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Northeast Wisconsin's local news coverage.

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    (WTAQ) - Two words, slow down.

    It's a simple reminder but comes with heightened importance as roads will be filled with kids in the morning and afternoon as schools across the state prepare to start another year.

    The first day of school for most districts is next Tuesday, but the crossing guards responsible for keeping children safe in the street are using this week to make sure they are prepared for another school year.

    But who are these individuals responsible for keeping area kids safe on their way to and from school every day?

    Stewart Zuehls with the Neenah Police Department describes the most popular background of his staff.

    "Majority of the staff is actually retirees," he explains. "Some of them live within a couple of blocks so they can ride their bikes."

    Dale Haagen of the De Pere Police Department also has a primarily "senior" staff and says they become very close with the kids.

    "They actually refer to the kids at their intersection as my kids," he explains. "They really develop that relationship with them."

    These crossing guards are responsible for ensuring students safety, but they require the cooperation of motorists.

    Haagen stresses the point that it's everyone's safety at risk.

    "A lot of time we focus on the safety of our kids, but maybe don't pay as much attention to other people's kids," he says.

    Zuehls describes the simple steps drivers can take to ensure the safety of both children and crossing guard alike.

    "Set your phone down, pay attention, turn your radio down," he explains. "Let's give everyone a break out there."

    Some schools in the state have already started and drivers should keep an eye out for the bright green or orange vests of crossing guards.


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    OSHKOSH, WI (WTAQ) - The latest online sensation may pay off in a big way for one area police department.

    The Oshkosh Police Department's lip sync video is in the running for the best in the Nation.

    USA Today put together a voting contest and Oshkosh PD's Packer video is representing Wisconsin.

    "Our goal was just to something fun and show the light side of law enforcement and also to include our community."  Mann said they were able to do that with their song selection.  "We chose a Packer song, but we wanted to make it Oshkosh so we did little tidbits throughout the video, Mann said. "We chose a song that is not very mainstream but is something different and makes it very personable to Packer fans as well as to Wisconsin."  Mann admits they never imagined their video would be as big as it is, and while they did not do it for recognition, your vote matters.  "We are really hoping that they go on and vote for us because we are the only department that is representing Wisconsin.  Oshkosh's video is competing against three other departments in the Midwest and with a win can move on the National Finals.   Click Here To Vote  

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    TOWN OF ALTO, WI (WTAQ-WLUK) - Farm buildings toppled over and taken off their foundations is what Andy Mouw and his family found after storms passed through Fond du Lac County Tuesday night.

    "It's a Century Farm and literally in the two minutes I was downstairs it went to nothing," said Mouw.

    7-year-old Ryden Mouw says it was his idea to head to the basement when the weather turned bad.

    "Because I thought that big tree was going to hit our house."

    "Right at that time, I was putting them down, I was looking out the door and I could see all the pieces of barn flying past the door, the front door, while we were running down in the basement," said Andy Mouw.

    The Mouws are leaving most of the damage as it is until insurance workers can come to take a look.

    Down the street, on County Road AS, the Mouws' neighbors are making progress cleaning up what is left of their family farm.

    And a little further down, Tim Tenpas tells FOX 11 he was lucky to only lose a machine shed.

    "It is a lot of family farms. They're all getting bigger and bigger now of course, but this area seems to be more of a family farm area."

    Tenpas says his family was getting ready to milk their cows when the storm rolled in.

    "Storms often come through about that time, but this one was a little bit different. We probably shouldn't have been in the barn."

    With a visit already from the insurance company, Tenpas is focused on getting things back to normal.

    "Now we'll just have to get things cleaned up and start going with a new shed and a few other things that have got to be done."


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    APPLETON, WI (WTAQ-WLUK) - It was more than city streets impacted by Tuesday's flooding.

    Restoration companies said they've been flooded with calls since the severe storms hit.

    Midwest Restoration in Little Chute says it usually gets just a couple of calls a night.

    Jennifer Rottier, the company's chief operations officer, tells FOX 11 they got 75 that night.

