Local News Briefs Wednesday 9/25/13

The Oshkosh Corporation and UAW 578, its largest labor union, have reached a tentative agreement on a five year contract extension. That would add five years to the contract that currently runs until 2016. The two sides announced the tentative agreement during a news conference Tuesday. Union leadership is calling it fair and good for both current employees, those who are laid off and retirees. The two sides failed to reach an agreement on extension talks in July. The entire union membership will vote on the proposed agreement Sunday.

Scam Reported In Ripon

Ripon Police says they have taken several reports in the last few days about attempted scams involving the delivery of FEDEX packages. Packages are delivered containing fraudulent check. The person receiving the check is asked to cash the check and return a portion of money under a secret shopper type program.  Ripon Police say any time you receive unsolicited money grams or checks in the mail you should be very suspicious of them, and check them out thoroughly before cashing.

Dodge County Phone Scam

Dodge County Sheriff Pat Ninmann is warning residents about a phone scam. She says a woman has been making calls to residents saying she is with the Dodge County Felony Fraud Division. She then tries to get back account information under the pretense that the individual’s wife had issued a worthless check and she needed his account information in order to avoid prosecution or suspension of his wife’s vehicle registration. Sheriff Ninmann says the Sheriff’s Office would never contact residents and try to get financial information or banking account numbers from them. She says it’s a scam. She says if you get a call like that request that they provide documentation via the mail for review. She says if they get aggressive hang up.

FDL City Council Preview

Public hearings will be held during the Fond du Lac City Council meeting tonight for the 2014 City Budget, 5-year Capital Improvement Plan, and 2014 Transit Operating and Capital Budget. Also during the meeting the council will be updated on allowing BMX bikers to use the skate park at Adelaide Park this past summer. New Councilman Brian Foster will also be sworn in and seated during the meeting. The council appointed him two weeks ago to fill the vacancy created by the resignation of Councilman Rob Vande Zande. The meeting is at 6 p.m. at the City-County Government Center.

Progress Made On District And Schools Report Cards

Fond du Lac Schools Superintendent Jim Sebert says progress is shown with the school district and its schools meeting or exceeding expectations on the latest Department of Public Instructions report cards. He says it’s a credit to the kids and their educators. He says he’s also pleased that they are showing growth in closing gaps between different subgroups of students including English-language learners, socio-economically challenged, special education and others. He says it was the last year for the Wisconsin Knowledge and Concepts Exam as the standard test the report cards are based on. He says next year the state will move to the smart balanced assessment. Sebert this week gave the school board updates on the school report cards and ACT testing.

Ripon Common Council Approves Combining Of Lots For Apartment Project

The Ripon Common Council this week approved a certified survey map for Commonwealth Development’s Jefferson Street Apartments project. Ripon City Administrator Lori Rich says it in effect combines two lots into one lot. She says the closing on the offer to purchase the former Smucker’s building closes this week with construction starting towards the end of next month. She says it’s a 24-unit project with low to moderate income apartments and townhouses. She says there will be 9 townhouses and a four-story 15-unit apartment building. Last April the Wisconsin Housing and Economic Development Authority awarded Commonwealth $275,000 in tax credits for the project.

Ages And Stages Development Questionnaire Available

A questionnaire available through the Fond du Lac County Health Department will help identify if children have any developmental concerns. The Fond du Lac Community Partnership For Young Children SPROUT is launching its “Community Developmental Screening Initiative” with the Ages and Stages Questionnaires. It’s the fist such county effort in the state. County Public Health Officer Kim Mueller says she filled out one of the questionnaires on behalf of her young son. She says the questionnaire is available at their office in front of the WIC office on the third floor of the City-County Government Center. Mueller says you can fill the questionnaire there or take it home and mail it in. She says it’s a great teaching tool for parents.

Horicon Marsh Education And Visitors Center

(WBEV-Beaver Dam)-The Horicon Marsh International Education Center will soon be getting a new name. The DNR’s Liz Herzmann says the new name – the Horicon Marsh Education and Visitors Center will be phased-in and a new sign is expected in the next month or so. Herzmann says the change is for consistency to bring Horicon in line with other education centers and wildlife management areas across the DNR. It’s not the only change coming to the Education and Visitors Center; a $3 million dollar expansion is planned. A full, interactive exhibit planned for 2015 will tell the 10,000 year-old story of the marsh.  The current 25,000-square-foot facility includes an auditorium for 100 with a theater-sized high-definition monitor, a library, classrooms, a view of the Horicon Marsh and other visitor amenities. 

Uncertain Future For Bill To Raise The Speed Limit

(Wisconsin Radio Network)-Supporters of a proposal to increase in the speed limit on Wisconsin freeways to 70 miles an hour are hoping for a hearing on the measure soon, but its future at the Capitol is unclear. Sun Prairie Democrat Gary Hebl isn’t sure yet whether he will back the bill, but he says there are arguments in favor. The bill is authored by Manitowoc Republican Paul Tittl.

Bake Sale Benefits Child Advocates Program

The Child Advocate Program of the Fond du Lac Conflict Resolution Center will benefit from a bake sale and silent auction at the City-County Government Center in Fond du Lac today. A silent auction with tables filled with quality fall gift baskets and unique items will be available for viewing from 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. The bake sale, featuring a variety of home-baked goods, will be held from 8 a.m. until they are sold out. Fresh brewed Starbucks coffee will also be for sale. Homemade chili served with crackers and rye bread will be available from 11 a.m. until sold out. The public is invited. Child advocates are trained volunteers who serve to safeguard and promote the well-being of children alleged to be in need of protective services.