Monday, March 31, 2014

4-1-14 fdl fire department citizen life-safety award

Each year the Fond du Lac Fire Department awards a Citizen Life Safety Award.  The Citizen Life Safety Award may be given to a person outside the Fire Department who has been involved in a lifesaving effort at an emergency scene before the arrival of the Fire Department, or who has provided extraordinary assistance to the Fire Department.  The 2013 Fond du Lac Fire Department Citizen Life Safety Award recipient is Marcus Norfleet.   In the early morning hours of December 20th, 2013, Marcus Norfleet was alerted after hearing some commotion and smoke detectors sounding in his two story, eight unit apartment complex building.  Marcus grabbed a fire extinguisher that was located in the first floor hallway and was able to extinguish the main body of fire around a coffee table located in a tenant’s living room before the fire extended to surrounding furnishings.  His bravery and courage to assist in evacuation and containment of the fire saved both life and property damage.  For his actions Marcus Norfleet is awarded the City of Fond du Lac Fire Departments Citizen Life Safety Award.

4-1-14 fdl county sheriff's deputy reaches plea agreement in fatal traffic crash

A Fond du Lac County Sheriff’s deputy has been convicted of two traffic offenses in connection with  an August 2012 fatal crash.  At a hearing Monday afternoon in Fond du Lac County Circuit court Deputy Ryan Flood, pleaded guilty to speeding and no contest to failing to drive safely.  On August 24th, 2012 Flood was responding to a hit-and-run complaint when his squad car collided with a car driven by  20 year old Matthew Koenigs at County Trunks B and K in the town of Eden.  Flood did not have his emergency lights on and his siren was not activated.  Koenigs was pronounced dead at the scene.  Waukesha County District Attorney Brad Schimel was the special prosecutor for the case.  Schimel says in the end he and the family felt this was the best resolution to the case.  "We just ultimately reached a point where everyone walked away giving up something that was important to them, but everyone walked away getting the things that were most important to them," Schimel said.  Sarah Koenigs is the victim’s mother.  "When you lose a child there is no closure.  Closure will come on the day I am reunited with my son,"  Koenigs told WFDL news.  Before entering the pleas Flood gave his condolences and issued a tearful apology to Koenig’s family.  Flood says he "lives with the memory of the crash every day."   The victim’s family has also filed a $1.5 million civil lawsuit against the deputy.  A jury trialin the civil case is scheduled for January of next year.  Flood has agreed to pay around $14,000 in restitution and will help train others on Emergency Vehicle Operation and Control.

4-1-14 spring election

Voters go to the polls Tuesday to decide several races for local public office and a handful of referendums.
There are four contested races for Fond du Lac County Board, five contested races for town supervisor and village trustee positions, five candidates running for four open seats on Fond du lac city council and contested
races for Waupun, Fond du Lac and Ripon school boards.  There is also a major school operations referendum in Oakfield. Fond du Lac County Clerk Lisa Freiberg sasy she believes the turnout locally will be close to the statewide average which is projected at just 12 percent.

4-1-14 fdl teachers say morale is at an all-time low

As the Fond du lac school board reviews a new teacher compensation plan some teachers are concerned about what they say are salary inequities between longtime employees and new hires.  At last week’s school board meeting, special education teacher Shannon Ferguson aired her concerns.  Her husband is a second grade teacher at Riverside Elementary.  Ferguson says at the start of the school year there were 60 new staff hired.  "To me that's a red flag, coupled with the vast amount of people who have also left the district in the two years prior to that,"  Ferguson told the school board.  "I feel the district is at a critical time and I truly fear that more and more teachers will be leaving to seek employment with other districts."   Superintendent Dr. Jim Sebert says the compensation plan is designed to treat everyone equitably  and to be sustainable into the future.  "To give everyone a raise from where they are at, to put them on a three year evaluation cycle and also provides a professional development stipend every three years for $1500.  That, combined with the fact that it is sustainable for the Fond du Lac School District I think are the important pieces of the new compensation plan."   Sebert says teachers leaving the district is not unique to Fond du lac.

4-1-14 manure run-off threat

State officials are warning farmers and the public there is a potentially high risk across the state for manure to pollute groundwater, streams, rivers and lakes.  Fond du Lac County Dairy and livestock agent Tina Coleman says the threat is due to melting snow and rainfall that could send soil and animal waste into streams.  Coleman says the state’s largest dairy farms with 700 or more cows will soon be heading into the fields to start spreading.  Coleman says CAFOs, or concentrated animal feeding operations are already

prohibited from spreading manure in February and March, except in emergencies.

4-1-14 body farm

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — A northeastern Wisconsin technical college is planning to set up a so-called body farm to help forensic researchers study cold-weather decomposition.   Fox Valley Technical College's farm will be an outdoor research facility where forensic scientists will place animal carcasses and donated human corpses in multiple settings — in the open air, in shallow graves or in sleeping bags — to study how the bodies deteriorate and how scavengers pick them apart.  Joe LeFevre is chairman of FVTC's Forensic Science Department. He says researchers might conduct experiments on how subzero temperatures mummify body tissue, whether insects inside the body can tolerate freezing and whether scavengers lose interest in frozen bodies.

4-1-14 child sex sting

GREEN BAY, Wis. (AP) — A law enforcement sting operation has targeted adults who prey on children in northeastern Wisconsin.  Authorities say several men have been arrested for child enticement, trafficking a child and other crimes as the result of the sting which involved about 75 officers from at least seven agencies. The men they arrested over the last several days are from Green Bay, Appleton, Lawrence and the Oshkosh area.  Law enforcement officers posted an ad on They say it didn't take long for the responses to roll in.  A man arrested in Ashwaubenon  had two pairs of handcuffs and a gagging device on him when he was arrested. Police say a 51-year-old Green Bay man thought he had arranged a meeting with a 15-year-old girl, who was actually a Door County sheriff's deputy.

4-1-14 kick boxer's death

MILWAUKEE (AP) — An autopsy on the body of an amateur kick-boxer who died after collapsing in the ring at a Milwaukee event has been completed.  But police have asked the Milwaukee County Medical Examiner's Office not to disclose the results while officers investigate the death of 24-year-old Dennis Munson. He lost a three-round fight at the Eagles Club Grand Ballroom and collapsed Friday night. He was given oxygen and taken to a nearby hospital where he died early Saturday.  The chief of officials for the fight's promoter, Knockout Kings, tells the Journal Sentinel there were no debilitating strikes to the head or body during Munson's fight with Mike Vang. Cheryl Clancy says Munson appeared conscious, but his eyes were glassy and he was uncommunicative, so an ambulance rushed him to the hospital.

4-1-14 brewers win on opening day

UNDATED (AP) —Major League Baseball launched the expanded replay era Monday, and saw instant results — a pair of missed calls by umpires got fixed fast, without any arguments.  Opening day showed off the game's newest nod to modern technology in a sport that long relied on the eyes of its umps.   The first overturned call came in Milwaukee. Atlanta Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez challenged the sixth-inning play at Miller Park in the season opener won by Milwaukee, 2-0. Brewers star Ryan Braun was originally called safe at first base by umpire Greg Gibson on a leadoff infield single fielded by third baseman Chris Johnson. The call was reversed to out after a review that lasted 58 seconds, and Braun ran back to the dugout.  From now on, most every call can be challenged by a manager. When that happens, the final decision will come from a replay booth in New York, rather than the field. And instead of out or safe, fair or foul, disputes will be settled with two words new to baseball's lingo: confirmed or overturned.

Sunday, March 30, 2014

3-31-14 oakfield school referendum

Oakfield school officials say the future of the district may be at stake.  Voters go to the polls Tuesday to decide a multi-million dollar operations referendum to replace the current $700,000 referendum that will
expire at the end of the year.  Oakfield School superintendent Sue Green says the proposed six year referendum totals a million dollars for each of the next three years and then $1.2 million for the following three years.  Green says the referendum is necessary to address the school district’s operating deficit and preserve the district’s financial stability.  Green says declining enrollment, strong property values and declining state funding are all contributing factors.  Green says what’s at stake is the future of public education in Oakfield.  The cost for the owner of a $100,000 home would be $135 a year, or $200 for the owner of a $150,000 home.  Last year Oakfield School District voters defeated a four year, $900,000 referendum.

3-31-14 garbage referendum-town of waupun

Town of Waupun residents go to the polls tomorrow to decide how their garbage is collected.  Currently town residents are on their own when it comes to deciding who will pick up their garbage.  An advisory referendum asks residents if they support the township hiring a garbage collection firm.  Town chairman Randy VandeSlunt says the advantages would be a cost savings.  But VandeSlunt says residents who don’t generate a lot of garbage would pay more.  VandeSlunt says if the referendum passes the town board would research potential companies and costs for a garbage collection program and ultimately take a vote on the matter.

