Local News Briefs Friday 12/20/13

All major highways in the Fond du Lac County area are reported to be ice covered this morning. According to the state Department of Transportations 511 website that includes Highways 23, 41, 45 and 151. Also included is the Dodge County portion of Highway 41 between Lomira and Fond du Lac and the Washington County portion of Highway 45 from West Bend to Fond du Lac. Fond du Lac County Sheriff’s Sergeant Eric Halbach says take your time and drive carefully. The Freezing Rain Advisory is now in effect until noon. There’s also a Winter Storm Watch from 6 p.m. Saturday evening to 6 p.m. Sunday evening.

Suspects In Campbellsport Armed Robbery Bound Over For Trial

Two Milwaukee men suspected of robbing a Campbellsport couple in their home at gunpoint were bound over for trial during their preliminary hearings in Fond du Lac County Court Thursday. Derrick Johnson and Dominic Cloyd are suspected of robbing Quinn and Sheri Laidler on December 8th taking more than $8,000 from a safe and nightstand. Johnson allegedly struck Sheri Laidler in the head while she pleaded with him not to hurt her. He also accidentally shot another suspect Danny Morris while rummaging through a backpack. Johnson and Cloyd dragged Morris out of the home and later took him to the Aurora Clinic in Hartford to be treated for the gunshot wound. Police found out about a person with a gunshot wound at the clinic and eventually arrested the three suspects. Charges have also been filed against Morris for his alleged role in the robbery.  

Sheboygan Bomb Threats Suspects Bound Over For Trial

(WHBL-Sheboygan)-Two Sheboygan residents who allegedly placed bomb threat notes in a men’s bathroom at their place of work have been bound over for trial. Twenty-three-year-old Thomas Smith and 21-year-old Nicole Morgan were back in Sheboygan County Court this week for preliminary hearings.  Judge Timothy Van Akkeren found sufficient evidence against Morgan, while Smith waived his hearing.  Both suspects have entered not guilty pleas to a bomb scare felony offense. According to criminal complaints, both worked at Nemak and allegedly wrote notes on separate dates earlier this year saying bombs would go off later that day.  An investigation by the company and Sheboygan Police connected the two to the crime.

Planning Grant Will Help In Wake Of Defense Dept Cuts To Oshkosh Corp

Congressman Tom Petri Thursday announced a grant of $837,316 from the Department of Defense’s Office of Economic Adjustment (OEA) to the East Central Regional Planning Commission “in response to defense funding reductions in the Oshkosh Region.” The grant is one of two community economic adjustment grants awarded from the OEA.  The federal lawmaker from Fond du Lac says,” This is great news for our entire region. With this grant, our area will be better suited to diversify and streamline economic opportunities for the future.” “This grant provides an excellent vehicle to bring together the various economic development entities throughout the three Fox Valley metropolitan areas, and the Waupaca County environs, to focus on the future growth of advanced manufacturing within the region while also creating an overall ‘economic ecosystem’ that responds better to our unique challenges and opportunities,” said Eric Fowle, Executive Director of the East Central Regional Planning Commission.

Target Hacking Affected 40 Million

(Wisconsin Radio Network)-There’s some advice being offered in the wake of the hacking of Target stores. Mike Masino is an information security instructor at Madison College – and one of millions who shopped Target between the day before Thanksgiving and December 15th when Target was hacked. He says he changed his numbers and that’s something he advises others who used credit or debit cards to shop at target during those dates to do as well. Masino says if you think your card has been compromised, call your bank or the issuing retailer to get a new one. Hackers accessed credit and debit card account information from some 40 million customers of Target stores.

State Rep Thiesfeldt On Common Core Hearings

The chairman of one of the state legislature’s select committees on Common Core education standards says he’s disappointed the state’s Department of Public Instruction crammed three public hearings into one day on the proposed standards. State Representative Jeremy Thiesfeldt says holding all three hearings yesterday when families and schools are getting ready for Christmas vacation was a way of taking the “pause” button off implementation of the standards. The State Assembly’s Select Committee came up with eight recommendations on the standards. He says the biggest, which has been introduced in the form of bill would set up a revolving review of the standards that would start over every six years. Math and English standards would be reviewed first. Thiesfeldt says their biggest worry is that the standards take away local control.

North Hickory Fire Suspicious From The Start

The Division Chief of Fire Prevention for the Fond du Lac Fire Department says they pretty much knew when they arrived on the scene of last week’s house fire on North Hickory Street that there was something suspicious about it. Troy Haase says Fire Chief Peter O’Leary and Assistant Chief Steve Beer made the decision that no one was going to go inside and they would be fighting the blaze from the outside. He says there was a lot of fire so they decided to do an outside attack and protect the two homes next to it. Haase says the size of the fire and possibility of collapse at the foreclosed home was also a concern. He says the state Fire Marshal’s Office sent people to help with the investigation and they brought along a dog that’s trained to sniff out accelerants. Forty-year-old Shannon Rogler of Fond du Lac has been charged with arson for allegedly setting the fire and faces other charges for a subsequent standoff with police.

Daytime Burglary Suspect Charged In Dodge County

A Juneau woman has been charged in connection with string of daytime burglaries in the Dodge County area. Twenty-one-year-old Kassie Gehler is charged with one count of felony Burglary as a Party to a Crime, which carries a maximum prison sentence of 12-and-a-half years in prison, if she is convicted. Prosecutors say that Columbus Police received a tip of a suspicious person who knocked on a door asked for someone and walked away. Gehler and a 32-year-old Juneau man were arrested following a subsequent traffic stop. She reportedly told investigators she is a heroin addict and acted as the driver and lookout during numerous burglaries in Mayville, Columbus and Lomira.  The other suspect has not yet been charged. A judge will decide next week if there is enough evidence to order a trial against Gehler, who is being held on a $1000 cash bond.

West Bend Strong-Armed Robbery Suspects Used Cell Phones To Keep In Contact

Three West Bend residents were arrested for a strong-armed robbery at a Pick ‘n Save Store last weekend. A 56-year-old West Bend woman was nearly robbed of her purse as she was exiting the store last Friday night. Investigators learned the man who tried to wrestle the purse away from her was using his cell phone to keep in contact with a woman and another man. Surveillance video linked the purse snatcher, a woman accomplice who spied on the victim in the store and getaway driver and vehicle used. The three were arrested this past Tuesday. The trio is facing attempted strong-armed robbery charges in Washington County Court.

Former Councilman Mick Burroughs Running For FDL City Council

Former Fond du Lac City Councilman Mick Burroughs is running for City Council. Burroughs chose not to run for reelection this past spring and his term ended in April of 2013. He was unable to because at the time he was working for the state Corrections Department and his 2nd shift job made it difficult to attend Council meetings. He has since left the department. He says he enjoyed his time on the Council. Burroughs says Fond du Lac is enjoying a positive period of growth and he would like to give back a little bit to the City he grew up and worked in. Burroughs is a former City policeman. 

Senator Gudex Attends Signing For Technical Education Bills

State Senator Rick Gudex of Fond du Lac recently attended a bill signing ceremony in Eau Claire at Chippewa Valley Technical College for two bills he authored as part of the Governor’s Wisconsin Fast Forward initiative. Both bills are tied to technical education and it is hoped will help to fill the skills gap for Wisconsin employers. The state lawmaker from Fond du Lac says one bill funds grants for high schools that create accredited programs like welding giving them $1,000 per student to offset their costs. The other bill creates up to six scholarships per school of $2,250 each for students who will be furthering their education in a trade after high school graduation. He says that could apply to nursing, welding, fabrication and other trades.