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Northeast Wisconsin's local news coverage.

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    GREEN BAY, WI (WTAQ) - While in Green Bay Wednesday, Congressman Mike Gallagher says suspicious packages being delivered to political targets is a sign of the times that we live in, but it should not be tolerated.

    "Political violence is completely unacceptable and I think it is up to leaders in both parties to denounce it whenever they see it, wherever they see it and whoever it comes from."

    He says it is not okay no matter if you are Republican or Democrat.

    Gallagher says he sees a good political environment in Wisconsin but says keeping an honest debate going is important.

    "I think we are blessed to call a place home where people are nice to each other, but I think we have to be careful," he said. "We have to maintain a space where, even if we disagree, we can talk to each other as Americans and can have an honest debate."

    He also added that social media interaction plays a big role in how people communicate.

    "I don't care if you have 1,000 Facebook friends, you need actual real live human friends and you need people that disagree with you."

    He says people need to think about the time that they spend getting absorbed in social media.

    "I just fear that that is driving people further apart and not actually allowing people to break down barriers."

    Wisconsin U-S Senator Ron Johnson is calling for caution at the Trump rally in Mosinee.

    "I am telling everybody to be careful. Any kind of elected official needs to be aware of the fact of the potential for copycats or other attacks. I am just glad nobody has been hurt.

    At that same rally, Governor Scott Walker also condemned terrorism.

    "A terrorist act against any American is a terrorist act against every American. You mess with one of us you mess with all of us, I don't care what party."

    Both Governor Walker and Senator Johnson tweeted on the issues earlier in the day.


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    MADISON, WI (WTAQ) - A Madison man has been arrested for allegedly trying to kill someone with radioactive material, according to the FBI.

    A press release on Wednesday evening says 30-year-old Jeremy Ryan attempted to purchase a lethal amount of radioactive material over the Internet.

    Ryan was arrested on the 700 block of Mills Street in Black Earth, which is west of Madison.

    He could be facing the maximum sentence of life in prison if formally charged. 


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    MADISON, WI (WTAQ) - An oral argument has been scheduled for November 5 by the Wisconsin Supreme Court regarding noise from concerts at the municipal band shell in Sister Bay.

    The lawsuit is by the Yacht Club at Sister Bay Condominium Association against the Village of Sister Bay.

    The condo association filed suit in March of 2016, seeking to stop concert performances claiming they are a public and private nuisance.

    The condo association lost that suit with the court claiming they didn't provide notice within the 120-day provided by law in relation to when the nuisance started.

    The condo association appealed that ruling, claiming they filed within the window from the most recent concert.

    The Supreme Court is expected to provide guidelines and clarity in relation to what constitutes proper notice under governing statutes. 

    They will begin oral arguments on November 5 and it's expected to take several months until a decision is reached. 


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    CHEBOYGAN COUNTY, MICH (WLUK) - The suspect in a Sturgeon Bay murder case from 1975 appeared in court on Thursday and waived extradition back to Wisconsin.

    82-year-old Richard Pierce is charged with killing his wife Carol, whose body has never been found.

    Officials have begun deconstructing his home in Cheboygan County, Michigan looking for the remains of his wife.

    A property search is expected to finish by Friday and no court date for an appearance in Door County has been scheduled. 


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    ASHWAUBENON, WI (WTAQ) - A local turkey has turned into a neighborhood celebrity in Ashwaubenon, but officials are reminding citizens that he should get his own food.

    "Smoke" the turkey has been spotted in the area for months, but Ashwaubenon ordinance provides a $187 fine for feeding wild animals, such as deer and turkeys.

    These wild animals should be self-sufficient, according to public safety officers.

    The bird has predominantly been seen roaming through neighborhoods on the village's west side.

    Officers with Ashwaubenon Public Safety posted on their Facebook page that leaving the turkey alone his best for him and for residents.

     

     

    "Please consider that trying to keep "Smoke" around a neighborhood is also keeping him from interacting in an environment where there are other turkeys and when mating season comes about he will continue to wander into traffic.

