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Clintonville plans to review garbage collection costs

Thu, 06/16/2016 - 7:18am
Multiple haulers’ trucks damaging city streetsBy: 

Grace Kirchner, Leader Correspondent

Unhappy with how garbage trucks are tearing up city streets, Clintonville officials will consider getting back into the garbage pickup business.

City Administrator Chuck Kell and Public Works Manager Toby Kersten have agreed to gather information on how much it would cost the city to haul its own garbage for consideration in next year’s budget planning.

Kersten would like to see one hauler and fewer trucks picking up garbage in the city. Currently, Advanced Disposal, Harter’s Fox Valley Disposal, Graichen Sanitation and Waste Management provide garbage pickup in Clintonville.

“We need to cut down,” Kersten said. “The trucks are bigger and heavier over the years. The 73,000-pound trucks are on the side streets that have soil, cement and little base. They are not built for this.

“The trucks are passing each other and it’s apparent they are destroying the streets. … If we have another year like the last one, it could use my entire budget up just for the repairs.”

Kersten told the city street committee June 7 that the city formerly had one garbage truck.

“In my neighborhood there are three garbage trucks, and I notice damages,” Alderman Jim Supanich said. “We could get a lower rate or we could get back into hauling it ourselves.”

Kell said he was not aware of other communities with multiple haulers.

“It is crazy the way it is now,” he said. “Most cities pick it up themselves or have one hauler.”

Kell said he and Kersten will need to consider costs of staff and equipment, and how it would affect the city’s budget.

Kersten noted that the initial investment to get back into hauling garbage would be substantial, but the savings on the streets could be even greater.

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Mom sentenced for fracturing son’s skull

Thu, 06/16/2016 - 7:17am
She failed to get him help for 6 daysBy: 

Kevin Murphy, Leader Correspondent

A rural Keshena woman was sentenced Monday in federal court to four years in prison plus three years of supervised release for fracturing her 19-month-old son’s skull on Sept. 30 and neglecting to get him medical help for nearly six days.

Loni M. Tepiew, 28, admitted in court documents to hitting her infant son with a shoe and punching him.

“I had one bad night when I drank too much and took it out on my baby. … There is much worse moms out there than me,” Tepiew told a FBI agent, according to Assistant U.S. Attorney Daniel Humble.

In imposing his sentence, District Judge William Griesbach classified the crime as a “brutal beating” that “cried out for justice,” according to a news release issued by the U.S. Attorney’s office.

In a memo to the court, Humble said it took the combined efforts of tribal police, social workers and Tepiew’s daughter to discover the crime.

Authorities did not learn of the infant’s injuries until Menominee Tribal Police kicked in the door of Tepiew’s trailer for Child Protective Service workers, who were investigating Tepiew’s 7-year-old-daughter’s statement that her mother had a black eye from being beaten.

“For the better part of six days, the victim lay suffering from the pain of his skull fracture and healing tibial fracture,” Humble wrote Griesbach. “He was helpless, incapable of letting the world know of his need for immediate medical attention, incapable even of wiping the dried blood from his face. For well over 130 hours, the one person who could have and should have sought medical treatment on his behalf did nothing.”

Tepiew’s three children have been in protective custody with Menominee County Human Services since October, according to court documents.

Tepiew pleaded guilty to assault of a minor causing serious bodily injury.

Tepiew’s attorney, Thomas Phillip, asked that she be placed on probation, saying that Tepiew had blacked out from alcohol use before noticing the infant’s injuries and did not have a working car or telephone to seek help.

Tepiew has maintained contact with her children, has worked steadily before and during the case, and wants to support herself and her family, Phillip wrote.

Phillip said that putting Tepiew on probation would allow her to continue to seek treatment for alcohol abuse and hold open the possibility of reuniting with her children.

“But other than retribution, what other purpose would prison serve?” he asked. “It would halt any progress that Tepiew has made and is making. It would certainly delay any reunification of Tepiew and her children, and it could possibly even prevent reunification from ever happening.”

Tepiew faced a maximum 10-year sentence. Humble sought four years.

“A lesser sentence, and especially one of probation, would fail to promote respect for the law and would send the message to Ms. Tepiew and others in the community that the physical abuse of a child and subsequent failure to render medical aid is an excusable offense,” Humble wrote.

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Public Record

Thu, 06/16/2016 - 7:16am

Shawano Police Department

June 14

Police logged 29 incidents, including the following:

Shoplifting — Walmart, 1244 E. Green Bay St., reported two shoplifters in custody.

Assault — A sexual assault complaint was under investigation.

Vandalism — A vehicle was reported vandalized in the 700 block of South Main Street.

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

Reckless Driving — Police responded to a reckless driving complaint at Green Bay and Main streets.

Reckless Driving — Police responded to a reckless driving complaint at Randall Street and Maiden Lane.

Shawano County Sheriff’s Department

June 14

Deputies logged 43 incidents, including the following:

Suspicious — Authorities responded to a suspicious vehicle complaint at Ho-Chunk Casino, N7198 U.S. Highway 45, Wittenberg.

Suspicious — Authorities responded to a suspicious person complaint on Freeborn Street in Cecil.

