WISCONSIN NEWS ROUNDUP: Prosecutor said drug raid shooting in Menomonie last month was justified
A prosecutor said a SWAT team and regional drug officers were justified in killing a drug suspect during a raid at his home near Menomonie on February 12th. Dunn County district attorney James Peterson announced the ruling, after the state Justice Department looked into the raid in which Dennis Grohn was shot. Authorities said Grohn sold 200-dollars of meth-amphetamines to an undercover agent just hours before an Eau Claire SWAT team led officers into Grohn's home without knocking. The state's report said the 32-year-old Grohn got up from a chair, made a growling sound, ran into Dunn County Deputy Peter Forbes, and got into a football-type stance. At that point, Forbes said he feared for his life and others, and made the decision to shoot Grohn. Fall Creek officer Adam Prorok fired a second shot when he entered the area to see Grohn and Forbes scuffle -- and at one point, he said Grohn had a hand on Forbes' rifle, which raised enough fears for him to decide to shoot. An autopsy showed that Grohn died from the two gunshot wounds.
With spring arriving tomorrow, a brutal winter refuses to let go in much of northern Wisconsin. As predicted, the far northwest part of the state got the brunt of a snowstorm that's supposed to drop another 1-to-3 inches today in many locations. Seeley in Sawyer County, and Mellen in Ashland County, each had over seven-inches and counting by mid-afternoon yesterday. Ashland and Superior each had around four-inches by early last evening -- less than predicted. Central Wisconsin had an inch and a half or less. Today, the snow line is supposed to drop further south. Places like Fond du Lac and Wisconsin Dells can expect a couple inches, and up to three more inches could fall in northeast Wisconsin. Central areas expect another inch, along with much of the northwest. Freezing rain is also possible in some areas. The Hudson region expects a total of 2-to-5 inches of snow from this storm. It's all supposed to clear out later today -- and then dry and mild weather is in the offing for tomorrow, before a new round of precipitation and colder temperatures come in for the weekend.
The mayors of Superior and Duluth will express their support today for new-and-expanded oil pipelines from Canada to northwest Wisconsin. Superior Mayor Bruce Hagen and Duluth Mayor Don Ness have scheduled a news conference this morning, to explain their support for Enbridge Energy's multi-million-dollar projects. Ness says pipelines are the safest and most responsible way to transport crude oil -- which flows into a major hub of storage facilities in Superior that create about 750 jobs and 62-million dollars for the local economy each year. The projects' opponents say the oil comes from heavy tar sands -- and it needs more energy to refine, thus creating more carbon dioxide pollution. Enbridge plans to build a new pipeline, the Sandpiper, from North Dakota's oil fields to Superior. An aging pipeline would be replaced from northwestern Canada to Superior, with double the oil capacity. Those two projects would cost almost 10-billion dollars. Enbridge is also seeking approvals to add 800-thousand more barrels a day to its existing Alberta Clipper pipeline from southern Canada to Wisconsin. Minnesota utility regulators are holding public hearings on the Clipper project this week.
A flood warning continues today in Kenosha County, where the Fox River was over its banks by about ten inches this morning at New Munster. Forecasters say the Fox will crest to about two-point-three feet over its flood stage by Saturday morning, before it begins to recede. Only minor flooding is forecast for the Salem and Silver Lake areas. The National Weather Service has warned river communities to get ready for floods, as heavy snow this winter has just started to melt over the past week-or-so in much of Wisconsin. The Weather Service is putting out a bunch safety tips this week, which is "Flood Safety Awareness Week." The state D-N-R says owners of private wells need to prevent contamination caused by the spring rains and snow-melt. The D-N-R's Liesa Lehmann says landowners need to watch for high water around their wells -- conduct bacteria tests -- and disinfect their wells if they notice changes in the taste, smell, or color of their water.
Federal officials say they've broken up one of the nation's largest online child exploitation networks, with victims in Wisconsin, 38 other states, and six countries. One official said eight of the 250 child victims were from the Badger State. Fourteen people were arrested in a nationwide sting operation led by U-S immigration and postal authorities. Authorities said the agents posed online as girls, and they convinced the victims to share sexually-explicit images of themselves. Prosecutors said the Web sites had over 27-thousand members worldwide, who were producing and distributing child porn. More arrests are expected. Immigration spokesman Shawn Neudauer in Minneapolis said one of the early arrests was in the Gopher State. Neudauer said there were 12 victims each from Minnesota and North Dakota, six in Iowa, and two in South Dakota plus those from Wisconsin. The victims were generally in their early-to-mid teens, both girls and boys from all walks of life.
No, you don't win the big Mega Millions jackpot last night, unless you bought your ticket in Florida or Maryland. Two winners in those states will share a 400-million-dollar prize, the third-largest in Mega Millions history. Eight players around the country won a million-dollars each by matching all the numbers but the Mega Ball. Nobody from Wisconsin did that, either. Game officials have not said how many Wisconsinites won smaller prizes last night. In the previous drawing last Friday, almost 54-thousand Badger State players claimed prizes of one-dollar to five-thousand. Last night's numbers were 11, 19, 24, 33, and 51. The Mega Ball was seven, and the Megaplier was three. The jackpot returns to its minimum of 15-million dollars for the next drawing on Friday. In Powerball, an 80-million dollar jackpot is up for grabs tonight.
The World Championship Cheese Contest is wrapping up today in Madison. Fifty judges began sampling over 26-hundred entries yesterday -- two-and-a-half times more entries than just 14 years ago. Twenty-two nations are represented in this year's contest. Producers from Greece and Romania entered for the first time. Awards are presented in 82 categories. The top-16 overall finalists will square off tonight for the "best-of-show" award. In the last contest two years ago, a low-fat Gouda from the Netherlands was the grand champion. But Wisconsin producers also did pretty well, winning 30 of the 82 categories with four entries among the Top-16. The Wisconsin Cheese Makers Association has hosted the world contest since 1957.