Police says it needs money from law, council members call it money grab
Board voted against purchase of building for administration
There is something uncomfortable about watching the annual White House Correspondent's Dinner. And it's not just the room was filled with narcissists pretending to love one another. It was uncomfortable...
(AP) Xcel Energy plans to capitalize on what could be a buyer's market for wind energy this year. The Minneapolis-based utility has told regulators in Minnesota, Wisconsin and the Dakotas that it will look for up to 200 megawatts of wind power by April 1. The federal tax credit for wind production has been extended to next January.
Xcel regional vice president Laura McCarten says the utility could buy a wind farm outright or just purchase power from it. But McCarten says the utility is under no obligation to buy any wind power if it doesn't find the right deal. Xcel has no need for additional wind power until 2017 at the earliest.
Xcel needs to generate 30 percent of its electricity from renewable resources by 2020.
(AP) A new report blames Wisconsin's aging population and lack of business start-ups for job growth that has lagged behind other states since the mid-1990s. The Wisconsin Taxpayers Alliance report shows Wisconsin consistently beat national job growth rates in the late 1980s and early 1990s. But since 1996, the state has outperformed the nation in creating jobs just 27 percent of the time.
Between 2002 and 2011, Wisconsin's growth in workers between 18 and 64 trailed 33 other states. The report says the state's aging population and lack of business start-ups are leaving Wisconsin without enough working-age adults and enough new companies to sustain growth seen in other states.
The alliance found the rate of business start-ups averaged about 2 percent in 2011, ranking Wisconsin 49th among states.
(AP) Wisconsin health officials are warning about the threat of being exposed to rabies from bats. The state Department of Health Services warns that a rabid bat was diagnosed last week in the northwestern part of the state.
State veterinarian Jim Kazmierczak says it's uncommon to find a rabid bat this early in the year, but some have been found in January in the past. Most bats become inactive in winter, but some find shelter indoors and may come into contact with people or pets. Rabies can be transmitted if there is physical contact with a bat, such as getting a nick from a bat's tooth or claw.
Twenty-nine rabid bats were detected last year in Wisconsin.
The current parking crunch at U-W-La Crosse may only last another four months or so.
June is the target date for finishing a 500-space parking ramp now being built across the street from Oak Grove Cemetery, at 16th and La Crosse Streets. But since the construction took away some spaces temporarily, short-term parking areas had to be developed nearby. The ramp will be ready for paying customers by fall. Part of the building will serve as headquarters for the campus police department.
More bargaining may be required before the Wisconsin legislature allows an iron mine to be operated near Lake Superior...
But state administration secretary Mike Huebsch isn't worried about minority Democrats holding up the mining plans. Huebsch says he needs to sell Indian tribal leaders on the project. Both houses of the legislature could vote as soon as this week on whether to allow an iron mine in northern counties of Wisconsin. The mining bill was narrowly defeated last year.
We could hear in March or April whether Trisha Stratman can return to the La Crosse County sheriff's department.
The county corporation counsel's office says an arbitrator is preparing a final ruling on Stratman's request to work again as a sheriff's deputy. Final written arguments recently were submitted to the arbitrator. The sheriff's office dismissed Stratman months after her squad car collided with a car driven by teenager Brandon Jennings of Holmen, killing Jennings. According to department policy, Stratman was traveling too fast to stop safely while responding to a report of a bar fight in Holmen.
(AP) Republican lawmakers plan to announce changes to the bill designed to make it easier to open a massive iron ore mine in northern Wisconsin.
Four Republicans working on the measure said they would announce the amendments at a Monday afternoon news conference. Senate and Assembly committees are scheduled to meet simultaneously on Wednesday to vote on advancing the bill.
Democrats have offered their own proposal that differs from the Republican version in several ways, including extending the time allowed for the Department of Natural Resources to make a decision on issuing a permit for a new mine.
Republicans are trying to pass the measure quickly to help Gogebic Taconite open the mine near Lake Superior. But opponents say there aren't enough environmental protections.