‘Project Dorothy’ still on track


That is apparently the code name that has been attached to the mystery company said to be moving into Shawano in the near future, bringing with it 35 to 40 manufacturing jobs at first but working its way up to a force of 100 to 115 within five years, according to city officials.

Last month, the Shawano Common Council approved creation of a new tax incremental finance district that will make way for the manufacturing firm, or “Project Dorothy,” to locate in the city.

A public hearing will also be held on May 11 on an amendment to the city’s comprehensive plan that will also be needed to allow the company to locate in the proposed location.

During an update at a Common Council meeting last week, City Administrator Brian Knapp referred to the company’s planned move to Shawano as “Project Dorothy.” More specifically, he called it “Dorothy 2.”

Knapp said soil borings and site evaluation of the “Dorothy 2” site have been completed.


Driving home a message

Leader Photo by Scott Williams Teacher Kim Bodoh juggles a cellphone with a steering wheel Thursday at a simulator to demonstrate the hazards of distracted driving during an assembly at Bonduel High School.

Leader Photo by Scott Williams Students at Bonduel High School react to projected images of careless driving while classmates use a simulator to test their ability at operating a car and using a cellphone simultaneously.

They swerved, they drifted, they crashed.

Fortunately, it was all a simulation Thursday designed to show Bonduel High School students the dangers of using cellphones behind the wheel of a car.

The simulator allowed students to try navigating city streets in a moving vehicle while also using their cellphones to message friends, surf the Internet or take a selfie picture.

In each case, the students took their eyes off the road — and their driving quickly turned sloppy and hazardous.

“You simply can’t do both of those things at the same time without making mistakes,” said Nick Jarmusz, public affairs director for AAA Wisconsin, which presented the program along with AT&T and the Wisconsin State Patrol.

The group known as Leadership Shawano County organized the presentation as part of a monthlong effort to raise public awareness about distracted driving.


Police call attention to pedestrian crossings

As the warmer weather approaches, more pedestrians and bicyclists can be expected to be using city streets and trails for exercise and sight-seeing.

It’s also the time of year Shawano police say they see an increase in complaints and concerns about pedestrian and bicycle safety.

Police Chief Mark Kohl said pedestrians and motorists have rules and responsibilities to follow.

At intersections and marked crosswalks, the operator of a vehicle shall yield the right-of-way to a pedestrian or bicyclist who has started to cross the roadway. It is recommended that drivers reduce their speed when approaching crosswalks where pedestrians are waiting to cross.

Once the pedestrian enters the roadway, vehicle traffic must yield to the pedestrian.


Public Record

Shawano Police Department

April 27

Police logged 30 incidents, including the following:

Suspicious — Police responded to a suspicious vehicle complaint in the 300 block of South Sawyer Street.

Shoplifting — Charlie’s County Market, 521 S. Main St., reported a shoplifting incident.

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

Child Abuse — A child abuse complaint was under investigation.

Reckless Driving — Police responded to a complaint on Anderson Avenue.

Shawano County Sheriff’s Department

April 27

Deputies logged 47 incidents, including the following:

Trespass — Authorities responded to a trespassing complaint on Witt-Birn Town Line Road in the town of Wittenberg.

Suspicious — Authorities responded to a suspicious vehicle complaint on Town Line Road in the town of Green Valley.


Local firm becomes U-Haul provider

Ronnie’s Tachit Auto Repair has signed on as a U-Haul dealer serving the Shawano area.

Ronnie’s Tachit Auto Repair, W7937 County Road MMM, will offer U-Haul trucks, trailers, towing equipment, support rental items and in-store pick-up for boxes.

Owner Ronnie Verhagen said he is proud to team with the industry leader in do-it-yourself moving and self-storage to better meet the demands of Shawano County.

According to U-Haul, every U-Haul truck placed in a community helps keep 19 personally owned large-capacity vehicles, pickups, SUVs and vans off the road. Fewer vehicles means less traffic congestion, less pollution, less fuel burned and cleaner air.

