Local News Thursday 6/27/13

Bicyclist Critical


Officials at Theda Clark Regional Medical Center say a 47-year-old Fond du Lac man struck by a car while bicycling on Saturday morning is in critical condition. Steven Kuphal crashed into a car at the intersection of County Highway WH and Lake View Road when 20-year-old Adam Blackman of Fond du Lac turned his car in front of him. Kuphal was flown to Theda Clark with serious injuries.


FDL Man Sentenced For Threatening Former Girlfriend


A 34-year-old Fond du Lac man has been sentenced to two years in prison and three years of extended supervision on a false imprisonment charge for an incident last August in which he threatened his ex-girlfriend with a knife. Fond du Lac County Judge Peter Grimm sentenced Peter Frank Jr. Wednesday. Three other felony charges and a misdemeanor charge stemming from the incident on August 3rd of last year were dismissed. Frank was upset that the woman was dating another man when he threatened her.


Sheboygan Man Sentenced For Baseball Bat Attack


A Sheboygan man who attacked another man with a baseball bat last January is going to prison.  Twenty-five-year-old Andrew Kunstman was sentenced recently by Sheboygan County Judge James Bolgert to 3 years in prison and three years of extended supervision.  Kunstman forced his way into a home and beat his former girlfriend’s husband with the aluminum bat.  The victim suffered a concussion and severe head laceration.  Kunstman told investigators he would have killed him if he hadn’t been pulled off by the man’s wife.


Operation Dry Water


Boaters on Lake Winnebago and other Fond du Lac County waters better make sure they haven’t had too many drinks if they are operating their watercraft. Fond du Lac County Sheriff’s deputies will be participating in Operation Dry Water this Friday through Sunday. Sheriff’s Captain Rick Olig says it couples educational efforts with enforcement. The boating under the influence citation has the same blood alcohol content threshold as drunken driving .08 or higher. Olig says we’ve been fortunate because there haven’t been many serious boating accidents on our waters of late. He says still with only 1 or 2 sheriff’s boats patrolling Lake Winnebago they still see a few impaired boat operators each season. Captain Olig says in addition to Fond du Lac County Sheriff’s deputies, boaters this weekend could also see deputies from Winnebago County, the Coast Guard and the DNR out on Lake Winnebago.


Annexation And Special Use Permits Approved


The Fond du Lac City Council took several actions last night that will lead to further development in the City. Community Development Director Wayne Rollin says the annexation of property at Prairie Road and East Johnson Street across from the Festival Foods area is the first in several years. The Council also approved rezoning for the property. Rollin says part of that development will be for a national retail pharmacy. The Council also approved several special use permits for a new Holiday Inn Express and 20-bed assisted living facility. The Council also approved a special use permit for a whiffle ball court at the Press Box.


FDL City Council Notes


In other Fond du Lac City Council notes the Council approved a request from the Police Department to apply for a federal grant. Assistant Police Chief Steve Thirty told the Council the $15,442 grant would allow them to purchase equipment they can’t normally fit into their operating budget. Two outstanding efforts were honored with proclamations; one for the recent Walleye Weekend and the other for generous donations to replace playground equipment at Hamilton Park destroyed by an arson fire on May 12th. Fond du Lac Festivals Executive Director Leanne Doyle told the gathering over 1,500 volunteers helped out during the recent Walleye Weekend festival at Lakeside Park. Also honored for their contributions to the playground equipment replacement effort were Charmaine Luczak, Domino’s Pizza, Fond du Lac Firefighters’s Local 400 Charitable Fund, Justin Graef of JaM Chocolates and the The Stone Foundation.


Baldwin And Pocan Hail Supreme Court Decision ON DOMA


(Wisconsin Radio Network)-Wisconsin’s openly gay members of Congress are applauding Wednesday’s US Supreme Court rulings on gay marriage. The nation’s high court overturned the Defense of Marriage Act, allowing legally-married same sex couples to be federally recognized. Congressman Mark Pocan says it’s a big step forward for equality. In a recorded statement, U-S Senator Tammy Baldwin also offered praise for the ruling. The Supreme Court also passed on a chance to strike down California’s Proposition eight. Pocan says there’s still a lot of work to do in states like Wisconsin, which still have gay marriage bans on the books. See Baldwin’s video at her website.


Unemployment Rate Drops Slightly


Unemployment rates for the City of Fond du Lac and Fond du Lac County slightly improved last month. According to the state’s Department of Workforce Development the City’s jobless rate dropped to 7.5 percent and the County’s to 6.4 percent, both falling by four-tenths of a percent. Seventy of the state’s 72 counties saw a decrease in their unemployment rates in May and 27 of the state’s 32 major cities had a decrease or no change at all.


