Local News Monday 3/18/13

Business Fire


Fond du Lac County Sheriff’s officials say fire destroyed a trucking business early Sunday morning. Sheriff’s Lieutenant Ryan Waldschmidt says the fire was reported at Brian Dreher trucking at W2507 Rustic Drive in the Town of Auburn. The owner lives in a home next the trucking company and discovered the blaze. He says the structure and its contents were destroyed by the fire. Inside the building were five semi tractors and a large boat, along with truck parts, tools and a small office.  The fire appears to have started in one of the semi tractors and quickly spread to the rest of the building.  The Sheriff’s Office and Wisconsin State Fire Marshal’s Office is investigating, but the fire does not appear to be suspicious. Fifteen fire departments battled the blaze. No one was injured.  The fire was reported at 2:46 a.m.


Armed Robbery At Waucousta Food Mart


Fond du Lac County Sheriff’s investigators continue investigating the armed robbery of the Waucousta Food Mart. The robbery of the store on Highway 45 in the Town of Osceola occurred last Friday night about 8:30 p.m. The suspect entered the store and displayed a handgun. An undetermined amount of cash was taken. No one was injured during the incident. Anyone with information about the robbery is urged to give the Sheriff’s Department a call.


Arrest In Oshkosh Bank Robbery


Winnebago County Sheriff’s last Friday released the name of a man arrested for his role in the robbery of a BMO Harris bank in Oshkosh last week. Thirty-nine-year-old Cory Billstrom was arrested for his part in the robbery of the bank at 2100 Omro Road. Sheriff’s officials say the investigation is continuing and one or more additional arrests may be made. They also thank everyone that responded to photos and information about the robbery. Information gathered from those responses helped detectives with the identification and subsequent arrest of Billstrom.


Fatal Fire In West Allis


Fire claimed the lives of two 14-year-old boys in West Allis early Sunday morning. Fire officials say two brothers who are 13 and 4-years-old were able to escape from the blaze at the duplex. The older brother carried his little brother to safety. The two victims were friends. Fire officials say it doesn’t appear there were any adults in the building when the fire broke out. The cause of the fire is still being investigated.


Lomira Man Gets Prison Sentence For 8th OWI


The 42-year-old Lomria man stopped by the State Patrol for his 8th drunken driving offense last September has been sentenced to 3 ½ years in prison. Gregory Pfaff was stopped in the Town of Lomira because his windows were darkly tinted.  Before last September’s arrest his most recent arrest for driving drunk was in 2004 in Fond du Lac County. During his recent sentencing in Dodge County Court he was also sentenced to 5 years of extended supervision and his driver’s license was revoked for 3 years.


Convicted Murderer Dies At DCI


(WBEV-Beaver Dam)-A convicted murderer has died at the Dodge Correctional Institution.  The Dodge County Sheriff’s Department reports 52-year-old Thomas J. Cox was serving a life sentence for killing Camille Bailey in 1992.  Witnesses say Cox walked into the city office building in Milwaukee where the victim worked, pulled her out of a vault where she was hiding and shot her in a break room.  He was arrested after being shot nine times in a gun battle with police.  Two officers were wounded in the same battle.  Bailey had broken up with Cox about three weeks before the shooting.  After the shooting, city leaders in Milwaukee decided to increase security at City Hall.


UW Chancellor Pleased With State Budget


UW Colleges and Extension Chancellor Ray Cross says he’s pleased with the portion of the state budget proposed by Governor Scott Walker for the UW System. It includes about $181 million in what’s considered new money including funding for the Flexible Option program for adults. Cross says he’s not surprised at the increase because the Governor worked closely with UW staff. Cross is realistic about the budget for the UW System he says there will be a battle in the State Assembly and Senate over just how much of that proposed increase will survive in the budget process.


Winter Takes Its Toll On FDL City Trees


The arborist for the City of Fond du Lac says this winter has taken its toll on trees and plants in the City. Brian Weed says trees were especially hard hit during a winter storm in late December. He says about a dozen trees had to be taken down because heavy snow damaged their branches or split them apart. A stand of Scotch pines and Arborvitae were recently removed from the triangle area at Park Avenue, East Scott Street and Winnebago Drive due to damage. Weed says they will probably plant some flowering crab trees. He says the triangle is near an entrance to Lakeside Park and the City would like it to look aesthetically pleasing to park visitors. He says homeowners who would like to plant trees in their street terrace area can save a little money through a cost share program being offered by the City. You can learn more about that by calling 322-3594.