3-31-14 run water advisory

Despite the recent  warm up the Fond du Lac Water Utility Department is extending its run-water advisory for some Fond du Lac residents.  Water Utility manager Kathy Scharf says the frost got so deep this
winter that there is still a threat for water service line freeze-ups.  "Those folks we have asked to run water 24 hours a day, I just sent a letter out to those folks, there's about 670 of them in the community and we're extended that water run advisory to May first."   Meanwhile Scharf is also advising residents to be cautious about responding to a recent mailing advertisement soliciting insurance coverage for water service lines. Scharf says property owners may already be covered under their homeowner’s insurance and should read the fine print to determine if the long-term costs warrant such coverage.  Scharf says there are nearly 16,000 water service connections in Fond du Lac and only about five to ten per year that require private repair work.

3-31-14 kramer-assembly

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — The president of the state Senate says state Representative Bill Kramer should be forced out of the Assembly if the Waukesha Republican is found guilty of pending sexual assault charges.  Republican Senate President Mike Ellis said Saturday that Kramer's conduct is a black eye to Republicans in both chambers. He says Kramer should resign, and if convicted should be kicked out of the Assembly.  Kramer was charged Friday with sexually assaulting a political aide three years ago.
Republicans stripped him of his position as majority leader earlier this month following separate allegations of sexual harassment at a February fundraiser. Kramer isn't seeking re-election in November.  Kramer's attorney, Jim Gatzke, says the legal process should be allowed to run its course. He says there's no need to rush to judgment.

Friday, March 28, 2014

3-31-14 new brewpub proposed for oscar's tavern site

The Fond du Lac Alcohol Licensing Committee will review a proposal to open a new brewpub on the site of the former Oscar’s tavern.  Dave Koepke and Jacob Walker of Fond du Lac are requesting alcohol licenses to open The Green Dragon Brewpub at the former Oscar’s Sportsman’s Inn on Western Avenue.  Oscar’s has been closed since last fall.  The City of Fond du Lac Alcohol Licensing Committee will meet at 4 p.m. Monday and will make a recommendation to the Fond du Lac City Council on the alcohol license request for the proposed business.  Koepke  runs O’Davey’s tavern in Fond du Lac.  Walker has worked at a Berlin tavern and formerly at The Audobon Inn in Mayville.

3-31-14 fdl police k9 officer grendel retiring

A Fond du Lac police K9 officer who was shot and critically injured in the line of duty a few years ago is retiring.  After eight years of service to the city of Fond du Lac, Grendel will be retiring April 8th.  Over the years Grendel has worked as a dual purpose K9, specializing in the detection of narcotics and finding people.  He was also trained in handler protection and apprehension of suspects.  In March of 2011,  Grendel and officer Ryan Williams were shot and critically injured during an armed standoff and attempted arrest of a sexual assault suspect.  A ceremony marking Grendel’s retirement will be held at 2pm April 8th
at the police department.  The city council will recognize Grendel at their April 9th meeting.

3-31-14 heroin overdose plea

SHEBOYGAN, Wis. (AP) — A plea agreement in a fatal heroin overdose case in Sheboygan County could lead to charges in a large drug distribution operation.  Monica Sanchez pleaded no contest to first-degree reckless homicide and distributing heroin Thursday. Sanchez provided the heroin that killed William Widucki at his Sheboygan apartment last December.   Sheboygan County District Attorney Joe DeCecco will recommend Sanchez serve nine months in jail and five years of probation if she testifies against her Chicago area drug supplier and 20 other people involved in a heroin distribution ring.  The 26-year-old Sanchez could have faced 50 years in prison on the charges against her.

3-31-14 fdl man charged in hammer beating

A jury trial is scheduled this week for a man accused of  nearly beating a Fond du lac man to death with a hammer.  Forty year old James Graham is accused of bludgeoning Ronald Robertson at an east 9th Street residence more than five years ago.  Robertson received more than 70 staples to close wounds in his head.  Graham told investigators he throught he had killed Robertson and fled to Milwaukee.  Graham was arrested but failed to show for a preliminary hearing in May of 2009.  Graham was arrested as a suspect in another case, identified through the warrant and taken into custody in January of this year.

3-29-14 kramer charged with sexual assault

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Prosecutors have charged former Wisconsin Assembly Majority Leader Bill Kramer with sexually assaulting a political aide three years ago.  According to a criminal complaint filed Friday in Waukesha County, a woman told a detective on March 5 that Kramer tried to kiss her and groped her after a political event in Muskego in April 2011. She said Kramer was drunk and she was afraid he was going to rape her. Kramer told a detective he may have kissed the woman but denied groping her.  He faces two counts of second-degree sexual assault and could face up to 80 years in prison if convicted.  Assembly Republicans removed Kramer as majority leader earlier this month amid allegations he sexually harassed two women in Washington, D.C. He's not seeking re-election to the Assembly

3-29-14 wisconsin capitol protests

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — A state attorney says legislators decided maintaining order in the state Capitol outweighs the costs of enforcing access rules.  Demonstrators have been gathering in the Capitol almost daily since 2011 to sing songs criticizing Republican Governor Scott Walker. Capitol Police issued hundreds of citations against the singers for gathering without a permit between July 2012 and October 2013, when the crackdown ended.  Dane County Circuit Judge Peter Anderson asked DOJ in January to provide a cost-benefit analysis of pursuing so many citations.  Assistant Deputy Attorney General Dan Lennington responded on Thursday with a letter to Anderson. He didn't offer any numerical data, saying instead that legislators concluded the benefit of access rules that protect Capitol visitors outweighs enforcement costs and prosecutors have great discretion on what cases to pursue.

3-29-14 competency evaluation ordered for man involved in fdl-dodge county high speed chase

A 37 year old Appleton man who led police on a high speed chase in Fond du Lac and Dodge counties…slamming into a sheriff’s squad has entered a not guilty plea by reason of mental disease or defect.  At a hearing Friday Judge Richard Nuss ordered a competency evaluation for Maxwell Verkuilen.  Verkuilen is charged with recklessly endangering safety and attempting to flee an officer.  Sheriff’s captain Rick Olig says the chase happened Monday evening March 3rd  when the suspect’s vehicle was spotted on Highway 41 southbound near Highway 23.  The vehicle turned northbound on 41, exited at County Highway B colliding
with a sheriff’s squad.  The squad rolled over. The vehicle headed north on 175 into the city of Fond du Lac.  The sheriff's deputy received non life-threatening injuries.  The suspect's vehicle continued southbound on Highway 151 into Dodge County and eventually turned into a driveway off Oakwood Road, traveled around some outbuildings before being struck by a sheriff’s squad bringing  the vehicle to a stop.

3-29-14 ripon woman accused of stealing thousands from pizza hut bound over for trial

A Ripon woman accused of stealing thousands of dollars from a Pizza Hut restaurant has been bound over for trial.  Probable cause was found at a preliminary hearing Friday afternoon for 49 year old Melissa Littlefield  on a charge of theft in a business setting.  She is accused of stealing $10,000 from the Ripon Pizza Hut where she was employed.  

3-29-14 eab detected in the town of lomira

The Emerald Ash borer has been found in three new communities in quarantined counties.  The Department of Agriculture says EAB was found in the Dodge County town of Lomira and in La Crosse and Rock counties.  These three counties are among the 21 Wisconsin counties under quarantine for EAB.  An agriculture department press release says they expect to continue finding new locations within the
quarantined counties.   EAB was detected last summer in Fond du Lac county.  EAB is a destructive beetle that can wipe out entire ash tree populations.

Thursday, March 27, 2014

3-28-14 wi unemployment down slightly

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Unemployment in Wisconsin dipped slightly in February to 6.1 percent.  The state Department of Workforce Development released the latest figures Thursday. They show the state's seasonally adjusted unemployment rate in February dropped from 6.2 percent the month before to 6.1 percent.  The national unemployment rate in February was 6.7 percent.  The report shows a net decrease of 1,600 private sector jobs between January and February.  The monthly unemployment figures are based on a survey of just 3.5 percent of Wisconsin employers and subject to revision.  Walker has argued that the most accurate employment numbers come from the Quarterly Census of Employment and Wages, which relies on records from nearly all Wisconsin businesses. But those figures lag behind the less reliable monthly data.

3-28-14 fdl woman bound over for trial in puppy bleach case

A Fond du Lac woman charged in connection with an animal cruelty case has been bound over for trial.  Probable cause was found at a preliminary hearing Thursday afternoon for 24 year old Amanda Farr.   Farr
faces seven animal cruelty counts, including one felony in connection with the incident.  According to a criminal complaint Farr admitted to knowing that her eight year old son poured bleach on a puppy and tossed it in the trash dumpster but did nothing to stop it.  Two other puppies who were nearby were also injured by the bleach.  All three puppies have recovered from their injuries and have been adopted.

