Shawano Leader News

Subscribe to Shawano Leader News feed
Updated: 17 min 37 sec ago

SCEPI to hold annual summit Thursday

Wed, 05/14/2014 - 6:53am

Shawano County Economic Progress Inc. (SCEPI) will hold its ninth annual Economic Summit on Thursday.

Dennis Heling, SCEPI chief economic development officer, said the summit’s speakers and topic will stress the importance of cooperation among area leaders to grow and maintain a vibrant workforce for area employers.

SCEPI in 2012 launched Vision 2017, a five-year campaign to raise $1.27 million to help create 1,000 new jobs in the area.

“The theme of this year’s Economic Summit is Connection and Direction,” Heling said. “Having a good quality area workforce that meets the needs of area employers is a crucial economic development strategy that drives business retention, expansions and new business attraction.”

The speakers will include Dorothy Erdmann, CEO of Shawano Medical Center, who will address the construction of the new ThedaCare Medical Center-Shawano and its economic impact on the Shawano area.

Rick Kane, SCEPI board president, said the annual Economic Summit provides SCEPI with a unique opportunity.

“These events enable us to highlight development activities and projects that affect the area in many positive ways,” Kane said. “The summit is an opportunity to thank contributors and our many supporters, but it’s also our chance to demonstrate how SCEPI, local, city, county and tribal governments work with area employers to enhance the quality of life for everyone who lives and works in Shawano and Menominee counties.”

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

Doors open at 5 p.m. at The Gathering, 2600 E. Richmond St., Shawano.

For information or reservations, contact SCEPI at 715-526-5839 or [email protected].

Rate this article:  Select ratingGive it 1/5Give it 2/5Give it 3/5Give it 4/5Give it 5/5 No votes yet

Public Record

Wed, 05/14/2014 - 6:52am

Shawano Police Department

May 12

Police logged 29 incidents, including the following:

Shoplifting — Walmart, 1244 E. Green Bay St., reported a male shoplifter fled the store.

Shoplifting — A 34-year-old woman and a 30-year-old woman were cited for shoplifting at Walmart, 1244 E. Green Bay St.

Theft — Money was reported stolen at the Wisconsin House, 216 E. Green Bay St.

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

Drug Offense — A male subject was cited for possession of marijuana at the Wisconsin House, 216 E. Green Bay St.

Disturbance — Police responded to a domestic disturbance at Picnic and Weed streets.

Harassment — Police responded to a harassment complaint on Oak Court.

Shawano County Sheriff’s Department

May 12

Deputies logged 37 incidents, including the following:

Fire — Authorities responded to a barn fire on Old D Road in Bowler believed to have been started by a lightning strike.

Assault — Authorities were investigating an assault at Bowler School, 500 S. Almon St., Bowler.

Burglary — Authorities investigating a burglary at the Gresham Utilities building, 700 River St., in Gresham, took a 29-year-old Bowler man into custody. Charges were still pending. Copper wire and other items were reported stolen.

Disturbance — Authorities responded to a disturbance on Spaulding Street in Tigerton.

Burglary — Authorities investigated a burglary on U.S. Highway 45 in Tigerton.

Disturbance — Authorities responded to a disturbance on Webb Street in Wittenberg.

Theft — Trolling rods and reels were reported stolen from a garage on Lake Drive in Wescott.

Burglary — Authorities investigated a burglary on Webb Street in Wittenberg.

Burglary — Authorities investigated a burglary on Mohawk Street in Wittenberg.

Accidents — Authorities logged two accidents, including an injury accident on Green Valley Road in Angelica.

Clintonville Police Department

May 12

Police logged eight incidents, including the following:

Disturbance — A verbal altercation was reported on McKinley Avenue.

Rate this article:  Select ratingGive it 1/5Give it 2/5Give it 3/5Give it 4/5Give it 5/5 No votes yet

Public Record

Tue, 05/13/2014 - 6:46am

Shawano Police Department

May 11

Police logged 21 incidents, including the following:

Juvenile — Police responded to a juvenile problem in the 200 block of East Randall Street.

Suspicious — Police responded to a suspicious person complaint in the 100 block of South Andrews Street.

Disturbance — A security guard at Kmart, 1211 E. Green Bay St., sustained a hand injury after being accosted by a male customer who refused to show a receipt. The man fled the store and the incident was under investigation.

Theft — Items were reported stolen from the flea market at the Shawano County Fairgrounds, 900 E. Green Bay St.

Disturbance — Police responded to a verbal dispute in the 1100 block of South Weed Street.

Warrant — A 39-year-old Oconto Falls man was taken into custody on a warrant at Green Bay and Union streets.

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

May 10

Police logged 22 incidents, including the following:

Warrant — A 30-year-old male was taken into custody on a warrant at Cleveland and Richmond streets.

Disturbance — Police responded to a disturbance in the 600 block of West Fifth Street.

Accident — Police responded to a property damage accident at Main and Fifth streets.

Disorderly — Police responded to a disorderly conduct complaint in the 1100 block of Waukechon Street.

Burglary — Police investigated an attempted burglary in the 900 block of East Green Bay Street.

OAR — A 21-year-old Bonduel woman was cited for operating after revocation at Lincoln and Green Bay streets.

May 9

Police logged 21 incidents, including the following:

Disturbance — Police responded to a disturbance at the Brickstone Inn, 622 E. Green Bay St.

Shoplifting — A female subject was cited for shoplifting at Charlie’s County Market, 521 S. Main St.

Shoplifting — Walmart, 1244 E. Green Bay St., reported a 15-year-old male in custody for shoplifting.

Disturbance — Police responded to a disturbance in the 100 block of East Richmond Street.

Shawano County Sheriff’s Department

May 11

Deputies logged 28 incidents, including the following:

OWI — A charge of operating while intoxicated was referred against a 22-year-old Shawano woman after she drove her vehicle into a ditch on state Highway 22 in the town of Washington.

