Last April, Tammy Cole, of Illinois, put a gun to the back of Lance Evans' head and shot him to death. She then kicked a gas line out in the house and tried to blow the Tomah house up to cover up the evidence. All because he was breaking up with her, his part-time girlfriend. Today was Cole's sentencing in Monroe County.
Cole stated throughout the trial that she was Evan's girlfriend and the shooting was an accident, even though Evan's had just told Cole he was not going to see her anymore. Before sentencing, Evan's OTHER girlfriend, Mary McClain spoke to Cole, who sat emotionless. She told Cole that she took her life away and if she thinks the nightmares she has about the shooting are rough.....try having the one's that she does. McClain found Evans dead body in a pool of blood last April. Cole fled the state and was gone until Illinois police busted her in June of 2010.
Monroe County Judge Todd Ziegler, on the state's recommendation, sentenced Cole to life in prison without the chance of parole for 30 years. He tacked on another 7 years for Cole's efforts in trying to blow up the house after she shot Evans. Cole will be 84 before she would get a chance at seeing the outside of prison walls.
Nine million in damage in La Crosse might be on the low end. Tornado damage dollar amounts provided to the state from the county say that's how much property damage Sunday's storm caused. County emergency management boss, Keith Butler says damage estimates are typically low ball figures and he's making a rough guess at how much damage the tornado actually caused. Butler says it will takes weeks for a final cost analysis to be done in the city.
As any hockey mom can tell you, it's not easy to come up with ice time around La Crosse. It's potentially become much harder with the Green Island Ice Arena getting shut down after Sunday's tornado. Might not be ready for ice in September. But there's other pressing issues immediately, says Jay Odegaard in the city's parks department. Like the floor hockey and roller derby teams that get displaced right away. But there's also summer camps headquartered at the arena that include hundreds of kids. Those will have to get moved elsewhere.
Odegaard has no estimate on how long before the ice arena can get rebuilt. Or whether it will get rebuilt at all.
New compromises may be hard to come by in St Paul. Lawmakers heading into a special session to deal with a budget impasse may face only frustration as neither democrats or republicans seem willing to budge on spending plans for the state. Winona republican state senator Jeremy Miller says his party is on the right side of this budget fight and that the $34 billion budget that the legislature sent to the governor was responsible and represents an effort to live within the means of the state, without having to raise taxes. Governor Mark Dayton vetoed the spending bills sent to him by the republican led legislature, setting up a need for a special legislative session.
It's not completely inconceivable that there's a big pile of cash with your name on it in the state treasury. In La Crosse county, there's about 17 thousand people that have some unclaimed money being held by the state. State treasurer Kurt Schuller has taken to the road over the last several days around the state to get that money back into the hands of its rightful owners. Schuller will be at the La Crosse library--main branch--from 9 to 11 this morning to help you find unclaimed property. Schuller also has stops planned during the day in Westby, Viroqua, Sparta and Tomah.