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A 41 year old Sparta Pastor is free on a $25 thousand signature bond today after making a court appearance in Sparta. James Monson is charged with sex with child age 16 or older and sexual exploitation by therapist and must no contact with the victim in the case or any female under the age of 18. Police say the parent of a 16 year old girl from Texas who is being home schooled in Sparta contacted them Monday. The parent said she believed that some inappropriate touching was occurring between her daughter and the girl's pastor/teacher. When police interviewed the girl, she admitted to having sexual contact on several occasions with Monson at his home. Monson is listed as the pastor of Gaining Ground Community Church located at 620 Industrial Drive in Sparta. Police say their investigation is ongoing and more charges could be coming. He'll be back in court Monday.
Nearly 900 voters made their way to the polls in La Crosse County for Tuesday's primary...That was a 12 per cent turnout, for an election in which only three county board races were listed on county ballots. The top vote-getter was former Forest Hills manager Dave Holtze, who received two-thirds of the votes in a three-way race in south La Crosse. Incumbent Gerald Sebranek only had 13 per cent of the votes in that contest, and so he will lose his board seat. Supervisor Bill Brockmiller was the only other candidate to get more than 100 votes on Tuesday...winning 50 per cent of the votes against two other contenders.
Voters in the Sparta Area School District Tuesday approved a referendum that will allow the district to budget for an additional $750 thousand for the next three years. The measure passed 1,039 yes votes to 572 no votes. Superintendent, John Hendricks, said that Tuesday was a good day for the Sparta Area School District.
(AP) Federal judges in Milwaukee are reconvening in a case over whether the state's new election maps are constitutional. The case was delayed Tuesday as lawyers prepared arguments about the degree to which one particular witness might have to testify. Jim Troupis helped produce the maps for Republican lawmakers, and has said much of his involvement is protected by attorney-client privilege. The three-judge panel is expected to make a decision Wednesday. Democrats and an immigrant-rights group want the maps thrown out and redone. However, a separate issue was raised Tuesday over whether state law even allows the issue to be revisited. Republican lawmakers say the law only allows new maps to be drawn once every 10 years, but plaintiffs' attorneys say they just have to be completed in the first legislative session, which is still ongoing.
(AP) The Wisconsin state Senate has passed a bill placing new requirements on doctors and women before abortions can be performed. The Senate passed the bill Wednesday after Democratic opponents blocked a vote on Tuesday. It passed 17-15 on a party line vote. The bill would require doctors be present when prescribing abortion-inducing drugs. It would ban the use of web cams to do that, a practice not currently done in Wisconsin. The measure would also require doctors inform a woman on her right to refuse or consent to an abortion. The doctor would be required to speak to the woman away from any partner or family member. Republican supporters say the bill will protect girls and women from harm. It now heads to the Assembly.