Local News Briefs Tuesday 9/22/15

A pole shed and its contents were destroyed by fire in the Town of Wayne Sunday afternoon. Washington County Sheriff’s officials say they got a call shortly after 5 p.m. about the fire on St. Kilian Drive. The caller said there was smoke and flames coming from the shed, which was close to the residence. Six fire departments responded to the blaze that destroyed the 40 by 20 foot shed and garage. No injuries were reported. Officials say the fire appears to have been electrical in nature and started in the southeast corner of the building. 

FDL Woman Accused Of Embezzlement

Dodge County prosecutors have charged a 46-year-old Fond du Lac woman fore alleged taking more than $142,000 from the Lomira business she worked at as an officer manager. Tessa Hilt will face five felony theft counts when makes her initial court appearance next month. She allegedly took the money from Waas Boring and Cable to pay her personal expenses including her mortgage.

Home Sales Up In FDL County

Sales of existing homes in Fond du Lac County were up last month and so was the median price of a home. According to the Wisconsin Realtors Association sales of homes in the County were up by 5.6 percent in August and the median price of a home increased by 6.7 percent compared to August of last year. State wide homes sales were up by 3 percent and the median price of a home increased by 2.9 percent in August.

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Progress Being Made On Drug Arrests

Fond du Lac County District Attorney Eric Toney says significant progress has been made on drug arrests. He says they’ve had cases with connections with Milwaukee and Chicago with large amounts of heroin and cocaine. He says they continue to work well with their drug unit to make sure people are getting charged and have solid cases to get drug dealers sentenced. Toney says their alternatives for those who aren’t facing serious drug charges such as the Drug Court program and a Diversions program. Toney is also excited about the work of the Opiod Coalition, which he says will roll out ways for people to become more involved in. He says it’s wonderful to see so many people involved in it and wanting to be involved. He says they will also try and merge some programs with Drug Free Communities and other efforts to make sure there is duplication of programs.

Traffic Enforcement Efforts Continue

Fond du Lac County’s highway safety coordinator says a number of grant-funded traffic enforcement efforts will continue throughout the rest of the year. Sheriff’s Captain Rick Olig says that includes sharing part of Highway 23 east of Fond du Lac with Sheboygan County to cut down on speed, distracted and erratic driving. He says Fond du Lac County will be patrolling 10 miles of that stretch and Sheboygan County 9 miles. He says they are doing their part to try and make the highway safer, but would still like to see the expansion of Highway 23 between Plymouth and Fond du Lac to four lanes happen. Meanwhile a task force including the Sheriff’s Department and police departments from Fond du Lac, North Fond du Lac and Ripon continues to look for drunken drivers. Olig says next month Waupun will join the task force.

Congressman Grothman SS Disability Insurance Reform

Congressman Glenn Grothman is urging House leadership to tie Social Security Disability Insurance reform to increases in the nation’s debt ceiling. Grothman says raising the debt ceiling isn’t something he’s thrilled about so he wants to tie it to doing something about reducing that debt. He says one of the reasons spending is out of control is because of an out of control Social Security Disability system. He says unchecked the Social Security Disability Insurance Trust Fund will exhaust its funds next year. He points out in 2013 alone, the program wasted over $1 billion sending the wrong payments to 36,000 people. He says something like that has to be weeded out while making sure those with legitimate disabilities are taken care of.

Fire Prevention Week Planned

The Division Chief of Fire Prevention for Fond du Lac Fire and Rescue says they’ve picked a date for an open house for next month’s Fire Prevention Week in the City. Troy Haase says each year there is a theme. He says it’s “Hear the Beep Where you Sleep. Every Bedroom Needs a Working Smoke Alarm!” He says Fire Prevention Week will be October 4th through the 10th. He says the open house will be held at the South Main Street Fire Station on Wednesday, October 7th from 4 to 6 p.m. Haase they will have gift bags for the children, which have fire messages they hope the kids will taken home with them. The Fond du Lac City Council Wednesday night will approve a proclamation for Fire Prevention Week in the City.

MPTC Celebrates Fair Trade Month

Moraine Park Technical College’s Fond du Lac campus will host two events in honor of Fair Trade Month in October. MPTC President Bonnie Baerwald says MPTC is itself a Fair Trade Organization. She says they got that designation last year and were the first two-year college in the nation to get that designation. She says the first event will be on Wednesday, October 7th in Room O-103. She says Serena Sato the marketing director of SERRV International will be speaking on “Fair Trade, How Do I Know It’s Fair?” On Wednesday, October 21st Kathleen Stetter of Just Fair Market will talk about “Shedding Light on the Dark Side of Chocolate” in Room A-112. Both addresses will run from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Baerwald says Fair Trade creates opportunities for people in Third World countries to make a living wage.