Local News Briefs For Wednesday 10/16/13

Governor Walker says he isn’t worried about his $100 million property tax cut and worker training proposals adding to the structural deficit in the next state budget. The non-partisan Legislative Fiscal Bureau predicts the moves would increase the funding shortfall by $180 million to $725 million. Walker says it’s not a big deal. He says that’s the lowest the structural deficit has been in a decade and a half. Walker says the average growth over that time is 3.1 percent. He says the state needs to see about 2.4 percent growth to cover the deficit. The Senate approved the tax cut yesterday it now goes to the Assembly.

70 MPH Speed Limit Bill Passed By State Assembly

(Wisconsin Radio Network)-The state Assembly is giving a green light to a bill that would increase the speed limit on many Wisconsin highways to 70 miles an hour. The legislation requires the Department of Transportation to increase the speed limit on interstate highways to 70 miles an hour, after it determines where the change can be made safely. It also requires the agency to study the possibility of making the change on other four-lane highways around the state. Wisconsin’s neighboring states have already adopted the higher speed limit, and state Representative Paul Tittl (R-Manitowoc) says we need to make the switch to catch up. He says many drivers in the state are already traveling at speeds above the current 65 mph limit, and studies in other states have shown average speed only slightly increased once a higher limit was posted. The bill still drew attacks from several Democrats, who questioned the possible impact it could have on safety. The bill passed on a 63-32 vote, with a handful of Democrats joining Republicans in supporting the measure. It now heads to the state Senate, although it remains unclear when the chamber will take up the legislation.

Columbus Woman Sentenced For Embezzling From Church

The 54-year-old Columbus woman who stole large sums of money while she was a bookkeeper for St. Jerome Parish and School in Columbus has been sentenced to a year in jail and five years of probation. Susan Droessler was sentenced in Columbia County Court Tuesday on one felony theft count. State Attorney General J. B. Van Hollen says the first six months of her jail sentence will have to be served without work release privileges. She also has to pay more than $167,000 in restitution. Droessler had paid back $100,000 in restitution prior to her sentencing. During an investigation Columbus Police learned Droessler had used parish and school funds to pay for various personal and family expenses. That included buying more than $5,000 worth of items at a Walmart, putting more than $17,000 on various credit card accounts in her name, and enrolling herself in full-time family health and dental benefits totaling in excess of $88,000.

FDL P.D. Holding Follow Up Community Forum At Lakeside Park

The Fond du Lac Police Department are inviting residents to a community forum at the Lakeside Park Pavilion tonight at 7 p.m. to tell how well a community policing effort went in the park this summer. Assistant Police Chief Steve Klein says it’s a follow up meeting to a meeting they held in May in which residents were asked to express their concerns about crime in the park. He says this summer they had a heavy concentrated enforcement effort in Lakeside Park as part of their problem oriented district policing effort. Klein says they’d like to find out from residents if that effort made a dent in any concerns they might have had about the park.

UW-FDL Student Housing Issue Will Go Back Before County Board Early Next Year

A request to lease Fond du Lac County land at the UW-Fond du Lac to a developer for student housing won’t go back before the County Board until early next year. County Executive Al Buechel says the board decided last month to send it back to committee, which will now ask the UW-Fond du Lac Foundation Board to release a request for proposal for developers first. He says it will go back before the County Board next January or February, but at that time they will know who the developer is, what the development agreement is, how much land will be used, the building plan and the management plan. He says that would still allow the university to complete the housing by a June 2015 goal if the County Board approves the project. Originally UW-Fond du Lac officials asked the County Board to lease 10 acres of land to a developer at $1 per acre for the project.

State Senate Passes Brown Jug Bill

State Senator Rick Gudex says a bill he authored would allow taverns and liquor stores to sue underage drinkers or their parents who break the law. The Brown Jug Bill is named after an Onalaska tavern that had particular problems with underage drinkers who were using phony IDs. He says over the years making fake IDs has gotten more sophisticated with the technology that’s available. The state lawmaker from Fond du Lac says it’s a matter of fairness. He says people trying to do their best to run an honest business shouldn’t have to suffer because someone else is breaking the law. The bill allows tavern and liquor store owners to sue underage drinkers or their parents for up to $1,000 in small claims court. The State Senate passed the bill Tuesday and it now goes to Governor Walker for his signature into law.

Ripon Vehicles Damaged

Ripon Police are asking for help to find the person or persons responsible for damaging more than 8 vehicles last Saturday night or Sunday morning. The vehicles were parked in an area from Eureka Street, Tygert St, Doty Street and Spaulding Avenue. Anyone with information is asked to contact Ripon Police at (920) 748-2888. A reward is being offered for information leading to the arrest of those responsible.

Fox Lake City Administrator Resigns

The Fox Lake City Council this week accepted the resignation of City Administrator Bill Petracek. Last month the Council approved a series belt-tightening measures to address an anticipated budget shortfall of $350,000 in 2015. That includes possible personnel cuts that could affect the position of city administrator. Petracek will remain on the payroll through November 7th but his last day in the office will be this Friday.  He is taking a similar position in Lexington, Minnesota.

Sheboygan Detective Shares “Woman Police Officer Of The Year” Honor

(WHBL-Sheboygan)-A Sheboygan Police Detective has been named “Woman Police Officer of the Year.”  Tamara Remington received the honor from the Wisconsin Association of Women Police during an event in Madison last Friday.  She said it was an honor to be given this award and sharing it with Jennifer Sabena, who was killed by her husband while on duty last December. Since being promoted to detective in March of 2012, Remington has worked on several high profile cases involving human trafficking, homicide, and bank robbery.  Some of these cases have been adopted by the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Milwaukee for federal prosecution. 

Project Lead The Way

The Fond du Lac School Board this week got an update on the Project Lead the Way program at the Fond du Lac High School. District Superintendent Jim Sebert says it’s a two track program that will compliment what students at the STEM Academy and STEM Institute are learning, but at the high school level. He says those two tracks are engineering and biomedical. He says it is a rigorous curriculum. Sebert says the engineering track is in place, but the biomedical track is being put in place for the next year at the high school for students interested in a health or human services career pathway. Sebert says it’s another new exciting learning opportunity at the high school.

Springs High School Open House Sunday

St. Mary’s Springs Academy in Fond du Lac is inviting all students in grades 5 through 11 that interested in learning more about the Ledger tradition of Catholic Education to an open house this Sunday. The open house will be held from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. on the high school campus at 255 County Highway K. Students and their families will be able to take guided tours. Browse through a wide selection of course offerings. Discover the world of possibilities that exist via the partnership with Marian University. Explore the multitude of athletic, performing arts, and co-curricular activities and more. The event is open to the public. Registration is not required.