The crash report is finished...
A supervisor with the Wisconsin State Patrol tells us that the report on a fatal collision this summer near Holmen should be delivered to the La Crosse District Attorney today. Supervisor Duane Meyers expects the D-A to release results of the investigation by early next week, after deciding whether charges should be filed in the case. Sixteen-year-old Brandon Jennings was killed on July 18th when his car collided with a La Crosse County squad car that was heading to a crime scene in Holmen. The deputy who drove the squad car has been on routine leave since the accident, while the State Patrol investigated.
Jack Litsheim sat at the bar talking about it all night. La Crosse police say the 52 year-old told his buddy at their watering hole on Jackson street last night that he was going to climb the big crane across the street at a Viterbo construction site. Told the bartender the same thing. So, after sitting at the bar talking about it for six hours, Litsheim walked across Jackson, crawled under a construction trailer and climbed the 400 foot crane. Eventually made it to the top and turned off the aircraft warning light. Although a cop eventually convinced him to turn it back on. Streets were blocked, emergency crews were standing by. Finally a crane operator lowered Litsheim to the ground. He faces a couple minor charges for the climb.
Mike Larsen did originally ask to be replaced temporarily on the La Crosse city council. The seventh district rep admits to us he asked council president Audrey Kader to fill his seat while he recovered from an ailment. That was then. This is now. And now, Larsen tells us he'd rather former city council member Jacie Gamroth not be appointed as a fill-in for his seat. Larsen says he'll be back on the job next month. Meanwhile, the city council will vote for the final time tonight on whether to replace Larsen for the time being with Gamroth.
Some daunting new water treatment rules are now in effect in Wisconsin. The new regs from the DNR try to rein in the levels of phosphorous released into waterways in the state from sources like farm fields and water treatment plants. Could cost millions to comply with, says La Crosse city water utility manager, Mark Johnson. But new advances in technology may mitigate some of the costs and make complying with the new rules easier to stomach. The new rules call for phosphorous levels from treatment plants that are five times lower than La Crosse's current levels.
It may not solve La Crosse's flooding problems, but supporters of so-called rain circles hope it makes a dent. City public works director Dale Hexom tells us he's not so sure a traffic circle-rain garden hybrid on the southside will do much to minimize flooding damage. Hexom says the real solution for intense flooding during heavy rains is big changes under the streets. He says the city needs bigger outlets into local waterways and larger diameter sewage pipes would have to go underground. Total cost? Tens of millions of dollars. The rain circle poised for approval by the city council tonight? Twenty thousand bucks or so.