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Northeast Wisconsin's local news coverage.

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    SEYMOUR, WI (WTAQ-WLUK) - Seymour's Lake and Beach has reopened.

    That's a big deal because it had been closed for almost 14 years. The city couldn't staff it with enough lifeguards.

    Even though that'll still be the case, there are some changes.

    Historically, Seymour's Lake has been a place where you could swim, fish, and enjoy the outdoors.

    Long-time resident Barb Luepke tells FOX she remembers what it was like.

    "They used to have concessions stands, they used to have a lot of stuff here."

    Luepke says she's happy that tradition will now continue.

    "When I walked in after they reopened the gates, it looks pristine. They've done a really good job."

    The man-made lake reopened Memorial Day weekend.

    Seymour Alderman Roger Behnke says it had been closed to the public since 2004.

    "They couldn't find lifeguards consistently. And the board at the time decided that they rather not have swim at your own risk. So, they closed it."

    Behnke says after some push back the city council agreed to bring back the lake....under the conditions, that it would be 'swim at your own risk.'

    He says the work to restore the area began last fall.

    "During that time weeds grew up and it became a pond, not a lake. Our public works department came down and at that point took care of all the tall weeds, cleaned it up a bit."

    And there are some additional features he says they're looking to add.

    "I got an estimate on how much it would be to maybe stock it with some bass or bluegills. So, in the future people can bring their kids here and ice fish in winter."

    Sharing what were her childhood memories at the lake, with her grandkids, Luepke says she hopes it remains around for generations to come

    "We will come here more frequently," she told FOX 11.

    Maintaining the lake and beach area is costing the city around $5,000 a year.


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    GREEN BAY, WI (WTAQ-WLUK) - One of the six men convicted in the 1992 murder of Green Bay paper mill worker Tom Monfils has died.

    FOX 11 reports the state Department of Corrections says 77-year-old Dale Basten died Saturday morning in Outagamie County.

    Basten had been serving a life sentence in prison until he was released last September because of failing health.

    He was then placed at an assisted living center in the Fox Valley, subject to electronic monitoring.

    Basten, Keith Kutska, Rey Moore, Michael Hirn, Michael Johnson and Michael Piaskowski were all convicted in the murder.

    Piaskowski’s conviction was later overturned by a federal judge. The other five all remained in prison until Basten’s release.

    All of the men continue to say they are innocent.

    In November 1992, Monfils was found dead in a paper vat at the James River Mill in Green Bay.

    Monfils' body was found with a rope and weight around his neck, with a broken jaw and fractured skull.


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  • 06/25/18--14:01: Waupaca County House Fire
  • TOWN OF LEBANON, WI (WTAQ) - A home in Waupaca County was destroyed by fire today.

    Crews arrived at Town of Lebanon this afternoon.

    The cause of the fire is still under investigation.


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    GREEN BAY, WI (WTAQ-WLUK) - As global trade talks heat up, one of Wisconsin's largest industries are waiting to see where it can do business.

    While cheesemakers across the state took time to celebrate the state’s “Cheese Day”, there was also plenty of talk about how a trade war could impact the state’s $34 billion-a-year dairy industry.

    Green Bay-based Schreiber Foods has yet to see an immediate impact from tariffs.

    “But what's happening is that as other nations start to figure out is this going to be a permanent situation, they're starting to consider other options and that is possibly the biggest threat,” said Mike Haddad, President, and CEO of Schreiber Foods.

    Schreiber is one of the country's largest dairy exporters. It also has plants around the world.

    One possible advantage that Haddad sees is the uncertainty whether tariffs are here to stay.

    “Five percent of all milk or dairy solids that are produced in the United States is exported to feed people around the world, so we're certainly concerned,” said Haddad.

    “We hope the administration hears us, and we recognize fighting for America, we get that, but we certainly don't want to be inhibited or held back in our ability to sell dairy.”

    At Schreiber's headquarters for Cheese Day, Lt. Governor Rebecca Kleefisch says she wants to wait for all trade negotiations to be made.

