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Northeast Wisconsin's local news coverage.
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  • 11/21/17--16:35: 'Taj Mahal' of Tree Stands
  • TAYLOR COUNTY, WI (WTAQ) - The cold temperatures that typically come with the gun-deer season don't bother one Medford area hunter. 

    Dane Hartl says he built his father Lyn's eight foot by twelve foot tree stand when he launched his Wisconsin Landcrafters business ten years ago. 

    “When we started, it was nothing but a bare 40.  There were some logging roads and stuff, but things really got kicked into gear when we built this stand.”

    Dane says he was a little short on work at the time when his dad requested the stand.

    “I said ‘boy you got to give me something to go on.’  He said ‘just build me a stand.’  And when the flatbed semi showed up with the material on it, my mom said ‘what are you building?’ I said ‘that’s dad’s deer stand.’  She said ‘Oh my God.’”

    Lyn notes the benefit of having a stand that includes a stove, propane heater, table, and cot. 

    “I usually go in around three or four o’clock in the afternoon the day before the season, and I just settle down.  I can cook in them, I can sleep in them, everything else.  So that when the woods comes alive opening morning, I’m out there.  And I’m not disrupting the deer, I’m not kicking them off their prime areas.  I’m in there.  And it’s a huge advantage that way.”

    With all the amenities, Lyn says his family uses it for more than just hunting.

    “We also camp.  I take my grandkids out there.  We do all kinds of stuff throughout the year.  We go stay overnight, have a little game night.  We have a campfire by it.  Otherwise, we wouldn’t be using the property during that time of year.”

    Wisconsin Landcrafters has built 43 custom stands to date. 

    Lyn's model would run for about $20,000.


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    The DNR have released the opening weekend deer registration numbers for the first two days of the nine day gun hunt.

    The numbers show statewide, registrations are down over 13,000 from last year.

    The preliminay numbers show 102,903 total registrations Saturday and Sunday. 

    That number is down significantly from the 2016 opening weekend total of 116,615.

    Marathon (3,671), Shawano (3,618)  and Waupaca (3,529) Counties had the highest totals in the state.

    Click Here For Opening Weekend totals.

     

    The DNR said weather may have played a factor in the Southern counties.

     


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    MADISON, WI (WTAQ)-  Annual report cards released by the Department of Public Instruction show the majority of Wisconsin’s schools are performing well.

    The DPI says 82 percent of the public and private schools in Wisconsin had three or more stars out of a possible five, meaning they meet or exceed state expectations.

    44 districts including De Pere and Kimberly significantly exceeded expectations with five stars.

    Kimberly had an area best report card rating of 85.4 and De Pere had a rating of 83.5.

    The State lables that rating category as Significantly Exceeds Expectations.

    Both school districts exceeded state marks in all five evaluated categories, including Math and English.

    190 districts including Fond Du Lac, and Kaukauna had a rating level that is Exceeds Expectations.

    Fond Du Lac at 76.1 and Kaukauna at 76.6.

    Ashwaubenon, Appleton and Oshkosh are among those that Meet Expectations, which is the category that a majority of districts are in. 

    Ashwaubenon at 70.6, Appleton at 66.9 and Oshkosh at 71.8

    Green Bay and Marinette Districts are two of 20 districts that had a two star rating meaning Meets Few Expectations.

    Green Bay School District had a rating of 62.2 and Marinette had a 60.4

    Click Here to see your district or school report card.

     

     

     

     


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    GREEN BAY, WI (WTAQ) - Green Bay Mayor Jim Schmitt says he will not seek another term in office.

    Schmitt made the announcement official at Tuesday afternoon's Boards and Commissioners Appreciation Reception at City Hall.

    In a morning media release, Schmitt said "I'm interested in pursuing other things when my term is completed.  I'm hopeful that someone with vision, a strong work ethic, and, of course, someone who loves this city, will run for mayor for the 2019 election."

    Schmitt says there was no one factor that led to the decision, including accusations that he inappropriately managed finances in connection with the Hotel Northland project.

    "That didn't effect me at all.  The next election, there would be another issue.  I'm not sure what it is yet, but that's just politics."

    While Schmitt says he's unsure what's next, he notes "I'm not going to run for anything.  That's the last you saw of me on the ballot."

    Schmitt is asked if he has anyone he would like to see succeed him. 

    "The person inside has to really, really want to lead the city and love the city.  I don't have anyone specificially in mind.  I think there are quite a few people out there who could do it."  

    The release also states: "I won't turn over the city to shallow thinkers, vindictive personalities, or those with selfish motives.  This city needs strong, educated leadership."

    Schmitt said that applies to a couple of individuals but declined to elaborate on who it refers to.  

