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Like locusts, the storm chasers have descended upon La Crosse since last week's tornado. Out of town contractors setting up offices here and there, knocking on doors, sending out postcards with local numbers printed along with assurances that they're Better Business Bureau-approved. A city council member on the southside had just about enough of a guy from Big Lake, Minnesota, however. Mark Lemme with Aztec construction was making the rounds and irritating the neighbors looking for work. Called the cops on Lemme after finding out the guy didn't have local solicitor's permit. Lemme now owes a fine for about 160 bucks. Says he didn't know he needed a permit.
It's always more convenient for police to make an arrest near a jail. So, a quick note of thanks is probably in order for 23 year-old Jasmine Herod. Arrested this week-end in La Crosse in the parking lot just south of the jail building downtown. Busted after a witness said the drunken Herod punched her man in the face, tossed her shoes in the street and, generally, was making a big ruckus at around 3:30 in the morning. In an argument with her fella, police say over whether to drive home to Onalaska or take a cab.
La Crosse isn't the only US city with a population over fifty thousand in which more than half the property is rentals. Not even the only the one in Wisconsin. But, according to new census numbers, La Crosse is only one of 25 in the US that went from under half rental to having a majority of rentals from 2000 to 2010. Higher percentages of rental properties is often seen as an indication of a lack of financial stability in a population. The US average for rental properties in cities is now just about 35%.
City crews continue to pick up fallen tree debris after Sunday's storm. But they've also moved on to collecting wreckage from buildings as well. The city of La Crosse says it will be picking up limited amounts of storm-damaged building materials like siding, insulation and shingles but only from the storm damage areas. Crews will be picking up those piles--no bigger than four feet in any direction--curbside. But they won't collect if there's regular household garbage or tree debris mixed in.
After a disaster, the Red Cross is always there to help. Probably sensing a level of gratitude in the community for the local chapter's help after Sunday's storm, somebody is apparently going door to door locally soliciting donations in the name of the Red Cross. The only problem is, the Scenic Bluffs chapter of the Red Cross hasn't sanctioned any fundraising effort on the heels of the storm and is warning against giving money to anyone who claims to be representing the Red Cross. However, the group asks anyone who wants to do a fundraiser to please call the local chapter first.