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Wisconsin's 94th Assembly District is preparing for a special election to fill a vacant seat, because state rep Mike Huebsch has a new job in Governor-elect Walker's cabinet. Huebsch will not get to serve the term he won in November against Democrat Cheryl Hancock. And Hancock says the possibility of Huebsch getting a promotion out of the legislature was rumored about a couple of years ago.
Hancock hasn't decided whether she would run in a spring election. The last time the 94th District seat was open was in 1984, when Democrat Virgil Roberts gave up a safe seat to run a losing campaign for State Senate. Roberts regained the seat two years later, and kept it until he lost in 1994...to Mike Huebsch.
They are at $1.8 million.......and hope to close the books on 2010 with a huge day today.
Jen Dobrenz of the Great Rivers United Way says Friday ends the yearly campaign drive and the goal is $2 million.
She says she feels confident that the goal will be reached as people use this time of the year to make tax deductible donations in preparation of the coming tax year. And the fact that 60 programs will use the funds collected........they all have employees as well that donate and know first hand where the money goes.
The office in Onalaska will be open all day Friday.
Over 400 law enforcement agencies across Wisconsin will have extra officers looking for drunken drivers this weekend. And in the Lacrosse area..........the "cherries and berries" will be out looking for you if you choose to drunk and drive.
Lt. Bob Berendt says over the last couple years, the statewide number of alcohol-related traffic deaths during New Year's weekend has been a little lower than average. He says it's likely because people are doing what law enforcement wants them to do -- planning ahead and having a designated driver or taking a cab.
Berendt says one challenge police will face this weekend is that New Year's Day falls on a Saturday and bars will be open 24 hours.....making some police shifts very long.
Earlier this month, Everbrite of Lacrosse announced they would be closing their Lacrosse plant....leaving about 40 workers without a job. Now, those workers are eligible to apply for additional re-employment and training services under the federal Trade Adjustment Assistance program.
The workers produced commercial signs, and they were displaced as Everbrite sales declined in competition with imported products.
The certification applies to workers displaced as of December 13th, 2009, through December 23rd, 2012, and includes on-site leased workers from Olsten Staffing Services. Affected workers will be notified of meetings to discuss program benefits.
Police in Sparta are still investigating a crash that killed a passenger in a mini-van.
Authorities said the vehicle was crossing Highway 27 when it was hit by a semi-truck going north on the highway. A woman in the van died. She was 75-year-old Bernice Hough.The trucker, 44-year-old Delbert Singer of Indiana, was not hurt.
The van driver, 72-year-old Raymond Hough, was taken to a Sparta hospital with non-life-threatening injuries.