Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Gas Prices Are Holiday Gift, by Melissa Koch

People traveling by car for Thanksgiving will be filling up with gas at its lowest price across the nation in 2 years.  The national average for regular gas is $3.268 per gallon while Wisconsin’s average is $3.150 per gallon.

Dan Ketelsleger is traveling over 400 miles from Chicago, Illinois, to Apple Valley, MN, to see his parents this Thanksgiving.  He says, “it’s been a while since they’ve (gas prices) been this low.” In past years, Ketelsleger has found it cheaper to fly, but this year he will be driving.  He said the change in gas prices “makes it easier to make the decision to drive 400 miles than deal with the stress of flying.  It's nice to be on your own schedule.”

Anybody traveling this Thanksgiving can figure out the cheapest stations on the route to fill up on gas, by visiting AAA Fuel Price Finder at  This website shows the most affordable gas prices in any given city or state.

There are many factors being credited to the low prices of gas, including people buying more energy efficient cars, a quiet season for natural disasters, and easing tensions between the US and Iran. Gas prices typically drop around the holiday season and bottom out in December.  

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

University Layoffs on the Way?, by Melissa Koch

UW-L Legislative Liaison Joe Heim predicts that layoffs directed toward younger, more recently employed professors will follow the tuition freeze currently occurring  at all UW schools.

Heim has worked with legislative issues at UW-L for about 15 years now and has seen this happen before. He says the results of the tuition freeze will be “painful.” The freeze will reduce surplus funds for a year or two.  After the initial effects, universities will begin to suffer and layoffs will occur.  Layoffs are likely to affect young professors recently out of school. Many older professors have tenure or other security with the universities.

It was discovered that the UW system as a whole set aside 648 million dollars at the end of 2012 year.  Universities set aside money in case of emergencies.  According to Heim, 10-15 percent of money at UW-L is put aside.  A bill passed in the summer of 2013 froze university tuitions.  Legislators believed that if tuitions had much surplus, it didn’t make sense to continue to increase the cost students pay.

Some of the university’s money is "segregated." It can’t be spent on anything other than what it is designated to. The money that students pay for school parking lots, for example, goes to the funding it took to build the parking structure and cannot be re-allocated to salaries or anything else.

Monday, November 25, 2013

Bike Theft, & Prevention, by Carly Vail

            A continuous problem on University of Wisconsin-La Crosse’s campus is bicycle theft. This is the number one reported crime on the campus. This statistic prompted the police services to launch a bike theft prevention program this fall.
            About 300 bikes have been stolen on UW-La Crosse’s campus in the past five years. Chief  of the UW-L police department, Scott Rohde, said this is an exception to the very low crime rate on UW-L’s campus.
            Officer Dave Pehl would like students or anyone using bikes around campus to register their bikes.  Pehl said that many bikes have been sent to the police services, but they are not able to return them to their owner without registration.  The form is free and takes about one minute to complete. This form in located on the UW-L Police Services bike theft prevention website, along with forms for the La Crosse Police Department and the National Bike Registry.
            The UW-L Police Services bike theft prevention website provides multiple tips for preventing bike thefts. These tips include how to properly lock up one’s bike, the right kind of lock to use, or how to properly lock up bikes without removing the front wheel. The tips also include recommendations on the best types of locks for bicycles.
            Pehl is working with the Office of Residence Life to try to place notes on each unlocked bike around campus. Officer Pehl is also working with local bike shops in the area to offer discounts on locks to students and those biking on campus. These bike shops include Smith’s Cycling & Fitness, Bikes Limited, and River Trail Cycles.


Friday, November 22, 2013

New Art for LaCrosse, with UWL Students Participating, by Shelby Phillips

Downtown La Crosse is expected to receive a makeover by the end of spring 2014.  Internationally-acclaimed muralist John Pugh has been selected by the City Arts Board to design and install a mural for La Crosse’s emerging arts district, after years of planning. 
Pugh has selected three UW-L students, Molly Duggan, Alyssa Schubert-Hetzel and Shelby Phillips, to be his apprentices during the mural’s creation and installation in May.

The city of La Crosse received a $25,000 grant from the National Endowment for the Arts, according to the La Crosse Tribune.  The city has also contributed $55,000 to the mural, needing an extra $30,000 from patrons for the mural’s completion.  There are no current specifics regarding the subject matter to be painted. 
Jennifer Terpstra, associate professor of Art at the University of Wisconsin – La Crosse, was influential during the early stages of the project in securing Pugh as the possible designer.   Pugh was selected by the board because of his demonstrated interest and experience in engaging the community and success in working with student apprentices.”  She is currently acting as Pugh’s liaison while he is in La Crosse. 


Thursday, November 21, 2013

50th Anniversary of Kennedy Assassination, by William Ricioppo

November 22nd marks the 50th anniversary of the assassination of President John Fitzgerald Kennedy. The name sounds familiar to most UW-L students, but few can offer many details about the life of America’s 35th President.

“I know he was president and that he was shot, but that’s about it,” admits David G., a sophomore and sports medicine major. “It happened so long ago that it’s hard to relate to.”

