Friday, May 31, 2013

6-1-13 fdl girl escapes serious injury after being hit by car

An 11 year old Fond du lac girl fortunately escaped serious injuries  when she was struck by a car while riding her bicycle.  The accident happened  near Sabish Middle School shortly after 3pm Friday.   Fire Chief Peter O’Leary says the girl was transported by ambulance to the hospital with abdominal injuries.  O’Leary says the accident is a reminder that with only a couple days left in the school year motorists have to be on the lookout for kids who may have their minds on other things.
O’Leary says that's why you have to make sure to be driving defensively…especially around schools. O’Leary adds its also important for kids to follow the rules of the road.

6-1-13 car hits house-update

A Lomira woman escaped serious injury after crashing her mini-van into a house near Theresa.   Dodge County Sheriff’s Captain Trace Frost  says 34 year old Jessica Bublitz was northbound on Highway 175 Thursday when she failed to negotiate a curve just north of Highway 28.  Bublitz was flown by helicopter to Theda Clark Regional Medical Center in Neenah where she was treated and released on Friday.  Nobody was home at the time and there were no other injuries.

6-1-13 theresa woman injured in two vehicle accident

An 18 year old Theresa woman was injured in a two vehicle accident in Dodge County.    Tiffany Hecker was treated and relesased from St. Agnes Hospital.  The Dodge County Sheriff’s Department says Hecker was southbound on 175 when her car was struck by a vehicle that was eastbound on Highway TW near Lomira.  The driver of the eastbound vehicle, 54 year old Beth Heyman of Theresa was cited for failing to yield the right of way at the intersection.

6-1-13 wisconsin impaired waters

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources wants to add nearly 150 water bodies to its list of impaired waters. The existing list identifies more than 700 river segments, streams and lakes that don't support fish and aquatic life, recreation or public health. Federal law requires the DNR to update the list every two years.  The agency has been working on the 2012-2014 version since 2011. The newest draft calls for adding 147 water bodies to the list, up from 138 in the last version. DNR officials say they made the changes in response to comments from the public and federal environmental regulators on previous drafts.  The latest proposed list is available on the DNR's website. The agency will take comments from the public through June.

6-1-13 railroad says state owes money for work performed on high speed rail

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — A Milwaukee-based railroad says the state owes it $160,000 for work it performed on a high-speed line Republican Governor Scott Walker nixed when he took office. Wisconsin and Southern Railroad Vice President of Finance Timothy Karp told the state claims board today the railroad began negotiating with Amtrak in 2010 about sharing tracks for a high-speed passenger line between Madison and Milwaukee.

6-1-13 walker signs bill to weaken powers of milwaukee county board

MILWAUKEE (AP) — Governor Scott Walker has signed a new law weakening the powers of the Milwaukee County Board. The bill increases the power of the Milwaukee County executive, reduces terms of county supervisors from four to two years and requires a binding referendum next year on cutting supervisor salaries from about $51,000 to $24,000. Democrats criticize the measure as a power grab that could result in similar changes being forced on other units of local government across Wisconsin.

6-1-13 private school vouchers-walker

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Governor Scott Walker tells The Associated Press a proposed deal that would expand private school vouchers statewide is "pretty close to completed." Walker said in an interview today that he supports parameters of the deal that would expand vouchers but limit enrollment to no more than 1,000 students after next year.

6-1-13 fdl samaritan raffle house tickets go on sale next month

Tickets go on sale next month for the annual Fond du Lac Samaritan Health Clinic Raffle House.    For the first time in its 18 year history the raffle drawing will be held in the fall.  Construction is currently underway for the 2,248 square foot ranch house located in the Town of Fond du Lac at N6003 Hideaway Lane in the Westfield Hideaway Subdivision.   The house is valued at $269,000.
Tickets go on sale July 4th and the drawing is scheduled for Wednesday, October 30.  The house raffle is the main source of funding for the clinic’s operations. All proceeds help provide patients with important basic health services, medications and urgent dental needs. Raffle tickets will cost $50 each or $150 for four.

6-1-13 cancer survivors day

The courage and determination of cancer survivors is an inspiration to all. On National Cancer Survivors Day - Sunday, June 2 - Agnesian HealthCare will honor local cancer survivors who are living with and beyond cancer.  The Agnesian Cancer Center is hosting its event from 1:30 to 3 p.m. on June 2 in the Plaza Level Conference Center (participants should use the St. Agnes Hospital entrance; off the four-way stoplights), 430 E. Division Street, Fond du Lac.   The event will feature welcoming remarks and survivorship messages, followed by musical entertainment from Drowsy Maggies. A refreshment social will follow at 2:30 p.m.  All cancer survivors will receive a floral bulb to signify new life in honor of this special day.  “Learn why surviving cancer is an attitude about life and living each day to the fullest. This event will lift your spirit,” says Bill Daly, Agnesian HealthCare Oncology Services director. “You will find this event overflowing with joy, camaraderie, hope, compassion, faith and life as we honor cancer survivors and those who support them, and call attention to the issues of cancer survivorship.”   A cancer survivor is anyone living with a history of cancer – from the moment of diagnosis through the remainder of life. More than 12 million Americans are now living with and beyond a history of cancer. It is important to learn as much as possible about this disease because many forms of cancer can be prevented and most cured if detected early.  “Major advances in cancer prevention, early detection and treatment have resulted in longer survival,” Daly explains. “We encourage everyone to attend our celebration to show their support for our community’s cancer survivors, their families, friends and healthcare providers.”

6-1-13 june dairy month petting zoo

National Exchange Bank & Trust will host the 29th Annual June Dairy Month Petting Zoo on Saturday, June 1, from 9 – 11 a.m. at the 130 South Main St. office of National Exchange Bank & Trust in Fond du Lac.  This free customer appreciation event is open to the public. In celebration of June Dairy Month, the petting zoo will feature a variety of farm animals, pony rides, dairy games and prizes, a chance to practice milking, face painting ($1.00) and more. A sampling of Wisconsin’s finest dairy products will be available including Gilles Custard, several cheese varieties, butter popcorn and Milk Chugs. Entertainment for the day will include two performances by David Landau at 9:15 and 10:15 a.m. Featured this year is Mac & Cheese, with a “Make Mine Mac & Cheese” contest between four local 4-H clubs; contest starts at 10:00 a.m.   Parents and grandparents are encouraged to bring their cameras. Please leave your dogs/pets at home.

