Local News Briefs Thursday 8/22/13

Strong winds associated with last nights storms blew a semi-truck over on Highway 41 northbound near Oshkosh  blocking two right lanes. According to the State Patrol the accident at Snell Road happened just before 8:30 Wednesday night. The people in the truck suffered minor injuries and were checked out at the scene. Thirty-nine-year-old Bonnie Essilfie of Chicago, Illinois was driving and her passenger was 48-year-old Manuel Ochoa of Oshkosh. Highway 41 northbound was closed for about an hour and a half while tow trucks uprighted and removed the semi.


Storms Move Through Area


Storms moved through the area last night accompanied by strong winds. Most of the damage occurred north of Fond du Lac County. Wind gusts in the Fond du Lac area were 50 to 55 miles per hour. Strong winds blew a semi over on Highway 41 northbound in Winnebago County. The two people in the semi suffered minor injuries. Winds also blew down numerous trees. Thousands are without power in northern Wisconsin as a result of the storms.


Oshkosh Theft


Oshkosh Police say a plastic donation box was stolen from a Kwik Trip Store on West 20th Street last Sunday evening shortly after 11:30 p.m. The donation box was for Neighbors Helping Neighbors, a group that assists citizens in finding jobs. Police believe a woman who entered the store to purchase lottery tickets took the plastic donation box and placed it in her purse while the clerk reached down behind the front counter to get the lottery tickets. The clerk wasn’t aware the donation box had been stolen. Photos from the store have been released. Anyone who thinks they know the woman or anything about the theft should contact Oshkosh Police at (920) 236-5700. You can also remain anonymous and call the Winnebago County Wide Crime Stoppers at (920) 231-8477.


Dog Poisoning Hoax


Fond du Lac Police say a posting on Facebook about a dog that was poisoned at a “community dog park” didn’t originate in Fond du Lac. The posting claims a 4-year-old Golden Retriever mix named “Jake” picked up a Nerf football that was in the park, dropped it and shook his head. The dog supposedly died later at home and the posting asks people to pass it along. Assistant Police Chief Steve Klein says there have been no reports of dogs being poisoned in the City’s dog parks. He says according to information they have from internet hoax web sites that particular posting has been circulating for a while and no one has been able to verify whether it actually happened or where it occurred.


Party Host Where Campbellsport Man Got Stabbed Gets Probation


The host of a party where a 21-year-old Campbellsport man was stabbed has been placed on probation. Twenty-one-year-old Matthew Hecker of Theresa was sentenced to a year of probation when he appeared in Dodge County Court this week. Hecker hosted the party last February where the victim was stabbed in the back after trying to break up a fight. He suffered a collapsed lung and was taken to St. Agnes Hospital in Fond du Lac.  The sentence was on a misdemeanor battery charge. Hecker last month entered into a deferred prosecution agreement on a felony charge of strangulation. The man who stabbed the victim, 20-year-old Conrado Garza of Lomira, was arraigned in May and pled “not guilty.” A scheduling conference is set next month in his case.


Baraboo Man Sentenced For Beaver Dam Burglary


The second man responsible for breaking into a Beaver Dam AmeriGas location has been sentenced. Twenty-eight-year-old Joshua Travers of Baraboo was sentenced in Dodge County Court this week to five years in prison and five years of extended supervision. He and 21-year-old Anthony Kavcich of Oxford broke into the business twice in less than a year’s time the latest break-in occurring this past January. Last month Kavcich was sentenced to four years in prison and four years of extended supervision. Both men were also ordered to pay nearly $3,300 in restitution.


Unemployment Rates Down Slightly


Unemployment rates were down slightly in both the City of Fond du Lac and Fond du Lac County last month. According to the Department of Workforce Development the City’s rate fell from 8.2 to 7.9 percent in July and the County’s rate dipped from 6.8 to 6.6 percent. About 500 more people found work in the Fond du Lac area and the number of those employed is up about 1,400 from July of last year. Jobless rates decreased or remained the same in 68 of the state’s 72 counties and 29 of its 32 major cities. For more click here.


Thiesfeldt Municipal Court Bill Gets Hearing


(Wisconsin Radio Network)-New legislation would raise the permissible fee threshold by 10 dollars for an individual determined by a municipal court to have violated an ordinance. This increase would help offset the cost incurred by the court. State Representative Jeremy Thiesfeldt of Fond du Lac is the main author of the measure. Thiesfeldt says the fiscal estimate of this bill is a potential impact of $4.5 million of increased revenue for operation of the state’s 245 municipal courts. The current court fee of a minimum of $15 and maximum of $28 has been in place since 2005. This proposal will transfer more of the burden of funding the municipal court on the perpetrator /offenders and not the taxpayers in general. The bill gives municipalities the option to increase fees, he says they are not mandated to do so. The Senate Judiciary Committee took public testimony this week, with many municipal judges including Lakeside Municipal Court Judge Jerry Jaye speaking in favor of the measure.


Distracted Driving Can Be A Fatal Mistake


Speed, alcohol and people failing to buckle their seat belts are the usual factors in fatal traffic accidents, but Dodge County Sheriff Pat Ninmann says sometimes you can add distracted driving to those factors. She says it doesn’t take long for a distracted driver to cross a centerline or go off a road. She says cell phones are big distractions. She says you also shouldn’t be reading, applying make-up or doing anything else that takes your focus off the road. Ninmann says a fatal accident last week in the County between a car and a pickup truck may have been the result of a distracted driver. She says unfortunately the driver of the car died and they will have to talk to an injured passenger to learn more. 


NFDL Village Board Denies Kennel Request


The North Fond du Lac Village Board this week decided against allowing a kennel operation in the village. Village Administrator Chuck Hornung says recently they got a request from someone who wanted to raise and sell bloodhounds. He says the current ordinance allows owning 2 dogs and a cat or 2 cats and a dog. He says the board decided to keep its ordinance intact that limits the number of cats and dogs you can own in the village. He says unfortunately the resident that made the request had already started raising the dogs for sale. Hornung says they had four adult dogs and a litter of eleven puppies. He says six of the puppies had already been sold and they will have 2 to 3 months to get rid of the remaining puppies and cease the operation.


SMSA Waits For More Word On Voucher Program


St. Mary’s Springs Academy President Kevin Shaw says it could be any day that they will get more specifics from the state about how many voucher students will be allowed to attend the school this fall. Springs Academy was one of the Top 25 schools in terms of voucher applications and as such will automatically get at least 10 students. A lottery will determine how many more those schools will get. Shaw says it’s just the beginning because the statewide cap of 500 students this year will expand to 1,000 next year. Sixty-four students applied for enrollment at the St. Mary’s Springs Academy through the voucher program.


A Night Of Solutions


The Solutions Center in Fond du Lac has a brand new fundraising opportunity coming up next month. Solutions Center Executive Director Lindee Kimball says “ A Night of Solutions” at the Thelma Sadoff Center for the Arts on Thursday, September 26th is an opportunity for people to show their support for their shelters. It’s a night featuring a dinner, music and an auction. The auction will be different however because they will be auctioning off opportunities to fulfill shelter needs like windows, appliances, and the “Support Our Shelters” Fund. They also need sponsors for the evening. Those who plan to attend should reserve seats soon. The Solutions Center phone number is 923-1743.