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Northeast Wisconsin's local news coverage.

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  • 05/11/18--00:00: Walker Not Afraid Of Lawsuit
  • MADISON, WI (WTAQ)- Governor Scott Walker says the recent announcement that the state of Illinois is planning on suing over the air pollution that the Foxconn site could produce, is not intimidating him. 

    He says the blame is being pointed in the wrong direction.

    "The lakeshore monitors were driven overwhelmingly by the pollutants coming up from Chicago."

    He say he is willing to counter sue.

    "You can make the case that Chicago is the one causing the trouble, and we will be more than happy to play that out in court and in the court of public opinion."

     

     


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    FISH CREEK, WI (WTAQ)- A Door County business is catching some flack from the Gibraltar Town Board for selling food.

    The owners of White Cottage Red Door in Fish Creek say their idea of selling hot sandwiches from a food cart in the parking lot of their business was a hit for customers, but not for the Town of Gibraltar.  

    A new ordinance bans all businesses on wheels, and owner Kevin Howard, is taking it personal.  

    "I think they are kind of against the competition that we offered, so they are not very happy about it."  

    Kevin and his wife Lisa, along with the Institute for Justice is fighting back with legal action announced Thursday.  

    The business and Institute for Justice filed an official notice with the town saying the ordinance is unconstitutional and feel it was passed to prevent competition.

    Howard says they are doing this for customers, and because they feel it is the right thing for them to do.  

    "We had a great response from our customers who appreciated us making sandwiches and burgers and things like that."    

    The Town of Gibraltar has 120 days to respond to the notice keeping the ordinance, or changing it.  

    "If we do try to open, under the ordinance, they say we are subject to a $500 dollar a day fine."

    Howard says if the ordinance is not changed, they will file a lawsuit.   In the meantime, the food cart has to stay closed as peak season approaches.  


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  • 05/11/18--01:55: Graduation Weekend Is Here
  • APPLETON, WI (WTAQ-WLUK) - More than a dozen high school students in the Fox Valley area received either a college certificate or a diploma Thursday.

    Theo Kretzmann is just weeks away from finishing high school in Omro, but he's already getting a college diploma.

    "It's good, I'm getting a head start, most students aren't even started yet."

    Kretzmann and 4 others are the first group of high school students to graduate from the Fox Valley Tech's 2-year 'Automotive Youth Education Systems' program.

    Ten other high schoolers received a technician certificate, for their first year, including Zeb Punzel of Fox Valley Lutheran High School.

    "It's really cool that I can really further my education while I'm still in high school and do what I really want to do which is working on cars."

    The students come to campus 3 days a week, earning 16 college credits by the end of the 2-year program.

    Bergstrom Automotive helps pay some of the tuition including books and transportation.

    Fox Valley Technical College Instructor Todd Schroeder tells FOX 11 technician demand in the automotive industry is not going away.

    "Fox Valley Technical College and surrounding colleges, we don't even graduate enough students to really put a dent in the demand for technicians."

    According to Wisconsin TechConnect, there are 345 full-time and 96 part-time job openings in the automotive technician field.

    Although students are anxious to fill those demands, they say there's still room for learning.

    "Next year I'll be back at the tech for another two semesters of courses," said Punzel.

    "After that, I can either get a job or get higher level classes here at the tech for more specialized field."

    Coming up this weekend, more colleges and universities will be holding graduation ceremonies.

    NWTC in Green Bay has one today.

    On Saturday, it's UW-Green Bay and UW-Oshkosh. Then on Sunday, students from St. Norbert and Ripon Colleges will be wearing the cap and gown.


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    GREEN BAY, WI (WTAQ-WLUK) - Mayor Jim Schmitt said some major changes are coming to the city of Green Bay, especially to the downtown area.

    During his State of the City speech Wednesday night he highlighted some key projects he's hoping to start in the next year, hoping they will attract more people to the area.

