Local News Briefs Thursday 10/24/13

Winnebago County District Attorney Christian Gossett says no one person was to blame for the death of a skydiver who landed in Lake Butte des Morts this summer. The DA’s office was asked to review the death of Paul Olsen a skydiving instructor who was doing a tandem jump with a student on July 9th when a storm blew them off course and they landed in the lake. Gossett won’t be filing any criminal charges saying poor weather and communication problems contributed to the death of the 55-year-old skydiver. The student was able to swim to shore by Olsen drowned. Efforts by the owner of Skydive Adventure Inc., to radio Olsen’s pilot about the change in weather were unsuccessful before the jump. Gossett says there were a lot of things that could have prevented the death, but on one person was responsible for it.

Jewelry Taken During Oshkosh Burglary

Oshkosh Police are investigating a daytime burglary that netted the thief or thieves about $10,000 in jewelry. The burglary happened on Friday, October 4th at a residence at 1798 Hunters Glen Drive. Police say items taken included rings, necklaces and bracelets. The majority of the jewelry items belonged to the homeowner’s daughter, Ali, who died in August.  Items were removed from the residence in an Oshkosh West Cross Country duffel bag, which is blue and white in color. Entry was gained through a door. The suspect knew the location of the jewelry because it was the only area in the home that was disturbed. Anyone with information about the incident is asked to call Detective Hinke at (920) 236-5703.

Tips Sought In Green Lake County Burglary

Green Lake County authorities are looking for information from the public about a burglary at Cove Marine in the Town of Princeton that happened on Friday night or Saturday morning, October 11th or 12th. Taken during the burglary was a 2012 70 horsepower Yamaha outboard motor. The motor, which is gray in color weighs about 250 pounds and had a model number of F70LAD. While the motor may not be in the area any longer, Sheriff’s detectives are seeking information on any suspicious activity in the area which could be related to the theft.  Any information can be reported anonymously to Green Lake County Crime Stoppers at 1-800-GET-THEM (1-800-438-8436), texted to GETTHEM at 847411, or e-mailed to [email protected].  Tips may be eligible for up to a $1000 cash reward for information leading to the arrest of suspects or recovery of property.

Beaver Dam Man Charged For Waupun Chase

Dodge County authorities have charged a 20-year-old Beaver Dam man who ran from police in Waupun on August 22nd.  Derek Abitz was charged this week with eluding an officer for the early morning chase. Abitz was driving around with friends in Fond du Lac County and struck a mailbox while sending a text message. He told investigators he became flustered while speeding past a Waupun Police officer and driving the wrong way down a one-way street. He did call police to report the accident and eventually confessed to the pursuit. A preliminary hearing was scheduled for December. Abitz was released on a $5,000 signature bond.

FDL City Council Takes First Step For IRB Request/Passes City Budget

The Fond du Lac City Council last night approved a resolution for a blighted property that will be redeveloped through the use of Industrial Revenue Bonds. Community Development Director Wayne Rollin says the former Superior Special Services property in the Southwest Industrial Park has sat vacant for a number of years. He says neighboring Marchant Schmidt is interested in the property for an expansion, which will lead to the creation of more jobs. He says they expanded once in recent years and they are looking to expand again, which is good for everyone. Rollin says last night was the first of four steps in the Industrial Revenue Bond process for the project. The Council also approved the 2014 City Budget, tax levy, 5-year capital improvements plan, and Transit System budget.

Grant Received For Second Phase Of Winnebago Waterways Preservation Effort

The state’s Department of Natural Resources has awarded the Winnebago Lakes Council a $50,000 grant to begin Phase II of a program for future planning for preservation of Lakes Winnebago, Winneconne, Poygan, and Butte des Morts. Calumet County’s Calumet County’s Director of Resource Management Julie Schmelzer says the first phase involved getting public input on the important issues facing the system.  She says the second phase will allow them to move forward investigating and implementing recommendations received from lake users. That will include increasing education about lake issues; improving communication between residents and local decision-makers regarding such topics as shoreline erosion, aquatic invasive species, and polluted run-off; and exploring ways for local governments to work cooperatively. Residents can still give feedback at WinnebagoWaterways.com.  

Alliance Laundy Systems Expansion Good For County

Fond du Lac County Executive Al Buechel says a $46 million expansion at Alliance Laundry Systems in Ripon will be good for the entire County. The County Board this week approved a $6 million loan that will help with financing for the project that will create an additional 150 jobs. Buechel says people drive across the County to go to work so the expansion is good for the County. He says that expansion is in addition to last year’s $25 million expansion at the company which created 270 new jobs. He says Alliance is in a strong growth curve now and may need additional expansion in the future. The loan will be administered by the Fond du Lac County Economic Development Corporation. It’s for eight years and has performance based incentives for creating those 150 jobs.

FDL County Will Be Housing More Juvenile Offenders

Outagamie County’s decision to close its juvenile detention facility will mean more revenue for the Fond du Lac County Jail. County Executive Al Buechel says Winnebago County was sending its juveniles to the Outagamie facility, but will begin sending them to the Fond du Lac County facility next January. He says other smaller counties that sent their juveniles to the Outagamie County facility will also be shopping around for a new facility. He says that business could also be coming to Fond du Lac, but at this point they are only counting on Winnebago County’s.

NFDL Approves Change To Wastewater Agreement

The outlying sewer group districts that use the Fond du Lac Regional Wastewater Treatment Facility are amending the 2000 wastewater agreement. The North Fond du Lac Village Board this week approved the amendment. Village Administrator Chuck Hornung says it was something they wanted to do after a sewer intercept was damaged by decay from the acidic nature of one district’s raw sewage. The current contract is based on sewage flow and not on who causes a problem when a correction or replacement of an intercept becomes necessary. He says it is the fair to do. All 18 of the sanitary districts including the City of Fond du Lac has to approve the change to the contract.

Waupun Superintendent On Common Core Standards

The superintendent of the Waupun School District attended last week’s public hearing in Fond du Lac on Common Core education standards, but didn’t get a chance to speak. Tonya Gubin says she did submit written comments to the State Senate and State Assembly’s Select Committees on Common Core. She says there will be benefits to having one set of standards across the state. She says in particular that will help students in poverty whose families tend to move around. She says the schools superintendents in Dodge County get together to share what’s going on in education and the Common Core standards will be beneficial during in-services for teachers as well. She says that type of collaboration will be featured at an in-service planned for next February.