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Northeast Wisconsin's local news coverage.

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  • 06/27/18--02:00: Prison Property Proposal
  • ALLOUEZ, WI (WTAQ-WLUK) - What could replace Green Bay Correctional Institution?

    One vision was shared Tuesday evening with Allouez residents.

    Allouez administrators and elected officials have been pushing the idea of replacing Green Bay Correctional as a way to put the property back on the tax rolls.

    The project development worth $80 million could be built on the 50-acre site if a new prison were built somewhere else.

    Allouez residents packed the village hall to hear from one of their own on what could potentially be built.

    David Robillard is a retired strategic business, land, and facility planner who lives in Allouez.

    He volunteered his services to come up with a detailed conceptual plan for the prison site.

    “I've designed numerous prisons around the country, greenfield sites, renovations for the Department of Homeland Security, for private, federal, county, state, and I know what prisons are all about.”

    In Robillard's plan, the main prison building is the anchor.

    It is nationally recognized as a historic building and must stay. Robillard envisions part of the building be used like a museum to show the history of the prison. He suggests repurposing other parts for retail or restaurant uses, similar to a mall concept.

    All the orange buildings on the plan are new developments, ranging from condos and apartments to a boutique hotel and public event center.

    A central park stretches across the middle of the site, from Webster Avenue to the Fox River Trail.

    “It's very realistic,” said Robillard. “We just brainstormed and the list was fairly extensive.”

    Allouez Village President Jim Rafter tells Fox 11 they didn't plan to have a plan this detailed.

    “We were just going for high-level numbers to help in the whole effect when the governor and state legislators start talking about it in the fall and David says you have to go through the planning process.”

    At first glance, residents like Rich Leick say the plan is much better than the prison.

    “It's a gorgeous piece of property that holds a lot of potential that is being used as a prison.”

    It was stressed at the gathering that Robillard’s plan is only one vision for what could go at the prison site.

    More importantly, those who are on board with the ideas were encouraged to try to convince those at the state level that something needs to happen.

    State Rep. David Steffen tells FOX 11 the timing is good.

    “They are paying attention to what is happening tonight and this summer in Allouez, as they are beginning to make decisions.”

    Decisions will likely start coming after a $660,000 study on the state's correctional facilities is completed.

    It's expected to be done in October.

    A petition is being circulated to show support for a new prison. A potential site for it has not been picked.

    An effort to put a new prison in the current state budget failed.

    According to Steffen, the current prison will need about $200 million in repairs over the next 10 years.


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    MILWAUKEE, WI (WTAQ) -  Freddy Peralta allowed one hit, one walk and struck out 10 over seven scoreless innings as the Brewers beat the Royals 5-1 in Milwaukee. 

    Ryan Braun, Christian Yelich, and Jesus Aguilar homered to account for all the Milwaukee runs.  The Brewers are 4-and-2 in their last six games. 

    The Brewers also have placed outfielder Lorenzo Cain on the 10-day disabled list with a left groin strain.  The Crew recalled outfielder Keon Broxton to fill the roster spot. 

    In other team news, Boone Logan cleared waivers and was officially released.  

    The Brewers and Royals wrap up their brief two-game Interleague series this afternoon at Miller Park. 

    Brent Suter will get the start for Milwaukee.  KC will counter with Danny Duffy. 


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    APPLETON, WI (WTAQ-WLUK) - FOX 11 is reporting an Appleton company was awarded a construction contract from Foxconn.

    The Boldt Company was one of eight Wisconsin companies to receive $14 million worth of contracts today from the Taiwan-based technology group.

    Boldt will be doing architectural work on its $10 billion complex in Mount Pleasant.

    Foxconn will hold its groundbreaking ceremony Thursday.

    The facility will be making advanced liquid crystal display panels for commercial and consumer uses, including televisions.

    The facility is expected to eventually employ as many as 13,000 people.


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    GREEN BAY, WI (WTAQ) - A fire that forced a family from its home was a result of a child playing with a lighter.

    Green Bay Metro Fire was called to the 800 block of Elizabeth Street, on Green Bay's east side, just after 6:15 this morning.

    When crews arrived, they found heavy smoke and fire coming out of a window on the front side of the house.

    Firefighters knocked the fire down from the outside and then finished putting the fire out from inside a bedroom, where a mattress was on fire.

    The family of two adults and four children was awoken by smoke detectors and everyone was able to get out of the house safely before firefighters arrived.

    The family's dog was rescued from the basement.

    No one was hurt in the fire. The Red Cross is helping the family.

    The fire department estimates damages at $50,000.


