Local News Briefs Wednesday 1/7/15

The extreme cold isn’t the only thing shaking up area residents. It would appear that frost quakes were felt in the Rosendale and Brandon area. One KFIZ listener called to say several neighbors felt their house shake and his son was shoveling when he felt the ground shake. Others weighed in on it on the KFIZ Facebook page. Some say it was experienced in the Eden area and the south side of Fond du Lac.

Oshkosh Woman’s Death Was Due To Natural Causes

The 61-year-old Oshkosh woman found unclothed outside an antique store in Vilas County died of natural causes. Vilas County Sheriff Joe Fath says that is the ruling in the death of Corrine Gerster pending toxicology tests. He says her body was found outside the Towne House Antique Store in Presque Isle last Friday morning. He says a good-sized black Labrador she was trying to escort home removed her clothing and damaged her body by trying to drag move, drag or wake her. The dog routinely came to her home. Officials believed she may have died of a heart attack.

Former Berlin Woman Pleads To Meth Manufacturing Charge

A woman has pled no contest to a meth manufacturing charge for making the drug at a home in Berlin. Twenty-eight-year-old Jennie Hetchler reached a plea agreement with Green Lake County prosecutors and entered the plea Monday in court. Two other charges were read into the record and dismissed. She will be sentenced on March 17th. Forty-one-year-old Shawn Ellis is facing meth possession, manufacturing and trafficking, and burglary charges for his involvement in the methamphetamine lab. He has a status conference in his case next Tuesday. Last November authorities executed a search warrant at the couple’s home after linking one of them to a burglary. They found the meth lab in a detached garage behind the home and got another search warrant to search that. Hetchler’s mother and three young children were living with them in the home. 

Field Of Candidates For FDL City Council And School Board Set

The field of candidates is set for the Fond du Lac City Council and Fond du Lac School Board. There are five candidates running for three seats on the City Council. They include incumbents Greg Giles and Catherine Block and challengers Kay Ann Miller, Brian Kolstad and Mick Burroughs. There are two seats available on the school board and candidates include incumbents Susan Jones and Eric Everson and challenger Linda Uselmann. Given the number of candidates there will be no primary election for those offices.

Variance Request Granted For Old Wells Manufacturing Property

The Fond du Lac Board of Appeals this week granted a zoning variance request that will allow Commonwealth Investment Corporation to build six apartment units in one of the remaining Wells Manufacturing buildings on Brooke Street.  The apartments would be on the second floor of the most northerly building and would include four one-bedroom units and two two-bedroom units. City Principal Planner Joellyn Dahlin says the variance includes several recommendations limiting the number of units and bedrooms. There’s also a requirement for an outdoor open space and parking space. She says the Board of Appeals has the final authority on the variance request. The property has some history with parts of the two buildings dating back to the 1860s. The City still owns the property, but will turn it over to Commonwealth this year. Commonwealth also plans to put in retail space and headquarters for its landscaping business at the site. 

Origin But Not Cause Of Beaver Dam Fire Determined

The cause of the fire that damaged the former Green Giant cannery facility in Beaver Dam has not been determined. Beaver Dam Fire Chief Alan Mannel says the preliminary findings of a joint investigation with the state determined the fire started in the northwest corner of the building. The fire was reported shortly after 4:30 Sunday afternoon, but it was nearly 22 hours before the portion of North Spring Street affected by the fire was reopened. Eleven fire departments battled the blaze. More recently the building was used for self-storage, but it has a history of canning operations dating back to 1913.

Fox Lake Charter School Future Discussed

(WBEV-Beaver Dam)-The future of the charter school in Fox Lake was discussed during a Waupun School Board meeting this week. The School for Agricultural and Environmental Studies, or SAGES, held a joint meeting with the board.  Waupun School Board President Bill Bruins says that one of the items discussed was a land lease agreement that saw a new piece of property near the school essentially donated by the Foundation.  He expects plans for the property to be drawn up in the coming weeks and activity to begin on the land in the spring.  In addition, Bruins notes that some alterations were made to the current SAGES contract to ensure it adhered to how the school is presently operating.  The current contract expires at the end of the 2016-17 school year, but Bruins anticipates discussions on a new five-year contract to begin next year.

Quitting Tobacco Requires A Plan

The program coordinator for the 5 Counties for Tobacco Free Living says quitting smoking is like practicing for a marathon. Sandy Bernier says you need to set a quit date and reduce your cigarette or tobacco use. She says you need a plan and you need to let people around you know about your plans and consult with a physician about appropriate medication. She says you should also become aware of your smoking triggers like getting out of bed, driving, while you’re on the telephone and look for something to replace your smoking. She says text to quit will send you reminders on your smart phone. She says it’s also important to remove any items associated with smoking from your car and home. She says for help you can call the Quit Line at 1-800-784-8669. The American Cancer Society has a Quit for Life Facebook page and the American Lung Society also has information. For those who chew tobacco there’s a website mylastdip.com.   

Highlighting NFDL History

The North Fond du Lac Village Board this week decided not to include Village History on the Village’s web site. A resident had asked the board to consider it. Village Administrator Chuck Hornung says that could be complicated on how much history you are talking about including. He says he’s in the process now of taking old committee minutes and agendas in the Village vault and scanning them on DVD that it could be a painstaking process. Hornung says some of those minutes and agendas date back to the 1970s. He says the board decided instead to highlight some of the Village’s history in quarterly editions of the Villager.

United Way Allocations

With the Fond du Lac Area United Way’s fundraising campaign winding down it’s only a couple weeks away before the agency’s board of director begins making decisions about allocations. United Way Executive Director Tina Potter says typically one of the agencies they help fund will receive from $5,000 to $50,000 depending on the program. She says the board visits participating agencies. Potter says they will meet on Thursday, January 22nd to start making decisions about allocations. This year’s fundraising goal was $745,000. About 24 to 26 agencies will receive the funding helping out up to 36,000 people in the community through their programs.

Promotions At Mercury Marine And Brunswick Corporation

The promotion of one Mercury Marine official to a corporate office opens up an opportunity for another. Randy Caruana has been promoted to Vice President, North & Central America, and Asia Pacific. He was previously Vice President of Sales and Marketing for North America. Kevin Grodzki, who was President of Global Sales and Marketing, is now the Vice President of Communications and Public Affairs for Brunswick Corporation. Caruana has been with Mercury Marine for 12 years. Grodzki joined Brunswick in 2000 and moved to Mercury Marine in 2005.

FDL Woman A Winner In Tanks For Thanks Program

A Fond du Lac woman recently won a $50 gift certificate through the Tanks for Thanks® program. The program from CHS and Cenex® retailers encourages people to nominate friends, family and neighbors for free fuel as a way to say thank you for doing good in the community. Melinda Mueller of Fond du Lac was nominated for organizing a community charity to help raise funds to send children to a Wisconsin summer camp.