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Updated: 18 min 50 sec ago

Board OKs on-call pay for maintenance staff

Fri, 02/28/2014 - 7:49am
By: 

Lee Pulaski, [email protected]

Shawano County maintenance employees will continue being paid when they are on-call, despite concerns from some county officials that the perk might skew data being collected for a wage study.

The County Board voted 19-8 Wednesday to continuing giving maintenance employees $5 per day when on-call during the week and $25 per day during the weekend. Being on-call means the employee must remain close to home and sober, ready to respond quickly in case of an emergency.

Maintenance Director Steve Dreher said his department deals with at least one emergency call per week. One emergency in January involved a burst pipe, he said, and if the employee had not been available to respond immediately, it could have cost the county “thousands of dollars” in damage.

The issue of on-call pay was discussed in November when the County Board approved its updated employee handbook. On-call paid was approved for social workers and technology services employees at that time, but the board postponed action for the Maintenance Department.

Supervisor Deb Noffke, who voted against the on-call pay, expressed concern that the issue was resurfacing as the county works on its wage study. When the issue came up at an Administrative Committee meeting Feb. 17, she said, the consultant from Carlson Dettman recommended the issue remain on hold so it would not impact the data being collected.

“We’re screwing up his data,” Noffke said. “Every time we tinker, we’ve made his job harder.”

Dreher admitted the resolution might seem akin to throwing a stick into the wheel spokes, but said previous wage studies have never addressed on-call pay for county employees. He said the maintenance employees are getting on-call pay unofficially, and the funding is within his budget.

Administrative Coordinator Tom Madsen said that if the county was going to stop on-call pay for one department, it should put all on-call pay on hold.

Supervisor Arlyn Tober questioned whether it was necessary to pay $25 per day on the weekend for someone to be available for maintenance emergencies.

“I think that’s kind of excessive. Have you checked into what the other departments are getting?” Tober said.

Supervisor Randy Young said the $50 total weekend pay was not excessive. Weekend on-call is more than 60 hours, from 5 p.m. Friday to 8 a.m. Monday, he said, or about 75 cents per hour.

“This problem would have been solved if we had done one uniform policy for all departments,” Young said.

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Cross-training helps lab win DNR award

Fri, 02/28/2014 - 7:48am
By: 

Kevin Murphy, Leader Correspondent


Contributed Photo The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources on Wednesday named the Wolf Treatment Plant in Shawano its Registered Laboratory of the Year at a program in Madison. The crew includes, from left, front row, Dustin Beyer, Dave Hartmann; back row, Jerry Weisnicht, John Collins, Justin Richter, Nick Bartz.

For the second time in four years the operators of the plant that treats waste water for the city of Shawano and several surrounding municipalities have been recognized as the best in the state at keeping track of data.

The Department of Natural Resources named the Wolf Treatment Plant, on River Bend Road, as 2014’s Registered Laboratory of the Year.

“This is our 19th year presenting the award and for the first time we have a repeat winner,” said Steve Geis, DNR’s section chief for science services.

Wolf River also won in 2010, said Dave Hartmann, the plant’s chief operator and lab director.

In addition to the water quality inspections at treatment plants, the DNR also audits the 228 registered labs in the state associated with the plants for the quality of data they record and maintain.

Good data means efficient plant performance and cleaner water discharged into the Wolf River, Hartmann said.

“Data is the backbone of what we do. If our data is not correct, our decisions aren’t going to be made very well either,” he said.

Employees Dustin Beyer, Nick Bartz and John Collins are cross-trained in operations, maintenance and in the lab, giving them a chance to cross-check their colleague’s work, which improves data quality and assurance, Hartmann said.

Jerry Weisnicht, the plant’s administrator, said the DNR award is a “nice honor” for people who don’t get much public attention.

“This represents the hard work they put in,” Weisnicht said. “Lab work is hard; the DNR has very exacting standards for what they want from the labs. There’s more testing, more accurate results required. The data shows what we’re putting back into the Wolf River, which everyone wants to be as clean as possible.”

The DNR audits each lab every few years, and during the past two audits, 2009 and 2013, Wolf Treatment Plant had no significant deficiencies — “truly an outstanding accomplishment,” Geis said.

“That’s very unusual,” he said. “There are always things we find that can be improvements to the processes because we check on so many things.”

