Local News Thursday 5/23/13

Rocky Conclusion Expected In Retlaw Hotel City Debt Saga


Fond du Lac City Manager Joe Moore last night told the City Council he’s expecting a “rocky conclusion” to the Retlaw Hotel’s saga over unpaid monies owed the City. He said the owners of the hotel, North Main Hospitality, have a habit of making payments just before imposed deadlines and they have another coming up in a few days. The City’s Alcohol Licensing Committee meets next Wednesday and if the owner’s of the historic hotel don’t meet their obligations by then the committee could decide to recommend to the City Council not to renew the hotel’s liquor license. Moore says when the Council makes their decision next month depends on the recommendation. The Council could tackle the issue during their first meeting in June or the second. Based on the Council’s current stipulation North Main Hospitality owes the City $63,000, which Moore says relieves them of a significant amount owed the City. He says the $63,000 includes property taxes and an overdue utility bill. Council members expressed concerns about those who have booked weddings and other events at the hotel in July when renewed liquor licenses take effect.


Merkel Chosen To Fill Vacancy On FDL City Council


Karyn Merkel will be sworn and seated as the newest member of the Fond du Lac City Council at their June 12th meeting. The Council voted 5 to 1 last night to appoint Merkel to the vacancy created by the resignation of Jim Sabel a few months ago due to health concerns. Councilman Rob Vande Zande voted for the other finalist Lynn Farr. Merkel says there were a lot of qualified candidates for the vacancy and she’s honored to be selected. In fact there were 14 candidates and several Council members last night encouraged all 14 to run for Council next spring. Merkel bring some experience to the Council having served on the Advisory Parks Board and the Redevelopment Authority. Also during the Council’s next meeting the Council begins an earlier starting time for meetings, 6 p.m.


One Injured In Unattended Cooking Fire


One person was injured in an unattended cooking fire in Fond du Lac overnight. Fire Chief Peter O’Leary says one person was taken to St. Agnes Hospital to be treated for smoke inhalation and a possible burn to a hand. The fire occurred at 27 5th Street. He says there was some moderate damage to the residence and the Red Cross was called to help with housing assistance. The fire occurred around 10:30 last night.


Mayville Schools Lockdown


Two men with Airsoft guns caused a panic at the Mayville High School and Mayville Middle School yesterday afternoon causing a lockdown. School officials say they got notified at 2:45 p.m. about a suspicious person near the high school who might have a weapon. Police say two men were seen looking into a car’s trunk. The schools were locked down for about an hour and 15 minutes. Elmentary school students were also kept inside. Police took a 21-year-old Mayville man into custody. They say one of the men had just bought the Airsoft guns, two pistols and a rifle and was showing them to a friend.


Mondovi Man Sentenced For Plotting Murder While Inmate At Dodge County Jail


The former Mondovi man suspected of trying to arrange a murder while he was an inmate at the Dodge County Jail has been sentenced to seven and a half years in prison and five years of extended supervision. Forty-nine-year-old William Ziemer pled to an amended charge of solicitation of 1st degree intentional homicide this week.  Ziemer devised a plot with an inmate who was a confidential informant for the Department of Justice. He wanted to have a Mondovi women killed because of a dispute over a financial matter. The informant arranged a phone conversation with the supposed “hit-man” who was actually a special agent with the Justice Department. Ziemer planned to pay the hit man with proceeds from the sale of his home. His sentence runs concurrent to a seven-year prison term for a burglary conviction in Polk County.


Germantown Man Facing Federal Charges For Making Explosives


Six federal charges have been brought against a 33-year-old Germantown man suspected of making explosives in his home. Bodie Witzlib was arrested while authorities were searching the home he was staying in at the end of April. He’s also facing four felony charges in Washington County Court. Witzlib told a Washington County judge earlier this month that he was the “CEO of G. I. Explosives.” In fact authorities recovered 600 to 700 M-80 type of explosives and some even larger ones from the home when they searched it. Witzlib is back in Washington County Court next Wednesday.


