Local News Briefs Wednesday 2/11/15

The two teens involved in the “thrill killings” of 15 deer in Green Lake County have pled innocent to the more than 200 misdemeanors and ordinance violations they face.  Nineteen-year-old Grant Boese of Ripon is facing 32 misdemeanors and 96 ordinance violations for a total of 128 counts. Eighteen-year-old Steven Steger of Princeton is faced with 18 misdemeanors and 56 ordinance violations for a total of 74 counts. According to the criminal complaint they allegedly shot 15 deer last November and texted photos of them. Shining, hunting after hours and hunting without a license are just a few of the charges they are facing.

Mayville Police Will Administer Narcan

The Mayville Common Council paved the way for police in the City to start carrying Narcan. The affiliation agreement approved by the Common Council this week will allow for the training of officers on how to administer Narcan in the event they deal with someone who appears to be overdosing on opiates. EMS would still be called for further treatment if police do administer Narcan.

FDL City Council Preview

The Fond du Lac City Council tonight will consider dissolving Tax Incremental Finance District number 11. The TIF was formed to help with environmental issues connected to the property at North Main and Johnson Streets where the Walgreen’s and another retail development sit. The City has reached is total maximum payments to the property owner of $500,000 and the dissolution of the TIF will return over $3.6 million of property value to the general property tax base of the City and the participating taxing jurisdictions. The Council will also consider approving a liquor license for Three Guys and Grill at Trinity. The Council meets at 6 p.m. at the City-County Government Center.

There Are Limits On Governor Walker School Choice Expansion

The president of School Choice Wisconsin says though the cap on the number of students for the school voucher program is removed in the Governor’s proposed State Budget there are other limitations. Jim Bender says the drop in the voucher amount will limit participation of new students. He says it’s something they’ve talked to state legislative leaders about it and it’s an issue they will deal with as the state budget progresses. He says fundraising will continue to be an important component for private schools participating in the voucher program because the voucher amount won’t fully fund a school’s costs. Bender says it’s not as simple as just applying for the school voucher program. He says you have to apply to a school participating in the program, meet eligibility requirements, and a random lottery will be done at the school for the number of seats that they make open. There’s also an income eligibility cap of 185 percent of the federal poverty level. Bender says a good website to go to for more information is http://www.chooseyourschoolwi.org/

State Budget Impact

Fond du Lac Public Works Director Jordan Skiff doesn’t anticipate the State Budget will have much impact on transportation funding the City receives through the state. He says that is based on an initial review by the Wisconsin League of Municipalities. He says most of what they receive will stay the same or increase slightly. He says that includes transportation funding, shared revenue and transit aids. He says it doesn’t appear his department will have to change its own budget over the next several years because of the State Budget impact.  

Grants Available To Help Out Downtown Business Owners

Downtown Fond du Lac Partnership Executive Director Amy Hansen says there are a variety of grants available that can help out business owners with improvements. She says one of them will pay for the cost of an evaluation of the exterior of a building to determine what it might cost to get fixed if a person were interested in the property. She says the so-called BIG grant of Building Improvement Grant will pay for up to 50 percent of the costs of making renovations that increase the property value of a building. She says it would cover the costs of replacing windows, doors or upgrades on plumbing and electrical for instance. She says if you coupled that with the Commercial Rehab Grant available through the City for changes to the exterior of a property you are getting a real value. Loans are also available through the Fond du Lac County Economic Development Corporation tied to job creation. Hansen says you can find out more about the grants at their website

Busy Week On The Ice

It’s a busy weekend on the ice of Lake Winnebago with the World Ice and Snow Sailing Championship, Sturgeon Stampede and beginning of the Sturgeon spearing season. Fond du Lac Convention and Visitors Bureau President and CEO Craig Molitor says either one of those events is an opportunity to showcase the Fond du Lac area. He says the World Championship is something they beat Sweden out of hosting. The last time it was held in Wisconsin was 1995 when Madison hosted it. Racers from 11 different countries are participating in it. It runs through Saturday with a reception tonight for the athletes at the Thelma Sadoff Center for the Arts. The 26th Annual Sturgeon Stampede starts Thursday and runs through Sunday capped off with a bonfire and fireworks. Then this Saturday the sturgeon spearing season kicks off. More than 13,000 people applied for spearing licenses for Lake Winnebago and the Upriver Lakes.

Driving On The Ice

A member of a local fishing club says there are a few things you should know that could save your life if you go through the ice of Lake Winnebago in your vehicle. Steve Klein is with the West Shore Fishing Club, which puts out the bridges for roads on the ice during the sturgeon spearing season. He says first of all if you see a Christmas tree laying on the ice on Lake Winnebago isn’t a good sign. He says in fact it’s a bad spot and you should look for areas where the trees are stood up. He says it’s also best to keep your window cracked open while driving on the ice. He says it may be impossible to break if it’s closed and you go through. He says don’t buckle your seat belt you may have to act fast. He also recommends having a PFD or floatable seat cushion on you or in the vehicle. Other recommendations include having 30 feet of rope, ice picks and a cell phone on you. Klein made his comments on KFIZ’s “Outdoors Thursday” program hosted by Bob Haase. 

Anthem Scams Starting

Wisconsin Better Business Bureau officials says it took just a day after the announcement that as many as 80 million customers of Anthem could be victims of a data breach, before scammers started sending out emails that very convincingly spoof Anthem’s logo and corporate look. These emails are unrelated to the data breach itself, but are taking advantage of people’s fears and uncertainties. The emails claim to be from Anthem and claim to provide information about free credit monitoring. It’s a scam. Better Business Bureau officials say whether you are an Anthem customer or not, do not click on links or open attachments in emails claiming to be from Anthem.

State Trust Fund Loans Approved

Two Dodge County communities recently got word that they will be getting State Trust Fund Loans for refinancing. The Beaver Dam Water Utility is getting a $1.1 million loan to refinance a utility debt. Also the Town of Clyman is getting a nearly $38,000 State Trust Fund Loan ((37,641.33) to refinance a bank loan. The loans were approved by the Board of Commissioners of Public Lands.  

United Fundraisers At the FDL City County Government Center

The Fond du Lac County Employee United Way Committee will hold two fundraisers at the City-County Government Center today. The Books Are Fun Book Fair will be from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the 1st Floor Lobby. Also from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Domino’s Pizza will be sold by the slice for $2 per slice. You can have your choice of Sausage, Pepperoni, Cheese and Deluxe. Proceeds from both events will benefit the Fond du Lac Area United Way.