Local News Briefs Saturday 8/10/13

There’s a plea deal in the works for a 17-year-old Theresa man charged in Washington County for driving through a stop sign on a county highway and hitting another vehicle injuring seven people and himself. Sidney Lehman is charged with one count of 2nd degree recklessly endangering safety, one count of reckless driving causing great bodily harm and three counts of reckless driving causing bodily harm for the April 13th accident. The first two charges are felonies and the other three misdemeanors. A plea hearing is scheduled for next Friday.


Dodge County Crow Had West Nile Virus


Dodge County has joined the growing fraternity of counties that have reported a dead bird with West Nile virus. A dead crow tested positive for the mosquito borne illness. Fond du Lac and Winnebago counties have also reported dead birds with the virus over the past few months. The first human case of West Nile virus was reported in Dane County last month. To report a sick or dead crow, blue jay or raven you can contact the Dead Bird Reporting Hotline 800-433-1610.


Hoping Drug Deaths Decline In The County


Drug overdoses have declined this year in Fond du Lac County compared to last year. District Attorney Eric Toney says it’s hard to say whether an increased enforcement effort by law enforcement agencies in the County has made a dent, but it would be nice to see the County finish the year with fewer deaths than 2012 when 12 peopled died from drug overdoses. Toney says it takes a while to investigate a drug death and charge people who may be responsible for supplying the drugs that led to that death, but the law enforcement agencies in the County are getting more skilled at proving it. A 56-year-old Milwaukee man this week was charged for supplying heroin that led to a Fond du Lac man’s death in July of last year.


No State Help In Fight Against EAB


While the state keeps track of the progress of the emerald ash borers and its devastating impact on ash trees there is no help financial help from the state to help out communities dealing with infestation or preemptive measures. State Representative Jeremy Thiesfeldt says he’s not aware of any legislation to help out communities dealing with the EAB, but is aware of its impacts. He says from his time on the Fond du Lac City Council he knows people value their tree canopies. Last week the DNR reported finding an emerald ash borer beetle in a trap in the Mauthe Lake Campgrounds in the Northern Unit of the Kettle Moraine State Forest. The City of Fond du Lac is taking what preventive measures it can before the EAB makes it to the City.


City Cable Channel Has More To Offer Now


The information technology services manager for the City of Fond du Lac says people should check out community channel the City operates on Charter Cable if they have a chance. Dave Zittlow says the old “Commodore 64” colors and technology are gone and channels 21 and 980. Now you will be able to find more community programming such as a roundabout education video and piece on what is going on in the community that’s put together every week. He says Fond du Lac Visitors Bureau President Craig Molitor and The Reporter put together “What’s Happening Fond du Lac” every week to highlight events that are going on in the community. He says they also have news and sports information.


United Way Kickoff Breakfast Motivates


The Fond du Lac Area United Way’s annual kickoff breakfast will be held at Marian University’s Stayer Center on Thursday, September 12th. United Way Executive Director Tina Potter says it’s a light breakfast with a short program to launch the fall fundraising campaign. She says they usually bring in a couple of speakers to talk about how the United Way campaign helps out people. Last year’s campaign raised more than $735,000 helping out over 19,000 people in the community.


State Building Commission Approves Projects


The State Building Commission this week approved several key projects. Among those projects is facility and maintenance repair at the Winnebago Mental Health Institute and the Wisconsin Resource Center in Winnebago County. Other projects include improvements at the Southern Wisconsin Veterans Memorial Cemetery in Racine County; the purchase of laboratory equipment at the state’s new Agricultural and Public Health Laboratory; energy conservation measures at the Wisconsin Military Academy in Monroe County; and continued construction of the U-W Milwaukee Kenwood Integrated Research Complex. State Representatives Joan Ballweg of Markesan and Gordon Hintz of Oshkosh are among the commission’s members.