    Amanda Wood was one of them.

    "I came home from work to check on things, came downstairs and there were between three and five inches of standing water.”

    This is the second time in three months Amanda Wood's basement has flooded.

    After having it redone the last time, Wood tells FOX 11 she and her family have been checking pumps regularly and clearing out drains.

    "We feel like we've done everything we could to prevent this, that's why it's so frustrating!"

    Wood's preparedness was no match for Tuesday's storms, and there are many others in the same boat.

    Restoration companies across Wisconsin say their calls have also doubled, even tripled because of basement flooding.

    Some have no choice but to start placing people on a wait list.

    "We have probably over 500 air movers, 60 to 75 dehumidifiers that we'll put on each project that has water, and every piece of equipment that we have is out. We don't have one piece of equipment left in our shop."

    But there are things you can do in the meantime to speed up the process.

    For those with insurance claims, employees say you should document as much as possible to prove the damage occurred when it did.

    And estimators have a bit of advice for those who may not be insured.

    "At least remove all of the wet materials that are in the basement,” said Midwest Restoration estimator Ray Leopold.

    “Definitely make sure you might have a professional come out and test for moisture content, once that’s been taken care before you start putting the basement back together to ensure that you're not going to have any issues down the road."


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    HARRISON, WI (WTAQ-WLUK) - Rescue crews from multiple agencies around the Fox Valley responded to a call for help Tuesday evening.

    They arrived to save an 11-year-old boy sucked by flood waters into a narrow drainage pipe, in a new subdivision in Harrison.

    “This could have gone a million different ways and it went out this way, and he's very lucky to be alive.”

    Wesley Pompa, Deputy Chief with the Harrison Fire Department, was among those who responded to the call.

    He tells Fox11 what he encountered in the drainage ditch.

    “The water was up to the white line on that post. There was a whirlpool formed. We combed the area there to see if we could feel him, anything."

    The fast running water where the boy went in the culvert pipe ends up in a retention pond several blocks away.

    Rescuers thought with the strong current the boy may have made his all the way through, and crews were called to search that area too, hoping for the best.

    But the 11-year-old, who is not being identified, only traveled about 30 feet in the pipe filled with murky, muddy water.

    “Must have been able to hold breath long enough. Judging from how the water was going, it's like a gun. You're in a chamber, you get shot out the other end,” explained Pompa, who figured the boy made it through to the manhole section of the pipe in seconds.

    Pompa says the kid caught another break.

    “He's fortunate that's actually a ‘T’ right there so the water flows east and west there. He probably hit the concrete culvert and was able to stand up and reach for the ladder.”

    Inside the manhole, you can see the small drainage pipe at the bottom, down about 12 feet. Pompa says only three rungs of the ladder were out of the water. And the road with the manhole was also covered in water--which must have trapped some air inside.

    “We were literally standing over top of that manhole cover when a finger poked out that hole.”

    Rescuers could then hear calls for help from the boy, and firefighters opened the manhole cover and Pompa pulled the child out.

    “His face was probably as big as mine when we got that cover open. I don't think it was all the way open and we were already pulling him out.”

    A day after the incident, a grate now blocks the opening to the culvert pipe to prevent a future tragedy. Pompa believes a developer of the new subdivision added the metal bars.

    The family of the boy expressed thanks to the rescuers and relief in how the rescue turned out.

    The boy’s father said he is doing well at home after initially being checked out at an area hospital. The father indicated the family still struggles with what could have been a much different ending.


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    APPLETON, WI (WTAQ) - Appleton Police are handling a crash on College Avenue near Richmond Street.

    The incident happened early this morning. 

    Some roads in the area are blocked.

    Police are short on the details but do say it's a significant one vehicle crash.

    They're also asking drivers to find alternate routes around that area.


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    MANITOWOC COUNTY, WI (WTAQ) - An 8-year-old Mishicot boy died on Wednesday after being struck in the head with a baseball.

    Rescue crews responded to the incident that occurred at around 1:45 PM, but the boy died.

