Another veto from La Crosse's mayor...
This time, Mayor Matt Harter is rejecting the city council's plan to add a temporary firefighter position. In his veto message, Harter says he thinks the fire department is overstaffed, and he wants to reduce the minimum staff levels for the department. The mayor says any changes to the fire department size should wait until after an operations review committee completes a study of firefighting in La Crosse.
It's not official yet, but the Wisconsin Public Service Commmission has given its verbal approval to a rate increase for Xcel energy that will raise gas and electric rates for the power company's customers. Xcel says their preliminary study of the approved rate increase finds that the average residential user will see their electric bills go up by $ 1.60 per month and gas up $1.25 per month. The rate increase of a couple percentage points was less than the company was looking for .
The Freedom from Religion group is looking for some equal time. The group will counter a nativity scene set up in the capitol building in Madison with their own non-religious take on the nativity
Patrick Elliott is an attorney for Freedom from Religion. The group got their permit for a display yesterday and he expects it to go up today.
Busy week for the UPS this week.
The company says this is the busiest for them of the holiday shipping season. At the UPS store in downtown La Crosse, Jim Ehle (ee-lee) sees all kinds of packages that come in, headed for spots all around the globe. There are restrictions; no cigarettes, no alcohol, no firearms.....
All those packages that are getting shipped this week, will find their destination next week, during which the UPS expects to deliver 120 milllion packages worldwide.
Cops see plenty that's disturbing. But a home that one of La Crosse's officers visited this week-end will probably stay with him for awhile. The officer was looking for a missing seven year-old and a ten year-old boy yesterday afternoon. Wound up at one of the boy's houses on the northside. Talked to the mom. And immediately was overwhelmed by the extreme filth and squalor that the family was living in. In his report, the cop described a place with garbage on the floor. Nothing clean in the kitchen. Cat feces in the kids' bedroom. No sheets. Dirty mattresses. And a mom, strung out on heroin, telling stories about how her druggie friends would frequently stay over for days or weeks at a time. Police arrested one of those pals at the house and referred mom to the county.