News

Sat
29
Apr

Mattoon school supporters await decision on appeal

A decision could come as soon as Thursday on whether a referendum creating a Mattoon school district will go before voters in November.

A hearing was held Tuesday at Antigo High School with the School District Boundary Appeal Board, a panel of 12 school board members from around the state appointed by the state superintendent of public instruction.

The board is expected back in Antigo on Thursday to convene in closed session and discuss the appeal, then come out of closed session with an answer, according to Zak Kickhaver, one of the organizers of the push to give the village of Mattoon its own school district.

Supporters filed a petition with the state in February seeking an appeal of the Antigo school board’s vote to deny letting the proposed secession go to a referendum.

The Unified School District of Antigo board voted 8-1 on Jan. 10 against the proposed referendum.

Sat
29
Apr

Shawano grad recognized for excellence as nurse


Photo by Carol Wagner Donna Baenen was awarded the Carol and Robert Bush Excellence in Nursing Award as Nurse of the Year for 2017 for her work at Bellin Hospital in Green Bay.

Donna Baenen has been named 2017 Nurse of the Year and recipient of the Carol and Robert Bush Excellence in Nursing Award for her work at Bellin Hospital in Green Bay.

“It’s a very prestigious award,” said Baenen, who graduated from Shawano High School in 1983. “I’m incredibly honored and humbled.”

Baenen received the award April 19 at a ceremony at the Gather on Broadway in Green Bay. The Bushes, well-known philanthropists in Green Bay, have been giving the award to a nurse for 16 years.

Baenen has been a nurse for 30 years, the past 26 yeas at Bellin, where she is a staff nurse in the emergency department.

After high school Baenen earned a Bachelor of Science degree in nursing from Marian University in Fond du Lac. She is a registered nurse and has a certificate in emergency nursing.

“I embraced the staff role of nursing,” Baenen said. “I’m comfortable in this position and it’s what I do best.”

Sat
29
Apr

Scholars group celebrates 24th gala


Leader Photo by Scott Williams Helping donors renew or start their endowment contributions Friday are, from left, seated, Barb Schmid and Amy Teplate, volunteers for the Dollars for Scholars program.

Leader Photo by Scott Williams Shannon Dawn, left, and Jason Kuehl look over items at the silent auction Friday during the Dollars for Scholars gala at The Gathering in Shawano.

Education got the red-carpet treatment Friday as members of the Shawano community turned out for the annual Shawano Dollars for Scholars gala banquet.

More than 200 people showed their support for the student scholarship program at the organization’s 24th annual gala at The Gathering banquet hall in Shawano.

The event is the largest fundraiser of the year for the organization, which provides scholarships annually to local high school graduates continuing their education.

The organization has awarded nearly $2 million in scholarships to hundreds of students since 1993.

Supporter Mike Van Rite said he has been a booster for years because he enjoys seeing charitable donations work in such a tangible way as helping Shawano kids continue their educations.

“What better way to contribute?” he said. “I think it’s a great way to spend some money.”

Sat
29
Apr

Public Record

Shawano Police Department

April 27

Police logged 25 incidents, including the following:

Accident — Police responded to a property damage accident at Shawano Community High School, 220 County Road B.

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

Theft — A theft was reported at Hillcrest Primary School, 1410 Waukechon St.

Theft — Police investigated a theft complaint in the 2500 block of East Lieg Avenue.

Theft — Prescription drugs were reported stolen at Olga Brener Intermediate School, 1300 S. Union St.

Shoplifting — Walmart, 1244 E. Green Bay St., reported a shoplifting incident.

Shawano County Sheriff’s Department

April 27

Deputies logged 44 incidents, including the following:

Theft — Authorities investigated a theft complaint on Co-op Avenue in the town of Green Valley.

Fri
28
Apr

2nd Clintonville school vote at least a year off

If the Clintonville School Board decides to try another referendum to address its elementary school needs, it probably won’t be for another year or more.

“There is no general election in the fall, so if the district wanted to do a referendum this fall, we would be putting up a pretty hefty bill, so that’s not likely,” business manager Lynette Edwards said. “We are looking at least a year out if not a year and a half. From what I understand from talking with other school districts, that’s not too long to plan and prepare.”

On April 4, voters rejected the district’s proposed $24.9 million referendum, 1,140-733. The proposal to raze Rexford-Longfellow Elementary School and build a new school was endorsed by a 31-member task force that spent months studying the issue.

“I think it’s really important that we keep the discussion going about the elementary school,” Edwards told the board.

Fri
28
Apr

Library upgrades planned at middle school


Leader Photo by Scott Williams Krisy Bogacz, library director for the Shawano School District, adjusts books on a shelf in the Shawano Community Middle School library.

