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Updated: 16 min 58 sec ago

Public Record

Mon, 01/23/2017 - 12:27pm

Shawano Police Department

Jan. 22

Police logged six incidents, including the following:

Disturbance — Police responded to a disturbance in the 400 block of North Lafayette Street.

Disturbance — Police responded to a domestic disturbance in the 900 block of South Lafayette Street.

Theft — A theft was reported at KFC, 102 N. Airport Drive.

Jan. 21

Police logged 24 incidents, including the following:

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

Disturbance — Police responded to a disturbance in the 200 block of East Randall Street.

Shoplifting — Qualheim’s True Value, 1345 E. Green Bay St., reported a shoplifting incident.

Jan. 20

Police logged 23 incidents, including the following:

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

Shoplifting — A TV and computer were reported stolen at Walmart, 1244 E. Green Bay St.

Theft — Snow pants were reported stolen in the 200 block of Willow Woods Street.

Shawano County Sheriff’s Department

Jan. 22

Deputies logged 27 incidents, including the following:

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

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

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

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

Jan. 21

Deputies logged 37 incidents, including the following:

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

Burglary — A burglary was reported on County Road M in the town of Wittenberg.

OWI — A 44-year-old Appleton woman was arrested for fourth offense operating while intoxicated, operating after revocation, tampering with an ignition interlock device and expelling bodily fluids on state Highway 29 in the town of Wittenberg.

OWI — A 42-year-old Gresham man was arrested for operating while intoxicated after an accident on state Highway 29 in the town of Maple Grove.

OWI — A 21-year-old Tigerton man was arrested for operating while intoxicated after an accident on Cedar Avenue in the town of Washington.

Accidents — Authorities logged 14 accidents.

Jan. 20

Deputies logged 43 incidents, including the following:

Auto Theft — A vehicle was reported stolen on Nichols Road in the town of Lessor.

Accidents — Authorities logged 12 accidents.

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Local views on Trump split along party lines

Fri, 01/20/2017 - 10:23pm
By: 

Tim Ryan, tryan@wolfrivermedia.com

Local reactions to Donald Trump’s inauguration and particularly his inauguration speech Friday were unsurprisingly split across party lines, with Republicans hearing a message of hope and optimism and Democrats hearing a bleak and dystopian view of the country.

“I was very impressed with it,” said Darlene Ross of Shawano, president of the Lake Country Federation of Republican Women. “He laid out what he wants to accomplish.”

That includes, according to Ross, the idea that the government should not be run out of Washington but by the people.

“He wants the people to be proud of their government again,” she said.

Ross has been following the Trump transition, including the nomination of cabinet figures over the past two months. She said she is “really proud” of the choices Trump has made.

“We’re getting the best and brightest in every category,” she said. “These are top-notch, bright people.”

The choices have included about half a dozen people who have been associated with Goldman Sachs in one way or another, despite Trump’s attacks on Goldman Sachs and its ties to Hillary Clinton during the campaign.
But that is not an issue for Ross.

“I believe they will make the right decisions,” she said.
Ross said wealthy members of the cabinet would help ensure that they’re looking out for the best interests of the country.

“When people have money, they have nothing to gain for themselves,” she said.

“These are true patriots,” she said. “They’re people who love the United States and want people to have a piece of the American dream.”

Ross said that was something that has been lost over the last few years, “the idea that you could have a dream that could come true.”

Craig Carlson, chairman of the Shawano County Republican Party, said he was excited by the inauguration.

“It’s an exciting time,” he said.

Carlson said that feeling was shared by other party members at their most recent meeting.

“Everybody is pretty optimistic about the changes that are going to happen,” he said.

Carlson said the inaugural address, which stressed the idea of “America First,” was a clear message to U.S. allies.

“It put the message out there to our friends that we would be fair, strong and firm, and work with our allies,” he said. “It resonates well with our allies.”

Carlson said the past administration lacked leadership.

“That’s why there are so many problems,” he said.

Carlson also said he didn’t take Trump’s America First message as being isolationist.

Under President Obama’s administration, Carlson said, “our allies didn’t know what direction we would take. Now they realize we have a real leader.”

Carlson also praised Trump’s cabinet nominees.

“It’s one of the most conservative cabinets ever assembled,” he said.

Carlson said he was also impressed by Trump’s commitment to work on and solve problems in the inner cities.

Trump’s inauguration was marked by protests, including clashes between protesters and police just a few blocks from the inaugural parade route. Similar demonstrations were held in major cities across the country.

“The division is coming from the (Democratic National Party),” Carlson said. “These protesters are being paid to make a big show of division.”

Ross had similar sentiments about the protests, but did not directly blame the DNC.
“There are some people I have heard that are being paid by someone to protest,” she said.

Ross claimed some of them were being paid by the hour and had been provided with transportation to the protest sites.
Ross said she believed Trump can bring the country together.

“He’s gone to the inner cities to say, ‘your life can be better,’” Ross said.

Ross said Trump could return some of the values the country had in the 1980s, when schools emphasized citizenship and a knowledge of how government works.

Ross said there was so much work to be done to get the country back on track that it would be hard to say what Trump should do first, though repealing the Affordable Care Act, addressing the borders and creating jobs were at the top of the list.

“I’m happy we’ve got a Republican in there,” she said. “I’m praying things can be turned around.”

Trump’s inauguration speech failed to impress some local Democrats who were hoping for something uplifting, but were instead given what they felt was a bleak vision of the country that included blood and carnage in the streets of the inner cities.

“I thought it was inappropriate,” said Georgia Stapleton, of Shawano, who was headed out the door Friday afternoon on her way to join the Women’s March on Washington on Saturday.

“It was not very encouraging,” she said, adding that Trump’s tone suggested he believes he is the only solution to the country’s problems.

“He still thinks he’ll do this all by himself,” Stapleton said.

Stapleton, a retired nurse, was moved to join the march out of her concern over health care. She sent a letter to Obama thanking him for the Affordable Care Act.

