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Northeast Wisconsin's local news coverage.

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  • 09/05/18--17:26: A Safe Way Home
  • ASHWAUBENON, WI (WTAQ-WLUK) - Uber is partnering with MillerCoors to give some fans a discount off their rides from Lambeau Field on game day.

    The promotion starts on Sunday.

    It can be used by riders multiple times during the season.

    Rides will be available beginning at Kickoff and ending at midnight.

    A designated pickup and drop-off zone is at the Titletown District parking lot behind Lodge Kohler.

    1,000 fans each game will receive $15 dollars off their rides.

    Riders must be 21-years-old.

    Fans can enter SAFERIDEGB into the Uber app for the discount.

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    SUAMICO, WI (WTAQ) - The Sensory Woods at Brown County's Barkhausen Waterfowl Preserve is encouraging to visitors to touch and feel their surroundings.

    The outdoor exhibit opened on Wednesday and visitors trekked through rain to get a first-hand look.

    Program and Natural Resource Coordinator Jason Patrella explains the benefits of the new exhibit.

    "Something different than just hanging around the house," he explains. "Have that kind of nature connection."

    The park was designed with input from the Alzheimer's Association in an attempt to better equip the exhibit to reach individuals suffering from the disease.

    Patrella initially came up with the idea of the park after a family member of his developed Alzheimer's Disease and later passed away from it.

    Kate Kahles with the Alzheimer's Association thinks the exhibit has a lot to offer.

    "A place for people to come and feel like they can engage in nature, but do so in a safe way," she says.

    On Wednesday, visitors were able to test-out a textured sensory wall and also try their hand at a woodworking table.

    The park was paid for entirely through donations, which reached around $7,000.

    Roughly 110,000 people in Wisconsin have been diagnosed with Alzheimer's Disease, according to the Alzheimer's Association.

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    GREEN BAY, WI (WTAQ) - There's a buzz around town as the Packers near their season opener against the rival-Chicago Bears on Sunday night, but fans will have to shell out more than a few bucks to get inside.

    It's going to be the 197th meeting in the historic matchup and for the Packers, it's the kick-off to an exciting season that is highlighted by the return of Aaron Rodgers, promising rookie draft picks, and high impact free agent acquisitions.

    Green Bay Ticket King Manager Travis Loftus says fans have had this game circled for a while.

    "Definitely been a hot ticket since the schedule came out in April," he explains.

    Tickets to get in Sunday night start are still available, but start at around $215 dollars and go up from there.

     And don't think prices will dip down for week 2, because it's just the opposite.

    'The Vikings game is actually a hotter commodity than the Bears game right now," says Loftus. "The Vikings start out around $320 a ticket."

    If those prices are too steep, Loftus explains the best bet is to wait until it gets cold.

    "The Cardinals or Falcons game in December is the least desirable on the schedule right now because they are further out," he says. "I don't think Cardinals or Atlanta fans will be traveling here then, I think it's too cold for them."

    The latest chapter in the Packers and Bears rivalry kicks off this Sunday night at Lambeau Field starting at 7:20 P.M.




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    GREEN BAY, WI (WTAQ) - The new Hotel Northland will host a job fair to fill multiple positions before opening.

    After much anticipation, the new and improved Hotel Northland will open this fall as the only Autograph Collection hotel in the state.

    John Williams, General Manager says they are ready to fill the staff by hosting a job fair next week at the Ferguson Family YMCA.

    "What really brings the hotel to life are the employees. We have some corporate people who are coming down to assist us with this process. They will be greeted by the VP of HR and then interviewed by a few people."

    135 positions are available, and Williams says there is an opportunity for everyone.

    "You have everything from engineering and maintenance to sales and marketing to front desk to bellman, doormen, housekeepers, cooks, and chefs."

    He says hiring staff will make the rebirth happen.

    "They are ones that will have 100 percent of the contact with our guests."

    Williams says those who are familiar with the old hotel will see a big difference and would be proud to work there.

    Interviews will be conducted Tuesday and Wednesday from 11am to 7pm.






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    DE PERE, WI (WTAQ) - The Fox River isn't typically a rushing torrent, but continued heavy rains is giving portions of the river a different appearance:

    Along riverwalks and dams across the state, the Fox River is noticeably different.

