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Updated: 31 min 47 sec ago

CMN discovers gems from the past

Wed, 07/27/2016 - 10:38pm
College re-creating Woodland Bowl pageantBy: 

Lee Pulaski, [email protected]


Leader Photo by Lee Pulaski Bruce Wilber, grandson of “Gems of Yesteryear” writer/director James Frechette, gives a monologue during a rehearsal Thursday at the College of Menominee Nation. Wilber will be narrating the pageant, the same as his grandfather did in 1954.
Leader Photo by Lee Pulaski Lloyd Frieson, who will be playing Tecumseh in “Gems of Yesteryear,” records some dialogue Thursday in the digital media lab at the College of Menominee Nation. The dialogue will be played during the pageant performance on Aug. 3, with the actors pantomiming to tell the story.

A Menominee Nation tradition is returning to the grounds of the Woodland Bowl in Keshena, 80 years after its construction.

The College of Menominee Nation will re-create an original pageant that debuted in 1954 as part of the 50th anniversary celebration of the Menominee Nation Contest Powwow. The show begins at dusk on Aug. 3.

Although the Woodland Bowl now mainly serves as the site of Menominee powwows, the arena was built in 1937 as a theatrical facility, according to Ryan Winn, CMN English and theater professor.

A group called the Pageant Players Guild formed to produce shows called the Menominee Pageants, which were held annually until the 1960s, Winn said, when the federal government terminated the Menominee’s recognized status as a tribe.

“They were an exhibition of the traditional Menominee stories, mostly histories, as well as the dances and the music that were common,” Winn said. “Originally when they started, they corresponded with the Keshena Fair, so they’d have all these non-native tourists there, and they would put on these as a way to entertain the crowd and celebrate their culture.”

The 1954 pageant, titled “The Gems of Yesteryear,” collected scenes from the guild’s previous pageants. One of the scenes re-creates the moment when the Menominee encountered the French, while other scenes depict other moments of tribal history, Winn said.

“That history has been forgotten, or it has gone largely unknown,” he said. “This play talks about the important moments in history.”

The pageant also showcases the dances of the time period and explains what they mean culturally. Winn noted that many dances, such as the Dance of Welcome, the Friendship Dance and the Snake Dance, to name a few, are still practiced today, but there was one dance, the Green Corn Dance, that is not practiced as much today and required him to do a lot of research.

Winn liked the 1954 pageant script, written by the late James Frechette, because of the references to previous pageants being intertwined with the current events of the day. The termination of the tribe’s status was approved by Congress in 1954 but did not take effect until 1961, and “Gems of Yesteryear” addressed the changes that were forthcoming as a result of the tribe’s federal termination and the formation of Menominee County.

“Termination was detrimental to all art and all of Menominee culture at that point in history because it changed everything,” Winn said. “You went from a self-sustaining tribe to one that had their hospital shut down and paying for their own BIA (Bureau of Indian Affairs) agents.”

Winn was asked in 2011 to come up with the re-creation of a traditional Menominee pageant, but when he tried to research past pageants, he was only able to find one complete script and another that was about 80 percent complete.

Frechette’s daughter, Grace Wilbur, had the original script her father had typed, and she shared it with Winn after learning about his project.

“She gave the original copy of his typed script to the college for us to use,” Winn said. “We have the original script and the director’s notes, written by hand.”

The only addition to the new show will be narration telling who played a certain part in 1954 and who will be performing it Aug. 3.

Although the script and director’s notes were intact, it took a lot of research and interviews to ensure the stage was re-created correctly. Winn held community meetings and interviewed tribal members who remember the pageant era.

“I would get invited to people’s homes to discuss it, or I’d get an email here and there. I’d find newspaper articles,” Winn said.

Winn also had to find speakers of the traditional Menominee language to fill in some gaps in the script.

Written in English, the script indicated when passages would need to be spoken in Menominee, but the Menominee passages were not in the script. In the 1950s, most Menominee still spoke the language fluently, so there was no need to put in the Menominee words, Winn said. Today, however, fewer Menominee speak the language.

Menominee pageants were a mixture of pantomiming, live music and dancing, and Winn said the 2016 show will be the same. The show’s oration will be recorded, enhanced with sound effects, and then performed with the actors speaking their lines along with the recorded track.

Although the pageant begins at dusk, the audience will be treated to recordings made by members of the original Pageant Players Guild beginning at 6:30 p.m. The show lasts two hours, with an intermission during which patrons can purchase food and beverages.

AT A GLANCE

WHAT: Re-creation of the 1954 “Gems of Yesteryear” Menominee pageant

WHEN: Dusk, Aug. 3

WHERE: Woodland Bowl, Keshena

ADMISSION: Free

FYI: All dancers are welcome to join the production on the night of the show, but should check in with the lead dancers Thomas Pecore and Jamie Awonohopay prior to the show.

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State lowering speed limit near hospital

Wed, 07/27/2016 - 10:35pm
Not enough traffic for roundaboutBy: 

Scott Williams, [email protected]

Motorists driving past Shawano’s new hospital soon will find lower speed limits — but not a roundabout — aimed at alleviating traffic congestion.

State highway planners have determined that traffic near ThedaCare Medical Center-Shawano is not heavy enough to warrant a roundabout or stoplight at state Highway 22 and County Road B.

The state instead plans to lower the speed limit from 35 mph to 30 mph on Highway 22 just north of the hospital to help motorists navigate into traffic and keep moving.

Tony Kemnitz, a state traffic safety engineer, said the lower speed limit will indirectly alleviate congestion by easing backups on County Road B outside the hospital.

“It’s kind of a side benefit,” Kemnitz said. “It just all came together.”

The lowered speed limit should take effect with the posting of new road signs by this fall.

The state conducted a study of traffic patterns around ThedaCare’s new facility, 100 County Road B, after local law enforcement officials voiced concern that a growing number of motorists in the area was contributing to congestion and possibly safety hazards.

Shawano County Sheriff Adam Bieber said although lowering the speed limit will help, he favors building a roundabout to reduce the risk of serious traffic collisions at the intersection.

“We should not wait until someone is seriously injured or killed to make the changes that are obvious,” Bieber said.

