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Northeast Wisconsin's local news coverage.

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    SHAWANO COUNTY, WI (WTAQ) - An unsafe intersection in Shawano County has gotten a safety improvement.

    A flashing stop sign has been placed at the intersection of Highway 29 and County U.  

    Shawano County Sheriff Adam Bieber said they have had too many fatal crashes at the intersection, and this is just the beginning.   

    "We are going to try to have the State Patrol in that area trying to get people to slow down in that area. It was originally designed as a 55 mph zone."  

    Sheriff Bieber says he sees many vehicles travel at 75 to 80 mph in that area.  

    The long-term plan also includes leveling off a hill that makes it difficult to see oncoming traffic.  

    "We are pushing to have that hill, just east of County Highway U, lowered or leveled."  

    Even with the changes,  Sheriff Bieber says even with improvements, drivers need to act in a responsible way.  

    "There is no such thing as a safe intersection," Bieber says. "You always have to have patience and look both ways."  

    The Sheriff says it will take a while to get all necessary improvements added.


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    OSHKOSH, WI (WTAQ-WLUK) - EAA’s AirVenture may be over, but planes can still be seen filling the skies over Oshkosh this week.

    For the second straight year, pilots from across the country will compete in the U.S. National Aerobatic Championships being hosted by the International Aerobatic Club at Wittman Regional Airport.

    "This is kind of like the Olympics of the sky,” said executive director for the IAC Lorrie Penner.

    IAC Director Robert Armstrong tells FOX 11....

    “What you will see is some of the most precise aerobatic flying that you can see anywhere in the country, as opposed to airshows, which really are more literally a show. These are precision aerobatics.”

    Storms grounded the competition on Tuesday, but 76 highly-skilled aerobatic aircraft pilots went up Saturday.

    Penner tells FOX 11 they compete in different categories in both powered and glider aircraft.

    “We will be crowning national champions in five categories for Primary, Sportsman, Intermediate, Advanced and Unlimited categories. The further up you go, the harder the figures get.”

    In addition, the top finishers in the Unlimited category will earn berths on the U.S. team that will compete next year at the world championships in France.

    Pilots in each category fly at least three routines.

    Armstrong says all routines are scored by a group of judges, with the judging being much like what’s seen in figure skating or diving.

    “A dive has a difficulty, the judges watch the dive and give a score from 0 to 10, the difficulty factor times the score results in points, and so it’s all about getting the most points."

    The event moved to Oshkosh last year, after being held in Texas for most of the past 45 years.

    And while the national championship site and aircraft parking area are closed off to the public, the airport terminal area is not.

    The public is invited to attend the competitions that will go through Friday.

    IAC will also host a free public one-hour presentation at the airport terminal to introduce the details of competition aerobatics Friday at 1 p.m.


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  • 09/26/18--02:11: A Return To Its Glory Days
  • FOND DU LAC, WI (WTAQ-WLUK) - A historic building in downtown Fond du Lac is set to reopen this winter. The $25 million Hotel Retlaw project started earlier this year.

    Principal partner of Legendary Hotels, LLC, Dennis Doucette, tells FOX 11 the renovation will reveal some of the historic architecture.

    "We have to be responsible to the National Parks Service and State of Wisconsin Historical Society that we try and salvage everything we can, that’s our approach on this project."

    From the hotel's original windows to tiles and ceilings, Doucette said the goal is to bring the hotel to its original 1923 splendor.

    The eight-story hotel on North Main Street suddenly closed in December of 2015 due to financial troubles.

    About six months later, the hotel was purchased by Legendary Hotels.

    "As far as a downtown chic luxury property, we feel like we have a business plan that will be successful," said Doucette.

    Co-partner Steve Frantz tells FOX 11 the extensive renovation includes a refurbished pool, and luxury spa in the basement and a grand ballroom on the third floor.

    "We need a venue like this for weddings, the crystal ballroom is an amazing venue for weddings."

    Hotel Retlaw will have 127 guest rooms and suites.

    Doucette said the hotel will bring about 35,000 travelers to the area every year. The hotel is also estimated to have an economic impact of $25 million annually.

