Wednesday, April 30, 2014

5-1-14 fdl county receives "D" grade for ozone levels

The American Lung Association has released its annual State of the Air report and it shows much of the Fox Valley and surrounding areas have cut particle pollution levels but high levels of ozone continue to be a problem.  In 2013, Fond du lac county received a grade of "B"  for ozone.   This year Fond du lac County received a "D."   Wininsky says overall the report  shows that Wisconsin is moving in the right direction. "We've been doing this report for about 15 years and the news is very good,"  Wininsky told WFDL news. 
"Over the past 15 years we've made enormous steps forward in reducing air pollution."

5-1-14 appeals court upholds sex assault conviction of fdl county man

A state appeals court has upheld the conviction and sentence of a former North Fond du lac man for child sex assault.  Thirty three year old  Jonathan Gurath is spending more than 30 years in prison for  multiple counts including sexually assaulting a 13 year old girl.   Gurath appealed  his 25-year sentence on the sexual assault count.  The circuit court denied the motion. On Wednesday, the 2nd District Court of Appeals upheld the circuit court ruling.

5-1-14 voter id ruling-reaction

The Fond du Lac County Clerk  says she is not surprised by a federal judge’s ruling striking down the state’s voter ID law.  Clerk Lisa  Freiberg says she attended part of the hearing in judge Adelman’s courtroom and found it striking that no evidence of voter impersonation was presented by the state.  Freiberg says municipal clerks who testified at that hearing also admitted that obtaining a  birth certificate or driver’s license could be difficult for some people.  "They honestly had to answer that in some instances yes it is very difficult,"  Freiberg told AM 1170 WFDL's Between the Lines program.  "Until this came to light I always thought it was easy to get your Wisconsin ID card or driver's license."  Wiconsin League of Women Voters director Andrea Kaminski says she is thrilled and says the ruling is a victory for state of Wisconsin voters.  Kaminski says  "the real fraud is saying that’s what this law is about."

5-1-14 ag tourism liability

A Fond du Lac county farm safety specialist says a new ag tourism liability bill seems to make common sense.  The bill took effect April 18th and adds ag tourism activities to the types of recreational activities that qualify for immunity from liability.  Extension farm safety specialist Mike Rankin says ag tourism is becoming big in Wisconsin.  Rankin says the law doesn’t absolve farmers of taking responsibility.  "...you wouldn't invite a group of  3rd graders out to the farm and suggest they crawl up the outside of the silo to get a better view,"  Rankin said.   The new act  requires that signs are posted relating to the inherent risks on a farm.

5-1-14 fisheries director

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources has named an agency veteran as its new fisheries director.  Ron Bruch will take over for the retiring Mike Staggs on May 5. Bruch has worked for the DNR for 37 years and has served at every level of the fisheries management program, including stings as a field technician, sturgeon biologist, fisheries bureau section chief and statewide planning director.  As fisheries management director, he'll lead a staff of 226 people and help manage a $27 million budget.

5-1-14 winery-winter losses

SAUK CITY, Wis. (AP) — The severe winter has resulted in significant crop losses for Wisconsin's largest winery.  Wollersheim Winery owner Phillipe Coquard says he's used to Wisconsin winters, but his grape crop didn't stand a chance against this year's record-breaking stretch of below zero temperatures. Coquard says Wollersheim will likely lose 30 to 50 percent of its crop.  When Coquard surveyed the winery's grape buds in January, a majority were black inside and already dead.  In 2012, the grapes bloomed ahead of schedule, but a machine named the Frost Dragon saved most of them from a spring frost. Coquard lost 10 percent of his crop then.  He says the damaged grapes will impact the popular Domaine du Sac wine and new brandy the winery is releasing this weekend for the second time.

5-1-14 walker-book

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Gov. Scott Walker's statement of economic interest discloses that he received payment of more than $1,000 from book publisher Penguin Sentinel for his book released last fall, but he does not reveal the total he was paid.  The form filed Wednesday does not require Walker to disclose the entire amount he was paid for "Unintimidated: A Governor's Story and a Nation's Challenge," which was released in November.  Walker has declined to say how much he was paid for the book, which detailed his fight with public unions and the subsequent recall election. The book publisher has also declined to say how much Walker was paid.

5-1-14 prosser-campaign debt

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Wisconsin Supreme Court Justice David Prosser is still paying off debts associated with the 2011 election that nearly cost him his seat on the bench. Finance records show the conservative justice's campaign owes about $200,000 to a Milwaukee law firm. Prosser's campaign manager says the debt comes from the cost of a statewide recount that came after a very close election.

5-1-14 dance team coach fired

MARSHFIELD, Wis. (AP) — A dance coach fired after her team performed to an edited version of Robin Thicke's popular but racy hit "Blurred Lines" has filed a discrimination complaint with the Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development.  Coach Lisa Joling says in her complaint that male coaches who allowed more egregious songs to be played in locker rooms or at school functions faced no penalties.
Joling says her firing has hurt her reputation and the private business she owns.  "Blurred Lines" topped the Billboard 100 chart for 12 weeks, but critics say its sexually suggestive lyrics perpetuate misogynistic attitudes toward women.  The dance team performed to the song at the first home football game.  Marshfield School District Superintendent Peg Geegan says the district is reviewing Joling's complaint.

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

4-30-14 fire quickly extinguished at s. main street business



On Tuesday, April 29, 2014, at 3:56 PM the Fond du Lac Fire Department was dispatched to a report of a fire in a business at 535 South Main Street. Upon arrival firefighters encountered light smoke, while searching for a source they located the fire above the ceiling.  The fire was quickly extinguished and was contained to the point of origin. The probable cause of the fire is electrical, but a definitive cause will need to be determined by an electrical engineer.  There is no damage estimate available at this time.  There were no injuries reported.    The Fond du Lac Police Department assisted with traffic and scene control.  Alliant Energy was called to restore power to the building.  Firefighters will be canvassing the surrounding area Wednesday passing out home fire safety information to all nearby residents.

4-30-14 fdl teachers given non-renewal notices for performance

WFDL news has learned that for the first time since the passage of Act 10 the Fond du lac school district  is issuing non renewal notices for two teachers based on performance.   Fond du Lac school board members were apprised of the situation in closed session this week that the district was not renewing the contract for two teachers based on performance evaluations by their building principals.  Superintendent Dr. Jim Sebert is not naming the teachers or saying where they taught school.  "Its a couple of situations where we're asking the board, statutorily we need to do this before the teacher contracts are issued May 15th,"   Sebert told WFDL news.  "...to look at a couple of individuals we would not like to renew for the following school year."   Sebert says he can't talk about the reasons for non-renewal because they are school employees. Districts, including Fond du lac,  have issued non renewal notices in the past for budgetary reasons…but at least in Fond du lac's case this is a first  based on performance in the classroom.  "You will see it and have probably seen it in some surrounding districts where a lot of non-renewal notices are issued as ways of lay-off absent collective bargaining language,"  Sebert said.  The district will give the affected teachers notice and the teachers will have five days to appeal to the school board.   If the teachers resign they would not have the non-renewal notice on their teaching record.

4-30-14 federal judge rules voter id law unconstitutional

MILWAUKEE (AP) — A federal judge in Milwaukee has struck down Wisconsin's voter Identification law, saying it unfairly burdens poor and minority voters.  U.S. District Judge Lynn Adelman issued his long-awaited decision Tuesday. It invalidates Wisconsin's law.  Wisconsin's law would have required voters to show a state-issued photo ID at the polls. Supporters said it would cut down on voter fraud and boost public confidence in the integrity of the election process.  But Adelman sided with opponents, who said it disproportionately excluded poor and minority voters because they're less likely to have photo IDs or the documents needed to get them.  Wisconsin's law was only in effect for a 2012 primary before a Dane County judge declared it unconstitutional.

4-30-14 voter id-legislature

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — A federal judge's ruling striking down Wisconsin's voter identification law as unconstitutional seems to leave the Legislature with little room to act. U.S. District Judge Lynn Adelman said in his ruling Tuesday that given the evidence at trial that blacks and Latinos are more likely than whites to lack an ID, "it is difficult to see how an amendment to the photo ID requirement could remove its disproportionate racial impact and discriminatory result."