The new hospital, which is large enough to serve more than 100,000 people a year, opened last September at the same time that ThedaCare closed the Shawano Medical Center at 309 N. Bartlett St. The new hospital is next to Shawano Community High School, which also generates high volumes of traffic, including school buses.

Brian Grieves, a chiropractor doing business in the area, said congestion is noticeable at peak travel times during the school year when students are arriving and leaving the high school en masse.

As a member of the Shawano County Highway Safety Commission, Grieves said he is uncertain whether the situation is serious enough to warrant a stoplight or roundabout. But he expressed gratitude that state highway officials are willing to consider changes.

“It’s obviously good to see they’ve taken notice,” Grieves said. “I’m in favor of making it as safe as possible.”

After earlier studying traffic volumes around the new hospital, the state Department of Transportation this summer conducted a study on how fast motorists drive through the area. Researchers used equipment to check passing vehicles on Highway 22 between June 14 and June 16.

Kemnitz presented the findings this week to the county Highway Safety Commission, reporting that motorists generally were driving in compliance with posted speed limits. At least 85 percent of the time, most were not exceeding the speed limits by more than about 2 mph, he said.

“We did not find a speeding problem,” he said.

Researchers also examined road designs, land use patterns and other factors to determine that the speed limit north of the hospital should be lowered to 30 mph going in either direction on Highway 22.

In ruling out a stoplight or roundabout at the intersection with County Road B, the state calculated that existing peak traffic volumes of 175 vehicles per hour would have to increase to 275 per hour in order to justify such an investment. Kemnitz estimated that stoplights would cost $250,000 and a roundabout possibly $1 million to $2 million.

He said the state would continue to monitor the congestion near ThedaCare’s facility.

“We’re aware that this is going on,” he said.

Bieber, who also serves on the county safety commission, said that lowering the speed limit near the hospital will benefit residents and pedestrians, and also will help reduce injuries if any crashes occur on Highway 222.

“Ultimately,” he added, “a roundabout is the safest and most efficient option.”

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Gallagher: Politicians put careers over country

Wed, 07/27/2016 - 10:35pm
Green Bay Republican seeking 8th District seatBy: 

Tim Ryan, [email protected]


Michael Gallagher

Mike Gallagher, one of three candidates in the Republican primary for the 8th Congressional District next month, views his possible role in Congress much as he did his role serving in Iraq.

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

Gallagher, of Green Bay, sat down with a Shawano Leader reporter during a visit to the city Tuesday.

Gallagher served seven years on active duty as a human intelligence/counterintelligence officer and regional affairs officer for the Middle East and North Africa, earning the rank of captain. During his service he deployed twice to Al Anbar Province, Iraq, as a commander of intelligence teams.

Gallagher blames the Obama administration and “leading from behind” as the reasons for the deterioration in conditions in Iraq since he left in 2008, where the town he had been deployed to is now under ISIS control.

Gallagher criticized elected officials from both parties for putting their political careers over service to their country.

“I think both parties have often been guilty of increasing the power of the presidency and the legislative branch,” he said. “I fear we’re losing trust in the basic institutions of government across the board.”

“All the enemies we face, foreign and domestic, are symptoms of the same disease, and that’s a lack of leadership and moral courage from career politicians and unelected bureaucrats who care more about their careers than they do about the country,” Gallagher said.

“I’m an American first, a conservative and a Republican,” he said. “I took an oath 10 years ago to support the Constitution, not to serve a political party.”

Nevertheless, Gallagher said he supports GOP presidential candidate Donald Trump, in spite of political and philosophical differences, because he is the Republican nominee.

“I’m going to vote for our nominee,” he said.

“He’s tapped into a general frustration with the direction of the country, and that’s a large part of why I’m running,” he said.

Gallagher couldn’t say whether having Trump at the top of the ticket was a help or a hindrance.

“This is about the craziest political year that I can remember,” he said. “Getting the message out there is the only variable that I can control.”

Gallagher conceded that the message of the Republican Party is a little muddled these days.

“It’s difficult to discern what is the uniting philosophy behind the Republican Party right now,” he said.

Gallagher expressed differences with Trump on some key issues, including Trump’s statements that the U.S. could back away from its obligations to NATO.

“We shouldn’t be suggesting to Vladimir Putin that we are unwilling to hold up and honor our Article 5 commitments under NATO,” Gallagher said.

He said that’s one of other areas where he could disagree with the party.

“I suspect there will be many areas where I agree with people in our party and many where I disagree,” he said. “I’m not running to serve the Republican Party in Congress. I’m running to serve the people of the 8th District.”

Gallagher said he is hoping to provide an an alternative model for congressional service.

He said he would work to end government pensions that incentivize politicians to make their public service a career.

He also said he would introduce legislation to keep Congress from getting paid if it doesn’t pass a budget.

Gallagher also said he supports a balanced budget amendment.

Gallagher said the Republican Party needs to put forward an alternative to Obamacare rather than continually voting to repeal it.

“It’s not enough for Republicans to say, ‘Obamacare bad.’ We also need to articulate what a good alternative like that looks like that people can believe in,” he said.

Gallagher said his conservative values were the driving force of his campaign.

“I believe in conservative values as necessary to the future of the country,” he said. “I will not compromise those values or those principles.”

Gallagher is vying for the GOP nomination for the 8th Congressional District held for three terms by Reid Ribble, who recently came out against Donald Trump and said he would consider supporting the Libertarian ticket.

Ribble on Monday also endorsed Gallagher as his replacement saying he has the foreign policy experience, fundraising ability and status as a political outsider needed to mount a strong general election campaign.

Gallagher is facing Frank Lasee, of De Pere, and Terry McNulty, of Forestville, for the GOP nomination on Aug. 9.

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Public Record

Wed, 07/27/2016 - 10:33pm

Shawano Police Department

July 26

Police logged 20 incidents, including the following:

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

Trespass — Police responded to a trespassing complaint in the 500 block of South Union Street.

Theft — A purse and jewelry were reported stolen in the 300 block of East Richmond Street.

