October, 2012

Why is Sandy being called a “Super Storm”?

October 27th, 2012 at 11:19 am by under Weather

Why is Sandy being called a “Super Storm”?  Well, it’s certainly not for its wind speeds.  Forecasters use the Saffir Simpson scale as a measure of hurricane winds.  The scale starts at a Category 1 storm with winds of 74 mph increasing to a Category 5 storm with winds of greater than 156 mph.  As of 10 am Saturday Sandy is just barely a Category 1 storm with winds of 74 mph.  The forecast has winds continuing in the 70 mph range as it makes landfall sometime Monday night or Tuesday morning.


The factor that makes this storm super is its size.  By merging with a winter storm Sandy will affect the entire eastern seaboard.  Many large cities will be at a virtual standstill as long as the storm continues to blow.  Here are the 4 main factors that will make this storm one for the history books:


  1. Coastal Flooding.  Costal areas of Maryland, Delaware, New Jersey, and New York will be affected by storm surge, now forecast at 4-8 feet.
  2.  Power Outages:  High winds will be widespread across New England.  Winds will average 50 mph with gusts over 70 mph- this will break tree limbs and take down power lines.  The scale of this event (roughly from Vermont to Virginia) will keep some people in the dark for a number of days, maybe even a week.
  3. Heavy Mountain Snow:  Moisture, cold air, and this powerful storm will combine to dump 1-2 feet of snow in high elevations.  Virginia, West Virginia, and Pennsylvania will be hardest hit.  Besides affecting travel this heavy wet snow will down trees and power lines creating more power outages. 
  4. Flooding Rainfall:  The leading edge of Sandy will produce heavy flooding rainfall with 4-6” of rain forecast with isolated 8” amounts possible.  Flooding could stretch from Virginia to Vermont.


The path and strength of Sandy will continue to challenge forecasters, so go to the National Hurricane Center for the latest storm track.  This site from the National Weather Service in Virginia is also very handy for information on Sandy.  Click here for flight delays; there will be a lot of them starting Sunday night! 

A strong storm is moving our way this weekend

October 10th, 2012 at 9:58 am by under Weather

A strong fall storm system will move into the Midwest on Saturday.  This storm has the potential to produce heavy rain in NE Wisconsin with computer models indicating maximum rain amounts of 1-2”.  Along with the heavy rain, there will be thunderstorms with this system.  The Storm Prediction Center has highlighted a slight risk for severe weather in Southwestern Wisconsin, Southeastern Minnesota, Iowa, and Illinois.  Some storms in the risk area could contain damaging winds and isolated tornadoes.  The Meteorologists at Fox 11 are keeping a close eye on this storm.  Stay tuned for further updates as we get closer to the weekend.

Protecting the Shield; Game Notes

October 7th, 2012 at 11:17 am by under Sports

After the last Packers road game, Ryan Pickett sighed in the locker room.  He talked about how the NFL wants players to uphold the NFL brand, ‘protect the shield,’ so to speak.  The officiating in Seattle didn’t, in his eyes, live up to the same standard.

Fast forward a couple weeks, officiating nonsense is behind us, and nice to see the Packers with a real shield protecting gesture.  A bunch of Green Bay players, including (only limited to the guys I saw while on the field) Jordy Nelson, Randall Cobb, Tramon Williams, Ryan Taylor, Graham Harrell and Casey Hayward warmed up in shirts bearing the phrase “#ChuckStrong,” a nod to the Colts head coach recently diagnosed with leukemia.

A simple gesture, but it doesn’t take much.  Talk about athletes as role models all you want, but sending the message of, ‘hey, there are some things much bigger than winning.  Lots of things,’ that’s a good message to send.  Kudos to these guys for the subtle nod to an opposing head coach and his family going through, surely, a tough time.

Some notes before kickoff …

–Inactives for the Packers include James Starks.  The running back didn’t even appear on the injury report to end the week.  Perhaps it’s just bringing him along slowly … but so much for split carries.  It’s the Cedric Benson show for the time being.  Also, Mike McCarthy always says those final roster spots come down to special teams.  Maybe that’s where Starks needs to step his game up?

–Inactives for the Colts include two corners, Vontae Davis and Justin King.  Look for a pass-happy Packers team.  Active will be Dwight Freeney, who had two sacks (in limited playing time) in last year’s preseason game with the Packers.  At that time, he was going primarily against Chad Clifton.

–Talking to a Colts staffer, apparently Lucas Oil Stadium hosts several high school football games every Friday night.  That’s awesome.  Not talking bad about Lambeau or Camp Randall, the turf here won’t get torn up like a grass (or mostly grass) field would with multiple games per weekend.

Alright, getting ready for kickoff.  Should be fun.  Questions, comments, tweet me @Justin_Felder, and tune into the season’s first edition of Locker Room Live on FOX 11 after the game.


October 1st, 2012 at 2:44 pm by under News


Given the number of recent phone calls, emails and messages we’ve received about where our station is – and now is not – being carried, I thought I would try to explain the issues for everyone.

First, some background:

Industry-wide, the country is divided into 210 markets. The largest is New York City, with Glendive, Montana, the smallest. The Green Bay-Appleton market is the 69th largest, with about 445,000 television homes. Each market has defined boundaries. Our has 17 counties.

However, our market does not include Sheboygan County – which is in the Milwaukee market. And it doesn’t include Michigan’s Upper Peninsula beyond Menominee County.

Why is that important?

The Fox Network is enforcing contract language with companies that retransmit our signal – i.e. TimeWarner or Charter Cable – that only the affiliate for that market be provided on a channel lineup. As such, our signal has been removed from the channel lineups in those areas I mentioned, such as Sheboygan, where just WITI will be provided.

This is not something that is being done at our request, despite the claims of some providers. And we aren’t particularly pleased to losing some of our faithful viewers.

While the Fox Network programming may be the same on WLUK as it is on WITI, many other shows – particularly our newscasts, football shows and ‘Living With Amy’ – are unique to our station. If a cable company chose to carry our signal for our local programs, they would have to block out all the network shows that are duplicated from FOX – and cable companies typically do not provide a channel when they have to block out so many programs.

Viewers losing us through a cable or other provider could try to get our signal with an antenna, but we cannot guarantee success given the distances involved.

We would offer this advice, however: make sure to get an antenna that receives a VHF signal. As assigned by the FCC, WLUK’s broadcast signal is on Channel 11.1. The other stations in the market all use UHF signals (i.e. WBAY is on 23.1). Some stores sell antennae that only receive UHF, so that won’t help you trying to reach us.

Switching providers – such as from cable to satellite – won’t help, either.

The network is not “picking” on WLUK. In fact, we would expect that in Fond du Lac County – which is part of our market – that systems there will be seeing WITI removed from the lineup at some point in the near future for the same reason.

As for why the network would do this, it comes down to protecting the local affiliate within a select market.

If a viewer in Sheboygan County watches “American Idol” on WLUK and records that with Nielsen, we do not get ratings credit for it because it’s outside our market. And because that viewer didn’t watch WITI, they can’t get credit. So, the local affiliate doesn’t get any credit for a viewer that watched American Idol. With Fox 11 taken off the Charter system, now viewers there will have to watch WITI for American Idol – and the station and network will get the appropriate credit.

We know it may not make a lot of sense. The Sheboygan high schools are in a conference with the Green Bay schools, for example. Or maybe you just like our newscasts better. We thank you for that. However, in this case, we are the ones being caught in the middle.

You can still check out many of our stories and features at fox11online.com or through our Facebook page. We do not stream entire newscasts due to a variety of video rights issues.

We again want to offer our thanks to the viewers that we have served over the years.