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Wed
24
May

Touching surprise caps final concert for PdC High School vocal music teacher


Longtime Prairie du Chien High School Vocal Music Instructor Phil Stiemke shows off his surprise retirement gift, a brand new Rickenbacker bass guitar, to a full gymnasium during his final concert Tuesday night, May 23. (Photos by Correne Martin)

Phil Stiemke shared many grins, jokes and even held back tears at his last concert. He was proud to see many alumni come to the event and perform a surprise final number, “I’ll Be Seeing You.”

From the emotions on the faces of students and alumni Phil Stiemke taught over the years, his impact on the school’s young musicians was clearly evident.

By Correne Martin

In the 1970s, Phil Stiemke worked hard to save money for his dream bass guitar. He finally got enough to purchase it and he loved that guitar. Not too long afterward, someone broke into his car and stole it.

If you know Mr. S, as he’s affectionately been called at Prairie du Chien Schools for 19 years, chances are, you have heard this story or at least heard about the Rickenbacker bass guitar he used to have. He still talks about it nearly 40 years later.

For his retirement, which is happening at the end of the school year, his family proposed a Replace the Base crowdfunding campaign on GiveButter.com to Stiemke’s alumni, students, family and others who’ve known and loved him. The premise of the fundraiser was to pull together about $2,000 and purchase a brand new Rickenbacker as a surprise gift to give him after the final song of his final Prairie du Chien High School concert last evening, May 23.

Wed
24
May

Regal Marine Group given 30 days to move out

By Correne Martin

Less than one week ago, Regal Marine Group posted to its Facebook page that the marina operations in Prairie du Chien were open for the 2017 season, though not exactly at full speed due to lack of power at its docks.
Yet, on Monday, May 22, a three-person arbitration panel rendered a written order granting an eviction judgement in favor of the city and against Regal Marine Group, in the recent binding arbitration case.

“The Regals have 30 days to get their stuff off the property,” cited City Attorney Lara Czajkowski Higgins. Any of Regals’ property remaining after June 21 shall become property of the city.

The order was based on the following:

1. Regal Marine Group failed to file a 90-day notice to renew the 1963 contract for 2012 through 2017.

2. Regal Marine Group was not entitled to renewal because it had already breached the contract prior to the expiration date of Oct. 31, 2012.

Wed
24
May

Crawford County Dairy Breakfast


The Steger family includes Terry, Harley the cow, Emily, Jessica, Zeke the dog, Tim and Char. (Photo submitted)

 

Steger family to host 2017 

Dairy Breakfast on June 3

By Ted Pennekamp

 

Saturday, June 3 is the morning of the Crawford County Dairy Breakfast, and the Steger family is glad to welcome everyone to their farm once again at 60724 Irish Ridge Road about three miles north of Prairie du Chien on Highway 27. 

Mon
22
May

Highway 18-60 Project Nearing Completion


This view is Highway 18 in the area of Ward Road and Old Highway 18. (Photo courtesy of the Wisconsin DOT)

 

Highway 18-60 construction should be almost complete by Friday

By Ted Pennekamp

 

The Highway 18-60 Project in the town of Bridgeport is wrapping up and most of it is expected to be done by Memorial Day weekend. Construction on the project began with cutting down trees and landscaping in mid-March of 2016.

Mon
22
May

Storm leaves major tree damage on north end of Prairie du Chien last week


Angie Henderson talks to her insurance Agent, Dean Achenbach, the morning after Wednesday evening’s storm knocked a large pine tree over on top of her hair salon, Backstage Pass in Prairie du Chien. (Photo by Correne Martin)

By Correne Martin

Angie Henderson was in the middle of styling a client’s hair at her salon, Backstage Pass, in Prairie du Chien, when she heard what sounded like a tree branch fall on the roof of the building. A moment later, she and her fellow stylist Katie Goodrich peeked outside to find that an entire pine tree had toppled over onto the salon at 140 N. Wacouta Ave.

