Local News Briefs Friday 4/11/14

State Senator Rick Gudex says Oshkosh Corporation’s announcement that it will be laying off 760 employees starting in June comes as no surprise since the Federal Government has cut vital defense spending in the recent budget. He says,” Defending our national security is the first duty of the federal government and these cuts may be leaving the U.S. without the capability we need to protect America going forward.” The state lawmaker from Fond du Lac says they worked hard the past legislative session to put in place programs that will assist these displaced workers get the retraining that they may need to quickly become reemployed in the state. The Wisconsin Fast Forward legislation, authored by Senator Gudex, can be used for training unemployed and underemployed workers throughout the state.  It also includes an information system that serves as an effective forum to connect job seekers and employers with available jobs. Gudex says his office stands ready to provide any possible assistance to the affected employees.

Five Stranded On Lake Winnebago Ice

Five fishermen were stranded on Lake Winnebago when the ice they were fishing on broke away from shore late yesterday morning. Winnebago County Sheriff’s officials say they were called to check on the welfare of several fishermen who were fishing near Waukau Road in the Town of Black Wolf. They came across 58-year-old Rick Kramasz of West Allis and 56-year-old John Hoffman of Menasha who were wet and cold. The two said they were fishing with three others when they noticed the ice had broken away from the shore leaving about a 30 foot gap in 7 foot deep water. The five were able to swim back to shore. The other three left before deputies arrived. Kramasz and Hoffman did not know their names when they were asked by deputies. The incident was reported at 10:20 a.m.

Four People Hurt In Washington County Crash

Four people were hurt in a two-car crash on Washington County Highway H west of State Highway 144 just before 4 p.m. Thursday afternoon. Sheriff’s officials say a 32-year-old Milwaukee woman crossed over the center line on County Highway H and hit a car being driven by a 69-year-old Town of Farmington man. The woman had a 3-year-old boy and 6-year-old girl in the car with her. The Farmington man and the two children were taken to St. Joseph’s Hospital in West Bend. Theda Star Helicopter flew the Milwaukee woman to Froedtert Hospital.

Alliant Looks At Freezing Rates For Two Years

Alliant Energy officials are asking the state’s Public Service Commission for permission to reduce its base rates for both electric and natural gas rates over the next couple years. The company wants to reduce its gas rates by $5 million next year and freeze those rates through 2016. It also wants to freeze its electric base rates for the next two years.  If approved the rate freeze would go into effect next January and run through 2016.  While rates would be frozen changes in fuel costs would be adjusted in customer bills. Fuel costs for natural gas customers will continue to adjust monthly as gas costs change.

City Staff Backing Marian University Special Use Permit For AC Nielsen Building

Marian University’s plan to purchase the AC Nielsen Building in Downtown Fond du Lac will benefit the school and the community. One of the first steps is getting a special use permit. City Principal Planner Joellyn Dahlin says right now educational use isn’t permitted in an area zoned for business. The school plans to lease the first floor to Nielsen and will make use of the 2nd floor for its Nursing and Health Professions School. Marian University officials say Agnesian HealthCare will be leasing a floor to accommodate their information technology department. Dahlin says the building, which has been underutilized, will be used by hundreds of student, staff and others. She says there would be 250 to 300 students and about 40 faculty and staff members. Dahlin says it will be a boost to the downtown. Dahlin says City staff is recommending the Plan Commission recommend to the City Council approving the special use permit.

Public Hearing Will Be Scheduled On Ripon Dam

Ripon officials want to get more input from City residents before making a decision about whether to reconstruct or remove the old dam on Silver Creek. City Administrator Lori Rich says they want to set aside the cost factor until they get a feeling for what residents want to do with it. It was talked about at the Common Council’s meeting this week and will be placed on an upcoming agenda for a public hearing. She says most feed back so far has been to save the dam. Rich says it will cost about $940,000 to reconstruct the dam and they found out could cost as much or more to have it removed. The estimate for removal is from $750,000 to just over $1 million, plus it would cost another $50,000 to get a firmer estimate. The DNR says the dam needs to be reconstructed to meet compliance.

Trooper Hansen Hopes To Return To Patrol Early Next Year

A State Trooper recovering quickly after he was hit by an S-U-V in January while on the scene of an accident on Highway 41 near Neenah. Trooper Justin Hansen lost his right leg below the knee and broke his left leg when the vehicle slid out of control and pinned him against his squad car. He’s learning to walk using a prosthetic leg and he hopes to return to patrol as soon as possible. He says he’s adapting, but will return for light duty and hopes to be back on patrol by early next year.

State Patrol Captain Nick Scorcio says officers face serious dangers whenever they pull someone over or respond to a crash. He says he’s very worried about what will happen to his people every day. Hansen says the driver he was helping and two Winnebago County Sheriff’s deputies likely saved his life by applying tourniquets to his legs.

Criminal Justice And Forensic Science Conference At Marian Saturday

Marian University is hosting a Criminal Justice and Forensic Science Conference at the school Saturday from 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Sandra O’Donnell is the president of the Criminal Justice Club and a community service officer with the Fond du Lac Police Department. She says some job fairs have law enforcement represented, but this is unique because it incorporates the entire criminal justice system. She says in addition to the career fair portion of the day there will also be plenty of hands on opportunities with the hands on workshops. There will also be plenty of demonstrations and the police department’s bearcat tactical vehicle will be there. O’Donnell says more information is available on the event and registering for the workshops at Marian’s website. The event is free and open to the public. Registration is at 8:30 a.m.

MPTC Students Helping Out Habitat Family With Bowling Event

A team of students from Moraine Park Technical College in Fond du Lac is working on team building and problem solving by helping out Habitat for Humanity. MPTC student Tom Bear says they were supposed to find a problem and fix it. He says they decided to hold a fundraiser to help a Habitat family that will be moving into a brand new home this fall with incidental expenses. He says it could help with clothing purchases and new appliances.The fundraiser involves taking pledges and bowling games at Ledgeview Lanes in Fond du Lac tonight at 7 p.m. He says there will also be a 50/50 raffle and silent auction. Habitat Executive Director Paul Osterholm says while families benefit from a new home Habitat is also giving back to the community by putting unused properties back on the tax roll. Pledge sheets for the bowling event are available at Ledgeview Lanes or by calling Bear at 920-229-8137.

Shred Day At National Exchange Bank & Trust Saturday

National Exchange Bank & Trust offices will be hosting a free “Shred Day” Saturday, an opportunity to dispose of documents containing confidential, personal information in a secure method. The event is from 8:30 a.m. to 11 a.m. at National Exchange locations in Fond du Lac, at 130 South Main Street, Sheboygan Falls at 191 North Main Street, and in Pardeeville at 113 Lake Street. Documents will be shredded on site. Only paper items will be shredded. Due to limited truck space only confidential information will be shredded and it should be in a package that you can lift. This is for non-business items only. For more information call 921-7700.

Bunny Photo Experience Begins Saturday At Forest Mall

The Forest Mall in Fond du Lac will be hosting its annual Easter celebration festivities starting Saturday morning at 11 a.m. and running through the following Saturday, April 19th. The Bunny Photo Experience will be in the Center Court at the Mall. Kids will have the chance to visit with the Bunny and take home a treasured snapshot of the fun occasion. Gymboree is the sponsor for the Bunny Photo Experience.