    "Any good mayor or community leader knows that to grow a tax base, enhance educational opportunity, and build a community of choice you need to obtain and attract good talent," said Schmitt.

    To draw in more residents city officials like Jeff Mirkes tell FOX 11 the expansion of new and existing businesses is important.

    "Just yesterday we announced an engineering company from out of state is taking space in downtown and the reason they're taking the space that overlooks the water, they want to double in size.

    But Mirkes adds it's more than just business investment.

    "Millennial like vibrancy and we are beginning to see more investment in that. They want unique places to live and walk-ability and the ability to ride their bike on the Fox River Trail.

    Mirkes said they're excited to finish the construction of Hotel Northland and to start projects like the Shipyard development and additions to the Fox River Trail.

    City officials are also considering a new multi-story building for commercial space and apartments, they hope to build it in a parking lot on Adams Street.


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    MENASHA, WI (WTAQ) - Menasha Police say a 30-year-old woman has been arrested in connection with the shooting of a man in what may have been some type of domestic situation.

    Police were sent to the 600 block of Broad Street around 8 this morning (Friday).

    When officers got there, they found a 42-year-old man suffering from a single gunshot wound.

    He was taken to the hospital with what are described as non-life threatening injuries.

    A handgun believed to be used in the shooting was recovered at the scene.

    The woman was taken into custody without further incident.

    Police the shooting was an isolated incident and the public is not in danger.


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    MADISON, WI (WTAQ)- More than 100 law enforcement personnel, and friends and family of Detective Jason Weiland are heading to Washington D.C. Saturday for a ceremony being held as Weiland's name is going to be added to the National Law Enforcement Officer Memorial on Saturday.

    Captain Shane Heilmann with the Everest Metro Police Department tells News 9 WAOW that the department was overwhelmed by the support of the community.

    "It's kind of unbelievable that we are able to send that many people out there."

    He says there will be a personal connection at the ceremony in DC.

    "A retired Wausau PD Captain, Cap. Greg Hagenbucher, he was a real close friend of Jason's as well, he was requested to actually read Jason's name during that ceremony. It's kind of a really neat thing that's going to happen."

    The group first went to Madison for a state ceremony being held where State Trooper Anthony Borostowski was also honored.

    Weiland was shot and killed in the line of duty during the March 22nd shooting rampage in the Wausau area.


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  • 05/11/18--16:30: Walker Discusses CWD Plan
  • ASHWAUBENON, WI (WTAQ-WLUK)- Governor Scott Walker discussed the battle plan for dealing with chronic wasting disease (CWD) in Wisconsin. 

    The Governor spoke with a DNR advisory board in Ashwaubenon Friday and said it is a big concern.

    "In light of some of the more recent examples of chronic wasting disease, showing up throughout the state, that we need to be even more aggressive than we have in the past," said Gov. Scott Walker. 

    Twenty-nine counties in Wisconsin have reported cases of CWD. Among those counties are Manitowoc, Shawano, Waupaca and Oconto.

    "The specific concern of late, in the last year or so, have been where you see spots of chronic wasting disease popping up in other parts of the state. We want to make sure there's not movement out of the affected areas," Walker said.

    Walker explained the importance of increased fencing.

    "In every county there has to be enhanced fencing whether it's a second layer of eight-foot-high fencing or electrical fences or others," Walker said. 

    Walker also talked about the need for a new rule aimed at banning the movement of live deer from deer farms in CWD-affected counties. The governor wants the DNR to create emergency and permanent rules banning the movement of deer carcasses from CWD-affected areas.

    "The governor finally is reacting a little... way too late on the increases because we're moving with sometimes in some counties a 30 to 40 percent of the male deer are now affected," said James Baumgart, an area hunter.

    Walker responded with, "People can talk about the past but there's nothing we can do about the past no matter who was in office."

    Baumgart, a hunter, credits the DNR's efforts to combat CWD over the years.

    Scott Loomans, a DNR Fish, Wildlife and Parks policy adviser says sometimes some rules need an update.

