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Northeast Wisconsin's local news coverage.

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    APPLETON, WI (WTAQ) - After nearly a century in business an Appleton store is closing up shop.

    Ninety years is a long time for anyone or anything to be around, meaning that Gabriel Furniture in Appleton certainly left its mark over time on the community.

    The store has been around since 1928 in a building at 201 E. College Avenue that has stood since the late 1800s.

    Owner Ruby Wells says some parts of the building have been renovated, while a lot remains the same.

    "The old stairways, old woodwork, they were proud of the hardwood floors that were put in here," says Ruby.

    Some of the components to the building that have changed are on its exterior.

    "In the 60's they covered it up in metal because bricks and things needed some attention," she explains.

    For co-owners Joe and Ruby Wells, who bought the store thirty years ago, setting up shop anywhere else would be unimaginable.

    "It's the only place we ever wanted to be," says Ruby. "It never interested us to go and be out of town some place and a flat level store because this has so much character and charm.

    Residents agree that the building is important to the community and they don't want to see changes take place.

    James Richter is the secretary for the Appleton Historical Society. He says the building originally housed Odd Fellows Hall for many years.

    Add him to the list of people voicing support to keep the building intact.

    "That's our goal to preserve Appleton history for the young people as well as us older people," he says.

    With Gabriel Furniture moving out the future does become a bit murky for the structure and Ruby Wells says that a developer is interested in the building. She did not reveal who the developer was or what plans would be for the building.

    No matter what happens, the Wells will look back fondly on their time spent at 201 E. College Avenue.

    "For sure we'll miss the customer and we'll miss the people we worked with," explains Ruby. 

    And the couple's future is looking plenty bright.

    "We’re going to take some time to spend with our daughter, son-in-law, grandson and just enjoy life," she says.


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    GREEN BAY, WI (WTAQ-WLUK) - Hundreds of people in Northeast Wisconsin remain on a waiting list for the shingles vaccination.

    It's because there has been a vaccine shortage since around this time last year.

    The most effective shingles vaccination is called Shingrix.

    Jeff Kirchner, the owner of Streu's Pharmacy, said it lowers the risk of getting shingles by more than 90%.

    "I think it's about 33% will get shingles in their lifetime. Prior to 10 years ago there was no way to prevent that from happening and now that there is a vaccine and people are educated about it, we see people taking advantage of that," said Kirchner.

    Anyone who's had chickenpox can get shingles, some of the first symptoms of shingles are a burning or tingling pain on your body. You might also feel like you have the flu.

    "Shingles is a pretty severe disease. It takes weeks to heal, you can have complications after and some people will have the effects of it for the rest of your life," he said. 

    The severity of the virus is why so many people are trying to get their hands on vaccinations.

    "Most pharmacies in the area have not been able to get adequate supplies, so I'm talking about maybe every 3 months we get a few doses and our demand as far as people being on a waiting list is over 100," said Kirchner. 

    Kirchner said the vaccine manufacturer plans to release larger amounts of the product more often. He encourages people to check in with their doctors on a regular basis until you can get the vaccination.

    The Center for Disease Control recommends anyone 50 years or older get two doses of the vaccine. Click here to find a pharmacy with Shingrix in stock.


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    LIBERTY, WI (WTAQ) - Outagamie County Officials say one person was injured in a Friday night crash on Highway S in the Town of Liberty.

    The vehicle hit a telephone pole.

    The driver, a New London resident was taken to the hospital for non-life-threatening injuries.

    Alcohol appears to be a factor.


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  • 01/05/19--09:41: Dead Wolf Sparks Questions
  • WEYAUWEGA, WI (WTAQ) - The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources wants to know who shot a timber wolf in Waupaca County.

    The DNR also believes it was hit by a car.

    “Based on looking and inspecting the wolf, it was more likely than not probably shot in the area and then hit by a car after the fact on Highway 10,” said Kaitlin Kernosky, a DNR Conservation Warden.

