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Northeast Wisconsin's local news coverage.

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    TOWN OF GREENVILLE, WI (WTAQ) - A 33-year-old Greenville woman has died from injuries sustained in a three-vehicle crash Thursday afternoon. 

    Officials confirmed she died in the hospital Saturday afternoon after arriving with life-threatening injuries.

    Investigators determined that a 16-year-old stopped at a stop sign on Manley Road at Highway 15, but failed to yield the to the right of way to the woman, who was heading east. 

    The woman lost control of her vehicle and hit a semi-truck that was operated by a 62-year-old Menasha man.

    The man was sent to the hospital with minor injuries.

    The name of the woman is not being released.


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    TOWN OF GROVER, WI (WTAQ) - 12-year-old Madison Pluger of Spencer died from injuries suffered after crashing her go-kart into a parked truck Saturday in Marinette County. 

    The Marinette County Sheriff's Department was called to the property around 3 p.m. 

    Officials say at the time, she had shoulder and internal injuries.

    Pluger was taken to the hospital where she passed away several hours later.

    Officials say she was visiting her grandmother and family at the time.

    The accident is still being investigated.

     

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    GREEN BAY, WI (WTAQ) - The Better Business Bureau and We Energies are passing on a warning about an impersonation scam uptick.

    The Better Business Bureau has received several recent reports that businesses and consumers are being targeted by scam artists who are impersonating utility workers via phone. 

    "They are calling people over the phone and telling them that their bill is overdue and they are requiring payment over a prepaid credit card."  

    Susan Bach, Regional Director of the BBB in Northeast Wisconsin says the aggressive strategy itself is an indication that the call is a scam.  

    "They are not going to call you in such a threatening manner and they are not going to call you requiring payment with a pre-paid debit card."    

    She says scammers are also trying a more believable approach.   "

    The scammer will claim that your electric meter is failing or needs to be replaced, and they require you to pay for that replacement upfront."  

    We Energies says if the call seems suspicious, hang up, and call them directly.


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    GREEN BAY, WI (WTAQ) - As temperatures start to drop motorists are hoping that means less orange cones and barrels on roadways.

    The typical belief is that road construction starts to wain as the calendar flips over to November and Mark Kantola, with the Wisconsin DOT, says that process is already taking place.

    "My weekly advisory has gone from 37 projects to, I think, under 10," says Kantola.

    He says one of the biggest projects wrapped up last Friday, well in advance of the winter months and possible weather hazards.

    "The I-41/Highway 55 intersection opened again," he explains. "It's been closed since July."

    For Brown County, the US 41/County B interchange, which has been under construction since May, is expected to be finished by the first week of November.

    Others projects, such as roadwork in Suamico, will depend more on weather conditions.

    "The US 41 resurfacing is going to wrap up probably about mid-November if the weather holds good," he says.

    Unfortunately, not all projects can be so fortunate.

    He says the WIS 441 tri-county expansion project is a noteworthy undertaking that will continue once the snow starts to fall.

    "When you travel down there you will see a lot of work going on between Oneida and all the way down to Midway," says Kantola. "And that work will continue throughout the winter."

    Statewide traffic and road conditions can be found here.


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    GREEN BAY, WI (WTAQ-WLUK) - Jewish communities around the world are feeling the impact of a hate crime that took the life of 11 people at Tree of Life, a synagogue in Pittsburgh, Saturday morning.

    The shooting is one of the largest attacks on Jews in U.S. History.

    While news of the deadly attack broke, Jonathan Costa, the president of Cnesses Israel Temple in Green Bay interrupted service to tell members of the congregation the news.

    “We addressed it by- one, letting everybody know so that they would be more vigilant; two, double checking, we lock our doors here at the synagogue during services, double checking that everything was locked and secured; and three saying some extra prayers.”

    He tells FOX 11 the already small community feels the impact even harder.

    “There’s always sadness when there’s any sort of shooting disaster. Whether it be in a church or a congregation or school etcetera. It hits us a lot harder because we’re a much smaller community, and therefore eleven dead is a lot of people. It’s a large portion of the community.”

    Costa said in Green Bay, there are only about 70 Jewish Families.

