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County treasurer defeats challenger

Tue, 08/09/2016 - 11:39pm
Wallace wins GOP primary, alone on Nov. ballotBy: 

Scott Williams, [email protected]

Shawano County Treasurer Debra Wallace appeared headed for re-election Tuesday after turning back a challenge from fellow Republican Mary Hagen.

With 100 percent of the votes counted, Wallace defeated Hagen by nearly a 2-to-1 margin in the countywide Republican primary.

Unofficial results showed Wallace with 1,963 votes to Hagen’s total of 1,087 votes.

With no Democrat running in the November election, Wallace is virtually assured of re-election, unless a write-in candidacy or some other surprise occurs.

Wallace, a Bonduel resident, said she was thankful to the voters and she believes Tuesday’s results represent a “total validation” of the job she has been doing the past four years.

Although her opponent had raised job-performance questions, Wallace said she remains certain that county residents support her.

“I’m glad it’s over,” she said. “I’m excited to be able to do this another four years.”

Hagen, who was making her first run at elected office, said she does not think voters got the message about how the county treasurer has been operating.

A longtime employee in the county finance office, Hagen, a Shawano resident, said she intends to challenge Wallace again in four years.

“Not enough people know what’s going on,” she said. “There’s not much I can do about it now.”

The winner of the November election will serve four years in a $56,000-a-year position responsible for overseeing all county property tax collections, processing other payments to the county, issuing employee paychecks and balancing the county’s main bank account.

The position’s salary is scheduled to increase to $61,000 a year by 2020.

Voters elected Wallace in 2012 to succeed Kay Schroeder, who stepped aside after 20 years as county treasurer.

During this year’s campaign, Hagen said Wallace had been improperly withholding information from county finance staffers related to the county’s main bank account.

The county collects about $15 million a year in property taxes, plus another $25 million in other revenues, and processes about $16 million a year in employee paychecks.

Wallace responded that all her financial records are all open to the public, but that county finance staffers must balance their own records in order to maintain integrity and a system of checks and balances in county government.

Wallace served as deputy treasurer under Schroeder before her election in 2012.

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Ryan says his win is not rejection of Trump

Tue, 08/09/2016 - 11:31pm
By: 

The Associated Press

House Speaker Paul Ryan rejected the idea that his easy win Tuesday over a longshot Republican primary challenger whom Donald Trump had praised signals doom for the GOP presidential nominee in Wisconsin come November.

All the huge primary win means, Ryan insisted, is that he’s really well-liked in the congressional district where he was born and raised and has won election to represent since 1998.

Businessman Paul Nehlen had been courting Trump supporters and won praise from Trump last week. Despite their strained relationship, Trump endorsed Ryan days later.

“I don’t think it means he’s doomed in November,” Ryan said of Trump. “I think it means right here in Wisconsin, people know me very, very well.”

Ryan had largely ignored Nehlen in what had been a sleepy primary before Trump thanked Nehlen on Twitter for his comments defending Trump. Nehlen won the backing of some prominent conservative figures, including former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, but it wasn’t enough to overcome Ryan’s popularity in his southeastern Wisconsin district.

Ryan won by about 70 percentage points, based on unofficial results.

“We knew we were going to do well,” Ryan said. “We got the votes we were hoping and expecting to get all along. The outcome is exactly what we were hoping for.”

Ryan was first elected in 1998 and this is his first re-election win since becoming speaker last fall.

He went into the primary with massive advantages in name recognition and money. Ryan had outraised the unknown Nehlen by a 17 to 1 ratio through the latest reporting period, and was largely ignoring his opponent and was expected to win easily.

Trump changed all that the week before the primary, when he tweeted thanks to Nehlen for support while Trump was being vilified for remarks about the Muslim American parents of a U.S. soldier slain in Iraq. Trump also said he wasn’t ready to endorse Ryan, who had joined in that criticism.

Trump shifted course a few days later under heavy pressure from Republican leadership, but by then Nehlen had gotten a burst of national publicity.

Ryan had other advantages, including widespread popularity in the district where he was first elected in 1998. Ryan had also worked hard to maintain those home ties, traveling back to Janesville as much as possible to be with his wife and three children.

Nehlen, an executive at a water filtration company, first made a splash with a web video of him riding a Harley-Davidson motorcycle, showing his tattooed arms. He challenged Ryan to an arm-wrestling match if he wouldn’t debate him.

He ran well to Ryan’s right, accusing Ryan of betraying Trump and favoring a “globalist agenda” of disastrous trade deals and porous borders. Nehlen attracted support from Sarah Palin and conservative provocateur Ann Coulter, with the latter appearing alongside Nehlen in the district the weekend before the election.

Nehlen said in a message on Twitter after the crushing defeat that his candidacy “damaged Paul Ryan’s ability to continue growing government. That’s the beginning of a fight we’re ready to get started.”

Ryan will fac Democrat Ryan Solen on Nov. 8. Solen beat Tom Breu in Tuesday’s Democratic primary. Solen is an Iraq war veteran who lives in Mount Pleasant.

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Gallagher wins 8th Dist. primary race

Tue, 08/09/2016 - 11:30pm
Frederick advances in 35th Assembly raceBy: 

Tim Ryan, [email protected]

Area voters had several primary choices to make Tuesday, setting the stage for general election match-ups in November.

Mike Gallagher, of Green Bay, was headed toward a lopsided victory over two opponents for the Republican nomination for the District 8 Congressional seat being vacated by Reid Ribble.

With 67 percent of precincts reporting, Gallagher had won 73 percent of the vote over Frank Lasee, of De Pere, with 20 percent, and Terry McNulty, of Forestville, at 6 percent.

