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Updated: 10 min 49 sec ago

Shawano Walmart among statewide remodeling

Mon, 04/15/2019 - 11:06pm

Walmart has announced its Shawano store, 1244 E. Green Bay St., is one of the Wisconsin sites slated for an upgrade in 2019.

Walmart expects to spend an estimated $60.9 million this year in Wisconsin through the remodeling of 11 stores, as well as the launch and continued expansion of several customer-focused innovations.

“At Walmart, we strive to invest in technologies and innovations that improve the retail experience by empowering our associates and saving our customers time and money,” said Chad Holz, Walmart regional general manager in Wisconsin. “By continuing to introduce new initiatives in Wisconsin — including pickup towers, online grocery pickup and grocery delivery — as well as updating our existing stores to improve the overall shopping experience, we are proud to help our customers shop where and when they want.”

The date for construction was not announced.

Catholic Charities to distribute emergency grants

Mon, 04/15/2019 - 11:06pm
$200 grants available to families dealing with flood damage

Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Green Bay received a $10,000 emergency grant from Catholic Charities USA to assist with damage caused by the recent flooding in northeast Wisconsin.

“The damage to homes and property has been extensive, but we hope that every little bit of assistance helps our neighbors who have been impacted by the flood waters,” said Ted Phernetton, director of Catholic Charities.

The grant money, in the amount of $200 per family with an income of less than $60,000 per year, will be distributed to individuals upon request and can be used for costs related to cleanup, replacement items ruined in the flood, purchase of a dehumidifier, daily living expenses, security deposit assistance, and temporary housing. The dollars will be distributed on a first-come, first-served basis to those living within the 16 counties of the Diocese of Green Bay.

Founded in 1918, Catholic Charities provides social services to residents in the 16 counties of northeastern Wisconsin that make up the Diocese of Green Bay. Catholic Charities serves all individuals, regardless of their background or faith.

For information or to request grant funds, contact Phernetton at 920-272-8234 or [email protected].

Listening sessions scheduled on bikes, walking

Mon, 04/15/2019 - 11:05pm

Public input is sought on ways to make the Shawano area better for bikers and walkers.

Shawano is among 10 communities across the country to receive assistance from the Safe Routes National Partnership to develop an action plan for improving biking and walking to local parks, green spaces and on trails.

Shawano Pathways, a local organization was one of 15 organizations nationally to be awarded a Safe Routes to Parks grant.

Public input to the plan is invited during three listening sessions:

• April 26, noon, Shawano Country Chamber of Commerce meeting room, 1263 S. Main St., Shawano.

• April 29, 6:30 p.m. Angie’s Main Café meeting room, 132 S. Main St., Shawano.

• April 30, 4:30 p.m., Glas Coffeehouse meeting room, 511 N. Main St., Shawano.

Public comments on barriers to biking, walking or rolling to City of Shawano parks, along the Park to Park Loops and on the Mountain Bay Trail are especially welcome. Refreshments will be available at all listening sessions. City police and park and recreation department representatives will also be there to hear comments.

For more information, contact Nancy Brown at [email protected]

Shawano County library staff to present at conferences

Mon, 04/15/2019 - 11:03pm

Shawano County Library staff will present several sessions in upcoming months at state and national library conferences.

On May 2, staff will present two sessions at the Wisconsin Association of Public Libraries annual conference in Rothschild.

Paige Crawford and Nancy Hammond will present an escape room workshop. The session will focus on training other public librarians in escape room planning and implementation.

In the last year and a half, the Shawano library focused on offering escape room programming to the community, with nearly 2,100 participants to date.

Crawford has been a library assistant in Shawano for three years while Hammond has been a library assistant for 11 years.

Mikki Moesch, Wendy Rosenow, and Kristie Hauer will present “Find Them Where They’re At (Patrons, that is!).”

This session will focus on planning and implementing library outreach events and community partnership building. Each year, Shawano County Library participates in over 100 outreach events — activities that occur within the community yet outside of the libraries.

Moesch has been a library assistant for 19 years, Rosenow has been a librarian for seven years, and Hauer has been director for over 10 years.

In September, Moesch, Rosenow, and Hauer will be traveling to the Association of Rural and Small Libraries conference to present their session again to a national audience of librarians. The conference will be held in Burlington, Vermont.

For information, contact the library at shawanolibrary.org or 715-526-3829.

MORE THAN ‘JUST A FARMER’

Mon, 04/15/2019 - 10:49pm
Goers named Outstanding Young Farmer of the YearBy: 

Lee Pulaski [email protected]


Contributed photo Matt Goers, the 2019 recipient of the Shawano County Outstanding Young Farmer of the Year, is shown here in the barn on the Goers Family Dairy Farm in the Town of Herman. Goers was honored at the Shawano Area Agricultural Society’s annual awards banquet Friday night at The Main Event in Cecil.

When Matthew Goers told his classmates in school that he planned to continue to operate the family’s dairy business, some dismissed it, saying he was going to be “just a farmer.”

Now, Goers is a farmer that is Shawano County’s Outstanding Young Farmer of the Year. Goers and other agriculture award winners were honored at a Shawano Area Agricultural Society banquet Friday at The Main Event in Cecil.

