5 p.m.: Roger’s Polka Party, President’s Park

7 p.m.: Shawano Speedway Enduro Race, Grandstand

7-11 p.m.: Chad Przybylski, President’s Park

7:30 p.m.: Led West, under the Grandstand

Activities

12:30 p.m.: Bingo, north side of fairgrounds

5 p.m.: Bingo, north side of fairgrounds

5-10 p.m.: Rainbow Valley Rides

9 p.m.: Cosmic Bingo, north side of fairgrounds

Saturday, Sept. 3

Events

9 a.m.: Junior class dairy cattle show, Coliseum; open class horse show, including junior dressage and jumping competitions, Crawford Center; open and junior poultry and poultry products show, Small Animal Building

11 a.m.-8 p.m.: Classic car show, Crawford Center

Entertainment

1-4 p.m.: Polka Dynamics, President’s Park

2 and 4 p.m.: Magic Matt’s Family Fun Show, Junior Building Stage

6 p.m.: Stock Car Races Championship Night, Grandstand

8:30 p.m.: Adam Trask Band, under the grandstand; Neal Zunker, President’s Park

Activities

11 a.m.: Kiddie tractor pull, noon start

12-11 p.m.: Rainbow Valley Rides; $1.50 per ride from noon to 5 p.m.

12:30 p.m.: Bingo, north side of fairgrounds

5 p.m.: Bingo, north side of fairgrounds

9 p.m.: Cosmic Bingo, north side of fairgrounds

Sunday, Sept. 4

Events

9 a.m.: Gates open; open class dairy show, Coliseum; junior class horse show, Crawford Center

10 a.m.: Protestant church service, under the grandstand

11 a.m.: Polka Mass, President’s Park

11 a.m.-8 p.m.: Classic Car Show, Crawford Center

Noon: Dairy Pee Wee showmanship class, Coliseum

Entertainment

1 p.m.: Tag Races, Trailer Races and Spectator Eliminators, Grandstand

1-5 p.m.: Jerry Voelker, President’s Park

2, 4:30 and 6:30 p.m.: Magic Matt’s Family Fun Show, Junior Building Stage

7-10 p.m.: TNT Polka, President’s Park

8:30 p.m.: Johnny Wad, under the grandstand

Activities

12-11 p.m.: Rainbow Valley Rides

12:30 p.m.: Bingo, north side of fairgrounds

5 p.m.: Bingo, north side of fairgrounds

9 p.m.: Cosmic Bingo, north side of fairgrounds

Monday, Sept. 5

Events

9 a.m.: Gates open; rooster crowing contests followed by a chicken flying contest and human crowing contest, Coliseum

10 a.m.: Poultry, rabbit and goat auction, Coliseum

11 a.m. to 8 p.m.: Classic car show, Crawford Center

Entertainment

10:30 a.m.: 4-H drill team performance, Crawford Center

11 a.m.: Fun day horse games, Crawford Center

12 and 1:30 p.m.: Magic Matt’s Family Fun Show, Junior Building Stage

1 p.m.: Demolition derby, Grandstand

1-4 p.m.: Alvin Styczynski, President’s Park

Activities

12-6 p.m.: Rainbow Valley Rides

12:30 p.m.: Bingo, north side of fairgrounds

1-3 p.m.: FFA Olympics, Coliseum

5 p.m. Bingo, north side of fairgrounds

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Animals arrive at new home

Thu, 09/01/2016 - 7:39am
Living fair exhibits require constant care over 6-day runBy: 

Lee Pulaski, [email protected]


Leader Photo by Lee Pulaski Hannah Cerveny, 12, of Gresham, checks the water supply for several pigs, including two of hers, at the swine barn Wednesday morning. This is Cerveny’s first time exhibiting animals at the Shawano County Fair.
Leader Photo by Lee Pulaski Trucks with animal trailers were lined up Wednesday near the animal barns as exhibitors moved expeditiously to unload their animals.

There will be hundreds of animals on display over the six-day Shawano County Fair, but behind every animal is an owner spending countless hours making sure it is cared for properly.

The fair officially opened Wednesday evening with a ceremony and a few other events, but animal exhibitors were at the fairgrounds bright and early to get their animals into their pens. The colorful displays describing the animals only take a few minutes to set up, but the needs of the animals themselves can be an around-the-clock effort.

Just ask the Breitrick family from Tilleda. Kerry Breitrick said her two daughters, Skye, 13, and Brooke, 17, have six beef steers, three pigs and a dozen rabbits entered in this year’s fair, and there will be very little rest for the girls as they participate in the various animal shows over the next few days.

“My daughters stay here at the Super 8 with their dad so they can get here right away in the morning,” Breitrick said. “They’re feeding them and checking on them throughout the day. We’re pretty much here from before it opens … and then they’re here well after dark, 10:30 or 11 at night.”

The girls, both members of the Tilleda Timberwolves 4-H Club, spent a large portion of their morning washing the steers that will take part in the fair’s beef show, which starts at 5 p.m. Thursday in the Coliseum. Washing the animals can run anywhere from 45 minutes to an hour, depending on how cooperative they are, Breitrick said, and then the day of the show, another 15-20 minutes will be spent blow drying the animals prior to bringing them into the arena.

“You want to do a really good job,” Breitrick said. “You regularly wash them and get them adjusted to the process during the summer. I would say two to three times a week (prior to the fair) they wash them.”

The family brought 200 pounds of grain and nine bales of hay to feed the animals.

“We’re hoping that’ll suffice for the fair,” Breitrick said.

Hannah Cerveny, 12, estimated she would be spending a few hours each day caring for the two pigs she entered in this year’s fair. Cerveny, a member of the Gresham FFA, is exhibiting for the first time.

