Big Changes Happening on August 7, 2019.




New tax scams surfacing, again

According to the Internal Revenue Service, taxpayers should be on the lookout for new versions of these two scams.

Taxpayers should watch for new versions of two tax-related scams. One involves Social Security numbers related to tax issues. The other threatens taxpayers with a tax bill from a fictional government agency. Here are some details about these scams to help taxpayers recognize them:

The SSN scheme

The latest twist includes scammers claiming to be able to suspend or cancel the victim’s Social Security number. This scam is similar to and often associated with the IRS impersonation scam.

It is yet another attempt by con artists to frighten taxpayers into returning robocall voicemails.

Scammers may mention overdue taxes in addition to threatening to cancel the taxpayer’s SSN.

Fake tax agency

This scheme involves a letter threatening an IRS lien or levy.

The scammer mails the letter to the taxpayer.


County expects to save $1 million in jail upgrade project

Shawano County has a much better price locked up for improvements to its jail security system.

According to numbers presented at Tuesday’s meeting of the public safety committee, the county will spend at least $1 million less than initially expected.

Shawano County officials in December overwhelmingly approved borrowing up to $3.5 million to address near-emergency security concerns at the jail caused by outdated and increasingly failing technology.

The money will be used to upgrade the jail’s computer and software system and its door-locking, intercom and monitoring systems.

The expected price tag actually rose to $3.7 million by the time the county hammered out a budget with the help of engineering consultant Mead and Hunt, according to Building Maintenance Supervisor Steve Dreher.

The sticker shock caused county staff to seek out an alternative.


Evers flexes muscle, signs budget with 78 vetoes

Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers flexed his muscle Wednesday by recasting the Republican-approved state budget to increase funding for schools and shave away dozens of GOP proposals before signing the two-year spending plan into law.

Evers ignored pleas from some liberals who wanted the new Democratic governor to veto the entire budget, while also angering some Republicans who derided the 78 vetoes as unnecessary and overly political.

The budget Evers signed included increases in funding for K-12 schools, roads and health care, but far less than what the governor wanted. It also doesn’t meet many of his stated priorities, most notably accepting federal money to expand Medicaid, legalizing medical marijuana or raising the gas tax as part of a long-term plan to pay for roads.

But Evers and Democratic lawmakers, who were united in voting against it, cast the two-year spending plan in a positive light, calling it a “down payment” on progress.


Vintage afternoon at Heritage Park

Something old, something new, something borrowed, and something blue.

During this popular wedding season, the Shawano County Historical Society presents something old during “A Vintage Afternoon & Bridal Gown Fashion Show” on July 27 at Old Tabor Church, Heritage Park, 524 N Franklin St, Shawano.

This event promises to bring history alive as the 1891-era Old Tabor Church, becomes the event venue to showcase 25 of the museum’s storied bridal gowns.

The bridal gowns date from 1871 to the late 1950’s and each will get their turn in the spotlight, showing the evolution of bridal design throughout the years. Some of the most interesting gowns tell a historic tale and have a special connection to Shawano County.

Gowns will be carefully handled by Curator, Jesse Borlen, with plenty of opportunity for guests to view them up close. Attendees will take home a keepsake booklet detailing each bridal gown.


Public Record

Shawano Police Department

July 2

Police logged 25 incidents, including the following:

OWI — A 26-year-old Shawano man was arrested for operating a vehicle while under the influence of a restricted controlled substance at Richmond and Evergreen streets.

Fraud — A counterfeit bill was reported in the 700 block of South Hamlin Street.

Disturbances — Police responded to disturbances in the 200 block of East Center Street and the parking lot at Walmart, 1244 E. Green Bay St.

Theft — Gas was reported siphoned from a vehicle in the 3500 block of East Richmond Street.

Bail Jumping — A 57-year-old Mattoon woman was arrested for bail jumping after police responded to a suspicious person complaint at School Court and Ridlington Avenue.

July 1

Police logged 37 incidents, including the following:


Wisconsin creates new office of outdoor recreation

It’s official, the Wisconsin Department of Tourism now has an Office of Outdoor Recreation. Funding for this new office was included in the state budget signed today by Gov. Tony Evers. The office will capitalize on the number one marketable driver for visits to the state, namely outdoor pursuits, with the creation of 3 new staff positions.

