Local News

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Mon
06
Feb

Man found safe after reported ice fishing scare

The Crawford County Sheriff’s Department investigated a report of an intoxicated man ice fishing near Prairie du Chien early Saturday morning.

At 4:57 p.m., authorities were notified that a 34-year-old man had gone ice fishing while heavily intoxicated. According to his family, he had been operating an ATV on the ice while fishing and hadn’t returned home. The reporting party stated they believed the individual went ice fishing on Gremore Lake, which is located between Ambro Road and County K.

As the sheriff’s department was actively investigating the whereabouts of the man, he returned home unharmed, authorities said.

Mon
06
Feb

Man charged with meth, marijuana possession and felony bail jumping

A Viroqua man was arrested on drug-related charges over the weekend near Star Valley, according to the Crawford County Sheriff’s Department.

On Sunday, Feb. 5, at 10:30 p.m., the Crawford County K-9 Unit initiated a traffic stop on a 1985 Chevrolet Astro Van, operated by Jon Fanta, 52. The traffic stop happened on County B near Star Valley. During the traffic stop, the deputy searched the vehicle and located methamphetamine paraphernalia and marijuana in the vehicle. Crystal methamphetamine was located on Fanta’s person, the sheriff’s department said.

Fanta was arrested and transported to the Crawford County Jail and charged with possession of methamphetamine, possession of marijuana, possession of drug paraphernalia and felony bail jumping as he was on active bond through Vernon County for two counts of delivery of methamphetamine.

Mon
06
Feb

Flat tire causes accident

On Feb. 1, at 6:30 p.m., the Crawford County Communications Center received a report of a one-vehicle crash on Highway 60 just west of Turtle Lane in the township of Wauzeka.

Bryan J. Hill, 40, Boscobel was operating a 1999 Toyota Camry westbound on Highway 60. The Hill vehicle lost control while negotiating a curve due to a flat tire. The Hill vehicle crossed over the center line and entered the south side ditch where it came to rest.

Hill was transported by Tri-State EMS to Crossing Rivers Heath for treatment of his injuries.

Hill was cited for operating without a valid driver’s license and operating a motor vehicle without insurance.

Assisting the Crawford County Sheriff’s Department on scene were the Wauzeka First Responders, the Wauzeka Fire Department, Tri-State EMS and Terry’s Tire and Tow.

Mon
06
Feb

Spoil your sweetheart at dinner for Wauzeka veterans memorial


This bronze, fiberglass eagle statue was created by Sculptor David Oswald, of Sparta. It will serve as the centerpiece of the memorial. It is currently in storage.

By Correne Martin

The community of Wauzeka has raised $21,000 toward a memorial recognizing its veterans, past and present. This Saturday, for the Sweethearts Steak Dinner fundraiser, organizers are hoping to increase that amount significantly.

The Wauzeka Area Veterans Memorial project has been a difficult one for the committee of volunteers, who have, for the second time, relocated the future site of the memorial—this time to the Wauzeka cemetery. Originally, it was to be erected at the boat landing, but the Department of Natural Resources wouldn’t allow it in the floodplain. Then, in 2015, the site moved to a more visible location along Highway 60, across from Bassett Trucking, but the land was eventually deemed too small. Since then, the Wauzeka Cemetery Association donated a portion of its land on County N.

Mon
06
Feb

Prairie du Chien has a place in Ringling history


On the far right of this photograph, behind the house, is the old barn in Prairie du Chien in which the famed Ringling brothers got their start practicing trapeze in the hay loft. The barn was torn down, but stood along County K near the Calvary Cemetery. Pictured is the William and Ida Swingle family, which lived in and also owned the home when the Ringlings rented it.

Betty Nolan, of rural Prairie du Chien, was a Swingle—daughter of Dan Swingle and granddaughter of William Swingle. Her grandfather hob-nobbed with the Ringling brothers in their boyhood days and, at one time, owned the old Ringling home in Prairie du Chien.

By Correne Martin

The Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus will host its final performance in May. After 146 years, the iconic circus is closing because high operating costs and declining ticket sales have made the circus an unsustainable business for parent company, Feld Entertainment, CEO Kenneth Feld announced last month.

