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Northeast Wisconsin's local news coverage.

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    APPLETON, WI (WTAQ-WLUK) - An Appleton woman was arrested in connection with the death of her 13-year-old daughter last year.

    37-year-old Nicole Gussert has not been formally charged.

    Police say they are recommending a charge of neglect causing death.

    On May 29, 2017, police were called to a home on Winnebago Street for the death of a 13-year-old girl with special needs.

    After police saw conditions inside Gussert's home, Outagamie County Child Protective Services and the city of Appleton Health Department were called.

    It's been more than a year since 13-year-old Brianna Gussert's death.

    "She was born with a chromosome deficiency, but she didn't let anything hold her back," Brianna's father, Greg Gussert, explained.

    Greg remembers Brianna's love for the Brewers and Packers.

    "She knew the difference when the Packers were playing and when a different team was playing. She'll look at you and be like 'why aren't you changing the channel'," said Greg.

    But on May of last year, Greg unexpectedly had to say goodbye to his little girl.

    "I immediately thought it was a bad dream and really kind of hit me there," said Greg.

    Greg initially thought the death of his daughter was due to medical reasons.

    Autopsy results determined Brianna died because she wasn't getting necessary care for her medical conditions.

    Sgt. Dave Lund with the Appleton Police Department tells FOX 11 Brianna was living with Greg's ex-wife, Nicole Gussert, at the time.

    He says when officers arrived at Nicole's home for a welfare check....

    "They knew that the conditions in the home were not really sanitary; they started to see things in the room of this 13-year-old special needs child that caused them immediate concern."

    Police arrested Nicole Friday morning and are recommending a charge of Neglect Causing Death.

    Greg told FOX 11, he moved out from Nicole's place 2 years ago and was unaware of the living conditions.

    At the time, Greg had custody of one of their children, while Nicole had custody of the other two, including Brianna.

    "I'm happy that, something is finally being done."

    Greg calls it one step toward closure and hopes people remember Brianna for who she was.

    Greg said he now has custody of his 2 other children.

    A court date for Nicole has not yet been scheduled.


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    ONEIDA, WI (WTAQ-WLUK) - An event in Oneida celebrated Wisconsin's agricultural history while also looking toward the future.

    "Growing Our Future Agricultural Expo" educated people on industrial hemp with guest speakers, hemp products, and hands-on learning.

    Officials wanted to use the expo to bring awareness to the uses of industrial hemp as some farmers in Wisconsin gets ready to start growing it.

    Kyle Turley, a guest speaker on CBD oil, tells FOX 11 this was a life saver...

    "This saved my life period. There's nothing I can say other than that, nobody can take that from me. My cannabis use, hemp, full plant etc. the whole thing is very real and the science is there to back it. It's not my story, I'm just trying to bring education and information that has already been funded by our government long ago to the people."

    The free expo also featured family activities, food vendors, live music, and 4-H garden tours.


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    APPLETON, WI (WTAQ-WLUK) - Appleton celebrated its 68th annual Flag Day parade Saturday.

    It's recognized as the oldest flag day parade in the nation.

    A new forever stamp was dedicated before the parade, to celebrate the 200th anniversary of the Flag Act.

    Attendees got to take a piece of that history home.

    Sean Hargadon, with the U.S. Postal Service, tells FOX 11 what it meant to the community.

    "They're very touched, they're really moved by the idea that we decided to do this with them. But it was a joint effort, we worked together on it, we did our research, we got together with their local officials and everybody's worked really well together but they're very excited by this- not only this but what's coming later, the parade itself."

    The theme of the event was "stars and stripes forever" and honored the U.S. Army.


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  • 06/10/18--07:26: Death Investigation
  • TWO RIVERS, WI (WTAQ-WLUK) - A 52-year-old man died, in Two Rivers, Saturday morning.

    The Two Rivers Police Department said officers went to a home on the south side of Two Rivers for a report of an unconscious man around 5:30 a.m.

