Local News Friday 3/29/13

Armed Robberies Arrest


Authorities say a 26-year-old Washington County man has been taken into custody in connection with four armed robberies in Fond du Lac, Sheboygan and Washington Counties this month. The man is suspected of robbing the Petro Mart in Waucousta on March 15th, the MSM Citgo in Random Lake on March 8th, Marshall’s Gas and Goods in Cascade on March 10th and the Germantown BP on March 5th. A handgun was displayed in each of the robberies. He then fled with cash and cigarettes. The arrest is the result of a joint investigation that involved the Fond du Lac, Sheboygan and Washington County Sheriff’s Departments, Germantown Police and Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms.


New Holstein Woman Died From Hypothermia


Calumet County authorities say the death of an 18-year-old New Holstein woman whose body was found outside a home in the Town of Holstein last month has been ruled as accidental. County Medical Examiner Michael Klaeser says Monica Batts died of hypothermia due to exposure to the cold. Toxicology tests showed that she had an elevated blood alcohol level which directly contributed to her confusion, and possible loss of direction. The Sheriff’s Department’s investigation determined she left a residence in the City of New Holstein about 4 a.m. on Monday, February 11th left a roadway on foot and crossed a snow-covered field. She then went over a snow fence into the backyard of the residence on County Highway X where she was found dead. It appeared she tried to gain entry into the home, but wasn’t successful.


NFDL Schools Were Locked Down


The Bessie Allen Middle School and Horace Mann High School in North Fond du Lac was locked down for more than an hour Monday afternoon after a message was found about the possibility of a student with a gun. North Fond du Lac Police Chief Darren Pautsch says the message included a specific date and time and an image that implied the possible threat of a gun. Students found the message on a bathroom wall at the middle school and reported it to a teacher. Police were notified and both schools went into lockdown. North Fond du Lac Schools Superintendent Aaron Sadoff says they take every threat to their students and schools seriously. He says they ultimately determined the message was not credible.


Party Host For Stabbing Pleads Not Guilty To Aggravated Battery Charge


The man who hosted a party in Theresa last month where a 21-year-old Campbellsport man was stabbed has pled “not guilty” to an aggravated battery charge. Matthew Hecker was arraigned in Dodge County Court this week on the charge stemming from the incident on February 9th. The victim suffered a collapsed lung when he was stabbed in the back while trying to break up a fight. Twenty-year-old Conrado Garza of Lomira who is accused of stabbing the victim has a preliminary hearing on April 11th.  A third person, 22-year-old Nicholas Isken of Theresa is accused of providing the knife and will have a preliminary hearing next month as well.


FDL Man Sentenced On Burglary Charges


A 27-year-old Fond du Lac man has been sentenced to two years in prison and 5 years of extended supervision on three burglary charges. Fond du Lac County Judge Dale English sentenced Christopher Shaw this week. He also ordered Shaw to pay restitution and write letters of apology to the victims. Charges stemmed from three burglaries that occurred in 2010. Shaw is already serving a four year sentence at Fox Lake Correctional for another burglary committed in Fond du Lac that same year. The two years he was sentenced to this week will be added to his prison term. He committed the burglaries to support a drug habit. Shaw pled no contest to the three burglary charges last January.


Milwaukee Couple Charged For Passing Fake $100 Bills In Sheboygan County


(WHBL-Sheboygan)-A Milwaukee area couple has now been formally charged with passing counterfeit $100 bills at businesses around Sheboygan last week.  Twenty-eight-year-old Abraham Scull and 18-year-old Krystal Witek are facing numerous counts of forgery.  They were arrested last Friday after they attempted to pass one of the bills at Hobby Lobby in the Memorial Mall.  Witek was identified through surveillance video. 


Holiday Hours


County offices in the Fond du Lac City-County Government Center, the Portland Street Annex including the Veterans Service Office and Department of Social Services will close at noon today in observance of the Easter weekend. The Sheriff’s Office Lobby Window will be open from 8 to 11 a.m. and the Highway Department office will be closed all day. City of Fond du Lac Offices will remain open on Good Friday.  The City Clerk’s office will be open until 5:00 p.m. for the purpose of voter registration and absentee voting. City trash collection will be held as usual.


DuCharme Parkway Intersection Will Be Completed At 151 Bypass


The Fond du Lac City Council heard a report this week about planned improvements on the Highway 151 bypass at DuCharme Parkway.  The City needs an intersection to be completed for future growth of the Hunter’s Grove subdivision to the east of the highway. Community Development Director Wayne Rollin says the state’s Department of Transportation originally expected the City to bear the full cost of doing the intersection, which is $615,000, but now has agreed to cover $515,000 of the cost. The remaining $100,000 will be split between the City and the Hunters Grove developer. Rollin says the intersection will be similar to other at-grade intersections along the bypass with right-in and right-out movement from both sides, but no left out turns from DuCharme. Left-in turns will be allowed from the highway. He says it will improve safety at the intersection. The DOT will be scheduling the project for 2015.


