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Northeast Wisconsin's local news coverage.

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    GREEN BAY, WI (WTAQ-WLUK) -- There are new recommendations to ease overcrowding at public schools on Green Bay's east side, and they do not include changing boundary lines or building a new high school.

    For the last several months, a Boundary Task Force has been pouring over data, trying to balance the Green Bay Area Public School District’s enrollment numbers.

    The district's problems are overcrowding at east side schools, with west side schools being under capacity. In the high schools, Preble is 260 students over its target capacity, but East, West, and Southwest are all well below capacity.

    The Boundary Task Force is recommending putting "magnet-like", specialty offerings in its west side schools.

    It believes those options would lure students across the Fox River, for example, from overcrowded Preble High School to under capacity West High School.

    Luke Davis, a senior at Southwest and co-chair of the task force, tells FOX 11 he likes the idea.

    “I personally am in favor of magnet-school programs. I feel like they could offer students a lot of possibilities in their future as they progress.”

    Months of number crunching showed the task force that a surprising number of students are already traveling all over the city to attend schools.

    “Movement is happening, we want to try to leverage it to the district's advantage,” said Dan Kiernan, a parent to two students in the district and co-chair of the task force.

    What the numbers did not show the task force was the need for any major changes to boundary lines or building a fifth high school.

    “The growth patterns were looked at very seriously and we as a task force couldn't justify the cost of an $85 million high school at this time given the growth numbers,” said Kiernan.

    The task force also plans to present other ideas to the school board that were not unanimous among the group.

    They include changing the schools that feed into Preble and adding a stand-alone school just for 9th graders.

    Davis isn't sure about that...

    “There is worry that if we isolate the 9th grade in one building in order to relieve a lot of space at Preble, those students might not have the same opportunities academic-wise, as well as sport wise.”

    The task force is scheduled to make its final recommendation to the school board on June 18th.


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    ONEIDA, WI (WTAQ-WLUK) - The Oneida Nation announced Wednesday it had a $744 million impact on Brown and Outagamie counties.

    Some of the Oneida Nation's economic impact includes gaming, retail, hotels, construction, financial services, recreation, and agriculture.

    The tribe's study shows those seven categories alone directly employ nearly 22-hundred people.

    Tehassi Hill, Oneida Nation chairman, tells Fox 11 these are very important facts.

    "I think it's just very important as a government operation and the services that we provide for our tribal members but also being able to know that number, how much we're offsetting for local governments."

    St. Norbert College is behind the economic impact study.

    "We take that direct effect and we add to it those multiplier effects to get the bigger picture of how impactful," said Marc Schaffer, St. Norbert College associate professor of economics.

    While the casino has been significant to the area, it's not the only thing that's had an impact.

    The study points toward Oneida's health center and its services.

    Hill says the study shows a regional impact of $79.4 million.

    "We've been here a long time and we're a very large significant part of the community and that we're willing partners to be able to continue to grow and develop in our region here."

    Education is also a focus of the study.

    "If we were to not have our education system here, that's a saving of over $6 million to the local school districts to have that we run on our own K-12 school system," Hill said.

    The tribe also talked about its goal for the future.

    "Other programs and services like housing continue to be an issue. We're trying to address those issues with more continued housing and public services area," Hill said.

    The study looked at the years 2014 to 2016.


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    WINNEBAGO COUNTY, WI (WTAQ-WLUK) - Lake flies typically become visible in mid-May, and this year was no exception. It's a natural part of Lake Winnebago according to residents who live along the lake.

    Houses along the lake are covered in their annual mess.

    “I'm awfully used to it,” said resident Anthony Capener.

    Capener tells FOX 11 the last few years have been a mild hatch, and as a longtime resident he’s used to it.

    They've only been around for a few days. They started in full force on Mother’s Day and they're here to stick around for the next couple weeks.

    Lake resident Dan Rayer says the concentration of flies depends on the day and which way the wind is blowing.

