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Northeast Wisconsin's local news coverage.

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  • 07/27/18--02:18: A Case Of Animal Cruelty
  • GREEN BAY, WI (WTAQ-WLUK) - Two people face two misdemeanor charges after they allegedly tried to castrate a cat.

    27 year old Samantha Bruce and 24 year old Richard Krystof were charged Thursday with intentionally mistreating an animal, and practicing veterinary medicine without a license.

    According to the criminal complaint, Bruce took the cat to a veterinarian after attempting the procedure on the year-old cat because the cat had developed an infection.

    Bruce told police she went to vet school, knew the process for neutering a cat, and guided Krystof through the process.

    She denied being involved in the actual act, saying Krystof did it. Krystof also denied being involved, saying Bruce did it.

    Staff at the clinic completed the neutering, according to the complaint.

    Krystof is scheduled is to make an initial appearance August 22nd. Bruce was in court Thursday afternoon.


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    KEWAUNEE, WI (WTAQ) - Seventeen-year-old Owen Froelich from Kewaunee pleaded not guilty to criminal damage charges on Friday. 

    Froelich will return to court on September 6th for a pre-trial conference.

    Multiple calls regarding damage to mailboxes were received by the Kewaunee County Sheriff's Department on February 6th. 

    More than 40 victims were tallied on the criminal complaint list, which spans the municipalities of Carlton, Casco, Franklin, Luxemburg, Montpelier, West Kewaunee, and Kewaunee County 

    More than 30 residential mailboxes were harmed, which equated to over six-thousand dollars in damages.


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    TOWN OF LOWELL, WI (WTAQ) - A Beaver Dam man has been sentenced for a 2015 incident in which he struck and killed a teenager with his vehicle.

    23-year-old Cody Buechel has been sentenced to two years in prison and four years of extended supervision.

    Buechel crossed the centerline and struck teenager Lucas Jaeger back on September 27th, 2015.

    Jaeger died as a result of his injuries. 


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    DOOR COUNTY, WI (WTAQ) - A new email scam is using web cameras to make threats to users. 

    Authorities in Door County say a new email scheme claims to hack into victims' web cameras and threatens to expose their supposed adult-website habits.

    Deputies say the subject of the email will include a password that you may have used at some point.   The email threatens to expose the victims supposed adult-website visits if are not sent bitcoin. The payment requests are between 1,200 and 1,600 dollars.

    Door County officials say if you receive an email like this, you should not respond to it and delete it.

    To keep digital information safe, officials recommend using strong passwords that include both uppercase and lowercase letters, numbers, and symbols

    . It is also encouraging to not use the same password for all online accounts and change your passwords several times a year.


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    GREEN BAY, WI (WTAQ) - With Election coming up next month, the question of security has once again been brought up.

    "Hacking into voter files is probably one of my biggest concerns, but I am concerned about voter files from other aspects as well, and of course they are trolling social media."

    US Senator Ron Johnson says he is not surprised by the recent news that Russians are looking to interfere in the upcoming election but says, more importantly, the US has a very secure system in place.

    "I am fairly confident in our electoral system. It is very difficult to change vote tallies."

    Johnson said he is not as concerned with hacking that would impact vote totals, but rather looks at things that can result in bigger problems.

    "My concern against Russian cyber attacks is against the critical infrastructure with things like the electrical grid and gaining access to operating systems."

    Johnson says the Russians meddling in the elections is unacceptable, but still not the greatest threat to democracy.

    He made his comments on WTAQ Morning News with Matt and Earl. You can hear the entire discussion by clicking here.

     


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    OSHKOSH, WI (WTAQ) - Volunteers flock to Oshkosh every summer to lend a hand at the EAA AirVenture festivities, but often times the public doesn't see what goes into helping the helpers.

    With about 5,000 volunteers working tirelessly at EAA Airventure it is no small feat to make sure they stay fed.

    Operation Thirst is dedicated to making sure that happens. 

    Last year Operation Thirst made and distributed over 13,000 sandwiches and this year they are predicting around 16,000 in total.

    The key to their operation is mobility, which is made possible through a delivery van that they run about four separate times every day.

     


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    TOWN OF UNDERHILL (WTAQ) - Oconto County Sheriff's Department is investigating a fatal crash that occurred Sunday morning in the Town of Underhill.

    Officals say one man has died and one man is injured after the vehicle crashed into a tree stump. 

    Sheriff Officials were called out to Klatt Road around 1:34 a.m. 

    The two men were found at the scene of the crash.

    Investigators say the vehicle lost control and went off the road. It is likely that speed played a factor.


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  • 07/29/18--16:33: Off Road Semi
  • GREEN BAY (WTAQ-WLUK) - An I-43 ramp was closed Sunday after a semi-truck drove off the road.

    Brown County deputies were called to the ramp connecting I-43 northbound and State Hwy. 172 for most of the afternoon Sunday. 

    Emergency crews were called to the scene around 1:16 p.m. 

    Officials say the truck had hydroplaned in the rain and ended up in the water.


