News

Sat
14
Jul

Man killed in crash remembered as devoted to family


Leader Photo by Greg Mellis Following Thursday’s funeral, April Kleczka reflects on the loss of her husband, Justin Kleczka, as she sits in their Shawano home. Photos and memories of their five children hang on the living room wall. Despite the sudden and tragic loss, April wants the community to know and remember the loving and generous husband and father.

For Justin Kleczka’s widow April, it’s how he lived, and not how he left this world, that matters.

Together with Justin since the pair met in their late teens while working together at the local Hardee’s, what started out as a romance where she was unsure of his interest blossomed into a family with three sons, two daughters, multiple dogs and a home filled with fond memories and personal struggles.

“When I met him, I really wanted to hang out and he kept going home,” April Kleczka said. “I thought he wasn’t into me because he was going home so early after work. So, one day I called Hardee’s and asked him if he wanted to watch movies and he never left my life.

At the time, April did not have her late husband’s phone number. After their first date, he stuck around and intended to be with her far into the future, even helping April with mental issues during their time together.

Sat
14
Jul

Shawano police complete their investigation into fatal accident

Shawano police have completed their end of an investigation into the motorcycle crash Sunday that took the life of 31-year-old Justin Kleczka of Shawano, but toxicology results and a full accident scene reconstruction are still pending from other agencies, according to Police Chief Dan Mauel.

Kleczka was killed in a motorcycle crash Sunday night on South Airport Drive about a quarter-mile south of Richmond Street.

The investigation determined Kleczka was southbound on Airport Drive and attempted to pass a southbound pickup truck and struck the rear of the truck.

Kleczka was wearing a helmet, police said.

The operator of the truck, a 30-year-old Shawano man, was not injured.

Mauel said the accident investigation is completed “to this point,” but the Wisconsin State Patrol is handling the accident reconstruction.

“Those reports take a while to get compiled and sent to us,” he said.

Sat
14
Jul

New Bonduel superintendent excited for future

Though Joe Dawidziak has only been on the job for a week, the seasoned educator is excited to be in charge of the Bonduel School District and happy to be working in Shawano County.

A seasoned educator with prior experience in teaching, administration and work as a superintendent before taking former Bonduel head Patrick Rau’s job (Rau left in June for a superintendent position with the Peshtigo School District), Dawidziak came to the area after living in Burlington and running the Raymond School District.

According to Dawidziak, he and his family made the move because he wanted a bit more difficulty, but in a similar setting.

“I was looking for a bit more of a challenge,” he said. “The district I was in was from K-8, and this is K-12 and roughly twice the size of where I was previously working. It is familiar, though. It is a place with similar values and beliefs and the same kind of farming community.”

Sat
14
Jul

County closer to hiring emergency management director

A Shawano County committee this week recommended the hiring of a retiring army colonel and Shawano native to take over as emergency management director.

James Davel was unanimously approved by the public safety committee after two interviews. The recommendation will go the administrative committee on Wednesday for consideration and the full County Board on July 25.

Davel currently serves in the United States Army at the rank of colonel, and will be retiring after 27 years. He has received the Legion of Merit, Bronze Star, Meritorious Service Medal and Defense Meritorious Service Medal, and he has been stationed in many countries during his service, according to the county resolution recommending his hiring.

Davel is originally from Shawano and will be returning to Shawano permanently, together with his family, after his retirement.

Davel has accepted the position. If approved by the County Board, his start date would be Sept. 17.

Sat
14
Jul

Public Record

Shawano Police Department

July 12

Police logged 25 incidents, including the following:

Auto Theft — A vehicle was reported stolen in the 200 block of East Randall Street.

Auto Theft — A vehicle was reported stolen in the 1000 block of South Washington Street.

Juvenile — Police responded to a juvenile problem in the 800 block of East Richmond Street.

Theft — A bike was reported stolen in the 100 block of East Richmond Street.

Disturbance — Police responding to a disturbance in the 200 block of South Sawyer Street cited a 26-year-old Shawano woman with possession of drug paraphernalia.