There are two categories for registered labs in the state, those that treat fewer than 2 million gallons of effluent daily and those that treat more. The Wolf Treatment Plant on average treats 2 million gallons daily putting it in competition with the biggest plants in the state.

The Wolf Treatment Plant is regional facility serving Shawano, Shawano Lake Sanitary District, Bonduel, Cecil, Belle Plaine, Richmond and Waukeschon.

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Clintonville to spend $35K on laptops for students

Fri, 02/28/2014 - 7:45am
By: 

Grace Kirchner, Leader Correspondent

Despite some concerns raised by a candidate in the April election, the Clintonville Board of Education on Monday approved spending $35,000 for 130 laptop computers for a pilot program involving third- and seventh-graders.

The purchase is one step in a broader initiative to put technology in the hands of students. The plan, if approved by the board at a later date, will be to have Chromebooks for grades 3-12 and iPads for grades K-2, Principal Lance Bagstad said.

The Samsung Chromebooks will be purchased from Camera Corner Connecting Point of Green Bay. The money will come from the district’s fund balance.

The vote was unanimous, with Ben Huber absent.

Jim Schultz, a former science teacher who is running for a seat on the School Board, said he embraced the use of technological devices for students but raised some questions about how the district will monitor the program.

He said the technology would change how students are taught, and questioned how the district would measure the program’s effectiveness and whether it would affect students’ reading and writing skills. He also advised the board to be aware of additional costs, such as upgrades and virus protection.

And he said monitoring students’ use of the devices could create more friction between teachers and students.

“These are used to enhance the curriculum,” Bagstad said. “It is another way to engage kids. They won’t replace books or teachers, although there my be electronic textbooks.”

Bagstad said other school districts are using the computers and there are ways to protect them when students take them home.

“This is going to be learning for all of us,” said Dirk Weber, board president.

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Court News

Fri, 02/28/2014 - 7:43am

Strangulation, false imprisonment

A Keshena teen has been charged with felony counts of strangulation and suffocation and false imprisonment in connection with an alleged domestic disturbance in Shawano.

Derek J. Waupoose, 18, could face a maximum of six years in prison and a $10,000 fine on each felony count if convicted. He also faces misdemeanor counts of criminal damage to property, criminal trespass and battery.

Waupoose allegedly choked a woman during a domestic altercation Feb. 3 and prevented her from leaving her home, according to the criminal complaint.

He is due in Shawano-Menominee County Circuit Court for an initial appearance on March 17.

Sex offender registry violation

A South Dakota man who had been convicted in Shawano County of repeated sexual assault of two children in 1996 was charged last week with a felony count of failing to update his status with the state Sex Offender Registry.

Dale R. Vanoss, 52, could face a maximum of six years in prison and $10,000 fine if found guilty.

As a lifetime registered sex offender, Vanoss is required to keep the state registry apprised of any changes of address or employment.

The criminal complaint alleges he moved from his last known address address in Rapid City, S.D., in January without notifying the registry.

A warrant was issued for his arrest on Jan. 19.

According to court records, Vanoss was previously convicted of the repeated sexual assault of two juvenile girls in the city of Shawano.

Court records also show he was sentenced to six months in jail as a condition of seven years on probation.

Possession of drug paraphernalia

A Cecil man was bound over for trial Monday on a felony charge of possessing drug paraphernalia for the purpose of using methamphetamine after a preliminary hearing in Shawano-Menominee County Circuit Court.

Christopher K. Lalonde, 23, could face six years in prison and a $10,000 fine if found guilty. He is scheduled for arraignment Monday.

According to the criminal complaint, Lalonde was allegedly caught in possession of a pipe used to smoke meth after being pulled over by Bonduel police in a traffic stop Feb. 16.

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Public Record

Fri, 02/28/2014 - 7:40am

Shawano Police Department

Feb. 26

Police logged 17 incidents, including the following:

Drug Offense — A 46-year-old Shawano man was arrested on charges of felony bail-jumping and possession of marijuana in the 1000 block of East Green Bay Street.

Fraud — Police investigated a debit card fraud complaint in the 1000 block of South Main Street.

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

Disturbance — A 36-year-old Shawano man was arrested for disorderly conduct after a disturbance in the 800 block of South Evergreen Street.

Shawano County Sheriff’s Department

Feb. 26

Deputies logged 40 incidents, including the following:

Juvenile — Authorities responded to a juvenile problem on Ellms Street in Wittenberg.

Theft — Authorities responded to a property theft complaint at Birnamwood Elementary-Middle School, 337 Main St.

