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Updated: 41 min 26 sec ago

Public Record

Tue, 07/16/2019 - 9:32pm

Shawano Police Department

July 15

Police logged 22 incidents, including the following:

Arrest — A 52-year-old woman was taken into custody at the probation and parole offices, 1340 E. Green Bay St.

Harassment — Harassment was reported at Walmart, 1244 E. Green Bay St., and in the 200 block of North Riverside Drive.

Assault — Police investigated an assault complaint at Franklin Park, 235 S. Washington St.

Vandalism — Two vandalism incidents were reported in the 200 block and 500 block of East Richmond Street.

Shawano County Sheriff’s Department

July 15

Deputies logged 48 incidents, including the following:

Burglary — Burglaries were reported on County Road MMM in the town of Richmond and on Winkle Road in the town of Herman.

Disturbances— Authorities responded to disturbances on Main Street in the town of Angelica and on County Road E in the town of Washington.

Fire — Authorities responded to a vehicle fire on Fourth Street in Mattoon.

Fraud — Authorities investigated a fraud complaint on River Drive in the town of Wescott.

Trespass — Trespassing was reported on Park Street in Bonduel.

Accident — Authorities responded to an ATV injury accident on Comet Road in the town of Germania.

ShawanoFest brings visitors to downtown area

Mon, 07/15/2019 - 9:27pm
BID teams up with city staff to increase activitiesBy: 

Carol Ryczek [email protected]

Leader photo by Carol Ryczek A car show took all the parking in the 200 block of South Main Street during ShawanoFest on Saturday. The annual event included the car show, crafters, food trucks and music.

Street food, music and a lot of inflatable fun brought crowds to Shawano downtown’s ShawanoFest on Saturday.

New activities on Main Street and the nearby Franklin Park were part of the plan for this year, according to Lindsay Johnson, Shawano business improvement coordinator and one of the organizers of the event.

“We added a lot of activities with the Franklin Park being available,” Johnson said, adding that Matt Hendricks, city park and recreation director, and Dana Dillenburg, the park and rec activities coordinator, were core team planners this year.

Working with Shawano Park and Recreation Department opened up a lot of opportunities that were not available in the past, Johnson said. Instead of being limited to just Main Street, the event had activities on Division Street and into the park.

Activities at the park included an assortment of bounce-houses, a sidewalk chalk drawing contest sponsored by Shawano Rotary and several hours of knockerball, an activity that allows participants to wear large inflatable armor and try to knock each other down.

“It went really well for the first year,” Hendricks said. “We wanted to have kids and family-friendly activities, for free, and support the BID event. It’s also the first year for Franklin Park. It wasn’t our first activity but we though it would be a good introduction to the park.”

Music was played throughout the day on both Main Street and the park.

“We also included groups like the Farmers Market. They extended their hours from noon to 1 p.m.,” Johnson said, and that helped drive some new people to ShawanoFest.

She did not have an estimate on attendance at the free event.

“There were people all over Division Street, Main Street and Franklin Park most of the day,” Johnson said.

The food truck alley along Division Street was a popular addition, she said.

ShawanoFest is a project of the Shawano Business Improvement District (BID). The BID was created on April 13, 1988, by the city of Shawano. This area represents the heart of Shawano’s downtown, linking Main Street business with business on Green Bay Street. In addition, there are associate members of the BID, who choose to be part of it but are not included in the contiguous area.

The objective of the BID is to promote the development, redevelopment, operation and promotion of Shawano downtown for the benefit of all businesses and property owners within the BID.

ShawanoFest is a way to bring people to Shawano’s business district, Johnson said.

“It was started to bring foot traffic to the area. People come for an event, and they are open to a visit for some of our businesses and will come back another time,” she said.

Businesses that Johnson talked to reported “excellent” traffic, she said.

The major sponsor for Shawano Fest was Qualheim’s True Value, Johnson said. Senzig’s Fine Home Furnishings sponsored the food truck rally.

Winners of the ShawanoFest car show are:

Mayor’s Choice: Jim Huxhold, Shawano

People’s Choice: Mike Ritchie, Shawano

Antique: George Schumacher, Antigo

Classic: Russ & Nancy Wise, Shawano

Muscle: Kelvin & Joanne Olson, Shawano

Truck: Larry Gast, Tilleda

Car Show sponsors include the City of Shawano, Martin Jewellers, Automotive Supply Company, Wegner’s Quality Auto Body and Jim Martin.

Public Record

Mon, 07/15/2019 - 9:24pm

Shawano Police Department

July 14

Police logged 13 incidents, including the following:

Shoplifting — Charlie’s County Market, 521 S. Main St., reported a shoplifting incident.

July 13

Police logged 29 incidents, including the following:

Disturbance — Police responded to a disturbances at Richmond Street and Maiden Lane, at Lieg Avenue and Main Street and in the 400 block of South Andrews Street.

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

Assault — Police investigated an assault complaint in the 700 block of East Fifth Street.

Fraud — Police investigated a fraud complaint in the 900 block of South Main Street.

July 12

Police logged 25 incidents, including the following:

Disturbances — Charges of disorderly conduct/domestic and suffocation/domestic were referred against a 21-year-old Shawano man after a disturbance in the 400 block of South Lincoln Street. Police also responded to a disturbance at Memorial Park, 901 S. Lincoln St.

Fraud — Counterfeit $20 bills were reported passed at a garage sale in the 500 block of South Washington Street and a rummage sale in the 1400 block of South Union Street.

