Local News Briefs Friday 3/14/14

Winnebago County authorities have identified the 36-year-old Oshkosh man who died in a three-vehicle accident in the Town of Vinland Wednesday afternoon. Richard Morton was trying to turn from northbound Highway 76 to County Highway G when his vehicle was struck from behind and pushed into the southbound lane. He was killed when a southbound vehicle then crashed into his vehicle. A 40-year-old Oshkosh man in the southbound vehicle was taken to Theda Clark Regional Medical Center with serious injuries.

Heroin Summit Follow Up Efforts

One of the organizers of Fond du Lac’s Heroin Summit says the event will be a spring board for other efforts to do something about the heroin problem in Fond du Lac. Beacon House Executive Director Mary Gerlach says the Marian University’s Stayer Center auditorium holds 252 people and about 400 people packed into. Another hundred were turned away at the door. She says it’s obvious the community has interest in doing something about the problem. She says there were tears shed at the event. One couple who lost a son to heroin two weeks ago had to leave the auditorium. Gerlach says other counties have had success with a four pillars approach to the problem; education and prevention, treatment, law enforcement and harm reduction. She says that could work here too. For those who missed the summit a video of it will become available on the Beacon House website along with information on resources.  

Senator Johnson Heads To The Ukraine

(Wisconsin Radio Network)-U-S Senator Ron Johnson joined a group of federal lawmakers who headed to the Ukraine Thursday. The federal lawmaker from Oshkosh is part of a bipartisan group of eight U-S Senators who plan to meet with Ukrainian leaders, as the country fights efforts by Russia to annex the Crimean region. Johnson says they want to show their support for the people of the country and their fight for a government free of corruption. Johnson says the U-S must show it clearly opposes Russia’s referendum on Crimea and supports sanctions over Putin’s interference. Johnson says the U-S can’t afford to continue treating Russia like it’s a good actor on the world stage.  

State Unemployment Rate In January Lowest In More Than Five Years

The state’s unemployment rate for January dropped to 6.1 percent. According to the state’s Department of Workforce Development and U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics the jobless rate is down from 6.3 percent in December and 6.9 percent in January of last year. The state’s 6.1 percent unemployment rate for January is also the lowest since November 2008, and it remains below the national rate of 6.6 percent.           

State Building Commission Approves UW-Oshkosh Welcome Center

State Representative Joan Ballweg of Markesan and the state Building Commission approved an Alumni Welcome and Conference Center project at UW-Oshkosh last week. The building project will replace the previous River Center, which was demolished after a flood ruined the building in 2008. The new center will be built without any state taxpayer dollars. The university will use insurance money and gift funds raised by the UW-Oshkosh Foundation for the $7.8 million project. “I’m pleased to be able to support UW-Oshkosh by approving their new project as a member of the state Building Commission,” said Ballweg. “UW-Oshkosh has proven itself to be an economic driver in their region. This state-of-the-art venue will allow UW-O to be a hub for one-stop community and campus engagement and development.” Chancellor Rick Wells, on behalf of UW-Oshkosh and the foundation, presented the state Building Commission a plaque of appreciation in recognition of the Building Commission vote approving the project following last week’s meeting. Opening and dedication of the building is expected in May 2015.

Doylestown Village President Seeks 42nd Assembly Seat

(WBEV-Beaver Dam)-Doylestown Village President George Ferriter is running for the State Assembly. The Columbia County man is a Democrat who hopes to unseat Republican Keith Ripp to represent the 42nd Assembly District. Ferriter was born into a military family and is a Vietnam-era veteran of the Air Force. He spent the past 24 years as a mechanical engineer for Fairbanks Morse Engine in Beloit. Ferriter says the state needs a change in direction. He’s also a strong advocate of bargaining rights for all labor that decides to affiliate with unions. The 42nd Assembly District is centered in Columbia County and includes five townships in western Dodge County along with portions of Fond du Lac, Green Lake, Marquette and Dane counties.

Sheboygan Robbery Suspect Sentenced

(WHBL-Sheboygan)-A Sheboygan County judge this week sentenced a 49-year-old St. Nazianz man to two years probation for trying to steal oxycodone from a Sheboygan Pick ‘n Save. Police says Bruce Erickson entered the store last September covered with decorative spider webbing.  He went over the pharmacy counter, said he had a gun and wanted oxycodone.  Police caught him in the store’s parking lot. He had five bottles of the drug. Erickson got probation so he could continue to get treatment for his addiction to pain medication and alcohol.  If he violates probation, he will serve two years in confinement and two years extended supervision.

St. Baldrick’s Event In FDL Sunday

One of our own will be getting his head shaved for the St. Baldrick’s Foundation’s fundraiser at the Fond du Lac High School this Sunday afternoon. Drew the Intern will be getting his hair cut off to raise funds for childhood cancer research. Robin Schroeder started the event in Fond du Lac seven years ago. About 104 people have signed up to shed their locks, but there will also be vendors, music, massage, mascots and food. Twelve members of the 501st Legion Wisconsin Garrison will also be on hand with eight getting their heads shaved. Robin says it’s a chance for Star Wars fans to meets some villains. Hours for the St. Baldrick’s event are from noon to 4 p.m. Sunday at the high school field house. For more information click here.  

Winter Parking Restrictions In FDL And NFDL End Saturday

Another sure sign that spring is on the way, winter parking restrictions in Fond du Lac and North Fond du Lac end Saturday. The odd/even parking ban on those sides of the street depending on the day’s date started on November 15th. Ripon’s parking ban for city streets from 3 to 6 a.m. ends on April 1st.

Farmers Market Vendors Sought

The Downtown Fond du Lac Partnership is accepting vendors for its Saturday and Wednesday farmers markets. Interested vendors can find an application on the partnership’s website or can call (920) 322-2006. Applications are due March 21st. The Saturday market starts May 10th and runs through October 25th. It’s held each Saturday from 7 a.m. to noon at the City-County Government Center parking lot on the corner of Western and Linden. The Wednesday market begins June 4th. It’s from noon to 5 p.m. each Wednesday in the Main Street Plaza near the corners of Main and Sheboygan. It ends on October 22nd.  

Johnny Rockets Coming To Outlet Shoppes At Oshkosh

A Johnny Rockets restaurant will be opening its doors at the Outlet Shoppes at Oshkosh this May. Johnny Rockets is known for its made-to-order hamburgers, hand-spun shakes, classic sandwiches, American fries and 50s style furnishings and entertainment. The new 2,500 square foot restaurant will be able to seat 69 guests within the interior of the restaurant and 15 guests on its outdoor patio. It will be located at the shopping center’s main entrance.