Drug Offense — Authorities arrested 27-year-old Tigerton man for possession of drug paraphernalia on Primrose Lane in the village.

Accidents — Authorities logged eight accidents, including an injury accident in Wescott and one deer-related crash.

Clintonville Police Department

Feb. 26

Police logged six incidents, including the following:

Theft — A theft was reported on Spring Street and upon officer’s arrival the item had been turned in and returned to owner.

Fraud — Two worthless check complaints were being investigated.

Disorderly — Police responded to a disorderly conduct complaint at the elementary school.

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Bubba's brings barbecue to downtown

Thu, 02/27/2014 - 7:34am
By: 

Carol Wagner, Leader Correspondent


Photo by Carol Wagner Brian and Peggy Johnson opened Bubba’s BBQ Co., a family restaurant, at 114 S. Main St. in Shawano.
Photo by Carol Wagner Brian Johnson carves up beef brisket for a customer at Bubba’s BBQ Co. in Shawano. Everything at the restaurant is made fresh from scratch, including smoking all the meat.

A new family restaurant where “Texas style barbecue is served Texas style” opened Feb. 20 in downtown Shawano.

Brian and Peggy Johnson opened Bubba’s BBQ Co. at 114 S. Main St., formerly home of Final Lap sports bar.

“It’s like a dream,” Peggy Johnson said. “We’ve been barbecue connoisseurs for a long time. This is our first venture. Everybody in Shawano has been supportive.”

Brian Johnson was a restaurant manager in Texas, where he lived for 11 years, before moving to Wisconsin. He smokes the meat in two large smokers — the brisket and pork are smoked for over 15 hours — and makes three sauces.

“If it’s not smoked, it’s not barbecue,” he said.

All the food is made from scratch, some of it under customers’ watchful eyes.

“They get to watch me slice up their meat to order,” Johnson said. “I’m a firm believer in actually making the food.”

The restaurant offers brisket, pork ribs, pulled pork, sausage and chicken, which can be served by the pound, by the plate, in a combo, in a sandwich or any other way the customer wants.

Side dishes include creamed corn, macaroni and cheese, BBQ beans, borracho beans, coleslaw, potato salad, cornbread and fries. Brownies, applesauce and molasses cookies also are available, and there is a kids menu.

The bar will have specialty beers along with the restaurant’s signature drink, a made-from-scratch old-fashioned.

Future plans include a fish fry.

“Our number one goal is an amazing product — great food and bar, atmosphere and customer service,” Johnson said. “I really want a fun, relaxed atmosphere for people to feel like they are at a picnic.”

Customers have already enjoyed snapping photos of their children riding a saddled pig statue. The Johnsons also plan a pig pen and a pig naming contest for the kids.

Brian is excited to have his own place and a downtown location.

“Good barbecue is a destination thing,” he said. “I’m dedicated to making downtown a cool place again.”

The inside of the former bar has been completely redone with new lighting and redecorated walls.

The atmosphere is important to Peggy, too, who plans to add more original art work. She is an art teacher at Clintonville High School.

“She’s my right-hand lady,” Brian said. ”I’m proud of her. She’s done a lot.”

AT A GLANCE

WHAT: Bubba’s BBQ Co.

WHERE: 114 S. Main St., Shawano

WHEN: The kitchen will be open from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. weekdays and 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. weekends. The bar will stay open later

WHO: Owners Brian and Peggy Johnson

FYI: Takeout is available by calling 715-526-9099.

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No raise for sheriff next year

Thu, 02/27/2014 - 7:18am
By: 

Lee Pulaski, [email protected]

Pay hikes for the next Shawano County sheriff, coroner and clerk of courts received County Board approval Wednesday.

The resolutions for the coroner and clerk of courts passed unanimously, but some supervisors balked at increasing the sheriff’s pay. All three posts are up for election in November, and, by law, any increases have to be approved before the election cycle starts.

The positions are now held by Randy Wright, sheriff; Susan Krueger, clerk of courts; and Mike Jesse, coroner.

The board approved about a 5 percent increase for the clerk of courts for 2015, plus 1 percent increases annually from 2016-2018. The coroner, meanwhile, will get $5 more per call beginning in 2015, with no increases planned beyond that.

Supervisors rejected a proposal to increase the sheriff’s pay 1 percent in 2015 15-12, but voted 16-11 to grant 1 percent increases annually from 2016-2018.

