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Updated: 24 min 14 sec ago

Task force targets area homelessness, poverty

Fri, 02/07/2014 - 7:45pm
By: 

Tim Ryan, [email protected]

What started more than a year ago as a conversation among a small group of people about area homelessness and poverty has blossomed into a full-fledged task force looking to confront those problems head on.

“This is a tough economy for a lot of people,” said Muffy Culhane, president of the board of directors of the Shawano Area Matthew 25 Homeless Task Force. “There are a lot of people struggling and there are a lot of people in the community who can help.”

Culhane proposed adding the Matthew 25 Bible reference to the task force name because of its message of helping others.

“It’s pretty easy to go about our lives and not realize there are people here who are struggling,” she said.

According to statistics compiled by Jay Moynihan, University of Wisconsin-Extension community development resource agent for Shawano County, one in nine people in Shawano County live in poverty. In Menominee County that number is one in four.

Moynihan said it is further estimated there are 198 homeless families living in Shawano, Menominee and northern Waupaca counties.

The numbers were based on school district tracking of homeless students and poverty statistics from the U.S. Census Bureau.

“It’s hard to get exact numbers, for obvious reasons,” Moynihan said.

Dr. Shannon Daun, a family physician at Menominee Tribal Clinic and Shawano Medical Center, does not need statistics to know there is a problem.

“I see homelessness and poverty on a daily basis,” she said.

Daun invited a small group of people to her home in December 2012 to view and discuss a documentary about poverty.

“That was our first conversation,” she said, in what would eventually grow into the task force. Daun is the board’s vice president.

Several area churches quickly became involved, including First Presbyterian, Zion Lutheran, Hope Community Church and Sacred Heart Catholic.

The effort has grown to include civic organizations and local businesses, and there are now more than 50 individuals committed to developing, organizing and expanding the task force’s local response to homelessness and poverty, according to Nancy Schultz, family living educator at the UW-Extension and one of the task force organizers.

One of the first topics of discussion for the group was the question of what is available in the community for the homeless right now.

“There’s not a lot,” Schultz said.

While some may qualify for a voucher for an overnight stay at a motel, the only other options are finding friends or relatives to stay with or somehow getting to a homeless shelter in Green Bay.

Last fall, the group decided to kick its efforts into high gear, forming goals and a mission statement and setting out to secure a legal designation as a nonprofit entity.

“As the task force moves forward they will be taking steps to secure funding to support efforts to end homelessness, hunger, and the other negative impacts of poverty,” Schultz said.

In addition to the number of people already below the poverty level, there are many more who could be pushed there as costs rise for such things as food and propane.

“We have so many people hovering, and if there’s a disaster it can flip them right over,” Schultz said.

The task force has several things it would like to see implemented as soon as possible, including emergency homeless shelters and a free or low-cost clinic.

All of that is still at the wish-list stage, for now, however.

“There’s lots of work to do before we can move anything forward,” Schultz said.

Anyone interested in helping out is welcome.

“Many hands make light work,” Culhane said. “The more people helping, the better off we’ll be.”

AT A GLANCE

WHAT: Shawano Area Matthew 25 Homeless Task Force

WHEN: Group meets monthly. Next meeting is at 5:30 p.m. Feb. 27.

WHERE: Zion Lutheran Church, 1254 S. Union St., Shawano

WHO: If you would like to get involved, call Nancy Schultz at 715-526-6136.

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Public Record

Fri, 02/07/2014 - 5:52pm

Shawano Police Department

Feb. 6

Police logged 31 incidents, including the following:

Disturbance — A 20-year-old male subject was taken into custody on charges of disorderly conduct and domestic violence after a disturbance in the 1300 block of East Lieg Avenue.

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

Juvenile — Police logged eight truancy complaints from Shawano Community Middle School, 1050 S. Union St.

Disturbance — Police responded to a disturbance at the Wisconsin House, 216 E. Green Bay St.

Harassment — Police responded to a harassment complaint in the 100 block of Acorn Street.

Shawano County Sheriff’s Department

Feb. 6

Deputies logged 33 incidents, including the following:

Warrant — A 23-year-old woman was taken into custody on a warrant on County Road BE in the town of Waukechon.

Fraud — Authorities investigated a telephone scam complaint on Elder Lane in Birnamwood.

Fraud — Authorities investigated an identity theft complaint on Balsam Circle in Bonduel.

Vandalism — An outdoor boiler was reported vandalized on County Road D in Pella.

Accidents — Authorities logged three minor accidents.

Clintonville Police Department

Feb. 6

Harassment — Police responded to harassment complaints at Clintonville Middle School and Rexford-Longfellow Elementary School.

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Sponsors step forward for MISD gala

Fri, 02/07/2014 - 5:44pm

Menominee Tribal Enterprises has signed on as the presenting sponsor for the second annual Menominee Indian School District Scholarship Gala.

The gala will be held from 6-9 p.m. March 14 at the Menominee Indian Casino and Resort, N277 State Highway 47/55.

“We are so thankful for MTE’s continued support of this event,” MISD Superintendent Wendell Waukau said. “We value our relationship with MTE and the things they do for our community as caretakers of the forest. Their support of the gala is another way for them to be caretakers, helping build scholarship funds so more students can attend college or technical school.”

