Mitch Reynolds

Mitch Reynolds

Mitch Reynolds is the News Director at Midwest Family Broadcasting. He covers the internecine agonies of La Crosse city hall. He really likes basketball.

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Friday - March 19, 2010 6:48 pm

Mayor Harter Will Get Input From Ethics Board

It's the Mayor's way of taking the bull by the horns, as he sees it.   La Crosse mayor Matt Harter is asking the city's ethics board to give him guidance regarding meetings he's had with the county solid waste director regarding a coming solid waste study as well as how to proceed with the study and its outcomes in the future.  Harter has taken heat for more than a week for bringing his father, owner of the city's garbage contractor, to meetings with the county's garbage boss.  Questions have been raised about whether Harter's trying to influence the county study to help his family's business.   City council member Dick Swantz has asked for a legal opinion on the matter.  So far, no ethics complaint has been filed against the mayor. 


Friday - March 19, 2010 1:14 pm

Stimulus Money to Fitght Obesity in La Crosse

Millions in federal stimulus money is on the way to La Crosse county. Not to build anything, necessarily. This is more deconstructive money. It's grant money that's coming to help reduce obesity, promote healthy eating habits and increase physical activity among children. La Crosse will use some of the cash its collecting to, among other things, expand existing Safe Routes to School programs. La Crosse is one of two counties in the state to collect the federal fat-fighting cash.


Friday - March 19, 2010 1:13 pm

Holmen Eighth-Grader Expelled

It doesn't happen often in Holmen. Hardly ever, in fact, has there been occasion for the Holmen school district to expel a student. Happened this week. The district won't divulge many details, but the school board agreed to expulsion of an eighth grade student at a special meeting this week. Superintendent Dale Carlson will only say that the student was endangering the health and safety of others.


Thursday - March 18, 2010 12:53 pm

Mayor's Talks With Father May Break Rules

"He's my dad.  I have a relationship with him, I talk to him about work."  La Crosse mayor Matt Harter made that admission during a press conference he called last week to address questions surrounding a visit he made with his dad to the county's solid waste director.  Oops.   In a confidential memo our newsroom has obtained, the city attorney says those casual dinner conversations may violate the citys' confidentiality ordinances.   Another warns that other comments the mayor made about lobbying city council members at their home could violate open meetings rules.


Thursday - March 18, 2010 9:48 am

Police: Store Clerk Steals Thousands

Dipping into the till could lead to big jail time for a Viroqua woman. 19 year-old Laura Christensen faces felony theft and forgery charges for ripping off her employer for thousands. La Crosse police say Christensen forged names on return slips at a La Crosse hardware store on the southside. Basically doing phony returns. A few hundred dollars at a time over the last several months added up fast. They figure Christensen's stolen nearly eleven thousand dollars since about January. Police say they've got videos that catch her in the act.


Thursday - March 18, 2010 9:46 am

Unemployment Picture Bad, With Bright Spots

There's good news and bad news for La Crosse in the latest state unemployment numbers.   The bad news is that unemployment numbers for January are as bad in  La Crosse area as they've been in decades.   8.7% unemployment.  Puts the city right about in the middle of the pack among the state's 31 biggest cities.  It's also the same unemployment rate as Wisconsin on the whole.   The slightly better news is that it's still a full percentage point lower than the nation.   And the relatively good news is that in the whole of La Crosse county, the unemployment rate is 7.5%.  Second best in the state behind Dane county. 


Wednesday - March 17, 2010 10:55 am

Mayor: No Merit Pay Hikes for Dept. Heads

No extra in the paycheck for you, Mister city department head.
La Crosse city department heads are going through their annual evaluations. in the past those evals had been used to justify giving some pretty sizable pay bumps to high level employees. Not this year, says Mayor Matt Harter.  That decision based, he says, on the economic condition of the city right now.
Harter says the new austerity sends a message to taxpayers that city employees will suffer right along with those who pay their salaries.


Tuesday - March 16, 2010 12:00 pm

IT Director Not Working, Still Evaluated

Among the department heads getting their annual review in La Crosse city hall: David Montealegre. The IT director will still get evaluated even though he's been absent from his job for more than six weeks while he faces federal fraud charges in Texas. Mayor Matt Harter says everything's been running pretty smoothly without him.  But, the mayor says, the status of Montealegre is still under review and no decision has been made about what to do about him.   Montealegre's currently on unpaid leave from his job.   






It's going to be hard for Jason Grassman to feel at home on La Crosse's northside when he's not supposed to be there. Grassman's the latest sexual offender to be released to Attic Correctional on the city's northside. Starting today, he's to live at the Rose street facility, just yards away from the Three Rivers Waldorf school. Even though conditions of his release clearly state that he's not to be within two blocks of schools, libraries, parks or anywhere kids hang out. The 29 year-old was convicted and did time for sexual assault of a child. They say he had sex with girls as young as 13.


Tuesday - March 16, 2010 11:56 am

Fence Removed in Front of Transit Center

The commute just got a little easier for people in La Crosse.   Fencing that's been a fixture downtown in front of the city's new transit center on third street has been removed.   Finally widening southbound lanes after months of a bottleneck.   The transit center is supposed to see buses coming through sometime this spring.