Local News Briefs Wednesday 12/2/15

Waupun Man Facing Theft Charges In Dodge County

Dodge County prosecutors have brought charges against a 26-year-old Waupun man suspected of taking a woman’s wallet out of her car. Steven Grainger then allegedly tried to use the women’s credit card to make over $700 in purchases at area businesses. The transactions were declined except for two that came to less than five bucks.  Grainger will make an initial appearance on the theft charges he’s facing on December 14th. 

Humanity Project Making Progress In FDL

A one-year pilot program in Fond du Lac called the Humanity Project is seeing what it can do about reducing tensions and misunderstandings about race. Former UW-Fond du Lac Dean Judy Goldsmith says a group of community-minded individuals launched the program in September. She says they were concerned about racial problems within our own community. One of the group’s efforts includes partnering or pairing people of different races for every day activities. Latrice Snyder of Community Education Services says she was one of those who was partnered up and has enjoyed the experience. She says her partner is a widow and they had lunch on the woman’s back porch during their first meeting. Goldsmith says the partnering effort demonstrates people can get along and develop a better understanding of others.  She says people who would like to know more about the Humanity Project can email [email protected]  The project is also developing a speaker’s bureau.

Utility Scam Expanded

Dodge County Sheriff Dale Schmidt is warning residents about a utility scam that began with WE Energies business customers, but has been expanded to target other utility customers. He says they got a call last Friday from a business owner in Waupun who reported a caller saying they were with Waupun utilities had called and threatened to disconnect power unless a bill was paid up right away. A similar call was received by a business owner in Juneau where the electric utility is also city-owned. Schmidt says anytime you receive a call that seems suspicious and they ask for money it is a scam. He says ask them questions and for a number you can call back at so you can check with your utility on the status of your bill.  He says anytime they are asking for a pre-paid debit card it’s not legitimate. Wisconsin has a heating moratorium law that prohibits utilities from disconnecting a resident’s power from November 1st to April 15th. 

FDL Community Christmas Dinner Has New Venue

Once again this holiday season there will be a Community Christmas Dinner in Fond du Lac. Organizer Mike Turk says it’s the 15th annual event in its current form. He says it’s an opportunity to provide a meal to someone who is alone and need fellowship at Christmas or who need a meal on that particular day. He says there has been a change of venue from their past location, which was at St. Paul’s Cathedral. This year it’s at the Eagles Club at 515 North Park in Fond du Lac. He says there’s more to it than a good dinner. He says they will also have entertainment and raffles. The free dinner will be served from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Christmas Day. Turk says they can pick up people who are homebound for the dinner or make deliveries, but you have to let them know by 5 p.m. on December 23rd. He says you can give them a call at (920) 924-0850. You can also call that number if you would like to volunteer for the dinner. For more information click here

Oshkosh Neenah MSA Unemployment Rate Improves

The Oshkosh-Neenah metropolitan statistical area (MSA) monthly unemployment rate decreased to 3.4 percent in October from 4.5 percent the previous October. According to federal labor statistics the state’s jobless rate was 3.6 percent and the U.S. rate was 5 percent.  Since October of 2014 total employment in the Oshkosh-Neenah area increased by 1,283 jobs. The CEO of Greater Oshkosh Economic Development, Jason White, says “Since last summer, Oshkosh-Neenah MSA has had the sharpest year-to-year unemployment rate drop among all Wisconsin metropolitan areas.”

Winnebago County Sheriffs Department Seeking Accreditation

The Winnebago County Sheriff’s Department is going through a state assessment next week. A team from the Wisconsin Law Enforcement Accreditation Group will arrive next Tuesday to take a look at all aspects of the way the department runs. It’s part of a voluntary process to gain accreditation. Members of the public are welcome to attend an information session on Wednesday, December 9th at 5:30 p.m. at the Sheriff’s Office in Oshkosh.

Well City Celebration Thursday

The Well City Fond du Lac initiative will recognize 15 participating employers that have achieved Well Workplace designation from the Wellness Council of Wisconsin during the past year. The celebration will be held at St. Agnes Hospital in the Terrace Level Conference Room Thursday morning from 7:30 to 9 a.m. A breakfast will be served prior to that. The employers that will be honored include: Agnesian HealthCare, Aurora Health Care, City of Fond du Lac, Fond du Lac Area Association of Commerce, Fond du Lac County, Fond du Lac County Economic Development Corporation, Fond du Lac Family YMCA, Guaranty Service Group, Hierl Insurance, Holiday Automotive, Horicon Bank, Mid-States Aluminum, Moraine Park Technical College, Sadoff & Rudoy and Wisnet.com. Those employers join Society Insurance and Verve Credit Union, both of which achieved Well Workplace designation during 2014.