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Northeast Wisconsin's local news coverage.
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    OSHKOSH, WI (WTAQ) - Governor Scott Walker has announced $8 million dollars in tax credits to support the building of the new headquarters for the Oshkosh Corporation.

    The Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation is providing the boost.

    Construction started in June.

    The new 19,000 square-foot facility is being built on the former Lakeshore Municipal Golf Course.

    More than 400 employees from different facilities will come together and can hold 600 people. 

    The city will also receive $787,500from the Transportation Economic Assistance for road improvements that will provide easy access near I-41. 

    Construction is expected to complete by Fall of 2019.


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  • 08/16/18--12:56: A Fair Without Rides
  • GILLETT, WI (WTAQ) - The Oconto County Fair is underway, but this year, one main fair attraction is missing.

    No carnival rides or games will be found.

    Fair Board Director Chris Engebretsen says Spectrum Entertainment canceled their one year contract with the Fair and said he believes it came down to a lack of money that the company made on tickets.

    "Last year that was a factor. There was just nobody riding the rides."

    He says being a smaller fair leaves them a disadvantage when companies are looking for ticket money. 

    He said the board did not have a chance to find another company so they took a different route.

    This year the fair will have nearly a dozen inflatable bouncy houses, all with different activities.

    The Michigan company offerings include bounce houses, wall climbing, bubble soccer, an obstacle course, three-line bungee rope, a carousel walk, a castle maze, a basketball shooting game, and boxing with oversize soft rubber gloves. 

    "That is going to be an all-day wristband for 10 dollars."

    The wristband will be all-you-can-bounce for the day and is good even if you leave and come back that day.

    Engebretsen understands not having carnival rides and games will disappoint many people but says the fair usually brings in a majority of the crowd for grandstand entertainment, food, and the animals, all of which they will have.

    "We are an ag fair, there is no doubt about it. Our exhibits are huge and we are at almost an all-time high at the barns.

    The bouncy houses are all you can bounce for a day for 10 dollars.

    The fair runs through Sunday at Zippel Park in Gillett. 

     


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    HORTONVILLE, WI (WTAQ) - High school football kicks off across the state this week and when the lights turn on Friday night at Hortonville High School, they'll be shining on a number of exciting summer renovations.

    Akin Field, home of the Hortonville Polar Bears for decades, was in desperate need of a facelift.

    Principal Tom Ellenbecker explains that a simple change of lights wasn't even an option.

    "I know the lights that we replaced were over six years old and we couldn't even get the bulbs to replace them anymore," said Ellenbecker.

    So instead the school embarked on a massive renovation project that was made possible thru the help of community members and district leaders. Ellenbecker says other factors made the upgrade necessary as well.

    "Our population demographics have changed within the district, I know we've seen a large increase in our student enrollment," he said.  "We've just seen more opportunities pop-up for students."

    Fans attending the Hortonville football season opener against Appleton West at 7 p.m. on Friday will notice a couple of upgrades.

    "We've added a state-of-the-art scoreboard and speakers," explains Ellenbecker.

    The festivities start earlier in the day with a ribbon-cutting ceremony planned for 1:30 p.m. The all-day celebration is open to the public and the school community is hoping everyone engages in Polar Bear pride.

    "I hope this community is really, really proud of what they've constructed here and supported here," said Ellenbecker. "So we wanted to make this a community celebration."

    There is a firework show planned to begin at the conclusion of the varsity football game.


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    GREEN BAY, WI (WTAQ) - One of the individuals involved in a pair of shootings on Tuesday in Green Bay has been formally charged.

    First-degree recklessly endangering safety charges have been filed against Michael Jones who had a court appearance scheduled for Thursday afternoon.

    Jones fired twice and struck a 16-year-old in the thigh during a disturbance at a laundromat, according to the criminal complaint.  

    The Green Bay Police Department continues to search for a second suspect, Trevon Massey, who has yet to be charged. 

    Massey is believed to be armed and dangerous.  