    The wolf was discovered on the side of the eastbound lanes of Highway 10 near Weyauwega on Thursday.

    The Waupaca County Sheriff's Office posted on its Facebook page, asking for information about the wolf being shot.

    Many of the commenters commended the person who shot the wolf, saying wolves are decreasing the area's deer population.

    Kernosky says it is no secret that wolves are in the area.

    “I hear it from hunters and people in the area,” said Kernosky. “Occasionally, I'll get reports of wolves in the area, so they're in the area no doubt.”

    According to the DNR, in the last five years, Waupaca County has had two confirmed wolf attacks, both were in 2016, and one dairy calf was killed in each case. There have been two unconfirmed reports, one which included five dead cows.

    According to the DNR, unintentionally killing an endangered species is punishable by a fine of up to $2,000. If it's intentional, the fine could go up to $5,000, and/or the violator could be jailed for nine months.


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    GREEN BAY, WI (WTAQ) - With many looking for ways to make an impact in 2019, Big Brothers Big Sisters says being a mentor is a way to achieve that goal.

    January is National Mentoring Month and Big Brothers Big Sisters of Northeast Wisconsin knows what that means to a child.

    Joy Wick, Communications Director says to kick off 2019, they are in need of mentors for their program.

    "Right now we have almost 100 children who are waiting to be matched with their mentor and more than half of those are boys, so we have a great need for male mentors."

    The need is for boys of all ages.

    We tend to have younger boys age 7-10, but we do have some older boys as well."

    Wick says they do have girls waiting as well, and many of those are in the pre-teen and teenage years.

    Wick says the power of mentoring sometimes gets overlooked, and simply spending time with a child doing what you normally do can make a big difference.

    "Each child to reach their full potential in life needs seven positive influences."

    She says one of the biggest concerns is that people feel they do not have enough time to mentor, but Wick says all you need to do is incorporate that child that you are mentoring into your normal activities.

    "If you go grocery shopping on Thursday's, take that child grocery shopping, they will enjoy the time together and learn some things at the same time," Wick says.

    The program allows mentors to spend time doing activities with their little either in the community or at site-based locations. 

    Wick says it is a win-win for all.

    "It is not just beneficial for the child, but our mentors have so much fun."

    Mentors are needed in Brown, Door and Shawano County.

    You can learn more about how to be a mentor at the Big Brothers Big Sisters of Northeast Wisconsin website.


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    TWO RIVERS, WI (WTAQ) - Officers responded to a home for a report of a suicidal man Friday. 

    Officers arrived to find family members outside the home.

    They say a man fired a gun inside the home when they attempted to talk to him, but nobody was injured.

    According to police, the man eventually came out of the home and surrendered.

    Two others, a 38-year-old man and a 42-year-old woman were arrested and could face resisting an officer charges.

     


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  • 01/06/19--07:48: Head on Crash Injures One
  • TOWN OF CENTER, WI (WTAQ) - A head-on-crash between a semi-truck and a car Saturday, resulted in one person being flown to the hospital.

    The incident happened in the Town of Center at the intersection of Highway 47 and County S. 

    The Outagamie County Sheriff's Department could not confirm the conditions of those involved in the crash.


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    FOX CROSSING, WI (WTAQ-WLUK) - Local high school students built robots and competed Saturday.

    Thirty-two teams from around the region were at St. Mary's Catholic High School for the event in Fox Crossing.

    Students designed robots to complete a specific challenge.

    This year's challenge was called "Turning Point."

    It features a series of tasks where robots must flip flags, flip caps onto posts, and shoot balls at paddles.

    One competitor said there is a lot to learn.

    "The one thing I really learned is the power of, just, keep trying and problem-solving. During VEX, there will be a lot of issues during the tournament with your robot and during your design process, and just that, there is always going to be a solution to every problem if you work hard enough," said Michael Kerwin, robot driver.

