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Among the drunk drivers getting nabbed by police in La Crosse this week, there was one guy facing his fifth. Police say Nicholas Bernacchi from La Crescent was stumbling drunk when they stopped him for a burnt-out taillight near Viterbo on Saturday. They say he wouldn't give them a breath sample. They dumped out Bernacchi's two open beers in the car and confiscated a couple knives. Besides the drunk driving charge, Bernacchi faces concealed weapons charges for the knives.
It was a pretty nice day on Saturday around La Crosse. Maybe a little chilly to be pushing motorcycles around without any clothes on. But that's exactly how David Miller was spending his Saturday evening. Right before six, La Crosse police say they could see him from the station. He was the one naked guy running around on the WTC campus. Apparently he was grabbing motorcycles that belonged to others and pushing them. They finally caught up to Miller sitting in the buff on one of the bikes. Didn't know why he was doing it. Didn't know where he was. He did know, however, that he'd smoked some of the drug, ecstasy. A disorderly conduct for Miller and a charge for damaging one of the motorcycles.
Deliberations by the La Crosse city council starting this week on whether to add hundreds of thousands of dollars in new fines and fees. A wide-ranging list of fees to be considered by city council committees starting tomorrow include a higher parade fee, one for escort services, and a launch fee at the city boat ramps. Dozens of possible new fees and higher fines could add up to $700 thousand in revenue to the city budget next year.
Failing to make adequately yearly progress under the federal No Child Left Behind Education Act no longer puts you in an exclusive club. Not in Minnesota, anyway. The state's education department today is out with its list of schools who have or have not managed to make adequate yearly progress as prescribed by the much maligned federal law. Nearly half of the school districts in the state don't make it. Among the many area districts considered lacking are La Crescent-Hokah, Caledonia, Houston, Winona, Austin, Spring Grove, and Lewiston-Altura. A new federal waiver program could mean this is the last year the list will be released.
Next week-end, you can make your lunch plans ahead of time for Historic Downtown La Crosse Days. At least on Saturday. That's when the State Bank Financial Chili cook-off will be held. 20th year for the fundraising event, says State Bank's Jodie Ehrenberger. And it's grown over the years from less than ten chili cooks to an expected forty-plus this year.
The chili cook-off, held in the parking lot of State Bank, benefits local Dare and Great programs as well as Habitat for Humanity.
This year, the cook-off is selling 20 year commemorative buttons to the event. The buttons come with admission for four and a prize entry.