Leader Photo by Scott Williams With a modernization coming this summer, some areas of the Shawano Community Middle School library are believed to be unchanged over the past 40 or 50 years.

The library at Shawano Community Middle School is about to get its due.

It is one of the few areas of the middle school that were left untouched by a $10 million renovation completed last year following a successful referendum.

School officials now have identified funding for improvements planned this summer to equip the library with new shelving, furnishings, equipment, lighting and more.

“It’s going to be much more of a modern library,” Principal Mary Kramer said.

School board members have agreed to spend up to $123,000 on the project, which will upgrade the library to match improvements made throughout the rest of the middle school last year.

Jeff Easter, the school district’s director of buildings and grounds, said some board members have questioned why the library was not included in the $10 million package approved by voters in November 2015.

Fri
28
Apr

United Cooperative paying out $11.5M in cash patronage


Contributed Photo The 2017 board of directors for United Cooperative includes, from left, front row, Rod Leiterman, Denmark; Howard Bohl, Beaver Dam, chairman; Gary Nolden, Prairie du Sac, vice chairman; Robin Craker, Reedsburg, secretary; back row, Greg Tauchen, Bonduel; Anthony Schadt, Watertown; Brad Krueger, Shawano; Peter Mlsna, Hillsboro; Duane Hinchley, Cambridge; and David Cramer, Beaver Dam; treasurer. Not pictured is Larry Plamann, Greenville.

United Cooperative announced April 10 at its annual meeting in Beaver Dam that it is returning $28.7 million in total patronage to its members for 2016.

Forty percent of the patronage, or $11.5 million, will be distributed in cash to United Cooperative’s patron member owners in April. The remainder, or $17.2 million, will be retained in equity credits.

David Cramer, president and CEO, reported revenues for 2016 were $633 million. United Cooperative’s core cooperative businesses of feed, grain, agronomy and energy generated $25 million in profits, down $2 million from 2015. The investment United Cooperative made in ethanol contributed $14 million to its net income in 2016, up from the $11 million in 2015.

Patronage from regional cooperatives was down $1 million from 2016, at $6 million.

All combined, United Cooperative had a total net income before income taxes in 2016 of $45.5 million, virtually unchanged from 2015.

Fri
28
Apr

Work begins on new State Bank office


Contributed Photo Participating in a groundbreaking ceremony for a new State Bank office April 18 are, from left, Robert Traeger, board member; Samuel Sousek, board chairman; Daniel Miller, business development officer; Neil Beckman, board member; Samuel Sousek II, president; and Dave Stubbs, Keller Inc. project manager.

State Bank and Keller Inc. broke ground for a new 3,600-square-foot bank April 18 at 1213 E. Green Bay St. in Shawano.

State Bank has served the area since 1908 and offers services such as internet banking, ATM/check cards, Mobiliti (cellphone banking) and Remote Deposit Capture (cellphone check deposits) and bill payment for internet banking.

Construction is expected to be completed by September.

Keller Planners, Architects, Builders has offices in the Fox Cities, Madison, Milwaukee and Wausau. The firm specializes in new construction, remodel, retrofit and re-roof projects.

Fri
28
Apr

Public Record

Shawano Police Department

April 26

Police logged 28 incidents, including the following:

Fraud — BMO Harris Bank, 101 N. Main St., reported an identity theft complaint.

Truancy — Police logged five truancy complaints from Shawano Community High School, 220 County Road B.

Disorderly — Police responded to a disorderly conduct complaint in the 2900 block of East Richmond Street.

Disturbance — Police responded to a disturbance in the 800 block of East Richmond Street.

Shoplifting — Walmart, 1244 E. Green Bay St., reported a shoplifting incident.

Shawano County Sheriff’s Department

April 26

Deputies logged 29 incidents, including the following:

Fraud — Authorities investigated an identity theft complaint on Ranch Road in the town of Waukechon.

Disorderly — Authorities responded to a disorderly conduct complaint on Hemlock Road in the town of Wittenberg.

Thu
27
Apr

Traveling coach pleads to computer sex crime

Two days before he was expected to go to trial, a traveling basketball coach accused in Shawano of attempting to facilitate a child sex crime pleaded guilty.

Nicholas R. Bennett, 25, was arrested in October 2015 after arriving for what he expected would be a sexual rendezvous with a 13-year-old boy, according to the criminal complaint.

He was charged with using a computer to facilitate a child sex crime and child enticement.

He pleaded guilty Tuesday to the computer sex crime charge. The charge of child enticement was dropped but can still be considered by the judge at sentencing June 23.

Bennett could face a maximum 40 years in prison and $100,000 fine.

Bennett had also been charged with 201 counts of child porn possession that were thrown out of court.

After his arrest, authorities executed search warrants to obtain electronic devices Bennett had with him when he came to Shawano for a basketball camp at Sacred Heart Catholic School.

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