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First arguments to jury heard in case of 2011 Oneida County attempted robbery, shootingSubmitted: 01/22/2018
RHINELANDER - A jury of eight men and six women will decide whether a 30-year-old Wisconsin man is guilty of a 2011 shooting near Three Lakes.

The trial against Edwin Hughes started Monday morning in Oneida County Court.

Prosecutors accuse Hughes of three felonies tied to a botched armed robbery seven years ago. That attempted robbery ended with the victim alive, but shot in the knees.

Police believe Hughes and Daniel Frausto broke into the home of Donald DalPonte in February 2011, seeking to steal his money. DalPonte owned Weasel's, a gentleman's club in Three Lakes, at the time.


Frausto gave a 2012 confession to police in which he said he and Hughes forced their way into DalPonte's home. While trying to intimidate DalPonte into giving up money, Hughes shot DalPonte through the knees. They ended up leaving without taking anything of value.

Lawyers in the case spent most of the morning in jury selection. Just before noon, they gave their opening statements.

Oneida County District Attorney Mike Schiek promised the jury they would hear enough evidence to convict Hughes. Defense attorney Beth Svehlek argued no weapon or fingerprints were ever found, and Frausto's account isn't credible.

In addition to the Oneida County charges, Hughes currently faces burglary, theft, or robbery charges in Fond du Lac, Dane, Calumet and Outagamie counties.

The Oneida County trial is scheduled to last through Wednesday.

Story By: Ben Meyer

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 LOCAL NEWS

ABBOTSFORD -
Two people died and another person went to the hospital after a shooting in Abbotsford early Saturday morning.

In a press release, Colby-Abbotsford Police Chief Jason Bauer says the suspect is 26-year-old Tyler Zimmerman.


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ONEIDA COUNTY - The Oneida County Highway Department spent most of the morning preparing for the winter weather parts of the state are expecting to see. 

Highway Commissioner Bruce Stefonek to get an update as to what the highway department has been doing to prepare. 

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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.

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RHINELANDER - Plenty of people set out to stock up on winter gear in preparation of the upcoming snowfall on Monday. Owner of Mel's Trading Post Mitch Mode says customers have been coming in to buy mittens, gloves, and hats to make sure they're prepared.

"Because when it's 40 degrees on Friday and Saturday you get kind of blasé about things and then you see a forecast which says six or eight or ten inches of snow on Monday, you get kind of serious again," said Mode.

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 REGIONAL NEWS

MADISON - Falling out of a tree stand can be a real risk for hunters.

Spinal injuries make up more than half the injuries suffered in falls from tree stands.

Wisconsin Public Radio reports that a review of the University of Wisconsin Hospital and Clinics' trauma database for tree stand-related injuries from 1999 to 2013 shows 55 percent resulted in one or more spinal injuries.

The review looked at 117 patients who were hurt.

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MADISON (AP) - In a tack to the left in an election year, Wisconsin Republican Gov. Scott Walker says he wants a state law to guarantee people with pre-existing conditions don't lose health insurance.


He also wants Wisconsin to join Minnesota, Oregon, Hawaii and Alaska in obtaining a federal waiver to offer reinsurance. That is a move designed to lower premiums for people in the private insurance marketplace.

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ASHLAND - The death of a teen carrying a butcher knife who was shot by an Ashland County Sheriff's Deputy led to a march, rallies, and community discussions about police relations.

Friday, a special prosecutor cleared the deputy in that shooting.

Ashland County Sheriff's Deputy Brock Mrdjenovich shot and killed Jason Pero, 14, in November.

Police believe Pero wanted to die.

In a 911 call, the teen was the one who told police someone was walking around with a knife that day. Pero described a a guy walking around outside his house with a knife. The man was wearing a purple sweatshirt. 

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MADISON - The University of Wisconsin-Madison has announced plans to give faculty and staff a 4 percent pay increase over the next year.

The Wisconsin State Journal reports that a 2 percent pay raise would occur in July followed by another 2 percent increase January 2019.

The university says employees must have started in their current positions by Jan. 8, be meeting performance expectations and must complete campus sexual harassment training to qualify for the raise.

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