6-1-13 leadership fdl team installs downtown bike racks

A team of the Leadership Fond du Lac program is pleased to announce the installation of 20 bike racks along Main Street in downtown Fond du Lac, meant to encourage the use of bicycles and to promote a healthier mode of transportation.  The racks were installed on May 10, 2013 on Main Street between the blocks of Merrill Avenue and 4th Street/Western Avenue.  The project began in the fall of 2012 when members of Team Rock Solid identified a lack of designated areas to park bicycles on Main Street.  To verify their thoughts, members of the team surveyed downtown businesses to get their opinions on the matter.  After compiling the data, the results were clear and it was determined that bike racks would be a great benefit to downtown Fond du Lac.  Upon approval of the project, the team worked together to develop a design, designate locations for the racks, find a manufacturer and raise the funds to purchase the racks.  Team Rock Solid is pleased to announce that they were able to exceed their initial goal and installed 20 bike racks for the use of the Fond du Lac community for many years to come.  The design, purchase and installation of the racks was organized by Team Rock Solid members: Linda Ahrens of Aurora HealthCare, Robb Duveneck of Fond du Lac City Police Department, Ellen Mielke of Fox Valley Savings Bank, Mike Schumacher of Valders Stone & Marble Inc/Eden Stone, Megan Stahmann of Habitat for Humanity and Pam VandeBerg of Mercury Marine.

6-1-13 fdl school district employee recognized

John Williams, Facility Services Coordinator for the Fond du Lac School District, was recently recognized as the 2013 School Facilities Manager of the Year by the Wisconsin Association of School Business Officials. A reception was held for Mr. Williams prior to the May 13 Board meeting where he was presented with a commendation from the State or Wisconsin. Williams was nominated for the award by Sue Schnorr, FDL School District Business Services Director.

Thursday, May 30, 2013

5-31-13 storm damage dodge county

Wind gusts estimated at 65-70 miles an hour tore the roof off a barn in Dodge County Thursday night.  Dodge County Emergency Management Director Joe Meagher says a severe thunderstorm packing strong winds caused damage at a farm near Highways 151 and G near Beaver Dam.  There were no reports of injuries.  Meagher told WFDL news there was an unconfirmed report by an untrained spotter of a possible tornado in Beaver Dam.  Meagher says the National Weather Service confirmed there was indication of slight rotation...but below levels required to issue a radar-detected tornado.

5-31-13 car crashes into house in lomira

One person was seriously injured when a car crashed into a house in Lomira Thursday.  Rescue personel were called to the scene at N9676 Highway 175 around noon Thursday.  Investigators say the vehicle was northbound on 175 when it traveled down an embankment, through a swamp, and crashed into the side of the house.  One person was flown from the scene by Flight for Life helicopter to the hospital.

5-31-13 woman hit by car improving

A Fond du lac woman who was seriously injured when she was struck by a car while walking along Winnebago Drive is improving.  Forty six year old Traci Luther received life-threatening injuries and was in critical condition when she was flown by helicopter to Theda Clark Regional Medical Center earlier this month.   Hospital officials say Luther’s condition has been upgraded from critical to serious condition.  Sheriff’s captain Rick Olig says the latest information he has received is that Luther is now conscious and continuing to improve.  A Fond du Lac man, 47 year old Aarron Schmitz is charged with reckless injury.  Investigators say Schmitz apparently fell asleep at the wheel and veered off the road striking Luther.

5-31-13 fdl county highway bike lane

Fond du Lac County officials are excited about the possibility of a bike lane on a portion pf Highway 67 in the southeast part of Fond du lac County.   Fond du lac County Planner Sam Tobias says the DOT proposal would create a five foot wide shoulder for bicycle traffic on 67 between Campbellsport and Dundee.  Fond du lac County Sheriff’s captain Rick Olig says from a law enforcement standpoint it would be a great safety feature.  Meanwhile Olig says another stretch of road that could use a bike lane is  Winnebago Drive in Fond du lac.  Tobias the project is scheduled for 2015.  It would be paid for entirely by the state.

5-31-13 dodge county sexual assault

A Beaver Dam man convicted of sexually assaulting a 15 year old girl is going to jail.  Nineteen year old Ridge Hodgkins was sentenced to a year in jail and placed on five years probation  Hodgkins was sentenced Wednesday in Dodge County Circuit.  He must also undergo sex offender counseling.  In November, Hodgkins pleaded no contest to a charge of second degree sexual assault of a child.  According to a criminal complaint, in October of 2011, the victim and a friend met Hodgkins and another man at a park.  The complaint says the men provided alcohol, which the victim drank and became intoxicated.  Hodgkins then took the girl to his residence and had sex with her.  Hodgkins is also facing four counts each of manufacturing/delivering THC and bail jumping in another case.

5-31-13 kewaskum house fire

Nobody was injured in a house fire early this morning in the Village of Kewaskum.  At a little after 4:00 a.m. the Kewaskum Fire and Police Departments and the Washington County Sheriff’s Department responded to the fire at 1253 Fond du Lac Ave.  Kewaskum Police Chief Tom Bishop says a female resident was smoking a cigarette and fell asleep.  The mattress ignited and the fire was fueled by an oxygen line nearby.  Bishop says the woman’s daughter acted quickly and turned off the oxygen tank and assisted her mother and two dogs out of the residence. The fire was contained to the bedroom, however the rest of the residence suffered extensive smoke damage. The Red Cross is assisting the family.

5-31-13 appeals court rules photo id is constitutional

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — A Wisconsin appeals court says a law requiring voters to show photo identification at the polls is constitutional. Republicans passed a law in 2011 requiring voters to show photo identification, saying the mandate would help fight election fraud. The League of Women Voters filed a lawsuit in Dane County Circuit Court in October 2011 challenging the law. Judge Richard Niess ruled the law was unconstitutional in March 2012, saying it would abridge the right to vote. The 4th District Court of Appeals reversed Niess today.

