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Public Record

Tue, 06/18/2019 - 8:21pm

Shawano Police Department

June 17

Police logged 27 incidents, including the following:

Disturbances — A 22-year-old Shawano man was arrested in the 400 block of Humphrey Circle on charges of disorderly conduct/domestic, battery/domestic, strangulation/domestic, false imprisonment, endangering safety-use of a dangerous weapon, going armed with firearm while intoxicated and threats to law enforcement officers. Police also responded to a disturbance in the 1300 block of South Evergreen Street.

Drug Offense — Police investigated drug complaints in the 800 block of South Park Street and at Lieg Avenue and Prospect Circle.

Juvenile — Police responded to a juvenile problem in the 1100 block of South Franklin Street.

Shawano County Sheriff’s Department

June 17

Deputies logged 52 incidents, including the following:

Disturbances — A 50-year-old Marion man was arrested for disorderly conduct after a domestic disturbance on County Road M in the town of Pella. Authorities also responded to disturbances on Putnam Lane in Bowler and Smalley Street in the town of Wescott.

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

Child Abuse — A 35-year-old Wittenberg woman was arrested on a charge of child abuse on West Line Road in the town of Aniwa.

OWL — A 58-year-old Shawano woman was cited for operating without a license and arrested for felony bail jumping on Lake Drive in the town of Wescott.

Warrant — A 35-year-old Green Bay man was arrested on a warrant on Fourth Street in Shawano.

Open house set at new SAM’s House location

Mon, 06/17/2019 - 11:04pm
New homeless shelter site could open next yearBy: 

Carol Ryczek [email protected]

Leader photo by Carol Ryczek SAM25 Board President Muffy Culhane, left, and SAM 25 Executive Director Jennifer Laude Bisterfeldt show off the kitchen as their group gets ready to welcome to the public to see the new SAM’s House emergency homeless shelter at 105 E. Richmond St., Shawano. The open house, set for 3-7 p.m. Saturday, will allow the community to see the new space and will include building tours, food, entertainment and raffles.

It’s amazing how an empty building can seem full.

The former New Era House at 105 E. Richmond St., Shawano, was purchased by Shawano Area Matthew 25 and will soon be converted into an emergency homeless shelter and resource center. It will be the site of an open house from 3-7 p.m. Saturday as SAM25 kicks off the public portion of its $410,000 fundraising campaign.

Now mostly empty, the interior is a sprawling maze of corridors, bedrooms and large open areas. What open house organizers see is a building filled with promise and opportunity.

“Homelike. Bright. Cheerful,” said Jennifer Laude Bisterfeldt, SAM25 executive director, of her vision for the facility. “We want to fill the place with joy and hope.”

“A place of caring and support,” added Muffy Culhane, president of the board of directors. The new location, in her eyes, will be one where “guests work together as a family.”

The 5,900-square-foot facility was purchased in April for $98,000. Bisterfeldt said the former residential facility for men became available when its previous owner retired. “The space is great. The location is great, and the price was right,” Bisterfeldt said. “It allows us to plan for growth.”

Construction plans developed by Dimension IV, a Green Bay architectural firm, are under consideration by the state of Wisconsin. Once approved, the first task will be replacing the roof, Bisterfeldt said, which will hopefully be done by the end of summer.

In addition to the current capital campaign, SAM25 will raise money by selling food at Thursdayz at Franklin, St. James PraiseFest and the Shawano Farmers Market.

Additional funds will be raised at the annual Empty Bowls event, which provides operating expenses. Empty Bowls is a community meal where participants may purchase a hand-painted bowl. “A lot of people ask about Empty Bowls, and we are going to keep it going,” Bisterfeldt said. “We still have to function.”

The new shelter will have on-site laundry as well as a large kitchen and dining area for serving donated meals, in addition to the resource space in the front of the building.

The capacity will also increase from five to eight guest rooms, with some larger rooms more appropriate for families.

SAM’s House, the current shelter at 213 E. Green Bay St., occupies what used to be Shawano City Hall. Both Culhane and Bisterfeldt said the relationship with the city has been very cordial, but they knew that eventually the city would want the building for other things.

“We always had a five- to 10-year lease,” Culhane said.

Unlike many shelters in northeast Wisconsin, SAM’s House is open to men, women and families. As in other households with children, bathrooms were a big factor in the decision to buy a larger property.

“We have one shower and two toilets,” Bisterfeldt said of the current facility, which will stay open through next year. The new shelter will have larger, handicap-accessible bathrooms and showers in both the resource and living areas, she said.

The back area, where clients will live, can be closed off from a resource center, thrift shop and what will eventually be a community clinic in the front of the building.

The emergency shelter will continue to operate September through April, Bisterfeldt said. A year-round shelter “is never far from everybody’s mind but would double our budget,” she said.

“The hard part is people are still homeless,” Culhane added.

Homelessness is increasing statewide, Bisterfeldt said, though the numbers might just reflect better record-keeping. There were no formal records kept before 2005, she said.

“Poverty has always been there. But programs to help these people have not always been there,” she said. “It’s in every community, not just big cities. You don’t see people on the streets here, but they are on friends’ couches or, in the summer, on tents.”

Lack of affordable housing is an ongoing concern, she said, adding that vouchers from state and federal housing programs are rare and hard to obtain.

Culhane said that people typically spend one-third of their income on housing. So when affordable rentals are not available, “people have to make some hard decisions on what to spend their money on,” she said.

Other barriers come from the reasons that led to homelessness.