    "I think about in 6 months you’re going to see a dramatic change to this corner."

    Between 140 to 150 full-time jobs will also be created.

    "We’re starting fresh so every position in the hospitality industry is available at the hotel," Frantz said.

    And when the doors open in mid-December, both owners hope it'll bring vibrancy back to the area.

    The hotel says that opening date should be December 17th with room rates expected to start at $109 per night.


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    APPLETON, WI (WTAQ) - A long overdue upgrade is being made possible thanks to some federal grant money.

    If you think your ride is old, just take a trip to Appleton where they've been using the same buses since 1994. 

    "Buses are designed to run for 12 years or 500,000 miles, so typically you try to get 15 years out of them," says Valley Transit GM Ron McDonald.

    Do the math and the Fox Cities public transportation system has been due for an upgrade for at least the past 9 or so years.

    Fortunately Valley Transit, the public transportation service in the Fox Cities, recently received $4 million in federal grant money.

    "We've replaced 4 or 5 busses so far and this will help us with about 10 more," explains Appleton Mayor Tim Hanna.

    This grant is part of a larger $11.3 million state-wide grant to modernize Wisconsin's bus system.

    "We got about thirty-five percent of the money that came to the state is coming here to Valley Transit, which is awesome," says Mayor Hanna.

    Officials are saying that Wisconsin is generally lacking in their modernization of public transportation and this federal grant will hopefully work towards reversing that problem.

    "Last I heard, there were approximately 260 buses across the state of Wisconsin that were beyond their useful life," says McDonald.

    The upgraded Valley Transit buses will work to service various communities, including Appleton, Buchanan, Grand Chute, Kaukauna, Kimberly, Little Chute, City of Menasha, Neenah, and Fox Crossing. 


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    LITTLE CHUTE, WI (WTAQ) - Little Chute School District buildings and Saint John's school were put onto lockdown earlier today after a witness reported seeing a lone individual walking on a sidewalk with a long gun that was partially concealed by a coat.

    Fox Valley Metro officers were dispatched to the area of Madison and Main Street around 11:20 this morning (WED.) and schools were shut down due to the proximity.

    Officers located the individual and determined it was a BB gun that was being carried home from a local resale shop.

    This individual posed no threat to area staff or students and did not partake in any sort of criminal behavior. 


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    GREEN BAY, WI (WTAQ) - Green Bay Police are investigating the theft of two parking meters and a pole from the 200 block of South Washington St.

    Officials say the theft occurred sometime between Friday, September 21st in the late afternoon and Monday, September 24 in the early afternoon.

    Officers say the meters were numbered 1602 and 1603.

    If you have any information, please contact Officer Kenney at (920) 448-3208 reference case# 18-210763.

    To remain anonymous and be eligible for a cash reward, contact Green Bay Area Crime Stoppers at (920) 432-7867 or submit a tip online at 432stop.com.


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    GREEN BAY, WI (WTAQ) - Police are looking for suspects responsible for an armed robbery at the Pit Row Shell on University Avenue.

    Officials say the suspect entered the store in the early morning hours Sunday, and one suspect displayed a handgun.

    Officers say they learned that one suspect punched the clerk in the face and both suspects fled with the cash tray and an undisclosed amount of money.

    Anyone with information can contact Green Bay Police.


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    FOX CROSSING, WI (WTAQ) - The deadline for a vote on an important tax incentive bill is looming this week, but some officials are arguing that's too soon. 

    Kimberly-Clark has given the Senate until Sunday to vote on the $100-million tax incentive bill that's aimed at keeping the company's facility in Cold Spring open.

    Some officials though, have their eyes set on a strategic date in the future.

    "I'm asking the company to extend the deadline for the legislature to act upon immediately after the November 6 election," says Neenah Mayor Dean Kaufert.

    Presently there are about 500 people that work at the Cold Spring facility and Union President Dave Brockheimer is concerned about the ramifications if this bill dies.

    "The proposed plan to close the facility puts hundreds of daily supporting jobs at risk, not only the jobs of my union brother or sisters, but my colleagues that are deemed white collar workers," says Kimberly-Clark local union President Dave Brockheimer.

