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Northeast Wisconsin's local news coverage.

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    ALLOUEZ, WI (WTAQ) - An investigation firm from Texas is coming into Green Bay to assist in the Catholic Church's ongoing sexual abuse crisis.

    The Catholic Diocese of Green Bay announced on Thursday the hire of Texas-based Defenbaugh & Associates Inc. to lead the review into sexual abuse.

    The diocese has said that Danny Defenbaugh has worked for the FBI for more than 30 years. The outside review is expected to begin next month. 

    An annual review of clergy files has already been conducted according to diocesan officials.

    This news comes a week after the announcement that auxiliary bishop Robert Morneau would be withdrawing from public ministry following his mishandling of an abuse case in the 1970s. 

     


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    OSHKOSH, WI (WTAQ) - The polarizing hearing of Supreme Court Justice Nominee Brett Kavanaugh has extended its reach to northeastern Wisconsin.

    Supporters of the alleged victims, which includes Dr. Christine Blasey Ford who spoke to a Senate judiciary committee, gathered in Oshkosh on Thursday to ask Senator Ron Johnson to vote against the Kavanaugh nomination.

    Rally organizer Lisa Hansen believes the alleged victims have a number of legitimate reasons why they waited to come forward with their allegations. 

    "Fear of retaliation, fear of being made to look a certain way," she says.

    Not everyone gathered on Thursday held that same opinion, though.

    Mark Lee from Oshkosh believes the alleged victims should have come forward right away. 

    "Not come out when the guy is trying to get elected for a job," he explains. "If they were going to do that, they should have done it when it happened."

    Republican Senator Ron Johnson has publicly supported the Kavanaugh nomination, while Democratic Senator Tammy Baldwin has publicly done just the opposite. 

     


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    OSHKOSH, WI (WTAQ) - The Oshkosh Police department is investigating several burglaries that occurred during the time frame of September 9th through September 27th.

    These burglaries generally took place in the residential area surrounding the UW Oshkosh campus.

    Officers say it appears that unlocked homes, garages, and cars have been targeted and a majority of the burglaries have taken place at night under the cover of darkness. 

    Various pieces of property have been taken during these burglaries.

    No description of a suspect or suspects has been given.

    Police continue to urge citizens to lock their homes, garages, and vehicles and to remove valuables from cars.

     

    Officers say if you are unable to remove valuables from your car, consider hiding the items by putting them in your trunk or covering them with a blanket and if you are missing property, please notify the Oshkosh Police Department.

    If anyone has any information regarding this incident, they are encouragedto contact the Oshkosh Police Department at 920-236-5700.


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    ASHWAUBENON, WI (WTAQ) - The Titletown District next to Lambeau Field already features a brewery, restaurants, a park and much more.

    There might even be a chance that people will be able to live there soon.

    Next Wednesday the Green Bay Packers will be unveiling their next plan for phase two of development.

    When plans for Titletown were first unveiled in 2015 it included 30-50 two bedroom townhouses facing Brookwood Drive on the south end of the development. 

    Existing homes along Brookwood Drive, which the organization had already purchased, were torn down by the Packers last year.


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  • 09/28/18--00:00: Think Winter Already
  • GREEN BAY, WI (WTAQ) - With summer in the review mirror, it is not too early to start thinking winter.

    After record-setting snowfall in April, the staff at Kimps Ace Hardware in Green Bay are busing fixing and selling snowblowers.  

    Service Manager Wes Kimps says that is because people do not want to be caught off guard.  

    "People are bringing their snow blowers in and people are buying snow blowers too."  

    He says many people come in with a big worry.   "The overall fear is that we are not going to have anything left."  

    Kimps says many people are buying bigger and newer snowblowers after being caught in heavy snow five months ago.  

    For those who looking to test their equipment, Kimps says it comes down to one simple concept. 

      "If the unit starts and runs fine, you are ready to go."  

    Service appointments are already starting to book up.  

    "We are sitting about a week and a half to two weeks out."  

    Kimps Ace Hardware has already serviced 200 customers snow throwers this year.


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    APPLETON, WI (WTAQ) - Appleton Police are offering advice to parents for this weekend's Octoberfest.

    A missing child is a scary situation for any parent, but Appleton Police are asking parents to help them in case that happens this weekend at Octoberfest.

    With over 100,000 people expected in Appleton this weekend, Police Sergeant Dave Lund says parents can take some steps to help officers in case their kids get lost.  

