Local News Briefs Monday 6/16/14

Fond du Lac County Clerk Lisa Freiberg says last week was interesting in the wake of a federal court decision striking down a ban on same sex marriage. She says she consulted with the County’s Corporation Counsel Bill Bendt about whether or not to issue marriage licenses to same sex couples. Eventually it was decided to do it, but with a five day waiting period. Then the state’s Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen threatened to have county clerks who were issuing the licenses prosecuted. Freiberg feels she did nothing wrong given the lack of guidance the state gave clerks on the issue. She says District Attorney Eric Toney assured her there was no reason to fear prosecution. Then late Friday afternoon U.S. District Judge Barbara Crabb granted Van Hollen’s request for a stay on her original decision declaring Wisconsin’s Marriage Protection Amendment unconstitutional. Van Hollen has appealed Crabb’s original decision to the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals in Chicago.

No Resolution Yet In Oakfield Concession Sales Theft Case

Attorneys are trying to work out a resolution in Fond du Lac County case involving a 48-year-old Fond du Lac man accused of stealing basketball game concession sales money from the Oakfield Junior/Senior High School. Mark Hoffman was working as a custodian at the school when the thefts occurred. He was in court this past week for a plea and sentencing hearing, but no resolution was reached. Hoffman allegedly admitted to Oakfield Police that he took the money. A camera was set up in the vault after school officials became suspicious this past February. According to the criminal complaint he was caught on video after a game and the Oakfield Police Chief Rene Schuster caught him in the act after a game.  He told investigators he was having financial problems.

Construction Work On Formers Wells Manufacturing Site Could Begin Soon

It may not be long before Commonwealth Development can begin work on the former Wells Manufacturing site at the corner of Division and Brooke in Fond du Lac. Demolition of the building began during the winter and there were some delays. A wrecking ball was brought in to take out an old chimney a couple of weeks ago. Commonwealth Development at first planned to locate their corporate headquarters to the site, but revised those plans when the scope of the work for the Retlaw Theater project changed. Commonwealth President Louie Lange says they still have some plans for the former Wells site. He says they will create a garden and retail center and are excited about that prospect.

FCEDC Announces New Resource Network For Entrepreneurs

The Fond du Lac County Economic Development Corporation recently announced a new resource network for entrepreneurs; Ignite Business Success. Bill Steimel is the Director of Business Development for the FCEDC. He says it’s basically one stop shopping for someone who has a unique idea for a business or product and needs assistance to get that idea off the ground. He says the Ignite Business Success network will give the entrepreneur the focus they need to make their idea succeed. He says you can get the ball rolling on your idea by contacting the FCEDC. For more about Ignite Business Success click here

Kind Asks For Review Of VA Health Services

(Wisconsin Radio Network)-Wisconsin Congressman Ron Kind and thirteen others sent President Barack Obama a letter calling for the creation of a Blue Ribbon Commission to investigate the allegations of wait times, secret lists, manipulated data, and other problems that negatively impact the care received by America’s veterans. Kind believes this full review of the Veterans Administration’s health services is necessary. Part of the problem is something Kind says has been around for a long time, and that’s the government’s failure to prepare for the large number of vets that need health care.

Final Assessments For Ripon Thomas Street Reconstruction Project Approved

The Ripon Common Council recently approved levying special assessments for the Thomas Street reconstruction project. City Administrator Lori Rich says preliminary estimates of those assessments were actually sent out late last year. This past week the Council approved the final assessment figures. She says much of the project is complete. She says utility poles needed to be moved and it wouldn’t be long before the final stage of the project, which involves putting the pavement on the street.

West Scott Street Closure

Residents are reminded that West Scott Street or Highway 45 will be closed between Brooke Street and Lakeshore Drive for bridge deck maintenance over the next week and a half. The road will be closed starting today and will be closed for about ten days. Drivers are encouraged to use the posted detour route. Bus service on Scott Street will be moved to Arndt Street from Brooke Street to Hickory Street.

Hintz Becomes Market Research Analyst For FCEDC

The Fond du Lac County Economic Development Corporation has added Cassie Hintz to its team as a Market Research Analyst to support the services offered by FCEDC. She is a native of Eden and recently graduated from Ripon College where she majored in Global Studies with a minor in Nonprofit Management. She also studied abroad in Toledo, Spain. While at Ripon College she also served as a business consultant with the Ripon College Creative Enterprise Consultants. For the last six months, she was a research intern with FCEDC. “Cassie is a great addition to the FCEDC team and proved her exceptional capabilities while serving as an intern for us”, stated Steve Jenkins, president of FCEDC. “We feel very fortunate to discover a talent like Cassie and she will significantly contribute to the success of our clients and the organization.”

The REF Making The Rounds

Once again this summer, the Wisconsin Department of Transportation is taking a classroom on wheels to public events around the state to promote motorcycle safety. Motorcycle Safety Program Coordinator Greg Patzer says they call it “The REF, which is an acronym for Transportable High-End Rider Education Facility. He says the goal is to prevent motorcycle crashes. He says the 40-foot mobile training facility is full of interactive displays and other equipment, as well as three training motorcycles. He says response to the mobile training facility has been positive. Federal grants made the purchase of the facility possible. Motorcycles make up about six percent of all registered vehicles in Wisconsin, yet account for nearly 19 percent of all highway fatalities.