More than 7 inches of rain fell overnight July 20 and 21 in the Coulee Region, destroying and damaging hundreds of homes and triggering a federal disaster declaration. Downtown Arcadia was underwater, and a tornado ripped through McGregor, Iowa.
That was after three flash flooding events in 2016, including a September deluge that caused a train derailment and killed two people in Vernon County.
An F-1 twister touched down near Barre Mills on March 6, destroying at least two pole sheds and a large barn, and flattening two silos on Schomberg Road south of West Salem. It is the earliest documented tornado in La Crosse County and the first ever recorded in March.
As the region marked the 10-year anniversary in August of the great flood of 2007, emergency management officials told the Tribune they’ve changed their approach: Instead of worrying primarily about the slow-moving disaster of a rising Mississippi River, they’re also paying extra attention to the fast-moving disaster of torrential downpours that turn creeks into raging rivers, destroy roads, culverts and bridges, and send homes and other buildings off their foundations.
While President Donald Trump’s first year in office dominated the national conversation, the Coulee Region had plenty of news for people tired of Twitter wars and idols with feet of clay.
In weather, there was an unprecedented March tornado, then flash-flooding in July. In the courts, there was Todd Kendhammer’s murder trial. On the the good news front, there was no shortage of people trying to fix the present and build for the future.
And, as always, there were plenty of interesting people doing important — and fun — things with their lives.
Character Lives: A group of Coulee Region business leaders launched an academy to inject the Character Lives curriculum into 21 area high schools, along with training for 60 teachers and administrators, with plans to continue to expand the offering. The idea is to foster a servant leader-minded workforce that’s not only technically competent but also infused with adaptability and the communication, decision-making and problems-solving skills they’ll need.
Trane Park: A nonprofit committee launched a fundraiser to rebuild La Crosse’s underused Trane Park, turning it into a facility for people of all abilities and ages. The seven-acre, $5.9 million project, All Abilities Trane Park, would create zones designed to support children and adults on the autism spectrum, as well as provide safe experiences for others with disabilities.
Hub on Sixth:
Gas and wind:
Rocking to the end:
Freedom Fest swan song:
O Little Town:
People of faith:
Trouble at the VA:
AllEnergy v. Trempealeau County:
Jackson County sand:
Jen the Baker:
WASHINGTON — Donald Trump has taunted world leaders, criticized football players and picked fights with members of his own party. After a year in office, one thing is indisputable with this unconventional president: He relishes the battle.
Trump’s adversaries span the globe and few sectors of society have been spared a Trump tirade. If he perceives a slight, he’s doesn’t turn the other cheek.
“I think it’s always OK when somebody says something about you that’s false, I think it’s always OK to counterpunch or to fight back,” Trump said.
Here are 17 of Trump’s biggest feuds of 2017:
A beef over North Korea’s nuclear weapons program has devolved into personal insults and existential threats. Trump has vowed to rain “fire and fury” on North Korea if “Rocket Man” Kim continues his nuclear pursuits. Kim sent people scrambling for dictionaries when he labeled Trump a “dotard” as well as a “gangster fond of playing with fire.”
Beyond Fox News, Trump harbors deep disdain for the mainstream media he accuses of peddling “fake news.” He puts a special focus on CNN. He tweeted a video edited to show him body slamming the network’s logo and accused it of representing “our Nation to the World very poorly.” The network’s reply: “It’s not CNN’s job to represent the U.S. to the world. That’s yours.”
Trump blasted the National Football League for not punishing players who engage in protests inspired by quarterback Colin Kaepernick during the national anthem. The league delivered a tepid response to Trump’s complaint, but New Orleans Saints coach Sean Payton replied: “I’m disappointed in the comments that were made. I think we need a little bit more wisdom in that office.” Trump instructed Vice President Mike Pence to walk out of an Indianapolis Colts game after several players failed to stand during the national anthem.
Trump’s gridiron grievances shifted to the hardwood when he lashed out Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry for criticizing him. Trump canceled the White House celebration visit for the NBA champion Warriors, which prompted Cleveland Cavaliers superstar LeBron James to refer to Trump as “U bum” in a tweet, adding: “Going to the White House was a great honor until you showed up!”
