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For guys looking to pull in some big dollars on overtime on the La Crosse fire department, this week turned sour fast. After burning through almost an entire year's overtime budget already, mayor Matt Harter directed the department to start sending firefighters home. Harter says, there's nothing to fear by the move. He says, with a little collaboration among firefighters, Tri-state ambulance, the police department and emergency dispatch, people in the city of La Crosse should not be in danger. Eventually, Harter wants to change staffing minimums for the fire department so there won't be so much overtime used. A La Crosse city council committee meeting last night drew over a hundred firefighters, police and teachers who were expressed outrage over the overtime slight and the potential threats to residents of La Crosse.
Little wonder that state senators targeted for recall campaigns are attracting giants wads of cash. Under normal campaign finance rules, individuals are limited to thousand dollar donations. Not for recall campaigns. Not until the recall is made official. A new report from the Wisconsin Democracy Campaign suggests that may be why Republican senator Roberta Darling has managed to amass $420 thousand dollars in donations since the beginning of the year. She's the top contribution recipient in the state among the recall targets. La Crosse republican Dan Kapanke is number two. His campaign contributions have totaled over $180 thousand since the beginning of the year. Meanwhile, democrat Jennifer Shilling, Kapanke's opponent in the recall race, hasn't filed a campaign finance report since January.
Two decades ago, Yousef Gilali raped a woman at knife point behind a dumpster in La Crosse. Now Gilali's been released from prison and is back in La Crosse. Cops say the 42 year-old native Morroccan will live at Attic correctional on Rose street on the city's northside. He's not supposed to be within two blocks of places like playgrounds and parks. Could be a problem, since Attic is across the street from a city park and a private school. Gilali was convicted for a 1991 rape in which he grabbed a woman from behind, put a knife to her neck, covered her mouth, raped her forcibly behind a dumpster and threatened to kill her if she told anyone.
Using lethal force at home could become a little more lawful in Minnesota with a bill that's making its way through the legislature in St. Paul. The legislation expands the right to use deadly force in self defense.
Preston state rep, Greg Davids says he'll definitely vote for the bill once it hits the house floor. He says it only makes sense that you should be able to protect yourself against home intruders with deadly force if necessary. The bill also expands what is considered a "home" to include places like garages, decks and tents. Current Minnesota law says first response to a home invasion is to retreat.
The American Red Cross will be collecting donations to support its efforts in the areas affected by the Spring Storms and Tornadoes. Red Cross disaster workers are helping people all across the country, making sure they have a safe place to stay, food to eat, emotional support, basic health services and relief supplies. These latest storms have resulted in large responses in Alabama, Mississippi, North Carolina, Missouri, Georgia, Virginia and Arkansas. Collections are being done at the La Crosse Center and at Valley View Mall (JC Penny’s – Barnes and Noble Entrance) beginning at 6:00 am until 6:00 pm Thursday. Their top priority is to provide food, shelter and relief supplies to the thousands of people affected by these storms.