News

Fri
28
Dec

Top 10 crime stories of 2018


Leader file photo Catherine R. Barker appears in Shawano-Menominee County Circuit Court beside her attorney, Jevon Jones Jaconi, for a hearing. Barker was found to be not competent for trial and ordered to be committed until she regains competency. She faces felony counts of neglect resulting in the death of an infant, failing to report the death of the child and attempting to hide or bury the corpse. The 2-month-old infant, Brandon Barker, was her son.

Editor’s note: The following is a list of the top 10 crime stories for 2018, as voted on by the editorial staff of The Shawano Leader. On Saturday, we’ll present a list of the notable people who are among those we lost in 2018.

1. Barker ordered committed in infant death case

A Shawano woman charged in the death of her 2-month-old child was found to be mentally unfit to stand trial for the time being at a hearing in November.

Catherine R. Barker, 22, was ordered to be temporarily institutionalized while she receives treatment and therapy that could make her mentally competent in the future to stand to trial. Another review hearing in her case is scheduled for Feb. 26.

Barker faces felony counts of neglect resulting in the death of an infant, failing to report the death of the child and attempting to hide or bury the corpse. The infant, Brandon Barker, was her son and was discovered by police during a welfare check on Sept. 28.

Fri
28
Dec

City eyes the future as it looks back on 2018

(Editor’s note: This is the first in a series of several stories looking back at the progress and challenges the city has experienced in 2018 and what’s ahead in 2019. Subsequent stories will get into more detail, but this first installment provides an overview as seen by Mayor Ed Whealon and the city’s new administrator, Eddie Sheppard, who will take on that role full-time in January.)

“It’s been a good year,” Whealon said. “I think we’ve gotten some stuff done here with the restructuring of City Hall and getting the debt down. The council’s been supportive of some of the changes.”

Whealon, a former Shawano police chief, was elected mayor in April.

“I’m happy with Belmark finishing that project up,” he said.

The De Pere manufacturer of labels and packaging selected Shawano as the site for a 120,000-square-foot production facility at a 15-acre site near County Road B and Waukechon Street. The project was publicly announced in June 2016.

Fri
28
Dec

Public Record

Shawano Police Department

Dec. 26

Police logged 31 incidents, including the following:

Assault — Police responded to an incident initially reported as a stabbing in the 500 block of West Picnic Street. The “stabbing” turned out to be a woman with a minor cut. A man who had been physically assaulted was transported to ThedaCare Medical Center. The incident involved alcohol, and none of the parties were cooperating with police. All injuries were non-life threatening, police said. The incident was still under investigation.

Accident — Police responded to a semi-versus-car property damage accident in the 1000 block of South Airport Drive.

Arrest — A 46-year-old man was taken into custody at the probation and parole offices, 1340 E. Green Bay St.

Disorderly — Police responded to a disorderly conduct complaints in the 700 block of Oak Street and 200 block of East Center Street.

Thu
27
Dec

Barn fire claims dozens of animals

A fire in the town of Red Springs early Wednesday destroyed a barn, some three dozen animals and the sole income for Joyce Verstoppen and her family.

“I feel numb right now,” she said. “I can’t even think straight.”

The barn at N7874 Morgan Road housed 30 beef cows and six horses, along with chickens, ducks, geese, cats and two dogs.

“They’re gone,” Verstoppen said. “Everything that was in there. Nothing came out.”

There is at least one thing the family can be thankful for, however, Verstoppen said.

“A neighbor, a friend of ours, was going through here. He was on his way to work. He was going through and woke us up, or we probably wouldn’t be here either,” she said.

Her son, Ronald, suffered smoke inhalation trying to get the animals out of the barn. He was taken to the hospital, treated and released.

Thu
27
Dec

McCarthy fired, two Shawano teams make history


Contributed photo The Ski Sharks pyramid team finished with the fifth-best score at Lake Wazeecha in Wisconsin Rapids during the Wisconsin State Water Ski Show Championships.

Editor’s note: The following is a list of the top 10 sports stories for 2018, as voted on by the editorial staff of the Shawano Leader. Later this week, we’ll present the top 10 crime stories and a list of the notable people who are among those we lost in 2018.

1. Packers fire Mike McCarthy

The Green Bay Packers 100th season was supposed to be a special one. Instead, it was a disaster.

