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Number of people apprehended at northern border on the riseSubmitted: 05/14/2019
Rose McBride
Rose McBride
Reporter/Anchor
rmcbride@wjfw.com

Number of people apprehended at northern border on the rise
SAULT STE. MARIE - Migrants crowd the southern border every day. 

Border patrol agents have already detained more people trying to cross the southern border this fiscal year than last.


The fiscal year is only about halfway over. 

The increase has forced border patrol agents on the Canadian border to head south.

But there has been an increase in apprehensions at the northern border as well. 

Newswatch12's Rose McBride took a trip to the border in Sault Ste. Marie Michigan to find out why the number has risen. 

"Our operations are just completely different every border environment that you face," said Sault Ste. Marie Border Patrol Agent in Charge Henry Laxdal. 

Laxdal to used work on the southern border in the Tucson sector before moving on to become the Patrol Agent in Charge at Sault Ste. Marie, which is in the Detroit sector.

Even though apprehensions on the northern border have gone up about 42% from 2017 to 2018, the focus is still where there is the most traffic coming in: the south. 

"Right now if you didn't have the epidemic with these human caravans at the southern border, [the northern border] may be more of a focal point," said Laxdal. 

With people and money dedicated to the southern border, that leaves weaknesses at the Canadian border. Just 60 agents are trying to cover the geographical equivalent of one quarter of the U.S./Mexico border. 

"When you're trying to cover 500 miles of water border, you have areas…where you might have 100 yards between the U.S. and Canada," said Laxdal. 

Laxdal says people try to swim across, or come over on small boats illegally. 

But he also says even though the number of apprehensions have gone up in the Detroit sector, that doesn't necessarily mean more people are trying to cross, just that agents are better at catching them.

"What has gone up is our ability to find and locate individuals who have crossed illegally prior to, and our ability to find them now," said Laxdal. 

The agents in Sault Ste. Marie also rely on community and law enforcement partnerships to help them do their jobs. We will have more on who some of those helpers are Wednesday night at 10 p.m. in part three of this series. 


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 IN OTHER NEWS
What We're Working OnSubmitted: 08/19/2019

- Tonight on Newswatch 12:


We'll show you a new billboard in Merrill that the Holy Cross Sisters put up to call attention to the immigration humanitarian crisis. We'll also talk to the group about the project and the Vice Chairman of the Lincoln County Republican Party to get his reaction to the billboard.


We'll bring you this and more tonight on Newswatch 12 - news from where you live.

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Benson's attorney, Sam Bassett, says Austin law enforcement told him that Benson was killed in a motorcycle accident Saturday night.

One of the top high school recruits in the country out of Midland, Texas, Benson was a key player in the Longhorns' resurgence under former coach Mack Brown. Benson played at Texas from 2001-2004. He won the Doak Walker award given to the nation's top running back in 2004.

Benson was drafted No. 4 overall by the Chicago Bears in 2005. He also played for the Cincinnati Bengals and Green Bay Packers.

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CALEDONIA - Police say an officer responding to a report of a burglary attempt in Caledonia, Wisconsin, was attacked by a man with an "edged weapon" and fired his gun, killing the man.

Caledonia police said in a statement on the city's Facebook page that the officer suffered a serious head wound and was taken to a hospital. His injuries were described as serious but "survivable."

The unidentified man shot by the officer died at the scene. No other information was immediately released.

Caledonia is about 20 miles (32 kilometers) south of Milwaukee.


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MADISON - Two Native American tribes in Wisconsin are receiving federal grants for renewable energy projects that tribe members say will help reduce costs and lead to energy independence.

The Bad River Band of Lake Superior Chippewa in Odanah received a nearly $1 million grant, and the Forest County Potawatomi Community in Crandon got a grant for more than $1.5 million.

Wisconsin Public Radio reports the grants, announced last month, will be used to install solar panels at tribal buildings. The move is expected to save the tribes millions of dollars in energy spending over the next 25 years.

The Wisconsin tribes are among 12 nationwide that received a total of 14 grants from the federal Office of Indian Energy Policy and Programs worth a total of $16 million.

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MADISON -  A man who spent 25 years in prison for a 1992 homicide wants the state of Wisconsin to pay him nearly $6 million in compensation.

The state Claims Board is set to consider Derrick Sanders' demand for $5.7 million Thursday.

Sanders and two other men were convicted of homicide charges in 1993 in the shooting death of Jason Bowie in Milwaukee. Sanders pleaded no-contest to being party to first-degree intentional homicide.

But he later argued he didn't intelligently enter the plea because he didn't understand the potential for punishment, and a Milwaukee County circuit judge last year agreed and tossed out the plea. Prosecutors dropped the charges after that.

Sanders is now 48. State law limits compensation for wrongful convictions to $25,000, but Sanders is arguing for more.


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The event attracts athletes from around the world. 

Devilliers was born in South-Africa, where he got into the sport at age 9.

"The fun thing about this sport [is] anybody can do it," said Devilliers.

12-year-old Sophie Miljevich started barefooting only a month ago. 

"I just wanted to learn how to barefoot and now here I am," said Miljevich.

Miljevich, a Rhinelander native, beat a two-time women's national champion to take the title.

"If someone wants to try it, do it. You're never going to regret it," said Miljevich.

Over 140 skiers came out to participate.

Among them was 10-time national champion Peter Fleck, who's still going strong at age 55.

"It's a lot of fun to go up against some of the younger guys and give them a hard time," said Fleck.


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LAKE TOMAHAWK - With nearly 140 dues-paying Legionnaires, American Legion Post 318 in Lake Tomahawk already surpassed its membership goals for 2020.

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