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Northeast Wisconsin's local news coverage.

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    GREEN BAY, WI (WTAQ-WLUK) - A room inside city hall was named on Tuesday for the former Chairman of Green Bay's redevelopment authority.

    Room 604 has been renamed in honor of Harry Maier, who passed away in April this year.

    He was the chairman of the RDA for 15 years and a member for 25 years.

    "It's terrific, it's so gratifying to know how many people and how many lives he affected in the city and he loved the city obviously and was able to effect change and would be enjoying this himself, " said Hal Maier, Maier's brother, to Fox 11 News.

    He also worked for the Green Bay Gazette as a reporter and editor for 22 years prior to retiring in 1993. 


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    GREEN BAY, WI (WTAQ-WLUK) - Ahead of this weeks hurricane activity on the East Coast, help from the Red Cross is arriving.

    By Tuesday evening, 30 trained volunteers from Wisconsin have been deployed to help those that will end of affected by Hurricane Florence.  

    Nick Cluppert, Red Cross Disaster Program Manager says one northeast Wisconsin woman left Tuesday with a specially prepared vehicle.  

    Deanna Culver left Oshkosh Tuesday morning for Virginia in the Emergency Response Vehicle, or the ERV.  

    "That will be used to do mobile feeding, or it may be used to deliver to shelters to things like that," said Cluppert.

     Culver has helped before and said it is worth all of the efforts.   

    "Sometimes some of them will give you a hug or say thank you, and that makes a big difference."  

    Volunteers will do everything from feeding, sheltering and disaster assessments.  

    The Red Cross will keep deploying volunteers before the storm and more after if needed. 

    Volunteers are always needed, but training is required for being deployed. 

    Cluppert says those interested can apply to be a volunteer and to start training to be ready in time for the next disaster.


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    GREEN BAY, WI (WTAQ-WLUK) - If Green Bay Mayor Jim Schmitt has his way, the city's downtown could be getting taller.

    “I think Green Bay needs to do that,” said Schmitt. “I think Green Bay deserves it. I think we can afford it and that is something I'd like to see done here.”

    Out of three proposals, Schmitt tells FOX 11 he's backing Base Companies and Barsan Construction's $60.7 million plan to build 16 and 11 story buildings at the corner of Adams and Cherry Streets. The corner is currently a parking lot.

    “I think once we break that, we'll see even more skyline type development.”

    Another proposal for the prominent corner is from Bond Realty. It wants to build a six-story, $17.7 million building.

    The other proposal is from T.Wall Enterprises. It calls for four stories, in a trident shape, with about a $35 million price tag.

    “The CityDeck is within easy walking distance, a lot of restaurants are nearby, we think there will be a lot of demand for residential potential here,” said Jeff Mirkes, the executive director of Downtown Green Bay, Inc.

    The 16 and 11 story buildings call for 130 housing units. The six-story option has 112 units and the four-story building offers 250 units.

    Specific rent prices were not included in the three proposals.

    However, Base Companies and Basan Construction’s proposal says it will have “affordable options for business and residence.”

    Bond Realty’s proposal says its housing will be market rate.

    T. Wall Enterprises’ proposal says renters will likely have incomes ranging between $50,000 and $150,000 per year.

    “Without a doubt, we know over a period of time, we're at the belief the downtown needs 1,000 residential units."

    Mirkes tells FOX 11...

    “We believe 100 units should be under construction at all times.”

    The city's Redevelopment Authority will be sifting through all three proposals.

    It hopes to vote on one at its October 9th meeting.


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    ABRAMS, WI (WTAQ) - Last night (TUE) at 8:40 pm the Oconto County Sheriff’s Office responded to a report of a head-on crash on US Highway 41 by County Highway D in the township of Abrams.

    A pickup truck traveling southbound, left the roadway, traveled through the median and struck a northbound vehicle head-on.

    A 22-year-old male from Oconto Falls, who was traveling in the northbound lanes, was killed in the crash.

    The 26-year-old female driver from Minnesota and her male passenger, a 31-year-old male from Texas, were injured and transported to local hospitals.

    Abrams Fire, Little Suamico Fire and County Rescue all assisted at the crash scene.

    The Oconto County Sheriff’s Office and Wisconsin State Patrol are continuing to investigate the crash.

    Name of the victim is not being released at this time.


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    GREEN BAY, WI (WTAQ) - It was an important gathering for marina and boatyard operators from all over the state at South Bay Marina in Green Bay on Wednesday.

    The first Clean Marina Tour was held with the goal to get more state marinas certified as Wisconsin Clean Marinas.