“There may be major trauma involved. If you’ve been evicted, it is on your record. You may have a bad credit rating,” Bisterfeldt said. “Someone who has lost his or her job might not be able to get a reference to help get another one. It starts a cycle of poverty that she said can be difficult to break out of.”

“We have to consider, as a society, that if we want people to get back on their feet, we have to be less judgmental about them,” she said.

1-to-1 plan approved for middle, high schools

Mon, 06/17/2019 - 11:02pm
Fees, handbooks adopted by school boardBy: 

Lee Pulaski [email protected]

The Shawano School District is going to implement a one-to-one technology initiative that will allow middle school and high school students to use Chromebooks outside of school to complete their work.

Chromebooks are lightweight laptop computers or tablets. The Shawano School Board unanimously approved a handbook and some fees that will be part of the contract with parents and students to ensure the district isn’t footing the bill if the devices are damaged, destroyed or lost.

Families will be required to pay an insurance fee of $25 per year per device, which would cover the cost of repairs. If the device is lost or stolen, they will need to pay a replacement fee, which could be as much as $300 if the device was still brand new. There will also be a $30 damage fee for any malicious damage or if the power cord is lost.

Kelley Strike, district curriculum and instruction director, said the plan to offer students in grades 6-12 their own Chromebooks has been in discussion by the district’s policy and curriculum committee for the last six months. She said the district looked at initiatives in place in Clintonville and Marinette, similar-sized school districts.

“Students will receive the device at the beginning of school and return it for the summer, where IT will do updates, and then the device will go back to the student in the fall,” Strike said.

Strike said that the district made a decision three years ago to streamline its technology, noting some classes had Chromebooks, while others had laptops, others had iPads and still others had no technology to use. In the past year, students in kindergarten and first grade had access to iPads, while the other grades used Chromebooks, but none of the grades could use the devices outside the classroom.

“We were not distributing an actual device to students but trying to supply or have access within the schools,” Strike said. “We’re currently in a situation where we have 500 devices more than kids, and we still have kids in a certain class period that cannot access a device.”

There will be some additional Chromebooks in the libraries that students can access if their individual device is out for repairs.

Strike noted that many of the bound textbooks that students of yesteryear received are now digitally accessible on the Chromebooks, which is why students need to be able to access them when needed.

There is only one other district in Shawano County that does not offer an one-to-one technology initiative, Strike said, but did not specify which district that was.

High school students will also have the option of buying their Chromebook for $1 when they graduate. Strike noted that it is not allowed to give away the devices, so the fee is nominal.

“In our elementaries, it’ll still be carts in classrooms,” Strike said, explaining that the devices are kept on a cart and used during school hours before being returned there at the end of the day.

Board member Michael Sleeper inquired as to whether there would be waivers in place for larger families, noting that a family with five students in the middle and high schools would have to pay $125 per year for the insurance.

Strike said the committee recommended a payment plan instead, so the fee would not be burdensome. She said a similar method is in place for families with children in athletic programs.

Special Response Team called to domestic incident

Mon, 06/17/2019 - 10:57pm

Leader Staff

Shawano County’s Special Response Team was called in to assist Shawano police Monday morning with the arrest of a domestic violence suspect holed up in his apartment.

The suspect, a 22-year-old Shawano man was alone inside his apartment in the 400 block of Humphrey Circle after the domestic incident was reported at 6:50 a.m.

The SRT responded to assist with his apprehension, police said.

The man subsequently left the building and was taken into custody in the parking lot without incident at 8:15 a.m.

Charges are being referred for strangulation/domestic, false imprisonment, endangering safety with the use of a dangerous weapon, going armed with a firearm while intoxicated, domestic violence-related disorderly conduct and battery and threats to law enforcement officers.

Public Record

Mon, 06/17/2019 - 10:56pm

Shawano Police Department

June 16

Police logged 15 incidents, including the following:

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

Disturbance — A 42-year-old Shawano man was arrested for disorderly conduct/domestic violence after a domestic disturbance in the 900 block of East Fifth Street.

Disorderly — Police responded to a disorderly conduct complaint in the 1200 block of South Main Street.

June 15

Police logged 24 incidents, including the following:

Vandalism — Vandalism was reported at Arlington Park, 300 N. Humphrey Circle.

Juvenile — Police responded to a juvenile problem in the 200 block of North Riverside Drive.

Theft — Two gas drive-offs were reported at Kwik Trip, 1241 E. Green Bay St.

Accident — A minor accident was reported at Lincoln and Green Bay streets.

June 14

Police logged 28 incidents, including the following:

Burglary — A burglary was reported at the old Crescent Theater, 220 S. Main St.

OAR — A 59-year-old Omro man was arrested for bail jumping and operating after revocation at Division and Lincoln streets.

Fraud — Police investigated a fraud complaint at Taco Bell, 1266 E. Green Bay St.

Accident — Police responded to property damage accidents at Richmond and Main streets and in the parking lot of Charlie’s County Market, 521 S. Main St.

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

Harassment — Harassment was reported in the 700 block of South Main Street.

Theft — A license plate sticker was reported stolen in the 800 block of East Richmond Street.

June 13

Police logged 24 incidents, including the following:

Accident — Police responded to a property damage accident at Lieg Avenue and Lincoln Street.

Disturbance — Police responded to a disturbance at Anello’s Torch Lite, 1276 E. Green Bay St.

Shoplifting — Walmart, 1244 E. Green Bay St., and The Store, 404 E. Green Bay St., both reported shoplifting incidents.