Shawano County Sheriff’s Department

July 26

Deputies logged 42 incidents, including the following:

Trespass — Authorities responded to a trespassing complaint on County Road Y in the town of Belle Plaine.

Fraud — Authorities investigated a telephone scam complaint at North Star Casino, W12180 County Road A, Bowler.

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

OWI — A 34-year-old Keshena man was arrested for operating while intoxicated on state Highway 29 in the town of Maple Grove.

Disorderly — Authorities responded to a disorderly conduct complaint on First Street in Bonduel.

Accidents — Authorities responded to injury accidents on County Road C in the town of Green Valley and state Highway 47-55 in the town of Wescott.

Clintonville Police Department

July 26

Police logged 14 incidents, including the following:

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

Harassment — Harassment was reported on Bennett Street.

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DOT lays out Airport Drive construction plans

Tue, 07/26/2016 - 9:54pm
Work starts Monday, expected to go to late OctoberBy: 

Tim Ryan, [email protected]

It all starts Monday.

That’s when motorists will find themselves unable to get onto Airport Drive between Green Bay Street and County Road B, a situation they will have to put up with until late October.

State Department of Transportation officials held a lightly attended public meeting Tuesday at City Hall before construction work gets underway.

The work will include reconstructing the existing four-lane road to a two-lane road between Green Bay Street and County Road B; repairing curb and gutter and storm sewer; improving intersections; and reconstructing the railroad crossing.

In conjunction with the work on Airport Drive, the right turn lane on the westbound state Highway 29 offramp to Airport Drive (state Highway 47) will also close Monday for seven days.

Airport Drive from Highway 29 to County Road B will remain open to traffic, with at least one lane in both directions, for the duration of the project.

The intersection at County Road B will also be open, but everything from there to Green Bay Street will be closed off, with the exception of the Richmond Drive intersection, which will stay open for through traffic.

The Beauprey and Engle intersections will be closed until the Airport Drive work is completed, which is expected to happen around Oct. 21.

When the project is completed, motorists will also find something new at County Road B — stop signs.

“I think most of the population wanted something there,” said Jim Volkmann, DOT project manager.

Volkmann said going from a four-lane to a two-lane highway should also reduce the speed of traffic, which now often goes well beyond the posted 45 mph limit.

“I was out there going the speed limit and I was the slowest one on the road,” Volkmann said. “It was pretty dangerous.”

Volkmann said dedicated turn lanes will also improve safety.

“One thing you’re not going to have any more, you’re not going to have that person sitting at Beauprey taking a left and stopping that traffic that’s coming in at 60 mph, which we know is not going 45,” he said. “Now a dedicated turn lane gets them out of through traffic.”

Some residents questioned going down to a two-lane from a four-lane, but Volkmann said traffic volume did not warrant a four-lane highway.

He also said the state could not put stop signs at County Road B if it remained a four-lane.

The official state detour during the project will be Highway 29 to Highway 22, which is also the route truck traffic will be expected to take.

Local residents might find their routes, Volkmann conceded.

“I’m sure people will take the roads they know to get around inside the city limits,” he said.

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Clerks accept more election duties

Tue, 07/26/2016 - 9:49pm
Others pay county to do itBy: 

Scott Williams, [email protected]


Leader Photo by Scott Williams Shawano City Clerk Karla Duchac, center, observes while administrative assistant Lisa Bruette, left, and deputy city clerk Lesley Nemetz work on getting voting equipment ready for the upcoming elections.
Leader Photo by Scott Williams Voting booths are ready at Shawano City Hall for early voting, which began this week for the Aug. 9 primary.

With election season nearly in full swing, clerks in Shawano County municipalities are adjusting to new procedures that require them to either handle more duties or pay new fees for outsourcing.

The state has implemented requirements for tracking absentee ballots in a way that places added record-keeping demands on clerks at the county and municipal level.

That comes as clerks already are working to acclimate themselves to the state’s new automated database for voter registration records.

The Shawano County clerk’s office has offered to handle the workload for town and village clerks countywide — but at a price.

Some local clerks are voicing concern that the job of tracking elections in Wisconsin is becoming overly complicated, particularly in small towns with part-time clerks.

“It’s getting out of hand,” said Kathy Luebke, clerk in the town of Maple Grove. “Enough is enough.”

The county clerk’s office will manage a town or village’s voter registration and absentee voting for a fee of 20 cents per voter, which amounts to $20 for each 100 voters within a community.

County Clerk Pam Schmidt said she looked at what other counties were charging and tried to minimize the cost for Shawano County municipalities.

“I didn’t want this to be a burdensome charge,” she said. “Overall, it isn’t much of an increase.”

The change has no impact on the city of Shawano or other municipalities that already manage their own election records, including the village of Bonduel, town of Wescott and town of Richmond. Others previously were paying the county clerk a flat fee of $25 per election to handle voter registration.

Effective this year, however, the state added the requirements of tracking and reporting absentee ballots in a way that previously applied only to overseas ballots.

Mike Haas, spokesman for the State Elections Commission, said the more complicated system has prompted some county clerks to forge new agreements with their municipalities for either sharing duties or paying for services. Haas said the broadened record-keeping demands could be especially challenging for small-town clerks not accustomed to the state’s database.

“You do have a learning curve,” he said.

About 20 towns and villages in Shawano County have opted to pay the county’s new fee for outsourced services. Among those whose clerks are trying their hand at the expanded workload, in addition to Maple Grove, are the villages of Cecil, Tigerton and Wittenberg, and the towns of Angelica, Belle Plaine, Grant, Hartland, Herman, Pella and Washington.

Angelica Town Clerk Janet Powers said the new procedures could become more challenging after the Aug. 9 primary, as activity picks up heading toward the Nov. 8 presidential election. Angelica has about 1,000 registered voters.

Powers, however, said she is confident that she and the other municipal clerks are up to the task.

“It’s added work for the clerks,” she said. “But I don’t see a problem with it.”

Richmond Town Clerk Richard Stadelman said although he already was handling the town’s voter registration, the new state mandate on tracking absentee voting adds a new wrinkle to his work routine. The same mandate applies to early voting, which began this week for the Aug. 9 primary.

