Local News Briefs Tuesday 7/16/13

A Fond du Lac boy was injured when he wiped out on his dirt bike on an ATV track near Warehouse Court Sunday morning. Fire Department Captain Larry Wunsch says they got a call about 11:15 that morning just after the department responded to a pickup truck fire on East 12th Street. He says the young man injured in the accident was taken to St. Agnes Hospital and later transferred to the Appleton Medical Center.


Human Remains Found In Lake Michigan Near Sheboygan


(WHBL-Sheboygan)-A human body was found floating off the Sheboygan shoreline Monday morning. Sheboygan Sheriff’s Department officials say their Water Safety Unit was informed by a recreation boater around 10:15 a.m. of a suspicious object floating in Lake Michigan about one mile east of Blue Harbor Resort.  The unit and the Sheboygan County Dive/Rescue Team – both out on the lake for training – were able to retrieve the human remains and bring them to shore. An investigation is ongoing, including identification of the body.  More information on the incident and investigation may be released today at the earliest.


Racine Man Sentenced In Dodge County Drug Death


The 26-year-old Racine man suspected of supplying the heroin that caused the death of a 23-year-old Town of Portland man has been sentenced to five years in prison and 12 years of extended supervision. Willie DeGroot was recently sentenced in Dodge County Court after pleading to a charge of 1st degree reckless homicide stemming from the death of Joshua Loewen last August. Text messages between the two led to a search warrant and investigators found DeGroot in possession of the same type of heroin that led to Loewen’s overdose death. DeGroot’s sentence runs concurrently with a one-year prison term he received for a Racine County drug possession charge.


Information Sought In Ripon Park Fire


Ripon Police are looking for information on the person or persons responsible for starting a fire inside the Selfridge Park Shelter house on July 3rd or July 4th. The fire damaged the bathroom area. A reward is being offered for information leading to an arrest in this case. Anyone with information should call Ripon Police at (920) 748-2888.


New Owner For Former Oshkosh Ethanol Plant


A former ethanol plant in Oshkosh is getting a new lease on life and will re-open with a new owner this fall. Utica Energy plant closed last fall when it was $30 million in debt. Recently a Winnebago County judge approved a bid of $16.5 million from Ace Ethanol of Stanley to buy the plant. The deal has to be approved by Ace shareholders before it becomes final. It’s expected 40 to 45 employees will be needed for the ethanol plant in Oshkosh. Ace has a similar number of workers at its plant in Stanley.


Voucher St. Mary’s Springs Impact May Be Minimal At First


St. Mary’s Springs Academy President Kevin Shaw says St. Mary’s Springs will greatly benefit from the school choice voucher program giving families who might not be able to afford a private education the opportunity. The extent of that impact will be limited at first. St. Mary’s Director of Admission Emily Salm says Springs has to be in the top 25 of schools across the state in terms of applications for admission to get at least 10 voucher spots. She says entry points at St. Mary’s will be K4, K5, 1st grade and 9th grade. Shaw says St. Mary’s would also meet a lot of additional compliance that public schools currently have to follow such as accepting all eligible students, follow state accounting standards, file an independent audit, and comply with health and safety codes. Salm says the period for applying for the voucher program is August 1st through August 9th. Those who would like to know more about St. Mary’s should visit their Admissions Office at the St. Mary’s Springs Academy at 114 Amory Street in Fond du Lac weekdays between 8 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. 


Mideast Tensions Latest Reason For Gas Price Spike


(Wisconsin Radio Network)-Wisconsin drivers are paying more at the pump then they were last week. The average price for a gallon of regular unleaded fuel is up 20-cents in just the past week, according to Pam Moen with Triple-A Wisconsin. Moen says rising crude oil prices, fueled by speculation over the unrest in Egypt, are largely to blame. She says the trading price of crude oil has gone up about $10 a barrel around speculation that ongoing tensions could disrupt the oil supply coming out of that region. However, Moen says supplies have not been disrupted. Barring any other factors that could pop up, she expects prices will go down again soon. She says unless something really escalates in the Mideast or something else goes wrong in the U.S. the price run won’t last too long. Prices are about 21-cents higher than they were at this time last year.


THELMA Brings WAMI Winner The WhiskeyBelles To FDL


The WhiskeyBelles, a 2013 Wisconsin Area Music Industry or WAMI winner, will be performing at Thelma Sadoff Center for the Arts in Fond du Lac on Friday, July 26th. The 8 p.m. show will be performed on THELMA’s new outdoor plaza. Jacqui Corsi the Director of Marketing for THELMA says it will be a smaller venue then when the THELMA officially opens in September and bands themselves will perform from the plaza. The WhiskeyBelles were the WAMI winner for Americana and Bluegrass Artist of the Year and are out of Milwaukee. They are an all-female traditional country and Americana trio. THELMA Executive Director Kevin Miller says holding the whole event on the plaza is a way of getting their feet wet, but keep the moment going towards their opening. Miller says they will keep the announcements coming building toward that opening. Tickets are $20 each with THELMA members getting a 20% discount. A limited number of tickets will be sold. They are on sale now at thelmaarts.org


AirVenture City


It won’t be long before the EAA AirVenture grounds in Oshkosh becomes like a city of its own for the annual event. EAA spokesman Dick Knapinski says with 30,000 to 40,000 people on the grounds 24/7 during the event it becomes like a small city and functions like one as well. He says between the drive-in campers and those who camp out next to their planes they have thousands staying on the grounds during AirVenture. He estimates about 9,000 drive-in camping units and up to 5,000 planes on grounds during each day of the week. Knapinski says even though AirVenture doesn’t get started until July 29th now is the time to order your tickets in advance at airventure.org. About half a million attend AirVenture every year. It runs July 29th through August 4th.


Pedestrian And Bicyclists Deaths Up


Since the first of the year, 18 pedestrians and five bicyclists have been killed in Wisconsin. Larry Corsi, with the Wisconsin Department of Transportation, says that’s slightly ahead of last year’s pace for the same type of accidents. He says last year at this time 17 pedestrians and 4 bicyclists had been killed. He says they are asking everyone to pay attention and share the road. Corsi says Wisconsin media outlets, community action groups and local law enforcement get the word out. He says just talking about bike and pedestrian safety goes a long ways. The department also does training workshops, for instance, teaching safe bicycling; designing for pedestrian safety. We also offer a lot of information on our web site. We are especially proud of our new kid’s safety site.