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Northeast Wisconsin's local news coverage.

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  • 06/05/18--17:45: Packers Family Night Planned
  • ASHWAUBENON, WI (WTAQ)- Packer Family Night returns in August and will wrap up The Packers Experience festival.

    Family Night will take place on Saturday, August 4, one week after the teams four-day festival to kick off their 100th season.

    The Packers Experience will feature four different areas outside Lambeau Field with activities including live music, a replica team locker room, Packers alumni question-and-answer sessions, photo stations and prizes through Packers Pass.

    Tickets for Family Night are $10 each and go on sale June 27 at 10:00 a.m. through Ticketmaster.com or by calling (800) 745-3000.

    Family night will once again include tailgating, practice, and fireworks.

     


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  • 06/05/18--17:50: Dangerous Rocks Found
  • GREEN BAY, WI (WTAQ) - Green Bay Police are warning parents of suspicious rocks.

    Police say a rock with a rusty razor blade was found in the bushes on North Adams Street. 

    Police say the rocks had suspicious messages written on both sides.

    Officers are worried that someone could hurt themselves on the blade if they pick the rock up.

    They urge anyone who notices a similar rock to notify police.


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  • 06/05/18--18:00: Bye Bye To Bikinis
  • GREEN BAY, WI (WTAQ-WLUK)- The Miss America Organization announced Tuesday it would be dropping the swimsuit portion of the competition beginning this September.

    It's part of a completely new experience the organization would like for the show, including getting rid of the word "pageant" altogether.

    The Miss America Organization began as a "bathing suit beauty contest" in 1920.  “Walking in a swimsuit onstage in Boardwalk Hall where so many young women had walked before us was one of the most empowering things I've ever done in my entire life,” said current Miss Wisconsin McKenna Collins.

    Ninety-eight Pageants later, a new board of directors has announced they will no longer have a swimsuit portion of the competition. A twitter post shows this video, calling the movement for the program #byebyebikini.

    “I think we do need change," said Collins. "I just don’t know if this is necessarily the change that we needed.”

    Collins said she thinks it's possible to promote body positivity without taking away the swimsuit element.

    “I think that removing this portion of the competition puts women into two boxes, and I think it forces them to choose between having brains and being beautiful,” said Collins.

    For 2003 Miss Wisconsin and Miss America second runner-up Dr. Tina Sauerhammer, it was a special part of the experience.

    “I actually loved that part of the competition,” said Sauerhammer. “I actually won the bathing suit portion of the competition at the Miss Wisconsin pageant.”

     But she says the progress is necessary.

    “In the 1920s it was very progressive for them to wear a bathing suit and be judged on that, and so likewise, it’s very progressive that we’re actually getting rid of the swimming suit competition,” said Sauerhammer.

    While the decision seems bold, Collins believes they'll find a good equilibrium moving forward.

    “Miss America has always been about cultivating that balance between inner and outer beauty,” said Collins.


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  • 06/05/18--18:00: Special Rescue For Turtle
  • TOWN OF ALGOMA (WTAQ)- Winnebago County Sheriff's Department rescued a turtle from a window well in Algoma.

    Officials say they pulled the turtle out and released it back to the water.

    Wisconsin DNR says turtles are vulnerable to being hit by cars as females move on to land to lay eggs.

    Officials say turtles being ran over by vehicles is their leading cause of death.


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  • 06/05/18--19:00: Time To Mow The Lawn
  • GREEN BAY, WI (WTAQ-WLUK)- Reports of uncut grass in residential neighborhoods has become a problem for the City of Green Bay. Now the Department of Public Works is left cleaning up the unsightly mess.

    According to the city's ordinance, grass over nine inches results in crews cutting the grass after giving a 24-hour notice.

    Property owners are given an invoice based on the amount of equipment and time required to complete the work.

    Tony Fietzer, a supervisor for the department, says residents are billed anywhere between $60-65 every 15 minutes.

    "Our city ordinance requires us to cut yards anything over nine inches and we have seen several 100 complaints from residents complaining of other properties that haven't been maintained," says Fietzer. "This time of year with leases coming up and people leaving, they don't take care of it. Or landlords that don't live in the area and they think the tenant is taking care of it and they're not."

