Friday, May 30, 2014

6-2-14 assistant jail administrator retires

A longtime Fond du lac County employee is stepping down.  Assistant Jail Administrator Linda Schmitz has retired after 33 years of service to the county.  Schmitz greeted co-workers and friends Friday afternoon when she took the traditional ramp walk at the Sheriff’s Office signaling her final day on the job.

6-2-14 attorney general candidates

WISCONSIN DELLS, Wis. (AP) — Three Democrats and a Republican candidate for Wisconsin attorney general say the abuse of heroin and opiates is the state's top safety issue.  The four candidates debated Saturday during the Wisconsin Professional Police Association annual meeting.  They also say the state also needs to focus on drunken driving but don't agree how the state should enforce OWI laws.  Dane County District Attorney Ismael Ozanne and state Representative Jon Richards say Wisconsin should criminalize first-time drunken driving offenses.  Jefferson County District Attorney Susan Happ and Republican Waukesha County District Attorney Brad Schimel say the state should focus on repeat drunken driving offenders.  The nearly 10,000-member WPPA endorsed Republican Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen in 2006 and 2010. The group's board soon will decide who it will endorse in this race.

6-2-14 fdl high school announces new varsity basketball coaches

Fond du Lac High School’s Athletic Department has announced the hiring of Jeff Bell as the Head Girls’ Basketball Coach and Mark Ziebell as the Head Boys’ Basketball Coach for the Fond du Lac Cardinals.
Jeff Bell, physical education teacher in the Fond du Lac School District at Sabish Middle School, most recently served as a varsity assistant coach with the Omro High School girls’ program.  Athletic director Kevin Deering says Ziebell brings 20+ years of teaching and coaching experience to the Fond du Lac boys basketball program.  "Coach Ziebell has tremendous strength in program development and providing a clear vision for the progression of player development from 3rd grade through high school,"  Deering said. Ziebell began his coaching career in 1994 at Menasha St. Mary’s Central High School returning to that position after having served as head coach at Green Bay Southwest High School from 2007 - 2011.  While at Menasha St Mary’s Central he coached the 1998 WISAA state runner-up team and, in 2004, was selected as the Appleton Post Crescent Coach of the Year.

6-2-14 fdl man charged in evans school knife incident

A Fond du Lac man accused of threatening another man with a knife in front of an elementary school has been charged.  Leonard Dake is charged with second degree recklessly endangering safety, possession of a dangerous weapon on school grounds, disorderly conduct and resisting an officer.  Assistant Police Chief Steve Klein says Dake and another man got into an argument  outside Evans School shortly after 3pm Wednesday.  Klein says Dake threatened the other man with a knife.  Police used a Taser to subdue Dake. The school was placed in lockdown.  Klein says there were no injuries.

6-2-14 bomb threat suspect back in court

A Waupun bomb threat suspect has been bound over for trial on separate charges.  Probable cause was found at a preliminary hearing Friday for Aaron Schreiber on five counts of  a child sex offender working with children.   According to a criminal complaint Schreiber  violated his status as a sex  offender by officiating youth sporting events.  Schreiber also faces multiple counts in Fond du Lac and Dodge counties
In connection with a series of bomb threats last fall.  He is accused of phoning in bomb threats to a library and hospital in Waupun and businesses in Beaver Dam, Fox lake and Ripon.

Thursday, May 29, 2014

5-30-14 waupun teen charged in domestic incident

Bail has been set at $10,000 cash for an 18-year-old Waupun man accused of choking and kicking his 15 year old girlfriend and threatening to punch her if she called police.  Austin Mitchell is charged in Dodge County Circuit Court with strangulation-suffocation, physical abuse of a child, intimidation of a victim and bail jumping.  He is also charged with burglaries in Fond du lac and Dodge counties.  According to a criminal complaint Mitchell became violent after arguing with his girlfriend about his alcohol abuse.  A preliminary hearing is set for June 5.

5-30-14 tucker's restaurant robbery suspects charged

Three suspects in a strong armed robbery four years ago have been arrested and charged.  Vincent Hanes of Kewaskum, Bobbie Lahn of Fond du Lac and Thomas Livangood of West Bend are all charged with robbery with use of force.  They are accused of robbing a Tucker’s restaurant employee  in May of 2010.   Police say the three approached the employee after the restaurant had closed for the night, grabbed the bank deposit bag and fled the scene.

5-30-14 court appearance rescheduled for former waupun police officer

A plea hearing has been rescheduled in Barron County for a former Waupun police officer arrested following a crime spree last summer.  Brad Young faces charges of auto theft and fleeing an officer in Barron County.  A plea hearing scheduled for this week was rescheduled to August 15th.   Young is being held in the Green lake County Jail on burglary charges.  He is accused of breaking into grocery stores in Berlin and Markesan,
and a restaurant in  Green Lake.  Young resigned from the Waupun Police Department last fall.

5-30-14 fdl county parks director-manure spill reaction

Signs are being posted at Columbia Park warning people to stay out of the water following a massive manure spill early Monday morning at a Fond du Lac County dairy farm.  More than 50,000 gallons of manure spilled into Pipe Creek, making its way to Lake Winnebago…raising concerns about contamination. Fond du Lac County Parks director Sam Tobias says he’s also concerned about communication regarding the spill after it was reported  to the DNR.  Tobias says he didn’t learn about the spill until he was contacted by
a concerned citizen more than 24 hours later.  Tobias says he wasn’t able to confirm the spill until Wednesday morning after he made several inquiries.  "We can improve that.  I don't mean to be overly critical but I think its a challenge for us.  Its something we've got to look at and we've got to improve,"  Tobias told WFDL news.  Tobias says the local Emergency Management and Sheriff’s Office should

have been notified right away.

5-30-14 manure spill-dnr investigation

An agricultural runoff management specialist with the DNR says a large manure spill at a Fond du Lac County mega-dairy farm this week is unfortunate.   On Monday an estimated 50,000 gallons of manure
spilled at Lake Breeze Dairy near Pipe. DNR ag runoff management specialist Casey Jones says the spill was caused by a thumb-size hole in a transfer line used to pump manure to a field.   She says the hose was leaking for more than two hours.  Jones says the manure polluted nearby Pipe Creek and flowed west to Lake Winnebago.  "Its a pretty big spill, its one of the worst spills I've seen in my six years in the program,"  Jones told WFDL news.  Jones says the farm reacted quickly when the spill was discovered.  She says the DNR will continue to investigate, ask for written documentation and come up with a remediation plan to make sure it doesn’t happen again.  The Fond du Lac County Public Health Department has been made aware of the situation.

5-30-14 uw fraternities

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — University of Wisconsin-Madison officials are debating pushing recruiting drives for fraternities and sororities back into the fall semester or eliminating them entirely.   The university is reviewing other schools' Greek recruiting practices and will issue a report by the end of May. One of the school's largest fraternities tells the Wisconsin State Journal that any changes could threaten the groups' existence. Fraternities now get most members during the fall of their freshman year.  Other colleges are regulating Greek recruitment in response to student deaths from heavy drinking during the pledge period.  UW-Madison officials say the report isn't the result of any deaths or tragedies, and that it was simply time to look at the practice.  The school has 16 fraternities and 10 sororities with houses.

5-30-14 wi governor-new york

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker is headed to New York City next month to host a fundraiser for Republican gubernatorial candidate Rob Astorino.  Walker is scheduled to host the fundraiser on June 9 at the Union League Club in Manhattan. According to an invitation for the event, tickets begin at $500.  Walker himself is running for re-election this year in Wisconsin and is eyeing a possible 2016 presidential bid. He's made frequent appearances at fundraisers across the country as he builds name recognition and courts wealthy donors.  Astorino is the Westchester county executive and is taking on Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo.  Walker is being challenged by Democrat Mary Burke, a former state commerce secretary and executive at Trek Bicycle Corp.

