Sunday, June 30, 2013

7-1-13 governor signs budget

PLEASANT PRAIRIE, Wis. (AP) — Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker has signed the state budget after making several dozen vetoes to it.  The budget includes Walker's major priorities — a $650 million income tax cut, rejection of federal Medicaid expansion and the expansion of private school vouchers statewide.  Most of Walker's vetoes to the $70 billion, two-year spending plan are technical.  But the governor did veto a provision Sunday in Pleasant Prairie that would have allowed bounty hunters in Wisconsin. They have not been permitted in the state since 1979.  Walker also vetoed a provision that would have kicked the independent Center for Investigative Journalism off of the University of Wisconsin-Madison campus and barred it from working with university professors. Walker says that's a matter for the UW System Board of Regents to decide.

7-1-13 budget-kringle

PLEASANT PRAIRIE, Wis. (AP) — Kringle is being served at Gov. Scott Walker's budget signing ceremony.
A provision in the two-year, $70 billion state budget makes the kringle the official state pastry.
The kringle being served at the ceremony in Pleasant Prairie comes from Lehmann's Bakery in Racine.
Kringle is a ring of Danish pastry filled with fruit, nuts or chocolate. It usually has icing on top.

7-1-13 gudex-state budget

A Republican state senator from Fond du Lac says the state budget signed into law by the governor will help the state to continue to move in the right direction.  Senator Rick Gudex says the tax cuts in the budget will help spur the economy.  "Certainly having close to a billion dollars in tax cuts is a very good positive thing, $650 million of which would go into the pockets of the hard working people,"  Gudex told AM 1170 WFDL's Between the Lines program.   Gudex says he also supports the educational reforms included in the budget including the expansion of the private school voucher program statewide.  Gudex says he also supports the governor’s decision not to accept federal dollars for Medicaid expansion.  Gudex says he disagrees with Democrats who argue the budget benefits the wealthy at the expense of the middle class.

7-1-13 budget protesters

PLEASANT PRAIRIE, Wis. (AP) — A handful of protesters greeted people coming to see Gov. Scott Walker sign the Wisconsin state budget.   About a half-dozen protesters waved signs outside the Pleasant Prairie company where the governor signed the budget on Sunday.  Seventy-year-old retiree Mary Palmer, of Racine, came to protest with her two sisters and a couple of teachers.  Palmer says she thinks Walker isn't doing enough to support education and she doesn't like his plans to expand private school vouchers. Palmer also says she opposes the governor's policies generally and thinks he cares more about corporations than state residents.

7-1-13 new water well proposed

Fond du lac city officials hope a new water well is up and operating sometime next year.   City manager Joe Moore says a letter was mailed to residents in the area of Arndt street and North Park Avenue last week about the city’s plan to purchase property east of the Boyle Home to locate the new well.  Moore says its hoped that construction could begin this year with the well pumping water late next year.  "We need to relieve some of the demand from what we call our southern well field and we need to augment some of the capacity in the north well field,"  Moore told WFDL news.
Moore says the project is expensive, but is included in the water department’s capital improvement plan budget and is not expected to increase water rates.  Moore says the new well is necessary to increase the city’s drinking water capacity.

7-1-13 letter to neighbors regarding water well

RE:      Boyle Home Property

As you reside in the neighborhood of the Boyle Home, I would like to inform you of proposed development to part of the property. The City of Fond du Lac Water Utility is purchasing the vacant easterly end of the site to construct a new high capacity municipal well. The existing building is not part of our purchase and will remain on the market.  Groundwater is the sole source of supply for City of Fond du Lac utility customers. Capacity and production decline over time, and eventually groundwater wells need to be replaced. All wells located in the northern area of the city were built between 1932 and 1952, and some are nearing the end of their natural life. It’s important that a new facility is up and running prior to any major problems with the existing wells. Having a new facility online will also supplement daily needs and reduce demands on the other wells. After investigating several potential sites, the Arndt Street location proved to be the best choice.   We propose to drill the new well later this year and construct the well house building and transmission main in 2014. During the well construction phase, a well drilling rig will be set up on the site for roughly 2 to 3 months. There would be no disturbance to adjoining streets at this time. The well would be capped through the winter with remaining work next year. Construction of the building and underground utilities will occur simultaneously. It will require laying a new raw water transmission main from the site, west to Main Street. The City plans to reconstruct the existing water distribution main, storm sewers and full street replacement for the length of the project. This will be a great improvement for the area west of Park Avenue! We also need to line, or replace the Boyle Place sanitary sewer.  When complete, a city well house makes a good neighbor. It’s quiet and unobtrusive. A utility employee would visit the site most every day to check operation. We plow snow, shovel walks and mow our own grass. To get an idea of the finished structure, take a drive by our Well 10 facility at 169 Bischoff Street, just west of Park Avenue. It’s very similar to the one being proposed and is one of four wells located in residential neighborhoods like your own. Please feel free to give me call me at 322-3682 with any questions, or I would be happy to meet with you. I will continue to update you as plans progress.  


Kathryn Scharf
Water Operations Manager

Saturday, June 29, 2013

7-1-13 lake winnebago drowning

An elderly Sheboygan Falls man has drowned while windsurfing on Lake Winnebago near Roosevelt Park in Fond du Lac.  Sheriff’s Captain Rick Olig says the Sheriff’s Office received a 911 call shortly after 4:30pm Saturday reporting a missing windsurfer.  The caller reported a wind surfing rig had washed up on shore.  The Sheriff's Office boat patrol and Coast Guard immediately responded to the area and began a search.  A second Sheriff's Office boat, the Dive Team and Coast Guard helicopter was deployed.  Olig says the body of the 71 year old victim was recovered shortly after 6pm about 300 yards from shore.  He was not wearing a life jacket.

