“All we seek is help to get the basic broadband services that you all take for granted,” Justin Fortney from Clifton Township in Pierce County wrote to me. “It has been frustrating for us families to watch the digital revolution pass us by…We often…pack the family into the car and drive to a relative’s house or commercial business to use their Internet.”

According to the federal government’s most recent information, Wisconsin ranks last in the Midwest in both rural and urban broadband access with only 44% of rural folks accessing download speeds of 25 Mbps.

Both federal and state governments responded with grant programs to expand broadband but there are problems with assuring that residents actually receive the promised services.

Apply now for buy local, buy Wisconsin grants

Since its inception in 2008, the Buy Local, Buy Wisconsin grant program has generated more than $8.4 million in new local food sales. Farmers and others in Wisconsin’s food industry who want to grow their local markets are encouraged to apply in the 2017 round of grants. Managed by the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection (DATCP), the grants can help farms and businesses more efficiently process, market and distribute food in local markets including stores, schools and institutions.

“Just as a wide variety of foods make for a healthy diet, a variety of farms and agribusinesses makes for a healthy economy,” said BLBW program manager Kietra Olson. “We encourage growers, processors and distributors of diverse products to apply, and we look forward to funding some innovative ideas.

Brian Keith Flick, 55, Merrillan, place, use, hunt wild animals with bait, $343.50.

Hanh Tuyet Nguyen, 22, St Paul, MN, speeding (11-15 mph over), $200.50.

Andrea Marie Nicholas, 36, Black River Falls, battery, $452.50.

Alexa Nicole Nippa, 27, Chicago, IL, speeding (20-24 mph over), $276.10.

Forest Eugene Nott, 40, Springfield, OH, speeding (11-15 mph over), $200.50.

Connor Robert Olson, 18, Hudson, operating motor vehicle without proof of insurance, $10.00.

Xena Olson, 46, Black River Falls, spedometer violations, $150.10.

James Sylvester Pace, 32, Williston, ND, operate without valid license (first offense), $200.50.

Michael Thomas Palke, 27, Stevens Point, speeding (16-19 mph over), $200.50.

Mary Ellen Papa, 56, Prospect Heights, IL, speeding (11-15 mph over), $200.50.

Last week, I took a ride with the owner of a sand mine. They were making these huge craters in the earth and my millennial-shaped heart just wept. I kept thinking, what are we doing to our countryside? Why are we letting industry do this?

My heart strings were being pulled, but my head was going in another direction. I was caught in a pickle, going back and forth between third base and home. Sitting in this guy’s big, burly truck, I didn’t know what I thought. I didn’t know how much I cared.

While I would like to preserve our little piece of Jackson County, I also understand that this County needs good-paying jobs. Let’s face it, many residents in this County are barely making it.

The Jackson County Deer Advisory Council will meet to discuss preliminary antlerless quota recommendations, permit levels and season structure options for the 2017 deer hunting season.

The March 22, 2017 meeting will take place at 7 p.m. at the Jackson Electric Cooperative Conference Room. The public is encouraged to attend and provide written or verbal feedback.

The council will continue to work toward its population objective recommendation of increasing the Forest Zone and maintaining the Farmland Zone deer populations in Jackson County. Population objectives set in 2014 continue to guide deer management decisions for a three-year period.

Antlerless harvest quotas, permit levels and season structure options will help achieve population objectives and will help determine the number of antlerless deer carcass tags available in Jackson County during the 2017 deer hunting season.

Western Technical College Information Technology students are offering free technology assistance to the public. The student-run technology help desk will provide troubleshooting and training assistance until April 12, during the following hours:

  • Mondays/Wednesdays 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.;
  • Fridays 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.;
  • Saturday, March 18, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.;
  • Saturday, April 8, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

The help desk is located in Room 219 of the Business Education Center, 405 8th St. N., La Crosse. Walk-ins are welcome and customers can schedule appointments for one-to-one assistance or training. Make an appointment or ask your technology question by calling 608-785-9900, emailing This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., or visiting Questions can be submitted without an appointment and will be answered during available hours.