Local News Briefs Wednesday 9/16/15

The 19-year-old Berlin man who stole four cars in three counties in August of last year has made his initial appearance in Fond du Lac County Court. Maxwell Decker is charged with two counts of vehicle theft and one count of fleeing an officer. He has a preliminary hearing on October 2nd. Decker already reached a plea agreement with Green Lake County prosecutors where he will be sentenced on October 20th. In Dodge County a scheduling conference is scheduled in his cases for September 22nd.

Purse Snatcher Facing Charges

Charges are being referred to the Dodge County District Attorney’s Office against a 28-year-old West Bend man who allegedly stole a purse from a restaurant and used credit cards from it in Fond du Lac. Waupun Police arrested the man Sunday afternoon. He was hiding in the basement of a home. A police dog was used because he would not cooperate with police. He surrendered and was not injured while he was being taken into custody. The purse and credits cards were recovered from a dumpster in Fond du Lac and returned to the owner of the purse.

Two Incidents Involving Wind Turbine Transport In As Many Days

It turns out there were two separate incidents in Fond du Lac involving the transportation of wind turbines in as many days Sunday and Monday. Assistant Police Chief Steve Klein says Sunday morning a 23-year-old Fond du Lac woman ran into a trailer carrying a wind tower as the semi was turning from Johnson Street onto the Highway 151 bypass. Her car wedged underneath the tower, but she was not injured. She was cited for inattentive driving and failure to wear a seat belt. Monday morning a semi with a trailer carrying a wind tower on Johnson Street ran into mechanical problems while turning onto the Highway 151 bypass interrupting traffic.

Another Oshkosh Utility Scam Reported

Oshkosh Police say someone posing as a water utility employee called a resident requesting payment for a past due water bill. That resident called the City’s Water Department and learned they do not request payment over the phone. Police ask that if you get a similar call and have caller ID, write down the caller’s number and pass it along to police. There have been incidents in the past in which thieves have posed as City of Oshkosh employees.

Harris Announcing Run For Eighteenth State Senate Seat

Winnebago County Executive Mark Harris today will announce his run for the 18th State Senate seat. Last fall Harris, a Democrat, ran unsuccessfully against Republican Glenn Grothman for the 6th Congressional District seat. This time Harris will try to unseat current State Senator Rick Gudex a Republican from Fond du Lac. Harris will announce his run at the Winnebago County Courthouse.

FDL City Council Takes Up Budget

The Fond du Lac City Council will get its first real peak at the proposed 2016 City Budget and 5 year Capital Improvements Plan during a special meeting tonight. Overviews of the budget and CIP will be provided by City Manager Joe Moore and Director of Administration Hal Wortman. Any changes the Council wishes to make to the budget will be done during the meeting. On October 14th the Council will hold a public hearing for the budget and adopt it and the CIP during their October 28th meeting. The Council meets tonight at 6 p.m. at the City-County Government Center.

More Than Nine Hundred Return Well Water Survey

An official with the Fond du Lac County UW Extension Service says they got a better than expected response to their well water survey. Diana Tscheschlok says they set a target number and sent out a reminder postcard. She says they were hoping for about 700 responses on how people use and test their well water. She says they sent out the surveys to all well water owners in the Town of Byron and randomly as well. She says they also sent them out to people they knew had tested their water before. She says they got 942 of the surveys back and they are grateful to all who sent them back to the UW-River Falls Survey Research Center. She says the numbers are being crunched and in another month or so they will be able to report the results of the survey. 

Test Drive For United Way Today

Holiday Ford, Brenner Tank and Society Insurance have partnered to raise money for the Fond du Lac Area United Way. Joe Truesdale of Holiday Automotive says people can help by taking a new Ford for a test drive at Brenner Tank in Fond du Lac today between 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. Twenty dollars will be donated to the United Way campaign for each test drive. Truesdale says they hope to raise up to $6,000 for the campaign through the Drive 4 UR Community event. He says by giving to the United Way they are actually giving to over 20 area agencies that provide services in the community. Those participating in the test drives are asked to enter Brenner from Military Road. Burgers and Brats will be available during lunch. 

Survive Alive House Teaching Kids Fire Safety

Fond du Lac Fire and Rescue is teaching 5th graders how to survive a house fire through the Survive Alive House. Division Chief of Fire Prevention Troy Haase says they began the annual effort Monday with the special structure that resembles a small home. He says it looks like a two story home with a kitchen and bedroom. They use a smoke machine to pump smoke into the home so kids can learn how to safely escape. He says they talk about having a second exit option, escape ladders and things you need to know if there is a fire. Haase says kids aren’t run through the home without some preparation, they actually show them a video before they bring the Survive Alive House to a school. The home is even equipped with a phone that connects with someone so they can simulate a 911 call for the kids.