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Updated: 22 min 44 sec ago

Residents urged to sign up for CodeRED alerts

Fri, 03/24/2017 - 7:26am

Shawano County has contracted with Emergency Communications Network LLC for its CodeRED high-speed notification solution.

The CodeRED system provides Shawano County officials an additional resource to quickly deliver emergency notifications by phone, email or text to targeted areas or the entire county.

“Whether it’s an emergency alert, a time-sensitive notification, or a targeted message to a group of people, sometimes you need to quickly share information,” said Natalie Easterday, Shawano County’s emergency management director. “CodeRED gives Shawano County the ability to communicate with residents.”

Information will be disseminated through telephone calls, text messages, emails and the CodeRED mobile alert app.

In order to receive messages, individuals and businesses will need to register.

Shawano County has been provided with an initial database of residential and business telephone numbers, however all individuals living, working or vacationing within Shawano County limits are encouraged to visit www.co.shawano.wi.us and click on the CodeRED logo to enroll additional contact information, including cellphone numbers, text and email addresses.

“No one should automatically assume his or her information is included,” Easterday said.

Individuals without internet access may call Shawano County Emergency Management at 715-526-6774 from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday to supply their information over the phone.

For information, call 715-526-6774.

Public Record

Fri, 03/24/2017 - 7:25am

Shawano Police Department

March 22

Police logged 16 incidents, including the following:

Arrest — A 44-year-old woman was taken into custody at the probation and parole offices, 1340 E. Green Bay St.

Warrant — A man was taken into custody on a warrant at the probation and parole offices, 1340 E. Green Bay St.

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

Fraud — Police investigated a fraud complaint at O’Reilly Automotive, 1301 E. Green Bay St.

Shawano County Sheriff’s Department

March 22

Deputies logged 26 incidents, including the following:

Disturbance — Authorities responded to a disturbance on Oak Avenue in the town of Richmond.

Burglary — A burglary was reported on Balsam Road in the town of Herman.

Drug Offense — Authorities investigated a drug complaint on state Highway 47 in the town of Lessor.

Theft — Authorities responded to a property theft complaint on Pioneer Road in the town of Belle Plaine.

Clintonville Police Department

March 22

Police logged 15 incidents, including the following:

Disturbance — Police responded for an unwanted subject on Brix Street.

Fraud — A fraud complaint was investigated on North Main Street.

OWL — A citation was issued for operating without a license at 12th and Anne streets.

Police officer, 3 others killed in Wausau area

Thu, 03/23/2017 - 7:37am
Incident began as domestic dispute at bankBy: 

The Associated Press


The Associated Press Numerous law enforcement vehicles and SWAT teams respond to shooter Wednesday at an apartment complex in Weston. Shootings happened at a bank and a law firm before police converged on the apartment complex. Four people were killed, including a police officer. A suspect is in custody.

A police officer and three other people were shot and killed when a domestic dispute at a bank escalated into shootings at three locations near Wausau on Wednesday, investigators said. A suspect was in custody.

The shootings happened at a bank, a law firm and an apartment complex, where officers, including a SWAT team, had a standoff with the suspect for several hours before ending in a volley of gunfire around 5 p.m.

Authorities took no questions in a brief news conference late Wednesday and gave no details on the four victims or suspect. They said there was no remaining threat to the public. Jason Smith, a deputy administrator for the state Department of Justice’s Division of Criminal Investigation, said more than 100 officers were investigating and more information would be released Thursday.

The violence unfolded in a cluster of small towns south of Wausau. The officer worked for Everest Metro, a small, 27-officer force that serves Schofield and Weston.

“I would like to send all my thoughts and ask everybody listening, ‘Thoughts and prayers to all the victims and their families.’ Everest Metro Chief Wally Sparks said. “Please keep them in your prayers and be with our officers.”

The first shooting was reported shortly after midday at Marathon Savings Bank in Rothschild. Officers responding a reported “domestic situation” at the bank arrived to find two people had been shot. They said the suspect was gone when they arrived.

A second call came about 10 minutes later from the Tlusty, Kennedy and Dirks law firm in nearby Schofield. The third shooting happened at 1:30 p.m. from an apartment complex in Weston.

A woman who lives in the complex said she looked out her apartment window at the complex about 1:15 p.m. to see a squad car approach, and a few seconds later heard a gunshot and saw the officer fall. Kelly Hanson, 21, told The Associated Press she saw other officers put the wounded policeman in an armored SWAT vehicle and take him away, but she could not tell if he was alive or dead.

“I thought, ‘What is going on?’ I know what a gun sounds like, and thought, ‘This isn’t good,’” Hanson said.

She said she stayed in her apartment until about 4:45 p.m. when she heard a volley of about 10 shots and began to “freak out.” Authorities eventually let her leave her apartment.

“It’s tragic that had to happen, but I think they did a good job out here today,” Hanson said.

SWAT members entered the apartment building about 2:30 p.m., the Wausau Daily Herald reported. Nearby schools and a hospital went on lockdown. The lockdowns were later lifted.

Susan Thompson, a resident of the building, told the newspaper she heard gunshots and heard someone scream. As she left her apartment, police called to her to get inside and lock her doors. Thompson, 21, said she had her 2-year-old daughter in the apartment. Officers later came to her door and helped her and her daughter outside, she said.

Omar Sey, 31, who said he had just moved to the apartment complex, learned of the shooting after he arrived home to find dozens of squad cars outside. Sey, who said he had moved to Wisconsin from Gambia, said he didn’t understand why such things happen in America.

“This is crazy,” he said. “You have everything at your disposal. Why don’t you make your life better instead of engaging in this?”

