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Northeast Wisconsin's local news coverage.
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    GREEN BAY, WI (WTAQ)- The Green Bay Police Department is celebrating the success of a group of people today, as four new officers are being sworn in to begin their training today.

    That's the next generation, those are our future leaders here" Captain Kevin Warych said. "This group is the first of what could be many officers hired this year, as the department has many openings."

    Warych says it is an exciting day, but it is really just the start.  "The faces of the Green Bay Police Department are going to change in the next few years just due to the amount of people that we are hiring."

    That does not mean they will necessarily be in a rush to fill all open positions.

    "We don't lower our standards just because we have ten openings, we have and keep high standards."

    Warych added it is important to see the younger generation of officers rise to the top.  The department had multiple retirements last year, and are expecting the same this year. 

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    OSHKOSH, WI (WTAQ) - A new way for residents in one Fox Valley community to weigh in on community issues.

    Oshkosh Assistant City Manager John Fitzpatrick explains Polco.

    "It's a civic engagement tool, where by we can talk to our citizens about issues and gather their input electronically."

    Fitzpatrick notes it uses survey questions to prompt people's opinions.

    "We'd like to try to gather as much input as we possibly can for the council to evaluate.  In that way, we can try to make the best decision possible for the citizens.  We have a variety of citizens here that feel more comfortable expressing themselves electronically than coming to a meeting."

    He explains the first topic that they're polling.

    "Whether they would prefer to have a more passive park at the former Lakeshore Golf Course site or if they would prefer for us to explore the possibility of a nine-hole executive course."

    People can access Polco by clicking here

    Fitzpatrick says residents can also download the free Polco app in either the Google or Apple stores.  


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    APPLETON (WTAQ-WLUK) - As the government shutdown continues, residents in Appleton have a growing concern.

    Kevin Cucci telling FOX 11....

    "If it's just a few days, it's not going to affect us, but if it starts affecting social security and things like that, then that'll be a problem for the country."

    The shutdown will impact several entities. The government breaks it up by what it calls essential versus non-essential workers.

    The military is essential. They will stay on duty but their paychecks may be withheld until after a deal is made on Capitol Hill.

    Thousands of federal employees could be placed on furlough meaning they won't report to work; this results in closing several federal agencies and departments.

    Planning to file your taxes? The IRS expects to send thousands of employees home, meaning tax refunds may be delayed.

    But don't worry, you'll still be getting your mail because the US Postal Service is not funded by tax dollars.

    Local Democrats and Republicans say there's someone to blame for the shutdown. They just differ on who.

    Democratic Party of Outagamie County Chair, Lee Snodgrass....

    "This is the first time the White House and both chambers are controlled by one branch of government and the fact that it shut down, there's nobody to blame but the Republicans."

    Republican Party of Outagamie County Chairman, Jim Duncan argues back....

    "Its not the Republicans but Chuck Schumer, who has called for the filibuster and so we're stuck for 30 hours before they can bring a vote on anything."

    Snodgrass said a shutdown could have been avoided if the bill included a legislative fix for the DACA program, which protects minors from deportation who came to the US illegally. Duncan sasys DACA should be considered separately from the spending bill.

    Amid the divide, Governor Scott Walker is hopeful it won't last long.

    "In the long term, it could be a graver concern for any state out there, but my hope is, optimistically, I hope they will meet some sort of reasonable solution in the coming days."

    The shutdown will also postpone renewal of the federal children's health care program, also known as "CHIP."

    Some states ran out of "CHIP" funding on Friday.


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  • 01/22/18--01:28: Crash Victim Identified
  • HOLLAND, WI (WTAQ) - The Brown County Sheriff's Office has identified the Manitowoc area woman who died in a crash Friday.

    Yevonne M. Lane was found dead at the scene after being thrown from her car.

    Deputies say Lane was driving west on County Highway D and ManCal Road when she ran a stop sign.

    That's when she hit a Kaukauna man headed north.

    Officials say she was not wearing her seatbelt at the time of the crash.


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    OUTAGAMIE COUNTY, WI (WTAQ-WLUK) - A snowy owl was set free Sunday afternoon, near Shiocton.

