Local News Tuesday 3/12/13

Mining Bill Signed


(Wisconsin Radio Network)-Governor Scott Walker says new mining law means new jobs for Wisconsin. Walker says the new law will be challenged in court, but that would be the case regardless of what the bill ended up looking like. The Bad River Band of Chippewa is opposed to a proposed open pit iron ore mine in Ashland and Iron Counties, as are environmental groups. And recent polling has found public opposition. But Walker says that’s because all that people are hearing are the scare tactics. He says that will change when people see that standards that have been put in place for the mine. Walker says he expects courts will ultimately uphold the new law. He signed the bill at Oldenburg Group, a mining equipment manufacturer in Rhinelander Monday.


NFDL Man Bound Over For Trial On Sexual Assault Of A Child Charges


A 34-year-old North Fond du Lac man has been bound over for trial on a pair 1st degree sexual assault of a child charges. Jed Hofman was recently in Fond du Lac County Court for a preliminary hearing on the charges. He’s suspected of sexually assaulting a young girl. Charges date back at least six years.


FDL Man Charged For ATV Accident


Prosecutors have charged a 30-year-old Fond du Lac man for an ATV injury accident that occurred in January. Jeramie Edwards was allegedly drunk when he hit a parked car on Western Avenue. He was treated for minor injuries at St. Agnes Hospital, but a passenger was treated for more serious injuries. Edwards was in Fond du Lac County Court Monday for an initial hearing on charges of operating while under the influence and causing injury with a prohibited alcohol content, both second offenses. Bond was set at $750 cash. A preliminary hearing is scheduled for April 18th.


Two Sex Offenders Moving In FDL


Two Fond du Lac sex offenders are being moved today. Twenty-three-year-old Patrick Nieuwdorp will be moving from his current residence on 7th Street to 246 E. 9th Street. Meanwhile 45-year-old Julian Smith will be released from prison and moving into a residence at 457 Thomas Street. Smith was previously released, but violated his electronic Monitoring in March of 2010 and was sent back to prison. Both will be on electronic monitoring. Nieuwdorps’ vicitims were 13 and 14-year-old girls. Smith’s victims were 5, 6 and 7-year-old girls.


Two Hurt In Sheboygan Accident


(WHBL-Sheboygan)-Two people were injured in a fiery accident in the City of Sheboygan Sunday afternoon.  Police say it happened shortly before two o’clock when a box flew out of the back of a pickup truck driven by 72-year-old Willard Jepsen of Sheboygan.  Sgt. Brad Riddiough says a following car driven by 43-year-old Susan Becker of Waldo then hit the box, and as she looked in her rear view mirror, she rear-ended the truck, causing her car to catch fire.  She wasn’t injured but two passengers in the truck, 61-year-old Donna Brown and 29-year-old Rachel Fischer, both of Sheboygan were.  They were taken to a hospital with non-life threatening injuries.


Sequester Cuts Could Hurt EAA AirVenture


(Wisconsin Radio Network)-Possible sequestration cuts at Wittman Regional Airport in Oshkosh could have a major impact on the E-A-A Airventure. Right now the airport is on a list of small airports in Wisconsin that could lose their air traffic controllers because of the cuts. Peter Moll is the airport’s director. He says it’s not clear right now if the F-A-A would also take away the air traffic controllers that guide planes in and out of the week-long fly-in. Moll says he’s concerned about pilot safety during normal traffic at the airport but if the Airventure air traffic controllers are also cut there would be major safety problems.


Budget For FDL Summer School Program Approved


The Fond du Lac School Board yesterday approved the budget for the school district’s three-week summer school program. District Superintendent Jim Sebert says they reduced the number of weeks of summer school a couple of years ago from 6 weeks to 3 weeks because of declining attendance. He says they’ve been able to do more blending of programs with those learning to speak English. Sebert says last year was also the first year they offered summer classes for youth incarcerated at the County Jail. The budget for this year’s summer school program was a little more than $342,000. 