    “They usually last about two weeks, and in the meantime, you just wait for the wind to blow them towards Fond du Lac.”

    Because of the wind, residents along the east side of Lake Winnebago are getting the worst of it so far

    “If the wind changes west they're all going to be on the west side of the lake,” said Capener.

    They're a feast for sturgeon in the spring, but once they hatch, they're a headache for people along Lake Winnebago.

    I'm a sturgeon spearer,” said Capener. “I'm happy to see them. Basically, that means the sturgeon still have their habitat.”

    But there's good news to look forward to.

    All the short-lived insects will likely be gone by Memorial Day.


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  • 05/17/18--02:05: Horrific Case Moves Forward
  • APPLETON, WI (WTAQ-WLUK) - A Grand Chute mother is facing multiple charges including having sexual relations with her 2 children.

    The woman appeared in Outagamie County Court Wednesday and had a $100,000 cash bond set.

    "The allegation in the criminal complaint are horrific and downright disgusting," said Outagamie County Assistant District Attorney, Alex Duros.

    "The defendant is alleged to sexually assaulted her 2 children over a period of several months. Her son is 7-years-old and her daughter is 6."

    Not only did the criminal complaint say the suspect physically sexually assaulted her children, but allegations include there were sexually explicit online images and videos.

    Grand Chute police officer Travis Waas tells FOX 11 what led to the suspect's arrest Monday.

    "We were alerted to the situation through cyber tips from the National Center of Missing and Exploited Children."

    The center reports cyber tips to law enforcement agencies.

    Appleton and Grand Chute Police officers identified the location of the images and the children.

    "She indicated that she did this out of fear because someone pressured her into doing it, however that doesn't change the fact that she did it and is facing numerous charges," explained Duros.

    The woman is facing 8 counts.

    "Right now she's facing hundreds of years in prison. Counts 1 and 2 alone each have 25-year minimum mandatory prison sentences," Duros said.

    The suspect is due back in court a week from Friday.


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    GREEN BAY, WI (WTAQ) - David Viste, a music teacher at Green Bay West High School, has been charged with three felonies.

    According to online court records, two of the charges are for child enticement while the third is for stalking.

    Lori Blakeslee, the director of communications for Green Bay Area Public School District, says Viste has been with the district since 2007.

    Blakeslee says he was placed on administrative leave on May 2nd after West High School's principal became aware the teacher may be responsible for "inappropriate conduct" on May 1st.

    The teacher then resigned on May 3rd.


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    TWO RIVERS, WI (WTAQ) - Police in Two Rivers are on the lookout for the owner of a dog that allegedly bit a person.

    Police say it happened on the corner of 22nd Street and Pierce Street, around 5:45 last night (WED).

    The victim describes the dog's owner as a white man, appearing to be between the ages of 50-60 years old, and was walking his dog near the Neshotah Beach sign. The victim said the man had a grey ponytail.

    The dog is described as black and brown Australian Shepard with a brown leather collar.

    Police want the owner of the dog to come forward.

    If you have any information regarding this incident, police want to hear from you.

    Contact Two Rivers Police at (920) 686-7200.


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    STURGEON BAY, WI (WTAQ)- A Gibraltar High School student was sentenced to 60 days in jail for making a threat against the high school on social media.

    17-year-old Juan Jauregui pleaded guilty to the charge.

    Along with jail time, he was placed on probation for 18 months and will perform 60 hours of community service.

    Jairegui told officials that the post was a joke. 


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    ASHWAUBENON, WI (WTAQ)- One of the area's largely used hockey rink could get even bigger.

    A fourth ice rink is planned for the Cornerstone Community Center.

    The project is in the early stages, and hurdles, such as financing, need to be worked through.

    The plan is calling for St. Norbert College men's hockey team to move to the new rink and with it, get a new locker room.

    The new rink would allow for seating for about 2,000 people.

    Youth and high school teams would also benefit from the new ice.

    The Village of Ashwaubenon would need to approve of the project. 


