Local News

Mon
09
Mar

Everyone is Irish for St. Patty’s in PdC


The McGinleys and McCoys are just a few of the many families with Irish roots who will proudly march through the St. Patrick’s Day Parade Saturday at 10 a.m. in downtown Prairie du Chien. (Courier Press file photo)

By Correne Martin

Everyone is Irish and the whole community seems painted green when Prairie du Chien celebrates its annual St. Patrick’s Day festivities. This year, the jubilant day of green pride will take place on Saturday, March 14, featuring a lively and lengthy parade downtown and Irish music and specials all over the city.

Even a Shamrock Shuffle 5k is offered for those looking to start the party bright and early. Register from 7 to 7:40 a.m. at Hoffman Hall, where the second annual run/walk will begin at 7:45 and end after participants complete the 3.1 miles. People of all ages are invited to come out in their best green attire. There is a fee per person to run or walk and any non-perishable food items donated at the event will benefit the Couleecap Food Pantry in Prairie du Chien. Proceeds benefit the Hoffman Hall Improvement Fund.

Mon
09
Mar

U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary

 

Local Coast Guard 

Auxiliary Flotilla seeks new 

members, continues to get better

By Ted Pennekamp

 

Wed
04
Mar

Bridgeport Fire Department presents service awards, accepts generous donation


Former Chief John Gillitzer (center) received a special tribute from the Rural Bridgeport and Prairie du Chien Fire Department during its annual meeting last week for dedicating over 50 years of his life to the department. Assembly Representative Lee Nerison (right) was present to give Gillitzer a state award for his service. Also pictured is John’s son and the current chief, Russ Gillitzer. (Submitted photos)

The Rural Bridgeport and Prairie du Chien Womens Auxiliary awarded a donation in the amount of $10,000 to the Bridgeport Fire Department during its Feb. 24 annual meeting. Pictured with the check are Norma Gillitzer and Alisha Smrcina, representing the Womens Auxiliary, and Fire Chief Russ Gillitzer.

Rich Picha (right) was recognized for 15 years of service to the fire department by Chief Russ Gillitzer.

Alisha Smrcina has been a member of the Rural Bridgeport and Prairie du Chien Fire Department for five years. She was also honored with a plaque for her service.

By Correne Martin

The Rural Bridgeport and Prairie du Chien Fire Department held its annual awards banquet on Feb. 24, recognizing one firefighter for half a century’s worth of service to the department and receiving a large donation from the womens auxiliary.

Former Chief John Gillitzer was honored for giving 50 years of service to the department. He was presented with a state plaque signed by Assembly Representative Lee Nerison and Senator Jennifer Shilling. Nerison was present at the meeting to hand Gillitzer the plaque. A special cake was also served in his honor.

Mon
02
Mar

Seneca man faces porn, marijuana and firearm charges

On Feb. 24, the Crawford County Sheriff’s Department conducted a search warrant at the residence of Ricky T. Olson, 56, Seneca. Olson, who lives on Stoney Point road in Seneca Township, was arrested for allegedly exposing a child to harmful materials. The search warrant was conducted after an investigation by the sheriff’s department revealed that Olson had sent alleged pornographic pictures and videos to a 12-year-old girl. The investigation also showed that Olson received alleged pornographic materials from the girl.

The Wisconsin Division of Criminal Investigation was contacted to assist with the collection of computer and phone evidence.

 
Olson is being held in the Crawford County Jail awaiting a bond hearing. Olson also faces charges of possession of marijuana and felon in possession of a firearm stemming from evidence found at the residence during the search warrant.

Mon
02
Mar

Area man charged with fourth OWI

A 37-year-old Viroqua man has been charged in Crawford County Circuit Court with one count of operating a motor vehicle while intoxicated (fourth offense in five years), one count of operating while revoked, and one count of failure to install ignition interlock device.

Joseph W. Fortney faces up to seven and a half years in prison and fines totalling $13,100 if convicted of all three counts.

According to the criminal complaint, Fortney was pulled over for allegedly driving 76 mph in a 55 mph zone on Highway 61 in Crawford County. The state trooper then administered field sobriety tests and arrested Fortney for alleged OWI.

Fortney has previously been convicted of OWI on June 10, 2008, on June 26, 2008, and on Jan. 2, 2011.

 

 

Mon
02
Mar

Packers Tailgate Tour coming to Prairie du Chien


Hall of Famer Dave Robinson was an outstanding linebacker for the Green Bay Packers for 10 seasons. He also played for the Washington Redskins for two seasons.

