The new athletic director at U-W-La Crosse has taken an unusual path to that job...
Josh Whitman was a college football player who went to the N-F-L, and he's been an assistant A-D at the University of Illinois. But right now, Whitman is a lawyer in Washington, D-C. Whitman says his law career has been part of a plan to become an athletic director, because a lawyer has the skills to communicate, and advocate for a cause. Whitman likes the university's commitment to developing champions on the field, and in the classroom. He succeeds Joe Baker, who is now A-D at Carroll University in Waukesha.
He's not generally known as the most vocal city council member in La Crosse. Now, his voice will be completely absent from the council. At least for awhile. Mike Larsen, seventh district representative on the council, is taking a leave of absence. He might be gone, but his seat won't be empty. Council president Audrey Kader has proposed temporarily filling the seventh district slot with former fifth district council member, Jacie Gamroth. The council will vote on it next month. It's not clear how long Larsen will be gone from the council.
Count that as another firefighter retirement and another vacancy in a constantly shrinking La Crosse city department. Assistant chief Randy Loken is retiring from the fire department after 25 years on the job. His retirement comes during a tug of war match going on between some on the city council and Mayor Matt Harter over filling positions in the fire department. Next month the council could vote on sidestepping the mayor to fill up to six current vacancies in the department.
The phone scams that filch seniors out their savings? They really do happen. With frightening regularity. An elderly woman is La Crosse's latest victim. Cops say the 83 year-old got a call from someone claiming to be her grandson. Said he needed a thousand bucks right away. An emergency, he said. Of course, she sent it. Wired it through Western Union And then she got another call asking for more. That's when she called other family members and found out she'd been had. At this point, police have no idea where the money went.
A disagreement over a bloody steak has landed an apparent cocaine dealer in the clink. La Crosse cops say Matthew Ewing made a ruckus over an underdone dinner delivered at a restaurant just south of Riverside Park Wednesday night around 10. Apparently, the restaurant called the cops on the guy. And, they say the 24 year-old Ewing still wasn't a pleasant person when a cop showed up. Wound up in a tussle with the cop. Finally cuffed. On him they found ten grams of coke, nearly four thousand dollars in cash and two cell phones with text messages that read something like, "can you get me an eight ball?" Ewing faces a number of charges.