Five UW-La Crosse students were silent as they drove into the neighborhoods of Tuscaloosa, Ala. earlier this May. They saw leveled homes, roofs stripped from buildings and uprooted trees. UW-L student Emily Masters said it looked like a house was put in a blender and dumped back out and the destruction was unlike anything I’d ever seen".
The five took a road trip May 16th-21st to Tuscaloosa to help with relief efforts after the city was struck by a mile-wide tornado April 27th — one of many southern cities to suffer destruction and death from the storms. Student Hannah Mixdorf had the idea and connections to Tuscaloosa from previous service work in the city.
Throughout the week they helped with distribution of goods at a church and warehouse; and helped clean up damaged neighborhoods.
The students had just wrapped up classes and hadn’t yet started summer jobs. Student Betsy Collins had planned to return home to Janesville, but changed her mind when she heard a fellow student talking about helping out tornado-ravaged Tuscaloosa.
The students say seeing that type of destruction puts things in perspective.
Kale Kvistad and Connie DeGeorge, both of Sparta, were shot and killed on Easter Sunday 2002 by 42 year Larry Schaeffer of Neilsville. That's what Larry's sister testified in Monroe County this morning. Eunice Shaeffer told the court that she was with her brother and ex-husband, Troy Hogan, the night they picked the couple up and drove them to a wooded area near Cataract. The woman stated that her brother shot and killed both of them. But she says Larry raped DeGeorge before killing her.
This is the first testimony heard since the couple was murdered in 2002 and Schaeffer was arrested last year. During a 2005 interview, Eunice Schaeffer told police she knew nothing of the murders but when re-interviewed a couple of months ago, she told police her brother threatend to kill her if she ever told anyone about the murders. D.A. Dan Cary says he has a strong case against Schaeffer, even though the murders occurred 9 years ago.
Schaeffer is currently in an Oshkosh prison serving 3 years on a different matter. Judge David Rice ordered that Schaeffer be moved to Monroe County where his lawyer can have closer contact with his client. He pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity to two counts of intentional homicide and hiding a corpse.
A Wisconsin judge has struck down a law taking away nearly all collective bargaining rights from most state workers.
A smaller La Crosse county board is bound to cause complications if the city council stays at the same size. County clerk Ginny Dankmeyer says voting will definitely be more messy if the city doesn't decrease to the recommended 13 members. She says that would result in multiple ballots at each polling place. Color-coded to keep everything separated. Something that's done already in certain parts of the county.
Dankmeyer denies a claim that voters would have to go to different polling places to cast ballots. Dankmeyer says she can't imagine a situation in which that would happen.
Recovery and clean-up of storm damaged debris in the tornado area is continuing. This effort will continue for some time. The tornado damage areas generally affected include: South 7th, Cook Street, Miller Street, Wollan Place, Steele St, Bundy Street South Avenue from Green Bay & 9th to West Avenue & from 9th to Farnam, east to West Avenue West Avenue, with the north boundary of Farnam Street, and the south boundary of Travis Street, east to 27th Street 28th Street east to 31st Street, with the north boundary Blackhawk Place and the south boundary Green Bay Street. The City will continue to pick up tree debris from street boulevard trees and also tree debris from private, storm damaged trees through June 3, 2011 The City will also pick up limited amounts of storm damaged building materials including siding, lumber, insulation, wood waste, and shingles from only the storm damage areas identified above.
Debris should be piled alongside the city street and will be limited in size to a pile approximately 4 feet wide by 4 feet high by 4 feet long. The amount of debris the City will remove is not intended for properties where garages, yard sheds, or roofs were damaged or where more extensive damage to the home was incurred. Those properties will have to provide for their own disposal of storm damaged building materials. Properties with debris piles larger than that indicated above will not be picked up by the City. Building material piles must not have garbage, household hazardous waste, brush, or tree debris mixed in. Mixed piles will not be picked up. Pick-up of storm damaged building materials from the areas identified above will continue through June 3, 2011. Residents are reminded that they can place large items and limited amounts of lumber and building materials out with their ‘normal’ recycling collection following the guidelines in the 2011 Recycler information calendar.