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Northeast Wisconsin's local news coverage.
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    GREEN BAY, WI (WTAQ) - Green Bay police say a large number of hazardous chemicals has been found inside a Green Bay home. 

    This happened as police were another matter.

    A hazmat team and fire crews are on the scene of the home in the 1200 block of Redwood Drive. 

    Police are asking everyone to avoid the area.


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    GREEN BAY, WI (WTAQ) - As gun deer season approaches, officials are concerned about a downward trend in the number of licenses being purchased.

    Gun deer hunting licenses have declined by 5.8 percent over the past 20 years.

    Jason Stein, Research Director at the Wisconsin Policy Forum, joined WTAQ's Morning News with Matt & Earl on Thursday.

    He thinks there's a handful of reasons behind this trend.

    "There's the rise of electronics and the shrinking pool of adult teachers for young people," he explains. "And then there's the lack of access to hunting land as well, so it's a variety of factors at play."

    Officials are concerned this trend might not only continue but also intensify.

    "The people that still hunt are an increasingly older group," says Stein. "People start to reach a point where they physically can no longer pursue the sport and then you start to see this really big dropoff."

    And a drop in licenses means a drop in revenue for the state, which creates an unintended ripple effect.

    "This has been for generations really a big engine to power conservation in the state," explains Stein. "If you're someone that enjoys looking at Trumpeter swans or Bald eagles or you hike on lands that are not state parks, the money that is thrown off from these licenses help to pay for all those programs."

    Stein thinks a solution to this issue doesn't fall squarely on the shoulders of hunters.

    "How do you reach out to other groups that have not necessarily contributed in the same way in the past?" he asks. "This might be people that hike, this might be people that bird watch, this might be people who have a paddle board that they are using on Wisconsin waterways."

    There also is a hope that as technology expands and registration becomes more convenient that trends will reverse.

    "There have been times that I've bought a license and went hunting in an afternoon that I probably would not have done if I could not have quickly purchased that tag over the internet," explains Stein.

    Gun deer season begins throughout the state this Saturday morning.


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    GREEN BAY, WI (WTAQ) - Representative Mike Gallagher took time to explain concerns he has with the current structure in Washington.

    In his op-ed "How to Salvage Congress" in The Atlantic, Gallagher highlights changes he would like to see made, saying Congress is not built to succeed.

    Gallagher explained on WTAQ's Morning News with Matt and Earl that he is concerned with wasted time in Washington.

    "Congress only works 55 days out of 365," he said. "That is absurd."

    He says during that 55 hours, legislatures spend many hours fundraising and feels more time should be spent lawmaking.   

    "You would force people to start doing their homework while they are here, attend a committee meeting and sit on the house floor when discussions are being held."  

    He says many do not even show up for committee meetings and included ways that the committees can be improved including reducing the number of committees and letting them choose their own chairperson.  

    "You want the action to happen in the committees because that is where people can start to dig into the issues and they can start to understand what the federal government is doing," Gallagher said.   "What I am purposing is a series of reforms that would get power back down to the committees and get Congress working again. " 

    He called the current structure a recipe for shutdowns and gigantic omnibus bills. 

    The complete interview on WTAQ's Morning News with Matt and Earl can be found here.


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    GREEN BAY, WI (WTAQ) - Making A Murderer Part 2 is once again taking much of the country by storm, but some of those involved in the case say be careful what you believe. 

    "Much of what you are being shown on Netflix, especially season one, just didn't happen."

    The prosecutor for the Steven Avery and Brendan Dassey trial Ken Kratz says what you see in the documentary is not exactly what you would have seen in the courtroom.  

    Kratz points out some of the scenes that he was part of had an editing technique known as splicing. 

    "They show the questions, but then they give a different answer on there to make the witness suspicious or sketchy."

    He says having a false portrayal of events in a documentary is disturbing and says he was taken back when he found out that the documentary won an award for creative editing.

    "That is just despicable what was done to the Manitowoc Law Enforcement."  

    He says that is just half of his frustration, he said the other half is how people respond to him personally since he feels he was portrayed as a villain and said that hatred has gone to an extreme level.  

    "Why is it that they feel entitled to threaten my life, or call my wife horrible things or threaten to rape my daughter."  

    He says pictures of his home with his address on the mailbox have been made public on the internet, and he is unsure what the end goal of something like that is.

    "It makes you shake your head and wonder what this world is coming to."

     

    Kratz says while the court case has been a source of controversy, he will continue to defend his name and fight for justice.  

    "The truth will come out. I am going to keep pushing back. Many will not, but I am going to have to because this is left unchecked."  

    The complete interview with Ken Kratz can be found here. 