Ripon Considers Single Stream Recycling Totes


Ripon residents will be surveyed on whether they would be willing to go to single stream recycling collection through the use of 95 gallon totes. City Administrator Lori Rich says it would make recycling easier for city residents, but it will cost more to switch to the bigger totes; about $150,000 if they go with a one-time only payment. That’s about $60 per household. Rich says if they opt not to pay the $150,000 one time payment the City could opt to charge a dollar a household more for the new 95 gallon totes, which would amount to paying $31,000 a year extra. She says with that option it would take about six years to pay for the new containers.


Senator Johnson Says Social Security And Medicare Need Restructuring


US Senator Ron Johnson says if Social Security and Medicare aren’t restructured they won’t be around to help out future generations. He talked about that, the national debt and other topics when he addressed the Morning Rotary Club in Fond du Lac Thursday. He also talked with KFIZ News and says when he had dinner with President Obama in Washington D.C. the president admitted Medicare pays out more in benefits than its collecting. The federal lawmaker from Oshkosh says he introduced an amendment to the sequester bill that would have done some structural reform for Social Security and Medicare, but it was voted down. He says the next financial deadline for the U.S. is for the debt ceiling and that will come about in mid-summer or early August.  Listen for an interview with Johnson this morning on the Breakfast Club at 8:50 a.m.


Governor Comments On Job Rankings


(Wisconsin Radio Network)-Wisconsin is slipping in the national rankings for job creation, although the governor expects conditions to improve. Figures from the U-S Bureau of Labor Statistics show the state finished 44th in the nation for job growth between September of 2011 and 2012, and trailed other Midwestern states in adding jobs. Governor Scott Walker believes the recall election he faced last June played a role in that outcome. Walker’s comments came during a stop in Ashwaubenon, as part of a manufacturing tour of the state. The governor says he’s less concerned about the rankings, and more focused on how many people are getting back to work. He believes an improvement will be seen over the next year. Democrats were quick to criticize the jobs numbers, with Assembly Minority Leader Peter Barca of Kenosha saying citizens should not be satisfied with being 44th in the nation in anything, especially when it comes to their economic well-being. The state’s ranking dropped from 42nd in June of last year and 37th in March of 2012.


Last Day For FDL FD Division Chief Tom Wendt


It’s a bittersweet day for Tom Wendt today. The Division Chief of Fire Prevention for the Fond du Lac Fire Department puts in his last day and will be retiring after 35 years with the department. Wendt says he has a lot of memories from over those years including one of the first big fires he fought in 1978 in the attic of the Retlaw Hotel.  He says they did a good job because the hotel is still standing today. He says back in the day fires weren’t they only health hazards firefighters encountered on the job. He says there was also the abundance of fried food and cigarette smoking.  Wendt says a lot of firefighters back then also had second jobs because the pay wasn’t what it was today.Troy Haase takes over as Division Chief of Fire Prevention on Monday.


Meyer Seeks Return To FDL City Council


Sam Meyer is hoping voters will return him to the Fond du Lac City Council Tuesday. Meyer has served on both the City Council and County Board in the past. He’s been following an issue with the Retlaw Hotel in which the owners, North Main Hospitality, rang up serious debt to the City. He says when the Council voted not to suspend their liquor license they were giving notice to the employees and brides who’ve booked their special day at the hotel that there’s a possibility the license may not be renewed on July 1st if the debt isn’t paid. He says if that’s the case he won’t vote to renew. Changes to the Highway 151 bypass in the future will change the flow of traffic into the City especially with an interchange at County Highway V. Meyer says he’s not sure exactly how it will do that, but is glad to see the DOT working with the City this time on those changes. Meyer feels he can bring a special perspective to the Council. Meyer is one of four candidates running for three seats on the Council. The others are Catherine Block, Dan Manning and Rebecca Lunde Ross. 


Kaukauna Bully Facebook Posting Stirs Controversy


(Wisconsin Radio Network)-The leader of the Kaukauna school district is responding to a Facebook post from an angry father who says his son is the victim of bullying. Superintendent Mark Duerwachter says the school’s investigation is ongoing. The father claimed that his son was body slammed three times by a bully and that police aren’t doing anything about it. He accused the district of protecting bullies. Duerwachter says he met with staff at Riverview Middle School and he’s pleased with how they’ve handled the situation so far. Duerwachter says they’ve interviewed 11 people so far and they’ve been communicating with the parents of the alleged victim and alleged bully. He says he’s trying to set up a meeting with the parents of the alleged victim.