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  • 08/17/18--01:46: Welcome To Green Bay
  • GREEN BAY, WI (WTAQ-WLUK) - New bridge lights in downtown Green Bay were lit in two different colors Thursday.

    The Ray Nitschke Memorial Bridge was all green and gold, but the Walnut Street bridge was red, blue and yellow to welcome the Pittsburgh Steelers and their fans.

    The Walnut Street Bridge lights are expected to light up with Packers' opponent colors for each game of the remaining season.

    Steve Grenier, director of Green Bay Public Works. says the bridge lights are a way to welcome fans of all teams to the area.

    "That's one of the things Green Bay is known for across the league, is that welcoming attitude and making the other teams feel welcomed, so we want to extend that through the downtown on behalf of the city. We want to make sure we welcome the team and their fans," Grenier said.

    The Walnut Street Bridge lights are expected to light up with Packers' opponent colors for each game of the remaining season.


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    DE PERE, WI (WTAQ-WLUK) - De Pere residents could be voting in November whether they want to spend money to keep a pool on each side of the city.

    The city's common council will vote next week whether to hold a binding referendum.   Legion and VFW Pools are still open, but in 2016, the council voted to eventually close them both. A few months later, a vote was taken to build a new aquatic center at VFW Park.

    After hearing from Legion Pool supporters Thursday night, the city’s parks committee agreed the council should vote on whether it should rescind the 2016 decision.

    In what some called a last-ditch effort, Legion Pool supporters packed the parks committee meeting to try to save their pool.

    “The idea of losing a pool on the east side to which my children can access on their own, so close to my house, is difficult to process,” said Belen Raymond, a Legion Pool supporter.

    A variety of speakers took turns explaining Legion Pool's benefits, including its historical significance, impact on property values, and convenience for families.

    “Due to Legion Pool's location, it provides children the ability to independently and safely get themselves to the pool, meet up with friends, maintain and build new friendships,” said Ashley Hendricks of De Pere.

    A vote on the design of a $7.8 million aquatic center for VFW Park was put on hold last month to hear from the Legion Pool group.

    “One of the things the city wants to do is fundraise for it,” said Marty Kosobucki, De Pere’s parks director. “Until we have money in place, it is hard to put a timetable to it.”

    At its meeting next Tuesday, the council will vote on whether to take back the 2016 vote and whether to hold the referendum.

    “When we made the decision in 2016, I think it was absolutely the right decision based on the information we had,” said Larry Lueck, a member of the council. “Now I think some of the information has changed. Some of the factors we've considered have changed a little bit.”

    “We're ecstatic,” said Katie Carivou, one of the organizers of the Save Legion Pool group. “We're really excited. Our whole goal going into this was to get aquatic facilities on both sides of the river and this is a huge step in that process.”

    The referendum would ask voters if the city should go $900,000 beyond its levy limit. That money would be spent on new pool facilities at Legion and VFW Parks.

    A decision on what exactly should be put at the parks would likely only be made if the referendum passes.


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  • 08/17/18--01:51: Water Rates May Go Up
  • GREEN BAY, WI (WTAQ) - A water rate increase could be coming to Green Bay.

    The Green Bay Water Utility says the increase would address aging infrastructure.

    Residents may see nearly a 10% increase.

    Engineers say replacing aging equipment is the safest and most cost-effective option they have.

    The increase would equate to an average of $1.44 per month, the average for a household of four.


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    MENASHA, WI (WTAQ) - Neenah-Menasha Fire Rescue says the fire at the historical Brin building last week was caused by electrical wiring.

    Officials say the fire started in the attic space between the second-floor ceiling and the roof structure covering.

    The building is 90 years old.

    The future of the building is still undetermined, but the property owner is working with the insurance company to determine it.


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    GREEN BAY (WTAQ) - A dispute over a tarnished copper dome atop the historic courthouse in Green Bay has been settled between Brown County and a Chicago engineering company.

    A $70,000 payout from Simpson Gumpertz and Heger has been accepted by the county's board of supervisors, according to the Green Bay Gazette.

    The engineering company recommended coating the dome with boiled linseed, which has contributed to rapid, blotchy discoloration.