MPTC District Budget Approved


The Moraine Park Technical College District Board recently unanimously approved the 2013-14 Budget for the College District. MPTC President Sheila Ruhland says it includes a tax levy increase of just over a half percent (.53). She says that works out to a tax levy increase of $190,000, which isn’t much compared to the overall budget of $86.4 million. Ruhland says they are anticipating an enrollment increase of just under 3 percent (2.8%) for the new school year, which starts July 1st. Ruhland says the State Board in March approved a 4.5 percent increase in tuition. She says the cost for a 3-credit course will increase from $116.90 to $122.20.


Chilldren’s Museum’s Grand Reopening in August


With the former home for the Chidren’s Museum of Fond du Lac becoming Thelma Sadoff Center for the Arts officials with the Children’s Museum say they remain excited about their own opening for their new location in a couple months. In fact Children’s Museum Executive Director Andrea Welsch says they will share information about some of their upcoming programs at the Kids Zone during the Commonwealth Classic bike racing Friday. She says their grand reopening celebration is in mid-August, August 16th through 18th. The Children’s Museum’s reopening is a culmination of a $2 million capital campaign and remodeling and moving into 20,000 square feet of the former Pick ‘N Save building at 75 West Scott Street in Fond du Lac. Incidentally the Kids Zone this Friday will be located in front of the National Exchange Bank and Trust at Main and 2nd Street. It will be open from 3 p.m. until roughly 5:50 p.m. when the Kids Bike Race begins.


Representative Schraa Didn’t Like Policy Items In State Budget


State Representative Michael Schraa says he didn’t particularly care for all the policy items that were included in the state budget. In particular he didn’t like one that will require DNA testing for those who’ve committed a felony offense even though it was toned down from the original proposal that also included all misdemeanors. The state lawmaker from Oshkosh says if an issue is important enough it should be able to stand on its own merit. He says some things end up in the state budget because of favors, but he didn’t vote against the budget because of the tax cuts and other things that will help out state residents. Governor Walker will sign the state budget into law during a ceremony in Pleasant Prairie this Sunday.


NFDL Students Helped Construct New CBRF


Clarity Care will open its fourth residence in Fond du Lac County with an open house celebration at a new 6-bedroom community based residential facility in North Fond du Lac today. The new Florida House at 125 Garfield Street represents a two-year collaboration between Clarity Care and the North Fond du Lac High School’s Building Trades Program. Over a dozen students worked alongside their Building Trades Instructor, Jim Longo, for several semesters to construct the home. Florida House will be ready for occupancy this summer. The home can accommodate up to six residents with a variety of accessibility needs, and will offer 24-hour staffing. For more information call Michael Matz (877) 831-9219 or visit www.claritycare.org.


Mercury Units Donate Safety Awards Money To Local Charities


The Mercury Propellers and Mercury Racing units of Mercury Marine have both earned the Brunswick Chairman’s Safety Award for the best facility safety performance by a Brunswick Corporation facility. Including the two Mercury operations, a total of four Brunswick facilities earned the award this year. The award includes a $10,000 grant from Brunswick to causes selected by the employees of each award-winning plant. Recently Brunswick Corporation Chairman and CEO Dustan McCoy presented the awards to the employees of Mercury Racing at their headquarters in Taycheedah and to the employees of Mercury Propellers at their Fond du Lac facility. This year, the employees of Mercury Racing selected three local charities to receive the grant from Brunswick giving $4,000 to Make-A-Wish Wisconsin, $3,000 to the Solutions Center in Fond du Lac, and $3,000 to Day-by-Day Warming Shelter in Oshkosh.  The employees of Mercury Propellers selected two charities to receive grants giving $5,000 each to the Fond du Lac Humane Society and the Aaron Gerrits Rhemody Foundation in Waupun.


Sargento Recognized By ACT


Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development (DWD) Secretary Reggie Newson recently congratulated Sargento Foods in Plymouth and Rufus King International School in Milwaukee on their recent awards from ACT for college and career readiness efforts. Sargento Foods received the Workplace Success award in recognition of its use of the National Career Readiness Certificate (NCRC) program to certify the readiness of job seekers for positions with Sargento. Sargento also works closely with Lakeshore Technical College and Plymouth High School to provide an insight to students on food manufacturing and to develop a “soft skills” curriculum that helps to prepare students for employment success. Rufus King International School received the College and Career Transition Award for its role in helping to prepare students for life after high school. The school has also been recognized on both a state and national level for its efforts to support students. Secretary Newson is a 1990 graduate of Rufus King International School