Local News Briefs Friday 11/21/14

Dodge County prosecutors have charged a 17-year-old Brownville youth with armed robbery. Bond was set at $1,000 cash when Alec James Ryan made his initial court appearance Wednesday on the charge stemming from the robbery of the BP Gas Station in Brownsville Monday morning. Ryan implied he had a pistol in his waistband when he took a carton of cigarettes from a clerk at the store. The clerk never saw the gun. A preliminary hearing is scheduled for next Wednesday.

FBI Conducting Another Investigation In Oshkosh

Oshkosh Police say the FBI is conducting another investigation in the City, but this one is not related to the Ricin investigation they were involved in earlier. The investigation is centered in the Congress Avenue and High Avenue area. Oshkosh Police say they were notified about the investigation Thursday morning. The FBI only says it’s an ongoing criminal investigation. Agents removed bags of items from a home Thursday. 

No More First Baby Of The Year Announcements

Agnesian HealthCare Officials say they will continue to recognize the first baby born each year at Ripon Medical Center, St. Agnes Hospital and Waupun Memorial Hospital, but won’t be releasing that information to the public.  Instead it will be done in a more private fashion. This past March Agnesian announced it would no longer provide area media outlets with birth announcement information joining many other hospitals wishing to protect the overall safety of newborns under their care. With parental permission, Agnesian HealthCare makes available a pre-designed birth announcement that new parents can share with family and friends, or download to print at a local photo center. Those announcements do not include last names, addresses or cities. Agnesian says the practice falls in line with recommendations from the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children, which advises families to consider the risk they may be taking when permitting their infant’s birth announcement to be published in the newspaper or on-line.

FDL County Had One Of The Lowest Crime Rates In the Nation Last Year

Fond du Lac County has one of the lowest crime rates in the nation. The County ranked 27th in the nation for low crime rates in 2013.  CQ Press ranked 350 metro areas based on FBI crime statistics. The rankings measured murder, rape, robbery, aggravated assault, burglary, and motor vehicle theft. “This is a very important quality of life issue that impacts both current and future residents of the community”, stated Steve Jenkins, president of the Fond du Lac County Economic Development Corporation. “Communities that rank low in crime are attractive to a wide variety of demographics, including young families. When matched with quality education such as that in Fond du Lac County, Fond du Lac County is very attractive as a place to live.”

Horicon Golf Course Purchased By Camelot Owner

(WBEV-Beaver Dam)-The next owner of Rock River Hills has big plans for the 18-hole golf course currently owned and operated by the city of Horicon. Lee Merkel owns Golf Camelot, which also operates courses in Lomira and West Bend along with the Beaver Dam Raceway. Merkel says his goal is to maintain the strong membership base at the public course. Members will be allowed to utilize all three Golf Camelot courses; more leagues and events are also envisioned. He says the course itself is not in bad shape though deferred maintenance has taken its toll. The greens are old, the cart paths need upkeep and the bunkers are ragged, all of which will see immediate improvements, along with fresh paint and new carpets elsewhere on the grounds. There will be several “unseen” infrastructure improvements made over the long term we well. The biggest problem, Merkel says, is the irrigation system, which will require a quarter-million dollar upgrade in coming years. A new clubhouse is also planned. The city has accepted a $420,000 offer from Golf Camelot but closing is still subject to environmental studies, appraisals and financing none of which, Merkel says, are major hurdles.

Commemorative Pavers Available For New MPTC Entrance

Moraine Park Technical College is selling commemorative bricks for its new entrance and student services center at its Fond du Lac campus. MPTC President Sheila Ruhland says the money raised from the pavers won’t be used to offset the $1.5 million construction costs. She says it will support student scholarships and the student emergency funds. The bricks will be at the front entry way. She says if you are interested you can find out more information at their Foundation page on their website. She says you can choose $100 and $200 dollar commemorative pavers. The 5,200 square foot addition will accommodate expanded areas for student affairs and student veterans’ services.

State Unemployment Lower

(Wisconsin Radio Network)-The state’s unemployment rate fell to a new post-recession low last month. Figures released by the state Department of Workforce Development show Wisconsin’s unemployment rate fell to 5.4-percent in October, down a tenth of a point from September and a big decline from 6.5-percent in October of 2013. It’s the lowest Wisconsin’s unemployment rate has been since the recession hit in 2008. The state also stayed below the national rate of 5.8-percent. DWD says the state added about four-thousand private sector jobs last month.

Family Volunteer Day Brightens The Holidays

The executive director of the Volunteer Center of Fond du Lac County invites area residents to participate in Family Volunteer Day this Saturday. It will be from 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. at the Woodland Senior Park in Building 87 in the large activity room. Nancy Zompolas says they will have a number of craft kits to choose from that volunteers can make to brighten the holidays for area non-profits like the Senior Center, Hospice Hope and the Humane Society. She says the people who receive the gifts through those non-profits are very appreciative. If you would like to know more call the Volunteer Center at 926-1414.

NFDL Food For Families Program

The North Fond du Lac Police Department and North Fond du Lac Police Benevolent Association is once again offering their annual ‘Food for Families’ program.  North Fond du Lac Police Chief Darren Pautsch says the Benevolent Association adopts a number of area families for the Christmas holiday and provides them with gifts and groceries. He says they used to provide food for the families, but went to food and gas cards because it’s something that the families can use beyond the holidays. He says they can also use cash donations for the program. He says donations of paper products and personal hygiene items are also appreciated. If you would like to know about the “Food for Families” program contact the North Fond du Lac Police Department at (920) 929-3760 during regular business hours.

Forest Mall Offers Photo Opportunities With Santa

Starting Saturday area children can be photographed with Santa at the Forest Mall in Fond du Lac. The shopping center also provides children with special needs and their families with an opportunity to enjoy a carefully managed Santa photo experience through the Caring Santa program. The will occur on Sunday, December 7th prior to the mall opening. There’s also a Pet Photos with Santa event on Monday, December 8th and Tuesday, December 16th from 6 to 8 p.m. Guests can register for the Caring Santa event at http://www.simon.com/caring-santa.