Draeger Propane will be the dessert sponsor, and M3 Insurance will be the entertainment sponsor.

“It’s heartwarming to have community organizations, businesses and vendors step up and support our student events,” gala planning committee member Kate Mikle said. “With their help, we are able to raise valuable scholarship dollars that help our students continue their education.”

The gala will feature live music and entertainment, a family-style dinner, silent and live auction items, bucket raffles and a 50/50 raffle. Among the live auction items: a Green Bay Packers football, wooden Adirondack chairs, homemade bakery items and a crocheted quilt. There will also be dozens of silent auction items, including gift certificates to area businesses.

The gala is being planned by a volunteer committee of school district teachers, staff and administrators. Committee members include Waukau, Mikle, Kim Mitchell, Corey Webster, Bob Burr, Terry Brooks, Michael Phillips, Michelle Frechette and Paula Fernandez.

Tickets, which are $25 each, can be purchased from committee members, at all MISD schools and the district office. Corporate sponsorships and reserved corporate tables are also available. Tickets are limited, so you are encouraged to purchase them as soon as possible.

New auction items and gift certificates are still being solicited. Anyone wishing to donate an item for the auction can contact Kim Mitchell, guidance counselor at Menominee Indian High School, at 715-799-3846, ext. 2161, or [email protected].

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Bonduel school administrator announces retirement

Thu, 02/06/2014 - 10:34pm
By: 

Tim Ryan, [email protected]

Bonduel School District Administrator Peter Behnke will retire at the end of the school year, ending 25 years overseeing the district and 40 years in education.

Behnke, 62, said the district is in a good position to continue on without him.

“I’ve watched the staff change and progress and improve. I’m very pleased with the group we have here now,” he said. “The district is in the best shape I can recall it being in.”

Behnke’s last day on the job will be June 30.

“It’s time to leave and let somebody else step in,” he said.

Behnke started his educational career as a teacher of chemistry, math and physics for 12 years in Niagara, then served as a principal there for three years.

He came to the Bonduel School District as administrator in 1989.

Behnke said he has enjoyed working with the community, staff and School Board.

“It’s been very enjoyable working with everybody,” he said.

Behnke said he had considered retirement before but always found reasons to stay.

“Now we have a lot of talented young folks on the staff, and it’s time for me to step out of their way,” he said.

Behnke has overseen the district through significant changes, particularly technological advances that were in their infancy when he joined the district.

“When I came here, I carried my own Radio Shack computer with me,” he said.

Behnke recalled that it was once impressive for prospective teaching candidates to say they were skilled in word processing or knew how to make a PowerPoint presentation.

Behnke said staff know-how has not only kept up with, but also surpassed the advances in technology.

“Their expertise has improved even more,” he said.

Administrators in the Bonduel School District have a history of long tenures. Behnke is only the third administrator the district has had since 1950. Frank Weix was administrator from 1950-1979, followed by Lyman Franzwa from 1979-1989.

“There’s been a lot of consistency, which has helped maintain district programs,” Behnke said.

Behnke said the School Board has always been an important part of that from his experience.

“The board has always been careful to let me deal with the day-to-day operations,” he said.

The board will hold a special meeting at 6 p.m. Monday in the Bonduel High School/Middle School Library Media Center to discuss the district administrator job description and the process for finding a replacement for Behnke.

Behnke said he will assist the board, and at this point there are no plans to bring in a consultant to do the search.

Behnke said the community and its location, along with the healthy shape the district is in, should attract quality candidates. He expected a candidate would be selected in May.

Behnke’s salary is $124,388.

Behnke said he had no specific retirement plans.

“I’m sure my wife will come up with something for me to do if I don’t,” he said.

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2 charged in alleged marijuana operation

Thu, 02/06/2014 - 10:33pm
By: 

Leader Staff

Two Bonduel men are facing felony drug charges after authorities busted an alleged marijuana operation in the town of Hartland on Tuesday.

John A. Rotter, 26, and Robert S. Rotter Jr., 27, were each charged with felony counts of manufacture and delivery of marijuana and maintaining a drug trafficking place.

John Rotter faces an additional felony count of second or subsequent possession of marijuana. Both are also charged with a misdemeanor count of possessing drug paraphernalia.

Each of the felony charges carry a maximum possible penalty of 3 1/2 years in prison and $10,000 fine if convicted.

Shawano County sheriff’s detectives and Bonduel police executed a search warrant at the Rotter residence Tuesday.

According to the criminal complaint, authorities seized 127 separate items, including a portable grow room, books on growing marijuana, stems and other pieces of marijuana plants, four bags of marijuana plant material each labeled with different names, seed packets, plant drying paraphernalia, various drug paraphernalia, $400 in currency, brass knuckles and a knife.

There was also one marijuana plant found growing in a pot, according to the complaint.

The complaint also states John Rotter told authorities the marijuana was for personal use and that he had purchased a lot of it at one time because it was cheaper that way.

Both men had their initial appearances in Shawano-Menominee County Circuit Court on Thursday. There was no additional information available Thursday afternoon.