A second consecutive day of stormy weather passed through the region Wednesday evening, May 17, as sheets of rain fell, the wind whipped and damage was left in the wake. The majority of the damage included downed trees; St. Feriole Island and the north side of Prairie du Chien suffered a large amount of such destruction. Some trees and large branches fell on houses and cars, roofing was ripped off a number of structures, a couple machine sheds were whisked away north of Prairie du Chien near Limery Road and east of Monona, and a few snapped power lines were also reported.

Sun
21
May

Two arrested after living at Kickapoo Indian Caverns


These are the beds Rydz and Wantroba were sleeping on in the Trading Post building on the Kickapoo Indian Caverns site. (Photos courtesy of the Crawford County Sheriff’s Department)

Shelves inside the Trading Post building were found to hold numerous food items.

By Ted Pennekamp

 

On Wednesday, May 10, the Crawford County Sheriff’s Department received a report of a suspicious vehicle parked on the property of the former Kickapoo Indian Caverns in the town of Wauzeka. 

Wed
17
May

City awaits acceptance from potential admin

By Correne Martin

The position of Prairie du Chien city administrator has been offered to Art Osten, contingent upon successful agreement of employment terms and drug test. As of Tuesday night’s regular council meeting, Osten had not yet accepted the position, according to interim administrator Tina Fuller.

The common council met Friday and Saturday for closed session interviews and, late Saturday morning, recommended Osten for the job. According to his LinkedIn profile, Osten has 16 years’ previous experience in municipal administration in Illinois at Indian Head Park, Mount Prospect, Oak Brook, Shorewood and Fox River Grove.

No word has been provided regarding when Osten may accept the offer and, if he does so, when he would begin work in Prairie du Chien.

Fuller has served in the interim since the March 3 departure of six-year administrator Aaron Kramer.

Wed
17
May

Accident results in injuries, arrests

On May 14, at 12:34 a.m., the Crawford County Sheriff’s Office received a report of a one-vehicle traffic crash with injuries on Sunny Ridge Road in the township of Haney.

Matthew Jensik, 23, Madison, was operating a 2008 Ford pickup truck on Sunny Ridge Road. Jensik’s vehicle crested a hill and a sharp curve at a high rate of speed. While attempting to negotiate the sharp curve, the vehicle slid sideways, went over an embankment and rolled onto its top. The passengers in the vehicle were identified as Garrett Dunstan, 22, Houghton, Mich., and Brock Riutta, 24, Madison. Dunstan was completely ejected from the vehicle but refused medical treatment. Riutta was partially ejected and was transported by Ocooch Mountain Rescue to Boscobel Health Care for his injuries. The extent of his injuries are unknown at this time.

Wed
17
May

Man arrested for third OWI following accident

On May 12, at 8:34 p.m., the Crawford County Communications Center received a report of a two-vehicle traffic crash on Highway 18 just east of Upper Bridgeport Road in the township of Bridgeport.

Daniel R. Koeller, 24, Cuba City, was operating a 2003 Chevrolet Silverado and was stopped at a red light in the westbound lane of Highway 18. Troy D. Underhill, 39, Bagley, was westbound on Highway 18 in a 2011 Chevrolet Traverse. Underhill swerved to the right of Koeller’s vehicle to avoid a rear-end collision. Underhill’s vehicle struck a traffic sign, construction barrel, and a portable traffic light before coming to rest. Underhill claimed no injuries from the crash but was arrested for operating while under the influence, third offense. Underhill’s two other passengers fled the scene before law enforcement arrived.

Koeller’s vehicle was not hit in the crash.

Wed
17
May

BNSF grant gets gas masks and ballistic helmets for Crawford County tactical team

The Crawford County Sheriff’s Department has received a $10,000 grant from BNSF Railroad and the BNSF Foundation.

This award will be used to obtain six ballistic helmets, communications attachments, gas masks and gas mask filters. It will allow both the sheriff’s department and Crawford County Emergency Management to get the proper equipment for their tactical team to be able to incorporate gas into its tools for use. This provides another less lethal option that the county can have on-hand as a resource.

This is the second grant the BNSF Foundation has awarded the sheriff’s department in three years. The first grant was used to obtain taser axon body cameras for all patrol deputies. BNSF Foundation and BNSF Railroad support the initiatives of local law enforcement and have a great working relationship with the department. These relationships help the sheriff’s department be better equipped and most prepared.

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