Monday, December 30, 2013

12-31-13 new year's eve travel

New Year’s Eve is a big night for partying, and a lot of people will be on the roads. Wisconsin State Patrol Sergeant Greg Jenswold says it’s been said many times before, but it’s still true: do not get behind the wheel if you’ve had too much to drink. 
Sergeant Jenswold says depending on the weather, New Year’s Eve will have about as many crashes as a typical Packers football Sunday. He says the state Transportation Department has tried to get out the message about the dangers of drinking and driving through numerous TV ads. 
Sergeant Jenswold says if you see a driver weaving, stay away and call 9-1-1. Your call will be sent to the nearest county sheriff’s office no matter where you are, and law enforcement personnel will be dispatched to the scene.  He also has advice if you get into a crash: unless it is on fire, stay in your car. Recently, video of a huge chain-reaction multiple-fatality accident on Highway 41/45 near Germantown went viral.

12-31-13 county executive-2013

The Fond du Lac County executive is pleased with the accomplishments made during 2013…including business expansions and a couple of major road projects.  County executive Al Buechel says the railroad underpass project in Fond du Lac will help improve traffic flow and safety.  Buechel says another major road project to improve Highway M was a joint effort between Fond du lac and Winnebago counties.  Buechel says he is also proud of the economic incentive package to help Alliance Laundry expand.  Buechel says probably his biggest disappointment was the county board’s
vote against an economic incentive package to help facilitate an expansion project at Mercury Marine.

12-31-13 minority caucus-white lawmakers

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — The Wisconsin Legislature's Black and Latino Caucus is inviting white lawmakers who represent largely minority districts to participate in its meetings for the first time.  The state has 12 legislative districts in which most residents are members of a racial or ethnic minority. But only seven districts are represented by minority lawmakers.   The caucus is asking white lawmakers representing the mostly minority districts to attend meetings but it is stopping short of giving them full membership with voting rights.  It's also considering inviting Republican Rep. Jessie Rodriguez, of Franklin, although her district is mostly white. Wisconsin's seven minority lawmakers are the fewest the state has had since 1992.

12-31-13 snowmobile fatal victim identified

CAMBRIA, Wis. (AP) — The Michigan man who died in a snowmobile accident last week in southern Wisconsin has been identified.  Columbia County authorities say the man was 36-year-old Jeremy Geertsma of Plymouth, Mich.  He died in a crash Friday afternoon in the town of Randolph. Authorities say he crashed into a tree on private property, and that speed and snow conditions may have been factors.

12-31-13 snowmobile fatal victim identified

CAMBRIA, Wis. (AP) — The Michigan man who died in a snowmobile accident last week in southern Wisconsin has been identified.  Columbia County authorities say the man was 36-year-old Jeremy Geertsma of Plymouth, Mich.  He died in a crash Friday afternoon in the town of Randolph. Authorities say he crashed into a tree on private property, and that speed and snow conditions may have been factors.

12-31-13 state employee bonuses

GREEN BAY, Wis. (AP) — Wisconsin state employees have been awarded nearly $14 million in bonuses and merit raises this year, more than twice what they got last year. Nearly 6,300 employees, or about one in six state workers, got a bonus. Last year, about 1,800 state employees got bonuses totaling about $6 million.  The figures from the Office of State Employee Relations are current through Oct. 20.  The Department of Corrections gave out the most bonuses, with 1,313 employees each getting $750. The Department of Health Services handed out the most money — a total of $2.2 million as 905 workers each received $2,500.  DHS spokeswoman Stephanie Smiley says bonuses acknowledge the value of top workers.  Gov. Scott Walker says state employees who are doing more with less deserve to be rewarded.

12-31-13 anti abortion bills

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Wisconsin state senators don't appear poised to vote next year on a pair of anti-abortion bills originally scheduled to be taken up in November. Republican Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald says he doesn't know if there's enough support among Republicans to bring the bills back. He tells The Associated Press in an interview that Republicans feel like they're spinning their wheels by passing abortion bills that get tied up in court.

Sunday, December 29, 2013

12-30-13 vehicle breaks through ice on kettle moraine lake

On Saturday, December 28, 2013 at approximately 2:42pm, the Fond du Lac County Communications Center received a report of a vehicle which had broken through the ice on Kettle Moraine Lake in the Town of Osceola.  The caller was unable to determine if anyone was inside the vehicle, and during the course of the call indicated the vehicle had become completely submerged.  The Fond du Lac County Sheriff’s Office, Campbellsport Fire Department and Ambulance did respond to the scene. The Fond du Lac County Sheriff’s Office Dive Team was activated, and divers from the Campbellsport Fire Department were preparing for a rescue attempt based on it being unknown if anyone was still in the vehicle.   At approximately 3:00pm, the Fond du Lac County Communications Center received a phone call from the vehicle owner stating he was out of the vehicle, home safe, and was the lone occupant of the vehicle.  The area on Kettle Moraine Lake were the vehicle broke through was an area of open water approximately one week ago, and had frozen over with 4 to 5 inches of ice.   The Fond du Lac County Sheriff’s Offices urges those that use the frozen waterways to do so with caution, as ice conditions can vary greatly from one lake to another, and from one area to another on the same lake.

12-30-13 fdl police investigate downtown shooting

Fond du Lac police are continuing their investigation into a weekend shooting incident in downtown Fond du lac. Shortly after 2:30am Saturday police were called to the area of Main St and 2nd St in the city of Fond du Lac reference multiple shots being fired.  Officers were in the area at the time performing directed patrol and were on the scene immediately.  Officers were able to pursue and apprehend two suspects that were fleeing the area on foot in the area of 1st
and Main St. One victim a 30 year old male from Fond du Lac was struck by a round fired by the suspect, however, the bullet struck the victim's belt buckle stopping the bullet from causing serious injury.  Officers were able to determine that 4 shots in total were fired.  One suspect, a 34 year old male from Fond du Lac is being held in the Fond du Lac County Jail in connection to the shooting.   The second suspect, a 19 year old male was released from custody after questioning. Police are still trying to determine what led up to the altercation and the investigation is ongoing.