Some on the board questioned why the the sheriff would not get an increase next year.

“If you look at other counties, he is underpaid compared to them,” Supervisor Ray Faehling said.

County Board Chairman Jerry Erdmann, who sits on both the Administrative and Finance committees, which sponsored the pay resolutions, said an incident in 2013 prompted the one-year freeze.

In March, $1,000 in jail bond money went missing. The money has never been recovered, but Wright has said stricter measures about transferring bond money from the jail to the courthouse have been implemented.

“We have outstanding issues that have not been reconciled yet,” Erdmann said. “We have missing money. We have to hold somebody accountable.”

Supervisor Steve Gueths pointed out that the salaries are for the next elected term, and there is no guarantee Wright will be in office next year.

“I find it a little disturbing that you’re using the missing money or anything else to set the wages for an elected official in 2015,” Gueths said.

Supervisor Mike McClelland, chairman for the Public Safety Committee, noted his committee had recommended no pay increase for the sheriff for the next four years.

Supervisor Dennis Knaak argued that limiting pay increases puts Shawano County at a disadvantage compared with other counties, and the pay might not draw the best candidates.

“We’re just going backwards,” Knaak said.

The clerk of courts will get a $2,907 raise in 2015, to bring the salary up to $57,000 — comparable to what the county clerk, register of deeds and treasurer are expected to earn.

According to Corporation Counsel Tony Kordus, Krueger is one of the lowest paid clerk of courts in northeast Wisconsin, and even the large hike in 2015 will not close much of that gap.

The coroner will receive $90 per call beginning in 2015, a $5 increase from this year. According to county documents, the coroner went on 571 calls in 2013, so the pay in 2015 could be about $50,000.

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Woman arrested after high-speed chase

Thu, 02/27/2014 - 7:17am
By: 

Leader Staff

A 25-year-old woman was arrested Tuesday night after a high-speed chase that started in Wescott and ended when her vehicle spun out on an icy road on the Menominee Reservation.

A Shawano County sheriff’s deputy spotted a vehicle doing more than 70 mph on state Highway 47-55 near County Road A shortly before midnight, according to a Sheriff’s Department report.

The deputy attempted to pull the vehicle over, but it sped off. The ensuing pursuit reached speeds of 120 mph.

The suspect vehicle crossed the centerline and weaved around several other cars as it fled, according to the report, which states several vehicles pulled over to avoid a collision.

Tribal police joined the pursuit as the vehicle continued onto the reservation.

The chase continued down a side road where the vehicle lost control on an icy curve in the roadway. The vehicle struck a snowbank and ended up in a ditch.

The driver was cited for first-offense operating while intoxicated. Charges of felony fleeing, disorderly conduct and resisting arrest were referred to the district attorney’s office.

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Public Record

Thu, 02/27/2014 - 7:06am

Shawano Police Department

Feb. 25

Police logged 23 incidents, including the following:

Suspicious — Police responded to a suspicious person complaint in the 700 block of South Union Street.

Reckless Driving — Police responded to a reckless driving complaint on state Highway 47-55.

Harassment — Police investigated a Facebook harassment complaint at Shawano Community Middle School.

Hit and Run — Police investigated a property damage hit-and-run in the 700 block of South Main Street.

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

Shawano County Sheriff’s Department

Feb. 25

Deputies logged 33 incidents, including the following:

Disorderly — Authorities responded to a disorderly conduct complaint at Tigerton Middle/High School, 213 Spaulding St.

Disturbance — Authorities responded to a disturbance on Cloverleaf Lake Road in Belle Plaine.

Juvenile — Bowler School reported a truancy complaint.

Disturbance — A 29-year-old Tigerton man was arrested for disorderly conduct after a domestic disturbance on Willow Road in Tigerton.

Fleeing — A 25-year-old woman was arrested on the Menominee Reservation after fleeing Shawano County authorities on state Highway 47-55.

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Deadline set for police chief applications

Wed, 02/26/2014 - 7:32am
By: 

Tim Ryan, [email protected]

The Shawano Police and Fire Commission on Tuesday set March 21 as the cut-off date for accepting police chief applications.

Ed Whealon will retire from the job on April 4 after more than 34 years with the city and 37 years in law enforcement.

The commission voted to direct City Administrator Brian Knapp to advertise the position and take applications.

Knapp said he was given discretion of where to advertise, but he said it would primarily be “online venues.” Some possibilities include the websites or online bulletin boards of various law enforcement associations and the League of Wisconsin Municipalities.

