Local News Monday 9/23/13

An Oshkosh man goes on trial in Sheboygan County Court today for the stabbing death of a Sheboygan man last January. The weeklong trial for 23-year-old Michael Lemerande is set to begin with jury selection this morning before Judge James Bolgert.  Lemerande has admitted to stabbing 41-year-old Nicholas Lehrke during a fight.  He told investigators he “just lost it” when he saw Lehrke and two others fighting with his friend.  He said he grabbed a kitchen knife and stabbed Lehrke in the back.  The knife punctured Lehrke’s lung and he died at the hospital.  Lemerande, who’s been in the county jail since his arrest in January, is facing a charge of 2nd degree reckless homicide and up to 27 years in prison if convicted.

Dog Accidentally Dragged Behind Car

A dog in Sheboygan County had to be euthanized yesterday after it was accidentally dragged behind a car. Sheriff’s officials say the dog was attached to a car in Howards Grove and a person at a home didn’t see it when leaving in the car. The dog was dragged behind the car and was severely injured.

Fire Destroys Garage In Dodge County

Fire destroyed a garage in Dodge County’s Town of Clyman Saturday morning. Authorities’ say it happened at a residence on County Highway J. The blaze destroyed the detached garage and damage estimates were put at $25,000. Two vehicles parked near the garage also had minor damage. No injuries were reported. Seven fire departments were involved in putting out the fire. 

Skate Park And Dredging Updates For Advisory Park Board

Fond du Lac Public Works Director Jordan Skiff will give the Advisory Park Board two reports tonight. During one report he will update the board on how the trial period went that allowed both BMX bikers and skate boarders to use the skate park at Adelaide Park. The City Council this summer approved the trial period. Previously the park was limited to skaters. Skiff will also update the board on the Lakeside Park Channel Dredging Project. The City recently received three bids for the project and Skiff will inform them of who won the bid and what method of dredging will be done this winter. The meeting is at 5:30 p.m. at the City-County Government Center.

FDL School Board Preview

The Fond du Lac School Board this afternoon will hear reports on how the school district and its schools did on the recent report cards issued by the state’s Department of Public Instruction. Also during the meeting District Superintendent Jim Sebert will give a report on how students did on ACT testing. The board will also be updated on how the district addresses the need of at-risk learners. The meeting is at 5 p.m. at the District Administration Center Board Room at 72 West 9th Street.

FCEDC President Notes Strong Growth In FDL MSA

Based on recent statistics from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the Fond du Lac Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) is showing strong growth for the first seven months of 2013, in Manufacturing, Financial Services and moderate growth in Leisure and Hospitality sectors. Fond du Lac County Economic Development Corporation President Steve Jenkins says while the total non-farm growth was close to the national average, the growth in the Manufacturing sector was 4.8% for the MSA versus 1.6% for the nation. He notes the growth of Mercury Marine, Wells Vehicle Electronics, Alliance Laundry Systems, and McNeilus Steel contributed to the exception growth. The projects were supported by the half-cent sales tax for economic development passed in 2009. Jenkins also says the growth in Financial Services reflect the strength of the local economy and the growth in Leisure and Hospitality is being impacted by the new campaign of the Fond du Lac Area Convention and Visitors Bureau’s campaign of “C’mon in”.

Gudex TIF Bill Would Aid Struggling TIF Districts

State Senator Rick Gudex says he’s continuing his effort to push a bill that will help struggling tax incremental finance districts. He says here in the 18th State Senate District there are struggling TIF Districts in Oshkosh, North Fond du Lac, and Rosendale to name a few. Officials in North Fond du Lac are attempting to buy the vacant lots from a developer who owns the lots in the Northgate Business Park so they can market it themselves. Gudex says the City of Fond du Lac has been fortunate with its TIF Districts. He says not everyone has seen as much success and that’s the reason for the bill that would allow TIF District values to be reset for struggling TIFs.

United Way Efforts Recognized

The Fond du Lac County Board this past week recognized United Way efforts in Fond du Lac and Ripon. Fond du Lac Area United Way Executive Director Tina Potter says they appreciate the proclamation the County Board passed and a recent similar proclamation from the Fond du Lac City Council. She says there are a lot of working poor in the 19,000 people they helped out through United Way agencies last year. She says those who aren’t able to make it entirely on their own turn to agencies supported by the United Way. The Fond du Lac Area United Way hopes to raise over $740,000 during its fall fundraising campaign.

Ribbon Cutting For MPTC Jackson Regional Center Tuesday

The vice president of academic affairs for Moraine Park Technical College says they will be showcasing some state-of-the-art technology when they hold a ribbon cutting and celebration for their new Jackson Regional Center Tuesday. Jim Eden says they wanted to highlight some of the nifty gadgets that students will be learning from. He says that will include a programmable electric saw that cuts steel. He says one of the things they will show off is a plasma cutter which uses a laser to cut through steel. They are particularly proud of the virtual welding simulation stations. A $647,000 U.S. Department of Labor Grant allowed them to purchase the two stations. The celebration is from 5 to 6:30 p.m. at the Jackson Regional Center on Northwest Passage Way. A ribbon cutting and remarks will be made at 5:45 p.m.

Northwoods Lawmaker Calls For Increased Logging In National Forest

(Wisconsin Radio Network)-State Senator Tom Tiffany of Hazelhurst is supporting Oneida County’s call for increased logging in the Chequamegon Nicolet National Forest. The county board recently passed a resolution asking federal officials and Congress to bring the national forest harvest up to its allowable levels. After widespread clear-cutting a century ago, Tiffany says the pendulum has swung too far the other way. He says the national forests aren’t being harvested hardly at all now, which is causing an ecological problem creating too much undergrowth. Tiffany blames environmental lawsuits and complicated federal bureaucracy for holding things up. He says it’s also creating economic problems in the Northwoods. He says a mill in Mercer now has to import 40 percent of their raw material from Canada when there is plenty of hardwood growing in the national forest. Managers in the area are only cutting about half of the 130 million board feet allowed by the national forest plan.

Roundabouts Friend Or Foe?

The Fond du Lac Area Safety Council will be hosting a program on roundabout safety on Thursday, October 3rd and the public is invited. It will be at Agnesian HealthCare in the Plaza Level Conference Center at 430 East Division Street. Registration and appetizers will be at 4:15 p.m. and the program will be from 5 to 6 p.m. Registration is required. The deadline to register is Friday. Cancellations will be accepted 48 hours in advance. The cost for the program is $20 for Safety Council members, $25 for Association of Commerce members and $30 for general admission. To register visit the Fond du Lac Area Association of Commerce website or you can call (920) 921-9500.