Local News Briefs Tuesday 7/30/13

The state Department of Justice says multiple arrests were made in Wisconsin, as part of a nationwide crackdown on child sex trafficking. More than 10 children were rescued in Wisconsin and 100 people taken in to custody, as part of a nationwide crackdown on child sex trafficking. Jennifer Price with the state’s Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force says the raids in Wisconsin were just a part of ongoing efforts to target the forced prostitution of children. The Fond du Lac Police Department participated and made 10 arrests.


Two Children Injured In Dune Buggy Accident


Dodge County Sheriff’s officials say two children were flown by Med-Flight helicopter to a hospital after crashing a dune buggy Sunday afternoon. The accident happened a couple miles north of Fox Lake on a property off of Prairie Road. Authorities say the 9-year-old driving the dune buggy hit the gas instead of the brake and struck the front of a pickup truck in a driveway. The driver and an 11-year-old passenger suffered head injuries and were flown to a hospital. The accident was reported at 4:30 that afternoon.


Carol’s Tour Owner Sentenced To Prison


The owner of the shuttered Carol’s Tours in Beaver Dam was sentenced in Dodge County Court Monday morning to 27 months in prison for closing shop without providing vacations to hundreds of customers. Last October Deb Paul entered a “no contest” plea to a pair of felony theft charges. She was given credit for the 138 days in jail she’s already served. Paul was also sentenced to 36 months of extended supervision and ordered to pay $191,000 in restitution. Paul owned the travel agency, which closed its doors in 2008 without providing hundreds of vacations. The 58-year-old Beaver Dam woman had received more than $270,000 in payments for trips from over 200 paying customers. Her office manager was previously sentenced to 18 months in prison.


Campbellsport Woman Sentenced On Drunken Driving Injury Charge


A 28-year-old Campbellsport woman was recently sentenced in Dodge County Court to eight months in jail on a felony charge of injury by intoxicated use of a vehicle. Megan McLellan entered a “no contest” plea to the charge this past May. The charge stems from a two-vehicle accident on Highway 175 in Theresa on May 23rd of last year. She allegedly crossed over the centerline and hit a pickup truck driven by a 51-year-old Mayville man, Randy Gagliano. Flight for Life flew both of them to Froedtert Hospital in Milwaukee. McLellan told investigators she had a couple of drinks at a bar in Rubicon after leaving work. She was also placed on probation for five years. She will be allowed to serve half of her eight month jail sentence on electronic monitoring.


Ripon High Speed Chase


Ripon Police say a traffic stop Saturday morning turned into a high speed chase. The driver had multiple warrants for arrest. When asked to get out the vehicle the driver took off. Officers pursued the vehicle north of Ripon into Winnebago County. The chase was cut off because officers were able to identify the owner of the vehicle, and the driver from the warrant information. Multiple charges are pending against the driver.


Rescued Puppies Doing Well


Fond du Lac Humane Society Shelter Manager Renee Webb says 10 yellow lab puppies rescued from a home on 8th Street on July 8th are doing well at the shelter. She says were in a crate in the backyard covered with a tarp, but there was a fan set up to blow air into the crate and it was raining. She says the puppies had a choice of being wet and cold under the fan or suffering from the heat at the other end of the crate. She says they are working with the City Attorney to gain ownership of the puppies that will be 7 weeks old on Wednesday. She says normally they don’t adopt out puppies until they are 8 weeks old, but the puppies are part of a court case right now against the owner. She says they’ve already gotten quite a few applications from people who want to adopt them.Thirty-two-year-old Stacy Checolinski of Fond du Lac makes her initial appearance on animal neglect charges in Fond du Lac County Court today.


Mercury Exceeding FDL County Expectations


Fond du Lac County Executive Al Buechel says Mercury Marine is living up to its end of the incentive package the County offered to keep the company from consolidating to Oklahoma. He says they made their first of ten installment payments on a $50 million loan this past December. He says they’ve also created nearly 1,600 jobs since a low point in 2009 and have built or are building 5 additions. He says research and development of a 150 horsepower 4-stroke engine was a gamble that is paying off well. Recently a Wall Street Journal article based on Department of Labor information put Fond du Lac at 4th in the country in terms of wage growth between the fourth quarter of 2011 and the fourth quarter of 2012. Buechel says much of that 10.6 percent growth is attributable to Mercury’s success. He says while some of those jobs were basic starting-wage hourly jobs, others were highly skilled high-paying jobs. He says Mercury’s overall contribution to the local economy since 2009 has seen a major increase. He says their impact then was estimated at $353 million and now is at $500 million including taxes they pay and businesses that support Mercury.


Real-Time Election Results Matter Of Having Right Equipment


Fond du Lac County Clerk Lisa Freiberg says being able to post real-time election results on the County website is a matter of having the right equipment. She says the simple answer is that the system they use is an old DOSS system, but just getting the right equipment isn’t as easy as it sounds. She says it has to be both federally and state-certified. She says she’d like to continue working with the same company they’ve been dealing with, but their equipment isn’t state-certified and must also be federally-certified. She does post results on a projection screen in a room off the County Clerk’s office on election night as the results come in. She also posts results on the County’s website at the end of election nights.


Veteran Sheriff’s Department Officers Retire


The Fond du Lac County Sheriff’s Department is dealing with retirements of a couple veteran members of the department in the past month. Chief Deputy Mark Strand says Sergeant John Toney will be retiring after a long career in law enforcement, 32 years with the Sheriff’s Department and 2 years with the North Fond du Lac Police Department prior to that. Eric Halbach will be promoted to replace him. Also last month Detective Chris Hess retired after 30 years with the department. Deputy Pete Vergos is being promoted to detective to fill her spot. Toney will take the symbolic “Ramp Walk” at the Sheriff’s Department off Western Avenue in Fond du Lac at 12:15 this afternoon signifying his retirement. The walk is a tradition for veteran officers of the department


FDL School To Work Program Gets State Grant


The Fond du Lac School to Work Consortium recently got word it is receiving an $82,512 grant through the state’s Youth Apprenticeship program. Governor Scott Walker recently announced $1.86 million in Wisconsin Youth Apprenticeships grants, which are awarded to train high school juniors and seniors during the upcoming school year.  The nationally recognized skills training program served about 1,900 youths last year. The Department of Workforce Development administers the Youth Apprenticeship program in partnership with local service providers, school districts, and employers. 


Disney’s Planes Gets Special Screening At AirVenture


Appropriately enough the animated comedy “Disney’s Planes” will make its debut at a place where all the planes are this week, EAA AirVenture in Oshkosh. EAA spokesman Dick Knapinski says they will have a special preview screening at the Fly-In Theater Friday night. He says normally Disney doesn’t allow outdoor screening of its films, but Disney officials were at EAA last year for a couple of film-related events. Disney allowed a screening of “The Rocketeer” last year at EAA and Disney officials were on hand when George Lucas screened “Redtails.”  He says the special screening of “Disney’s Planes” at EAA will be a week before it is released in theaters. The hero of the film is “Dusty” the crop hopper and a real crop duster has been upgraded to look like “Dusty” and will be at AirVenture as well. AirVenture runs through Sunday in Oshkosh.


Deadline For Upriver Lakes Sturgeon Spearing Lottery Thursday


Department of Natural Resources officials are reminding residents that the deadline for applying for the 2014 Upriver Lakes Sturgeon Spearing Season is this Thursday August 1st. Five hundred lucky applicants will receive permits to purchase their license before the October 31st deadline. Applicants who do not receive a permit for an Upriver Lakes spear license will still be able to purchase a spearing license for Lake Winnebago through the October 31st deadline.