    "We do need to refresh them and make them apply in new areas," said Scott Loomans. "We do need to do sometimes hard things that impact people so early on it can be difficult to generate public support to take those hard actions."

    The DNR and the Department of Agriculture have plans to hold meetings, likely in June, for the public to share their ideas on how to keep CWD from spreading.


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  • 05/11/18--17:00: Winter Does Not Delay Badger
  • MANITOWOC, WI (WTAQ-WLUK) - The S.S Badger made its first voyage acoss the waters of Manitowoc Friday, just like the calander called for. 

    The April blizzard caused significant damage to dock in Manitowoc, causing the structure to crumble, and a concern that the Badger may not be able to hit water on time. Crews worked countless hours to get the dock ready.

    On Friday, the S.S. Badger made the trip between Manitowoc and Lundington, Michigan.

    Despite the cold, many took part in the season opener.

    “It's actually pretty nice on the lake, vice president of the S.S Badger Pat McCarthy told Fox 11. “You wouldn’t guess that with what’s going on here. There was not a lot of wave action and it was a nice crossing.”

    Randy Haas took the trip with his kids to visit family.

    “We have relatives in Green Bay so my wife and I came over for the weekend and we brought the girls, so they wouldn't have to be strapped to the truck for eight hours,” said Randy Haas.

    Pat McCarthy says it was a lot of work, and a lot of pieces came together in construction and funding to make Friday happen as planned.

    “It damaged the counterweight system,” said McCarthy. “It was hanging by one strut arm and all this parking lot area that we're standing on was completely washed out.”

    Crews are doing more than just fixing the damages that the storm caused. McCarthy said the repairs aren’t finished yet, but when they are the dock will be better.

    “A lot of the gravel we're standing on will be replaced with asphalt,” said McCarthy. “And this stone will go much farther down the parking lot.”

    The hope is that the new docks will be able to withstand any future snowstorms.


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    OCONTO COUNTY, WI (WTAQ-WLUK)- This weekend brings campers for Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest Campgrounds. Some places just opened after being delayed by April snow.

    On Friday morning, Boot Lake Campground was open for business.

    "Usually we try to coincide our camping season with the start of the fishing opener. We try to open that Thursday before, just to accommodate the sportsmen," said Greyling Brandt, U.S. Forest Service Assistant Ranger for Recreation and Lands.

    But this year that was not the case as an April blizzard pushed the camping season back throughout the forest.

    "We still had ice on the majority of our lakes. And we still had snow piles in front of our gates. We couldn't open even if everything was high and dry," said Brandt.

    Crews cut trees and cleared sites of debris, so five of the eight campgrounds in the Lakewood-Laona district could open Friday.

    All other campgrounds are set to open May 24th, including Boulder Lake. That site has been closed since January for a public safety concern that has since subsided.

    Brandt says the reservations are coming in fast.

    "I was looking at the reservation numbers this morning. And since we've reopened it on Tuesday, we have 318 reservations as of this morning."

    Oconto County operates two campgrounds in the area as well. North Bayshore Park and Chute Pond were scheduled to open the same weekend the blizzard hit. 

    "We had about three or four reservations at each park. We pushed them off to different weekends. You can change your dates in your reservation at no charge, if you just move to a different date," said Monty Brink, Oconto County Forestry and Parks Administrator.

    Using one of the roughly 45 campgrounds in the national forest, will cost more.

    Fees are going up starting in two weeks, about three dollars per night on most campsites.


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  • 05/12/18--00:00: Rare Disease In Brown County
  • BROWN COUNTY, WI (WTAQ)- Brown County Health officials are warning of the animal-borne illness that appeared in the county in April.

    DNR Wildlife Biologist Joshua Martinez said someone alerted them dead muskrats in the Ken Euers Nature Area, and said the tested positive for Tularemia.

    "15 dead muskrats on the trail. They were able to determine that the bacteria that causes Tularemia was found in two of the carcasses that the tested.

