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Contractor selected to build evidence storage building

Fri, 02/16/2018 - 2:20am
Kakauna firm submits bid of $693,400By: 

Tim Ryan [email protected]

The Shawano County Public Safety Committee has selected a contractor for the long-awaited evidence storage building.

Silvercrest Construction of Kaukauna was chosen after submitting a bid of $693,400, the lowest among seven bids offered for the job.

Bids ranged from that amount to a high of $997,313 submitted by The Boldt Company of Appleton.

The Shawano County Board voted in June to invest up to $1 million in the 7,200-square-foot building, which will be located at 210 W. Second St. in Shawano.

There was no specific date set for construction to begin, but County Administrative Coordinator Brent Miller said the work was likely to get underway once warmer temperatures settle in and the frost thaws.

Evidence storage needs have been a recurring issue for the county since at least 2005, when a consultant found that existing facilities were inadequate. With county leaders unable to agree on a solution, the sheriff’s department has been renting storage space at a cost of about $20,000 a year.

Several proposals for a separate storage building were shot down by the board over the years, most recently in 2013 when the county board approved a $710,000 evidence storage facility that was to be constructed next to the Huber Work Release Center, but failed to get the supermajority needed to approve borrowing the money for the project.

Public Record

Thu, 02/15/2018 - 4:06am

Shawano Police Department

Feb. 13

Police logged 25 incidents, including the following:

Fraud — CoVantage Credit Union, 604 S. Main St., reported a counterfeit $20 bill.

Assist Fire — Police and firefighters responded to a reported smell of gas at the Shawano County Social Services, 607 E. Elizabeth St. The building was evacuated, and WE Energies was notified.

Vandalism — Police responded to a vandalism complaint in the 300 block of South Union Street.

Hit and Run — Police investigated a property damage hit-and-run at Airport and Engel drives.

Disturbance — Police responded to a disturbance in the 800 block of South River Street.

Shawano County Sheriff’s Department

Feb. 13

Deputies logged 29 incidents, including the following:

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

Disturbance — Authorities responded to a disturbance at the Shawano County Jail, 405 N. Main St. in Shawano.

Disorderly — Authorities responded to a disorderly conduct complaint at Wittenberg Elementary-Middle School, 300 S. Prouty St. in Wittenberg.

Disturbance — Authorities assisted Shawano police with a disturbance on River Street in Shawano.

Hit and Run — Authorities investigated a property damage hit-and-run on state Highway 22 in the town of Washington.

Clintonville Police Department

Feb. 13

Police logged 11 incidents, including the following:

OWL — A 26-year-old Clintonville man was arrested for operating without a driver’s license, possession of marijuana and bail jumping at Garfield Avenue and South Park Street.

Disturbance — Police responded to a domestic incident on South Main Street.

City, county unconcerned over library parking lot issue

Thu, 02/15/2018 - 4:05am
Disagreement not affecting new consolidated systemBy: 

Tim Ryan [email protected]

Well, whatever. We’ll work it out.

That would seem to be the attitude among city and county officials when it comes to a disagreement about the future of the Shawano Library parking lot — a difference of opinion that is holding up closing on an agreement for the county to purchase the library property.

The county wants to acquire the property as part of its countywide library consolidation, which went into effect at the start of the year.

The lack of a finalized agreement on the Shawano building, however, has not impacted operations under the new countywide consolidated system, which included making all library staffers employees of the county, according to the county.

The Shawano County Board last month approved the purchase agreement, which called for the county to pay the city $2 for the library and the parking lot.

The city included a deed restriction in the agreement that stated the parking lot would continue to be available indefinitely for all public parking as well as library parking.

Though the purchase agreement was unanimously approved by the County Board, there were questions raised about the fate of the parking lot if the county at some point in the future decided to relocate the library and sell the property.

The county subsequently offered new language for the agreement that would have given the county the flexibility to someday expand into the existing parking lot if need be or dispose of it altogether if the property ever went up for sale.

The Shawano Finance Committee last week rejected that language, reasoning that the county could always come forward and ask for the deed restriction to be lifted in the future if necessary. The vote prevented the question from going to the Common Council for consideration.

As of Wednesday, the city had not yet notified the county about that decision.

County officials only became aware of the finance committee vote when a Leader reporter contacted them for a reaction.

“We have had no formal or informal notification,” said County Corporation Counsel Tony Kordus. “We haven’t heard anything.”

The county did not follow up with the city to confirm the information, citing other priorities.

City Administrator Brian Knapp also said other more pressing issues delayed notifying the county about the finance committee’s decision.

Kordus speculated that the city might be considering some other alternative that might account for the delay in notification.

Knapp said the city’s posture has not changed.

“We’re asking them to include language in the agreement that is consistent with the agreement (approved by the Common Council),” he said.

The closing date of the library purchase has always been flexible, according to officials.

County Administrative Coordinator Brent Miller did not see the closing date as being a problem.

“It will close whenever we get it closed,” he said.

Miller said that, in the meantime, the new countywide system, including the Shawano library, has been running smoothly.

Longtime bank director, employee honored

Thu, 02/15/2018 - 4:03am
Traeger gets gold watch for 67 years of serviceBy: 

Carol Wagner Leader Correspondent


Photo by Carol Wagner Bob Traeger, center was recently presented with a gold watch for his dedication to State Bank-Gresham. Standing with Traeger are, from left, bank employees Karen Simpson and Andrea Quinney; Traeger’s wife, Bernadine; State Bank board chairman Sam Sousek Sr.; employee Kiley Pingel; bank president Sam Sousek II; board member David Waegli; and employees Theresa Voelz and Glenda Flauger.

Bob Traeger spent 67 years at State Bank’s Gresham branch beginning as an employee and then a director. He recently was given a gold watch for his dedication.

