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Northeast Wisconsin's local news coverage.
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    BAILEYS HARBOR (WTAQ-WLUK) - Four Door County sites are among the 110 throughout Wisconsin that will take part in an outdoor weekend event. 

    The 118th annual Christmas Bird Count is a citizen survey designed to give a one-day snapshot of the birds wintering in the area. 

    Volunteer George Cobb notes "they're trying to determine the health of the birds, generally, across the world.  The other thing is to try and figure out migration habits."

    The Ridges Sanctuary in Baileys Harbor is among those participating on Saturday. 

     

    Cobb explains why he's taking part.

    "I just find it fascinating and relaxing at the same time to be involved with nature."

    Land Manager Matt Peter notes there are roughly 400 documented bird species in Wisconsin.

    "It's the trends over time that really matter.  You may start seeing different birds that haven't shown up before, that you'll start seeing more and more frequently.  Or on the other side, maybe ones that you'll start seeing in lesser numbers."

    Peter says that includes some birds that you won't see at a feeder.

    "Canada geese is the biggest one.  There's a variety of different ducks that you may see."

    Resulting data will be sent to the National Audubon Society. 


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    APPLETON, WI (WTAQ)- Police are still investigating a case bullying that landed an Appleton fifth grader in the hospital.    A Horizons Elementary student reportedly suffered a concussion and brain bleeding after being forcefully thrown to the ground.  Appleton Police Sergeant Dave Lund said the situation appears to be an extreme case of bullying.  "We typically don't see bullying rise to that level,"  Lund said Police did not get involved until the mother of the student reported it to them days later, but that is not abnormal.  "Things go on in the course of the day that are handled by the administration of that particular school."  Lund added that there was quite a bit of time between when the incident happened and when Police were notified.  " The incident occurred sometime last week and the School Resource Officer until early this week."  "Our SRO needs to talk to students, staff and talk to the alleged victims parents.  Lund said the SRO does not typically get involved with school situations unless they are asked to.

     


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    ASHWAUBENON, WI (WTAQ)- After seven years, Ashwaubenon School Superintendent Dr. Brian Hanes will be calling it a career.

    Hanes announced his retirement date for next June.

    "It's an emotional decision, After 36 years this has been such a big part of my life."

     

    The school board accepted his retirement this week, which may be early to some, but Hanes said he did it for purposes of the job market and the future of the district.

    "Out of respect to the district, this is the best time for them to go out on the job market."

    The board stated that they will start the replacement search on Friday.

    Hanes said he will stay on board through the replacement process.


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    ASHWAUBENON, WI (WTAQ-WLUK) - Thursday was opening night for the newest Star Wars movie.

    From Ashwaubenon to Appleton, movie-goers of all ages were dressed to impress in their best costumes in honor of the night.

    In Appleton, R2-D2 actuallygreeted visitors and posed for photos.

    Fan, and Brown County Supervisor Richard Sehadwald, tells FOX 11 he has attended every Star Wars movie opening ever.

    "It's a family tradition. This is my daughter but even out in New Jersey my other daughter is going tonight, my son's and their family, they're all going, so it's a family tradition to all go to Star Wars movies."

    This is the eighth movie in the Star Wars franchise.

    The ninth is in the works and set to be released in winter of 2019.


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    APPLETON, WI (WTAQ) - A fire on Appleton's north side forced two people from their house Thursday night.

    Firefighters say they were called to the 600 block of W. Parkway Boulevard just after 6:30.

    When they arrived, crews could see smoke in the house. Firefighters quickly put out a fire on a living room chair.

    Other areas of the home were damaged by smoke and heat, and the house cannot be lived in.

    According to the fire department, two people were home when the fire started.

    One tried to put out the fire with a pan of water, but that didn't work.

    The two people got out of the house and called 911. They were not injured.

    While the house had a working carbon monoxide detector, firefighters say it did not have any working smoke alarms.

    Firefighters are still investigating the cause of the fire.

    The fire represents the second red bulb in the department's Keep the Wreath Green campaign.


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    GREEN BAY, WI (WTAQ) - A fundraising effort is getting underway to raise the $100,000 needed to repair Green Bay's decommissioned 9/11 memorial.

    After initially deciding to construct a new monument, the city council reversed course in October, voting to save the current structure.