To reserve a U-Haul truck from Ronnie’s Tachit Auto Repair, call 715-526-9202 or visit


Trees get their day

Leader Photo by Scott Williams Layla Sperberg, center in pink, joins other students in helping to plant a tree Wednesday outside Atrium Post-Acute Care at Birch Hill, 1475 Birch Hill Lane.

Leader Photo by Scott Williams Kindergartner Brooke Cavanaugh, right, admires her small tree at ceremonies Wednesday celebrating Arbor Day in Shawano.

Arbor Day 2016 has left Shawano quite a bit more green.

City leaders handed out dozens of small trees to school children and others Wednesday in honor of the holiday celebrating a world filled with beautiful trees.

At a ceremony hosted by the Shawano Tree Advisory Committee, kids also helped city crews plant a tree outside Atrium Post-Acute Care at Birch Hill, 1475 Birch Hill Lane.

Shawano Mayor Jeanne Cronce treated the kids to a reading of the book, “The Giving Tree,” and then urged them to come back often to visit the tree they were helping to plant.

“A tree has a long, long life,” Cronce said. “And it can give us many years of pleasure.”

Honored with Nature’s Friend Awards for outstanding landscaping of their properties were homeowner Kathy Stoltenow, 420 W. Highview Ave., and the Atrium Post-Acute facility on Birch Hill Lane.


Gresham school superintendent retires

Leader File Photo After seceding from the Shawano School District, officials in Gresham transformed their high school at 501 Schabow St. into a K-12 campus now attended by about 330 students.

Gresham School District Superintendent Keary Mattson has announced plans to retire, ending a career that began in the classroom and culminated with establishing a new stand-alone school district.

Mattson has informed colleagues that he will retiring after the current school year, effective June 30, which comes nine years after he left a principal’s job in Marion to become superintendent in Gresham.

He was hired shortly after Gresham residents broke away from the Shawano School District to start their own district, amid fears that Gresham’s school would otherwise be closed in a budget-cutting move.

“He took on something that was quite unusual,” Gresham School Board President Andy Schmidt said. “He gave us good years of knowledge and leadership.”

Mattson, 66, confirmed that he will be retiring effective June 30, but he declined to comment further.


Ice cream shop to share space with Papa Murphy’s

The owners of Papa Murphy’s Pizza in Shawano plan to open a soft-serve ice cream store that will share space with the take-and-bake pizza business at 1063 E. Green Bay St.

The Shawano Common Council last week approved a $37,000 loan from the city’s revolving loan fund for the purchase of equipment for the new business, which will be called The Golden Cone.

Owners Bart and Sue Mattson plan to invest $37,500 in the startup, including $29,000 for build-out costs of the existing building, according to their revolving loan fund application.

They said the expansion would add about two new jobs.

The city’s revolving loan fund requires at least one job created for every $20,000 in financial assistance.

According to the loan application, The Golden Cone will probably be open from May through September but might be open earlier or longer, depending on the demand.


Sidewalk closed on 9th Street in Clintonville

A portion of the sidewalk on the north side of Ninth Street in Clintonville has been closed and will remain closed until repairs are made.

According to City Administrator Chuck Kell, the issue was discovered when the fire department did a routine inspection of the commercial building on that corner of Ninth Street and South Main Street. The inspector found a potentially serious issue, according to Kell.

Kell said the basement of the building extends beyond the sidewalk to the curb line. The whole sidewalk is exposed in the basement, and there is water damage that is causing the concrete to fall apart.

“It is a dangerous situation. If someone happened to put a car tire up on that sidewalk I think they’d end up in the basement of the building,” Kell said.


United Cooperative highlights growth at annual meeting

Several hundred members and guests attended United Cooperative’s 80th annual meeting April 18 at the Community Center in Juneau.

David Cramer, United Cooperative president and chief executive officer, reported revenues for 2015 were $582 million. United Cooperative’s core cooperative businesses of feed, grain, agronomy and energy generated $27 million in profits, up $2.1 million from 2014.

Patronage from regional cooperatives was virtually unchanged year over year, at $7 million.

The investment United Cooperative made in ethanol contributed $11 million to its net income in 2015, down from the $33.5 million returned the year before.


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