5-31-13 voucher expansion react

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — A new proposal that would expand private school vouchers statewide is not being embraced by Democrats or state superintendent Tony Evers. Details of the agreement were provided to The Associated Press today by two people involved in the negotiations. They requested anonymity because they didn't want to compromise progress on a deal. Evers says the proposed deal doesn't provide enough accountability for voucher schools.

5-31-13 kohler company expansion

KOHLER, Wis. (AP) — The Kohler Company expects to begin construction later this summer on expanding its generator manufacturing plant in the Town of Mosel. The company is also planning to add 300 jobs in Mosel, Kohler and Saukville over the next three years.

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

5-30-13 retlaw given another chance

Despite a promise to revoke its alcohol license if the bills weren’t paid up the Fond du lac Alcohol License Committee is recommending to give the owners of the historic Retlaw Hotel yet another chance.  At their meeting Wednesday evening the committee voted three to one to give the Retlaw until June 25th to come up with the remaining $39,000.  Committee member and city councilmember Rob VandeZande cast the lone dissenting vote.  VandeZande says its time for the city to "put its foot down and say enough is enough."  The Retlaw owes back taxes and utility fees…but has been steadly making payments since March, including another $10,000 Wednesday.  The city council will take up the matter at their next meeting.

5-30-13 injury accident

Three people received non life threatening injuries in a two vehicle accident in Fond du Lac County.  Rescue personnel were called to the scene on Highway 23 and County Highway C at approximately 4pm Wednesday.  It was determined that the operator of a  southbound vehicle on Hwy C pulled into the path of a vehicle that was east bound on Hwy 23.  The sole occupant of the east bound vehicle was transported by ambulance to St. Agnes Hospital.   The operator of the southbound vehicle was
transported by Theda Star to Theda Clark Medical Center; the only other occupant of this vehicle was transported to St. Agnes Hospital via ambulance. All of the injuries sustained in this crash were of non-life threatening level.    Deputies from the Sheriff’s Office along with Eldorado and Lamartine Fire, North Fond du Lac Ambulance and Theda Star Medical Flight all responded to the scene.

5-30-13 teacher post employment benefits

The Fond du lac School Board has approved  a major change that would affect post employment benefits for teachers and staff.   Superintendent Dr. Jim Sebert says the district is in the process of phasing out the current seven years of health insurance upon retirement… by a tax shelter annuity with four tiers  based on age and experience.  Sebert says employees who are 55 and older would be grandfathered in.  "People that are 50 and above there's another tier with a little less health insurance, six years instead of eight.  In both cases there would be no dental insurance and the high deductible plan, $2000 single and $4000 family, the employee would bear the full responsibility,"  Sebert said.   Sebert says tiers three and four would be for newer employees and would set up a tax sheltered annuity based on their age and experience.  Sebert says the district could save up to $60 million over the next 30 years.  He says a  District committee has been meeting for the last  couple of months to discuss changes that would allow the system to be sustainable for the long haul.  "I think we're still being fair and cognizant of people based on their service and their experience, but we're also being responsible financially in terms of seeing what other districts are doing, what the trends are, and what we are going to be able to realistically afford,"  Sebert told AM 1170 WFDL's Between the Lines program.

5-30-13 fdl high school student expelled

The Fond du Lac School Board has expelled another student through next school year.  Superintendent Dr. Jim Sebert says the student was responsible for setting a fire in a bathroom at Fond du lac High School.  Sebert says the district is concerned with the high number of student
expulsions this year for a wide variety of offenses.  There have been 13 student expulsions since the beginning of the school year.

5-30-13 walleye initiative

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — A roughly $13 million plan to boost walleye production in Wisconsin supported by Gov. Scott Walker has won approval by the Legislature's budget-writing committee.  The plan unanimously approved Wednesday by the Republican-controlled Joint Finance Committee includes more than $8 million in bonding to pay for expanding fish hatcheries to increase walleye production.  It also includes $2 million for grants for private organizations to expand walleye production as well as money for aquaculture work, buying fingerlings from private vendors and expanding a program that gives tribal youth jobs on natural resources-related projects.  Walker's office has said the initiative will boost walleye to more than 500,000 annually by 2016.

5-30-13 assisted living problems

OSHKOSH, Wis. (AP) — An assisted living company is giving up control of most of its properties after racking up $100,000 in state fines related to deaths and injuries of residents.  Stephen Levy, executive vice president and general counsel for Senior Lifestyle Corp., says his company plans to take control of 10 assisted-living homes operated by CRL Senior Living Communities.  Levy wouldn't name all the facilities his Chicago-based company plans to operate but confirmed they include Bella Vista and Bella Vista Manor in Oshkosh.  An Oshkosh Northwestern investigation recently reported violations at many of CRL's 14 assisted living homes in Wisconsin since 2011.  State records documented deaths, neglect, injuries, dementia patients getting lost, fights and medication mix-ups.

5-30-13 act college entrance exam

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — The Legislature's budget committee has approved having every high school junior in Wisconsin take the ACT college entrance exam. Governor Scott Walker and state Superintendent Tony Evers are behind the plan the Joint Finance Committee approved today.

5-30-13 voucher proposal-fdl teacher react

A Fond du lac teacher who served on subcommittee  to explore how teachers are evaluated and
helped develop the statewide report card for public schools says he feels betrayed.     Fond du lac High School Band instructor Matt McVeigh thanked the school board at their meeting this week for going on record in opposition to the governor’s plan to expand school vouchers .  The governor used the report card to propose that vouchers be expanded to nine communities with at least two failing schools including Fond du lac.  But McVeigh says to use the new  report card as a litmus test  for expansion is  irresponsible.  "In all the time that was discussed by representatives from the governor's office as well as the state department of public instruction it was always about how this was meant to be a flashlight on improvement not a sledgehammer, and that its going to take three or four years for everything to flush out, "  McVeigh said.   McVeigh says private education is great and Fond du lac is blessed to have both systems and both can be successful. 

5-30-13 action delayed on private school voucher proposal

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — The Legislature's budget-writing committee has delayed taking action on Governor Scott Walker's proposal to expand the private school voucher program outside of Milwaukee and Racine. The Joint Finance Committee was scheduled to vote on the plan today. But Walker and Republican leaders have not been able to reach a deal.