    There are people that complain that this turkey is ruining their yards and some that want him to stay. He runs in traffic and blocks intersections. He chases people and cars and kids on bikes.

    We encourage allowing nature to be nature and allow "Smoke" to move along and find suitable companionship rather than roaming on our streets right next to I-41 which in no doubt may just get the best of him."


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    GREEN BAY, WI (WTAQ) - The Green Bay Area Public School District is hoping to get kids excited about STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) at an early age.

    Local officials gathered at Nicolet Elementary School Library on Thursday to announce an initiative aimed at bolstering STEM opportunities, specifically for elementary age students.

    The hope is that kids develop an interest in these fields through some hands-on experience.

    "One of the things that they're going to be learning about is robotics and coding," says Brown County Executive Troy Streckenbach. "That's going to be an important aspect later in life."

    The expansion in STEM opportunities is part of the 2019 budget proposal that has been introduced by Streckenbach.

    According to him, it's not only important to expand the available opportunities but to also tailor them to children at a young age.

    "We have to get them interested at an early age in order to keep them interested in it after middle school and high school," says Streckenbach. 

    The opportunity for expansion is made possible through a federal grant owned by the school district and other community partnerships, including UW-Extension and 4-H STEM Collaboration.

    "This new initiative will really help us with bringing forward STEM programming to our elementary students and we'll hit about 1,000 students," says Lisa Johnson, Summer School/Extended Learning Coordinator with Green Bay Area Public School District.

    A major focus was to not only expand the existing STEM programming but to also make those opportunities available to a larger number of kids.

    "They want to step this up and offer it in more of their schools as part of after-school programming," explains Streckenbach.

    Some skills featured in STEM programming, such as robotics and coding, lend directly to growing professional fields.

    "Time is short and so we need to be able to get things moving as fast as we can and get our kids engaged in this type of learning," she says. "It was a great first step."

    An annual budget hearing will be held by the entire Brown County Board of Supervisors on October 31 at 9 AM.


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    SHAWANO COUNTY, WI (WTAQ) - A farm from Shawano County is still recovering from a winter storm that happened just over six months ago.

    The surprise mid-April blizzard dumped 24 inches of snow in Green Bay and for some businesses and farms that snow got too heavy for roofs to handle.

    This was the case at JJ & S Sunrise Dairy Farm near Bonduel.

    "It was a pretty chaotic morning," says Jay Vomastic, JJ & S Sunrise Dairy Farm.

    He says the rebuilding process is well underway at the farm, but unfortunately, animals have suffered.

    When the roof collapsed 37 cows were trapped inside and 7 died. 

    Throughout the summer the remaining cows have been forced outside.

    "It will be really really nice, when it's finally covered, and a roof over their heads. So they don't have to stand out in the elements all day long," explains Vomastic.

    Progress is starting to pop-up all over the property, though.

    Just earlier this week the concrete floor for the new barn was completed.

    Neighbors and friends have been especially excited to hear the most recent news of repairs at the farm.

    "Over the course of the summer, I have been asked, and that's not even exaggerating, a thousand times at least. How's the barn coming? How's the barn coming?" he explains.

    What's next? Barn walls that are expected to begin going up on Monday. That construction is expected to last between two to three weeks.


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    GREEN BAY, WI (WTAQ) - The Boys and Girls Club in Green Bay is the proud owner of a new ride.

    That's because the organization won a nationwide video submission contest with the manufacturing company Bridgestone and were awarded a new 2018 Toyota Sienna on Thursday.

    The club is hoping the vehicle will provide reliable transportation for after-school activities. 

    "It means a lot personally and professionally to give back to a local boys and Girls club," Bridgestone regional manager, Cole Willford, told Fox 11 News. "It means a lot to be able to pick up kids and get them where they need to go."


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    TOWN OF GREENVILLE, WI (WTAQ) - A three-car crash in the Town of Greenville on Thursday afternoon has left one-individual with life-threatening injuries, according to the Outagamie County Sheriff's Office.

