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Interviews are taking place today for Winona County's new Community and Environmental Protection Services director position. And the two being interviewed are John Shepard of Slayton, Minnesota and Jason Gilman of Onalaska. Gilman is Onalaska's Land Use and Development Director.
County Administrator Duane Hebert says they consolidated the emergency management, planning and environmental services departments recently.....all at a huge cost savings. Hebert said the county expects to extend an offer to one of the finalists early next week.
The county began its search for the director this spring, and two finalists, Shepard and Howard Blin, were selected in early June. But the county terminated the process after county commissioner Marcia Ward made statements about the applicants’ ages..... hiring based on age is illegal. A second hiring process began later in June, and previous applicants were encouraged to reapply.
First time in 15 years, they're saying...
Folks at the Minnesota DNR report that a rattlesnake attack near Caledonia last week was the first one against a human in the state since 1996. The main reason they don't happen very often...rattlers have become rare in the upper Mississippi Valley. Iowa State Extension wildlife specialist Rebecca Christoffel also believes the rarity is partly the result of people just wanting to stay away from snakes. The hiker who was bitten is still being treated in La Crosse, a week after the attack. A DNR rep says the guy was lucky to be wearing high-top shoes, so the ankle bite didn't cause much damage.
Many kids never get a swim lesson. Any number of reasons. Lack of resources. No time at the pool. Possibility to correct that in August. With a week of free swim lessons at the YMCA with the help of Gundersen Lutheran. Kim Lombard from Gundersen says learning some of the basics of water safety is essential for kids. Proven, she says, by the number of accidental drownings of children that occur in the state every year. The Y says they can take over a hundred kids for the week of free lessons. Classes start the second week of August.
Earlier this month, the picture of job creation in Wisconsin was a pretty rosy one. Governor Walker made a show of announcing the nine thousand plus jobs created in the state over one month. New report from the state's labor department shows that not every place in Wisconsin is sharing in the bounty. La Crosse is one of the areas where numbers of jobs have actually disappeared month to month and since last year. The metro area has lost 1200 jobs since last year and about four hundred from May to June. Unemployment rate in La Crosse is still one of the best in the state, at 6.7%, right behind the Madison area.
The La Crosse Police Department is currently seeking information on the whereabouts of Avery B. Gipson, a 15 year old male. He was last heard from around 10:30 p.m. Wednsday night in the area of 200 South 5th Ave in La Crosse. Police say at this time there is no reason to believe he is in danger. He has not been in touch with family or friends since that time Wednesday night.