5-30-13 unemployment benefits

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Benefits paid to unemployed people in Wisconsin would be reduced by $37 million over the next two years under a Republican-backed plan approved by the Legislature's budget-writing committee. The Republican-controlled Joint Finance Committee approved the changes today on a party line vote.

5-30-13 fdl man arrested for strong armed robbery

On May 28, 2013 at 2:21 PM the Fond du Lac Police Department was called to the area of Peters and Arndt Streets for a report of a physical fight.  As officers arrived they observed one person holding another person down on the ground.  As officers investigated the complaint they learned that a 65 year old woman was walking from her vehicle to enter Younkers department store and a 20 year old male came up from behind her and ripped her purse away from her body.  The male suspect then ran away towards the road.  The victim began to scream and two witnesses in the area were able to see what happened.  One witness attempted to stop the suspect and consequently was punched.  Another witness was able to tackle the suspect and hold him down until police arrived.  The suspect was arrested for robbery, battery, and disorderly conduct and held at the Fond du Lac County Jail.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

5-29-13 fdl school board on record in opposition to voucher proposal

The Fond du lac school board is on record in opposition to the governor’s proposed expansion of the private school voucher program.  After postponing a vote two weeks ago until all board members could be present…the school board voted unanimously in favor of the resolution at their meeting Tuesday night.  Superintendent Dr. Jim Sebert says the resolution was drafted based on language from the state school board association.  Last week Republican representative Jeremy Thiesfeldt made an open records request, questioning why the district placed an anti-voucher ad in the Action Advertiser prior to the vote on the resolution.  Sebert says the district did nothing wrong and says he has compiled the information representative Thiesfeldt is requesting.  "We have it put together.  I emailed him on Friday and asked if he had some time to come in this week,"  Sebert said.  "I'd like to sit down with him and go through it with him.  I told him that we'll always produce anything he'd like to see and work with him and we can do that so that we all are on the same page."

5-29-13 voucher impasse

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Republican Senate President Mike Ellis says legislative leaders and Gov. Scott Walker have reached an impasse over talks to find compromise on expanding private school vouchers.
Ellis told The Associated Press on Tuesday that the lawmakers and Walker will continue to negotiate, but he does not think they can reach a deal by Wednesday.  That is when the Legislature's budget-writing committee is scheduled to vote on Walker's plan to expand vouchers to nine communities beyond Milwaukee and Racine.  Ellis says the meeting was with Walker, Assembly Speaker Robin Vos, Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald and Senate Education Committee chairman Sen. Luther Olsen.
Ellis says it was a good meeting, "but we couldn't reach any consensus."

5-29-13 no charges expected in toddler death

The investigation into a tragic fatal accident involving a toddler and pickup truck continues…but no charges are expected to be filed.  Fond du lac County Sheriff’s Captain Rick Olig says five year old Sebastian Brunet died after being struck by a pickup in the parking lot of Maxamillians Supper Club in Mount Calvary Friday night.  "He (victim) was there with his mom and his sister and they were waiting out front for one of her friends to arrive.  When he pulled into the parking lot the kids kind of ran after the truck because they were excited to see him.  They were waiting for him to get there.  He was stopping there after work for a birthday party at Maximillians,"  Olig said.  Olig says at this point it appears that it was a tragic accident.

5-29-13 retlaw alcohol license up for review

The patience of Fond du lac city officials is running thin as the Alcohol License Committee considers renewal of the Retlaw Hotel’s alcohol and liquor licenses at their meeting Wednesday night.   City officials are recommending against renewal pointing out the hotel still owes more than $64,000 in unpaid utility bills and property taxes, plus $81,000 in fees and interest.  City council president Sam Meyer says the city has bent over backwards to give the Retlaw an opportunity to meet its financial obligations.  Meyer says he would think the owners would have the money to pay their bills If they really wanted to.

5-29-13 fdl school district business manager leaving

The Fond du lac School District is looking for a new business manager.  Sue Schnorr is leaving at the end of the school year after accepting the same position in the Oshkosh School District.  Superintendent Dr. Jim Sebert says the search for a replacement is underway.  Schnorr is leaving after 10 and a half years in the district.

5-29-13 deaf woman loses pet dog to another owner

A northeastern Wisconsin woman is fighting to get her dog back after it ran away and was adopted by
another family.     Susan Heezen of the town of Denmark asked the Lakeshore Humane Society to
contact the new family, which rejected her request to give up the dog she named Bear. The dog helped Heezen in her daily life since she's deaf and Bear had learned some basic sign language.  Fond du lac Animal Shelter manager Renee Webb says its an unfortunate situation and a case in point on why its important to microchip your pet.  "A microchip is proof of ownership and is pretty much a guarantee that you're going to get your animal back if they end up as a stray,'  Webb told AM 1170 WFDL's Between the Lines program.  Webb says according to state law the shelter must hold the animal for seven days before it can be put up for adoption.

5-29-13 wisconsin budget-taxes

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Rep. Dale Kooyenga says his proposed $751 million income tax plan is a "strong step" toward improving Wisconsin's tax system.  He unveiled his plan Tuesday at a Capitol news conference attended by more than a dozen other Republican lawmakers. He says the Republican-controlled Joint Finance Committee will take it up soon as it works to finish changes to Gov. Scott Walker's budget.
Walker says he believes Kooyenga is on the right track.  Kooyenga says he likes the chances of his plan being included in the budget and passed by the full Legislature.  In addition to lowering rates, his proposal eliminates 18 tax break programs and attempts to simplify the tax code.

5-29-13 election reforms

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — A Republican lawmaker says a sweeping bill to reform Wisconsin's election regulations would negate legal concerns about voters showing photo identification at the polls.
Current state law requires voters to show photo identification at the polls. Two Dane County judges have struck the law down, though. Rep. Jeff Stone's bill would make a multitude of changes to Wisconsin election law, chief among them a provision allowing voters to opt out of the requirement if they tell poll officials they're poor and can't obtain an ID without paying a fee; they have a religious objection to being photographed; or they can't get the documentation needed to obtain an ID. Stone says the provisions are designed to address concerns raised in the Dane County cases.