    Many portions of the river have transformed into a rushing cascade that's due to continued rainfall.

    Fox River Operations Chief Chad Shaw describes the area particularly affected.

    "We've seen a lot of extra flow in the lower Fox River," he explains.

    That extra flow has forced river towns across the state to adapt.

    Gates of the De Pere Dam are almost exclusively open in order to deal with the excess flow.

    The increased water levels have even affected transportation, as Wrightstown had to close portions of a roadway due to concerns.

    Shaw explains that the effort to manage the impact in areas like Wrightstown has become a team effort.

    "We worked closely with the department of public works down here to try to manage the local inflow and bring the levels down," he explains. 

    Perhaps the most stunned from the river's transformation is the residents that have lived alongside it for years.

    Roger Vangroll admits that this situation is extreme, no matter what time of year it is.

    "Typically in spring and fall you see a lot of water go through the dam, but not like this," he says. 

    The good news?

    Forecasts are predicting some drier weather in the immediate future.

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    GREEN BAY, WI (WTAQ) -  A US Congressman sat down yesterday to discuss the chaos surrounding the Brett Kavanaugh hearing and to share his opinion on a tell-all book aimed at giving insight into the Trump White House.

    Representative Mike Gallagher is a Republican from the 8th District.

    He, like many others, has been disappointed to witness the ongoing tense and often times chaotic atmosphere surrounding the confirmation hearing of Judge Brett Kavanaugh.

    Gallagher believes the problem actually stems from some fellow members of Congress.

    "We have an enormous number of Senator's that are trying to position themselves to run for President, as opposed to doing their job well," he explains.

    He also believes that another fundamental problem comes from a shift in public thought.

    "We look to the executive branch and the judicial branch to do the work of Congress and to judicate all of our disputes, it becomes inherently more politicized," claims Gallagher. "That's a trend we need to reverse."

    While on the topic of Bob Woodward's upcoming book, "Fear: Trump in the White House," Gallagher remained less than convinced on the publications authenticity.

    "I'm very skeptical of any story or book that relies solely on anonymous sourcing," he explains. 

    Beyond that, he doesn't believe this publication warrants the news-cycle that it has generated recently. 

    "Instead of focusing on the real policy issues at play, the things that matter, we just focus on the celebrity aspects of politics," Gallagher explains.

    He did admit that he has yet to read the publication and will reserve full judgment until doing so.

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    KAUKAUNA, WI (WTAQ-WLUK) - Nearly a year has passed since Hurricane Maria devastated Puerto Rico but one Northeast Wisconsin company says its relief efforts will go on.

    Since the hurricane hit the island last September, Jake's Diapers in Kaukauna has been collecting, packaging and distributing diapers to families with infants in Puerto Rico.

    The non-profit diaper bank has provided 12,239 cloth diapers to more than 1,000 people.

    “The cloth diapers provide the same diaper coverage as 6.2 million disposable diapers," said Stephanie Bowers, co-founder of Jake’s Diapers.

    "By providing cloth diapers instead of disposables in Puerto Rico, we have avoided more than 4 million pounds of garbage that would take over 300 years to break down.”

    To continue the company's effort, starting Friday, there will be a dollar for dollar match, up to $1,000 per donor through GlobalGiving.

    Bowers tells FOX 11 Jake's Diapers match will continue until December 31, 2018, or until the matching funds run out.

    “When disaster strikes, families may find themselves with only the clothes on their backs. This was true after Hurricane Maria and, unfortunately, is still true today. People in Puerto Rico are just trying to survive. Unfortunately, federal disaster relief programs do not provide diapers, so that is why we’ve stepped up to help meet the need.”

    Diaper Need Awareness Week is September 24-30.

    It is an annual week sponsored by the National Diaper Bank Network that coordinates with other diaper banks across the country to emergency situations like Hurricane Maria.

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    APPLETON, WI (WTAQ-WLUK) - Students in the Appleton school district will no longer be allowed to share birthday and special occasion treats or snacks during school.

    The change aims to promote equity and a healthy lifestyle.

    Stephanie Kuchenberg told FOX 11, it’s a change that had to happen.

    “For my family, we deal with a lot of food allergies. I have a daughter with celiac disease and Type 1 diabetes."

    Kuchenberg said her daughter sometimes feels left out from celebrations during class, “She's like 'mom I couldn't participate' and it just really made me upset."

