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Yesterday in La Crosse

Finishing the roads in time for Christmas shopping, 34 years ago

Brad Williams

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On the day before Thanksgiving in 1985, a ribbon cutting was planned at the intersection of Highways 16 and 157 at Valley View Mall.  Major highway improvements were being made in the mall area.  A map of the intersection showed several of the mall-area businesses located nearby, including some no longer there, such as Hardee’s, Cub Foods, and Chi-Chi’s.   

A Tribune headline said “Trouble for Catbirds.”  The CBA basketball franchise had just moved to La Crosse, and the players were still in training camp in November.  Center Russell Cross had his right knee in a cast, and another Catbirds player left to take a job in Atlanta.  The team finished its first regular season in La Crosse with a .500 record, but still managed to reach the league finals against the Tampa Bay Thrillers.   

In Washington, a national commission recommended that presidential candidates continue making “joint appearances” in future elections.  In other words, more presidential debates.  The commission co-chaired by former Wisconsin Congressman Melvin Laird recommended the standard debate schedule we have now, of three debates between the major party nominees, and one vice presidential debate.  The panel also said there should be no “artificial shortening” of the campaign season, but it also called for more states to have early contests along with Iowa and New Hampshire.  Campaign talk in 1985, yesterday in La Crosse.  

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