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Northeast Wisconsin's local news coverage.

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    GREEN BAY, WI (WTAQ) - The Brown County 911 Communications Center is experiencing a problem with retaining employees. 

    Nearly half of the 62 member staff is new in the last 24 months. 

    The agency invests in training employees, but when they leave, the investment is lost.

    The agency is lacking sufficient qualified staff to meet demands.

    Interim Director Cullen Peltier says retirements, stress of the job, or changes in the benefit packages were just some of the reasons for the turnover.     

    The turnover has forced people to work overtime because the call center needs to be staffed.  Peltier says that has increased stress and diminished morale in the job that can deal with life and death situations. 

    A new study on the turnover problem is also providing a list of recommendations that the County Board and communications center is looking at implementing.


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    GREEN BAY, WI (WTAQ) - A study on combining Green Bay police and fire leadership and services is not being recommended, but says it is feasible. 

    Significant internal turmoil was one of the main reasons against a public safety model because it would not likely result in any significant cost savings. 

    The report recommends keeping in place both a police and fire chief. 

    Mayor Jim Schmitt pitched the idea as a cost savings move because the city is looking to hire both a new police and fire chief.

    Schmitt says he will no longer pursue the idea, but will move forward on implementing the report’s recommendations.

    The report recommends ways to find other costs savings; like a staffing study and needs analysis, combining some administrative functions, hiring part-time police and fire as well as forming volunteer citizen emergency response teams (CERTs).


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    TOWN OF VANDENBROEK, WI (WTAQ) - A two-vehicle crash in Outagamie County Wednesday night leaves five people injured.

    Authorities say it happened at the intersection of County Highways N and JJ in the Town of Vandenbroek around 6:30 p.m.

    Officials say a 75-year-old man didn't stop at a stop sign and collided with a vehicle driven by a 51-year-old woman.

    Four people were taken to the hospital by ambulance with non-life threatening injuries. A fifth person was flown to the hospital with non-life threatening injuries.

    Officials say alcohol is not a factor in the crash.


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    WAUSAU, WI (WTAQ) - Supporters of Wisconsin’s concealed weapons law insist it will save lives – and that might have been the case during a road rage incident in Wausau.

    It happened on Tuesday along the Highway 29 expressway.

    Police said an 49-year-old Appleton man was driving into town from the west, when his SUV passed a van – and the van started ramming the SUV from behind. The Appleton man called 911, and a dispatcher told him to wait in a parking lot for an officer.

    In the meantime, the attackers followed the man – and police said the couple got out and started beating him and stabbing him with their vehicle keys. The man pulled his concealed gun, and the two backed off.

    A 30-year-old man and a 26-year-old woman from Michigan were arrested on possible charges of battery and disorderly conduct.

    The SUV driver had a legal state concealed carry permit, and police say he will not be criminally charged. 


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    GREEN BAY, WI (WTAQ) - A man from Green Bay is convicted Thursday of killing his girlfriend.

    32-year-old Richard Gardipee was found guilty in Brown County Circuit Court of first-degree intentional homicide and resisting or obstructing an officer.

    Gardipee fatally stabbed 26-year-old Wendy Garcia at the couple's west side Green Bay home back in June.

    According to the criminal complaint, Gardipee told police he stabbed Garcia with a kitchen knife, after a fight over Gardipee's use of pain killers.

     

     


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    NEENAH, WI (WTAQ) - Neenah police say a standoff has ended Thursday.

    Authorities were called around 12:30 p.m. to a home on Higgins Avenue for a report of a man with a gun.

    Police Chief Kevin Wilkinson says the SWAT team went into the home and currently there is no threat. Wilkinson says officers did not take action against the suspect.

    Police did not provided details about what happened to the man.

    Neighbors were notified of the standoff, but no one was evacuated. The Neenah Joint School District planned to hold students but didn't need to.


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    TWO RIVERS, WI (WTAQ) - A drug bust in Manitowoc County leads to three arrests Thursday night.

    Manitowoc County's metro drug unit arrested a 23-year-old man at a Two Rivers motel. A man and woman, both 25-years-old, were taken into custody at a home on 13th Street.

    All three were arrested on charges of heroin delivery. Officials believe the heroin seized is worth about $12,000.  About 1/4 pound of heroin was seized.

    Some of the suspects will be in court Friday.

    Officials believe more people will be arrested in connection with this case. 


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    SHAWANO, WI (WTAQ) - A 21-year-old Shawano County man could spend the rest of his life in a mental institution, after he was sentenced Thursday for brutally killing his father.

    Authorities are still working out the details of Joshua Johnson’s placement. As part of the sentence, Johnson can have his case reviewed every six months – and if it’s found that he’s no longer a danger to himself or society, he could be released.

