Local News Thursday 4/11/13

Motorcyclists Show Support At Motion Hearing In Fatal Accident Case


A Fond du Lac County courtroom was packed with people wearing motorcycle jackets and vests to show support for motorcyclists killed and injured by a driver who may have been under the influence. Judge Gary Sharpe denied a motion to suppress evidence in the case against 26-year-old Clinton Lovelace of Hilbert. He ran into a group of motorcyclists on Highway 151 last May leading to two deaths and seven injuries. Brad Groom was in that group of 12 riders from Michigan who were returning from a trip to Milwaukee. He says it meant a lot to see fellow motorcyclists from Wisconsin in the courtroom for the decision. The last time he saw Lovelace was when he was covered with blood after the accident. He says Lovelace looks like he’s recovered but not all the victims and their families can say the same. Groom says we can’t allow incidents like this to go under the radar. A trial hasn’t been scheduled yet.


Restitution Ordered In Ottery Case


The 19-year-old rural Fond du Lac woman who drove during a high speed crash that killed three Campbellsport High School classmates has been ordered to pay more than $70,000 in restitution to the families of her victims. Carly Ottery was in Fond du Lac County Court for a restitution hearing Wednesday afternoon. Judge Dale English ordered her to pay from $20,000 to $30,000 to each of the three victims families. Ottery was sentenced last November for the February 2012 crash on Beechnut Road that killed 15-year-old Sabrina Stahl, 16-year-old Katie Berg and 17-year-old Caitlin Scannel. She was sentenced to a year in jail, six years of probation and 100 hours of community service.


Shots Fired In Area Of West 2nd And Harrison Place


Fond du Lac Police were involved in standoff incident yesterday morning at a duplex on Harrison Place. Assistant Chief Steve Klein says several people reported hearing shots in the area of West 2nd Street and Harrison Place about 9:15 a.m. A man was seen running in the area of the duplex. Police learned he had recently been evicted. He holed in the apartment. Because he refused to speak with officers and fearing someone may be injured the Department’s SWAT team was activated. However before the SWAT Team arrived he agreed to come out and he was taken into custody. Klein says if anyone has information about the incident they are asked to call the Police Department’s non-emergency number at 906-5555.


Man Threatens FDL Residents With Gun


Fond du Lac Police took a 24-year-old man into custody yesterday afternoon after he allegedly brandished a gun and threatened several people. Assistant Chief Steve Klein says the threats were made shortly afternoon in the area of the Lakeside Garden Apartments on North Peters Avenue. The man fled before police arrived. Klein says they got a second call to the apartments about 3 p.m. that the man had returned. Again he fled before police arrived. However a Sheriff’s deputy spotted the man’s vehicle on Pioneer Road going towards Military Road. The man pulled into the Mercury Marine parking lot and fled on foot. Police officers and the deputy took him into custody. The investigation into the incident is continuing. A gun was recovered from the man’s vehicle.


Obituary Burglar Sentenced


(WHBL-Sheboygan)-The Sheboygan Falls man dubbed the “obituary burglar” was sentenced Wednesday in connection with a burglary last March, while 30 other counts against him are being held up by appeal.  Sixty-two-year old Dennis Petrie was sentenced to 4 years in prison to be followed by 4 years extended supervision and he was ordered to make restitution of $32,000.  However, Sheboygan County Judge Timothy Van Akkeren stayed the sentence pending the appeal.  Petrie remains free on $25,000 bond.  Authorities said Petrie would allegedly read about estate sales in the newspaper and then go to those locations at night and steal things from the homes.  Today’s proceeding dealt only with two burglaries at the Wayne Sergeant home in the town of Sheboygan Falls when Petrie was caught red-handed.  Sergeant spoke out during sentencing, calling Petri a “bloodsucker and a leach stealing from people who are deceased and handicapped”.  Petrie stole more than 250 items from the Sergeant property last March.


 FDL City Council Notes


An emotional Rebecca Lunde Ross thanked the Fond du Lac City Council and City staff last night as she served on her last meeting with the Council. Council President Rob Vande Zande tried to coax her to step down in front of the gathering to be honored with a plaque, but Lunde Ross asked if she could wait until the conclusion of the meeting to give a statement. When she did she choked back tears and said it was her honor to serve on the Council the last two years. It also would have been Mick Burroughs last meeting for the Council, but he could not attend due to work obligations. In other Council notes the Council denied a number of claims for sewer backup, vehicle damage and excessive special assessments. Also the City’s Employee Handbook was amended to add values and a mission statement, and clarify the holiday policy for salaried employees.


Western Avenue Fire Station Remodeling Begins April 22nd


Fond du Lac Fire Chief Peter O’Leary says renovation to the Western Avenue Fire Station is much needed. He says it was built in 1988 for three people and they have five stationed there. The bid was awarded for $600,000. Construction will begin on April 22nd adding 2,500 square feet to the building, which will include remodeling, landscaping and parking. He says it’s hoped the remodeling will allow them to use the station for at least 25 more years. He says it will allow them to house extra gear, a mass casualty trailer and spare ambulance in their apparatus bay. The kitchen, office, windows and doors will be remodeled. There will also be more area for their turnout gear, laundry, maintenance, workout and HVAC room.  O’Leary says it will also fix some drainage issues they have at the station.


Former FDL County DA Opposes Senate Bill


Former Fond du Lac County District Attorney Dan Kaminsky says he’s opposed to a state senate bill that would do away with the collateral source payments rule. It has to do with civil cases and medical bills. He says for instance if an employer agreed to pay an employee’s wages that had been injured in a traffic accident and couldn’t work the person being sued couldn’t get off the hook for paying the wages because someone else already had. He says often insurance companies pay less for someone’s hospital bills than the insured and authors of the bill believe it will reduce insurance costs. Kaminsky says in those cases a person gets to collect the reasonable value of their medical bills from the person they are suing. Kaminsky thinks it will actually increase insurance costs because insurance companies may wait until a case is settled before they pay out. He says the victim may never get paid in full for their costs. Kaminsky points out the collateral source payments rule was developed by the Supreme Court. Senator Glenn Grothman is one of the sponsors of the bill and State Representative Jeremy Thiesfeldt is among the cosponsors.


Donation For Hearing Loop For FDL HS PAC


The Fond du Lac School Board this week recognized Lee and Lauretta Sterr for a donation that will allow the installation of a hearing loop at the Fond du Lac High School’s Performing Arts Center. District Superintendent Jim Sebert says it will allow people with a hearing aid with a T coil setting to set their hearing aid to hear exactly what is coming through the house sound system in the PAC. He says it will be a great addition to the PAC. Sebert says Fond du Lac is fortunate to have such a nice facility.



Mercury Plant And Individual To Be Honored For Safety Efforts


A Mercury Marine plant and the company’s safety director will be honored during the 71st Wisconsin Safety & Health Conference at Wisconsin Dells April 23rd and 24th. Mercury Marine Plant 36 in Taycheedah will be one of 18 companies to win this year’s Wisconsin Corporate Safety Award. Plant 36’s greatest safety and health improvement in the last year was reducing injuries to a single recordable injury with no lost work time incidents for the 6th straight year. Also the Lifetime Achievement Award will be given to Tom Baumgartner the Director of Safety at Mercury Marine in Fond du Lac.  Baumgartner joined Mercury Marine in 1979 and altogether has 41 years in the safety profession.