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.
A UWL student didn't even make it to his first day of school before running afoul of police this semester. Cops say 25 year-old Anthony Belvedere has a felony charge for substantial battery hanging over his head after sucker punching a guy on a street corner early Monday morning. Police say the victim was just talking to a girl he met in a bar. Apparently, it was the way he was talking to her that brought out the wrath of about a half a dozen guys nearby. The victim and his brother were attacked. But it was Belvedere who cops say did the most damage; knocked the guy's tooth out. He was arrested Monday night. No word on whether Belvedere made it to the first day of classes Tuesday.
It's a fourth OWI for a La Crosse guy. But still a felony. Under a law that's new this year in Wisconsin, a fourth OWI is a felony if the last drunk driving arrest was within a five year period. Which fits for Thomas Nold, a 44 year-old guy who was busted late Tuesday night after a convenience store clerk called cops to let them know a drunk guy just left the store with keys in his hand. Nold told cops he'd been drinking all day. They weren't surprised; he blew a .17 on the breathalyzer.
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