Local News Briefs Thursday 3/26/15

Investigators are piecing together a series of incidents that started with a bank robbery in Marinette County Tuesday, and ended with the death of a suspect and State Trooper in Fond du Lac. State Patrol Captain Anthony Burrell says they are mourning the loss of Trooper Trevor Casper, who just graduated from the Academy in December. He says Casper was very dedicated to his job, his family and his friends and he was proud to have Casper under his command. The Department of Justice says video has confirmed that Steven Snyder, the other man killed in the shootout, had robbed a bank in Wausaukee earlier that day. Investigators also believe Snyder shot and killed 59-year-old Thomas Christ earlier in the day in Marinette County, near where his abandoned getaway vehicle was found.

Senator Gudex Sympathizes With Wisconsin State Patrols Loss

State Senator Rick Gudex says he can sympathize with the State Patrol’s loss of Trooper Trevor Casper in a shootout with a bank robbery suspect in Fond du Lac Tuesday night. He says the public doesn’t appreciate enough the dangerous job law enforcement officers do every day. He says the death of the 21-year-old trooper from Kiel came as he was just starting his law enforcement career. Gudex was the Fond du Lac City Council President when Police Officer Craig Birkholz was shot and killed in a standoff incident in the City four years ago this month. Trooper Casper shot and killed the bank robbery suspect before succumbing to his own injuries.

FDL Police Honored For Contribution To Museum Of Valor

The timing of a presentation at the Fond du Lac City Council meeting Wednesday was coincidental, but a reminder nonetheless of how dangerous a law enforcement officer’s job can be. Jim Palmer, the Executive Director of the Professional Police Association, was at the Council meeting to present a certificate of appreciation to the Police Department and the Fond du Lac Professional Police Association on behalf of their contribution towards the establishment of the Wisconsin Law Enforcement Museum of Valor. The entire police department gave towards the museum and the Fond du Lac Professional Police Association matched their contribution. He says that will allow the museum to tell the stories about officers who gave the ultimate sacrifice like Fond du Lac Police Officer Craig Birkholz and State Trooper Trevor Casper. Police Chief Bill Lamb and Bill Ledger and Dave Raddatz of the Fond du Lac Professional Police Association accepted a plaque with the copy of the certificate.

Car Vandalism Reported In Ripon

Ripon Police say windows were broken out of two vehicles and significant damage was done. The first incident was reported early last Sunday morning on Scott Street and the second on Seward Street early Tuesday morning. Police says because the damage occurred fairly close together the same individual or persons may be responsible.  A witness saw a man leaving the scene of the second incident, and head towards Selfridge Park. He was described as 5’10” – 6,’ clean shaven, wearing dark pants, and a grey top. He had a back pack slung over one shoulder. Anyone with information or who sees something unusual is asked to call Ripon Police at (920)748-2888.

Tuckers Robbery Suspect Sentenced

One of three area residents charged for a robbery that occurred at the Tucker’s Restaurant on West Johnson Street nearly five years ago has placed on probation. Last December 20-year-old Thomas Livangood of West Bend pled no contest to theft, battery and false imprisonment charges. This week Fond du Lac County Judge Richard Nuss sentenced him to three years of probation and 90 days in jail. Livangood, 23-year-old Bobbie Lahn of North Fond du Lac, and 20-year-old Vincent Hanes of Kewaskum faced charges for the May 15th 2010 robbery. Lahn got three years probation for her role in the robbery and Hanes’ case is still making its way through court.  During the robbery a female employee of the restaurant walked out of the employees’ entrance that evening carrying the night deposit bag. Two men walked up from behind her and one of them grabbed the bag before the two took off running. Police say Lahn was a Tucker’s employee at the time and allegedly drove Livangood and Hanes to the restaurant to commit the robbery. 

Fire Destroys Washington County Barn

Fire destroyed a barn in the Town or Erin early Wednesday morning. Washington County Sheriff’s officials say the barn was located at 5499 State Highway 167. Three animals perished during the blaze. None of the residents living in the home on the property were injured. Five fire departments battled the fire. Damage estimates for the barn and its contents were put at $162,000.

Former DA Says Client Should Not Have Been Charged With Drunken Driving

A Fond du Lac lawyer says a drunken driving suspect he represented in a jury trial last week shouldn’t have been charged. Dan Kaminsky’s client was found not guilty of first time drunken driving charges. He says his client admitted to having a few beers at a restaurant, but was sober when an officer who suspected of him of being drunk administered a breath test. The jury saw dash cam video of field sobriety testing, which Kaminsky’s client passed without any problems. Kaminsky is a former Fond du Lac County District Attorney and he says not every drunken driving case should go to trial. He believes too many cases have been lately that shouldn’t be. Kamisky says his client was having indigestion problems during the breath test, which caused some problems for the portable breathalyzer tester. His client blew a .09 two hours after pulling over to the side of road for car troubles.

Unemployment Rates Hold Steady

The unemployment rate for the City and County of Fond du Lac held nearly steady for February. According the federal labor statistics released by the state’s Department of Workforce Development both the City and County had jobless rates of 5 percent in February compared to 5 percent for the City in January and 4.9 percent for the County. However those rates are about 1.5 percent lower than in February of 2014.

Dodge County Badger 5 Winner

State Lottery officials say one lucky player in Dodge County matched all five numbers in the Badger 5 drawing Tuesday to win the night’s $123,000 jackpot. That winning ticket was purchased at the United Cooperative in Hustisford. Tuesday’s winning Badger 5 numbers were 13, 14, 23, 25 and 30. Winners at all prize levels have 180 days from the drawing to claim their prizes by mail or in person at the Lottery’s Madison or Milwaukee offices.

Moraine Park Gourmet Dinner Coming Up

The annual Gourmet Dinner that benefits the Moraine Park Foundation is coming up next month. It will be held on Friday, April 24th at the Fond du Lac Moraine Park Technical College campus. Dana Knebel is the director of college advancement at MPTC. She says the theme is “A World of Good Taste” and will feature six different courses from six different continents. She says they will have a wine-cork pull, silent auction and entertainment. She says the departing gift for guests will also be unique. A student who worked at a science station on the South Pole will be making a loaf of bread for each guest. Kenbel says the dinner is the biggest fundraiser of the year for the foundation, which awards scholarships. She says last year 230 students about $130,000 in scholarships. To check on ticket availability call (920) 924-3225.