News

Sat
03
Nov

Sheriff, schools among local ballot choices

There will be a lot for voters to decide on Tuesday, from state and local contests to federal races, as well as school district referenda in some areas.

The highest profile race locally is between Republican incumbent Sheriff Adam Bieber and Independent challenger Keith Sorlie, who is currently a Shawano police officer.

The Bonduel School District is asking voters to approve exceeding revenue limits by $150,000 per year through the 2024-25 school years for maintaining and updating technology.

The Wittenberg-Birnamwood School District will ask whether taxpayers are willing to take on an almost $18 million debt for the next 20 years for a building improvement program that includes safety and security measures, upgrades and renovations, an agricultural and maintenance facility, classroom additions and a new gymnasium.

Sat
03
Nov

Gresham man charged with 9th OWI

A Gresham man has been charged for the ninth time with operating while intoxicated after being pulled over in Shawano Wednesday.

Dennis N. Vele, 65, could face a maximum 12 years in prison and $25,000 fine if found guilty.

Shawano police stopped Vele around 8 p.m. after spotting a defective taillight on his car, according to the criminal complaint.

Police noticed an odor of intoxicants found an open can of beer in the vehicle. A preliminary breath test showed Vele had a blood-alcohol level of 0.29 percent, more than three times the legal limit, according to the complaint.

Vele was on probation at the time and prohibited from having a blood-alcohol count above 0.02 percent.

According to court records, Vele has three previous OWI convictions in Shawano County, and one each in Outagamie, Washington, Columbia, Milwaukee and Brown counties.

Sat
03
Nov

Former teacher takes plea deal in child porn case

A former Gresham choir teacher pleaded no contest this week to 62 counts of child porn possession, along with other felony charges of sex assault and child enticement.

Timothy J. Schmidt, 70, of Birnamwood, will have to undergo a psycho-sexual evaluation before sentencing. A pre-sentence investigation was also ordered.

Schmidt was originally charged in April of last year with 24 felony counts, including sexual assault of a student and 19 counts of possession of child pornography.

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.

Schmidt was charged in July with an additional 91 counts of possessing child porn. Some of the charges were dismissed but can still be considered at sentencing under the plea agreement.

Sat
03
Nov

Public Record

Shawano Police Department

Nov. 1

Police logged 26 incidents, including the following:

Theft — Keys were reported stolen at Walmart, 1244 E. Green Bay St.

Vandalism — Police responded to a vandalism complaint at Memorial Park, 901 S. Lincoln St.

Theft — An iPhone was reported stolen at Walmart, 1244 E. Green Bay St.

Shoplifting — Goodwill Industries, 300 Lakeland Road, reported a shoplifting incident.

Disturbance — Police responded to a disturbance in the 800 block of East Maurer Street.

Shawano County Sheriff’s Department

Nov. 1

Deputies logged 37 incidents, including the following:

Suspicious — A suspicious vehicle was reported on County Road A in the town of Bartelme.

Trespass — Authorities responded to a trespassing complaint on County Road D in the town of Aniwa.

Disorderly — Authorities responded to a disorderly conduct complaint on Potch He Chee Road in the town of Wittenberg.

Fri
02
Nov

Assembly candidates weigh in on environmental concerns

Editor’s note: This is the third in a series of Question-and-Answer sessions held with the three candidates for the 6th District Assembly seat.

Incumbent State Rep. Gary Tauchen, R-Bonduel, will face Democratic candidate Richard Sarnwick, a Shawano doctor, and Libertarian candidate Michael Hammond, a former Shawano area dairy farmer, on the Nov. 6 ballot.

In this third installment, the candidates weigh in on environmental concerns.

Q: What are the most pressing environmental concerns we’re facing in Wisconsin?

Fri
02
Nov

Bonduel schools want to continue tech override


Leader Photo by Lee Pulaski Bonduel High School students, from left, Mitch Reinke, Remington Brandt, Dylan Burch and Brody Wussow work on small engines Thursday with the help of their laptop computers. The laptops distributed to students help in core classes and career technical education classes alike.

