Monday, September 30, 2013

10-1-13 hunter accidentally shot in horicon marsh

A hunter is recovering from buckshot wounds to his upper torso after he was accidentally shot while hunting in the Horicon Marsh over the weekend.  The Dodge County Sheriff’s Department says it received a call from Aurora Medical Center in Hartford that the man was being treated in the hospital emergency room.  DNR warden Todd Schaller says the incident happened in the state owned portion of the marsh north of Mayville.  Schaller says the victim was accidentally shot by another member of his hunting party.

10-1-13 common core hearings scheduled

Today, State Representative Jeremy Thiesfeldt (R-Fond du Lac) and State Senator Paul Farrow (R-Pewaukee) announced four joint Assembly and Senate Special Select Committee on Common Core Standards hearing around the state.  The first hearing is scheduled for Thursday, October 3rd from 12:00 p.m. until 8:00 p.m. in room 417 North of the Wisconsin State Capitol.  Other hearings include:
Thursday, October 17 (2:00 p.m.-8:00 p.m.) Fond du Lac – City/County Building
Wednesday, October 23 (2:00 p.m.-8:00 p.m.) Eau Claire – Chippewa Valley Technical College
Wednesday, October 30 (2:00 p.m.-8:00 p.m.) Wausau – Northcentral Technical College
Hearings will include invited speakers and public comments.  If members of the public are unable to attend the hearings in-person, proceedings will be broadcast over Wisconsin Eye.   “These hearings are to provide an opportunity for the public to bring input to the legislature concerning how our children will be prepared for the future,” stated Farrow.  “Education is the foundation of a strong and vibrant economy.  We need to ensure our children are being challenged so they may succeed in the 21st century’s global economy.  Such a goal must be balanced with our long standing tradition of local control in education.”    Thiesfeldt stated, “I look forward to engaging and educating the public through these hearings.  These standards could be in place for decades and having over 24 hours of testimony will give us a good foundation for crafting a recommendation, and if not, to hold additional hearings until we learn everything we can about how Common Core would affect Wisconsin’s students.”    If you would like information regarding the upcoming hearings or would like to submit testimony to the Assembly and Senate Committees, please contact Representative Thiesfeldt’s office by calling (608) 266-3156 or Senator Farrow’s office by calling (608) 266-9174. 

10-1-13 speed limit hearing

Drivers will get a chance to sound off Tuesday on a Republican bill that would raise Wisconsin's
speed limit. The Assembly transportation committee has scheduled a public hearing on the
proposal for today in the state Capitol.   The bill would change the state's current maximum 65 mph speed limit to 70 mph on  freeways and highways with four or more lanes.   Fond du lac County Sheriff’s captain Rick Olig says he wonders what the benefit is.  "We don't make the laws, we enforce them,"  Olaig said.   "...but I guess when they (legislature) want to change a law my question is always what's the benefit to the average motorist and does it in fact make our highways safer?"  The measure's prospects look unclear. Assembly Speaker Robin Vos supports the bill but Senate Republican leaders say they have no plans to take it up anytime soon.  However Senate majority leader Scott Fitzgerald tells AM 1170 WFDL's Between the Lines program he supports the measure and predicts it will pass.  Gov. Scott  Walker has taken no position on it.

10-1-13 ax-wielding nfdl man arrested

A North Fond du Lac man armed with an ax has been arrested and faces multiple charges.  North Fond du lac police chief Darren Pautsch says police received a call early Sunday morning that a man was carrying an ax in the area of Audrey Court and Polk Street and was stating someone inside the apartment complex was killing people.    When an officer arrived on the scene and ordered the man to drop the ax, the man initially raised the ax over his head, then dropped the ax and took off running.  He was arrested following a short foot chase.  The 23 year old man told police that the tenants of an upstairs apartment shot and killed a boy and girl in his apartment and were now after him.  Police searched the man’s apartment and found no one shot inside.  The man was transported to the Health Care Center.  He faces charges of recklessly endangering safety, resisting an officer and disorderly conduct.

10-1-13 oar 19th offense

A Waupun man has been arrested for his 19th offense of operating after revocation.  Waupun deputy police chief Scott Louden says 25 year old David Johnson was arrested Friday following a
traffic stop on West Main Street.  Louden says the incident shows "the system is failing when it
comes to oar violations with very little teeth in the law for repeat offenders that don’t care."

10-1-13 domestic violence homicides

The number of domestic violence homicides in Wisconsin increased from 2011 to 2012.  A report released by the group End Domestic Abuse Wisconsin shows that in 2011 there were 31 domestic violence homicide incidents resulting in 37 deaths including two incidents in Fond du Lac.  In 2012  38 domestic violence homicide incidents resulted in 52 deaths.  End Domestic Abuse Wisconsin policy coordinator Tony Gibart says the report shows perpetrators of domestic violence homicides were overwhelmingly male.  In 2012, close to one quarter of all domestic violence homicide victims were children killed by their father or other adult male household member.

10-1-13 endangered wolves

TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. (AP) — The director of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is strongly defending its proposal to drop federal protection for gray wolves across most of the Lower 48 states ahead of a series of public hearings on the plan.  The agency in June called for dropping the wolf from the endangered list everywhere except in parts of Arizona and New Mexico, where a subspecies called the Mexican wolf is struggling for survival.  Agency director Dan Ashe said Monday that the wolf's recovery in the Great Lakes and Northern Rockies is one of the greatest conservation successes ever. He said the species is no longer in danger of dying out.  But some environmentalists and scientists say it's too soon to drop federal protections.  The first public hearing is Monday in Washington, D.C.

10-1-13 sportsmen's grant

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Newly released records show that then-Assembly Majority Leader Scott Suder accepted an invitation for a fishing trip offered by the lobbyist for a self-described sportsmen group just days before an affiliate of the organization won a $500,000 state grant.  The Republican Suder says that he paid for his own way for the outing in August with the head of United Sportsmen of Wisconsin.  The trip came about 2½ months after Suder engineered money for the grant into the state budget. The grant awarded to the United Sportsmen Foundation has since been rescinded.  United Sportsmen's executive director and lobbyist Scott Meyer offered the two-day fishing trip to Suder for free. But Meyer and Suder both say Suder paid his own way.