“I’m very proud of what our family has done,” Goers said as he accepted the award. “I couldn’t have done it without everyone who has laid down the groundwork for me.”

Goers and his older brother, Jeff, operate the Goers Family Dairy Farm in the Town of Herman, the fifth generation to live and work on the farm. The farm was started as 160 acres in 1869 and will be celebrating its sesquicentennial in grand style by hosting this year’s Shawano County Brunch on the Farm.

“We look forward to celebrating our 150 years this year and hopefully 150 more,” Goers said.

Goers is a 2002 honors graduate of Gresham Community School, where he was a member and officer in the school’s FFA program. He took business and marketing classes at the College of Menominee Nation, and he completed one year of a livestock management program at Northeast Wisconsin Technical College, where he also completed an artificial insemination course, Berg said.

For Goers, accepting the Outstanding Young Farmer award evoked a memory of 17 years at The Woodland in Gresham, when he stood up with his senior class and told his peers what he planned to do with his life. When he said he would continue the longstanding family tradition of farming, many people automatically assumed he wasn’t going to get a college education or “get a real job.”

There was one person, though, who went up to him that night long ago, shook his hand, and praised him for continuing the farming tradition.

“That was one point when I knew farming was in my blood, and I wanted to continue doing it,” Goers said.

Goers’ parents, David and Marilyn, had 24 cows as part of the operation when they owned the farm. Goers took over operations in 2014, according to Seth Berg, the 2018 recipient for Outstanding Young Farmer and this year’s award presenter.

“David and Marilyn installed an excellent work ethic in their four children by working together as a true family farm,” Berg said, noting Goers and his siblings spent many hours working in the barns and the fields. “From a very young age, Matthew has had a love for cows and dairy. His family can remember him, as a toddler, watching from the living room window and being able to identify each cow by its name.”

Goers even had his own paper cow collection, which he constructed and named himself.

“These young, innocent moments lead to his passion for the industry and helped to build an impressive herd,” Berg said, noting that the herd has 88 cows classified as very good and seven designated as excellent. “His attention to detail and always striving to improve the family herd is one of the major contributions to the overall success of the dairy.”

Goers went from paper cows to real cows in no time, according to Berg, and early on was interested in genetics and breeding. In 2001, he completed an internship with GenEx in Shawano.

Goers and his brother first became an official part of the farm management when the pair purchased 60 acres of land in 2004 that the family had previously rented to build a heifer barn. Another 100 acres was purchased by the family in 2017.

“He purchased his first registered Holstein calf with his dad in 2007,” Berg said. “The calf came from a longtime family friend and neighbor, David Weigel. This was the beginning of … registering the Holsteins in 2008.”

A modern milking parlor was constructed in 2011, which helped cut down the amount of time family members spent milking by hand. Berg noted the cows are milked twice a day, every day and produce 85 pounds of milk each, with a rolling herd average of 27,000 pounds.

Today, the farm operates 550 acres, 500 of which are owned by the family and grow corn and alfalfa to help feed the herd.

Besides his work on the farm, the award took notice of Goers’ leadership of dairy farms at the local, state and national levels. Goers helped to create a group on social media for young farmers, according to Berg, and he also serves on the Gresham FFA Alumni.

Other leadership positions include one year on the board for the Rural Health Initiative in 2010 and being a member of county, state and national Holstein associations.

“Matthew has been a strong supporter of ag education over the years,” Berg said. “He has welcomed farm tours from both Gresham and Shawano school districts.”

For Goers, one of the joys of farming is continuing to work together as a family. They share the burdens of farm life, but they also share the joys, too, he said.

“We don’t have any hired help, and I’m very proud of what we accomplished so far,” Goers said. “I’m very thankful I became ‘just a farmer.’”

County honors outstanding farmers

Mon, 04/15/2019 - 10:47pm
Students also receive ag scholarshipsBy: 

Lee Pulaski [email protected]


Leader Photo by Lee Pulaski The Shawano Area Agricultural Society honored area farmers and students for their good work Friday night at The Main Event. Honored were, from left, back row, Caroline Bartz, who read farm-themed poetry to banquet attendees, and Matthew Goers, the 2019 Outstanding Young Farmer of the Year; front row, Gary Retzlaff, Second Miler, Don and Charlotte Olmsted, Friend of Ag; and Arnold Peterson, Conservation Farmer of the Year. Not pictured is Kathi Polzin, Tree Farmer of the Year.
Leader Photo by Lee Pulaski Among the scholarship recipients present at Friday’s Shawano Area Agricultural Society awards banquet are, from left, Kaitlin Pescinski, Shantel Schoepke, Adam Strassburg and Eli Magee.

Besides the Outstanding Young Farmer of the Year, the Shawano Area Agricultural Society also honored other farmers in the area, along with students who received various agricultural scholarships. The honorees include the following:

• Kathi Polzin was honored as the 2019 Tree Farmer of the Year. Polzin operates a 151-acre farm with mixed cover types in the town of Fairbanks. She generates 400 cords of wood from that farm annually, but she also has a maple syrup operation, allows area fire departments to conduct trainings, engages in sharecropping, helps develop recreational trails on the land and uses the land for prairie and wetland restoration projects.

