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Northeast Wisconsin's local news coverage.

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  • 05/31/18--01:59: Investing In The Future
  • GRAND CHUTE, WI (WTAQ-WLUK) - Junior Achievement Wisconsin wants to help the state's future business leaders.

    They announced Wednesday that they are partnering with Fox Valley Technical College.

    The organization plans to build a center on FVTC's campus to focus on financial literacy and career exploration for grades 4 through 12.

    They hope to prepare students for their financial and career decisions as well as allow them access to careers in the region.

    Michael Frohna, president of Junior Achievement Wisconsin, tells FOX 11 the upcoming build will help take the stress away from students thinking about their career path.

    "The state of Wisconsin has an academic and planning requirement. And the center will help the students get the right idea, whether or not they're geared for manufacturing, welding, technology or the legal field or the health care or a combination."

    The organization received a $500,000 check Wednesday from Community First Credit Union to help with the upcoming build.


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    BROWN COUNTY, WI (WTAQ-WLUK) - From running wild to road kill, bear sightings are becoming more common across Northeast Wisconsin.

    On a bike ride last week in Howard, Rich Palzewic whipped out his phone to shoot a video after realizing he was riding alongside a bear.

    “I wasn't quite sure what it was and all of a sudden it started to move, I quickly realized it was a bear."

    While the video has been viewed nearly 47,000 times and shared more than 600 times on Facebook, DNR Regional Wildlife Biologist Jeff Pritzl tells FOX 11 people across Northeast Wisconsin are getting used to seeing bears.

    “It was happening once in a while 20 years ago. 10 years ago it got to be where you could almost count on it's going to happen this year somewhere, you just don't know where. Now, again, we don't get as many reports because it's not as novel of an experience.”

    You might have seen a dead bear if you recently were driving south on Highway 41, just north of the Sunset Beach Road exit in Suamico. The Brown County Sheriff's Department says a semi hit it early Monday morning.

    Obviously, bear-vehicle crashes aren't as common as deer-vehicle crashes, so the DNR doesn't have numbers readily available to show the frequency.

    Across the state, Pritzl estimates there are a couple hundred bear-vehicle collisions each year.

    “It happens every year, I would say something in the neighborhood of a dozen to two dozen times in the Greater Green Bay area."

    Pritzl recommends giving a bear space if you come across one. To avoid that, he advises eliminating any food sources on your property.

    Palzewic tells FOX 11 his encounter has kept him more aware.

    “I've actually gone that route about three or four times since and have not seen it at all, but yeah, I'm keeping my eye out definitely.”

    While April and May are popular times to see bears because of hibernation, the DNR says sightings also typically peek in July.

    That's mating season.


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    ASHWAUBENON, WI (WTAQ-WLUK) - A battle to slow the spread of an invasive beetle continues in Ashwaubenon.

    Thousands of trees in the village need to be taken down.

    At Klipstine Park in Ashwaubenon, Village Forester Tim Bauknecht shows FOX 11 an ash tree that is living on borrowed time.

    "EAB moves pretty rapidly. Depending on the level of the population in the area, a tree can go from healthy to dead in probably a matter of four or five years."

    Bauknecht says the emerald ash borer was officially found in the village about a year and a half ago.

    Rex Mehlberg, Ashwaubenon Parks, Recreation, and Forestry director, tells FOX 11 the larvae feed underneath the bark, choking the tree of nutrients.

    "So what happens is they become very brittle, and then in a wind storm you have large branches breaking off, or the whole tree can come down, and becomes a major safety factor."

    Mehlberg says there are about 15,000 ash trees in the village. About 10 percent line the streets or are in parks. Since January, village crews have removed about 70 infested trees.

    Mehlberg says in a couple years, the village may need to hire more workers.

    "Once the emerald ash borer gets more established, it takes over more. What will happen is that we'll have to bond some additional dollars and have contractors come in and try to help us keep up."

    Mehlberg says about 30 percent of Ashwaubenon's urban forest is ash trees.

    Chemical treatments are an option, but for many ash trees, "there's going to be a lot of trees needing to come down, once the EAB actually hits."