    Jack Rougg is one of many residents who is fed up with this ongoing issue.

    He lives next door to a vacant home and says little has been done to maintain the yard since the tenants moved out in December.

    "Because of the fact with mosquitoes and stuff this is just an infestation waiting to happen and I would like to see it gone too," says Rougg.

    While the property owners are ultimately responsible for the maintenance of the landscape, officials from public works say they're hoping residents will step up to make the city a nice place to live for everyone.


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  • 06/06/18--00:30: Strong Efforts To Save Cats
  • OCONTO COUNTY (WTAQ)- Animal Rescuers are working hard to help dozens of cats saved from an Oconto County residence.

    More than 60 cats were rescued from a hoarding situation.

    Wisconsin Humane Society Marketing Coordinator Lori Nachtwey says not only are the cats unhealthy, but many need to help bouncing back socially. 

    "It is taking them that long to understand and trust and human person again to act like a cat."

    The cats are being tested for ringworm, many had infections and some had missing eyes.

    Nachtwey says if one cat has ringworm, it is so contagious that all of the cats will have to be treated.

    "Almost all of them had upper respiratory infections. We found ear mites and skin conditions." 

    Of the 42 cats that the Wisconsin Humane Society has rescued, they say they are with them for the long haul, no matter how long that takes to get them in a safe home.

    "We do not ever euthanize for lack of time or space," Nachtwey said. "We will keep them as long as it takes."

    She expects that some of the cats will transition to a forever home by going to a foster family first. 

    Based on the circumstances, Oconto County Sheriff, Ed Janke, says he does not believe there will be any charges filed by the district attorney's office.


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    GREEN BAY, WI (WTAQ)- Despite the moderate temperatures, today is Heat Awareness Day in Wisconsin.

    It may not be hot just yet, but today is a day that Wisconsin Emergency Management wants to you to prepare for what is to come.

    "People need to be aware of the signs of things like heat stroke or heat exhaustion. If they sweating heavily or feel week or if their skin is cold and pale, they need to seek medical attention, get to someplace cool and stay hydrated."

     

    Andrew Beckett, Spokesperson for Wisconsin Emergency Management says monitoring conditions and activity will help keep you safe.

    "You need to really pay attention to what you are doing if you are spending time outside."

    He says that includes drinking plenty of water, even when you don't feel thirsty. 

    "Even if you are spending time indoors, if it is hot inside, keep an eye whether or not you are staying hydrated. Watch if you are sweating too much, or if you are not sweating at all, that is also reason to be concerned."

    He says it is also important to check on friends and family.

    "If you have neighbors who are elderly or have mobility issues, it is important to check on them."

    In the last five years, heat related conditions have claimed the lives of 39 people in Wisconsin. Staying cool and staying hydrated will help you stay safe.


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  • 06/06/18--02:01: Power Play Moving Ahead
  • TOWN OF TWO CREEKS, WI (WTAQ-WLUK) - Wisconsin Public Service is teaming up with Madison Gas and Electric to operate two solar energy facilities, including one along the Lakeshore.

    The proposed site is located in the towns of Two Creeks and Two Rivers, just south of the Point Beach Nuclear Plant.

    On a field of last season's corn, sits an area that could be filled with thousands and thousands of silver and blue panels similar to these, pointed toward the sky.

    "As the sun shines, the panels collect the energy," said Wisconsin Public Service spokesman Matt Cullen.

    "It would go right out onto the electric grid and be provided to our customers."

    Utility companies Madison Gas and Electric and WEC Energy Group, through its subsidiary, WPS, filed an application last week with the Public Service Commission of Wisconsin to build a $390 million solar energy project on two sites in the state.

    Cullen tells FOX 11...."This is our first acquisition of a solar generation facility of this scale."

    The Two Creeks site would cover about 1,300 acres and is expected to generate 150 megawatts, which is enough to power about 41,250 homes a year.

