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Northeast Wisconsin's local news coverage.

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    GREEN BAY, WI (WTAQ) - There isn't much concern about flooding locally anymore, but the Better Business Bureau warns that flood-damaged goods could be on the move.

    The Midwest may be far removed from hurricane danger, but cars that were hit by storms might be headed here.

    "People will try to dispose of those flood-damaged cars," says Susan Bach, Regional Director of the Better Business Bureau of Northeast Wisconsin. "Maybe ship them out of the area to places like Wisconsin or the Midwest."

    That should put potential buyers on alert to ensure that they aren't being scammed into a poor purchase.

    "You want to make sure that if you're in the market for a used car, you're looking for signs that it could be a flood-damaged car," she says.

    The good news is that many of the signs of flood damage are easy to spot.

    "Stains, mildew, sand or silt under the floormats, or along the dashboard, or under the seats," explains Bach.

    Other signs, such as fogging inside headlights or taillights might be harder to notice.

    "If you are considering purchasing a used vehicle you may want to take it to a mechanic to find those things that are unseen to the natural eye," says Bach.

    Other red signs might be new carpet or upholstery in an older vehicle.

    Someone might be trying to cover a mold or odor problem by using cleaner or disinfectant with a heavy aroma.

    It's also important to check a car's history by obtaining a vehicle history report.

    "You just need to be very careful, look for signs that there has been tampering and look for signs that there has been flood-damage to the car," she says.

    And if you do find out that someone attempted to sell you a damaged car, don't just move on.

    "You should always report fraud," explains Bach. "And of course don't purchase the vehicle if it's been tampered with or it has some storm damage."


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    OSHKOSH, WI (WTAQ-WLUK) - It's been one year since Oshkosh West unveiled its Veterans Honor Wall.

    On Sunday, community members gathered to honor those veterans one year later.

    More than 2,000 Oshkosh alumni veterans have been added to the wall.

    Also unveiled, a new kiosk.

    Oshkosh West High School teacher Adam Scahller tells FOX 11 it's another way to thank the veterans for their service.

    "We have a whole generation or two that were not recognized when they returned home. And this is kind of the way to give back to them, to give them some honoring, some notoriety so that they know what they provided for our country is appreciated."

    Oshkosh West is the only high school in the state with this kind of memorial.


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  • 11/12/18--15:46: Serving Those Who Served
  • GREEN BAY, WI (WTAQ) - It was an opportunity to serve those who served at the Veterans Manor in Green Bay on Monday.

    The second annual event held by the Green Bay Police Department and CH Robinson is an opportunity to give back to veterans by serving them lunch, listening to their life experiences, and simply saying "thank you."

    Green Bay Ltd. Steve Mahoney says it's humbling to hear their stories.

    "It really puts it in perspective," says Ltd. Mahoney. "As a police officer on the smaller scale, what we do here in Green Bay."

    Cheryl Winkel, a resident at Vets Manor, served in the Navy from 1969 to '72.

    She says anytime veterans are recognized it's gratifying because they didn't serve for the purpose of recognition.

    "You don't do it for the glory, you do it because you want too," she says. "But it's nice that people recognize you for what you did."

    Ltd. Mahoney agreed with her assessment that veterans don't seek out the spotlight for the service they provided the country.

    "They're glad they did their service, but they're not expecting acknowledgment or recognition for it," he says. "So they feel very gratified that we are honoring and respecting them."

    While the veterans were able to share their stories and life experiences with local law enforcement, it was the officers that also were able to share something special with the residents of Veterans Manor.

    They presented them with home-made thank you cards made by local students.

    For Cheryl Winkel, it was a great experience.

    "Oh I loved it," she says." "I wouldn't trade it for anything."


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    SHAWANO, WI (WTAQ) - Shawano School District is investigating a threat found Monday afternoon in a bathroom at the High School. 

    Principal Scott Zwirschitz alerted parents in voice message. 

    "The message stated 'shoot up school and make bomb'."

    He says The School District contacted police and continue to work with them to investigate.

    While we are unsure of the creditability of the message, we take all threats seriously."

    Still, Shawano Police Chief Dan Mauel says like past threats, they are taking it seriously.

    "We will make a special effort to increase the patrols around the High School."

    In his message, Zwirschitz reiterated that safety is the top priority.

    "Shawano School District and Shawano Police Department will continue to do their due diligence to ensure the safety of the students and staff in the Shawano School District." 

     


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  • 11/12/18--15:57: A Special Thank You
  • GREEN BAY, WI (WTAQ) - Students all around the area took time to pay their respects to Veterans Monday.