    “I'm very hopeful that we'll continue to be able to pursue markets, particularly Asia, where we know that our dairy industry has yet to make its full impact.”

    To try to help ensure dairy business sustainability, a state task force is being brought back to look at the challenges facing the industry. It was first formed in 1985.

    “When that happened, after the recommendations from the task force were analyzed and adopted, we saw the dairy industry absolutely soar, that's exactly what we want to see again,” said Kleefisch.

    “They hear us,” said Haddad.

    “They hear us loudly and I know they're speaking loudly to the administration and its desire to go ahead and give America an ability to be competitive around the world, but they don’t harm the dairy industry and all of ag along the way.”

    An announcement on who will be on that task force is expected soon.


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  • 06/25/18--18:52: A Day For The Kids
  • GREEN BAY, WI (WTAQ-WLUK) - Monday was a special day for Green Bay area children.

    Some will argue that everyday is Kid's Day, but in Green Bay it exists.

    Mayor Jim Schmitt came up with the idea to dedicate one day each year to kids.

    "I just love seeing the smiles on the faces, and that the kids know that this is their day, and we appreciate them,” Schmitt said. “You know, we're counting on them for the future of our community and, you know, it's just nice to see them at so many activities, and the businesses that also participate to help celebrate kids in Green Bay. Kids' Day is one of my favorite days of the year."

    The day consisted of fun events and discounts for kids throughout the city.

    Denisha Hogan says it worth it.

    "It's been fun so far, and I'm glad that we came today, and I'm having fun!. I get to play, I get to enjoy myself and have fun with my family."

    Mayor Schmitt says a big question that remains is if it will continue next year.

    After already declaring that he will not seek another term as Mayor, Schmitt says it will be up to the next Mayor to keep it going, and says there is good reason to do so.

    "I hope this lives on. We get 10,000 kids that participate, and I think they look forward to it,” Schmitt said. “I get a lot of nice Thank You emails and letters from the kids, so I hope whoever is mayor of this city continues Kids' Day in the city of Green Bay."


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    PLAINFIELD, WI (WTAQ) - A 23-year-old woman had died from a two-vehicle crash in Plainfield.

    The accident happened on Highway 73 Sunday afternoon.

    Officials say a 24-year-old Oshkosh man was traveling north with the 23-year-old in his vehicle.

    The man crossed the center line and hit a 50-year-old Wautoma man.

    That man was sent to the hospital with serious injuries, his 50-year-old female passenger and the 24-year-old Oshkosh man both had life-threatening injuries. 


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  • 06/25/18--19:30: Shots Fired In Green Bay
  • GREEN BAY, WI (WTAQ) - Green Bay Police responded to shots fired just before 9:00 p.m. Monday.

    Officers were called to the area of Eastman Avenue and St. George Street.

    According to officers on scene, they were able to locate shell casings and other evidence of gun fire.

    No injuries were reported, and the investigation continues.


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    SHAWANO, WI (WTAQ-WLUK) - One of Shawano's well known historical markers starting getting a new look this week.

    The Memorial Park tank project is underway. 

    "We are going to clean it up and make it look very nice."

    Shawano Parks and Rec Artist Tara Kelliher says they finally have good weather to get repaint and restore an old tank that was donated by the VFW in the 1950's.

    While she has worked on other projects, this one stands out.

    "This is not your typical artist's job."

    The color of choice, Tank Drab Green had to be specially ordered to keep the tank authentic.

    "The biggest challenge really is to make sure we're using the right products to make sure that we're considering its significance as a piece of military equipment. And making that historically accurate. That's pretty important to us," said Kelliher.

    The Boys Scouts are helping with the project.

    Sam Edwards says he wants to see the tank live on.

    "I think it is really important to Shawano because it has been here since 1953 and generations have seen that tank."

    Gabe Bohm said he hopes the experience offers memories.

    "When I'm older, I can tell my kids and stuff, that hey, that tank, I helped restore it, I helped paint it and everything."

    The goal is to have it complete for Independence Day in Shawano.