Suspicious — Authorities responded to a suspicious vehicle complaint on Middle Drive in the town of Angelica.

Fraud — Authorities investigated a fraud complaint on Pine Road in the town of Birnamwood.

Burglary — A burglary was reported on First Street in Aniwa.

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

Theft — A binge drinking awareness sign was reported stolen on Highway 22 in the town of Belle Plaine.

OAR — A 25-year-old man was cited for operating after revocation on Highway 47 in the town of Red Springs.

Suspicious — Authorities responded to a suspicious vehicle complaint on Frailing Road in the town of Wescott.

Clintonville Police Department

June 14

Police logged 12 incidents, including the following:

Theft — A theft from a vehicle was reported on Harrison Avenue.

Theft — A purse was reported stolen on 16th Street.

Burglary — A burglary was reported on 19th Street.

Theft — Theft from a vehicle was reported on Garfield Avenue.

Hit and Run — A property damage hit-and-run was reported in a north side parking lot.

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County fair building upgrade proposed

Tue, 06/14/2016 - 10:39pm
Funds requested in 2017 capital spending planBy: 

Scott Williams, swilliams@wolfrivermedia.com


Leader File Photo The existing Junior Fair Building on the Shawano County Fair grounds needs a new roof, lighting, insulation and more, according to a county funding request.
Contributed Photo As shown in a rendering, the improved Junior Fair Building would be transformed with repairs and a new red-and-green exterior.

Shawano County Fair boosters are trying again to attract county funds to remodel a building that, for many families, is the center of attraction throughout the fair.

If funding is approved, the Junior Fair Building would get an overhaul next year to include a new roof, doors, lighting, insulation and painting.

The project would cost an estimated $170,000, of which the county is being asked to provide $125,000.

A previous county funding request to make improvements in 2016 stalled after officials determined that it had come too late in the county’s annual budget-making process.

With the 2017 budget just getting started, county leaders are sounding optimistic about identifying funds this time around for the building.

“I would hope it’s a popular project,” County Supervisor Randy Young said. “I’d be all for backing that project.”

County Board members will get their first look Wednesday at a list of projects for which funds are being requested under the county’s capital spending plan for 2017.

Along with the Junior Fair Building, the list includes such proposals as $130,000 for a new shelter at Waukechon County Park, $90,000 to resurface a section of the Mountain Bay Trail, $65,000 to build a new highway storage shelter, $35,000 to install new equipment in the county jail kitchen, $33,000 for playground equipment at Sunset Island Park and $26,500 to upgrade county courthouse security video, among many others.

A committee will review all the proposals, starting Wednesday, and send recommendations to the County Board later this year.

For 2016, the County Board approved about $460,000 in capital spending as part of an overall county budget of $51 million, which included $15.4 million in property tax collections.

The county fairgrounds is owned by the county, but managed by the private Shawano County Agricultural Society. The society has agreed to raise $45,000 for the Junior Fair Building improvements if the county will allocate $125,000.

Dale Hodkiewicz, president of the agricultural society, said although the 50-year-old building “isn’t going to fall down,” some repairs and upgrades are needed.

“We want to keep the place looking nice,” he said. “It’s functional — it just needs some tender loving care.”

Also sometimes known as the 4-H Building, the structure is home to 4-H club members and their families throughout the county fair, which takes place from Aug. 31 to Sept. 5 this year.

In addition to structural repairs and upgrades, plans call for repainting the exterior in bright red and green colors.

It is the only capital spending proposal submitted by the University of Wisconsin-Extension office and endorsed by the County Board agriculture committee.

County Supervisor Marvin Klosterman, a member of the committee, said he plans to advocate funding for the project in capital spending priorities for next year. Noting the Junior Fair Building’s high-profile location on the fairgrounds, Klosterman said the building should be improved.

“That’s one of the focal buildings on the fairgrounds,” he said. “That would really enhance the looks of the fairgrounds.”

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Bonduel moves closer to demolishing downtown building

Tue, 06/14/2016 - 10:36pm
Owner misses repair deadlineBy: 

Scott Williams, swilliams@wolfrivermedia.com

Demolition could get started this summer on a downtown Bonduel building after the property owner missed a village deadline for completing repairs.

Village Board members have agreed to begin soliciting estimates on the cost of razing the vacant commercial-residential building at 101 E. Green Bay St.

The village had given owner Keith Block until approximately late May to fix a leaky roof, crumbling walls, moldy basement and other problems.

Village President Sharon Wussow said the landlord failed to comply with the order and has been unresponsive to attempts at addressing the building’s troubles. Wussow said village officials are concerned that the two-story building has become a public safety hazard.

“The safety comes first,” she said. “Who knows when that building could come down and do some damage?”

Contacted by telephone, Block said repairs inside the building have been started. Block said he hopes to get the property repaired and then find a buyer. He would not comment further, saying he wanted instead to communicate with village officials.

“I would much prefer to deal with them,” he said.

Asked how he would respond to village demolition efforts, he said: “I guess we’ll cross that bridge when we get there.”

Located in the heart of downtown at the intersection of Green Bay Street and Cecil Street, the property once housed an ice cream shop, a sporting goods store and other attractions. The upstairs includes several apartments that have long since been vacated.