OWI — A 41-year-old Mountain man was arrested for operating while intoxicated in the 1200 block of East Green Bay Street.

Shawano County Sheriff’s Department

June 16

Deputies logged 36 incidents, including the following:

Disturbances — Authorities responded to disturbances on Lake Drive in the town of Wescott and Ah-Toh-Wuk Drive in Bowler, and a domestic disturbance on Wood Lane in the town of Lessor.

OWI — A 22-year-old man was arrested for operating while intoxicated on state Highway 29 in thew town of Angelica.

Hit and Run — Authorities responded to a property damage hit-and-run on Express Way in Bonduel.

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

June 15

Deputies logged 55 incidents, including the following:

Warrant — A 32-year-old woman was taken into custody on a warrant on Red Oak Lane in the town of Wittenberg.

Theft — Tools were reported stolen on Tile Drive in the town of Maple Grove.

Trespass — Trespassing was reported on Valley Road in the town of Waukechon.

Disturbances — Authorities responded to disturbances on Airport Drive in the town of Wescott, Second Street in Bonduel and Woodland Road in the town of Washington.

Disorderly — Disorderly conduct was reported on state Highway 29 in the town of Wittenberg.

Accidents — Authorities logged five deer-related crashes and one vehicle versus raccoon.

June 14

Deputies logged 35 incidents, including the following:

Burglary — An attempted burglary was reported on Lake Drive in the town of Wescott.

Disturbances — Authorities responded to disturbances on Warrington Avenue in Cecil, state Highway 29 in the town of Morris and Rollman Street in Bowler.

June 13

Deputies logged 54 incidents, including the following:

Warrant — A 23-year-old woman was arrested on a warrant on Old Lake Road in the town of Wescott.

Disturbances — Authorities responded to disturbances on Plum Lane in the town of Richmond and Meyer Street in Cecil.

Theft — Items were reported stolen from a shed on Rose Brook Road in the town of Belle Plaine.

Trespass — Trespassing was reported on Juniper Road in the town of Herman.

Drug Offense — Authorities investigated a drug complaint on U.S. Highway 45 in Birnamwood.

Assault — A sexual assault was reported on County Road N in the town of Aniwa.

Accidents — Authorities responded to injury accidents on County Road Z in the town of Herman and County Road F in the town of Angelica, and an ATV injury accident on Maplewood Road in the town of Birnamwood.

Clintonville Police Department

June 14

Police logged five incidents, including the following:

Trespass — A trespassing complaint on South Main Street was determined to be unfounded.

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

June 13

Police logged 10 incidents, including the following:

Disturbance — A neighbor dispute was reported on Ninth Street.

Disorderly — Several juveniles were warned for disorderly conduct after causing a disturbance in W.A. Olen Park.

‘Things I love’ found in Bolt & Skein Quilt Shop

Thu, 06/13/2019 - 8:39pm

David M. Wilhelms Leader Correspondent

During the years that Jennifer Maltbey has run Shawano’s Old Glory Candy Shop with her husband, James, and their business partners, she’s learned a lot about retail. That experience “got the wheels turning” for the longtime knitter and relatively new quilter to open her own business — the Bolt & Skein Quilt Shop.

“Fabric and yarn are things I love,” said Maltbey, who opened the business in February in the Senzig Professional Building ay 1488 E. Green Bay St. in Shawano. “Since then, things are building up slowly.”

The shop offers a variety of quilting and knitting supplies, as well as notions. Pre-cut squares and “starter kits” of squares and directions are among the items. Quilting frames, she said, will likely be the next items added to her inventory.

She’s only been quilting for about five years and said her efforts are focused on producing samples for the shop. The shop doesn’t sell finished quilts, she noted.

As Maltbey has been knitting for more than 16 years, she’s a lot more comfortable with that craft. “But,” she said, “I’m still learning.”

Bolt & Skein Quilt Shop is open Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays from 9:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., Saturdays from 9 a.m. t0 3 p.m. and Sundays from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.; closed Wednesdays. Jennifer’s phone is 715-201-1515.

Shop features custom barn quilts, consignments

Thu, 06/13/2019 - 8:37pm

David M. Wilhelms Leader Correspondent

Leader photo by David Wilhelms Dr. Sandra King has rooms of offerings from 25 local artisans and craftspeople at her Burlap & Barn Quilts store on East Green Bay Street, Shawano. She also paints custom barn quilts.

You might not typically find a psychology practice in the same building that sells barn quilts. Then again, the Burlap & Barn Quilts store in Shawano does inspire some out-of-the-box thinking. “This is the kind of store where you find one-of-a-kind, unique things,” said Dr. Sandra King, owner and semi-retired psychologist.

Located in the Senzig Professional Building 1488 E. Green Bay St., King features her hand-painted barn quilts in a variety of sizes, as well as consignments from 25 area artists and craftspeople.

“Country, primitives, farmhouse; anything remotely related to barns and barn quilts” are usually available, King added. Renovated furniture is also featured. “Things are coming in and going out all the time.”

King moved to Shawano in 1997 after retiring from her psychology practice in Milwaukee. She still sees some clients under contract from the State of Wisconsin in one of the back rooms of her store.

While the store does have some of her barn quilts for sale, King noted that most customers are looking for a custom-made barn quilt. Her store hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Saturday and her phone number is 715-524-5355.