Stapleton will carry a sign at the march directed at Tom Price, Trump’s pick to lead the Department of Health and Human Services, who, Stapleton said, would decimate Medicare, Medicaid and the Affordable Care Act.

Trump’s cabinet picks are also a concern for Dan Weidner, first vice chair of the Shawano County Democratic Party, noting that several nominees have either no experience with the issues connected to the departments they have been chosen to lead or have been in direct conflict with them.

Weidner said Trump’s vacillating opinions on the campaign trail and his erratic tweets has made it difficult to gauge where he will lead the country.

“Who knows what he’s going to do?” Weidner said. “I don’t think he ever expected to win.”

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Public Record

Fri, 01/20/2017 - 10:19pm

Shawano Police Department

Jan. 19

Police logged 24 incidents, including the following:

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

Warrant — A 33-year-old woman was taken into custody on a warrant at Green Bay and Smalley streets.

Accident — Police responded to a rollover accident at Airport and Engel drives. Speed and “black ice” were the causes, according to police. The vehicle was totaled, but police said there were no serious injuries. The accident closed the southbound side of the street for just under an hour.

Juvenile — Police responded to a juvenile problem in the 700 block of South Union Street.

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

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

Theft — Packages were reported stolen in the 1100 block of Waukechon Street.

Shawano County Sheriff’s Department

Jan. 19

Deputies logged 32 incidents, including the following:

Burglary — A burglary was reported on Willow Road on the town of Angelica.

Fraud — Authorities investigated a fraud complaint on First Street in Aniwa.

Theft — A shovel was reported stolen on County Road M in the town of Fairbanks.

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

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

Accidents — Authorities responded to an injury accident on state Highway 29 in the town of Richmond and logged seven other minor accidents.

Clintonville Police Department

Jan. 19

Police logged 13 incidents, including the following:

Juvenile — Two contributing to truancy reports, a suspicious incident and a truancy report received at Clintonville High School, 64 Green Tree Road.

Warrant — A 33-year-old Clintonville man was taken into custody on a warrant on North 12th Street.

Suspicious — A suspicious incident was reported on Auto Street.

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County Dems hit by Russian hacking incident

Thu, 01/19/2017 - 11:19pm
Virus filtered down to grass-roots levelBy: 

Tim Ryan, tryan@wolfrivermedia.com

Could Shawano County be holding tantalizing secret information that Russian President Vladimir Putin would like to get his hands on?

Well, probably not.

Yet officials at the Shawano County Democratic Party say they learned recently that Russia’s alleged hack of the Democratic National Committee — or near-certain hack, based on the intelligence community’s assessment — filtered down through state and congressional party computer systems to the grass-roots level across the country, including Shawano County.

“On the county level, our computers were part of the hack,” said Dan Weidner, first vice chairman of the county Democratic Party.
Weidner said state party officials learned about three weeks ago that the system had been compromised at the state level because of the DNC hack, and that the worm set in motion was crawling down through the system.

“The hack wormed its way through the national system,” he said. “It surprised us that it was that extensive.”

The impact on local Democratic organizations has not gotten much attention as part of the national Russian hacking story, but, Weidner said, the DNC and FBI investigating the original hacking incident only recently discovered how widespread it was.

“It’s a virus that was crawling through the system,” he said, “and we’re at the tail end.”

Like most county Democratic Party offices in northeast Wisconsin, Shawano County’s network is linked through Brown County to the 8th Congressional District, which is linked to the state, which is linked to the national party system.

The local party now finds itself part of a systemwide purge of the virus set off at the national level.

“It will cost about $300 locally to fix the damage,” Weidner said.

That’s not a huge financial burden for the Shawano County party, according to Weidner.

“We’ve got a decent financial situation, so we can handle it,” he said. “Others will be strained.”

The local Democratic Party will have to switch out of the security system it had been using and become part of a broader party network under a professional security firm, Weidner said.

Though the 8th Congressional District and state Democratic Party will pick up much of those set-up costs, it will cost the local party about $100 a year to run it.

“It’s not much, but it’s another expense to think about,” Weidner said.

He said the Shawano County party assumed its existing security measures were sufficient.

“We weren’t planning on a sophisticated hack from a foreign government,” he said.

Weidner said it’s unlikely Shawano County was specifically targeted.

“What are they going to get? Our newsletter? Pictures of our brat fry?” he joked. “‘Look at all the brats that guy’s eating, we could blackmail him.’”

Weidner said the local party’s financials are also already pretty transparent and wouldn’t need hacking to access. There is one thing officials would like to keep confidential — their voting list.

Access to that could allow a hacker to feed fake information to individual voters or even divert financial contributions, he said.

Weidner said it’s not clear whether any information was actually accessed or downloaded during the hacking.

“We just know somebody was in the system,” he said. “This will be a major problem for the party.”

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4 candidates emerge for open seat on Stockbridge-Munsee Tribal Council

Thu, 01/19/2017 - 11:17pm
Menominee tribe holds legislative electionBy: 

Tim Ryan, tryan@wolfrivermedia.com

Four candidates were chosen by caucus Saturday for an open seat on the Stockbridge-Munsee Tribal Council replacing Joe Miller, who was ousted in a recall election on Dec. 3.

Names put forward as candidates Saturday are Steven Davids, Terrie Terrio, Greg Miller and Randall Wollenhaup.

The special election to the seat will be held Feb. 4.

Joe Miller was one of four tribal officials targeted in last month’s recall, but only two — Miller and Jeremy Mohawk — were still on the council at the time of the recall. Mohawk survived the recall and will keep his seat.

Of the other two named in the recall, Douglas Huck had lost his seat in the last election and Jo Ann Schedler had resigned on Nov. 15.

Elsewhere, results have been certified in the Menominee Tribal Legislature elections held last week.