Gallagher, a former Marine, served as national security adviser for Gov. Scott Walker’s presidential campaign last year. Gallagher had Ribble’s support and picked up late endorsements from a slew of GOP heavyweights.

“I commend both of my primary opponents for throwing their hats into the ring, fighting hard during this campaign, and working to make this country safer and more prosperous,” Gallagher said in a victory statement Tuesday night. “We are lucky to have such strong conservatives here in Northeast Wisconsin.”

“Now the real work begins,” he said. “We’re going to build off tonight’s momentum and continue to spread my common-sense conservative vision to voters across the district. We are going to fight every single second until November to take our government back from the career politicians.”

In November, Gallagher will go up against Tom Nelson, of Kaukauna, the Democratic Outagamie County executive who ran unopposed. Nelson is a former state representative.

In the primary for the Democratic nomination for the 35th Assembly District, Renea Frederick looked on track to defeating opponents Derek Woellner and Erik Pfantz, all of Merrill, for the chance to challenge incumbent Republican Mary Czaja, of Tomahawk, in November.

With 86 percent of precincts in, Frederick had 48 percent of the vote compared to 30 percent for Woellner and 22 percent for Pfantz.

AT A GLANCE

Other highlights from Tuesday’s primary election:

- Democrat Russ Feingold easily dispatched his longshot primary challenger to set up a rematch with Republican U.S. Sen. Ron Johnson. Feingold defeated Kenosha private detective and polygraph examiner Scott Harbach. Johnson ousted Feingold, an 18-year incumbent, from the Senate in 2010. Libertarian candidate Phil Anderson, of Fitchburg, will also be on the ballot for that race in November.

- Republican U.S. Rep. Sean Duffy defeated primary challenger Donald Raihala to advance to the general election. Duffy is running for a fourth term representing the 7th District. Duffy easily won Tuesday’s primary over Raihala, a real estate agent from Superior who ran for the seat twice before.

- Democratic U.S. Rep. Ron Kind defeated his primary challenger for his seat in Congress. Unofficial returns Tuesday showed Kind defeated former high school history teacher Myron Buchholz, of Eau Claire, in the race for western Wisconsin’s 3rd District. No Republicans ran for the seat.

- Democrat Sarah Lloyd will take on Republican U.S. Rep. Glenn Grothman in his first re-election bid. Lloyd beat Michael Slattery in Tuesday’s primary in the 6th District, in east-central Wisconsin. Independent Jeff Dahlke of Mequon also is running.

- Milwaukee Democratic U.S. Rep. Gwen Moore fended off a primary challenge from a convicted felon and former state senator. Moore defeated Gary George. She advances to face Libertarian Andy Craig in the Nov. 8 general election for her 4th District seat.

- Former state Sen. Dan Kapanke has won the Republican primary for a shot to take on the highest ranking Democrat in the state Senate. Kapanke defeated John Sarnowski in Tuesday’s primary. He will face Democratic Senate Minority Leader Jennifer Shilling in the Nov. 8 general election. That will be a rematch of the 2011 recall election that Shilling won in the wake of the Act 10 budget battle. Shilling beat Jared Landry in Tuesday’s primary.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.Rate this article:  Select ratingGive it 1/5Give it 2/5Give it 3/5Give it 4/5Give it 5/5 No votes yet

ThedaCare cleaning up after flooding

Tue, 08/09/2016 - 7:56pm
Hydrant problem affects servicesBy: 

Tim Ryan, [email protected]

Hospital officials late Tuesday were still mopping up and assessing the damage caused by a malfunctioning fire hydrant that caused flooding and water damage to portions of the first floor at ThedaCare Medical Center-Shawano.

The exterior hydrant, which is maintained by the hospital, malfunctioned about 10 a.m. Both the hospital and the clinic remained open, but there were limits on the services provided, said Dorothy Erdmann, chief executive officer.

“Incident Command was opened and the Shawano team, supported by colleagues throughout the system, has been working hard to minimize the impact on patients,” she said in a statement. “At this time, the hospital and clinic remain open for patient care.”

The emergency department has continued treating and assessing patients as they arrive, Erdmann said.

“At this time, no one has been diverted to another hospital,” she said.

Surgeries that had been set for Wednesday have been rescheduled, Erdmann said.

She also said some imaging and lab services have been impacted.

“Those areas are being dried and assessed by our biomedical teams,” she said.

Erdmann said the hospital is also using bottled water for all purposes until the water system can be tested and declared safe by public health.

“Structurally, the hospital is safe, but engineers are evaluating the damage to determine what needs to be repaired or replaced in the flooded area,” Erdmann said. “Our New London hospital has also opened Incident Command and is ready to help with patient care if needed.”

Hospital officials said patients were not at risk during the incident.

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Bonduel man charged with fleeing after high-speed chase

Tue, 08/09/2016 - 7:56pm
By: 

Tim Ryan, [email protected]

A Bonduel man accused of leading authorities on a high-speed chase through three counties Saturday has been charged with a felony count of attempting to flee a officer.

Damonick S. Foral, 18, could face a maximum 3½ years in prison and a $10,000 fine if convicted. He also faces nearly a dozen fines and forfeitures for speeding and failing to yield at numerous stop signs.

According to the criminal complaint, a Shawano County sheriff’s deputy spotted Foral’s vehicle run through a stop sign at Warrington Avenue and Freeborn Street in Cecil shortly after 2 a.m.

The driver ignored an attempt to pull him over, according to the complaint, instead speeding off on County Road R at speeds reaching 110 mph.

