News

Sat
25
Feb

Job Center hosts job fair on March 15

Community members and area high school students interested in employment and career training options are invited to attend the Shawano County Job Center’s annual job fair March 15 in Shawano.

The job fair, hosting 50 employers, will be held from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at The Gathering, 2600 E. Richmond St. The fair is free and open to the public.

Local employers will be on-site, taking applications and conducting interviews with candidates interested in their employment opportunities.

Local colleges will be on hand to provide prospective students the latest information on technical and community college opportunities in the local area.

An Air Force representative also will participate.

The Job Center will provide information on the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act program, which may help fund training and provides other valuable support services for those in need of training for job placement and/or career decision making.

Sat
25
Feb

10th person charged in drug investigation

The number of defendants charged in a massive drug conspiracy case being called one of the largest ever seen in Shawano County has grown to 10.

Thomas J. Rotter, 30, of Krakow, was charged Friday with one felony count of conspiracy to deliver marijuana. He could face a maximum 15 years in prison and a $50,000 fine if convicted.

Rotter was one of the first subjects that came to the attention of authorities before the extent of the case was known.

A traffic stop in December 2015 led authorities to suspect drug activity by Rotter and his fiance, a 30-year-old Krakow woman who has not been charged.

Evidence taken after a search warrant on the woman’s cellphone indicated the couple were engaged in quarter-pound to multi-pound sales and distribution of high-grade marijuana and significant quantities of opiate pills, according to the criminal complaint.

Sat
25
Feb

Winter returns from a few days off


Leader Photo by Lee Pulaski A plow truck prepares to turn onto Waukechon Street from Dallman Street in Shawano on Friday. Trucks were out in force trying to keep roads clear for travelers.

Leader Photo by Lee Pulaski A wall of snow almost obscures the view of the electronic sign at Hillcrest Primary School, which announced school was closed for the day. The winter storm caused many schools throughout the area to close due to hazardous road conditions.

You can’t fool Mother Nature, but she apparently still likes to play games.

After teasing the area with several days of almost springlike weather, she reminded folks that, yes, it’s still winter, with an estimated three to five inches of snow and ice dumped overnight Thursday and into Friday afternoon.

“We got slammed,” said Shawano Public Works Coordinator Eddie Sheppard, who added that snowfall totals were difficult to gauge because of high winds.

Nevertheless, road crews were prepared for the onslaught and the higher temperatures earlier in the week worked in their favor.

“With the pavement still warm, it’s been melting pretty good,” Sheppard said.

Motorists also seemed to adapt quickly to the changing conditions.

The Shawano County Sheriff’s Department reported 10 minor accidents, mostly-slide-ins, between midnight and Friday afternoon.

Sat
25
Feb

Clock is ticking on SIST plans for vacant downtown properties

Shawano Redevelopment Authority officials are still waiting for plans from the Samanta Roy Institute of Science and Technology to see how SIST intends to address two vacant and dilapidated downtown properties, but they’re not going to wait much longer.

SIST has until March 10 to show how it will repair or remediate the properties at 143 and 214 S. Main St. before the RDA considers taking action of its own, which could include going to court with a raze order or invoking eminent domain to acquire the properties, according to Assistant City Administrator Eddie Sheppard.

The RDA received a progress report from city staff on the two properties at a meeting Friday.

The property at 214 S. Main St. is of particular concern after a court-ordered inspection in May by health and safety officials found significant water damage, mold and structural problems.

Sat
25
Feb

Police have suspects in shoplifting spree

Shawano police say they have identified three suspects in a shoplifting spree that hit more than a dozen businesses over the past several weeks.

Police have referred charges in 14 cases to the district attorney’s office, and arrest warrants for retail theft and possession of stolen property have been issued on the three suspects.

As of Friday afternoon, the charges had not yet been filed.

The alleged offenders are a 30-year-old Neopit woman, a 32-year-old Keshena woman and a 36-year-old Keshena woman, according to the police department.