5-30-14 attorney general debate

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — A debate between all three Democrats and one Republican running for Wisconsin attorney general that originally was closed to the media will now be open.  The candidates are scheduled to debate at Saturday's annual meeting of the Wisconsin Professional Police Association. The hour-long, town hall style debate was initially closed because it's part of the statewide police union's candidate endorsement process.  But WPPA executive director Jim Palmer reversed course Thursday after being asked about closing the debate by The Associated Press. Palmer says it will now be open to media coverage and none of the candidates object.  Waukesha County District Attorney Brad Schimel is the only Republican running. The three Democrats are state Rep. Jon Richards, Dane County District Attorney Ismael Ozanne and Jefferson County District Attorney Susan Happ.

5-30-14 fdl police cite naked man for disorderly conduct

A Fond du Lac man was cited for disorderly conduct after he reportedly was spotted  naked sitting on a broom outside a tavern.  A motorist told police he saw the naked man outside the Wayside Tavern on
West Division Street shortly before 9am Sunday.  The motorist said the man was waving at passing vehicles.  When police arrived they found a 50 year old man naked on his couch.

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

5-29-14 fire causes heavy damage to kitchen of fdl residence

On Wednesday, May 28, 2014, at 4:12 PM the Fond du Lac Fire Department was dispatched to a report of a kitchen fire in a home at 74 East Merrill Avenue. Upon arrival firefighters encountered heavy smoke and fire in the rear of the structure. The fire was extinguished and was contained to the kitchen area. The fire produced heavy damage to the kitchen and the cause was unattended cooking on the stove top. 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 cut power and gas to the building.  Red Cross was called to the scene to assist the residents of the home.  Firefighters will be canvassing the surrounding area tomorrow passing out home fire safety information to all nearby residents.

5-29-14 evans elementary school knife incident

Nobody was injured and a Fond du Lac man is in custody following a disturbance involving a knife in front of an elementary school.  Assistant Police Chief Steve Klein says two men got into an argument  outside Evans School shortly after 3pm Wednesday.  Klein says one of the men threatened the other man with a knife.  Police arrived on the scene and used a Taser to subdue the armed man.  The 54 year old man was transported to the Fond du Lac County Jail and faces multiple charges.  The school was placed in lockdown.  Klein says there were no injuries.

5-29-14 heroin summit in lomira

Dodge County law enforcement is holding another heroin summit Thursday evening.   The event starts at 6:30pm at theLomira Middle School gym.  Dodge County Sheriff Pat Ninmann says in Dodge County the number of people who have died from accidental opiate overdoses has doubled in the past year.  Statewide
in 2012 there were 206 heroin deaths, a 50 percent increase from 2011. Last year that number rose to 227.  Heroin deaths have increased rapidly in recent years after averaging about 30 per year in Wisconsin from 2000 to 2007. . The summit is open to all parents and adult community members.

5-29-14 lomira school district groundbreaking

Construction is getting underway on the first phase of a  $24 million dollar building project approved by
Lomira School District voters in February.  Groundbreaking ceremonies were held this week on the
first phase which involves a new athletic complex.  Superintendent Bob Lloyd says the project includes new  classroom,  science lab and office space,  along with a larger kitchen and cafeteria, infrastructure upgrades and a new high school gym and athletic field.  The new athletic field is expected to be in place by this fall and the rest of the project will be completed in the 2015-16 school year.

5-29-14 fdl man found dead

Fond du Lac police are investigating the death of a 24-year-old man.  Police say Corey A. Lawson was found dead Sunday at his parent’s home on South Park Avenue.  Assistant Police Chief Steve Klein says there was no obvious cause of death and investigators are waiting for toxicology tests and results of an autopsy.

5-29-14 wisconsin abortion

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — An obstetrician is testifying that an abortion provider abandoned a patient who needed a hysterectomy as state attorneys try to persuade a federal judge to uphold Wisconsin's law requiring abortion providers get hospital admitting privileges.  Milwaukee-based obstetrician James Linn testified Wednesday that several years ago he assisted on a hysterectomy on a woman who suffered a lacerated uterus during an abortion. He says his colleague tried to reach the doctor who performed the abortion but the provider never called back.  He says in his mind the provider abandoned the patient.  Linn's testimony comes as part of a federal lawsuit Planned Parenthood and Affiliated Medical Services filed last year challenging the admitting privileges mandate. State attorneys contend the requirement ensures continuity of care.

5-29-14 large manure spill at fdl county mega dairy farm

The DNR is investigating what is described as a very large manure spill at  a Fond du Lac County mega dairy farm.  Fond du Lac County Land Conservationist, Lynn Mathias, says an estimated 50,000 gallons of manure spilled at the Lake Breeze Dairy just east of Pipe Monday morning.  Mathias says the manure spilled into a nearby creek and into Lake Winnebago.  The DNR reports the downstream impacts were severe with fish kills.  Water samples showed the dissolved oxygen reading:was zero downstream of the spill at the Highway 151 crossing.

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

5-29-14 wi governor-investigation

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — A person close to an investigation of Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker's campaign says Walker's attorney is discussing a possible settlement with the lead investigator that would end the probe.  The person who spoke Wednesday to The Associated Press on the condition of anonymity said he could not do so publicly because of a secrecy order covering the investigation.  The person said he had spoken with several people with direct knowledge of the discussions between prosecutors and Walker's attorney.  The secret investigation, known as a John Doe, focuses on alleged illegal coordination between conservative groups, Walker's campaign and others during recall elections in 2011 and 2012.  The Wall Street Journal first reported on the possible settlement in a Wednesday editorial.

5-29-14 outdoor pool openings affected by lifeguard shortage

The two City of Fond du Lac outdoor pools are experiencing a lifeguard shortage. Because there are not enough lifeguards to staff both pools at once only one pool can be opened at a time for the first week.  The Fond du Lac Recreation Department will be holding two training and certification classes the first week of June with the goal of having enough guards by June 14. Taylor Pool passes will be honored at Fairground Aquatic Center through June 14.  Swim team practice and adult lap swim will take place at regular times during this week.
The schedule for the pools will be as follows:
June 7   Fairgrounds Aquatic Center open 12:00-8:00 pm
June 8   Taylor Pool open 11:45-6- pm
June 9 & 10 both pools closed
June 11   Fairgrounds Aquatic Center open 12:00-8:00 pm
June 12 Taylor Pool open 11:45-6:00 pm
June 13 Taylor Pool Swim Meet- no open swim
June 13 Fairgrounds Aquatic Center open 12:00-8:00 pm
June 14   Taylor Pool Swim Meet – no open swim
June 14   Fairgrounds Aquatic Center open 12:00-8:00 pm
June 15   Both pools open regular hours

5-29-14 dodge county man dies after getting pinned underneath truck-victim identified

The Dodge County Sheriff’s Office is investigating the death of a 46 year old Neosho man who was reportedly trapped underneath a vehicle.  The victim has been identified as Paul Kuck.  Rescue personnel were called to the scene in rural Neosho shortly after 8:30am Tuesday after receiving a 911 call that a truck had overturned and the family could not locate the driver.  Kuck was found pinned underneath the truck and was pronounced dead at the scene.

5-28-14 milwaukee man bound over for trial in fdl county armed robbery

A man  charged in connection with an armed robbery in Fond du Lac County in December has been bound over for trial.  Probable cause was found at a preliminary hearing for Danny Morris.  Morris also pleaded not guilty to multiple charges in connection with the robbery at a town of Auburn home on Double D road.
Morris and two other men are accused of attacking a man and woman inside the home.  Authorities say Morris was accidentally shot in the upper torso during the incident and is now in a wheelchair.  

5-28-14 auburn lake shooting update

The Fond du Lac County Sheriff’s Office says investigators have an idea where they think a gun was fired when an errant bullet struck a fisherman in the leg over the holiday weekend.   The 51 year old victim was treated at the hospital and released.  Sheriff’s Lieutenant Cameron McGee says the incident happened Sunday evening on Auburn Lake near Campbellsport.  McGee says the incident is a reminder that people who are target shooting need to know what is beyond their target.  McGee says it appears to be a small caliber bullet that was fired from a distance of between a quarter mile and up to a half mile.  McGee says detectives have interviewed some people but so far no one has stepped forward to claim responsibility.  Anyone with information is asked to call the sheriff’s tip line at  906-4777.