Block, who lives in Wrightstown, also owns the Wisconsin House Inn hotel in Shawano and has similarly battled with city leaders over that property.

After trying for months to persuade Block to address the troubled Bonduel property, village leaders in March issued the property owner an order to complete repairs or raze the building within 60 days. Officials said the deadline passed without any response from Block.

If the village now demolishes the property, it would be at public expense and could result in the village placing a lien on the property to recoup its costs.

The Village Board is scheduled to meet on June 21 to review the first initial estimate on demolition costs.

Depending on costs and other factors, Wussow said, demolition could conceivably take place as soon as this summer or fall.

Village Board member Luka Zischka called the building an eyesore and a safety hazard, saying that the move to gather demolition estimates is “proactive but precautionary.”

Acknowledging the need for extensive repairs, Zischka said he wishes there was a way to avoid demolition and to restore the property and make it useful again. But he agreed that such an outcome would seem unlikely without the property owner’s cooperation.

“I’d love the building to stay there,” he said. “I would like to do anything I could to keep the building intact.”

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Public provides input on future city planning

Tue, 06/14/2016 - 10:35pm
Opinions gathered at SummerfestBy: 

Tim Ryan, tryan@wolfrivermedia.com

Several dozen people stopped in to visit with planning officials Saturday during the downtown Shawano Summerfest to give their input on long-range development plans for three of the city’s major corridors.

The city and regional planning officials set up shop at 153 S. Main St. — formerly known as the Qualheim building — for what was billed as a “public visioning open house/workshop.”

City Administrator Brian Knapp said about 30 people signed in for the session and at least 15 more participated without marking the sign-in sheets.

“We were happy with the turnout,” he said. “Of course, we’d always like to have more.”

Knapp said traffic of visitors during the roughly 2½ hour session was fairly constant and input was positive.

The city hosted the workshop with the assistance of the East Central Wisconsin Regional Planning Commission, which will compile and organize the feedback before presenting a final report to the city.

Before that happens, however, several city committees will have a chance to provide the same kind of input using the same brain-storming exercises, interactive maps and other tools the public used on Saturday.

The feedback sought focuses on how to improve the city’s major commercial and retail areas, including Main Street, East Green Bay Street and County Road B.

Knapp said the city hopes to get input that will improve the image and aesthetics of those areas, and help prioritize infrastructure improvements, building renovation and redevelopment opportunities, as well as address concerns about traffic safety and accessibility.

A final report is expected by the end of the summer.

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Public Record

Tue, 06/14/2016 - 9:06pm

Shawano Police Department

June 13

Police logged 33 incidents, including the following:

Juvenile — Police responded to a juvenile problem in the 800 block of East Richmond Street.

Theft — A patio set was reported stolen in the 900 block of South Evergreen Street.

Disturbance — Police responded to a domestic disturbance in the 300 block of West Danks Street.

Disorderly — Police responded to an intoxicated person complaint in the 400 block of East Green Bay Street.

Disorderly — Police responded to a disorderly conduct complaint in the 1400 block of East Green Bay Street.

Shawano County Sheriff’s Department

June 13

Deputies logged 46 incidents, including the following:

Burglary — Authorities investigated a report of a burglary on Murphys Road in Bowler.

Auto Theft — A vehicle was reported stolen on County Road E in the town of Green Valley.

Theft — Authorities investigated a property theft complaint on Sabrowsky Road in the town of Fairbanks.

Trespass — Authorities responded to a trespassing complaint on Old Shawano Road in the town of Pella.

Theft — Cigarettes and CDs were reported stolen from a vehicle on Cloverleaf Lake Road in the town of Belle Plaine.

Hit and Run — Authorities investigated a property damage hit-and-run on Harrison Street in Wittenberg.

Disorderly — Authorities responded to a disorderly conduct complaint on Elm Grove Road in the town of Pella.

Clintonville Police Department

June 13

Police logged eight incidents, including the following:

Theft — Tires were reported stolen on West Madison Street.

Fraud — Police investigated a fraud complaint on North Main Street.

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Orlando vigil planned in Shawano

Tue, 06/14/2016 - 9:05pm

The public is invited to a candlelight vigil Wednesday in downtown Shawano for victims of the Orlando, Florida, nightclub mass shooting.

The event is scheduled for 5:30 p.m. at First Presbyterian Church, 100 Presbyterian St., at the intersection with Main Street. The list of guest speakers was still being assembled, although organizers were inviting representatives from a diverse range of community groups.

Pastor Susan Phillips said organizers want to strengthen a sense of community togetherness in the wake of Sunday’s incident that left 50 people dead in Orlando, in the worst mass shooting in U.S. history.

“We often heal and live through our grief best when we do it together,” Phillips said.

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Woman takes plea deal in attempted homicide

Tue, 06/14/2016 - 9:04pm
By: 

Tim Ryan, tryan@wolfrivermedia.com

A Mattoon woman initially charged with attempted homicide after a shooting incident in the village in March pleaded guilty Monday to a lesser count of reckless injury under a plea agreement.

Rebecca L. Malueg, 32, was accused of firing a .243 caliber hunting rifle at a 24-year-old man at their home on Marble Avenue during a domestic dispute in what the criminal complaint alleged was an intentional attempt to kill him.