    When they arrived at the home, officials said the 52-year-old didn't have a pulse and wasn't breathing.

    Officials tried to resuscitate the man but he died.

    It's unclear why he died and the police department is investigating.


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  • 06/10/18--07:27: Crash Investigation Underway
  • OSHKOSH, WI (WTAQ-WLUK) - One person is dead after a helicopter crashed into the Fox River, in Oshkosh, Saturday afternoon.

    The pilot was identified as 27-year-old Jonathan Bahr, from Platteville.

    Multiple eyewitnesses tell FOX 11 they saw the helicopter hit power lines and crash into the river around 12:30 pm.

    The Winnebago County Sheriff's Department confirmed that the crash occurred east of the Wisconsin Street bridge.

    During a news conference Saturday, an official tells FOX 11...

    "It happened very quickly and we have several witnesses that all saw the same thing happen very, very fast and until we get down there we can't confirm any of that."

    This video shows the helicopter being removed from the river Saturday evening.

    Just after 4:30 p.m., a dive team entered the water.

    Officials said power lines in the water made it difficult at first and power officials had to make it clear the power lines weren't live.

    A little after 7 p.m. the helicopter was pulled from the river and officials said they recovered a body. Officials do not believe anyone else was in the helicopter.

    The FAA and the NTSB are in charge of the investigation.


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    SHAWANO, WI (WTAQ)- Shawano County Sheriff Adam Bieber urged all six public school districts in the county to apply for the state's School Safety Grant, and his plea was heard.

    Bowler, Bonduel, Shawano, Gresham, Wittenberg-Birnamwood and Tigerton School Districts all applied for the grant before last week's deadline.

    Bieber says it is important, because the county is not immune to dangerous threats. 

    "Anywhere USA it can happen" says Bieber.

    That point was made this last school year, after the sheriff's department responded to two school shooting threats in the Shawano School District.

    Bieber says while what happened in Shawano was scary and alarming, some good came from it.

    "This gave us the opportunity to talk about our security, find out what our weaknesses are and where we can improve, and that is what we should be talking about."

    More importantly, Bieber said it got the discussions going, and in the end, turned into action.

    "That is our worse case scenario, so we want to make sure we can prevent that from happening, and this is first step in that process."

    Bieber says the districts all plan to take a similar safety precaution. 

    "Putting 3M material on the windows, which is a great step to prevent people for easily breaking through windows, and it buys law enforcement time."

    He says he would also like to see all schools have one single secure point of entrance and have all other doors locked and not be opened. 

    Once the money is granted, the districts will get to decide how to spend it. Bieber says that should open up more discussion.

    "Parents should demand it. They should be in contact with their school board. That is what I hope as Sheriff. We can't stop everything, but at least we should take steps for prevention."

    No matter how the money is spent, Bieber says some action is better than no action.

    "There is never going to be one hundred percent guarantee, so that is why you look for a bunch of options, and that is what this money does."


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    GREEN BAY, WI (WTAQ-WLUK) - Green Bay is preparing to unveil a revamped plan for its proposed Shipyard District.

    When the Green Bay Bullfrogs announced in February that they're moving to Ashwaubenon, the city had to go back to the drawing board for its Shipyard project.

    On Tuesday, the city will unveil what it came up with to the Redevelopment Authority.

    Per the project’s development agreement, an athletic venue is still the centerpiece of the proposal to redevelop longtime vacant, 16-acre property next to the Mason Street Bridge.

    However, Green Bay Alderman Randy Scannell tells FOX 11 plenty has changed from the previous plan that included baseball and the Green Bay Bullfrogs.

    “It's a plan that will get the ball rolling. It's got a lot of nice features to it and it has the potential for growth.”

    The $10 million plan includes an artificial turf field for soccer, football, rugby, and lacrosse.

    There would be grass berm seating to accommodate 2,000 people for sporting events. Concerts, festivals, and other community events could hold 8,000 people.

