Local News Briefs Thursday 1/14/16

Ripon Man Charged For Oshkosh Robbery

Winnebago County prosecutors have charged a 45-year-old Ripon man suspected of robbing a Kwik Trip store in Oshkosh. William Vessell made his initial court appearance this week on armed robbery and bail jumping charges. Bond was set at $50,000 cash and a preliminary hearing will be held today. According to the criminal complaint police talked to driver of the vehicle that Vessell left the robbery in. They were told Vessell went into the store to pay for gasoline and came out a while later. He then asked to be taken to a residence where he could buy crack cocaine. The robbery occurred on January 3rd.

Fire Destroys Oshkosh Home

The cause of a fire that destroyed a home in Oshkosh is still being determined. The person living in the house in the 1700 block of Crestview Drive was able to escape the home Tuesday night. Oshkosh Fire Department officials say there was heavy fire and smoke coming from the home when they arrived. Fire Departments from the Town of Algoma and Neenah-Menasha assisted at the fire. A portion of the roof collapsed during the blaze. The fire call was shortly before 7 p.m.

Washington County Skiing Accident

Washington County Sheriff’s officials say a 13-year-old girl was hurt while skiing with her middle school ski club at the Sunburst Ski Area Tuesday night. Life Star ambulance was at the scene rendering medical attention to her. Deputies and Kewaskum Fire set up a landing zone so that Flight for Life could transport her to Children’s Hospital with non-life threatening injuries. The accident was reported shortly before 6:30 Tuesday evening.

Jury Duty Scam

Winnebago County Sheriff’s officials are warning residents about jury duty scams. The caller pretends to be a police officer and says that there is a bench warrant out for the juror because they didn’t appear for grand jury selection in an armed robbery case. The caller advises the “juror” that they need to go to a specific location (Walgreens or Family Dollar) and purchase 3, $100 cards and bring the cards to the Courthouse where the caller will meet them. They advise the party that they are to contact them each time they leave their home, the store where the cards were purchased, and when they arrive at the courthouse. The caller also informs the party that they are being monitored throughout the entire process. Those selected for jury duty receive a written letter from the Clerk of Courts.

Red Kettle Goal Reached

The Fond du Lac Salvation Army reached its $150,000 Red Kettle Christmas Campaign goal. That’s the word from Salvation Army officials. The official announcement will be at the Salvation Army’s Fond du Lac office next Wednesday morning. The annual KFIZ Bucket Brigade was held at the KFIZ parking lot on December 4th.  Along with an $8,000 match from Michels Corporation it helped raise $14,413 for the campaign.

Active Shooter Training

Active shooter training is one of the free services the Fond du Lac Police Department offers businesses and groups. Officer Erik Foster says it’s about giving the public their best chance of surviving such an event. He says the training is about an hour to an hour and half long and it’s pretty good training. He says there is now a different philosophy about staying safe when confronted with such a situation. He says they used to recommend, Run, Hide, Fight. Now they go by ADD, Avoid, Deny, Defend. He says with Avoid they recommend leaving the building if you can. The Deny part has to do with setting up a barricade between yourself and the shooter and Defend involves defending yourself if the shooter breaches the barricade. He says incidents like Americans defending themselves on a Paris train attack and the people on the 9-11 flight that crashed the plane in Pennsylvania saved other lives. He says incidents like those are changing the mentality about defending yourself. If you would like to know more call 322-3746.

Open Enrollment

The Fond du Lac School Board this week held their first reading for revisions to the board’s open enrollment policy. District Superintendent Jim Sebert says part of that has to do with changes that were included in the state budget. He says they also have to set some limits on the number of spaces they make available for regular education and special education students. In doing that they have to consider class size and the education they are offering students. He says it’s about striking the right balance. This year’s open enrollment window is February 1st through April 29th.

Chocolate Fantasy Coming Up

The 20th Annual Chocolate Fantasy is coming up in Fond du Lac at the end of the month. It will be held from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Knights of Columbus Hall on Sunday, January 31st. Soroptmists of Fond du Lac put on the annual event that features chocolate tasting, a giant gift-basket silent auction, and raffles. Tickets, $12 in advance and $15 at the door, this year come with a to-go container for leftovers and a bottle of water. Tickets are available at Fox Valley Savings Bank, Wegner Office Supply, Hometown Bank on Peters Avenue, EP-Direct, C.W. Smith Jewelers, Bank of Oakfield in Oakfield, Village Flower Shoppe in Mayville and from Soroptimist members.  Sweetening the pot is a chance to win a beautiful pendant. On sale now are half-pound boxes of chocolates from Confections for Any Occasion for $10. Each box comes with a chance to win a chocolate and white diamond pendant from C.W. Smith Jewelers, valued at $1,000. Boxes are for sale now at Fox Valley Savings Bank, Hometown Bank on Peters Avenue, EP-Direct, Bank Mutual on west Highway 23, Bank of Oakfield in Oakfield, Village Flower Shoppe in Mayville, America Bank in Brownsville and from Soroptimist members. The boxes also will be sold at the January 31 event, where the winning ticket will be drawn.