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A bill, one of the proposals formulated at an economic development roundtable in La Crosse County proposed by Representative Steve Doyle, will probably pick up some steam this week as the Wisconsin session gets back to work tomorrow.
The bill focuses on expanding grants tech colleges use. The roundtable consists of of representatives from Western Technical College, Workforce Connections, La Crosse County Chamber of Commerce and several others.
Overall, Wisconsin property taxpayers are breathing a little easier this year. A new report from the Wisconsin Taxpayers Alliance finds one of the smallest property tax increases across the state in years; less than one percent. The average over the last decade has been closer to five percent. School property tax rates show an overall decline for the current year. Some counties and municipalities are seeing a similar decline. La Crosse county is collecting the same taxes this year as last. So is Vernon county. Trempealeau county property collections have actually gone down. Meanwhile, the biggest county property tax increase percentage-wise in the state is in Crawford county; up over six percent this year.
The Aquinas Catholic Schools and School Foundation have received their largest single gift ever. The entire estate of former graduate, Jim Kiffe. After serving in the Battle of the Bulge, Kiffe worked at Northern Engraving. He then invested in some stock. As School President, Kurt Nelson put it...the rest is history.
A total of $7.5 million. 80% of his estate...or 6 million dollars...will go into the Aquinas Scholarship fund. The other 20%...or $1.5 million.....will go towards the School Foundation.
La Crosse city council has been tagged anti-business before. This time, the label's getting affixed by Atlanta-based Olympus Media. The outdoor sign company is frustrated that the council has agreed to send two advisory referendums on billboards to the spring ballot
Olympus VP, Mary Niemeyer. One referendum question would ask whether electronic billboards should be prohibited. The other question would ask if billboards in general should be reduced in number.
A 23-year-old beauty queen from Kenosha has won the Miss America pageant in Las Vegas. Laura Kaeppeler won the pageant Saturday night after strutting in a white bikini and black beaded evening gown, singing opera and answering a question about whether beauty queens should declare their politics by saying Miss America represents everyone. Miss Oklahoma Betty Thompson came in second while Miss New York Kaitlyn Monte placed third. Kaeppeler wins a $50 thousand scholarship and gets the title for one year.