    The bird was one of two trapped at the Wittman Regional Airport in Oshkosh one month ago.

    At the Feather Wildlife Rehab/Education Center near New London, volunteers prepared a snowy owl for its upcoming flight.

    Bob Welch is with the The Feather Wildlife Rehab/Education Center.

    "We don't want the bird to injure its feathers or injure itself. The bird is wild, and you just have to kind of settle it down, and once you have the bird in a comfortable position, it's easy to handle the bird."

    The bird has been recovering at the center. The snowy is one of two owls trapped last month at Wittman Regional Airport in Oshkosh. A maintenance worker shot and killed a similar owl in November after it got too close to an active runway.

    Veterinarian Jim Ziegler examined this latest bird. He says it had an infection and was underweight.

    But after a month of treatment, he says the bird is healthy enough to go back into the wild.

    "Actually it was a lot stronger than I remember. For a bird that size, it's incredibly strong. You can feel the talons trying to grab you, and the wing trying to beat away from you. It's pretty impressive."

    On Sunday afternoon, in front of about 30 people, Dr. Jim sent the snowy on its way.

    "Oh, this is what it's all about. This is what you hope for, and there's nothing better than a release to get it back into the wild."

    "Very exciting release. Perhaps the longest flight we've seen in all the releases we've had. This was just moseying around and looking at the habitat and then dropped in. And a very strong flyer, so exciting," said Welch.

    In the winter months, the big white birds migrate to Wisconsin from their home near the Arctic Circle.

    "This is very good owl habitat. And we know that there's other ones in the area, that it's a good spot. Plus, it looks just like the tundra." said Virginia Halverson, The Feather Wildlife Rehab/Education Center.

    The first owl was released in the same area late last month.

    The birds are expected to stay in Wisconsin another couple months, or as long as they can find enough food.


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    STEPHENSON, MI (WTAQ)- A public hearing will be held to help determine the future of the Back Forty Mine in Michigan's Upper Peninsula.

     

    The hearing is scheduled for Tuesday January 23 at 6:00pm, and will take place at Stephenson High School.

    The Michigan Department of Environmental Quality will use the input to help determine if they will issue Aquila Resources a wetlands permit.

     

    The permit will be the final one needed to have approval for the projetct.

    The state has already issued mining, air, and surface water discharge permits.

    The Menominee Indian Tribe filed a federal lawsuit on Monday. 

    “To protect the Menominee Tribe’s environmental and cultural interests in the Menominee River, which borders both the State of Michigan and the State of Wisconsin, and adjacent wetlands, and to protect many sites of great cultural, religious, and historic significance to the Menominee Tribe.”

    The lawsuit was filed against the U.S Environmental Protection Agency and US Corps of Engineers.

    The tribe says the action is because they aren't complying wit the Clean Water Act, and wants the court to instruct both agencies to “assume control and exercise jurisdiction over the Section 404 permitting” for the mine.

    The tribe wants to protect the environmental and cultural interests in the Menominee River.

     


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    DE PERE, WI (WTAQ)- A new Facebook scheme aims to gain access to your cloud storage account. 

    De Pere Police says the scammer gets into a Facebook profile and begins messaging that person's friends, asking for permission to use their email account. 

     

    Police say people fall for the scam because they believe that it is coming from one of their friends.

    Once the scammer has access, they are able to access multiple features, including google photos.

    Officers say you should never give out your email account or passwords, even if the request appears to come from a legitimate source.

    The best advice is to call or text your friend to see if they did send the message.


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  • 01/22/18--13:34: New Case of CWD Found
  • LINCOLN COUNTY, WI (WTAQ)- State officials say chronic wasting disease has been detected in another Wisconsin county.

    The DNR says a two-year-old buck harvested South of Rhinelander in Lincoln County has tested positive for the deadly brain disease.

    Baiting and feeding will be banned in Lincoln County for the next three years and a two-year ban in Langlade County will go into effect, since the county is adjacent to Lincoln County. The existing ban in Oneida County will be renewed after the recent discovery.

    47 Wisconsin counties have been affected by CWD.

     


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    GREEN BAY, WI (WTAQ) - Students at one local school got the chance Monday to hear about the potentially serious consequences of bullying.

