Local News Briefs Wednesday 4/1/15

The 40-year-old New London man who sold an undercover officer two pounds of cocaine in Berlin has been sentenced to eight years in prison. Jose Fernandez was sentenced in Green Lake County Court Tuesday to the prison term and nine years of extended supervision. Fernandez was arrested during an arranged buy on February 21st of last year. Investigators found 18 pounds of marijuana and $21,000 in cash when they searched his New London home. The pot and cocaine had an estimated street value of $90,000. 

Additional Envision FDL Workshops Scheduled

Envision Fond du Lac leaders have scheduled additional workshops to get a glimpse of people’s perceptions on where Fond du Lac should be heading. Envision Fond du Lac is a visioning and strategic planning process.  Workshops will help gather public opinion, keep the community informed and facilitate discussion. A Community Workshop open to everyone will be held Monday, April 13th at 2 p.m. at Marian University in Stayer Center Room 205. A Senior and Retiree Workshop will be held at 10:30 a.m. on Tuesday, April 14th at Marian University in Stayer Center Room 205. A Young Professional and Student Workshop will be held at 6 p.m. on Tuesday, April 14th at the UW-Fond du Lac in the Large Group Instruction Room UC-113/114.

Tossed Cigarette Likely Caused FDL Brush Fire

The Division Chief of Fire Prevention for Fond du Lac Fire/Rescue says people have to be careful where they pitch their cigarette butts with dry grass and brush conditions. Troy Haase says a carelessly tossed cigarette likely started a brush fire along Highway 41 northbound near Highway 151 in Fond du Lac Monday that burned several acres. He says luckily they got to it pretty quickly and were able to extinguish the fire before it spread too far. Haase says the real danger is how fast dry grass and brush can burn and the buildings the fire could destroy in its path. He says if you’re going to smoke in your vehicle put it out in your vehicle and be careful.

UW Oshkosh Offering Early Retirement Package

The U-W Oshkosh is now the third campus in the University of Wisconsin system to offer long-time employees and early retirement package, as they brace for the expected impact of proposed budget cuts. Chancellor Andrew Leavitt says employees who are at least 60-years-old and have been in the system for 25 years would qualify. He says about 100 individuals on campus may be eligible for the retirement package. He says it will be one of several tools they will use to reduce the workforce by five percent over the next three years. That comes out to about 80 positions. Leavitt says anyone taking the early retirement option would get a payout of a half-year’s salary. The UW-Oshkosh stands to lose about $7.5 million, under the cuts proposed in the governor’s budget.

Record Number Of Jury Days In FDL County Court In 2014

Last year was a record year for the number of jury days held in Fond du Lac County Court, 87, compared to 46 in 2013.  The previous record was 86 jury days in 2008.  In 2014 juror’s received over $89,000 ($89,477.12) for pay and mileage. Judge Peter Grimm says it’s hard to budget for that not knowing how many jury trials there will be. He says the judges appreciate the civic duty of jurors. He says they understand the jurors are not at their place of work, home or someplace they would rather be and there is a sacrifice there, but the bottom line is it’s the constitution and trial by jury is an important right. He says they have an important role in the judicial process for which they only get paid $40 a day. The number of jury trials last year also increased to 46, up from 23 in 2013.  Nineteen of those were felony jury trials a record high according to clerk records since 2004.

Oshkosh Runaway

Oshkosh Police are trying to locate a 15-year-old boy who ran away from home on March 14th. Kenton Chapman is believed to be in the Oshkosh area. He is 5 foot 9 inches tall, weighs 180 pounds. He has brown hair and eyes.  Police do not believe the teen is in any danger.  A photo has been released. Harboring a runaway is the crime of contributing to delinquency of minor. Anyone who may know of Chapman’s whereabouts is asked to call the Oshkosh Police Department at (920) 236-5700.

Congressman Grothman On Doc Fix Vote

Congressman Glenn Grothman recently voted against the permanent Sustainable Growth Rate bill known as the “doc-fix.” The Sustainable Growth Rate has been in place since 1997. He says we need a better system of reimbursing physicians for treating Medicare patients.  He voted against the bill because he says it’s a costly fix that’s not paid for and not enough was done to lower the cost of health care or Medicare in other ways. He says the amount we spend on Medicare in Wisconsin is less than other states like New York, Florida or California. He says Medicare would not be going broke if all states were doing as good a job as Wisconsin administering Medicare or all the provider groups were as efficient as they are in the state of Wisconsin.The federal lawmaker from Campbellsport says, “Washington needs to be more creative in finding ways to fix problems without having to pull out the credit card every time.” 

Salvage Vehicle Inspection One Of The Roles Of FDL CO Sheriffs Detective

One of the lesser known duties of Fond du Lac County Sheriff’s Detective Ryan Murphy is performing vehicle inspections on vehicles that were involved in major accidents that are salvaged and rebuilt. He says if you look on the title for a vehicle you can find out whether there was a lein against it, flood damage, whether it was a police vehicle or taxi or if it was salvaged. He says if it was salvaged it had to be damaged 70 percent more of its market value and it also has to be seven years old or newer. He says the reason for a salvage vehicle inspection is two-fold. He says part of it is to make sure the vehicle is safe and the other part is to make sure replacement parts were lawfully obtained and not stolen parts or from a stolen vehicle. He says money can be saved by using previously used parts on a salvage vehicle, but they have to be come by legally and have the documentation for it. Detective Murphy says he does about 35 to 40 salvage vehicle inspections a year.

Shop Local Now Save Money

A smart phone application rewards those who shop locally in Fond du Lac. Fond du Lac Area Association of Commerce President and CEO Joe Reitemeier says the Save Local Now app let’s people know about special events and bargains Fond du Lac retailers are offering and the app is free. He says simply show the restaurant or shop a copy of their ad on your phone and you will be able to take advantage of a discount or special offer. He says use of the app promotes shopping locally thereby supporting businesses that in turn support the community through youth sports, service clubs and other efforts. He says you should be able to get the app through the Apple or Google Stores.

Hospice Hope Volunteer Training

Agnesian HealthCare is currently seeking individuals interested in volunteer opportunities with its Hospice Hope program. The next Hospice Hope volunteer training sessions have been scheduled from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Monday, May 11 in the Green Lake Room at Ripon Medical Center in Ripon; and on Tuesday, May 12 in the Plaza Level Conference Center at St. Agnes Hospital in Fond du Lac. After training, all volunteers are placed with patients in their own local geographic area. Early application is encouraged. Individuals thinking about a volunteer opportunity can contact Hospice Hope Volunteer Services, at (920) 924-4662 or (800) 236-4156 or (920) 294-6220 for more information. Application deadline is Friday, May 1.