Local News Briefs Wednesday 12/11/13

The 40-year-old Fond du Lac man suspected of setting a house fire and firing shots at police could make his initial appearance on charges stemming from Monday’s incidents soon. No one was hurt in either incident. The home was unoccupied after going through foreclosure. Police learned the man was located in an apartment building in the Elm’s Tralier Park and he fired shots at them with a rifle as they approached. That kicked off a four-hour stand off that ended peacefully when negotiators convinced him to surrender. The appearance would be in Fond du Lac County Court.

Two Sheboygan Residents Accused Of Bomb Threats

(WHBL-Sheboygan)-Two Sheboygan residents each face a bomb scare charge for writing bomb threat notes targeting the business they worked at.  The Sheboygan County District Attorney’s office filed charges Tuesday against 23-year-old Thomas Smith and 20-year-old Nicole Morgan. According to the criminal complaints, Sheboygan Police were assisting Nemak in an investigation into a number of bomb threats made over the past two years.  Morgan admitted to writing a note found in a men’s bathroom on February 1 claiming one bomb would go off that day.  Smith admitted to writing a note found in a men’s bathroom on October 20 claiming three bombs would go off that day.  Both said they just wanted to leave work early.

Extension Needed For Unemployment Benefits

(Wisconsin Radio Network)-Emergency unemployment benefits are set to expire at the end of this year, under the most recent extension of such benefits. State Representative Cory Mason and 50 other Wisconsin legislators are calling on Wisconsin’s Congressional delegation to extend Federal Emergency Unemployment Compensation benefits. The added stress at Christmastime of knowing these families might not have their benefits extended, Mason says, is “really unacceptable.” He says folks getting unemployment benefits aren’t thinking about buying Christmas gifts, they are thinking about how they’re going to pay for their groceries, medications, and rent. Without Congressional action, Federal Emergency Unemployment Compensation benefits will expire on December 28th.  That could mean nearly 25,000 Wisconsin workers will immediately lose the benefits, and approximately 2,000 additional workers will lose eligibility every week after that.

Senator Gudex Bills Being Signed Into Law

Three bills State Senator Rick Gudex authored or had a large role in have been signed into law or are being signed into law by Governor Scott Walker. The state lawmaker from Fond du Lac authored Senate Bills 331 and 334, which are designed to help Wisconsin students get the skills needed for the jobs that are in high demand in Wisconsin by providing a Technical Excellence Higher Education Scholarship and Technical Education Incentive Grants. Gudex says, “These initiatives build upon the Wisconsin Fast Forward bill that I authored earlier this session, which invested $15 million in worker training grants and created a new Labor Market Information System. Both will connect job seekers and the unemployed with employers in need of workers.” A third bill increasing the tax credit for historic preservation projects to 20 percent will be signed into law today by Governor Walker at the Hotel Northland in Green Bay.

FDL City Council Preview

The Fond du Lac City Council will hold its final meeting of 2013 tonight. The Council will be asked to approve a special use permit that would allow the construction of a new Kwik Trip convenience store on the former Walgreen’s Drug Store site on North Main Street. The Council will also consider increasing court fees for those found guilty of municipal ordinance violations. The increase comes in the wake of a new state law that allows municipal courts to increase those fees by up to $10. Also during the meeting the Friends of the Fond du Lac Senior Center will be donating $10,000 to the City for the Senior Center operations. Typically the donation helps to pay for utility costs at the center. The Council’s meeting is a 6 p.m. at the City-County Government Center.

Information Needed In Ripon Citgo Robbery

Ripon Police are asking for help in identifying a man who tried to rob the Citgo Gas Station on East Oshkosh Street last Friday night. Police Captain Bill Wallner says the man entered the store about 8:40 p.m. and threatened the clerk with a knife asking for money. When other customers started arriving he left with no money. A customer was able to chase the man on foot, but he got away losing the customer about a block and a half away. The suspect was a white man from 20 to 30 years of age. He was wearing a blue sweatshirt and blue jeans, but had a hood over most of his face. Wallner says they got a few tips after releasing a photo, but still need a solid lead. A reward is being offered for information leading to an arrest. Call (920) 748-2888 if you can help. 