Gentlemen’s Quarter to close

Thu, 06/13/2019 - 8:35pm
Men’s store had 27-year history on Main Street
Leader photo by Carol Ryczek Jeff Kirchner is surrounded by sales at Gentlemen’s Quarter, 109 S. Main St., Shawano. Kirchner announced that he will be closing his business after 27 years in downtown Shawano. The store closing sale will begin June 20.

Jeff Kirchner, the owner of the Gentlemen’s Quarter in Shawano since 1992, always planned on going out on his own terms three years from now.

With cancer changing those plans, he is selling entire inventory of menswear and closing his doors.

Kirchner’s original plan was to retire in 2022 when he reached 45 years in the trade and 30 years on his own, but his timetable was unexpectedly moved up when a brain tumor discovered last year resulted in surgery, chemotherapy and a recovery that is still under way.

“My surgeon at UW-Madison is absolutely amazing. He was able to get the entire tumor,” Kirchner said. “If this had happened five years ago, I would not have survived. I’ve been given a second chance at life at 57 and, no matter how much more time I have, I certainly plan to enjoy it.”

He praised employee Riley Courchaine and former operations manager Mark Rindt for their extra effort to keep the store operating smoothly during his illness and lengthy treatment.

“Riley is my right-hand man; he really grabbed the helm. Mark came out of retirement to help,” Kirchner said. “They’ve gone so far above and beyond the entire time.”

The store has weathered economic storms such as the Great Recession, but Kirchner said his good memories of the business and its customers are too numerous to count. “Customers weren’t customers; they are friends and family. Every one of them is valued and everyone was treated the same because that’s how I was raised and that’s how I want to be remembered,” he explained.

“I’m one of those guys who always looked forward to work. I’ve never had a day where I woke up and said, ‘I don’t want to go to work,’” Kirchner said. “But, it’s time for a new chapter. Sometimes, books are hard to close, but they have to be closed. This is one of those books.”

Kirchner started his retail career in 1977, working at the Green Bay store of a regional menswear store in Green Bay. He worked at several other stores, including The Haberdasher, also in Green Bay, before opening Gentlemen’s Quarter. He was drawn to Shawano, in part, because a number of his customers lived in the community.

“I said, ‘I’m going to open this and see where this goes.’ I knew in the first week that it was going to be a success,” he recalled. “But it’s time. I want to spend more time with my family and six grandkids and start doing some of things I couldn’t do over the years because I was tied to the store. I couldn’t ask for more.”

Thursday is the first day of the store’s retirement sale. Gentlemen’s Quarter Store, located at 109 S. Main St., will be open June 20-21 from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m.; June 22 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. and June 23 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. for the sale. It will return to normal business hours until the remaining inventory is sold.

Electronics recycling event set

Thu, 06/13/2019 - 8:27pm

Miriam Nelson [email protected]

Village officials are encouraging Wittenberg residents to take advantage of an electronics recycling event June 22.

The event will run from 9-11:30 a.m. at Harter’s, W17620 County Road Q, Wittenberg, for village residents only. Computer monitors, televisions and other electronics will be accepted for a fee. Representatives from the village board will be on hand to collect fees in the form of cash or check.

Separating out recyclable materials is not only good for the planet, it’s good for the village as well, said Traci Matsche, Wittenberg clerk/treasurer. The state DNR offers grants to municipalities that hit their recycling goals.

“We are required by the state to have a recycling program,” Matsche said. “I must file a grant application in the fall with our recycling goals for the year, and then do a grant report in the spring showing our actual totals and costs for the year.”

The higher the tonnage of recyclables per person, the higher the grant. Currently, the village receives about $700 from the program.

“It may not seem like much money, but we’re able to offer the yard waste dumpster and electronics recycling programs with the help of that grant money,” Matsche said. “Over the last years, our tonnage numbers have dropped. If they continue to drop, we may lose our grant altogether.”

Through the village’s contract with Harter’s Fox Valley Disposal, the 433 households in Wittenberg are charged a flat monthly fee for garbage and recycling service, whether they put anything out or not. The large blue bins on wheels are for garbage; recycling must be set out in a separate bin. Providing recycling bins is not something the village can afford, Matsche said.

All told, the village pays $4,628 per month for collection of trash and recycling; residents do not pay extra for these services.

Residents can also utilize the village’s large recycling dumpster at 1000 E. Mohawk St. or the small recycling receptacles in Pond or Washington parks.


Fees for Wittenberg’s electronics recycling day June 22.

• Computer Monitor: $10

• CPU: $10

• TV 19 inches or less: $15

• TV 20 to 34 inches: $20

• TV 35 inches or larger: $25

• Flat Screen TV 34 inches or less: $10

• Flat Screen TV 35 inches or more: $15

• Microwave: $15

• Miscellaneous electronics, such as VCRs, DVD and CD players, keyboards, laser printers, inkjet printers, small copiers, fax machines, AM/FM radios: $5 each

Wisconsin land stewardship program ‘at a crossroads’

Thu, 06/13/2019 - 8:26pm
Joint Finance Committee to debate funding Tuesday

As funding for the state’s stewardship program goes before the Legislature’s budget panel next week, a new report by the independent, nonpartisan Wisconsin Policy Forum finds the nearly 30-year-old conservation program spent its lowest amount ever on land purchases last year.

The Knowles-Nelson Stewardship program spent $2.9 million for Department of Natural Resources land acquisitions in fiscal year 2018, well below a 2007 peak of $61.6 million. At the same time, the program’s annual costs – mainly payments on debt – remain near their 2014 peak.