UW-FDL And UW-Oshkosh Participate In Concurrent Enrollment Programs


Officials with the University of Wisconsin are excited about their concurrent enrollment programs with High Schools across the state. The program allows high school students to take college-level courses before they graduate from high school. UW Colleges and Extension Chancellor Ray Cross talked a little about that during a Noon Rotary Club meeting in Fond du Lac Monday. He says they are offering the opportunity through the UW-FDL, UW-Oshkosh and other schools. UW-Fond du Lac Dean John Short says they’ve offered math, chemistry and Spanish classes through the concurrent program at Fond du Lac High School. Participating students only have to pay half tuition for the classes and can apply the credits toward their college degree. 


University of Wisconsin officials are hoping to expand their concurrent enrollment programs with high schools across the state. UW Colleges and Extension Chancellor Ray Cross was in Fond du Lac Monday to tout that and their flex degree option program during a Noon Rotary Club meeting. He believes the UW System should be able to expand its concurrent enrollment program. He says currently they have 5,000 to 6,500 high school students enrolled in the program compared to about 28,000 in a similar program in Minnesota. UW-Fond du Lac Dean John Short says they’ve had great success in the program they offer through Fond du Lac High School. He says they have more than 75 students enrolled this semester. The program allows high school students to start accumulating credits towards their college degree while still attending high school.


$5,000 In Donations Will Help Ripon Pantry And Firefighters


The Community Thrift Store and Food Pantry in Ripon and Ripon Area Fire Fighters will each benefit from $2,500 donations from a Ripon farmer this afternoon. Loretta Stoeller was a winner in the America’s Farmers Grow Communities program sponsored by the Monsanto Fund. As such she gets to direct the donations to favorite nonprofit organizations. The checks will be presented during a ceremony at the Community Thrift Store and Food Pantry. This year the Monsanto Fund will invest over $5 million in rural America through Grow Communities.


Reasons To Buckle Up


Last year saw a significant increase in traffic fatalities among motor vehicle passengers in Wisconsin. State transportation officials say many of those deaths could have been avoided with a simple “click” of a safety belt. Last year, there was nearly a 40 percent increase in fatalities among auto and light truck passengers. Most of those involved unbuckled motorists that were either ejected from their vehicle or they were thrown around violently inside that vehicle. Wisconsin State Patrol Major Sandy Huxtable says drivers have a responsibility to ensure that everyone in their vehicle is buckled-up before heading out on the road. She says it also make the job of officers and rescuers easier because those who are buckled up are easier to locate.


Tickets Available For Grief Relief Raffle


Agnesian HealthCare’s Grief Relief program is selling raffle tickets for its 5th annual Rebuilding families “One Backyard at A Time” raffle. The silent auction and raffle drawing will be held at Whispering Springs Golf Club in Fond du Lac on Saturday, April 13th from 5:30 to 9:30 p.m. Sister Joyann Repp is a bereavement coordinator for Agnesian HealthCare and the Grief Relief program. She says the top prize is worth $5,000. It’s a custom landscape construction package from Stuart’s Landscaping and Garden Center.There are other nice prizes as well. The event will feature refreshments, a cash bar and door prizes. The “Shady Grove Band” will also perform. Raffle tickets are available through Agnesian HealthCare Foundation, Agnesian HealthCare Information Desks, Becky’s Cottage Floral, Stuart’s Landscaping and Garden Center, the Ripon Medical Center Front Desk, Waupun Memorial Hospital Registration Desk, Attitude Sports, The Goldsmith and Wegner’s Office Supply. Tickets are $5 each for $20 for five.


Parafiniuk Joins DFP


The Downtown Fond du Lac Partnership has a new Director of Marketing and Special Events. Sadie Parafiniuk has four years of professional experience in the Fond du Lac area. She gained some experience managing special events and marketing while working for Congressman Tom Petri. She recently became the President of the Board of Directors for the Volunteer Center of Fond du Lac County. She’s also completing her last semester at the UW-Oshkosh where she will receive a Master’s degree in Public Administration.


Help For Homeless Hygiene Drive Underway At FDL Public Library Locations


The Fond du Lac Public Library’s downtown and Express locations are drop-off sites for the annual “Help for the Homeless” hygiene drive through March 22nd. Donations of new cleaning and personal care items such as laundry soap, hair and dental items, diapers and bathroom tissue, will be collected and distributed locally. The local drive is part of a regional effort that includes Oshkosh, the Fox Cities, Manitowoc and Brown County.