Local News Friday 5/31/13

Smoking In Bed Starts Kewaskum House Fire


Authorities in Kewaskum say a woman on oxygen who fell asleep in bed while smoking a cigarette early yesterday morning started a fire. Her daughter turned her oxygen tank off, and then helped her mother and two dogs to get out of the home on Fond du Lac Avenue. Firefighters were able to keep the blaze from spreading from the bedroom, but there was extensive smoke damage throughout the home. The Red Cross was called to assist the family.


FDL Woman Struck By Car Now In Serious Condition


The 44-year-old Fond du Lac woman who was hit by a car while out walking on May 14th is improving at a hospital in Neenah. Traci Luther has been upgraded from critical to serious condition at Theda Clark Regional Medical Center. Luther suffered major head trauma, bleeding of the brain, a broke leg, broken jaw, broken ribs, cuts and bruises in the accident. Forty-seven-year-old Aarron Schmitz Sr. of Fond du Lac has been charged for the accident. He told investigators he took Albuterol and Dayquill for pneumonia the day of the accident and the night before smoked three cigar-sized marijuana cigarettes and drank a liter of Kessler’s whiskey. Schmitz also told authorities he had fallen asleep at the wheel. Luther was walking on the grass off of Winnebago Drive when Schmitz drove up over the curb and hit her. He’s scheduled to be arraigned on July 1st.


New London Man Critical After Industrial Accident In Sheboygan County


(WHBL-Sheboygan)-A New London man is in critical condition in a Grafton hospital following an industrial accident at Great Lakes Agri-Service in Adell Wednesday afternoon.  Sheboygan County Sheriff’s Lt. Mark Rupknik says 52-year-old John Neigenfind was unloading grain shortly after 3 p.m. when he became pinned between a trailer and a conveyor belt. Neigenfind, who drives truck for a New London firm, was assisted by workers at Great Lakes and First Responders from Adell and Random Lake.


FDL Mugging Suspect Charged


Bond was set at $10,000 cash for a 20-year-old Lomira man suspected of mugging a 65-year-old Fond du Lac woman for her purse Tuesday afternoon in a parking lot near the Younker’s department store. Andres Morales was charged with robbery with use of force, battery and disorderly conduct when he made his initial appearance in Fond du Lac County Court Wednesday.  A preliminary hearing is scheduled for Thursday, June 6th. The woman’s screams brought two witnesses to her rescue and one was able to tackle Morales and hold him until police arrived.


Anniversary Of Hwy 151 Fatal Motorcycle Accident


It was a year ago today that a group of motorcyclists from the Muskegon, Michigan area were on their way back from a trip to Milwaukee when a 26-year-old Hilbert man ran into them with his vehicle on Highway 151 in the Town of Taycheedah. Fond du Lac County Sheriff’s Captain Rick Olig says so many things set that accident apart from the typical accidents they respond to including the number of emergency personnel who were needed at the scene. Two of the motorcyclists Douglas Yonkers and Daniel Winsemius died from injuries suffered in the crash and seven others were injured. Olig says in addition to the chaos of an accident scene, it was a challenge because it was also a crime scene. He says to make things easier Detective Cameron McGee was designated the contact person to get in touch with victims and their families about court hearings and other things connected with the case. Clinton Lovelace faces homicide by intoxicated use of a vehicle and other charges for the accident. A 5-day jury trial is scheduled to begin October 14th.


Keeping An Eye On TB


Fond du Lac County Public Health Officer Kim Mueller says they’ve been closely monitoring the tuberculosis cases in neighboring Sheboygan County. She says it’s not really anything they are worried about in Fond du Lac County, but people should still be aware of the signs of TB such as the coughing for more than 3 weeks or coughing up of blood during later stages of the disease. She says the problem with TB is the amount of testing that has to be done to rule out the spread of the disease and that involved testing a lot of kids in schools in Sheboygan. All of the cases in Sheboygan were family members. Last year in Wisconsin there were 71 TB cases.


Waupun Jr/Sr High Developing Academy System


The Fond du Lac School District isn’t the only area school district that will be using an academy system to teach students. Waupun Schools Superintendent Tonya Gubin says the Junior/Senior High is developing academies they will begin to implement next year. She says the focus is on looking at career and college readiness skills. She says a health and human services academy will be one of those efforts. Gubin says they will also be developing a steam academy that will focus on agriculture, manufacturing and engineering. She says students are also interested in communications particularly printing and even broadcasting. The Fond du Lac School District has developed STEM or Science, Technology, Engineering and Math academies.


Buffalo Wild Wings Liquor License Approval Recommended


Fond du Lac’s Alcohol Licensing Committee this week voted to unanimously recommend to the City Council approval of a liquor license for Buffalo Wing Wings. The restaurant will be located at 121 North Pioneer Road the former Coaches Corner site, and will open on August 19th. Restaurant Manager “T.J.” Scharf says the restaurant will have a more modern look than others in the franchise chain. He says people from Fond du Lac who have been going to their Oshkosh restaurant over the last few months seem generally excited about a new Buffalo Wild Wings opening in Fond du Lac. Assistant Police Chief Steve Klein told the committee he was impressed with the homework restaurant officials did in putting together their business plan. The license request will go before the City Council on June 12th.


Voting Felon Arraigned


The 53-year-old convicted felon who voted in last November’s election pled “not guilty” when he was arraigned on an election fraud charge in Dodge County Court this week. A failure to pay child support conviction in Waukesha County in 2010 earned Richard Alverson of Hustisford the felon status. He’s accused of voting in the Village of Hustisford last fall. The fraud charge is a felony with a maximum prison sentence of 3 ½ years.


Leadership FDL Team Effort Beautifies Area Behind Children’s Museum


A leadership Fond du Lac team found a unique way to welcome the Children’s Museum of Fond du Lac to their new location in the old Pick ‘N Save Building on West Scott Street. Jordan Skiff of Team Jump says they decided to beautify some land behind the new location. He says quite a few of the team members had ties to the Children’s Museum. Skiff says they planted 12 trees and did some landscaping, which also included planting bushes and flowers, and putting in mulch for a walking trail. A couple of benches were also donated for the effort, which the team called “Exploring Our Backyard.”


Ripon Winery Grand Opening Saturday


Vines & Rushes Winery in Ripon celebrates its Grand Opening on Saturday from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Ripon Area Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Paula Price says there will be a ribbon cutting and live music. Josh Calhoun will play folk, bluegrass and jazz. She says there will wine tasting, wine sales and a tour as well. Vines & Rushes is located on County Highway E, four miles north of Ripon. More information on Vines & Rushes is available at their website.