4-30-14 voter id-van hollen

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Republican Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen says he will appeal the federal court ruling striking down Wisconsin's voter identification law. Van Hollen says she is "disappointed with the order" and continue "to believe Wisconsin's law is constitutional." Republican Gov. Scott Walker has made the voter ID law one of his top priorities.

4-30-14 voter id-walker

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — A federal court ruling striking down Wisconsin's law requiring voters to show photo identification at the polls could lead to lawmakers returning for a special session.  Republican Gov. Scott Walker said last month that he would call lawmakers into special session if the courts ruled against the law. Walker signed it in 2011 and has made it a priority.  U.S. District Judge Lynn Adelman on Tuesday sided with opponents of the law and ruled that the law violated the U.S. Constitution's guarantee of equal protection. A separate challenge is pending before the Wisconsin Supreme Court.
Walker's spokeswoman says a reaction to the ruling was coming shortly.  Republican legislative leaders have said they would support a special session to pass a law that could be in effect for the November elections.

4-30-14 voter id-aclu

MILWAUKEE (AP) — A spokesman for the American Civil Liberties Union says his group is "ecstatic" that a federal judge in Milwaukee has struck down Wisconsin's voter Identification law.  U.S. District Judge Lynn Adelman said in his Tuesday decision that the law requiring voters to show a state-issued photo ID at the polls unfairly burdens poor and minority voters.  The ACLU was among the groups and individuals who sued to have the law overturned.  ACLU spokesman Dale Ho says Adelman fairly interpreted the evidence and his organization feels "vindicated" by the judge's decision.

4-30-14 voter id law ruling-democrats react

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Democratic legislative leaders are praising a federal judge's ruling striking down Wisconsin's voter identification requirement law as unconstitutional. Democratic Assembly Minority Leader Peter Barca says Tuesday's ruling is "an important step toward reversing the Republicans' anti-democracy agenda and upholding Wisconsin's proud tradition of high voter turnout."

4-30-14 additional charge filed against bomb threat suspect

A Markesan man already charged in connection with a rash of bomb threats in Waupun and several other communities faces a new charge.  Thirty one year old Aaron Schreiber is charged with making a bomb scare in connection with a bomb threat made in Ripon.  Schreiber was scheduled to make his initial Fond du Lac court appearance Tuesday but the appearance will be rescheduled.  He was earlier charged with making a dozen bomb threats in Waupun alone where police chief Dale Heeringa says he’s never seen so many threats made in a relatively short period of time by one person. "Never.  In my 38 years in law enforcement this one was a major disruption for our police department and our community,"  Heeringa told WFDL news.  "We stuck a ton of resources into this thing before we came up with a suspect, interviewed him and got an admission from him."   Heeringa says one of the bomb threats was made at Waupun Memorial Hospital.  
Heeringa says it appeared that Schreiber was feeding off the attention that his actions received and the chief says every threat had to be taken seriously.

4-30-14 holocaust survivor goes "between the lines"

A Holocaust survivor who lives in Wisconsin says he remembers as a boy spending time in a concentration camp and marching past Adolph Hitler as a Hitler Youth.  Bruno Josefowski of  Princeton shared  his perspectives during a lecture Tuesday at UW Fond du Lac and on AM 1170 WFDL's Between the Lines program.  Josefowski  was imprisoned with his family in Auschwitz when he was ten years old.   "When we entered the camp, the thing was to keep quiet, keep out of site of the German soldiers,"   Josefowski told 
AM 1170's Between the Lines program.   "If you don't you would get a rifle out over your head." Josefowski says he remembers hearing gunshots in the prison camp, but as a young child,  didn’t realize what was going on.  He also has memories of Jews being marched to the gas chambers.   "Most of the people were separated and any Jews that were there were gone and you never seen them again,"  Josefowski remembers.   Josefowski was a non-Jewish Pole and recalls marching past Hitler as a Hitler youth.  "I marched past him within about 20 feet.  On his (Hitler's) birthday they had a big parade in Nuremburg and the army was lined up and I was in 4th grade and had a uniform and that was a mandatory thing,"  Josefowski said.  Josefowski's daughter, Ann Davis, is a student at UW Fond du Lac.  She says her father's story of survival as a little boy is remarkable.  "I think about how did he survive and them I'm thinking if he didn't I wouldn't be here and neither would my siblings,"  David told WFDL news.  "It really centers you in thinking your life has meaning, it has purpose because of all of those who came before you."

4-30-14 kewaskum honorary blood drive

The American Red Cross is holding a blood drive next week in honor of two Kewaskum High School teachers.  Red Cross spokesperson Brian Gomez says the blood drive is in honor of teachers Stacy LaRonge and Dan Ross, who received two blood transfusions while recovering from a kidney transplant. Gomez says Ross was diagnosed last year with a kidney disease and LaRonge volunteered her kidney to start a donation chain which ended with Ross finding a viable, healthy match.  Gomez says it shows just how tight-knit the community and school is.  The blood drive will be held from noon to 6pm Tuesday May 6th at

the Kewaskum Middle School gymnasium.

4-30-14 infant immunization week

Public health officials are encouraging parents to make sure their children are current with their vaccinations.  This is National Infant immunization week.  Fond du Lac County Public Health nurse Joyce Mann says vaccines are among the most successful and cost-effective public health tools available for preventing disease and death.  Mann says a statewide whooping cough outbreak is a perfect case in point why its important to get immunized.  Mann says some vaccine-preventable diseases like mumps and measles have recently been reported in Wisconsin.  She says these diseases Can be especially serious for infants and young children. 2014 marks the 20th anniversary of National Infant Immunization week.

4-30-14 wisconsin website

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — The state of Wisconsin's primary website has been redesigned.  The site, www.Wisconsin.gov, re-launched this week with a new mobile-friendly design and streamlined content. The typography and motifs are inspired by famed architect Frank Lloyd Wright.  The new home page highlights the state's latest unemployment rate, includes six different rotating photos of Gov. Scott Walker, a link to a driver's license practice test and the factoid that 2.8 billion pounds of cheese are produced annually in the state.  It also includes links to a variety of commonly accessed services, such as getting on the no-call list and obtaining a fishing license.  The state Department of Administration says the site received more than 2.9 million unique visits last year and 6.1 million page views.

4-30-14 dead fish

ROME, Wis. (AP) — Thousands of dead fish are washing up on the shores of some central Wisconsin lakes.  Wisconsin's Department of Natural Resources says the phenomenon is likely the result of thick ice that trapped fish in waters with low oxygen.  Residents near Lake Petenwell are seeing a second unusual sight — pelicans have come to scoop up the dead carp and walleye.  The DNR expects the cold winter will result in more dead fish in lakes throughout the state. The department expects winter kill to be worst in shallower, backwater areas.  DNR Fish Team supervisor Justine Hasz says it's likely the pelicans are turning up because their normal staging grounds on Lake Michigan are still frozen.

4-30-14 wolf hunt

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Wisconsin wildlife officials say the state's wolf population is still well over goal.
The Department of Natural Resources said in a statement Tuesday that preliminary results from the 2014 late-winter count indicates at least 658 to 687 wolves roaming the state.  That's down about 19 percent from the 2013 count of a minimum of 809 to 834 wolves. But it's still nearly double the DNR's current population goal of 350 wolves and more than six times the federal delisting goal of 100 wolves for Wisconsin and Michigan's Upper Peninsula.  The count is typically conducted during the time of year when the population is at its lowest point. The population can nearly double when pups are born in the spring.

4-30-14 world war two grenade

FOX LAKE, Wis. (AP) — Fox Lake police got a little more than they bargained for during a recent prescription drug take-back day. A local resident showed up with a cardboard box containing a live World War II mortar round.  Police Chief Jim Rohr said he gently took possession of the box, which had a date of October 1945 on it. He says it was a little unnerving.  Rohr took the box to a nearby field and called the Dane County bomb squad.  The mortar round was identified as a 50mm high explosive Japanese "knee mortar."  Rohr urges anyone who finds such an item to call the police before touching or moving it and officers would come and take a look to determine what should be done.  Besides a nearly 70-year-old grenade, Fox Lake police also collected 187 pounds of prescription drugs.