    He says the rare disease has only shown up six times in Wisconsin since 2008.

    Tularemia can also be spread by direct contact with infected animals, inhaling the bacteria during landscaping or eating contaminated meat or water.

    Brown County Public Health Officer Anna Destree says it is another reason to watch out for a common summer parasite.

    "It is considered a tick-borne disease just like lymes disease."

    Tips to avoid exposure include avoiding handling sick or wild animals. Officials say EPA-approved insect repellent should be used and pets should be kept up to date with flea and tick preventatives.

    Symptoms include skin ulcers, pneumonia, chills and body aches.

    Officials say people with these symptoms should seek medical attention if they had contact with a dead animal, spent time in the Ken Euers Nature Area or were bitten by a tick or fly.

    "I think, in this case, individuals who develop those symptoms within two weeks of exposure should seek medical attention.

    Citizens who see three or more sick or dead rabbits or muskrats in the Green Bay/Howard area should contact the Brown County Wildlife Biologist. 

     

     

     


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  • 05/13/18--05:43: Grads Take The Last Walk
  • GREEN BAY, WI (WTAQ) - It's been Celebration Weekend as many Wisconsin colleges held graduation ceremonies.

    UW-Oshkosh held its 144th commencement ceremony Saturday.

    Actually, two ceremonies were held at the Kolf Sports Center.

    Nearly 1,700 students graduated.

    Including more than 1,400 with bachelor's degrees, nearly 250 master's degree candidates and more than 30 with doctoral degrees.

    And at UW-Green Bay more than 900 students received diplomas.

    About 89 percent of them are categorized as Wisconsin residents, according to the university.

    The schools 97th commencement ceremony was held at the Kress Event Center.

    In Madison, nearly 42,000 people filed into Camp Randall to watch graduates get ready to take their next steps.

    There was 6,500 bachelor's, masters, and law students graduating.

    And there were more than 900 students that graduated Friday.

    That's nearly 7,500 students over the weekend.


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  • 05/13/18--05:49: Food Bank Needs Heating Help
  • OSHKOSH, WI (WTAQ-WLUK) - The heat's on in Oshkosh to find a new furnace for a shelter's food pantry building.

    The furnace at Father Carr's Place 2B stopped working after last month's blizzard.

    Over the span of 40 years, people have walked through the doors of Father Carr's Place 2B thousands of times.

    "Different people have come back and have said how much better they're doing after getting back on their feet again," said Carol Shikoski, a volunteer.

    Father Carr's includes a free clinic with about 30 volunteers, including doctors, nurses, and receptionists. Overall, the center has over 300 active volunteers.

    Executive Director Bob Lang says Father Carr's also operates a pair of homeless shelters. One for the men, and the other for women and children.

    "We have 35 to 45 women and children and about 20 men here at this time."

    Lang told FOX 11, the upper level in the men's shelter is available for mission groups and youth groups who do service. Lang also said it welcomes EAA guests as a fundraiser.

    The shelter welcomes people year round.

    At the food pantry, Lang says up to 170 people pick out about 40 pounds of food every Friday.

    "We have our building open 365 days where they can stop in and get bread or a deli item."

    But this year, food isn't the only need at the pantry.

    Lang told FOX 11, the furnace stopped working shortly after Blizzard Evelyn.

    Now he hopes it gets fixed before the cold comes back.

    "The food pantry is where we generate all of our food, not only for the soup kitchen but also the homeless shelter."

    The cost to fix the furnace is estimated at $8,000 to $10,000. Lang is hoping the community will be able to pitch in.

    "We have the upcoming Bridge Walk, which is a fundraiser that we do to raise awareness for homelessness."

    The 3rd annual Bridge Walk event is on June 2nd, with a goal of getting at least 400 people to participate.

    And with the communities support, volunteers say they can continue to serve those who need it most.

    To sponsor the Bridge Walk event, call Bob Lang at 920-231-2378.