    Foresters say once an infested ash tree is cut down, people should replace it with a different tree.

    Experts say planting many different varieties gives the forest a better chance to be resilient against future insects or diseases.


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    GREEN BAY, WI (WTAQ) - Green Bay police are putting out the word, asking west side residents to be on the lookout after a person woke up to a suspicious person inside her home.

    The incident happened around 5:30 Tuesday morning in the 1300 block of Division Street.

    Police say the resident was asleep and woke up to a man inside her bedroom.

    The man ran out of the house when he was confronted.

    Police say other residents in the neighborhood saw the man running away.

    The suspect is being described as possibly Hispanic with shoulder length puffy, curly hair and a scar underneath his eye.

    The victim believes he was between 5'6'' to 5'8'' tall, weighing about 140 pounds with a medium build.

    Police say residents should always lock home doors and windows.

    If you see anything suspicious or out of the ordinary in your neighborhood, police encourage you to report it.

    If you have any information regarding this incident, please call the Green Bay Police Department. You can remain anonymous and may be eligible for a reward by contacting Green Bay Area Crime Stoppers at (920) 432-7867, or online at 432stop.com, or by downloading the P3 app through Google play or App store.


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    APPLETON, WI (WTAQ)- Appleton schools were placed on a lockdown Thursday after police were alerted of a man with a gun.

    Police say the man was reported to be in the downtown area, and action was taken to protect the schools nearby.

    Officers located the man and say they are interviewing him.

    No threats were made and no one was injured.

    All school lockdowns were lifted.


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    FOND DU LAC, WI (WTAQ)- Fond du Lac police are investigating reports of credit card skimming.

    Police say several people have reported unauthorized ATM withdrawals from bank accounts over the weekend.

    Police have posted pictures of persons-of-interest who were last seen riding in a green Volkswagen four-door sedan with no front license plate.

    Residents are urged to check their bank statements and, if possible, avoid paying for gas at the pump and pay inside the store instead.


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    GREEN BAY, WI (WTAQ-WLUK)- It was not a normal day at work for Green Bay Southwest Principal Rod Bohm.

    Many tables were stacked when he arrived Thursday morning, and it got the kind of reaction that Senior Zak Nelson was hoping for.

     "He was just like no words, very out of it. He just kept saying, 'oh my gosh, oh my gosh,'" said Zak Nelson.  

    Bohm said he was not mad, but it was hard to see the disorganization that the seniors caused. The seniors were not done yet.  

    The class proved that they know him well, and took the prank to his office, placing 700 balloons and streamers, forcing Bohm to do his work in the lunchroom.   

    "So that took me to another level of uneasiness," he said. "When you're sitting in your office with 400 kids and teachers walking through, it's hard to get work done."

      Senior Clara Welhouse hatched a plan to prank Bohm.

    "I found some inspiration online for some pranks," said Clara Welhouse. 

    And, she enlisted the help of about 40 seniors.

    "It went so much better than I thought it would. Honestly, especially the balloons in the office. That was not part of my plan. It was something that just happened," Welhouse said.

    Bohm said the seniors still depend on him for more more thing and it may give him the chance to have the last laugh.  

    "They may not get their diploma on Sunday after the graduation ceremony. They might have to come for lock in and find it underneath the balloons in my office," Bohm said.  

    Jokes aside, Bohem says the class of 2018 is pretty special and some seniors say the same about him.      


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    PULASKI, WI (WTAQ)- A pair of Pulaski students have built a better bear trap.

    Sophomores Chasten Fatla and Brock Bogacz spent time in class building a new bear trap that the Department of Natural Resources can use in Northeast Wisconsin. 

      "The DNR came in with a trailer and a culvert rolling around on a trailer and said, here, build a bear trap," said Fatla.  

    The students presented the DNR with a bear trap that they invented Thursday.   Fatla says the DNR their teacher Jerad Marsh to help come up with a new trap, and they took on the challenge, including addressing the questions that they had.  

    "How are we going to keep nice and steady and secure so the bear does not get out."  

    The boys spent time researching the internet, and soon had the idea.  

