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Tue
09
Jul

War of 1812 at Villa Louis this weekend


After formally surrendering to the British, the American troops vacated the premises of Fort Shelby in Prairie du Chien, leaving by boat for St. Louis. Shortly after marked the end of the War of 1812. The annual Battle of Prairie du Chien reenactment will be this weekend on the Villa Louis grounds, near where the original Fort Shelby once stood. (Courier Press file photo)

On July 13-14, the ground at the Villa Louis Historic Site will once again shake from the roar of cannons and rifle volley fire at the War of 1812: Battle of Prairie du Chien event.

“This annual event highlights an important turning point in Wisconsin’s history as the battle is re-enacted on the very grounds it took place on in 1814, over 200 years ago,” said Susan Caya-Slusser, southwest sites regional director for the Wisconsin Historical Society “Guests of all ages will be able to experience the true-to-life event through a variety of hands-on activities and re-creations.”

Tue
09
Jul

ATV/UTV trails one step closer to finalized in Prairie du Chien

By Correne Martin 

Over 25 observers attended the Prairie du Chien Common Council meeting July 2 with one thing on their mind: the proposed opening of ATV/UTV routes in the city. Four individuals—two of whom are city residents—spoke in favor of allowing these machines on city streets, while one resident disagreed with the possible designated route along North Main Street, though he didn’t directly oppose offering most streets up for ATV and UTV use. The council will make a final decision on Aug. 6, since it voted unanimously last week to send the discussion back to the public works committee to draft a final ordinance. 

“All users will be asked to obey the rules of the county ordinance we have now,” said John Udelhoven, Crawford County Ridge Runner spokesman. 

Tue
09
Jul

Steve Ledesma

Steve Ledesma, 67, of McGregor, Iowa died Saturday, June 29, 2019, at his home in McGregor, Iowa. 

Steve was born Feb. 15, 1952, to Antonio and Elizabeth (Mroz) Ledesma in Chicago. He attended high school in Midlothian, Ill. Steve was united in marriage with Nancy Higgins on July 4, 1986, in Tinley Park, Ill. Two sons were born to this union, Steve Jr. and William. Steve worked at Cabela’s and, in his spare time, enjoyed reading, doing jigsaw puzzles and working in the yard. His greatest joy was spending time with his grandchildren.

Mon
08
Jul

Drug bust results in arrest at court house

On June 28, Patrick Berger, 29, La Crosse, arrived at the Crawford County Court House for an initial appearance on prior drug charges. While in the building, Berger displayed suspicious behavior and signs of narcotics impairment. Deputies later performed testing on Berger and he was found to be under the influence of methamphetamine and opiates. 

The Crawford County K9 Unit deployed K9 Breck around the exterior of the vehicle that Berger drove to the court house. K9 Breck alerted to the presence of one or more controlled substances within the vehicle. Furthermore, a glass narcotic smoking pipe was laying in plain view on the driver’s seat of the vehicle. A search of the vehicle yielded a clear plastic bag containing a brown powder that later field tested positive for heroin. 

Mon
08
Jul

Woman arrested for meth, morphine

On July 1, a Crawford County deputy conducted a traffic stop on a 2002 Nissan Maxima for speeding violations in the village of De Soto. The driver was identified as Brianna Walsh, 23, Prairie du Chien. 

During the course of the traffic stop, deputies discovered that Walsh had a revoked driver’s license through the state of Wisconsin. Deputies observed indicators of narcotics impairment from Walsh. The Vernon County K9 Unit arrived soon after the traffic stop and alerted to the presence of one or more controlled substances within the vehicle. A search of the vehicle yielded a white powder that later tested positive for morphine, which is a schedule II narcotic. Walsh is currently out on bond through Crawford County for narcotics related charges. Walsh was later determined to be under the influence of methamphetamine. 

Mon
08
Jul

Blake’s Prairie Jr. Fair announces 2019 event and royalty candidates


Carolyn Tolle, Maddison Pierce and Kyra Drew

Archie Cooley and Ian Adrian

Five area high schoolers are competing to become Blake’s Prairie Fair King and Queen. The Blake’s Prairie Jr. Fair will be held on July 19-21.

Mount Hope Cardinals 4-H Club is sponsoring queen candidate Carolyn Tolle, daughter of Darren and Laura Tolle. Carolyn has been a member of her club for nine years and has served as secretary and vice president. She has shown cultural arts, home environment, food, photography, rabbit and beef projects at the Blake’s Prairie Jr. Fair and Grant County Fair. Carolyn also volunteers for the Mount Hope Dairy Days Parade and Ice Cream Social.