    “A little more natural, laid back, but if a bigger team comes in, wants to do a stadium kind of thing, the potential is there to do that,” said Scannell.

    Like the old plan, the new one includes a public path, along with a floating dock for boaters and an accessible kayak launch.

    New for this plan, an urban beach, children's playground, and splash pad are included.

    Scannell also says permanent and/or seasonal structures will also be on site that entrepreneurs will be able to use to test out their business possibilities.

    “The idea was just to have a small area for people, like if someone wants to start an ice cream shop. We want people to be coming down from Broadway.”

    One thing the new plan doesn't have is a partner to help pay for the project.

    In the old plan, the Bullfrogs were going to kick in more than $4 million with a lease agreement. As it stands now, the city would kick in $9.5 million of the expected $10 million price tag.

    “There are other options out there and there are other pro leagues if you will that are out there that I think we can garner,” said Mark Steuer, the president of the city council.

    The city is counting on a $500,000 grant from the Professional Football Stadium District Board for the project, but the board could still try to pull that grant back now that the proposal has been re-tooled.

    The city's Redevelopment Authority takes up the project's development agreement on Tuesday.

    The city is also still planning to spend $1 million to upgrade homes in the neighborhood west of the Shipyard site if the project moves ahead.


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    APPLETON, WI (WTAQ-WLUK) - Food, fun, music, and poetry... that's what Sunday's Juneteenth celebration offered in Appleton.

    The 9th annual event was held at City Park.

    Juneteenth commemorates the end of slavery in the United States.

    Bola Delano-Oriaran, co-founder of African Heritage Inc., tells Fox 11..

    "In this present day and time, with all the inequalities and prejudice that we continue to see in our society with racial hostility, it is important for our community to come together to support issues that are relevant to black folks or African-Americans."

    Oriaran went on to say the event is also a way for people of all races to come together and talk to each other.

    Juneteenth is usually celebrated on June 19 but African Heritage Inc., which runs the event, decided to celebrate this weekend.


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    GREEN BAY, WI (WTAQ-WLUK) - It's a home that's hard to miss with its goal post mailbox and Packers decor.

    Inside, lies a huge collection of Packers memorabilia all belonging to 91-year-old Chet Kukla.

    "I got a lot of stuff. I don't know if it's worth anything, but it's worth something to me, you know," said Kukla.

    His photo will also soon become a part of Packers history.

    A picture of Kukla, and family friend Pat Bake, won this year's 'Packers Ticket Takeover' contest.

    "I picked up Chet, it was a surprise 90th birthday party for my mother-in-law," explained Paul Kolbach.

    Kolbach tells FOX 11 he submitted the photo of the two.

    "He was giving her a hug, and wishing her the best. Because he is 91, and she is 90. It was a kind of special photograph."

    Born and raised in Green Bay, Kukla's tells FOX 11 his love for the green and gold dates to the Curly Lambeau days.

    "When the Packers played on the east side, I used to jump over the fence. I'd go to the ball game, cheating a little bit. "That's when I really got involved in the Packers."

    Kolbach says Bake has yet to miss a Packers game.

    "She can't go to the games anymore because she has Multiple Sclerosis, but she just loves watching the game."

    Their faces will soon to be printed on nearly 80,000 Packers tickets.

    Kukla says the surprise still hasn't fully sunk in.

    "They picked me, I don't know, I can't understand it."

    You can catch Kukla's photo printed on the Packers-Lions ticket.

    That game is scheduled for December 30.


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    KAUKAUNA, WI (WTAQ-WLUK) - A 22-year-old Berlin woman was arrested after police say she burglarized a Kaukauna bar early this morning.

    Cops were called to the Roundabout Bar at 110 County Road KK around 5:30 for a burglary in progress.

    An upstairs tenant of the bar heard noises in the bar and called 911.

    Deputies arrived on scene and saw a woman running away from the bar.

    They picked her up shortly after that.