12-30-13 fatal accident

On Thursday, December 26, 2013, the Fond du Lac County Sheriff’s Office responded to a two vehicle crash on Marshview Road south of Lake Maria Road in the Township of Alto.  The crash occurred when a northbound passenger car, operated by 66 year old Carlene Resop of Eureka, lost control on the snow covered roadway and crossed into the path of a southbound grain/feed haul truck, operated by 56 year old Michael Larson of Horicon.   As a result of the crash, Resop was pronounced dead at the scene.  Larson was not injured in the crash.  Responding along with the Sheriff’s Office was Alto Fire Department, Life Star Ambulance, and Flight For Life Helicopter.

12-30-13 polar bear plunge

MILWAUKEE (AP) — If you've never done a polar bear plunge before, this New Year's Day might not be the best day to start.  Temperatures are expected to be in the low single digits Wednesday across much of Wisconsin and Minnesota. That's about 25 degrees colder than usual.  That could present a challenge for the hardy swimmers who participate in a chilly New Year's Day tradition: jumping into frozen lakes or oceans.  Organizers say the conditions will be brutal. So while the events will go on as scheduled, participants who find themselves apprehensive should wait until next year.

Saturday, December 28, 2013

12-28-13 Oshkosh Walmart's Mysterious Man with Sign

Right before the holidays, a man showed up outside an Oshkosh Walmart with an amazing sign around his neck. The man made a sign out of cardboard with green writing on it.

The sign was not admitting a wrong or asking for money, instead it was talking about how blessed he was and offered anyone who saw it $5. The sign reads: I have a job. I have a car. I have a roof over my head. Do you need $5? Merry Christmas. The man’s identity is unknown.

12-28-13 Postage Stamp Price Hike

In an attempt to help the Postal Service recover from the severe mail decreases from the 2008 economic downturn, regulators have approved a temporary price hike of 3 cents for a first-class stamp. This price hike will bring the total charge of a stamp to 49 cents a letter.

The new rate is effective Jan. 26 and will last no more than two years. This allows the Postal service to hopefully recoup $2.8 billion in losses. Postal Regulatory commission rejected a request by a 2-1 vote on Tuesday to make the price hike permanent. However, over the next 24 months inflation may make it so.

12-28-13 UWO Launched State's First Virutal Teaching Program

Wisconsin has launched the state’s first virtual student teaching program through the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh. Student teacher mike Wilbert volunteered to be the first participant of the program that launched earlier this fall. Wilbert spent the first nine weeks of the course student teaching in front of a virtual classroom and then completed nine weeks of tradition, in-person student teaching.

Despite a few technical difficulties at the start of the course, the program is setting a future for teacher preparation programs. UW Oshkosh knows that many students who leave the program will wind up teaching in virtual programs and they want to make sure that they meet the needs of these students.

A review of the trial run will be made by UW Oshkosh and modifications will occur before next fall.

12-28-13 Waupun Area Endures Series of Bomb Threats

For nearly four days in November, Waupun residents endured a rash of bomb threats phoned into nine businesses, the high school, public library, and hospital.

The bomb threats that started off as a joke by suspect Aaron Schreiber, soon became no laughing matter for the community. Residents were afraid to leave their homes not knowing if the threats were real and several businesses were shut down for periods of time while the threats were being investigated to ensure residents were safe.

A sense of unease spread through the community and the school district allowed parents to keep their children from going to school. Once the caller targeted the school, more than 700 students had already opted to stay home.

Suspect Aaron Schreiber told police that he phoned the first bomc threat in to his former employer, Culver’s restaurant of Waupun, on November 10th as “just a joke”. The joke was carried too far when the last of the bomb threats were called in to the Fond du Lac County Communications Center indicating that not only was there a bomb planted at Waupun Memorial Hospital, but he that he also had a weapon and would be taking hostages. Fortunately, phone technology showed the man was no where near the hospital and Schreiber was taken into custody later in the day.

Court officials await the outcome of a competency evaluation and the case is currently suspended.

12-28-13 Drunken Driving Bills May Not Pass Senate

Attempts to toughen Wisconsin’s weak drunken driving laws with bipartisan supported bills may be going nowhere in the Senate. One of the bills awaiting Senate action would require all first-time offenders to make an appearance in court. Another proposal would make all second offenses misdemeanors. Current law states that a second offense committed more than 10 years after a first offense would be considered a first offense.

Republican Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald issued a statement this weekend that he would prefer to spend money on setting up special drunken driving treatment courts statewide before considering these bills.

12-28-13 Senate May Not Pass Speed Limit Bill

 A proposal that would raise the speed limit on Wisconsin's interstates to 70 miles per hour may not pass in the state Senate. Republican Senate Majority Leader Scott issued a statement on Friday that the bill does not currently have enough support to reach the 17 votes needed in order to pass.

Fitzgerald said that concerns about the bill will continue to be addressed behind the scenes, and it may still come up for a vote in the next year.