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Outdoor recreation plan goes to council

Thu, 02/06/2014 - 10:31pm
By: 

Tim Ryan, [email protected]

The Shawano Common Council next week will consider approving a new five-year plan for improving city parks and outdoor recreation areas.

The Plan Commission gave its approval Wednesday of the first update of the city’s Comprehensive Outdoor Recreation Plan since 2001.

The city received a grant from the East Central Wisconsin Regional Planning Commission to assist in updating the plan, which gives an assessment of city parks and future needs. Work on the update started in the spring of last year.

In order to be eligible for Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources grants, a community must have a plan on file.

Some of the projects proposed in the plan are already slated to get under way. The Park and Recreation Commission, for example, expects to open bids Feb. 26 for improvements to the facilities at Memorial Park.

Park and Recreation Director Judy Judd said the new facilities will look like those already in place at Martzke and Eberlein parks, including storage for teams using the facility, upgraded restrooms and a shelter facing the ball diamond.

The Plan Commission did make one amendment to the plan, identifying Smalley Park as a city park for the first time.

Though referred to as Smalley Park, “it’s never been identified to the best of my knowledge in any five-year plan,” Judd said.

The property originally intended as park space is occupied by the Shawano Medical Center, which will be moving to a new location next year.

There was also some discussion Wednesday about the possibility of selling off some of the city’s designated parks, either because they are not used much or they have been made redundant because of larger park facilities nearby.

“We have discussed the closing of some of the parks that aren’t used very much anymore,” said Common Council President Woody Davis, who sits on the Park and Recreation Commission. “That’s a possibility.”

The plan calls for consideration of selling a 1.88 parcel of the Alpine Shores park and the western portion of Pearl Court Park, and “deeding back to residents” the 0.67-acre Hartman Park, which is near the elementary and middle schools.

Judd said those options have been on the table for years, but no action has been taken on them.

Any sales would offset the costs of future park projects.

The plan also considers the possibility of new park land in the River Pines area.

Some of the items included in the five-year plan were the result of a community survey conducted online last year.

According to the survey, 80 percent of respondents said they were either somewhat or very satisfied with the city’s parks, with baseball diamonds, soccer fields and park access getting the highest marks.

Trails, restrooms and playgrounds were the most used, but also the most in need of improvement, the survey found.

Judd said there was also a “wish list” that residents had, such as an outdoor pool, that is not included in the five-year plan.

THE NEXT STEP

WHAT: Shawano Common Council will review five-year plan for improving city parks and outdoor recreation areas.

WHEN: 6:30 p.m. Wednesday

WHERE: Lake Room, City Hall, 127 S. Sawyer St., Shawano

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Deer feeding banned in area counties

Thu, 02/06/2014 - 10:29pm

A ban on baiting and feeding white-tailed deer went into effect Thursday in Shawano and Waupaca counties.

The state Department of Natural Resources reported the action was spurred by the discovery of a deer with Chronic Wasting Disease on a privately owned deer farm in Marathon County in November. Implementation was delayed to avoid interference with the regular deer hunting season.

State law requires that counties within a 10-mile radius of a CWD-positive test are prohibited from baiting and feeding deer.

“We understand that this may be disappointing news to some who use bait for deer hunting or are feeding deer for enjoyment or because they are seeking to help them through this winter,” said Jeff Pritzl, DNR wildlife supervisor for northeast Wisconsin. “Supplemental winter feeding of deer unnecessarily increases the risk of spreading CWD and other diseases by concentrating deer activity at one spot.

“Long-term herd health is important to preserving our great hunting tradition. It is a foundation of tourism and vital to local businesses. This outweighs any possible benefit to individual deer or deer watchers provided by feeding.”

Area residents can still feed birds and small mammals provided the feeding devices are at a sufficient height or are otherwise designed to prevent access by deer. Feeders also need to be within 50 yards of a human dwelling.

More information about CWD is available online at knowcwd.com and dnr.wi.gov.

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Public Record

Thu, 02/06/2014 - 10:25pm

Shawano Police Department

Feb. 5

Police logged 32 incidents, including the following:

Theft — A purse was reported stolen at Walmart, 1244 E. Green Bay St.

Juvenile — Police responded to a juvenile problem in the 500 block of South Sawyer Street.

Theft — A jacket was reported stolen in the 100 block of Acorn Street.

Shoplifting — Police responded to a shoplifting complaint at JC Penney, 128 Woodlawn Drive.

Warrant — A male subject was taken into custody on a warrant in the 400 block of North Lafayette Street.

Disturbance — Police responded to a disturbance in the 1100 block of South Lafayette Street.

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

Assault — Police investigated an assault complaint in the 400 block of East Center Street.

Disturbance — Police responded to a disturbance at the Wisconsin House, 216 E. Green Bay St.

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

Disturbance — Police responded to a disturbance in the 1200 block of South Prospect Street.

Theft — A phone was reported stolen at the Shawano Recreation Center, 220 E. Division St.

Shawano County Sheriff’s Department

Feb. 5

Deputies logged 31 incidents, including the following:

Warrant — A male subject was taken into custody on a warrant on Maple Street in Birnamwood.