Friday, June 28, 2013

7-1-13 lake winnebago weigh-in project published

After analyzing three months worth of feedback from the people of Calumet, Fond du Lac, Outagamie, Waushara and Winnebago Counties, the Weigh-in on the Winnebago Waterways project has published a results report and is once again looking for input. Starting June 28, residents, business owners and municipal staff will be able to review the collective input and comment on the results.
“Over the past three months, as part of the Winnebago Waterways project, we’ve been talking to the people who know the Winnebago Waterways best—boaters, anglers and all who use and love the water—because they are intimately familiar with the threats facing our waterways,” said Erin Gerred, Director of Administration for Fond du Lac County, “Now we want to make sure that we’ve heard everyone’s voice.”   The report will be available for review and download starting on June 28 at Weigh in on the Winnebago Waterways sought public input on the various threats to the waterways, possible solutions and favorite regional destinations. The report synthesizes the feedback collected from participants at eight public meetings, responders to a paper survey and registered users on an online forum. All this feedback will be used to inform future phases of the project. Weigh in on the Winnebago Waterways is an effort that includes staff from the five county region, along with members of the University of Wisconsin-Extension, Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, East Central Regional Planning Commission and the Winnebago Lakes Council. “What we’d really like to know is: how did we do?” said Fond du Lac County Executive Allen Buechel. “This project has been about finding out how we share and use our local waterways and how those waterways should be managed. We need to know that we’re setting the right goals for the future to keep the waterways healthy.”  Project leaders are asking the public to review the report and answer a short three-question survey to confirm that the report is headed in the right direction, or give guidance on what else team members should consider over the coming months. The report and survey can be found at The public feedback period for this report ends July 12.  Anyone who would prefer a paper copy of the report’s Engagement Summary and the survey should contact his or her county representative at: Erin Gerred, 920-929-3156,

7-1-13 fdl county fair blood drive

BloodCenter of Wisconsin is partnering with Flight For Life to invite the Fond du Lac community to save the day for area patients by donating blood at the Fond du Lac County Fair Blood Drive.  The drive will be held July 10-11, 2013, in the Expo Center at the Fond du Lac County Fair, located at 17th and Martin St.  Donors can also enter the fair grounds from Fond du Lac Ave./ State Highway 45 .  All attempting donors will receive a complimentary admission to the Fond du Lac County Fair, July 16-21. Blood drive hours are as follows:

• Wednesday, July 10: 1 p.m. to 6 p.m.

• Thursday, June 11: 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Donors may schedule an appointment by visiting on a mobile device, or by calling 1-877-BE-A-HERO (1-877-232-4376).

BloodCenter of Wisconsin hopes to see more than 100 donors during the two-day drive to meet the needs of the patients it serves. By donating at the Fond du Lac County Fair Blood Drive, residents can be assured they will save the day for patients at local hospitals such as St. Agnes Hospital and Waupun Memorial Hospital.  Flight For Life Operations throughout south and central Wisconsin rely on the crucial donations of O negative blood by local donors to make life saving flight operations possible. With three helicopters, based in Waukesha and Fond du Lac - Wisconsin, and McHenry - Illinois, the Flight For Life Transport System helps augment health care delivery systems on a local and regional level.  When lives depend on the resources of specialty care facilities and when rapid transfer is a priority, Flight For Life  is ready to respond.  Donations of all blood types are needed, but there is an especially great need for O negative and platelet donors. Anyone 17 or older who is in general good health and meets eligibility requirements is encouraged to donate blood. Parental consent is required for 16-year-olds to donate. The entire process takes about an hour. Donors should bring a photo ID that includes birth date.

7-1-13 july 4th concert at lakeside park

The Fond du Lac Symphonic Band will present its traditional Americana Concert in the historic Joseph Schmitz bandstand at Lakeside Park in Fond du Lac on Wednesday, the 4th of July, beginning at 7:30 p.m. Erected and donated to the community by William McDermott, the bandstand has been home to Fourth of July band concerts since 1901 and was placed on the local registry of historic landmarks in 1973. Vocalists Stephanie Vinz will sing the Star-Spangled Banner Finale, and Ralph Schwartz will do a Neil Diamond medley. Both vocalists will be featured in This Is My Country and Armed Forces Pride – the songs of the U. S. Military. Medleys from various American eras and genres include the music of Hoagy Carmichael and selections from The Music Man. The program also features  Richard Rodgers’ Victory at Sea, Chorale and Shaker Dance by Zdechlik, and Tommy Dorsey’s Boogie Woogie.   Completing the evening's musical entertainment are American marches including King Cotton, Black Horse Troop, Liberty Bell, and concluding with the official United States National March: The Stars and Stripes Forever.   The Band’s performance will be followed by fireworks on the lakefront. The Symphonic Band’s summer concerts in Fond du Lac are sponsored by the City of Fond du Lac, and a free-will offering will be received to assist with summer concert expenses.

7-1-13 markesan armed robbery

The City of Marksan police and Green Lake County sheriff’s Office is investigating an armed
robbery at a pharmacy in Markesan.  Markesan Police Chief Steve Braun says the incident
happened Thursday afternoon, just past 2 p.m. at the Agnesian Pharmacy.  Witnesses say the suspect entered the pharmacy wearing a hooded black and red plaid jacket and facemask.  He then displayed a black pistol and demanded and received the drug oxycodone.  The suspect then left the building.  Braun says around 4 p.m. officials recovered the jacket and facemask from a citizen who found them County Highway A, about five miles north of Markesan.  The man is described as 30-45 years old with brown hair, thin build and about 5’9’’ tall.  He was clean shaven and wearing faded blue jeans with ripped out knees and brown boots or shoes.  Anyone with information is asked to contact Markesan police at 920-398-2121 or the Green Lake County Sheriff’s Office at 920-294-4134.

7-1-13 nfdl hires new fire/ems manager

The village of North Fond du lac is making an administrative change in the fire department.  Village administrator Chuck Hornung says paramedic Steve Koehler is being hired as the new Fire/EMS manager…replacing the fire chief position.  Hornung says as a manager Koehler will oversee the day to day operations of the department while maintaining his 24 shift rotation, on one day and off two.  "We felt that would still be enough time to take care of the day to day operations and some of the responsibilities would be pushed down to some of the officers in each of the departments,"  Hornung told WFDL news.  Hornung says initial reaction from fire-ems staff appears to be supportive of the change.  Hornung says while Koehler will receive a stipend to compensate for his extra duties,  the pay will still be less than if the village had hired a chief.  The North Fond du lac Police and Fire Commission is expected to approve the hiring at their meeting Monday evening.

7-1-13 farm bill failure

MILWAUKEE (AP) — Congress' failure to pass a farm bill last week has already resurrected talk of a "dairy cliff," in which milk prices could skyrocket to $6 a gallon. The dairy cliff became a topic of conversation last year as the 2008 farm bill and its milk subsidies were about to expire. Another extension is possible, but lawmakers such as Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid are already saying they won't support it.

