The blessing of successful shoulder surgery

Photo Courtesy of ThedaCare Before his surgery for a torn rotator cuff, Pastor Scott Ludford was unable to properly bless his congregation because of shoulder pain.

“Why are you holding your arm over your chest? Are you having chest pain?” asked Pastor Scott Ludford’s doctor, Mindy Frimodig, at the Zion Lutheran Church social in Shawano last spring.

Ludford smiled and assured her he didn’t have chest pain. He just couldn’t find a comfortable way to rest his arm because his shoulder hurt so much.

“Come see me,” was his doctor’s advice, and as a result, he came to see many people — and his outlook on life — in a new and powerful way.

Ludford, 59, was a serious wrestler in his youth. A native of Blaine, Minnesota, he wrestled for Augsburg College in Minneapolis and coached wrestling at the University of Chicago. A spiritual conversion drove him to abandon this athletic pursuit in favor of history and religious studies, a path that eventually led to Lutheran seminary. For the past 30 years, Ludford has shepherded his flock in places as far away as rural Montana and Seattle and, and for the past two years, here in Shawano.


Volunteer Profile

Photo by Carol Wagner Ben Grignon volunteers his expertise with the 4-H Language Club at Menominee Indian High School. Members of the club include, from left, Nodokse Young-Boyd, Joseph Caldwell, Anah Doxtator, Grignon, Lily Lopez, Jennifer Gauthier, University of Wisconsin-Extension educator, and Jermaine Rockman.

Ben Grignon volunteers his expertise with the 4-H Language Club at Menominee Indian High School.

Born in Fairfax, Virginia, Grignon moved to Keshena and then to Green Bay, where he graduated from Green Bay West High School. He attended the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire, UW-Green Bay, Madison Tech and the Institute of American Arts. He earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from UW-Madison and a graduate degree in information resources and library science form the University of Arizona.

Grignon spent a summer at the Natural Museum of the American Indian in Washington, D.C. He was the librarian at Menominee Indian High School for five years and currently teaches traditional Menominee crafts.

He lives in the town of Wescott.

Q What is the 4-H Language Club?


Nonprofit Profile

Photo by Carol Wagner Dorothy Buelow Putz is the adviser for Upward Bound, a federally funded pre-college program for high school students.

Upward Bound helps high school students prepare and succeed in college. Dorothy Buelow Putz is the adviser for students in Clintonville, Keshena, Gillett, Suring and Shawano.

“I help high school students who are on a college path,” she said.

The pre-college program, which is federally funded and administered by Forward Service Corporation, is for students who have barriers to college success but are academically motivated.

Putz starts recruiting students who can benefit from the program in eighth grade. She will soon be meeting with this year’s class to tell them about the program. Then the students and their parents fill out an application and return it to their high school guidance office.

In September, Putz reviews the applications and brings in 12 to 16 new students. Putz said many of the Upward Bound students are the first ones in their family to go to college.

“We’re a pretty successful program,” she said.


Life as a hamster isn’t so bad

It seems that sometimes life is like a hamster, and I am just spinning around on that wheel in a cage. Sure, I am keeping busy, but, nothing much is changing, and what is changing, is not for the best. At times it is a battle simply getting out of bed, and keeping on keeping on.

In fact, the getting out of bed has been a problem because I seem to have trouble knowing what time it is. My older alarm changes itself on a whim. That has been happening for quite a few years, but somehow, I can’t seem to part with it.

The other morning it set itself an hour ahead, I guess daylight saving time got it all confused. So I get to the living room and look at the clock there, and find it was 5 a.m., not 6 as I originally thought.


National Library Week events planned in Shawano

The Shawano City-County Library will join libraries in schools, campuses and communities nationwide in celebrating National Library Week from April 9-15. The week helps highlight the changing role of libraries, librarians and library workers.

The Shawano library has transformed in recent years by offering a wider variety of programs as well as items to checkout.

“The library embraces the entire community, offering unlimited opportunities for personal growth and lifelong learning,” said Kristie Hauer, library director. “Libraries level the playing field for people of any age who are seeking the information and access to technologies that will improve their quality of life.”