10-1-13 wrongly convicted compensation

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Wisconsin lawmakers are considering a pair of bills that would boost compensation for people wrongfully convicted of crimes.  Sens. Lena Taylor and Glenn Grothman are sponsoring a bill that would award Robert Stinson an additional $90,000 on top of the maximum $25,000 state payout for a wrongful conviction. Stinson spent 23 years in prison for a homicide he didn't commit.  Meanwhile, Reps. Garey Bies and Gary Hebl are circulating a bill that would increase the maximum annual payout from $5,000 to $50,000, eliminate the requirement that compensation be granted only in cases in which a petitioner shows he or she didn't contribute to the conviction and require a judge rather than a five-member board to decide whether compensation should be awarded.

9-30-13 oshkosh corp. labor contract

OSHKOSH, Wis. (AP) — Union workers at Oshkosh Corp. have given the company what it says it needs to make a competitive bid on a military contract worth billions of dollars.  United Auto Workers Local 578 voted Sunday to extend the contract five years after it expires in 2016. The extension protects more than 2,500 jobs at the Fox Valley's largest manufacturer.  Oshkosh Corp. is one of three defense contractors bidding on a military contract to build the vehicle that will replace up to 55,000 Humvees for the Army and Marine Corp.  A union steward says the contract extension includes a 1.5 percent raise the first three years and 2.5 percent and 3 percent raises in the fourth and fifth years.

Sunday, September 29, 2013

9-30-13 fdl police twitter account hacked-update

Fond du Lac police continue to work with IT staff in an effort to solve a problem created by a hacker over the weekend.  Assistant police chief Steve Thiery says someone hacked into the department’s
Twitter account Sunday posting offensive, vulgar messages.  Thiery says while this type of activity is very concerning…social media has become a very important way for law enforcement to communicate with the public.


9-30-13 green bay bridge-investigation

GREEN BAY, Wis. (AP) — State Department of Transportation officials are working through the weekend to figure out why a Green Bay bridge sank 2 feet.  Officials closed the Leo Frigo Bridge Wednesday after a support pier unexpectedly sank 2 feet, causing a deep dip in the pavement.  DOT spokesman Kim Rudat  says workers were checking for movement in other support piers and testing the area soil Saturday. That will tell them if they need to shore up the bridge before doing other work.  He says they haven't found any movement yet but they've attached equipment similar to seismographs that will sound alarms if there is.
Governor Scott Walker on Friday declared the closure of bridge a disaster. The declaration could lead to federal reimbursement for the first 180 days of repair work.

9-30-13 bridges in need of repair

State transportation officials have placed about 60 Wisconsin bridges in danger categories that
indicate the structures have designs that make them more vulnerable to failure and are deteriorating.  An Associated Press review of the latest records in the National Bridge Inventory found some  7,795 bridges across the country have been classified as both "fracture critical" and "structurally deficient," a combination of red flags that experts say is particularly problematic.  Fond du lac County Highway Commissioner Tom Jahnke says there are a number of bridges in the county that fall into those categories.  "There are a number of facture critical bridges and that doesn't necessarily mean that the bridge itself is in any danger of failing,"  Jahnke said.  "Fracture critical basically means that there's a component, that if one of the girders would fail, the whole bridge fails.  There's no redundancy in the structure.  That's not uncommon in certain designs."  Jahnke says the major issue when it comes to repairing the bridges is funding.

9-30-13 world rabies day

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Wisconsin health officials are recognizing World Rabies Day by warning people about the dangers posed by bats.  While 55,000 people worldwide die from rabies every year, only three people have died in Wisconsin since 2000. In Wisconsin, rabid bats are the leading cause of rabies infections in humans. In the past five years, 128 cases of animal rabies have been diagnosed and all but six were rabid bats.  Rabies is spread to humans usually through a bite from a rabid animal.  In observance of World Rabies Day on Saturday, Wisconsin state health officer Dr. Henry Anderson reminded people that rabies can be prevented by avoiding exposure to it or by receiving preventative vaccinations.  Tips to minimize exposure to rabies include having pets vaccinated and staying away from wild animals.

9-30-13 employment growth

The president of the Fond du lac County Economic Development Corporation says the latest U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics show continued strong employment growth for the Fond du Lac Metro area.   While total non-farm growth was close to the national average, the growth in the FDL area manufacturing sector was 4.8 percent compared to 1.6 percent for the nation.  FCEDC president Steve Jenkins says expansions at Mercury Marine, Wells Vehicle Electronics, Alliance Laundry Systems and McNeilus Steel all contributed to employment growth.  Jenkins says these projects were supported by the half cent sales tax…approved in 2009 as part of an economic incentive package to keep Merc in Fond du Lac.  That sales tax is scheduled to sunset in eight years,  but Jenkins says as an economic  development tool he hopes it continues.

9-30-13 literacy program audit

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — A new audit says the state has spent none of the $400,000 set aside as part of Governor Scott Walker's program aimed at boosting literacy and early childhood education.  The Read to Lead Development Fund is intended to provide grants to school boards and others to support programs that help boost reading.  The Legislative Audit Bureau report notes the fund was approved by the Legislature in 2011 and the fund established in April 2012.  In a statement, Walker spokeswoman Julie Lund said the project is an "ongoing initiative" and many other pieces of it are already under way, including new reading assessments, educator evaluations. She says there's no deadline on the project.

9-30-13 flu shots-schools

Over the next month the Fond du Lac County Public Health Department will be offering influenza vaccine free of charge at schools throughout the county.  Public Health Officer, Kim Mueller, says flu vaccine is recommended for everyone ages six months and older.  The Health Department is holding
multiple flu clinics for adults.  The cost is $25 and depending on insurance coverage could be free.