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    NEENAH, WI (WTAQ)- The remains of a World War II Marine will be buried next weekend in Neenah.

    Marine Corps Sgt. Elden W. Grimm of Menasha was identified last September.

     

    He died in battle in 1943 at the age of 26.

    In November of 1943, Grimm was assigned to Company A, 1st Battalion, 18th Marines, 2nd Marine Division, Fleet Marine Force on the small island of Betio in the Tarawa Atoll of the Gilbert Islands, in an attempt to secure the island. 

    It took about 70 years for scientists to identify his remains. They used dental, anthropological and chest radiograph comparison analysis.


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    GREEN BAY, WI (WTAQ) - A former band instructor at Green Bay West High School has been charged for allegedly sending sexually explicit text messages to a student.

    David Viste, 37, was charged with two felony counts of child enticement and one felony count of stalking. 

    The communication took place between August of last year through April of this year, according to Lt. Jeff Brester of the Green Bay Police Department. He says Viste sent nearly 1,000 text messages to the student.

    "Trying to have the victim come over during different events, when alcohol was being served," said Brester. 

    According to the criminal complaint those text messages included statements such as, You look good, I have a crush on you, and I can't wait to see you next hour."

    Throughout time, Brester says the messages became more graphic.

    "Comments were sexual in nature, different sexual acts, requested different sexual acts," continued Brester. 

    Authorities say the teen told Viste he was not interested.

    Brewster said the boy told police that he felt like he was being stalked.

    "Through the interviews our victim felt that way with the teacher," said Brester. "He was coming into his classroom, and talking to him outside the classroom."

    Brewster said it got bad enough that the boy reported it, and that may have stopped anything else from taking place.

    "This one we're thankful. We stopped it before it did come into an actual sexual assault, these were text messages." he said. 

    Brester says there's still investigating the possibility, that Viste may have had inappropriate communications with other underage students.

    Viste has already posted a $10,000 signature bond.

    If convicted of all three felony charges, he could be facing 50 years in prison.

    Lori Blakeslee, the director of communications for Green Bay Area Public School District, says Viste has been with the district since 2007.

    Blakeslee says he was placed on administrative leave on May 2nd after West High School's principal became aware the teacher may be responsible for "inappropriate conduct" on May 1st.

    The teacher then resigned on May 3rd.


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  • 05/18/18--00:00: The Race is On
  • GREEN BAY, WI (WTAQ)- The 19th annual Cellcom Green Bay Marathon weekend gets underway Saturday, and continues through Sunday.

    Marathon Media Relations Specialist Tammy Vandenbush says this year, they are expecting a huge turnout.

    "This year we have more than 9,300 people already registered for our weekend event, she said. We are the largest half marathon in the state of Wisconsin, and the third largest full marathon."

     The weekend includes runs for all ages as six runs take place in the two days.

    Each of the runs includes one unique lap.

    "Being able to run a lap around Lambeau Field is a big draw for people outside of the area."

    Participants get the chance to run through the player tunnel to get onto the field.

    The large turnout also makes an impact on money coming into Green Bay.

    "We have an estimated economic impact of $1 million dollars," Vandenbush said.

    With the expected turnout, the weekend also requires the help of over 3,000 volunteers.


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    BROWN COUNTY, WI (WTAQ-WLUK) - A growing non-denominational church wants the brakes to be put on a plan to tear down and replace the Brown County Arena.

    Life Church not only wants to move into the Arena, Sonny Hennessey, one of the church’s lead pastors, tells FOX 11 the church would pay property taxes on it as well.

    The current plan calls for the 60-year-old facility to be torn down, and replaced with a $93 million expo hall.

    It would be more than 100,000 square feet.

    Two years after repurposing De Pere's vacant Sportsman's Warehouse store, Hennessey says Life Church has already outgrown its current home.

    “There were people outside of even our church who said, 'man next thing you're going to need the Brown County Arena' or 'have you ever thought about the Arena?'”

    Hennessey says the church has been researching the Arena for the last year or so.