3-28-14 four fdl county owi trials-four not guilty verdicts

Local law enforcement is reacting to the outcomes of four jury trials in the past couple of weeks for drunken driving.  In all four cases the jury returned not guilty verdicts.  In one of the cases there was a hung jury on one count.  Fond du lac County Sheriff’s Captain Rick Olig says it does seem unusual that juries would return not guilty verdicts in four consecutive owi cases brought to trial.  "I'm not aware of that happening before I'm not saying that it never has but it does seem like a pretty high number,"  Olig told WFDL news.  "It would be nice to poll the juries to see what their concerns were."  Olig says part of the reason may be that a smart defense lawyer will raise issues during the trial that  has to create a reasonable doubt in only one juror’s mind.  "Right, all they have to do is create some doubt in one jurors mind and its done.  Its either a hung jury or its not guilty,"  Olig said.   Olig says it seems that law enforcement is also facing an uphill battle
in a state with an alcohol culture and the weakest owi laws on the books.  "It also could be a juror that maybe doesn't believe there should be any enforcement of owi."

3-28-14 dodge county negligient homicide sentence-reaction

A Dodge County Sheriff’s captain admits he was surprised at the sentence handed down in a vehicular homicide case.   At a sentencing hearing this week in Dodge County Circuit court a Reeseville man got only seven months in jail for a fatal crash nearly four years ago.  Investigators say the driver was under the influence of marijuana at the time of the crash.  Dodge County sheriff’s captain Trace Frost says he understands how difficult  it must be for judges when it comes to sentencing in cases like this but also understands why the family of the victim is upset at what they perceive as a light sentence.  "Yes I can understand their stance,"  Frost told AM 1170 WFDL's Between the Lines program.  "If it were a family member of mine I would have the same feeling I believe."    

3-28-14 early voting

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Gov. Scott Walker has signed into law a bill that limits in-person absentee voting to no later than 7 p.m. during the week and no weekend hours.  Walker vetoed a portion of the bill Thursday that limited the hours of early voting to no more than 45 in each of the two weeks prior to an election. He kept the prohibition on weekend voting.  Democrats strongly opposed the measure, saying it was targeted at tamping down turnout in the heavily Democratic cities of Milwaukee and Madison which held extended hours during the 2012 presidential election.  Walker also vetoed a portion of the bill that would have reimbursed local governments for costs associated with early voting.  The bill was one of more than two dozen that Walker acted on Thursday.

3-28-14 lobbying donations

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Gov. Scott Walker has signed into law a bill that lets lobbyists to start making campaign donations to candidates for office seven weeks earlier than previously allowed.  The bill was among 29 that Walker signed privately on Thursday morning in Milwaukee. Walker's legislative liaison sent lawmakers an email notifying them that the governor was signing the bills into law.  The new law allows lobbyists to start making personal donations the day candidates can circulate petitions for office, which is April 15. Under previous law they couldn't make any donations until June 1.  State law continues to bar lobbyists from giving campaign donations to members of the Legislature while it is still in session.  The bill passed the Legislature with unanimous Democratic opposition.

3-28-14 raffle veto

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Gov. Scott Walker has vetoed a bill that would have dramatically expanded raffles in Wisconsin.  The Republican-authored bill would have removed caps on raffle ticket prices. It would have allowed organizations with a raffle license to conduct a raffle every day of the year. Under current law license holders can hold raffles 200 days a year. The measure also would have increased the number of days license holders can sell tickets.  Walker, a Republican, vetoed the bill in Milwaukee on Thursday. He said in a news release he felt the bill's changes threatened Wisconsin's tribes' exclusive right to offer gambling in the state.

3-28-14 12 person juries

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Governor Scott Walker has signed a bill that erases six-person juries in misdemeanor cases.  The state Supreme Court ruled in 1998 that a state law providing for a six-person jury in misdemeanor cases conflicted with a provision in the Wisconsin Constitution requiring a 12-person jury in all criminal cases.  The bill eliminates the six-person misdemeanor jury and requires a 12-person jury for every criminal case unless the parties involved and a judge agree to a smaller panel.
The measure was among 30 bills that Walker signed privately on Thursday morning in Milwaukee. Walker's legislative liaison sent lawmakers an email notifying them that the governor was signing the bills into law.

3-28-14 propane loans

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Governor Scott Walker has signed a bill that creates a new emergency loan program to offset high propane costs. The Republican-authored measure requires the state to guarantee up to $2,500 in loans to purchase propane or other heating supplies and pay down interest. The borrower's household income can't be more than double the county median household income, however.  Both the Senate and Assembly overwhelmingly approved the measure. The bill was among 30 that Walker signed or vetoed privately on Thursday morning in Milwaukee. Walker's legislative liaison sent lawmakers an email notifying them that the governor was signing the bills into law.  Wisconsin and other Midwestern states have been struggling with a propane shortage spurred by the severe winter, a temporary pipeline closure and heavy propane demand for drying grain last fall.

3-28-14 wi union-injunctions

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Gov. Scott Walker has signed a bill that would allow attorneys to appeal court rulings blocking state laws.  The Assembly passed a bill last year that would allow lawyers to nullify rulings that block statutes if they file an appeal within 10 days. Republicans introduced the bill after judges struck down parts of Walker's collective bargaining restrictions and voided voter photo identification requirements.  The Legislature's attorneys warned the bill might violate the separation of legislative and judicial powers. Senate Republicans scaled the bill back dramatically to give lawyers the right to appeal rulings issued ahead of a final judgment.  The bill was among 30 Walker signed privately on Thursday morning in Milwaukee. Walker's legislative liaison sent lawmakers an email notifying them that the governor was signing the bills into law.

3-28-14 baby gorilla born at milwaukee county zoo

MILWAUKEE (AP) — The Milwaukee County Zoo is welcoming its first western lowland gorilla born at the zoo since 1992.  The zoo announced Thursday that the baby gorilla, named Kassiu, was born March 19 to 13-year-old mother Naku and 27-year-old father Cassius.  Kassiu is the first offspring of both Naku and Cassius. Zoo officials say both the mother and baby are doing well.  The zoo's animal care staff is fairly certain the infant is a female but hasn't had a chance to get a detailed look yet.   The baby joins three adult female and three adult male gorillas at the zoo.

3-27-14 nobody injured in nfdl apartment fire

Nobody was injured in a fire that damaged an apartment unit in the village of  North Fond du Lac.  Fire Chief Pat Stephany tells WFDL news on the scene firefighters were called  to the Harrison Street apartments shortly after 9am Thursday.  The apartment complex was evacuated.  Other area departments including the Fond du Lac Fire Department were called to assist.   Stephany says the fire was brought under control in about fifteen minutes and contained to the unit where it started.  The cause of the fire remains under investigation.  There are 16 units in the apartment complex…located on the northwest side of the village.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

3-27-14 reeseville man gets probation and jail for fatal crash

A  63 year old Reeseville man who was convicted of homicide by negligient use of a vehicle has been placed on probation.  As a condition of probation Harvey Schoephoerster will spend seven months in jail. An additional five months in jail was imposed and stayed.   According to a criminal complaint Schoephoerster was under the influence of marijuana when he struck and killed 79-year-old Edward Hahn of Reeseville on County Highway G in the town of Lowell in 2010.  Authorities say the victim was operating an ATV to retrieve his mail when he was struck by the vehicle.  Schoephoerster admitted to smoking marijuana the night before the crash.  Judge John Storck also ordered revocation of  Schoephoerster’s driver’s license for one year and use of an ignition interlock device for 18 months.  Schoephoerster was also ordered to pay more than $13,000 in restitution.

3-27-14 fdl council approves camelot drive parking proposal

The Fond du Lac city council has approved a proposal that would limit parking on a portion but not all of Camelot Drive.   Residents have used the road as an informal park and ride lot for years but businesses
have been asking the city to put a stop to it.  The compromise will allow parking on the west side of Camelot Drive from Knights Way south to Society Insurance.  There would be two hour parking near the pond and trail area from 7am to 5pm except on weekends.  Public Works Director Jordan Skiff says parking would be prohibited on the rest of Camelot Drive.  City staff had earlier recommended prohibiting parking on the entire stretch of Camelot Drive.

3-27-14 new fdl city clerk

Its official, the Fond du Lac deputy city clerk has taken over the role as city clerk.  City manager Joe Moore has appointed Maggie Hefter to the post.  Hefter replaces Sue Strands who announced last week she was resigning due to personal reasons.  "I'm excited for this new opportunity,"  Hefter told WFDL news.  "Sue Strands has taught me a lot over the last couple years and I'm looking forward to a new challenge."  Hefter had served as deputy clerk since 2006.