A number of schools around the state are asking for millions of dollars through referendums to improve and maintain schools.

Bonduel School District isn’t asking for millions — it’s only seeking $150,000 per year for the next six years. It’s not an additional $150,000, simply the same money the district has asked for twice previously.

Voters in the district first approved an override of its revenue limit in 2007, seeking to implement a 1-to-1 technology program where every student had a computer to use in the classroom and for homework. The override was renewed in April 2013.

The district is seeking to continue its program, which helps students learn not only their three Rs but in other classes, as well. On a given morning at Bonduel High School, one classroom was using laptops as a guide while they worked on small engines, and in a classroom nearby, the computers were being used to created 3-D blueprints for puzzle cubes.

Fri
02
Nov

Witt-Birn voters decide school referendum Tuesday

The two referendum questions on Tuesday’s ballot for the Wittenberg-Birnamwood School District will determine whether taxpayers are willing to take on an almost $18 million debt for the next 20 years.

The district held another of its 15 meetings designed to convince residents to support the referendum last week at the Matsche Center in Birnamwood. Attendance has been low at most of the meetings, with about 10 people per meeting.

“I’m worried, for those who don’t attend a meeting will be making their decision based on limited information,” Superintendent Garrett Rogowski said.

As expected, residents’ reactions have been mixed.

“I don’t think I can support it the way it is set up – seems there is other things added on,” said Jim Rew, of Birnamwood.

Fri
02
Nov

Public Record

Shawano Police Department

Oct. 31

Police logged 33 incidents, including the following:

Fraud — Police investigated an identity theft complaint in the 200 block of West Wescott Street.

Disturbance — Police responded to disturbances at Aarrowcast, 2900 E. Richmond St. and at ThedaCare Medical Center, 100 County Road B.

Accident — Police responded to a property damage accident at Lieg Avenue and Lincoln Street.

Disorderly — An intoxicated person was reported at The Store gas station, 404 E. Green Bay St.

OWI — A 65-year-old Gresham man was arrested for ninth-offense operating while intoxicated and operating after revocation at Fifth and Lincoln streets.

Assault — Police investigated an assault complaint in the 600 block of East Center Street.

Shawano County Sheriff’s Department

Oct. 31

Deputies logged 40 incidents, including the following:

Fri
02
Nov

Community engages in conversation circle


Photo by Grace Kirchner Vanessa Moran, standing, assistant principal for Rexford-Longfellow Elementary School, leads a group conversation about safety in the Clintonville Public Schools at a Community Conversation Circle meeting Tuesday night in the high school commons.

Safety and communication were two of the hot topics discussed Oct. 23 at a Community Conversation Circle, held at the Clintonville High School commons. Thirty-four citizens interacted with members of the board of education, administration and staff as presenters facilitated a series of questions and sought feedback regarding the future of the schools.

“I am so thrilled with the turnout tonight,” said Dr. David Dyb, superintendent. “This is really great with the variety of people here.”

Discussions centered on the district’s focus areas including safety, communication, learning and responsible decision-making.

Thu
01
Nov

Sheriff’s candidates offer differing approaches to the job

Editor’s note: This is the last in a series of interviews conducted with both candidates for Shawano County sheriff.

Incumbent Sheriff Adam Bieber will face off against Shawano Police Officer and former sheriff’s detective Keith Sorlie on the Nov. 6 ballot. Bieber is the Republican nominee. Sorlie is running as an Independent.

Though the interviews were conducted separately, both candidates were given the same topics to address.

In this installment, the candidates discuss their goals, community outreach efforts and their personal management styles.

“I think I would be a hands-on person who works with his team to make Shawano County a better place, a safer place,” Sorlie said. “I think that it’s very important to be seen working alongside the other staff members at the sheriff’s office.”

Bieber takes a different approach.

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