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    ASHWAUBENON, WI (WTAQ) - Tickets for a popular summer family event went on sale Wednesday.

    Trying to get the best seat available, the first person in line arrived at 5:00 Tuesday night.

    Green Bay area residents Brenda and Karen arrived at 3:00 a.m. and are pros at this.

    They say their friendship began one year while waiting in line.

    "I have been getting tickets for ten years, but we have known each other in line for six," said Brenda.

    "We are all good friends and we sit together every year for Family Night," Karen added.   The two also had to pick up tickets for other family members.   "This is the only time my grandson gets to go to Lambeau so we do it every year."  

    They even found ways to pass the time.  

    "I went to go get coffee and then she went to go get donuts," Karen said.  

    They said the main reason why they got there so early was to make sure that they could all sit together.  

    Not everybody waited long.   Green Bay resident Christopher got there when the window opened a little before 10:00 a.m. but has attended every family night, and would not miss this one.  

    "I think it is the word family. You want to see the kids have fun."  

    He has been to all 17 Family Nights and said he did not need to get there early because tickets have always been available.  

    Family Night is Saturday, August 4.

    Proceeds will benefit Wendy's Wonderful Kids program.      


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  • 06/27/18--17:00: The Heat Is Back
  • GREEN BAY, WI (WTAQ) - Warm Weather Is Coming and doctors say it is important  to remember to stay safe.

    Summer means people start spending lots of time outdoors, but Dr. Paul Casey, Medical Director of Bellin's Emergency Department says when it is as hot there are two different medical concerns that include two different groups of people.  

    "Patients underestimate the extent of the heat, and then a second category of heat stroke involves elderly patients who take certain medications that eliminate their ability to regulate heat."  

    He says of all percautions you can take, one stands out.  

    "The key is maintaining adequate hydration."  

    He says things get really dangerous when the humidity is high, making it difficult for the body to sweat.


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    APPLETON, WI (WTAQ) - The name of the driver injured in a crash on I-41 Tuesday has been released by the State Patrol.

    28-year-old Jeremiah Pavlowich of Appleton was said to have been under the influence when he lost control of his SUV, injuring himself and four other passengers.

    Pavlowich is said to have life threatening injuries, and has not been formally charged.


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    GREEN BAY, WI (WTAQ-WLUK) - Fourth of July is just a week away, and that means many are thinking fireworks.

    Authorities are reminding residents of the city ordiances when it comes to lighting fireworks.

    Fireworks shops are also trying to ensure safe practices.

    At Boom 92 Fireworks shop in Ashwaubenon, business is starting to pick up.

    "We're gearing up for the celebration and it's starting now. We have one week left until the Fourth of July," said Karli Norton, Manager at Boom 92.

    Authorities are ensuring you know the responsibility that comes along with purchasing them.

    "We anticipate hundreds of fireworks calls this season. But we want to make sure that people are doing it safely," said Capt. Kevin Warych with Green Bay Police. "And that they know what could happen if they have fireworks in their possession and are shooting them."

    In Green Bay, lighting fireworks is illegal.

    "In the city of Green Bay, if there's anything that goes up in the sky and goes boom, you need a permit for that," said Shauna Wachholz, with Green Bay Metro Fire.

    Warych says officers have the right to issue fines for illegal firework lighting.

    "It's up to the officer's discretion, whether to issue a citation or a written warning," he explained. 

    The fine in Green Bay is $376 dollars.

    Safety is another thing Wachholz says they're asking residents to keep in mind, "Always have adult supervision, always have bucket of water or hose readily available if something goes wrong."

    Boom 92 is also working to ensure safe firework practices with a product called, "Brace Yourself No Tip Rack."

    Which Norton says can help prevent a firework related injury or hazard, "If prevents any sort of tipping you can see this actually can come down and can fit any size."


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    MADISON, WI (WRN) - A Republican state lawmaker wants to move forward with an expansion of I-41 in the Fox Cities.

    Assembly Majority Leader Jim Steineke (R-Vandenbroek) is talking about the stretch from Highway 15 in Grand Chute to Highway J in Kaukauna.

    It’s currently two lanes in each direction.

    Steinke says it’s about time for the expansion, and he’s been talking to colleagues about it for the past year.

    Steineke says they need to coordinate with the state and federal DOTs to at least get the planning process started.

    Because it would be a major project a special commission has to go along with the proposal.

    Lawmakers would then need to include it in a two-year state budget.

    Outagamie County Executive Tom Nelson called for the expansion this week.

    Nelson said he’s concerned about safety because of the number of crashes in that area.