Results were as follows, with the three top-vote getters elected to the legislature:

Ronald James Corn Sr. - 392

Craig A. Corn - 384

Eugene “Gene” Caldwell - 335

Rachel Fernandez - 304

Jerrit O’Kimosh - 291

Shannon L. Wilber - 154

Mary Sullivan Menore - 121

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Public Record

Thu, 01/19/2017 - 11:14pm

Shawano Police Department

Jan. 18

Police logged 31 incidents, including the following:

Juvenile — Police responded to a juvenile problem in the 300 block of Swan Street.

Disorderly — Police responded to a disorderly conduct complaint in the 200 block of South Sawyer Street.

Hit and Run — Police investigated a property damage hit-and-run at Pick ‘n Save, 190 Woodlawn Drive.

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

Theft — An iPhone was reported stolen from Shawano Community High School, 220 County Road B.

Disorderly — Police responded to a disorderly conduct complaint in the 500 block of South Smalley Street.

Shawano County Sheriff’s Department

Jan. 18

Deputies logged 33 incidents, including the following:

Fire — Authorities responded to a fire in a chicken coop on Regina Road in the town of Aniwa.

Disturbance — A male subject was arrested after a domestic disturbance on Bartelt Street in Gresham.

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

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

Juvenile — Authorities responded to a juvenile problem on Main Street in the town of Angelica.

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

Drug Offense — Authorities investigated a drug complaint on Maders Circle in the town of Wescott.

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

Clintonville Police Department

Jan. 18

Police logged 10 incidents, including the following:

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

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

OAR — A driver was arrested for operating after revocation at Main and 11th streets.

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Mattoon group appealing Antigo school vote

Thu, 01/19/2017 - 7:29am
Group gathering signatures for petition to the stateBy: 

Tim Ryan, tryan@wolfrivermedia.com

Supporters of a breakaway Mattoon school district are gathering signatures for a petition to appeal a decision by the Antigo school board to deny letting the proposed secession go to a referendum.

The Unified School District of Antigo board voted 8-1 on Jan. 10 against the proposal. A yes vote would have sent the question to a referendum in November.

Supporters need to collect about 1,000 signatures from around the Antigo school district and present their petition to the state by the end of the day on Feb. 15.

The appeal will be filed with the School District Boundary Appeal Board, a panel made up of 12 school board members from around the state appointed by the state superintendent of public instruction.

Zak Kickhaver, one of the leaders of the Mattoon effort, said the group is confident about being able to get the required signatures.

The petition is available at the Mattoon market and supporters will also be going door-to-door for signatures, Kickhaver said.

The Antigo board was required to consider seven factors under state law: the geographical considerations of the district, educational needs, equality in program offerings, support services, fiscal impact, the geography of the reorganized territory, and the socio-economic and racial composition of the proposed new district.

District Administrator Brian Misfeldt said each factor was considered on the basis of whether it would positively or negatively impact the existing Antigo school district, and that after considering the factors, the board was unable to support the creation of a Mattoon district.

Efforts to create a Mattoon district, which would serve students in kindergarten through sixth grade, were spurred by the Antigo board’s decision last year to close Mattoon Elementary School.

There are 120 eligible elementary students within the boundaries of the proposed Mattoon district, though some of them could still attend the Antigo district through open enrollment. The boundaries are in line with the area served by Mattoon Elementary in the 2015-16 school year, according to Kickhaver.

The plan would be for the Mattoon district to contract with Antigo schools for seventh though 12th grade classes.

Kickhaver said proponents never intended to create a K-12 school district because the Mattoon school doesn’t have the facilities to support one. Also, he said, the additional requirements such as athletic programs and specialty teachers wouldn’t be financially feasible.

Antigo school officials voted twice to close the elementary school. Some parents say the school board’s first vote in April was taken without any public notice. The board held a special meeting in June to vote again and came down to the same 5-4 decision.

The village of Mattoon sought a court injunction in May to keep the Antigo school district from closing the Mattoon school, maintaining the village and parents of elementary school students in Mattoon were blindsided by the decision.

Two parents of Mattoon elementary students joined the village as plaintiffs in the complaint.

The complaint alleged the school board’s vote to close the Mattoon school was retribution for the lack of support for the school district’s failed April 5 referendum.

The $25.9 million plan would have closed five of the district’s seven elementary schools, renovated the remaining two, and built a new, centralized school in Antigo.

The referendum failed by a vote of 3,787-2,615.

The civil complaint maintained that the school’s closure will make the village of Mattoon a less attractive place to live, leading to a decline in population, business presence and economic vitality.

A court order issuing a settlement and stipulation to dismiss the suit was issued on Aug. 4, after the Mattoon school had already been closed.

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Marion says farewell to police dog

Thu, 01/19/2017 - 7:26am
Utos served community many yearsBy: 

Grace Kirchner, Leader Correspondent


UTOS
Leader Photo by Grace Kirchner Law enforcement and emergency personnel attend a memorial service Saturday for the Marion Police Department K-9 Utos.
Leader Photo by Grace Kirchner Utos lived with, from left, Marion Police Department Officer Eric Krause, left, his son, Christopher, and his wife, Jennifer. Daughter Emily is not shown. “This is the first pet that our children have lost,” Jennifer Krause said.

Utos wasn’t just a dog. He was everybody’s dog in Marion.

The love for Utos, a Marion Police Department K-9 member who died on Dec. 23 due to a genetic heart condition, was evident Saturday when about 150 people gathered for a memorial service, funeral procession and reception.

People lined the streets to show support for Utos, Officer Eric Krause and his family, and the Police Department. Representatives of the State Patrol, several police departments and emergency personnel participated in the procession from the the Appleton Animal Referral Center to Main Street in Marion and then to St. John’s Lutheran Church.

“Our city couldn’t ask for a better K-9,” said Police Chief Kevin Schultz, who commended Krause for the work he and his family did caring for Utos.

Utos and Krause became a certified K-9 team in 2012 and worked together until Dec. 23. Utos was trained in narcotics detection, handler protection and tracking. He was very successful in locating drugs, assisting in apprehending criminals, and locating missing children. During his final shift, Utos aided in locating a suspect who was wanted for attempted homicide.