The chase continued into Oconto County and into Menominee County before turning back into Shawano County, making nearly a full circle back to its starting point in Cecil.

An initial attempt to deploy spike strips to stop the vehicle failed, but they were used again on state Highway 22 as the vehicle headed northbound away from Cecil for a second time.

The chase covered more than 22 miles before it was over, according to the complaint.

Foral was ordered held on a $2,500 cash bond after an initial appearance Monday in Shawano-Menominee Circuit Court and is due back in court for a preliminary hearing Tuesday.

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Public Record

Tue, 08/09/2016 - 7:55pm

Shawano Police Department

Aug. 8

Police logged 26 incidents, including the following:

Fraud — Police investigated a fraud complaint on Crestwood Court.

Accident — Police responded to an injury accident at Green Bay and Sawyer streets.

Accident — Police responded to an injury accident at Main and Fourth streets.

Theft — A TV and DVD player were reported stolen in the 500 block of South Hamlin Street.

Disorderly — Police responded to a disorderly conduct complaint in the 700 block of South Hamlin Street.

Aug. 7

Police logged 15 incidents, including the following:

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

Disorderly — Police responded to a disorderly conduct complaint in the 200 block of Teddington Lane.

Disorderly — Police responded to a disorderly conduct complaint in the 600 block of East Randall Street.

Aug. 6

Police logged 20 incidents, including the following:

Disturbance — Police responded to a report of a fight in progress in the 100 block of South Main Street.

Disturbance — Police responded to a disturbance at Weed and Pine streets.

Trespass — Police responded to a trespassing complaint in the 200 block of East Richmond Street.

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

Aug. 5

Police logged 29 incidents, including the following:

Threatening — Police responded to a threatening complaint in the 1400 block of South Lincoln Street.

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

Accident — Police responded to a two-vehicle property damage accident in the 1400 block of East Green Bay Street.

Shoplifting — Charlie’s County Market, 521 S. Main St., reported a woman shoplifter in custody.

Disturbance — Police responded to a disturbance in the 200 block of South Union Street.

Shoplifting — Charlie’s County Market, 521 S. Main St., reported a teenage girl shoplifter in custody.

Shawano County Sheriff’s Department

Aug. 8

Deputies logged 21 incidents, including the following:

Warrant — A male subject was taken into custody on a warrant on state Highway 22 in the town of Belle Plaine.

Theft — Car keys were reported stolen on Railroad Street in Bowler.

Theft — A trailer was reported stolen on County Road D in the town of Pella.

Aug. 7

Deputies logged 40 incidents, including the following:

Suspicious — Authorities responded to a suspicious person complaint on state Highway 29 in the town of Hartland.

Fire — Authorities responded to a fire on Main Laney Drive in the town of Maple Grove.

Fire — Authorities responded to a grass fire on Wolf River Road in the town of Richmond.

Suspicious — Authorities responded to a suspicious person complaint on County Road D in the town of Pella.

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

Aug. 6

Deputies logged 39 incidents, including the following:

Juvenile — An 18-year-old Cecil man was cited for underage drinking on Warrington Avenue in the village.

Fleeing — An 18-year-old Bonduel man was arrested after a high-speed chase that began in Cecil.

Hit and Run — Authorities responded to a property damage hit-and-run on Lake Drive in the town of Wescott.

Disturbance — Authorities responded to a disturbance on Shepley Road in the town of Wittenberg.

Theft — A purse was reported stolen on Gumaer Road in the town of Wescott.

Accident — Authorities responded to an injury accident on Berg Road in the town of Morris.

Aug. 5

Deputies logged 49 incidents, including the following:

Hit and Run — Authorities responded to a property damage hit-and-run on Middle Drive in the town of Angelica.

Vandalism — A vehicle was reported vandalized on state Highway 22 in the town of Washington.

Assault — Authorities investigated an assault complaint on Webb Street in Wittenberg.

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

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

Juvenile — Authorities responded to a juvenile problem on County Road G in the town of Seneca.

Clintonville Police Department

Aug. 8

Police logged 12 incidents, including the following:

Theft — Officer responded to a report of a theft and criminal damage to property on North Main Street.

Disturbance — Officers responded to the report of a domestic disturbance on Garfield Street at 16th Street.

Theft — A theft was reported on South Main Street.

Aug. 7

Police logged 11 incidents, including the following:

Disorderly —Officers responded to a report of a disorderly situation on North Main Street.

Theft — A report of retail theft was made on South Main Street.

Theft — A stolen bicycle was reported on Modoc Street.

Disturbance — Officers responded to a report of a domestic disturbance on Felshow Street.

Disturbance — Officers responded to a report of damage to property complaint that resulted in citations being issued for battery, criminal damage to property, and disorderly conduct.

Aug. 6

Police logged 11 incidents, including the following:

Disorderly — Officers responded to a report of disorderly conduct on Franklin Avenue.

Disorderly Officers responded to a report of disorderly conduct on Eighth Street.

Theft — A theft was reported on South Main Street.

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Flooding disrupts ThedaCare services

Tue, 08/09/2016 - 12:06pm
Fire hydrant malfunctions

An exterior fire hydrant malfunctioned and flooded a portion of the first floor of ThedaCare Medical Center-Shawano early Tuesday.

The source has been contained and there is no risk to patient care, according to a statement from ThedaCare.

ThedaCare officials are delaying some surgeries, and ambulances heading to the emergency department are being evaluated on a case-by-case basis. Some ambulances might be diverted to other hospitals if a patient needs higher-end imaging and lab capabilities, according to the statement.