The Kennedys are an American legend, and their political legacy spans four generations. There was at least one Kennedy serving in an elected office over the 64 year-period until 2011. Kennedy’s daughter Caroline was recently appointed as US Ambassador to Japan.

JFK was a World War II Navy veteran decorated for heroism in the South Pacific. He entered public service in 1946 when elected to the US House of Representatives. In 1952 he would be elected to the Senate, then president in 1960.

A democrat, Kennedy won the election with a narrow defeat of his Republican challenger Richard Nixon, and at 43 Kennedy was the youngest president ever elected.

Entering office at the height of the Space Race, his presidency is in part remembered for his initiation of NASA’s Apollo project. The endeavor would beat the Soviets to the moon by the end of the decade.

A more dubious mark on the presidency of JFK was the attempted invasion of Cuba in the spring of 1961.
In 1959 Fidel Castro took power in Cuba and established communist rule. Under Kennedy’s predecessor Dwight D. Eisenhower the CIA had begun a secret operation to overthrow Castro, and an amphibious invasion was launched just four months after Kennedy’s inauguration. The landing force sent from US warships comprised pro-Western paramilitaries and Cuban exiles. The invasion was soundly defeated within days by Cuban military forces commanded by Castro himself.

The failed Bay of Pigs invasion was an embarrassment to the administration, and the incident set in motion events that would culminate with the Cuban Missile Crisis a year later.

The Cold War was also at its height during Kennedy’s administration. His handling of the Cuban Missile Crisis ultimately defined his time in office.

Over a two week period in the fall of 1962, Kennedy faced the Soviets in a standoff over the small island nation. The USSR had deployed nuclear missiles there just 90 miles from Florida, and the threat of nuclear war has never been higher.

“I was growing up during the Cold War in the 1960s,” says Professor Thomas Pribek of UW-L’s English department. “Although I don’t exactly remember  the missile crisis, I can say the early 60s was the only time in my American history when people were genuinely afraid. We were afraid of war after the assassination.  All through my second grade class, every day one boy in the class wore a fireman’s hat and was supposed to be on the lookout for bombers covering over the bluff.”

“It seems ridiculous today,” Pribek says, “But my second grade teacher had us convinced that LaCrosse, Wisc., was going to be a major bombing target of the Soviet Union.”

Considered an enormous strategic victory, Kennedy’s opposition and tough diplomacy forced the withdrawal of the missiles.

Kennedy became solely credited for keeping Soviet military presence out of the Western Hemisphere.
Other noteworthy accomplishments of JFK’s presidency were the establishment of the Peace Corps in 1960 and the US Navy SEALs in 1961.

Kennedy is also remembered for his work concerning domestic labor relations and civil rights.

The loosening of monetary policy early in his presidency was deemed responsible for economic expansion and prosperity in the US during the 1960s. Kennedy’s fiscal policies also resulted in a marked increase in America’s GDP.

The only US President to ever win a Pulitzer Prize, his 1955 book “Profiles in Courage” chronicled the heroism and contributions to America made by patriots throughout US history.

President Kennedy’s life was cut short on November 22, 1963 in Dallas, Texas. Riding in an open limousine, Kennedy was shot in the head by Lee Harvey Oswald. The shots were taken from the window of a building overlooking the motorcade, and the event shocked the world.

Oswald was himself shot and killed while in police custody before he could be tried.

Kennedy’s assassination would become the lore of conspiracy theorists for years. His policies and an infamous personal life of purported extramarital affairs have fueled speculation about the President’s death for decades. Questions of the identity of the shooter and debates over facts of the assassination still continue today.

The last US President to be killed in office, JFK was popular with many Americans during one of the most uncertain times in American history. His shooting shocked the world, and his life, death, and legacy continue to captivate a nation.

The Laptop: The Environmentally Unfriendly Computer, by Shelby Jacobson

Many students bring their laptops on campus. In doing so the energy level being used skyrockets. According to Gargi Chaudhuri, a UWL Conservation of Global Environments professor, the changes that people need to make are more behavioral than anything else. She claims she has not yet seen an energy efficient laptop.

A few ways students can help reduce the amount of laptop energy use are

         Shut down the laptop between uses
 -         Use campus desktops
         Limit time spent in front of the laptop (limit video games/movie time) describes the approximately twenty different metals going into laptop production, including mercury. Also shown is the amount of water used in laptop production.

Laptops are not something people can live without. Laptop moderation will provide relief in energy levels.

When fans dwindle, Prof. Gary Konas explains his laptop reaches up to 180 degrees!

Chaudhuri believes the future will have more need for tablets because they are more energy efficient and portable than laptops.

Check out to see how each laptop affects the earth. 

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Sign Up to Receive Recall Notices on Children's Items, by Shelby Jacobson

Awareness of items being recalled is important for the safety of children. People cannot rely on the media for every recall. It is important to be aware of potential dangers to children.

To subscribe to Keep Your Kids Safe newsletter, go to

According to, on September 9, 2013 200 Infant Motrin were recalled because they possibly contained plastic particles from a third-party supplier.

In September there were seven recalled items alone. These products listed below were recalled due to danger to children.