Juvenile — Authorities responded to a juvenile problem on Cloverleaf Lake Road in Belle Plaine.

OWI — A 67-year-old woman was arrested for operating while intoxicated at Fifth and Andrews streets in Shawano.

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

Accidents — Authorities logged two minor accidents.

Clintonville Police Department

Feb. 5

Police logged four incidents, including the following:

Theft — A theft was reported on Fifth Street.

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Commission grants special exception for Anello's zoo

Wed, 02/05/2014 - 10:00pm
By: 

Tim Ryan, [email protected]

“Hallelujah.”

That was Rita Mondus reacting Wednesday to the unanimous vote of the Shawano Plan Commission finally granting the special zoning exception she had been seeking since September for the exhibition of animals at Anello’s Torch Lite.

The special exception still has to be approved by the Common Council when it meets on Wednesday.

The Plan Commission had been signaling for five months its willingness to grant the special exception, but had been waiting for a private zoo license to be issued by the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

The restaurant at 1276 E. Green Bay St. was informed in August that its zoo violated the city’s zoning ordinance. Anello’s was ordered to reduce the number of animals to within the limits set by the Plan Commission in April 2003. According to minutes of that meeting, commissioners limited the number of animals that could be displayed to eight.

Mondus subsequently applied for a USDA license and submitted a new application with the city for a special exception to the zoning code, this time specifying up to 65 non-threatening animals.

There was a consensus at the Plan Commission meeting in October that the number of animals wouldn’t be an issue for the city as long as the zoo maintains a USDA license and conforms to USDA regulations.

The zoo was allowed to continue operating in the meantime even though it was in violation of the city’s zoning ordinance.

The Shawano Common Council voted in September that the ordinance would not be enforced against Anello’s while its special exception request was pending.

There was some discussion at Wednesday’s Plan Commission meeting of the USDA’s definition of animals, which doesn’t include such things as poultry, but commissioners were satisfied that the menagerie at Anello’s would not include any animals that would be a concern to public safety.

The commission struck the phrase “non-threatening” animals from the special exception on the advice of legal counsel because the phrase is not defined in city ordinances.

Mondus said she had no intention of having animals that would present a threat.

There was also some discussion of whether the animals constituted a petting zoo — as it has long been referred to — or a private zoo.

Mondus referred to it at Wednesday’s meeting as a private zoo, though Anello’s has several websites that refer to it as a petting zoo.

Mondus said she has a license for a petting zoo, which allows her to take her animals to other locations, such as schools, for display.

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Public Record

Wed, 02/05/2014 - 9:59pm

Shawano Police Department

Feb. 4

Police logged 26 incidents, including the following:

Juvenile — Police logged seven truancy complaints from Shawano Community Middle School, 1050 S. Union St.

Harassment — Police responded to a harassment complaint in the 200 block of South Main Street.

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

Accident — A woman was cited for failure to obey a traffic signal and running a red light after a two-vehicle crash at Green Bay Street and Airport Drive. Police said injuries were minor.

Disturbance — Police responded to a disturbance in the 400 block of East Center Street.

Disorderly — Police responded to a disorderly conduct complaint in the 800 block of South River Street.

Harassment — Police responded to a harassment complaint in the 800 block of East Richmond Street.

Shawano County Sheriff’s Department

Feb. 4

Deputies logged 34 incidents, including the following:

OAR — A 24-year-old man was cited for operating after revocation on Bartelt Street in Gresham.

Fire — Authorities responded to a house fire on Hintz Road in Green Valley.

Theft — Authorities investigated a property theft complaint on Grand Avenue in Wittenberg.

Fire — Authorities responded to a machine shed fire on River Bank Road in Belle Plaine.

Juvenile — Authorities responded to a juvenile problem on County Road T in Waukechon.

Accidents — Authorities logged seven accidents.

Clintonville Police Department

Feb. 4

Police logged nine incidents, including the following:

Suspicious — An officer checked on a report of suspicious tracks in the snow on East Second Street and determined they were animal tracks.

Hit and Run — Police investigated a property damage hit-and-run on Pearl Street.

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Court News

Tue, 02/04/2014 - 9:33pm

Felony theft

A former Shawano woman has been charged with a felony count of theft for allegedly stealing more than $6,000 from the account of a developmentally disabled man for whom she had been appointed guardian.

Brenda L. Tomow, 53, could face a maximum six years in prison and a $10,000 fine if found guilty.

According to the criminal complaint, Tomow made numerous withdrawals from the account between Feb. 13, 2008, and June 24, 2009, while serving as the man’s guardian.

Some of those withdrawals went to such things as her own food and gas after she moved to Hawaii in April 2008, according to the complaint.

The complaint alleges Tomow used $6,081 from the account for her own use.

A warrant was issued Jan. 28 for her arrest.

Substantial battery

A Milwaukee man is facing a felony charge of substantial battery after an altercation in Shawano last week that sent another man to the Shawano Medical Center emergency room.

Norris G. House Sr., 40, is accused of causing substantial bodily harm to a 62-year-old Shawano man during a fight at a residence in the city of Jan. 30. House allegedly struck and kicked the man in the head, splitting his lip and fracturing a facial bone.

