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Northeast Wisconsin's local news coverage.

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    GREEN BAY, WI (WTAQ) - Today is the first opportunity for three groups of Paul McCartney fans to purchase presale tickets for his show next June at Lambeau Field.

    "PaulMcCartney.com Presale, "VIP Package Presale" and "American ExpressCard Member Presale" were made available at 10 AM Wednesday.

    The lowest tickets were listed at $59 each and the highest showed tickets at $279 each, while VIP tickets were starting at $500 each.

    "You are now in the Waiting Room" and 2,000 plus people are in front of you was the screen message that fans using the American Express presale, on Ticketmaster's website, most likely saw.

    Tickets for the general public go on sale Monday, Dec. 10 at 10 a.m.

    It was announced Tuesday morning that Paul McCartney will be performing for the first time ever in Green Bay at Lambeau Field Saturday, June 8, 2019.


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  • 12/05/18--10:30: Drinking for a Good Cause
  • GREEN BAY, WI (WTAQ) - Local brewers are doing their best to help out those affected by the California wildfires.

    Resilience Butte County Proud IPA, which was created by Sierra Nevada Brewing Company in Chico, California, will be sold at select northeast Wisconsin locations starting after Christmas to raise money for victims. 

    Badger State Brewing Company started the process on Wednesday.

    Stillmank Brewery, Hinterland Brewery, Titletown Brewery, Copper State Brewery, Noble Roots Brewery, Thumbknuckle Brewery and Ahnapee Brewery are also joining Badger State Brewery in the effort.

    All proceeds will be donated to Camp Fire relief efforts.

    A map of participating breweries can be found here.


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    TWO RIVERS, WI (WTAQ) - A woman has been arrested following a high-speed chase in a stolen vehicle Tuesday afternoon in which she was pursued by Manitowoc County authorities.

    A Two Rivers man returned home to find someone stealing his car around 3:30 p.m. and the pursuit began shortly after.

    The suspect first drove off from the man's property and struck the owner's garage before fleeing on E. State Highway 310.

    A deputy spotted the stolen vehicle on Waldo Blvd. near N. 23rd Street in Manitowoc shortly after this took place.

    The driver tried to turn onto N. Rapids Road following unsuccessful attempts by police to get the vehicle to pull over. In the process, she sideswiped an SUV, according to deputies.

     

    The driver, a 19-year-old Two Rivers girl, eventually lost control on County Highway R, near Redwood Drive and crashed.

    Deputies caught the driver after she attempted to flee from the scene.

    The driver has been taken into custody and a 76-year-old Manitowoc woman, the driver of the SUV, was taken to the hospital to be treated for minor injuries.


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    GREEN BAY, WI (WTAQ) - $800,000 was awarded by the Green Bay Packers Foundation to 230 civic and charitable groups throughout the state on Wednesday.

    $107,500, which is totaled amongst 30 grants, is being awarded to Brown County organizations.

    Greater Green Bay YMCA, Green Bay Botanical Garden, Howe Community Resource Center and the Children's Museum of Green Bay make up a portion of the grant recipients.

    A full list of recipients can be found here.

    $1.8 million was donated this year, which sets a record for the organization.

    The foundation has distributed more than $10.6 million to charitable causes since 1986.


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    GREEN BAY, WI (WTAQ) - A new Addiction Recovery Helpline is looking to curb a concerning state trend in the number of opioid-related deaths.

    According to the United Way of Wisconsin, in 2017, the number of total opioid-related deaths in the state topped the figure for car crash fatalities.

    In response to this growing crisis, a new Addiction Recovery Helpline is being added to the 2-1-1 call centers throughout Wisconsin.

    The 24/7 service, which is free and confidential, can be accessed by simply dialing 2-1-1 or 833-877-6743. 

    Officials with the United Way are hoping a new helpline will connect individuals struggling with substance dependence to possibly life-saving resources in their community.

    "The specialists are trained to listen to your situation and try to make suggestions for resources in the community that would best help," explains Marcie Waters, spokesperson with the United Way of Wisconsin.

    The goal is to have these trained specialists be a trusted resource that is well-versed in their knowledge of the area, compared to being a cold and distant voice.

    "So you feel like the person really knows where you're coming from when you call," says Waters.