    “If that would have happened here that would have been 15, 20 percent of our congregation. So we feel things like this very, very hard and very, very deeply.”

    Mayor Schmitt spoke Sunday on the incident saying something like this impacts every community in the country.

    "It's a sad day across this country. Squirrel Hill in Pittsburgh is not much different than this neighborhood here, and you look at whats happened this last year and nobody's immune from a deranged person with a gun. It's kind of scary too, as mayors we have to protect our cities and it's sad and frightening to know that this can happen anywhere in the U.S."

    Schmitt tells FOX 11 safety has been on the minds of communities of various faiths in the area for a while.

    “There was an interfaith meeting about six to eight months ago to address security in Synagogues and Churches, that was the meeting here in Green Bay, so the religious community in Green bay both Christian and Jewish community is aware that this is a factor we have to address so we have been upgrading our security for the past six months and we will continue too.”

    The Green Bay Police Department said they’re doing extra checks at the synagogue and they have more patrol at the community Police Center right across the street.


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    GREEN BAY, Wi (WTAQ) - Old Glory Honor Flight, the group that takes military veterans back to Washington DC to visit historical monuments in their honor is wrapping up the 2018 season on Thursday. But this trip has some different elements.

    5 Green Bay Packer alumni will be making the trip out of Austin Straubel Airport.

    "Certainly bringing the Packers along with us really highlights the commitment the Packers organization has."

    Diane MacDonald is with Old Glory Honor Flight.

    "They're going to come along and help show our veterans how much we really appreciate them"

    The trip to Washington will cover a lot of ground.

    "Our big highlights are going to be to see the World War Two Memorial, the Korean War Memorial, and the Vietnam Wall."

    More than 70 area veterans from World War Two, Korea, and Vietnam will be onboard.

    Flights are usually out of Appleton, but this one is a salute to Brown County.

    "We are flying in and out of Green Bay, it's one time only flight. It was really to help us to highlights the 200th anniversary of Brown County."

    The public is invited to welcome home the veterans Thursday night.

    For more information on Old Glory Honor Flight click here


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    NE Wisconsin, WTAQ-WLUK) - There's just over a week left until the midterm elections and the candidates for governor are going across the state.

    On Saturday, both Governor Scott Walker and Democratic Candidate Tony Evers made stops in Northeast Wisconsin.

    Both addressed their plans, as the election gets closer.

    Walker stopped at the Appleton Republican Field Office.

    "It's great to be back in the Fox Valley, really crisscrossing the state talking about how Wisconsin's working and getting that message out to volunteers who are then going out and knocking on doors, making phone calls, connecting with their neighbors, family, friends, folks they work with and worship with and tell them how Wisconsin is really working. We can't afford to go back down."

    Tony Evers was at the Green Bay Teamsters building.

    "Green Bay, talking to people that are actually doing the canvassing and then we just continue to go across the state, talking about our positive vision around schools. Making sure that we have good roads and good health care. And we're not going to change much from what we've been doing, it's been working well, people are responding well and those are the issues that are important to the people of the state."

    Both call northeast Wisconsin a crucial part of the November 6th mid-term election and expect to return before then.


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    GREEN BAY, WI (WTAQ-WLUK) - Area high school bands came together at Lambeau Field Saturday, all for a great cause.

    The Stock the Box for Hunger food drive wrapped up Saturday, as the bands spent the last week collecting canned food.

    The bands were performing and asking for donations in a last-minute push to see which band could collect the most food.

    Danielle Scherer, Green Bay West High School band director, tells FOX 11 the student's dedication to this project is great to see.

    "It's really neat, it's, it's a lot of preparation and time, like getting all the promotional materials ready for people and, um, getting everything organized, but it's really worth it to know that we're helping people in need, so it's really awesome and really great for the kids."

    Former Green Bay Packer LeRoy Butler was also on hand to sign autographs and take pictures with the kids.


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    GREEN BAY, WI (WTAQ) - An announcement from the Wisconsin Housing and Economic Development Authority has local officials excited about the potential real estate opportunities near downtown Green Bay.

    The new initiative from WHEDA is called "HomeStyle Renovation" and it includes a statewide mortgage that can help finance home purchase and renovation costs.