7-1-13 johnson votes against immigration reform

Wisconsin Republican U.S. Senator Ron Johnson was in the minority in voting against an overhaul of the immigration law.  The measure passed on a bipartisan 68-32 vote Thursday, but Senator Johnson voted against it.  "My bottom line in deciding whether to support this bill has always been that it must solve the problem.  Unfortunately I've come to the conclusion that it will not,"  Johnson said.  The White House says President Barack Obama has called House Speaker John Boehner and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi to urge them to have the House act on the bill. Obama made the call while traveling in Africa. The  bill would provide a path to citizenship for immigrants in the United States illegally and that would heavily fortify the U.S. border.   Despite passage in the Senate, prospects for the legislation in the House are far more uncertain.

6-29-13 fdl kitchen fire

Nobody was injured in a kitchen fire in Fond du lac Friday afternoon.  Firefighters were called to the scene at  134 Forest Avenue  shortly after 3pm Friday.  The fire was contained to the stove and was quickly extinguished by fire crews. The fire was caused by unattended cooking. One person was treated and released at the scene by FDL paramedics.  There was moderate smoke damage to the residence.  City Police assisted with traffic control and the investigation. Red Cross  was contacted to provide support to the family.

6-29-13 door to door scam artists prey on flood victims

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — The state of Wisconsin is warning residents in flooded areas to be on the watch for scam artists working door to door. The Wisconsin Department of Agriculture is urging homeowners cleaning up from flooding to be wary about contractors going door-to-door this weekend promising quick help at a great price.

Thursday, June 27, 2013

6-28-13 governor signs military income tax exemption bill

Governor Scott Walker has signed legislation to create an income tax exemption for military pay for members of the armed forces killed in combat.  The governor signed the bill in Mayville Thursday.  Republican representative Mark Born of Beaver Dam and Republican Senator Scott Fitzgerald of Juneau authored the bill at the request of Mayville residents Andrew and Laura Johnson.  Their son, 1st Lieutenant David Johnson Was killed in action in Afghanistan in 2012.  Governor Scott Walker
 has signed legislation to create an income tax exemption For military pay for members of the armed forces killed in combat.  The governor signed the bill in Mayville Thursday.  Republican representative Mark Born of Beaver Dam and Republican Senator Scott Fitzgerald of Juneau authored the bill at the request of Mayville residents Andrew and Laura Johnson.  There son, 1st Lieutenant David Johnson was killed in action in Afghanistan in 2012.  The exemption would cover income earned during the year the soldier is killed and in the year before if the soldier hasn’t filed a return for that year.  The exemption begins with the current tax year.  Walker says the new law “sends and important message of gratitude to fallen services members and their families.”

6-28-13 remains of vietnam soldier buried in wisconsin

WASHBURN, Wis. (AP) — Marine Lance Cpl. Merlin Raye Allen was just 20 when his life ended in Vietnam. Forty-six years later, he's finally back in his beloved Bayfield County of northern Wisconsin. An enemy rocket brought down the helicopter Allen was in over Hue (way) Province. His remains were not discovered until a joint U.S.-Vietnamese recovery team excavated the wreck site last year. Visitation will be tomorrow at the Bratley Funeral Home in Washburn.

6-28-13 fourth of july holiday travel

AAA predicts more than 40 million Americans will travel this Independence Day holiday.  State Triple A spokesperson Pam Moen says that’s a point eight percent decrease from a year ago.  In Wisconsin, nearly 867,000 people are expected to travel, a 1.3 percent decrease compared to a year ago.   Moen says the anticipated decline in travel is predominantly due to a shorter holiday period.
Moen says the good news is gas prices are coming down significantly.  Eighty four percent of travelers will travel by automobile.  Holiday air travel is expected to increase slightly.

6-28-13 operation dry water

The Fond du lac County Sheriff’s Office will be cracking down on drunken boaters this weekend.  The Sheriff’s office will be participating in Operation Dry Water Friday through Sunday, as part of a nationally coordinated effort to reduce accidents and fatalities caused by boating under the influence.  Sheriff’s captain Rick Olig says there seems to be a different mindset when it comes to drinking and boating compared to alcohol and automobiles.  U.S. Coast Guard data shows that alcohol is the primary contributing factor in recreational boating fatalities.

6-28-13 fireworks safety

Local law enforcement is reminding residents that many fireworks for sale at the local fireworks stand are illegal to discharge.  Waupun police chief Dale Heeringa says the bottom line is anything that explodes or leaves the ground is illegal to discharge.  Heeringa says the Waupun PD fields several complaints every year related to illegal fireworks.  Heeringa says even legal fireworks can be dangerous, especially for young children.

6-28-13 fruth field entrance update

Construction work is ongoing on a new entrance and concession stand at Fruth Memorial Field in Fond du Lac.  School District Superintendent, Dr. Jim Sebert,  says the work will be done in time for the first football game of the year this fall.  Meanwhile Sebert says the fundraising effort to pay for the project is still underway,  The goal is $800,000.  Sebert says the project will significantly increase accessibility  to Fruth, add much needed restrooms and provide for additional player safety with the addition of a training room.

6-28-13 oskosh area distillery

EUREKA, Wis. (AP) — A Wisconsin family hopes to become the next big success among small distilleries.
The Hendricks Family Distillery just outside Eureka has produced just 10 batches of Pur Class Vodka so far. But it's getting good reviews from those selling and drinking it at restaurants and bars in the Oshkosh area.
Emma Young says she was selling so much of the vodka at Dublin's Irish Pub that she decided to try it. She says it has a smooth taste and was good enough to get her to switch from Absolut, one of the top-selling vodkas. Karl Hendricks says his family's goal is for the vodka to be so pure that people only taste whatever they mix with it.

6-28-13 republican lawmakers draw up plan to nix treasurer and secretary of state

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Two Republicans have drawn up a constitutional amendment that would eliminate the state treasurer and secretary of state positions.  Reps. Michael Schraa and Tyler August are trying to secure co-sponsors for the measure. They say both offices no longer have any real responsibilities and eliminating them would save taxpayer dollars. August called the offices "meaningless" in a statement Thursday.   Secretary of State Doug LaFollette, a Democrat, called the amendment silly. He says lawmakers should restore his office's duties to bring the post's responsibilities back in line with secretaries of state elsewhere in the country.  A constitutional amendment must pass two consecutive legislative sessions and a statewide referendum. The earliest the referendum could take place would be 2015.

