Local News Briefs Thursday 8/29/13

A Sheboygan County man died Tuesday after a freak farm accident.  Sheriff’s Captain Dave Adams says 60-year-old Douglas Orzechowski was digging a three foot hole inside of his barn on County W in the Town of Mitchell about 4:30 Tuesday afternoon when he apparently fell in.  Authorities say he was digging the hole to work on a water pipe and was reaching down into it to work on the pipe when he fell in head-first and couldn’t back out of the hole which narrowed at the bottom.  The Coroner’s office has ruled that Orzechowski died of accidental positional asphyxiation.


Motorcyclist Killed In Sheboygan County Accident


A 26-year-old Sheboygan man has died from injuries he suffered in a motorcycle crash Wednesday afternoon on County Highway P. Sheriff’s officials say the accident occurred just southeast of the Village of Glenbeulah. A witness said the motorcycle was going at a high rate of speed. The bike left the road and slammed into some trees. The cyclist, Patrick Luebke, was flown to Theda Clark Regional Medical Center where he died. He was wearing a helmet and alcohol wasn’t a factor in the crash.


Town Of Barton Teens Say They Were Tied Up By An Intruder


Washington County Sheriff’s officials are investigating a possible burglary in which two teenage brothers claim they were tied up by an intruder. It happened at a home on Sandy Ridge Road in the Town Barton. The two teens were asleep Wednesday when one of them heard noises inside the home. He went to investigate and startled an intruder who then attacked him. He then tied up two teens, but the suspect got the phone number of a relative of the boys and called that relative to say the two were tied up but unharmed. The intruder then stole a vehicle and fled. Investigators were told the intruder was wearing a mask and weren’t able to get a good description of the suspect.


Young Makes Initial Appearance In Burnett County Court


The Waupun Police Lieutenant who went on a multi-county crime spree made his initial appearance in Burnett County Court yesterday afternoon. Forty-three-year-old Brad Young is charged with burglary and theft in Burnett County. He waived his right to a preliminary hearing. Young is also facing charges in Barron and Green Lake County. He also allegedly admitted to taking $3,000 from the Piggly Wiggly Store in Waupun during a burglary that occurred on August 4th or 5th. Today the Waupun Police and Fire Commission will approve his resignation. Young is a 22 year veteran of the Waupun Police Department.


Charges Dropped Against Wiccan State Prison Chaplain


Charges have been dropped against a chaplain at the state correctional institution in Oshkosh who was accused of sexually assaulted an inmate. Winnebago County prosecutors have dismissed charges against 54-year-old Jamyi Witch. Officials learned that she was on a medical leave when the alleged victim claimed that she proposed a false hostage situation during which time the chaplain was accused of molesting and drugging the man. Also, prosecutors said Witch had a prescription for the drug allegedly used – and she could use it as needed. Witch was hired in 2001 as the state’s first Wiccan chaplain. She says she should have never been charged. She plans to sue the Corrections Department and other agencies because of that.


Trying To Avoid Future Outbreaks At Animal Shelter


The manager for the Fond du Lac Humane Society’s animal shelter says they got some help the past few weeks while the shelter was dealing with a deadly Parvovirus outbreak. Renee Webb says one of the things they are taking a look at is how to prevent similar outbreaks in the future especially when a capital campaign would lead to expansion. She says a team of veterinarians from the University of California Davis had already planned to be in Wisconsin and came to their aid when they heard about the Parvovirus at the shelter. She says the Humane Society is a member of the federated Humane Society, which is a great network when an animal shelter gets a large number of rescue animals or has another crisis to deal with. Eighteen puppies were infected by the Parvovirus and half of them died.


Developer Expresses Interest In Current Ripon Medical Center


There is some interest in the current Ripon Medical Center facility as a new hospital is being built. The Ripon Common Council this week discussed an offer to purchase in closed session. City Administrator Lori Rich says the City has been leasing the current facility to the Ripon Medical Center for 75 years, but a local developer has expressed interest in the facility once the building is vacated. She says they are pleased to have some interest in the building. She says discussions will continue for some time to come. Agnesian HealthCare is building a brand new Ripon Medical Center off Eastgate Drive in Ripon. The $43.7 million project will be completed sometime next summer with the facility opening up in the late summer or early fall of 2014.


New Teachers In NFDL


The North Fond du Lac School District will be starting the new school year with some new personnel. District Superintendent Aaron Sadoff says that includes 15 new teachers among them a reading specialist and a new choral director. The School Board Monday night approved the hiring of Adam Broten as principal of Bessie Allen Middle School. He was one of 74 people who applied for the opening. Sadoff says he has experience teaching elementary students in both the North Fond du Lac and Oshkosh School Districts. Sadoff says they’ve also given Brandon Switz extra duties as the Internal Oriole Way Coach, the district’s version of Positive Behavior and Intervention Systems.


Request For Wind Study Done On Behalf Of Residents


Fond du Lac County Public Health Officer Kim Mueller says it was nice to see the County Board unite when they recently approved a resolution in asking the state to do a study on wind turbines impacts on human health. She says people have differing opinions when it comes to wind turbines, but the board did what they thought was best for County residents. She says she’s seen a number of studies, but hasn’t seen any comprehensive study yet linking wind turbine use to ill effects on human health. She says some of the health complaints people suffer who live near wind turbines could also be experienced in the absence of those turbines. There are 168 wind turbines operating on wind farms in Fond du Lac County.     


DOT Looks For Ways To Improve


A recent analysis shows Wisconsin’s transportation system is meeting most performance measures in the areas of mobility, accountability, preservation, safety and service. Department of Transportation Secretary Mark Gottlieb says their most recent report shows that overall things are going pretty well. He notes traffic fatalities are down 15 percent from a year ago and transportation economic assistance grants have helped create or retain 1,600 jobs in the state. But there could be some improvement. He says for example, in reducing wait times at their DMV service centers where their goal is to make sure that 80 percent of their customers are served within 20 minutes.” The department’s MAPSS Performance Improvement System analyzes trends throughout the state transportation system to identify areas where improvements are needed.


Senator Leibham Office Hours At Calumet And Sheboygan County Fairs


State Senator Joe Leibham will be splitting his time between the Calumet and Sheboygan County Fairs over the next few days. The Senator from the 9th State Senate District will be holding office hours at both fairs. Today he will be at the Sheboygan County Fair from 5 to 7 p.m. Friday he’s at the Calumet County Fair from 12 to 2 p.m. and the Sheboygan County Fair from 4 to 7 p.m. Saturday he will hold office hours at the Sheboygan County Fair from 2 to 5 p.m. and will be serving food at the 4H stand from noon to 1 p.m. Sunday he’s at the Calumet County Fair from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. and the Sheboygan County Fair from 3 to 5 p.m.               


Lottery Sales Record


State lottery officials say they’ve broken the all-time sales record for a  second year in a row. For the fiscal year that ended in June lottery sales in the state were $565.6 million in sales compared to $547.4 million in fiscal year 2012. Lottery director Mike Edmonds says the record sales in fiscal year 2013 generated $160 million in property tax relief. Broken down further instant ticket sales were responsible for $326.5 million and games like Powerball, Megabucks and Mega Millions generated another $239.1 million in sales.