Local News Briefs Wednesday 4/22/15

Fond du Lac County Sheriff’s officials are investigating a burglary that occurred at the East Side Minute Mart BP early Monday morning. The break-in at the convenience store on Winnebago Drive was reported by a passerby. Sheriff’s Lieutenant Cameron McGee says the glass in a door was broken to gain entry and some items were taken. According to Sheriff’s Department logs the burglary was reported at 3:40 a.m.

Waupun Woman Charged With Theft From Employer

The 34-year-old Waupun woman suspected of stealing $2,800 worth of flea and tick collar product from her former employer has been charged. Sara Steppke was charged in Dodge County Court this week with felony theft. She was working for Veterinary Village in Lomira when the theft occurred. According to the criminal complaint she tried to sell the stolen items online, but the manufacturer tracked the product through lot numbers. She denied the theft when her employer let her go, but later admitted to it when interviewed by police. She is free on a $3,000 signature bond and has a preliminary hearing on June 11th.

Washington County House Fire

Fire destroyed a home in Washington County’s Town of Trenton Tuesday evening. Sheriff’s officials say a passerby called 911 about the fire on Knollwood Road. First personnel on scene say flames were coming from the backside of residence. Eleven fire departments battled the blaze. No one was in the home at the time of fire. The cause of the blaze is being determined. Initial damage estimates were put at $280,000.

Governor Approves Hwy 26 Project In FDL County

It’s official Governor Scott Walker has approved the State Highway 26 project in Fond du Lac County. Construction on the $10.6 million project begins next Monday. During the project 16 miles of State Highway 26 will be improved from Cattaraugus Drive to County Road FF in the towns of Waupun, Springvale, Rosendale and Eldorado, and the village of Rosendale in Fond du Lac County. Construction starts next Monday and will finish in October. Northeast Asphalt of Greenville, WI is the prime contractor. Highway 26 will be closed to through traffic at the start of construction. Access to local businesses and properties will be maintained. A signed detour will be in place directing traffic to use Highway 151 and I-41 around Highway 26.

SMSA Groundbreaking Today

Officials at St. Mary’s Springs Academy in Fond du Lac will break ground at the high school today for a $25 million facilities project. The ceremony in the parking lot will begin at 4 p.m. rain or shine and the public is welcome to attend. The project will be done in two phases. The first phase of construction will cost about $18 million and will be from the current high school south toward Highway 23. That new building will have their child care and pre-K through 5th grade classrooms. The second phase will be the remodeling of the high school, which will have grades 6 through 12 in it. It was built in the 1970s.

Senator Gudex On Proposed New DOT Headquarters

State Senator Rick Gudex says you have to look beyond the proposed price tag for a new headquarters for the state’s Department of Transportation in Madison to see the value to the state. The state lawmaker from Fond du Lac says at nearly $200 million to replace the 58 year old Hill Farms building it’s a steep price, which could easily be $50 or $75 million more if it’s put off. He says the state spends a lot of money leasing buildings including its headquarters for the Department of Corrections. He says one estimate is that the state has paid enough in leasing the building over the years that it could have bought it three times. He says the new DOT headquarters would also be home to other agencies saving the state money on additional leasing. C.D. Smith in Fond du Lac is one of the finalists being considered to build the new 600,000-square-foot headquarters for the DOT.

Plenty Of Road Projects In FDL County

Fond du Lac County’s Highway Safety Coordinator says County residents will have to deal with quite a few highway construction projects this year. Sheriff’s Captain Rick Olig says in addition to the State Highway 26 project there’s work on Highway 151 including an improvement at Ducharme Parkway. (He says coming off Ducharme Parkway from the Fond du Lac High School drivers won’t be able to make a left). He says State Highway 23 will see improvements on both the west and eastern ends of the County. He says that will include work from Rosendale to Ripon and County Highway UU to Log Tavern Road. He says one of the largest County Highway projects will be reconstruction of County Highway I, which runs nearly parallel to I-41. Olig says there will also be work on County Highways BB, T, W, G, S and Pioneer Road. To learn more click here.

FDL City Council Meeting Preview

The Fond du Lac City Council tonight will be holding a public hearing for improvements to a section of West 11th Street. Later in the meeting the Council will be asked to approve a resolution for the project that runs from Farwell Avenue to Hickory Street. Also during the meeting the Council will consider a resolution that will help in the development of a right turn lane for the south entrance of the Walmart. There will also be several proclamations including one recognizing 125 years of the Salvation Army in Fond du Lac. The Council meets at 6 p.m. at the City-County Government Center.

NFDL Board Discusses Village President Selection

Inspired by the recent statewide referendum on how the Supreme Court chooses its Chief Justice; the North Fond du Lac Village Board has been discussing how the village’s president is chosen. Currently Village voters choose a village board president every three years. Village Administrator Chuck Hornung says Police Chief Darren Pautsch recently informed him that the village president position may already be covered by state statute. He says he doesn’t know why the Fond du Lac City Council for instance can have its Council members elect a president and vice-president. He says the board wanted more information so he’s checking with the attorney for the League of Wisconsin Municipalities. He says some residents would feel they should be electing the board’s president.

Backyard Chefs Needed For BBQ 4 ASTOP

Registration is underway for amateur grillers and youth who would like to participate in BBQ 4 ASTOP event at the end of next month at the Breezy Hill Campground in Eden. Pam is a co-chair for the Saturday May 30th event. She says they are looking for amateur grillers who would like to compete against other backyard chefs from the area. Chicken, BBQ ribs, pork shoulder, and brisket are some of the categories. Youth can compete in a creative hamburger category and there is a homemade sauce contest. She says they are affiliated with the Kansas City BBQ Professional Association and professional grillers from throughout the country will also be competing. ASTOP Executive Director Jan McDonough says the sexual abuse center provides services to sexual assault victims. Those who would like to register for the BBQ 4 ASTOP event can do that at the ASTOP website.

Pick Up For FDL County Tree Sale Thursday

The Fond du Lac County Land and Water Conservation Department’s annual tree sale wraps up with the pick up of orders this Thursday. County Conservationist Paul Tollard says those who ordered trees will be able to pick them up at the County Fairgrounds Cow Palace from noon to 5 p.m. He says they are usually ordered in bundles of fifty. He says people who order them typically have larger properties. He says they may have bundles of 25 Thursday if they have any left over.Tollard says order forms are put together in the fall and people order them throughout the winter months.

Mercury Marine Honored For Support Of Guard And Reserve

Mercury Marine has picked up two awards for its support of veterans. The Wisconsin Committee for Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve Committee presented Mercury with the Pro Patria award and the Above and Beyond Award over the weekend.  “Our commitment to providing opportunities for veterans is something we take very seriously at Mercury,” said John Pfeifer, Mercury Marine president. “To be given two very prestigious awards is testament to hard work, commitment and dedication by our employees and their supervisors.” To read more about the awards click here.