“Utos was always ready for work,” Krause said. “He did a lot for this community.”

“When Utos passed, away my first thought was, what are we going to do,” Schultz said. “I wanted to do something for him. He did a lot for this small community. Everyone has a connection with him.

“Utos was never shy or quiet. He let you know where he was. He was loved, but he wanted you to get away from his squad car.”

Schultz recalled how Utos was able to locate a 10-year-old with disabilities who ran away from school and was in a nearby corn field.

“The kids loved him. They didn’t always remember my name, but they knew his,” Schultz said. “At the elementary third-grade career fair, Eric (Krause) and Utos always received the most questions.”

Former Police Chief Chris Hughes initiated the effort to bring a K-9 unit to Marion. The program was paid for through fundraising within the community.

Schultz said the department will begin fundraising for another K-9, which Krause and his family have agreed to welcome into their home.

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Court News

Wed, 01/18/2017 - 10:26pm

Recent felony charges filed in Shawano-Menominee County Circuit Court:

• Jamey G. Stiles, 51, Green Bay, was charged Tuesday with two felony counts of second or subsequent possession of marijuana. He could face a maximum 3½ years in prison and $10,000 fine on each count if convicted. He was ordered held on a $500 cash bond and is scheduled for an adjourned initial appearance on Jan. 30.

• Courtney M. Laehn, 21, Leopolis, was charged Friday with a felony count of theft through false representation. She could face a maximum 10 years in prison and a $25,000 fine if found guilty. She is due in court for an initial appearance on Jan. 30.

• Veron M. High, 29, Gresham, was charged Jan. 12 with a felony count of fleeing or eluding an officer in a vehicle. He could face a maximum 3½ years in prison and $10,000 fine if convicted. High is free on a $500 cash bond and is scheduled for a preliminary hearing on Feb. 10.

• Jefferey J. Befay, 33, Green Bay, was charged Jan. 9 with felony counts of strangulation and suffocation and use of force to intimidate a victim. He waived his preliminary hearing Wednesday and entered a plea of not guilty. He could face a maximum 10 years in prison $25,000 fine for strangulation and suffocation, and a maximum six years and a $10,000 fine for intimidating a victim if found guilty. He is being held on a $10,000 cash bond. He is scheduled for a pre-trial conference on Feb. 14.

• Dina M. Dick, 38, Shawano, was charged Jan. 9 with a felony count of substantial battery with intent to do bodily harm. She could face a maximum 3½ years in prison and $10,000 fine if convicted. She is scheduled for an initial court appearance on Jan. 30.

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Public Record

Wed, 01/18/2017 - 10:06pm

Shawano Police Department

Jan. 17

Police logged 25 incidents, including the following:

Disorderly — Police responded to a disorderly conduct complaint at Evergreen and Elizabeth streets.

Hit and Run — Police investigated a property damage hit-and-run at Second and Washington streets.

Arrest — A 19-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 800 block of East Richmond Street.

Shoplifting — Qualheim’s, 1345 E. Green Bay St., reported a shoplifting incident.

Theft — An iPhone was reported stolen from a locker at the Shawano Recreation Center, 220 E. Division St.

Shawano County Sheriff’s Department

Jan. 17

Deputies logged 44 incidents, including the following:

Disorderly — Authorities responded to a disorderly conduct complaint at the Shawano County Courthouse, 311 N. Main St. in Shawano.

Theft — Medication was reported stolen out of a camper on Lake Road in the town of Birnamwood.

Accidents — Authorities responded to an injury accident involving an 18-wheeler that jackknifed on state Highway 29 in the town of Hartland and logged 23 other minor accidents.

Clintonville Police Department

Jan. 17

Police logged 10 incidents, including the following:

Accident — Officers assisted Waupaca County Sheriff Department with checking on a vehicle rollover on Jepson Road.

OAR — A driver was cited for operating after revocation on Flora Way at East Morning Glory Drive.

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Charter school gets 2-year renewal

Tue, 01/17/2017 - 11:03pm
District moves issue behind closed doorsBy: 

Scott Williams, swilliams@wolfrivermedia.com

The Shawano School District will continue to operate its charter school for another two years.

District administrators and Shawano School Board members reached that decision after discussions that were held largely out of public view.

Board members met behind closed doors Monday to discuss the charter school’s future, and then voted unanimously to approve a two-year extension without public deliberation or explanation.

Superintendent Gary Cumberland declined to comment on why the matter was being handled behind closed doors. An attorney for the school district said officials were within their legal rights to exclude the public from discussions regarding the charter school’s future.

Parents earlier Monday had publicly urged board members to support the LEADS Charter School, which began five years ago as an alternative for students in grades pre-kindergarten through second.

Parent Anne Robertson told the board that both her children attended LEADS and both had good experiences with its alternative “inquiry-based” teaching style.

“It was a really great opportunity for my kids to learn in a really different way,” Robertson said. “They were taught to think — and not be scared of it.”

Housed inside Hillcrest Primary School, LEADS has served about 72 students annually. It is overseen by its own governing board and funded through the district’s regular $38 million budget.

With the district’s initial five-year commitment to LEADS scheduled to expire at the end of the current school year, some board members had previously questioned its effectiveness in improving student instruction throughout the district.

Board member Derek Johnson last month requested data showing how students perform in the charter school. That data has not since been presented publicly, and subsequent discussions about the charter school have been moved into closed-door meetings.

The district’s executive board met Jan. 5 without indicating that it would discuss renewal of the charter school. The agenda stated that the board would meet behind closed doors to consider LEADS student data under an exception to the state’s open meetings law that is generally reserved for personnel problems or disciplinary issues.

In a memo to board members later, Cumberland wrote that executive board members voted to recommend renewing LEADS for two years after having “a data-driven presentation” that was “very informational.” He wrote that performance data showed no difference between LEADS students and others in the district.