·   -  The Land of Nod recalled bed-frames due to entrapment hazard
- -  The Children’s Place recalled footed pajamas due to violation of Federal flammability standard
·  -      Hachette Book Group recalled children’s books due to choking and laceration hazard
·  -    Be Amazing! Toys recalled Monster Science Growing Spiders due to serious ingestion hazard
·   -     Eco-Novelty recalled Jumbo Size and Jumbo Multipurpose Cosmo beads due to serious ingestion hazard
·   -    Toys R Us recalled Journey Girl Travel Trunks due to laceration hazard

Anna Nguyen, editor of Healthy Kids blog, claims there have been six reports of incidents involving the metal handle on the journey girl travel trunk. One incident involved a child needing stitches.

For any questions or concerns regarding a children’s item that has been bought, contact:
Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection Bureau of Consumer Protection
2811 Agriculture Drive
Madison, WI 53708

(800)422-7128 (toll free in Wisconsin) 

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Ballroom Dancing club: Learn, Compete, Socialize, by Ellen Barrett

The UW-L campus promotes diversity and student involvement by listing various student run organizations on MyOrgs page. A less widely known student organization present on the UW-L campus is the Competitive Ballroom Dance Team.

As stated on the CBDT page, this organization provides students with the opportunity to learn ballroom dancing, to compete at ballroom dancing competitions, and to socialize and network throughout the ballroom dancing community in La Crosse.

The organization currently has 15 members and is run by Cheryl Brye.

For questions regarding the organization, contact Nicole Bottelson at or call (608)963-8136.

Monday, November 18, 2013

New Digs for the UW-L PD, by William Ricioppo

UW-L police welcome a long-awaited new home with the addition of a new parking structure on campus.

“After operating from a 1,600 square-foot house for as long as I can remember, it’s good to be able to stretch-out into 8,200 square feet,” notes UW-L Police Sergeant Scott McCullough. “This is great.”

The university police force of around 15 members made do in a cramped, single-story house across the lot from Wimberly Hall until the move into the new building just before the Fall 2013 semester.

Campus cops are feeling revitalized after utilizing nearly every inch of their former home for multiple purposes. “Aside from using the kitchen in the old building as a meeting room, it wasn’t uncommon to be interviewing a suspect in there with the smell of someone’s lunch still in the air,” McCullough adds. “Not only was it impractical and inconvenient, but embarrassing at times. We also relied heavily on the city police space for things like interviewing and booking. Now we have our own facilities for all that.”

Recently, the UW-L Police Department hosted an open house in the new headquarters on the south east corner of the new covered parking ramp. The ramp is located on the north end of campus between Farwell and La Crosse Streets.

The new building not only has its own booking area, but two interview rooms, an armory, plenty of office space, a reception area, and a large media room. Additionally, the modernized dispatch and communications room features state-of-the-art equipment, on the same platform as all other area law enforcement agencies.
Sealing-off operational areas from public space in the building provides the force with a disaster and emergency response facility as well. “What now becomes the command and control center here, when locked-down, is blast, impact, and bullet-proof,” adds parking manager Victor Hill.

The new structure has not only given the force a new home, but also doubled available parking space for students and staff. “We had roughly 300 uncovered spaces there previously. Now we have 600 stalls, and the ramp is designed to be expanded upon,” notes Hill. With the addition of two new levels in the next few years that number of spaces will increase to roughly 1,000. “After parking space being so restricted in the past, so many new spaces available is a fun problem to have,” Hill says.

Friday, November 15, 2013

UWL Winter Rec Sports = Hockey, by Ellen Barrett

As winter approaches, it is time for UW-L students to find other ways to be involved outdoors. Fortunately, UW-L is home to various organizations from academic clubs to sport teams.

The UW-L men’s and women’s hockey club teams provide new friends while being involved on campus and outdoors.

The Eagle Women’s Hockey Club is a woman’s only ice hockey team to compete with other club teams across the Midwest. The season runs from October to late February. All skill levels are welcome to play or learn the sport. Practices run twice a week usually on Tuesdays and Thursdays with a few games on the weekends.

Games are held at the La Crescent Community Arena with free admission for the audience.

For more information on the Eagles Women’s Hockey Club, contact To join the club, visit their page at

The UW-L men’s Hockey club team, as stated on its page, is “a group of dudes trying to have fun and play hockey.”

For questions about the organization contact Max Carrey at or call (818)312-4120. To apply for membership, visit

Thursday, November 14, 2013

High Ed. Shouldn't Be Higher Debt, by Crystal Oravis

            The “Higher ED, Lower Debt” bill is circulating for co-sponsorship in the state legislature. All local officials, Sen. Jennifer Shilling, and Assembly Representatives Jill Billings and Steve Doyle, are supporters. This proposal could help thousands of students in debt, and also the residents affected by the economic backfire in Wisconsin’s economy.

The “Higher Ed, Lower Debt” bill represents solutions for Wisconsin’s student loan borrowers. This bill will enable students using state loans to have the ability to refinance student loans at lower interest rates.

The bill will also allow Wisconsin’s student loan borrowers to deduct student loan payments from their income tax. According to Senator Chris Larson, this aspect of the bill could result in an annual tax savings of approximately $172 for the typical borrower, or as much as $392 for some people.

