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Northeast Wisconsin's local news coverage.

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    MANITOWOC, WI (WTAQ) - A 22-year-old man is in custody after he was confronted by neighbors while he was breaking into a car.

    Manitowoc Police say, people, in the 1200 block of S. 13th Street, called them early this morning (MONDAY) after seeing a suspicious male in their driveway and their car alarms were going off.

    Police say the man had several items, which they believe were possibly stolen.

    The suspect is being held in the Manitowoc County jail, facing several charges.

    The police department is reminding citizens to lock their homes and vehicles.

    But one thing police don't want people to do is to personally confront the bad guys.

    They say to get a good description of the suspect and then let police know about the crime as quickly as you safely can.


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    VINLAND, WI (WTAQ-WLUK) - A horrific, two boat collision on Lake Winnebago Saturday night leaves 2 people dead and two others injured.

    The victims in the crash have been identified as 26-year-old Lauren Laabs and 20-year-old Cassandra Laabs, both of Neenah.

    The Winnebago County Sheriff's Department responded to the crash Saturday night.

    Deputies say it happened just after 8:30 about a mile east of Paynes Point.

    A 26-foot boat collided with a 20-foot boat.

    "All of a sudden, we just heard the collision and I said, 'oh that's not good,'" said David Frakes.

    First responders used Frakes boat to respond to the scene of the accident.

    Two people were on the 26-foot boat.

    Four people were on the 20-foot boat.

    At the time of response, Frakkes tells FOX 11 rescuers asked if anyone was in the water.

    "she said yeah," Frakes recalled. "One of the first responders jumped in the 20-footer and went to shore and the two other responders stayed with us and kept searching."

    The body of a dog was also recovered.

    The two others on the 20-foot boat were taken to the hospital.

    The two people on the 26-foot boat were treated on shore.

    The damaged boat was left at Lidya Trusov's dock overnight. Sheriff's investigators used a crane to lift it out of the water Sunday afternoon.

    She tells Fox 11...

    "We helped them to anchor it. They were supposed to have four people on it but they only had two."

    Trusov remained visibly upset while the search continued.

    "Devastated, absolutely sad. We couldn't sleep last night we just didn't know if we should try to get in our boat and try to go help."

    It was nearly a full day of searching before the bodies of the two women ejected were recovered.


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    APPLETON, WI (WTAQ) - A groundbreaking ceremony was held on Monday at Jones Park in Appleton for a 31,000 square-foot amphitheater that was donated by Miron Construction.

    Jones Park has been closed for nearly two years as it undergoes renovations.

    The amphitheater, which includes a backstage area for performers, will serve as a hockey rink with a warming house during the winter.  

    Miron Construction donated the amphitheater as part of their 100-year celebration.

    Construction of the amphitheater is expected to be completed by the end of the year. 


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  • 08/20/18--09:46: Dog Shot On Owners Property
  • TOWN OF LITTLE SUAMICO, WI (WTAQ) - A small dog was found shot and killed in Oconto County.

    Sheriff Officials responded to County J in the Town of Little Suamico early Friday morning.

    The dog's owner found the dog in the backyard of his property, which was visible from the roadway.

    Anyone with information is asked to contact the Oconto County Sheriff's Office.


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    MANITOWOC, WI (WTAQ) - A $500 cash reward for information that leads to an arrest in a recent string of bicycle thefts is being offered by the Manitowoc Police Department.

    The police have received several reports of stolen bicycles on the city's north side and are encouraging residents to report any suspicious activity they witness.

    Some individuals had their bikes stolen from their open garage or property and had a less desirable bike left in its place. 

    To avoid theft residents are also encouraged to keep their personal belongings and vehicles locked. 

     


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  • 08/20/18--11:15: Smoke Gets In Your Eyes
  • GREEN BAY, WI (WTAQ) - Have the skies been looking a little hazier than usual lately? There's a reason for that.

    Meteorologists say smoke from wildfires is reaching our area, causing persistent hazy conditions.

    The smoke is mostly from fires in Canada, but some of it is from fires in the western U.S. as well.

    "That smoke is getting up in the atmosphere and moving across much of the U-S."