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    MANITOWOC, WI (WTAQ) - A teenage driver that attempted to flee police and crashed into a tree has been arrested.

    The pursuit between police and the 17-year-old driver began just after 11:30 PM Wednesday night following a traffic stop on S. 21st Street in Manitowoc.

    The car refused to pull over and after hitting a tree the engine compartment started on fire.

    The driver and the two passengers were helped out of the burning vehicle by officers.

     

    The driver, Demetrius Jamal Selman of Milwaukee, was arrested but not formally charged.

    A felony charge of fleeing and causing bodily harm, recklessly endangering safety and unreasonable and imprudent speed have been recommended by deputies against Selman.

    Both passengers, a 17-year-old boy and an 18-year-old woman of Manitowoc were not arrested.


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    APPLETON, WI (WTAQ) - An armed robbery of a home in Appleton on Wednesday morning has resulted in two arrests.

    19-year-old Caleb Brown and 17-year-old Tyler Brown of Menasha have not been formally charged for the incident that took place at around 10 AM on Wednesday, but officials are recommending armed robbery and criminal damage to property charges.

    Police first received a report of an armed robbery taking place in the 700 block of W. Eight Street from the victim that claimed three individuals dressed in black shot him with a stun gun.

    The suspects drove away in a black Chevrolet truck after stealing two safes, according to the victim.

    A description of the vehicle and partial license plate was dispatched to officers and during that time citizens provided crucial responses.

    One individual reported seeing a similar vehicle on the Memorial Bridge over the Fox River and a large plastic bag being tossed into the water.

    Suspicious activity was reported on the Fox Valley Technical College campus and a safe was found in the garbage outside a convenience store near the college.

     

    A third suspect was not arrested.


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    GREEN BAY, WI (WTAQ) - Christmas came early for more than 200 students at Fort Howard Elementary school in Green Bay on Thursday as they received a new pair of shoes.

    The kids have been devoting their time in the community throughout the year and were rewarded for their efforts.

    "The shoes are really great just to get them motivated and getting them excited to have something that's all theirs, that they can wear and be proud of," says Katie Barrientos, a school social worker. "I love that they can make these connections and get excited about it. They're doing great things and getting something in return."

    The kids appreciated their works of kindness being noticed.

    "It's important to help other people because if you are generous people will be nice to you, and they will be your friend, and notice you in life, " says 4th-grade student Fredrick Freeman.

    A local business called Breakthrough Fuel partnered with the "Shoes that Fit" non-profit organization to make the gifts possible.

    "There are always going to be kids in need and I'm a mom of three and can't imagine what some of these kids might be," says Kim Larson from Breakthrough Fuel. "So if there is something we can do, even something as small as a pair of shoes that came make a difference for them we want to do that."

     New shoes were provided for more than 100,000 students at 2,200 schools across the country last year by the "Shoes that Fit" Organization.


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    APPLETON, WI (WTAQ-WLUK) - A high school in Appleton confirmed a student is being treated for a contagious disease.

    The St. Francis Xavier High School student is now out of school recovering from tuberculosis.

    Xavier High School families found out Thursday that one of their kids' classmates had contracted tuberculosis.

    School principal Mike Mauthe tells FOX 11 the student isn't going to class until the bacterial disease can no longer spread.

    "The protocols for treating tuberculosis are actually, fairly standard, and so that student is obviously in isolation and going through all of the treatment to recover.”

    TB comes in two forms: one, where the bacteria is inactive and can live in your body without making you or others sick. Then there’s Active TB, or TB disease, which is what the high school student has.

    Appleton Health Department health officer Kurt Eggebrecht tells FOX 11 TB disease is contagious.

    "If somebody coughs or sings, or talks and you're in that airspace for a significant amount of time with that sick individual, that's how you can contract it.”

    To catch the disease, health experts say you only need to be within six feet of an infected person.

    Eggebrecht says they also need to have repeated contact with that person for about eight hours.

    "In the state of Wisconsin, we see about 40 to 50 active TB cases a year, so it's not totally rare. In the city of Appleton, we've dealt with active TB cases multiple times in the last several years."

    Other Xavier students, who might've been exposed to the infection, received letters from the Appleton Health Department.

    "They are in a group to be at slightly a higher risk,” Mauthe said. “They will be tested by the health department for tuberculosis, and then followed-up with sometime later, as well."

    Health officials want to stress, TB is not easily transmitted, and they don't believe the community is in serious danger.

    The school is also offering free testing for any student or faculty member there on-site at the school.

    Symptoms of tuberculosis include a cough, fever, weight loss, night sweats and some may even cough up blood.

