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Some real careful demolition appears to be the best choice for the old Masonic temple on La Crosse's northside. The city has agreed to pay for tear down and partial renovation of the dilapidated building that wraps around the north and east sides of Buzz's bikes on Rose street. City council member Chris Olson says that was a better option than tearing the whole thing down because, at least this way, Buzz's can still stay in business. Olson's convinced that the city will be able to recover some costs for the project from the temple's current owners.
Suddenly, La Crosse's little brewery doesn't seem so small. Joe Katchever's Pearl Street Brewery has entered the Fox Valley market. His beers in seven stores from Green Bay to Fond Du Lac. Big growth from small vats of kegged brew in the basement of a bar downtown 12 years ago. Katchever says his brewery can expand more, but ramping up production takes time. Also, distribution's a key, says Katchever; he wants to continue to be his own distributor. That way he knows his beer is being handled correctly when it hits store shelves.
There's been plenty that's changed about La Crosse's downtown business parking assessment over the years. Originally, the assessment was put into place to take the place of revenue that was lost from parking meters removed to help downtown complete with the mall. Now, the money goes to offset parking utility costs in ramps. It also raises a bit more cash as property grows in value, says Tony Hutchens, in the city's public works department. In 2001, the parking assessment raised about 75 thousand dollars. About a hundred thousand this year. But, as business owners in downtown La Crosse have recently learned, the parking assessment this year will stay at about two bucks per thousand, the same it's been since the mid eighties when the assessment was put into place.
It may take several days for state troopers to figure out exactly what happened in Sunday's fatal crash between a La Crosse County squad car and a second car on Highway 35.
Patrol Lieutenant James Lind says the first report is usually due within 10 days of an accident. Sixteen-year-old Brandon Jennings, a Holmen High School student, died in the collision. Lind says it hasn't been determined yet if Brandon had a green light as he entered 35, just as the squad car was driving north with flashing lights and a siren on.
Meanwhile, the Holmen High School library is open until 2 this afternoon, so students can talk to counselors about the crash.