Local News Briefs Tuesday 2/24/15

Longtime Johnsonville Sausage Chief Executive Officer Ralph C. Stayer will retire on April 1st. Stayer has helmed the Sheboygan Falls-based company for 47 years. A former president of Oscar Meyer Weiner, Nick Meriggioli, will succeed Stayer. It will be the first time in the company’s history that a Stayer has not headed Johnsonville. William Morgan will continue as president of Johnsonville Sausage. Johnsonville employs about 1,500 people.

East Division Street Closure

Fond du Lac’s Public Works Department tells us East Division Street will be closed between Main Street and Portland Avenue Wednesday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. The closure is to allow a crane to be moved into place for work being completed at 1 N. Main Street, the Retlaw.

Accident At Oostburg Bakery

Sheboygan County Sheriff’s officials say two people were burned, one seriously during an accident at the Oostburg Bakery Monday morning. Flight for Life flew an 86-year-old man to a burn center. The incident happened while donuts were being made. The call came in around 7:30 a.m.

Beaver Dam Man Charged With Felony Child Abuse

Bond was set at $1,000 cash when a 21-year-old Beaver Dam man was charged in Dodge County Court for allegedly shaking an infant causing serious injuries. Raymond Keyser was recently charged with one felony count of Physical Abuse of a Child – Recklessly Causing Great Bodily Harm. The charges stem from an incident on February 15th when an 8-month-old infant Keyser was looking after had to be flown to the UW-Hospital in Madison. A team there determined the child had been shaken or slammed down on a soft surface like a mattress. Keyser told investigators the infant was in an unsecured car seat while he was sitting on a bed next to it. Keyser said the infant fell face first onto the ground when he bumped into the car seat. A preliminary hearing is scheduled this Thursday.

Working With FDL Youth Baseball

Fond du Lac Schools Superintendent Jim Sebert says the school district is moving past its relationship with Fond du Lac Baseball, Inc. and starting a new one with Fond du Lac Youth Baseball to run their baseball programs. The lease with Fond du Lac Baseball is not being renewed and expires tomorrow. Sebert says it was never the school district’s intention to run the baseball program or the Recreation Department, but they will assist Fond du Lac Youth Baseball to run the program. He says Fond du Lac Youth Baseball is a separate organization from Fond du Lac Baseball and has many dedicated individuals working hard to assure a good program for the youth of the community. The Fond du Lac School Board last week withdrew its contract offer to Fond du Lac Baseball, Inc for a lease of the Woodworth Baseball complex. 

Senate Democrats Will Not Leave The State During Right To Work Debate

(Wisconsin Radio Network)-During the last fight over union rights in Wisconsin Democratic senators fled to Illinois for several weeks. The move delayed a vote on Governor Walker’s collective bargaining law. Democratic Senator Dave Hansen of Green Bay says that won’t happen during the debate over the right-to-work law. He says one reason is that the bill has no fiscal impact so Republicans don’t need a super-majority to pass it. Several Democratic senators faced recalls following the trip to Illinois.

Another Effort To Eliminate State Treasurer Office

State Senator Rick Gudex says legislation to get rid of the state treasurer’s office is progressing. It’s one of the bills the state lawmaker from Fond du Lac introduced this session. He says State Treasurer Matt Adamczyk has already cut the jobs of his only two staff members, which will save the state hundreds of thousands of dollars. To eliminate the state treasurer’s office requires approving a bill in two straight legislative sessions and a statewide referendum to change the state constitution. Gudex says the earliest the office could be eliminated is the end of the decade in 2019.  State Representative Michael Schraa of Oshkosh sponsored a similar bill in the last legislative session that passed in the State Assembly, but died in a Senate committee.

New FDL Police Officer Hails From The South

Your first clue that one of Fond du Lac’s newest police officers isn’t from these parts is his accent. Officer Matt Crowder is originally from Virginia. He says like back home he’s noticed the community in Fond du Lac gets involved in a lot of efforts and is tight knit. He is currently undergoing field training. Officer Crowder says he does have a couple of goals in his career, but they are still being refined. He’d like to be on the SWAT team and maybe become a detective, but he says he’s focusing on his field training for now. He says the biggest thing that surprised him about Fond du Lac is how busy the department is and how many specialty teams the department has.

Vendors Applications Being Taken For Downtown FDL Farmers Market

Applications are being taken for vendors who would like to participate in the Downtown Fond du Lac Farmers Market this summer. Downtown Fond du Lac Partnership Executive Director Amy Hansen says this year they will hold it along Main Street, which gives them more room to work than in the past when they held at the City-County Government Center parking lot at Western and Macy. Hansen says the Farmers Market is much more than a place to get fruits, vegetables, meats and cheeses. She says it’s something her family looks forward to each Saturday. The indoors market is at 90 South Main each Saturday from 9 a.m. to Noon with the Summers Farmer Market beginning May 9th. Those who would like to apply to be a vendor can get an application at downtownfonddulac.com.

Taste Of FDL Is Now A Summer Thing

In the past the Taste of Fond du Lac was usually held at the Fond du Lac County Fairgrounds the last Sunday in February, but this year it’s moved to a new location during a warmer time of year. Fond du Lac Festivals Executive Director Leanne Doyle says they are moving it to Oven Island in Lakeside Park in August. She says most Taste events held around Wisconsin are held during the summer months. The Taste of Fond du Lac will be on Sunday, August 23rd from Noon to 6 p.m. She says actually Oven Island is technically Picnic Island, but this summer marks the 75th anniversary of ovens being put in on the Island and that’s where the name Oven Island came from. This year is also the 100th anniversary for Society Insurance, which will be the presenting sponsor for the Taste of Fond du Lac.

Dodge County Sheriffs Office Hires Two Former Explorers

Dodge County Sheriff Dale Schmidt says the Sheriff’s Office hired two former Dodge County Law Enforcement Explorers this month. Dustin Waas was hired on February 9th as a Deputy Sheriff and is currently in the Field Training Program. Trevor Mallon was offered the position of Correctional Officer on February 20th and will officially join the agency in the coming weeks. The Dodge County Law Enforcement Explorer Post was organized 7 years ago and has had participation from about 75 youth over the time. 

Homes Sales Down In January

There was mixed news regarding the sales of existing homes in Fond du Lac County last month. According to the Wisconsin Realtors Association sales were down 25 percent compared to January of 2014. However the median price of a home was up by 25 percent. According to WRA board chairman Dan Kruse January is typically the slowest month of the year for home sales. Statewide home sales were down by 3.7 percent and the median price of a home increased by 6.5 percent. For more click here. 

Ripon Annual Dinner

The Ripon Chamber of Commerce along with Ripon Main Street Incorporated held its Ripon Annual Dinner last Thursday in the Heritage Room on the Ripon College Campus.  Presentations and awards were given out to several businesses and individuals for their continued support and contributions to the community of Ripon.  The Ripon Chamber of Commerce recognized ConAgra Foods as its Large Business of the Year.  In 2014 ConAgra Foods hosted two food drives with Ripon Middle School Catalyst Charter School students and donated $25,000 to Traded Treasures.  The Small Business of the Year Award went to Watson Street Tea & Treats.  Owners Kim & Ken Bahr are always willing to help in assisting the Ripon Chamber and to continue to help Ripon businesses succeed.  The Chamber also recognized the Ripon Rotary as its Community Service Organization of the year.  The Ripon Chamber of Commerce honored Craig Tebon with the Distinguished Service Award.  Tebon who is the current Ripon Main Street manager devotes numerous hours to advocate business, improving curb appeal, putting up holiday decorations and assisting the Chamber of Commerce with all its events.