Theft — Prescription medication was reported stolen in the 100 block of Acorn Street.

July 11

Police logged 21 incidents, including the following:

Warrant — A 17-year-old Shawano man was arrested for a probation warrant at the probation and parole offices, 1340 E. Green Bay St.

Disturbance — Charges of disorderly conduct/domestic and battery/domestic were referred against a 46-year-old Shawano man after a domestic disturbance in the 700 block of East Randall Street.

Shawano County Sheriff’s Department

July 14

Deputies logged 46 incidents, including the following:

OWI — A 35-year-old Mattoon woman was arrested for operating while intoxicated on Fourth Street in Mattoon.

Theft — Two cement statues were reported stolen from a yard on Westgor Avenue in Wittenberg.

Trespass — Authorities responded to a trespassing complaint on Moh He Con Nuck Road in Bowler.

Threatening — Authorities responded to a threatening complaint on Bierman Road in the town of Aniwa.

Accidents — Authorities logged five accidents, including three deer-related crashes.

July 13

Deputies logged 37 incidents, including the following:

Theft — A ring was reported stolen on Old W Road in the town of Lessor.

Drug Offense — Authorities investigated a drug complaint on Pioneer Avenue in Wittenberg.

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

Disturbances — Authorities responded to a disturbances on Quad Park Lane in Tigerton and Ah Toh Wuk Circle in Bowler.

July 12

Deputies logged 57 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 — Authorities responded to property theft complaints on Honeysuckle Lane in Tigerton and on County Road D in the town of Seneca.

Warrant — A 37-year-old Iron River man was arrested on a warrant on state Highway 47 in the town of Lessor.

Hit and Run — Authorities investigated a property damage hit-and-run on County Road D in the town of Seneca.

Disturbance — A 245-year-old Pulaski man was arrested for possession of meth and drug paraphernalia after a disturbance on County Road C in the town of Angelica.

Disorderly — Authorities responded to a disorderly conduct complaint on County Road C in the town of Angelica.

Trespass — Trespassing was reported on Loon Lake Drive in the town of Wescott.

Accident — Authorities responded to an injury accident on County Road D in the town of Seneca.

July 11

Deputies logged 42 incidents, including the following:

Disturbance — Authorities responded to a disturbance on Ho-Chunk Road in the town of Wittenberg.

Disorderly — Disorderly conduct was reported on Nauman Road in the town of Green Valley.

Threatening — Authorities responded to a threatening complaint on County Road Y in the town of Belle Plaine.

Theft — Authorities responded to a property theft complaint on Island Lake Lane in the town of Red Springs.

Accident — Authorities responded to an injury accident on state Highway 156 in the town of Morris.

Credit union breaking ground in Pulaski this week

Mon, 07/15/2019 - 9:23pm

Fox Communities Credit Union will hold a groundbreaking ceremony Thursday for its new location, 1061 Corporate Way, Pulaski.

This location will join the other 22 locations throughout the Green Bay, Fox Valley and surrounding areas.

“We are very excited to become a part of the Pulaski community, said Greg Hilbery, FCCU president. “Over the years, we have been hearing our members ask for a location in Pulaski. This location will have a member-friendly design featuring teller islands instead of the traditional teller counter. This will allow for a more interactive conversation between the teller and member. It will also have a coffee bar.”

FCCU anticipates opening the office in December. This will be a full-service branch offering mortgage, consumer and business loans, easy access drive-up lanes and ATM.

Gries Architectural Group is the architect for the project and DeLeers Construction from Green Bay is the construction firm.

FCCU is 82 years strong and today serves over 104,000 members with 22 branches. In 2019, FCCU was voted best credit union in both the Fox Valley and Green Bay areas in the “bank or credit union” category.

5 teens arrested after home invasion

Sat, 07/13/2019 - 1:12pm
Suspects facing multiple felony chargesBy: 

Leader Staff

Five teenagers are in custody and facing multiple felony charges in connection with a home invasion that took place in the city Wednesday night, Shawano police said Saturday.

Officers Brian Burkel and Brent Dilge were dispatched to the 600 block of South Maiden Lane at about 10:40 p.m. Wednesday for a report of a disturbance and home invasion, Police Chief Dan Mauel said.

A resident reported that six teenage boys had forced their way into her home, went upstairs and accosted her grandson.

The teens fled the residence before the officers arrived.

The investigation developed several persons of interest and one suspect was taken into custody at 3 a.m. Thursday.

Four other teens were taken into custody by the officers on Thursday evening.

The investigation is ongoing and was a targeted incident, police said. One person in the residence received a minor injury.

Two 14-year-old Green Bay boys, a 15-year-old Shawano boy and two 13-year-old Shawano boys are being referred to social services for burglary; arming self with a dangerous weapon during the burglary; robbery involving a dangerous weapon; disorderly conduct; and criminal trespass to a dwelling.

All five teens were transported to a secure juvenile detention facility.

Mauel credited Burkel and Dilge for their work in the investigation.

3 make final cut to be interviewed for school district superintendent

Thu, 07/11/2019 - 11:24pm
Candidates to meet the public MondayBy: 

Lee Pulaski [email protected]

The Shawano School District released its finalist list Thursday for filling the superintendent position being vacated by Gary Cumberland’s retirement.

The Shawano School Board will interview three candidates next week in closed session, but the public will get the chance to meet them at a forum at 6 p.m. Monday in the auditorium at Shawano Community High School, 220 County Road B, Shawano.

