Snow falls, water drops, goose policy goes down

Leader Photo by Greg Mellis Shawano Public Works employees clear snow from Main Street and Green Bay Street after a late season storm dumps nearly three feet of snow on the area in April.

(Editor’s note: The following is a list of the top 10 news 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, top 10 sports stories and a list of the notable persons who are among those we lost in 2018.)

1. Blizzard!

A late season snowstorm buried Shawano County and the region under nearly three feet of snow the weekend of April 14-15, impacting motorists, schools, businesses and government offices into the following week.

But if the snowstorm is remembered for anything, other than the intensity and amount of the snowfall, it might be the random acts of kindness that took place, not just from law enforcement but citizens stepping in to help one another.

“Our officers have seen a lot of neighbors helping neighbors this weekend, and that is what makes this community great,” said Shawano Police Chief Dan Mauel.


Plans made to remove scrap metal from Pigeon Pond

It was standing room only again at the annual meeting of the Pigeon Lake Protection and Rehabilitation District (PLPRD) Dec. 18 at the Fox Valley Technical College in Clintonville.

Those attending learned that the Pigeon Lake District planned to remove the scrap metal from the lake area near Mathews Bay. “We will try to work with the city on the project,” said Chairman Dennis Kussman.

The district has approximately $150,000 in undesignated funds that could be used for the cleanup. Most of the metal that is buried in the area is from a junk yard that was located there many years ago. The DNR doesn’t allow any more removal of lake bed than what is necessary to remove the metal items. Rick Waite said the metal is likely very rusty and full of mud.

Waite said that they need to have a long range look at what to do with the pond by working with the DNR on what they suggest. “We need a long term plan and stick to it,” he added.


Public Record

Shawano Police Department

Dec. 23

Police logged 15 incidents, including the following:

Arrest — A woman was taken into custody on a probation and parole violation at the Super 8 Motel, 211 Waukechon St.

Vandalism — A vehicle was reported vandalized in the 500 block of South Andrews Street.

Disturbance — Police responded to a disturbance in the 900 block of South Lincoln Street, 1300 block of East Lieg Avenue, and 800 block of South Prospect Street.

Theft — Christmas presents were reported stolen in the 200 block of South Sawyer Street.

Dec. 22

Police logged 17 incidents, including the following:

OWI — A female subject was arrested for operating while intoxicated and cited for underage drinking at Green Bay and Lafayette streets.

Disorderly — Police responded to disorderly conduct complaints in the 100 block of East Randall Street and 1300 block of East Green Bay Street.


Pulaski superintendent to leave at the end of June

The superintendent of the Pulaski Community School District has submitted her resignation effective at the end of the school year to take a job in the private sector.

Rebecca Kurzynske is leaving the district to accept a position as a director of education and government practice for M3 Insurance, which has offices in Madison, Milwaukee, Green Bay, Wausau and Eau Claire.

She said she has been blessed with the opportunity to lead the district and is proud of accomplishments in the name of student learning and community growth that have occurred on her watch.

“The Pulaski Community School District has been home to me for nearly 15 years. I am grateful for the opportunity to teach, learn, grow and serve here,” Kruzynske said. “Our roots are strong in our philosophy, and I am confident that the Pulaski Community School District will continue on a path to success through collaboration and a focus on learning.”


No rules on items left behind

Shawano County has no formal rules for dealing with personal items abandoned at properties the county acquires in foreclosure, and those items are not inventoried or appraised, according to county staff.

Wittenberg Village President and County Supervisor William Switalla is facing a felony burglary charge in connection with a grill left behind at one of the properties in the village that he took and later returned. He entered a plea of not guilty this week.

County staff were not able to comment on the open criminal case but did respond to general questions about county practices where abandoned personal property is concerned.

Building Maintenance Supervisor Steve Dreher said it would be cost-prohibitive to inventory what is typically junk and garbage left behind.

“It would cost the taxpayers thousands of dollars to have somebody inventory one old diaper, one broken stroller, one umbrella…” he said.


