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La Crosse County approves COVID-19 emergency declaration

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The La Crosse County Board declares an official state of emergency during the COVID-19 outbreak. 

The declaration, passed by the board Thursday night, gives the board special powers to make decisions to help county residents affected by the virus.    

The resolution passed unanimously, although some of the 29 board members stayed home from the meeting, and extra tables and chairs were brought into the board room to give supervisors more space for ‘social distancing.’  

At least one supervisor was seen wearing a surgical mask during the hour-long meeting.

A proposed amendment would have required county administrator Steve O’Malley to advise the board of new developments on a regular basis. 

But supervisor Steve Doyle has confidence that O’Malley will do that on his own, arguing that O’Malley has kept county leaders informed during train derailments and helicopter crashes.

The board also voted unanimously to oppose efforts to deport Hmong and Lao residents in the county to southeast Asia. 

County leaders say hundreds of Hmong and Lao living in Wisconsin have been told they will be sent out of the country, if they are not U.S. citizens. 

Board members approved an application for millions of dollars in grant money to pay for improvements on roads near the La Crosse Airport. 

The total grant request for the roads and other projects is $23.8 million.

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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