9-30-13 car-deer collisions

Local law enforcment is reminding motorists be on the lookout for deer.  Fond du lac County Sheriff’s Lieutenant Bill Tadych says car-deer collisions spike during the deer mating season in October and November.  Tadych says the key is to be alert, scanning the sides of the road and slowing down on some of the rural roads…especially at dusk.  Last year there were nearly 19,000 deer-car crashes reported statewide.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

9-27-13 fdl police department warns residents about phone scam

The City of Fond du Lac Police Department is alerting citizens to a phone scam that has been reported to our Department over the course of the last two days. The Department has received complaints from individuals reporting that they have received unsolicited phone calls from a subject claiming to be with the Microsoft Corporation. The caller proceeds to tell the person answering the phone that Microsoft has become aware that their personal computer has been infected with a virus or malware and attempts to get the potential unsuspecting victim to give remote access of their computer to the caller.  The callers have also used the ruse that the Microsoft Corporation has identified illegal use of Microsoft licensed software on the unsuspecting victim’s computer, again asking for remote access to their computer.  The Microsoft Corporation indicates that these calls are scam to try and get unsuspecting victims to give remote access of their personal computers to the suspect or to get the victim to download a virus/malware.  The calls appear to originate overseas.

9-27-13 selig retiring

UNDATED (AP) — Commissioner Bud Selig has announced that he will retire in January 2015 ending a 22-year career in the job. The 79-year-old has repeatedly said since 2003 that his retirement was imminent. Selig said he will soon announce a transition plan that will include a reorganization of central baseball management.  Selig took over as acting commissioner on Sept. 9, 1992, in his role as chairman of the executive council. He repeatedly said he would not take the job full time but was formally elected commissioner July 9, 1998.  Selig's tenure included splitting each league into three divisions instead of two, adding wild cards and additional rounds of playoffs, expansion to Arizona and Tampa Bay and instituting instant replay among other initiatives.  Selig bought the Seattle Pilots in bankruptcy court in 1970 and moved the team to Milwaukee. He was part of the group that forced the resignation of former commissioner Fay Vincent.

9-27-13 traffic accident-injuries

Two people were injured in separate traffic accidents in Fond du lac County Thursday afternoon.  A 78 year old Fond du Lac man received scrapes and cuts to his head when he put his moped down to avoid a collision with a vehicle in Fond du lac.  He was transported to Saint Agnes Hospital for treatment.  The accident happened near Division Street and Royal Avenue at 3:30pm Thursday.  A 13 year old girl was struck by a car near the entrance to Waupun Memorial hospital shortly before 5pm Thursday.  The extent of her injuries is not known.

9-27-13 thiesfeldt-common core standards

The new chair of a special committee to study the Common Core academic standards says the public should be afforded an appropriate opportunity to chime in on it.   Republican state representative Jeremy Thiesfeldt of Fond du lac says his committee will holds its first meeting next Thursday.  "A lot of the reasons many people have a problem with it is that there wasn't any kind of legislative discussion on why this should happen,"  Thiesfeldt told AM 1170 WFDL's Between the Lines program.   Responding to the non partisan Legislative Fiscal Bureau describing the Commore Core  standards as more rigorous,  cohesive and specific than what the state had in place prior to their adoption.  "And that is something that I've heard from a variety of sources.  But I also hear from a variety of sources that there are areas where it is less rigorous,"  Thiesfeldt said.

9-27-134 physical education bill

The American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network of Wisconsin is supporting a bill that would raise physical education requirements for Wisconsin elementary and middle school students.
Cancer Society spokesperson Allison Miller says something needs to change when one in four Wisconsin high school students is overweight or obese.  Miller says the bill would add 30 to 45 minutges of physical activity for kindergarten through eighth grade if students are not enrolled in a gym class.  Currently K-6 students have physical education classes three times a week….just once a week for 7th and 8th grade students.  Miller was a guest on AM 1170 WFDL's Between the Lines program. 

9-27-13 evers-education address

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — State superintendent Tony Evers says there are "no more excuses" for private schools that accept taxpayer-funded voucher students.  Evers said in his annual address about the state of education in Wisconsin that those private schools must be a part of the state's accountability system. A proposal in the Legislature to do just that has run into opposition from private schools, in part because of the power it gives Evers and the Department of Public Instruction.  Evers also is using his speech delivered in the Capitol to defend Wisconsin's use of the Common Core curriculum, calling it "world class" and set higher expectations than ever before. Evers says the state owes it to students not to reverse course and "pull the rug out" from under them.

9-27-13 school mascots

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — A Republican-backed bill in the state Legislature would make it more difficult to force Wisconsin's public schools to remove race-based nicknames.  The proposal released Thursday by Assembly Speaker Robin Vos and three others changes current law to place the burden of proof on the person complaining about the nickname, rather the district being challenged.  It also gives the Department of Administration, rather than the Department of Public Instruction, the authority to order removal of the nickname.  Current law passed in 2010 gives DPI the authority to force schools to drop race-based nicknames, logos and mascots if a single complaint is filed.  The proposal would require submission of a petition challenging the nickname signed by residents of the district totaling at least 10 percent of the student body.


9-27-13 mental health laws

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — A legislative task force is recommending a host of changes to Wisconsin's mental health laws which could be voted on in coming weeks.  The special committee voted Wednesday to recommend giving mental health professionals, not just police officers, the authority to send people into emergency detentions.  The panel also recommended creating a way for families and other interested parties to request that counties begin an emergency detention.  The emergency detention powers initially would be allowed in Milwaukee County but could expand   statewide after two years.  The task force established by Assembly Speaker Robin Vos agreed to a series of recommendations in concept and will finalize its report in coming weeks. The Assembly could take them up later this year.

9-27-13 sheboygan plant sold

SHEBOYGAN, Wis. (AP) — A Milwaukee-based company has bought a former manufacturing plant in Sheboygan.  Phoenix Investors, a commercial real estate investment firm, purchased the former International Automotive Components manufacturing plant for $2.5 million in a deal that closed last week.
Sheboygan Press Media reports the firm plans to turn it into a multi-tenant industrial space and is already in talks with a half-dozen potential tenants.  The deal could breathe new life into the 288,000-square-foot factory, which was closed during the recession. It was later targeted for an automotive recycling operation that never materialized.  The firm's managing director, David Marks, says the building is attractive given what he sees as an improving market for large manufacturing and warehouse spaces in Sheboygan.