     


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    GREEN BAY, WI (WTAQ-WLUK) - Two years ago, a Green Bay man came to the rescue of a mom and toddler who were being mauled by two pit bulls.

    The action may have saved their lives.

    Now, that man is being nationally recognized with a Carnegie medal.

    The story behind the scar on her 3-year-old son's ear, Alisha White tells FOX 11 is still hard to talk about it.

    "I try not to forget it, but I try not to think about it as much. I'm thankful that he's still here."

    Two summers ago, the two were attacked by a pair of pit bulls.

    It happened off Reber Street in Green Bay, while White and her son were walking back from the park.

    One of the dogs during the attack latched on to a portion of her son's head.

    "Kind of pushed him out of the stroller. So, I took a bag and I hit him. And one of the dogs started attacking him and the other dog jumped on me."

    It was then that nearby neighbor James Williams says he took action.

    "I seen two dogs mauling on this lady and her baby other people just standing around. No one doing anything but yelling."

    So Williams tells FOX 11 he just reacted to the situation.

    "I just started hitting it right in the throat, till I felt it let go, and then it tried to re-grab and I just jerked it. Same with the mom too."

    He is being honored for his life-saving effort with a Carnegie medal.

    The medals are awarded by the Carnegie Hero Fund Commission, to people who have shown extraordinary acts of civilian heroism.

    "It's even better to me that I saved this kid, not the recognition but it's nice to know," said Williams.

    But White says she couldn't think of any other person more deserving of the honor.

    "I appreciate that man a lot because I don't know what would have happened if he never came."

    The medals are awarded to at least 100 people each year throughout the United States and Canada.

    Along with the recognition is also a grant for $5,000.


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    FLORENCE, WI (WTAQ-WLUK) - A crash that killed two 16-year-old girls has Florence County in mourning.

    Two crosses surrounded by flowers and a photo of two best friends sit at a memorial about a mile from Florence County High School.

    Melody Hughey is now coping with the loss of two friends. 16-year-old Paige Raspor and Isabella Burrows.

    “I met Isabella in this parking lot...”

    The girls were killed when the car Burrows was driving hit a tree.

    It happened on County Road N in Commonwealth Township Friday morning around 6:30.

    Hughey tells FOX 11 the friends were on their way to work.

    Many have come to the scene of the accident to leave messages and mementos.

    Hughey says she's still processing everything.

    “I'm talking to friends and trying to keep my mind off it. It's hard to because they were a big part of my high school career,” Said Hughey. “It's hard to think when I go back to school they're not going to be there.”

    Faculty at the school is encouraging students to get help from the school psychologist, at local churches or with human services in Florence.

    Hughey says once she's ready, she'll seek help dealing with the loss.

    “it's going to be hard for me to walk in that building.”

    For now, she holds on to her memories with the girls.

    “We went to prom together and we danced the night away and we had a blast and they’re really going to be missed in this community. That was one of those memories I'm just never going to forget. It was dear to my heart because it's the last one I have of them.”

    Florence County is a tight-knit community of 5,000 people, and Hughey says the loss is affecting everyone.


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    LITTLE CHUTE, WI (WTAQ-WLUK) - The representative of a small group of parents made the case Monday night for the Little Chute School superintendent to be fired for his handling of a sexual assault allegation.

    The alleged incident happened nearly 20 years ago to a student. It wasn't reported until 9 years ago.

    While most people, at the Little Chute school board meeting, clapped in support of superintendent David Botz's position, Tia Ramirez tells FOX 11 she wants him fired.

    "He's been the superintendent of my daughter; she's been here for 2 years and I feel like he can't protect her."

    Ramirez told FOX 11, she and a couple of other parents are circulating petitions supporting the termination of the superintendent for the way he handled a sexual assault allegation.

    "I'm blown away that people think that because he was a good guy, that that's a good enough excuse to sweep under the rug what he did. He should have reported and he didn't."

    In 1999, a high school teacher, Jason LaVigne, allegedly sexually assaulted a girl in his class several times.