    Prosecutors said Johnson repeatedly shot, beat, and stabbed his 53-year-old father Donald Johnson in late February.

    The younger Johnson struck a plea deal in late October, in which he pleaded guilty to a homicide charge but was found not guilty due to his mental disease.

    Doctors said the younger Johnson suffers from paranoid schizophrenia. 


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    KING, WI (WTAQ) - It’s Pearl Harbor Day – and Wisconsin’s official observance will take place Friday afternoon at the state veterans’ nursing home at King in Waupaca County.

    Governor Scott Walker will be on hand, as the state commemorates the 71st anniversary of the surprise attack in Hawaii by the Japanese which started World War II.

    Former Marine Clyde Stephenson of Appleton will be the main speaker. He was assigned to guard beaches in Oahu from a possible invasion by land – and he ended up firing at Japanese planes.

    The state Veterans Affairs Department expects about 200 people to attend, including a couple of the half-dozen Pearl Harbor veterans who live at the veterans’ home.

    The attack killed 2,400 service personnel and injured about 1,000 others. 21 vessels were damaged or sunk. 


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    GREEN BAY, WI (WTAQ) - Folks in the northern half of Wisconsin might have to break out their shovels for the first time this season.

    The National Weather Service says much of the northwest could get 5 to 7 inches of snow Saturday night and Sunday – while northeast Wisconsin could also get a few inches, mainly north and west of the Fox Valley.

    The Weather Service office in Green Bay says there’s a chance the storm could drift north or southward – or it might not be as strong as what’s projected now.

    It’s the second of two storm systems expected in the Badger State this weekend.

    The first entered northern Wisconsin Friday morning – and it dumped just over an inch of snow by noon at Westboro in Taylor County. Tomahawk had about an inch.


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    APPLETON, WI (WTAQ) - An Appleton area man is scheduled to go on trial March 27th for allegedly stealing about $1.5 million from a business he owned.

    57-year-old David Moser owned Elite Power Products, a company that made fire protection equipment.

    Prosecutors said he failed to deliver fire trucks that were paid for by various communities from Wisconsin to New York. Authorities said Moser also wrote checks to companies in Marshfield and Green Bay for fire truck parts – and he then stopped payments on those checks.

    Prosecutors said he used the money to buy vacations, spa treatments, a yacht, jewelry, and Botox among other things.

    Investigators said they confronted Moser in 2009 – and he denied using any business funds for his own use.

    Moser is charged in Outagamie County with one felony embezzlement count. He’s due back in court February 18th. The March trial was scheduled to last for two days. 


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    GREEN BAY, WI (WTAQ) - Who will be Green Bay’s next police chief? 

    Four finalists were selected for in-person interviews from a nationwide search that included 55 applicants. 

    The candidates include current interim Police Chief Tom Molitor who retired in 2011.  He was appointed by Mayor Jim Schmitt to fill in for Police Chief Jim Arts, who left to to be head of security for the Tennessee Titans.  Arts’ annual salary was $102,000.

    Other candidates include Precinct Commander Michael Martin from Minneapolis PD in Minnesota. Commander of Support Services Mark Teunis from Clearwater, FL and Dep. Chief Gerald Butler from Milford, CT.  

    The four will be interviewing on January 7th with members of the Police and Fire Commission.  The candidates will also meet with the Mayor, who will give his opinion on who should lead the department. But commission members have the final say.


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    GREEN BAY, WI (WTAQ) - Green Bay Packers officials say a limited number of tickets are still available for Sunday night's NFC North matchup against the Detroit Lions at Lambeau Field.

    Team officials say the Lions returned some of their allocated tickets.

    Tickets can be purchased online.

    Kickoff for the game is set for 7:20 p.m. 


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    CALUMET COUNTY, WI (WTAQ) - Authorities in Calumet County were led on a slow speed pursuit Friday afternoon.

    It led to the arrest of a 27-year-old man.

    Sheriff's say they got a call around 1:30 p.m. of a man acting oddly and threatening family members. He also threatened to run over officers if they made contact.

    Deputies dispatched saw the man on County Highway HR in the Town of Brillion. That's where the pursuit began.

    One person was run off the road during the chase, and they suffered minor injuries.

    Sheriff's officials then made multiple attempts to stop the man's vehicle, which by this time was in the City of Brillion. One attempt included the use of stop sticks which the man was able to avoid.

    A Brillion police officer, who was assisting deputies, eventually fired a round at the man's tire, which stopped the vehicle in front of the Brillion Elementary Middle School.

    Authorities say after the man refused orders to exit his vehicle, he was forcibly removed. The man was then brought to the hospital for evaluation.


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    APPLETON, WI (WTAQ) - A new study released during the 2012 New North Summit in Appleton Friday sheds a light on how area businesses view the economy.

