Schmidt participates in NACo conference

Shawano County Supervisor Peter Schmidt joined more than 3,000 county leaders July 13-16 in Nashville/Davidson County, Tennessee, at the 83rd National Association of Counties (NACo) Annual Conference and Exposition.

Attendees adopted positions on pressing federal policies affecting counties and exchanged innovative solutions to challenges facing American communities.

More than three dozen educational workshops and meetings explored topics including affordable housing, technology, reducing the number of mentally ill individuals in jails, the opioid epidemic, disaster preparedness and recovery, and other topics important to counties across the country.

Supervisor Schmidt participated in several workshops, including ones one the economy, dealing with critical confronations and juvenile justic reform.


Gutho, Sorlie field questions at sheriff candidate’s forum

Leader Photo by Tim Ryan Shawano County sheriff’s candidates Keith Sorlie, left, and John Gutho field questions Monday at a forum at the Shawano Civic Center sponsored by the Shawano Area Women’s Network. Incumbent Sheriff Adam Bieber did not attend.

The two challengers in the race for Shawano County sheriff appeared for a forum Monday to field questions on staff turnover, morale and use of resources in the sheriff’s department, as well as other topics.

Incumbent Sheriff Adam Bieber did not attend the forum at the Shawano Civic Center, but provided the Shawano Area Women’s Network, which organized the event, with written responses to topics that would be covered.

Bieber will face former chief deputy John Gutho in the Aug. 14 Republican primary. The winner will go on the face independent candidate Keith Sorlie in November.

Each of the candidates were given the topics in advance for Monday’s forum, but not the specific questions that would be asked, according to SAWN.

The topics of staff turnover and morale have been key issues for both Gutho and Sorlie in their campaigns.


Marion man charged with attempted homicide

A Marion man is facing an attempted homicide charge for allegedly strangling a Shawano County sheriff’s deputy after a drunken driving arrest Friday.

Chad R. Kohel, 45, was ordered held on a $100,000 cash bond after his initial court appearance Tuesday.

According to the criminal complaint, authorities received a tip that Kohel would be leaving a residence on Cloverleaf Lake Road and had been drinking.

Deputy Sandra Finger observed Kohel’s vehicle driving erratically, including crossing the centerline, and pulled him over, according to the complaint.

Finger was assisted at the scene by another deputy who gave Kohel a preliminary breath test that showed a 0.29 percent blood-alcohol level, more than three times the legal limit.

Finger transported Kohel to ThedaCare Medical Center for a blood draw.

Finger was buckling Kohel’s seatbelt for transport to jail when Kohel grabbed her by the throat, according to the complaint.


Walker, Vukmir stump in Shawano

Leader Photo by Lee Pulaski Gov. Scott Walker tells about some of the accomplishments his administration has achieved since he took office in 2011 during a visit to the Shawano County Republican Party’s new headquarters Sunday afternoon. He claimed that Republicans have a great story to tell, and he urged those in attendance to go out and tell it.

Leader Photo by Lee Pulaski Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, left, cuts the ribbon on the Shawano County Republicans’ new headquarters on South Main Street with the help of U.S. Senate candidate Leah Vukmir and state Rep. Gary Tauchen, R-Bonduel. Walker and Vukmir spoke Sunday to a crowd of 50 or so Republicans, asking for their help to win the November elections.

Gov. Scott Walker and U.S. Senate candidate Leah Vukmir stopped in Shawano on Sunday to christen the new Shawano County Republicans’ campaign headquarters at 501 S. Main St.

Both were making their way around the state Sunday to campaign for the November election. Walker is running for his third term as governor, while Vukmir, a state senator, is looking to unseat U.S. Sen. Tammy Baldwin — although she must first face Kevin Nicholson in the primary in about two weeks.

“This headquarters building you are in will be the hub of the Wisconsin Republican conservative movement for Shawano County,” said Larry Romuald, vice chairman for the county GOP. “It will be used to energize our base, to educate the public about the accomplishments of the Walker administration and for the empowerment of Wisconsin citizenry.”


Public Record

Shawano Police Department

July 30

Police logged 34 incidents, including the following:

Juvenile — Police responded to a juvenile problem at Memorial Park, 909 S. Lincoln St.

Theft — Police responded to a property theft complaint in the 900 block of South Park Street.

Threatening — Police responded to a threatening complaint in the 1100 block of South Water Street.

Juvenile — Police responded to a juvenile problem at Wolf River Beach, 211 N. Riverside Drive.