Cerveny said she was enjoying taking care of not only her pigs but also the ones belonging to friends. She spent part of Wednesday morning checking to make sure the animals had plenty of water.

“You have to make sure they’re cared for,” Cerveny said.

Cerveny said she gives her pigs a type of feed that is 18 percent protein with the rest containing corn. She said each pig consumes at least five to six cups of feed per day.

Although animals were not allowed on-site until the opening day of the fair, Kelli Posbrig, 11, of the Country Korner 4-H Club, was there with her family Tuesday night, cleaning up the area where her animals would be displayed and ensuring plenty of sawdust was on the ground for their comfort.

“I’m here every day,” Posbrig said. “You make sure they’re fed and bedded, and you have to make sure they don’t make a mess. We’re here as much as we can, from the time we get to the fairgrounds to the time we go home.”

Posbrig is entering beef, swine and poultry this year. Although she has entered the fair previously with other animals, it is her first year showing beef.

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Commission backs agreement for microbrewery

Thu, 09/01/2016 - 7:36am
Site is former Crescent theater downtownBy: 

Tim Ryan, [email protected]

The Shawano Plan Commission on Wednesday recommended approval of a developer’s agreement that would turn the former Crescent Pitcher Show at 220 S. Main St. into a microbrewery and pub.

The agreement with Stubborn Brothers Brewery LLC, of Marion, will provide a low-interest loan and a grant to the brewery, with the money coming from one of the city’s Tax Incremental Finance districts.

Brewery representatives weren’t at the meeting, but Dennis Heling, chief economic development officer with Shawano County Economic Progress Inc., said the owners’ intent was to be a brew/pub, have entertainment and create a viewing area where patrons could see the brewing process.

“Obviously, they would probably have some type of food, small types of food, because they’re not looking for people to just come in and drink beer,” Heling said. “Upstairs their goal is to have a banquet hall, a banquet area where they intend to work with local purveyors of food so those can be catered in. It appears that will be part of their business.”

The developer’s agreement calls for the city to provide Stubborn Brothers with a $270,000 10-year loan at a 4 percent interest rate, and a grant of $80,000.

For its part, Stubborn Brothers is expecting to put about $547,000 in remodeling costs into the project.

“That’s a pretty substantial investment in that old building,” said Eddie Sheppard, assistant city administrator. “It’s kind of a good deal for Shawano if you look at it that way.”

It’s expected the building will have an assessed valuation of $500,000, including personal property, once the remodeling and renovation is done. If it falls below that figure, Stubborn Brothers will have to make a payment to the city in lieu of taxes to make up the difference in property tax revenue.

It’s anticipated the remodeling and renovation will be completed by June.

The Shawano Common Council will take up the agreement on Wednesday.

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Mold found in high school classrooms

Thu, 09/01/2016 - 7:35am
Classes relocated on first day of school yearBy: 

Scott Williams, [email protected]

Mold discovered inside Shawano Community High School is displacing students in several classrooms on the first day of the new school year.

Shawano School District Superintendent Gary Cumberland said a problem in the school’s cooling system allowed mold to develop over the summer in about a half-dozen classrooms in the building wing that houses art, music and band.

Cleaning crews removed visible signs of the mold, which was not toxic, but it could take several more days before air-quality tests demonstrate whether the classrooms are safe.

“We’re not going to have any kids in any of the classrooms until we get the all-clear,” Cumberland said.

Students are returning from summer vacation Thursday to begin the 2016-17 school year.

Jaime Bodden, public health director of the Shawano-Menominee Counties Health Department, said mold found in most nonindustrial settings typically is not toxic, although it can cause breathing problems and allergic reactions.

Bodden said her department would assist the school district if needed with the high school problem.

“It sounds like they have a game plan in place,” she said.

Cumberland said displaced classes would be moved temporarily to an auditorium, lecture hall or other facilities in the high school.

The mold problem was uncovered when teachers returned from summer break, the superintendent said. Air-quality tests showed that the affected classrooms had elevated levels of mold in the air.

The district hired SERVPRO of Green Bay to handle the cleanup, and school staffers initially thought they had the issue resolved. Cumberland said he decided to enlist environmental consultants to test the air quality after the cleanup. Those test results could be available by Tuesday.

When officials realized the situation would not be resolved before students returned from summer break on Thursday, the district sent a notice out to parents and issued a statement to the news media.

“The Shawano School District apologizes for the inconvenience,” the statement said, “but wants to be sure that all rooms are fully cleaned prior to having students in them.”

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Clintonville gets grant to study downtown, rec center needs

Thu, 09/01/2016 - 7:34am
Kell: Important for downtown revitalization effortsBy: 

Grace Kirchner, Leader Correspondent

The Wisconsin Department of Administration has awarded a $25,000 Community Development Block Grant to Clintonville to help develop a revitalization plan for a portion of the downtown and an assessment of future uses for the former armory, which is home to the city’s recreation center.

City Administrator Chuck Kell said the funding is an important step in the city’s efforts to identify downtown revitalization strategies along the Pigeon River and to determine how much it would cost to make the rec center, 55 E. 12th St., a focal point for city activities in the downtown area.

Kell said the recreation center project could potentially qualify for a $500,000 construction grant.

“There needs to be a strong definite plan for the use of the building and a community consensus in what should be done with the facility.” he said. “Until now that has not been none.”

The downtown revitalization plan will consider tax-generating commercial uses and residential opportunities for the properties along 11th Street adjacent to the Pigeon River, including redevelopment of the old Merc building and the former bowling alley that is scheduled to be torn down later this year.

Kell says the city might consider a new Tax Incremental Finance district in the downtown, but there first needs to be a clear plan in place.

TIF districts are areas where municipalities invest in infrastructure, such as sewer and water, to attract development where it might not otherwise occur, or to make improvements, such as eliminating blight. Whatever increase in tax revenue that results from development in those districts goes to paying back the debt the municipality incurred from making improvements to the district.