House could face a maximum 3 1/2 years in prison and $10,000 fine if found guilty.

House is free on a $1,000 cash bond and is due back in court for a preliminary hearing Friday.

Strangulation, child abuse

A Shawano man is accused of causing bodily harm to a child and strangling a woman during a domestic disturbance in the town of Richmond on Saturday.

Justin C. Meyer, 32, was charged with felony counts of physical abuse of a child, strangulation and suffocation and bail jumping. Each of the counts carries a maximum possible penalty of six years in prison and a $10,000 fine.

Meyer allegedly pushed a 12-year-old boy to the floor and choked a women during the incident. He is also charged with a misdemeanor count of domestic abuse-related disorderly conduct.

Meyer was being held on a $500 cash bond and is scheduled for a preliminary hearing Feb. 21.

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Number of homeless students increases in Shawano

Tue, 02/04/2014 - 9:18pm
By: 

Lee Pulaski, [email protected]

Midyear numbers for homeless students in Shawano School District have some officials concerned.

Staff members tasked with being liaisons to homeless families informed the Shawano School Board on Monday that there have been 39 homeless students tallied in the first semester of the school year. The district recorded 48 students for the entire 2012-13 school year, down from 72 in 2011-12.

“This is a little alarming to me, having 39 students midway through the year,” said Lori Smits, director of pupil services and the district coordinator for the homeless liaisons. “We’re definitely seeing an increase over last year.”

The district is required by law to keep track of homeless students, Smits said.

The district’s definition of “homeless” includes students who are living on the streets, staying at emergency shelters or with other families.

“We have a lot of families who lived in motels and hotels, shelters, foster care placement,” Smits said.

Many of the situations are temporary, Smits said, and many of the 39 students in the district’s count are no longer homeless.

The district collaborates with local agencies to provide basic essentials such as food, clothing and school supplies to the students, said Jodi Gunther, social worker and homeless liaison at Olga Brener Intermediate School.

“When a student is identified, they come and talk to us,” Gunther said. “Oftentimes, we have families that go to three or four different schools before they show up at our door. It’s out there. It happens, and we see it daily.”

Even if a homeless family moves to another district, the district must continue to provide transportation if the students continue to attend Shawano schools, Smits said.

“Anything you can think of as a barrier, we have to eliminate,” Smits said, noting that the law is an unfunded mandate.

There are more than 15,000 students enrolled at public schools in Wisconsin that are considered homeless, Smits told the board, and students who are homeless are twice as likely to repeat a grade and four times as likely to drop out of school.

School Board member Marcia Yeager said many residents likely are not aware that homelessness is such an issue in Shawano.

“I don’t think the city realizes how many people we have that are homeless,” Yeager said. “I think if you got this out into the public, people would come forward (to help).”

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Mattoon man gets 7 years for child enticement

Tue, 02/04/2014 - 9:17pm
By: 

Tim Ryan, [email protected]

A Mattoon man accused of trying to abduct a girl in Wittenberg in 2011 was sentenced Tuesday to seven years in prison after pleading no contest to a charge of child enticement.

David W. Andersen, 51, will also have to serve another 18 years extended supervision. The 25-year total is the maximum sentence he could have gotten.

“Today justice was served not only for the 15-year-old girl that Mr. Andersen tried to abduct, but also for the community at large,” Shawano-Menominee County District Attorney Greg Parker said.

“What Mr. Andersen did in trying to chase down this young girl was any parent or child’s worst nightmare,” Parker said. “The maximum sentence of 25 years that was imposed in this case was necessary in order to keep Mr. Andersen under the watchful eye of the state until he is 70 years old.”

The sentence handed down by Judge William Kussel Jr. followed a joint recommendation from the state and Andersen’s defense attorney.

A charge of disorderly conduct was dismissed under the plea agreement, but read in for sentencing purposes, along misdemeanor counts from a separate case in which Andersen had been charged with lewd and lascivious behavior and criminal trespass to a dwelling.

Andersen had been scheduled for trial this week on the child enticement charge. He was accused of trying to force a 15-year-old girl into a pickup for the purpose of sexual intercourse.

The incident happened in the area of Genesee Street and Grand Avenue on March 21, 2011, while the girl was on her way to Wittenberg-Birnamwood High School.

According to the criminal complaint, a man in a truck later identified as Andersen stopped next to her and offered her a ride, which the girl declined. She then saw the truck drive ahead and park along a side street.

The girl became frightened and jumped over the guardrail, fleeing down the embankment and behind an antique store as Andersen pursued her on foot, according to the complaint. She made it to Wittenberg Middle School, where she reported the incident.

According to the complaint, Andersen admitted to investigators that he was the man involved in the incident.

He said he found the girl very attractive and looked like the type of girl he would like to meet and buy things for, the complaint states. He also said he wanted her to go on a date with him and that he needed younger women to have babies with.

In December 2011, Andersen was ordered held at the Winnebago Mental Health Institute to determine whether he was competent to stand trial. After nine months of evaluation, he was determined competent and was bound over for trial after a preliminary hearing in October 2012.

