Courier Press

Mon
10
Feb

Agriprocessors’ ex-manager gets 41-month prison term

CEDAR RAPIDS, IOWA—A former manager at an Iowa slaughterhouse will spend 30 more months in prison for harboring and financially exploiting immigrant workers who were in the U.S. illegally, a federal judge ruled recently.

U.S. District Judge Linda Reade gave former Agriprocessors Inc. manager Hosam Amara a 41-month prison term, the most recommended under advisory sentencing guidelines. But she said that Amara would get credit for 11 months he has already spent in custody since his arrest in Israel and extradition to the U.S., and she rejected a prosecution request for a longer sentence.

Amara is the latest figure to be sentenced to prison after a May 2008 immigration raid at the Agriprocessors Inc. plant in which 389 workers were arrested. The plant in Postville had become the nation’s largest kosher slaughterhouse, and the majority of its 1,000 workers had come to the U.S. illegally from Guatemala, Mexico and elsewhere.

Mon
10
Feb

Arlington fire claims 5 lives

ARLINGTON, IOWA—On Friday, Jan. 24, the Arlington Fire Department received a call at 3:35 a.m. of a house fire at 5094 F. Ave., approximately four miles southwest of Arlington, Iowa. When crews arrived on the scene, the house was fully engulfed in flames, and it took crews at least two to three hours to realize the extent of the tragedy,  that there were five people who perished in the fire.

Arlington Fire Chief Paul Seedorff said, “I just knew with the way the structure looked when we got here, there wasn’t going to be any way we’d be able to get inside and do anything about it.”
Brutal wind chills forced crews from Arlington, Stanley, and Aurora to fight the fire in shifts.

The address was recently listed in public records as the residence of James Dean McCain, 30.

Mon
10
Feb

New Extension agent is ready to team up and maximize community potential

will cronin
Crawford County UW-Extension Community, Natural Resource and Economic Development (CNRED) Educator Will Cronin is happy to partner up with public entities and programs in order to provide services, resources and expertise in the best interest of the community. (Photo by Correne Martin)

By Correne Martin

There’s a new agent in the Crawford County Extension Office who is ready to help local communities become more successful, sustainable and competitive places where people want to live, work, play and do business. Will Cronin joined the office on Jan. 2 as the Community, Natural Resources and Economic Development (CNRED) educator. He is available to work in partnership with people in local government, civic organizations, volunteers, business owners, industry officials and others who have a need for support and resources.

“I love to meet people and I want them to know I’m here to help,” Cronin said. “What makes positions like mine so powerful is that we have an extraordinary amount of resources, colleagues around the state and specialists who are uniquely suited to provide support to communities. We are kind of like the nerve center, the connective tissue in a community.

Mon
10
Feb

Hard frost bangs up water, sewer pipes; Prairie du Chien responds to about 40 frozen pipe issues in city, more expected

city responds
The Prairie du Chien Water Department is shown responding to a home on Wisconsin Street where water pipes froze on Thursday morning last week. A total of 32 water services in the city have frozen since mid-January due to this year’s abnormally deep frost. The city has also advised 106 customers to run their water 24 hours a day, seven days a week, until further notice. Property owners who feel they should start trickling their water must contact City Hall or the city’s water department and sign a card so that the city is aware of the situation. The city can adjust people’s accounts and give them credit for the excess water, but the signed card is required for this to happen. (Photo by Correne Martin)
welder
In most cases of frozen pipes, the city uses a welder and two T-rods on either side of the homeowner's driveway to send an electrical current through the pipes underground and unthaw the ice inside the pipes so water service can be restored to the home.

By Correne Martin

This winter is quickly going down in the record books as one of the coldest in history. According to National Weather Service data, our region hasn’t seen temperatures this frigid since the late-1970s and early-‘80s. As of Feb. 10, this winter had averaged 11.3oF (in La Crosse) and we had seen 36 days of sub-zero temperatures.

As the terribly cold days continue, the depth of the frost has driven deeper and deeper into the ground every day, to levels a minimum of four to five feet deep—an occurrence that isn’t typical for the area. Ordinarily, according to Prairie du Chien Public Works officials, frost is about two- to three-feet deep during winters in our region. But, in this record-breaking year, the phenomenon is causing an extraordinary number of issues with frozen water pipes and sanitary sewer lines in communities all over the area.

Thu
06
Feb

Florence Evelyn Ross

 

Florence Evelyn Ross, 62, of Freeport, Ill., died Feb. 3, after a series of illnesses. 

Evelyn Ross is the daughter of Robert Horsfall and Florence Crachey and the loving mother of Darren and Anita Ross. Evelyn worked in finance and accounting until her retirement. She loved her family, the outdoors and playing with her grandchildren. She will be greatly missed by her family and friends.

She is survived by her daughter Anita; son Darren and canine companions Romeo and Buddy. She is also survived by eight grandchildren, living in Illinois and New York. 

