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Northeast Wisconsin's local news coverage.

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    KEWAUNEE COUNTY, WI (WTAQ) - A professional consultant is being sought after to determine if a county public safety facility needs an upgrade.

    The Kewaunee County Public Safety Facility, originally opened in 1968, is housing inmates beyond capacity.

    The facility opened with a capacity of 22 inmates, but as of 2018, their average daily population is 42.

    Kewaunee County Board of Supervisors Chairman Robert Weidner says facility employees are the ones being affected.

    "It's kind of crowded in there and we're up to capacity," he explains. "Our jailors have to deal with sort-of inconvenient conditions."

    The facility isn't breaking any laws, but changes have been recommended.

    "We never had a violation, but we've had cautions that we should improve some things," he says.

    The recognition of a problem isn't anything new.

    "Back in 1998 and 1999 there was an effort at that time to replace the jail and build a new facility, but that failed," Weidner explains.

    The current facility isn't able to sustain the sheer number of inmates that pass through their building.

    "When we exceed our capacity we send some to Door County and other counties to take care of the overflow," says Weidner.

    The county will spend the next month searching for a professional consultant to determine the best course of action going forward. 

    If their study indicates that some change would be best, then the county will move forward addressing a possible schematic design for a new or improved public safety facility. 


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    MENASHA, WI (WTAQ) - A 28-year-old man is behind bars after Menasha Police say he drove a truck onto a trailer parked on the side of a road last night (SUNDAY).   

    Police say the Menasha man was arrested for O-W-I, believed to be on a controlled substance.

    The man was taken to jail on bail jumping charges.

    Menasha Police are reminding people that agencies across the state are taking part in the Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over campaign. 


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    MADISON, WI (WTAQ) - An agreement between the University of Wisconsin-Madison and Foxconn was reached on Monday.

    A $100 million dollar investment in engineering and innovation research at the University of Wisconsin-Madison will be provided by Foxconn Technology Group.

    UW-Madison Chancellor Rebecca Blank says the industry research partnership is the largest in the school's history.

    Foxconn is an electronics giant that is based in Taiwan and is building their first North American factory in Mount Pleasant. 

    The business received generous incentives from Wisconsin to build their first facility outside of Asia within the state. 

    Once fully operational the facility is expected to employ around 13,000 individuals.  


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    IRON MOUNTAIN, MI (WTAQ) - A college in Michigan's Upper Peninsula was locked down as police looked for a suspect in the area on Monday morning.

    Reports are that 15-20 gunshots were heard near Skidmore Drive around 10:40 AM, which forced Bay de Noc Community College's West Campus in Iron Mountain to temporarily close.

    Michigan State Police believe one officer was injured in the incident, but their condition is currently unknown.

    The suspect's condition is also currently unknown. 

    Further information will be released later today.


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    FOX CROSSING, WI (WTAQ) - Fox Crossings Officials have determined that a man suffered a medical emergency prior to a fatal car crash on August 24.

    44-year-old Miguel Bedolla Vargas, of Appleton, died after crashing his vehicle on the Roland Kampo Bridge.

    Deputies believe a medical emergency rendered him unconscious prior to hitting a retaining wall and traveling down the embankment and into the retaining pond. 

    The bridge was closed for five hours following the crash as officials investigated.

     


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    MADISON, WI (WTAQ) - Interstate 43 in Ozaukee County was closed on Monday morning due to flooding caused from down trees.

    High water on I-43 near Port Washington caused several vehicles to be stranded.

    Street flooding has occurred in West Bend, Jackson, Saukville, Grafton, and Port Washington, according to the National Weather Service.

    On Sunday, nearly 1.5 inches of rain hit Madison as the city continues to recover from flash flooding last week.

    Forecasts are showing a chance of thunderstorms in the area on Monday night.


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    GREEN BAY, WI (WTAQ) - Crews from We Energies have been working nonstop in many areas throughout the state following storms that developed on Sunday.