    "Once the bear steps on a pressure plate, the door releases, trapping the bear safely inside," Fatla said.  

    The idea impressed members of the DNR, including Wildlife Biologist James Robaidek.  

    "We wanted it so that our staff can drag up to a 700 pound bear through the front."   He says it also helps that the culvert trap is on a trailer, so it can be hauled away quickly.  

    "I gave them a budget and a deadline, and they met the deadline and were under budget. They highly exceeded my expectations, and my expectations are pretty high."  

    The DNR believes that the trap will fullfill their needs, but the students are anxious to see if it works.  

    "I would like to get a phone call or something saying, hey, we got a bear with the trap that you guys built," Fatla said.    

    The trap was hauled away Thursday for use in Northeast Wisconsin.


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    GREEN BAY, WI (WTAQ-WLUK) - As the Green Bay Bullfrogs began its final season at Joannes Stadium Thursday night, a replacement team is in the works for the 89-year-old stadium.

    The Bullfrogs, which play in the Northwoods League, announced in February that it will move into a new $10 million stadium next season in Ashwaubenon.

    While not providing specifics, Green Bay Co-interim Parks Director James Anderson tells FOX 11 the city is currently discussing bringing a new baseball team to Joannes for next summer.

    “They would be a level below the Northwoods,” said Anderson.

    “They'd still be adult, collegiate and post-collegiate players, that really high caliber of baseball, but it wouldn't necessarily bring in all the entertainment that the Bullfrogs did.”

    Green Bay is still hoping for 100 baseball games a summer at Joannes, and a new main tenant that would eventually equal the revenue generated from the Bullfrogs' agreement.

    “There will be a lot of good baseball being played at Joannes for many years to come,” said Anderson.

    As for the Bullfrogs' new home in Ashwaubenon, nothing has happened yet, but village president Mary Kardoskee tells FOX 11 they're hoping to break ground by early September.

    “We're trying to work through where we're putting everything.”

    With the layout and design work still being done, the village doesn't have renderings of the stadium yet.

    Kardoskee says the architect is planning on incorporating the two empty buildings on the six-acre property.

    “Part of it will become upper-level hospitality suites, part of it will be parts that will be office, concessions, restrooms.”

    The Ashwaubenon stadium will be built to seat 2,500 people. The capacity with standing room will be 4,000 people.

    It will be paid for through a 20-year lease with the Bullfrogs’ owners, Big Top Baseball, and tax revenue the village hopes to generate from new development in the area.

    Bullfrogs fans at the team’s home opener say they will follow the team to Ashwaubenon.


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    EGG HARBOR, WI (WTAQ-WLUK) - The new Shipwrecked Brew Pub building is taking shape.

    The rebuild comes after a fire tore through the historic Egg Harbor landmark last summer.

    "Yeah I watched it, it was sad," said Robert Mueller of Egg Harbor.

    Following the fire, the restaurant's owners promised to restore the long-time tourist attraction.

    Mueller tells FOX 11 watching it return from rubble has brought back a staple of the community.

    "I'm glad it's being rebuilt. Because it's going to bring a lot more people to Egg Harbor."

    Construction on the building began last October.

    Beth Levendusky, Marketing Director for Shipwrecked, tells FOX 11 it's been a busy 7-months.

    "We're concentrating on getting our brew house finished. So, we can follow with the rest of our equipment. We already have some of our tanks in already."

    Levendusky says the upgrade includes new additions both inside and outside of the building.

    "We will have second story dining. We've never had that before. We're going to have some large garage door style windows that can open."

    While there will be plenty of new features for people to enjoy, she says there will still be some things will be staying the same.

    "Our captain and our rowboat that we have hanging that we were able to pull out of the original shipwrecked. All those items we were able to save are going to be going back in."

    The restaurant is scheduled to reopen at the end of June.


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  • 06/01/18--02:10: Police Memorial Dedication
  • FOND DU LAC, WI (WTAQ-WLUK) - Four Police officers from Fond du Lac who have died on the job over the years are being remembered through a new memorial garden in Fond du Lac.