9-27-13 wisconsin job creation

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Wisconsin ranks 34th in job creation of the past 12-month period ending in March, adding 24,000 private sector jobs in that time. That is according to data released today by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Democratic Assembly Minority Leader Peter Barca says Wisconsin lags the rest of the country because Republicans haven't focused on creating jobs or improving the economy for middle class workers. Governor Scott Walker and Republican lawmakers this week offered a package of economic development bills that Barca has criticized as being minor "baby steps."

9-27-13 off reservation gambling

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — The Wisconsin state Senate's top Republican says he doesn't want to see a new tribal casino in Kenosha. The Menominee Nation is trying to persuade Governor Scott Walker to green-light their plans for an off-reservation casino at a former dog track in the city. Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald, a Juneau Republican, released a column yesterday saying approval could lead to a proliferation of off-reservation gambling.

9-27-13 sagging bridge

GREEN BAY, Wis. (AP) — Traffic officials in Wisconsin say congestion has eased with drivers being successfully rerouted away from a Fox River bridge that was closed after a concrete support pier shifted. Department of Transportation traffic engineer Randy Asman says today that the morning commute went pretty smoothly, as did the evening commute last night.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

9-26-13 thiesfeldt named to chair special legislative committee

The Legislature has created special committees to study the Common Core academic standards.
Wisconsin adopted the standards for math and English language arts three years ago and there are no other subject areas being developed.  Still, that hasn't stopped opponents from arguing that the standards need to be revisited.   The Republican-controlled Legislature responded to that pressure from tea party conservatives who have called for a "full and immediate investigation" into the standards by creating the study committees announced Wednesday.
Fond du Lac Republican state representative Jeremy Thiesfeldt has been named Chair of a committee.  Thiesfeldt is a former teacher at Winnebago Lutheran Academy.  On Tuesday, Gov. Scott Walker said he supports holding hearings and identifying more rigorous standards than those in the Common Core.  Wisconsin's nonpartisan Legislative Fiscal Bureau has described the Common Core standards as being "more rigorous, cohesive and specific" than what the state had in place prior to their adoption.


9-26-13 district attorney will ask for prison time in two fatal traffic crashes

The Fond du Lac County District attorney says his office will be asking for prison time following convictions this week in two separate fatal traffic crash cases.   Twenty five year old Daniel Shea was
convicted in connection with a fatal drunken driving crash that killed an Eden couple and 26 year old Clinton Lovelace was convicted of killing two motorcyclists and injuring several others.  Toney says in both crashes the victims were simply in the wrong place at the wrong time.  "On the Lovelace matter the state will be capping its recommendation at 20 years in prison,"  Toney said.  The maximum penalty is more than 32 years behind bars.  "On the Shea matter the state is capping its request at 10 years prison,"  Toney said.  Toney says after talking with the families of the victims he believes they are satisfied with the resolution to the cases that avoided trial.  Lovelace is scheduled to be sentenced February 6th.    Shea is scheduled to be sentenced January 2nd

9-26-13 pregnant women-smoking

The Fond du Lac County Public Health Officer is concerned about statistics that show more pregnant women in Wisconsin smoke compared to the national average.  State health officials say at least 13 percent of women in Wisconsin smoke during pregnancy…higher than the national average of nine percent.  Public Health Officer Kim Mueller says that's terrible.  "There's something that we need to do, we need to change our message or something,"  Mueller told WFDL news.  Mueller says while working as a maternal child health nurse probably half of the pregnant women she counseled smoked.  Mueller says smoking while pregnant can lead to a number of complications including miscarriage, premature or low-weight birth, birth defects and Sudden Infant Death Syndrome. The state’s First Breath program provides counseling to pregnant women who want to quit smoking.  September is national infant mortality month.

9-26-13 health overhaul-wisconsin

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — The cost to buy health insurance sold under the new federal care overhaul will be higher in Wisconsin than the national average.  Wisconsin ranks 36th nationwide in average monthly premium costs based on information the Obama administration released on Wednesday. The information from the U.S. Department of Human Services compares weighted average premiums among 47 states and the District of Columbia.  In Wisconsin, the mid-level plan on average will cost $361 a month in premiums. That compares with a national average of $328.  Those costs are before people apply any tax credits they may be eligible to receive. And the actual cost will vary based on a person's individual circumstances, including where they live.

9-26-13 heroin initiative

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Wisconsin Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen is launching a new heroin awareness campaign.  Van Hollen announced the initiative at a Madison news conference flanked by Dane County Sheriff David Mahoney and Madison Police Chief Noble Wray. The campaign, dubbed The Fly Effect, includes posters, a website, a TV spot, radio ads and You Tube videos, including one featuring state Rep. John Nygren, whose daughter has struggled with heroin.  Van Hollen says most people don't know what a huge problem heroin has become across Wisconsin. He's slated to hold a number of other news conferences around the state on Thursday to promote the campaign.  The attorney general also announced a $25,000 grant for the Dane County Narcotics and Gang Task Force to combat heroin on Monday.

9-26-13 green bay bridge closed

GREEN BAY, Wis. (AP) — Officials say the bridge that carries Interstate 43 over the Fox River in Green Bay will remain closed indefinitely after a concrete support pier settled by more than two feet. The Leo Frigo Memorial Bridge was closed early today when a long, deep dip was discovered in the pavement.

9-26-13 hunting state parks

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources' board has approved new restrictions on hunting and trapping in state parks.  The Legislature passed a law last year that lifted the general prohibition on both activities in the parks. The new statutes allow the DNR to prohibit hunting and trapping within designated areas, however.  The agency proposed emergency rules that would prohibit people from shooting guns, bows and crossbows from or across park trails and require trappers to use dog-proof snares.  The Natural Resources Board approved the rules unanimously during its meeting Wednesday in Pembine. The regulations are set to go into effect on Nov. 15.

