The La Crosse Tribune from La Crosse, Wisconsin on August 29, 2010 · 1
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The La Crosse Tribune from La Crosse, Wisconsin · 1

La Crosse, Wisconsin
Issue Date:
Sunday, August 29, 2010
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New ways to use basil 14 ryn of THE SUNDAY V MI M1(B U) q'ee WILL TONIGHTS EMMY'S HIT A HIGH NOTE? D3 $2.00 Serving the region since 1904 Pn n n n FRUIT SUNDAY, August 29, 2010 C 1 -if A new apple has divided Minnesota's orchards. Regional . growers say the University of Minnesota is putting them out of business with its hot new creation, the SweeTango. V ' ' i " ' By CHRIS HUBBUCH The SweeTango is everything you could want from an apple. It has crunch and lots of juice. As the name suggests, it's sweet, with a hint of spice. Already fat and red by August, it's an early taste of fall. , Fred Saridvick picks one off a young tree in his La Crescent orchard and tosses it to a visitor. "It's a good apple," he says. But without legal intervention this homegrown apple, invented by scientists at the University of Minnesota, won't be a money maker for Sandvick, or most Minnesota growers. As the new crop ripens, a lawsuit is working its way through the courts, pitting Minnesota apple growers against one another and the institution that developed much of the fruit on which the industry is based. At the heart of the suit is a contract that gives one Lake City orchard the exclusive rights to market and sell this new apple and to control who grows it. About a dozen apple growers who joined the suit allege the arrangement effectively shuts them out of what could be the hottest new apple variety since the Honeycrisp and could jeopardize the Mississippi . River valley fruit industry. - ; -ttttI ml i .Uln -h iV im rrTTT n-ii-irnn-r-nn ... 7 ! -4 PETER THOMSONU CROSSE TRIBUNE Fred Sandvick picks apples on his 80-acre farm, Hickory Orchards on Wednesday in rural La Crescent. He and other Minnesota growers are suing the University of Minnesota to lift the restriction on growing and selling SweeTango apples, a new variety recently developed by the university. The lawsuit Developed in 2000 by the University of Minnesota's apple breeding program, the SweeTango is a cross between the popular Honeycrisp and Zestar varieties. The university granted Pepin Heights Orchard an exclusive license to grow and sell the apple. In 2006, Pepin Heights formed a cooperative, called Next Big Thing, comprised of 45 growers who would produce SweeTango apples grown on Minneiska trees. An exception allows Minnesota orchards to plant the trees, but with restrictions: they can have no more than 1,000 trees a fraction of what wholesale growers typically plant and are forbidden from pooling their crops with other orchards for the wholesale market or selling them outside the state. That limits growers like Sandvick to selling their crop at the farm, in "farmers markets and roadside stands, or direct to a grocer. The problem, growers say, is that few grocers will do business with individual orchards with small crops. The only way they can survive is by combining their crops to sell to wholesalers, which the contract prohibits. The lawsuit, filed in June in Hennepin County District Court, alleges the agreement runs contrary to state and federal law as well as to the university's policy as a Land Grant institution. Mark Rotenberg, general counsel for the university system, disputes that claim, saying public institutions regularly license intellectual property and rely on the revenue to fund See FRUIT, A6 Medicare expands coverage to help smokers WASHINGTON (AP) -They've lived with the health warnings about smoking for much of their lives and doubtless seen the ill effects on friends, relatives and even themselves, yet about 4.5 million older people la the U.S. keep on lighting up. Medicare is finally catching up to most private Insurers by providing counseling for anyone on the "The elderly can respond to smoking cessation counseling even if they have been smoking for 30 years or more." Dr. Barry Straube. Medicare's chief medical officer. program who's kick the habit. Dr. Barry Straube, Medicare's chief medical officer, says it's never too late to quit, even for lifelong smokers. trying to "The elderly can respond to smoking cessation coun seling even if they have been smoking for 30 years or more," says Straube. "We do know we can see a reduction in the death rate and com plications from smoking-related illnesses." Not only cancer, heart disease and lung problems, which can kill, but also gastric reflux, osteoporosis and other ailments that undermine quality of life. Smoking-related illnesses cost Medicare tens of billions a year. Straube cites a two-decade estimate of j8oo billion, from 1995 through 2015. O n 11 UC(OLULMJLg 1 the way Do La Crosse's schools have too many administrators? The local district employs 30 administrators to oversee 7,023 students and 1,031 staff members. That's 20 percent more than a comparable 10-district average of 25 administrators for 6,819 students. school districts use teachers in positions La Crosse uses licensed administrators for and that needs to be considered when looking at comparables, she said. Image Kember By AUTUMN GROOMS The La Crosse School District has more administrators than 10 school districts statewide with similar student enrollments, according to 2009-10 state Department of Public Instruction data. The locaj district employs 30 administrators to oversee 7,023 students and 1,031 staff members. That's 20 percent more than the 10-dis-trict average of 25 administrators for 6,819 students. But local school officials say La Crosse's positions are needed to continue the district's tradition of excel- lence. "We pride ourselves in being a quality school district," Superintendent Jerry Kember said. A solid administrative team enables the La Crosse School District to manage its small neighborhood schools and charter schools while providing training for staff members and looking for additional educational opportunities for students, he said. "If the community decides they want a district that is less than average, then we can reduce the number of teachers and administrators and all those things," Kember said. Administrators supervise the district's finances, curriculum, human resources and run the day-to-day operations of 15 school buildings. "The community has told us in three different referendums - the first in 2004 and two others in 2008 - that they want small neighborhood schools," Kember said. "Small neighborhood schools are expensive. They cost more because they need to have managers running the schools." Principals and assistant principals account for 21 of La Crosse's administrators. The school board has a good record of looking at its resources and working with its administrative team to make sure the district is staffed appropriately, board vice president IVb Suchla said. Some See SCHOOLS, Aft ffv ' Turner "La Crosse has an excellent reputation in this state. It's a good district. It's known for an excellent administrative team and being a highly efficient district," said Miles Turner, executive director of the Wisconsin Association of District Administrators. "Quality education does not take place in an adminis-trative vacuum," he said. "If you are going to be a h i g h - quality district you are going to need to employ enough high-quality administrators to discipline students who might be disrupting teachers." With 30 administrators, the Beloit School District tied with La Crosse. Along with La Crosse, Beloit also had the most school buildings at 1; and the most students receiving free and reduced -cost lunch. La Crosse was second. Stevens Point Area School District, the largest of La Crosse's comparables, has 23 administrators for 7,386 students; while Middleton-Cross Plains, the smallest, keeps its administrators to 21 for 5,840 students. Both districts had fewer school buildings. The average number of administrators in a district varies and is based on a number of factors, including enrollment, resource allocation, district priorities, and how the oversight of assigned 4 Q1 71 FORECAST At INSIDE EtCetera D3-5 Horoscope Business HI Food 14 Lotteries .. Classified E4-C8 Home El Live! ...... Crossword C3 Hometown CI Movies ... 07 Obituaries C6 A2 Opinion D67 Dl Sudoku C7 02 TV Wings C7 i. iei J "ooooi " r Now offering a convenient blood draw location. It's fast and easy. No appointment needed. Village Shopping Center, inside Degen Bergtund 17 m .

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