The Shawano County Sheriff’s Department Special Response Team was called to the incident around 12:45 a.m. March 20 and found the man with what were described as significant injuries as a result of a gun shot.

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

According to the criminal complaint, the incident followed a night of drinking by the couple before returning home where an argument escalated.

Malueg went into a bedroom where two hunting rifles and a shotgun were kept.

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

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

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

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

Malueg is being held on a $50,000 cash bond. It was reduced at Monday’s plea hearing from $100,000.

Sentencing was set for Aug. 4.

First-degree reckless injury carries a maximum possible penalty of 25 years in prison and a $100,000 fine.

Malueg could have faced a maximum 60 years in prison if found guilty of attempted homicide.

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Public Record

Mon, 06/13/2016 - 9:29pm

Shawano Police Department

June 12

Police logged 15 incidents, including the following:

Juvenile — Police investigated a juvenile alcohol complaint at Lieg Avenue and Lincoln Street.

Noise — Police responded to a noise complaint in the 400 block of West Third Street.

June 11

Police logged 30 incidents, including the following:

Disturbance — Police responded to a domestic disturbance in the 100 block of South Main Street.

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

Fleeing — A driver fled on foot from a traffic stop at Maurer and Main streets. Vehicle passengers would not provide the driver’s name and he could not be located.

Theft — Medication was reported stolen in the 100 block of South Smalley Street.

Theft — A computer tablet was reported stolen in the 900 block of East Fifth Street.

OWI — A 58-year-old woman was arrested for operating while intoxicated at Main and Division streets.

Disorderly — Police responded to a disorderly conduct complaint in the 500 block of East Green Bay Street.

June 10

Police logged 20 incidents, including the following:

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

Warrant — A 30-year-old woman was taken into custody on a warrant at Waukechon Street and Teddington Lane.

Warrant — A 46-year-old man was taken into custody on a warrant in the 3100 block of East Richmond Street.

Shawano County Sheriff’s Department

June 12

Deputies logged 46 incidents, including the following:

Disturbance — Authorities responded to a disturbance on Pine Road in the town of Birnamwood.

Trespass — Authorities responded to a trespassing complaint on Old Lake Road in the town of Wescott.

Harassment — Authorities responded to a harassment complaint on Derby Lane in the town of Washington.

Arrest — A 21-year-old Mosinee man was taken into custody for a probation and parole violation on state Highway 29 in Bonduel.

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

OAR — A 44-year-old Kaukauna man was cited for operating after revocation on County Road C in the town of Angelica.

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

Disturbance — Authorities responded to a disturbance on Phoebe Road in the town of Birnamwood.

June 11

Deputies logged 59 incidents, including the following:

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

Disturbance — Authorities responded to a disturbance on Fourth Street in the town of Herman.

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

OWI — A 32-year-old Green Bay man was arrested for operating while intoxicated on state Highway 47 in the town of Lessor.

Juvenile — Authorities investigated a juvenile alcohol complaint on Old Shawano Road in the town of Pella.

Disorderly — Authorities responded to a disorderly conduct complaint on Murphys Road in Bowler.

June 10

Deputies logged 58 incidents, including the following:

Juvenile — Authorities investigated a juvenile alcohol complaint on Grand Street in Tigerton.

Fraud — Authorities investigated a fraud complaint in Funk Road in the town of Green Valley.

Fraud — Authorities investigated a mail scam complaint on Moh He Con Nuck Road in Bowler.

Threatening — Authorities responded to a threatening complaint on Old 47 Road in the town of Lessor.

Accidents — Authorities logged six deer-related crashes.

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

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Calf farm could grow by 2,000

Sat, 06/11/2016 - 7:27am
Operation linked to Green Valley DairyBy: 

Scott Williams, swilliams@wolfrivermedia.com


Leader Photo by Scott Williams Paul Jacobs of Jacobs Brothers explains the system used to manage and store manure from a herd currently estimated at nearly 3,000 calves at the town of Washington farm.
Leader Photo by Scott Williams Calves raised at the Jacobs Brothers farm either wind up as cows at Green Valley Dairy or as steers sent to a meat-processing plant.

The family behind Green Valley Dairy, one of Shawano County’s largest dairy operations, is embarking on a major expansion on a farm near White Clay Lake.

Used exclusively to raise calves, the town of Washington farm could grow to include four new barns and could expand its herd by 2,000 calves, to nearly 5,000.

County and local officials have approved the project, which they applaud as a positive sign of growth within the local farming industry.

“It’s a win-win,” town chairman James Schneider said. “We’re more than happy with the farmers who are trying to build something decent.”

The young stock raised on the Jacobs Brothers farm at W3171 Lodge Road generally wind up as cows producing milk at Green Valley Dairy or as steer shipped to a meat-processing plant in Kansas.

Construction has started on a barn to house another 660 calves, and long-range plans include three more new barns large enough for about 450 calves each.

Paul Jacobs, manager of the calf operation, said he and his family members are excited about the expansion. But they are moving cautiously, he said, to ensure that each phase of the project makes sense from the perspective of business, animal welfare and environmental protection.

“It’s a way to continue to grow,” Jacobs said. “We really want to do it, but we want to be responsible about it.”