    At Langlade Elementary School in Green Bay, students, parents, and veterans took part in a program that consisted of speakers, patriotic songs and educational videos.

    5th grader Nick Zellner says it was a fun way to say thank you.

    "The Taps and just giving thanks to the Veterans."

    He says he admires how much courage the Veterans had to have had to go fight in a war.

    4th Grader Jessica Trevarthen said it is a special day for her because she has special people that she likes to remember.

    "At school, we make cards for the Veterans."

    Students made some cards in the morning.

    She says that is especially important because she also remembers family on this day each year.

    "Both of my great-grandmas were in World War 2."

    A Wall of Honor at was created at the school this year. It includes photos, names, and stories of family and friends of students and staff.

    "All of our students were sent home a piece of paper and they were told to list any family members that served in the military and the branch that they served in," said Principal Jesse Brinkman. 

    The wall is displayed broken up by branch. 

     

     


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    APPLETON, WI (WTAQ-WLUK) - Former Packer Donald Driver announced that his third annual charity softball game will take place July 27 at Fox Cities Stadium.

    The game raises money for the Donald Driver Foundation.

    Tickets will go on sale to the general public on November 20 at the Timber Rattlers ticket website.

    Rosters for the event will be announced at a later date.

    James Jones, Nick Collins, Dorsey Levens, Jermichael Finley, Gavin DeGraw, Steve Novak, Jen Widerstrom, Emily Wilson and Adhir Kalyan have previously played in the game.


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    SHAWANO, WI (WTAQ) - A Shawano mother was found not competent to stand trial on Monday after being accused of planning to bury her dead child.

    22-year-old Catherine Baker is facing three charges from the September death of her 2-month-old son and she will now undergo psychiatric treatment.

    The ruling addresses Barker’s inability to understand the proceedings and assist with her own defense; it does not address her mental state at the time of the alleged crime. That could be addressed at a later stage of the case.

    According to the clerk of courts, her mental state will be reviewed by the court in February.

    Barker told investigators she believes her son suffocated himself with a blanket, but a search of her phone showed she messaged a friend that her son died and she was going to bury him at St. John's Cemetery on the Menominee Indian Reservation and move to the Oshkosh or Brandon area

     


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    GREEN BAY, WI (WTAQ) - A convicted murderer is being ordered to pay restitution to a state fund and to the family of his victim.

    George Burch is serving a term of life in prison for killing Nicole VanderHeyden back in May of 2016.

    On Monday, he was ordered to pay over $14,314.13 to the family of VanderHeyden. The restitution included VanderHeyden's mother Vicki Meyer, who asked for $6,223. Her brother Brandon Meyer asked for $1,224, and sister Heather Meyer requested $2,440.35.  

    Douglass Detrie, VanderHeyden's boyfriend, is requesting $254,820.73 and that claim will be addressed on January 7.

    Burch's attorney says George Burch makes about $8 per month while in prison and has no other assets.

    Burch has also appealed his conviction, but no hearings have been scheduled.

    Burch is at the Dodge County Correctional Institution. 


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    GREEN BAY, WI (WTAQ) - A Green Bay teen was charged with armed robbery on Monday after robbing a pizza delivery driver with a bb gun.

    The incident occurred last Friday when 17-year-old Malik Jenkins and his 15-year-old cousin demanded cash from the driver on South Oakland Avenue.

    Green Bay Police say that the 15-year-old has also been arrested for the robbery, which netted a total of $20. 

    The two individuals were tracked to a residence after police reviewed doorbell video from a neighbor.

    Police found the suspects and the pizza after acquiring a warrant. 


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  • 11/12/18--16:27: 100 Days of Kindness
  • GREEN BAY, WI (WTAQ-WLUK) - Some early Holiday cheer is being spread from Green Bay's Southwest High School with their 100 days of kindness effort.

    The students decorated ornaments and Christmas cards alongside student's with disabilities from a different school, Syble Hopp, on Monday.

    “These kids are just the most happiest people that are around and in our community and it’s difficult to be able to reach them because we only have about six in our school,” Junior Kiara Thomas told Fox 11 News.

    Other efforts from the students include sending candy to veterans, raising money for other causes, and extending friendship outside the classroom. 

    “They make you realize that the little things are what's really important about life,” Thomas says to Fox 11 News. “The best reaction I got was just a great big hug that was a really good feeling.”

    When the students of Syble Hopp do their decorating of the Christmas Tree in the Northern Building they will use the ornaments the students made together.

    Syble Hopp students will be decorating the Christmas Tree in the Northern Building in Brown County for the 24th consecutive year.