    Meteorologist Jeff Last works out of the National Weather Service office in Ashwaubenon.

    "Since the middle part of July, but it's been more intense now for the past two weeks."

    And the rain we might see this week could come down as mud or splats of dirt.

    "Cars and windows may actually be spotted by dirty rain, as it moves through the atmosphere."

    And get used to it too.

    The weather experts say the haze will be around as long as the western fires keep burning. That could easily be into September.


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    APPLETON, WI (WTAQ) - Appleton Police say members of rival motorcycle clubs were involved in a shooting Saturday afternoon.

    "A lot of people were speculating that maybe this was a road rage type of incident."

    Sergeant Dave Lund of the Appleton Police Department says the situation is unusual and concerning."

    "At 4:15 on a Saturday afternoon at one of the busiest intersections in a residential area, we had somebody decide to fire off multiple rounds and it is completely unacceptable. To be able to simply drive away shows how callous of an act it was."

    Video released by the Appleton Police Department shows a pickup truck approaching a stoplight at the intersection of West Prospect Street and South Memorial Drive. 

    A motorcycle is seen pulling up next to the truck and firing shots at the truck as it drives away on South Memorial Drive.

    Two other motorcycles follow the first bike as pulled out on West Prospect Avenue.

    "We need to find out the intent. What is the reason that you, in broad daylight, would pull out a handgun and start shooting at people?"

    Officials say they believe that the shooting stemmed from a conflict between the rival clubs that operate in the area and across the state. Lund says they released the video to show people what is going on, not to scare them.

    "We know that not every person that is associated with a motorcycle club is a bad person."

    Anyone with information is asked to contact Sgt. Mike Medina at the Appleton Police Police Department non-emergency phone number at 920-832-5500. If you have information and wish to remain anonymous, please consider using the "REPORT" feature of the free Appleton Police Department phone app.

     

    Click HERE to see the video.


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    OSHKOSH, WI (WTAQ) - A former Oshkosh prison worker charged with second-degree sexual assault by a correctional staff member and two counts of delivering illegal articles to an inmate pleaded not guilty on Monday.

    38-year-old April Paulson is accused of having sex with an inmate and sending him nude photos.

    Court records indicate that an October 23rd trial date was set at Monday's arraignment. 

    An investigation started on May 11, which is about a month after Paulson started working at the prison.

    She is no longer employed at the prison, according to the State Department of Corrections. 


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    DE PERE, WI (WTAQ) - A research team from the University of Wisconsin Green Bay was using underwater microphones to track juvenile Lake Sturgeon in the Fox River on Monday.

    Sound transmitters were implanted in the sturgeons bellies and the team is using buoys in the river to follow the fish.

    UW-Green Bay graduate student Stefan Tucker explains how the buoys work. 

    "When fish pass by it picks up the tag and lets us know that a fish has passed by this area," explains Tucker. 

    According to Tucker, the team is in search of multiple answers.

    "What we're looking for here is the areas that they use in the Fox River, where they go, how long they stay there, what is that habitat like," says Tucker.

    UW-Green Bay Associate Biology Professor Patrick Forsythe claims this type of research is unique.

    "To do it here in the Fox River where we just don't have a whole lot of information about them is just a fantastic study overall," explains Forsythe.

    10 fish were poured into the river on Monday and another 10 will join them on Tuesday.

    The team hopes to follow the fish through September. 


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    CRIVITZ, WI (WTAQ) - The Village of Crivitz has a unique opportunity to pay respect to a group of veterans.

    The Wall That Heals will be on display in Crivitz next week.

    Having the village as a destination for the Vietnam Veterans Memorial replica was a request made by Village President and Vietnam veteran John Deschane.

    After being put on a waiting list, Deshane got the news he was hoping for. 

    "Late last fall, I got a phone call from them saying they had a cancellation and asked if we would be interested. I very definitely said yes."

    Since then, the Village has been preparing.

    "Making sure that Crivitz is a really attractive place. We have been lining the streets with flags and doing a ton of stuff to get ready."

    Deschane says they will use the opportunity to recognize area Vietnam veterans, including one he knew personally.