    "Take a photo of the children so you exactly what they are wearing and what they have on."  

    Lund says officers will use that photo to locate the child and said parents should avoid looking all around for their child and instead find an officer right away.  

    "People's first instinct is to walk around and start looking for that child. We suggest that people contact somebody right away, let them know that they were separated and get us that description."

     He says in past years, officers have been very successful in finding children.  

    "Officers become very vigilant in trying to reunite that parent with that child."  

    Lund says parents will be directed to a place near the grounds where they can reunite with their child once found.   

    "We will get the parent to go to the front entrance of the Avenue mall, and when officers do locate the child, we will bring them down to have them reunite."   

    Events in Appleton kick off Friday night.              


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     GREEN BAY, WI (WTAQ-WLUK) - School districts in the area are trying to ease concerns of Hispanic families they serve.

    Those concerns and fears are from federal agents arresting 83 people living in Wisconsin.

    The arrests happened Friday through Monday in 14 counties. 19 people in Northeast Wisconsin were arrested.

    In the days after immigration officials arrested nine people in Brown County, Green Bay Area Public Schools Superintendent Michelle Langenfeld tells FOX 11 it hasn't seen an alarming increase in student absences.

    “In the past, when I believe ICE was here the last time, we did receive calls from families who indicated they were fearful. This time it came from concerned citizens who had questions about it.”

    Langenfeld wrote a letter to parents Thursday to address those concerns.

    It includes a reminder that schools only release students to a third party if there is parent or guardian authorization or a lawfully issued warrant. The letter also reminds parents to keep updated emergency contact information at their child's school. It also asked parents to contact their child's principal if the child is afraid.

    “Whatever the situation is, our staff members are trained in trauma-informed care, for example, and to be responsive,” said Langenfeld.

    Rev. Ken DeGroot is the co-founder of Casa Alba Melanie. The Hispanic resource center's purpose is to build trust within the community.

    “What we know is there is an awful lot of fear and trembling. They're really afraid. That always happens after ICE, immigration comes in and arrests some of the people.”

    Law enforcement officials say immigration officials typically visit the area once a year.

    Both Green Bay Police Chief Andrew Smith and Superintendent Langenfeld say they've never heard of immigration officials targeting children at school.

    Appleton Area Schools sent a similar letter home to families.

    Immigration agents arrested three people in Outagamie County during the same four-day operation.


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    MENASHA, WI (WTAQ-WLUK) - It takes a lot of brick and mortar to build the kind of wall that will get a team, made up of a brick mason and tender, to Las Vegas.

    The event is called Spec Mix Bricklayer 500 where masons compete to build the biggest wall, in one hour.

    But there's a catch, Brian Carney with Spec Mix tells FOX 11 the wall will be judged on its overall look and expertise.

    "It's a combination of skill, speed, and craftsmanship. And, the strategy is how much time do I put in? The speed aspect of it."

    The more bricks the better but Carney says the wall still has to look good.

    "The craftsmanship and the judges, that's what it all comes down to in the end."

    Miron Construction hosted the competition.

    Todd Higgins, with Miron, says it's not just about who can build the best wall, it's also about attracting young people to a career in construction.

    "The importance of having high school kids is because of the trade right now. We are low numbers in the industry and pretty much promoting it in the high schools getting them together. It's a great living, great opportunity, great retirement."

    Among the high school students who watched the competition was Conner Scheibe, a senior at D.C. Everest in Marathon County.

    "You gotta have the finesse with it. If you don't have that, you can't be a mason."

    He's considering a construction career.

    Thursday's competition in Menasha was one of 24 regional competitions across the U.S. and Canada.

    Last year's regional winner was from Brock Construction in Fort Atkinson, Wisconsin. The wall was made up of 488 bricks.

    The winner will head to the national competition in Las Vegas and compete for $125,000 in cash and prizes, a new Ford F-250 truck and a John Deere Gator.


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    HARRISON, WI (WTAQ) - 13-year-old Henry Schinke from Harrison is back home after spending more than a month in hospitals.

    Henry was riding his bike on August 19 when a drunk driver on a motorcycle struck him.

    "I think like the next day was when I found out I was in the hospital and I was surprised," he says.

    Henry broke six bones, his pelvis, and sustained injuries to his liver, kidneys, and neck.

    He's spent over a month in between various hospitals and rehabilitation centers, but thankfully Henry is now back home with his family.

    “It’s really nice. I’m really grateful,” says Henry.

    He'll have to continue with rehab work, but soon enough he'll be walking without crutches again.

