Courier Press

Tue
16
Jul

Novice kayaker enjoying Mississippi River charity trip

kayker wayne o'brien
Wayne O'Brien

By Ted Pennekamp

A man from Warrington, England is not only enjoying a great adventure kayaking alone down the length of the Mighty Mississippi River, he is also raising money for British military personnel who have been injured in Afghanistan or Iraq.

Wayne O’Brien, 55, began his solo paddling adventure on June 23 in Lake Itasca, Minn. and plans to finish on Aug. 23 in New Orleans. O’Brien learned to kayak in November of 2012 and is averaging about 40 miles per day. He is camping in a tent along the route.

Tue
16
Jul

229th returns home

moment
Rusty Smith, of Prairie du Chien, shares a delightful moment with his daughter, April, at Volk Field Air National Guard Base at Camp Douglas when the 229th Engineering Company returned to Wisconsin Thursday, July 11. (Flowers, Fotos & Footage Photography by Stephanie)
belt buckles
Maj. Gen. Donald Dunbar, the adjutant general, Maj. Jesse Augustine, the commander of the 229th Engineer Company, and Brig. Gen. Mark Anderson, the assistant adjutant general for Army, show off their 229th Engineer Company belt buckles shortly after the unit's return to Fort Bliss, Texas, June 30. The unit presented the general officers with the belt buckles during their sendoff ceremony last September. (Wisconsin National Guard photo by 1st Lt. Joe Trovato)
plane
Soldiers of the 229th Engineer Company, headquartered in Prairie Du Chien, Wis., disembark the plane upon returning to the Fort Bliss, Texas, June 30, after nine months in Afghanistan. The unit is demobilizing at Fort Bliss before returning to Wisconsin. (Wisconsin National Guard photo by 1st Lt. Joe Trovato)

By Caitlin Bittner

Last summer, at the end of August, the 229th Engineer Company based out of Prairie du Chien received a send-off party with more than 1,000 guests in attendance before being deployed to Afghanistan in September.

During the past year, the 229th, a horizontal engineering unit, was responsible for expanding forward operating bases and combat outposts as well as building and improving roads, helicopter pads and other surfaces.

Their work helped to provide increased mobility on the combat roads and trails of Kandahar province.

The unit was also involved in the construction of persistent surveillance balloon systems that kept a watchful eye on the region.

Fri
12
Jul

229th returns to Wisconsin

By 1st Lt. Joe Trovato

Wed
10
Jul

Highway 35 businesses still open though road is closed

road closed

By Audrey Posten

The Crawford County Highway Department said the 10-mile stretch of Highway 35 from County Highway N north of Prairie du Chien to Lynxville will remain indefinitely closed to through traffic while a construction crew repairs a 330-foot section of the southbound lane, which was undermined when torrential rains caused rock and mud slides two weeks ago.

The state awarded an emergency contract to Hoffman Construction of Black River Falls, who started repairing the road on Monday.

Although the road remains closed to through traffic, local residents, as well as people camping, fishing or visiting businesses in the area, are allowed to access the road.

Dena Schneeberger, who owns the Spring Lake Inn with her husband, said they noticed a slowdown because of the road closure, so they contacted the highway department, asking for a sign to be put up that said the Spring Lake Inn was open.

Wed
10
Jul

Great River Road 75th Anniversary celebration includes area events

By Audrey Posten

The Great River Road National Scenic Byway celebrates its 75th anniversary this year, an occasion that includes events in several of the 33 towns located along Wisconsin’s 250-mile stretch of the road.
The 10-state Great River Road, established by President Franklin Roosevelt in 1938, is the country’s oldest byway. It follows the Mississippi River for 3,000 miles, stretching from northern Minnesota to the Gulf of Mexico.

According to the Wisconsin Great River Road website, the road is the state’s only designated national scenic byway, with nearly two-thirds of it passing along or through protected natural areas. Sites along the way—from Prescott to Kieler—include six state parks, the Mississippi National River and Recreation Area, the Upper Mississippi River National Wildlife and Fish Refuge and the Trempealeau National Wildlife Refuge.

Wed
10
Jul

Crawford County Fair offers events for fairgoers of all ages

By Audrey Posten

This year’s Crawford County Fair, which will run from Wednesday, Aug. 7 through Sunday, Aug. 11 in Gays Mills, will feature activities for fairgoers of all ages.