    Last year, 10 million people worldwide contracted TB. Of those cases, 9,000 were in the United States -- the fewest on record.


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    GREEN BAY, WI (WTAQ) - The tenth year of PCB dredging in the Fox River wrapped up Thursday.

    Crews have been working to remove PCBs from the sediment in a process to clean up the popular waterway.

    Much of this year’s work took place from Porlier Street in Green Bay north towards the mouth of the Fox River.

    Scott Stein, spokesman for the Fox River cleanup project, say work is expected to resume in spring.

    This year, for the first time, some areas of sediment were capped with sand, stone or quarry spall. About 52 acres were treated in this way.

    Over the past decade, more than 5.4 million cubic yards of sediment have been dredged. And, more than three million tons of sediment has been processed and taken to the landfill for disposal.


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    ALLOUEZ, WI (WTAQ) - A portion of the East River Trail will be cleared for joggers and bikers this winter.

    The village of Allouez says the trail will be cleared of snow and ice from Green Isle Park south to Wiese Park.

    “We look forward to keeping this great trail open for year-round enjoyment by village residents and other trail users this winter," said Chris Clark, Director of Parks, Recreation, and Forestry for the Village of Allouez.

    “We hope to provide another opportunity for people to enjoy the great outdoors, especially during a time when we tend to be less active and stay indoors.”

    The village parks department will also continue to groom a cross-country ski trail between Kiwanis Park and Wiese Park as weather permits.

    Officials ask those jogging or biking not to use the cross country ski trail to prevent damage.

    Trail hours are 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. but officials say users should use caution as the trail is not lighted.


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  • 11/16/18--13:17: Gun Deer Season Outlook
  • GREEN BAY, WI (WTAQ) - Hunters will be taking to the woods soon for the gun-deer season opener and officials are weighing in on what they can expect.

    DNR Wildlife Biologist Josh Martinez gave his insight on the nine-day hunt and says in his opinion, conditions are overall favorable.

    "Weather is looking great right now, our deer populations are looking pretty healthy across the state, and it's going to be a pretty good season I feel," says Martinez.

    The weather will be something closely monitored throughout the next nine days.

    If conditions are favorable it can often time make the process of tracking deer much easier for hunters.

    "The snow is not really out there much in the northeast, but in the north, we're looking to have a little bit of snow on the ground, which will help deer stand out more," he explains.

    He also noted that the nine-day deer season is being scheduled differently this year than times in the past.

    That can bring with it some benefits to hunters.

    "This year we have a little of an earlier nine day gun season, which is a little better for people that are looking to hunt the rut," says Martinez.

    And Martinez has spent plenty of time before Saturday gathering thoughts from others involved.

    "Talking with a lot of hunters, talking with meat processors in the last few weeks they've seen a big increase in the bucks that are coming in and being harvested," he says.

    The nine day gun deer season begins this Saturday morning.


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  • 11/16/18--14:03: Not Enough Room for Siren
  • GREEN BAY, WI (WTAQ) - An expansion project taking place on Webster Avenue means that an outdoor warning siren is getting the boot.

    The siren is located in the area of North Webster Avenue and Vanderbraack Street.

    According to Brown County Emergency Management, it's being taken down because there simply won't be enough room. 

    The purpose of the warning sirens is to alert people of danger when they are outside.

    Officials are encouraging people to utilize NOAA weather radios in order to be properly informed of severe weather.


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    APPLETON, WI (WTAQ) - A third arrest has been made in relation to an Appleton home invasion on Wednesday.

    17-year-old Youcef Bentalla of Appleton was arrested Thursday but has yet to be formally charged.

    A 17-year-old Caleb Brown and 19-year-old Tyler Brown, both from Menasha, were arrested on Wednesday and are facing charges including burglary, battery, and robbery with use of force.

    The home invasion took place in the 700 block of W. Eighth Street. A victim was physically assaulted and shot with a stun gun by the three individuals. 

    They stole two safes from the residence, which were both later recovered by police.

    Both Tyler and Caleb Brown have been released on bail.

     


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    GREEN BAY, WI (WTAQ) -  Gas prices are down just in time for Holiday travel.

    Patrick DeHaan of Gasbuddy.com says that is due in part to oil prices.

    "Oil prices are down from about $76 dollars in early October to about $57 dollars.

    He says production also has played a role this month.

    "Supply suddenly increased as a result of OPEC increasing production and the US issuing waivers."

    The low price in Green Bay is $2.35 and the average price is $2.50 a gallon. He says there are plenty of places to get gas below the average price.

    "See if you can find gas for $2.45 or less."

    For those planning on traveling for Thanksgiving, DeHaan says there really is no need to hurry and fill up.