The candidates are:

• Randi Anderson, who is currently superintendent of the Pelican Rapids School District in Pelican Rapids, Minnesota.

• Annette Deuman, who is currently superintendent of the Columbus School District in Columbus, Wisconsin.

• Dr. Gereon Methner, who is currently the secondary principal for the Gibraltor Area School District in Fish Creek, Wisconsin. Methner has previously worked in the Shawano School District as its at-risk coordinator and LEADS Primary Charter School’s executive director from 2013 through 2015..

There were 27 applicants for the superintendent post, according to school board president Tyler Schmidt. Eight were chosen for a first round of interviews with the board, held earlier this week, and then the list was pared down to three.

Vision was a key factor for the board when considering which candidates they would interview. Schmidt said the district wants to develop a long-term strategic plan, and the new superintendent would be instrumental in creating that.

“The board really felt that having a clear vision and a path to get to that vision was necessary,” Schmidt said. “There were a lot of key things. As a board, we learned recently that we need a strategic plan, and we’re going to move forward with that.”

Schmidt noted the interview process was “extensive,” and the entire search was comprehensive, with community focus groups established and recommendations made as to what needed to be required for the district’s next leader.

“There are tons of things that you look for,” Schmidt said. “Everything from being leaders to how they interact with the community.”

Schmidt said the interaction with the community will be put to the test on Monday with the public forum. Each candidate will be presenting to the audience for an hour, either before or after the second school board interview, which will be taking place around that time.

“We want the community to pepper them with questions and get their questions answered,” Schmidt said. “The community will have a voice in this.”

The public forum will be recorded so that the board can, once the interviews are concluded, look at how the candidates performed.

The school board could hold another closed session at 6 p.m. Tuesday in the district board room at SCHS to deliberate further if discussions continue too late on Monday.

A salary range for the new superintendent has not been established, according to Schmidt. He said the board would likely discuss pay and benefits during deliberations.

Schmidt said a final decision on hiring a superintendent will take place at its next regular meeting on July 22.

Cumberland announced in May that he would be retiring to take a position as principal at Sacred Heart Catholic School. Cumberland was promoted from assistant superintendent to superintendent in August 2013 after then-superintendent Todd Carlson abruptly announced he was leaving to take a superintendent position with the Gillett School District.

Group discusses historic school’s fate

Thu, 07/11/2019 - 11:22pm
Clintonville School District planning new referendumBy: 

Grace Kirchner Leader Correspondent

Rexford-Longfellow Elementary School’s designation as a historic building could change what the Clintonville School District plans to do if it holds another referendum, but not as much as some might think.

Jennifer Lehrke, principal architect and historic preservation consultant with Legacy Architecture in Sheboygan, addressed the district’s facility concept planning group Monday to explain what can and cannot be done with the elementary school complex now that it is listed on the National Registry of Historic Buildings.

Clintonville resident Mary-Beth Kuester nominated the school complex for the historic designation.

The group has been meeting on a regular basis to address the facility needs of the district and how to solve them. The firm works on historic preservation all over the state.

“It is a myth that you can’t do anything once the building is listed,” Lehrke said. “You can paint, you can demolish it, you can do anything.”

Plans for buildings on historical lists require notifying the Wisconsin Historical Society. Within 30 days, the society would review the plans and get back to the district. A 30-day extension could be requested by the society, according to Lehrke.

“The Wisconsin Historical Society will give you options. You can negotiate,” Lehrke said.

She said that some districts will sell an old building.

“There is a market. Developers may want it for multi-family housing. There are tax perks for them. They would be required to keep the historical building looking like a historical school building. That is a financial benefit. The building would be put on the tax roll of the city,” Lehrke said.

Any remodel or modification would have to work through the office of historic preservation and submit complete plans before going to referendum.

Lehrke noted the board may decide to see what developers would make of the building and request proposals for its use. The district would not have to accept the offer, she said.

Superintendent Dr. David Dybe said there seems to be an emotional attachment to the building for a lot of people.

According to Lehrke, the windows in the 1918 building have already been replaced and in that case, developers could do what they want with them. A developer may be required to keep things like the terrazzo floors, the wood floors, the stairway, some light fixtures, and the arches to receive the tax credits.

Lehrke commented that Rexford-Longfellow has been very well maintained. There have been no “band aids” put on them as some districts have done, but the building may not be able to deliver the education as it is today.

“There is resale for buildings already listed on the National Register that are well maintained,” Lehrke said. “They can be apartment buildings. It is in a nice neighborhood. Often a developer will invest in the community.”

When asked if the building could be taken off the listing on the National Registry, Lehrke said it would be difficult, costly, and would probably involve demolishing the building.

Historic schools in New London and Shawano have been made into apartments.

Jody Andres with Hoffman Architects said the historic building is handicap-accessible but it still may be a challenge to navigate with a wheelchair.

The facility concept planning group will meet again at 6 p.m. Monday at Clintonville Middle School, 255 N. Main St., Clintonville. It plans to look at all of the options and costs for meeting the districts needs.

The school board is contemplating another referendum. On April 5, 2016, voters turned down the district’s proposed $24.9 million referendum 1,140 to 733. The plan at that time was to raze Rexford-Longfellow, including the historical 1918 building. The referendum would have constructed a new elementary school facility at the same location.

For information, contact Dybe at 715-823-7215, ext. 2604.


