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Yesterday in La Crosse

Politics intruding on a Supreme Court race, 22 years ago

Brad Williams



In 1997, Justice Jon Wilcox was running for a full 10-year term on Wisconsin Supreme Court. Speaking to La Crosse reporters, Wilcox, a former state legislator, said that his opponent, attorney Walt Kelly, was trying to politicize the race. Wilcox said justices have to leave politics and a philosophy at the door, and look at each case individually. Wilcox won easily, and retired at the end of that new term.

The Lady Cards of Bangor won a basketball championship that winter. Bangor’s girls’ team captured the Division 4 WIAA title. Their school was the smallest in the tournament, with a student body of less than 200. The ’97 team would also be the last Bangor varsity team to play in the old high school built in 1917.

And shock rocker Marilyn Manson was coming to the La Crosse Center to perform a concert, despite the concerns of some area residents that anyone who attended the Manson show would be doomed to Hell for doing so. Manson was backed up by his band, including Twiggy Ramirez on bass, Ginger Fish on drums, and Madonna Wayne Gacy on keyboards…in 1997, 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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