Local News Briefs Thursday 10/8/15

Racine Man Hurt In Sheboygan County Accident

Sheboygan County Sheriff’s officials say a 19-year-old Racine man suffered minor injuries after falling asleep at the wheel early Wednesday Morning on I-43. Ethan Chernouski was heading north when he fell asleep. His vehicle ended up rolling over once coming to rest in a ditch. He was taken to St. Nicholas Hospital. Deputies cited him for failing to keep his vehicle under control. The accident near Weeden Creek Road was reported just before 4 a.m.

Hartford Man Facing Sexual Assault Charges In Two Counties

A 61-year-old Hartford man was arraigned in Washington County Court this week on more than a dozen charges stemming from having sex with a teenage girl. Gary Koppen pled not guilty to all the charges. He started having sex with the girl in October of 2013 when she was 16. He will be back in court on November 18th. Koppen is also facing similar charges in Dodge County where a trial is scheduled next March. He’s being held in the Dodge County Jail on a $50,000 cash bond.

Economic Development Listening Session In Appleton

The State Senate’s Economic Development and Commerce Committee will hold an informational hearing in Appleton today. Business and economic development leaders are invited to the roundtable, which will be held in the Fox Valley Technical College D.J. Bordini Center Conference Center from 3 to 4:30 p.m. It’s one of five listening sessions the committee has scheduled around the state. Sessions have already been held in Oak Creek and Rhinelander. The last two sessions will be in Menominee on October 12th and Platteville on October 26th.

Honey Money

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) this week announced the availability of $4 million in assistance for farmers, ranchers and forest landowners working to improve food sources for honey bees.  Honey bees pollinate an estimated $15 billion worth of crops annually, including more than 130 fruits and vegetables. But honey bee populations have suffered significant declines in recent years. Landowners interested in participating should contact their local USDA service center to learn more.

NFDL Takes Different Approach To Capital Improvements Borrowing

The North Fond du Lac Village Board this year took a different approach to borrowing for capital improvement costs. Traditionally money is borrowed each year for capital improvements, but Village Administrator Chuck Hornung says he figured they could save some money by borrowing for two years worth of projects. He says it cost a fair amount of money to get bond counsel and go through the whole borrowing process. The nearly $1.2 million the board approved borrowing will be for capital improvements in both 2015 and 2016.

Red Cross Sends Appleton Woman To South Carolina For Flood Relief Efforts

An Appleton woman left Wisconsin Wednesday to do volunteer work for the Red Cross in South Carolina, which has seen torrential rains and flooding. Barabara Behling of the Regional Office in Oshkosh says Julie Holly is one of a handful of Wisconsin residents they have sent to natural disasters this year. She is the third person from Wisconsin sent to South Carolina because of the flooding and they sent five people out west due to wildfires. Behling says Holly has really gotten involved in Red Cross volunteering since she retired. She says Holly was excited, nervous and anxious about the trip. Behling says area residents know from flooding in 2008 that it takes a while to assess the damage from flooding.

Sheriffs Secretaries Handle Thousands Of Records

Fond du Lac County Sheriff’s Secretary Donna Whitty says the five secretaries they have deal with thousands of records in their records management system every year. She says in 2014 they had over 12,000 traffic stops. She says there are other duties they have to perform during the day including answering phones, dealing with people asking for help at the lobby window, and dealing with open records, accident report requests and more. She says people can also make an opens record request through their website.

FDL Reads Dracula Program Underway

The Fond du Lac Reads program, which this year takes up the reading of Bram Stoker’s “Dracula” is underway with its related activities. Community Information Coordinator Terri Fleming says Stoker created much of the vampire lore, which we now consider cliché. There are many activities tied into the Fond du Lac Reads theme including a Thriller Flash Mob at the former Nielsen Plaza on Halloween. The History at Home series at 6 p.m. next Thursday night at the Library will focus on Magician and Escape Artist Houdini. Houdini was raised in Appleton. Houdini was also well known for exposing fake spiritualists in his time. Fleming says they will even feature appropriate art in their All Hallows Gallery this month. She says their will be a public reception on October 22nd from 6 to 8 p.m. Even the Thelma Sadoff Center for the Arts will get into the spirit showing “Dracula” with Bela Lugosi on Halloween.