    Wisconsin Public Service officials expect the solar energy facilities to last about 30 years, and over that time customers could save $100 million.

    And, Cullen says, there's more.

    "In combination with the retirement of less efficient older generation, it will actually result in a decline of about one percent for WPS customer bills in the first year of operation at both facilities."

    The project is in its early stages. The chairman of the Town of Two Creeks says the proposal drew no opposition at the town's annual meeting in April.

    In the meantime, construction on the Two Creeks site is scheduled to begin in August 2019, with a completion date about a year later.

    "We feel that this an excellent way to meet their needs, meet their demand especially during those summer times of peak demand," Cullen said.

    The second facility, the Badger Hollow Solar Farm, will be located in southwestern Wisconsin west of Dodgeville.


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  • 06/06/18--02:03: Pint Sized Philanthropist
  • NEENAH, WI (WTAQ-WLUK) - With IV bags, needles, and countless equipment, hospitals can be a scary site for kids, but 5-year-old Ella Bast of Combined Locks is doing something to hopefully help.

    "I'm giving the little sick boys and girls some presents," Bast told FOX 11.

    Ella donated all her birthday gifts to Thedacare Regional Medical Center in Neenah Tuesday.

    Mom Tracey Bast says Ella's inspiration came after seeing how something as small as a sippy cup helped comfort her little sister in the emergency room.

    "She said 'hey mom I think I wanna give all my birthday gifts to the sick kids at the hospital and make them feel like Avery'."

    Ella raised about $2,000 to buy more gifts.

    "She handpicked everything out herself at Target. She took everything off the shelf and put it in the cart, and we were probably at Target close to 3 hours," Bast explained.

    Ella said they bought "some Legos, dolls, clothes, minions, and blankets."

    Nurses told FOX 11, Ella's presents will help comfort and calm kids at the hospital.

    "Really an incredible gift to our department and I think the kids in the future will really enjoy what she did as well," said ThedaCare nurse, Maddie Arnoldussen.

    And in return, the ThedaCare Family of Foundation awarded Ella a $1,000 scholarship for academics.

    "The funds were available to do something special for her and it’s a way for us to recognize future community leaders and philanthropist," explained ThedaCare Philanthropy Vice President, Courtney Weiland.

    Bast hopes the scholarship will inspire Ella to go to school and become a better leader than she already is

    Ella is already talking about doing another round of donations for her birthday next year.


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    DE PERE, WI (WTAQ-WLUK) - The goats at the De Pere Greenwood cemetery aren't there for leisure, they're on the job.

    "The cemetery can't mow or get to the steep bank down to the river. So, the sheep and goats can run right along there."

    Ben Robel is the Owner of Vegetation Solutions, a company that rents livestock for vegetation removal.

    In this case, he tells FOX 11 it's an invasive species called Buckthorn.

    "Buckthorn doesn't have a natural predator. It's from Europe. There's nothing to eat it, or control it from spreading."

    The plant has taken over the banks of the Fox River belonging to the cemetery, away from the main graveyard.

    It just so happens the cemetery hired the perfect four-legged animal for the task.

    "The Buckthorn is more nutritious than the grass," said Robel.

    "They'll go after what's the most nutritious plant first. So, they will eat Buckthorn before grass."

    He says the animals provide an environmental-friendly way of ridding the invader.

    "It's chemical-free, a natural way of controlling vegetation. With being so close to the river, the residue of a chemical would just run-off into the river."

    Robel says it's not a long process.

    "In a few days, they'll have this completely denuded, all of the vegetation."

    And while it may not be something you see every day. Robel says it's simply another way of managing unwanted invaders in your yard.


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    ALLOUEZ, WI (WTAQ-WLUK) - Village of Allouez leaders say they were unaware of a plan to help the homeless in their community.

    16 Green Bay area churches are taking week-long turns hosting the homeless for overnights during the summer.

    Allouez leaders say for safety reasons, they should have been notified that two churches in the village are taking part in the program.

    For two weeks in mid-May, Resurrection Catholic Church averaged 10 homeless people sleeping in its church each night.