“The question then,” he wrote, “is what about LEADS is working best that we could use in the regular school setting to help meet the needs of more students.”

Cumberland’s memo said nothing about executive board members considering personnel problems or disciplinary issues associated with the charter school.

For Monday’s school board meeting, the agenda initially indicated that the charter school renewal would be discussed in public. A different agenda distributed later showed that the matter would be considered behind closed doors under an open meetings exception generally reserved for buying real estate or making other investment decisions with “competitive or bargaining” concerns.

The board voted unanimously to close Monday’s meeting to the public for discussion of the charter school issue. Board member Rich Belongia was absent.

FYI

Shawano School Superintendent Gary Cumberland reported that district communication specialist Amanda Korth has resigned, after a management consultant recommended eliminating her position. Cumberland plans to transfer Korth’s duties to other district staff.

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3 seats on Birnamwood Town Board face opposition

Tue, 01/17/2017 - 11:01pm
Only a handful of contested races on the ballotBy: 

Tim Ryan, tryan@wolfrivermedia.com

The town caucus in Birnamwood last week resulted in setting up contested races this spring for three seats on the town board, including the chairman and two supervisors.

One incumbent supervisor, Mike Fandrey, is not only running for another term in his District 2 seat but also simultaneously challenging Chairman Peter Stewart for that office.

Fandrey is being challenged for his District 2 seat by Steven Steinke.

Incumbent District 1 Supervisor Dennis Van Prooyen is facing a challenge from Frank Groh.

Town clerk Dennis Knaak and treasurer Debbra Kessen are running unopposed.

The Leader was still awaiting election filing and caucus results from a number of communities, but contested races being reported so far in the April 4 election include the following:

• The town of Angelica, where incumbent supervisors Wilbert Lewis and Greg Van Asten are facing challenges from Mike Kurzynske and James Lloyd Przybylski, and incumbent town clerk Janet Powers is being challenged by Connie Lynn Przybylski.

• The town of Herman, where three candidates are running for two supervisor seats. Incumbents Duane Spiegel and Howard Schultz are both running, as is challenger Clayton Arndt. Meanwhile, Chairman Joseph DeBaker has chosen not to run again. Robert Kristof has filed to run for the chairman’s post.

• In the town of Lessor, Jeffrey Nass and David Owen are both competing to join the town board as District 2 supervisor.

• The town of Maple Grove has a contested race for treasurer. Incumbent treasurer Ervin Flesch has decided to retire, but Steven Holewinski and Bonnie Taylor are both vying to take that office.

• The town of Richmond also has three candidates for two supervisor positions. Incumbent Ken Damveld is seeking another two-year term, while Matt Hietpas and Ricky Brockman are also making a bid for a supervisor seat. Incumbent supervisor Jerry Weisnicht is not seeking another term.

• In the town of Washington, incumbent supervisors Steve Wegner and Dan Sumnicht are running for re-election, along with challenger David Korth. Incumbent constable Marvin Gehm is being challenged by Charley Fritsch.

• The town of Wescott, where incumbent Mike Schuler is seeking another two-year term, but will face a challenge from Donald Anker.

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Public Record

Tue, 01/17/2017 - 9:32pm

Shawano Police Department

Jan. 16

Police logged 18 incidents, including the following:

Accident — Police responded to a single-vehicle property damage accident at Green Bay Street and Fairview Road.

OWL — A 33-year-old man was cited for operating without a license at Main and Green Bay streets.

Disturbance — Police responded to a domestic disturbance in the 1100 block of Waukechon Street.

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

Accident — Police responded to a single-vehicle property damage accident at Wescott Avenue and Washington Street.

Hit and Run — Police investigated a property damage hit-and-run at Green Bay Street and Fairview Avenue.

Jan. 15

Police logged 20 incidents, including the following:

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

Drug Offense — A male subject was cited for possession of marijuana and drug paraphernalia in the 200 block of South Sawyer Street.

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

Juvenile — Police responded to a juvenile problem in the 700 block of South Union Street.

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

Disturbance — Police responded to a domestic disturbance on Jesse Court.

Jan. 14

Police logged 11 incidents, including the following:

Accident — Police responded to a car versus deer accident at Airport Drive and Richmond Street.

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

Child Abuse — A child abuse complaint was under investigation.

Disorderly — Police responded to a disorderly conduct complaint in the 300 block of Madison Way.

Jan. 13

Police logged 22 incidents, including the following:

Disturbance — Police responded to a disturbance at McDonald’s, 1202 E. Green Bay St.

Fraud — A fraud complaint was under investigation.

Juvenile — Police responded to a juvenile problem in the 700 block of South Union Street.

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

Forgery — Police investigated a forgery complaint in the 1100 block of South Cleveland.

Shawano County Sheriff’s Department

Jan. 16

Deputies logged 46 incidents, including the following:

OAR — A 33-year-old woman was cited for operating after revocation on state Highway 47 in the town of Hartland.

Warrant — A 45-year-old man was arrested on a warrant on state Highway 47 in the town of Hartland.

OAR — A 23-year-old man was cited for operating after revocation on state Highway 55 in the town of Maple Grove.

Fire — Authorities responded to a fire alarm at a residence on Main Street in Bowler.

Accidents — Authorities responded to injury accidents on Shady Road in the town of Lessor and on County Road E in the town of Washington. Authorities also logged 23 other minor accidents.

Jan. 15

Deputies logged 33 incidents, including the following:

OWI — A male subject was arrested for operating while intoxicated on County Road E in the town of Washington.

OAR — A 37-year-old man was cited for operating after revocation on County Road Q in the town of Almon.

Suspicious — Authorities responded to a suspicious person complaint on Adams Beach Drive in the town of Belle Plaine.

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

Jan. 14

Deputies logged 27 incidents, including the following:

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

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

Trespass — Authorities responded to a trespassing complaint on Valley Road in the town of Washington.