3-27-14 fdl school board plans to review new high school newspaper policy

A Fond du Lac school board member says the board will review a new policy implemented by the superintendent following a controversial article published in the high school newspaper.  After the article was published the superintendent mandated new guidelines that requires the principal to review all stories before they are published and gives the superintendent final say.  The article focused on the "rape culture" at the high school. The school’s English department and others say that amounts to censorship and are calling for the school board to reverse the new policy.   Fond du Lac school board member Mark Strand is running for re-election next week.  He says the board plans to discuss the policy at some point in the future…probably after the school year.  "We're not going to do it at the next meeting, there's only a couple months of school left, there's maybe another paper left,"  Strand said.  "We're going to spend some time all summer long coming up with something that definately works.  It may not be what the administration wants or what the students want, but we're going to look at it to be fair and to have some oversight."   Strand would not say specifically if he agrees or disagrees with the policy…but says "the board will look at it."   Strand is running for a third term on the board.  

3-27-14 democratic gubenatorial candidate mary burke goes "between the lines"

The Democratic gubernatorial candidate says her goal is to make Wisconsin a top ten economy.   Former Trek Bicycle Corp. executive Mary Burke released her jobs plan this week that involves investing
in entrepreneurs and higher education.  On AM 1170 WFDL’s Between the Lines program Burke says the most important component of her plan centers around workforce development.  "My plan shows that we need 670,000 more degree holders in Wisconsin by 2025,"  Burke said.  "This could be a certificate, an associates degree, but we need to make sure our workforce has more skills than we have currently."
Burke proposes to significantly increase the state’s capital venture fund.  "Over four years it would be taking it from $30 million to $120 million,"  Burke said.  Burke’s plan also calls for increasing the minimum wage to $10.10 an hour over a two year period.  "Before making this decision I talked with business people across the state, both small businesses and those with large companies and I asked them what there thoughts were.
Would it affect job creation in their companies?  They said they support it."   Burke says the figures show governor Walker’s approach isn’t working.  "Our economy is lagging under governor Walker.  Out of the ten midwestern states we're ninth in job growth."

3-27-14 poll-minimum wage

MILWAUKEE (AP) — A new poll shows support in Wisconsin for raising the minimum wage.  A Marquette University law school poll released Wednesday shows 63 percent of registered voters support raising the minimum wage, while 33 percent oppose it. Four percent don't know.  The poll also shows most voters think it should be up to state lawmakers, not local officials, should raise the minimum wage.
Fifty percent said they think a minimum wage hike should be up to the state, while 42 percent say they support local control over the minimum wage. Eight percent don't know.

3-27-14 poll-obama

MILWAUKEE (AP) — President Barack Obama's approval rating is 47 percent among registered Wisconsin voters.  A Marquette University law school poll released Wednesday shows Obama's approval rating has improved some since January, when it was 44 percent. Forty-nine percent disapprove of the job he's doing, down 1 point from January.  The results show Obama's favorability is rebounding some since the health care rollout last fall. Before that, 49 percent approved of Obama and 46 percent disapproved.  The poll also shows greater support for health care reform. The poll says 39 percent of respondents have a favorable view of the overhaul and 50 percent have an unfavorable view. Eleven percent didn't know.  The poll of 801 registered voters has a margin of error of plus or minus 3.5 percentage points.

3-27-14 poll-walker-empathy

MILWAUKEE (AP) — A new poll shows Wisconsin voters see Democratic gubernatorial candidate Mary Burke as more empathetic than Republican Gov. Scott Walker.  The Marquette law school poll released Wednesday says 43 percent of registered voters think Walker cares about people like them. Fifty-one percent do not, and 5 percent don't know.  The poll says 36 percent think Burke cares about people like them, while 29 percent do not. Thirty-four percent say they aren't sure if Burke cares about people like them.  Pollster Charles Franklin says it's a little surprising that more than half of voters don't see a sitting governor as caring about them.  The poll of 801 registered voters was done between March 20 and 23. It is the first poll since the two campaigns started advertising in the governor's race.

3-27-14 poll-governor's race

MILWAUKEE (AP) — A new poll shows the race between Republican Gov. Scott Walker and Democratic challenger Mary Burke remains close.  The Marquette law school poll released Wednesday says 48 percent of registered voters would vote for Walker and 41 percent support Burke. The margin of error is plus or minus 3.5 percentage points.  A Marquette poll conducted in January had nearly the same results.  The poll of 801 registered voters was done between March 20 and 23. It is the first poll since the two campaigns started advertising in the governor's race.

3-27-14 walker approval rating drops

MILWAUKEE (AP) — Less than half of registered Wisconsin voters approve of the job Gov. Scott Walker is doing.  That's according to poll numbers released Wednesday by Marquette University's law school. The poll says 47 percent of voters approve of how the Republican governor is handling his job. The same portion disapprove, and 6 percent are unsure.  Pollster Charles Franklin says the numbers show "a little bit of a tick downward" in Walker's approval rating. A January poll found 51 approved of Walker's job performance.  The poll also asks how voters see Walker as a person. Forty-nine percent see him favorably and 47 percent unfavorably, about the same as in January.  The poll interviewed 801 registered votes between March 20 and 23. The margin of error is plus or minus 3.5 percentage points.

3-27-14 heroin bills

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — A state Senate committee has unanimously approved a bill to combat heroin use.  The measure would require the Department of Corrections to set up a formal system of quick sanctions short of prison for offenders who violate their parole or probation. The measure's author, Republican Rep. John Nygren, says faster sanctions would help heroin addicts get treatment quicker.
The Assembly passed the bill on a voice vote in February. The Senate's public safety committee approved it 5-0 on Wednesday, clearing the way for a full vote in the Senate.  The chamber's last scheduled floor period before the two-year legislative session ends is Tuesday. A spokeswoman for Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald says he intends to bring the bill up for a vote then.

3-26-14 semi versus suv

One person received non life-theatening injuries in a semi versus SUV collision in Fond du Lac County.  The accident happened late Tuesday afternoon on Highway 23 near Streblow Drive in the town of Fond du Lac.
Investigators say a westbound SUV operated by a 63 year old Fond du Lac man crossed the center line striking an eastbound semi tractor trailer operated by a 57 year old Fond du Lac man.  The driver of the SUV was transported to the hospital with non life threatening injuries.

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

3-26-14 marytown apartment fire

Nobody was injured in a fire that destroyed a four unit apartment complex in Marytown in northeast Fond du Lac County.  Town of Calumet Fire Chief Keith Lefeber tells WFDL news firefighters  from 24 departments assisted at the scene on County Trunk G between Sunset Drive  and County Trunk HH Tuesday afternoon.  Lefeber says firefighters from Calumet and Mount Calvary were initially called to the scene after an employee at the bank across the street  reported the apartment building was fully engulfed.
Lefeber says the cause of the fire is still under investigation but says it appears to have started in the kitchen of one of the occupied apartments.  The building was originally a tavern and had been  converted into apartments.

3-26-14 burke-jobs plan

MILWAUKEE (AP) — Mary Burke says she has a plan to create jobs in Wisconsin, but the Democratic candidate for governor isn't committing to a specific number. Burke says her goal is to make Wisconsin a top-10 economy, but she declined to forecast how many people would get jobs under her latest job-creation plan. Republican Gov. Scott Walker had pledged to add 250,000 private-sector jobs by the end of this year. That mark now appears unlikely.

3-26-14 wind turbines-appeals court

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — A Wisconsin appeals court says state regulators didn't have to produce a report on how wind turbines affect property values when they imposed siting standards The Public Service Commission implemented rules setting up uniform wind turbine construction and setback standards in 2012. The state realtors, builders and towns associations sued, arguing the rules were invalid because the commission didn't produce a report on the rules' effect on property values.

3-26-14 neosho woman charged with embezzlement

A Neosho woman has been charged with embezzling hundreds of thousands of dollars from the veterinary clinic where she worked since 2006.  48 year old Tracey Grebe made her initial Dodge County Circuit Court appearance Monday.  She’s facing six counts of theft of a business setting and six counts of identity theft- obtaining money.  Grebe is accused of stealing more than 335 thousand dollars from Country Veterinary Clinic in Rubicon.  Grebe was responsible for making deposits and bookkeeping for a part of the business and also was authorized to use a company credit card for invoices.  An audit found more than 335 thousand dollars in missing cash and unauthorized credit card transactions.  A preliminary hearing has been scheduled for May 8th.

3-26-14 stolen violin charges

MILWAUKEE (AP) — A second Milwaukee man accused in the theft of a $5 million Stradivarius violin in January is also expected to plead not guilty to robbery charges. Universal K. Allah is scheduled to be arraigned Wednesday. He and Salah Salahadyn are accused of felony robbery. Salahadyn pleaded not guilty last month. Allah's defense attorney says he plans to enter a not-guilty plea on his client's behalf Wednesday.

