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NEWS STORIES

Lincoln County Joins Fight Against Online PredatorsSubmitted: 04/24/2013

Ben Meyer
Executive Producer
bmeyer@wjfw.com


MERRILL - Parents worry about who might find their kids online.

But Wisconsin's Attorney General wants to make sure your kids are safe, even virtually.

A Wisconsin task force arrested 131 suspected child predators last year.

By joining the Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force, Lincoln County will now be able to tap into that law enforcement push.

The Lincoln County Sheriff's Office will now be able to use training and investigators from the state Department of Justice to help find predators.

"I think everywhere, we're dealing with everyone with computers, text messaging, video messaging, so it's readily available to even the young and old alike. With that growing, we need to keep up with the times," says Sgt. Investigator Tom Barker of Lincoln County.

Almost 200 law enforcement agencies have joined the Task Force since 2007.

Marathon County joined in February.

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 IN OTHER NEWS

MADISON - A convicted sex offender from Rhinelander can keep pictures of children he cut out of magazines.

A state appeals court dismissed new charges against Albert Chagnon Thursday.

Prosecutors charged the 33-year-old last year with 23 counts of intentionally photographing a minor without consent. Chagnon was about to be released from prison when a guard discovered a notebook in his pants containing photographs of fully-clothed young girls cut out of magazines or newspapers, including the Lakeland Times.

Chagnon argued that the charges should be dismissed because he didn't take the photographs. The 4th District Court of Appeals agreed with him Thursday, saying state law doesn't cover Chagnon's conduct.

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MERRILL - All K-8 students in Merrill Schools will get their own iPads this fall.

Wednesday, teachers were trained on how to use the new technology.

Last year, six third grade classrooms tried out how it would work.

District leaders said parents and students involved in the pilot program liked it.

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MADISON - A former leader of the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources says the agency's new reorganization plan won't fix its problems.

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EAGLE RIVER - Keeping the Northwoods wooded is Trees for Tomorrow's basic goal. This weekend, they'll show people why that goal is important to them, when the organization hosts Forest Fest in Eagle River on Saturday.

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RHINELANDER - Thousands of people will come to the Oneida County Fair starting Thursday.

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BOULDER JUNCTION - A Vilas County shooting range will get some financial aid thanks to the Wisconsin DNR.

The Boulder Junction Shooting Range got a grant for venue upgrades.

The range also got a grant last year.

It used the money to make its facilities handicap accessible.

Range officials say they will use this year's grant for additions.

Those include making the space more energy efficient.

"[The] money will be used for insulating the clubhouse," says Secretary of the Boulder Junction Shooting Range Pete Drahn. "It'll be used to remove doors and windows that we no longer need, and to replace a window with a more energy efficient window."

The range has gotten grants two years in a row, but it won't happen again next year.

"They've told everybody that received the grants this year that they'll start doing grants only every other year for someone who has received it," says Drahn. "So at the earliest, it would be the year after next."

The range's board members want to make the venue better for shooters, but they say they couldn't have done it without the grant's help.

"These are projects we probably wouldn't do for eons," says Drahn. "We don't receive any money from anybody except the users of the range. So we don't have a lot for our capital needs."

The range also plans to install a new fence to improve the facility's safety.

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