    In addition to hundreds of jobs, the facility brings other factors to the area.

    "It also is a major consumer of our utilities, specifically sewer and water," said the Village of Fox Crossing President, Dale Youngquist.

    The bill has already passed the Assembly but concern about the bill dying stems from the fact that presently there aren't enough Republican votes to pass the bill in the Senate.

    "Right now we have no Democrats in the state senate that are willing to come forward and support this," explains State Senate Republican Roger Roth from Appleton. "That's why we're not able to schedule a vote before November 6th."

    While the process of keeping the Cold Springs facility open is ongoing, it's still likely that the Neenah Nonwovens plant will shut down. 


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    CHAMPION, WI (WTAQ) - A holy site in Champion will be one of only 100 locations to receive a life-size casting of a famous sculpture.

    The National Shrine of Our Lady of Good Help, which is the only site in the United States that is Marian apparition approved by the Catholic Church, will receive a marble casting of Michelangelo's Pieta.

    The original sculpture is in St. Peter's Basilica in Vatican City.  

    The piece shows Jesus following his crucifixion and in the lap of his mother Mary.

    The casting will temporarily be housed in the 1941 Chapel while construction is set to begin shortly on a new building to assist in capacity issues.

    Once completed the new multi-purpose building will hold 1,200 people which is far more than the current capacity of the chapel, which is only 300 people. 

    The site has hosted more than 150,000 pilgrims in this year alone. 


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    NEENAH, WI (WTAQ) - Charges are being recommended by investigators in Neenah for a man in custody that is responsible for two robberies in the area.

    In one case a handgun was shown and both incidents occurred at a Mobil West gas station in Neenah on Gillingham Road.

    An armed robbery at a Burger King in Neenah over the weekend is being considered unrelated to these two incidents according to the Neenah Police Department Investigative Services Unit. 


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    KEWAUNEE COUNTY, WI (WTAQ) - A registered sex offender in Kewaunee County will make an initial court appearance on Thursday to face three counts of child porn possession.

    35-year-old Sean Evansen was targeted after the local Internet Crimes Against Children task force determined a significant amount of child porn was uploaded through a photo-sharing application in Kewaunee County.

    The act was traced to Evansen and sheriff officials raided his home earlier this month and found several thousand images of child pornography.  

    A $25,000 cash bond was set after Evansen was arrested. 

    Court records show that Sean Evansen was convicted of first-degree sexual assault of a child in Calumet County in 2000, when he was 17-years-old.


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    GREEN BAY, WI (WTAQ) - The Green Bay Police Department hosted a training that focused on how officers interact with the public.

    Green Bay Police Chief Andrew Smith says he is excited to have the training in Green Bay.

    "We want to make sure none of our officers are engaging in any bias policing."

    Officers from Manchester, Connecticut are hosting a two-day training for officers and deputies in the region. Captain Sean Grant is one of the trainers on fair policing.

    "We talk about what the bias is and how it can affect you in the job that you do."

    Chief Smith this training is important for all officers and in his department, they have had issues of misconduct by officers.

    "I think our cops are out there doing a great job, but this gives them one more tool or one more thing to think about."

    The training included videos and discussions of situations that officers may encounter. Grant says the idea is to identify biases and think about how they affect relationships going forward.

    "I think it will make your officers more well rounded, but I think the class in itself reminds you what you are doing."

    He says he stresses to officers that there are two ways a bias can show.

    "Implicitly you have them, you can control them it is just a response. Explicitly you actually demonstrate a bias and that is what we want to avoid."

    Funding for the training came from the Green Bay police foundation.

     


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    APPLETON, WI (WTAQ) - Appleton Police are working hard preparing for Octoberfest and sending reminders for the weekend.

    "The event has a different flavor in the morning than it does in the afternoon."

    It's one of the largest crowds the city of Appleton sees each year, and with that, Appleton Police Sergeant Dave Lund says those traveling through Appleton should expect travel issues.

    "There will be a lot of traffic detours and delays and you will not be able to go from point A to point B."

    With College Avenue being closed, police say using Memorial Drive or the East College Avenue bridge to get around town is best.

