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Yesterday marked the first time in almost two weeks that the mercury dropped below 40 degrees in the immediate La Crosse area.
If it gets much colder, local fruit crops could be in big trouble, now that trees are blossoming early. From Bauer's Market in La Crescent, owner Bruce Bauer says just one night of temps in the 20's could ruin an orchard. He's seen it happen a couple of times in the last 50 years...in 1964 and 1988.
Bauer says the growers he's talked with have been busy protecting the budding fruit trees, so they're less likely to freeze.
For the eight years that he was Vice President, Dick Cheney was in the news often because of recurring heart problems.
Now, the 71-year-old Cheney has gotten a heart transplant...raising questions of possible favoritism, and whether he's too old for such a procedure. Dr. Prem Rabindra, a heart surgeon at Gundersen Lutheran in La Crosse, believes that Cheney wouldn't have gotten a transplant if doctors didn't think he needed it, and could handle it.
Although Gundersen does not perform heart transplants, Rabindra says the hospital may soon begin implanting ventricular pumps, which Cheney had before his transplant. Madison and Rochester are the cities closest to La Crosse where heart transplants are done.
(AP) Bruce Berman of Marinette is planning to run for lieutenant governor as a Democrat. At least two other Democrats have said they want to take on Republican Lt. Gov. Rebecca Kleefisch in a recall election. If a Democratic primary is necessary, it will be on May 8 with the general election on June 5. The 47-year-old Berman is a contract driver and has never run for statewide office before. He ran for state Assembly in 2004 and lost to then-Assembly Speaker John Gard. Berman says he wanted to run for lieutenant governor in part because other candidates were from the Madison or Milwaukee areas. Other Democrats running are Mahlon Mitchell, president of the Professional Fire Fighters of Wisconsin, and Milwaukee private investigator Ira Robins.
(AP) Presidential race campaigning is heating up in Wisconsin before the April 3 primary. On Saturday, front-runner Mitt Romney, former U.S. Sen. Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania and former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich are all scheduled to speak at an event organized by the Wisconsin Faith and Freedom Coalition in Waukesha. Gingrich and his wife Callista are scheduled to be at a Marquette University rally on Thursday night. On Friday afternoon they are slated to be at Kroll's West restaurant in Green Bay. Candidate Ron Paul has scheduled a town hall meeting Thursday night on the University of Wisconsin campus in Madison. Santorum was the first of the candidates to travel to Wisconsin, spending all weekend in the state. He has more events planned Tuesday in Beaver Dam and Janesville.
(AP) Wisconsin revenue officials say about 80 percent of state taxpayers file electronically. A decade ago that was just 25 percent. Revenue Secretary Richard Chandler says e-filing has eliminated a big crunch of returns at the filing deadline. Chandler says the state expects about 3 million returns. And, the average refund is $680.
About half of Wisconsin taxpayers have filed state returns with about a month to go before the April 17th deadline, which falls on a Tuesday this year. The 15th is on a Sunday and the 16th is Emancipation Day, a holiday in Washington D.C. The Department of Revenue offers a free e-file program at revenue.wi.gov.