However, the emergency department will continue to care for walk-in patients. If they need imaging or lab work, they, too, will be transferred to another hospital.

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Bonduel teen arrested after high-speed chase

Mon, 08/08/2016 - 10:12am
By: 

Leader Staff

An 18-year-old Bonduel man was arrested after a high-speed chase Saturday that spanned three counties.

The incident started on state Highway 22 in Cecil shortly after 2 a.m. when Shawano County sheriff’s deputies tried to pull a vehicle over for a traffic violation.

The driver sped off, reaching speeds of 100 mph through Oconto and Menominee counties before returning to Shawano County, where authorities used a tire deflation system to stop the vehicle.

Charges were pending Monday morning.

The incident was one of 79 sheriff’s deputies logged over the weekend, including a disturbance in the town of Wittenberg; a property theft complaint in the town of Wescott; a property damage hit-and-run in the town of Wescott; and injury accidents in the towns of Morris and Washington.

Shawano police logged 34 incidents over the weekend, including a fight in the 100 block of South Main Street; a disturbance at Weed and Pine streets; an arrest for operating while intoxicated at Airport Drive and Green Bay street; and disorderly conduct on Teddington Lane.

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8th District GOP race tops local ballot

Fri, 08/05/2016 - 9:55pm
All critical of status quoBy: 

Tim Ryan, [email protected]

Area voters on Tuesday will have several primary races to decide in state and congressional races, the most hotly contested being the the GOP nomination for the 8th Congressional District, where three candidates are vying for the seat held for three terms by Reid Ribble.

Mike Gallagher, of Green Bay, Frank Lasee, of De Pere, and Terry McNulty, of Forestville, are competing to take on Democratic candidate Tom Nelson in the November election.

“I’m one of those guys who’s fed up with politics as usual,” McNulty said. “I don’t trust career politicians.”

Gallagher expressed similar sentiments in an interview with the Leader last month.

“The system will be better served if there were more private citizens from all walks of life who treat this more like a deployment than a career,” he said.

Both were equally critical of the current Congress.

“Only 8 percent of people are happy with Congress,” McNulty said, adding that “nothing is getting done.”

McNulty said he would be willing to work across the aisle to get things accomplished, provided the deal was fair.

“Compromise is OK if you get something out of it,” he said. “Everything over the last seven years, we haven’t gotten anything out of it.”

McNulty said he would have supported Ribble if he were running again, though he disagrees with him on some issues, such as changes Congress made reducing military retirement benefits.
“Congress changed military retirement but didn’t touch their own,” he said.
McNulty said security was at the top of his priority list.

“We’re not as safe as we once were. We have to enforce the law,” he said.

His other priorities include putting forward a balanced budget, tax reform, term limits and benefit reform.

In an election year dominated on the GOP side by political newcomer Donald Trump in the presidential race, McNulty also emphasizes his outsider status.
“I’m not a career politician,” he said. “I’m an ordinary guy.”
Though Trump’s presence at the top of the ticket has some down-ballot Republicans nervous, McNulty is happy to be running under the Trump banner.

“It’s a good thing having Trump at the top of the ticket,” he said. “He’s brought a lot of different people into the party. The alternative is Hillary and that would be horrible.”

McNulty said he trusts Donald Trump, even though he doesn’t agree with everything Trump says.

“Sometimes he says things for shock value,” McNulty said. “People don’t understand his sense of humor.”

McNulty said the country needs to enforce its immigration laws and doesn’t need the border wall with Mexico Trump has proposed.
However, he said, he does agree with Trump on backing away from NATO obligations if other countries are not paying their fair share.
“The U.S. shouldn’t be paying more than other countries,” McNulty said.

McNulty also downplayed Trump’s feud this past week with the parents of Capt. Humayun Khan, who was killed in Iraq in 2004.

“That was blown out of proportion,” McNulty said. “Donald has been very supportive of veterans.”
In his interview with the Leader last month, Gallagher also said he supports Trump, in spite of political and philosophical differences.

The events of the past week haven’t changed that.

“Mike plans to support the Republican nominee for President of the United States,” said Gallagher campaign spokesperson Madison Wiberg in an email Friday.

“While Mike doesn’t agree with everything Mr. Trump says or does, he believes that the Republican Party offers the best solutions to the urgent problems facing our country,” she said.

In response to Trump’s handling of the situation with the Khan Family, she said, “After seven years on active duty in the U.S. Marine Corps and two combat deployments to Iraq, Mike believes our Gold Star families deserve nothing less than our utmost respect and gratitude for their sacrifice.”
Gallagher served seven years on active duty as a human intelligence/counterintelligence officer and regional affairs officer for the Middle East and North Africa, earning the rank of captain. During his service he deployed twice to Al Anbar Province, Iraq, as a commander of intelligence teams.
For the past 18 years, McNulty and his wife have owned and operated McNulty Surveying and Mapping, a small, family-run business located in Forestville. He is also Forestville village president, treasurer of the Board of Education for the Southern Door School District and commander of the Forestville American Legion.

Lasee, who did not respond to a request for an interview by press time, has served in the Wisconsin State Senate since 2010. Prior to that he served in the Assembly.

Lasee said in a statement on his website that he wants government to work for the people, not against them.

“I’m running for Congress to restore personal freedom and economic liberty so our economy can grow, businesses can hire, workers can find better jobs with bigger paychecks — and families can have a better future,” he said. “Big government’s greedy hand is robbing people of their liberty, looting the public treasury, rigging the system in favor of Washington politicians and lobbyists, and destroying the American Dream. I want to downsize Washington, so we maximize freedom — and restore the dream to live, work and prosper in the America we love.”

