Local News Briefs Tuesday 7/22/14

Berlin Police are still trying to find out why a 26-year-old Berlin man stabbed another man in the abdomen Sunday afternoon. Bobby Ray Lewis was arrested and taken to the Green Lake County Jail following the incident in the 100 block of South Adams Avenue. The victim was treated by Berlin Paramedics and taken to a local hospital with non-life threatening injuries.  It happened on a sidewalk and several people were involved. Lewis was arrested a few blocks away from the scene and still had the knife. He’s facing charges of aggravated battery. Berlin Police Captain Kevin Block says it was an isolated incident.

Slinger Train Derailment

Canadian National Railway officials say the two crew members hurt in a collision between Canadian National and Southern & Wisconsin freight trains Sunday night in Slinger were released from a local hospital after being treated. The engineer and conductor were hurt in the collision that led to the derailment of 3 engines and 10 railroad cars. It’s estimated that about 5,000 gallons of diesel fuel spilled because of the crash. Railroad officials are working with the Department of Natural Resources to limit the impact of that spill on area creeks, ponds and wildlife.

Sheboygan Man Charged For Attempted Stabbing

(WHBL-Sheboygan)-A 25-year-old Sheboygan man is charged for trying to stab a person inside a vehicle.  Guillermo Landeros-Martinez faces charges of recklessly endangering safety, attempted aggravated battery by use of a dangerous weapon, and theft for his alleged actions last Thursday. According to the criminal complaint, Martinez was upset that the battery victim was spreading rumors about him and a friend.  The friend was able to get the two together in an attempt to reconcile their differences.  As the three were driving to the victim’s residence, Martinez began to shout at him and then drew a large knife in an attempt to stab him.  The victim was able to stop the knife, but Martinez began punching him a number of times to the face.  The victim was able to get out of the vehicle.

Ripon Vehicle Thefts

Ripon Police are trying to find those responsible for several vehicle thefts over the past few weeks.  A vehicle was taken from a garage in the 900 block of Watson Street June 29th and later found out in the county. The Fond du Lac County Sheriff’s Department took another stolen vehicle report in the same area and that vehicle was later found in Ripon. Last weekend several vehicles were entered on Ripon’s West side, one of those vehicles had the keys left in the vehicle. That vehicle was stolen from the driveway. Anyone with information about the vehicle break-ins or thefts is asked to call the Ripon Police Department at (920) 748-2888. There is a reward for information leading to arrests.

Lomira Vandalism Suspect Leaves Blood At The Scene

The vandals who targeted a Town of Lomira baseball diamond over the weekend may have left a vital piece of evidence at the scene. The bases were stolen at the diamond at St. Andrews Church, garbage cans were tipped over and forks were stuck in the field. Dodge County Sheriff Pat Ninmann confirms there was also some blood evidence recovered at the scene. The sheriff says they hope to get a DNA hit on it.

Protecting Yourself Against Identity Theft

Fond du Lac Police Officer Steve Olson says it’s never a bad time to brush up on what you know about identity theft. He says consider each number you’re assigned such as your social security numbers or bank account keys to your valuables. He says when you get your credit or debit card bills check them carefully because sometimes an identity thief will try a small purchase or purchases before really doing damage. He also advises never carrying your social security card, and shredding your financial papers and placing the piles in separate trash bags. He also says it’s never a good idea to put out your mail the night before it’s going to be picked up.  Olson says if someone asks for your personal information over the phone or at a store ask them why they need and how they will use it. He also says it’s a good idea to freeze your credit so people can’t randomly check your credit report.

Home Sales Up In The State Down In FDL County

The state housing market picked up last month. Home sales were up 4.5 percent compared to last June and the median price of a home increased by six-tenths of a percent. Dave Clark of the Wisconsin Realtors Association say the median statewide price last month was $160,000. The increase in sales, meanwhile, was the first time that’s happened this year. Meanwhile in Fond du Lac County home sales were down in June by 17.8 percent and the median price of a home was down by 3.7 percent. For more click here

Housing Affordability In FDL County

According to recent data Fond du Lac County mortgage and rent affordability is lower than the national average. Affordability is defined as the percentage of household income devoting to housing costs. For homeowners, it assumes a 20 percent down payment.  According to Zillow Real Estate Research Fond du Lac County has a mortgage affordability percentage at 11 percent compared to 15 percent for the United States. In terms of rent affordability Fond du Lac County was at 23 percent compared to 30 percent for the United States. Fond du Lac County Economic Development Corporation President Steve Jenkins says, “This shows you can have a good job in Fond du Lac County and pay less for housing as a percentage of household income.” He says it’s an important quality of life issue for workers. More information on the Zillow affordability research is available by clicking here.  

MPTC Open House In Beaver Dam For IT Applications Developer Program

Moraine Park Technical College’s Beaver Dam campus will have an open house tonight for its Information Technology Applications Developer program. Lisa Pollard is the Associate Dean of Business and Information Technology. She says it’s more of a program for software development. She says they are expanding the program in Beaver Dam because of the interest expressed in it by employers who need employees with those skills. The open house is from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. Those who register for classes in the program will get the $30 application fee waived and will also have a chance to win $100. She says the instructor will be there and people from their financial aid and student services offices.

Highway 49 Reopening Between Waupun And Brandon

The state Department of Transportation says the 7.4 miles of State Highway 49 that’s been closed from County Highway MMM in Waupun to Clark Street in Brandon in Fond du Lac County is tentatively scheduled to reopen to through traffic Wednesday morning.  It’s been closed since June 24th.  For the remainder of the project, State Highway 49 will remain open with lane closures and flagging operations. The closure was needed to replace cross culverts and update a railroad crossing.   The $2.5 million project includes resurfacing the asphalt pavement, replacing select deteriorated cross culverts throughout the project, localized areas of slope flattening at culvert ends and other areas, and replacing the railroad crossing. The project is expected to be completed by the end of September.

Bridge Inspections

The state’s Department of Transportation says it’s that time of year when inspectors are taking a routine look at bridges along Wisconsin roadways. Scot Becker is the head of the Bureau of Structures. He says all bridges are required to be routinely inspected at least once every two years. He says the state handles inspections on Interstate and state highways, while local units of government handle all other bridge inspections usually by hiring consultants. Becker talked about what goes into a bridge inspection. He says during a routine inspection, engineers look at structural components such as bridge supports, girders and the deck or driving surface. There are about 13,700 bridges in Wisconsin including about 5,000 along the State Highway System.