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Supreme Court hears Voter ID arguments; League of Women Voters of the Northwoods there to watchSubmitted: 02/25/2014
Ben Meyer
Ben Meyer
Managing Editor / Senior Reporter
bmeyer@wjfw.com

Supreme Court hears Voter ID arguments; League of Women Voters of the Northwoods there to watch
MADISON - Should people have to show ID when they vote?

Wisconsin has been in a two-year legal deadlock over that question.

On Tuesday, the state Supreme Court heard arguments in what could be the final legal fight over that question.

"The right to vote is a fundamental right, in fact, the most fundamental right. It is what drives our democracy," argued plaintiff attorney Lester Pines.

"This case," said Assistant Attorney General Clayton Patrick Kawski, "is not about whether the voter ID law is good public policy. It is instead about whether the legislatute had the authority to enact such a law."

The League of Women Voters brought the lawsuit against the state.

They argued requiring ID takes away a fundamental voting right guaranteed in the state constitution.

Representatives from the League's Northwoods chapter were watching the arguments in court on Tuesday.

"Anything that nibbles away at that right to vote - the League of Women Voters has been fighting for 93 years to make sure people have that right to vote," League of Women Voters of the Northwoods Spokesperson Jane Trotter.

A public release of the Supreme Court's decision could be months away.

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 IN OTHER NEWS

STEVENS POINT - Stevens Point Police are investigating an armed robbery.

Around 6 a.m. Sunday morning, police and Portage County Sheriff Deputies responded to a report of an armed robbery at the R Store in the 5400 block of HWY 10 E in Stevens Point. Police say during the initial investigation, they determined an armed suspect displayed a weapon and took money from the store.

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BOULDER JUNCTION - People from as far as Iowa and New York travelled to the Northwoods on Saturday to take on a unique challenge. Boulder Junction held a new winter sports event that proved to be quite a success.

"I'm just really happy to see this all come together," said Boulder Junction Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Theresa Smith.

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PELICAN LAKE - Tribal members from across Wisconsin held a Deep Winter Camp to pass on parts of their cultures.
Members from several different tribes wanted to give kids the chance to experience a piece of their culture.
They hope the camp encourages younger members to keep traditions going and never forget where they came from.
"They're going to be the next teachers they're good kids and we all love every kid that came here and spent time with us. They all learned something and they'll take it back and teach others," said Lac du Flambeau Band Vice Chairman John Johnson Sr.

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CONOVER - Hundreds of people gathered in Conover to celebrate all things winter. On Saturday the fifth annual Northwoods Blizzard Blast was held. 

There were horse drawn sleigh rides, sledding, giant ski races, and plenty of other winter activities.

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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.

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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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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.

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