    Those crews are keeping an eye on the skies tonight as more severe weather could knock down trees and create power outages.

    The company is reminding people to remain safe during active flash flood watches.

    "If you do see downed power lines stay at least 25 feet away from those power lines, says company spokesperson Amy Jahn. "We have also seen flooding with those storms that have come through Wisconsin this week, so stay out of those flooded basements as well because there is a possibility that the water could be energized," she explained.

    We Energies encourages customers to contact them if they experience a power outage because they don't always know when a problem has occurred. 


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    GREEN BAY, WI (WTAQ) - Mike Gallagher was in Green Bay Monday to get a first-hand look at work being done on equipment for the U.S Navy aircraft carrier program.

    "On the Armed Services Committee, I have been working aggressively the last few years to begin this process of rebuilding the military, and it is not just happening overseas, it is happening in our own backyard.

    The Representative was concerned to learn that some of the good work that Fox Valley Metal-Tech is providing for National Defense is being affected in a negative way by tariffs. 

    "All of these decisions that are made by so-called experts in air-conditioned offices in Washington DC, have huge impacts for people that are downstream of those decisions."

    Kevin Gosselin, Director of Sales and Business Development says they work a lot with steel and aluminum, making it difficult to keep the prices down and affects the prices they quote for its customers.

    "It kind of puts in the crossfire. We can't absorb those increases in material, so we have to pass those increases along to our customers."

    Fox Valley Metal-Tech provides parts for military vessels, such as Naval aircraft carriers that have $20 million worth of parts made by the Green Bay company.

    The Congressman is behind a bill that would make it a requirement to get congressional approval if the Executive Branch wants to impose tariffs and cite National Security concerns.

    "We shouldn't be in the business of making life more difficult for manufacturers and hard working people in the midwest.

    Fox Valley Metal-Tech provides sheet metal fabrication services to produce quality custom parts, fabrications, and assemblies. 

    The company has purchased land to expand, but say they do not have enough workers to do so right now.


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    SHIOCTON, WI (WTAQ) - It's the calm before the storm.

    Most students around the state return to school starting next week, but that doesn't mean classrooms are empty in the week leading up.

    Teachers across the state are preparing their classrooms for next week when students return and the new school year begins.

    In Shiocton, teacher Connie Malesa explains her preparation is a little different every year.

    "I have a list that I go from and every year it changes," she explains.

    Most people just see the end product, but Malesa explains there's a lot of work that happens during this time.

    "We're putting away school supplies that parents have dropped off, there's a ton of labeling, and we still have a lot of books to pull for the first day," she says.

    Shiocton teacher Nicole Schweitzer says their focus is simple.

    "Put appropriate things out for the students for learning," says Schweitzer.

    Every teacher wants their students to be able to come in and hit the ground running right away. Schweitzer explains that turn around can be difficult for teachers.

    "It's quite challenging because at the end of the school year we need to clear our rooms out to have the carpets cleaned and the floors done," she says. "So now we're unpacking and getting ready."

    Fifth thru twelfth-grade teachers in Shiocton spent Monday getting up-to-date on first aid treatment and youth mental health.

    Many schools in the state start classes next Tuesday.


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  • 08/27/18--22:19: Another Night of Storms
  • GREEN BAY, WI (WTAQ) - Power Outages and floods are concerns as severe weather hits the area late night Monday and it may not be over yet. 

    A Flash Flood Warning has been issued for Fond Du Lac County and eastern Sheboygan County for the early morning hours as a line of heavy rain continues to pass through the area.

    "The problem is that the ground is saturated for having two heavy nights back to back, said Fox 11 Chief Meteorologist Patrick Powell. There was quite a bit of room for the creeks and streams to absorb a lot of that rain, but were are running out of room now."

    As of Midnight, Wisconsin Public Service reported over 26,000 customers without power. Over 4,000 customers were without power in Coleman. Green Bay reported 2,300 customers without power and 3,000 were without power in Pound. 

    We Energies had just over 3,000 customers without power at midnight.