    This is being regarded as an accident and criminal activity is not suspected, even though the incident remains under investigation, according to Deputy Inspector Jason Orth. 

    As of now, the boy's name has yet to be released. 


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    FOND DU LAC, WI (WTAQ) - Governor Scott Walker's latest stop on his tour of storm damage in Wisconsin is Fond du Lac County.

    The governor surveyed the damage in the county today (Thursday) where at least six tornadoes touched down this week.

    Governor Walker has had many of his days lately surveying storm, flood, or tornado damage caused by a series of late summer episodes of severe weather.

    "We've been looking at the damage. Showed us where the path went, where the various sites were."

    On a positive note, Walker says he's seen examples of the resiliency of Wisconsinites.

    "People are already out helping others deal with this. So, you've got municipal officials, county officials, state staff working together."

    And, while the storms might be gone, the Governor says standing water and even floodwaters remain.

    "If the roadway is flooded, don't go through it. You're likely to drown."

    Walker is reminding people to call 2-1-1 to report damage, which could help qualify the Badger state for millions of dollars in federal aid.

    Walker on Wednesday declared a statewide emergency, directing state agencies and the Wisconsin National Guard to assist local authorities as needed.


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    CHILTON, WI (WTAQ) - The 22-year-old suspect in a fatal crash that occurred on August 19 in Chilton was ordered to stand trial on Thursday.

    Codi Miller is facing seven counts, including homicide by intoxicated use of a motor vehicle after the crash killed his motorcycle passenger and injured a boy on his bicycle.

    The intersection of Highway KK and State Park Road is where the accident occurred.

    Miller's blood alcohol concentration was .210 at the time of the incident, according to a blood test. 

    Miller had a .02 limit for driving after three previous drunken driving convictions.

    Court records show that his arraignment is scheduled for September 24. 


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    GREEN BAY, WI (WTAQ-WLUK) - Coal piles have called a portion of the western shore along the Fox River in Green Bay home for more than a century.

    The city has been talking about moving the piles for decades and on Thursday, city and state leaders held a meeting about the plan.

    "We just wanted to have a discussion with WPS and see if we could work together to help develop our waterfront and these are great corporate citizens and it was very positive," said Jim Schmitt, Green Bay mayor.

    As FOX 11 Investigates reported a few months ago, the Pulliam Power Plant near the mouth of the Fox River could be a potential site for the coal piles. The WPS plant will retire its coal-fired units the fall.

    "We anticipate we will be having further discussions not only with our local elected officials but also with other various stakeholders that may be interested or may have some input on this process," said Matt Cullen, WPS spokesman. 

    A spokesperson from C. Reiss, which owns the coal piles, said the company “has always expressed interest in the potential of relocating.”

    "I think we have some homework to look into," Schmitt said. 

    State Rep. David Steffen and Rep. Mike Gallagher also attended the meeting and offered their thoughts on potential relocation for the coal piles.

    "This is a very first initial discussion and these are the types of things that have to happen. This will be a long road that we're all going to be on together," Said State Rep. David Steffen, R-Green Bay.

    "This is at the intersection of city policy, county policy, state policy, potentially federal policy particularly if we were talking about any port expansion. That might open up the opportunity for infrastructure grants. I'm on the transportation infrastructure committee so there may be an opportunity there," said Rep. Mike Gallagher.

    Schmitt told FOX 11 he expects more meetings in the future.


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  • 08/30/18--16:42: County Supervisor Resigns
  • BROWN COUNTY, WI (WTAQ-WLUK) - Brown County Supervisor Mark Becker announced his resignation on Thursday, citing the fact that he and his family are soon moving from Pulaski as the main reason.

    Becker has been serving District 26 with the Brown County Government.

    He remains thankful for the support of friends and neighbors alike. 


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  • 08/30/18--16:43: The Wall That Heals
  • CRIVITZ, WI (WTAQ) - A Name. Behind each one, a family, a story, and history to be uncovered. 58,318 names are on a Vietnam memorial wall replica that has a temporary home in Crivitz.

