Courier Press

Wed
02
Mar

Gays Mills man charged with hitting men with bat

A 32-year-old Gays Mills man has been charged in Crawford County Circuit Court with one count of substantial battery.

Tyler J. Babb faces up to 3.5 years in prison and a $10,000 fine if convicted.

According to the criminal complaint, Babb hit two men with a baseball bat at a residence in the town of Marietta on Jan. 24. Babb hit one man in the head and the other in the right arm, the complaint said.

According to the complaint, Babb admitted to officers that he had gone to the residence to confront a man with regard to an incident that had allegedly occurred about four nights earlier between the man and Babb’s estranged girlfriend.

Wed
02
Mar

Two separate incidents result in meth possession charges

A 39-year-old Prairie du Chien man has been charged in Crawford County Circuit Court with one count of possession with intent to deliver methamphetamine.

Christopher A. Fernette faces up to 15 years in prison and a $50,000 fine if convicted.

According to the criminal complaint, a sheriff’s department deputy saw Fernette pull into the driveway of a residence of an individual known by the deputy to be involved in controlled substances.

Fernette later drove the vehicle to a parking lot of a store. The deputy then deployed his K-9 on the vehicle while Fernette was in the store, and the dog “hit” on several locations on the vehicle, the complaint said.

Wed
02
Mar

Drones: The farmer’s new tool in measuring plant health


Dr. Brian Luck, of the UW-Extension, is pictured flying his unmanned aircraft system (UAS), as he prefers to call the commonly labeled drones. He spoke at the Farmer Appreciation Lunceon last week about how these systems are fantastic new tools in the agriculture industry.

Area farmers treated by Chamber to lunch, program

By Correne Martin

Remote sensing, by way of unmanned aircraft systems (UASs), or drones, is a new tool farmers can use to identify and measure plant health. UW-Extension specialist Dr. Brian Luck provided an overview of UASs and their advantages, as the keynote speaker of the 27th annual Farmer Appreciation Luncheon, presented Feb. 24 by the Prairie du Chien Area Chamber of Commerce, at Jones’ Black Angus.

Relying upon his expertise as an assistant professor and Extension biological system engineering specialist at UW-Madison, and his research focused on precision agriculture, Luck presented to over 60 farmers, ag industry representatives and sponsors about the different types of UASs, how they’re used and what can be gained from the information they provide.

Wed
02
Mar

Economic development corporation takes on new focus, coordinator


Pictured (front row, from left) are Bob Moses, board president, Chamber CEO; Lori Bekkum, EDC coordinator; Dan Kanis, vice president, Nelson True Value; Bob McDonald, past president; (back row) Dan Strnad, Cabela's; Nate Gilberts, common council, ex-officio voting rep; Paul Ginkel, Crossing Rivers Health; Jeff Nack, 3M; Don Ostert, Lady Luck Casino; Chris Mara, Tricor Insurance; Chris Kane, Universal Forest Products; Peg Baxter, ex-officio non-voting rep, Upper Iowa University; Aaron Kramer, city administrator, ex-officio voting rep. Not pictured are Mark Forsythe, secretary/treasurer, Peoples State Bank; Bill Adamany, Wm. Adamany Enterprises; Becky Hackett, Century 21 Realty; Dawn Hillenburg, Dillman/Astec; Mark Oehler, utilities rep, MG&E; Pete Flesch, ex-officio voting rep, Crawford County EDC; and Jason Wood, ex-officio non-voting rep, Southwest Tech. (Photo by Correne Martin)

By Correne Martin

“We sell Prairie du Chien—it’s what we do!”

That’s the philosophy of the reinvigorated Prairie du Chien Economic Development Corporation. A new office is in place, a new coordinator is on board and positive things are happening.

Lori Bekkum, of Prairie du Chien, was hired in January for the part-time role of driving the 65-year-old entity toward its present-day goals, of course, with direction from the 18-member EDC board. Bekkum, a Crawford County native, former chamber president, and longtime employee of Community Development Alternatives, is delighted for the opportunity to share her vibrant positivity about the community and its offerings. She will generally spend time (15 to 20 hours) on EDC work on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Her office is located at 129 E. Blackhawk Ave., Suite B (next to Gillitzer Law Offices).

Wed
02
Mar

Cheerleaders Are State Champions


The cheerleaders are, front row: Stephanie Elmquist, Lindsey Ohlert, Autumn Kohler and Angela Elmquist. Back row: Paige Severson, Katie Zahara, Allison Lynn, Mariah Slaght and Bree Holler. The team is coached by Kelli Saxe.

 

Prairie du Chien 

cheerleaders are State Champs

On Saturday, Feb. 27, the Prairie du Chien basketball cheerleaders attended the 2016 WACPC (Wisconsin Association of Cheer/Pom Coaches) State Cheer Championship Competition held at the Alliant Energy Center in Madison. The girls had earned the right to compete at the state level after winning the Northern Regional the weekend before in the two divisions they competed in. 

Wed
02
Mar

Seneca Boys Advance


Seneca’s Nick Payne gets fouled from behind as he drives to the hoop against visiting Riverdale Tuesday night. (Photos by Ted Pennekamp)

Jared Payne of Seneca battles for a loose ball in second-half action against Riverdale.

Thomas Johnson scores on a running one-hander against Riverdale.

Kilian Boland runs into some resistance in the lane during second-half action.