    A 16-year-old driving a Honda was stopped at a stop sign and failed to yield to the right of way to a driver headed east on Manley Road at Highway 15.

    The 16-year-old struck that SUV, driven by a 33-year-old Greenville woman, who was sent to the hospital with life-threatening injuries. 

    After she was struck by the 16-year-old, the woman lost control of her SUV and it hit a semi-truck, which was being driven by a 62-year-old Menasha man. He was sent to the hospital with minor injuries.

    Both the 16-year-old driving the Honda and the vehicle's passenger were not injured in the crash. 


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  • 10/25/18--14:21: Fighting For A Law Pays Off
  • GREEN BAY, WI (WTAQ) - A Madison man was in Green Bay Thursday to see the rewards of a good idea and hard work.

    A check for a little over 17,000 dollars was presented for the Wisconsin Law Enforcement Memorial. The money came from the work that was started by Steve and Paula Fitzsimmons of Madison.  The couple helped change a law that allowed a Law Enforcement Memorial license plate to become a fundraising plate.  "Sounds simple when the Department of Transportation says all you have to do is change the law, but then you get into what you have to do to change that law," Steve said.  Fitzsimmons said that process started with support from Green Bay Police Officer Craig Kolbeck, who serves as the President of the Wisconsin Law Enforcement Memorial Fund.  "We were always worried that we would fall off because we could run out of time, even though we started this process two years into it," Fitzsimmons said.  He later got support from State Representative David Steffen and State Senator Rob Cowles.  "I didn't realize how many different pieces were going to be in this."  Now, a purchase of the plate goes right to the Memorial funds.  A law signed earlier this year collects 25-dollars from drivers who request the specialty license plate.  "You never get anything in the mail or flyers asking for donations, it is just automatic."  Fitzsimmons said the process is similar to other fundraising plates in the state and pledged that the money would pay for maintaining the Law Enforcement Memorial at the State Capitol and help the families of officers killed in the line of duty.  The law was signed by Governor Walker in April. 

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    DOOR COUNTY, WI (WTAQ) - One area county is working so people see that they are a good place to work.

    "Consider not just recreating here, but you can also work here and live here and we have more housing coming down the line."

    Door County is known for vacations and recreation, but County Economic Development Corporation Executive Director Jim Schuessler says it is also a good place to live and work and they have over 400 job openings in the manufacturing field.

    "People that haven't considered us for those sorts of careers, should consider us because we've got  companies enjoying a lot of growth."  Twelve businesses in Sturgeon Bay will host a job fair Saturday, Oct. 27 from 8 a.m. to noon and Schuessler says it is not just for those who come in with the skills.  "What we have here that you don't find everywhere is a lot of companies that are saying, come in with your good work ethic and we will train you."  The County Economic Development Corporation says manufacturing represents 20 percent of the counties gross domestic product.

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    APPLETON, WI (WTAQ-WLUK) - The Fox River waterfront trails are a frequent stop for Dave Vicksta and his friends from Appleton.

    "We come here to walk, it's about a 2-hour circuit; we start by the bridge and go all the way around."

    And to ensure trail users have access to the river, Appleton Communications Director Chad Doran tells FOX 11 the city is proposing a policy requiring new developers to include riverfront trails.

    "The reason really is because the riverfront is one of our most precious resources. It's one of the things that really makes Appleton great."

    Doran said he believes the policy won't affect previous landowners, but it will if they choose to redevelop a site.

    The policy will have a set of standards including a minimum trail width of 12 feet.

    "What we don't want to have happen is an instance where you're walking or riding a bike down a 12 foot wide trail and then all of a sudden it goes down to 6 feet."

    Doran said the policy will keep all the trails uniform. The proposal will also require light posts and benches along the trails.

    "I believe the maintenance of the trails falls on us, but any developer that wants to do a project will be required to install all those things, as part of the policy."

    That means developers will have to pay for the trail and the amenities.