Kell said the city, including residents and the Common Council, needs to develop plans for the downtown. There are buildings that need attention soon, he said, or they will go the way the bowling alley did.

“It is important to apply for another plan for the whole downtown,” he said.

Statewide, the DOA distributed $8.2 million through the block grants program this year to improve and build public facilities and to encourage further planning.

“Our administration is committed to helping local governments upgrade infrastructure vital to the growth of their community,” Secretary Scott Neitzel said. “These funds will help local governments improve our communities to ensure Wisconsin remains a great place to live and to do business.”

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Court News

Thu, 09/01/2016 - 7:28am

Strangulation

A Neopit man is charged with a felony count of strangulation and suffocation for an alleged domestic abuse incident in the Shawano on Saturday.

Darwin L. Thunder, 23, could face a maximum six years in prison and a $10,000 fine if convicted. He is also charged with misdemeanor counts of battery and resisting an officer.

Thunder is accused of trying to smother the woman during the altercation.

He is free on a $1,000 signature bond and scheduled for a preliminary hearing Oct. 13.

Strangulation

A Bowler man is facing a felony charge of strangulation and suffocation as a result of an alleged domestic abuse incident in Tigerton.

Adams T. Davids, 27, could face a maximum six years in prison and a $10,000 fine if convicted. He is also charged with misdemeanor battery.

Davids is accused of choking a woman during an Aug. 17 altercation.

He is free on a $500 cash bond and is due in court for an adjourned initial appearance Tuesday.

Child abuse

A Shawano man has been charged with a felony count of physical abuse of a child with the probability of great bodily harm.

Nicolas Rivera, 21, could face a maximum 12 1/2 years in prison and a $25,000 fine if found guilty. He is also charged with a misdemeanor count of domestic abuse-related disorderly conduct.

He is accused of repeatedly striking a 17-year-old girl during a domestic disturbance in the city Aug. 24.

Rivera is free on a $1,000 signature bond and is due back in court Tuesday for an adjourned initial appearance.

Felony OWI

A Birnamwood man is facing a felony count of operating while intoxicated for his alleged fourth drunken driving offense in the last five years.

Joseph S. Sazama, 54, was arrested Friday in Wittenberg after a sheriff’s deputy who pulled him over on County Road Q for not wearing a seat belt, according to the criminal complaint.

The complaint alleges Sazama had a preliminary breath test showing a blood-alcohol level of 0.163 percent, twice the legal limit.

Sazama is free on a $2,500 signature bond and is due back in court Tuesday for an adjourned initial appearance.

Burglary

A Shawano woman has been charged with a felony count of burglary for allegedly breaking into a room in the city in July and stealing prescription medication.

Amy F. Henning, 45, could face a maximum 12 1/2 years in prison and a $25,000 fine if convicted. She is also charged with a felony count of possessing narcotic drugs, which carries a maximum 3 1/2 years in prison and a $10,000 fine, along with misdemeanor counts of theft, possession of a controlled substance and possessing an illegally obtained prescription.

She is due in court for an initial appearance Sept. 19.

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Public Record

Thu, 09/01/2016 - 7:26am

Shawano Police Department

Aug. 30

Police logged 28 incidents, including the following:

Arrest — A woman was taken into custody at the probation and parole offices, 1340 E. Green Bay St.

Drug Offense — Police investigated a drug complaint in the 200 block of South Andrews Street.

Accident — Police responded to a minor accident in the 1300 block of East Green Bay Street.

Disturbance — Police responded to a domestic disturbance in the 400 block of South Washington Street.

Shawano County Sheriff’s Department

Aug. 30

Deputies logged 37 incidents, including the following:

OAR — A 23-year-old Wausau woman was cited for operating after revocation and arrested on a probation hold on Berry Street in Bowler.

Disorderly — A 44-year-old St. Louis man was arrested for disorderly conduct and criminal damage to property on County Road MM in the town of Richmond.

Clintonville Police Department

Aug. 30

Police logged 14 incidents, including the following:

Theft — Thefts from vehicles were reported on Dodge and Waupaca streets. A vehicle was also reported broken into on Sixth Street.

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

Disturbance — Police responded to a domestic disturbance on Stewart Street.

Disturbance — Police responded to a domestic disturbance on Brix Street.

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Shawano County Fair Schedule

Wed, 08/31/2016 - 7:42am

Wednesday, Aug. 31

Events

5 p.m.: Gates open; junior class dog show and pee wee showmanship class, Crawford Center

6 p.m.: Junior class cat show, Junior Building

Entertainment

6:30 p.m.: Truck and farm tractor pull, Grandstand

Activities

6-10 p.m.: Rainbow Valley Rides

Thursday, Sept. 1

Events

9 a.m.: Gates open; junior class swine show and pee wee showmanship class with open swine show to follow, Coliseum

5 p.m.: Open and junior beef show, Coliseum

6 p.m.: Homemade beer and wine judging, Crawford Center

Entertainment

6 p.m.: Wasted Stay, under the Grandstand

6-10 p.m.: New Generation, President’s Park

Dusk: Fireworks, Grandstand

Activities

5 p.m.: Bingo, north side of fairgrounds

5-10 p.m.: Rainbow Valley Rides

6 p.m.: Choose to Move 5K, Grandstand

9 p.m.: Cosmic Bingo, north side of fairgrounds

Friday, Sept. 2

Events

9 a.m.: Open and junior rabbit show, Small Animal Building; open and junior sheep show and pee wee showmanship class, Coliseum; open and junior dairy and meat goat show, Coliseum

11 a.m. to 8 p.m.: Classic car show, Crawford Center

3 p.m.: Horse trail class, horse barns; open and junior class exotic domestic animal show, Coliseum