9-26-13 oshkosh corp. labor contract

OSHKOSH, Wis. (AP) — Oshkosh Corp. and the local Auto Workers Union have reached a tentative agreement on a contract extension the company says will give it a shot at a large military contract. Local 578 members will vote on the 5-year deal on Sunday. It would take affect after the current contract expires at the end of September in 2016. The local union president, Joe Preisler, says the extension will provide stability in Oshkosh for years to come. Neither side would discuss terms of the deal. Oshkosh Corp. wanted the extension to nail down its production costs as it enters the final bidding process to build the Joint Light Tactical Vehicle for the military. The vehicles will replace the Army and Marine Corp. Humvees.

9-26-13 waupun man charged with theft

A Waupun man accused of stealing a woman’s purse and using her credit cards to rent movies has been charged.  Twenty seven year old Corey Crain is charged in Dodge County Circuit Court with identity theft,  and theft.  He is accused of breaking into a car, stealing cash and a purse, using one of the credit cards to rent Red Box movies from a local Walgreens store.  A preliminary hearing is scheduled for October 31st.



9-26-13 local unemployment rates down

Local unemployment rates are down in the latest reporting period.  The August unemployment rate in the city of Fond du lac stands at 7.3 percent…down from 7.9 percent in July.  Fond du Lac county’s jobless rate fell from 6.6 to six percent in August.  The Dodge county unemployment rate also fell six-tenths of a percent to 6.6 percent.  Statewide rates decreased in 69 of Wisconsin’s 72 counties and in all of Wisconsin’s 32 largest municipalities.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

9-25-13 two men convicted in separate fatal fdl county crashes

Two of the more horrific car crashes in Fond du lac County in recent  memory have been settled without going to trial.   Plea agreements have been reached  for 25 year old Daniel Shea and 26 year old Clinton Lovelace.   At a hearing Tuesday afternoon in Fond du lac County Circuit Court Shea  pleaded guilty to two counts of homicide by intoxicated use of a motor vehicle in connection with a fatal drunken driving crash on Highway 45 near Kewaskum that claimed the lives of an Eden couple.  A charge of causing injury by Intoxicated use of a a motor vehicle was dismissed and read into the record.  Sheriff’s  Captain Rick Olig says its disturbing that the crash happened in the middle of the afternoon.  "At 5:30pm he was a .21 (alcohol concentration) which is almost three times the legal limit and then he's going to go out and have some more alcohol.  That just shocks the conscience,"  Olig told WFDL news.  Lovelace  pleaded no contest to two counts of homicide by negligient operation of a motor vehicle and entered an Alford plea to three counts of  second degree reckless
injury.  Lovelace was accused of crossing the center line of Highway 151 north of  Fond du Lac, killing two motorcyclists and injuring several others.    Tim Tomman is with the motorcycle rights and safety group ABATE Wisconsin.  "This is one of the worst motorcycle crashes ever,"  Tomman said.  "This is closure.  This is finally having him (Lovelace)  take some responsibility."  Judge Gary Sharpe ordered pre-sentence investigations for both cases.

9-25-13 outdoor writers conference in fdl

Outdoor writers from throughout the Great Lakes region are meeting in Fond du Lac this week.  The Association of Great Lakes Outdoor Writer’s 57th annual fall conference is being held at the Fond du Lac Holiday Inn.  AGLOW president and editor of Whitetails Unlimited magazine Jeff Davis
says  Wisconsin is a leader as a deer hunting destination.  " I still thinks its fantastic,"  Davis told AM 1170 WFDL's Between the Lines program.  "We're the Great Lakes outdoor writers.  We go down to Missouri, out to New York and Maine and into the Dakotas and these people want to come deer hunting in Wisconsin."

9-25-13 wi home sales

Home sales and median prices both grew at a healthy pace in August  continuing the hot real estate market in Wisconsin.  The Wisconsin Realtors Association says existing home sales were up 13.7 percent in August compared to a year ago closing out a strong summer for home sales and 26 straight months of sales growth.   Marquette University economics professor David Clark says he expects the strong housing sales to continue.  Wisconsin’s median home prices increased 6.3 percent  to $152,000 between August 2012 and last month.         

9-25-13 dodge county phone scam

The Dodge County Sheriff’s Department is warning residents about a phone scam.  Sheriff Pat Ninmann says residents  reported receiving a call from a woman claiming to be an employee of the Dodge County Felony Fraud Division.  The caller asked for bank account information stating the individuals’ wife had issued a worthless check and she needed his account information to avoid prosecution or suspension of his wife’s vehicle registration.  Ninmann says the Sheriff’s Office never contacts individuals over the phone for financial information.

9-25-13 petri-health reform

MILWAUKEE (AP) — Republican Rep. Tom Petri of Wisconsin stopped short Tuesday of saying he'd insist on defunding Democratic President Barack Obama's signature health care law in order to avoid a government shutdown. Petri voted last week for a House bill that would avoid a partial government shutdown Oct. 1 while simultaneously canceling funding for the law. Petri says the goal isn't to shut down the government but to get a budget that reduces the deficit and strengthens the economy.

9-25-13 walker-academic standards

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Gov. Scott Walker says he'd support the Legislature looking into more rigorous academic standards than the uniform national ones for public school testing. The voluntary Common Core standards create basic requirements for math and English language arts. The goal is to apply requirements for math and English that would be followed across state lines. Walker says he'd like Wisconsin "to be in a position where we can identify our own unique standards."

9-25-13 walker-economic development

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Gov. Scott Walker says he remains committed to trying to lure businesses in neighboring states across the border and into Wisconsin. Walker says he plans to hold a meeting in St. Croix County for Minnesota companies to come here what the state has to offer. He says a similar meeting near the Illinois border has led to several companies deciding to move to Wisconsin.

9-25-13 sex crime arrests

GREEN BAY, Wis. (AP) — Law enforcement has arrested 16 men in six Wisconsin counties in a sting that targeted Internet child sex predators.  Eight were arrested in Brown County, four in Marathon County, and the others in Winnebago, Shawano, Outagamie and Door counties.  Door County Sheriff's investigator Jim Valley says police had between 1,200 and 1,500 chats with possible suspects during the investigation that ran from Wednesday to Saturday. Officials targeted online ad services as well as social media and other Internet outlets.  By Monday evening, eight men had been charged. Charges — and those being recommended — include use of a computer to facilitate a child sex crime to child enticement, prostitution and possession of a controlled substance.  Law enforcement officials say the investigation continues.

