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(AP) A former Coulee Region postal worker has pleaded guilty in federal court to stealing 9,000 pieces of mail. Fifty-year-old Robert Ernstes, of Melrose, told a federal judge in Madison Thursday that he took the mail because ``times were tough, money was tight and bills were piling up.'' Ernstes worked at the downtown La Crosse post office. A Holmen man who mailed cards containing $2 bills to his grandchildren alerted authorities after the cards were delivered, but had been opened and were missing the bills. Ernstes admitted in court to taking money from envelopes he opened. The stolen mail has been held as evidence, but will now be released for delivery.
(AP) Legislation under debate at the Capitol would significantly increase compensation for those wrongly convicted and incarcerated. One of the bill's authors, Rep. Mark Pocan, says a guilty person gets more help from the state upon their release from prison than someone who was wrongly convicted. Pocan and Rep. Garey Bies are proposing payouts for exonerated prisoners from $5,000 for every year behind bars to a maximum $50,000 a year.
Wisconsin Innocence Project co-director Keith Findley says the Badger State is dead last on compensating those who are wrong convicted and imprisoned. The organization has used DNA to free 14 wrongly convicted prisoners since 1998. The bill has little chance of passage this session. But, Pocan's staff says it's well positioned for early consideration next session.
(AP) A Wisconsin police chief who faces sexual assault and other charges has been found in south-central Nebraska. The Nebraska State Patrol says 29-year-old Shay Larson was taken into custody just after 1 a.m. Friday at a truck stop near the Elm Creek interchange on Interstate 80. Wisconsin authorities had passed along tips that Larson might be driving a semitrailer in the area. Nebraska troopers checked the truck stop and found a big rig with Wisconsin plates. The patrol says Larson was in the truck. He remains in the Buffalo County jail, awaiting extradition to Wisconsin. The patrol says Larson is chief in the village of Readstown, Wis. He's is charged in Vernon County with sexual assault, misconduct in public office, disorderly conduct and obstructing an officer.
The La Crosse Aiport has been using a new, computerized full body scanning machine for the past week.....so the results from the airport and passengers so far?
The body scanner uses millimeter wave technology which is safe for all passengers, including children and pregnant women. The scanner meets all safety standards and uses 1,000 times less energy than the international limits.
As quite a few towns in the area start to look at long range goals.....the Village of Homen has their sites set on buildings. And to build or not to build anew library has become first and foremost sayas village President, Nancy Proctor.
She says several board members have chimed in lately on other building needs....they are on paper now....and possibly could see action this year.