Local News Briefs Wednesday 7/8/15

The Fond du Lac City Council tonight will discuss a proposed ordinance that would allow the operation of quadricycles or “pedal pubs” in the City. City Attorney Deb Hoffmann will introduce the draft of the ordinance. A new state law allows the use of bicycle, which accommodates up to 12 people and a driver. People are allowed to consume up to 36 ounces of alcoholic beverage during a ride. The ordinance is still being crafted. Fire Chief Peter O’Leary will also give the Council an overview of the Fire and Rescue proposed budget for 2016. The Council meets at 6 p.m. at the City-County Government Center.

Beaver Dam Man Sentenced For Super Bowl Sunday Gun Incident

A 43-year-old Beaver Dam man has been sentenced to prison for firing a gun near another man during a dispute over a woman on Super Bowl Sunday. Fredrick Hodgkins was sentenced in Dodge County Court this week to five years in prison and five years of extended supervision. Hodgkins became jealous when he learned the woman was having a relationship with the other man. According to the criminal complaint he hit the victim in the head with a pistol last February then fired it off next to the victim’s right ear. He also threatened to kill the victim and two other men if they called police.

Brownsville Man Pleads To Credit Union Robbery In La Crosse

A Dodge County man pleaded guilty Monday to a February armed robbery of a La Crosse-area (Onalaska) credit union. After stealing a car, 26-year-old Jonathan L. Smith of Brownsville was eventually arrested in a La Crosse north-side strip mall. A charge that he stole a vehicle in Eden he drove to the west side of the state was dropped in a plea deal but will be considered when he’s sentenced August 21st. He faces up to 40 years in prison.

FDL Complimented For Handling Of EAB

Fond du Lac’s Director of Public Works says a commitment to battle the spread of the Emerald Ash Borer in the City was for the long haul. Jordan Skiff says he and the City Manager talked about investing $200,000 a year for 10 years for the treatment and removal of ash trees. He says it would pay for more than treatment and removal. He says it would also pay for establishing a marshaling yard to handle wood waste generated by EAB infestation. Skiff says the City has been proactive in its approach to the Emerald Ash Borer. He says that hasn’t gone unnoticed as the City received compliments this past January when he attended a statewide conference about tree operations. He says the DNR and other arborists were very complimentary.

Avian Influenza Could Return

The new director of the state’s Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory says there’s the possibility the avian influenza could return in the fall. Dr. Philip Bochsler took over as director of the lab on Monday. He says the avian influenza that killed 1.5 million chickens and turkey in Wisconsin and 50 million across the country tapered off, but experts in the federal government say it could return. He says this particular strain was a combined strain from Asian and the United States. He says wild bird migration including geese may have spread the flu. He says it was first seen in southern British Columbia and northern Washington State. Dr. Bochsler says it doesn’t do well in warm or hot weather, which is why it probably ended when it did in Wisconsin this spring. He says experts think it may return in the fall with the cooler temperatures. Bochsler has been with the state veterinary lab for 14 years.

Senator Gudex Happy To See Full Funding For Historic Preservation Tax Credit Program

State Senator Rick Gudex recently thanked the state’s Joint Finance Committee for fully restoring Wisconsin’s Historic Tax Credit program in the state budget. The Governor had proposed capping the amount that would be spent, but Gudex pushed for full funding noting through April $50 million tax credits had leveraged over $259 million in private investment expenditures in 42 projects. It’s been estimated that the tax credit awards through the first year of the program will generate a total impact on the state’s economy of nearly $418 million. In addition the projects will provide over 2,800 direct and indirect construction and operation jobs. He says the tax credits had bipartisan support in the Joint Finance Committee. Gudex says he’s excited to see investment dollars staying in the state to help revitalize local communities.

Rental Fee For NFDL Community Center Reduced For Village Residents

North Fond du Lac residents who would like to rent the Community Center or Senior Center for an event will be getting a break on the cost. Village Administrator Chuck Hornung says the Village Board this week approved reducing the rental fee for village residents by $25. He says one of the board members attended a function held by another resident who went outside of the community for their event because they felt the rental fee for the Community Center was high. He says the board a few months ago did increase the security deposit for renting the centers because of problems they had with people who rented it. Currently the rate to rent the Community Center is $225 for a full day and $100 for the Senior Center. He says $25 will be knocked off that cost for village residents. The security deposit for those facilities is $250 and $150 respectively.

Johnson Campaign Raised Two Million Dollars In Second Quarter

U.S. Senator Ron Johnson’s campaign for reelection raised $2 million in the second quarter of this year. According to his campaign manager the campaign ended June with $2.75 million on hand. Johnson’s campaign raised $1.3 million in the first quarter of this year. The Oshkosh Republican is expected to face former U.S. Senator and Democrat Russ Feingold in November of next year.

Blood Drive At RMC In Ripon

Area residents are invited to join Ripon Medical Center associates, volunteers and physicians and donate an hour of time today to give blood to the Community Blood Center. Donations will be accepted from noon to 4 p.m. in Ripon Medical Center’s Princeton and Ripon Rooms in Ripon. Walk-ins are welcome.