Local News Briefs Tuesday 1/7/14

Schools and activities are cancelled again as the bitter cold continues. A Wind Chill Warning continues until noon today with wind chill factors again in the 30 to 45 degree below zero range for this morning. Meteorologist Karl Klopotic says even with the cold weather it’s business as usual for a lot of people, they just have to bundle up before they head outside. Temperatures are expected to nudge just above zero for a high temperature today with the extended forecast calling for the 30’s by this weekend.

Elderly More Likely To Be Victims Of Hypothermia

Half of the hypothermia deaths in the nation involved people who are 65-years-old or older. With that in mind Sandy Tryon of the Aging and Disabilities Resource Center offers some advice given the bitter cold temperatures we are experiencing. She the elderly are more likely to be victims of hypothermia. She says there are steps that can be taken to prevent hypothermia. She recommends setting the thermostat at 65 degrees or higher during the winter. Ensure adequate insulation. Add an extra blanket to your bed. Dress in layers. She also recommends exercising moderately, eating nutritious foods and staying hydrated. Tryon also urges family and friends to check on the elderly on a daily basis. Symptoms of hypothermia include shivering, exhaustion, confusion, fumbling hands, memory loss, slurred speech and drowsiness.

Possible Fire Checked Out At FDL Restaurant

Fond du Lac firefighters were called to the Trinity Restaurant on East Division Street early yesterday afternoon for a possible fire in the heating, ventilating and air conditioning system. Firefighters checked for fire and determined everything was fine. The fire call was around 1 p.m.

Ice Shanty Thefts

Several ice shanties were broken into on Fox Lake over the weekend. The Dodge County Sheriff’s Department is investigating at least four separate reports of forced entries to shanties off Chief Kuno Trail and Hickory Grove. Propane tanks and various other items were taken. Anyone with information should contact the Dodge County Sheriffs Department.

Senator Johnson Sues Over Sudsidy For Congress

(Wisconsin Radio Network)-A U.S. Senator from Wisconsin wants to keep the federal government from providing subsidies to Congress for purchasing health care coverage through the federal exchange system. The lawsuit was filed in a federal court in Green Bay Monday by U.S. Senator Ron Johnson (R-WI). It seeks to challenge a ruling issued by the U.S. Office of Personnel Management last October, which cleared the way for the federal government to provide a subsidy for members of Congress and their staff who buy health insurance through a marketplace. Johnson says that amounts to special treatment for Congress, which lost its employer-sponsored coverage under the Affordable Care Act. Johnson called the decision “completely unfair” because Congress already took a pass on allowing federal lawmakers and their staff when they were originally debating the provisions of Obamacare. He says if members of Congress or the Obama Administration have a problem with what is now the law of the land, they should pass legislation to change it, rather than trying to bypass the law through “presidential fiat.” The lawsuit is drawing fire from both sides of the aisle, with even a fellow Wisconsin Republican taking aim at it. U.S. Representative Jim Sensenbrenner (R-WI) labeled the effort an “unfortunate political stunt.” In a statement released over the weekend, Sensenbrenner argued that he is committed to repealing Obamacare, but “the employer contribution he’s attacking is nothing more than a standard benefit that most private and all federal employees receive – including the President.  Success in the suit will mean that Congress will lose some of its best staff.” Johnson on Monday deflected that criticism. During a press conference on Capitol Hill, he argued that the lawsuit tackles a “very important Constitutional question” and the issue deserves a full airing.

Nomination Papers Due Today

Candidates for public office this spring need to get their nomination papers back to the appropriate clerk’s office by 5 p.m. this afternoon. Fond du Lac County residents will be voting on a number of offices in April including City Council, County Board, School Board and other offices. During the February 18th primary election Lomira School District voters will be asked to approve a referendum for improvements at the district’s schools.

Intervention Team Provides Follow Up Service To Victims Of Domestic Violence

An officer with the Fond du Lac Police Department says it will be interesting to see how much impact the department’s Domestic Violence Intervention Team has on domestic violence calls this year. Officer Steve Olson says the number of calls is already down since the team began its work. He says the team follows up on those calls to see how they can further help the victim. Olson says the team should help victims with some of the support they need. He says it’s hard for victims of domestic violence to get out of a bad relationship on their own if they have no support or aren’t aware of the services that are available to them.

Quitting Tobacco Help Available

The coordinator for the Five Counties for Tobacco Free Living says it takes patience and help to successfully quit smoking or using tobacco. Sandy Bernier of the Fond du Lac County Health Department knows of what she speaks having quit smoking herself years ago. She says it make take several tries. She says you have to make a plan and inform family, friends and co-workers of the effort. She says you have to realize what your triggers are. She says one benefit is the money you will save by quitting then there are the health benefits. She says approximately 130 people die each year in Fond du Lac County from tobacco-related illnesses. Bernier recommends consulting a physician first about medication and counseling. Help is also available by calling 1-800-QUIT-NOW or 1-800-784-8669. There’s also help available online at the Quit Line’s website. There’s also the Quit for Life Facebook page.  

Panel Discussion On Affordable Care Act Cancelled

A panel discussion on the Affordable Care Act scheduled at Ripon Medical Center tomorrow has been cancelled. Agnesian HealthCare president and Chief Executive Officer Steve Little was supposed to lead the panel discussion featuring a slate of experts on healthcare reform. The free program was scheduled from 6 to 7:30 p.m.

United Way Helps With Some Costs For Veterans Symposium

The executive director of the Fond du Lac Area United Way says she’s glad they could lend help in a small way to the Veterans Mental Health Symposium being held in Fond du Lac this Friday. Salute the Troops of Fond du Lac will host the symposium at the Stayer Center at Marian University. Tina Potter of the United Way says not all veterans who want to attend can afford the cost, so they put up money to help those who need financial help to attend. She says the United Way will also have a few information tables at the event, which will help them get the word out on the services available in the community that can also benefit them.