    “We've looked at it a couple times, but we've put millions of dollars into buildings before and every building we've gotten, we've gotten bigger and put more money into it. It doesn't scare us anymore.”

    Standing in the church's way is the plan formulated last year to tear down and replace the Arena.

    Seven municipalities and the county all agreed to use a tax on hotel rooms to pay for most of the new expo hall.

    The plan also received support from the Greater Green Bay Area Lodging Association, the Green Bay chapter of the Wisconsin Restaurant Association, the Greater Green Bay Chamber of Commerce, and Packers President and CEO Mark Murphy.

    Brown County Executive Troy Streckenbach....

    “So from that standpoint, the county is going to continue to move forward with the project at hand and that's been discussed.”

    Life Church isn't the only group that has recently approached the county about an alternate plan for the Arena site.

    Others believe parking or private development would be better suited here and suggest putting the new expo hall at the Brown County Fairgrounds.

    “There was an opportunity for businesses and interested parties to bring forward their ideas for that site,” said Streckenbach.

    “At the time, we only received two responses and so the county moved forward.”

    Streckenbach says the expo hall doesn't make sense elsewhere and the county has been missing out on opportunities without it.

    Life Church says as long as it could use the Arena on non-Packer home game Sundays, current Arena bookings could continue to be held there as well.

    “For our purpose, we would keep the Arena like it is, just make it beautiful like it once was,” said Hennessey.

    “It needs paint, it needs a new roof, it needs some structural repair.”

    There is still no set date for the Arena's demolition, but county leaders hope it happens sometime next year.

    Hennessey says the Life Church is not interested in building a new building.


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  • 05/18/18--02:13: New Home Options
  • GREEN BAY, WI (WTAQ-WLUK) - NeighborWorks Green Bay, a housing organization, held a ribbon cutting for five new townhouses.

    The houses are on Jackson and Stuart streets right across from Navarino Park.

    All five of the units are available and each has three bedrooms and two and a half bathrooms.

    As far as cost, those with NeighborWorks Green Bay say the townhomes range from about $155,000 to $157,000.

    NeighborWorks says appliances are included and each unit has a balcony.

    Steve Dorosz, NeighborWorks director of resource development, tells FOX 11 says the goal is to make sure the homes are safe and what it considers affordable.

    "Part of the tenancy with the homes that we renovate is to draw in younger people. I know that the city of Green Bay has been interested in revitalizing downtown by bringing in young individuals and young families and so that's what we're finding with the properties that we're developing both on the near east side and the near west side".

    According to NeighborWorks, one of the units is income restricted and will only be available to a working family at or below 80 percent of area's median income.


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    APPLETON, WI (WTAQ)- A Hortonville man has been taken into custody for crimes related to an Internet sex crime investigation that has been going on since February.

    Officials say Jason W. Junek allegedly solicited and received nude images of female minors, using a false Facebook profile.

    Officials say Junek allegedly made contact with females in Texas, Illinois, Colorado, Nebraska and the United Kingdom.

    According to online court documents, Junek is being charged with ten felonies, including four counts of child sexual exploitation, three counts of exposing a child to harmful material and soliciting intimate representation from a minor.


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  • 05/19/18--05:57: Lights Out At Lambeau
  • ASHWAUBENON, WI (WTAQ)- Lambeau Field is without lights for a short period of time.

    The existing lights are being replaced with L.E.D. lights.

    Team officials say a helicopter will be used to install the new lights next week.


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    TOWN OF OSCEOLA, WI (WTAQ)- A 13-year-old Fond Du Lac County boy suffered serious injuries after he was hit and dragged by an SUV Wednesday afternoon.

    The Sheriff's department says the boy was walking in his driveway after he got off of the school bus.

    They say the boy got stuck under the SUV and was dragged for 100 feet.

    The driver used a car jack to lift the SUV and help rescue the boy. 