6-28-13 concealed carry lawsuit

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — The state Department of Justice has moved a lawsuit over concealed carry class sizes to federal court. Gun rights group Wisconsin Carry Incorporated sued DOJ in Waukesha County this month arguing the instructor-led ratio violates the U.S. Constitution's equal protection language.

6-28-13 walker-budget requests

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Governor Scott Walker has received about 200 requests to either veto or protect portions of the state budget awaiting his signature. Those include pleas to save the designation of the kringle as Wisconsin's state pastry, delete a provision allowing bounty hunters in the state, and stop a prohibition on junk food bans. The Associated Press on Tuesday filed an open records request for all veto letters received by Walker.

6-28-13 new dismal job numbers for wisconsin

Wisconsin ranks 34th in the nation for job growth in 2012.  The Bureau of Labor Statistics released a report Thursday showing job growth for all 50 states between December 2011 and December 2012.  The report shows that in the first two years of Gov. Scott Walker's term, Wisconsin has added just over 62,000 private sector jobs.  Walker promised to add 250,000 jobs in four years. The report shows that he's only a quarter of the way there, halfway through his term.  The report shows that both private sector and government jobs in Wisconsin grew by 1.2 percent in 2012.  The numbers are based on the Quarterly Census of Employment and Wages, a survey that covers about 97 percent of state businesses.

6-28-13 name released in highway 41 fatal accident

One person was killed following a three-vehicle accident in Winnebago County.  The accident happened Tuesday evening around 10:30 p.m. on Highway 41 Southbound, near Jacobson Road, in the Town of Menasha.  Winnebago County Sheriffs Lt. Gordon Ledioyt says a slow moving vehicle from Minnesota was traveling in the far right lane of traffic when it was rear-ended by another vehicle traveling at highway speed.  The second vehicle careened off the highway and onto to the shoulder of the road.  Ledioyt says a motorcycle then came upon the two vehicles, could not avoid them for unknown reasons, and struck the Minnesota vehicle.  The operator of the motorcycle, 57-year-old Terrence Siems of Oshkosh, was taken to Theda Clark Medical Center in Neenah where he was pronounced dead.  The investigation continues and Ledioyt says alcohol does not appear to be a factor. No citations have been issued and no arrests have been made.  

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

6-27-13 fdl council approves retlaw alcohol and liquor licenses

After months of uncertainty and second chances an historic Fond du lac hotel and anchor of the city’s downtown appears to have smoothed things over with the city.  A day after the Retlaw Hotel owners paid a $39,000 bill in back taxes and utility fees the Fond du lac city council voted unanimously to renew the hotel’s alcohol and liquor licenses at their meeting Wednesday night.  City manager Joe Moore says he believes the council made the right decision.  "I'm really happy for the hotel, I'm happy for the people who work there," Moore said.  Council president Sam Meyer is pleased. " I think for the employees' sake, for the downtown's sake, and for the all the citizens and taxpayers its good to have it behind us,"  Meyer said.  Hotel manager Michael Cluff says it’s a relief.  "We're glad its over.  It hasn't been a fun ride but we're glad its over,"  Cluff said.  Cluff also says he has been assured by the owners that the hotel will be making its payments to the city on time from here on out.  Back in March when the hotel owed more than $200,000 city staff recommended the council not renew the hotel’s alcohol  licenses.  To prevent this from happening in the  future Moore is recommending changing city ordinance to read that no license would be granted if the applicant owes the city money and an existing license holder would receive 150 demerit points for delinquent taxes and or assessments.  The council will consider that change at their July 24th meeting.

6-27-13 fd council recognizes hamilton park donors

Local residents and businesses are stepping up to help rebuild the Hamilton Park playground destroyed by arson fire last month.  Fond du lac Parks Director John Kiefer says between the donations, including  $10,000 from the Stone Foundation and the insurance and grant money the city is confident the new playground will be bigger and better than ever.  The Fond du Lac Parks Department is arranging to buy the new equipment and selecting a design.  Local contractor BCI Burke will design, construct and install the playground.  The city council recognized the donors at their meeting Wednesday night.

6-27-13 fdl police grant money

The Fond du lac police department hopes to purchase new equipment with federal grant money.  The police department has been notified by the Bureau of Justice Assistance that it is eligible to receive a little over $15,000 to purchase portable alarm systems, surveillance video cameras, SWAT sniper rifles and miscellaneous SWAT operator equipment.  A public hearing on the grant was held at the Fond du lac city council meeting Wednesday evening.

6-27-13 sadoff shredder fire

On Wednesday June 26, 2013 at 4:47 p.m. Fond du Lac Fire Department was dispatched to Sadoff Iron and Metal 251 W. Arndt for a fire in a scrap metal shredder.  The fire involvded scrap materials within a structure as well as materials adjacent to the building.  Fire crews are still on scene (6:35 p.m.) extinguishing several smolerdeing hot spots.  Sadoff personnel are assisting fire crews with heavy equipment to help spread the scrap metal pile. There were no reported injuries.  No damage estimate available.  Fire crews will remain on scene for extended overhaul operations.

6-27-13 milwaukee man going to prison for sexual assault of fdl woman

A Milwaukee man accused of sexually assaulting a Fond du Lac woman is going to prison.  Fond du lac Judge Dale English sentenced 48 year old Andrew Olson to two years in prison followed by two years extended supervision.  As part of a plea deal Olson pleaded no contest to a charge of aggravated battery.  Charges of  sexual assault, false imprisonment, strangulation, intimidation of a victim all as a repeat offender were dismissed and read into the record.  According to a criminal complaint the incident occurred over a two day period over the July 4th holiday last year.

6-27-13 fdl man gets prison for threatening ex-girlfriend

A Fond du Lac man is going to prison for threatening to kill his former girlfriend.  Fond du lac judge Peter Grimm sentenced 34 year old Peter Frank Jr.  to two years in prison followed by three years extended supervision.  Frank was convicted of recklessly endangering safety, false imprisonment,
intimidating a victim with the use of force, armed burglary and criminal damage to property.  According to a criminal complaint Frank was jealous his ex girlfriend was dating another man and threatened the woman with a  large chef’s knife.