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

Jan. 13

Deputies logged 40 incidents, including the following:

Disturbance — Authorities responded to a disturbance on Strauss Court in the town of Wescott.

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

Theft — Authorities responded to a property theft complaint on Lake Drive in the town of Wescott.

Assault — Authorities investigated an assault complaint on County Road Y in the town of Belle Plaine.

Fire — Authorities responded to a fire on Deer Lane in the town of Washington.

Juvenile — Authorities responded to a juvenile alcohol complaint on Green Valley Road in the town of Angelica.

Accidents — Authorities responded to an injury accident on state Highway 29 in the town of Hartland and logged nine other accidents, including two deer-related crashes.

Clintonville Police Department

Jan. 16

Police logged seven incidents, including the following:

Assault — Police investigated a battery complaint on South Main Street.

Accident — Police responded to a two-vehicle accident at Madison and Bennett streets.

Hit and Run — A property damage hit-and-run was reported at Madison and Bennett streets.

Jan. 15

Police logged seven incidents, including the following:

Disturbance — Police responded to a family disturbance on Harriet Street.

Theft — A theft was reported on South Main Street.

Jan. 13

Police logged nine incidents, including the following:

Juvenile — Two juveniles were cited for curfew on West Madison Street.

Disorderly — Disorderly conduct was reported at the high school, 64 Green Tree Road.

Drug Offense — A male passenger was arrested for possession of marijuana and drug paraphernalia and the driver was taken into custody on a Shawano County warrant after a traffic stop at 12th Street and Clinton Avenue.

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New summer festival planned for Shawano

Sat, 01/14/2017 - 5:10am
Sun Drop Dayz could become annual traditionBy: 

Scott Williams swilliams@wolfrivermedia.com


Contributed Image Sun Drop Soda bottler Twig’s Beverage Inc. has signed on as a major sponsor for the new annual start-of-summer festival that will bear its name.

Shawano has always put an exclamation point on the end of summer with the Shawano County Fair extravaganza held each year around the time kids are heading back to school.

Starting this year, Shawano will try its hand at kicking off the start of summer with another blowout good time.

Sun Drop Dayz, an outdoor music festival, will entice crowds to downtown Shawano for an inaugural two-day event June 2-3, in what organizers hope will become a signature community tradition.

Plans for the festival include three live bands, food and beer, craft vendors, kids activities and more between the hours of 5 p.m. and 10 p.m. June 2 and between 11 a.m. and 10 p.m. June 3. Admission will be free, with wrist bands available for $1 for adults planning to purchase alcoholic beverages.

The grounds will be centered on Elizabeth Street, which will be closed to traffic between Main Street and Lincoln Street. The main stage will be set up to the north and other activities will take place south at Memorial Park and at the nearby Sun Drop Soda museum.

Organizers hope Sun Drop Dayz will become an annual event that will put Shawano on the map of major summer kickoff celebrations throughout the region.

“This could potentially be huge,” said Jeff Ballwahn, leader of the festival planning committee.

The concept grew out of Leadership Shawano County, a group organized annually by the Shawano Country Chamber of Commerce to promote civic leadership and problem solving. Members of the group last year determined that the Shawano area would benefit from having a major new event to elevate the community’s profile and create a stronger identity.

Planners decided that Shawano’s distinction as the home of Sun Drop Soda was a good central theme, and Sun Drop bottler Twig’s Beverage Inc. signed on as the marquee sponsor.

“We love our Sun Drop — it’s true,” said Wendy Crawford, program manager for Leadership Shawano County.

Other sponsors so far include the civic group known as Screamin Head Buzz and Wolf River Media, publisher of The Shawano Leader. Organizers are seeking additional sponsors, as well as non-profit groups interested in partnering with specific food or beverage vendors.

Vendors include local favorites Sun Drop Soda, Charlie’s County Market ribs and Bubba’s BBQ Co. pork and chicken sandwiches, with more expected to join later.

Nonprofit partners include Junior Achievement of Wisconsin-Wolf River Region and the Boys & Girls Club of Shawano.

Crawford said although some details are still coming together, much planning over several months has gone into organizing a two-day event that is intended to entertain people from throughout the community and to draw tourists from throughout the region.

“It’s ambitious,” she said, “but it’s exciting, and it’s fun to think of the possibilities.”

The lineup so far includes: a Friday fish fry with live music by “The Cougars” from 6:30-9:30 p.m. June 2, music by the country band “Red Clover” from 1:30-4:30 p.m. June 3, and classic rock favorite “Johnny Wad” from 6:30-9:30 p.m. June 3.

Children’s activities at Memorial Park include a basketball clinic with former NBA player Christian Laettner, a learn-to-fish workshop open to adults, too, and inflatables.

Twig’s Beverage plans to offer special tours and soda tastings at the Sun Drop museum.

Since Leadership Shawano County conceived the idea, a planning committee of about 20 people has worked to establish a theme, pick the dates and recruit sponsors and participants.

“I really think it’s going to be a special event,” Ballwahn said.

Crawford said she encourages people to get the June 2-3 dates on their summer calendars and to watch the festival website for sponsorship opportunities and other new details about the festival plans.

“We have such great momentum going for this,” she said, “and we have great partners.”

FYI For more information, go to www.sundropdayz.com.Rate this article:  Select ratingGive it 1/5Give it 2/5Give it 3/5Give it 4/5Give it 5/5 Average: 5 (1 vote)

Man pleads not guilty to child porn possession

Sat, 01/14/2017 - 5:08am
Beckwith faces 67 countsBy: 

Tim Ryan tryan@wolfrivermedia.com

A Wittenberg man pleaded not guilty Friday to 67 counts of possessing child pornography.

James K. Beckwith, 56, could face a maximum 25 years in prison and $100,000 fine on each count if convicted.

Beckwith was initially charged in November with 25 counts of child porn possession. The criminal complaint was amended in December to add the additional 42 counts after further investigation by authorities.