Disturbance — Authorities investigated a fight at the Shawano County Jail, 405 N. Main St.

Drug Offense — A 20-year-old Oneida male was cited for possession of marijuana and drug paraphernalia on state Highway 29 in town of Herman.

Accidents — Authorities logged four accidents, including one deer-related crash and a car versus bear.

May 10

Deputies logged 43 incidents, including the following:

Vandalism — A mailbox was reported vandalized on County Road K in Waukechon.

Trespass — Authorities responded to a trespassing complaint on Westgor Avenue in Wittenberg.

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

Disturbance — Authorities responded to a report of a fight in progress on Roosevelt Road in Seneca.

OWI — An 18-year-old Green Bay female was arrested for operating while intoxicated and bail jumping on Cecil Street in Bonduel.

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

May 9

Deputies logged 58 incidents, including the following:

Trespass — Authorities responded to a trespassing complaint on Hiawatha Court in Wescott.

Harassment — Authorities responded to a harassment complaint on Fairview Road in Bowler.

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

Theft — A debit card was reported stolen at John’s One-Stop, N5847 State Highway 47-55 in Wescott.

Disturbance — Authorities responded to a disturbance on Country Lane in the town of Washington.

OWI — An 18-year-old Shawano male was arrested for operating while intoxicated at Fifth and Lincoln streets in Shawano.

Accidents — Authorities logged two accidents, including an injury accident in the town of Herman and one deer-related crash.

Rate this article:  Select ratingGive it 1/5Give it 2/5Give it 3/5Give it 4/5Give it 5/5 No votes yet

Still no ID of human remains found in Richmond

Tue, 05/13/2014 - 6:42am
By: 

[email protected]

Investigators were contacting family members in area missing persons cases Tuesday, gathering information they hope could help identify human remains discovered in the town of Richmond over the weekend.

The State Crime Lab in Madison was conducting a forensic examination and autopsy Tuesday, but as of late afternoon no identification had been released.

Four unsolved missing persons cases in the region going back to 2009 could be in play in this case, and another two dating back to 1998.

The remains were discovered about 5:30 p.m. Saturday by a group of young adults along the south side of Peach Road near County Road MMM.

Shawano County Sheriff Randy Wright said the remains were not buried or covered in any way. They were more or less “out in the open,” he said, but not visible from the road.

Wright would not rule out a connection to any of the missing persons cases.

“Everything is in play,” he said.

The Sheriff’s Department has not confirmed the remains were of a female, but Wright cited a number of open missing persons cases involving women.

They include Heather Szekeres, 32, of Shawano, who went missing in June.

That case was being investigated by the Shawano Police Department.

Police Capt. Jeff Heffernon said Tuesday the case remains “ongoing and active.”

Police provided assistance at the recovery of the remains Saturday night and into Sunday morning, but Heffernon said he could not answer whether there was any connection to the Szekeres case.

Other missing persons cases in the region include Victoria Prokopovitz, 60, of Pittsfield, missing since April 2013; Stephanie Low, 25, of Wausau, missing since October 2010; Kayla Berg, 20, of Antigo, missing since August 2009; Amber Wilde, 34, of Green Bay, missing since September 1998; and Carmen Owens, 56, of Shawano, missing since 1998.

The ages listed are the ages those persons would be today, according to the Department of Justice, which publishes a list of missing persons in the state.

Wright said he did not want to speculate on how long the remains had been there.

Information being gathered by investigators from family members Tuesday included such things as descriptions of clothes and jewelry the missing person might have owned or been wearing.

The case is being handled as a homicide investigation, which, Wright said, was normal procedure under the circumstances, at least until a cause of death is determined.

“You handle it as a possible homicide and you go from there,” Wright said.

Rate this article:  Select ratingGive it 1/5Give it 2/5Give it 3/5Give it 4/5Give it 5/5 No votes yet

Human remains found in Richmond

Sun, 05/11/2014 - 6:14pm
By: 

[email protected]

A homicide investigation is under way after human remains were found Saturday afternoon in the town of Richmond, the Shawano County Sheriff’s Department said.

The remains, along with what Sheriff Randy Wright said were other “evidence and artifacts,” have been sent for forensic examination and an autopsy to the State Crime Lab.

Wight said a group of young adults found the remains along the south side of Peach Road near County Road MMM and called the Sheriff’s Department around 5:25 p.m.

“As with situations as this, the case is being handled as a possible homicide at this time,” Wright said.

No further information was being released Sunday.

Wright said there would be no update until the results and positive identification come back from the State Crime Lab.

Recovery of the remains took until about 2 a.m. Sunday. A guard was then posted and deputies returned Sunday morning to comb the area for “information and other items to be found,” Wright said.

Sheriff’s deputies were assisted by Shawano police, State Crime Lab and the Shawano and Bonduel fire departments, which brought equipment used in the recovery to the scene.

Rate this article:  Select ratingGive it 1/5Give it 2/5Give it 3/5Give it 4/5Give it 5/5 No votes yet

Sheriff's campaign runs afoul of city ordinance

Sat, 05/10/2014 - 7:13am
Wright put them up too earlyBy: 

[email protected]

Sheriff Randy Wright started his re-election campaign a little too soon as far as the city of Shawano is concerned.

Wright had to remove his campaign signs from around the city this week after being told by Building Inspector Mike Miller that he violated a city ordinance specifying when signs are allowed to go up.

The ordinance prohibits campaign signs prior to 60 days before an election; in this case, the Aug. 12 Republican primary.

Wright is potentially facing two challengers in the primary. Shawano Police Officer Adam Bieber and Sheriff’s Capt. Tom Tuma have both taken out nomination papers.

Wright turned in the needed 200 signatures Thursday to get on the ballot, according to the county clerk’s office. The deadline for returning nomination papers is 5 p.m. June 2.