    Winners from this competition will go to the state VEX competition in Milwaukee in the spring.


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  • 01/06/19--07:56: Apartment Fire In Kimberly
  • KIMBERLY, WI (WTAQ) - Crews from multiple fire departments responded to an apartment fire in Kimberly Saturday afternoon.

    The fire started on the second floor of the apartment on the corner of Marcella and West 4th Street.

    When crews arrived, the balcony was on fire. 

    Firefighters were able to put the fire out quickly, but it is not known just how much of the building was damaged.

    Originally, firefighters believed one person was still inside the building, but everyone was accounted for with the help the landlord.

    No injuries were reported.


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    GREEN BAY, WI (WTAQ) - As Governor Tony Evers is officially sworn-in today, one local expert shares his thoughts on how this change will shape the state.

    The time from winning November's election until officially being sworn-in hasn't been long, but it may have seemed like an eternity for the Democrat Evers, who already had to endure a lame-duck session orchestrated by Republican leaders.

    Aaron Weinschenk, chair of political science at UW-Green Bay, says this butting-of-heads narrative probably won't go away anytime soon.

    "I think sort of the lame-duck legislation foreshadows some of the pushback he's going to encounter," he explains.

    This might be tough to avoid, according to Weinschenk, purely based on the fundamental differences in thinking between Evers and state conservative leaders.

    "He's going to encounter, I think, a lot of pushback, especially if he proposes solutions that they disagree with ideologically," he says.

    And while many fear a gridlocked state system where nothing gets done, Weinschenk thinks this is more common than not and represents checks and balances.

    "There is sort of preference for divided government," he says. "We could have kept all of the chambers controlled by the same party, but Wisconsinites decided not to do that."

    When predicting what issues the new governor might attack first, he thinks it may be constructive to develop guesses based from recent rhetoric.

    "He talked a lot about transportation, infrastructure," says Weinschenk. "I think doing some of the criminal justice issues."

    And while Evers has been met with some criticism regarding a lack of geographical diversity in his cabinet selections, Weinschenk says that isn't necessarily fair.

    "The Governor was elected for a reason," he explains. "To pursue certain issues and so he's going to pick people who he thinks can help advance those issues."

    Weinschenk believes decisions like that are part of the reason why Evers was elected in the first place.

    "That's getting sort of down to the micromanagement of things," he says. "You want the Governor to have some discretion."

    It was announced on Friday that outgoing State Senator Caleb Frostman, from Door County, will be workforce development secretary.

    He is the only cabinet appointee from Northeast Wisconsin. 


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    GREEN BAY, WI (WTAQ) - While many are deciding to join a gym this year to get fit to kick off 2019, the Better Business Bureau says don't just sign up for the first gym you see.

    Fitness centers are not one size fits all.

    Susan Bach, Regional Director of the Better Business Bureau of Northeast Wisconsin says finding the perfect gym takes a little bit of work.

    "First determine your fitness goals, and it is a good idea to bring your own doctor into that goal process."

    She says it is also important to understand what the gym offers to see if it matches what your priorities are.

    "Is it the location of the gym, extended hours or the variety of the equipment or classes?"

    Other advice is to take a tour and read the contract carefully, especially the details of cancellation fees.

    "Those complaints are often things that have been written into the fine print that they did not see."

    Bach says often times people want to end their membership early but fine print may indicate a fee for doing so.

    It is also advised to check out the gym or fitness center at bbb.org.

    "You can find out how long they have been in business, how many locations they have, how many complaints."

    It is also advised to avoid giving in to pressure tactics. A reputable gym will give you enough time to read the contract thoroughly, tour the facilities, do some research, and make an informed decision.


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    GREEN BAY, WI (WTAQ) Early this morning, at around 12:20, officers of the Green Bay Police Department were dispatched to 612 S Military Ave, the BP Convenience Store in reference a victim with a gunshot wound.