Fruth Fundraising Reaches Crucial Stage


Fond du Lac Schools Superintendent Jim Sebert says they’ve reached a crucial point in fundraising efforts for the Fruth Field improvements project. He says they’ve reached a level of fundraising where they can start doing some of the improvements. He says the new entryway and handicap accessible features will make the field more user friendly. He says those improvements should be ready for use by this fall. Sebert says eventually they will have a dedication or some type of ceremony in early August to thank all of those who have given so generously for the project. Those who would like to know more about the project or who would like to contribute should click on the Fans for Fruth banner at the school district’s website

Proper Well Abandonment Required


Fond du Lac County’s Well Abandonment ordinance ensures private well water is kept safe. Diana Tscheschlok of the County’s UW-Cooperative Extension Service says once you put in a new well you should go through abandonment of the old well. She says not everyone is aware of the County’s well abandonment ordinance, which requires the proper sealing up of the old well. She says it also prevents people or animals from injuring themselves in the case of old wells that may be open. Some cost-share funds may be available through the County’s Land and Conservation office. Call Paul Tollard at (920) 923-3033, extension 3 to find out more.


NFDL Candidates Forum Tonight


A candidates’ forum will follow the North Fond du Lac Village Board meeting tonight. It will feature the four candidates running for two seats on the School Board and the three candidates vying for two seats on the Village Board.  School Board candidates will go first this evening and then North Fond du Lac Schools Superintendent Aaron Sadoff will pose questions to the Village Board candidates. The Village Board meeting and candidates’ forum will both be televised on Charter Cable TV’s Channels 21 and 980.  School Board candidates include Ryan Pelot (incumbent), Pete Chisholm, George Gabay, and Troy Vander Pas. Village Board candidates are James Scharf, Keith King (incumbent) and Tammy Keller (incumbent).  The meeting starts at 6 p.m. The candidates’ forum will follow at 6:30 p.m.


Congressman Petri Proposes Charitable Driving Tax Relief Act


Congressman Tom Petri last Friday introduced legislation the “Charitable Driving Tax Relief Act” that would ensure that taxpayers who drive for a charity and are reimbursed for their volunteering receive fair and consistent tax treatment. Petri says, “If someone is delivering Meals-On-Wheels or taking someone to the hospital or making any trip as part of a charity, they should be treated the same as they would if they were working for profit.” Additionally, the Charitable Driving Tax Relief Act would drop the requirement that charitable groups report these reimbursements to the IRS, removing an administrative and paperwork burden that detracts resources from their larger purpose. For the entire press release click here.


Income Tax Deadline 4 Weeks Away


(Wisconsin Radio Network)-The deadline to file your tax returns is just four weeks away. And most people in Wisconsin have already filed, or will before the deadline. So says state Revenue Secretary Rick Chandler. There are just under three million people in Wisconsin who are required to file income tax returns. Chandler says about a third have already done so.


Survey Says DOT Doing A Good Job


The state Department of Transportation is doing a pretty good job, according to the results of a survey of more than 1,800 Wisconsin residents. The DOT’s Peg Schmitt says 70-percent of those responding said the agency is doing a satisfactory or very satisfactory job. The survey found most residents give the DOT high marks for efforts such as offering Division of Motor Vehicle services online and through the mail, along with the State Patrol’s response to crashes. Areas identified for improvement include fixing potholes and clearing snow from highways faster.


Mayflower Descendant Featured At Byron Historical Society Meeting


Bryon native John Bird, a 10th generation descendant of Mayflower passenger Henry Samson, will be the guest speaker at the Byron Historical Society’s annual meeting tonight. The meeting will be at 7 p.m. at the Byron Town Hall and is open to the public. Bird’s presentation will focus on his ancestor’s travel to America as a 16-year-old, one of the 102 passengers aboard the Mayflower. Samson was among the 53 who survived the hardships of the first winter. The Samson family has been traced to Massachusetts, New York, Vermont and eventually to the Towns of Byron and Lomira.


Spaghetti Dinner Will Benefit Agnesian HealthCare Hospice Hope


National Mutual Benefit Fond du Lac Branch #695, a Fraternal Life Insurance Society, has scheduled its All-You-Can-Eat Spaghetti Dinner for Thursday, April 4 from 4:30 to 7 p.m. at the Holy Family Hall in Fond du Lac. Proceeds of the spaghetti dinner will benefit Agnesian HealthCare’s Hospice Hope.  The spaghetti dinner includes a salad, French bread, dessert, and coffee and milk. Tickets are $7 for adults and children 12 years of age and older; $4 for children ages five to 11; and free for children four and under. Tickets can be purchased from Silica Appliance & Electronics; Pump & Pantry; Philly’s on 4th; and the National Mutual Benefit Fond du Lac Agency office (606 Triangle Road) and its officers. Tickets will also be available for purchase at the door.  Guests can enjoy a silent auction and a chance to win several door prizes. In addition, quart jars of spaghetti sauce will be available for $6 each. For more information on the spaghetti dinner or to help with the event, call Laurie Pethan, Fond du Lac Branch #695 president, at (920) 923-3595.