    There will be seven call centers for the helpline throughout the state, which will feature 65 specialty trained staff members.

    "They have staff at their call centers who are specifically trained to help people with addiction and find recovery resources," she says.

    While opioid-related fatality numbers have been highlighted as an especially alarming trend, the helpline is providing service for anyone struggling with substance dependence, which could extend to methamphetamines or alcohol.

    And if physically getting to any of the recommended resources is a concern for any individuals, the helpline specialists are trained to provide assistance in that area as well.

    "Say you have trouble with transportation or child care, they're trained to already be knowing about those resources within the community to kind of help you with those barriers," says Waters.

    The helpline is sponsored by the Wisconsin Department of Health Services.

    The Brown County United Way is located in downtown Green Bay.


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    GREEN BAY, WI (WTAQ-WLUK) - Still no opening date for the Hotel Northland, but local officials are saying the venue has started hosting events.

    A wine tasting event was held at the hotel and a Rotary Club event is scheduled for Dec. 18, Green Bay Mayor Jim Schmitt told Fox 11 News.

    He says the building already passed its city inspections and was issued an occupancy permit on Tuesday, meaning it could open at any time.

    John Williams, general manager of Hotel Northland, told Fox 11 News that there is no opening date set at this time.

    Octagon Finance, the hotel's owners, have asked him not to allow media into the hotel as they work toward its opening.

    City officials say that the hotel must open before the end of the year or it risks losing historic tax credits.

    The $45 to $50 million project has been plagued by financial problems, dating back to 2016 when the top lender pulled its $12.8 million loan.

    2016 marked the beginning of the project to restore the 90-year-old building as a hotel.


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    GREEN BAY, WI (WTAQ) - A Green Bay man arrested at home after police found dangerous chemicals in the resident's basement had five criminal charges filed against him on Wednesday.

    The charges filed against 38-year-old Michael Anderson include intimidating a victim by using or attempting force, disorderly conduct and criminal damage to property, all with domestic abuse enhancers; being a felon in possession of a firearm; and conspiracy to possess the precursors to make methamphetamines.

    Prosecutors alleged at a court appearance last month that Anderson "had openly made comments that he was going to throw acid on police and would go down fighting to death because he's dead anyway." 

    Previous mug shots have shown Anderson with numerous white supremacist tattoos and prosecutors allege that Aryan Brotherhood paraphernalia was found in the basement.

    Anderson's girlfriend, Jennifer Gross, has also been charged in the case with disorderly conduct and obstructing an officer.

    She allegedly told officers it was her dream to blow up the courthouse, according to the criminal complaint.


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    APPLETON, WI (WTAQ) - A man who allegedly posed as a doctor was charged with 18 counts, including felony theft, practicing medicine without a license, and practicing pharmacy without a license on Wednesday.

    An exact breakdown of the charges includes:

    • Six felony counts of theft
    • One felony count of delivery of a prescription drug
    • One felony count of maintaining a drug trafficking place
    • Four misdemeanor counts of practicing medicine without a license
    • Three misdemeanor counts of practicing pharmacy without a license
    • Two misdemeanor counts for the unlicensed practice of psychology

    Kyle Larsen, a licensed practical nurse, had a cash bond set at $200,000 Wednesday afternoon.

    Larsen operated a business called Medical Psychology of Wisconsin, according to the criminal complaint.

    Larson's LinkedIn page listed his name as Kyle Ellis.

    The criminal complaint details interactions that four patients had with Larsen:

    “Kyle stated from the beginning, his plan was to develop an LLC and have a real doctor on board. He stated he had a hard time getting started which led him to do stupid things. Kyle confirmed that he does not really have an LLC. He explained that he wasn't able to afford to do the paperwork to obtain an LLC Kyle verified he did not have the proper licensure as a counselor or a doctor,” the complaint says.

    Larsen faces up to 50 years in prison for the charges listed on the complaint.

    A preliminary hearing is scheduled for next Wednesday at 9:30 a.m.


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  • 12/05/18--15:37: Lame Duck Bills Approved
  • MADISON, WI (WTAQ) - It's been an exhausting three-day process in Madison, which finally saw a package of bills voted through during a continued lame-duck session on Wednesday.

