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How you can avoid an expensive water main break

WAUKESHA/MILWAUKEE (WITI) — It has been the busiest winter in several years for area water departments dealing with water main breaks. There are some simple steps you can take to save yourself thousands of dollars in repair costs.

“It could reach the $4,000, $5,000 range if you have to dig up in the road,” Waukesha Water Utility General Manager Dan Duchniak said.

Don’t want to rack up those kinds of costs? Avoiding a water main break can be as simple as running your water for a few minutes several times a day.

“The frost has been driven down into the ground — farther than we have seen in a number of years and right now, we’ve seen frost as deep as six feet in the ground,” Duchniak said.

That’s deep enough to reach the water mains, as well as the pipes that connect your hose to the water main — called laterals.

Milwaukee Art Museum offering free admission February 6th

MILWAUKEE (WITI) — The Milwaukee Art Museum is offering free admission to all visitors on Thursday, February 6th. Free admission includes access to the entire Museum — including the new feature exhibition, Uncommon Folk: Traditions in American Art. 

Thanks to a generous grant from Target, the Museum offers free admission on the first Thursday of every month. All are welcome – not just Milwaukee County residents.

Events on Thursday include exhibition tours, live music at noon with The Ernie Brusubardis Duo, and a lecture at 6:15 p.m. on contemporary artist Dirk Skreber. All events are free and open to the public.

Three law enforcement agencies seeking two burglary suspects

NEW BERLIN (WITI) — Law enforcement officials in New Berlin, Mequon and Washington County are seeking the public’s help in locating two burglary suspects.

Police say the latest burglary happened in New Berlin during the daylight hours of January 10th.

FOX6 News spoke with a burglary victim inside her New Berlin home. She didn’t want to be identified, but is looking forward to closure — when police have the suspects in this case in custody.

“You can’t worry about things like that every day. We’ll get some closure on this,” the woman told FOX6 News.

The woman says she came into her home and the door was broken down — possibly with a crowbar.

“We looked around and nothing was disturbed downstairs. I went upstairs and everything was taken out of my jewelry box. That was the only thing they took was the jewelry. Then we looked (outside) and saw footprints,” the victim said.

Couples challenge Wisconsin’s ban on same-sex marriage

MADISON (WITI) — Four couples, including two from the Milwaukee area, filed suit in Madison on Monday, February 3rd challenging the validity of Wisconsin’s ban on same-sex marriage. They say the ban violates the U.S. Constitution. Gov. Scott Walker, Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen and Milwaukee County Clerk Joseph Czarnecki are listed among those being sued.

The plaintiffs in this lawsuit include three couples which seek to marry — and one couple that has already been married in another jurisdiction and wants Wisconsin to recognize that marriage. The American Civil Liberties Union is representing the couples.

“I would much prefer to have things changed by the legislature and elected officials as opposed to a group of liberal activists filing a lawsuit in court hoping that that’s the way they’re going to overturn the law,” said Assembly Speaker Robin Vos (R).

Mötley Crüe to headline Summerfest on Friday, July 4th

Motley CrueMILWAUKEE (WITI) – MÖTLEY CRÜE with very special guest, Alice Cooper will headline the Marcus Amphitheater at Summerfest on Friday, July 4th.

With over 80 million albums sold, MÖTLEY CRÜE has sold out countless tours across the globe and spawned more than 2,500 MÖTLEY CRÜE branded items sold in over 30 countries.

DOT creates snow fences to help keep drivers safe

PORT WASHINGTON (WITI) — The Wisconsin Department of Transportation is using a tool to help keep drivers safe while battling the whipping winds of winter. It’s something you probably pass every day without even noticing.

“Whether it’s permanent snow fences or temporary snow fences, we have programs in place for some of our more rural roads,” said Mike Pyritz with the Wisconsin DOT.

One fence, built on I-43 near Port Washington a few years ago was a pilot program of sorts, as the structure is much larger than a typical snow fence. The stretch of highway had a history of high winds and drifting snow.

“One of the leading problems that we have with the wind and the snow is creating the black ice on the roadways, so we try to monitor and make the adjustments to keep the roadways just as safe as possible,” said Pyritz.

Strong winds, winter weather causing problems for drivers

OAK CREEK (WITI) — Southeast Wisconsin has not only been dealing with snow and frigid temperatures, strong winds have begun causing problems for drivers. Truck drivers say a heavy gust can actually lift a wheel or two off the pavement.

“This is enough to give you a little bit of a jump,” said truck driver Steve Miranda. “Even driving a big rig — granted, it’s empty — going south and the wind coming from the west, you can still feel it shake.”

Strong winds have been making travel difficult all around the area. Wind speeds on Friday were forecasted to be between 20 and 35 miles an hour. By Friday morning, January 24th, gusts in Milwaukee had peaked at 44 miles and hour.