    On Friday, First Business Bank released its annual economic survey, which found that companies saw profits grow this year, but that isn't translating to hiring in big numbers.

    According to the survey, businesses say profitability has increased since 2011. Revenue has gone up by about 4%. And expectations for 2013 are strong, with 82 percent of businesses looking for growth.

    Just 20 percent of businesses slashed its workforce in 2012, but they remain cautious to hire.

    Economists and business leaders at the New North Summit say the worst of the recession is behind us.

    "Two word answer is, it's improving. But it's improving at a rate less than we'd like to see,” Dennis Winters told FOX 11. 

    Winters is the chief of the state's Office of Economic Advisors. He presented the study’s findings at the summit Friday. Winters says a lack of consumer spending leads to a lack of business growth.

    "We're still paying off a lot of debt we carried through,” said Winters.

    Many companies surveyed in Northeast Wisconsin say they're less likely to expand with new construction and hiring.  Local construction companies say they're back on the job, but not at the same pre-recession level.

    “Our customers take longer time to make decisions on an investment. Their boards are more cautious,” said Bob DeKoch, the president of Appleton's Boldt Construction.

    DeKoch says despite cautious moves, he's still looking to hire.

    "We had to reduce our staff by fifteen percent through the downturn but we're back up now, higher than we were before. We're going to grown another 15 to 20 jobs next year. I think we'll see cautious improvement in 2013 but we might see a bit of a downturn in 2014 and 2015,” said Koch.

    Economists say we probably won't see the employment rate back to where it was before the recession until 2015.


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    TOWN OF ONEIDA, WI (WTAQ) - A barn is considered a total loss following a fire early Saturday morning in Outagamie County.

    Authorities responded to the blaze on Culbertson Road in the Town of Oneida.

    One person was taken to the hospital after getting burned on the arm.

    The barn housed pigs, sheep, goats and cows. There is no word yet on the animals' conditions.

     


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    OSHKOSH, WI (WTAQ) - An early morning fire at an Oshkosh duplex leaves one person and a dog dead.

    Fire officials haven’t determined the source yet – or, whether it was accidental.

    Police report they got a call about a fire in the upper portion of a duplex at about 4:20 a.m. Saturday. Both the person and the dog were dead when officers arrived.

    Crews were reportedly on the scene for about six hours.

    The identity of the dead person hasn’t been released. An autopsy is being conducted by the Winnebago County Coroner’s Office.


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    GREEN BAY, WI (WTAQ) - The last time the Detroit Lions won a game at Lambeau Field, Barry Sanders was keeping defensive players awake at night.

    The Lions will try to avoid losing on the Packers’ home turf for a 21st consecutive time Sunday night. Packers Gameday starts at 5 p.m., with kickoff set for around 7:20 p.m. on 97.5/1360 News Talk WTAQ.

    Green Bay is trying to retain its hold on first place in the NFC Central Division by taking its 9th win in 13 games.

    The Pack moved back into a tie for the top spot with last week’s 23-14 win over the Vikings. The Packers are welcoming a familiar face with the signing of Ryan Grant. Injuries have depleted the team’s running backs and the Pack only have 3 rushing touchdowns in the first dozen games. Grant had thousand-yard seasons in 2008 and 2009.

    The Lions will be trying to reverse the negative momentum. They’ve dropped four in a row and have a disappointing 4-8 record.


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    TOWN OF RIVERVIEW, WI (WTAQ) - Authorities in Oconto County are looking for vandals who cut off the tops of trees and cut down the lights for the Town of Riverview's tree-lighting ceremony.

    A town officials says they believe the vandalism happened around 1:30 a.m. Saturday, hours before the Saturday night ceremony at the Town's Hall and Fire Department on Highway 32.

    Officials say the damage estimate ranges from $3,000 to $5,000.

    The lighting ceremony still took place at 4 p.m. The town official says they redecorated the top of the only tree intact to show vandals can't break the town's Christmas spirit.

    The Oconto County Sheriff's Department hasn't named any suspects yet, but anyone with information is asked to call the department at (920) 834-6900.


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    GREEN BAY, WI (WTAQ) - The first named winter storm of the 2012-13 season has arrived in northeast Wisconsin.

    FOX 11 reports that the center of Winter Storm Alan is still in Iowa, but snow began falling Sunday morning in the Fox Cities and will continue to move north through the day.

    The snow will turn to flurries by midnight, but the heaviest stuff will occur during Sunday afternoon.

    Green Bay and the Fox Cities will get between 3" and 5" of snow.  The heaviest snowfall will occur north and northwest of Green Bay where 6" or more will fall.

    The storm will impact travel for Packers fans today, so give yourself extra travel time if you're going to the game


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