BLACKWELL - A violent sex offender will potentially be placed in the town of Blackwell in Forest County. Jeffrey LeVasseur was found guilty of first degree sexual assault of a child in 1995.
Residents are unhappy with the idea, but now the Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest is also speaking out against the placement.
The home the state wants to place LeVasseur in is within a half mile of the Bear Lake Campground. In a letter, Regional Forester Kathleen Atkinson stated that if LeVasseur is placed there, they will "strongly consider" closing the Bear Lake Campground.
"They are unwilling to take the risk of having families with kids using the beach, the campground with a sexual predator adjoining the subdivision," said President of the Bear Lake Shores Association Joy Margetta.
The forest service says that more than 5,000 campers and their families used the campground last year. In 2017, the campground generated more than $15,000 for the Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest.
The campground also brings revenue to surrounding towns. Victor Gifford owns the Double Buck Café in Laona. He says the campers bring in a lot of business.
"In a small area that depends really highly on tourism, this will make a huge impact. Even though it seems negligible, it will be a huge impact," said Gifford.
The deadline for Judge Neal Nielsen to make a decision on LeVasseur's placement is Feb. 16.
Later this week WJFW will have more on what residents are doing to try and stop the placement.
MERRILL - A Northwoods school pulled off a big surprise on Friday to honor a few veterans. After months of planning, students and staff at Kate Goodrich Elementary got to see the payoff of all their hard work.
"It was like kind of overwhelming," said Wolfgang Lenk.
Lenk, Todd Annis, and Randy Perry had no idea they would be the guests of honor.
"To see all these kids and knowing how hard they worked selling all this, and now your name comes up that you're one of the three recipients, it was awesome," said Annis.
RHINELANDER - A scoop of frozen custard goes down pretty well on a humid day like the Northwoods saw Friday. Rhinelander's Associated Bank made grabbing a scoop an easy way to help others.
Culver's set up a mobile custard stand outside the new bank building on the corner of Lincoln Street and Oneida Avenue from 12 p.m. to 4 p.m. Fifty cents from every $2.50 cup sold went to Associated Bank's Children's Miracle Network fund.
The bank is hoping to raise $500 through its fundraisers for CMN this month.
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