Local News Briefs Tuesday 12/9/14

The former Ripon College official accused of embezzling nearly $429,000 from the college to purchase items for himself and gifts for family and friends has pled guilty to some of the charges he’s facing. Fifty-five-year-old Ronald Haefner of Mequon was in Fond du Lac County Court last Friday where he pled guilty to 10 counts of theft and fraud. Another 54 charges were read into the record and dismissed. He will be sentenced on March 26th. He worked at Ripon College as the Director of Information Technology when he allegedly used a college credit card to buy things like computers, iPods and plane tickets. The thefts occurred from June of 2009 to November of 2013. He was employed by the college from 1999 until he was fired in November of last year. He is scheduled to stand trial next January.

Trial Set For FDL Arson Suspect

A four-day jury trial has been scheduled next March for the 28-year-old Fond du Lac man suspected of setting a fire at the Hometown Harbor Apartments last May. Laney Amons is charged in Fond du Lac County Court with arson and burglary. According to the criminal complaint he had a fight with his ex-girlfriend early the morning of May 2nd. The two had been out drinking with friends and Amons got upset with her when he saw the 27-year-old woman talking with another guy. He allegedly went over to the apartment complex on North Seymour and set her apartment on fire. The fire extensively damaged her apartment and there was smoke and water damage to three other apartments in the 12-unit apartment building. He’s being held in the Fond du Lac County Jail.

Sheboygan Man Charged For Gas Station Robberies

(WHBL-Sheboygan)-A Sheboygan man has confessed to the recent string of armed robberies at gas stations in the city. Twenty-four-year-old Jimmie Hanson faces three armed robbery felony charges for the robberies of three gas stations from November 24th through December 6th.  Sheboygan Police arrested Hanson last Saturday at his residence after seeing a vehicle in a surveillance video registered to him. According to the criminal complaint, Hanson detailed how he conducted the robberies by himself so that he could have money to pay bills.

Decision Making Process For School Closings And Delays Reviewed

Fond du Lac Schools Superintendent Jim Sebert says he consulted with officials before deciding yesterday morning not to delay classes because of freezing rain and snowy conditions. Sebert also reviewed the district’s decision making process for weather related school closings and delays with the school board last night. He says they have gone to a new mass notification system through Skyward that will assist in helping parents and staff be made aware of closings and delays via phone calls and emails. He also said they will be notifying TV stations in Green Bay and radio stations like KFIZ. Sebert says they are hoping they won’t have a repeat of last January when they had to close school due to extremely cold temperatures for several days a week for  a couple weeks in a row.

FDL HS Cardinal Columns Among Best Student News Magazines In The Nation

Fond du Lac High School Journalism Teacher and Advisor Matt Smith highlighted the Cardinal Columns recent National Scholastic Press Association Awards for the school board last night. Smith said they were among about a dozen high schools nationwide to win the National Pacemaker Award, which considers everything written and published for the student news magazine in the year. They also took 5th place for a cover design and a former student won the courage award for her coverage of a story on the subject of rape. District Superintendent Jim Sebert says they are proud of the students and staff who work on the news magazine. To find out more click here.

December Is Drunk And Drugged Driving Prevention Month

December is National Drunk and Drugged Driving Prevention Month. Trooper Jim Larson with the Wisconsin State Patrol says state law makes it illegal for drivers to have any detectable amount of a controlled substance such as marijuana in their system while driving. He says the goal of law enforcement officers to keep all impaired drivers off the road. Drivers who exhibit signs of impairment and refuse a blood or breath test risk automatic revocation of their driver license. To get the message across a number of law enforcement agencies will kick off the “Booze and Belts” campaign this Friday. The campaign, which focuses on drunken and drugged driving and seat belt use will run through Saturday December 20th.

Veterans Needs

With more veterans returning from deployments the Veterans Administration has to address even more physical and mental health needs for those returning service men and women. Fond du Lac County Veterans Service Officer Rick Patton says the VA is doing the best that it can, but there’s room for improvement especially when it comes to access to VA hospitals and clinics. He says the VA is still a step behind and need to admit to their mistakes and failed policies. He says money can’t solve all the problems. He says veterans also face housing and employment issues.

Fewer Signatures Required For Running For Local Office

State Senator Rick Gudex and State Representative Jeremy Thiesfeldt of Fond du Lac authored a bill last session that will address previous problems of getting people to run for elected non-partisan Spring Elections. The new law that will be in effect for the upcoming election cycle alters the nomination signature component of running for office by requiring less signatures for second and third class city candidates. Sen. Gudex says, “I believe that the more people interested and engaged in local government the better that government is likely to be, and we want to have multiple candidates running for office as often as we can.  He added the cities of Oshkosh and Fond du Lac had trouble getting people to run for office, but the new law will expand access to the ballot and interest in running for local leadership positions. State Representative Thiesfeldt says he too hopes that more people will consider running in this spring election now that the law has been changed.

Schwabero Joins Brunswick Board Of Directors

Brunswick Corporation recently announced that it elected Mark Schwabero, Brunswick’s president and chief operating officer, to its board of directors. In May Schwabero was promoted from President of Mercuary Marine to president and chief operating officer for Brunswick. Schwabero joined Mercury Marine in 2004 as the president of the engine maker’s Outboard Business Unit, where he led the development, manufacturing and sales of the company’s global outboard marine business. He became president of Mercury Marine in 2008.

MPTC Distinguished Alumnus Nominations Sought

There’s still a little over six weeks left to nominate someone for the 2015 Moraine Park Technical College Distinguished Alumnus Award. MPTC President Sheila Ruhland says nominations are due by Friday, January 23rd and you can nominate someone by going to their website. Nominees must hold a one-year or two-year technical diploma, associate degree of science degree from an MPTC program. Additional criteria include demonstrated service and/or support of Moraine Park, the Wisconsin Technical College System and the community at large, as well as distinguishing oneself through a career or civic activity. For more information about the award contact Debbie Bruins at (920) 924-3263.