3-26-14 smuggled cigarettes

KENOSHA, Wis. (AP) — A report says Wisconsin is the country's fifth-largest importer of smuggled cigarettes. The report from the Tax Foundation, an independent tax policy research organization, found 34.6 percent of the cigarettes sold in the state have been brought in from other states and haven't been taxed, have been improperly taxed or were counterfeited. New York led the nation at 56.9 percent.

3-25-14 prison transport van crashes in winnebago county

WINNECONNE, Wis. (AP) — A van transporting a Milwaukee County inmate to the Stanley prison has slipped off a highway and overturned, injuring two people.   Winnebago County sheriff's officials say the van slid off Highway 45 near Winneconne Tuesday morning.  Milwaukee County sheriff's authorities say the inmate, being taken to the Stanley Correctional Institution, was injured as well as the driver of the van, a contract security officer. A second officer in the van was not hurt. But, all three were taken to a hospital in Oshkosh.  The van driver suffered head and back pain and the inmate complained of leg pain.

Monday, March 24, 2014

3-25-14 supporters of high school newspaper pack fdl school board meeting room

Supporters of  the Fond du Lac High School Cardinal Columns newspaper packed the Fond du Lac School Board meeting room Monday night to ask the Fond du lac School district to reverse  its new censorship guidelines on the paper.  A handful of those in attendance spoke at last night’s meeting including representatives of the Kettle Moraine Press Association which serves the Fond du Lac High School newspaper.  Former Fond du Lac state lawmaker and attorney general Peg Lautenschlager told the board she was on the school newspaper and editor of the yearbook when she attended Fond du Lac Goodrich High School in the 1970s.  "Victims are silenced and perpetrators control.  Now we have Ms. Kumar (newspaper editor Tanvi Kumar) who is silenced and we have a school district that wants to take control," 
Lautenschlager told the school board.  UW Oshkosh journalism professor Dr. Vince Filak told the board he doesn’t think they fully understand the overreaching and overarching problem created by these new guidelines.  "The administration can call this whatever it wants.  It can call it guidelines, suggestions or just tweaking.  But whatever cuddly and fuzzy term you choose to use the fact of the matter is this is censorship."

3-25-14 fdl school superintendent speaks out on "rape joke" article

The Fond du lac school superintendent says he doesn’t view a new policy regarding oversight of the high school newspaper as censorship.  In his first public interview since the article was published in the
Cardinal Columns paper, superintendent Dr. Jim Sebert told AM 1170 WFDL's Between the Lines program he stands by his decision.  "I don't see it as censorship at all.  I see it as adult oversight that we have in everything we do as teachers and administrators in the Fond du lac School District,"  Sebert said.  "I take my direction from the board of education, so it is fair to say if the board collectively would like to address their policy and would like to talk through that I am very open to that."   The investigative article focused on the rape culture at the school.  Shortly after the article was published Dr. Sebert expressed concerns about  some of the content in the article and decided to implement guidelines he says were based on 1988 school board policy that all articles  be reviewed by the school principal before they are published.  "We're getting a lot of discussion around discipline, we're getting a lot of discussion around censorship.  Neither of those things is what's happened or what we are attempting to have happen,"  Sebert said.  "What we're really saying is where else in the school environment don't we have a level of adult oversight?"  Sebert says he didn’t have a problem with the topic addressed in the article, but instead some of the content, including certain words and a photo.  Sebert says he was also concerned about an accompanying editorial that talked about  "encouraging students now that they knew their rights to challenge their teachers if they knew theirs by not standing up for the Pledge of Allegiance."   

3-25-14 hiring people with disabilities

GREEN BAY, Wis. (AP) — Wisconsin groups are helping to change negative perceptions about hiring workers with disabilities and help them put them in permanent jobs. A bill Gov. Scott Walker signed will extend by 6,000 the number of people helped by the Department of Vocational Rehabilitation. A group in northeastern Wisconsin called N.E.W. Curative is also providing training for specific types of work. About 62 percent of working-age adults with disabilities are unemployed in Wisconsin.

3-25-13 senate to vote on chemo bill next week

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — The Wisconsin state Senate plans to vote next week on a bill designed to make chemotherapy drugs that can be taken at home in pill form more affordable. A spokeswoman for Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald said Monday that based on the broad bipartisan support the bill received Friday in the Assembly, it will be up for a vote without further changes on April 1. That is the Senate's last day in session for the year.

3-25-13 thirteen legislators not running for re-election

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Thirteen incumbents in the Wisconsin state Assembly are not running for re-election in November. That includes former Republican Majority Leader Bill Kramer, who submitted paperwork Monday stating he was not running. Republican Rep. Mike Endsley of Sheboygan said Friday he was leaving at the end of the year. Eight Republicans and five Democrats are not running.

3-25-14 asbestos lawsuit bill

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Wisconsin veterans who had been urging Gov. Scott Walker to veto a bill affecting asbestos exposure lawsuits are backing down after being told the governor plans to sign the measure. Jason Johns, lobbyist for the Military Order of the Purple Heart of Wisconsin, says he emailed veterans telling them to curtail their effort after a Walker aide told another veteran the governor planned to sign the bill. A Walker spokeswoman says Walker continues to evaluate the measure.

3-25-14 agnesian children's daycare closing

Agnesian HealthCare’s Children’s Choice daycare is closing.  Agnesian spokesperson Shelly Haberman says parents were mailed letters last week notifying them the center is closing in June.  The center first opened  eight years ago.  Haberman says enrollment has decreased and it was felt that resources used to subsidize the center could be better used in other areas.  Haberman says the nearly two dozen employees affected by the closure will receive career counseling and support.

Sunday, March 23, 2014

3-24-14 wi legislature

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Assembly Republicans' decision to wrap up their two-year session has left a number of high-profile bills in limbo.  The Assembly wrapped up its last floor day early Friday. The Senate is expected to return for one more floor session on April 1 before lawmakers head out on the campaign trail. That means anything the Assembly didn't pass or has sent to the Senate and doesn't get a vote is probably dead.  A spokeswoman for Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald says bills that would establish a 70 mph speed limit and purge cases from the state's online court records database are probably dead. But Assembly-approved bills that would require outside investigators handle deaths involving police officers, establish regional drug centers and create short-term sanctions for heroin addicts likely will get votes.

3-24-14 eaa reaches agreement with faa

OSHKOSH, Wis. (AP) — The Experimental Aircraft Association has reached an agreement with the Federal Aviation Administration over air traffic control fees during its annual convention. The EAA says the nine-year agreement will provide air traffic control services on a consistent basis through 2022 for AirVenture. Congressman Tom Petri say he still questions the FAA's authority to charge for air show costs, but says the settlement will keep EAA flying.

3-24-14 blacked-out records-wisconsin

NEW RICHMOND, Wis. (AP) — A Wisconsin judge has ruled police must not black out personal information on accident or crime reports.  St. Croix County Judge Howard Cameron ruled Thursday in favor of the New Richmond News.   The newspaper sued the City of New Richmond alleging police were redacting — or blacking out — too much information, a violation of Wisconsin's open records law. The judge agreed.  An increasing number of Wisconsin agencies are redacting personal information on reports after a federal appeals court ruling in an Illinois case. But Cameron ruled the Driver's Privacy Protection Act does not require that information to be redacted.  The Wisconsin Newspaper Association is asking the City of New Richmond not to appeal. A phone message left at the city administrator's office after hours was not immediately returned Friday.

3-24-14 ryan-poverty

WASHINGTON (AP) — Wisconsin Congressman Paul Ryan is making poverty a signature issue as he tries to broaden his appeal ahead of a possible presidential run in 2016. But he's had to defend himself and his message against allegations of racism.  At issue are comments the 2012 Republican vice presidential candidate made last week, saying "we have got this tailspin of culture, in our inner cities in particular, of men not working." Ryan now says he was inarticulate about the point he was trying to make.  That hasn't stopped Democrats from criticizing him. Congresswoman Barbara Lee, a California Democrat, called Ryan's comment a "thinly veiled racial attack."  The stir highlights a potential peril for Ryan, stepped on his own policy push, and illustrates Republicans' continued struggles to connect with minority voters.

3-24-14 fdl high school english department staff issues statement on censorship policy

Fond du Lac High School English Department staff is encouraging  the district  to reconsider a new censorship policy involving the high school newspaper.  The staff signed a 22 page statement in support of an open forum for student expression.  The statement follows a decision to have the principal review all stories before they are published in the Cardinal Columns newspaper.  That policy was implemented after school officials objected to an article that was published last month on the rape culture at the high school.  The Fond du Lac school board holds its regular bi-monthly meeting Monday night.