4-30-14 wisconsin governor-pardons

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Veterans and Republican supporters of Gov. Scott Walker are among the dozens of people who have asked that Walker pardon a decorated Iraqi War veteran.   Walker is not budging on his position against issuing any pardons.  But pressure is growing on Walker to consider pardoning Eric Pizer, a combat veteran and former Marine Corps corporal. He wants a pardon from a felony conviction he got for fighting after he returned from his second combat tour.  Four dozen people have sent emails and letters to Walker, urging him to pardon Pizer. Just one writer said Pizer should not be given leniency.  Pizer wants to become a police officer. His felony conviction prevents him from carrying a gun.

4-30-14 pig virus

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Wisconsin's state veterinarian has been asked to help in the fight against a virus that has killed millions of pigs in the past year. Porcine Epidemic Diarrhea causes severe diarrhea in newborn piglets, who die of dehydration. The virus is believed to have come from China and showed up in the U.S. last May. Wisconsin state veterinarian, Dr. Paul McGraw will help develop a program requiring farms to report outbreaks of PED and participate in a program to help control the disease.

4-29-14 fdl street closure

The Department of Public Works would like to inform the motoring public of the closure of South Main Street at the 15th Street intersection. The closure will begin Tuesday, April 29 and remain closed approximately one week. Don E Parker Excavating will be excavating for underground utility installation. Motorists are encouraged to follow the posted detour route utilizing 9th Street, South Park Avenue and East Pioneer Road.

Monday, April 28, 2014

4-29-14 baby theresa anniversary

Tuesday marks the fifth anniversary since the body of a newborn girl was found in a garbage bag in the woods in the Dodge County town of Theresa.  Since the discovery of  Baby Theresa many leads have been exhausted and the mother of the child has yet to be identified.  Lead detective Vicki Brugger says the investigation ruled out the possibility that residents close to where the baby was found were related to her. Baby Theresa was found on Lone Road less than a mile from Highway 175 and less than three miles from Highway 41.  Sheriff Pat Ninmann says she believes people other than the mother are aware of what happened.  Anyone with information about the identity of the biological mother of Baby Theresa is asked to contact the Dodge County Sheriff’s Office.

4-29-14 fdl high school newspaper censored over article on censorship

Students are planning a protest this week over a new Fond du Lac school district censorship policy following an article earlier this year in the high school newspaper that focused on sexual assault.   Cardinal Columns art designer, Austin Klewicki, tells WFDL news dozens of students from Fond du Lac and other area high schools plan to participate in the sit-in protest outside the principal’s office Thursday morning.  After the article was published the superintendent  instituted a new policy that said the principal and superintendent had final say on any article before it was published.  Klewicki asked the school board Monday night to reconsider the policy before the school year is over.  Superintendent Dr. Jim Sebert says he is aware of the planned protest.  Meanwhile UW Oshkosh journalism professor Vince Filak says after all of the negative national publicity surrounding the school district's actions after the first article he learned the principal has censored a follow-up article on censorship, by telling students they couldn’t run a graphic along with the article of a student with duck tape over the mouth.  "Its probably the closest version of irony I've seen in a long time and I find it offensive that they would be willing to step out on something like that,"  Filak told WFDL news.  "There's nothing wrong with it (article) there's nothing obscene with it.  My understanding is the principal felt it was disrespectful.   I find his censorship disrespectful and that's why I'm here."  Filak says he was also made aware that the principal told journalism students they needed to use courtesy titles such as Mr. and Mrs. in their articles.  AP style says courtesy titles should not be used unless its a direct quote or when the subject being discussed specifically requests it.

4-29-14 fdl school administrators meeting with teachers over new compensation plan

Fond du lac school district officials are meeting with teachers to talk about a new compensation plan that some teachers say is unfair to longterm employees.  Superintendent Dr. Jim Sebert  says the school district human resources and business manager are meeting with teachers at each school to discuss the plan and inform the teachers where they are slotted under the plan.  Fond du Lac High School band director, Matt McVeigh, says while overall he thinks it’s a great plan his concern is where some veteran teachers are being slotted and specifically in his wife’s situation. "We love what we do but we don't want to be taken advantage of. either,"  McVeigh told WFDL news.  "In my wife's case she has been kept very low for very long we were surprised she won't be eligible for any movement until essentially she's done with her 14th year of teaching."   McVeigh says he wants the school board to understand their concerns when they review the plan in six months.  Sebert says the district is listening to the teacher’s concerns.  Critics say some teaching veterans are locked into their present salary because they are just above the top of the scale that is part of the new plan.

4-29-14 fdl school board reorganization meeting

The Fond du lac School board has re-elected Elizabeth Hayes as board president.  Hayes was elected to the post at Monday night’s school board reorganizational meeting.  Kathleen Nagle was elected board vice president.   The two newly re-elected board members, Mark Strand and Julie Nett,  were sworn into office.
The board also voted to keep their compensation the same.  The school board president makes $1800 annually and other school board members make $1600.

4-29-14 new fdl bar

The Fond du Lac Alcohol Licensing Committee is recommending approval of an alcohol license for a new owner of a longtime bar located near the entrance to Fond du Lac’s Lakeside Park.  Jennifer Price of North Fond du Lac plams to open The End Zone at 507 N. Main St  on June 1.  According to a memo from Fond du Lac police chief Bill Lamb Price intends to purchase the business from the current owner and lease the property.  Police are recommending approval of the license request.  The city council will take up the recommendation at their May 14th meeting.

4-29-14 fdl hit and run update

Fond du Lac police are releasing more details into a hit and run incident last week involving a car crashing into an apartment building.  Assistant police chief Steve Klein says police have a more detailed description of the vehicle that slammed into the Security Drive apartments last Thursday evening.  Nobody was injured.  Klein says the apartment complex sustained more than $10,000 in  damage.  Klein says police believe the hit and run car was also significantly damaged.  The suspect vehicle is described as a  2006-2009 four door Chrysler Sebring, gray or silver in color.    Anyone with information is asked to call police.

4-29-14 eagle in boat

MENOMONIE, Wis. (AP) — A bald eagle injured when he flew into a shrink-wrapped boat moving along Interstate 94 in western Wisconsin is on the equivalent of bed rest for birds.  That's according to Julia Ponder, executive director of the Raptor Center at the University of Minnesota in St. Paul.  The adult male flew into the boat Friday as it was being towed at about 70 miles an hour near Menomonie.
Scott and Marilyn Kregness eventually found the eagle beneath the wrap and called bird rescuers.
Ponder said Monday his internal organs were jarred and he has an eye hemorrhage. He's in a hospitalization cage and possibly in a couple weeks they will test his flying. From there, he may need to be reconditioned.  But Ponder says it's a good sign that he's feisty.

4-29-14 comcast-charter

MILWAUKEE (AP) — Most cable customers in Wisconsin will be served by Charter Communications under a deal announced Monday by Charter and Comcast.  Comcast is buying Time Warner Cable for $45.2 billion in a deal expected to close by the end of the year.  Charter spokesman Alex Dudley says Charter will then buy 1.4 million Time Warner subscribers from Comcast for an estimated $7.3 billion.
Charter also will buy one-third of a spin-off company Comcast is creating to service 2.5 million Comcast customers. That deal is worth an estimated $2.1 billion.  Charter and Comcast also will exchange about 1.6 million customers.  Comcast spokesman John Demming says the changes will primarily affect customers in the Green Bay and Milwaukee markets.  Dudley says customers should find the transition from one provider to another seamless.

