Local News Briefs Wednesday 11/11/15

FDL City Council Preview

The Fond du Lac City Council will approve the 2016 City Budget and tax levy during their meeting tonight. The tax levy is being increased by 4.6 percent or a little over $1 million. That will result in a 2.5 percent increase to the mill rate or a 22 cent increase to $9.16. The Council will also consider approving the Area Transits budget, and 5-year capital improvement plan. In other resolutions the Council will be asked to approve a 3-year agreement with Firefighters Local 400 and a change in polling places for voters in Wards 1 and 2. Instead of voting at the Westnor Apartments next year those voters will be voting at the Fond du Lac Masonic Lodge, which is more handicap accessible and offers regular parking. The Council meets at 6 p.m. at the City-County Government Center.

FDL Fire And Rescue Prepares For Possible Train Derailments

With the Canadian National railroad yard in nearby North Fond du Lac, Fond du Lac Fire and Rescue’s Hazmat Team prepares for events like last weekend’s derailment in Watertown and Alma. Fire Chief Peter O’Leary says other departments were more likely to get a call for aid, but his department is a regional hazmat team that could travel anywhere in the state. He says November 18th through the 20th a Dangerous Goods Officer with Canadian National will train firefighters on new safety features and the commodities that travel on trains through Fond du Lac. He says they have training on an annual basis. One of the new features firefighters will learn about is a smart phone app that allows them to find out what kind of product is being carried on a train car. In the Watertown derailment 500 gallons of crude oil leaked and in the Alma spill 18,000 gallons of ethanol.

Number Of Opiod Abusers Being Booked Into County Jail Increasing

Officials at the Fond du Lac County Jail are seeing more people coming into the jail with opiod and heroin abuse problems. Julie Trieber is the Jail Health Coordinator. She says in the last two years they’ve seen an 80 percent increase in the number of people going through heroin withdrawal. She says they do take extra precautions during the booking process in case someone is going through withdrawal. She says officers monitor them in a cell equipped with cameras and check on them every 15 minutes. She says nurses then check on them when they come in the next morning. Trieber says it’s also dangerous for corrections officers because needle users could be carrying a blood borne disease, something they have to assume. She says if they know a person is carrying that type of disease there are concerns about putting them into the general population of the jail because of the possibility of physical altercations.

Waupun PD Makes Gun Locks Available

Through Project Child Safe the Waupun Police Department has a limited number of free gun locks for those who need them. Lt. Jeremy Rasch oversees the program for the department. He says they’ve been doing the program for the past five years. Rasch says with the gun-deer season coming up now is a good time to make the gun locks available. He says they do have a limited number of the gun locks. He says they started out with about 400 and are requesting one gun lock per person, but can provide one for each person in a house if there is more than one gun. The gun locks are available through Friday or until supplies run out at the Waupun Police Department. They should be picked up between the hours of 8 a.m. and 4 p.m.

Adult Literacy Program Benefits From FDL Area United Way

English language learners and those with literacy problems are getting help through a program that’s funded in part by the Fond du Lac Area United Way. Jen Metise is the literacy coordinator for Adult Literacy Services of Fond du Lac says their volunteers are patient and understanding. Mel Kolstad is a volunteer tutor for the program. She says adult literacy is an important program to her. She says kids are already learning in a wonderful school district, but there are adult who want to learn how to read. Metise says you can find them located inside the downtown Fond du Lac Public Library on the second floor near the reference desk. She says if someone wants to become a volunteer tutor for the program there is about a 3 to 4 week learning process. 

MPTC Health Care Students Do Well On Board Exams

Moraine Park Technical College’s health programs continue to exceed national board exam pass rates. On their first attempt, students from the 2014-15 graduating classes achieved pass rate averages that surpassed the national averages in many programs. Students from four different health care programs not only exceeded the national average, but achieved a 100 percent pass rate. Those programs were Health Information Technology, Medical Laboratory Technician, Respiratory Therapist and Radiography.

For more information click here.

Veterans Meals

In honor of Veterans Day several area restaurants are treating veterans. At Applebee’s active and retired servicemen and women are able to receive a free entrée from a selection of items including a 7 ounce steak and the new All-In Burger. Meanwhile veterans who show ID can get a free meal at the Casa del Tequila in Fond du Lac.