MADISON, Wis. (AP) – Gov. Scott Walker has appointed three new members to the Department of Natural Resources’ board.

Walker picked William Bruins of Waupun. He owns and operates the Homeland Dairy family farm in rural Fond du Lac County. Terry Hilgenberg is president of Hilgenberg Realty which has offices in Shawano and Green Bay. He has had a 35-year career in real estate marketing, development, and investment. Walker also appointed Gregory Kazmierski, co-founder of the Wisconsin Hunters’ Rights Coalition.

The governor says the new members will represent the farm, hunting and business communities.

The trio will replace Jonathan Ela, the board’s chairman, Gary Rhode and John Welter. Their terms expire May 1.

via Gov. names 3 new members to DNR board.



The month of May will feature two opportunities to learn boater safety.

• The Fond du Lac Coast Guard Auxiliary will present the Wisconsin DNR 10-hour Safe Boating Course from 7 to 9 p.m. Tuesday and Thursday evenings beginning May 17.

Classes will be held at the Fond du Lac Yacht Club, 505 Mohawk Ave.

By completing a DNR boating safety course, youths ages 12 to 16 to operate a motorboat or personal watercraft without an adult. The course also satisfies Wisconsin regulations that require completion of boating safety certification by adults born in 1989 or later who operate a boat or personal watercraft.

Course content includes boat types, legal requirements, safety rules, right of way, buoys, boat handling, emergencies and using a trailer.

A book will cost $10.

For more information, visit http://a0950401.uscgaux.info or call (920) 923-1774.

• The Fond du Lac County Sheriff\'s Department will conduct a boater safety course to be held at the City County Government Center, 160 S. Macy St. It will take place from 6 to 8:30 p.m. on May 2, 4, 9 and 11.

Students must attend all sessions. Parents must attend the first class for 15 minutes to register the students. Ages 10 to 15 are preferred, according to a press release from the Sheriff\'s Department.

All boater safety students will be required to obtain a DNR customer ID number as part of the criteria to graduate from any recreational safety class. The number must be provided to the instructor.

Students can obtain the ID number by calling (888) 936-7463 between 7 a.m. and 10 p.m.

To pre-register, contact Deputy Aaron Rauls at (920) 906-4664 ext. 9062.

via May is the month to learn boating safety | wisconsinoutdoorfun.com | Wisconsin Outdoor Fun Wisconsin Hunting, Fishing, Camping| Wisconsin Hiking, Biking, ATV.



Fond du Lac Yacht Club is offering free sailing classes to Fond du Lac area youth.

Classes will be held Tuesdays for six weeks starting June 14. Two separate classes are held each day with the first class from 9 a.m. to noon and the second class from 1 to 4 p.m.

The school offers instruction in 9-foot youth sailboats and in Laser class boats for those with more advanced sailing skills. Openings are limited, so participants are invited to register early.

Parents are encouraged to help during lessons.

Throughout the summer the Fond du Lac Sailing Club sponsors small boat racing on Tuesday nights. Sailing school students are invited and encouraged to enhance their sailing skills and to participate in the Tuesday night racing that begins at 6:20 p.m.

Sailing school students participating in the racing need to be at the Fond du Lac Yacht Club at 5:30 p.m. on race nights. Students also have the opportunity to serve on race judgeboats and to crew on Thursday night cruiser boat races.

The free sailing class is open to all area youth ages 8 and up. Students must be able to swim (parent verified), and they must have a parent signature on the registration form. Students will need to provide their own U.S. Coast Guard approved life vest along with shoes they can wear in the water. Life vests and water shoes must be worn at all time when on the boats and docks.

Students will be instructed on reading the wind, sailing at different angles to the wind, parts of the sailboat and how to rig a boat. Sailing terminology is practiced during classes. Knots are taught, such as the figure eight and bowline, and how to use a cleat. Students are taught what to do if they capsize and how to recover.

Registration forms are available at www.fdlsail.com. Additional information on youth and adult sailing in Fond du Lac can also be found on this website.

Registration also accepted at Lore@TTCLabs.com or by calling (920) 539-2434.

via Yacht Club offers free sailing classes for youth | wisconsinoutdoorfun.com | Wisconsin Outdoor Fun Wisconsin Hunting, Fishing, Camping| Wisconsin Hiking, Biking, ATV.



OSHKOSH (WFRV) — Winnebago County authorities are investigating after a body was pulled of Lake Butte des Morts Saturday.

Autopsy results could be released as early as today.

The Sheriff’s Department has confirmed that the body is that of 44-year-old Shawn Talbot from Sullivan.

Talbot went missing on March 13th, when a witness reported seeing his snowmobile go into the water.

Search teams recovered the snowmobile, but did not find the body.

The body is now at the medical examiner’s office in Fond du Lac to determine the official cause of death.

via Body pulled from Lake Butte des Morts identified | WFRV Green Bay: Northeast Wisconsin News, Weather and Sports | Local.



