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Monday - April 16, 2018 8:44 am

A yearly festival in the area became a real riot, 27 years ago

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In 1991, for the third spring in a row, La Crosse police had to deal with visitors trying to make trouble downtown during the weekend of the Coon Creek canoe races.  When a crowd of about two thousand people wouldn't break up after bar time, officers brought out batons and tear gas.  Dozens of people were arrested, and one group tipped over a police squad car and set it on fire.  Riots broke out again the following April, again on Coon Creek weekend.
The Wisconsin Arts Board was under fire, for being an all-white group.  Twelve people sat on the statewide board.  Governor Tommy Thompson was criticized for not including any minority members among the 16 persons he had appointed to the arts board in four years.
And voice mail was catching on in Wisconsin.  Northwest Telephone Company in Tomah had more than 600 voice-mail customers in Waukesha County...about 90 per cent of them, residential customers.  Century Telephone in La Crosse reported about 300 people using voice mail in the area 27 years ago, 1991, 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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