• Gary Retzlaff was recognized as the Second Miler award recipient. Retzlaff, who was born in Shawano 65 years ago, has lived in Belle Plaine all of his life. He recently ceded the family farm to one of his children, but he has continued to be a part of agriculture through participating with the Shawano County Fair Board for 15 years and volunteering with the 4-H livestock committee for the county. He also helps his Amish friends travel into town for business.

• Arnold Peterson was named the Conservation Farmer of the Year. He owns 223 acres on a farm eight miles west of Shawano in Belle Plaine. Peterson has a crop rotation of corn, soybeans and hay to enact minimal tillage of the soil. He has also established wind breaks on the farm, built nest boxes for birds, engaged in nitrogen management of the farm since 2010 and even had his farm serve as a pollinator habitat for one year in 2015.

• Don and Charlotte Olmsted received the Friend of Ag award for their business, Don Olmsted Trucking. Don Olmsted had one truck in the beginning, but now the operation has 14 trucks with 21 employees serving more than 90 farms. The company trucked milk even during the April 2018 blizzard, getting to all of the farms except for one.

• Shawano County Farm Bureau scholarships were awarded to Shantel Schoepke, Brooke Breitrick, Kaitlin Pescinski, Cassy Bonnin and Eli Magee.

• Schoepke and Adam Strassburg received Shawano County Forage Council scholarships.

• Bonnin and Mage, along with Ashlyn Schnell, received Shawanp County Farm Progress Days scholarships.

District MOU with ThedaCare on hold

Mon, 04/15/2019 - 10:43pm
Agreement would allow therapist on school groundsBy: 

Lee Pulaski [email protected]

The Shawano School Board had to postpone a vote Monday on a memorandum of understanding with ThedaCare after it found itself without a quorum.

Only five of the nine board members were in attendance, and that number dropped to four after board member Chuck Dallas had to recuse himself due to a conflict on interest. Dallas is on the board of directors for the Rural Health Initiative, a program run through ThedaCare.

There was also concern from some of the remaining board members that they had not received the memorandum and thus were only voting on something based on a staff report.

“We’re voting on something that we didn’t technically read,” said board member Alysia Pillsbury. “We’re taking your word for it.”

The process had started during the last school year, according to Kim Klister, director of pupil services for Shawano School District. A mental health grant had been written in the hopes of expanding the district’s services to students, but the district did not receive funding.

“This was meant to bring therapy onsite for our students,” said Kelley Strike, the district’s curriculum director. “There was a lot of competition and a lot of school districts applying.”

Even without the grant, the district wanted to do more to provide mental health services onsite, so officials reached out to ThedaCare, which expressed interest in having a licensed therapist onsite for two half-days each week at Olga Brener Intermediate School and Shawano Community Middle School.

“There are so many students that are in need of additional counseling, and with the current work that our existing social workers have already, this allows the licensed therapist to come into the school and go much more in-depth than our social workers or guidance counselors can,” Klister said.

There is no cost to the district, Klister said, except for providing the necessary office space.

Strike added that the cost would be through families’ insurance, the same as it would be if students and parents went to ThedaCare itself for mental health services.

“Sometimes the barrier of getting to the hospital or to the counseling appointment is a concern, so this is bringing (the service) onsite,” Strike said.

If approved, the deal would take effect when the new school year starts in September, dependent on a vote by ThedaCare’s board of directors.

The next school board meeting is May 1.

City considering disbanding youth board, disability committee

Fri, 04/12/2019 - 6:29pm
Mayor says lack of interest, inactivity led to recommendationBy: 

Tim Ryan, [email protected]

Shawano officials will consider disbanding the Mayor’s Youth Advisory Board and People with a Disability Committee when the Common Council meets for its reorganizational meeting Tuesday.

Mayor Ed Whealon said he was making the recommendation after consulting with city staff.

He said there has been a lack of interest among people who have been sought to serve on the youth board and the disability committee.

It has also been some time since either have been active.

According to records available on the city’s website, the People with a Disability Committee’s last meeting was June 5 of last year.

The agenda shows that the only action taken was the election of officers.

The website has no record of the Mayor’s Youth Advisory Board, which, Whealon said, has not met in a couple of years.

Both the youth board and the disability committee were established during the tenure of former mayor Lorna Marquardt, who left office in April 2016.

“I thought they were two sectors of the community that weren’t as well-represented as I thought they should be,” Marquardt said in an interview prior to her departure in 2016.

But, according to Whealon, activity by the board and the committee have since languished and finding people willing to serve on them has been a problem.

“There’s just no interest,” Whealon said.

He said he reached out to Shawano High School and spoke to a couple of the teachers about filling the youth board seats.

“The kids just don’t want to do it,” Whealon said. “When Lorna was mayor, she had quite a few kids that would apply for it. Now, it’s hard to drum up any interest with the kids.”

Whealon said the youth board met “once in a while” to discuss issues in the community that affect the youth.

“They were involved in the skateboard park, but they weren’t the deciding factor,” he said.

Whealon said the board would bring ideas to the city that were generally referred to some other commission or committee.

Whealon said the disability committee had been involved in such things as making city street crossings more handicapped-accessible.

However, he said, “a lot of the stuff we were already doing.”

