Courier Press

Wed
19
Aug

Linda E. Hodgson

 

Linda E. Hodgson, 68, of Seneca passed away Tuesday, Aug. 18, at the Lakeview Healthcare Center in West Salem, after an extended illness.

She was born June 26, 1947 in Eastman, the daughter of William and Mary (Becwar) Cody. She married Jack Hodgson in 1973 and they later divorced. She taught elementary school in Tennyson, and later in Wauzeka.

Tue
18
Aug

Gerd “Opa” Dudenbostel

 

Gerd “Opa” Dudenbostel, 83, of Boscobel, Wisconsin died Monday, August 17, 2015 at Bland Bekkedal Center for Hospice Care, Viroqua, Wisconsin.

Visitation will be on Friday, August 21, 2015 from 5-8 pm at Thonburg-Grau Funeral Home and Cremation Service, Prairie du Chien, Wisconsin and one hour before services at the church on Saturday.

Funeral Services will be at 11:00 am on Saturday, August 22, 2015 at Salem United Methodist Church, Eastman, Wisconsin.

Burial will follow at National Cemetery, Eastman, Wisconsin with Military Rites.

Thornburg-Grau Funeral Home and Cremation Service, Prairie du Chien, Wisconsin is helping the family with the arrangements.

Tue
18
Aug

Marianne S. Picha

 

Marianne S. Picha, 62, of Prairie du Chien passed away Monday, Aug. 17, at the Gundersen Lutheran Medical center in La Crosse, following a courageous battle with cancer. 

She was born April 28, 1953 in Prairie du Chien the daughter of Louis and Mildred (Koresh) Spiker. She married Larry Picha in 1970 and he later preceded her in death in 2007. She worked at the Prairie du Chien Convalescent Center, the Memorial Hospital and later for Homeward Bound in Prairie du Chien. She was also involved for many years with the Heart and Cancer Telethon, March of Dimes, and several other charities. 

Mon
17
Aug

Robert E. Collins “Bob”

 

Robert E. Collins “Bob” passed away peacefully on Aug. 14. 

He was born in Winter Haven, Fla., on Jan. 2, 1926. He enlisted in the U.S. Navy in 1941, seeing action in the South Pacific. Upon discharge, he moved to Prairie du Chien, marrying Jean Marvin on April 19, 1947. 

Bob is survived by his wife, Jean; son, Ross (Carla) Collins of St. Albans, Vt.; daughter, Kristie (Trey) Neher of Hortonville, Wis.; three grandchildren; and three great-grandchildren. 

Mon
17
Aug

Authorities exhume body for DNA testing in 1984 cold case


Investigator Matt Sutton and Lt. Investigator Scott Bjerkos of the Vernon County Sheriff’s Department seal the coffin of “Jane Doe” at the Viroqua Cemetery Aug. 12. The coffin was being prepared to be sent to the Wisconsin Crime Lab in Madison for DNA testing.

By Matt Johnson, Vernon County Broadcaster, Viroqua

Bludgeoned to death with her hands cut from her body, “Jane Doe” was left along a rural Vernon County, Wis., roadside in May of 1984 with no clue of her identity or the circumstances surrounding her death.

Wednesday afternoon, Aug. 12, Vernon County Sheriff John Spears watched as “Jane Doe’s” casket was removed from the Viroqua Cemetery to be sent to the state crime lab, so the body can go through DNA testing.

“It didn’t come lightly, our decision to exhume the body,” Spears said. “Thinking positively, we’re hoping further investigation will lead to her being identified. Her family will know that we never gave up.”

Spears is the third sheriff in Vernon County to assume investigation into one of two cold cases—the other being the circumstances surrounding the death of Terry Doloway, whose body was found in rural Vernon County in 1985.

Mon
17
Aug

‘Many Pathways, One Mission’ Opportunity Center marks 50 years


Every year, Kenny Bradley makes a new vehicle. This year’s model is a car that is quite sturdy. “I’d love to get it up on wheels,” said Angie Engrav, program director at the Opportunity Center. (Photos by Caitlin Bittner)

Jackie Valentine checks, counts and boxes “84s,” tough scouring pads, for 3M as part of her job.

