Local News Briefs Tuesday 2/25/14

The 44-year-old rural Fond du Lac man who is accused of sexually assaulting a 13-year-old girl and weapons charges maintained his innocence during a recent court hearing. Jeffrey MacMillan was arraigned in Fond du Lac County Court. He’s charged with 11 felony counts in one case including multiple counts of sexual assault of a child and 13 felony counts of felon in possession of a firearm in the other. Charges stem from a call to the home on Betty Lane and search of it at the beginning of January.  Two computers servers confiscated from the home allegedly included at least 200 images of MacMillan sexually assaulting the victim.

New London Man Charged For Selling Drugs In Green Lake County

Green Lake County authorities have charged a 38-year-old New London man who is suspected of trying to sell an undercover officer two pounds of cocaine. Jose Fernandez will be back in court this afternoon to conclude his initial hearing. Fernandez was arrested during the arranged buy last Friday in Berlin. According to the criminal complaint he had also sold the officer drugs earlier this month.  Investigators found 18 pounds of pot and $21,000 in cash when they searched his New London home. The pot and cocaine had an estimated street value of $90,000. 

Car Fire

Fond du Lac firefighters responded to a call about a car fire at 251 Fond du Lac Avenue Sunday afternoon. Fire department officials say the owner of the car had pulled it into a detached garage when it started on fire. He was able to put out the fire with an extinguisher. When firefighters arrived they pulled the car out of the garage to make sure the blaze was out. The time of the fire call was 2:18 p.m.

Sheboygan Church Thief Gets Probation

(WHBL-Sheboygan)-A 57-year-old Sheboygan man has been placed on probation for stealing 37 hand bells from a Sheboygan church. David Neese took the hand bells from First Presbyterian Church and pawned them to cover his gambling addiction. Authorities became aware of the thefts after the bells were purchased on Ebay by someone in California. The church asked Sheboygan County Judge Timothy Van Akkern to consider leniency in sentencing Neese, but if he violates probation he could end up serving 89 days in jail.

FDL School Board Approves New Courses And Ponders New Graduation Requirements

The Fond du Lac School Board last night approved seven new courses for the high school and is considering revising the district’s policy on high school graduation requirements. District Superintendent Jim Sebert says he’s excited about the new courses including a medical terminology course that is part of the biomedical track for Project Lead the Way courses. He says kids that chose technical college will also get college credit for it. A new state law now will require that students take three math and three science courses to graduate from high school. Sebert says currently the high school only requires two credits of each. Sebert says they found out through their research that 64 percent of the kids in the high school already take three math and three science courses before they graduate. The changes will be required beginning with the Class of 2017. To accommodate the change the number of elective credits required to graduate will be reduced.

Gudex Likes Changes To Tax Return Bill

State Senator Rick Gudex says he likes the fixes made to a bill passed by the State Assembly that will return $504 million in income and property taxes to state taxpayers. The state lawmaker from Fond du Lac says he and some other senators didn’t like the idea of putting $117 million in the state’s rainy day fund and at the same time raising the structural deficit. The governor had conversations with Gudex and other senators about their objections. Gudex says as a result the $117 million will be used to eliminate the $100 million or so that the structural deficit would have increased. The Senate will take up the bill with its changes on March 4th and when it’s passed will need the State Assembly’s approval.

FDL County Sheriff’s Dept Maintains Good Media Relationships

Fond du Lac County Sheriff’s Captain Rick Olig says they have a pretty good relationship with the media when it comes to getting out information on news stories. He says the media can take other approaches to a story if there isn’t a good relationship and that can lead to misinformation. He says an incident in Rosendale where a man set fire to his home and had explosives, which turned out to be fireworks is one such example. Olig says live pictures of where their officers are positioned can put lives in jeopardy. He says in the past they had problems with news helicopters, but now social media can also give them trouble. Olig says if they have a good relationship such as they have with News-Talk 1450 KFIZ they can even ask to embargo information, something we did when they were dealing with a situation involving a child sexual assault and weapons. In that situation we delayed releasing information for 48 hours.

Fire At Councilman’s Home Difficult For Firefighters To Get At

A fire at Fond du Lac City Councilman Dan Manning’s home last week took some time to get at for firefighters. Division Chief of Fire Prevention Troy Haase says the fire at 261 3rd Street was between a false ceiling and a roof, which was difficult to get at. He says they had to tear out a lot of ceiling to get at the fire. Haase says as with other fires they canvassed the neighborhood the following day to give out fire safety tips and offer residents an opportunity for home inspections. He says there was nothing suspicious about the fire and they suspect it may have been electrical in nature. City Manager Joe Moore also recently had a fire at his home in the garage.

Discover Moraine Park Event Today And Tomorrow

Moraine Park Technical College is holding its annual Discover Moraine Park event over the next two days at its three main campuses. Sally Ruback is an enrollment services specialist with MPTC. She says such events help in the college admissions process. She says it’s an opportunity to meet with instructors, admissions staff, financial aid and student services staff and is a family friendly event. She says those attending can even fill out an application and save $30 on the application fee. Discover Moraine Park events will be held today at the West Bend and Beaver Dam campuses and Wednesday at the Fond du Lac campus from 4:30 to 6 p.m.

West Bend Man Gets Posthumous Degree From Purdue

Officials at Purdue University recently decided to award a posthumous degree to the 21-year-old West Bend man shot and killed on the main campus last month. A committee at the university voted unanimously to approve the posthumous degree for Andrew Boldt. He was an electrical engineering senior who was shot and killed by Cody Cousins a fellow student and teaching assistant. The 23-year-old Cousins has been charged for his murder.  Boldt grew up in West Bend.

UW-FDL Hosts Extreme South Pole Science Programs

The community has several opportunities to learn about extreme South Pole science today at the UW-Fond du Lac. In particular scientists from the UW-Madison’s Wisconsin IceCube Particle Astrophysics Center will be lecturing about the South Pole-based Neutrino Observatory. A lecture will be held at the Prairie Theater from 12:30 to 1:20 p.m. and it’s free. There will be hands on activities for all ages in Large Group Instruction Room 113 and 114 at the University Commons from 4 to 6 p.m. Then at 6 p.m. there’s a free screening of the movie “Chasing the Ghost Particle: From the South Pole to the Edge of Universe” in the Prairie Theater. Additional activities are planned for Fond du Lac STEM Academy and Institute students and UW-Fond du Lac students.

Walleye Weekend T-Shirt Design Contest Underway

The annual Walleye Weekend T-shirt design contest has kicked off. There are two divisions this year including Kindergarten through 4th grade, and 5th through 9th grade. Registration forms and designs are now being accepted. The winner in each of the divisions will receive a $100 Hopper’s Silk Screening and All Star Trophy gift certificate. Hopper’s is sponsoring the contest. Hopper’s owner Mark Hopper says, “Year after year, we look forward to see new talent and new designs for walleye weekend.” Rules and entry forms can be found at the Fond du Lac Festivals office, Hopper’s Silk Screening & All-Star Trophy and the Fond du Lac YMCA. They can also be downloaded at the Fond du Lac Festivals website. All entries must be postmarked or dropped off at the Fond du Lac Festivals office by 5 p.m. on Monday, March 24th. Walleye Weekend is June 6th through the 8th at Lakeside Park in Fond du Lac.