Monday, September 23, 2013

9-24-13 fdl judge dismisses ten counts in animal neglect case

A Fond du lac judge has dismissed ten charges against a Fond du lac woman  accused of mistreating her ten Labrador puppies.  Fond du lac judge Gary Sharpe dismissed ten counts of failure to provide
proper indoor animal shelter ventilation.  The puppies were found in an outdoor tarp covered crate on a hot summer day after police received a complaint from a neighbor.  Stacy Checolinski still faces ten misdemeanor counts of neglecting to provide proper water to confined animals.  A trial is scheduled for November 11th.

9-24-13 medicaid recipients losing coverage to get letter

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Roughly 92,000 people on Wisconsin's BadgerCare program will begin receiving letters this week from the state notifying them that their coverage is ending.  The letters set to begin being mailed Monday also notify Medicaid recipients that they need to purchase health insurance through the new online exchange, or marketplace, which is open for enrollment starting Oct. 1.  The letter tells those losing coverage they must apply for insurance through the marketplace by Dec. 15.  Those losing BadgerCare Medicaid coverage under Gov. Scott Walker's budget are those who earn between 100 percent and 200 percent of the federal poverty level. Walker rejected federal money that would have paid to keep those earning up to 138 percent of poverty enrolled in Medicaid.

9-24-13 health overhaul-counties association

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — The Wisconsin Counties Association has passed a resolution reaffirming its longstanding position that the state ought to accept federal money to pay for Medicaid coverage under the Affordable Care Act.  The association voted Sunday on the resolution, which is similar to one passed in more than a dozen counties statewide.  Gov. Scott Walker's budget passed earlier this year rejects a federally funded Medicaid expansion for those earning up to 138 percent of poverty. Instead, Walker cut income eligibility to 100 percent of poverty, a move expected to result in about 92,000 people losing coverage.  At the same time, Walker is ending a waiting list for childless adults who earn up to 100 percent of poverty. That is expected to add about 82,500 people on the program.

9-24-13 health overhaul-baldwin

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Democratic U.S. Sen. Tammy Baldwin is criticizing Republican Gov. Scott Walker's letter telling Medicaid recipients they're likely to lose coverage at the end of the year.  Walker's administration is sending the letters to an estimated 92,000 BadgerCare recipients starting Monday, letting them know that they or someone in their family may be earning too much to remain on the program.
Baldwin says in a letter to Walker that he must do more to communicate with those who are losing Medicaid coverage and must now purchase insurance through the new marketplace, or exchange.
She is calling on Walker to send an individualized, personal letter to anyone at risk of losing coverage. Baldwin also says Walker's administration should also make phone calls and partner with other groups to work with those affected.

9-24-13 ages and stages questionnaire

There is a call to action across Wisconsin for caregivers to screen their children for early identification of developmental concerns.   To that end, the Fond du Lac Community Partnership for Young Children has launched a community screening initiative.  Fond du Lac County Public Health officer, Kim Mueller says Fond du lac County is the first county in the state to offer a community-wide developmental screening site designed to improve quality early childhood development.
Mueller says a display is permanently housed at the Health Department WIC Office and parents are encouraged to select and complete the appropriate questionnaire for their child’s age.  "Early screening has shown that the earlier you can find problems and fix them the better the child will develop overall,"  Mueller told AM 1170 WFDL's Between the Lines program. 

9-24-13 fdl act scores above state average

Fond du lac school district students are doing better than their statewide counterparts when it comes to ACT scores.  Superintendent Dr. Jim Sebert told the school board Monday night that the composite score of 23 is higher than the state average of 22.1 and depicts growth in every category.  Two hundred 64 Fond du Lac students took the ACT test in 2013, down from 342 in 2009.

9-24-13 dpi report cards-fdl school superintendent react

The Fond du lac school superintendent is pleased with the latest DPI  report cards.  Superintendent Dr. Jim Sebert says Rosenow and Lakeshore elementary schools exceeded expectations and all other
Fond du Lac schools met expectations.  "Not surprised, pleased,"  Sebert told WFDL news.  "We know that we're doing the right work.  We know that our staff is invested, we know that our kids are getting the right experiences.  We've made some major shifts in instructional strategies, schedules and professional development so we know we're doing the right things."  Two schools in Fond du lac county met few expectations…North Fond du lac’s Horace Mann High School and the Waupun Junior high.

9-24-13 great fall weather

The first full week of fall is getting off to a great start.  National Weather Service meteorologist, Sarah Marquardt, says unseasonably warm temperatures are in the forecast every day this week.  "At least for the next week it should be warm and sunny,"  Marquardt told AM 1170 WFDL's Between the Lines program.  Marquardt says the long range forecast  is a continuation of mild weather.  Following a wet spring and start to the summer, many parts of Wisconsin slipped into a dry spell with drought or near dought conditions in August.

9-24-13 dnr critic

MILWAUKEE (AP) — A former head of the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources says the agency is "absent without leave" when it comes to policy.  George Meyer led the DNR from 1993 to 2001. He's now the executive director of the Wisconsin Wildlife Federation.  Meyer says that he sees politics playing a role in conservation with Republicans recently pushing through a mining bill to pave the way for a proposed iron mine in northern Wisconsin and the awarding of a state grant to a politically connected group. The $500,000 grant to the United Sportsmen of Wisconsin was later revoked.  Meyer says conservation should be a bipartisan issue.

9-24-13 apostle islands-jfk day

ASHLAND, Wis. (AP) — Fifty years ago, President John F. Kennedy flew over the Apostle Islands and Bad River Watershed, landed at the Ashland Airport and delivered a speech about the need to conserve pristine areas for recreation and economic interests.  Seven years later the Apostle Islands became part of the National Park system. The Chequamegon Bay area on Tuesday will mark Kennedy's visit on Sept. 24, 1963 and the attention he brought to the Apostle Islands.  Former Congressman Dave Obey worked with Sen. Gaylord Nelson on the Apostle Island legislation. Obey will speak at Tuesday's celebration in Ashland, along with Tia Nelson, the daughter of the late senator.

