Local News Briefs Thursday 1/30/14

Drivers should be aware of snow-covered and slippery road conditions this morning. According to the state DOT’s 511 website those descriptions of road conditions fit Highway 41 in both Dodge and Fond du Lac Counties, Highway 151 in Fond du Lac County, Highway 45 in Fond du Lac and Washington Counties, and Highway 23 in Fond du Lac and Sheboygan Counties.

Governor At FCEDC Meeting

Governor Scott Walker is the featured speaker at the Fond du Lac County Economic Development Corporation’s Annual Meeting tonight. It’s the Corporation’s 25th Annual Meeting. The Governor is expected to make his remarks around 6:15 p.m. The Annual Meeting will be held at the UW-Fond du Lac in the Commons Area. The program starts at 5:30 p.m. with registration and then networking opportunities.

Driver Killed Trying To Elude Sheboygan Co Deputies

A 49-year-old Germantown man  trying to elude Sheboygan County Sheriff’s deputies last night lost control and was killed after crashing into a utility pole. Sheriff officials say they got a call at 7:11 p.m. about an erratic driver and learned there was a misdemeanor warrant for the man. Efforts to stop him led to a pursuit, which reached speeds in excess of 100 miles per hour. The chase came to an end when the man lost control of the vehicle and crashed into a utility pole. He was ejected and died from injuries suffered in the crash. The State Patrol is investigating the crash.

Armed Robbery In Washington County

Sheriff’s investigators in Washington County are looking into the armed robbery of the Addison Station in the Town of Addison that occurred late Monday night. An employee of the gas station reported the robbery in which a man with a silver handgun robbed the station and left on foot. The suspect was wearing a mask and gray hooded sweatshirt. He was white, 5-foot-10 inches tall and weighed approximately 130 pounds. A witness saw him running from the scene. Anyone with information should contact the Washington County Sheriff’s Office.

Investigators Won’t Be Able To Complete Cause Of Origin Investigation In Watson St Fire

The cold weather has hampered efforts to take down two buildings on Watson Street in Ripon that were destroyed by fire last month. City Administrator Lori Rich says insurance company investigators were supposed to do their final inspection last Friday, but the cold weather hampered that effort. She says that investigation won’t proceed and the parties are settling. She says that means demolition of the buildings at 310 and 312 Watson will be done sooner than later. She says the buildings are being released to the property owner on Friday of this week. No one was hurt during last month’s fire.

Fire Destroys Barn Near Columbus

Fire destroyed a barn near Columbus early Wednesday morning. The fire on Johnson Road was reported at 3:15 a.m. Columbus Fire Department officials say a neighbor called the fire in. The blaze destroyed the barn and its contents, which included 20 to 30 bales of hay and a couple of tractors. No injuries were reported, but the bitter cold hampered firefighters’ efforts. They encountered frozen water lines.

Unemployment Rates Up Slightly In December

Unemployment rates in the City and County of Fond du Lac were up slightly from November to December according to revised estimates from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. State Department of Workforce Development officials say according to those figures the City’s unemployment rate increased from 6.5 in November to 6.6 percent in December. The County’s jobless rate was also up slightly from 5.3 to 5.4 percent during that period. By comparison the City’s unemployment rate in December of 2012 was 7.2 percent and the County’s was 6.1 percent.

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Salaries Have To Be Established For Sheriff And Clerk Of Courts

The Fond du Lac County Board’s Finance Committee wants more information before it recommends salaries for the Sheriff and Clerk of Courts to the County Board. With those seats coming up for election the salaries have to be established for those four year terms. County Executive Al Buechel says they will also take a look at what other counties are paying for those elected officials. He says Fond du Lac County is about mid-point compared to what other counties pay. He says there isn’t a lot of money for increases. The last time there was no increase the first year, 1 percent the second year and 2 percent increases the third and fourth year. The pay levels have to be set before candidates for those offices begin circulating nomination papers on April 15th. 

Thiesfeldt Says People Have The Wrong Idea About His Bill

State Representative Jeremy Thiesfeldt of Fond du Lac says there’s a lot of confusion about a bill he authored concerning simple marijuana possession cases. He says some people are under the impression that it would increase fines. He says he got the idea for the bill from the Fond du Lac City Attorney’s office. It would allow a municipal prosecutor to prosecute second and subsequent simple marijuana possession cases if a district attorney’s office chooses not to. Meanwhile he says it concerns him that people are arguing for legalizing marijuana. He feels it is a gateway drug and decriminalizing it could lead to other problems. The bill is on its way to the Governor’s desk to be signed into law.

FDL Area United Way Exceeds Campaign Goal

The Fond du Lac Area United Way was able to make its goal for last fall’s fundraising campaign. They raised $750,000 or $10,000 over their goal and reached their goal for the third year in a row. United Way Executive Director Tina Potter says when they set their goal this fall they will be mindful of community needs and try not to set a goal they can’t reach. This past fall’s campaign also featured drawings for cash prizes for those who donated $104 or more to the campaign with the top prizes being $2,000, $1,000 and three $500 prizes. She says two of the winners gave back their prize money. She the winners worked for Mercury Marine, Holiday Automotive, National Exchange Bank & Trust, Agnesian HealthCare and there was an individual donor as well.

State Senate Recognized Mercury Marine Anniversary

The Wisconsin State Senate adjourned its January 22nd session by honoring Mercury Marine for celebrating 75 years in business. The company, with world headquarters in Fond du Lac was founded on January 22nd, 1939, in Cedarburg, Wis., and is celebrating its 75th anniversary throughout the year. Senator Richard Gudex of Fond du Lac made the motion with unanimous consent to honor Mercury Marine. “The 75th anniversary reflects their strong heritage of innovation and leadership in the marine industry and their strong roots right here in Wisconsin,” Gudex said of Mercury Marine.