5 p.m.: Decorated cake auction

6:30 p.m.: Market animal auction of beef, swine and sheep

Entertainment

1-5 p.m.: Roger’s Polka Party, President’s Park

7 p.m.: Shawano Speedway Enduro Race, Grandstand

7-11 p.m.: Chad Przybylski, President’s Park

7:30 p.m.: Led West, under the Grandstand

Activities

12:30 p.m.: Bingo, north side of fairgrounds

5 p.m.: Bingo, north side of fairgrounds

5-10 p.m.: Rainbow Valley Rides

9 p.m.: Cosmic Bingo, north side of fairgrounds

Saturday, Sept. 3

Events

9 a.m.: Junior class dairy cattle show, Coliseum; open class horse show, including junior dressage and jumping competitions, Crawford Center; open and junior poultry and poultry products show, Small Animal Building

11 a.m.-8 p.m.: Classic car show, Crawford Center

Entertainment

1-4 p.m.: Polka Dynamics, President’s Park

2 and 4 p.m.: Magic Matt’s Family Fun Show, Junior Building Stage

6 p.m.: Stock Car Races Championship Night, Grandstand

8:30 p.m.: Adam Trask Band, under the grandstand; Neal Zunker, President’s Park

Activities

11 a.m.: Kiddie tractor pull, noon start

12-11 p.m.: Rainbow Valley Rides; $1.50 per ride from noon to 5 p.m.

12:30 p.m.: Bingo, north side of fairgrounds

5 p.m.: Bingo, north side of fairgrounds

9 p.m.: Cosmic Bingo, north side of fairgrounds

Sunday, Sept. 4

Events

9 a.m.: Gates open; open class dairy show, Coliseum; junior class horse show, Crawford Center

10 a.m.: Protestant church service, under the grandstand

11 a.m.: Polka Mass, President’s Park

11 a.m.-8 p.m.: Classic Car Show, Crawford Center

Noon: Dairy Pee Wee showmanship class, Coliseum

Entertainment

1 p.m.: Tag Races, Trailer Races and Spectator Eliminators, Grandstand

1-5 p.m.: Jerry Voelker, President’s Park

2, 4:30 and 6:30 p.m.: Magic Matt’s Family Fun Show, Junior Building Stage

7-10 p.m.: TNT Polka, President’s Park

8:30 p.m.: Johnny Wad, under the grandstand

Activities

12-11 p.m.: Rainbow Valley Rides

12:30 p.m.: Bingo, north side of fairgrounds

5 p.m.: Bingo, north side of fairgrounds

9 p.m.: Cosmic Bingo, north side of fairgrounds

Monday, Sept. 5

Events

9 a.m.: Gates open; rooster crowing contests followed by a chicken flying contest and human crowing contest, Coliseum

10 a.m.: Poultry, rabbit and goat auction, Coliseum

11 a.m. to 8 p.m.: Classic car show, Crawford Center

Entertainment

10:30 a.m.: 4-H drill team performance, Crawford Center

11 a.m.: Fun day horse games, Crawford Center

12 and 1:30 p.m.: Magic Matt’s Family Fun Show, Junior Building Stage

1 p.m.: Demolition derby, Grandstand

1-4 p.m.: Alvin Styczynski, President’s Park

Activities

12-6 p.m.: Rainbow Valley Rides

12:30 p.m.: Bingo, north side of fairgrounds

1-3 p.m.: FFA Olympics, Coliseum

5 p.m. Bingo, north side of fairgrounds

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Ready for showtime

Wed, 08/31/2016 - 7:40am
Crews transform 40-acre fairgroundsBy: 

Scott Williams, [email protected]


Leader Photo by Scott Williams Bear Erdmann washes the outside of the tent Tuesday for his Nickel Pitch game, as final preparations wind down for the Shawano County Fair.
Leader Photo by Scott Williams Jennifer Bunner arranges the stuffed-animal prizes Tuesday at the Duck Pond game at the Shawano County Fair, which opens Wednesday.

Let the fun begin.

Crew members completed the final preparations Tuesday for the end-of-summer blowout of entertainment and friendly competition that is the Shawano County Fair.

The gates open at 5 p.m. Wednesday to signal the start of the county fair’s six-day exposition on the fairgrounds in Shawano.

“I love the fair,” said Bear Erdmann as he was setting up the colorful tent for his Nickel Pitch game on the midway.

Erdmann’s family has been offering fun games for Shawano County Fair crowds since he was a kid. Sweat dripped from his forehead Tuesday as he talked about how he looks forward each summer to seeing old friends and familiar faces.

“It comes once a year,” he said. “It’s like a big family reunion.”

With just hours until the first spectators arrive on the fairgrounds, vendors and volunteers were busy putting the finishing touches on carnival rides, food stands and other attractions covering the estimated 40-acre fairgrounds.

The Shawano Area Agricultural Society leases the county-owned property and organizes the county fair.

Pat Brusky, a member of the fair board, said getting the fairgrounds ready is a labor of love, from the livestock barns and performance stages to the picnic tables and even the trash barrels.

Brusky, who was using a front-end loader Tuesday to fill a sandbox for kids, said the fairgrounds is transformed in just a few days leading up to the opening ceremonies.

“The pre-fair is always fun,” he said. “It’s a little hectic, and it’s a lot of work, but it’s always fun.”

Final preparations took place Tuesday under sunny hot weather, and fair organizers were excited to hear forecasts for mild temperatures and clear skies in the days ahead.

Joe Kedrowicz, owner of Rainbow Valley Rides Inc., was supervising his crews as they assembled the Ferris wheel, merry-go-round and about 20 others rides on the midway. Everything was going smoothly, Kedrowicz said, and he was looking forward to seeing the crowds.

