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(AP) The teachers union in Minnesota's largest school district has endorsed a proposed replacement for a policy that requires teachers to stay neutral when issues of sexual orientation come up in class. Local President Julie Blaha says the representative assembly of Anoka-Hennepin Education Minnesota showed overwhelming support for the proposed ``Respectful Learning Environment'' policy in a voice vote Monday. Critics say the district's existing neutrality policy on human sexuality hampers teachers from preventing bullying of students who are gay or perceived as gay, and the district is the target of two lawsuits challenging it. Supporters of the policy include parents who believe homosexual conduct is immoral and don't want teachers telling their children that gay relationships are acceptable. The school board is expected to vote on the proposed policy Feb. 13.
(AP) Minnesota Republicans are basking in the attention of the political world, with caucuses Tuesday night that matter for a change. The nomination fight is usually wrapped up well before Minnesota gets its turn, or else the state is lumped in with much bigger prizes. This year, all four GOP presidential hopefuls have dropped by in the final week. Mitt Romney is hoping for a repeat of his 2008 victory, but the traditionally small turnout could give an opening to Rick Santorum or Ron Paul. Republican caucus attendees tend toward the conservative, especially those most concerned with social issues. Tea party members could play a role in the outcome. The caucuses start at 8 p.m. EST and nearly complete results are typically known within a few hours.
(AP) Democrat Kathleen Falk is embarking on a statewide tour to tout her campaign against Republican Gov. Scott Walker. State election officials are still in the process of verifying that at least 540,208 signatures were submitted on petitions seeking Walker's recall from office. Once that is done, an election would be scheduled. Falk is the only announced Democratic candidate. She planned a two-day tour of the state that begins Tuesday in Milwaukee and then continues in Green Bay and Wausau. On Wednesday she plans to be in Eau Claire and La Crosse. A number of other Democrats are considering getting into the race, but none of them have officially declared yet.
Tough decisions, maybe for city leaders in La Crosse. The city wants to develop the former industrial Mobil Oil site. But many also want to tackle struggling neighborhood values. And maybe can't afford to do both at the same time, says housing expert at the UW Extension office, Karl Green
The city's been working on acquiring and cleaning up the 65 acre site on the Black River for years. So far, there's no solid plan on what to turn it into.
The overriding idea behind new regulations on garbage pick-up in La Crosse is to make things look nicer. To that end, the rules would restrict how long garbage cans could be put out. Can't leave them on the curb for a couple days. Can't sit them on the edge of the alley. With some exceptions, says city public works director Dale Hexom.
La Crosse city council votes on the new garbage rules this week.