Local News Briefs Tuesday 8/13/13

Some details have been released about the death of a three-year-old girl who was hit by a car in the parking lot of the Plymouth Aquatic Center late Saturday morning. Police say Aaliyah Godfrey of Plymouth came out from between some parked vehicles where she was with her mother. Thirty-nine-year-old Pam Garbisch of Sheboygan ran over her with the minivan she was driving. Aaliyah was flown to St. Nicholas Hospital in Sheboygan where she died later that afternoon. Police say speed and alcohol weren’t factors in the tragedy. No citations are expected to be issued.


Oshkosh Woman Sentenced To Prison For Pedestrian’s Death


A 46-year-old Oshkosh woman has been sentenced to prison for two years for hitting and killing a pedestrian with her car last September. Authorities say Tina Trepanier had been drinking and was using her cell phone when she hit 53-year-old Gina Micheln in Oshkosh. In June Trepanier pleaded no contest in Winnebago County Court to a one count of homicide by reckless use of a motor vehicle and one count of operating while intoxicated 2nd offense. Trepanier apologized to the victim’s family before she was sentenced Monday. In addition to the two years in prison she was given three years of extended supervision and has to pay restitution of nearly $4,500.


Squirrel Cause Of Power Outage In FDL


An explosion heard in the City of Fond du Lac Sunday morning was likely a squirrel in the wrong place at the wrong time. Alliant Energy officials say a squirrel on a line caused a fuse to open at the Macy Street Substation at 5:42 a.m. That caused a power outage for about 750 customers while repairs were made. The outage lasted about 2 hours and 20 minutes.


More Work On State Hwy 57 In Plymouth Slated


The state’s Department of Transportation recently announced that paint work will be done on the Highway 23 overpass at Highway 57. The project begins Friday and will force one lane of Highway 57 in each direction to close at times.  Work is scheduled to be completed sometime in October.

Motorists have been dealing with road cones and closures around Plymouth this construction season due to work along the two state highway projects.  Those projects involve resurfacing of Highway 57 and changes to intersections and access points on Highway 23.


FDL School Board Approves Teacher Pay Raises Hires New Principal


The Fond du Lac School Board yesterday approved a 1 percent increase in total base wage for members of the Fond du Lac Education Association. District Superintendent Jim Sebert says it is retroactive to the school year they completed at the end of June. He says now all of their employee groups have received a 1 percent increase for the 2012-13 school year. The board also approved the resignation of Assistant High School Principal Michael Gonzalez who was in that position for six years. Sebert says Gonzalez is now a middle school principal in the Mauston School District. The board also approved the hiring of Anthony Pizzo as an assistant high school principal. Pizzo was one of 75 applicants for the position. He had been working for CESA 1 where he was the assistant director of alternative education. Following the meeting the board participated in a ribbon-cutting for the improvements at Fruth Field.


FDL City Council Agendas Going Paperless


The Fond du Lac City Council will be going to a paperless agenda sometime in the near future. City Information Technology Services Manager Dave Zittlow says the Council is currently getting a paper packet and a PDF version for their iPads. He says it will be more convenient and will ultimately save the City some costs on printing up the agendas and background information needed for Council packets. He says they will also be putting up a cleaner version of the agenda on the City website that will mirror the video from Council meetings so residents can link up to the video from the meeting for the particular issue or item on the agenda they are interested in.


“Old Main” Served SMSA Well


St. Mary’s Springs Academy officials held a commemoration ceremony for the “Old Main” Hall last week as they were announcing their “Second Century” capital campaign for new school facilities. Academy President Kevin Shaw says the 85-year-old building has been well used, but repurposing it would have been costly especially considering the cost for asbestos and lead abatement. He says those costs alone would have been $300,000 before remodeling and demolition and they would have been hampered by the structural design of the building. He says people are nostalgic about the building and inquired about bricks and other items in the building, but the building now belongs to the contractor who is taking it down. As for the capital campaign its raised $15.4 million so far. Shaw says they’ve seen improvements to the St. Mary’s campuses every generation or so and now it is their turn.


Waupun City Hall Upgrades


Improvements planned for the Waupun City Hall could be credited to the buildings old boiler system. City Administrator Kyle Clark says they were considering replacing the system, which was experiencing cracked and clogged pipes. When they started looking at the infrastructure at the City Hall they discovered they needed other upgrades as well. He says one of the things they wanted to do was get air-conditioning so they could make better use of the auditorium that they rent out for use. Clark says they also wanted to look at possible security upgrades as well. He says the Common Council’s last Committee of the Whole meeting they did get some cost estimates for the work they would like done.


Outagamie County Storm Damage Tops $30 Million


(Wisconsin Radio Network)-Damage reports from last week’s storm are still coming in, but Outagamie County Executive Tom Nelson says they’ve now topped $30 million. He says $25 million in private residential damage and about $6 million in damage to public sector property including roadways, bridges, schools and public facilities. He says the damage to homes and businesses will not likely qualify for FEMA aid, but the public sector damage is getting close. He says if they don’t qualify for FEMA aid they might still be able to qualify for Wisconsin Emergency Management funds. Nelson says Governor Walker still hasn’t replied to his request for help from the Wisconsin National Guard to clear storm debris.


Berlin School District Has To Change Indian Nickname And Mascot


The dropping of a lawsuit by parents challenging a state Department of Public Instruction’s ruling means the Berlin School District has until next July 1st  to change their “Indians” mascot. The lawsuit challenging the DPI decision was dropped Monday.  In 2011 a district resident complained about the nickname and the DPI ordered Berlin to change it. Parents challenged that order with a lawsuit. However in the wake of a similar lawsuit in Mukwonago that was rejected by the appeals court, upholding the state law, a mutual decision was reached to end the Berlin suit. A Green Lake County judge signed an order Monday that will require the Berlin School District to make the change.


Seat Belt Use At Record High In the State


A recent observational survey by the Wisconsin Department of Transportation shows seat belt use is at an all-time high with about 83 percent of motorists buckling-up. State Patrol Sergeant David Harvey says that’s a credit to drivers, as well as a signal that public education and law enforcement efforts are having an effect. Unfortunately, Wisconsin still sits below the national average of 86 percent and below neighboring states that see over 90 percent of their drivers bucking up. Last year in Wisconsin, there were about 105-thousand convictions for failure to fasten safety belts. Among all traffic violations in Wisconsin, that’s second only to speeding.


Masonic Bingo Discontinued


An official with Fond du Lac Lodge #26 Free and Accepted Masons says they have discontinued their Wednesday night bingo games on the first, third and fifth Wednesday nights of the month. That’s due to reasons of their own. If they do choose to resume bingo games the Masons will post it on their website, Facebook page and post signs on the glass doors of their north and south entrances of their building at 500 West Arndt Street. They do thank anyone who has come to their bingo games. They note that the Lucky Dog Bingo run by volunteers of the Fond du Lac Humane Society will continue to be run in their building.