New ideas being bounced around to pay for state's infrastructure
Rangers go from playing on basically dirt to new field turf
What does Ron Johnson have against higher education? The U.S. Senator from Wisconsin is trying to backpedal now after his controversial comments about college. Johnson mused that we can replace...
ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) This part of summer is a time for patriotism. It's also the time new state laws go into effect across the nation. Fiscal years begin July 1 on most financial calendars, and a slew of state government spending regulations kick in each year on that date. Policy laws also hit the books in a wave, though states often mark their independence by enacting such legislation on their own time.
Among the laws set to take effect this year around the U.S. are new abortion limits, gun laws and technology rules. And one state, Wyoming, will start setting up a lottery Monday, leaving only a handful of states without a jackpot drawing. So as you get ready for Fourth of July cookouts and family gatherings, consider this roundup of recently passed Minnesota legislation:
TAXES: A batch of new taxes takes effect July 1. The state cigarette tax more than doubles to $2.83 per pack. The state will require online retailers to collect sales tax on digital purposes, such as music and video downloads. The top 2 percent of wage earners will pay 2 percentage points more on a slice of their income.
ALCOHOL: Fee-based liquor tastings will be considered legal at properly licensed charitable, club or religious organization events as of July 1. Previously, taste-tests had been limited to wine only.
GAY MARRIAGE: Starting Aug. 1, gay marriage will be legal in Minnesota.
911 CALLS: Starting Aug. 1, calling 911 with a fake emergency will carry stiffer penalties, up to felony charges if someone is seriously hurt while responding.
MILWAUKEE (AP) The MillerCoors partnership is now five years old, and analysts say the joint venture between Miller Brewing and Coors Brewing Co. has saved nearly $900 million over that period through lower costs. The two companies merged five years ago Monday. Since then MillerCoors' annual net income has risen 37 percent, from $892 million in 2009 to $1.22 billion last year.
The rise in income comes even as sales volume has fallen 6 percent. That's partly because of the cost savings and because beer prices are up.
The company says the number of brewery employees hasn't changed in five years. But there are about 40 percent few office workers, with some of the jobs shifting to the company's new headquarters in Chicago.
LA CROSSE, Wis. (AP) The La Crosse County Sheriff's Department wants boaters to use extra caution on the Mississippi River due to high water.
The Mississippi River is at near flood-stage levels near La Crosse, which means there could be added potential for debris that could puncture a boat or damage a motor. Sheriff's officials are on patrol to make sure boaters slow down.
Sheriff's Deputy Patty Meoska says when the water is above the 10-foot mark, there is a slow no wake zone in many parts of the river. She says high waters can make navigating tricky, especially for out-of-town boaters who might be unfamiliar with the river.
A driver fell asleep behind the wheel at 4 in the morning this weekend, near Readstown...
Three people were in the car when it went off Vernon County Highway T and rolled over. One passenger was ejected, and had neck and back injuries as a result. Twenty-three-year-old Carrie Hanson of Viroqua managed to get to a private residence after the crash, but then was taken by ambulance to Vernon Memorial Hospital, and then transferred to La Crosse. The other passenger in the car had minor injuries, and the female driver, Bryany Everson of Viroqua, was not hurt. Sheriff's officers say Everson waited nearly six hours to report the accident on Sunday.
Temps were high on the 4th of July last year in La Crosse...and on the 6th of July, too.
The mercury got up to 100 on both of those days in 2012, keeping many people from attending Riverfest and other activities. Not much trouble with heat predicted on the holiday this year. Meteorologist Marv Holewinski tells us that temperatures should remain around a normal of 80 for much of this week. He even doubts that La Crosse will see highs above 85 in the first two weeks of July.
The first half of 2013 was the second-wettest on record in La Crosse, second only to 1993. The city's precipitation is nine inches above normal this year. In Madison, precip is 14 inches over normal.
Today, the City of La Crosse’s Community Development Block Grant Committee released its annual report. Last year, the City spent just over $1.4 million on community development, economic development, and housing programs. The report addresses the results of an annual grant given to the City from US Department of Housing and Urban Development. Its purpose is to help address urgent community needs. Highlights from the report include that the City provided grants to 15 community organizations, including the Boys and Girls Club, the Salvation Army, and St. Clare Health Mission. Together, these 15 organizations provided services to over 5,500 low-income families ranging from health care for the uninsured to after-school programming for teens in the Powell-Hood-Hamilton neighborhood. The City also provided low-interest loans to two area small businesses. The City of La Crosse Housing Program also worked towards improving the city’s housing stock and creating affordable housing. The program demolished blighted properties and built new homes and significantly renovated others. Last year, the City sold nine homes, began construction on 10 new properties, renovated seven homes, and acquired five additional blighted properties for demolition. Finally, the City’s housing and small business revolving loan programs brought in over $500,000 in income which leveraged private resources to support these programs. The full report is available on the City’s website, http://www.cityoflacrosse.org/index.aspx?NID=2604.