6-27-13 teen drives car into lake winnebago

A North Fond du lac teen escaped serious injury after apparently accidentally driving his car into Lake Winnebago.  Fond du lac police say 17 year old  Todd Deuel accelerated too fast through the mud and over the rocks into the lake on the West end of Litscher Drive near Lakeshore Drive Monday.  He was treated and released from St. Agnes Hospital.

6-27-13 school start date

The head of the Fond du lac Convention and Visitors Bureau is expressing concern about a proposal that would allow schools to start anytime they want in the fall.  Under current law passed in 2000, schools can’t open any earlier than September 1st.   Attempts to change that have been opposed strongly by the Wisconsin restaurant and tourism industries.  Fond du Lac Convention and Visitors Bureau  president Craig Molitor says those industries rely on high school workers to fill shifts during
the busy summer months.  Molitor also says fewer people will take vacations shortly before Labor Day.

6-27-13 wisconsin flooding-state of emergency declared

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Governor Scott Walker has declared a state of emergency in seven southwestern Wisconsin counties due to flooding. Walker issued the emergency declaration this afternoon for Ashland, Crawford, Grant, Iowa, Richland, St. Croix, and Vernon counties. The declaration came after Walker toured flood-damaged areas near Boscobel.

6-27-13 unemployment rates drop across the state

 Unemployment rates dropped in most Wisconsin cities and counties last month.  The Dodge County unemployment rate for May is seven percent…down from 7.8 percent.  In Fond du Lac County the unemployment rate dropped from 6.8 to 6.4 percent.  The city of Fond du lac’s jobless rate fell four tenths of a percent to 7.5 percent.  The Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development reported Wednesday that rates dropped in May for 27 out of 32 cities with at least 25,000 residents. All but two of the state's 72 counties had a drop between April and May. Milwaukee County was unchanged at 8.3 percent and Florence County went up from 7.4 percent to 8.4 percent.  Beloit had the highest unemployment rate at 11.7 percent followed by Racine at 11.6 percent.  Menominee County had the highest rate for any county at 13.8 percent.  Statewide unemployment in May was 7 percent compared with 7.6 percent nationwide.

6-27-13 state workers pay

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — The head of the Wisconsin State Employees Union isn't happy with a 1 percent pay raise for state workers in each of the next two years.  Marty Beilsaid the raise approved Wednesday won't even come close to holding workers' salaries flat in the face of health insurance and pension cost increases.  And Beil says discretion given agency heads means not all workers will get the pay raise.  A Republican-controlled legislative committee approved the raises with no public comment.  The two Democrats on the committee voted for it, but expressed concerns that it wasn't enough given that state workers have seen the equivalent of a 12 percent pay cut the past two years due to increased pension and health care contributions.

6-27-13 iraq war veteran pleads guilty in wife's death

MILWAUKEE (AP) — An Iraq War veteran accused of fatally shooting his wife, a Milwaukee-area police officer, last year has pleaded guilty to a homicide charge.  Thirty-year-old Ben Sebena originally pleaded insanity to first-degree intentional homicide. But two doctors agreed that while he has significant mental health issues, they don't rise to the level of supporting an insanity plea.  Sebena was convicted Wednesday afternoon in Milwaukee. He faces a mandatory sentence of life in prison. Prosecutors will recommend Sebena be eligible for parole in 50 to 60 years.  The criminal complaint says Sebena acknowledged ambushing 30-year-old Jennifer Sebena while the Wauwatosa police officer was conducting a pre-dawn patrol alone on Christmas Eve. Ben Sebena told investigators he was a jealous husband and had been stalking her.

6-26-13 gay marriage-wisconsin

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Gay rights advocates say a pair of U.S. Supreme Court rulings supporting same-sex marriage will have little effect in Wisconsin.  The court on Wednesday ruled that legally married gay Americans are eligible for federal tax, health and pension benefits. The court also decided to leave stand a lower court ruling that California's ban on gay marriage is unconstitutional. The court didn't address the merits of the ban.  Wisconsin has a similar constitutional ban on gay marriage.  Chris Ahmuty is executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union's Wisconsin chapter. He says the same-sex couples here likely won't be eligible for the federal benefits because the state doesn't recognize gay marriage. He says the California decision clears the way for gay marriage in that state but has no impact on Wisconsin.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

6-26-13 retlaw pays up

The Fond du Lac Retlaw Hotel  owners waited until the last minute…but have made good on their financial obligation to the city.    City manager Joe Moore told WFDL news late Tuesday afternoon the hotel paid its $39,000 bill in back taxes and utility fees.   Tuesday was the deadline for the hotel to make good on its debt or face losing its alcohol licenses.  The city council is scheduled to take up the matter at their meeting Wednesday.    Councilmember Dan Manning says he was pleased to hear the news  and plans to vote to renew the hotel’s alcohol and liquor license at Wednesday night’s council meeting.  Councilmember Rob VandeZande says while he is pleased the Retlaw has paid its bills, he is still undecided about how he will vote on the hotel’s alcohol licenses.  Earlier this month the city manager rejected the hotel owner’s offer to wipe the slate clean with a $25,000 payment.

6-26-13 thelma sadoff center for the arts

The Fond du Lac Windhover Center for the Arts has a new name and new identity.  The Windhover Center has been renamed the Thelma Sadoff Center for the Arts.  The announcement was made Tuesday evening on Sheboygan Street outside the site of the new center.  Thelma executive director Kevin Miller says the center was named after the late Thelma Sadoff,  a woman with a "classic style and affinity for her community."   Miller said.   Miller says the major arts center expansion was made possible by the generosity of the Sadoff Family Foundation.   "Thelma is the brand, an honor to the Sadoff family commitment to our organization,"  Miller said.  Gary Sadoff tells WFDL news his mother would probably be a little bit embarrassed by all the attention but very happy at the same time.  Miller says the grand opening of the newly expanded arts center is set for  September 10-14th  and has been dubbed Thelma week.  He says  high-profile performers, art exhibits and special gatherings will be a draw for tourists to visit Fond du lac.:

6-26-13 lomira man charged in heroin overdose death

One of two men charged in the drug overdose death of a Fond du lac man has made his initial court appearance.   Forty nine year old Jeffrey Abitz of Lomira appeared in Fond du lac County Circuit Court Tuesday on a charge of party to the crime of first degree reckless homicide.  Bail was set at
$5000 cash.    Meanwhile, reckless homicide charges have also been filed against 56 year old Reginald Dorsey of Milwaukee.   Dorsey is accused of supplying the heroin that led to the death of a Fond du lac man last July and investigators say Abitz drove the car.  District attorney Eric Toney says both men are charged under the Len Bias law.