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  • 05/14/18--00:00: Shedding Some New Light
  • GREEN BAY, WI (WTAQ)- If you are traveling at night, you may start noticing bridges of a different color.

    "We are replacing the existing lights with color changing LED's. They are replacing the lights right now."  

    Green Bay Public Works Director Steve Grenier says the color that people may see from time to time is them testing the lights at night.  

    "We need to take the time at night. You simply turn the switch on to make sure all the lights turn on."    

    The plan is to have the ability to illuminate the bridges in multiple color schemes. Grenier says if you are going to do the work, it's best to make it worth while.  

    "It is just the next generation replacement system for what we put in back in 1998."

     During his State of the City Address, the Mayor painted a picture of what the possibilities were out there for color changing bridges.  

    "This is a project that we have been talking about for years. We are hoping to unveil the project sometime this summer," Grenier said.   

    The idea would be to color the bridges in correlation to holidays or events that take place.


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    GREEN BAY, WI (WTAQ-WLUK) - The Green Bay Police Department has sent out a warning on their Facebook page about people posting fake rental ads on websites like Craig's list.

    Lt. Chad Ramos tells FOX 11 many of the ads have stolen photos of homes from other legitimate websites and the people responsible for the ads are listing them for sale.

    "One of the recent ones was that they owned a property in Green Bay and they were renting out because they had to leave. But it was never their property and their only intention was to scam someone out of some money."

    Ramos said this isn't the first time someone has reported a suspicious rental ad, but in this most recent case, he said there were many indicators that pointed to the ad being fake.

    "Additionally there was phone contact with somebody. The person that was involved in this reported that the person didn't speak English very well, so when you look at all of these things there were a lot of red flags."

    Unfortunately, the department was not able to follow up with the person responsible for making the rental listing, but they're encouraging people to report any suspicious ads seen online.

    "What we are finding with a lot of these ads is its people not from the area, not from the country and it's not much that we can do."

    There are some signs that can help you determine if an ad is fake.

    A lot of them will have grammatical errors and typos or they'll ask you to send money even before you've seen the property.


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  • 05/14/18--14:33: Sex Offender Sentenced
  • GREEN BAY, WI (WTAQ)- A convicted sex offender who traveled from New York to Shawano to meet a teen for sex, has been sentenced.

    James Huskisson was sentenced to 30 years in prison.

    Huskisson pleaded guilty to one count of sexual exploitation of a child.

    He will be placed on lifetime supervision.

    The complaint alleges that while Huskisson was in Wisconsin, the two had sex, and then Huskisson returned to New York.

    He was arrested near his home.


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    BROWN COUNTY, WI (WTAQ)- A safe that appears to have been broken into was located by Brown County Sheriff's Office.

    Deputies were dispatched to the Town of Humbolt to investigate a black Sentry safe that was found.

    Officials say the safe appeared to have been cut open in the back and the contents were removed.

    Nobody has reported a missing safe according to the Brown County Sheriff's Department.


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  • 05/14/18--16:30: Seatbelt Enforcement Returns
  • BROWN COUNTY, WI (WTAQ)- Officers in Brown County will be reminding drivers to buckle up.

    Click It or Ticket seat belt enforcement runs May 21st through June 3rd.  

    Brown County Sheriff Captain Dan Sandberg says the number of those who buckle up are getting better, but the numbers are still alarming.   

    "Over the last two years over the 45 fatal crashes that we have had in Brown County, 17 people were not wearing seatbelts. At least 15 of those 17 people would still be alive if they were wearing their seatbelts."  

    Lots of research has been done, including determining the biggest group of violators.  

    "Our young drivers between the ages of 16 and 24, and our people who drive trucks are the biggest violators for not wearing their seatbelt."  

    Educating drivers is also a focus during the campaign.    

    "It is going to save your life, reduce your chance of injury, and reduce your time away from work and the economical impact that has on the state," Sandberg says.     Officers will be issuing both warnings and citations.  