5-28-14 abortion law bench trial

A federal judge is weighing whether a Wisconsin law requiring abortion providers to get admitting privileges at nearby hospitals is constitutional.  Planned Parenthood and Affiliated Medical Services filed a lawsuit in July arguing the law would force abortion clinics in Appleton and Milwaukee to close because providers at the facilities lack admitting privileges.  Planned Parenthood policy director,Nicole Safar, says the entire medical community opposes the law.  The Appleton providers have since gained privileges. The organizations still contend the law would force the AMS facility to close, placing a burden on women seeking abortions.  State attorneys argue the law ensures continuity of care if complications arise and a woman goes to a hospital.  U.S. District Judge William Conley is began a bench trial on Tuesday. Proceedings are expected to last until at least Friday.

5-28-14 fdl school district-nutrition guidelines

The Fond du Lac School District is working to meet new USDA guidelines for healthier lunch options.  The Fond du Lac School Board is making changes to meet the guidelines that require a certain number of servings of fruit and vegetables.  Superintendent Dr. Jim Sebert says the high school store most offer 50 percent healthy snack choices.  Childhood obesity has been targeted as a concern by the Fond du Lac County Health Asssessment Needs Task Force.

5-28-14 wisconsin veterans-photos

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — State media groups are helping to find photos for 230 Wisconsin soldiers who died during the Vietnam War.  The photos will become part of a "Wall of Faces" at an education center near the Vietnam Wall in Washington D.C.  The Wisconsin Newspaper Association and Wisconsin Public Broadcasting have helped find information for more than 1,000 Wisconsin soldiers since the effort began about 19 months ago.  Mayville newspaper publisher Andrew Johnson started the state effort before taking it to the National Newspaper Association. Johnson's son David was killed while on duty in Afghanistan in 2012.  Now the state press associations are using the list of names to track down photos for each of the more than 58,000 casualties from the war.

5-28-14 wisconsin democrats-platform

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Wisconsin Democrats are scheduled to approve a platform that reaffirms the party's current support for legalizing gay marriage and recreational marijuana use.  The party on Tuesday released its proposed platform and resolutions that were to be voted on by delegates at the Wisconsin Democratic Party convention which begins June 6 in Wisconsin Dells.  Wisconsin Republicans drew heat at their convention last month for a proposed resolution to affirm the state's right to secede from the union. That was voted down.  The platform represents core beliefs of the party and its candidates, but it would take a change of state laws to do much of what Democrats will vote to support at their convention. Republicans currently control the Legislature and the governor's office.

5-28-14 governor's race-ad

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — The conservative group Americans for Prosperity is spending $866,000 on a new television ad that touts Gov. Scott Walker's policies without mentioning him by name.  Americans for Prosperity spokesman Christopher Neefus says the ad launched Tuesday will air for three weeks in all major markets.  Titled "It's Working Wisconsin," the ad features people talking about Walker's proposal passed in 2011 that effectively ended collective bargaining for most public workers and required them to pay more for pension and health benefits.  Walker is being challenged by Democrat Mary Burke. Her campaign spokesman Joe Zepecki says contrary to the ad's claims, Wisconsin families are struggling and Walker's policies aren't working.  A Marquette University poll last week showed voters were evenly divided between Burke and Walker.

5-27-14 abortion trial underway

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Attorneys for abortion providers are trying to persuade a federal judge that a Wisconsin law requiring those providers to have hospital admitting privileges is unnecessary.
Planned Parenthood and Affiliated Medical Services contend the law will force AMS's Milwaukee clinic to close because providers there lack such admitting privileges. State attorneys counter the law provides continuity of care if complications arise.  AMS clinic director Wendie Ashlock testified in a bench trial that began Tuesday that between 2010 and 2012 about 60 of the clinic's roughly 7,000 patients suffered complications and three were transferred to a hospital in 2012 and 2013.  Planned Parenthood of Wisconsin medical director Kathy King testified complications are rare and that emergency room doctors can treat the patients. Alabama, Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas have similar laws. Abortion clinics in Alabama have mounted a similar lawsuit.

5-27-14 dad accused of letting young daughter drive

WAUSAU, Wis. (AP) — A father accused of asking his 11-year-old daughter to drive because he'd been drinking could face charges in Marathon County.  A police report says the girl got behind the wheel and crashed the family's SUV into a tree in Wausau last Friday. Police are recommending a charge of recklessly endangering safety. Officers also cited the 35-year-old father for permitting a minor to drive.

5-27-14 man struck and killed by train

An Oshkosh man fishing next to some railroad tracks on Lake Winnebago has been struck and killed by a Canadian National train.  Oshkosh police say the 65-year-old man was sitting on a bucket next to the
railroad tracks when he was struck about 9:40 p.m. Saturday.  Investigators say the man apparently didn't hear the train coming and wasn't able to move out of the way in time.

5-27-14 elderly man found dead in tractor

The Fond du Lac County Sheriff’s office says an elderly man found dead inside a tractor died from natural causes.  The Fond du lac County Sheriff’s Office says the man was found Sunday afternoon near Mill Pond Road in the town of Byron.

Monday, May 26, 2014

5-27-14 city of fdl hopes to get reimbursed for water main breaks and service line freeze-ups

The city of Fond du Lac hopes to get federal reimbursement for some or all of the costs associated with water service line freeze-ups and water main breaks this past winter. Water Utility manager Kathy Scharf  tells WFDL news she has submitted costs to Emergency Management director Jim McNabb as the state seeks a disaster declaration following the record cold winter.  "On the frozen services we did spend about $60,000 to thaw services,'  Scharf said.  "That included employee overtime, equipment, outside contractors and any materials we might have purchased."    Scharf says the total cost including water main breaks was close to $300,000.  So when was the last time the city received disaster declaration funds because of damage caused by bitter cold temperatures?   "I don't know that we ever have for being too cold and I don't know if they have done it for any state or county in the past,"  Scharf said.  Meanwhiler the city is updating its existing ordinance to comply with PSC regulations.   Scharf says the amended ordinance reflects what the city is already doing… asking certain water users to let water run to minimize  the risk of freezing water service lines due to extended cold weather.  Scharf says the water and sewer charges on the customer’s bill will be adjusted.  Water users who believe their service is in danger of freezing may contact the Utility for authorization to let the water run.  No adjustment of billing would be made for water left running to prevent freezing of  pipes other than the water service line.

5-27-14 fdl police department seeking grant for training equipment

The Fond du Lac Police Department wants to use a federal grant for new SWAT team and training equipment.  The $19,000 grant would be used to purchase a SWAT team door breaching tool, emergency scene lighting, firearms training equipment and CPR training equipment. A public hearing on the grant request will be held at this week’s city council meeting.

5-27-14 fdl county highway projects underway

Highway construction season is in full swing in Fond du Lac County.  Highway Commissioner Tom Jahnke says work is underway on two projects in the western half of the county.  "We're now on the west side of the county pulverizing and grading county highway TC from Brandon to state highway 26.  We finished up grading a portion of county highway T from highway 26 to highway C,"  Jahnke told WFDL news.  Jahnke says paving work is also planned for the eastern half of Fond du Lac County.  "Highway G from St. Cloud's north limits to WH, near Wolf Lake and we're also looking at highway WW between Mt. Calvary and Calvary Station."   Work is also ongoing on a new highway garage in Campbellsport.

5-27-14 fish study

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Scientists in Wisconsin and Minnesota are studying a little-known fish whose disappearance could mean smaller musky, pike and walleye in the states' inland lakes.  The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources is three years into a long-term study of the cisco, or lake herring. Cisco are slender white fish that need cold, clean water to survive.  Wisconsin is studying about 200 lakes that at one time had the fish. They say cisco are an important food for other fish and may serve as an early warning of problems in fisheries.  Pete Jacobson, a fisheries research supervisor with the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, says Minnesota scientists have found cisco may live in about 650 lakes there, but populations have rapidly declined since 1975.

