Loading
Search
TOP STORY

Shawano Co. judge temporarily stops Forest Co. sex offender placementSubmitted: 02/23/2018

Play Video
SHAWANO COUNTY - Thursday marked a big victory for a group of people wanting to keep a sex offender out of their Forest County neighborhood. A Shawano County Judge ruled in favor of continuing an order that stops Jeffrey LeVasseur from moving to Blackwell.

The hearing itself lasted about seven and a half hours on Thursday. But to the Blackwell residents in the civil case, the lengthy trial was worth the outcome.


"I'm almost overwhelmed, I'm relieved," said Clair Carty, a Bear Lake Shores Resident. 

"I think that justice prevailed today," said Bill Gebhard, another Bear Lake Shores Resident. 

It was an emotional day for a group of passionate neighbors.

"Creekside Cabin [in the Bear Lake Shores neighborhood] is sacred ground to me. If there were a house full of sex offenders next door it would be ruined," said Sherry Pethers, who also lives in Bear Lake Shores.

The Bear Lake Shores Neighborhood Association argued in court Thursday to try to keep sex offender Jeffrey LeVasseur from moving in. The neighborhood has a covenant, or rule, against homes being used for commercial use.

"Other than the fact it violated the covenants, it was the worst possible way somebody could violate our covenants that I can think of," said Association President Joy Margetta.

The Bear Lake Shores neighborhood association filed a civil suit against GWB Ventures, LLC, which owns LeVassuer's potential home on Big Cub Trail.

GWB wants to lease the home to the Department of Health Services to place sex offenders there.
"You can't rent a place for $2,500 a month and say it's not commercial," said Pethers.

The defense argued that the lease is a residential agreement, not a commercial one.

"I base that on my experience. I've seen that verbiage before in covenants. It never pertained to residential leases," said GWB Ventures Owner Greg Barber. 

The defense also argued that the neighborhood association made last minute changes to their covenant, adding specifications to their definition of commercialization after learning of LeVasseur's potential placement.

Margetta responded that the association would have taken the same action regardless if anyone tried to rent a property in the neighborhood.

"We knew that the covenants did not permit commercialization. However, at the recommendation of the attorneys they felt that we should clarify, specifically clarify by amendment, the intent of the original covenant," said Margetta.

Ultimately, Judge William Kussel disagreed with GWB Ventures reasoning.

"That's (the lease agreement with DHS) commercialization. In fact, it's clear that this is done as a money-making type of a venture for GWB," said Kussel. He also determined that the amendment to the covenant was filed by the association properly. 

The judge granted a preliminary injunction that will keep LeVasseur from being placed. Leaving Bear Lake Shores residents feeling hopeful.

"It looks like we can prevail in this," said Carty.

Another hearing will be scheduled with Judge Kussell to decide whether to make the preliminary injunction a permanent one.


Story By: Dakota Sherek

Text Size: + Increase | Decrease -
 Print Story Print Story | Email Story Email Story



 LOCAL NEWS

Play Video

WOODRUFF - Highway 47 in Woodruff temporarily closed down this afternoon so a MedEvac helicopter could lift a man to the hospital after a snowmobile accident. 

A group of snowmobilers were on the trail next to Highway 47 just south of Walter Dr. when one of the snowmobilers hit a bump and was thrown off his sled. 

"They were all traveling the same direction, just hit one of the bumps in the trail and that's what caused everything to happen," said Woodruff Police Officer Jeremy Herrmann. 

The man was airlifted to a hospital and has unknown injuries. 

The crash happened around 4 p.m. 

Highway 47 was closed in both directions for nearly half an hour, causing a backup of cars. 

The DNR, Oneida County Sheriff's Office, Minocqua Police and Fire Departments, and Woodruff Police and Fire Departments all responded.

+ Read More

MILWAUKEE - A Wausau-based company that makes architectural metal finishing took home a big honor Thursday night.  Linetec won the Wisconsin Manufacturers and Commerce's Manufacturer of the Year Award in the Large Company category.

The annual awards program celebrates Wisconsin companies that are well respected, serve their communities, and make Wisconsin "a better place to live, work, and play", according to a press release from the WMC.

+ Read More

WAUSAU - Police arrested a Florence County man in connection to a Wausau homicide case this week.
Online court records show Lee Franck, 56 doesn't face homicide charges, but instead domestic abuse counts.

According to the Wausau Pilot and Review paper, the criminal complaint shows Franck got into an argument with Lyle Leith a few days before the 77-year-old was found dead at his Wausau home on Kickbusch Street.

+ Read More

MINOCQUA - A Lakeland Union High School student could face punishment for putting a shooting threat in a bathroom last week.

According to a press release, the Minocqua Police Department believes the girl officers talked to today is likely the person who left graffiti referencing the Parkland, Florida school shooting in an LUHS girls' bathroom on Thursday.

+ Read More
+ More Local News



 REGIONAL NEWS

MADISON - An effort to clean up voting records caused problems for some voters during Tuesday's spring primary.

Some voters' information was removed, even though it was current.

+ Read More

ELKHART, IN - Shelters are open to assist people forced from their homes by flooding as rivers swollen by heavy rain and melting snow rise in Indiana, Michigan and other parts of the Midwest.

Flood warnings are in effect for parts of several states Thursday, from Wisconsin, Illinois and Ohio to Texas and Louisiana.

+ Read More

MINNEAPOLIS - 3M Co. says it is settling a lawsuit by the state of Minnesota over chemical disposal without admitting a public health issue.

3M agreed to pay $850 million just as the lawsuit was about to go to trial. It revolves around 3M's disposal of perfluorochemicals, used for years in products like Scotchgard.

+ Read More

MADISON - A missing person case in Wisconsin ended in the death of a veteran last year.

A bill passed last night aims to prevent a similar situation from happening again.

Veteran Corey Adams was found dead in a pond more than two weeks after he went missing in Milwaukee last year.

+ Read More
+ More Regional News
Search: 











Click Here