Cecil girl wins national pageant

Contributed Photo Ashley Britton was crowned National Junior Teen Miss at the 2014 Dream Girls USA Pageant in St. Louis, Missouri.

Gillett seventh-grader Ashley Britton recently was crowned National Junior Teen Miss at the 2014 Dream Girls USA Pageant in St. Louis, Missouri.

She is the daughter of Jim and Vicky Britton, of Cecil.

“I was happy to find out that I had made it into the Top 20 after competing with such amazing and talented young ladies, but I was absolutely overwhelmed when I heard my name being announced as the National Junior Teen Miss!” Ashley said. “It was truly a moment of a lifetime.”

She was also awarded Best Overall Personality.

Ashley was judged on public speaking, community service, personality, poise and modeling. Ashley competed against 300 other girls at nationals from July 8-13. It is a natural pageant, so very little makeup is allowed.

In March, Ashley won Junior Hi-Point Champion for the state of Wisconsin, which put her into the running for a national title.


Folk fest again blends new and old acts

Contributed Photo Anna Lee Scully, formerly of Shawano, will be among the performers at the Shawano Folk Musical Festival from Aug. 8-10 at Mielke Park in Shawano. Her son, Chris Aaron, also will perform.

Shawano native Anna Lee Scully, now of Virginia, will be among the diverse group of musicians performing at the 36th annual Shawano Folk Music Festival from Aug. 8-10 at Mielke Park in Shawano.

Scully has been part of the festival for several years, and has experienced people of varying ages coming together to enjoy music.

“We sat down as a community playing music and getting to know the people in the community,” she said.

Scully recalls taking her son, Chris Aaron, to the festival when he was a teenager; they are scheduled to perform together this year.

“We have made music for years and never would have envisioned playing on stage,” Scully said.

Scully said she looks forward to her homecoming and meeting new people.

In addition to the music of Scully and others, including honorary co-director Joe Crookston, the event includes an arts and crafts fair, children’s activities and more.


Volunteer Profile

Photo by Carol Wagner Tyler Schmidt has volunteered for the youth baseball programs for many years. Schmidt and his wife, Heather, live in Shawano with their children, from left, Ainsley, Carter, Emma, Anderson and Ky.

Tyler Schmidt has volunteered for the youth baseball programs in Shawano for many years.

He was born in Shawano and graduated from Shawano High School in 1994. He attended the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point for two years, then began working for the city in 1996. He is currently the landfill operator.

Schmidt and his wife, Heather, a kindergarten teacher at Hillcrest, have been married 17 years. They have five children: Ky, 17, Emma, 15, Carter, 11, Anderson, 6, and Ainsley, 3.

Schmidt spends a lot of time at the children’s activities, and the family likes to take travel vacations. He is the president of the Shawano School Board and, at 24 years old, was the youngest member of the Shawano County Board for District 6.

Q Where do you volunteer?


Nonprofit Profile

Photo by Carol Wagner The Family History Center has a wealth of information for residents of Shawano and Menominee counties. Shown, from left, are Jean Barkow, Jeanette Rekow and Cathe Ziereis.

If you want to know about your genealogy, the Family History Center is a great place to find it. The dedicated volunteers love what they do — gathering information on the residents of Shawano and Menominee counties.

The center is located in a library at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Shawano. The church is not part of the center, and anyone is invited to do their research there.

Cathe Ziereis said the center’s mission is “to preserve local history of families genealogy and to help people who are looking for that.”

The center includes 90,000 obituaries. Jeanette Rekow is translating the German obits.

“I have about five years to go,” she said.

The center also has birth, marriage and death records alphabetized and categorized. The center shares the information with the Shawano County Historical Society and the Shawano City-County Library.


My skid steer and me

Many times throughout my columns, I’ve mentioned working with our skid steer. It is a multitasking piece of equipment that we could not do without. My husband and I both use it every single day all year long for a number of different jobs.

Every morning, I use it to feed our outside heifers, loading up three buckets full of feed we have stored in our silage bags. Before I hop into the skid steer, I walk out to the heifer barn and check their feed supply. Sometimes if they haven’t cleaned off their plate for whatever reason, I bring the skid steer over there first, using it to swipe the area clean of leftovers before I fill with fresh feed.