Jerry Kramer (64) leads the Packer sweep. Kramer had a stellar 11-year career for the Green Bay Packers.

By Ted Pennekamp

 

Green Bay Packers fans in Prairie du Chien and the surrounding area should be excited to know that the Packers will be here for a visit on April 15 as part of their 10th Anniversary Tailgate Tour. 

“It’s a big thing for the city,” said Dan Schickert, of the St. Feriole Island Ballpark Committee. “It gets our name out there. The community is starting to get very excited already.” 

Mon
02
Mar

Immunization rates relatively high among schools in area

By Correne Martin

Most schools in the area have vaccination rates above 90 percent, with River Ridge touting the highest percentage and Seneca the lowest.

According to Wisconsin Department of Health Services (DHS) rates from 2013, River Ridge had 98.02 percent of its 505 students vaccinated. Of the 1,117 enrolled in Prairie du Chien public schools, 96.70 percent had up-to-date immunizations. Wauzeka-Steuben had 95.0 percent of its 280 students vaccinated, St. Mary’s School in Bloomington had 93.06 percent (72 students), Prairie Catholic Schools had 92.3 percent (147 students) and North Crawford had 92.18 percent (409 students). Prairie Christian Academy was not listed in the report.

Wed
25
Feb

McGregor District Office of Mississippi River Refuge moving

 

The office for McGregor District of the Upper Mississippi River National Wildlife and Fish Refuge (Refuge) has been located at 401 Business Highway 18N in McGregor, Iowa since the 1980s. As of March 30, the office will be located at 470 Cliff Haven Road, Prairie du Chien.

The Prairie du Chien facility is a leased facility. The Refuge will continue to explore options to acquire property to permanently locate this facility.

The Refuge plans to have an open house later this spring after the move is completed.  

Wed
25
Feb

Prairie du Chien firemen recognized at awards banquet


For devoting 50 years of service to the Prairie du Chien Fire Department, John Yager (second from right) was recognized by the firefighters association, the retired firemen as well as Senator Jennifer Shilling (not pictured) and Representative Lee Nerison (second from left) at the awards banquet Saturday night. Also pictured are Fire Chief Harry Remz (far right) and Deputy Chief Tim Deluhery Sr. (Photos by Tim Hill)

Wayne Koecke was named 2014 Firefighter of the Year and presented an award for 35 years of service on the department.

Derrick Eastman (center) was named 2014 Rookie of the Year for the Prairie du Chien Fire Department. He is pictured with Fire Chief Harry Remz (right) and Deputy Chief Tim Deluhery Sr.

Fire Chief Harry Remz (right) and Deputy Chief Tim Deluhery Sr. (left) present Doug Rickleff his award for 20 years of service to the Prairie du Chien Fire Department.

Fire Chief Harry Remz (right) and Deputy Chief Tim Deluhery Sr. (left) present Mike Jacobson his award for five years of service to the Prairie du Chien Fire Department.

By Correne Martin

The annual Prairie du Chien Firefighters Awards Banquet was held Saturday night at The Barn Restaurant in Prairie du Chien. Rookie of the Year and Firefighter of the Year distinctions were also presented. In addition, numerous honors were accorded to the firefighters who have reached milestones in their commitment to the department.

Wayne Koecke was named the 2014 Firefighter of the Year. Derrick Eastman was selected as the 2014 Rookie of the Year. The fire department’s officers choose the title winners each year. Rookies are eligible their first five years with the department.

According to Fire Chief Harry Remz, both honors are given to the men who have attended the highest percentage of fire calls, business meetings and practice meetings. Extra credit activities—such as fire prevention promotion, fire truck washing, fire station cleaning or triathlon volunteering—are also considered in the selection process.

Wed
25
Feb

River Ridge superintendent departing from district this week

By Correne Martin

This Friday, Feb. 27 will be Lee Pritzl’s last day as superintendent of River Ridge Schools. After three years in the district, Pritzl is moving back to the Marshfield area due to serious health issues in his family. He said he will select from a couple of job opportunities there—one in education and the other in ministry.

“I’ve got to be there for my family,” he said in a recent interview.

Since Pritzl announced he would be leaving a few weeks ago, he said he’s been overwhelmed by the “gracious and kind people who’ve come forward and said some really nice things I didn’t know they felt.”

Pritzl said he’s grown personally and professionally while at River Ridge. “We’ve worked hard to do things here and I’m thankful that we’ve all shared the common goal of maximizing students’ potential,” he stated.

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