Local News Briefs Friday 6/26/15

Fond du Lac Police say they don’t believe a drive-by shooting incident at the Maplewood Commons Apartments early Sunday morning was random. No one was hurt in the incident in which four to seven shots were fired at an apartment. Assistant Police Chief Steve Klein says they think the parties involved are familiar with each other. He says their investigation is continuing as they speak with neighbors and potential witnesses. Anyone with information is asked to call the department’s non-emergency number at (920) 906-5555 or the crime alert number, which you can call anonymously at 322-3740.

FDL Man Charged For Dog Attack

A 32-year-old Fond du Lac man is facing charges for an incident in which his pit bull fatally attacked a couple’s poodle. Robert James is charged with abandoning an animal and a misdemeanor disorderly conduct charge. The incident happened the night of June 16th. The couple was out walking their dog when the pit bull attacked it. James allegedly left the scene when he heard police were called. The poodle had to be euthanized the next day. The pit bull was being held under a 10-day quarantine at the Fond du Lac Humane Society shelter. A plea and sentencing hearing is scheduled for September 10th.

FDL City Budget Previewed

Fond du Lac City Manager Joe Moore gave the City Council a preview this week of the 2016 City Budget. Moore laid out the time line for the Council’s work with department heads and the schedule for a public hearing and adoption of the budget and tax levy. Moore says there will be a 1.4 percent increase in operating expenditures. The proposed tax levy is $23.8 million an increase of just over $1 million. He says the City will be paying more in debt service in 2016. But Moore says they are holding the line on personnel expenses. He says personnel costs for next year will be $24.8 million compared to $27.2 million in 2012. He says one of the new expenses will be including $100,000 in the Community Development Department to fund a grant program for homeowners. Homeowners will be able to get a grant of $20,000 to convert a home that’s been subdivided into apartments back into a single-family home. He says it’s in response to residents concerns. He says the City will also be asking the Public Service Commission for a water rate increase. The request is for a 2.4 percent combined water and sewer increase for a typical residential customer. The water rates were last increased in 2010 and sewer rates in 2009. A public hearing on the budget is scheduled for October 14th and adoption of the budget and tax levy will be on November 11th. 

Senator Baldwin Introduces VA Pain Management Bill

(Wisconsin Radio Network)-U-S Senator Tammy Baldwin is introducing a bill aimed at making pain management practices safer at V-A medical centers. The bill is named in honor of Jason Simcakoski, the corporal who died as a result of a reaction to the cocktail of medications prescribed to him at the Tomah V-A. His father, Marv Simcakoski, says it’s been tough to deal with. He says his son really didn’t have a chance. He says the way the system was and if something isn’t done to correct it there’s going to be a lot of veterans who run into the same problem Jason did. The proposal will strengthen opioid prescribing guidelines; improve coordination and communication throughout the VA; and put in place stronger oversight and accountability for the quality of care provided to veterans.

Grothman Bill Would Freeze Air Quality Standards

Congressman Glenn Grothman has introduced legislation that would freeze six air quality standards at current levels and would not allow the EPA to make changes, giving control back to Congress. Last year the EPA proposed a new rule on the ozone standard. Grothman says the new rule would hurt businesses across Wisconsin. He says Wisconsin already has tight standards and what drifts up from Illinois affects the area. The federal lawmaker says allowing EPA to further tighten standards will put Wisconsin manufacturers at a competitive disadvantage. He says it would become more expensive for state manufacturers and would have an impact on how competitive they can be both against foreign and domestic manufacturers.

Dedication And Open House For Campbellsport Highway Garage Saturday

An open house and dedication for the new Fond du Lac County Campbellsport Highway Garage will be held tomorrow.   The garage is a 17,500 square foot facility with a solar panel that powers the facility along with a 3,900 ton salt shed.  The open house will be held at the garage which is located at 284 Industrial Parkway in Campbellsport from 10:00 a.m. until 12:30 p.m. with the dedication program scheduled for 10:15.  The public is encouraged to view this new facility.

Operation Dry Water Launches This Weekend

The Dodge County Sheriff’s Department will be participating in Operation Dry Water this weekend, which focuses on boaters who may be operating under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Law enforcement agencies throughout the nation will be participating in the three-day effort that runs Friday through Sunday. Just like drunk driving someone operating a boat with a blood alcohol content of .08 or higher is considered intoxicated. Alcohol use is the leading contributing factor in recreational boater deaths.

Childrens Museum Dinosaur Family Night A Success

The Executive Director of the Children’s Museum of Fond du Lac says their Dinosaur Family Night held on Friday, June 19th had a great turn out. Andrea Welsch says the program was held in partnership with the Lakeside Evening Kiwanis. It featured paleontologist Nick Wiersum for the Kenosha Public Museum. She says their next family night will be from 4 to 7 p.m. at the Children’s Museum on Friday, July 17th. The theme for the evening will be “CSI Kids WhoDunnit?”