Wed
05
Feb

Stoefflers presented Danny Ruehlow Award at telethon


Community volunteers Mary and Ken Stoeffler received the 14th annual Danny Ruehlow Award at this year’s Eagles’ Heart and Cancer Telethon in Prairie du Chien. The award, presented by emcee Tom Nelson, is given each year by Don and Jean Ruehlow, whose son Danny died at age 15. Danny was an emcee on the telethon. (Photo by Randy Paske)

For their volunteer work in the community, Mary and Ken Stoeffler, of Prairie du Chien, were presented the Danny Ruehlow Award at the Eagles’ Heart and Cancer Telethon held Jan. 25.

Don and Jeanne Ruehlow, of Prairie du Chien, gave the annual award to the Stoefflers in memory of their son, Danny, who died at the age of 15 in December 2000 due to complications from a second bone marrow transplant in his fight against leukemia. Danny was a popular figure in Prairie du Chien and an emcee on the telethon. It was the 14th presentation of the award that recognizes caring and compassionate work in the community.

The award was presented by telethon emcee Tom Nelson in the Ruehlow’s absence because Jeanne Ruehlow had a kidney transplant at UW Hospital in Madison earlier in the week. She is now recuperating at home.

Don Ruehlow explained how the Stoefflers’ traits are very similar to Danny’s. They have showed compassion and volunteer to help others.

Wed
05
Feb

Settlement opens doors for new True Value

By Correne Martin

The Prairie du Chien Common Council came out of closed session Tuesday night and passed the following motion:

“To approve the settlement between the City of Prairie du Chien and Redevelopment Authority versus Martin Rifken; Block 43, LLC; Madison Office Fund, LLC, and Thomas Gialamas, and further demand that the city and RDA be the final signators to the settlement, but delay the signing of the settlement until a development agreement between the city, the Redevelopment Authority, Nelson True Value & Agri-Center, Inc., and Marquette Hayden Property, LLC is executed, at which time both related documents shall be executed.”

Wed
05
Feb

Marquette Road project faces possible delay, city council discusses flood control

By Correne Martin
 
The Marquette Road project faces a possible delay if an agreement from the local railroad company regarding estimates for crossing work involved in the project is not submitted to the Department of Transportation very soon.

The Wisconsin DOT has moved the letting of bids for the Marquette Road project from Feb. 11 to March 11, because it is still waiting on the agreement from Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railway for their work on a few crossings. During Tuesday night’s regular meeting of the Prairie du Chien Common Council, City Administrator Aaron Kramer said that if the DOT receives the agreement from the railroad before March 11, the DOT would anticipate a late-April/May 1 start on the project. The DOT feels the project could still be completed in 2014 if this happens.

Wed
05
Feb

Public is invited to Chinese New Year Celebration


The lion costume will be worn and maneuvered by high school students in the Chinese program during Saturday’s Chinese New Year Celebration at 5 p.m. The lion costume was made of papier mache and embellished with second-hand fabrics in Prairie du Chien colors, bells and other decorations. (Photo by Correne Martin)

By Correne Martin

Prairie du Chien High School’s Chinese program welcomes the public to celebrate the Chinese New Year Saturday, Feb. 8 with a special show involving the Zhong Yi Kung Fu performance troupe from Madison, as well as some of the local students providing interactive demonstrations. Doors will open for the Chinese New Year Celebration at 4:30 p.m. and the show will begin at 5. Tickets can be obtained at the door for a suggested donation of $1 each, with proceeds benefitting opportunities like this for the district’s Chinese program.

“This is the first time we’ve ever done something like this in Prairie du Chien and we think it will be a good opportunity for the community to experience a new culture,” Chinese teacher Adam Stout said. “It’s affordable entertainment for families. There will be plenty of activities for young kids to enjoy, but the adults will be entertained too.”

Wed
05
Feb

Youth wrestling

Cael Koenig
Cael Koenig shoots a nice double leg on his Riverdale opponent.
Ryder Koenig
Ryder Koenig escapes from his Wauzeka opponent.
Chase Fisher
Chase Fisher breaks down his Wauzeka opponent on top.
Matt Rogge
Matt Rogge works an arm bar while controlling his opponent on top.
Zach Swiggum
Zach Swiggum explodes off the bottom for a one point escape.

 

Youth and Middle School wrestlers have big week

This past Saturday, the wrestlers in grades PreK-8th grade wrestled in Prairie du Chien’s youth wrestling tournament. There were close 50 participants from Prairie du Chien competing and the tournament had more than 210 participants total. Prairie du Chien breaks the wrestlers into three different age groups, there is the PreK-1 group, the 2-4 group and the 5-8 group. All of the wrestlers from PdC wrestled extremely hard and displayed great competitiveness and sportsmanship. All of the wrestlers from all schools received gold medals for their efforts.  

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