It will be up to the city’s Police and Fire Commission to hire the new chief, but the Common Council will set the salary and benefits.

Knapp said the commission was not ruling out hiring a new chief from within the department, but wanted to ensure a wide range of candidates.

“The Police and Fire Commission has in the last two recruitments opened it up to all applicants to ensure themselves and the community that they’re getting the best candidate,” he said.

“There are some very qualified internal candidates who may be interested,” he added.

Whealon was hired as chief from within the department 12 years ago.

The commission met in closed session for nearly two hours before voting on their plan of action.

Prior to that they officially accepted Whealon’s resignation.

Whealon announced his retirement in January, but this was the first Police and Fire Commission meeting since that happened.

“I would be remiss if I didn’t recognize the value of the chief’s leadership here at the department,” Police and Fire Commission Chairman Tony Zielinski said.

Zielinski praised Whealon for his professionalism and the direction he has provided.

“I’ve got to tell you, you’re going to be very difficult to replace,” he told Whealon. “We’re going to miss you dearly.”

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Affinity closing Clintonville clinic

Wed, 02/26/2014 - 7:31am
By: 

Grace Kirchner, Leader Correspondent

The Affinity Medical Clinic in Clintonville will close March 14. Clinic patients recently received a letter informing them of the closing.

“In an effort to be a good steward of our health care resources and keep costs low for patients, we recognize the importance of providing care in the right places and at the right times,” Dr. David Romond, president of Affinity Medical Group, said in the letter. “Clintonville is currently well served by the other health care provider present within the community.”

There is a ThedaCare Clinic at 370 S. Main St. in Clintonville.

There was no indication of how many jobs will be affected by the closing, although some of the employees at the Clintonville Clinic have been offered other jobs.

Staff at the clinic will assist people in transitioning to a different Affinity clinic if they wish and rescheduling appointments. For information, call 715-823-8700 or visit www.affinityhealth.org/clinics.

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Clintonville residents reminded to keep water running

Wed, 02/26/2014 - 7:30am
By: 

Grace Kirchner, Leader Correspondent

City of Clintonville officials are concerned that residents are not following the city’s order to keep water running in homes and businesses to avoid frozen water lines.

Administrator Lisa Kuss said she cannot emphasize enough how important it is for residents to adhere to the city’s request until notified otherwise.

The city has dealt with close to 60 frozen properties, Kuss said. Repair costs have ranged from $500 to $2,000.

Utility customers received a letter from the city in the mail last week reminding them to run a stream of cold water, approximately the thickness of a pencil, or quarter-inch in diameter, from one faucet at all times. Those customers who have already experienced a freeze-up and were asked to run a larger stream should continue with that size water stream.

The water needs to be left running constantly, Kuss said. The faucet should not be shut off when the temperatures warm up during the day. The city will inform customers when the flow of water can be safely shut off, she said.

Customers will not be charged for the extra water usage.

Anyone with questions is asked to contact Clintonville Utillities at 715-823-7600.

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Public Record

Wed, 02/26/2014 - 7:29am

Shawano Police Department

Feb. 24

Police logged 19 incidents, including the following:

Harassment — Police investigated a Facebook harassment complaint at Shawano Community Middle School, 1050 S. Union St.

Accident — Police responded to a property damage accident at Richmond Street and Lakeland Road.

Suspicious — Police responded to a suspicious person complaint in the 600 block of North Smalley Street.

Shawano County Sheriff’s Department

Feb. 24

Deputies logged 31 incidents, including the following:

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

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

Disturbance — Authorities responded to a disturbance on Main Street in Birnamwood.

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

Disorderly — Authorities responded to a disorderly conduct complaint on Mader Street in Gresham.

Accidents — Authorities logged four accidents.

Clintonville Police Department

Feb. 23

Police logged 10 incidents, including the following:

Missing Person — A report was received of a missing elderly male from Angelus Retirement Communities who later returned home and was fine.

Accident — A two-vehicle property damage accident was reported on West 13th Street.

Assault — A sexual assault complaint was under investigation.

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Ag secretary to speak at Clintonville luncheon

Wed, 02/26/2014 - 7:26am
By: 

Grace Kirchner, Leader Correspondent

Wisconsin Secretary of Agriculture Ben Brancel will be the featured speaker at a farm appreciation luncheon Monday at Clintonville Lanes, 250 County Road I.