Whealon also said that as disability issues come up, they can be addressed by other standing committees, such as the field committee or park and recreation commission.

Whealon said he is not opposed to keeping the youth board and disability committee.

“I’m not against having it. There just hasn’t been any interest,” he said.

Finding willing members to serve on city boards and commissions is apparently not limited to the youth board or the disability committee, according to Whealon.

“It’s harder and harder to get people to serve on these boards,” he said. “I’ve got open positions on boards. I ask people to serve on them and they just don’t want to spend the time or do it.”

Some boards are easier to fill than others, Whealon said, with the parks and recreation commission among the easiest.

The city has 18 boards, committees and commissions, not including the standing committees that are filled by city council members.

Whealon will nominate 21 names to those various entities at Tuesday’s reorganizational meeting, all but two of them current members being reappointed to another term.

Three others still need to be filled, including one seat each on the board of appeals, board of review and the plan commission.

Whealon said he’s waiting to hear back from a couple of people who could fill those positions.

As for the youth board and disability committee, Whealon said he will go with whatever the Common Council decides.

“If council feels we should keep them, then we’ll keep them,” he said.

The council’s reorganizational meeting will be held at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday at City Hall, 127 S. Sawyer St.

Mountain Bay Depot gets new tenant

Thu, 04/11/2019 - 8:52pm
City to spend $24K renovating the buildingBy: 

Tim Ryan [email protected]

The Shawano Common Council approved renovations and a lease agreement Wednesday for a possible new tenant at the Mountain Bay Depot, the former home of Mountain Bay Outfitters.

The potential new tenant has not been disclosed, but, according to the city resolution, the tenant would be “a retail and service business intended to improve health and wellness, promote outdoor activities, teach healthy eating habits, and provide other services for personal improvement.”

Before that tenant moves in, however, the city will make up to $24,000 in improvements to the building, with funds coming from the city’s Tax Incremental District 4, which was established to address blight elimination.

Improvements to the building at 620 S. Main St. will include an upgraded air conditioning system, new windows, paint/stain and new garage doors.

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.

“I think it’s going to be a plus bringing this building back in use again and having a viable business back in that building,” said Mayor Ed Whealon. “I’m very excited about that.”

City Administrator Eddie Sheppard told the council the renovations were necessary to get the city-owned building up and running no matter who the tenant is.

“It just so happens we’re also fortunate enough to have a potential tenant to move in now, but these are things we were going to work on with anyone who wanted to be in there year-round that would need to be taken care of,” he said.

Prior to the meeting, Sheppard told the Leader that the tentative tenant was “not fully wanting to disclose their name at this point.”

He said the use fits in well with the city’s Mountain Bay Trail, though it will not be a business that involves retail biking or tubing.

Sheppard said the building was currently not equipped to be a year-round rental, but the renovations would address that.

The yearly lease approved by the council calls for the tenant to pay $550 a month in rent beginning April 15.

City sets fine amount for feeding wild animals

Thu, 04/11/2019 - 8:50pm
Ban imposed last year to discourage geese populationBy: 

Tim Ryan [email protected]

Shawano city officials, who put in place a rule last year forbidding people from feeding wildlife in city parks, adopted a set of fines Wednesday that could be imposed if that rule is violated.

Though the fines were unanimously approved, Alderwoman Sandy Steinke raised a question about its enforcement.

“I have just a little bit of concern with this,” she said. “There’s going to be children out in parks picnicking and they’re going to feed a duck a piece of bread. Are we going to slap a 5-year-old for feeding a duck?”

Shawano Park and Recreation Director Matt Hendricks said Shawano police enforcing the rule would use their discretion.

“I think usually they’re quite flexible in situations like that,” he said.

The rule had been put in place in particular to discourage the feeding of geese that have become a problem at Smalley Park and Huckleberry Harbor.

“We do have some people in town that feed the geese, animals and so on, on a very habitual basis,” Hendricks said.

The fine approved by the Shawano Common Council on Wednesday for feeding animals in the parks was set at $187.

In other business Wednesday, the council:

• Approved issuing bonds in the amount of $5.3 million, including roughly $4.5 million in new borrowing for capital improvements and Tax Incremental Finance expenses over the next two years. The rest of the bonding refinances borrowing done in 2009. The bonds will be issued at an interest rate of 2.38 percent.

• Approved an increase in the city’s share of expenses for the state Department of Transportation’s East Green Bay Street project scheduled for this year. Bids for the project at the state level came in higher than expected, requiring the city to put up an additional $22,500 for its share. That brings the city’s total to $115,000. The city will make up those additional costs by finding other savings in its capital improvement projects, including possible removing the Lieg Avenue chip seal project from the 2019 schedule if necessary.

• Approved a bid in the amount of $23,543 to Watch Guard of Allen, Texas for an integrated in-squad camera system for the police department.

• Approved a conditional use permit to allow for the expansion of Packer City International at its site at 1695 E. Green Bay St. The expansion will include an office addition and a relocation of the loading dock.

Red River abuzz at Sawdust Day

Thu, 04/11/2019 - 8:39pm
Sportsmen’s club hosts annual woodcutting competitionBy: 

Carol Ryczek [email protected]


Leader photo by Carol Ryczek Reynolds Buettner sweeps his saw down as club member Jeff Buettner watches. Jeff Buettner kept the competition moving by marking and positioning the logs.