Thu, 07/11/2019 - 11:20pm
Children’s animal books come to life at library presentationBy: 

Carol Ryczek [email protected]

Leader photo by Carol Ryczek Kastle Zook, left, Otto Woods and Katie Woods encounter a hognose snake at a Zombie visit to the Shawano Public Library on Tuesday.

Kids, parents, grandparents, teachers, friends, animal lovers of all ages, skinks and dragons crowded together on Tuesday at the Shawano Public Library when staff and creatures from the NEW Zoo and Adventure Park paid a visit.

Over 100 children and adults were on hand for the presentation.

The NEW Zoo is located in Suamico, and just as the library has its bookmobile, the zoo has a vehicle to take its charges out to share. NEW Zoo educator Natalie Erickson, one of Tuesday’s presenters, said the vehicle is busy all summer, making up to four visits a week throughout northeast Wisconsin.

The presentation focused on invasive species — animals that humans bring into an area, sometime with disastrous results. One of the creatures, a Cuban tree frog, was introduced to Florida, and its size and appetite allowed it to outcompete the native frogs, the presenters said.

Although the lesson was about complex ecological systems, for the toddlers and school-aged children in the room, the focus, and the fun, was the opportunity to see and touch the animals. Volunteer Carol Dill and intern Brianna Moss pulled out tanks or pulled the creatures out of their cages and walked them through the crowded Ella Veslak Room so the children could see them eye-to-eye.

In addition to the frog, a bearded dragon, blue-tongued skink, hognose snake and a rabbit — part Flemish giant — were shared with the children.

After the presentation, the children and some brave parents lined up to touch the dragon, snake and rabbit.

Grants available to improve veteran employment

Thu, 07/11/2019 - 11:16pm

The Wisconsin Department of Veterans Affairs has announced that Entrepreneurship Grant program applications are now being accepted.

The grant program is open to registered nonprofit 501(c)(3) or 501(c)(6) organizations that provide entrepreneurship training or technical, business or other assistance to veteran entrepreneurs to improve employment outcomes. Applicants are able to apply for up to $100,000.

Nonprofit organizations interested in applying for this grant opportunity must submit their completed applications by July 31, at 4 p.m.

Grant applications will be evaluated on:

• Background and organizational history

• Organizational qualifications and past performance

• Experience working with veterans

• Need for grant funding

• Outreach and referral plan

• Program and implementation timeline

• Monitoring and program evaluation

• Program goals and objectives

• Past working relationships with other start-up businesses and entrepreneurship programs

The Entrepreneurship Grant program includes a maximum total of up to $450,000 from July 1, 2019, to June 30, 2020. To qualify, nonprofit organizations must be located in this state and registered and in good standing with the Wisconsin Department of Financial Institutions.

Applications and questions about the grant application process should be directed to WDVA Grants Unit at 1-800-WIS-VETS or email at [email protected].

Highway 22 resurfacing begins Monday

Wed, 07/10/2019 - 8:53pm
Lane closures planned along Green Bay Street; detour planned for railroad crossing workBy: 

Tim Ryan [email protected]

It all starts Monday and won’t be over until November.

The state Department of Transportation is trying to minimize the necessary but inevitable headaches that will accompany a major road resurfacing project along state Highway 22 in Shawano, and officials are planning weekly updates and notifications for those impacted, primarily business owners along East Green Bay Street.

DOT officials held a meeting at City Hall on Tuesday to inform the public of its plans. About two dozen people attended, mostly owners of businesses along East Green Bay Street.

The resurfacing project is intended to improve the existing pavement driving surface and other deteriorated infrastructure.

The existing asphalt pavement is showing signs of deterioration with cracking throughout and, if no improvements are completed, the remaining pavement structure life will be significantly reduced, according to the DOT.

The resurfacing will include South Main Street from County Road B to Zingler Road and East Green Bay Street from Main Street to County Road BE.

As part of that project, the DOT will also be addressing two other long-neglected problems: Replacing the box culvert at Murray Creek just east of Rusch Road, and replacing the railroad crossing on East Green Bay Street in downtown Shawano.

The railroad crossing, where the crossing surface is deteriorating, in particular has long been a complaint of local motorists. There are also signals but no gates present at the crossing.

Most of the project work will be improving sidewalk curb ramps, and resurfacing the existing pavement. That will consist of grading, milling, asphalt pavement, culvert pipe, storm sewer, curb and gutter, concrete driveway, sidewalk, box culvert replacement, signs, and pavement markings, according to the DOT.

At the completion of the project, sidewalk curb ramps will also be improved and up to current standards.

Lane closures will start on the east end of the project Monday to address the box culvert issue. Closures downtown will begin the week of July 22.

“The first thing that’s going to have to happen is replacing the box culvert on the west end down by (County Road BE),” said Jeff Reesman of Northeast Asphalt, the contractor on the project. “That’s going to start next week.

“We have to divert the existing creek so they can work on the existing box culvert, so there’s going to be some hopping around on some lanes over the next week.”

The culvert section of the project is expected to take about 10 weeks to complete.

Once that’s under way, crews will begin working along East Green Bay Street starting at Main Street and working eastbound.

“We’ll be in the east lane, then they’ll drop back and do the westbound lane,” Reesman said.

Motorists, as well as businesses in the area, are likely to feel the most impact of the project when work begins on re-doing the railroad crossing.

That is expected to begin by Aug. 5 and take most of the month, requiring traffic to be detoured around the work during that time.