“According to recent studies, there are 753,000 Wisconsin residents with an average student loan debt of $22,400,” Larson says. The more money spent on student loans and interest, the more money not put back into the state’s economy on cars, new houses, and other purchases.

The bill will provide students and parents with detailed information about student loans and the best and worst private lenders. The Bill will ensure that students receive loan counseling to make informed financial decisions about student loans.

This bill also releases data collected about student loan debt in Wisconsin to help the public and policymakers better understand the depths of the debt crisis in the state.


Sexual Assault Treatment, Response & Prevention at UWL, by Shelby Jacobson and Ellen Barrett

The University of La Crosse has a registered nurse devoted to helping students after a sexual assault. She is known as a sexual assault nurse examiner.

SANEs can collect forensic evidence suitable in court, inform victims of the importance of reporting the assault, provide medication to prevent sexually transmitted infections and pregnancy, and provide the victim with additional resources to receive help.
SANE nurses can be found on campus and off campus. Ingrid Peterson is a sexual assault victim advocate and prevention specialist available on campus in 149 Graff Main Hall. She can also be reached at 608-785-8062.

At UW-L sexual harassment is impermissible and subject to disciplinary action in accordance with applicable due process requirements including but not limited to reprimand, temporary suspension, expulsion, or discharge if a student is found guilty.

For someone has been sexually assaulted, take the following precautions
Preserve the evidence.  Don't clean up, bathe, douche, or change clothes.
Go immediately to the emergency room of the nearest hospital.  Both Mayo Clinic Health System (10th & Market) and Gundersen  (1836 South Ave) provide sexual assault services, including SANE nurses and counselors. Both will help with reporting the assault to law enforcement if desired. UW-L University Police or the La Crosse Police Department is available for transportation to an emergency room.
Write down details about the assailant (height, weight, hair color, physical oddities, clothing and the name in the case of date or acquaintance rape) and circumstances as soon as possible.
Report the crime to UW-L University Police, 608-789-9999, or the La Crosse City Police, 911, or the UW-L Student Life Office, 785-8062, as quickly as possible.  Reporting the crime does not mean asking for prosecution of the alleged perpetrator, but it does help provide resources, as well as helping to ensure the safety of other students.
Get help for yourself no matter how long ago or circumstances of assault.  Immediate and ongoing help is available from First Call for Help, 782-8010 (24 hours) and the UW-L Counseling & Testing Center, 785-8073 (8:30-4:30 Monday through Friday). The sexual assault services at the local hospitals are also available for support, counseling, and information about the different options are available -- Mayo Clinic Health System, 608-392-7804 or (800) 362-5454, X7804, and Gundersen, 608-775-3845 or 1-800-362-9567, X53845.

Local off campus help includes Mayo Clinic Health System (608-392-7804) and Gundersen (608-775-3845). Options Clinic can be reached at 608-775-8390. Options Clinic does not require insurance. Always call La Crosse police about an assault.

According to city data, there are currently 19 registered sex offenders living in La Crosse. La Crosse has higher crime rates than the neighboring cities of La Crescent, Onalaska, Hokah, and West Salem.
The legal definition of sexual assault is any unwanted sexual contact. Sexual assault is any forced or coerced sexual intercourse or contact. It is a crime of violence in which assailants, whether known to the victim or not, are motivated by a desire to humiliate and have power over the victim.  Refer to Wisconsin State Statutes 940.225 and 948.012.

Students can decrease their risk of sexual harassment and rape by staying responsible and taking these precautions:
  1. Limit their alcohol intake and not receive open drinks.
  2. Avoid engaging with strangers.
  3. Students should not walk alone. Students can start a buddy system or have somebody designated to call if uncomfortable. The Safe Ride bus is also available Thursday through Saturday nights through campus and off campus.
  4. Students must make their own choices and stick by them.
  5. Students should not be persuaded by others. Students can learn to defend themselves in case of an attack. Various kickboxing classes are always offered the UW-L Rec.
  6. Students should always trust their gut instincts. On campus, Blue Light Emergency Phones are placed throughout campus and at the entrance to residence calls in order for students to directly communicate with campus police in case of emergency.
  7. Students can also learn about rape and what drives those to rape. Educating will help students learn situations to avoid.
UWL is always looking to make students feel safe on campus. If someone feels unsafe or uncomfortable, call campus police at 608-785-9000 (nonemergency) or 608-785-9999 (emergency).
For UWL's 2007 statistics for sexual assault, visit
For more information for students about sexual assault, visit
To learn the Safe Ride schedule, visit

To find Blue Light Emergency Phones locations, visit

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Study in London Next Spring Break, by Melissa Koch

Students of the University of Wisconsin La Crosse can still register for the 2014 London Study Tour. The Tour offers students a study abroad opportunity to London and surrounding cities, completed in a single week.

The trip takes place over Spring Break.  Students will leave Friday, March 15, and return on Saturday, March 23.  This chance to study abroad is offered through select courses in Archaeology, Education, English, and Political Science.  A full list of the courses can be picked up at the College of Liberal Studies office in room 235 of Morris Hall. A variety of activities is planned for the trip, depending on the course taken.  Students are also provided free time to explore the area by themselves.