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    MERRILL, WI (WSAU-WAOW) - Dozens of headstones were vandalized at a cemetery in Merrill.

    Visitors and people who live nearby say they were disgusted to find headstones smashed, broken and toppled over at Merrill Memorial and St Francis cemetery.

    The damage was discovered on Saturday.

    It likely happened late Friday night or early Saturday morning.

    I feel sorry for the families that are affected," Julie Kloth told WAOW TV. "It's horrible."

    Bill Dinges called it the "third worst thing that I can think of doing besides murders and child molesters, that's just one of my top three things," he said. "You just don't mess around with a cemetery."

    Dinges went on to say he hopes the responsible parties are caught and punished.

    Ed & Sharon's Restaurant posted to their Facebook page they are heartbroken and are offering a $500 reward for information about the incident.

    Their post says: "We are sick and it is absolutely heartbreaking for the families for what had happened last night "

    Anyone with information should call Merrill Police at 715-536-8311.

    Police are contacting families who've had love-ones graves vandalized.  


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    GREEN BAY (WTAQ-WLUK) - Big white birds have been spotted in wetlands areas throughout Northeast Wisconsin.

    The Great Egret is a large bird and its population is considered threatened at the state level.   But experts say the Egrets are making a bit of a comeback at least in the Green Bay area.

    With piercing yellow eyes and a bill to match, the snow-white Great Egret is easy to see at the Ken Euers Nature Area in Green Bay.

    "They usually hang out here in the summer," said Charoeth Tomaschefsky, Green Bay.

    Tomaschefsky walks through the park on a regular basis.

    "They are really pretty. Just because the contrast with the rest of the surroundings. So they really stick out," she said.

    The big white birds can stand three feet tall or more, and have a wingspan of four and a half feet. Experts say in the 1800s, the birds were hunted for their feathers.

    "And almost a 95 percent reduction of their population," said Mike Reed, Bay Beach Wildlife Sanctuary Director.

    Reed says conservation groups formed, and the Migratory Bird Treaty Act soon followed, protecting birds throughout North America.

    "The Great Egret was the poster bird for that movement. Since then, its population has rebounded significantly," he said.

    Reed says that includes the waters of Green Bay.

    "A few years ago, there was a colony failure down in the Horicon Marsh area. Those birds spread up in this direction, and have been nesting here ever since," he said.

    And there's another reason why people may be seeing more of the big white birds. Experts say much of the area's invasive reed grass called phragmites, has been cut down and taken away.

    "That's opened up some feeding areas for them that I think were inaccessible because of the density of the phragmites," said Reed.

    And with the wetlands mostly cleared, the Egrets continue to patrol the new habitat, searching, stalking, and striking.

    "It's just nice to have a different kind of scene of Wisconsin," said Tomaschefsky.

    The Egrets typically spend the summer in Northeast Wisconsin.

    In late September, the birds fly south, and spend the winter in places like the Gulf of Mexico, and even Central America.


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  • 07/30/18--02:08: An Extra Set of Eyes
  • GREENVILLE (WTAQ-WLUK) - EAA AirVenture has kept the skies around area busy this week.

    As planes fly in and out of Appleton International Airport, there's an extra set of eyes helping Air Traffic Control.

    "Basically when an aircraft crashes down or gets lost, or somebody goes missing, we get deployed and get the necessary information," said Joseph Aschenbrehner.

    'Fox Cities Composite Squadron-Civil Air Patrol' is a non-profit organization, and a part of the U.S. Air Force Auxiliary.

    Fourteen-year-old Aschenbrehner, has been in the air patrol's cadet program for just over a year.

    "My goal is to become an air force medic, maybe even a sergeant for the air force," explained Aschenbrehner.

    It's not just search and rescue that the group specializes in.

    The program performs a variety of missions, including disaster relief operations, aerospace education.

    "The air force allows us to wear similar type uniforms, that's what you see the cadets in," said Mark Gajewski, Caption with the air patrol. "We do a cadet program that's their uniform. They do summer type camp activities, and they learn to drill discipline, they learn leadership. A hands-on example of leadership."

    Gajewski says the year-round program, brings volunteers from all across the area.

    Our cadets come from all over the state. Some of them are tied to the school system most of them are adults from the local community," he told FOX 11.

    With dreams of becoming a sergeant, Aschenbrehner says the program has given him the confidence that he has what it takes.

    "That fact that, I've done all of this is huge," he said.

    The Fox Cities Civil Air Patrol has served the Fox Valley for 40 years.


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  • 07/30/18--02:15: Another Call For Blood
  • GREEN BAY, WI (WTAQ) - While many of us are enjoying a summer break, that doesn't mean the patients across Wisconsin that are in need of lifesaving treatments can afford a break:

    The American Red Cross strives to keep a large enough blood supply on hand that would last in any emergency and right now they simply don't have it:

    "The Red Cross is in emergency need and that means that donations are going out to hospital patients faster than they are coming through the doors."

    Laura McGuire from the Red Cross says they are in search of all blood-type samples and says they can't rebound from this emergency with just the support of regular donors on their own.