    Authorities are recommending charges of burglary, resisting arrest and damage to property.


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  • 06/11/18--13:59: Former Officer Sentenced
  • GREEN BAY, WI (WTAQ)- A former Menominee tribal police officer was sentenced to 15 years in federal prison for having sexual social media contact with a teenage girl.

    Basil O'Kimosh pleaded guilty to the charges.

    Reports indicate that O'Kimosh attempted to get nude photos of the girl after making contact with her on Facebook.

    The girl told police that the conversations continued even when O'Kimosh learned that she was just 15-years-old.

    O'Kimosh admitted to sending sexual pictures but denied having the girl perform any sex acts on him.

    On Monday, he was also sentenced to eight years of supervised release.


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  • 06/11/18--14:01: No Wolf In Biting Dog
  • GREEN BAY, WI (WTAQ)- Green Bay Police say the animal that bit a five-year-old child last month, was not a wolf-hybrid.

    The dog was returned to its owner after a ten-day quarantine, but test results were not in at the time.

    Police officials also say that the citation that the owner received for keeping and the exotic animal is expected to be dismissed.


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    OSHKOSH, WI (WTAQ-WLUK)- Former University of Wisconsin Oshkosh Chancellor Richard Wells and Vice Chancellor Thomas Sonnleitner pleaded not guilty in Winnebago County Court Monday morning to all counts of misconduct in office.

    The two are charged with five criminal counts alleging they improperly managed university funds for five development projects related to the university.  After years in higher education, Wells and Sonnleitner, have been reduced to defending their reputations in court.

    The state filed criminal charges after its investigation into the financial relationship between UW-Oshkosh and the private non-profit UW-Oshkosh Foundation.

    Wells and Sonnleitner are accused of making financial guarantees they didn't have the authority to make.

    The defendants' lawyers filed a motion to dismiss the charges.

    “The motion challenges the complaint as lacking sufficient facts to show knowledge as is required under the misconduct in public statute and also raises some constitutional vagueness,” said Ray Dall’Osto, Wells’ attorney.

    Between 2012 and 2016 the foundation set up five limited liability companies to fund, among other things, the development of the Oshkosh Sports Complex that includes Titan Stadium, and the Alumni Welcome and Conference Center.

    But according to court documents Wells and Sonnleitner in their roles with the university "knowingly and without lawful authority signed loan guarantees on behalf of the UW-Oshkosh Foundation."

    When the foundation couldn't make loan payments, that ultimately created millions of dollars in debt for state taxpayers.

    “All of this was for the purposes of the university, the university structure, its mission and its student body,” said Dall’Osto.

    Neither Wells nor Sonnleitner are accused of profiting in any way.

    The defense moved quickly to enter pleas, which allows them to now get a look at the thousands of pages of documents the state has compiled to make its case.

    Wells and Sonnleiter declined to comment after court but were greeted with hugs by a couple well-wishers as they headed out of the courthouse.

    “This has been very painful for them. It has hurt their reputations but there's a lot of supporters,” said Dall’Osto.

    Both men will be back in court December 10 for a status hearing. Defense attorneys asked for the most amount of time possible to review all the documents they are expected to receive from prosecutors.


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  • 06/11/18--19:00: Ground Breaking Moment
  • OSHKOSH, WI (WTAQ-WLUK) - Ground was broken at the site of the future Oshkosh Corporation Monday.

    "Our heart has always been here, and I'm glad that it all worked out," said Oshkosh Corporation President, Wilson Jones.

    With shovels in hand, the new four-story, 190,000 square foot building is underway.

    Jones says it won't just be the employees that benefit from the new building.

    "We're building it for some growth, capacity to grow," he said. "But we're also building it, as basically an institution that our corporation can benefit from."

     That includes the Oshkosh community.

    The first floor of the building will consist of a room for the community.

    "The first floor is going to be community focused," Wilson continued. "We're going to have a large conference space that can seat up to 300 people."

