Local News Briefs Monday 1/18/16

South Park Avenue Park Development

Fond du Lac Director of Public Works Jordan Skiff says the South Park Avenue Park will be developed this year. Money was included in the 2016 City Budget to develop the six acres of land in the area near southern Edge Court and Wilshire. He says they had discussions with neighbors about what they would like to see in the park. He says those residents felt development should be minimal because it’s a natural rustic site. He says they won’t be adding much to the park. He says they will put in a couple of small playgrounds and develop some walking trails and connect some roads leading up to the park. Skiff says they also hope to connect to the Ledgeview Corporate Center, which has a large pond and walking trails. He says they will also get some school children involved in an effort to name the park. Skiff says the children who come up with the name for the park will get some recognition for their effort.

Ice Safety On Lake Winnebago Inconsistent

The dive team leader for the Fond du Lac County Sheriff’s Department says you can never be sure about how safe the ice is on area lakes and in particular Lake Winnebago. Sergeant Jeff Bonack  says there are too many factors to consider to completely say the ice is safe. He says even in the best of the years there are too many anomalies on Lake Winnebago including ice shoves and heaves. Bonack says wind also affects ice safety on Lake Winnebago. He says the best term to describe the ice safety on the lake right now is “inconsistent.” He says he recently drove the lakeshore to see what conditions were at the landings around Lake Winnebago. He says there is a lot of rough ice out there, but conditions north of Pipe were a little better. Bonack says fishing clubs have the best information on how safe the ice is and even he checks with them.

Fluoride Mouth Rinse Program Benefits Kids In Rural Areas

The oral health coordinator for the Fond du Lac County Health Department says they have a program for children in rural areas who don’t have the cavity-fighting protection of fluoride in their water. Samantha Twohig says there’s a program they do in the rural schools. She says they oversee the fluoride mouth rinse program that is a weekly mouth rinse that the kids do. She says fluoride is added to municipal drinking water and it’s a benefit that Fond du Lac and North Fond du Lac offers. Fluoride has been a hot button issue in the Fond du Lac area in the past, but Twohig says that’s died down a bit. She says it’s a naturally occurring substance that is in every source of water, but it varies by location.

Couple Days Left In United Way Campaign

There’s just a few days left to donate to the Fond du Lac Area United Way program. Hollie Moe of the United Way says they are close to their goal, but not there just yet. She says they are at 94 percent of their goal of $756,000 or about $45,000 short of it. Ryan Roecker, of Society Insurance, is the incoming vice president of the United Way’s Board of Directors. He says people usually give to a variety of non-profit organizations and a United Way donation will benefit more than two dozen charities. This year Society Insurance celebrated its 100th anniversary in the community and also served as the United Way’s junior pace-setters. Roecker says it wasn’t difficult to find people in their company who wanted to help with the United Way effort. Thursday is the last day of 2015 campaign.

FDL School District Receives Grants

The Fond du Lac School District is receiving three grants totaling $29,000 to fight alcohol, tobacco, and drug use, and improve safety around its schools. The state’s Department of Public Instruction is administering the grants that also aim to reduce violence in and around schools. The big grant is a State Alcohol and Other Drug Abuse grant of $25,000. Two mini-grants of $2,000 each have been awarded to the Fond du Lac High School. Altogether 100 public schools and school districts throughout the state will receive more than $940,000 in grants for their efforts. 

Johnson Staff Will Be In Waupun Friday

Waupun is one of the cities Senator Ron Johnson’s staff will be keeping office hours in this week. His staff will be at the Waupun Public Library Friday from 10:30 to 11:30 a.m. The office hours allow constituents to meet with the senator’s staff to request assistance with a federal agency or regarding other federal matters.

Openings In Business Accelerator Course

Northeast Wisconsin’s free 10-week, mentor-driven program for entrepreneurs will usher in a new class in April, but there’s still time to apply. Entrepreneurs cultivating business ideas with a technology focus are invited to join Emergent Technology Center’s accelerator program in Fond du Lac. The application is available at emergenttechnologycenter.com. Each business team selected for the program will attend weekly evening meetings, a boot camp and a final pitch event. Teams that move their ideas forward will receive cash awards. The program helps innovators and entrepreneurs ground their great ideas in solid business practices. Graduates will be investor ready.