Friday, March 21, 2014

3-24-14 fdl elementary school principal retiring

A Fond du Lac elementary school principal is retiring.  The Fond du lac school board is expected to accept  the retirement of Robert Elementary School principal Rick Gregory at their meeting Monday night.  Gregory will be retiring at the end of the school year after 16 years of service to the district.   Superintendent Dr. Jim Sebert says Gregory has been a tremendous asset to the district.  “His genuine, caring approach to kids, families and staff is highly respected and will long be remembered,”  Sebert said.

3-24-14 governor would sign amended chemo bill

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Gov. Scott Walker's spokeswoman says he will sign the latest version of a bill that would help cancer patients purchase chemotherapy pills, but it's still unclear if the proposal will clear the Senate.  The bill would require health insurance companies to charge the same for the pills, which can be taken at home but cost thousands of dollars a month, as they do for intravenous treatments.  The Senate passed the measure overwhelmingly earlier this week. The Assembly amended it early Friday morning, however, to cap co-pays at $100. The bill now must clear the Senate again. The chamber has one session day left this year.  

3-22-14 two headed calf

BURLINGTON, Wis. (AP) — A rare two-headed calf born at a farm in Racine County, then euthanized, will be mounted and displayed at a local high school.  The calf was born at Kevin Whitley Farms, in Dover, on Feb. 12. Kevin Whitley's son, Kellon, says the calf was born backwards and the head was the last to emerge. Kellon says when he, his father and two others at the birth saw the double head, they looked at each other and couldn't believe what they were seeing. The calf had trouble lifting its head and was euthanized within hours of its birth.  The calf's body was brought to Burlington High School and studied by biology students. It's being mounted at a taxidermist and will be displayed at the school.

3-22-14 conservative group attacks candidates over mine

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — A group founded by conservative billionaires Charles and David Koch is attacking seven county board candidates in Wisconsin as "radical anti-mining" environmentalists.  The candidates are running in Iron County, where Gogebic Taconite has plans to open an iron mine.  The campaign launched Wednesday by Americans for Prosperity is attracting attention in sparsely populated Iron County, where candidates themselves don't usually campaign.  Town of Saxon Assistant Fire Chief Karl Krall is one of the people running for the county board. He says he is perplexed by the mailing because he is a strong mine proponent and has made appearances with Gov. Scott Walker in support of the mine.  Krall says the Americans for Prosperity campaign is "a joke."

3-22-14 waupun woman faces child neglect charges

A Waupun woman faces child neglect charges after her two year old child was found outside wearing only a diaper.  Waupun  police say the child was found two blocks from her home on Jefferson Street Thursday afternoon.  Police say the mother has been warned on several occasions to better supervise her children.

3-22-14 appleton man charged in connection with high speed chase in fdl and dodge counties

A hefty cash bail has been ordered for a 37 year old Appleton man who led police on a high speed chase in Fond du Lac and Dodge counties…slamming into a sheriff’s squad.  Maxwell Verkuilen made his initial Fond du Lac court  appearance Friday on charges of recklessly endangering safety and attempting to flee an officer.  Judge Peter Grimm ordered $10,000 cash bail.  Sheriff’s captain Rick Olig says the chase happened Monday evening March 3rd when the suspect’s vehicle was spotted on Highway 41 southbound near Highway 23.  The vehicle turned northbound on 41, exited at County Highway B colliding with a sheriff’s squad.  The squad rolled over. The vehicle headed north on 175 into the city of Fond du Lac.  The vehicle continued southbound on Highway 151 into Dodge County and eventually turned into a driveway off Oakwood Road, traveled around some outbuildings before being struck by a sheriff’s squad bringing  the vehicle to a stop.  A preliminary hearing is scheduled for March 28th.

3-22-14 preliminary hearing delayed for fdl couple charged with child abuse

A preliminary hearing will be rescheduled for a Fond du lac couple accused of abusing two children. 
Jeana Riehl and her huband Troy Riehl, both face charges related to child abuse and neglect.   According to a criminal complaint Jeana Riehl is accused of abusing two boys over a period of several years, striking them with objects including a rolling pin and hunting arrow and locking one of the boys in a bathroom for weeks.    Troy Riehl is accused of not reporting the abuse and failing to prevent  it from happening.  The hearing scheduled for Friday was postponed to give the defense an opportunity to talk with the district attorney concerning questions about the number of allegations and time-frame for when they allegedly occurred as outlined in the criminal complaint.  The case involves alleged incidents in the city of Fond du Lac and village of North Fond du Lac  and in western Fond du Lac county.

3-22-14 fdl city clerk resigns

The Fond du Lac city clerk has abruptly resigned citing personal reasons.   Sue Strands is stepping down effective Tuesday.   Deputy clerk Maggie Hefter will replace Strands on an acting basis until the city manager fills the position.  Strands has served in the city clerk's office for 17 years and has been the city clerk since 2006.    "Change is always good and looking to move on to something that I can make a change after all these years,"  Strands told WFDL news.  

3-21-14 st. lawrence seminary fire "suspicious"

Fond du lac county sheriff’s investigators are calling this month’s fire at St. Lawrence Seminary “suspicious”  and say a 15 year old student at the school is suspected of stealing cash from the school.  Sheriff’s captain Rick Olig says the boy is being held in the juvenile detention center on charges of theft and burglary but has not been charged with the fire.  Olig says seminary officials told investigators the money should have been in an area destroyed by fire.   The fire destroyed St. Joseph Hall, the oldest building on the campus.

3-21-14 wisconsin report cards

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — The Wisconsin state Assembly has passed a limited school accountability bill with nearly no debate.  The voice vote Thursday came after conservative Assembly Republicans dropped their widely panned plan to impose sanctions on failing schools. The bill that passed has no sanctions and is identical to what earlier passed the Senate.  The bill now heads to Governor Scott Walker for his signature. Walker, who was involved with trying to come up with a more expansive bill, has indicated he would sign the measure that passed.  No deal could be reached on the GOP's bill that included sanctions. Public school advocates as well as school choice supporters all opposed it.

3-21-14 early voting

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — In-person absentee voting would no longer be allowed past 7 p.m. or on weekends in Wisconsin under a bill that has passed the Legislature.  The Republican-controlled Assembly voted 56-38 to pass the measure Thursday night, with all Republicans in support and Democrats against. It now heads to Governor Scott Walker.  Opponents say restricting the hours is an unconstitutional attempt to make it more difficult for minorities in Wisconsin's largest cities of Milwaukee and Madison to vote. But Democrats, who predicted courts would toss the law, didn't have the votes to stop it.  Republican supporters say limiting early voting is needed because it's not fair that large cities can offer it while voters who live in areas without the resources to hold extended hours don't get that opportunity.

Thursday, March 20, 2014

3-21-14 one person seriously injured in crash near fdl-winnebago county line

At 1:39 PM on Thursday March 20, 2014 a crash occurred on US 41 NB at County Road Z in
Winnebago County near Oshkosh.  Assisting agencies included Town of Nekimi Fire Department, Winnebago County Sheriffs Department, and Fond du Lac County Sheriffs Department.  The crash involved 1 injury.   According to investigators, a 2014 Mercedes-Benz ML350 was travelling northbound on highway 41 when it ran off the road and struck a bridge concrete barrier. No other vehicles were involved in the
crash. One lane of traffic was temporarily shutdown at the scene of the crash to allow EMS and the
tow truck remove the driver and vehicle.  The Mercedes-Benz driven by a 70 year old female from Washington Island, was the lone occupant.  She suffered very serious injuries and was transported to Theda Clark Hospital by Oshkosh Fire Department EMS.  The cause of the crash is undetermined at this time and is being investigated by Wisconsin State Patrol.

3-21-14 puppies adopted

 The Fond du Lac Humane Society says all three puppies injured with bleach have been adopted.   Animal shelter manager Renee Webb says the first puppy was adopted last week and the two other puppies are going to new homes this weekend.  The puppies gained attention when one was found in a plastic bag in a trash container in Fond du Lac last month. Police say an 8-year-old boy dumped bleach on the puppies because one was biting his feet.  The boy's mother is charged with failing to take action after learning about the injured dogs.  The puppies suffered burns and eye ulcers. The puppy found in the trash had lung damage.

3-21-14 drought conditions spread across parts of southern wi

MILWAUKEE (AP) — A new report says drought conditions have spread across parts of southern Wisconsin during the last few weeks of winter. The U.S. Drought Monitor says 44 percent of Wisconsin was experiencing abnormally dry to moderate drought conditions. The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports southwestern Wisconsin received less than 50 percent of normal precipitation over the past three months.

3-21-14 gps bill approved by assembly

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — It would be a crime to deploy an unmanned drone capable of video or audio recording in areas where people have a reasonable expectation of privacy under a bill that has passed the Wisconsin Assembly. The bipartisan bill approved unanimously today would also require police to obtain warrants before using drones to collect evidence. The proposal also would make it a felony to sell, possess or operate a weaponized drone in Wisconsin.

