State Fraud Hotline Active
(AP) A state fraud hotline received 79 reports in 2011, consistent with the number of calls placed the two prior years. The nonpartisan Legislative Audit Bureau operates the line and reported Wednesday on calls it received. Of the 79 calls last year, only 58 were state-related and within the scope of what the Audit Bureau could investigate. Of those calls, 18 were related to people getting benefits they may not be eligible to receive, 17 were about agency mismanagement and 15 had to do with waste and inefficiency. Five dealt with employee misconduct. Since the hotline began in April 2008, 107 of the calls were found to be unfounded and 108 were resolved. Thirty two remain under review. The hotline number is 1-877-FRAUD-17. Reports can also be made online at www.legis.wisconsin.gov/lab.
Restraint Bill Good But Rarely Used in La Crosse
A Senate approved bill, passed last month, would limit the ability of public school teachers and staff to seclude or physically restrain students. And though it is not really common in the La Crosse School District, Superintendent, Randy Nelson, says it does happen.
The bill was passed by the Senate on a voice vote and now goes to the Assembly.
Foundation Says Crop Damage Not Enough to Justify Crane Hunt
Not surprisingly, the Baraboo-based International Crane Foundation hasn't gone all in on a sandhill crane hunting season in Wisconsin. But maybe not for the reasons you might think. A season for the big birds has been proposed by a lawmaker from Oconomowoc. Partly as a way to stem crop damage that the cranes inflict on Wisconsin farmers. But Jeb Barzen, from the Crane Foundation, says that's not a good reason
Barzen says you'd have to kill half the cranes in Wisconsin during the fall to minimize crop damage in the spring. He says there's better techniques to keep cranes from crops that farmers are already having success with.
Satory Appears to Flip Position on Council Salary
One La Crosse council member appears to have dramatically changed his position on how much he gets paid. Last month, councilman John Satory used low council pay as an argument against adding more workload to a council that would have fewer members.
But, this month, Satory has proposed cutting council pay and term length in half. The move appears to be retribution for the council voting to halve the next mayor's salary if voters approve a city administrator in a spring referendum.
Drake Fire Started In Couch
Investigators have no 'smoking gun' to pin on any individual for starting the Drake Hall fire at U-W-L...
But they do have a smoking couch. Campus police and the city fire department are certain that the January 29th fire began in a basement couch, so there had to be human involvement somehow. The blaze began around 4:30 in the morning, which lets out most Drake residents as suspects, since the majority were asleep in their rooms.
Campus police chief Scott Rohde says students have been very cooperative and revealing about what they were doing the day of the fire. But it seems nobody has confessed yet to setting a flame. A reward of $2000 is being offered for tips that solve the case.