Local News Briefs Friday 2/19/16

ThedaCare Explores Future Facility Needs

Officials at ThedaCare are exploring their long term facility needs, which could include combining ThedaCare Medical Center in Neenah and the Appleton Medical Center into one new building. ThedaCare Medical Center is a 107-year-old facility, while Appleton Medical Center has a 58 year history. ThedaCare President and CEO Dean Gruner says, “We’re starting from a very high point with a rich history of high quality, low cost care.” The company says for about 18 months a group of people including community members, doctors, and nurses have been discussing future health care and facility needs.

Sheboygan Man Arrested For Seventh OWI Offense

A 48-year-old Sheboygan man who rear ended another vehicle Wednesday night in Sheboygan was arrested for his 7th drunken driving offense. Police says the man ran into the back of a Chevy van with his Ford pickup truck in the area of Lakeshore Road and Pine Bluff Drive. The van was parked when it was struck. The Sheboygan man was extricated from his vehicle and was taken to Memorial Medical Center for treatment of minor injuries. Police then took him to the Sheboygan County Detention Center on the drunken driving charge and a couple of traffic offenses.

Shanty Fire On North End Of Lake Winnebago

Firefighters responded to a shanty fire on the northern end of Lake Winnebago Thursday morning. It was about 200 yards off Waverly Beach in the Town Of Harrison. No other shanties were near it. Firefighters used an ATV to get water out to the scene of the blaze.

Thiesfeldt WRS Bill Heads To Governors Desk

A bill State Representative Jeremy Thiesfeldt authored that would open the Wisconsin Retirement System up to more municipal employees is on its way to the Governor’s desk. Thiesfeldt Chief of Staff Hariah Hutkowski says under the current system you have to have all employees participate in WRS and you have to be vested five years. Under Thiesfeldt’s bill municipal employees can join WRS separately even if their employer isn’t participating in WRS. He says quite a few members of municipalities not currently in the WRS system testified during hearings on the bill. There are currently 9 cities and 140 village and townships that are not part of the WRS system.

Tougher Drunken Driving Bill On Way To Governors Desk

Repeat drunk drivers could face harsher penalties under a bill heading to the Governor’s Desk. State Representative Jim Ott says it makes changes to current law. He says in addition to increasing penalties for repeat drunk drivers it also increases penalties for drivers who cause injury while driving drunk. He says the current law allows people driving drunk for a fourth time or more to be charged with a misdemeanor if they’ve driven safely for five or more years since their last offense. He says the new law would charge them with a felony regardless. He says prosecutors could also charge drunken drivers with drunken driving causing injury even if the injuries were minor. Under current law drunken drivers could only be charged for injury accidents if the injuries were substantial or great bodily harm was caused.

Snowmobile Trails Closed

Snowmobile trails in Fond du Lac and Dodge Counties are closed. The ATV trail along the Wild Goose State Trail in Dodge County is also closed because of warming temperatures and deteriorating trail conditions. Temperatures are expected to climb into the 40s over the weekend.

MPTC Transfer Fairs Next Week

Moraine Park Technical College will hold transfer fairs at all three of its main campuses next week. They will be Tuesday in Beaver Dam, Wednesday in Fond du Lac, and Thursday in West Bend. Times are 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. MPTC President Bonnie Baerwald says it’s a nice opportunity for people to make a change in their education. More than 20 four-year colleges and universities will be represented at the transfer fairs. There will also be a virtual transfer fair Wednesday from 5 to 8 p.m. at the Moraine Park website. Baerwald says look for a virtual button and you will have the opportunity to choose from 16 schools to talk to in a chat room. She says it is more convenient for people who can’t make it to the transfer fair locations.