    The memorial has cracks and contains inaccurate information.

    Minutes from this week's parks committee meeting, the two repair estimates are $70,000 and $100,000.

    The goal is to wrap up fundraising by July 1 and complete the repairs by September 11.

    On Tuesday, the full city council will consider the matter.


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    OSHKOSH, WI (WTAQ) - A $500 cash reward is being offered to anyone who can provide information on a stolen kitten.

    Oshkosh Area Humane Society Admissions Manager Cari Tetzlaff expects the small animal, named Spanky, was taken from one of the facility's cat rooms.

    "Sometime between 5-6 pm, we believe he was stolen.  We had a rush of visitors come in at the end of the business day.  It was discovered the following morning that he was missing."  

    While only staffers can let guests into the locked rooms, it's believed someone may have gotten into the room while another person was being let out.

    The person responsible may have snuck the cat out of the building inside a jacket or bag.

    "He's a little, brown tiger kitten.  He's about 3 1/2 months old, so he's quite small still."

    She notes Spanky had an approved adoption application, having been scheduled to be taken home Wednesday.

    Tetzlaff says they're going to look into bolstering security measures as a result of this incident.

    "Ask visitors to our kitten room to leave purses and coats up at our front desk."

    She notes that's in addition to their previous policies of keeping the cat rooms and lobby cages locked.  


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    GREEN BAY, WI (WTAQ) - Cash bond has been set at $200,000 for a 39-year-old man Green Bay accused in an early Friday morning shooting.

    Police Lieutenant Jeff Brester says Indalesio Flores-Hernandez, who faces one count of Attempted First Degree Intentional Homicide, was arrested for a parking lot shooting in the 1100 block of Packerland Drive.

    He notes the 27-year-old male victim pulled his car over on Mason Street and called police.

    "Officers responded to the scene.  They started giving the male first aid until rescue arrived."

    Just a few minutes later, Brester says a nearby resident called in a shots fired complaint for the same incident.

    "Once officers arrived on that scene, they put two and two together that our victim had actually been shot in the parking lot of 1141 Packerland Drive and had fled the scene in his own vehicle.

    Court records indicate that Flores-Hernandez called his ex-girlfriend, claiming he needed help after his vehicle broken down.

    When she and her current boyfriend went to where Flores-Hernandez told them he was, the 39-year-old reportedly opened fire on the boyfriend, claiming he was still with the woman.  

    The victim believes he was shot three times: once in the left shoulder, once in the right arm, and claiming that something, likely a bullet, grazed his neck.

    The lieutenant says "we haven't recovered the firearm yet.  Right now, we know we're looking for a semi-automatic pistol. We assume the suspect ditched it somewhere in that area."  

    Brester notes the victim is expected to survive, after having surgery Friday morning.

    Flores-Hernandez has a status conference set for December 27.


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    GREEN BAY, WI (WTAQ-WLUK) - Investigators continue to look into whether to file charges against the parents of a second grader who is accused of bringing drugs to school.

    Green Bay Police Lieutenant Jeff Brester says the child brought marijuana to Eisenhower Elementary on Tuesday, eating it along with a classmate.

    He notes a staffer noticed a large group gathered around the students.

    "One of the school members went up to see what was going on and discovered that the kids had an empty baggie that smelled like marijuana."

    Brester says the kids checked out fine when taken to the hospital by their parents.

    The incident has raised concerns for Bryan Stache, whose girlfriend's daughter is a second grader at the school.

    "Wondering where these kids are getting it from. If their parents have it, why would it even be accessible to them at that age, or any age?"

     

    Brester notes the students are too young to pin a crime on but says child neglect could be filed against the parents.

    Eisenhower Principal Anne Zernicke sent a memo to parents on Thursday.

    "We believe this to be an isolated incident, and we are working with the Green Bay Police Department.  Due to the incident being under investigation, we were unable to communicate to all families sooner."

    Green Bay Police and child protective services are working together on the investigation.  


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  • 12/15/17--15:02: Packers Asking Fans for Help
  • ASHWAUBENON, WI (WTAQ) - Fans have a chance to help out the Green Bay Packers early next week.

    The organization is looking for adults to help shovel out Lambeau Field after Wednesday's snow storm.

