(AP) Gov. Scott Walker says he will participate in two debates before the June 5 recall election even though his Democratic rival Tom Barrett wants him to do four. Walker said Wednesday he would participate in televised debates on May 25 and May 31. The first is sponsored by The Wisconsin Broadcasters Association and the second will be hosted by Mike Gousha from WISN-TV in partnership with the Marquette University Law School, Wispolitics.com, and the WISN network of affiliates. Walker's campaign spokesman Ciara Matthews says the governor looks forward to the debates and having a ``robust'' discussion contrasting his record with Barrett. Barrett had asked Walker to hold four debates all focused on the issue of jobs. A spokeswoman for Barrett's campaign had no immediate response.
Worried about weeds taking over your neighbor's yard? Thinking it's time somebody did something about that old mattress in the alley? Want to give an attaboy for the fine job city of La Crosse employees are doing on a daily basis? There's now a central place to do all of that. The city has a link on its website for you to "report a concern." It's a service that's apparently been available for months but, the planning department tells us, the community apparently didn't know about it. The "report a concern" site is a link on the sidebar of the city's website, listed under "Interest Items."
Access to Bliss road again about to be a problem in La Crosse. Burlington Northern will shut down the railroad crossing at Main Street on Monday for a few days in order to reconstruct the crossing. Traffic will still be able to get up the bluff at Bliss road, getting there by a Cass street detour. Bliss road, the city's only direct access to Grandad Bluff Park, was shut down for more than a year after a washout in 2010. The road reopened to traffic last fall. No word yet on why Burlington Northern waited until this spring to do the crossing work.
A quarter of a million dollar grant to help clean up part of an industrial property in La Crosse is a start. But that money isn't even close to the amount that could be needed to cover total cleanup costs for a site of future possible development. The city has landed 250 thousand in a DNR brownfields grant to help cleanup contaminated soil at the former Patros Steel Property. That's about half what would be needed for that 12-acre property between the Black River and Copeland avenue. But it's also a small portion of the millions that are estimated to be needed to deal with all of the contamination at what is commonly known as the Mobil Oil property. The city has been negotiating with Exxon Mobil for years to pay a portion of the clean-up at the site.
(AP) Authorities say they won't file charges in the suicide of a 13-year-old girl in southeastern Minnesota whose parents say she was bullied. The Dodge County sheriff's office says ``harassment and bullying were likely factors'' in the death of 13-year-old Rachel Ehmke of rural Mantorville last month. But the sheriff's office says in a statement that investigators found no specific incident or action by any particular student they believe is responsible for her death. And because of that, the county attorney's office has decided there's insufficient evidence to charge anyone. The sheriff's office says investigators also determined it was Rachel who sent a derogatory text message about herself to several students at Kasson-Mantorville Middle School two days before her death. The girl's parents did not immediately return phone calls seeking comment.