Courier Press

Wed
05
Aug

Ritter takes on role as city's first municipal attorney


Chelsey Ritter, of Prairie du Chien, is Prairie du Chien’s first municipal attorney. Her first day in court will be Friday, Aug. 7. (Photo submitted)

By Caitlin Bittner

Recently, Prairie du Chien’s veteran city attorney Tom Peterson decided that it was time for him to step down. Because his boots were too big for one person to fill, the city of Prairie du Chien decided to hire Lara Czajkowski Higgins to take over the position of city attorney, and create the title of municipal attorney for Chelsey Ritter.

Ritter, a 2006 graduate of Prairie du Chien High School, attended the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. She graduated in 2010, with a bachelor of science in social work. Afterward, she went to Marquette University Law School, graduating in May of 2014.

As a native of Prairie du Chien, Ritter decided that she wanted to return to her roots. “I’ve lived in Prairie my whole life. It’s exciting to come back,” said Ritter.

Wed
05
Aug

St. Mary’s School visits China


Some of the Chinese and American kids stood tall at the Huluyu Walnut Agra-tourist site.

At the trip to Xi’an, the Shijazhuang Middle School students and teachers smiled with their peace signs with the St. Mary’s students.

Can’t visit China without seeing the famous Great Wall. Pictured, from left, at the great landmark is the whole group: Laura Tolle, Anna Tolle, Mel Mergen, Margie Duwe, Julie Zenz, Katelyn Zenz and Carolyn Tolle. (Submitted photos)

By Julie Zenz

Over the summer, members of St. Mary’s School in Bloomington traveled to China as part of a school exchange with Shijiazhuang Middle School Number 40. Their trip started July 5 and ended July 19. The goal of this program is to create unique friendships and positive connections with others, and to bring a worldly experience to students in a positive setting.

Laura Tolle and her daughters Anna and Carolyn, Margie Duwe, Katelyn Zenz, Mel Mergen and Julie Zenz lived with families and traveled with students in China as the first group from St. Mary’s School to visit China.
“We just went with whatever was put in front of us,” said St. Mary’s School Principal Julie Zenz.

“It can be intimidating to place yourself in the hands of people you barely know, with little or no ability to speak the language, and remain open to unfamiliar food, a city of more than 10 million people and communicate using 14-year-old interpreters.”

Wed
05
Aug

Navy veteran to swim Mississippi


Chris Ring takes a break during his swim down the length of the Mississippi River. (Photo courtesy of legaciesalive.com)

Prairie du Chien Fire Department to help Navy veteran swim the length of Mississippi River

By Ted Pennekamp

 

Wed
05
Aug

Orlyn David Chunat

 

Orlyn David Chunat, 91, of Prairie du Chien, died Friday, July 31, at Prairie Maison, Prairie du Chien. 

Orlyn David Chunat was born on Dec. 26, 1923 to George and Lydia (Kuchenbecker) Chunat. He graduated from Wauzeka High School in 1942 and joined the United States Air Force. Orlyn was co-pilot on a B17 named the Lady Alta and was part of the 303rd Bomb Group, 8th U.S. Air Force. On their twenty-first mission, the plane was shot down over Germany. Orlyn was wounded, taken prisoner and considered MIA. He was a POW for approximately five months before the POW camp was liberated by Patton’s 3rd Army.  Orlyn was awarded the Purple Heart.

Tue
04
Aug

Annual Blues Fest brings in a groovy crowd


It's all about that bass: Kerry Clark, the bass guitarist for Larry McCray’s band, was an animated entertainer on the main stage Friday night at the 18th annual Prairie Dog Blues Festival on St. Feriole Island. Thousands of fest-goers from all over the country enjoyed the global talent and the beautiful weather over the weekend in Prairie du Chien.

Fun from the land down under: Owen Campbell, an Australian musician, and his band graced the beer tent stage all evening Friday at the Prairie Dog Blues Fest. Campbell, a former Australia's Got Talent contestant, played a mean slide guitar for a rousing crowd. (Photos by Correne Martin)
Tue
04
Aug

PdC International Club visits homelands of Big Ben, romance and pasta


Janet Key, Ellen Antoniewicz and Tammy Antoniewicz are picture perfect in front of the famous Eiffel Tower.

Some students posed in front of the Roman Forum: (front, left) Nick Adamany, Ethan Kilbey, Jamie Kozelka, Jacqueline LaHaie and Maria Skemp; (back) Gunnar Kravchuk, Lindsey Ohlert, Erin Morvits and Ellen Antoniewicz. (Submitted photos)

By Addison Mumm and Tammy Antoniewicz

The Prairie du Chien High School International Club had the experience of a lifetime this summer traveling to some of Europe’s main capitals: London, Paris and Rome. The nine-day trip started out with an eight-hour flight from Chicago O’Hare airport to London, where the students hit the ground running.

They met up with their tour guide, Richard, who had over 25 years of experience as a guide.

The students saw Trafalgar Square; Buckingham Palace, where they witnessed the changing of the guard; Kensington Palace, where Prince William and Kate reside; Big Ben; the Houses of Parliament; and Windsor Castle. While in London the students were able to dine on the popular fish and chips­­—the American equivalent is fish and french fries.

“My favorite memory was the opportunity to try a variety of appetizers, entrees, and desserts from different areas of Europe,” said Gunnar Kravchuk.

Tue
04
Aug

Relay for Life raises $46,000 to help kick cancer with hope

  

Tue
04
Aug

Local man charged with fifth OWI

A 41-year-old Prairie du Chien man has been charged in Crawford County Circuit Court with one count of operating a motor vehicle while intoxicated - fifth offense.

Robert L. Whetzal faces up to six years in prison and a $10,000 fine if convicted.

According to the criminal complaint, Whetzal was stopped for speeding in the city of Prairie du Chien and then placed under arrest for OWI.

Whetzal was previously convicted of OWI four times, according to the complaint.

Tue
04
Aug

Blackjack Billy to rock PdC at local country music festival, Aug. 6-8


Blackjack Billy prepares to take the Country on the River stage on Saturday, Aug. 8, at 4:30 p.m. (Photo submitted)

By Caitlin Bittner

If you’re gearing up for Prairie du Chien’s annual country music festival, Country on the River (COTR), you’ve no doubt spent a lot of time pouring over the schedule and checking out the performers slated to rock the three-day event beginning Aug. 6. One group you wouldn’t want to miss is the up-and-coming Blackjack Billy, who will take the stage on Saturday, Aug. 8, at 4:30 p.m.

As a group, Blackjack Billy started to gain traction after their song “Booze Cruise” was released in 2013. Their latest hit is called “Why God Made Summertime.” Which, Rob Blackledge, bassist and vocalist for the group, said is perfect for a festival like COTR.

“We’re lucky if we have a set list an hour before the show and we redo it every couple of times to keep it interesting,” commented Blackledge.

Tue
04
Aug

Camping fees to increase at state parks

Camping fees for Wisconsin state parks, state forests, state trails and state recreation areas increased July 28.

The fee increases were enacted as part of the 2015-2017 biennial state budget. The legislation calls for the fee increases to go into effect as soon as changes can be made to the camping reservation system.

The increase in camping fees is based on a three-level rate structure that will place the parks at a camping rate depending on demand, uniqueness, location and other factors. Camping rates will increase between $3 and $6 per night for residents and between $6 and $9 per night for non-residents. There is an increase in the per night charge for electrical service from $5 to $10.

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