Western Wisconsin Roundup: La Crosse business owner and son murdered over the weekendWestern Wisconsin News
-- La Crosse Police are still looking for suspects in the weekend shooting deaths of a photography store owner and his teenage son.
LA CROSSE - La Crosse Police are still looking for suspects in the weekend shooting deaths of a photography store owner and his teenage son.
56-year-old Paul Petras and 19-year-old A.J. Petras were killed at their store, May’s Photo, around two p-m Saturday. Police said a photography class was just wrapping up around that time – and the store was about to close. Authorities were not notified about the shootings until three hours later, around 5 p.m. on Saturday. A diner at a bistro across the street saw a person run out of the photography shop, yelling for somebody to call 911. Yesterday, investigators asked anyone who attended the class, or might have seen anything suspicious around the store, to call La Crosse Police. Captain Robert Lawrence said it’s possible that someone might have seen somebody running or driving away quickly. Paul Petras’s father originally opened May’s Photo, after owning a similar store in Winona Minnesota. Paul’s son A.J. graduated from La Crosse Aquinas High School in June of last year, and was a member of the school’s ski team.
An Eau Claire man is free on a two-thousand dollar cash bond, after being charged with nine felonies in a drunk driving crash that killed his wife and another woman. 67-year-old Gerald Larson is due back in Chippewa County Circuit Court on October ninth. A judge will decide if there’s enough evidence to order a trial on two counts of homicide by drunk driving, and seven counts of causing injury by OWI. The crash happened September eighth at the corner of Highway 124 and County Trunk “B” in the Chippewa County town of Eagle Point. According to prosecutors, Larsen claimed to have had three beers before running a stop sign, and colliding with another vehicle at the intersection in which four people from Wheeler were injured. Larson’s wife Karen was killed, along with Lori Barger of Altoona. Three others in Larson’s vehicle were hurt. Authorities said Larson was driving from a bar in Tilden to a resort.
The state DNR is trying to find out who’s been dumping hazardous wastes in northwest Wisconsin. Officials said illegal dumping took place the day after Labor Day – when various coatings, paint, and solvent waste was dumped around Siren in Burnett County, and Frederic in Polk County. The DNR said it also found illegal dumps around Danbury and Webster in Burnett County. Officials said the dumping took place on both public and private lands – and it poses a health risk to humans, wildlife, and local groundwater supplies. They said the wastes should have been either recycled, or processed for disposal. Those who run across the illegal dumps – or know who set them up – are being asked to call the DNR’s Tip Line. It’s at 1-800-TIP-WDNR.
A state historical museum plans to observe the signing of a treaty that created reservations for Ojibwe Indians in far northern Wisconsin. The Madeline Island Museum in La Pointe will hold a two-day event September 29th and 30th. The treaty was signed in La Pointe in 1854. It established the reservations, and guaranteed Ojibwe hunting-and-fishing rights on land they ceded to the U.S. in perpetuity. The Treaty Days will feature Ojibwe art and music – an exhibit on the band’s treaty rights – and a film about the 1850 Sandy Lake Tragedy. Hundreds of Ojibwe Indians died in 1850, while heading to Sandy Lake Minnesota to pick up their annual payments from the U.S. government. La Pointe is a part of Madeline Island, located near Bayfield in the Apostle Islands’ chain.