Local News

Mon
16
May

Journey Through Time


A group enjoys riding along Blackhawk Avenue in a horse-drawn carriage Saturday morning as part of the Journey Through Time Downtown Open House in Prairie du Chien. The horse-drawn rides were sponsored by Peoples State Bank. (Photos by Ted Pennekamp)

Wind In the Barley performed lively Irish songs with fine pickin’ and blended harmonies next to Lori Knapp Companies at the corner of Blackhawk Avenue and Beaumont Road.

A sharply attired Chuck Dyer greeted guests and gave tours of the former Fort Crawford Hotel in downtown Prairie du Chien Saturday. The land for the hotel was purchased in 1864 and the hotel was built sometime between 1864 and 1870.

This is the former ballroom of the Fort Crawford Hotel in downtown Prairie du Chien. Plans have been underway by the owners, The Crawford Preservation Group, to restore the hotel to its historical splendor but with modern amenities in 20 guest rooms.

Area musician Denny Garcia got toes-a-tappin’ and put smiles on faces in front of Driftless Edibles Saturday at the Journey Through Time Downtown Open House.

 

People take a ‘Journey Through Time’ Saturday

Prairie du Chien was one of 16 Wisconsin communities participating in the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation’s first-ever Downtown Open House promotion. The purpose of the event called “A Journey Through Time” was to bring tourists and locals to the city to shop, dine, stay and learn, at their own pace, from period-costumed volunteer guides, about 12 historic buildings, churches, museums and interesting sites.

Mon
16
May

Electrical violations result in cut power at Regal Marina


Because state code violations caused electricity to be disconnected at the Regal Marina in Prairie du Chien, many boats still sit awaiting their first dip in the water for the 2016 boating season. Around a dozen boats were put in at the marina by Friday. (Photo by Correne Martin)

By Correne Martin

Electricity to the docks at the Regal Marina in Prairie du Chien has been disconnected. Depending on when electrical is brought up to state standards, it is unknown when power will resume.

On May 1, the city was directed to cut power to docks A, B, C and D as well as the gas dock because several state electrical code violations were uncovered by state inspectors Anthony Tadysac and Char Martin, according to City Administrator Aaron Kramer.

“The conditions are so dangerous, the city simply had to do something to assure safety,” City Attorney Lara Czajkowski Higgins said. “[The Regals] have to complete the repairs in order for the electricity to be turned back on.”

The Courier Press has made numerous attempts, since May 3, in person and by phone, to reach Dennis Regal Sr., president of Regal Marine Group, which leases the marina from the city. However, all have gone unanswered.

Mon
16
May

PdC library capital campaign announces 100 Families initiative

The Prairie du Chien’s Memorial Library capital campaign has announced a new initiative for its $1.5 million goal. Organizers have announced a 100 Families program with a generous matching grant to start this phase of fundraising.

“We are looking for 100 families to sign on and contribute $1,000 over a five-year period. This equates to a monthly contribution of $16.67 over the five-year commitment period. One could choose to make the donation in one lump sum, annually ($200), quarterly ($50), or monthly ($16.67). We believe this is an affordable way to make a tax-deductible contribution in a realistic way for many of our potential donors,” Library Board President Linda Munson said.

Mon
16
May

St. Mary’s murals unveiled Thursday

The refinished St. Mary’s Academy murals will be unveiled at a Business After Five Open House at Peoples State Bank’s main office in downtown Prairie du Chien on Thursday, May 19, from 5 to 7 p.m. The Prairie du Chien Area Chamber of Commerce is also sponsoring the event.

About 1910, Sister Mary Gertrude, a School Sister of Notre Dame, painted several murals. These murals adorned the walls of rooms within the buildings that were part of St. Mary’s Academy (1872-1968).
Two of these murals depicted the natural beauty of the upper Mississippi River valley. The other murals presented a tableau of important events that occurred along the Mississippi River.

Mon
16
May

Tax credits allocated for redevelopment of Wyalusing Academy

Commonwealth Development Corporation, of Fond du Lac, has been allocated $479,231 in tax credits to redevelop the former Saint Mary’s Institute/Wyalusing Academy into apartments.

