City spreading the word about downtown master plan

Leader photo by Carol Ryczek Chelsea Gilling, an owner of the Stock Market in downtown Shawano, provides free samples of moonshine and wine to Charles Nett. Nett, whose business is next door to the Stock Market, said he spent $400-$500 downtown at several businesses on “Black Friday.” The Shawano Redevelopment Authority envisions a downtown “which cultivates excitement; entertains family, friends and visitors.”

It all started with Shawano’s long-vacant downtown properties.

“What happens when they become available?”

That’s the question the Shawano Redevelopment Authority began considering, according to Assistant City Administrator Eddie Sheppard.

“What do we do with them when we actually get them?” he said.

That led to the general consensus that what was needed was not just a plan for those properties, but a broader plan for the downtown and what it could be.

“Something we can work with developers on,” Sheppard said. “So that when we’re out talking with folks who are interested in coming to Shawano we have a tangible thing to show them. We’re trying to create a vision.”

The RDA wanted it to be the community’s vision, not the RDA’s.


Plan’s long-term goals would require developers to step up

Marketing Shawano’s downtown to potential developers will be key to making what is currently a long-term vision of downtown an eventual reality.

The plan approved by the Shawano Redevelopment Authority, and drafted with the help of community input, includes some long-range goals that will ultimately need a developer to make happen.

Three locations in particular were earmarked based on public input on what the community would like to see there.

One of those is a vacant lot at the northeast corner of Green Bay and Main streets, lying between Total Fitness on the north and the Spirit of Shawano park on the south.

“What if we had three-story condos, with commercial storefronts and residential on top?” said Assistant City Administrator Eddie Sheppard, who provides support for the RDA.


Turkey trotters earn their dinners

Leader photo by Carol Ryczek Physical therapist Ron Lawrence pushes Aspen toward the finish line at the fifth Turkey Trot in Shawano on Thursday.

About 30 people braved a cold wind on Thursday to earn their place at the Thanksgiving table.

The fifth Total Fitness Turkey Trot, a five-kilometer run, was held Thursday morning in Shawano.

According to Total Fitness, 104 people registered and 30 completed the 5K run on Thanksgiving morning.

Owner Jean Darling said the run is a way to start the day with something active.

“People think they are going to sit all day and eat,” Darling said.

Breena Hansen, of Shawano, agreed.

“I like to exercise, and this is fun and festive,” she said.

One group of participants, though, had an additional reason to do the run.

Ten members of the Schuette family, wearing orange T-shirts printed with “#SchuetteStrong” and “The Lord is My Stronghold” did the walk to honor Jerry Schuette, said Scott Schuette, of Appleton. Jerry Schuette was diagnosed with leukemia and is planning to receive a stem cell transplant.


Public Record

Shawano Police Department

Nov. 22

Police logged nine incidents, including the following:

Disturbance — Police responded to disturbances in the 1000 of South Franklin Street and 500 block of South Washington Street.

Shawano County Sheriff’s Department

Nov. 22

Deputies logged 36 incidents, including the following:

Drug Offense — Authorities investigated a drug complaint on state Highway 29 in the town of Seneca.

Disorderly — An intoxicated person was reported at Kwik Trip, 102 W. Express Way in Bonduel.

Accidents — Authorities responded to injury accidents on Zachow Road in the town of Hartland and state Highway 29 in the town of Wittenberg. Authorities also logged 12 other accidents, including four deer-related crashes.


Food pantries receive United Coop donation

Nine area food pantries are among the 45 organizations receiving a share of $45,000 from Beaver Dam-based United Cooperative and matching funds from Land O’Lakes Foundation, CHS Foundation and CoBank.

Receiving a share of the donation are:

• Cecil — St. Martin Parish Food Pantry

• Gillett — St. John’s Lutheran Church

• Lena — St. Anne Parish

• Manawa — Manawa Area Food Pantry

• Oconto Falls — Kingdom Come Food Pantry

• Pulaski — Community Pantry of Pulaski Inc.

• Shawano — Shawano Area Food Pantry and Resource Center

• Shiocton — Loaves and Fishes Community Food Pantry

• Tilleda — United Lutheran Parish Food Pantry

“While our cooperatives are dedicated to the food industry through the growing, handling and marketing of grain and feeding of animals, food is not necessarily an abundant resource for families in need,” said David Cramer, United Cooperative president and CEO.