    Those bills are aimed at limiting the powers of governor-elect Tony Evers and attorney general-elect Josh Kaul, in the minds of state Democratic representatives.

    One bill passed on Wednesday was for a work requirement for single, able-bodied adults on BadgerCare. Also, any request for federal waivers for welfare programs would have legislative oversight.

    The governor would be prevented from withdrawing from a multi-state lawsuit that challenges Obamacare, according to a separate bill.

    An effort to pass a bill that would have protected those with pre-existing medical conditions failed to pass the state senate by one vote. David Craig and Chris Kapenga, two GOP senators, both voted against it, thus defeating the bill.

    Early voting is being limited to two weeks before an election after being voted on by the legislature.

    Democratic Representative Jon Erpenbach describes this process as not only desperate but also unprecedented.

    "There's only been a lame duck session here, going back to the '20s, about seven or eight times," says Representative Erpenbach. "But never, ever, ever, ever has there been a lame duck session used to go after newly elected officials."

    Even with Democratic contempt for their Republican partners at a seemingly all-time high, some on the "right" remain confident that bi-partisan work can still be achieved.

    "I've had some great conversations with some of my Democratic colleagues," says Republican Representative John Macco. "We have some big plans for next year."

    He thinks this is hardly an attack by Republicans, but rather healthy government at work.

    "This is a good example of not dysfunction," says Representative Macco. "This is a great example of how a quality functioning government works."

    Representative Erpenbach would disagree with his Republican counterparts claiming that they've ushered in positive changes.

    "You didn't," he says. "You actually made some stuff worse."


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    SHAWANO, WI (WTAQ) - A Shawano Christmas tree farm was victim to theft over the weekend.

    Between 75 and 100 Christmas trees were stolen from Hanauer's Tree Farm.

    "I find it ironic at best that you would celebrate the birth of Christ with something that you stole."

    The trees were cut, bailed and ready to be shipped to Chicago.

    "They were sold, they were paid for, so it is $2,500 dollars straight out of my pocket."

    Owner Dan Hanauer says he noticed his tree pile missing Monday morning.

    "I went down to the loading area and noticed that the piles were depleted and there was fresh snow from Sunday and I could see the tracks."

    Hanauer said he saw his pile missing and tracks in the snow and says he figures the trees were stolen so someone could make money on them.

    "I am convinced that these trees are probably for sale somewhere in the area at a low price," Hanauer explained. "Nobody steals 75 to 100 trees for their personal use."

    The cost of the stolen trees is about $2,500 dollars.

    He says it is lost money from his pocket and is disappointing since growing a tree does not happen overnight.

    "These trees are on average 15 years old from the time the seed was planted. You work all those years only to have someone who thinks they should reap the benefit of all that hard work."

    While the Hanauer's are known around town for their "Cut your own" or pre-cut Christmas tree sales this time of year, most of their business is wholesale, growing, selling and shipping large amounts.

    This is not the first time that Hanauer's have been victim to theft, but Dan says usually it is just one tree or a small number of trees. 

    "This is the biggest theft that I think we have had."

    The Shawano County Sheriff's Department continues to investigate.

     


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    GREEN BAY, WI (WTAQ) - "Who would have thought that craft beer would have helped a cause."

    It's beer for a good cause.

    A beer created by Sierra Nevada Brewing Company in California will be sold at select northeast Wisconsin locations starting after Christmas.

     

    Money raised from the sales of the beer will go to help those impacted by the wildfire in California.

    All around the nation, breweries are using the recipe for the Resilience Butte County Proud IPA.

    "There are over 1,200 breweries nationwide participating in this, so this is really huge."

    In Green Bay, the beer will be brewed at Badger State Brewing Company.

    Jen Radloff, Events and Entertainment Director said the process kicked off Wednesday and once complete, taprooms around Green Bay will have access.

    "We are going to brew about 15 barrels. It is a West Coast IPA so there is going to be a big hop and bitterness factor to it."

    Radloff said it will not change their daily operation, but brewers will have a little bit of pressure on them.

    "Not that it is a difficult process, but you still have to monitor the beer so that it compares to all the other beers that are being made around the nation."

    On Wednesday, Badger State Brewing Company hosted a kickoff.

