Local News Briefs Monday 2/29/16

Hwy 44 Meeting In Ripon Tonight

The Wisconsin DOT will be holding a meeting in Ripon tonight 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 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. 

City Official Optimistic About The Future Of The Retlaw And The Mall

Fond du Lac’s Community Development Director is optimistic about the future of the Retlaw Hotel and the Forest Mall. Dyann Benson says it has only been three months since the Retlaw closed and selling a hotel that size, especially one in receivership, is a complicated matter. The Retlaw closed in December. Benson says there has been some interest in the hotel, but it could be a few months before anything specific is known. She says the sale of the mall was a month ago and the owners will need time to develop a plan the mall and how they want to market it for the future. She says after that they will probably contact City officials. She says they will want to hear from City officials what they would like to see for the mall to serve the City’s residents.

DFC Official Says They Are In Favor Of Drugs That Save Lives

The grant coordinator for Drug Free Communities says they had quite a discussion about the use of Narcan, which saves the lives of people overdosing on heroin. Ellen Sorensen says it’s available at pharmacies. She says it might have been able to save the life of Tyler Hass who died of an overdose five years ago. He died of an overdose on Thanksgiving Day of 2011, a time when families get together and you are thankful for things that have occurred. She says Tyler’s story isn’t the only sad one the DFC is acquainted with. She says the year she started with Drug Free Communities some bad news had to be broken to a kindergartner. She says the first day of school that kid was pulled out of class because his mother died of an overdose. U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin introduced legislation last week to fight opioid addiction. One of the things it would do is making drugs like Narcan more affordable and accessible to save lives.

Lottery Winners Wife Was Skeptical

The winner of a $1 million Power Ball jackpot in Beaver Dam came forward Friday. Fox Lake Mayor Tom Bednarek said it was a quick pick. He says he and his wife Kay always wanted to win a million dollars and some times what you say does come true. He plans to use some of the money to make the lives of his kids and grandkids easier, but says he does have one particular need. He says the truck he’s been driving is 16 years old. Bednarek says his wife had just come home from knitting club when he broke the news to her. He says she could see he was a little nervous and out of sorts and it was hard to convince her that they had just won a million dollars. He told her their lives were going to change forever and she at first believed something bad had happened. When he told her they had won a million dollars she said “Yeah, right.” Bednarek also plans to donate funds in the local community.

Waupun School Board Going Paperless With Meeting Agendas And Documents

Soon the Waupun School District will go paperless with its meeting agendas and documents. Waupun School Superintendent Tonya Gubin says through the Board Docs program people will be able to log on and get the documents they want from meetings. She says for example for the school board’s last meeting people could have gotten more information about the wireless infrastructure upgrade that the board approved. She says handouts used at meetings and power point presentations would also be available. She says it will allow the board to be more transparent about what they are doing and also allow the district to go more paperless.

Engineering Open House At Moraine Park Thursday

Moraine Park Technical College will hold an engineering open house at its Fond du Lac campus this Thursday. Fred Rice is the Dean of Applied Technology and Trades. He says from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. the open house will explore engineering technician associate degrees. He says prospective students and their parents will have access to their learning labs including robotics.  He says major employers in the Moraine Park District will be part of the open house. He says those employers are offering incentive scholarships and internships. He says it’s a unique opportunity to talk to employers to see what they are offering. The open house is free and it is open to middle and high school students and their parents.