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Northeast Wisconsin's local news coverage.

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  • 05/29/18--15:42: Toilet Clogger Flushed Out
  • SHEBOYGAN, Wis. (WHBL) - A citizen helped Sheboygan Police flush out the Deland Park Toilet Clogger. 

    Sgt. Joel Kuszynski says for over a year there have been numerous incidents of property damage at the Community Center. 

    It involved a toilet being clogged with a plastic soda bottle, causing damage and driving up labor costs to remove the clog. 

    On Sunday police arrested a 33-year-old man for the damage. 

    He was identified by a tip provided by a citizen.  

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    VALDERS, WI (WTAQ-WLUK)- A special memorial was on display outside of Valders High School Tuesday, after a 16-year-old student was tragically killed.

    Students used boots and motorcycle helmets to remember 16-year-old Christopher Barlament, who died Saturday in a motorcycle accident after colliding with a truck.

    Friends like Mitch Kautzer say it was the least they could do.

    "There's been an outpour of respect and love to memorialize Chris."

    Students like Hayden Meyer returned to school Tuesday feeling a void in the hallways.

    "It feels weird because you would see him in the halls every hour, saying hi, joking around."

    The Memorial is more than just a tribute to a friend, Ron Habermann says it is also a reminder.

    "Trying to get people to look twice for motorcycles, basically is the message here, Habermann told Fox 11. "Because behind every set of handlebars is a brother, anyone, who has a family."

     Kautzer says it was a fitting memorial.

    "I just kind of picked up the idea and put it up on social media," Kautzer said. "I think because he loved his crotch rocket so much, his family was big on that. That's what we came up with and that's how he went out."

    The students say it is a way to show Barlament's love for motorcycles and ensure that the love lives on.

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    MENASHA, WI (WTAQ)- Police in Menasha say a suspected drunk driver almost hit one of their squad cars over the weekend.

    It happened as an officer was stopped at a stop sign early Sunday morning.

    The officer's dash cam captured his view, as a car approached head-on.

    Community Lesion Officer John Wallschlaeger said the officer noticed something was wrong, and quickly threw the squad in reverse.

    "That combination, they actually never did collide, but it sure had to be close."

    The 29-year-old female driver then took off, but was later pulled over and arrested.

    Wallschlaeger said the situation could have been a lot worse.

    "The average driver probably would not have been able to figure out what was going on and put it in reverse and back up suddenly like that."

    The Police Department posted the dash cam video on Facebook to share the dangers of drunk driving.

    Police reports indicate that this would be the woman's first drunk driving offense if convicted.



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    APPLETON, WI (WTAQ) - One of the suspects has been identified in relation to an afternoon bank robbery Tuesday in downtown Appleton.

    31 year old Wesley D. Cox, of Brillion, was taken into custody. 

    Officers were called out to Chase Bank on West College Avenue after a caller indicated that a male and female had robbed the bank.

    The caller told dispatch that no weapon was displayed and nobody was injured. Police were told that the suspects left in a maroon colored vehicle. 

    Officers located a matching vehicle and attempted a traffic stop on the 900 block of West Grant Street. 

    The male occupant, now identified as Cox, fled on foot and was quickly taken into custody.

    The female stayed with the vehicle.  She was questioned and was later released. 

    The investigation is ongoing.

    The Appleton Police Department is thanking the witness who gave officers a detailed description of the suspect and the getaway vehicle.

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    GREEN BAY, WI (WTAQ) - The Wisconsin DOT has reported 30 road buckling incidents statewide and ten in Northeast Wisconsin over the weekend, but that does not include residential streets.

    Green Bay Public Works responded to two incidents of their own.  

    "We had a couple on West Mason Street, and because it is Mason street, it makes it a little more critical."  

    Public Works Director Steve Grenier says that is due to the amount of traffic on a given day.    

    The possibility for road buckling is always there if the temperature crosses 90 degrees, but for the most part, traffic is able to get through it.  

    He says the fix is quick and easy, and you just never know when it is going to be needed.

