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Brad Williams

Brad Williams

A native of Prairie du Chien, Brad graduated from U-W-La Crosse and has worked in radio news for more than 30 years, mostly in the La Crosse area.  Brad writes the website "Triviazoids," which finds odd connections between events that happen on a certain date, and he writes and performs with the local comedy group Heart of La Crosse.  He's been featured on several national TV programs because of his memory skills.  

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3 suspects in La Crosse drug arrest get five-figure cash bond


In March of 1968, weather experts said no flooding was likely along the Upper Mississippi that spring.  Just a year earlier, the river had reached almost three feet above flood stage in La Crosse...which at that time, was the 4th highest ever in the city.  But in early '68, La Crosse was finishing its driest winter ever.  It's still the only winter on record in the city when there was under 10 inches of snow for the entire season.  La Crosse had less than 1 inch of snow total from February 1st through the end of March.
Wisconsin's young attorney general, Bronson La Follette, decided he didn't want a third term as the top lawyer in the state.  La Follette sought and won the Democratic nomination for governor in '68...but lost to Republican Warren Knowles, who did get a third term at his job.
La Crosse's Montgomery Ward store was celebrating its 2nd birthday on the old courthouse square downtown.  It held a birthday party on St. Patrick's Day, featuring a 100-pound birthday cake filled with cash.  The site of the old Ward store is now Belle Square.
And the Beatles had their first new single of 1968, "Lady Madonna"...yesterday in La Crosse.

Thursday - March 22, 2018 8:44 am

March Madness on the radio, 54 years ago

In March of 1964, WKTY Radio was broadcasting the WIAA state basketball tournament, as well as important regional, sub-sectional, and sectional games.  The playoffs were "presented" by Standard Oil.  In those days, only the boys went to state...only eight schools...and the champion that year was a southwestern Wisconsin school, Dodgeville.  La Crosse Central had played at state just two years earlier, and the Red Raiders wouldn't make it back there again until 1987. 

Voters in Westby had to decide on whether to build a new high school for $850,000.  If the vote was "yes," then the Westby district would tear down the old elementary school, and move grades 3 through 8 into the existing high school.

At the Hollywood Theater in La Crosse, boxing fans could see film of the February title fight in which Cassius Clay beat Sonny Liston.  The 30-minute show featured fight highlights in slow motion.  The Clay-Liston fight could be seen four times a day, between showings of the romance "Love with the Proper Stranger," starring Natalie Wood and Steve McQueen.  Fifty-four years ago, 1964, yesterday in La Crosse.


Wednesday - March 21, 2018 8:44 am

A bombing scare in the Midwest, 34 years ago

People in La Crosse were nervous in late May of 1984, when pipe bombs were being found throughout the city.  At least six of the devices were found by La Crosse police in just two days.  One was accidentally set off by a power company employee outside St. Joseph the Workman Cathedral, while Aquinas High School was holding its graduation mass inside.  Somebody claimed credit for the bombs in the name of "The North Central Gay Strike Force Against Public Oppression.'  A few days later, a Minnesota man, Earl Karr, was arrested when his rental car blew up in Iowa.  Karr was sentenced to 10 years in prison for planting about two dozen pipe bombs in four states.
A flame that people in La Crosse wanted to see in '84 was the Olympic torch, being carried across the U.S. on the way to the summer games in Los Angeles.  Deak Swanson of La Crosse was chosen to run 1K of the 19,000K torch relay.  Deak would run on behalf of the La Crosse Boys and Girls Club. 
Some of the songs topping the record charts in early 1984 were "Footloose" by Kenny Loggins..."Against All Odds," by Phil Collins...and Boy George and Culture Club singing "Karma Chameleon."  In 1984, yesterday in La Crosse.

A new team competition started up in La Crosse in 1991, a Corporate Spelling Bee.  A local literacy council recruited three-person teams from companies throughout the area to see which employers had the best spellers.  The corporate bee was held in early September at Valley View Mall, and the tradition continued for several years afterward.

Twenty years before Obamacare, Milwaukee area Congressman Jim Moody told an audience at La Crosse's Baus Haus that he thought people would accept a Canadian-style system of health care.  Moody claimed the American Medical Association had fought Medicare until just a few years earlier.  He said more than 30 million Americans, including 12 million children, had little or no health insurance.

On TV in 1991, the most popular network shows included "60 Minutes," "Cheers," "Home Improvement," "Roseanne," and "Murphy Brown."  After all these years, "60 Minutes" is still around, and both "Roseanne" and "Murphy Brown" are coming back with new episodes in 2018...but they were hits 27 years ago, Yesterday in La Crosse.


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