    "We got everything ready and we had a bunch of local breweries here to help us with that."


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    APPLETON, WI (WTAQ-WLUK) - Governor-elect Tony Evers visits Appleton today (THUR). He spoke at the 15th annual New North Summit.

    The event describes itself as a way to bring together the business, education and community leaders from around the region and state to connect with network contacts.

    Evers talked about the importance of young people having work experience and finding a long-term solution to the transportation system.

    "It's not just for our recreation industries but its also to move people safely across Wisconsin."

    But there's also something else some Wisconsinites want to know, what's his next step after the Republican-controlled Legislature approved sweeping changes early Wednesday that weaken the governor's ability to make rules that enact laws.

    The legislation also shields the state jobs agency from his control until September and cuts into the powers of the incoming Democratic attorney general.

    Wednesday afternoon, Evers gave some insight on his future plans and said the state "should be embarrassed" by the Republicans' actions and that they have ignored the will of voters.

    He also said he will make a personal appeal to outgoing Republican Gov. Scott Walker to veto legislation that weakens the new administration's powers. If that doesn’t work, he might sue.

    Outgoing Republican Gov. Scott Walker has signaled he supports the legislation.


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  • 12/06/18--09:33: Work on Big Wheel Begins
  • GREEN BAY, WI (WTAQ) - The beginning stages of work to Bay Beach's newest ride were shared on Thursday by the amusement park.

    Construction to the 10-story Ferris Wheel, named "The Big Wheel", has begun and is expected to be open to riders by the summer of 2019.

    Chance Rides Manufacturing Inc. in Wichita, Kansas, is making The Big Wheel, which will be Bay Beach's second Ferris wheel.

    According to the park, The Big Wheel will be a more slow and scenic ride, while the other Ferris wheel is more of a thrill ride. 


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    GREEN BAY, WI (WTAQ) - The Green & Gold are continuing their effort to make this Christmas season a merry one for those less fortunate.

    Thursday the Green Bay Packers donated $20,000 to the Toys for Tots program, which is aimed at giving underprivileged children toys for Christmas.

    Toys for Tots is hosting an event at Shopko in Bay Park Square Mall on Saturday, December 8, where fans can donate new, unwrapped toys.

    From 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. organizers will be accepting toys for children, from infant to teen.

    Shopko will match all toys donated during that time frame.


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    STURGEON BAY, WI (WTAQ) - The administrative assistant at a Door County church that allegedly stole $10,000 from the parish is being charged with theft.

    Crystal Miller faces 15 counts of forgery and one of theft.

    She is being ordered to make an initial court appearance on December 17, according to court records.

    Miller, the former administrative assistant at Christ the King Episcopal Church in Sturgeon Bay, allegedly forged another worker’s signature on $9,873.31 worth of checks and $1,000 in cash was reported missing.

     

    She has already told police that she used the money from the forged checks to pay for various personal bills.


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    OSHKOSH, WI (WTAQ) - An Oshkosh man is being charged with attempted homicide following a stabbing that took place on Saturday.

    According to the criminal complaint, 24-year-old Dustin Rosenkranz slashed Jeremy Jent on the neck with a knife following an argument.

    Rosenkranz claims that Jent initiated the altercation by slapping him first, so he pushed back, and then punched Jent.

    The complaint states that “Rosenkranz stated that he then grabbed his new M&P hunting knife from his rear pants pocket and flipped the blade open Rosenkranz stated that he then started to stab Jeremy. Rosenkranz stated that he didn’t know where he was stabbing him and he yelled “Die Bitch Die."


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  • 12/06/18--13:29: Tower Not Being Re-Built Yet
  • DOOR COUNTY, WI (WTAQ) - An iconic feature at Peninsula State Park is getting re-built, but just not as soon as originally planned.

    Peninsula State Park lost one of its most well-known features when their Eagle Tower had to be taken down in 2016 due to safety concerns.

    Fundraising efforts for a new tower immediately started and The Friends of Peninsula State Park were able to donate at least $750,000 to the project.

    A $2.07 million project to rebuild Eagle Tower was approved by the State Building Commission in August and the hopes were of beginning construction in December of 2018. 

