Local News Briefs Tuesday 1/20/15

Fond du Lac County prosecutors have charged two Oshkosh men with multiple theft and burglary charges for allegedly stealing scrap metal in the County. Thirty-seven-year-old Scott Busby and 21-year-old Brady Malzhan were both charged last week and made initial court appearances. They were released on $2,500 signature bonds. Both men have preliminary hearings scheduled for February 27th.

FDL County Board Considers Selling Old Campbellsport Highway Garage

The Fond du Lac County Board tonight will consider selling the old highway garage in Campbellsport. County Executive Al Buechel says the new highway garage in Campbellsport is almost ready for occupancy and they have an offer of $90,280 for the old garage. He says that includes a couple acres of land and the old building, which isn’t conducive for use by big trucks anymore. Drexel Building Supply in Campbellsport is more interested in the land around the building. Drexel is formerly Campbellsport Building Supply. Buechel says they had the property appraised and weren’t expecting to get much for it. He says the real estate agent said they would be lucky to get $100,000 for it because of the condition it is in plus there’s gasoline contamination. He says as long as nothing is built on the land the County won’t have to do environmental mitigation on the property.

Hiring Process For Police Officer

Fond du Lac Police Chief Bill Lamb says hiring a new police officer is a long and comprehensive process. The department is trying to fill ten vacancies and Chief Lamb explained the process on KFIZ. He says it takes six to twelve months to hire and train an officer to put that officer on the street. He says after they are hired that could include sending them through a police academy if they don’t already have that experience and field training. Once someone is extended a conditional offer of employment there is an exhaustive background check and more testing. He says that additional testing will include psychological examinations, physical ability, health testing, and drug and alcohol screening. He says the police department is also active in recruiting efforts. Officer Steve Olson and field training officers visit colleges, universities and technical colleges to talk to students. He says in the past there wasn’t a need to do recruiting, but fewer people are considering careers in law enforcement these days. He says last year they went through the hiring and training process three times.

Senator Johnson Would Like To See More Bipartisan Support From President

U.S. Senator Ron Johnson says he’s hoping President Barack Obama will give more support to bi-partisan legislation as he delivers his State of the Union Address tonight. He says for instance before legislation on the Keystone Pipeline is even discussed in the Senate the president is already making veto threats. He says a lot can be accomplished through bipartisan efforts. He says the president wants to grow the middle class and creating more robust economy will accomplish that. The federal lawmaker from Oshkosh will have Milwaukee Brewers All-Star Catcher Jonathan Lucroy as his guest at the State of the Union Address.

Lt Governor Supports School Accountability Efforts

Lt. Governor Rebecca Kleefisch says she supports the legislature’s efforts to create school accountability legislation. Both the State Assembly and Senate are working on their own versions of a bill. Kleefisch says state residents should know how their money is being spent to educate children. A former TV journalist she says there should be transparency and improvement where needed. She says today’s students are tomorrow’s leaders and we need to make sure they are receiving a good education. The State Assembly Education Committee, chaired by State Representative Jeremy Thiesfeldt of Fond du Lac, held a hearing on the Assembly’s bill last week.

Schmidt Plenty Of Ideas For Dodge County Sheriffs Office

Dodge County Sheriff Dale Schmidt says he had a list of 50 items he’d like to tackle when he started as the County’s new sheriff this month. He says he asked employees to send him emails of some their goals. He also would like to see an employee efficiency survey. He says that’s one way they could find out what employees would like to see that’s different at the office. He also wants to institute an equipment replacement plan. He would like the department to be on one equipment replacement plan so their needs are clearer when it comes to putting together the County budget. Schmidt says the biggest challenge will be to evaluate their records management system to come up with one all law enforcement agencies in the County can use. He says their current system isn’t living up to expectations or being able to share records between agencies.

Snowmobile Trails Closed

The Dodge County ATV Trail along the Wild Goose State Trail from Highway 60 to Highway 49 is closed due to lack of snow. Snowmobile trails in Dodge and Fond du Lac County are closed at this time.

WMC Survey Shows Employer Optimism

The State’s Chamber of Commerce has released a survey that shows employers are more optimistic since the Great Recession. Eighty-one percent of the 308 executives polled in the Wisconsin Manufacturers and Commerce survey feel their companies will see moderate growth in the next six months compared 71 percent polled last June. A year ago that number was 65 percent. In June of 2009 only 3 percent predicted moderate growth. Also in the latest survey 58 percent plan to add more employees in the next six months up from last June and January. On the other hand 64-percent of those taking the survey say they are having trouble finding workers,which is also up from that last two surveys.  The latest survey was conducted in late December and early January.

Oshkosh Boys And Girls Club Gets Grant Thanks To Womans Efforts

An Oshkosh woman has been named a Maytag Dependable Leader Award winner for her work with the Boys & Girls Club. . The award recognizes Boys & Girls Club officials who are committed to making a difference as dependable and exceptional role models. Through a national partnership, Maytag brand and Boys & Girls Clubs of America selected Lori Fields as one of 12 winners to receive the distinction, which includes a $20,000 financial grant for the Boys & Girls Club of Oshkosh to provide educational scholarships to Club members. Fields has served as a club director for the Boys & Girls Club of Oshkosh for 25 years.  Fields uses her influential partnerships to better the lives of the community’s youth. For example, she partners with the Oshkosh Police Department to bring officers into the Club to form positive relationships with at-risk youth and teach classes on anti-bullying and life skills. Another example includes collaborating with a local mobile dental bus to bring much-needed basic dental care and services to the Club parking lot. Fields also led 22 agencies to present the Club’s annual “Back to School Fair” that provided backpacks, school supplies and clothing to 1,000 low income youth so they can be ready for school.