News

Fri
22
Feb

Schools get creative making up for lost time


Leader Photo by Lee Pulaski Snow is dumped away from a parking lot outside Shawano Community High School on Wednesday. School was in session, even with the snowy weather, but area schools are concerned about what might happen if they have to close school due to more bad weather. Local schools have had to close six or more days in the last month because of snowstorms, icy conditions and subzero wind chills.

Many folks are ready for winter to come to an end, but none so much as school district administrators.

With having to cancel school for six days or more within the last month due to snow, ice and/or subzero wind chills, area school districts have blown past the number of days they built into the school calendars and have to make alternative plans to ensure students are in school for the specific amount of time prescribed by state law.

Shawano School District plans to turn three days that were designated for teacher professional development into days that students have to attend in order to avoid extending the school year into the middle of June, which is usually when the district starts its summer school programs.

Fri
22
Feb

Public Record

Shawano Police Department

Feb. 20

Police logged 26 incidents, including the following:

Disturbance — Police responded to a disturbance in the 400 block of South Main Street and a domestic disturbance at Waukechon and Richmond streets.

Trespass — Police responded to a trespassing complaint at The Cottages, 103 Madison Way.

Accidents — Police responded to property damage accidents at Lieg Avenue and Waukechon Street, in the 200 block of South Union Street, and in the 500 block of South Main Street.

Shawano County Sheriff’s Department

Feb. 20

Deputies logged 33 incidents, including the following:

Theft — Authorities responded to a property theft complaint on Chickadee Lane in the town of Aniwa.

Hit and Run — Authorities investigated a property damage hit-and-run on Express Way in Bonduel.

Harassment — Harassment was reported on Limit Street in Cecil.

Thu
21
Feb

City adds finance director, fills vacant accounting post

The city of Shawano will have its restructured management team fully in place by the end of next month when it adds a newly created finance director to the administrative staff.

Greg Smith, currently financial manager for the Menominee Indian Tribe, will take on those duties for the city starting March 25 at a salary of $82,000 per year, according to City Administrator Eddie Sheppard.

The city has also filled an accountant position at City Hall that has been vacant since November.

Katie Lambrecht, formerly the accounting manager at CRI, will fill that post starting Feb. 27 at a salary of $56,000.

Lambrecht will be overseeing all general accounting functions, while Smith will play a larger role of helping set budgeting and financial policy for the city.

Prior to this, those duties were shared between former city administrator Brian Knapp and Sheppard, who was then assistant city administrator and coordinator of the Department of Public Works.

Thu
21
Feb

Several area match-ups set after Tuesday primary

A handful of area primary contests decided Tuesday now finalizes the list of contested races that will go before voters in the spring election in April.

In the town of Washington, incumbent town chairman Jim Schneider lost his bid to return to that seat in a three-way primary race.

David Korth, currently a supervisor, won 59 votes for town chairman, which will pit him against challenger Dan Kowalczyk, who garnered 38 votes. Schneider had 24 votes.

All results still need to be certified by the Board of Canvass.

Five candidates were running for two seats on the Washington Town Board.

The candidates who will advance to the April ballot are Kyle Waelchli, who garnered 58 votes on Tuesday; incumbent Steven Wegner, with 45 votes; Paul Gagnow, 38 votes; and Steve Kohlbeck, 29.

Jeff Durow, with 27 votes, was eliminated.

Thu
21
Feb

Public Record

Shawano Police Department

Feb. 19

Police logged 24 incidents, including the following:

Fraud — Police investigated a fraud complaint at Check Advance, 732 E. Green Bay St.

Disorderly — Police responded to a disorderly conduct complaint in the 800 block of South River Street.

Disturbance — A 35-year-old Shawano woman arrested for domestic violence-related battery after a domestic disturbance in the 400 block of West Lieg Avenue.

Shawano County Sheriff’s Department

Feb. 19

Deputies logged 38 incidents, including the following:

OAR — A 28-year-old Seymour man was cited for operating after revocation on state Highway 45 in the town of Birnamwood.

Warrants — An 80-year-old Birnamwood man was arrested on a warrant on Maple Street in Birnamwood and a 43-year-old Birnamwood man was arrested on a warrant on High Street in Birnamwood.

