Local News Briefs Tuesday 5/20/14

For the first time in at least 36 years Fond du Lac County reached the middle part of May without a traffic fatality. Sheriff’s Captain Rick Olig says their current record system goes back to 1978 and they have never gone as long without a traffic fatality by now in a year. He says enforcement efforts like the current Click it or Ticket help, but weather and road construction also come in to play. He says road improvements, driver’s education and coordinated enforcement also are factors. Olig says quicker responses by First Responders, EMTs, medical helicopters and improvements in health care also are a major factor allowing people to survive more serious accidents. Most of Fond du Lac County’s neighboring counties have at least one traffic fatality so far this year.

Dead Crow In Dodge County Had West Nile Virus

State and county health officials announced Monday that a dead crow found in Dodge County has tested positive for West Nile virus. It is the first bird to test positive for the virus in Wisconsin this year. Although very few mosquitoes actually carry West Nile virus, infected birds serve as an early warning that the virus is present in the area and that people should be more vigilant in protecting themselves against mosquito bites. West Nile virus is spread to people through the bite of an infected mosquito. Mosquitoes become infected with West Nile virus by feeding on infected birds, and then potentially transmit the virus by biting other animals or people.

Washington County Man Committed For Father’s Murder

A 38-year-old Colgate man has been committed to the state’s Department of Health Services for life and will be committed to a mental health institution for murdering his 76-year-old father. A Washington County judge recently found Beau Musial guilty of 1st degree intentional homicide, but not guilty due to mental disease or defect in the December 21st 2012 death of his father. A hearing Monday decided on his commitment. Musial beat his father then cut his throat. The two had gotten into an argument over Musial’s purchase of a tractor-trailer. Musial will be able to petition for conditional release and/or early termination of his commitment.

Sheboygan Man Facing Charge In Heroin Death

(WHBL-Sheboygan)-There’s been another heroin overdose death in the city of Sheboygan – the 5th in Sheboygan County since 2011.  Captain Jim Veeser of the Sheboygan Police Department said 22-year-old Taylor Shannon of Sheboygan is facing a charge of reckless homicide in the death of 29-year- old Kael Klassen of Sheboygan.  Veeser said Klassen died of a heroin overdose on April 18th and the ensuing investigation determined Shannon had allegedly provided the heroin.  Shannon is being held in the county jail pending a court appearance.  Three people are currently facing similar homicide charges in Sheboygan County. 

Garage Fire In Washington County

A dog awoke a Town of Jackson family early Monday morning alerting them to a fire at the residence. Washington County Sheriff’s officials say the four people inside the home on Jackson Drive were able to safely get out of the two-story home. There were no injuries. The fire was in an attached garage. Six fire departments battled the blaze and were able to contain it to the garage. The garage and an attached mud room were a total loss. The rest of house had smoke damage. There were no working smoke detectors in the home. The cause of the fire is being investigated. The time of the fire call was 12:33 a.m.

Cold Water Challenge

North Fond du Lac Police Chief Darren Pautsch says the so-called “Cold Water Challenge” started out with good intentions as a fund raiser on Facebook to help a terminally ill patient. He says it spun off into other similar efforts, but jumping into unknown cold waters has led to injuries across the nation including here in Fond du Lac County. He says jumping into cold water when it’s murky and you can’t see what’s underneath, judge its depth or current is unsafe. Pautsch says he’s not speaking out against it, but says there are ways to be careful and creative about it. He says a friend decided to walk under a waterfall that was safe.

Emerald Ash Borer Awareness Week

Fond du Lac Public Works Director Jordan Skiff says at least 100 people have expressed interest in having their ash trees chemically treated to prevent Emerald Ash Borer infestation. Skiff says that includes both trees on private land and in the street terrace. He says City officials found out by attending a conference earlier this year that other states were finding success with chemical treatment. He says especially hopeful was the success Fort Wayne, Indiana where they treated their ash trees. Some of the trees were only treated once and held off the EAB much longer than the recommended 2 to 3 years when trees should be treated again. He says it will cost the City of Fond du Lac about $120 to treat a tree versus $500 to $700 to remove a tree and its stump, but they don’t know how long the tree will need to be treated. This is Emerald Ash Borer Awareness Week.

