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Mon
04
Dec

Community lights up for Holiday Parade


To the delight of all children, Santa and Mrs. Claus led the Holiday Parade in downtown Prairie du Chien Friday night aboard a glowing carriage. They were both so pleased to see the good boys and girls waving and acting so nicely. (Photos by Correne Martin)

Howe Printing had one of the brightest floats in the Holiday Parade, through which the local shop’s elves kept busy making toys.

Nelson True Value's reindeer float has been quite popular at the most recent Holiday Parades.

It’s always a joy to see how the Prairie du Chien High School band members dress and light up their instruments for the Holiday Parade.

As with any parade, tiny tots enjoy not only collecting candy, but also dressing up, walking the route and passing out some treats to their friends.

Lori Bekkum and Char Bender were at the front of the parade, carrying the chamber’s banner. Every year, the chamber helps organize this beautiful, seasonal event for the community.

Grace Lutheran Church had a beautiful float depicting the story of the first Christmas.

Becky Hackett of Exit Realty was one of many business representatives who walked the parade route, handing out candy to excited youngsters and business promotional pieces to tehir parents.
Mon
04
Dec

Coyote at city hall

A coyote was reported to be hiding in the bushes behind city hall and the Bargain Boutique Friday about 10:30 a.m., according to the Prairie du Chien Police Department. A number of onlookers came out to take a peek at the wild animal before it was removed. (Photo by Correne Martin)

Mon
04
Dec

Industrial accident blamed for death of Wauzeka man

By Correne Martin

Curtis Groom, 26, of Wauzeka, died Nov. 29, as a result of injuries sustained in an industrial accident last Monday afternoon, Nov. 27, at Dillman Equipment, a division of Astec, in Prairie du Chien, according to a family friend. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) opened an inspection/investigation into the incident on Thursday, Nov. 30, after Groom died Wednesday night, according to Rhonda Burke, U.S. Department of Labor Deputy Director of Public Affairs.

OSHA’s Madison area office is looking into whether or not there was any violation of safety or health rules at the facility, Burke said. The action could take up to six months to complete and, at that time, Dillman could be cited and penalized if there are any violations found as a result.

According to a friend of the family, Groom’s injury involved a sandblasting accident. Aside from hearsay, exactly what happened could not be confirmed.

Mon
04
Dec

Hoffman Hall Holiday Concert to bring spirit of season to families

By Correne Martin

A special event meant to spread the true spirit of Christmas to local families will feature an affordable Holiday Concert at Hoffman Hall in Prairie du Chien. Michael J. Thoma and Friends will perform an evening of live Christmas music Saturday, Dec. 9, from 4 to 6 p.m. The concert is the first of its kind at the rec center in modern years.

“With the hectic holiday season, we thought this would be a good time for parents, grandparents and kids to sit back, relax and enjoy some Christmas music,” Parks and Rec Director Mike Ulrich said. “This is a different kind of offering for parks and rec. We really think it’s going to be family-friendly.”

Thoma is from Waterloo, Iowa, and has performed shows at the Concerts in the Park on St. Feriole Island for several summers. Typically, he has 15 musicians in his full band. Yet, the ensemble performing Dec. 9 will be a five-piece, more intimate group.

Wed
29
Nov

Needs of the needy are here, more than ever


Gabe Kapinus, of Wauzeka, is the son of Crawford County Salvation Army Coordinator Jen Kapinus. For years, their entire family has been ringing the bell to raise funds for the organization, which distributes assistance to local people in need. (Submitted photo)

By Correne Martin

Most of us don’t notice. But Crawford County has a substantial, growing population of working poor people.

They work hard nearly every day. They struggle. They face hard times. They’re ashamed and afraid to reach out for help. They’re our friends, our neighbors, our co-workers, the parents of other kids at our schools. Whether they’re living in a home with mounting debt, or they’re actually homeless, there are many “households” in desperate need in Crawford County.

According to the Crawford County Salvation Army, at one point this summer, there were 19 homeless children being assisted by the organization.

“We are providing ongoing case management to those families who continue to need assistance,” Coordinator Jen Kapinus said.

Wed
29
Nov

Knights of Columbus revitalizing with broader community focus


The Knights of Columbus Prairie du Chien chapter is collecting Coats for the Community and will accept new or gently-used winter items (including hats, gloves and scarves) for people of all ages. The items will then be cleaned by Rainbo Cleaners in Fennimore and distributed to those in need.