9-24-13 wi republican lawmaker proposes anti-abortion license plates

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Republican state Rep. Andre Jacque is trying again with a measure to create anti-abortion license plates. Jacque's proposal would create plates that read "Choose Life" with an image of a baby's footprint. The plate would require the regular registration fee, the state's $15 special plate fee and another $25 that would go to Choose Life Wisconsin. Jacque introduced a similar bill last year but it went nowhere.

9-24-13 bauer seeking re-election in dodge county

Dodge County Circuit Judge Steven Bauer has announced that he will seek re-election to Branch 4 of the Circuit Court.  He has served in that position for over five years, being first elected to the position in 2008.  Before being elected circuit court judge, Judge Bauer was elected three terms as Dodge County District Attorney, serving five and a half years in that position.  He also served as assistant corporation counsel for Dodge County for three years. He spent seven years in private practice in Horicon and Fond du Lac.

Sunday, September 22, 2013

9-23-13 senior center renovation project

Work is almost completed on a major renovation project at the Fond du lac Senior Center. 
 Community Development Director Wayne Rollin says the $75,000 project is funded entirely by the Friends of the Senior Center.  Work in the kitchen and pool room is about done, leaving only the craft shop to be redone.  Earlier work had been completed in the main activity room, all four classrooms, the computer lab, lobby and hallways.

9-23-13 lakeside park dredging project

The city hopes to make a decision this week on bids for a major dredging project at Lakeside Park.  Public Works Director Jordan Skiff says bids opened this month are being reviewed and a recommendation to the city manager could be made as early as Monday.  Skiff says the Lakeside Park channel will be deepened from just a few feet to closer to eight feet.  The city learned recently that it will receive at least some financial assistance from the state.  Skiff the dredging project is expected to begin in a few weeks.

9-23-13 marquette president resigns

MILWAUKEE (AP) — The president of Marquette University is resigning at the end of the fall semester.
The university said Friday that the Reverend Scott Pilarz informed the Board of Trustees of his decision.
Marquette says Pilarz announced his decision now so the university can have a new president in place for next school year. Pilarz will stay on through the fall semester, which ends December 14th.
Pilarz says after 10 years as a university president, he wants to pursue new apostolic work as a Jesuit priest. He has been Marquette's president for two years and previously was president of the University of Scranton.

9-23-13 health overhaul

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Health care advocates say the charges imposed by Governor Scott Walker's administration on those who want to help sign people up for health insurance are deterring them from getting involved.  Fees include $39 for a background check, $75 to take a required exam and $150 for online training.  Insurance commission spokesman J.P. Wieske says more than 500 people have gone through free training the department is offering. He defends the fees as a reasonable cost of implementing the law.  But other states with governors who support the Affordable Care Act are not requiring navigators to pay the fees and supporters of the law in Wisconsin say the charges are road blocks to smoothly implementing the law.  The enrollment period for the health insurance exchange begins October 1st.

9-23-13 wisconsin unions

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — A group of unions have told Wisconsin employment officials to stop plans for re-certification elections.  Governor Scott Walker's law stripping most public workers of nearly all their union rights includes provisions that unions hold annual elections to avoid decertification. Dane County Circuit Judge Juan Colas ruled the law is unconstitutional as it applies to two unions representing Madison teachers and Milwaukee public workers.  Confusion has ensued over whether Colas' ruling applies statewide and Walker's administration has been moving forward with plans to hold this year's elections. Colas said Tuesday the Wisconsin Employment Relations Commission can't enforce the law against anyone but refused to issue an injunction.  Six unions told WERC on Friday to stop the elections by Monday or they will try to hold it in contempt of court.

9-23-13 commercial drivers licenses

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Commercial driver license holders in Wisconsin face a Jan. 30 deadline to provide the state with information required by the federal government in order to remain on the road.
The Wisconsin Division of Motor Vehicles is reminded CDL holders that they must notify the state about whether they operate only in Wisconsin or across state lines and whether they are required to carry a medical examiner certificate.  DMV official Alison Lebwohl says the DMV is concerned some drivers haven't yet heard about the new requirement or may need more information. She is encouraging commercial license holders to upload the required information to the DMV as soon as possible.

9-23-13 wic debit cards

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Nearly $3 million in federal money will help the state replace paper vouchers with debit cards for the Women, Infants and Children food program.  Department of Health Service Secretary Kitty Rhoades says the electronic benefits transfer system, or EBT, will reduce errors and make it easier to detect and prevent fraud.  A health services study found that moving from paper vouchers to the cards will improve WIC (wihk) processing for grocery stores and pharmacies. Rhoades says it should also reduce confusion about which items are allowed for purchase.  The WIC program provides food and breastfeeding education to low- and moderate-income women and their children up to age five.  In Wisconsin, the program serves 113,000 participants in 71,000 households. There are 1,200 WIC-authorized grocery stores and pharmacies.

Friday, September 20, 2013

9-21-13 vandezande procession

Fond du lac area residents made time on a busy Friday night to pay their respects  to a Fond du lac soldier who died in a tragic drowning accident near his Texas army base.    The body of Rob VandeZande junior arrived in Milwaukee Friday evening and received a military-law enforcement escort  to Fond du lac and through downtown Fond du Lac to the funeral home.  VandeZande drowned last Saturday while swimming with some army buddies at a lake in New Mexico not far from the Fort Bliss, Texas army base where he was stationed.  Chris Browning served in the Army with VandeZande and the two were good friends since high school.  "I just can't believe he's gone.  I have all these fond memories, just hanging out and having long converstations with him,"  Browning told WFDL news.  "I just wish I could give him a hug."   Kevin Draves doesn't know the VandeZande family...but says he came out to pay his respects.  "I'm happy to see the people here.  These gentlemen do a lot for us, its something we take for granted every day and never realize it until you don't have them anymore."   Visitation will be held from 2pm to 8pm Monday at the Uecker Witt funeral home.  Funeral services are scheduled for Tuesday.