Students register for the trip through WINGS in the same process as registering for a course. Students must enroll in the course offering the trip and the trip itself.  A $240 deposit is due by noon on December 2.

The estimated total cost of the trip is $3,102.  Financial aid can assist students with the cost. The Office of International Education offers a scholarship opportunity as another option.

The first meeting for the 2014 London Study Tour was held on Monday, October 28. For those missing the meeting, contact Dean Ruthann Benson at for more information.

There are two more meetings scheduled once students are enrolled and have paid the deposit fee.  The meetings are Saturday, December 7 from 10:00-12:00 and Saturday, February 15 at the same time.  Both meetings take place at Port O’Call, Cartwright Center. These meetings will provide more details on the expenses of the trip, the scheduled activities, travel safety, packing efficiently, and other concerns.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

How Did This Year’s Oktoberfest Go on Campus? by William Ricioppo

With Oktoberfest 2013 now over, UW-L police reflect on what went smoothly and not so smoothly.

“This year we issued roughly 400 alcohol-related tickets, and 350 of them were from a three-block radius,” notes UW La Crosse Police Sergeant Scott McCullough.

The area of student housing between West Ave. and 15th Street, and from Vine Street north to La Crosse Street, is always the most problematic. Tickets for open container and underage drinking are the most commonly issued. “Overall, though, the number of arrests and detoxes were about the same as last year, which was down significantly from the year before.”

2012 was the first year when non-resident visitors were not permitted to stay in student housing during Oktoberfest. UW-L PD says the decline in arrests from two years ago is directly related to outsiders not being in the dorms, unlike years past.

“We didn’t see anything like dead-squirrel fights this year,” McCullough jokes. “And, incidentally, none of the cars that were tipped-over occurred in the UW-L PD area of responsibility. Those incidents happened off-campus.”

University Police are not only responsible for the UW-L grounds. Their jurisdiction extends to any adjacent student housing directly connected to campus by side streets.

As all UW-L police are sworn Wisconsin State peace officers, they have the same powers and authority as any other law enforcement agency. A common misconception among young students is that campus police are not “real cops.” Big mistake— they are.

In many cases, such as Oktoberfest, a reciprocity arrangement exists between city and campus police. This allows both forces to overlap jurisdictions and provide the most effective coverage of the event.

Monday, November 11, 2013

Hunting Safety: More than Firearms, by Ellen Barrett

Many students will find themselves dressed in fluorescent orange and camouflage out on the marsh and in the fields throughout the coming months. Hunting season has commenced. Gun safety isn’t the only aspect important while outdoors. Outdoor sporting participants must also check and maintain their shelters, heaters, and generators – popular new hunting and outdoor sports equipment being heavily marketed now.

The Wisconsin Public Service urges hunters and fishers to check the status of heating systems in close quarters. Be sure there are no fire hazards and proper ventilation to avoid carbon monoxide. “CO is an odorless, colorless and tasteless gas and can be produced by improper burning and venting of fossil fuels such as natural gas, wood, propane, gasoline or kerosene,” according to WPS.

High CO levels can cause headaches, dizziness, fatigue, nausea, confusion, flu-like symptoms, and possibly death. For any of these symptoms immediately seek fresh air. Open all of the windows in the quarters and dial 9-1-1 if there are any health concerns.

As a matter of routine this time of year, test smoke alarms and be sure to have extra batteries on hand. Please recycle old batteries. Check chimneys and vents which may be plugged by debris.

Hunters should also avoid shooting near power lines. A shot to a line can cause damage for an entire electrical area.

Contact WPS 24-hour Emergency Service at 800-450-7240 to report a dangerous hunting situation or location.

For more information, visit

Nationwide Opportunities for Tuition Discounts, by Carly Vail

            Many states partake in college tuition reciprocity. The following information comes from the National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators.
            The Midwestern Region, including students from Indiana, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, and Wisconsin, may be eligible for tuition reductions at certain Midwest public and private schools through the Midwest Exchange Program.  Illinois is not presently included in this program. 
            The Southern Regional Education Board Academic Common Market provides tuition discounts for more than 1900 academic programs in Alabama, Arkansas, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Mississippi, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, and West Virginia. Also in the Southern region, The Regional Contract Program  enables students to pursue a professional health degree at out-of-state institutions, but pay in-state tuition at public institutions or reduced tuition at private institutions.
The Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education offers the Western Exchange Program for students in Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oregon, South Dakota, Utah, Washington, and Wyoming. The Western Regional Graduate Program enables residents to enroll in available graduate programs outside of their home state at resident tuition rates, and The Professional Student Exchange Program enables students majoring in the health care professions to enroll in selected out-of-state professional programs.
The New England Regional Student Program enables New England residents to enroll at out-of-state New England public colleges and universities at a discount.Students are only eligible for a major not offered by the public colleges and universities in their home-state.Participating states are Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island and Vermont.
One can find more detailed information regarding tuition and reciprocity rates on the National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators website.

