Local News Briefs Monday 7/15/13

Sheboygan County Authorities say a 6-year-old girl was injured after falling from a 2nd floor window. Sheriff’s officials say it happened about 4 p.m. yesterday afternoon in the Town of Wilson. The fall was about 10 feet and the girl ended up in a seated position. She was flown to Children’s Hospital in Milwaukee. No information was released on the extent of her injuries. A preliminary investigation determined the fall was accidental.


Doctor’s Last Gift


Even in death a Madison doctor is leading by example. Dr. Stanley Phillips died at Theda Clark Regional Medical Center in Neenah Thursday night from injuries he suffered in a Fond du Lac County traffic accident. Phillips and an ambulance crew were on their way to Appleton to pick up an infant patient when the ambulance went off of State Highway 26 and crashed. He was flown to Theda Clark. Theda Clark Trauma Center Director Dr. Ray Georgen says Phillips donated his organs. He says it’s unfortunate because Phillips probably would have seen thousands of patients during his lifetime. He says some of the patients Dr. Phillips is giving his organs to are children. Phillips, who was 32-years-old, was a neonatal doctor who has just started a fellowship with the UW-Hospital.


Internet Access Improvement Project Moving Along


Progress continues on bringing better internet access to rural portions of Fond du Lac County. County Executive Al Buechel says Bug Tussel Wireless continues to forge ahead. He says they are looking at using three of the County’s towers in Waucousta, Oakfield and Brandon. He says they have also leased space on other towers. Bug Tussel had planned to put up 12 new towers for wireless service as well. Buechel says the permitting process takes time because it involves getting federal approval and approval from 12 Native American Tribes. He says it usually takes 60 days to get federal approval. Buechel says townships also have to grant approval once they get the land for the towers. He says they knew it would take up to a year for the improvements in internet access, but some areas will see improvements by this fall.


FDL Schools Superintendent Favors School Start Bill


Fond du Lac Schools Superintendent Jim Sebert says he’s in favor of legislation at the state capitol that would return local control to public school districts over when they would start school in the fall. Right now public schools have to start September 1st or later. He says if the law passes and they had the option of when to start school they would consult staff and parents first. He says it would be nice for students who start extracurricular activities in August if school also got underway that month. Sebert says with the current school year they try to end before the second week of June, but it would be nice for some if they finished up at the end of May.


Gudex, Schraa, Hintz Introduce TID Second Chance Bill


State Senator Rick Gudex of Fond du Lac is co-authoring a bipartisan bill that will aid municipalities with TIDs or Tax Incremental Districts that have fallen on hard times. TIDs are an economic tool that allows cities to generate tax revenues and fund infrastructure improvements and other investments. When property values inside a TID shrink, instead of grow, the TID is said to be in “decrement.” These TIDs become drains on the municipalities which created them. Gudex along with State Representatives Michael Schraa and Gordon Hintz of Oshkosh are introducing legislation that give municipalities the option to re-assess a TID, effectively bringing the assessed value lower, and in line with the actual current value. Gudex says the bill give municipalities “a second chance to make their TIDs work.” But he says not every TID will be eligible. It has to be in decrement of at least 10% of its original value, and for at least 2 years. So, it’ll have to be an area that has really been hit hard. About 100 TIDs around Wisconsin are currently facing some level of decrement. Property values in nearly 60 percent of those have fallen by 10% or more. 


Smart Meter Opt Out Would Be Opposed


(Wisconsin Radio Network)-The head of the Wisconsin Utility Association says a bill that could limit the use of so-called ‘smart meters’ would likely result in higher rates for customers. A bill being considered at the Capitol would allow customers to opt-out of having utility meters installed that wirelessly report usage information. Wisconsin Utilities Association Executive Director Bill Skewes says those devices are a cost saving technology. He says it streamlines the metering process and lowers costs. State Representative Jeremy Thiesfeldt, the sponsor of the bill, argues there are privacy concerns about the devices. Skewes says those worries are largely the result of people not understanding the technology. He says by law utilities can not share customer information with any one. Some customers have also raised health concerns, which Skewes says there’s no evidence to support. Skewes says the Association will likely oppose the legislation, if it receives a hearing at the Capitol.

Thiesfeldt Pleased With Survey Response


State Representative Jeremy Thiesfeldt is pleased about the response to a survey his office sent out to constituents in the 52nd State Assembly District. He says out of the 24,000 mailed or emailed out they got 900 responses. He says questions were asked on a variety of topics including how people would like to see the transportation fund improved, school choice, drunken driving and more. He says there weren’t too many surprises, but he did find it surprising how many people were in favor of toll roads to provide for the transportation fund. He says if people want to see the results of the survey they can contact his office in Madison or if they have a computer get them at his website.


FDL Strength And Conditioning Program Not Just For Football Players


Fond du Lac High School Athletic Director Kevin Deering says nearly twice as many 6th through 12th grade students are spending time taking strength and conditioning programs this summer as have in the past. He says 387 kids or more are involved in the program. He says no matter what sport you compete in the core strength program will help your game. He says each sport requires the same thing explosion from the hips and core. Deering says a student who is now with the UW-Green Bay golf team came back and their conditioning program for the UW-Green Bay is nearly identical to what is being done in Fond du Lac.


North Main Street Closure In Lakeside Park


Fond du Lac’s Public Works Departments advises us that North Main Street will be closed between the intersections of Scott Street and Frazier Drive. The closure will occur Wednesday through approximately October 25th.  The easterly lane of North Main Street will be closed to northbound traffic for underground utility installation and street reconstruction. North Main Street will be open to local southbound traffic only. Access will be maintained to local businesses on North Main Street. Motorists should proceed south on North Main Street via Frazier Drive or West Harbor View Drive. Motorists can access lakeside Park from Doty Street and North Park Avenue.


Speed Limit On US Highway 10 In Brillion


The speed limit on a stretch of Highway 10 in the City of Brillion is reduced from 55 to 50 miles per hour beginning today. The state’s Department of Transportation says the lower speed limit from Calumet County Road HR to Progress Drive will make that stretch of highway safer. The speed limit east of Progress Drive remains at 35 miles per hour. The requests for the lower speed limit on Highway 10 came from local and state officials.


Children’s Museum Needs Volunteer Help This Week


The Children’s  Museum of Fond du Lac needs volunteers this week to help prepare the museum for their opening. They are looking for people that are handy with tools and/or paintbrushes.  They will also be moving boxes and cleaning. If you are available would like to help from 9:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. any day through Friday, contact the museum by calling, 920-929-0707, or email Scott at scott@cmfdl.org.


Oakfield Brickyard History Featured At Byron Historical Society Meeting


The history of the Oakfield Brickyards will be presented by Al Messner at the Byron Historical Society meeting tonight at 7 p.m. in the Byron Town Hall. The event is open to the public. Messner, who taught science and math at Oakfield High School, began his research on the brick yards in the early 1960s when local historian Irma Wells asked him to photograph the site. Messner’s presentation will include many of these photographs. The Byron Town Hall is located at N3097 Highway 175, Byron.