     "You know that once it gets that hot, you need to be on the lookout for it, but you simply can't predict when or where it is going to happen."

    Grenier did say there is one place that he would rather not see buckling occur.   

    "If we're to have something like that happen at a roundabout, I think that would be cause for concern because it is not like you can just shut one lane down."  

    If you notice a road that has buckled, try to avoid driving over it, and if you must, go over slow and then report it to Public Works.  


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  • 05/30/18--00:02: Low Lake Levels in Shawano
  • SHAWANO, WI (WTAQ)- A Shawano Waterway Group is facing a battle to get higher water levels on Shawano Lake.

    Shawano Area Waterway Management (SAWM) President Gary DeFere says for the first time in three years, water levels on Shawano Lake are so low, it is unsafe.  

    "It's causing damage, causing injury and causing people to hit sandbars and get thrown out of boats." 

    DeFereT says the difference was noticed over the holiday weekend.

    "In the meantime, fishing on the lake is hurting, tourism on the lake for the county is hurting. People are in danger and we even had one of our board members die from a disease that he caught from the low water level."

    DeFere says the issue started three years ago when DNR started looking into lowering water levels, and ordered SAWM to conduct, and pay for a three-year study that would determine where the levels should be.

    In March, the water levels were ordered to be lowered despite a study that the Management group paid for showing where the levels need to be.  

    He said the last two years, the levels were left alone while the study was being done. 

    DeFere says now the problems are more than just safety for Shawano as tourism dollars depend on Shawano Lake.  

    "It is the number one tourist draw in the county"  

    DeFere says the lake is lowered by 6-10 inches, and something needs to be done about it, or it will have long term negetive effects.

    They are reaching out to elected officials for help and had over 200 people attend their annual meeting last week to express concern.  

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    GREEN BAY, WI (WTAQ-WLUK) - Voters in five area counties will be heading to the polls in two weeks, but the race between Republican State Rep. Andre Jacque and Democrat Caleb Frostman has garnered attention beyond the state's first senate district.

    After Democrats claimed victory in Wisconsin's Supreme Court race in April, Republicans warned their base about a possible 'blue wave' heading into November's general election.

    While some might think the special elections on June 12th could be another indicator, Republican strategist Mark Graul warns against using that notion.

    “I would caution anyone into making too many predictions based on a June special election. The weather could be beautiful like it is now, people could have other things on their mind rather than going to the polls. My guess is you're going to see a pretty small turnout.”

    The state’s first Senate district covers all of Kewaunee and Door Counties, as well as parts of Brown, Manitowoc, and Calumet.

    The winner will replace Republican Frank Lasee and will be up for re-election right away in November.

    Jacque and Frostman squared off in a debate Tuesday night at UW-Green Bay.

    Both spoke to FOX 11 and explained why they’re confident heading into the special election.

    “People know that I'm going to be an independent voice down in Madison, not being swayed by party leaders or special interests,” said Jacque.

    “I feel pretty confident about my private sector background, both in commercial real estate finance and in economic development,” said Frostman, who is executive director for the Door County Economic Development Corporation.

    There is also interest in this race from outside the state.

    A group led by former U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder announced its spending $175,000 on Wisconsin's two special elections. The other special election is in Assembly District 42, in central Wisconsin.

    In this race, the Holder group is backing Frostman.

    “We're grateful for that kind of support and I think that group is highly responsible for the special elections being called, so it's not surprising to me their adding additional financial support to my race,” said Frostman.

    “I think there probably will be some involvement from people on both sides of the race. I can only say I'm proud to have stayed positive in terms of what I've actually put out from my campaign,” said Jacque.

    A Republican has held the seat since 1977.

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  • 05/30/18--01:54: Term Limits Change Of Heart
  • GREEN BAY, WI (WTAQ-WLUK) - How long is too long to serve?

    Jim Schmitt has spent more than 15 years as the mayor of Green Bay. He won four elections.

