Local News Briefs Tuesday 5/6/14

Fond du Lac High School Principal Jon Wiltzius says his resignation at the end of June has nothing to do with performance or the recent controversy over censorship issues of a student publication at the high school. In fact he says he’s going to fulfill a dream by running a campground. He says it’s the former Eden-Fond du Lac KOA Campground in the Eden Area and will be called Breezy Hill Campground. Wiltzius has been with the district since 1998, the last six as high school principal. He says his wife Jennifer will continue to teach Math and Spanish at the high school and he may teach again at some time in the future. The campground is located off Highway 41 on County Highway B.

County Executive Glad To See Student Housing Coming To UW-FDL

Fond du Lac County Executive Al Buechel says he’s glad the County Board recently passed a development and lease agreement for an 84-bed student housing facility at the UW-Fond du Lac campus. He says there are students that want the option of living in a dorm even if they aren’t that far from home. He says it’s another option for students and another way for the school to keep its enrollment up. The facility will be open in time for the fall 2015 semester.

Ripon Schools Referendum A Possibility

The opportunity for Ripon Area School District residents to weigh in on a facilities plan and possible referendum concluded Monday. Ripon Schools Superintendent Mary Whitrock says the survey has wrapped up and results will be presented to the school board on Monday, May 19th. She says their buildings built in the 1990’s are in pretty good shape, but their middle school and high school are 75 and 50 years old respectively. She says the middle school has a solid type of construction that makes remodeling even for ADA compliance difficult. The high school needs improvements as well including more security. In the facilities plans there are four options that range from $29.1 million to $39 million. The school board will decide whether or not to hold a referendum in November. For more information on the facilities study and plans visit the Ripon Area School District website. http://www.ripon.k12.wi.us/

Pepper Tabbed For Federal Judge Seat

Wisconsin’s two US Senators are recommending that Milwaukee’s chief bankruptcy judge fill an open federal district judgeship for the eastern half of Wisconsin.  Pamela Pepper was nominated by President Obama, after recommendations from a state judicial panel headed by Senators Ron Johnson and Tammy Baldwin.  The eastern district is based in Milwaukee, and includes Dodge, Washington, Green Lake and Fond du Lac counties, among others.  The appointment is pending Senate confirmation.

Fire Pit Reminders

With more people expected to enjoy outdoors recreational fires now that the weather is turning warmer, Fond du Lac Division Chief of Fire Prevention Troy Haase reminds us about the City’s fire pits ordinance. He says to remember how far away from a residence, wooden structure and lot line you can locate it.  Twenty-five or more feet from a home, 10 feet or more from a wooden structure and 6 feet or more from a lot line. There are requirements for the pit itself. It should be a 3 foot circle protected with stone and only clear wood can be burned. He says it’s also a good idea to check with your neighbor’s first because if someone calls to complain the fire department will sent to shut it down. You can check own the ordinance including fire pit hours at the Fire Departments website. http://www.fdlfire.com/blog/outdoor-fire-pitfireplace-information/

FDL County Farmers Receive State Grants

Three Fond du Lac County farmers are among 43 in the state to receive state grants to invest in management, develop expansion plans, and transition their farms for the next generation. John Reudinger of Van Dyne, and Mark Ryan and Leroy Schmitz both of Fond du Lac are among the farmers receiving Grow Wisconsin Dairy 30×20 grants. Other area farmers getting the grants include Lloyd and Larry Meyer of Chilton and Travis Paul of Fox Lake.

Recasting The County Board

Fond du Lac County Executive Al Buechel says the new County Board seated last month is the 20th he’s worked with since he was a County Board member. He likens it to casting a play. He says people fill different roles as board members come and go. He says in fact putting information together for County supervisors for each board meeting is like producing a play. Five new members joined the board last month, Ken Depperman, Sarah Everson, Marty Ryan, Dean Will and Michael Will.

Bike To School Day Wednesday

Bike to School Day throughout the Fond du Lac School District will take place Wednesday. Over the past 30 years, the percentage of children biking and walking to school has declined from 50% or more to closer to about 15% currently. Today, parents drive as many as 50% of children traveling to school. School bus trips account for an increasing share of the remainder.  The purpose of Bike to School Day is to start to reverse these trends. For more on the activities in the Fond du Lac School District planned for Bike to School Day look for our story at KFIZ.com.