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Kaplan Professional continues to expand its local work force, and has mostly completed its move to the fifth and sixth floors of the new Riverside Center II office building in downtown La Crosse.

Kaplan had 72 employees in the area in late 2007, and about 180 early last summer. Today, it has about 250 employees in La Crosse and expects to have about 280 by April 1, said Andy Temte, division president and CEO.

Its La Crosse employment has grown because Kaplan has moved some training functions from other cities around the nation, and because of sales growth. Its La Crosse operations provide live and online courses for people who plan to take professional certification or licensing exams in the financial services and accounting industries.

In November, Kaplan announced it was moving to La Crosse its professional training functions for people in the architecture, engineering, real estate, home inspection, property appraisal and mortgage broker fields. Those moves have begun.

The company has room for about 230 to 235 employees in its downtown space. The rest of its local staff work at Kaplan’s office at 1905 Palace St.

The Happy Joe’s Pizza & Ice Cream Parlor delivery and carry-out location at 327 Division St. in La Crosse closed Dec. 31, owner Dave Olson said.

So Olson has expanded the delivery area for his Onalaska Happy Joe’s restaurant to Green Bay Street on La Crosse’s South Side, and to La Crescent. La Crosse residents who live south of Green Bay Street can arrange to meet a Happy Joe’s delivery person at a mutually agreeable location. “And we’ll continue to deliver and cater larger orders” south of Green Bay Street, Olson said.

Happy Joe’s corporate officials in Iowa wanted Olson to close the La Crosse facility because it didn’t have seating, he said. “I’ll store the equipment,” Olson said. “I have plans and ideas” for later, he said.

The Division Street site operated for 21 years, and Happy Joe’s had a La Crosse location of some kind since 1977. Olson said his sales have been excellent since late November after dropping off in September and part of October.

Scam du jour: Advanced fee loan scams top the Better Business Bureau’s Top 10 Scams of 2008 list. That’s where a consumer calls a toll-free number listed in an advertisement and the person on the other end “takes” their credit application over the phone. They’re told they’ve been approved and will receive the money once they pay a fee. But they never receive the loan and cannot recover their money. Also on the Top 10 list are counterfeit check, debt repair, viruses/worms/ Trojans, phishing, vishing, free gas, overpayment, mortgage foreclosure “rescue” and work-at-home scams.

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