Local News Briefs For Tuesday 7/23/13

Oshkosh Police say a 24-year-old Ripon man saved the life of a motorcyclist who crashed his bike on some railroad tracks as a train was approaching. It happened Saturday afternoon when the 34-year-old Oshkosh man went through a stop sign and crashed on the railroad tracks. The Ripon man was stopped for the train. He was able to pull the Oshkosh man, who was unconscious from the tracks with the train about 20 feet away from them. The Oshkosh man was taken to a hospital with non life-threatening injuries.


Probation For Break In


A 24-year-old Allenton man who tried to break into a Mayville home where his ex-girlfriend was babysitting has been sentenced to two years of probation. Jose Medina recently pled no contest in Dodge County Court to three felony charges stemming from the incident last February. He was arrested after police found him on the front porch of the home with a six-inch screwdriver. Medina broke a patio door trying to enter the Mayville home. His blood alcohol level at the time of the crime was 1 ½ times the legal limit for driving. Restitution will be determined at a later date.


Milwaukee Man Sentenced For Selling Cocaine In Sheboygan


(WHBL-Sheboygan)-A Milwaukee man who was dealing cocaine from an apartment in the city of Sheboygan has been sentenced to prison.  Eighteen-year-old Christopher Sewell was busted in February after police had an apartment under surveillance and executed a search warrant.  The woman who rents the apartment told officers she had allowed Sewell to sell cocaine from the apartment.  In return, he paid rent and gave her about a half ounce of cocaine a day to feed her habit.  Sewell was sentenced to prison for 18 months to be followed by two years on extended supervision.


Turbine Study Called For


Fond du Lac County’s Board of Health last week unanimously voted to recommend to the County Board asking the state to do a comprehensive study on the health impacts created by wind turbines. County Executive Al Buechel says a study done by Brown County was complete enough. He had asked the state’s Joint Finance Committee to include a study in the state budget, but that didn’t happen. Buechel says it’s time someone moves forward and does something. Public Health Officer Kim Mueller says people who do live near wind farms have a variety of health complaints they say they are suffering from including sleeplessness, noise, headache, pressure, irritability, shadow flicker, exhaustion, ringing in the ears and more. Fond du Lac County has 168 wind turbines. The County Board will take the matter up at their meeting next month.


Construction Of New Ripon Medical Center Coming Along


Progress continues to be made on the new Ripon Medical Center that is being constructed off Eastgate Drive in Ripon. Ripon Medical Center Chief Operating Officer Catherine Vergos says the $43.7 million project is moving along. She says there will be a period of transition when both the current and new facilities will be operating, but she says in the first three months the new facility be used for training and working on information technology connections. She says the new facility will have the latest technology including a nurse call system that connects patients to nurses by the nurse’s cell phone. Vergos says the current hospital has 25 rooms and the new facility will have 18 operating beds and 7 shells or the infrastructure for 7 more beds. She says they designed it that way so they have the option to grow, but also be more fiscally responsible. She says they hope to open the new facility in the late summer or early fall of 2014.


Highway 41 In Winnebago County Closed Next Three Nights


State Department of Transportation officials say all of Highway 41 in Winnebago County will be closed the next three nights for the demolition of the bridge deck on County Highway G.  The Highway will be closed from 9 p.m. to 6 a.m. each of those nights. There will be detours set up for both southbound and northbound traffic.


State Records First Human Case Of West Nile Virus This Year


(Wisconsin Radio Network)-The state is reporting its first human case of the West Nile virus for the year. A Dane County resident has been diagnosed with the virus, which is transmitted through mosquito bites. State health officials did not release further information on the age or gender of the patient, or whether they have recovered from the illness. During 2012, 57 Wisconsin residents contracted West Nile virus infections, with five of those in Dane County. Officials continue to monitor for the virus statewide, with 10 dead birds testing positive so far this year. Those birds often serve as an early indication that virus is active in an area so residents can take precautions to help limit their exposure to mosquitoes that may be carrying West Nile.