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    OSHKOSH, WI (WTAQ-WLUK) - There are indications from the city of Oshkosh that it plans to change how it inspects apartments, to comply with a new state law. The new policy was adopted earlier this year.

    Donn Lord tells FOX 11, as a landlord, Wisconsin Act 317, brings hope.

    "Everybody wants a nice neighborhood. It's the way you approach it and I'm hoping this is a much better approach than the last time."

    The new bill requires local government to only inspect rental properties that the city deems unsafe or unsightly.

    Before, the inspections were city-wide.

    And if there is no violation, or the violation is corrected, the law says city inspectors can't return to the property for 5 years.

    "The second inspection, if there were violations and were corrected within 30 days, it's zero dollars. If there are still violations after 30 days, the city can charge the fees," explained Allen Davis, the City's community development director.

    The fees would be $240 per unit. If the unit is vacant, the fee is $150.

    Davis tells FOX 11 under the city's initial ordinance, landlords were charged an inspection fee for every unit, even if there were no violations.

    "The City of Oshkosh will design a program that will meet state law because we have a program that, the way I read it, it doesn't apply with state law so we have to adjust that."

    The city's initial ordinance divided the city into 5 sections.

    Davis says it first focused on the rental properties around UW-Oshkosh.

    "We did 307 total inspections and that's a combination of internal and external inspections."

    The city mailed 742 letters to tenants in the general university area, but only 47 tenants requested an interior inspection.

    Davis said changes to the program will go into effect next year.

    Lord is optimistic the hard feelings will be smoothed over between landlords and the city.

    "There's been a lot of broken trust, a lot of anger, and I'm hoping this is a new beginning."

    If a landlord cannot afford to correct violations, the City says it will offer loan programs to help.


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  • 06/28/18--07:28: Arrests Made In Gun Heist
  • GREEN BAY, WI (WTAQ) - Green Bay police investigators have recovered the 22 stolen guns that were stolen from a residence in the 1400 BLK of Rosalie Lane between June 7th-10th.

    Since the burglary occurred, investigators have been following up on leads, developing suspect identities, and working closely with the Menominee Tribal Police Department to recover the stolen guns.

    The stolen guns were recovered in a ditch in the Keshena area. Investigators have worked with the Menominee Tribal Police to develop information pertaining to the suspects who dumped the guns in the ditch.

    After multiple interviews of the homeowner and the people that were in the house while the homeowner was away, investigators are recommending charges to the Brown County District Attorney Office for

    •Katherine LaGrow, a 38 yr. old Green Bay resident for Burglary-Felony and Receiving Stolen Property-Felony. She was jailed on these charges and is out on bond.

    •Mark Fleury, a 74-year-old Green Bay resident. Investigators are referring the charge of Receiving Stolen Property for Fleury.

    The investigation uncovered that LaGrow had access to the victims home while the victim was out of town.

    She was also determined to be a close associate of the victim. Also, investigators believe LaGrow is responsible for taking the guns out of the house to use as collateral for the purchase of drugs.

    As the investigation continues, more suspects may be charged.

    Also, investigators recommend that all gun owners secure their weapons at all times.

    We encourage all residents to follow the below crime prevention tips1. Attach gun locks to all your weapons. The Green Bay Police Department provides these free of charge2. Secure all weapons in a safe/secure storage facility3. Record all of your weapons serial numbers.

    If anyone has more information pertaining to this burglary, we encourage you to contact the Green Bay Police Department at (920) 448-3208.

    You can remain anonymous and may be eligible for a reward by contacting Green Bay Area Crime Stoppers by phone at 920-432-7867, through their website at 432stop.com, or by downloading the P3 app through Google Play or App store.


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    APPLETON (WTAQ-WTAQ) - An I-41 crash that injured five people in Appleton earlier this week, is now fatal.

    State Patrol confirms the driver, 28-year-old Jeremiah Pavlowich of Appleton, has died.

    Officials say Pavlowich was under the influence of alcohol when he lost control of the SUV and crashed into the ditch Tuesday morning on I-41 at Ballard Road.

    Pavlowich and all four of his passengers were not wearing seatbelts and were ejected from the vehicle.

    All were taken to the hospital.

    The passengers in the crash suffered non-life-threatening injuries.


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  • 06/28/18--09:19: Escape From The Heat
  • GREEN BAY, WI (WTAQ) - For those who need an escape from the blistering temperatures over the next few days the Salvation Army's Community Center on Green Bay's west side is open.

    The Salvation Army says its building will be open to the public as a cooling center from 8 a.m.-3 p.m. Monday-Friday on any day when the temperature is at least 85 degrees.

    That's expected to be the case over the next two days.

