News

Thu
10
May

Forester warns invasive beetle could be coming

Shawano’s forester warned the Common Council that an invasive beetle could threaten trees in the area within the next 10 years.

Mike Kroenke told the council that there are a number of ash trees within the city limits, and they could be at risk if the borer finds its way here. Kroenke say there have already been beetles found in Green Bay and Waupaca, along with other Wisconsin communities.

The borer is an exotic species first discovered in southeast Michigan near Detroit in 2002. Adult beetles nibble on the foliage, but their larvae consumes the inner bark, which disrupts trees’ ability to access water and nutrients.

“It’s in 40 counties in Wisconsin, and there’s a quarantine against transporting emerald ash borers in any wood products,” Kroenke said. “The etymologist with the DNR says it’s going to hit Shawano within 10 years.”

Thu
10
May

City could alter meeting schedules

Shawano Mayor Ed Whealon wants to make good on his wish to increase the time between committee and Common Council meetings, but it might not come to pass until 2019.

Particularly troubling to him is the short turnaround for items recommended by the city’s finance committee going to the council for approval. The committee meets on a Monday, and the council meets just two days later for final approval.

In his bid to be mayor, Whealon said he wanted to see that the public had ample time to research the information discussed by committees before it came to the council for a final decision.

“There should be time for the public or the media or even the council members to digest the proposals that are there,” Whealon said at Wednesday’s council meeting. “This gives the media, if there is something there of interest, to do their story or do whatever they’d like to do with that.”

Thu
10
May

Greenhouse could cost more green

The price tag for the new Shawano FFA greenhouse could go up a little, but the Shawano School Board approved a cushion Monday that will let the summer project continue unimpeded.

The board in February approved an $89,000 bid on the project at Shawano Community High School, which did not include the $20,000 pledged by the Shawano FFA Alumni to pour a concrete slab.

However, unforeseen costs have come up since then, according to Jeff Easter, the district’s maintenance director. So the board unanimously approved a $13,440 increase to the budget.

“What I was trying to figure out was how to get a water line out to the greenhouse from the (main school) building,” Easter said in his presentation to the board. “The problem is, I have to get it down low enough so that it doesn’t freeze up in the winter.”

Thu
10
May

Public Record

Shawano Police Department

May 7

Police responded to 38 calls, including the following:

Reckless Driving — Police responded to a call about a vehicle all over the road at the intersection of Green Bay Street and Airport Drive.

Suspicious Person — Police responded to two calls about a man carrying a bag full of pill bottles, one at Zander Dental, 152 Woodlawn Drive, and another at the Shawano Park and Rec Center, 220 E. Division St.

Arrest — Police arrested a 28-year-old man at New Era House, 105 E. Richmond St., Shawano, for a probation/parole violation.

Animal Noise — Police responded to a report of a barking dog in the 1400 block of South Evergreen Street.

Property Theft — Police responded to a call about a stolen bike in the 700 block of South Main Street.

Truancy — Police responded to a truancy complaint from Shawano Community Middle School, 1050 S. Union St.

Sat
05
May

Couple faces child neglect, drug charges

A Shawano couple is facing felony charges of child neglect that allegedly occurred while they were using meth in the city last month, according to a criminal complaint filed in Shawano County Circuit Court.

Ryan L. Koeller, 20, and Morgan M. Vretenar, 18, have each been charged with child neglect resulting in bodily harm and possession of methamphetamine as a result of an incident in the city on April 10.

Shawano police and county sheriff’s deputies responded to a report of a domestic abuse incident in the 1300 block of East Lieg Avenue shortly after 4 a.m.

Authorities found Koeller, who admitted he was doing meth, and was sweating heavily and rolling around on the ground, according to the complaint.

Authorities also found Vretenar inside the apartment, along with a baby lying on its back crying on the floor. A nearby crib had apparently been knocked over, the complaint states.

