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Meth the number one narcotic abused in Crawford County

Editor’s note: This article is the first in a short series regarding methamphetamine and the serious problem of meth abuse in Crawford County.

By Correne Martin

Ninety-five percent of the men and women in the Crawford County Jail are addicted to narcotics and alcohol. The other 5 percent are there for domestic abuse, burglary, theft and other crimes that occurred while they were under the influence of these drugs.

These figures are according to Crawford County and Prairie du Chien law enforcement officials.

“There’s an extreme drug problem in this county. It’s a very impoverished area—the unemployment rate is high and the income rate is low,” said Lt. Jaden McCullick, an investigator for the Crawford County Sheriff’s Department.

Meth is number one on the list of narcotics abused in southwest Wisconsin, and that is apparent in the latest mass of local news articles about meth busts.


City proposes line of credit to Regals to cover marina repairs

Many boats at the Regal Marina in Prairie du Chien (pictured here in early May) sat ashore longer than usual this season awaiting the opportunity to slip into the docks. (Photo by Correne Martin)

By Correne Martin

The Prairie du Chien Common Council extended an olive branch to Regal Marine Group Tuesday night, as an effort to resolve the safety issues that have left the business stagnant this season.
The council voted to offer a line of credit to the Regals to help them accomplish the estimated $74,000 in repairs and improvements needed to satisfy state code mandates. Terms of the loan would include classifying the Regals’ buildings and docks on the city-owned property as collateral.

There is no indication yet regarding whether the Regals will accept the terms of the loan. According to City Attorney Lara Czajkowski Higgins, the Regals’ attorney emailed her an hour before Tuesday’s regular council meeting, saying they’re potentially interested in such a loan but they need another week to determine a more exact figure of cost estimates.


What makes Prairie du Chien stand out to potential consumers?

The city’s welcome signs were refurbished this spring, at a cost of $8,100. They had not been repaired or retouched since installation in 1998. Now, the community’s civic organizations have planned a branding session for June 29, as an effort to determine how Prairie du Chien can do more than simply market what it has but, instead, market what makes it stand out. (Photo by Correne Martin)

Featuring the same theme at the top as the city’s welcome signs, the city’s wayfinding signs show a drawing of the Villa Louis as well as a river boat.

By Correne Martin

Prairie du Chien’s civic organizations are fishing for ideas. They are seeking creative, passionate stakeholders and citizens who want a seat on the boat of brainstormers as they start developing a brand for the city of Prairie du Chien.

A community branding session is scheduled for Wednesday, June 29, from 2 to 4:30 p.m., at the city hall community room. Those interested are asked to RSVP by Monday, June 27 to mainstreetpdc@gmail.com. Anyone interested in learning more might have some questions.

What exactly is a brand? Doesn’t Prairie du Chien already have a brand? What is “Wisconsin’s Second Oldest City?” And what about the city’s prevalent history or its scenic, recreational location along the Mississippi River?


41st Rendezvous: Celebrating the trade

The ladies’ tomahawk throwing competition for campers drew a decent crowd of observers Saturday afternoon at the Prairie Villa Rendezvous on St. Feriole Island. (Photos by Correne Martin)

The Rendezvous is always a family affair for campers and visitors, and face painting tends to be one of the more popular offerings for the young ones in attendance.

Fred Bruner Jr. talked to young and old alike underneath the shade of the Bruner's Blades tent Saturday.

Hungry Prairie Villa Rendevous enthusiasts line up at one the vendor’s tents on the buckskinners’ side of the annual festival.

Buying, selling and trading is part of the tradition at the pre-1840s celebration.

Blooming onions, turkey legs, fry bread, fresh squeezed lemonade and rootbeer straight from the barrel were the usual favorites for Rendezvous attendees Saturday, though the ice cream and snow cone stands also thrived as high temperatures and beaming sunshine heated up the event.

The smell and taste of kettle corn, available at several Rendezvous stands, is hard to beat.

This bear skin rug and other small animal pelts were in line with the many attractions for the thousands attending the 41st annual Rendezvous in Prairie du Chien this past weekend.

Richard Blackhawk Kapusta performed music and storytelling south of the Jaycee Food Stand on the north end of camp.

Youth fights condition, sees success in school

By Correne Martin

Student of the month recognition is a tradition at many schools these days. All good students have a shot at being acknowledged. But, when seventh grader Jacob Kazynski was named one of five students of the month at La Crosse Aquinas Middle School for May, it was more than just a great accomplishment, it was a small miracle.

Jacob, the son of Joe and Shanen Kazynski, of Holmen, was born with Pierre Robin sequence, a condition that causes a smaller than normal lower jaw, a tongue that falls back in the throat, repeated ear infections, a cleft palate on the roof of his mouth and difficulty breathing.

According to his grandmother, Dorothy Baures, of Prairie du Chien, the family was also told that another issue with Pierre Robin sequence is a general failure to thrive.


