Local News Briefs Monday 11/17/14

Fond du Lac County Executive Al Buechel says the County hopes to improve access to mental health care by filling a couple of vacant positions at the County level in 2015. He says it’s a need that was identified through the County Community Health Improvement Plan. He says if there’s a crisis help is available, but it is access to those who need regular help where there is a void. Buechel says funding will be included in the 2015 County Budget to fill two positions that the County is currently recruiting for a psychologist and a nurse practitioner prescriber. The County Board is expected to approve the 2015 County Budget tomorrow night.

Residents Invited To Weigh In On Lakeside Park

The chairman of the Lakeside Park Exploratory Committee says they are working on behalf of the residents of Fond du Lac and are focusing on how to best use the park now and in the future. John Short says that includes identifying stakeholders or those who use the park. He says parks like Lakeside Park are a quality of life issue and it’s important to people. He says they are taking all kinds of input to reach their recommendations and give a final report to the City Council next June. Short says people can weigh in on that by taking a survey at the City’s website

Horicon House Fire

Fire damaged a home in Horicon last Friday afternoon. Officials say the fire at 708 Lake Street started in the kitchen and that’s where most of the fire damage occurred. There was smoke damage in the rest of the home. Neighboring fire departments helped the Horicon Fire Department quickly put out the blaze. The blaze was reported by a passerby who saw smoke coming from the residence.

Sheboygan Sears Plymouth Kmart Closing

Officials with Sears say a Sears store in Sheboygan and a Plymouth Kmart will close over the next few months. The Sears store in Sheboygan will close in February, its Sears Auto closed in September. The Plymouth Kmart will close early next month. Between the two stores 90 part-time or hourly positions will be lost. The two stores are among 116 Sears and Kmart stores that will be closed within the next several months.

Ripon City Budget Passed

Ripon’s Common Council last week approved the 2015 City Budget and Tax Levy. City Administrator Lori Rich says no one spoke during a public hearing on the budget, but that isn’t unusual. She says the tax levy increased slightly or essentially remained the same. It increased by .07 percent. Also last week the Ripon Common Council approved a resolution supporting a constitutional amendment that would restore campaign finance limits. During the November 4th election 79 percent of Ripon voters voted in favor of the so-called “Move to Amend.”

United Way Half Way To Goal

The Fond du Lac Area United Way has reached more than half of its goal of raising $745,000 in donations. Amber Kilawee of the United Way say even events like soup luncheons held by the realtors and workers at the City-County Government Center last week help to push them towards their goal. They have raised 54 percent of the goal or $402,500. She says they are about $5,500 ahead of last year’s pace at this time. She says they are more than willing to come out and do a presentation about the United Way to a group or company. Today 10 percent of pre-tax sales at Buffalo Wild Wings in Fond du Lac will be donated to the United Way if you mention them. That starts at 11 a.m.

Waupun Memorial Hospital Recognized By Joint Commission

Waupun Memorial Hospital has been recognized as a 2013Top Performer on Key Quality Measures by The Joint Commission, the leading accreditor of healthcare organizations in the United States. Waupun Memorial was recognized as part of The Joint Commission’s 2014 annual report “America’s Hospitals: Improving Quality and Safety.” Waupun Memorial is one of 1,224 hospitals in the United States to achieve the 2013 Top Performer distinction. WMH was recognized for its achievement on the following measure sets: pneumonia and surgical care. The hospital is also one of only of 712 hospitals to achieve the Top Performer distinction for the past two consecutive years.

FDL CVB Toys For Tots Drop Off Location

The Fond du Lac Area Visitors Bureau is serving as a drop-off location for The Salvation Army “Toys for Tots” Drive until December 12th. They ask that you please drop off new, unwrapped toys and gifts at the Bureau located at 171 S. Pioneer Road in Fond du Lac. Donations are distributed locally.  Gifts are especially needed for teens as well as children. The Bureau is open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday-Friday.