Local News Briefs Saturday 1/11/14

The former Waupun police officer who went on a crime spree last August will make his initial court appearance in Green Lake County next week. Forty-four-year-old Bradley Young of Brandon has already been charged in Barron and Burnett County, but it was break-in at a Green Lake restaurant that launched a manhunt last August. He’s also suspected of breaking into grocery stores in Berlin and Markesan. Young was a lieutenant and 22 year veteran of the Waupun Police Department when he resigned in the wake of his alleged crimes. A status conference in his Burnett County case is scheduled March 4th and the following day he has a plea hearing in Barron County Court.

Inmate Who Threatened Officials Reaches Plea Agreement

The Waupun Correctional inmate who in a series of letters threatened the president, the governor and several judges including a Dodge County judge has entered into a plea agreement. Thirty-six-year-old Benjamin Biese pled no contest to three felony counts in Dodge County Court this week and will be sentenced next month. He sent multiple letters, making death threats if his demands were not met. His letters allegedly threatened to use street gangs to carry out the threats and one letter contained a white powdery substance he said was anthrax. It turned out to be a finely grated soap.

FDL Theater Burglary Similar To Other Burglaries In NE Wisconsin

Fond du Lac Police were recently informed that Oshkosh Police had made arrests in a series of robberies similar to the burglary that occurred at the Fond du Lac Theater on West Scott Street last November. Assistant Police Chief Steve Klein says they found out shortly before the holidays about the arrests. He says Oshkosh Police were able to recover some evidence from the Fond du Lac Theater burglary. Klein says Fond du Lac detectives are waiting to receive the arrest reports from Oshkosh Police before they can refer charges here. During the Fond du Lac Theater break-in someone forcibly entered the Theater and ransacked an office area and stole an undisclosed amount of cash. The theaters computer system and other property were also damaged.   

Burst Pipes Cause Problems

Fond du Lac firefighters responded to two calls Thursday night that resulted from frozen pipes thawing and bursting at businesses. Department officials say a pipe burst in the lobby at Country Inn and Suites and about a half hour later a pipe burst at in the TV lounge area of Grancare Nursing and Rehabilitation Center. In both incidents the burst pipes left standing water and caused some damage.

Increasing Private Funding Of FCEDC Efforts

The Fond du Lac County Economic Development Corporation is beginning a new initiative in which they hope to increase the amount of private funding that support their efforts. FCEDC President Steve Jenkins says typically economic development efforts like theirs get more private than public support, but that’s the exact opposite case in Fond du Lac County. He says normally economic development corporations funding is 70 percent private and 30 percent publicly funded. He says in Fond du Lac County private entities provide 30 percent of the funding and the public 70 percent. He says they’d like to get that to a 50-50 level.

Industry Reaches Goal For The FDL Area United Way

With less than a week away from the end of their campaign the Fond du Lac Area United Way is about $8,000 short of their $740,000 goal. United Way Executive Director Tina Potter says if they reach their goal it would be the third time in as many years. She says they weren’t able to prior to that because of the recession. She says part of that was because of the way it affected their employment giving in the industry sector, which this year was above their goals. She says this the goal for industry was $230,000 and they got $260,000 in donations from industry.

Efforts To Reduce Youth Tobacco Use An Ongoing Struggle

The coordinator for the 5 counties for Tobacco Free Living says strides have been made to reduce the use of tobacco by youth, but it’s an ongoing struggle. Sandy Bernier of the Fond du Lac County Health Department says in 1998, 38 percent of high school students admitted to tobacco use and nowadays it’s down to 13 percent. She says that reduction can be attributed to several things. She says the tobacco tax helps price it out of kids hands and the state’s smoke free law also helps reduce exposure to smoking. She says their battle isn’t over however as tobacco companies market strawberry and chocolate chip and other flavored products that appeal to youth.