    But Doran told FOX 11, it benefits both the City and businesses.

    "It's what draws people down to the coffee shop, draws them to the hotel, people have access to riverfront there."

    Appleton's municipal services committee is expected to take up the standards next month.


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  • 10/26/18--09:15: Car Pulled From Water
  • OSHKOSH, WI (WTAQ) - Oshkosh police helped pull a vehicle out of the Fox River Friday morning.

    The report came in for a welfare check in the 2100 block of Punhoqua Street.

     

    Officers received information that a red car was in the water.

    The Oshkosh Police Department and Oshkosh Fire Department located the vehicle in the water.

    The vehicle was found unoccupied with windows that were rolled down and closed doors.


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    GREEN BAY, WI (WTAQ) - People from all over gathered at Neville Public Museum on Friday to take part in a special 200th birthday bash for Brown County.

    Even a legend from the past that has an especially important role in Brown County history was on-hand.

    Jacob Brown, the counties namesake, was present telling stories from his life as an early-19th century American officer and even performed a couple of songs.

    Two local breweries, Titletown Brewing Company and Copper State Brewing, collaborated together to create a unique ale for the occasion, which was appropriately named the "BiCentenniAle."

    This was a creation specifically for 200 years of Brown County and appropriately it was made with ingredients within the state.

    "We decided we wanted to get as many local ingredients as we could," explains Titletown Brewing Company Brewmaster David Oldenburg. "All the malted barley is grown in Wisconsin, we have some wheat in it, as well, that's grown in Wisconsin."

    The Belgian-style farmhouse ale will be available at both breweries for a limited time.

    According to Oldenburg, you don't have to be a beer snob to enjoy this brew.

    "We wanted it to be something that was interesting and unique, but also accessible to people where it wasn't going to turn people off by being too funky," he says. "I think we nailed that."

    The planning for this celebration started a year ago and a key focus was on making this a true event to celebrate Brown County from border-to-border.

    "We formed a community committee of different stakeholders representing different areas of the county," explains Deputy Executive Jeff Flynt. "We had a representative from Denmark and a representative from Pulaski."

    Other events include performances by the Oneida Smoke Dancers, the Navah Mirage, the Nia Africa-African American Dance, Kaleidoscope Dance Studio, and Tonantzin Dance Company.

    The days activities are being wrapped up by a laser light show by Future Weapons.

    The 200-year celebration doesn't stop on Friday, though.

    "This just happens to be [Friday], one of the crown jewel events," says Flynt.

    Another component to the Brown County 2018 bicentennial celebration will be happening next Thursday. It's the Honor Flight of Champions, which is the first-ever Honor Flight taking place at Green Bay Austin Straubel International Airport.

    More information on the Brown County 200-year celebration can be found here.


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    ASHWAUBENON, WI (WTAQ) - We continue to celebrate the Packers 100th season with a look at factors that made the team what they are today, and alcohol played a role.

    Green Bay made the NFL team cuts in 1927 when the league dropped 10 teams.

    "There were three meetings when the cuts were made, and Green Bay hosted one of them because the owners loved coming to Green Bay and the players loved coming to Green Bay."

    Team historian Cliff Christl says Green Bay was attractive to owners and players, and one reason was their disregard for Prohibition.

    "Teams would come a week early and stay a week late. This was just a wide-open city."

    Christl says because of that they stayed in the league and became what they are today.

    Christl says there were several Sheriffs over a period of time that ran the most popular bars.

    "So the taverns stayed open here and it was a thriving red light district on the Northside."


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  • 10/26/18--15:07: Pedestrian Dead After Crash
  • WINNECONNE, WI (WTAQ) - A fatal traffic crash was reported Friday morning in Winnebago County.

    Deputies have released that the deceased individual was a pedestrian.

    Officials say the crash happened on Highway 116 near Wiesner Road in Winneconne around 7:00 a.m.

    No other details have been released.


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    GREEN BAY, WI (WTAQ) - The Wisconsin DOJ has released information, including the identities of the police officers, following an officer-involved shooting in Green Bay last week.