Located north of County Road E, the 400-acre farm is about a half-mile south of White Clay Lake.

Before approving the expansion, Shawano County planners considered the Jacobs Brothers’ existing system of livestock waste management. With manure diverted to underground concrete storage tanks, officials determined that the farm’s growth plan presented no environmental risks.

The chairman of the White Clay Lake Protective & Rehabilitation District assured county officials that the lake community supported the farm expansion.

“Green Valley has been real good to all the neighbors,” lake district chairman Dennis Muck said.

Green Valley Dairy, located about 5 miles to the east, includes some 7,000 acres and is permitted by the state to maintain about 4,000 animals, which ranks among the largest dairy operations in Shawano County.

In addition to Paul Jacobs, the business includes his father, uncle and two other brothers.

The family purchased the Lodge Road property about 10 years ago from Tom Brunner and his family. The traditional dairy farm was transformed into the current calf operation, with five large barns filled with calves born at Green Valley Dairy or purchased elsewhere.

Brunner, who lives across the road, said he is impressed with what Jacobs Brothers has built, and he is pleased to see the business growing.

“It’s state-of-the-art,” he said. “I’m glad to see them making good use of the land.”

The calves are raised at the farm until they are 160 days old, at which point heifers are shipped to Iowa and then transferred about 16 months later to Green Valley Dairy, just in time to deliver calves and begin producing milk. The steer, at 160 days old, are shipped to the Kansas processing plant.

Jacobs Brothers, which owns the calf operation separately from Green Valley Dairy, has boosted its purchasing of steer calves. In fact, the first new 660-foot-long barn constructed in the expansion is designed to be populated entirely with young steer.

Jacobs said the diversification has been successful.

“It’s a significant portion of the business,” he said.

After the first phase of expansion is completed in September, officials will evaluate and decide whether to go ahead with three other new barns, each 480 feet long.

Jacobs would not discuss the investment involved in the project, although he said the family has spent much developing its manure management system. The current expansion, he said, would not deviate from that same commitment to protecting the environment and keeping a healthy place for the animals.

“We want to maintain that clean, environmentally responsible track record,” he said. “It’s pretty important to us.”

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Public Record

Sat, 06/11/2016 - 7:19am

Shawano Police Department

June 10

Police logged 25 incidents, including the following:

Suspicious — Police responded to a suspicious vehicle complaint in the 800 block of Fifth Street.

Disturbance — Police responded to a disturbance in the 300 block of East Maurer Street.

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

Drug Offense — Police investigated a drug complaint in the 400 block of Humphrey Circle.

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

Shawano County Sheriff’s Department

June 10

Deputies logged 36 incidents, including the following:

Suspicious — Authorities responded to a suspicious person complaint on Blueberry Road in the town of Herman.

Vandalism — Authorities responded to a vandalism complaint on Washington Street in Bonduel.

Drug Offense — Authorities investigated a drug complaint on Fourth Street in Mattoon.

Threatening — Authorities responded to a threatening complaint Weasel Dam Road in the town of Seneca.

Suspicious — Authorities responded to a suspicious person complaint on Lake Drive in the town of Wescott.

Disturbance — Authorities responded to a domestic disturbance on Highway 156 in the town of Maple Grove.

Clintonville Police Department

June 10

Police logged 12 incidents, including the following:

Suspicious — A suspicious incident was checked on South Main Street.

Fraud — Identity theft was reported on East Madison Street.

Trespass — Warnings were issued for trespassing on North 12th Street.

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Court News

Sat, 06/11/2016 - 7:18am

Sexual assault of a child

An arrest warrant was issued Friday for a Pulaski man accused of multiple counts of sexual assault of a child that allegedly began when she was 11 and continued until she was 15.

Pedro Noriega-Avila, 33, is accused of multiple instances of child sex assault that authorities say took place between 2009 and 2015 in the towns of Lessor and Maple Grove.

He could face a maximum possible penalty of 60 years in prison on the charge of first-degree sexual assault of a child under the age of 13 if convicted, and 40 years and a $100,000 five if found guilty on each of two counts of sexual assault of a child under the age of 16 and two counts of incest with a child by stepparent.

Sexual assault of a child

A Cecil man is facing a felony charge of sexual assault of a child under the age of 16.

Luther V. Arndt, 24, is accused of having sexual intercourse with a 15-year-old girl in the city of Shawano in April. He could face a maximum 40 years in prison and a $100,000 fine if found guilty.

He was ordered held on a $5,000 cash bond after a court appearance Thursday.

He is scheduled for an adjourned initial appearance on Monday.

Suffocation and strangulation

A Shawano man entered a plea of not guilty this week to two counts of domestic abuse-related strangulation and suffocation and one count of domestic abuse-related false imprisonment in connection with an incident in the city last month.

Mario A. Tourtillott, 49, is accused of choking a woman and placing a pillow over her face during a domestic altercation on May 6. He is also accused of restraining her and preventing her from leaving during the incident.

Tourtillott could face a maximum six years in prison and $10,000 fine on each of the felony counts if found guilty. He is also charged with misdemeanor counts of battery and intimidating a victim.

He is free on a $1,500 cash bond and scheduled for a pre-trial conference on Aug. 19.