Robert D. Nueske Wittenberg Community Service Award

Thu, 03/23/2017 - 7:30am
Laura Magee honored for work with Grapple on the GridironBy: 

Miriam Nelson, mnelson@wolfrivermedia.com


Photo by Curt Knoke Laura Magee is recipient of the 2017 Wittenberg Community Service Award, one of five awards honoring volunteerism presented annually by the Shawano Area Community Foundation as part of its Celebration of Giving.

Editor’s note: This is the second article in a series of five profiling winners of the Celebration of Giving awards presented annually by Shawano Area Community Foundation Inc. for outstanding volunteerism. The winners will be honored at a gala April 11 at the Gathering.

Community organizer Laura Magee, of Wittenberg, is the recipient of the 2017 Wittenberg Community Service Award, one of five awards honoring volunteerism presented annually by the Shawano Area Community Foundation as part of its Celebration of Giving.

The Wittenberg award is sponsored by Nueske’s Applewood Smoked Meats. It recognizes a group or individual in the Wittenberg area that exhibits dedication and enthusiasm through diversified volunteer work. The work performed has positive impact by improving the quality of life and meeting the needs of the community.

Magee uses her organizational skills to benefit the local community, usually focusing on local schools and the EMT unit of the Wittenberg Ambulance Department.

She is perhaps best known as the organizer of Grapple on the Gridiron — a night of wrestling under the lights of the Wittenberg-Birnamwood High School football field.

“I thought it would be just our local kids and that it would be fun,” Magee said. “Once it hit Facebook, area teams and coaches started signing up.”

Her team raises funds, provides marketing support and works the event. Approximately 100 volunteers, 2,500 attendees and 410 wrestlers participated in 2016. Wrestlers came from all over the Midwest. The youngest competitor was 4 years old; the oldest was 56.

The event has bolstered the local economy, filling hotels and campgrounds in the surrounding areas. A group from Elkhorn plans their vacation around the event.

Magee was nominated for the award by local residents Tammy Potrykus, David Yaeger and Kelly Kapitz.

Grapple on the Gridiron “is truly a great event with great results,” Yaeger noted in the nomination. “Laura and her team deserve this recognition.”

Magee jokes it’s probably OCD and not her organizational skills that helps her manage such a large event. She was the office manager at a local dental office for many years. Also, her son Jayden had medical issues and she needed to keep on top of all the insurance issues. All this helped her to develop the “transferable skills” needed to handle the Grapple on the Gridiron.
A few years ago, Magee’s other son, Griffen, had seen a posting for a similar event in southern Illinois and wanted her to take him and some wrestling buddies. Magee said that was too far to go and decided to put on the same kind of event locally.

The first Grapple on the Gridiron, in 2015, raised over $15,000. Last year’s event brought in $17,500. Magee’s goal for this year’s event, on July 29, is $20,000.

The money raised supports the youth wrestling program, equipment for the weight room, new uniforms, gear bags and other expenses not covered in the school budget. This year’s event also will fund two scholarships.

The profits also have helped fund new scoreboards, an automated external defibrillator and senior recognition banners. Plans are in the works with Wittenberg-Birnamwood School District Superintendent Garrett Rogowski to do an Athlete Wall of Fame and Wall of Valor at the high school. Funds have also supported the Darwin E Smith Community Fitness Center.

In addition, the event has collected over 150 pounds of food for the local food pantry.

“I love Grapple because it brings great attention to a lesser known sport,” Magee said. “In reference to our school and to our communities, I saw people in attendance that have no wrestling ties or knowledge of the sport. … They came for the fun and to support this family event.”

Magee’s hand-picked committee includes wrestling enthusiasts Andy and Stacy Delforge, Tony and Melissa Gauderman, Phil and Chanda Kersten, Dennis Magee, Troy Ostrowski, Duane Potrykus, Dan and Julie Stewart, Michelle Zoromski and Shannon Seegmiller.

AT A GLANCE

WHAT: Shawano Area Community Foundation’s Celebration of Giving

WHEN: 5:30 p.m. April 11

WHERE: The Gathering, 2600 E. Richmond St.

FYI: Tickets are $25 per person. They can be purchased by completing the registration form at shawanofoundation.org or by calling 715-280-1110 or cog@shawanofoundation.org. The registration deadline is March 30.

County signs deal with historical society

Thu, 03/23/2017 - 7:27am
Ownership issues raised by schoolhouse fireBy: 

Scott Williams, swilliams@wolfrivermedia.com


Leader File Photo Desks and other furnishings were left badly damaged Oct. 10 when fire broke out inside an old schoolhouse at the Shawano County Historical Society compound at county-owned Heritage Park in Shawano.

From the ashes of a destructive fire, a new cooperative agreement has emerged between the Shawano County Historical Society and Shawano County government officials.

The Shawano County Board on Wednesday approved a deal with the historical society resolving issues related to ownership and maintenance of the group’s public education complex in county-owned Heritage Park.

Under the agreement, the county assumes ownership of most buildings, provides casualty insurance and pays for utilities, while the historical society owns contents of the buildings, agrees to maintain the facilities and purchases its own liability insurance.

Both sides applauded the agreement as a breakthrough following years of ambiguity about the relationship that existed between the county as landlord of Heritage Park and the historical society as a high-profile tenant.

County Board members unanimously approved the deal, which takes effect immediately.

“I think this is long overdue,” Supervisor Gene Hoppe said. “And I’m glad to see it done.”

The agreement was hammered out during months of negotiations following a fire that caused significant damage to an old schoolhouse in the historical society complex. Left untouched by the fire were a log cabin, train depot, church and other structures preserved to educate the public about Shawano’s pioneer days.