4-29-14 wrongfully convicted-claims

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — The family of a Wisconsin man who died soon after he was denied compensation for a wrongful conviction plans to press his case again before the Wisconsin Claims Board.  Forest Shomberg spent six years in prison for a sexual assault before DNA evidence cleared him in 2009. He sought $102,500 in compensation, but the board voted unanimously against his claim in 2012. An Eau Claire court reversed the board's decision in June 2013 and ordered it to hear Shomberg's case again.
Shomberg was found dead in a parked car in Madison two months later.  He had asked for the state maximum $25,000 for his wrongful conviction and more than $77,000 for legal fees. An attorney for his family will restate his case at a board hearing Wednesday.

4-28-14 second democrat announces run for 6th district congressional seat

Oshkosh, WI (AP)  A second Democrat has entered the race to replace U.S. Rep. Tom Petri.  Petri announced earlier this month that he was not running for re-election to the congressional seat in eastern and central Wisconsin.   Gary Wetzel, a Ripon retiree, will vie for the Democratic nomination.  The 64-year-old Wetzel will run against Winnebago County Executive Mark Harris in the Democratic primary.  Wetzel says he doesn't expect to win, but he wants to give voters a choice. Wetzel has a mechanical engineering degree and worked most recently as a substitute teacher.  Three Republicans also are running for the seat.

Sunday, April 27, 2014

4-28-14 former dodge county sheriff will make decision soon on run for congress

The former Dodge County sheriff says he plans to make a decision within about a week on whether he will run for congress.  Former sheriff Todd Nehls says he is seriously considering entering the race for the 6th District Congressional seat.  The 53 year old Nehls retired as sheriff about a year ago and says his 35 years in law enforcement  and being a war veteran give him the experience and background to serve in congress.
Nehls says he plans to make a decision on whether to run soon.  Nehls says he would be someone who would be able to reach across the aisle.  Fond du Lac congressman Tom Petri announced that he would not be seeking re-election after 35 years in the U.S. House.

4-28-14 fdl man found not guilty of child sex assault

A Fond du Lac man has been found not guilty of child sex assault.  A jury deliberated only about an hour before finding 35 year old Garrett Toney not guilty of first degree sexual assault of a child.   A special prosecutor from Calumet County was assigned to the case because the defendant is a cousin of Fond du Lac County District Attorney Eric Toney.

4-28-14 convicted sex offender moves back to fdl

An Oshkosh man convicted of sexually assaulting a developmentally disabled woman in Oakfield is living in Fond du Lac.  Fifty eight year old Steven Deichsel was released from prison after serving nearly six
years behind bars.  Deichsel has been living at 72½ Butler St. since April 14.   He was previously living at 457  Thomas St.   Deichsel was accused of sexually assaulting a 28-year-old female relative who uses a ventilator to breathe.  According to a criminal complaint the victim is a woman who has heart problems

 and mental-disability issues.

4-28-14 injury accident

One person was injured in a two-vehicle crash at a Fond du Lac intersection.  Assistant police chief Steve Klein says the accident happened  last Thursday  at the intersection of Arndt and Seymour streets. Klein, vehicles driven by Eric Buhler, 21, of Fond du Lac and Martha Goodman, 62, of Fond du Lac collided in the intersection.  Goodman received apparent minor injuries.

Friday, April 25, 2014

4-28-14 fdl police make another drug arrest

Fond du Lac police have made another arrest as part of a drug sweep earlier this week.  Assistant police chief Steve Klein says Charles Brunner was taken into custody Thursday evening.  That brings to eleven the number of people arrested this week for delivery of heroin and or cocaine.  Police still have arrest warrants for seven individuals.  The drug sweep was the result of an ongoing investigation by the Lake Winnebago MEG unit and Fond du Lac police.

4-28-14 car slams into fdl apartment building then leaves the scene

Fond du Lac police are looking for the driver of a car that slammed into an apartment building and fled the scene.  Assistant police chief Steve klein says the hit and run crash happened shortly before 5pm Thursday at the Security Drive apartments.  Nobody was injured.  Klein says the apartment complex sustained
significant damage. The suspect vehicle is described as a newer model, four door,  silver or gray colored  vehicle.    Anyone with information is asked to call police.

4-28-14 fdl woman meets paramedics who saved her life

A Fond du lac woman who was brought back to life by Fond du lac paramedics after suffering a heart attack had a chance to meet her heroes and thank them.  The woman met the paramedics and had a chance to talk with them at the Main Street fire station Friday.  Fire chief Pete O’Leary says on February 17th  rescue personnel were called to a report of a woman experiencing chest pains.  O’Leary says  the woman suffered cardiac arrest and paramedics used Advanced-Life-Support techniques to revive the patient.  The woman was transported to the hospital were she was treated and later released.  The patient later wrote chief O’Leary a letter expressing her gratitude for the crew that helped save her.  

4-28-14 wet campgrounds

RHINELANDER, Wis. (AP) — Outdoor enthusiasts will have to wait a little longer before they can enjoy campgrounds and recreation trails in Wisconsin's Northwoods. Ground conditions haven't dried enough at the Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest, so officials are planning to keep recreation areas closed until at least mid-May. Officials say all trails will be closed until about May 22nd.

4-28-14 plant product exports

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — The exporting of plant products from Wisconsin continues to be strong, thanks largely to a booming Asian market. The state Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection reported this week that first quarter totals continue to be on the same record pace as the last three quarters of 2013. The number of export certificates issued by the department between January and March is up 60 percent when compared to last year.

4-28-14 fdl street closure

The Department of Public Works would like to inform the motoring public of the closure of South Main Street at the 15th Street intersection. The closure will begin Tuesday, April 29 and remain closed approximately one week. Don E Parker Excavating will be excavating for underground utility installation. Motorists are encouraged to follow the posted detour route utilizing 9th Street, South Park Avenue and East Pioneer Road.

4-26-14 waupun restaurant burglary suspect arrested

A Waupun teen has been arrested in connection with two restaurant burglaries.  The 17 year old is accused of burglarizing Chang Jiang Restaurant and  Helen’s Kitchen. Waupun police received a tip from a Waupun bank about a large amount of coinage being converted to paper money. The lead came after police notified local financial institutions to be on the lookout for a large amount of change that had been taken in the Helen’s Kitchen burglary Friday.  Police say the boy confessed to both burglaries.

4-26-14 petri-student artwork

Fond du Lac congressman Tom Petri  will attend a reception to honor the participants of the annual Sixth District Art Competition for High School Students in Fond du Lac Saturday.  The reception, which includes an exhibit of all the artwork submitted to this year's competition, will take place at the Thelma Sadoff Center for the Arts from 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and is  open to the public.  The winners of the competition will be announced by Rep. Petri during the event.  The Congressional Art Competition is voluntarily sponsored by Members of Congress through competitions held in their congressional districts and affords high school
students the opportunity to showcase their talents in Washington, D.C.  The first-place artwork chosen in each congressional district will be sent to Washington to be displayed in the U.S. Capitol for one year.  Artwork will be on display at THELMA through May  4. 

Thursday, April 24, 2014

4-25-14 high school journalism student to receive state award

A Fond du Lac High School student is being recognized by the Wisconsin Coalition Against Sexual Assault for her article in the school newspaper focusing on the rape culture at the school.  Tanvi Kumar’s Cardinal Columns article “The Rape Joke”  prompted the school superintendent to censor the newspaper...drawing national attention to the article and the school district.  Kumar will be presented with the Coalition’s Voices of Courage Award at a ceremony this weekend in Madison.  In the aftermath of the school’s response to the article Fond du Lac ASTOP Director Linda Selk-Yerges says she has met with school officials to discuss issues raised in the article.  Yerges says ASTOP also spoke to a group of about 250 students about sexual assault.  Yerges says ASTOP has seen an increase in the number of calls and walk-ins since the article was published.