    At 6:00 p.m Friday, License to Cruise car show takes place. College Avenue will be closed beginning at 12:00 p.m. between Drew and Lawe Streets. The remainder of College Avenue will close at 3:00 p.m. College Avenue will remain closed through Octoberfest Saturday evening.

    For those in attendance, Lund says the event is more than just beer and music.

    "Down at the Lawerence University Campus, we have the craft fair that is going on."

    Lund says while officers will be on patrol, traditionally those in attendance have not caused big problems, he says part of that is due to the alcohol cut off at 6:00 p.m.

     


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    DE PERE, WI (WTAQ-WLUK) - As the season starts to change and the temperature continues to drop, it's important to make sure the heating equipment in your home is working properly.

    De Pere Fire Chief Alan Matzke tells FOX 11 having your equipment serviced by a professional on a regular basis can help you avoid fires.

    "According to the National Fire Fighter Association the number one cause for fires is cooking, the number two cause is heating equipment. We are talking about all forms of heating like furnaces, water heaters, and fireplaces."

    Matzke said last winter they responded to 30 calls where heating equipment was listed as the cause for the fire.

    He also says they investigated 35 incidents where carbon monoxide was present, another common problem during this time of year.

    "So those signs of carbon monoxide are nausea, dizziness, and headache, those are all indications that the potential exists and we need you to call right away."

    Greg Van Den Elzen, from Van's One Hour Heating and Air Conditioning, said they've already started servicing equipment ahead of the winter.

    "Things we will be looking at during a tune-up are inspecting the venting, heat exchangers, inspecting the ductwork system, and checking to see if there are carbon monoxide monitors on every level of your home and in the bedrooms."

    The De Pere Fire Department is also holding an open house at their station Saturday, where they will be sharing more safety tips for the winter.


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    FOND DU LAC COUNTY, WI (WTAQ-WLUK) - Federal help could be coming for families affected by last month's tornado outbreak in Fond du Lac County.

    Eleven confirmed twisters tore up homes and damaged businesses. The Hendricks had been living for just a few weeks.

    That's when a tornado sent a tree crashing into their dream home on August 28th.

    Dianne Hendricks of Alto tells Fox 11 what it was like to hear nature destroy her home.

    "We went down to the basement and we went to the fruit cellar and were there for, I don't know how long, and all the sudden we could hear this huge boom. And it shook the whole house. It was scary. Really scary."

    On Wednesday, nearly a month later, they shared the details of the storm damage with the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

    A team from FEMA was making their way through the most heavily damaged parts of Fond du Lac County.

    Gerard Hammink is a spokesperson for FEMA.

    "It's part of the evaluation process that the state wants us to do as they consider making the application for a federal disaster declaration."

    Several teams crossing the 17 counties hardest hit by the late-summer flooding and tornadoes will have their data combined into a preliminary damage assessment.

    But, the preliminary assessment is not a guarantee that some, or any, of those counties, will be eligible for relief.

    As a result Fond du Lac county emergency management's Bobbi Hicken tells FOX people shouldn't hold their breath for the disaster declaration.

    "If they have repairs that need to be done and they have the resources to do it, they need to do it. Keep receipts, keep pictures. If there is any kind of reimbursement then they can work on that. But this is not the time where the checkbook is coming out or there's going to be assistance."

    The report and declaration have no official timetable for completion.

    FEMA aid or not, Diane Hendricks just wants to move on with their lives and their dream home.

    "I hope the house will get back to normal and we can just get our lives back in order again."

    Damage from the tornadoes and flooding this summer is estimated at nearly a quarter billion dollars, statewide.

    FEMA's own assessments will determine when or if that disaster declaration is made.


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    GRAND CHUTE, WI (WTAQ-WLUK) - Agriculture students at Fox Valley Technical College are getting some real-world experiences with a piece of new technology.

    FVTC has introduced students to an Ag Simulator by John Deere.

    Agribusiness and farm management students can just hop into the driver's seat of the combine simulator before using a real one out in the field.

    Ag equipment service technician student Kade Johnson tells FOX 11 the simulator is informative.

