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Voters in Sparta will decide today whether or not the school district can raise extra money in a referendum for building improvements, after school programs and classroom technology. John Hendricks, the Superintendent of the Sparta Schools, says the referendum would not add to the current tax bill for homeowners because it would replace a referendum passed in 2007, currently in effect, which is set to expire this year.
A renewal would allow the district to continue to exceed its state imposed revenue cap by $750 thousand annually for the next three years.
When the 23rd annual MOSES Organic Farming Conference starts Thursday at the La Crosse Center, expect to see several thousand people milling around the downtown area. Center Director, Art Fahey, says this is one the largest events they will host this year...and he has seen it grow in size over the years.
In 1989, about 90 people attended the conference. Last year, over 3 thousand people attended the event. It is the largest organic farming conference in the U.S. organized by the Midwest Organic and Sustainable Education Service.
Minnesota republican lawmakers and governor Dayton haven't exactly been chummy in the last year or so. But Preston state rep Greg Davids says relationships may thaw a little. The republican chair of the house tax committee in Saint Paul says he's pleasantly surprised with much of what he heard from the governor in last week's state of the state address. Davids says, even the democrat's tone was more positive
Davids says he jotted down several positive notes about issues he'd be willing to work with the governor on. Like one of Dayton's top priorities, a new Vikings stadium.
A Sparta man who was shot by police after pointing a rifle at them last month, was in a Monroe County courtroom today. Bond in the amount of $2500 was set for 19 year old Jacob Olsen. Olsen was shot twice by Sparta Police Sgt. Booker Ferguson January 19th after ignoring several commands to drop the rifle. Olsen was taken to a hospital in Sparta, but was later transferred to Gundersen Lutheran in La Crosse for treatment of gunshots wounds to the chest and abdomen. Olsen was released from the hospital last Friday, and was booked into the Monroe County Jail on possible charges of pointing a gun at an officer and second degree recklessly endangering safety. More charges are pending a review of a Department of Justice investigation. Olsen was scheduled to appear in court again next week.