The marked detour, which will also be the official truck route, will take motorists down state Highway 22 to state Highway 29 and back around up Airport Road, or vice versa in the other direction, of course.

That will be the official truck route, but officials expect many local motorists will opt to avoid the road closure by using Fifth Street, something that had some residents along that route a bit nervous at Tuesday’s meeting.

“It could be an issue,” Public Works Director Scott Kroening said.

The DOT has no plans at this point for any additional traffic control along Fifth Street during the railroad crossing closure, but officials said that situation would be monitored.

Fifth Street is under construction by the city right now, but, Kroening said, “that’s going to be completed before they close the railroad crossing.”

DOT officials said they also wanted to have the railroad crossing piece of the project completed before the start of the Shawano County Fair.

For the rest of the project along East Green Bay Street, motorists can expect to have three lanes of traffic open at any given time.

“The way this has to be paved is, we’ll fix all the curb areas. We have to mill and pave the center lanes, and then when that’s done, we move back to the outside lanes,” Reesman said.

Another big piece of the project will be the intersection at Green Bay Street and Airport Road.

“That’s a really big intersection,” Reesman said.

The DOT is planning work at that intersection to commence the week after Labor Day.

Mountain Bay Trail crossing to get mast arms

Wed, 07/10/2019 - 8:43pm
Shawano Pathways donating $12,000 to pedestrian crossing warning signalBy: 

Tim Ryan [email protected]

Shawano Pathways has donated $12,000 to the city for the installation of mast arms that will warn motorists of pedestrians crossing the Mountain Bay Trail at Green Bay Street.

The crossing has long been a concern for pedestrians and bicyclists despite attempts to make it safer and the crossing more visible.

The most recent additions were flashing lights and orange flags for pedestrians to carry across the four lanes of traffic. Motorists are expected to stop for pedestrians and bike traffic but not all lanes of traffic necessarily follow that law.

Some users of the trail have avoided making that crossing because of the safety hazard, according to Pathways officials.

The mast arms, which will feature yellow pedestrian crossing signs, will be user-operated. Pedestrians or bicyclists will push a button to bring the arms out. They will be timed to retract again after the crossing.

Shawano Pathways was selected by the Safe Routes to School National Partners to join Safe Routes to Parks Activating Communities, which included a $12,000 grant and technical assistance focused on improving safe and equitable local park access. Shawano Pathways is a nonprofit organization formed to respond to a need for trails and green spaces in Shawano County.

The total project cost is expected to be about $24,000.

In addition to the $12,000 from Pathways, Shawano Municipal Utilities will install the mast arms at no cost up to to $5,000.

The city will cover the rest of the cost through savings anticipated from its 2019 capital improvement projects fund.

Public Record

Wed, 07/10/2019 - 8:42pm

Shawano Police Department

July 9

Police logged 32 incidents, including the following:

Assault — A sexual assault in the 1300 block of Lieg Avenue was under investigation.

Theft — A license plate was reported stolen from a vehicle in the 1000 block of South Weed Street. Prescription medication was reported stolen in the 900 block of South Bartlett Street.

Vandalism — A sign was reported vandalized at Sturgeon Park, 811 S. Water St.

Drug Offense — A charge of possession of marijuana was referred against a 26-year-old Shawano woman at Lincoln and Maurer streets.

Fraud — Police investigated a fraud complaint in the 1100 block of South Main Street.

Fleeing — A 28-year-old Shawano man was arrested for fleeing an officer and bail jumping and cited for failure to stop for a stop sign, speeding and non-registration of an auto after a chase that began at Washington Street and Lieg Avenue. The pursuit in the city covered 1.3 miles and reached a speed of 70 mph in a 35 mph zone. The pursuit was terminated for safety reasons just south of the city. Shawano County sheriff’s deputies located the vehicle shortly after and began another pursuit that ended after the vehicle got stuck in a field on Sandy Drive in the town of Waukechon.

Shoplifting — A 31-year-old woman was cited for shoplifting at Charlie’s County Market, 521 S. Main St.

Disturbances — A charge of disorderly conduct/domestic was referred against a 39-year-old Keshena woman after a disturbance in the 1100 block of Waukechon Street. A 48-year-old Shawano man was arrested for recklessly endangering safety and disorderly conduct after a disturbance in the 900 block of East Maurer Street.

Shawano County Sheriff’s Department

July 9

Deputies logged 45 incidents, including the following:

Disturbance — Authorities responded to a disturbance on Island Lake Lane in the town of Red Springs.

Harassment — Harassment was reported on Maple Avenue in the town of Wescott.

Fleeing — A 28-year-old Shawano man was arrested for fleeing an officer after a chase that began in the city was taken over by sheriff’s deputies. The driver fled the vehicle the pursuit continued on foot into the town of Navarino where he was taken into custody. County authorities referred charges for fleeing, reckless driving and operating a vehicle without the owner’s consent. The vehicle had been reported stolen in New London, according to the sheriff’s department.

Warrant — A 33-year-old New London woman was arrested on a warrant and charged with issuing a worthless check on state Highway 22 in the town of Belle Plaine.

OWI — A 45-year-old Krakow man was arrested for third-offense operating while intoxicated on Cecil Street in Bonduel.

Fraud — Stockbridge-Munsee police investigated a fraud complaint on Park Street in Gresham.

Theft — Stockbridge-Munsee police investigated an attempted theft reported on White Birch Road in the town of Red Springs.

