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Obey traffic laws on your bicycle? You may not be in the majority in La Crosse.
City council president Audrey Kader this week expressed a little frustration that bicyclists were more often than not ignoring traffic laws. Police sergeant Kirk Flatten concedes more enforcement of bicycle rules could help that problem. He says, when there's more enforcement of traffic laws with cars and trucks, the compliance rates for those traffic laws increases. And the same is probably true for bicyclists as well. But Flatten says education also helps to get those on bikes more inclined to obey the rules of the road.
Kader's rip on bicyclists comes at the same time the city council is poised to adopt new rules that mandate at least a consideration of adding things like bike lanes when planning road construction projects
In the lobby of Onalaska City Hall, you can see Jason Gilman's name on a plaque listing people who helped plan the new city building more than 10 years ago.
Gilman has worked at City Hall for more than a decade, but now he's been hired by Winona County for a new job there. Onalaska Mayor Mike Giese is sorry to see Gilman leave, but says the city planner deserves to move on to bigger things. Gilman will become the director of Community and Environmental Protection Services in Winona County. That post results from a consolidation of three county agencies.
La Crosse State Representative Jennifer Shilling defeated republican Dan Kapanke in one of six recall elections decided in Wisconsin yesterday. Shilling won with 55% of the vote. A race that drew millions of dollars in spending by outside groups. Nearly 60 thousand voters turned out in the 32nd district for the recall race. In the 18th senate district, democrat Jessica King also ended a republican senator's term early; ousting first term senator Randy Hopper by a two point margin. The victories were one short of giving democrats the three wins they need to wrest control of the senate from republicans in Madison. Two final recall elections for democratic senators will be held next week.
Representative Steve Doyle has been appointed to a Special Task Force on UW Restructuring and Operational Facilities. The Committee was created during the State Budget discussions when a proposal to separate the UW-Madison from the UW System was deleted. The Committee will be given the task of determining whether there is a need to change the UW System and, if so, to make recommendations as to a new governance structure.
The Committee is comprised of 17 members appointed by the Governor and the Legislative Leaders. The Committee will include public and business leaders and one member of the public will serve as Chairperson.
If the Committee determines that there is a need to make changes to the current system, they must offer recommendations. The first consideration will be how to transition employees between systems, and how pay plans for System employees should be determined in the future. They will also need to decide if tuition flexibility can be extended to the UW System and what role the Legislature should have in establishing tuition rates. Finally, the Committee will review how transfer of credits between the UW institutions can be improved. The task force must submit a report to the Governor by January 1st, 2012.
A young father from Bangor whose baby died accidentally pleads guilty to child neglect.
Sean Meyer entered an Alford plea, meaning he can be convicted but does not admit to guilt. Meyer said in court that he never would have put his four-month-old daughter atop a bean bag chair, if he had thought she would fall off and become trapped under the chair. The child died in May of last year. Judge Ramona Gonzalez imposed a one-thousand dollar fine against Meyer. The money will be paid from the bond that was posted when Meyer was jailed after his child's death.