Although the new deal does not discuss the schoolhouse fire explicitly, both sides agreed separately that the county would file a claim with its casualty insurance provider — and pay a $25,000 deductible — to cover the cost of restoring the damaged schoolhouse.

Repairs are expected to cost about $70,000, with any leftover money earmarked for future improvements to the schoolhouse.

Mike Eidahl, president of the historical society, said the time needed to negotiate the ownership and insurance issues means the schoolhouse might not be restored before his group kicks off its visitor season in May. The park is a favorite spot for school groups on field trips.

Nevertheless, Eidahl said, leaders of the historical society are pleased that a deal has been worked out with the county and that county officials were willing to compromise on key issues.

“We were completely satisfied with it,” Eidahl said.

The issues related to Heritage Park, located at 524 N. Franklin St. in Shawano, came to the surface following a fire that a historical society worker discovered inside the schoolhouse on the afternoon of Oct. 10. Officials believe a dehumidifier ignited the blaze.

The building did not sustain any structural damage, but contents re-creating the image of a 19th-century schoolhouse were badly damaged or destroyed.

Repairs to the property stalled for several months as historical society and county government officials confronted questions about who bears responsibility for the structures inside the county park.

The county initially proposed that the society accept ownership of the entire complex of eight buildings — except the real estate itself — and also provide its own casualty insurance against fire or other loss. Leaders of the society objected that their nonprofit group could not afford such an arrangement.

Under the final deal, the only structures not owned by the county are the church and train depot, both of which the historical society already insures.

Some county supervisors on Wednesday questioned elements of the negotiated agreement, including the county’s concession to provide $5,000 a year for utility costs. Officials acknowledged that the county does not extend that sort of assistance to other private groups using county-owned facilities.

Others, however, called the four-page memorandum of understanding an important breakthrough in relations between the two groups.

County Board Chairman Jerry Erdmann, who signed the deal on behalf of the county even before Wednesday’s vote, called the negotiated agreement a “slam dunk.” He congratulated county representatives who worked on it.

“I think you did a good job,” Erdmann said. “It may not be perfect, but you go from there.”

Clintonville sidewalk repair bids come in higher than expected

Thu, 03/23/2017 - 7:26am
Ninth St. section has been closed since AprilBy: 

Grace Kirchner, Leader Correspondent

Plans to repair and reopen a section of sidewalk in downtown Clintonville that has been closed since April have been derailed.

Bids for the Ninth Street repairs came in much higher than expected this week. The city estimated it would cost $65,000 for the sidewalk repairs, but the lowest bid was $118,000.

City officials plan to will rebid the project, and Kray Brown, public works director, said he will see if there could be some changes made to reduce costs.

The problem was discovered last year when the fire department did a routine inspection of the commercial building on the corner of Ninth Street and South Main Street.

City Administrator Chuck Kell said the basement of the building extends beyond the sidewalk to the curb line. The whole sidewalk is exposed in the basement, and there is water damage that is causing the concrete to fall apart.

“It is a dangerous situation. If someone happened to put a car tire up on that sidewalk I think they’d end up in the basement of the building,” Kell said at the time.

Businesses occupying the building include Modern Hair II, Hearing Services and B & H Fashionwear. The owners are Sandy Bruette and Sue Aschliman.

The cost of the project will be split between the city and the property owners, who would have 10 years to pay their share.

The city will handle financing, design, bidding and contracting for the work. The work includes utility adjustments, a new basement wall for the building, new sidewalk and more.

Alderman Jim Supanich made the motion to reject all the bids and rebid.

”The businesses want action,” he said. “They want to see something happen.”

Public Record

Thu, 03/23/2017 - 7:24am

Shawano Police Department

March 21

Police logged 25 incidents, including the following:

Fraud — Police responded to a scam complaint at Walmart, 1244 E. Green Bay St.

Disorderly — Police responded to an intoxicated person complaint at Hardee’s, 1120 E. Green Bay St.

Harassment — Police responded to a harassment complaint in the 200 block of East Fifth Street.

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

Shoplifting — Walmart, 1244 E. Green Bay St., reported a shoplifter in custody.

Harassment — Police responded to a harassment complaint in the 400 block of Humphrey Circle.

Shawano County Sheriff’s Department

March 21

Deputies logged 32 incidents, including the following:

Burglary — A burglary was reported on Red River Road in the town of Herman.

Warrant — A 35-year-old Bowler man was taken into custody on a warrant at Main and Mills streets in Shawano.

OAR — A 28-year-old woman was cited for operating after revocation on Old Lake Road in Shawano.

OWL — A 21-year-old woman was cited for operating without a license on Lake Drive in the town of Wescott.

Disturbance — Authorities responded to a disturbance on Maple Street in Birnamwood.

Fraud — Authorities responded to a fraud complaint on Pine Mead Avenue in the town of Wescott.

Disturbance — Authorities responded to a disturbance on Morgan Road in the town of Red Springs.

OAR — A 24-year-old woman was cited for operating after revocation on state Highway 47 in the town of Hartland.

Clintonville Police Department

March 21

Police logged five incidents, including the following:

Vandalism — A vehicle was reported damaged on Wilson Street.

Shawano Community Service Award

Wed, 03/22/2017 - 7:41am
Pubanz a natural teacher — and builderBy: 

Scott Williams, swilliams@wolfrivermedia.com


Photo by Curt Knoke Since retiring as a teacher, Len Pubanz has used his carpentry skills for many civic improvements in the Shawano area, including many little free libraries around town.

Editor’s note: This is the first article in a series of five profiling winners of the Celebration of Giving awards presented annually by Shawano Area Community Foundation Inc. for outstanding volunteerism. The winners will be honored at a gala April 11 at the Gathering.

