Local News Briefs Monday 9/21/15

More than 9,500 people in Fond du Lac County were living in poverty last year. The Wisconsin Council on Children & Families recently released U.S. Census figures comparing poverty levels from last year to those before the economic collapse of 2008 or the year 2007. According to those figures 13.9 percent of children were living in poverty in 2014 compared to 6.6 percent in 2007. The overall poverty rate was 9.7 percent last year compared to 8.5 percent eight years ago. The median household income was also down from just over $57,000 in 2007 to nearly $52,000 last year. The number of children living in poverty in Wisconsin last year was 18.4 percent or nearly 235,000 people and the total number of people was 13.2 percent of the population or more than 738,000 people.

NFDL PFC Takes Up Zmuda Resignation

North Fond du Lac begins the process of looking for a new fire chief when they meet this afternoon at the Municipal Building. But they will have to accept the resignation of Fire Chief Richard Zmuda who resigned in the wake of being arrested for theft charges in Pennsylvania. The PFC will act on accepting his resignation and then begin discussions on hiring a new fire chief. The meeting is at 4 p.m.

Town Of Springvale Gets State Trust Fund Loan

A Fond du Lac County township is receiving a $60,000 State Trust Fund loan to help with the purchase of a snow plowing truck. The Board of Commissioners of Public Lands recently approved the loan for the Town of Springvale. A total of $22 million in State Trust Fund Loans was approved by the board during their recent meeting in Madison.

Confusion About Highway 23 East Project

The highway safety coordinator for Fond du Lac County says there is some confusion about an improvement project on Highway 23 east of Fond du Lac. Sheriff’s Captain Rick Olig says the work that is going on now is not part of the expansion project to four lanes that was stopped by a federal judge. He says they are doing repaving from County Highway UU to Log Tavern Road. He says the State will be making a few improvements while repaving that stretch of road. He says some fire department members suggested improving some of the no-passing zones. Olig says some of the no-passing zones will be extended and a rumble strip will put in at the centerline. He says that will prevent some accidents where people travel over the centerline. Meanwhile Olig says there is still a need to expand Highway 23 from two to four lanes between Fond du Lac and Plymouth.

FDL County Prosecutors A Busy Lot

Fond du Lac County District Attorney Eric Toney says his office handles a lot of cases with the eight prosecutors they have. He says that includes criminal cases, juvenile cases, and ordinance tickets for the State Patrol and Fond du Lac County, traffic tickets and a wide variety of things. He says according to one study they should actually have 11 or 12 prosecutors. Toney says it would make a significant difference for them, but funding resources are tough with the state paying for most of their prosecutors. Toney says they are grateful that Fond du Lac County is funding one of their prosecutors who handles domestic violence and sexual assault cases. He says grants also fund two of their prosecutors who handle juvenile cases and a diversion program.

Redevelopment Of Former Boca Grande Properties Would Be The Icing On The Cake

Ripon Mayor Gary Will says the redevelopment of the former Boca Grande properties in Downtown Ripon would be the icing on the cake when it comes to development in the City. The County supervisor recently reminded fellow supervisors that the City does have a lot of development going on even without the revitalization effort. Will highlighted a few of the developments going on in the City for supervisors. He says a new combined middle and high school is being built, the old hospital is being redeveloped and there are new town houses on the north side of that, and a new addition 6,000 square feet in size has been approved for Alliance Laundry. County supervisors approved transferring money into a revolving loan fund that will allow developer Tom Rogers to improve former Boca Grande properties. Will says it’s a much needed effort that will get the properties back on the tax roll.

Fire Safety Coloring Books A Collaborative Effort

Once again Fond du Lac Fire and Rescue is distributing fire safety coloring books in City schools. Division Chief of Fire Prevention Troy Haase says it’s a tradition that they’ve considered tweaking a bit. He says they’ve looked at going to video or CD, but that’s still too expensive. The books are distributed to students from kindergarten through 3rd grade. He says thanks to an area service organization and business they are able to provide the coloring books to young children. Haase says the Exchange Club donates the money for the books and Mercury Marine has them printed up.

Ability Exhibit Coming To MPTC

In honor of the 25th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act, Moraine Park Technical College’s Fond du Lac campus will host the “Ability Exhibit” next month. Director of Admissions Bonnie Bauer says it will only be at the campus for three days. She says its part of a traveling exhibit out of the University of St. Louis, Missouri and it will be on campus Monday through Wednesday October 5th through the 7th. She invites people to take part in the interactive exhibit. She says it has 10 interactive stations designed to promote a better of understanding about people with disabilities. She says the enactment of the ADA affected a lot of Americans lives. Bauer says the exhibit will be on the 2nd floor of the campus near the library. Hours will be from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. each day.