Local News Briefs Friday 9/20/13

The 50-year-old West Bend man who allegedly attacked his ex-girlfriend with a knife in a Walmart parking lot last month recently waived his preliminary hearing. Craig Hron also asked for a different judge when he appeared in Washington County Court this week. He is charged with five felonies including attempted 1st degree intentional homicide. Hron also was a suspect in the murder of 18-year-old Berit Beck in 1990. He was questioned, but never charged. Beck’s body was found in a ditch outside of Waupun.

Oakfield Man Arraigned On Drunken Driving Causing Injury Charge

The 51-year-old Oakfield man suspected of driving drunk and injuring another motorist in Dodge County pled “not guilty” to charges during his recent arraignment. Bryan Novak is charged with a felony count of drunken driving causing injury. The two-vehicle wreck in June happened on Highway 49 in the Town of Leroy.  A 20-year-old Lomira woman was taken to St. Agnes Hospital to be treated for injuries she suffered in the mishap. Novak allegedly had a blood alcohol level nearly three-times the legal limit (.229).  He will be back in court next month.

Sheboygan House Fire

(WHBL-Sheboygan)-One person suffered smoke inhalation and a home was extensively damaged by a fire Wednesday afternoon in Sheboygan.  The fire was reported about 3:30 p.m. in a trailer park. Sheboygan Fire Department officials say a woman, alerted by a smoke detector, was fleeing the home as firefighters arrived on the scene.  She was treated at the scene.  Firefighters entered the home and found flames and thick black smoke in a bedroom.  They put the fire out before it could spread further.  The woman was the only one in the house other than two cats.  One was located and treated with an animal respirator, the other was never found.  Damage has been estimated at $10,000. 

State Patrol Warns Of Scam

The State Patrol is warning residents about a phone scam in which a caller identifies himself as a sergeant from the State Patrol Green Bay office and asks for money to resolve a car crash involving a relative of the person called. During at least two calls the caller indentified himself as “Sergeant Walker” and asked for $900 to pay for damages caused by the person’s child or grandchild in a crash. The fake sergeant said the money, which needed to be wired immediately, would fix the damages so the other driver would not press charges. Those who receive such calls are being asked to call the Fond du Lac Post at (920) 929-3700.  State Patrol officials say the calls are a scam that likely originated in Montreal, Canada.

Memorial Fund Set Up For Family Of FDL Soldier

The father of a Fond du Lac soldier who died while swimming in a lake at a state park in New Mexico says he has been overwhelmed by the thousands of messages of condolence they’ve received. Rob Vande Zande says those messages have come through social networking, phone calls and personal contacts about the loss of his son Rob. Jr.  He was stationed at Fort Bliss in El Paso, Texas. His father says the family appreciates the support they’ve received. He says in lieu of flowers they are asking people instead to donate to a Memorial Fund set up at the Horicon Bank, which will benefit Rob Jr.’s wife Sara and their unborn daughter Ava Lou who will arrive in November. The fund is under the name Specialist Rob A. Vande Zande Jr. Rob Jr’s body will be escorted into the City of Fond du Lac about 8 p.m. tonight from Highway 41 to Main Street, north to Johnson Street, east on Johnson Street to Park Avenue, and north on Park Avenue to the Uecker-Witt Funeral Home.

United Way Campaign At 19 Percent Of Goal

The Executive Director of the Fond du Lac Area United Way says they’ve raised $147,374 in their fall fundraising campaign so far. That’s about 19 percent of their goal of $740,000. Tina Potter says about $80,000 of that was raised by their pacesetters Holiday Automotive and Fives Gidding & Lewis. She says manufacturing is starting to recover from the slowed economy and they picked up about 2 or 3 more companies in their workplace giving efforts. Through the fall fundraising period there will be individual fundraising efforts on behalf of the United Way and one of them is at the Fond du Lac City-County Government Center Friday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Potter says a lot of people should enjoy the vendor fair and the lunch they will be offering. The Fond du Lac A & W is also providing root beer floats for $2 each with the proceeds also going to the United Way.