    That certification promotes ethical environmental practices and up-to-date safety procedures.

    Julia Noordyk, Water Quality Outreach Specialist with the Wisconsin Sea Grant Institute, says everyone benefits from these practices.

    "Obviously there's the environmental stewardship part and keeping our water clean," she explains. "Which is particularly important for their business model, since most of it is recreational boaters."

    A perfect reason for this event to be hosted at South Bay Marina is because of the example the facility has set.

    They are currently one of the twenty-one facilities in the state that are certified by the Wisconsin Clean Marina Program and one of only five in northeast Wisconsin. 

    "South Bay Marina in Green Bay was one of the first marina's to be certified a clean marina," says Noordyk. "They've over the years implemented a lot of different practices, including preventing oil drips and fuel spills."

    The facility has equipped themselves with the materials necessary to handle relatively minor accidents.

    "They've got some absorbent materials that the little bit of slop during a refueling incident, they can take care of," explains Green Bay Metro Fire Lieutenant David Siegal.

     Green Bay Metro Fire was on scene during the tour demonstrating the capabilities of their hazmat team. Lieutenant Siegal explains that they can prevent a lot of damage when a larger spill occurs.

    "We will protect lives, protect the environment, protect property, and also protect infrastructure," he says. 

    The key is to remember that they first need to be made alert of an issue before they can respond.

    "If we are needed and they wait, we can never make up that time," says Lieutenant Siegal.

    The tour included demonstrations on spill response, preventing fuel drips, ethical waste management practices, and how to engage youth into becoming the next generation of boaters.


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    ASHWAUBENON, WI (WTAQ) - Many questions remain, but Aaron Rodgers remains optimistic.

    The quarterback is calling his injury a sprained knee.

    Coach Mike McCarthy say they are taking it day-by-day and Rodgers will work with the rehab group in practice today.

    It is still unknown if Rodgers will play on Sunday when the Packers host the Vikings. 


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  • 09/12/18--13:23: Man Dies After Near Drowning
  • FOND DU LAC, WI (WTAQ) - Fond Du Lac Police say the victim from a near drowning incident on Sunday has passed away.

    47-year-old Daniel Thompson was pronounced deceased Tuesday afternoon.

    Officers were called to the "Big Hole" area of the Fond Du Lac Marina.

    Witnesses pulled the man from the water and bystanders started performing CPR.

    Officers determined that Thompson was operating a remote-controlled boat on shore when it lost power.

    Officials say Thompson swam out to retrieve the boat, but eventually went under water.


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    NEENAH, WI (WTAQ) - A man who was allegedly involved in a standoff with police in Neenah on Monday has been charged.

    30-year-old Eric Vandenboogaard was charged with recklessly endangering safety and possession of a firearm by a felon.

    He was also charged with two misdemeanor counts of disorderly conduct.

    According to the complaint, Vandenboogaard got into an argument with another man and fired a gun, striking a mattress.

    A neighbor took the gun away from the scene.

     

    Vandenboogaard was arrested and told police he did not mean for the gun to go off, did not point it anybody and said perhaps he had 10 beers that day.


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    MILWAUKEE, WI (WTAQ) - A suspect in a Romanian credit card skimming ring that involved Oshkosh ATMs was convicted of identity theft in federal court.

    18-year-old Ionel Moresanu was found guilty Tuesday.

    According to the indictment, he was one of several who made unauthorized withdrawals in several states.

    Oshkosh police say they observed several men repeatedly using an ATM at a convenience store.

    Officers found 80 counterfeit access devices on Moresanu when they took him into custody.

    He admitted to stealing card information and making withdrawals.


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  • 09/12/18--13:32: More Room For Brews
  • GREEN BAY, WI (WTAQ) - Badger State Brewing Company has announced an expansion of its production facility.

    Badger State Brewing Company announced it will expand its production facility, adding new brewing systems, packaging, and processing equipment.

     The expansion will allow for an annual output of up to 20,000 barrels.

    Andrew Fabry, president, and co-founder of the brewery says he wants to bring Badger State beers to new areas of Wisconsin while keeping up with the local demand.

    “We have been constrained by our small brewing system and the rapid growth within our home Green Bay market which has forced us to keep brewing so frequently that tank space has become less available for some of our newer and even more popular beers. We are extremely fortunate to be where we are after just a few short years, but we’re not done yet.”

    The expansion will also add new jobs at the brewery. Both full-time and part-time positions are available.

    Some of its brews are: Mean Green IPA, On Wisconsin Red Ale, Peninsula Pils Craft Lager and Cran-Delusion Tart Fruit Ale.

