News

Thu
20
Jul

Shawano man sentenced for assaulting teen girls

A Shawano man was sentenced Tuesday in federal court to 10 years in prison for sexually assaulting two teenage girls on the Menominee Indian Reservation.

In sentencing William Wilber IV, U.S. District Judge William C. Griesbach said Wilber had a history of preying on underage girls.

Wilber, 35, pleaded guilty in April to two counts of having sex with a minor. The charges involved a 14-year-old girl in May 2015 at Legend Lake property owned by his family. A second count involved a 15-year-old girl in July 2015 also at the Legend Lake property.

Wilber was detained in January after one of the girls filed a complaint with the Menominee Tribal Police Department.

A third charge of sexual assault of a minor was dismissed, and the U.S. Attorney agreed to recommend concurrent 10-year sentences on the two remaining charges in exchange for Wilber’s guilty pleas.

Thu
20
Jul

Public Record

Shawano Police Department

July 18

Police logged 22 incidents, including the following:

Fraud — Police investigated an internet fraud complaint in the 100 block of Humphrey Circle.

Arrest — A 25-year-old man was taken into custody at the probation and parole offices, 1340 E. Green Bay St.

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

Drug Offense — Police investigated a drug complaint in the 600 block of East Lieg Avenue.

Disturbance — Police responded to a disturbance in the 700 block of South Maiden Lane.

Disturbance — Police responded to a report of a fight in progress in the 500 block of Prospect Circle.

Shawano County Sheriff’s Department

July 18

Deputies logged 38 incidents, including the following:

Disturbance — Authorities responded to a disturbance on Kersten Lake Road in the town of Fairbanks.

Wed
19
Jul

Bonduel trustees seek damage control


Leader Photo by Scott Williams Gathered inside Bonduel Village Hall on Monday are, from left, Village Trustees Dick Sibert and Mary Barney, Village Clerk Willa Rusch, Village President Sharon Wussow, and Trustees Margie Qualheim, Luka Zischka and Joan Kamps.

Embroiled in political strife, Bonduel Village Board members are taking the symbolic step of not paying themselves for meetings necessary to manage the upheaval.

The action approved Monday by a divided board will save taxpayers about $600 in payments as members cope with the departures of the police chief and other village officials.

Trustee Luka Zischka proposed the suspension of board compensation protocol, citing the unusual circumstances in which staff resignations have been blamed on the village board’s dysfunction.

“I’m embarrassed that I’m going to get paid,” Zischka said.

He proposed that board members forgo their usual $30-per-meeting stipend for board meetings to deal with the recent resignations of Police Chief Todd Chaney, Deputy Village Clerk Katrina Schroeder and Village Trustee Shawn Thorne. All three cited turmoil within the village board as a reason for their stepping down.

Wed
19
Jul

SMU seeking another electric rate increase

Only six months after the last increase went into effect, Shawano Municipal Utilities is asking the state Public Service Commission for another hike in electric utility rates.

“We have a need for a rate adjustment,” City Administrator and SMU General Manager Brian Knapp said.

SMU filed with the PSC on June 30 seeking a 1.7 percent increase.

“We hope it can be effective as quickly as possible,” Knapp said.

Knapp said SMU has fallen short of revenue expected since the new rates went into effect, largely due to changes in behavior by large industrial customers.

Some of those customers, he said, have shifted more of their production to off-peak hours to take advantage of lower overnight rates between 8 p.m. and 8 a.m.

“We need to make some adjustments in order to return to profitability,” Knapp said.

The PSC has responded with some follow-up questions for SMU.

Wed
19
Jul

Shawano man charged with 11 counts of child porn possession

A Shawano man charged with 11 felony counts of possessing child pornography also had a cache of so-called snuff videos depicting women being murdered, according to the criminal complaint, though none of the charges filed against him are related to those videos.

Gerald R. Hoffman, 39, could face a maximum 25 years in prison and a $100,000 fine for each of the child porn counts if found guilty.

Shawano police, acting on a cyber tip from the Department of Justice Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force, executed a search warrant at Hoffman’s residence on July 4. They were assisted by Shawano County sheriff’s detectives.

According to the complaint, a forensic analysis of computer equipment seized revealed images of prepubescent female engaged in sexual activity.

