MEDFORD - For the first time ever, policemen checked Medford students with metal detectors and pat-downs Friday.
A threat at Medford Area Senior High Thursday sent the district and law enforcement into high alert.
Police won't tell us yet just what the threatening message said. Medford high school staff found it in a girls bathroom at the end of the school day Thursday.
Police and sheriff's deputies worked hard to make sure the school was completely safe.
"Every locker, every classroom, every closet, every nook and cranny was clear of any weapons or anything that could potentially harm students or staff," Medford Police Chief Ken Coyer said.
The district gave parents the option to keep their kids home today.
Only about a quarter of enrolled students at the high school were there today. They were met by a strong police presence.
"We felt it a credible threat, because of the nature of it," District Administrator Pat Sullivan said. "We knew that we had to secure the building for the next day. We felt we could. We really felt we could make the building safe the next day for school."
Even so, Medford wanted to give parents a choice.
Sullivan said he expects school to be back to normal Monday.
Police have what they're calling "persons of interest" right now.
CRANDON - Forest County Sheriff's Deputy Craig Justice was justified in shooting and killing 31-year-old Brandon Cude on Jan. 4, Forest County District Attorney Chuck Simono ruled Friday.
The Wisconsin Department of Justice released the results of its investigation in the case, and Simono's decision, Friday afternoon.
The DOJ documents detail how Cude swung a shotgun at Justice at close range. The deputy had just learned Cude had felony warrants against him, and Justice was trying to arrest Cude. Justice fired four shots on the scene, a rural road south of Crandon.
"He didn't get a shot off?" a fellow officer asked Justice after the shooting.
"No. He tried, though. Pulled that sucker out and pointed it right at me," Justice replied in an exchange recorded on a body camera.
EAGLE RIVER - Vilas County officers can now respond to active shooter calls better prepared.
All deputies and patrol offices now have access to steel-plated body armor, something only the Vilas County SWAT Team had before.
"We want to make sure our staff are fully protected," said Vilas County Sheriff's Office Captain Gerard Ritter. "I never want to see anything happen to any one of my staff. And we should outfit them with the protection they need."
Before the new body armor, Ritter said officers and deputies only had access to soft body armor.
"The weave material is designed to stop or slow down a projectile," said Ritter.
Officers will still wear the soft-bodied armor every day, but in active shooter situations, officers can now essentially double up on protection, protection once only offered to the SWAT Team.
"There has been an increase in active shooter incidences across the United States," said Ritter.
RHINELANDER - Police think an Oneida County man downloaded hundreds of pornographic pictures of young girls using a private chatroom.
During Danial Smith's preliminary hearing Friday, Smith's attorney asked if police had any way of knowing it was his client who downloaded the more than 700 photos.
The state Department of Justice learned a computer near Rhinelander downloaded the pictures in late 2016 thanks to a tip from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children. The internet protocol (IP) addresses from the downloads were linked to Smith's home on County C in the town of Stella.
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