Friday, November 8, 2013

Fire Dept. Rescue to Use Anti-Heroin Drug, by Mikaela Kornowski

La Crosse firefighters could soon be equipped with Narcan, a drug to revive heroin users from an overdose.The department has met with the Wisconsin Emergency Medical Services office to begin work a project to provide basic EMTs with the life saving drug.

In 2012, firefighters responded to 98 reported overdoses. So far this year they have responded to 86. The department has dealt with a 53% increase in possible overdoses since 2009.

Firefighters respond to all 911 emergency calls. However, only Tri-State Ambulance paramedics are authorized to carry Narcan. Firefighters can only manage circulation and breathing until paramedics arrive on the scene.

Narcan also could save users suffering from an overdose of krokodil. Similarly to heroin, its users report tissue damage as a common side-effect. Officials predict that the drug will eventually reach La Crosse.

Recently, the La Crosse police department also has began looking into equipping officers with Narcan as well. Many firefighters have the same EMT and paramedic training as ambulance personnel. Police officers do not typically have this type of emergency training.

Dogs in Truck Beds, by William Ricioppo

A wind-swept muzzle, ears streaming in the breeze and the sensation of flight all bring a gaping smile to most any dog’s face. But sailing down the road in the back of a truck, the last thing on a pet’s mind is the hazard of the adventure.

Michelle, practice manager for one local veterinarian, says that in her 17 years at Hillside Animal Hospital she has only seen a handful of dogs come in with injuries related to riding in an open truck bed. Although there is no local code against it currently in La Crosse, she adds, “I’d like to see a local ordinance put in place for the overall well-being of the dogs.”

Most people are appalled at news of a dog left to suffer in the heat of a locked car. Leave a dog behind in summer for even a few minutes and return to an angry samaritan, a broken window, or even a police officer. While many Americans are squeamish to these reports, not many realize that more than 100,000 dogs are killed annually in the US from injuries related to riding in open pickup truck beds.

Hit a small bump at 50 miles an hour and a dog can be launched out of a pickup truck. Stop short or get into a fender-bender and a dog can be thrown from the vehicle or slammed into the back of the cab. Even under normal traffic conditions, sliding around in an open truck bed can easily cause contusions, lacerations, and broken bones to a tethered dog.

Other hazards for a dog can include being hit by tree limbs or other surrounding or flying objects. Also, dirt and debris swept-up in the vortex in the bed of a pickup truck can do serious harm to dogs’ eyes and nasal passages, and high-velocity wind turbulence may be painful and damaging to dogs’ ears and hearing.

The majority of dog owners consider their pet a member of the family, and the average American household has more than one. Most people generally would−and do−go out of their way to make their dogs happy, but tossing it in the back of a truck for a quick trip to Home Depot could prove disastrous.
Wisconsin has no laws prohibiting dogs from riding in open trucks. Not all states outlaw the practice and laws vary widely.

Texas prohibits transporting dogs in open truck beds altogether, and to do so is a misdemeanor. Minnesota restricts the activity to within immediate proximity of a designated hunting ground and only while hunting. 

Thursday, November 7, 2013

"Underage" Drinking: Legal and Not, by Mikaela Kornowski

There are a number of ways for underage people to drink legally in Wisconsin.

Those under 21 can drink on alcohol-selling or private non alcohol-selling premises with parental consent. Consumption of alcohol for medical or religious purposes is also acceptable if accompanied by an adult or legal guardian. An underage person can also drink in the presence of a spouse 21 years old or more.

Although there are legal ways to underage drink, stricter punishment for different circumstances is being enacted.

Senate passed a bill allowing bar and liquor store owners to sue underage patrons or their parents for $1,000. Other underage drinking laws will remain unaffected by the new legislation.

The bill passed on a voice vote. The legislature previously passed the Assembly and is being sent to Gov. Scott Walker.

The measure allows liquor license holders to bring a civil lawsuit against underage customers or their parents. If the license holder wins in court, the customer or guardians will have to pay $1,000 to the establishment. 

"Return to Wisconsin" = Discount Tuition, by Carly Vail

            Many students at UW-La Crosse are unaware of a discounted tuition program offered to a portion of students. Some UW-L students have taken advantage of the program,  called Return to Wisconsin.
This program applies to non-resident students, excluding students from Minnesota, since Minnesota and Wisconsin have an additional tuition discount program. It offers a 25 percent discount on the difference between resident and non-resident tuition rates for students with parents, stepparents, or grandparents graduated from UW-La Crosse.
For the 2013-2014 academic school year, the average savings for students enrolled in this program was approximately $3,400.
One must fill out the Return to Wisconsin Form and send it in to the Admissions Office to establish a student’s eligibility. The application asks for student information such as name, address, telephone number, e-mail address, and UW-La Crosse ID number. The application also asks for alumni information. Here the UW-La Crosse student must identify the relationship to the alumni, his or her name, address, phone number, e-mail address, year of graduation from UW-La Crosse, and the signature of the alumni attesting to the relationship, if living.

Students are able to continue participation in the program throughout their college career by continuing good academic standing and making satisfactory academic progress. 

