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Kickapoo Valley Reserve

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Mauston police are investigating an assault that’s believed to have happened early Sunday morning on State Street where a 29-year-old Mauston man suffered severe facial injuries. The man was eventually sent to a Madison hospital. Police were told by the Hess Hospital emergency room of the assault at about 4 o’ clock Sunday morning.

The committee deciding on how to pay for a $3.8 million dollar upgrade to Monroe County’s 911 communication system meets again Wednesday morning. County finance committee chair Jim Kuhn says they could recommend putting the upgrade into the county’s yearly budget, paying for it out of the general fund or borrowing for it.

An addition to the arena at Tomah’s Recreation Park is almost complete and open for business. City administrator Roger Gorius says the addition will have improved bathroom access and an expanded concession stand, which will help bring in many more events. Gorius says they’re now just waiting for the weather to clear so they can put a sidewalk in, and then they’ll begin the demolition of the tramway between the Gold Building and the arena itself. Gorius it’ll now be a much more functional building. A raise in the city’s room tax from 5 to 8 percent is paying for the addition.

West Salem cancelled its run-water notice Monday that had been on for more than two months. Public works director Scott Halbrucker says they came through the last two months OK, even though it did require using a lot more water. Halbrucker says they did not have to fix any more lateral freeze-ups or have employee overtime after they put the notice on. Halbrucker says they usually use about 350 thousand gallons of water a month. Last month they used 550 thousand gallons of water. Halbrucker says the decision to wait this long was right, as last week frost was still eight inches thick between 4 and 5 ½ feet underground.

Monroe County board leadership changes were made Tuesday night. Jim Kuhn was elected the new chair last night, replacing Bruce Humphrey. Sharon Folcey replaces Kuhn as the vice chair. Jim Schroeder is still the highway committee chair. That committee is looking at ways to improve the county’s ranking as the worst county highway system in the state.

A new company will manage the blue Interstate signs that list restaurants, hotels and gas stations. Derse of Milwaukee held the contract for 28 years, but they’ll now be managed by a Georgia firm. A Derse spokesman says it’ll lead to layoffs. The new firm says there’ll be better signs and faster repairs to worn down signs.

Alliant Energy electricity rates will stay the same for the next two years, and Alliant natural gas rates could go down next year under a request filed with the State Public Service Commission last week. Natural gas rates would also be frozen for 20-16 after the 20-15 drop under the proposal. A decision is expected by the end of June.

The La Crosse police department is starting a new website to put out police news. The La Crosse PD Newsroom will list most-wanted criminals and allow for reader comments. The website is already active at La Crosse P-D dot org. You’ll also be able to get automatic e-mail notifications when news stories are posted.

Sparta schools will host a technology summit Wednesday afternoon in conjunction with Wednesday’s early dismissal. Sessions include using I-Pads to help with reading and math. District fourth- through seventh-grader students get their own I-Pads. That program is expected to expand to eighth graders next year. There’s also wireless Internet in all district buildings.

 

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