    The intended purpose of financing with the WHEDA 30-year fixed mortgage is to allow Wisconsin residents to buy an affordable home and update it to their needs. 

    Green Bay Mayor Jim Schmitt talked about the initiative while gathered with other local and state officials at Tank Park, near Broadway Street, in Green Bay on Monday morning. 

    "This will be the hottest real estate market in Green Bay, where we're standing right now," says Mayor Schmitt.

    A major component of the neighborhoods overall appeal is the proximity to downtown and Mayor Schmitt explained that, among other things, is what millennials and young families value in a property.

    "To be able to walk [or] bike to where you're employed," Mayor Schmitt says. "Take advantage of some of the opportunities in the city, with farmer's market's and some of the other activities that we provide here."

    One of the deterrents to moving into the housing surrounding downtown is the age of the home and some necessary renovations that younger couples or families simply can't afford.

    The hope is that the "HomeStyle Renovation" initiative will alleviate some of those financial burdens and allow homeowners to make the upgrades they require.

    Jared Tetzner, a realtor with Keller Williams Green Bay, notes that he lives nearby Tank Park and agrees there are renovations needed to many homes.

    "A lot of the homes in our area were obviously built at the turn of the century, the early 1900s," says Tetzner. "A lot of these homes are going to need insulation."

    Some other necessary renovations include window replacement and even more expensive undertakings.

    "Foundations are a huge issue in this neighborhood," explains Tetzner. "Foundations can cost anywhere from $20,000 to $30,000 to fix."

    And for millennial home buyers, often times that type of undertaking is simply a dream.

    "They just have enough for the down payment and a lot of times they're emptying out their retirement savings just to buy a house," says Tetzner. "So forget about renovations, they simply don't have the money to do it."

    So what should the "HomeStyle Renovation" mean for the area?

    "The biggest benefit is having non-investors buy these homes and turning them back to what they need to be," says Tetzner. "Renters, let's be honest, they're not going to take care of a neighborhood and watch over it as a homeowner would."

    Additional information on the initiative, program and property restrictions and eligibility restrictions can be found here.


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    TOWN OF SCOTT, WI (WTAQ) - Deputies have reported that a second person has died from a Brown County crash that happened on October 20.

    The incident happened on Highway 57, north of Wequiock Road in the Town of Scott when a PT Cruiser was driving the wrong way and collided with a Jeep.

    61-year-old Terry Barner of Two Rivers, the driver of the PT Cruiser, died at the scene.

    It was confirmed on Monday that 59-year-old Stuart Schindler of Green Bay, the driver of the Jeep, succumbed to injuries sustained in the crash.


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    MANITOWOC, WI (WTAQ) - A man who faces two counts of chronic neglect of a child pleaded guilty in court on Monday.

    Eduardo Gamez is being charged in connection to a toddler's death, but neither he nor Jamie Schrank, who also pleaded not guilty to counts of chronic neglect of a child, are being specifically charged with the death of the boy.

    Court records show that no trial date was set for Gamez and a plea hearing is set for January 31.

     

    The toddler was in the care of Gamez and Schrank on July 28 when he suffered extensive bruising that later led to death. 

    The couple was smoking meth in their home around the three-year-old boy and their own five-year-old son on that day, according to the criminal complaint. 

    The boy was taken to a hospital for extensive internal and external injuries that he later died from.

    According to the complaint, the couple's son also had bruising that would indicate neglect and abuse.


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    TOWN OF TAYCHEEDAH, WI (WTAQ) - Fond du Lac County Sheriff's officials say that a man was killed on Monday morning when his vehicle went off the road and hit both a power pole and a tree.

    Investigators say that the man, a 55-year-old from the Malone area, was headed west on Highway Q. in the town of Taycheedah around 5:30 AM when he lost control going around a curve.

    Officials found the man dead inside his vehicle and his identity has not been released yet.


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    WAUPACA, WI (WTAQ) - A report has been released following a plane crash that happened in Waupaca County.

    47-year-old Andrei Biesinger is being accused of trying to evade authorities on August 31 and a report from The National Transportation Safety Board found that he operated without a flight plan.

    According to deputies, Biesinger almost hit an Oshkosh police car after the tower at Wittman Regional Airport in Oshkosh tried to stop the plan from taking off.