“From picking up Bob on the snowmobile during a massive snowstorm when I was in junior high so he could get to work, which he made on time, to my 20 years on the board with him, the one thing that never changed was his dedication and commitment for both community and customers,” said Sam Sousek II, president of State Bank with offices in Gresham and Shawano.

Traeger, 87, began work at the bank on June 6, 1950, when he was 20 years old. It was manned by just Traeger and the late Victor Sousek, father of Sam Sousek Sr., chairman of the board, and grandfather of Sam Sousek II.

“I replaced a girl who was getting married,” Traeger said.

He wanted to be a teacher and attended St. Norbert College for two years. He took the job thinking he would go back to school, but that never happened.

“I’ve enjoyed it very much,” Traeger said. “I met a lot of people. I enjoyed coming to work.”

He started as a teller who also did the shoveling and any other jobs that came up. Sam Sousek II was a teenager when he went a mile on a snowmobile to Traeger’s house during a huge snowstorm to bring him to work.

“That’s how dedicated he was,” said Sam Sousek Sr.

There were many interesting things that happened those many years. One of those was when Traeger recalled a woman who was overdrawn and brought in her check to cover what she owed. He still gets a chuckle about trying to explain to her that she needed to make a deposit.

Traeger retired from working at the bank on Jan. 31, 1993, as an assistant cashier. He has been a director since 1971, retiring Dec. 3, 2017. During his years there, the bank moved from downtown to its current location.

“He was an example that you could always count on,” said Sam Sousek Sr. “We appreciate the years of service he gave to the bank.”

Traeger has been healthy, missing only a couple days in 1989 during a bout with cancer which is now under control with medication.

David Waegli, a member of the bank board of directors, said, “He is loved and respected in the whole community.”

Traeger and his wife, Bernadine, have been married 56 years and have four children and 14 grandchildren. They live in the town of Herman where he had been the treasurer for 47 years.

He was also on the board of St. Francis Solanus Catholic Church and is a member of the Gresham Lions.

Mayoral candidates face off

Wed, 02/14/2018 - 5:14am
Incumbent, challengers address budgeting, businesses, crime issuesBy: 

Lee Pulaski [email protected]

The three candidates for Shawano mayor offered a variety of thoughts on how to make the city a better place to live on Tuesday during the only forum prior to next week’s primary election.

Incumbent Mayor Jeanne Cronce is fighting for a second term, facing challenges from retired businessman Jim Oberstein and retired police chief Ed Whealon. Cronce and Oberstein faced each other for the mayor’s seat in 2016, but she received 1,434 to Oberstein’s 1,290. This is Whealon’s first bid for public office.

Cronce said she has been a lifelong member of the Shawano community and was part of the Shawano School District for 34 years.

“As the mayor for the past year and a half, I have focused on the revitalization of the community,” she said.

She plans to focus on downtown redevelopment and said she would continue to work with the Redevelopment Authority to improve Shawano.

Oberstein feels community leaders need to have business expertise to help move Shawano forward. He said it might seem overwhelming, but he is interested in moving the city into a more prosperous state.

“I will bring a fresh approach to bring this community to the next level,” Oberstein said.

Whealon, who was battling a cold, said he’s aware of the responsibilities of the mayor’s office. He vowed to control excessive spending, and he said the empty buildings on Main Street are a problem.

“Other corridors, like Green Bay Street and County Road B, need to be addressed,” Whealon said.

The city experienced its largest tax increase recently, which includes a $100,000 budget shortfall. Oberstein said the city needs to increase its revenue and decrease its spending, and it’s only because Shawano County and the school district cut its property taxes that Shawano property owners didn’t experience massive sticker shock when they got their tax bills in December.

“From a business perspective, the wait-and-see approach was not the right one to take,” Oberstein said. “The department heads should have been given a directive to look at $100,000 in projects that could be cut or postponed.”

Whealon said he agreed with Oberstein on some points, particularly the issue of not making the budget fully solvent.

“The wait-and-see attitude is a dangerous one, and not the right approach for the city,” Whealon said.

Cronce said the shortfall concerned everyone on the council, but she claimed department heads knew they needed to ask only for things they needed.

“All of the things they asked for were needed things,” Cronce said. “The taxes mainly went up because of the parks referendum, which two-thirds of the voters voted for.”

Addressing the vacant buildings in downtown Shawano, Whealon noted some of them are beyond repair and might have to be torn down.

“The challenge is going to be to find the funds to redevelop the buildings for the community,” Whealon said.

Cronce said the city’s Redevelopment Authority is working on the problem, purchasing some vacant property, but she expects it to be a long process.

“Everything takes time,” Cronce said. “There is no way I can make things work faster, and no way either of these gentlemen here can move things faster.”

Oberstein said he drove from the courthouse to the post office and found 15 vacant properties in that corridor.

“I feel sorry … for the people who have their businesses downtown and try to keep them up,” Oberstein said. “It’s time to support the businesses downtown.”

Cronce said the city has been transparent and noted that most people do not take time to go to the council meetings or the committee meetings, which is where the first discussion of items take place.

“We’re willing to sit down with people and talk about it,” Cronce said, noting it was important to go out and talk to people and urge them to come to City Hall.

Oberstein said he vowed to make sure all the committees and commissions posted agendas on the city’s website. He also wants to move the Common Council back one week.

“The reason for that is most of the boards meet in the first 10-15 days, and then it goes to the council,” Oberstein said. “There is no time for the public to know what might be voted on.”

Whealon feels part of the problem is the current city government structure with a strong council and weak mayor. The city administrator should report to the mayor, along with all the other department heads, because the mayor is the chief executive officer, no matter the structure, he said.