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

12-26-13 pickup truck destroyed by fire

On December 25, 2013 at 11:42 a.m. the FDLFD responded to a report of a pickup truck totally involved in fire near the building at the Blue Line Family Ice Center at 550 Fond du Lac Avenue.  When companies arrived they found a truck near the east side of the building.  The truck was unoccupied at the time.  The fire was extinguished and it did not spread to the building.  The vehicle, a 2001 pickup truck with a plow attached, was destroyed.  The vehicle owner, a local landscaper is contracted by the Blue Line to clear snow from the walkways around the building. He stated that he was having some engine troubles prior to the fire and the fire is believed to be accidental.

12-26-13 holiday inn roof fire

Nobody was injured in a small fire on the roof at the Fond du Lac Holiday Inn.  Firefighters were called to the
scene at 5:30 Christmas morning for the fire which was contained to a rooftop HVAC unit. The fire was quickly


12-26-13 river road fire

At 938am on Tuesday, December 24th, 2013, The Fond du Lac County Sheriff’s Office responded to the Don Hannemann residence located at N4587 River Rd. in the Township of Byron for a report that the residence was on fire. Fire Departments from the Towns of Oakfield, Lamartine, Brownsville, Lomira, and Eden along with a City of Fond du Lac Ambulance responded to the scene. The residence has sustained heavy damage. There was no one home at the time of the fire. The Red Cross is assisting the family at this time. The cause of the fire has not yet been determined.

12-26-13 ripon fire victims donations update

The Watson Street Fire Recovery Committee says the public’s generosity in making donations to help victims of a  downtown fire has been “stunning” and the victim’s needs have been met.  The committee says it continues to communicate with the families affected and use the donated food, clothing, furniture, housing, gift cards, and cash – to help these families get back on their feet.  The fire earlier this month destroyed three buildings in Ripon’s historic downtown and the apartments above the building.  Nearly two dozen residents were displaced by the fire. In a statement issued this week the committee says at this point it is most prudent and responsible to ask that everyone hold off with any further donations at this time.  The statement says the donations have met the needs, and the cash in the segregated bank account will be adequate as these families settle in and as they rebuild their households. 

12-26-13 fdl city council candidates

All four incumbents and one challenger have taken out nomination papers to run for Fond du lac city council.  Incumbents, Gary Miller, LeeAnn Lorrigan, Brian Foster and Karen Merkel are running for re-election.  Former councilmember Mick Burroughs has also taken out nomination papers.  The deadline to file papers to run for public office is 5pm Tuesday January 7th.

12-26-13 fugitive arrested

PHOENIX (AP) — Federal authorities say a fugitive wanted for alleged sex offenses in northern Arizona has been arrested in Wisconsin.  The U.S. Marshals Service says 57-year-old Mark Neuman was booked Tuesday into the Sauk County Jail. He's now awaiting extradition to Arizona.  They say Neuman was wanted by Prescott police on felony warrants issued in September.  Authorities say Neuman allegedly tried to lure a 10-year-old girl for sex after showing her pornographic photos and making suggestive and explicit comments.  He also allegedly showed pornographic material to an 11-year-old boy and was found to be in possession of methamphetamine and drug paraphernalia.  Authorities say Neuman was arrested and released from custody prior to a grand jury superseding indictment. He was tracked to Wisconsin.

12-26-13 tax cuts

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Talk of cutting taxes in Wisconsin is starting to grow heading into an election year.
The ideas vary widely and include everything from a narrow sales tax holiday to outright eliminating the state income tax.  Whether anything can be done next year, and to what degree, Likely will be dictated by how rosy updated tax collection estimates are when released in mid-January.  Gov. Scott Walker has floated the idea of eliminating the income tax, but it's been met with a lukewarm reception at best.   Republican Assembly Speaker Robin Vos says that would be a difficult change to make and he's more interested in a sales tax holiday for back to school purchases.  But Vos says any tax cut is dependent on what tax collections look like in the January report.

Monday, December 23, 2013

12-24-13 white christmas

Winter is off to a snowy start in Wisconsin.  The first official day of winter was Saturday…and the first major snowstorm of the season hit early Sunday morning.   The storm dumped 4-6 inches of snow in the Fond du lac area and up to eight inches of snow in portions of Dodge County.  National Weather Service meteorologist J.J. Wood says its going to be a white Christmas.  "A weather system coming through on Christmas eve and then on Christmas day.  Mostly on Christmas eve we should see another two to three inches,"  Wood told AM 1170 WFDL's Between the Lines program.  "...and then some light snow maybe lingering into Christmas day.  Meanwhile Fond du lac County Sheriff’s captain Rick Olig says deputies responded to several mostly minor traffic accidents over the weekend.  "There were 13 or 14 reportable crashes and a series of about 27 run-offs since Friday,"  Olig told WFDL news.  "We didn't have any serious crashes which is the main concern we had."

12-24-13 high school cheating

MIDDLETON, Wis. (AP) — Nearly 250 seniors at Middleton High School have been told to retake a calculus test after suspected cheating.   Principal Denise Herrmann and Associate Principal Lisa Jondle sent a letter to parents last week indicating they suspected students of sharing photos of calculus test questions.
They wrote the investigation widened after the school received four letters from parents and students indicating such cheating had occurred before and in other subjects.  The letter said students also allegedly took copies of tests from classrooms and planned absences on test days to obtain information from students who took the test.  Middleton-Cross Plains School District spokesman Perry Hibner says no students have been disciplined. The letter to parents said student discipline could include suspensions.

12-24-13 wolf hunt ends

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Wisconsin's wolf hunting and trapping season has come to an end.  The Wisconsin Department of Resources says the sixth and last zone closed at 5 p.m. Monday.  Zone 3 covers a narrow swath of northwestern Wisconsin that includes portions of Burnett, Washburn, Barron, Chippewa, Rusk, Sawyer, Price and Taylor counties.  The quota for Zone 3 was set at 71 wolves and the closure process was initiated when wolf 64 was killed Saturday.   The DNR has already closed five zones after hunters reached their limits. This season's quota was 135 wolves.  Wisconsin's wolf season was to run through the end of February unless hunters reached their statewide limit.  The 2012-13 season ended two months early on Dec. 23 as well after hunters exceeded their 116-wolf limit by one animal.