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  • 05/20/18--18:00: A Run For The Record Books
  • GREEN BAY, WI (WTAQ-WLUK)- A Green Bay man now holds the title as the fastest person in the world to finish a marathon, carrying 100 pounds. The record was set at the Green Bay Cellcom marathon Sunday.

    It's a day William Kocken of Green Bay has been training for, for almost two years.

    "I feel ready. I feel really strong," said Kocken. "I'm going to trust my training, and go out and put in a good time."

    Weighing his rucksack on the scale, Kocken prepared for Sunday's Cellcom Marathon.

    Beginning his journey, as he attempted to break the Guinness World Record for the fastest marathon carrying 100 pounds.

    But it was not just the title Kocken was after. His 26.2 mile trek is also raising money to help veterans, for the 4th H.O.O.A.H Wisconsin.

    A charity which stands for 'helping out our American heroes.' 

    "Trying to raise of bunch of funds for veterans through the 4th H.O.O.A.H Wisconsin," he told FOX 11.

    Crossing the finish line at 6 hours 27 minutes, Kocken made world history Sunday in Green Bay.

    "It's insane right now, I'm on cloud nine. I don't even know what to say," said Kocken. 

    Adrenaline aside, Kocken says making it to the finish line was truly a test of his physical and mental ability.

    "I kept telling myself 17 months ago you said you were going to do this." he said. "Don't make yourself have to go to another marathon to get this record."

    While Kocken doesn't plan to run another marathon, he tells FOX 11 he's not quite done trying to break world records.

    "I'm not sure what I'm going to do next, but I got a couple ideas I'm knocking around." 

    The previous world record was 6 hours 47 minutes, which was set at the London Marathon last year.

     


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  • 05/20/18--18:00: Grill Ignites House Fire
  • WEYAUWEGA, WI (WTAQ)- A propane grill is believed to be what started a house fire in Weyauwega Saturday evening. 

    The Weyauwega Fire Department was called out to the 400 block of East Wisconsin Street for what was reported as a possible explosion. 

    Crews found a home covered in flames. The fire was spreading to the downstairs and attic area when they arrived. 

    No injuries were reported, but the estimated damage is $200,000. 

     


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  • 05/20/18--18:00: Paper Machine Fire
  • GREEN BAY, WI (WTAQ)- Green Bay Metro Fire was called out to Procter and Gamble just after 6:30 p.m. Saturday. 

    Fire officials say a paper machine caught fire and heavy smoke was coming from the production area when they arrived on scene.

    They were able to get the fire under control quickly as crews were on scene for less than two hours.

    No injuries were reported. 

     

     

     

     

    Crews were on scene for about 75 minutes.


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  • 05/21/18--00:00: Busy Travel Weekend Ahead
  • GREEN BAY, WI (WTAQ)- The unofficial start to summer this weekend will include some of the heaviest travel in recent years.

    AAA is projecting a nearly 5 percent increase in automobile traffic this Memorial Day weekend.

    Spokesperson Nick Jarmusz says it will be the biggest start to summer in over a decade.

     "In Wisconsin, we are expecting a little more than 111,000 people will be making a trip like that."  

    Gas prices are expected to be the highest they have been in four years, but Jarmusz says that will not slow down travel.  

    "Even though gas prices are a little higher, most of the other travel related costs are down a little bit from last year."  

    While road trippers will need to pay more at the pump, those who are deciding to travel by air, will get some relief in their wallets, as air fares are seven percent lower than last Memorial Day.  

    The heaviest travel days are still expected to be Thursday and Friday.

    "Travelers who are trying to get a jumpstart on their weekend are mingling in with those who are on their daily commute or making those day trips."  

    For those traveling out of state, Orlando, Florida is considered the top travel destination this year.  

    Before heading out on a road trip this Memorial Day, download the free AAA Mobile app for iPhone, iPad and Android. Travelers can use the app to map a route, find the lowest gas prices, access exclusive member discounts, make travel arrangements, request AAA roadside assistance, find AAA Approved Auto Repair facilities and more.


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