Local News Briefs Monday 2/22/16

Teacher Accused Of Having Sex With Student

A 23-year-old Mayville man who taught at the Wayland Academy in Beaver Dam is accused of having sex with one of the students.  Adam Hechimovich is facing a felony sexual assault of a child charge.  The victim was a 16-year-old boy.  It allegedly happened last fall. Hechimovich will make his initial court appearance on February 29th.

FDL School Board Preview

The Fond du Lac School Board tonight will hear a presentation from three of the 1st year recipients of Acuity Grants. Applications are currently being taken for the second year, which will award $23,000 to $24,000 in projects. First year winners included; funding for programs at Theisen Middle School, Woodworth Middle School and the Sabish Middle School. The Board will also consider authorizing the WIAA application for a cooperative team sponsorship for Girl’s Hockey for the next two seasons and a field trip to Germany. The board meets at 5 p.m. at the District Administration Center Board Room.

Meeting Scheduled In Ripon On Hwy 44 Improvements

The Wisconsin DOT will be holding a meeting in Ripon next week to discuss reconstruction of a section of State Highway 44. The 5-mile stretch is from Ripon to the Winnebago County line. The meeting will be held next Monday from 5 to 7 p.m. at the Ripon City Hall. A brief presentation will take place at 5:15 p.m. An open house will follow. 

Disagreement Over School Voucher Program

When it comes to the school choice program State Representative Jeremy Thiesfeldt says he agrees to disagree with Fond du Lac Schools Superintendent Jim Sebert. Thiesfeldt says they have differences over the voucher issue. But they are friends and it won’t change their friendship. The state lawmaker from Fond du Lac says he has never been critical of the Fond du Lac School District. He says if he had criticism of the district it’s been over policy or the taxing authority of the district. He says the district has been by and large responsible in taxation and a 3.2 percent increase this past year is not that outlandish, But Thiesfeldt says he felt it could be lower. He says the district lost $1.6 million in state aid, but not because of the choice program. He says that loss was due to the state aid formula and because property values went up in Fond du Lac.

Harris Will Not Be Bullied Out Of State Senate Race

Winnebago County Executive Mark Harris is pushing forward with his campaign for the State Senate despite legislation that could impact his job as county executive. The state legislation would not allow someone serving in the state legislature to also hold a county executive’s position. He says voters are the people who should be making that type of decision not legislators. Harris, a Democrat, is running for the 18th State Senate seat. Republican incumbent Rick Gudex chose not to seek reelection. Harris says the legislation specifically targets him. He says County Executive pay does payer higher, but taking that away won’t bully him out of leaving the race. Harris says there are issues worth taking a pay cut for. He says we are really under investing in everything important to the future.

NFDL Storage Units Generate Discussion

The North Fond du Lac Village Board last week approved a change in zoning that will allow expansion of storage units along the railroad tracks. Village Administrator Chuck Hornung says a few residents did have concerns about the expansion. He says they were invited to attend a planning commission meeting to talk about the site plan and their concerns. He says the planning commission already gave tentative approval to the site plan. But they may want to review the site plan in case a few things need to be changed. Hornung those residents may want more of a buffer between themselves and the facility. He says that might be in the form of fencing or a berm with trees.

Waupun Literacy Initiative Showing Results

Waupun Schools Superintendent Tonya Gubin says they are seeing an improvement in reading and writing scores thanks to a special initiative. She says they are partnering with the University of Arkansas on a literacy initiative. She says their teachers are involved in multi-year literacy training and this year they developed model classrooms in reading and writing. She says some of their teachers are playing the role of coaches. She says those reading coaches teach side-by-side with model classroom teachers. She says students seem to be more enthusiastic about reading and writing and their scores are improving. She says all of their teachers are participating in the staff development they do almost monthly.

Walleye Weekend Impact On Nonprofits Impressive

In each of the last four years Walleye Weekend has raised more than $200,000 for the community nonprofits, schools and service clubs that participate in it. Fond du Lac Festivals Executive Director Leanne Doyle says last year more than $205,500 ($205,540.91) was generated. She says over the past four years the total is $822,742. She says it’s impressive and what the very heart of the festival is all about. With another good year this year the five year total could surpass $1 million. Doyle says given the number of festivals held around the state and the people that work Walleye Weekend that’s impressive. Walleye Weekend 45 non-profits participating last year.