Jul

25

Two people are dead after the pilot of their airplane attempted an emergency landing on Lake Winnebago about one-fourth of a mile offshore of Wendt’s on the Lake, near the Winnebago and Fond du Lac county line.

The 1940 Piper Cub, registered to an Illinois owner, was reported to be going down about 11:30 a.m.

The plane sank in about six feet of water according to emergency radio reports.

Fond du Lac County Sheriff Mick Fink said the victims of the crash were a man and a woman.

The woman was pulled from the water at 12:38 p.m. by the dive team, according to scanner reports. The man was pulled out about 10 minutes later.

Dive team members needed to be decontaminated because of the amount of fuel in the water.

Chief Deputy Mark Strand of the Fond du Lac County Sheriff’s Department said dive teams will continue to search the area to determine if anyone else is in the water.

He said the airplane will be taken to shore by barge, where the National Transportation Safety Board will lead the investigation of the crash.

Robert Abraham, 90, of town of Friendship, saw the plane crash into the lake.

He said the plane was headed south when it hit the water and spun 180 degrees and ended up facing north.

“I saw it hit the water and spin around, until it faced the other way,” Abraham said. “It was floating then.”

The plane, Abraham said, started to sink right away.

Abraham said he watched the plane through a scope, but could not see any movement after the crash.

He said he initially didn’t call the crash in because he saw a small fishing boat headed towards the downed plane.

“It happened so quickly,” he said. “I was waiting for somebody to stick their head up.”

Shortly afterward he called Scott Klein, owner of Wendt’s Marine in Van Dyne.

Klein had heard but not seen the plane crash in the water just outside his business, but didn’t think anything of it at first, since EAA’s AirVenture was underway and plane traffic in the area would be significantly higher.

“I just remember hearing a putt-putt-putt-putt, which is a common sound, especially this time of year,” Klein said.

via Two killed when plane makes emergency landing on Lake Winnebago | The Oshkosh Northwestern | thenorthwestern.com.

Jul

22

Just a reminder to everyone. With EAA AirVenture going on this coming week there will be a safety zone on Lake Winnebago near Streichs for seaplane take off and landings. In the past it has been marked with large buoys and been patrolled by the USCG.

Click here for a Map of Security Zone

(61) EAA Airventure; Oshkosh, WI. (i) Location. All waters of Lake Winnebago bounded by a line drawn from 43°57’30” N, 088°30’00” W; then south to 43°56’56” N, 088°29’53” W, then east to 43°56’40” N, 088°28’40” W; then north to 43°57’30” N, 088°28’40” W; then west returning to the point of origin (NAD 83).

(ii) Enforcement date and time. The last complete week of July, beginning Monday and ending Sunday; from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. each day.

Remember folks, the giant spinning Cuisinart has the right of way.

via EAA Safety Zone.

Jul

22

APPLETON — Long known as the Appleton industrial flats, the low-lying land along the Fox River in the central part of the city is in the midst of a renaissance and renewed redevelopment focus.

The stretch of river from the Memorial Drive bridge to the College Avenue bridge was once home to several paper mills, contributing to the term “Paper Valley” since the Lower Fox River was once recognized as having the world’s largest concentration of papermakers.

Today, the riverfront is turning a new page in its history with old mills and other buildings being refurbished or demolished to make way for new opportunities.

Riverfront rebirth

“The riverfront is undergoing a rebirth of sorts, and there is a new appreciation for what it has to offer,” said Kathleen Lhost, executive director of the Paper Discovery Center inside the historic Atlas Mill, a 133-year-old former Kimberly-Clark Corp. paper mill that has been restored and adapted to new uses, including offices, a coffee shop-café-gift shop-art gallery with a riverfront deck and the Paper Industry International Hall of Fame.

On Saturday, the nonprofit Paper Discovery Center, a science and technology center that highlights the river’s rich papermaking history, will be ground zero for a new community event: Celebrate the Fox.

“What a great way to celebrate the past, present and future of the Fox,” said Christine Williams, vice president of the Appleton Historical Society, which has organized a river art exhibit and guided walking history tours with residents of the Old Third Ward neighborhood that will be part of the new event.

The event also will include the inaugural “Taste of the Fox” where nearby restaurants offer appetizers and refreshments.

“It is the perfect time to celebrate its rich history, natural beauty, unique riverfront restaurants and vibrant neighborhoods,” said Lhost, who also is the head of the Paper Industry International Hall of Fame.

“The river is just such an asset for this community and people are not aware of it,” she said. “The history between the two bridges (College Avenue and Memorial Drive) of Appleton is just amazing.”

New vibe

Karen Harkness, Appleton’s community development director, said there’s a new vibe taking place in the flats as a mixed-use district emerges with new housing, including single-family townhomes at RiverHeath and multi-family housing at Eagle Flats, as well as plans for additional commercial and office uses amongst the existing businesses.

“We don’t want the industry that’s down there now to go away,” Harkness said. “That’s part of the charm of the new development that’s happening. You’re building a new neighborhood to integrate with existing neighborhoods along our waterway.”

Harkness said construction will begin soon on two four-story apartment buildings in the first phase of Eagle Flats, on the site of the former Riverside Paper.