Conference to help farmers create new revenue

Faced with lower milk and commodity prices, many Wisconsin farmers are looking to diversify and add new revenue streams. Toward that end, Compeer Financial and University of Wisconsin-Extension will host the Resilient Farms Conference, a one-day conference for farmers interested in exploring new business ideas for their farms.

At the conference, scheduled for Dec. 11 at the Wilderness Resort in Wisconsin Dells, farmers will have an opportunity to attend two dozen sessions to explore potential new revenue streams. About 20 industry experts, including many farmers who have successfully implemented alternative enterprises, will be available for one-on-one consultations.

Rebecca Binsfeld, client education consultant with Compeer Financial, said in addition to helping with “idea generation,” attendees can connect with resources and tools to help evaluate shifts in business models and revenue streams.


State’s Green Bay St. project to dominate city work

Motorists can expect to continue seeing orange barrels along East Green Bay Street in Shawano for the foreseeable future with a gas utility project continuing into the winter and possibly even into the spring.

Even after the cones and barrels are removed, they won’t be gone for long as the state Department of Transportation moves in sometime next year with a long-awaited project of its own.

Meanwhile, the city is stepping back a bit on major capital improvement projects in 2019 while the state moves in to do its work.

However, the city has one major project tied in with the state project, which is a state-assisted reconstruction of Fifth Street from Fairview Avenue to Hamlin Street.

The project will include sewer and water utility improvements.

“That’s a full-on reconstruct,” Assistant City Administrator Eddie Sheppard said at a recent Common Council meeting.


City adopts new rules for public comment

The city of Shawano recently adopted some new rules for public comments at council and committee meetings, but hasn’t had a chance yet to try them out.

The rules were adopted at the Common Council’s Nov. 8 meeting ahead of the annual budget hearing that was held Nov. 14.

As it turned out, no one from the public spoke at that meeting.

The city has previously followed informal guidelines that required speakers to be city residents or taxpayers and limited comments to three minutes per speaker. Those guidelines have now been codified as rules in the city codes under the ordinance unanimously approved by the council.

The new rules indicate that speakers should be prepared to show proof of eligibility to speak if requested.


Churches bring Thanksgiving to all

Leader photos by Carol Ryczek David Greenway and Melissa Schuler prepare mashed potatoes for the community Thanksgiving dinner at Zion Lutheran Church in Shawano on Thursday. The annual event serves about 150 people.

How do you prepare a Thanksgiving dinner?

If you are part of the St. Michael’s Catholic Church Knights of Columbus, you start by cooking up 300 pounds of turkey.

St. Michael’s was one of the area community meals where recipes included dozens of pies, rows of Nesco roasters and dozens of volunteers. Other locations included Zion Lutheran Church in Shawano; First Presbyterian Church in Shawano, which handled home deliveries; and a Knights of Columbus dinner in Clintonville.

The Knights of Columbus in Keshena delivered about 350 meals to residents on the Menoninee Reservation, Shawano and Cecil, said Paul Marroquin, grand knight of the organization. He said they started cooking at 7 a.m on Wednesday.

“Today, we were here at 6:30 (a.m.) cutting pies, making coffee,” he said as he placed stacks of dinners and pies into bags and boxes for volunteers to take out into the community.”


Shawano County’s 343rd barn quilt features mustang

Photo by Jim Leuenberger Mandy LaMarche is shown with Shawano County’s 343rd barn quilt at N4317 County Road CC, Shawano.

Shawano County’s 343rd barn quilt is now on display on a small horse barn at N4317 County Road CC, about two miles southeast of Shawano. The quilt was designed and sponsored by Mandy LaMarche, of Shawano. The pattern, which features a mustang horse in a red, white and blue motif, is called “America’s Mustang.”

The quilt design represents family values, strong support of patriotic values and love of God and country.

“The individual stars represent family members past and present who have served and are presently serving in our country’s military,” LaMarche said. “The horse represents our love of horses … and what is more American than a wild horse, right?”

“I just love the way the quilt turned out and want to thank Jim Leuenberger for the great job he did painting it,” LaMarche said. “Many of my friends who have seen the quilt have told me it’s the best one in the county.”


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