Wright said the city’s yard sign rule had not been strictly enforced in previous years unless someone lodged a complaint about them.

“This year, there happened to be a complaint filed,” he said.

Wright said it took two days to get all of his signs down within the city.

Outside the city limits of Shawano, however, it’s open season for yard signs.

County Clerk Rosemary Rueckert said there used to be a Department of Transportation restriction on campaign signs limiting them to 45 days before an election, but that restriction has since been lifted.

Rueckert said there has been some confusion about that because brochures handed out to candidates still had outdated information from when the restriction was in place back in 2005.

Rules for political and campaign signs posted on the DOT website in November list no time restrictions for campaign signs on private property.

However, the Wisconsin Administrative Code still has the 45-day rule for properties adjacent to the state highway system.

Elsewhere, the Government Accountability Board lists rules about where campaign signs can be placed in relation to polling places, but lists no restrictions about when they can go up.

FYI

City of Shawano Ordinance 10.36 (14). Political signs.

Political message, public election or referenda signs during an election campaign, as defined in W.S.A. s. 12.04(1), limited to one per premises per candidate or referenda question. Political signs may be posted 60 days before an election and must be removed within seven days after said election. Said sign shall be a maximum of 16 square feet.

Rate this article:  Select ratingGive it 1/5Give it 2/5Give it 3/5Give it 4/5Give it 5/5 No votes yet

Yearlong review begins for power lines

Sat, 05/10/2014 - 7:12am
Expansion of Morgan substation proposedBy: 

Kevin Murphy, Leader Correspondent

American Transmission Co. wants the state to approve construction of two high-voltage power lines through Shawano and Oconto counties, between substations near Appleton and Morgan. The project is estimated to cost $307 million.

Filing the construction application May 1 with the Wisconsin Public Service Commission began the state’s yearlong review process to determine if there is a public need for the power lines and, if so, where they would be routed.

When originally announced in 2012, the Bay Lake Project included a $427 million, 345-kilovolt line between Appleton and Ishpeming, Mich., in two components: Appleton to Oconto County and Oconto County to the Upper Peninsula.

However, the line to the Upper Peninsula was shelved so the Midcontinent Independent Systems Operator, a regional planning authority, could review long-term transmission line needs for changing conditions in the Upper Midwest and Manitoba, ATC spokesperson Jackie Olson said.

“The Presque Isle power plant (in Marquette, Mich.) was one of the main drivers for Bay Lake. We assumed (in 2012) that Presque Isle would continue running since WE Energies and Wolverine Electric Cooperative planned to keep it in operation…. Now WE Energies wants to close the plant, but MISO wants to keep Presque Isle open,” Olson said.

ATC turned its attention south, to the North Appleton-Morgan project, and wants to build 345-kV and 138-kV lines from Appleton to the Morgan substation, located in the town of Morgan about one mile south of the intersection of County Roads CC and C — about about eight miles northeast of Bonduel.

Olson said the two power lines would share a 180-foot-wide corridor for about 90 percent of the project’s length, which is 40 to 48 miles depending on the route the PSC selects.

The 345-kV line would be strung from 120-foot-tall steel poles; the 138 kV line from poles 85 feet tall, according to ATC.

Two lines are needed to address the electric system’s maintenance needs, Olson said.

“We have a lot of load on the system around-the-clock, seven days a week, and few windows to provide maintenance. … That’s one of the main factors in designing (the two lines),” she said.

ATC’s David Hovde expressed more dire consequences if the project is not built.

“The North Appleton-Morgan Project is needed to address reliability concerns, changes in generation and demand in the region, and the evolution of a wholesale electricity market,” he said in a prepared statement. “Without these reinforcements, areas of northeastern Wisconsin, including Green Bay and the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, would be vulnerable to widespread outages.”

ATC held well-attended open houses for the project last spring, but public input did not result in changing the proposed routes, Olson said. Instead, ATC refined the application in preparation of filing it May 1.

State law requires ATC to propose two routes for each major power line project, and ATC presented a preferred and an alternate route that balance impacts on property owners, the environment and cost factors.

ATC presented east and west routing options for the project but stated no preference for either option in the line’s northern section through Shawano and Oconto counties.

“The west option provides more opportunity for shared right-of-way and fewer environmental impacts, but could impact more properties. The east option, while shorter and straighter, could have more environmental impacts,” according to a prepared statement ATC released.

ATC preferred the eastern option in the route segment just north of Appleton and the west option in the center section of the project.

ATC estimates the cost of the project between $307 million and $327 million, depending on the route selected.

The project would also upgrade 11 substations in northern Wisconsin and the Upper Peninsula.

The Morgan substation would expand more than any other, enlarging by nearly a quarter-acre east and west beyond its current size but staying within the 12-acre property ATC owns, Olson said.

Once the PSC deems the construction application complete—a process that has taken more than six months for similar-sized power lines—an environmental impact statement will be drafted and presented for public comment, and a local public hearing will be held.

ATC anticipates the PSC will decide on the project within a year. If approved, construction would begin in 2017, and the line would be placed in service in 2019.

Rate this article:  Select ratingGive it 1/5Give it 2/5Give it 3/5Give it 4/5Give it 5/5 No votes yet

Sturgeon Guard fills valuable role

Sat, 05/10/2014 - 7:09am
By: 

Jason Arndt, [email protected]

Sturgeon are not only ancient marvels of biological science, they also are a species that must be protected.

The Department of Natural Resources has created an organization to ensure they are.

The Sturgeon Guard, created by the Department of Natural Resources in the middle of the 1970s and opened to the general public in 1988, recruits volunteers to man popular sites to protect the sturgeon during their annual spawning season.

The DNR created the program to reduce the illegal harvesting of sturgeon, which includes poaching eggs for caviar, and increase awareness of the Wolf River ecosystem.