    “They would sit out here and they just said this is such beautiful grounds, we really appreciate being able to be here, thank you so much,” said Sheila DeLuca, Pastoral Associate and Family Life Director for Resurrection Church.

    But Brad Lange, Allouez Village Administrator, tells FOX 11...

    “I live five houses from Resurrection, I didn't even know it was taking place."

    Lange says the village found out Resurrection was hosting the homeless from the fire department. The fire department found out while responding to two medical calls, on back to back nights.

    “The fire department goes in not knowing that you walk into a facility thinking it's probably vacant to find that there are additional people there.”

    "We've had overnight guests on many occasions for youth retreats and adult retreats that spent the night," said DeLuca.

    "We've had pilgrims come through and we never thought to call the fire department so maybe that's a new procedure we'll have to keep in mind if it would be helpful."

    St John Homeless Shelter and the Micah Center helped organize the rotation of hosting churches, so the homeless would have somewhere to stay during St John's six-month offseason.

    St John Homeless Shelter and Micah Center Executive Director Alexia Wood explained the program to Allouez's Village Board.

    “We certainly are encouraged that together we can find a solution that works for everybody and then also gives hope to those homeless brothers and sisters and lets them know that they have an entire community cheering for them and caring for them.”

    “It's a good thing, a really good thing,” said Lange. “It's just a matter of communication and making sure we can all work with each other.”

    Both sides plan to meet next week to further discuss a plan going forward.

    St. Matthew Catholic Church is Allouez's other participating parish. It plans to host the homeless for a week later this summer.

    There are 16 churches, from seven denominations, in the program in Brown County.


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  • 06/06/18--03:16: Shot Fired, One Arrest
  • GRAND CHUTE, WI (WTAQ) - No one hurt after a fight between two women in Grand Chute.

    It happened around 8:30 last night in a parking lot in the 600 block of N. Westhill Boulevard.

    Police say a 40-year-old woman fired a handgun into another women's vehicle.

    She wound up being arrested in Winnebago County.

    She's facing charges including endangering safety, disorderly conduct and carrying a concealed weapon.

    Anyone with information can call the Grand Chute Police Department at 920-832-1575.


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    STURGEON BAY, WI (WTAQ-WLUK)- A federal tip from officials in Miami resulted in $25,000 dollars worth of cocaine and marijuana from a Sturgeon Bay residence on Tuesday.

    Authorities executed a search warrant at the Sturgeon Bay residence.

    The tip came in last month that Border Patrol in Miami had intercepted a package with a large amount of cocaine being sent from overseas Sturgeon Bay.

    Door County deputies say approximately seven ounces of cocaine and more than three pounds of marijuana was seized.

    Two people were taken into custody.

    Bond was set at $15,000 cash for each. Formal initial appearances are scheduled for Monday, according to the clerk’s office.


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    OCONTO, WI (WTAQ)- An Abrams man accused of sending sexually explicit messages to a 16-year-old girl, was arrested in Oconto County this week.

    Sheriff Officials say the girl's mother turned over the phone on May 31, after her daughter started receiving the messages from 24-year-old Andrew Dellemann.

    From that time on Investigators say they took over communication with the man, acting as the teen girl. 

    Investigators say Dellemann agreed to meet who he thought was the girl, but met up with Sheriff Officials and was taken into custody.

    Delleman was charged with child enticement for allegedly exchanging sexually-explicit messages with a 16-year-old girl, and trying to arrange a meeting for sex.


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  • 06/06/18--15:22: 14th Drunk Driving Charge
  • WAUPACA, WI (WTAQ)- A Waupaca County man has pleaded not guilty after being charged for his 14th drunk driving offense.

    64-year-old Daniel Nordell allegedly hit a mailbox, speed limit sign, and a police vehicle last month in Farmington.

    A preliminary breath test showed a BAC of .17 percent, which is more than double the usual legal limit.

    Nordell was sentenced to three years in prison after his last drunk driving conviction in 2006

    He could be facing 15 years in prison and a $50,000 dollar fine if convicted.


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    BIRNAMWOOD, WI (WTAQ)- Law Enforcement responded to what ended up being a fake threat in Shawano County.