    Kirk Smalley's anti-bullying presentation 'Stand for the Silent' was shared with eighth graders at Green Bay's Washington Middle School.

    Smalley and his wife have spoken with kids across the country since their 11-year-old son killed himself in 2010 after being the victim of bullying.

    "We decided we couldn't live in a world where that was happening so frequently without doing everything we could to make it stop.  It makes me feel good that I can make an impact on a young person's life."

    The $2,500 dollars needed to bring the Smalleys to Green Bay was collected by two Allouez girls who held a lemonade stand last summer.


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    FOND DU LAC, WI (WTAQ)- Two men charged in connection with a Fond Du Lac murder, appeared in court Monday. A cash bond of $1-million dollars was set for both 22-year-old Devon Neuman and 23-year-old Jesse Schultz.

    Both men were charged with first degree intentional homicide and armed robbery.

    Prosecutors say the two are responsible for September's fatal shooting of Logan Foster.

    According to police reports, the pair allegedly tried to rob Foster and took $100 dollars to buy drugs after they shot him. 

    District Attorney Eric Toney says the request for a high bond was needed in this case.

    "When we have first-degree intentional homicide charges, it can carry up to life in prison, so that makes the risk of flight very high" he said.

    Toney said the 9-month investigation was an effort that was made up of hard work from law enforcement and the community. 

    "A lot of dedicated work from the detectives and their agencies led to the arrest of these two" he said. "We really appreciate the public working with law enforcement with information."

    Toney said law enforcement was also given help from the community in the form of one piece of information that he called very helpful. 

    "It is something that most communities don't experience that often, so it is something that we take very seriously and our condolences go out to the family and friends of Logan Foster."

    Neuman and Schultz will both be back in court on February 1st for a preliminary hearing.

     

     

     


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    NORTHEAST WISCONSIN (WTAQ-WLUK) - A difficult Monday morning travel for some Northeast Wisconsin residents.

    While it was mainly heavy rainfall in the Green Bay area, Karen Gordon of Marinette notes it was a different story in her neck of the woods.

    "It always seems like we get a little more snow and wind here.  The wind is horrible out here, and there's just a whole layer of ice under the snow.  It's crazy."

    With wind gusts up to 40 miles per hour making for blizzard-like conditions, Gordon notes she would avoid the roads until conditions cleared.

    "Read a book, take a nap, and of course, make sure your tank is full of gas, which is why I stopped."

    Steve Berth of Abrams says he planned on staying put, with rain having turned into snow in areas north of Green Bay.

    "I didn't see anybody in the ditch yet, but it's not going to get better, I know."

    The Green Bay area primarily saw heavy rainfall.


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    BROTHERTOWN, WI (WLUK-WTAQ)- Bobbers Up in Brothertown was once a local hangout but is now a total loss.

    “We got the call at about 4 a.m. this morning of a structure fire fully involved,” Town of Calumet fire chief Brian Schussman said.

    No one was inside the building at the time of the fire. The owners are on vacation in Mexico.

    The building was also home to some residents who live upstairs but they too were not home at the time of the fire.

    Several crews arrived to put out the flames and say the weather created some challenges.

    “We did run into icy conditions in the parking lots and stuff around the building, we had some guys slipping but everybody is okay,” Schussman said.

    Fire crews were unable to enter the building to investigate because it was too dangerous. Instead, the local tavern was torn down.

    “We’re not able to go inside because the building is not structurally sound anymore. We actually have a high hope in now digging some hot spots apart," Schussman said.

    The cause of the fire is still under investigation.


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    KEWAUNEE, WI (WTAQ) - A Monday public hearing to discuss permit applications from two Kewaunee farms.

    DNR officials say Legends Farm Dairy is petitioning for a manure runoff permit to grow its facility by 130 animals.

     

    Legends currently has about 800 milk cows and 20 beef cattle, reportedly generating around 10-million gallons of liquid manure and wastewater annually.

    Hall's Calf Ranch is looking to renew a similar permit, with no desire to expand at this time.

     

    It houses north of 8,000 dairy cows, allegedly generating 2-million gallong of liquid manure and wastewater each year.

