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Stanley the Sturgeon coming to Shawano and beyond

Sat, 08/27/2016 - 12:09am
By: 

Lorna Marquardt, Leader Columnist

Mountain Bay Outfitters (Lazy Wolf Adventures) has made the Judd Park/Lieg Avenue Boat Landing a busy place! It makes me smile watching them unload the colorful kayaks, tubes and canoes for their excited customers.

Owner Tim Conradt commented: “It’s been a good summer, and business has been steady. We will continue to be open seven days a week through Labor Day. We will adjust our hours after Labor Day and continue to stay open as long as the weather cooperates, probably until the first part of November.”

Tim continued: “Fall is such a beautiful time of the year. A paddle down the Wolf River when the leaves are colorful is a sight worth seeing. Some people think kayaking and rafting is just a summertime recreation, but autumn is actually a great time to be out on the river.

“Shawano Lake is popular and a busy spot for both locals and visitors. But it is nice that the Wolf River is becoming busier; it is such an asset for the area.”

Tim added: “I will always be grateful to Curt and Peggy Houk who were instrumental in me starting the river tour business here.”

Tim’s family roots are in Shiocton, where he lives with his wife, Lynn. Their three daughters and families (five grandchildren) live there too. Tim’s five siblings also live within a 5-mile radius. Their close-knit family gets together every Sunday for dinner.

Tim is well respected in Shiocton, where he was selected Citizen of the Year a few years ago. Tim continues to promote tourism in Shiocton and he does a good job of promoting tourism here in Shawano too. Tim refers to Shawano as “his second home” and his wife often joins him here at the shop on the weekends.

“The people in the Shawano area are really special,” Tim commented. “They have a loyalty to their local businesses and we really appreciate that. I sell a lot of bikes to local residents. Repairing bikes is a big part of our business too.”

He added: “Being located along the Mountain Bay Trail is an ideal location. We have made a lot of friends here; Shawano is a great place to have a small business.”

Soon Stanley, a beautiful 15-foot fiberglass sturgeon, will be mounted on South Main Street near the Mountain Bay Outfitters. He will point the way to Sturgeon Park. Tim originally carved the sturgeon out of Styrofoam. It was fragile and difficult to handle. He took it to a fiberglass shop where they made a mold.

He said: “There are actually two identical sturgeon; the other one is located on Bamboo Bend in Shiocton. My 3-year-old grandson gets excited when he sees it and calls it grandpa’s fish.”

Tim shared some exciting news with me!

He said: “I am currently in the process of featuring Stanley the Sturgeon in what I hope will become a series of children’s books. I have been working with an illustrator in Minneapolis. The adventures of Stanley the Sturgeon are in the works, and I am pretty excited.”

Tim said it is important to him to leave behind a legacy; something that will help his grandchildren and great-grandchildren remember their family ancestry. He allowed me to take a peek at the draft of Stanley’s first adventure. It is delightful. He just might have found that legacy!

He plans to change the name of his tours next year to “Stanley the Sturgeon River Tours.” Some new tour options are in the planning stages.

While visiting with him at his shop, Tim showed me a few of his wood carvings. I had no idea he is such a talented carver. His work is detailed and beautiful. I learned he has won first place numerous times at the World Fish Carving Championships and Mid Wisconsin Woodchippers.

Tim’s brother is the president of Shadows on the Wolf. Tim’s father, Dennis, who passed away last year, was one of the founders of the club. He served as president of the club for 22 years.

Tim’s passion for helping others and donating of his time mirrors his father’s. Tim donates a carving to the club every year in an effort to help the club and the community. He is also donating one of his carvings, a perch, to the Navarino Nature Center for their annual fundraiser banquet. His carvings bring in some nice bids.

If you haven’t had the pleasure of meeting local businessman Tim Conradt, take the time to stop in his shop, Wolf River Outfitters, on South Main. In addition to being a hardworking businessman, he is a great conversationalist who would welcome your visit.

There’s a fair in the air! Enjoy.

Here’s the answer to last week’s question: Jan Lewellyn was the Shawano County director of nursing in 2009.

This week’s question is: In 1981, there were three health food stores located in Shawano. Can you name them?

Lorna Marquardt is a former mayor of Shawano.Rate this article:  Select ratingGive it 1/5Give it 2/5Give it 3/5Give it 4/5Give it 5/5 No votes yet

New neighborhood watch group draws big turnout

Fri, 08/26/2016 - 7:34am
2 dozen residents talk about way to keep area safeBy: 

Tim Ryan, [email protected]


Leader Photo by Tim Ryan Shawano Police Lt. Dan Mauel takes questions from residents during the inaugural meeting of a new neighborhood watch group at a home in the 200 block of South Franklin Street on Thursday.
Leader Photo by Tim Ryan Sue Scheinert, one of the organizers of a new neighborhood watch group, talks with fellow residents of the area during the group’s inaugural meeting Thursday at a home in the 200 block of South Franklin Street.

It was word of a convicted sex offender wanting to move into the South Franklin Street neighborhood that spurred Sue Scheinert and Joyce Kotschi into action.

They rallied about a dozen neighbors to attend a meeting of the Sexual Offenders Appeal Board at City Hall to protest.

“I did not want a damn pervert in my neighborhood,” Scheinert said.

As it turned out the offender wouldn’t have been allowed to move into the neighborhood, anyway, and his request was denied. Their success at enlisting neighborhood involvement, however, started Scheinert and Kotschi thinking there was even more they could do.

On Thursday, they hosted the inaugural meeting a new neighborhood watch group. More than two dozen people showed up.

“Turnout was absolutely fabulous,” Scheinert said. “I was not expecting that many people.”

Several of them had experiences to share about break-ins, vandalism and other problems they have witnessed.

Scheinert said neighbors need to watch out for one another in the face of changes that have taken place in the area over the years.

“There are beautiful homes that have been sold and turned into apartments and they’re crumbling and they’re crappy and we’re sick of it,” she said.

Scheinert said the neighborhood should also monitor what goes on in Franklin Park once it’s developed and begins attracting more children to congregate there.

“It’s up to us to monitor their safety,” she said.

