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Mon
14
Aug

Hummingbird Banding


A male ruby throated hummingbird hovers in Wyalusing State Park Thursday. (Photos by Ted Pennekamp)

Female ruby throated hummingbirds were much more abundant than males during the banding program Wednesday, Thursday and Friday. Adult females are slightly larger than males.

The bands for ruby throated hummingbirds are tiny. The bands for males are smaller than for females.

Zookeeper Cassie Sajkowski carefully reaches for a hummingbird inside of a trap.

A hummer pauses for a split second in a girl’s hand upon being released.

People gather around the banding table Thursday morning to observe and learn while Mickey O’Connor (lower left) measures, weighs and bands, and Jane Austin records the information.

 

People enjoy hummingbird banding in Wyalusing State Park

By Ted Pennekamp

 

Many people have backyard hummingbird feeders in the summer months, and hummingbird banding has become an increasingly popular program at Wyalusing State Park within the last few years. 

Mon
14
Aug

Cops take to the rooftop

Law enforcement lights and police officers on a roof might have had some people wondering what was happening at Riverside Square in Prairie du Chien Friday morning, Aug. 11. Dunkin’ Donuts hosted the Cop on a Rooftop fundraiser for the Law Enforcement Torch Run for Special Olympics Wisconsin. Officers from both the Prairie du Chien Police Department and Crawford County Sheriff’s Department participated by manning the roof in shifts and participating in contests for donations. Customers making a donation or paying to play one of several fun games, received a free cup of coffee. Dunkin’ Donuts will donate $5,000 to the torch run, which is a volunteer movement that began in 1986. (Photo by Correne Martin)

Mon
14
Aug

SUV runs over tent at River of Lakes, injures 7

A Fennimore woman was arrested Saturday night, Aug. 12, after she allegedly drove drunk and hit a tent with seven people inside it, at the River of Lakes campground in Bagley, according to the Grant County Sheriff’s Department.

At 10:18 p.m., Stacy Smith, 32, was driving a 2007 Ford Freestyle SUV south on Campground Road when she attempted to turn left. She lost control of her vehicle and ran over a tent that contained seven adults in their 20s, authorities said. Smith then backed over the tent again.

The individuals injured were Nathan Deicher, 26, of Milwaukee; Richard Franklin, 28, of Milwaukee; Alex Kindness, 25, of Milwaukee; Megan Marcou, 26, of Brookfield; Marissa Marti, 24, of Milwaukee; Colin O’Brien, 25, of Milwaukee; and Brian Walzak, 25, of Milwaukee.

Mon
14
Aug

First robotic-assisted surgery performed at Crossing Rivers Health


The da Vinci Surgical System arrived at Crossing Rivers Health medical center in June and the first robotic-assisted surgery was performed there by Dr. Steven Bush on Friday, Aug. 11.

Precision and enhanced dexterity, especially in the small cavities of the body, are a great benefit of robotic-assisted surgery. Pictured, the robot peels a grape and folds origami to demonstrate its capabilities.

By Correne Martin

The first ever robotic-assisted surgery conducted in Prairie du Chien was done Friday, Aug. 11, at the Crossing Rivers Health medical center. Dr. Steven Bush, board-certified gynecologist and obstetrician, performed the procedure using the da Vinci Surgical System, a cutting edge technology that’s changing the perception of surgery.

Robotic-assisted surgery utilizes a robot to facilitate surgery in a more effective way for the patient as well as the surgeon.

“The surgeon controls it and the robot allows for a much better touch and rotation inside the abdomen,” Bush explained.

Wed
09
Aug

Head Start becomes home-based

By Rachel Mergen

 

Earlier this year, Head Start, a free, federally-funded school-readiness program for children ages 3 to 5, announced that it would be closing its Crawford County center. The local branch of the program will become home-based.

Once a week during the school year, instructors will come to the children’s homes for an hour and a half. Sara Ross, a Head Start family service coordinator, stated, “The first hour will be spent with the child on learning objectives that have been set up.  The last half hour is with the family.” 

In addition, students and families will periodically participate in a social. This event will help students work on their communication skills and create friendships between the students and their attending loved ones.

Wed
09
Aug

Total solar eclipse will darken sky, illuminate minds

By Rachel Mergen

 

“It is estimated that many millions of people from all over the globe will be converging upon the path that the moon’s shadow will take as the sun casts the moon’s shadow onto the earth, as the earth turns.  The ‘path’ starts at Oregon and will sweep across the country diagonally toward the southeast to South Carolina,” Tom Bennett, secretary of the StarSplitters of Wyalusing, said about the upcoming eclipse that will occur midday Monday, Aug. 21. 

According to Nancy Ashmore, director of the Prairie du Chien Memorial Library, this event will be the first total solar eclipse in the United States since 1979. Around the world, a total eclipse happens about every four years.

Wed
09
Aug

New K9 adjusting to Prairie du Chien police duties


Prairie du Chien Police Officer Casey Cox demonstrates obedience drills with his new partner, K9 Officer Rico. Cox has been with the department for five years and stepped up in late 2015 with interest in the K9 handler position. Rico was officially sworn in on July 16. (Photos by Correne Martin)

K9 Rico is a 1.5-year-old Belgian Malinois who came to Prairie du Chien from Working K9, a Toronto, Canada, company. The typical career-span of a police K9 is seven to nine years.

Cox commanded Rico to do an area search for a set of keys in the courthouse courtyard. Within minutes of searching around the trees and grass, he detected the human odor and found them, lying down with the keys under his chest.

Rico is already demonstrating great attention to his handler, especially when Officer Cox is holding his favorite toy, a ball on a rope, during obedience training.

By Correne Martin

The Prairie du Chien Police Department’s new K-9 officer, Rico, is officially on duty. The 1.5-year-old Belgian Malinois arrived July 16, was sworn in and has been busy getting used to his new environment.

Officer Casey Cox is his partner and handler. Cox spent a week with Rico, July 9-16, in Toronto, Canada, training one-on-one with the owner of Working K-9. They worked on tracking, drug work, criminal apprehension and article and area searches. Then, they headed home to Prairie du Chien together.

“He’s still very new,” Cox said, noting that the two have done one school demonstration thus far and attended a city council meeting for introductions.

Wed
09
Aug

Man paddles Wisconsin River


Ben Sasse begins his journey down the Wisconsin River near Lac Vieux Desert, a lake divided between Gogebic County in Upper Michigan and Vilas County in Wisconsin. Lac Vieux Desert is the source of the Wisconsin River. (Photos by Kayla Sasse)

Ben Sasse stands next to his kayak after getting out of the Wisconsin River near the Highway 18 Bridge in the town of Bridgeport.

 

Boaz man completes Wisconsin River paddling adventure

By Ted Pennekamp

 

A 26-year-old rural Boaz, Wis. man, Ben Sasse, attempted to set the record for paddling down the Wisconsin River beginning on July 21 from the source of the river at Lac Vieux Desert and hoping to end at Wyalusing State Park near Prairie du Chien. Ben was attempting to paddle the 436 miles of the river in six days, 0 hours and 0 minutes.

Wed
09
Aug

FEMA probably coming

 

FEMA expected to come to 12-county area, but not confirmed

Storm damage estimates not expected to change much

By Ted Pennekamp

 

Wed
09
Aug

Ron L. “Ronny” Kalish Jr.

 

Ron L. “Ronny” Kalish Jr., 54, of Bagley, passed away on Saturday, Aug. 5, at the Gundersen Lutheran Hospital in La Crosse, as a result of a massive stroke. He was surrounded by his family.

 

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