    Residents on both sides of the issue spoke.

    "We ask all in attendance, and the DNR, to please bear witness to the continuing, massive regulatory failure that has been ongoing now for over a decade in Kewaunee County."

    "These farms are extremely important to our rural communities.  They help the local economy.  They're helping the national economy." 

    The DNR is expected to make a final decision next month.


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    FOND DU LAC, WI (WTAQ-WLUK) - When Fond du Lac High School senior Emily Furman saw the risks of prescription drug abuse, she joined a group called 'Students Raise Awareness on Prescription Misuse', also known as STAAND.

    Furman told FOX 11...

    "I personally know a lot of people that have suffered through drugs and its negative consequences."

    She explains what the group is all about

    "STAAND is a group of students at the high school and we're basically the voice of a drug free community and we raise awareness."

    The group sent letters to parents encouraging them to talk to their children.

    Emily Brooks also attends Fond du Lac High School.

    Brooks told FOX 11, "We are doing a Kahoot and emailing our principal drug facts so he can say them over the announcement."

    Several posters were put around the building to bring awareness, many include facts that shatter myths about drug abuse and include both national and local statistics of Fond du Lac youth.

    One poster read, "Myth: Most drugs are acquired through a drug dealer. Fact: Most teens who abuse prescription drugs get them from friends or relatives, sometimes without them knowing."

    Last year, 8th, 10th and 11th grade students were surveyed.

    In that survey, when asked about the previous 30 days, five percent of students admitted to using prescription drugs that were not prescribed to them.

    Ellen Sorensen with the Drug Free Communities of Fond du Lac says....

    "A lot of addiction issues or non-medical issues come from sharing prescription drugs, many people don't understand that it's illegal to share prescription drugs."

    Sorensen is urging people to dispose the medicine they no longer need, preventing anyone else from getting their hands on it.

    There are drug drop boxes set up at police stations around Northeast Wisconsin.


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    OSHKOSH, WI (WTAQ-WLUK) - The warmer temperatures and rain have had a noticeable effect on the ice on Lake Winnebago.

    Trucks splashed on and off Lake Winnebago Monday afternoon.

    "Right now there's a lot of water sitting on top of the ice."

    Don Herman of SUNK? Dive and Ice Service tells FOX 11 some places have up to two feet of standing water.

    He says much of the water will flow into holes and cracks in the ice, which can make those bigger, creating hazards.

    "Hopefully the wind, or it gets cold tonight and it freezes on top of the ice, but it's gonna get cold and get warm again so we'll have to see what goes on."

    Herman hopes drivers try to stay off the ice in the next few days.

    "If they go out in the morning they'll bust it all up and it just makes it difficult for plowing when we do get snow and that stuff."

    The wind is also causing concern and some issues for shanties on different parts of the lake.

    "When it gets windy and they're not anchored down, once it gets the snow off they're just like a sail. I've already seen them go 20 miles," Herman explained.

    Adrian Veach wasn't taking any chances.

    "Just moving my shack...because a lot of water is out there right now.

    Veach says he's more worried about his shanty getting stuck.

    "The shack will freeze in...it becomes a fish crib!"

    Luckily, Herman said, at this point the ice itself is still solid, about 22 inches thick.

    "And it's really good ice."

    But, he also said, with the weird winter weather, that could always change.

    "You just don't know! Rain one day, below zero the next".

    Since no ice is ever considered totally safe, Herman advises you to check with the local fishing club before going out.


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    TOWN OF LITTLE WOLF, WI (WTAQ) - One person died and two other people, including a one-year-old boy, were taken to the hospital following a crash in Waupaca County.

    The two-vehicle crash happened just before noon Monday, on County Road B, approximately 100 yards west of County Road O in the Town of Little Wolf.

    Officials say a westbound vehicle lost control and crossed the centerline, striking an eastbound vehicle.

    The driver and lone occupant of the westbound vehicle, a 24-year-old Manawa woman, was pronounced dead at the scene.

    The driver of the eastbound vehicle, a 26-year-old rural Manawa woman and a one-year-old boy were taken to the hospital with non life-threatening injuries.

    The crash remains under investigation.