This new neighborhood watch, which covers an area from West Green Bay Street down to Eagle Street and from Washington Street to the river, is one of several already established in the city.

Shawano police, who spoke to the newly formed group Thursday, have been encouraging more neighborhoods to also form watch groups.

Neighbors knowing one another and keeping in contact with one another and with the police was the dominant theme of discussion.

Scheinert said the first step would be to create an email list of those wishing to participate so the lines of communication will be kept open.

At least one attendee, however, was initially apprehensive about the group’s focus after a few jokes made by some about the use of guns.

“I don’t want to be part of any like vigilante group or anything,” Starlyn Tourtillott said. “I’m really interested in a positive gathering of people, getting to know our neighbors.

“I think we need to do more of that in our community. If we know each other and establish relationships it would be better for everybody.”

Tourtillott said she worried that a reliance on guns could lead to a tragic accident.

“My biggest fear would be, everybody having their heart in the right place, they shoot an innocent kid or something who’s coming in drunk by accident. We don’t want that to happen,” she said. “I advocate calling law enforcement and supporting them. They know what they’re doing in our community and we need to establish a relationship with them. I would challenge you to think outside the box and not just run to the holster and the gun.”

Scheinert said she assumed all gun owners would be cautious.

“This is basically about looking out for each other and the hope is a positive outcome that we keep each other safe,” she said.

Tourtillott said after the meeting that she felt reassured about the group’s intentions.

Scheinert said afterward she was happy with the discussion and the suggestions that came out of the meeting.

“There’s a lot of people here with very good ideas,” she said. “Our chief of police did a beautiful job for us, it was very informative. I think we’re going to have a good group going here.”

Other attendees said they were looking forward to being able to take steps to improve safety in the area.

“We have to work with the community regarding out kids,” Karen DeKelver said. “We’re all concerned and we’re all going to try and make this happen now, make it safe for everybody. If we communicate with law enforcement we’ll do better and I think that’s what we need to do.”

Jan Lewellen, who was involved in an old neighborhood watch group that eventually faded, said she was encouraged by the turnout for this one.

“It never had a beginning like this,” she said.

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County finance staff losing one

Fri, 08/26/2016 - 7:22am
Deputy director stepping downBy: 

Scott Williams, [email protected]

Shawano County is losing a key member of the finance staff that prepares and manages the county’s $51 million annual budget.

Darcy Smith, the county’s deputy finance director, is stepping aside to become finance director for Oneida County.

Smith, who has been with Shawano County for five years, works with Administrative Coordinator Brent Miller in a restructured finance department that was created last year.

Her departure, effective Sept. 16, comes as preparations are drawing to a close on the county’s 2017 budget, which will be presented to the County Board in October.

County officials are expressing confidence that the turnover will not disrupt county budget planning.

County Supervisor Deb Noffke, a member of the county finance committee, said staff work on the 2017 budget is far enough along that she expects no serious problems.

“Everybody gets to step up,” Noffke said. “We’ve got a pretty decent staff — they can handle it.”

The County Board last year eliminated the previous finance director position and combined the finance department with administration, turning over budget management to Miller and Smith.

Smith, previously the county’s accounting supervisor, was promoted to deputy finance director, and her salary was increased from about $57,000 a year to $70,928.

As Oneida County’s finance director, her new salary will be $84,794 a year.

Lisa Charbarneau, human resources director for Oneida County, said Smith was chosen from among 17 applicants to replace the current finance director, who is retiring. Charbarneau said Smith is familiar with Oneida County’s budgeting software and has experience with issues on the horizon for Oneida County.

Compared with other applicants, Charbarneau said: “She’s got a lot of experience. Her learning curve would be much lower.”

Smith is scheduled to start work in Oneida County on Oct. 3.

Shawano County officials have agreed to conduct a search for a new deputy finance director.

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Clintonville voters OK lower school levy

Fri, 08/26/2016 - 7:21am
Board president favors new elementary schoolBy: 

Grace Kirchner, Leader Correspondent

Taxpayers in the Clintonville School District will pay slightly less in school taxes this year.

Voters agreed at the district’s annual meeting Monday to a tax levy of $5.99 million, compared with $6.17 million last year. The estimated tax rate will be $10.52 per $1,000 assessed valuation, compared to $10.84 last year.

Owners of a $75,000 home can expect to pay $722 school taxes this year, compared with $746 last year.

The final budget and levy won’t be determined until after the official enrollment count is taken in September and the state releases its equalized valuations in October.

The rate discussed Monday assumes no change in the district’s equalized valuation. However, district officials said the equalized values might be down again this year.

The enrollment of 1,439 students last year was up 48 over the previous year, Superintendent Tom O’Toole said. Enrollment is one of the factors in determing how much state aid the district will receive.

In comments at the meeting, board president Jim Dins said he supports a new grade school for the district.

A committee is finalizing a survey that will be mailed to district taxpayers in September asking for their opinion on what to do with Rexford-Longfellow Elementary School, whose complex includes the former high school built in 1918.

Rexford school was built in 1956. The two-story Longfellow addition was build in 1964. A cafeteria and classrooms were added in 1992, and office space was added in 1996.

In the survey, taxpayers will be asked if they want to maintain the 1918 structure, maintain and update Rexford-Longfellow, replace the complex at the existing site or do nothing.

Dins also said he would like to see the district work more with local industries and others to develop skilled labor.

“Not every kid is going to college. Maybe a two-year degree in the trades is better,” he said. “I hope we work more for the trades.”

Voters at the annual meeting also kept salaries of school board members at $90 per meeting and $50 per in-service meeting. Officers receive an additional $250 annually, and members of the negotiation committee receive $300 annually. Policy/personnel committee and finance committee members receive $20 per meeting but no more than one paid meeting per month.

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Public Record

Fri, 08/26/2016 - 7:19am

Shawano Police Department

Aug. 24

Police logged 31 incidents, including the following:

Accident — Police responded to a property damage accident in the 100 block of Woodlawn Drive.

Burglary — A burglary was reported in the 300 block of East Fifth Street.

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

Disturbance — A 21-year-old man was arrested for felony physical abuse of a child during a disturbance in the 200 block of South Sawyer Street.