12-24-13 health overhaul

APPLETON, Wis. (AP) — Some Wisconsin business owners say companies are putting off decisions to hire or expand because they're not sure how the new health care law will play out.  Some companies worry that their health care costs will rise and others are afraid the law will keep changing.  Mark Haupt is an executive with crane manufacturer The Manitowoc Co. He says the new law will cost the company millions of dollars annually in fees, taxes and additional plan requirements. He says the company hopes to limit costs through medical screenings and wellness programs.  Pam Branshaw is with Wipfli, an accounting firm that oversees employee benefits. She says small businesses can expect to see health insurance costs rise 25 percent, which is why some owners are thinking hard before hiring.

12-24-13 childhood ag injuries

Farm injury rates among children younger than age 10 are on the rise despite a continued overall decline in the rate of childhood agricultural injuries in the U.S.  That according to the 2014 Childhood Agricultural Injuries Fact Sheet compiled by the National Children’s Center for Rural and Agricultural Health and Safety at the Marshfield Clinic Research Foundation.   Scott Neiberger with the National Farm Medicine Center says on average a child dies in an agriculture-related incident every three days, and 38 children are injured each day.  The report shows rates of injury among children ages 10 and younger rose from 6.6 per 1,000 farms In 2009 to 11.3 per 1,000 in 2012.  More than half of these injuries were incurred by non-working children.  In the wake of several high-profile deaths this su8mmer in which children as young as one were riding tractors as passengers when they fell off and were run over, the National Children’s Center is renewing its campaign to Keep Kids Away from Tractors.

12-24-13 teenager drowns after skidloader goes through ice on pond

TOWN OF OWEN, Wis. (AP) — A 13-year-old boy has drowned after a skid loader went through the ice of a pond in Clark County.  The sheriff's office got a 911 call about the drowning near the Town of Owen just before noon Monday.  Authorities say the boy was using the skid loader to clear snow on an ice-covered pond when the loader broke through the ice.  A family member became concerned and found the victim after going to look for him.  The boy was pronounced dead at a hospital in Marshfield. His name was not immediately released.

12-24-13 agnesian health care reform panels in ripon and waupun

As part of its core mission, Agnesian HealthCare is working to help individuals
and families throughout its service area understand and prepare for changes
that will affect a number of people as healthcare reform begins January 2014. The
main healthcare reform features include:

*       Requiring all US citizens and legal
residents to obtain health coverage from their employers or a type of coverage
that meets the individual responsibility requirement under the Affordable Care
Act, or pay a penalty.

*       Elimination of certain insurance
restrictions with exclusions of certain individuals from healthcare coverage,
such as requirements relating to pre-existing conditions.

*       Requiring employers with more than 50
full-time employees to provide affordable health coverage to employees.
On Wednesday, January 8, Steve Little, Agnesian HealthCare president and chief executive officer, and a panel of Agnesian HealthCare experts will share their knowledge of upcoming changes as a result of healthcare reform.  The free program is scheduled from 6 to 7:30 p.m. in the Green Lake Room at Ripon Medical Center, 933 Newbury Street.
On Thursday, January 16, Steve Little, Agnesian HealthCare president and chief
executive officer, and a panel of Agnesian HealthCare experts will share their
knowledge of upcoming changes as a result of healthcare reform. The free
program is scheduled from 6 to 7:30 p.m. in the Lower Level Meeting Room at
Waupun Memorial Hospital, 620 W. Brown Street.

"We know there are a lot of unanswered questions about healthcare reform, and
individuals want to be sure they are taking all the right steps to be
ready," says Little. "We have been working to prepare our associates
to most effectively manage these questions, as well as help our patients and
families navigate this maze of information. We hope this educational session
will help shed more light on the new Affordable Care Act." Agnesian HealthCare 
panels will cover the following topics:

*       How health reform impacts care delivery

*       Payment reform (confirmed participation

*       What you need to be doing as part of the
Affordable Care Act

*       Access to health insurance through the
health insurance marketplace (exchanges)

To learn more or to register for the January 16 program, call Journeys: a health
resource center at (920) 926-4960 or register on-line by visiting


12-24-13 festivus pole

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — The grievances have been aired, and many of them target Gov. Scott Walker and fellow Republicans.  About 100 people showed up Monday to celebrate Festivus in the state Capitol, the made-up holiday made famous in an episode of the television show "Seinfeld." Celebrating Festivus involves airing of grievances, which participants did through a megaphone that echoed through the rotunda of the Capitol.  Frequent protester Greg Gordon erected the plain aluminum table-top Festivus pole in the Capitol this month, sharing space with a nativity scene and the 25-foot Christmas tree.  Monday's event also included singing of protest songs, including "Festivus is Here" and other holiday-themed tunes.

