MINOCQUA - The Minocqua-Hazelhurst-Lake Tomahawk Elementary School will upgrade its cameras and video system this summer, before students return for the fall start of the school year.
The school will be upgrading its analog system to an digital IP based video system with better video quality. MHLT Director of Technology Jay Christgau says they will help staff see what actually happens during fights or bullying situations. He says that people and faces can be blurry on their current system in certain areas.
The upgrade compares to a shift from standard to high-definition television, and will help when they might not discover a problem the day of an incident.
"(You don't find) perhaps some vandalism or something like that until a day or two afterwards," Christgau. "And if we can only identify the players by what they're wearing, we're not going to be able to be successful at it."
Leaders at the school also hope camera upgrades will provide more security, especially after a high school shooting last week in Oregon that ended with a 14-year-old and the shooter dead.
The new system will help police in the area track a person through the school or through the parking lots if needed.
"So it makes it a lot easier to track, if we had a worst case scenario where we needed to track somebody in the building that would be something we could do very easily," Christgau said.
The police dispatch center in the area will also have direct access to the school's camera system.
Christgau says officers will also have access from their squad cars if needed. "They'll be able to use them for other things, but they'll also be hooked up so that they can go in and review our cameras, watch them live, or go in, go back and review previous data," Christgau said.
The school will use a new system called Milestone. It will give school leaders the ability to access the school's cameras on multiple types of digital devices and has a simpler interface.
"(This program) actually has a map of the school, and then you are able to just on the various camera positions so that the user on the client can just click on those cameras and see that image."
The school will save a substantial amount of money by running the lines and installing the cameras themselves. The board set aside $28,540 for the project. The cameras will be set up in the hallways in the school. Christgau says they don't put cameras inside of bathrooms or classrooms at the school.
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.
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.
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.
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.
MINOCQUA - Only about one-third of students showed up to classes at Lakeland Union High School Friday morning, with many staying home after police verified a shooting threat.
More police officers were on hand at the school Friday morning.
On Thursday evening, Minocqua Police Chief Dave Jaeger confirmed the discovery of shooting threats in the ladies' bathroom near the LUHS auditorium. The threat noted an attack would be similar to Wednesday's school shooting in Parkland, Fla., which killed 17 people.
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