Fraud — Police investigated an identity theft complaint in the 800 block of East Richmond Street.

Disturbance — Police responded to a disturbance in the 100 block of South Washington Street.

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

Shawano County Sheriff’s Department

Aug. 24

Deputies logged 42 incidents, including the following:

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

Theft — A campaign sign was reported stolen on Balsam Row Road in the town of Wescott.

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

Theft — Mail was reported stolen on County Road MMM in the town of Richmond.

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

Warrant — A male subject was taken into custody on a warrant after a disorderly conduct complaint on Elm Street in Bowler.

Theft — Authorities investigated a theft complaint on Mick Road in Bowler.

Hit and Run — Authorities investigated a property damage hit-and-run on Winkle Road in the town of Herman.

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Cult expert looking elsewhere for recovery center

Wed, 08/24/2016 - 9:38pm
Fundraising stagnant; residents seem opposedBy: 

Tim Ryan, [email protected]

The leader of an Ohio ministry who was eyeing a Shawano property for a proposed cult recovery center now says the city is no longer an option, after running into financial hurdles and community resistance.

Jay Howard, head of the Religious Research Project, a group that focuses on cults, has been trying since last year to raise $172,000 to purchase the New Era House at 105 E. Richmond St. The property is listed for sale.

Howard said in an interview Monday he would continue looking for a location for a cult recovery center, but added, “I highly doubt it will be anywhere near Shawano.”

Howard also said fundraising efforts to purchase a facility have brought in “not a large amount of money.”

Howard indicated in ministry newsletter comments that went out via email Thursday that the New Era House was no longer an option after talking with the Realtor handling the property.

“While in Shawano, I had planned to go through the building that I had looked at last November as a possible sight (sic) for Meadow Haven Midwest recovery center,” he wrote. “I was told that the owner would not let me see the building again unless I promised to buy the property.”

Howard said in an interview in May that he was having trouble coming up with the money for the property and that fundraising efforts, including email lists and a 45-day stint on redbasket.org, had produced “virtually nothing.”

Howard also indicated in his newsletter comments that there was community resistance to having the facility in Shawano.

“(The property owner) told the Realtor that many people had called her complaining that they did not want a cult recovery center in their town,” Howard wrote. “I have since talked to another Realtor in Wisconsin who will keep looking for properties that could be used for the use the ministry intends for it.”

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Officials pleased with active shooter drill

Wed, 08/24/2016 - 9:37pm
Simulation capped 3-part training seriesBy: 

Tim Ryan, [email protected]


Contributed Photo Participants in a mock shooting drill evacuate Olga Brener Intermediate School while carrying out the injured Wednesday.

Shortly before noon Wednesday, officials gathered for a mock news conference at Shawano City Hall to give initial and limited information on a shooting incident at a city school.

The press briefing, as was the incident, was a simulation of how authorities expected to respond in the event of an active shooter situation.

It was decided before the mock press conference that no questions would be taken or answered.

Shawano Police Chief Mark Kohl read a statement informing the public that a call was received of “shots fired” at Olga Brener Intermediate School at 8:50 a.m.

He went on to say that two people were confirmed dead, including the shooter, though he also said that police did not fire any shots during the incident. He said the public was no longer in any danger.

Shawano School District Superintendent Gary Cumberland said the school had been placed in a lockdown, which had since been lifted and that bus transportation would go on as normal at the end of the school day.

City Clerk Karla Duchac — playing the role of Mayor Jeanne Cronce — offered her condolences.

No other information was provided, though Kohl promised another news conference later in the afternoon.

A mock reporter shouted a question to Kohl as they left, but the question was ignored.

The news conference was just one aspect of what authorities were preparing for Wednesday, but hoping they will never have to deal with in real life.

Wednesday’s drill was the culmination of efforts that began in December with table-top exercises, then graduated in April to “functional exercises” at each of the locations involved, before becoming the full-scale episode to which authorities responded.

Cumberland said Wednesday’s exercise was “a learning experience,” which added to some things already learned during the previous limited exercises, mostly dealing with the school’s part in reuniting students with their parents once evacuation has taken place.

He said initial scenarios had students congregating at Zion Lutheran Church until it was realized the location was still too close to the perimeter of the incident. Hope Community Church was later adopted as the reunification point for students and their parents.

Also, Cumberland said, it was felt that someone not too closely involved with the students should oversee the reunification, because of the possible emotions that could come into play. The original intent was that the school principal should oversee the process.

Some 350 people were involved in Wednesday’s exercise in one form or another.

Sites used included Shawano Community High School, Olga Brener Intermediate School, City Hall, Zion Lutheran Church, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and Hope Community Church.

Agencies involved in the response included Shawano police, Shawano County sheriff’s deputies, Stockbridge-Munsee police, Shawano County Health Department and Department of Human Services, Shawano Ambulance Service, city officials and Shawano Department of Public Works, and the Shawano School District.

“Overall, the full-scale active shooter exercise went very well,” said Natalie Easterday, Shawano County emergency management director.

“We had tremendous participation from key organizations, and every agency identified both strengths and areas of improvement that they will be working on as a follow-up to the event,” she said.

“Lastly, as the capstone to a three-part exercise series, we saw continued improvement from where we were at in December 2015 at the tabletop exercise and even changes since the April functional exercise based on lessons organizations learned,” Easterday said.

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County OKs 4-H building deal

Wed, 08/24/2016 - 9:36pm
Family donates $100K for naming rightsBy: 

Scott Williams, [email protected]


Contributed Photo The Huntington family includes, from left, front row, Bert Huntington and his wife, Carol Huntington, and, back row, their children, Bart Huntington, Paige Huntington and Shane Huntington.

A centerpiece of the Shawano County Fairgrounds is getting a new look — and a new name.

County officials have agreed to rename the Junior Fair Building in honor of a family that is donating $100,000 for a long-discussed renovation of the facility.

Bert and Carol Huntington, of the town of Richmond, extended the $100,000 offer after seeing that county funding for the building makeover was uncertain for the second year in a row.

With the family’s contribution, the facility sometimes known as the 4-H Building will be renovated next year and renamed the “Huntington Family 4-H Youth Building.” A sign will be erected on the exterior facade after the renovation work is completed.