    "We are really encouraging new donors and donors that have not visited in a while to come in and give blood."

    McGuire explains they need people with a certain blood type to help out.

    "O-Negative is the universal blood type.

    In addition to O-negative, the Red Cross will be accepting all other blood types. 

    The American Red Cross will be awarding those who donate in the month of August:

    "We are giving a five dollar Amazon gift certificate that will be given after your donation."

    For more info on where to donate, simply visit Red Cross Blood Dot Org. 


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    GREEN BAY, WI (WTAQ) - Starting this week, many are expected to get a jump on back to school shopping, as the five day Wisconsin Sales Tax Holiday begins Wednesday.

    Governor Scott Walker says it is designed so consumers only pay sticker price for school supplies, clothes, and computer supplies.

    "We have limits so people are not buying crazy things and calling it back to school."

    He says unlike the child tax credit, this one is not limited to those who have children.

    "It's parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles and next door neighbors that want to help out. Back to school time is a tough time for many."

    Those limits include clothes and school supplies that $75 dollars or less and personal computers that are under $750 dollars. It also includes some computer supplies that are under $250 dollars. Walker says the success of this plan has already been proven.

    "In Ohio, they made it three consecutive years and then made it permanent." 

    Walker says it is designed so consumers only pay sticker price for school supplies, clothes, and computer supplies.

    The five day holiday runs through Sunday.

    A full list of tax-exempt items can be found here.


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  • 07/30/18--02:31: Gas Leak Injures 15
  • DARIEN, WI (Wisconsin Radio Network) - The Birds Eye packing plant in Darien had to be evacuated Sunday morning following a gas leak.

    Initial reports say ammonia leaked from a coolant system.

    Walworth County Sheriff Kurt Picknell says 15 people were taken to the hospital and another 75 were evacuated.

    "Hazmat is here and they're evaluating the inside of the building to ensure that there are safe levels and readings within the building."

    The cause of the leak is still under investigation, but it's likely a mechanical failure.


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    GREEN BAY, WI (Wisconsin Radio Network) - Governor Walker signed his Health Care Stability Plan in Green Bay Sunday after the federal government approved it.

    The federal waiver will allow Wisconsin to offer a 200-million-dollar re-insurance program.

    Walker believes this will stabilize the market and attract more insurance providers to the private marketplace.

    "We believe it will actually help the market overall, both for individuals and for people who get their insurance through group insurance plans which often times are from mid-size and larger employers."

    He says the plan should lower premiums for individuals next year by an average of three-and-a-half percent.

    "Part of the key of this is working with insurers and those who said they would respond by reentering the marketplace and looking to engage in this program to help lower premiums."

    The program will take effect in January, and will be good for five years.

     


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    OSHKOSH, WI (WTAQ) - With the influx of tourists visiting Oshkosh for EAA Airventure, the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh is capitalizing and giving people a place to stay.

    All 2,100 of the universities dormitories are currently being filled by around 5,000 guests.

    Six full-time staff and 50 student workers are hosting the guests.

    The cost of a room at the university is between $75-$325/night, based on the room.

    The rooms have proven to be immensely popular and reservations are already being taken for next summer's Airventure week. 


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    COMBINED LOCKS, WI (WLUK) - The formerly closed Appleton Coated paper mill in Combined Locks will now have hundreds of newly created jobs.

    It was announced Monday that Midwest Paper Group is investing $30 million to reconfigure the mill and create 321 jobs.

    The plan is for the new facility to produce packaging grade paper, which would be a change from the printing and writing grade paper it formerly produced. 

    Appleton Coated closed last year, which left around 600 people without a job. But in December 2017, after they were purchased months prior, they started the process of rehiring some former employees, which has them now employing around 310 workers. 


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    GRAND CHUTE (WLUK) - The former Gordon Bubolz Nature Preserve in Grand Chute announced Monday that they are changing their name to the Fox Cities Environmental Learning Campus on the Bubolz Nature Preserve.

    Their 18,000 square foot center is being named The Faith Technologies Lodge.

    The lodge will include a gift shop, a banquet facility, and a clean energy microgrid. 

    The educational nature preserve completed a $5 million dollar expansion project earlier this year.

     


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    GREEN BAY, WI (WLUK) - Prescription drug addiction is a serious issue across the entire country, but numbers from the state Prescription Drug Monitoring Program are showing a promising trend in the right direction.

    The most recent report shows a 30-percent decrease in the number of opioids prescribed to patients in Wisconsin since the program began in 2015. 

    In that same time span, there have been 626,405 fewer total monitored prescriptions in the state.

    There also has been a thirty-two-percent decrease in doctor shopping alerts. 


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    OSHKOSH, WI (WTAQ) - Attendance numbers from EAA Airventure in Oshkosh were announced yesterday with the final tally exceeding 600,000 for the first time ever.

    It beats last years record by almost two percent.

    The economic impact for the five counties in Northeast Wisconsin has estimated around $170 million dollars.

     


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