    Each of those names representing a life lost in Vietnam.

    A Veteran that goes by the name of "Snake" lives in Green Bay, but helped welcome in the wall.

    "Tuesday I was part of the motorcycle escort to brought it over in a monsoon. We would do it rain, shine, tornado warnings, we don't care, it had to get here. We brought it here with honor and respect.

    Before the wall was open to the public Thursday a ceremony was held to pay respect to the veterans.

    Among the Vietnam veterans in the crowd was Glenn Manske of Crivitz. He is a  member of Purple Heart chapter 164, a recipient of the Purple Heart and a wounded warrior.

    Manske was in Vietnam in 1966 and 1967 when he was just 19-years-old.

    "You know, when your fellow comrades, the guys that you joked around with and you got to love them for what they were and they were kids. You forget their faces and you forget their names but then if you can look it up on the wall and gives you a chance to say ah I remember him, he's the guy that just got married and we used to peak over his shoulder to see the pictures of his wife in the negligee."

    To help Veterans and their families find the names are looking for guys like Tim Tate's the site manager for the "Wall That Heals" and a little technology.

    "We can bring a person and show them where a name is on the wall, but also look that name and show them a photograph of that person to help them remember or see what they looked like. We have photographs of almost all 58,318 veterans."

    "And we can look it up and we can oh yeah, that was his name, said Manske. "It brings back a lot of memories and that you can finally say goodbye buddy."

    Crivitz Village President John Deschane is a veteran, and the name of one of his classmates is on the wall the wall. Since the wall is only stopping at 32 places in the nation, and Crivitz is one, there are many reasons to come see it this weekend.

    "That ability to say welcome home and say I miss you or to find your love ones on here I mean you can't put words, said Deschane. "On it is every single detail and is the same one in DC right down to the same scratches on it."

    The wall will be open 24 hours a day each day and will remain in Crivitz until 3:00 p.m. Sunday.

     


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    MILWAUKEE, WI (WTAQ) - The Oshkosh Northwestern is reporting that a judge ruled Wednesday that the University of Wisconsin - Oshkosh has to cover the debts of the school's private foundation, which equates to $15 million.

    Judge Susan Kelley is ruling that two former UW-Oshkosh administrators crafted an enforceable contract that must be honored when they penned a letter promising to use university money to bail out the foundation. 

    State taxpayers were left responsible for building project loans after the UWO Foundation filed for bankruptcy in 2017.

    Former Chancellor Richard Wells and former Vice Chancellor Thomas Sonnleitner face criminal charges of misconduct in office and they pleaded not guilty in June.

    Allegedly they illegally promised banks that any debts the foundation couldn't cover would be guaranteed by the university.

    UW-Oshkosh didn't have a comment when they were contacted by FOX 11 News. 


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    APPLETON, WI (WTAQ) - The driver of the pickup truck that was shot at by motorcyclist earlier this month has been found by Appleton Police.

    The shocking incident that occurred on August 18 at the busy intersection of W. Prospect Avenue and S. Memorial Drive was caught by a traffic camera.

    The truck has been impounded and officers haven't said if the truck was hit by any of the shots.

    The driver has been identified and police continue to believe that the incident stemmed from a dispute between rival motorcycle gangs.


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    (WTAQ) - Many people across the state are looking to hire contractors after severe weather created home damage, but it's important to do your homework to make sure you're not dealing with a scam artist.

    "Stormchasers" travel around the country looking to prey on homeowners that are in immediate need of contract services after suffering damages from a storm.

    Susan Bach, the Regional Director of the Northeast Wisconsin Better Business Bureau, says these scam artists don't wait long to jump into action.

    "We usually hear about it fairly quickly after a storm comes through," she says.

    Often times it's difficult to spot these scam artists, but it becomes much easier if you do your homework before.

    "Get a business card from them, make sure to have the phone number and address on it," says Bach. "Make sure to check their plates aren't from out-of-state."

    The real concern is how quickly a scam artist will move following a shoddy fix. Bach explains that often times people don't realize they were scammed until much longer down the road.