From their Shawano County home overlooking the eastern shore of the Wolf River, Len and Judy Pubanz have built a deeply personal connection with the river.

So when they learned of plans for a mining operation that they feared would threaten the river, the Pubanzes joined opposition efforts that ultimately succeeded in blocking the mine.

It is among Len Pubanz’s proudest achievements as the environmental activist prepares to accept the Shawano Area Community Foundation’s annual Shawano Community Service Award at the foundation’s Celebration of Giving gala.

Although Pubanz over the years has embraced other causes and channeled his energy into other civic activities, the 78-year-old retired school teacher cites helping to stop the Crandon Mine development as his biggest contribution.

“That was probably the most significant volunteering I ever did,” he said.

In nominating Pubanz for the community service award, some of his fellow civic leaders highlighted Pubanz’s work at promoting education, the arts, business, and other worthwhile causes.

Jim Leuenberger, known for creating barn quilt displays on farms throughout the region, said Pubanz helped to design and assemble the billboard-style display that faces state Highway 22 in Shawano and welcomes visitors to the barn quilt capital of Wisconsin.

“Len is one of the most selfless people I have ever known,” Leuenberger wrote in his nomination. “He is indeed an asset to the Shawano community.”

Pubanz will join four other honorees April 11 at the Celebration of Giving gala, which recognizes individuals or groups that have exhibited a spirit of volunteerism in the Shawano area. Each honoree receives a $1,000 donation to be directed to a nonprofit organization of their choosing.

Pubanz will be donating his $1,000 award to the Shawano Farmers Market.

Born near Stevens Point, Pubanz settled in Shawano with his wife in the early 1960s and took a job as a biology teacher at Shawano High School. After leaving the school district in 1979, he opened a woodworking studio where he cultivated a business as a cabinet maker.

The Pubanzes built their riverfront home and raised two sons along Balsam Row Road in the town of Wescott. As the couple learned of the Crandon Mine project under consideration by private industry north of Shawano, Len joined other protesters and fought for years to keep the mine from opening.

The opposition efforts reached a pinnacle in 1998 when then-Gov. Tommy Thompson came to Shawano to sign into law a mining moratorium that effectively killed the project.

Pubanz said he still feels a sense of pride and achievement about working to protect the Wolf River for future generations.

“It’s an irreplaceable asset,” he said. “I don’t worry about the river anymore.”

Along with his artist wife, Pubanz was an early supporter of the Miles of Art festival, as well as the Shawano Farmers Market, Peace United Church of Shawano and Little Free Library. He used his cabinet-making skills to build the first Little Free Library, and later donated several more.

“Len is certainly one of the most generous and giving members of our community,” library booster Gail Sarnwick said.

At the farmers market, Pubanz serves on the organization’s board of directors and also is among the first to show up every Saturday morning to help get things organized. Market director Nathan Falk said Pubanz’s volunteer service has been immeasurable in making the event a success over the past 10 years.

“He’s such a valuable part of what we do,” Falk said. “He’s always willing to lend a hand.”

Three years ago, Pubanz returned to his first love — the classroom — and utilized his carpentry skills to benefit students at Olga Brener Intermediate School in Shawano. He crafted and donated wooden tabletop puzzles to help students understand basic elements of geometry and science.

Joining in nominating Pubanz for the community foundation award, Olga Brener teacher Joanne Edwards wrote that Pubanz exhibited “natural talent as a teacher” in presenting students with the new learning tools.

“This tremendous gift will allow this lesson to continue on for years and years for our students,” Edwards said.

Pubanz said he will accept the community service award on behalf of all the other volunteers with whom he has worked to make improvements in the Shawano area. He also hopes the award serves as an inspiration to draw future generations into community service and volunteerism.

People need to realize, he said, that volunteering to help a worthwhile cause is its own reward.

“You get so much out of it,” he said. “It’s good for my spirit when I work with other people.”

AT A GLANCE

WHAT: Shawano Area Community Foundation’s Celebration of Giving

WHEN: 5:30 p.m. April 11

WHERE: The Gathering, 2600 E. Richmond St.

FYI: Tickets are $25 per person. They can be purchased by completing the registration form at shawanofoundation.org or by calling 715-280-1110 or cog@shawanofoundation.org. The registration deadline is March 30.

Bonduel parents fear school cuts

Wed, 03/22/2017 - 7:39am
Referendum before voters April 4By: 

Scott Williams, swilliams@wolfrivermedia.com


Leader Photo by Scott Williams Bonduel School District Administrator Patrick Rau, standing right, addresses taxpayers, parents and others Tuesday at Bonduel Elementary School on the district’s April 4 referendum.

Bonduel School District leaders stepped up their efforts Tuesday to build support for an April 4 referendum aimed at restoring financial stability to the school district.

District Administrator Patrick Rau and others hosted a public meeting at Bonduel Elementary School for taxpayers and residents to learn more about the $3 million ballot initiative.

Many in attendance voiced support for the referendum seeking approval for the school district to raise additional revenue for the purpose of avoiding staff reductions and other painful cuts.

“You’ve got to have good schools,” taxpayer and parent Jeff Dendler said. “I hope people realize what is happening. We can’t cut any more.”

The measure going before voters throughout the district April 4 would, if approved, authorize the school district to raise an additional $1 million annually for three years through property taxes to fund staffing in the district, protect programs and preserve facilities.

Rau told the crowd at Tuesday’s gathering that the referendum is not designed for expansion of anything, but rather to avoid loss of staff and services in the face of flat property values and declining enrollment.

”We are asking to maintain what we are doing,” he said.