    "We will keep seeing prices fall across, Green Bay, Wisconsin, and the region," he said. "If anything you may see prices go down a couple of cents between now and Thanksgiving. Especially when hitting the road, there is some low hanging fruit out there."

    DeHaan added that those who are traveling towards Chicago may be able to save some money as they get closer to their destination.

    "The Southeast portion of the state generally is cheaper."

    Prices around the Fox Valley is similar to Green Bay with low prices at $2.35 a gallon and the average price at $2.51 a gallon.


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    BERLIN, WI (WTAQ) - A company in Berlin is proving this Holiday season that truly one man's trash can be another man's treasure.

    Saving Grace Salvage Company is hosting their 13th annual Christmas Bazaar where they take old items and turn them into Holiday displays.

    The discarded items could be an old bucket, or a chair seat, or a barrel lid.

    The shop's assistant manager, Nicole Roost, says the event, which about a dozen vendors participate in, is counter to most people's mindset.

    "We kind of been slated the throw-away society and we wanted to get away from that," she says. "We want to show people that we don’t have to throw things away, they still have value and they're still graceful and beautiful and that’s why we want to save them."

    For the more daring, they will even provide raw materials to create a unique display.

    And it all happens inside an old church that had its parish leave years ago. Perhaps because the building doesn't have heat inside.

    "It sat empty for 12 years and we talked to the owner and he was thrilled and wanted to keep it from being torn down," says Roost.

    Saturday from 10 to 6 PM is the last day the shop will be open for the year.

    Plans are for it to reopen in May of 2019.


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    GREEN BAY, WI (WTAQ) - Officials have given an update on hazardous chemicals that were found inside a Green Bay home Thursday morning.

    "The scene has been rendered safe and those concerns have been alleviated."

    Green Bay Captain Jeremy Muraski said Friday that the neighborhood is also no longer on alert as the chemicals found have been deemed to be non-explosive in their own capacity.

    "There is nothing illegal about the chemicals themselves, but if they are combined in a certain way they can be highly volatile."

    That is what tests that are being conducted will determine.

    Captain Muraski said while the chemicals were typical, the setup was not.

    "You see things like beakers and transfer containers," he said. "I would describe it as a collection of household and industrial type chemicals. It is not something that you typically see in your average workshop or under someone's sink."

    Investigators also described the laboratory as "clandestine."

    He also noted that a woman previously missing from the residence was found Friday morning in the basement.

    The man living inside the home has been identified as 38-year-old Michael Anderson.

    It was revealed in court on Friday that Anderson threatened to throw acid on officers when they entered his residence.

    Anderson was charged with in relation to the disturbance call but could face additional charges depending on the chemical test results. 

    "The chemicals that were mixed together that are undergoing further testing, could result in additional charges depending on what those results are."

    Anderson is expected to be charged on November 28 and his current bail is set at $25,000.

    This incident started as a disturbance call between a man and a woman around 9 a.m. Thursday, according to police. When police responded to the area, they said they saw the man and woman inside a vehicle, leaving the residence. After police made contact with the couple, they said the woman, who was not properly dressed for the cold weather, ran inside the home.

    Captain Muraski says on Friday, they were able to locate a woman that they could not find Thursday. 

    The woman was found in the basement of the residence and appeared to be attempting to conceal herself.

    "Whether she left and came back or whether she was able to hide and conceal herself all day yesterday, we can't determine that."

    Both Anderson and the woman live at the home, police say. Officers could not specify their relationship.


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  • 11/17/18--07:52: Man Dies While Hunting
  • TOWN OF MAINE, WI (WTAQ) - Outagamie County authorities are reporting a man has died after collapsing from chest pains while hunting early Saturday morning.

    At 6:40 a.m. Officials were called out to Cty M and Cty F in the Town of Maine to assist a 38-year-old male who complained of chest pains and collapsed.

    A family member began CPR and was aided by Outagamie County Dispatchers over the phone until medial help arrived.

    The man passed away before he could be transported to a hospital.

    The man's name is not being released until family is notified.


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  • 11/17/18--10:38: A Decorating Hand
  • OUTAGAMIE COUNTY, WI (WTAQ- WLUK) - It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas all over Northeast Wisconsin.

    While many are decking the halls themselves, some folks are hiring outside help.

    Whether you do it yourself or hire some of “Santa’s little helpers” to do the heavy lifting this time, you now have options when it comes to decorating for the holidays.

    Many landscaping companies, like Vande Hey Company in Appleton, have made a list of services, checked it twice and decided to add Christmas decorating to it this time of year.