Bert Huntington said his three children all were active in 4-H clubs when they were growing up, as he was, and he feels strongly that the county fair property should be upgraded for future club members. Huntington said he stepped forward to help when he saw that funding for the project was in doubt.

“I wanted to see it happen — that’s all,” he said. “This was something that I really believed in.”

Huntington is a retired business leader who served many years as president of North Country Homes of Bonduel, a manufactured home dealership that also owns three mobile home parks in the area.

Members of the County Board approved the naming-rights deal Wednesday, although not without some signs of hesitation.

Some supervisors voiced questions about details of the Junior Fair Building renovation plan, while others pointed out that United Cooperative already has its name on the building in exchange for a $2,500 annual contribution to the county fair.

“I don’t think we can just throw it away,” Supervisor John Ainsworth said of the United Cooperative sign.

Other board members, however, pointed out that the United Cooperative deal is only a yearly agreement, while the Huntington family’s donation is substantial enough that the family’s name will appear on the building for 50 years under the naming-rights deal.

Supervisor Robert Krause, chairman of the committee overseeing the county fairgrounds, said he was impressed by the Huntington family’s financial commitment.

“I think it’s very generous,” Krause said. “And I think we should accept it without question.”

Board Chairman Jerry Erdmann agreed, asking of his colleagues: “Do we want this donation or don’t we? To me, it’s a no-brainer.”
The board voted unanimously to accept the donation and approve the building’s new name.
Shawano County owns the county fairgrounds but leases the property to the Shawano Area Agricultural Society, a private group that organizes the county fair.

Leaders of the society last year presented a plan for upgrading the Junior Fair Building with a new roof, new doors, new interior lighting, insulation and other improvements, as well as a red- and green-colored exterior face-lift. The original plan called for $125,000 in county funds and $45,000 in private donations.

County officials last year allocated no funding for the project, saying that the Agricultural Society made its request too late in the county’s budgeting process. This year, county officials ranked the Junior Fair Building near the bottom of a list of capital spending priorities for 2017.

Dale Hodkiewicz, president of the Agricultural Society, said that with the Huntington family’s donation, he anticipates completing the building upgrades next year.

“It means we can get the ball rolling,” Hodkiewicz said.

The society will continue seeking county funding, and the project will be promoted at the 2016 county fair to try stirring up more private donations.

Huntington said he has enjoyed business success over the years in the Shawano area. The $100,000 donation, he said, is a way of giving back to the community.

“I just think that 4-H is such an important thing,” he said. “It’s a good thing for children.”

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School janitor among sex sting suspects

Wed, 08/24/2016 - 9:27pm
6 charged in county operationBy: 

Tim Ryan, [email protected]

A janitor working in the Howard-Suamico School District was among six men arrested last week in an internet sex sting operation conducted by the Shawano County Sheriff’s Department.

James M. Gosse, 34, of Green Bay, said at the time of his arrest that he works for a janitorial company at Suamico Elementary School and Bayport schools, according to the criminal complaint.

He has been charged with using a computer to facilitate a child sex crime.

He is free on a $5,000 signature bond and is due back in court for a preliminary hearing on Oct. 12.

The weeklong sex sting operation wrapped up Friday with the arrest of Michael L. Skinkis, 55, of Greenleaf, who is also charged with a felony count of child enticement for sexual contact.

He was also freed on a $5,000 signature bond after an initial appearance Monday and is due back in court for an adjourned initial appearance Sept. 26.

Four others were charged last week with using a computer to facilitate a sex crime: Christopher L. Shelton, 32, of Suamico; Antonio Berton, 22, of Ripon; Juan P. Flores Rodriguez, 35, of Green Bay; and Adam J. Geurts, 35, of Suring.

Shelton, Berton and Flores Rodriguez, were all released on $5,000 signature bonds.

Shelton is scheduled for a preliminary hearing Oct. 18.

Berton is scheduled for an adjourned initial court appearance Sept. 12, and Flores Rodriguez is slated for an adjourned initial appearance Sept. 19.

Geurts was ordered held on a $5,000 cash bond. He waived his preliminary hearing Monday and was scheduled for a pre-trial conference Sept. 23.

Each could face a maximum 40 years in prison and a $100,000 fine if found guilty.

The operation involved detectives from the Shawano County Sheriff’s Department posing as 15-year-old girls on the internet and either posting or responding to ads on websites such as Craigslist.

Once contact was made, text messages and emails were exchanged between the suspect and the supposed juvenile.

Communications eventually turned sexually graphic in nature and the suspects arranged to meet for a sexual rendezvous, even though the detectives made clear they were underage.

The men were taken into custody when they arrived.

The operation is part of the national Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force, which has resulted in dozens of arrests in Shawano County over the last three years.

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Public Record

Wed, 08/24/2016 - 9:24pm

Shawano Police Department

Aug. 23

Police logged 21 incidents, including the following:

Burglary — Police investigated a reported burglary in the 700 block of South Main Street.

Juvenile — Police responded to a juvenile problem in the 1000 block of East Lieg Avenue.

Theft — A license plate was reported stolen in the 1400 block of East Green Bay Street.

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

Shawano County Sheriff’s Department

Aug. 23

Deputies logged 41 incidents, including the following:

Warrant — A man was taken into custody on a warrant on state Highway 47-55 in the town of Wescott.

Vandalism — Authorities responded to a vandalism complaint on Broadway Road in the town of Hartland.

OWI — A 49-year-old woman was arrested for operating while intoxicated on Lake Drive in the town of Wescott.

Accident — Authorities responded to an injury accident on state Highway 47 in the town of Hartland.

Clintonville Police Department

Aug. 23

Police logged 18 incidents, including the following:

Theft — Two thefts from vehicles were reported on Dodge Street.

Theft — A theft was reported on 13th Street.

Accident — Police responded to an injury accident at Madison and West streets.

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Grants available for Shawano area charitable organizations

Wed, 08/24/2016 - 9:23pm

The Shawano Area Community Foundation is accepting grant applications until Oct. 1 from eligible Shawano area charitable organizations.

