Local News

Wed
19
Nov

Prairie du Chien’s proposed budget calls for 0.75 percent levy increase

By Correne Martin

The proposed 2015 budget for the city of Prairie du Chien calls for a 1.5 percent increase in expenditures and a 0.75 percent increase in the levy. The common council reviewed the suggested budget Tuesday night and set a public hearing for Tuesday, Dec. 2, at 7 p.m., at which time citizens will have the opportunity to comment or ask questions.

According to City Administrator Aaron Kramer, the final numbers for the lottery, first dollar and school credits were not in as of Tuesday night, but based on the tentative numbers, the city portion of the tax bill on a $100,000 property would go up 52 cents.

“This is a pretty flat budget compared to what we did last year,” Kramer stated.

One specific aspect of the budget discussed at length Tuesday night was proposed funding for PdC Main Street, the new organization working to continue the efforts of the disbanded Prairie du Chien Downtown Revitalization Inc. (PDRI).

Wed
19
Nov

One-mile, six-month, multi-million dollar road project—Done!

By Correne Martin

The residents and businesses of Prairie du Chien can collectively sigh in relief now that the one-mile, six month, multi-million dollar Marquette Road infrastructure project was completed Monday, Nov. 17. More than 60 signs, barricades, drums and other orange construction materials were cleared from the highway, detour route and adjacent streets on Monday, as the city’s main thoroughfare officially reopened to the public, introducing the series of three roundabouts to drivers for the first time.

“The big thing that sticks out in my mind is that [the contractor, H. James and Sons] said they were going to be done Nov. 16, and the road was open Nov. 17. That’s nearly unheard of for a project of this magnitude,” City Administrator Aaron Kramer said.

Following Monday’s ribbon cutting, several officials expressed the communal sense that the local business owners are certainly the unsung heroes of the project.

Wed
19
Nov

‘Tis the season of the red kettle campaign


The Salvation Army in Prairie du Chien participates in the annual red kettle campaign in order to continue providing its social services to citizens in need. The organization also helps distribute Christmas presents to families who cannot afford to purchase their own. Hats, mittens, coats and boots as well as toys are on the list of presents given. Jen Kapinus coordinates the Salvation Army’s local efforts through her office at the United Methodist Church in Prairie du Chien. (Photo by Correne Martin)

By Correne Martin

If you’ve ever slipped a dollar bill into a red kettle around the holidays and wondered how your donation was used, rest assured that 90 percent of the money raised each year in Prairie du Chien assists local people in need of emergency lodging, rent, utilities, gas, groceries, hygiene supplies, meals, prescriptions, clothing and more. The other 10 percent helps those passing through with similar needs.

In 2013, $14,000 was raised strictly through the Salvation Army’s local kettle campaign at the bell ringing stations of Zinkle’s Piggly Wiggly and Walmart in Prairie du Chien, at kettles around the city and through mailed donations. Since 2002, the campaign has raised around $100,000, and every dollar has been spent locally to help individuals and families in need.

Each year, the red kettle campaign occurs the last 10 days of November through Christmas Eve. This year’s bell ringers will start Friday, Nov. 21.

Mon
17
Nov

Be safe over holidays

 

A friendly reminder 

to be safe over the holidays

By Ted Pennekamp

 

With the holidays coming up soon, the good folks at Villa Succes of Prairie du Chien wish to remind everyone to enjoy themselves with friends and family but to also please drink responsibly if imbibing. 

Mon
17
Nov

Prairie du Chien police report thefts

Early Sunday morning, Nov. 16, officers from the Prairie du Chien Police Department responded to the area of South 16th Street in the city for a report that a citizen left their home to leave for work and found unwelcomed guests inside their vehicle attempting to remove property from inside. Officers searched the area and found that approximately 20 houses, garages and vehicles were entered or attempted to be entered by the same suspect.

No suspect was located during the search, but an item of clothing believed to belong to the suspect was recovered.

The police department wants to remind citizens to lock vehicles, garages and home doors. Make sure exterior motion lights are working or consider installing some if your property doesn’t currently have them. Most of all, report all suspicious people immediately to the police department. These cases are difficult to solve without the assistance of the public.

Mon
17
Nov

Local woman charged with burglary

A 37-year-old Prairie du Chien woman has been charged in Crawford County Circuit Court with one count of burglary to a building or dwelling and one count of forgery.

Jill Marie Schroeder faces up to 18.5 years in prison and $35,000 in fines if convicted of both counts.

According to the criminal complaint, Schroeder was questioned by police and admitted going into a Prairie du Chien man’s apartment on two separate occasions and stealing a laptop computer, a Nook reader, a Garmin GPS, coins, several power cords and a check which she cashed in the victim’s name. Many of the stolen items were sold at area pawn shops and the money from the check was used to buy drugs and personal items the complaint said.

Schroeder is also charged with stealing a check from another Prairie du Chien resident, forging the check in the victim’s name and cashing it for $300, the complaint said.

Mon
17
Nov

Catholic Charities takes on former Faith In Action services

By Correne Martin

Eight months after the closure of Faith In Action, another non-profit has stepped forward to revitalize many of its assistance programs to fill a need in the area. Though the services will be virtually the same, the program has a new name, Hands of Hope, and Catholic Charities is the organization coordinating the mainly volunteer effort.

“When Faith In Action closed, our phone started ringing,” said Geri Russell, representative payee in the Prairie du Chien Catholic Charities office. “I know there was a real void in our communities.”

Mon
17
Nov

Cleanup of the Blackhawk Junction fire ruins underway

Cleanup efforts of the fire ruins at the Blackhawk Junction site in Prairie du Chien seem to have finally begun. Most of the work up to this point has taken place inside the facility; however, reports last week said demolition is set to begin today (Monday, Nov. 17).

According to a Nov. 12 update from Justin Kompa, chief investment officer for Newmark Grubb Gialamas, a real estate company out of Madison, workers have been on site since Oct. 27 when Krantz Electric began restoring the parking lot lighting. Abatement work began as scheduled on Nov. 3.

Tom Gialamas’ property manager was at the site Nov. 5 along with the maintenance manager and local technician. That day, they spoke to the workers who were doing the cleanup inside the building, including Field Supervisor Jacobo Jop, from Robinson Brothers contractors, and a project supervisor from Engineered Construction. They were assured everything was moving along on schedule.

Mon
17
Nov

Wear orange Friday to help kick hunger

By Correne Martin

Crawford County Fairest of the Fair Sarah Achenbach is ready to give hunger a good, swift kick in the [you know what]. Through her platform, she has the opportunity to make a difference and, after brainstorming how she could help her Crawford County neighbors, she and her family and friends are inspired to do something that can benefit families who utilize local food pantries.

Going off the notion that Crawford County is one of the poorest counties in Wisconsin, Achenbach, with assistance from her fellow Fairest and Dairy royalty, has formed the Crawford County Kicks Hunger campaign.

Wed
12
Nov

Marquette Road ribbon cutting Monday

The public is invited to participate in a short ribbon-cutting program ceremoniously opening Marquette Road on Monday, Nov. 17, at 10 a.m. The event, which will take place in the pocket park on the southeast corner of the Marquette Road/Blackhawk Avenue intersection, is co-sponsored by the Prairie du Chien Area Chamber of Commerce and city of Prairie du Chien.

According to Chamber CEO Bob Moses, Governor Scott Walker and Wisconsin DOT Secretary Mark Gottlieb have been formally invited to the ceremony. Also, Senator Jennifer Shilling and Representative Lee Nerison have also been invited. Citizens and area business owners are encouraged to attend.

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