Accidents — Authorities responded to two injury accidents on state Highway 29 in the towns of Herman and Richmond.

Downtown restroom good to go

Wed, 07/10/2019 - 8:41pm
Public restroom will be located across from Franklin ParkBy: 

Tim Ryan [email protected]

City officials Wednesday got the ball rolling on a long-awaited public restroom facility downtown that will be located across from Franklin Park.

The Common Council approved a bid from Cerveny Construction of Shawano for the project from a list of four bidders at a cost of $159,850.

The lack of a public restroom downtown has been an issue plaguing downtown business owners for years and the improvements recently made to Franklin Park that hope to draw even more visitors to events there has exacerbated that need.

The restroom was originally expected to be located within Franklin Park under the park improvement project and would have been a part of the amphitheater. It was later put on a different timeline and decided the restroom should be located outside the park to provide more access to visitors patronizing downtown businesses.

Other bidders on the restroom project included Precision Construction Services at $194,700; RJM Construction at $192,650; and Silvercrest Construction Group at $204,772.

The Common Council in March approved a contract with Nordin Design Group, Inc., of Shawano, in the amount of $10,500 for the design and engineering work for the public restroom.

The contract called for Nordin to prepare plans, specifications, bidding documents, and provide contract administration for a restroom facility to be constructed in the city parking lot adjacent to the senior center on Washington Street.

“It’s going to be a nice connection for the farmers market,” said City Administrator Eddie Sheppard.

“With more and more events over there, we’d like to get this moving and get this constructed quickly this year,” he said.

Sheppard said the structure will also feature an informational kiosk.

The building will include a men’s room with a water closet, urinal and lavatory, and a women’s room with two water closets and a lavatory.

The facility would be operated from the spring through fall and shut down during the winter, with plumbing systems designed to be shut down for the season.

It will also include minimal heat and a ventilation system, according to the design contract.

Shawano launching photo contest

Tue, 07/09/2019 - 7:20pm
City looking for photos showing off community featuresBy: 

Tim Ryan [email protected]

The city of Shawano is launching a photo contest aimed at celebrating the city and encouraging residents and visitors alike to take a look around at what the community has to offer.

“We wanted to do something to have an event that would be another reason to get people out into the community and get to see the things that are going on in the community,” Shawano Deputy Clerk Lesley Nemetz said.

“It gives them an excuse to kind of go out there and look around at something they might not have seen before,” she said. “We want to display the talents of our local residents and visitors and just provide an opportunity for people to see what we have going on around here.”

The contest will be broken down into five categories: parks and recreation — park scenery, people enjoying parks, participating in sports; arts and culture — performing arts, visual art, public art, ceremonies, cultural events; history — historical locations, artifacts, buildings and landmarks; landscapes — the natural beauty of the city; and drone photos — aerial views of cityscapes.

“Each winner will get a monetary prize as well as their photo put on a canvas that will be displayed at City Hall,” Nemetz said. “We’d also be using some of the photos on our web page for and future publications if need be.

The contest is open to residents and non-residents from July 15 through Oct. 31. All photos entered must be taken within the city limits.

Photographers of all ages and skill levels are encouraged to participate.

A panel of judges selected by the city will identify the top photos in each category, which will be posted on the city’s web page ( by Nov. 15.

Online voting will take place from Nov. 15 to Dec. 15. A People’s Choice winner will be determined in each category with one overall grand prize winner determined by the judge’s panel. Each category will also have a youth division winner.

Photographs will be judged on the basis of creativity, photographic quality, composition and how an image expresses the theme of the selected category. Winners in each category will be notified by phone and/or email. They will be invited to receive their prize at the Jan. 8, 2020, Shawano Common Council meeting.

All submissions must be emailed to [email protected] no later than 4:30 p.m. on Oct. 31 to be considered for the contest.

For questions or information, contact Nemetz at Shawano City Hall at 715-526-6138 or email [email protected].

‘Dr. George’ retires from Shawano emergency department

Tue, 07/09/2019 - 7:18pm
Vidalakis recalls highs, lows of 37-year careerBy: 

Carol Ryczek [email protected]

Leader Photo by Carol Ryczek Dr. George Vidalakis recently retired from ThedaCare Medical Center-Shawano, where he was the emergency department medical director. He is pictured with a display photos from his 37 years as an emergency room doctor.

Dr. George Vidalakis’ last day of work was a Saturday during the summer in the ThedaCare Medical Center-Shawano (TMC-Shawano) Emergency Department — one of the busiest emergency rooms among Wisconsin’s small, critical access hospitals.

He was busy.

Vidalakis, who retired June 27 after spending 37 years as an emergency department doctor in Shawano, thought it was a fitting way to end his career.

Born and raised in Joliet, Illinois, Vidalakis, or “Dr. George,” as many call him, attended medical school at Southern Illinois University and completed his family residency there.

He served as the emergency department medical director at TMC-Shawano, and the Shawano Ambulance Medical Director as well as serving on many committees including the credentials committee and medical executive committee. He was also very involved in several emergency department renovations and planning for when Shawano Medical Center became TMC-Shawano.

In retirement, Vidalakis said he plans to “dust off some hobbies” and visit family, including a grandchild later this year.

Both he and the practice of medicine were much different when he started, Vidalakis said.

“When I was younger — you work a lot more scared, waiting for the next patient to come in. You were getting to that point where you thought you couldn’t handle it, but there wasn’t just one patient like that. There were hundreds like that. You learned from that. You had to do it,” he said.