4-25-14 mptc addition

Construction is expected to begin at the end of next month or early June on a new addition at Fond du Lac’s Moraine Park Technical College.  Bids were opened Thursday for the $1.5 million project.  MPTC president Dr. Sheila Ruhland says the project will better define the entrance to the college.  "It has a prominent main entrance that when students come in, when community members come in, even when our wolf-pack walkers come to the campus to walk on a daily basis, they will walk into our student services-registration area,"  Dr. Ruhland told WFDL news.   "...a concierge approach, so you'll be able to come in and an individual staff person is there.  Its that one stop front entrance."  The Wisconsin Technical College System Board will vote on the addition at their May 6th meeting and the MPTC District Board is expected to approve the project at their May 21st meeting.  Dr. Ruhland says a groundbreaking ceremony is planned for June 2nd:

4-25-14 fdl councilmember calls council vacancy appointment process "a step back for democracy"

A Fond du Lac city councilmember says the decision not to appoint a council candidate in the spring election to fill a vacancy on council is a step backward for democracy.  Councilmember Gary Miller says instead of accepting applications and appointing someone, the council should have appointed Mick Burroughs who campaigned for office and fell less than 200 votes short of  being elected earlier this month.  "I don't see how a city councilmember can justify taking 1,302 votes that Mr. Burroughs got and change it to four.  Four being the minimum number of votes it takes on the council to fill that position,"  Miller told WFDL news.  Miller encourages residents to call their councilmembers if they feel the same way he does. "The 1302 people that voted for Mick, I hope their memory is long and will last another 12 months because to me it is absolutely wrong.  There are councilmembers that used their Facebook accounts to come up with their decision and that's wrong,"  Miller said.  "What we've done, I think, we've taken a giant step back for democracy in the city of Fond du lac."  Applications for the vacancy are being accepted through May 2nd.   After reviewing the applications the council will interview a group of finalists and make an appointment at their May 14th meeting.

4-25-14 waupun mayor, aldermen start new term with hefty pay raise

The newly elected Waupun mayor says he wants the common council to reconsider hefty  pay increases for at least his position at their first meeting in May.  Mayor Kyle Clark says the pay increase proposal came out of the blue last fall during budget discussions.  "This happened under the former mayor's tenure.  She did have an opportunity to decline the increase or veto the increase and neither was done,'  Clark told AM 1170 WFDL's Between the Lines program.  "When I announced my candidacy for mayor that definately would have been a campaign issue."   Former mayor Jodi Steger decided against running for re-election.  Under the plan approved by the council last November re-elected aldermen Pete Kaczmarski, Ryan Mielke and Nancy Vanderkin now get $6000 annually…a 33 percent increase.   Clark’s annual salary is $10,000…up from the $6000  Steger was receiving.   Clark decided to run for mayor after he was announcing that he was retiring as city administrator.  Clark points out the city has saved money by consolidating the administrator and treasurer positions and now leaving the administrator position vacant for the time being.   The council says it will take a  “wait and see”  approach before deciding about filling the administrator’s position.

4-25-14 sturgeon spawning

GREEN BAY, Wis. (AP) — The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources says the sturgeon spawning season is about to begin.  The traditional rite of spring in Wisconsin is a big draw for nature lovers who come to the Wolf, Fox and Embarrass rivers each year about this time. DNR biologist Ryan Koenig says male sturgeon have been "cruising" the Wolf River. That means spawning will likely start Thursday or Friday with heavy spawning activity by the weekend.  The large, ancient fish spawn in the shallow, rocky areas of the rivers, so it's easy to get a look at a unique fish that spends most of its life in deeper water.  Sturgeon guards are expected to start work Thursday. The volunteers make sure the sturgeon aren't poached.

4-25-14 walker-christie

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Republican New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie is singing the praises of Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker in Time magazine's list of the 100 most influential people of 2014.  Both Christie and Walker are considering 2016 presidential runs, making Christie's endorsement of Walker all the more interesting. But it's also not unprecedented. Christie is chairman of the Republican Governors Association and has previously spoken highly of Walker as he faces re-election this fall.  Christie's three paragraph item on Walker cites his fight over collective bargaining and his successful defeat of a recall election in 2012 as signs of Walker's leadership.  Walker is pictured leaning against a Harley-Davidson motorcycle with the state Capitol in the background.  In 2011, Walker wrote a piece for U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan when he made the list.

4-25-14 planned parenthood lawsuit

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — A Planned Parenthood attorney is trying to convince a judge to permanently block a 2012 law that sets out conditions for abortions.  The law requires a doctor to determine whether a woman's consent is voluntary and be in the room when the woman is given abortion-inducing drugs. Violators could face prison.  Planned Parenthood sued in Dane County Circuit Court in February 2013 arguing the law is vague. The organization contends it's unclear if the doctor must be present when the woman receives the drugs or when she ingests them and how doctors should determine whether someone is forcing the woman into the procedure.  The organization's attorney, Susan Crawford, told Judge Richard Niess during a hearing Thursday that doctors need to know exactly what they must do to avoid criminal charges.

4-25-14 uw reserves

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — The Legislature's audit committee has unanimously approved the University of Wisconsin System's new policy for reporting surpluses.  The committee voted Thursday, with lawmakers praising the work of new UW President Ray Cross to better report the status of reserves and other funds throughout the university system.  The state budget required the regents to write a policy governing how much cash campuses can have on hand after word broke last year that campuses finished fiscal year 2012 with huge surpluses.  The regents' plan calls for campuses to finish each fiscal year with cash on hand totaling at least 10 percent of annual expenditures. The campuses would need regent approval to finish with more than 15 percent.  The plan prohibits campuses from using the 10 percent target as justification for raising tuition.

4-25-14 rescued eagles

LA CROSSE, Wis. (AP) — Workers at the Coulee Region Humane Society have rescued two male eagles entangled in a turf war. Humane Society supervisor Kathy KasaKaitas says the raptors are territorial and one had apparently invaded the other's air space.  KasaKaitas and animal control officer Lucas Brennan became referees in the eagles' fight in an Onalaska neighborhood Tuesday.

4-25-14 endangered bat

TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. (AP) — Four states in the Upper Midwest want federal officials to delay listing the northern long-eared bat as an endangered species. Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota and Wisconsin made the request this month to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, which proposed the designation in October.

4-24-14 dodge county barn fire

On Wednesday, April 23, 2014 at 9:39 PM, Dodge County Central Communications received a report of a fully involved barn fire at W5883 Sun Road, Town of Clyman.  Clyman Fire Department responded and was assisted by the following fire departments:  Reeseville, Lowell, Watertown, Beaver Dam, Horicon, Juneau, Hustisford, Lebanon, Ixonia, Woodland and Neosho.  There were no animals in the barn at the time of the fire and no reports of injuries.   The barn which contained a heating and cooling business was a total loss.  Cause has not yet been determined.  The scene was cleared at approximately 1:30 AM.  Dodge County Sheriff’s Office and DCERT assisted at the scene.

4-24-14 fdl brush fire

On Wednesday, April 23, 2014, at 7:15 PM the Fond du Lac Fire Department was dispatched to a report of a brush fire in the area of 231 Auburn Street. Upon arrival firefighters found a large brush fire across the railroad tracks from access point, so train traffic was halted while crews worked to extinguish fire.  FDL FD used all-terrain vehicle to extinguish fire and Mount Calvary FD assisted with their brush fire ATV as well. Town of Fond du Lac Fire Department also responded to assist. The cause of the fire is unknown. The Fond du Lac Police Department assisted with traffic and scene control. 

