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Northeast Wisconsin's local news coverage.

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    GREEN BAY, WI (WTAQ) - One day after her boyfriend was charged, a Green Bay woman has also been charged in connection to dangerous chemicals found inside a west-side home.

    Jennifer Gross was charged Thursday with felony conspiracy to possess materials for making methamphetamine, as well as misdemeanor counts of disorderly conduct and obstructing an officer.

    The charges handed to Michael Anderson yesterday included 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 methamphetamine.

    Chemicals were discovered by police after they responded to the Redwood Avenue home for a domestic disturbance.

    Anderson was asked by police what the chemicals were for and according to the criminal complaint he stated that "he has developed a process in which he is able to transfer photographic images onto glass or animal horns.” 

    Anderson claims he sells them under the name of Titletown gifts on Facebook.

    According to the complaint, it was discovered that Gross visited several meth making related websites following an investigation of her phone.


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  • 12/06/18--16:21: New Facility Showcased
  • FOND DU LAC, WI (WTAQ) - A new state-of-the-art facility for a Fond du Lac company was showcased on Thursday.

    Community members toured the newly constructed NVH (Noise, Vibration, Harshness) facility for Mercury Marine.

    There are special areas to study noise, vibration and harshness characteristics within the 2.5 million-square-foot facility.

    "Some engines we want to be perfectly quiet when they're at idle or at 0 percent knots and speed," said Mercury Marine president, John Pfeifer. "There's other performance engines that we make where the consumers want a little bit of a V8 hum."

    Additional office space is also featured within the two-story building.

     

    Construction on the $10 million expansion project began in April.

    Mercury Marine has invested more than $800 million in expansion and research and development since 2009.


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    GREEN BAY, WI (WTAQ) - Dozens of students from Syble Hopp were at the Northern Building in Green Bay on Thursday for the annual tradition of decorating the holiday tree.

    Homemade ornaments were hung on the tree and the carols were sung by the students. 

    "My favorite part about this is singing," said student, Ann Marie VandenHeuvel. "Because it's one of my favorite things to do because I have a beautiful voice."

    For more than three decades the event has been an ongoing tradition.


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  • 12/06/18--16:47: All Ears Open In Appleton
  • APPLETON, WI (WTAQ) - Communication practices in the City of Appleton is getting some national recognition.

    Appleton Communications Coordinator  Chad Doran was recognized as the 18th most influential person in local government by Engaging Local Government Leaders,  a national organization focused on local government.  

    He was nominated for the Chris Traeger Award list.  

    Doran was nominated for his efforts in keeping Appleton residents informed.  

    A big part of that is information to the taxpayers.  

    "Everything that we do uses tax dollars, and people want to know where their money goes."  

    One way Doran recently helped communicate that information is by creating Appycademy, a citizens academy for the taxpayers.  

    "We show them basically everything that we do with their tax dollars in the city," he said. "We start out by leading them through a session with the finance department and from there we take them to each of our departments and show them what those departments do with that money."  

    The program takes participants through different departments in the city where they are given a look into how each department spends the tax dollars.  

    Doran says people come out ofAppycademy with a much better understanding and the interest in Appycademy took off fast.   

    Doran also created the city drone team which uses drones in ways to advertise, promote the city and help law enforcement. He also writes content for the city website and serves as the media point of contact.   

    This is the third time that Doran has made the list, which is based on year-by-year activity.

    "I think it just really recognizes that Appleton is really a leader nationally in communication and outreach in our community. Local government does sometimes get a bad wrap by having communications issues with their residents."


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    OSHKOSH, WI (WTAQ) - An Oshkosh man that punched another man over a minor cash dispute and faces one count of aggravated battery pleaded not guilty on Thursday.

    34-year-old Christopher Barry allegedly punching Steven Mallas once on October 7 following a dispute over $18 and Mallas died five days later from the blow to the face.

    According to the Clerk of Courts office, the trial has been scheduled for February 5.

    A friend of Mallas's followed him out of the Boot's Saloon early on October 7 after a claim surfaced that Mallas took $18 from the bar owner's brother, according to the complaint.

    The complaint states that as Mallas and his friend were walking down the street “Barry drove a white van up to the middle of the street, got out, walked past her, and punched Mallas in the face.”

    The complaint goes on to state “After Barry punched Mallas, Mallas fell to the ground and then Mallas pulled out his wallet and gave it to her stated that he didn’t have the money taken from the bar. (The friend) stated that she looked in the wallet and saw $4 so she took it and gave it back to the bar owner’s brother.”