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    ASHWAUBENON, WI (WTAQ-WLUK) - From Spider-Man to Fantastic Four and X-Men, there is a long list of comic books Stan Lee helped create.

    He also deserves some credit for Powers Comics in Ashwaubenon.

    “The first comic book I bought, I was 8 years old,” said Dave Powers, the owner of Powers Comics. “I got an Avengers comic book.”

    Powers tells FOX 11 he opened his store almost 12 years ago. He told Lee about it when he met him at a comic show in Chicago.

    “They actually asked us to not shake his hand because he was signing for three straight days, but after I told Stan that I opened a comic book store after reading one of his old comics, it inspired me as a kid to want to do this, he reached out and shook mine. It was really cool.”

    “For all the fans out there, comic books or not, you know about him,” said Ahman Green, the Packers all-time leading rusher and regular customer at Powers Comics.

    “You know who he was. You know what he created.”

    Green didn't get to talk to Lee when he briefly saw him from a distance at Comic-Con in San Diego, but if he had, he says he would have asked him about his favorite comic book character.

    “I'd be like, did you like Batman?” said Green.

    Lee was in our area last summer for EAA AirVenture in Oshkosh.

    Lee's foundation partnered with EAA's Young Eagles program, which teaches 8 to 17-year-olds about aviation and gets them in a plane for the first time.

    “We've got to come up with the right stories and the right images and we've got to really excite young people about aviation,” said Lee in 2017.

    And although Lee is gone, his stories will live on at places like Powers Comics.

    “I'm sure there will be a mourning period in the comic book world for a while,” said Powers.

    Lee was 95 years old.


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    SHAWANO COUNTY, WI (WTAQ-WLUK) - It's time to break out the blaze orange because it's that time of year again. An estimated 600,000 hunters will take to the field for the nine-day gun season.

    So what are your chances of bagging a trophy buck during Deer Hunt 2018?

    Jeff Pritzl, DNR District Wildlife Supervisor, tells FOX 11 it may start by taking a look at the health of the herd.

    "In general, it's that last week of October, first two weeks of November are going to be the bulk of the activity level. But it will carry on, into that third week of November."

    Pritzl says the deer mating season called the rut, is underway.

    "You'll see them rubbing their eye socket, and antlers on the brush above the scrape, and even licking, because their saliva will leave scent."

    Pritzl says there is plenty of deer in the farmland areas.

    In Shawano County, many hunters see it first hand.

    "I know on my own land, I've got a number of cameras out, and the population is good. The population is steady. On any given night, out here, there would be six, eight, ten deer," said Brian Heins, Shawano County Deer Advisory Council.

    Just up the road in the Northern Forest Zone of Marinette County, Al Hofacker Marinette County Deer Advisory Council, tells FOX 11 four years of mild to moderate weather helped the herd here to recover.

    "In the northern forest zone, has increased by nearly 25 percent, Again the result of mild winters, a limited number of antlerless permits, and very good fawn production."

    Marinette County's Farmland Zone is expanding by 200 square miles.

    Hofacker says the Council moved the boundary to reflect the deer population on the landscape.

    "We increased the tags this year for the Northern Forest Zone, and we also authorized for the farmland zone, two free antlerless deer permits for each deer license."

    In Shawano County, Heins says as the gun season approaches, the excitement level builds.

    "A lot of guys are letting the smaller bucks go by, the year and a half old, two-year-olds. Looking for the bigger four-year-old or five-year-old buck. But as time goes along, I'm sure they will start to be less picky about what they take."

    The season begins Saturday about 6:30 in the morning for much of Northeast Wisconsin.


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     KIMBERLY, WI (WTAQ-WLUK) - The state's first lady acknowledged that while the future for herself and her husband is uncertain, they'll be just fine.

    Tonette Walker was in Kimberly Monday to present a Wisconsin Hero Award to Aubree Leitermann.

    Walker tells FOX 11 she's not sure what Governor Scott Walker plans to do once he leaves office.

    "It's only been a week, I feel like its been longer, but it's only been a week, and we don't know yet."

    On the campaign trail, the 51-year-old governor hinted he might join the ministry like his father did.

    After losing to Tony Evers in midterms, Tonette Walker said her husband has been focused on taking care of his mom.

    "His father died 30 days ago and he has not had much time to spend with his mother and she is moving from her apartment. They're moving 52 years of stuff and I mean it’s a big undertaking that he has to go right from one to the next."

    Walker hasn't made a public appearance since losing to Evers. However, he did issue a statement last week conceding to the governor-elect. He also posted several messages from the Bible on Twitter.

