Courier Press

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Jul

Martin, Hartley plan Aug. 16 wedding vows

Vanessa Renee Martin and Brent Charles Hartley announce their plans for an Aug. 16, 2013, wedding, reception and dance to be held at the Dousman House in Prairie du Chien. Parents of the couple are Jerry and Dee Martin, Prairie du Chien, and Ron and Julie Hartley, Eastman. Vanessa is a 2005 graduate of Prairie du Chien High School and a 2009 graduate of MATC-Madison, with a degree in dental hygiene. She works as a dental hygienist at Viroqua Dental Center in Viroqua. Brent is a 2007 graduate of Seneca High School and a 2011 graduate of Southeast Technical College, Winona, Minn., with a degree in industrial technology. He works for the Crawford County Highway Department and on the family farm. The couple will honeymoon in Jamaica this fall, at which time Vanessa’s sister will also be married. After their marriage, Vanessa and Brent will reside in their newly-built home in rural Eastman.

Mon
29
Jul

Balcom bids farewell to North Iowa Times, while new editor takes the reins

Trudy and Chapita
Trudy Balcom sits on her Quarab horse Chapita in Arizona in 2012. This fall, Trudy and her husband Tim plan to travel extensively with her horse and his mule.
Audrey Posten
Audrey Posten

By Trudy Balcom and Audrey Posten

When Trudy Balcom first took over as editor of the North Iowa Times in 2006, she did not really know what writing and reporting for a small community would be like; most of her writing experience was with magazines and freelance work.

“But I did know that you can find interesting people and challenges everywhere,” Balcom said, “and I found both in McGregor and Marquette.”

Since then, Balcom has witnessed both the ups and downs of the Marquette and McGregor communities—everything from flooding, fires and accidents to new business openings and the awarding of major grants.

As her time at the North Iowa Times drew to a close last week, Balcom reflected on the last seven years, citing the re-establishment of the paper as a trusted source of community information as one of her biggest accomplishments.

Mon
29
Jul

Tree project connects former Fourth Ward residents to their home turf

Goldie Clanton
Goldie Clanton, Prairie du Chien, is pictured with the flowering pear tree that was planted at 205 Roulette St. on St. Feriole Island, the site on which her childhood home once sat. She helped plant and even properly christen the tree, with a can of beer from the Burton bar that she, her husband Bob, and friends Dick and Connie Mergen frequented years ago.

By Correne Martin

Prairie du Chien’s Fourth Ward neighborhood lives on through the shared stories of the people who once lived on the island, which now serves as a multi-use park for the community.

A new project underway by the St. Feriole Island caretakers is to plant trees on the land where homes once stood.

Goldie Clanton, who grew up at 205 Roulette St., started the venture by working with Tom Nelson, an officer of the St. Feriole Island Memorial Gardens, to plant a tree in memory of her parents, Gailord and Marie Collins, on the property they once inhabited.

A flowering pear tree has been planted on the parcel that once held Goldie’s childhood home. A nameplate at the foot of the tree will carry on her parents’ memory. Goldie even assisted in planting her tree.

Mon
29
Jul

Local man charged with possession of child pornography

On Wednesday, July 17, special agents from the Wisconsin Department of Justice—Division of Criminal Investigation (DCI), with assistance from the Prairie du Chien Police Department, executed a search warrant at the home of Cody Paul Calvin Tamling, located in Prairie du Chien. Seized as a result of the search were computers and cell phones.

According to the criminal complaint, during an interview with a DCI special agent, Tamling admitted to performing searches on the Internet for pornography, which included pornographic images of children, and the defendant admitted to downloading images and video of children engaging in sexually explicit conduct. A review of a hard drive from a computer belonging to the defendant uncovered images consistent with child pornography, according to the complaint.

Mon
29
Jul

Ferryville River Bluff Daze filled with fun activities

Austin Healy
A modified antique Austin Healy from the 1950's shows that it's still something to look at.
Tractors
It was an impressive sight indeed to see three rows of antique tractors parked and lined up.
Dave Mikkelson
Dave Mikkelson keeps on trucking even though the rain clouds in the sky look foreboding.
Games
At Ferryville's River Bluff Daze's children's games, the most important part is picking out the prize.
Brandon Knutson
Brandon Knutson, the grandson of Rueben Knutson, for whom the pull is named, competes Saturday in the Rueben Knutson Memorial Antique Tractor Pull.
Swed Knutson
Swed Knutson makes sure the tractors know when to stop and go at the tractor pull.