    The plans also include a jogging trail nearby. To build the new headquarters, the city council had to decide to do away with the existing golf course.

    It comes after several concerns were raised on the decision to do away with Lakeshore Golf Course.

    "The whole idea was, do we want to have that presence in the community (Oshkosh Corporation)? And I think the answer was resounding, a yes," said Mark Rohloff, Oshkosh City Manager. 

    In an effort to keep the corporation in Oshkosh, the city approved selling a portion of the property to the company.

    The deal to sell the lakeshore property for $35 million was voted on by the common council last November.

    "The city and the leadership of the city, the city council, recognized and realized the need and value of retaining a fortune 500 company," explained Rohloff.

    As for what's next, Rohloff says there will be plans to build on the remaining golf course land.

    "The community is really going to have ownership in what ultimately becomes part of the rest of the lakeshore site," he said.

    The new building is expected to be completed next fall.


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    GREEN BAY, WI (WTAQ)- As President Trump meets with North Korea leader Kim Jong Un in Singapore, Congressman Mike Gallagher remains skeptical that a good outcome will take place, but says that is not because of President Trump.

    "We hold all the cards here. We can step away from the table if we feel that they are not serious."

    Congressman Gallagher says he feels President Trump will have to make that decision.

    "If President Trump is able to flush out Kim Jong Un, and identify that he is not serious, then we have to be able to walk away."

    He says the Iran deal where the Obama Administration was unwilling to walk away because they desperately wanted a deal is something that he hopes the US learned from.

    He says deal or no deal, he hopes to learn North Korea's intentions.

    "If we can just get an understanding as to if North Korea is serious about denuclearization, or what they mean by desecularization, that would be helpful."

    It's the first time that any President has met the leader of North Korea.

     

     


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    APPLETON, WI (WTAQ-WLUK)- An Appleton mother has been formally charged in connection with the death of her 13-year old daughter.

    Nicole Gussert appeared in Outagamie County court Monday afternoon.  

    Emotional and in tears, Greg Gussert listened to details that may have led to his daughter's death.

    "Some of the worse news I've ever heard. It's unbelievable what she had to go through," Greg told FOX 11.

    Police say her daughter died in May of last year.

    Greg's ex-wife, Nicole Gussert, is charged with one count of Child Neglect Causing Death to 13-year-old Brianna Gussert. Nicole also faces 3 counts of Possession with Intent to Deliver Amphetamine.

    "Her daughter had a significant health issue, she was unable to walk, talk, to care for herself at all and functioned much like an infant," Outagamie County District Attorney, Melinda Tempelis, said during court.

    According to the criminal complaint, Brianna had severe health issues that required constant care. The document says Nicole did not do that.

    "She does not recall the last time she fed her. She does not recall the last time she changed her diaper. She had not been bathed in over a week. She had not been cared for or checked on," said Tempelis.

    Tempelis said Nicole was unsure when she last saw Brianna, during Memorial weekend. When law enforcement came to Nicole's home, due to a welfare check, they said they were immediately concerned with the poor living conditions.

    "It is completely unfit for habitation for anyone and over the course of that weekend," Tempelis said.

    The criminal complaints says Brianna had infections caused by unsanitary conditions and died primarily of sepsis. According to the document, the skin in Brianna's diaper area was also reaching a stage of decomposition. Officials say Brianna's diaper had not been changed in some time.

    "Doctor Kelly indicated that this is not something that would have happened in a 12 hour period, but would have happened in the course of many many," Tempelis said.

    "Attorney Tempilis is correct. but the criminal behavior has not been proven by the state, it's simply allegations," argued State Public Defender, Robert Welygan.

    Greg said it's been over a year since his daughter's death and he's happy to see the case moving forward.

    "We're all heartbroken and it's just like a wound that's being reopened."

    A cash bond of $300,000 is set for Gussert.

    She's due back in court a week from Tuesday.