Shawano County Sheriff’s Department

July 12

Deputies logged 36 incidents, including the following:

Reckless Driving — Authorities responded to a reckless driving complaint on state Highway 29 in the town of Richmond.

Sat
14
Jul

Fall forage workshop planned for next week

Significant alfalfa winterkill across the region has put many farms in a bind this summer when it comes to forage stocks.

To answer fall forage establishment questions, the Shawano County Forage Council is hosting a workshop July 19 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. “Fall Forages — Selection, Planting and Harvest” will be held at the Green Valley Community Center, W1734 County Road E, Cecil, which is just west of Advance.

Topics will include forage options after wheat, best management strategies for fall alfalfa establishment, fertilizer considerations for fall forages, new seeding alfalfa and more. The workshop is free with the Shawano County Forage Council providing a light lunch.

To ensure an accurate head count for the meal, RSVP with the Shawano County UW-Extension office at 715-526-6136.

Sat
14
Jul

Bus program aims to curb drunk driving

Galen Sherbon of Green Bay established his business, Another Way Entertainment LLC, in June 2013. What started as a party bus service has continually grown with the addition of services. The latest addition — three 19-passenger buses that are meant to help encourage responsible drinking — led him to apply for the Green Bay Packers’ mentor/protégé program.

“I connected with Bob Jahnke at the initial meeting because I wanted to get partnered up with a marketing person,” Sherbon explained. “He has his own marketing software for texting and email and told me how much that could benefit my business.”

Jahnke, owner of Top Hat Marketing and a Green Bay SCORE volunteer, was impressed with Sherbon’s business knowledge and has been helping him work toward his goal of getting the word out about the new service.

Sat
14
Jul

Filing on time prevents loss of FSA benefits

U.S. Department of Agriculture Farm Service Agency (FSA) Executive Director Emily Schildgen in Shawano-Menominee County says producers who file accurate and timely reports for all crops and land uses, including failed acreage, can prevent the potential loss of FSA program benefits.

“In order to comply with FSA program eligibility requirements, all producers are encouraged to visit the Shawano-Menominee County FSA office to file an accurate crop certification report by the applicable deadline,” Schildgen said.

The following acreage reporting dates are applicable for Shawano-Menominee County:

• July 16: All spring-seeded crops, including dry edible beans, dark and light red kidney beans, forage seeding, and all CRP acreage.

• Aug. 15: Processing snap beans, cabbage.

• Oct. 1: Value-loss and controlled environment crops except nursery.

• Nov. 15: Perennial forage, fall mint, fall-seeded small grains, pasture, rangeland and forage.

Sat
14
Jul

DATCP warns of scams targeting military families

The last thing soldiers should have to worry about during a deployment is whether or not their family members are getting ripped off back home.

Yet there are bad actors who specifically target military families with their scams.

July is Military Consumer Protection Month, and the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection (DATCP) is sharing ways the Bureau of Consumer Protection can help protect you and your family from scams and identity theft.

“While facing the same risks of scams and identity theft as the general public, military families are also targeted by criminals who use the military lifestyle to find openings for additional scams,” said Michelle Reinen, director of the Bureau of Consumer Protection.

Fri
13
Jul

April snowstorm could be reason for lower goose population in city

Canada geese continue to be a nuisance at two Shawano city parks, but the birds are gathering in noticeably smaller numbers this year.

That might have less to do with the city’s goose harassment strategy than with the late-season monster blizzard that blanketed the area with nearly three feet of snow in mid-April, according to Park and Recreation Director Matt Hendricks.

“We may have a stroke of luck with that 33-inch snowstorm we had,” Hendricks told the Shawano Common Council Wednesday.

“That happened to come at a point in time when many geese were back,” he said. “Obviously, 33 inches of snow disrupted their habitat.”

Hendricks said that was the assessment of local Department of Natural Resources officials and other park and recreation contacts in the Green Bay area and northern region were reporting the same reduced goose population.

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