In the fall of 2004, the La Crosse Center Board was looking at hockey again as a possible attraction. The Bobcats basketball team had shut down three years earlier, and arena football teams came and went. Trouble is, the center never installed permanent ice-making equipment to support a hockey team, because that proposal was cut out of the original building budget to save money. Board members worried about possible competition from the Green Island ice arena, or the Omni Center in Onalaska. The board approved the idea of a hockey study.
City leaders also discussed the idea of making the riverfront safer, to prevent drownings that had occurred frequently over the previous decade. Members of a local task force on binge drinking debated whether to send more police to the park late at night on weekends, or to install ropes and ladders that people could use to rescue themselves if they fell into the river.
Wisconsin’s fall primary was still held in September. The 32nd District Senate race would feature Republican Dan Kapanke and Democrat Brad Pfaff running for an open seat…just as they are in 2020. State Senator Dale Schultz was the Republican opponent against Congressman Ron Kind, who was running for his 5th term. Since both men ran unopposed in the primary, voters wrote in several other names for Congress. Mark Twain received several votes, while Jimmy Carter, Brian Rude, and Mickey and Minnie Mouse also were write-ins. Somebody voted ‘Hitler’ for state senate, and Lincoln for District Attorney. Brett Favre got a vote for the Assembly in La Crosse County in 2004, 16 years ago, yesterday in La Crosse.