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

County Police May Carry Emergency Heroin Antidote, by Mikaela Kornowski

La Crosse county is considering equipping police officers with Narcan. Currently, only paramedics carry the life-saving medication. A small number of police departments in the United States also equip officers with Narcan.

Narcan revives individuals overdosed on heroin. Heroin is an opioid, a class of drug that can slow the user’s breathing and eventually lead to death. The antidote reverses the respiratory depression, bringing the subject from an unresponsive state to being fully awake in under a minute. Narcan costs $25 a dose and has saved hundreds of lives.

The number of heroin users in La Crosse is at a peak. The National Survey on Drug Use and Health reports that 160,000 Wisconsin adults have used heroin or another opiate last year.

Tri-State Ambulance reports using Narcan 166 times last year. Tri-State Ambulance provides service for La Crosse, Trempealeau, Vernon, and parts of Monroe and Crawford Counties, as well as Houston and Winona Counties of Minnesota.  

The AIDS Resource Center gives instruction to heroin users on how to use Narcan. It is feared by some that the life-saving medication will provide users with a safety net. Those opposed suspect that addicts will abuse the medication to get high without the possibility of fatal overdose. Others view the medication as a valuable investment.  

Diamond Way Buddhist Club on Campus, by Ellen Barrett

UW-La Crosse has 195 listed student organizations. This does not include the many groups on campus not sponsored by the school. One of the less widely known groups on campus is the Diamond Way Buddhist Club.
The Diamond Way Buddhist Club provides a welcoming environment for people to explore authentic Buddhist meditations and teachings, as described on the organization’s web page,
UW-La Crosse is not affiliated with any one religion or organization. It is UW-L’s goal to provide students with the opportunity to learn, discuss, and participate in a variety of areas  to become well rounded individuals. Religious groups on campus are no more supported by the school than a fraternity, rec. sport, or an academic group. Student run organizations are created to be used or unused at their discretion.
Diamond Way Buddhism is but one branch of Buddhism. Buddhism, as a whole, was founded by Siddhartha Guatama, commonly known as Buddha. At the young age of 35 Buddha achieved a state of happiness and enlightenment. Buddha then traveled the world to teach others how to achieve lasting happiness. To learn more about Buddhism, visit
Diamond Way Buddhism is focused on meditations directed by a qualified teacher. It is the belief that such meditations “can bring about the full and direct experience of the nature of mind. Mind in its essence is understood in Vajrayana Buddhism to be limitless like space, open, fearless, and joyful.” All the Diamond Way teachings are translated into Western languages to avoid cultural barriers. 
New comers are welcome to join the student organization online at Meditations are held on campus at 7 pm every Monday at Cartwright Center room 259. Anyone is welcome to attend.

Participants are also welcome to attend public meditation at the Diamond Way Center in La Crosse. Sessions begin at 7 pm on Thursday at the corner of Main Street and 5th Street.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Some Popular Businesses for Students Close, by William Ricioppo

La Crosse has seen its share of businesses close in the downtown area over the past year with a slow economic recovery still underway. Retail shops to restaurants have been affected, and some of these local business closures are noticed by student customers more than others.

“VPX was one of my favorites,” says Hailey, a UW-L junior. “It was nice having that place close-by, and Cherry Pickers, too, right here in the area. Now, to do really any shopping, you have to make a trip out to Onalaska.”

Among closed downtown businesses in recent months are the Warehouse, Silver Hideout, and Jade CafĂ©. “I really liked Jade,” Chelsea, an accounting major says. “It was so close to campus and home. I was sorry to see them gone when I came back this fall.”

Most businesses tied to the UW-L student population can do well cyclically, but they also find times difficult in the off-season. Not only does business slow, but their employee base shrinks as well.

The owner of one failed local business would only comment, “Things are tough enough as it is, but take away what clientele we had, and the people we had working, and it became un-doable.”

Downtown salons have been impacted also as seen by the frequent change in shop names and locations. 
However, although turnover in ownership isn’t uncommon, the shops, albeit short-lived, continue to open.

Bars, too, are not immune to the tough times, either. Arena Sports Bar and Night Club was a surprising loss to some. “Every time you’d go in there it was packed,” according to Brandon, a third-year economics student. “I don’t know what happened there.”

Amazon Comes To State, with Jobs & Sales Tax, by Crystal Oravis

The opening of an Amazon warehouse in Kenosha will result in a sales tax on, an announcement confirmed today. The Kenosha Distribution Center is proposed to open in fall of 2014. In addition to greater state revenue, the new warehouse will also lead to improvements in the area and create jobs in the state, according to the communications director at Amazon.

The main Amazon facility, in Seattle, has been unable to tax buyers in Wisconsin due to the lack of facilities in Wisconsin. With a physical presence in the state, Amazon is able to require customers to pay a sales tax.

States have missed an average of $23 billion last year for not collecting out-of-state sales tax. Wisconsin gaining this sales tax would result in an average of $95 million yearly by the 2015 fiscal year.

The city of Kenosha has agreed to give an $18.1 million to repair sewers, roads, and other advancements directly related to the building of the new warehouse. The new margin of revenue from the sales tax could pay back the city within the first year.