    Codi Miller, the driver of the motorcycle, currently faces seven charges in Outagamie County including killing someone while driving a motor vehicle while intoxicated.

    His passenger, 53-year-old Kim Anderson, died after being thrown off the motorcycle.

     Miller will be back in court in January.


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    GREEN BAY, WI (WTAQ) - A groundbreaking was held in Green Bay on Friday to signify the start of major renovations at a care center.

    Curative Connections is an organization that aims to serve individuals facing dementia, brain injury or various disabilities.

    Thanks to an $8.5 million campaign they'll be able to undertake a total renovation of their main campus, which has grown increasingly outdated.

    "The building that we're in right now was constructed in the mid-1970's," explains Curative Connections CEO Steve McCarthy. "It was state-of-the-art at the time, but what has happened is that the communities needs have changed over time."

    The renovation will not work to expand their 65,000 square-foot building, but rather reconfigure their existing space to be more efficient.

    "We're going to be able to double the amount of space we have for adult day services, double the amount of space for people with dementia, and double the amount of space for people with neurological impairments," says McCarthy.

    The process is expected to take around 10-months and their services will remain available during this time.

    "We will continue to serve people throughout the entire renovation process," he says. "We're doing it one section of the building at a time."

    More information on the organization's campaign and a short video detailing their renovations can be seen here.


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    OSHKOSH, WI (WTAQ) - An Oshkosh father has been charged in a fatal crash that killed his daughter.

    Officials say 58-year-old Steven Brownell's blood alcohol level was more than three times the legal limit on August 10 when he crashed his vehicle on Highway 45, which killed his 10-year-old daughter Kherington Brownell.

    According to the criminal complaint, Brownell's Mustang was traveling nearly 100 mph when it left the highway, went airborne, and stopped in a cornfield.

    Court records show that Steven Brownell faces three felony counts including homicide by intoxicated use of a motor vehicle and will make an initial court appearance on October 8. 

     


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    GREEN BAY, WI (WTAQ) - The Green Bay Police Department is hoping a catchy safety phrase will get stuck in heads and protect people from burglars.

    "Lock it, Hide it, Keep it."

    It's not a new dance craze, but rather an important message for people when they're walking away from their vehicle.

    A rash of vehicle thefts and smashed windows in the area has heightened the importance of protecting valuables. Green Bay Captain Kevin Warych lists the most common mistake.

    "it's usually unlocked cars, people just don't lock their cars," he says.

    Beyond that simple step, officials recommend hiding any valuable from clear sight, or better yet, not even taking them with.

    "You're removing the ability and the opportunity to commit the crime if nothing is in your car for someone to steal," says Captain Warych.

    Four reports of car theft have recently come from the Bairds Creek area.

    "People have broken windows to enter cars to get purses and valuables," Captain Warych explains. "We don't want that to happen."

    To stay safe remember... Lock it, Hide it, Keep it.


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    SHAWANO, WI (WTAQ) - A Bonduel man is going to prison for running what is believed to be the largest drug operation in Shawano County history.  

    Daniel Hoffman was sentenced to 8 years and five years of extended supervision after prison.  

    "Mr. Hoffman was the person that was supplying, that is going out to Northern California getting hundreds of pounds of high-grade marijuana."

    Shawano County District Attorney Greg Parker said justice was served in the sentence.  

    "Mr. Hoffman is the "Hub" of this conspiracy along with others."  

    Daniel Hoffman was said to have run an operation that stretched across several states and netted a large amount of cash.  

    "About $8 to $16 million dollars is what the value of this marijuana and basically this business venture that he got in to."  

    Officers found a $25,000 dollar botanical extraction machine at Hoffman's residence.  

    The machine was being used to produce THC oil.  

    Hoffman pled no contest to the charges in June.  

    So far 3 of 10 facing charges have been convicted and sentenced.


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    ASHWAUBENON, WI (WTAQ) - The Packers are looking back at 100 years and have many Green Bay businesses to thank.

    Gordon Bent Company Sporting Goods, Bertrand's Sporting Goods, and Stiller Photography are all big businesses in Packer history.

    Team Historian Cliff Christl says players some of the player's equipment was provided by those sporting good stores, and players also had to stay somewhere when they were in town.

    "You can start with the hotels like the Northland Hotel, where players stayed and where fans stayed. They certainly profited from the Packers."

    Christl says some players even had businesses of their own.

