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Besides today's balloting for state and national offices, an election for president of Hmong clans in Wisconsin is happening on Saturday. Houa Vang of Sheboygan, an organizer of the first-ever vote, says a clan council president can help settle domestic disputes in Hmong families instead of calling in local government. Until now, the president of the Hmong group in Wisconsin had been chosen by a well-known Hmong leader. Voting in the La Crosse area will be done at the Hmong Cultural Center on Ward Avenue.
The decision is getting 'closer,' we're told...
The Wisconsin Attorney General's office may announce in a week or two whether charges will be filed because of a fatal car crash in Holmen this summer. A La Crosse County deputy and a high school student collided on Highway 35 late at night, while the deputy was heading to a police call in a squad car. The student, 16-year-old Brandon Jennings, was killed. Deputy Trisha Stratman was placed on leave for several weeks after the crash, before returning to office duty.
Murder, plus burglary, plus car theft...
Jackson County has filed more than half-a-dozen charges against the suspect in the October shooting death of Terrance Stoen. The most serious charge against 23-year-old Aaron Powers is first-degree murder. Powers is suspected of killing Stoen during a burglary, and then stealing his pickup and cell phone. He had both the phone and the truck when he was arrested days later while camping in Juneau County. His bond remains at a million dollars cash. An evidence hearing is planned for early January.
Full time fire protection around Holmen will increase by 50% soon. The Holmen area fire board has agreed to increase the number of full time firefighters from four to six. The change comes amidst growing budget pressures but also with continued rapid growth and against the backdrop of state mandates that require certain levels of fire protection at specific population levels. The Holmen fire district includes not just the village but also the towns of Onalaska and Holland. Total budget increase for the additional firefighters will be around $65,000.
Among the many, many drunk drivers collared by La Crosse police over the week-end, one guy is on his fifth OWI. Police say they found Anthony Guzman passed out in his car in the middle of the intersection at 15th and Farnam very early in the morning on Halloween. The car was running, in gear, but Guzman's foot was on the brake and he was fast asleep. Cop managed to wake him up and the get the car in park safely. The 50 year-old Guzman said he'd been drinking downtown with friends. He wouldn't blow in the breathalyzer but cops say he couldn't stand or speak very well.