6-26-13 anti-heroin media campaign

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — The state Department of Justice is getting ready to launch an anti-heroin media campaign and hand out grants to help local governments combat the drug. The effort is expected to launch in late summer or early fall and cost about $250,000.

6-26-13 fdl educational support staff pay raise

Fond du lac School District educational support staff are getting a pay raise.  The Fond du lac School Board has approved a one percent pay raise for this past school year.  The cost of the increase is $33,000.   Total cost increase including benefits is $38,000.

6-26-13 state-uw employee pay raise

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Governor Scott Walker's administration is recommending a 1 percent pay raise for state and University of Wisconsin workers in each of the next two years. The pay plan proposal was laid out in a letter delivered to the eight lawmakers on a special legislative committee set to vote on approving the pay plan tomorrow.

6-26-13 wisconsin bounty hunter bill

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Wisconsin Democrats are pressing the Republican governor to erase language in the state budget that would allow bounty hunters to operate in the state. Republicans on the Legislature's finance committee inserted a provision into the budget that would allow judges in Dane, Kenosha, Milwaukee, Racine and Waukesha counties to let defendants hire bail bond agencies. Democrats want the governor to use his partial veto power to wipe out the provision.

6-26-13 state senate candidate

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — A Republican who lost his state Senate seat in a 2012 recall election plans to announce tomorrow that he'll run for the seat in 2014. Van Wanggaard, of Racine, narrowly lost in the June 2012 recall election to Democrat John Lehman.

6-26-13 wisconsin vietnam veteran to be buried in wisconsin

WASHBURN, Wis. (AP) — A Wisconsin Marine who died in Vietnam will be buried off Lake Superior this weekend, almost 46 years to the day he was killed in a helicopter crash. Lance Cpl. Merlin R. Allen of Bayfield was 20 years old when his helicopter was trying to land in hostile territory in Vietnam. It was hit by enemy fire and crash-landed. A joint U.S. and Vietnamese team excavated the crash site and found the remains.

6-26-13 wisconsin flooding

BOSCOBEL, Wis. (AP) — Mudslides and flooding have closed at least three highways in southwestern Wisconsin.   A landslide on Highway 61 in Crawford County has closed the road between Highway 60 and the bridge to Boscobel. The Wisconsin Emergency Operations Center notes the highway is covered in mud 25 feet high and 200 yards long. Mudslides and debris have also closed Highway 35 from Lynxville to Prairie du Chien. And flooding was closed Highway 171 from Highway 27 to 131.  State emergency officials say a boulder fell onto Highway 56 near Genoa but traffic can maneuver around it.  Flash flood watches and warnings are in effect until Wednesday throughout much of southern and western Wisconsin. The National Weather Service issued a flood warning for Crawford, Grant, Vernon, Kenosha, Lafayette, Green and Rock counties.

Monday, June 24, 2013

6-25-13 nfdl community pool expansion

The North Fond du Lac School District is partnering with the village to expand the community swimming pool.   A special meeting of the school district electors was held Monday night to approve a land lease to the village to expand and upgrade the pool.  North Fond du Lac School Administrator Aaron Sadoff says local volunteers have taken steps to try to increase pool attendance and revenue.  "A few years ago the pool was in dire straights ,if you will, and then a very great group of people from the community said the pool is not about making money...but what it does is it creates a quality of life,"  Sadoff said.  "So this group got together and said hey, let's move forward and get this pool so that it can last so every year its not on the chopping block."

6-25-13 new fdl school district business services manager

The Fond du lac School District has a new business services manager.  The Fond du Lac School Board has approved the hiring of  Wendy Brockert at their meeting Monday evening.   Superintendent Dr. Jim Sebert says Brockert comes to the Fond du Lac School District from Lake Mills, where she has been the business manager since 1991.  "I'm really excited about Wendy Brockert.   She's well known throughout the state, in recent memory she's the president of the Wisconsin Association of School Business Officials, very well connected,"  Sebert said.  Her starting salary in Fond du lac will be just under $105,000.

6-25-13 heavy rain possible tuesday night and wednesday

The National Weather service says heavy rains are possible as thunderstorms continue across much of Wisconsin early  this week.  National Weather Service meteorologist Marsha Cronce tells WFDL news  there’s a good chance for thunderstorms Tuesday evening and again Wednesday in our listening area.  "What we are in is a very warm and humid, unstable pattern,"  Cronce said.  "What that means is that thunderstorms can develop anywhere and than not move quickly and that is why the heavy rain threat is there."   Meanwhile Cronce says a tornado that caused minimal damage In Columbia County over the weekend was a weak tornado with winds of between 65-100 miles an hour.

6-25-13 emergency plane landing update

The Dodge County Sheriff’s Chief Deputy says a teenage pilot did a  "commendable job" of landing a plane in a cornfield when the aircraft ran out of fuel over the weekend.  Chief Deputy Scott Smith says the pilot, 19 year old Remington Viney of Madison,  was on the return flight home from Manitowac when a switch malfunction prevented her from switching to the other fuel tank on board.  Viney and three passengers in the plane were able to walk away uninjured.  The plane was not damaged.

6-25-13 car vs. bike update

The Fond du Lac County Sheriff’s Office says a car vs. bike accident over the weekend is a reminder that motorists need be alert especially with a couple of major bicycle races in Fond du Lac over the next couple of months.  Forty seven year old Steven Kuphal is in serious but stable condition  at Theda Clark Regional Medical Center in Neenah after colliding with a car at the intersection of Highway WH and Lakeview Road Saturday.  "The gentleman was wearing a helmet, he flew into the vehicle and then over the vehicle and suffered some pretty serious injuries,"  Sheriff's Captain Rick Olig said.   Olig says the incident is a reminder for automobile drivers to always be alert for bicycles on city streets or county roads.  The Tour of America’s Dairyland bike race is coming to downtown  Fond du Lac Friday with the Commonwealth Classic Tour.  The Race the Lake bicycle race around Lake Winnebago Will be held on Sunday August 18th.

