Local News Briefs Saturday 5/30/15

Two Dodge County legislators are calling on the Department of Health Services to reconsider the placement of two child sex offenders in the Brownsville area. State Senator Scott Fitzgerald of Juneau and State Representative Mark Born of Beaver Dam said in a joint press release they want to the stop placement because they would be living right next to two young children. The legislators were (quote) “shocked and dismayed by the lack of notice given to both the community and their elected officials.”  After hearing about the matter on Tuesday, the two legislators reached out to the Department of Corrections and the Secretary of Health Services to express their disappointment at the lack of consideration given to the Town of Leroy community.  Twenty-nine-year-old Jonathan Miller and 57-year-old Robert Larson were the subjects of a public informational meeting in Brownsville on Wednesday. Their court-ordered release to a home in Brownsville is scheduled to happen no later than this Monday.

Charges Dismissed Against Former Dodge County Supervisor

Domestic abuse charges were dismissed last week against a former Dodge County supervisor accused of beating his wife. Eighty-four-year-old Donald Gunderson was originally charged with battery and disorderly conduct charges for the January 16th, 2014 incident that left his wife with a bloody nose. The victim suffers from Alzheimer’s. Gunderson was declared incompetent to stand trial in April of last year and the case was suspended.  A motion was made to dismiss the case last week. Gunderson served on the Dodge County Board for 40 years.

Funding Approved For Highway 151 Ducharme Parkway Intersection Improvements

Governor Scott Walker has approved Highway 151 improvements in Fond du Lac County. Specifically the $625,000 in funding is to improve two-tenths of a mile the Highway 151/Ducharme Parkway intersection. Construction begins next Thursday and will finish in August. Michels Corporation of Brownsville is the prime contractor. There will be no detour during the project, but there will be lane closures on Highway 151.  During construction, traffic on Ducharme Parkway will not have direct access to Highway 151 and traffic on Highway 151 will not have access to Ducharme Parkway.

Mercury Lives Up To Promises

The president of the Fond du Lac County Economic Development Corporation says Mercury Marine has been a real success story since deciding to stay in Fond du Lac in 2009. Steve Jenkins says the company lived up to the promises it made when incentive packages were put together by state, county and local officials and has exceeded those promises. He says it’s a great success story for the community and they continue to invest in the community. Mercury this week broke ground on a 45,000 square facility that will provide the anti-corrosive protection engines and drives need to operate effectively. That coating facility is expected to open in December of 2016. 

Badger Exam One And Done

State Senator Rick Gudex says legislators are scrambling to find a replacement for the Badger Exam. The state legislator from Fond du Lac says the Badger Exam was supposed to be Wisconsin’s version of the smarter value assessment. He says unfortunately the company the furnished it dropped the ball in a lot of cases. He says the legislature decided not to count the exam against school report cards and they would move on from there because the test was a miserable failure. Fond du Lac Schools Superintendent Jim Sebert says they got through the Badger Exam, but realized because of the controversy over it, it might be a case of “one and done.”

Dead Bird Hotline

Fond du Lac County Public Health Officer Kim Mueller says last year at this time the state already had its first bird test positive for West Nile Virus. She says two birds have already been tested in the County for the mosquito borne illness, but both tested negative. She says hey are only interested in testing certain birds that usually contract the virus from mosquitoes. She says typically those would be crows, ravens and blue jays, but not songbirds. She says you can call the health department if you see a dead bird at (920) 929-3085 or the state’s dead bird hotline at 1-800-433-1610.

Non Profits Get Alliant Energy Foundation Grants

A couple of area non-profit organizations are receiving community grants through the Alliant Energy Foundation. The Fondy Food Pantry is getting a $3,000 grant. Other Fond du Lac County non-profits getting the grants include Ripon Main Street, the Fond du Lac Area Association of Commerce Foundation, the Village of Brandon, the Gottfried Prairie and Arboretum, and the Fond du Lac County Agricultural Society.

Student Scholarships

The Fond du Lac Area Association of Commerce was able to give out four student scholarships this year. Jim Cleveland of the Association says two of those four scholarships were funded through the Project Grill program. Cleveland says the other two scholarships were donated by the Elks Lodge and U.S. Chrome. He says the Project Grill brat fry held earlier this month raised $1,200, which will go right back into those students scholarships.