WATERSMEET - The late April sun worked hard to melt snow away today. Many people welcomed the spring-like weather. But even some snow lovers were happy.
Places like Watersmeet in the Upper Peninsula still have a foot and a half of snow. Chamber Officer Robert Zelinski wishes it didn't.
"Snowmobile trails aren't groomed and its been too warm, actually, to groom cross country ski trails also. So we've had all this wonderful April snow and haven't been able to use it," says Robert Zelinski, Watersmeet Chamber of Commerce Officer,
Snowshoers can still make use of the soft snow, but that's about it. Even with the late season snow, it hasn't helped Watersmeet much.
"Although we've had ideal conditions almost, the whole region has had a lot of snow. So that, that means that we don't get as much customers as we might get if we were the only place that had snow," says Robert Zelinski.
Travel though the area during the winter months was difficult because of large snow depths.
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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