Sunday, December 22, 2013

12-23-13 city of fdl holiday hours

City offices in the City/County Government Center will close at noon on December 24th and December 31st and will be closed all day on December 25th and January 1st in observance of the holidays. The Municipal Service Center will close at 11am on December 24th and December 31st and will be closed all day on December 25th and January 1st. Refuse and recycling will be collected as follows:

Normal Collection Day:
Will Be Collected:
December 24th
Tuesday December 24th
December 25th
Thursday December 26th
December 31st
Tuesday December 31st
January 1st
Thursday January 2nd

Please have your materials set out by 5:00 am to accommodate the additional collections on these dates. Yard waste and brush may still be dropped off during the holiday hours.   Fond du Lac Area Transit will operate until noon on December 24th and December 31st and will be closed all day on December 25th and January 1st in observance of the holidays.  The Senior Center will be closed on December 24th, 25th, 31st and January 1st in observance of the holidays. The Fond du Lac Public Library will be closed on December 24th and December 25th for the Christmas holiday and will close at 4pm on December 31st and be closed all day on January 1st for New Year’s Day.  The Library will return to regular hours on January 2nd.    Police and Fire Departments will be fully operational throughout the holiday period.


12-23-13 fdl couple-lemon law

A Fond du Lac couple is seeing red, after a jury ruled that a blue car is a suitable replacement for their defective red car under Wisconsin's Lemon Law. Consumer groups and the auto industry were watching the case of David and Mary Porter, to see if a vehicle's color would be an issue under the law that requires automakers to replace new cars sold with manufacturing defects.  A Milwaukee County jury deliberated six hours before ruling that the new vehicle's color did not have to be the same as the old.  The Porters say they chose their new Ford Escape in 2010 only because of its red exterior and light tan interior.  And for the 27-thousand-dollars they paid, the couple said Ford owed it to them to make the replacement the exact same colors.  Ford offered a model that was two years newer, but with a blue exterior and charcoal interior -- and a moon roof instead of a roof rack.  Ford argued that it met all its conditions for providing a comparable vehicle to replace one that kept having transmission problems.  The Porter's attorney, Vince Megna, says he was shocked that a different-colored vehicle was considered comparable.  Still, he says he was grateful that the jury gave the issue serious thought.

12-23-13 waupun bomb threat suspect

We're learning more about a man charged with making over a dozen bomb threats in Waupun.  Records show 32-year-old Aaron Schreiber was diagnosed in 2004 as having an anxiety disorder.  That's when he admitted having sex up to 15 times with a girl who was 14 years old.  Most of the incidents took place in parking lots near Fort Drum in New York State. Schreiber pleaded guilty in a military court marshal and was confined for three years.  It's why he had to register as a sex offender in Wisconsin.  Last month, Schreiber was charged with 41 felony counts.  Ten were for working with children as a child sex offender, when he was a referee for girls' volleyball and basketball in middle school and high school.  Fifteen charges involved bomb scares last month at Waupun high school, a hospital, stores, and fast-food restaurants.  Online court records show that a report about Schreiber's mental state was given to a Dodge County circuit judge this week.  He was recently ordered to undergo an exam to see if he's competent to stand trial.  A hearing on that question is set for January eighth.

12-23-13 fdl police warn residents about credit card scam

Fond du lac police are warning residents about a new credit card-telephone scam that has surfaced in Wisconsin.  Fond du Lac Assistant police chief Steve Klein says the caller says they are calling from the credit card’s security and fraud department and provide you with all the information except the one piece they want…the 3-digit PIN number on the back of your card.  Klein says the real credit card companies will never ask for anything on the card because they already have that information since they issued the card.

12-23-13 obit burglar convicted in fdl shoplifting incident

A Sheboygan Falls man accused of using obituary notices to commit burglaries in Sheboygan County has copped a plea in connection with a shoplifting incident at Mills Fleet Farm in Fond du lac.  Sixty three year old Dennis Petrie pleaded no contest to  felony bail jumping and a charge of retail theft was dismissed and read into the record.  Fond du Lac Judge Richard Nuss sentenced Petrie to 90 days in jail plus court costs.  Because Petrie has already served 64 days in jail and credited with good time, he will be released from jail Monday.   According to a criminal complaint Petrie tried to  shoplift  two LED flashlight bulbs by removing them from a package and placing them in his mouth before leaving the store.  In Sheboygan County Petrie faces more than 30 charges including theft and burglary.  He is accused of using obituary notices and estate sale listings to burglarize homes of people who had recently died and  burglarizing homes of former co-workers and people on vacation.

12-23-13 fdl sex offender release

Fond du Lac police are notifying the public that a convicted sex offender is being released from prison this week and will be living in the community.  Phillip Roth is being released from prison December 24th after serving time for sexually assaulting a nine year old boy.  Roth will be residing
at 457 Thomas Street upon his release.  Special conditions of his supervised release include GPS monitoring and no unsupervised contact with minors.

12-23-13 kenosha casino

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — A top aide says Governor Scott Walker may postpone deciding whether to approve the Menominee tribe's Kenosha casino project until after he runs for re-election next November. Administration Secretary Mike Huebsch says the state's attorneys and financial adviser may need more time to examine the tribe's off-reservation project.  He says as the administration's point person on the project, he will engage in "shuttle diplomacy" to negotiate between the Menominee and two tribes that strongly oppose the project.   Huebsch also opened the door to modifying or dropping the veto power Walker gave each of Wisconsin's 11 tribes.  Ho-Chunk tribe spokesman Collin Price says he's disappointed that the administration would even consider removing the tribes' project veto power.

12-22-13 midwest winter weather

CHICAGO (AP) — Residents of several upper Midwest states awoke Sunday morning to a new covering of snow.  A sloppy storm system that dished a bit of everything Saturday on an area stretching from Texas to eastern Canada brought rain Sunday to areas back East that enjoyed spring-like temperatures the day before.  Travelers likely avoided the worst if they left or arrived in the Midwest by midday Saturday. But by afternoon, roads in many areas became slick and flight cancellations and delays started mounting. By 11 p.m. Central Standard Time Saturday, nearly 500 flights into or out of U.S. airports had been cancelled and some 7,000 had been delayed, aviation tracking website FlightAware DOT com reported.