    Upon arrival, officers met with a 38-year-old Green Bay resident who had a non-life threatening gunshot wound.

    The male was transported to a local hospital by Green Bay Metro Fire Department Ambulance.

    Police say the male victim is cooperating with investigators in an attempt to identify a potential suspect.

    The actual location of the shooting is not confirmed, the victim had walked to the gas station to report it.

    Police also say this appears to be an isolated incident.


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    OSHKOSH, WI (WTAQ) - An Oshkosh man pleaded not guilty on Monday to charges resulting from his son's death.

    27-year-old Cory Lyons faces one count of first-degree reckless homicide after he allegedly shook his seven-week-old son so violently on November 29, that he died.

    No trial date has been set and court records show that Lyons will be back in court on February 26 for a pre-trial conference.

    On November 29, the child's mother left for work, leaving the boy with Lyons, according to the criminal complaint.

    Lyons called later saying the child wasn’t breathing properly.

    He changed his story several times to police about what happened to the baby, before later admitting to causing the injuries.

    The complaint states “The Defendant then admitted that he picked up (the baby) while frustrated and he jerked him, yelling "Stop." The defendant gave a quick jerk demonstrating how he jerked (the baby) when he told him to stop. He had explained that he was frustrated. He stated that the child's head snapped back and came forward. The defendant acknowledged that he had not been supporting the child's head in anyway at this time."

    Lyons later returned to the child.

    The complaint states “The defendant admitted that he was highly frustrated by the child's crying and discomfort and that he shook (the child) between 5 and 6 times, pulling him up, jerking his head, letting his head snap back."

    According to the autopsy, the child died from brain injuries.


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  • 01/07/19--12:28: Lighthouse Washed Away
  • MANITOWOC, WI (WTAQ) - The U.S. Coast Guard is reporting that high winds and waves combined to wash a lighthouse in Manitowoc into Lake Michigan.

    The 20-foot-tall fiberglass South Pier Light tower fell in around 8:30 a.m. on the south side of the Manitowoc Breakwater.

    All that is left of the tower is its concrete base and no injuries were reported.

    The Coast Guard is currently evaluating its next steps.

    On the north pier, the larger lighthouse of the breakwater is still standing.


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    DE PERE, WI (WTAQ) - A Green Bay Packers player and his family were recognized on Monday for their continued support of area veterans.

    Packers linebacker, Kyler Fackrell, along with his wife Elizabeth, were recognized with a ceremony by the Disabled American Veterans Department of Wisconsin after the Fackrell's have spent much of the past three years donating dinners, prizes, and Packers merchandise to veterans in the area.

    “The Green Bay Packers are revered in the state of Wisconsin and to have someone with the stature of Kyler and his spouse come on board and support service members, veterans, that’s fantastic. It really boosts spirits and it’s good to know that folks are out there like that," says Mike Hert, department commander of DAV of Wisconsin. "Playing for the Packers, it’s a very busy life and to take a step away and go, hey, I need to help out the veterans, that’s huge.”

    The Fackrell's have donated Thanksgiving dinners to veterans and their families, given prizes for veteran picnics and Christmas parties and autographed Packers merchandise throughout the past three years.

    According to Matt Kampien of DAV Wisconsin, the biggest thing the Fackrell's did last year was rent out the ice skating rink in the Titletown District for nearly 400 soldiers and their families of the Wisconsin National Guard 127th Infantry before they were deployed to Afghanistan. 

    “You gave people memories that most don’t get and to us as veterans, watching that deployment just tugged at the heartstrings and we can’t thank you guys enough for that," he says.


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    GREEN BAY, WI (WTAQ) - The suspect in a 2015 murder on Green Bay's east side pleaded out on Monday as jury selection was scheduled to start.

    Antwon Powell killed David Shorter on December 3, 2015, at a duplex on Bellevue Street.

