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Lacrosse County has a new board chair. It's Tara Johnson. She was voted in Thursday night by her surrounding supervisors. The District 18 Representative replaces Steve Doyle, who was recently elected to the Wisconsin State Assembly. Doyle has retained his seat on the county board. Johnson has been a board member for the past 11 years. She is also a former director of the Lacrosse Area United Way.
Two UW-L professors have found potentially toxic lead contamination in the La Crosse River marsh that could be a threat to the waterfowl, muskrats, turtles and other species that live there. The La Crosse Gun Club operated on the northeast side of Myrick Park between 1932 and 1963, and hosted regional, state and national trapshooting competitions. By the trail entrance on the marsh’s south side, big slabs of concrete mark spots where sportsmen aimed their shotguns at clay pigeons. The lead shot fired from their guns fell into the muddy waters and sank. The bad news is all this lead is potentially contaminating the soil of the marsh.
Preliminary data from 2 UW-L professors collected shows the lead concentration at greater than 1,200 parts per million in some places — a level three times higher than what the Environmental Protection Agency considers safe. The two stress their research is preliminary and there may be no environmental concerns for the wildlife or vegetation in the La Crosse River marsh. Right now their goal is to determine how much lead is in the marsh and where.
Stephanie Hanna, education manager for the Myrick Hixon EcoPark, says the information Perroy and Belby generate could be used to help educate the public about the marsh, located in the EcoPark’s backyard. Hanna says the research would ultimately help people make decisions about living sustainability within their environment. The data could also aid future chemical and biological studies at UW-L and elsewhere. While collecting aquatic insects in the marsh a couple years ago, Roger Haro, a UW-L biology professor, found several baby dragonflies with a deformed antennae. Potential follow-up research for Haro would be studying areas in the marsh where they’ve found high concentrations of lead to see if the incidence of deformities in invertebrates is higher in those areas.
A section of Main street in La Crosse will shut down for several weeks beginning on Monday. The city's traffic engineer says Main will be closed from 20th to Losey boulevard for six weeks to do some road construction and utility work. The street's anticipated to be fully open to traffic by September 2nd.
Last night, the Wisconsin state Assembly passed a bill drawing boundary lines for the state's 132 legislative districts. The bill passed 57-40 and now heads to Governor Scott Walker for his consideration. And before the Governor signs the bills, U.S. Representative Ron Kind wants him to think before signing. Kind is asking the Governor to veto the bills.
He says this process is one of the most partisan processes our state has seen....rushing the process to draw divisive lines before towns can draw their own boundaries and manipulating expected outcomes to secure Republican seats.
The Wisconsin Democrat says the redistricting maps passed by the state legislature are just another partisan power grab by our state government.
The Senate passed the bill on Tuesday.
Stopping your car to watch animals can be dangerous...
That message comes from local investigators, after a Black River Falls woman was killed in a crash yesterday near Bangor. Vicky Drews died after slamming into the back of a car that was parked on Highway 162. The driver of that car said she wanted to watch a bear from alongside the road. She will not be prosecuted by the D-A, but got a ticket for improperly stopping on a highway.