Local News Briefs Thursday 6/4/15

Fond du Lac Police investigated several reports of gunshots early Wednesday morning. Assistant Chief Steve Klein says an officer was in the area of Walker and 11th Street at about 12:15 a.m. when he heard what he believed to be fireworks and began checking the area. About that same time, police received a couple of calls from people reporting that they heard fireworks or possible gun shots in the area of Morris St and W. 12th Street and one person who heard them from the area of 2nd and Park Ave. An officer in that area also heard them and believed them to be fireworks. No evidence of gun shots being fired was found. Officers talked with a number of witnesses and they believe the sound was fireworks going off.

Kewaskum School Email Threats

Washington County Sheriff’s officials are investigating an effort to extort parents of some students in the Kewaskum School District. The investigation began late Wednesday morning when the extortion-type emails were reported to authorities. The extortion involved trying to get money from family members of students of a particular classroom at Farmington Elementary School. The emails were sent in mass and included threats of physical harm and even death to parents. Officials say there is no credible threat. Sheriff’s deputies will have an increased presence at the school through Friday afternoon, which is the end of the school year for the Kewaskum School District.

Inmate Facing Attempted Murder Charge Makes Initial Court Appearance

There was an initial court appearance this week for a Waupun Correctional inmate suspected of trying to kill another inmate with a “shank” and injuring a guard who tried to intervene during the altercation. Twenty-eight-year-old Eric Conner is charged in Dodge County Court with attempted 1st degree intentional homicide and battery by prisoners. According to the criminal complaint Conner attacked the guard after the officer pepper sprayed him during the February 23rd incident. The officer was punched in the head and face during the attack. Conner will be back in court for a preliminary hearing on June 18th.

Dodge County Sheriffs Department Considers Records Keeping Options

Dodge County Sheriff Dale Schmidt says there’s a short window of time for representatives of the New World record keeping system to prove their worth to the County. He says now that they’ve announced they are taking requests for proposals for a new system they’ve gotten more attention from the County, something they haven’t had during the last year and a half. Schmidt says it handles all their records and is the brains of their dispatch center handling all information for their 911 calls. It also is used for all police reports, photos and medical documentation for jail staff. He says unfortunately New World representatives don’t have a very good record of providing tech support for the system. He says they have received requests for proposals from three different vendors they can consider in the next few months if New World doesn’t come through. He says at that time they will make a presentation to the County Board on their options.

Fond du Lac High School Graduation

It’s nearly time to launch those mortar boards as the Fond du Lac High School Class of 2015 holds their graduation ceremonies. It’s at 7 p.m. tonight at the high school fieldhouse. District Superintendent Jim Sebert says there will be speeches from the school board president, high school principal and himself, but it’s a student speech that is usually best. He says he’s learned over the years to keep his speech brief. He says the gym is packed, there is overflow in the PAC to watch it, and there are over 500 kids waiting to graduate. He says it’s a great time for the graduates, but really a beginning not and end.

Eggs Will Not Be Missing From Breakfast On The Farm Menu

The director of agricultural programming for the Fond du Lac Area Association of Commerce says eggs will be part of the menu for the annual Breakfast on the Farm at the Dan and Brenda Michels Farm. Brenda Gudex says dairy breakfasts this June are being impacted by the avian influenza and its impact on the egg supply, but the supplier for Fond du Lac County’s breakfast has guaranteed eggs will be available. She says the Michels Farm on Butternut Road in Lomira is a nice family operation. The breakfast is on Sunday, June 28th from 8 a.m. to noon. Tickets are available at the Association office on North Main Street in Fond du Lac or area banks. For more on the breakfast click here.

FDL Library Summer Reading Program Has Superhero Theme

The Fond du Lac Public Library has launched its summer reading program. This summer’s program takes on a superhero theme “Behold! The Power of Reading.” It runs through August 15th. Community Information Coordinator Terri Fleming says there will be prizes for reading, but also a variety of programs for kids and adults. Youth Services Coordinator Sarah Newton says for kids one of their most popular programs is Mega-Mondays, which has programs at 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. each Monday. The first Mega-Monday will feature Steve Russell who does juggling, magic and comedy. He will perform on Monday, June 15th. Kids need to register at the Children’s Desk starting the Tuesday before the performance. There will be programs for teens too, with a Black Light Party kicking off this Friday at 1 p.m.  For more on the summer reading program visit the library’s website.

Sidewalk Closure In Downtown FDL

Fond du Lac’s Department of Public Works informs us of a sidewalk closure in the downtown area. The north sidewalk between the Macy Street Parking Ramp and the Marian Plaza on Main Street will be closed due to roofing work occurring at 30 S. Main Street. The closure will begin this morning at 7:00 a.m. and is expected to re-open at the end of the day next Wednesday. Additionally, the west sidewalk on Main Street north of Sheboygan Street will be closed for approximately 3 weeks during the roof repairs.

UW Oshkosh AmeriCorp Group Gets Grant

U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin announced Wednesday $17.3 million in grants in Wisconsin that will support the work AmeriCorps members do. Included in that is nearly $73,000 for the Vet Corps at the UW-Oshkosh. The 22 AmeriCorps members in that group are veterans who serve in a four county area of northeast Wisconsin, providing support to local nonprofits that serve veterans and military families. Members will receive meaningful experience that will help with their integration to civilian life and increase professional skills. The grants will leverage an additional $18.6 million in local matching support.

THELMA Summer Hours Announced

Thelma Sadoff Center for the Arts (THELMA) in Fond du Lac has announced expanded hours for the summer for people to view the free art exhibits. Starting this month THELMA will be open Saturdays and Sundays from 11 am to 3 pm.  “We learned last summer that people like to come and view the Contemporary Wing on Sundays,” said Kevin Miller, THELMA Executive Director. “We want to offer that free experience again this summer.” Weekday hours continue from 10 am to 5 pm, Monday through Friday, except Thursdays when THELMA is open until 8 pm. Also on Thursdays, THELMA opens the bar. All are welcome.