“It wasn’t the city administrator’s responsibility to solve the problem; it was mine,” Whealon said. “As mayor, I believe it’s the same thing.”

Cronce noted department heads do make regular reports to her, but City Administrator Brian Knapp is very capable, she said. She thinks a solution would be to have the mayoral elections happen every three years instead of every two years, because the first year is more learning than managing.

“I would like this position to be a three-year position rather than a two-year position,” Cronce said. “There is a learning curve.”

Oberstein said he couldn’t really answer the question about the city government structure without doing some research, but he suggested not changing the current structure.

“I think the mayor should still be held responsible for all council decisions made,” Oberstein said.

Drugs and break-ins are the two biggest crime issues, in Cronce’s view. She said the big problem is criminals come into the city, commit their acts and then exit again.

“As mayor, I don’t feel there’s much I can do other than making sure there’s enough money in their budgets … to push these drug abusers out of our community.”

Oberstein feels the crime prevention efforts should begin at home, helping parents and schools to raise children right. He feels the mayor can support the agencies that help families.

“Drugs and crime are everywhere,” Oberstein said. “It’s not a Shawano issue. It’s a Bonduel, Cecil and Appleton issue.”

Whealon, as a former police chief, addressed the recent armed robberies and noted most of those crimes are drug related. He agreed that home is where prevention begins, but sometimes home is the problem.

“Sometimes, home is the problem,” Whealon said. “They go to school for eight hours, and they go home to utter chaos.”

The 2018 Shawano Mayoral Candidates Forum was presented by The Shawano Leader, the Shawano Country Chamber of Commerce and WTCH Radio.

The two top vote-getters in next Tuesday’s primary will face off in the city’s general election on April 3.

Police still seeking suspects in 2 armed robberies

Wed, 02/14/2018 - 5:11am
Same person may have been responsible for both crimes, police sayBy: 

Tim Ryan [email protected]

Solving two armed robberies in as many months in the city of Shawano has become a top priority for Shawano police, according to Chief Dan Mauel, who said there are indications the same person could be responsible for both crimes.

A lone male suspect forced his way in through the front doors at Maurice’s, 170 Woodlawn Drive, on Jan. 11 while a store employee was locking the doors for closing.

Once inside, the suspect displayed a handgun and ordered an employee to give him money. The employee complied and the suspect left the store.

On Friday, a lone man with a gun robbed the Tractor Supply store, 1313 E. Green Bay St.

In both cases, the suspect left the store with an undisclosed amount of money. There were no customers in the store during either of the robberies, both of which occurred at closing time, and no one was injured.

“We have not ruled out the same person committed both robberies,” Mauel said. “Obviously, the descriptions are quite similar as is how and when they occurred.”

In the first incident, the suspect was described as a white male, approximately 5 feet and 8 inches, wearing a dark-colored hoodie sweatshirt and dark denim jeans along with a ski mask. In the second incident, he was described as the same height and wearing a dark hooded sweatshirt and black jacket.

Police have not commented on whether there was video surveillance because of the ongoing investigations.

“We are following leads in both cases and are confident we will bring closure to both incidents at some point,” Mauel said.

The incidents have put other business owners in the city on edge.

“I think everyone, including businesses, should always be aware of their surroundings and take measures to ensure they and others are as safe as possible,” Mauel said. “People need to be alert for suspicious situations and report their concerns and observation to the police.”

Mauel added that police don’t mind being called out, even for a minor concern.

“Two armed robberies in the city in two months concerns us, especially with the chance the same person committed both crimes,” Mauel said. “The investigation into the robberies is our top priority and we are doing everything possible to find and arrest the person or persons responsible before they commit another offense.”

The department is asking anyone with any information to contact the department at 715-524-4545. Callers may remain anonymous.

Public Record

Wed, 02/14/2018 - 5:03am

Shawano Police Department

Feb. 12

Police logged 27 incidents, including the following:

Vandalism — Trucks were reported vandalized at United Cooperative, 660 E. Seward St.

Vandalism — A bus was reported vandalized at Sacred Heart Catholic Church, 302 S. Main St.

Disorderly — Police responded to a disorderly conduct complaint at Lakeland Center, 504 Lakeland Road.

Disturbance — Police responded to a domestic disturbance in the 500 block of East Green Bay Street.

Burglary — An attempted burglary was reported in the 600 block of West Pine Street.

Feb. 11

Police logged 17 incidents, including the following:

Disorderly — Police responded to an intoxicated person complaint in the 200 block of South Sawyer Street.

Disturbance — Police responded to a report of a fight in progress at the Four Seasons Resort, 201 N. Airport Drive.

Threatening — Police responded to a threatening complaint in the 300 block of West Danks Street.

Trespass — Police responded to a trespassing complaint in the 600 block of East Schurz Street.

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

Feb. 10

Police logged 15 incidents, including the following:

Theft — Police responded to a theft complaint in the 100 block of East Division Street.

Suspicious — Police responded to a suspicious vehicle complaint in the 1300 block of East Green Bay Street.

Suspicious — Police responded to a suspicious person complaint in the 200 block of East Division Street.

Feb. 9

Police logged 25 incidents, including the following:

Suspicious — Police responded to a suspicious vehicle complaint in the 200 block of West Lieg Street.

Arrest — A 37-year-old man was taken into custody at the probation and parole offices, 1340 E. Green Bay St.

Trespass — Police responded to a trespassing complaint in the 300 block of East Maurer Street.

Burglary — A burglary was reported in the 700 block of South Main Street.

Robbery — An armed robbery was reported at Tractor Supply, 1313 E. Green Bay St.

Disturbance — A disturbance was reported in the 400 block of South Main Street.