12-22-13 snowstorm

Holiday travelers met snow-covered roads and reduced visibility in Wisconsin this weekend.  The National Weather Service issued a winter storm warning for much of the state, with4 to 8 inches of snow by Sunday morning.  Senior forecaster Bob McMahon says the heaviest was in southern Wisconsin, with it getting lighter toward far northwest Wisconsin.  The Wisconsin Department of Transportation sent out a severe weather alert, reminding motorists to plan on potentially dangerous road conditions this weekend.  The snow will cover freezing rain that fell most of Friday in southern Wisconsin.

12-22-13 children's museum hours

For the safety of visitors, members, and staff, the Children's Museum will only be open from 12:00 - 4:00 pm Sunday.  Please call us at (920) 929-0707 with any questions.   Drive safe and stay warm, everyone!

Friday, December 20, 2013

12-22-13 agnesian ez care in waupun closed sunday

Due to the wintry weather today, Agnesian EZ Care - 904 W. Main Street in Waupun - is closed on Sunday, December 22. 2013.   The Waupun Memorial Hospital Urgent Care and Emergency Department is open to help facilitate any medical needs.


12-21-13 juneau woman arrested in burglary spree

A Juneau woman has been charged in connection with a number of daytime burglaries in Mayville, Columbus, Lomira, and Iron Ridge.  21 year old Kassie Gehler is charged with burglary in Dodge County Circuit Court.  A preliminary hearing has been scheduled for December 26th.  A 32 year old Juneau man is also expected to be charged for his role in the burglary spree.  On Monday morning, a resident reported suspicious activity to the Columbus Police Department involving a male and a female.  The caller was able to give a description of the couple and their vehicle to authorities and soon after, a traffic stop was conducted on a vehicle matching the description.  Gehler and the Juneau man were taken into custody.  The pair is accused of breaking into homes during the day and stealing valuables while the homeowners were away.

12-21-13 empty bowls fundraiser

Nearly $10,000 was raised in support of area food pantries thanks to attendees, donors and sponsors of the 2013 Empty Bowls Fundraiser.  The event, which was held on December 4, 2013 at the Retlaw Plaza Hotel, brought over 500 community members together in support of a great cause.   Organized by the Leadership Fond du Lac Alumni Group and sponsored by Associated Bank and Consultants Laboratory of Wisconsin, this event brought awareness to hunger in our community and world and it provided an opportunity for the community to come together to raise money for local food pantries and shelters.  This year, six area food pantries benefited from the generosity of the Empty Bowls Fundraiser, with each receiving a check for $1,639.00.  The following food pantries were assisted: Broken Bread, Fondy Food Pantry, Loaves & Fishes, Salvation Army, Solutions Center and St. Vincent DePaul.  The success of this event could not have been possible without the help of area businesses, donors, student artists and Leadership Fond du Lac Alumni – all coming together to give of their time, talents and resources.  Delicious soups were donated by Boda’s Restaurant and Catering, Fat Joe’s Bar & Grill, Red Cabin at Green Acres, Salty’s Seafood & Spirits, Sunset on the Water Grill & Bar and Trepanier’s Backyard Grill & Bar.  With each restaurant donating 20 gallons of soup, event attendees were able to sample various soups, as well as milk, breads and desserts provided by: Aramark, Baker’s Pride, Bob and Bonnie’s Donuts & Cakes, Festival Foods, Lake Breeze Dairy, Linstrom’s Catering and Schreiner’s Restaurant.  A cornerstone of this event is the concept and reality of an empty bowl, which serves as a reminder for those who go hungry every day.  To bring awareness to this important social need, area art students crafted more than 500 bowls, which allowed every event attendee to take a bowl, signifying the true purpose of the event.  Participating schools included:  Students at Campbellsport High and Middle Schools, Fond du Lac High School, Horace Mann High School, North Fond du Lac Alternative High School, Oakfield Middle School, Sabish Middle School, St. Mary’s Springs Academy – High School, Theisen Middle School, Winnebago Lutheran Academy and Woodworth Middle School.



12-21-13 waupun hotel groundbreaking

Construction is underway on a new hotel in Waupun.  State and local dignitaries were on hand recently for groundbreaking ceremonies  for a  new AmericInn.  Consolidated Construction company is building the hotel.

12-21-13 walker signs medicaid delay bill

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker has signed a bill to delay extending Medicaid to tens of thousands of people for another three months.  Current state law expands Medicaid coverage in January to about 83,000 childless adults who earn less than the poverty level. It also pushes about 72,000 parents and caretakers who earn more than the poverty level off the program next month.  Walker said those people could find coverage through the federally run health insurance marketplace. But the governor last month proposed keeping people on Medicaid until April, citing problems with the launch of the federal exchange website. To pay for that the governor proposed delaying the childless adult expansion until April.
Republican lawmakers this month passed a bill executing Walker's plan. The governor quietly signed it Friday.

12-20-13 apartment fire

On December 20, 2013 at 1:43 AM the Fond du Lac Fire Department was dispatched to a reported apartment fire at 186 Morningside Drive.  Upon arrival, fire crews encountered smoke in a lower apartment of the structure.  A resident of the building had the whereabouts to use a fire extinguisher to knock the fire down.  The firefighters arrived to fully extinguish the fire, evacuate the residents and ventilate the structure.  The resident of the apartment was able to exit the building and was treated and released by the fire department paramedics.  Although the fire was unintentional, the cause of the fire was an unattended candle placed on an ottoman located near the couch.  Although the building fire alarm system was activated, the individual apartment smoke detector was not operational.   The Fond du Lac Fire Department will canvass the area tomorrow to talk to residents about having working smoke detectors.  They will assist with battery replacement and installation if necessary to assure the safety of our citizens.  Please see attachment on Candle Safety.  The Fond du Lac Police Department assisted with scene security and traffic control.  