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Uncovering the barn quilt movement

Sat, 06/11/2016 - 7:17am
Author visits Shawano to tell her adventuresBy: 

Lee Pulaski, lpulaski@wolfrivermedia.com


Leader Photo by Lee Pulaski Dan and Mary Clausen traveled from New Holstein to meet barn quilt author Suzi Parron on Friday at The Gathering. Parron sold and signed copies of her latest book “Following the Barn Quilt Trail” and gave a presentation on barn quilts all over the country.
Leader Photo by Lee Pulaski A barn quilt hangs behind audience members reading barn quilt books authored by Suzi Parron prior to her presentation Friday at The Gathering.

Much of Suzi Parron’s life over the last eight years has centered around barn quilts, and the author of two books on the subject shared her knowledge during a presentation Friday at The Gathering in Shawano.

Parron, who lives in Stone Mountain, Georgia, said she was pleased at the turnout, noting that “I expected nothing less from Shawano, because they do everything in a big way here.”

Shawano County’s barn quilt project is part of her latest book, “Following the Barn Quilt Trail,” and the largest in the country.

Parron saw her first barn quilt in 2008 during a trip to Yellowstone National Park. She said she was on the “wrong road” in Kentucky when she saw a barn quilt with trees on it and realized it was a quilt pattern.

She talked with the farm owner and found out the barn quilt was part of a trail in the state. After seeing a number of quilts that day, she decided to go online and find a book on the subject, but she discovered there wasn’t one.

That prompted her to write her first book, and once she got the bug, she went out of her way to find barn quilts, even getting stuck in ditches a couple of times during her travels.

“If I see something in the distance — it could be a little rusted barn that everybody would pass by and not even notice — I have to go and find it and take a picture of it,” Parron said.

Her research found that the idea of a barn quilt trail originated in Ohio with what was called a “clothesline of quilts,” according to Parron. The first quilts were actually painted on the barn by artists, but concerns over stormy weather led to quilts being painted on wood panels and then put on the barns.

The barn quilt movement has exploded over the last 20 years, with 9,000 quilts installed on barns in every state except Nevada and Rhode Island, she said. Parron also found a trail in Canada, “First Nations Trail,” dedicated to the country’s indigenous people.

Parron shared a number of stories showing the hidden meaning behind barn quilts across the country, noting she’s found them on gas stations, floral shops and covered bridges.

One quilt trail in western Iowa was started by a 4-H member looking for “the 4-H project to end all 4-H projects,” according to Parron. His efforts netted him a national 4-H award and a full college scholarship.

Parron uncovered another story in the mountains of North Carolina. She found a barn with a blue flower pattern on it called “Texas Blue Bonnets” and learned the farm owner wanted it in honor of first lady Lady Bird Johnson, who was an advocate for wildflower preservation in Texas.

Wisconsin became part of the barn quilt movement in 2005, Parron said, with most of them in southern counties.

Parron was in awe when she saw Shawano County’s barn quilt program, now at 314 and counting. She said she went around the county for two days and “barely made a dent” in seeing all of them.

“Shawano County is America’s largest barn quilt trail — actually the world’s largest,” Parron said. “I’m not sure how many days it would take to see them all.”

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ThedaCare giving away SMU bricks

Sat, 06/11/2016 - 7:13am

Bricks from the recently demolished Shawano Medical Center are being made available to the public as keepsakes.

“Residents of Shawano have been asking for bricks as mementos of the old Shawano Medical Center,” said John Gijsen, director of facilities management-system locations for ThedaCare. “It was a place that meant a lot to the people of this community, so we’ve come up with a plan to give them away.”

The bricks will be available to Shawano residents until Wednesday at the south parking lot near the old hospital site just off Fifth Street. The bricks will be placed in piles, and residents can come choose their own.

People are asked to exercise caution when sorting through the bricks and to wear appropriate closed-toe footwear and gloves.

Bricks will not necessarily be cleaned of mortar, but mortar can be easily removed at home with a hammer.

People are asked to limit themselves to a single brick.

The new ThedaCare Medical Center-Shawano opened in September 2015 at 100 County Road B, at which time the 10-acre Shawano Medical Center riverside campus was closed. The Shawano Common Council approved the ThedaCare plan in March to demolish the old structure at ThedaCare’s expense after multiple redevelopment efforts for the existing building fell through. Statewide Razing of Combined Locks is doing the demolition.

ThedaCare serves over 200,000 patients annually and employs more than 7,000 health care professionals throughout the region. ThedaCare has hospitals located in Appleton, Neenah, Berlin, Waupaca, Shawano, New London and Wild Rose, as well as 34 clinics in 14 counties.

ThedaCare is a nonprofit health care organization with a level II trauma center, comprehensive cancer treatment, stroke and cardiac programs as well as a foundation dedicated to community service.

For information about the brick giveaway, call Gijsen at 920-450-4701.

