Local News Briefs Monday 12/14/15

FDL PD Fully Staffed

While presenting a report to the Fond du Lac City Council on what the city accomplished over the past year, City Manager Joe Moore mentioned the police department had accomplished one of its biggest goals full staffing. Moore says a year ago the police department had 9 vacancies with a goal of filling them this year, which they did. He says it’s the first time the police department has been fully staffed in a long time. He says there are 8 new officers in the department and a ninth is conditional. Moore says nearly half of those new officers won awards at the training academy. He says the last four at the academy have all gotten awards, so Chief Bill Lamb is getting the best of the best.

Highway 23 East Getting Extra Patrols Twice A Week

Fond du Lac County Chief Deputy Mark Strand says Sheriff’s deputies are seeing just what they expected while patrolling Highway 23 east of Fond du Lac during a task force effort. Strand says Fond du Lac County Sheriff’s deputies are patrolling a stretch of the highway from County Highway UU to the county line and Sheboygan County Sheriff’s deputies are patrolling an area of it in their county. He says deputies are issuing a lot of citations for bad driving behavior. He says they are seeing people driving too fast and passing in no passing zones in area that’s seen a lot of bad accidents. Strand says they don’t have to look too hard for people violating driving laws. The grant paying for the extra enforcement runs through the holidays and remainder of the year.

FDL School Board Preview

The Fond du Lac School Board will hold its last meeting for 2015 tonight. They have a relatively light agenda. Schools Superintendent Jim Sebert will review for the board their notification process for weather-related school closings and delays. He will also recap some of the winter concerts and performance that were recently put on. There will also be several recognitions. The board meets at 5 p.m. at the District Administration Center Board Room. 

Lakeside Park Light Show An Annual Christmas Treat

Once again this Christmas season area residents can enjoy the musically synchronized dancing lights display at Lakeside Park in Fond du Lac. Nemesis Metals began it seven years ago as a way of saying thanks to the community.  Joe Skelton of Nemesis says they’ve added to it over the years and this year included two new 25 foot 3D trees. Olaf and Elsa from Frozen are featured on them. There’s also a huge 40 foot long light up Piano Keyboard. People can tune to 87.9 in their cars to hear the music for the show. The show runs 5 to 11 p.m. each evening through December 29th weather permitting. There’s also treats available at the Snack Cabin with proceeds benefitting Fond du Lac Rugby. Agnesian HealthCare, Michels Corporation, Fond du Lac Noon Rotary, the Fond du Lac Area Foundation, and BWS Plumbing help fund the show with the City’s Parks Department providing support. Fond du Lac Area Foundation Executive Director Sandi Roehrig says donations are welcome, which you can send to the Foundation at 384 North Main Street in Fond du Lac. She says it’s their hope that they can make funding for the program self-sustaining.

Solutions Center Trying To Raise Money Before End Of Year

The executive director of the Solutions Center in Fond du Lac says they are hoping to raise $100,000 by the end of the year. Nicole Johnson says the 57 percent level they reached was prior to an event they held at the Thelma Sadoff Center for the Arts last week. She says last year they had 550 women, children and men stay in their shelters and they already have had 62 more than that this year. She says one in three women and one in four men will be physically assaulted by an intimate partner and there is over 12,000 homeless children in Wisconsin every year. She says they’ve had hundreds of women and children stay in one of their shelters this year. She says 308 total people from Fond du Lac County in a shelter with a 24-bed capacity. They also have a men’s shelter, a family shelter and during the winter months a warming shelter for the homeless.

Stickers Available In FDL For Christmas Tree Disposal

Fond du Lac residents can dispose of their Christmas trees curbside this year if they purchase a sticker to put on them. Mary Gerlach is a board of directors’ member for the Gratitude Club. She says they are a non-profit that provides space for meetings for those undergoing 12 step recoveries from drug and alcohol addictions. She says you don’t have to be a member of the club to go to a meeting there even over the holidays. It’s located on Ruggles Street by Taylor Park. As for the tree stickers, it’s one of the few fundraising efforts the club does. For $5 you buy a sticker and place it on your tree when you put it out on the curb. The trees will be picked up on Saturday, January 9th or Saturday, January 16th between 9 a.m. and noon. Stickers are available at Gilles or A & W when you buy your tree or you can call the club at 921-0143.

Drug Communities Benefits From United Way Funding

The Fond du Lac Area United Way picked a couple of new agencies to help fund in 2015. One of those is Drug Free Communities of Fond du Lac. Ellen Sorensen is a grant coordinator for Drug Free Communities. She says one of their goals was to reduce the number of students who report drinking in the past 30 days by 5 percent. She says they managed to do that. She says according to their baseline data that rate was reduced from 28 percent to 22 percent. There was another goal to decrease non-medical use of prescription drugs. She says they also managed to accomplish that by preventing access to drugs in part through the use of drug drop boxes around the county.  Sorensen they recently did presentations for the benefit of other communities on the county’s success with its social hosting ordinances and the parents who host lose the most campaign. She says the county is considered a good example of best practices.

Holiday Office Closings Announced For FDL County

Holiday hours have been announced for employees of Fond du Lac County for the Christmas and New Year’s holidays. The county offices in the City/County Government Center, the Department of Social Services, the Veterans Service Office and the Department of Community Programs will be closed all day on December 24 and 25 and January 1, 2016.  On December 31, the offices in the City/County Government Center will close at noon.  Other county offices already referred to will be closed all day December 31st.  The Sheriff’s Office Lobby Window will be closed all day December 24 and 25, and January 1, 2016 and will close at 11:00 a.m. on December 31. The Highway Department will be closed all day on December 25 and January 1st.  The UW-Extension Office will be closed all day on December 24, 25, and 31, and January 1st.

Marian Students Documenting Sister Story

Marian University students are helping document the stories of several members of the Congregation of Sisters of St. Agnes, as part of the National Catholic Sisters Week “Sister Story” project. Sister Edie Crews, director of Vocation Promotion for the Sisters of St. Agnes, says “The Sisters participating have quite the stories to tell. It’s a great way for students to bond with the Sisters.”  With audio and video recording equipment, the students will be interviewing and documenting the stories of six sisters over the spring semester.  Stories documented for this project will be archived in the National Archives, as well as be shared on the Sisters of Influence blog, available at www.sisterstory.org

Former UW FDL Dean Hosts Monday Memory Talk This Afternoon

Former UW-Fond du Lac Dean and current Fond du Lac County Supervisor Judy Goldsmith will be the speaker for today’s “Monday Memory” conversation at the UW-Fond du Lac. She will host a conversation on the campus renovation completed in 2000. The program is at 12:45 this afternoon at the UW-Fond du Lac Library.