    The Mayor's current term ends in April of 2019, and he has been Mayor since 2003.

    Schmitt says there are a few things he'd like to see happen before he leaves office.

    "We'll do the ribbon cutting on the Hotel Northland August 1.  We will close on the DDL property and get that under construction this month.  We'll get the Shipyard under construction."  

    After being convicted of violating Campaign Finance Reporting Laws, Schmitt survived an attempt to remove him from office earlier this year.

    He said he would finish the term, but did not comment beyond that.


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    GREEN BAY, WI (WTAQ)- Today is Thanksgiving Lunch at the Salvation Army

    Nick Meisner, Director of Marketing and Communication of the Salvation Army of Greater Green Bay says it's just another meal day, but serving a Thanksgiving meal with all the fixings, is something they feel makes a difference to many.

    "There are a lot of misconceptions about homlessness in this community, and those who need this meal, so if somebody wants to come and just experience this meal, they are welcome."

    Preparing an elaborate meal takes quite a bit of work, but they have many helping hands and are always looking for more.

    "We always need volunteers for the feeding program to come and serve food.

    The program usually feeds over 100 people on a regular basis.

    "It's a great oppertunity for folks that might not have a Thanksgiving meal to come out and enjoy one."

    Meisner says there are not any requirements or qualifications needed to take part in the meal.

    "You really get the sense that it is something that folks look forward to every year.

    The meal is served from 11:30-12:30 at 626 Union Court in Green Bay.


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    GREEN BAY, WI (WTAQ) --The Green Bay Police Department saying "thanks", and doing some "giving."

    Tuesday, members of the Green Bay Police Department participated in their second annual Badges giving Baskets.

    Officers and staff members spent part of the morning dropping off food filled baskets as a kickoff to Thanksgiving.

     

    Captain Kevin Warych said they put together the initiative with generous partners.

    "We partnered with the Boys and Girls Club and the Green Bay School District to develop a list of names that we could go out and deliver these baskets to.

    Along with the individuals and families, dozens of baskets were dropped off at different organizations and shelters.

    Officers also found people that they ran into that they felt could use a little holiday cheer.

    Warych said it is another way the Police found to re-invest in the community.

    "We really brightened up their day, and hopefully made their Thanksgiving that much better."

    The food was donated by Feeding America-Eastern Wisconsin, and the baskets were donated by Hobby Lobby.

     


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  • 11/22/17--02:07: Celebrating The FCPAC
  • APPLETON, WI (WTAQ-WLUK) - A center for entertainment in the Fox Valley is celebrating the 15-year anniversary of its grand opening.

    The Fox Cities Performing Arts Center opened in November of 2002.

    Since the center opened, it has held more than 1,000 public ticketed events.

    It has also served as a home to more than 200 non-profit and community groups for performances and more.

    Maria Van Laanen, president of the PAC, tells FOX 11 for the 15th anniversary, they want to continue to bring events that engage the community.

    "We are bringing events that engage everyone in our community and so this 15th anniversary year, we wanted to make sure that we continued celebrating in that way, so you'll see little cerebration moments throughout the year connected with most of the events happening here at the center."

    Since opening its doors, the PAC has welcomed more than 2.4 million guests.


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  • 11/22/17--02:08: Wheel Tax Rolling On
  • DE PERE, WI (WTAQ) - The De Pere city council gave to initial approval to add a wheel tax, as part of the city's overall 2018 budget. However, there are still some steps to go before the tax is finalized.

    The $20 tax would be added to a vehicle owners annual vehicle registration fee.

    The money raised would initially go toward repairing sidewalks. Extra funds from the wheel tax would be used for street repairs.

    The wheel tax would eliminate the existing special assessment fee property owners currently pay for required sidewalk repair and replacement.

    City officials say the next step will be to draft an ordinance, which will be reviewed by the city's Board of Public Works.


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    GREEN BAY, WI (WTAQ) - With or without snow, the Titletown District is marking its first holiday season with a month-long celebration.

    The Winter Jubilee is a series of cold-weather events held at the district.

    The Winter Jubilee will kick off Thursday, Nov. 30 with the grand-opening of the ice staking rink, 46 Below bistro and Rockwood Terrace event space.

    The first day will also include an inaugural Winter Jubilee Light Show, a visit from Santa Claus and ice sculptors.

    The Light Show is a blend of holiday-themed lights, music and special effects with lasers and fireworks. The seven-minute show will be projected onto Lambeau Field's outer facade off of Ridge Road, playing every half hour from 6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. on Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights from Nov. 30 until Dec. 30.

    The ice skating rink will open Nov. 30. Hours, admission and skate rental prices will be announced soon.

