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It all started with a family swim on a hot day. For the Thao family of Lacrosse, never would they think it would end with a search for 6 year old Jr. Thao. And that search in the Mississippi River was suspended at 8pm tonight due to safety concerns.
Thao went missing around 3pm today as the family swam in an area of Pettibone Beach that did not have a life guard. After family members noticed Thao was missing, they called police.
Search and Rescue boats from Lacrosse County and the Sheriff's Department, 2 Lacrosse County Dive teams and the Coast Guard Auxiliary all descended on the spot where the youngster was last seen swimming. Sonar cameras were brought in, though by 6pm the search moved away from the beach and down river towards the Big Blue Bridges. That's where it ended.......at least for today.
Cousin, Julie Thao, told me at the scene that a Hmong ritual was performed at the house and beach area......a funeral of sorts. She has hopes that the ritual comes true and" who ever has young JR.....they will bring him back....back where he can be seen again". For rescuers.....it will be back in the water again in the morning.
A 22 year old Clark County man has died as the result of a train vs. pedestrian accident yesterday.
The Greenwood man died at the scene.
The investigation continues this morning....the man's name has not yet been released.
A Stoddard man is recovering from head injuries after jumping onto and falling off a moving truck yesterday. It happened around 3:30 yesterday afternoon when 27 year old Buck DuCharme jumped onto the running board of a truck driven by 56 year old Leslie Lachine of Stueben. According to the Vernon County sheriff's office, DuCharme jumped onto the moving truck and started pounding on the window. When the driver accelerated, DuCharme fell off the truck and landed on the street. He was found unconscious and suffering head injuries. He was taken to Gunderson Lutheran with non-life threatening injuries. The incident is still under investigation, and no charges have been filed.
It was a quiet week in Lake Wobegon. And in Vernon County as well. Each week the Vernon County sheriff's office provides a report of what kept them busy during the week. As you would expect in rural Wisconsin, there were no big crimes. But there were four car-deer accidents in the past week. And someone dumped a large amount of garbage after hours at the town recycling center. And several tombstones were damaged in the Liberty Pole cemetery, where it appears a car tried to drive between the grave markers. Also last week, in the town of Kickapoo, one man reported the theft of a black and white concrete Holstein calf lawn ornament. No word if they have any suspects in the concrete calf caper.
A presidential candidate makes a stop in the La Crosse area tonight. Republican presidential hopeful Newt Gingrich will have dinner at Drugan's in Holmen tonight. He will appear live on the O'Reilly show at 7pm from Drugan's. Gingrich has already made several stops in the La Crosse area.