Local News

Wed
16
Sep

Express yourself at Open Jam


This corner of The Tavern, adorned with a collage of string instruments, awaits musical expressions from local, talented and willing individuals and groups. Open Jam nights are Thursdays from 7 p.m. to whenever the music stops in downtown Prairie du Chien. (Photo by Correne Martin)

By Correne Martin

The idea of having an establishment like The Tavern in downtown Prairie du Chien centers around the element of live music. So when the business opened its doors this past spring, and even before then, Open Jam nights were always part of the owners’ vision.

That visualization officially came to life in May when Ryan Fox, The Tavern co-owner and musician, and Todd Crotty, a fellow artist, grabbed their guitars and filled the bar with a few acoustic tunes.

“We picked Tuesday nights, because that’s what worked, and people liked it,” Fox said of the inaugural Open Jam sessions. “We built it up as more people started hearing about it. There are no judges, no prizes. Every week, we have a new ‘gem’ playing.”

Mon
14
Sep

New vision screening device benefits Crawford County


Public Health Nurse Deanna Wallin-Sander demonstrates the Plus-Optix camera on Public Health Nurse Michelle Breuer.

The Plus Optix camera has a “happy face” to help attract a child’s attention.

By Ted Pennekamp

 

There is a new vision screening program in Crawford County for children. Crawford County Public Health and local Lions clubs from Prairie du Chien, Seneca, Gays Mills, Soldiers Grove and Wauzeka have partnered to purchase a Plus-Optix Vision Screening camera with a mission of improving the detection of vision problems. 

Mon
14
Sep

Villa Louis Carriage Classic


Raymond Helmuth, of Nevada, Iowa, competed in an obstacles class with his utility vehicle and shire sport horse at the Villa Louis Carriage Classic Friday afternoon. Up from 110 last year, this year’s event had a large turnout with 146 entrants, according to Villa Louis Historic Site Director Susan Caya-Slusser. Competitors and judges came to Prairie du Chien for the weekend from all over the nation, including the tri-states as well as New York, Pennsylvania, North Carolina, Kentucky, Virginia, Texas, South Dakota, Colorado, Nebraska and Missouri. (Photos by Correne Martin)

Raymond Helmuth rounds the obstacles.

Mallory Gorman, of Oregon (Wis.), prepared to navigate the your route/my route obstacles in the pairs pony division Friday. (Photo by Correne Martin)

Sheila Purdum, of Bennet, Neb., competed in the very small equine division of the Carriage Classic at the Villa Louis last weekend.
Mon
14
Sep

Living history event canceled after 18 years


One of the favorite stations at Cannons at the Fort was always the mini militia, where students acted like soldiers and were treated as such by 19th Century interpreters. (Courier Press file photo)

By Correne Martin

Cannons at the Fort brought history alive for 18 years in Prairie du Chien, inviting the region’s fourth and fifth graders into an interactive 18th and 19th Century world where rope was made by hand, food was cooked over an open fire and voyageurs transported furs by canoe.

But all good things must come to an end. Or must they?

After its longtime run on the Fort Crawford Museum grounds, Cannons at the Fort, which would have happened Sept. 18-19, has been canceled for 2015. Prairie du Chien Historical Society President Mary Antoine cited diminishing participant numbers and a shoestring museum budget as the reasoning.

Mon
14
Sep

Regional art festival set in Soldiers Grove


Sculptor and metalworks artist Hans Gill enjoys meeting Dirftless Area Art Festival visitors old and young, and was especially delighted by all the kids’ votes he got in 2014 proclaiming, “You are my favorite artist.” Again this year, kids will be invited to vote for their favorites.

Visitors to the Driftless Area Art Festival, Sept. 19 and 20, will find every kind of art, the decorative as well as the functional, the edible as well as the musical. They’ll have their pick of the works of 83 visual artists from across the Driftless region. Some will be long-time favorites and some will be new to the festival.

They’ll also see a lot of new musical talent and new culinary artists, as well as popular returning artists. And they’ll see artwork by hundreds of elementary and high school students displayed in the annual KidsArt and Teen Art Galleries.

Among the visual artists is Hannah Heyer, who was voted the festival’s 2014 People’s Choice award winner. She does a lot of her painting outdoors, in the plein air style. She sometimes sits atop a round hay bale to paint. “A hay bale is fairly comfortable, smells nice, and you can jab your brushes in anywhere,” said the Dakota, Minn., artist. “And it comes with a view.”

