Storm Damage Progress
(AP) Most of the storm debris and downed trees have been cleared from tornado-ravaged Thurman. Volunteers have been working since last weekend's storm to help the town of 229 get back to normal. The tornado ripped through the town, damaging most homes but causing only a few minor injuries. Mayor Rod Umphreys Jr. says most roads were clear and most debris removed after a hundred volunteers turned out Saturday. The town has been inundated with volunteers since the storm, some coming from as far as Wisconsin and Montana.
New Fee to Fund Airport Upgrades
It will cost you an extra few bucks to fly out of La Crosse in the near future. The city plans to start collecting four and a half bucks extra fee per passenger starting in January 2016. The plan is to use the money to do upgrades to the airport terminal and to the radio system, to buy a new backup generator and a snow removal truck. The per-passenger charge is scheduled to be collected for six years and is expected to generate about 2.8 million dollars. The city's taking public comment on the fee until mid May.
West Salem Approves Employee Handbooks
Last week, the West Salem School Board formally approved an employee handbook for the 2012-2013 school year. The 62-page document replaces the agreements that were in place until last year when the the state Legislature voted to curtail most public workers’ collective bargaining rights. Something totally new for Superintendent, Troy Gunderson.
Gunderson says in the coming months they will be setting things up in a more professional manner, but it’s going to take some hard work from everybody.
NFL Big Guns Talk Vikings Stadium
Seems as though the NFL is leaning on the State of Minnesota to get a new stadium bill passed....and now. Joining Governor Mark Dayton this morning was NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell and Pittsburgh Steelers Owner, Art Rooney, who is also on the NFL's Stadium Board.
Rooney says they did not threaten the Vikings to get a stadium bill passed.....just an indicator from the NFL that a combined solution has to be made.....and soon.
HAZMAT Funding Restored
La Crosse Fire Chief, Greg Cleveland, is applauding the news that the Department of Military Affairs is scrapping plans to alter the way local hazardous materials teams are funded. He says he saw the plan.
He says the decision to protect funding for local fire departments will help to create stability for businesses, communities and first responders.