Also on Tuesday’s primary ballot, former Sen. Russ Feingold, of Middleton, faces a challenge from Scott Harbach, of Kenosha, for the Democratic nomination in the race for the senate seat held by incumbent Republican Ron Johnson, of Oshkosh.

Meanwhile, votes in the 35th Assembly district has three Democrats to choose from — Derek Woellner, Erik Pfantz and Renea Frederick, all of Merrill — in their bids for the nomination to run against incumbent Republican Mary Czaja, of Tomahawk.

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Fair building funds still uncertain

Fri, 08/05/2016 - 6:01pm
Upgrade sought in 2017By: 

Scott Williams, [email protected]


Contributed Illustration As shown in this rendering, the Junior Fair Building improvements would include a new exterior painted in red and green colors.
Leader File Photo The existing Junior Fair Building is 50 years old and officials say it needs a new roof, doors, lighting, insulation and other improvements.

Funding is moving forward in the Shawano County budget — but is not a sure thing — to make improvements next year to a big attraction at the Shawano County Fair.

Members of a County Board committee have assigned a relatively low priority to $125,000 in capital spending requested for the Junior Fair Building.

Known as a popular spot for kids and families during the fair, the 50-year-old building needs a new roof, doors, lighting, insulation and more.

County officials said the project could yet be fully funded, although it might depend on a funding source that has been inconsistent in recent years.

Dale Hodkiewicz, president of the Shawano Area Agricultural Society, which manages the county fair, said he remains encouraged about the chances of getting county funding for the building improvements.

“We’ve got to be patient, that’s all,” he said.

The agricultural society is seeking county funds to overhaul the Junior Fair Building in 2017, not before the annual fair that kicks off Aug. 31.

The fairgrounds is owned by the county but managed by the private agricultural society, which is offering to raise $45,000 if the county will contribute $125,000 for the project. The building, also known as the 4-H Building, is home to 4-H club members and their families throughout the county fair.

A request for county funding went nowhere last year because it was submitted too late in the annual capital spending process.

This time, the project was included among more than a dozen seeking funds July 21 when members of the capital improvement committee ranked 2017 spending priorities for recommendation to the full County Board. The county fair improvement was ranked 11th of 14 recommended for funding.

County officials said they expect all 14 projects to be funded, adding that they fully support the Junior Fair Building proposal.

“It’s a worthwhile project,” said Supervisor Kevin Conradt, chairman of the committee. “Hopefully it’ll move forward.”

Among the projects ranked higher are a courthouse security video upgrade, resurfacing on the Mountain Bay Trail, a new storage shelter for highway equipment, and a fish cleaning station by a boat landing at a park.

A final capital spending package approved later by the full County Board will be included in the 2017 county budget, likely decided by board members in October.

Under the plan recommended by the capital improvement committee, funding for the Junior Fair Building would be allocated from money the county expects to receive later this year from American Transmission Co. The company compensates Shawano County for utility line expansion, and the funding has been used in the past for county capital improvements.

The transmission company money has not always arrived as expected, but county officials voiced confidence that funds will be available for the county fair project.

“We believe it will come,” Supervisor Tom Kautza said. “It’s just a matter of when it arrives.”

Hodkiewicz said he would have liked to see the Junior Fair Building ranked higher among the recommended county spending priorities for next year.

Focused on getting ready for the 2016 fair, Hodkiewicz said he has not discussed the issue with county officials and likely will not do so until after the fair ends Sept. 5.

“I’m staying out of the politics as of now,” he said.

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Mattoon woman gets 4 years in shooting incident

Fri, 08/05/2016 - 5:57pm
By: 

Tim Ryan, [email protected]

A Mattoon woman was sentenced Thursday to four years in prison on a reduced charge of domestic abuse-related first-degree reckless injury for a shooting incident in the village in March.

Rebecca L. Malueg, 32, will also have to serve an additional four years of extended supervision after her prison term.

She was initially charged with attempted homicide but pleaded guilty in June to the lesser count under a plea agreement.

She was accused of firing a .243 caliber hunting rifle at a 24-year-old man at their home on Marble Avenue during a domestic dispute on March 20 in what the criminal complaint alleged was an intentional attempt to kill him.

The Shawano County Sheriff’s Department Special Response Team was called to the incident around 12:45 a.m. and found the man with what were described as significant injuries as a result of a gun shot.

He was treated by emergency responders from Mattoon Ambulance and taken to a Wausau hospital.

According to the criminal complaint, the incident followed a night of drinking by the couple before returning home where an argument escalated. Malueg went into a bedroom where two hunting rifles and a shotgun were kept.

The man told authorities that when he entered the bedroom he saw Malueg standing on the bed with one of the rifles pointed at him.

He backed out of the room and Malueg fired a shot through the door, striking him in the arm, according to his statement in the criminal complaint.

Malueg told authorities she didn’t know the gun was loaded.

Authorities found two rifles on the bedroom mattress, along with a box of ammunition, according to the complaint.

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Public Record

Fri, 08/05/2016 - 5:54pm

Shawano Police Department

Aug. 4

Police logged 30 incidents, including the following:

Arrest — A 35-year-old man was taken into custody at the probation and parole offices, 1340 E. Green Bay St.

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

Accident — Police responded to an injury accident in the 700 block of South Main Street.

Warrant — A 27-year-old man was arrested on a warrant at Franklin and Eagle streets. A charge of possession of marijuana was also expected to be referred.

Vandalism — A motorcycle was reported vandalized at the Four Seasons, 201 N. Airport Drive.