    Now, deciding not to run for re-election, Schmitt's pushing for term limits.

    “I've evolved on this issue.”

    He tells FOX 11 both the mayor and members of the city council should be limited to 12 years in office.

    “I think there are people out there who would like to see term limits. I don't think they're angry. I just think they think it's the right thing to do. I think it's healthy.”

    “It's just a matter of grand-standing,” said former alderman Guy Zima, who served 40 years on the city council before losing his seat in April.

    Zima tells FOX 11 he's not a fan of term limits.

    “Every election is a term limit because you only get to run every two years and you have to prove to yourself every two years that you're the one to do it.”

    Schmitt is not the first to bring up the idea of term limits in Green Bay.

    In April 1995, voters overwhelming passed an advisory referendum to limit the number of terms for both the mayor and the council. Sixty-four percent of voters approved the measure.

    In that same election, Paul Jadin was elected mayor.

    “Term limits are not the Democratic way, but if the voters of Green Bay want them, I'll honor that."

    Jadin left office after two terms. His successor, Schmitt, is in his fourth term.

    “It's sad that this community voted for term limits on a vote of two-to-one back in 1995 and the council didn't act on it,” said Schmitt.

    Zima was on the city council back in 1995.

    “We were told that state law prohibited it and I think the majority of the people on the council knew that two years in districts that are 500 to 5,000 people, you don't need term limits to have turnover."

    According to the state's Legislative Council, towns and counties are not allowed under the law to impose term limits.

    But according to the Wisconsin League of Municipalities, cities can impose term limits.

    Schmitt says the only obstacle is getting the council to vote to enact term limits.

    “We don't see any laws prohibiting us from adopting term limits here in the city of Green Bay. It's something I think we should do.”

    Schmitt says if his effort to get term limits doesn't pass at the city council level, he'll try to collect enough signatures to put a binding referendum on the ballot in the future.

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  • 05/30/18--02:02: Loss Ends Win Streak
  • MILWAUKEE, WI (WSAU) - The Brewers only managed three hits in their 6-1 loss to the St. Louis Cardinals on Tuesday night.

    Jonathon Villar drove home the only Milwaukee run with an RBI double in the seventh inning.

    Starter Zach Davies tossed five innings, allowed five runs, walked three, and struck out four. Reliever Dan Jennings allowed the other Cardinal run out of the bullpen.

    The loss ends Milwaukee's four-game winning streak.

    Brewers and Cardinals will play the rubber match of their three-game series this afternoon.

    Junior Guerra will go for Milwaukee.

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    FOND DU LAC COUNTY, WI (WTAQ) - Embers from a portable fire pit believed to be the source of a trailer home fire in Fond du Lac County late last night. (TUE)

    Firefighters sent to a home on Phoenix Drive in the Town of Friendship just after 11 p.m.

    The sheriff's department reporting those living there thought the fire in the pit was out, and moved it closer to the home.

    The embers fired back up and started the home's patio on fire. The flames then spread to the house.

    No one was hurt.

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  • 05/30/18--14:30: Firearm Charges
  • KESHENA, WI (WTAQ)- Two Keshena men are facing charges related to firearm offenses.

    33-year-old Jeremy Fish and 32-year-old Bobby Joe Sanapaw have been charged with possession of a short-barreled shotgun and felon in possession of firearms.

    Both Fish and Sanapaw face a maximum of 10 years in prison, a $250,000 fine and three years of supervised release.

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    ONEIDA COUNTY, WI (WTAQ)- Prosecutors in Oneida County will not charge a Manitowoc man with a felony after he accidentally shot an endangered black Wolf.

    49-year-old Steven Kohl now faces one count of intentional violation of an endangered species for the November 20-17 incident, downgrading his initial charges to a misdemeanor.

    Kohl was hunting deer from a treestand in Oneida County when a pack of wolves came up to the area. Kohl says he shot at "the large black one" and did not know that he had hit it.