Saturday weather held off its rain for Ferryville River Bluff Daze. A full day of fun and activities included Market in the Park vendors, Lasting Legends Car Club display, lots of good food, children’s games, raffles and drawings, and fireworks at night. Sherry Quamme of Ferryville Tourism Council said it was just a fantastic day and a wonderful crowd all day long—streets were packed for the fireworks and it was a awesome one hour show from the Mississippi River.

Mon
29
Jul

Man who walked across state raises over $10,000 for Birdathon

By Correne Martin

The man who walked across Wisconsin, from near Port Washington to Prairie du Chien, back in May, has reached his goal of raising $10,000 for the Great Wisconsin Birdathon. Bill Mueller, who lives in the Milwaukee area, has raised a total of $10,275 for the organization, which collected about $56,000 through fundraisers this year toward its efforts.

“There could always be more, because there’s a lot of need for the great activities being done by the organization,” Mueller stated. “The important thing is that we’ve raised more awareness and put this on the radar of average citizens.”

Mueller finished a journey of a lifetime May 21 after he walked 246 miles across Wisconsin. His walk through the sometimes hot and humid or rainy weather was truly in support of the state’s birds. He also collected data and identified 158 bird species along the way.

Mon
29
Jul

Blues electrifies the soul

Toronzo Cannon
Chicago musician Toronzo Cannon abandoned the Prairie Dog Blues Fest stage on St. Feriole Island Saturday evening to entertain the crowd up close with his soulful sounds.
Tab Benoit
Grammy nominated Cajun bluesman Tab Benoit was the Friday night headliner at the Prairie Dog Blues Festival in Prairie du Chien. As one of the most anticipated artists on the festival's lineup, his electrifying stage presence kept fans at the main stage from the beginning of his 11 p.m. set well past midnight. Several thousand people attended the 16th annual festival on St. Feriole Island over the weekend.

Photos by Correne Martin

Mon
29
Jul

Country on the River to showcase a wealth of talent

Chris Janson
Like many attendees of Country on the River, Chris Janson said that country music is inside him. “It’s where my heart is.” Janson will take the stage opening night at 7:30 p.m.
Eli Young Band
The Eli Young Band has been creating a niche for itself in the Texas country music scene for quite awhile. However, they are now taking the rest of the nation by storm. They will perform on the Country on the River Stage on Friday, Aug. 2, at 8:30 p.m.
Lonestar
Michael Britt commented that because the group’s tour schedule can be demanding, the guys try to spend as much time at home as possible. “We don’t want our kids to mistake us for the milkman,” laughed Britt, “so if it’s a short run, we try to take the kids.”

By Caitlin Bittner with Correne Martin

As local residents know, it is once again time to put on their cowboy boots and hats and head out to the Country on the River grounds for countrified fun.

On Wednesday, July 31, the campground gates are expected to open at noon, with the festival gates opening at 4 p.m. on Thursday, Aug. 1, for the free night of Country entertainment. The first concert kicks off at 5 p.m. and the evening rounds out with headliner Chris Cagle taking the stage at 9:30 p.m.

Although last year’s Friday concerts began with a traffic jam, this is expected to go more smoothly according to event coordinator Scotty Sheckler. “Last year we ran into problems with the camping registration system, but this year we’ve stream-lined the process; it’s all online.”

Mon
29
Jul

Highway 35 reopened

By Correne Martin

State Highway 35 travelers will be happy to hear that the stretch of highway from Prairie du Chien to Lynxville reopened to traffic Wednesday afternoon, July 24. According to the Crawford County Highway Department, about 600 feet of the southbound lane has been reinforced and resurfaced.

The opening is only for an unspecified period of time, because another section closer to Frenchman’s Landing Campground needs additional repairs. Also, state geologists need to inspect two massive boulders that were exposed after heavy rainfall eroded the bluff. The boulders are located nearly 75 feet above the road.

“They need to do some engineering work and determine how far the rocks go into the bluff,” Highway Commissioner Dennis Pelock said.

If the boulders are determined to pose a risk, Highway 35 will be closed again until they are removed.

Mon
29
Jul

Officer Gokey resigns

By Correne Martin

The Prairie du Chien Police and Fire Commission met on July 24 in closed session to consider a resignation agreement with Police Officer Heather Gokey. After 45 minutes, the commission took action in open session, accepting the settlement between the city of Prairie du Chien and Gokey, contingent upon her signing the agreement by Friday, July 24, which she did, according to city administration.

No details in regard to what led to the resignation agreement with Gokey have been revealed in open session meetings.

On July 16, the common council voted 8-3 to approve the disposition of K-9 dog Aja from the Prairie du Chien Police Department, as part of the settlement. Aldermen opposed were Kyle Kozelka, Jamie Wagar and Ron Leys.

For the past seven years, Gokey has been the caretaker/handler of K-9 Aja.

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