     


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    MADISON, WI (WTAQ-WLUK) - Discussions are being held on an incentive package that would save a Kimberly Clark plant and hundreds of jobs.

    Governor Scott Walker said he is working hard on a deal that would lead to the necessary votes needed to pass the Senate, but warned that it would take bipartisan support.

    Republicans hold an 18-15 majority in the Senate, but it is not enough votes.

    Walker said it may be easier to vote on an incentive package after the November election, but Kimberly Clark says they want something to be decided by the end of the month.

    In a statement, the Kimberly Clark spokeswoman told FOX 11, "This allows us to finalize our project plans and minimize the uncertainty and distractions being felt at our various sites."

    About 110 jobs would be lost when the Neenah plant closes but keeping the Cold Springs plant in Fox Crossing open would preserve hundreds of jobs, and Neenah's Mayor Dean Kaufert is calling the battle to offer an incentive package to keep Kimberly-Clark jobs in place a game.

    "The Democrats want to play games and embarrass the governor and embarrass Roger Roth and Republicans by not passing this," said Kaufert.

     Sen. Roger Roth said there needs to be Democratic support of the incentives package to save the hundreds of Kimberly-Clark jobs in Fox Crossing.

    "This is something I think we can all support, high paying union jobs, and family-supporting jobs," Roth said.

    Roth says because its just weeks from the general election, the voting should wait until after.

    "I'm working at a feverish pace to make sure we can pull together the different areas, to get this done and I think it may take a little more time than the 30th," said Roth.

    He says he's frustrated as to why Democrats won't get behind this particular deal. 

    "Whether it be Mercury Marine down in Fond Du Lac, Foxconn, Fiserv, the Bucks Arena? All of these passed with bipartisan support. This should be no different."

    Appleton Democrat Representative Amanda Stuck says funding packages for businesses shouldn't be the state's first answer to every company closure. 

    "Really, it just throws money at a problem without really addressing why KC is looking at moving in the first place."

    She says there's no guarantee that Kimberly Clark will stay once they get the funding.

    "And we could have used that money to invest in our roads, in our environment, in our schools and all those other things that actually keep businesses here and attract businesses here."

    The company says funding from the state could save the 500 employee factory in Fox Crossing. They're already planning the closure of their paper plant in Neenah.

     


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    FOND DU LAC, WI (WTAQ) - A groundbreaking event was held on Wednesday for a new facility that will allow a local fire department to better serve their community.

    The Fond du Lac Fire & Rescue Department is celebrating a brand new public safety training center that they are hoping will be complete by the end of the year.

    The new center will actually service both the fire and police department and Assistant Fire Chief Erick Gerritson explains the benefit to his department.

    "Fire aspect will have a four-story live burn training facility," he explains. "We'll have two rooms where we actually can burn wood, paper things of that nature."

    This has been a long time coming for the town.

    "We have been planning this for over five years," says Gerritson. "We do not currently have any training facility in Fond du Lac."

    And without a facility, the fire and rescue department has been limited in their training capabilities.

    "We can not do any live burns, all we can do is cold smoke or cedar smoke and smoke up a room," explains Gerritson.

    Prior to the new facility, the nearest training location was at Fox Valley Technical College in Appleton. Gerritson says this was a major inconvenience for his department.

    "Logistically to get people up there to do training just didn't work for us down here in Fond du Lac," he says. 

    The center will be constructed in two phases as it's built to serve both members of the Fond du Lac Fire and Police departments. 


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    LAKEWOOD, WI (WTAQ) - The annual Festi-Fall Craft Fair in Lakewood this Saturday is expected to bring an economic boom to the town.

    The event has more than doubled in size since it started six years ago.

     Lakewood resident and local business owner Amy Donaldson explains what she's expecting.

    "I know people look forward to it, so a lot of people that have cabins here plan to come that weekend when they might not have," she says.

    The event has grown so popular that some vendors are nervous they might not even get a spot.

    "People are still calling me today," says vendor coordinator Cyndi Rzepka. "I had a call this morning that they wanted to see if there were any empty spaces available."

    With all the people in town, it's not hard to imagine that many local shops and restaurants reap the benefits.

    "They're going to be going to dinner in the evening, and frequenting all the local establishments," says Donaldson. "I think it has an impact, especially just being that extra little push in the fall."

    The event gives residents and visitors alike plenty to do.

    "They've got live music and food and it should be a lot of fun," says Lakewood resident Angel Barber. "We're going to have a good time."