Shawano County Sheriff’s Department

Feb. 12

Deputies logged 37 incidents, including the following:

Suspicious — Authorities responded to a suspicious vehicle complaint on Highway 22 in the town of Washington.

Trespass — Authorities responded to a trespassing complaint on Cedar Street in Tigerton.

Warrant — A 20-year-old man was taken into custody on a warrant on Franklin Street in Shawano.

Warrant — A 22-year-old man was taken into custody on a warrant on River Street in Shawano.

Warrant — A 40-year-old woman was taken into custody on a warrant on Paradise Lane in the town of Hartland.

Fleeing — A fleeing and pursuit incident was reported on County Road D in the town of Aniwa.

Feb. 11

Deputies logged 32 incidents, including the following:

Threatening — Authorities responded to a threatening complaint on Lemke Street in Cecil.

Suspicious — Authorities responded to a suspicious vehicle complaint on County Road A in the town of Herman.

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

Hit and Run — A property damage hit-and-run between a vehicle and a buggy was reported on County Road G in Marion. There was no damage reported to the buggy or injury to the horses.

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

Feb. 10

Deputies logged 34 incidents, including the following:

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

Suspicious — Authorities responded to a suspicious vehicle complaint on Grand Avenue in Wittenberg.

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

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

Suspicious — Authorities responded to a suspicious person complaint on Main Street in Bowler.

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

Feb. 9

Deputies logged 43 incidents, including the following:

Disorderly — Authorities responded to a disorderly conduct complaint at Bonduel Middle/High School, 400 W. Green Bay St. in Bonduel.

Truancy — Authorities logged three truancy complaints from the Bonduel School District.

OAR — A 36-year-old man was cited for operating after revocation on Highway 22 in the town of Washington.

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

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

Forage council schedules annual meeting

Wed, 02/14/2018 - 5:02am

Feeding forage sorghum, interseeding of alfalfa and corn silage and forage storage costs will be among the topics discussed at the annual meeting of the Shawano County Forage Council. The meeting will be held Feb. 15 from 10:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. at The Main Event, 206 N. Lemke St., Cecil.

Representatives from the University of Wisconsin-Extension, UW-Madison and Outagamie County UW-Extension offices will share research and presentations. The forage council will hold its business meeting and fundraising seed auction around 2 p.m. All are welcome to attend, bid and purchase auction items. Proceeds from the auction are used to support youth participants in forage and dairy activities at the Shawano County Fair, county silage dry-down days and educational field events.

Reservations are due by Friday and can be made by calling the Shawano County UW-Extension office at 715-526-6136. Cost is $15 for lunch, $35 for lunch and Shawano County Forage Council annual membership and $65 for lunch, Shawano County and Midwest Forage Council annual memberships. Registration forms can be found online at https://shawano.uwex.edu/files/2017/10/ForageCouncil2018.pdf.

Armed robbery reported at Tractor Supply

Sat, 02/10/2018 - 10:29am

A lone man with a gun robbed the Tractor Supply store in Shawano Friday evening, according to the Shawano Police Department.

Police responded to a a report of an armed robbery at Tractor Supply, 1313 E. Green Bay St., at about 7 p.m.

The initial investigation revealed a lone male subject entered the store, displayed a handgun and ordered the employee to give him money. The employee complied, and the suspect left the store.

The suspect was described as a male, approximately 5’8”, wearing dark hooded sweatshirt, and black jacket.

The suspect left the store with an undisclosed amount of money. There were no customers in the store during the robbery and no one was injured.

The Shawano Police Department is asking anyone with any information to contact the department at 715-524-4545. Callers may remain anonymous.

The City of Shawano Police Department was assisted in the initial response by the Shawano County Sheriff’s Office, Wisconsin State Patrol, Bonduel Police Department, and the Stockbridge-Munsee Police Department.

The investigation is continuing.

Mayoral candidates will make their case

Sat, 02/10/2018 - 1:35am
Incumbent faces 2 challengers in forum TuesdayBy: 

Tim Ryan [email protected]

Shawano’s three mayoral candidates have been out making their pitch to voters ahead of the Feb. 20 primary race, but before that vote takes place they will gather for a public forum where they each will make their case face-to-face with their opponents.

The candidates will express their views, present their positions and face questions Tuesday in the LGI room at Shawano Community Middle School, 1050 S. Union St. The event is free and is scheduled to run from 7-8:30 p.m.

Incumbent Mayor Jeanne Cronce is seeking a second two-year term against challengers Jim Oberstein, a retired businessman, and Ed Whealon, retired Shawano police chief.

Cronce has been out in the community making the case for continuing the work and completing the projects that have been started over the last two years.

“We want to continue growth by supporting the businesses we have while trying to attract new business,” she said.

Cronce said she also wants to address the perception among some in the community that the city is not supportive of business.

“I want to meet with business people who feel the city is not business-friendly, which is not true,” she said. “I want to know their specific concerns so we can alleviate that perception.”

Oberstein said business development is at the top of the list of his priorities, with a particular emphasis on the downtown.

“We need to revitalizing the downtown,” he said. “We’ve got to address the empty buildings.”

Also of concern is the city’s level of debt and taxation.

“We have to be careful of spending and borrowing,” he said.

Whealon expressed similar concerns about the city’s budget and its spending, as well as the number of Tax Incremental Finance districts the city has established.

TIF districts are areas where municipalities invest in infrastructure, such as sewer and water, to attract development where it might not otherwise occur, make improvements, or provide financial incentives to developers.

Whatever increase in tax revenue that results from development in those districts goes to paying back the debt the municipality incurred to make improvements or provide incentives rather than going to the tax base.

Whealon highlighted his experience with budgeting as a longtime business owner in the community and his familiarity with the city budget gained during his tenure as chief of police.

