Community

Fri
29
Mar

The price and folly of having information at your fingertips

Years ago, I wanted a set of encyclopedias. That way all the information needed would be at our fingertips. I knew it would have come in handy when I was a freshman in high school. Because two of my teachers assigned 1,000-word themes, and research was needed.

Somehow, I managed to take enough notes at school, and fake enough stuff to write these themes. I dragged my feet on getting them written, though, and remember staying up most of the night to write them. As I recall, they were both due on the same day. I remember they were for science and history, but can’t recall what subjects I wrote about.

Fri
29
Mar

Whether horses or horsepower, Shawano streets abuzz with activity

Early records indicate William McDonnell was Shawano’s first police chief. Prior to chiefs, there were constables. McDonnell served as chief from 1916 to 1939. Richard Tonn was the next chief, and he served until 1953 when Harold Pingel took over. Bruce Palmer was appointed chief in April 1970. He fell ill during the short time he held the position and passed away while in office. R.M. Gatz was appointed chief in May 1970.

Donald Thaves was named acting chief in November 1973 following the death of Chief Gatz. In December 1973, Thaves was sworn in as police chief.

The first police chiefs had their office in the utility building. Records indicate it wasn’t much of an office, just a table and a log book. The office later moved to the power house. In 1971, the office was located across the street from the Shawano County Courthouse. Currently, that building is occupied by the fire department. The police department is presently in a portion of City Hall.

Fri
29
Mar

Hartwig to speak at youth writing awards

Shawano Area Writers is pleased to announce that Dan Hartwig has agreed to serve as Master of Ceremonies for the 2019 Shawano Area Writers George Putz Jr. Memorial Student Writing Contest awards ceremony on May 19th at the Mielke Arts Center in Shawano.

A graduate of Shawano High School, Hartwig purchased Twig’s Beverage in 1986 from his father, Twig’s founder Floyd Hartwig. Twig’s is the first bottler of Sun Drop in Wisconsin. The Hartwig family has expanded their business by adding a non-returnable bottling line, a water plant, and a museum.

The Putz student writing contest is open to students in grades 1-12 who live or attend school in Shawano or Menominee counties. Students compete in one of three age groups: Grades 1-4, 5-8, and 9-12. Entries are submitted in Fiction, Nonfiction and Poetry categories. Cash prizes and certificates of achievement will be awarded to the winning students.

Thu
28
Mar

BRINGING CARE TO FAMILIES


Contributed Photo John and Kay Reminger, of Leopolis, enjoy a rare respite from the farm two years ago with a trip to Yellowstone National Park. However, most of the time, the Remingers are hard at work on the farm, not always finding time to focus on good health, and that’s where Rural Health Initiative comes in.

The Rural Health Initiative (RHI) began bringing health care directly to farmers in 2004. Since its inception, it has served 1,380 people in three counties. In 2018, RHI health coordinators met with 356 individuals during 816 visits.

Kay and John Reminger, of Leopolis, have been farming for 40 years. They’ve also been RHI patients for more than 10 years. Kay calls RHI a lifesaver.

“The best part is RHI comes to our home. It saves us so much time; we don’t have to change clothes and go to town,” Kay Reminger said. “We can sit at our table and talk confidentially. There’s no ‘white coat syndrome’ because we’re relaxed. We can talk about what’s stressing us. Farmers are staunch and self-reliant; they don’t want to appear vulnerable, but at home, they can open up more.”

Sat
23
Mar

Handmade cards spur memories and mysteries of the past

In some ways, it is a good thing to be a pack rat. When I moved off the farm in 2005, I packed some cards that were made for my husband and me in a file cabinet that was moved here. I forgot that I had them until I cleaned that file drawer out. It contained mostly old farm taxes, and since it has been so many years, I felt safe in cleaning those out. But tucked away in the bottom drawer were precious cards made by my children.

I actually cried when I read the cards. All the memories came flooding back. There were birthday cards, Christmas cards, Mother’s Day cards, Valentine cards and the “I love you Mom and Dad cards” for our anniversary. While most were made by my daughter, my son also made some.

Yeah, I know, most people would throw those cards out. But I didn’t; I cannot part with them.