Brancel was appointed secretary of agriculture, trade, and consumer protection in 1997 by Gov. Tommy Thompson.

Brancel ran a dairy farm for more than two decades and now raises registered Angus and Hereford beef cattle. He founded the Wisconsin Discovery Farms and Pioneer Farm projects and led the effort to revitalize the Wisconsin Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory on the University of Wisconsin campus in Madison.

Brancel has received an honorary American FFA Degree. He was awarded the Distinguished Service to Agriculture Award in 2009 by the Wisconsin Farm Bureau.

The luncheon, which is open to the public, features a pig roast. Tickets are $10 each and available at the Clintonville Chronicle or the First National Bank in Clintonville. The event begins at 11:30 a.m.

The Clintonville Chronicle also will announce its Farm Family of the Year at the luncheon.

The event is sponsored by the Clintonville Rotary Club, and all proceeds will benefit the club’s community endeavors.

For more information, call 715-823-7323.

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Public Record

Tue, 02/25/2014 - 11:09am

Shawano Police Department

Feb. 23

Police logged 18 incidents, including the following:

Juvenile — Police responded to a juvenile problem in the 1000 block of South Lutz Street.

Fire — Police assisted at the scene of a garage fire in the 100 block of Alpine Terrace.

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

Drug Offense — Police investigated a drug complaint in the 800 block of East Richmond Street.

Disorderly — Police responded to an intoxicated person complaint at Flamingo’s, 1017 E. Green Bay St.

Feb. 22

Police logged 17 incidents, including the following:

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

Shoplifting — Police responded to a shoplifting complaint at Family Dollar, 229 E. Green Bay St.

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

Theft — Money was reported stolen from a wallet at Shawano Community High School, 220 County Road B.

Feb. 21

Police logged 25 incidents, including the following:

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

Accident — Police responded to a property damage accident at County Road B and Waukechon Street.

Accident — Police responded to a property damage accident at County Road B and South Main Street.

Juvenile — Police responded to a juvenile problem in the 400 block of South Main Street.

Shawano County Sheriff’s Department

Feb. 23

Deputies logged 43 incidents, including the following:

OWI — A 20-year-old Pulaski man was arrested for operating while intoxicated on Highway 22 in Cecil.

Disturbance — Authorities responded to a disturbance on Mill Street in Bonduel.

Disturbance — A 28-year-old Bonduel man was arrested on charges of disorderly conduct and domestic violence on Green Bay Street in Bonduel.

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

OWI — A 52-year-old Lena man was arrested for operating while intoxicated on Highway 22 in Green Valley.

Accidents — Authorities logged eight accidents.

Feb. 22

Deputies logged 49 incidents, including the following:

Vandalism — Authorities responded to a vandalise complaint on Highway 45 in Birnamwood.

Disturbance — Authorities responded to a disturbance on First Street in Aniwa.

Accidents — Authorities logged 17 accidents, including injury accidents in Hartland and Wescott.

Feb. 21

Deputies logged 65 incidents, including the following:

Accidents — Authorities logged 24 accidents, including an injury accident in the town of Morris.

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Cold, snowy weather strains budgets

Sat, 02/22/2014 - 12:36am
By: 

Tim Ryan, [email protected]


Leader Photo by Greg Mellis Snowplows were out in force to keep state Highway 29 clear of snow and ice as traffic moved westward Friday morning. The area escaped the worst of a winter storm that dropped up to 18 inches of snow in parts of western and northern Wisconsin.

It has been a rough two winters in a row for city and county snow plowing budgets, leaving both the county Highway Department and the city’s Department of Public Works keeping their fingers crossed for a more moderate March.

Budgeting at both departments is complicated by having to predict spending for the last three months of one winter season and the first month or two of the next.

Last year started with a winter that apparently didn’t get the seasonal change memo and lingered into the spring.

Shawano Public Works Coordinator Eddie Sheppard said the hectic spring put the department behind only a few months into 2013, and the year ended over budget.

“We ended up with a lot of (spending on) materials and overtime,” he said. “It put us quite a bit over budget.”

Sheppard said that was made up by cutting back on other services, such as street sweeping.

“When you have to pull in people on overtime for plowing, other services get reduced a lot,” he said.

Shawano County Highway Commissioner Grant Bystol said his department ended 2013 about 20 percent over what was budgeted.

That will be made up partly by a winter cash reserve the department has on hand and partly by cutting back on road work and paving this summer.

