Local News Friday 4/5/13

Waupun Man Sentenced To Prison For Standoff Incident


A 31-year-old Waupun man involved in a standoff with police during a domestic incident last summer has been sentenced to 9 ½ years in prison. David Ennenga was sentenced in Dodge County Court this week on felony charges of false imprisonment, and strangulation and suffocation. Ennenga broke into the home of a woman who had a restraining order against him last July and tried to rape her. She broke away from him and called police. Ennenga rushed police officers when they entered the home and then fled to the second floor. He later surrendered without incident. Ennenga was also sentenced to eight years of extended supervision. He gets credit for the eight months he’s already served in jail.


Sex Offender Arraigned For Alleged Violation


A 22-year-old Hartford sex offender with a history of non-compliance stood mute at his arraignment in Fond du Lac County Court this week. A not guilty plea was entered on Jacob Schwendimann’s behalf to a charge of registered sex offender intentionally photographing a minor without consent. A plea hearing is scheduled for July 8th. He was released in October of 2008 after being convicted as a minor of four sex crimes in Washington County. Schwendimann moved to Fond du Lac after his release, but moved several times after that without notifying authorities including some time in Ohio where he was convicted of contributing to the delinquency of a minor. In 2010 he was sentenced to three years in prison for failing to provide authorities information about those moves. He is currently at Dodge Correctional in Waupun. 


Sheboygan Humane Society Director Charged


(WHBL-Sheboygan)-A preliminary hearing is set for Wednesday for the interim Executive Director of the Sheboygan Humane Society, who was charged with obtaining prescription drugs by fraud.  Fifty-nine-year-old Eilene Ribbens, of Elkhart Lake, was arrested Wednesday afternoon at the Humane Society for allegedly ordering a large amount of animal medication, which she gave to relatives.  According to the criminal complaint, the Veterinarian employed by the Humane Society discovered the shipment of 1,000 Tramadol pills in January after other employees called it to his attention. He told police he was the only one authorized to place such an order.  Ribbens told officers she had sent the medication to her relatives for their dogs.  She is facing up to 6 years in prison.


Osceola Supervisor’s Race Could Get Tighter


Officials in the Town of Osceola should know this afternoon who the winner is in a Town Supervisor’s race. Right now Virgil Budde is the winner of the Supervisor #2 race getting 206 votes to Jim Walter’s 205. But there are still some outstanding absentee ballots that might arrive in the mail before the Town’s Board of Canvass meets tomorrow afternoon. Those ballots have to have been postmarked by this past Tuesday and have to arrive by U.S. Mail.  Fond du Lac County Clerk Lisa Freiberg says there are 7 outstanding ballots for the race, but they might not all arrive by the deadline.  She says after the Board meets and certifies the race the loser has a few days, up to three, to ask for a recount. Freiberg says there are nearly a couple hundred outstanding absentee ballots out for all of Fond du Lac County.


Byron Town Board Will Discuss Supervisor’s Seat


The Byron Town Board next Tuesday will discuss what to do about a Town Supervisor’s seat won by the incumbent who passed away before the election. David Whitty won the seat by more than 100 votes over a couple of write-in candidates. Town Clerk Kay Oestreich says she discussed with Fond du Lac County Clerk Lisa Freiberg how much it would cost to stage a special election and the Town can’t afford the $1,200 to $1,500 they estimated. The Town Board could decide to appoint someone to a 2-year term, but that depends on the input they get during the meeting. The board did appoint Tim Hackbarth to fill the seat in March and April after Whitty passed away. He has chaired both the Town’s Board of Appeals and Historical Society at one time or another.


Jobless Rates Up In February


Unemployment rates continued to increase last month in the City and County of Fond du Lac. According to state Department of Workforce Development figures the City’s jobless rate increased slightly to 9.1 percent and the County’s rate was also up growing to 7.7 percent. Twenty of the 32 municipalities in the state with 25,000 or more people saw an increase last month and 61 of the state’s 72 counties.


State Building Projects Slated In The Area


Some of the state building projects proposed in the state budget are right here in the area. State Representative Joan Ballweg sits on the State Building Commission. She says there are planned updates to Fletcher Hall and Reeve Memorial Union at the UW-Oshkosh. She says there are also plans for an intramural recreation complex and conference and welcome center along the river. Improvements are also proposed for Taycheedah and Waupun Correctional Institutions. Ballweg says that includes an infirmary improvement at Taycheedah. Ballweg says the planned improvements have to make it through the Joint Finance Committee and state legislature, but the projects had to be well planned and vetted to make it to this point.