April in Wisconsin: too cold to swim; too early to hunt. Mud, rain and wind. In other words, it’s perfect weather to make sawdust.

The Red River Sportsmen’s Club realized this seven years ago when they created the first Sawdust Day, and their celebration has been growing ever since. This year, they held Sawdust Day on April 6 and included chainsaw, crosscut saw and wood-splitting competitions.

Jim Szucs Jr., club secretary and one of the event organizers, acknowledged that the event “started as something to do this time of year and has grown more than we expected.”

Sawdust Day was held at the sportsmen’s club’s property just outside of Red River. Most of the afternoon focused on timed competitions using modern and antique chainsaws. At the end of the day, teams or couples used crosscut saws instead of gasoline-powered ones and, for anyone with energy left, piles of logs were set out to split by hand.

All of the entry fees were returned as prizes, Szucs said.

Competitors made their cuts on popple or pine logs, he said. The “Super Log” competition requires only one cut of a large pine log.

The cut wood was auctioned off at the end of the day.

In addition to the competition, responsibilities for the food, prizes and drawings were all taken on by club members, he said.

Although most of the participants were from the area, competitors came from as far away as Francis Creek. Szucs said he did not believe that the competitors do a lot of practice, though it was apparent from both the attention they gave to their saws and the quickness of the cuts that there were no beginners in the mix.

The winners of the competitions are:

Chainsaw classes (Times listed in seconds)

Mini 40cc, Dave Krajnik 7.0

46cc, Jeff Buettner 10.0

56cc, Dan Buettner 7.7

66cc, Reynolds Buettner 6.8

80cc, Dan Buettner 9.8

Women’s Powder Puff, Krista Buettner 6.5

Antique (1969 & older), Rick Brockman 4.5

Vintage Gear Drive, Dave Krajnik 5.15

Vintage Direct Drive, Dave Krajnik 10.0

Open Class, Rick Brockman 10.4

Super Log, Jim Szucs Jr. 21.3

Hotsaw, Dave Buettner 12.4

Women’s Common Saw, Julie Burr 10.4

Men’s Common Saw, Rick Brockman 7.9

Crosscut classes

Two-Man Crosscut Saw, Men, Dave & Kerry Krajnik 11.7

Two-Man Crosscut Saw, Women, Penny Kuhn & Julie Burr 30.3

Co-Ed, Dan Buettner & Bobbi Jo Ladwig 17.0

Wood Splitting

Dan Buettner 19.0

Public Record

Thu, 04/11/2019 - 8:36pm

Shawano Police Department

April 10

Police logged 31 incidents, including the following:

Fleeing — An unknown person fled from a traffic stop at Franklin and Fifth streets. The subject was a passenger in the vehicle. The driver of the vehicle refused to identify the subject. The incident is still under investigation.

Disturbance — A 60-year-old Shawano man was arrested for battery/domestic, disorderly conduct/domestic, resisting arrest and bail jumping after a disturbance in the 700 block of South Lincoln Street.

Truancy — Police logged three truancy complaints from Shawano Community High School, 220 County Road B.

Accident — Police responded to a two-vehicle property damage accident at Airport Drive and Richmond Street.

Theft — An iPhone was reported stolen at Walmart, 1244 E. Green Bay St.

Vandalism — A window was reported vandalized in the 100 block of South Franklin Street.

Shawano County Sheriff’s Department

April 10

Deputies logged 40 incidents, including the following:

Warrant — A 26-year-old Green Bay man was arrested on a warrant and a 49-year-old Green Bay was taken into custody for a probation and parole violation on state Highway 29 in the town of Herman.

OWL — A 48-year-old Chicago woman was cited for operating without a license on Green Bay Street in Shawano.

Truancy — Authorities logged 10 truancy complaints from the Wittenberg-Birnamwood School District and two from the Bonduel School District.

OAR — A 32-year-old Eland man was cited for operating after revocation on State Road in Birnamwood.

Disturbance — A 17-year-old Birnamwood male was arrested for disorderly conduct and bail jumping on Hemlock Road in the town of Wittenberg.

Shoplifting — Dollar General, 243 S. Cecil St. in Bonduel, reported a shoplifting incident.

Disturbance — Authorities responded to a domestic disturbance on Ah To Wuk Circle in Bowler.

2 development projects on track, but delayed, city says

Thu, 04/11/2019 - 1:15am
Former hospital property development, downtown chiropractic center on hold until MayBy: 

Tim Ryan [email protected]

Two development projects that had been expected to go before the Shawano Common Council onWednesday were put off until a later meeting while details continue to be worked out, according to City Administrator Eddie Sheppard.

The pending projects, which are still on track but delayed, according to Sheppard, include the long-awaited development agreement for a luxury apartment complex at the former Shawano Medical Center property and a proposed chiropractic center at a long-vacant property on South Main Street.

The city is considering a development agreement between the Shawano Redevelopment Authority and Cornerstone Chiropractic and Wellness, LLC, for the property at 153 S. Main St.

