Local News Briefs Saturday 11/14/15

Train Derailment Dangers

Fond du Lac Fire and Rescue Chief Peter O’Leary says they do a lot of training in case of a train derailment. He says Fond du Lac gets a lot of rail cars coming through the City because of the railroad yard in North Fond du Lac. O’Leary says sometimes a train might derail when a vehicle hits it and you never know what type of commodity a rail car is carrying that might lead to a spill or leak. He says even if there’s no fire there is still the potential that something like a gas leaking out might be potentially harmful to the public.  In August a 26-year-old Fond du Lac man was hurt when he rain into the side of Canadian National freight train. That resulted in heavy damage to the car, but did not derail the train.

Wisconsin National Guard Cuts

The state’s National Guard will be trimming 310 positions and deactivate 3 units in 2016. Because of cuts in funding through the national defense authorization bill 36 full-time positions will be cut over the next year and 274 traditional guard positions over the next two years. The units that will be “inactivated” are engineering battalions in Chippewa Falls and Hayward. Those units will continue until 2017.

Road Salt Supply Plentiful

A mild winter season in the past year was beneficial to the Fond du Lac County Highway Department when it comes to road salt. Highway Commissioner Tom Janke says they didn’t have to use as much salt and as a result have plenty for the upcoming season. He says they didn’t have to take an early fill for salt so their reserve supplies are up. He says hopefully they will be able to maintain that supply during the winter and there won’t be any issues, but you never know what Mother Nature has in store for us.

Winter Parking Restrictions Begin Sunday In FDL And NFDL

The odd-even winter parking in Fond du Lac and North Fond du Lac starts Sunday. Depending on whether it’s an even or odd numbered day starting at 8 p.m. each day you have to park on that numbered side of the street to allow for snow plowing. It overrides all other parking restrictions on the street. North Fond du Lac Police Chief Darren Pautsch says there is one difference in the village’s winter parking ordinance. You can read more about winter parking ordinances for Fond du Lac, North Fond du Lac, and Waupun at KFIZ.com.

Think Big Shop Small

Think Big. Shop Small is the theme for downtown shopping in Fond du Lac this holiday season. Downtown Fond du Lac Partnership Executive Director Amy Hansen says downtown merchants have a lot to offer. She says in fact they have 284 businesses. She says it’s about reminding the community about all the unique things and businesses you can find in the downtown. To help promote the effort the DFP was presented with a proclamation from the City Council this week proclaiming November as “Small Business Month” and Saturday, November 28th as “Small Business Saturday.”

Bells Chiming For Salvation Army

It’s been a big couple of days for the Fond du Lac Salvation Army. Friday the first five red kettles were put out at Shopko, Festival Foods, Piggly Wiggly, and the two Pick ‘n’ Save stores. The rest will be going up on Friday, November 27th and will remain out until Christmas Eve Day. Also today the Salvation Army will be distributing winter coats to adults who were pre-qualified for the program.

Pancake Day In North Fondy

If you have a craving for flap jacks the North Fond du Lac Optimist Club can help you with that today. The Club will host its 45th annual Pancake Day from 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Presentation Parish Center. Carry-outs will be available. Bill Binner of the Club says proceeds from Pancake Day go toward community service and youth projects. Tickets are $6 at the door. 

Open House At Horicon National Wildlife Refuge Visitor Center Today

The Horicon National Wildlife Refuge Visitor Center is holding an Autumn Open House today.  The event will run from 10 am to 3 pm and is free to the public.  According to Visitor Services Manager Erin Railsback, people will have the chance to hike a new two-and-a-half mile trail outside the visitor center with hopes of seeing various animals.  There will also be a scavenger hunt throughout the visitor center grounds and picture taking opportunities. Live music will run from 11am to 1pm.  The visitor center is located at W4279 Headquarters Road, three-and-a-half miles south of Highway 49 on Highway Z.