    In Wisconsin, law enforcement officers can stop and cite motorists for failing to wear a safety belt.  

    In addition, drivers can be cited for every unbuckled passenger in the vehicle.  


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  • 05/14/18--16:45: A New Home For Trash
  • KEWAUNEE COUNTY, WI (WTAQ)- After 25 years, the Kewaunee County landfill is closing.

    "Kewaunee County will no longer be accepting waste to put into the Kewaunee County landfill."

    Todd Every, Kewaunee County Highway Commissioner says a decision by the Kewaunee County Board will result in capping off the landfill that opened in 1983. 

      "It has gone through two phases, and we are at the end of filling up phase two."

      Every says a decision was made due to economic projections.  

    "In the consideration of moving into phase three, that is where it became not cost-effective."  

    He says for those who use the services, they will not notice much of a difference, except for one subtile change.  

    "It does not seem like there is going to much of a difference other than what the pricing is for the private contractor."  

    May 25th is the last day that waste will be accepted.  

    The private contractor plans to open to the public on Tuesday May 29th.


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    GREEN BAY, WI (WTAQ-WLUK) -The Green Bay Police Department is joining in the effort to help pedestrians stay safe.

    Officials say pedestrain and bicycle crashes can be prevented with  the right training and enforcement, and is more than just looking both ways before crossing the street.  Green Bay Police Traffic Operations Lieutenant Brad Strouf says a recent grant will get the ball rolling.

     "Ironically, how pedestrian and bicycle crashes happen, most of them, are very predictable and preventable," explained Peter Flucke, President of WE BIKE, etc. LLC, an organization specializing in pedestrian and bicycle safety.   

    He also provides training for law enforcement agencies.

    "They typically don't get any training on this. Cops won't enforce the laws they can't defend," Flucke said. "And they certainly can't defend laws they don't know, the training takes care of that."

    Flucke says the goal is provide officers with the tools needed to keep bicycles and pedestrians safe.

    It's a training, Green Bay Police Traffic Operations Lt. Brad Strouf says his department will soon take part in.

    "If the officers feel comfortable that what they're telling people is supported by Wisconsin state statue and Green Bay ordinance," said Lt. Strouf. "They're going to make those contacts more confidently." 

    Along with learning more on pedestrian laws and regulations, the department also plans to have additional officers present at crosswalks.

    "We're going to be watching the crosswalks, we're going to be taking enforcement action," continued Strouf. "And at the same time educating drivers."

    Strouf says it is a part of a grant the department was recently awarded, "The grant itself came from the bureau of transportation safety. It provided us with money to put extra deploys for pedestrian and bike safety."

    The Green Bay Police Department is scheduled to host the training's May 31st and June 1st. 


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    KESHENA, WI (WTAQ-WLUK)- A Menominee Indian Teacher was recognized for achievement in bringing Native American culture to the classroom.

    High School Teacher Ben Grignon was named one of five Wisconsin Teacher of the Year award winners.

    State Superintendent Tony Evers presented Grignon with the award in front of the entire school.

    "He has taken the Menominee culture and language and is using art to make sure that those things are respected and made more important for the young people," said Evers.

    Grignon is a craft teacher, and teaches traditional arts which brings a focus on the school's Native American culture.

    “I do an experimental archaeology class where they look at traditional implements used by Menominee people, like a deer call or traditional spoons, where we try to recreate that and see how that was done," Grignon explains. It's really important that our kids see success like this so they know that they can do it too."

    Grignon was nominated by the principle of Menominee Indian High School and he was selected out of hundreds of teachers throughout the state.

    The award is sponsored by former senator Herb Kohl.

    It includes $3,000 for the recipient.

    Grignon says that is going right back into the classroom.

    "What I’m hoping to do is create a curriculum that is based on our seasons,” said Grignon. “And I hope this is going to help move that along."

    He’s been at the high school since 2008. 


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