5-29-13 citizen action critical of recall legislation

The director of Citizen Action of Wisconsin says a proposal that would make it harder to recall local Wisconsin elected officials from office reduces accountability.  The measure would require anyone who petitions to recall an elected official to prove that person has been charged with a crime or an ethics violation.  Citizen Action Director Robert Kraig says that’s not why the recall provision was implemented decades ago.  "The recall goes back to the beginning of the last century.   It was a way to give the public a check when politicians ran for office and that did something totally surprising or maybe even contrary to what they promised,'  Kraig said.  Kraig says lawmakers on both sides of the political aisle have taken issue with the recall depending on what party is the focus of the recall.  "Iits not a partisan thing.  Governor Walker's political career actually took off because of a recall election in Milwaukee County against the county executive who did a controversial pension deal and other this proposal Scott Walker would not have become Milwaukee County Executive,"  Kraig said.   The Assembly’s Committee on Campaigns and Elections discussed the bill last week.

5-29-13 domestic violence legislation

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — A legislative committee has unanimously approved a bill giving Wisconsin judges more power to keep domestic abuse suspects in check.  The proposal introduced by Rep. Andre Jacque, R-De Pere, would add stalking, or threatening to stalk, to actions that qualify as domestic abuse.
The bill also specifies that in cases where there is a change of judge, restraining orders issued by the previous judge will remain in effect until the new judge holds a hearing.  Now, temporary restraining orders are lifted when a person requests a hearing from a new judge.  The measure is part of a package of domestic violence legislation that also would clarify police officers' obligations in responding to domestic abuse calls and allow more evidence to be used in investigations.

5-29-13 wisconsin budget-school funding

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — A new analysis of Gov. Scott Walker's budget proposal shows that state support for public K-12 education would drop slightly as a percentage of their overall budget over the next two years.
The nonpartisan Legislative Fiscal Bureau analysis was released in advance of the Legislature's budget committee taking up Walker's school funding proposal on Wednesday.  It shows that in this school year, state support of public schools was 61.9 percent. That's projected to drop to 61.4 percent next year and then go up slightly to 61.7 percent in the second year of the budget.  Walker is proposing a 1 percentage point increase in school aids over each of the next two years. However, he is not calling for any increase in per-pupil spending.

Monday, May 27, 2013

5-28-13 151 bypass interchange-buechel react

The Fond du lac County Executive says a Highway 151 Bypass interchange at County Highway V is an improvement locally that is needed.  The Fond du lac County board last week went on record encouraging the state legislature to include funding for the new interchange and frontage road in the state budget. Buechel acknowledges it would have made sense to have this interchange
done when the bypass was first built eight years ago.  In hindsight Buechel says he wishes the county had more vigorously opposed the state using money initially earmarked for the Bypass to help build the Marquette Interchange.

5-28-13 alcohol-related boating fatalities

GREEN BAY, Wis. (AP) — Wisconsin had the nation's third-highest number of alcohol-related boating deaths last year. That was the same year a legislative bill to stiffen penalties on drunken boaters fell flat. Intoxicated boating killed eight people in the state last year. That ranks Wisconsin behind only New York and Florida.

5-28-13 abortion bills

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Republican lawmakers are circulating several bills that would make it harder and more expensive to get an abortion in Wisconsin. The measures would prohibit the use of public money to pay for abortion coverage in public employees' health insurance plans. Other measures would relieve certain religious organizations and employers from having to provide coverage for contraceptive pills, ban abortion for gender selection and require doctors to properly dispose of fetal remains.

5-28-13 mt. calvary pickup vs. toddler name released

The Fond du lac County Sheriff’s Office has released the name of the toddler who was killed when he was run over by a pick-up truck in Mount Calvary.  The Sheriff’s Office says five year old Sebastian Brunet died from injuries when he was struck by the truck in the parking lot of Maxamillians Friday night.  The driver of the pickup has been identified as 35 year old Ryan Klawitter of Fond du lac.  The crash remains under investigation.

Sunday, May 26, 2013

5-27-13 food for freedom falls short of world record

It  may not be a world record…but event organizers and area residents can still be proud of the amount of food raised this holiday weekend to stock food pantries in northeast Wisconsin.    Fond du Lac High School junior Danny Loomans says  130,311 pounds of food was collected…falling short of the world record more than half million pounds of food collected two years ago.  Loomans says the food collected will help feed the hungry in five northeast Wisconsin counties.  "In my mind it is a world record.  We have done something pretty remarkable here in northeast Wisconsin that not many other places can boast about,"  Loomans told WFDL news Sunday afternoon.  The event was held Saturday and Sunday at  Fond du Lac High School.

5-27-13 musky zone

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Wisconsin's northern zone musky season is open.  The season began Saturday. The northern zone encompasses all inland waters north of U.S. Highway 10, which roughly bisects the state through Stevens Point.  State Department of Natural Resources fishery experts say things look good for anglers. The fish have almost finished spawning and are ready to feed. Water temperatures have risen and the fish are becoming more active.

5-27-13 no call list

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Wisconsin residents who want to be protected from unsolicited telemarketing phone calls and text messages have until the end of the month to sign up for the state's 'no call' list.
The Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection says if you've already been on the list, you need to re-register every two years to stay on it. Consumers who add their names to the list by May 31st will be protected from solicitors starting July 1st.  The free service includes land lines and cell phones. The list is updated four times a year — January 1st, April 1st, July 1st and October 1st.  To add your residential landline or cell phone to the list, call 1-866-9NO-CALL (1-866-966-2255) — or visit http COLON SLASH SLASH No Call DOT Wisconsin DOT gov.

5-27-13 raw milk trial

BARABOO, Wis. (AP) — A Wisconsin dairy farmer has been acquitted on three of four counts in a trial related to the sale of raw milk.  Dairy farmer Vernon Hershberger was found guilty on one charge of violating a holding order placed on products at his farm after a 2010 raid. Hershberger could get up to a year in jail and a $10,000 fine.  The jury returned their verdict early Saturday morning after four hours of deliberation.  They found the 41-year-old Hershberger not guilty of charges that he sold retail food, produced milk and operated a dairy plant without proper state licenses.  His supporters have said he was targeted because he sold raw milk through a private buying club with several hundred members.

