Senate To Vote On Wetlands
(AP) The state Senate is expected to vote this week on a sweeping bill that would make it easier to build on wetlands. The GOP bill makes a host of changes to the Department of Natural Resources' wetland-filling permit process. One of the most contentious calls for developers to submit a mitigation plan with their applications. The plans could range from creating new wetlands to supporting the DNR's wetland restoration work. Right now the DNR places a heavy emphasis on whether applicants can avoid or minimize damage to wetlands. Conservationists fear that mitigation would become the favored approach rather than avoiding damage. The bill's author, Sen. Neal Kedzie, says including a mitigation plan with an application doesn't guarantee a permit. The Senate is poised to take up the bill Tuesday.
Minnesota Drummer Remembers Whitney Houston
(AP) A Duluth native and drummer for Whitney Houston is remembering the singer as a sweet person who brought beauty to the world. Michael Baker tells the Duluth News Tribune (http://bit.ly/yArzS5 ) he learned of Houston's death from his mother. He says he hadn't seen Houston for about a year, after they finished the ``Nothing But Love'' world tour, but they had been in contact. Baker is a 1975 Duluth Central High School graduate. He became Houston's drummer in the early 1990s, and later became her musical director. Baker says he and Houston had a good working relationship and enjoyed each other. He says a lot of people got married and fell in love to her music, and that she should be remembered for the beauty she brought into the world.
Garbage Task Force Soon to Make Recommendations
How about getting a separate bill in the mail for garbage pick-up? That's apparently among the coming suggestions from a task force on garbage and recycling. The Onalaska and La Crosse committee is getting close to making some formal recommendations. And then, says county sustainability coordinator, Nich Nichols, councils in both cities will have to act pretty quickly due to soon-to-be-expired garbage pick-up contracts
Other local municipalities may also get involved in the garbage changes in order to streamline the entire county but, so far, just the cities of La Crosse and Onalaska are involved.
Former Jailer Back In Court
A former Monroe County jailer, who is charged with sexually assaulting an inmate and writing 20 sexually explicit letters to her, was back in a Monroe County Courtroom this morning. 26 year old Jerry Friedl of Sparta stood mute to the four felony charges. Monroe County Judge, Mark Goodman, entered a not guilty plea on behalf Friedl to felony counts of second degree sexual assault.
Options Still Open on Forest Hills Clubhouse
This spring will likely be decision time for the Forest Hills clubhouse in La Crosse. The city's doing an evaluation of the building to see if it's salvageable for renovation or should get torn down. The first steps of that process are underway
Steve Carlyon is the city's park, rec and forestry boss. He figures remaining asbestos abatement now at just a few thousand dollars. It's clear that he would prefer to restore the century old building to retain a link to the course's past. But replacing might turn out to be way more cost-effective.