Local News Briefs Wednesday 4/8/15

Fond du Lac County Clerk Lisa Freiberg says there were a few hiccups with Tuesday’s election, but the turnout was about what she expected. She says some machines broke down, but they were able to get them running again and they fielded a lot of election questions. As for the turnout it was about what she expected. She says 14,599 residents cast votes or about 25 percent of those who were registered. She says she was surprised there wasn’t a bigger turnout for the Campbellsport Schools referendum.

Obituary Burglar Gets More Time In Prison

The 64-year-old Sheboygan Falls man responsible for over a dozen burglaries in Sheboygan County will spend more time in prison. Tuesday a plea deal was announced in which Dennis Petrie was found guilty of four counts of burglary and one count of theft of a firearm.  About two dozen other similar counts were dismissed. Petrie was sentenced to three years in prison and three years of extended supervision. That will be added to the four years in prison and four years of extended supervision he was sentenced to for similar crimes in 2012. Petrie was nicknamed the obituary burglar because he broke into the homes of people whose obituaries he had read in newspapers. 

A Crummy Crime In Oshkosh

Oshkosh Police say a burglary suspect has a sweet tooth. The 27-year-old Oshkosh man is suspected of breaking into a home in the 400 block of Boyd Street Monday. Among the items he took were electronics, loose change and cookies. He was arrested in the 1300 block of Powers Street and taken to jail. No word on whether he left a trail of crumbs.

Volunteer Center Executive Director Resigns

The executive director of the Volunteer Center of Fond du Lac County has resigned. The board of directors for the center announced the resignation of Nancy Zompolas on the center’s website saying her resignation takes effect Friday. A reason was not announced. In the announcement the board says they and the Fond du Lac County area very much appreciate Nancy’s dedication and service while she served as the executive director.

FDL City Council Preview

The Fond du Lac City Council tonight will consider approving the project plan for a 19th Tax Incremental District and an agreement with the developer for the property. The district would be created to assist the redevelopment of the property at 131 South Main Street, which housed businesses like Cool Beans & Bagels. Loeber Property Investments plans to redevelop the property into six commercial retail spaces on the first floor and 19 residential units on the upper floors. If the Council approves the plan and creation for the TID it will also need approval of the Joint Review Board. The Council will also hear a presentation from the City Attorney for a proposed ordinance on urban beekeeping. The late Anita Anderegg will also be honored with a proclamation for her service to the City and County. She served on the City Council and also was a former County Executive. The Council’s meeting starts at 6 p.m. at the City-County Government Center.

UW FDL Housing Decision Coming Next Month

Fond du Lac County Executive Al Buechel says he liked what he saw at another UW campus from the developer for the UW-Fond du Lac housing. He says next month the County Board will have to decide whether it wants to go ahead with Bluffstone on development of an 84-bed housing facility for the UW-Fond du Lac campus. He says he saw what Bluffstone came up with at the UW-Marshfield and was impressed with resident manager and interactive programming for students. He says delays at the UW-Marshfield and Baraboo campuses were worked out and Bluffstone has already put a lot of time and money into the design for the UW-Fond du Lac student housing. He says the state has already approved the plan. He says most of the facility will be modular or pre-built, but there will be some work for the local labor force. The facility will be open in time for the fall 2016 semester.

Distracted Driving Deadly

The Director of the state’s Department of Transportation Bureau of Transportation Safety says distracted driving comes in many forms. David Pabst says taking your eyes off the road for even a few seconds can have tragic results. He says they see drivers eating, talking on the phone, looking at maps, fiddling with the radio, even brushing their teeth. State law prohibits texting while driving — in addition, Pabst says drivers who hold an instruction permit or probationary license — mostly teenagers, are prohibited from using a cell phone while driving except to report an emergency. Driving home the point he says if a person is driving 55 miles per hour and takes their eyes off the road for just five seconds, that’s equivalent to driving the length of a football field blindfolded. April is National Distracted Driving Awareness Month.

Mercury Marine Among Forbes Best Employers

Mercury Marine was recently named one of America’s Best 500 Employers for 2015 by Forbes Magazine. The global marine manufacturer ranked No. 82 on the list announced by Forbes in partnership with Statista.com. “We are honored to be recognized on the Forbes list of America’s Best Employers,” said John Pfeifer, Mercury Marine president. “It is a real tribute to our employees whose talent, dedication and commitment are the foundation for our success.”  In 2014, Mercury Marine celebrated its 75th anniversary by receiving the Wisconsin Manufacturer of the Year Award as well as its fourth consecutive Green Masters Award. In 2015, the company has already launched four new engines and continues its steady pace of product introductions. To read more click here.