    Powell says we should prepare for a carbon copy today.

    "We are going to see more Thunderstorms comeback after 4:00 this afternoon, and that will run through about 10:00 pm. With the high humidity, we could see heavy rain again."

    Green Bay Police reported about 20-30 calls for fallen trees. No significant damage was reported, and officials say drivers should use caution during their morning commute, but most the trees that fell on roadways were being cleared in the early overnight hours.


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  • 08/28/18--00:00: Excitement For Wall Arrival
  • CRIVITZ, WI (WTAQ) - After much planning, a Vietnam memorial replica will arrive in Crivitz tonight.

    "The Wall The Heals" will travel through Marinette County and arrive in Crivitz, its destination for the weekend.

    Village President and Vietnam veteran John Deschane says a caravan will start in Menominee Michigan and will arrive in Crivitz around 6:20.

    He says they are hoping that people welcome the Wall and veterans.

    "We want people to line the streets when the wall is coming, he said. "Come out to Crivitz and welcome it to town. We can all show Northeast Wisconsin that we are proud of our veteran's.

    Deschane says one thing he has noticed is that times have changed from five decades ago.

    "I different then it was in the 1950's and 1960's when they came home. They were spat on and they were cursed that and now our country is proud of our veteran's."

    The caravan will be led by the Veteran motorcycle groups.

    Between 10,000 and 15,000 people are expected to spend part of the weekend in the small village of Crivitz.

    The caravan will start in Menominee Michigan and will go through Marinette, Peshtigo, Coleman, and Pound before arriving in Crivitz around 6:20 pm.

    The opening ceremony for the wall will be Thursday morning, and it will remain on display through Saturday.


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    GREEN BAY, WI (WTAQ) - Green Bay Police continue to investigate a fatal accident this morning in the southbound lanes of I-43 north of East Mason Street. 

    Police say a vehicle hit a person walking alongside, or in, the lanes of the busy highway. 

    I-43 is closed from University Ave to East Mason Street while a reconstruction team tries to determine exactly how and why this happened.


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    According to Packers team historian, Cliff Christl, the 1920's are his favorite years in his studies of the franchise, "because of the factors at play in the Packers survival."  "There's so much history there, and I think so much of it has been lost," he said. 

    1927 is interesting in particular.  The league cut it's roster of teams in half, sacrificing many of the small city franchises.  According to Christl, Green Bay's non-adherence to prohibition helped keep the Packers in the league,  "The owners loved coming to Green Bay, (and) the players loved coming to Green Bay."  The Packers drew no better than the teams that were forced out of the league, but the city didn't obey the law of prohibition.


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    GREEN BAY, WI (WTAQ) - The long-standing operator of the Brown County "Bookmobile" announced his retirement on Tuesday.

    "Bookmobile Bob" Ripley will no longer be delivering books to children across Brown County after 35 years of service.

    Bob's last day will be Tuesday, September 4 and the Bookmobile will be parked outside the Central Library from noon to 2 PM.

    There will be snacks and beverages provided by the Friends of the Brown County Library as people will have an opportunity to wish Bob well. 

    Bob released the following letter:

    “I am so very thankful that I had this opportunity to serve the people of Brown County and surrounding areas.

    When I came to work for the library the Bookmobile went out to many country schools. It was a joy meeting these young children, finding them a perfect read and reading them stories. These same children now adults bring their children to meet me and ask to have a story read! Most always, I remember their names. They ask, Bookmobile Bob how can you still remember us. I then tease a little saying well it is easy to remember the ones who stand out either good or bad. Their children with wide eyes ask which my parent was. I wink and say, your Mom or Dad were on my good list! Oh my, to see them take a breath of relief!

    After 34 years, I have so many wonderful memories of every one I helped. I am grateful to have been part of their lives! Not to forget my once young customers who say Bob, you are just a kid compared to us! I love to ask and listen to their stories. I will treasure and carry a piece of each one of you in my heart as I move into retirement.