The district has 827 students and operates a high school, middle school and elementary school on a yearly budget of $12.4 million, which includes $4.3 million in property taxes.

Under Wisconsin’s public school funding limits, school districts must seek voter approval to exceed tax caps imposed by the state.

If the referendum passes, property tax collections for Bonduel schools could increase to $5.3 million annually for the next three years. For the owner of a typical $100,000 property, school taxes would increase by about $180 a year.

Roger Pludeman, a resident at Tuesday’s meeting, said his children already have finished school and he now lives on Social Security benefits. Pludeman voiced uncertainty about the referendum, while acknowledging that the school district performs an important public service.

”It’s going to be rough,” he said. “Kids need an education.”

If the April 4 measure is defeated, school administrators have projected that a budget deficit of $400,000 next year would force deep spending cuts. Without new revenue, the deficit could surpass $1 million within three years.

The district has 97 full-time employees and 16 part-time employees.

Kris Wondra, a school counselor who also has four children in the district, said she hopes parents and others in the district turn out April 4 to show support for making a needed investment in the school system.

“My kids are getting a great education here,” Wondra said. “I don’t want things cut for my kids.”

Although administrators have not detailed what cuts would occur if the ballot initiative fails, Rau said the budget deficits that are forecast could mean such adjustments as fewer course offerings at the high school and larger class sizes at the elementary school level.

It was the second such public informational meeting since the school board decided to place the referendum on the ballot.

Before the board’s decision, the district conducted a community survey and asked residents to rate their support for options that included the grim prospect of dissolving the school district rather than raising taxes. The survey found support for referendums of various sizes, with little support for dissolving the district.

Rau said in an interview Tuesday that he is cautiously optimistic voters in the district have gotten the message about the importance of improving the district’s financial situation.

The administrator and others boosters have met with local groups to promote the referendum, and a mass mailing is in the works before April 4. Rau said he has encountered many questions about the ballot measure, but no sign of widespread opposition.

“I feel good,” he said. “For the most part, it’s been productive and positive.”

FYI

Anyone with questions about the April 4 referendum can find information at www.bonduel.k12.wi.us or by calling the district at 715-758-4860.

Photo firm hired by school district

Wed, 03/22/2017 - 7:37am
Some question out-of-town choiceBy: 

Scott Williams, swilliams@wolfrivermedia.com

The Shawano School District has signed a three-year deal with a photography firm to handle all class portraits and other photos in the district.

Officials hope the all-inclusive contract with Countryside Photographers of Seymour will bring parents and students more consistency in service and costs.

Louise Fischer, the district’s business manager, said recent practice has been for individual schools to bring in their own photographers, and for athletic teams to sometimes hire their own, too.

As a result, some parents and students were confused by the inconsistent options and prices being offered by different firms operating throughout the district.

The school board on Monday voted 6-2 to sign a three-year deal with Countryside Photographers, starting July 1.

Board members Marcia Yeager and Rich Belongia voted against the deal, both saying they would have preferred the district to hire a local photography firm rather than one in Brown County.

“That’s a lot of money to be taken out of our community,” Belongia said.

Fischer told board members that the district solicited proposals from about a dozen firms, but that there was no response from any locally.

She also noted that the contract involves no cost to the school district, because photographers deal strictly with parents.

The other finalist for the contract was Lifetouch Photography in Green Bay.

Public Record

Wed, 03/22/2017 - 7:30am

Shawano Police Department

March 20

Police logged 32 incidents, including the following:

Suspicious — Police responded to a suspicious person complaint in the 800 block of East Richmond Street.

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

Warrant — A 30-year-old man was taken into custody at the probation and parole offices, 1340 E. Green Bay St.

Harassment — Police responded to a harassment complaint in the 400 block of Humphrey Circle.

Shawano County Sheriff’s Department

March 20

Deputies logged 32 incidents, including the following:

Drug Offense — Authorities investigated a drug complaint at the North Star Casino, W12222 County Road A, Bowler.

OWL — A 35-year-old man was cited for operating without a license on state Highway 117 in the town of Washington.

Drug Offense — Authorities investigated a drug complaint on Bluebird Road in the town of Wittenberg.

Threatening — Authorities responded to a threatening complaint on Marcus Street in Birnamwood.

Fraud — A credit card skimmer was reportedly found on a gas pump at Remington Oil, 444 U.S. Highway 45, Birnamwood.

Fire — Authorities responded to a residential fire after smoke was reported in a basement on Church Road in the town of Green Valley.

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

Clintonville Police Department

March 20

Police logged 17 incidents, including the following:

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

Vandalism — Damage to property was reported on Main Street.

OAR — A driver was arrested for operating after revocation and an outstanding warrant on Memorial Circle.

Fraud — A fraud complaint was under investigation on Morning Glory Drive.

Public Record

Tue, 03/21/2017 - 9:37am

Shawano Police Department

March 19

Police logged 23 incidents, including the following:

Disorderly — Police responded to an intoxicated person complaint at Lakeshore Lanes, 210 N. Airport Drive.

Harassment — Police responded to a harassment complaint in the 400 block of Humphrey Circle.

Suspicious — Police responded to a suspicious person complaint at The Store, 404 E. Green Bay St.

Disturbance — Police responded to a disturbance in the 900 block of South Maiden Lane.

Suspicious — Police responded to a suspicious person complaint in the 400 block of South Lincoln Street.

Hit and Run — Police responded to a property damage hit-and-run in the 200 block of North Airport Drive.

March 18

Police logged 27 incidents, including the following:

Accident — Police responded to a two-vehicle property damage accident in the 300 block of Madison Way.

Warrant — A 31-year-old man was arrested on a warrant in the 100 block of South Union Street.

