Wednesday, October 18th

Local

Holiday lights and summer flower baskets may be sparse in some communities next year as Xcel Energy will be enforcing its rule to keep distribution poles free of decorations Jan. 1.

“The National Electric Safety Board has a lot of clearance requirements. We also have to have people that are certified and trained to be working near power lines. With those rules in place, our standard is to have nothing attached to electric poles,” said Christie Black, Xcel Energy outdoor lighting project coordinator.

Four villages in Jackson County will be affected including Melrose, Alma Center, Hixton and Taylor. This decision means that no hanging baskets, American flags, decorative lights or any other decoration hanging from an Xcel Energy distribution pole will be allowed after Jan.

Consumer protection agencies are fielding complaints after a Minnesota fuel distributor provided diesel-tainted gasoline to outlets in southeast Minnesota, western Wisconsin and northern Iowa.

Magellan Midstream Partners alerted the Minnesota Department of Commerce Saturday that small amounts of diesel had been added to gas distributed from its Rochester terminal that was delivered to 44 stations between Rochester, Sparta, Wis., and Decorah, Iowa.

Download PDF List of stations that received tainted gas on Oct. 14-15, 2017

Ross Corson, director of communications for the Department of Commerce, said Magellan is in the process of replacing or diluting the contaminated fuel to acceptable standards. The department will be testing samples at Minnesota outlets to ensure the problem is corrected.

Corson said consumer protection agencies in Wisconsin and Iowa have also been alerted.

Consumer protection agencies are fielding complaints after a Minnesota fuel distributor provided diesel-tainted gasoline to outlets in southeast Minnesota, western Wisconsin and northern Iowa.

Magellan Midstream Partners alerted the Minnesota Department of Commerce Saturday that small amounts of diesel had been added to gas distributed from its Rochester terminal that was delivered to 44 stations between Rochester, Sparta, Wis., and Decorah, Iowa.

Ross Corson, director of communications for the Department of Commerce, said Magellan is in the process of replacing or diluting the contaminated fuel to acceptable standards. The department will be testing samples at Minnesota outlets to ensure the problem is corrected.

Corson said consumer protection agencies in Wisconsin and Iowa have also been alerted.

The contamination is not expected to cause long-term damage, according to the DOC, but could lead to poor vehicle performance.

Western Technical College will host its annual college-wide open house event, Thursday, Oct. 19, from 4-7 p.m. at the La Crosse, Black River Falls, Independence, Mauston, Tomah and Viroqua locations.

Program and admissions information, facility tours, refreshments and door prizes will be available at each location. The residence hall in La Crosse will be open for tours and wait list sign up. The college will be waiving the $30 application fee for those who apply during the open house. The offer is available to high school seniors and older, who wish to apply to attend Western in spring, summer and fall 2018.

At the La Crosse main campus, all activities will be held in the Lunda Center, 319 Seventh St.

Many Jackson County residents can trace their roots back to the farm within a generation or two. While some folks are no longer involved in day-to-day farming operations, many still have a connection to the farm by retaining ownership of the land. The amount of farmland in Wisconsin that is leased has increased, as farmers retire and rent land to others to operate. According to the latest National Census of Agricultural, 20-29 percent of farmland in Jackson County is rented, while approximately 40-49 percent of Wisconsin farmland is rented, over 60 percent is rented to other operators in Iowa, Illinois and Minnesota.

For those farmers and landowners who enter into rental agreements, the value of farmland cannot be understated. Both parties recognize the importance of the resource, however arriving at an equitable value for both can be challenging.