    Team officials say 600 shovelers are needed, with a $10 hourly wage being offered.  

    Those interested should arrive at the Mills Fleet Farm Gate at 8 am Monday.

    The team's final regular season home game is Saturday, December 23 against the Minnesota Vikings.


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  • 12/17/17--00:00: A Sweet Return
  • DE PERE, WI (WTAQ)- A local business is finding a special way to say welcome back to #12  As Packer fans prepare for what they hope is the sweet taste of victory Sunday, the Festival Foods Bakery in De Pere is celebrating Aaron Rodger's return with the sweet taste of desert.  Unlike the Packers road to the playoffs, It's a piece of cake.  "It's shapped like a football and each cake has a welcome back message written on it."  Amanda Dolan, Bakery Manager of the De Pere store,  said they threw up a Hail Mary with the idea, and so far the Welcome Back Rodgers Cakes have been a score.   "People are taking pictures and sharing them all over social media" Dolan said. "We sold a couple dozen in the first couple of days already."  Thanks to Rodgers return, and Festival Foods, you can have your cake, and eat it too.  

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  • 12/17/17--07:07: Fire Damages Appleton House
  • APPLETON, WI (WTAQ) - Three people have been displaced by an Appleton house fire.

    Crews responded to the 1000 block of West Bell Avenue around 8:30 pm Saturday.

    Heavy smoke and flames were visible in front of the garage, with it spreading to the attics of both the garage and house.

    No injuries have been reported, but the garage sustained significant damage.

     


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    MEEME, WI (WTAQ) - A 19-year-old Cleveland man has died in a Manitowoc County crash.

    It happened around 5:30 pm Saturday on West Washington Road in the Town of Meeme.

    Investigators believe the Cleveland man's car collided with a van driven by a 36-year-old Newton woman.

    A 21-year-old Cleveland man riding in the car was taken to the hospital with non-life threatening injuries.

    The Newton woman and her 12-year-old passenger were treated at the scene.


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    FOND DU LAC, WI (WTAQ) - City of Fond du Lac officials are urging residents to check their credit card history.

    Officials say they were notified by a local partner bank that a number of credit cards have been compromised, with the Walter Payment Portal as the common purchase point.

    They say they were notified on December 12, with customers that made payments through the portal between August and October being at risk.

    No personal information aside from credit card data appears to have been skimmed.

    Residents are urged to pay their water bill via mail, city drop box, or at the city office.

    Phone payments will also be accepted, with the $3 credit card fee being waived.

    December late fees will also be waived, if this issues causes a customer's payment to come in late.


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    THERESA, WI (WTAQ) - A Dodge County crash has left an 8-year-old child with serious, possibly life-threatening injuries.

    Sheriff's officials say the accident happened around 3 pm Sunday at the intersection of Highway 28/67/175 and Highway 28 East in the Town of Theresa.

    Investigators believe a 35-year-old Reeseville man was westbound on 28 East when he blew a stop sign and collided with a northbound vehicle driven by a 60-year-old Theresa woman.

    The child was riding in the vehicle with the Reeseville man, who suffered non-life threatening injuries.


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    ASHWAUBENON, WI (WTAQ)-  Law Enforcement around the area are doing what they can to make sure everyone gets home safe this time of year.

    Commander Tom Rolling of Ashwaubenon Public Safety says the message they want to get out is that it is not worth it.

    If you choose to drink too much, find a different way home.

    To drive that message home, Ashwaubenon Public Safety will be stepping up their patrol.

    "It's alarming, and our goal is not to arrest everybody and write citations, we are here to try to make our roads safer."

    Tom Rolling, Ashwaubenon Public Safety Commander says drunk driving is not only dangerous, it also can be costly and embarrassing.  "From court costs to higher insurance rates not mention lost time at work, it costs nearly $10,000 dollars" Rolling said. "I have arrested many people and remember the look on their faces and how they felt when a loved one had to come pick them up."  Ashwaubenon Public Safety is patrolling through the holidays with a extra eye for drunk driving.  Commander Rolling says their goal is to educate and protect everyone.  "When you get behind the wheel, we want you to be able to get from point A to point B knowing you can do safely because the police have your back."  The extra enforcement goes though New Year's Day.