Saturday, May 25, 2013

5-25-13 child run over by by truck and killed in mt. calvary

On Friday, May 24, 2013 at 8:28 pm the Fond du Lac County 911 Center received a report of a child being run over by a vehicle in the parking lot of Maxamillians in the Village of Mt Calvary. 
Mt Calvary Fire Dept. and EMS, Fond du Lac FD Paramedics, Flight for Life and Fond du Lac Sheriff’s Deputies responded. Preliminary Investigation indicates a 35 year old Fond du Lac man was backing his pickup truck into a parking stall when a 5 year old ran behind the truck and was run over by the pickup truck. The 5 year old died at St Agnes Hospital. The crash remains under investigation by the Fond du Lac County Sheriff’s Office. Names are not being released at this time.

Friday, May 24, 2013

5-25-13 alcohol related moped crash sends fdl man to the hospital

A Fond du Lac man was injured in an alcohol related moped accident in Waupun.  Shortly after 4pm Friday Rescue personnel were called to the scene at the intersection of N. Watertown St and E Main St. for a two vehicle accident with injuries.  Officers learned during the investigation that a moped struck a vehicle that was legally stopped in traffic.  The operator of the moped, a 58 year old Fond du Lac man, suffered head injuries during the crash.  Lifestar Ambulance service responded to the scene and transported the injured man to Waupun Memorial Hospital.  The Fond du Lac man was later cited for Operating After Revocation 4 offense and Operating While Intoxicated 2nd offense.

5-25-13 lisko found guilty

A Campbellsport man has been found guilty of torturing a teenager he had accused of stealing from him.  A Fond du Lac jury deliberated about five hours Friday before finding Richard Lisko guilty of 1st degree reckless injury and false imprisonment.  Fond du Lac judge Gary Sharpe read the verdict shortly before 5:30pm Friday.  Prosecutor Dennis Krueger is obviously pleased with the verdict.  Investigators say Lisko ordered his Pit Bull to bite Joel Kennedy Jr. and then tied a dog leash to Kennedy’s leg’s and hung the teen upside down from a wood beam on his front porch.  Krueger says  it could have been an entirely different outcome if Lisko’s friend hadn’t shown up that night to put a stop to it.  Judge Gary Sharpe ordered a pre-sentence investigation.

5-25-13 fdl man charged in car vs. pedestrian crash waives preliminary hearing

A Fond du lac man who is accused of driving his car into a Fond du Lac woman walking along Winnebago Drive has been bound over for trial.  Forty seven year old Aarron Schmitz, waived his preliminary hearing Friday on charges of reckless injury and bail jumping.  Investigators say Schmitz  veered off Winnebago Drive near Bechaud Beach Drive earlier this month striking and critically injuring 46 year old Traci Luther of Fond du lac.  Sheriff’s captain Rick Olig says Schmitz later told investigators he smoke marijuana and  drank a bottle of whiskey the night before.   Schmitz remains in the Fond du lac County Jail on $25,000 cash bond.

5-25-13 fdl man arrested following hit and run crash

A 29 year old Fond du lac man has been arrested in connection with a hit and run accident.   Fond du Lac Police were called to the scene to the area of S. Marr St and 7th St early Friday morning to a report that a vehicle had struck a legally parked car and then fled from the scene of the accident.  Due to the collision, the license plate from the suspect vehicle  was left at the scene.  Officers checked the area and located the unoccupied suspect vehicle a short distance away.   The vehicle sustained severe front end damage with the driver’s side airbag being deployed.  A few minutes later officers located the suspect, a 29 year old Fond du Lac man, in another vehicle now as a passenger.  During the course of the investigation, it was discovered that the suspect had his two children in the vehicle when the hit and run accident occurred and who were still with him when the
officers located him.   The suspect and his two children ages four and six were unharmed.  The suspect was also found in possession of drugs and drug paraphernalia on his person.  The suspect was arrested for OWI First Offense (with a passenger under 16 years of age), drug offenses, Hit and Run, and Obstructing an Officer.  He was booked into the Fond du Lac County Jail.

5-25-13 former mayville high school teacher convicted of having sex with student

A former Mayville High School Spanish teacher has been convicted of having sexual contact with a 17 year old student.  At a plea hearing Friday in Fond du Lac County Circuit Court,  Shannon
Cardinal  entered a guilty plea to one count of sexual assault of a student by school staff.    Eleven other counts were dismissed and read into the record.   Judge Dale English ordered a pre-sentence
investigation.  The charge carries a maximum sentence of $10,000 in fines and six years in prison.  Investigators say Cardinal had sexual contact with the student on multiple occasions with the first encounter at the teacher’s residence near Oakfield when the student was 16.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

5-24-13 city wants to pull the plug on hotel alcohol and liquor license

After giving the hotel a second chance earlier this year the city of Fond du lac is asking the Fond du Lac Alcohol Licensing Committee not to renew the Retlaw Hotel’s alcohol and liquor license.  The committee will consider the license renewal at their meeting next week.  According to a civil complaint the hotel still owes the city more than $64,000 for unpaid 2013 utility bills and its 2012 property tax bill.  The complaint says because the hotel has failed to fulfill its obligations the city has reinstated more than $81,000 in fees and interest that were held in abeyance under the agreement.  That leaves a total balance due of $145,454.  Since the beginning of March the hotel has paid the city $85,500.

5-24-13 memorial day holiday travel

The state AAA is predicting a slight decline in Memorial Day travel this year.  AAA projects 34.8 million Americans will journey 50 miles or more from home…a point nine percent decrease from last year.  In Wisconsin,  nearly 685,000 are expected to travel this weekend, a 1.6 percent decrease from a year ago.  Triple A spokesperson Pam Moen says even with the slight drop…roads will be very busy today through Monday.  Moen says there seems to be a direct link between rising gas prices and a slight decrease in travel.  She says the good news is it appears that gas prices may have peaked and should be coming down soon.

