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Who was running La Crosse County, 30 years ago?

Brad Williams

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In October of 1989, the La Crosse County board was considering the idea of hiring a county executive to manage government business. The concept of an executive or administrator had been brought up before, with little support, and it was argued that county board members didn’t want to give up their power to another elected official.

More than 50,000 people had fled East Germany in the previous three months, as protesters led a democracy movement in the Communist nation. The protests eventually led the government to allow people to cross through the Berlin Wall, and the wall began to come down in November.

La Crosse residents were surveyed on the idea of building a minor-league baseball stadium. U-W-L and the Tribune jointly sponsored the poll, asking about three possible locations for a stadium…north-side, south-side, or the suburbs. At least 51 per cent of the people surveyed approved of all three sites, with the north side being the most popular. But the survey also showed strong opposition to increasing taxes for a ballpark, and taxpayers voted down the project in a November referendum.

An earthquake in the San Francisco Bay area killed 69 people and caused nearly 4000 injuries. The October 17th quake is remembered by many people for hitting a half-hour before the start of Game 3 in the 1989 World Series between two local teams, the Giants and the A’s. The series had to be delayed for 10 days because of the earthquake, 30 years ago, 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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