    A ribbon-cutting ceremony was held Thursday. The event itself also paid tribute to the four officers.

    For State Trooper, Josh Helmer, the memorial garden reminded him of Trevor Casper's ultimate sacrifice.

    "Trevor’s story, obviously hits close to home for most of us wearing this uniform, being the youngest officer killed in the line of duty obviously."

    Casper was also a State Trooper in Fond du Lac. He was shot and killed by an armed robbery and murder suspect in March 2015.

    "I look at that and hope I can measure up to that if it comes to that someday," Helmer told FOX 11.

    The memorial ceremony also paid tribute to William Prinslow. Prinslow was the first officer killed in the line of duty in Fond du Lac. Prinslow died on November 1898.

    Nick Klaske was killed on October 1961, after pursuing a robbery suspect in Fond du Lac.

    Also honored at the ceremony was Craig Burkholz. Burkhoz died while responding to assist the officer with shots fired on March 2011.

    Matt Straveler helped plan and create the garden on Police Memorial Drive.

    Straveler is part of the "Always Remembered" group of the Leadership Fond du Lac Class.

    "We really wanted to honor the fallen and the individual that really work hard to protect us."

    Straveler says plants in the garden were hand selected based on special meaning, describing those who served and protect.

    "So we put a lot of thought into it; it's not just a memory garden with flowers, but there’s meaning behind it."

    "To pay tribute to these officers in such a way with this memorial garden, just really shows what our officers mean to our communities," said Fond du Lac Assistant Police Chief, Steve Klein.

    Klein tells FOX 11 over 100 officers in the country were killed in the line of duty over the last year.

    "It’s definitely a calling, and our officers go out every day with the understanding that they might be putting themselves in danger."

    He says because of memorials like the garden, those officers can hopefully be honored and remembered.


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    GREEN BAY, WI (WTAQ) - Another candidate is throwing their name in the ring to be Green Bay’s mayor.

    Green Bay City Council President Mark Steuer will be announcing his candidacy today at Murphy Park.

    Steuer has represented District 10 on the council for the past six years, which is on the city's west side.

    He has also served as the council's vice president.

    Steuer will become the second candidate to announce his plans to run, joining Democratic State Rep. Eric Genrich.

    Current mayor Jim Schmitt, announced in November that he would not seek a fifth term.

    But Schmitt has also said he could change his mind if he doesn't believe there is a qualified candidate in the race.


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    GREEN BAY, WI (WTAQ-WLUK) - It was the ceremonial beginning for a new Green Bay school.

    Students and staff gathered for the groundbreaking of the new Baird Elementary School off of Laverne Drive Thursday.

    In April, voters approved a referendum question that included costs to build the new school.

    The new school will have the capacity for 600 students.

    Baird Elementary School principal Michael Sheean tells FOX 11 one of the issues is overcrowding at the school.

    "We have a lot of issues in our current building, and as we go through another year that we still have to be in there, it will make things a little bit easier than when we're done, we're going to be moving out into a new building that will be fantastic for everybody."

    Construction is expected to be completed by August 2019.


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    ASHWAUBENON, WI (WTAQ)- It was a day worth waiting for. 

    The Medical College of Wisconsin celebrated their first graduation.

    Fifteen students graduated, and all have secured placements in residency programs.

    80 students are enrolled.

    The college was started to address a shortage of physicians in rural Wisconsin.

    "MCW-Green Bay was built under a partnership of knowledge changing lives," said campus dean, Matthew Hunsaker. "These 15 young men and women will help us change the health of the state hopefully here in Northeast Wisconsin."

    Since the medical college's launch, locally up to 2,500 candidates compete annually for 25 spots in each class.


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    GREEN BAY, WI (WTAQ)- Another candidate is planning to announce his run to be the next Mayor of Green Bay.

    Brown County Board Supervisor Patrick Evans is scheduled to make his announcement on June 19.

    Evans would be the third announced candidate joining State Representative Eric Genrich and Alderman Mark Steuer.


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    APPLETON, WI (WTAQ)- Appleton International Airport has been ranked as the fourth fastest growing airport in the country. 