Shawano County Sheriff’s Department

Aug. 4

Deputies logged 45 incidents, including the following:

Warrant — A male subject was taken into custody on a warrant after authorities conducted a welfare check on Lake Drive in the town of Wescott.

Harassment — Authorities responded to a harassment complaint on state Highway 22 in Cecil.

Threatening — Authorities responded to a threatening complaint on Lyndhurst Road in the town of Herman.

Bail Jumping — A female subject was taken into custody for bail jumping on Swanke Street in Tigerton.

Disturbance — Authorities responded to a domestic disturbance on County Road MMM in the town of Richmond.

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Food researchers hungry for answers

Thu, 08/04/2016 - 8:48pm
Survey targets Shawano County eating habitsBy: 

Scott Williams, [email protected]


Leader Photo by Scott Williams Beverly Gensler, center, of Homeland Farms, helps customer Robin Perez, of Keshena, right, select ears of corn from a roadside stand on Green Bay Street in Shawano.
Leader Photo by Scott Williams Mary Beyer of Wildwood Farms waits for customers at her roadside fruits and vegetables stand on Green Bay Street in Shawano.

Consumer shopping and eating habits in Shawano County are coming under the microscope in a new survey that could help bring healthy food choices closer to home.

The coalition behind a privately funded research project is asking residents countywide to take part in the survey about how they feed themselves and their families.

Civic leaders could employ the survey results later to implement changes aimed at making healthy food more readily available throughout the county, including on Native American reservations.

“I think there’s going to be some things come out of this,” researcher Dan Robinson said.

The survey, which is open to every household in the county, will be available online and at certain public events until late September, perhaps longer.

The questions explore such topics as where residents shop for groceries, how they make their food selections, how often their families have healthy food, and whether their families sometimes must go hungry.

The research project is being funded by a $130,000 grant from the American Planning Association, a nonprofit educational group that awarded 17 such grants nationwide last year. The grants, in a program called Plan4Health, are aimed at combating chronic disease by promoting nutritional eating or physical exercise.

The coalition overseeing the research project locally includes Shawano County, Menominee County, the University of Wisconsin-Extension office, and the Native American tribes Ho-Chunk Nation, Stockbridge-Munsee Community and Menominee Indian Tribe of Wisconsin.

Sera Azzolina, community health representative for the Stockbridge-Munsee tribe, said she hopes the research effort will point the way to better food sources for tribal members.

Azzolina said she has helped to start a regular farmers market on the reservation, but many tribal members, she said, also shop for food at stores with poor selections of healthy food.

“There’s really nothing,” she said.

Researchers have named their effort The FRESH Project, which stands for Food Resources Education Security Health. Since the grant was announced in November, coalition members have organized their group, examined the issues and planned the survey.

Along with fellow researcher Casey Mitchell, Robinson is working in the Shawano County Planning and Development Department in the county courthouse.

The coalition is particularly concerned that portions of Shawano County and Menominee County are “food deserts,” which is a geographic region where poverty runs high and where people must travel long distances to reach a full-service grocery store with healthy food.

By December, researchers hope to have the survey results compiled along with a plan of action for addressing community needs.

Implementing any needed changes, Robinson said, could become the responsibility of the existing coalition or it could end up in the hands of other organizations in the community. For now, efforts are focused on collecting meaningful data by encouraging widespread participation in the survey among a cross-section of demographic groups.

“We really want to go about this in an intelligent way,” Robinson said. “This is a real important need in the community.”

FYI

The survey is available online at https://uwex.co1.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_8nZ7ZrVLf6zBLKd. To obtain a paper copy or ask questions, call 715-524-2321.

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Alderman to move to rescind council vote on RDA

Thu, 08/04/2016 - 8:45pm
New vote could move blight district action plan forwardBy: 

Tim Ryan, [email protected]

A Shawano alderman is looking to reverse a Common Council vote last month rejecting a blight elimination district proposed by the Shawano Redevelopment Authority.

Bob Kurkiewicz said he will offer a motion at next week’s meeting to rescind the council’s previous vote and accept the redevelopment district boundary proposed by the RDA, which would allow the RDA to go forward with a public hearing on an action plan to address blighted properties within the district.

Kurkiewicz was one of five council members who voted in July to send the proposed district map back to the RDA for reconsideration after hearing concerns from property owners located within the district.

The council did not provide any guidance to the RDA on what the revised boundaries should be.

The RDA met a week after the council meeting and proposed a series of meetings, first with council members and then with the public, to address questions and concerns about the proposed district.

Assistant City Administrator Eddie Sheppard said at that meeting that those educational efforts could hold the RDA up for three to four months.

Kurkiewicz, who attended that RDA meeting, said in an interview Wednesday that a three- to four-month delay isn’t necessary.

He said residents who had asked for more transparency about the proposed district at last month’s council meeting have had an opportunity since then to get their questions answered.

Some of those residents attended last month’s RDA meeting where many of those concerns were discussed and addressed, he said.

Kurkiewicz said residents have also had the opportunity over the past month to contact city administration and officials with their questions, and have had access to detailed RDA information available on the city’s website.

Kurkiewicz also said any delay in the RDA’s plans could also put on hold efforts by property owners to get assistance in making improvements to their properties.

He said he had been contacted by at least one business owner who would like to take advantage of the assistance the RDA could provide.

“There’s no sense in holding people up,” Kurkiewicz said.

The council will meet at 4:30 p.m. Wednesday at City Hall, 127 S. Sawyer St., with a presentation from RDA consultant Vierbicher explaining how the boundary was arrived at for a proposed blight elimination district.

