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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In August of 2012, the La Crosse School District decided to schedule a fall referendum on whether to build a new north-side elementary school to take the place of two schools showing their age.  Franklin School was built in the 50's, while Roosevelt had been around since 1923.  During a tour of Franklin, a pencil was placed on the floor of a second-story classroom, and the pencil rolled downhill.  Voters okayed the construction plan, with Franklin being torn down to make way for Northside Elementary.  Roosevelt has just been remodeled into an apartment building.  
The La Crosse School Board met one week that summer in an old classroom in the Hogan Administrative Center, instead of the school auditorium.  The board decided to skip the Pledge of Allegiance for the night, because it turned out there wasn't an American flag in the room.
Former Governor Tommy Thompson was running for the U.S. Senate seat being vacated by Democrat Herb Kohl.  Shortly before the summer primary, Thompson...who served as health secretary for Republican President George W. Bush...campaigned in La Crosse with Newt Gingrich, the former Speaker of the House.  Gingrich called Senate Democratic leader Harry Reid "destructive," and said it would be important to have a Republican-controlled Senate if Mitt Romney unseated President Obama.  
"The Hunger Games" and the first Marvel "Avengers" film were big movie hits in 2012, along with new sequels to the animated comedies "Ice Age" and "Madagascar."  Five years ago, yesterday in La Crosse.

Recycling facility could create over 150 jobs 


In August of 1971, about 500 people attended the ground-breaking for a new Kickapoo River dam project near La Farge.  Just one protester spoke out at the ceremony.  The plan to prevent flooding in the Kickapoo Valley had been proposed as early as 1937, and got Congressional approval in 1962.  The $29 million dam was scheduled to be finished in 1977...but construction shut down in '75, as a result of rising costs and growing environmental concerns.  The project never was completed.
La Crosse's city council was busy with a few summertime issues.  The council voted down a plan to resume mosquito control in La Crosse, which used to require sending a fogging machine down the streets on summer nights.  Council members also stopped a plan that would prevent outdoor charcoal grilling within 20 feet of a neighbor's house.  
Some long-running TV shows were ending their runs in the summer of '71...including "The Ed Sullivan Show," "The Beverly Hillbillies," "Green Acres," "Hogan's Heroes," and the western "The High Chapparal."  But August also saw the debut of "The Sonny and Cher Comedy Hour"...46 years ago, yesterday in La Crosse.

Man shot on 8th Street after apparent carjacking


On this day last year, in 2016, Indiana Governor Mike Pence campaigned at UW-La Crosse as the new Republican vice presidential nominee.  Pence led a mid-afternoon rally at the Cartwright Center, saying that Hillary Clinton would continue policies that have run the U-S into an "economic ditch."  He also claimed that the media were biased in favor of Clinton, suggesting it was as if the Packers played every football game on the road in front of hostile refs who favored their opponents.  
Pence was followed to La Crosse the next week by the man at the top of the ticket, Donald Trump.  The presidential candidate arrived at the Charmant Hotel on the night of August 15th, and stayed there until about noon the next day, when he traveled to the Cargill Room at LHI to speak at a local fund-raiser.  Guests attending the luncheon were asked to donate at least $2700 to the campaign.  It was Trump's second visit to La Crosse during the year, following an April speech at the La Crosse Center.  By August, Trump was 15 points behind Clinton in Wisconsin...but in November, he won the state by 23,000 votes, although Clinton took La Crosse County.
The Trump and Pence visits to La Crosse occurred during the Summer Olympics, being staged in Rio.  And for most of the summer, the #1 song on the radio was "One Dance" by Drake, one year ago, 2016...yesterday in La Crosse.

Thursday - August 10, 2017 8:43 am

A full ballot for a house race, 31 years ago

Last year, La Crosse Congressman Ron Kind ran unopposed in the November election in Wisconsin's 3rd District.  Back in 1986, the House race was more lively, with four Democrats lined up to challenge Republican Steve Gunderson.  Karl Kruger, Chessie Lee, and Charles Dow lost the nomination to Leland Mulder of Holmen.  Mulder said he ran because he was angry about farm prices.  Gunderson won his 4th of 8 terms that year.

At Comb Liquidators on French Island, you could buy a sewing machine for $179, or wooden music boxes for $7.99.  Duff's Smorgasbord at Bridgeview Plaza was offering two dinners for $7.95.

"Crime is a the cure."  That was the slogan for Sylvester Stallone's new picture in 1986, a cop movie called "Cobra."  Other hit movies in '86 included "Top Gun," "Aliens" with Sigourney Weaver, and Jeff Goldblum as "The Fly."  Be very afraid, 31 years ago, yesterday in La Crosse.


Project to convert Roosevelt, built in 1923, cost $7 million. 


Police say he beat dog, swung him into TV stand


Wednesday - August 9, 2017 8:42 am

It was easy to find the Stoddard, 49 years ago

In August of 1968, downtown La Crosse's largest hotel, the Hotel Stoddard, put up a huge new rooftop sign that summer, spelling out the building's name in big letters that would be lit at night with fluorescent lights...replacing a worn-out neon sign.  On the other side of 4th Street from the hotel, Montgomery Ward was trying to clear out its air conditioners as summer was ending.  Wards was selling the chillers for as low as 119 dollars.
Richard Nixon won the Republican nomination for president for the second time that summer, and chose Maryland Governor Spiro Agnew as his running mate.  A newspaper story described Agnew as 6-foot-2, a father of four, and an "immaculate dresser."  Wisconsin's delegates put Nixon over the top on the night of the convention roll call at Miami Beach. 
On Sunday nights that August, you could turn on the TV and watch "Mission: Impossible"..."Gentle Ben"...or a new variety show called the "Summer Brothers Smothers Show," hosted by singer Glen Campbell.  The show lasted for four years on CBS, and was renamed "The Glen Campbell Goodtime Hour."  It started in 1968...Yesterday in La Crosse. 



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