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A spring referendum on whether to add a city administrator in La Crosse seems imminent. The council has cast a preliminary--near unanious-- vote on holding a referendum. Which is how it should be, former councilman Bill Harnden told current council members last night
While the council casts a final vote on a referendum tomorrow night, two local groups are holding a petition drive to also possibly force a referendum.
The next opponent for La Crosse congressman Ron Kind has a pretty significant military background. Former Fort McCoy garrison commander Ray Boland says he'll run against Kind as a Republican in next year's third district congressional race. Boland, also the former state secretary of Veterans Affairs, complains about runaway spending, reckless borrowing, managerial dysfunction and political gridlock in Washington. Boland plans a formal announcement after the holiday season.
Lacrosse County Deputy, Trisha Stratman avoided any punishment for her role in the death of Holmen teen Brandon Jennings, besides being fired from her job. But how much money did she make while the whole ordeal of charges and courts was going on? Almost $28 thousand.
Stratman was involved in the crash that killed Jennings in July of 2010. Charges were filed against her this past January and she went on a personal leave in February. When she returned back to work, she was on light duty work until she was fired in August. Stratman appealed her firing and state law requires sheriff's deputies continue receiving full pay and benefits until the appeals process is finished.
Stratman lost her appeal and was officially taken off the county payrolls on October 8th. An arbitrator with the Wisconsin Employment Relations Commission will determine whether there was just cause for the firing, but no date has been set for the hearing.
Downtown Lacrosse retailers are hoping the 10 days of Christmas event coming up on the 15th will be a huge draw for shoppers looking for that special or last minute item. Downtown Mainstreet's Tim Kabat says since the 2 major holiday shopping days are here and gone.......retailers are hoping they become the focal point of shopping now.
Downtown stores are offering extended hours during the 10 Days of Christmas from December 15th though the 24th.
La Crosse's winter warming center is located in the basement of the First Baptist Church on West Main Street. It can accomodate around 15 people. And with overnight temp's in the single digits forecasted this week.......the center wil probably have to turn people away. Not something Karen Becker with Catholic Charities wants to see happen. And the stories of what people do when they have no place to stay....she says can be heartbreaking.
The project is a collaboration of congregations, social services and community members to offer homeless adults who don't qualify for shelters a warm, safe place to stay during the cold winter nights. It's open until March 31st.