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News

Thu
27
Jun

DA office would get another prosecutor under budget

The district attorney’s office for Shawano and Menominee counties would get some long-awaited and much-needed help starting next year under the state budget sent to Gov. Tony Evers.

The budget bill calls for additional assistant district attorneys in dozens of under-staffed district attorneys’ offices around the state, including one in the Shawano-Menominee County DA’s office.

The budget proposal would add nearly 65 prosecutors to district attorney offices across the state, including 18 in counties across Northeast Wisconsin.

The office here is staffed by District Attorney Greg Parker and two assistant prosecutors.

“If this bill is signed by the governor this would be extremely helpful in the administration of justice for the victim and non-victim cases in handling the caseload in my office,” Parker said.

Thu
27
Jun

Taco John’s opens in a big way


PHOTO BY MIRIAM NELSON Taco John’s staff work to keep up with the crowd gathered June 10 for the restaurant’s grand opening in Wittenberg. Owner Julie Basuki estimated they served more than 1,000 people on opening day.

Free food will always bring in a crowd. Taco John’s, the newest fast food restaurant in Wittenberg, opened in a big way June 10 by giving golden coupons to the first 50 customers.

The lure of getting a free order of Potato Ole’s every day for a year inspired Will Urquhart, senior at Wittenberg-Birnamwood High School, to arrive at 4 a.m. to be first in line.

Before the restaurant opened its doors at 10 a.m., the Wittenberg Area Chamber of Commerce held a ribbon-cutting ceremony.

“How exciting to have a new business begin their journey here in Wittenberg,” said Sally Jo Stevens, chamber president. “The Wittenberg Area Chamber of Commerce is proud of our community and wishes Taco John’s and their family all the best of luck.”

The franchise is operated by Julie and Herman Basuki, who also operate Taco John’s in Antigo and Rhinelander. They plan to employ about 30 people.

Thu
27
Jun

Public Record

Shawano Police Department

June 26

Police logged 23 incidents, including the following:

Disturbances — Charges were referred against a 35-year-old Shawano man for domestic violence-related battery and disorderly conduct in the 1300 block of South Union Street. A 25-year-old Shawano man was arrested for disorderly conduct/domestic in the 700 block of South Hamlin Street. A 39-year-old Shawano man was arrested for disorderly conduct/domestic and criminal damage to property in the 400 block of West Third Street.

OWI — A 24-year-old Shawano man was arrested for operating while intoxicated and an outstanding warrant at Richmond and Sawyer streets.

Theft — Medication and credit cards were reported stolen from a vehicle at Four Seasons, 201 N. Airport Drive.

Disorderly — Police responded to a lewd and lascivious behavior complaint at the Shawano Public Library, 128 S. Sawyer St.

Thu
27
Jun

City says apartment complex project still on track

It now looks as if it will be next spring at the soonest before work begins on a proposed luxury apartment complex at the former Shawano Medical Center property.

The project was initially expected to get under way this fall.

“It’s in kind of a holding pattern,” City Administrator Eddie Sheppard said.

“Everything’s still in place,” Sheppard said and all parties have finally agreed on the language in the developer’s agreement that will eventually be brought before the Shawano Common Council for approval.

“The issue now is timing,” Sheppard said.

Tadych Investment Partners LLC of Green Bay, which is proposing buying the former hospital property for $500,000, has been busy with other projects that have delayed its plans in Shawano, according to Sheppard.

“It’s kind of on the back burner right now,” he said.

However, Sheppard said, Tadych still plans to move forward with the project.

Wed
26
Jun

Public Record

Shawano Police Department

June 25

Police logged 24 incidents, including the following:

OAR — A 19-year-old Shawano woman was cited for operating after revocation and arrested for a probation violation in the 900 block of East Green Bay Street.

Arrests — A 40-year-old Shawano man was arrested for an outstanding warrant, and a 21-year-old Shawano man was arrested for a probation violation at the probation and parole offices, 1340 E. Green Bay St.

Accident — Police responded to a two-vehicle property damage accident at Lincoln and Green Bay streets.

Shoplifting — Walmart, 1244 E. Green Bay St., and Charlie’s County Market, 521 S. Main St., reported shoplifting incidents.