Tue
18
Jul

Public Record

Shawano Police Department

July 17

Police logged 26 incidents, including the following:

Fraud — Police investigated a fraud complaint at Charlie’s County Market, 521 S. Main St.

Accident — Police responded to a two-vehicle property damage accident in the 100 block of County Road B.

Theft — A phone was reported stolen in the 1400 block of East Green Bay Street.

Vandalism — Benches were reported vandalized at Sturgeon Park, 811 S. Water St.

July 16

Police logged 22 incidents, including the following:

OWI — A 22-year-old man was arrested for operating while intoxicated at Andrews and Richmond streets.

Disorderly — Police responded to a disorderly conduct complaint in the 300 block of North Franklin Street.

Disorderly — Police responded to a disorderly conduct complaint in the 200 block of South Sawyer Street.

Sat
15
Jul

Domestic abuse shelter seeking additional space

For most enterprises, the need to expand would be considered a good thing, but if the business provides services to victims of domestic violence, it could also be considered a sad commentary on society.

The Safe Haven Domestic Abuse and Sexual Assault Support Center in Shawano has been operating for some time at maximum capacity. It will soon kick off a fundraising campaign aimed at adding space to the shelter.

“For a community our size, we have a lot of need,” Executive Director Stacey Cicero said.

The shelter has five bedrooms, and none of them are ever empty, according to Cicero. In some cases, families have shared the bedrooms.

Last year, the shelter provided safe housing for 55 woman and 67 children, with an average length of stay of 27.3 days and 3,385 bed nights, according to information provided by Safe Haven.

Advocates answered 2,064 crisis calls and met with 514 victims.

Sat
15
Jul

Public Record

Shawano Police Department

July 13

Police logged 28 incidents, including the following:

Accident — Police responded to a three-vehicle crash in the 1300 block of East Green Bay Street. According to the police report, the first vehicle, driven by a 67-year-old Shawano man, was stopped in traffic to make a left turn. The second vehicle, driven by a 74-year-old Shawano man, was stopped behind vehicle one. The third vehicle, driven by a 17-year-old Cecil male, ran into vehicle two, pushing that vehicle into vehicle one. The operator of vehicle two had minor injuries and was transported to ThedaCare Medical Center-Shawano. The 17-year-old was cited for inattentive driving.

OAR — A 37-year-old man was cited for operating after revocation at Olson and Richmond streets.

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

Fri
14
Jul

Matsche Farms unveils new growth plan


Leader File Photo Cows feed at one of the barns at Matsche Farms Inc., located in the town of Almon, which is seeking state approval for a significant expansion.

Leader File Photo Matsche Farms Inc., a family-owned farm in Shawano County, could rank among the largest dairy farms in Northeastern Wisconsin with its newest expansion plan.

Two years after becoming perhaps Shawano County’s largest dairy farm, Matsche Farms Inc. is seeking regulatory approval for an expansion that would boost the agricultural operation to new heights.

The family-owned farm near Birnamwood has unveiled plans for building its biggest barn yet — longer than five football fields — and adding 5,000 more cows to a herd currently estimated at 6,600.

Neighbors are voicing concern that Matsche Farms, located at N9035 River Road in the town of Almon, could become a threat to water quality and air quality in the area.

The expansion plan, however, has won approval from local and county officials, and now is headed to the state Department of Natural Resources for review.

Fri
14
Jul

City to consider request for urban beekeeping

Now that chickens have been welcomed into Shawano through a change in the ordinance that previously forbid backyard poultry, enthusiasts of another agricultural pastime are hoping the city will make a similar accommodation for bees.

Cameron Oliver, who moved to the city two years ago, told the Common Council on Wednesday that his family had purchased beekeeping equipment, as well as bees, “only to find out that there’s an ordinance against bees in the city of Shawano.”

Oliver said beekeeping would fall under the same agricultural land use as backyard chickens and that the city had set a precedent by allowing that use within city limits.

The council didn’t discuss the proposal, which was not an agenda item.

Mayor Jeanne Cronce said it would first be taken up by the plan commission.

Oliver also made his case to the plan commission at a meeting last month where he was joined by three other supporters of urban beekeeping.

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