When the sturgeon are spawning along the rocky shoreline of the Wolf River, they are fairly oblivious to nearby human activity and are very susceptible to illegal harvest, according to the DNR.

“We are supposed to keep the people from touching the fish, and 99 percent of the time they are real good about it,” said Sturgeon Guard member Warren Schultz, of Green Bay, at the Shawano dam. “But at times you see people out on the rocks. We try to tell them to come up and most of them do.”

Schultz, 70, has been a member of the Guard for four years and was dispatched to the Shawano dam on the Wolf River for a 12-hour shift for the first time Thursday.

“We were at Shiocton a few weeks ago and Manawa a few days before,” Schultz said. “I enjoy coming up here to protect the sturgeon. … It is a lot more active here than in any other spot where I have been earlier.”

Schultz decided to volunteer for the Guard due to his interest in the outdoors and desire to help conserve the sturgeon population. He said the group is well-organized.

“There is a 12-hour shift you volunteer for and the DNR warden sets up the schedule. Got an email from her saying they needed help here due to the water temperatures changing,” Schultz said.

Guards are usually scheduled from April 15 through May 5. Spawning generally occurs over a seven- to 10-day period within that time window.

Debbie Wolf, of Bonduel, was at the Shawano dam for the second day in a row Friday. She appreciates the Guard’s role.

“It’s a good thing, because otherwise you would have people taking them improperly. They are very delicate fish and are important to our area,” Wolf said.

Wolf said she was amazed the fish were still active on a cold and windy Friday evening.

“It was just amazing that they were on the rocks and were spawning (Thursday), but today is a little colder,” Wolf said.

For information about Sturgeon Guard, call 920-303-5444.

Rate this article:  Select ratingGive it 1/5Give it 2/5Give it 3/5Give it 4/5Give it 5/5 No votes yet

Public Record

Sat, 05/10/2014 - 7:02am

Shawano Police Department

May 8

Police logged 21 incidents, including the following:

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

Warrant — A 25-year-old man was taken into custody on a Department of Corrections warrant at the New Era House, 105 E. Richmond St.

Suspicious — Police responded to a suspicious person complaint on Woodlawn Drive.

Sex Offense — Police investigated an assault in the city reported by Shawano County Social Services.

Accident — Police responded to a property damage accident in the 1200 block of East Green Bay Street.

Child Abuse — Police investigated a child abuse complaint at the Wisconsin House, 216 E. Green Bay St.

Warrant — A 19-year-old male was taken into custody on a Shawano County warrant at Maurer and Lincoln streets.

Shawano County Sheriff’s Department

May 8

Deputies logged 39 incidents, including the following:

OWI — A 35-year-old Bowler man was arrested for operating while intoxicated on Maple Street in Birnamwood.

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

Disorderly — Authorities responded to a disorderly conduct complaint on Spaulding Street in Tigerton.

Fraud — Authorities investigated a telephone scam complaint on Oak Avenue in Richmond.

Theft — Motors and transmissions from go-karts were reported stolen on Reed Street in Wittenberg.

Theft — A game camera was reported stolen on Mavis Road in Germania.

Disturbance — Authorities responded to a disturbance on Springbrook Road in the town of Washington.

Vandalism — A vehicle was reported damaged on Main Street in Gresham.

Clintonville Police Department

May 8

Police logged eight incidents, including the following:

Disturbance — A neighbor dispute was reported on Fifth Street.

Battery — A battery and bullying complaint was under investigation.

Rate this article:  Select ratingGive it 1/5Give it 2/5Give it 3/5Give it 4/5Give it 5/5 No votes yet

Large industries oppose SMU proposed rate request

Fri, 05/09/2014 - 7:20am
Aarrowcast would pay $120M more per yearBy: 

Tim Ryan, [email protected]

Two large industrial customers would bear a third of the load of a proposed electric rate increase if Shawano Municipal Utilities’ request for a rate hike goes forward as proposed.

Representatives from Aarrowcast and the Shawano Paper Mill voiced their concerns about the increase Thursday at a public hearing held via teleconference between the Wisconsin Public Service Commission and SMU staff.

SMU is looking for a rate of return that would generate an additional $610,000 a year. How those additional costs are allocated among SMU customers is determined by the PSC.

In the past, many of those rate increases were split 60-40 between industrial and residential customers, respectively. This time around a PSC rate analysis concluded large commercial and industrial customers needed to pay an even greater share.

Their bills would go up anywhere from 2 to 6.6 percent, depending on size.

Residential customers would not be affected by the increase.

Michael Gorman, an attorney for Aarrowcast, 2900 E. Richmond St., argued in favor of returning to the old allocation formula.

Ron Thiry, vice president and general manager of Little Rapids Corp., which operates the Shawano mill at W7575 Poplar Road, said industrial customers had been encouraged to reduce their electric consumption through energy-efficiency programs.

“Actions such as this sure make it seem like we’re in some ways penalized for doing what we’ve been asked to do,” he said.

Thiry estimated the increase would cost the company an additional $80,000 a year.

The paper mill and Aarrowcast are the only two customers in the CP-4 category of SMU’s large industrial companies, which would see a total increase of $208,000 a year in their electric bills. That works out to an increase for Aarrowcast of about $128,000 per year.

Thiry estimated the CP-4 customers make up about 44 percent of SMU revenue.

“It’s important to consider the impact to everyone involved if, for some unfortunate reason, those operations were curtailed or lost from the entire revenue stream,” he said.

All parties in the case still have until May 16 to file final arguments with the PSC, which will then convene to either make a decision or recommend changes to the proposed allocation of the rate increase.

Brian Knapp, SMU general manager and city administrator, said it’s hoped there will be authorization to put a rate increase in effect by July 1.

SMU originally requested an increase that would allow for a 5.5 percent rate of return in net revenue, with hopes that a rate increase would be in place by the end of last year.