Thursday, December 19, 2013

12-21-13 mercury marine donates to united way

Mercury Marine employees pledged $93,218 to the Fond du Lac Area United Way during the company’s annual pledge.  Coupled with an $80,000 contribution from the Brunswick Public Foundation, the total benefit from Mercury and its parent company to the Fond du Lac Area United Way is more than $173,000 in 2013.  Over the past two years, Mercury employees have pledged more than $172,000. Brunswick Corporation, the parent company of Mercury Marine, has contributed an additional $170,000 in donations in that span through its Brunswick Public Foundation.  “United Way values its longstanding partnerships with the Brunswick Public Foundation and Mercury Marine,” said Tina Potter, executive director of United Way in Fond du Lac. “Mercury Marine and its parent company continue to show great compassion and kindness for others in our community.  “On behalf of the United Way campaign team, our board of directors and the United Way staff, I’d like to thank the employees at Mercury Marine for their support. Due to their contributions, children will succeed better in school, the elderly will secure needed resources and parents will be educated on the development of their children, among other positive actions.”  The United Way provides financial support to a comprehensive mix of human-service programs through a network of local providers. Those programs serve an estimated 33,000 Fond du Lac-area residents each year.  “Mercury Marine and its employees are proud to support the United Way,” said Mark Schwabero, president of Mercury Marine. “The United Way plays a vital role in funding many of the charitable organizations that provide essential services within our community.”

12-20-13 emerald ash borer detected in fdl county

City of Fond du Lac officials learned last week that the Emerald Ash Borer (EAB) has been found immediately south of the City limits on Hwy 175.  Earlier this summer, it was found in the Kettle Moraine Forest in the southeast corner of Fond du Lac County, and then just north of the county in the Town of Black Wolf.    EAB is 100% fatal to untreated ash trees.  With over 6,000 ash trees in public parks and street terraces, the City has begun implementing a plan to chemically treat some trees, and to remove many others.  This recent find adds even more urgency to these steps. The City is planning to treat some of the ash tree in City Parks and remove many others on terraces and in parks.  If anyone is interested in treating the ash tree on the terrace in front of their home or private trees on their lot and would like to use the same contractor as the City is using please contact the City.  Property owners will be notified before the ash trees are removed from the terrace in front of their home and will not remove healthy trees if a resident is treating the tree.  For more information, residents can access the State’s EAB web site ( or contact the Public Works Department at 920-322-3472.

12-20-13 campbellsport armed robbery suspects bound over for trial

Two Milwaukee men  charged in connection with an armed robbery at  a Fond du lac County home have been bound over for trial.  Derrick Johnson waived his preliminary hearing and probable cause was found at a preliminary hearing for Dominic Cloyd.  Both men face  multiple charges including
armed robbery, burglary while armed and theft.  Johnson is also charged with 1st and 2nd degree reckless injury.   The two are accused of attacking a man and woman inside their town of Auburn home on Double D Road earlier this month.   During the robbery a third suspect was seriously injured when he was shot after a gun accidentally discharged.

12-20-13 fdl police warn residents about credit card scam

Fond du lac police are warning residents about a new credit card-telephone scam that has surfaced in Wisconsin.  Fond du Lac Assistant police chief Steve Klein says the caller says they are calling from the credit card’s security and fraud department and provide you with all the information except the one piece they want…the 3-digit PIN number on the back of your card.  Klein says the real credit card companies will never ask for anything on the card  because they already have that information since they issued the card.

12-20-13 wi unemployment

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Wisconsin's unemployment rate dropped slightly to 6.3 percent in November.   The state Department of Workforce Development reported Thursday it's the state's lowest seasonally adjusted rate since December 2008.  The unemployment rate in October was 6.5 percent. A year ago, it was 6.7 percent.  The national unemployment rate was 7 percent last month.  The state Department of Workforce Development reports the addition of 4,000 private sector jobs from October to November.  The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported earlier this week that Wisconsin's private-sector job growth lags other states. The bureau says nearly 24,000 private-sector jobs were added in Wisconsin between June 2012 and June 2013, for a growth rate of 1 percent. That is about half of the national growth rate of 1.9 percent.

12-20-13 medicaid coverage delay

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — The Wisconsin state Senate has passed Republican Governor Scott Walker's plan to delay Medicaid coverage for some while also keeping others on the program longer than anticipated. The Republican-controlled Senate voted 18-12 along party lines today to pass the bill. The bill now heads to Walker's desk.

12-20-13 governor signs american indian mascot bill

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Governor Scott Walker has signed a bill making it harder to force public schools to drop American Indian nicknames. The Republican bill changes a 2010 state law that required Wisconsin's Department of Public Instruction to hold a hearing on a school's race-based nickname if it received even one complaint. The law will go into effect Saturday.

12-20-13 state employee union pay raise approved

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — A special committee of Wisconsin legislative leaders has approved a 1 percent pay raise for five state employee unions representing about 2,400 workers. The Joint Committee on Employment Relations approved the contracts today. Non-union state workers, the vast majority of the 69,000 state employees, received a 1 percent raise under the budget that took effect in July. Raises negotiated by these five smaller units have not taken effect because lawmakers haven't yet voted to approve the contracts.

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

12-19-13 waupun woman accused of dealing heroin

A Waupun woman is accused of selling drugs in Waupun and Beaver Dam.   Twenty six year old Ashly Iverson faces multiple charges including  six counts of delivery of heroin.  She is accused of selling heroin to an informant on six occasions this year and trying to sell drugs at a Waupun Kwik Trip in May.   If convicted she faces up to 96 years in prison.  She is expected to make her initial Dodge County Circuit Court appearance December 23rd.

