Local News Briefs Thursday 3/19/15

Fond du Lac Fire and Rescue Chief Peter O’Leary urges people not to burn and be careful where they toss their cigarettes with wildfire conditions at high risk. He says conditions have been dry and windy. He says we go through this period every year when there is not enough moisture in the ground to prevent dry grassy surfaces from going up when a fire source is introduced. Chief O’Leary says it doesn’t take much for even a controlled burn to get out of hand with a little wind. He says they do testing every year and the grass is ready to go. Fond du Lac, Dodge, Calumet, Manitowoc, Sheboygan, Washington and Winnebago Counties are currently in the high risk category for wildfires. 

Former Berlin Woman Sentenced For Manufacturing Drugs

An Arkdale woman suspected of helping make methamphetamine at a home in Berlin was sentenced this week in Green Lake County Court. Twenty-eight-year-old Jennie Hetchler was sentenced to three months in jail was placed on probation and will have to perform 75 hours of community service. Forty-one-year-old Shawn Ellis of Berlin is accused of making the meth, while she bought some of the ingredients for him.  He’s back in court on April 14th. Last November authorities executed a search warrant at the couple’s home in Berlin after linking Ellis to some burglaries. They found the meth lab in a detached garage behind the home and got another search warrant to search that. Hetchler’s mother and three young children were living with them in the home. 

Waupun Common Council On Record Opposing Prison Staffing Cuts

The Waupun Common Council this week unanimously approved a resolution opposing proposed state budget cuts that would reduce prison staffing. As part of the governor’s two-year budget, third shift manning of guard towers would be eliminated statewide. Dozens turned out to a committee of the whole meeting last month to voice their concerns. Alderman Pete Kaczmarski says the resolution expresses the concerns of City officials and residents about safety should the cuts be made. He says State Senator Rick Gudex and State Representative Michael Schraa learned during a Committee of the Whole meeting in Waupun las month how concerned people are about the proposed cut. He says the resolution will let other state legislators and the Governor know about the City’s concern. Senator Gudex recently told KFIZ News he would make an amendment to the State Budget to keep staffing for the Waupun guard towers intact.

Wells Fargo Scam

An email is being sent out purportedly from Wells Fargo that could cause problems for you or your computers. It’s from a Carrie Toldstedt and features a Wells Fargo logo and her photo supposedly with your latest account information. It asks you to click on a link. Similar emails usually download a worm or malware. An official with Wells Fargo tells us it was not sent out by them and advised deleting the email if you receive it. For more information click here.

Oshkosh IRS Scam

Oshkosh Police say the IRS telephone scam has hit the City. A resident called police Tuesday to inform them about receiving a call from someone claiming to be with the IRS. The caller was asked to provide information and told the resident if they didn’t they would be taken to court. The resident hung up. The resident got a second call demanded the same thing Wednesday. Oshkosh Police called one of the numbers back and were told the same thing by a person claiming to be Agent Ricky Wilson. When the phony agent was told Oshkosh Police were calling he asked them to hold and phone went dead.

Senator Gudex Proposes Removing Cap On Money Available For Tax Credit

State Senator Rick Gudex says he will propose amending a state budget proposal that removes the cap on the money available for the Historical Rehabilitation Tax Credit. The state lawmaker from Fond du Lac last session authored legislation that successfully raised the amount of the credit from 5 percent to 20 percent. He says it put Wisconsin on par with the rest of the states around us. He’s proposing removing the $10 million cap that the governor proposed. He says the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation is the gatekeeper for applications for the historic tax credits working with in conjunction with the Wisconsin Historical Society in validating the credits. Gudex says in a little over a year we’ve generated about $300 million in economic development through the use of the credits. He says it cost the state about $37 million, but it created 700 to 800 full time jobs and about 5,000 construction jobs. He says the state is getting about a 6 to 1 return on its investment. 

Friday The Deadline For Main Street Makeover Contest Applications

There’s a short window of time for those businesses in Fond du Lac who would like to compete for first prize in the Wisconsin Main Street Makeover contest. Fond du Lac is one of 36 Main Street communities in the state so downtown businesses are eligible to compete for the $10,000 first place prize that can be used for a makeover. Errin Welty of Wisconsin Main Street says the money could be used in a variety of ways to upgrade a businesses appearance or marketing. She says it’s for established businesses. Interested businesses can apply online. The deadline to apply is Friday. All finalists will be recognized at the annual Wisconsin Main Street Awards dinner next month in De Pere. 

Wisconsin Tourism Bracket Challenge Capitalizing On March Madness

Wisconsin’s Tourism Department has its own online March Madness bracket challenge. It can be found at TravelWisconsin.com and is a head-to-head competition that follows the Wisconsin Badgers Men’s Baskeball team. Tourism Secretary Stephanie Klett says it’s a fun way to promote Wisconsin tourism attractions. She says it pits the state’s tourism attractions against those of the team they are playing against. As an example she uses the dream match up with Kentucky for Wisconsin the Cave of the Mounds versus Kentucky’s Mammoth Cave. Voting will determine which attractions advances in the brackets. Winners in the Big Ten Tournament included the Harley Davidson Museum, Whistling Straits and Warren’s Cranberry Festival.

Baked Potato Lunch Benefits FDL Area United Way Today

Fond du Lac County employees will host a baked potato lunch to benefit the Fond du Lac Area United Way today. It will be held at two locations; on the first floor of the City-County Government Center at 160 South Macy Street and the Harbor Haven Health & Rehabilitation cafeteria at 459 East 1st Street both in Fond du Lac. Hours are 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. with a $3 cost.