Local News Wednesday 3/27/13

Gun Rumored At FDL High School


The Fond du Lac Police Department responded to Fond du Lac High School on Tuesday afternoon at 2:52 p.m. for a report of a student possibly having a weapon on campus.   Fond du Lac Police Department Assistant Chief Steve Klein says that there were rumors circulating about a possible weapon circulating through the school and social media. Upon investigation, the information of a student having a weapon on campus was determined to be not credible. Based upon the preliminary information of a possible subject with a gun at the school, all available City police units responded to the school and were on the scene until it was determined there was no credible threat.  Klein says that they were able to locate the individual in question. After talking to the individual they determined that there was no credible threat.  The investigation into this incident is ongoing and additional details will be released when they become available.     


Motions Denied In Hearing For Milwaukee Man


An effort to have a battery to a law enforcement officer charge dismissed against him in Fond du Lac County Court has been denied for a 33-year-old Milwaukee man. Roy Whitelow allegedly attacked a Sheriff’s jailer when he was being booked into the jail last month. District Attorney Eric Toney says Judge Peter Grimm also denied a motion Tuesday to reduce Whitelow’s bond, which is currently at $50,000 cash. Although Whitelow is facing the battery charge he is also suspected of supplying the heroin that led to the overdose death of a Fond du Lac woman. Those allegations are still being investigated. A plea and sentencing hearing is scheduled on the battery charge for April 26th and if Whitelow maintains his innocence a 2-day jury trial that starts on May 15th.


Teen Rescued In Sheboygan House Fire


The Sheboygan Fire Department rescued a 14-year-old boy from a house fire early Tuesday morning.  Fire Commander Keith Risse says firefighters were dispatched to a duplex in the 1900 block of North 11th Street shortly before 1 a.m. and spotted the teen on an airing porch.  They got a ladder up to him and got him down safely.  A smoke detector had alerted people on both levels of the duplex and everyone got out safely. The teen went to the porch and then because of thick smoke was unable to turn back.  The upper apartment and attic area were extensively damaged and there was water damage to the lower apartment.  The cause remains under investigation.  Damage has been estimated at $75,000.  


Former Waupun Inmate Suspected Of Attacking Guard


Charges have been brought against a former Waupun Correctional inmate who is accused of assaulting a guard at the prison last November. Demetrius Boyd was recently charged with battery by prisoner. The 31-year-old Boyd is suspected of grabbing the arm of a corrections officer through the cell door. The guard suffered lacerations and abrasions. Boyd is now being housed at a prison in Boscobel. He has a preliminary hearing on April 4th. 


Former DA Acts As Prosecutor During Anderson Sentencing


Former Fond du Lac County District Attorney Dan Kaminsky gets one last opportunity to sit in on a case as a prosecutor this afternoon. A County jury last December found 36-year-old Jason Anderson of Fond du Lac guilty of killing his wife and being a felon in possession of a firearm. Kaminsky was the DA during the case and current District Attorney Eric Toney has asked him to sit in as the prosecutor during Anderson’s sentencing. Kaminsky says he appreciates the gesture given the bond he established with those who investigated the case and the family of victim Nicole Anderson. Kaminsky will be doing it pro bono or free of charge to the County. He says it will give him closure to his former role as DA. The murder conviction calls for an automatic life sentence.


Detours And Lane Closures For Johnson Street Repairs


Fond du Lac’s Department of Public Works is repairing a sanitary sewer at the intersection of Johnson Street and Prairie Road, which has resulted in a detour and several lane closures on Johnson Street between National Avenue and North Country Lane. Traffic heading east on Johnson is being detoured north on National Avenue, Luco Road and County Highway WH to Highway 151.  Local traffic only will be allowed east of National Avenue as far as University Drive. Traffic headed west through the project is reduced to one lane from North County Lane to west of Prairie Road. Northbound traffic on Prairie Road is open for straight through and right turns only. Southbound traffic at Prairie Road is only being allowed to make right turns only. The repair work began yesterday and was expected to affect traffic for a couple of days.


FDL City Council Preview


The Fond du Lac City Council will hold a couple of public hearings on street improvement projects tonight before acting on approving the projects and levying special assessments for them. A number of improvements are slated for Auburn Street and curb and gutter work will improve Kaye Street. A couple of resolutions and an ordinance are related to the construction of a Love’s Travel Stop and Country Store at the Highway 41 and Hickory Street interchange are also on the agenda. The ordinance has to do with the appropriate zoning. The Council meets at 7 p.m. at the City-County Government Center.


DNR Secretary Goes Before Joint Finance Committee


(Wisconsin Radio Network)-The Legislature’s Joint Finance Committee wrapped up agency budget briefings Tuesday with testimony from the Department of Natural Resources. DNR Secretary Cathy Stepp says the $570 million biennial spending plan for the agency reflects the governor’s philosophy of having a smaller and more efficient government that’s capable of living within its means. Stepp faced questions from lawmakers on the committee on issues such as increases in air permitting fees, bonding for the state’s stewardship fund, and additional positions to monitor frac sand mining operations. JFC co-chair John Nygren of Marinette also questioned a proposal to cut the fees for wolf hunting permits in half. Stepp says the reduction is meant to bring the fees in line with what’s charged for other large animal species permits. With budget briefings done, the committee will now hold a series of four public hearings across the state in April. The first of those will be April Fourth in suburban Milwaukee.


