Local News Briefs Thursday 4/24/14

Firefighters put out a brush fire near 231 Auburn Street in Fond du Lac last night. Division Chief of Fire Prevention Troy Haase says firefighters found a large brush fire across the railroad tracks from the access point, so train traffic was halted while crews extinguished the fire. He says they used their new ATV and Mount Calvary assisted with theirs as well. Town of Fond du Lac Fire Department also responded to the scene. The fire was reported at 7:15 p.m. The cause is still being determined. Fond du Lac Fire Department photo.

Rolling Meadows Senior Housing Development Agreement Approved

The Fond du Lac City Council Wednesday night approved a development agreement with Rolling Meadows LLC for the development of a 71-unit senior apartment complex. The former nursing home will be redeveloped for market rate senior housing. Community Development Director Wayne Rollin says it will complete a project begun in 2010 that led to the creation of tax incremental district 14. The City will be required to pay the developer the taxes generated by the project for up to 10 years or until payments reach $1 million. No funds are advanced to the project and there’s no risk to the City. Rollin says the City four years ago was willing to commit up to $3.5 million to the project through TID funding. The project will begin this summer and should be completed by the summer of 2015.

Marian Special Use Permit For A.C. Nielsen Building Approved

The Fond du Lac City Council Wednesday evening approved a special use permit, which will allow Marian University to go forward with the purchase of the A.C Nielsen building in downtown Fond du Lac. Marian will use the second floor to house its Nursing and Health Professions School, lease the first floor to A.C. Nielsen and the third floor to Agnesian HealthCare for its information technology department. Community Development Director Wayne Rollin says it’s a great project. Also last night the Council approved the sale of a small piece of City property on Sullivan Drive to Fleet Farm for $24,000. Fleet Farm will use it to expand employee parking. The Council also approved an ordinance updating its City codes and ordinances. A resolution was also approved, which will allow Fond du Lac Lutheran Home to refinance some revenue bonds from the early 1990s.

Ripon Man Facing Drug Possession Charges

A 24-year-old Ripon man is facing drug possession charges the result of a search of his apartment last week. Ripon Police arrested Patrick Chatterson after executing a search warrant at Chatterson’s apartment at 415 Oak Street. They found marijuana, pills, psilocybin mushrooms, and drug paraphernalia. He was charged in Fond du Lac County Court with felony marijuana possession, 2 counts of felony possession of a controlled substance 2nd and subsequent offense and possession of drug paraphernalia. Chatterson was released on a $1,000 signature bond and has a preliminary hearing on May 30th.

Ripon College Bomb Threat

Ripon Police say Ripon College was evacuated for a bomb threat Monday morning. Several handwritten notes were found by College employees shortly after 8 a.m., describing a bomb threat for “academic buildings.” Police were notified and an emergency evacuation alert system was used to notify students, faculty and staff via email and text messaging. The campus was searched and nothing was found.

Oshkosh Strong Armed Robbery

Oshkosh Police are investigating a strong armed robbery that occurred in the 400 block of N. Main Street Tuesday night about 11:35 p.m. A 33-year-old Oshkosh man was on his bicycle in that area of N. Main when a man approached him and told him to give him the bicycle. The victim refused and was hit in the face by the suspect who then took the bicycle. The victim was hurt, but refused medical treatment. Efforts to locate the suspect and bike were unsuccessful. The suspect was a black man with dreadlocks. He was wearing a black hooded sweatshirt. The bike was a green Pacific brand mountain bike. Anyone with information is urged to call Oshkosh Police at (920) 236-5742.

Washington County Tavern Robbed

Washington County Sheriff’s officials are investigating the armed robbery of CC’s Place in the Town of Wayne early Tuesday morning. At closing time a man forced his way into the tavern and knocked the 27-year-old female bartender to the floor. He pointed a gun at her and demanded money. He fled the scene with an undisclosed amount of money. The bartender was the only person in the bar at the time of the robbery and wasn’t seriously hurt. The suspect was about 5 foot 8 inches tall with a medium build and was wearing a ski mask. The suspect’s vehicle was and older tan-colored four-door. Anyone with information should call the Washington County Sheriff’s Office at 262-335-4378.

Lakeshore Drive Overpass Changed To Corridor Preservation Plan

To preserve federal earmarks for construction of an overpass over Lakeshore Drive North Fond du Lac officials have changed the scope of the project. Village Administrator Chuck Hornung says they’ve spent a couple hundred thousand dollars on the design and engineering for the project, but found out they’d have to pay it back if certain conditions weren’t met. He says if they didn’t start construction within 10 years of when they started spending the money they would have to pay it back.  However they also learned that if they changed to scope of the project to a corridor preservation plan they could keep the federal earmarks in place, which amount to about $1.2 million for design and partial construction. He says if funding for the overpass project becomes available they could change the scope of the project again. He says it would cost about $9 million to build the overpass.

Petri Says Last Election Was Easier Than The First

Congressman Tom Petri says his last election in 2012 was much easier than his first. The federal lawmaker from Fond du Lac won’t be running for re-election this fall. He says during a recent town meeting someone brought him a clipping from the Sheboygan Press from 1979 with the headline “Petri wins in a squeaker.” He says he remembers waiting up all night to find out who won. In November of 2012 he got 62 percent of the vote against his Democratic challenger Joe Kallas. Petri says winning an election is about finding some common ground with the voter. Petri has represented the 6th Congressional District for 35 years. 

Petri Campaign Funds Will Be Returned

Congressman Tom Petri had a considerable campaign war chest built up before recently deciding he wouldn’t seek another term after 35 years in the House of Representatives. He says that nearly $1 million in campaign donations will be returned where possible. He says it can be given to charities and other candidates, but they are still figuring out the best way to distribute that. State Senators Glenn Grothman and Joe Leibham and State Representative Duey Stroebel are Republican candidates running for the seat. Winnebago County Executive Mark Harris has announced his intention to run as a Democrat for the seat.

Tornado Drill This Afternoon

A tornado drill will be held statewide this afternoon. The state will declare a mock tornado watch at 1 p.m. and then a mock tornado warning at 1:45 p.m. Tornado sirens will be sounded during the mock tornado warning. Over the last 170 years there have been 47 tornadoes in Fond du Lac County, the fifth highest total of the state’s 72 counties. Only Dane, Grant and Dodge, and Marathon Counties have had more over the same time span. This is Tornado and Severe Weather Awareness Week in Wisconsin. For more information click here.

Mercury Marine Electronics Recycling Event

Mercury Marine will conduct an Electronics Recycling Event for the Fond du Lac community on Saturday, May 10th in the parking lot of the Mercury Museum at 75 W. Scott St. in Fond du Lac. The event is scheduled for 8 a.m. until noon. Area residents are encouraged to drop off used electronics to be recycled. Most items will be accepted free of charge. View the lists below of acceptable and non-acceptable items.

Accepted items: Scanners, printers, computers, docking stations, VCRs, calculators, fax and printer cartridges, mainframe and networking equipment, cash registers, landline phones, stereo equipment, video boards, typewriters, keyboards, mice, and miscellaneous electronics.

Accepted for a fee: Televisions and monitors with plastic shells ($5), wood speakers ($10 per pair), televisions and monitors with broken glass ($10), bare CRT tubes ($10), projection televisions ($15), and wood console televisions ($15).

The fees are necessary to cover the cost of disposal.

Not accepted: Florescent lights, items containing PCBs, radioactive materials, hazardous materials, flammable materials, explosives, compressed gas, corrosive materials and cell phones.