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    GREEN BAY, WI (WTAQ) - Green Bay Police are investigating after a local business's computer network was hacked and money and information were stolen.

    Police have not identified the business.

    Investigators say the hackers used a known vulnerability to get into the company's computer system.

    The hackers stole personal information from human resources files, then used that to steal what police call "significant amounts" of money from several people.

    Investigators say the company that made the software knew about the vulnerability and made a security patch available last October.

    But apparently the company did not update its computer system.

    It is not known if this exploit is being attempted at other area businesses.

    Police say incident demonstrates how vital it is to maintain public facing computer systems with the latest security patches from the server companies as cyber actors will attempt to use exploits as long as they are finding vulnerable systems.


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    GREEN BAY, WI (WTAQ) - A Tuesday kickoff for Brown County's 200th anniversary celebration.

    The year-long observation will feature a variety of events.

    "We wanted to make sure that when we were looking at the history of Brown County, why we were named Brown County and recognizing the veterans who made the community as strong as it is."

    County Executive Troy Streckenbach has unveiled the calendar of events for the year-long effort.

    He says the goal is to celebrate the past and look ahead to the county's future.

    "We didn't get here these last 200 years just by existence.  We are here because of efforts of a community that came together and said it's important for us to grow, prosper, and live an enjoyable life." 

    Streckenbach says there will be three main events, the first being the May 29 opening of an 'Our Brown County' exhibit at the Neville Public Museum. 

    "We wanted to look at 50 places, 50 people, 50 dates that truly made Brown County what it is." 

    He notes the second will also take place at the museum, an October 26 Brown County birthday party.

    The third is having a 'Flight of Champions' honor flight depart from Green Bay-Austin Straubel International Airport on November 1.

    "To recognize the veterans of our community.  Our great country, this county is only able to have the freedom that we've had because of the sacrifices the men and women have made."  

    Streckenbach encourages the public to participate throughout the year on various social media channels by using the hashtag '#BroCo200' when at a celebratory gathering.

    Click here to list a calendar of events, and contact the Brown County Executive's office to suggest any events that could be added to the list.  


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    NORTHEAST WISCONSIN (WTAQ) - A company that employs more than 3,000 people in Northeast Wisconsin has announced plans to cut jobs.

    Kimberly-Clark says it will eliminate 5,000-5,500 positions (12-13% of its total workforce) in an effort to lower costs.

    The company, which makes Kleenex and Huggies, also intends to either close or sell roughly ten manufacturing plants and exit some of its low-margin businesses that make up around 1% of its sales.

    In addition, the manufacturer says it plans to expand production elsewhere.

    Kimberly-Clark employs about 3,000 people at its Appleton, Marinette, and Neenah locations.

    No word on where the cuts will take place.

    The Dallas-based company projects a pre-tax savings of $500-million to $550-million dollars by the end of 2021, expecting total pre-tax restructuring changes ranging from $1.7-billion to $1.9-billion dollars.

    Kimberly-Clark has announced mixed fourth-quarter 2017 results.  The adjusted profit of $1.57 per share was three cents above projections, but its $4.58-billion dollar revenue was slightly below expectations.

    The manufacturer's annual sales declined for the stretch from 2013-2016, but annual sales reportedly rose slighly in 2017.

    Shares climbed 1.6% before markets opened. 


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    JAMESTOWN, ND (WTAQ)- An Oshkosh man is behind bars in North Dakota.

    Sheriff officials in Stutsman County say they arrested Bee Thor of Oshkosh after a traffic stop in Jamestown, North Dakota that turned up 476 pounds of marijuana.

    Stutsman County Sheriff Chad Kaiser said Interstate 94 has become a pipeline for drug smuggling.

    "This isn't just personal use stuff, this is big loads that are coming through the area."

    Kaiser added that in the past month, they have seized over 700 pounds of marijuana. He said however, this stop was eye opening for many.

    "The community is pretty surprised at this as well, as far as the quanity that is coming through.

    Kaiser said they continue to find what they can, but still wonder how much they are missing.

    "What are we really hitting, I mean, are we even putting a dent into it. It is troubling."

    Thor was one of two men taken into custody, and was charged with felony and misdemeanor drug possession.