    It's now December and according to Missy Vanlanduyt, Recreation Partnership Chief with Wisconsin State Parks, construction has not started.

    "The project is not starting in December, but we hope that it's going out to bid in December or right after the holidays," she explains.

    According to her, there are a couple of factors that have contributed to pushing back the project's timeline.

    "Part of it was completing the design plan, that took a little bit longer than expected," says Vanlanduyt. "The other part of it was the timing of the start of construction in the middle of winter with the structural work that needed to be done."

    Not only is it more difficult to complete work in the winter, but also more costly.

    "It was going to be more expensive if we started in December with the frozen ground than if we waited until the spring," she explains.

    The original estimation was that work would be completed in late summer of 2019, but that was with work hypothetically begging in December 2018. 

    A new timeline means new considerations to an end goal.

    "We'll know more specifics on the schedule once we have a contractor on board after the bids are complete," she explains. "But, we're still anticipating an opening in late summer or early fall of 2019."

    The design concept included in the project that was approved in August had a 60-foot tall model with an observation deck that is around 1,000-square feet. Also, there was an approximately 850-foot long accessible ramp and an additional observation deck off the ramp. 

    For those involved with the project, the goal is to rebuild the new tower as close as possible to the original beloved original structure.

    "The only difference in that [design] is that we've increased the size of the top viewing platform a little bit," explains Vanlanduyt.


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    BROWN COUNTY, WI (WTAQ) - Green Bay Mayor Jim Schmitt may be starting the process to enter the race for Brown County Executive.

    Brown County Clerk's office confirmed that Schmitt took out the packet of papers needed to run for the position, but it does not mean that he will for sure be a candidate on the ballot. 

    Any interested candidates who do take out paperwork for the position have until January 2nd to complete the paperwork and turn it in to officially be a candidate.

    Earlier this year, Mayor Schmitt announced that he would not seek another term as Mayor.


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    GREEN BAY, WI (WTAQ) - Many Democratic state leaders are left frustrated after an extraordinary session, originally called so the Senate could vote on a Kimberly Clark tax incentives package, featured no such vote at all.

    One of those frustrated Dems is Senator Jon Erpenbach, who joined the John Muir Show on Thursday.

    He says Senate passage of the 70 million dollar tax incentives package for Kimberly Clark was Governor Walker's only reason behind an extraordinary session, but things quickly changed.

    "We were there for Kimberly Clark, then Tony Evers wins [and] two days later bills are being drafted to deal with the attorney generals authority and the governor's authority," says Erpenbach.

    He wonders where the concern over legislation changed this week was prior to November's election.

    "You question the motives that after the election happens we're dealing with things that nobody even thought of dealing with November 4, or November 3, or October, or whenever," he explains.

    Erpenbach notes that changes made this week ended up being far removed from what was originally intended.

    "As a result of being in the lame duck session, they [Republican leaders] expanded the call of the session to include these four or five other pieces of legislation," he explains.

    He thinks leaders wouldn't have even gathered this week had the November election gone differently.

    "Had Scott Walker won I really, truly, doubt that we would have gone into session at all," says Erpenbach.

    The author of the tax incentives bill, Representative Jim Steinke, made his disappointment known yesterday.

    "I am afraid politics played a role. I was hoping once we got past the politics of the election that there would be more support for it," he says. "Obviously, we could not get support from the Democrats."

    The Assembly passed the 70 million dollar tax incentives package last spring, but a vote never took place in the Senate.


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    MANITOWOC, WI (WTAQ) - A Manitowoc woman charged with repeated physical abuse of a child causing death has been ordered to stand trial.

    Jamie Schrank is one of two suspects in the death of a three-year-old child that she was helping take care of in July.

    The three-year-old boy was taken to the hospital for internal and external injuries following the July 28, 2018 incident and died later that night.

    Jamie Schrank was watching the boy with Eduardo Gamez while the boy's mother was at work.

    The pair admitted to police that they were smoking meth while the three-year-old and their five-year-old son were in the house, according to the criminal complaint.

    Blunt force injuries to the abdomen were determined as the cause of death following a recently completed autopsy.

    Court records show that Schrank is scheduled to enter a plea Dec. 12.  

    Gamez will be back in court for a preliminary hearing on December 12 and faces similar charges for the incident.


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