    A recent study released by Bloomberg shows that airline seats jumped 26.8 percent in the last two years.

    "I think it is a once in a generational type growth", said Abe Weber, Airport Director. "We are talking to the community and thanking them for all their support. We would not be at 26.8 percent without the support."

    Weber says he credits the growth to new routes, larger aircraft, and additional frequencies.

    "Adding additional flights and additional non-stop destinations is all related to our community using our airport more."

    Weber says unlike larger airports, you can move around pretty quickly.

    "It is so much easier to arrive, park your car minutes from the door and pass through our security checkpoints in a breeze."

    Appleton International Airport is also scheduled for a big 2018 with the addition of a United Airlines non-stop service to Denver which begins next week.

    Currently, the airport has flights to major hubs around the U.S. on American Airlines, Delta Air Lines, and United Airlines. 

     

     


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  • 06/02/18--08:46: A Special Sendoff
  • APPLETON (WTAQ-WLUK) -A farewell ceremony for 32 soldiers who will be departing for Kuwait this weekend was held Friday in Appleton.

    The soldiers from the 395th Ordnance Company will be leaving Sunday and will be stationed there for 10 months. 

    SPC Stephen Jensen who is also a firefighter in the area said leaving his family is bittersweet but he is excited to serve his country.

    "It's a mixed of emotions but i'm happy to be here," Jensen said. "You know it is sad to leave family behind and to go into some dangerous situation, but I have no regrets about being in the Army, and 'm proud to serve my country," he said.   Kimberly Bower also said goodbye to her son Nick on Friday and said while she is sad to see him go she is very proud.

    "We are very proud of both of our boys especially Nicholas with his first deployment. We are just happy that they are carrying on the tradition and wanting to serve this country, it's something we have tried to instill," Bower said.

    Before arriving in Kuwait, the soldiers will be in Texas for training until about the middle of the month.


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    GREEN BAY, WI (WTAQ-WLUK)- Alderman Mark Steuer made his mayoral bid official Friday. His constituents joined him at Murphy Park in Green Bay for the announcement.

    Current Mayor Jim Schmitt announced in November that he would not seek a fifth, four-year term. However, Schmitt has maintained he will change his mind if he doesn't believe there is a qualified candidate in the race.

    “Being an alder for almost 7 years, you talk to a lot of citizens over time and they tell you things like the house behind me is condemned or there is a loose dog over there and this and that,” said Steuer. “Basically, the important thing is to listen to the people.”

    Steuer is on his fourth term as District 10's alderman. He worked 25 years in the city's planning department from 1981 to 2005.

    t appears Steuer's neighbor, just six houses down, will be one of his challengers.

    “He talked about running and I told Mark, I said you know what? You have to do it. Why not? Because it's better to get into the race versus sit out and say boy should I have done that,” said Pat Evans, a longtime county supervisor.

    Evans says he will officially announce his run and mayoral platform at Titletown Brewing Company on June 19th.

    “This is a big job and you need to have people that have credentials and these credentials need to be an education, they need to be, as stated, a strong business background, local government experience, and certainly being involved in the community,” said Evans.

    Already in the race is Democratic State Representative Eric Genrich, who also lives in the same west side city council district as Steuer and Evans.

    The mayoral primary would be on February 19th. The general election is April 2nd.


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  • 06/02/18--08:55: New Chief Named
  • FOX CROSSING, WI (WTAQ)- Fox Crossing has a new fire chief.

    Brian Harbison stood out among 18 applicants to replace the retiring Keith Kiesow.

    He served four years in the Navy as an active duty firefighter, and 15 years as a Navy Reservist.

    Harbison's background includes Technical Rescue Teams. Mutual Aid, HAZMAT, and water rescue.

    Kiesow has been fire chief since 2000.


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    APPLETON, WI (WTAQ)- Police are still looking for information about a suspect in a burglary that took place on the south side of Appleton.

    Officers spent Friday searching the area of McKinley Elementary School on East Taft Avenue but called off the search after being unable to locate the suspect.

    The only description that officers have to work with is a white man, clean-cut wearing a t-shirt and jeans and is possibly barefoot. 


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