6-25-13 fox valley train-pedestrian fatalities

APPLETON, Wis. (AP) — Police are investigating train collisions with pedestrians that killed two men in the same area of east-central Wisconsin. A 64-year-old Appleton man was killed around 1:20 a.m. Monday when he was struck by a train in Appleton. The man's name was not immediately released. Just over 12 hours later, another man was struck and killed by a train in Oshkosh around 1:45 p.m. Monday. His name is being withheld until relatives are notified.

6-25-13 ag-proposed gun law

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Wisconsin Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen says he doesn't support a Republican bill that would prohibit state police from enforcing any new federal firearm or ammunition restrictions. Hollen tells the AP that the bill being prepared by Oshkosh Republican Rep. Michael Schraa could hurt cooperation between state and federal law enforcement officers.

6-25-13 ag-dna

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Wisconsin Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen isn't pleased with the changes his fellow Republicans made to a state budget plan — specifically requiring police to take DNA from suspects upon arrest. Republicans on the Legislature's budget committee tweaked the plan put forth by the governor and Van Hollen to prohibit police from forwarding the DNA to the state crime labs until a court determines probable cause for arrest exists.

6-25-13 ag-bounty hunters

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen doesn't support a plan his fellow Republicans tacked onto the state budget that would allow bounty hunters to go after bail jumpers. He tells the AP he has been opposed to bail bondsmen for some time. He says no one has explained why the current court system needs to be changed.

6-25-13 kirngle controversy

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Three Republicans and three Democrats sent Gov. Scott Walker a letter today urging him not to veto a provision in the state budget naming the kringle as the official pastry. The kringle is a large, round, flat pastry with a hole in the middle made predominantly in Racine County. The governor hasn't said whether kringle will survive his vetoes.

6-24-13 kids count-wisconsin

MILWAUKEE (AP) — Children's lives are improving with the economy in Wisconsin, but many families remain worse off than before the Great Recession.  That's according to the latest Kids Count Data Book, an annual report from the Annie E. Casey Foundation that tracks children's welfare.  The report ranks Wisconsin 12th in the nation as a place to grow up.  It says New Hampshire, Vermont and Massachusetts do the best when it comes to children's overall well-being. Nevada, Mississippi and New Mexico do the worst.  The spokesman for the Wisconsin Council on Children and Families, Bob Jacobson, says Wisconsin has benefited from past investments in health care and education. That allowed the state to do well even though almost one in five Wisconsin children lives in poverty.

6-24-13 chicago man sentenced in fdl heroin case

A Chicago man convicted of dealing drugs in Fond du lac is going to prison.  Fond du Lac Judge Dale English has sentenced 26 year old Kevin McMullen to 10 years in prison followed by five years extended supervision.   McMullen was convicted of multiple charges including dealing heroin and methamphetamine, maintaining a drug trafficking place and carrying a concealed weapon.

6-24-13 severe weather

RIO, Wis. (AP) — The National Weather Service says a tornado touched down in southern Wisconsin over the weekend.  The agency says it the twister formed Saturday about 9 p.m. about three miles southwest of Rio in Columbia County. It caused minor tree damage that affected power lines, but no one was hurt.
Elsewhere, Crawford and Grant counties in the southwestern corner of Wisconsin have declared states of emergency because of water damage.  Crawford County had flooding and multiple mudslides that closed several roads and forced evacuation of a number of homes. In Grant County, roadways were flooded along with an unspecified number of homes.  Rescue crews saved all 54 canoeists who got stranded on the Wisconsin River in Grant County.  The weather service warns that additional storms Sunday could result in heavy rain and flash flooding.

6-24-13 church abuse-milwaukee archdiocese

MILWAUKEE (AP) — The Archdiocese of Milwaukee plans to make dozens of priests' personnel files public in the next week, along with hundreds of pages of other documents related to clergy sex abuse.
Victims hope the records hold church leaders accountable for covering up priests' crimes and transferring them to new churches without warning parishioners.  Church leaders say it is important for the truth to come out, but most of the cases are well-known and involve priests who have been publicly identified for nearly a decade.  Forty-five-year-old Charles Linneman of Sugar Grove, Illinois says he was an altar boy when he met the priest who abused him in 1980. Linneman read the man's file several years ago when it became public during litigation in California. He says it helped him move on.

6-24-13 emergency plane landing in dodge county

Nobody was injured when a plane made an emergency landing in Dodge County Sunday afternoon.  At about 1:45 p.m., the Dodge County Sheriff’s Department took a report from the Dane County Sheriff’s Department that a plane had made an emergency landing in the Columbus area.  The plane landed in a field in the general area of Canary Road and County Highway G in the Town of Beaver Dam.  The aircraft, a Piper Archer, was occupied by 4 individuals.  The Dodge County Sheriff’s Department says preliminary information is that the aircraft had a problem with a fuel switch-over and the plane ran out of fuel, but details and the accuracy of that information have not been confirmed.  The FAA has been notified.

6-24-13 fatal plane crash report

ASHLAND, Wis. (AP) — An investigative report about a fatal single-engine plane crash in northwest Wisconsin this month says the plane bounced "out of control" on the runway. The June 15th crash killed 63-year-old La Crosse physician Richard Renwick and his 58-year-old brother, Bruce Renwick of Waunakee.

Sunday, June 23, 2013

6-24-13 car vas. bike accident sends fdl man to the hospital

A Fond du Lac man was seriously injured when he was struck by a car while riding his bicycle.  Forty seven year old Steven Kuphal was flown by helicopter to Theda Clark Regional Medical Center in Neenah  with what were described as serious injuries.  The Fond du lac County Sheriff’s Office says 20 year old Adam Blackman of Fond du lac was driving his car eastbound on Highway WH, attempting to turn left onto Lakeview Road when he collided with the bicyclist.  The accident happened shortly after 10am Saturday.

6-24-13 sweepstakes scam

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Wisconsin consumer protection specialists say they've been getting hotline calls about a sweepstakes scam.  The Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection says residents across the state say they've been getting calls from people claiming to be from Publishers Clearing House. The suspected scammers tell them they've won a sweepstakes prize and ask for an upfront fee payable with a pre-paid debit card.  The state says potential victims are directed to pick up and pay for a Green Dot MoneyPak debit card from a retail or drug store in order to transfer the fee.  Consumer protection officials say scammers choose pre-paid debit cards and wire transfers as ways for victims to send them money because the transactions are difficult to trace and nearly impossible to reverse.