Sat
23
Mar

County’s 348th barn quilt has patriotic theme


Photo by Jim Leuenberger Members of the Benz family are shown with Shawano County’s 348th barn quilt. From left, Stacy and Alan Benz, Julie (Benz) Olson and her fiance’ John Twaroski, Jean and Carleton Benz and Connie and Craig Benz.

Carleton and Jean Benz and their family members have sponsored Shawano County’s 348th barn quilt. It is located on their farm at W17422 County Road Q, just east of Wittenberg. The quilt pattern has a patriotic theme and is called Family and Country.

“The red, white and blue design represents the patriotism we feel for our country,” Jean Benz said. “And the five stars are in honor of our five children — Larry, Julie, Brian, Craig and Alan.” The red and white stripes are in honor of Benz’s six grandchildren and six great-grandchildren.

The farm has been in the family for three generations, starting with Carleton’s grandparents, August and Ida Hempel. Carleton’s mother, Agnes, was born on the farm.

At some point, the farm was purchased by another couple, who later sold it to Carleton’s parents, August and Agnes Benz. In addition to Carleton, August and Agnes had a daughter, June (Benz) Norrbom.

Sat
23
Mar

Local libraries celebrating National Library Week in April

Shawano County Library will join libraries of all types in celebrating the many ways libraries build strong communities by providing critical resources, programs and expertise.

April 7-13 is National Library Week, an annual celebration highlighting the valuable role libraries, librarians and library workers play in transforming lives and communities.

Local library programs encourage community members to meet to discuss civic issues, work together using new technologies or learn alongside one another in a variety of classes. Library staff members also partner with other civic and service organizations to actively engage with the people they serve, always striving to make sure their community’s core needs are being met.

Sat
23
Mar

After years of being a lark, it’s time to be a night owl

One of the things I enjoy most about being retired is I can finally be the “night owl” I was destined to become. I can remember my mother telling me as a child that I had my days and nights confused. I don’t believe that was the case.

Studies suggest “night owls” and “larks or early birds” have their biological clocks wound at birth. Genetics establish a person’s chronotype, which is pegged to when his/her body feels and reacts most positively. Our sleep patterns are determined by circadian rhythm. This 24-hour cycle of waxing and waning is found in almost all forms of life.

Thu
21
Mar

INSIDE THE SUGAR SHACK


Leader Photo by Lee Pulaski Eric Wendorff looks over a batch of syrup as he tests the temperature to see if it has finished cooking on Wednesday. Wendorff has harvested sap from maple trees and turned it into syrup for over 20 years.

Leader Photo by Lee Pulaski Once the evaporator heats up to about 217.5 degrees, a few degrees above where water boils, the evaporator kicks in and expels the pure syrup into a container. The next step will be cooking the syrup and filtering it at least twice to prevent contaminants like tree bark from getting into the final product.

Warmer temperatures have Eric Wendorff dreaming of running streams — of dark brown maple syrup.

The Shawano resident started up his cooker, evaporator and other assorted equipment as he prepares for another syrup season. Ideally, if weather conditions stay ideal, Wendorff could be cooking up fresh syrup for the next two to three weeks.

Wendorff cooks his syrup on a piece of land off of Ash Road in the town of Richmond. For over 20 years, he’s been practicing the art of turning xylem sap from maple trees into delicious syrup that people will eagerly pour on pancakes or waffles. Xylem sap is the part of the tree that brings nutrients up from the root.

“That looks pretty good,” Wendorff said Wednesday night as he was cooking up a batch of syrup, his first of the season. “Let’s see what we can do here.”

Sat
16
Mar

An Unexpected Prompting During Lent

In between winter snow storms I was running errands one day and checking my car’s outside temperature display, noticed it was almost twenty degrees (above zero) and actually sunny. As long as I didn’t have anything really pressing, I decided to pull in for a car wash. I like having my black car look like a black car. And in the middle of a winter that’s been very winterish, it is a challenge.

So the day I decided to get my car pretty again I noticed, swinging into the 22Shell in Shawano, only one vehicle in the car wash lane. Not bad. I could wait for one car. Better than three. Pulling up, I shoved it in park. Glancing up often to keep an eye on the vehicle ahead I began to sense something was not quite right.

I noticed a shaky hand sticking out, fussing with the car wash kiosk, jabbing in what I assumed was a code, and withdrawing an unsteady hand again. Twice more this happened. Oh, oh. By that time a vehicle had driven up behind me. I was boxed in.

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