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Partnership aims to get youth out in nature
In order to increase environmental awareness, the Mississippi Valley Conservancy and the La Crosse Community Foundation are working to get more children outside and exposed to nature.

Vanilla still king at Winona's Watkins
WINONA, Minn. ? Spend enough time in the kitchen or bathroom,and chances are you?ll come across a Watkins product.

Health care issues topic of forum
SPARTA -- Amy Sue Vruwink and Nancy VanderMeer, candidates in the 70th Assembly District; and Lee Nerison and Peter Flesch, who are vying for the 96th District Assembly seat, will discuss thei…

Little Free Libraries branching out
102414-lt-nws-little-librariesThe Little Free Library trend is sweeping through La Crosse County.

Little Falls couple turns farm vision into reality 1
LITTLE FALLS, Minn. (AP) ? There are farms all over Central Minnesota, but perhaps none operated by as unlikely farmers as a stretch of acreage east of Little Falls on Minnesota Hwy. 27.

Quilts of Valor: Brothers who served Vietnam honored at Veterans Memorial
TOMAH ? Tom Smith?s original plan was to honor his brother, Dickie Smith.

Pets of the week for Sunday, Oct. 26, 2014

For Goodness' Sake for Sunday, Oct. 26, 2014
Administered by La Crosse County, the For Goodness? Sake program provides donated household goods to the needy. Phone numbers listed are for local agency contacts, not the person in need.

Vruwink, VanderMeer differ in experience
The battle for Wisconsin?s 70th Assembly District is a rematch of a tight 2012 race between six-time Democratic incumbent Amy Sue Vruwink and Republican challenger Nancy VanderMeer.

96th Assembly District: Race between former dairy farmers, county board chairmen
Voters in Wisconsin?s 96th Assembly District will elect a former dairy farmer and county board chairman. The question is which one.


National News
Iraqi security forces and Kurds gain ground against Islamic State

Shi'ite fighters and Iraqi army members ride in vehicles during a patrol in Jurf al-SakharBy Ahmed Rasheed and Isabel Coles BAGHDAD/ARBIL Iraq (Reuters) - Iraqi government forces and Shi'ite militias seized control of the strategic town of Jurf al-Sakhar near Baghdad from Islamic State on Saturday and Kurdish fighters made gains in the north after heavy coalition air strikes against the Sunni militants. Iraqi troops and their Shi'ite allies broke the grip of Islamic State in Jurf al-Sakhar after months of fighting against insurgents determined to march on the capital. ...

Ukraine votes in poll likely to strengthen president's hand

A combination photo shows pre-election posters as they are seen on the streets of KievBy Richard Balmforth KIEV (Reuters) - Ukrainians voted on Sunday in an election that is likely to install a pro-Western parliament and strengthen President Petro Poroshenko's mandate to end separatist conflict in the east, but may fuel tension with Russia. Voting started on a cold but sunny morning in Kiev in the first parliamentary election since street protests n the capital last winter forced Moscow-backed leader Viktor Yanukovich to flee and ushered in a pro-Europe leadership under Poroshenko. ...

Canadians flock to Parliament Hill, site of attack on soldier

A man writes in books of condolences to fallen Canadian soldiers, Warrant Officer Patrice Vincent and Corporal Nathan Cirillo, during a vigil in MontrealBy Richard Valdmanis OTTAWA (Reuters) - Canadians returned to the reopened grounds of their parliament building on Saturday, three days after a homegrown radical rushed in armed with a rifle after killing a soldier in the second domestic attack in a week on the country's military. The grounds of the hilltop gothic building, whose clock tower is a centerpiece of Ottawa's skyline, attracted scores of visitors, many still stunned by Wednesday's attack, which took place as Prime Minister Stephen Harper was meeting with lawmakers. ...

Japanese PM Abe's public support slumps in wake of resignations: Yomiuri poll

Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe reacts as he speaks to the media at his official residence in TokyoTOKYO (Reuters) - Public approval of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's government slumped after the resignation of two high-profile cabinet ministers last week, according to a poll published on Sunday, adding more pressure on Abe as he struggles to turn around the Japanese economy. Japan's biggest daily the Yomiuri surveyed 1,059 people by telephone on Friday and Saturday and found support for Abe's government had fallen to 53 percent from 62 percent in less than a month. ...

Brazil votes in tight presidential runoff split along class lines

Presidential candidates Neves of Brazilian Social Democratic Party and Rousseff of Workers Party pose before a television debate in Rio de JaneiroBy Paulo Prada RIO DE JANEIRO (Reuters) - Brazilians vote on Sunday in a bitterly-contested election that pits a leftist president with strong support among the poor against a centrist senator who is promising pro-business policies to jumpstart a stagnant economy. Polls give a slight edge to incumbent Dilma Rousseff, 66, who is seeking a second four-year term. Her Workers' Party has held power for 12 years and leveraged an economic boom to expand social welfare programs and lift over 40 million people from poverty. ...

Last U.S. Marines, British combat forces end Afghan operations, prepare withdrawal
By Kay Johnson CAMP LEATHERNECK Afghanistan (Reuters) - The last U.S. Marines unit and final British combat troops in Afghanistan officially ended their operations on Sunday as they packed up to leave the country and transferred a massive military base to the Afghan military. The American and British flags were lowered and folded up for the final time at the regional headquarters of the international military, 13 years after the toppling of the Taliban?s radical Islamist regime launched America's longest war. ...

Tunisians in historic vote spurred by Arab Spring

A Tunisian man shows his ink-stained finger in front of a Tunisian flag after voting for the country's parliamentary elections outside the Tunisian embassy in Cairo, Egypt, Saturday, Oct. 25, 2014. On Sunday, Tunisians will vote for their first five-year parliament since they overthrew dictator Zine El Abidine Ben Ali, marking the end of the democratic transition that they alone among the pro-democracy Arab Spring uprisings have managed to achieve. Now, many Tunisians are expressing disillusionment over democracy. (AP Photo/Hassan Ammar)TUNIS, Tunisia (AP) ? Tunisians expressed tentative hope for the future as they lined up early Sunday to choose their first five-year parliament since they overthrew their dictator in the 2011 revolution that kicked off the Arab Spring.

Afghan mullah jailed for 20 years for rape
KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) ? An Afghan court has sentenced a mullah to 20 years in prison after finding the religious teacher guilty of raping a 10-year-old girl.

Friends reunited as Mourinho, van Gaal clash

Louis van Gaal (R) and Jose Mourinho, pictured before a UEFA Champions League match at the Santiago Bernabeu stadium in Madrid, on May 22, 2010Manchester (United Kingdom) (AFP) - Jose Mourinho and Louis van Gaal insist their friendship will survive whatever happens when Chelsea look to cement their position on top of the Premier League with a statement victory at Manchester United on Sunday.

Bangladesh 109-3 at lunch on day 2 vs Zimbabwe
DHAKA, Bangladesh (AP) ? Scores at tea Sunday on the second day of the first cricket test between Bangladesh and Zimbabwe at Mirpur's Sher-e-Bangla National Cricket Stadium:

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