Nonprofit Profile

Photo by Carol Wagner Participants in the Shawano County Sheriff’s Department Explorers Program include, from left, front row, dispatcher Kasey Cross, Alan Leiser, Jade Schneider, Drake Feriancek and Deputy Bruce Leiser; back row, Sierra Carpenter, Ryan VanNewKirk, Deyani Boelter, Stockbridge-Munsee Officer Jeff Buettner, Samantha Leiser, Aiden Wizner, Adriana Stempa and Deputy Adam Heynen.

If you are between the ages of 14 and 20 and want to learn about a career in law enforcement, the Shawano County Sheriff’s Department Explorers Program can show you what it’s like.

‘It gives them a view of what this career is like,” said Deputy Bruce Leiser, the executive officer of the program. “It’s tough and at times rewarding.”

At a recent meeting, the Explorers saw a mock extraction of a prisoner who didn’t want to come out of the cell. It wasn’t real, but it looked very real as they took down the mock prisoner (correctional officer Terry Knope), handcuffed him and removed him from the cell.

“It’s not an easy job so this gives them a sneak peek,” Leiser said.

The students also learn how to do interviews and radio procedures, and participate in mock traffic stops. They go to the Central Wisconsin Black Belt Academy to learn self defense and have one class on agility. There are often guest speakers.


Sheepshead has been part of family for decades

People often ask me where I get my column ideas. I can’t say for sure all the time, but it seems I see life situations different that most people do.

Oh, I get frustrated at times, just like everyone else, but then, I think how it could go in a column, can laugh a bit, and the wheels start turning.

The old German card game, sheepshead, has been on my mind lately. That got me to thinking about the journal my Uncle Herb wrote many years ago, and handed to me one year. I guess he was sick of me pumping him for stories about my pa’s growing up in Milwaukee in the early 1900s.

It seems my father’s family brought the love of sheepshead with them when they immigrated in the late 1800s. My uncle wrote about his grandfather, and the doctor who lived next door, playing sheepshead, if there was a third player available.



Photo by Rob Zimmer Eastern redbud is one of the most unusual and colorful of the early spring flowering shrubs.

Photo by Rob Zimmer Pussy willows are beginning to open throughout our area, both in the wild and our colorful, elegant garden varieties.

Spring comes alive with the beauty of decorative flowering shrubs that adorn our landscapes, yards, woodlands and gardens. The season gets off to an early start when the first spring flowering shrubs begin to put on their show, sometimes as early as February in our area.

In a number of different styles, shapes and sizes, spring shrubs are a must-have addition for any yard and garden. There are many to choose from, in many different colors, including many types now available in dwarf form, compact enough for smaller spaces.

The parade of spring blooming shrubs lasts until the beginning of summer, when a whole new array of these beautiful plants begin their own bloom cycle.

Early bloom

The earliest blooming shrubs are the many beloved pussy willows, forsythia, rhododendron, azalea and serviceberry.

These are quickly followed by magnolia, lilac, eastern red bud, some of the dogwoods and viburnum.


Clintonville church to show film about Martin Luther

The film “Martin Luther” will be shown at 1:30 p.m. April 1 and April 2 at Rexford-Longfellow Elementary School in Clintonville. The showing is free, but seating is limited.

Al Mueller, president of the St. Martin Lutheran Church congregation in Clintonville, which is sponsoring the movie, said the film will be showing in theaters to mark the 500th anniversary of the Reformation.

“We are pleased to offer this two-time academy award nominated film, which chronicles the life and pursuits of the life and pursuits of the monk who changed the course of history,” Mueller said. “It is a true-to-life depiction of Luther’s struggles to reform the Catholic Church, his excommunication and his unwavering faith.”


My love of books

“What are you reading?” is a favorite question of mine. I love books. Delving into a good book is better than a bowl of ice cream, and I seriously love ice cream. My husband’s uncle is an avid book reader and we exchange titles from time to time. He is more into murder mysteries and I understand that, so do not suggest something from Liane Moriarty such as “Little Big Lies.”

For two years now, I’ve been blessed to be a part of an 11-member book club called GAB (Girls and Books). Since I’ve been involved with this little book club I’ve been reading more and have expanded my circle of acceptable books. We’ve read 23 books thus far, and at least three of our selections have been made into movies. We are pretty much busting our buttons over that.

