Local News Briefs Tuesday 9/24/13

Fond du Lac County Judge Gary Sharpe yesterday dismissed half of the misdemeanor charges brought against a 32-year-old Fond du Lac woman suspected of not providing enough water and shelter for 10 yellow lab puppies she was raising. Judge Sharpe granted a prosecutor’s motion to dismiss the 10 counts of failing to provide proper ventilation for animal sheltering. She still faces 10 counts of intentionally failing to provide water. The puppies were rescued on July 8th after a neighbor heard them barking. It was hot and humid and they were in a metal kennel in the backyard covered with a tarp. There was allegedly no food or drinkable water they could get to. Checolinski told police she had a friend stop by to check on the puppies that morning because she had to go to work early.  A trial is scheduled for November.

Murder Trial Underway In Sheboygan County

The prosecution in the Sheboygan County jury trial of Michael Lemerande began to present its case against him Monday afternoon.  Three witnesses took the stand to describe what they saw during a fight on January 19th.  One witness, Tristina Nourse, told assistant district attorney Nathan Haberman that she saw the 23-year-old Oshkosh man, with a knife, run to 41-year-old Nicholas Lerhke during an altercation between a group of people and stab him in the lower back area. The two other witnesses did not see the actual stabbing, but both saw Lerhke was stabbed and one saw Lemerande with a knife.  Lemerande faces a reckless homicide charge.  In his opening statement earlier in the day, defense attorney Marcus Falk said his client’s alleged actions were in self defense.  Haberman said he will prove Lemerande’s actions were intentional.

Neenah Woman Charged For Smuggling Tobacco Into Waupun Prison

(WBEV-Beaver Dam)-A Neenah woman has been formally charged with smuggling illegal contraband into the Dodge Correctional Institution in Waupun. Kathleen Nietfeldt is charged with a felony count of Delivering Illegal Articles to an Inmate. According to the criminal complaint, the 42-year-old allegedly brought three individual smokeless tobacco pouches to her husband during a visit in late July. The used pouches were later recovered from the garbage and the inmate admitted they came from his wife. Nietfeldt is scheduled to make an Initial Appearance in Dodge County court next Monday.

FDL Superintendent Pleased With ACT Scores

Fond du Lac Schools Superintendent Jim Sebert says he’s pleased with ACT test scores for the district. Sebert gave the school board a report on the results of ACT testing. Students in the district had a composite score of 23, which was better than the state average of 22.1.  He says they saw growth in English, Math, Reading and Science scores. He says it’s a tribute to the work of the students and staff and is a reflection on how they’ve been instructed over the years. He says the ACT offers a suite of tests including the explorer for 9th graders and plan testing for 10th graders, which the district has been offering. He says next year the state will make the ACT a standard test that all high school students will have to take. In the latest testing 264 Fond du Lac High School students took the test and across the state 46,574 students took the test.

Homes Sales Up In August

Home sales in the state rose nearly 14-percent last month, the 26th month in a row for an increase. Dave Clark is with the Wisconsin Realtors Association. He says they had a good August and the summer months typically account for 42 percent of homes sales in a typical year.  The statewide median price was also up 6.3-percent last month, climbing to $152,000. In Fond du Lac County home sales were up by 36.4 percent in August and the median price of a home increased by 15.8 percent to $138,700. For more click here

New Federal Requirement For Drivers With CDL

A new federal law requires people holding a commercial drivers license or CDL to provide information to their state Division of Motor Vehicles. Alison Lebwohl with the state’s Department of Motor Vehicles says they need to hear from drivers how they operate and whether they carry a Fed Med card. She says over 200,000 people in Wisconsin hold a valid commercial drivers license and over half of them haven’t provided the require information. She says the easiest way to do this and to provide that information is to use the official DMV web site. Commercial drivers who fail to comply with the federal requirements by January 30 of next year risk losing their CDL.

Congressman Petri Hosts Visiting German Ambassador

Today German Ambassador Peter Ammon will visit Wisconsin at the invitation of U.S. Representative Tom Petri of Fond du Lac.  Petri will host the German Ambassador in Milwaukee, Sheboygan, and Kohler during his visit. “It’s an honor to have Ambassador Ammon visit Wisconsin,” said Petri.  “We have strong German roots here in the Midwest—including our strong beer brewing tradition.  I hope to show off some of Wisconsin’s sights and our thriving businesses.  I have no doubt he’ll leave with a great appreciation for our state, our citizens, and our economic future.” Among the planned stops are Grohmann Museum at the Milwaukee School of Engineering, Esslingen Park in Sheboygan, the Whistling Straits Golf Course, and the Kohler Company.

A Future For Gamers

The vice president of academic affairs for Moraine Park Technical College says there may be a home for gamers in industry. Dr. Jim Eden says not everyone can design games or work for Pixar. He says MPTC’s Interactive Media Design program can give people the skills to compete for good paying jobs. He says industry is looking for people who have the skills to design and produce industry videos and programming. He advises those who may be interested to keep their options open and take a look at what the entire industry may have to offer.

FDL County Health Dept Offering Influenza Vaccine At Area Schools

Over the next month, the Fond du Lac County Health Department will be offering influenza vaccine free of charge at schools throughout the county for children in 4K through 12th grade. County Health Officer Kim Mueller says flu vaccine is recommended for everyone ages 6 months and older. Mueller says parents who would like their child to be vaccinated should watch for more information from their child’s school over the next few weeks. She says parents will be informed of the date the influenza clinics will be held at their child’s school, a consent form, and information about the vaccines being offered. Both nasal mist and flu shots will be available. The Health Department is also holding multiple flu clinics open to adults; cost is $25 and depending on insurance coverage the vaccine could be free. For a detailed listing of clinic dates and locations visit the health department’s website or call 929-3085. 

Radio Veteran Bernie Phillips Celebrates 60 Years In The Business

A radio veteran who has spent the majority of his time with small town stations celebrates 60 years in the industry today. Bernie Phillips started out hanging around Milwaukee radio stations when he was a teen. Bob Larsen of WEMP’s “Coffee Club,” Wisconsin Broadcasters Association Hall of Famer Joe Dorsey, and Robb Thomas are just a few of the disc jockeys he worked with. He says he didn’t get paid at first, but got tickets to different events like Ted Mack’s Original Amateur Hour in New York where he met entertainment legends like Connie Francis, Perry Como and Patti Page. He says there’s been quite a change in technology used in radio over the years. He recalls when they recorded on wire before using reel-to-reel. Phillips says he’s enjoyed working with children over those years too whether it was doing classroom presentations, station tours or taking them out to events. Phillips, who is 78-years-old, even did a stint at KFIZ in the early 1980s. He is currently the general manager at WISS in Berlin and says he has no plans to retire.

Agnesian Blood Drive Wednesday

Area residents are invited to join Agnesian HealthCare associates, volunteers and physicians and donate an hour of time Wednesday to give blood to The BloodCenter of Wisconsin. Blood donations will be accepted from 7:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. at Agnesian HealthCare’s Plaza Level Conference Center at 430 East Division Street in Fond du Lac. Blood that is donated remains local, as the BloodCenter of Wisconsin is the sole supplier of blood to St. Agnes Hospital and Waupun Memorial Hospital, as well as 51 other Wisconsin hospitals. To donate, make an appointment by calling 926-4961. Walk-ins are welcome.