The new report, “Public Property: State Faces Deadline for Conservation,” shows some of the ways in which the stewardship program has changed since its inception. Funding for the program is scheduled for debate Tuesday by the Legislature’s budget-writing Joint Finance Committee. The program will expire June 30, 2020, without reauthorization.

“Stewardship has amassed a legacy of contributions to such projects as the Ice Age Trail, which winds across Wisconsin; and the Hank Aaron State Trail, which heads for home past Miller Park toward Milwaukee’s lakefront,” the report states. “However, the future of the program is uncertain.”

“The stewardship program is at a crossroads,” the report states. “Among state officials and stakeholders, one side seeks to reverse the decline in land purchases and other program spending, while the other seeks to hold down those expenditures, pointing to the substantial debt remaining on the hundreds of thousands of acres already acquired.”

From its enactment in 1989 through June 30, 2020, the stewardship program has been authorized to borrow as much as $1.3 billion. As of June 30, 2018, the state had made $865 million in debt payments to cover principal and interest on program bonds. Currently, the state has $546.1 million in principal outstanding on the bonds plus $168.1 million in interest.

Since its inception, the program has been funded in 10-year cycles in which lawmakers and the governor set borrowing and spending levels. Land purchases and projects are supported by 20-year general obligation bonds that are repaid using a mix of general fund taxes (such as those on income and sales) and various revenues from the state’s Forestry Account.

The DNR uses borrowed funds to leverage additional money from federal and private sources. Stewardship debt has enabled the DNR to purchase land or acquire easements on 826,231 acres, or more than half of all lands under DNR ownership or protection, according to the Legislative Fiscal Bureau.

The stewardship program aims to preserve the state’s environmentally sensitive lands, waters and wildlife habitats and to promote outdoor recreation. Stewardship funds can go to local governments and nonprofit organizations as well as for construction or renovation projects on public lands such as parks, trails, piers, and harbors. The program has had more interest from potential partners than it can handle, funding just 30% of the requests for local assistance that it received since 2014, according to the Legislative Fiscal Bureau.

“As with other pressing issues in the state budget, lawmakers and Gov. Evers will have to balance the benefits of the stewardship fund against its costs,” the report concludes. However, “the stewardship program’s 10-year horizon, even lengthier debt repayment and generational impact on the state’s environment and citizens create a particularly challenging dilemma for policymakers.”

To view the report, visit

Public Record

Thu, 06/13/2019 - 8:23pm

Shawano Police Department

June 12

Police logged 25 incidents, including the following:

Theft — Police responded to property theft complaints in the 700 block of South Prospect Street, 1100 block of South Bartlett Street, 1300 block of South Union Street and 400 block of East Division Street.

Accident — Police responded to property damage accidents in the 300 block of East Randall Street and at Main and Oshkosh streets.

Harassment — Harassment was reported in the 1500 block of Estates Lane.

Shawano County Sheriff’s Department

June 12

Deputies logged 35 incidents, including the following:

Disturbances — Disturbances were reported on state Highway 22 in the town of Washington and on Meyer Street in Cecil.

Warrant — A 52-year-old Wittenberg man was arrested on Shawano and Marathon County warrants on Witt-Birn Town Line Road in the town of Wittenberg.

Bail Jumping — A 20-year-old Shawano man was arrested for bail jumping on Airport Drive in Shawano.

Disorderly — Disorderly conduct was reported on Little Road in Gresham.

Accidents — Authorities responded to an injury accident on state Highway 156 in the town of Maple Grove and logged three deer-related crashes.

Nominees sought for FSA committees

Thu, 06/13/2019 - 8:22pm

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Farm Service Agency will begin accepting nominations for county committee members Friday. Agricultural producers who participate or cooperate in an FSA program may be nominated for candidacy for the county committee. Individuals may nominate themselves or others.

Richard Fordyce, FSA administrator, said there is an increasing need in county committees for representation from diverse and underserved producers — including novice, female and minority ranchers and farmers.

Committees make important decisions about how federal farm programs are administered locally. Their input helps determine how FSA carries out disaster programs, as well as conservation, commodity and price support programs. The committees are made of three to 11 members and typically meet once a month during their three-year terms.

Interested producers are urged to get more information at Nomination forms must be postmarked by Aug. 1. Election ballots will be mailed to eligible voters beginning Nov. 4.

Farmers market opens Saturday

Thu, 06/13/2019 - 3:45am
First season in market’s new home inside Franklin ParkBy: 

Tim Ryan [email protected]

Leader File Photo Paul Bergsbaken with Home Field Kettle Corn prepares a bag of kettle corn for a customer on the opening day of the 2018 Shawano Farmers Market. This year’s market will be open from 8 a.m. to noon Saturdays through Oct. 5 in Franklin Park, 235 S. Washington St., Shawano.

The Shawano Farmers Market will reach a milestone Saturday as it opens its 2019 season firmly situated for the first time within the boundaries of its new home at Franklin Park.

“We’re very excited about it,” said farmers market board member Bob Dumke. “We think it’s a much more market-friendly environment.”

The market began in Shawano in 2008 in the parking lot at City Hall before moving several years ago to the outskirts of the still-undeveloped Franklin Park along Washington Street.

This year, visitors will be able to stroll through the park where the vendors will be located and relax at picnic tables or on benches while they enjoy the music being presented in the park’s amphitheatre.

“We have the bandshell now instead of just a couple tents and chairs, so we can put on greater activities there. It’s much more customer-friendly,” Dumke said.

