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Yesterday in La Crosse

Folks still talk about the cold wave of 23 years ago

Brad Williams



This is expected to be the coldest week in the Coulee Region since late January and early February in 1996.  After two big snowstorms a week apart, a cold front settled over the Upper Midwest, and over a period of five straight days, the temperature in La Crosse and Rochester never got above zero.  Starting with Groundhog Day, La Crosse had three days in a row when the mercury dropped under 30 below.   

The record cold snap was voted the third biggest news story of 1996 in Minnesota by members of the Associated Press.  The only stories higher on the list were ethical problems for Democrats in the Minnesota legislature, and the sudden retirement of Twins star Kirby Puckett.  

Mark Weinhold was announcing his campaign for Wisconsin’s 3rd District Congressional seat, as a Democrat.  Incumbent Republican Steve Gunderson was retiring after 16 years in the House.  Weinhold spoke out about Washington gridlock and the federal deficit.  The Democratic primary and the House seat were won that fall by Ron Kind.  

If you stayed at home to watch TV that week, you could have seen ‘Boy Meets World,’ ‘Unsolved Mysteries,’ or the Miss USA pageant.  In 1996, yesterday in La Crosse.      

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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