5-27-14 prison pups

OSHKOSH, Wis. (AP) — Eight dogs, ranging in age from 9 weeks to 2 years, are in training to become working companions. And, their training ground might surprise you.  Inmates at the Oshkosh Correctional Institution are responsible for caring for and training the animals to become guide dogs through the organization Paws Forward.  Six yellow and black labs, a poodle and a Golden retriever rotate between handlers in the prison and weekly volunteers who take the dogs out into the community to socialize them.
Paws Forward volunteers join the inmates for training sessions and help with grooming. Warden Judy Smith says the program is an opportunity for the inmates to give back to the community and develop empathy for others.

5-27-14 two motorists die after collisions with deer in wi

EAU CLAIRE, Wis. (AP) — Two motorists have died in separate collisions with deer in Wisconsin.
Authorities say a 69-year-old Eau Clairie man died when his motorcycle struck a deer south of Eau Claire just after 9:30 p.m. Sunday. He was thrown from his motorcycle and died at the scene on Deerfield Road in the Town of Washington. His name was not immediately released.  The second accident happened around 11:30 a.m. Monday on Interstate 94 near Watertown in Jefferson County. The Wisconsin State Patrol says a car was eastbound in the left lane when a deer crossed its path. The car struck the deer head-on. The deer went onto the hood and smashed through the windshield.
A front-seat passenger died at a local hospital, while the driver was injured. Their names were not immediately released.

5-27-14 auburn lake shooting

On Sunday May 25, 2014 at approximately 4:50pm, the Fond du Lac County Sheriff’s Office responded to the West Shore of Auburn Lake, in the area of the Kettle Moraine State Forest, Township of Auburn, for a report of a male subject that was shot in the leg. The 51 year old male subject that was shot is a resident of Auburn Lake and was fishing when he was struck by a small caliber bullet. He was transported to St. Joe’s Hospital in West Bend, treated for a gunshot wound and later released. The public is not at risk and the investigation is continuing. Anyone with information that may be valuable to this case is ask to call the Fond du Lac County Sheriff’s Office tip line at 920-906-4777

Sunday, May 25, 2014

5-27-14 dodge county rollover injury crash

Three people were injured, one seriously, in a one vehicle rollover crash in Dodge County.   The accident was reported shortly after  2:31pm  Sunday on STH 33 at Fabisch Rd. in the Town of Beaver Dam.  The vehicle was westbound on STH 33 when it entered the north ditch at Fabisch Rd. and began to roll.  One of the subjects was ejected from the vehicle and seriously injured which required him to be flown from the scene by UW Med Flight.  The other 2 occupants of the vehicle were transported to Beaver Dam Community Hospital with non-life threatening injuries.    Factors into the crash and seatbelt usage are under investigation.   All 3 subject were males from the West Bend, WI area.  Assisting the Sheriff’s Office were Med Flight, Beaver Dam Fire Department and Beaver Dam EMS.

5-27-14 super speller

SHAWANO, Wis. (AP) — A 13-year-old from Shawano will be representing Wisconsin at this week's National Spelling Bee.   Karelyn Malliet won the state bee in March to clinch the berth in the Scripps National Spelling Bee competition in Maryland.  The Shawano Community Middle School student has been studying daily since at least last summer, using spelling websites, preparation material from bee officials, and even her mother, who quizzes her on words.  She says she not only studies words but patterns within words, which can help her figure out the spelling of a word she may not know.
Some 281 spellers are scheduled to compete, including more than a dozen who have made it to the competition before.  The spelling bee starts Tuesday with a preliminary vocabulary test.


5-27-14 veterans scams

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — With Memorial Day coming up, the Wisconsin Better Business Bureau is warning about scams that are aimed at veterans, especially elderly service members.  For example, veterans might receive ads for military loans that offer guaranteed cash, instant approval or no credit check. Legitimate lenders don't make such offers.  Veterans might also receive offers to buy out their benefits plans. Some offers could be legitimate, but others might only offer 30 percent to 40 percent of the actual value. The bureau advises veterans to research thoroughly before signing anything over. Other scams offer special discounts to veterans on products like cars or life insurance, but those who respond get pushed toward fraudulent deals or are targeted with high-pressure sales tactics.  The bureau offers tips and warnings on its website at WWW DOT bbb DOT org SLASH Wisconsin.

5-27-14 vietnam vets photos

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — More than 1,000 photos of Wisconsin residents have been collected for a memorial in Washington D.C. showing the faces of those who died in the Vietnam War.  The photos will be part of an education center built in 2016 near the Vietnam Wall.  The Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund is collecting photos of the over 58,000 service members featured on the memorial, including more than 1,200 from Wisconsin.  Two statewide media organizations, the Wisconsin Newspaper Association and Wisconsin Public Broadcasting are managing separate efforts to track down the 230 photos still needed.  The WNA began participating in the project in April. Andrew Johnson, publisher of the Dodge County Pionier in Mayville, has managed to cover 75 names on the list.

5-26-14 wisconsin ticks

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — A team of researchers at the University of Wisconsin is taking on deer ticks — with hopes of giving people a tool to protect themselves from the bugs that can transmit Lyme disease.  The team is using mice and the university's Arboretum for their research.  The team is laying out 25 sections of PVC pipe in the Arboretum, filling each pipe with cotton balls containing an insecticide that kills ticks. The mice then use the cotton balls to build nests. When a tick latches onto a mouse and makes contact with the cotton ball, it dies.  The researchers will monitor the areas around the tubes to see if the deer tick population is affected. The goal is to find another tool for homeowners to guard against ticks.

5-26-14 tax collections

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — The latest figures from the Department of Revenue show state tax collections are lagging behind both last year's collections, as well as this year's expectations.  The state has collected $10.53 billion in taxes from July 1st through April. That's down 0.2 percent from the same period last year.  The state budget has built in 1 percent growth for this year, so falling short could hurt.  Governor Scott Walker and GOP lawmakers passed a more than $500 million tax cut bill in March. Walker says he's watching the numbers but isn't concerned, and the cuts could help stimulate the economy.  Joe Zepecki is spokesman for Democratic challenger Mary Burke. He says the latest numbers show Walker should have left the state with more of a cushion.

5-26-14 kenosha casino

KENOSHA, Wis. (AP) — Supporters of a proposed Kenosha casino say they are moving ahead with their plans while they wait for approval from Governor Scott Walker.  If approved, officials say they'll open a temporary casino while construction of the new facility is under way.  Some plans for the casino were revealed Friday. The first phase of construction would include more than 400,000 square feet and feature an entertainment venue and retail. It would include 2,700 slot machines, 100 table games and 24 poker games.  The second phase would feature a hotel, spa and pool. The total project is estimated at $810 million.  Walker's administration has commissioned an independent study on the project's economic impact. Walker has until February 19th to approve or deny it.

Friday, May 23, 2014

5-24-14 beck murder suspect faces gun charge in kenosha

A man identified as a suspect in the Berit Beck cold case homicide has been charged in Kenosha County.  Dennis Brantner was charged this week with felon in possession of a weapon.  Brantner was charged after investigators found a weapon in Brantner’s Kenosha County home.  The Fond du Lac County Sheriff’s Office held a news conference in April to announce that Brantner was a suspect in the 1990 disappearance and murder of the 18 year old Beck.  Her van was found in the Fond du Lac Forest Plaza parking lot and her body was found about a month later in a roadside ditch near Waupun.  Investigators say they had “tangible physical evidence” that places Brantner in Beck’s van.   Detectives say evidence from Beck’s van is currently being tested at the state crime lab.

5-24-14 law enforcement steps up enforcement of mandatory seatbelt law

Area law enforcement agencies are stepping up enforcement of the mandatory seatbelt law this Memorial Day holiday weekend.  The Click it or Ticket campaign runs through June first.  Sheriff’s captain Rick Olig says last year in Fond du Lac County one third of the drivers and passengers killed in a crash were not buckled up.  Olig says the coordinated effort to crackdown on unbuckled motorists will also target aggressive and intoxicated drivers.

