Local News

Wed
02
Apr

Prairie du Chien alderman race still remains undetermined

By Correne Martin

Who will take the Prairie du Chien Common Council seat in the first aldermanic district remains to be seen, according to the April 1 election results reported late Tuesday night. Write-ins Ron Leys and Mark Oehler received two votes apiece in the first ward.

According to rule, the eligible person who receives the highest number of write-in votes in a vacant district is declared the winner after the Board of Canvassers meets and confirms the election. If that person declines the position, the vacancy goes to the common council to be filled.

However, that rule hasn’t exactly given city officials a clear-cut answer on how to proceed. Prairie du Chien City Clerk Barb Elvert conferred with the Government Accountability Board Wednesday morning for clarification on the city’s next step.

Wed
02
Apr

National Guard Armory in Prairie du Chien undergoing renovation


The National Guard Armory in Prairie du Chien was built in 1956. A major renovation is underway to update the interior. Work is expected to be complete in June. (Photos by Correne Martin)

A pile of equipment and noticeable construction gear sits in the main room of the Prairie du Chien Armory. Some of the major points of the renovation are upgrading the building’s boiler system from steam to water, improving the electrical system and installing air conditioning.

By Correne Martin

For the first time since the National Guard Armory was built at 601 N. Marquette Rd., in Prairie du Chien, in 1956, a major renovation has begun inside the facility. The Department of Military Affairs is funding the $1.5 million project, which started in late 2013. The 229th Engineer Company is anticipating the construction at its readiness center to be complete by this summer.

“Aesthetically, it will look much different,” said Chad Smethurst, 229th horizontal construction engineer. “It will give us the ability to work in a more professional environment.”

A majority of the project’s costs will involve updating the boiler system from steam to water, improving the electrical system and installing air conditioning. The heating and electrical systems at the Armory were 20 to 30 years old, failing and costly to operate, according to the Department of Military Affairs.

Wed
02
Apr

Saferide Program

 

Crawford County Tavern 

League hopes to start Saferide

By Ted Pennekamp

 

Members of the Crawford County Tavern League have been working hard toward implementing the Saferide Program in order to make the county’s roads safer. 

Mon
31
Mar

3M has manufactured for 50 years in Prairie du Chien

3M celebrates 50 years
A group of 3M of Prairie du Chien employees show their appreciation for our troops overseas.

3M is celebrating 50 years of manufacturing in Prairie du Chien. On April 1, 1964, 3M purchased the Burgess Cellulose sponge making operation and expanded it later that same year. 3M manufactures Scotch-Brite abrasive products, Safety Walk traction and Nomad matting products, Sandblaster sanding sponges, and acoustic and thermal Thinsulate at their operations located on Marquette Road. A number of celebratory events are planned, including an anniversary celebration in-plant in April followed by more formal events and an open house in September.

Mon
31
Mar

River Ridge District looks ahead to the possibility of facility needs referendum


These four preliminary concept drawings were handed out at a school board meeting last week, during which the board, the Community Communication Group and members of the public discussed their options regarding the possibility of a facility needs referendum. A survey is being done at this time, as those involved consider a possible referendum in the fall. These drawings are only serving as a point of information at this time; the final concept and costs could look very different.

By Correne Martin

A voter-approved operational referendum in February has put the River Ridge School District in a position to continue offering a quality education for many years to come. Yet, infrastructure needs at both the Patch Grove and Bloomington facilities have moved to the forefront of current discussions, and talks of safety, security and out-of-date systems are now high priority.

“The operational referendum set us up for success,” Superintendent Lee Pritzl said following a series of school board and committee meetings last Wednesday, March 26. “Now, what we’re trying to do is not just survive, but thrive, and that includes creating a good learning environment.”

Wed
26
Mar

Prairie du Chien Common Council OKs reduction from 12 to eight council members

The Prairie du Chien Common Council decided in a special meeting Monday night to reduce the size of the council itself, effective in April of 2015. The reduction from 12 to eight council members—one from each aldermanic district and two at-large members—passed on an 8-3 vote, with Frank Pintz, Ken Fleshner and Mark Thein opposed.

