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.
RHINELANDER - Snow plows can't do their job very well when cars sit in their way. That's why Rhinelander's winter parking ban will return in just a couple of weeks.
Starting December 1st, cars can only park on designated sides of the street during the day. On even-numbered days, cars park on the side of the street with even addresses. On odd numbered days, cars must park on odd-numbered sides of the street.
UPDATE: The suspected shooter from a homicide in Tomahawk has been identified as Eric Lee Moen, 32. Tomahawk Police Chief Al Elvins confirmed Moen is being held in the Lincoln County Jail for a 1st-degree intentional homicide charge.
The Lincoln County Clerk of Courts reports Moen is being held on a $1 million cash bond. He has yet to appear in court, but an initial appearance has been set for Monday at 1:30 p.m.
Online court records show Moen was convicted of various traffic offenses. He was also convicted of misdemeanor battery in Portage County from a 2002 case.
Elvins plans to release more information Friday afternoon.
Tomahawk police identified the victim in the city's first shooting homicide in years. Friday morning, Police Chief Al Elvins announced Charles K. Ramp, 52, was shot and killed outside his home on W. Mohawk Drive Thursday night.
Police arrested the suspected shooter, a 32-year-old man from Wausau, but did not identify him. The suspect was found about 130 miles away in Lake Hallie, which is near Eau Claire.
RHINELANDER - The Rhinelander Salvation Army hopes to raise $40,000 in its bell ringing campaign again this year. It reached that goal during the holidays a year ago.
Volunteers kicked off the bell ringing drive at Trig's and Shopko on Friday. Eighty-six percent of money raised stays in the Rhinelander area to help families in emergencies.
"We're very excited that we're keeping our goal at 40 (thousand dollars) this year, and we're hoping that people are continuing to be generous in helping us reach that goal," Rhinelander Salvation Army Kettle Coordinator Kim Swisher said. "People are friendly, they're excited, they're like, 'Oh, it's bell ringing time!' [That] always means the holidays. We're excited about that."
You'll see volunteers at Trig's and Shopko through the holidays. Bell ringing starts at Walmart next week.
ROSENDALE, WI - An explosion and fire at a cheese plant in Fond du Lac County sent one person to the hospital.
The sheriff's office says 36-year-old Travis Klotzbach, of Brandon, was using a cutting torch on an empty 55-gallon barrel in the auto shop at Knaus Cheese near Rosendale when the explosion happened just after 7 a.m. Friday.
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