Opening day for this Saturday’s farmers market, which runs 8 a.m. until noon Saturdays through Oct. 5, will include Yoga in the Park, music by Arthur Boucher and the FRESH Project’s annual 5K Scrabble Fun Walk/Run.

“Everyone had such a great time at last year’s event and we were asked to bring the fun run/walk back again to start off this year’s Shawano Farmers Market.” said Barb Mendoza, FRESH Project executive director. “Everyone comes out a winner with a great walk or run through town, a free t-shirt, and fun playing a game together.”

The 5K route is all in town and includes five booths where walkers and runners can learn about the FRESH Project and collect Scrabble. Once someone completes the 5K the route, they’ll place their letters on the Scrabble board and try to spell a word. The person with the most points from their word will be the grand prize winner.

The Fun Walk/Run is a fundraiser for the FRESH Project, which is working to make ensure everyone in the community has access to good food.

This weekend’s market will also provide a fundraiser for Shawano Area Matthew 25 and its new homeless shelter.

The market provides a free booth to a nonprofit group each week.

Also new this year is the farmers market seedling program.

“It’s an exciting new initiative we have undertaken to introduce new people to the market,” Dumke said.

It basically allows a vendor one free week to see if it pays to be at the market.

“We’re offering a first-time free stall to anybody who wishes to sample the market,” Dumke said. “And to make it equitable, we’ve given one week free to each of our ongoing vendors so everybody has gotten the same value.”

The market moved to the eastern edge of Franklin Park in 2014, but the park was still undeveloped then and didn’t provide anything more behind the vendors than a large grass field.

“It didn’t provide spaces for the vendors to line up. It didn’t provide electrical needs. It didn’t provide avenues for people to flow through,” said Matt Hendricks, park and recreation director.

Electrical components were added last year as part of the first phase of the Franklin Park redevelopment, along with some additional parking stalls.

This year, vendors will be able to set up within the park, along a walkways between the new amphitheatre and the park’s water feature.

“Performers will be able to use the amphitheatre, which gets them elevated and provides electrical and lights,” Hendricks said. “There’s built-in seating, benches, a seating wall around the water feature. Hopefully people can cruise through and sit and find a place to enjoy the park, listen to music and buy additional farmers goods.”

The new arrangement doesn’t come without some logistical challenges, however.

Vendors who used to be able to unload their goods at stalls on the street now have to transport them into booths inside the park.

“It’s a little more work for I think the majority of them,” Dumke said. “But we are going to do everything in our power to help them accomplish that. We have actually gone out and purchased some transport carts to help them move their merchandise and we’re going to try to have some hands-on people there to help as well until we work out all the wrinkles.”

City adds vaping to tobacco ordinance

Thu, 06/13/2019 - 3:43am
Measure to keep vaping devices out of minors’ handsBy: 

Tim Ryan [email protected]

The Shawano Common Council unanimously approved Wednesday adding e-cigarettes and other vaping devices to an ordinance aimed at keeping tobacco out of the hands of minors.

Without discussion, the council voted to update the city ordinance to add vaping products to cigarettes and other tobacco products that could result in a fine if possessed or used by anyone under the age of 18.

The ordinance covers the purchase as well as possession or use of such product.

The rule applies more broadly to use on school property.

“No individual, regardless of age, who is enrolled in secondary school may possess or attempt to possess a tobacco product or vapor product while on school property,” the ordinance states.

The ordinance wouldn’t apply to employees who are minors in establishments where such products are sold if the sale is part of the term’s of the minor’s employment, nor to minors engaged in undercover compliance checks on businesses that those products.

A violation could bring a fine of $187, including court costs and other fees.

The Shawano County Board in December passed a similar ordinance that carried a fine of $150.

Supervisors at that meeting held a lengthy discussion of the growing popularity and dangers of vaping, which included the use of small vaping devices that could be used without attracting attention.

“This is a crisis, nationally,” Supervisor Peter Schmidt said at that meeting.

Schmidt brought attention in particular to the vaping device known as Juuls, which are about the size of a flash drive, and allow minors to vape without attracting attention.

“When these came out a few years ago, the teachers didn’t know what they were doing. They thought they were biting their nails,” Schmidt said. “This is something that’s very important. These kids are our future.”

According to a report released in December by the U.S. Surgeon General’s office, an estimated 3.6 million American teens are now using e-cigarettes, or one in five high school students. Federal figures also indicate twice as many high schoolers were vaping last year compared to 2017.

Area farmers struggle to plant fields

Thu, 06/13/2019 - 3:40am
May much colder, wetter than last year, causing delays
Photo by David Wilhelms Pausing to check his equipment, a farmer in the Town of Richmond continues planting Tuesday before the next rainstorm closes in. Farmers in northeastern Wisconsin have had to deal with record cold and precipitation this spring to get their crops planted.

If you’re wondering if May was colder and wetter than last year, ask anyone involved in farming.

“It has been a cold and wet spring this year,” said Kimberly Kassube, Shawano County Extension educator. “At the end of May, over half the corn acres had not yet been planted in the state. In the beginning of June, a lot has gotten done. But farmers are still planting, and they have had to shift their focus to taking the first crop of hay off the fields as well. Some producers, due to the winterkill, were exploring forage alternatives as well as purchasing some hay. Forage inventories are short across the county and the state.”

