Local News Briefs 11/7/14

Fond du Lac County Chief Deputy Sheriff Mark Strand says the release from a state mental facility of a 66-year-old Rosendale man who killed his wife is something County residents need not be concerned about. Part of conditions for the release of 66-year-old Keith Vandeberg from the Mendota Mental Health facility is he can’t come back to Fond du Lac County. Strand says Vandeberg has been getting help and isn’t the same person he was when he killed his wife Terrie with a shotgun in 1998. Vandeberg was released to a halfway house in Madison and is being actively supervised by a probation agent. Strand recalls the murder. He was one of the first Sheriff’s officials on the scene. He says Vandeberg’s sons probably have mixed feelings about their father’s release, but they essentially lost both parents on that day back in 1998. Vandeberg was convicted, but was found not guilty of her death by reason of mental disease or defect.

One Person Speaks During FDL County Budget Hearing

Only one person spoke during a public hearing on the proposed 2015 Fond du Lac County Budget and tax levy Thursday night. Bruce Peterson of Malone spoke on a number of issues including a proposal for new voting equipment, buying a piece of property on the ledge to preserve, access to mental health care, Lake Winnebago water problems, and the use of farm machinery on County highways and rural roads. Some of his comments echoed those of County Executive Al Buechel when he addressed the board about the budget on October 28th. Buechel says the Finance Committee will hold meetings with department heads next week about the budget. The proposed tax levy is $41.4 million, which would work out to a tax rate of $6.11 per thousand dollars of value on a property a 6 cent increase. Buechel says that is if the County supervisors adopt the budget without changes. He says construction growth softened the blow for home owners.

Ballweg Makes A Run For State Assembly Majority Leader

State Representative Joan Ballweg is making a run to become the Majority Leader in the State Assembly. The Republican lawmaker from Markesan says she’s essentially building the support of fellow GOP state legislators or lobbying them. She recently won a sixth term collecting 61 percent of the vote in the 41st State Assembly District. She’s spent two terms as the Republican Majority Caucus, chaired numerous committees and served on legislative council committees. She also did a short stint as speaker pro tem. She substituted as the chair during ACT 10 legislation debate. She and her husband own a multi-location John Deere dealership, a business that’s grown over the past 38 years. She feels that business experience also translates to leadership qualities. Before being elected to the state legislature she spent six years as Markesan’s mayor.

Fire Damages Town Of Trenton Home

Fire left a home in Dodge County’s Town of Trenton with significant damage early Wednesday morning. Waupun Fire Department officials say a passerby saw sparks shooting out of the back of the house on Highway 68 and called in the fire. No one was injured during the blaze. It’s estimated the fire caused about $45,000 in damage to the first floor kitchen and a second floor bedroom.

Former Waupun Cop Makes Another Initial Appearance

A former Waupun Police officer made his initial appearance in Waupaca County Court this week on burglary, theft and criminal damage to property charges. Forty-five-year-old Bradley Young is facing similar charges in Green Lake, Barron, Burnett and Waushara Counties. Nine burglary charges have also been referred to the Fond du Lac County District Attorney’s office. His alleged crimes date back to 2010. Young first came to the attention of authorities in August of Last year after trying to break into a restaurant in Green Lake during which he stole a vehicle. He committed other crimes in Barron and Burnett Counties while trying to elude authorities. He was with the Waupun Police Department for 22 years.

Oshkosh Robbery Suspect Bound Over For Trial

The 19-year-old Oshkosh man involved in a series of robberies near the UW-Oshkosh campus waived his preliminary hearing in Winnebago County Court Thursday. Jake Sizemore was carrying a knife in his pocket when a UW-Oshkosh Police Officer caught him fleeing during a robbery attempt on October 26th. He’s also been linked to a robbery on October 20th. Sizemore was bound over for trial during yesterday’s hearing and is scheduled for a plea hearing on December 5th.

Twelve Communities Pass Move To Amend Referendum

Fond du Lac and Ripon were among twelve communities across the state that voted this week in favor of amending the U.S. Constitution to make clear that money is not speech and that only real people should have inalienable Constitutional rights. This would reverse the Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision, which opened the floodgates to big money in elections. All twelve referenda passed with solid majorities: Milwaukee County (70%), Dunn County (72%), Green Bay (77%), Appleton (74%), Fond du Lac (73%), Neenah (79%), Menasha (80%), Ripon (79%), Oregon (79%), Wausau (77%), and the Village of Park Ridge (83%). The results in Stoughton were not tallied properly and are unknown at this time.  This brings the total number of Wisconsin communities that have called for an amendment to 54. In total, 2.4 million people (41% of Wisconsinites) live in these jurisdictions. Across the country, 16 state legislatures have voted for an amendment, as well as almost 600 towns, villages, cities and other organizations.

FDL Assistant Fire Chief Earns Executive Fire Officer Certification

Fond du Lac Assistant Fire Chief Todd Janquart has earned Executive Fire Officer (EFO) status after completing a four year program at the National Fire Academy in Emmitsburg, Maryland. Fire Chief Peter O’Leary says he’s proud of Janquart’s accomplishment. He says Janquart and the City will benefit from the knowledge Janquart has gained for many years to come. O’Leary says he went through the EFO program and he says he knows it’s difficult to be away for two-weeks each year for four years and then having to complete an applied research project each year. Janquart’s last applied research project had to do with participating in the Fall Prevention Coaltion. O’Leary says Assistant Fire Chief Steve Beer will soon complete his Executive Fire Officer work as well.

NFDL Students Perform  Disney’s ‘Beauty And The Beast’

North Fond du Lac students will perform the Disney Musical “Beauty and the Beast” at the Horace Mann High School this weekend. It’s under the direction of Katie Crabb and Anthony Rasmussen and Gerry Scudella will direct the pit band. North Fond du Lac Schools Superintendent Aaron Sadoff says he had a chance to sit in on a rehearsal and marveled at the performances, set and artwork. He says it’s a great way to see some of the wonderful things happening in the North Fond du Lac School District. Performances are Friday and Saturday night at 7 p.m. with a 2 p.m. Matinee on Sunday. Tickets are $8 for adults and $6 for students with general seating.

Drive-In Theater Program For Kids At FDL Public Library Saturday

The Fond du Lac Public Library’s McLane Meeting Room will be converted into a Drive-In Theater for a special children’s program Saturday. Library Community Information Coordinator Terri Fleming says children will be supplied with cardboard boxes to decorate like a car to take to the theater. Movies will be shown in the meeting room. The free program is at 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. Fleming says it is for 4 to 10 years olds and they do require registration. Snacks will be served. Those who are interested can register by calling the Children’s Desk at (920) 322-3940. You can also register by clicking on the Calendar tab at the Library’s website