Unfortunately, January and February of this winter have not been much kinder.

Bystol estimated the department was already running about 10 percent over budget; a combination of overtime and materials expenses.

“We’re hoping for a milder March,” he said.

Bystol said the county’s supply of salt and sand are currently in good shape, but might not be if the weather does not improve.

“If it continues as is, we might be in trouble a little later,” he said.

Though chronically subzero temperatures overnight and highs lingering below freezing on most days may be what this winter will be best remembered for, there has also been a higher than average amount of snow.

Bystol said snowfall so far has probably been about 20 inches over the average.

Sheppard said the number of snowfalls has been more of a problem than the total amount.

“We’ve had an unusual amount of snowfalls,” he said. “A lot of 2 inches here and 2 inches there.”

Sheppard said those are harder to plan for and require more logistical judgment than dealing with a storm that drops 7 to 8 inches at once.

The wintry mix that moved through Thursday and Friday was a particular challenge. Only about an inch of snow was recorded locally, but high winds and freezing rain proved much more difficult to deal with.

A major concern was whether temperatures would drop enough Thursday night to create an ice hazard on the roads.

“We had people waking up every hour on the hour to check the temperatures,” Sheppard said.

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No running water order in Shawano

Sat, 02/22/2014 - 12:34am
By: 

Leader Staff

There have been a growing number of northeast Wisconsin communities asking residents to keep their water running to avoid frozen pipes during this season’s unusually cold winter, but the city of Shawano isn’t among them.

Public Works Coordinator Eddie Sheppard said the city has been keeping track of its water main temperatures, and so far they’ve been holding steady at about 39 to 40 degrees, despite the subzero temperatures above ground.

However, Sheppard said, the city is offering to let residents keep their water running if they are concerned about frozen pipes.

Sheppard said the Department of Public Works has fielded a number of phone calls from concerned residents who have seen other communities issue trickle orders for their household taps.

Most recently, the village of Bonduel encouraged those who have not started already to begin running a constant stream of water.

The village of Wittenberg issued a similar notice to its water customers on Feb. 6, and the city of Clintonville did the same last week. Others following suit in the region have included Gillett, Lena and Oconto Falls.

Shawano has seen a few problems with frozen water laterals, but they have primarily been either at dead-end streets or along roads that do not experience much water usage, according to City Administrator Brian Knapp.

Sheppard said there about 20 to 25 residences in the city where people have been given the OK to run a steady stream of water.

For the time being, Sheppard said, there is no citywide requirement.

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Public Record

Sat, 02/22/2014 - 12:23am

Shawano Police Department

Feb. 20

Police logged 20 incidents, including the following:

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

Drug Offense — Police investigated a drug complaint at Shawano Community Middle School, 1050 S. Union St. The Department of Social Services also responded.

Disturbance — Police responded to a disturbance in the 100 block of Aspen Court.

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

Shawano County Sheriff’s Department

Feb. 20

Deputies logged 32 incidents, including the following:

Suspicious — Authorities responded to a suspicious vehicle complaint on Hofa Park Drive in Maple Grove.

Drug Offense — Authorities responded to a drug complaint at Wittenberg-Birnamwood High School, 400 W. Grand Ave., Wittenberg.

OWL — A 53-year-old woman was cited for operating without a license on Green Bay Street in Shawano.

OAR — A 47-year-old man was cited for operating after revocation on Korth Road in the town of Washington.

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

Accidents — Authorities logged 13 accidents.

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Smalley heirs include secretary of state's daughters

Fri, 02/21/2014 - 1:05am
By: 

Tim Ryan, [email protected]

Two daughters from a previous marriage of Secretary of State John Kerry, and two of their uncles, are among 11 people the city has identified as heirs to the Smalley Park property in Shawano.

The site became home to Shawano Medical Center in 1931, in spite of a deed restriction saying the property had to be used as a park.

With SMC planning to relocate, city officials engaged the law firm of Davis and Kuelthau in December 2012 to track down the heirs and get their approval to strike the park restriction from the original deed.

According to the deed restriction, the property reverts back to the heirs if it is used for anything other than a park.

Officials have no explanation for why a hospital was allowed to locate on the property, and there is nothing in the record that shows the deed restriction was ever waived.

City officials recently entered into an agreement with ThedaCare to market the property for development, but that agreement is contingent on obtaining clear title to the property.

