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La Crosse fire fighters have been battling a 2 story apartment building fire for the past hour. The fire, at 920 Fifth Avenue south, started shortly after 2. Firefighters have been in defensive mode for quite some time and at one point, were all ordered out of the building. No injuries have been reported. We'll have more as the afternoon progresses.
A 50 year old postal worker has pleaded guilty to stealing items from people's mail he was supposed to deliver. 50 year old Robert Ernstes of Melrose made the plea Wednesday in a federal courtroom in Madison. Ernstes was caught last year after a postal customer said that money was missing several greeting cards he was sending to family members.
Police found that only Ernstes would have handled the cards. He was caught when a test piece of mail was sent in last year. Ernstes took the mail home with him......and a search of his car, home, and garage turned up some 9 thousand pieces of mail dating back to November, 2008. Ernstes faces 5 years in prison and hefty fines when sentenced in May.
'You're going to...die now.'
According to a criminal complaint, that's what an Onalaska man said to his girlfriend as he tried to choke her last month. Amberique Winters pleads 'not guilty' to charges of strangulation and battery, resulting from fights with the victim. No trial date has been set. The woman claims Winters attempted to strangle her, struck her face, and dragged her around her house by her wrists. He reportedly threatened to kill her if she saw other men.
Having one person lead the police and fire departments? Who's ever heard of such a thing? They have in Oconomowoc. One of the few cities in Wisconsin who have one public safety director in charge of police and fire, something that La Crosse mayor Matt Harter wants to study as an option. And it's a pretty good option, says Oconomowoc administrator, Diane Gard
Mayor Harter would like to hold off on hiring a new permanent police chief until the idea of combining the leadership of police and fire can be studied.
When the La Crosse city council approved a new ordinance regarding marijuana possession, the police chief wasn't happy about it. Last summer, police chief Ed Kondracki said his officers didn't want the ability to write tickets for marijuana possession and warned about a perception of drug tolerance because of the drug. Although the last part might be hard to quantify, the count on the marijuana possession tickets is easy to measure. Police say 64 have been cited for marijuana possession since the new law went into effect. 118 have been arrested for misdemeanor possession during the same period of time.