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Heaps of damage revealed after waters recede

Numerous roads throughout Crawford County sustained major damage due to the heavy rain of Sept. 21 and Sept. 22. This is County B near Star Valley Road. (Photos by Highway Commissioner Dennis Pelock)

The bridge on West Point Road in the town of Utica was damaged.

A large hole was created next to the bridge on West Point Road in the town of Utica.

West Point Road in the town of Utica suffered various areas of damage.

Debris was removed at the bridge on County H west of Highway 131.

A large amount of debris and road upheaval occurred at this location on County C.

All bridges in the county held but many sustained major damage.

There was undermining and debris at several bridges.

A raging Rush Creek north of Ferryville took out a large section of Rush Creek Road.

By Ted Pennekamp


Heavy rains that began the night of Sept. 21 and lasted until the early morning hours of Sept. 22, led to raging, flooding streams and a flooding Kickapoo River. In the aftermath, Crawford and surrounding counties are dealing with numerous areas of damage to roads, bridges, crops and private residences. 


No fruit and veggie funds granted for B.A. Kennedy

By Correne Martin

Free and reduced meal recipients at B.A. Kennedy Elementary School in Prairie du Chien make up 60 percent of the student body. Yet, the school did not receive its USDA Fresh Fruit and Vegetable grant for the 2016-2017 school year, as it has for the last four or five years. So administration and staff are reaching out to the community for contributions to better the lives of its 275 students in 3K through 1st grade.

“The state of Wisconsin is seeing an increase in applications for the grant as well as data regarding free and reduced percentages, and that makes the threshold for us to get in that much more difficult,” Principal Laura Stuckey said. “Maybe our free and reduced count wasn’t quite as high as it has been. We’ve been so spoiled by this the last few years so, to not have it, it’s certainly a disappointment.”


Flooding in Crawford County

These two engines, along with five other railroad cars derailed just north of Ferryville at approximately 5:45 a.m. Thursday. There were no injuries. (Photos by Ted Pennekamp)

Volunteers filled sand bags in the village of Steuben near the flooded Kickapoo River Thursday morning.

The Kickapoo River was well over its banks at Steuben.

Sugar Creek Park at Ferryville was flooded.

Work was being done Thursday to repair damage to the southbound lane of Highway 35 north of Ferryville.

The Kickapoo River surrounds the Kickapoo River Museum at the dam in Gays Mills on Friday. The dam was completely under water. The river crested at 18.1 feet Friday. It was at 13.7 feet at 8 a.m. on Monday, Sept. 26 and dropping. Flood stage at Gays Mills is 13 feet.

The view Friday, looking down main street in Gays Mills.

The bridge over the Kickapoo River at Gays Mills barely cleared the water Friday morning.

The community of Gays Mills was once again under water, as the Kickapoo River hit major flood stage, above 18 feet, over the weekend. Flood stage there is just 13 feet. Pictured is downtown Gays Mills. (Photo by Rebecca Eby)



Train derails, house slides off bluff, fatalities, widespread 

damage result from heavy rain

By Ted Pennekamp



Prairie Catholic pavilion, playground move is next week

Employees of various local contractors were working near the new pavilion site at St. Gabriel’s School Tuesday morning.

By Ted Pennekamp

Prairie Catholic School of Prairie du Chien, 515 N. Beaumont Rd., is in the process of moving their pavilion and playground. The pavilion and playground had to be relocated because of the construction of the new gymnasium, day care and office building, part of which remains under construction.

The pavilion has been set up in its new location south of the school, but work is still being done under and around it by various local contractors, said Father James Weighner.

Weighner also said that the relatively new playground equipment that the school owns will be reinstalled south of the school near the pavilion.


Meet historic people on annual Prairie du Chien cemetery tour

A “soldier and a widow” greet visitors at the Fort Crawford Military Cemetery.

“Joseph Rolette” at the old French Cemetery on County Highway K. (Submitted photo)

A memorial for John Lawler stands in the St. Gabriel's Cemetery.

It is fall, so it is time for the popular event sponsored by the Prairie du Chien Historical Society. Visiting Our Ancestors is a tour of Prairie du Chien’s six historic cemeteries.

On Saturday, Oct. 1, there will be a guided tour of Prairie du Chien’s six historic cemeteries, beginning at 1 p.m. at the Fort Crawford Museum. All will gather at the museum, then board vans to travel to the cemeteries, beginning with the Old French Cemetery and ending at the Brisbois Cemetery high above on the bluffs. At each cemetery, the costumed host of the tour will give a short history of the burying grounds and then she will introduce the resident.