4-24-14 kitchen fire

On Wednesday April 23, 2014 at 5:55 p.m. the Fond du Lac Fire Department responded to a report of  kitchen fire at 189 E. 2nd St.   Upon arrival firefighters met with residents who were safely outside of the house who believed the fire was extinguished.  Crews confirmed the fire was extinguished and checked for extension. There was moderate smoke conditions throughout the house and fire crews assisted with ventilation of the home.  One resident sustained non-life threatening injuries while extinguishing the fire. He was subsequently transported by ambulance to the hospital for further treatment.  Fond du Lac Police assisted with traffic management.  “We urge all residents to comply with Wisconsin law which requires smoke alarms in residential dwellings, said Fire Chief Peter O’Leary.  Each time our fire crews encounter a home without working smoke alarms, we will install new ones free of charge which we did before we left the house.”  Firefighters will be canvassing the neighborhood surrounding the fire on Thursday providing fire safety information to nearby residents.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

4-24-14 fdl council will accept applications to fill vacancy

The Fond du Lac city council will accept applications before making an appointment to fill a council vacancy.  The council discussed the matter  at their meeting Wednesday night.  Dan Manning resigned last month because of a new job.  There is still a year left in his term.  Applications will be accepted through May 2nd.  The council will review the applicants, and bring back a select number of candidates for interviews on May 12th.   The council will make a selection at their May 14th meeting and the new councilmember will be sworn into office at the May 28th council meeting.  Manning was part of a layoff two months ago of  a dozen salaried employees at Giddings and Lewis where he worked as a manufacturing engineer. Manning was the first openly gay member on council.  Councilmembers Miller and Block wanted the council to appoint Mick Burroughs to fill the vacancy after he finished fifth in the voting in the recent spring election.

4-24-14 fdl council approves special use permit for downtown marian nursing school

The Fond du Lac city council has approved a special use permit request for  Marian University’s proposal to locate its Nursing school in downtown Fond du lac.  The University wants to use the second floor of the AC
Nielson building on S. Main Street.  Fond du Lac Community Development Director Wayne Rollin says its great news  for downtown Fond du Lac.  Marian hopes to close on the purchase of the property by June.
Plans call for leasing the first floor to AC Nielson and the School of Nursing and Health Professions would be located on the second floor.

4-24-14 fdl council approves development agreement for rolling meadows senior housing

The Fond du lac city council has approved a development agreement  for a proposal to convert the former Rolling Meadows Nursing home into senior apartments.  The plan calls for 71 apartment units, a pool, activity lounge, fitness center, parking garage and expanded kitchen.  The dining room would overlook the Rolling Meadows golf course.  Community Development Director Wayne Rollin says the senior housing
concept evolved after an earlier attempt to convert the building into a hotel-conference center fell through.  The city council voted in favor of a plan that calls for tax incremental financing for a 10 year period or until payments reach $1 million dollars.  The developer says construction could start this summer with the apartments opening in the summer of 2015.

4-24-14 fdl drug arrests

Fond du Lac police have made ten arrests in the latest drug sweep.  Eight individuals were arrested for delivery of cocaine and two others for heroin delivery.    Police are still looking for eight other individuals.
The drug sweep was the result of an ongoing investigation by the Lake Winnebago MEG unit and Fond du Lac police.

4-24-14 statewide tornado drill

 Listen, Act and Live! Those words could protect you and your family during severe storm season.  Listening to warnings and seeking shelter immediately will save lives. Fond du Lac County Emergency Management director Jim McNabb says a statewide tornado drill is being held Thursday afternoon.  At 1pm the National Weather Service will issue a statewide mock tornado watch and at 1:45pm a mock tornado warning.  McNabb says its an ideal opportunity for schools, businesses and families to practice safe procedures for severe weather.  Wisconsin averages 23 tornadoes annually.  In 2013, 16 tornadoes touched down in Wisconsin including six during the night and early Morning hours of August 6th and 7th when an EF2 struck near New London in Waupaca and Outagamie counties.  That tornado injured two people and caused millions of dollars in damage.  In 2012 only four tornadoes were reported in Wisconsin.   In 2011 38 tornadoes were confirmed in Wisconsin.  The peak tornado season is April to August.

4-24-14 local unemployment rate

There is improvement in the local unemployment rate.  The Department of Workforce Development says the March unemployment rate in the city of Fond du Lac stands at 7.4 percent.  That’s down from 7.7 percent in February.  The Fond du Lac County jobless rate fell from 7.1 to 6.5 percent in March.  In Dodge County the unemployment rate fell four tenths of a percent to 7.4 percent.

4-24-14 fdl county man faces 7th owi

A town of Byron man is scheduled to go on trial next month for his seventh drunken driving offense.  A trial is scheduled for May 14th for 52 year old David Hodge.   Hodge was arrested in January on Martin Road.  His blood alcohol level was .293 percent…more than 14 times the legal limit for someone with four or more

owi convictions.

4-24-14 human trafficking bill

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Wisconsin police could not track cellphone locations without a warrant under a bill Governor Scott Walker has signed into law. The measure Walker signed Wednesday passed the Legislature in February with no opposition. The bill was among 55 bills Walker signed this week.

4-24-14 police-cellphone tracking

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Wisconsin police could not track cellphone locations without a warrant under a bill Governor Scott Walker has signed into law. The measure Walker signed today passed the Legislature in February with no opposition. The bill was among 55 bills Walker signed this week.

4-24-14 wi transportation shortfall

JANESVILLE, Wis. (AP) — Gov. Scott Walker is looking for new ways to fund a state transportation budget that is projected to fall short by as much as $700 million by 2017.   Walker was in Rock County on Tuesday for a Wisconsin Economic Development Corp. board meeting.  The Republican governor says a project to widen Interstate 90 from the Illinois border to Madison is still a priority despite the projected shortfall.  But Department of Transportation Secretary Mark Gottlieb says it is possible the $950 million project could be delayed if funding isn't found soon.  Walker called the current method of relying on gas taxes for revenue unsustainable because cars are becoming more fuel efficient. He says his administration is looking at tax reforms to fund the department going forward.

4-24-14 officer involved deaths

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Gov. Scott Walker has signed a bill that requires Wisconsin police departments to use outside investigators to probe officer-involved deaths.  The measure passed both the Assembly and Senate on voice votes earlier this year. The bill's chief sponsors, Reps. Chris Taylor and Garey Bies, issued a joint statement Wednesday saying the governor has signed the measure.  The bill comes in the wake of several high-profile officer involved deaths across the state in recent years. Supporters say it will alleviate concerns about investigators from the same department covering up their friends' misconduct.  Smaller departments routinely rely on outside agencies to investigate officer-involved deaths. But the state's two biggest departments, Madison and Milwaukee, investigate their own officers.

4-24-14 wi pension fund bonuses

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Wisconsin Chief Investment Officer David Villa is receiving the largest bonus out of the $13.3 million being awarded the state's pension fund managers as a reward for strong investment returns.  The bonuses approved by the State of Wisconsin Investment Board are 66 percent higher than the $8 million awarded last year. The board announced the overall bonuses on Friday and released the individual amounts Wednesday.  Villa will receive a $660,000 bonus this year. That compares with the nearly $421,000 he got last year.  The board manages more than $104 billion in assets, most of which is in the Wisconsin Retirement System.  The board says over the past five years the staff's investment performance above market returns has added $2.65 billion to the retirement system, which benefits more than 590,000 people.

4-24-14 baldwin-marquette

MILWAUKEE (AP) — U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin says Democrats need to be more vocal about how well health care reform is working. The Wisconsin Democrat talked politics during an hour-long discussion at Marquette University today. Topics included immigration, minimum wage and the nation's growing wealth divide.

4-24-14 fdl man pinned under u-haul

A Fond du Lac man was transported to the hospital with non life-threatening injuries after he was pinned underneath a truck.  Fire chief Pete O’Leary tells WFDL news the man was pinned under the tires of a U-Haul truck at Du Frane Rental on West Division Street shortly after noon Wednesday.  Fond du Lac firefighters used an inflatable air bag to left the vehicle off the man.

4-23-14 infant-sudden death

Fond du Lac police are investigating the sudden death of an infant.  Assistant police chief Steve Klein says police and rescue personnel were called this week to home in the 300 block of 4th Street  to a report of
a child not breathing.  The child was pronounced dead at St. Agnes Hospital.  Klein says the baby was born in March.  An autopsy will be conducted. 

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

4-23-14 fdl house fire

Nobody was injured in a fire that apparently started from fireplace ashes placed in a container in the garage at a southside Fond du Lac residence.  Firefighters were called to 1215 Wedgewood Lane south of Pioneer Road shortly  before 9pm Tuesday.  Fire Chief Pete O’Leary told WFDL news on the scene there was fire and smoke damage to the garage and smoke damage inside the home.  The family is able to stay in the home.

