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Good news on the job front, La Crosse posted the state's second-lowest unemployment rate as Wisconsin continued to add jobs in April. Each of Wisconsin's 12 metropolitan areas posted job growth last month, according to data released today by the Department of Workforce Development. La Crosse was among four metro areas to add 500 or more jobs, and the unemployment rate dropped to 6.1 percent, second only to Madison. The statewide unemployment rate was 8.2 percent.
Looks like a rematch for a local assembly race. Two years ago democratic challenger and the head of the local red cross chapter Cheryl Hancock ran against incumbent state representative Mike Huebsch. The West Salem republican held on to his seat. If he wants to serve another two years he will have to defeat Hancock for a 2nd time. Later today Hancock is holding a news conference to announce her candidacy.
At some point, the state of Wisconsin is going to figure out exactly what it wants to learn from police agencies. Until then, police departments will have to wait and see what's expected under mandates to keep track of potential racial profiling. Onalaska police chief Jeffrey Trotnic says he's not overly concerned about the mandates. As a cop in Missouri for several years, Trotnic says he already had experience in collecting data to track racial profiling and, he says, it actually can be useful information that's gathered. Area police agencies already have the equipment and training in place to record things like race, gender or whether a search is done during a traffic stop.
Sometimes pushing a little helps you get what you want. La Crosse city council members pushed hard enough on developer Don Weber to get him to give ground on what was once considered a deal breaker. A ban on paid parking in the new city parking ramp has been lifted. Really wasn't that hard, says city council member, Audrey Kader. She says Weber determined that it was in the city's best interest to be able to charge for parking at the ramp if it needed to. She says, he also really wants to start construction on the ramp and the third Riverside Center building. The city currently doesn't charge for parking in any ramps. But if it does in the near future, the new ramp would be included.