News

Sat
17
Nov

Shawano schools closer to reaching goal

Shawano School District set a goal last year to have a score of 73 or higher on its report card with the state by 2021, designating it as one of the four-star school districts in the state.

The district is well on its way to reaching that goal after the Department of Public Instruction released the 2018 report cards earlier this week. Shawano had a score of 68.8, which is in the middle of the pack for three-star school districts but a huge jump from the 64.1 score it had in 2017.

All of the Shawano public schools earned high marks, with Olga Brener Intermediate School, Shawano Community High School and Shawano Community Middle School earning three-star individual school ratings. Hillcrest Primary School and LEADS Primary Charter School, because the state doesn’t require standardized testing until third grade and both schools only go up to second grade, earned a satisfactory rating, which is also considered to be passing.

Sat
17
Nov

Vote on $2 million dredging invalid

“There isn’t going to be any dredging, and there isn’t going to be a $2 million project,” attorney Keith Steckbauer told a standing-room only crowd Wednesday at the Fox Valley Technical College campus in Clintonville.

The project involves dredging sediment from Pigeon Lake.

At a meeting Oct. 16, the Pigeon Lake District residents voted to approve a $2 million dredging of the lake. The vote was 85 yes and 71 no. The tax impact was to be $54 per $100,000 of property value over the next 20 years. The $2 million was to be borrowed from the Wisconsin Trust Fund.

Steckbauer has been hired by the Pigeon Lake Protection and Rehabilitation District.

Sat
17
Nov

Knapp bids farewell to city administrator post

Though not officially effective until January, the transition is underway at City Hall that will move Shawano’s current city administrator into a full-time post at Shawano Municipal Utilities and replace him with the city’s public works director who has also been working as the administrator’s assistant.

Brian Knapp has been wearing two hats since 2012. Originally hired as Shawano Municipal Utilities general manager, the city also moved him to the city administrator post on a part-time basis after the resignation of former administrator Michael Hall, who worked for the city for a year.

Eddie Sheppard was hired in 2013 as public works coordinator and assistant city administrator.

The arrangement was never intended to be permanent, however, as Mayor Ed Whealon noted in comments to Knapp at the end of the city’s 2019 budget presentation Wednesday.

Sat
17
Nov

Public Record

Shawano Police Department

Nov. 15

Police logged 20 incidents, including the following:

Accidents — Police responded to property damage accidents at Lieg Avenue and Union Street and in the 1200 block of East Green Bay Street.

Arrest — A 34-year-old man was taken into custody at the probation and parole offices, 1340 E. Green bay St.

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

Harassment — Harassment was reported in the 100 block of Acorn Street and in the 900 block of East Maurer Street.

Threatening — Police responded to a threatening complaint at ThedaCare Medical Center, 100 County Road B.

Shawano County Sheriff’s Department

Nov. 15

Deputies logged 36 incidents, including the following:

OAR — A 51-year-old woman was cited for operating after revocation on state Highway 22 in the town of Wescott.

Fri
16
Nov

City, chamber negotiating room tax share

Shawano officials and the Shawano Country Chamber of Commerce have opened negotiations on the city’s plan to hang onto a larger share of the city’s hotel and motel room tax to fund tourism-related events in the park system. This is a move the chamber has maintained will devastate its own tourism marketing efforts.

The city announced its intentions last month at a finance committee meeting, but it has yet to go to the Common Council for a final vote.

Discussion of the room tax was removed as an agenda item at last week’s regular monthly council meeting.

The city has in the past typically retained 5 percent of the room tax, which went into the city’s general fund, under a room tax ordinance adopted by the city in May 1989.

“It’s time (the ordinance) was revisited,” Mayor Ed Whealon said.

Last year, the city retained $4,209 out of the total $84,181 in room taxes collected from six hotels and motels in the city.

Fri
16
Nov

Leading a stray


Leader photo by Greg Millis A cat does what it can to hang in there while perched over 40 feet up in a tree on Homewood Avenue. Although there are many cats living in the wild in the Shawano area, the Shawano Humane Society reports that many pet cats live indoor-outdoor lives and are not necessarily lost. Lost or not, this cat did not sound happy to be where it was.