Thu
21
Feb

Broadband coming to Birnamwood

Better access to high-speed internet is coming to rural Shawano County, but the process is going to require patience from homeowners and cooperation between municipalities and communication companies.

Village of Birnamwood residents were invited to an informational session before the village board meeting Feb. 11 to learn about the broadband expansion, which is being made possible by a $274,068 state grant.

Dennis Heling, chief economic development officer of Shawano County Economic Progress Inc., explained key details of the Wisconsin Public Service Commission grant, including a matching requirement of $25,000 from Shawano County and $1,000 to $2,500 each from area municipalities. The grant will help extend high-speed internet to more than 2,300 households and 110 businesses, Heling said.

“It’s something that’s been needed in the area for years,” said Mike Sprague, Birnamwood village president.

Wed
20
Feb

FEEDING THE MASSES


Leader Photo by Lee Pulaski Shawano Community High School freshman Adeline Lyles, left, holds a plastic bag under the funnel as freshman Kersten Stueck pours some macaroni into the bag as part of an assembly line Wednesday in the commons at Shawano Community High School.

Leader Photo by Lee Pulaski Shawano Community High School freshmen Kloie Boyles and Dane Adams, use sealers to close up plastic bags filled with macaroni, soy protein and cheese packets, the last step before the packages are boxed up and sent to area food pantries. The students had the day off from school because of ACT testing, which required only juniors to come to school.

The palettes were set up on the floor. Large, empty boxes were set on tables. Packages of macaroni and soy protein were ready to be poured into bags.

Volunteers were all that were needed to bring the project to completion. By mid-morning, the volunteers were there and preparing meals furiously through a program that the Shawano FFA brought back from Washington, D.C.

More than 60 volunteers came out Wednesday to the Shawano Community High School commons, put on their hairnets and worked together to prepare and package 26,500 meals for local food pantries and service organizations to provide to those are having difficulty feeding themselves or their families. The service project was part of the Meals of Hope program.

Meals of Hope, based in Naples, Florida, touts itself as the only food-packing organization focused solely of feeding those in need in the United States.

Wed
20
Feb

Shawano schools hike starting teacher pay

New teachers who come to the Shawano School District in August will be paid more than those who came before them.

The Shawano School Board voted Monday to increase its starting teacher pay from $37,000 to $40,000 in the hopes of improving recruitment and retention.

Todd Kleinhans, human resources director, told the board that the increase would put the district above the average of 20 surrounding school districts, which is currently $38,364. While the district’s current starting pay was the highest out of all the districts in Shawano and Menominee counties, the district pales in comparison to Green Bay, which currently offers $40,406 to its first-year teachers, and Appleton, which offers $40,950 to new teachers.

Compared to school districts of similar size throughout the state, the average is just over $40,000, according to Kleinhans.

Wed
20
Feb

West De Pere principal named superintendent finalist

A principal in West De Pere is on track to become the next superintendent of the Pulaski Community School District.

The district announced Thursday that the Pulaski School Board has named Jason Lau the “sole finalist” for the position of district superintendent. Current district administrator Bec Kurzynske plans to leave at the end of the school year to become director of education and government practice for M3 Insurance.

Lau has spent the past nine years as principal of Westwood Elementary School in the West De Pere School District. He first joined the district in 2002 as director of student services. Prior to West De Pere, he served as school psychologist for Kohler Public Schools as well as Clarke Street School of the Milwaukee Public School District. Lau earned a bachelor’s degree in psychology from St. Norbert College and a master’s degree in school psychology from the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater.

Wed
20
Feb

Antigo man rejects plea deal in attempted homicide

An Antigo man facing a charge of attempted homicide for a domestic assault that occurred in Shawano County in June rejected a plea deal at a hearing Tuesday and asked that his case go to trial.

Wilbert N. Orley, 43, is accused of beating, stabbing and cutting a woman in a wooded area in the town of Almon during an assault that lasted several hours.

Orley had been expected to plead no contest in exchange for a sentence that would have been in line with the recommendations of a pre-sentence investigation, with defense and prosecution free to argue their own recommendations.

He is now scheduled for a final pre-trial conference on May 25 and a jury trial on June 6.

The attack allegedly occurred after Orley and the woman visited the Mohican North Star Casino Resort on June 22.

According to the complaint, the couple had been arguing before arriving at the casino.

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