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Forest Service may close Bear Lake Campground if sex offender is placed in Blackwell Submitted: 01/21/2018
BLACKWELL - A violent sex offender will potentially be placed in the town of Blackwell in Forest County. Jeffrey LeVasseur was found guilty of first degree sexual assault of a child in 1995.

Residents are unhappy with the idea, but now the Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest is also speaking out against the placement.


The home the state wants to place LeVasseur in is within a half mile of the Bear Lake Campground. In a letter, Regional Forester Kathleen Atkinson stated that if LeVasseur is placed there, they will "strongly consider" closing the Bear Lake Campground. 

"They are unwilling to take the risk of having families with kids using the beach, the campground with a sexual predator adjoining the subdivision," said President of the Bear Lake Shores Association Joy Margetta. 

The forest service says that more than 5,000 campers and their families used the campground last year. In 2017, the campground generated more than $15,000 for the Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest.

The campground also brings revenue to surrounding towns. Victor Gifford owns the Double Buck CafĂ© in Laona. He says the campers bring in a lot of business. 

"In a small area that depends really highly on tourism, this will make a huge impact. Even though it seems negligible, it will be a huge impact," said Gifford.

The deadline for Judge Neal Nielsen to make a decision on LeVasseur's placement is Feb. 16. 

Later this week WJFW will have more on what residents are doing to try and stop the placement. 



Story By: Dakota Sherek

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