Current Stories

Two juveniles wanted for stealing vehicles

Vernon County, WI - January 31, 2018 - Sheriff John B. Spears reports charges will be referred to the Vernon County Juvenile authorities for two male juveniles ages, 11 and 13 from La Crosse, Wisconsin in connection with several vehicle entries, theft, and a stolen vehicle that occurred on January 29, 2018, in the Village of Desoto, Vernon County.
   At approximately 11:49 am, the Vernon County Sheriff’s Office received a call reporting two young males were trying to break into several vehicles in Desoto, off from Mill Park Drive.  Before Officers arrived, there was also information from the Crawford County Sheriff’s Office, of a single vehicle accident that occurred in the Village of Desoto, near the entrance of the Pronto Gas Station. This vehicle was disabled and was later discovered to be stolen earlier in the day from the City of La Crosse.
   At 12:01 pm, Officers in the area were trying to locate these two males, when a vehicle was reported stolen from the post office in Desoto.  The vehicle was a tan Jeep Liberty, and was parked in front of the post office.  At approximately 12:30 pm, the Vernon County Sheriff’s Office received another call reporting two younger males were walking north along State Highway 35, south of Genoa, and there was a tan Jeep Liberty parked on the shoulder of the roadway.   Officers were sent to that area, but were unable to locate the two males, although, the stolen Jeep Liberty was recovered. 
   Sheriff Spears is asking for the public’s help.  If you or someone you know, picked up these two younger males, and gave them a ride to the City of La Crosse, from Genoa (along Hwy 35), on Monday January 29th, 2018, between the hours of 12:00pm and 2:00pm, please contact the Vernon County Sheriff’s Office at (608)637-2123 or 1-800-637-2123. 
   Assisting the Vernon County Sheriff’s Office with this investigation was the Crawford County Sheriff’s Office and the La Crosse Police Department.

Public Health Update - Influenza activity in Wisconsin

Richland Center, WI:  According to the Wisconsin Department of Health Services’ Respiratory Virus Surveillance Report for the week ending January 6, 2018, Wisconsin is now experiencing widespread Influenza activity.  There have been 1,913 Wisconsin residents hospitalized with Influenza since surveillance began on September 1, 2017.  Of this number, 244 individuals have been admitted to the ICU, with 61 requiring mechanical ventilation.  Twelve pregnant women and one post-partum mother have also been among those hospitalized. 
   Sixty-nine percent of all hospitalizations have occurred in individuals aged 65 and older.  There have been no pediatric deaths in Wisconsin; however, it is known that, nationally, 20 children have died as a result of Influenza this season.  At the end of the first week of January, the predominant strain of Influenza circulating in Wisconsin is Influenza A (H3N2) and this strain is included in this year’s vaccine.
   Everyone six months of age and older should get a flu vaccine every season. Vaccination to prevent Influenza is particularly important for people who are at high risk of serious complications from the disease.  Those at risk of complications include children younger than five, but especially children younger than two years old, adults 65 years of age and older, pregnant women and women up to two weeks post-partum, residents of nursing homes and other long-term care facilities, American Indians and Alaskan Natives, and individuals with chronic medical conditions.
   Given the significant burden that those aged 65 and older bear with regard to complications of Influenza, friends or family members who are experiencing influenza-like symptoms should minimize contact with older persons.  In adults, communicability is greatest in the first three to five days of illness.  In children, viral shedding can occur for seven to ten days and in those who are immune-compromised, the transmission of the Influenza virus can occur over an even longer period.  The attack rate may reach 50% in older individuals who reside in settings such as nursing homes and other assisted living environments.
   It is not too late to get an Influenza immunization.  Richland County Health & Human Services Public Health Unit continues to have a good supply of Influenza vaccine available.  In order to learn more, please contact the Public Health Office at 647-8821. 

Woman arrested for allegedly writing bad checks

Clayton County, Iowa - On January 17, 2018, Clayton County Deputies arrested 31 year old Amanda Koopman of Dyersville on a Clayton County Warrant for Theft-5th Degree stemming from an investigation where Koopman allegedly wrote checks out of a closed account to several businesses in Clayton and surrounding counties.
   Koopman was transported to the Clayton County Jail pending an appearance in Court. The investigation is ongoing and additional charges may be filed.

A $2 million endowment
Largest single gift ever to UW-La Crosse

CS PrairieSpringsScienceCenter

La Crosse, Wis. – January 17, 2018 - A $2 million gift to the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse — the largest single gift ever to the campus — will do more than name the new Science Labs Building under construction. It will be transformative to the way science is taught.
   Prairie Springs: The Paul Fleckenstein Trust is donating $2 million to support research and scholarship at UW-La Crosse in the areas of environmental studies and education, wildlife habitat protection, wildlife protection, conservation and ecological technology. With the gift, the new $82 million science classroom and labs building will be named the Prairie Springs Science Center.
   “We hope that this gift will help to support a margin of excellence for UW-La Crosse, which continues to attract outstanding students,” says Carolyn (Fleckenstein) Scott, a 1985 UWL graduate who is a trustee of the Prairie Springs trust. She is the sister of Paul Fleckenstein.
   "Words cannot begin to express our gratitude to Carolyn and Jay Scott, and the Paul Fleckenstein Trust," says UWL Chancellor Joe Gow. "Their extraordinary generosity is an inspiration to us all."
   Greg Reichert, vice chancellor of UWL Advancement and president of the UWL Foundation, says the gift will help inspire others. “This is a very transformational gift for the university,” says Reichert. “We hope this gift will encourage others to consider investing in UW-La Crosse.”
   The generous gift will focus on establishing educational programs that will take place in the new science labs and classroom building opening this summer. Since the current science building was constructed in the mid-’60s, science education has changed — moving from a “teaching-science-by-showing” model to “teaching-science-by-doing,” says Roger Haro, interim associate dean of UWL’s College of Science and Health.  Continue

Broken sign-post enters jeep, just misses passenger

On January 11, 2018 at approximately 10:00 a.m., the Grant County Sheriff's Office took a report of a crash on Cty D near Lone Rd. Adam.
   Van Natta, age 30 of Platteville was driving his 2013 Jeep Wrangler on the snowmobile trail west of Cty D. Elizabeth Laufenberg, age 29 of Cuba City was a passenger in the Jeep. Van Natta was driving east on the trail toward Cty D.
   When Van Natta got close to Cty D the accelerator of the Jeep became stuck on the floor mat causing the Jeep to surge forward. Van Natta left the north side of the trail striking a culvert, the ditch, several snowmobile signs, and a right of way sign.
   The right of way sign post broke and impaled the passenger compartment of the Jeep. The sharpened metal sign post entered the Jeep through the front passenger side floor board and into the front of the passenger side seat where Laughenberg was sitting. The post did not cause injury to Laughenberg, the metal post impaled the seat just missing her legs.
   Van Natta was cited for Trespass for driving his vehicle on the snowmobile trail.



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