“I bring a lot of positives to the table, like leadership,” he said. “I’m not afraid to tackle tough issues.”

What each of the candidates say they’re hearing from voters seems to conform with the message each of them are pitching.

“They’re liking that the city is moving forward,” Cronce said. “They’re thrilled with the parks — the splash pad, Franklin Park. They’re happy with the work of the downtown steering committee. People are excited that things are moving now.”

Cronce said people are also happy with progress of the Redevelopment Authority as it works to address vacant and blighted properties, particularly downtown.

“But they understand it’s a slow-moving, legal process,” she said.

The feedback Oberstein said he’s hearing is a little more negative.

“Spending and taxes is the overall theme,” he said. “They say the city is spending money faster than they can make it.”

He said people he has spoken with are also concerned about the $1.85 million parks expansion.

“Most are concerned about the amount of spending on the parks,” he said. “It could have been spread out over a few years instead of being done all at once.”

Whealon said he is hearing similar financial concerns.

“They’re concerned with the budget, with taxes. We just had the largest tax increase in the city’s history,” he said. “On top of that, the city was contemplating a wheel tax. It’s too much.”

Whealon also said city residents want to see development, in housing, business and the industrial sector.

“We need to look at all areas of development,” he said. “The city is poised to grow. We have a lot to offer.”

The candidates will have a chance to argue all those points, or even rebut them, at Tuesday’s forum.

The 2018 Shawano Mayoral Candidates Forum is being presented by The Shawano Leader, WTCH Radio and the Shawano Country Chamber of Commerce.

The two top vote-getters in the Feb. 20 primary will face off in the city’s general election on April 3.

Cronce and Oberstein faced off in the last Shawano mayoral general election in 2016 when Cronce edged Oberstein 1,434 to 1,290.

Whealon’s campaign for the city’s chief executive post marks his first foray into politics. Whealon retired as the city’s police chief in 2014 following a 34-year career with the police force, the last 12 serving as the city’s top law enforcement officer.

Broken waterline floods building at job center complex

Sat, 02/10/2018 - 1:33am
Police officer saw water coming out of buildingBy: 

Tim Ryan [email protected]

A break in a 10-inch water line caused significant damage to one of the buildings at the Shawano County Job Center business complex Thursday night.

A Shawano police officer saw water coming out of a building at 707 E. Elizabeth St. around 10 p.m. The building is home to City Cab and one other rented office.

The Department of Public Works responded and found a broken pipe under the building.

“The water was coming up through the floor and going out the door,” said Mike Schuler, president of the job center board. “It caused some pretty good damage.”

Walls and insulation damaged by the mud and water that spewed up through the floor have been taken out. Carpeting and tile still need to be removed, Schuler said.

A portable trailer was brought in to house City Cab operations until repairs can be made, possibly within the next week.

Schuler said the rented office was used only intermittently.

“They just won’t be there for a while,” he said.

The water pipe was located about 10 to 13 feet underground, where there was access to shut-off valves through a manhole.

The waterline is privately-owned and not part of the city’s water system.

Schuler said it’s not yet known what caused the pipe to break.

“Hopefully we’ll have that figured out by Monday,” he said. “We may have to dig down to find out.”

There was no financial estimate yet of the damage.

Other buildings in the complex, which house Shawano County Social Services and the job center were not affected.

Public Record

Sat, 02/10/2018 - 1:31am

Shawano Police Department

Feb. 8

Police logged 21 incidents, including the following:

Harassment — Police responded to a harassment complaint in the 600 block of West Eagle Street.

Accident — Police responded to a two-vehicle property damage accident in the 100 block of East Division Street.

Fraud — Police responded to a fraud complaint in the 1300 block of South Andrews Street.

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

Fraud — Auto Prep Center, 220 N. Main St., reported a counterfeit $20 bill.

Drug Offense — Police investigated a drug complaint in the 800 block of East Richmond Street.

Theft — A tablet was reported stolen in the 1300 block of East Lieg Avenue.

Shawano County Sheriff’s Department

Feb. 8

Deputies logged 31 incidents, including the following:

Suspicious — A suspicious vehicle was reported on Lake Drive in the town of Wescott.

Suspicious — A suspicious vehicle was reported on Sugar Bush Road in the town of Aniwa.

Suspicious — A suspicious person was reported on Spaulding Street in Tigerton.

Disturbance — Authorities responded to a domestic disturbance on Bartelt Street in Gresham.

Clintonville Police Department

Feb. 8

Police logged 14 incidents, including the following:

Disturbance — A domestic situation was reported on Ninth Street.

Truancy — Police logged three truancy complaints from the Clintonville School District.

Disorderly — Disorderly conduct was reported on North Main Street.

Disturbance — A domestic disturbance was reported on Grove Street.

Disturbance — A family disturbance was reported on Ninth Street.

Visioning session identifies problem areas for Clintonville

Sat, 02/10/2018 - 1:21am
Results presented to plan commissionBy: 

Grace Kirchner Leader Correspondent

Kathleen Thunes, principal community development planner for East Central Wisconsin Regional Planning Commission, said they got a lot of feedback from a visioning session held Dec. 6 at the Clintonville Community Center. She revealed the results of the visioning session to the Clintonville Plan Commission in January.

The visioning session was held as a part of the city reviewing its comprehensive plan.

Participants identified part of the current culture of the city being schools (good and low achieving), loss of small business, industry, lack of home maintenance/pride, high poverty rates, festivals, schools, downtown and poor infrastructure, according to Thunes.

As the participants looked to the future they wanted more stores, housing, schools, more recreational opportunities, a swimming pool, the city as a destination, among other things, Thunes said.

