Local News Briefs Thursday 8/27/15

Fond du Lac’s Public Works Department tells us Martin Avenue will be closed between East 9th Street and East 11th Street for street work. The closure will be Friday through Monday. The street surface will be ground off and areas of failed street base will be excavated. Manhole castings will be left temporarily higher than the adjacent pavement. Hazards to vehicles will be marked but the street will be open to local traffic only. Parking on the street will not be permitted during the closure.

ACH Foam Grand Opening

ACH Foam Technologies has its grand opening today for its new 60,000 square foot facility in the Fox Ridge Business Park in Fond du Lac. ACH is a major supplier to Mercury Marine. With continued growth the company hopes to add 15 additional employees over the next few years. Company officials say they’ve had a presence in Fond du Lac since 1985. ACH Foam is an industry leader in expanded polystyrene or EPS foam manufacturing, which is used for shipping, insulation, construction, and lost-foam casting products.

Unemployment Rates Lower In July

Unemployment rates decreased in all 72 counties in Wisconsin in July including Fond du Lac County. According to federal labor statistics the County’s jobless rate fell from 4.4 to 4.1 percent and the City of Fond du Lac’s rate decreased from 4.9 to 4.5 percent. Rates were also lower than in July of last year when the City’s unemployment rate was 5.8 percent and the County’s was 5.2 percent. The state’s rate for the month was 4.6 percent.

ACT Testing

Area school districts did well on the latest ACT testing. According to the state’s Department of Public Instruction 2015 graduates had a composite score of 22.2 on the testing, which tied with Iowa for second place behind Minnesota (22.7). The Fond du Lac (22.5), Campbellsport (22.6), Rosendale-Brandon (23.1), Ripon (23.6) and Central Wisconsin Christian (26.3) all had higher composite scores than the state average. North Fond du Lac (19.8), Oakfield (20.9) and Waupun (20.7) had slightly lower composites than the state average. Approximately 73 percent of the state’s public and private school graduates took the testing. For more click here.

Senator Gudex On Oshkosh Defense Contract

State Senator Rick Gudex says the awarding of a $6.7 billion contract to Oshkosh Defense to build Joint Light Tactical Vehicles is welcome news for the company and the area. He says it bodes well for the commitment that Oshkosh Corporation has had for this part of the state. He says he’s impressed and pleased with the management team and the engineers who designed the prototype for a great product for our men and women in the military. He says it’s also great news for the employees of Oshkosh Corporation that make the product. The contract calls for 17,000 vehicles by 2018, but that could grow to 55,000 over the next eight years.

Lawmakers Will Tackle Planned Parenthood Funding

Funding for Planned Parenthood will be one of the things federal lawmakers will tackle when they return to session next month. Congressman Glenn Grothman says it has become an important issue in both state and federal politics. He says they get much of their funding from the federal government. The federal lawmaker from Glenbeulah says it’s a mystery to him why the government helps to fund Planned Parenthood. He says the government shouldn’t be propping up a private sector organization like Planned Parenthood to the degree that they do. Grothman says he will be co-sponsoring legislation to defund Planned Parenthood. He says he hopes to get a chance to vote on those bills after they return to Washington, D.C. in September.

Free Fare Day Friday On FDL Area Transit Buses

Fond du Lac Area Transit will have Free Fare Day on Friday. Transit Manager Lynn Gilles says you can ride all day for free. She says it’s a way for them to allow kids to plan their routes to school. She says between 9 a.m. and noon at the transfer zone at the corner of Macy and Rees they will have giveaways. They will give away day passes, bags of tokens and monthly passes. She says they will also be giving away back packs. Also during that time they will be serving refreshments donated by Festival Foods.

Community Giving Garden

It’s small as gardens go, but the produce being grown in a community garden at the Agricultural Service Center in Fond du Lac is having a big impact on a local food pantry program. Fond du Lac County Conservationist Paul Tollard says Melanie Boone and Kelli Neitzel of their department came up with the idea while they were out walking on a break. He says they decided to give the produce grown in the garden to the Broken Bread program. He says they’ve been surprised by the amount of produce they’ve been able to donate through the “Community Giving Garden” as it’s called. He says it’s averaged from 30 to 60 pounds of produce a week. So far they’ve donated about 280 pounds of produce to Broken Bread. He says work that goes into the garden, the materials for it; even the seeds have all been donated. He says that’s what’s made the garden kind of special. You can read more about the garden at the County’s website.                 

Kohler Distinguished Guest Series Announced

The Kohler Foundation has announced its Distinguished Guest Series for the 2015-16 season. It begins on Friday, October 16th at 7 p.m. with actor, author, and literacy advocate LeVar Burton. There will be a question and answer session after his speech. The second guests are musicians and vocalists Postmodern Jukebox on Friday, January 22nd at 8 p.m. The Empress of Soul Gladys Knight will perform at 8 p.m. on Friday, March 11th.   The events will be held at the Kohler Memorial Theatre in Kohler. Tickets can be ordered online at the Kohler Foundation website