According to the proposed agreement, Cornerstone anticipates remodeling and renovation of the property at 153 S. Main St. by Oct. 1 and expects to put $863,000 into the project, including purchase of the property, demolition and construction, medical equipment and an operating line of credit.

The Redevelopment Authority would provide Cornerstone with an $80,000 grant using funds from the city’s Tax Incremental Finance District 4.

The grant is subject to “substantial completion” of the project and documentation of Cornerstone’s actual investment in the project, according to the proposed agreement.

The RDA would also provide Cornerstone with a low-interest loan of $175,000 that would be paid back over the next 10 years.

Sheppard said Cornerstone is “needing more time to pull their information together before they’re ready to go forward.”

The agreement could be on the agenda for the council’s reorganizational meeting Tuesday but more likely on the May agenda.

“They’re working with their folks on their end to make sure they’ve got everything in place,” Sheppard said.

Sheppard also provided council members with an update in closed session Wednesday on the other development project.

Tadych Investment Partners LLC of Green Bay is proposing buying the former Shawano Medical Center property for $500,000 for a luxury apartment complex.

“We’re still moving in the right direction with the Tadych proposal,” Sheppard said, adding that Tadych is working on finalizing the terms for private financing of the project that are in line with a proposed development agreement.

“There’s a couple of issues we need to lock in on the development agreement before we can move forward,” Sheppard said.

He said the city hopes to have that item on the council’s agenda in May.

Entrances 1st project with referendum money

Thu, 04/11/2019 - 1:14am
Bids due April 18By: 

Miriam Nelson [email protected]

Wittenberg-Birnamwood School Board members on April 3 approved construction plans for the first phase of projects approved by voters in November as part of a $13.1 million referendum.

The board is seeking bids for security enhancements, including new entrances, at each of the district’s three schools — Wittenberg Elementary/Middle School, Birnamwood Elementary/Middle School and Wittenberg-Birnamwood High School.

Construction will begin after school is out for the year and is expected to be completed by the start of the fall semester, Superintendent Garrett Rogowski said.

Bids are due April 18 and will be reviewed at the next board meeting, scheduled for 6 p.m. April 29 in the WBHS library.

Project architect Todd Dvorak showed the board members the plans for all three buildings. Plans for the high school must be approved by the Wisconsin Department of Commerce, but the other projects are small enough that they don’t require state approval.

“The general concept of all three projects involves the ability to have people enter in to the secured vestibule area,” Dvorak said. “Guests are then buzzed into the office to register for access in to the schools.”

Work at the two elementary/middle schools requires very little demolition. Doors will be moved to create a larger vestibule area, and new entrances will be added. Heating, ventilation and air conditioning units will be moved, and additional security lighting will be provided.

The Birnamwood school will reuse the doors installed just two years ago. The doors at Wittenberg Elementary/Middle School are much older and will replaced.

The schools’ glass windows and doors will be covered by security film. Matt MacGregor, senior project manager from Hoffman Planning Design & Construction, said film does not stop bullets but prevents the glass from shattering, which prevents a shooter from entering the building.

The high school work includes reconfiguring the offices and reception area. A new window will enable staff to see people coming into the vestibule.

Cabinets used to store student prescriptions at all three buildings will be fitted with keyed locks.

Other maintenance work expected at the high school later this year will address roof and exterior door issues.

Future phases of the referendum projects include a new 7,800-square-foot building — primarily for agriculture classrooms — next to the high school, a two-story addition to Wittenberg Elementary-Middle School and two new classrooms at Birnamwood Elementary-Middle School.

Three 900-square-foot classrooms will be added at Wittenberg Elementary-Middle School and two 1,200-square-foot classrooms at Birnamwood. Both buildings will be reconfigured to provide more classroom space for the music program.

Changes at the high school authorized by voters include the following:

• The family and consumer science room will be renovated with stainless steel appliances, table and prep area with restaurant-quality equipment.

• The technical education area will get a new dust-collection and heating, ventilation and air-conditioning system. Upgrades in the science, technology, engineering and mathematics and computer lab area will allow the area to be used by teachers throughout the school. The work includes more electrical outlets and upgrades to computers and servers.

• The wood shop will get new lathes, planers and table saws. The metal shop will replace drill presses and welding equipment. A finishing room equipped with a new exhaust system will be shared by the wood shop and the new art department.

• A small-engine work room will occupy the former ag space.

• Storage space will be created directly across the hall from the stage area to house the theatrical props and scenery.

The largest project at the high school will be installing a new heating, ventilation and air conditioning system. Engineers have not yet determined whether it can be finished in one summer.

The elementary/middle school additions and the ag building are expected to be completed in summer 2020. Work will continue throughout the year and during summer school.

FYI

For information about bid specifications for entrance improvements at Wittenberg-Birnamwood School District buildings, contact Matt MacGregor, senior project manager from Hoffman Planning Design & Construction, at [email protected] or 920-380-2104.

Staszak appointed to Bonduel board seat

Thu, 04/11/2019 - 1:11am
Meeting was last for Wussow, ShattersBy: 

Carol Ryczek [email protected]


Leader photo by Carol Ryczek Newly-appointed Bonduel trustee Brenda Staszak signs the paperwork needed to seat her on the village board, under the supervision of Michelle Maroszek, clerk-treasurer. Staszak was appointed at the regular board meeting on Wednesday.

