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Vol. 132 No.

60 – Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Serving our neighbors since 1880

24 pages 75¢

Manion: no criminal intent, no bullying in River View incident
By Brian Roebke Editor Kaukauna Chief of Police John Manion said following an investigation of a student alleging he was bullied last week at River View Middle School, police have determined the incident was not of criminal intent. At a news conference on Friday afternoon, Manion said the policeschool liaison officer was involved in the investigation which started early on Tuesday morning and went on all day and continued through the week. The events took place in a physical education class where students were testing out on a gymnastics unit. “While other students were waiting or had tested out, a group of young men had gone over and started wrestling with each other,” Manion said. “Two of the individuals started to wrestle, one being the accused and the other individual who was making the complaint, and they wrestled. A move was done on the young man and he was taken to the ground kind of hard and his breath was knocked out of him.” The student who took him down helped him up, asked him to walk around and walk it off, assisting him the entire time. “At no time was there any indication of intimidation, harassment, assaultive behavior, or any intent to do a criminal act,” Manion said. All students involved in the wrestling were there voluntarily and police feel confident the student just got taken down too hard and then went home and complained. “Instead of dealing with us on this, we find out at that time it was taken to Facebook and that’s where we’re at today,” Manion said. Manion said the accused student is trying to keep his name cleared, and the police have cleared him and they will do nothing more with the investigation. “If somebody’s taken down on a single-leg takedown, which is a takedown technique with wrestling and they fall the wrong way, they’re going to get their wind knocked out of them. It’s part of the deal,” he said. “At a young age, they’re not accomplished as wrestlers yet.” When asked about Matt Bent’s accusations that this was a continuous problem with his son, Manion said the police department’s contacts were very limited with the family. “We had another incident where they reported, I believe a couple months ago, that their son lost a necklace,” Manion said. “That also ties with this individual that he wrestled with. This individual had a necklace on that looked like the one Mr. Bent’s son had, and he assumed this individual had stolen it.” The police looked into that but found the other student received the necklace from a relative last year. From a police standpoint, Manion said they are leaving the situation up to the school for further action. “The Kaukauna Police Department and our city in general do not in any way, shape or form, condone any type of bullying, harassment, intimidation or assaultive behavior, no matter what your age is,” Manion said. He said some of the communicaSee Incident, page 6

Brian Roebke photo

The arched doorway in the center of this photo will be the main entrance to the Kaukauna Public Library if the proposed Grand KaKalin development becomes a reality in Kaukauna. The proposal has the library occupying the entire main level of the former Eagle mill on the island in Kaukauna.

Kaukauna residents see library floor plan, hear updates on Grand KaKalin project
By Brian Roebke Editor About 40 citizens made their way to a public meeting held last Wednesday evening to hear a very favorable update from representatives from Stadtmueller & Associates and the City of Kaukauna on the status of the Grand KaKalin project in Kaukauna. Developer Randy Stadtmueller said the historic tax credits offered by the federal government are a crucial part of the financial package for the project, and that process is very similar to the housing tax credits where they must submit an application, certify that the building is eligible for the tax credits, and certify that the owner will renovate it in accordance with the building’s historic character. The architect, Trevor Frank, submitted a story about the building’s character and history along with how it should be renovated. The application was submitted about a month ago and Stadtmueller learned that the state historical society has approved the application. “They’re the first people who have to approve this, and we’re waiting for the official letter,” Stadtmueller said. “We have a verbal message. The next step is the state sending the application to the National Park Service, which must make the federal decision on the tax credits. The same people who designated the Fox River as a national heritage
See Project, page 10

State budget impact on schools explained for Kimberly board
By Doug Kroll For the Times-Villager A daunting and straightforward message was made by Kimberly schools superintendent Bob Mayfield at the district’s board of education meeting Monday in explaining the impact of the 201315 budget proposal of Gov. Scott Walker. “This is not good for the Kimberly Area School District,” Mayfield said. In an effort to educate the public, Mayfield said it is imperative to inform residents about the burdens that will be placed on all schools and taxpayers if the governor’s proposal is passed. He said the problem begins with the revenue cap freeze. “A revenue cap freeze means that we cannot spend any more money,” Mayfield said. “That means you have no local control to say we’d like to do this or that. It is frozen. In that regard, we have a lot of concerns because we have rising costs. We have health care costs, we have heating and cooling. It’s hard to freeze a budget.” Mayfield said that after the Kimberly district cut $2 million from its budget last year, an additional loss will be realized with the planning for next year. “Last year, when they gave us the increase of $100 per student, which is about 1 percent, $50 of it was in non-recurring categorical aid,” Mayfield said. “And because of the revenue cap freeze and the way it’s set up, we actually lose $50 per student. So we’re going to lose $218,000. “When you say a freeze, we’re actually getting a decrease. So after losing $2 million, we’re now going to be losing $218,000. And again, that is a challenge.” Mayfield used information provided by the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction for his presentation. Also included in the discussion was the issue of funding allowances for students of charter schools and voucher schools. Mayfield said that provision will adversely affect the per-pupil increase that districts can allow to fund their budgets, and could lead to increased taxes. Mayfield said that the revenue limit means districts will have a $0 allowance in per-pupil increase. While there will be a state-aid increase of $127 per student, the increase may help reduce local property taxes. But, he said the state proposal does not have revenue limit restrictions on independent charter and voucher schools. This will allow for a $156 per student increase at charter schools, and as much as $1,414 increase for high school voucher students. “I don’t understand why these kinds of things get in the budget, because they will increase the taxes,” Mayfield said. “We have to pay for them somehow.” Among other provisions of the state budget is the implementation of a charter school oversight board. Mayfield said this would be an 11member board based at the DPI, and would have control over charter schools. While the board would not have any rule-making authority, it would eliminate the authority of school boards to establish independent charter schools directly. The Kimberly district is home to Kornerstone Charter School. Mayfield said it is unknown how this board would affect the operations of existing charter schools. Performance funding is another area of concern for schools throughout the state, Mayfield said, because it affects schools that can be victims of poverty-level areas. He said the school report card program that is now in place, assessing the success or failure of schools in educating students, could be used in a way that negatively affects school funding. “Tying pay to a system that has already been statistically tied to poverty — that is students who have high poverty perform the lowest, and school districts with the lowest poverty perform the highest — there’s a correlation to that. “We would probably come out ahead on that. But it’s not really what this system was made for.” Mayfield said the DPI suggests that performance funding will disproportionately direct aid toward affluent schools. The department also takes a stance that expanding voucher programs will increase property taxes. Board member Penny Hoh asked Mayfield what the board and public could do to address these issues. He said the best approach is to contact state legislators. “I’ve met with our representatives and senators, and what’s really interesting is they say they rarely, if ever get any phone calls. I find that amazing.” Mayfield said their response was that if they don’t hear from anyone, then they believe there is no problem.
See Kimberly, page 6

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