    "This is very helpful for knowing how the machine operates. It’s better for me to know how it works in order to figure out why this went wrong, what went wrong in order to fix it."

    The simulator will be able to help a variety of areas of study including agriculture business, horticulture, and agronomy.


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    ASHWAUBENON, WI (WTAQ) - Ashwaubenon Public Safety responded to a two-vehicle crash on STH 172 at Babcock Rd around 9:30 last night (WED).

    A 26-year-old Green Bay woman was seriously injured in the crash as she was the driver of the Ford which was allegedly driving eastbound on STH 172 when the Jeep, driven by an 80-year-old Ashwaubenon man turned in front of her car causing the crash.

    An EMS crew from County Rescue Services happened to be in the area at the time of the crash and assisted with patient care and Green Bay Metro Fire also was in the area and assisted with patient care and a fire in the engine compartment of the Ford.

    Ashwaubenon Fire/Rescue crews also responded.

    They had to use extrication tools to free the woman from her vehicle.

    80-year-old John Gaie was arrested for OWI causing injury and was taken to a local hospital with non-life threatening injuries.

    The 26-year-old female is in critical condition at a local hospital.


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    GREEN BAY, WI (WTAQ) - All eyes on the Senate Judiciary Committee hearing today where U-S Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh answers charges of a sexual assault leveled against him by Christine Blasey Ford.

    She says the alleged incident occurred when they were teens, more than 30 years ago.

    On WTAQ's Morning News with Matt & Earl, 8th District Congressman Mike Gallagher says he'll be watching.

    "I just hope that those colleagues of mine on the other side of the Capital will conduct themselves in a professional manner."

    What Gallagher is afraid of is for the session to become a political circus....scaring off people from ever deciding to run for office.

    "Why would someone in their right mind subject themselves to this kind of scrutiny, right ?"

    Gallagher thinks it was a good move for Republicans on the committee to bring in a prosecutor with a background in dealing with sexual assault cases, to ask questions of Kavanaugh and Ford.

    "I think it's the right call for the Republicans to bring someone who specializes in these cases, to question Dr. Ford in a dispassionate manner and respectful manner."


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    BROWN COUNTY, WI (WTAQ) - The Brown County United Way has launched a new initiative, which is giving residents access to agency resources right at their fingertips.

    Calling 2-1-1 is so yesterday now. The Organization has announced a new text messaging feature, which allows residents to chat with a trained specialist on their time.

     

    For those unfamiliar, 2-1-1 can be a valuable service to get individuals in touch with various agencies.

    "2-1-1 is a service that connects people to resources, primarily in the health and human services field," explains spokesperson Tom Schoffelman.

    He says their trained specialists can do a lot.

    "They can provide information, referrals, assistance with advocacy, for people who are looking for help in those communities," says Schoffelman.

    Brown County 2-1-1 services extend to cover not only Brown County but also Door and Kewaunee counties.

    The hope is that the convenience of texting will make the flow of information even more seamless. 

    "People would text TXT211 and they would text that using their zip code," he explains. "The reason for the zip code is that would then allow us to know where they are from and what services would be available to them."

    The text message line is open Monday through Friday from 8 AM to 4 PM. 

    Residents can still call 2-1-1 or email them at 211@browncountyunitedway.org.

    More information on their services can be found here.


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  • 09/27/18--14:24: Arrest Made In 2016 Murder
  • BROWN COUNTY, WI (WTAQ) - Brown County Sheriff's Department have made an arrest in the long-standing murder investigation of Suzette Langlois. 

    On Wednesday, Deputies arrested 46-year-old Anthony John Kitchenakow at his residence on the Menominee Indian Reservation.

    On August 29, 2016, Suzette Langlois was shot and killed in her vehicle which was parked in the driveway of 3020 Manitowoc Road in the Village of Bellevue.

    An arrest warrant for Kitchenakow was issued for 1st Degree Intentional Homicide

    The Brown County Sheriff’s Office will hold a press conference on Friday, September 28, 2018, at 10:30AM to provide more information on the developments in this investigation and Kitchenakow’s arrest. 


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