Local News Briefs Monday 4/7/14

Fond du Lac firefighters were able to quickly extinguish a fire in a house on East Johnson Street last night before it could spread to the rest of the home. Division Chief of Fire Prevention Troy Haase says crews found light smoke in the attic and 3rd floor of the home at 70 East Johnson Street when they arrived. The fire was put out with very little damage. He says the fire was accidental and started by careless use of smoking materials. The time of the call was 5:47 p.m.

Baldwin Favors Extension Of Long-Term Unemployment Benefits

U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin says she will be voting today to restore long-term unemployment benefits. Baldwin says competition for jobs is one reason people aren’t finding work. She says there are about three jobseekers for every job, which contributes to long-term unemployment for some. She says she will vote to extend the benefits, which will have a positive impact on local economies. Long-term federal unemployment benefits ran out in December. The bi-partisan deal still faces an uphill climb in the U-S House, where Republican leaders have raised concerns that making retroactive benefits payments would create problems for states.

Room For Improvement In County Health Rankings

Fond du Lac County Public Health Nurse Joyce Mann says the annual County Health Rankings is one way of gauging areas that need improvement. Recently the UW Population Health Institute and Robert Woods Johnson Foundation came out with the rankings and the County improved from 36th to 32nd in health outcomes. Mann says having a healthy county should be approached with community partners and health care providers. She says one area that needs to see improvement is in the area of mental health. She says the ratio of people to mental health providers is 1500 to 1 in the County compared to 1,000 to 1 elsewhere.She says social and economic factors make up 40 percent of the way things are weighted in the rankings and the wealthiest counties did better in the rankings because of income, education and employment. For more on the study click here.

Eight FDL Firefighters Recognized With Annual Awards

During the past week the Fond du Lac Fire Department handed out some annual awards to its members. The Officer of the Year was Lieutenant Joe Maramonte who Chief Peter O’Leary says did what they asked including taking a role as Acting Captain when one of the their captains was out an extended period of time due to an injury. The Firefighter of the Year and Paramedic of the Year were Paul Loderhose and Paramedic/Firefighter Mitch Petersen who O’Leary says were also great team members. Five members of the department were also awarded with unit citations and commendations for their efforts in saving a snowmobiler who went through the ice on Lake Winnebago in January of 2013. Those firefighters included Lieutenant Rick Gerritson, Engineer Kevin Doll, and Paramedic/Firefighters Curt Smits and Jake Vogd and Ben Kooiman.

Thiesfeldt Will Run Again

State Representative Jeremy Thiesfeldt says he will be seeking a third term representing the 52nd State Assembly District. The Fond du Lac Republican spilled the beans on KFIZ’s Morning Show making the unofficial announcement. He says the state is on the right path despite opposition both nationally and internationally to what’s been done. Thiesfeldt says he will make his run official when he takes out nomination papers, which can’t be circulated until April 15th. Thiesfeldt is a former Fond du Lac City Councilman and teacher at Winnebago Lutheran Academy.

Gudex Pleased Chemo Bill Signed Into Law

State Senator Rick Gudex says he’s glad Governor Scott Walker signed the oral chemotherapy bill into law. He says it was the right thing to do mandating that insurance companies who pay for intravenous chemotherapy also cover chemo pills. He says he’s visited with cancer patients and it is difficult enough to deal with they are going through. He says the option of taking chemo pills means less traveling for cancer patients and the problems they have with IVs.

Town Hall Meeting In Horicon To Address Drug Problems

Another Town Hall Meeting will be held this week in Dodge County to address the growing problem of heroin and prescription drug abuse. The forum brings together the Dodge County Sheriff’s Department, District Attorney, Horicon Police Department and the Horicon School District. The number of people who have died from opiates in Dodge County has doubled in the past year. The Town Hall Meeting will be held this Thursday at the Horicon High School beginning at 6:30 p.m. The program is intended for adults only; a youth summit is planned before the end of the school year.

Update On Washington County Accident Charges

Washington County Sheriff’s officials say both men involved in an accident on Pioneer Road in the Village of Richfield last Thursday afternoon were arrested for driving drunk. Deputies arrested a 26-year-old Town of Jackson man for his 2nd driving while intoxicated and on a fleeing offense and charges stemming from the accident. The other driver arrested at the scene was a 57-year-old Village of Germantown man who was charged for his 6th drunken driving offense.

Bulky Waste Drop Off Hours Announced

Fond du Lac’s Public Works Department has begun its bulky waste drop-off hours at the Municipal Service Center at 530 Doty Street. Hours of operation, fee structure and other information are available at the City’s website.