Tourism Specialist In FDL Wednesday

The Fond du Lac Convention and Visitors Bureau Wednesday will play host to an in-office visit of Wisconsin Department of Tourism Regional Specialist David Spiegelberg. CVB President Craig Molitor says Spielberg will hold a general session at their office to review the department’s latest tourism initiatives and promotions for the spring and summer.  He says a general session will be held from 8:30 to 9:30 a.m. that is open to the public. He says those who are interested in attending the general session should contact the bureau to see if seating is available by calling 923-3010. Molitor says afterwards Spiegelberg will hold one-on-one sessions with those who have tourism questions. He says for instance Sturgeon Stampede organizers will speak with Spiegelberg about the possibility of getting a grant to help host a World Championship Ice Kiting event during the stampede next winter.

FDL County Board Preview

Fond du Lac County supervisors Tuesday night will be asked to approve a 1.5 percent wage increase for the Sheriff’s Office Jail Division employees. If approved the increase would be retroactive to January 5th. The board will also consider authorizing the transfer of ownership of four-tenths of an acre of land in the County’s Waupun Park to the City of Waupun. The land would be used exclusively for the development and operation of the new aquatic facility. The board meets at 7 p.m. at the City-County Government Center.

A Program For Budding Entrepreneurs

A program being offered by the Fond du Lac County U-W Extension service shows people what it takes to be an entrepreneur. “Going Solo: Creating a Successful Business” will be offered every Wednesday night from May 28th through June 25th from 6:15 to 8:30 p.m. at the Fond du Lac County Economic Development Corporation office on North Main Street in Fond du Lac. Diana Tscheschlok of the Extension Service says it’s based on a game that simulates how a real business would be run. She says they’ve had people from 17 to more than 65-years-old in previous classes. She says teams are set up with their own jewelry business and each class represents a quarter of a year with financial statements just like a real business. The cost is $10 and when the class is done you get a certificate of completion. To enroll call Gloria Kelroy at (920) 929-3173.

Sponsors Needed For Salute The Troops Running Event

Salute the Troops of Fond du Lac will be hosting a half marathon, 5K and Kid’s Race at Lakeside Park this coming Sunday. Salute the Troops is teaming with Desert Striders: Shadow Runners, a group of serious and leisurely runners who participate while stationed and deployed to Al Udeid Air Force in Qatar. The active duty troops, often 30 to 50 members would like to participate. They are looking for sponsors here at home. The cost is $25 per runner, which include a t-shirt and medals. More information and volunteer opportunities are available at www.SaluteTheTroopsWI.org or send a check for sponsorship to 116 N. Main Street, Fond du Lac, WI 54935.

Grants Expands AmeriCorps Emergency Preparedness Program

A new three-year federal grant will allow a state program to continue to train AmeriCorps members to help promote emergency preparedness. Under the new grant, Wisconsin Emergency Management will receive $130,000 to expand the number of AmeriCorps members to 20. They will assist local and tribal emergency management with developing volunteer plans and emergency preparedness trainings in Wisconsin. The original grant last fall provided 12 part-time AmeriCorps members that are located at emergency management offices in Milwaukee, Fond du Lac, Sawyer, Dane and Grant counties.  AmeriCorps is often referred to as a domestic Peace Corps that places individuals who make a commitment to serving their communities.

Marian Hosting Veterans Career And Job Fair

Marian University in Fond du Lac will be hosting a veteran career and job fair on Thursday, May 29 from 10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. in the Stayer Center. The career and job fair will feature representatives from the Wisconsin Employment Relations Commission and local human resources professionals who will assist veterans with resume writing and interview techniques. In addition, the fair will feature local businesses and organizations that support veteran hiring, as well as representatives from colleges and universities in the Fox Valley who assist veterans in returning to school. For more information about the veteran career and job fair, contact Tracy Qualmann, director of enrollment partnerships, at [email protected] or (920) 923-7159.