    Steve Harrison is the districts former health and human performance director.

    "Its really about the bigger piece of not excluding students because they may or may not have other external circumstances."

    Appleton school leaders say the change is meant to celebrate and honor students rather than the items they bring to school.

    "We're really focused on other best practices such as a student bringing in his or her favorite book to read, talking about the meaning behind why that is so important for the child, or student being leader of the day, things like that," said Harrison.

    Linda Cross, a retired Hortonville teacher, disagrees with the change.

    She tells FOX 11 there are ways to accommodate everyone.

    “I think we can have those considerations in mind and have a little of this and a little of that, some gluten-free or whatever."

    Over Facebook messenger, Appleton parent Erin Rogers told FOX 11...

    "I think the kids need to be taught at a young age that not everyone can afford the same things, and there are times that they may be left out of a specific snack due to their allergies/restrictions."

    Appleton Area School leaders say the rule helps make sure the district continues being culturally responsive to the needs of families.

    “And making sure we honor our students in a way that's safe, welcoming and healthy for our students," said Harrison.

    The rule does not apply to cold lunch and it's only in effect during school hours, which starts midnight and ends half an hour after dismissal.

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    NEW LONDON, WI (WTAQ-WLUK) - The recent acquisition of 11 acres at the center of Mosquito Hill, near New London, is opening up new opportunities for the popular nature center.

    “It was just that it was this small island in the middle of the nature center that we weren't able to access because it was a private property,” said Mike Hibbard, Mosquito Hill’s naturalist. “Now we're able to access it.”

    Using proceeds from a previous land sale, Outagamie County bought the property for about $364,000.

    Hibbard tells FOX 11 the area is gated off for now, but it includes a 2,000-square foot house.

    “We'll have to have it assessed by an architect and by somebody to see if we can make it compliant with the American Disabilities Act.”

    Possibilities for that site and the rest of Mosquito Hill were the focus of a listening session Wednesday night.

    “Well I think we ought to look at what we want to do and I think we ought to know what the name is going to be,” said Ivan Gruetzmacher of New London.

    Some have raised the question, "who would want to visit a place called Mosquito Hill?"

    A re-branding effort is on hold, but the name Wolf Peak Hill is one suggestion locals are already talking about.

    “We want to focus on the future and the future development of the property and then we'll talk more on the name,” said Hibbard.

    The goal is to have a Mosquito Hill master plan ready for Outagamie county board approval by the end of this year or early next year.

    Some ideas thrown out at the listening session for the new land include skiing or sledding, connecting more trails, and creating a nature-based school for children.

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    APPLETON, WI (WTAQ-WLUK) - A trio of Fox Valley non-profits are set to become one.

    "The whole goal is to make things better for people who are struggling," said Fox Valley Warming Shelter director Scott Peeples.

    For years, the Fox Valley Warming Shelter, Homeless Connections and Housing Partnership of the Fox Cities in Appleton have worked with one another to provide services for the homeless.

    By joining forces, Peeples tells FOX 11 they'll be able to do that more effectively.

    "What we're trying to do is better serve people experiencing homelessness and housing instability, by bringing three organizations that already work together pretty well to help people."

    A client might come to the Warming Shelter, move onto Homeless Connections and then get into an apartment program through the Housing Partnership.

    The merger lets the non-profits help people together from beginning to end.

    Peeples said they’ll be able to do this by getting to the bottom of what the true needs are at the beginning of a person's journey then, as a team, provide the necessary services.

    “We'll have a better team building…teams working more closely together to do those sorts of things, and doing more case management for the clients.”

    The collaboration allows for a bigger budget, and directors said no one will lose their job in the merger.

    What's more, all services and programs meant to better the lives of those in need will continue.

    "The programs…it determines whether or not we're ready to be accepted to the real society out there, to where we're able to be functional on our own," client Irving Jemison said.

    The biggest difference the public will notice is the new name.

    The merger is expected to take place October 1.

    On that day, the new name of the organization will also be revealed.

    The Fox Valley Warming Shelter's 7th Annual "Grateful Plateful" event will still be taking place this year on October 3, after the merger.

    It's one of the shelter's largest fundraisers.

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    GREEN BAY, WI (WTAQ) - A new initiative is allowing Green Bay Emergency Departments to better comfort children in an unfortunate situation.