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  • 06/12/18--00:00: Shawano Calling For The Dogs
  • SHAWANO, WI (WTAQ)- The geese have returned to Shawano, and with that the Park and Rec is ready to roll up their sleeves in attempts to keep their parks clean.

    The Shawano Park and Rec Committee is giving geese a chance with a decision earlier this year to hold of on euthanizing them, and harassing them instead.  Park and Rec Director Matt Hendricks says the success is really going to be dependent on volunteer help.  "Last I heard, five volunteers signed up. The time commitment is very minimal, which  is just walking through a park."  The attempts will include moving around coyotee decoys, using a laser light to scare the geese into the water, and if the city council approves it this week, walking in the parks with leashed dogs.   "Allowing dogs in some of those parks. The idea is that someone walking through with a dog would encourage geese to go back into the water, and if that happens time and time again, maybe they would get the clue."  Hendricks says the problem with the geese comes from the fecal matter left in the park, and while they are changing their approach, the dirty work still needs to be done.   "Really the other response is not just harassing them, but cleaning up what they leave behind."  He says he may have summer staff that would help that as well.  

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    KAUKAUNA, WI (WTAQ-WLUK) - To further conversations about suicide and prevention, a group of local bar owners is helping spread a message of hope to those in their community.

    Marty DeCoster is the owner of Plan B in Kaukauna and tells FOX 11 many times his customers stop in to have a little conversation, especially when they're going through something tough.

    "Bars are a place where people come to be happy and rejoice or if they're depressed they might be drowning they're sorrows. So when a customer walks in you have to treat it with an open mind and give them the most fun and comfort they've been looking for. Actually, we just had a suicide of one of our regular customers and I seen him the night before."

    DeCoster said interacting with customers who have a mental illness is something he deals with often.

    To help raise awareness for the issue, DeCoster has also been using "suicide prevention" cups at his bar which has the Hotline number for Center for Suicide Awareness.

    "Being a bartender for so long I think working together with them was a great idea. We brainstormed a lot of Ideas but the glasses we got with a beer company and it really took off."

    Lori Stisto is a volunteer for the Center for Suicide Awareness and said the cups can be taken home for anyone that needs it.

    "It's just about being aware and helping others and how you can ask the right questions. It doesn't matter where you're from, how old you are, or who you are, mental illness is very strong," she said.

    More than a dozen bars in that area are a part of this effort to raise awareness for this issue and said they hope to tackle it one glass at a time.


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    GREEN BAY, WI (WTAQ) - Green Bay Packaging is planning to more than half-a-billion dollars to build what it says will be the first new paper mill in Wisconsin in 30 years.

    Management says their current 71-year-old facility is outdated and inefficient.

    The new mill will be built on the same site as the current mill and is expected to preserve more than 1,100 jobs.

    The company is hoping to add 200 more jobs over the next few years.

    The new mill will have several environmentally friendly features, with plans calling for the mill to use all recycled paper in its products.

    Green Bay Packaging has also developed plans to use treated wastewater in its production process and not release any wastewater into the Fox River.

    The company also says it will replace its coal-fired boiler with two natural gas boilers to eliminate the use of coal.

    The Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation is working on offering $60 million in state tax credits to Green Bay Packaging.

    Construction is projected to begin in September, with the new mill opening in 2021.

    The company does not expect to have any downtime during construction; once the new facility is ready, production will shift there.

    There has been no decision regarding what to do with the current building.


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  • 06/12/18--15:51: Semi Crash Turns Fatal
  • BROWN COUNTY, WI (WTAQ)- Brown County Sheriff's Department is investigating a one-vehicle fatal accident Tuesday.

    Officials say a semi-tractor trailer was on I-43 north of county road double M. Officials say the vehicle veered off the road and came to a rest in a wood area near the interstate.

    The driver was the only occupant of the vehicle.

    One lane of Interstate 43 was closed while officers investigate the scene of the crash and crews remove the semi.


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