     

    Biesinger was being pursued by authorities for domestic abuse charges, according to deputies.

    He eventually crashed in a field in the town of Waupaca and was taken to jail after being treated for injuries at the hospital.

    Online court documents indicate that he is being charged with felony recklessly endangering safety, disorderly conduct, and knowingly violating a restraining order.

    The report from The National Transporation Safety Board can be read here. 


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  • 10/29/18--16:00: 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.

    A woman who said she had a bomb inside Austin Straubel Airport Saturday was charged a felony of making a bomb scare.

    47-year-old Rebecca Lockwood was arrested after police were called to the airport on a complaint of a woman yelling at cars in the parking lot.

    According to the complaint, Lockwood refused the officers request to look in her back and started yelling "I have a bomb in my bag" while walking towards the terminal.

    No explosive device was found.

    "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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    APPLETON, WI (WTAQ) - The Outagamie County Sheriff's Department warns to look out for scam calls.

    Residents are receiving calls from someone identifying themselves as Marshall Adams with the Sheriff's Office Civil Process and Warrants Division, and Sheriff officials say calls like this seem legitimate.

    The Sheriff's Department released a clip of what is heard when you call back the number that called you.Sheriff Officials say if you have doubts that it is really the Sheriffs Office, hang up and look up the number to call yourself and don't rely on the callback number as sometime caller ID is easily falsified.

    They say it is also important to warn the elderly and give them a resource to call before ever giving money to someone they don't know.


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    GREEN BAY, WI (WTAQ) - US Senator Ron Johnson says enough is enough when it comes to attacks against people.

     

    The Wisconsin Senator addressed the mass shooting that took place at a Pittsburgh Synagogue, as well as multiple pipe bomb mailings on WTAQ Morning News with Matt and Earl, and said attacks like those will not be tolerated.

    "I hate to say the solution is further hardening, but that is really what Iseral had to do when their schools were under assault."

    The Senator says the Department of Homeland Security has worked with that Synagogue before.

    "The members of that synagogue were prepared, and I think they were implementing an attack plan when they were attacked.

    During the discussion, Senator Johnson did praise the work by law enforcement in acting swiftly and sent well wishes to the four officers that were injured.

    Johnson called violent attacks a cultural issue and said they still have more work to do when it comes to addressing mental health.

    "We always have a very difficult time grappling with the "Not Guilty Yet".

    He pointed to the alienation of individuals as a big concern.

     The complete discussion can be found here.


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    GREEN BAY, WI (WTAQ) - A man who stole a crucifix from a church and used it to smash a video board in Ashwaubenon will spend one year in a mental treatment program.

    30-year-old Brendan McSweeney was found guilty by reason of mental disease or defect for the February incident.

    The treatment plan includes counseling, an order to take medication and no use of alcohol or drugs.

    McSweeny stole a crucifix from Nativity of Our Lord Church and used it to damage a Fox 11 video board.


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  • 10/29/18--16:32: Local Vigil Being Planned
  • GREEN BAY, WI (WTAQ) - People of all faith are trying to band together to show support locally after a deadly shooting at a Jewish synagogue in Pittsburgh over the weekend.

    JOSHUA is a local organization that works to bring people together of all faiths.

    “We have a responsibility to protect and stand with our brothers and sisters of all varieties of all faiths and all traditions,” says Reverend Bridget Flad Daniels.

    Their organization stresses that when people from different background come together, they'll realize they really aren't that different.

    "One of the things we know is that we do have a lot more in common than that which divides us,” says Daniels.

    And some of those common traits that people share can be identified.

    “The common good, helping one another, love and support of neighbor," she says.

    The shooting at the Pittsburgh synagogue is the latest national example of a hate crime, which the FBI is required to keep statistics on.

     According to them, between 2016 and 2017 the number of offenses against religious groups rose by more than 12 percent.

    And 834 of the 1538 total offenses last year were categorized as anti-Semitic.

    Following the shooting, Daniels reached out to Rabbi Moishie Steigmann with Green Bay's Cnesses synagogue.

     

    He says the support he's received has come from people of all faiths.

    “I just find it incredibly comforting and inspirational that so many people from so many different faiths are prepared to come together in solidarity and unity,” says Steigmann.