“‘Normal’ doesn’t even enter into the conversation. I’ve never seen so little planted by this time of year,” said Scott Reuss, extension agent for crops, soils and horticulture for Oconto and Marinette counties. “There isn’t a farm in our region that hasn’t had a stressful spring.” The University of Wisconsin Experimental Farm in Marshfield noted that this May was one of the two coldest on record.

“I’ve been talking to people who have nothing in the ground,” said Wes Raddatz, District 7 Coordinator for the state Farm Bureau. He noted his district covers most of northeastern Wisconsin. “Generally, I’m hearing 30 to 40% is unplanted.” He’s even heard from farmers that they won’t or can’t plant at all and might need to rely on insurance.

Reuss put the delay in planting at four to five weeks. He pointed out that alfalfa and small grain planting is normally complete by the first week of May but has yet to reach that mark in 2019. The first crop of hay is likewise behind about 10 days.

Planting this year is even more dependent on soil types and drainage, Raddatz and Reuss agreed, saying that lighter, sandier soils become available for planting before soils with high clay content. “It’s highly variable, but we are definitely significantly behind,” Reuss said. He said he thought planting was at roughly 75% of normal levels in his counties. Reuss added the acres of soybeans being planted was the lowest in his memory, but that could be attributed to prices that are currently below the cost of production.

The Pulaski area has very little in the ground, Reuss said. Further north, “they’re pretty much done, but they were behind as well,” Reuss said.

Raddatz noted the same thing in the Antigo area where soils are sandier “and they’re much further along. They were just finishing up (corn and soybeans) last week.” Echoing Kassube’s concern with winterkill in forages, Raddatz said almost everyone experiences some level of winterkill. “I’m thinking that forage will be short this year, but who knows? The weather will hold the key as the summer progresses.”

Even when in the ground, the obstacles to a crop remain. Reuss noted that many seeds were slow in emerging due to the cold weather.

“The screwball thing is we have a potential of having a productive year — not a great year, but productive if we get optimal weather,” Reuss said. He added that plants don’t put down deep roots when they are planted in wet conditions, thus making them vulnerable to any stretch of drought this summer.

May was as cold, wet as you thought it was

Thu, 06/13/2019 - 3:37am

David Wilhelms Leader Correspondent

It’s comforting when official numbers confirm what people have already guessed: This May was really colder and wetter than last year.

This May’s temperatures ranged from a few degrees below normal in the Midwest to a few degrees above normal in the southwest, while temperatures in May 2018 were the warmest since 1895 — averaging 66.3 degrees, or 6.9 degrees above normal.

This year across the northern parts of Wisconsin, freezing temperatures were reported through the first three weeks of May. Snow fell in the same area four times in May, while Wisconsin in 2018 ranked among the five warmest Mays ever recorded.

May 2019 precipitation was above normal for the 10th straight month, while May precipitation last year varied across the Midwest with the majority of the region below normal.

Precipitation from March to May this year ranked as the seventh wettest in history for the region and ranked among the wettest 10% in Wisconsin state history.

No surprise here: Drought has been absent from the Midwest throughout 2019. The stretch of 22 weeks is the longest since record keeping started.

Planting was delayed this spring due to very wet conditions, while May 2018 saw planting of corn and soybeans catch up to the five-year average in most of the region. Wisconsin was more than 25% below average in corn and soybeans in planted acres this year.

This information is compiled from the Midwestern Regional Climate Center, a cooperative program between the National Centers for Environmental Information and the Illinois State Water Survey in Champaign, Illinois. The NCEI is part of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

The Midwestern Regional Climate Center serves Wisconsin, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Ohio and Illinois.

Bonduel seats new board member

Thu, 06/13/2019 - 3:29am
Kelley fills position opened by resignation of BartlettBy: 

Carol Ryczek [email protected]

Leader photo by Carol Ryczek Tim Kelley responds to questions by members of the Bonduel Village Board just before being approved as a board member Wednesday. Kelley replaces newly re-elected Kevin Bartlett, who resigned in April.

The Bonduel Village Board seated a new board member Wednesday.

Tim Kelley was voted into the board following the resignation of Kevin Bartlett in April. The action was taken at the village board’s regular monthly meeting.

Bartlett was voted into the position in April, and Kelley was a write-in candidate in the April election.

Bartlett resigned between the election and the May board meeting. At that time, the board opened the position to all candidates with a June 12 deadline. Kelley was the only applicant.

Kelley, who works for KI, Inc., said he both ran as a write-in candidate and applied for the open position to “Try to see what we can change in the village to make it more profitable for everybody.”

Kelley said he feels that more can be done to bring new businesses to town, and keep existing businesses as well. He said he did not have any specific plans to recruit businesses but wanted to see what the board would work on.

Kelley is a past member of the Bonduel Lions Club and said he enjoys volunteering.

“I enjoy the village as a whole and want to make it better,” he said.

Bartlett, who was re-elected to his seat in the April election, said his resignation was due to demands of his business.

“Business has quadrupled. We opened a branch in Suamico and bought the building next door,” he said. “I felt like I was doing a disservice (as a board member). I couldn’t keep up with it.”

When asked why he ran for the seat, he said he had not expected business to expand so quickly.

When asked if he had advice for his replacement, Bartlett said, “Just try to do the best you can. Hopefully, they’re not there for any personal agenda and it is to do some good for the town.”

Public Record

Thu, 06/13/2019 - 3:27am

Shawano Police Department

June 11

Police logged 23 incidents, including the following:

Drug Offense — A 25-year-old Gillett man was cited for possession of drug paraphernalia at Green Bay Court and Green Bay Street.

