New Chinese tariffs’ impact on local farming still uncertain

The impact of new tariffs on northeastern Wisconsin farmers is still unknown.

U.S. stock markets fell sharply Monday in a first response to the doubling of U.S. tariffs on Chinese goods over the weekend.

“Due to the economic struggle throughout the agriculture industry, it is really difficult to point to one issue such as tariffs causing farmers to put off projects or change plans,” Kimberly Kassube, Shawano County University of Wisconsin-Extension agriculture educator, said on Monday.


Pathways plans donation of grant money for future project

Shawano Pathways plans to make a $12,000 donation to the city from grant money it has obtained to help fund an as yet undetermined project that will improve biking paths and walkways.

Shawano is among 10 communities across the country to receive assistance from the Safe Routes National Partnership to develop an action plan for improving biking and walking to local parks, green spaces and on trails.

Shawano Pathways was selected by the Safe Routes to School National Partners to join Safe Routes to Parks Activating Communities, which includes a $12,000 grant and technical assistance focused on improving safe and equitable local park access.

“It fits very well with the Pathways goals,” Pathways President Nancy Brown-Koeller said during a presentation to the Shawano Common Council last week.

“The grant requires community input and coalition with the parks department and police department,” Koeller said.


Memorial Day parade route changed

Shawano’s Memorial Day parade route this year has been changed due to the construction on East Fifth Street.

In previous years, the parade traveled from Huckleberry Harbor to Woodlawn Cemetery via Fifth Street.

This year, however, “it’s not going to be in any shape to have the parade there,” Police Chief Dan Mauel told the Shawano Common Council last week.

The May 27 parade will begin near the south fairgrounds gate at South Fairview Avenue and East Center Street.

Staging will be on the fairgrounds parking lot at the south gate.

The parade will begin at 9:20 a.m. and move north on Fairview, cross East Green Bay Street and continue along Fairview Way to Woodlawn Cemetery.

Motorists planning on travelling East Green Bay Street that morning are encouraged to use an alternate route as the Fairview Way intersection with Green Bay Street will be closed for a short time while the parade passes through.


Public Record

Shawano Police Department

May 12

Police logged 14 incidents, including the following:

OWI — A 51-year-old Neopit man was arrested for operating while intoxicated at Danks and Lafayette streets.

Drug Offense — Police investigated drug complaints in the 500 block of South Main Street at Hamlin and Maurer streets.

Disturbance — Police responded to a disturbance in the 1000 block of South Bartlett Street.

May 11

Police logged 21 incidents, including the following:

Disturbances — A 52-year-old Shawano man arrested for disorderly conduct, battery/domestic and child abuse after a domestic disturbance in the 200 block of South Sawyer Street. Police also responded to a disturbance in the 100 block of South Andrews Street.

Theft — A phone was reported stolen in the 400 block of South Picnic Street. A TV was reported stolen in the 500 block of South Main Street.


Alderman’s vote on rec center stirs social media debate

Shawano Alderman Jeff Easter’s vote on the Common Council in favor of an agreement with the Shawano School District to pursue a joint recreational facility sparked a social media debate about whether he should have abstained as a school district employee.

Easter, who was elected to the council last month, is building and grounds director for the school district.

Easter said in an interview Thursday he did consider whether there would be any conflict in voting on the matter.

“I truly felt my interest and position (as alderman) is about the best interests of the city,” he said. “I didn’t think about anything else than that.”

Easter said there was no pressure from the school district regarding his vote and there was no benefit to him from voting either way.



Leader Photo by Lee Pulaski North Star Mohican Casino Resort general manager Michael Bonkadar, center, cuts into a cake for the resort’s 27th anniversary Thursday, flanked by some of his other management staff. From left, Terrance Miller, Tammy Wyrobeck, Kirsten Holland and Brian Denney.

The North Star Mohican Casino Resort celebrated another year of success Thursday afternoon with a party for its 27th anniversary.

The casino cooked up some burgers and brats for visitors to the casino, and musical entertainment keep couples dancing and patrons enthused as they enjoyed their meals, complete with anniversary cakes. Patrons got to spin wheels for prizes and received free T-shirts.

