Local News Briefs Tuesday 9/10/13

A vote today by union workers for Oshkosh Corporation will decide whether the union will reopen contract extension talks with the company. The union’s contract doesn’t expire for three years, but that’s what the company is asking for otherwise it’s threatening to build a military vehicle elsewhere if the company wins that contract. Oshkosh Corporation hopes to get a $13 billion contract with the Army and Marine Corps to build a replacement vehicle for the aging Humvee. The company is seeking a 5-year contract extension with the union.


Wrong Roof


North Fond du Lac officials are asking the public to help them locate and identify individuals who completed roofing work on the NFDL Community Center. It appears that someone started a re-roofing project on the building, but Village officials say no such work was scheduled to be completed. “We don’t believe this was an intentional act of vandalism or theft,” said Village Administrator Chuck Hornung. “It appears that someone started a re-roofing project at the wrong location, realized their mistake and left.” Witnesses in the area have told officials that a crew of 3-4 men were seen working on the roof on Monday, September 2nd. Anyone with any information is asked to contact the North Fond du Lac Village Offices at (920) 929-3765.


Oshkosh Battery


Police in Oshkosh are looking for those responsible for the beating of a 23-year-old Princeton man early last Saturday morning. The man suffered multiple head and facial injuries when he was hit with a metal pipe and after dropping to the ground was punched and kicked by a group of 4 to 6 men. It happened in the area of High Avenue and Division Street. The victim told police it started when he and a friend talked with a woman. A black man punched the friend and the friend ran after him. The victim began arguing with the woman and the black man returned with a metal pipe and a group of black men. The victim was attacked, but was able to get and run to a friend’s home. The attacker was described as being 20-24 years old, about 6 feet tall. He was wearing a black hat, blue jeans and white top. The woman was white, 5 foot 4 to 5 foot 8 inches tall and slim. She was wearing a white tank top and blue jeans. There were no descriptions for victim’s other attackers. Anyone with information is asked to call Oshkosh Police at (920) 236-5700.


FDL School Board Gives Preliminary Budget Approval


The Fond du Lac School Board gave preliminary approval to the nearly $104 million 2013-14 School Budget last night. District Superintendent Jim Sebert says the board will give final approval to the budget next month. He says there are still some unknown factors including student count to determine state aid and property values. He says the really exciting part of the budget is being able to offer innovative new programming such as the STEM Institute. Sebert says they won’t be cutting any staff or programming like they have had to do in previous budgets. He says saving nearly $150,000 on insurance costs, debt refinancing and other fiscally responsible moves allows them to do that.


Waiver For NFDL Railroad Crossing Quiet Zone Still Possible


North Fond du Lac Village Administrator Chuck Hornung says there’s still slim hope that the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) will give the village a waiver for a quiet zone at the Lakeshore Drive railroad crossing. He says talks with FRA members about the waiver haven’t been encouraging. He says that’s why the village has petitioned the FRA to close the crossing. Train horns could be blown up to 160 times a day with the quiet zone designation being lifted. It could take up to 90 days for the village to get the crossing closed. Hornung says if on the other hand they are granted a waiver for the quiet zone the village would drop the request to close the crossing.


Limited Access If NFDL Railroad Crossing Is Closed


If the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) grants the Village of North Fond du Lac’s request to close a railroad crossing on Lakeshore Drive there would be limited access to the crossing. Village Administrator Chuck Hornung says there would be a barricade and gate and only Fire and EMS personnel would have keys to access the crossing. He says even now the crossing is only open 20 percent of the time because of train traffic.


Bike And Pedestrian Plan Goes Before FDL City Council Wednesday


A bike and pedestrian plan being put together by Fond du Lac City staff would create a 17 mile loop around the City. Public Works Director Jordan Skiff says bike enthusiasts would like to see more connections to state trails in the City. He says the plan is being put together in-house by the City.

He says there have been quite a few improvements already made to trails within the City. He says the loop would be a good way for bike enthusiasts and pedestrians to catch some of the City’s best features. The City Council will be asked to endorse the plan at their meeting Wednesday night.


Congressman Ryan Questions Getting Involved With Syria


(Wisconsin Radio Network)-Add Congressman Paul Ryan to the members of Wisconsin’s delegation who are uncertain about whether the U-S should get involved in Syria. Congress returns to work amid a raging debate over U-S military action in Syria. First District Republican Paul Ryan says he is “highly suspicious” about the White House’s proposal. He says there is no comprehensive plan and he doesn’t see what it does for national security. Ryan says he told President Obama he would attend classified briefings and review intelligence documents. Ryan says there are still millions of questions about what a strike would achieve. With a vote looming in Congress, many lawmakers have voiced uncertainty about the U-S getting involved. The president addresses the nation tonight about Syria.


Hwy 41 Public Hearings FDL And Elsewhere


The state’s Department of Transportation has scheduled three public hearings to discuss the conversion of Highway 41 from a US Highway to an Interstate. The public hearings will be held today at Fox Valley Technical College in Appleton (in Room A161A & B), Wednesday at the UW-Fond du Lac in the Large Group Instruction Room (113/114), and Thursday at the Oak Creek Campus of Milwaukee Area Technical College (in Lecture Room A241). Each hearing will be from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m., with a presentation at 5:30 p.m.


Oshkosh Street Closing


Oshkosh Police inform us that the southbound lanes of South Main Street will be shut down to traffic today from noon to 1 p.m. for an event Oshkosh Corporation will be holding at the City Center. Traffic will be detoured west on West 9th Avenue, south on Oregon Street, and east on West South Park Avenue back to South Main Street. Barricades will be placed on South Main Street at West 10th Avenue, West 11th Avenue and West 12th Avenue prohibiting access onto South Main Street.


Thelma Week Is Here


Thelma Week is here! Downtown Fond du Lac Partnership Executive Director Amy Hansen talked a little bit about the excitement surrounding the Grand Opening Week for the Thelma Sadoff Center for the Arts. She says it starts tonight with the annual Windy Dinner at the Center. Windy Award winner Jim Hubbard will be honored during the dinner. She says the public will be able to attend the official opening Thursday. The contemporary wing will open from 5 to 8 p.m. It’s free to attend. Friday night there will be a showing of the film “The Great Gatsby” and Saturday it’s a Night with Montgomery Gentry. Hansen says the stage will be on the street that evening. Tickets for Thelma events are available by calling 921-5410 or by going to their website.     


Habitat Ground Breaking In West Bend


The Habitat for Humanity chapter of Washington and Dodge Counties and Moraine Park Technical College are partnering on a home build this upcoming fall in West Bend. A ground breaking ceremony was held at the site on Municipal Drive in West Bend Monday afternoon. The partnership will have benefits for both the college and Habitat. MPTC will be teaching their students through hands on experience on the job site.  Habitat for Humanity will continue to provide simple, affordable homes for their partner families to purchase and learn more about the value of home ownership.