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Man accused of making death threats that led to Sparta graduation cancellation, due in court this week

Brad Williams

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An Iowa man accused of threatening to kill his relatives at the Sparta High School graduation ceremony is returning to Wisconsin to face chargers.

Benjamin Sidie waived extradition Tuesday during a court hearing in Dubuque, Iowa, where he was arrested Monday.

Police in Sparta say Sidie made threats through text messages to kill relatives who were planning to attend the Sparta High School graduation last Friday, and had intended to force officers to kill him. Sparta cancelled graduation hours before it was set to take place.

Sidie is expected to appear in Monroe County court later this week.

Tuesday, the school district rescheduled graduation for 7 p.m. Friday.

A native of Prairie du Chien, Brad graduated from UW - La Crosse and has worked in radio news for more than 30 years, mostly in the La Crosse area. He regularly covers local courts and city and county government. Brad produces the features "Yesterday in La Crosse" and "What's Buried on Brad's Desk." He also writes the website "Triviazoids," which finds odd connections between events that happen on a certain date, and he writes and performs with the local comedy group Heart of La Crosse. Brad been featured on several national TV programs because of his memory skills.

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