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Nobody wants this reputation

Mayor Dave Ross has taken heat over the years by seeking to end Superior's reputation as a drinking town. Some residents object, saying this is a legacy that has worked well and provides a solid business foundation.

Mayor Dave Ross has taken heat over the years by seeking to end Superior's reputation as a drinking town. Some residents object, saying this is a legacy that has worked well and provides a solid business foundation.

There's little argument the liquor industry sustains many jobs, although it would be interesting to learn how much taxpayers spend on law enforcement, courts and rehab for alcohol abusers and victims. But having a reputation as a hard-drinking city has a downside.

To free ourselves from local biases, let's instead look at La Crosse. On Sunday, a 24-year-old party animal fell to his death from the Cass Street bridge. His blood-alcohol level was 0.24 -- three times the legal limit to drive a motor vehicle.

He was the ninth heavily intoxicated college-age male to drown in local waters since 1997, and the third to die during Oktoberfest. With that reputation, would you send your child to attend college there? Would you visit there? It's not exactly a selling point.

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