Richmond has about 1,200 registered voters.

“It’s definitely more work,” Stadelman said. “We’ll do it. It’s just part of our job.”

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Clintonville power outage due to arrester failure

Tue, 07/26/2016 - 4:43pm

The entire city of Clintonville was without power for more than an hour Friday.

City officials said a lightning arrester failed on one of two transformers at the substation in the North Industrial Park on state Highway 156 about 9:45 p.m. The arrester protects the electrical equipment from high voltages surges. When the arrester failed, the American Transmission Company cut the power to the transformers.

The equipment is owned by Badger Power Marketing Authority, which is jointly run by Clintonville Utilities and Shawano Municipal Utilities.

The power was back up and running about 11 p.m. for industry and shortly thereafter to the residents. Temporary stoplights were set up at key intersections during the blackout.

— Grace Kirchner, correspondent

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Public Record

Tue, 07/26/2016 - 4:38pm

Shawano Police Department

July 25

Police logged 21 incidents, including the following:

Theft — Money was reported stolen off the bar at Tom’s Tap, 115 N. Main St.

Fire — Police assisted at the scene of a fire at the former Shawano Medical Center, 309 N. Bartlett St.

Disturbance — Police responded to a disturbance at Stevens and Andrews streets.

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

Shawano County Sheriff’s Department

July 25

Deputies logged 30 incidents, including the following:

Intoxicated Person — A sheriff’s deputy discovered an intoxicated male sleeping partially under his squad car at the Sheriff’s Department, 405 N. Main St. The man was given a ride to the county line, where Menominee County authorities transported him home.

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

Disturbance — Charges of disorderly conduct were referred against a 51-year-old woman and a 48-year-old man, both of Brown Deer, after a domestic disturbance on state Highway 47 in the town of Hartland.

Vandalism — Authorities responded to a vandalism complaint on Pine Court in the town of Wescott.

Disturbance — Authorities responded to a disturbance on Church Road in the town of Aniwa.

Drug Offense — A 35-year-old Gresham man was arrested for possession of heroin and cited for operating after revocation on County Road Z in Aniwa.

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

Hit and Run — Authorities investigated a property damage hit-and-run on Lower Lake Road in the town of Herman.

Clintonville Police Department

July 25

Police logged 13 incidents, including the following:

Warrant — A 30-year-old man was taken into custody on Hemlock Street on a Wisconsin Department of Corrections warrant.

Suspicious — A suspicious incident was reported on SSGT Warren Hansen Drive.

Fraud — A fraud incident was reported on East Second Street.

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State schedules Hwy. 29 interchange work

Tue, 07/26/2016 - 4:30pm
Public invited to meeting Aug. 3

The Wisconsin Department of Transportation will conduct a public meeting Aug. 3 to discuss construction plans for the north and south interchanges of U.S. Highway 45 and state Highway 29 and state Highways 47 and 29 in Shawano County.

The meeting is scheduled from 5:30-6:30 p.m., at the Shawano County Highway Department, 3035 E. Richmond St., Shawano.

Work is scheduled to begin as early as Aug. 8 and will include resurfacing the ramps and roads at the 45/47 interchanges, constructing and widening truck turning areas at some of the Highway 45/29 ramps, reconstructing the islands and medians at the interchanges, and applying surface texturing on Highways 45 and 47 bridges over Highway 29.

The work will require single lane closures and flagging operations on Highways 45 and 47.

Each ramp at the U.S. 45 north and south interchanges will be closed for a maximum of two nights, between 7 p.m. and 5 a.m., to complete ramp paving. During the closures, motorists will be detoured via Highway 45, County Road Q and Highway 29.

There also will be periodic daytime lane closures on the U.S. 45 north and south interchange ramps.

Construction is scheduled for completion in late October.

For information about the project, visit http://projects.511wi.gov/wis29shawano/.

Citizens who are deaf or hard of hearing and require an interpreter may request one by contacting Kristin McHugh at least three working days prior to the meeting via the Wisconsin Telecommunications Relay System (711).

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Crews battle fire at former hospital

Mon, 07/25/2016 - 6:50pm
Blaze breaks out during demolitionBy: 

Scott Williams, [email protected]


Leader Photo by Lee Pulaski Firefighters from the Shawano Area Fire Department get into position as black smoke comes off the roof of the former Shawano Medical Center.
Leader Photo by Lee Pulaski Smoke billows Monday afternoon from the roof of the former Shawano Medical Center after a fire broke out.

Fire broke out Monday at the former Shawano Medical Center as demolition crews were working to dismantle the vacant 85-year-old structure.

Witnesses reported seeing demolition workers on the roof when the fire started, but property owner ThedaCare health system said there were no injuries.

The fire, which witnesses said began around 3:30 p.m., appeared to be under control within about an hour, and damage initially did not look extensive in the partially demolished building at 309 N. Bartlett St.

Firefighters spraying water down from towering ladders focused their efforts on the south end of the building in an area where flames and heavy smoke were visible.

Smoke filled the neighborhood and could be seen from blocks away.

Nearby homeowner Al Dionne said he had just returned home and climbed out of his car when he saw demolition workers running toward the south end of the old hospital, where smoke was pouring out of the building.

“I saw the flames and the smoke,” Dionne said. “It was completely black. The smoke actually caught my breath.”

Neighbors and other onlookers gathered to watch the ironic spectacle of firefighters struggling to save the former hospital, only so demolition crews could finish the job of knocking it down.

Shawano Mayor Jeanne Cronce joined the crowd of spectators and called the situation “amazing.”

“They were working so hard to take it down in a succinct way,” Cronce said. “It’s just one of those freak accidents, I guess.”

The hospital, built in 1931, has been vacant since ThedaCare opened its new $50 million hospital last year at 100 County Road B. After redevelopment efforts failed for the old facility, city officials gave their blessing for demolition, which began about three months ago.

Demolition contractor Statewide Razing could not be reached for comment about Monday’s fire.

Firefighters remained on the scene Monday evening, and officials from the Shawano Area Fire Department could not be reached for comment.