Bonduel native Brenda Staszak was appointed to the Bonduel Village Board by a unanimous vote of current board members Wednesday night.

Staszak applied for the position, which is vacant due to the resignation of Tricia Quandt. Staszak will fill the rest of the two-year term, which expires in April 2020. The position was not included in the recent board election because it did not expire in 2019.

The board unanimously approved the appointment.

In response to questions, Staszak said she asked to join because she heard discussions about the need for the “younger generation” to become involved.

She said she would like to see better communication between community groups. She said she finds Bonduel to be a welcoming community and told the board, “I love living here.”

The motion to appoint Staszak was made by Kevin Bartlett and seconded by Barb Wickman. She was immediately seated on the board and participated in Wednesday’s meeting.

Noting that this would be the last meeting for board president Sharon Wussow and trustee Gina Shatters, Wickman presented both with plaques of appreciation for their work on the board.

Public Record

Thu, 04/11/2019 - 1:06am

Shawano Police Department

April 9

Police logged 27 incidents, including the following:

OWI — A 27-year-old Shawano man was arrested for operating while intoxicated at Green Bay Street and Green Bay Court.

Drug Offense — A 46-year-old Shawano woman was arrested for possession of methamphetamine and possession of drug paraphernalia at Richmond Street and Lakeland Road.

Accident — Police responded to a two-vehicle property damage accident at County Road B and Airport Drive.

Truancy — Police logged three truancy complaints from Shawano Community High School, 220 County Road B.

Fraud — Police investigated a fraud complaint at CoVantage Credit Union, 911 E. Green Bay St.

Disturbance — Police responded to a domestic disturbance in the 1000 block of South River Street.

Shawano County Sheriff’s Department

April 9

Deputies logged 38 incidents, including the following:

OAR — A 40-year-old Shawano man was cited for operating after revocation on state Highway 47-55 in the town of Wescott.

Disturbance — Authorities responded to a disturbance on Northwestern Avenue in the town of Angelica.

OWL — A 39-year-old Shawano woman was arrested for second-offense operating without a license on state Highway 47-55 in the town of Wescott.

Trespass — Authorities responded to a trespassing complaint on Woods Road in the town of Wescott.

Clintonville Police Department

April 9

Police logged 13 incidents, including the following:

Harassment — Harassment issues were reported at Clintonville High School, 64 W. Green Tree Road, and on South Clinton Avenue.

Assault — A sexual assault was reported and is under investigation.

Theft — A theft of money was reported on West Green Tree Road.

Disturbance — Officers responded to a family disturbance on Motor Street, and the matter was resolved.

Utilities can soon disconnect delinquent customers

Thu, 04/11/2019 - 1:05am

As temperatures increase, the Public Service Commission of Wisconsin reminds residential customers of the rules regarding delinquent payments and utility disconnections.

Due to health and safety concerns in the cold winter months, utilities are not allowed to disconnect customers between Nov. 1 and April 15, even if those customers are behind on their payments. Utility service may be disconnected on or after April 16, however, if energy bills have not been paid or a payment plan has not been arranged. Utility companies must inform customers before discontinuing service.

To avoid disconnection, the commission encourages customers who are delinquent in their payments to contact their local utilities to set up a payment plan. If a customer has contacted the utility but cannot reach an agreement on repayment, he or she is asked to call the commission’s consumer affairs office at 800-225-7729.

The Wisconsin Home Energy Assistance Program manages low income and public benefits programs, which help qualifying households pay their energy bills. To find out if you qualify for home energy assistance, call 1-866-HEATWIS (432-8947) or visit http://www.homeenergyplus.wi.gov.

The Public Service Commission has a fact sheet on rights of residential customers at https://psc.wi.gov/Documents/Brochures/Your%20Bill%20of%20Rights.pdf.

Spring snowstorm to tax maintenance crews, motorists

Tue, 04/09/2019 - 8:14pm
Snow expected to be followed by freezing rainBy: 

Tim Ryan [email protected]

Forecasts for the spring snowstorm that was predicted to begin Wednesday night and continue into late Thursday continue to vary, leaving those tasked with cleanup unsure of what to expect.

Whatever the amount, it comes at an inconvenient time for the city, where residents have already started putting items out on the curb in anticipation of spring cleanup.

The annual cleanup officially begins Monday and continues through April 26, but the city’s Department of Public Works has been trying to get a head start on the collection.

“We’re going out this week and trying to get ahead a little bit because people are already starting to put stuff out,” Public Works Director Scott Kroening said.

He’s hoping residents will be a little patient, particularly with the snow throwing a last-minute curve.

“Usually that first week we get behind,” Kroening said. “People who have a Thursday pickup, we probably won’t even get to that until next week.”

The latest forecast from the National Weather Service at press time was for four to six inches of snow, followed by freezing drizzle that could linger into Friday.

Especially after last year’s nearly three feet of snow in mid-April, the DPW didn’t stand down for the season just because the calendar said it was spring.

“We still have the plows hooked up,” Kroening said. “We’re still ready to go.”

The city still has access to salt and sand supplies from the county, but one thing the DPW is keeping an eye on is its snow-plowing budget.