5-24-13 food for freedom

Fond du Lac High School junior Danny Loomans says  he is confident  the world record for the largest food drive in a 24 hour period is going down.  The 16 year old Loomans is leading the effort to break the world record to help feed the hungry in five northeast Wisconsin counties.  The event is being held this weekend at  Fond du Lac High School.  The current world record of nearly 560,000 pounds of food was set two years ago.

5-24-13 lisko trial

The defense has rested in the Richard Lisko trial.  Lisko is charged in Fond du Lac County Circuit Court with reckless injury and false imprisonment.   The Campbellsport man is accused of ordering his pet dog  to attack an 18 year old man and stringing the teen upside down on his porch using a dog leash.   The defense has been trying to convince the jury that in the days leading up to the incident Lisko was the victim of burglaries and gun shots fired on his property and feared for his safety.  Waucousta Lutheran Grade School principal, David Wege, testified that Lisko showed him what appeared to be a bullet hole in a shed next to his house.  "He gave me the impression that someone was shooting at him,"  Wege said.   Wege told the jury he believes that Lisko "truly feared for his safety."   Lisko’s daughter Karrie Ann Reilly testified that her father was concerned about the incidents that were occurring on his property.  "It was freaking him out.  It was very unsettling,"  Reilly said. Reilly also said statements that her father was a member of the Outlaws Motorcycle gang are not true.  Concerning the Pit Bull...Reilly describes her father’s dog as a member of the family.  "H e was like my little brother...he was an awesome family pet."   The jury is expected to get the case Friday.

5-24-13 rape conviction overturned

OSHKOSH, Wis. (AP) — A Wisconsin man who has spent two decades in prison for rape has had his conviction overturned.  Fifty-three-year-old Joseph Frey has been serving a 102-year sentence for an attack on a University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh student. The woman was sexually assaulted at knifepoint after her apartment was broken into in 1991.  Judge Daniel Bissett overturned Frey's conviction Wednesday after new DNA tests matched evidence from the crime scene to a man convicted of sexually assaulting two sisters, ages 12 and 13, in Fond du Lac. Those assaults happened after the attack on the UW-Oshkosh student. The man has since died.  The Wisconsin State Journal reports that Frey remains in the Winnebago County Jail on $100,000 bail while prosecutors decide whether to retry him.

5-24-13 wisconsin budget-gun background checks

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — The Legislature's finance committee has voted to reduce the handgun purchaser background check fee by $3. Background checks currently cost $13. The Joint Finance Committee voted 12-4 today to lower the fee to $10 while revising the state Justice Department's portion of the governor's 2013 to 2015 budget.

5-24-13 wisconsin budget-solicitor general

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — The Legislature's finance committee has deleted provisions in Gov. Scott Walker's budget that would create a solicitor general's office within the state Justice Department.  Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen wants the office to handle complicated cases and oversee appeals. Walker's 2013-15 executive budget devotes $960,500 in general purpose revenue to fund five positions in the office, including the solicitor general, three attorneys and a legal secretary.  A Legislative Fiscal Bureau analysis notes the governor has the ability to appoint outside counsel to help DOJ attorneys and it's unclear whether the office would save the state any money. The analysis found the budget sets the office's attorney salaries at more than twice the starting rate of other state attorneys.  The Joint Finance Committee voted 16-0 to delete the provisions Thursday.

5-24-13 wedc cfo

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — The state's troubled economic-development agency has hired its fourth chief financial officer in two years.  The Wisconsin Economic Development Corp. on Thursday named Stephanie M. Walker as its CFO. The agency says she's unrelated to Gov. Scott Walker, and her first day will be June 17.  Stephanie Walker is the finance director for the Milwaukee County village of Shorewood. She held similar positions in Brown Deer and in Berwyn, Ill.  Gov. Walker and the Republican-controlled Legislature created WEDC in 2011 to help the governor meet his campaign promise to create 250,000 private-sector jobs. But the agency has been beset by problems, including persistent turnover.  The agency lost its first CEO after just 16 months on the job. Its third CFO resigned last month after just 24 hours on the job.

5-24-13 fdl day care evacuated following smell of smoke

A Fond du Lac Day Care center was evacuated Thursday afternoon after employees reported a smell of smoke.  Firefighters were called to the Camelot Day Care Center shortly after noon Thursday and determined the odor had originated from an air conditioner belt.   Firefighters were on the scene for about an hour before children and staff were allowed to go back inside the building.

5-23-13 mayville schools put on lockdown

Mayville Schools were put on lockdown near the end of the school day Wednesday afternoon after a 911 caller reported to authorities that he saw two men near the High School and Middle School looking into the trunk of a vehicle, and the caller thought he saw a gun.  The two men were outside of an apartment complex at the corner of Clark and Breckenridge Streets.  Mayville Police Chief Chris MacNeill says Dodge County Central Dispatch received the 911 call at 2:30 p.m. and the schools were put on lockdown as a precaution.   MacNeil says a short time later, authorities located the suspects, a 21 year old Mayville man and a 20 year old Sheboygan man, and found three Airsoft replica guns. MacNeill says the suspects stated that one was showing the replica firearms to the other.  After police determined there was no threat to the schools or citizens, the school lockdown was lifted.  MacNeill says the the Mayville man was detained and authorities are determining if charges will be filed.

5-23-13 unattended cooking fire displaces fdl family

On May 22, 2013 at 10:34 p.m. the FDLFD responded to a “fire out” investigation at 27  5th Street.  The resident of the first floor of the duplex reported cooking French fries when the oil ignited.  The resident attempted to extinguish the fire by covering the pan and then attempted to remove the pan outside and as a result, he sustained a burn injury and was taken to the hospital by paramedics with non-life threatening injuries.  The fire was contained to the stove which sustained extensive damage.  Smoke had to be evacuated by firefighters.  As a result of the  smoke damage, the Red Cross was called to help provide overnight shelter to the family.   Firefighters did not find any working smoke alarms in the residence. “These residents are fortunate they were awake at the time of the fire,” said Fire Chief Peter O'Leary.  “Smoke alarms are required by Wisconsin State Statutes and the fire prevention bureau will be following up with the building owner to find out why no detectors were present.”   Firefighters will be out canvasing the 5th Street location later today passing out fire safety information to nearby residents to help drive home the message that smoke alarms save lives.  The FDLD will install smoke alarms free of charge if necessary. 

