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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Tuesday - July 25, 2017 8:42 am

Waiting to get a mall, 43 years ago

In 1974, you could see a big sign along Mormon Coulee Road, promoting a new shopping center to be built soon near the Holy Cross Seminary.  Kraus Anderson of Minneapolis hadn't built anything yet, and Arlen Shopping Centers of Tennessee bought land for a proposed 'Riverside' Mall...which would have three nationally-known department stores, plus 60 smaller stores, and parking for 3000 cars.  Some people opposed the Arlen plan because there were also ideas for a mall downtown, where the La Crosse Center is now.  Arlen eventually got involved with developing Valley View Mall...and the 'Riverside' land became Shelby Mall in the late 70's.  
 
During the last week of July in '74, the House Judiciary Committee in Washington approved three articles of impeachment against President Nixon, charging him with obstruction of justice and abuse of power in allegedly covering up the Watergate scandal.  The full House never got to vote on impeachment, because Nixon resigned in early August, after releasing a White House tape recording which showed he was part of the cover-up.
 
The week that Nixon resigned, the original "Death Wish" with Charles Bronson was the number 1 movie in America.  It ended a five-week run in first-place by "Chinatown," starring Jack Nicholson and Faye Dunaway.  Forget it, Jake, it's Chinatown...in 1974, yesterday in La Crosse.
 
 

Korean War monument at Veterans Park was very popular.  

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Monday - July 24, 2017 9:01 am

Two dead in Winona shooting incident

Police find bodies in house after gunfire

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In the summer of 1983, Assemblyman John Medinger introduced a bill to require anyone between the ages of 18 and 21 in Wisconsin to get a license to drink alcohol.  The minimum drinking age at the time was 18.  Medinger said if a license was needed to drive, why not one for drinking?  It turned out that people preferred raising the drinking age over getting a license.  The following year, Congress passed a law forcing every state to raise the drinking age to 21, or else risk losing federal highway money.
 
A license plate idea for Iowa didn't get very far in '83.  Transportation commissioners in Iowa voted to put a new slogan on the state plate..."Iowa, a state of minds."  It was intended to promote the Hawkeye State as a place for high-tech industries to locate, but the slogan received so much ridicule, the license plate decision was reversed just two weeks later.
 
"The A-Team" was a new hit series on TV in the summer of 1983, while "Three's Company" was about to start its last season.  New shows for the fall included "Manimal," "Webster," and "Scarecrow and Mrs. King"...34 years ago, Yesterday in La Crosse.
 

In August of 1992, Governor Bill Clinton launched his fall campaign for president after the Democratic convention by taking a bus tour through the Midwest with his wife Hillary, and with running mate Al Gore and his wife Tipper.  Clinton's August 7th speech at Copeland Park in La Crosse was covered live on local TV.  A New York Times story described how WKBT bumped "The Price Is Right" and "Family Feud" that Friday morning in favor of Clinton and Gore.  The Times said Channel 8 anchor Bill Hoel offered "minute-by-minute" updates on the visit, with Julie Nelson and Adam Schrager providing their own reports, along with political scientist Joe Heim.

The Times also covered La Crosse's school board recall elections that summer, in which four board members were voted out in July for approving school boundary changes and a new busing plan.  Two other members targeted for recall survived a run-off in August. 

At the movies, Michael Keaton returned as the Caped Crusader in "Batman Returns," and Geena Davis and Madonna played on a women's baseball team in "A League of Their Own"...25 years ago, 1992, yesterday in La Crosse.

 

Washed-out intersection located above the marsh near Myrick Park

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Nine years ago, in the fall of 2008, a new traffic signal was installed at the intersection of West Avenue and Pine Street.  The signal had an electronic voice telling pedestrians to "Wait."  The device replaced a flashing yellow light at the crossing near UW-L.  Residents of a nearby high-rise were happy to get the new signal...but not so happy that it snowed on the late October day when the signal was activated. 

Another traffic improvement was being discussed in 2008, with the Minnesota DOT showing plans for fixing or replacing the I-90 bridge at Dresbach, which was built in the 1960's.  Planners were hoping to start construction by 2012.  The new bridges were dedicated in 2016. 

During all of July and much of August in 2008, the #1 song in America was "I Kissed a Girl" by Katy Perry.  Later in the year, Beyonce had a big hit, singing about all the "Single Ladies"...nine years ago, Yesterday in La Crosse. 

 

 

 

 

Video shows three men breaking off arm of King Gambrinus. 

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Staff cut maintenance repairs from $18 million
to $14 million and want to cut that to $8 million. 

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La Crosse-based business' expansion would add more than a thousand jobs. 

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