Riverwalk Place is a 70-unit complex being built by the Appleton Housing Authority to replace housing for senior and disabled residents who will be relocated from the aging Washington Place complex downtown. Meanwhile, The Landings is a 54-unit market rate apartment complex at Eagle Flats.

Further down river, River Heath is poised to break ground by early August with the first of seven energy-efficient townhomes on the site of a former paper mill and hydroelectric plant. Ultimately, plans call for the 15-acre, $55 million development to have 178 residential units and 114,500 square feet of commercial space.

Pedestrian-friendly environment

Harkness is among the Appleton officials negotiating with Canadian National Railway in hopes of getting the railroad to donate two trestles and two pedestrian crossings that will help extend the Newberry Trail and make connections between Lutz Park and Vulcan Heritage Park, next to Fratellos.

She thinks that will help create a pedestrian- and bicycle-friendly environment in an emerging restaurant-entertainment district that soon will see boating traffic passing through when the four historic, hand-operated Appleton locks that have been refurbished open in 2012.

“Water in general is a draw,” said Harkness. “For so many years we only viewed our waterways as an asset to our industry and a way to grow our industrial base. If you look at waterfront development across the U.S. in the last seven to 10 years, you’ll see a real increase in growth and redevelopment along our waterways.”

Appleton has a vibrant downtown sitting on the north riverbank and Harkness thinks there will be improved connectivity with the riverfront as development occurs.

The downtown trolley, a refurbished former street car, currently provides a historical link by making a 20-minute loop between the downtown and riverfront destinations like Fratellos-Atlas Coffee Mill and Café, Pullmans at Trolley Square and Stone Cellar Brewpub in the Between the Locks complex. It runs from 5 to 11 p.m. on Thursday and Friday evenings and from 10 a.m. to 11 p.m. on Saturdays.

“Redevelopment and intrigue with the river has really been an ongoing phenomenon for at least 30 years,” said Pete Hensler, a long-time Friends of the Fox official and former Appleton economic development director.

Transition from industrial to mixed use began in the 1980s when Madison developer Randy Alexander converted three old paper mill buildings built between 1883 and 1915 to the Historic Fox River Mills apartments and townhomes on the north bank of the river.

“Now fast forward to today and we’ve had considerable success with reuse/redevelopment projects that have created critical mass for public enjoyment,” Hensler said. “In addition, almost every project has had a brownfield component so in addition to creating places and spaces we’ve cleaned up sites that would not have been cleaned up otherwise.”

A paddling enthusiast, Hensler also has been involved in the creation of the Fox-Wisconsin water trail. Over the past two years, new portages have been built and directional-safety signage installed around the four refurbished Appleton locks.

Hensler said the Fox River System Navigational Authority already has placed some dock space along the navigational canal walls so boaters can disembark and walk to restaurants nearby when the locks open next year.

Heritage parkway initiative

Lhost said the Fox-Wisconsin Heritage Parkway initiative is helping to preserve the past and provide a future with greater public access to the river.

“The Fox River is one of the most important rivers in the country because of its link to Father Jacques Marquette and Louis Joliet, and their voyage from the Great Lakes to the Gulf of Mexico in 1673,” she said.

Another potential redevelopment site next to the Atlas mill is the former city water plant that has been demolished.

“Depending on who you talk to there’s all sorts of ideas for what to do on that water treatment plant site from having an ice cream stand to little shops to an outdoor theater,” Lhost said. “We’re hoping it’s some kind of green space.

“We’d like to see the riverfront to become kind of a destination area for people of the Fox Valley to come and hang out, walk and admire the scenery.”

Admiring the brick and stonework in the former K-C Atlas mill, Lhost said, “I understand you can’t save everything but I think when they are able to save historic buildings and repurpose them, everybody wins.”

via Celebrate the Fox focuses on river history, revitalization | Appleton Post Crescent | postcrescent.com.

Jul

20

The Door County Sail & Power Squadron is offering a free two-hour seminar, Advanced Powerboat Handling, beginning at 9 a.m. Saturday at SkipperBud’s Quarterdeck Marina, 705 Quarterdeck Lane, Sturgeon Bay.

Advanced Powerboat Handling will be taught by longtime Squadron member Tom Fox, who resides in Sister Bay. Fox is an experienced powerboater and has previously taught the Anchoring and Marine Electronics seminars. He is currently the vessel safety check coordinator for the Squadron.

Participants in Advanced Powerboat Handling will learn about close quarters maneuvering, how boats behave in seas, and the how and why of responses to a skipper’s controls.

Two additional free seminars are planned for this season, also at Quarterdeck. They are Mariner’s Compass on Aug. 13 and Anchoring on Aug. 27. Each two-hour seminar will begin at 9 a.m.

To register for Advanced Powerboat Handling, contact Squadron Education Officer Jeff Rosenfeld at 920-559-7520 or luvbostons@gmail.com. For more information on the seminars, the Squadron and its public offerings, visit www.usps.org/door or the Squadron’s Facebook page.

via Powerboat handling seminar scheduled in Sturgeon Bay | wisconsinoutdoorfun.com | Wisconsin Outdoor Fun Wisconsin Hunting, Fishing, Camping| Wisconsin Hiking, Biking, ATV.