    However, the girl didn't report the incident to school officials until 2009, when she was 24 years old.

    At Monday night's meeting, Botz explained his reasoning.

    "Regrettably, being that the individual was an adult, I did not view the individual as a minor, which would trigger the mandatory statue to alert authorities about the alleged situation, as the mandatory reporter statue is designed for reports to be made on behalf of children."

    Botz said he viewed the case as a personnel matter.

    "The investigation did not result in any findings, supporting accusations. Once completed, I shared the results with legal counsel and placed the copy in the staff member's personnel file."

    Board members agreed Botz did not violate district policy by not reporting allegations of an adult.

    Dan Valentyn, was the high school principal during the investigation.

    He reminded the public that the decision was not made by Botz alone.

    "At that time, I was on board with the decision. A lot of new information has come to light regarding the 1999 incident and 2009 investigation, but at that time, with the amount of information we had, and advice from legal, we made the call and clearly documented everything related to the decision."

    "The decision process was not the intent to cover up and/or protect the staff member because of a personal relationship with any of us. We simply felt, based on the investigation, at the time, this was the best decision," Valentyn added.

    Ramirez says she'll continue to circulate her petition.


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    MENASHA, WI (WTAQ-WLUK) - An investigation is underway after a motorcycle was damaged in an explosion.

    It happened around 11:30 last night in Menasha.

    Police say it appears an explosive device caused the bike to blow up. It happened in the 500 block of Fifth Street, which is on the city's south side.

    Police also found parts scattered in the roadway, but say no one was injured.

    The Brown-Outagamie County Bomb Squad is helping in the investigation.

    Police say this does not appear to be a random act, and they believe the public is not in danger.

    Anyone with information is asked to call Menasha Police at (920) 967-3500.


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    GREEN BAY, WI (WTAQ) - The Wisconsin Department of Justice announces the Green Bay Area Public School District received a school safety grant for $835,092.

    After several community engagement sessions and opportunities for feedback from students, staff, and parents, the District convened a School Security Committee.

    The committee made up of representatives from education, law enforcement, and the community reviewed all identified concerns and narrowed the scope to determine what would be included in the grant application.

    The District requested funds for security cameras, a video storage server, portable radios, visitor management software and supplies, interior and exterior public address system speakers and supplies, panic buttons for security desks and school offices, emergency management software, trainings (active shooter, trauma-informed care, trauma-sensitive schools and school site security analysis), and 3M Safety and Security window film for identified school doors and windows.

    In a statement Superintendent Michelle Langenfeld said :

    “The safety and well-being of students and staff continue to be our number one priority. We are thankful for this grant award as it provides us with additional funding needed to increase our efforts to enhance already existing safety and security measures. While there is still much more funding needed to address mental health needs, we are very appreciative that the state of Wisconsin has recognized this critical first step.”

    The District submitted the grant in early June.


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  • 06/26/18--11:21: Change At The Top For Bellin
  • GREEN BAY, WI (WTAQ) - The president and CEO of Bellin Health says he will retire later this year.

    George Kerwin joined Bellin in 1971 starting out as the director of housekeeping and admissions.

    He became senior vice president and COO in 1986 and then president and chief executive officer in 1992.

    During his time at Bellin, Kerwin saw growth in the region's heart and vascular programs, the creation of the Bellin Health Foundation and the addition of Bellin Psychiatric Center, Oconto Hospital & Medical Center, Bellin FastCare and others.

    “It will be difficult to leave this healthcare system after being part of such a tremendous period of growth. But I leave knowing that Bellin Health is in good hands with Chris in the lead role and a strong leadership team that’s in place.”

    The Bellin Health System Board of Directors say Chris Woleske, the current executive vice president and chief operating officer of Bellin Health, will be the next president.

    “Over the past three years, we’ve been working on a succession plan knowing that, at some point, George would decide to retire,” explained Bellin Health Board Chairman Terry Fulwiler.

