In early 2006, Pete Stinson was retiring after a decade as La Crosse’s fire chief and more than 30 years as a firefighter. The chief told reporters that when he started, all you needed to become a La Crosse fireman was a high school diploma…and you had to be breathing. But modern firefighters were more likely to need a degree in education. Stinson had been a political science major at UW-L, and applied for the fire department when he couldn’t find police work.
In Houston County, Justin Meier was getting ready to go on trial for a murder dating back to Christmas-time of 2003. Meier was charged with first-degree murder in the shooting death of Mark Sullivan of Caledonia, who had been seeing Meier’s ex-girlfriend. Police said Meier also kidnapped his ex and her baby boy and took them to Iowa just after the shooting.
Early that year, movie theaters were showing the animated ‘Hoodwinked’…a remake of ‘The Pink Panther,’ with Steve Martin as Inspector Clouseau…and ‘Larry the Cable Guy: Health Inspector.’ ‘Larry’…real name, Dan Whitney…married former La Crosse radio personality Cara West shortly before the ‘Health Inspector’ movie came out in 2006, yesterday in La Crosse.