Organizations interested in applying for grants up to $5,000 from the SACF’s Shawano Area Fund must be designated by the Internal Revenue Service to be public charities. This encompasses most charitable, scientific, social service, educational and religious organizations described in 501(c)3 of the tax code, as well as government agencies. Organizations that are not public charities may apply through a fiscal sponsor.

Grants support projects or programs in the areas of arts and culture, health, human services, community development, education and the environment. Priority will be given to proposals with clear goals and financial accountability, and for which a moderate amount of grant money can make a significant impact on an area of need.

Grant guidelines and an application form can be found online at www.ShawanoFoundation.org. For information or assistance, call Gail Bartz, board member with the Shawano Area Community Foundation, at 715-853-1428.

In 2015, grants totaling $29,840 were awarded to eight organizations:

• Alzheimer’s Association Greater Wisconsin, to provide program support for Shawano Area Memory Cafés to reduce isolation for individuals who suffer from dementia and for their caregivers. Amount awarded: $3,000.

• Belle Plaine EMS, to purchase AED machines to provide faster cardiac care to Belle Plaine patients until advanced care arrives. Amount awarded: $2,500.

• Boys & Girls Club of Shawano, to support the printing and advertising costs associated with creating awareness of the newly formed Boys & Girls Club charter in Shawano, which is working to address a void in community youth programming. Amount awarded: $1,940.

• CHAPS Academy, to provide psychiatric support for children from Shawano County who are suffering from mental illness and take part in the Hope Lives suicide prevention and intervention program. Amount awarded: $2,500.

• Junior Achievement of Wisconsin in Wolf River District, to support expenses for Shawano County youth interested in attending a summer camp focused on building entrepreneurial skills. Amount awarded: $2,500.

• Lutheran Counseling & Family Services of Wisconsin, to support mental health counseling sessions for Shawano County clients who are unable to pay the full cost of their services. Amount awarded: $2,000.

• Navarino Nature Center, to support the production of trail maps and replace outdated trail signage. Amount awarded: $2,500.

• Navarino-Lessor EMS First Responders, to purchase two portable radios that will replace outdated equipment. Amount awarded: $5,000.

• nIc Foundation, to support the purchase of supplies and marketing expenses associated with Character Camp, a summer camp experience for children in grades 4K-5 in Shawano County. Amount awarded: $1,200.

• Safe Haven Domestic Abuse Support Center, to provide clients with computer and Internet access to assist with their job searches and other activities required for becoming self-sufficient. Will also provide keyless entry to client rooms, which will offer more privacy. Amount awarded: $1,700.

• Shawano County, to support training instructors and purchasing equipment to expand the Strong Women, Strong Bones program that takes place in rural areas of Shawano County. Amount awarded: $5,000.

The SACF was established in 1990 by community volunteers to preserve and improve the quality of life in Shawano and the surrounding area. It is an affiliate of the Appleton-based Community Foundation for the Fox Valley Region, the second-largest community foundation in Wisconsin (www.cffoxvalley.org).

More information about the SACF is available online at www.ShawanoFoundation.org, by calling 920-830-1290, or by emailing [email protected].

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Twig’s new flavor truly memorable

Wed, 08/24/2016 - 7:41am
Forget Me Not Grape will help fund Alzheimer’s education, researchBy: 

Tim Ryan, [email protected]


Leader Photo by Greg Mellis Representatives of The Cottages, from left, Heather Effenberger, Alexandra Peterson, Cara Peterson and Danielle Daebler celebrate the collaboration on Forget Me Not Grape with Twig’s Beverage staff Monday.
Leader Photo by Greg Mellis The first bottles of “Forget Me Not Grape” soda come off the bottling line at Twig’s Beverage on Monday morning in Shawano. Part of the proceeds from the new flavor will go into a fund for dementia education and research.

Twig’s Beverage began bottling a memorable new flavor Monday.

Forget Me Not Grape adds not only to the line of locally produced Twig’s favors, but will also add to the coffers available to fund education, awareness and research for Alzheimer’s and other types of dementia.

Part of the proceeds from the new drink will go into the Forget Me Not Fund established by The Cottages Memory Care, with facilities in Shawano and Oconto Falls.

“We’ll use that money to provide education to professional caregivers and awareness to families that are taking care of their loved ones at home, and also for research for the disease,” said Cara Peterson, general manager of The Cottages.

“It will cover the Wolf River valley,” she said.

The Cottages represent the Wolf River Dementia Network, which includes Shawano, Oconto and Menominee counties and the Stockbridge-Munsee reservation.

“Twig’s was wonderful in donating a portion of the proceeds of this soda,” Peterson said. “It’s very exciting for us and for The Cottages to be part of that whole development. We’re very excited to do this.”

Twig’s bottled the first 100 cases of the new soda Monday morning, and will soon be working with distributors to sell Forget Me Not Grape throughout northeast Wisconsin and upper Michigan.

The bottles are all adorned with purple labels calling attention to Alzheimer’s.

“We’ll always have the label and we’ll always donate,” said Dan Hartwig, owner of Twig’s Beverage.

Forget Me Not Grape is the 16th locally produced flavor Twig’s offers, though the company bottles many others for producers across the country.

“We’re getting more and more of that,” Hartwig said.

As far as locally produced beverages, Hartwig said, Twig’s is working on a ginger beer that could be out by the end of the year and some diet sodas.

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Mock shooting drill taking place today

Wed, 08/24/2016 - 7:37am
About 350 people involved in drillBy: 

Tim Ryan, [email protected]

Law enforcement and emergency responders will be out in force Wednesday, in numbers that could be unnerving for Shawano residents unaware of what’s going on, but there’s no reason to be alarmed.

It’s only a drill to prepare for something that police, emergency personnel and health professionals hope they will never have to deal with for real.

The training exercise being coordinated by Shawano County Emergency Management imagines the possibility of an active shooter at a local school.

The exercise will run from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. and will include the closing down and barricading of some streets in the area of Olga Brener Intermediate School.

Special response teams in full tactical gear, but not carrying real weapons, will be deployed, and emergency triage will be conducted on “victims” covered in fake blood.