Under state law, a municipality can designate a blight redevelopment district if at least 50 percent of the property within the proposed district is blighted, which means “a predominance of structures, buildings, or improvements that are dilapidated, deteriorated, obsolete, or conditions that are detrimental to public health and safety.”

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

The RDA district roughly follows the contours of Tax Incremental Finance districts already designated for blight elimination along Main Street from the Wolf River bridge on the north to Wescott Avenue on the south, and along Green Bay Street from Main Street on the west to Rusch Road on the east.

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Driver injured in crash after high-speed chase

Thu, 08/04/2016 - 8:44pm
By: 

Leader Staff

A high-speed chase through the city of Shawano on Wednesday afternoon led to a rollover crash north of the city and pending charges against a 27-year-old man who was injured in the crash.

A state trooper shortly before 4 p.m. tried to pull over a vehicle for an equipment violation, the State Patrol said in a news release.

The driver sped off, reaching speeds in excess of 100 mph along state Highway 29, before turning off onto state Highway 55.

The pursuit continued through the city until the vehicle rolled over at Highway 55 and Old Keshena Road.

The driver sustained injuries that were not life threatening and was taken to Theda Clark, according to the state patrol.

Charges, which could include fleeing and drug possession, according to the state patrol, were expected to be filed early next week.

Assisting agencies included the Shawano County Sheriff’s Department, Shawano police and Shawano Ambulance.

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Public Record

Thu, 08/04/2016 - 8:41pm

Shawano Police Department

Aug. 3

Police logged 32 incidents, including the following:

Suspicious — Police responded to a suspicious vehicle complaint at Huckleberry Harbor, 222 N. Sawyer St.

Threatening — Police responded to a threatening complaint in the 300 block of Madison Way.

Hit and Run — Police responded to a property damage hit-and-run at Shawano Cinema, 1494 E. Green Bay St.

Juvenile — Police responded to a juvenile problem in the 400 block of South Franklin Street.

Suspicious — Police responded to a suspicious person complaint in the 1100 block of East Green Bay Street.

Shawano County Sheriff’s Department

Aug. 3

Deputies logged 36 incidents, including the following:

Juvenile — Authorities responded to a juvenile problem on Warrington Avenue in Cecil.

Harassment — Authorities responded to a harassment complaint on River Drive in the town of Wescott.

Theft — Authorities responded to a property theft complaint on Shepley Road in the town of Birnamwood.

Warrant — A 42-year-old man was taken into custody on a warrant on Cecil Street in Bonduel.

Warrant — A 31-year-old woman was taken into custody on a warrant on state Highway 47 in the town of Lessor.

Disturbance — Authorities responded to a disturbance on Lake Drive in the town of Wescott.

Accident — Authorities responded to an injury accident on state Highway 29 in the town of Herman.

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Belmark schedules career fair

Thu, 08/04/2016 - 8:39pm
De Pere firm opening Shawano facility in 2018

A De Pere manufacturer that is planning to build a new facility in Shawano is conducting a career fair later this month.

Belmark, a leader in the pressure sensitive label, flexible packaging and folding carton industry, said in a press release that it is recruiting employees for multiple positions at its Northeast Wisconsin facilities.

The firm announced in June that it will construct an approximately 120,000-square-foot, $12 million light manufacturing, paper products related facility in Shawano. Construction is scheduled to start by spring 2017 with full production beginning by spring 2018.

Established in 1977, Belmark is presently growing at a rate of more than four times the industry average, according to the statement from the company, and is looking to add more than 90 employees over the next year in the following areas: semi-skilled production workers, press operators, finance, graphics, sales and marketing, customer service, accounting and human resources.

The company will host a career fair from 1-6 p.m. Aug. 16 at the Bemis International Conference Center, 299 Third St., De Pere.

The career fair will allow job-seekers and Belmark’s hiring staff to meet in person.

“It gives us a chance to talk to candidates one-on-one and give them an overview of our company,” said Heather Swanson, the company’s talent acquisition coordinator. “You get to talk to Belmark team members who can share stories and experiences about what it’s like to work for a fast-growing, local company.”

During the career fair, candidates will also learn about additional company benefits that make Belmark unique, including a fitness center and a free on-site health clinic, Welmark.

Pre-registration is not required and more information can be found online at belmark.com, Facebook/Belmark or LinkedIn/Belmark.

Belmark’s facilities include a four-plant campus dedicated to prepress, press and finishing production. More than 850 people are employed at the company’s Heritage Road location in De Pere.

The Shawano facility property includes 15 acres north of County Road B, east of Waukechon Street and west of Industrial Drive.

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Shawano man killed in crash

Thu, 08/04/2016 - 12:37pm
By: 

Leader Staff

A 20-year-old Shawano man was killed in a collision with a semi near Cecil early Thursday, according to the Shawano County Sheriff’s Department.

Authorities were called to the crash at state Highway 117 and County Road E about 6 a.m.

The initial investigation showed that a vehicle driven by the 20-year-old was eastbound on County Road E and failed to stop at a stop sign, the sheriff’s department said.

The vehicle entered the intersection and was struck by a northbound semi-tractor trailer unit operated by a 44-year-old Green Bay man.

The Shawano man was pronounced dead at the scene. The semi driver was taken to a Green Bay hospital with injuries that were not life threatening.

The accident remains under investigation.

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Libraries open to new county system

Thu, 08/04/2016 - 7:40am
Branches eager to halt outside feesBy: 

Scott Williams, [email protected]

Library administrators in Shawano County say they are willing to consider restructured governance of their facilities to guard against unwanted fees from neighboring library systems.

