Local News Briefs Friday 10/30/15

Technology Requests Included In Sheriffs 2016 Budget Proposal

There are a few technology items in the Fond du Lac County Sheriff’s budget that will cost hundreds of thousands of dollars. County Executive Al Buechel says $275,000 is being included for a virtual shooting range in the basement of the jail. He says it will include five large video screens and officers will be put through a hostage scenario. No real bullets are fired during the virtual training. He says it will be available to law enforcement agencies throughout the County. Buechel says younger officers grew up on video games and simulations and this is the best way to train them. Another $350,000 will be included to replace the aging system that supports the County’s E911 telecommunications phone system. He says it’s been limping along lately and someday it could fail so it needs to be replaced. Both requests are included in the County’s 2016 Budget proposal.

Waupun School Budget Approved

Waupun Schools Superintendent Tonya Gubin says they knew from what long-range planning they could do that the 2015-16 school year would have a tough budget. The Waupun Area School Board this week approved a $25.9 million budget and $10.6 million tax levy. That comes down to a tax rate of $10.91 or about 5 cents more than the past year. Gubin says property owners got a bit of a break because property values were up. She says with state funding cut by $305,000 they are looking at about a $560,000 deficit, but will be able to put some of the surplus they put back into the fund balance toward that. Gubin says they still have to think about their students and have decided to hire a couple of extra teachers. They added a gifted and talented teacher and some special education staff. She says they are expecting to see an increase in funding from the state next year.

Highway 44 Project Delayed

Another state highway project in Fond du Lac County has been delayed. The state Department of Transportation announced Thursday that an improvement project for a five mile stretch of State Highway 44 has been moved from 2016 to 2017. The project is northeast of Douglas Street in Ripon and extends northeast to the Winnebago County line.  State officials say the delay is due to impacts from the state budget. It was also announced that the DOT will not be constructing passing lanes, but will consider them in the future as the need arises. Expansion of State Highway 23 from Fond du Lac to Plymouth to four lanes has been delayed due to a federal lawsuit, which also prompted the state to delay it.

United Way Nears Halfway Point In Fundraising Goal

The Fond du Lac Area United Way had a solid week. Executive Director Amber Kilawee says they are now at nearly half of their $756,000 goal this fall. They have raised $358,000 in donations and pledges and at 47 percent are ahead of where they were at this time last year. They were at 32 percent at that time. She says part of the fun of the campaign is doing check presentations and they got some nice checks this past week from Canadian National Railroad and Holiday Automotive. She says the CN presentation was for just under $20,000, but she didn’t reveal yet how much Holiday gave.

Appeals Court Judge Appointed

Governor Scott Walker has appointed Judge William W. Brash III to the District I Court of Appeals. Brash will replace Justice Rebecca Bradley who was recently appointed to the Wisconsin Supreme Court. Judge Brash has served as a Milwaukee County Judge since 2001. He also served as a municipal judge for over 12 years.

Three FDL County Attorneys Earn Membership In Pro Bono Society

Three lawyers who are members of the Fond du Lac County Bar Association have earned membership in the Wisconsin Pro Bono Society. The local association will recognize them during a luncheon at the South Hills Country Club on Thursday, November 19th from noon to 1 p.m. Those attorneys are Catherine F. Jones, Peggy Lautenschlager and Jeffrey T. Haase. The three are part of the group of 398 lawyers who earned membership in the Pro Bono Honor Society by providing at least 50 hours of qualifying free or low cost legal assistance to help low income residents in 2014.

Flavors Of Wisconsin Gift Fair Sunday

The Fond du Lac Public Library will host the Flavors of Wisconsin Gift Fair this Sunday at its downtown location. Community Information Coordinator Terri Fleming says it’s scheduled from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. so it won’t be competing with the Packers versus Broncos game. She says they will have three full rooms of vendors selling food items made in Wisconsin. She says it’s a nice way of stocking up for holiday entertaining. She says they also make good gift-giving items. She says some of the vendors come from the area including LaClare Farms. There will be sampling, door prizes, a silent auction and more.

Time Battery Halloween Party Reminders

Daylight Saving Time comes to an end Sunday morning so it’s time to “Fall Back” and set your clocks back an hour. Troy Haase, the Division Chief of Fire Prevention for Fond du Lac Fire and Rescue, says it’s also a good time to check the batteries in your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors to maker sure they are still working. He says some of the newer detectors are equipped with 10 year batteries. But he says you should still test the batteries monthly. Another reminder that Saturday is Halloween and trick or treating in Fond du Lac and North Fond du Lac is from 3:30 to 5:30 p.m.  Don’t forget to tune in to the 42nd Annual KFIZ Halloween Party at 5:30 Saturday afternoon.