12-19-13 waupun woman gets probation for lewd and lascivious behavior

A  Waupun woman accused of forcing her teenage daughter to take lewd photos  of her for a dating website has been convicted and placed on probation.  Forty seven year old Pamela Young pleaded no contest to misedemeanor lewd and lascivious conduct.   She was initially charged with felony exposing a child to harmful material.   At a hearing Wednesday Fond du Lac Judge Dale English placed Young on probation for a year. Waupun Police Chief Dale Heeringa says the  incident is very disturbing.  Heeringa says the woman is accused of having her 14 year old daughter take sexually  graphic photos of her using the teen’s cellphone.

12-19-13 traffic fatality victim identified

The victim of a car versus semi accident in Fond du Lac County has been identified.   Sheriff’s Captain Rick Olig says 29 year old Nicholas Ryan of Fond du Lac was killed when his car skidded on snow-covered Highway 44 near Ripon Tuesday afternoon into the oncoming lane of traffic and collided with a semi.  Ryan was pronounced dead at the scene.  This is the eighth traffic fatality on Fond du lac County roadways this year.

12-19-13 aaa holiday travel survey

AAA predicts 94.5 million Americans will journey 50 miles or more from home during the year-end holiday season.  That’s a slight increase from last year.  The upward trend marks the fifth consecutive year of increases and the highest travel volume recorded for the season.  In Wisconsin more than 1.8 million people are expected to travel for the holidays.  Triple A spokesperson Pam Moen says gas prices continue to drop.  She says gas prices in Wisconsin are averaging $3.10 for a gallon of unleaded regular, down 12 cents from a year ago.  Holiday air travel is expected to decline slightly.

12-19-13 thiesfeldt-common core

The chair of the Assembly Select Committee on Common Core Standards says Democrats on the committee politicized the process and recommendations made by the committee.  Republican state representative Jeremy Thiesfeldt of Fond du lac says the recommendations approved on party line votes emphasize the importance of Wisconsin-based standards and reaffirm local control.   Thiesfeldt says the committee’s review of the standards affirmed his skepticism.  "Not so much that I think that the standards themselves are a problem but where the standards are coming from,"  Thiesfeldt told WFDL news.  "There is some real serious belief and I think its well-founded that this is potentially going to take a great deal of local control of education, not just in Fond du Lac but across the state and across the nation, away and we are essentially federalizing our approach to education."   Thiesfeldt says Republican lawmakers are already crafting legislation in response
to committee recommendations.

12-19-13 medicaid expansion

A Democratic lawmaker says its not too late to bring more Medicaid money to Wisconsin.  State representative Melissa Sargent has introduced a bill that would allow Wisconsin counties to get federal money to pay a for expanded Medicaid services, sidestepping Republican governor Scott Walker and the GOP controlled legislature.  Sargent admits it will be an uphill battle to convince any Republican lawmakers to change their minds but says 18 county boards across the state have have voted  in favor along with the Wisconsin Counties Association.   Sargent says accepting the money would provide coverage to more people at less cost to state taxpayers.  Responding to comments by the state Department of Health Services that  governor Walker’s goals have put Wisconsin in a position to better manage its finances long term, while creating a system where every Wisconsin individual and family has access to affordable health insurance.   Fond du Lac County Executive Al Buechel says while he supports Medicaid expansion, he has some concerns about the proposal.  "Okay we get the federal dollars for three years but then it starts getting phased down and who's going to pick up that other 10 percent of the cost,"  Buechel said.  Sargent and Buechel made the comments on AM 1170 WFDL’s Between the Lines program.

12-19-13 wi ranks 37th in private job sector growth

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Wisconsin is ranked 37th in private sector job growth over the 12-month period that ended in June.  Figures released Wednesday from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics show private sector job growth in Wisconsin between June 2012 and June 2013 grew by 1 percent. That puts Wisconsin just ahead of Mississippi and below New Hampshire.  North Dakota had the highest increase at 3.7 percent while West Virginia was the worst with a drop of 0.7 percent.  The national rate was 1.9 percent.
Wisconsin added about 24,000 jobs over the period.  Gov. Scott Walker promised in 2010 to add 250,000 private sector jobs by the end of next year. But he is highly unlikely to meet that, given the growth numbers to date.

12-19-13 attorney general

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Wisconsin Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen says he doesn't have plans to run for higher office — at least not yet.  Van Hollen announced earlier this year he won't seek re-election in 2014. In a wide-ranging interview with The Associated Press, he said he doesn't know what he'll do when he leaves office.  He says he's not ruling anything out, but he has no current designs on higher office such as the U.S. Senate or the governor's office. He said if he did he would have been in a better position if he had decided to run for re-election as attorney general.  He says he's surpassed his goals as attorney general by 10 times and wants to spend more time with his family.

12-19-13 stubborn crime victim

MARSHFIELD, Wis. (AP) — The elderly, but spirited neighborhood grocer who wouldn't let a would-be robber take any of her cash is closing the store her family has run for more than 50 years. Ninety-seven-year-old Margaretta "Marge" Wolf says her final day behind the candy counter is Thursday. Wolf says the new owner will convert the store to an apartment.  Wolf's Grocery has changed through the decades. Originally a full-service grocer, the store later became more of a convenience store. Wolf garnered attention earlier this year when a boy, armed with a knife, tried to rob the store. Wolf refused to give him cash and offered him candy instead.  Wolf says if she had the energy, she wouldn't be closing the store because she's loved every minute of operating it.