Local News Briefs Thursday 8/28/14

A Sheboygan man who is in prison for a fatal shooting which occurred at Sheboygan’s south side Wal-Mart in 2012 has lost his bid for a new trial.  Twenty-three-year-old Kou Yang is currently serving an 18 year term for the shooting, which killed 21-year-old Pheng Lee and wounded another man.  Yang had appealed his conviction on grounds that a portion of Judge L. Edward Stengel’s jury instructions were improper.  He also contended that the $36,000 in restitution, which was ordered for burial expenses for the victim’s family, was unreasonable.  The 2nd District Court of Appeals Wednesday denied the appeal and upheld Stengel on both counts.  Yang had claimed self defense, but was found guilty by a jury following a three-day trial.

Gudex Pleased To See Results Of One Of His Bills

The $1.2 million training grant Moraine Park Technical College received from the state for worker training was the one of the results of the Wisconsin Fast Forward program State Senator Rick Gudex helped create. The state lawmaker from Fond du Lac was on hand when MPTC officials got a symbolic check from the state recently. He says he created the Fast Forward bill. He’s pleased to see a real impact one of his bill’s created. He says it was his goal in campaigning for the State Senate to make an impact. The grant goes through 2016 and will help train 126 workers.

Additional Group Homes Will Allow Arc To Serve More Clients

The Executive Director of the Arc of Fond du Lac says the addition of four new group homes will allow them to serve even more people with special needs in the community. David Boelter says they serve 750 clients a year, which makes them one of the largest Arc chapters in the state and nation. They are the largest of 18 Arcs in Wisconsin and one of the ten largest chapters out of 771 chapters in the United States. Currently they have eight group homes with two more nearing completion. He says two additional group homes will be built next year, which will bring the total to 12. He says that will allow them to serve up to 800 clients through their facilities. The group homes are part of $1.1 million capital campaign and expansion effort.

Seclusion And Restraint Reports Given

Area school districts have been giving their school boards seclusion and restraint reports during recent meetings. Both the Fond du Lac and North Fond du Lac School Boards got those reports this week. Fond du Lac Schools Superintendent Jim Sebert says their teachers are trained for incidents involving students who become out of control. He says they are trained in non-violence intervention. He says most of the incidents occurred in their elementary schools. Pier Elementary had the most with 376 incidents. Rosenow Elementary had the second most at 82. By comparison the North Fond du Lac School District had very few according to Superintendent Aaron Sadoff. He says there was less than 40 incidents overall by 8 students. Some districts use seclusion rooms. Sebert says their staff designed a room that’s considered a preferred model by the state.

Watson Street Will Be Narrowed In Ripon

Traditionally you see cities widening streets for easier traffic flow, but the Ripon Common Council approved a plan this week to narrow Watson Street from 40 feet to 36 feet wide. City Administrator Lori Rich says that will save a couple dozen trees. She says it works out to about 24 trees. She says it will also improve the conditions for those who have very steep banks down to the street. She says it will also provide more room for snow removal, slow down traffic and saves some costs. She says half of the narrowing will be done in 2015 and the remainder in 2016.

Pinning Ceremony For Two New FDL Police Officers

The Fond du Lac Police Department welcomes two new officers with a “pinning ceremony” this afternoon at the Police Department. Officers Nicholas Laggett and Michaels Gales have completed their 14-week field training program and have joined their assigned shifts. Laggett is an Illinois native and Gales grew up in Hartford, Wisconsin. Police Chief Bill Lamb invites the public to the 3:30 p.m. ceremony. After the short ceremony, light refreshments will be served.

Marian Welcomes New Students

Inspiring students to reach their potential, Marian University began the new academic year by welcoming the Class of 2018 to the Fond du Lac campus on Tuesday. The Class of 2018 joins the total traditional undergraduate enrollment of 1,288 students that represents students from high schools within Wisconsin and beyond, including international students from Canada, Sweden, Philippines and India. In preparation for the new academic year, Marian University has expanded program offerings to include Exercise and Sport Science, and Community Health and Human Services as traditional undergraduate academic programs. This year’s new first-year students began their school year serving the community, through several service-learning projects in and around the Fond du Lac area, including at the ASTOP Sexual Abuse Center, Children’s Museum of Fond du Lac, CSA Motherhouse, Fond du Lac County Land and Water Conservation Department, Woodlands Senior Center, Manor Care and Big Brothers/Big Sisters, among others.

Solutions Center Receives WHEDA Foundation Housing Grant

The Solutions Center in Fond du Lac is getting a $12,500 housing grant from the Wisconsin Housing and Economic Development Authority Foundation. The money will be used to remodel a shelter kitchen and first floor bathroom to make it fully wheelchair accessible. Overall the WHEDA Foundation provided $355,000 in housing grants to 28 special-needs housing providers throughout the state. The Christine Anne Domestic Abuse Service in Oshkosh is getting a $5,000 grant to renovate 5 bathrooms in their main shelter.

FDL Hosts Wisconsin Arts Board Visit

The Thelma Sadoff Center for the Arts (THELMA) in Fond du Lac announced that the Fond du Lac art scene will take center stage when the Wisconsin Arts Board visits Friday and Saturday, September 5th and 6th. “The Wisconsin Arts Board holds one meeting outside of Madison every year so area constituents can observe the Board at work,” said Kevin Miller, THELMA executive director and vice chairman of the Wisconsin Arts Board. Members of the board will take a walking tour downtown to visit THELMA, DanLann Gallery, Trinity Restaurant, Retlaw Movie Theater, Riverwalk Art Center, Trista Holz Glass Studio, Gallery and Frame Shop, and Share Fine Art Gallery. The board is slated to also visit the UW-Fond du Lac and the Fond du Lac High School Performing Arts Center.  A community meet and greet is scheduled for Friday afternoon from 4 to 5:30 pm at THELMA. The public is invited to attend. The Board will hold its official meeting at 8:30 am, Saturday at THELMA.