Local News Briefs Monday 2/24/14

Some senior citizens in the Fond du Lac area are receiving calls purportedly from the IRS saying they committed fraud and the Internal Revenue Service needs more information from them. Julie Hilbert, senior benefits specialist with Fond du Lac County, says it’s an effort to get more information from you and possibly scam you of money. Fond du Lac County Sheriff’s Captain Rick Olig says the IRS won’t be arresting you. That would be done through the FBI. He says the IRS would send you a letter and schedule and audit. He says ask the caller if they know your name or your social security number. The caller is from the Tampa Florida area and it would show up at 305-440-4947 in caller ID. Hilbert asks that anyone who gets such a call report it to police and her at the center at 929-3521.

Berlin Drug Bust

The Berlin Police Department and state’s Department of Criminal Investigation last Friday conducted a large scale drug investigation. More details are expected to be released today. A number of other agencies have been involved in the investigation including the Green Lake County Sheriff’s Office, Lake Winnebago Area MEG Unit and others.

Beaver Dam Woman Charged In Cold Case Murder

Columbia County authorities have arrested a 38-year-old Beaver Dam woman in connection with a 13 year old murder case. Leah Waldhart was arrested last Friday for the death of 42-year-old Curtis Wylesky. He was found in a ditch near his truck on a Columbia County highway outside of Fall River in April of 2001. Waldhart was his girlfriend at the time. The case was cold until investigators revisited it. Waldhart has been tentatively charged with 1st degree intentional homicide.

Beacon House Hosting Heroin Summit

With the amount of heroin seized in Fond du Lac doubling since 2010, and heroin-related arrests quadrupling, Mary Gerlach with the Beacon House of Fond du Lac says it’s time to protect our neighborhoods. The Beacon House will be hosting the first ever Heroin Summit on March 11th from 6:30 to 9 p.m. at the Stayer Center at Marian University in Fond du Lac. The summit will feature a lineup of City, County, and State professionals with first hand, front-line knowledge and perspective on the heroin crisis in local neighborhoods. The summit will culminate with a mother’s compelling story. The event is free to the public. For more information contact Mary Gerlach, Beacon House Executive Director at 923-3999.

Students Expulsions Vary From Year To Year

Fond du Lac School District Superintendent Jim Sebert says expelling students is one of the least favorite things they have to do. He says they have been fortunate that the school board hasn’t had to do that often this year, but recently had to consider expelling up to six students. He says they try and get those students back into school as soon as they can. He says the number of expulsions they have varies from year to year, but they had to consider expelling 7 students last year for one incident.

Historical Designation For Ripon Red Barn On Hold

The Ripon Common Council recently put off a decision on considering the former Haas Brewery Stable for local historical designation. Ripon City Administrator Lori Rich says the only thing that’s left of the original brewery is what residents know as the red barn over Silver Creek. More recently it was used by Smucker’s. She says they used the old brewery for their manufacturing facility until they moved out to the industrial park. When Smucker’s moved they donated the property to the City and the City demolished the building, but kept an office and other buildings including the red barn. She says the Council wanted to see more ideas from the Historic Preservation Commission on possible uses for the red barn.

AmeriCorps Participated In FDL County Emergency Preparedness Project

Fond du Lac County Emergency Management and Wisconsin Emergency Management are sponsoring two volunteers for the ReadyWisconsin AmeriCorps Disaster Preparedness Project. The project aims to increase community emergency readiness by delivering preparedness training to civic groups, organizations and businesses through trained AmeriCorps staff.  Additionally they will recruit local volunteers to support emergency readiness and preparedness for the future as the need arises.  AmeriCorps staff earns an educational awarded grant upon completion and earn a modest living allowance during the project duration as terms of service. Gabrielle Petersen and Thomas Jefferson are actively working on preparedness goals within Fond du Lac County and in conjunction with local and state level Emergency Management Offices. Staff will be out meeting with local civic groups, businesses and volunteer organizations throughout Fond du Lac County.  The project began in December 2013 and will run through August 2014.

Record Spending Expected In Governor’s Race

(Wisconsin Radio Network)-We can expect a lot of money to be spent on the governor’s race this year. That is from Mike McCabe of the Wisconsin Democracy Campaign. He says it will easily set the record for the most expensive election ever in a regular election for governor. That spending according to McCabe will approach $50 million or more. Governor Walker is expected to formally announce his reelection bid this spring and it appears the Democratic nominee will be Mary Burke, who made a fortune from Trek Bicycle.

Bumpy Roads

This winter’s cold temperatures are causing frost heaves along streets and highways across Wisconsin. Department of Transportation Engineer Steve Krebs, chief of the department’s materials management section, says until temperatures warm up for good this spring, it’s going to be a bumpy ride. Krebs says in most cases, the heaving will settle once the frost comes out of the ground this spring.