9-21-13 fdl street reconstruction update

Johnson Street turning lanes at Country Lane
Schedule: September 2013 to October 2013
Description: The project includes construction of a left and right turn lane from Johnson Street to future Country Lane to the south. The construction limits are approximately 500 feet east and west of Country Lane.
September 23 to September 27: Work will continue on both the westbound and eastbound lanes of Johnson Street.
Traffic Impacts: Traffic on Johnson Street will be restricted to one lane in each direction. Country Lane and the driveway to the shopping plaza will remain open.
Grace Avenue from Woodland Avenue to Sunset Circle
Schedule: June 2013 to October 2013
Description: The project includes reconstruction of the sanitary sewer, water main, storm sewer, street, and lighting. The street will be widened to 28-foot.
September 23 to September 27: The electrical subcontractor will continue electrical conduit installation.  Once completed the electrical subcontractor will install wiring and place light poles. The concrete subcontractor will begin replacement of driveway approaches, sidewalk panels and curb ramps.
Traffic Impacts: Grace Avenue is closed to through traffic. It is illegal to drive past a “ROAD CLOSED” sign or to move any construction barricades. Residents, business owners, and customers may access properties past “ROAD CLOSED – LOCAL TRAFFIC ONLY” signs. Parking is not permitted on the street during working hours.
Sunset Circle south of Grace Avenue
Schedule: June 2013 to October 2013
Description: The project includes reconstruction of the sanitary sewer, water main, storm sewer, street, and lighting. The street will be 29-feet wide from back of curb to back of curb.
September 23 to September 27: The electrical subcontractor will continue electrical conduit installation. Once completed the electrical subcontractor will install wiring and place light poles. The concrete subcontractor will begin replacement of driveway approaches, sidewalk panels and curb ramps.
Traffic Impacts: Sunset Circle is closed to through traffic. It is illegal to drive past a “ROAD CLOSED” sign or to move any construction barricades. Residents, business owners, and customers may access properties past “ROAD CLOSED – LOCAL TRAFFIC ONLY” signs. Parking is not permitted on the street during working hours.
North Main Street from Scott Street to Frazier DriveSchedule: July 2013 to October 2013
Description: The project includes reconstruction of the sanitary sewer, storm sewer, street, and lighting on the east side of the street only.
September 23 to September 27: The electrical subcontractor may begin installation of conduit mid to end of the week.
Traffic Impacts: North Main Street is closed to through traffic. It is illegal to drive past a “ROAD CLOSED” sign or to move any construction barricades. Residents, business owners, and customers may access properties past “ROAD CLOSED – LOCAL TRAFFIC ONLY” signs. Parking is not permitted on the street during working hours.
Auburn Street from Brooke Street to Termini
Schedule: August 2013 to October 2013
Description: The project includes reconstruction of the sanitary sewer, water main, storm sewer, street, and lighting. The street will be widened to the 32-foot City standard.
September 23 to September 27: The concrete subcontractor will begin preparations for placement of curb and gutter. The concrete subcontractor may also prepare and place concrete pavement in the intersection with Brooke Street.
Traffic Impacts: Auburn Street is closed to through traffic. It is illegal to drive past a “ROAD CLOSED” sign or to move any construction barricades. Residents, business owners, and customers may access properties past “ROAD CLOSED – LOCAL TRAFFIC ONLY” signs. Parking is not permitted on Auburn Street during working hours.
Champion Avenue from East Division Street to Merrill Avenue
Schedule: September 2013 to October 2013
Description: The project includes reconstruction of the water main, partial storm sewer and partial street pavement.
September 23 to September 27: The utility contractor will continue water main installation.
Traffic Impacts: Champion Avenue is closed to through traffic. It is illegal to drive past a “ROAD CLOSED” sign or to move any construction barricades. Residents, business owners, and customers may access properties past “ROAD CLOSED – LOCAL TRAFFIC ONLY” signs. Parking is not permitted on Auburn Street during working hours.
Everett Street from Sheboygan Street to East Division Street
Schedule: September 2013 to October 2013
Description: The project includes reconstruction of the water main, partial storm sewer and partial street pavement.
September 23 to September 27: No work
Traffic Impacts: Everett Street is closed to through traffic. It is illegal to drive past a “ROAD CLOSED” sign or to move any construction barricades. Residents, business owners, and customers may access properties past “ROAD CLOSED – LOCAL TRAFFIC ONLY” signs. Parking is not permitted on Auburn Street during working hours.

9-21-13 pioneer road railroad underpass project update

CTH VV; West Pioneer Road Reconstruction, Hickory Street to Morris Street
Schedule: September 2012 to October 2013
Length: 0.47 miles
Cost: $7,538,801.74
Location: Hickory Street to Morris Street
Description: The project involves the reconstruction of CTH VV (Pioneer Road)
between Hickory Street and Morris Street with a new grade separation railroad structure
(roadway under railroad), constructing a roundabout at the Hickory Street and Morris
Street intersections, three retaining walls, and the construction of the Wild Goose Prairie
Trail within the project limits.
September 16 to September 20: Paving crew poured concrete east of Hickory Street
and Pioneer Road Intersection to the railroad bridge.September 23 to September 27: Paving crew will finish concrete pavement late next
week and continue to pour curb and gutter. Bridge crew will be staining the railroad
structure. Gravel will be placed on bike trail.
Traffic impacts: CTH VV (Pioneer Road) will be closed between Hickory Street and
Morris Street for the duration of the project. Both the Hickory Street and Morris Street
intersection will be open to traffic at all time. There will be stages of construction where
traffic will only be allowed in certain directions. Morris Street is now open as a three
legged roundabout. Traffic can go North or South on Morris Street and East on Pioneer
Road. Pioneer between Hickory Street and Morris Street continues to be closed.
Traffic will only be able to travel North and South on Hickory Street. Traffic will not be
able to go west or east on Pioneer Road. The contractor will coordinate with residents
and businesses prior to any closures.
Detour Route: Fond du Lac County will post and maintain a detour during the duration
of the project. The detour route for eastbound CTH VV traffic is CTH VV to Military
Road/CTH D to USH 151 to Main Street to CTH VV. The westbound detour route will be
the reverse of the eastbound detour