5-24-14 fdl farmer's market

It’s a gorgeous weekend for the Farmer’s market in Fond du Lac.  Downtown Fond du Lac Partnership marketing director Sadie Parafinuik says this is the third weekend for the market this spring.  She says the long, cold winter pushed things back this year, but says many early season vegetables are available.  "We have quite a few vendors who utilize hoop houses and heat them with gas or wood so a lot of them still have potatoes, turnips, lettuce, spinach, onions, and rhubarb is in,"  Parafinuik said.  The market is open for business Saturday in the parking lot at the intersection of Linden Street and Western Avenue.

5-24-14 former ripon IT director charged with theft

Bail has been asset at $250,000 cash for a former Ripon College employee accused of stealing hundreds of thousands of dollars from the school.  Ronald Haefner made his initial Fond du Lac court  appearance Friday
on 62 counts including felony and misdemeanor theft.  District attorney Eric Toney says Haefner was terminated last November after school officials learned Haefner had allegedly made unauthorized electronics and furniture purchases while he was the school’s IT director.  According to the complaint Haefner is accused of making about $270,000 in unauthorized  electronics equipment  purchases and making approximately $150,000 in unauthorized  purchases with a college credit card.  A preliminary hearing is scheduled for June 2nd.

5-24-14 new london fires-charges

WAUPACA, Wis. (AP) €” A teenager accused of setting a pair of fires in New London is charged with attempted homicide and arson.  Two people were injured and six others were displaced from their apartments above the Copper Shot bar when fire broke out Tuesday. Authorities say 19-year-old Justin McLamarrah told them the fire was payback for an unpaid drug debt. A man and woman were injured when they jumped from their second-story apartment.  A criminal complaint says McLamarrah poured gasoline on a playground outside New London High School a short time later and lit it on fire. Bond was set at $200,000 in Waupaca County Circuit Court Thursday. McLamarrah appeared without an attorney.

5-24-14 ground beef recall

DETROIT (AP) €” Federal food safety officials say ground beef recalled by a Detroit business may have been sent to stores in 10 states.  According to an announcement Thursday, the U.S. agriculture department's Food Safety and Inspection Service says it has reason to believe recalled beef was sent to retail outlets in Florida, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan, North Dakota, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Tennessee and Wisconsin.  Wolverine Packing Co. announced Monday it was recalling 1.8 million pounds of ground beef products that may be contaminated with E. coli.  FSIS had said 11 people were sickened.  Consumers can see a list of recalled products and potentially affected stores on the U.S. Department of Agriculture's website.

5-24-14 memorial day government office closures

City and county officials will close for the Memorial Day holiday.  The Fond du Lac Municipal Services Center will also be closed for all services including refuse and recycling collection and bulky waste drop off.    Garbage and recycling pick-up will resume Tuesday morning.  The Senior Center and public library are closed Monday and there will be no bus service.

5-24-14 fdl memorial day parade

The Fond du Lac Memorial Day Parade will be Monday beginning at 10 am on the corner of Guindon Blvd and South Main Street, proceeding north to Veterans Park.  The program will begin immediately after the parade.  The keynote speaker this is year is Fond du Lac City Manager and Retired Army Colonel Joseph Moore.  State Senator Rick Gudex, State Representative Jeremy Thiesfeldt, County Executive Allen Buechel and Police Chief William Lamb will give brief welcomes.  Invocation and benediction will be given by Reverend Steve Huff and music during the ceremony will be provided by the Fond du Lac High School
Band.   Jerry Thomas of the Catholic War Vets will be the Parade Marshal and retired Navy Lieutenant of the Disabled American Veterans will be the Master of Ceremonies again this year.  


5-24-14 walker-gay marriage ban

MADISON, Wis. (AP) €” Republican Governor Scott Walker says he doesn't know whether it would be a big change for Wisconsin if gay marriage is legalized. Walker was asked Friday about the state's current defense of the constitutional ban on gay marriage in light of an ACLU lawsuit challenging it. Walker has been a longtime supporter of the ban and voted for it in 2006.

5-24-14 van hollen-gay marriage ban

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Wisconsin Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen has asked a federal judge to place on hold any order she may make that would strike down the state's ban on gay marriage. The Republican Van Hollen filed the contingent motion to stay on Friday, asking that current law remain in place while he appealed any future order. It's likely another signal that Van Hollen expects U.S. District Judge Barbara Crabb to rule against the state.

5-24-14 time to think

MILWAUKEE (AP) — The University of Wisconsin-Whitewater marketing staff is getting a "thinking day" this summer, where they'll unplug from everything and just think about how they can do their jobs better.  Marketing director Sara Kuhl says she hopes the experience leads to more ideas and creativity. She says her 12 staffers are often too busy to stop and reflect on their jobs.  Assistant director Jeff Angileri plans to use his day thinking about whether there's a better way to do tasks that generally get approached the same way every time.  Other groups have tried similar techniques to enhance creativity. But Marquette University advertising professor Tom Altstiel says inspiration can be hard to chase. He says good ideas often pop up during a commute or in the shower, not during planned brainstorming efforts.

Thursday, May 22, 2014

5-23-14 planning underway for new fdl county highway garage

As construction gets underway on a new highway garage in Campbellsport discussion is underway on a new main garage for the Fond du Lac County Highway Department.  Fond du Lac County Highway commissioner Tom Jahnke says the highway committee voted last week to explore building a new facility at a new location.  "The committee chose right now to look outside this (Dixie Street)  property,"   Jahnke told WFDL news. "One of the alternatives was to look at property around this building, and maybe buy up and build something in this area.  Its pretty difficult to do because its a fairly established neighborhood."   Jahnke says costs for a new garage could approach the $20 million mark.  He says the department has outgrown its Dixie Street location which was built in the 1920s.   Jahnke says at this point there is no timetable for construction.  Meanwhile construction on a new Campbellsport highway garage is slated for completion by the end of the year.

5-23-14 fdl public works director says facebook comments are disturbing

The Fond du Lac public works director says he’s concerned about some hateful posts on social media directed toward a public works employee who accidentally ran over some baby ducks this week.  Jordan Skiff says the driver of a public works truck didn’t see the ducks when the incident occurred at the intersection of South Main Street and Pioneer Road Tuesday morning.  Skiff says hateful comments and even threats targeting the employee and his family have been posted on Facebook by some residents. "They're very distrurbing.  They are not only threats to this gentleman but to his family,"  Skiff told WFDL news.  "Some people have said that we should do the same thing to this person's children."  

5-23-14 waupun heroin summit

On the heels of a heroin summit in Fond du Lac and another in Dodge County…Waupun is hosting a heroin summit next month.  Police Chief Dale Heeringa says the summit will be held June 12th at the Waupun High School.  Heeringa says heroin is impacting communities large and small across the state.  "Waupun is dealing with the heroin thing just like every other community,"  Heeringa told AM 1170 WFDL's Between the Lines program. Heeringa says a big concern for smaller communities like Waupun is lack of access to treatment for heroin addicts.

5-23-14 senior health

A spokesperson for AARP Wisconsin says she’s pleased to see where Wisconsin ranks in an annual report on senior health.  In the report Wisconsin jumped nine spots to 10th in the nation.  Lisa Lamkins says the fact that Wisconsin ranks better than the national average when it comes to the percentage of seniors who
reported falling in the past year shows that education programs are working.  Lamkins says it is concerning thtat Wisconsin receives demerits for a high prevalence of chronic drinking and obesity.

5-23-14 holiday travel safety

With the traditional kick off of the summer travel season this holiday weekend, Wisconsin Emergency Management is reminding motorists to drive carefully.   Emergency management spokesman Tod Pritchard
says motorists should be prepared for a lot of traffic on area roads this weekend.  Pritchard says it’s a good idea to plan ahead and don’t forget to have an emergency kit in your car just in case.  Pritchard says never leave a person or pet alone in a parked vehicle…even if the temperatures are onjly in the 70s or 80s.  Most road construction projects across Wisconsin are on hold over the long holiday weekend.