Shawano County Sheriff’s Department

June 25

Deputies logged 48 incidents, including the following:

Wed
26
Jun

FERC orders higher water levels


Leader photo by Carol Ryczek Gene Fischer, Cecil, prepares to take his boat home after spending time fishing on Shawano Lake on Wednesday. Fischer said that his boat now uses an aluminum propellor, a substitution he had to make after breaking a $900 stainless steel version on a rock last year. Fischer blamed the low water level last year for the damage, saying that he had taken his boat over the same rocky area many times without incident. An order from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission Wednesday will allow water levels in the lake to rise to 802.9 feet above sea level through Nov. 15.

Water levels will go up in Shawano Lake, the Wolf River above the Shawano dam and the channel linking the two bodies of water in time for the Fourth of July holiday.

That’s the result of a Wednesday order from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to the operators of the Shawano dam to immediately maintain the water level at 802.9 feet above sea level “as soon as authorized by the Commission.” The order directs Eagle Creek Renewable Energy, the dam operator, to maintain the higher water level until Nov. 15.

Melissa Rondou, Eagle Creek staff member in Neshkoro, said the FERC order was “started immediately” within its operating plan. She said the plan calls for the gradual raising of the water.

Although the level at the dam will change almost immediately, she said, “Filling up the bathtub (referring to Shawano Lake) may take a little longer. Hopefully, the lake will be up by the holiday weekend.”

Wed
26
Jun

Tauchen hails SCOTUS ruling on liquor sales law

Wisconsin Rep. Gary Tauchen is optimistic that a U.S. Supreme Court ruling striking down restrictive alcohol laws in Tennessee could prompt a dialogue that would update Wisconsin’s policies on the sale and distribution.

The Supreme Court voted 7-2 Wednesday to declare a Tennessee requirement for someone to live in the state for at least two years prior to receiving a license to sell alcohol. Justice Samuel Alito wrote in his opinion for the court that states have considerable power to regulate the sale of alcohol, but they can’t discriminate against out-of-state interests. The predominant effect of the residency requirement is to protect Tennessee liquor sellers “from out-of-state competition,” he wrote.

Tauchen said he believes the decision is a win for “consumers, retailers, distributors and producers.”

Wed
26
Jun

FERC orders higher water levels - UPDATED

Water levels will go up in Shawano Lake, the Wolf River above the Shawano dam and the channel linking the two bodies of water in time for the Fourth of July holiday.

That’s the consequence of a June 26 order from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) to the operators of the Shawano dam to immediately maintain the water level at 802.9 feet about mean sea level (msl) “as soon as authorized by the Commission.” The order directs Eagle Creek Renewable Energy (ECRE), the dam operator, to maintain the higher water level until November 15, 2019. Click here to read the entire Order.

Tue
25
Jun

RDA approves funding for downtown mural

“Welcome to Shawano!” Those are the words — in highly stylized and illustrated form — that will soon greet visitors to the city, or at least those traveling south on Main Street when they encounter the intersection at Division Street.

The Shawano Redevelopment Authority threw its financial support Tuesday behind a Business Improvement District project to paint a “Welcome to Shawano” mural on the north side of the building that is home to the Tumbleweed clothing store, 203 S. Main St.

The location was chosen because of its proximity to Franklin Park, a block away, which the city is promoting as a tourist draw through concerts, movie nights and other events.

The RDA approved spending up to $10,000 for the project.

The Business Improvement District initially expected to cover the cost of the mural from its own budget. The RDA funding means the BID can instead use those funds to pay for its long-awaited blade signage project.

Tue
25
Jun

Local economic development office seeks new head

A search will be underway soon to find a new chief to lead Shawano County Economic Progress, Inc., the local office tasked with promoting economic development in the county.

Dennis Heling, who was hired as chief economic development officer in 2013, has informed the SCEPI Board of Directors of his plans to retire by the end of the year or as soon as someone can be named to take his place.

Heling said he will stay on to assist the new chief through the transition.

“I told the executive committee I wouldn’t leave the organization hanging,” Heling told the board at a meeting Monday.

SCEPI will likely hire a search firm, possibly the same one that found him back in 2013, to recruit his replacement.

SCEPI’s oversight committee will be meeting as soon as possible to hammer out those details and get the process, which is expected to take several months, under way.

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