State Unemployment Rate Down Slightly In August

The unemployment rate in the state decreased slightly from July to August. According to Department of Workforce Development figures the jobless rate dipped from 6.8 to 6.7 percent. That’s below the national average of 7.3 percent for the month. The state says 7,300 private sector jobs were added last month. The state bases its information on U.S. Bureau of Labor statistics.

Project Grill Getting Underway

The Fond du Lac Area Association of Commerce’s Project Grill is getting underway. Jim Cleveland of the Association says this year there are nine schools participating with the addition of Waupun. He says partner manufacturers give students a good look at what type of skills they would need after they graduate from school to get a job in manufacturing. Cleveland says the effort is capped with a demonstration of the working grills. He says over the years the grills have become prized possession being rented out for community events and even traded out for things schools have needed. He says a grill made by Mayville students is being used at a grocery store there for grilling during summer promotions. For more information on Project Grill visit the Association’s website or call 921-9500.

Neenah Passes Sober Server Ordinance

(Wisconsin Radio Network)-Bartenders in Neenah will not be able to work if they are legally drunk. The city council approved sober server rules Wednesday night on a 6-to-2 vote, following several months of debate on the issue. Alderman Shiloh Ramos supported the proposal. He says the reality is you need sober servers to determine if a person in a bar is sober enough to drive. Ramos says it made sense to set a blood-alcohol limit of .08 for bartenders, because that’s the same limit for driving. The initial proposal called for absolute sobriety for bartenders, but council members made the change after bar owners raised major concerns.

Grapes For ALS Effort Begins Monday

You could say it is one sweet cause. The annual grape harvest at the H. Horner Vineyard just outside of Fond du Lac begins Monday with those willing to pick their own grapes asked to donate $1 a pound for research into ALS or Lou Gehrig’s disease. Ann and Arnold Leestma started the effort years ago. Ann says her first husband Harry planted the first grapes, but died of ALS which started their cause. People who want to pick should bring containers and scissors for cutting the grape clusters. Hours for picking are from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. H. Horner Vineyard is located at N7857 Highway 151. It’s just past Do It All Sports. Ann says if you can’t afford the grapes just take some.

Service Academy Day At EAA Center Saturday

U.S. Representative Tom Petri will join U.S. Senators Ron Johnson and Tammy Baldwin, and Representatives Reid Ribble, Ron Kind, Sean Duffy, and Mark Pocan to sponsor Academy Day Saturday at the Experimental Aircraft Association Center in Oshkosh. Hours for the event are from 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.  The seminar is for all high school students to discuss the requirements and procedures for seeking a nomination to the U.S. Service Academies.  All necessary qualifications and the procedures for applying to the academies will be explained.  Attendees do not need to register for the event. Representatives from the U.S. Air Force Academy, the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy, the U.S. Military Academy and the U.S. Naval Academy will be on hand to answer questions and distribute information about their programs.  All interested students and parents are encouraged to attend. 

Benefit For Former FDL Family Saturday

A benefit will be held at the Shack Sports Bar in Fond du Lac Saturday to benefit a former Fond du Lac family whose 3-year-old son died in a pool accident in Florida in July. Zander Hughes died July 2nd.  His parents are Paul & Michelle (Snyder) Hughes formerly of Fond du Lac. Zander is the grandchild of former Deacon Larry Hughes and Sharon Hughes and Daniel Snyder of Fond du Lac. The family moved to Florida in 2011. The benefit begins at 11 a.m. It will include a vendor fair, food, silent auctions, 50/50 raffles there will be sports tournaments and a band performing at 7 p.m. The fundraiser is to help the family cover the costs of getting the family and Zander back to Fond du Lac, and funeral and burial costs.

Ripon Septemberfest Saturday

Ripon puts on its Septemberfest fall festival in Historic Downtown Ripon Saturday. There will be plenty to do and see. The 15th Annual Watson Street Car Show will run from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. and there’s the 2nd Annual Cycle Show from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. New this year is the pedal tractor pull, which will be held at 11 a.m.  Don’t miss the fun of the annual Mascot Race at 1:30 p.m. There’s also a beautiful baby contest, a vendor and craft fair, rides and games, musical performances and plenty more. To get a complete rundown of events and attractions see the Ripon Area Chamber of Commerce website.