Local News Wednesday 4/17/13
Body Still Unidentified In Beaver Dam Fire
Dodge County authorities are still trying to identify the body found in a mobile home fire last Saturday morning. Sheriff Pat Ninmann says they weren’t able to use dental records. Instead they are using DNA and comparing it to a family member. She says they will have to use the state crime lab or private company to do that work. She says they are reasonably certain the body is that of a Beaver Dam High School student. A Cambria man is being held in connection with the fire, but charges are pending until the body is positively identified. The mobile home destroyed by the blaze was on Forest Road, which is a couple miles west of Beaver Dam.
West Bend Woman Sentenced To Prison For Daughter’s Death
The 26-year-old West Bend woman whose 3-year-old daughter died of a massive streptococcus infection last May has been sentenced to 15 years in prison and ten years of extended supervison. Leann Leszynski was recently sentenced in Washington County Court for felony child neglect. According to the criminal complaint the infection spread throughout Haley Kluwe’s body due to days of neglect. Leszynski wouldn’t seek medical attention for the toddler fearing she would be accused of child abuse and would lose custody of her three daughters; something that’s happened before. Justin Streicher, Leszynski’s current boyfriend will be sentenced on May 22nd for his role in the child’s death.
Sheboygan Woman Dies After Car Crash Caused By Medical Condition
(WHBL-Sheboygan)-The Sheboygan woman who died Monday in a crash caused by a medical condition has now been identified as 56-year-old Bernice Winter. Sheboygan Police say Winter died after her car crashed into another car and then careened into a home. Police say it happened about 4:30pm when Winter apparently suffered a medical problem. Winter had to be freed from the wreckage and was taken to the hospital, where she was pronounced dead. The driver of the other car suffered a minor injury. The home that was struck sustained extensive damage to a front wall and window.
County Board Notes
The Fond du Lac County Board last night approved a 1.5 percent wage increase for County management and professionals, technical and clerical staff, registered nurses, psychiatrists and pathologists and Local 350 Union employees of the Sheriff’s Department. It’s retroactive to January 6th and covers 434 full and part-time employees. Altogether the pay increases will cost the County an additional $368,500 in pay. The Board also approved allowing County officials to apply for grants from the Department of Natural Resources for snowmobile trail maintenance and ATV trail maintenance for next winter. Supervisors also honored the memory of former Board member Gordon Treffert with a resolution. Treffert passed away last month. A resolution also honored recent retirees Carol Birschbach and Debra Debbert. Birschbach was with the County’s Human Resources Department for 42 years and Debbert was with the Clerk of Courts Office for 13 years.
Beginning In June FDL City Council Meetings Will Start Earlier
Starting in June Fond du Lac City Council meetings will begin at 6 p.m. rather than 7 p.m. The Council voted unanimously Tuesday night to change the start time for the meetings. It’s something City Manager Joe Moore brought up as a possibility last December. He says the 7 p.m. start time may not have been as convenient for citizens who work all day and then have business before the Council at night. New Council President Sam Meyer says City staff will also like the earlier start time and it’s something the City of Oshkosh does as well. The new start time will begin with the Council’s first meeting on the second Wednesday in June.
State Assembly Passes Food Stamp Fraud Prevention Bill
(Wisconsin Radio Network)-Legislation toughening state laws governing “food stamp” fraud clears the state Assembly. Marinette Republican, Representative John Nygren says everyone wants the dollars to go to the truly needy but not rampant fraud. Nygren said such fraud has been under-prosecuted here, as compared to neighboring states, but Democrats like Representative Gary Hebl of Sun Prairie argued it would be redundant. Hebl says we have all the statutes we need to make fraud and trafficking of food stamps illegal. State Senator Rick Gudex who co-sponsored the bill issued a statement yesterday saying the bill provides commonsense reforms that need to be addressed. The bill establishes various penalties for “trafficking” in food stamps, which are now known as SNAP benefits. It now heads to the state Senate.
Senator Gudex Supports Expansion Of Historic Preservation Tax Credit Program
State Senator Rick Gudex is sponsoring a bill that would expand the tax credit for historic preservation efforts from 5 percent to 20 percent. The Fond du Lac City Council last week unanimously voted to support the proposed expansion of the credit. Gudex says neighboring states are offering even higher tax credits for that type of preservation. He says he recently spoke with the Homebuilders Associations of Fond du Lac, Dodge and Winnebago Counties and they also support the proposal. Gudex says it’s all about helping out business and supporting growth.
NFDL Village Board Approves Street Bids
The North Fond du Lac Village Board this week approved the bid for reconstruction of Michigan Avenue and blacktop overlays for other village streets. Village Administrator Chuck Hornung says the sewer and water work for Michigan Avenue was completed last year. Work slated for this year includes curb and gutter, approaches, sidewalks and the street itself. He says they will also get to some blacktopping they put off last summer.
NFDL Village Board Honors Two
A couple of individuals were honored at the North Fond du Lac Village Board meeting this week. Brian Rebedew of the Public Works Department was honored for 25 years of service to the Village.
The village board also recognized Mark Vandeberg for the 17 years he committed to the Police and Fire Commission. Vandeberg recently decided to retire and step down from the board.
National Public Safety Telecommunications Week
Two local county officials say the men and women who man dispatch centers are unsung heroes. This is National Public Safety Telecommunications Week. Dodge County Sheriff Pat Ninmann started out in dispatch at the Beaver Dam Police Department. Later she was the Director of Communications for the Dodge County Sheriff’s Department. She says the dispatchers are the 911 callers’ first contact with her department. She says the dispatchers are there to help out the public. Fond du Lac County Communications and Emergency Management Director James McNabb says they will celebrate the week with an open house. That will be from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Friday at the dispatch center in the City-County Government Center in Fond du Lac. He says they will honor some of those dispatcher with life saving awards at a 2 p.m. presentation.
Student Government Day In FDL County
The Fond du Lac City-County Government Center will host the 24th Annual Student Government Day today. All high school and home schooled students in the County have been invited to the event. The Fond du Lac County Council of the American Legion and Auxiliary sponsor the Student Government Day under the direction of County Executive Al Buechel and his staff. Buechel says he enjoys the opportunity to show students something about County Government. He spends some time with the students explaining what he does and some of the other functions of County Government. There will be tours of several offices including the Sheriff’s Office, a voting exercise and a teen court mock trial will conclude the program this afternoon.
Villa Loretta’s Nun Will Be Featured In Documentary
A documentary film crew will begin four days of filming at the Villa Loretta nursing home in Mt. Calvary today to capture a longtime nurse at work. Sister Stephen Bloesl is one of six nurses who will be featured in The American Nurse Project’s upcoming documentary. Sister Bloesl is the director of nursing at the Villa Loretto nursing home and Villa Rosa assisted-living facility where she has worked for 45 years. She is also featured in the The American Nurse, a successful book benefitting nursing scholarships that was published last fall. She is featured on page 121.
Pierce Supports NFFF
Pierce Manufacturing Inc., an Oshkosh Corporation company has launched Support for the Long Haul, a nationwide campaign to benefit the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation. The program will help the Foundation assist the families of firefighters who die in the line of duty. Through October 1st participants can visit a website to make a donation to the Foundation. When they do, they will automatically be entered in the Support for the Long Haul sweepstakes wit a chance to win a firefighter inspired customized Ford F-150 4 X 4 SuperCrew pickup truck. The sweepstakes winner will be announced in November. Since forming a partnership with the Foundation, Pierce Manufacturing has raised more than $275,000 to support the families and loved one of firefighters who made the ultimate sacrifice.