    "The problem is they might not discover there is a problem with the work until long after those companies have gone," she says.

    The good news? If homeowners do notice a problem with the work they had done, they can contact the BBB to help them with their next step.

    "The Better Business Bureau has a free complaint resolution process, so you can file a complaint against the company and the BBB will act as an intermediary between the two of you," explains Bach.

    The best policy is to be pro-active before hiring an individual or a team and to verify their legitimacy through multiple background checks, including address, phone number, and drivers license. 


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    GREEN BAY, WI (WTAQ) - Say your prayers chewing gum.

    A new machine unveiled in Downtown Green Bay is blasting away an all too common sticky menace.

    A presentation in Downtown Green Bay on Thursday unveiled new physical improvements that will enhance Green Bay's first impression.

    One of the new features is "The GumBuster" machine, which pairs an eco-friendly solution with high-powered steam to make gum spots on sidewalks a thing of the past.

    Jeff Mirkes, Executive Director of Downtown Green Bay Inc., says the new machine will enhance their first impression and keep the city's momentum going forward.

    "We have a downtown that's starting to move, employees want to be here," he says. "There are 500 residential units on the river and all 500 are a hundred-percent occupied."

    Alex Renard, Operation Manager of Renco Machine, was also high in his praise of the city's direction.

    "We have a beautiful downtown and over the last few years being a resident here I've been able to see our downtown area blossom," he says. "The GumBuster is the next step."

    Renard is donating 40 hours of Renco employee labor to help in the gum removal process.

    He says that for his employees this opportunity will be like a dream come true.

    "Our guys are excited, they knew that they never would be able to be Ghostbusters, but now they will be able to be GumBusters," says Renard.

    In addition to the new gum removal machine, new art was introduced at the unveiling.

    Mirkes explains that newly designed street banners that will be installed on 200 light poles throughout the Downtown District are extra special.

    "We wanted to work with a local artist," he explains. "So many downtowns just buy their banners right out of a catalog and that wasn't good enough."

    The local artist, Rachael Wirth, worked to encapsulate both the iconic local landmarks and vibrant colors that the area features.

    Lastly, 100-holiday wreaths that later will line the streets of downtown and welcome visitors received a new vibrant ribbon. The ribbon upgrade is courtesy of The Plant People.

    The Grow 'n Glow Capital Campaign raised $250,000 to fund these initiatives. The campaign is aimed at physical improvement enhancements. 

     


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  • 08/31/18--02:47: A Bad Test Drive
  • GREEN BAY, WI (WTAQ) - A Howard man was arrested Thursday for stealing vehicles that he would test drive.

    Officers say James Nys would test drive vehicles that were being sold privately and agree to buy them but would keep the vehicles without paying for them, or leave a vehicle behind as collateral and come back later to get the vehicle.

    Green Bay Captain Jeremy Muraski explains the police department quickly put two and two together.

    "We recognized a pattern after we got a second similar complaint," he explains.

    Captain Muraski was able to shed some light on how he was pulling this off.

    "He's kind of agreeing to make a payment plan for the vehicle," he explains.  "Typically what the victim will do is they will hand over the title but not actually sign in." 

    These incidents are unusual in nature, but Captain Muraski claims there are some easy guidelines to follow to avoid being scammed.

    "I would never give anybody proof of ownership of a vehicle unless they had cash in hand or if they had a check and had the opportunity to cash it and let it clear for a few days," he explains.

    Officers say Nys was targeting members of the Hispanic community and they are still investigating to find out what happened to the vehicles that he stole. 


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    FOND DU LAC COUNTY, WI (WTAQ-WLUK) - Downed trees and flooding forced one Fond du Lac County campground to close during a normally popular time -- Labor Day weekend.

    The news was better for folks headed to the Long Lake Recreation Area in the Kettle Moraine State Forest.   It took a lot of hard work but the campground will remain open.

    Extra help and equipment are what it took to keep the campground open for the holiday weekend.