    An officer noticed dried blood on Barry's fingers, but he denied being in a fight with anyone, according to the complaint.

    The complaint also states that Mallas suffered a broken jaw that had to be wired shut.

    According to the complaint, “Mallas suffered from edema into his chest area and he had bronchial pneumonia. Detective Petit reports that Dr. Kelley stated that there was also swelling and infection due to the broken jaw. Dr. Kelley stated that pending toxicology, Mallas’ death stems from the broken jaw."


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    APPLETON, WI (WTAQ) - A waste compactor fire presented multiple obstacles for Appleton firefighters on Thursday morning.

    The incident happened just after 8 AM when crews were called out to 908 N. Lawe Street.

    Firefighters were faced with working next to an active railroad line, cold temperatures and unknown products on fire inside the compacting dumpster.

    The cause of the fire is being investigated and no significant damage to the compactor was found.

    A safe work zone was established as a train passed through as crews worked with Canadian National Railroad.

    A backhoe was used by Appleton Public Works to pull out industrial waste from the compactor so the fire could be put out.


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    GREEN BAY, WI (WTAQ) - During this week's Extraordinary Session the State Senate did not pass a bill that would require health insurers to cover people with pre-existing conditions, leaving many questions asked about the future of healthcare in Wisconsin. 

    Democrat State Senator John Erpenbach says passing the bill would have meant pre-existing conditions would be covered, but says that is not the end of the story and that is why it was voted down.  

    "You can't cover pre-existing conditions without making sure that there are no lifetime or annual caps," he said. "We could have passed that bill, and you would have thought that your pre-existing conditions would have been covered, and they would have, however, your premiums and your copays would have been astronomical."  

    He says that would have caused premiums to skyrocket and would have been more costly than people imagined.   

    "There are certain things that absolutely needed to be fixed within that to try to keep premiums down, but just blowing it out of the water does not fix the problem, it actually makes the problem worse."

    Erpenbach says Obamacare is still a work in progress. 

    "Obamacare was the beginning, it wasn't the end it was a place to start. We had the tools in Wisconsin to make it better and shape it to what Wisconsinites need and we never did that."  

    All of the Democrats and two Republicans voted against the measure.   

    The Legislature passed a bill that prevents the state from withdrawing from the federal lawsuit that seeks to have the Affordable Care Act declared unconstitutional.   

    Erpenbach made his comments on WTAQ's John Muir Show Thursday.


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    APPLETON, WI (WTAQ-WLUK) - The City of Appleton is taking to the web this year to get people into the holiday spirit and is asking for some help, spreading Christmas cheer throughout the Fox Valley.

    This holiday season, the city is featuring a new holiday decoration map of the most festive homes throughout the Fox Cities on its website.

    Here’s how it works:

    From your phone, tablet or desktop, you can upload a picture of your own Christmas display, or a fun one you see, add the location and a brief description, then hit send.

    Almost instantly, it appears on the website, is added to the gallery of homes, and shows up on the map.

    Heath Anderson, a geographic information system specialist for the City of Appleton, who built the website in less than an hour, tells FOX 11 just how fast the process is.

    “They are directly posted, so as soon as you participate, and upload a location with a new submission, then anybody else logged on to the website can see it, at that time.”

    The city is hoping the holiday map will attract more people to the Fox Valley and get more locals to explore the area this Christmas season.

    Chad Doran, City of Appleton Communications Coordinator, tells FOX...

    “It’s kind of neat content to share with the community to show people, ‘Hey, check out this house. There’s really neat stuff here to see,’ and people have submitted things, and they’ve gotten a kick out of it. When we share it on social media, we get cool feedback from people that say, ‘What a neat idea!’”

    City officials said the website has been up for less two weeks, and they’ve already heard great things from other local governments around the state and the country about it, as well.


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    GREEN BAY, WI (WTAQ) - Green Bay Police are investigating shots fired after one person was wounded.

    The incident happened at 11:30 last night (Thursday) on the 1200 block of Chicago Street.

    They were initially called for a disturbance and shots fired in a neighborhood on the city's east side.

    The person shot received non-life-threatening injuries.

    Police blocked off the road for a few hours while officers collected evidence.

    At last word, a suspect is not in custody.

    The incident is still under investigation.


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    FOX CROSSING, WI (WTAQ) - A Fox Crossing man is facing serious charges and many years in prison after his arrest on what started as a Possession of Child Pornography case and has turned into several cases of 1st-degree sexual assault of a child.

