No Baby in That Stroller
Cop Related Shooting Still Being Looked At
The investigation into a police officer related shooting in Sparta January 19th, is almost complete. According to the Wisconsin Department of Justice, a report should be done sometime next week and the findings will be forwarded to Monroe County D.A. Dan Cary. Sparta police have been tight lipped on the shooting that involved 19 year old Jacob Olson and officer, Booker Ferguson. Police were responding to a 911 hang up call when they were greeted by a rifle toting Olson on the front porch. After being told to put the gun down, Olson allegedly pointed the rifle at Ferguson at which time he was shot. He was taken to a La Crosse hospital with life threatening injuries and was still there at last check. Ferguson has been on paid administrative leave since the shooting....which is customary in this circumstance.
Sparta Ponders Aquatic Center
The City of Sparta says there are 3 reasons as to why they would like to build a new outdoor aquatic center where the aging pool currenty sits. First.......the pool was built in the late 40's and is in deteriorating condition. Second, to remain competitive with other communities that have constructed new aquatic facilities over the past few years. And finally....they can afford to build one at this point in time. City Administrator, Ken Witt, says this was not an over night idea brought to the table.
Debt service payments for the City are declining rapidly over the next couple of years. This allows for the construction of a pool facility without the necessity of increasing the tax levy. Old debts will be replaced with new debt for the pool at the same annual debt payment level. The issue is up for an advisory referendum on April 3rd.
Will We See Fake Candidates Again!
The Wisconsin state Republican Party orchestrated the placement of fake Democrats ballots last summer, thereby delaying the general election for a month. That gave the Republican incumbents more time to campaign and distance themselves from the turmoil over the union law that they voted to support in March, spurring the recall efforts. La Crosse County GOP Vice Chair, Julian Bradley, says though it was not popular amongst voters........
So far with recall elections possible in 2012.......Bradley says he has not heard of either side planning to do this again this summer.
Minnesota Wants To Double Cig Tax
(AP) Two Republican lawmakers want Minnesota's cigarette tax to more than double as a way to deter smoking and to repay Minnesota schools for aid delays during recent state budgets. Sen. Carla Nelson and Rep. Mike Benson, both of Rochester, outlined the bill Monday that they will formally introduce later in the week. Nelson acknowledged it cuts against Republican anti-tax orthodoxy but says she hopes her party and the public will embrace it because of the intended purpose. Minnesota's current $1.23 cent per-pack tax currently ranks among the middle of all states. The bill would boost that to $2.52. By supporters' estimates, a higher tax would generate $320 million in the next two years. Nelson says the bill would make it less likely that price-conscious young people would start smoking.