Local News Briefs Tuesday 1/28/14

Dangerous wind chills will continue through tomorrow morning. A Wind Chill Warning is in effect until noon today then a Wind Chill Advisory begins and runs through 10 a.m. Wednesday. During these conditions frost bite and hypothermia are real possibilities if you spend too much time outdoors or leave skin exposed. We have a number of cancellations due to the weather. You can check them here at KFIZ.com. by clicking on the closings and cancellations banner on the right hand side of the page.

Trooper Hurt In Accident In Serious Condition

The state trooper hit by a car in Winnebago County while doing a crash investigation is in serious condition at Theda Clark Regional Medical Cener in Neenah. Thirty-six-year-old Justin Hansen was getting equipment out of his trunk on Highway 41 southbound at County Highway II when a car struck the rear of his cruiser pinning him between both vehicles. The driver of car Brian VanLankveldt of Little Chute wasn’t injured. The accident near Menasha happened just before noon Sunday.

Trooper Hurt Because Vehicle Didn’t Move Over

Another unfortunate example of why Wisconsin has a pull over law for police and emergency vehicles. State Trooper Justin Hansen of the Fond du Lac post was getting equipment from the trunk of his cruiser while investigating a crash when another driver lost control and hit the rear of his cruiser pinning the 36-year-old trooper between the vehicles. The 36-year-old trooper is in serious condition at Theda Clark Medical Center in Neenah. State Patrol Captain Nick Scorcio says drivers need to pull over or slow down for emergency vehicles and police. Scorcio says police and emergency workers are putting their lives on the line at accident scenes. He notes another state trooper could have been hurt in a similar accident on I-43 last Friday while investigating an accident when a driver lost control and hit a cruiser. The trooper was also outside the cruiser.

Pedestrian Hit And Killed In Sheboygan County

A 42-year-old Sheboygan County man was killed when he was hit by a vehicle on State Highway 57 at State Highway 144 last night. Sheriff’s officials say the accident in the Town of Sherman happened just before 6:30 p.m. The man was walking on the roadway after his car went into the ditch. He was hit by a southbound vehicle and died at the scene. The driver of the vehicle that struck him was not injured.

Bond Reduced For Suspect In Heroin Overdose Death

Bond has been reduced for the 57-year-old Milwaukee man charged for his role in the heroin overdose death of a Fond du Lac man. During a recent hearing in Fond du Lac County Court the $20,000 cash bond for Reginald Dorsey was reduced to a signature bond. A representative of the state’s Jail Administration and a nurse were in court for the hearing. Dorsey has been in ill health and his bond was changed to allow for placement in a long term care center. He is charged with 1st degree reckless homicide for the July 3rd 2012 death of 28-year-old Adam Ellman of Fond du Lac. According to the criminal complaint 50-year-old Jeffrey Abitz of Lomira allegedly drove Ellman down to Dorsey’s residence in Milwaukee the day before his death to buy percocet and heroin. Dorsey allegedly admitted to detectives he facilitated the heroin transaction by calling the heroin source he knew. Abitz, who is accused of being party to the crime, has a plea hearing on March 14th.

No Firm Dates For Special Session

State Representative Jeremy Thiesfeldt says no specific dates have been set for a special session the Governor has called for to pass the tax relief he talked about in last week’s State of the State address. Thiesfeldt says it could run concurrently when they go back in session in a couple of weeks. He says if it’s set for dates outside the regular session that could be a problem for some state legislators who make plans with their families. The state lawmaker from Fond du Lac says the legislature will be returning to session in mid-February. Thiesfeldt says even when they are not in session that business to attend to. He says he will be involved in legislative committee meetings over the next two days.

State Sales Tax Holiday Proposal Gains New Interest

State Senator Rick Gudex says new interest has been sparked in his idea for state sales tax holidays for school supply and energy saving appliances. Bills in the State Assembly recently got a committee hearing. Gudex is sponsoring the Senate version. He says it’s one way they can help everyone with their expenses. He says there’s a misconception that they are always helping the rich and wealthy. He says a sales tax holiday for school supplies one weekend in August would benefit a lot of people. A similar holiday is proposed for Energy Star appliances in November. The state lawmaker from Fond du Lac says the Legislative Fiscal Bureau estimated the two sales tax holidays could cost the state $14 million, but similar holidays in other states show otherwise with a negligible impact or an actual increase.

Space Heater Reminders

With people trying to find ways to stay warm during bitterly cold temperatures an official with the Fond du Lac Fire Department asks residents not to plug space heaters into extension cords. Troy Haase the Division Chief of Fire Prevention asks that you plug it directly into the wall or a surge protector. He says make sure there’s nothing flammable or combustible around it. He says you should never run an extension over a sharp edge such as under a door, a rug or window where there is wear and tear because that’s how a fire starts.He says fortunately newer space heaters are designed to shut off when they tip over, which also will help avoid a fire.

Road Conditions Can Change Quickly

Even with bitter cold temperatures road conditions can be treacherous. State Patrol Captain Nick Scorcio of the Fond du Lac post says what appears to be a wet surface on the road could be black ice or something just as dangerous. He recommends being vigilant. He says when wind chill factors are this cold they are usually accompanied by some wind, which can also cause blowing and drifting snow. He says you will have clear stretches, but might encounter some visibility problems on your drive. He says to make sure you allow yourself plenty of room to react to conditions or vehicles in front of you.

History At Home Series Hits Two Civil War Era Topics

The Fond du Lac Public Library’s History at Home series has some interesting programs planned over the next few months. Terri Fleming is the Library’s Communications Information Coordinator. She says a donation allows them to present a program at 6 p.m. the third Thursday of each month that focuses on an aspect of area or state history. The February 20th program is entitled “African Americans in Fond du Lac in the Civil War Era.” The program for March is about “The Wide Awakes & the Election of 1860.” She says the club focused on getting anti-slavery candidates in office and that included demonstrations in downtown Fond du Lac in the middle of the night. She says recent history graduate at Marian University who is seeking a PhD will be giving that presentation. She says the Wide Awakes political movement was short-lived. All History at Home programs are free and open to the public.

Beaver Dam Police Chief Resigns

The search is underway for a new police chief in Beaver Dam. The city’s Police and Fire Commission recently accepted the resignation of Police Chief Ronald Smith. His resignation takes effect February 3. Smith was only with the Beaver Dam Police Department for two years.  Before that he served as a Lieutenant in the Norwalk, Connecticut Police Department. Smith wanted to return back east to be closer with family. The Beaver Dam Police and Fire Commission will be appointing an interim Police Chief. Smith says he has been working on a smooth transition.