Although witnesses reported that the fire appeared to start in an area of the old hospital that housed electrical equipment, ThedaCare facilities director John Gijsen said all electrical power within the building had been turned off since demolition work began in April.

Gijsen said no cause for the fire had been determined yet, and demolition would not resume until a thorough safety review had been conducted.

Gijsen praised the response of firefighters battling to douse the blaze.

“The Shawano fire department did a wonderful job,” he said.

Neighbor Paul Romberg said he heard a loud noise come from the hospital and then noticed workers operating skid-steer demolition equipment on the roof near where the fire started. A few minutes later, he said, he could see smoke and flames coming from the building.

Romberg, who has lived across the street for 40 years, recalled his disappointment of seeing the hospital property slowly deteriorate over the years. He wondered if the fire might finish off the job once and for all.

“This was the most beautiful hospital,” he said. “It’s just a building now.”

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Victims in Boy Scout crash released from hospital

Mon, 07/25/2016 - 6:37pm
By: 

Tim Ryan, [email protected]

All of the parties injured in a two-vehicle crash involving a Boy Scout troop Saturday have been released from the hospital, and authorities said Monday that the use of seat belts kept the injuries from being worse than they were.

The crash happened at state Highway 29 and Cecil Street in Bonduel just before 10 a.m. and involved two SUVs carrying Scouts from Racine who were returning from a camping trip.

Bonduel Police Chief Todd Chaney said the driver of the second SUV, which was also pulling a trailer, was distracted by one of his passengers and struck the SUV in front of him.

Both vehicles went off the road. The trailer flipped and the second SUV landed partially on top of the first.

Six people were taken to area hospitals, including a troop leader who was airlifted to St. Vincent’s Hospital in Green Bay with a head injury.

All had been treated and released by Monday afternoon, according to Chaney, who said the use of seat belts “seriously diminished” the extent of injuries from the crash.

Chaney said the driver of the second SUV would be issued a citation for following too closely.

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Public Record

Mon, 07/25/2016 - 6:37pm

Shawano Police Department

July 24

Police logged 21 incidents, including the following:

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

Shoplifting — Walmart, 1244 E. Green Bay St., reported a male subject had stolen a TV.

Shoplifting — Walmart, 1244 E. Green Bay St., reported a DVD player had been stolen.

Shoplifting — Walmart, 1244 E. Green Bay St., reported two DVD players had been stolen by a male suspect who was a suspect in an earlier shoplifting incident.

Disturbance — Police responded to a disturbance in the parking lot at Walmart, 1244 E. Green Bay St.

Disturbance — Police responded to a disturbance in the 700 block of South Lincoln Street.

Shoplifting — Goodwill Industries, 300 Lakeland Road, reported a shoplifting incident.

Assault — Police investigated an assault complaint in the 400 block of South Franklin Street.

Disturbance — Police responded to a report of a fight in progress at Washington and Oshkosh streets.

July 23

Police logged 21 incidents, including the following:

Hit and Run — A dog was reported struck in a hit-and-run in the 100 block of Sunset Avenue.

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

Hit and Run — Police responded to a property damage hit-and-run at Elizabeth and Cleveland streets.

Fire — Authorities responded to an oven fire in the 300 block of East Maurer Street.

Accident — A boat reportedly struck a boat landing at Huckleberry Harbor, 222 N. Sawyer St.

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

OAR — A 29-year-old man was cited for operating after revocation in the 700 block of South Main Street.

July 22

Police logged 21 incidents, including the following:

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

Accident — Police responded to a property damage accident at Green Bay Street and Rusch Road.

Accident — Police responded to an injury accident at Airport Drive and County Road B.

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

Disorderly — Police responded to a disorderly conduct complaint at Sawyer and Division streets.

Accident — Police responded to a property damage accident in the 200 block of River Heights.

Shawano County Sheriff’s Department

July 24

Deputies logged 38 incidents, including the following:

Hit and Run — A 26-year-old Shawano man was arrested for operating while intoxicated causing injury after a hit-and-run on Lake Drive in the town of Wescott.

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

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

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

July 23

Deputies logged 57 incidents, including the following:

Theft — Authorities responded to a property theft complaint on Railroad Avenue in Mattoon.

Vandalism — Authorities responded to a vandalism complaint on Schabow Street in Gresham.

Juvenile — Authorities responded to a juvenile problem on U.S. Highway 45 in the town of Birnamwood.

Burglary —Authorities investigated a report of a burglary on County Road Y in the town of Belle Plaine.

Drug Offense — Authorities investigated a drug complaint on Lake Drive in the town of Wescott.

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

Disturbance — Authorities responded to a domestic disturbance on Swan Acre Lane in the town of Washington.

July 22

Deputies logged 52 incidents, including the following:

Disorderly — Authorities responded to an intoxicated person complaint on Green Bay Street in Bonduel.

Disturbance — Authorities responded to a disturbance on County Road M in the town of Grant.

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

Accident — Authorities responded to an injury accident on state Highway 55 in the town of Maple Grove.

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Shawano man arrested following hit-and-run

Mon, 07/25/2016 - 9:57am
By: 

Leader Staff

A 26-year-old Shawano man was arrested for operating while intoxicated after allegedly striking a pedestrian in a hit-and-run accident in the town of Wescott early Sunday.

Charges of OWI causing injury, resisting or obstructing an officer, hit-and-run and injury by reckless driving were referred.

The pedestrian was treated at ThedaCare Medical Center-Shawano. There was no further information available Monday.

The incident was one of 95 that sheriff’s deputies logged over the weekend, including a disturbance in the town of Wescott; a domestic disturbance in the town of Washington; drug complaints in the town of Wescott and at the Ho-Chunk Casino, N7198 U.S. Highway 45 in the town of Wittenberg; a reported burglary in the town of Belle Plaine; a property theft complaint in Mattoon; a vandalism complaint in Gresham; and an injury accident on state Highway 47 in the town of Hartland.