While many associate the Ringlings with Baraboo, where the circus was founded in 1884, and several landmarks keep the legacy alive publicly, Prairie du Chien has a place in the family’s history as well.

German-born harness and shoemaker Augustus Ringling and his wife Marie Salome first moved from Milwaukee to Baraboo in 1855, then to Prairie du Chien somewhere around 1858-1859. In 1860, they moved to McGregor, where four of the boys—Charles, John, Henry and Alf T.— were born. The family home still stands at 14463 Walton Ave.

Mon
06
Feb

School districts get ratings, strive for improvement

By Ted Pennekamp

 

Most school districts throughout Wisconsin meet or exceed expectations on their 2015-2016 report cards according to the State Department of Public Instruction (DPI), and area districts are no exception.

Wed
01
Feb

PdC Skate Park


The Children’s Advisory Board of Crawford County recently donated $5,000 towards the final phase of the Prairie du Chien Skate Park. Members of the Children’s Advisory Board shown here are Lisa Trumm, Jane Schaaf, Amy Mitchell (Chair), Lorie Floyd, Bill Miller, Darcy Knapp, Rick Peterson and Karen Sjoberg. (Photos courtesy of Mike Ulrich)

The area in gray represents the new addition to the Prairie du Chien Skate Park.

 

Final push underway for final phase of skate park

By Ted Pennekamp

 

The final phase of the Prairie du Chien Skate Park is in its final push. The Children’s Advisory Board of Crawford County recently gave $5,000 to the project and just $3,000 more is needed.

Wed
01
Feb

Unofficial information released, not authorized by Clayton County officials

A news release that was not authorized by either the Clayton County Sheriff’s Office or the Clayton County Attorney’s Office, was circulated recently about a case involving David Allen Pennington, Jr., a criminal defendant who received a five-year prison sentence.

“We felt this news story was sensationalized and misleading and that it was important for us to respond,” Sheriff Mike Tschirgi and Attorney Alan Heavens said in a statement.

First, as the official press release from the county attorney’s office said, the defendant was convicted of enticing a minor under the age of 16, not sexual abuse as the unofficial press story stated. Ultimately, the crime involved sexual contact between the defendant and the victim, who were both carnival workers. This was illegal because the defendant was 27 years old and the victim was 14.

 
The unofficial news release also appeared to emphasize that the incident occurred at the Clayton County Fair.

Wed
01
Feb

Making a difference: One person, one story, one photo at a time


Shannon Ready is a hobbyist photographer whose recent photography projects have featured real people and real emotions: “I Am Strong,” “Lasting Legacy” and “We Are Entrepreneurs.” (Photo by Correne Martin)

By Correne Martin

Shannon Ready believes everyone has a unique story of what it means to be strong. As a hobbyist photographer in Eastman, she had a black and white image of a solemn woman in her mind. She envisioned creating that still picture and also sharing the saga of the true experiences behind that strong woman. She wanted to make an impact, to make a difference in others’ lives.

So, Shannon, a 23-year-old mom of four children under age 4, put a call out on her business’ Facebook page for models and quickly received a positive response.  Then, she photographed the models, at no charge, put their images and short narratives together and published them on Facebook.

Wed
01
Feb

Villa Louis head Caya-Slusser takes new position in history


Villa Louis Director Susan Caya-Slusser, who is pictured in December 2015, greeting Governor Scott Walker on the mansion’s front walkway, will leave her post at the Villa for a newly-created position, the director of southwest regional sites. (Photo by Correne Martin)

The Wisconsin Historical Society has appointed Susan Caya-Slusser to the newly-created position of director of southwest regional sites. This position will provide vision, leadership and general management to the Villa Louis in Prairie du Chien, Stonefield in Cassville, First Capitol in Belmont and Pendarvis in Mineral Point. The job will be based at Pendarvis.

“Susan prevailed in a search, which attracted top candidates from across the country,” according to Brian Thompson, administrator of the society’s museums and historic sites division. “Her strengths in building strong public programs and deepening community ties make her the perfect person to champion these four magnificent sites.”

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