Participants said the things that they think need improvement in the city were the historical museum, Bucholtz Park, W.A. Olen Park, Pigeon Lake and the downtown area.

When asked about priorities for the city, the participants listed focusing on housing in the city especially in the $150,000 range. Economic development in the downtown area was listed as important.

When participants were asked what “big ideas” they had for the city they listed investment in the downtown, structured community improvement activities, walking and biking facilities, pool/aquatic center, entertainment venue and making Clintonville a destination.

Library purchase runs into parking problem

Fri, 02/09/2018 - 1:47am
City, county differ on deed restriction for library parking lotBy: 

Tim Ryan [email protected]

Shawano County’s purchase of the city library might have struck a pothole Wednesday with the Shawano Finance Committee’s rejection of a proposed change to the purchase agreement covering the library parking lot.

The Shawano County Board last month approved the agreement purchase, which called for the county to pay the city $2 for the library and the parking lot as part of the consolidation of the county library system.

The city included a deed restriction in the agreement that stated the parking lot would continue to be available for all public parking as well as library parking.

Though the purchase agreement was unanimously approved by the County Board, there were questions raised about the fate of the parking lot if the county at some point in the future decided to relocate the library and sell the property.

County Corporation Counsel Tony Kordus sent an email to City Administrator Brian Knapp after the Jan. 24 County Board meeting stating the parking lot would remain available to the public as long as the library remained in operation.

However, he wrote, county board members were unlikely to agree that the parking lot should remain available to the public forever, even if years down the road, the library went away.

“That’s a pretty big restriction and I am doubtful based on today’s discussion at the board that they would approve it,” Kordus wrote.

Kordus offered new language for the purchase agreement that would have kept the parking lot public “as long as Shawano County continues to own and operate the library on the property.”

Knapp responded that the city’s intent was to keep the lot available for public parking indefinitely.

“While I don’t think that anyone is naive enough to expect it to be ‘forever,’ I do think they expect to keep it ‘public parking’ until someone convinces the Planning Commission and Council that it is better used for something else,” Knapp wrote. “That should not be seen as an unreasonably high threshold.”

Knapp also noted that downtown parking is often a problem.

City Attorney Tim Schmid wrote in a subsequent letter to Knapp that the county’s new language was a “substantial change” to the purchase agreement.

“I don’t recommend that the city agree to give the county the right to remove the public parking at the county’s pleasure,” he wrote.

The Shawano Finance Committee took up the question Wednesday, at first sounding open to the county’s position.

“I can see their point,” Alderwoman Rhonda Strebel said, adding that the deed restriction could hinder any future attempt by the county to sell the building.

“If I was going to buy that building, I would want the parking,” she said. “That would be one of the main reasons I would want that property is that it has the parking with it.”

Alderwoman Sandy Steinke said the issue wasn’t worth any conflict with the county.

“Is it worth a fight? I don’t think so,” she said.

Further discussion, however, centered on possible redevelopment in the area, particularly along East Green Bay Street, which could create a bigger need for public parking.

Knapp said there is nothing preventing the county from requesting the deed restriction be lifted in the future.

“At some point in the future, they sell the library or want to expand the library building on to the parking lot, they would simply come to the city and ask that the deed restriction be lifted because they’ve got a really good reason to do that,” Knapp told the committee. “Presumably you would agree and lift the deed restriction.”

Strebel and Steinke both voted to deny the new language. Alderman Bob Kurkiewicz was not present for the meeting.

The committee vote prevented the issue from being forwarded to the Common Council for consideration.

County Administrative Coordinator Brent Miller had not been notified about the vote when contacted Thursday. He said he would have to review with Kordus what the county’s next step would be.

Kordus could not be reached for comment Thursday.

Minutes from the Jan. 24 County Board meeting indicate there was discussion about the parking lot, but the approval to purchase was not contingent on the deed restriction being lifted.

County Supervisor Deb Noffke, who raised the issue at the County Board meeting, said, however, that there was an understanding among board members that Kordus would clarify the parking lot issue with the city and that “if there was a problem, it would come back to the board.”

Public Record

Fri, 02/09/2018 - 1:45am

Shawano County Sheriff’s Department

Feb. 7

Deputies logged 33 incidents, including the following:

Harassment — Authorities responded to a harassment complaint on County Road MMM in the town of Richmond.

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

Disturbance — Authorities responded to a disturbance on Elm Grove Road in the town of Pella.

Theft — Stockbridge-Munsee police responded to a theft complaint on Bartelt Street in Gresham.

Accidents — Authorities logged four accidents, including two deer-related crashes.

Shawano Police Department

Feb. 7

Police logged 21 incidents, including the following:

Disturbance — Police responded to a disturbance in the 200 block of Mountain Bay Trail Drive.

Fire — Police assisted at the scene of a dust collector fire at Aarrowcast, 2900 E. Richmond St.

Disturbance — Police responded to a disturbance in the 600 block of East Center Street.

Disorderly — A 33-year-old Green Bay man was arrested on a warrant after police responded to a disorderly conduct complaint at Quality Inn and Suites, 104 N. Airport Drive.

NY man to plead guilty to sex offense

Thu, 02/08/2018 - 4:36am
Huskisson already lifetime sex offenderBy: 

Kevin Murphy Leader Correspondent

A New York man has agreed to plead guilty in federal court in connection with traveling to Shawano to have sex with a 15-year-old girl.

James A. Huskisson, 45, of Ozone Park, N.Y., and the U.S. Attorney’s office have agreed that the 30-year maximum penalty is the appropriate prison sentence for the sex offense Huskisson is pleading guilty to, according to a plea agreement filed Wednesday with the court.

According to the agreement and other court documents:

Huskisson, aka James Lee, Lucky and Jason Desantes, is a lifetime registered sex offender in New York after being convicted in 1999 of first degree forcible rape.

