Police Cut Crossing Guard Numbers in Half
Looking for crossing guards this school year? You'll have to look a lot harder in La Crosse. The city has cut in half the number of crossing guards on the streets to start the school year. From ten last year to five this year. The five intersections that will have crossing guards in La Crosse are at Campbell Road in front of Emerson elementary, at 21st and Main, 7th and Johnson, Gillette and Kane, and George and Gillette.
Fire Department Committee Report Doesn't End Discussion
A new report on the La Crosse fire department supports the status quo in staffing. A three month internal look at the fire department by a city council committee determined that the department is not overstaffed and that response times are downright snappy. End of discussion? Not quite, says city council president Audrey Kader who has yet to see the report. She and the rest of the council will review the report and will vote on its recommendations. The internal review for the department was ordered after disagreements over fire staffing between the council and mayor Matt Harter.
Unemployment Rate Improves in La Crosse County
La Crosse county still has one of the best unemployment rates in the state. New numbers from the state this week shows La Crosse county with the eighth-best unemployment rate in the state for the month of July. that's a couple spots better than last month. The county unemployment rate is at 6.2% for the month. Best in the state, as always, is Dane county at 5.4%. Worst unemployment is Menominee at over 20%. The county as a whole is better than the city of La Crosse, which posted an 8% unemployment rate for July, which is actually a little better than the month before. The same report tallied 200 jobs lost in the La Crosse metro area in July.
Plan For State Fire Rules Could Leave La Crosse Vulnerable
A uniform fire code for the state could make things a whole lot easier for builders. Maybe not so safe, though for individual communities, says lieutenant Craig Snyder, from the La Crosse fire department's inspection bureau. He says a proposal in Madison to make all fire codes the same throughout the state would end special ordinances like the ones La Crosse has. One of them mandates non-combustible building materials in the downtown area because of the age of the buildings in the area. La Crosse also exceeds state fire regs by, among other things, requiring that new building owners get permission from the fire chief before ripping out old sprinkler systems. Those specialized rules and others, says Snyder could be eliminated under a uniform state code, meaning La Crosse could lose protections it needs to stay fire-safe.
Shilling Wants Quicker Special Elections
Under current Wisconsin law, when there is a vacancy in the State Senate or Assembly, the Governor is directed to call a special election to fill the vacancy, yet state law is silent on the amount of time that can elapse between vacancy and election. Today, State Representative Mark Pocan and State Senator-Elect Jennifer Shilling circulated a bill amongst their colleagues that would require the Governor to call a special election within 60 days of the vacancy.
Under the proposed bill, the Governor would be required to order an election within 60 days after the vacancy occurs. Current law, which requires the Governor to select an election date within 62 and 77 days after he orders an election, would remain in place under this bill.
On January 3, 2011, Representatives Huebsch, Gottlieb and Gundersen each resigned their seats after receiving appointments from Governor Walker. Walker called for the special elections to fill these vacancies February 23, 2011 and the elections were held May 3, 2011. Representative Joe Parisi resigned his seat April 14, 2011 and Walker called for a special election May 24, 2011. Parisi’s seat was filled August 9, 2011. A fifth special election will be needed to fill Shilling’s La Crosse, Wisconsin Assembly seat after she was recently elected to the State Senate in a recall election.