Andersen entered a plea of insanity in March of last year.

When Andersen is released on extended supervision, he will have to register as a sex offender and must comply with any mental health treatment recommended by the probation agent.

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Menominee leader promises 'positive' speech

Tue, 02/04/2014 - 9:16pm
By: 

The Associated Press

Wisconsin legislators and tribal leaders are talking about collaboration and common ground going into this month’s State of the Tribes address, but deep divides over iron mining, hunting rights and school mascots still lurk under the pleasant rhetoric.

The Lac Courte Oreilles chairman slammed Republican legislators and state officials in last year’s speech, causing one lawmaker to walk out, and the stage could be set for more conflict when Menominee Nation Chairman Craig Corn delivers the address on Feb. 13

“I’m not sure I’ve ever seen the relationship between the state and the Indian nations here so tense,” said Patty Loew, a Bad River Band of Lake Superior Chippewa member and a University of Wisconsin-Madison communications professor who specializes in American Indian culture.

Corn has been lobbying Republican Gov. Scott Walker to approve his tribe’s plans for an off-reservation casino in Kenosha despite two other tribes’ opposition.

Federal regulators have signed off on the Menominee’s proposal, but Walker has the final say on the plan. He has said he wants all of Wisconsin’s tribes to approve the project before he green-lights it — pitting the Menominee against the Ho-Chunk Nation and Forest County Potawatomi, who already run lucrative casinos and have refused to OK the Kenosha project. Walker still hasn’t made a final decision.

Corn said his request to the Great Lakes Inter-Tribal Council to give this year’s speech wasn’t timed to coincide with the casino push. The 11 tribes rotate speakers, and the Menominee wanted to speak last year but stepped aside for the Lac Courte Oreilles, he said.

Nonetheless, the casino issue will likely hang over the speech. Corn can’t afford to alienate lawmakers, Walker or the Ho-Chunk and the Potawatomi, and will have to tread lightly, Loew said.

Potawatomi spokesman George Ermert said the tribe doesn’t have a problem with Corn giving the speech but expects him to focus on the big picture.

“(The speech is) meant to talk about the pressing issues for all the tribes in Wisconsin,” he said. “It’s not meant to be what one specific tribe is dealing with. It’s never been about what one specific tribe wants.”

Corn said he will talk about the economic boost the casino would give his people and the state as well as broad tribal issues. A draft of his talk will be sent to the other tribes for feedback, he said.

“They’re our fellow tribes, and we try to help each other and try to pick each other up,” Corn said. “That message won’t change with this address or this casino. We’re going to keep it positive.”

Corn and Assembly Speaker Robin Vos, R-Burlington, issued a statement calling the speech an opportunity to highlight common interests and address problems — and they have plenty of those.

The state’s six Chippewa tribes are still angry over Republican legislation clearing the path for a possible iron mine they fear will pollute water and destroy wild rice beds near the Bad River’s Ashland County reservation. The state’s new wolf hunt also has offended the Chippewa; the bands consider the animal a spiritual brother.

The tribes authorized their hunters to kill an elk a month before the first wolf hunt. Later in 2012, they approved night deer hunting for their members. The Department of Natural Resources has been struggling to reintroduce elk to the state for years and has long prohibited night deer hunting out of safety concerns.

Walker signed a bill in December making it harder to strip public schools of American Indian mascots. Barbara Munson, an Oneida Indian who leads the Wisconsin Indian Education Association’s mascot task force, has called the measure racist.

Meanwhile, the Chippewa have appealed a court order barring night deer hunting.

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Senate sends farm bill to Obama

Tue, 02/04/2014 - 9:15pm
By: 

The Associated Press

The sweeping farm bill that Congress sent to President Obama on Tuesday has something for almost everyone, from the nation’s 47 million food stamp recipients to Southern peanut growers, Midwest corn farmers and the maple syrup industry in the Northeast.

After years of setbacks, the Senate on Tuesday sent the nearly $100 billion-a-year measure to President Barack Obama, who is expected to sign it. The Senate passed the bill 68-32 after House passage last week.

Wisconsin’s senators split on the bill, with Democrat Tammy Baldwin supporting it and Republican Ron Johnson opposing it.

“It should be called the Food Stamp Act of 2014, because food stamp spending … makes up 79 percent, or $756 billion, of its $956 billion 10-year total spending,” Johnson said in a news release. “Food stamps and farm policy should be addressed in separate bills. As a result, I could not support this bill.”

In her statement, Baldwin noted, “This compromise isn’t perfect, but it is bipartisan legislation that makes important investments in our rural communities and will help ensure that our agriculture sector continues to fuel our state’s economy.”

The bill provides a financial cushion for farmers who face unpredictable weather and market conditions. It also provides subsidies for rural communities and environmentally sensitive land. The bulk of its cost is for the food stamp program, which aids 1 in 7 Americans. The bill would cut food stamps by $800 million a year, or around 1 percent.

House Republicans had hoped to reduce the bill’s costs even further, pointing to a booming agriculture sector in recent years and arguing that the now $80 billion-a-year food stamp program has spiraled out of control.