    “We offer exterior lighting, so we light roof lines, trees, we do the front planters in front of houses…anything from very simple to pretty high-end. The sky’s the limit for Christmas!” said Kelly Smith. She works in sales and design for Vande Hey Company.

    No more hauling Christmas boxes out of the attic, untangling lights or fussing over things like burnt out fuses.

    Tom Jensen, a sales consultant with Vande Hey Company says his team can add some convenience to holiday decorating.

    “We bring in lifts, and tall ladders and things that people may just not want to do anymore. Things that might take them days and weeks to do, we can do in a much shorter time, and again, custom to their specific situation," he explained.

    But for some people like Troy Campbell, who’s been transforming his Kaukauna home into the North Pole for the past decade, not decorating yourself takes away the magic of Christmas.

    “When you put your heart and soul into it, knowing what your mission is, it puts a whole new light on things. Yeah, I can have somebody come do this, but it won’t be the way I’d like it,” said Troy Campbell, ”North Pole”Owner.

    Campbell starts his decorating in September, and everything at the North Pole, Campbell has created himself.

    “I listen to the guest that we have here; the children and what they’re looking for, and I like to surprise people with different things every year,” he said.

    While he may feel hiring a company to do the work for him is a waste of time, time is what professional decorators say they give more of during the holidays.

    “If you hire somebody to do your lighting, you have time to do more of the baking and the shopping," Smith said.

    Whichever route you choose, happy decorating to all, and to all a goodnight.

    Hiring a decorating company this holiday season can set you back anywhere from a few hundred dollars to a few thousand, depending on the project.


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    GREEN BAY, WI (WTAQ-WLUK) - Compared to this time last year the number of Deer Hunting licenses sold throughout the state is down 3%, and it's causing some concern for people in Wisconsin.

    For many people, the deer gun hunting season is one of their favorite times of the year.

    "I mean it's a lot of fun. Sitting in the woods and being in nature and everything," said local hunter Alexandria Berkhahn.

    But a new report by the Wisconsin Policy Forum, a nonpartisan research group, says fewer people seem to be interested in the activity.

    "We found that hunting licenses have fallen by nearly 6% between 1999 and 2017," said Jason Stein from the Wisconsin Policy Forum. "Traditionally hunting has been a sport by rural white males and we live in a society that is urbanized. We also see fewer adults that can teach young people, and that makes it harder for people to get into the sport," he explained.

    The drop in licensing sales is not only raising concerns for some hunters, but it could have a long-term effect on the state's revenue.

    "There is something called the Fish and Wildlife account, and the money from the sales goes in that account. It's used for a whole variety of things, like paying DNR Wardens and conducting research," said Stein.

    To address this issue, conservation groups around the state are now introducing ideas that could help generate more revenue.

    One of those ideas is a possible increase in licensing fees for hunters.

     


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    APPLETON, WI (WTAQ-WLUK) - It happened in four states within three days, and the school year is just two months in. Six bus stop crashes resulted in five children dead and eight others seriously injured.

    "I don’t feel safe," said Kristin Robertson, an Appleton mother of three. "I don’t feel like people are paying attention or even care."

    Robertson said, even with these recent tragedies making headlines across the country, people don't seem phased.

    People don’t realize that the speed changes from down further on BB to here. You know, people are still going 45 miles an hour and not paying attention.

    Robertson's daughter gets on the bus on County Highway BB, which sees more traffic than the average residential street.

    "As a mom I'm concerned about it," she said. 

    "Accidents that occur with pedestrians over 25 mph are far more likely to be fatal," said Jeremy Wildenberg, transportation manager for Green Bay Area Public Schools. He says following all of the recent bus stop deaths, he's asked bus drivers to be extra vigilant.

    "I sent out, recently, a guidance to our bus companies to kind of follow up with their drivers on their monthly training meetings," said Wildenberg.

    While bus drivers and students are taught how to avoid dangerous situations, it's ultimately on drivers.

    "I like to think of an acronym called snow," said Wildenberg.

    It stands for 'Slow down, no distractions, observe traffic laws, watch and wait,' all things Robertson says drivers aren't doing.

    "People do not stop both ways. They seem to only want to stop behind the bus even so they sometimes pass the bus and the traffic," said Robertson, adding that drivers on the opposing side rarely stop at all.

    According to Wisconsin's Department of Transportation, even on a four-lane road, all lanes of traffic must stop for a school bus. The only time opposing lanes do not have to stop, is if the highway is divided with a center median

    Robertson says police have been responsive to her concerns. 

    "It’s a lot to ask a police department to be here daily. It's got to be a culture change, its got to be a routine change for people to stop and listen, and imagine if your kids lived here," she said.