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

5-23-13 merkel appointed to council

The Fond du lac city council has officially filled a vacancy on the council.  At their meeting Wednesday night the council voted five to one to appoint Karen Merkel to the post.  Merkel replaces Jim Sabel who retired earlier this year due to health reasons.  Merkel will officially be sworn into office June 12th.  Council president Sam Meyer says Merkel will have to step down from the Advisory Park Board and Redevelopment Authority.  She will receive new committee assignments after she is sworn into office.  Merkel is a manager at Charter Communications.

5-23-13 tornado victim's parents are fdl county natives

A special fund has been established at a local bank for an Oklahoma family who lost their daughter in this week’s tornado.  People can make financial donations for the Dan and Nicole Angle family at Hometown Bank in Fond du lac.  The Angles are Fond du lac county natives and their nine year old daughter, Sydney, was killed in the storm.  Sydney was in the school that was wiped out by Monday’s massive twister.  Robin Schroeder of Fond du Lac has been friends with the family since they first met several years ago.  "Both are very hard working and a great couple.  They're very kind and caring people, great parents," Schroeder said.  "...the kind of people you just shake your head when bad things happen because they look out for others."  Schroeder says Dan is an Oakfield High School graduate and works at Quad Graphics.  Nicole is a 1996 Goodrich High School grad.

5-23-13 tornado victim relief efforts

The Fond du Lac Chapter of the American Red Cross says local volunteers are on stand-by to help in the aftermath of this week’s killer tornado in Oklahoma.  Director Steve Hansen says the local chapter is waiting for the call from Oklahoma before sending  help.  "We have a fairly large group of people that have been placed on stand-by should that call come,"  Hansen said.  "As our great volunteers do they have stepped up and said let us know if you need us."   Meanwhile Hansen says the best way for area residents to help victims is to make a monetary donation through the Red Cross.  Hansen says even a ten dollar donation can make a big difference.

5-23-13 private school voucher forum

The former Wisconsin superintendent of the year says the bottom line is private school vouchers were a noble idea…but haven’t worked.   Dr. James Shaw spoke at a community forum in Fond du lac Wednesday night on the governor’s controversial proposal to expand school vouchers to nine Wisconsin communities including Fond du Lac.  "They're no more effective than public schools and that just makes common sense because to address student learning you have to have good teachers, you have to have extra help, you have to have parental support, you have to have community involvement,"  Shaw said.  "Those factors, especially quality teaching and good summer school programs and extra tutoring for children...that costs money and its difficult to provide adequate support for children of poverty."  The recently retired Racine School superintendent says learning and poverty are directly related…something he says that’s not addressed by school vouchers.

5-23-13 national education standards

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Critics of national education standards adopted three years ago in Wisconsin have packed an informational hearing to examine the issue. Wisconsin is one of 45 states that have adopted the voluntary standards that create basic requirements for math and English language arts. Criticism of the standards has been growing in other states, with citizens concerned about losing local control.

5-23-13 walker gearing up for presidential run?

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Governor Scott Walker is gearing up for re-election next year. But the Republican's actions suggest he might be seeking a much bigger prize — the presidency in 2016. Walker is courting outside-the-state donors and conservatives. This week, he plans to talk to Republicans in Iowa, which traditionally holds the nation's first presidential caucus.

5-23-13 unemployment rates down locally

Unemployment rates improved in nearly all 72 Wisconsin counties last month including Fond du Lac and Dodge counties. The state Department of Workforce Development says today that unemployment got worse in April in Calumet, Menominee and Price counties, and stayed the same in Iron and Langlade counties. Unemployment rates improved in the other 67 counties.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

5-22-13 victim testifies at lisko trial

The victim took the stand Tuesday in the trial of a Campbellsport man accused of ordering his pet Pit Bull to attack the teen.  Richard Lisko is on trial this week in Fond du lac County Circuit Court on
charges of  first degree reckless injury and false imprisonment.  The 18 year old victim told the jury that Lisko accused of him of stealing from him and then punched him in the face.  "He said I was stealing pills from him, coins, weapons from the Outlaws (gang) and at first a kind of denied it but then I started to say yes trying not to get into any trouble,"  the victim said.  "He proceeded to punch me in the face.  I fell down and then he kicked me in the side."   The victim then says Lisko’s dog attacked him, biting him several times in the head including the ear.  The jury was shown a picture on an overhead screen of the victim's wounds.  The victim also described how Lisko used a dog leash to string him upside down on the front porch for about a half hour.  The trial is scheduled to last through Friday.

5-22-13 windhover center withdraws request for street name change

The Fond du lac Windhover Center  for the Arts is withdrawing a request from council consideration to rename a portion of Sheboygan Street to help market a new arts district.  Windhover director Kevin Miller says the decision to drop the request was made after  the Advisory Parking and Traffic Board voted unanimously last week against  changing  the section  between Marr and Main Streets to Avenue for the Arts.  "We don't want this to be an issue for our neighbors,"  Miller said.  "We were surprised at the negative response by those outside the district.  But we have to be respectful of our neighbors wishes.  There's so much positive energy about the project there's no sense going down a path that could potentially be controversial."  Miller says he’s still open to the possibility of a using honorary name.  Meanwhile a multi million dollar renovation of the Windhover Center is underway.    Local civic leaders hope the project will help transform Fond du lac into a major regional arts destination.

5-22-13 fdl community forum on voucher program

The Fond du Lac School District and Fond du Lac Area Retired Educators are hosting a community forum this week on the governor’s controversial proposal to expand the private school voucher program.  Retired teacher, Earl Jewett, says the forum will focus on the local impact of the proposed expansion.  Jewett says majority of studies have shown the voucher program has had shown no noticeable improvement in student achievement in Milwaukee.  Jewett says the statewide report card criteria used by the governor to expand the program to Fond du lac and eight other communities isn’t an accurate barometer.  The forum will be held at 7pm Wednesday in the Goodrich Little Theatre.  Panelists will include Fond du lac superintendent, Dr. Jim Sebert, school board President Elizabeth Hayes,  North Fond du lac superintendent Aaron Sadoff, and former Racine superintendent and UW professor Jim Shaw.