As he looked back on his career, he downplayed his impact and the role he played in saving lives in the emergency department. What he did was not about saving lives, he said, but “I did a couple of things, and they turned around.”

One of the most memorable cases was a local man who was trimming his bushes and was suddenly attacked by 20-30 ground bees.

“His blood pressure was almost down to zero,” Vidalakis recalled. “We brought him back. He was not transferred, so we were able to keep him in Shawano.” He said he ran into the patient later, who told him he was a lot more careful when cutting bushes, he said.

Another time, he said, a patient was clinically dead and resuscitated by emergency medical technicians (EMTs). The techniques used to care for that patient, both by the ambulance crew and in the emergency room, helped preserve his heart and brain and were eventually used in EMT training.

He may have underestimated how significant “a couple of things” turned out to be.

Public Record

Tue, 07/09/2019 - 7:16pm

Shawano Police Department

July 8

Police logged 31 incidents, including the following:

Fraud — Police investigated a fraud complaint at American Marine, 830 E. Green Bay St., and a telephone fraud complaint in the 900 block of South Sawyer Street.

Disturbances — A 28-year-old Shawano man was arrested for disorderly conduct/domestic after a domestic disturbance in the 700 block of East Fifth Street. A 39-year-old Shawano woman arrested for disorderly conduct/domestic, resisting arrest and bail jumping after a domestic disturbance in the 1300 block of South Evergreen Street. Police also responded to a disturbance in the 200 block of Eberlein Park Drive.

Warrant — A 22-year-old Rhinelander man was arrested for a probation and parole warrant at Quality Inn and Suites, 104 N. Airport Drive.

Harassment — Harassment was reported in the 700 block of East Fifth Street.

Disorderly — Police responded to a disorderly conduct complaint at Charlie’s County Market, 521 S. Main St.

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

Assault — Police investigated an assault complaint in the 100 block of East Maurer Street.

Shawano County Sheriff’s Department

July 8

Deputies logged 58 incidents, including the following:

Theft — A trolling motor and controls were reported stolen from a boat on Freeborn Street in Cecil. A lawnmower was reported stolen on state Highway 32 in the town of Angelica.

Auto Theft — A vehicle was reported stolen on Park Avenue in the town of Wescott.

Burglary — A burglary was reported on Oriole Road in the town of Birnamwood.

Fraud — Authorities investigated a mail scam complaint on Fourth Street in Mattoon and a telephone scam complaint on Breaker Road in Tigerton.

Trespass — Trespassing was reported on Loon Lake Drive in the town of Wescott.

Disturbance — Authorities responded to a disturbance on Park Avenue in the town of Wescott.

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

Clintonville Police Department

July 8

Police logged seven incidents, including the following:

Disturbances — Police responded to family situations on Flora Way and on Waupaca Street.

Couple makes down payment on restitution

Tue, 07/09/2019 - 7:09pm
Beechys must return balance at minimum $1,500 monthlyBy: 

Warren Bluhm [email protected]

A Shawano County couple has been placed on two years of probation for issuing worthless checks and theft by false representation, both misdemeanor charges, in connection with a case in which they used much of the proceeds of a 2015 farm auction for their personal and business use.

Leroy F. Beechy, 48, and Mary E. Beechy, 47, entered into a 15-year deferred judgment agreement last month in Oconto County Circuit Court after pleading no contest to felony theft in a business setting. The main condition of the agreement is that they pay $375,234 in restitution to Nerfarms and farm owner James L. Nerenhausen Jr., with a down payment of $100,000 due at the June 27 sentencing for the misdemeanor counts.

The Beechys did make a payment of $101,500 before the sentencing. Judge Jay N. Conley accepted the agreement with prosecutors, under which the couple must pay a minimum of $1,500 monthly until the full amount is paid.

Other conditions include that they must obtain and maintain full-time employment, must submit DNA samples, and may only travel out of state for employment purposes.

If a payment is missed or job lost, Conley will consider conditional jail time. An 18-month jail sentence was imposed and stayed in the misdemeanor case, and the felony counts carry a potential for 10 years in prison if the deferred judgment agreement were to be violated.

According to court records, Nerenhausen hired Beechy’s to conduct the auction, which took place Nov. 11-12, 2015. The sale grossed $655,775 with a net of $590,725 to Nerfarms after costs and commissions were subtracted. Beechy’s issued a check for $577,234 on Dec. 17, 2015.

However, the check was returned for insufficient funds, leading to first a civil lawsuit and later the criminal charges. Online court records show the remaining balance is now $273,484.

Last phases of city park projects on schedule

Mon, 07/08/2019 - 9:53pm
Franklin Park restrooms still to be decided by councilBy: 

Tim Ryan [email protected]

Leader photo by Carol Ryczek The foundation is set for improvements at Smalley Park in Shawano, shown here earlier this month before a Shawano Ski Sharks performance. The shelter, storage and restrooms are expected to be completed by Oct. 15.

Construction of a new storage and concession building at Smalley Park for the Shawano Ski Sharks is running on schedule, according to Park and Recreation Director Matt Hendricks.

“They’re on track. They’re on timeline,” Hendricks said at a park and recreation committee meeting last week.

Footings and walls for the new structure are in place and basement storage for the Ski Skarks has been excavated.

The existing building will remain in use for the time being.

“We have not run into any significant obstacles,” Hendricks said, and soils at the site have not presented any problems.