At least five businesses reported shoplifting incidents within the past week: Raptor Knife and Gun, 811 E. Green Bay St.; Bumper to Bumper Auto Parts, 117 N. Andrews St.; NAPA Auto Parts, 1255 E. Green Bay St.; Automotive Supply Co., 209 S. Main St.; and Qualheim’s True Value, 1345 E. Green Bay St.

Sat
25
Feb

Public Record

Shawano Police Department

Feb. 23

Police logged 47 incidents, including the following:

Harassment — Police responded to a harassment complaint in the 600 block of West Second Street.

Truancy — Police logged two truancy complaints from the Shawano School District.

Hit and Run — Police investigated a property damage hit-and-run at Walmart, 1244 E. Green Bay St.

Harassment — Police responded to a harassment complaint in the 200 block of West Richmond Street.

Suspicious — Police responded to a suspicious person complaint in the 900 block of South River Street.

Drug Offense — Police investigated a drug complaint in the 100 block of South Washington Street.

Disturbance — Police responded to a disturbance in the 500 block of East Randall Street.

Drug Offense — Police investigated a drug complaint in the 400 block of South Franklin Street.

Shawano County Sheriff’s Department

Fri
24
Feb

Group outlining plans to address food availability

After conducting a survey in which one-third of the respondents said their household was struggling to get healthy, adequate food, the FRESH Project Food Council is implementing a plan to address the issue in Shawano County.

Beginning with a $130,000 grant awarded in fall 2015, organizers developed a coalition of groups to address “food insecurity,” which means people are not sure if they will have food tonight or tomorrow.

FRESH stands for Food Resources Education Security Health.

The coalition overseeing the project initially included Shawano County, Menominee County, the University of Wisconsin-Extension, Ho-Chunk Nation, Stockbridge-Munsee Community and Menominee Indian Tribe of Wisconsin. It later expanded to include members of the religious community and farmers.

Fri
24
Feb

Public Record

Shawano Police Department

Feb. 22

Police logged 31 incidents, including the following:

Disturbance — Police responded to a disturbance in the 500 block of East Randall Street.

Disturbance — Police responded to a disturbance in the 500 block of South Smalley Street.

Arrest — A 44-year-old man was taken into custody at the probation and parole offices, 1340 E. Green Bay St.

Fraud — Police investigated a fraud complaint involving a stolen debit card being used at various locations in the city.

Disturbance — Police responded to a disturbance in the 1200 block of East Green Bay Street.

Disorderly Conduct — Police responded to a complaint of an intoxicated male at Randall and Sawyer streets.

Shawano County Sheriff’s Department

Feb. 22

Deputies logged 35 incidents, including the following:

Thu
23
Feb

5 more charged in drug investigation

Five more people were charged Wednesday as alleged co-conspirators in a massive drug trafficking operation in Shawano County, bringing the total so far to nine.

Among them is the son of a Bonduel couple who had been arrested and charged in connection with the case the day before.

Kody P. Hofman, 26, of Bonduel, is accused of using his residence for the packaging and storage of marijuana that his father, Daniel P. Hofman, 52, of Bonduel, had brought to Shawano County from California.

According to the criminal complaint, text messages between the two go into detail about the California grow operation, which at the time of that discussion had about 20,000 marijuana plants.

There is also discussion of a “new facility” being built in Oregon for processing hash oil.

The two discussed Kody Hofman’s assistance with the distribution of hash oil, according to the complaint, and the distribution of some of the marijuana.

Thu
23
Feb

Anatomy of a drug investigation

(Editor’s note: The details alleged in the following narrative are taken from a criminal complaint filed this week in Shawano County Circuit Court and, in some cases, supplemented by court records.)

It is being called one of the largest drug cases ever seen in Shawano County, and part of a web stretching as far as California and encompassing several other states along the way. So far, nine defendants have been charged.

It all began on state Highway 32 in Shawano County on Dec. 5, 2015, when the Wisconsin State Patrol pulled a vehicle over for speeding.

The vehicle was driven by a 30-year-old Krakow woman, who was subsequently found guilty of misdemeanor counts of possession of marijuana and carrying a concealed weapon.

As a result of the traffic stop, drugs, a firearm, $20,000 in currency and the woman’s cellphone were seized.

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