    Over the years, I had to keep the Bookmobile on the road with many methods including bailing wire. Once with our old 1968 Gerstenslager Bus I needed to rebuild the top half of the engine. It needed new lifters, pushrods and rockers. I brought it out to the Howard County Garage and spent the next 3 weeks there. Their mechanics gave me a spot to work, lent their tools and advice. My Dad who was a diesel mechanic came out to point me in the right direction with his expertise, thanks Dad! When finished I turned the key it started right up!

    I have been treated as family by all of you so I will share a couple stories of kind gestures:

    I was as St Mary’s School in Greenleaf, it stared to snow heavily and by early afternoon, we were having a full-blown blizzard. The school sent for the busses to bring the children home. I help load the busses and make sure the teachers were on their way sending them off with a prayer. I was the last in the lot, it was then I started to worry how would I get back as the drifts were so very high? To my relief and joy in comes Donny Klicka with a County snowplow. He pulls in the lot alongside the Bookmobile and says follow me Bob I will plow you a path all the way to the De Pere City limits. I must say I felt like royalty being escorted. Thank you Donny and all my highway friends.

    Greenleaf Fireman’s Park Picnic, I was asked to park near the children’s play area. I thought it would be a great idea to drive over the play areas wood chips. It rained a lot the prior week. As I drove over the chips down went my wheels, now the driver’s side was resting on its axels. Well I opened the doors and took care of customers for this day sitting buried. The firefighters said do not worry Bob we will get you out. At the end of the event here rolls in an eight-wheel heavy-duty tractor. The farmer hooked up his towing chain and pulled me out as easy as can be, just like butter, his tractor did not even snort! Thank you my friends!

    I think my greatest joy is finding that perfect book for a child that claims not to enjoy reading and have him or her come back and ask, Bookmobile Bob do you have another one for me? It is then I know I have hooked them for life! It started the same way for me. The Bookmobile used to come to my neighborhood school Cormier in summers. Mom brought me in the Bookmobile to get my first library card and boy, was I proud! I would be waiting for that Bus to pull up so I could get a few more books. One day the librarian on duty commented, Bobby I notice that you do not check out chapter books why is that. I would usually get animals, dinosaur, hunting and fishing books. I told her chapter books are boring. She begged to differ and asked me saying that she would like to pick me out a wonderful read but she would have to think about it. Then asking if I would promise to try it and if after three chapters if I did not care for it I could return it. I promised, thinking, oh man what did I get myself into but a promise is a promise. The next week the Bookmobile pulled in and in I went. She handed me the book with her kind smile saying enjoy Bobby! I went to my room and started to read, before you know I was enthralled. Mom calling me for supper wondering why I wasn’t coming. She found me in my room reading. Mom, I said this story is so good I do not want to stop now! I was around 10 years old and the book title was “The Call of the Wild” by Jack London. I have loved reading ever since. Thank you Dear 1960s librarian. I have tried to follow your example.

    The driver at that time was Lyle O’Connor. Now I surely never thought I would be the Bookmobile Librarian/driver way back then. I had big shoes to fill. Lyle was Brown County’s long time and Beloved Bookmobile driver; he cared for thousands of children in his 28 years on the road. I pray I did as well. Lyle drove for 28 years. With my 34 years, I beat that record but surely not the man. Thank you Lyle.

    Lyle’s son Brian O’Connor wrote a song to honor his Dad and me. The song’s title is “Bookmobile Bob.” Here is the link, enjoy! http://www.broadjam.com/songs/brianoconnor1/bookmobile-bob

    I will finish with, “The Bookmobile,” a poem by Jean Brabham McKinney

    I carry books,

    I carry dreams

    Over the hilltops

    And over the Streams.

    Around the bend

    To the dingly nooks

    My dreams and yours

    In a hundred books.

    Dreams of mystery,

    Dragons and kings,

    Faraway places.

    And all sorts of things.

    Over the Hilltops

    And over the streams,

    I bring you books

    And wonderful dreams.