Pastor moving on to new experiences

Photo by Carol Wagner Pastor Susan Phillips will be leaving First Presbyterian Church in Shawano 18 years after she was ordained a minister here.

Pastor Susan Phillips will be leaving First Presbyterian Church in Shawano exactly 18 years after she came here.

Shawano was Phillips’ first call, and she was ordained in ministry here. She will be going to First Presbyterian Church in Springfield, Illinois.

“They were very interested in my gifts and skills,” Phillips said.

She put her name in a call system last year where other churches could see her profile. Then Phillips and her husband, Simon Levin, decided they would stay.

“There are dear people here,” Phillips said.

Before withdrawing her name, she got the call from the church in Illinois. The family, which includes daughters Livya and Ruby, decided they would move. It will also bring them closer to their extended families.

“Our whole family agreed this would be an opportunity for us,” Phillips said.

Her final worship service in Shawano will be April 23. They won’t be moving until the girls finish school.


13 authors being featured at library event

The Shawano City-County Library will host its annual “Afternoon With the Authors” from 3-6 p.m. Monday.

Thirteen local authors will be on hand to share their stories and writing experiences. Many authors will have copies of their books available for purchase.

New this year is the Author’s Corner, where several of the authors will introduce themselves, read from their works, and answer questions.

Here are the authors attending the event:

• Brianna Dingeldein writes under the pseudonym Nicki North and is a graduate of Bonduel High School. She released her first novel, “Born at Night,” in 2016.

• John N. Powers released “Bean Camp to Briar Patch: Life in the POW Camps of Korea and Vietnam” in 2011.

• Elijah Williams has lived in the Shawano area most of his life. He was interested in writing from a young age and decided to take it more seriously as an adult.


Workshop provides info on pruning fruit trees

A hands-on workshop about fruit tree pruning and training will be held at 3 p.m. Monday at the Keshena Primary School’s Johnny Reiter Orchard.

The orchard is located at N522 State Highway 47-55, Keshena. The workshop is free and open to everyone. It is sponsored by University of Wisconsin-Extension offices serving Shawano, Oconto and Marinette counties.

Pruning of fruit trees is necessary if growers want their trees to have optimal health and high production capacity. Now, up until the tree breaks dormancy, is the ideal time to be doing these yearly pruning activities. Proper pruning also helps increase fruit size and quality by assisting with insect and disease management and by regulating fruit set.


Seed Library and gardening classes available

The Shawano City-County Library will open its Seed Library next week.

In conjunction with the seed library launch, gardening classes will be held at 5:30 p.m. Mondays at least monthly at the library, 128 S. Sawyer St., in Shawano.

The class schedules includes the following topics:

- April 10: Basics of Seed Saving.

- May 1: Gardening Basics.

- May 8: Container Gardening.

- June 5: Planting the Garden.

- June 12: Managing Garden Pests.

- July 10: Herbs.

- Aug. 14: Seed Saving Vegetables.

- Sept. 11: Seed Saving Flowers.

Classes will be hosted by the University of Wisconsin-Extension and Master Gardeners. To reserve a spot, call 715-526-3829.

The seed library enables the community to get seeds for free. It is available to everyone. No library card is needed to participate.



Photo by Rob Zimmer Spring blooming bulbs, such as these grape hyacinths, are already in bloom in some area gardens. Many more will be in full glory over the next few weeks.

Photo by Rob Zimmer Dwarf irises are among the earliest blooming garden perennials, growing just a few inches in height and setting the stage for the full beauty still to come.

To bring nature home into the yard and garden is one of the most popular reasons people enjoy their gardening hobby. During spring, we can enjoy the miracles of nature in all their glory, right in our own backyards. New life, returning friends, an explosion of color, bird song and so much more.

Bringing nature home is a passion. Learning the life cycles and details of the creatures and plants that fill our yards and landscapes brings a more intimate connection to the world around us. We begin to know mother nature like an old friend and welcome the signs of the new season she brings.

The dawn chorus

Already in full swing, the dawn chorus of returning songbirds and year-round residents now bursts into melody to welcome us with each new day.


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