NEWS STORIES

Case Against Alleged Computer Sex Predator Will Move ForwardSubmitted: 05/20/2013

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RHINELANDER - In March, Benjamin Lahti posted on Craigslist he wanted sex.

A girl claiming to be 15 years old responded to the 24-year-old Ironwood man.

They planned to meet in Minocqua.

That's when Lahti was arrested as part of a statewide internet sex predator sting.

"I asked if he knew why I wanted to talk to him. He stated because of the 15-year-old girl he was supposed to meet," testified Minocqua Police Sgt. Jason Benbenek.

Lahti was actually messaging an undercover sheriff's deputy.

On Monday court, Lahti's defense lawyer tried to say he may not have known the girl was underage.

Oneida County Judge Michael Bloom threw out that claim.

He also wondered what might have happened in a different situation.

"Instead of Officer Benbenek being there, there was a vehicle with a female, physically mature, 15 years old - who knows what would have happened, under those circumstances?" said Bloom.

Judge Bloom found enough evidence to move forward with a felony sex crime charge.

Lahti will return to court on June 10th.

Story By: Ben Meyer

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 IN OTHER NEWS
Wisconsin DNR lightens 22 year restrictions on largemouth bass Submitted: 04/21/2014

WISCONSIN - Anglers in northern Wisconsin can keep largemouth bass this season for the first time in 22 years.

The bass season has been catch-and-release in northern Wisconsin since 1992.

But DNR leaders say the fish is doing so well that this year anglers can take them home. The largemouth season runs from May 3 to March 1, 2015.

Some restrictions still apply on smallmouths in the northern zone, however. Anglers still must immediately release smallmouth bass caught between May 3 and June 20.

But between June 21 and March, they can take home smallmouth bass that are 14 inches long.

Daily bag limits are five bass total

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OWI hefty, but not enough to keep from drunk driving Submitted: 04/21/2014

WISCONSIN - OSHKOSH, Wis. (AP) The fine for a first drunken-driving offense, including court costs and surcharges, can be as high as $1,000. But industry experts are questioning whether heavy fines serve as effective enough deterrents.

A Northwestern Media report says the actual fine ranges from $150 to $300. But court costs can add $600 to $700.

Nina Emerson is a former director of the Resource Center for Impaired Driving at the University of Wisconsin Law School. She says a hefty fine is a "hollow threat." She says options like sobriety checkpoints are what get people's attention.

Democratic state Representative Jon Richards of Milwaukee says fines play an important role in deterring drunken drivers. He says it's just one part of the deterrence effort, and he'd like to see overall penalties get tougher.

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First indoor Easter egg huntSubmitted: 04/20/2014

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MANITOWISH WATERS - Most Easter egg hunts take place outside.

But with the recent snow fall, some were in danger of being canceled.

One Northwoods camp found an alternative to keep the festivities going.

Camp Jorn YMCA in Manitowish Waters hosted their first Easter Egg Hunt.

More than 30 kids ran around inside of the camp.

Camp Jorn daycamp director says they got the idea from Boulder Junction's Easter Egg Hunt.

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Wisconsin DNR assessing winter deer killSubmitted: 04/20/2014

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MADISON - Wisconsin wildlife officials are using road-kill and radio-tracking data to assess the harsh winter's effect on the state's deer herd.

Department of Natural Resources staffers are looking for 10 carcasses in every county so they can check a number of biological signs, such as fat stores and pregnancy.

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Support for survivors of suicide Submitted: 04/20/2014

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RHINELANDER - Losing someone to suicide can be difficult.

But it's a reality some families in the Northwoods have to live with.

The suicide rate in north-central Wisconsin has gone up in 2013.

Suicide experts believe high levels of depression and alcoholism in Wisconsin contribute to more suicides.

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Celebrating Easter Sunday traditionally Submitted: 04/20/2014

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RHINELANDER - People celebrate Easter Sunday in different forms of fashion.

Some might have Easter breakfast or have their own Easter Egg Hunt.

Others might take a traditional route and head to church.

Newswatch 12s Shardaa Gray found out how one church celebrates Easter Sunday.

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Easter weekend brings in more businessSubmitted: 04/19/2014

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MINOCQUA - Easter weekend normally brings in a lot of tourist.

For business owners, that means an increase in sales.

The Pine Cone Boutique in Minocqua says they've seen an increase in customers.

They're right off Highway 51 North, right next to McDonald's.

One of the sales associates just started working there.

But she could tell that business picked up quickly.

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