The spread was designed to support North Star’s claim of being the friendliest casino in the Midwest.

“We have one of the friendliest casinos here, as you can see,” said Michael Bonkadar, North Star’s general manager. “This is really just a way for us to give back to the community, having a great barbecue. We’ve done it for the last several years, and it’s been very, very popular.”

More than 200 people were enjoying the festivities just in the first hour of the celebration, with lines continuing to form.


City approves new room tax split with chamber

The city of Shawano will keep a larger share of room tax revenue to pay for administration, events and promotion at local parks after the Common Council approved a new room tax split Wednesday.

The city will retain 30 percent of room taxes collected in Shawano, while 68 percent will go to the Shawano Country Tourism Council for tourism-related projects.

Hotels and motels collecting the tax will get 2 percent.

The city in September announced plans to retain an additional $19,000 from the room tax to pay for tourism-related events, particularly at Franklin Park, such as concerts and movies.

The chamber initially balked at those plans, saying it would devastate its own tourism marketing efforts.

Since then, however, city and chamber officials came to an agreement that will set money aside for the city’s park events without impeding on the chamber’s tourism budget.


Potholes lie in wait for unwary drivers

Leader photo by David Wilhelms Dohn Dallmann, Shawano public works shop foreman, demonstrates why a hot, sunny day is essential to successfully patching a pothole, and why you won’t see crews filling these holes when the weather is rainy. The goal is to put the “cold mix” — the oily asphalt — into the pothole after it has been thoroughly cleaned and dried. To do otherwise, like on a day like Thursday, is to set the conditions for a “pop-out,” one of 40 designated types of potholes. The tools of the trade — tamper, coarse-bristled broom, and shovel. The water running through the pothole even when the “cold mix” is tamped completely, remains and will continue to create a pothole.

You thought there were only two kinds of potholes.

The ones you hit.

The ones you miss.

As it turns out, highway engineers have identified 40 different varieties of potholes or to be technical about it, “pavement failure” or “pavement distress.”

“That there are 40 different kinds threw me. I just knew they come in different sizes,” said Scott Kroening, Shawano public works director.

This winter’s brutal weather appears to have been particularly hard on area roads. That carries a cost for local drivers. The American Automobile Association (AAA) estimates the average pothole-related repair is $306. Todd Wegner, owner of Quality Auto Body, recalled a $5,000 repair bill for a car two years from hitting a pothole.


Tourism spending up in Shawano County last year

Visitors to Shawano County spent more in 2018 than they did the previous year, according to data released this week by the state Department of Tourism.

The level of spending by tourists statewide was also up from 2017, according to the findings, rising by 4.9 percent to $13.3 billion.

In Shawano County, visitors spent $68.5 million, a 2.3 percent increase from $67 million in 2017.

Menominee County also saw an increase, going from $2.7 million to $2.8 million, a change of 5.8 percent.

“Visitors are spending more and each visitor is spending more, which is a great thing,” Tourism Manager Patti Peterson said. “We feel like people are really taking advantage of all the things we have to offer as far as our outdoor activities and all of that.”

Some of the highlights possibly driving the increase, Peterson said, include increasing interest in Sundrop Daze and new events being offered by US Air Motorsports Raceway.


Wittenberg historical society votes to keep going

Leader Photo by Miriam Nelson The Wittenberg Area Historical Society museum at 502 W. Summit Ave. in the village of Wittenberg will be open from 1:30-4 p.m. Sundays in June, July and August or by appointment.

About 15 people showed up the the annual meeting of the Wittenberg Area Historical Society at the Wittenberg Community Center on May 1 to show their support for the organization and its museum.

The society’s board of directors — Carla Strassburg, Roger and Donna Block, Verna Wendler and Rodney Best — wrote a letter to the editor of the Enterprise & News, a sister publication for the Shawano Leader, last month warning that without more community interest, the society might disband and close its museum at 502 W. Summit Ave.

The response at the May meeting, however, has calmed those fears.

“When we started this group, we had a lot of active members, but many of those have passed on,” said Best, one of the society’s charter members. “We’ve also lost many of our benefactors.”

Strassburg has been serving as president, treasurer and secretary for the past few years.


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