    So long friends, it has been a wonderful journey! Keep reading I certainly will.

    Bookmobile Bob”


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    GREEN BAY, WI (WTAQ) - A shooting occurred Tuesday afternoon on Green Bay's East Side, which left one individual injured after being shot in the abdomen.

    The incident occurred around 1 PM near the 2000 block of Eastman Avenue and stemmed from an altercation.

    The condition of the victim, who was taken to the hospital, is currently unknown.

    This is believed to be an isolated incident and police are actively looking for the shooter. 

     


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    APPLETON, WI (WTAQ) - Following the August 18th afternoon shooting that occurred at Appleton's busiest intersection, police are appealing to the public for more information.

    The shocking traffic camera footage from W. Prospect Avenue and S. Memorial Drive showed a motorcyclist pulling up alongside a pickup truck and firing shots into the truck's cab.

    Police believe the incident stemmed from a conflict between rival motorcycle clubs and to this point those clubs have not cooperated with officials.

     

    Many of the people involved have been identified, but investigators are still searching for the name of the shooter.

    Anyone with possible information is encouraged to contact Appleton Police. 

     


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  • 08/28/18--14:05: Severe Weather Hits Again
  • GREEN BAY, WI (WTAQ) - Severe Weather is once again hitting the area.

    A Tornado Warning has been issued for Southwestern Fond du Lac County in east central Wisconsin and Northeastern Dodge County.

    A Tornado Warning also remains in effect until 5:15 PM for Southeastern Calumet and Southwestern Manitowoc Counties.

    A severe thunderstorm capable of producing a tornado was located over Waupun, moving east at 45 mph. Quarter size hail is possible The National Weather Service Radar indicated rotation. 

    Severe Thunderstorm Warnings are in effect for most of the area. 

    Flooding is also a concern at this time.

    Green Bay Police are asking all motorists to stay off the roads if possible, due to the large amount of rain that has fallen and the threat of flooding. 

    One caller reported to WTAQ seeing a partial funnel cloud in Neenah.


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    GREEN BAY, WI (WTAQ) - Major rainfall and flooding throughout the area on Tuesday even affected the Green Bay Packers as water pooled around the field and into the tunnel.

    In order to stop water from coming inside the stadium, a barrier was put in place.

    The Packers next home game isn't until Sunday, September 9 against the Bears, which will give the field adequate time to dry off. 


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    SHAWANO COUNTY, WI (WTAQ) - A construction project will be affecting drivers in Shawano County for the next few months.

    The Department of Transportation announced plans on Tuesday to improve 8.2 miles of Highway 156, which will remain open while crews resurface the road, widen paved shoulders, clean and replace cross-culvert pipes, and add new signs and pavement markings.

    Some lanes will be closed during construction and drivers are expected to experience delays.

    The $1.9 million dollar project will begin on September 4 and finish in November. 


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  • 08/28/18--18:58: Using Hands To Come Together
  • GREEN BAY, WI (WTAQ) - Green Bay Police Department community policing officers have partnered with the habitat humanity repair program to help a resident in need of assistance.

    The resident, Justin, has medical conditions that have impaired his way of life, and police say he has had his home broken into in the past.

    Matt Harper Director of Development for the Greater Green Bay Habitat For Humanity said they had the resources to help police.

    "They let us know about Justin who was in need of added security at his residence."

    Green Bay Police Lieutenant Steve Mahoney says that came in the form of a new lock.

    "We are removing a door that did not have a deadbolt lock on it, stripping it down to the frame and installing a new door."

    Harper said using their skills to help people in need is what they do.

    "We go around the community and we help individuals with small home repairs and things that we can do to help people out in the Green Bay area."

    Mahoney says it is nice when the community comes together.

    "We can't solve all the crimes by ourselves, we need to work with our community to be able to solve crimes. It is important for us to interact with our community."

    Water and snacks were provided for the workers.

    The volunteers also took additional steps cleaning up the resident's yard, cut down a tree and trimmed some low hanging tree branches.


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