Monday night’s meeting was called after it was found that action at the council’s March 18 meeting was ill-advised. Wisconsin Statute 62.08 (4) requires that any vote to reduce must pass by a two-thirds vote of all members. At the March 18 meeting, the council approved a motion, 7-5, to reduce the size of the council (as stated above), with Pintz, Fleshner, Thein, Sharon Boylen and Mike Jones opposed. Upon learning the statute’s rule, the special meeting was scheduled with the intent of a re-vote.

Wed
26
Mar

Cast of community characters perform this weekend in free Dancing with the Stars event

By Correne Martin

Families interested in fun and free entertainment locally will want to come out to the Dancing with the Stars shows at St. Gabriel’s School basement in Prairie du Chien on Friday evening and Sunday afternoon. A variety of amateur characters from the community and school staff have been paired up to leave a lasting impression on the dance floor—all in front of a crowd.

On Friday, doors will open at 6 p.m. and the performers will take the stage at 7 p.m. On Sunday, the doors will open at noon and the show will start at 1 p.m.

Wed
26
Mar

Discover Wisconsin features Prairie du Chien in episode


Discover Wisconsin Co-Host Mariah Haberman (right) kayaks alongside Sally Marshall, of the Great River Paddlers Club. (Photo provided by Discover Wisconsin)

Discover Wisconsin Cinematographer Shawn Hermsen films the Prairie du Chien area from Pike’s Peak State Park. (Photo provided by Discover Wisconsin)

Mississippi Expolorer cruises are featured in the episode, along with an assortment of other local businesses.

The Prairie du Chien area is being featured on Discover Wisconsin, the nation’s longest-running tourism TV show. Premiering April 5, “Paddle, Float and Explore—Wisconsin’s River Communities” will reach Discover Wisconsin’s broadcast network of 480,000 viewers across the upper Great Lakes region, including Wisconsin, Minnesota, Iowa, Northern Illinois, and Upper Michigan. The episode was produced in partnership with the Prairie du Chien Tourism Council, city of Boscobel, Sauk City Area Chamber of Commerce and Discover Wisconsin.

The program airs locally Saturday, April 5 at 5 p.m. on WXOW TV 19 and at 6:30 p.m. on WKOW TV 27.

“The Wisconsin River provides countless recreational opportunities, which in turn boosts Prairie du Chien’s tourism economy,” said Patti Wacker, tourism coordinator for the Prairie du Chien Chamber of Commerce. “We are looking forward to the promotional benefits the community will see thanks to our partnership with Discover Wisconsin.”

Wed
26
Mar

Crawford County Clean Sweep set for April 12

The city of Prairie du Chien, in conjunction with Crawford Co., La Crosse County Solid Waste and Dynamic Recycling, is hosting a county-wide Clean Sweep on Saturday, April 12, from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. The collection event will be for all residents of Crawford County. The event will be held at the Wolf Machine building, 1601 East Lessard St., Prairie du Chien.

La Crosse County has received grants to support the funding for these events in Vernon, La Crosse and Crawford Counties. Employees from the city and county will be on hand to assist with registration, information and clean-up after the event.

This is an opportunity for county residents to clean out their garages, basements and storage buildings and properly recycle or dispose of many environmentally harmful products. Last year, many pounds of waste products and electronics were collected.

Wed
26
Mar

Local Relay for Life changes its format, moving to August

By Correne Martin

Prairie du Chien’s Relay for Life is being revamped for 2014. The annual activities are moving from April to August, taking place outdoors again and being offered in a new one-day format. These changes are designed to help improve attendance this year and in future years.

The local Relay for Life of the Great River, which is associated with the ceremonial fundraising walk for the American Cancer Society, is scheduled for Saturday, Aug. 2, rain or shine, on the Prairie du Chien High School track. Opening ceremonies will kick off the day at 11 a.m. This year’s theme for the family-friendly event is “Carnival for Hope.”

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