“This full-scale exercise provides a training opportunity for local emergency response agencies to practice their skills in a non-life-threatening environment,” said Natalie Easterday, director of the Shawano County Emergency Management Department.

Agencies involved in the response include Shawano police, Shawano County sheriff’s deputies, Stockbridge-Munsee police, Shawano County Health Department and Department of Human Services, Shawano Ambulance Service, city officials and Shawano Department of Public Works, and the Shawano School District.

Some 350 people will be involved in the exercise in one form or another, including the school district’s entire professional staff, Easterday said.

Shawano Police Lt. Dan Mauel said the drill will give law enforcement an opportunity to exercise the policies and procedures in place for responding to an active shooter situation “so we’re able to handle it in an efficient manner.”

The same holds true for school personnel, who will need to react to the initial alert of a shooter in the building.

Much of the drill’s focus will be on the aftermath of the tragedy, Easterday said, including the evacuation of the building, reuniting students with family members and conducting triage on the victims.

“We’ll be testing a lot of elements,” she said.

Sites being used in the exercise are Shawano Community High School, Olga Brener Intermediate School, City Hall, Zion Lutheran Church, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and Hope Community Church.

All participants will receive an evaluation following the exercise. The evaluations will be collected and a report created and sent to all agencies on their performance.

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Spending down $1M in budget plan

Wed, 08/24/2016 - 7:36am
Shawano School District plans public hearing Aug. 31By: 

Scott Williams, [email protected]

The Shawano School District might be tightening its belt during the new school year and offering taxpayers a little relief in the process.

Administrators have presented a spending plan for the 2016-17 school year that trims spending by $1 million and lowers property tax collections by $225,000.

Under the plan, the owners of a typical $100,000 home would see their property tax bill for schools decrease by $18, from $1,031 to $1,013, in approximate terms.

Spending would total $37.6 million, down from $38.6 million the previous year.

The decrease in spending is a function largely of reduced capital expenditures now that the district has completed its $10 million renovation of Shawano Community Middle School — a project that involved a combination of borrowing and operating funds.

Officials plan an Aug. 31 public hearing on the 2016-17 budget, followed by an annual meeting Sept. 19 for a public vote by school district residents.

School Board member Rich Belongia said the spending plan seems to meet the school system’s needs while allowing for lower property taxes based on projected growth within the district.

“I think the people will be happy,” Belongia said. “Some years, you get lucky.”

Property tax collections last year increased $140,000, but they are projected to go down next year from $13.1 million to less than $12.9 million, assuming property values in the school district hold steady. It would be the first decrease in school property taxes in five years.

The tax rate for property owners would decline from $10.31 to $10.13 per $1,000 of assessed property value.

The budget also is based on projections of enrollment growth in the district, from 2,393 students to 2,425.

Louise Fischer, the district’s business manager, said the budget could require adjustments later if enrollment is different than expected, if property values go up or down, or if the district’s state aid changes.

Given the complexity of the formula for school funding in Wisconsin, Fischer said, “It’s hard to predict anything.”

Administrators presented the School Board with a preliminary budget forecast on Monday, and the board voted 6-0 to advance the plan to the public hearing.

Under the plan, the district’s general fund would increase from $26.5 million to $27.5 million, while the capital fund would drop from $2.3 million to zero, the food service fund would decrease from $1.8 million to $1.6 million, and the district would create a new long-range capital spending plan with an initial allocation of $100,000.

The food service fund decreases, Fischer said, because $200,000 was allocated there last year to help pay for the middle school renovations.

AT A GLANCE

Shawano School District property tax collections

2011-12 — $11,916,369

2012-13 — $12,737,023

2013-14 — $12,928,232

2014-15 — $12,980,551

2015-16 — $13,120,065

2016-17 (proposed) — $12,894,429

Source: Shawano School District

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Public Record

Wed, 08/24/2016 - 7:35am

Shawano Police Department

Aug. 22

Police logged 21 incidents, including the following:

Fraud — Police investigated a fraud complaint at Walmart, 1244 E. Green Bay St.

Drug Offense — Police investigated a drug complaint in the 100 block of Prairie Street.

Disturbance — Police responded to a disturbance at ThedaCare Medical Center-Shawano, 100 County Road B.

Theft — A purse and diary were reported stolen in the 700 block of South Main Street.

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

Aug. 21

Police logged 21 incidents, including the following:

Threatening — Police responded to a threatening complaint in the 1000 block of East Green Bay Street.

Disturbance — Police responded to a disturbance in the 1000 block of East Green Bay Street.

Disorderly — Police responded to an intoxicated person complaint in the 100 block of Sunset Avenue.

Accident — Police responded to a property damage accident at Lakeland Road and Raasch Street.

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

Aug. 20

Police logged 23 incidents, including the following:

Disturbance — Police responded to a disturbance at Smalley and Richmond streets.

Threatening — Police responded to a threatening complaint in the 900 block of South Evergreen Street.

Warrant — A 54-year-old man was arrested on a warrant at ThedaCare Medical Center-Shawano, 100 County Road B.

Vandalism — A mailbox was reported vandalized in the 200 block of Teddington Lane.

Drug Offense — Police investigated a drug complaint involving juveniles in the 1200 block of East Green Bay Street.

Disturbance — A 52-year-old man was arrested for domestic violence-related disorderly conduct after a domestic disturbance in the 400 block of West Third Street.

OWI — A 17-year-old Shawano boy was arrested for operating while intoxicated with underage passengers in the vehicle at Green Bay Street and Fairview Road. A 16-year-old boy was cited for possession of marijuana and drug paraphernalia. Another 16-year-old boy and a 14-year-old boy were both cited for possession of drug paraphernalia.

Aug. 19

Police logged 16 incidents, including the following:

Disturbance — A 56-year-old man was warned for disorderly conduct after a disturbance at ThedaCare Medical Center-Shawano, 100 County Road B.

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

Theft — Medication was reported stolen in the 700 block of South Main Street.

Accident — Police responded to a property damage accident at Green Bay Street and Eberlein Park Drive.

Shawano County Sheriff’s Department

Aug. 22

Deputies logged 43 incidents, including the following:

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

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

Fire — Authorities responded to a vehicle fire on Lakewood Court in the town of Wescott.