3-21-14 drone bill passes assembly

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — It would be a crime to deploy an unmanned drone capable of video or audio recording in areas where people have a reasonable expectation of privacy under a bill that has passed the Wisconsin Assembly. The bipartisan bill approved unanimously today would also require police to obtain warrants before using drones to collect evidence. The proposal also would make it a felony to sell, possess or operate a weaponized drone in Wisconsin.

3-21-14 assembly passes asbestos lawsuit bill

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — A bill opponents say would deny justice to people exposed to asbestos has passed the Wisconsin Assembly.  Veterans are among the most vocal opponents of the measure passed on a party line 55-38 vote Thursday. The bill now heads to Gov. Scott Walker.   The heavily lobbied proposal would require plaintiffs who have suffered from asbestos exposure to reveal how many businesses their attorneys plan to sue. They would also have to go after money from an asbestos trust before they could sue for more in court.  Proponents argue it is needed to prevent filing multiple claims against both trust funds set up to pay victims of asbestos exposure as well as individual businesses.  Democrats argue the changes would make it more difficult for people harmed by asbestos to collect damages.

3-21-14 assembly passes limited school accountability bill

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — The Wisconsin state Assembly has passed a limited school accountability bill with nearly no debate.  The voice vote Thursday came after conservative Assembly Republicans dropped their widely panned plan to impose sanctions on failing schools. The bill that passed has no sanctions and is identical to what earlier passed the Senate.  The bill now heads to Gov. Scott Walker for his signature. Walker, who was involved with trying to come up with a more expansive bill, has indicated he would sign the measure that passed.  No deal could be reached on the GOP's bill that included sanctions. Public school advocates as well as school choice supporters all opposed it.

3-20-14 badgers crush american in ncaa tourney

MILWAUKEE (AP) — Ben Brust scored 17 points and Wisconsin devastated American with a 22-5 run to close the first half in a 75-35 victory Thursday before a friendly crowd in the NCAA tournament.  The second-seeded Badgers (27-7) recovered from a brief first-half rut and seven-point deficit to extinguish the dreams of the15th-seeded Eagles (20-13), champions of the Patriot League.  After Wisconsin was ousted in the first round last year as a fifth seed, Brust made sure his senior season didn't end the same way. He attacked the glass for buckets on back-to-back possessions, ending with a 3-point play with 3:33 left in the first half to give Wisconsin a 23-20 lead.  The rout was on. The Badgers hit 57 percent in the second half.   John Schoof had 11 points for American.

3-20-14 deal reached on oral chemo bill

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Republican Assembly Speaker Robin Vos says a deal has been reached that will lead to passage of a bill that makes more affordable chemotherapy drugs in pill form available to cancer patients.  Vos and advocates who have been pushing for the bill appeared together at a news conference to announce the deal before the Assembly was to vote on the bill later Thursday.  Vos says he believes the Senate will sign off on the changes and Gov. Scott Walker will sign it into law.  The main change the Assembly plans to make would require patients to pay $100 a month in co-pay for the drugs.  Cancer victim advocate Paul Westrich says he believes that is fair and it is a good bill.

3-20-14 former packer joins marian university

George Koonce, Ph.D., advancement professional and former Green Bay Packers linebacker, has accepted an appointment as Marian University’s Vice President of Advancement.  “We are delighted to welcome George Koonce to the Marian University and Fond du Lac communities,” said Robert Fale, interim president of Marian University. “George Koonce’s expertise in fundraising and community engagement, as well as his passion for higher education, will be an incredible asset to the future success of Marian University.”   Koonce will provide leadership and strategic direction to the Office of Advancement and will be responsible for growing awareness and increasing philanthropic support for Marian University through community and alumni engagement.  Koonce brings with him several years of fundraising and advancement experience. He most recently served as the Director of Development for Marquette University’s Urban Scholars Program, and previously served as an independent consultant with Dampeer & Canady LLC of Milwaukee, Wis. He has also served as Director of Athletics at the University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee, Senior Associate Athletics Director at Marquette University, Director of Player Development for the Green Bay Packers and Special Assistant to the Athletic Director at East Carolina University. Koonce earned his bachelor’s degree from New York University at Regents in Albany, New York, master’s degree from East Carolina University in Greenville, North Carolina, and his doctor of philosophy degree from Marquette University in Milwaukee, Wis.  “I've consistently maintained that there is life after football and I continue to seek personal challenges,” said Koonce. “Being a part of the Marquette family has shown me that I can make a difference. I want to thank Father Wild and the Marquette University family for the tremendous opportunity they have given me and wish them continued success.”   Koonce will join Marian University in this position effective April 21, 2014.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

3-20-14 brothertown indian nation seeks tribal recognition

A tribal council member of the Brothertown Indian Nation says she is confident the tribe can have its federal recognition as an Indian tribe restored within a year.  Dr. Faith Ottery says the Fond du lac county board’s approval of a resolution this week in support of that effort is the first step in the process.  "We've actually had our office in Fond du Lac for most of the last three decades.  This is important, its the first step,"  Ottery told AM 1170 WFDL's Between the Lines program.  The Brothertown Indians are one of a dozen tribes listed in Wisconsin and the only one which is not federal recognized.    Many tribal members live in Fond du Lac and Calumet counties.  The Brothertown Indians are a Native American tribe formed in the early 19th century on the east coast, removed to Wisconsin in the 1830s under pressure from the United States government.  In 1839 they were the first Native American tribe to accept U.S citizenship and have their land allocated to individual households in order to prevent another removal further west.  The tribe filed a documented petition in 2005 in an effort to regain recognition.  The Bureau of Indian Affairs notified the tribe in 2009 they had not satisfied all of the criteria necessary for recognition and that only Congress had auithority to restore tribal status.  "We're legitimate in our eyes but the reality is whether its educational grants, health services, support of our burial grounds, cemeteries and other aspects where it will make a difference,"  Ottery said.  "The other issue is we are a constitutionally based government.  We will have to redo that government so that it fits within the confines of a federally recognized tribe."  

3-20-14 st. patricks day holiday owi enforcement

Fond du Lac area law enforcement made hundreds of traffic stops over the St. Patrick’s Day holiday weekend and a handful of drunken driving arrests.  Fond du Lac County Sheriff’s captain Rick Olig says the good news is there were no serious injury or fatal crashes as a result of drunken driving.  "We do a coordinated effort throughout the entire county.  Between all the agencies we had just under 450 traffic stops,"  Olig said.  "There were eleven drunken driving arrests,  but on the positive side we did not have any major crashes all weekend." 

3-20-14 thelma fundraiser

The Thelma Sadoff Center for the Arts has kicked off a two million dollar fundraising campaign.  Arts Center Director Kevin Miller says the goal is the raise the money before the end of the year.  The campaign is dubbed Let Thelma Shine: We’re More than the Arts.  Miller says  "helping Thelma shine enriches Fond du Lac’s quality of life and creates an attractive community for tourism and economic development."

3-20-14 little white school house in ripon celebrates anniversary

Ripon’s National Historic Landmark the Little White Schoolhouse, located at 303 Blackburn Street will celebrate its 160th Anniversary on March 20th 2014.  The significance of the meeting that took place in the building in 1854 is magnificent.  Not only were the roots of a political party planted, but the birth of a civil rights movement took place.  In 1854 Alan Bovay called a meeting of 53 voters in the Little White Schoolhouse to organize a new party.  Bovay later said “We went into the little meeting, Whigs, Free Soilers, and Democrats.  We came out Republicans, and we were the first Republicans in the Union.”  The historic meeting was held due to the Kansas-Nebraska bill, which permitted the extension of slavery beyond the limits of the Missouri Comprise.  Bovay met with Horace Greely earlier to talk about the dissolution of the Whig Party and a formation of a new party to fuse together anti-slavery elements.  Bovay suggested the name “Republican” because he felt it was “a good name with charm and prestige.”  The building is now utilized for tours May-October to inform the public about the importance of the events that occurred in Ripon.  Special events throughout the year will highlight the 160th Anniversary of the meeting that took place on March 20th 1854.  For more details please log onto: 

3-20-14 walker says he would sign cancer drug bill

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Gov. Scott Walker says he would sign into law a bill would make chemotherapy drugs in pill form more affordable for cancer patients. Walker made his comments to reporters Wednesday in Appleton.  Walker says he would sign the bill that passed the Senate on 30-2 vote. He says he's hopeful it will pass the Assembly.  Assembly Speaker Robin Vos on Tuesday said the Assembly would consider making changes to the proposal before voting on whether to pass it on Thursday, something Walker said he didn't want to see happen.