Shop With A Cop Thursday In FDL

About 150 to 160 kids will be shopping with a cop in Fond du Lac Thursday night. Fond du Lac County Sheriff’s Deputy Julie Flaherty is the coordinator of the annual program. She says they have more kids than officers and law enforcement officials to pair them with, but that’s never a problem. Kids are bused to the Walmart to shop for themselves and family they each get $50 to shop, they also have the opportunity to get pictures with Santa and Mr. Claus, and they get a meal. Kids from area high schools then wrap the gifts for the kids. Flaherty says if they are good the kids may even get a gift for themselves. Monetary donations are always welcome and would be appreciated by Thursday, if not they would go towards next year’s Shop with a Cop program. They can be made at the Sheriff’s office or sent to the Fond du Lac County Sheriff’s Office, P.O. Box 1273, Fond du Lac 54936-1273.

Winter Travel Safety Tips

Fond du Lac Fire Chief Peter O’Leary says if you’re parents are older it doesn’t hurt to get their travel itinerary if they are going to be traveling on snow and ice-covered roads this holiday season. He says getting information on their route and how long they expect to be on the road before they arrive at their destination is smart and considerate. He says to encourage them to have a charged cell phone and other items in case they get stranded alongside the road. He says water, blankets and something to eat are all good ideas. Chief O’Leary says if by chance they are involved in some type of traffic mishap they should stay in their car, which is safer. He says the tips actually work for anyone of any age especially during winter storms or our current sub-zero wind chills. 

Beacon House Has Treated Over 1,000 Women For Addictions

The executive director of the Beacon House in Fond du Lac says they’ve been providing women with alcohol and drug addictions treatment for 20 years now. Mary Gerlach says they fly quietly under the radar, but are the only type of residential treatment facility in the state that provides that service. She says it’s thanks to a group of women, mostly emergency room nurses who had the foresight to begin Beacon House when women weren’t getting the proper treatment for their addictions after being sent to the ER. It’s a 90 day program that has treated over 1,000 women over the 20 years it’s been in existence. Gerlach says sadly they’ve seen a change over the years. They are licensed to treat up to 12 women at a time and now the vast majority is being treated for drug addiction. She says over the last three years the majority has been treated for heroin addiction. For more information on the Beacon House call 923-3999.

Thunderbirds Heading For AirVenture 2014

The U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds, one of the world’s premier military jet teams, has scheduled an appearance at EAA AirVenture Oshkosh, “The World’s Greatest Aviation Celebration,” as part of its 2014 flying schedule. EAA AirVenture 2014, the 62nd annual EAA fly-in convention, is scheduled for July 28-August 3 at Wittman Regional Airport in Oshkosh, Wis. The Thunderbirds’ initial schedule at Oshkosh includes performances at AirVenture on the event’s final weekend – Saturday, August 2 and Sunday, August 3. The exact activities and schedule are still being finalized. It would mark the first time a U.S. military jet demonstration team would perform its full show in front of Oshkosh audiences. Advance AirVenture tickets are currently available online.

Foot Of The Lake Candle Chili Crawl Winner

Last Saturday’s cold weather didn’t stop the more than 60 hungry participants in the 5th Annual Downtown Chili Crawl. They could be seen walking up and down Main Street, stopping at 9 different locations to sample the various recipes made by business owners.  After participants tasted all the chilies, they dropped off their voting ballot at Hopper’s Silk Screening and All Star Trophy.  Votes were tallied and the winner was Foot of the Lake Candle Company located at 35 N. Main St.  Congratulations Shawn Tamblin! Shawn created a secret recipe that kept people coming back for more!  In close second was Trinity Restaurant with their famous spicy chicken chili.  The Downtown Chili Crawl is part of Home for the Holidays, an event of the Downtown Fond du Lac Partnership.