One of our book reads, “A Man Called Ove,” by Fredrik Backman, is a movie out right now, which by the way, garnered nominations for two Academy Awards this year.


Body still adjusting to daylight saving time

Last week, I wrote about daylight saving time and how my body doesn’t adjust to it quickly. This year is no different. Today, I found myself at Total Fitness for a bit of a workout, and yawning, while riding an exercise bike.

While exercising is to energize a person, I was anything but, as I dragged through my routine. Could it be because I have a difficult time falling asleep when the clock says 11, but my body thinks it is only 10? Then there is the alarm clock that insists upon waking me up while I am in my deepest sleep pattern.

My internal clock usually wakes me up at 6, but now that 6 is what would be 5 a week ago, it is in open rebellion. I don’t even know when to get hungry anymore, but if it’s mealtime, I eat anyway.

March is now going past the midpoint. Most high schools have started softball practice. Games are scheduled for later this month, and if the snow stays away, they should get the games in as planned.


Listening to mother’s advice saved her life

Photo by Carol Wagner Erin Prey is a cancer survivor. She is sitting with her husband, Mike, and their children, Maddin 4, and Saylor, 1.

Erin Prey went in for a skin test every year because she and other members of her family have a lot of moles. She had a very small mole about the size of a pencil eraser on the outside of her lower left leg that got darker and was turning colors.

“I don’t think most people would have noticed it,” Prey said.

It was six months after her now 4-year-old son, Maddin, was born July 8, 2012. Prey and her husband, Mike, are also parents to a daughter, Saylor, 1.

When Prey showed her mother, Diane Schultz, Schultz told her to get it checked and said she would make the appointment if necessary, giving her daughter a little push.

A doctor in Green Bay removed the mole, but still neither Prey nor the doctor were concerned.

Then she got a phone call that it was melanoma, cancer of the skin.

“That word is life altering,” said Prey, a school psychologist at Hillcrest Primary School in Shawano.


Miss Wisconsin coming to Taste of Shawano

The Junior Achievement-Wolf River District board of directors announced Wednesday that Miss Wisconsin 2016 will be a guest at the annual Taste of Shawano event to be held from 5:30-7:30 p.m. on March 27 at Shawano Community High School, 220 County Road B, Shawano.

Miss Wisconsin Courtney Pelot hails from Manitowoc. She graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison with a degree in communication arts.

Pelot is spending her year of service making appearances promoting her platform of literacy education and the Children’s Miracle Network. Pelot’s platform fits well with Junior Achievement’s purpose statement to inspire and prepare young people to succeed in a global economy.

Pelot is a 2012 graduate of Lincoln High School and a 2016 graduate of the University of Wisconsin-Madison.


Volunteer Profile

Bill Hoppe does a lot of volunteering.

Born and raised in Shawano, Hoppe graduated from Shawano High School. He farmed and hauled milk until he was drafted into the Army for two years. He also drove school bus for a while. When he returned he worked for Brown Wilbert Burial Vault Company in De Pere in manufacturing and service for 39 years.

Hoppe, who retired in 2008, and his wife of 48 years, Mary, have four children, 10 grandchildren and one great-granddaughter. They enjoy gardening and have traveled all over the world.

Q Where do you volunteer?

A “I’m a member of the Bishop Fox Council Knights of Columbus 2836. I help at the Shawano County Historical Society, Sacred Heart (Catholic) Church and the Weidner Center in Green Bay.”

Q How do you help the Knights?


Nonprofit Profile

Photo by Carol Wagner Bob Klopke, president of the Gresham Scholarship Fund, is shown with a raffle basket for the group’s 16th annual banquet March 25.

The Gresham Scholarship Fund is in its 16th year of raising money for for graduates of Gresham Community School.

It was started by former teacher and principal Bob Klopke, who is president of the fund. He got the inspiration from another fundraiser.

“I watched what was going on with Dollars for Scholars in Shawano,” he said.

Since its start, the Gresham Scholarship Fund has provided 183 students with $154,700 in scholarships. The scholarship amounts have grown from $400 in 2002 to $1,750 the last two years.

GSF has also awarded 11 community scholarships to graduates who want to get more education after being out of school for a time.

“I spent my life in education,” said Klopke, who spent his entire career at Gresham — 18 years as a teacher and 14 years as principal.


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