    "We're just figuring it all out, just like anybody that has to make a big move or a big change, we’re just working it out," said Tonette.

    The Walkers sold their home 2 years ago to move into the governor's residence.

    Because Walker will be leaving office on January 7th, FOX 11 asked Tonette if they're looking for a new home.

    "Let's just say we've just been talking about things."

    The first lady assures that people will hear from Scott Walker soon but didn't say when.

    "We're going to be fine, we're going to continue to be here in Wisconsin, you know, just doing our thing." 


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    MADISON, WI (WTAQ) - The state Senate has scheduled a public hearing for tomorrow (WED) on a bill designed to give Kimberly Clark tax credits in an effort to keep a plant open.

    Kimberly Clark announced plans to close a Neenah facility – which would put about 500 people out of work - but has said it would listen to the state’s possible incentive package.

    The Assembly previously passed the $100 million package, which is similar to the deal the state gave Foxconn, but the Senate has not acted on it.

    A special session was called for the lame-duck Senate to review it.

    While the hearing before the Joint Finance Committee is Wednesday, a vote isn’t expected until after Thanksgiving.

    Republicans hold the majority in the Senate, but Senate leadership has said there are not enough GOP votes to pass the bill.

    State Senator Jon Erpenbach, a Dane County Democrat, said last week that he didn’t think Senate Democrats would vote for the bill.

    About 500 jobs are hanging in the balance.

    The hearing is at 10 a.m. Wednesday in room 412 East of the State Capitol.


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  • 11/13/18--07:17: Snow Making Is In Full Force
  • WILD ROSE, WI (WTAQ-WLUK) - It’s full steam ahead at Nordic Mountain. There's plenty of activity going on at the ski area near Wild Rose.

    They officially began pumping water from their nearby pond to start making snow.

    Nordic Mountain general manager William Ringenoldus tells FOX 11 over 30 snow guns have been blowing out snow nonstop since last Thursday.

    “We’re trying to make as much as we can. We’re taking advantage of these nice cold temperatures, and hopefully making lots of snow.”

    For Nordic Mountain, slippery slopes are just what they like to see.

    Ringenoldus says the recent cold streak has helped the ski resort get more of the powdery white stuff onto several of its 18 runs.

    “The colder it gets, the more snow we can make, so these next couple of nights coming up, when it’s going to be colder, we’ll be able to make a lot more snow than we have in the past few nights when it’s been in the 20s. It’s really exciting; a lot of work, but a lot of fun at the same time.”

    The resort likes to see at least one foot of man-made snow before inviting guests to the mountain.

    They’ve just about reached that already, but there still aren’t any of signs of slowing down anytime soon.

    “It’s also a real big advantage right now the fact that today is daytime, and we’re still making snow,” said Ringenoldus.

    “It’s a lot easier when we can go around the clock 24/7, versus having to turn them on and off every day when it gets warm during the daytime and, actually, we plan to continue going around the clock for the next couple of days.”

    The goal is to open for the season on Black Friday -- or for Nordic Mountain, “White Friday.”

    The staff there said when they do open, they’ll be doing so with the best conditions they’ve seen for this time of year.

    Nordic Mountain plans to open by next Friday with more runs available than they’ve ever had on opening day.


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    GREEN BAY, WI (WTAQ) - It's a simple reminder that is too often overlooked, according to the Wisconsin Department of Transportation Secretary Dave Ross.

    Ross was just one of numerous local and state transportation officials on-hand Tuesday morning at the Brown County Sheriff's Department to honor first responders on Wisconsin roads.

    The temperature at the time of the event was a not so brisk 20 degrees, which served as a bone-chilling reminder to the level of commitment from first responders in the state.

    "This is a good reminder of the conditions our first responders work under," says Secretary Ross. "In highway conditions of cold, wind, winter storms and summer heat."

    The event was part of Traffic Incident Response Week in Wisconsin, which Governor Walker declared to take place from November 11 through November 17.

    First responders work to keep the state's roadways safe, but too often their own safety is put in danger by the public.

    "Too many secondary crashes are happening here in Wisconsin," Secretary Ross says. "2,100 in just the last two years alone."

    One of those directly affected by a secondary crash is Ashwaubenon Public Safety Officer Brian Murphy.

    Officer Murphy was struck by a vehicle on July 22 while assisting a car fire on I-41.

    Murphy spent a month in the hospital due to the injuries he sustained and the driver was sentenced to six months in jail after pleading no contest to injury by intoxicated use of a motor vehicle.

    Officer Murphy says roadside safety is a two-way street.

