Local News Briefs Monday 12/16/13

Bond was set at $300,000 cash last Friday afternoon for the 45-year-old Beaver Dam man suspected of burglarized the home of former Dodge County Sheriff Todd Nehls. Scott Schonitzer is charged with felony Armed Burglary with a Dangerous Weapon and Theft of Movable Property, and misdemeanor Theft. Prosecutors say he was discovered by Nehls newly-deputized son Taylor Nehls who was off duty when he went to his parent’s house to retrieve ice fishing equipment. The deputy heard a commotion upstairs, went to investigate and found Schonitzer hiding behind a chair wearing black gloves. The suspect said he was a consultant at the house to install a sound system. He was ordered against the wall and searched; Todd Nehls handgun was allegedly found in his pocket. Taylor Nehls ordered the subject to the ground at gunpoint and contacted authorities. Schonitzer was allegedly found with several other stolen items including cash and jewelry. Judge Steven Bauer set cash bond at $300,000. Schonitzer will be back in court for a preliminary hearing Thursday.

Former Sheriff Experiences Being A Crime Victim

(WBEV-Beaver Dam)-Former Dodge County Sheriff Todd Nehls says he now knows what it’s like to be a crime victim. Nehls Fox Lake home was burglarized last Wednesday. His newly-deputized son interrupted the burglary in progress and the off-duty and unarmed Taylor Nehls managed to nonetheless arrest the suspect at gunpoint. Todd Nehls says the evening of the burglary that it was a scary feeling to directly experience criminal activity. Nehls says the incident had a far-reaching effect on the whole family. The suspect in the Nehls break-in has only been charged for that. However, the criminal complaint for Scott Schonitzer mentions another burglary that same morning in Fox Lake at a rental property owned, coincidentally enough, by Todd Nehls. Nehls says he is confident authorities will link the suspect to other break-ins and bring closure to other victims.

Community Service Ordered For Howards Grove Man In Fatal Accident

(WHBL-Sheboygan) A Howards Grove man will serve community service for fatally striking a bicyclist last year due to a medical condition unknown at the time.  Judge Angela Sutkiewicz handed down the sentence to 69-year-old Roger Petersen in Sheboygan County Court last Friday afternoon. The June 6, 2012 incident in the Town of Mosel killed Troy Tousey and injured two other bicyclists due to Peterson falling asleep behind the wheel. Petersen will have to speak to senior groups about the dangers of driving without knowing of possible medical hindrances. He was also required to pay a $600 fine.

Lakeside Park Dredging Update

The City of Fond du Lac would like to invite interested residents to hear more about the Lakeside Park channel dredging project on Tuesday afternoon at 3:00 p.m. City staff will provide an update on the status of the project, and the contractor will present information on their dredging methods. The meeting will begin inside the Pavilion, located at 71 Promen Drive and will be followed by observation of both the dredging barge and the disposal process outside. Questions about this project can be directed to the Public Works Department at 920-322-3472.

Booze And Belts Enforcement Effort Underway

(Wisconsin Radio Network)-An annual pre-Christmas Booze and Belts campaign is under way in Wisconsin. George Silverwood of the state DOT says officers from more than 300 law enforcement agencies will be looking for offenders. He says they will be looking for drivers operating under the influence and those who have buckled up their safety belts. He says at the very least if you’re driving sober and somebody else isn’t you should be buckled up for your own safety. The campaign runs through Saturday.      

FDL STEM Programs Should Be Promoted

Fond du Lac County Economic Development Corporation President Steve Jensen says Fond du Lac is lucky to have the STEM Academy, STEM Institute and Project Lead the Way courses. He says more emphasis should be placed on teaching Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics because that’s where the jobs are today. He says Fond du Lac is doing it the right way with an integrated approach. Jensen says what’s being done with STEM courses in the community are something that should be promoted because it can attract more business and job talent.

FDL Area United Way On Pace To Make Goal, But..

The executive director of the Fond du Lac Area United Way says they are ahead of last year’s donations at this time. Tina Potter says they are at 81 percent of their $740,000. which is about $602,000. She says that success should be taken with a grain of salt however because by her calculations they could end up short of their goal. She says when she adds up all the numbers it looks like they could fall about $10,000 short of their goal, but she says that’s not to say they will attain it. Potter says in addition to the agencies they help out sometimes they are pressed into action by a particular tragedy. That happened during the flood in Fond du Lac in 2008. She says she’s glad to see the Ripon Area United Way also took a lead in fundraising efforts for displaced families after the fire in downtown Ripon.

MPTC Making Most Of Ambulance Lab

Moraine Park Technical College in Fond du Lac is making the most of the former building trades’ lab that’s being remodeled to train EMTs and paramedics. Jim Brace is associate dean of human resources. He says there will be a simulation room and plenty of floor space to allow students to train on a mannequin in simulated medical crises. He says the area will be shared with students from another program their correction science program. He says the size of the classes for the paramedic and EMT programs vary in size. Brace says they also run refresher courses for advance EMTs and first responders.

150 Kids Shop With A Cop

Approximately 150 kids got to shop for family members or themselves during the annual “Shop with a Cop” program in Fond du Lac last Thursday at Walmart. Donna Whitty of the Sheriff’s Department says, Deputy Julie Flaherty who coordinates the effort, is already shopping ahead for next year’s program looking for toy deals. She says the community has been wonderfully supportive of the program over the years. Monetary donations for the Shop with a Cop program are always welcome.  They can be made at the Sheriff’s office or sent to the Fond du Lac County Sheriff’s Office, P.O. Box 1273, Fond du Lac 54936-1273.