Those partisan disagreements stalled the bill for more than two years, but conservatives were eventually outnumbered as the Democratic Senate, the White House and a still-powerful bipartisan coalition of farm-state lawmakers pushed to get the bill done.

The White House has been mostly quiet as Congress worked out its differences on the bill. In a statement after the vote, Obama said the bill would reduce the deficit “without gutting the vital assistance programs millions of hardworking Americans count on to help put food on the table for their families.”

He said the farm bill isn’t perfect, “but on the whole, it will make a positive difference not only for the rural economies that grow America’s food, but for our nation.”

Obama praised the bill for getting rid of controversial subsidies known as direct payments, which are paid to farmers whether they farm or not. Most of that program’s $4.5 billion annual cost was redirected into new, more politically defensible subsidies that would kick in when a farmer has losses.

To gather votes for the bill, Senate Agriculture Chairwoman Debbie Stabenow, D-Mich., and her House counterpart, Rep. Frank Lucas, R-Okla., included a major boost for crop insurance popular in the Midwest, higher subsidies for Southern rice and peanut farmers, and land payments for Western states. The bill also sets policy for hundreds of smaller programs, subsidies, loans and grants — from research on wool to loans for honey producers to protections for the catfish industry. The bill would provide assistance for rural Internet services and boost organic agriculture.

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Public Record

Tue, 02/04/2014 - 8:56pm

Shawano Police Department

Feb. 3

Police logged 24 incidents, including the following:

Theft — A purse was reported stolen at Aldi’s, 1253 E. Green Bay St.

Disturbance — Police responded to a disturbance in the 200 block of South Sawyer Street.

Accident — Police responded to an injury accident in the 200 block of Waukechon Street after a vehicle rear-ended a legally parked semi, causing the vehicle’s airbag to deploy. The driver reported being struck in the head by the airbag.

Shawano County Sheriff’s Department

Feb. 3

Deputies logged 38 incidents, including the following:

Drug Offense — Authorities investigated a drug complaint on Old Keshena Road in Wescott.

Harassment — Authorities responded to a harassment complaint on state Highway 22 in Belle Plaine.

Disorderly — Authorities responded to a disorderly conduct complaint at Bowler School.

Domestic — Authorities investigated a domestic incident that was caught on surveillance video at the Ho Chunk Casino in Wittenberg.

Accidents — Authorities logged four minor accidents.

Clintonville Police Department

Feb. 3

Police logged three incidents, including the following:

Disturbance — Police responded to a domestic disturbance on Flora Circle.

Feb. 2

Police logged four incidents, including the following:

Warrant — Officers conducted two warrant pickups after a traffic stop on South Main Street at Ninth Street.

OWL — Operating without a driver’s license was reported after officers conducted a traffic stop on North Main Street at 14th Street.

Feb. 1

Police logged nine incidents, including the following:

Disturbance — Police responded to a fight in progress on South Main Street.

OWL — A citation was issued for operating without a driver’s license after a traffic stop on Third Street and South Main Street.

Accidents — A two-vehicle accident was reported on Lincoln Avenue, and a one-vehicle accident was reported on SGT Warren Hansen Drive and Spring Street.

Jan. 31

Police logged 10 incidents, including the following:

Warrant — A 31-year-old Clintonville woman and a 41-year-old Clintonville man were taken into custody on outstanding warrants.

Juvenile — Police responded to two disorderly conduct complaints at the high school and two at the middle school.

Suspicious — Police responded to a suspicious incident on Morning Glory Drive.

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Public Record

Tue, 02/04/2014 - 8:14am

Shawano Police Department

Feb. 2

Police logged 19 incidents, including the following:

Disturbance — Police responded to a disturbance in the 800 block of East Richmond Street.

Disturbance — Police responded to a disturbance in the 1100 block of South Lafayette Street.

Disturbance — Police responded to a report of a fight in progress at the Huber Center, 120 Engel Drive.

Feb. 1

Police logged 13 incidents, including the following:

Juvenile — Police investigated an underage drinking complaint in the 800 block of South Park Street.

Warrant — A male subject was taken into custody on a warrant in the 100 block of East Division Street.

Assault — Police investigated a report of an assault in the 500 block of South Union Street.

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

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

Jan. 31

Police logged 22 incidents, including the following:

Fire — Police responded to a fire at Anello’s Torch Lite, 1276 E. Green Bay St.

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

Shawano County Sheriff’s Department

Feb. 2

Deputies logged 31 incidents, including the following:

Disturbance — Authorities responded to a report of a fight in progress at the Huber Center, 120 Engel Drive in Shawano.

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

Disturbance — Authorities responded to a disturbance on Elm Street in the town of Grant.

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

Feb. 1

Deputies logged 40 incidents, including the following:

Juvenile — Authorities investigated an underage drinking complaint on Warrington Avenue in Cecil.

Domestic — Authorities responded to a domestic disturbance on Cypress Road in Richmond.

Drug Offense — Authorities investigated a drug complaint on Forest Street in Birnamwood.

Accidents — Authorities logged nine accidents, including a snowmobile accident in Shawano and one deer-related crash.

Jan. 31

Deputies logged 45 incidents, including the following:

Hit and Run — Authorities investigated a property damage hit-and -run on Highway 45 in Birnamwood.