4-23-14 county board approves uw fdl student housing project

A new UW Fond du Lac student housing complex has been given the green light.   The Fond du Lac county board has approved an agreement with the developer and a lease agreement with a firm to operate and manage the facility.  Supervisors Zorn and Schumacher cast the only no votes.  The 84 bed facility will
be located on the UW Fond du Lac campus adjacent to the physical education building.  UW Fond du Lac Dean John Short says the student housing concept is a unique public-private partnership where the developer gets the financing, designs the complex and hires resident assistants and a live-in manager to operate the facility.  Short says a survey showed a need for additional student housing.  The goal is to have the student housing complex open for the 2015 school year.

4-23-14 former fdl high school assistant teacher accused of obtaining prescription medication from student

A former assistant teacher at Fond du Lac High  School is accused of obtaining prescription medication from a student.   Twenty nine year old Kelly Gross is charged with using a child to manufacture/delivery drugs, possession with intent to deliver a controlled substance near a school and contributing to the delinquency of a child.  She is free on a thousand dollar signature bond.  A preliminary hearing is scheduled for May 8th.  According to a criminal complaint Gross  said her purse containing her Adderall prescription had been stolen and she wanted  medication to “get by” until she obtained a new prescription.  According to the complaint Gross offered to buy the 15 year old student cigarettes in exchange for the medication. Meanwhile Gross also faces a retail theft charge.  She appeared in court this month after an arrest warrant was issued when she failed to make her initial court appearance in January.  She is no longer employed by the school district.                                

4-23-14 free admission to thelma

Thelma Sadoff Center for the Arts (THELMA) announced today that admission to the two-level Contemporary Wing will be free for all through June 22.  “Admission is always free for THELMA members, but to celebrate local arts currently exhibited in the galleries, we decided to open it up to everyone,” said Kevin Miller, THELMA executive director.  THELMA also announced new summer hours that begin May 1. The Contemporary Wing will be open 11 am to 4 pm, Wednesdays, Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays, and 11 am to 8 pm Thursdays.  There are three exhibits featuring local artists at THELMA.
1.      2014 Congressional Art Competition features high school students in the 6th Congressional District and is sponsored by Congressman Tom Petri. This is a nationwide art program in which the local winner is permitted to display his or her work in the U.S. Capitol. The exhibit is open through May 4. A free reception is set for Saturday, April 26 from 10:30 am to 12:30 pm.
2.      Anthropology of Spirit by Hillary Quella, assistant professor of art at Marian University, is at THELMA through May 11. Quella uses film to produce her dream-like photos taken at night. 
3.      2014 Membership Exhibition, a juried exhibit featuring members of the THELMA, Fond du Lac Visual Artists, Fond du Lac Artists’ Association and Sheboygan Visual Artists, will be at THELMA from May 8 through June 22. A free reception is scheduled for May 8 from 5 to 8 pm.
The Contemporary Wing is open 10:30 am to 5 pm Monday through Wednesday and Friday, and open until 8 pm Thursdays. The galleries are also open during events.   THELMA is located at 51 Sheboygan St., in the heart of Downtown Fond du Lac’s Arts and Entertainment District.


4-23-14 trial date scheduled for fdl county man charged with 7th owi

A town of Byron man is scheduled to go on trial next month for his seventh drunken driving offense.  A trial is scheduled for May 14th for 52 year old David Hodge.  Hodge was arrested in January on Martin Road.  His blood alcohol level was .293 percent…more than 14 times the legal limit for someone with four or more
owi convictions.

.

4-23-14 rolling meadows senior living facility

The Fond du lac city council will vote Wednesday night on a tax incremental financing plan for a proposal to convert the former Rolling Meadows Nursing home into senior apartments.  The plan calls for 71 apartment
units, a pool, activity lounge, fitness center, parking garage and expanded kitchen.  The dining room would overlook the Rolling Meadows golf course.  Community Development Director Wayne Rollin says the senior housing concept evolved after an earlier attempt to convert the building into a hotel-conference center fell through.  The city council will vote at their meeting Wednesday on tax incremental financing for a 10 year period or until payments reach $1 million dollars.  The developer says construction could start this summer with the apartments opening in the summer of 2015.

4-23-14 marian university special use permit request

The Fond du Lac city council will consider a special use permit request for  Marian University’s proposal to locate its Nursing school in downtown Fond du lac.  The University wants to use the second floor of the AC
Nielson building on S. Main Street. Fond du Lac Community Development Director Wayne Rollin says its "great news"  for downtown Fond du Lac.  Marian hopes to close on the purchase of the property by June.
Plans call for leasing the first floor to AC Nielson and the School of Nursing and Health Professions would be located on the second floor.  The city council would consider the request at their meeting Wednesday night.

4-23-14 waupun high speed chase

A Rosendale man has been charged in connection with a high speed chase in Waupun over the weekend.  Waupun police chief Dale Heeringa  says the chase happened early Saturday morning and reached speeds
of 112 100 miles an hour.  Chief Heeringa says the chase continued for a couple of miles before ending in a farm yard north of Waupun.  "It started on the west end of town near our Kwik Trip station at Highways 49 and 68.  An officer observed a pick-up truck go out of that area at a high rate of speed, squealing its tires,"  Heeringa told WFDL news.  "The officer attempted to stop the vehicle.  The vehicle continued northbound on Highway 49 out of the community."  Heeringa says the chase lasted 2.6 miles when the vehicle went into a farm yard area north of Waupun.  The suspect fled on foot and was able to get away.  The man turned himself in later in the day.

4-23-14 waupun police investigating restaurant burglary

Waupun police are investigating a burglary at a local restaurant.  Police chief Dale Heeringa says the burglar
forced his way into Helen’s Kitchen early last Friday morning. Heeringa says police wonder if the burglary may be related to another restaurant burglary about a month earlier.  "We have a Chinese restaurant in that area close to Helen's Kitchen.  About a month ago that was burglarized in the same manner,"  Heeringa told WFDL news.  "Someone use some type of tool to knock out the glass front door and entered both of these businesses."  Heeringa says the thief stole "$400 in coinage" from the cash register at Helen's Kitchen. 

4-23-14 turkey hunter certificates

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Wisconsin wildlife officials say they're going to hand out personalized certificates to successful first-time turkey hunters this year. The Department of Natural Resources says hunters can fill out information about when and where they killed the bird as well as information on its weight and spur length on the agency's website. Hunters also can submit a photo of themselves with their turkeys.

4-23-14 home sales

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Wisconsin's existing home sales fell 11 percent in March compared to the same period a year ago.  The chillier winter is a possible factor. The Wisconsin Realtors Association says the spring selling season got off to a slow start, but things might improve along with the weather.  The association says median sales prices rose 2 percent to $136,500.  The first three months of the year are traditionally slow for home sales, with about 18 percent of annual sales in the first quarter. Sales in the second quarter generally comprise 31 percent of the yearly total.  Real estate agents say better weather helps home sales not only because more buyers come out but because the landscaping is fuller and greener, making the entire home more appealing.

4-23-14 supreme court reduces damage award

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — The Wisconsin Supreme Court has reduced a $1 million damage award against a title insurance company in a Door County property dispute.  The case stems from a dispute over whether Robert and Judith Kimble had an easement granting them a route from their lakefront property to a highway. They failed to sell the land in 2008 because they couldn't resolve the dispute.
They sued their title insurance company, First American, in 2009 alleging the company failed to defend the title. They ultimately sold their interest in the title to adjoining property owners John and Jane Stevenson, who won a $1.03 million award against the company.  The Supreme Court ruled 4-2 on Tuesday that the award was excessive and reduced it to $239,738. 

4-23-14 stroebel reaction

CEDARBURG, Wis. (AP) — State Rep. Duey Stroebel says he respects both of the other Republican candidates in Wisconsin's 6th District congressional race and he expects the primary to focus on the problems in Congress, not opposition between them. Stroebel issued a statement Tuesday as state Sen. Joe Leibham joined the race to replace longtime Rep. Tom Petri.

