Case Against Alleged Computer Sex Predator Will Move ForwardSubmitted: 05/20/2013
Ben Meyer
Ben Meyer
Managing Editor / Senior Reporter

Case Against Alleged Computer Sex Predator Will Move Forward
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.

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ARBOR VITAE - An Arbor Vitae restaurant may be relatively new to the area, but regulars quickly started packing the place every Friday for fish fry.

Ron and Marlena Schisel opened Outback 51 about a year ago.

They say it was tough being the "newbies" at first, but their fish fry got people in the door from the start.

Bluegill is the favorite plate at this fish fry.

" Surprisingly we sell more bluegill more than any other fish. It is a Northwood's native fish, people want to see if it takes the fish that they have when they clean fish," says Ron.

Outback 51 serves fish fry Fridays starting at 11 a.m.

Click link below for more info.

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CRANDON - A jury found a Crandon woman guilty Wednesday of trying to sneak narcotics into the Forest County Jail. 

Patricia Kirker was found guilty on all five felonies. 

The jury made its decision in less than an hour.

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EAGLE RIVER - You typically find cotton or denim running through her sewing machine, but Chris Gaffron has been sewing a lot of plastic lately.

"It's just straight stitching, so anyone can do it," Gaffron said.

The "StitchIt" custom embroidery store owner worked on sewing old plastic feed bags from a friend's horse barn, which don't biodegrade.  Gaffron and her friend talked about ways to make better use of the trash and came up with an idea to help the homeless.

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EAGLE RIVER - Now that spring has sprung, many of us will be looking forward to warmer temperatures.

But these cool temperatures are keeping sap harvesters in business.

For the last 23 years, Yukon Jack has made his own maple syrup from trees in his own yard in Eagle River.

"Normally, I make 30 to 40 gallons," said Jack.

This year, things are looking good for Jack and his syrup.

"This is going to be a good year," said Jack.

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CRANDON - A Crandon parent group wants school board members removed in a recall election. That process started Wednesday.

Last Thursday, the board suspended superintendent Dr. Doug Kryder while he's under investigation by the Lincoln County Sheriff's Office.

The group, Citizens United for Education, supported that move, but its concerns extend beyond Kryder. It says the board is unwilling to listen to its concerns.

Community member Jeff Albrecht plans to run in the recall election. Last Monday, he spoke before Kryder, the board, and about 200 people at a school board meeting.

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ASHLAND COUNTY - The Ashland County Board has rejected a $9.5 million wrongful death claim from the family of a 14-year-old boy who was fatally shot by a sheriff's deputy.

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CRANDON - An inmate in the Forest County Jail committed suicide Wednesday morning. 

According to a press release from the Forest County Sheriff's Office, jail staff found the man shortly after 6:30 a.m.

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