The Packers struggled with consistency, especially on third down red zone situations on offense. The team lost a number of close games despite having a chance to win them all in the second half.

After an embarrassing 20-17 loss to the Arizona Cardinals on Dec. 2, the team decided to move on from 13-year head coach Mike McCarthy, naming Joe Philbin the interim coach for the final four games.

Thu
27
Dec

Fairgrounds managed a profit in 2018 despite bad weather

Inclement weather hampered expected revenue from the speedway this year, but otherwise the Shawano County fairgrounds managed to keep its head above water, according to Shawano Area Agricultural Society President Dale Hodkiewicz.

“This year was not a banner year,” he said, during a presentation last week before the Shawano County Board. “Our income was down and our expenses were up. However, we paid all the bills and made a small profit.”

Hodkiewicz said there was a very rough start to the year.

“As you remember, we had 32 inches of snow in April, one week before we were to open the speedway,” he said. “Because of that snow we lost three weeks right off the get-go. And those are important weeks when everybody’s really anxious to come to the racetrack.”

A couple of races were also lost to rain cancellations, Hodkiewicz said.

“Overall, when it dried out, we had good crowds and the weather was OK,” he said.

Thu
27
Dec

Public Record

Shawano Police Department

Dec. 25

Police logged 15 incidents, including the following:

Disturbance — A 41-year-old Shawano woman is being referred to the district attorney’s office for domestic violence-related battery. Police also responded to a disturbance in the 300 block of Lakeland Road.

Threatening — Police responded to a threatening complaint in the 200 block of East Center Street.

Dec. 24

Police logged 15 incidents, including the following:

Drug Offense — A 42-year-old Weyauwega man was arrested for possession of methamphetamine and bail jumping at Main Street and Northridge Drive.

Trespass — Police responded to a trespassing complaint at ThedaCare Medical Center, 100 County Road B.

Fraud — Police investigated a fraud complaint at American Marine Supercenter, 830 E. Green Bay St.

Disturbance — Police responded to a disturbance in the 1100 block of South River Street.

Thu
27
Dec

New restrictions on tribal transport of deer due to CWD fears

A task force has established new restrictions on Native American tribal members’ transporting or disposing of deer carcasses within certain parts of Wisconsin due to the risk of spreading chronic wasting disease.

The Voigt Intertribal Task Force approved a tribal management area in parts of Oneida, Lincoln and Langlade counties to safeguard deer from being exposed to the fatal neurological disease, Wisconsin Public Radio reported. The task force is comprised of members from tribes in Michigan, Minnesota and Wisconsin and recommends policies regarding tribal rights to hunt, fish and gather off-reservation.

Thu
27
Dec

Libraries to offer weekly story times

Beginning in January, each Shawano County Library location will offer a weekly story time session for preschool age children. Story time is an opportunity to hear a variety of stories and participate in activities such as songs and action rhymes created especially for preschoolers.

About 30 minutes long, story time allows children to interact while being exposed to reading and literacy.

Story times will occur:

• Wednesdays, 10 a.m., Shawano County Library, main location, Shawano

• Wednesdays, 10:30 a.m., Wittenberg branch

• Wednesdays, 11 a.m., Mattoon branch

• Wednesdays, 1 p.m., Tigerton branch

• Thursdays, 10 a.m., Shawano main library

• Thursdays, 11 a.m., Bonduel branch

• Thursdays, 4 p.m., Birnamwood branch

Thu
27
Dec

Area gas prices topping

Gasoline prices in Wisconsin have fallen 7.6 cents per gallon in the past week, averaging $2.14/g yesterday, according to GasBuddy’s daily survey of 3,112 stations in Wisconsin. This compares with the national average that has fallen 5.9 cents per gallon versus last week to $2.31/g, according to GasBuddy.

GasBuddy uses crowd-sourced information to provide real-time, fuel pricing information.

Average gasoline prices on December 24 in Wisconsin have ranged widely over the last five years: $2.44/g in 2017, $2.30/g in 2016, $1.92/g in 2015, $2.33/g in 2014 and $3.17/g in 2013.

Including the change locally during the past week, prices yesterday were 29.5 cents per gallon lower than a year ago and are 33.5 cents per gallon lower than a month ago. The national average has dropped 23.1 cents per gallon during the last month and stands 12.2 cents per gallon lower than a year ago.

Areas near Wisconsin and their current gas price climate:

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