MINOCQUA - Plans for a new highway in Minocqua have been in affect for a while now.
The Department of transportation is hoping that highway 51 will have some new changes that will affect the community in a positive way.
"When we're done we'll have all new pavement. A lot safer. We'll have bicycles facilities on the road and bicycle facilities off the road," said DOT Project Development Supevisor, Robin Stafford.
"We've put sidewalks on both sides so pedestrians will be easier getting up and down the highway. There will be a lot of benefits to the new project."
But Minocqua business owners don't see it that way.
"Being as if there's really only one main artery from south going through the Northwoods in this area and it's right out here in our front door, it's really going to have a negative impact." said Kurts Island Sports Shop Owner, Kurt Justice.
In fact some owners think the process and the finished product will take away some of their profits.
But the DOT seems to be locked in.
"Unfortunately with such a big project like this you can't really appease to everyone," Stafford said.
"And so there is some people up there who aren't happy, but again overall I think the community and the traveling public will be very happy with the product when it's done."
Even though it has been set in stone for Minocqua, residents are hoping DOT will take their opinions into consideration.
"The Minocqua project is scheduled to start this spring and we're hoping that the DOT still has room for modification and changes based on some of the discussions that we had at town hall last Friday." said 34th District Assembly Representative Rob Swearingen.
Now projects in other towns such as Arbor Vitae, Hazelhurst and Woodruff have not been finalized.
Swearingen suggests that if you want to voice your opinions on the project, you should contact your town board and chairman.
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.
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.
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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