The French Catholic Cemetery is the oldest cemetery still in existence in the state of Wisconsin and may be the oldest cemetery in the upper Mississippi Valley. Few of the graves are marked but much is known about the people who are buried there, beginning in 1816.


Man charged with stealing truck

A 29-year-old Dubuque man has been charged in Crawford County Circuit Court with one count of operating a motor vehicle without the owner’s consent and one count of possession of drug paraphernalia.

Jason Ryan Feuerhelm faces up to $10,500 in fines and six years and 30 days imprisonment if convicted of both counts.

According to the criminal complaint, an Allamakee County, Iowa resident reported to the Allamakee County Sheriff’s Department that his truck had been stolen from his residence on Aug. 25.

On Aug. 26, the Crawford County Sheriff’s Department received a call from another man who said that he had seen the stolen vehicle being driven  on Highway 35 in the town of Seneca in Crawford County. The man knew the vehicle was stolen because he had been informed by his friend from Allamakee County that his friend’s truck had been stolen. The man also knew what his friend’s truck looked like.


Attempted homicide charges filed after 3-year investigation

Man allegedly left unconscious at Rock on the River campground

A Dubuque man has been apprehended in association with a three-year investigation involving the assault of another man at Rock on the River in Bridgeport.

Charges have been filed with the Crawford County District Attorney’s office against Anthony Runde, 34, for attempted first-degree intentional homicide and aggravated battery with intent to cause great bodily harm, according to a news release Crawford County Sheriff Dale McCullick issued last Wednesday afternoon, Sept. 14.

The sheriff’s department and Iowa Department of Criminal Investigation, for the past three years, have been actively investigating the assault of Joshua Milligan, 30, of Dubuque, Iowa. In July of 2013, according to the release, Milligan was assaulted while attending the Rock on the River music festival in the township of Bridgeport. The assault took place in the campground associated with the event.


Animal shelter construction to finally begin

By Correne Martin

The Rivers and Bluffs Animal Shelter movement has big news to share. After more than nine years of fundraising, the organization plans to start construction on its long-awaited physical facility on Nov. 1. Its board of directors approved a contract with Top Notch Construction to build the animal shelter behind Country Inn and Suites, contingent on plan commission approval tonight (Monday), Sept. 19.

RABAS President Cheryl Statz expressed how ecstatic the entity is to have hit this goal. “We had tears at the meeting last night from people who’ve thought they may never see this happen,” she said. “We’ve put in a lot of hard work. We are totally psyched this is going to happen.”


Willy Wonka features 3 local actors in community musical

All from southwest Wisconsin, (from left) Cary Kann, Shawn Zeeh and Mary Beth Specht are big players in the Willy Wonka production slated to start at the Elkader Opera House Sept. 29. Kann has designed all the sets and backdrops and plays Mr. Salt, the wealthy father to the obnoxious ticket winner want-it-all, Veruca. Zeeh is the lead character, Willy Wonka himself, Specht is costume designer and also plays Mrs. Beauregarde, whose daughter is the always-gum-chewing ticket winner, Violet. (Submitted photos)

The ticket winners, reporter, and town kids are pictured in front of the Wonka Gates—a set not quite complete yet, but designed by Cary Kann, of Prairie du Chien, nonetheless.

Charlie, Mr. and Mrs. Bucket, and Charlie's grandparents are pictured in the "Bucket Shack," designed by Cary Kann.

By Correne Martin and Cheri Moser

The Opera House Players announce the most scrumdidilyumptious musical of the 2016-2017 season, rounding off its 50th year as a community theater group. Roald Dahl’s Willy Wonka opens Thursday, Sept. 29 at 2 p.m. at the Elkader Opera House.

The story follows enigmatic candy manufacturer Willy Wonka as he stages a contest by hiding five golden tickets in his scrumptious candy bars. Whoever finds these tickets will win a free tour of the Wonka factory, as well as a lifetime supply of candy. Four of the five winning children are insufferable brats; the fifth is a likeable young lad named Charlie Bucket. The children must learn to follow Mr. Wonka’s rules in the factory—or suffer the consequences.

This family-friendly production features 17 different backdrops, five large set pieces and two medium-sized set pieces—all of which have made finding room backstage kind of like putting together a puzzle.


Airport Project

Employees of Wieser Brothers of La Crescent, Minn. work on the new terminal building being constructed at the Prairie du Chien Municipal Airport.


New terminal being built at 

Prairie du Chien Municipal Airport

By Ted Pennekamp and Correne Martin


Work began about a month ago on the new $1.06 million terminal building at Prairie du Chien Municipal Airport. 


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