News

Wed
06
Jun

Local school districts applying for safety grants

All of Shawano County’s school districts are now apparently on board with plans to apply for school safety grants being made available through the state Department of Justice, according to the Shawano County Sheriff’s Department.

A total of $100 million is available through the DOJ’s School Safety Initiative to local schools in Wisconsin to support projects designed to improve K-12 school safety. The deadline to apply is Friday.

“We’re working with school districts within Shawano County to upgrade their security systems,” said Sheriff Adam Bieber.

Bieber said the department’s school liaison officers have been in contact with all school districts in the county, including private schools, offering walk-throughs, a review of school safety protocols and help in applying for the money.

“We’re at a crucial moment where we can improve our safety in schools for our kids,” Bieber said.

Wed
06
Jun

First glance shows school taxes could remain steady

Taxes in the Shawano School District could remain steady, dependent on two issues.

One, student enrollment would have to stop declining.

Two, property values would have to increase again like they did in 2017.

Neither of those factors will be known until later this year.

Business manager Louise Fischer presented her first budget draft Monday to the Shawano School Board. Fischer said while she anticipated property values would increase, lower enrollment is also anticipated, which would reduce the amount of state aid received next year.

Fischer anticipates that the student count, held on the third Friday in September, could drop as many as 40 students; the student enrollment dropped 42 students districtwide at the time of the 2017 count. If that were the case, the district would need to see at least a 1 percent increase in property valuations in order to keep the tax rate where it is.

Wed
06
Jun

Authorities respond to threat of violence in Birnamwood

A threat of violence in the village of Birnamwood spurred a response Tuesday from three law enforcement agencies and an ambulance service before it was determined the report had been false, according to the Shawano County Sheriff’s Department.

Dispatchers received a phone call at about 4 p.m. threatening violence against some residents in the village unless specific demands were met within a limited time frame, according to a news release.

Deputies isolated the area of the alleged threat, dispatched emergency responders and determined that the situation was a false report.

“The sheriff’s office, and those supporting their efforts, were able to quickly return the community to normalcy,” Sheriff Adam Bieber said in a statement.

The department was not releasing any additional information Tuesday.

The initial report is being investigated by Shawano County sheriff’s detectives.

Wed
06
Jun

Low water forces modified Ski Sharks show

The show will go on Wednesday for the Shawano Ski Sharks, but it will be a downsized version out of safety concerns being forced by the lower water levels on the Wolf River.

“It will be a modified show, with smaller acts and smaller boats,” said Ski Sharks President Dave Passehl.

The lower water levels are due to a mandate currently being placed on the Shawano dam by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.

That has resulted in a water depth of only about 2½ feet at the Ski Sharks dock at Smalley Park where the shows take place.

“That’s too shallow for safety,” Passehl said.

The show will use only two of its four boats, direct drive ski boats that are shallower and can operate at the lower water depth.

“There’s still a lot we can do as long as the boats can take off,” Passehl said.

Wed
06
Jun

Menominee Tribe unhappy about mine project permit

A decision by the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality to issue a wetlands permit for an open pit sulfide mine project will endanger a crucial interstate waterway and jeopardize Menominee Indian ancestral homelands and sacred sites, the tribe said.

“Our tribe maintains our stance against this open pit mine project, and we made our objection throughout the permitting process,” said Menominee Indian Tribal Chairman Douglas Cox.

While the tribe is not surprised the permit was granted, Cox said they are surprised that environmental, public and tribal concerns were not addressed. “Michigan Department of Environmental Quality has made minimal efforts to communicate with the tribe on our concerns of tremendous impact to our cultural resources.”

Wed
06
Jun

Public Record

Shawano Police Department

June 4

Police logged 25 incidents, including the following:

Assault — Police investigated an assault complaint in the 800 block of East Richmond Street.

Intoxicated Person — Police responded to an intoxicated person complaint at Charlie’s County Market, 521 S. Main St.

Disorderly — Police responded to a disorderly conduct complaint at Walmart, 1244 E. Green Bay St.

June 3

Police logged 16 incidents, including the following:

Trespass — Police investigated a trespassing complaint in the 300 block of West Eagle Street.

OWI — A 48-year-old Shawano man was arrested for fourth offense operating while intoxicated in the 100 block of South Smalley Street.

Sat
02
Jun

SAWM hopeful water level issues can be resolved Wednesday

Officials at Shawano Area Waterways Management (SAWM) are optimistic that a meeting with the Department of Natural Resources on Wednesday can quickly resolve the issue of dangerously low water levels on the Wolf River and channel after a letter from the DNR seemed to support restoring previous higher water levels at the Shawano dam.

According to SAWM, water levels are 5-6 inches below normal due to restrictions currently being placed on the Shawano dam by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC). Some estimates place it at closer to 8-10 inches.

The DNR stated in its letter that it sees no impediments to restoring water levels at the dam to the historic levels at which the dam has been operating for more than 30 years, provided other entities, including the city of Shawano, village of Cecil and Shawano County are also on board.

Though FERC will make the ultimate decision, the DNR’s recommendation plays in an important role in what FERC decides.

Sat
02
Jun

Gresham teacher honored by JA


Contributed Photo Ben Smith, a second-grade teacher at Gresham Community School, receives the Junior Achievement Teacher of the Year award from Kris Bahr during a ceremony on May 24.

Junior Achievement, Wolf River District presented its Teacher of the Year award to Gresham School second grade teacher Ben Smith on May 24.

The presentation was arranged by Gresham School District Superintendent Newell Haffner and Junior Achievement District Director Sandy Ebbinger to take place during a school assembly. JA board member Kris Bahr presented the award to Smith.

Nomination comments supporting Smith’s selection as teacher of the year included, “After visiting the class, I was just in awe of how great he was with his students. The way he tended to each of his students’ individual needs with a strong, yet gentle, demeanor was inspiring. To see a young teacher take such pride in his job and students made me so happy. “

Sat
02
Jun

Public Record

Shawano Police Department

May 31

Police logged 24 incidents, including the following:

Arrest — A 55-year-old woman was taken into custody at the probation and parole offices, 1340 E. Green Bay St.

Disturbance — Police responded to a disturbance in the 300 block of West Fourth Street.

Disorderly — Police responded to a disorderly conduct complaint at the Shawano County Humane Society, 1290 Jaycee Court.

Arrest — A 27-year-old woman was taken into custody at the probation and parole offices, 1340 E. Green Bay St.

Disturbance — A 27-year-old Neopit man was arrested for disorderly conduct and domestic violence after a domestic disturbance at Schurz and Union streets.

Shawano County Sheriff’s Department

May 31

Deputies logged 44 incidents, including the following:

OWL — An 18-year-old male was cited for operating without a license on state Highway 29 in the town of Hartland.

Sat
02
Jun

FSA seeks county committee nominations

The U.S. Department of Agriculture is hoping America’s farmers and ranchers will nominate candidates to lead, serve and represent their community on their local county committee. USDA’s Farm Service Agency will accept nominations for county committee members beginning June 15.

Producers across the country are already serving on committees where they play a critical role in the day-to-day operations of FSA, making important decisions on programs dealing with disaster and conservation, emergencies, commodity price loan support, county office employment and other agricultural issues.

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