Shawano County Fair organizers are helpful and cooperative people who share Rainbow Valley’s simple philosophy of working hard and doing a good job, he said.

“You can’t ask for better people,” he said. “You get that down-home sort of feeling here.”

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RDA fields questions on blight plan

Wed, 08/31/2016 - 7:37am
Public hearing still to be scheduledBy: 

Tim Ryan, [email protected]


Leader Photo by Tim Ryan RDA Vice Chairman Dave Kerber, right, answers a resident’s questions during an open house on the RDA’s plan for a recently established blight elimination district Tuesday at City Hall.

Nearly three dozen people turned out Tuesday for an open house on the Shawano Redevelopment Authority’s project plan for addressing blighted properties in a recently established blight elimination district.

The RDA had expected to have a public hearing and approval of its project plan last month before questions and concerns raised by property owners sent the authority back to square one in terms of public outreach.

Tuesday’s open house was aimed at giving residents an opportunity to get their questions answered in one-on-one conversations with RDA officials.

“I hope that’s what’s happening here tonight. That was the goal,” RDA Chair Amanda Sheppard said.

Visitor reviews were mixed, however.

“I was a little disappointed in it,” Mary Bohm said. “I thought it would be a back-and-forth, give-and-take kind of meeting.”

Jim Oberstein said the open house was a good start, but “I wish we could follow up with the opportunity to ask questions back and forth. That’s what I thought tonight was going to be about.”

Judy Oberstein said she had hoped for a roundtable discussion.

“This doesn’t quite make it comfortable enough to sit and really engage in a good conversation when you’re standing like this,” she said.

Sheppard said people would get the opportunity for back-and-forth dialogue at the public hearing.

Other residents said they were pleased with the information they got Tuesday.

“We did get our questions answered and we’re very positive and we’re hoping the city can keep moving forward even though it may be a slow process,” Cindy Van Belkom said.

Sandra King came to the open house with concerns about being in the blight district even though her property is not deemed blighted.

“They assured me now that they’re just going to leave me alone,” she said.

John Baird came to learn whether there were grants or other financial assistance for improvements to his property.

“They’re more for commercial properties, but I’m in a commercial area, so they’re going to let me know if something’s available,” he said. “I would love to do a concrete driveway rather than my bricks, because every 10 or 15 years those bricks break down and they’re blighted, so it’s a never ending battle.”

Baird said she was resigned to being in the district and was taking a wait-and-see approach to how well the district is supervised.

He said property owners should be given plenty of time to make improvements.

“Don’t push. I think that’s a great strategy,” he said.

Mayor Jeanne Cronce said the questions she was hearing Tuesday were similar to those asked at recent Common Council meetings, but with an opportunity for people to get a further explanation and understanding of the RDA’s priorities and objectives.

RDA Vice Chair Dave Kerber said the public hearing would go into more detailed nuts and bolts of the project plan and identify the properties the RDA considers priorities.

“The public hearing is where we will lay out our plan of action,” he said.

The plan will then have to go to the Common Council for approval.

The public hearing date was not been set.

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Sheriff’s deputies now have body cameras

Wed, 08/31/2016 - 7:28am
Stockbridge-Munsee Tribe donated $20KBy: 

Tim Ryan, [email protected]


Contributed Photo Lt. Kurt Kitzman is fitted for his new body camera by a Vievu representative Tuesday at the Shawano County Sheriff’s Department.

Shawano County sheriff’s deputies Tuesday were issued body cameras for the first time, something Sheriff Adam Bieber had pushed for since taking over the department in January 2015.

“This is an important tool for our deputies as it acts as an independent witness,” Bieber said.

He said the cameras would reduce incidents of citizen complaints and complaints of alleged officer “use of force.”

Body camera video can be used in court and used to interview witnesses, suspects, and complainants, which will help officers get a more complete report, Bieber said.

Bieber said the body cams will not change the way deputies do their jobs, but it does add to the equipment they will carry.

“Deputies will need to familiarize themselves with the camera and get into a habit of turning the camera on per policy,” he said.

Deputies were trained in use of the body cams Tuesday.

“Our goal when we started this process was to have the camera’s issued for the Shawano County Fair. We have met our deadline and we are excited to use the cameras,” he said.

Not all deputies are comfortable using the cameras, but, Bieber said, he believes they will get accustomed to them.

“Some feel body cameras are unnecessary. Some may be concerned that administration may use the video to ‘armchair quarterback’ deputies, which is not the case,” he said. “I know that as the deputies get familiar with the cameras they will grow to appreciate them.”

The Stockbridge-Munsee Tribe donated $20,000 to the county to pay the cost of acquiring the body cameras, which will be affixed to deputy uniforms and videotape their movements.

“I want to thank everyone involved in the process of selecting and purchasing the body cameras,” Bieber said.

The department looked at six vendors before choosing the Vievu body cameras.

“They’ve been in the business for quite some time now,” Bieber said.

“Stockbridge-Munsee Nation really moved our plans forward with their monetary grant of $20,000,” Bieber said. “We worked with the County Board to provide video storage, and Matt Heitpas from the county’s technical support really made this idea a reality. It was a team effort.”

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Public Record

Wed, 08/31/2016 - 7:25am

Shawano Police Department

Aug. 29

Police logged 26 incidents, including the following:

Juvenile — Police responded to a juvenile problem in the 300 block of West Swan Street.

Arrest — A 55-year-old man was taken into custody at the probation and parole offices, 1340 E. Green Bay St.

Theft — A backpack was reported stolen from an unlocked vehicle at Kuckuk Park, 500 Oak Drive.

Arrest — A 54-year-old man was taken into custody at the probation and parole offices, 1340 E. Green Bay St.

Theft — A firearm was reported stolen from a residence in the 700 block of South Union Street.