    Powell has entered an Alford plea, meaning he maintains his innocence, but acknowledges the state has enough evidence for a conviction.

    The plea will reduce his charge from an intentional homicide count to reckless homicide, according to a court official.

    Sentencing is scheduled for March 27 and trial was set to last all week, according to court records.

    Powell had accused Shorter of breaking into his home and stealing money and marijuana earlier that day, according to the criminal record. The criminal complaint states that the two argued back and forth on the phone throughout the day and at night Powell went to Shorter's home on Bellevue Street and shot him when he went outside for a cigarette.


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    NEENAH, WI (WTAQ) - An increased police presence is being rolled out at Neenah schools following recent incidents.

    Officials say a student has been setting off the fire alarms at Neenah High School for the past two days.

    Officials say some students took to social media creating rumors and those actions made the situation worse.

    The student that set off the alarms has been identified and other students involved with stoking social media rumors "have been dealt with."

    This message was sent to Neenah High School families on Monday:

    NHS Families- The student responsible for pulling the fire alarms at Neenah High School the past two school days has been identified. Unfortunately, during the investigation there were students who created rumors on social media that made the situation worse. All of the students who created the unfounded messages we are aware of have been dealt with. While we believe the situation is resolved, there will still be an increased police presence at the school in the coming days. Tuesday at Neenah High School will be a normal school day. Thank you to all who provided tips in helping to keep our school community safe.

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    FOND DU LAC, WI (WTAQ) - Fond du Lac officers responded to a call for possible shots fired just after 1 p.m. on Monday outside a home in the 200 block of East 9th street.

    Officers saw evidence of shots being fired once they arrived and a witness was able to give a description of a suspect leaving the area in a vehicle.

    No one was hurt and officers arrested one person.

    The shooting remains under investigation.


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    GREEN BAY, WI (WTAQ) - Multiple reports indicate that Titans Offensive Coordinator Matt LaFleur will be the team's next head coach.

    The Packers have yet to confirm the move but reports are that they informed other candidates that they interviewed that they did not get the job.

    LaFleur spent the last season with a Titans team that struggled until the end of the season.

    He worked with the Rams offense in 2017 and was the Falcons Quarterbacks coach from 2015-2016.

    This will be the 39-year-old's first Head Coaching job after only serving as an assistant coach in college.

    Sources also indicate that LaFleur will likely retain Packers Defensive Coordinator Mike Pettine.


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  • 01/07/19--16:43: Heavy, Slushy, and Wet
  • MARINETTE COUNTY, WI (WTAQ) - A mixture of rain and snow Monday morning created a heavy slush that was enough to close some area schools, while keeping others frustrated.

    Kids were out in their boots and gloves shoveling some pretty wet snow, which must have seemed like a small price to pay compared to the thought of a day at school.

    "It doesn't seem like snow, it seems more like slush," says Georgieanna Grandaw.

    Others agreed in this evaluation.

    "It was pretty much both rain and snow together," says Payton Vampul.

    But, the slushy mixture took the form of mostly rain in some areas, which was less than ideal for those hoping to snowmobile in Marinette County.

    "Was hoping for snow, I dont know, it started raining about 9 o clock," says John Chaikowski.

    Chaikowski, the owner of JC PowerSports in Crivitz, expects the sleet they received to turn into ice.

    "It's going to make a good base, but we've had a good base for a while," he explains.

    Some trails across the state have received enough snow this winter to partially open already, while plenty of others, such as in Crivitz, remain closed.

    "We don’t have enough snow here yet, not enough to amount to anything," he says. "Groomers can only do so much."

    Perhaps adding to Chaikowski's frustration, areas north of Marinette County saw snow most of the day, amounting to more than 6 inches.

    "Everybody is still heading north," says Chaikowski. " Heading up the Florence area, better yet Michigan."

    He hopes that colder temps in the next few days not only work to freeze existing sleet and rain, but also bring with it fresh snow to the area.


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