Delays in the approval process led PSC to suggest the utility request a 6.25 percent rate of return, which the SMU Commission voted to support.

SMU last increased its rates in 2010 after being given approval for a 4 percent rate of return, but revenue has fallen short since then due to a decrease in industrial power use and higher labor costs.

The utility had a rate of return of only 1.07 percent for 2013, compared to 3.21 percent in 2012.

Because of the economic conditions at the time, the SMU Commission had mixed feelings about its 2010 rate hike and initially debated asking for a 6 percent rate of return before settling on a request for 4 percent.

However, some commissioners felt it was inevitable the utility would have to come back and ask for more.

Rate this article:  Select ratingGive it 1/5Give it 2/5Give it 3/5Give it 4/5Give it 5/5 No votes yet

Sturgeon tagging surging at dam

Fri, 05/09/2014 - 7:14am
DNR tags about 400 fish on ThursdayBy: 

Jason Arndt, [email protected]


Leader Photo by Jason Arndt Fish biologists with the Department of Natural Resources take a lake sturgeon out of their net to tag near the Shawano dam Thursday.
Leader Photo by Jason Arndt Ryan Koenigs, right, chief sturgeon biologist of the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, measures a lake sturgeon Thursday while fish biologist Tom Penning tags it.

Wisconsin Department of Natural Resource fish biologists tagged about 400 sturgeon by the Shawano dam Thursday, up from 340 on Wednesday.

“More than likely, Thursday will reach its peak,” said Ryan Koenigs, the DNR’s chief sturgeon biologist. “They picked up overnight on Wednesday.”

The sturgeon did not start spawning in the Wolf River near Shawano until this week due to colder than usual weather. Koenigs, however, said the late start is not that unusual.

“It is a normal year compared to other years. They just didn’t get active until later,” Koenigs said.

Water temperatures rose to 52 degrees along the Wolf River on Thursday, up from 51 on Tuesday. Ideal water temperatures for sturgeon spawning generally range from 48 to 53 degrees.

Sturgeon Park in Shawano offers a rare opportunity for the fish biologists to gather information about the prehistoric fish because the dam area is spawning grounds for one of the strongest lake sturgeon populations in the United States. The fish spawn along the banks of the river, making it easier for the crews to net them, bring them in, tag them, determine their sex and harvest eggs.

“We are measuring and weighing along with counting them,” Koenigs said. “It allows us to determine how many fish are in the population to set harvest caps in the Lake Winnebago area.”

Biologists tagged the fish by applying a small plastic tag on each sturgeon’s dorsal fin and recording the number. The radio and sonic tags will help track the behavior of the fish after they’re released back in the Wolf — where they live, how far they travel, how long they live, etc.

Crews also used syringes to capture the sperm from the male fish and immediately placed the samples into a cooler. Buckets were used to collect the eggs from female sturgeon.

After collecting the eggs, workers disinfected them with an iodine compound to avoid transmitting diseases to nursery populations. A clay solution is used to make the eggs less sticky to better control fungus infections in the hatcheries.

The hatcheries will grow the sturgeon until they’re about 10 inches long and then release them.

Several groups were in Shawano this week to collect eggs.

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Services personnel gathered eggs for Georgia-based Warmwater Springs, which stocks sturgeon in Tennessee, Georgia and Alabama waters, and the Genoa National Fish Hatchery, which raises sturgeon to be distributed onto the Legend Lake complex on the Menominee Indian Reservation every other year, as well as other estuaries.

A group from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee collected some for the School of Freshwater Science. Eggs also will be used to foster sturgeon populations in the Menomonee and Milwaukee rivers in Milwaukee County.

Rate this article:  Select ratingGive it 1/5Give it 2/5Give it 3/5Give it 4/5Give it 5/5 No votes yet

Optimists hand out Officer of the Year Awards

Fri, 05/09/2014 - 7:10am
By: 

Leader Staff


Leader Photo by Tim Ryan Winners of the 2014 Officer of the Year Awards sponsored by the Optimist Club are, from left, Jody Johnson, Shawano Police Department school liaison officer, and Keith Sorlie, Shawano County Sheriff’s Department detective. Evidence storage technician Ann Holcomb, right, accepted the award on behalf of Detective Wade Wudtke. The officers were honored at a ceremony Thursday at the American Legion Post 117 clubhouse.

A Shawano police officer and two Shawano County sheriff’s detectives were the recipients Thursday of the Optimist Club’s annual Officer of the Year Award.

Shawano School Liaison Officer Jody Johnson and sheriff’s detectives Keith Sorlie and Wade Wudtke were honored with plaques at the ceremony held at the American Legion Post 117 clubhouse.

“She’s really a damn great school resource officer that we have working for the community of Shawano and the school district,” Chief Mark Kohl said as he introduced Johnson. “I’m so proud of her efforts. She’s got the tenacious attitude to do what’s right for the children, and she makes our agency look good, as well.”

Johnson started at the Shawano Police Department as a dispatcher 30 years ago, then went on to work for the Department of Natural Resources before being hired back at the Police Department, where she has been for nearly 20 years.

“Thank you for this award,” Johnson said. “Thank you for recognizing law enforcement. We all do our best. This award is not just for me. We have a lot of great officers at the department.”

Sheriff Randy Wright said he asked and was given permission to nominate two officers from the department this year.

“The two that I’m going to mention are definitely a team,” he said. “They’re the people that are going around right now giving a lot of their time and effort to do the drug presentations throughout the county.”

Wudtke was not present for the ceremony because he was coaching his softball team, Wright said.

Evidence storage technician Ann Holcomb accepted the award on Wudtke’s behalf. She read a letter from Wudtke thanking the Optimist Club for the honor and praising Sorlie, whom he called his partner and mentor.

