Local News

Mon
13
Apr

Crash takes life of Soldiers Grove man

A 19-year-old Soldiers Grove man was killed and three other teens  injured in a two-vehicle crash near Readstown early Sunday morning, according to the Vernon County Sheriff’s Office.

According to the sheriff’s office, Preston D. Nelson, 19, of rural Soldier’s Grove, was driving east around 1:20 a.m. Sunday on U.S. Hwy. 14 when he lost control of his truck. Nelson crossed the center line, made contact with another eastbound vehicle, entered the left ditch and rolled multiple times. Nelson was ejected from the vehicle and pronounced dead at the scene.

Mon
13
Apr

Garage sale signs should comply with city regulations


This garage sale sign on the corner of Dousman and Blackhawk is in compliance with the city’s sign placement regulations because it sits away from the roadway and out of the boulevard. It is also less than 3 feet in height and less than 3 feet in square size.

By Correne Martin

Citywide garage sales are this weekend in Prairie du Chien. In anticipation of the large number of sales expected, city officials are reminding the community to follow some simple sign placement rules and regulations.

First, signs must be placed at least 15 feet away from the edge of a road surface.

“Basically, don’t put it in the boulevard between the sidewalk and the road. That’s a pretty common mistake people make,” Prairie du Chien Police Chief Chad Abram said. “People also like to affix their signs to telephone poles, street signs and trees. That’s illegal, especially if it’s in the right of way.”

Second, signs cannot be posted on city property. They should also not be placed on private property, without consent from the owner. “People need to get permission if they’re going to put a sign in someone’s yard,” Abram said.

Mon
13
Apr

River Ridge welcomes public input on administrator post

The River Ridge School Board spent last week interviewing six candidates for its district administrator position.

As the field narrows, the public is invited to participate in the process on Wednesday, April 15. Citizens will then have the opportunity to meet the finalists and ask questions during a public forum held in the multi-purpose room at the high school in Patch Grove. The forum will start at 6 p.m. Each candidate will meet individually with those in attendance to present their background and take questions for about 45 minutes.

District residents will have the opportunity to complete a feedback form that will be presented to the school board for use in the final selection process.

Mon
13
Apr

Second Fifty offers socialization, entertainment for seniors


Fourth generation commercial fisherman Mike Valley, of Valley Fish and Cheese, Prairie du Chien, was the presenter at March’s Second Fifty senior social gathering. He debuted his locally-produced documentary, “Beneath the Ice,” which showcases his own ice fishing operations of building, setting and raising nets. He talked about commercial fishing history in the area and described his personal daily escapades. He said he typically catches between 3,000 and 4,000 pounds of fish a week. About 800 pounds of live fish equates to 225 smoked. Though carp is his business’ top smoked seller, he said he hasn’t caught one carp all year. Rather, he’s bringing in others such as catfish, buffalo, crappies and perch. He shared his belief that the river is very different today than it used to be and that it is constantly changing, due to the increased number of fishermen and their approach to fishing as well as other factors such as climate and weather patterns, sediment, etc. (Photo by Correne Martin)

By Correne Martin

If you’re over the age of 55 and you aren’t a part of the Second Fifty social group in Prairie du Chien, you are missing out.

Second Fifty started over three years ago as a free social activity for area seniors. It branched off from a partnership from Faith In Action, which has since disbanded. Participants themselves voted on the catchy name.

Wed
08
Apr

Mainly familiar faces reclaim Eastman Town Board seats

Race for supervisor a close one

The Eastman Township board will be much the same following Tuesday’s Spring Election.

Reclaiming their seats are Sam Tesar as chairman, David Slaght and Lonnie Achenbach as supervisors and Dale Sprosty as treasurer. Heather Hoffman will be the new face as clerk, taking over for Marlene Simmons who chose not to run for re-election.

In the chairman race, incumbent Tesar won 77 to 62 over challenger Gaylord Kramer.

Four town residents were up for the two supervisor positions. Incumbents Slaght and Achenbach received 86 and 71 votes, respectively, while challenger Michael Higgins narrowly missed out on his bid with 68 votes. Donald Noel received 28 votes in the race.

Sprosty was the sole name on the ballot for treasurer and received 134 votes.

In the race for clerk, Hoffman defeated fellow newcomer Rose Ann Achenbach, 76-53.

Wed
08
Apr

Gilberts, Hayes-Hall now represent whole city on Prairie du Chien council

The Prairie du Chien Common Council will officially be condensed from 12 members to eight by the April 21 council meeting. The new council will consist of six district representatives and two at-large aldermen.

Nate Gilberts and Edward Hayes-Hall, who formerly represented the second and third districts, respectively, ran for election on Tuesday to the new at-large positions. Both were unopposed. Gilberts received 509 votes from the city’s electorate, and Hayes-Hall received 302. The unofficial results also showed 13 votes going for write-ins and 132 being undervotes (no selection made or unclear marking).