    The entire Wisconsin State Patrol and multiple emergency departments are now equipped with REACH Bags. 

    These are durable backpacks filled with new children's books that are intended for kids at a scene where officers have been called to.

    Green Bay Officer Kevin Warych says often times it's the kids that are overlooked.

    "When first responders respond to peoples houses kids are often the innocent bystanders," he says. "The secondary victims to situations like this."

    Officer Warych explains the purpose of the bags.

    "The bookbag contains several books, they can keep the backpack and they can use the backpack for whatever they want," he says. "Hopefully we can install in that child that police officers are there to help them."

    A couple of things are important to achieve for kids anytime they are present when emergency responders are called to the scene.

    "Make sure that child's safe and make sure that child feels safe around police officers," Officer Warych says

    He's hoping this small gesture can create a lasting impact.

    "It's very important that police officers connect with kids," Officer Warych says. "Anything we can do to create maybe a negative contact into a positive memory is so important for a police officer."

    Triple-A Wisconsin organized a book drive and has donated towards the cause and the Reach-A-Child organization is hoping to expand into other Midwest states in the near future.

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    MENASHA, WI (WTAQ) - Neenah-Menasha Fire Rescue responded to an apartment fire on First Street around 1:30 p.m. Thursday afternoon and rescued an infant from the building.

    Assistant Fire Chief Vernon Green said fire officials were informed that a young child was in the apartment at the time they arrived.

    "Took a two-man rescue crew into the apartment and did a search pattern up there. They did find the infant child and brought that child out of the apartment."

    The child was reported not breathing when rescued, but CPR was performed at the scene. 

    The child was taken to the hospital.

    Three other people reported as an adult male and two other children made it out of the house.

    One person reported minor burns to the hand or arm area.

    Upon arrival, smoke was noticed coming from a second-floor window.

    "The fire was knocked down and confined to one room in one apartment."

     The cause of the fire remains under investigation.

    "We don't see anything at this points that indicate that it was anything malicious."

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    GREEN BAY, WI (WTAQ) - Residents of northeast Wisconsin might hear military planes in the sky overhead this week.

    Late night training flights will be conducted by the Wisconsin Air National Guard's 115th Fighter Wing beginning on Thursday and continuing thru Sunday.

    The Fighter Wing is based out of Madison. 

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  • 09/06/18--14:50: Fire Spreads To Home
  • KAUKAUNA, WI (WTAQ) - A garage fire spread to a Kaukauna home Thursday.

    Officials responded to the residence on the 1800 block of Maloney Road.

    Two people were in the home at the time of the fire but were able to get out safely.

    No injuries were reported.

    The Red Cross is assisting at the scene.

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    MANITOWOC, WI (WTAQ) - Classes will be canceled Friday for a second consecutive day at Lincoln High School in Manitowoc after a ceiling collapsed over a classroom Wednesday afternoon.

    "There is never a good time for your ceiling collapse."

    Superintendent Mark Holzman says it happened around 2:30 on the third floor.

    The city inspector and engineer are examing how the ceiling was attached to the main structure of the building.

    "At this time there is no concern with the overall structural foundation of the building."

    A drop ceiling was installed in that classroom in 1999.

    Holzman says they have ruled out water damage.

    "There is no leakage like it is not from water."

    No one was hurt or in the classroom at the time of the collapse Wednesday. Students were moved to different parts of the building until the end of the day after the collapse.

    "We have over 5,000 students and about 1,200 of them are at Lincoln High School so we do have about 3,800 kids currently in school so that is a positive."

    Holzman says having it happen at the beginning of the year means they will not know what they will need to do to make up the lost hours, but he says a different time schedule at the end of school year remains an option.

    "We are just getting started so we are just going to have to get started next week. We are losing two days now so that is something that we are going to have to work hard to make up during the school year."

    After-school activities and sports will continue as scheduled on Friday.

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    GREEN BAY, WI (WTAQ) - The Broadway Lofts were recognized on Thursday for creating affordable housing.

    The housing project in Green Bay's Rail Yard was awarded $764,627 in state tax credits by both the city of Green Bay and the Wisconsin Housing and Economic Development Authority (WHEDA).

    The project features 107 units, which will be located near North Broadway and Kellogg Street.