Carbon Monoxide Scare


Parents of a 7-year-old North Fond du Lac boy got a rude awakening Wednesday morning. The boy had a headache and his mother and father were sleeping so he called their doctor’s office in Oshkosh. North Fond du Lac Police Chief Darren Pautsch says believing the home maybe filling with carbon monoxide the doctor’s office called the Fond du Lac County Dispatch Center. The Fire Department and an ambulance were sent to the home, but it turns out mom and dad were just sleeping. Pautsch says the boy thought he was doing the responsible thing when he called the doctor’s office, but his parents may beg to differ with him.


Bids Approved For NFDL Booster Station


The North Fond du Lac Village Board this week approved three bids for a flow control and chlorination station for the water they supply to the Town of Fond du Lac. Village Administrator Chuck Hornung says the booster station is located along the Rolling Meadows Frontage Road. He says they wanted to build a structure to house it and equipment to monitor the proper amount of chlorine needed for the water. Currently the Village owns the water tower on the southwest side of their service area, but eventually it will be owned by the Town. He says right now they are working with the Town until that happens. He says the Town had already approved the bids and the Village did likewise because of the partnership. Together the three bids came to nearly $290,000.


Tornado Safety


Fond du Lac Fire Chief Peter O’Leary says the devastation caused by tornadoes in Oklahoma should be reminder enough of why you should have an emergency plan. He says a good site to see just how ready you are is ready.gov. He says tornado drills should be taken seriously and you should practice them when you can. He also says the time to take action with a plan is when a watch is issued, not a warning.  


Campbellsport Soccer Field Renamed In Memory Of Accident Victims


Officials in Campbellsport last week held a dedication for the renaming of a soccer field in memory of the three girls who were killed in a tragic accident in February of last year. The field has been renamed Three Angels Soccer Field in honor of 15-year-old Sabrina Stahl, 16-year-old Katie Berg and 17-year-old Caitlin Scannel. Mark Peterson is a soccer coach in Campbellsport and knew the three girls who played soccer. He says it wasn’t easy to get the field renamed it took a close vote of the school board. Peterson says the community is still healing over the loss and the renaming of the field is another part of that process. He says about 14,000 people attended a wake for the girls last year.


FDL Memorial Day Parade And Ceremony Details


Details have been announced for the Memorial Day Parade and Ceremony in Fond du Lac next Monday. The parade will begin at 10 a.m. on the corner of Guindon Blvd and Main Street and will proceed north to Veterans Park.  The program will begin immediately after the parade.  The keynote speaker is Fond du Lac City Manager and Retired Army Colonel Joseph Moore.  State Senator Rick Gudex, State Representative Jeremy Thiesfeldt and County Executive Allen Buechel will also give brief remarks.  The invocation and benediction will be given by Reverence Steve Huff and music during the ceremony will be provided by the Fond du Lac High School Band. Disabled American Veterans Chapter 11 of Fond du Lac is this year’s sponsoring unit and Chapter Commander and Retired Navy Lieutenant Jerry Eaton will be the Master of Ceremonies.  In event of severe weather an announcement will be made on News-Talk 1450 KFIZ at 8 a.m.


Samaritan House Raffle Drawing In The Fall


The Agnesian HealthCare Foundation is adding a new twist to its annual Samaritan Health Clinic House Raffle as it moves its drawing date to the fall, just in time for the lucky winner to move in for the holidays! Additionally, the Agnesian HealthCare Foundation can now accept credit card ticket sales by phone. All other purchases will continue to occur face-to-face, without sales by mail. Construction is underway for the annual raffle house, located in the Town of Fond du Lac at N6003 Hideaway Lane in the Westfield Hideaway Subdivision. The drawing is scheduled for Wednesday, October 30th. The house raffle is the main source of funding for the clinic’s operations. All proceeds help provide patients with important basic health services, medications and urgent dental needs. Dr. Derek Colmenares of the Fond du Lac Regional Clinic and Gary Deitte, vice-president of Holiday Automotive are co-chairpersons for this year’s event. The raffle house will be a 2,248-square-foot ranch house, which is valued at $269,000. Raffle tickets will go on sale on the 4th of July.