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An area man convicted of sexual assault could not persuade an appeals court that he was mentally ill, or had another medical condition that justified a new trial or a different sentence.
Appeals judges have upheld the conviction and appeal of 60-year-old Darryl Pruett of Trempealeau County. Pruett is almost halfway through a nine-year prison term for sexually assaulting an underage girl. He wanted to withdraw his guilty plea, claiming insanity. But the appeals court did not find justification for that claim. They also rejected Pruett's argument that a thyroid condition was not taken into account when he was sentenced.
Familiar campaign territory today for Tommy Thompson and Newt Gingrich.
Both men spoke this morning at Logistics Health in La Crosse. Thompson, running for U-S Senate, was president of L-H-I for a few years...and former House speaker Gingrich visits La Crosse often because his wife Calista is from the area. Thompson hopes Wisconsin voters are paying attention to the Senate primary, because he thinks many people got tired of politics after the Walker recall race in June. And Gingrich is 'very comfortable' in feeling that voters will want to remove President Obama from office this fall.
Larry Schaffer's decision to enter a plea on murder charges came pretty quickly...
That's according to Monroe County District Attorney Dan Cary, who had made plea offers to Schaffer before a hearing on Monday. Schaffer was scheduled to be tried this month for the apparently drug-related murders of a Sparta couple in 2002. He pleads 'no contest' to the deaths, and could get a dozen or more years in prison. Cary says many key witnesses in the case either have died, or may have forgotten important details about the murders.
Clearly, not everyone in La Crosse has heard about the city's new garbage regulations. Or, at least, has skipped over some of the details of the ordinance revisions that took more than a year to develop. One of those is the restriction against putting any electronics curbside. That piece was written in to deal with the rash of broken tube-style televisions that have been put out with the trash in recent years. Like this one we noted outside of an apartment complex this morning on King street.
On the same day they vote for president, La Crosse taxpayers could be asked to spend 15-million dollars to build a new north-side elementary school.
The La Crosse school board has voted to draw up referendum language which could be put on the November ballot. Board members would have to decide by August 24th whether to actually have a referendum. The immediate goal is to replace Franklin Elementary in north La Crosse, which some board members have described as 'decrepit' and structurally bad.
The referendum discussion was the main item of business on a shortened school board agenda last night. Electrical problems in the Hogan auditorium forced the board to move its meeting to a second-floor room, and board president Connie Troyanek said the building's electricity could be shut down at any time.