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Wed
14
Jun

Man arrested on felony warrants

On June 9, at 11:30 p.m., a deputy with the Crawford County Sheriff’s Office located Todd F. Groom Jr., 28, Steuben, at the McDonald’s Restaurant in Prairie du Chien. Groom was placed under arrest for active felony warrants through Grant and La Crosse counties.

During a search of Groom’s pockets, ammunition was located. During a search of the vehicle Groom had been operating, a Mossberg .410 shotgun with a sawed off barrel and defaced serial number was located in the backseat. Groom is a convicted felon and, therefore, is not to possess firearms. Groom is also on bond through La Crosse County for a prior firearm possession charge. Groom’s bond conditions through La Crosse County prohibit him from possessing firearms and ammunition.

Wed
14
Jun

Riding lawnmower stolen

On Monday, June 12, the Crawford County Sheriff’s Department investigated the theft of a riding lawnmower from a residence located on Sand Hill Road near Bell Center. The theft occurred on the above date, between 3:30 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. The lawnmower is described as a 2014 Cub Cadet LTX1045 Hydrostatic mower with a 32-inch deck.

Crawford County Crime Stoppers urges anyone having information about this or any other crimes to call 326-8933 or (866) 779-PAYS.

Wed
14
Jun

Crossing Rivers observes 60 years of service to area


Two of the first medical staff members were Dr. Thomas Farrell (left) and Dr. Verne C. Epley.

Pictured as they cared for a patient in the early 1980s: Jan Weisensale, RN (seated), and Linda Schoulte, RN. Weisensale worked for the hospital from 1974-2015 and continues her involvement at the hospital as a Partners Board Member. Schoulte began her career at the hospital in 1978. She is the director of inpatient services at Crossing Rivers Health.

“Since 1957, the mission of the hospital has been to meet the healthcare needs of the communities we serve, and it has been an amazing six decades,” said Bill Sexton, chief executive officer at Crossing Rivers Health. “In the past 60 years, there have been revolutionary changes in medicine and technology, and the hospital has evolved and adapted to accommodate those changes. An integral part of the hospital’s success, is that our team has led our organization to make those changes over the years with dedication and vision.”

The early history of the hospital credits a group of dedicated community citizens with the idea of building a new hospital in 1954. Although there was a hospital in the area, patients often had to wait for surgery or other medical care, because there weren’t enough beds to accommodate them. Community members knew that the present hospital facilities were being pushed to well beyond their intended limits.

Wed
14
Jun

Maintaining elevation of Upper Mississippi River a well-orchestrated effort


During the high water of a few weeks ago, the five roller gates at Lock and Dam 9 were out of the water as were the eight tainter gates. The gates at all of the dams the United States Corps of Engineers uses to maintain the flow of the Mississippi River in the St. Paul District were wide open. When standing directly above the gates, one can truly appreciate the huge amount of force the river can have. (Photos by Ted Pennekamp)

The tainter gates at Lock and Dam 9 look similar to the roller gates but are much smaller.

By Ted Pennekamp

 

Maintaining the flow of the Upper Mississippi River through the lock and dam system in order to maintain a nine-foot-deep channel for barge navigation can be quite complex.

The St. Paul District of the Corps of Engineers uses a hinge-point system to control the water levels, said Daniel Fasching, the primary Mississippi River regulator for the St. Paul District.

Tue
13
Jun

Robert Edward Kottke

 

Robert Edward Kottke, 89, Prairie du Chien, passed away on Tuesday, June 6.

 

Bob was born April 24, 1928, in Bloomington, to Ed and Clara (Biener) Kottke. He graduated from Bloomington High School in 1946, and within a few months enlisted in the U.S. Army, serving in the European Theatre of Occupation in Germany until 1948.

Tue
13
Jun

Ahrens receives Retiree Achievement Award from Southwest Tech


Southwest Tech retiree Lowell Ahrens stands with Holly Clendenen and Jason Wood. (Submitted photo)

The Southwest Wisconsin Technical College Foundation recognized seven individuals and one organization that have made significant impacts in the college’s 50-year history at the Foundation’s donor appreciation and alumni and retiree awards program May 19 at the Fennimore campus.