    "We do what we can on our end to make things safe up on the roadways," he says. "But we need the help of the public to ensure that we go home safely and that members of the public go home safely."

    He reiterated the importance of the simple message from Secretary Ross.

    "When you see the flashing lights, whether they are red, blue, or amber, slow down," says Officer Murphy. "Move over and give yourself a chance to react to what's coming up."

    Transportation officials have made a considerable effort to utilize data in order to improve road safety, but too often it's inattention from motorists that are the cause of accidents.

    "Road design enforcement and all the other things can not make up for errors made by drivers," explains Secretary Ross. "So we need to be alert and be aware, especially when coming upon an incident here in Wisconsin."

    Emergency responders from eleven different counties in northeast Wisconsin were represented at the event.


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    TOWN OF CALAMUS, WI (WTAQ) - A Dodge County crash early this morning has left a pedestrian seriously injured.

    The incident happened around 5:30 AM Tuesday morning on US 151 in the town of Calamus.

    A man and woman were walking along the roadway when a male driver struck the woman and threw her into the grass area east of the highway.

    The injured woman was taken to the hospital by helicopter.

    Neither the male driver nor male pedestrian was injured and the crash remains under investigation.


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    LANGLADE COUNTY, WI (WTAQ) - A Green Bay man that is accused of bringing heroin and crack cocaine into Langlade County is being charged.

    25-year-old Ky Martin allegedly brought more than $15,000 worth of heroin into the county and is being charged with four felony and two misdemeanor drug charges.

     

    Information that Martin had a large shipment of heroin and crack cocaine on the way to Forest County was received by the Forest County Drug Task Force on November 8. 

    A traffic stop of Martin's vehicle was performed by both Forest and Langlade County working together. A search of Martin's vehicle on State Highway 55 at County Highway K in Langlade County revealed more than 23 grams of marijuana and more than 41 grams of crack cocaine.

    Also found inside the vehicle was Ecstasy, Oxycodone, marijuana and drug paraphernalia. 

    He'll be due back in court on November 19 for a balance of initial appearance. 


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    PULASKI, WI (WTAQ) - The Pulaski Police Department is investigating an armed robbery Tuesday morning at Pulaski Pharmacy.

    Officials say one male entered and handed the clerk a note stating he had a gun.

    Police say the man left the pharmacy on foot with an undisclosed amount of narcotic drugs.

    The suspect was described wearing a white knit winter hat with side tassels, dark sunglasses, jeans, and light colored shoes.

    They say he had a coat that was black, puffy and had a hood that was maroon inside.


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    MADISON, WI (WTAQ) - The public hearing for a tax incentive bill aimed at keeping a Kimberly-Clark facility open is scheduled for Wednesday.

    The $100 million package already passed the state Assembly but is currently stalled in the state Senate. 

    It's aimed at keeping the companies Neenah facility, which employs about 500 people, open.

    Jim Golembeski, the Executive Director of the Bay Area Workforce Development Board, says he's optimistic about the future of the area's workforce. One reason is the positive outcomes that have resulted from similar situations in the past.

    "We did a survey last Spring of the major dislocations and we were seeing people remain unemployed for only a very brief time," says Golembeski.

    He says most individuals found new employment in a matter of a few weeks.

    Also adding to his sense of optimism is the fact that there are companies in the same field located nearby that should be interested in hiring dislocated workers.

    "We certainly have other paper companies and paper converting companies who would be very much interested in those workers," he explains.

    Another potential outcome is a little more unusual, but not unlikely enough to be ignored.

    Golembeski points towards what happened with Appleton Coated as another possible route the Kimberly-Clark situation could head towards.

    The Appleton Coated mill was unable to meet financial obligations and went into receivership, before being bought at auction by Industrial Assets on October 10, 2017. Following the purchase, Industrial Assets restarted machines and began the process of recalling workers.

    "Now they've revived that factory, hired back more than half the workers, and they are expanding little by little," says Golembeski.

    Obviously, if the plant closes there will be some inevitable heartaches.

    "Anytime there's a plant closing and people lose their jobs, that's a traumatic experience," he explains. "That kind of change is just hard and a difficult process."

    The other concern is pay and information from the recent survey previously cited by Golembeski is less than positive on that matter. 

    "They [displaced workers] are, however, taking a hit with salary," he says. "They're not getting back to where they were."

    Wednesday's hearing is a special session that was called in order for the lame-duck Senate to review the package.

    Even though the hearing is scheduled for Wednesday, a vote remains unlikely until after Thanksgiving.

    The hearing is at 10 a.m. Wednesday in room 412 East of the State Capitol.


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