Local News Briefs Thursday 2/6/14

The Winnebago Sturgeon Biologist says it’s quite a tribute to sturgeon spearing to have a documentary being premiered in Fond du Lac about the sport. Ryan Koenigs says he’s not in the film “The Frozen Chosen,” which will be shown at the Thelma Sadoff Center for the Arts at 7:15 p.m. tonight. Koenigs isn’t in it, but his predecessor Ron Bruchs is. Koenigs says it’s shaping up to be a good sturgeon spearing season for the opening day on Saturday. He says it has quite the impact on the local economy with about $3.5 million being spent at taverns, gas stations, restaurants, hotels and elsewhere. Unlike the past couple of seasons there should be plenty of thick ice to support fishing shacks and shanties. He says there are still some pressure cracks on Lake Winnebago to watch out for. Doors open for the premiere of “The Frozen Chosen” at 6 p.m. with some brief remarks at 7 p.m. the film at 7:15 p.m. There will be question and answer session at the end.

Two Charged In Sheboygan Heroin Death

(WHBL-Sheboygan)-A Sheboygan woman and an Illinois man each face a reckless homicide charge in connection with a heroin overdose death last December.  The Sheboygan County DA’s office filed charges Wednesday against 26-year- old Monica Sanchez, of Sheboygan and 34-year-old Leanel Holder of Calumet City, Illinois. According to the criminal complaint, Sanchez allegedly provided heroin to her uncle, 43-year-old William Widucki, the evening of December 28.  He was found later that night unresponsive and died when revival efforts failed.  The cause of death has been determined to be too much morphine in the body – most likely due to heroin use. Several weeks earlier, Sanchez told local authorities she was helping Holder sell heroin in the Sheboygan area and wanted out.  Holder said his operation was part of a large scale criminal enterprise, and he consigns heroin to Sanchez for her to sell and him to receive the money.

Congressman Petri On CBO Report On Obamacare

Congressman Tom Petri Wednesday responded to a report released by the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office or CBO, which estimates that, due to the implementation of the new health care law, people will choose to work fewer hours in order to keep government subsidies for health insurance. By 2021 that could equate to two to two and a half million jobs-worth of work. The federal lawmaker says less income means a lower standard of living. Economists argue the incentives are going to be changing and if people work more hours that means they might lose subsidies or eligibility for lower cost health care and therefore they’ll end up working fewer hours. Petri says that hinder a lot peoples chances to improver their economic situation.

FDLAAC Recognizes Four With Community Awards

Mercury Marine, the Solutions Center, Thelma Sadoff Center for the Arts, and Wells Vehicle Electronics will be recognized with 2013 Community Awards during the Fond du Lac Area Association of Commerce’s 102nd Annual Meeting. The meeting will be on Thursday, February 13th at the Holiday Inn in Fond du Lac from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. Mercury is being recognized for its growth and development in the Fond du Lac area during its 75 years. The Solutions Center will be honored for the contributions they’ve made to the less fortunate.  The Thelma Sadoff Center for the Arts will be honored for advancing the arts through its expanded and re-imagined facilities. Wells Vehicle Electronics will be recognized for its growth and investment in the community through its employment and expansion.  “Without the leadership these organizations have shown, our community would simply not be what it is today,” stated Joe Reitemeier, president and CEO of the Fond du Lac Area Association of Commerce.  “We are proud to recognize these local assets.” Sponsored by CitizensFirst Credit Union, the event is open to all employees/guests of AC member businesses, reservations are required ($35 per person).  Visit the AC’s website to register or call (920) 921-9500. 

NFDL Village Board Approves Contract With Overpass Consultant

Efforts continue in North Fond du Lac to find funding to build an overpass over Lakeshore Drive and the rail road yard. Village Administrator Chuck Hornung says the village board this week voted to continue their contract with Donohue Consulting to pursue that effort. Hornung says the consulting firm has contacts that aren’t available to the village and can accomplish things the village wouldn’t be able to do on its own. He says right now they can’t move forward with the project because they simply don’t have the state and federal funding to build an overpass. Hornung says the 10 percent of the project the Village would pay for wouldn’t cost taxpayers anything because the project is in one of Village’s Tax Incremental Districts.

Project Lead The Way Grant For NFDL Schools

North Fond du Lac Schools Superintendent Aaron Sadoff this week update the school board on the 3-year $35,000 grant the district received for efforts to begin Project Lead the Way curriculum at the high school. He says it will allow them to train teachers, get equipment and begin implementing some project-based learning in science, technology, engineering and math. He says it will be challenging, but fun for kids that participate. Sadoff says they will start signing up kids this spring for next fall’s Project Lead the Way courses.

Sister Jean Gets Second Opportunity To Be General Superior At CSA

In a rare instance Sister Jean Steffes is serving as General Superior for the Congregation of the Sisters of St. Agnes in Fond du Lac a second time. She says she grew up in Fond du Lac receiving a Catholic education. She says she entered the congregation her senior year in college. Her first job teaching was at St. Mary’s Springs, which she did for 3 years before moving to Illinois where she taught for eight more years. Her travels brought her back to Fond du Lac where she became General Superior of the congregation in 1985(a post she held until 1993. She spent the next 20 years in Phoenix Arizona the last 9 years as Chancellor of that Diocese. But the congregation in Fond du Lac came calling again last June electing her General Superior, an office she took over last August. She says she’s happy about that because her family is in the Fond du Lac area.

Dodge County Awarded Grant For Drug Offender Diversion Program

Dodge County has been awarded a $140,800 grant to start a pretrial diversion program for drug offenders. Sheriff’ Pat Ninmann notes the County was one of 36 counties competing for Drug Court and Treatment Alternatives and Diversion grants. Nine got the drug Court grants and 4 including Dodge County got the pretrial diversion grants. The Dodge County program would be for non-violent offenders offering pretrial alternatives to incarceration including intervention and treatment for addictions. The Dodge County court system, prosecutors, law enforcement and Human Services will collaborate on the program. Ninmann says they anticipate the program will begin on July 1st.

State Rep Schraa Would Rather See Photo ID For Voting Sooner Than Later

State Representative Michael Schraa says he’d like to see voter ID in Wisconsin sooner than later. The Assembly passed a bill Schraa authored that would make it easier for people who don’t have photo ID to vote, but Schraa says the State Senate is waiting on the State Supreme Court’s decision about a current law before tackling his bill. The state lawmaker from Oshkosh says his bill gives voters an option to sign an affidavit and vote if they have valid reasons for not having a photo ID such as being indigent, don’t have a birth certificate or have a religious objection. He says he’s heard the objection that there isn’t a lot of voter fraud going on and that the bill is another way to disenfranchise people. He says photo ID is required for a number of reasons everyday.

Interim BD Police Chief Appointed During Search

Beaver Dam Police Lieutenant John Kreuzinger has been named acting police chief while the City looks for someone to succeed Ron Smith as chief. The City’s Police and Fire Commission made that appointment this week. Smith resigned from the department after two years with it. That resignation took effect this past Monday. The search for a new police chief is expected to take four to six months.