Local News Briefs Wednesday 6/18/14

The Fond du Lac County Board last night passed a resolution commending County Corporation Counsel Bill Bendt for his 23 years of service to the County. Bendt retires at the end of the week. He started as Assistant Corporation Counsel in June of 1991 and has been the County’s Corporation Counsel for the past 14 years. He will be succeeded by Meggin McNamara. County Executive Al Buechel says Bendt has done an exceptional job for the County. He says Bendt was also a master of the pun. In accepting the resolution Bendt told the board it had been an honor working for the County for 23 years. He said, “We do things well without breaking the back of the taxpayer.” He noted the County has the 7th lowest tax rate in the state and still pioneers so many programs. The County last night also honored David Burke, Arthur Conklin and Elizabeth McDermott for their service to the County. Burke is retiring as the Fairgrounds Supervisor and has 34 years with the County. Conklin worked for the County for 30 years retiring as a member of the Parks Department and McDermott was with the County 25 years retiring as a member of Communication and Emergency Management.

FDL County Board Notes

In other Fond du Lac County Board notes the board approved the appointment of Paul Tollard as County Conservationist in the Land and Water Conservation Department. He succeeds Lynn Mathias who had 42 years of experience in land conservation. Tollard’s appointment takes effect August 3rd. He has been a project specialist with the Land and Water Conservation Department since 2000. The County was also presented with its third consecutive Healthiest Companies in America Award. The presenter noted that their company Interactive Health Solutions works with over 5,000 companies and only 68 were recognized for their workplace health programs for 2013. One of the biggest benefits is the County has seen little or no increase in its health insurance rates as a result of the program. The board also honored Wisconsin 4-H Youth Development for its 100th anniversary and the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary Fond du Lac Flotilla 47-1 on its 75th anniversary in Fond du Lac.

Restaurant Robbery Suspect Charged

An initial hearing was held yesterday for a third person suspected in a robbery at a Fond du Lac restaurant four years ago. Twenty-year-old Vincent Hanes of Kewaskum was released on a $5,000 signature bond when he appeared in Fond du Lac County Court Tuesday on a robbery with use of force charge. Hanes, 22-year-old Bobbie Lahn of North Fond du Lac and 19-year-old Thomas Livangood of West Bend are suspected of taking the night deposit bag from a Tucker’s Restaurant employee as she was leaving the restaurant on West Johnson Street in May of 2010. Two men walked up behind the employee and took the bag from her. Lahn, who was an employee of the restaurant at the time, is suspected of driving them to the restaurant. Lahn and Livangood have preliminary hearings on Friday, June 27th and Hanes is set for a preliminary hearing on August 1st.

Sheboygan Shooting Suspect Charged

(WHBL-Sheboygan)-A 22-year-old Milwaukee man has been charged with reckless endangering safety for firing a gun at Sheboygan’s Kiwanis Park last month.  John Yang faces the charge for allegedly firing two shots at the basketball courts the evening of May 31. According to the criminal complaint, Yang and a group of other members of the Asian Crips gang arrived at the park to confront those who they thought were members of the Sheboygan Boy Gangster Gang.  A fight ensued, leading to Yang firing a .45 caliber handgun twice.  No one was hit by the bullets, and Yang fled the scene shortly afterwards.

Two Tornadoes Hit Platteville Area

From a preliminary damage assessment the National Weather Service says two tornadoes hit the Grant County city of Platteville Monday night. The first went through the UW-Platteville campus and was an EF2 tornado with winds speeds up to 120 miles per hour. The second near the Platteville Golf and Country Club was an EF1 with winds speeds up to 105 miles per hour.  Damage is still being assessed. In Verona 30 homes had major damage and in Madison 29 homes had severe damage and 150 homes had minor damage. For more click here.

Latest Solution To Veterans Health Care Access May Have Some Flaws

Fond du Lac County’s Veterans Service Officer says it’s good to see Congress and the U.S. Senate tackle veterans’ health care issues, but he sees some problems with using local providers. Federal legislation would allow veterans to see local providers for their first visit if they can’t get in to see someone at Veterans Administration facility within 14 to 21 days. Rick Patton says he believes there will be a problem with reimbursement for those services within a “timely manner.” He says there could be issues with the veterans’ health records when they are able to see someone at a VA facility. Patton says the other issue has to do with the veteran’s needs. He says as good as local providers are they don’t normally see gunshot wounds, amputations and post traumatic stress disorder cases in the same volume as a VA facility. Returning veterans are eligible for VA health services for five months after their date of discharge from the service.

Senator Johnson’s Staff Wants To Hear From FDL Area Veterans

U.S. Senator Ron Johnson’s staff will be available to speak with Fond du Lac area veterans next Monday at the American Legion Post. Johnson’s staff is particularly interested in hearing about the VA health care system. Fond du Lac County Veterans Service Officer Rick Patton says it’s a great opportunity for area veterans to give their perspective. Senator Johnson’s staff will be at the American Legion Post at 500 Fond du Lac Avenue from 3:30 to 4:30 p.m.

Funding Approved For Wittman Regional Airport Improvements

Governor Scott Walker this week announced $803,000 in funding for the design and reconstruction of panels on the terminal ramp as well as fence and gate replacement at Oshkosh’s Wittman Regional Airport. The funding also supports an updated Airport Layout Plan (ALP), signage plan, air show ALP and utility plan. The project will repair deteriorating concrete panels and will eliminate debris on the terminal ramp. The state and Winnebago County will provide matching funding of a little over $40,000 each. The brunt of the costs will be paid for by the just under $723,000 the Federal Aviation Administration will provide. The project started last month and will be completed before EAA AirVenture.

Construction And Summertime Events Make Roads Busy

Fond du Lac County’s Highway Safety Coordinator is reminding area drivers about road construction and summertime activities. Sheriff’s Captain Rick Olig says there are a few road projects that you will see reduce the number of lanes on a highway or lead to road closings. He says Highway 23 will be repaved on the eastern end of the County closer to the County line. He says when Highway 49 work is being done between Brandon and Waupun there will be a few days when the road will be closed. He says there are also events almost every weekend during the summer such as the annual dairy breakfast this Sunday in Van Dyne. He says there’s Country U.S.A., AirVenture, the Fond du Lac County Fair, a number of parades and picnics and the 4th of July falls on a Friday. Olig says there will also be increased enforcement efforts at times as well, so buckle up and make sure you drive sober.

Local GOP Hosting Walker Campaign Appearance

Fond du Lac’s Republican Party will host an appearance by Governor Scott Walker at their headquarters in Fond du Lac this Saturday. The Governor will be at the headquarters at 810 S. Main Street at 4 p.m. to speak about the upcoming election. Party officials invite residents to meet local GOP candidates. The event is free to attend and open to anyone with an interest in the Republican Party.

New Shop At The Forest Mall

The Forest Mall in Fond du Lac has a new retailer with something for the whole family to love. InStyle His & Her Fashions opened in the Kohl’s wing of the mall last week. It occupies 3,593 square feet, and specializes in men’s big and tall, men’s suits and suit separates, men’s and women’s casual wear, formal gowns, shoes, accessories and more. “We’re excited to welcome InStyle His & Her Fashions to our growing list of specialty retailers,” said Tracy Vassallo, mall manager at Forest Mall. “Our shoppers will be thrilled to have new options for attire and accessories.” InStyle His & Her Fashions opened on Thursday, June 5, and is welcoming customers during normal mall hours. The store can be reached by phone at (920) 923-2776.