    “He let us know early this year he would be stepping down at the end of 2018. As we reviewed our plans and discussed whether or not to do an outside search for his replacement, we kept coming back to our belief that the best person for the job was already at Bellin, and that is Chris Woleske.”

    Woleske has been with Bellin Health since 1998, serving in various roles. She has led the acquisition of several specialty practices including Cardiology Associates, Gastroenterology Associates, and NEW ENT; led expansion of Bellin Health services in Oconto, Marinette and was involved in the development of Bellin Health Titletown Sports Medicine & Orthopedics.

    “Being part of the Bellin team and working closely with George has been a tremendous opportunity for me,” Woleske said.

    “I look forward to continuing the strong leadership that George has demonstrated and continue to work toward the Bellin mission to improve the health and well being of every person in our region.”

    Woleske will take officially take over the reins at Bellin Health on October 1st, 2018.


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    GREEN BAY, WI (WTAQ) - Another candidate for Green Bay Mayor made his campaign official.

    County Board Supervisor Patrick Buckley says his focus is largely on infrastructure and a budget that benefits the tax payers of the city.

    "The city, my neighbors, they deserve a Mayor that is going to look at all aspects of the budget to make sure that the budget is being formed and spent appropriately. 

    Buckley said one recent decision that he is against is the wheel tax.

    "The roads need to come out of the property tax that is already being paid," he said. "I think the wheel tax as it sits right now, I have a real issue with because only a small portion of the wheel tax is slated to go towards roads."

    He says road repair is needed.

    "Our roads are horrendous. Take a prioritize what roads need to be done, establish a budget for those roads and go forward."

    So far five candidates have announced a campaign for Mayor.


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    GREEN BAY, WI (WTAQ-WLUK) - A recent event on the Fox River Trail has officers reminding victims to report incidents right away.

    Green Bay Police say a woman reported being lunged at Tuesday morning on the Fox River Trail north of Mason Street, but they did not hear about it until hours after the incident.

    "It didn't get called in until almost 9:00 a.m. After four hours, officers checked the area, but did not come up with anybody."

    Captain John Laux says timely reporting will help them find the person of interest.

    He says the incident is also a reminder to pay attention to what is going on around you.

    "People should always be aware of their environment. Pay attention to what is around you and who is around you."

    Rebekah Veach says she is on the trail quite a bit but is always careful.

    "I have taken a couple of self-defense classes and if I do run alone, I take some pepper spray with me."

    Laux says lighting is important, and one way to stay safe is to use it to your advantage.

    "Once you get into the city, a lot of the ambient light from the city makes it pretty well lit."

     

    The woman told police that the man appeared drunk and while there are very few incidents on the trail, you can never be too careful.


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  • 06/26/18--17:30: New Airport Expansion
  • APPLETON, WI (WTAQ-WLUK) - Since it added more flights late last year, Air Wisconsin's fleet has outgrown its facility at Appleton International Airport.

    So, the airline announced Tuesday it will be building a brand new 30,000 sq. ft. hangar this year at the airport, all so the company can maintain its planes.

    "We actually already have four now, and two of them are being worked on the outside,” Air Wisconsin President & CEO Christine Deister said. “That obviously isn't going to work when the winter weather comes along."

    Plus, 7,000 sq. ft. of office space will be attached to the new hangar.

    This growth will create approximately 80 new jobs at Air Wisconsin over the next six months, helping to boost the local economy

    "These are exactly the kind of careers that we want to keep our young people here in the Fox Cities and in the state of Wisconsin,” Gov. Scott Walker said. “That's really our goal in all of these, whether it's Air Wisconsin or other announcements like this is, 'how do we find more careers to keep our graduates here in the state of Wisconsin and in communities close to areas where they grew up in?"

    The jobs the expansion will generate include highly skilled maintenance planners, aircraft mechanics and aircraft cleaners. Salaries for these jobs, according to Deister, will be around $50,000 and up, depending on the individual's skill set.

    The Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation is also working with Air Wisconsin to potentially offer financial incentives from the state to help fund the expansion project.