Much of stay-cation spent patronizing the bathroom

During these hot and steamy July days, many people are going on vacation. Others choose to have a stay-cation. One might say I had a stay-cation of my own one day last week.

It actually began the night before, when I had to drink a special cocktail; no alcohol, it was magnesium citrate. The next day, I was on a liquid diet but nothing red or purple. The true preparation began in the afternoon.

Then I had to take some special tablets and proceed to drink 64 ounces of my choice of sports drink, mixed with a complete 238-gram bottle of MiraLax. I didn’t shop right. I had a 32-ounce bottle of Gator Aid, so I mixed half of the MiraLax with that.

I drank, and drank, and felt proud to have drunk the full amount within an hour. The instructions were to drink the fluid within two to three hours. Then I used 32 ounces of Propel water and mixed the rest of the MiraLax with that.


Annual fair features wide range of arts

The 46th annual Shawano County Art Fair takes place from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday at Mielke Park in Shawano.

Sponsored by the Shawano County Arts Council, it is one of the longest running annual outdoor art and craft shows in the area. All proceeds will be used to support events held at the Mielke Arts Center throughout the year.

Artists will be exhibiting a wide range of art forms, including drawing, painting, pottery, jewelry, sculptures, wood carvings, weaving, quilting, wood working and more.

The show each year attracts new artists as well as its regulars. This year’s fair will feature local artists as well as others from Rhinelander, Oconto, Oconto Falls, Madison, Appleton, Milwaukee, Dodgeville, Algoma, Forestville, Escanaba, Iron River, Wautoma, Suring and many more communities.


Mobile Vet Center stops in Shawano

Leader Photo by Tom Beschta The Green Bay Mobile Vet Center stopped at the Shawano Walmart on Tuesday as part of an initiative for centers throughout the country to contact every U.S. county. Mobile Vet Center staff educate military veterans about counseling services and benefits for which they might qualify.

Leader Photo by Tom Beschta Inside the Mobile Vet Center is everything its staff need to provide their services to local veterans, including phone, Internet, fax, satellite connection and an interactive TV system.

The Mobile Vet Center of Green Bay rolled into the Shawano Walmart parking lot Tuesday as part of a nationwide initiative to reach veterans in every county and territory of the U.S.

Counselor Jim Harsh said the Mobile Center has already visited half of Wisconsin’s 72 counties since the yearlong campaign began in March.

“The primary way we have been successful is through word-of-mouth,” Harsh said. “Part of this outreach program is just being more visible and getting the county veterans service officers more aware that we are out there and that we will do what we can to support veterans.”

Harsh said the mission of Vet Centers throughout the nation, which were established in 1979 under the umbrella of Veterans Affairs, is to provide outreach and counseling to combat veterans struggling with issues such as post-traumatic stress disorder, depression, anger management and readjustment problems.


Community garden plans to grow next year

Photo by Carol Wagner Jamie Patton and her son, Sawyer, 4, pick cucumbers at their Dreams of Green garden next to Zion Lutheran Church in Shawano.

This is the first year that Jamie Patton planted vegetables at the Dreams of Green gardens next to Zion Lutheran Church in Shawano.

Patton, who is the University of Wisconsin-Extension agriculture agent for Shawano County, lives in the country and said she didn’t even attempt to plant a garden there because of the many animals that would help themselves.

The community garden was developed through the cooperative efforts of UW-Extension, the Women Infant and Children Nutrition Program and Zion Lutheran Church.

Located at the corner of Zingler and Lincoln streets, the garden has grown from 21 plots in 2005 to 99 plots of varying sizes in 2014. There are plans to increase the number of plots next year.

“There was actually a waiting list this year,” Patton said.


Shoo, fly, shoo

On a farm, there’s planting season, harvest season and fly season. Planting and harvesting are very productive and satisfying. Fly season is just plain annoying. Those pesky flies, and on some farms, a multitude of mosquitoes, have begun showing up in earnest. We do everything in our power to deter them from entering the barn and the farmhouse.

During “fly season” as I feed baby calves on the bottle, sometimes the warm, sticky, thick colostrum-rich milk sloshes out and then slowly inches down my bare leg, attracting flies — and many times they bite. So with one arm encircled around the calf’s head and that hand cupped under its chin, and with the other hand holding the bottle, I have nothing to swat a fly with!


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