News Briefs

3:52 PM, Feb. 13, 2013  |  Comments
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Catholics react to pope's stunning resignation

From top leaders to average parishioners, Catholics in the Green Bay area voiced shock earlier this week about the history-making resignation of Pope Benedict XVI.

Green Bay Bishop David Ricken said he learned of the resignation Monday morning on TV news in the Chicago area, where he was traveling on church business.

"I thought, 'Did I hear that news right?'" he recalled. "It was a complete surprise to everyone I know."

Ricken joined other area Catholics in praising Pope Benedict's years of service and expressing gratitude for his leadership during the past eight years.

The 85-year-old pope said he lacks the strength to fulfill his duties and on Thursday, Feb. 28, will become the first pontiff to resign in 600 years. His announcement sets the stage for a conclave in March to elect a new leader for the world's one billion Catholics.

Minor crimes can be reported online

The Brown County Sheriff's Department has taken a leap into the digital era , allowing residents to report crimes online.

Capt. Keith Deneys last week said the online reporting system is an effort to cut down on deputy response time for minor incidents, which may be classified as low priority.

"We see it as time-saving for citizens and officers," he said. "It can take hours to get an officer to a call that would be prioritized as minor."

People can now report harassing phone calls, ID theft, lost property or vandalism at the Brown County Sheriff's Department website. People are still asked to call 911 for emergency situations and the county's nonemergency line for other incidents requiring law enforcement.

Officers will still respond to situations, said Sheriff John Gossage, and people are not required to use the website.

"With no availability of a computer, we will still send an officer," he said. "If they still want an officer, we will send an officer."

The service is available to Brown County residents in Allouez, Howard and Suamico and all other rural townships. The police departments from De Pere, Ashwaubenon and Hobart-Lawrence will soon make the service available.

The online reporting system can be accessed at

Public meeting Wednesday for highway project

The Wisconsin Department of Transportation Northeast Region office will hold a public information meeting next week regarding the planned reconstruction of Wisconsin 57 from De Pere to Allouez.

The meeting will run from 5 to 7 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 20, in the gymnasium at Webster Elementary School, 2101 S. Webster Ave., Allouez. A short presentation will be made at 5:10.

The work is scheduled for 2018 and would include replacing underlying utilities and existing pavement in a 3.4-mile stretch of 57 from intersection of Randall Avenue in De Pere to the north village limit of Allouez just north of Marine Street.

Residents are encouraged to attend the meeting, ask questions and offer comments about the project.

The DOT said no decisions regarding the future roadway configuration or improvements to intersections have been made. It is seeking public input on ideas for possible improvements to the project corridor.

For more information, contact Andrew Fulcer by phone at (920) 492-5664 or email at

Halaburda to give talk at Legends

Former local TV reporter Olga Halaburda will be the guest speaker at the Tuesday, Feb. 19, meeting of the N.E.W. Patriots, a local nonpartisan, conservative, grassroots group.

The event will start at 7 p.m. at Legends Brewhouse & Eatery of De Pere, 875 Heritage Road.

Jerry Bader from WTAQ radio will introduce Halaburda, who will speak on "The Loss of Freedoms in Ukraine and Poland under Communism and Nazism, and What We Must Learn from History."

A social, with food available for purchase, will begin at 6 p.m.

For more information, go to or send email to

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Football fans

If you've ever answered "Who has the ball?" with "It's halftime," you might recognize The Airhead. Check out the characters in our cartoon gallery of oddball fans.

Special Reports