Accident — Police responded to a property damage accident in the 2600 block of East Richmond Street.

Shoplifting — People’s Express East, 1206 E. Green Bay St., reported a shoplifting incident.

Arrests — A 33-year-old Shawano man was arrested for an outstanding warrant, and a 20-year-old Shawano woman arrested for a probation violation at the probation and parole offices, 1340 E. Green Bay St.

Trespass — Police responded to a trespassing complaint in the 1200 block of East Lieg Avenue.

Shawano County Sheriff’s Department

June 11

Deputies logged 33 incidents, including the following:

Disturbances — A 19-year-old Antigo man was arrested for bail jumping after a disturbance on U.S. Highway 45 in the town of Birnamwood. Authorities responded to a disturbance on Julius Street in the town of Angelica.

Trespass — Trespassing was reported on U.S. Highway 45 in the town of Birnamwood.

Burglary — A burglary was reported on Strupp Road in the town of Green Valley.

Fraud — Authorities investigated a fraud complaint on County Road S in the town of Angelica.

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

Boat Accident — Authorities rescued a 70-year-old Green Bay man after his boat capsized on Shawano Lake near Cecil.

Clintonville Police Department

June 11

Police logged 11 incidents, including the following:

Juvenile — A juvenile runaway was reported on Motor Street and was later located.

Fraud — Police investigated a fraud complaint on Lincoln Avenue.

Theft — A theft was reported on South Main Street.

Rhubarb Fest set for June 15

Thu, 06/13/2019 - 3:25am

Leader photo by Carol Ryczek Shawano County Historical Society members Jim and Pat Kasten were among the volunteers staffing a Rhubarb Fest booth at the Shawano Sundrop Dayz June 1. The Kastens were helping to promote the upcoming Rhubarb Fest with cookbooks, historical information and other rhubarb-related enticements.

It’s almost time for all things rhubarb.

This year marks the 11th annual Rhubarb Fest, set for June 15 at Heritage Park, 524 N. Franklin St. in Shawano. The event runs from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Admission is free.

Proceeds benefit the Shawano County Historical Society.

On this day, the main attraction is, not surprisingly, rhubarb. Visitors will be able to taste rhubarb in pies, tortes, cakes, muffins, cookies and breads in the many bake sale items. Other rhubarb items include rhubarb lemonade, sangria, rhu-berry SunDrop slushies and a rhubarb beer. Brats and hamburgers will be served with a rhubarb sauce.

Live music will be presented by String Fever, Dan Robinson, John Stano and Mark Dvorak, Paul Sruba and Joel Kroenke, Pat Schwenke, Mary Vercouteren, Keith McGillivray.

Other activities include a pie contest. Contest rules are at the Shawano County Historical Society website,

Visitors can also tour the museum buildings; learn about the life of a fur trader, how to spin wool, make corn bread and carve wood.

The feature exhibit this year is the Shawano Fire Hose Wagon purchased by the Shawano Fire Department in 1912.

The historical society’s gift shop will offer items for sale, including a Rhubarb Cookbook, rhubarb jam, fresh rhubarb, many books, handmade cards using museum photos, and polo shirts at $5.

A plant sale is back with a variety of perennials including rhubarb. There will also be craft vendors and a basket raffle.

The Shawano County Library will sponsor children’s crafts.

Shuttle service is available from the city parking lots on Washington Street and North Second Street.

High winds kick off days of expected storms

Tue, 06/11/2019 - 8:00pm
Trees down, power lines damaged in heavy gusts MondayBy: 

Leader Staff

Contributed photo A pier on Shawano Lake was twisted by the wind in the thunderstorm that raced through the Shawano area on Monday night. Winds at the Shawano City-County Airport reached 48 miles per hour, according to the National Weather Service.

High winds took down trees and damaged power lines across Shawano and Menominee counties Monday, kicking off what was expected to be several days of stormy weather.

“We had multiple power outages and lot of trees down,” said Menominee County Emergency Management Director Shelley Williams.

She said she was not aware of any personal property damage, however.

“We had some strong wind come through at the beginning of it and it took down a lot of trees,” Williams said.

There were some road blockages, but the highway department, with the help of conservation workers and law enforcement, managed to clear those fairly quickly, she said.

Outages, some of which went into the night, were reported in Neopit, Middle Village, South Branch, Keshena and parts of Legend Lake, affecting well over 300 customers.

Williams said the winds were as high as 49 mph.

“Everybody is aware that we are going to potentially have storms come through,” Williams said.

She added that given the heavy forestation in the county, “it’s very unusual for us not to have trees come down when the storms come through. It’s very common. Our emergency folks have had lots and lots of practice.”

Another storm that blew through late afternoon Tuesday did not appear to cause the problems that Monday’s storm did.

The Shawano County Sheriff’s Department fielded numerous calls of trees down, straddled across roads and in some cases hitting power lines, as a result of the storm that blew the region Monday night.

The calls started coming in shortly after 7 p.m., initially from the western part of the county, but soon spread to townships closer to Shawano Lake and as far east as Green Valley.

A fallen tree took out a power line and blocked a portion of Main Street in the town of Fairbanks.

Trees also damage power lines in Wescott and Belle Plaine.

According to the National Weather Service, winds recorded at the Shawano airport reached a peak of 48 mph at 7:35 p.m.

The storm produced about 0.02 inches of rainfall.

More storms were in the forecast from Tuesday night through Wednesday.