A total of 956 voters cast a ballot in this spring Election.

Wed
08
Apr

52 percent vote ‘no’ in River Ridge school facility referendum

Raisbeck, Mumm make school board

By Correne Martin

For the second time in five months, the voters of the River Ridge School District turned down a facility referendum—this time a $9.9 million proposal that would have created one PreK-12 campus at the Patch Grove site and included additions, remodeling and health and security improvements.

In Tuesday’s Spring Election, 731 residents (or 52 percent) voted no, while 668 (or 48 percent) voted yes—a difference of 63 votes. These are unofficial results as of Wednesday morning. Canvassing will be done on Monday.

This referendum was significantly closer upon the final tally than the one held in November, which asked the electorate to approve spending $13 million. In that election, 64 percent of the constituents disagreed with the referendum, while 36 percent voted in favor.

Wed
08
Apr

Dr. Garrity honored with first-ever Legacy Award


Dr. Mike Garrity and his wife Mary Ann, of Prairie du Chien, were among the guests of honor at the World Services of La Crosse’s Citizen Diplomacy Celebration March 26. Dr. Garrity was recognized with the first-of-its-kind Legacy Award for dedicating his life to improving health care, not just for people in Crawford County and St. Clare Health Mission in La Crosse, but also for countless people in Ukraine. (Photos by Annette Mikat of Mikat Public Relations)

Dr. Mike Garrity delivered his acceptance remarks to the crowd after receiving the Legacy Award from World Services. Pictured in the background is Dr. Kermit Newcomer, a retired physician from Gundersen Health System who worked closely with Dr. Garrity in his international work.

Dr. Mike Garrity received the Legacy Award from Sandra McCormick, president and CEO of World Services of La Crosse.

By Correne Martin

“The greatest good you can do for another is not just share your riches, but to reveal to him his own.” This quote, from British Conservative politician, writer and aristocrat Benjamin Disraeli, fits perfectly with the health care endeavors Dr. Mike Garrity, of Prairie du Chien, instituted in Ukraine more than a decade ago. On March 26, Garrity was presented the first-ever Legacy Award from World Services of La Crosse for his lifetime achievements in Prairie du Chien, La Crosse and internationally.

Prior to Garrity’s retirement as a family physician from Gundersen-Lutheran (now Gundersen Health System) on Jan. 28, 2000, he was asked by the president of World Services if he would be interested in dedicating a couple weeks of his time and expertise each year toward improving health care in Ukraine. He agreed and, just weeks after his last day on the job, Garrity found himself on a plane to Eastern Europe.

Mon
06
Apr

Sheriff’s deputy intervened with potential crime spree Saturday

A Crawford County Sheriff’s Department deputy intervened with a potential crime spree Saturday, April 4, in Prairie du Chien. His actions not only solved one burglary but they also resulted in the prevention of others as well as the recovery of a stolen vehicle.

According to the sheriff’s department, at 3:25 a.m. Saturday, Deputy Kyle Mezera was patrolling on South Marquette Road when he observed what he felt was a suspicious vehicle parked next to the main entrance of the China Café Restaurant, located at 1224 South Marquette Rd. Mezera drove around the back side of the restaurant, where he then observed a male subject standing outside of the building.

Mon
06
Apr

Ground broken for new True Value store


Store owners, city officials, construction managers and other stakeholders involved in bringing to fruition the new Nelson True Value project on North Marquette Road manned the golden shovels April 1 during the ceremonial groundbreaking at the site. Plans are for the store to be open by October or November 2015. Pictured (from left) are Dan Kanis, Nelson True Value co-owner; Dave Hemmer, mayor; Aaron Kramer, city administrator; Scott Truehl, Friede and Associates co-owner; Duane Rogers, city redevelopment authority; Jacob Kanis, Nelson True Value partner; Mark Brueggen, Nelson True Value general manager; Jeff Behnke, Friede and Associates senior estimator; Marvin Bengtson, Friede and Associates project superintendent; Bob Standorf, chairman of the city redevelopment authority; Bob Moses, chamber of commerce CEO/president; Bob McDonald, Prairie du Chien Economic Development Corporation president; Steve Shulfer, Shulfer Architects CEO; and Gina Keenan, DNR remediation and redevelopment agent. (Photo by Correne Martin)

By Correne Martin

A retail project that’s been 10 years in the making finally broke ground last week in Prairie du Chien. Nelson True Value will relocate to a new state-of-the-art store on North Marquette Road upon its completion in October/November 2015. The site is located just north of Walgreens.

During the groundbreaking Wednesday afternoon, April 1, Owner Dan Kanis talked about the excitement of the day.

“This is overwhelming. I didn’t expect so many people here,” he said, acknowledging the 100 or so in attendance, including his family, business representatives and area citizens. “It shows how much of a community effort this really was. We’ve been at the same location for the past 40-plus years. There’s a little bit of emotion today, but we’re extremely excited to relocate and to be here on Marquette Road.”

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