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

Aug. 21

Deputies logged 41 incidents, including the following:

OAR — A 33-year-old man was cited for operating after revocation on state Highway 47-55 in the town of Wescott. An ambulance was also called for a female passenger possibly going into labor.

Disorderly — Authorities responded to a disorderly conduct complaint on Main Street in Bowler.

Theft — A wallet was reported stolen on Moh He Con Nuck Road in Bowler.

Hit and Run — Authorities investigated a property damage hit-and-run on Warrington Avenue in Cecil.

Theft — Authorities investigated a theft attempt at the Little Star Convenience Store, W12140 County Road A, Gresham.

Aug. 20

Deputies logged 38 incidents, including the following:

Warrant — A 55-year-old man was arrested on an Oconto County warrant on state Highway 22 in the town of Washington.

Fire — Authorities responded to a vehicle fire on River Bend Road in the town of Belle Plaine.

Theft — Authorities responded to a theft complaint on Old D Road in the town of Aniwa.

Disturbance — Authorities responded to a disturbance on Potch Ha Chee Road in the town of Wittenberg.

Threatening — Authorities responded to a threatening complaint on Warrington Avenue in Cecil.

Juvenile — Authorities investigated a juvenile alcohol complaint on Park Street in Bonduel.

Aug. 19

Deputies logged 47 incidents, including the following:

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

Vandalism — Authorities responded to a vandalism complaint on Hickory Drive in the town of Angelica.

Accidents — Authorities responded to injury accidents on County Road Q in the town of Wittenberg and County Road C in the town of Angelica.

Clintonville Police Department

Aug. 21

Police logged eight incidents, including the following:

Curfew — Four juveniles were warned for curfew violation on East Morning Glory Drive.

Disorderly — Warning issued for disorderly conduct on South Main Street.

Disorderly — Warning issued for disorderly conduct on Bucholtz Park Road.

Theft — Theft of a wallet was reported in WA Olen Park.

Aug. 20

Police logged 12 incidents, including the following:

Disturbance — Officers responded to a family disturbance on West Morning Glory Drive, and the matter was resolved.

Disturbance — Warning issued for disorderly conduct after officers responded to a family disturbance on Felshow Street.

Drug Offense — A-19 year-old Clintonville woman was cited for possession of paraphernalia after a traffic stop on Memorial Circle and was transported to the Waupaca County Jail on a probation hold.

Aug. 19

Police logged 14 incidents, including the following:

OAR — A driver was cited for operating after revocation on state Highway 22 at Olson Road.

Burglary — A burglary was reported on Cedar Street.

Theft — Jewelry was reported stolen on North 12th Street.

Disturbance — Police responded to a family disturbance on Harriet Street.

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Circus arrival a show in itself

Fri, 08/19/2016 - 11:53pm
Crowd enjoys seeing big top raisedBy: 

Scott Williams, [email protected]


Leader Photo by Scott Williams Crew members drive 4-foot-long stakes into the ground in preparation for erecting tents and other facilities for the Culpepper & Merriweather Circus.
Leader Photo by Scott Williams Children and adults gathered around Friday to learn about the big cats and other performances in the Culpepper & Merriweather Circus.

Youngsters and the young-at-heart Friday welcomed a traveling circus to Shawano for performances in the classic style under a big-top tent.

Culpepper & Merriweather Circus thrilled spectators with a tent-raising ceremony Friday morning that transformed a vacant lot into a performance venue for circus lions, clowns and other entertainment.

Children and adults watched the circus grounds come to life, cheering and applauding as crews raised the 30-foot-tall tent for the weekend’s shows.

Culpepper & Merriweather, based in Oklahoma, prides itself on preserving tradition and recapturing the magic of old-style traveling circuses that arrive in town and seemingly pop up out of nowhere.

“It’s kind of a lost art,” said Jean Frank, who brought family members from Gillett to watch the tent-raising excitement.

Frank said she remembered seeing traveling circuses in the big-top style when she was a child, and she thought her 9- and 5-year-old nephews would enjoy getting a glimpse behind the scenes.

“I wanted them to see the process,” she said. “It’s kind of interesting that it’s still around.”

Unlike circuses that rent indoor auditoriums or stadiums, Culpepper & Merriweather prefers outdoor sites to erect its blue-and-while tent, along with pony rides, food concessions and other amenities. Organizers got a city permit to use an open field across from Memorial Park, just north of Elizabeth Street.

Leo Acton, a circus performer, greeted spectators at Friday morning’s tent-raising event and told the crowd that although preparations are meticulous, crews only need about three hours to get everything ready.

“There’s a lot that happens,” Acton said, adding with a smile: “We’ve done it a few times. We’re getting pretty good at it.”

Founded in 1985, Culpepper & Merriweather visits about 200 cities a year with its lions and tigers, horses and ponies, performing dogs, acrobats, jugglers, trapeze artists and clowns. Each performance last about 90 minutes and can accommodate 750 people under the big top.

Performances continue at 2 p.m. and 4:30 p.m. Saturday. Tickets at the gate are $13 for adults and $8 for seniors or children, and free for toddlers under 2.

Rain was in the weekend forecast for Shawano, but Acton assured the crowd that the circus performances would go ahead rain or shine.

Rotary Club of Shawano is sponsoring the Culpepper & Merriweather visit.

Once the big-top tent was raised Friday, spectators were treated to a guided tour of the circus grounds and a few insights into what goes on behind the scenes.

Tom Heling, of Shawano, who rode his bicycle across town to catch the excitement, said his wife is taking their grandchildren to one of the shows. Heling remembered seeing circuses in the old-time style as a child, and he was happy to have one back in town.

“It’s something different,” he said. “It’s good that we have different stuff in town.”

The crowd responded with “ooo’s” and “ahh’s” as crews unloaded ponies and other animals on the grounds. Children grew wide-eyed when the lions and tigers began to roar from inside their cages.

Rachel Ford brought her son, Josiah, 6, and daughter, Ellie, 3, to the event. Ford was unsure if they would be back for a performance, although she said the tent-raising and guided tour alone were plenty of entertainment.

