Local News Briefs Friday 3/18/16

Search For Missing Kayaker Suspended

The Coast Guard has suspended its search on Lake Michigan for a 27-year-old West Bend man who went missing Wednesday evening while kayaking near Port Washington. Marcus Beilman was kayaking off South Beach. Lt. Commander Carolyn Moberley of the Coast Guard says the decision to suspend the search wasn’t an easy one and is based on a multitude of factors. She also expressed her condolences to the family. Beilman’s brother, Kevin, made it back to shore and was hospitalized for exposure. He says both of their kayaks overturned in rough water, and he lost sight of his brother before he reached land.

Oshkosh Man Who Fled From FDL Traffic Stop Charged

A 37-year-old Oshkosh man who fled on foot from a traffic stop in Fond du Lac this week has been charged. Kenyada Cole was charged in Fond du Lac County Court this week with his second marijuana possession charge, and charges of obstructing an officer and drug paraphernalia possession. Bond was set at $500 cash. A preliminary hearing is scheduled for March 31st. Officers found Cole hiding behind a garage after pursuing him on foot. He was also wanted on warrants from Winnebago County for disorderly conduct and battery charges. 

Fire Destroys Washington County Barn

Fire destroyed a barn in the Town of Jackson Thursday afternoon. Washington County Sheriff’s officials say the barn and its contents at 536 Bridge Road were a total loss. A pig and two goats kept in the structure were able to escape. The Jackson Fire Department and 10 others fought the blaze. No other buildings were damaged. The cause is still being determined.

Gas Leak At Horicon High School

Horicon High School had to be evacuated Thursday morning due to a gas leak. Students were moved to the Van Brunt Elementary School while the fire department and Alliant Energy investigated the leak.

Unemployment Rates Up In January

The City and County of Fond du Lac both saw their unemployment rates rise significantly in January. According to federal labor statistics the City’s jobless rate was 3.9 percent in December, but rose to 4.6 percent in January. The County’s rate during the same period was up from 3.6 to 4.6 percent. Both rates were slightly lower than January of 2015 when the City’s unemployment rate was 5 percent and the County’s stood at 4.9 percent.

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Kohls Closing Brown Deer Store

Kohl’s will be closing 18 of its stores across the country, but only one in Wisconsin. That store is located in Brown Deer. The announcement came on the heels of the company’s earning report. Half of the Kohl’s stores being closed are located in California. Kohl’s has a store at the Forest Mall in Fond du Lac.

Bill To Lift Christmas Tree Ban On Its Way To The Governor

State Senator Rick Gudex was one of the few state senators this week who voted against lifting a ban on natural Christmas trees in public places of assembly. Gudex says he talked with Fond du Lac Fire Chief Peter O’Leary about the bill and understands how for example a natural tree in an old church might become a fire hazard. Gudex says he’s sure the fire department uses its discretion when they know of such instances. The state senator from Fond du Lac says he had no stake in the bill and went against fellow Republican in voting against it, but the fire chief is a straight shooter and he trusts his judgment. The State Senate passed a bill lifting the ban on a 25 to 7 vote and its on its way to Governor’s desk to be signed into law.

FDL Job Fair Next Month

Jobseekers will have an opportunity to attend a job fair at the UW-Fond du Lac on Wednesday, April 13th from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Hours for the job fair are 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Moraine Park Technical College President Bonnie Baerwald says it’s a collaborative effort. The Fond du Lac Area Association of Commerce and Job and Career Center co-sponsor the event. MPTC, Marian University and the UW-Fond du Lac take turns every year hosting the event which is free to the public. She says jobseekers can get help with their resume or getting cloths for interviews during events in the week prior to the event at the UW-Fond du Lac. She says their will be an employer discussion panel on April 7th and a career clothes closet April 5th through the 7th. She says more information on the job fair on those other events are available at fdljobfair.com.

Super Home Extravaganza

The Super Home Extravaganza gets underway today at the Fond du Lac County Fairgrounds. Amanda Kemmel is the Executive Officer of the Home Builder’s Association of Fond du Lac and Dodge Counties. She says the home and garden expo will have a little bit of everything. Main Stage entertainment and seminars will include Mad Dog & Merrill (The Grilling Buddies), Chad Muche (The Plant Mentor) and more. Kids 12 and under will even be able to build a free bird feeder. Kemmel says it’s their big event of the year. She says typically they have from 80 to 100 vendors. She says if you visit their website you can save on the cost of admission. There is a coupon for a dollar off. Hours are 4 to 8 p.m. today and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday.

Alice Candidates Unveiled Today

Crave Brothers Farmstead in Wisconsin will play host this afternoon to the announcement of the top candidates for the 69th Alice in Dairyland title. Over the next seven weeks, the Alice in Dairyland candidates will be preparing for the three-day Alice in Dairyland Finals, which will be held May 5-7 in Dodge County. The finals include agribusiness tours, interviews, a discussion panel, and Finale Program. The 69th Alice in Dairyland will be selected at the conclusion of the Finale Program on May 7. Alice in Dairyland is Wisconsin’s official agricultural ambassador.