The new warehouse will create roughly 1,100 new jobs for full-time employees, according to company announcement. The average wage for about 850 employees filling orders will be $13 per hour, while the other 250 jobs will be technicians and program managers, receiving salary pay. The company plans to hire within 20-25 miles of the facility.

               The department’s communications director, Laurel Patrick said, “Amazon has told the state Department of Revenue it will obtain a Wisconsin seller’s permit by November 1 and with then begin collecting sales tax on Wisconsin residents.”

Legislation in Washington regarding internet-sales sales tax requirements is currently pending. The legislation is called the Marketplace Fairness Act. Senate passed the bill in May, but the House of Representatives has yet to act on it. 

Monday, November 4, 2013

Economic Recovery Better for College Grads, by Mikaela Kornowski & Melissa Koch

College graduates are more likely to find work in the aftermath of the 2007 recession, than those graduated years ago, according to Mike Haupert, professor of Economics. The unemployment rate is 4 percent for recent college graduates with the national average stuck at 7 percent and showing no signs of improvement.

4 percent is a good economy, so recession is having no effect on college graduates. Haupert encourages students graduating in December or May to remember that, despite the average, the unemployment rate changes daily.  Somebody who graduates on May 1 and does not find a job until May 8 would be considered unemployed for those seven days.

Having more experience does not trump the new skills of young people, says Haupert. “You have less to worry about than the person who lost their job after 15 years.”  He uses the example of somebody graduated 20 years ago, specializing in programming computer software. Major technology changes have been made in that time, and that person’s knowledge may not be adequate to take on a new position in the same market today.  Job opportunities that older graduates are looking for are more likely to be taken up by recent college graduates with skills more applicable to today’s market.
Recent college graduates are also less likely to have to wait long for positions with their length of unemployment currently at 4 weeks.  The national average length of unemployment is now more than 60 days.  

The unemployment rate for those with a master’s degree is smaller than a bachelor’s degree, and with a MD or PhD, the rate is even smaller still. The new Flex Degree Option at UW system schools awards credit to graduate and undergraduate students based on testing scores. Students use their knowledge gained in the workplace or other experiences to show their mastery of a subject. The program supports that employers looking for degree-holders, relevant to the fast changing market. Those hiring have shifted their search from the most seasoned  to the most up to date.

After the recession, interest rates of student loans increased because the loans were considered to be more risky than in previous years. Pell grants also shrank in size after 2007. 

Friday, November 1, 2013

How National Economic Struggles Affect College Students, by William Ricioppo

The recent government shutdown and uncertain direction of the US economy could have an impact on how UW-L students plan for their future.

“The impact this recession will make on students is the increase in loan costs as interest rates rise,” says Mike Haupert, UW-L professor of economics and former economics department chair. “Loans are becoming more expensive because they’re risker− with the job market being so shaky, lenders will charge more.” Haupert notes that higher loan costs will then influence how much students borrow, causing further financial sluggishness.

This trickle-down can be felt throughout the economy. Tighter monetary policy at the federal level translates to the supply of money available through the reserve system. This affects how money is lent, borrowed, and spent.

The ongoing recession, initially triggered in 2007 by a faltering mortgage market, a collapse of the financial sector, and a weak job market that still struggles is dragging on longer than expected.

Although recent interest rate increases make borrowing for college more expensive in the long run, the availability of loans is there. Should a student seek financial aid, they’re likely to receive it. The economic downturn, while forcing rates up, has not reduced the willingness of institutions to offer loans.

One reason for this is the positive upside earnings potential college graduates have upon receiving their degree.  In lieu of increased average debt size, the unemployment rate for college grads is lower−roughly half that of the national average. Since 2007 national unemployment has been between seven and 10 percent. The unemployment rate for college graduates has historically hovered near four percent, unchanged even during times of economic instability.

Another payoff for students is the indirect relationship between level of education and length of unemployment. According to Haupert, length of unemployment for someone without a degree could stretch longer than six months, while time spent out of work for the holder of a four-year degree averages just four to six weeks.

 “There are just less entry level, blue-collar jobs out there,” says the professor. “Right now jobs available to people with a high school education aren’t paying high wages, and are generally the least desirable.”

Online Safety Guidelines for Using Craigslist, by Shelby Phillips

Scamming is a daily threat Craigslist and other online classified websites pose to users.  The Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection advises many safeguards.

Fake listings populate classified sites using pictures and descriptions to appear authentic.  An ad too good to be true probably is.  Meeting with the buyer or seller in a public place will help to avoid “99% of scam attempts,” according to Craigslist. 

Make sure to keep all personal and financial details private.  Being a victim of identity theft is easier than ever in the digital age.

Any job advertisement requiring payment for materials upfront should be considered carefully.

When wiring money, make sure it’s not going a stranger, especially overseas.  Beware of any checks that buyers may send for an amount greater than the purchase price.  A scam is the buyer asking to wire the extra funds in return.  The money payment is a fake, and once the bank finds a bad check, the receiver will be held accountable for the total amount (plus fees). 

At any time a scam is suspected, stop all communications with that other person and contact local police immediately.  The Wisconsin Consumer Information Hotline can offer further assistance at (800)422-7128.