    "Thurston and McGee would be two of the big ones. Bart Starr had some businesses, he had Bart Starr's Little Griddle."

    According to Christl, it is believed that a few bars stayed open during Prohibition that players would frequent.

    He says there were many local bars that were popular with early Packers' players.

    In the 1940's and 1950's, Don Hutson's owned the combination bar and bowling alley on North Adam's Street.

    Christl says one place got a lot of player attention in the 50's until Coach Lombardi banned it.

    "In the 50's when things weren't going so well it was the Piccadilly where Hornung and McGee had all their fun in '58," was a hot spot according to Christl. "I think he banned the Picadilly because he heard all the stories when he got here in '59."

    In the 1970's and 1980's the players headed south to Nicky's in De Pere, with the Carlton also attracting players.

     

     


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    GREEN BAY, WI (WTAQ-WLUK) - Green Bay has had 16 reports of shots fired in the last six months, and police now believe there is a link in more than half of the cases.

    No one has died in any of the shootings, but two people have been injured.

    Green Bay Police say a mid-April shooting outside West High School was the first in a string of shootings involving the same groups of friends.

    Here are the locations and dates of the incidents police believe to be connected:

    April 11: 900 block Shawano Avenue

    May 7: 500 block Elmore Street

    June 25: Eastman Avenue/St. George Street

    July 1: 800 block Elmore Street

    July 9: 400 block S Quincy Street

    August 14: Walnut Street/Webster Avenue (Two incidents)

    August 22: Cherry Street

    September 16: 1200 block S Broadway

    Chief Andrew Smith tells Fox 11 it's not a major gang war.....but it's definitely getting police attention.

    “It's not the Crips and the Bloods and things like that. It's groups of kids that hang out with each other and sometimes other people drift into this little group and they hang out, but there is some kind of ongoing dispute between these youngsters.”

    Police say of the nine incidents they believe are connected, 27 people have been involved as either a suspect or victim.

    Ages range between 16 and 47 years old, but Chief Smith says those involved are mostly teens and people in their 20s.

    Although the Green Bay Police Dept. hasn't identified the suspects, by FOX 11's count, at least nine people have been arrested and charged, so far.

    Smith says the reasons for the shootings range from boyfriend/girlfriend drama to minor drug disputes.

    “It just escalates. It starts with words. It becomes fists and then somebody gets angry enough to get a gun and shoot at someone's door of their house and there is a retaliatory shooting at someone's car and it's been back and forth like that.”

    A private meeting of community leaders and mentors was held at the police department last week to focus on ways of preventing more shootings.

    It was talked about publicly for the first time Thursday night at the police department's monthly community meeting at Divine Temple Church.

    “What he as a chief of police is trying is to negotiate and work with the people instead of going in with a SWAT team and try to do all that, but you want to make friends with the people so they can know who they are,” said Rev. L.C. Green of Divine Temple Church.

    Green tells FOX 11 he'd like to see more families at his church's monthly meetings with police.

    “If we all work together, we don't have to have this.”

    Chief Smith agrees. He says in addition to the community efforts, officers have been redeployed and strategies are critiqued daily to try and prevent any more shootings.

    To compare the 16 reports of shots fired from April to September this year, the police department says there were no reports of shots fired during the same stretch two years ago.


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    GREEN BAY, WI (WTAQ-WLUK) - The label says "Clothes and shoes," but many of the donation bins in the area are overflowing with furniture, electronics, and even a pool table.

    “It’s not fun to see this,” said neighbor Joy Mandich.

    Mandich lives across the street from some bins in Ashwaubenon.

    She recently saw a moving truck pull up in a rainstorm to drop off items.

    “So anything that was usable for a donation, for reselling and maybe even recycling- now is water damaged and may not be usable or recyclable at this point. I think they serve a good purpose but I think they're not managed properly.”

    Mandich tells FOX 11 that last weekend, items had already been piled outside of the bins attracting stray animals for nearly a month. By the following Friday, they’d been cleared.

    Green Bay's Zoning inspector, Scott Nelson, tells FOX 11 he's receiving complaints.

    “From neighborhoods, neighborhood associations, from the police department. We're concerned with making things a little more comfortable with the new businesses downtown so that’s the last thing they want to see".

    Bruce Yang owns the Main Oriental Market Downtown. He’s leased the bins to the same company for four years but said they’ve recently become a problem.

    “It doesn’t look good for me, all the junk laying all over."

    He’s tried to contact the company, but tells FOX 11 he hasn’t had any luck. FOX 11 also called the number on the bins multiple times, but we just got a busy signal.