By Correne Martin

The Knights of Columbus is the oldest and largest Catholic men’s organization in the country. But it’s been years since there’s been much about them in Prairie du Chien. The leadership of the 88-plus member club is ready to see that change.

A revitalization of sorts is underway with the local KCs, as the faith- and family-based men’s group is affectionately known. With 33 of its members over the age of 65, their goal is to recruit some younger men from the community who also wish to see positive action resulting from the group’s endeavors.

The First Degree for the Knights of Columbus, which is its private induction ceremony, will be Monday, Dec. 4, at 7 p.m., at St. Gabriel’s. Membership forms for those interested are available at the back of St. Gabriel’s and St. John’s Catholic churches in Prairie du Chien.

Wed
29
Nov

Duck hunters flip boat on Mississippi

Three men were treated for body temperatures that were approaching hypothermic levels after a boating accident on the Missisippi River near Bagley, Nov. 24, according to the Grant County Sheriff’s Office.

At 2:50 p.m., a boating accident on the Mississippi River, somewhere between Glen Haven and Bagley, was reported to Grant County Dispatch. The information received was that a boat with multiple hunters in it had flipped and that the hunters were on land, but, although they could see the railroad tracks, they were uncertain of their location.

Multiple agencies responded to assist in the search. Information was then received that the hunters had made it back to the River of Lakes boat landing and were requesting EMS. A Grant County Sheriff’s deputy responded there and learned that there were three men in the boat.

Wed
29
Nov

River Ridge cuts the ribbon on additions


Middle school students participating in the official ribbon cutting at River Ridge Monday were (not in the order pictured) Alex Eastlick, Ella George, Emily Tesar, Jayden Cathman, Arianna Edge, Audrey Pierce, Siera Childs, Brody Kielley, Hannah Stagman, Bryr Clark, Jesse Fishler and Alison West. (Photos by Audrey Posten)

Dr. Jeff Athey, district superintendent at River Ridge Schools, addressed a happy crowd at the official ribbon cutting of the new middle school wing at the pre K-12 school district facility in Patch Grove.

By Correne Martin and Audrey Posten

The entire student body of the River Ridge School District is finally attending classes inside one large facility.

Construction on the district’s $8.86 million facilities remodel and addition project was complete just before Thanksgiving and the fifth and sixth grade students officially moved from their former home in Bloomington to the Patch Grove premises.

Principal Clay Koenig wrapped up the sentiments of those in attendance at a ribbon cutting ceremony at the new middle school wing Nov. 27.

“I’m very excited. This is a new beginning for this district, and you guys get to be a part of it,” he said to the middle schoolers. “Someday you’ll get to tell your grandkids, ‘I was in the first student body in this school.’”
District Administrator Jeff Athey added, “I’ve had this day circled on the calendar for a long time. It’s a special day. This was a remarkable journey and end result.”

Mon
27
Nov

Ongoing Wauzeka veterans memorial a sight to see

Progress on the Wauzeka Area Veterans Memorial has come along rapidly in recent months at the entrance of the Wauzeka Cemetery on County N. Cement was poured and a concrete block wall formed in a semi-circle behind three flagpoles flying the American, Wisconsin and Prisoner of War flags. In front of the poles, a bronze, fiberglass eagle is perched, holding a flag. This statue was one of the last creations by sculptor David Oswald, of Sparta, and Roddy Dull, of Eternal Art Monument Company, of Boscobel. The beautiful eagle is part of the final vision for the memorial, which the planning committee hopes to see completed in the near future. Donations are still needed toward the granite tablets that will be installed at the memorial once enough funds are collected and Wauzeka area veterans’ names are organized for etching.

Mon
27
Nov

County master gardeners are busy year-round


Master Gardeners established this Birds and Bees Pollinator Garden and Monarch Waystation at the Crawford County Fairgrounds during the spring and summer. (Submitted photo)

By Sandy Vold

Like gardeners everywhere, Crawford County Master Gardener Volunteers (MGVs) spend a lot of time outdoors during the growing season, planting and tending their own gardens. They also volunteer their time by beautifying areas in the community such as the St. Feriole Island Memorial Gardens and the Crawford County Fairgrounds, assisting with local school gardens, staffing information booths and doing demonstrations. It would be logical to assume that once the harvest is in, the growing season has ended—the gardens are all tidied up for the winter and master gardeners breathe a huge sigh of relief in anticipation of a long winter break from anything related to gardening.

Such an assumption, however logical it might be, would also be inaccurate. Although they are busiest in spring and summer, master gardeners carry out their motto, “Learn, Teach, Lead and Serve,” throughout the year.

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