     

     

     

     

     


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    GREEN BAY, WI (WTAQ) - Two Green Bay Police officers are being recognized for their outstanding community policing and problem solving efforts. 

    Mental health officers Barb Gerarden and Kamra Allen have won the statewide Sir Robert Peel Award for their project "Crisis Response-Problem Oriented Policing Initiative."

    It focuses on improving police response to mental health and crisis related calls. 

    Gerarden says "all of these initiatives really help to decriminalize people with mental illness and help get them connected to help." 

    The main areas of focus have been the emergency detention process, using the mental health court as a jail diversion, and collabroating with adult protective services.  

    The department added the full-time mental health positions in early 2017.

    One year in, Gerarden notes the biggest obstacle they still face.

    "There's the pyschiatrist shortage and nursing shortage that's preventing people from getting volunteer treatment yet, so they end up becoming an emergency detention."

    However, Gerarden says their efforts have been able to reduce emergency detentions by roughly 10%.

    She notes one example of a client showing improvement.

    "He found a purse with like $500 in it.  He said he really struggled and that it was tempting, but he did the right thing and returned it to police."  

    Allen says they're looking into an additional policy they learned about at a Florida conference, which could help build on their efforts.

    "Make the assessment with the person in their home.  They determine that they need to be taken into protective custody, and they go to one facility.  Those people immediately get help by mental health professionals and not police, so it reduces the amount of people going into the jail."

    The award will be presented at February's Wisconsin Association of Community Oriented Policing Conference at downtown Green Bay's Hyatt Conference Center.


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  • 12/18/17--01:53: The Help Wanted Sign Is Out
  • GREEN BAY, WI (WTAQ-WLUK) - Jade Schneider grew up in a family of police officers.

    She tells Fox 11 that's part of the reason, she's always wanted to pursue a career in law enforcement.

    "So, I had the opportunity to do ride-alongs throughout high school, that also persuaded me to apply to Green Bay."

    Schneider, a recent graduate of Fox Valley Tech's Law Enforcement Academy, is one of the Green Bay Police Department's newest recruits.

    But the department still has several spots to fill.

    "This year we're looking at 13 retirements during 2017," explained Chief Andrew Smith.

    Smith says recruitment has become dire, as the department continues to deal with a wave of retirements.

    "Next year, I have projected 15 more officers that are leaving. People that have indicated they're leaving, and over the course of five years, 50 or 60 more officers are going to leave the department."

    Chief Smith says the applicants are coming in, but he believes character is more important than just filling positions.

    "There's no shortage of applicants, I could go out and hire 15-40 people today, if we lowered our standards."

    Smith says this is a transition period, the department will overcome.

    "Between the folks we have left, that are all really good, and the young folks that we're really enthusiastic about, I think we're going to be just fine."

    As Schneider prepares to be officially sworn in as a Green Bay police officer.

    She says she's excited to take the oath, to protect and serve.

    "People definitely look for the best, you got to be on your A game."

    To be fully staffed, the department will need 194 officers.

    Not counting the pending retirements, Smith says the department currently has 187 officers.


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    MANITOWOC, WI (WTAQ) - Around 11 last night (SUNDAY) Manitowoc City Police Officers were dispatched to a call of an armed robbery in the 700 block of S. 15 th St.

    Three suspects entered a residence; and one displayed a black handgun, pointing it at an occupant while another stole a game console and possibly other items from within the residence.

    The suspects were last observed on foot, running eastbound from the residence on Clark St.

    All three suspects were described as being black males wearing dark clothing and approximately 16-20 years of age.

    Two of the suspects had their faces covered.

    If anyone has any information regarding this incident, they are asked to contact the Manitowoc police Department Shift Commander at (920)686-6551 or Crime Stoppers at (920) 683-4465.


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    BOVINA, WI (WTAQ) - Two people are dead after a crash Sunday night on Highway 54 in Outagamie County.

    Authorities say an 82 year old man and 83 year old woman from Illinois were killed after another driver ran a stop sign in the town of Bovina.

    Sheriff deputies say a 57 year old man ran the stop sign on County Highway M and hit the couple's car on Highway 54 just before 11.

    All three were taken to Theda Care New London.

    The Illinois residents died at the hospital

    The man is facing charges for operating while intoxicated causing death.

    There is no word on the extent of his injuries.