    Sheriff Officials received a phone call that threatened violence against some residents in Birnamwood, and made demands that needed to be met to avoid the violent action.

    Officials determined the threat to be fake, but it is not known if anyone is in custody.


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  • 06/06/18--17:00: Wolf-Dog Back With Owner
  • GREEN BAY, WI (WTAQ)- An animal that is believed to be a wolf hybrid, has been returned to its owner.

    The animal was seized by Green Bay Police after it bit a 5-year-old girl.

    Police Captain Kevin Warych said the quarantine period ended.

    "After the time had elapsed, we are pending the results of the DNA test, so the dog is now in the hands of the owner."

    The owner, Brian Schoen, was issued multiple citations, including animal bite and keeping an exotic animal, because he identified the animal as a wolf-dog hybrid, and keeping such an animal is against city ordinance.

    Test results still have to confirm what kind of animal it is.


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    LITTLE CHUTE, WI (WTAQ)- An employee of the Little Chute Area School District is on administrative leave due to a personnel matter.

    The district has not released much information other than that they were made aware of an alleged incident on Monday that took place off school grounds but did involve one of their employees. 

    The district says it is cooperating with law enforcement in the investigation.


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  • 06/06/18--21:19: Waters Too Low For Sharks
  • SHAWANO, WI (WTAQ)- The highly anticipated Shawano Ski Shark water ski season is starting on a low note.

    Dave Passehl of the Ski Sharks says that because the waters on the Wolf River are so low, they have to make adjustments to keep everyone safe. 

    "One of the first questions we had is can we safely pull our boats through the shallow water? Secondly, what if someone falls in the shallow water?"

    As the season gets underway for the Ski Sharks, Passehl says they have to adjust their program until the water goes up.

    "Around our dock is two and a half feet deep, which is an unsafe level for a lot of the big stuff we do. If you can imagine falling from the top of a pyramid into the shallow water, you have a huge chance of hitting the bottom and having a significant injury."

    Since the summer season started Memorial Day weekend, many water enthusiasts have noticed the lower levels, and some have wrecked their boats with realizing how low the water is.

    Passehl spent time over the holiday weekend, helping to pull boats off of unexpected sandbars. He says he even witnessed some scary situations.

    "We witnessed a skier hit a sandbar that is not normally there, and actually fall flat on her face."

    The early season for the Shawano Ski Sharks water ski team will start smaller than expected.

    "Our already shallow ski site is even more shallow because of this ridiculous water level. We are using smaller acts to start the season."

    The Ski Sharks also compete at the state level later in the summer. Passehl is worried that if the water is not raised in enough time for them to practice a full routine, they may not be able to go to competition this year. 

    Even though the Ski Sharks bring excitement once a week and bring in a large crowd, Passehl says the big issue is not just with the water ski team. 

    "This is about the recreation of Shawano where we are seeing half the water traffic on a holiday weekend. This is about a lower number of boat rentals or people damaging their boats because they are not expecting the water to be low, and most importantly this is about the chance of people being hurt.

    The DNR decided to lower the water level based on a study.

    Water management groups and elected officials are trying to get them to change their mind.

     


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    GREEN BAY, WI (WTAQ)- Green Bay Police will soon turn their focus to the parks as the Green Bay Safe Park initiative kicks off next week. 

    "Collectively, we can make Green Bay a great place to live."

    Police Captain Kevin Warych says bad behavior can take place in parks, but it is important to keep parks as focal parts of the community.

    To do that, officers will be on foot patrol. 

    "We as a police department want to make sure we are in those parks making sure everyone is behaving, and if they are not, we want to make sure we tell them that their unacceptable behavior is not tolerated."

    Recent efforts to do that have been made at Seymour Park.

    "We have had our fair share of problems at Seymour Park recently, but those community policing officers in that district have done remarkable things by taking back that park."

    Warych says the whole idea is to make sure officers are in the parks

    The initiative kicks off on June 12. 

    The Police Department will have a community walk to kick off the event from 1:00 p.m to 4:00 p.m.

     

     

     


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