Disorderly — Police responded to an intoxicated person complaint at Division and Main streets.

Warrant — A 28-year-old woman was arrested on a warrant at Main Street and County Road B.

Harassment — Police responded to a harassment complaint in the 800 block of South Park Street.

Disorderly — Police responded to an intoxicated person complaint in the 100 block of South Sawyer Street.

Harassment — Police responded to a harassment complaint in the 700 block of South Union Street.

Disorderly — Police responded to an intoxicated person complaint in the 1000 block of South Bartlett Street.

Disturbance — Police responded to a domestic disturbance at the Four Seasons, 201 N. Airport Drive.

March 17

Police logged 18 incidents, including the following:

Arrest — A 56-year-old man was arrested on a probation and parole warrant in the 1100 block of Waukechon Street.

OAR — A woman was cited for operating after revocation in the 300 block of East Maurer Street.

Fraud — Police responded to a telephone scam complaint in the 200 block of Prospect Circle.

Hit and Run — Police investigated a property damage hit-and-run at Walmart, 1244 E. Green Bay St.

Disturbance — Police responded to a disturbance on Mountain Bay Trail Drive.

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

Shawano County Sheriff’s Department

March 19

Deputies logged 45 incidents, including the following:

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

Shoplifting — Authorities responded to a shoplifting complaint at Kwik Trip, 102 Express Way, Bonduel.

Disturbance — Authorities responded to a disturbance on County Road Y in the town of Belle Plaine.

Burglary — A burglary was reported on Old Lake Lane in the town of Wescott.

Drug Offense — Police investigated a drug complaint on U.S. Highway 45 in Tigerton.

Theft — Money was reported stolen on Alberts Lane in the town of Waukechon.

Disturbance — Authorities responded to a disturbance on Limit Street in Cecil.

March 18

Deputies logged 39 incidents, including the following:

Hit and Run — Authorities responded to a property damage hit-and-run on County Road A in Gresham.

Disturbance — Authorities responded to a reported fight in progress on Warrington Avenue in Cecil.

Disturbance — Authorities responded to a disturbance on Airport Drive in Shawano.

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

Accidents — Authorities logged five accidents, including an injury accident on state Highway 47 in the town of Hartland.

March 17

Deputies logged 54 incidents, including the following:

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

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

Fire — Authorities responded to a vehicle fire on Highway 29 in the town of Belle Plaine.

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

Disorderly — Authorities responded to a disorderly conduct complaint on Country Lane in the town of Washington.

OAR — A 28-year-old woman was cited for operating after revocation on County Road A in the town of Bartelme.

Theft — Authorities responded to a property theft complaint on Cedar Street in Tigerton.
Disturbance — Authorities responded to a disturbance on Main Street in Bowler.

Disturbance — Authorities responded to a disturbance on Rollman Street in Bowler.

Hit and Run — Authorities investigated a hit-and-run with injuries on Park Road in the town of Birnamwood.

Accidents — Authorities logged 11 accidents, including an injury accident on Old Q Road in the town of Almon.

Public Record

Sat, 03/18/2017 - 3:48am

Shawano Police Department

March 16

Police logged 22 incidents, including the following:

Suspicious — Police responded to a suspicious person complaint at the Park and Recreation Center, 220 E. Division St.

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

Juvenile — Police responded to a juvenile problem in the 500 block of North Lafayette Street.

Threatening — Police responded to a threatening complaint on Richmond Court.

Shawano County Sheriff’s Department

March 16

Deputies logged 32 incidents, including the following:

Suspicious — A driver was warned for a parks violation after authorities responded to a suspicious vehicle complaint at The Rock, W9599 Butternut Road, town of Richmond.

Fraud — Authorities investigated a fraud complaint on Front Street in Wittenberg.

OWI — A 45-year-old Leopolis man was arrested for operating while intoxicated on Lake Drive in the town of Wescott.

Drug Offense — Authorities investigated a drug complaint on County Road B in the town of Waukechon.

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

Clintonville Police Department

March 16

Police logged seven incidents, including the following:

Theft — Money was reported stolen on South Main Street.

Trespassing — A trespassing complaint was reported on Brix Street.

Disorderly — A warning was issued for disorderly conduct on Eighth Street.

Reconstruction begins for Hwy. 22

Sat, 03/18/2017 - 3:48am

The reconstruction of state Highway 22 (Main Street) between 13th Street and state Highway 156 in Clintonville is scheduled to begin Monday. Motorists can expect to encounter flagging operations and single lane closures.

For more information regarding traffic impacts, transportation news and improvement project updates in Wisconsin’s north central region, follow the Wisconsin Department of Transportation on Twitter, @WisDOTnorthcent, or visit the region website, http://projects.511wi.gov/region/north-central.

School district HQ could get makeover

Sat, 03/18/2017 - 3:47am
Officials aim to centralize staffBy: 

Scott Williams swilliams@wolfrivermedia.com

Shawano School District officials are considering remodeling the district’s central offices to accommodate more of the school system’s administrative operations.

The project is the district’s latest response to a management consultant’s recommendations for improving administration of Shawano’s public schools.

Tentative plans for the remodeling involve reconfiguring the central offices and adjoining board room to create more office space for district administrators in facilities housed within Shawano Community High School, 220 County Road B, Shawano.

Jeff Easter, the district’s building and grounds director, said officials plan to spend $95,000 on the project and hope to have the work completed this summer.

Although details have not been announced for utilizing the reconfigured office space, Easter said the remodeling is intended to accommodate additional district leadership staff.

Consultants with the firm Springsted Inc. last year recommended centralizing administrative staff as part of an effort to improve school district management. The firm interviewed staff and made comparisons with other school districts to identify new approaches for the Shawano district.

