Fire forces evacuation at primary school

Students at Hillcrest Primary School will be back in their classes Wednesday, but not necessarily in their usual classrooms as cleanup continues from a small fire that emptied the building Tuesday.

The fire in a bathroom stall forced a temporary evacuation of the school, at 1410 Waukechon St., around 9 a.m.

Shawano School District Superintendent Gary Cumberland said someone had set fire to the toilet paper rolls in the boys’ bathroom, causing the plastic container that holds them to burn and sending smoke and soot into the second grade wing of the school.

“Primarily, that’s where the damage was at,” he said. “We did have some smoke in the floor above it, which is our first grade wing. None of the smoke got to other parts of the building, but the odor did.”

School staff, alerted by smoke detectors that triggered the fire alarm, used a fire extinguisher to put the fire out.


Eagle River man accused of running off with two Cecil girls

Two teenage Cecil girls disappeared earlier this month with a Facebook acquaintance from Eagle River who allegedly burglarized a church while they were with him.

Lucas I. Giebel, 19, is facing two felony counts of interfering with child custody for allegedly taking the children, ages 13 and 15, from their mother.

He is also charged with a felony count of burglary for an break-in to Immanuel Lutheran Church in the town of Washington and felony criminal damage for vandalism to the church.

According to the criminal complaint, the girls’ mother spotted them with Giebel at the Cecil Laundromat on the night of Sept. 29 and all three took off in Giebel’s truck.

Giebel later broke into the church, the complaint alleges, where he caused an estimated $2,500 in damage, including vandalizing a computer. He also is accused of stealing a bottle of wine.


Public Record

Shawano Police Department

Oct. 15

Police logged 32 incidents, including the following:

Arrest — A male subject was taken into custody at the probation and parole offices, 1340 E. Green Bay St.

Theft — Tires were reported stolen in the 200 block of South Washington Street.

Juvenile — Police responded to juvenile problems at Memorial Park, 909 S. Lincoln St., and in the 1100 block of East Lieg Avenue.

Accident — Police responded to a single-vehicle property damage accident at Maurer and Cleveland streets and a two-vehicle property damage accident at Division and Lincoln streets.

Disturbance — Police responded to a domestic disturbance in the 100 block of South Lafayette Street.

Oct. 14

Police logged 16 incidents, including the following:


Vukmir chats with local farmers

Leader Photo by Lee Pulaski Shawano County farmers, from left, Deb Mielke, Skyler Bowman and Allan Kuhn address their concerns about ag producers’ relationship with the federal government during Tuesday’s roundtable with U.S. Senate candidate Leah Vukmir.

State Sen. Leah Vukmir, in her bid for the U.S. Senate, made a stop in Shawano on Tuesday to listen to area farmers and how they feel agriculture is being treated at the federal level.

Vukmir started the roundtable by admitting she’s at a disadvantage with agriculture, because her state senate district is in an urban area with almost no farmland. She said she was invited by Richard Kucksdorf, chairman of the Shawano County Republican Party, to find out what agriculture issues she needs to fight for.

“This gives me a chance to understand the federal side and how this affects you,” Vukmir said. “Feel free to bend my ear.”

The top issue for the farmers who met at the county’s GOP headquarters was the 2018 federal farm bill. Deb Mielke, who operates a dairy farm with her husband, Dale, near Caroline, noted that the big hangup with the bill is that most of it is related to food stamps, but there was no way to separate the two issues without creating problems.


Hospital to participate in Drug Take Back Initiative

The Oconto County Sheriff’s Office, in cooperation with the Wisconsin Department of Justice and the Drug Enforcement Administration, will participate in the National Prescription Drug Take Back Initiative.

Locally, the Take Back Day Initiative will be held from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Oct. 26 at HSHS St. Clare Memorial Hospital, 855 S. Main St., Oconto Falls.

The event is designed to provide a safe, convenient and responsible means of disposal. Unused or expired medicine should never be flushed or poured down the drain. Water reclamation facilities are not designed to remove all the chemicals, and trace amounts of pharmaceuticals show up in rivers and lakes.

During the initiative, the public is encouraged to meet with hospital representatives to view the newly remodeled pharmacy. Refreshments will be available.