In September, Huskisson made contact through Facebook with a 15-year-old Wolf River Lutheran High School student. Huskisson lied, saying he was 31, which the girl said was “too old” to correspond with. The girl made it clear she was 15 years old.

Huskisson continued to contact her through internet messaging applications, asking for nude photos of her. He sent her nude photos of himself.

On Sept. 24, Huskisson drove 17 hours from New York to Shawano and messaged her several times that he would “take her virginity.”

She sent Huskisson her address and what times her mother would be out of the house.

Huskisson left her a cellphone in a backpack at the school for her to find.

A school official, thinking a car with New York license plates parked at the school was susicipious, called Shawano police on Sept. 25.

Two hours later, Huskisson was pulled over by police for allegedly shoplifting at a local Wal-Mart but failed to connect him to the susicipious vehicle report.

WRLHS Principal Caroline Bedroske called the sheriff’s department on Sept. 26 to report a student had an inappropriate relationship with a man. The girl had told school staff that the man’s name was James Lee, that he had been at her house, had bought her clothing and a cell phone.

A sheriff’s deputy spoke with the girl’s mother who doubted that her daughter’s story about a relationship was true. The deputy advised the woman to talk to her daughter and report back any information.

On Oct. 13, Bedroske told the sheriff’s department that the girl was in a relationship with the man from the suspicious vehicle complaint. The girl had been calling him from school. The school seized the girl’s phone.

Bedroske told police that the girl had told Huskisson that he was being sought by law enforcement.

A sheriff’s deputy met with the girl, her mother and school staff. The girl was reluctant to talk about Huskisson but said she had contacted him by phone.

On Nov. 3, Officer Todd Chaney spoke with the girl, who confirmed that Huskisson had sent her a sexually explicit photo of himself.

Shawano County Sheriff’s Department Detective Christopher Gamm got the girl’s permission to log into her Facebook messenger account. He saw that the girl and Huskisson began chatting on Sept. 16, and she had told him that she was 15 years old. Their conversation turned sexual and sexually explicit photos were exchanged that same day.

A video and several photos confirmed that between Sept. 24-27, the defendant and the girl had sex in her bedroom. DNA evidence taken from bed sheets also confirmed the activity.

Huskisson returned to New York and was subsequently arrested near his home and transported to Wisconsin.

OVERSET FOLLOWS:He was indicted in December on two charges in connection with having sex with a minor and recording it, and one count of committing a felony sex offense with a minor while being a registered sex offender.

Huskisson signed an agreement Monday entering a guilty plea to one count of having sex with a minor. In exchange for his guilty plea, the government will dismiss the two other charges against him.

District Judge William Griesbach set the plea hearing for Feb. 20. Huskisson’s trial had originally been set for that date.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Daniel Humble was not available Wednesday for immediate comment on the case.

Public Record

Thu, 02/08/2018 - 4:30am

Shawano Police Department

Feb. 6

Police logged 31 incidents, including the following:

Disturbance — Police responded to a domestic disturbance in the 1500 block of Estates Lane.

Fraud — Police investigated an identity theft complaint in the 100 block of River Pine Drive.

Truancy — Police logged two truancy complaints from Shawano Community Middle School, 1050 S. Union St.

Fraud — The Store gas station, 404 E. Green Bay St., reported receiving a counterfeit bill.

Shawano County Sheriff’s Department

Feb. 6

Deputies logged 33 incidents, including the following:

Warrant — A 30-year-old Shawano man was taken into custody at the Shawano County Courthouse, 311 N. Main St. in Shawano.

Arrest — A 40-year-old Clintonville man was taken into custody on a probation and parole hold on County Road M in Tigerton.

OAS — A 65-year-old Bonduel man was cited for operating after suspension at Main and Zingler streets in Shawano.

Clintonville Police Department

Feb. 6

Police logged 11 incidents, including the following:

Disturbance — A domestic incident was reported on South Main Street.

Juvenile — Police assisted with an uncontrollable juvenile on Ninth Street.

GENEX welcomes new employees, promotes another

Thu, 02/08/2018 - 4:29am

Two new employees were recently welcomed at GENEX, the cattle genetics cooperative headquartered in Shawano.

Morgan Swiecichowski, of Pulaski, accepted the position of U.S. dairy marketing program specialist. She provides leadership in coordination of GENEX events and conferences, as well as marketing efforts involved with professional dairy photography and tour coordination for visitors. Swiecichowski earned a bachelor’s degree from Western Illinois University.

Meredith Bowers, of Marion, joins GENEX as the dairy education instructor. Bowers develops and conducts artificial insemination and sales training courses. She also provides continued education for the GENEX dairy sales and service staff. Bowers holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

In addition to these new hires, Wayne Connahvichnah, of Shawano, was promoted to sire handler. In this position, Connahvichnah cares for the cooperative’s animals.

For more information about GENEX, visit http://genex.crinet.com.

New exhibit features communication objects

Wed, 02/07/2018 - 5:06am
By: 

Grace Kirchner Leader Correspondent

A new theme is coming to Clintonville’s Museum on Main, and the Clintonville Area Historical Society is hoping it gets people talking.

“Communications” will be the theme of the exhibit opening Feb. 4 at the museum, located at 102 S. Main St., Clintonville, from 1-4 p.m. It will be on display for several months.

One section of the exhibit will be devoted to the past and present of Frontier Communications, formerly known as Urban Telephone Company. Frontier will have various items on display from the firm’s own collection, housed in their location at 26 W. 12th St. in Clintonville. Items will include an old switchboard of “cord board” that was once used at FWD in Clintonville, along with early examples of residential phones and business phone systems.

