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Winona jail study works against 2021 closing deadline

Brad Williams

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Do something about your jail, or else lose it.

That command to Winona County from the state of Minnesota has led to a study of future jail options, with a 2021 deadline looming.

Sheriff Ron Ganrude doubts that the existing jail building, about 40 years old, can be remodeled to meet modern standards.

If the Winona jail has to close, Ganrude says prisoners could be sent to newer jails in Houston and Wabasha counties.

Winona County only houses men in its jail now and for no more than 90 days at a time.

The study group is meeting this month and will report in February to the county board.

The state says it imposed a deadline on Winona County to force officials into making some kind of progress on jail conditions before the jail license expires in the fall of 2021.

A native of Prairie du Chien, Brad graduated from UW - La Crosse and has worked in radio news for more than 30 years, mostly in the La Crosse area. He regularly covers local courts and city and county government. Brad produces the features "Yesterday in La Crosse" and "What's Buried on Brad's Desk." He also 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. Brad been featured on several national TV programs because of his memory skills.

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