“We’re not having to pump a bunch of water out, things we thought we might run into because of how close we are to the water table area,” he said.

A new asphalt path has been put in connecting the beach to the Ski Sharks area and wrapping around to the parking lot.

The project is expected to be completed by Oct. 15.

Meanwhile, Thursdayz at Franklin Park appears to be doing well, according to Hendricks.

The city has been promoting the redeveloped park as a tourist draw for downtown Shawano with movies, music and other events.

“We’ve had two events and one rain out,” Hendricks said.

An estimated 300 people attended the first event last month, according to Hendricks.

“As we get more events going, people will become more accustomed to what it is,” Hendricks said.

Hendricks also said nonprofit groups that have set up as vendors for the events have had reasonably good sales.

“They’re happy with what they have seen coming in,” he said.

The park is now fully developed expect for the adjacent restroom facility that will be on the Shawano Common Council’s agenda Wednesday.

The commission last week chose Cerveny Construction of Shawano for the project from a list of four bidders at a cost of $159,850.

The restroom will be constructed in the parking lot west of the senior center on Washington Street adjacent to Franklin Park.

The building will include a men’s room with a water closet, urinal and lavatory, and a women’s room with two water closets and a lavatory.

The facility would be operated from the spring through fall and shut down during the winter, with plumbing systems designed to be shut down for the season.

It will also include minimal heat and a ventilation system, according to the design contract.

The city borrowed $1.85 million in 2017 for improvements to Smalley and Franklin Parks and a splash pad at Memorial Park.

Those funds have been enhanced by $218,000 from the state DNR, $50,000 from the Shawano County Tourism Council, $25,000 each from the Shawano Ski Sharks and Pevonka Trust, $20,000 from the Bleser Foundation and $1,000 from Mary Ponzenelli.

All total, the city had a total of $2.19 million in revenue for its park projects, of which $2.11 million has either been spent or is committed to uncompleted projects like the downtown bathroom.

The remaining $78,835 will be held for unforeseen events or changes to ongoing projects, and any remaining balance will be up to the Shawano Common Council to determine how best to use.

‘Back to normal’

Mon, 07/08/2019 - 9:51pm
Shawano area water levels up for Fourth of July weekendBy: 

Leader Staff

Water levels on Shawano Lake, the channel, and the Wolf River above the Shawano dam allowed for full access of the water during the Fourth of July holiday period.

“We were out on the water all weekend. Everything is back to normal,” said Gary DeFere, president of Shawano Area Waterways Management (SAWM).

Tony Zielinski, a SAWM board member, added, “The water was up to the higher level within a few days.”

Zielinski said he had heard of no mishaps or injuries due to water levels.

At issue are water levels sufficient for safe boating above the dam while two fishing organizations want enough water to reach the lower Wolf River to promote successful spawning and early fish survival. DeFere and other boaters have contended lower water levels prevented them from being out on the water.

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission on June 26 ordered the operators of the Shawano dam to immediately maintain the water level at 802.9 feet mean sea level (msl). The order directs Eagle Creek Renewable Energy, the dam operator, to maintain the higher water level until Nov. 15. The dam operators have complied with the order.

The federal agency had previously mandated the dam set its target elevation from 802.5 msl from Sept. 25 to May 15 and maintain an elevation of 802.9 feet msl from May 25 to Sept. 15, a difference of 4-5 inches in the water level for the lake, channel and river. The 802.9 level has been maintained for at least 20 years.

DeFere added his organization’s next effort to reach a permanent agreement is to partner in a three-year study of water levels above and below the Shawano dam with the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, Walleyes for Tomorrow and Sturgeon for Tomorrow.

Sen. Rob Cowles, R-Green Bay, who has been monitoring the water level situation with local groups, said Monday that no one had contacted him or his office about problems with the water levels during the holiday weekend.

“We still have to figure out how to solve this for the long-term future” Cowles said as he expressed support for the pending study.

Fifth Street repairs wind down, 2 road projects ramp up

Mon, 07/08/2019 - 9:49pm
Completion anticipated by end of OctoberBy: 

David Wilhelms Leader Correspondent

Photo by David Wilhelms Crews continue work on the rebuilding of East Fifth Street in Shawano. With railroad crossing work and curb and gutter completed this week, the next steps are sidewalk restoration next week and blacktopping completed by the end of July.

While the rebuilding of Fifth Street in Shawano is anticipated to be completed by the end of July, road construction projects affecting traffic on East Green Bay Street and County Road B on Shawano’s south side are ramping up.

“Things may be a little messy for a while. Hopefully, it’ll all be done by the end of October,” said Scott Kroening, Shawano public works director.

Kroening said the railroad crossing on Fifth Street is the current focus of attention along with pouring concrete for curb and gutter. He anticipated that sidewalk restoration will begin next week and “we’ll put blacktop down by the end of July. Hopefully, we’ll be done by the end of July.”

Work starts on East Green Bay Street on July 15, Kroening added. A box culvert will be installed in the vicinity of Prime Motorsports. Kroening advised drivers there will be lane closures all along Green Bay Street as workers perform a variety of repairs for the following six weeks.

Most noticeable will be modifications of the railroad crossing on Green Bay Street where there will be a more gradual ramping up and ramping down of the street from the tracks’ elevation. Kroening anticipated that work to be completed by the last week in August, the week of the county fair.

The County Road B project extends city sewer and water service to the new Reinhart Food Service distribution center, Kroening said. The work will take a week to 10 days.