Local News Briefs Monday 1/6/14

The argument that preceded a shooting incident in downtown Fond du Lac on December 28th started over a woman after bar closing time. According to the criminal complaint against William Wilcox a witness told police he and a friend tried to redirect the conversation when a black man asked if the woman was with them. But the conversation turned hostile and one of three black men in the group pulled out a handgun with a laser pointer and pointed it at them. They confronted him about it and shots were fired. One of the four shots struck a passerby on an adjacent corner in the belt buckle. The victim felt pain in his groin and suffered some bruising, but the bullet was deflected by the buckle. An officer who was in the area heard the gunshots and shortly afterwards took Wilcox into custody. According to the complaint Wilcox changed his story several times and at one point claimed he had one lung and was suffering a medical episode. He was taken to St. Agnes Hospital where staff checked him out and found nothing wrong with him and that he had two functioning lungs. The shooting incident happened at the entrance to a public parking lot in the area of Main and West 2nd Street. No one was hurt. Wilcox was charged Friday for the incident and his bond was set at $50,000 cash. He has a preliminary hearing Thursday.

Former Random Lake Schools Official Sentenced

(WHBL-Sheboygan)-The former technology coordinator for the Random Lake School District will spend one year in prison for stealing hundreds of tablets from the district.  Sheboygan County Judge James Bolgert sentenced 33-year-old Mark Ustby of Milwaukee last Friday on two counts of theft. It was discovered just before the start of the current school year that Ustby had taken around 600 tablets and laptops from the district, worth around $200,000, over a year’s time to sell on Craigslist.  Prior to sentencing, Ustby told the court that he sold the tablets to cover his overspending for his personal life. In additional to the prison time, Ustby will serve one year extended supervision and pay the district restitution for legal costs.

Things To Watch Out For With The Cold

Fond du Lac County Public Health Officer Kim Mueller is urging people to limit their time outdoors during the extreme cold. In fact she says if you don’t have to go outdoors that would be best. She says it doesn’t take long to get frostbite. She says it can happen in about 10 minutes so make sure your fingers, toes, nose and ears are covered up. She says at 30 below wind chill factors areas such as the nose and ears can freeze within 30 seconds. Mueller says you also have to watch out for hypothermia and the first symptom would be shivering. She says then you become drowsy, confused, slurred speech and memory loss. She says for infants look for bright or cold skin with low energy levels.

Bitter Cold Taxing For Firefighters

The extreme cold temperatures pose some unique challenges for firefighters. Fond du Lac Fire Chief Peter O’Leary says they always monitors extreme weather conditions whether it’s the cold or heat. He says for the bitter cold it can be taxing on both equipment and personnel. He says some of their trucks carry hundreds of gallons of water, which can freeze. O’Leary says they try and keep their firefighters warm in the outside elements to avoid frostbite and hypothermia. He says they are hoping to get through this cold snap without any crises.

Veterans Symposium In FDL Friday

The Veterans Mental Health Symposium cancelled last fall due to the federal government shutdown will be held in Fond du Lac this Friday. Dan Manning is the Executive Director of Salute the Troops, which is putting on the symposium at Marian University’s Stayer Center. He says for many veterans getting help means a trip to the VA centers in Milwaukee or Madison and transportation is a problem for some of those veterans. He says the symposium will help those who provide services to veterans to better understand what they are facing. He says they have lined up some experts in their field to speak during the symposium. More information on the symposium and how to register is available at the Salute the Troops website. Some of the sessions during the symposium qualify for continuing education credits.

Hickory To Military Next Phase Of Pioneer Road Project

Fond du Lac County’s Executive says while the completion of the Pioneer Road project was one of the highlights of 2013 for the County the next phase of Pioneer Road Corridor improvement is already in its initial stages. Al Buechel says the next step is from Hickory Street to Military. He says the constant flow of traffic from the roundabout at Hickory and Pioneer creates a problem for Mercury Marine first shift workers when they are getting off shift. Buechel says the project is slated for 2016 and is another cooperative effort between the City and the County. He says it is in the design stage and purchase of right-of-way properties is pretty well set. He says he’s not sure if a roundabout might be part of that project.

Beacon House Donations Appreciated

The executive director of the Beacon House in Fond du Lac says they are dependent on donations and fundraising for the majority of their funding. Mary Gerlach says their biggest fundraiser is the 16th Annual Auction that will be held at the County Fairgrounds in April. Beacon House has been providing women with alcohol and drug addictions treatment for 20 years now. She says there are always unexpected costs that pop up. She says they also take donations of toiletries, food and clothing. She says because of privacy issues they can’t depend on volunteer help. She says they will give people a tour of the facilities though. Gerlach says the community has been very good to them over the years. For more information about the Beacon House call 923-3999 or visit their website.

Fruth Field Improvements Among FDL School District Highlights For 2013

The superintendent of the Fond du Lac School District says improvements to Fruth Field were one of the highlights for the district in 2013. Jim Sebert says it’s a true community jewel. He says the support from the community in fundraising efforts allows all fans to enjoy a better experience at the field. Sebert says the football field has a storied history, which included hosting playoff games last year. People can still donate to pay for those improvements at the school district’s website. Just click on the Fans for Fruth banner.