“Right now, we’re over budget,” Kroening said, “but not significantly. If we don’t get any more (snow) or it’s a pretty good fall, I’m good. Otherwise we’re going to be over budget.”

Meanwhile, Shawano County, as of the end of March, had already spent 93 percent of this year’s winter maintenance budget.

In addition to whatever snow yet falls in April, that budget is also supposed to cover the months of October through December of this year.

“We’re anticipating by the end of the year, depending on how late fall goes, we’ll probably be a slight bit over on winter maintenance,” Highway Commissioner Grant Bystol said.

“But we’ll monitor and see how things go yet this spring and adjust our projects throughout the summer to make sure we have enough money on hand to make it through the end of the year.”

The county did disable a few snow plows to make other uses for its trucks, but the plows are now going back on.

“We did transition some trucks over for sweeping and things like that,” Bystol said. “We needed some water trucks and trucks with brooms. We’re in the process of finishing up the last couple and getting them set back up here for, hopefully, the last storm of the winter maintenance season.”

Bystol said the forecast is calling for wet, heavy snow, but the highway department crews will be on it.

The potential freezing rain is a little more of a concern.

“We’d welcome snow over freezing rain any day,” Bystol said. “But we have enough salt available to get us through the season, so we’ll be able to take care of it.”

Officials at the Shawano County Sheriff’s Department, meanwhile, are hoping motorists haven’t gotten complacent with the onset of spring.

“After a couple of weeks of not having any snow and nothing on the ground, I think we might have some issues,” Capt. Ty Raddant said. “Especially since they’re talking about not only snow, but freezing rain, too, we’re probably going to be living on the edge.”

Raddant advised motorists to slow down and take some extra time to get where they’re going.

Rupple remembered for contributions to the community

Tue, 04/09/2019 - 8:13pm
Company he founded still vital part of Shawano manufacturing baseBy: 

Tim Ryan [email protected]

Those who knew and worked with Wisconsin Film and Bag founder John Rupple remembered him this week as a manufacturing visionary who was dedicated to the Shawano community.

Rupple, 92, passed away Saturday.

The company he founded in Oconto in 1970, which moved to Shawano in 1983 and became a staple of the city’s manufacturing base, continues to operate under the ownership of Novolex.

“Wisconsin Film and Bag was John’s vision,” Novolex branch manager Leann Gueths said. “He turned the vision into a successful manufacturing company.”

Gueths knew Rupple when the company was still overseen by him.

“He was a generous, caring, thoughtful man,” she said. “He was a very special man. Very kind and giving.”

Rupple had contributed to numerous local organizations, including the former Shawano Medical Center, Sacred Heart Catholic Church, the Shawano Chamber of Commerce, the Shawano Gun Club, Ducks Unlimited, and the Bay-Lakes Council of the Boy Scouts of America and the Mielke Family Foundation, of which he was a member of the board.

“John was very valuable to the Mielke Family Foundation during his time on the board. His passion for Shawano helped to guide decisions in support of the community,” said Dr. John Mielke, a board member of the foundation.

Rupple also donated to the Safe Haven Domestic Abuse Shelter.

Safe Haven Executive Director Stacey Cicero was director of the Shawano Chamber of Commerce when Rupple was still active in the community and in business.

“He was a very kind man,” Cicero said. “He was always concerned for his employees and their well-being and the well-being of the community.”

Cicero said Wisconsin Film and Bag was a company ahead of its time.

“It was always a growing manufacturing company,” she said. “They didn’t just stand still and stay with what they were doing. They changed with the times and grew with the times, and that’s evident today in how the company has grown.”

Funeral services will be held on April 13 at noon at Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Shawano. Visitation will be at the church on Saturday from 9 a.m. until the time of the funeral.

Atrium says all rules followed in hiring of CNA

Tue, 04/09/2019 - 8:12pm
Former employee accused of sexually assaulting residentBy: 

Tim Ryan [email protected]

A spokesperson for Atrium Health Care, which operates the Birch Hill Health Care Center in Shawano, said the company followed all the necessary guidelines in its hiring of a certified nursing assistant who is accused of sexually assaulting a resident at the Birch Hill facility.

Samantha A. Cornell, 30, of Shawano, is accused of having sexual contact with a 72-year-old woman at the facility on March 22.

“Birch Hill does follow state and federal guidelines during the pre-screening and hiring process, which includes background checks,” spokesperson Carol Russell said. “Patient safety is a top priority at Birch Hill Care Center and all measures are taken to ensure such both during and after hire.”

Russell also noted that Cornell is no longer employed at Birch Hill. However, according to the criminal complaint, Cornell was due to leave the facility at the end of March, regardless of the incident, for an expected move to South Carolina.

“We have no reason to believe she will come back,” Russell said, “But if she does, there is an understanding at the center that she’ll be asked to leave. Beyond that, it’s a law enforcement matter, so that’s all there is to it.”

Cornell entered a plea of not guilty at a court hearing Monday.

She was freed after posting a reduced cash bond of $1,000.

Cornell could face a maximum 40 years in prison and $100,000 fine if convicted of second-degree sexual assault. She is scheduled for a pre-trial conference on May 31.

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