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Shoppers make returns and look for deals the day after Christmas

MENOMONEE FALLS (WITI) — Christmas may be over but the holiday shopping season continues as many retailers were ready for the day after Christmas crowds. The shoppers were ready, too!

“You just want to get in get it done,” said Angela Brill. “You are coming early so you don’t have to face the big crowds.”

Many shoppers were surprised there wasn’t as big of a crowd as was expected, even as the day progressed.

“It wasn’t bad at all. I thought it would have been worse,” said Sam Uselman.

“I thought it might be really busy this morning, but I don’t have to battle against lots of other people so that’s good,” said Linda Runingen.

The day after Christmas is usually a very popular day to head to department stores, especially for returns and exchanges.

146 Wisconsin soldiers return home from Afghanistan

WAUKESHA (WITI) — Soldiers from Pewaukee’s 372nd Engineer Company returned home on Christmas Eve — Tuesday, December 24th after a seven-month deployment to Afghanistan.

The engineers served in a variety of positions throughout Southern and Eastern Afghanistan training Afghan Army engineers, supporting Coalition forces, and working on special missions with Australian and Romanian Coalition Partners.

The 146 soldiers were honored at a “welcome home” ceremony at the Waukesha County Expo Center at 2 p.m. Tuesday.

The Schmitz family knows what the perfect Christmas gift is! Having their loved one, Sgt. Joel Schmitz home just in time for Christmas!

“I can’t even express the emotion,” Samantha Schmitz said.

Loved ones of Sgt. Schmitz were among those in the crowd as the soldiers were welcomed home on Tuesday.

Where in the world is Santa Claus? Check NORAD’s Santa Radar

NORTH POLE (WITI) — All the preparations are in place for Santa’s journey around the world on Christmas night. Now you can track his progress as he delivers toys to boys and girls everywhere. Just click the SANTA RADAR.

For more than 50 years, NORAD and its predecessor, the Continental Air Defense Command (CONAD) have tracked Santa’s flight.

The tradition began in 1955 after a Colorado Springs-based Sears Roebuck & Co. advertisement for children to call Santa misprinted the telephone number. Instead of reaching Santa, the phone number put kids through to the CONAD Commander-in-Chief’s operations “hotline.” The Director of Operations at the time, Colonel Harry Shoup, had his staff check the radar for indications of Santa making his way south from the North Pole. Children who called were given updates on his location, and a tradition was born.

Snow storm hampers holiday travel in Southeast Wisconsin

Snow storm hampers holiday travel in Southeast Wisconsin

A massive winter storm system moved into the Midwest early Sunday morning that is hampering one of the busiest travel periods of the year.

Freezing rain, snow, ice, flooding and even tornadoes have plagued the entire Midwest since Friday. An area that stretched from the Louisiana Gulf Coast to Eastern Canada also suffered the fury of Old Man Winter. Travel conditions in the greater Milwaukee area were fair at best.

Conditions were acceptable for those who took to the roads and skies just before noon Saturday. But within a few short hours, motorists dealt with slippery roads while flight cancellations and delays quickly mounted.

Village of Butler declares a snow emergency

BUTLER (WITI) — The Village of Butler has declared a snow emergency beginning at midnight through 3 p.m. on Sunday, December 22nd.

All vehicles must be moved off public streets during these times. Free off-street parking will be allowed at any of the three municipal lots.

Vehicles left on the street during the snow emergency are subject to being ticketed and towed.

“Holiday Mail for Heroes” brings hope to troops, veterans

MILWAUKEE (WITI) — It’s been nearly 60 years since Bill Murgas served in the military, but he still remembers the impact of a piece of mail.

“It reminds me of my own service and what I did during the service,” said Murgas.

Murgas and his fellow American Red Cross volunteers are sorting through 15,000 cards collected for our military and veterans.

“I think it’s great because we didn’t have such a thing when I was in, people didn’t have much regard for the military then,” said Murgas.

The Holiday Mail for Heroes will be delivered to hometown veterans and shipped to troops serving across the country and overseas. This campaign empowers the community to send cards of thanks and support for their sacrifices.

2014 Wisconsin State Parks stickers now on sale

MADISON (WITI) — The 2014 Wisconsin State Park stickers are now on sale at state park facilities and Department of Natural Resources service centers statewide.

The winning design for the 2014 Wisconsin State Parks admission sticker features a turtle and was designed by Ursula Reid, a junior at Cedarburg High School. The winning design was selected from 220 entries into the design contest. It will be printed on state park and forest annual vehicle admission stickers and displayed on more than 150,000 vehicles.

The vehicle admission stickers provide access to more than 60 state park, forest and recreation area properties across Wisconsin. The stickers are required on all motor vehicles stopping in state parks and recreation areas. Some state forest and trail parking areas also require a sticker.