    Thousands of people are expected in Lakewood for the festival this Saturday, which will feature 50 vendors and is open from 10 AM until 4 PM.


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  • 09/12/18--16:22: A New Way To Share Good News
  • GREEN BAY, WI (WTAQ-WLUK) - If you can't beat them, join them. UW-Green Bay officials say so many students are using cell phones, that it is a good way to reach out them now.

    UW-Green Bay is using Instagram to send acceptance letters.

    Walk around the campus and you'll likely see students on their cellphones.

    "I like texting," said Gabi Van Beek. "A lot."

    Student Hannah Behnke says it's the best way to reach her.

    "Whenever I'm not in class, it's just like a habit now to just go on Instagram or Snapchat or something else."

    It's no secret teens use smartphones often and UWGB plan to increase engagement with prospective students.

    A couple of years ago the university used social media app Snapchat to let students know they've been admitted.

    This time around the university will use Instagram.

    "We'll check and see if they've been accepted. They'll receive an Instagram message more or less. It's similar to, you can put an image, you can put text over it, and then you can send it to different individuals," said Jena Richter Landers, UW-Green Bay social media coordinator.

    As for current students, most say they like the idea.

    "I think it's kinda cool. I'm definitely on Instagram a lot more," Behnke said.

    "I think it's a cool way to like find out that you're accepted because a lot of people use Instagram," said Marissa Mertens.

    Others like Van Beek say it takes away some of the fun.

    "I think it's kinda cool but I like it, kinda, in the mail because then you can like take a picture with it and then post it on Instagram," Van Beek said.

    Students have to provide their Instagram account name ahead of time.

    "They're going to be able to share that moment with their friends and I think it's going to really enhance that emotional acceptance moment and make it really fun for them," Richter Landers said.

    Out of all four of UWGB's campuses, so far 30 students have asked for an admission notification through their Instagram accounts.

    Admission notifications start Saturday.

    The school will still use e-mail and the U.S. Postal Service to send acceptance letters to students.


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    FOND DU LAC, WI (WTAQ) - Fond du Lac Police were called to the Forest Plaza Apartments around 10:30 last night (WED) for a report of two people who had been shot.

    Upon Officers arrival, they located two victims at the rear entrance to the apartment complex who had sustained gunshot wounds.

    A 26-year-old Fond du Lac man was transported by Fond du Lac Fire and Rescue to the Flight for Life hangar at the Fond du Lac County Airport where the victim was flown to Theda Care Medical Center in critical condition.

    A 17-year-old Fond du Lac girl was transported by Fond du Lac Fire and Rescue to St. Agnes Hospital in serious condition.

    She was later transferred to Children’s Hospital in Milwaukee.

    Officers cordoned off a 2-block area around the Forest Plaza Apartments while they secured the scene and searched for any possible suspect(s).

    At this point in the investigation, no suspects have been identified in this incident but investigators do not believe this was a random act.

    The investigation remains active at this time.

    Anyone with information on this incident is asked to call Lead Detective Steve Kaufman at (920)322-3725 or the crime alert line at 888-339-7855.


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    GREEN BAY, WI (WTAQ-WLUK) - Could Paul McCartney be coming to Green Bay for a concert?

    Speculation has surfaced after his official Facebook page posted a sponsored advertisement teasing to the possibility.

    The ad reads, “Green Bay! Tour dates could be announced really soon! Tour laminates now available for a limited time. Each laminate comes with a code that could allow access to presales for yet to be announced dates.”

    FOX 11 reached out to the Green Bay Packers and PMI Entertainment Group to see if McCartney is coming to Lambeau Field or the Resch Center.

    “We have no announcements regarding any potential concert for 2019,” wrote Aaron Popkey, Director of Public Affairs for the Packers.

    A spokesperson for PMI says he is unaware of any plans for a McCartney concert.

    McCartney has already announced eight tour dates for his “Freshen Up” tour in May and June of next year.

    A stop at the Kohl Center in Madison on June 6th is already sold out.

    The arenas McCartney has already announced he is playing next year have an average capacity of 16,858 people.

    However, McCartney is playing at an arena in Moline, Illinois with a capacity of 9,200.

    The Resch Center seats 10,500, according to its website.

    The last concert at Lambeau Field was Billy Joel in June 2017. He played to a crowd of about 45,000.

    Field reconstruction at Lambeau prevented a summer event this past summer.

    The window for a summer concert at the Packers’ stadium has traditionally been between mid-May and mid-June.

    The Packers have maintained a policy that the field needs enough time to recover before the team hosts its Family Night practice in early August.