Lawler School Lofts, as the facility will be named, is a historic adaptive reuse project. The transformation into the 40-apartment complex on the 80,000-square-foot property is anticipated to start in the second half of 2016, according to Kevin McDonell, of Commonwealth.

“Commonwealth was selected to develop the property late last fall and has worked closely with all interested stakeholders to bring the project to fruition while preserving the historic details of the property,” McDonell said.

Mon
16
May

School Facilities Upgrades

 

Community input sought to fine-tune school upgrades

Work could begin February 2017

By Ted Pennekamp

 

Mon
16
May

Local man charged with possession of meth

A 29-year-old Prairie du Chien man has been charged in Crawford County Circuit Court with one count of possession of methamphetamine.

Joshua R. Barrette faces up to 3.5 years in prison and a $10,000 fine if convicted.

According to the criminal complaint, a vehicle was stopped in the city of Prairie du Chien by a police officer because it was traveling without its headlights on at night.

The officer was informed by dispatch that Barrette, who was a passenger in the vehicle, had a warrant for his arrest.

A search of the vehicle revealed four plastic baggies containing a white crystalline substance and three green pills.

Barrette admitted to officers that the baggies contained meth, the complaint said. A chemical field test also revealed the presence of meth, according to the complaint.

Mon
16
May

Bloomington resident accused of meth possession

A 32-year-old Bloomington man has been charged in Crawford County Circuit Court with one count of possession of methamphetamine.

Fame Forrest Poole III faces up to 3.5 years in prison and a $10,000 fine if convicted.

According to the criminal complaint, Poole’s vehicle was stopped by a police officer near Wells Street and the Highway 18 Bypass in the city of Prairie du Chien. A search of the vehicle revealed a clear plastic baggie containing a white crystalline product, the complaint said.

Poole admitted to investigators that he uses meth, the complaint said.

An electronic scale was also found.

Wed
11
May

Find all you need in ‘one stop’ at Johnson’s


At the newly remodeled Johnson’s One Stop in Seneca, third- and fourth-generation members of the Johnson family stand proudly in front of the new hardware counter, made with repurposed galvanized steel from the old feed mill that once stood where the store is today. Pictured (from left) are Brad, Debbie, Brandon, Artie and Jordan. (Submitted photo)

By Correne Martin

The scope of products and services at Johnson’s One Stop has evolved continually since it originally opened as a general store in Seneca in 1937. In fact, its most recent remodel, which began a year ago in May, was finished before Johnson’s annual spring sale this April.

Robert and Avis Johnson established Johnson’s One Stop nearly 80 years ago about one block north of where the current building stands today. When livestock feed became a big seller, in the early 1960s, the business moved to its present location, near a feed mill, and constructed a new facility on top of farm land. More emphasis was also put on hardware and farm hardware at that time.

In the late 1970s, the feed portion of the business was sold to allow for expansion of the growing hardware market. Then, in the late 1990s, as building materials sales grew, so did Johnson’s once again. Of course, all the while, groceries have been a strong part of the business as well.

Wed
11
May

Free bike safety education provided at Gundersen Clinic in time for summer


Lylian Kussmaul, River Yager, Shelby Schroeder, Zachary Ross, Taia Dressler and Robert Groom were the lucky winners of free bicycles, donated by Prairie Industries, at the Gundersen Prairie du Chien Clinic bike safety event May 4. About 50 local children attended and everyone went home with a prize. (Submitted photo)

By Correne Martin

The Gundersen Prairie du Chien Clinic hosted a Healthy Living Program on bicycle safety Wednesday afternoon, May 4, from which local children took home knowledge about riding their bikes, prizes and, in the case of six participants, brand new bikes.

This year’s program featured Ashley Erickson, a Prairie du Chien police officer, who educated about 50 children ages 4-14 and their parents about using hand signals, wearing properly-fitting helmets, knowing the parts of a bicycle, understanding stop light rules, crosswalk safety, railroad safety and looking both ways before crossing the road, among other information.

Following Erickson’s presentation, the anxious bunch alleviated their energy by putting their knowledge and skills to work on a challenging bicycle course in the Gundersen parking lot. Each child was also correctly fitted with a new helmet.

Kids were also treated to popcorn, cotton candy, animal crackers and drinks.

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