    Santa Claus will be in the Titletown District on Nov. 30 from 3:30 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. and Saturday, Dec. 16 from 10:00 a.m. to noon.

    Visitors in the Titletown District can watch ice sculptors turn blocks of ice into works of art. Demos will be in the plaza of the Titletown District from 3:30 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. on Nov. 30. They will return Friday, Dec. 8, Friday, Dec. 15 and Friday, Dec. 22 from 5:00 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.

    The Ariens tubing hill, next to the ice skating rink, will open in the coming weeks when weather conditions are favorable to make snow. More information, including hours and prices, will be announced at a later date.

    All Winter Jubilee events are open to the public. Parking is available in the Titletown parking lot off of Lombardi Avenue or in Lamabeau Field parking lots 5 and 6.

    The park at Titletown will be open from 7:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m.


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    HORTONIA, WI (WTAQ) - Two people are in the hospital after a rollover crash in Outagamie County.

    It happened on Highway 45, near Highway 15 in Hortonia around 10 last night.

    Officials say a car went into a ditch.

    A 38-year-old woman was thrown from the vehicle. She suffered serious injuries.

    The 33-year-old man driving the car was also taken to the hospital.


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    FOND DU LAC, WI (WTAQ) - Cash bond has been set at $10-thousand dollars for the 51-year-old Fond du Lac man accused of fatally crashing into a pedestrian last weekend. 

    Peter Anderson is accused of driving without a license when he reportedly killed Jeffrey Koenigs.

    Officers say Anderson failed a field sobriety test, but blood test results are not yet available.    

    Police arrived on scene of a vehicle versus pedestrian crash on East 2nd Street and Park Avenue.

    A witness reported seing Koenigs in the crosswalk, but said Anderson never hit his breaks before impact.

    Anderson told officials that he did not see Koenigs in the crosswalk, according to records. 

    Court records show that Anderson has two prior drunk driving convictions.


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    OSHKOSH, WI (WTAQ)-- Oshkosh Corporation has announced the city of Oshkosh as its global headquarters.

    A proposal was accepted by the Oshkosh Corporation Board of Directors.

    The proposal includes selling a portion of the Lakeshore Municipal Golf Course.

    In a press release, City Manager Mark Rohloff said “I am thrilled that the City of Oshkosh’s proposal was competitive with proposals that Oshkosh Corporation had been considering nationwide. I think that this speaks volumes about Oshkosh Corporation’s confidence that the City of Oshkosh will continue to be a great home to the global headquarters of a Fortune 500 company.”

    The next step is for both parties to complete the land sale and development agreement.

    The process is set to begin immediately, but is expected to take until at least April to complete. 

     


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    DOOR COUNTY, WI (WTAQ) - A 17-year-old Gibraltar High School student has been charged with making a terrorist threat against the school.

    Juan Jauregui allegedly posted the threat on Snapchat last Wednesday.

    The schools were locked down the following morning until he was taken into custody at his mother's home.

    The Fish Creek teen reportedly later said the post, which authorities say depicted Jauregui holding a shotgun with the caption 'don't go to school today,' was a joke.

    The criminal complaint states Jauregui provided a written statement:

    “In hindsight, I can see how some people have taken it as a threat.  I realize that I have made a big mistake and that I will be facing legal consequences for what I have done. I never felt like harming myself or anyone else. I did this to be funny and I realize now it isn’t funny at all. I do not have any hatred towards anyone at Gibraltar School, students, or staff.”

    Cash bond has been set at $10,000.

    An initial appearance on the felony Terrorist Threat count is scheduled for Monday.  

    Police say they took possession of the gun in the photo.


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    GREEN BAY, WI (WTAQ) - A Green Bay salon school is joining the fight against Alzheimer's.

    The Paul Mitchell School is partnering with the Alzheimer's Association this month to raise awareness and funds to combat the disease.

    Students spent Wednesday giving free manicures and pedicures to caregivers.

    "Those caregivers do so much. It's such a hard thing. I watch my family go through it with my grandma and it's really, really hard. They deserve so much credit and so much gratitude and appreciation and what a great organization that we can partner with. We're so thankful. Especially this time of year, being so thankful."

    Amy Shadian says proceeds from $1 gift basket raffles this month are going toward the cause.

    Officials say 193,000 people in the state are Alzheimer's caregivers.


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    GREEN BAY, WI (WTAQ) - Green Bay Police is urging people to take steps to ensure the packages they order this Christmas season make it under the tree.

    Captain John Laux says they received plenty of these sort of theft reports last year.

    "You can designate a time of delivery.  You can have a neighbor watch out for your package, if they're going to be home."

    If that isn't an option, Laux suggests having packages delivered to your workplace.

    He also urges people to require a signature upon delivery and to place insurance on packages.