Jul

15

A 54-year-old Green Bay woman had just left a nearby bar before she died Wednesday after falling from a pontoon boat into an Oconto County lake, the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources said Friday.

Diane D. Mott, of Westway Drive, and two other women were riding across the middle of Anderson Lake about 10 p.m. when Mott fell over the front rail of the boat, said Jeremy Cords, a recreational safety warden.

The boat traveled over Mott and she remained underwater, lodged beneath the boat motor, Cords said.

The boat driver tried to rescue Mott, who was transported by ambulance to a local hospital, where she was pronounced dead.

An autopsy was scheduled today. Cords said Mott’s blood-alcohol content was tested.

The accident scene is in the town of Breed, about seven miles northwest of Suring.

The investigation continues.

Mott\'s death came a day after that of her father, Robert, of Allouez. A funeral service for both of them will be Saturday at Resurrection Parish in Allouez.

via Diane Mott of Green Bay was at bar before fatal boating accident | Green Bay Press Gazette | greenbaypressgazette.com.

Jul

11

Menasha Locks temporarily closed to boat traffic

Bridge stuck in closed position

Updated: Sunday, 10 Jul 2011, 9:35 PM CDT

Published : Sunday, 10 Jul 2011, 4:39 PM CDT

MENASHA – The Menasha Locks are currently closed to boat traffic due to a railroad bridge that is stuck in the closed position.

Tom Forster, a lock operator, says they were informed by the railroad company Saturday that the drive motor failed leaving the bridge in the closed position.

Forster says crews will be working to fix the bridge in the next couple of days.

The Menasha Locks connect Little Lake Butte Des Morts with Lake Winnebago.

via Menasha Locks temporarily closed.

Jul

5

Cool water temperatures in June likely caused a large number of carp to die in lake Butte des Morts, officials from the Department of Natural Resources said.

Boaters and lakeshore property owners reported hundreds or thousands of dead and rotting carp during the past two weeks.

Dead fish were still being found on the water as of Tuesday, said Oshkosh resident John Macho, who lives on the lake.

A cause for the kill hasn’t been determined because all of the fish are too rotten for testing, said Ron Bruch, fisheries supervisor for the DNR office in Oshkosh.

The kill was likely caused by low temperatures during much of the early summer, Bruch said. Carp spawn during the early part of the season, and cooler than normal temperatures likely caused extra stress on the fish, compromising their immune systems, he said.

There is no danger for other species of fish, and there doesn’t appear to be any more carp dying, he said.

“There’s a lot of carp in the system, and the number that died was comparatively very small,” he said.

via Fish kill in lake Butte des Morts likely caused by low water temp | The Oshkosh Northwestern | thenorthwestern.com.

Jul

5

WEYAUWEGA TOWNSHIP, Wis. (AP) — Authorities in central Wisconsin say several quick-thinking boaters helped save a pilot whose ultra-light aircraft clipped power lines and fell into the Wolf River.

The Waupaca County sheriff’s office say the crash happened Sunday about 6:30 p.m., just north of Gills Landing in the Township of Weyauwega.

The pilot has been identified as Richard Schmidt of New London.

Witnesses tell authorities that Schmidt was flying low over the river when his plane hit the power lines. The plane fell into the water, where nearby boaters responded and pulled him to shore.

He was initially unresponsive but a nurse who happened to be on scene began administering CPR. Schmidt was resuscitated and taken to a hospital, where he was in stable condition.

via Small plane clips power lines, falls into Wolf River, pilot OK | The Oshkosh Northwestern | thenorthwestern.com.

Jul

5

FREMONT — A boater was airlifted to a hospital with severe head injuries after colliding with another boat Sunday evening on the Wolf River south of Fremont.

Two other males and a female, all unknown ages, were injured and also were taken to Theda Clark Medical Center in Neenah.

A hospital spokeswoman said Sunday night the boater, who was flown by Flight for Life helicopter, was in critical condition, while the other three were in stable condition.

Authorities launched a water rescue shortly after 7 p.m. from Triangle Farm Campground on Winnebago County II and summoned Flight for Life.

Reached Sunday night, Joseph Hall, the campground owner, said the occupants of the two boats knew each other.

He said the male driver of one of the boats was traveling at a high speed when he came south down river and passed the slow-no-wake buoy.

“He was going pretty fast, and he turned around, did a U-turn, lost control and came back at the (other) boat,” Hall said. “It almost looked like they were playing chicken. (The boat) ran right over the top of the other boat and the other rolled over.”

Hall said rescue crews hauled the two boats to the campground’s boat launch. One was upside down and the other was severely damaged.

It was not immediately clear which of the boats the injured boater was occupying.

The Winnebago County Sheriff’s Department said alcohol played a role in the incident. It withheld the names of those involved.

via Four hurt as two boats collide on Wolf River | wisconsinoutdoorfun.com | Wisconsin Outdoor Fun Wisconsin Hunting, Fishing, Camping| Wisconsin Hiking, Biking, ATV.