MENASHA — Two floating kayak/canoe access docks are being donated for installation along the Fox River this spring, providing prime launching points for the developing Fox-Wisconsin Heritage Parkway water trail.

The 5-by-8-foot docks, which combined cost nearly $4,300, are being donated by the Friends of the Fox and Fox Cities Greenways, two local nonprofits that support recreational trail development, including the first phase of the new water trail unveiled last May.

The floating kayak launch platforms will be installed at the west end of Jefferson Park, just south of Green Bay Street and just east of the downtown Menasha marina.

“It makes Menasha sort of the kayak/canoe-friendly destination to put it at Jefferson Park,” said Brian Tungate, Menasha’s park and recreation director, a kayaking enthusiast. “Now they have a way to get out.”

Officials installed signs and opened the water trail segment from Lutz Park to Telulah Park in Appleton about a year ago.

Installation of the Menasha docks will complete the first phase of the water trail, enabling paddlers to travel from Jefferson Park to Sunset Park in Kimberly with the aid of safe portages and signs to avoid fast-flowing areas of the river.

“The Menasha marina is also important as one of the keys to this water trail is opportunities for paddlers to have easy access to attractions along their route,” said Pete Hensler, Friends of Fox vice president. “The marina has such good access to downtown, it is just logical to have an easy in-out option there.”

Ald. Dan Zelinski questioned whether the city was committing itself to future maintenance or replacement cost, and creating liability concerns if the launches become “an attractive nuisance” to young people.

Tungate said the launches will be virtually maintenance free for 15 years.

Mayor Don Merkes said the donation provides an opportunity — at no cost to the taxpayers — to encourage greater use of the city’s waterfront amenities.

via Fox River water trail to get access boost | wisconsinoutdoorfun.com | Wisconsin Outdoor Fun Wisconsin Hunting, Fishing, Camping| Wisconsin Hiking, Biking, ATV.



A Winnebago County judge Wednesday ordered a Winneconne contractor to pay $15,000 for placing structures in the Wolf River without a permit.

Judge Thomas Gritton signed the order against Radtke Contractors Inc. for the placement of a pier, seven boat lifts and five boat shelters during the construction of the Wolf River Condominiums in 2006 and 2007.

State law prohibits placement of any structure on the bed of a navigable water without a permit.

The Department of Natural Resources worked with the firm on plans for piers at the Town of Wolf River properties that would protect the shoreline and the habitat for 15 mussel species, the complaint says.

The structures placed in the river by Radtke resulted in a footprint that was 300 percent beyond what was permitted.

via Radtke Contractors Inc. of Winneconne fined for environmental violation in Wolf River | wisconsinoutdoorfun.com | Wisconsin Outdoor Fun Wisconsin Hunting, Fishing, Camping| Wisconsin Hiking, Biking, ATV.



The Waterfest website still needs some updating but head over to the Leach Amphitheater website and you can see the full lineup for the 2011 Waterfest summer concert series.

It looks like there are some returning favorites and new faces. Let us know what you think below.

*June 9: Vic Ferarri, The Tossers, Men in Suits (Free admission for teachers)

June 16: Dennis DeYoung: The music of Styx, Steez, Tin Sandwich

*June 23: Hairball! & Tuff with X-Iter reunion, Cheese-heads With Attitude

June 30: Gin Blossoms, Something Underground, Power Play

*July 7: Bob Schneider with Lukas Nelson and Promise of the Real, Andy’s Automatics

*July 14: American English: The Beatles Experience, Three Beers til Dubuque

July 21: Little River Band, Paul Sanchez and the Rolling Road Show

July 28: Rusted Root, Sly Joe and the Smooth Operators, Green Tea (EAA guests admitted free with wrist band)

Aug. 4: BoDeans, Patrick Sweeney Band, Greg Waters and the Broad Street Boogie

Aug 11: TBD

Aug. 18: Herman’s Hermit’s starring Peter Noone, Road Trip, The School of Rock

Aug. 31: The Doobie Brothers, Copper Box, Mighty Short Bus

* Designated Community Night. Admission is 2 for 1

via blogs01 | The Oshkosh Northwestern | thenorthwestern.com.



MARINETTE – A major area employer is bringing laid off workers back sooner than expected. Marinette Marine says work is going faster than originally thought.

It may be a bit difficult to put in perspective, but the beginning of the Research Vessel Sikuliaq, a 261-foot ship to be operated by the University of Alaska Fairbanks, is beginning to take shape.

Its research will be focused on climate change, and what makes this ship special is its ability go to through ice, and it’s being produced by Marinette Marine.

“Clearly they had the expertise,” said Chancellor Brian Rogers, University of Alaska Fairbanks. “This was put out to competitive bid. They won over other proposals based on the quality of their work, based on the price of the work, based on their experience with ice-strengthened vessels.”

Late last year Marinette Marine landed a contract for 10 littoral combat ships (LCS) with the Navy, a contract that will sustain and grow the workforce.

But aside from the LCS the company is working on other projects like the Sikuliaq, as well as response boats for the US Coast Guard.