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  • 05/30/18--17:36: Watch What You Post
  • GREEN BAY, WI (WTAQ-WLUK)- The recent incident involving a tweet made by Roseanne, serves as a reminder that people are always watching what you post.

    Social media has opened the door, allowing our lives to become increasingly more public. And that access has changed what employers look at when hiring.

    "If they're out there, they're looking at them. If they're made public, they're looking at them," explained Denise Knuston.

    Knuston, is a trainer for the H.S Group, a company specializing in workplace ethics.

    She says what you think is private may not always be, "Don't assume that just because your privacy settings are set high that your employer won't see it. Anything is out there for anyone to find."

    Knutson says scanning through public social media accounts has now become a common part of the hiring process.

    "Employers have the right to protect their brand," she said. "It's a fine line between balancing what does my employers get to see and the first amendment for freedom of speech."

    Just as companies look to protect their image, experts say you should also be trying to protect yours.

    "With a screenshot or click what you say could be shared with other audiences, that you may not have intended," said Jena Richter Landers, Social Media Coordinator at UWGB.

    "You have to consider not only what you're posting publicly, but what other people are posting about you," she continued. "Whether they're tagging you or not it's something you need to be aware of."

    Experts say the easiest way to avoid an unwanted or inappropriate post is to always think before you hit enter.

    "I think with the whole Rosanne situation, we all learned clicking delete click isn't enough," Richter Landers told FOX 11.

    State law does not allow an employer to require access to an employee's social media accounts.

    An employer also cannot force an employee to give up passwords to personal accounts.

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    APPLETON, WI (WTAQ) - Appleton Police are searching for those involved in vandalizing areas on the Appleton North High School campus.

    A significant amount of red and yellow graffiti was noticed around the school.

    Police believe it happened in the early morning hours Friday. 

    A surveillance captured an image of a black SUV that police believe may be a suspect vehicle.

    If you have information, please call the Appleton Police Department at (920) 832-5500. If you wish to remain anonymous, you can use the "REPORT" feature on our phone app. The phone app is available for free where you download your applications.

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    GREEN BAY, WI (WTAQ-WLUK)- A Wrightstown woman was sentenced Wednesday, after being convicted of not feeding her five-year-old son. 

    Kimberly Fahrenkrug was sentenced to nine months in jail, placed on probation for five years, and ordered to attend parenting classes for her actions. 

    Judge John Zakowski also ordered Fahrenkrug to perform 100 hours of community service.

    Fahrenkrug previously pleaded no contest to a charge of neglecting a child with a consequence of great bodily harm.

    Fahrenkrug's husband, Bradley, will be sentenced June 25 on a similar count.  

    The husband and wife were charged last July after doctors noticed their son only weighed 29 pounds.   

    In court Wednesday, Fahrenkrug said her family adopted the boy when he was 2, but the child was showing signs of behavioral issues.  

    "We are just regular people and we were doing the best we could in the situation at hand," she said. "When a social worker suggested we absolve the adoption, we continued to try to help him because we love him and we were committed to giving him our best. As parents, we didn’t see that as an option. I am so deeply sorry if that made his problems worse. We love him and the last thing we wanted to do was hurt him."  

    However, police noted the child, "has not shown any of the behavior claimed by Kimberly and Bradley and appears to be a normal 5-year-old with appropriate behaviors,” the complaint states.

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    FOX CROSSING, WI (WTAQ)- The Department of Justice has released the name of the Fox Crossing Police Officer who fatally shot a man on the Trestle Trail last week.

    Officials say, Officer Seely Moe, shot and killed 25-year-old Joshua Gomoll of Kaukauna.

    The officer responded to a call of a man who was acting erratically with a knife in Fristse Park.

    Moe has been placed on paid administrative leave.

    He has been with the Fox Crossing police department for 15 years.

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  • 05/30/18--20:03: Cancer Ride Checks Presented
  • HOWARD, WI (WTAQ-WLUK)- A motorcycle ride is helping cancer patients in Northeast Wisconsin. Jerry Parins "Cruise For Cancer" checks were handed out Wednesday to ten organizations that have made efforts to help beat the disease.