Disturbance — Authorities responded to a report of a fight in progress on County Road F in Angelica.

Shoplifting — Authorities responded to a shoplifting complaint on Highway 22 in Belle Plaine.

Accidents — Authorities logged 12 accidents.

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St. James vying to be voucher school

Fri, 01/31/2014 - 8:21pm
By: 

Tim Ryan, [email protected]

St. James Lutheran School in Shawano has joined the competition to become one of the state’s taxpayer-supported voucher schools.

Principal Susan Longmire sent a letter this week to parents of currently enrolled students encouraging them to go to the Department of Public Instruction website to see whether they qualify for a voucher and fill out a voucher application.

“To be selected as one of the voucher schools, we must be in the top 25 schools with the most voucher enrollees,” Longmire said.

Schools participating in the program receive a state aid payment for each eligible student on behalf of the student’s parent or guardian.

Longmire said the school is committed to opening its classrooms to everyone, regardless of their financial situation. The school has given out around $40,000 in financial assistance to families unable to afford the school’s tuition, she said.

Longmire said the school hasn’t had to turn anyone away.

“I can’t think of anyone we haven’t been able to help financially,” she said.

But state vouchers would free up some of that scholarship money to help other students and their families, Longmire said.

“It could possibly open it up to more families in the community and the congregation,” she said.

The school has 153 students in kindergarten through eighth grade, and another 38 enrolled in 3- and 4-year-old kindergarten.

“We still have some empty seats,” Longmire said. “Not a lot, but we still have some.”

Longmire said the attempt at becoming a voucher school is not any reflection on the Shawano School District.

“This is not meant to be a competition,” she said. “We have a good public school system.”

However, she said, it could give some public school students “an opportunity to learn about Jesus.”

Longmire said parents need to have that choice.

“Families are shopping around more,” she said. “They’re looking for a place that reflects their morals and their values.”

Last year, 48 private schools and school systems — mostly Catholic or Lutheran — registered and met the requirements to become voucher schools. Because of a 500-student enrollment cap on the statewide program only 25 were chosen.

The registration period in the race to run up the highest voucher enrollment tallies runs from Feb. 1 to April 20.

ONLINE

More information about the Wisconsin Parental Choice Program, including income and eligibility requirements, is available at sms.dpi.wi.gov/wpcp-statewide.

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Animal dies in fire at petting zoo

Fri, 01/31/2014 - 8:20pm
By: 

Tim Ryan, [email protected]

A Shawano police officer’s keen eye and a quick response from firefighters were being credited Friday for catching a fire at Anello’s Torch Lite before it could do more than moderate damage.

“Five more minutes and we would have lost everything,” owner Rita Mondus said. “We got lucky.”

One animal, an arctic fox, was lost in the fire, Mondus said. The other animals housed where the fire started — including several other foxes, cavies and skunks — were rescued.

One of the other foxes did get scorched, Mondus said, but was otherwise fine.

Officer Elinor Harris was on patrol on East Green Bay Street at 1:35 a.m. Friday when she spotted a plume of white smoke coming from behind the restaurant at 1276 E. Green Bay St. The Shawano Area Fire Department was on scene about eight minutes later.

The fire started in the back of one of the shelters housing some of the animals at the restaurant’s petting zoo.

Fire Department Capt. Jeff Zimmerman said one of the animals knocked over a space heater, causing some straw to catch fire.

“We knocked it down fairly quickly,” he said.

Though the back end of the shelter will need to be rebuilt, the front end is still usable, Mondus said, and all of the petting zoo’s animals — including those relocated to other pens after the fire — are sheltered and accounted for.

“Everybody’s taken care of,” she said.

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Public Record

Fri, 01/31/2014 - 5:32pm

Shawano Police Department

Jan. 30

Police logged 21 incidents, including the following:

Disturbance — A 40-year-old Milwaukee man was arrested on a charge of substantial battery after police responded to a disturbance in the 600 block of West Second Street.

Burglary — Police investigated a burglary to a residence in the 700 block of South Lincoln Street.

Warrant — A 31-year-old woman was taken into custody on a warrant in the 200 block of South Andrews Street.

Warrant — A 27-year-old man was taken into custody on a warrant in the 800 block of Prospect Street.

Shawano County Sheriff’s Department

Jan. 30

Deputies logged 63 incidents, including the following:

Animal — Authorities issued a citation for a stray dog on state Highway 47 in the town of Lessor.

Harassment — Authorities responded to a harassment complaint on Red Oak Lane in Wittenberg.

Disorderly — Authorities responded to a disorderly conduct complaint on state Highway 47-55 in Wescott.

Suspicious — Authorities responded to a suspicious person complaint on state Highway 156 in Maple Grove.

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

Accidents — Authorities logged 24 accidents.

Clintonville Police Department

Jan. 30

Police logged seven incidents, including the following:

Accident — Police responded to a property damage accident at Main Street and state Highway 156.

Hit and Run — Police investigated a property damage hit-and-run in the parking lot of a business on South Main Street.

Disturbance — Police responded to a neighbor dispute on West Street.

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