“He has been an inspiration to me and many others in and out of law enforcement,” Wudtke wrote. “Keith is always willing to lend his hand in anyone’s time of need, both an and off duty. He has sacrificed his personal time to make sure the job is done correctly and to help others.”

A clearly emotionally moved Sorlie read a statement of his own praising the teamwork of the Sheriff’s Department.

“That includes deputies, dispatchers, corrections officers and all the staff. I would like to accept this award on their behalf,” he said.

Rate this article:  Select ratingGive it 1/5Give it 2/5Give it 3/5Give it 4/5Give it 5/5 No votes yet

Public Record

Fri, 05/09/2014 - 7:07am

Shawano Police Department

May 7

Police logged 22 incidents, including the following:

Juvenile — The school liaison officer dealt with a chew tobacco complaint at Shawano Community Middle School, 1050 S. Union St.

Vandalism — A vehicle was reported vandalized at Union and Randall streets.

Theft — Several firearms were reported stolen in the 300 block of East Maurer Street.

Suspicious — Police responded to a suspicious person complaint in the 1100 block of East Richmond Street.

Disorderly — Police responded to a disorderly conduct complaint in the 100 block of Military Road.

OAR — A 26-year-old woman was cited for operating after revocation at Green Bay and Main streets.

Shawano County Sheriff’s Department

May 7

Deputies logged 47 incidents, including the following:

Vandalism — A mailbox was reported vandalized on U.S. Highway 45 in Fairbanks.

Hit and Run — Authorities investigated a property damage hit-and-run on State Road in Birnamwood.

Theft — A wedding ring was reported stolen on Nichols Drive in Krakow.

Disorderly — A 16-year-old male was cited for disorderly conduct at Wittenberg-Birnamwood High School, 400 W. Grand Ave., Wittenberg.

Warrant — A 29-year-old Jacksonville, Fla., man was taken into custody on a warrant and charged with obstructing an officer at the state Highway 22 Shell station in Belle Plaine.

Fire — Authorities responded to a chimney fire on Riverside Drive in Pella.

Theft — An antique jar full of change was reported stolen on Rainbow Circle in Wescott.

Clintonville Police Department

May 7

Police logged five incidents, including the following:

Fraud — A fraud incident was reported on North 12th Street.

Fraud — A fraud incident was reported on Lincoln Avenue.

Rate this article:  Select ratingGive it 1/5Give it 2/5Give it 3/5Give it 4/5Give it 5/5 No votes yet

Public Record

Thu, 05/08/2014 - 7:09am

Shawano Police Department

May 6

Police logged 18 incidents, including the following:

Suspicious — Police responded to a suspicious person complaint in the 100 block of North Hamlin Street.

Suspicious — Police responded to a suspicious vehicle complaint in the 300 block of East Center Street.

Suspicious — Police responded to a suspicious person complaint in the 1200 block of East Ridlington Avenue.

Juvenile — Police responded to an issue at Shawano Community Middle School, 1050 S. Union St.

Property Damage — Police responded to a traffic incident in the parking lot of Olga Brener Intermediate School, 1300 S. Union St.

Shawano County Sheriff’s Department

May 6

Deputies logged 41 incidents, including the following:

Restraining — Authorities investigated a harassment complaint in Bowler.

Trespassing — Authorities investigated a trespassing complaint in the 100 block of Spaulding Street in Tigerton.

Disturbance — Authorities responded to a domestic disturbance on Railroad Street Road in Bowler.

Suspicious Vehicle — Authorities responded to a suspicious and abandoned vehicle complaint on Blueberry Road in Bowler.

Fraud — Authorities investigated a fraud complaint at the Village Hall in Bonduel, 117 W. Green Bay St.

Suspicious — Authorities responded to a suspicious person complaint in the 100 block of Cecil Street in Bonduel.

Vandalism - Authorities responded to a property damage to a door at Cecil Park on Hofman Street in Cecil.

Harassment - Authorities responded to a harassment complaint on Kildeer Lane in Birnamwood.

Disturbance - Authorities responded to a domestic disturbance on Webb Street in Wittenberg.

Traffic - Authorities cited three buses for expired license plates and operating without insurance at North Star Casino.

Disturbance - Authorities responded to a disturbance complaint on Crescent Drive in Birnamwood.

Suspicious -Authorities responded to a suspicious vehicle complaint on Oak Drive in Shawano.

Accidents - Authorities logged two deer-related crashes.

Clintonville Police Department

May 6

Police logged 12 incidents, including the following:

Accident - Police responded to an accident involving a vehicle and light pole on North Main Street.

Found - Police received a bicycle found on Pigeon River Road and Memorial Circle.

Traffic - Police responded to a complaint of reckless driving on South Clinton Avenue.

Rate this article:  Select ratingGive it 1/5Give it 2/5Give it 3/5Give it 4/5Give it 5/5 No votes yet

New contractor will be cleaning Shawano schools

Thu, 05/08/2014 - 7:07am
Board ousts GCA despite lower bidBy: 

Jason Arndt, [email protected]

Shawano School Board members voted Monday to pay $63,000 more annually for cleaner schools.

GCA Services won the school district’s contract for cleaning services for 2013-14 with a bid of $447,000. The company this year bid $477,000, and lost the contract to Building Services Group, which bid $510,000.

The board OK’d the contract 8-1, with Bruce Milavitz dissenting.

“My concern is that every year we spend more and more for the same type of services,” Milavitz said. “I am not comfortable with spending that much more. We can spend it on a teacher in our district, which is way more valuable than cleaning services.”

Jeff Easter, district maintenance director, said the Cleaning Service Contract Review Committee was dissatisfied with GCA’s performance despite its six-year relationship with the district.

“We had issues in the past where the prior company has had shortage of staff and the cleaning suffered as a result,” Easter said. “We had a large problem between November through January.”

