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Crochet phenom Jonah Larson competing in Junior Achievement Young Entrepreneur scholarship competition


La Crosse’s renowned crochet kid will compete against a trio of fellow entrepreneurs this month for a chance at a $10,000 scholarship from Junior Achievement of Wisconsin.

Jonah, 13, who found global fame in the world of crafting after his La Crosse Tribune profile in 2018, is the founder of the Jonah’s Hand’s brand, which includes books, a fashion line, one of a kind handcrafted pieces and logo merchandise, and has appeared on numerous TV shows and in magazines.

The talented teen boasts over 109,000 YouTube subscribers, 277,000 Instagram followers and 135,000 Facebook followers.

Jonah is also a young philanthropist, having raised funds to build a science center and library in his birth country of Ethiopia through his ongoing partnership with nonprofit Roots Ethiopia.

The Lincoln Middle School student will be the youngest of the four contenders in the 2021 Junior Achievement Young Entrepreneur Live Competition, being broadcast online from 3:30 to 5 p.m. Jan. 28. Also participating are American Maker’s Carter VanHaren, 17, of Brookfield; Prime Time Performance’s Madison Russell, 17, of Shullsburg; and T. Gehri Caprine Artificial Insemination Services’ Tessa Gehri, 17, of Wonewoc.

The finalists were selected based on criteria including charisma and hustle, business success, growth potential, social involvement, strategic direction, personal integrity and leadership.

For the “Shark Tank” style competition, sponsored by Ernst & Young at Majic Productions in Waukesha, each contestant will present their business and “state their case” for earning the scholarship to the judge panel, consisting of Craig Culver, co-founder, board chairman and brand ambassador for Culver’s; Christine Specht, CEO of Cousins Subs; Craig Karmazin, founder and CEO of Good Karma Brands; and Denise Thomas, president and owner of the Effective Communication Coach. The judges will ask questions, make critiques and offer feedback.

“Entrepreneurship is one of the core principles of Junior Achievement,” said Michael Frohna, president of Junior Achievement. “Similar to the classroom and community programming Junior Achievement offers, the Young Entrepreneur Live Competition embodies that entrepreneurial spirit in a new generation of American leaders.”

Registration to view the event is available at

From Tribune files: La Crosse crochet prodigy Jonah Larson's rise to fame

A residential home in the town of Holland was completely engulfed by an overnight Sunday fire.

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La Crosse County reports 42 new COVID-19 cases

La Crosse County COVID-19 cases rose by 42 on Tuesday, bringing the running total of confirmed positives to 10,817.

Per the Wisconsin Department of Health, three of the new cases are attributed to youth 9 and under, six to those 10-19, seven to those in their 20s, nine to those in their 30s, two to those in their 40s, four each to those in their 50s and 60s, three each to those in their 70s and 80s, and one to an individual in their 90s.

State data

Another 2,790 cases were confirmed for a running total of 511,136 positives. Negative tests have reached 2,409,580, up 3,846 from Monday.

Hospitalizations rose by 149, with 22,583 Wisconsinites ever hospitalized for COVID-19, and 49 new deaths were reported, bringing fatalities to 5,211.

Upcoming free COVID-19 testing days:

  • 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Jan. 25, Feb. 1 and 8, La Crosse County Health and Human Services, 300 Fourth St. N.
  • 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Jan. 26, Feb. 9 and 23, 602 N. Main St., Viroqua
  • 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Jan. 13, 20, 27 and Feb. 3, Holmen High School, 1001 McHugh Rd.
  • 10:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Jan. 15, 22, 29, WisDOT SW Region Office, 3550 Mormon Coulee Road
  • 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Jan. 16, 23, 30, County Highway Shop, 301 Carlson Road, West Salem

PCR testing at these sites is open to those 5 and older with or without COVID-19 symptoms. Pre-registration is required

IN PHOTOS: Local community members wear face masks