Local News Briefs Wednesday 1/28/15

A 47-year-old former Beaver Dam man committed to a state facility in a severe case of child abuse and neglect has been granted conditional release. Larry Hillyer will be living in a state-approved apartment in West Bend. In November of 2012 a Dodge County judge committed him to the Mendota Mental Health Institute in Winnebago for up to 12 years. Mental Health professionals have determined with the state’s Department of Health Services’ supervision it would be safe to release him. Charges resulted from an incident in January of 2012 when Beaver Dam Police responding to a tip and found three kids – ages 12, seven and one – bruised and burned, starving and freezing, huddled together on a couch wrapped in blankets. Police say they found Hillyer and 36-year-old Mandy Molina of West Bend upstairs under a blanket, unable to comprehend questioning. In July of 2012 Molina was sentenced to up to 6 years, which was also subject to conditional release.

FDL City Council Preview

The Fond du Lac City Council will be asked tonight to approve liquor licenses for several summertime events at Lakeside Park. In particular Fond du Lac Festivals is asking for licenses for Walleye Weekend in June and the Taste of Fond du Lac that will move to Oven Island in August. Also during the meeting their will be a proclamation recognizing Agnesian HealthCare’s contribution to Fond du Lac Bike Loop, In December Agnesian offered up to $200,000 to fund improvements of a bike trail in Lakeside Park. The first installment will be for a key engineering study. The 100th Anniversary of Kiwanis International and the contributions of the three local Kiwanis Clubs will also be recognized through another proclamation. The final proclamation will be to recognize the retirement of Senior Center Director Dottie Winkelmann who is done on Friday. The Council meets at 6 p.m. at the City-County Government Center.

FDL HS English Teacher Recognized

Fond du Lac High School English Teacher Adele Adams was recognized during Monday night’s school board meeting as one of the best first year teachers in the state. Adams is the winner of the Wisconsin Council of Teachers of English Outstanding 1st Year Teacher Award winner. District Superintendent Jim Sebert says she’s now into her second year at the high school. He says he remembers his first year as a teacher and to be singled out for outstanding efforts is a real feather in her cap. He says it’s a real plus to have Adams teaching in the district.

Life Enforcement Focuses On The Positive

Fond du Lac Police Officer Keywon Brown decided to do something about the negativity in the community by starting a new pay it forward type of volunteerism organization. He says through community oriented volunteer projects Life Enforcement hopes to re-ignite volunteerism. He says the organization wants to change attitudes to focus on the positive and make a difference in the community. Officially Life Enforcement didn’t start until November, but in August they held an event at the Lakeside Garden Apartments in an effort to make some changes in what was considered a blighted area. He says they did a few things to change that and other things as well. He says they ended up blessing three families with a gift of $100 in groceries that day. They also hosted a Christmas Dinner event and on February 9th will hold a food drive at Dominos. You can find out more about Life Enforcement at their website or Facebook page. 

UW FDL Receives Research Grant

The UW-Fond du Lac has received a $10,000 grant through the UW System’s Undergraduate Research and Discovery Grant program. The funding will give UW-Fond du Lac students the opportunity to participate directly in one of several research projects as a freshman or sophomore. Students will have the opportunity to work in close collaboration with a faculty mentor and will present their findings as part of a campus lecture series. “College students must often wait until they are in graduate school for an opportunity to be part of a faculty research project,” said John Short, UW-Fond du Lac Dean and CEO. “UW-Fond du Lac students will gain this important experience right here at our campus and gain valuable experience for their future careers.” Research will be conducted in the fields of chemistry, environmental biology, plant biology, communications and psychology.

Jeffrey Carew, psychology lecturer, is conducting research on self-esteem and its definition. David Demezas, biology professor, is conducting research on the invasive plant species – garlic mustard. Thomas Eddy, biology lecturer, is studying the water quality of the Taycheedah Creek to be used as a baseline for future comparisons. Ron Theys, chemistry professor, is working on a collaborative research project with UW-Milwaukee on an anti-inflammatory drug. Kristi Wilkum, communications professor, will analyze data from the evaluation of the Fond du Lac High School one-to-one (1:1) computing initiative, which equipped every student with a computing device.

Commonwealth Companies And Lange Pick Up DFP Awards

Commonwealth Companies and its president Louie Lange III picked up two of the Downtown Fond du Lac Partnership’s biggest awards during the DFP’s recent annual meeting. DFP Executive Director Amy Hansen says Lange picked up the Friend of Downtown Award for his involvement in a number of revitalization efforts in the downtown and for his service on the DFP Board of Directors. She says he also was involved in the starting the Downtown Fond du Lac Fund, which is for beautification efforts. Commonwealth picked up the Design of the Year Award for the Riverside Senior Apartments. Hansen says Commonwealth has also sponsored some major events like the Farmer’s Market and Commonwealth Classic Bike Race. They also sponsored this past year’s KFIZ Halloween Party and Holiday Parade.

ASTOP Involved In Anti-Human Trafficking Efforts

ASTOP Sexual Abuse Center in Fond du Lac has joined other efforts in Fond du Lac County to promote anti-human trafficking education. Kristen Carlson is a case manager at ASTOP. She says they are partnering with the Fond du Lac Police Department and Agnesian Domestic Violence Center.  She says part of their efforts with the police department include the national effort “Operation Cross Country.” She says they’ve been participating with the police department the past two years in that national undercover effort to try and recover juveniles involved in sex trafficking. She says unfortunately teens and runaways are two of the biggest groups that become victims of human trafficking. As part of a statewide effort called “End Demand Wisconsin,” another anti-human trafficking effort, there will be a petition signing from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday, February 7th at the Pick ‘N Save on West Johnson St.

Senator Johnson Staff In Fort Atkinson And Beaver Dam Today

Senator Ron Johnson’s staff will be available for mobile office hours in Fort Atkinson and Beaver Dam today. Staff will be available at the Municipal Building in Fort Atkinson from noon to 1 p.m. and Beaver Dam City Hall from 2:30 to 3:30 p.m. The office hours allow constituents to meet with the senator’s staff to request assistance with a federal agency or regarding other federal matters.

Vote For SAGES Video To Help Enhance Playground

A video submitted by students at the Waupun School District’s SAGES charter school is among the 10 finalists in a national competition for $10,000 in funding. The video made by 3rd through 5th grade students at the School for Agricultural & Environmental Studies in Fox Lake is among the finalists in the Scotties Tree Rocks video contest in that grade category. In the video students talked about why trees are important to them. The winner will be determined by online voting, which can be done through February 6th at www.scottiestreesrock.com. Students at the school hope to win so they can use the money to enhance the playground at the school, which is very limited. To see the video click here.