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Torch carried proudly in Shawano

Fri, 06/10/2016 - 7:48am
Local law enforcement officers support Special OlympicsBy: 

Lee Pulaski, lpulaski@wolfrivermedia.com


Leader Photo by Lee Pulaski Local law enforcement officers, from left, Craig Rekoske, Jeff Buettner and Kyle Betzner ride along Main Street in Shawano on Thursday, the first leg of a 54-mile torch run to benefit Special Olympics.
Leader Photo by Lee Pulaski Kyle Betzner, with the Pulaski Police Department, airs up a tire on a colleague’s bicycle Thursday morning outside the Shawano County Jail prior to the annual torch run from Shawano to Waupaca.

Hundreds of law enforcement officers from across the state converged on Stevens Point on Thursday for the opening ceremony of the Special Olympics Wisconsin State Summer Games.

The Law Enforcement Torch Run began in 1981 as a means to raise funds and awareness for the Special Olympics and educate the community about the gifts, talents, and abilities of people with intellectual disabilities.

More than 30 communities in Wisconsin coordinated torch runs this year, and Shawano was among them. A small but determined local delegation pumped up the tires on their bicycles Thursday morning and set out on state Highway 22 for a 54-mile ride to Waupaca, where officers and Special Olympians took part in a cookout before continuing to Stevens Point.

Craig Rekoske from the Shawano County Sheriff’s Department was the first to arrive Thursday for the local ride. Rekoske has participated in the local torch run for eight of the last nine years, but the missed year was for a good reason — it conflicted with his wedding plans.

Rekoske participates each year in recognition of two sisters who participate in Special Olympics.

“They’re competing athletes in various sports from basketball to swimming. I have a sister who is competing in state track,” Rekoske said. “I’ve volunteered with Special Olympics and other things involving cognitive disabilities since I was young, and I decided to continue riding bike and fundraising up here.”

Police officers are expected to maintain a certain level of fitness, but participating in the torch run by bicycle requires a little more discipline, Rekoske said.

“A lot of our fitness regimen doesn’t have to do much with bikes. It has to do with how you hold yourself,” Rekoske said. “It does take a little more to get on a bike and ride for an extended period of time. I’ve competed in other bike races, as well.”

Kyle Betzner drove from Pulaski to Shawano to participate in the torch run. Betzner said he enjoys supporting the Special Olympics.

“Everything goes to a better cause, and I enjoy biking, so that’s another plus,” Betzner said, “but helping the Special Olympics athletes is my main motivation.”

Also participating in the local torch run were Jesse Sperberg and Paige Lehman from the sheriff’s department and Jeff Buettner with the Stockbridge-Munsee Police Department.

In Wisconsin, the Law Enforcement Torch Run has raised more than $30 million since 1986. Every year, nearly 1,000 volunteers representing 170 state law enforcement agencies throughout the state participate in the event.

DID YOU KNOW?

The law enforcement torch run for Special Olympics is the movement’s largest grassroots fundraiser. Officers and athletes run the Flame of Hope to the opening ceremonies of local Special Olympics competitions, state and national games. Annually, more than 85,000 officers participate in the torch run throughout 46 nations, 12 Canadian provinces and 50 U.S. states, raising more than $51 million for local Special Olympics programs in 2014 and over $560 million since its inception in 1981.

Source: Special Olympics

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City seeks input on planning at Summerfest

Fri, 06/10/2016 - 7:44am
Public can offer suggestions about key areasBy: 

Tim Ryan, tryan@wolfrivermedia.com

Among the activities that Shawano residents and visitors will be table to take part in at Shawano Summerfest on Saturday will be an opportunity to provide input to the city on long-range development plans for three of the city’s major corridors.

The city and various economic development partners will set up shop at 153 S. Main St. — formerly known as the Qualheim building — from 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. for a “public visioning open house/workshop,” according to City Administrator Brian Knapp.

The city will host the workshop with the assistance of the East Central Wisconsin Regional Planning Commission.

They will be looking for ideas and thoughts from residents, business owners and visitors on how to improve the city’s major commercial and retail areas, including Main Street, East Green Bay Street and County Road B.

Knapp said this will be the public’s only direct opportunity to provide input to the regional planning commission, which is working on the long-range plan at no cost to the city.

The event is being held during the Summerfest celebration to make it easy for attendees to participate in the public input activity, Knapp said.

“The open house will have a number of quick, thought-provoking, visual exercises that will allow people to share their thoughts and concerns about how the downtown, Green Bay Street corridor and other commercial/retail areas of the community look, feel and function,” he said.

Knapp said the city hopes to get input that will improve the image and aesthetics of those areas.

“Furthermore,” he said. “The community’s thoughts about where and how the city and private sector business should invest will give us the ability to better budget for infrastructure improvements, building renovation and redevelopment opportunities, as well as any concerns about traffic safety and accessibility. This initial input will provide great meaning as we formulate a vision for Shawano’s future.”

The input gathered from the open house will be compiled, organized, and interpreted for the city so that it can be used to generate an overall vision and goals for how to keep the existing corridors vibrant and successful, Knapp said.

For information, call Knapp at City Hall, 715-526-6138.

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City seeking sewer rate increase

Fri, 06/10/2016 - 7:43am
By: 

Tim Ryan, tryan@wolfrivermedia.com

The Shawano Water and Sewer Utility is asking the state Public Service Commission for a 12 percent overall increase in sewer rates, though that percentage will vary depending on the type of customer.