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    MANITOWOC, WI (WTAQ) - Holiday festivities at one Manitowoc park get underway Friday night.

    The switch will flip for the sixth annual "Lights in Lincoln Park."

    Heather Schneider is with the Manitowoc Lincoln Park Zoological Society.

    "Every Friday we will have Santa, so as people drive through, they can end up at cabin one, and we will have Santa, with hot chocolate and cookies."

    Cost to drive through the park is $5 per vehicle and $40 per bus.

    The park is open Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays from November 24-December 16 and from December 21-29.


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  • 11/23/17--03:22: Mayoral Hopefuls Line Up
  • GREEN BAY, WI (WTAQ-WLUK) - It only took a few hours for three elected officials to voice their interest in Mayor Jim Schmitt's job after he announced he will not seek re-election.

    The three who’ve expressed interest are Green Bay City Council President Tom DeWane, Brown County Supervisor Pat Evans, and State Rep. Eric Genrich (D-Green Bay).

    All three say there's still a lot to think about before making any official decision.

    The last time there was an open race for Green Bay mayor was 2003.

    Four people ran with Schmitt coming out on top. Four terms later, the open race Schmitt has now created is expected to be even more crowded.

    Pat Evans tells FOX 11...

    “The one time I ran, that I won the primary, there were seven people in there. You could have a good six or seven and I think that is healthy.”

    Evans lost to Schmitt in 2011. He says he is considering another run based off of feedback from constituents and business owners.

    “They're looking for somebody that would be able to continue on with the development that is going ton in Green Bay and also have an understanding of finance.”

    DeWane is also a former Schmitt opponent. He lost to Evans and Schmittt in the 2011 primary, and lost to Schmitt in the general election in 2015.

    Hours after Schmitt’s announcement, DeWane told FOX 11 that he's already been talking about another run with his family.

    “It might be time for something new, so it's something I'm evaluating.” Genrich believes the position of mayor could be a better chance to have an immediate impact on policy for Green Bay, compared to his current role in Madison.

    “I love this community,” said Genrich.

    “I'm committed to public service, so that's something I'm going to be talking about with my friends and my family and my supporters as we enter a new year.”

    The mayoral primary is still more than a year away. It's scheduled for February 2019.


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    DE PERE, WI (WTAQ) - Four people have been displaced after a house fire in De Pere.

    Fire officials responded to a report of smoke just after 10 Wednesday night on the 1000 block of Sixth Street.

    When they arrived, they found the fire in a wall and the attic.

    Nobody was injured.

    Officials have not said what may have caused the fire.

    The Red Cross is helping those affected.


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  • 11/23/17--03:31: Cops Spread Holiday Cheer
  • OSHKOSH, WI (WTAQ-WLUK) - The Oshkosh Police Department helped out with an early Thanksgiving gift.

    On Wednesday, officers joined the Boys and Girls Club to deliver "heat and serve" meals to some families in Oshkosh.

    The families are getting a variety of Thanksgiving staples that they can prepare for Thanksgiving tomorrow.

    Oshkosh Police Chief Dean Smith tells FOX 11 his officers are happy to help out.

    "As part of this community, it's a good thing to give back to the community. The community takes care of us. It's a good thing to give back to the community and we want to take care of the community."

    Around Christmas, the officers and the Boys and Girls Club will do "Shop with a Cop" to benefit those who might otherwise not be able to afford a present for their families.


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    GREEN BAY, WI (WTAQ-WLUK) - While some people take a cautious approach when it comes to packages they receive.

    "We have a bigger lock box, that they put packages in," said Josh Schneider of Sheboygan.

    Schneider tells FOX 11 other people he knows, aren't as careful.

    "They leave their packages on the porch, till decide to wake up and get them."

    As more packages begin to show up porches, the Green Bay Police Department is warning residents.

    "We just want to put it out there, last year, we had a number of thefts," explained Capt. John Laux.

    Laux says the thefts are crimes of opportunity.

    "These packages sit there, they're very inviting to the would-be theft."

    Ensuring your package isn't stolen this holiday season, Laux says the department is offering some proactive tips.

    "You can designate a time of delivery; you can have a neighbor watch out for your packages."

    Some thieves take a more high-tech approach.

    Lisa Schiller, spokesperson for the Better Business Bureau says if you're shopping online, it's important to make sure your information is secure.

    "Whether your shopping on Cyber Monday or any other day make sure your computer has most recent updates for spam filters."

    Schiller says that also includes verifying each website.

    "Only shop on trusted websites, look for Better Business Bureau's logo on the website, look also for that little lock and key."

    Schneider says he'll be passing on the safety tips, to make sure presents make it under the tree.

    "A little bit more aware of people stealing, and stuff like that."