    FOX 11 meteorologists are forecasting highs over 90 degrees on Friday and Saturday, with heat indices soaring past 100 degrees.

    The Salvation Army's Corps Community Center is located at 626 Union Court.


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    MOUNT PLEASANT, WI (WTAQ-WLUK) - President Donald Trump is in Wisconsin to help kick off the building process of what state leaders are calling "Wisconn Valley."

    After breaking ground on Foxconn's $10 billion plant groundbreaking in Mount Pleasant, Trump took the stage, calling Foxconn the eighth wonder of the world.   "I am truly thrilled to be here in the Badger State with the hardworking men and women of Foxconn. As Foxconn has discovered, there is no better place to build, hire and grow than right here in the United States. America is open for business, and we are bringing back those four beautiful words: Made in the USA. Today’s groundbreaking is only one part of the exciting story that is playing out across our nation,” Trump said.

    The Taiwan-based technology company plans to build liquid-crystal display (LCD) panels that are used in televisions and computer screens. 

    It's the first LCD manufacturing facility in North America.

    Trump said bringing Foxconn to Wisconsin was team effort with Governor Scott Walker and Foxconn CEO, Terry Gao.

    He said the plant will be built by using American concrete and steel.

    Trump also touched on a number of other topics including unemployment, trade, taxes and his newfound task in replacing a Supreme Court justice.

    He also mentioned Harley-Davidson, amid his recent bashing of the Milwaukee-based company's decision to move its production overseas over tariffs.

    Prior to Trump taking the stage, Gov. Walker had called Foxconn one of the largest economic development projects in the history of the country.

    Walker says Foxconn will provide 13,000 jobs and add $51 billion to the state's economy over the next 15 years.

    "So many more construction contracts. So many more companies to contract with across the state of Wisconsin, and so many people to hire for good paying careers right here is Wisconn Valley."

    Speaker Ryan addressed the crowd as well.

    Earlier, President Trump, Gov. Walker, Speaker Ryan and Gou, scooped dirt with golden shovels at Foxconn's future site.

    But not everyone is happy Foxconn's construction.

    A handful of groups have organized a protest calling it "Operation: Shake the Ground!"

    "Luring Foxconn to Wisconsin is the biggest mistake of Scott Walker's tenure as Governor. The factory has been promised a record-setting incentive package that will burden taxpayers for decades to come," a statement from the protest groups said in part.


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    SHAWANO, WI (WTAQ) - Water levels will be going up on Shawano Lake and the Wolf River. 

    The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) gave approval just in time for the Fourth of July boat traffic. 

    The plan will be for the water to be raised by four inches. 

    Gary DeFere, President of the Shawano Area Waterways Management says that will make a difference.

    "My personal opinion is that the river will come up quicker than the lake."

    DeFere says the clock was starting to tick with the Independence Day next week.

    "If you are a Shawano resident, tourist or taxpayer, it is critical that we get this back up to where it was.

    DeFere says one complaint led to the change.

    The water was lowered as a result of a 2015 complaint about flooding in the area. However, property owners around the lake have complained about the low levels and their potential to cause property damage and lead to unsafe boating conditions.

    The new plan will allow for these levels to be in place until November. He says now they will take time to prepare for what to do after November.

     

     


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  • 06/28/18--23:53: Art On The Walls
  • GREEN BAY, WI (WTAQ) - Kids are being allowed to paint on a wall for a good reason.

    A wall in the Green Bay Area School District Office is getting a new look.  

    Elementary Integrated Arts visual arts teacher Candace Cole is working with a group of elementary students to paint a mural in the style of traditional Mexican Art.

    "I wanted to paint a mural inside the district office because there are four floors and all the walls are tan. I wanted to get my students art work into this building."  

    9-year-old Mena is the youngest artist in the group but was given some key parts of the project.   

    "I like painting so I signed up for this."  

    11-year-old Uriel says the job is new and fun, but comes with challenges.  

    "We have a small amount of space because everyone is painting. You have to get everything right because if you mess up, your either have to clean it up fast or it is going to stay on the wall."  

    Cole said she came up with the design and wanted to come up with something that would never become outdated.  

    "The overall theme is based on the art of Mexico. It is flows and the shapes are not as geometric."  

    Along with the experience, the students are also getting tips from more experienced artists.  

    The project is expected to be completed in a couple of weeks.  

    Cole says is this goes well, she hopes to work on other walls in the building.


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    GREEN BAY, WI (WTAQ-WLUK) - Nearly a dozen Sanger Powers Correctional Center inmates now have certificates to help find jobs after they are released.