    “I told them in the beginning- I lease to you, but you are responsible to take care.”

    The City of Green Bay has issued a nuisance abatement order on the bins on Yang’s property. They now have 30 days to take them or the city will remove them and they will lose them.

    “If the business who's owning the bin doesn’t remove it they know the city is going to take it,” said Nelson.

    Manitowoc had an issue with donation bins earlier this month. They now charge a $5,000 permit fee to the business or donation bin owner.

    Nelson said the city is considering a similar ordinance.


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    ASHWAUBENON, WI (WTAQ) - The Titletown District is ready for autumn. A new schedule of events is set to go to mark the changing of the seasons.

    Music, crafts, fitness classes, and food can all be enjoyed in the shadow of Lambeau Field.

    Click here to see a schedule of events

    Among the events are Campfire Fridays where families can gather around the campfire from 5:00 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. on Friday nights during October and November.


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    WILD ROSE, WI (WTAQ-WLUK) - The Bell AH-1 Huey Cobra attack helicopter is a familiar sight to Vietnam veterans.

    "They saved our lives. That's just the way it was," said American Legion Post 370 Commander Cal Wilson.

    "It's a great thing. We got it from the government. They own it, we're using it."

    It's now placed right as you enter Wild Rose near the same sign welcoming visitors to the community.

    For the next 99 years, The American Legion Post 370 will lease the land from the Lions Club for a dollar a year.

    Legion Member Barry Osicka tells FOX 11...

    "We've heard such good stuff about it. especially at night when it's all lit up. So the response in town has been people stopping in from all over the United States."

    Since the helicopter's been here, they've made improvements to the site in order to make it a memorial that people will visit. They've added paved sidewalks, lighting, and flags to adorn the chopper.

    "That's why we have these benches and this place for wheelchairs, so if they want to sit down and remember stuff that's the idea," said Wilson.

    After those improvements and a detailed restoration to the chopper-- These vets were left with a large bill.

    So Wilson says this community, of just 700, got to it.

    "...Service organizations, uh, the community band raised money, everybody pitched in to make this happen, and for a small community to raise over $25,000 in, I say, less than a year that's phenomenal".

    Everything that's done is paid for, but Legion members say the work will continue on the memorial.

    Bricks purchased through the fundraiser, honoring veterans, will soon fill in space too.

    "We're trying to remember veterans of past, present, and future. They need to be remembered. Our freedom we get from them," said Wilson.

    Today, the thank you was reciprocated as these Vietnam veterans thanked community members for their generosity that allows them to have a place to remember and reflect.


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  • 10/01/18--00:00: Police Are Thinking Pink
  • FOX CROSSING, WI (WTAQ) - An area police department will be changing their look next month for Breast Cancer Awareness.

    The Village of Fox Crossing Police Department is going pink in October.  

    Community Liaison Officer Dan Wiechman says that includes changing their blue stripe on their squad cars.  

    "We are going to change that stripe to pink and our officers are going to be wearing pink shirts under their uniforms."  

    Along with raising awareness, the police department plans to help the cause financially.  

    "We are actually making a donation as well."  

    Silicone bracelets and pens will also be available for officers to accessorize.  

    Those were purchased by officers contributions.  

    He says almost everyone knows someone affected.  

    "Just to show our support for people suffering from that disease and people recovering from it as well."  

    The color change will go on through the end of October.


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    BROWN COUNTY, WI (WTAQ) - Community members are being asked to put on their thinking caps and bring their ideas to a public meeting tomorrow.

    An open meeting will be held at the Neville Public Museum starting at 6 PM to discuss the future plans of Renard Island.

    "We're looking for ideas, we're asking people to come with their ideas," says Brown County Port & Resource Recovery Director Dean Haen.

    He explains the current situation.

    "Most recently Brown County put in a causeway and took ownership of the causeway and the island," explains Haen. "Now the county has 55-acres of waterfront property."

    He believes the entire community has a unique opportunity.

    "How often do you have 55 acres of waterfront property that you have a say in how you are going to use it in the very near future?"

    A planning and design consultant team for the Island's end-use plan, SmithGroup, will be meeting with stakeholder focus groups throughout the day and will host the public meeting in the evening.

    Potential end-use goals could include a mix of recreational projects such as fishing piers and recreational trails.

    The Island was constructed in 1978 and it was an area that held 2.7 million cubic yards of contaminated dredged sediment until 1997. 


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