    The incident happened on Friday, October 19 when Green Bay officers pulled two people over at a traffic stop.

    The two individuals were wanted on felonies and were taken to Brown County jail after being arrested.

    26-year-old Jonathon C. Tubby of Green Bay was shot and killed during an ensuing confrontation that took place inside the sally port of the jail.

    Tubby's family released this statement Friday afternoon, after laying him to rest:

    "Jonathon loved to dance, sing, and make people laugh. He was compassionate and took care of everybody he loved the best he could. He was very athletic and enjoyed football and lacrosse. Jonathon was fun loving and free spirited, never passed judgement and had friends from all walks of life. If you… were good to him, he was good to you."

    The two involved Green Bay officers, who are now on paid administrative leave, are Erik O'Brien and Colton Wernecke.

    O'Brien has been with the department for six years and Wernecke has been with the department for three months.

    The DOJ has stated that O'Brien was the only officer to shoot his weapon during the confrontation. 

    Dozens of more interviews will be conducted as the investigation continues, according to the DOJ. 

     


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    KAUKAUNA, WI (WTAQ-WLUK) - The Interstate 41/Wisconsin Highway 55 interchange ramps in Kaukauna have been closed since July.

    It was to build roundabouts.

    Now, the more than $9.5 million project in the city is finally coming to an end, and Friday those ramps re-opened.

    The 41-55 interchange construction was a part of the 55 Kaukauna Urban Reconstruction Project that began in March.

    For those a part of the multi-million-dollar work, Friday's ribbon cutting has been a long time coming.

    “The reconstruction of Highway 55 started nearly a decade ago in design and concept. With that, the plan has been, since day one, to look at reconstructing this to improve safety and for future capacity reasons,” said Tim Rank, WisDOT Project Manager.

    After the ceremony, the ramps were still closed-off to the public.

    People there could walk right in the middle of the roadway to tour the new roundabouts crews created at the ramp terminals.

    “It’s gonna look a lot different than the last time they traveled on the interchange of 55 and 41, so I would say take your time driving through the roundabouts the first time, you know, make sure you’re following the markings and the signings, because it’s gonna look a lot different,” Rank said.

    The entire project included creating four roundabouts.

    One at both the 55/41 northbound and southbound ramps, another at 55 and Gertrude/Maloney Street and at 55 and County

    It also involved reconstructing 55 from Lawe Street through the I-41 interchange ramps.

    “This is one of the main arteries into the city of Kaukauna, and we need this open for commerce to have easier accessibility into our industrial park net worth,” said Kaukauna mayor Tony Penterman.

    DOT officials said they planned on re-opening the 41-55 ramps Thursday night, after rush-hour traffic.

    The project also included work to improve sewers, sidewalks, and street lighting.

    The ramps opened just a little after 9 p.m. Friday.


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  • 10/27/18--08:35: Fatal Crash In Door County
  • TOWN OF BAILEYS HARBOR, WI (WTAQ) - Door County Sheriff's office responded to a vehicle that was found in a ditch on Highway 57 in the Town of Baileys Harbor around 12:30 Saturday morning.

    Officials say the vehicle was fully engulfed in flames and the lone occupant was deceased.

    Officials later determined that the driver failed to negotiate a curve and struck a tree.

    An autopsy will be conducted. 


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  • 10/28/18--11:42: Airport Bomb Scare
  • ASHWAUBENON, WI (WTAQ) - Austin Straubel Airport operations were disrupted for about a half an hour after a woman indicated that she had a bomb in her backpack Saturday evening, just before 5 p.m.

    Brown County Sheriff Deputies responded to the concern and took the woman into custody. 

    Officials confirmed that the threat was a hoax, and could be facing charges of making terrorist/bomb scare.

    "It does appear she was possibly suffering from some mental/emotional health issues as well," officials said. 

    Regular airport operations were only disrupted for about a half an hour, according to the sheriff's office.


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