Easter said GCA did not have a large enough pool of relief workers and suffered some staffing shortages that affected the cleaning.

Building Services Group, he said, hired 20 full-time employees not assigned to specific areas to enhance its customer service.

Easter also said Building Services Group’s customers include Green Bay and Fox Valley area school districts, while Shawano had been GCA’s only school district.

“After consulting with our committee members, we felt it was the best option available to us,” Easter said of the change. “We have a whole other standard we hold ourselves to.”

Easter said he was impressed with Building Services Group’s proactive efforts to meet with him and the committee regarding the district’s expectations.

Rate this article:  Select ratingGive it 1/5Give it 2/5Give it 3/5Give it 4/5Give it 5/5 No votes yet

City looking at possible landfill expansion

Thu, 05/08/2014 - 7:05am
By: 

[email protected]

City officials Wednesday approved a $10,000 contract with a consulting firm to study the feasibility of expanding the Shawano landfill.

The Common Council unanimously approved Foth Infrastructure and Environment LLC for the work. The multi-state company has Wisconsin offices in Milwaukee and Madison.

The contract still needs the approval of the Shawano County Solid Waste Management Board.

Department of Public Works Coordinator Eddie Sheppard said the landfill, on Rusch Road on the eastern edge of the city, has capacity for about another five years.

“We’re just kind of doing our homework now to get all of our ducks in a row,” he said.

Sheppard said the landfill feasibility study would be in conjunction with the solid waste management plan being done by the county.

“We’re looking at the existing site specifically to see if there’s any options of expansion there first before we would expand out beyond there,” he said.

As part of the study, Foth will look at DNR siting requirements related to groundwater and floodplain, and provide cost and capacity estimates.

The process of either starting a new landfill or expanding the existing one could take two or three years, Sheppard said.

“In the next year or two, we do need to get moving on, ‘OK, what’s the plan here?’” he said.

Sheppard said the option of burning some waste to extend the life of the landfill is also being explored.

Rate this article:  Select ratingGive it 1/5Give it 2/5Give it 3/5Give it 4/5Give it 5/5 No votes yet

Bonduel clerk retires after 16 years at Village Hall

Thu, 05/08/2014 - 7:03am
Wickman plans more family timeBy: 

Jason Arndt, [email protected]


Leader Photo by Jason Arndt Bonduel Village Clerk/Treasurer Barb Wickman is retiring from the position after 16 years of service with the village.

After more than 16 years as Bonduel’s village clerk, Barb Wickman will retire, effective May 16, to spend more time with her family.

“I have a great-granddaughter I will be babysitting,” Wickman said. “I am doing it for my family.”

Willa Rusch, deputy clerk for the past six years, will become clerk/treasurer when Wickman leaves.

Wickman started her tenure with Bonduel in 1997 after receiving a paralegal certificate from the American Institute of Paralegal Studies.

“It kind of interested me at the time and I decided to give it a try,” Wickman said.

Prior to working for the village, she was employed at Citizens Bank in Shawano, which is now Associated Bank. Wickman said her experience in accounting convinced her to pursue the paralegal certification.

“I guess in looking what I perceive the clerk and treasurer to be, you have to have a background in budgeting and accounting and billing,” she said. “That would be a nice way to tie it all together, which it does.”

The clerk is responsible for preparing meeting agendas, taking minutes, overseeing elections, preparing utility bills and collecting local taxes.

Wickman oversaw many changes over the last 16 years, especially to the voting process and in technology.

The hanging chad problems in Florida during the 2000 presidential election prompted many states and communities to upgrade the voting process, she said.

“It has really changed a lot since I started, especially (since) the election issue in Florida,” Wickman said.

Following the 2000 election, there needed to be more training and certification of votes by local governments.

“There are more rules and regulations in the process, which is not a bad thing,” Wickman said. “It is just more than what we have to deal with and making sure we are doing things right.”

Wickman said it takes a village of agencies and individuals to keep Village Hall running smoothly, and credited a strong network of other clerks and treasurers around the area for making her job easier.

“This position is unique,” she said. “There is usually one per town or municipality. You can always call a clerk to help you through a situation you have never been through.”

Wickman said she will miss the camaraderie she felt with the people of Bonduel throughout her tenure.

“I will miss all of the people … and being able to converse with them and help them with any issues,” Wickman said.

Not only will Wickman miss the citizens of Bonduel, but she also will leave a large mark within the village.

“I think she is the best clerk the village has ever had in the last 20 years,” Village President Mel Wendland said. “She was very efficient and knowledgeable.”

In addition to watching after her 16-month-old great-granddaughter, Wickman will hone her skills as a gardener.

“When it is nice out I will probably be out gardening, and if it is raining I will be inside the house,” Wickman said. “I am looking forward to more gardening.”

She will also be able to spend more time with her husband of 41 years, Randy, who works with Murphy Construction in Appleton.

However, her great-granddaughter will be her top priority.

“She is a little charmer,” Wickman said.

Rate this article:  Select ratingGive it 1/5Give it 2/5Give it 3/5Give it 4/5Give it 5/5 No votes yet

Sturgeon already drawing a crowd

Wed, 05/07/2014 - 7:31am
Weather has delayed annual spawningBy: 

Jason Arndt, [email protected]


Leader Photo by Jason Arndt Dozens of onlookers observe the sturgeon in the Wolf River at Sturgeon Park in Shawano on Tuesday afternoon.
Leader Photo by Jason Arndt Sturgeon swim near the Shawano dam at Sturgeon Park in Shawano on Wednesday.

Dozens of onlookers arrived at Sturgeon Park in Shawano on Tuesday to witness the marvel of the sturgeon after weeks of delay due to cold temperatures.

“We weren’t quite sure when they would show up. We came a couple of weeks ago—they weren’t here yet, so we came today,” said Elizabeth Sanders, a first-grade teacher at Sacred Heart Catholic School.

