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Local News Briefs Monday 3/16/15

Six fire departments put out a house fire at 1115 Center Avenue in the Village of Oostburg Sunday afternoon. Sheboygan County Sheriff’s officials say a Sheriff’s deputy who was the first on the scene assisted residents of the home in getting out safely. No injuries were reported.  The blaze was reported to the County’s Emergency Communications Center at 4:32 p.m.

State Representative Thiesfeldt Working On Changes For School Accountability Bill

State Representatives Jeremy Thiesfeldt says he’s continued to fine tune school accountability legislation since a public hearing in January. He says that’s included meeting with school officials and taking public input. He says he’s spent significant time with district superintendent and other public education officials, fielding comments and emails and has come up with some changes. The state lawmaker from Fond du Lac chairs the Assembly Education Committee and authored the Assembly’s school accountability legislation. He says public schools, charter schools and voucher schools need to be held accountable. He says the state’s schools have been consistently good when compared to public schools across the rest of the country, but there’s been some slippage. He says until recently the Assembly and Senate versions of school accountability legislation have differed particularly when it comes to proposed sanctions for schools that continue not to measure up, but now they are getting closer to a consensus.

FDL Superintendent Says Year Round School Would Require Changes

Fond du Lac Schools Superintendent Jim Sebert says some changes would have to be made if the district were to consider a year round program. He says for one thing they would have to upgrade heating, ventilating and air-conditioning systems in some of their schools which currently don’t have air-conditioning. He says it would also change some of the other opportunities kids have during the summer. He says for instance athletics, music and other summertime activities. Sebert says families would have to accommodate the change when it comes to daycare and other things but the number of days students would be the same but spread out. Recently the Rosedale-Brandon School District looked at a year program, but it was shelved after the district learned about proposed cuts in state aid in the state budget.

Proposed Cuts Could Have $550,000 Impact On Waupun School District

The Superintendent of the Waupun Area School District hopes state legislators will restore some of the funding that would be cut through the proposed state budget. Tonya Gubin says if they don’t provide categorical aid coupled with inflationary costs the impact on the district in the first year of the next state budget would be over $500,000. She says the cut in aide would be about $300,000 plus another $250,000 if an increase isn’t given, which would total to $550,000 in cuts. She says it would be nice if the categorical aid is restored. She says they don’t know what kind of an impact the second year of the state budget will have yet because there is a proposal to put back in some of the money. Gubin says district superintendents and administrators have been bending the ears of legislators in an effort to educate them on the kind of impact cutting the categorical aid per student will have.

Bo Knows Tourism

Bo knows tourism and apparently how to zip line. Wisconsin Badger Basketball Coach Bo Ryan is featured in the current Wisconsin Tourism spot put together by the “Airplane” writers and directors David and Jerry Zucker and Jim Abrahamson. Tourism Secretary Stephanie Klett says Ryan doesn’t normally do his own stunts, but actually did a bit on a zip line. She says Ryan surpassed all the expectations she had before meeting him. She says he was gracious, funny, sharp and a pretty good actor. She says he even agreed to do the spot for nothing after finding out he would be working with the “Airplane” team. She says they did make a $10,000 donation to Coaches versus Cancer, which Ryan is very active in. It was the seventh time the “Airplane” team has created a spot for Wisconsin Tourism including a parody of the film, which they shot out in Los Angeles. Klett says they got a lot of free press when they held a press conference out in L.A. about that. The Bo Ryan spot is currently airing in Chicago, Minneapolis-St. Paul, Milwaukee and Madison. It can also bee seen on the Travel Wisconsin YouTube page.

Local Aviator Featured At Byron Historical Society Annual Meeting Tonight

The Byron Historical Society’s annual meeting is tonight at 7 p.m. and will feature local aviator Bob Biaer sharing stories and artifacts documenting his building of an award-winning Baby Ace airplane. The event is open to the public. Baier, whose passion for aviation began in his youth, began construction of his classic Baby Ace in 1964. Much of the project, including the airplane wings, was completed in the family’s farm house and was extensively documented in photographs and several newspaper articles. In addition to a photograph collection, Baier will also display blue prints and a wing rib “jig.” His 50-year-old Baby will be on display at the 2015 EAA AirVenture in Oshkosh. You can find out more about Baier and the Baby Ace on the Byron Historical Society website. The annual meeting will begin at 7 p.m. with a short meeting prior to Baier’s program. The Byron Town Hall is located at N3097 Highway 175 in Bryon.