    Parins, a former police officer and cancer survivor says every little bit helps.

    "The cancer just takes your family and it goes down. And there's many families that nobody can afford to deal with cancer," Parins said. "And I think 'Cruise for Cancer' just steps in and helps a bit with a little care and love."

    The event started in 2004 and since then, more than $1.5 million dollars has been raised. Last year's ride raised nearly $140,000 dollars.

    This year's ride will take place next Saturday.

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    GREEN BAY, WI (WTAQ)- Help Wanted signs are being seen more and more outside of businesses in the Green Bay Area, and one expert says they may be there for awhile.

    "Everyday, ten thousand people in the United States turn 65."

     Jim Golembeski, Executive Director of the Bay Area Workforce Development board, says workforce in the Green Bay area is hitting a turning point with the retirements of employees from the baby boomer generation.

    "But how do we replace the legecy knowledge?" That is the question that employers are trying to figure out.

    He says what we are seeing now has been forecasted for years.  

    "The baby boomers are retiring, and taking a lot of job skills with them."

    He says one part of reversing it, Wisconsin businesses will have to pull people in from other states due to its low birthrate.

    "It is vital that Wisconsin attracts talent from outside the state, he said. Our birthrate here in the state is not going to meet the needs that we need.

    Golembeski added that it often takes two or more to perform the tasks that one retired baby boomer employee was able to do, but some of those jobs are being replaced with technology.  

    "Advancement in technolgy is making an impact in some ways."  

    Golembeski says jobs in Agriculture and Tourism will always need manual labor to do the job.       

    While it is not all bad news, it something that Golembeski says he is watching closely."

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    GREEN BAY, WI (WTAQ)- While bike riding is common in the summer months, so are bike thefts and joyrides.

    12 bikes have been stolen in Green Bay since the beginning of the month, but Police Captain Kevin Warych says there are ways to prevent that, or at least better your chances of getting your bike back if it is lifted.

    "We really want our people to lock up their bikes and get their bikes registered."  

    Warych says in most cases, the bikes that are stolen are not kept for very long.  

    "It's a crime of opportunity. They are quickly used, dumped and the suspects go on their merry way."  

    When bikes are located, they are taken to the police department, where the process begins.    

    "The Green Bay Police Department collects these bikes and puts them in a bike garage. We do everything we can to return them to their owners."  

    A bike that does not have a license or is not registered is nearly impossible to return to the owner.

    Warych says simply going to the police station and registering your bike is free, and it will help you get your bike back if it is stolen.  

    The bikes that the police department are unable to return get auctioned off each year.    

    "This Saturday at the Brown County Fairgrounds starting at 8:00 a.m. will be the bike auction where people can go buy these bikes."  

    He says the auction gives the bikes a good home, and gives them more room in their crowded garage.    

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    GREENLEAF, WI (WTAQ-WLUK) - Congressman Mike Gallagher hosted dozens of people at Vande Wettering Farms in Greenleaf Wednesday.

    It's part of his "Save the Bay" initiative.

    Scholars and government resources will team up, trying to keep Green Bay cleaner... while making farming more sustainable.

    This "Field Day" focused on preventing soil and soil nutrient runoff from fields and into local waterways, including Green Bay.

    Vande Wettering Farms is one of several taking part in the research.

    Some of the techniques they're using are no-till planting and rotational grazing.

    "These guys are excellent to work with. It makes farming fun again. It ain't just sitting at a desk or sitting in a barn. We're out here in the field and trying new things," says Tom Vande Wettering, co-owner of Vande Wetting Farms.

    Representative Mike Gallagher tells FOX 11 he's encouraged by the turnout.

    "It's just a great mix of people, and of course we have the farmers themselves, so to get that diversity of opinion and get people that maybe wouldn't ordinarily talk to each other talking to each other is particularly fruitful."

    They're hoping these techniques can spread to other farms.

    Supporters say the early results are promising.

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