The city has requested an overall increase in annual revenue of $219,140, or an increase of 12 percent over present revenue, according to a PSC notice of proceeding.

According to City Administrator Brian Knapp, the current average sewer charge, based on the city average of 500 cubic feet of water used per month, is currently $30.37.

A 12 percent increase, if approved by the PSC, will raise the monthly sewer charge by $3.64 to $34.01.

However, Knapp noted, that will vary depending on classes of customers, which are broken into residential, commercial and industrial.

The PSC will determine the actual level of the revenue requirement after reviewing the application and holding a hearing. The hearing will be scheduled at a later date.

If the commission authorizes an increase, it will also authorize the ultimate rates individual classes of customers pay.

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Public Record

Fri, 06/10/2016 - 7:38am

Shawano Police Department

June 8

Police logged 20 incidents, including the following:

Fraud — Police investigated a telephone scam complaint in the 300 block of East Center Street.

Drug Offense — Police investigated a drug complaint in the 100 block of South Andrews Street.

Disturbance — Police responded to a disturbance in the 200 block of North Airport Drive.

Shawano County Sheriff’s Department

June 8

Deputies logged 47 incidents, including the following:

Disturbance — Authorities responded to a disturbance on County Road E in the town of Green Valley.

Disturbance — Authorities responded to a disturbance on Koo Yi Kun Lane in the town of Bartelme.

OAR — A 42-year-old Clintonville woman was cited for operating after revocation on Cloverleaf Lake Road in the town of Belle Plaine.

Threatening — Authorities responded to a threatening complaint on County Road P in the town of Germania.

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

Disturbance — A disorderly conduct charge was referred against a 28-year-old Shawano woman after authorities responded to a domestic disturbance on Old Lake Lane in the town of Wescott.

Disturbance — Authorities responded to a disturbance on state Highway 29 in the town of Angelica.

Clintonville Police Department

June 8

Police logged eight incidents, including the following:

Warrant — A 41-year-old Clintonville man was arrested on a Shawano County warrant on South Clinton Avenue.

Accident — A two-vehicle property damage accident was reported in a parking lot on East Morning Glory Drive.

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Old-time circus heading to Shawano

Thu, 06/09/2016 - 7:44am
Big top due to arrive Aug. 19By: 

Scott Williams, swilliams@wolfrivermedia.com


Contributed Photo Although there are no elephants, the Culpepper & Merriweather Circus features other animal acts, including a lion and tigers.
Contributed Photo The 90-minute show offered by Culpepper & Merriweather Circus includes acrobats, animals, clowns and other performances.

The big top is back.

A traveling circus that prides itself on upholding tradition and quality is planning a grand entrance and multiple performances this summer in Shawano.

Culpepper & Merriweather Circus will entertain crowds Aug. 19-20 in old-fashioned style by erecting a big top tent near the center of town.

Organizers have approached the city about using an open field across from Memorial Park, just north of Elizabeth Street. If city officials approve, the circus would invite the general public to a traditional tent-raising event in the style of the golden days of traveling circuses.

Culpepper & Merriweather spokesman Jim Royal said that, rather than holding performances inside oversized auditoriums, the company tries to recapture the mystique of erecting a big top and energizing a community like Shawano.

“There is a certain magic,” he said. “It’s a big event in a small town.”

The Oklahoma-based company last brought its circus to Shawano in 2007, although that was at a different location that generated poor attendance. Coincidentally, it is returning in a year when the Beja Shrine Circus is taking a break from its annual performances at the Crawford Center in Shawano.

Stepping forward to sponsor the Culpepper & Merriweather visit is the Rotary Club of Shawano, whose members will assist with marketing and ticket sales.

Advance tickets are $10, $7 for children under 13 or seniors over 65, and free for children under 2.

Rotary Club President-elect Chris Marcks said she is impressed by the Culpepper & Merriweather company, which she described as well-run organization. Marcks voiced excitement about the Rotary Club playing a part in bringing such a major attraction to town.

A circus of this size and quality, Marcks said, is something that residents typically would not find without driving to Green Bay or Appleton.

The proposed site along Elizabeth Street, she noted, is within walking distance for many people.

“We don’t have that many big things come to Shawano,” Marcks said. “It’s definitely something different.”

Culpepper & Merriweather has been in business for 30 years and generally visits about 200 cities over the course of an eight-month season.

The 90-minute show, led by a ringmaster, includes performances with a lion and tigers, horses and ponies, performing dogs, acrobats, jugglers, clowns and more. The adjoining Midway features pony rides, face painting, a bounce house and a giant slide.

The tentative schedule in Shawano calls for a free public tent-raising event about 9 a.m. Aug. 19, followed by free public tours of the circus grounds. Shows are scheduled for 5 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. Aug. 19 and 2 p.m. and 4:30 p.m. Aug. 20.

Promotion and ticket sales are expected to begin once city officials decide on authorizing the Elizabeth Street location.

About a week before the circus arrives, Culpepper & Merriweather typically dispatches a clown in advance to visit local businesses, libraries and such.

Royal said the overall experience is intended to recreate the traditional traveling circus atmosphere, which he acknowledged takes a little more effort and investment.

“There’s not many of us left who can do it like that,” he said.

FYI

For information, go to www.cmcircus.com.

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