Local News Briefs Wednesday 3/9/16

Grass Fire Reported

Despite recent rains Fond du Lac firefighters found themselves putting out a grass fire early Tuesday morning. The fire was reported in the 200 block of West Pioneer Road shortly after midnight. A witness told fire and rescue officials a freight train came through spewing sparks along the tracks.

Horicon Man Charged For Struggle With Nurses

A 37-year-old Horicon man is facing a felony battery charge and two misdemeanors after a confrontation with two nurses at a hospital. Dustin Burton made his initial appearance in Dodge County Court this week on the charges stemming from an incident last August. According to the criminal complaint he was suicidal and was taken to a hospital after mixing Oxycodone and alcohol. He demanded pain medication. When nurses refused he allegedly spat on one and during a struggle bruised a nurse’s hand and forearm. He was released on a $1,000 signature bond and a preliminary hearing is set for April 28th.

FDL City Council Preview

The Fond du Lac City Council will hold a public hearing tonight for street improvements projects on several City streets. Later in the meeting the Council will be asked to approve a resolution allowing curb and gutter work in the areas of Tompkins Street, North Boardman Street, Melrose Boulevard, East 10th Street, and East Arndt Street. Also during the meeting Public Works Director Jordan Skiff will give a design update on the North Main Street project. Work will be done next year from Merrill Avenue to Johnson Street. The meeting is at 6 p.m. at the City-County Government Center.

Oshkosh School District Will Hold Referendum Information Sessions

The Oshkosh Area School District has scheduled two information sessions on the upcoming $28 million referendum. The first is next Tuesday, March 15th at 6:30 p.m. at The Waters on Washington Avenue in Oshkosh. The second is slated for Tuesday, March 22nd at 6:30 p.m. at Oshkosh North High School. The district already has $7.4 million in cuts planned for the next two school years if the April referendum does not pass.

For more click here.

Envision FDL Open Houses

Open houses will be held today and tomorrow for the public unveiling of the Envision Fond du Lac strategic plan. Tonight an open house will be held at the Fond du Lac High School Media Center from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. There’s also an open house Thursday morning at the Fond du Lac Family YMCA from 8 to 10 a.m. Jenny Knuth is with the Envision Fond du Lac steering committee. She says they will be developing a brand for Fond du Lac. Holly Brenner of the committee says Fond du Lac has a number of strengths, but doesn’t really capitalize on its own community pride. Envision Fond du Lac focuses on three big ideas; our economy, our identity, and our next generation. Brenner says it is okay for young people to go out and explore, but we would like them to return to Fond du Lac to raise their families. You can also find out more at the Envision Fond du Lac website.

UWO Releases Strategic Plan

The UW-Oshkosh Tuesday released a strategic plan they hope will transform the University during the next five years. The primary goal is to define the campus as a research-enhanced institution. Chancellor Andrew Leavitt notes external grant and contract funding generate $12 to $14 million a year for the school. The UW-Oshkosh ranks third among universities in the UW-System in that category. Leavitt says the school’s location in an urban region of the state is an advantage. He says, “With such resources all around us, our research opportunities are limitless.” He says they hope to have a fully actualized plan by July 1st.

For more click here.

Ballweg Bills Signed Into Law

Last week Governor Scott Walker signed into law five bills authored by State Representative Joan Ballweg. The state lawmaker from Markesan says three of the bills were inspired by residents of the 41st State Assembly District. One of them was suggested by Green Lake County Register of Deeds of Sarah Guenther. Ballweg says it will allow people to get vital records like birth, death, marriage, and divorce certificates from their local register of deeds office. Another does away with a requirement that gas stations maintain emergency phones on their premise. She says 97 percent of people own cell phones and the requirement led to a lot of prank calls and false 911 calls. Another bill will save Wisconsin colleges and universities money by providing an online reciprocity agreement so out-of-state students can taken their online courses.

Plymouth High School Featured In School Meals Rock Video

The state’s Department of Public Instruction Tuesday released a video to launch a new campaign and website “Wisconsin School Meals Rock.” State Schools Superintendent Tony Evers was filmed at a busy Plymouth High School cafeteria explaining the success of school meal programs. He says it’s important to have great nutrition at school because kids can’t learn if they are not having good nutrition. He says the interaction between food services employees and students is important and they do a great job of it. He also talked about the innovation of school meals. For instance in the video students at Plymouth High School can be seen helping themselves to student-grown lettuce and arugula, locally sourced cheese panini, and slow-roasted pork tacos created by the district’s executive chef. This is National School Breakfast Week.

See the video.