Fall Strong Bones classes scheduled

The Strong Bones strength training program will continue this fall in Shawano County.

The Shawano County University of Wisconsin-Extension office will run five classes at the Zion Lutheran Church in Shawano. Classes also will be held at St. Paul’s Lutheran Church in Bonduel, St. Francis Solanus in Gresham, Sacred Heart Catholic Parish in Shawano and Total Fitness in Shawano.

All sessions start the week of Aug. 31 and run 12 weeks, through Nov. 20. The cost of the program is $30.

The class uses dumbbells, ankle weights and exercise mats. Participants are urged to wear comfortable shoes and clothing.

At Zion Lutheran Church, classes will be offered at 8:30 a.m. Monday and Wednesday, 2:30 p.m. Monday and Thursday, and 7:30 a.m. Tuesday and Thursday. Advanced classes will meet at 8:30 a.m. Monday and Wednesday, and 7:30 a.m. Tuesday and Thursday.


New pastor getting to know Zion congregation, community

Photo by Carol Wagner The Rev. Scott Ludford is the new pastor at Zion Lutheran Church in Shawano.

The Rev. Scott Ludford has spent the last month settling in as pastor of Zion Lutheran Church in Shawano.

“I was getting to the point in my career to do one last call,” Ludford said. “It just felt right. Zion’s needs and where they were at matched up with my experience.”

He replaced the Rev. Gisele Berninghaus, who served as interim pastor, last month.

Ludford was previously at First Lutheran Church of Hayward for eight and a half years. It was difficult to leave behind people and the memories in Hayward, he admitted, but he is looking forward to new adventures.

“Every church, every commitment brings a new chapter to your life and new experiences,” Ludford said.

Along with his ministry, he is a trained police chaplain and has talked to Police Chief Mark Kohl and Sheriff Adam Bieber about using his skills here.

“I would like to help in that way,” Ludford said.


Benefit planned for Clintonville man fighting cancer

The Leopolis Booster Club will hold a benefit for Chad Akstulewicz at 1 p.m. Saturday at the Pella Park. The theme is “Fighting to be cancer free from A to Z.”

Akstulewicz was diagnosed in February with stage 3 genetically contracted colorectal cancer, which forced him to take an indefinite leave from his job. After daily chemotherapy and radiation treatments, the tumor has shrunk enough for Akstulewicz to begin a series of surgeries and an even more invasive cycle of chemotherapy treatments following surgery.

Akstulewicz, an employee of Marquis Yachts of Pulaski for many years, lives in Clintonville with his wife and two children. They purchased their home in December 2014.

The benefit will consist of a ball game, chicken dinner, silent auctions, bucket raffle, drawings, children’s bouncy and music. Money raised will be put toward Akstulewicz’s medical bills, as well as to help with living expenses until he is healthy enough to return to work.


A little bit of dewgrass

Few people find putting jam on burnt toast to be all that palatable.

Put it on a stage and add some instruments and lyrics, though, and it’s not only digestible, but even a little bit of fun.

Burnt Toast and Jam is a Leopolis-based band that doesn’t quite fit into any of the traditional genres like country or pop. The closest band members have come to define it is “dewgrass,” a humorous label that stuck after one member’s daughter, then age 4, couldn’t say “bluegrass” correctly.

“We’ve got our own way. We don’t quite niche into the traditional bluegrass, but there’s a lot of room there,” said Kurby Hoffman, the band’s banjo player. “We conjure the image of dew on the grass early in the morning. It’s nice that way.”

How the band got its interesting name is a little fuzzy, as libations were allegedly a factor.

“It was a campfire and a lot of beer,” Hoffman said.


Clintonville man collects fire trucks

Photo by Grace Kirchner Daryl Schroeder entered one of the fire trucks from his collection in the Memorial Day parade in Clintonville.

Daryl Schroeder had a special reason why he wanted to purchase a FWD fire truck, but he didn’t know that acquiring one truck would lead to a whole collection.

Schroeder’s father, David, had worked as an engineer for FWD for 42 years but had never driven an FWD truck, even though he had several opportunities to do so before his retirement. For one reason or another, he never did.

Several years after his dad’s retirement, Schroeder had the idea to purchase a FWD fire truck and give his dad the fun of at least riding in one of the trucks he had likely worked on. That’s how his hobby of collecting FWD trucks and fire trucks began.

Today, Schroeder and his brother, Garry, are the proud owners of more than 20 different FWD trucks. Many are in running condition, but all are needing some tender loving care to bring them back to full operation.

Schroeder found a 1956 model FWD fire truck in 2008 to begin his collection, and it has grown from there.



