Local News Wednesday 6/12/13

Watertown Man Sentenced For Drunken Driving Homicide


The 24-year-old Watertown man who was driving drunk last October resulting in a crash that killed his 21-year-old girlfriend has been sentenced to prison. Wesley Ismert was sentenced in Dodge County Court this week to 7 years in prison on a drunken driving homicide charge. Ismert was drunk and speeding when he hit a curb and then struck a telephone pole in the City of Watertown early the morning of October 20th. The pole snapped in half and the car was found upside down in someone’s front yard. Ismert’s girlfriend, Valerie Schmudlach, was thrown from the vehicle and died at the scene.  Ismert will get credit for about 8 months he spent in jail. He was also sentenced to 10 years of extended supervision and will lose his driver’s license for 5 years.


Bond Set At $10,000 For 9th OWI


A $10,000 cash bond was set for the 46-year-old Menasha man pulled over for his 9th drunken driving offense in Fond du Lac County over the weekend. James Stratton made an initial appearance Monday on the OWI charge. A preliminary hearing is scheduled for Friday, June 21st. A state trooper pulled Stratton over Sunday night on the County Highway B onramp for Highway 41.  Stratton allegedly drove into the median at Lost Arrow Road. He was able to get out and pulled off the highway. A short time later the trooper pulled him over on the ramp.


Waupun Man Charged For H & R Drunken Driving Injury Accident


A 44-year-old Waupun man has been charged for a drunken driving accident in Waupun last March that injured two people. Matthew McDowell made an initial court appearance this week in Dodge County court on charges stemming from the March 22nd accident.  According to the criminal complaint McDowell drove his pickup truck through a stop sign on Fond du Lac Street and hit a passenger car. The two occupants of that car suffered severe injuries.  McDowell left the scene, but a witness took down his license plate and made not of the business name on the side of the truck. Prosecutors say McDowell’s blood alcohol level was more than twice the legal limit at the time of the crash. He’s been released on a $1,000 signature bond and has a preliminary hearing next month.


“School Carnival” Interrupted


A “school carnival” was interrupted at the Longfellow Middle School in Sheboygan yesterday while police searched for individuals wanted on warrants. Sheboygan Police say a patrol officer stopped a vehicle near the school, but people inside it fled. It was believed one of them was a gang member and could have been carrying a handgun.  Meanwhile the “school carnival” was being held on the playground. Officers took those taking part in the event inside the school. Police arrested those they were looking for and the incident wrapped up within about 30 minutes.



FDL City Council Preview


Starting tonight the Fond du Lac City Council will begin their regular meetings at 6 p.m. It’s a busy agenda for the Council. They will again address an issue where BMX bikers had asked to be allowed to use the skate park on a trial basis this summer. The Advisory Park Board is unanimously recommending the trial period be allowed. The Council will also be asked to approve condemnation proceedings for the Wells Manufacturing property on Brooke Street. It’s a necessary process and part of the agreement the City has with Wells to take over the property. Commonwealth Development will be developing the property. Wells well be relocating to the new addition they are building onto their Rolling Meadows Drive location. The Council will also be asked to approve up to $4.5 million in Industrial Development Revenue Bonds for the Windhover Center for the Arts expansion.


State Rep Schraa Proposes Firearms Freedom Act


A state lawmaker wants to stop Wisconsin police from enforcing federal gun restrictions. State Representative Michael Schraa of Oshkosh says his bill would send a message to the federal government that Wisconsin will not help curtail the second Amendment rights of its citizens. It would apply to any state or local law enforcement agencies. He says the bill would also declare that any Wisconsin-made firearms are not subject to federal commerce laws. The proposal also prevents medical doctors from asking patients about gun ownership. Schraa says eight other states have adopted similar provisions.


FDL School District Close To Hiring New Business Services Director


The Fond du Lac School District is getting closer to hiring a new Business Services Director to succeed Sue Schnorr when she leaves at the end of the month to take a similar position with the Oshkosh Area School District. Fond du Lac Schools Superintendent Jim Sebert says 14 people applied for the position and they interviewed four for the job. He says they hope to have the school board approve the hiring of that person at their June 24th meeting. He says they are hoping for a seamless transition, but if that’s not the case they will make due while that person is learning the ropes.


Solicitation Going On For Fire Safety Books


Fond du Lac Division Chief of Fire Prevention Troy Haase says there is someone making the rounds of area businesses asking for support for a fire safety book they provide 4th graders with each October. He says Brian Rutherford of Community Safety Net planned to contact about 600 businesses. He says last year Rutherford was actually able to raise more than they needed for the books and it was used towards the purchase of smoke detectors that they use for another fire prevention program. Haase says each fall they also provide 5th graders with a coloring book and take them through the Survive Alive House. Haase says Rutherford will have a letter explaining who he is for the businesses he approaches.


North Fondy Fest This Weekend


There’s a full slate of activities scheduled for the annual North Fondy Fest this Friday and Saturday. Village Administrator Chuck Hornung says things get started Friday at 5 p.m. with a Chicken Dinner and from 5-9 p.m. there will be carnival rides for only $2. Saturday there’s a Run/Walk at 7 a.m. and a pancake breakfast from 7 to 11 a.m. The parade is a Noon with a “Beach Party” theme. There’s also an opportunity to ride all the carnival rides you want for $15 from 1 to 5 p.m. At 1:30 there’s a Magic Show and from 2:30 to 6:30 the Red Fish Band will be playing. At 7:30 Saturday night there’s a raffle drawing with a top prize of $5,000 and at 8 p.m. Road Trip will be performing. Also there will be softball and kickball tournaments, a Model Train Show at the Community Center and opportunities for fun.


Kids In NFDL Being “Sighted” For Riding Bicycles Safely


In North Fond du Lac kids are being sighted this summer for riding their bicycles. But North Fond du Lac Police Chief Darren Pautsch says this isn’t your usual citation for an ordinance or traffic violation. He says through a partnership with the Culver’s Restaurant on West Johnson Street in Fond du Lac officers who see kids wearing bicycle helmets while riding their bikes are being stopped and give a “sightation” they can redeem for a free scoop of fresh frozen custard at Culver’s.

He says it’s also a nice way for police officers to have a positive interaction with children. Pautsch notes helmets provide a 66 to 88 percent reduction in the risk of head, brain and severe brain injury for all ages of bicyclists.