5-23-14 memorial day travel

AAA Travel says more Americans are planning to start the summer travel season with a Memorial Day getaway.  The AAA survey projects  more than 36 million Americans will journey 50 miles or more from home this holiday weekend.  State Triple A spokesman Nick Jarmuscz says in Wisconsin the AAA forecast also calls for a slight increase in holiday travel.  Jarmuscz says the 2014 forecast is 2.6 percent higher than the ten year historical average and second highest travel volume since 2000.  AAA expects most drivers will pay lower gas prices by Memorial Day weekend due to rising supplies.

5-23-14 lake winnebago flies

TOWN OF NEENAH, Wis. (AP) — Swarms of lake flies are invading the Lake Winnebago area — clinging to everything in sight and leaving behind a green mess when squished.  Lake flies typically emerge around Mother's Day but this year's hatch was delayed by the cool spring weather.  Lake flies live throughout Lake Winnebago and the upper lakes.  Scott Koehnke, a water management specialist for the state Department of Natural Resources, says warmer temperatures this week will result in a bumper crop of lake flies.  Koehnke says the current hatch will help migrating birds, which have struggled to find food in the cool spring. Purple martins and swallows had delayed nesting because of the lack of food.  Lake flies don't have mouths, so they don't bite or eat vegetation.

5-23-14 wisconsin walleye limits

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources is increasing walleye bag limits on nearly 450 lakes in time for the holiday weekend in response to lower than average tribal harvests this spring.  The DNR reports Thursday that the six bands of Chippewa harvested about 27,400 walleye and 201 musky as of mid-May. The average harvests by the tribe are higher by about 2,500 walleye and about 100 musky.  Fisheries management chief Steve Hewett says the late spring thaw led to lower tribal harvests.  The department is increasing limits to five fish per day on more than half of the 447 lakes. A third of the lakes will have a three-bag limit. The DNR is also promoting its mobile app that includes regulations and other information.

5-23-14 wisconsin elections-filing deadline

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — No last-minute surprise retirement announcements are expected as a deadline for incumbents to announce whether they will seek re-election nears.  Friday is the deadline for office holders in Wisconsin to file paperwork announcing their intention not to seek re-election. Incumbents can miss the deadline, but that would give anyone running for the seat three additional days to circulate nomination papers.  As of midday Thursday, three retiring Republican lawmakers had yet to file the required form but all were expected to meet the deadline.  Republican Sen. Dale Schultz says he still plans on retiring and will get the form in on time.  A spokeswoman for the committee working to elect Republican Assembly members says Reps. Don Pridemore and Chad Weininger will also submit the forms by the 5 p.m. Friday deadline.

5-23-14 wisconsin governor-investigation

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Attorneys representing Wisconsin media groups say a judge should unseal all documents that don't reveal private information about the subjects of a secret investigation into Gov. Scott Walker's recall election and others.  The groups filed a motion late Wednesday saying unsealing the documents would allow the public to oversee the actions of its judicial and executive branches of state government.  Prosecutors in the John Doe investigation agree all the documents should be unsealed. Attorneys for the Wisconsin Club for Growth, which is under investigation, want to keep hundreds of pages secret.  The investigation started in August 2012 and focuses on alleged illegal campaign fundraising, spending and coordination by conservative groups, the governor's campaign and others.

5-23-14 arson suspect bound over for trial

A North Fond du Lac man charged in connection with a Fond du Lac apartment  arson fire has been bound over for trial.  Probable cause was found at a preliminary hearing Thursday afternoon for Laney Amons.  Amons pleaded not guilty to charges of arson, burglary and criminal damage to property.  Assistant police chief Steve Klein says Amons is accused of setting fire to the Home Town Harbor apartment complex on North Seymour Street May 2nd.

5-23-14 fdl commission gives okay for theatre demolition

Nearly two decades after designating the Retlaw Theater as an historic site, the Fond du Lac Historic Preservation commission has approved a demolition permit for the building.  The commission voted 5-0 with one abstension to review an application for a demolition permit.  Fond du Lac Redevelopment Director Dyann Benson says the theater stopped showing movies in 1998 aand the property has been substantially vacant since 2009.  In 1997 a Performing Arts Center Ad Hoc committee studied the possibility of converting the theater into a performing arts center, but decided the cost to renovate the property was too expensive.  Benson says since that initial feasibility study, the high school performing arts center,  and the UW Fond du Lac Prairie Theater were constructed.  The Thelma Sadoff Cener for the Arts also completed an expansion.  Commonwealth Development wants to tear down the Retlaw Theater for parking and
convert the front of the building into office and apartment space.

5-23-14 appeals court won't hear wi unions appeal

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — The U.S. 7th Circuit Court of Appeals has rejected a request from two Wisconsin unions to re-hear an appeal they filed of Gov. Scott Walker's law effectively ending collective bargaining for most public workers.  A three-judge panel of the appeals court in April rejected the appeal made by union chapters representing city of Madison and Dane County public workers. The unions requested another hearing before all judges on the court, but that was rejected on Thursday.  The unions could appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court. The unions argued in their lawsuit that the 2011 law violated their rights to assemble and equal protection.  U.S. District Judge William Conley upheld the law last year, siding with Walker that the law is constitutional.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

5-22-14 ems week

The public got a chance to celebrate Emergency Medical Services Week with an open house at the Fond du Lac Main Street Fire station last night.  Dvision Chief of fire prevention Troy Haase says the theme is
EMS:Dedicated for Life.  "This week recognizes EMS and its most important for us to show people what the fire department does.  We run a lot more EMS calls than we do fire calls,"  Haase told WFDL news.
Haase says he wishes more people would learn the basics of CPR.  Culver’s restaurant was honored with a Citizen Life Saving award for recently providing life-saving emergency care to a patron who collapsed in the restaurant.

5-22-14 waupun fire chief retiring

After more than four decades in firefighting, the last 19 as Waupun Fire chief, Jeff Berry, is stepping down.  Berry will be retiring at the end of August.  "Its been a very good 19 years,"  Berry told AM 1170 WFDL's Between the Lines program.  "...very good department, very good firefighters, to work with.  I've enjoyed every minute of it."   He got his start as an 18 year old volunteer firefighter with the Plover Fire Department.
The Waupun fire department responds to dozens of fires every year…in the community and surrounding area…but Berry sasy there are a handful of fires over the years that he will always remember.  "We had the Ben Franklin fire, it was a big one back during the 2000 era, the VC Trucking fire.  Those were probably the biggest dollar-loss fires in the city of Waupun,"  Berry said.  "We also went to the Quad Graphics fire, Watertown fire, downtown Fond du Lac, the Ripon fire."   When it comes to fire prevention Berry says there are two things he wishes residents would take more seriously...working smoke alarms and being more careful with candles.  Berry was scheduled to retire this month but agreed to stay on while Waupun conducts a statewide search for a new fire chief.

5-22-14 wla-voucher school

Winnebago Lutheran Academy principal Dave Schroeder says WLA is excited to be a part of the school voucher program.  WLA is one of six new schools to be admitted into the program next year.  "We're very happy to be partnering with Fond du Lac High School, and St. Mary's Springs to give educational choices all over,"  Schroeder told WFDL news.  Schroeder says most of the 74 applications are already students at WLA.  "Yes, and I would say our applications that we got,  pretty much follow what the statewide average was.  About 80 percent of those applications are already currently attending private schools in the Fond du Lac area,"  Schroeder said.  Schroeder says  341 kids are enrolled at WLA and come from a wide area.  St. Marys Springs received 80 new applications and will serve as a state voucher school for a second year.

5-22-14 lehman-lt. governor candidate

A Democratic candidate for Wisconsin Lieutenant governor says jobs are the number one issue in the race.
Senator John Lehman of Racine says he made the decision to run last fall after meeting with Democratic gubernatorial candidate Mary Burke.  Lehman says the governor has fallen well short of his promise to create 250,000 jobs in his first term.  Lehman is also critical of the governor for turning down federal money

to expand Medicaid.

5-22-14 public works truck runs over baby ducks

A Fond du Lac Public Works employee is the subject of intense criticism on Facebook after running over some baby ducks with his city truck…the driver says it was an accident.  An eyewitness says other motorists had stopped for the ducks At the intersection of South Main and Pioneer Road but the Public Works truck accelerated and ran over some of the ducks.  The driver said because he sits up high in the truck…he didn’t
see the baby ducks.  Police say no citations will be issued.