3-20-14 wisconsin spearfishing

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Wisconsin's six Chippewa tribes say they want to spear 63,488 walleye across northern Wisconsin this spring.  The quotas represent a 5,089-fish increase over last year's declaration of 58,399. That declaration drove the Department of Natural Resources to limit non-tribal anglers to just one walleye on nearly 200 lakes and two walleye on 331 lakes to protect the fishery, creating tensions between the tribes and state lawmakers concerned about the impact on tourism.  The tribes ultimately took only about 28,400 walleyes, defusing the situation.   DNR officials say the tribes traditionally take about half of their declaration. Still, the DNR's board on Wednesday authorized the agency to take additional steps to protect the fishery beyond imposing bag limits. The agency hasn't drafted any specific proposals or released bag limits yet.

3-20-14 child porn prosecution delays

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Wisconsin Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen says a state agent and supervisor are no longer employed after an internal review found they were letting child pornography cases languish.  Van Hollen says they left the state Justice Department Wednesday morning. He wouldn't say whether they were fired or resigned.  DOJ has taken intense criticism in recent weeks after word broke the agency let at least two cases languish for so long the targets allegedly sexually assaulted children before agents acted.  DOJ launched an internal investigation into the matter late January. Van Hollen says the review found no other agents were allowing their cases to sit except the two who left the agency.  Investigators are still reviewing the two's cases to determine how many sat for too long.

3-20-14 wi man seeks money for extra time spent in prison

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — A man held in prison for more than a year after his sentence ended is seeking more than $67,000 from the state of Wisconsin for the extra time.  Fifty-two-year-old Robin Gavinski spent an extra 417 days in prison after Department of Corrections employees made him serve two sentences one after the other, rather than at the same time.  Gavinski pleaded no contest to fleeing police in a stolen car in 2004. He had probation time for prior convictions that was added to the 2004 sentence.  Gavinski sought money Wednesday from the state Claims Board to cover legal fees and lost income.  An attorney for the state says such mistakes are rare and the state is immune from that type of claim. He also says Gavinski is asking for too much.

3-20-14 highway funding

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Gov. Scott Walker has signed into law a bill that increases spending on highway projects this year by $43 million.  The bill Walker signed Wednesday in Pewaukee accelerates spending on 11 projects around the state thanks to an $83 million surplus in the transportation fund.  The projects include maintenance, road resurfacing, pavement replacement and bridge rehabilitation.  The projects are in Brown, Calumet, Door, Douglas, Langlade, Lincoln, Monroe, Outagamie, Sauk, Taylor and Walworth counties.  The bill unanimously passed the Legislature.

3-20-14 wisconsin unemploymment

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Wisconsin is ranked 35th in private-sector job growth for the latest reporting period, an improvement from 37th over the previous update three months ago.  The figures released Wednesday are a key benchmark, picked by Gov. Scott Walker, to measure how well he is meeting his 2010 campaign promise to add 250,000 private sector jobs by the end of next year.  The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that for the 12-month period between September 2012 and September 2013, Wisconsin added just over 28,300 private sector jobs. The percentage increase of 1.2 percent puts Wisconsin 35th compared with all 50 states.  Walker's performance creating jobs and dealing with the state's economy is one of the key themes of his re-election campaign against Democrat Mary Burke.

3-20-14 doty st expected to reopen thursday following sinkhole

A section of Doty Street where a sinkhole developed following a water main break is expected to reopen to traffic Thursday.  Public Works director Jordan Skiff says crews worked to repair the hole near the intersection of Johnson and Doty Streets on Wednesday.   “Earlier this winter we had a water break in a slightly different part of that block and this latest sinkhole formed this week.  There’s a six inch service line to FIVES  or the former G and L that had a small crack on it and it extended to the T on the water main,”  Skiff said.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

3-19-14 fdl county board approves hiring developer for uw fdl student housing

A proposed student housing project at UW Fond du lac is moving forward.  The Fond du Lac County board has approved a resolution authorizing the county to enter into an agreement with a developer to build the 84 bed facility on the UW Fond du Lac campus…adjacent to the physical education building.  UW Fond du Lac Dean Dr. John Short says the student housing concept is a unique public-private partnership where the developer gets the financing, designs the complex and hiring resident assistants and a live in manager to operate the facility.  A proposed amendment to require the developer to pay a thousand dollars an acre instead of a dollar an acre was defeated by a vote of 13 to 10.  The vote on the original resolution was appproved with board members Zorn, Stenz and Wetzel voting against.  Dr. Short says the idea for student housing came out of a survey that showed a need for additional student housing.  Short says he believes the campus has lost students to other schools in the past because of a lack of student housing.   The Fond du Lac County board is expected to take a final vote at their April meeting.  Dr. Short says the plan is to have the student housing complex open for the 2015 school year.

3-19-14 fdl county board approves salary increases for sheriff and clerk of courts

The Fond du lac County Board has approved a resolution increasing the salary for the Clerk of  Courts and Sheriff’s positions.  County Executive Al Buechel says salaries for both positions would increase one percent in 2015, 2016 and 2017 and two percent in 2018.  Buechel says the sheriff’s salary will increase from $93,884 today to $99,650 in 2018.  The Clerk of Courts salary increases from $72,215 to $75,891 in 2018.

3-19-14 mayville open meetings law violation

The Jefferson County District Attorney’s Office has concluded that Mayville city officials did violate Wisconsin’s Open Meetings law during a closed door meeting discussing the closure of the Mayville Police Department.  The complaint was filed last November alleging Mayor Jerry Moede and Alderpersons David Pasbrig and  Kathleen Sertich violated the law during a July meeting with Dodge County Sheriff Pat Ninmann, two of Ninmann’s staff members, and the Mayville Comptroller/Treasurer.  Ninmann says she was approached by Mayville officials about the cost to have the sheriff’s office run the Mayville police department.  After investigating, Jefferson County D.A. Susan Happ concludes a violation did occur, saying that the two requirements within state law were met that required the meeting to be preceeded by public notice and held in open session.  Those two requirements being: 1.) the purpose of the meeting was to engage in government business and 2.) the number of members present be sufficient to determine the government’s body course of action.  Ninmann says it would have been up to Mayville officials to properly notice the meeting.  Happ further concludes however that the Mayville city officials did not knowingly violate the law because they were advised by legal counsel that the meeting was an extension of the ongoing collective bargaining negotiations with the Mayville Police Department not subject to the open meetings law.  Happ says the State does not plan on issuing charges at this time.

3-19-14 online images bill

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — The Wisconsin state Senate has passed a bill that would outlaw the posting online of explicit imagines of former boyfriends or girlfriends online as a way to embarrass them or cost them a job. The bill would make it a misdemeanor to disseminate a nude picture without the subject's consent, regardless of whether the subject granted permission to capture the image. The act would be punishable by up to $10,000 in fines and nine months in jail.

3-19-14 heroin bills

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — The Wisconsin Senate has passed a bill targeting heroin use in Wisconsin. The bill would require state health officials to create regional opiate treatment centers in underserved areas. It also would require the state Department of Corrections to set up a formal system of quick sanctions short of prison for substance abusers who violate their parole or probation.

3-19-14 school accountability bill

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Republican Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald says it's up to the Assembly whether a school accountability bill passes this session. Fitzgerald says the Senate doesn't have "a lot of momentum" for re-visiting the issue. If the Assembly passes a bill the Senate won't take up, no accountability bill will pass this year.

3-19-14 egg sales bill

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Wisconsin farmers would be allowed to sell eggs at farmers' markets without a food processing license under a bill that has passed the state Senate. The proposal would set certain criteria for those looking to sell eggs from chickens on their farm. Eggs would need to be stored at or below 41 degrees prior to sale. Egg packaging would have to show the date of packaging, and eggs couldn't be sold more than 30 days after packaging.

3-19-14 human trafficking

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Wisconsin's human trafficking laws would be tightened under a bill that has passed the state Senate. The measure also give victims a way to void any crimes they may have committed. The proposal would allow trafficking victims to ask a judge to vacate or expunge prostitution convictions. The bill now it heads to Gov. Scott Walker.

3-19-14 mary burke

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Wisconsin Democratic gubernatorial candidate Mary Burke says the state should not have expanded the private school voucher program statewide or created a new private school tax deduction. Burke says the state should not be subsidizing with taxpayer money the choice parents make to send their children to private school. Burke is challenging Republican Gov. Scott Walker.

3-19-14 cancer drug bill

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Wisconsin Assembly Speaker Robin Vos says the Assembly will vote Thursday on a bill that would give cancer patients access to less expensive chemotherapy drugs in pill form. But Democratic backers say that Vos was playing politics by altering the bill in way that may result in it not getting approval in the Senate before the session ends for the year. The Assembly's last day in session is Thursday.

3-19-14 deer poaching

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — The Wisconsin Assembly has approved a bill that would dramatically increase penalties for poaching trophy deer. The Republican bill would require judges to impose surcharges ranging from $43 to $10,000 according to antler spread and forbid anyone convicted of poaching deer from holding a hunting, fishing or trapping license for three years. It now goes to the state Senate.