Speaker to focus on enhancing quality of life in Prairie du Chien

By Correne Martin

The quality of life in Prairie du Chien is important to everyone, and three local organizations hold dear the mission to sustain and strengthen that characteristic within the community. As a part of their ongoing efforts, Anne Katz, the executive director of Arts Wisconsin, will speak on Thursday, June 30, at 6:30 p.m. in the Prairie du Chien High School Little Theater. Her free presentation, “The Power of the Creative Sector,” is sponsored by the Prairie du Chien Economic Development Committee (PDCEDC), PdC Main Street and Prairie du Chien Area Chamber of Commerce. The Mississippi River Sculpture Park Board and Prairie du Chien School District are also co-sponsoring the event.

Katz will highlight how arts, education, economic development and the quality of life intersect to create a diverse and healthy community.


Baseball Team Second at State

The crowd gives a standing ovation to the Prairie du Chien baseball team at the pep rally in the high school gym Thursday night. (Photo by Ted Pennekamp)

The players enjoyed addressing the fans and thanking them for their unwavering support. Here, Jack Wasachek gets Brogan Potter, Reese Dressler, Peyton Hall and Coach Mark Pedretti (in the background) smiling and laughing. (Photo by Ted Pennekamp)

Coach Mark Pedretti talks about "the Blackhawk Experience" and the fine tradition at Prairie du Chien High School. (Photo by Ted Pennekamp)

The team poses with the second-place trophy. (Photo by Vicki Waller)

Drew Scott makes the tag on a pick-off attempt versus Markesan Wednesday. (Photo by Vicki Waller)

Chas Sagedahl lets fly against the Hornets Wednesday. (Photo by Vicki Waller)

Casey Hogenson pitches against St. Mary Catholic Thursday afternoon. (Photo by Vicki Waller)

Dylan Yeomans gets ready to swing versus the Zephyrs. (Photo by Vicki Waller)

Peyton Hall gets a good lead against the Zephyrs. (Photo by Vicki Waller)

Chas Sagedahl squares to bunt. (Photo by Vicki Waller)


Prairie du Chien ends fine season 

with 2nd place at State Tournament

By Ted Pennekamp



Flood Damage

Vehicles slow down and proceed with caution as water flows across the road on Mondell Hill Tuesday. (Photos courtesy of Crawford County Highway Commissioner Dennis Pelock)

Children play in the flooded parking lot at the Barn Restaurant.

Fill was washed away along the site of the Highway 18 construction project in the town of Bridgeport.

Debris is piled up near Sugar Loaf Trail near Walmart in the town of Bridgeport. Highway Commissioner Dennis Pelock reported that five houses at Sugar Loaf Trail were surrounded by water due to the Tuesday night storm.


Initial flood damage assessment $36,500

The Crawford County Emergency Management reports an initial damage assessment from the flash flood that occurred on Tuesday, June 14.  

Initial damage assessment is $36,500 in debris clearance and road system repair. This is assessed for the city of Prairie du Chien, township of Prairie du Chien, township of Bridgeport, and township of Wauzeka.  


Report elder abuse, it really happens here

In recognition of World Elder Abuse Awareness Day, Crawford County Human Services put up a banner and pinwheels at the county administration building to draw attention to the issue. (Photos by Correne Martin)

Social Worker Bob Rowe spoke to a group of about 25 at the short morning rally June 15 regarding awareness of elder abuse.

By Correne Martin

Elder abuse is a real issue across the globe—be it physical, emotional, neglect, self-neglect or financial exploitation—and Crawford County is not exempt to any form of it.

To provide a better understanding of the issue, this June 15, on World Elder Abuse Awareness Day, Crawford County Human Services Social Worker Bob Rowe described three county cases he personally handled in the past. They all involved neglect or self-neglect, one of the more common forms of elder abuse in Crawford County.

1.) One woman, years ago, who was dropped off by family in northern Crawford County, with no resources, no acquaintances or relationships, and no means to get around without her wheelchair.


Program loans life jackets for free

Available at the new Life Jacket Loaner Boards at the Campion and Marina Boat Landings in Prairie du Chien are multiple life jackets, in various sizes from infant to adult XL, as well as a few throwable devices. They are available for public use. Pictured are Ron Leys (left), a member of the Prairie du Chien Common Council and Lower Wisconsin Riverway Board, and Mike Ulrich, Prairie du Chien parks and recreation director. (Photo by Correne Martin)

By Correne Martin

You may have seen the new Life Jacket Loaner Boards erected at the Campion and Marina Boat Landings in Prairie du Chien. Inside each box are multiple life jackets, in various sizes from infant to adult XL, as well as a few throwable devices. They are available for free public use by citizens and groups to perpetuate safer boating practices on the river and to reduce boating-related fatalities.

The Department of Natural Resources and the city of Prairie du Chien have partnered up to offer the two stations within the community. The process began last fall when Ron Leys, a member of the Prairie du Chien Common Council and Lower Wisconsin Riverway Board, heard about the Life Jacket Loaner Board project at a meeting.

“The idea came from Alaska,” Leys said. “A Wisconsin DNR representative was at a meeting there and he brought the idea back to Wisconsin.”


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