Shawano County sheriff’s investigators were alerted in September that an IP address located in the county had downloaded possible child pornography, according to the criminal complaint, which states the internet address was subsequently linked to Beckwith.

The initial cyber tip was reported by Microsoft on behalf of Skype, according to the complaint.

County authorities subsequently received four additional cyber tips from the state Division of Criminal Investigation regarding other images of alleged child porn being downloaded at Beckwith’s internet address.

Sheriff’s investigators executed a search warrant at Beckwith’s residence on Nov. 11, seizing an iPhone and a laptop computer.

According to the complaint, investigators found videos and images on the laptop hard drive of male and female children in states of undress and engaged in sexual poses or activity.

Beckwith is free on a $15,000 cash bond and is scheduled for a pre-trial conference on April 12.

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Shawano charter school under review

Sat, 01/14/2017 - 5:06am
LEADS program set to expire this yearBy: 

Scott Williams swillliams@wolfrivermedia.com

Shawano School Board members are considering whether to renew the district’s charter school for another five years.

LEADS Primary Charter School serves students in 4-year-old kindergarten through second grade with a special “inquiry-based” curriculum designed to help students develop independent learning skills.

The charter school, which is housed inside the district’s Hillcrest Primary School, has been available to about 72 students annually since it started five years ago.

Funded through the district’s regular $38 million budget, LEADS is overseen by its own governing board.

Some board members have praised the LEADS program, while some have questioned its impact within the district. Parents also have voiced concerns about how their children transition from LEADS to a traditional curriculum starting in third grade.

The School Board’s initial five-year authorization for a charter school expires at the end of the current school year.

Among the board’s options are shutting down the charter school, renewing it for another specific time period, and expanding it to include more grades or classrooms.

The board is scheduled to meet at 5:30 p.m. Monday in the district board room at Shawano Community High School.

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Public Record

Sat, 01/14/2017 - 5:05am

Shawano Police Department

Jan. 12

Police logged 35 incidents, including the following:

Warrant — A 31-year-old woman was taken into custody on a warrant in the 1100 block of South Main Street.

Fire Call — Sparks were reported flying from a breaker box in the 100 block of East Maurer Street. The location was evacuated and power was turned off until the problem could be assessed.

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

Drug Offense — Police investigated a drug complaint in the 400 block of South Franklin Street.

Hit and Run — Police investigated a property damage hit-and-run at Perkin’s restaurant, 1398 E. Green Bay St.

Shawano County Sheriff’s Department

Jan. 12

Deputies logged 38 incidents, including the following:

Fire — Authorities responded to a barn fire on Regina Road in the town of Almon.

Hit and Run — Authorities investigated a property damage hit-and-run on County Road F in the town of Hartland.

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

Suspicious — Authorities responded to a suspicious vehicle complaint on Sell Lane in the town of Fairbanks.

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

Accidents — Authorities responded to an injury accident on Cedar Road in the town of Angelica and logged eight other accidents, including two deer-related crashes.

Clintonville Police Department

Jan. 12

Police logged seven incidents, including the following:

Accident — Officers responded to a property damage accident on Harriet Street.

Suspicious — Officer responded to the report of a suspicious incident on North Main Street.

Accident — Officers responded to a two-vehicle accident at Main and Sixth streets and subsequently the Clintonville Fire Department and Ambulance were dispatched to assist.

Suspicious — Officer responded to the report of a suspicious incident on Harriet Street.

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Schmidt assumes CEO responsibilities at medical center

Sat, 01/14/2017 - 5:04am
He also will continue to oversee New London hospital

Bill Schmidt commenced his CEO responsibilities at ThedaCare Medical Center-Shawano upon last month’s retirement of Dorothy Erdmann.

The new position is in addition to his CEO duties at ThedaCare Medical Center-New London, where he has worked as hospital president since July 2001.

A native of Indianapolis and a graduate of Purdue University with a degree in industrial management, Schmidt first plied his trade in the manufacturing sector. In 1982 he accepted a job in productivity and cost accounting at a Fort Wayne, Indiana, hospital and discovered a new passion: quality and process improvement in health care.

“This new type of job was so much more rewarding,” Schmidt said. “I could see how we could directly influence patient care delivery and how our own people were treated. I never looked back.”

Schmidt went on to earn his MBA from Indiana University and worked for HealthSouth as regional administrator for outpatient services in Indiana before moving to New London.

Schmidt is married to Cheryl, a native of New London and a regional vice president for quality for a regional health network, whose family initially alerted him to the local hospital’s executive search. Their daughter, Caitlin, is a junior at the University of Wisconsin with an interest in government and nonprofit organizations.

Schmidt and Erdmann worked side-by-side for the last several months of 2016 to make connections in Shawano.

“Dorothy and the board members helped me a lot with introductions and acclimating me to the culture of the hospital and Shawano,” Schmidt said. “Shawano will not be a place I simply visit; I plan to be a fully involved member of the hospital and community.”

“Sharing a CEO is not uncommon in community hospital settings,” Erdmann said. “It is a proven successful model, and Bill has the skills to move within a small community and plug into a large health care system. He’s just as comfortable at the coffee shop as the conference table.”

Erdmann said Schmidt prioritizes openness and transparency.

“He started coming to leadership meetings months ago, and the first thing he did was invite our staff to call their counterparts in New London and ask them what they thought of him,” Erdmann said.

She expects his reputation as a fair leader with a wealth of wisdom and experience will be well received in Shawano.

“It is a very wise decision to put Bill Schmidt in Shawano,” Erdmann said. “Bill understands health care services in a rural community may look different than in a larger city. He will be a strong advocate for Shawano’s needs.”

In his 15 years in New London, Schmidt has been active in numerous local organizations including the chamber of commerce (president), New London Tourism Commission (chairman), Rotary, Most Precious Blood Church finance committee, First State Bank board of directors, New London School District board of directors, Community Health Action Team (co-chair), and ThedaCare Family of Foundations-New London (vice chair).