    The dome will be coated with a yet-to-be-determined sealant, once dark material, which is believed to be mildew, is professionally cleaned. 

     

     


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    CALUMET COUNTY, WI (WTAQ) - The state Department of Transportation has announced a construction project that will impact 11 miles of roadways in Calumet County.

    Crews will be working on Highway 55 between Highway 151 in Brothertown and Highway 114 in Sherwood.

    Some lanes and shoulders will be closed on Highway 55 but will remain open to traffic throughout the project.

    The project will begin Monday and is expected to close in October. 


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    GREEN BAY, WI (WTAQ) - President Trump has made his nominee for the Supreme Court and Wisconsin Republican Ron Johnson believes it was the right choice.

    Conservative circuit judge Brett Kavanugh is the pick by President Trump to become the next Supreme Court Justice.

    Senator Ron Johnson joined the John Muir Show on Friday morning to discuss the selection. Johnson explained that he likes the judge's interpretation of the position.

    "He said in his own writing that a judge is meant to interpret the law; not make law and not make policy," said Johnson. 

    Beyond that, the Senator believes Kavanugh has the experience necessary to be effective in his role.

    "He's incredibly qualified," claimed Johnson. "He's got twelve years on D.C. circuit court bench where the Democrats have all the information they need to evaluate it."

    Hearings for the nominee are scheduled to start the day after Labor Day and considerable push-back is expected from Democrats. 

    "They are just making a bunch of noise and playing to their base," said Johnson. "It's just unfortunate."

    Senator Johnson believes this nominee should be universally accepted.

    "He ought to be confirmed one-hundred to zero," claimed Johnson. "But unfortunately Democrats have turned these court nominations into a knock-down drag-out fight."

    The full interview with Senator Ron Johnson on the John Muir Show can be heard here.

     

     


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    GREEN BAY, WI (WTAQ) - The addition of a "College Express" route was announced on Friday by Green Bay Metro.

    The new route, which connects students attending UW-Green Bay and Northeast Wisconsin Technical College to the downtown Green Bay area, will start on Monday.

    The routes will run between 7:15 a.m. and 7:15 p.m. Monday thru Friday and will depart each campus every half hour making one stop at the Transit Center. 

    The newly added route is planned to run until May 2019. 


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    APPLETON, WI (WTAQ) - An announcement was made Monday by the Octoberfest committee that they have awarded a $15,000 grant to the city of Appleton.

    The money from the grant is to fund a public safety drone.

    The committee hopes the drone will provide an additional safety measure to the city.

    Over the past 37 years, the Octoberfest committee has given more than $2.5 million dollars to the Appleton community to fund various projects and functions. 


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    MILWAUKEE, WI (WTAQ) - Heavy rains in the Milwaukee area stranded several motorists on Friday morning in sections of Interstate 43.

    Some motorists were forced to climb atop their flooded cars and were eventually helped by the North Shore Fire Department that responded to the scene.

    Two motorists got out on their own, while four others required assistance.

    Recent construction has narrowed the highways and allowed the flooding to occur.

    No one was hurt. 


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    ASHWAUBENON, WI (WTAQ) - Fans at the Packers game Thursday were treated to an unexpected flyover.

    As U.S. Navy helicopters flew over Lambeau, heads looked to the sky. A pair of MH-60R Seahawk helicopters made a quick appearance just seconds after a touchdown early in the first quarter.   The timing was so perfect, fans there thought it was planned.

    "Right on queue! Right after Jimmy Graham did the Lambeau Leap, and then the helicopters came in, and it was like, 'Oh, alright. Cool! Something new,’" said Packers fan Andy Harbath.

    For another fan, traveling all the way from Las Vegas just to cheer the Packers on, Thursday night's flyover was a special treat - It was the cherry on top her first visit to Lambeau Field.

    "We just figured, 'Oh it's just part of the evening!' Last home game…Go Pack!" said Packer fan and Las Vegas resident Joanna Minter.