Brett Kramer puts boxes onto the conveyer belt. When they come out on the other side, they are shrinkwrapped together.

By Caitlin Bittner

This year, the Opportunity Center in Prairie du Chien is celebrating its 50th anniversary in business, a feat that executive director Pam Ritchie knows could not have been reached without the support of Prairie du Chien and surrounding areas. “Everyone who works here is an independent worker the same as anyone else. All they want is a chance to be normal. What’s more normal than getting up to go to work every [week] day?” said Ritchie.

The Prairie du Chien Opportunity Center serves all of Crawford County and part of Grant County. “We run seven bus routes a day. Some people spend two hours on the bus just to come to work,” commented Ritchie.

A lot of traffic comes and goes from the Opportunity Center as it receives a truck each morning and puts in an order nearly every afternoon for whatever they’ll need the next day.

Mon
17
Aug

Design a button for Oktoberfest

Prairie du Chien Oktoberfest is conducting a button design contest for the sixth annual Oktoberfest celebration, which will take place Oct. 17. The city is searching for a button design that symbolizes festivities for the coming year and celebration. Oktoberfest Committee will select a winner from the button designs submitted. The contest is based on best graphic representation of the theme and Oktoberfest in general.

Contest information and rules:

•Entrants must include their name, age, address and contact information (phone number and/or email address) with their design.

• Design is to be submitted as a six-inch circle. However, designers should be mindful that the selected artwork may be used in various media and in various sizes (from two inches to six feet in diameter).

Mon
17
Aug

Pair of grants continue efforts of enhancing La Riviere Park


Dennis Kirschbaum, volunteer naturaxlist at La Riviere Park, holds a new sign to be placed with money the park received from grant funding. The signage to be placed will help to explain geological and biological aspects of this part of the park. (Photos by Caitlin Bittner)

If you go to the park at the right time of the year, you might just see thousands and thousands of black-eyed Susans.

As a natural area, there is a myraid of wildlife that call the park home just like this deer.

Milkweed plants are very popular for people who wish to have butterfly gardens and there are many people who wonder what the seeds look like. “They come in pods like these,” explained Kirschbaum.

Another rare plant found within La Riviere Park is poppy mallow. The last recorded case of a natural poppy mallow growing in Crawford County was more than 100 years ago in 1870.

Queen Anne’s lace is an invasive species that grows in La Rivere Park, and without proper maintenance, Kirschbaum said it could easily overwhelm and choke out smaller plants.

This prickly pear cactus can be seen in a few areas of La Riviere Park. Although rare, cacti are able to grow in the sandy soil of this area of the park. Volunteer naturalist Dennis Kirschbaum hopes that more cacti will continue to grow in the area. (Photo by Dennis Kirschbaum)

By Caitlin Bittner

As a natural place where wild flowers and wildlife are abundant, La Riviere Park is a cherished part of the Prairie du Chien community.

Within the past year, La Riviere has received two different grants from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Partners for Fish and Wildlife Program and the Upper Iowa Audubon Society.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service grant was for $1,000 and it assisted in the purchase of prairie plants seeds. The park received this grant as part of an initiative to help restore habitats for the benefit of federal trust species. Some of the species classified as federal trust species are monarch butterflies, lark sparrows, north flickers and field sparrows. According to Dennis Kirschbaum, a volunteer naturalist at La Riviere, butterflies, moths and birds may all benefit greatly from the initiative.

Mon
17
Aug

Karen Ann (Wolford) Althof

 

The world may seem a little less warm and loving to those who knew Karen Ann (Wolford) Althof. Born March 10, 1947, Karen was 68 years old when she passed from a massive stroke on Monday, Aug. 10.

Fri
14
Aug

Sharron Mary Surovy

 

Sharron Mary Surovy, 72, passed away Wednesday, June 17, in Waterloo, Iowa. 

Sharron was born Oct. 3, 1942, in Barnum, daughter of Howard and Flossie Mae (Nutter) Dalton. She was raised and attended schools in Barnum. Sharron married Paul Surovy on Dec. 30, 1959 in Waukon. They raised five children with Sharron as a full-time homemaker and mom. Sharron will be remembered as a good-hearted, joyful person who was fond of dancing around the house, singing and mystery novels.

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