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La Crosse area Republicans have not had much to cheer about in recent elections...losing a state Senator in a recall, and seeing Democrats win two open Assembly seats.
But they did plenty of cheering Tuesday night, when Governor Scott Walker soundly fought off a recall 17 months into his term. We were speaking with county G-O-P chair Julian Bradley last night at the Days Hotel on French Island at the moment La Crosse County was counted in the Walker column.
Bradley and other party leaders were surprised by how quickly the race was declared in the governor's favor. He thought the vote might be as close as last year's Supreme Court race, which took a couple of days to sort out.
The state cut the UW System budget by $250 million over two years in the 2011-13 budget. To counter that, the UW System will vote Thursday on a 5.5% tuition increase. We asked UW-La Crosse Chancellor, Joe Gow if they really need the money.
Gow says to make matters worse, in October, the Department of Administration announced UW System had to return $46.1 million in state funding in the 2011-12 academic year to cover budget deficits and will have to return $19.6 million in the 2012-13 fiscal year.
Was a double murder in rural La Crosse County a case of mistaken identity?
The defense lawyers for suspect Eric Koula will argue during his trial this month that professional killers shot Koula's parents, apparently believing that they were in someone else's house. Defense attorney James Koby says a neighbor of the Koulas had received threats for weeks before the murders, and called Sheriff Steve Helgeson after the crime, suggesting that the intruders went to the wrong house.
Following opening arguments on Tuesday, jurors were taken to the Barre Mills house where the murders occurred two years ago. Another family is living there now.
A little better and a little worse. That would sum up Wisconsin's position in per capita income compared to the rest of the nation. A new report says, on one hand, the state's per capita personal income is 3.8% behind the national average, the third consecutive year the state's income has risen in relation to the rest of the US. On the other hand, Wisconsin has dropped to 25th in the nation in the same measurement, at just over forty thousand dollars for last year. The national per capita personal income is closer to 42 thousand dollars. Meanwhile, Minnesota has the 11th highest per capita income in the nation at almost 45 thousand dollars.
A few new city lots could be opening up soon on La Crosse's northside. William Kish is asking the city to allow for a new subdivision on Kane street. Kish tells us he's looking at six new lots on the site of, what he thinks is, a former hobo camp at the 900 block of Kane. Utilities are in place and the city has vacated part of Wall Street and a tiny triangle of land to help the process along. Kish says he's added fill to the property and cleared out brush and he's just waiting on city approval of his plans this week. He says the six lots come in different sizes but all meet the city minimum for lot size.