Disturbance — Police responded to a disturbance in the 800 block of East Richmond Street.

Shawano County Sheriff’s Department

Aug. 29

Deputies logged 33 incidents, including the following:

Theft — A wallet reported stolen on Cattau Beach Drive was later located.

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

Theft — A campaign sign was reported stolen on Lake Drive in the town of Washington.

Theft — Authorities responded to a property theft complaint on Pine Drive in the town of Red Springs.

Clintonville Police Department

Aug. 29

Police logged 14 incidents, including the following:

Disturbance — Police responded to a disturbance on Stewart Street.

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

Hit and Run — Police investigated a property damage hit-and-run on North Main Street.

Warrant — A 34-year-old Clintonville man was arrested on a warrant on Stewart Street.

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Patient care areas at ThedaCare reopened

Wed, 08/31/2016 - 7:24am
Some areas still need repairBy: 

Tim Ryan, [email protected]

Most of the patient care areas affected by a flooding issue at ThedaCare Medical Center-Shawano have reopened, hospital officials said Tuesday, but there are some problem areas that will need extensive work.

The stress lab, nuclear medicine, sleep study and one general radiology room will need demolition, requiring up to eight weeks for repair, the hospital said.

An old and abandoned water main feeding a fire hydrant allowed water to enter the building, causing flooding and water damage on Aug. 9.

Areas fully reopened since then include X-ray, CT, ultrasound, mammography and MRI. Surgery and outpatient treatment have also resumed.

Also, the validation process for the lab has been completed and on-site testing will resume, hospital officials said.

“As when we moved less than a year ago, everyone pulled together as one team with one purpose. From the moment the flooding began, everyone pitched in to help,” said Dorothy Erdmann, CEO of the hospital.

“The support and response both locally and from system resources is what families do for each other, including work families. We are there to help each other,” she said. “No patients were harmed, no employees were injured. Because of our staff’s hard work and long hours, we stayed open and continued to care for patients.”

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Public Record

Tue, 08/30/2016 - 11:28am

Shawano Police Department

Aug. 28

Police logged 21 incidents, including the following:

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

Suspicious — Police responded to a suspicious person complaint in the 600 block of Mills Street.

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

Disturbance — Police responded to a disturbance in the 1100 block of East Lieg Avenue.

Aug. 27

Police logged 26 incidents, including the following:

Disturbance — Police responded to a disturbance at Green Bay Street and Fairview Avenue.

Theft — An attempted theft from a vehicle was reported in the 400 block of East Division Street.

Disturbance — Police responded to a domestic disturbance in the 400 block of Humphrey Circle.

Accident — Police responded to a property damage accident in the 500 block of South Hamlin Street.

Theft — Keys were reported stolen from a car in the 600 block of East Schurz Street.

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

Disorderly — Police responded to a disorderly conduct complaint in the 1400 block of Waukechon Road.

Disorderly — Police responded to a disorderly conduct complaint in the 900 block of Olson Street.

Aug. 26

Police logged 38 incidents, including the following:

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

Disturbance — Police responded to a disturbance in the 1300 block of East Lieg Avenue.

Fraud — Police investigated a credit card fraud complaint in the 900 block of South Maiden Lane.

Shoplifting — Walmart, 1244 E. Green Bay St., reported two shoplifting incidents.

Theft — A wallet was reported stolen in the 500 block of Fairview Way.

Accident — Police responded to a two-vehicle property damage accident at Lieg Avenue and Lafayette Street.

Hit and Run — Police responded to a property damage hit-and-run in the 800 block of Prospect Street.

Shawano County Sheriff’s Department

Aug. 28

Deputies logged 40 incidents, including the following:

Disturbance — Authorities responded to a report of a fight in progress on Lake Drive in the town of Wescott.

Trespass — Authorities responded to a trespassing complaint on state Highway 47-55 in the town of Wescott.

Theft — An inflatable kayak was reported stolen on Lake Crest Drive in the town of Wescott.

OAR — A 26-year-old man was cited for operating after revocation on state Highway 47 in the town of Hartland.

Accidents — Authorities logged two deer-related crashes and a vehicle versus eagle.

Aug. 27

Deputies logged 48 incidents, including the following:

Accident/OWI — A 35-year-old Antigo man was arrested for operating while intoxicated after an injury accident on state Highway 29 in the town of Wittenberg.

Vandalism — Authorities responded to a vandalism complaint on Main Street in Birnamwood.

OAR — A 35-year-old woman was cited for operating after revocation on Highway 47-55 in the town of Wescott.

OAR — A 40-year-old man was cited for operating after revocation on River Heights in Shawano.

Harassment — Authorities responded to a harassment complaint on Webb Street in Wittenberg.

OWI — A 35-year-old Clintonville man was arrested for operating while intoxicated on Big Lake Road in the town of Red Springs.

Aug. 26

Deputies logged 48 incidents, including the following:

Drug Offense — A 20-year-old man was arrested for possession of narcotics and a probation and parole violation on Freeborn Street in Cecil.

Theft — Authorities investigated a theft complaint on Airport Road in the town of Seneca.

OWI — A 54-year-old man was arrested for operating while intoxicated on Genesee Street in Wittenberg.

Drug Offense — A 42-year-old Keshena man was arrested for possession of cocaine, and a 41-year-old Keshena woman was taken into custody on a warrant on state Highway 47-55 in the town of Wescott.

Disorderly — Authorities responded to a disorderly conduct complaint on Pioneer Court in the town of Wescott.

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Animal shelter outbreak passes

Sat, 08/27/2016 - 12:16am
Dogs recover at humane societyBy: 

Scott Williams, [email protected]


Leader Photo by Scott Williams A dog available for adoption greets visitors Friday inside the Shawano County Humane Society, which reopened after an illness outbreak prompted the facility’s closure.

