Local News Tuesday 4/9/13

Cause Of Death Released In Rosendale Incident


The Fond du Lac County Medical Examiner’s Office has released the cause of death for a 54-year-old Rosendale man who set fire to his home last Friday. The Medical Examiner’s Office says Joseph Shafer died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head. No one else was injured as a result of the fire.


Caution Was Used During Rosendale House Fire


Authorities in Fond du Lac County took extra precaution during last Friday’s incident in Rosendale. Fifty-four-year-old Joseph Shafer set fire to his own home and then shot and killed himself. Chief Deputy Sheriff Mark Strand says with the gasoline and a long fuse extending from the home to the garage and a pile of fireworks they had to be careful. A robotic camera was used to see what was in the garage. The Sheriff’s Department got a lot of assistance at the scene especially from firefighters, but it was a busy evening with a pole shed fire near North Fond du Lac and grass fire that drew firefighters away from the scene. Strand says the incident at 200 North Main Street in Rosendale was a tragic event for the family.

FDL County SARC Helps Snowmobilers


Fond du Lac County Sheriff’s officials used their SARC or Sheriff’s Amphibious Rescue Craft to help some snowmobilers find their way off of Lake Winnebago Saturday night. Chief Deputy Sheriff Mark Strand says the operators of the rescue craft had night vision equipment. Calumet County had asked for some help in locating the snowmobilers. Strand says they were able to locate the two snowmobilers and help them find their way back to shore.


Five Teens Cited In Waupun For Soda Bottle Bomb


Waupun Police cited five teens for making a soda bottle chemical bomb and throwing it a home. Police Chief Dale Heeringa says it happened last Thursday night in the 300 block of Hawthorne Avenue. He says it was tossed from a vehicle onto the lawn. It exploded, but did not cause any property damage. Four 18-year-olds and a 16-year-old were cited for the incident. Heeringa said some people would think of it as “not that serious” or “a prank.” He says in reality it could have caused injuries or property damage. He says if that had been the case criminal charges would have been brought.


Brownsville Man Bound Over On Robbery Charges


The 27-year-old Brownsville man suspected of robbing the Executive Lodge Hotel in Fond du Lac this past January has been bound over for trial. Nicholas Luckow was recently in Fond du Lac County Court for a preliminary hearing on robbery with threat of force, theft and obtaining a controlled substance by fraud charges. He was also arraigned and entered not guilty pleas to the charges. He allegedly had a scarf wrapped around his face and a hoodie over his head during the robbery. Police say no weapon was displayed, but the hotel clerk got the impression he was concealing one. The clerk also thought she recognized his voice as a guest at the hotel. The drug charge stems from an incident that happened the day before the robbery.


Luck Of Draw Determines Osceola Supervisors Race


The race for a town supervisor’s seat in Osceola came down to the luck of the draw. Virgil Budde won the Supervisor #2 race last Tuesday by a single vote, but there was the chance outstanding absentee ballots could change the outcome. Town Clerk Barb Klumpyan says they got one outstanding absentee ballot by last Friday’s deadline that had been postmarked by Election Day and it was for Budde’s opponent Jim Walter, which knotted up the race at 206 votes apiece. Klumpyan says a deck of playing cards with 52 cards was used and board of canvass members representing both of the candidates drew cards. The one who represented Jim Walter drew a 3 and the one representing Budde drew a 9. Budde won the election, but Walter has the right to ask for a recount, which he has to make official by Wednesday afternoon at 4:30 if he’s going to do it. 


FDL School Board Approves STEM Institute Charter School Contract


The Fond du Lac School Board yesterday approved a charter school contract between the school district and Fond du Lac STEM Institute, Inc. The district is currently operating the STEM or Science, Technology, Engineer ing and Math Academy for 3rd through 5th graders at the former Franklin School. District Superintendent Jim Sebert says this will create the “charter” for the STEM Institute for 6th through 8th graders. With the board’s approval and that of the Governance Board for the STEM Institute the agreement can be submitted to the state’s Department of Public Instruction for approval. The Institute will open next fall.


FDL HS Receives Grant To Create STEM Pathway


A $35,000 grant awarded to the Fond du Lac High School will allow STEM or Science, Technology, Engineering and Math students to continue their path for career or college readiness. The grant is from the Bemis Company through Project Lead The Way the nation’s leading provider of STEM curriculum. District Superintendent Jim Sebert says it will create a pathway for students at the high school for engineering and eventually in time a biomedical pathway. The STEM Academy for 3rd through 5th graders is going now and the STEM Institute for 6th through 8th grade students will start operating next fall. Sebert says the grant extends the pathway for those students through high school. The grant begins next fall and will support the implementation of engineering curriculum.


School Choice A Concern At State Budget Hearing


(Wisconsin Radio Network)-School funding is a major topic at Monday’s Joint Finance Committee hearing at Lambeau Field. Green Bay school board chair Brenda Warren says she opposes a plan to expand the school voucher program. She also spoke in favor of a plan to increase per-student funding. She says the current budget proposal freezes the funding level, leaving her district with a five-to-six million dollar deficit. Alternative to incarceration programs also have a lot of supporters. Kevin Dembinski of Algoma says the state could cut its number of inmates in half by making those programs a priority. He says right now, they aren’t getting nearly enough funding. This was the second of four hearings that the panel is holding across the state.


Child Publicly Humiliated With Parent’s Discipline Lesson


The Dodge County Sheriffs Department responded to reports of a child being punished out in the open on the streets in the Village of Theresa Sunday afternoon. The child was discovered on the sidewalk, he was holding a sign that said, “I disrespect my parents and this is my punishment.” Deputies chalked it up to creative parenting and no complaint was filed.


Habitat Prepares To Build Two More Homes


Habitat for Humanity of Fond du Lac County recently broke ground at 16 South Hickory in Fond du Lac for their next home build. Habitat Executive Director Paul Osterholm says it’s a great story for Brittany Steinke and her family who will own the home. She is a single mom with two kids who has court-appointed custody of two younger sisters. He says it’s a great opportunity for Brittany and her family. Osterholm says they will also be building a home in Ripon this year, there first in Ripon since 2002. A woman who now lives in Tomah, but grew up in Ripon donated the lot. In addition Reverend Gary Miller a Habitat Board member approached them about building a house in Ripon. Brittany’s House will be Habitat’s 23rd and the one in Ripon their 24th.


Motorcycle Safety Reminders


Drivers are reminded that with warmer weather they will see more motorcycles on the state’s roadways. Greg Patzer is the Motorcycle Safety Coordinator for the state’s Department of Transportation. He asks car and truck drivers to be on the lookout and to share the road with motorcycles. He says it’s hard to judge the speed of an approaching motorcycle. He also reminds drivers to be careful at intersections and never turn left in front of an oncoming motorcycle. He says whether you’re driving a motorcycle, scooter, trike or moped, the advice is essentially the same, wear appropriate gear. He also recommends proper training. Fond du Lac County had a motorcycle accident over the weekend when a 24-year-old man failed to make it around a curve and struck a pole.


Type O Blood Drive In FDL Today


The Blood Center of Wisconsin is hosting a blood drive at the Forest Mall in Fond du Lac in the Center Court from 12:30 to 5:30 this afternoon. They are specifically looking for donations from people with type O blood. You can make an appointment by calling 1-877-232-4376 or 1-877-BE-A-HERO. Appointments are preferred, but walk-ins are welcome.