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

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Teen's vehicular homicide trial delayed

Fri, 01/13/2017 - 7:36am
Jury will hear Swadner case in OctoberBy: 

Tim Ryan, tryan@wolfrivermedia.com

Less than two weeks before it was set to begin, the vehicular homicide trial of Ryan Swadner, the teenage driver in a 2014 crash that claimed the lives of three passengers, has been pushed to October.

Shawano-Menominee Circuit Court Judge William Kussel Jr. said at a hearing Thursday he was reluctantly granting a defense motion to delay the proceedings.

Attorney Nila Robinson said changes in the financial status of the Swadner family would now allow the hiring of experts in accident reconstruction and toxicology to be called by the defense.

The two-week trial was expected to start on Jan. 23. A new start date of Oct. 9 was set.

Swadner, 19, of Cecil, is accused of being under the influence of marijuana on Oct. 21, 2014, when he swerved to avoid another vehicle stopped in his path on state Highway 22 in Belle Plaine and lost control on a gravel shoulder.

The Ford Mustang he was driving crossed into the path of an oncoming sport utility vehicle and was hit broadside, according to the accident report.

Two Shawano Community High School seniors, 17-year-old Cody Borsche and 18-year-old Tyler Welch, were pronounced dead at the scene. A Bonduel High School sophomore, 15-year-old Paige Brunette, was transported to Shawano Medical Center for medical attention and later died.

District Attorney Greg Parker objected to the motion for a delay, arguing the defense has had ample time to prepare its case and that the delay would be unfair to the families of the victims.

“This has been catastrophic for these victims,” Parker told the court. “They expected justice one way or another to be served starting on Jan. 23, 2017.”

Kussel said he had to balance the rights of the victims against the rights of the defendant.

“This is a horrific case,” he said.

He said expert witnesses could help the defense on at least some of the charges.

“This is a fairly complicated felony case,” he said.

“I’m not happy that this continuance has been asked for at this time,” Kussel said, but granted the delay in the interests of a fair trial.

“I’m doing it somewhat hesitantly, but I want to make sure the constitutional rights of the defendant are maintained,” he said.

Kussel, however, denied several other defense motions, including requests to suppress Swadner’s interview with a detective while he was in the hospital and a blood draw taken from Swadner without a warrant.

Kussel ruled video and audio of the hospital interview indicate Swadner was coherent at the time, despite pain medication, and the interview was voluntary. He also said there was probable cause and exigent circumstances that necessitated the blood draw as quickly as possible.

Swadner is charged with three counts of homicide by use of a vehicle while under the influence of a controlled substance and three counts of second-degree reckless homicide. Each of the charges carries a maximum penalty of 25 years in prison and a $100,000 fine.

He is also charged with felony counts of possession with intent to deliver marijuana and maintaining a drug trafficking place in reference to the vehicle allegedly being used to traffic marijuana.

The charges each carry a maximum 3 1/2 years in prison and a $10,000 fine.

Swadner is also facing misdemeanor counts of causing injury while under the influence of a controlled substance and possession of marijuana and drug paraphernalia.

He is free on a $10,000 cash bond.

According to the criminal complaint, authorities found nearly 12 grams of marijuana in six plastic baggies in Swadner’s vehicle, along with the pieces of a glass pipe and a digital scale.

According to the complaint, Swadner told authorities he initially intended to loan his vehicle to Welch in exchange for marijuana on the day of the crash but later agreed to give Welch a ride.

The complaint alleges the vehicle was on its way to the state Highway 22/29 Shell station for “a narcotics transaction,” based on text messages included in the complaint that were exchanged with “Drug Customer D.”

Swadner told authorities Welch was making the drug transaction, and he was giving Welch a ride.

Lab results showing Swadner had marijuana in his system were presented at a preliminary hearing.

Robinson has suggested the trace amount of marijuana found in her client’s system could have been the result of secondhand smoke.

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City approves wording for parks referendum

Fri, 01/13/2017 - 7:35am
Advisory vote seeks public opinion on borrowing $1.85MBy: 

Tim Ryan, tryan@wolfrivermedia.com

The Shawano Common Council on Wednesday approved the wording of a referendum question that will give Shawano residents a chance to tell the city how high of a priority should be given to the development of city parks.

The advisory referendum on the April 4 ballot will ask whether the city should borrow additional money for development of the Franklin and Smalley parks and a splash pad to replace the kiddie pool at Memorial Park.

The referendum question will ask residents whether the city should borrow up to $1.85 million for the projects, which would increase property taxes by $25 for a $100,000 home.

Mayor Jeanne Cronce said the city would be launching public information efforts to educate voters on what the borrowing would mean for the parks and its tax impact.

The park and recreation department typically has an annual capital improvements budget of $250,000 a year, meaning it could take about eight years to accomplish the proposed projects if none of that money were to be spent on any other park improvements.

The additional borrowing would allow the improvements to be made within about two years, according to city officials.

At Franklin Park, the improvements would include a band shell and bandstand, additional parking for community events, walkable trails, a water fountain, and water and sewer utilities.

At Smalley Park, an existing pole building would be replaced with a structure similar to the one at Huckleberry Harbor, and other park facilities, including bathrooms and storage, a rentable picnic area and showers. Other amenities would include trails and docks for canoes and kayaks.

The plan also calls for replacing the wading pool at Memorial Park with a splash pad, basically a playground with water features, according to Matt Hendricks, parks and recreation director.

He said the existing pool was built in the late 1960s to early 1970s and is nearing the end of its life span.

Even if the borrowing is approved by voters, the park and recreation department would continue to pursue grant money if it’s available, Hendricks said, to cut some of the costs.

FYI

Wording of April 4 advisory referendum question:
Should the City of Shawano Common Council borrow up to $1,850,000 (a property tax increase of $25.00 per $100,000 home) in general obligation debt in order to fund the construction and installation of Franklin Park, Smalley Park and a Splash Pad?

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