Mon
08
Jul

Famechon Hill project affects Highway 35


Construction continues on a portion of County N that will go behind the Spring Lake Restaurant Motel. (Photo by Ted Pennekamp)

By Ted Pennekamp

County N in Crawford County has been closed since May 21 and construction has been going quite well on the $3.9 million Famechon Hill project.

As part of the project, a new box culvert will be constructed under Highway 35 just south of the County N-Highway 35 intersection which will affect traffic on Highway 35.

“The work will be done in stages with only one lane open for traffic,” said Tim Maedke, Department of Transportation project manager. “Temporary signals will be installed to regulate the traffic flow.” This work on Highway 35 began on Monday, July 8.

The prime contractor for the Famechon Hill project is Peter James of H. James and Sons of Fennimore.

Mon
08
Jul

Hwy. 18 being resurfaced from Fennimore to the Wisconsin River Bridge


The repaving of Highway 18 from Fennimore to near the Patch Grove turnoff has been moving along quite well and is expected to be complete around the end of July. A second resurfacing project from near Patch Grove to the Wisconsin River Bridge is expected to begin in mid-August. (Photo by Ted Pennekamp)

By Ted Pennekamp

Motorists driving on Highway 18 in Grant County this summer will have to use caution when traveling through construction zones.

Highway 18 from Fennimore to near the turnoff to Patch Grove is being resurfaced and there is one lane of travel for much of the way. The lane is grooved so driving a bit slower than normal might be a good idea.

“The project from Fennimore to near the Patch Grove turnoff is moving along pretty well and, if the weather cooperates, should be complete around the end of July,” said Todd Waldo, Wisconsin Department of Transportation project manager.

Mon
08
Jul

Remodeled Aldi opens


Shoppers lined up in front of Aldi, stretching all the way down the building and back to the entryway to the parking lot, as early as 4:45 a.m. the day of the grand re-opening. (Photos by Correne Martin)

Employees and remodel administration posed for a ribbon cutting before opening the doors to customers June 27.

Store Manager Janice Polodna says hello to the people waiting in line.

The line inside the store went almost immediately to the sign-up for free groceries for a year.

Jennifer Struntz was one of the first customers to enter the newly-remodeled Aldi store in Prairie du Chien Thursday, June 27, at about 8:30 a.m.

One of the first shoppers entered a checkout lane.

All of the checkout lanes were full, but customers didn't have to wait long to get through and pay.

A happy customer heads out after getting what she needed,

Aldi is known for its speedy checkers, and that was no different the day of the grand re-opening in Prairie du Chien.

Janice Polodna greets customers.

Customers sign up for a year's worth of free produce.

By Correne Martin

Hundreds of anxious customers waited hours for the remodeled Prairie du Chien Aldi store to open Thursday. The first person actually started the line at 4:45 a.m., nearly four hours ahead of the grand re-opening celebration.

Following a giveaway of 100 golden tickets (gift certificates ranging from $5-100) and an official ribbon cutting around 8:25 a.m., the long line swarmed inside the shopping center to view its new look, browse the new products and shop for the first time since the store was closed in late May. 

Tue
02
Jul

Heavy rains lead to train derailment near Glen Haven


Emergency officials believe it was a mudslide or rockslide that caused a Burlington Northern Santa Fe train carrying empty semi trailers to derail south of Glen Haven the morning of July 1. (Grant County Emergency Managment photo)

Members of the Bagley Fire Department responded with their boat to help gather photos and assess the situation, so Grant County Emergency Management could determine whether there was a threat to people and assess the environmental impact. (Photo by Ron VanNatta)

Mother Nature unloaded on southwest Wisconsin Sunday. In addition to fierce winds, heavy rains hit the region. According to Grant County Emergency Management, some areas in northern Grant County received around 5-6 inches, even up to 8 inches in the Preston area. Tubes and shoulders were washed out, lots of debris and rock slid into culverts and some small mud slides occurred.

The most significant mudslide took place along the Burlington Northern Santa Fe (BNSF) rail line running along the Mississippi River south of Glen Haven Monday morning. It caused a partial derailment of a train carrying empty semi trailers. The rail line and Glen Haven boat landing were temporarily closed, with the landing being used as a staging area for crews cleaning up damaged cars.

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