    The investigation into child porn led police to a Fox Crossing hotel last month.

    That's where 29-year old David Velasco-Campechano was arrested. Seized electronic devices showed....

    "Found that the individual that was taken into custody by the Outagamie County Sheriff's Department was also possibly involved in sexual assault as well."

    Officer Dan Weichman is with Fox Crossing Police.

    "They were able to identify 3 possible victims."

    One of those victims told police the sexual assaults occurred over the course of several years at various residences in Outagamie and Winnebago Counties.

    Weichman says there could be even more victims too.

    "As the investigation continues, if that situation presents itself we'll investigate those avenues as well."

    Other charges against Velasco-Campechano include 'child enticement' and 'sexual exploitation of a child'.

    He's in the Outagamie County Jail with bond set at $200 thousand.


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    OSHKOSH, WI (WTAQ) - Oshkosh Police have arrested a 75-year-old YMCA employee for having inappropriate contact with a child.

    The man was arrested Thursday night for first-degree sexual assault of a child and false imprisonment.

    Oshkosh Police were called to the YMCA on West 20th Avenue in Oshkosh after receiving information that someone had inappropriate conduct with a child on November 27, launching the investigation in conjunction with the Winnebago County District Attorney's office and staff at the YMCA. 

    Officers say the man worked in the YMCA's child drop off and daycare center.

    Police say any parent that feels their child may have been a victim to this type of contact should contact police. 


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    GREEN BAY, WI (WTAQ) - A Green Bay was sentenced to multiple life in prison terms for distributing drugs that led to an overdose death.

    37-year-old David Shanks distributed heroin, fentanyl, methamphetamine and cocaine in the Green Bay and Iron Mountain, Michigan areas.

    Police say one sale of heroin laced with fentanyl resulted in a death last September.

    Two other people were said to have overdosed on drugs that Shank sold, but they were saved by paramedics.

    He was given the max sentence.


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    OSHKOSH, WI (WTAQ) - An Oshkosh man is facing charges for the overdose death of a man and a woman caused by fentanyl that he allegedly sold.

    39-year-old Desmond Burns is said to be responsible for the June 2017 death of a New London man and the May 2017 death of an Appleton woman.

    He could face between 20 years and a lifetime in prison if convicted.


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    OMRO, WI (WTAQ) - Members of the Omro High School band are in Hawaii and will be performing in a parade that commemorates the 77th anniversary of the Pearl Harbor attack Friday night. 

    The 38 band members also performed Thursday night at the USS Missouri Memorial.

    The school says the band will play "This Land is Your Land", "American Folk Rhapsody", "On Wiscsonsin", and "God Bless America."


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  • 12/07/18--12:11: Tubing Opens Saturday
  • ASHWAUBENON, WI (WTAQ) - Titletown Districts tubing hill will be opening this weekend.

    Ariens Hill will kick off its second season on Saturday at 4:00 pm.

    Prices for tubing are also available.

    New activities this year include Mindful Mondays which include yoga, Art Pop-Up each Tuesday, Sounds of the Season on Wednesdays and Game Night on Thursday evenings. 

    The Winter Jubilee Light Show is most Thursday, Friday and Saturday evenings until December 31. The seven-minute show plays every half-hour from 6-9pm.

    This year, a new seasonal menu is available at 46 Below, Titletown's bistro underneath the tubing hill.

    Winter Jubilee events are open to the public. 


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    GREEN BAY, WI (WTAQ) - The 77th anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor brought together area veterans to show their solidarity.

    "A Date Which Will Live in Infamy." The words of former President Franklin Delano Roosevelt still ring true today as veterans gathered at the Green Bay Veterans Manor on Pearl Harbor Day to honor the courageous men and women who have served this country and who continue to serve.

    Army Veteran and resident Kathy Fawcett helped craft a quilt adorned with military patches. It took plenty of helping hands and plenty of time to complete the queen size quilt.

    "Myself and other residents started working on the quilt on August 29, 2017," she explains. "It took us a long time to finish it."

    Those involved with making the quilt say there was very special consideration put into the colors involved.

    Brown was chosen to represent boots on the ground, orange is for agent orange, and white is for freedom.

    For Fawcett, the quilt is designed to honor a number of different people.

    "For the men and women that lost their lives, [the veterans] that are still here, the families of people that we lost, just everybody," she says.

    Following a grand reveal, the quilt is now being permanently affixed in Veterans Manor.

    There was a luncheon ceremony held at the Manor where individuals from the Center for Veterans Issues spoke to the residents.