The Foundation has recognized 30 individuals and businesses as outstanding philanthropists to the organization since 1995, but this was the inaugural year for distinguished alumni and retiree achievement awards. Those recognized with the Philanthropy Award included Huntington National Bank and Shyrle Sedgwick. Recipients of the Distinguished Alumni Award were Kevin Raisbeck, Terri Slapak-Fugate, and Gerald Ward. Honorees of the Retiree Achievement Award were Lowell Ahrens, Mary Davis and Carol Needham.

Mon
12
Jun

Program for Bluff View students emphasizes ‘Smart Girls Rock’


Bluff View girls like Michaela Langdon in sixth, seventh and eighth grades had an interesting time trying to make glowing goo during Smart Girls Rock, a STEM symposium at Bluff View School May 23. This was a fun activity to show what chemistry can do even in the most basic form. It also taught them the importance of following directions. A few groups’ goo did not work like it was supposed to and turned more runny than expected, as pictured.

Like all the girls attending Smart Girls Rock, this crew had a good time posing with some props representing their potential careers. Pictured (from left) are Sadie Torgerson, Jadyn Jenks, Grace Pedretti, Allyson Schroeder and Meg Katzung. (Photos by Jim Rohde)

By Correne Martin

Smart Girls Rock was a fun and unorthodox morning of Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) enlightenment for Bluff View School’s sixth, seventh and eighth grade girls, May 23.

Sponsored by 3M Company’s Women’s Leadership Forum, 110 middle school girls rotated among more than 20 stations—a few girls per group for four minutes per table—as they listened to female professionals discuss their careers and participated in hands-on activities advocating empowerment for girls. The event was held in the Bluff View gym.

Mon
12
Jun

Bloomington native fills intern role at Courier Press


Rachel Mergen, of Bloomington, will be the news reporter intern at the Courier Press through August. She has experience as a published author and enjoys talking to people. (Photo by Correne Martin)

By Correne Martin

The Courier Press office has welcomed an intern again this summer. Rachel Mergen, a Bloomington native who just completed her freshman year at UW-La Crosse, has joined the staff. She will be reporting on community news through August.

Rachel is a 2016 River Ridge High School graduate and the daughter of Al and Dawn Mergen. She is the granddaughter of Thomas and Ruth Mergen and Carson and Arlene Clifton. She has one older brother, Trevor.

Rachel, 19, possesses a multitude of skills necessary to interview and report about the people, places and things in the Prairie du Chien coverage area. She comes to the Courier having written and self-published four young adult books as a teenager, her first when she was only 16 and the other three in high school. She said she’s working on two more now.

“I wrote a lot of short stories in middle school. It was a nice escape from stress for me,” she said.

Mon
12
Jun

Regal Marina granted extension through July 7, may get more time


Dennis Regal Sr., president of Regal Marine Group, sat in Crawford County Court June 8, listening to how soon his 34-year-old, family-run marina business may need to move out from the premises. (Photo by Correne Martin)

By Correne Martin

The Regal Marina in Prairie du Chien was recently under flood waters for nine days. That’s nothing new to the family that’s run the operation for 34 years though. The difference, this season, is that the family was given 30 days to move its docks and other belongings off the city-owned property, by an arbitration panel’s May 22 order granting an eviction judgement in favor of the city of Prairie du Chien.

However, both parties were in court Thursday afternoon, June 8, as Judge Craig Day considered a possible modification of the arbitration award’s terms. Regal Marine Group requested an order allowing them until July 31 to remove personal property, due to the flooding, and until Oct. 1, to remove buildings, consistent with what the corporation believes are its rights under the lease.

Mon
12
Jun

Rendezvous will return to Prairie du Chien for 42nd year


No running water or electricity is allowed for the participants in the 1840s camp portion of the annual Rendezvous in Prairie du Chien. So there’s plenty of time for relaxing, like this gentleman did while also showcasing his wares. (Courier Press file photo)

By Rachel Mergen

 

Big River Long Riffles is once again bringing the Prairie Villa Rendezvous to Prairie du Chien. The event will be held on St. Feriole Island, Thursday, June 15, through Sunday, June 18, from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. each day. The Rendezvous is one of the most popular, as well as free, events in the area and welcomes the entire family, including pets. 

The Rendezvous started 42 years ago on much smaller grounds than it’s on today. Originally starting only on the grounds of the Villa Louis, the event now covers six blocks of Prairie du Chien. Since its rise, many more games have been added and the number of traders has escalated greatly, turning it into one of the largest trade rendezvous in the Midwest. 

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