Among administrative staff housed elsewhere in the district, the director of pupil services is based at Shawano Community Middle School and the director of building and grounds is based at Olga Brener Intermediate School.

In finding that the district’s current administrative office space was insufficient, the consultants wrote: “It is our recommendation that district-level functions be located in the same office area to maximize communication, coordination and efficiency.”

In response to other recommendations in the management study, school administrators have previously hired a human resources director for the district and created new positions for a dean of students at Hillcrest Primary School and at Olga Brener Intermediate School.

Springsted found that Shawano schools had too much administrative staff at the high school level and not enough at other schools. The report also concluded that administrative staff was too decentralized, that most administrators were underpaid and that many management staffers were unsure of job duties.

The remodeling of district facilities to allow for centralizing staff has been overseen by the school board building and grounds committee.

District records show that the committee members in January learned that the project could cost as much as $110,000 — a figure that was later reduced to the current estimate of $95,000. At the time, plans included converting about half of the district’s existing board room into offices and maintaining the other half for a conference room.

The board room is where Shawano School Board meetings are held, with members of the public invited to observe.

Plans also call for creating additional office space in the current district administrative facilities, which already house the superintendent, business manager and human resources director. Work also would include a new reception area and other improvements.

Easter said he hopes to have architectural renderings available soon for approval, after which he would seek out proposals from construction contractors.

“The goal of this project is to create, within the existing walls of the district office and board room, more office space that can be used by district leadership staff that currently is not housed within the district office space,” he stated in an email. “Other objectives are to create a more defined reception area and to provide better security for those in the building.”

FYI

The Shawano School Board meets at 5:30 p.m. Monday at the district’s central office, 220 County Road B, Shawano, to consider a proposal to hire a school district photographer.

Support builds for county library plan

Fri, 03/17/2017 - 3:28am
Local branches ready to join new systemBy: 

Scott Williams swilliams@wolfrivermedia.com


Leader Photo by Scott Williams Bonduel Public Library Director Allison Schultz works inside the library at 125 N. Washington St., which is part of a city-county network that includes facilities throughout the county.

Library communities throughout Shawano County are getting on the same page with county officials who are considering a new system for managing public libraries.

The Shawano City-County Library has found support among all of its branch libraries for creating a centralized county-run library network — a transformation that could occur in January.

Community leaders in Bonduel, Tigerton and elsewhere have signaled their agreement with allowing their local branch libraries to become part of the new consolidated county system.

Wittenberg Village Board President William Switalla said local officials have wholeheartedly embraced the county’s reform idea, which he said would preserve the branch library and possibly save Wittenberg residents some money.

“Nobody really should be against it,” Switalla said.

The current library system is a patchwork arrangement in which the county partners with the city of Shawano to provide libraries about $600,000 a year, of which 80 percent comes from the county and 20 percent from the city. The system includes the central library in downtown Shawano and branches in Birnamwood, Bonduel, Mattoon, Tigerton and Wittenberg.

Each branch receives additional local support and enjoys some degree of autonomy from the city-county administration.

The problem is that the arrangement makes Shawano County susceptible to charges from neighboring library systems whenever local patrons cross into a nearby county to borrow a book or use other resources. The county has received bills exceeding $100,000 a year for such cross-border borrowing.

Under state law, surrounding libraries would be prohibited from collecting such fees if Shawano County converted its patchwork library structure to a consolidated county-run system. With such an arrangement, the county would take responsibility for all library funding countywide and would manage all facilities through a county-appointed library board.

Individual branches could opt out of the new system, but then they would be responsible for more local operating costs, as well as any bills that might come later for cross-border borrowing.

County officials have asked local community leaders to decide by April if they support the county library system.

Mattoon Village Board President Brian Owen said board members have unanimously endorsed the idea. Owen said he believes the village will remain as owner of the library facility, and the county will assume responsibility for paying library staff.

“It sounded like it was going to be a pretty good deal,” he said.

As county officials attempt to calculate their costs under the new arrangement, they have reached out to each library community to assess the manner in which it could be implemented locally.

In Birnamwood, the county would be dealing with both the village and local school district. A school library doubles as the public library branch in a cost-sharing partnership with village leaders.

Birnamwood Village Board President Mike Sprague said officials at both the village and school district have gotten behind the county’s plan as a way of avoiding more costs to the community if Birnamwood tried to opt out.

“We don’t have a lot of choice,” Sprague said.

Shawano city officials have not yet considered their role in the county library plan, although City Administrator Brian Knapp said he believes the management change is in the best interests of all concerned.

“It all makes perfect sense to me,” Knapp said.

Bonduel and Tigerton likewise have added their support to the proposal.

Tigerton Village Board President Dale Breaker said the library is a valued community resource, and he suspects it would not survive for long if county funding was not available. Breaker said local officials welcome the chance to join the county-run system and to share resources.

“It’s good that we’re all going together,” he added. “It might even make it way better than it’s ever been.”

Former colleagues remember Fred Krueger

Fri, 03/17/2017 - 3:24am
He was familiar face in city, county politicsBy: 

Tim Ryan tryan@wolfrivermedia.com

Those who worked with Fred Krueger had fond recollections this week of the former Shawano alderman, and for a time acting mayor, who passed away Monday at the age of 80.

Krueger was president of the Shawano Common Council during much of his tenure as alderman, which initially spanned from 1974 to 1998, according to records at City Hall.

However, archives from the Leader indicate he was first elected in 1967 as a write-in candidate and was ousted in the early 1970s for a year because of city re-districting.

In April 1998, Tom Tuma was voted in over Krueger. Tuma later resigned, and Krueger was re-appointed to fill the position in August 1999.

