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Cooking a pizza snack on the stove is what apparently started a fire that gutted a three-apartment house in La Crosse on Thursday.
While nobody was hurt in the afternoon fire, structural damage could make it impractical to fix the house. Owner Rick Hamilton got an assessment of damage from the assistant fire chief, hearing about severe damage to the walls and roof. One of the three units had been vacated recently. The current tenants were accounted for soon after the fire was reported.
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.