Local New Briefs Monday 5/5/14

Two children were hurt in an accident on Highway 41 in Winnebago County late Sunday morning. Sheriff’s officials say a vehicle lost control while trying to merge with traffic and hit another vehicle south of Highway 76. The two children who suffered minor injuries were 5 and 7-years-old. They were taken to a local hospital. The accident was reported just before 11 a.m.

Oakfield Jr/Sr High School Principal Leaves District

The principal at Oakfield Junior/Senior High School has taken a leave of absence for the remainder of the school year and won’t be returning to the school district when the next school year starts in July. Oakfield Schools Superintendent Sue Green says Brad Whitt’s is leaving to explore other opportunities and did not leave as a result of disciplinary action.

Berlin Foundry Announces Lay Offs

A foundry in Berlin announced last Friday it will lay off a third of its workforce in two months. The Grede Foundry will lay off 77 workers on July 1st including 65 hourly and 12 salaried employees. The company has 14 foundries nationwide, four in Wisconsin. After the layoff, Grede will have 136 workers at its Berlin plant.

Sheboygan County Pizza Maker Fined

(WHBL-Sheboygan)-A Sheboygan County frozen pizza plant has been fined $17,000 by the state Justice Department for violating the state’s waste water and pollution discharge laws.  Sheboygan County Circuit Court Judge L. Edward Stengel ruled in favor of the state last Thursday against Luige’s Frozen Pizza Inc. of the Town of Holland. The initial complaint was filed in January of 2012, claiming the company failed to file appropriate papers with the DNR regarding monitoring of a detention pond for wastewater discharging from the plant. The fine will cover forfeiture and penalty costs, and the ruling will require the company to complete evaluations of their pond with DNR supervision for any pollutants that could seep into nearby groundwater.

FDL County Tourism Up In 2013

Visitors spent more than $119 million in Fond du Lac County in 2013, according to figures released by the Wisconsin Department of Tourism in conjunction with National Tourism Week. Tourism spending jumped 7.55% in 2013, putting the County in the top tier of counties showing growth in the state for visitor spending. The number of jobs supported by tourism also rose to 2.35%.  “There is a reason why Fond du Lac County tourism spending leapt dramatically in 2013…” said Craig Molitor, President of the Fond du Lac Area Convention and Visitors Bureau – commenting on the 7.55% increase from 2012 “…and that’s because the traveling public is embracing the C’mon in vibe they find in our community”. Visitors in Winnebago County last year spent $219 million and Dodge County visitors $68.6 million.

Petri Calls For Unity At GOP Convention

(Wisconsin Radio Network)-A Wisconsin Republican calls for unity as he wraps up his career in Congress. The request is from Congressman Tom Petri of Fon du Lac, who’s not seeking another term after serving since 1979. He says, “People from all parts of the political spectrum are here. E Plurus Unum, out of many one. That’s the story of our country, but it is also the story of our party.” Petri made his comments during this weekend’s Republican State Convention.  There will be a three way GOP primary to succeed Petri, between state Senators Glenn Grothman and Joe Liebham and State Representative Duey Stroebel.

Fatal Fire At Same FDL Apartment Complex 5 Years Ago

Fond du Lac Fire Chief Peter O’Leary says when he heard about where the apartment fire was early last Friday morning he was concerned. He says that’s because there was a fatal fire in that same complex just before he became fire chief five years ago. He says fire alarms were working, but they still conduct a primary and secondary search to make sure that everyone was able to get out safely. They were even able to find a family dog that was missing. O’Leary says it’s fortunate smoke alarms were working. He says the fire department received a grant for smoke detectors and those residents who don’t have enough money for a smoke alarm or who need one that works should give the fire department a call at 322-3800.

Move To Amend Petition

One of the local organizers of an effort to amend the U.S. Constitution to restore campaign donation limits says they’d like to get a resolution on the November ballot in Fond du Lac and Ripon. Former North Fond du Lac village clerk Donna Richards is with Move to Amend Fond du Lac. She says they only have about 60 days to gather enough signatures to place it on the ballot.  She says they need signatures for a referendum or could ask the City Council to pass a resolution, but a referendum has more impact. She says 41 other communities in Wisconsin have already passed resolutions or referendums asking for the amendment in the wake of the U.S. Supreme Court’s recent decision that lifted campaign contribution limits. She says she will be out gathering signatures during the Farmers Market in Downtown Fond du Lac over the next few Saturdays.

Harris Run For Congress Wasn’t A Quick Jump Into The Fray

Fond du Lac County Executive Al Buechel says he knew quite some time ago that Winnebago County Executive Mark Harris would be taking a run at Congress. He says Harris decided long before Congressman Tom Petri announced he wouldn’t seek re-election that he would be running as a Democrat for the 6th Congressional District seat this fall. Buechel says Harris has a good grasp of the issues. Harris isn’t the only one who aspired to run for a higher office; Buechel himself contemplated a run for governor about 5 or 6 years ago, but he says he’s happy where he’s at now and you have to have a lot of dollars behind you to run for that type of office.

Habitat Needs Your Vote

Habitat for Humanity of Fond du Lac County hopes to create a neighborhood garden in Fond du Lac, but needs your help to secure some financing for the project. Those who would like to help simply need to vote online through the State Farm Neighborhood Assist effort. Anyone who has the free State Farm Neighborhood Assist Facebook application can vote daily for the project and bring a $25,000 grant to the effort if it is among the top 40 causes. Land, community partners and volunteers are in place; the grant funds would pay for basic needs such as fencing, equipment and seeds. Voting is through May 16th.