Local News Briefs Wednesday 3/26/14

Knowing the Fond du Lac School Board would be holding a workshop Monday night after its regular meeting to work on a teacher/professional educator compensation plan, a high school teacher provided some criticism. Shannon Ferguson, a special education teacher at the school, talked about the disparity in pay between new hires and teachers who were working for the district when salaries were frozen and a spousal insurance package was terminated. She claims a number of teachers have left the district because of the pay situation. She says teacher morale is at an all time low. She encouraged the superintendent and board to visit different school buildings more regularly and talk with employees about how they are feeling. She says it’s unfair to teachers who are working for the district not to be recognized for years of service or if they hold masters degrees when new hires are. Her husband also works for the school district teaching second grade at Riverside Elementary School.

Strand Runs For Second Full Term On FDL School Board

Fond du Lac School Board member Mark Strand is seeking a second full-term on the board. He was originally appointed to the board. Strand says 85 percent of their budget is personnel costs so they are doing a good job keeping costs down. He says the aim of Common Core standards is to make sure students are college or career ready, but only 7 percent of the population know anything about Common Core. He says school is much different than when he attended. Strand says the controversy over perceived censorship over a high school magazine article has two sides to it, but you only heard from the much more vocal side on the issue. He says it’s not an issue that can be worked out overnight. He says he’s enjoyed serving on the school board and would like to continue.

FDL City Council Preview

The Fond du Lac City Council tonight will consider recommendations from the City’s Advisory Parking and Traffic Board about restricting parking along Camelot Drive. The board is recommending a couple of exceptions to closing the stretch of Camelot Drive from Highway 151 to South Main Street to park and ride activity. Also during the meeting the Council will consider a request from the Lighthouse Christian Church to chance zoning on vacant land on 4th Street east of National Avenue to allow the construction of a six-unit apartment building for senior housing. A proclamation will also be given to Lutheran Homes & Health Services recognizing their 75th anniversary. The meeting starts at 6 p.m. at the Fond du Lac City-County Government Center.

Van Transporting Inmate Goes Off Winnebago County Road

Slippery conditions led to a Milwaukee County Sheriff’s van going off of Highway 45 near Winneconne yesterday morning. Winnebago County Sheriff’s officials say the van went off the highway and two people were injured. Milwaukee County Sheriff’s officials say an inmate was being taken to the state prison in Stanley. The inmate and the driver of the van suffered minor injuries. Another security officer in the van wasn’t injured, but all three were taken to an Oshkosh hospital.

Neosho Woman Accused Of Embezzling From Veterinary Clinic

Dodge County prosecutors have charged a 48-year-old Neosho woman for allegedly embezzling more than $300,000 from the Country Veterinary Clinic in Rubicon. Felony charges have been brought against Tracey Grebe. While working as a bookkeeper for the clinic she allegedly failed to make cash deposits, used company resources to pay off personal credit card bills and pocketed more money. Investigators say all told more than $335,000 was taken. Bond was set at $10,000 cash and a preliminary hearing is scheduled for next month.

Fatal Fire In Waupaca County

(Wisconsin Radio Network)-One person was killed in an early morning house fire Tuesday east of Fremont. According to the Waupaca County Sheriff’s Department, 82-year- old Wayne Tesch died from smoke inhalation as he was trying to save the family dog from the blaze. When firefighters arrived at the scene, the house was fully engulfed. Waupaca County Sheriff’s Detective John Macodlo says Joyce Tesch was able to escape the fire, but her husband stayed behind in search of the couple’s dog, “Molly.” The couple were awakened by smoke detectors, Joyce got out and Wayne was following her but went back in to look for the dog. She was taken to New London Family Medical Center and was treated and released. Macadlo says no cause for the fire has yet been determined, but it appears to be accidental in nature.

Oshkosh Police Asking People To Lock Vehicles And Homes

Oshkosh Police are warning residents after recent thefts from vehicles. The thefts were reported in the 1700 block of Robin Avenue, the 2900 block of Bowen Street, and 1100 block of High Avenue. Police say the items are then sold or traded for drugs such as heroin, marijuana and prescription medications.  They are reminding residents to lock their vehicles and take valuables with them. They are also asking residents to lock house doors, even if they are home. They say most thieves are looking for an easy target.

Ripon Common Council Backs Kiwanis Splash Pad Project

The Ripon Common Council this week gave their support to a Ripon Noon Kiwanis project that would put a splash pad in at one of the city parks. City Administrator Lori Rich says Council members did have a number of questions for the Kiwanis about the project and how much it would cost the City once it’s dedicated to them, such as insurance and maintenance costs. She says the Council didn’t commit to any funding and sent it back to the Park and Rec Committee for discussion on possible locations and more details. It’s estimated the Kiwanis will have to raise about $250,000 for the project, but Rich says they wouldn’t have to do it all at once and could start doing some of the basics once they reach about $115,000 in funding.

Habitat 25th Home Will Feature Home Sprinkler System

The 25th home Habitat for Humanity of Fond du Lac County is building will feature a home sprinkler system. Fond du Lac Division Chief of Fire Prevention Troy Haase says it’s the third time a Habitat home in Fond du Lac will be equipped with a home sprinkler system. He says he’d like to see more residential homes equipped with home sprinkler systems, but that’s something that would have to be required by City ordinance for new homes that are being built. Meanwhile he says Taylor and Sarah Schanilec and their family will be comforted by the extra safety a home sprinkler system provides when they move into their new home at 141 Hamilton Place when it’s complete. The public is invited to the groundbreaking for the home at 11 a.m. on Saturday, April 5th.

Roberts Elementary Teacher Retiring

The Fond du Lac School Board this week approved the retirement of Roberts Elementary School Principal Richard Gregory. District Superintendent Jim Sebert says Gregory has been the principal there for 16 years and as School Board Vice President Julie Nett put it is known for his general caring approach to students, family and staff. Sebert says his two children have attended Roberts says he’s familiar with the work Gregory has done. Gregory’s retirement is effective June 20th. The board this week also accepted the retirement of Theisen Middle School music teacher Jill Wagner who has been with the district since August of 1999.

Town Of Sheboygan Approves Plans For Sam’s Club

(WHBL-Sheboygan)-The way has been cleared for construction of a Sam’s Club on the former Menard’s property on Sheboygan County Highway J in the Town of Sheboygan.  The Town Board held a public hearing Tuesday and unanimously approved the plans, which call for demolition of the current building.  Twenty-five people attended and several voiced concerns about traffic and lighting.  Town Chairman Dan Hein said he would be contacting the county to request a possible traffic study to address the concerns.  The project will add $7 million to the town’s tax base, but Hein said it will be good for the entire county.  Sam’s Club officials say the store will employ up to 175 people. Construction could begin this year with completion in 2015.