Local News Briefs Thursday 2/11/16

FDL Schools Superintendent Responds To Criticism

Fond du Lac Schools Superintendent Jim Sebert recently wrote a letter to the Reporter to respond to criticism from an area legislator. Sebert says State Representative Jeremy Thiesfeldt recently wrote his own editorial included in an email blast. It had to do with an article the Reporter printed last November about school choice and how the voucher funding has changed. The money funding the voucher program now comes out tax levies for public school districts. But Sebert says he didn’t care for the way the Fond du Lac School District was characterized in Thiesfeldt’s piece. He says the local school district serves the overwhelming majority of K-12 students in the Fond du Lac area. He says they serve 85 percent of the kids and are producing the greatest and largest segment of the next generation of community leaders and workforce. Sebert says feels private schools are doing a good job, but he says they are there for people who want to pay for them. He says it’s difficult to fund two different educations systems in Wisconsin.

Ballweg Sexual Victim Amnesty Bill Moves On

The State Assembly this week passed a bill that would give amnesty to sexual assault victims who had been drinking and are under age. It would also give amnesty to people who helped them or witnessed the incident. State Representative Joan Ballweg of Markesan is the author of the Assembly bill. She says the victim has enough to worry about and shouldn’t fear coming forward because they had been drinking or their attacker got them drunk. The bill now goes on to the State Senate.

Sturgeon Season Days Away

The sturgeon biologist for the Winnebago system says excitement is building for the opening weekend of the sturgeon spearing season. Ryan Koenigs of the DNR says in the next day or two those who bought a license will get ready for the season opener on Saturday. He says they will be cutting their holes and getting their shacks in place. He says one out of every eight license holders will get a fish this year, but it’s the tradition and camaraderie that beings so many people back each year. Questions about the thickness of the ice continue, but Koenigs says the water clarity has improved by 2 to 3 feet on Lake Winnebago and the Upriver Lakes since they checked two weeks ago. You can find out more about the clarity in a separate story here at KFIZ.com.

Online Voter Registration Bill Could Go To State Assembly Today

The author of a bill that will permit voter registration online in Wisconsin says it’s about using the technology that’s available to us. Senator Devin LeMahieu of Oostburg says it will be more convenient for eligible voters. He says it will also allow us to clean up our voter roles, eliminate duplication and fraud. He says you will need a state driver’s license or state ID to register online. It will eliminate special registration deputies, but LeMahieu says it won’t eliminate voter registration drives. He says anyone could register people with a smart phone or iPad. He says it makes the deputies unnecessary. The State Senate passed his bill Tuesday and it could go to the State Assembly as early as today.

FDL Area Association Of Commerce Annual Meeting Tonight

It’s a big night for the Fond du Lac Area Association of Commerce. They will hold their 104th annual meeting at the Holiday Inn in Fond du Lac. Association Vice President Melissa Worthington says one of the highlights will be the Envision Fond du Lac presentation on strategic planning. Community awards will also be presented. She says they like to recognize people who are doing great things in the community and they will also recognize their Volunteer of the Year. Community Awards will be presented to Society Insurance, Holiday Inn and Holiday Inn Express, The STEM Academy and Institute, and Julie and Brian Balson. The Volunteer of the Year will be announced tonight.

Johnson Bill Would Fund Combating Of Zika Virus

U.S. Senator Ron Johnson this week introduced legislation to provide federal funding to combat the spread of the Zika virus. His bill would the use of unused funds that had been set aside for combating the largely controlled Ebola outbreak of 2014. It lifts restrictions on the funds to allow it to be spent for response and preparedness related to the Zika virus. The virus may pose dire risks to unborn children during pregnancy. Johnson’s bill is a companion to one introduced in the House of Representatives.

Chegwin And Parkside Named Schools Of Recognition

Two Fond du Lac Schools are among the 169 schools named Wisconsin Schools of Recognition for the 2015-16 School Year. Chegwin Elementary and Parkside Elementary both earned the recognition in the “Beating-the-Odds” category. It was the 12th year Chegwin Elementary has been named a School of Recognition. Only a couple of other schools in the state have been recognized as long or longer. Schools of Recognition earn the honor through their efforts to break the link between poverty and low academic achievement.

For more click here.

Top Ten Consumer Complaints

Identity theft and imposter phone scams were among the top concerns for Wisconsin consumers in 2015. The state’s Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection this week released its top 10 list of consumer complaints for last year. Telemarketing remains the top complaint, followed by Landlord/Tenant disputes, identity theft, telecommunications, and home improvement scams. Complaints 6 through 10 included; motor vehicle repair, gas pump accuracy, motor vehicle sales, computer and equipment, and radio/TV/video and stereo complaints.

For more click here.

Denim And Pearls Coming Up

The Foundation for Ripon Medical Center is hosting its annual Denim & Pearls fund-raiser on Saturday, February 27 at Ripon Medical Center in the Journey Commons and Atrium. The event begins at 6 p.m. Participants are invited to wear their favorite denim and pearls, and come to enjoy a fun, relaxing evening. Tickets are $40 each. Denim & Pearls will also feature a silent auction, chocolate truffles, handcrafted artisan beer and music. Proceeds will support the development of a wellness walkway on the Ripon Medical Center campus for the community to enjoy.