    Air Wisconsin contracts with United Airlines to fly United Express flights to 70 cities, many flights to and from Chicago O'Hare.

    For the expansion, the airline hopes to begin in July and be done by the end of 2018.


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    MENASHA, WI (WTAQ-WLUK) - Police in Menasha are investigating an explosion that took place in a residential neighborhood.

    Officers say an explosive device was placed under a motorcycle in front of a residence on the 500 block of Fifth Street late Monday night.

    Community Liaison Officer John Wallschlaeger says they received multiple calls.

    "When officers arrived, they saw all the debris that was laying in the roadway and front yard and saw this motorcycle that was damaged.

    The Outagamie/Brown County Bomb Squad was called in since it was noticed that the explosion did not come from the gas tank.

    Investigators confirmed that a device was used.

    "We do not believe that this was a random act, we believe that it was a targeted incident.

    It is still not known exactly what the device was and why it was placed under the bike.

    Anyone with information is asked to call Menasha Police at (920) 967-3500.


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    GREEN BAY, WI (WTAQ) - The Wisconsin Department of Justice announces the Green Bay Area Public School District received a school safety grant for $835,092.

    After several community engagement sessions and opportunities for feedback from students, staff, and parents, the District convened a School Security Committee.

    The committee made up of representatives from education, law enforcement, and the community reviewed all identified concerns and narrowed the scope to determine what would be included in the grant application.

    Ed Dorff serves on that committee. He says a couple of the items were at the top of the list. 

    "One of the needs that we see is the need for more radios and upgraded radios."

    He says they also have plans to increase the number of security cameras.

    "You want to have your approaches and parking lots covered. Inside, you want to have your hallways and commons areas covered."

    The District also requested funds for a video storage server, visitor management software and supplies, interior and exterior public address system speakers and supplies, panic buttons for security desks and school offices, emergency management software, trainings (active shooter, trauma-informed care, trauma-sensitive schools and school site security analysis), and 3M Safety and Security window film for identified school doors and windows.

    Dorff says the training may be the best use of money.

    "Training is one of those areas where you really get a bang for your buck. Once you train someone in those areas, you can't take that away, it is there."

    In a statement Superintendent Michelle Langenfeld said :

    “The safety and well-being of students and staff continue to be our number one priority. We are thankful for this grant award as it provides us with additional funding needed to increase our efforts to enhance already existing safety and security measures. While there is still much more funding needed to address mental health needs, we are very appreciative that the state of Wisconsin has recognized this critical first step.”

    Dorff says while the equipment is helpful, people still need to trust their gut and use common sense.

    "My concern is that people start to trust these items and get complacent. They can give a false sense of security and I don't want to see that happen."

    The District submitted the grant in early June.


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    GREEN BAY, WI (WTAQ-WLUK) - The drunk driver who crashed into an Ashwaubenon Public Safety officer working a roadside incident was sentenced Tuesday to six months in jail.

    29-year-old Kalin McGuire pleaded no contest to injury by intoxicated use of a motor vehicle for the July 22 incident which injured Officer Brian Murphy, who spent a month in the hospital.

    She was also placed on probation for two years by Brown County Judge Thomas Walsh. Three other counts were dismissed as part of the plea deal.

    According to the criminal complaint, McGuire and her husband were coming home from a wedding reception, with their one-year-old son in the back seat.

    The complaint says at that time, McGuire's blood alcohol level was above the legal limit, at .125.

    At the time of the incident, there were numerous emergency vehicles on the highway with their lights on, assisting at a car fire along the highway.

    In court Tuesday, McGuire addressed the court:

    "I chose to drink and drive and because of that choice Ashwaubenon Public Safety Officer Brian Murphy, a man who has dedicated his life to protect and serve, was injured. Because of my decision to drink and drive, he was left unable to do his job, a job so important and so meaningful that the thought of the lives he could have saved and all the people he could have protected but was unable to because of something I did, pains me."

    Officer Murphy also spoke in court.

    While he says it was one of the worst experiences he and his family have ever gone through, he is happy to be alive.


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