Representatives of libraries in Bonduel, Tigerton and Wittenberg said they would welcome discussions about converting to a county-run library system.

The libraries currently operate as branches of the Shawano City-County Library system, which involves a different funding method and allows for community support of the branches.

Although some library representatives acknowledge concerns about losing local control, librarians said they recognize the need to stop fees exceeding $100,000 a year assessed by libraries outside the county.

“We would love to stop having those charges go back and forth,” said Allison Schultz, director of the Bonduel Public Library.

Shawano County leaders are trying to gauge support for reorganizing library branches into a single consolidated county system that could, under state law, block neighboring library systems from assessing Shawano County for cross-border borrowing of materials.

Such a restructuring is among the options being considered by a special committee created to examine the assessments, which cost the county $141,000 last year and could cost another $123,000 this year.

The committee is scheduled to meet Thursday to discuss the complex issue with branch library representatives.

Leslie Hill, director of the Wittenberg Public Library, said although she wants to know more about the restructuring idea, she agrees that something needs to be done to stop the annual financial demands from outside libraries.

“It could be for the best,” she said.

The assessments stem from Shawano County residents venturing outside the county and using public libraries elsewhere, including Pulaski, Marion and Clintonville. Under state rules, one library system can seek payment from another for such cross-border borrowing.

Shawano County has been billed by libraries in Waupaca County, Brown County and Langlade County.

A state library administrator has encouraged Shawano County officials to consider forming a consolidated library system, which would mean that outside library systems no longer could seek such payments. Under a consolidated system, Shawano County would control and fund all libraries, including the main Shawano library and the branches in Bonduel, Birnamwood, Mattoon, Tigerton and Wittenberg.

The system now operates on a yearly budget of about $600,000, which is funded 80 percent by the county and 20 percent by the city of Shawano.

Details have not been spelled out on how funding and governance of individual libraries would work under a consolidated organization.

Caitlin Selle, director of the Tigerton Public Library, said she enjoys working cooperatively with other libraries in the county, and she is willing to consider the countywide concept.

“I wouldn’t think it would be a huge difference,” she said.

Proponents of the restructuring have indicated that it could allow for greater uniformity in how libraries throughout Shawano County are operated, what services are provided and how staff are trained. No timetable has been presented for the special committee to issue recommendations.

Hill joined other branch librarians in voicing support for finding a solution to the cross-border assessment issue, including by creating a tighter alliance among one another.
“It depends how they want to govern the branches,” Hill said. “I work really well with Shawano, so I don’t see much of a problem with that.”

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Haffner in the big chair at Gresham school

Thu, 08/04/2016 - 7:39am
New superintendent starting 24th year with school districtBy: 

Lee Pulaski, [email protected]


NEWELL HAFFNER

Gresham Community School has a familiar face taking the administrative reins.

Newell Haffner, who is starting his 24th year with the school, is the new principal and superintendent as of July 1, taking over for Keary Mattson, who retired at the end of the 2015-16 school year.

Haffner received news of his promotion in a funny way, he told the Leader.

“I went to bed that night thinking that they weren’t going to call or anything, but they called me at about a quarter to 10, got me out of bed and told me the news,” Haffner said, noting he was contacted via Facetime, an online video conferencing system. “I was like, ‘Woo-hoo!’”

Haffner said he was pleased to continue to serve the school and community he has called home for decades.

“It’s probably the most unique way to get a job I’ve ever had,” he said.

Haffner was the K-12 school’s science teacher for the upper grades for more than 20 years, and he has served as the assistant principal since 2013. He was selected from a field of three other finalists.

The Gresham School Board has hired Ben Heninger to teach band classes and succeed Haffner as the assistant principal.

For Haffner, the opportunity to run a school is a cause for joy, but it’s tempered by the reality that his teaching career is ending. He admitted it felt weird walking into the school in mid-July to clean out his classroom instead of getting it ready for the new school year.

“I’m so used to coming in July and setting up my bulletin boards and getting stuff ready,” Haffner said. “It was a big shock for me.”

Becoming an administrator didn’t enter Haffner’s mind when he was in college to become a teacher. It wasn’t until Bob Klopke, who sits on the Gresham School Board, commented that Haffner would be a good administrator that the idea formed in his head.

Haffner was further encouraged by Mattson when the school was looking for an assistant principal. Haffner said he was hesitant at the time to take the position, but when he learned he could still teach at least part-time and that being an administrator meant impacting the education of all students and not just the ones in his classroom, he made the leap.

Haffner has a bachelor’s degree in chemistry and a master’s in middle level education, both from the University of Wisconsin-Platteville. He obtained his superintendent’s license through Marian University in Fond du Lac.

Haffner also is the bishop for the Gresham Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and he hopes the lessons he has learned through his faith leadership will serve him well at school.

“It’s a much different type of leading,” Haffner said of his church role. “It has taught me more about the gray areas of the world than the black and white, and it’s given me a better understanding when parents come in with issues.”

Haffner’s biggest challenge is expected to be how to improve the aging school’s infrastructure. Voters rejected a referendum in May that would have expanded the school and demolished the oldest portion of it. Haffner said he and the board are working on ways to modernize the building.

“I’m one of these people who is not happy being average,” Haffner said. “I always want to do better than I can. When I’m average, I feel like I’m sitting around and doing nothing.”

Haffner also seeks to find a way to offer advanced placement and college-level courses at the school. He said he is talking with Northeastern Wisconsin Technical College and other schools to explore options.

“I don’t believe that, just because we’re little Gresham, we can’t have the things the big boys do,” Haffner said.

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