Local News

Mon
06
Oct

Under its new name, PdC Main Street refocuses toward a thriving downtown

Fresh starts are important, and even more when the focus is local economic growth. A new effort with a new name has formed to resume focus on the historic preservation and economic revitalization of Prairie du Chien’s downtown area. “PdC Main Street” is the new name, previously known as PDRI.

The mission is to “Re-establish downtown Prairie du Chien as the social and economic heart of the community.” This program will champion the historic preservation of downtown to create a unique and aesthetically rich environment that is a lively and friendly destination for both consumers and businesses.

Mon
06
Oct

Enjoy a rustically-elegant dinner in support of farmers markets


Rustic elegance is the ambience you will experience at Saturday’s Harvest Dinner, a fundraiser for Driftless Wisconsin Grown and Crawford County’s farmers’ markets.

By Correne Martin

As the farmers’ market season draws to a close, Driftless Wisconsin Grown will toast to the locally-grown food of the region with its third annual Harvest Dinner, Saturday, Oct. 11, at the rustically elegant Gatherings on the Ridge just north of Eastman. The peaking fall colors will serve as the perfect backdrop to the nearly 100-year-old renovated barn, where celebrants can enjoy a spectacular view of the Mississippi River valley during the evening event.

Mon
06
Oct

Pony rides, hay rides and more at Childrens Ranch Saturday


It doesn’t get much cuter than a little girl or boy taking their first pony ride. The opportunity for families to experience such a moment, as well as other fun fall activities, will be available at Childrens Ranch’s Fall Festival, in rural Prairie du Chien, Saturday, Oct. 11. (Submitted photo)

By Correne Martin

The ultimate family event where children can engage with horses is set for this weekend at the Childrens Ranch in rural Prairie du Chien. The eighth annual Fall Festival (formerly the Halloween Party) will take place on Saturday, Oct. 11 from 2 to 4:30 p.m. and include pony rides, hay rides, crafts and treats.

“It is a family event but mostly geared toward kids who are too young for lessons,” Childrens Ranch President Gracie White said, noting that children 7 and younger are the perfect age to enjoy the activities planned. “It is great for little kids to get their first pony ride. We will also have horses just for petting if they aren’t comfortable riding a horse just yet.”

Wed
01
Oct

Voter ID

 

Municipal clerks, websites have 

information about new voter ID law

By Ted Pennekamp

 

Wed
01
Oct

SMRT Bus receives $25,000 grant from the Otto Bremer Foundation

The Otto Bremer Foundation has awarded a $25,000 grant to the La Crosse County Aging Unit to support the SMRT Bus Regional Transit Service in providing accessible, efficient, and affordable public transportation for elderly/disabled residents, workers and the general public. The SMRT Bus is great to use to get to work, medical appointments, classes, shopping, or just sightseeing. The SMRT Bus has daily scheduled stops at hospitals and clinics, shopping centers, large employers, and technical colleges and universities.

“This is another example of the partnerships that make this regional transit system successful and encourage its continued growth,” said Peter Fletcher of the Mississippi River Regional Planning Commission. Fletcher and Noreen Holmes, director of the La Crosse County Aging Unit, collaborated on writing and securing this grant.

Wed
01
Oct

Man flees deputies, gets away, but incident leads to arrest of Gays Mills woman

On Sept. 28 at 1:07 a.m., a Crawford County deputy and the Crawford County K-9 Unit attempted to conduct a traffic stop on a 2007 Ford Taurus being operated by Mark McKibbin, 28, Gays Mills, on Highway 171 near Sunrise Orchard.

McKibbin pulled off to the side of the road and fled on foot into the apple orchard and down into a corn field. The K-9 Unit tracked McKibbin for some time until tracking was canceled for safety reasons. McKibbin’s vehicle was towed from the scene and charges for obstructing an officer will be referred to the district attorney along with several traffic citations.

Deputies attempted to locate McKibbin at his residence hours later. McKibbin was not located. However, Stacy Connor, 28, Gays Mills, was arrested on several outstanding warrants from two counties.

Wed
01
Oct

Save three lives, in just one hour


Prairie du Chien resident and longtime blood donor Nick Nugent chats with the nurse as his blood donation process wraps up on Sept. 15. (Photos by Correne Martin)

Charlie Johll, of rural Prairie du Chien, has donated blood for 40 years. He will reach 23 gallons given in April.

By Correne Martin

If you’ve never donated blood, you’re missing out on the opportunity to save a life. In fact, by giving one hour or less of your time at a blood drive, you could save up to three lives.

“How else can you save three lives within one hour?” pointed out Dennis Kirschbaum, a Prairie du Chien resident who has been donating since 1972 and is working on 18 gallons contributed. “If there was a problem with it, you wouldn’t keep going back. I’ve always had a positive experience. And if you can save lives by donating, why wouldn’t you want to give?

“There’s such a tremendous need for it and there’s really nothing to it,” noted 90-year-old Jack Mulrooney, a lifelong Prairie du Chien resident and donor.

Take it from those who donate: It’s simple, it’s painless and it’s a rewarding experience you’ll always value and want to continue.

Mon
29
Sep

Earthmoving on S. Main


Work has been done recently on this site in the 100 block of South Main Street.

 

Site on South Main Street to 

be filled in, built up, leveled off

Zoning allows for several types of businesses

By Ted Pennekamp

 

Mon
29
Sep

Man dies in ATV accident

 

 

De Soto man 

dies in ATV accident

On Sept. 25, at approximately 8:14 p.m., the Crawford County Sheriff`s Department received a report of a missing person from the residence on Lawrence Ridge Road in De Soto. The missing person was identified as Clyde E Starks Jr., age 77.

Mon
29
Sep

Celebrate fall traditions at Orchard Fest


Shihata’s Orchard offers 20,000 apple trees growing 20 varieties of apples across 40 acres of land. All of your favorite flavors of apples, as well as other goodies, will be available for purchase at Orchard Fest this weekend, Oct. 4 and 5, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. You can pick your own by the pound or find some in the Apple House you’d like to take home.

Shihata’s featuers the area’s largest pumpkin patch, where you can pick your own or take some already picked.

The Country Fun Park includes a 100-bushel corn box, large tunnel slide, rope maze, giant spider web, John Deere teeter totters and tractor tire jungle gym. Kids can also make friends with the rabbits at Bunnyville and the donkeys, sheep, goat and llama in the animal display.

By Correne Martin

Visiting Wisconsin’s apple orchards is a fall tradition for many. Family-owned and well-loved, Shihata’s Orchard in rural Prairie du Chien has offered families a treasured experience with its annual Orchard Fest for 30 years.

“It started in the packing shed with a hand crank apple press, horse-drawn rides and one Weber grill. And it was manned by about five or six family members,” Co-Owner Linda Shihata recalled, pointing to the original apple press that now adds its rustic look to the décor in the Apple House retail store.

Orchard Fest began the first weekend in October three decades ago with Mo and Mary Shihata, their son David, and Linda, who was dating him at the time. Three of their college friends helped out that year. Today, about 45 friends and family assist with the festival and the Shihata kids bring their college friends home for the enjoyment.

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