Local News Briefs Friday 5/22/15

The 34-year-old former Waupun woman suspected of stealing $2,800 worth of flea and tick collar product from her former employer was arraigned in Dodge County Court this week. Sara Steppke pled not guilty to the felony theft charge she faces She was working for Veterinary Village in Lomira when the theft occurred. According to the criminal complaint she tried to sell the stolen items online, but the manufacturer tracked the product through lot numbers. She denied the theft when her employer let her go, but later admitted to it when interviewed by police. Steppke now lives in St. Francis, Wisconsin.

Missing Fisherman Taken Into Custody On Probation Hold

Sheboygan County Sheriff’s officials say a search for a fisherman who may have fallen into the water off of the north Pier in Sheboygan was a false alarm. They received a call about 7 a.m. Thursday morning about fishing gear, a jacket and some fish found on the pier. There was a short search. An hour and half into the incident the Sheriff’s office got a call from a 39-year-old Town of Lima man who said the items were his. He had left them behind when he went home and planned to get them later.  When he did return for them he was taken into custody on probation hold and the DNR may have some follow up charges.

Salute The Troops Run In FDL Saturday

Area residents are being reminded that the Salute the Troops half marathon and 5K will be held Saturday in Fond du Lac. There will be temporary lane closures as the runners make their way through Fond du Lac beginning at 7 a.m. and ending around 10:30 a.m. Traffic into Lakeside Park with be limited until 10 a.m. as well. Drivers are urged to watch for runners on the roads, slow down and give them room.

Holiday Travel

Members of the Wisconsin State Patrol are reminding drivers to take their time this holiday weekend to get to where they are going. Sergeant Luke Newman says if you’re heading north you could run into some slowdowns and backups. Inspector Scott Hlinak says if you’re hauling a trailer make sure you allow yourself more stopping distance. Hlinak also says give people carrying things like ladders and other items that aren’t tied down plenty of room. He says coolers are something they see fall out of pickup trucks and other vehicles all the time. The State DOT says areas that might see slowdowns and backups include State Highway 441, I-43 and I-41 in Brown, Outagamie and Winnebago County. Road construction will be suspended at noon today and resume Tuesday morning.

Senator Gudex On UW Cuts

State Senator Rick Gudex says he doesn’t believe legislators will move much on the proposed $300 million cut to the UW System. He says they will try and minimize the impact on two-year schools like the UW-Fond du Lac because they don’t have ways of generating revenue like the larger four-year schools. He says he’s impressed with the new UW-Oshkosh Chancellor Andrew Leavitt who has done his due diligence on the proposed cuts and seems to have a plan. The state lawmaker from Fond du Lac says he is disappointed that the Joint Finance Committee won’t be giving the UW System the full autonomy first proposed with the cuts because it would have helped make up for some of that lost funding.

MPTC Budget

The Moraine Park Technical College District Board held a public hearing for the college’s budget for the next academic year Wednesday night. Carrie Kasubaski is the Director of Finance for Moraine Park Technical College. She says there are some revenue unknowns yet because of the state budget. But they anticipate that state aid will remain relatively stable for 2015-16. She says tuition will increase by 2 percent to $128.40, which she says is still a great value compared to tuition for the UW system or private colleges. There will also be a slight increase in the tax levy by 1.3 percent, but property values will be going up about 2 percent so tax payers in the district should see a slight decline in the technical college portion of their property tax. MPTC employees will also see a 1.62 percent increase in base salary.

County Social Services Needs Volunteers For Programs

Fond du Lac County Social Services Director Patricia Lancour says her department could use some help if anyone is looking for volunteer opportunities. County Supervisor Marty Ryan asked about it when Lancour gave her annual report to the County Board this week. Lancour says in fact their volunteer services coordinator is retiring next month during the early part of the month and they have ideas about how to enhance the program.She says there are all kinds of opportunities from driving kids to visits to  school to being friendly visitors to shut-ins and the elderly to volunteers to help supervise visits. She says even volunteering a few hours a week would help them out. If you would like to know more call 929-3400.

Another Scuccessful Year For Project Grill

The Fond du Lac Area Association Of Commerce had another good turnout for its Project G.R.I.L.L. The unveiling was held at Festival Foods last Friday. Jim Cleveland of the AC says attendance was great and they had nine projects and eleven high schools participating in them.  He says Moraine Park Technical College put together a cooperative team that consisted of students from Ripon, St. Mary’s Springs and Fondy Central High Schools. This year the students themselves picked a Best of Show winner, which went to Lomira High School students who had teamed up with Mid States Aluminum. Cleveland says the grill was on a large trailer with built in hydraulics that allowed them lower the trailer and grill into place. He says other unique grills included a pontoon boat Oakfield High School students put together.

WW Flag Day Ceremony Will Remember Birkholz And Casper

Fond du Lac Police Officer Craig Birkholz and Wisconsin State Trooper Trevor Casper will be remembered during the Flag Day Ceremony at Walleye Weekend on Sunday, June 14th. The theme of the 11 a.m. ceremony will be “honoring those who protect and serve” and will include displays from the Fond du Lac Fire Department and State Patrol. Flags and certificates of authenticity will be presented in memory of Officer Birkholz and Trooper Casper. Veterans from WW II, Korea and Vietnam will also be presented flags. Lakeshore Elementary School, a 2014 Blue Ribbon School, will also be recognized.