Kurkiewicz not seeking reelection

Alderman Bob Kurkiewicz is not seeking reelection to the Shawano Common Council in April, bringing an end to a 16-year tenure as a city official.

“I just want to take some time off for now,” Kurkiewicz said.

He said he would like to continue with the city on some committee or commission.

“So maybe I’ll get appointed to something,” he said.

“I’ve had the opportunity to work with some great mayors and department heads and police chiefs and council,” Kurkiewicz said. “I have no regrets. I’ve enjoyed my time on the council.”

Prior to being elected alderman in 2003, Kurkiewicz had previously been appointed to several city commissions.

The first was the park and recreation commission in 1987.

There is already at least one contender for Kurkiewicz’s District 1 seat.

Jeff Easter, director of buildings and grounds for the Shawano School District, has filed the necessary nomination signatures for a place on the April ballot.


Grant to help vulnerable families

“Are our kids getting what they need?”

Nina Rouse, marketing chair for the Shawano Area Community Foundation (SACF), asked that question as she announced the approval of a $238,523 grant for young families in Shawano County.

The SACF, working with three foundations from the Community Foundation for the Fox Valley Region, responded to the observation that some kids are not getting what they need, in part because parents don’t know what resources are available to help, Rouse noted.

The grant money will be “invested in the Shawano community to help bring together Shawano-area stakeholders to collaborate on early childhood initiatives and to hire staff to deliver home visitation and education services to the most at-risk, vulnerable families,” Rouse said.

Through the grant, parents will receive in-home visits, mentoring support and access to services.

“The intent is making sure parents are well-positioned to parent,” Rouse added.


Soup, crafts and more at libraries in the new year

The Shawano County Library has many great programs and exhibits planned during January for many interests.

“Packers’ Century: 100 Years of Packer History” will be held at the Bonduel branch, 125 S. Washington St., Bonduel, on Jan. 10 at 7 p.m. Author and historian Jim Rice will take the audience back through history sharing stories of one of the NFL’s most successful franchises.

Soup Fridays will return to the Shawano main library, 128 S. Sawyer St., throughout January. Stop in each Friday beginning at 11:30 a.m. to warm up with a free cup of soup. Soups featured will be creamy tomato basil, chicken pot pie, taco, and Tuscan bean.

Jeff Kersten from the Bureau of Consumer Protection will share ways to identify and prevent identity theft as well as safeguarding personal information. Two sessions will be available on Jan. 14 — 3 p.m. at the Wittenberg Community Center, 208 W. Vinal St., Wittenberg and 6 p.m. at the Shawano main library.


Clintonville council asks for pool, pond proposals

The Clintonville Common Council has voted unanimously to have the city staff put together a proposal for an outdoor swimming pond and an outdoor pool, and to also explore funding for each.

The council took its action at its meeting Dec. 11.

The Common Council also approved “the vision to commit to an outdoor water facility in the city.”

The vote came after City Administrator Sharon Eveland told the council that it was four years ago that the fire destroyed the bath house at the outdoor pool in Bucholtz Park, making the facility unusable.

Eveland asked the council to provide direction by making a decision on whether the city will have an outdoor recreational swimming facility or instruct them to move forward with demolishing the existing facility. “This is what the people who elected you are asking you do do and I believe it is time for you to do it,” she said.


Dispatch dispute

Shawano County supervisors who approved borrowing $1 million for a dispatch upgrade Wednesday also tossed in some opinions about where some of that money should come from.

“Aren’t we a shared dispatch with the city?” said Supervisor Tom Kautza. “Have they been approached for their portion? I would send them a bill.”

Several board members at the meeting murmured their agreement.

“Send them a bill if they’re using it,” Kautza said.

County Administrative Coordinator Brent Miller said the county couldn’t just single out the city, as other municipalities also depend on the dispatch services.

‘Then you have to go to Bonduel, Tigerton, Wittenberg,” he said.

However, Corporation Counsel Tony Kordus said the county could look at making the city pay more of a fair share.

“I don’t know why it hasn’t been approached in the past,” he said. “Maybe they’re paying something else for us, but we should. I’m surprised we haven’t in the past.”


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