Among the guidelines, all waste pharmaceuticals must be generated by a household – no business waste is allowed.


Mayor, superintendent plan referendum town hall

Gillett Mayor James Beaton and Superintendent Todd Carlson are collaborating on a town hall-style meeting Sunday evening to discuss the upcoming Gillett School District referendum.

District voters will be asked Nov. 6 for permission to let the school budget exceed state-imposed revenue limits by $600,000 in each of the next three years to maintain educational programs.

“I’ve heard lots of ‘stories’ and, as your mayor, I thought it would be appropriate for you to have an opportunity to get the facts and make an informed decision,” Beaton said in an “Event” post at

Beaton and Carlson will appear at 5 p.m. Sunday in the Secondary School Commons, 208 W. Main St., Gillett. Carlson will make a presentation about the referendum and then take questions from the mayor and audience.


Area musicians performing in Marinette

Eighteen area musicians will join a Green Bay jazz professor in a performance of the Northeastern Wisconsin Concert Band at its Fall Concert Oct. 21, 3:30 p.m. in the W.J. Jones Auditorium at Marinette High School, 2135 Pierce Ave., Marinette.

Adam Gaines, associate professor of music at the University of Wisconsin—Green Bay, will be featured as a guest soloist at the concert. Gaines teaches trumpet, directs jazz ensembles, teaches jazz history courses and works with music technology. He is a member of Gypsy Trip and Brass Differential bands.

The concert will be under the direction of Robert Berndt and Glen Reinke.

The NEW Concert Band is a volunteer organization which has over 70 musicians, including active and retired school music educators, from the Wisconsin counties of Brown, Marinette, Oconto and Shawano, and the Michigan counties of Menominee and Dickinson.


Budget meeting moved to Thursday

Wednesday’s scheduled meeting of the Shawano Finance Committee has been called on account of baseball.

The city had planned to meet for a public budget discussion Wednesday evening, but officials have since realized they would be going up against Game 5 in the National League playoffs between the Milwaukee Brewers and Los Angeles Dodgers.

City officials have hinted that something of public interest in connection with the budget would be discussed at the meeting, though they won’t say what that is.

Rather than compete with the public interest already invested in the Brewers game, the city decided to push the meeting off a day in hopes of getting better attendance.

The finance committee is now scheduled to meet at 6 p.m. Thursday at City Hall, 127 S. Sawyer St.


CMN investiture welcomes Trebian in style

Leader photos by Carol Ryczek New College of Menominee Nation president Paul Trebian accepts the responsibilities of his position at his investiture ceremony in Keshena Friday.

The College of Menominee Nation welcomed its new president Friday in a ceremony that brought together the academic traditions from 12th century Europe with traditional Menominee crafts and music.

Wearing a black doctoral robe and academic stoles, President Paul Trebian agreed to support the mission of CMN, its students and the community. He was presented with a beaded medallion, a new symbol of the office, by CMN Board of Trustees Chairwoman Virginia Nuske.

The investiture of the new president is a first for CMN. Verna Fowler retired from her position as the first CMN president in 2016. In the early days of CMN, other needs took precedence over the need for an investiture ceremony.

The event was held at the Menominee Casino Resort in Keshena.

At the investiture, Fowler was recognized for her work in bringing the college to the Menominee Nation, as were members of the tribal legislature and college board of trustee members.


County tax rate expected to drop again next year

Shawano County property owners should see their tax rates go down again next year under the county’s proposed 2019 budget.

Officials are projecting a tax rate of $5.08 per $1,000 of equalized value, a drop of 11 cents from this year’s rate of $5.19 per $1,000.

This year’s rate was also lower than last year’s $5.29 per $1,000.

County property tax rates vary by municipality, however, because those rates are determined by assessed values and not equalized value.

According to the county, the drop in taxes comes in spite of a 6 percent increase in health insurance costs of about $252,000 and rising costs for other contracted services.

The county’s projected levy for 2018 is $15.8 million, an increase of about $131,000 from this year’s $15.68 million.

That levy will be spread out among taxpayers a little more in 2019 thanks to a 3 percent increase in equalized value, which is rising from $3 million to about $3.1 million.


Subscribe to RSS - News