    They will have one, two, and three bedrooms and 14 three-bedroom townhome-style units.

    State tax credits from WHEDA were also rewarded to Chippewa Falls, Eau Claire, Fitchburg, Pleasant Prairie, River Falls, Sheboygan, and Superior to build affordable housing.


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    NEENAH, WI (WTAQ) - A bicyclist suffered serious injuries after being struck by a vehicle Thursday morning in Neenah.

    Police say the vehicle sped off after the incident.

    The accident happened around 7:20 a.m on West Cecil Street near Reddin Avenue.

    Officers are looking for suspects.

    Anyone with information is encouraged to call the Neenah Police Department.

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    GRAND CHUTE, WI (WTAQ) - In an age of online shopping, one major retailer is taking a different approach to get people to still come thru the door.

    Macy's idea to ensure people still get in the car is the new "Macy's Backstage," which is being rolled out in 100 locations nationwide, with one at the Fox River Mall.

    The 12,100 square foot discount store is within the traditional Macy's.

    "We didn't lose any merchandise assortment whatsoever within Macy's," says Macy's Merchandising Manager Katie Ruedi. "We actually just used the space a little differently."

    The goal is to feature discounted and unique year-round items that will attract typical online shoppers like Appleton resident Alex Zwayer.

    "We love Nordstrom Racks and my husband loves Macy's so I could see us checking that out for sure," she says.

    The overall goal to appeal to online shoppers is being carried out by featuring unique and discounted items.

    "We take an off-price strategy and we put it within one of our existing stores," Ruedi explains. "And we offer great prices for our customers and new products that they haven't seen before."

    The examples of potential featured products are wide-ranging.

    "Kids toys year round, home decor, gourmet food," says Ruedi.

    The Backstage Store at the Fox River Mall opens next week Saturday and the first 200 customers will receive a gift card.

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    BROWN COUNTY, WI (WTAQ-WLUK) - The recent severe weather has turned local farm fields into puddles and has some farmers rethinking their harvest plans.

    Agriculture experts say this year's corn crop has been reasonably good, but the extreme rainfall lately has created some runoff issues.

    Dan Wiese from Wiese Brothers Farm near Greenleaf explains the effect recent weather has had on his farm.

    "We did have a lot of rain last week on all of our acres. Somewhere on average of 10-14 inches of rain in the last 11 days. That is going to definitely cause some issues," he told Fox 11 News.

    For the time being, work in his corn and alfalfa fields will have to wait.

    "Definitely seen some stream banks that were overflowing, have a few concerns about some alfalfa fields that are going to be underwater for a short time. Hopefully, they make it," he told Fox 11 News.


    Many farms will be utilizing what's called a dump cart in an effort to minimize the amount of compaction in the fields. 

    Farmers are hopefully that drier weather this week will continue and give them an opportunity to harvest next week.

    "As of right now, it's still a little bit too wet to chop. So luckily for us, we do have a little bit of time to let those fields heal up, and hopefully not tear them up so bad when we take the equipment in," Wiese said to Fox 11 News.

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    ASHWAUBENON, WI (WTAQ) - This weekends Packers-Bears game continues one of the  NFL's biggest rivalries, and Bears icon George Halas had a lot to do with making that happen.

    Some say Halas saved the Packers and was a good friend to the team.

    Packers Team Historian Cliff Christl says it was more for selfish reasons.  

    "He was mostly a friend when it was to his benefit."  

    In 1921, the Packers first year in the league, they wanted to play the Bears (known as the Staleys at that time). They were the flagship franchise in the league at that point.   

    Christl says if it was not for George Halas agreeing to play the Packers during their first year in the league in 1921, the Packers would not have survived, but Halas did not do that for that reason.  

    "He was trying to win the second NFL Championship and he needed another victory, so he was willing to play anybody and I think it just happened to be the Packers," says Christl. "He really only played them because he needed a win and the Packers were nearby, and that launched the rivalry."  

    Christl says he also did it because it was their biggest draw at the gates in Chicago and eventually Halas requested playing the Packers three times a year, twice in Chicago.  

    "So whatever was in George Halas's financial interest was his number one priority. With that said he was a good friend."  

    Regardless of his intentions, the rivalry continues and Sunday marks the 197th meeting between the two teams.

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