A recent US Census Bureau study pegged the overall poverty rate for La Crosse county at nearly 15 percent, putting it just outside the ten poorest counties in the state. But a new look at the poverty numbers by the UW Extension excludes the high number of 18-24 year-olds that are a part of La Crosse's population by virtue of three colleges. Take that population out, and La Crosse's poverty level drops to about ten percent, right about at the middle for all counties in the state.
Police rarely get thanked by someone they've arrested. But it happened this week-end in La Crosse. Cops nabbed Charles Simpson driving without a license in an unregistered car on the northside. Apparently, he smelled of pot, so they called out Brutus to give the car a K-9 once over. They found some green leafy alright. A few grams of it. They say the 35 year-old Simpson thanked them for arresting him for possession. Said he'd talked about quitting smoking pot and getting arrested might be exactly what he needs.
Not a snowstorm, nor a teacher sick-out, not even a failed boiler. The reason Houston, Minnesota schools are closing at noon today is much more mundane. Just no water. A water main break between the city and school property means water will have to be shut off for repairs. Houston district bosses says they're unsure whether school will reopen tomorrow.
La Crosse police are still searching for a thug who pulled a gun on a clerk at a southside Kwik Trip around midnight on Saturday. Police say they guy covered his face with something, pulled a gun, demanded money and took off. Cops won't say if he got any cash. They're looking for a white guy, 5'8", medium build, 25 to 35. At the time of the hold up, he was wearing dark clothing.
After a couple of delays the long-awaited two year state budget from governor Walker should be out this week. The governor last week moved the delivery of his budget address to March first--tomorrow. La Crosse mayor Matt Harter says he doesn't know any details. But he's got a pretty good idea in general what to expect. Cuts in shared revenue and plenty of them. That's, after all, part of the message that Scott Walker campaigned on in his run for governor.
Harter has already said that he'll look at police and fire budgets for significant cost savings if the city's budget faces a shortfall from the state.