In 2012, Drake Hall on the UW-L campus had to be evacuated because of a late-night fire. The flames were confined to the basement area, but all the hall residents had to find other housing for the rest of the semester which had just begun. It took several months to repair the damage from the fire, which was started deliberately on a couch.
A lawsuit charging priest abuse was dismissed in a La Crosse courtroom. Judge Scott Horne threw out a suit against the Diocese of La Crosse filed by a woman who claimed a priest had molested her 40 years earlier. The judge said there was not enough evidence to prove that the priest committed a crime, or that the church had covered up for him.
The Iowa caucus on January 3rd kicked off the presidential election season. President Obama was unopposed in the Democratic field. For Republicans, Rick Santorum was declared the caucus winner by only 54 votes over eventual nominee Mitt Romney, in 2012.