Information about and from LaCrosse Talk
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In the wake of Onalaska’s referendum approval, the school district has renewed its pledge to the community to maintain the current level of educational programs and services. In order to do this, the School District of Onalaska and the Onalaska Education Association have agreed to a Memorandum of Understanding that extends their current teacher contract through June 30, 2012.
School Board President Mark Cassellius said the teacher contract extension has been fashioned to reflect the intent of both Governor Walker’s proposals – the budget repair bill and the biennial budget – but goes significantly beyond the Governor’s proposals.
The teacher’s have agreed to a $1 million decrease in compensation to absorb their share of the revenue loss. Teachers’ salaries represent 72 percent of all district salaries and the net savings from the MOU achieve that goal and amount to a reduction of teacher compensation next year of $1,056,085 less than this year’s compensation.
The School District of Onalaska is facing a projected $1.5 million operational deficit for the 2011-12 budget. The deficit is a result of the pending 2011-13 Biennial Budget. The voluntary settlement with the OEA addresses all but an estimated one-third of the $1.5 million deficit.
It doesn't get much closer than this...
The La Crosse City Council approves funding for prep work on Bliss Road repairs...by a margin of just one vote. Seven to six. The cost to come up with designs for repair work would be about 40-thousand dollars. Council member Bob Seaquist says the road up Grandad Bluff would not have to be fixed this year...but the design work needs to be completed soon.
Seaquist also argues that going ahead with designs will give the city more leverage to negotiate with Shelby and Medary on who will pay the costs for repairs.
When Draper Lewis decided to move his family from Minneapolis to Chicago for a new job, he didn't know about a little pit stop he would have to make in Black River Falls.
At 12:01 am today, Amaya Christine made her grand entrance in a U-Haul. The dispatcher asked Mr. Lewis to pull the truck over and guided him though cleaning the baby and tying the umbilical cord with his shoe string.
Black River Falls EMS responded to the call as well and delivered mother and baby to Black River Memorial Hospital. Staff took over where the paramedics left off, and reacted immediately to care for little Amaya and her brave mom. "This is a good hospital, we are very thankful for all they have done for us," said a grateful Mr. Lewis. While others were caring for the family, the hospital's environmental services department cleaned out the cab of the moving truck and the housekeeping staff washed clothes for the family so they could continue their move to Chicago.
The most unfair part of the governor’s budget, according to Lori Graff, Manager of Lacrosse County Human Services, is the proposed changes in the Income Maintenance Program, which helps ensure that those eligible for food stamps, Medicaid or BadgerCare actually receive those services. Currently, the state and county contribute money to run the programs. Under Walker’s proposal, the state would run and privatize the program.
Graff opposes privatization. She says right now, people literally get services immediately. If the changes are made by the Governor, people would have to wait for the services.......some may get cut off......and some may not be able to sign up at all for them.
Privatization would also mean around 22 county layoffs, and a cut in child support aid would require more.
For Renew Wisconsin, new, uniform rules for wind farms in the state were a huge deal. The group lobbied for the new rules hard. So, Renew's Micheal Vickerman is especially pessimistic about the outlook for wind energy in the state now that those rules have been suspended. He says the short term outlook is "bleak." Longer term, it's more "fraught with uncertainty."
Vickerman says the Wisconsin Realtors Association is behind the suspension of the wind farm rules. He says the Realtors oppose wind farms because they allow farmers to hold on to their land and not sell it for development. Although realtors opposed the wind siting rules, so did the Wisconsin Towns Association as well as a special interest anti-wind power group run by former state senator Bob Welch, among others.