“We have probably the widest range of products of any shipbuilder in the US,” said Richard McCreary, president & CEO, Marinette Marine.

That allows the company to attract new business and new workers. However, after a delay in the LCS contracts in December the company laid off close to 200 employees and though initially McCreary estimated they would not be back to full staff until June, they will all be back soon.

“Now that we’re building on the Sikuliaq, the Alaska vessel, and building on LCS, we’re actually recalling the last 88 people that we still have on layoff over the course of the next two weeks,” said McCreary.

It’s a workforce that continues to grow, with a corporation that builds on its reputation, and continues to seek out new work.

The company has already hired an addition 100 people since the beginning of the year. The CEO says in about four months the company will likely start to hire in production.

via Marinette Marine celebrates new ship.



Cleaning, testing and maintenance are scheduled this week for several bridges over the Fox River in Oshkosh.

The Oregon Street/Jackson Street bridge will be worked on today, with lane closures on the bridge from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. The Main Street bridge will also be worked on today with lane closures on the bridge for testing from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

On Wednesday, the Main Street bridge will be opened and closed multiple times for testing between 8 a.m. to noon. The Congress Avenue bridge will also be tested from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Wednesday.

On Thursday, the Oregon/Jackson Street bridge will have lane closures from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m.

The bridges are scheduled to begin operation for the boating season on April 22. Daily operating hours will be 8:00 a.m. to 12:00 midnight.

Officials from the DOT said motorists should seek alternative routes during bridge work and also to use caution if they drive through the work areas.

via Maintenance, testing on Oshkosh bridges signals upcoming start of boating season | The Oshkosh Northwestern | thenorthwestern.com.



Let’s just get this sad fact out of the way: Two-thirds of Americans are either overweight or obese.

You knew that, I’d guess. We’ve written about the fattening of America, and its health consequences, again and again.

But if the whole thing seems a little abstract, consider this: Fewer us can fit on boats now. The Coast Guard is raising its assumption of how much the average American weighs to 185 pounds, up 16 percent from the current benchmark of 160 pounds.

The “Assumed Average Weight per Person” is defined by regulation, believe it or not, and is used to calculate the maximum capacity of all sorts of commercial passenger vessels. You don’t want a boat to get top heavy by letting on too many passengers who weigh too much. Soon many boats won’t be allowed to carry as many people as they used to.

A boat rated for a 16,000-pound capacity would be allowed to carry 86 people under the new rule, compared with 100 that are OK under the current standard, the Associated Press reports. The new rule doesn’t apply to people’s recreational boats, a Coast Guard representative told Shots.

As the Coast Guard pointed out late last year, the safety regulation needs to be updated “to more accurately reflect today’s average weight per person.” The change takes effect Dec. 1. For a more digestible version of the rule and what it means for boat owners, the Coast Guard has this two-page fact sheet and a Q&A.

Some captains say it’s no big deal. Captain Mike Eller of the charter boat Lady Em in Destin, Fla., told the local newspaper The Log that the lower weight limit wouldn’t change much for boats around there. Still, Eller said, the change was overdue, “We have seen some ridiculous things in the past, but we are not thinking that this is going to affect us much overall.”

Bulging Waistlines Lead Coast Guard To Lower Passenger Limits : Shots – Health Blog : NPR.



Wisconsin EmergencyManagement is preparing for possible flooding in Northeast Wisconsin. The National Weather Service estimates that in the next 48 hours the Fox River will be nearing flood stage in Shiocton and NewLondon. In Berlin there could even be some minor flooding, where the water stands at 12.9 feet.

Some docks are already underwater and parts of Riverside Park are flooded. “This is the highest that it’s been since we lived here. Normally its around 9 feet,” says nearby resident Martin Eastman.

But Eastman says he’s not too concerned — seeing that there’s quite a ways to go until the water hits his riverfront home. “It would take quite a bit of rain to make this go up,” he adds.

His son is on the cautious side and is urging his dad to keep a sharp lookout on the rising water. “We just built that shed over here. We’re worried about the shed being totaled. We spent a lot of hours on it last summer,” says Rick Olson.

“If they’re concerned about it. And they would want sand bags, we have sandbags that can be filled at our public works garage. Just have to contact us,” says Gary Podoll, Emergency Services Director for the City of Berlin.

Podoll says Sunday’s rains shouldn’t cause too many problems and that water levels will only rise about half an inch by the end of the week.

“Gary Podoll has a great system in place,” says Berlin Mayor Richard Schramer. “He knows exactly where to place sandbags and when. So he’s got a system down and we’ve used that same system for the last few floods we’ve had and very little damage.”

“We’ve been through it before and the residents and the businesses have been through it before,” says Podoll. “Its stuff that we know we can handle. Because everybody works together in this community and that’s what’s nice.”

via Residents and Officials in Berlin Prepare for Possible Flooding – WBAY-TV Green Bay-Fox Cities-Northeast Wisconsin News.