 

Seneca takes 

care of Riverdale

Top seeded Seneca took care of business Tuesday night to dispatch of 16th seeded Riverdale 76-51 in a Division 5 Regional boys basketball game.

Seneca improved to 20-2 on the season. The Indians were Ridge and Valley Conference champions with a 14-0 record. 

Riverdale finished its season with a 1-22 overall record.

Wed
02
Mar

One man convicted in connection with beating of restaurant owner

By Ted Pennekamp

 

One of the three men charged in connection to the brutal beating of a Prairie du Chien area restaurant owner in October of 2015 has been found guilty of amended charges in Crawford County Circuit Court.

Jacob H. Erwin, 25, has pleaded no contest to criminal damage to property, criminal trespass to a dwelling, and entry into/onto a building, construction site or room. The three amended charges are misdemeanors.

Mon
29
Feb

Prairie du Chien woman celebrates 15th leap year birthday


During a party for her first leap year birthday, when she turned 4 years old, she is pictured with friends and neighbors. From left: June Hayes, Brenda Hayes, Linda Hayes, Keith Schara, Vicki Becwar, Lynn and Bonnie Hayes.

Editor’s note: This story is a result of a request from the Courier’s Facebook page for local people with Leap Year birthdays. If you’re not yet a friend of the “Courier Press Newspaper” on Facebook, like us to keep up with what’s happening locally.

By Correne Martin

Unlike most people, Lynn (Atchison) Tesar, of Prairie du Chien, gets to celebrate two ages for her birthday.

Today—Monday, Feb. 29—is Lynn’s 60th birthday. But it also happens to be her “15th birthday,” aka, only the 15th day in her lifetime that her true birth date will show up on the calendar.

This is because Lynn is a “leapling;” she was born on a Leap Year: Feb. 29, 1956. She considers herself lucky that her birthday isn’t typical and that she has the opportunity to teach others about what a Leap Year is.

Mon
29
Feb

Bald Eagle Appreciation Day


Everyone oohed and aahed when Lindsay Focht-Obermier of the Schlitz Audubon Society walked through the crowd at Hoffman Hall with Valkyrie, a female bald eagle who is still in the process of turning into an adult. Valkyrie will eventually sport a completely white head and a bright yellow beak. Bald eagles become adults after about five years, and the females become bigger than the males. The Schlitz Audubon Society conducted several presentations on Saturday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. involving Valkyrie and several other raptors. There were numerous other displays at Hoffman Hall along with various presentations Friday night and Saturday at venues including the AmericInn, Country Inn and Suites, and the Prairie du Chien Regional Tourism Center. The Tourism Center had spotting scopes and numerous bald eagles could be seen throughout the day. Visitors were also able to see eagles sitting in trees and flying at other Prairie du Chien area viewing spots on a beautiful February day. (Photos by Ted Pennekamp)

Lindsay Focht-Obermier is all smiles as she shows off Valkyrie Saturday at Hoffman Hall.

Valkyrie drew rapt attention as numerous people took photos with cameras and cell phones.

Meg Kinney of the Schlitz Audubon Society walks past attendees with Tallulah, a turkey vulture, during a presentation at Hoffman Hall Saturday morning. The 11th Annual Bald Eagle Appreciation Day drew enthusiastic crowds at all venues including Hoffman Hall, the Prairie du Chien Regional Tourism Center, the AmericInn and Country Inn and Suites.

People view the numerous eagle displays at Hoffman Hall.

Loki the crow takes a dollar donation from an appreciative attendee and puts it down the slot.
Mon
29
Feb

Clinic outgrows one-man’s vision from 66 years ago


Gundersen-Prairie du Chien Eye Clinic, as it’s known today, employs 10 staff members (from left) Michelle Gregerson, optician, seven years; Kathy Kramer, ophthalmic tech, 22 years; Joyce Kregel, ophthalmic tech, 20 years; Dr. Brad Collins, optometrist, one year; Patricia Arnold, ophthalmic assistant, 30 years; Trudy Joy, patient liaison, 14 years; Nancy Posten, patient liaison, 27 years; Dr. Phil Holzer, optometrist, nine years; Todd McWilliams, optician, 40 years. Missing is Nicole Baumler, optician, one year. (Photo by Correne Martin)

This picture, from the Prairie du Chien Historical Society, depicts how the McWilliams/Gundersen eye clinic building originally appeared when owned by the Bohonek family. It once housed Bohonek’s Quality Market and Faultless Bakery and another eye clinic in the upstairs before Dr. Robert “R.J.” McWilliams saw patients in one room downstairs.

By Correne Martin

When Dr. Robert “R.J.” McWilliams established his optometric practice in downtown Prairie du Chien in 1950, he could have never envisioned where his one-man enterprise would stand 66 years later.

Just as the eye care industry has evolved in that time, so has the practice. In fact, the Gundersen-Prairie du Chien Eye Clinic—as it’s known today—is moving mid-March to a recently-constructed, state-of-the-art facility at 118 S. Marquette Rd. Gundersen Health System-Dental Specialties (orthodontics and oral surgery) will join the eye clinic in the new building, which is expected to open to patients Monday, March 21.

“Our last day [at the 213 E. Blackhawk Ave. location] will be Wednesday, March 16. We will be closed March 17-18 before we open at the new location,” stated Jodi Webb, clinical manager.

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