    "There is the name of a high school classmate on there. It tugs at the heartstrings and there is some significance there."

    Over 15,000 people are expected to be in Crivitz, and the Village has been working for much of the past year on making sure they put their best foot forward for the masses.

    A caravan will bring the wall through Marinette County next Tuesday before arriving in Crivitz.

    An opening ceremony will be held on Thursday, August 30, and the wall will remain on display through Sunday, September 2.

     


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    GREEN BAY, WI (WTAQ) - Those attending the Farmer's Market on Broadway this Wednesday will have additional buying options as the first-ever Children's Business Fair is being held at Gather on Broadway.

    The event will showcase around 40 products that have been created, marketed, and eventually sold by young students.

    Denise McFarlin, the founder of Solid Foundation Learning Inc. and organizer of the event, says the kids have been very creative.

    "The average 7 to 12-year-old that I talk to has about three ideas in the first five minutes," says McFarlin.

    This event is giving young students an opportunity to practice an alternative form of hands-on education.

    "Most kids are pretty excited to actually spend their time creating something," explains McFarlin. "They almost forget they're learning."

    The students on Wednesday will also have plenty of motivation to sell their products.

    "Making a few bucks never hurt," says McFarlin.

    The event starts at 4 P.M. and goes until 7 P.M.


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    GREEN BAY, WI (WTAQ-WLUK) - A letter from Bishop David Ricken in response to sex abuse accusations against members of the Catholic Church was read to parishioners around our area on Sunday.

    Ricken's letter is in regard to the recent public accusations against Archbishop Theodore McCarrick, and the release of the grand jury report from the State of Pennsylvania.

    Ricken started his letter stating he was writing Catholics with a “very, very heavy heart.”

    “These reports sicken me and leave me with a deep sense of anger and shame for what has been inflicted on the People of God in the past by certain shepherds of the flock, both the direct offenders against children and the purported cover-up engaged in by some bishops,” wrote Ricken.

    Ricken went on to explain there is an Independent Review Board for the Diocese of Green Bay that oversees the process for anyone who comes forward with any complaint of possible sexual abuse.

    “As bishops, we believe that there will be decisive actions regarding significant accountability and reform that must be taken in light of recent events and reports,” wrote Ricken.

    “As the details of these actions emerge, for my part, I am personally committed to prayer and atonement to assist in the necessary reform of the Church.”

    A lack of action is one of the criticism's Pope Francis is hearing in reaction to a letter he released on Monday about the grand jury report from Pennsylvania.

    Alice Hodek, a local volunteer for SNAP, talked to FOX 11 and is among those calling for action.

    “While I'm heartened by what the Pope has said, I take it all with a grain of salt, because unless there is something real and measurable, I don't believe it.”

    FOX 11 wanted to talk with someone from the Diocese of Green Bay about Pope Francis' letter.

    A spokesperson says they had no one available Monday.


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    DE PERE, WI (WTAQ-WLUK) - A new program is being launched in the area to help foster children transition into a successful life as they age out of the system.

    Green Bay Packers running back Ty Montgomery is working with Life Church in De Pere, to get the program off the ground by this fall.

    In the first year of Excellerate Green Bay, eight teens will participate per class— one group of eight in the fall and another in the spring.

    The original program and curriculum were established by Allen Griffin in Daytona Beach, Florida.

    Through the 16- week program Sonny Hennessy one of the Lead Pastors at the church tells FOX 11 participants will leave with a better understanding of how to live on their own and they will also receive a car and assistance in finding a job and apartment to get them started.

    "Most of the time they don't have a place to live, and many become homeless when they age out the system."

    Ty Montgomery said he knows all too well the struggles many foster care children face.

    It's the reason he wanted to get the program started.

    "I grew up with 17 foster brothers and so I've seen it first hand so I know the effect it has on them and I also know the effect it has on them when someone is there with them going through this process," said Montgomery.

    "So essentially we are trying to get these kids to graduate and get into college, teaching them how to be on their own socially, financially, and professionally."

    Hennessy said it will cost around $11,000 to sponsor each teen and Montgomery has agreed to pay half of the expenses.

