Local News Briefs Thursday 6/12/14

In other Fond du Lac City Council notes from Wednesday night’s meeting the Council approved a number of liquor license renewals. City Manager Joe Moore says none of the license holders owed the City any taxes and fees. He says an outstanding water bill the Retlaw Plaza Hotel owed money on was paid up in full. He commended City Clerk Maggie Hefter and City Attorney Deb Hoffmann for their work on the renewal applications. The Council also unanimously approved a request to move the Farmers Market to Downtown Main Street in 2015. Downtown Fond du Lac Partnership Director Amy Hansen says 95 percent of the downtown businesses that were polled favored the move. She says they are confident they will be getting a USDA grant for $75,000 that will help with the move paying for things like signage and a barricade service. Hansen says when Oshkosh moved their Farmers Market downtown they saw a 360 percent increase in business.

West Scott Street Closes Monday For Bridge Deck Maintenance

Fond du Lac’s Public Works Department informs us that West Scott Street or Highway 45 will be closed between Brooke Street and Lakeshore Drive during bridge deck maintenance. The road will be closed starting next Monday at 5 a.m. and will be closed for about ten days. Drivers are encouraged to use the posted detour route. Southbound traffic on Highway 45 will detour from Lakeshore Drive, west on Scott Street, south on Hickory Street, east on Johnson Street and return to southbound Highway 45 at Main Street.  Northbound traffic on Highway 45 will detour from North Main Street, west on Johnson Street, north on Peters Avenue, east on Scott Street and return to northbound Highway 45 at Lakeshore Drive. Bus service on Scott Street will be moved to Arndt Street from Brooke Street to Hickory Street.

Quick Decision Sought In Same Sex Marriage Battle

(Wisconsin Radio Network)-The state Department of Justice wants a federal judge to issue a decision quickly in an ongoing court battle over the state’s gay marriage ban. Attorney General J-B Van Hollen is asking Judge Barbara Crabb to forego further oral arguments, as she considers a request from the American Civil Liberties Union to issue an injunction blocking the enforcement of Wisconsin’s gay marriage ban. The D-O-J argues the request is overly broad. It wants Crabb to stay Friday’s decision that overturned the ban, while the state appeals the ruling. The state maintains a stay is needed to preserve the status quo. If granted, it would halt gay marriages that have been taking place in Wisconsin since Friday evening.

FDA Says It Is Not Banning Use Of Wooden Shelves For Cheese Making

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration says it does not have a new policy banning the use of wooden shelves in the cheese making process. That was in response to a letter from Wisconsin Agriculture Secretary Ben Brancel. The FDA also says there is no requirement in the Food Safety Modernization Act that addresses the issue. What it does say is that utensils and other surfaces that contact food must be “adequately cleanable.” FDA officials say historically they’ve expressed concerns about whether wood meets that requirement. Governor Walker issued a statement Wednesday praising the FDA’s response. 

Offer For Ripon Land Purchase Not What It Appears

On the surface getting an offer of more than $42,000 for a 30 foot strip of land might sound like a nice deal, but for officials in Ripon it isn’t. City Administrator Lori Rich says that was the appraisal for the land the state needs to widen Highway 44. She says the problem is that the 30 foot strip is for area in the City’s business park, which shrinks lot size in the park and their value. She says the Council did approve the offer, but also discussed the possibility of moving Gateway Drive, which runs parallel to Highway 44 in the park. However doing that to increase lot size would also mean absorbing the cost of moving the road. She says on the other hand improvements to Highway 44 including passing lanes could also spur interest in the park. The Highway 44 project has been delayed until 2016. It was supposed to begin next year.

Waupun Refinancing Utilities Debt

(WBEV-Beaver Dam)-The City of Waupun is refinancing debt from 2007 and 2012. The common council this week approved the sale of over $9.5 million dollars in Water and Electric System Revenue Bonds. Waupun Utilities Business Finance Manager Jared Oosterhouse says refinancing the existing debt will save Waupun over $300,000 over the next 13 years. He says the existing debt will be refinanced at a lower interest rate which they are hoping to lock-in it at 2.5 percent. The resolution will be brought back to the Utility Commission and Common Council for final approval by early next month.

Free Concert At Thelma

The Thelma Sadoff Center for the Arts in Fond du Lac invites area residents to a street party tonight in front of the center on Sheboygan Street. Thelma Executive Director Kevin Miller says it celebrates their Membership Exhibition that’s being held until June 22nd in their contemporary wing. Two local bands will be performing during a free concert. The Kevin Fayte Rock ‘n Roll Trio and Andy’s Automatics will be performing. The performance starts at 5:30 p.m. Elks Lodge #57 will be serving food. In the event of rain the concert would be moved to the Great Hall inside the center. Bart Winkler of K107.1 will be broadcasting live from 4 to 6 p.m. and the Viewer’s Choice Winner for the current exhibit will be announced. Miller says there are a lot of great things happening in Fond du Lac now.

Local Students Attend Business World Program

Over 300 Wisconsin students will participate in this year’s Business World programs at Edgewood College in Madison next week and St. Norbert College in De Pere June 22-25. This year the summer programs have drawn the highest number of student attendees in recent history. Celebrating its 33rd anniversary as a Wisconsin Manufacturers and Commerce initiative, Business World provides hands-on business experience for students and teaches them about the challenges facing business. Fond du Lac County students attending the program at St. Norbert College include Horace Mann High School students Desmond Krahn and Tianna Robinson, Campbellsport High School student Teresa Schrank and Alex Dean who is home schooled. The program is sponsored, developed and delivered by the business community of Wisconsin, and since its inception, has educated nearly 14,000 high school students from across the state.