6-24-13 doctor shortage

MILWAUKEE (AP) — Wisconsin has done a better job of holding onto its primary care physicians than most other states, and new programs for aspiring doctors have positioned the state to weather a possible shortage when the national health care overhaul takes effect next year.  Some states already have a shortage of primary-care physicians, and their problems could get worse when health care reforms go into effect in January. Millions of newly insured Americans are likely to seek care for the first time in years, possibly swamping short-staffed health systems.  But Wisconsin appears to be in good shape. The state ranks 14th in the U.S. with 86 primary-care physicians per 100,000 residents. Wisconsin's pipeline for producing more doctors is expanding, and programs are in place to encourage doctors to practice in rural areas.

6-24-13 baldwin committee assignment

MILWAUKEE (AP) — Sen. Tammy Baldwin has been appointed to serve on the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee.  The committee oversees energy production and technology issues. It's also responsible for stewardship of public lands and forests.  The assignment builds on the Wisconsin Democrat's experience as a congresswoman. From 2005 to 2013 she served on the House Energy and Commerce Committee.   Baldwin says she hopes to use the position to give Wisconsin a voice in the climate-change debate. She says global climate change is real, and the only question is how the nation will respond to it.  In addition to her new assignment the first-term senator will continue to serve on Senate committees dealing with the budget; health and education; homeland security; and aging.

6-24-13 weekend flooding

LA CROSSE, Wis. (AP) — Heavy rain has led to flash flooding in parts of southwestern Wisconsin, and northern Grant County was hit especially hard.  Boscobel received nearly eight inches of rain.  The Wisconsin Emergency Operations Center says local officials in Boscobel report that more than half the community's streets were flooded early Saturday, but most of the water has receded. Damage assessments are under way to determine how many homes sustained flood damage. The Red Cross and Salvation Army are providing assistance.  Boscobel is a community of about 3,200 people on the Wisconsin River.  The National Weather Service says additional storms were expected Saturday that could result in more flash flooding in southwestern Wisconsin.  Elsewhere, a lightning strike was also blamed for a gas line break small fire at a Milwaukee home early Saturday.

Friday, June 21, 2013

6-22-13 two men charged in heroin overdose death of fdl man

Two men have been charged in connection with a drug overdose death in Fond du lac.  Forty nine year old Jeffrey Abitz of Lomira is charged with party to the crime of  first degree reckless homicide.  Abitz  is charged in connection with the heroin overdose death of a Fond du lac man last July.    Abitz is currently not in custody.  He is scheduled to make his initial Fond du lac Court appearance Tuesday.   Meanwhile charges of reckless homicide have also been filed against 56 year old Reginald Dorsey of Milwaukee in the case.    Both men are accused of supplying the heroin that led to the Fond du lac man’s death.

6-22-13 new fdl school district business manager

The Fond du lac School District has a new business services manager.  The Fond du Lac School Board is expected to approve the hiring of  Wendy Brockert at their meeting Monday evening.  Brockert comes to the Fond du Lac School District from Lake Mills, where she has been the business manager since 1991.  Her starting salary in Fond du lac will be just under $105,000.

6-22-13 hamilton park playground donors

Local residents and businesses are stepping up to help rebuild the Hamilton Park playground destroyed by arson fire last month.  Fond du lac Parks Director John Kiefer says residents Sandra Ritchie and Charmaine Luczak along with Domino’s Pizza, the Fond du Lac Firefighters Union and
the Stone Foundation have all donated money to the cause.   Kiefer says between the donations, including $10,000 from the Stone Foundation and the insurance and grant money the city is confident the new playground will be bigger and better than ever.  The Fond du Lac Parks Department is arranging to buy the new equipment and selecting a design.  Local contractor BCI Burke will design, construct and install the playground.  Kiefer says the hope is to have the new playground built before the end of summer.  The city council will recognize the donors at their meeting next week.

6-22-13 youth baseball diamonds proposed for lakeside park

The Fond du lac Advisory Park Board will consider a proposal to build two new youth baseball diamonds at Lakeside Park.  Ryan Haus tells AM 1170 WFDL's Between the Lines program the diamonds would be located along Harborview Drive between Main and Doty Streets.  Haus says each diamond would be fully or partially enclosed with 225 foot fences.  Haus says there is an extreme need for more quality baseball diamonds in Fond du lac with a high number of kids playingbaseball and a growing youth girl’s softball program.  Haus says a fundraising campaign would begin immediately if the city gives approval.  He says the cost of each field is about $35,000.

6-22-13 city of fdl receives recycling grant

The city of Fond du Lac is encouraging Lakeside Park goers to recycle.  Through a grant from the Keep America Beautiful and Coca-Colar Foundation the city has placed 25 recycling bins throughout the park.  The city was one of 156 local government, schools, colleges and other community groups
nationwide to receive a grant.

6-22-13 retlaw still owes money

The future of the Fond du Lac Retlaw Hotel may rest with the city council next week.  The hotel has until Tuesday to make good on its debt or face losing its alcohol licenses.  The city council is scheduled to take up the matter at their meeting Wednesday.  Earlier this month city manager Joe Moore rejected the hotel owner’s offer to wipe the slate clean with a $25,000 payment,
when the hotel still owes $39,000 in back taxes and utllity fees.  Moore said as of Friday nothing had changed.

6-22-13 strawberry season

This year's strawberry season is getting off to a slow start.  Cool temperatures that have extended well into June have delayed the season. Dave Mischler operates Mischler Berry Farm in Waupun.  "You know we really do need some heat right now to get them berries to ripen up,"  Mischler told AM 1170WFDL's Between the Lines program.  "The weather as far as being cool slowed the growth but we've got a lot of nice looking berries that are coming."  Mischler's opens for strawberry picking at 7am Saturday.  He tells am 1170 WFDL’s Between the Lines he'd already be done picking his early berries by this time. He says the farm is almost always picking by Father's Day, which was Sunday.  Strawberry growers plant multiple varieties — early, late early, mid-season and late-season. The varieties ripen about four days apart, which lets farms stretch the picking out about a month. They say that this year, picking could extend into mid-July.