The Shawano County Humane Society is returning to normal after an illness outbreak affected many dogs and forced the facility to close its doors temporarily.

Officials said the humane society’s animal shelter suffered an outbreak of “kennel cough,” a contagious respiratory illness that spread among the facility’s canine population.

No animals were euthanized, officials said, and the shelter reopened to the public Friday after getting the kennel cough under control.

“We wanted to be on the safe side,” said Phil Zuhse, a member of the humane society’s board of directors.

The humane society, 1290 Jaycee Court, is a nonprofit organizations that maintains indoor and outdoor facilities to accommodate more than 100 cats and about 45 dogs.

Shelter Director Robin Hogan said Friday that operations were back to normal, but she referred other questions to the organization’s board of directors.

According to the humane society’s Facebook postings, the shelter announced Aug. 15 that it was “closed until further notice” because of a kennel cough outbreak. The facility stopped accepting new animals and prohibited the public from visiting the shelter.

That was later relaxed to allow public viewing of cats available for adoption. Kennel cough is contagious among dogs, but it does not affect cats.

Marvin Popp, president of the group’s board of directors, said the shelter was closed temporarily to control the illness from spreading to other dogs through visitors or otherwise.

Popp said he has seen similar illness outbreaks disrupt the facility over the years.

Staff members treated the infected dogs, cleared up the outbreak and gave the shelter an extra-thorough cleaning, Popp said.

“It’s quite a lot more work,” he said. “I’m sure they did a good job.”

HOW TO HELP

For information about adopting a dog or cat, call 715-526-2606 or email [email protected] or go to shawanocountyhumanesociety.com.

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RDA outlines strategy for public workshop

Sat, 08/27/2016 - 12:14am
Tuesday session designed to correct misinformationBy: 

Tim Ryan, [email protected]

The Shawano Redevelopment Authority met Friday to discuss its plans for a public workshop Tuesday at City Hall, where officials are hoping to assuage concerns and address what they fear is misinformation about the RDA’s blight redevelopment district.

Some property owners have already expressed their views during the public comment portions of recent city meetings, but without the give-and-take necessary to address all of the individual questions.

“This will be a non-controversial way of having those discussions with the public,” Assistant City Administrator Eddie Sheppard said.

Sheppard said there are still “hurt feelings” about why some properties are considered blighted, what the blight designation means and the statutory requirements that went into the creation of the district.

“There are a lot of the comments we’ve heard, we’d love to just stand up and explain, but we didn’t have that format,” Sheppard said.

Tuesday’s workshop, scheduled from 5:30-7 p.m. at City Hall, 127 S. Sawyer St., is designed give property owners and others an opportunity to get specific questions answered directly from RDA and city staff.

The workshop will feature maps, visual displays and an outline of the RDA action plan.

Four tables will be set up where RDA members will field questions about the blight definition and statutory requirements of the district, the goals and objectives of the RDA action plan, RDA redevelopment priorities within the district and future goals of the district.

“Hopefully we’ll gather a lot of good information and help people understand the plan,” Sheppard said.

Ultimately, Sheppard said, the goal of the district is “to assist in encouraging redevelopment.”

RDA Chair Amanda Sheppard said she was looking forward to clarifying any misunderstandings.

“I would just like the opportunity to correct any misinformation that arises,” she said. “I don’t think that’s helpful for anyone.”

One nagging issue the RDA will have to address is the idea that property owners within the district will have their properties included on a so-called list of blighted properties.

“There seems to be an overriding concern about being put on the list,” said RDA member Dave Kerber, even though, he said, most of the properties were already in a blight elimination district.

The RDA district roughly follows the contours of Tax Incremental Finance districts already designated for blight elimination 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 east.

“First of all, they have to realize they were already in a blighted district,” Kerber said, “but they want to know how they get off the list.”

Technically, however, there is no list to get off of, Eddie Sheppard said.

“The list doesn’t exist as something we maintain,” he said. “The district is the list.”

The RDA is hoping to ease that confusion by eliminating specific blight designations in its project plan, which would focus instead on redevelopment priorities within the district.

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Developer sees potential on east side

Sat, 08/27/2016 - 12:13am
Appleton firm buys Highway 22 frontageBy: 

Scott Williams, [email protected]

New business development could be coming soon to a high-profile location across from the drive-in movie theater on Shawano’s east side.

Romenesko Developments Inc., based in Appleton, has purchased the former North Country Homes headquarters property with hopes of drawing new commercial activity there.

“We see the potential,” company president Carl Romenesko said.

The developer paid $325,000 to purchase 8 acres of largely vacant real estate at 1501 E. Green Bay St., directly across the road from the Shawano Cinema indoor and outdoor movie theater.

For about 30 years, starting in the early 1970s, the site was headquarters for North Country Homes, a manufactured home dealership that operated offices and displayed model homes there.

North Country Homes relocated to Bonduel in 2002 and then listed the Shawano property for sale.

Bart Huntington, president of North Country Homes, said he is pleased to have the real estate sold and to see the possibility of new development at the site.

“The property is a nice piece of property,” he said. “It just didn’t suit our needs any more.”

The former corporate office is leased to a tree-service contractor, while other scattered facilities are used for storage, surrounded by vacant land. Situated along state Highway 22, it is among the first places that visitors see arriving in Shawano from the east.

Neighbors expressed excitement that a new owner is planning to redevelop the property and bring new business growth to the city’s east side.

Todd Senzig of nearby Senzig’s Fine Home Furnishings said he would hope for a Kohl’s Department Store or something similar. Senzig said he would not even mind seeing a competing furniture outlet rather than the site’s current vacancy and inactivity.

“This town needs reasons to come to it,” he said. “I think it would be fantastic to bring someone in.”