When he left office in June 2001, Krueger had set a record for being the city’s longest-serving alderman.

He also served as acting mayor from December 1977 to April 1978 after the passing of Martin Weinig.

He was also a member of the Shawano County Board for a time.

Those who worked with him on the Common Council remembered him mostly as someone who kept things running smoothly and unemotionally.

“He never got mad. He was a great guy,” said former mayor Russ Schmidt, who was elected in 1996 and was one of four mayors Krueger served under.

“He was very cool all the time and things always went very smoothly. There were no problems,” Schmidt said.

That was in spite of what Schmidt said was a period during which some aldermen wanted to shake things up.

“Fred did a nice job of keeping those guys in line,” he said.

“I enjoyed working with Fred,” said Rosella Gartzke, who served as city clerk/treasurer during Krueger’s tenure.

“He was a very positive person to have on the council,” she said. “He was always there.”

Former council member Elmer Martens also attested to Krueger’s reliability.

“He was a good, hard-working councilman whose word was always good. It was always honored,” Martens said. “He was always conscientious.”

Martens said Krueger always came to meetings prepared, “while some didn’t.”

Krueger was also remembered as a golfer and a card player.

“A fair golfer,” according to Martens, but, according to Schmidt, people loved playing cards with him.

“He was a card sharp,” Schmidt said.

Krueger also served on various commissions, including parks and recreation and Shawano Municipal Utilities.

Former mayor Lorna Marquardt was one of the city officials who most recently worked with Krueger.

“Fred and I served together both as alderpersons and more recently as fellow SMU commissioners,” she said. “Fred cared deeply for the community he served. He was a watchdog of taxpayer funds, carefully scrutinizing the annual budget. I considered Fred a mentor and a friend. He will be missed.”

Public Record

Fri, 03/17/2017 - 3:22am

Shawano Police Department

March 15

Police logged 16 incidents, including the following:

Fraud — Police investigated an internet scam complaint on Oak Hill Court.

OWL — A 45-year-old man was cited for operating without a license in the 400 block of East Green Bay Street.

Drug Offense— A 23-year-old Shawano man was cited for possession of marijuana, and a 16-year-old Bonduel female and 19-year-old Bonduel male were cited for underage alcohol after police responded to a noise complaint in the 400 block of Humphrey Circle.

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

Assault — An assault was reported in the 800 block of East Richmond Street.

Shawano County Sheriff’s Department

March 15

Deputies logged 36 incidents, including the following:

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

OWL — A 35-year-old woman was cited for operating without a license on U.S. Highway 45 in Birnamwood.

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

Warrant — A 20-year-old woman was taken into custody on a warrant on state Highway 29 in Wittenberg.

Accidents — Authorities responded to an injury accident on state Highway 52 in the town of Aniwa and logged six other accidents, including two deer-related crashes and a vehicle versus raccoon.

SCEPI holding 12th economic summit next week

Fri, 03/17/2017 - 3:20am

Get a behind the scenes glimpse of economic growth in action at the 12th annual economic summit presented by Shawano County Economic Progress Inc. (SCEPI) on Thursday at The Gathering, 2600 E. Richmond St., Shawano.

Networking starts at 5 p.m. Dinner and a program will follow at 6 p.m.

Dennis Heling, SCEPI’s chief economic development officer, elected officials and business leaders will share area business success stories such as business startups or expansions, and will spotlight economic development in action.

One of the featured businesses will be Belmark, Inc. Belmark, located in De Pere, is breaking ground in the Raasch Acres Industrial Park, just east of South Waukechon Street in Shawano, for its new expansion. The site selection timeline, as well as the construction and hiring timeline, will be reviewed. The expansions and/or renovations of several other area businesses will also be discussed.

Arlyn Tober, SCEPI board president and a member of the Shawano County Board, said that the annual SCEPI economic summits are very important.

“These events enable us to highlight development activities and projects that affect the area in many positive ways,” Tober said. “The summit is our chance to show how SCEPI, local, city, county and tribal governments work together and with area employers to enhance the quality of life for everyone who lives and works in Shawano and Menominee counties.”

Registration for the summit is $30 per person or $55 per couple. Corporate tables that seat eight are available for $225. Registration fees include the program, dinner and dessert.

For more information and to make your reservation, contact SCEPI at 715-526-5839 or llw5839@frontiernet.net.

3 charged in Menominee reservation drug conspiracy

Fri, 03/17/2017 - 3:19am
By: 

Leader Staff

A federal grand jury has returned indictments against three individuals allegedly involved in drug trafficking and other offenses on the Menominee Indian Reservation, according to the U.S. Department of Justice.

The indictment charges Woody Nahquaddy, 31, Mitchell Oshkosh, 30, and Austin Kaquatosh, 23, with conspiracy to distribute a Schedule I controlled substance.

According to the indictment, Nahquaddy, Oshkosh, Kaquatosh and others conspired to obtain and sell synthetic marijuana over the course of nearly two years.

Each of them faces a maximum sentence of up to 20 years imprisonment, a $1 million fine, and anywhere from three years to a lifetime of supervised release.

Nahquaddy is also charged with a second count of possession with intent to deliver a Schedule I controlled substance, which carries the same possible penalty, and a third count of possession of a firearm in furtherance of drug trafficking, which carries a possible penalty of anywhere from a minimum prison sentence of five years to life, a fine of up to $250,000 and up to three years of supervised release.

The cases were investigated by the Menominee Tribal Police Department, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Menominee County Sheriff’s Department, Wisconsin State Crime Laboratory, and Wisconsin Department of Justice’s Division of Criminal Investigation.

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