Lifelong Shawano resident Timothy Martens, 22, made his annual pilgrimage — like the prehistoric fish — to the Shawano dam to observe the sturgeon.

“I like to come because I enjoy the outdoors and I enjoy seeing the fish come up here on the dam,” Martens said. “It is a part of God’s creation, and these fish have been around for so long.

“I have been coming here ever since I was a little kid. I grew up in Shawano and have been coming here since I was 5 years old or probably in grade school.”

Ryan Koenigs, chief sturgeon biologist for the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, reported earlier this week that the fish were arriving in Shawano but spawning activity would peak when the water temperature rose above 50 degrees. Temperatures along the Shawano dam registered as high as 51 degrees Tuesday.

According to the DNR, sturgeon typically exhibit some pre-spawn behaviors. The first is porpoising—rising up above or jumping out of the water, which begins a few days before spawning begins and increases in intensity as spawning activity gets closer. The second behavior is known as “cruising” and involves sturgeon, usually males, moving up and down the shoreline, usually one to two days before spawning gets under way.

Both pre-spawn behaviors were evident Tuesday.

Sturgeon were seen jumping out of the Wolf River by Tuesday afternoon and activity intensified as the day progressed.

Gillett resident Leonard Schroeder decided to make his first visit to the Shawano dam after 75 years and enjoyed his initial stay.

“This is the first time I have ever been down here. It is interesting they come right up shore here and see their fins,” Schroeder said.

“I am amazed that they keep coming back here every year to continue this life cycle,” Martens said. “These fish are so old, they are ancient and prehistoric. It is just beautiful to me.”

Schroeder said he will make an effort to return in 2015 to again witness the sturgeon run.

“I never have gotten this close to a sturgeon before,” Schroeder said. “Never been here before, so maybe I will come down here more often.”

The prehistoric fish have been in the ecosystem for thousands of years and can weigh up to 200 pounds and more than 6 feet long.

DID YOU KNOW?

- Lake sturgeon migrate to their annual spawning grounds between late April and early June, preferring to spawn in shallow, rocky areas along river banks.

- Males arrive at the spawning sites ahead of the females, cruising in groups of eight or more, often so close to the surface that their tails, backs or snouts are out of the water.

- The males swim alongside the female, usually against the current, vigorously thrashing their tails as they release milt (sperm) while the female drops her eggs. The fertilized eggs, each about one-eighth inch in diameter, are sticky and cling to rocks and other solid materials in the water until they hatch.

- The quantity of eggs produced by a female can range from 50,000 to 700,000 in one season.

- A female sturgeon reaches sexual maturity when she is 24 to 26 years old and about 55 inches long, and will spawn once every four, five or six years thereafter.

- Males mature at about 15 years, when they are about 45 inches long. Most males spawn every other year, while some do so every year.

- Lake sturgeon grow larger and live longer than any other fish in Wisconsin. Females live longer than males; 97 percent of all sturgeon over 30 years old are females.

- An 82-year-old caught in Lake Winnebago in 1953 is on record as the oldest lake sturgeon in Wisconsin.

— Source: Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources

You can see the sturgeon near the Shawano dam via webcam at www.wolfrivercam.com/Shawano%20Dam.html.Rate this article:  Select ratingGive it 1/5Give it 2/5Give it 3/5Give it 4/5Give it 5/5 No votes yet

Wescott man's death ruled accidental drowning

Wed, 05/07/2014 - 7:27am
By: 

Leader Staff

Authorities believe a Wescott man reported missing last year accidentally drowned after falling into a pond shortly after he was seen for the last time.

The body of Paul Hudson, 42, was found in a pond near his home in the Whispering Pines area of Wescott around 3 p.m. Sunday.

An autopsy performed Monday concluded the cause of death was drowning.

Shawano County Coroner Mike Jesse said it is believed Hudson accidentally fell into the pond.

Though the time of death could not be determined, it’s also believed the drowning occurred shortly after a family member saw him walking in the vicinity of the Loon Lake boat landing on July 9.

The family reported Hudson as missing to the Shawano County Sheriff’s Department on Oct. 10.

Sheriff’s investigators said it was not unusual for Hudson not to have contact with the family for periods of time.

After he was reported missing, investigators interviewed friends and family, and followed up on a number of leads, the Sheriff’s Department said, including a report that Hudson might be with friends in Michigan.

Sheriff’s officials say they searched Hudson’s most probable destinations for several months, but came up empty.

Rate this article:  Select ratingGive it 1/5Give it 2/5Give it 3/5Give it 4/5Give it 5/5 No votes yet

Deputy disciplined for off-duty incident

Wed, 05/07/2014 - 7:26am
Motorist thought he was impostorBy: 

[email protected]

The Shawano County Sheriff’s Department said Tuesday that one of its deputies has been disciplined for an off-duty incident last month involving a confrontation with a motorist.

The April 13 incident at County Road BE and State Highway 117 in Bonduel was initially reported as someone impersonating an officer.

A caller said a person in a beat-up, newer model car was stopped in front of his vehicle at the stop light, when someone got out, approached the caller’s car and showed a gold-colored, 5-point star badge.

The caller said the man told the driver to stop following him or he would write him citations. The caller said the man was not wearing a uniform, and he did not have emergency lights on his vehicle.

Chief Deputy John Gutho said the officer came forward after seeing that a complaint had been filed and said he was involved in the incident. The deputy said he warned the caller about following too closely, according to Gutho.

The Sheriff’s Department conducted an internal investigation after the incident.

Gutho said because it was a personnel matter he could not give any further information, including the identity of the deputy, or discuss what discipline was imposed.

The matter will be discussed in closed session at the next Public Safety Committee, Gutho said.

Rate this article:  Select ratingGive it 1/5Give it 2/5Give it 3/5Give it 4/5Give it 5/5 No votes yet

Pages