Local News Briefs Friday 12/4/15

Retlaw Hotel Closing Could Be An Opportunity For Someone

The executive director of the Downtown Fond du Lac Partnership says while it’s unfortunate the historic Retlaw Hotel is closed it might be a good thing for the hotel’s future. Amy Hansen says the current owner, North Main Hospitality, has owned the hotel for about 5 years the majority of which a new owner was being sought. It’s now in receivership with a Milwaukee law firm acting as receiver. She says its immediate future is unknown. She says they don’t know if it will be sold or put up for auction. She says they should know that in a couple of days. She says it would be better if it was put up for sale. She says the property needs a lot of renovation and if it was reopened as is it probably wouldn’t be successful. Hansen says an independent consulting firm did a study for them last summer on what the market would be for a mid-luxury hotel in the downtown and the results were positive. She says the numbers prove it would be a solid investment and it’s a great location.

Abrupt Closing Of Retlaw Surprises City Officials

City officials say the closing of the historic Retlaw Hotel wasn’t too surprising, but the abruptness was. City Council President Lee Ann Lorrigan says she heard about it from fellow Councilwoman Karyn Merkel who is a member of the Empty Bowls organizing committee. She says the committee was cleaning up after the event when they were rushed so the doors could be closed and locked behind them.  City Councilman Brian Kolstad says despite the closing they are maintaining a positive outlook about the future of the hotel in downtown Fond du Lac.

Democrats Targeting 18th State Senate Seat

State Senate Minority Leader Jennifer Shilling confirms the 18th State Senate seat is one they will be targeting next November. She says she appreciates the service Senator Rick Gudex has given during his time in the Senate, which runs until next year. She says it’s no secret Democrats want that seat back during next year’s election. She says they served on a committee together, but they don’t see eye-to-eye on all issues. She says they differed on transportation and the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation. Gudex serves on the WEDC Board of Directors. Shilling says it’s a poorly run agency that’s given out hundreds of thousand of dollars in bad loans. Gudex announced this week he will not seek reelection.

Grothman On California Shootings

Congressman Glenn Grothman says it’s worrisome that a tragedy like the shootings in San Bernardino, California might be traced to the recruiting of terrorist acts on the Internet. Fourteen people were killed in the shootings in the southern California community Wednesday. Grothman says it involved a husband and wife and the husband grew up in the Midwest. He says he had Islamic ties, but he grew up in Illinois moved to California and had a nice government job. He says terrorist groups like Isis and Al Qaeda troll the Internet looking to radicalize people raised in the Islamic religion. Grothman says the mastermind in the Paris shootings had a similar story. The federal lawmaker from Glenbeulah says he hopes current rumors in Washington, D.C. are just that, rumors. He says the speculation is that the San Bernardino shooter was more connected with Al Qaeda than Isis, but the two groups are competing to see who is radical and who is doing more to destroy the west.

Red Kettle Brigade Today At KFIZ

Here’s your chance to double the money you kindly give to the Fond du Lac Salvation Army this holiday season. For the 15th year KFIZ is hosting the Red Kettle Brigade in our parking lot on Winnebago Drive until 11 a.m. this morning. Michel’s Corporation will be providing a match of up to $8,000 for the donations that are given. There will be celebrity bell ringers and you don’t even have to get out of your car to give.

KFIZ Christmas Parade Presented By The Downtown FDL Partnership

The KFIZ Christmas Parade presented by the Downtown Fond du Lac Partnership will be broadcast live Saturday afternoon at 4:15 p.m. KFIZ’s Wade Bates and Big Al Schumacher of 107.1 The Bull will broadcast from the Rienzi Cemetery Holiday Deck provided by Whealon Towing & Service. Their will be a panel of four judges to chose the best floats. This year’s theme is “Country Christmas.” Following the parade Santa and Mrs. Claus will light the Community Christmas Tree at Veteran’s Park.   

Dickens Of A Christmas In Ripon This Weekend

In Ripon this weekend you can watch for Scrooge, Bob Crachit, Tiny Tim and a bunch of people having a jolly good time. It’s the 25th Anniversary of the Dickens of a Christmas event on Watson Street. Today through Sunday will be packed with activities and attractions. Ripon Area Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Jason Mansmith says the annual Living Windows Display is old as the event itself. It’s from 6:30 to 8:30 tonight. He says Sunday as part of the Quilt Show at Horicon Bank they will have a special event known as the Quilts of Valor. Mansmith says the quilts are made for military service men and women and will be presented to them at 1 p.m. that afternoon. A complete list of activities for Dickens of a Christmas is available at the Ripon Area Chamber of Commerce website.

Byron Historical Society Open House And Calendar Sale Saturday

The Byron Historical Society’s annual commemorative calendar for 2016 will be unveiled at the organization’s open house and exhibit at the Byron Town Hall Saturday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. The Pastimes and Pets in the Town of Byron calendar features 120 never-before-seen images with stories as well. Following the open house, a holiday outdoor lighting ceremony will be held also at the town hall. Refreshments will be served and calendars will be for sale.

On Monday the calendars go on sale at American Bank in Brownsville, Blueprint Solutions in Fond du Lac, Kelley’s Country Creamery on County Road B in Fond du Lac, Guido’s in Byron. You can also mail a check or money order to Byron Historical Society, P.O. Box 466, Byron WI 53006. Please add $3 per calendar to cover mailing costs.