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U.P. man arrested after online sex sting in MinocquaSubmitted: 03/18/2013
Lane Kimble
Lane Kimble
News Director
lkimble@wjfw.com

U.P. man arrested after online sex sting in Minocqua
MINOCQUA - A Michigan man hoped the internet would help him have sex with an underage girl. Instead, he ended up in a jail cell.

Police caught him thanks to a statewide effort that nabbed 16 other online predators during a three-day stretch.

Minocqua Police helped arrest this man, 24-year-old Benjamin Lahti last Tuesday. Lahti lives in Ironwood, Michigan and had posted an ad asking for sex on Craigslist.

Someone who he thought was a 15-year-old girl responded. He sent her naked pictures of himself and wanted to meet her for sex in Mincoqua.

But his contact was actually an undercover officer working with the Door County Sheriff's Office.

Members of the joint, statewide Internet Crimes against Children operation applauded the efforts today in Green Bay.

"We want to make sure the public is made away of what's going on in their community," Brown County Sheriff John Gossage said. "And that this will not be tolerated in the state of Wisconsin, on a county level, on a city level. It's going to be stopped."

Lahti faces felony counts for using a computer to facilitate a child sex crime and for exposing a child to harmful material. He faces more than 43 years in prison if found guilty.

He'll be back in court later this month.

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 IN OTHER NEWS
What We're Working OnSubmitted: 02/22/2018

- Tonight on Newswatch 12:

People hoping to keep a violent child sex offender from moving into their Forest County community needed to go to Shawano County to make their case today. Newswatch 12's Dakota Sherek is there and will bring you updates on what happens at the hearing and the judge's ruling which we expect tonight.

We talk to two local resource officers about how their jobs have changed over the years. Some of that change has happened because of school violence across the country and right here in the Northwoods.

And we talk to the executive director of the Birkebeiner race in Hayward about the enthusiasm people in the area have with the big event coming up this weekend.

We'll bring you the details on these stories and more tonight on Newswatch 12 - news from where you live.

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MINOCQUA - You don't need to wait for the grass to turn green for golfing.

Minocqua's Ice Golf is an end of season charity tournament coming up on March 3rd.

The tournament raised more than $18,000  last year for charities including the food pantry and Dr. Kate Hospice.

It has become a Northwoods tradition for some people.

"First year we had it, we had only like 35 golfers, now last year we had over 300 golfers," says Albee's owner Randy Albrecht.

If you don't have a group, they'll put into one.

After everyone is done putting, there will be dinner and a raffle.

For tickets and info call: Albee's Yacht Club at 715-356-1366 OR The Thirsty Whale at 715-356-7108.


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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.

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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.

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RHINELANDER - Wednesday morning multiple fire agencies responded to a fire in Sugar Camp. That response was made much easier with MABAS. MABAS stands for Mutual Aid Box Alarm System. Agencies use MABAS to call other departments from the area to help with emergencies like fires or mass casualties. 

Wednesday night, fire departments from across Oneida County met at Nicolet College for an exercise using MABAS. The exercise gave first responders the experience of responding to a large incident in a learning environment.

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MINOCQUA - Kevin Bolger worked hard to get to this moment.

The Lakeland Union High School grad has won his fair share of cross-country ski races since earning a high school state championship title in 2011.

But now he'll get the opportunity to represent the United States at the Cross Country World Cup series in Finland and Sweden next month. 

"Skiing at this level is kind of like the next step you want to get to and ski at. I'm just beyond, I can't really explain it, I'm just super excited," said Bolger. 

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TOMAHAWK - A two-time World Snowmobile Derby Champion raced for something bigger than just himself at last month's derby.

Tomahawk native Nick Van Strydonk decided to design a custom racing suit and matching helmet to be auctioned off the last day of the derby.

Wednesday, he lived up to that promise with a larger donation than he ever expected.

"I'm glad I was at work and sitting down in my chair because it was mind blowing," said Van Strydonk.

At this year's derby in Eagle River, Van Strydonk raced in a custom made suit and helmet which he planned to auction off the last day of the derby.

"It was actually a really cool suit and I only wore it once," said Van Strydonk.

He planned to raise enough money to send at least three veterans on the Never Forgotten Honor Flight which is about $1,500 but much like his competition, he blew that goal away.

"I believe we were just at $5,000," said Van Strydonk.

Strydonk donated $3,000 to the Honor Flight Foundation which will send six veterans on an upcoming flight. He also gave Wounded Warriors $1,000 and $500 to the Tomahawk VFW Post Wednesday.

"It never ceases to amaze me the gratitude and the love that the people of Tomahawk and surrounding A two-time World Snowmobile Derby Champion raced for something bigger than just himself at last month's derby.

Tomahawk native Nick Van Strydonk decided to design a custom racing suit and matching helmet to be auctioned off the last day of the derby.

Wednesday, he lived up to that promise with a larger donation than he ever expected.

"I'm glad I was at work and sitting down in my chair because it was mind blowing," said Van Strydonk.

At this year's derby in Eagle River, Van Strydonk raced in a custom made suit and helmet which he planned to auction off the last day of the derby.

"It was actually a really cool suit and I only wore it once," said Van Strydonk.

He planned to raise enough money to send at least three veterans on the Never Forgotten Honor Flight which is about $1,500 but much like his competition, he blew that goal away.

"I believe we were just at $5,000," said Van Strydonk.

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