Ben Symes, a real estate broker marketing a vacant commercial site not far away, agreed that redevelopment of the North Country Homes property would be encouraging for the surrounding area.

“Any development and growth is good — that’s for sure,” Symes said.

Real estate records at the Shawano County Courthouse indicate that Romenesko Developments completed its purchase of the property in July through an Appleton firm called CDR 1 LLC.

Founded in 1970, Romenesko Developments has completed many residential and commercial building projects throughout Northeastern Wisconsin. The company has more than 400,000 combined square feet of offices, warehouses and other commercial space under lease to tenants throughout the region.

Romenesko said he envisions several possibilities for the Shawano site, including automobile sales, camper sales or perhaps a “business center” with multiple buildings and tenants. Referring to the nearby Tractor Supply Co. retail store, he said other national chains could be persuaded to locate in the area.

“There must be others,” he said.

Romenesko, who already has begun grooming the site, said he has talked with city leaders about development assistance. He hopes to make progress landing tenants and getting the project going within four to six months.

Referring to site’s far-reaching potential, he said: “We have the knowledge and the resources and the ability to do pretty much whatever we want.”

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Stockbridge-Munsee plan retail center in Belle Plaine

Sat, 08/27/2016 - 12:11am
Groundbreaking ceremony is FridayBy: 

Leader Staff


Contributed Illustration This rendering shows a retail center being developed by the Stockbridge-Munsee Tribe on state Highway 22 in Belle Plaine. Groundbreaking is scheduled for Friday.

The Stockbridge-Munsee Tribe will break ground Friday for a 12,000-square-foot retail center on state Highway 22 in the town of Belle Plaine.

The tribe said the $1.3 million project is aimed at spurring growth throughout the area.

“As the largest employer in Shawano County, the Stockbridge-Munsee Tribe is committed to being good stewards of our resources and good neighbors to our surrounding communities,” said Shannon Holsey, president of the Stockbridge-Munsee Tribal Council.

The retail center will be located near U.S. Highway 29, on the corner of Highway 22 and County Road CC, a highly trafficked area that sees about 5,000 passenger cars per day.

“We’re thrilled to develop our first off-reservation retail property near Highway 29, which is a critical economic artery for our North Star Mohican Casino Resort and countless other local businesses,” Holsey said. “Thanks to the continued success of the North Star Casino – our tribe’s primary source of revenue – we’re able to make these sorts of investments, which support the long-term prosperity of the entire North Central Wisconsin region.”

Preparation work is being done at the site now and the foundation is expected to be poured soon, with exterior construction completed by the end of 2016.

Leasing efforts are underway for retail and quick-service restaurant brands, and tenants will have input into the interior design of their respective spaces.

The retail center can house up to five tenants, which are expected to bring a number of permanent new jobs to the area, according to the tribe.

Bayland Buildings, based in Green Bay, will serve as the general contractor and estimates 15 to 20 construction jobs from the project, the tribe said. The majority of subcontractors and vendors for the project are based in the Northeast and North Central Wisconsin areas.

“This retail center will bring new jobs and increased shopping activity to the Belle Plaine and Shawano areas,” Belle Plaine Town Chairman Alvin Bartz said. “We expect this will spur other developments in the area and we applaud the Stockbridge-Munsee Mohican Tribe for their continued investment in the local communities surrounding their tribal lands.”

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Crescent Theater to become craft brewery

Sat, 08/27/2016 - 12:10am
By: 

Tim Ryan, [email protected]

The former Crescent Pitcher Show at 220 S. Main St. will become a microbrewery under a plan that will go before the Shawano Plan Commission on Wednesday.

The commission will vote on a development agreement with Stubborn Brothers Brewery, LLC, of Marion, that will provide a low-interest loan and a grant to the brewery, with the money coming from one of the city’s Tax Incremental Finance districts.

The agreement calls for the city to provide Stubborn Brothers with a $270,000 10-year loan at a 4 percent interest rate, and a grant of $80,000.

For its part, Stubborn Brothers is expecting to put about $600,000 in remodeling costs into the project.

It’s expected the building will have an assessed valuation of $500,000 once the remodeling and renovation is done. If it falls below that figure, Stubborn Brothers will have to make a payment to the city in lieu of taxes to make up the difference in property tax revenue.

It’s anticipated the remodeling and renovation will be completed by June.

According to the agreement, the remodeling “will result in a Craft Brewery, Entertainment and Event Venue,” but no specifics were offered about the entertainment or events.

“We are still finalizing all agreements with the city, so we are not going to make any official comments at this time,” Stubborn Brothers said in an email statement. “We are looking forward to doing interviews and providing more information as soon as we are able with 100 percent certainty.”

The plan commission meets at 4:30 p.m. Wednesday at City Hall, 127 S. Sawyer St.

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Public Record

Sat, 08/27/2016 - 12:10am

Shawano Police Department

Aug. 25

Police logged 25 incidents, including the following:

Disturbance — Police responded to a disturbance at Washington and Division streets.

Disorderly — Police responded to an intoxicated person complaint at Charlie’s County Market, 521 S. Main St.

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

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

Disorderly — Police responded to a disorderly conduct complaint in the 300 block of South Washington Street.

Shawano County Sheriff’s Department

Aug. 25

Deputies logged 40 incidents, including the following:

OAR — A 28-year-old man was cited for operating after revocation on state Highway 117 in the town of Washington.

Auto Theft — A vehicle was reported stolen on Bartelt Street in Gresham.

Burglary — A burglary was reported on North Shore Lane in the town of Wescott.

OAR — A 24-year-old woman was cited for operating after revocation on Herman Creek Road in the town of Lessor.

Drug Offense — Authorities investigated a drug complaint on state Highway 22 in the town of Belle Plaine.

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

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