ST. GERMAIN - Plans for a snowmobile trail in St. Germain have some residents upset with Vilas County.
Tom and Karen Martens have filed a lawsuit to stop the county from building a snowmobile trail that would cross their right of way on Highway 155.
Normally the county can use the right of way for highway purposes. But in 1937 when that right was granted to the highway department for the Martens' land it was through an easement.
The Martens say that means they're the ones who have to give permission for a snowmobile trail to cross their land.
"This is an easement for highway purposes as long as so used. The question is, is a snowmobile trail on the easement a highway purpose? That's what this lawsuit is about. We're in no way trying to stop the snowmobile trail. All we're trying to do is stop the trail from being on our property," says Tom Martens.
The Martens say they're also concerned about safety. President-elect of the Bo-Boen Snowmobile Club, Tom Christensen, says the DOT and Vilas County have deemed it safe.
He also says a snowmobile trail is proper highway use.
"Vilas County and the Department of Transportation have both agreed that the right of way along 155 is a right of way that allows for snowmobile traffic, snowmobile trail system to be placed along the side of Highway 155," says Christensen.
The Martens and other residents have also sent a petition to St. Germain to prevent the trail from crossing private land down the road. The town hasn't made a decision about the petition yet because the ordinance isn't specific about snowmobile trails.
There should be a ruling on the lawsuit December 18th.
STOUGHTON - Police in Stoughton are investigating a threatening letter that was sent to a black teenager, with a photo that depicted him as the victim of a lynching.
The letter had a Madison postmark but no return address. The family told the newspaper it contained a photo showing two men hanging from a tree, with a mob watching. A picture of the 18-year-old was superimposed onto one of the men.
MERRILL - When you think of movies you probably think of Hollywood, but one man from Northcentral Wisconsin is bringing his feature film to the local screen.
Wausau’s Jarrod Crooks not only makes movies, but he also stars in them.
His latest film, "Dispatched" is based off the Elvis Presley movie, “Girl Happy,” says filmmaker Jarrod Crooks. “My character Jake is sent to go watch my bosses daughter while she’s on vacation with a friend. Then an old enemy is kind of after him while he’s on vacation, so some things happen.”
Crooks made, "Dispatched" on a $5,000 budget and it’s full of romance, action, and comedy.
“My buddy would joke with me, ‘why don’t you just pick one genre man and then just go with it'," says Crooks. "I’m like because I want to make this movie how I want to make It'." "I actually like romantic comedies, I think they’re kind of fun, and I think they’re cute. I like action films because I’m a guy, and I like comedy because Jim Carey is great.”
Crooks is only 28 and has already made 4 feature films. His passion started when he was 12 years old.
“I went over to my friend’s house and he had a video camera. I was like oh we should make a movie, and at that time I was really into, “Wishbone,” says Crooks.
“We’d always remake our own literature pieces. Then I saw my first Jackie Chan movie and I’m like, alright it’s settled we’re doing action films from now on," says Crooks. “From then on it was just a love affair with the filmmaking.”
His latest film will be shown at the Cosmo Theatre in Merrill on Saturday at 5pm.
“The fact that I’m bringing it to central Wisconsin is great because this is where I grew up," says Crooks. "All my family and friends get to see it, so I’m very excited about that and you get to see yourself on the big screen what’s better than that.”
Wisconsin court to decide on testing drunk drivers
MADISON - The Wisconsin Supreme Court is set to decide whether police can legally draw suspected drunken drivers' blood without a warrant or driver consent.
The court said it would hear three drunken driving cases, two of which involved a homicide. That announcement came nearly a year after the U.S. Supreme Court ruled on a Missouri case that could call into question Wisconsin's law.
Wisconsin since 1993 has granted police authority to draw drunken driving suspects' blood without a warrant or consent.
About 5,000 people refused to comply with police tests in 2011 and 2012.
The eventual rulings in the three cases are expected to clarify how law enforcement can gather evidence in some Wisconsin drunken driving cases.
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