Educating The Public On Roundabouts


With two roundabouts coming on the Pioneer Road project in Fond du Lac, the County’s Traffic Safety Commission hopes to do some outreach to educate the public on how to use them properly. Sheriff’s Captain Rick Olig is the Highway Safety Coordinator for the County.  He says they hope to print up overhead views of the roundabouts at Hickory and Morris Streets to hand out at the County Fair and other events. He says you could even see a roundabout at Johnson Street and Rolling Meadows Drive in the future. Olig believes in the long run people will adapt to the roundabouts on Pioneer Road.


Jurgella Runs For Second Term On FDL School Board


Mark Jurgella is hoping voters return him to the Fond du Lac School Board for a second term next Tuesday. The former City Council President says things move much faster on the school board and there was a lot to tackle over the last two years. He says that included the changes with ACT 10, reports cards, policy manuals, 1-to-1 computing at the High School, Block Scheduling, teacher evaluations and more. He says he’d like to see continued improvement at all the district’s schools and advanced placement coursework improved as well. Jurgella says he doesn’t believe the basis for the proposed expansion of school choice including for the district was fair. Jurgella is one of four candidates vying for three seats on the board. The others are incumbent members Elizabeth Hayes, Kathleen Nagle  and newcomer Barbara Kuhls.


All Four FDL City Council Candidates Participated In UW-FDL Forum


All four candidates running for Fond du Lac City Council participated in a candidates’ forum Tuesday night at the UW-Fond du Lac Prairie Theater. Questions covered a variety of topics including the recent decision not to suspend the Retlaw Hotel’s liquor license, the refuse fee, maintaining City streets, Senior Center funding, privatizing of some City services and more. Mike Mentzer, retired managing editor of The Reporter and currently an associate lecturer at UW-Fond du Lac, served as the forum moderator.  He says the candidates did a good job. Mentzer, who served as a panelist during similar past forums, says the Prairie Theater was a nice venue for the forum. All four candidates Catherine Block, Rebecca Lunde-Ross, Dan Manning and Samuel Meyer will be guests on the Morning Show with Bob Hoffmaster in the coming days. Three seats are available on the Council. 


UW-FDL Hosts A Coversation About The State Of Politics In America


For the third night in a row the UW-Fond du Lac will be hosting a public forum. Monday night it was about a Lake Winnebago waterways project, Tuesday night a Fond du Lac City Council Candidates’ Forum, and tonight will offer “A Conversation about the State of Politics in America.” UW-Fond du Lac Dean John Short says the featured speakers are Congressman Tom Petri and Retired Congressman Dave Obey who bring a lot of political experience to the table. He says they will be talking about the impasse in Congress in recent years. Short says there’s been a cynical view of Congress lately and that will have to be overcome to get people to serve in public office in the future. Donald Schwartz of the UW-Fond du Lac’s Political Science Department will act as moderator for the event at the Prairie Theater, which will begin at 6 p.m.


Most Ripon City Offices Closed On Good Friday


Ripon City offices will be closed this Friday, with the exception of the Clerk’s office. The Clerk’s office will be open from 7:30 a.m. until 5:00 p.m. for absentee voting purposes. Friday garbage will be picked up on Thursday instead.


Chocolate And Wine Fundraiser A Success


Last month’s “An Evening of Chocolate & Wine” sponsored by the Agnesian HealthCare Foundation and Waupun Memorial Hospital Special Events Committee raised more than $10,000 to help benefit the hospital’s women’s health and breast care services. Waupun Memorial Hospital chief operating officer DeAnn Thurmer says they appreciate the support of the community. The event featured premier chocolates, hand-selected wines, specialty beers, local cheeses, entertainment, a silent auction, jewelry and a raffle. Next year’s event is tentatively scheduled for Saturday, February 22nd.


5 County Lake Winnebago Project Presentation At FDL Public Library


If you missed the meeting Monday night at the UW-Fond du Lac on the Weigh-In on Winnebago Waterways project a presentation at the Fond du Lac Public Library will also give an update on the project. Michael Lizotte, president of the Winnebago Lakes Council and professor of biology at UW-Oshkosh, will provide an update on the project at 6 p.m. Wednesday, April 17th at the library. Fond du Lac, Calumet, Outagamie, Waushara and Winnebago Counties are sharing a $25,000 grant from the state Department of Natural Resources to do some planning for the Lake Winnebago lakes system. Lizotte will provide a snapshot of current lake management through an analysis of the ecological, social and economic conditions of the lakes and surrounding communities. He also will seek input from attendees to determine the issues most pressing to lake users. His presentation “5-County Lake Winnebago Project” is free and open to the public. No registration is required.


State Projects Detailed


State Representative Joan Ballweg of Markesan recently released some information on some of projects that are proposed under the Governor’s capital budget. Ballweg is a member of the State Building Commission, which recently approved the Governor’s capital budget. Among the projects $16 million will be invested in the Babcock Hall Dairy Plant addition, which will expand the Grow Wisconsin Dairy 30 x 20 program and support the stat’s vital dairy industry. Another $10.6 million in state funds will partner with the Sojourner Family Peace Center on the Family Justice Center project in Milwaukee which provides services and shelters to families. A $7.4 million investment was approved for the Medical College of Wisconsin Education Facilities to help improve access to health care for rural areas and assist filling the current need for primary care physicians in rural Wisconsin. Final approval of the projects is up to state legislature as part of the biennial budget.