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Western Wisconsin News Briefs: Five injured in school bus accident in De Soto

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DE SOTO - Four school youngsters and a 47-year-old man were injured today, when the man's vehicle struck a school bus in heavy fog in southwest Wisconsin.

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It happened around 9:20 this morning near DeSoto in Vernon County. Sheriff's deputies said the bus was turning off Highway 82 into a church parking lot when the collision occurred. Twelve students were on the bus, ranging in age from 7-to-18. Deputies said four kids had minor injuries, and three were taken to a hospital for treatment. The driver of the other vehicle also had minor injuries. The bus driver, a 51-year-old Genoa man, was not hurt. The mishap was still being investigated late this afternoon.

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Despite the very loud national dialogue about school security and armed teachers, a gun show is scheduled to be held at the Cornell High School gymnasium this Sunday. Opponents are few and far between. The mayor says she has heard no complaints and the district superintendent says he received five e-mails opposing the idea - all from outside the area. Cornell officials say there is a zero-tolerance policy for guns and weapons of any kind on that school campus, but the show is on the weekend. They say the high school gym is the largest venue in the small northwestern Wisconsin town and is often used for community events. One reason for the limited opposition is the state's long tradition of hunting deer, black bear, wild turkeys and most recently, wolves.

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A private foundation in La Crosse plans to raise almost a half-million dollars so the Police Department can operate 41 surveillance cameras downtown. The La Crosse City Vision Foundation came up with the idea, after downtown camera shop owner Paul Petras and his son were murdered in September. Officers made an arrest after reviewing hours of footage from security cameras put up by the downtown businesses. But Police Chief Ron Tischer said officers wasted a lot of time finding all the footage, verifying the accuracy of the dates-and-times listed on the videos, and converting all of it to a usable format. Tischer said if the police could get their own cameras, it would be much easier to track down the video evidence they need. Private donations would pay for the cameras, and the foundation wants enough money to add new cameras in the future without having to seek donations over-and-over again. There have been concerns that the police are setting up a "Big Brother" operation. But Tischer said officers won't have the time to constantly monitor the cameras - but they'll keep rolling, and producing evidence. And they'll be clearly marked, in the hopes that at least some crime will be prevented.

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