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Yesterday in La Crosse

Suspicions about spending to promote tourism, 30 years ago

Brad Williams

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In 1990, a newspaper report said the La Crosse Area Convention and Visitor Bureau had spent $3 million in tax money, without actually being an elected government body. Receipts and bills for the CVB were missing, and so were the minutes of many of their board meetings. Ten years’ worth of minutes were unaccounted for.   

Festival Foods made its debut in the summer of 1990, with the Skogen family opening the first Festival at Crossing Meadows in Onalaska. The shopping center near Exit 4 had just been built, and for several years it was the home of the first Wal-Mart store in the immediate La Crosse market.  

A new sitcom called “Seinfeld” showed up on TV that summer.  Pat Sajak was not on late-night TV any more by June of ’90.  Sajak’s show on CBS ended a 16-month run in April.  The Sajak talk show had been seen on WKBT, where Bill Hoel and Anne Paape were reunited as a local news anchor team. The two had been co-anchors on WXOW for five years, until Hoel switched to Channel 8, and Paape followed a short time later…in 1990, 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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