The president slapped at the father of LiAngelo Ball, one of three UCLA basketball players arrested on shoplifting charges in China, for not expressing gratitude for Trump’s aid in getting his son released from jail. Ball told CNN that Trump was inflating his role and added, “I don’t have to go around saying thank you to everybody.” Trump lashed out again, calling Ball a “poor man’s version of Don King,” as well as an “ungrateful fool.”
An ugly October spat in which Trump referred to the chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee as “Liddle Bob Corker” after the Tennessee Republican argued that Trump could trigger World War III. Corker also called the White House an adult day care center.”
Disdain borne of a campaign in which Trump mocked McCain’s capture during the Vietnam War and McCain pulled his support after the emergence of that “Access Hollywood” tape that captured Trump boasting about sexual assault spilled into 2017, as McCain warned against “half-baked, spurious nationalism cooked up by people who would rather find scapegoats than solve problems.”
After the New York Democrat called for him to resign over sexual assault allegations, Trump called Gillibrand, a potential 2020 Democratic presidential challenger, “a lightweight” who “would come to my office begging for campaign contributions not so long ago (and would do anything for them)” in a tweet that many deemed sexually suggestive. Gillibrand shot back, commenting on “the unfitness and shame you have brought to the Oval Office.”
In one of his longest feuds, Trump revels in calling Warren, another potential 2020 Democratic presidential candidate, “Pocahontas” because she once claimed Native American ancestry. Trump repeated the nickname at a White House event honoring Navajo “Code Talkers.”
Flake has been Trump’s most vocal GOP critic in Congress. The Arizona Republican, who announced that he won’t seek re-election, accused Trump of undermining world stability “by the level of thought that goes into 140 characters.” Trump’s response? “(Flake and Corker) dropped out of the Senate race (because) they had zero chance of being elected,” he tweeted.
The first senator to endorse Trump and a trusted campaign adviser, Sessions is on the outs for bowing out of the investigation into Russian interference into the 2016 election. Trump called Sessions “very WEAK” on investigating what Trump says are crimes committed by his 2016 Democratic rival, Hillary Clinton. Though Sessions stayed low and sought to brush off the criticism, his former Senate colleagues were not amused.
Another Cabinet member in the White House doghouse, Tillerson ran afoul of Trump after reportedly calling him a “moron” in a Pentagon meeting. Trump shrugged off the alleged remark as “fake news” but told Forbes magazine that if Tillerson did say it “I’ll guess we’ll have to compare IQ tests.”
The two have been at it since before Day One of the Trump administration. The Georgia Democrat didn’t attend Trump’s inauguration and said he doesn’t consider Trump a “legitimate” president. Trump responded by calling Lewis, a civil rights icon, “All talk, talk, talk — no action or results. Sad!”
Trump and Graham were competitors for the 2016 Republican presidential nomination. Their relationship hit a bump in August when Graham accused Trump of drawing a “moral equivalency” between white supremacists and counter-protesters in Charlottesville. Trump called the senator “publicity seeking Lindsey Graham” in a tweet, and said the South Carolina Republican “just can’t forget his election trouncing.”
The Academy Award-winning actress railed against Trump in a Golden Globes award speech in January. “When the powerful use their position to bully others, we all lose,” she told a star-studded audience. Trump called Streep “one of the most over-rated actresses in Hollywood.”
This spat escalated after the Miami Democrat accused Trump of being insensitive to a fallen soldier’s widow. Trump, backed by his chief of staff John Kelly, said Wilson had “totally fabricated” his remarks and blasted her on Twitter as “wacky” and a “disaster” for the Democratic Party.
The mayor of San Juan, Puerto Rico criticized the federal government’s response to Hurricane Maria, saying it was “killing us with the inefficiency and bureaucracy.” Trump retorted via Twitter the next day, saying Cruz had “been told by the Democrats that you must be nasty to Trump.” He panned her for “poor leadership ability” and accused her and others of “wanting everything to be done for them.”