4-23-14 two more candidates for petri's congressional seat

Republican state Sen. Joe Leibham  of Sheboygan and Winnebago County executive Mark Harris are the latest candidates for Republican congressman Tom Petri's congressional seat.  Petri announced earlier this month that he will not seek re-election.  Leibham says he wants to be a reformer in Congress and help reduce taxes, which he says are too burdensome. He announced his candidacy Tuesday at his parents' home in Sheboygan.   Harris became the first Democrat to declare his candidacy earlier Tuesday.  Harris says preserving social security, transportation, making higher education affordable and raising the minimum wage are his top priorities.  Leibham will face primary opponents state Sen. Glenn Grothman and state Rep. Duey Stroebel in the Republican-leaning district that spans eastern and central Wisconsin.  Harris was a guest Tuesday on AM 1170 WFDL's Between the Lines program.  Leibham will be a guest on the news program Wednesday morning.

Monday, April 21, 2014

4-22-14 fdl girl undergoes heart transplant surgery

It was a very special Easter holiday celebration for the Rodgers family in Fond du Lac.   Brianna Rodgers is the daughter of Jason and Jessica Rodgers.  Born on August 19th of last year Brianna was diagnosed with Hypoplastic Right Ventricle Syndrome.  Tamara Blasing is Brianna’s aunt.  Tamara says doctors told the family without a heart transplant Brianna’s long term chances for survival were not good.  On March 22nd doctors at Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin performed a life saving heart transplant.  "She is doing very good, she is a lot more active, she seems a lot more happy when she is playing,"  Blasing told AM 1170 WFDL's Between the Lines program.  "Now she finally got to come home as well."  Blasing says Brianna came home last Friday for the first time since she was born last summer.  Now a local fundraising effort is underway through the Children’s Organ Transplant Association to help the Rodger’s family pay their outstanding medical bills.  Blasing says an estimated $40,000 is being raised by Fond du Lac volunteers.
Donations may be mailed to the Children’s Organ Transplant Association or made online at www.COTAforBriannaR.com

4-22-14 packers-houses razed for parking

ASHWAUBENON, Wis. (AP) — The Green Bay Packers will demolish about a dozen houses near Lambeau Field this spring.  The property is being cleared for grass parking. The organization has been buying land around the stadium for several years. Spokesman Aaron Popkey says the Packers have been working with nonprofit agencies to remove materials from the homes that can be reused. The Packers want to have the parking ready by the time the 2014 season opens.

4-22-14 attorney general races-cold cases

APPLETON, Wis. (AP) — The four candidates for Wisconsin attorney general praise the state Department of Justice for its strides in solving cold cases, and all four pledge to keep up the pressure on tackling unsolved crimes. The state has at least 300 unsolved homicides dating back to 2003.
The candidates to replace outgoing Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen propose variations of the same theme in addressing the issue.  Republican Brad Schimel and Democrats Ismael Ozanne and Susan Happ are all district attorneys. They say they'd like to see more state funding as well as creative use of existing funds.  Democratic state Rep. Jon Richards says he'd like to see more resources up front to keep cases from going cold.

4-22-14 mendota patients

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Civil psychiatric patients have been discharged from Mendota Mental Health Institute in Madison to free space for additional criminal patients.  And some law enforcement officials aren't happy about it.  Wisconsin Department of Health Services spokeswoman Jennifer Miller says the adult male patients from Mendota's secure civil unit are receiving treatment in the community. Miller says the state is consolidating civil patients at Winnebago Mental Health Institute in Oshkosh. Criminal patients will go to Mendota. Geriatric civil patients will still be seen at Mendota.  Madison interim police Chief Randy Gaber says that means a three-hour roundtrip to Oshkosh for his officers to transport a person in need of emergency civil commitment. Gaber says that puts a strain on his department and has an even greater impact on smaller police departments.

4-22-14 hulsey announces run for governor

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — State Rep. Brett Hulsey has announced his candidacy for governor.  Hulsey is the fourth Democrat to declare a bid for governor. Mary Burke, Marcia Mercedes Perkins and Hariprasad Trivedi have declared their candidacies. Burke is widely viewed as the front runner among those three, however.  Hulsey says he plans to reinvest more than $2 billion to create clean energy jobs, increase job training and send more money to public schools and higher education.  Hulsey has been in the state Assembly for four years and served on the Dane County Board for 14 years. He runs an energy and environmental consulting business.  A Burke campaign spokesman said Hulsey's candidacy won't change Burke's strategy. A campaign spokeswoman for Gov. Scott Walker said Hulsey's announcement doesn't impact Walker's campaign.

4-22-14 uw madison mumps

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — University health officials are warning students about a rise in confirmed cases of mumps at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.  The school says one to two students are showing up daily at campus health clinics with possible symptoms of the contagious viral illness.  Seven cases have been confirmed with the past few weeks. While that number is relatively small, Craig Roberts, epidemiologist for University Health Services, says all of the cases were fully immunized as children with two doses of the measles-mumps-rubella vaccine.  While most people immunized against mumps are protected for life, some may still get it due to waning immunity.  UW-La Crosse has one confirmed and two suspected case of mumps.  Statewide, there were 14 confirmed mumps cases as of Friday.

4-22-14 wi spearfishing

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Non-tribal anglers will only be allowed to harvest a single walleye per day on 173 lakes in northern Wisconsin.  The state Department of Natural Resources announced the limit Monday. The agency makes its determination based on many walleyes the state's six Chippewa tribes set as a goal for themselves.  The tribes said last month their goal is to take more than 63,000 walleyes. That's 6 percent higher than the previous record goal from 2010. However, the tribes generally only harvest about half their goal, and the DNR adjusts its bag limits accordingly.  The DNR set a similar, single-walleye limit on nearly 200 lakes last year.  Federal treaties allow the Chippewa to hunt and fish in millions of northern Wisconsin acres.

4-22-14 party patrols

With high school proms and graduations right around the corner local law enforcement is mobilizing to crack down on underage alcohol consumption and social hosting.  Fond du lac County Sheriff’s captain Rick Olig says “party patrols” will be working weekends during prom and graduations.  Olig says the goal is to educate underage persons and to crackdown on parties where alcohol is served to underage persons. Olig says violations can result in penalities for the underage person as well as the persons providing the alcohol and hosting the party.  Fines can reach as high as $5000 depending on the circumstances as well as the loss of

driving privileges.

4-22-14 uw fdl student housing

The Fond du Lac County Board is expected to take the final step Tuesday night in the approval process for a new UW Fond du Lac student housing complex.  The county board will consider an agreement with the developer and a lease agreement with a firm to operate and manage the facility.   The 84 bed facility would be located on the UW Fond du Lac campus adjacent to the physical education building.  UW Fond du Lac Dean John Short says the student housing concept is a unique public-private partnership where the developer gets the financing, designs the complex and hires resident assistants and a live-in manager to operate the facility.  Short says a survey showed a need for additional student housing.  The goal is to have the student housing complex open for the 2015 school year.

4-22-14 bomb threat at ripon college

Students at Ripon College were evacuated today following a bomb threat discovered on campus.  Police are investigating several handwritten notes discovered by campus employees when they arrived at work this morning.  Students and staff were evacuated while police and college personnel made a sweep through the buildings.  The all-clear was announced about an hour and a half later.

4-21-14 mptc addition

Bids will be open this Thursday on a proposed $1.5 million addition planned for Moraine Park
Technical College.  A press release says the addition will enhance the front entrance, centralize services
and accommodate student veterans.  The addition will be located on the west side of the C-
Building near the visitor parking lot.    The addition will feature a handicap entrance, concierge desk for visitors and students and offices for recruitment staff, academic advisors, and student counselors and a welcome center.  The project will be funded with $300,000 from college reserves and $1.2 million promissory note borrowing.  The Wisconsin Technical College System State Board will vote on the expansion at their May 6th meeting.  The MPTC District Board is expected to approve the project at their May 21st meeting.  A groundbreaking ceremony is scheduled for June 2nd.  The project is expected to be completed by the end of November and ready for students for the winter/spring 2015 semester.