Local News Briefs Saturday 1/2/16

UW FDL Student Housing Will Have 120 Beds

Fond du Lac County Executive Al Buechel says it’s still possible that student housing for the UW-Fond du Lac campus can be open in time for the fall semester. He says Keller Construction and Xcel Engineering have been working on the design and BMOC will manage and operate the building. He says the holdup is over who will own it. He says they are still negotiating over who the responsible party will be for maintenance. He says the County will also have to work up a development agreement and if that can be approved by the County Board in the next two months the building could be ready for use by the fall. Buechel says rather than go with an 84-bed facility they will now be building a facility with 120 beds, which its felt the community can accommodate. He says to meet that need the building will be increased to four stories instead of three.

Child ID Kits

Fond du Lac Fire and Rescue Chief Peter O’Leary says one of the proudest accomplishments for his department in 2016 was their participation in providing Child ID kits for children across the County. Firefighters Local 400, the Green Bay Packers, Agnesian HealthCare Foundation and others had a role in providing the kits. O’Leary says the community really stepped up and it was a great show of philanthropy. The effort kicked off in July and culminated with the distribution of the kits this fall to about 17,000 children. Each kit includes a DNA swab and inkless fingerprinting in the event that a child should ever go missing.

State Senator Says Legislation Limits Voting

The minority leader in the State Senate feels Republican legislators have passed legislation in the last few sessions that are keeping voters away from the polls. Senator Jennifer Shilling cited several examples. She says they include Photo ID and narrowing hours for early voting. She also feels some voters are intimidated by how close poll observers are allowed to stand from people registering to vote. Shilling says she’s worked on legislation guaranteeing people have the right to vote if you are of the right age and have lived in the state long enough. 2016 will have a number of key elections including a vote this fall for the presidential election.

Dairy Bowl Time

The most important Bowl game for some Fond du Lac County youth has nothing to do with football. Denise Retzlaff is the 4-H Youth Development Educator for the County’s UW-Extension Service. She says during the better part of the fall some youth studied up on the dairy industry to compete in this month’s Dairy Bowl in Madison. She says they will represent the County against teams from other County for the state title with a chance to go on to the national competition. She says for the participants it is hard work, but fun and they learn a lot about the dairy industry in the process. Retzlaff says in the past Fond du Lac County teams have go on to the national competition.