Congressman Petri Survey Results


Nearly 10,500 people responded to a recent survey U.S. Representative Tom Petri conducted of households in the 6th Congressional District. The survey was offered both online and through a mail-back form. He says he will use the results of the survey to guide and inform him on issues that come before Congress. Among some of the results 51 percent of respondents believe that Obamacare will negatively impact them, and one in six are “not sure” how it will impact them. Twenty-seven percent felt they would benefit from the new law.  Respondents also voiced their opinions on issues such as balancing the federal budget, domestic drone use, how to pay for infrastructure improvements, immigration reform, reducing gun violence, and more. Too see the survey click here.


Deer Trustee Report First Phase Complete


(Wisconsin Radio Network)-Proposed deer hunting changes won’t go into effect this year. With the first phase of the process to change Wisconsin’s deer herd management completed, DNR officials are encouraging people to pay attention to upcoming Natural Resources Board meetings and the public hearings that will follow. At a meeting at UW-Stevens Point, Deer Trustee Report coordinator Eric Lobner says discussions up to this point lead him to believe certain things will definitely change. The process to change the herd management and hunting is not going to affect the 2013 seasons. Lobner says deer hunters should not worry about rule changes or surprises this fall. Lobner says one of the goals is to help local hunters and landowners work more closely with their local wildlife biologists so that management plans can work better in many different areas of the state.


THELMA Exhibit Features Work Of Internationally Recognized Artist


Thelma Sadoff Center for the Arts in Fond du Lac will be featuring an exhibit by an internationally recognized artist. Hap Tivey, whose work is featured in the permanent collections of Guggenheim Museum in New York and Spain, Museum of Modern Art in New York and Picasso Studio in Paris, is a pioneer of the light and space movement. His Sodium Exchange, in the permanent collection in New York’s Guggenheim will be on loan to THELMA’s Contemporary Wing beginning in September. THELMA Executive Director Kevin Miller says the hard work of their museum curator, Audra Gabrielson, is paying off.  He says having art on loan from the Guggenheim is quite a feat. The Tivey exhibit is part of THELMA Week, the grand opening for the newly redesigned arts center September 10-14. A free reception to open the new two-level art gallery is set for Thursday, September 12. Tivey’s Sodium Exchange will be exhibited in THELMA’s Contemporary Wing until November 10.




An official with Moraine Park Technical College says a new program will create scholarships for students and a pipeline to career pathways in manufacturing. MPTC Director of College Advancement Kelly Norton says that’s the focus of FACT or Forming Alliances to Cultivate Talent. So far $300,000 has been contributed to that scholarship pool. She says companies will also be asked to do more engagement with students including having representatives at the annual career fair, providing mentorships and more. She says the FACT program is one of the answers they have to filling an anticipated skills gap with more baby boomers retiring. She says one of their challenges will be to change perception about manufacturing jobs. She says is a 3 year program they hope to build on. She says eligible students this fall will be getting $75,000 in grants or about $300 to $500 in stipends each. 


Sneak Peak Opportunities At Children’s Museum This Week


The Children’s Museum of Fond du Lac is giving the public some sneak peaks at their new location this week prior to next month’s grand opening. Executive Director Andrea Welsch says museum members will get a special sneak peak today from noon until 5 p.m. at their new location on West Scott Street. Then there’s an opportunity for the public Wednesday and Thursday. The sneak peak each of those days is from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. There will also be a sneak peak on Friday from noon to 5 p.m. for the general public with a robotics demonstration by Fondy Heat and Fondy Fire. Welsch says their mission is to engage children and adults in hands-on learning through play. She says they will also have outdoors play space that they will use during their grand opening next month.  She says for more information on their grand opening keep an eye on their Facebook page.


Natural Beauty Award Nominations Due August 7th


Nominations for the annual Fond du Lac County Beautification Awards Program are still being accepted by the Fond du Lac County Natural Beauty Council. The purpose of the awards is to encourage improvement and beautification in urban and rural areas of the county.


The program recognizes outstanding efforts by BUSINESSES, INSTITUTIONS, AND FARMS that contribute to beautification through landscaping and property improvements.    HISTORIC HOMES or STRUCTURES 90 YEARS and OLDER are also recognized. 


Area 4-H Clubs can also receive awards for their efforts through exceptional or unusual planting of flowers and shrubs along various roadsides. 


Nominations will be accepted until Wednesday, August 7, by calling the UW-Extension Center at (920) 929-3173 or by writing Beautification Awards, UW Extension –Fond du Lac County, 227 Admin/Extension Building, 400 University Drive, Fond du Lac, WI  54935.