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  • 09/13/18--02:36: Putting The Clamps On Vaping
  • NEENAH, WI (WTAQ-WLUK) - The City of Neenah is looking to crackdown on vaping and the use of e-cigarettes.

    A new city ordinance proposal would ban kids who are younger than 18 from using or possessing a vapor product in the city.

    Neenah High Schools principal Brian Wunderlich tells FOX 11 vaping devices are becoming a problem.

    "We're a few days into the school year, and I know for sure we've, it's six in less than six days of school.".

    Confiscating the devices and handing down a one-day suspension is all the school can do.

    Right now, it's only illegal for minors to have or use nicotine and tobacco products. But some say with e-cigarettes and vaping devices, it's hard to say what's really in them or even what they are.

    "They've become very, very easy to just conceal," Wunderlich said, "They look like USB zip drives."

    Assistant city attorney Adam VandenHeuvel tells FOX 11 Neenah's proposed ordinance would help clear up that confusion.

    "It bans any minor from possessing or using any vapor product, whether it has nicotine in it or not, anywhere in the city. That could be in the school, that can be at a park, on a sidewalk. Anyone under the age of 18 will not be allowed to vape anywhere in the city."

    High school students older than 18 wouldn't be allowed to vape on school grounds either.

    The proposed ordinance also prevents anyone from selling vaping products to minors.

    As for vapor shops, FOX 11 spoke to one owner in the Neenah area who said the ordinance won't affect their normal business practices.

    Owner of Nah Vapor in Neenah Colton Schwandner said, "All vaping products, whether they contain nicotine or not, if it was geared toward vaping, it cannot be sold to minors, and it is not sold to minors."

    If passed, violators could see fines of close to $200, including court fees.

    "It's not a small amount of money, especially for a high schooler," VandenHeuvel said.

    School officials said they've tried teaching parents and students about the health risks of vaping. They've also tried enforcing suspensions and taking away the devices, but that doesn't seem to deter students from vaping.

    "When you start talking about money, then people really start to pay attention!"

    The Neenah Common Council is expected to consider the ordinance at a meeting on Wednesday, September 19th.


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    TOWN OF WAUPACA, WI (WTAQ) - An early morning crash in Waupaca County has left one person dead.

    The one-vehicle crash happened around 3:30 in the Town of Waupaca on County Highway E. The driver died at the scene according to police. 

    Details on what led to the crash have not yet been released.


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    SHAWANO COUNTY, WI (WTAQ) - The Wisconsin Department of Transportation is warning incoming fans from Western Wisconsin and Minnesota that existing road construction on Highway 29 in Shawano County will slow traffic this weekend for the Packers/Vikings tilt.

    DOT Spokesperson Mark Kantola describes the affected area.

    "It's going to be one lane in each direction open, between Highline Road and the Brown County line on Highway 29 in Shawano County," explains Kantola.

    This area typically sees increased traffic anytime the Vikings travel to Lambeau Field.

    "We expect fans from Minnesota to come and many of them to take Highway 29 to get to Green Bay," he says.

    For those looking to avoid the possible congestion there are alternative routes, but it's not going to be much faster and could actually end up taking more time.

     "You could go down to Highway10 and take Highway 10 to Highway 41," says Kantola. "But the best bet is to just take Highway 29 and leave earlier and get there on time."

    Anyone expecting friends or family to be driving into the area this weekend is encouraged to start spreading the news as soon as possible.

    "I would give them a heads up that they should leave a little bit earlier," he says.

    And there's nothing wrong with leaving a little bit earlier.

    "Just gives you more time to tailgate," says Kantola.

    Updated information on road conditions and closures can be found online at the 511 Wisconsin website.

    The Packers host the Vikings at noon this Sunday at Lambeau Field.


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    GOLDSBORO, NC (WTAQ) - A radio news anchor, who used to inform people in the northwoods when bad weather was coming, is doing it now as Hurricane Florence hits the east coast.

    Ken Conners, former news director at Bay Cities Radio in the Menominee/Marinette area, does the news now at WGBR in Goldsboro, North Carolina.

    It's about 100 miles from the Atlantic.

    "The tier one counties near the coast often come our way for safety".

    While his area may not get the pasting communities along the coast will, Conners says they're forecast to get up to 15 inches of rain.....and

    "We could see some wind gusts as high as 110 miles an hour, locally."

    Conners says this is his first hurricane. But he understands how vital a service the broadcasts will be.

    People in Goldsboro are pitching in and are ready lend a hand to neighbors in need.

    "Everybody kind of has that attitude that if you need something when this hits, don't be afraid to come and ask."


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