    The Navy helicopters also took the Packers and the Green Bay Police Department by surprise. Both confirmed they were unaware, and this was not at all a planned feature of the game.

    They are working with federal authorities to gather more information.

    In fact, this was so unexpected, the Navy pilots even caught their own military branch off-guard.

    "We're still trying to find out exactly what they were doing,” said U.S. Naval Air Forces public affairs officer Ron Flanders. “We take great pride in our safety and professionalism in the air, and I think it's too early to speculate as to whether or not this was anything other than a normal flight."

    Naval Air Forces officials believe the helicopters were in training at the time of the flyover.

    They, too, confirmed it wasn't planned, and they will continue to investigate the spontaneous incident.

     


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  • 08/18/18--17:05: Roadwork Effects Businesses
  • FOX VALLEY, WI (WTAQ) - Fox Valley road work is causing a headache for several businesses in the area and has forced some of them to close for good.

    The 441 Tri-County Project started in early August and includes widening the highway's bridges over Oneida Street to six lanes and transitioning from a six-lane roadway to an existing four-lane roadway east of the interchange to help improve the flow of traffic.

    Terrance Wilder the owner of Owner of Wilder's Cutting Edge Bistro said he can't wait for the project to wrap up so he can get back to business as usual.

    "We just got to weather the storm and as of right now we are looking at a little more than two months before its all over," said Wilder.

    Since the construction started Wilder said his sales are down more than 60 percent, so he's trying new ways to get people in the door.

    "We have road construction signs up by the highway, we do buy one get one free meals, anything to keep our name out here but it's been tough," explained Wilder.

    Just down the road Richard Niemuth, the owner of Niemuth's Southside Market said he is experiencing the same problems and has had a decrease in sales for the last couple of years.

    "The road construction has put a damper on our participation of the last two years of the economy," said Niemuth. "We Just need all the help we can get to get people in here and shopping. This is going to be the hardest," he said.

    Fox11 reached out to the Mayor of Appleton and the Wisconsin Department of Transportation to see if anything is being done to help these businesses during construction, but no one from either office was available to comment.

    The Wisconsin Department of Transportation says the 441 Tri-County Project should be done by November of 2019.


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  • 08/18/18--18:10: Child Abuse Arrest Made
  • OSHKOSH, WI (WTAQ) - Two people were taken into custody Friday after a child abuse complaint. 

    Oshkosh Police arrived at a residence on Wyldewood Drive in the City of Oshkosh.

    A 30-year-old woman and a 33-year-old man from Oshkosh were arrested.

    The child was put in protective custody.


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    TOWN OF VINLAND, WI (WTAQ) -Two Neenah women and a dog are missing after a boat collision on Lake Winnebago Saturday.

    Winnebago County Sheriff's Department responded to a boat collision just after 8:30 Saturday night.

    Officials say a 26-foot boat hit a 20-foot boat east of Paynes Point

    A total of six people were on the boats. 

    The 20-year-old woman and a 26-year-old woman from Neenah were ejected from the boat.

    The two others on the 20-foot boat were taken to the hospital.

    The two people on the 26-foot boat were treated on shore.

    Search efforts for the two missing Neenah women will resume Sunday morning.


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    APPLETON, WI (WTAQ) - Police responded to a call of shots fired on Prospect Avenue and Memorial Drive Saturday. 

    Officials say they are investigating a vehicle to vehicle shooting.

    The investigation showed that a motorcycle driver pulled up next to a truck at the intersection and fired multiple shots. 

    Both vehicles left the scene before officers arrived. 

    Officers say it is unknown if anyone was hurt, and they do not believe that the public is in any danger.

    they say it was a targeted incident.

    If anyone has information about the incident, they are asked to contact Appleton Police at (920) 832-5500


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    APPLETON, WI (WTAQ)- A 27-year-old Appleton resident has been taken into custody after running into a truck that was painting lines on Highway 41 on Ballard Road early Saturday morning.

    Officials say the driver was arrested for a 2nd offense OWI Causing Injury.

    Officials arrived at the scene around 3:45 a.m and helped two people who were injured with non-life threatening injuries.