Shawano police logged 42 incidents over the weekend, including a report of a fight in progress at the Four Seasons, 201 N. Airport Drive, and another fight in progress at Washington and Oshkosh streets; disturbances at Walmart, 1244 E. Green Bay St., and in the 700 block of South Lincoln Street; an assault reported in the 400 block of South Franklin Street; an intoxicated person complaint in the 100 block of South Main Street; a drug complaint in the 400 block of Humphrey Circle; three shoplifting complaints from Walmart, 1244 E. Green Bay St., and one from Goodwill Industries, 300 Lakeland Road; a hit-and-run property damage accident at Elizabeth and Cleveland streets; a hit-and-run involving a dog on Sunset Avenue; an oven fire in the 300 block of East Maurer Street; a boat that struck a boat landing at Huckleberry Harbor, 222 N. Sawyer St.; and a 29-year-old man cited for operating after revocation in the 700 block of South Main Street.

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Pulaski band smelling the roses again

Mon, 07/25/2016 - 8:52am
Red Raiders making 3rd trip to PasadenaBy: 

Brady Van Deurzen, [email protected]


Leader Photo by Brady Van Deurzen Brad Ratliff, president of the Tournament of Roses, plays the trumpet alongside the Pulaski High School marching band Saturday at the Pulaski Polka Fest grounds. Ratliff was in town to formally invite the band to participate in the 2017 Roses parade on Jan. 2.
Leader Photo by Brady Van Deurzen Brad Ratliff, president of the Tournament of Roses, and his wife, Susan Ratliff, have been promoting the Tournament of Roses parade all summer long on their travels across the U.S. to visit communities that will be represented Jan. 2 at the annual parade in Pasadena, California.

The Pulaski High School marching band serenaded the Tournament of Roses parade president Saturday at Pulaski Polka Days.

In return, Brad Ratliff, president of the Tournament of Roses, could not resist the urge to perform alongside the band.

“I really enjoyed playing with the band,” said Ratliff, who said he grew up playing the trumpet and calls himself a band geek. “It always feels like you’re in band class again.”

Ratliff has been on the Tournament of Roses committee for 28 years. He has helped select acts from all over the world to participate in the New Year’s parade, so he is a good judge of talent.

He said the Red Raider band, which will make its third appearance in the Rose Bowl parade in January, is on a higher level.

“They are one of the best bands around,” Ratliff said. “They always perform extremely well, and they are always exciting to watch.

“Pasadena really has gotten to know Pulaski. They know what to expect from them and they always love how they perform.”

The Tournament of Roses music committee, which consists of over 30 members, only allows bands to apply for the parade every five years. Criteria include musicianship, marching ability and entertainment or special interest value.

According to Ratliff, the five-year policy is to “keep the parade fresh.” He said that if not for the policy, the Pulaski band would be an annual selection.

Twenty-one marching bands will participate in the 2017 Rose Parade on Jan. 2. The bands come from across the United States as well as from Japan and Mexico.

In addition to marching in the 5 1/2-mile parade route, bands also perform in one of three Bandfest events scheduled for Dec. 30-31 at Pasadena City College.

After playing with the band Saturday, Ratliff formally extended the Tournament of Roses invitation to Tom Busch, PHS band director.

“Obviously I am very proud of the kids and for the program in general,” Busch said. “The fact that we have been there twice already is just awesome, and to be returning for a third time is even cooler.”

Busch has been the band director at Pulaski for 17 years and is proud of the band’s reputation.

“The kids that have gone before them kept a strong standard and we like to keep it high and strong,” Busch said. “Our standard is like a GPA, if you drop it, it is hard to get it back up, and we don’t want to drop it.”

Ratliff said that he is eager to see the band again in Pasadena.

“I am excited to see them play because I get to see all the hard work that they put into their work,” he said. “I am looking forward to it.”

Although he has seen the band before, Ratliff, who attended Polka Days with his wife, Susan, saw Pulaski for the first time Saturday. He said he immediately noticed the “easy-going people and the comfortable, community-oriented people” and their support of the band.

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Sailing on the lake — what a concept

Sat, 07/23/2016 - 7:21am
Program for beginners may return next yearBy: 

Scott Williams, [email protected]


Leader Photo by Scott Williams Jeff and Holly Zander, of Shawano, prepare to head out on Shawano Lake for a free sailing lesson Friday with International Youth Sailing of Oshkosh.
Leader Photo by Scott Williams The first-time program on Shawano Lake, which ended Friday, included sailboats, equipment and instructors for any beginners eager to try sailing.

Many sun worshippers on Shawano Lake will remember the summer of 2016 as the summer they were introduced to sailing.

A nonprofit sailing organization Friday completed a successful inaugural season of promoting sailing on Shawano Lake by offering free lessons to both kids and adults.

“It’s just been great,” said Steve Eliason, executive director of International Youth Sailing of Oshkosh.

The group worked with Shawano city leaders and school administrators to encourage area residents this summer to try experiencing Shawano Lake in a new way — on a sailboat.

Jeff Zander and his wife, Holly Zander, heard about the program from friends and decided that Friday’s blazing hot weather was ideal for getting out on the water.

“There’s some wind, and the sun is out,” Holly Zander said. “It’s a perfect day to sail.”

Jeff Zander said he did some sailing as a kid but had not been on a sailboat in more than 40 years. The new program offered by the city and school district, he said, was too good to pass up.

“This is absolutely super,” he said. “This is going to be a very cool afternoon.”

With help from some sponsors, the city and school district provided free sailing lessons every Friday starting June 17 and continuing until Friday. Shawano summer school students got lessons during the day, and the general public was invited to take lessons in the evenings.

International Youth Sailing provided the boats and all the equipment, and instructors gave tips on the shoreline before leading students out onto the water.

The program was held at Shawano County Park on the northern shore of Shawano Lake.

Eliason said about 15 to 20 summer school students turned out each week, and another six to eight people participated from the general public. Participants ranged from children accompanied by parents to senior citizens eager to learn as couples.

“It’s been quite a mixed bag,” he said.

The Oshkosh organization, which began eight years ago, is active in promoting sailing at schools, summer camps and elsewhere throughout Wisconsin. The group approached Shawano civic leaders after realizing that Shawano Lake was an ideal venue, but that sailing had not caught on locally.

The city, school district and other sponsors all provided funding this summer to make the program free to all participants.