Mon
14
Sep

George Family Foundation donates $30k toward extrication vehicle


The George Family Foundation recently donated $30,000 to Ocooch Mountain Rescue, so the organization could purchase a Rugged Terrain Extrication Vehicle (RTEV). Pictured during the presentation of the donation are (from left) Penny George-Remz, Becky Salmon, Tresa McCarn, Larry McCarn, Cindy George-Standorf and Roy George. (Submitted photo)

Ocooch Mountain Rescue accepted a check on Sept. 2 from the George Family Foundation in the amount of $30,000—the full amount needed for the purchase of the Rugged Terrain Extrication Vehicle (RTEV).

The George Family Foundation is a private foundation established in 1996 by Roy L. and Geraldine E. George of Prairie du Chien. The mission of the George Family Foundation is to assist non-profit organizations in Crawford County, who have a vision and a plan to better the long-term quality of life in Crawford County. Each year, the foundation accepts written grants by organizations located in Crawford County.

Mon
14
Sep

Local organization supports community wellness


The recent Crawford County on the Move 5K walk/run at the Crawford County Fair ended with these results. The top three females (above, from left) and their times were Ann Boland (27:54) Marguerite Carstens (25:45) and Liz Bransky (23:52). The top males (below) were Al Bark (24:06), Preston Hertel (27:18) and Mike Peotter (31.26). This 5K marked the conclusion of this year’s nine-week Crawford County on the Move program. Approximately 120 people participated in the program in seven different communities across the county.

By Correne Martin

Eating healthy, being active and having access to wellness resources are the focus of Healthy Roots of Crawford County, a coalition that began in 2014 with the intent to promote healthy living. The organization has had a busy year of offering healthy opportunities for local residents.

“Our goal is to make the healthy choice the easy choice,” said Healthy Roots member Kathleen Hein, who represents Driftless Wisconsin Grown.

Among the Healthy Roots-funded initiatives making a wholesome impact in Crawford County this spring and summer were: a gardening workshop targeted at day care providers, an Active School mini grant that provided more opportunities for students to be active, and a parks and playgrounds exploration challenge for families. A community resource guide was also developed to assist the public.

Thu
10
Sep

Garage fire


Prairie du Chien Fire Department firefighters hose down the remains of a garage at 301 S. State Street Saturday morning. The shed next to the garage was also damaged in the fire as was some siding on three nearby houses. (Photo by Gary Howe)

 

Fire destroys 

garage in Prairie du Chien

Good samaritans wake up homeowner, save boats

By Ted Pennekamp

 

Wed
09
Sep

Wauzeka Labor Day Parade


William Schlueter has found an efficient way to pick up parade candy quicker than his young competition: a snow shovel. The parade is always a highlight at the annual Labor Day celebration in Wauzeka. Many fire departments, small businesses and tractor riders participated in the parade Monday, providing plenty of candy for the youngsters to snatch from the roadside. (Photos by Correne Martin)

Kelsey Lomas delivered goodies to kids from the cab of an Integrity Ag truck, as her son, Coy, took in the excitement too.

Carol DuCharme, of Carol’s Bar and Grill, Wauzeka, tossed candy bars and waved at those watching the parade Monday, while also advertising for Jim’s Mini Motors, Wauzeka.

Gayle Aspenson (left) and Mara Hird, of Peoples State Bank, were accompanied by an enthusiastic Bristol Hird on wheels, while handing out candy to parade-goers Monday.
Wed
09
Sep

PdC School District seeks Advisory Task Force

The Prairie du Chien School District has begun a planning effort to assess facility and space needs required to deliver current and future required curriculum at all grade levels. At the same time, a condition assessment is being completed to evaluate code, maintenance and ADA issues that may need to be addressed over the next 10 years so that capital budgets can be planned in advance.

According to school board president Christine Panka, “The board has determined that the residents of the community are the true owners of the school district and they want to hear from the community what its vision is for the future of the district.”

To gather input, the board has initiated a public-driven evaluation process with a goal of determining the most appropriate long-term solutions for infrastructure needs. The architectural and engineering firm, FEH Design, will facilitate a public engagement process for this analysis.

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