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Ryan James Cowell


Ryan James Cowell, 32, of Claremont, died Saturday, May 7, at St. Mary’s Hospital in Rochester. The Donate Life flag was flown at St. Mary’s on Monday in memory of Ryan who gave the gift of life by being an organ donor.

Ryan was born Dec. 27, 1983 in Prairie du Chien, the son of Lisa Hein and Jeff Cowell. They moved to Owatonna where Ryan attended Triton School in Dodge Center. He worked for the 49ers and laborer’s union working as a lift operator and tender. He was currently employed at Northland. Ryan was also a volunteer fireman and past chief of the Claremont Fire Department.


Top two seniors at River Ridge named

Valedictorian Austin Morrow and Salutatorian Bo Kluesner

River Ridge High School has announced that Austin Morrow is the valedictorian and Bo Kluesner is the salutatorian for the Class of 2016.

Austin is the son of Joe and Jody Morrow, of Mt Hope. Austin is an active member of his school and community. He is involved in Future Business Leaders of America, National Honors Society, science club, Spanish club, Friends Helping Friends, choir and student council. He also has participated in Missoula Children’s Theatre for two years and assisted in fundraising for post prom.

Throughout his high school career, Austin has taken two AP courses, including AP history and AP literature.

Aside from his regular classes, the class that has had the most impact on Austin was choir. He believes choir taught him things that he would never be able to learn in an ordinary class: confidence, leadership and creativity. In his free time, Austin likes to draw, take photos and listen to music.


River Ridge Baseball

The Timberwolves' Dylan Hazen pitches with a Black Hawk runner in scoring position in the opening game of a twinbill. (Photo by Ted Pennekamp)

River Ridge’s Ben Ertz dives safely into third base in the first game against visiting Black Hawk Friday afternoon. (Photo by Ted Pennekamp)

Ben Ertz scores against Black Hawk. (Photo by Ted Pennekamp)

Ryan Redman gets back to first base safely on a pick-off attempt by Black Hawk. (Photo by Ted Pennekamp)

River Ridge’s Preston Clark eludes the tag on a close play at the plate against visiting Black Hawk in the first game of a doubleheader Friday. (Photo by Alison Hein)

Preston Clark scores on the play at home. (Photo by Alison Hein)

Gavin Steiber gets one of River Ridge’s 16 hits in the opener of a twinbill versus Black Hawk Friday afternoon. (Photo by Alison Hein)

River Ridge’s Ben Ertz blasts a home run in the opening game versus Black Hawk. (Photo by Alison Hein)



Ridge boys 

sweep Black Hawk

River Ridge swept visiting Black Hawk in a twinbill in high school baseball action Friday afternoon. 

The Timberwolves took game one 14-4 in six innings. 


Seneca man faces a 5th offense OWI

A 43-year-old Seneca man has been charged in Crawford County Circuit Court with one count of operating a motor vehicle while intoxicated (fifth or sixth offense), and one count of operating while revoked.

Scott P. McDaniel faces up to seven years in prison and $12,500 in fines if convicted of both counts.

According to the criminal complaint, McDaniel was stopped by a Crawford County Sheriff’s Department deputy on Highway 171 in Gays Mills on April 7 at about 2:50 a.m. because he was driving with at least half of the vehicle across the center line.

McDaniel told the deputy he had a lot to drink, according to the complaint. He was subsequently arrested and taken to Crossing Rivers Health for a blood draw.

McDaniel has previously been convicted of OWI four times, once in the state of Iowa and three times in Wisconsin, according to the complaint.


Man charged with 4th OWI in 5 years

A 44-year-old Boscobel man has been charged in Crawford County Circuit Court with one count of operating a motor vehicle while intoxicated (fourth offense in five years), and one count of operating while revoked.

Jeffrey John Faulkner faces up to seven years in prison and $12,500 in fines if convicted of both counts.

According to the criminal complaint, Faulkner parked his vehicle approximately 4.5 feet from the curb on a road in the town of Seneca.