    Eleven minimum-security inmates completed an Industrial Maintenance Certificate program at Northeast Wisconsin Technical College.

    The 14-week training will help graduates provide maintenance on industrial machinery.

    The inmates were able to attend classes at NWTC and some may even start work-study programs until their release.

    Department of Corrections secretary Cathy Jess tells FOX 11 it's a great partnership.

    "A great way to prepare these men to get into the community and re-enter into the community and become productive citizens, get a good job, a good paying job to support their families and to support them."

    Officials hope this program will keep incarcerations rates down.


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    GREEN BAY, WI (WTAQ-WLUK) - The Port of Green Bay has seen more incoming cargo per ship.

    Dean Haen, the Port Director for the Port of Green Bay, tells FOX 11 that's thanks to higher than normal water levels on Lake Michigan.

    "Especially Lake Michigan, where we're at here, that's just been an incremental climb from 2013 which was a record low to now we're well above average."

    We're not approaching records, but the increase is significant.

    Just a few years ago, the Michigan-Huron basin set a record low average water depth in January 2013 of about 576 feet.

    Now, this June so far is running a basin-wide average of a shade over 580 feet.

    That's an increase of about four and a half feet from that record low level and about 4 inches more than this time a year ago.

    The additional depth means more cargo per ship and not just a little more.

    The rule of thumb is for every additional inch of water in the port, another 100 tons of cargo can be added.

    Haen tells FOX 11 he's done the math.

    "We're up 48 inches, that's 48 times 100, that's 4800 additional tons that a ship can carry into Green Bay versus five years ago."

    That's good news not just for companies in port, but for customers as well.

    "The crew, the ship, and fuel costs are fixed, but they're able to put more raw materials on board, so those can come in and they can actually sell those at a lower unit cost. So if you need as an individual pour a new cement driveway or build a new foundation for your home, that cement is actually cheaper."

    And as we head into summer, Lake Michigan levels are forecast to continue their upward trend.

    Another side-effect of higher water levels in the port, though, is that the currents in the Fox River tend to run a little faster.

    This makes it harder to steer the large cargo ships that arrive in the port.

    It's advised recreational boaters give the ships a wider than normal berth as they enter and exit the port.


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    PULASKI, WI (WTAQ-WLUK) - Police in the Village of Pulaski have a warning for hikers to be careful after a black bear was spotted on an area trail, Wednesday.

    The woman who saw the bear, says it was something she will never forget.

    About halfway through her daily walk on the Mountain-Bay Trail, Sandie Belongia tells FOX 11 something caught her attention.

    "Very dark, and I thought it was a man. I started walking faster toward him when I realized that it was a black bear."

    Belongia called for help and took a photo.

    "So I started walking backward, and turned around and kept going and it kept following me."

    The bear was seen in the wooded section of trail which runs through part of Pulaski Community Park.

    "It's very common for us to have a bear walking through here. This is their habitat," said Mark Hendzel, Pulaski Police Chief.

    News of the bear sighting spread quickly.

    Kim Noe is the Pulaski High School Cross Country and Track coach. She tells FOX 11 those in her summer running camp typically use the trail to train.

    "This is kind of our home. I guess actually his home now. So we're going to avoid the area. I send out a warning to the kids this morning that when they're out on the weekends, that they should avoid that area of the trail."

    Just across town, Robert Betley says not much was left, after an animal paid a visit to his backyard feeder a week and a half ago.

    "I'm assuming that it was a bear. I don't see any scratches on the tree, but he pulled it down, and took it into the neighbor's yard."

    "Unless they cause damage or they start doing things that would affect the safety of the individuals that reside in the area, we just leave them alone," said Hendzel.

    Back on the trail, Sandie Belongia says after about a hundred yards, the bear quit following.

    "Although it was very surprising, and it got my heart pumping and my sweat dripping, I'm still going to take my walk."

    Pulaski Police say they typically get a handful of calls each year regarding bear sightings. This is the first one in the village this season.


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    MARINETTE, WI (WTAQ-WLUK) - Navy Secretary, Richard Spencer toured Marinette Marine Thursday.

    It was Spencer's first visit to the shipyard, which is home of the Littoral Combat Ship production.

    Spencer spoke with employees and took a closer look at the production of the U.S-.S Wichita.

    The visit comes at a time when overall L.C.S. production was reduced from three ships a year to two.

    "We're looking at our capabilities, when we do that, I have to weigh two things. One, what we really in the Navy as far as strategy goes on shipbuilding, and two balance that with the health of the industrial base."

    To date, Marinette Marine has launched and delivered five ships to the U.S. Navy.

    Two more are scheduled for this year.


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