It’s snowing hard. Outside, a forlorn stray cat hunkers next to a shed.

What do you do?

The response for taking care of a stray animal depends on where the animal is and whether the finder is able to capture it.

Lisa Mastey, assistant shelter manager for the Shawano Humane Society, 1290 Jaycee Court, Shawano, emphasized that the shelter will house strays, but can’t pick them up.

“We have no jurisdiction,” she said. “We don’t have animal control officers. We cannot pick up people’s pets, no matter what the case.”

Mastey said they often get complaints about an animal left outside, or lacking basic care. In that case, she urged a call to the local police or sheriff’s department.

Fri
16
Nov

Hunting legal within Bonduel

What was described as an oversight has led to confusion about hunting within the village limits of Bonduel.

At present, there is no ordinance prohibiting hunting within the village limits. A proposal to reintroduce the ban at Wednesday’s Bonduel Village Board meeting was routed to the board’s public safety committee.

A ban on hunting within the village limits had been in previous ordinances, board president Sharon Wassow said. It was deleted in 2011 when the town adopted a new ordinance after the state made it legal to carry concealed weapons. She said it was never the intention to delete the hunting ban.

“Our first concern is for safety,” Wussow said.

Wussow asked for a new ordinance retinstating the ban, but no motion was made to create the ordinance.

Board member Gina Shatters objected to the proposal, saying it was a violation of the rights of private property owners.

Fri
16
Nov

Laptop doc


Leader Photo by Carol Ryczek Computer problem-solver Bruce Starszak works with Mary Marohl at a free help session at Glas in Shawano.

The blue screen of death. The dreaded “Error number…” Every desktop or laptop computer owner has seen them. They mean trouble.

For Bruce Starszak, other users’ technological troubles are challenges he likes to tackle. Starszak, a retired electrical engineer, is available to help with these challenges every Tuesday morning from 9 a.m. to noon at the Glas Coffeehouse, 511 N. Main St., Shawano.

Starszak has been offering personal computer checkups for 15 years and calls himself “Shawano’s best-kept secret.”

In an average morning, Starszak will see everything from drives that have died to the embarrassing, but easily fixable, “forgot to turn the power strip back on” issue.

Computer users bring in every kind of problem, Starszak said. “Old computers, viruses, hard drives dying,” he said. “They bring in everything.”

Fri
16
Nov

Public Record

Shawano Police Department

Nov. 14

Police logged 28 incidents, including the following:

Disorderly — Police responded to a disorderly conduct complaint in the 500 block of South Smalley Street.

Theft — A package was reported stolen in the 500 block of South Main Street. A laptop was reported stolen in the 300 block of North Franklin Street. A jacket was reported stolen at Olga Brener Intermediate School, 1300 S. Union St.

Harassment — Harassment was reported in the 900 block of East Elizabeth Street and in the 200 block of South Hamlin Street.

Burglary — A burglary was reported in the 500 block of East Fifth Street.

Drug Offense — A male subject was cited for possession of drug paraphernalia in the 700 block of South Main Street.

Shawano County Sheriff’s Department

Nov. 14

Deputies logged 47 incidents, including the following:

Thu
15
Nov

City adopts 2019 budget

Shawano city officials Wednesday adopted a 2019 budget after a public hearing that didn’t bring out anyone from the public.

There had been plenty of public comment about the budget and its resulting tax rate increase at finance committee meetings while the budget was being drafted, but no one turned out Wednesday to comment on the final draft.

The Common Council voted unanimously to adopt a total tax levy of $13.5 million, which includes the city’s portion as well as the levies for Shawano County, Shawano School District, Northeastern Wisconsin Technical College, and the city’s six active Tax Incremental Finance districts.

The city’s share of that will be $5.2 million, a roughly $149,000 increase over this year’s $5.05 million.

That will translate to a tax rate for city purposes of $10.14 per $1,000 of assessed valuation, an increase of about 28 cents per $1,000 from this year’s tax rate of $9.89.

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