In addition, artifacts such as vintage radios, first editions of newspapers, signs, local historical items and documents will also be available for viewing.

Past exhibit themes at the Museum on Main — which included medical, auto, winter activities and fall harvest activities — were timed to coincide with the Spring Cruise car show, Winter Whirl and Fall Frenzy. The next theme at the museum, which will focus on the dairy industry, is scheduled for display this summer.

Public Record

Wed, 02/07/2018 - 5:02am

Shawano Police Department

Feb. 5

Police logged 27 incidents, including the following:

Fraud — Police investigated two counterfeiting complaints, including a bogus $20 bill passed at Burger King, 1242 E. Green Bay St., and another reportedly received by Associated Bank from McDonald’s, 1202 E. Green Bay St. Police logged two other related counterfeiting complaints the previous day and say they have a person of interest in the investigation.

Harassment — Police responded to a harassment complaint at Shawano Community High School, 220 County Road B.

Harassment — Police responded to a harassment complaint in the 900 block of South Evergreen Street.

Disturbance — Police responded to a disturbance at ThedaCare, 100 County Road B.

Accident — Police responded to a two-vehicle injury accident at Richmond and Lincoln streets.

Disturbance — Police responded to a disturbance at the Shawano Recreation Center, 220 E. Division St.

Disturbance — Police responded to a domestic disturbance in the 100 block of Aspen Court.

Theft — A Social Security card was reported stolen in the 900 block of South Sawyer Street.

Feb. 4

Police logged 19 incidents, including the following:

Hit and Run — Police investigated a property damage hit-and-run at Airport Drive and County Road B.

Disturbance — A 41-year-old Shawano man was arrested for domestic violence-related disorderly conduct, battery, strangulation and possession of drug paraphernalia after police responded to a domestic disturbance in the 1100 block of Waukechon Street.

Disturbance — Police responded to a disturbance in the 500 block of South Washington Street.

Disorderly — Police responded to a disorderly conduct complaint at the Wisconsin House, 216 E. Green Bay St.

Fraud — Police were investigating two counterfeiting complaints involving bogus $20 bills passed at Kwik Trip, 1241 E. Green Bay St.

Feb. 3

Police logged 19 incidents, including the following:

Disorderly — Police responded to a disorderly conduct complaint in the 400 block of South Main Street.

Auto Theft — A vehicle was reported stolen in the 400 block of South Weed Street.

Disturbance — A 20-year-old Shawano man was arrested for disorderly conduct, domestic violence and false imprisonment after police responded to a domestic disturbance in the 700 block of South River Street.

Disturbance — Police responded to a disturbance at Washington Street and Lieg Avenue.

Disorderly — Police responded to a disorderly conduct complaint in the 900 block of South Washington Street.

Disturbance — Police responded to a disturbance in the 400 block of Humphrey Circle.

Feb. 2

Police logged 21 incidents, including the following:

Hit and Run — Police investigated a property damage hit-and-run in the 1200 block of East Green Bay Street.

Disturbance — Police responded to a disturbance in the 1300 block of East Lieg Avenue.

Drug Offense — Police investigated a drug complaint in the 1300 block of East Lieg Avenue.

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

Shawano County Sheriff’s Department

Feb. 5

Deputies logged 41 incidents, including the following:

Burglary — A burglary was reported on Cloverleaf Lake Road in the town of Belle Plaine.

Disturbance — Authorities responded to a disturbance on Parrot Lane in the town of Wittenberg.

Trespass — Authorities responded to a trespassing complaint on County Road F in the town of Angelica.

Hit and Run — Authorities investigated a property damage hit-and-run on U.S. Highway 45 in the town of Wittenberg.

Suspicious — Authorities responded to a suspicious person complaint on Box Elder Road in the town of Richmond.

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

Accidents — Authorities logged seven accidents, including one deer-related crash and a vehicle versus turkey in the town of Fairbanks.

Feb. 4

Deputies logged 33 incidents, including the following:

Disturbance — Authorities responded to a disturbance on Poplar Road in the town of Richmond.

Fraud — Authorities investigated a scam complaint on Smalley Street in the town of Wescott.

Accidents — Authorities logged 10 accidents, including two deer-related crashes.

Feb. 3

Deputies logged 41 incidents, including the following:

Juvenile — Authorities investigated a juvenile alcohol complaint on Boat Landing Road in the town of Washington.

Disorderly — Authorities responded to an intoxicated person complaint on Cherry Street in Wittenberg.

Accidents — Authorities logged 19 accidents, including one deer-related crash.

Feb. 2

Deputies logged 33 incidents, including the following:

Disorderly — Authorities responded to a disorderly conduct complaint at the Ho-Chunk Gaming Wittenberg, N7198 U.S. Highway 45 in the town of Wittenberg.

Fire — Authorities responded to a chimney fire on Sunrise Road in the town of Waukechon.

Theft — A branding iron was reported stolen on Valley Road in the town of Waukechon.

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

Clintonville Police Department

Feb. 5

Police logged seven incidents, including the following:

Warrant — A 38-year-old woman was taken into custody on a Department of Corrections warrant.

Disorderly — Disorderly conduct was reported on Sixth Street.

Feb. 4

Police logged seven incidents, including the following:

Disorderly — Disorderly conduct was reported on North Main Street.

Theft — A theft was reported on East 12th Street.

Feb. 3

Police logged eight incidents, including the following:

Accident — Officers assisted Waupaca County Sheriff’s Department with a one-vehicle rollover on U.S. Highway 45 and Lakeshore Road.

Accident — A one-vehicle property damage accident was reported on SSGT Warren Hansen Drive and 16th Street.

Accident — A one-vehicle property damage accident was reported on West Madison Street.

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