5-22-14 poll-obama

MILWAUKEE (AP) — President Barack Obama's approval rating has held about steady in Wisconsin, with 48 percent of registered voters saying they approve of the job he's doing. A Marquette University law school poll released today says 45 percent disapprove of his performance, and 6 percent don't know.

5-22-14 poll-walker

MILWAUKEE (AP) — Just under half of registered Wisconsin voters approve of the job Governor Scott Walker is doing. The Marquette law school released its latest poll numbers today. The poll says 49 percent of voters approve of how the Republican governor is handling is job. Another 46 percent disapprove, and 4 percent aren't sure. The poll interviewed 805 registered voters between May 15th and Sunday.

5-22-14 poll-burke

MILWAUKEE (AP) — A new poll says Democratic gubernatorial candidate Mary Burke still has a ways to go in introducing herself to voters. A Marquette University law school poll released Wednesday shows 27 percent of registered voters have a favorable opinion of the former Trek Bicycle executive, and 22 percent have an unfavorable opinion. But a full 46 percent say they haven't heard enough about her to decide.

5-22-14 local unemployment rates fall

The Department of Workforce Development reports that preliminary unemployment rates dropped in all but two counties in April. DWD reported Wednesday that unemployment dropped in all of the state's 32 largest cities between March and April. The Fond du Lac County rate fell from 6.5 to 5.5 percent.  The Dodge
County unemployment rate dropped from 7.3 to 6.2 percent. The April unemployment rate in the city of Fond du Lac stands at 6.4-percent...down a full percentage point from March.  The only counties where unemployment increased were Menominee and Iron. Dane County has the lowest unemployment rate at 3.8 percent.  Racine maintained the highest unemployment rate of any major city in Wisconsin at 10.2 percent. It was followed by Beloit at 9.2 percent unemployment and Milwaukee at 8.4 percent. Those three had the highest rates in April 2013.  The state's overall seasonally adjusted rate is 5.8 percent. That is the lowest it's been since October 2008.  The national unemployment rate is 6.3 percent.

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

5-21-14 three fdl county communities among the 50 safest in wisconsin

Three Fond du Lac county communities have made their way onto another positive list –
being named one of the 50 Safest Cities in Wisconsin.   The report, put out by SafeWise, combined data from the most recent FBI Crime Reports with their own research to create the list.   The report lists North Fond du Lac at number 23.  North Fond du Lac police chief Darren Pautsch says its a community accomplishment.  The report says the village had 1.98 violent crimes per thousand residents and a property crime rate of 11.88 per thousand.  Waupun is ranked 30th on the list and Ripon is number 35 Mayville was ranked 42nd on the list.  The city of Fond du Lac is not on the list.  Freedom came in on the list as number one for the safest city in Wisconsin.  SafeWise is an informational company dealing with home security and safety

advice.  The full list of cities can be found on their website,

5-21-14 retlaw theater demolition permit

Nearly two decades after designating the Retlaw Theater as an historic site, the Fond du Lac Historic Preservation commission is being asked to approve a demolition permit for the building.  The commission meets this evening to review an application for a demolition permit.  Fond du Lac Redevelopment Director Dyann Benson says the theater stopped showing movies in 1998 aand the property has been substantially vacant since 2009.  In 1997 a Performing Arts Center Ad Hoc committee studied the possibility of converting the theater into a performing arts center, but decided the cost to renovate the property was too expensive.  Benson says since that initial feasibility study, the high school performing arts center,  and the UW Fond du Lac Prairie Theater were constructed.  The Thelma Sadoff Cener for the Arts also
Completed an expansion.  Commonwealth Development wants to tear down the theater for parking and convert the front of the building into office and apartment space.

5-21-14 homes sales down

Home sales in Wisconsin dropped by 9 percent in April  compared to last year.  Despite hopes for a spring turnaround, it marks the fourth consecutive month that sales have dropped compared to the previous year. The Wisconsin Realtors Association says unusually cold weather in February and March, combined with rising interest rates and home prices likely played a role in the decline.  Association economist David Clark says  another factor in the slump could be a tightening inventory of homes on the market.  The state median price for a home  in April was about $140,000.

5-21-14 dodge county sheriff resume

A former Dodge County sheriff’s detective says the incumbent sheriff was at the very least misleading when it came to her education on her resume before she was appointed to the post, the sheriff says that’s nonsense.
Former detective Bob Neumann says Ninmann falsified her resume by implying she had an associate’s degree in criminal justice, when she was still six credits short.  Ninmann says isn't hiding anything or trying to be misleading and says Department of Justice investigators were aware of her educational status when they interviewed her for the job.  Ninmann was appointed sheriff when Todd Nehls retired last year.  Nehls
recommended her for the post.  Ninmann is running for re-election and faces a challenge from sheriff’s sergeant Dale Schmidt in the Republican primary In August.

5-21-14 eaa rentals warning

OSHKOSH, Wis. (AP) — The Winnebago County Health Department has sent letters to some residents who offer short-term apartment rentals through a popular website.  It warns them of fines if they continue to list their property on the Airbnb site without a permit.  While the letters focus on Airbnb users, the issue could have implications for the hundreds of property owners who rent during the Experimental Aircraft Association's AirVenture.  Health Department Director Doug Gieryn says the letters focused on properties that involve the owners leaving the premises, which makes them transient properties. A bed and breakfast, on the other hand, has owners on the premises.  Gieryn says he's requested more guidance from state officials to see if Wisconsin law would impact those who rent their homes during AirVenture.

5-21-14 former dnr warden accused of stealing guns

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Investigators say a former state Department of Natural Resources warden charged with multiple counts of theft and misconduct in office was stealing guns from people he cited.
According to a criminal complaint, David Horzewski was fired in July for using state equipment for personal purposes, including using a DNR boat to take his children fishing.  Horzewski's supervisors were reviewing his records when they discovered four firearms he reported as seized were missing. The DNR handed the matter to the state Capitol Police investigators. They discovered eight rifles Horzewski had seized in Horzewski's basement in March.  He's scheduled to make an initial court appearance on June 11.

5-21-14 brass foundry injuries

SAUKVILLE, Wis. (AP) — Four of seven workers injured when a machine failed at a Saukville foundry and spilled molten metal remain hospitalized. Police say the three others have been released from treatment.  Authorities say the machine failure happened about 4 p.m. Monday at Johnson Brass & Machine Foundry. The injured workers were on a platform next to a large centrifuge that spins melted brass. The platform collapsed and molten brass was sprayed from the failed equipment, starting a small fire that was extinguished by foundry workers.  Two of the injured workers were taken by helicopter to the burn center at Columbia St. Mary's Hospital. Two additional workers were taken by ambulance to the same facility.

5-21-14 dodge county-four separate injury crashes in last 24 hours

The Dodge County Sheriff’s Office has responded to four separate injury crashes within the last 24 hours.   On May 19, 2014 at 5:20 PM, an injury crash was reported on Resthaven Road in the Town of Ashippun.  A 52 year old Hartford man was driving a 2001 GMC truck pulling a trailer loaded with mulch.  As he was pulling into a private driveway, he struck a 53 year old female pedestrian with the trailer.  The female was severely injured and transported to Aurora Summit Hospital.  On May 19, 2014 at 5:33 PM, another injury crash was reported on STH 73 near CTH DE in the Town of Calamus.  A 29 year old female from Madison was northbound on STH 73 driving a 2013 Land Rover when she lost control of her vehicle, crossed the centerline and entered the west ditch.  The vehicle stuck a culvert and then rolled.  The driver and sole occupant was transported to Columbus Hospital with non-life threatening injuries.   On May 20, 2014 at 12:04 AM, an injury crash was reported on STH 175 near Meridian Road in the Town of Theresa.  Investigation showed a 53 year old male from Oshkosh was northbound driving a 1995 Buick on STH 175 and failed to negotiate a right hand curve, crossed the centerline and went into the west ditch striking a power pole.  The driver and his 43 year old female passenger were transported to Aurora Medical Center in Hartford with non-life threatening injuries.  Another crash was reported on May 20, 2014, at 8:04 AM on Town Road MM near Coolidge Road in the Town of Ashippun.  A 17 year old female from rural Neosho was westbound on Town Road MM when she lost control while negotiating a curve and entered the ditch rolling the 2008 Chevrolet  several times.   The female was the lone occupant and was transported to Aurora Summit Hospital with non-life threatening injuries.  Sheriff Ninmann states “All occupants of the vehicles were wearing their safety belts which was likely the reason there were no fatalities”.  Sheriff Ninmann added, “With the nicer spring weather drivers must be aware of their surroundings, drive with caution and avoid distractions”.   

