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Yesterday in La Crosse

A vote of “no confidence” in the school board, 45 years ago

Brad Williams

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In 1974, voters in La Crosse overwhelmingly wanted to keep Washburn School open. Nearly 12,000 voted in favor of saving Washburn, compared to 3000 against it. The school district wanted to close the building which was only being used by mentally disabled students at the time. Washburn was torn down a few years later, and replaced by an apartment building at 8th and Main.

Voters in La Crosse County kept Bill Black in office for another term as sheriff, and replaced district attorney Burleigh Randolph with Ed Nix. Assemblyman Lawrence Gibson was unseated by Paul Offner. Shortly before the election, Gibson introduced a bill dealing with rape, saying juries should have several levels of punishment to consider for sexual assault, because jurors might avoid convicting someone of a lower-degree assault if they thought the sentence would be too harsh.

On TV in ’74, Bob Barker was hosting both “The Price Is Right” and “Truth or Consequences.” “Mission: Impossible” was being seen in reruns on local stations, along with “The Raymond Burr Show,” which was actually old episodes of “Ironside” renamed so viewers wouldn’t think they were new episodes. That was 45 years ago, yesterday in La Crosse.

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