Local News Briefs Thursday 8/8/13

Bond has been set at $50,000 cash for a 33-year-old Fond du Lac man accused of setting last Friday afternoon’s fire at a 3rd Street home. Timothy Schneider made his initial appearance in Fond du Lac County Court Wednesday on arson and burglary charges. According to the criminal complaint Schneider is alleged to have used gasoline to set fire to his mother’s home at 352 3rd Street after she had kicked him out. The blaze caused extensive damage to the structure and smoke damage throughout the rest of the house. Schneider will be back in court for a preliminary hearing on Friday, August 16th.


West Bend Man Charged With Attempted Murder


Bond has been set at $500,000 cash for the 50-year-old West Bend man who allegedly attacked his ex-girlfriend with a knife in a Walmart parking lot last Sunday morning. Craig Hron made his initial appearance in Washington County Court Wednesday. He is charged with five felonies including attempted 1st degree intentional homicide. He will be back in court for a hearing on August 22nd. Hron was a suspect in the murder of 18-year-old Berit Beck in 1990. He was questioned, but never charged. Beck’s body was found in a ditch outside of Waupun.


Oven Fire


Fond du Lac firefighters responded to an unattended cooking fire at 42 South Street early this morning. A person fell asleep with a pizza in the oven. Fire officials say the fire was contained to the oven, but there was smoke throughout the residence. No injuries were reported. The time of the fire call was 2:08 a.m.


Motorcyclist Injured


A man was injured in a car versus motorcycle accident on North Rolling Meadows Drive near Walmart. Fond du Lac firefighters responded to the accident scene. The man driving the bike was pinned underneath the bike and the car that hit him. The fire department used extrication air bags to life the bike and car to get to the victim who suffered non-lift threatening injuries and was taken to the hospital. The accident occurred shortly after 3 p.m.


Investigation Continues Against Waupun Police Officer


Officials with the state Justice Department’s Division of Criminal Investigation say no initial court appearance and no charges have been brought yet against the Waupun Police officer who was the subject of a manhunt in Northern Wisconsin this week. Bradley Young is being held in the Burnett County Jail following his arrest Tuesday afternoon. The DCI and sheriff’s departments in Burnett, Washburn, Barron and Green Lake counties are doing follow-up investigation. Young was originally sought on tentative charges of felony burglary and motor vehicle theft for incidents in Green Lake County.  A high speed chase and car theft in Barron County and break-in in Burnett County are other crimes he could be charged with.


Mayville Man Hurt In Two Car Accident


Flight for Life flew a 51-year-old Mayville man with head and chest injuries to Froedtert Hospital Tuesday following a two-vehicle crash at the intersection of Allen and Doyle Streets in the Town of Theresa. Dodge County Sheriff’s officials say Scott Okon was cresting a hill when 17-year-old Tyler Neuman of Theresa proceeded into the intersection from a stop sign. Okon’s vehicle left the roadway after the collision, hit a tree and went through an electric fence. Neuman wasn’t hurt in the mishap. He was cited for failing to yield the right of way.


Oshkosh Corp Contract Talks Fail To Produce Agreement With Union


An agreement couldn’t be reached between the Oshkosh Corporation and United Auto Workers Local 578 on a 5-year contract extension. The company was hoping for an agreement so it could cut costs before it bids on a $13 billion contract with the Army and Marines to make tactical vehicles. Production of those vehicles was to begin in 2016. The union voted in June to pursue negotiations, but talks failed to produce an agreement by the company’s July 30th deadline. The bargaining committee for the union says it’s disappointed that an agreement couldn’t be arrived at.


Prison Guards File Suit


(Wisconsin Radio Network)-Officers at 10 state correctional institutions file a lawsuit, seeking payment for perhaps a few unpaid minutes of time every work day. The correctional officers are seeking the same back pay that a state labor referee awarded to a guard at Redgranite. A Dane County judge is being asked to grant a class action status, so about 3,000 present and former prison guards could be part of the case. The mass lawsuit was filed after Redgranite guard Paul Mertz was found to be short-changed by $1,000. The labor referee ruled against the state’s relatively new policy of not paying correctional officers for things like roll call and equipment checks before starting a work-shift. A newly-formed guards union is paying for the legal action. The state is still appealing the referee’s decision, and has not commented on the new lawsuit. If the guards win, an award could run into the millions of dollars.


Timetable For Ash Removal Could Be Accelerated With EAB Threat


Fond du Lac Public Works Director Jordan Skiff says with the emerald ash borer getting closer to the City they lose some important time and doing some preemptive tree removal. The DNR announced last week that an adult EAB beetle had been found in a trap at the Mauthe Lake Campground in the Northern Unit of the Kettle Moraine State Forest. The City had planned to remove hundreds of unhealthy ash trees and those encroaching on power lines each year and replace them with other trees. Skiff says that number could increase given that the EAB is now closer to the City. He says he will meet Friday with John Kiefer and Brian Weed of the Parks Department to put a game plan together. He says they will also look at doing more public outreach with those who would like to save their ash trees. The DNR has scheduled a meeting about the EAB on Monday, October 28th at 4:30 p.m. at the City-County Government Center in Fond du Lac.


FDL County Highway Projects Making Progress


Fond du Lac County Highway Commissioner Tom Janke says some county highway projects will be wrapping up in the next few months. He says the County Highway K project is substantially complete. The project included bridge rehab and resurfacing from County Highway V to County Highway KK at the Dodge County line. Crews are installing the final surface paving on County Highway W from Highway 45 and County Highway B. Bridge and highway reconstruction for County Highway V and County Highway F in the Town of Eden is ongoing. Janke says work is also ongoing for County Highway M from Olden Road to the Winnebago County line and County Highway VV or Pioneer Road between Highway 45 to west of Main Street. The West Pioneer Road project is continuing. The state is also replacing a bridge on Oak Center Road in the Town of Waupun and resurfacing Highway 175.


Downtown Wifi Expansion


The manager of information technology services for the City of Fond du Lac says they will be working on expanding Wifi services to the Downtown District. Dave Zittlow says that would be for an area from Johnson and Main Streets to Western Avenue and Main. He says the service would be primarily for exterior areas downtown. He says it’s meant for outdoor use because most businesses have their own Wifi for customers’ convenience. He says it would be nice for outdoors events like Fondue Fest. Zittlow says they basically have the infrastructure already in place for Wifi, which is how they were able to offer Wifi at Lakeside Park this summer. He says that not only comes in handy for park users, but those who use slips in the harbor during the summer.


Outagamie County One Of Those Hard Hit By Storms


(Wisconsin Radio Network)-Outagamie County officials are busy assessing damage from Wednesday morning storms. Emergency management director Julie Loeffelholz says there are still a lot of people without power and they should plan on the lights being out for a while. She says it may take up to three days to restore power, which means people will have to be self sufficient during that time. County Executive Tom Nelson declared a state of emergency for the county. Shelters were set up in New London and Wrightstown for people who need a place to stay. One of those areas suffering through a power outage is the Town of Wolf River in Winnebago County.


New Wolf Lake Park Restroom Open


The restroom improvement project at Wolf Lake Park is complete. Fond du Lac County Planning and Parks Director Sam Tobias says it’s been open for a few weeks now, but the contractor has a few minor details to work on. He says pit toilet they replaced was nearly 50 years old and needed to be replaced. The restroom was replaced with a new 750 square-foot structure that includes men’s and women’s bathrooms, 2 changing rooms on each side flush toilets, shower heads on the outside for swimmers to wash off, a new well, septic system and new electric service.