The fair’s slate of activities kicks off Wednesday evening with the 5th annual Taste of Crawford County. The event is open to anyone who would like to showcase their business and products, and will feature local foods and a wine tasting contest, as well as the grilled cheese experience, where participants compete to find out who makes the best grilled cheese sandwich. At the end of the evening, fairgoers will vote to select the people’s choice award winner.

The fair also invites area quilters to enter a quilt block in the “Piece of Crawford County” contest. The blocks will be displayed throughout the week, and fairgoers can begin voting for the people’s choice award on Wednesday night.

Wed
10
Jul

Fourth Ward Reunion returns to St. Feriole Island this Saturday

4th warders
Bette Beneker and Jeff Lessard at the 2012 reunion. Both help to organize the event that brings together family and friends who lived in the St. Feriole Island neighborhood.
flood waters
Mrs. May boated into the Fourth Ward during the flood of 1965, just like all of the island residents. All photos included here were posted on the “Remember fourthward” Facebook group page.

By Trudy Balcom

The 13th annual Fourth Ward Reunion will bring river rats back to their home turf on St. Feriole Island to share memories and a potluck meal this Saturday, July 13. The Fourth Ward neighborhood included the homes and businesses located on St. Feriole Island.

Little remains of this once thriving neighborhood. After the record-breaking flood of 1965, the Army Corps of Engineers initiated one of the first flood control projects that simply moved people out of flood-prone areas. The Flood Damage Reduction Project acquired 121 properties on St. Feriole Island between February, 1978 and September, 1984 (“Moving a Neighborhood Out of Harm’s Way,” Big River, Dec. 1997). People’s homes and businesses were purchased by the government. Some were simply demolished, others moved their structures off of the island to new locations.

Wed
10
Jul

Fire Truck Parade July 20 highlights celebration for PdC Fire Department

By Correne Martin

A parade of in-service fire engines as well as antique fire trucks from around the tri-states will descend on downtown Prairie du Chien on Saturday, July 20, at 1 p.m. The polished up rescue rigs will be part of the Fire Truck Parade highlighting the Prairie du Chien Fire Department’s 140th anniversary celebration.

Following the parade, the fire trucks will be lined up on St. Feriole Island for people to walk through and admire.

In the evening, a Chicken Q will be held from 4 to 8 p.m., while Twisted Vision DJ spins music. A live auction will take place from 6 to 8 p.m., with a 42-inch LCD TV, an autographed Packers football and homemade pies among the prizes. There will also be a dunk tank featuring local celebrities and a bean bag throw.

A street dance, featuring the Studebaker 7 band, will cap the night from 8 p.m. to midnight. The George family is sponsoring the band.

Wed
10
Jul

City of Prairie du Chien files lawsuit regarding Rifken property

By Correne Martin

The city of Prairie du Chien and its Redevelopment Authority (RDA) filed legal action in Crawford County Court June 7 against four defendants: Martin F. Rifken, Block 43 LLC, and Thomas G. Gialamas, all of Madison, and the Madison Office Fund LLC, of Milwaukee. The lawsuit alleges that the defendants and their actions impeded upon a signed development agreement that originated in 2008, relating to the Block 43 parcel of the Union Plat north of Walgreens in Prairie du Chien. In the suit, the city seeks over $300,000 in damages and a declaratory judgement, as well as reconveyance of the real estate.

Tue
09
Jul

Couple planning Aug. 10 wedding vows

peterson-wachter

Julie Peterson and the late Keith Peterson, of Robinson, N.D., announce the engagement of their daughter, Nellie Peterson, to Mike Wachter, son of Richard and Sandi Wachter, of Prairie du Chien. Nellie graduated from Dickinson State University with a bachelor’s degree in elementary education. She is employed as a second grade elementary teacher at Gackle-Streeter Elementary School. Mike graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Stout, with a bachelor’s degree in technology education. He is employed at the Kidder County Schools-Steele as a technology teacher. An Aug. 10 wedding is planned at the St. Francis de Sales Catholic Church in Steele, N.D., with a reception and dance to follow at the Cottonwood Golf Course. The couple plans to reside in Steele.

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