Susan Smalley donated the roughly three-acre park property to the city in 1901, according to a news article in the April 30, 1931, edition of the Shawano County Journal about plans for a hospital on the site.

SMC purchased additional land for expansion over the years, and the hospital campus now occupies about 10 acres. The deed restriction applies only to the original three.

The finalized list of heirs includes no direct blood relatives of Susan Smalley, who died in New Jersey in 1909, according to a genealogy chart provided to the city by Davis and Kuelthau.

Instead, the heirs are the descendants of the second marriage of Georgianna Hoadley, of New York, who was previously married to Susan’s son, William. The park property was part of a marital settlement when the first marriage ended.

One of Hoadley’s great-grandchildren was Julia Thorne, who married John Kerry in 1970. They divorced in 1988.

Julia Thorne died in 2006, passing along the park property — or at least claim to a share of it — to her two children with Kerry, Alexandra and Vanessa.

Julia Thorne’s brothers — David Hoadley Thorne and Landon Ketchum Thorne III — are also among the heirs, along with Thorne’s second husband, Richard Charlesworth, and four descendants of another of Hoadley’s daughters.

The city received confirmation last week that all of those heirs have been contacted.

Another two heirs have also been identified, but have not yet been contacted.

An ex-wife of one of Hoadley’s descendants bequeathed her claim to the park to her sister and it was subsequently inherited by the sister’s children, City Administrator Brian Knapp said.

“That one’s really a stretch, but they’re still heirs because there was no probate to tell us otherwise,” he said.

In theory, all of the 11 heirs would all have an equal share of the park property, or whatever value it might have, which would be distributed equally, Knapp said.

“We would hope they would see the value of just extending the gift or extending the contribution to the community,” he said.

The city does not yet have a total cost for the work done by Davis and Kuelthau.

Clerk-Treasurer Karla Duchac said the city has not yet been billed for the majority of the law firm’s work, but she expects those bills to arrive within the next month.

The agreement approved by the Common Council called for the city to pay Davis and Kuelthau $245 an hour, plus whatever expenses the law firm incurs. The agreement included the likelihood that the law firm would have to engage other parties, including an attorney specializing in property and business law, at a rate of $265 an hour, and an estate planner, also at a rate of $265 an hour.

Should this turn into a court fight for some reason, the firm anticipates referring the case to another attorney at a rate of $300 an hour, according to the agreement.

There would be an additional cost for office paralegals, according to the agreement, at a cost ranging from $130 to $160 per hour.

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Cause of Rustic Resort fire undetermined

Fri, 02/21/2014 - 1:04am
By: 

Lee Pulaski, [email protected]


Leader Photo by Lee Pulaski The second floor of the Rustic Resort and Banquet Hall collapsed into the first floor during the fire, leaving ashes and debris. Owner Chris Dewey escaped with burns and other injuries. Two dogs were killed.
Leader Photo by Lee Pulaski Although most of the Rustic Resort was destroyed in Wednesday’s fire, this sign survived with very little noticeable damage.

The cause of the fire that destroyed the Rustic Resort and Banquet Hall in Belle Plaine on Wednesday might never be known, according to officials.

Capt. Jeff Zimmerman, fire inspector with the Shawano Area Fire Department, said the cause was being listed as undetermined.

The case remains open, officially, but unless something new turns up, it’s unlikely authorities will ever know the cause, he said.

The fire started on the second floor in the residence above the bar at W8466 Rustic Drive. Zimmerman said the damage was so great that authorities are unable to pinpoint where it started or how.

Zimmerman said owner Chris Dewey was downstairs at the time and saw smoke coming through the ceiling tiles, indicating it had been burning for a while before she spotted it.

Dewey tried unsuccessfully to rescue two dogs that were upstairs at the time, Zimmerman said.

Dewey sustained burns on her face, forearm and hands. She was the only person inside at the time.

Dewey was taken to Shawano Medical Center for treatment.

Firefighters were called about 9:40 a.m. and arrived to find the structure already engulfed in flames.

Crews were sent up to second floor, but by that time the first floor was also burning.

“We had to pull them out,” Zimmerman said.

One firefighter was treated for smoke inhalation.

Firefighters then went from an offensive to defensive posture; a situation where, Zimmerman said, “we can’t risk sending people inside.”

The second floor eventually collapsed into the first.

“It was one of the worst fires we’ve had in a while,” Zimmerman said.

Officials said the structure was a total loss.

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