Local News Briefs Friday 3/21/14

A 70-year-old Washington Island woman was seriously injured when her car went off Highway 41 northbound near Winnebago County Highway Z and crashed into a concrete bridge barrier. The State Patrol tells us the accident happened shortly after 1:30 p.m. Thursday afternoon. She was taken to Theda Clark Regional Medical Center with life-threatening injuries. No one else was involved in the mishap. She was wearing her seatbelt and alcohol wasn’t a factor.

Merkel Runs For Full Term On FDL City Council

Fond du Lac City Councilwoman Karyn Merkel is seeking a full two-year term on the Council. Merkel was appointed last June to take Jim Sabel’s seat after he resigned due to medical reasons. One of the issues the Council has dealt with is the park and ride on Camelot Drive with businesses requesting no parking. She feels the City could accommodate those who use it as a park and ride by moving the parking further up the road away for Agnesian’s expansion and Grande Cheese’s construction project. She says the City Council needs to do what it can to make Fond du Lac a destination for business and tourists. Merkel says Fond du Lac has a sense of community and she wants to do what she can to maintain and bolster that image. She is one of five candidates running for four seats on the City Council. 

Arc Of FDL Launches Capital Campaign

Now in its 51st year of serving those with special needs in the community, the Arc of Fond du Lac has launched a $1.1 million capital campaign. Arc Executive Director David Boelter says they ended the private drive for funds and are now launching their public effort. The Arc serves more than 750 people a year. He says the capital campaign is the first in their history. Among the facility renovations that are planned is adding four more group homes to the eight they already operate and making some improvements to the existing group homes. Improvements will also be made to their administrative and day care center at 500 North Park Avenue in Fond du Lac. He says work on the new HVAC system is nearly finished and the roofing work will begin on April 7th. To find out more about giving to the capital campaign call 923-3810 or visit their website

Asbestos Bill On Its Way To Governor’s Desk

(Wisconsin Radio Network)-Legislation dealing with asbestos-related lawsuits is on its way to the governor. It passed the Assembly on a partisan 55-to-38 vote, bill drawing opposition from Democrats, including Sun Prairie Representative Gary Hebl who says a great disservice has been done to the veterans of the state by those voting for the bill. Democrats charge the bill denies the rights of veterans and others to recover costs of treating mesothelioma, a cancer linked to exposure to asbestos. Representative Andre Jacques is the bill’s author. He says it doesn’t hinder veterans or any victims of exposure to asbestos from being compensated for their injuries. Under the bill, cancer victims suing an existing company would have to disclose whether they have also filed a claim with any of the asbestos compensation trust funds, something Republicans say has been widely documented. The bill now goes to the governor for his signature.

Struggling Oshkosh TID Could Help Through Gudex Bill

The bill State Senator Rick Gudex authored that allows struggling tax incremental districts to reset their value is headed to the Governor’s desk for signature into law. Gudex worked on the bill with State Representatives Michael Schraa and Gordon Hintz of Oshkosh. The state lawmaker from Fond du Lac says one of the TIDs that will be affected by the new legislation is the old Pioneer Inn site in Oshkosh. The bill allows TIDs in decrement whose value has fallen at least 10 percent below the base value to reset that value to current values. Gudex says allowing struggling TIDs to reset their value will help in remarketing them to potential business interests. TID 20 in Oshkosh was originally value near $21 million, but is now assessed at $15.2 million in value.

Missing Sheboygan Teen Found

(WHBL-Sheboygan)-The Sheboygan Police Department located a missing teen following a four hour search Thursday afternoon.  The department says 16-year-old Gabriel Johnson was last seen walking from his residence around 1:30 p.m.  Police issued a city-wide alert at 5:17 and cancelled it about a half hour later when Gabriel was located, safe and sound.  Police provided no details as to where or how he was found.

Making Sure Smoke Detectors Work

With the recent change for Daylight Saving Time people also changed batteries in their smoke detectors, but a Fond du Lac Fire Department official says that’s no good if the detectors don’t work. Division Chief of Fire Prevention Troy Haase says like everything else smoke detectors are less effective as they get older. He says they should be replaced every 10 years. He says unfortunately they come across the defective smoke detectors at fire scenes. He also recommends the use of carbon monoxide detectors especially in older homes.

FDL Police Legal Run Around Saturday

The Fond du Lac Police Legal Run Around will be held Saturday morning at Marian University. The 5K Run/Walk to benefit the department’s K-9 program begins with registration at the Sadoff Gymnasium at 7:30 a.m. The Run/Walk starts at 9 a.m. and the half mile Kids Fun Run will be at 10:15 a.m. Proceeds will help off set the annual training and maintenance for the K-9 program. The Fond du Lac Police K-9 Unit was established in 1995. For more information click here.

Dodge Sheriff Employee Recognition Awards

The Dodge County Sheriff’s Department will hold their 1st Annual Employee Recognition Awards Ceremony this afternoon at the Sheriff’s Office in Juneau. Among the awards that will be presented are the Medal of Valor, Life Saving Award, Awards for Meritorious Service, Letters of Commendation and Years of Service. There will also be a ceremonial swearing in of new employees and the pinning of badges for recent promotions. The ceremony begins at 2:30 in the training room. Refreshments will be served after the ceremony.

Brandon Blood Drive A Success

The Brandon Community Red Cross Blood Drive held Tuesday was a success. They exceeded their goal of 28 units. Organizers want to thank all those who donated blood and volunteered. They also want to thank Brandon Meats & Sausage for donating sandwich meat and rye bread. Up-coming Blood Drives in the area will be in Rosendale on Tuesday, May 13th and Brandon on Tuesday, July 29th.