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Friday - January 12, 2018 8:43 am

Was the county ready for a woman on the bench...23 years ago?

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In January of 1995, La Crosse attorney Ramona Gonzalez was busy campaigning for circuit judge.  Gonzalez was hoping to succeed retiring La Crosse County Judge Peter Pappas.  Her main rival in that race would be La Crosse district attorney Scott Horne.  Gonzalez and her family came to the U.S. from the Dominican Republic, and to La Crosse by way of Marquette University, where she met her future husband John Stuber.  She credited her father with getting her interested in politics.  Gonzalez was chosen as La Crosse County's first elected female judge in the April election.
Also on the local ballot that April...whether to build an Indian casino in La Crosse.  The Miss Marquette riverboat opened in Marquette, Iowa just after Christmas of 1994, and in January, La Crosse Mayor Pat Zielke got behind a plan by the Lac du Flambeau nation to open a casino in the city.  Despite arguments that a casino would bring new jobs to the area, opponents worried about potential crime, and the sin of gambling.  The La Crosse casino referendum went down to defeat.  
The first #1 movie of 1995 was "Dumb and Dumber," starring Jim Carrey and Jeff Daniels.  Other big hits early in the year included "Legends of the Fall," "The Brady Bunch Movie," and the Chris Farley comedy "Tommy Boy."  Twenty-three years ago, 1995, yesterday in La Crosse.

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Brad Williams

A native of Prairie du Chien, Brad graduated from U-W-La Crosse and has worked in radio news for more than 30 years, mostly in the La Crosse area.  Brad writes the website "Triviazoids," which finds odd connections between events that happen on a certain date, and he writes and performs with the local comedy group Heart of La Crosse.  He's been featured on several national TV programs because of his memory skills.  

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