Eliason said he hopes to return again next summer, possibly with an expanded program.

“We’ve tested the concept, and the concept is valid,” he said. “People in Shawano will show up and try sailing.”

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Public Record

Sat, 07/23/2016 - 7:16am

Shawano Police Department

July 21

Police logged 21 incidents, including the following:

Child Abuse — A child abuse complaint was under investigation.

Suspicious — Police responded to a suspicious person complaint at Maurer and Evergreen streets.

Suspicious — Police responded to a suspicious person complaint at Division and Washington Streets.

Juvenile — Police responded to a juvenile problem in the 500 block of West Richmond Street.

Shawano County Sheriff’s Department

July 21

Deputies logged 47 incidents, including the following:

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

Drug Offense — A 20-year-old woman was cited for possession of marijuana and drug paraphernalia on Hayman Falls Lane in the town of Pella.

Juvenile — Authorities responded to a juvenile problem on Main Street in Gresham.

Burglary — Authorities investigated a reported burglary on Fourth Street in Mattoon.

Drug Offense — Authorities investigated a drug complaint state Highway 47-55 in the town of Wescott.

Accident — Authorities responded to an injury accident on state Highway 29 in the town of Seneca. The accident closed the right lane of Highway 29 at County Road G for about an hour.

Clintonville Police Department

July 21

Police logged 12 incidents, including the following:

Burglary — A reported burglary was under investigation at a local business.

Warrant — A male subject was arrested on several warrants at Main Street and Camelia Avenue.

Juvenile — Police responded to a juvenile problem on East 12th Street.

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Court News

Sat, 07/23/2016 - 7:10am

Sexual assault of a child

A Shawano man has been charged with two counts of repeated sexual assault of a child for alleged sexual contact with two children that occurred in the city over the course of several years.

Patrick A. Heath, 38, is accused of repeatedly sexually assaulting a 13-year-old girl between June and August 2009, and the repeated sexual assault of another girl who was 12 when the assaults allegedly began in 2001. Those assaults continued through June 2005, according to the complaint.

Heath could face a maximum 40 years in prison if convicted of the first count, which covers the more recent alleged assaults. On the second count, he could face a maximum 15 years in prison and a $10,000 fine.

Heath is free on a $25,000 signature bond and is due back in court for a preliminary hearing on Sept. 15.

Possession of meth

A Wausau man is facing a felony charge of possessing methamphetamine after authorities responded to a drug complaint at the Ho Chunk Casino in the town of Wittenberg.

According to the criminal complaint John Lee, 30, was found in possession of a glass pipe with meth residue, which casino authorities reported he had been smoking while sitting in a vehicle.

Lee had been babysitting two children who were also in the vehicle at the time of the July 13 incident, according to the complaint.

Lee could face a maximum 3 1/2 years in prison and a $10,000 fine if convicted of possession of methamphetamine.

He also faces six felony counts of bail jumping, which each carry a maximum six years imprisonment and $10,000 fine.

He is also charged with misdemeanor counts of child neglect and possession of drug paraphernalia.

Lee was bound over for trial after a preliminary hearing Monday. He is scheduled for arraignment Monday and is being held on a $2,500 cash bond.

Felony OWI

A Pulaski man is scheduled for a preliminary hearing Tuesday on a felony count of fourth-offense operating while intoxicated.

Gary L. Jordan, 56, was arrested after being pulled over Wednesday in Bonduel by sheriff’s deputies responding to a reckless driving complaint.

Jordan could face a maximum six years in prison and a $10,000 fine if convicted. He is also charged with misdemeanor counts of operating after revocation, obstructing an officer and bail jumping.

He was ordered held on a $2,000 cash bond at a court appearance Thursday.

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RDA plans more educational outreach

Fri, 07/22/2016 - 7:43am
Officials say people misunderstand blighted designationBy: 

Tim Ryan, [email protected]

The Shawano Redevelopment Authority has its first rehab project on its hands — salvaging its relevance and possibly even its continued existence.

The RDA met on Thursday to discuss the path forward a week after the Common Council rejected a proposed blight elimination district and sent it back to the RDA for reconsideration.

The council vote followed comments from a parade of property owners upset after being informed their properties were within the district.

“It seems there is some confusion in the community. There’s been some misinformation and maybe a general lack of education about what we’re trying to do here,” RDA Chairperson Amanda Sheppard said. “We probably missed a step in the education part of this.”

Sheppard said the goal of the RDA is to provide assistance to developers and property owners who want to improve their properties.

Assistant City Administrator Eddie Sheppard, who has been working with the RDA as support staff, said he is now looking to set up some workshop meetings between the RDA and the Common Council, “and just sort of start over.”

The meetings, which would be open to the public, would be followed by an open house where the public could voice their concerns and get their questions answered about the proposed district boundary and the project plan for dealing with blighted properties within the district.

“I want to first meet with the council to make sure this is the direction that they want to go,” Sheppard said.

He said the meetings would take place over the next few months, which will delay any other RDA activity in the meantime.

“I think we’re looking at a three- to four-month delay on this before being able to move forward, if we move forward at all,” he said.

“The term blighted hurt a lot of people’s feelings,” Sheppard said, through the RDA was statutorily required to use that term.

Under state law, a municipality can designated a blight redevelopment district if at least 50 percent of the property within the proposed district is blighted.

The proposed district encompasses 391 properties, just over half of which are considered blighted.

The RDA’s primary focus, according to Sheppard, are long-vacant dilapidated properties.

“The buildings that we’re looking at have been vacant for years and years and years, are deteriorating, are falling over,” he said. “Those are the ones that are the targets.”

City Attorney Tim Schmid said one of the educational points that needs to be made to the Common Council is that it will be up to city officials to determine what should be done about those buildings.

“Do you want to address the vacant, blighted properties or not? The council’s going to have to decide,” he said. “Do we want the RDA to address these vacant buildings or not? Or do we want them to continue to deteriorate. I think that’s the ultimate question.”

Mayor Jeanne Cronce said there is a feeling in the community that action is long overdue.

“The general public is crying for something to be done with these buildings in town,” she said.