“We consider this a game changer for the Wisconsin tourism industry,” said Tourism Secretary-designee Sara Meaney. “With one unified voice and shared priorities among stakeholders and resources, the sky’s the limit in growing this segment of the state’s economy.”

According to the Outdoor Industry Association (OIA), outdoor recreation in Wisconsin generates $17.9 billion in consumer spending annually and directly creates 168,000 jobs. Further, OIA research indicates that 60% of all outdoor gear and apparel is purchased while on vacation.


National food service group buys Reinhart

Photo by David Wilhelms It appeared to be business as usual at the Reinhart Foodservices distribution center on East Richmond Street on Monday as trucks made their daily deliveries throughout eastern Wisconsin. Performance Food Group, Richmond, VA, announced it had acquired the company for $2 billion. Work on the new company facility on Co. Hwy. B is expected to continue and eventually house the operation.

Performance Food Group Company (PFG) on Monday announced it has acquired Reinhart Foodservice, L.L.C. from Reyes Holdings, L.L.C. in a transaction valued at $2.0 billion. The acquisition positions the new company to be one of the largest food service distributors in the U.S. with about $30 billion in net sales, per a news release from the purchaser.

Reinhart has operated a distribution center in Shawano at 2655 E. Richmond Street for the past 39 years and currently has 268 full-time employees. It is the second largest privately-held food service distributor in the U.S., and will contribute annual net sales of over $6 billion to the new business.

Founded in 1972 in LaCrosse, Reinhart Foodservice is a part of the Reyes Family of Businesses.


RDA finalizing housing rehab assistance for property owners

The Shawano Redevelopment Authority is close to finalizing a program it will make available to property owners soon aimed at encouraging housing rehabilitation, particularly in the downtown.

At an RDA meeting last week, members discussed components of the program, which is likely to include a mix of low-interest loans and grant money.

The RDA has $417,000 available for the program as a result of the closing of two of the city’s Tax Incremental Finance districts.

City Administrator Eddie Sheppard said the question for the RDA to answer is the extent of financial support that should be offered.

“What’s a reasonable amount to be considered when we’re talking about grants and loans and things like that, especially with the costs of rehabs being what they are,” he said.

“Our goal is to really try and kick-start some redevelopment,” Sheppard said.

Sheppard said a low-interest loan by itself is not likely to draw participants.


Public Record

Shawano Police Department

June 30

Police logged 29 incidents, including the following:

Assault — Police investigated an assault complaint in the 800 block of East Richmond Street.

Accident — Police responded to a property damage accident at Oshkosh and Smalley Streets.

Disorderly — A charge of disorderly conduct was referred against a 37-year-old Shawano man after police responded to an intoxicated person complaint at Sturgeon Park, 811 S. Water St.

Theft — Police investigated a property theft complaint in the 600 block of Richmond Court.

June 29

Police logged 27 incidents, including the following:

Harassment — Police responded to a harassment complaint in the 800 block of South Park Street.

Juvenile — Police responded to juvenile problems in the 600 block of West Fifth Street, 600 block of South Union Street and 100 block of North Bartlett Street.


Passing on their (water) craft

Leader photo by David Wilhelms Brad Keuschel, left, and Dave Passehl prepare to lift Jim Irish onto an adaptive water ski at the Ski Sharks learn to ski event June 21. He was among 28 adaptive skiers at the event.

It was a wet and fun introduction to waterskiing June 21 when the Shawano Ski Sharks held one of their summer learn to ski programs.

“It was perfect, just perfect,” said Sarah Cary, of Green Bay, after her turn.

Dave Passehl, Ski Sharks president, said 30 children and 28 “adaptive skiers” paticipated in the program that’s been around for at least five years. Passehl said the adaptive skier turnout was the largest the club has seen to date. The adaptive program is for those incapable of maneuvering conventional skis. The adaptive ski, costing around $3,000, marries a wide board like a surfboard or paddleboard with a chair. The adaptive skier is braced by two other skiers.


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