    Crews have been working around the clock to ensure the safety of campers and visitors.

    “Significant staff efforts from six different properties in the local vicinity, bringing in efforts of manpower and heavy equipment, upwards of 600 to 700 hours in the last two days, forecasting into tomorrow, as well,” said Kettle Moraine State Forest superintendent Jason Quast.

    There are roughly 200 campsites at the Long Lake Campground.

    All but about 10 sites will be open to campers, but there are still some closures within recreational and picnic areas.

    “Some of the recreational trails, such as the equestrian trails closed, because we have not had time to access how many trees may be down, the significance of the safety hazard and they are saturated,” Quast said.

    It’s one of the busiest times of the year for the campground.

    Quite a few people are expected this time around, including last-minute campers.

    “As of five hours ago, we didn’t know if we were going to be camping or not, so we’re actually kind of lucky!” Joe Damico of Sheboygan said.

    Others won’t be so lucky -- campers who planned a trip to Waupun County Park will be disappointed.

    With no power and limited water, directors decided the park wasn’t safe enough to open.

    “We didn’t want to do it, but we thought, ‘Well, let’s go ahead and call it as soon as possible, so that people have advanced warning and, if they can, make other arrangements,” Fond du Lac County director of planning & parks Sam Tobias said.

    The campground has a number of downed or hanging trees, and trails are still flooded or very muddy.

    Directors say the park may not even be ready for a meet that’s supposed to take place there in two weeks.

    Refunds or promo codes are being offered to those who have already made reservations at Waupun County Park.


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    CRIVITZ, WI (WTAQ) - A Name. Behind each one, a family, a story, and history to be uncovered. 58,318 names are on a Vietnam memorial wall replica that has a temporary home in Crivitz.

    Each of those names representing a life lost in Vietnam.

    A Veteran that goes by the name of "Snake" lives in Green Bay, but helped welcome in the wall.

    "Tuesday I was part of the motorcycle escort to brought it over in a monsoon. We would do it rain, shine, tornado warnings, we don't care, it had to get here. We brought it here with honor and respect.

    Before the wall was open to the public Thursday a ceremony was held to pay respect to the veterans.

    Among the Vietnam veterans in the crowd was Glenn Manske of Crivitz. He is a  member of Purple Heart chapter 164, a recipient of the Purple Heart and a wounded warrior.

    Manske was in Vietnam in 1966 and 1967 when he was just 19-years-old.

    "You know, when your fellow comrades, the guys that you joked around with and you got to love them for what they were and they were kids. You forget their faces and you forget their names but then if you can look it up on the wall and gives you a chance to say ah I remember him, he's the guy that just got married and we used to peak over his shoulder to see the pictures of his wife in the negligee."

    To help Veterans and their families find the names are looking for guys like Tim Tate's the site manager for the "Wall That Heals" and a little technology.

    "We can bring a person and show them where a name is on the wall, but also look that name and show them a photograph of that person to help them remember or see what they looked like. We have photographs of almost all 58,318 veterans."

    "And we can look it up and we can oh yeah, that was his name, said Manske. "It brings back a lot of memories and that you can finally say goodbye buddy."

    Crivitz Village President John Deschane is a veteran, and the name of one of his classmates is on the wall the wall. Since the wall is only stopping at 32 places in the nation, and Crivitz is one, there are many reasons to come see it this weekend.

    "That ability to say welcome home and say I miss you or to find your love ones on here I mean you can't put words, said Deschane. "On it is every single detail and is the same one in DC right down to the same scratches on it."

    The wall will be open 24 hours a day each day and will remain in Crivitz until 3:00 p.m. Sunday.


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  • 08/31/18--08:24: WPS Aids Fire Department
  • WRIGHTSTOWN, WI (WTAQ-WLUK) - Wrightstown firefighters will be having new equipment.

    The grant money is coming from Wisconsin Public Service in an effort to recognize emergency response agencies this week.

    The equipment will be used to rescue people in trapped vehicles.

    A total of 27 emergency response teams are receiving the grants.


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