She said addressing those properties is vital to the growth of Shawano, and that public education about what the RDA is trying to accomplish is important to gaining community support.

“As a community, we know what needs to be done,” she said. “We just need to get the backing to do it. We want our downtown to stay vibrant and a focal point when you come to Shawano.”

Officials agreed that language statutorily required to be included in property owner notifications about the RDA’s power of eminent domain caused concern in the community.

“If I had received that letter, I would have been squawking because I wouldn’t have understood what that meant,” said Dennis Heling of Shawano County Economic Progress Inc. “I can probably agree with those folks and the feeling, ‘I’m being targeted,’ and that wasn’t the intent.”

Cronce said the RDA is not looking to invoke eminent domain.

“We’re not looking to take people’s property,” she said. “We’re not looking to do anything but improve our city. That’s the main focus of this. It’s the only focus of this. We do need to continue to educate and hopefully people will understand that. This is a positive, not a negative.”

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City says vacant SIST property could collapse

Fri, 07/22/2016 - 7:42am
Building inspected under court orderBy: 

Tim Ryan, [email protected]


Leader Photo by Tim Ryan This property at 214 S. Main St. owned by the Samanta Roy Institute of Science and Technology is in danger of collapsing, according to the results of a court-ordered building inspection conducted last month.

City officials say a vacant downtown property owned by the Samanta Roy Institute of Science and Technology could be one strong wind away from collapsing, but uncertainty over the future of the Shawano Redevelopment Agency is putting any attempt to address the problem on hold.

“There’s a lot of concern that building could fall over,” Assistant City Administrator Eddie Sheppard said at a RDA meeting Thursday.

He was referring to the vacant property at 214 S. Main St., sometimes referred to as the old Senzig’s building, which was one of two SIST buildings inspected under court order last month.

“There’s a wall that’s completely unhinged from the rest of the building and it could fall,” Sheppard said. “We have to make a determination. Do we actively pursue condemnation through the city with the Common Council leading this, which is a much more difficult process. Does the council want to hand that authority over to the RDA as identified in the (RDA’s proposed project) plan, or do we just want to do nothing and just let it fall over?”

Shawano Building Inspector Brian Bunke said the inspection showed major holes in the first and second floor of the building.

“Last fall (SIST) took out a permit to patch the roof where the water was coming in, but when they did that process, they disconnected the back wall on the second story,” he said. “So that’s just kind of floating out there as a brick wall. So if we got a certain wind from the east, there’s a possibility of that wall collapsing.”

Bunke also said the roof has collapsed at the back of the building where there is a single floor and is leaking.

“We’ve had pigeons in there nesting, dying,” Bunke said. “Last week, I heard a report of a raccoon in there.”

The issue was supposed to be referred to the RDA before the Common Council rejected a proposed boundary for a blight elimination district.

“If we don’t move forward with the RDA, then we’ll have to go through a series of letters of condemnation and maybe court orders to get that building torn down,” Bunke said.

He said that’s not the result the city wants.

“We want to try and save that building if possible because it is such an old structure and part of the city’s downtown,” Bunke said.

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Former Wittenberg teacher challenging Cowles

Fri, 07/22/2016 - 7:40am
Powers seeking state Senate seatBy: 

Tim Ryan, [email protected]

A former Wittenberg teacher who made two unsuccessful bids for the state Assembly is now setting his sights on the state Senate.

Democrat John Powers issued a press release Wednesday officially announcing his challenge to Sen. Robert Cowles, R-Green Bay, in the District 2 race in November.

“This will not be an ordinary campaign,” Powers said. “It is time for someone to say the emperor has no clothes.”

Cowles won his Senate seat in a special election in 1987 and has been re-elected every four years since 1988.

“In this time of drastic cuts to our public schools, a state agency that gives hundreds of millions of our tax dollars to businesses that fail to create jobs, and a complete gutting of the authority of the DNR, you would hope someone with that kind of seniority would be a voice for reason,” Powers said. “Instead of being part of the solution, our senator is part of the problem.”

Powers pointed to Cowles’ recent proposal on high capacity wells, Senate Bill 291, which, Powers said, would remove all decision making from the DNR and turn it over to the legislature.

Powers also criticized the increase in tax dollars going to private schools, and policies that allow elected officials to be exempt from prosecution for political corruption and allow gag orders on state employees.

“We are better than this,” he said. “Our children and grandchildren deserve better than this.”

Powers said he will not accept any donations for his campaign.

“More than 70 percent of the people in this state feel that Citizens United should be repealed,” he said. “Yet we continue to allow money to be the deciding factor in our elections, even at this level. I will not participate in an auction.”

Powers served four years in the military, including a year in Vietnam. After earning bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point, he taught in Shawano County schools for 31 years while spending 15 years as a Boy Scout leader. For the past 10 years he has worked as a unit coordinator in an emergency room.

He unsuccessfully challenged State Rep. Gary Tauchen for the District 6 Assembly seat in 2008 and 2012.

Cowles responded Wednesday by saying he plans to run a positive campaign and is proud of his record.

“I have nothing to apologize for,” he said.

Cowles said he has always been a fiscal conservative and budget hawk who has pushed to keep state budgets free of policy-making.

“I voted against the last one because there were policies in it,” he said. “I’m an independent thinker and I’ve taken independent positions when I thought it was important.”

Cowles noted he broke with Gov. Scott Walker on some DNR issues.

“I fought to keep the DNR Board,” he said.

Cowles said he has also worked to get a better deal on aids for public schools, has been a leader in workforce development and environmental issues, and an advocate for transparency in government.

Cowles was also asked whether he thought that having presidential candidate Donald Trump at the top of the GOP ticket this fall might have an impact on the Senate race.

“I’m one of those people who has been wondering about that. I don’t know,” Cowles said. “You just have to do what you think is right and let the people decide.”

Cowles said he supported Ohio Gov. John Kasich during the Republican primary, but voters went in a different direction.

“They picked Mr. Trump, and we have to respect that and rally around, even if a lot of us didn’t want him,” Cowles said.

Cowles said he believes his record and his reputation in the district will be a bigger factor in the Senate race than the candidate at the top of the ballot.

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