“It’s neat to see the process,” she said. “I’ve never seen anything like that.”

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6 arrested in latest sex sting operation

Fri, 08/19/2016 - 11:43pm
Men thought they were talking to teen girlBy: 

Tim Ryan, [email protected]

Shawano County authorities Friday wrapped up a weeklong internet sex sting operation that nabbed six potential child sex predators.

The operation involved detectives from the Shawano County Sheriff’s Department posing as juveniles on the internet and either posting or responding to ads on websites such as Craigslist.

In these cases, the detectives were posing as 15-year-old girls.

Once contact was made, text messages and emails were exchanged between the suspect and the supposed juvenile.

Communications eventually turned sexually graphic in nature and the suspects arranged to meet for a sexual rendezvous, even though the detectives made clear they were underage.

The men were taken into custody when they arrived.

The operation is part of the national Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force, which has resulted in dozens of arrests in Shawano County over the last three years.

Detective Sgt. Gordon Kowaleski said he continues to be amazed at the number of arrests made during the operations, all of which have been highly publicized after the fact.

“You would think at some point this would act as a deterrent,” he said. “But we get about the same number of arrests every time we do this. I find that very alarming.”

County authorities arrested two men on the first night of the operation on Aug. 12, two more on Tuesday night, another on Wednesday, and the sixth on Friday night.

Five of them so far have been formally charged with using a computer to facilitate a sex crime: Christopher L. Shelton, 32, of Suamico; Antonio Berton, 22, of Ripon; James M. Gosse, 34, of Green Bay; Juan P. Flores Rodriguez, 35, of Green Bay; and Adam J. Geurts, 35, of Suring.

Arrested Friday was a 55-year-old man from the Green Bay area. He was expected to be charged Monday.

Each could face a maximum 40 years in prison and a $100,000 fine if found guilty.

Shawano County’s operation in March also netted six suspects.

Kowaleski said the operations would continue.

“We’re going to continue to be aggressive and proactive in these kinds of cases,” he said.

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Date set for Redevelopment Authority open house

Fri, 08/19/2016 - 11:42pm
Residents can get answers about blight districtBy: 

Tim Ryan, [email protected]

The Shawano Redevelopment Authority will host an open house on Aug. 30 to give the public an opportunity to ask questions about the impact of a blight elimination district recently approved by the Common Council.

The open house will be held from 5:30-7 p.m. at City Hall, 127 S. Sawyer St.

The council unanimously approved the boundaries for the RDA district earlier this month, but some property owners continue to have questions and concerns about what being located in the district will mean for their properties.

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.

There are 391 properties within the boundaries of the RDA district. Just over half of them are considered blighted or in need of redevelopment.

The RDA will develop a project plan for addressing blighted properties in the district.

City officials said the open house is the first step in getting public input on that plan before it goes to the Common Council for approval.

A public hearing will also be held at some point.

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Public Record

Fri, 08/19/2016 - 11:37pm

Shawano Police Department

Aug. 18

Police logged 25 incidents, including the following:

OWI — A 21-year-old woman was arrested for operating while intoxicated in the 100 block of Arlington Street.

Hit and Run/OWI — A 23-year-old man was arrested for operating while intoxicated after a property damage hit-and-run at Main Street and Alpine Drive.

Trespass — Police responded to a trespassing complaint in the 800 block of Alpine Drive.

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

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

Disorderly — Police responded to an intoxicated person complaint at Lincoln Street and Zingler Avenue.

Shawano County Sheriff’s Department

Aug. 18

Deputies logged 42 incidents, including the following:

Hit and Run — Authorities responded to a property damage hit-and-run on state Highway 22 in Belle Plaine.

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

Disturbance — Authorities responded to a disturbance on Potch Ha Chee Road in the town of Wittenberg.

Theft — Two chainsaws were reported stolen on Lake Drive in the town of Wescott.

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

OWI/Drug Offense — A 24-year-old Wittenberg man was arrested for operating while intoxicated and possession of marijuana on Green Bay Street in Bonduel.

Disturbance — Authorities responded to a domestic disturbance on Smalley Street in the town of Wescott.

Warrant — A 23-year-old Green Bay woman was arrested on a warrant and charged with obstructing after authorities responded to a reckless driving complaint on state Highway 29 in the town of Richmond.

Clintonville Police Department

Aug. 18

Police logged 15 incidents, including the following:

Disturbance — A 23-year-old Clintonville man was taken into custody on a probation hold after a family disturbance on Seventh Street.

Harassment — Harassment was reported on East 14th Street.

Burglary — Police investigated a reported burglary on South Park Street.

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

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Things getting back to normal at ThedaCare

Fri, 08/19/2016 - 7:49am
Flooding recovery continuesBy: 

Tim Ryan, [email protected]

Some services at ThedaCare Medical Center-Shawano were still being limited Thursday as a result of flooding in the hospital last week, but progress was being made at getting things back to normal, according to ThedaCare officials.

Surgeries were back on schedule Thursday and the lab has reopened, ThedaCare spokesperson Megan Mulholland said.

CT and general radiology were due to be operational on Friday, she said.

Outpatient services, which had been moved, will reopen in the usual location next week.

Still pending are MRI, ultrasound and mammography repairs, which will be announced next week, Mulholland said. Limited imaging continues.

An exterior fire hydrant malfunctioned on Aug. 9, causing flooding and water damage.

Mulholland said an old, abandoned water main feeding the fire hydrant allowed water to enter the building.

The amount of damage and further details about the cause were still under investigation.

Flooding hit the hospital laboratory and imaging center, both on the first floor of the medical center at 100 County Road B. The damage involved about one-third of the hospital’s first floor, with no damage reported in the clinic.

“State health leaders, who were on-site for other verification reasons, were complimentary in the efforts we have put forth to restore our beautiful facility,” hospital CEO Dorothy Erdmann said in a statement. “Everything has been done correctly, validated and documented appropriately. We appreciate the understanding of our patients and staff as we recover from this incident.”

ThedaCare, based in Appleton, opened the 128,000-square-foot hospital in September after investing about $50 million to bring updated and expanded services to the Shawano area.

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