    The church is not only in need of donations to help get them started, but they are also looking for volunteers to mentor those teens.


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    GREEN BAY, WI (WTAQ) - The suspect in a fatal hit-and-run crash in Green Bay's west side on March 25 will stand trial.

    An arraignment has not been scheduled for 29-year-old Barry Watters, who will return to court on September 17 for a status conference.

    A preliminary hearing took place on Tuesday where he was ordered to trial.

    He currently is facing seven charges, which include hit and run causing death and homicide by intoxicated use of a vehicle.

    The victim was 47-year-old Russell Owen of Green Bay who was riding his bicycle. 

    Following the crash, police found marijuana and prescription medication inside Watters SUV.

     


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    APPLETON, WI (WTAQ) - An investigation into the overnight armed robbery of a west side convenience store is continuing.

    Just after 2:30, Appleton Police responded to the report of an armed robbery occurring inside a business in the 1800 block of W. Wisconsin Avenue.

    A search of the area did not immediately result in a suspect being located.

    According to the victim, a male, who attempted to conceal his identity with a mask and goggles, robbed the business while displaying a knife.

    The suspect was described as being approximately 6 foot tall with a slender build. He was dressed in dark clothing. He left the area on foot in a northbound direction.

    No injuries occurred as a result of the incident. Investigators are continuing to follow-up on information learned during the initial stage of the investigation.

    Individuals having information are asked to call Sgt. John Schira at the Appleton Police Department’s non-emergency phone number (920) 832-5500.

    If you have information but wish to remain anonymous, please consider using the “REPORT” feature on the Appleton Police Department’s free phone app.


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    GREEN LAKE, WI (WTAQ) - A Princeton man convicted of killing his girlfriend and setting her home on fire entered into a plea deal on Tuesday.

    29-year-old Antonio Contreras will have an arson count dropped after he pleaded no contest to first-degree intentional homicide.

    The victim, Grace Reiter-Rudolph, got into a fight with Contreras on March 12, which resulted in him shooting her in the head at least three times.

    Court records show that Contreras will be sentenced on November 15.

     

    First-degree intentional homicide carries an automatic term of life in prison. 

    Whether or not Contreras will be eligible for parole will be decided by Judge Mark Slate. 


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    GREENVILLE, WI (WTAQ) - New nonstop flights from Appleton International Airport to Fort Myers, Florida were announced on Tuesday by Allegiant Air.

    The twice-weekly flights will start on November 16. Allegiant, which now offers five direct flights out of Appleton International Airport, is celebrating their 10th-anniversary of operations at the airport. 

    "Travelers will now be able to fly directly to the beautiful beaches of the Fort Myers area, and enjoy the convenience of their hometown airport," airport director Abe Weber told Fox 11 News.

    Flights can be booked here.


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    FOND DU LAC, WI (WTAQ) - Some clues have been discovered following further testing on an unidentified person that was found dead almost ten years ago in Fond du Lac County.

    The unidentified female was found on November 23, 2008, in a shallow creek.

    The body, which is referred to as Jane Doe, was exhumed earlier this year and investigators have determined she spent a majority of her life living between Albuquerque, New Mexico and Flagstaff, Arizona. 

    Jane Doe also likely lived between southwest Wisconsin and southern Minnesota less than a year before her death, according to test results.

    This result was accomplished through a chemical isotope analysis, which was conducted by testing samples of her remains. 

     


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  • 08/21/18--14:46: Suspicious Powder
  • KAUKAUNA, WI (WTAQ) - Kaukauna Fire Department officials say an unknown white powder may have resulted in a woman have a physical reaction. 

    The woman reported that she noticed the reaction shortly after touching white powder that was found in a letter. 

    The substance is unknown at this time. 

    The woman was taken to the hospital for evaluation, but no harmful materials were found inside the building.


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    WAUPACA COUNTY, WI (WTAQ) - State patrol officers arrested a Menasha man on Tuesday for drugged driving with two children in the vehicle.

    Officers stopped the vehicle near Waupaca on Highway 10 just prior to 10:30 a.m.

    The driver admitted to smoking pot before being pulled over and officers found marijuana inside the vehicle. 


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