Flu Clinics In FDL County Schools Will Be Paid For By CDC


The Centers for Disease Control will be providing the funding for a mass influenza immunization effort in Fond du Lac County schools this fall. Kay Lock of the County Health Department says they will be coordinating their efforts with the schools. She says if kids miss out the day they are in the school they won’t be able to go to the health department to get the flu vaccine at no cost. The Health Department will be visiting about 55 schools over one month’s time.


Outlet Shoppes At Oshkosh Undergoing Renovation


The owners of the Outlet Shoppes at Oshkosh announced a major renovation effort Thursday. Gary Skoien is the CEO of Horizon Group Properties. He says the $1 million renovation is a follow up to some of the improvements they’ve already made. He says they’ve added about 30 percent more tenants with great names, but people may not be aware of that. He says it’s hoped the exterior renovations will held draw more tourists to their 43 outlet stores. The outdoor shopping mall already draws about 2.5 million tourists a year. Skoien says they hope to improve on that number.


Sequester Could Have Long Term Impact On Research At UW-Madison


(Wisconsin Radio Network)-Wisconsin Congressman Mark Pocan says sequester cuts will seriously affect the global competitiveness of the U-S. He says the cuts could set back the country 2 to 5 years in research. Pocan met with researchers and faculty at UW-Madison who say that immediate cuts will result in projects being canceled, scientists being laid off, and stifling jobs that could come from new technologies. He says he’s toured a lot of companies that are spinoffs of the research being done at the UW-Madison. He says it will have a long term effect on the economy of the region. The university will have $35 million fewer dollars in this current year with cuts to follow down the line.


American Idol For Robots Saturday At UW-FDL


The enthusiasm and ingenuity of a group of 4th through 9th grade students will be on display at the UW-Fond du Lac Prairie Theater Saturday. The students have been participating in the UW-Fond du Lac’s Amazing Robotics Challenge program since early February. Tomorrow the 20 robots built during the program will face off in a competition from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. The public is invited to attend and admission is free. The program gives students the unusual opportunity to mix technology with artistic creativity. “This is a different approach to robotics competitions,” said John Papenheim, founder of the program. “Normally, robots face off in some sort of sports-like game, and the one scoring the most points wins. We’ve taken a new direction and asked the kids to design a robot that gives a performance that will be judged using certain criterion. It’s kind of like American Idol for robots.” 


WMH Receives Pathway To Excellence Designation


Waupun Memorial Hospital (WMH) has become the first healthcare provider in the region, and one of only two in Wisconsin to receive the prestigious Pathway to Excellence® designation by the American Nurses Credentialing Center.  The Pathway to Excellence designation identifies the elements of work environments where nurses can flourish. The designation substantiates the professional satisfaction of nurses at Waupun Memorial Hospital and identifies it as one of the best places to work. “This designation is an outstanding achievement for Waupun Memorial Hospital, our nurses and the community as a whole,” says DeAnn Thurmer, WMH chief operating officer. “This honor demonstrates our continued commitment to quality care for our patients, and to our nurses – those individuals dedicated to providing the personal touch to our patients each and every day.”


Student Government Day Scheduled


The 24th Annual Fond du Lac County Student Government Day will be held on Wednesday, April 17th at the City-County Government Center in Fond du Lac. All Fond du Lac County High Schools and Home School students have been invited to attend the event. The agenda for the day, which begins at 8 a.m., features a tour of the Sheriff’s Office, plus presentations by County Officials and tours of several offices. A voting exercise using a ballot similar to those currently used by the County will be held to introduce students to the voting procedures. A Teen Mock Trial will conclude the program at 2:30 p.m. The Fond du Lac County Council of American Legion and Auxiliary sponsor the program under the direction of the County Executive Al Buechel and his staff. It is designed to emphasize the importance of local government in the lives of citizens and to introduce the students to the City-County Government Center and staff which is responsible for the many programs provided by County Government. Faculty members and School Board members are invited to attend all or part of the program.


Waiting List For Women’s Fund Luncheon Featuring Janet Planet


There’s a waiting list now for those who haven’t registered yet for the 9th Annual Power of the Purse Luncheon in Fond du Lac . The event itself will be held at the Holiday Inn on Tuesday, April 16th from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Rae Nell Halbur is the president of the Women’s Fund in Fond du Lac. She says each paper purse purchased during the lunch will have special surprises inside. The will also present the women of achievement award. This year’s winners include Dawn Colwin and her late mother Dorothy Klumpyan. They will join past winners that include Shelly Stayer, Judy Goldsmith, Barbara Lent, Ginny Gilmore, the Sisters of St. Agnes and others. The featured speaker for the event is singer Janet Planet. Tickets are $40 each. Proceeds benefit the Women’s Fund, which is an endowment fund that promotes positive chance in women and girls in the Fond du Lac area. To be placed on the waiting list call the Fond du Lac Area Foundation at 921-2215.