5-21-14 gas leak in fdl

Nobody was injured in a gas leak in Fond du Lac Tuesday morning.  Shortly after 11am, the  Fire Department was dispatched to a smell of gas reported by a letter carrier.  Upon arrival located the smell of gas, but couldn't locate the exact source.  Alliant was contacted, and upon arrival with further investigation narrowed down leak to single structure.  The surrounding homes were evacuated, and firefighters deployed lines for fire protection, and made entry to structure.  Firefighters found high levels of natural gas, and  ventilated structure to provide safe environment for Alliant.  Firefighters and Alliant worked on scene to locate source.  There was no one at home at the time of the call and there were no reported injuries.  The Fond du Lac Police Department assisted with scene security and traffic control.   

5-21-14 voucher schools

More than 3,400 students have applied to receive a taxpayer-funded voucher to attend
private and religious schools in Wisconsin next year, the second year of the statewide
voucher program.  That is more than triple the enrollment cap of 1,000.  The Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction said Tuesday that six new schools or school systems will be admitted into the program next year. The first 25 schools that were in the program this year keep their 500 vouchers.  Because of a tie, the 26 schools with the most new applicants will divide up the 500 additional vouchers.  The six new schools are in Appleton, Bonduel, Sheboygan, Menasha-Neenah and Fond du Lac.   Winnebago Lutheran Academy had 74 applications, St. Mary’s Springs received 80 applications.

5-21-14 fdl police:home invasion not a random act

Fond du Lac police are continuing to investigate a reported home invasion, but say it was not a random act, and neighbors are not in danger.  A Fond du Lac man phoned police Monday afternoon to report three
males entered his residence in the 300 block of East First Street, tied him up and stole his cell phone.
Assistant police chief Steve Klein says investigators are looking into the possibility this may be drug-related.
Klein says police are not releasing any description of the suspects at this point.

5-20-14 funeral services for kiel soldier

KIEL, Wis. (AP) — A funeral service with military honors has been held for a U.S. Army sergeant from Wisconsin killed in Kosovo.  Family and friends of Heidi Ruh gathered Monday evening at a church in Kiel (keel) to memorialize the 32-year-old mother of two.  The Army says Ruh was fatally shot May 9 on base in Kosovo. Her death remains under investigation. The Army says there's no evidence of hostile gunfire. It has not ruled out foul play.   Ruh joined the military in 2003 as a biomedical equipment specialist. She volunteered to go to Kosovo in February. Ruh most recently lived in Barrington, Illinois.

5-20-14 memorial day parade

The Fond du Lac Memorial Day Parade will be Monday, May 26th, beginning at 10 am on the corner of Guindon Blvd and South Main Street, proceeding north to Veterans Park.  The program will begin immediately after the parade.  The keynote speaker this is year is Fond du Lac City Manager and Retired Army Colonel Joseph Moore.  State Senator Rick Gudex, State Representative Jeremy Thiesfeldt, County Executive Allen Buechel and Police Chief William Lamb will give brief welcomes.  Invocation and benediction will be given by Reverend Steve Huff and music during the ceremony will be provided by the Fond du Lac High School Band.  Catholic War Veterans Good Shepherd Post 1329 of Fond du Lac is this year’s sponsoring unit.  Jerry Thomas of the Catholic War Vets will be the Parade Marshal and Retired Navy Lieutenant of the Disabled American Veterans will be the Master of Ceremonies again this year.  

5-20-14 cow slows traffic on highway 41

Highway 41 traffic was slowed for a short period of time yesterday morning when a cow fell off a truck.
The incident happened in the southbound lanes of 41 near the Fond du lac County Airporrt.   The cow escaped when the gate on the truck fell down.  As motorists hit their brakes, state patrol troopers corralled the cow in the median and the  truck driver loaded the animal back into the truck.

Monday, May 19, 2014

5-20-14 memorial day holiday travel survey

After a harsh winter more Americans are planning to start the summer travel season with a Memorial Day getaway.  AAA Travel projects more than 36 million Americans will journey 50 miles or more from home this holiday weekend.  State Triple A spokesman Nick Jarmuscz says in Wisconsin the AAA forecast also calls for a slight increase in holiday travel.  Jarmuscz says the 2014 forecast is 2.6 percent higher than the ten year historical average and second highest travel volume since 2000.  AAA expects most drivers will pay lower gas prices by Memorial Day weekend due to rising supplies.

5-20-14 deer ticks

A UW Madison entomologist says its that time of year…deer ticks are starting to emerge as the temperatures warm up.   Professor  Susan Paskewitz says she has seen a lot ticks in recent  days and weeks. Paskewitz says the early indications are that the bitter cold winter did not have a significant impact on the tick population.  Paskewitz was a guest on AM 1170 WFDL's Between the Lines program.

5-20-14 health overhaul-wisconsin

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Nearly 63,000 Wisconsin residents who were on the state's BadgerCare Medicaid program lost their coverage at the end of March under tighter income eligibility standards.
Gov. Scott Walker's administration had previously estimated the number who would be kicked off the program to be around 75,000.  Walker announced Monday that the actual number who earned too much to remain on the program is 62,776. They were among those who have to purchase subsidized private insurance through the online marketplace created under President Barack Obama's federal health care law.  Walker tightened income eligibility under Wisconsin's Medicaid program only to those earning less than poverty level. He also did away with a waiting list for childless adults.  Walker says nearly 82,000 childless adults signed up for the program, which is close to previous estimates.

5-20-14 lucey funeral

MILWAUKEE (AP) — Former Wisconsin Gov. Patrick Lucey is being remembered as a great family and religious man who helped the state and the Democratic party. Lucey was a hard-nosed Democrat who died May 10 at age 96. He was Wisconsin's governor from 1970 to 1977.  Other current and former Wisconsin governors gathered at his funeral Monday in Milwaukee.  Afterward, former Gov. Tommy Thompson, a Republican, credited Lucey with growing the Democratic party into a "tremendous organization, much to my chagrin and all Republicans."  Gov. Scott Walker also attended, along with former Wisconsin governors Martin Schreiber, Scott McCallum and Jim Doyle.  Lucey left office midway through his second term to serve as President Jimmy Carter's ambassador to Mexico. He also ran for U.S. vice president as an independent in 1980.

5-20-14 fdl police investigating reported home invasion

Fond du Lac police are investigating a reported home invasion and robbery in the 300 block of East First Street.  Police received a call Monday afternoon from a man who said three males entered his home, tied him up and took  his cell phone.  Police say no one was injured and no arrests have been made.

5-20-14 west nile-dodge county

State and county health officials today announced that a dead crow found in Dodge County has tested positive for West Nile virus. This is the first bird to test positive for the virus in Wisconsin this year. Although very few mosquitoes actually carry West Nile virus, infected birds serve as an early warning that the virus is present in the area and that people should be more vigilant in protecting themselves against mosquito bites.  West Nile virus is spread to people through the bite of an infected mosquito. Mosquitoes
become infected with West Nile virus by feeding on infected birds, and then potentially transmit the virus by biting other animals or people.   Last year, 21 cases of West Nile virus infection were reported among Wisconsin residents. While West Nile virus infections in humans have been reported from June through October, most individuals reported becoming ill with West Nile virus infection during August and September.  Statewide surveillance activities related to West Nile virus began on May 1. People who   have a question about a dead bird should call the Dead Bird Reporting Hotline at 1-800-433-1610.