    At the luncheon, a table was set for the "Missing Man," which serves to represent Prisoners of War and Missing In Action U.S. Soldiers.

    Katrina Nelson, the Area Manager for Supportive Services for Veterans Families, believes it's important for the veterans to have one another as a support tool.

    "Sometimes these connections with people who have experienced the same thing that they've experienced are very helpful and it can be uplifting," she says.

    Also, an experience such as this can be plenty beneficial to individuals that never served.

    "When you have an event like this and the community is invited, I think that it gives a greater appreciation [to] who served and what they went through," says Nelson. "It just creates for a sense of patriotism all around."


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  • 12/07/18--13:10: Get Gas While It's Low
  • GREEN BAY, WI (WTAQ) - Gas prices are the lowest they have been in quite some time.   Prices in the area differ from pump to pump, but overall, prices are down about 60 cents on average from September prices.  "We are down in the $2.25 a gallon range."  Dan McTeague of Gasbuddy.com says there are two big reasons prices can be found where they are in the area.  "It has everything to do with the fact that there is just so much crude globally," he said. "We have some refineries in the midwest that are back online and they are turning out more gasoline."  McTeague says prices may go down a little more, but a jump is expected to occur before Christmas.

     

     

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    GREEN BAY, WI (WTAQ) - The findings from a fatal officer-involved shooting of a man inside the Brown County Jail has been turned over by the Wisconsin Department of Justice.

    Reports and evidence in the shooting of 26-year-old Jonathan Tubby have been received by the Brown County District Attorney's office.

    Tubby was one of two people arrested by Green Bay officers during a traffic stop on October 19.

    He was later shot by a Green Bay officer during a confrontation inside the sally port of the jail.

    The police officers involved are back at work after initially being put on administrative leave. 

     

    A time will be set to release the findings once the D.A.'s review has been finalized.


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    GREEN BAY, WI (WTAQ-WLUK) - One of the men convicted in a killing that took place at a Green Bay paper mill in 1992 has been granted parole.

    54-year-old Michael Hirn was convicted in 1995, along with five other men, for killing Tom Monfils and sentenced to life in prison.

    According to state records Hirn will be released no later than December 18 from McNaughton Correctional Center, a minimum security facility in Lake Tomahawk.

    Among the five other men convicted alongside Hirn, including Michael Johnson, Rey Moore, Dale Basten, Michael Piaskowski and Keith Kutska, three remain in prison.

    Piaskowski’s conviction was overturned by a judge and Basten died in June, after being paroled due to failing health. 

    Outagamie County Judge James Bayorgeon, who presided over the joint trial, supported the release as early as 2010, according to the parole documents obtained by Fox 11 News.

    “I believe Mr. Hirn should be paroled at the earliest possible date. While his involvement was extremely bad judgment, I feel the time he has served is sufficient punishment and that further incarceration is not necessary. He has paid his debt, he should be paroled,” Bayorgeon wrote.

    According to the report, Hirn is close to obtaining an associate’s degree, has been doing “very well” at work release, and has been approved to live with his step-father.

    Hirn has been described as the “least culpable” in Monfils’ death according to the decision.

    Kutska was reported to police by Monfils for stealing an extension cord from the then-James River paper mill on the east side. 

    The six confronted Monfils and dumped his body into a pulp vat, according to prosecutors. All have denied any role in the murder.


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    GREEN BAY, WI (WTAQ-WLUK) - Restoring Green Bay's Hotel Northland is going to take a bit more time than expected, the hotel announced Friday.

    The project to restore the 90-year-old building as a hotel began in 2016.

    Searching for specific parts has drawn out the process, construction officials say.

    “Many of the hotel’s original architectural elements simply can’t be duplicated today causing us to scour the country and beyond for a variety of replacement parts and pieces,” explained Executive Vice President Kelly Schleif of Ganther Construction.

    Those challenges have prompted the hotel to take guests sometime next year, rather than by the end of 2018 as some had hoped.

    “We are going to take whatever time is necessary to finish it properly to make sure everything is exactly as everyone in the community expects it to be. And then we are going to open the doors," said General Manager John D. Williams. Williams is leading the project.

    Until then, the Poke the Bear restaurant at the hotel is set to open December 20 at 11 a.m.

    It will be open Tuesday through Saturday, serving lunch, dinner, and cocktails from 11 a.m. until 7 p.m.

    The new bar and restaurant will expand its hours and days of service with the coming new year. Poke the Bear guests should enter at the hotel’s entrance at 304 N. Adams Street.


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