Leader Photo by Lee Pulaski Joe Engels, a theater director from Appleton, asks for volunteers to read lines in “The Wizard of Oz” during a children’s theater workshop Wednesday night at the Mielke Arts Center. The Shawano County Arts Council is sponsoring the workshop, now in its third year.

The Mielke Arts Center is buzzing from the activity of almost 40 munchkins.

It’s questionable, however, whether they will still be munchkins by the time this week is over. Some of them could end up as flying monkeys, scarecrows or even wicked witches.

The Shawano County Arts Council’s weeklong children’s theater workshop will conclude with a free public performance of “The Wizard of Oz” on Saturday. In its third year of existence, the summer activity has grown in popularity since the organization first pondered having something for the next generation of thespians.

In 2013, SCAC had 19 children participate to bring the classic “Peter Pan” to life on the Mielke stage. Since then, word of mouth has brought children to the annual workshop from all over northeast Wisconsin, to the point where the arts council this year had to require preregistration in order to avoid having too large a group.


Folk festival favorites named honorary directors

Contributed Photo Brother Sun members, from left, Pat Wictor, Joe Jencks and Greg Greenway, will return to the Shawano Folk Music Festival after thoroughly enjoying their first visit to the fest last year.

Nationally acclaimed band Brother Sun fits well with the Shawano Folk Festival and the vibe that festival organizers hope to accomplish.

So organizers want to give Brother Sun a big role at this year’s festival.

The Shawano Folk Music Festival Committee has selected Brother Sun to be the honorary co-directors of the festival that runs from Friday to Sunday.

“They were really fun and collaborative,” festival co-director Nicole Henquist said. “They really got what we were trying to do.”

Brother Sun, which consists of Pat Wictor, Joe Jencks and Greg Greenway, was humbled by the distinction.

“It is a great honor. It is nice to know that the people at the festival liked us as much as we liked it,” Wictor said.


Artists like the vibe of Shawano Folk Music Festival

The Shawano Folk Music Festival does many things to draw interest from hundreds of bands across the country.

“It’s incredibly well run, and word has spread around the country that it’s a great festival,” said honorary co-director Joe Jencks, of the band Brother Sun.

The festival, which opens Friday and runs through Sunday at Mielke Park, enables artists to perform multiple days at one venue.

“It’s a good opportunity to settle in and build better relationships with the other artists,” performer Tomcat Joe said. “It gives you a chance to mingle.”

Carolyn Carter, an Arkansas native and first-time performer at this year’s festival, said that playing a weekend event makes her feel more comfortable.

In contrast to many northern festivals, Carter said, festivals in Arkansas typically are stretched out over a weekend, just like the Shawano event.

“I guess it reminds me of home,” she said.


Shawano Folk Festival Schedule

Friday, Aug. 7

Music is performed indoors at the Mielke Arts Center on Friday and Saturday evening.

6 p.m.: Box office opens, chat with performers in the food tent about anything from favorite tours and events to who influenced their lives the most.

7 p.m.: Sally Rodgers and Claudia Schmidt, Masters of Ceremonies; Becky Van Buren; Brother Sun; Tom Prasada-Rao; Ken Lonnquist; Jutta & Hi-Duke

Following the Concert

Informal jam around the Buckskinners’ campfire

Saturday, Aug. 8

10 a.m.-4 p.m.

Craft Fair in Mielke Park, quilt raffle and Buckskinners’ Rendezvous

10-11:15 a.m.:

Ridges Amphitheater: “First Sing” with Mark Dvorak, Brother Sun, Sally Rodgers, Claudia Schmidt, Carolyn Carter, Ken Lonnquist

11:30 a.m.-12:15 p.m.:

Ridges Amphitheater: “Some part of the truth” with Brother Sun

Maple Grove: “Sing around the world” with Jutta & Hi-Duke


Tribes gather in song and friendship

Leader Photos by Scott Williams Dancers enjoy the music under tall pine trees in the Woodland Bowl on the Menominee tribal reservation for Saturday’s pow-wow activities.

Crowds file into the Woodland Bowl, an outdoor arena where children and adults competed with song and dance in various categories.

For many tribal members, the Menominee Nation’s annual summer pow-wow is a time to celebrate native American heritage with colorful exhibitions and friendly competition.

For others, it is simply a chance to get back to their roots.

“This is the week that people come home,” pow-wow organizer Myrna Warrington said as thousands of tribal members gathered from as far away as California and Pennsylvania.

The Menominee Nation reservation in Keshena was aglow with tradition and pride throughout a weekendlong celebration that might have generated the event’s biggest crowds ever.

Organizers said a record-high estimated 4,000 people turned out for Friday’s opening events, and robust attendance also was recorded Saturday and Sunday.


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