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Of the metro areas in Wisconsin, La Crosse still has the second lowest unemployment rate. That comes from the monthly employment report released today by the state. The numbers from December show that, while metro La Crosse saw a slight uptick in unemployment rate from the month before, its 5.1 percent jobless rate is just behind that of Madison at 4.7 percent. La Crosse county also has the second lowest county unemployment rate in the state at 4.9 percent. Right behind Dane County at 4.4 percent.
The sign wars aren't over in La Crosse. An advisory referendum seeking input on billboards won't appear on the ballot in the spring. But the city's sign committee is still hatching out new rules for signs. From the sign company, Olympus Media, Mary Niemeyer says she really doesn't mind that process. Better than the referendum idea, she says
The city council this week failed to override Mayor Matt Harter vetoes on the billboard referendum and another measure related to council size.
Official kick-off today for the congressional campaign of Ron Kind's next opponent. Sparta's Ray Boland makes his first run for office as a challenger for the eight term democratic incumbent. Boland says he'll make tackling the federal deficit the number one focus of his campaign
Boland is a former commander of Fort McCoy and a former state Secretary of Veterans Affairs.
(AP) A new poll shows most people support a state law that requires voters to show photo identification at the ballot box starting next month. Gov. Scott Walker and the Republican-controlled Legislature passed the law last spring, saying it was needed to combat voter fraud even though there have been few instances reported in Wisconsin. Democrats have said the law will suppress the rights of minorities, senior citizens, students and the poor. Three lawsuits have been filed challenging the law. The Marquette University Law School poll released Wednesday shows 66 percent of 701 registered voters favor the law. Thirty-two percent oppose it. The voters were polled by telephone Jan. 19-22. The poll has a 3.8 percentage-point margin of error.
(AP) Iowa Secretary of State Matt Schultz plans to unveil a voter identification bill at Statehouse news conference.
Schultz, a Republican, has scheduled an announcement Thursday morning on a voter ID bill. The issue was central to his successful 2010 campaign for secretary of state. Critics of voter ID laws say they unfairly discourage voting by poor, minority and older voters who are less likely to have government issued identification. They also argue that voter fraud is rare. Some say the effort is a ploy to discourage voting by groups that tend to support Democratic candidates. Schultz has noted people have to show identification before boarding an airplane or checking into a hotel room. He says voting is important and requires similar precautions.