Theft — Items were reported stolen from a garage in the 900 block of South Washington Street.

Disorderly — Police responded to an intoxicated person complaint in the 1100 block of South Main Street.

Disorderly — Police responded to a disorderly conduct complaint in the 400 block of West Richmond Street.

Disorderly — Police responded to a disorderly conduct complaint at the VFW Clubhouse, 202 W. Lieg Ave.


City readies info campaign on saddle replacements

Main Street will have to saddle up for some road work and possible disruptions in water service starting just after Labor Day as work begins to address failing water main connections that have plagued the city.

At issue are the stainless steel saddles holding in place the service connection to the water main that were installed during the Main Street reconstruction project in 2002 and 2003. The project stretched from the channel to the Mountain Bay Trail at Oshkosh Street.

The Shawano Common Council this month approved borrowing $180,000 from the Shawano Lake Sanitary District to cover the cost of replacing 71 saddles along Main Street.

The loan will be paid back over a five-year period with an interest rate of 3 percent.

The Department of Public Works plans to notify all who will be directly affected by the project with a mailed letter, as well as door-to-door notification in early to mid-August.


Proposed tubing business gets public hearing Wednesday

The public will have a chance to weigh in Wednesday on a proposed recreational business that would operate along the Wolf River during the summer months.

The Shawano Plan Commission will hold a public hearing at 4:30 p.m. at City Hall, 127 S. Sawyer St., on a proposal from Wolf River Tubing LLC that would provide the community and tourists the ability to float the Wolf River by means of a tube, kayak or canoe, either individually or in groups.

The business would be located at 1112 S. Water St.

Participants would begin their float at the County Road M bridge at Judd Park and have a designated pick-up spot two hours from there on Riverview Road, according to an application for a zoning map amendment filed with the city. Pick-up spots up to eight hours away could be designated at some point in the future.


Gresham’s past stays on track

Leader photo by Evan J. Pretzer The Gresham Depot Museum has been open since 1974 and features artifacts from the village’s past as well as historical items related to the rail industry.

For those looking to Shawano County’s past for an afternoon of entertainment on a weekend, the Gresham Depot Museum has a diverse display of items from bygone times.

Opened in 1907 and relocated to its present position at 1311 N. Main St. from a position further south on the same road in 1974, the depot is open 1:30-4 p.m. Saturdays in the summer and has more than 2,000 pieces in its collection.

Visitors can peer at an old telegraph machine and wince while they wonder what it would’ve been like to be subject to the foot-powered dentist’s drill in another part of the museum. Though people aren’t always standing in line to see the community and train-related items, for caretaker Janice Ebert, interest seems strong.


Former teacher faces 91 new child porn counts

Leader file photo Timothy J. Schmidt appears with his then-attorney Paul Seifert for a preliminary hearing on sex assault and child porn charges in Shawano-Menominee County Circuit Court in April 2017. Seifert withdrew from the case earlier this month. Schmidt is now facing an additional 91 counts of child porn possession.

A former Gresham choir teacher scheduled for a plea hearing next week on multiple child porn and sexual assault charges is now facing an additional 91 counts of possessing child pornography, according to a new criminal complaint.

Timothy J. Schmidt, 70, resigned from the Gresham School District in April 2017 amid a police investigation that led to his arrest and the filing of 24 felony counts, including sexual assault of a student and 19 counts of possession of child pornography.

Shawano-Menominee County District Attorney Greg Parker said at the time that “many more” charges would likely be filed against Schmidt as the investigation continued and authorities proceeded with a forensic analysis of electronic devices owned by Schmidt.

Stockbridge-Munsee police met in March of last year with a parent of a Gresham Community School student reporting suspicious activity between Schmidt and her 16-year-old daughter.


Gallagher moves to partially ban political fundraising

U.S. Rep. Michael Gallagher, R-Wis., has spoken his mind on the firing of former FBI Director James Comey and investigations into Russian interference in the 2016 election.

Now, the freshman congressman is going his own way on campaign finance.

Earlier this month and in cooperation with Rep. Rick Nolan, D-Minn., the 34-year-old introduced the “Go to Washington, Go to Work Act” which, if approved, would ban members of Congress and congressional candidates from any forms of political fundraising while Congress is in session.

According to Gallagher, who is from a district where President Donald Trump won by 10 points or more, the issue is one all Americans can agree on, regardless of political affiliation.


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