    The plan is for them to work together to hold a community vigil for the public.

    “The plan was to hold something like a vigil. but in many ways, we're thinking of this not like a vigil but a sign of solidarity and a sign of comfort and strength in the aftermath of a tragedy,” he says.

    More details about the community event will be released in the next few days.


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    GREEN BAY, WI (WTAQ-WLUK) - Brown County investigators say a 13-year-old girl was sexually assaulted at a Howard haunted house this past weekend.

    As Green Bay Fear was closing Friday night, Brown County investigators say 21 year old Alex Fish sexually assaulted the girl, who was a costumed volunteer for the haunted house.

    Fish hasn’t been charged in the case, but he was in Brown County Court Monday afternoon for a probable cause hearing.

    “The male with the white sweatshirt lost his balance, then he turned around towards (the victim),” said Dana Johnson, a Brown County Assistant District Attorney.

    “The male ran into her, put up both of his hands and grabbed each of her breasts and the male would not let go.”

    The girl was working with two other 13-year-olds at the haunted house, according to Johnson. The girls were in a room when Fish and three of his friends came in. The friends were two 16-year-olds and an 18-year-old.

    “I observed, she said, four males walk into the room,” Johnson said while reading a statement from one of the 13-year-olds.

    “They were stumbling around all over the place. They smelled like marijuana.”

    Brown County deputies say they were told Fish put his hands on the girl's chest for 5 to 10 seconds.

    The deputies also reported when they arrived on the scene, Fish admitted to drinking alcohol and smoking marijuana.

    “Later he was advised he was going to be charged with second-degree sexual assault,” said Johnson.

    “He indicated he didn't do anything wrong.”

    Green Bay Fear is now closed for the season, according to its Facebook page. FOX 11 sent a message to the page, asking about the incident.

    “We are in the business of providing a safe & fun attraction for the purpose of giving back to the community,” responded David Oshefsky, event coordinator for Green Bay Fear.

    As part of a $5,000 signature bond that was issued to him, Fish is not supposed to go to any haunted houses, talk to the 13-year-old or her friends, and he isn't supposed to drink any alcohol.

    According to Green Bay Fear's website, 13-year-olds can volunteer for the haunted house with a signed parent permission slip.

    Anyone under the age of 13 must volunteer with someone who is at least 18 years old.


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    GREEN BAY, WI (WTAQ) - A ceremony at the Brown County Courthouse on Tuesday attempted to preserve a little piece of Brown County and save it for future generations.

    The burying of a time capsule comes as part of the 200th-anniversary celebration for Brown County.

    "I felt it was important not just to collect some highlights from our past and present and utilize them in a ceremonial way," says Brown County Executive Troy Streckenbach. "But also to write to the future residents of Brown County about what life was like here and now, while also communicating our wishes for what the next 100 years look like."

    The capsule was filled with momentous from all over the county and even the capsule itself was local.

    "That stainless steel tank is actually from our highway shop," explains Brown County Public Works Director Paul Fontecchio. "That's an old air cylinder from one of our dump trucks."

    The capsule will be unearthed in 100 years and some of the items inside include an autographed football from the Packers, 2018 collectible coins, and drone photos of the county, which were captured by Fox 11 News.

    Other items making the list include letters from officials and area students, memorable news stories from area papers, movie posters, a board game, and more.

    "There's a lot more stuff in there than you would think," says Fontecchio. "It's packed tight, it's heavy."

    One of the included letters was from 11-year-old Violet Blake of De Pere. She had an opportunity to read her message to future generations aloud on the front steps of the Brown County Courthouse.

    "Everybody plays Fortnight on their XBox," says Blake. "And when I say everybody, I'm not exaggerating believe me."

    Blake attempted to describe what life is like in 2018 for people 100 years in the future.

    "Toy-wise we have stuffed animals [and] hoverboards," she says. "They don't even hover, they have wheels."

    Lastly, she had one request for the future people of Brown County.

    "P.S. I'm 110 [years old] so I'm probably dead, visit my gravestone," says Blake. 

    The Brown County 200th-anniversary celebration wraps up on Thursday night with the Old Glory Honor Flight at Austin Straubel Airport. 


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