Faulkner admitted to the deputy that he had consumed 12 or 13 Miller Lite beers. Following field tests, Faulkner was placed under arrest for OWI and transported to Crossing Rivers Health for a blood test. He was later transported to the Crawford County Jail.

Faulkner has previously been convicted of OWI three times.


Hartig Drug contributes $5,000 toward library

Hartig Drug Owner and CEO Dick Hartig, and his wife Brenda, recently contributed $5,000 toward the Prairie du Chien Memorial Library capital campaign. (Submitted photo)

The Prairie du Chien Memorial Library capital campaign has grown again, thanks to a $5,000 donation from Hartig Drug.

“Hartig Drug has been a key member of the Prairie du Chien business community for many years,” Library Board President Linda Munson said. “Their generous donation exemplifies their corporation mission statement to be ‘active in community.’ We appreciate their contribution, along with the contributions of all of our corporate and individual contributors.”


Crawford County Community Fund presents 2016 Leadership Awards

Crawford County Community Fund Leadership Awards for 2016 were presented to (front row, from left) Russell Gilbert (Educational Leadership), Robert McDonald (Business Development), Jadyn Sander (Outstanding Youth Leadership), Craig and Julie Bell and Tyler Bell (Above and Beyond); (middle row) Jane Keeley (Kickapoo Cultural Exchange/Above and Beyond), Josh Engel (Driftless Organics/Business Development), Joe Irvin and Suzy Tegge (Come for Supper/Community Leadership and Service), Ruth Fleming, Terre Van Haren, and Mary Wilson (Gays Mills Orchard Ridge Association/Tourism); (back row) Lamar Janes (Kickapoo Cultural Exchange/Above and Beyond), Mike Lind (Driftless Organics/Business Development), Marlene Meyer, Bill Meyer, Andy Meyer, Julie Meyer, and Gary Wilson (Gays Mills Orchard Ridge Association/Tourism).

Century Hall in Wauzeka was the site for the presentation of the sixth annual Crawford County Leadership Awards, hosted by the Crawford County Community Fund (CCCF). Southwest Tech President Dr. Jason Wood was the keynote speaker. Camille Smith served as emcee, Sharon Murphy provided an update on activities of the CCCF and Bob Van Hoesen presented the awards. Music was provided by a flute ensemble from North Crawford School and Star Valley Flowers contributed the floral decorations.


Lyla LaVerne (Yttri) Watts


Lyla LaVerne (Yttri) Watts, 72, passed away on May 5, at the Gundersen Health System in La Crosse surrounded by family and friends. 

Lyla was born in Chicago, Ill. on Jan. 19, 1944 to Wanda Iola (Copus) and Lyle Yttri. 

Lyla married Martin ComStock Jr. on Sept. 16, 1961 in Prairie du Chien. They had 4 daughters and a son but later divorced. She was engaged to Lester J. Berns, whom she spent many years with until his passing, they have one daughter together. On May 11, 1991 Lyla married James Watts in Prairie du Chien.


Avis J. Smith


Avis J. Smith, 69, of McGregor passed away Thursday, May 5, at Thornton Manor in Lansing, Iowa. 

She was born Oct. 14, 1946 in Clay, W.V., the daughter of Jack and Mary (Davis) Cuttlip. Avis cooked at the Prairie Maison Care Center and enjoyed volunteering in her later years at the Great River Care Center in McGregor and Thornton Manor in Lansing. Avis was a member of the United Methodist Church in McGregor. She loved animals and belonged to the ASPCA. 


Car Chase

Crawford County Sheriff’s Department and Prairie du Chien Police Department officers apprehend one of three subjects who eluded local law enforcement. (Photo by Correne Martin)


Three caught following chase

On Tuesday, May 3 at 4:18 p.m., the Crawford County Sheriff’s Department was notified of an erratic driver on Highway 35. A Sheriff’s Department deputy saw the vehicle and attempted to stop the vehicle. In an attempt to elude the deputy, the vehicle drove down an embankment through the yard of an unoccupied home along Highway 35 approximately a half mile north of Limery Road. The vehicle stopped behind the home and the three occupants fled on foot. 


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