Sat
05
May

Sturgeon season peaking in Shawano

Sturgeon spawning has picked up within the Wolf River watershed since Thursday, including at the Shawano dam, according to the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources.

The DNR had two crews out tagging fish Thursday.

One crew handled 180 fish at a private site in Leeman and 18 fish on the mill side of the Shawano dam, the DNR said. The other crew handled 33 fish at another site on private property in Leeman, 17 fish at State Highway 156, and 13 fish at the Shawano dam.

“The story of today is that the fish have moved in at the Shawano dam,” said fisheries biologist Ryan Koenigs in a post on the DNR website.

“There have been fish visible there for the last couple of days, but the fish have now begun spawning there,” he said, adding that Saturday should be a big tagging day at the dam.

“I suggest heading towards Shawano if you want to see fish spawning in the next couple of days,” he said.

Sat
05
May

Public Record

Shawano Police Department

May 3

Police logged 31 incidents, including the following:

Theft — Money was reported stolen at Birch Hill Care Center, 1475 Birch Hill Lane.

Hit and Run — A property damage hit-and-run was reported at People’s Express East, 1206 E. Green Bay St.

Vandalism — A vehicle was reported vandalized in the 800 block of South Washington Street.

Disturbance — Police responded to a disturbance at Walmart, 1244 E. Green Bay St.

Arrest — A 37-year-old man was taken into custody at the probation and parole offices, 1340 E. Green Bay St.

Disturbance — An unruly student was reported at Olga Brener Intermediate School, 1300 S. Union St.

Disturbance — Police responded to a disturbance in the 1300 block of East Lieg Avenue.

Fraud — Police investigated a fraud complaint in the 300 block of Fairview Way.

Shawano County Sheriff’s Department

May 3

Fri
04
May

Sturgeon start arriving in Shawano


Leader Photo by Lee Pulaski Visitors to Sturgeon Park keep an eye out for sturgeon in the Wolf River on Thursday afternoon. Sightings were slim, but DNR officials expect more spawning at the dam today.

Mother Nature might have slowed things up a bit with a late winter snowstorm, but the annual sturgeon spawning ritual is underway in Shawano, albeit a couple of weeks later than usual.

The related ritual of onlookers gathering at the Shawano Dam at Sturgeon Park to get a glimpse of the fish is also increasing, according to Park and Recreation Director Matt Hendricks.

There were around 30 people earlier in the week, but that has been growing daily. There are generally “a couple hundred” by the time spawning season reaches its peak, Henricks said.

That’s expected to happen this weekend, according to the DNR, but some of the fish could already be spotted locally on the special underwater sturgeon camera set up by the DNR and available at the city of Shawano’s website at http://www.cityofshawano.com/412/Sturgeon-Cam.

Fri
04
May

Menominee returning sturgeon to Keshena Falls

As the sturgeon begin reaching the Shawano dam for their annual spawning ritual, the Menominee Tribe is continuing efforts to return the fish to their natural spawning site at Keshena Falls.

That spawning run had gone on for thousands of years, according to the tribe, until the Shawano Dam and Balsam Row Dams prevented the sturgeon from migrating further north over the last century.

Since 1993, the tribe has been working with the Wisconsin DNR, Bureau of Indian Affairs, and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Services on the Menominee Lake Sturgeon Management Plan to restore lake sturgeon to their original natural range up above the Shawano dams and on the Menominee reservation.

The DNR has been working with Menominee Tribe on releasing sturgeon below Keshena Falls.

Fri
04
May

Keshena man indicted in fatal reservation crash

A Keshena man has been indicted by a federal grand jury in a fatal crash on the Menominee Indian Reservation.

Saswaen Waukechon, 38, is facing an involuntary manslaughter charge in the death of a passenger in his vehicle that crashed in January in the Legend Lake area. Authorities allege Waukechon was driving while intoxicated.

The indictment returned by the grand jury earlier this week carries a maximum 8-year prison sentence upon conviction.

The FBI was among agencies investigating the case.

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