Local News

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Mon
23
Jan

Winter Road Maintenance Cost


There were several accidents during the ice storm of Jan. 16, 17 and 18. This Crawford County tri-axle plow truck slid off of Newby Hollow Road on Jan. 16. (Photo courtesy of Dennis Pelock)

 

Crawford County winter road 

maintenance has cost $823,000

By Ted Pennekamp

 

Mon
23
Jan

Local man guilty of homicide by drunken driving

By Ted Pennekamp

 

A former Prairie du Chien man was found guilty Friday in Crawford County Circuit Court of homicide by the intoxicated use of a motor vehicle and homicide by the use of a vehicle with a prohibited alcohol concentration.

Wed
18
Jan

Local man charged with fifth OWI

A 57-year-old Prairie du Chien man was charged on Jan. 12 in Crawford County Circuit Court with one count of operating a motor vehicle while intoxicated (fifth offense).

Charles W. Humbert faces up to a $25,000 fine and 10 years in prison if convicted.

According to the criminal complaint, a person called the Crawford County Sheriff’s Department to report that a man driving a Jeep Cherokee pulled into the parking lot of a convenience store in Prairie du Chien and struck a traffic barrier in front of the building. The caller said the man stumbled into the store, the complaint said.

The caller then informed dispatch that the man had gotten back into his vehicle and was driving south in an alley. A deputy then began following the vehicle. The license plate lamps were not working on the vehicle, and the vehicle swerved back and forth, according to the complaint.

The vehicle came to a stop behind the man’s residence in Prairie du Chien.

Wed
18
Jan

Plows stick it out while (most) others stay home


This semi crash mid-afternoon Monday depicts just how hazardous area roads were Monday and Tuesday, when freezing rain and ice coated all paths of travel. Schools canceled, businesses closed, authorities advised no travel unless necessary, as even county snowplows and wreckers had trouble navigating the roads. Untreated secondary roads across the region were especially impassable. For the full story on this accident, this week’s ice storm, and photos, see pages 2-4. (Photo by Bob’s Towing)

(Photo by Crawford County Highway Department)

No vehicles—including this Iowa DOT snow plow—were immune to the icy roads Jan. 16. Trooper Jon Stickney, with the Iowa State Patrol, took this photo Monday morning, after the plow slid off Highway 18/52, between Marquexatte and Monona. The plow had to be towed back onto the road by Bob's Towing, of Prairie du Chien. No one was injured in the incident.

A familiar sight for anyone who attempted to drive Monday or Tuesday was iced-over windows on their vehicle. (Photo by Dawn Sipla)

Everywhere you looked, it was ice earlier this week. Though the freezing rain made for extremely treacherous roads and sidewalks, it was quite a beautiful picture for those who were able to stay home and admire the softer side of mother nature. (Photo by Dawn Sipla)

By Correne Martin

A storm of freezing rain and ice-glazed roadways immobilized and endangered residents across the tri-states Monday and Tuesday. Schools and businesses closed, dozens of cars slid off roads, people fell while trying to walk and emergency vehicles had trouble navigating. In Clayton and Grant Counties, snow plows slid off and rolled over, respectively. A milk truck was also reported off the road in Clayton County and, near Winona, Minn., fire trucks were said to be stuck on a hill, according to the National Weather Service of La Crosse. No serious injuries were reported.

Crawford County plow drivers spent 16 to 17 hours in their trucks Monday and more than 12 hours Tuesday, when, at least they didn’t have to work through their lunches. According to Crawford County Patrol Superintendent Todd Myers, all hands were on deck over the course of the two days. Even the county’s custodian was in a plow, treating the roads.

Wed
18
Jan

City of PdC administrator resigns post

By Correne Martin

After six years as city administrator in Prairie du Chien, Aaron Kramer will resign from his post on March 3. Following closed session of the Prairie du Chien Common Council Tuesday night, the council accepted his resignation and released him from his current contract, which was scheduled to expire on Dec. 31, 2021. The council also appointed new City Clerk-Treasurer Tina Fuller as acting city administrator, with her position effective upon Kramer’s official resignation and concluding upon the hiring of a new city administrator. Fuller just recently started the clerk-treasurer job Dec. 5 and fully took over for retiring clerk Barb Elvert on Jan. 9.

Kramer became Prairie du Chien’s city administrator on Jan. 24, 2010, replacing Jim Gitz, who resigned the previous summer. He came to Prairie du Chien after more than six years as mayor of Ripon.

Wed
18
Jan

Railroad Projects

 

Railroad projects 

continue in PdC Sub

By Ted Pennekamp

 

A Continuous Welded Rail (CWR) project conducted by the Wisconsin and Southern Railroad (WSOR) on the Prairie du Chien Sub on St. Feriole Island is about to begin, according to a Wisconsin River Rail Transit Commission report. 

Mon
16
Jan

Professional Compensation Advisory Committee

 

Advisory Committee seeks to attract, retain quality teachers

By Ted Pennekamp

 

Wed
11
Jan

Active off-season assures quality, style of Villa Louis estate


Villa Louis Site Director Susan Caya-Slusser stands on the grand stairway at the entrance of the historic Victorian mansion, as furniture and statues are covered for the off-season.

La Crosse photographer Roger Grant takes pictures of some of the Dousman family’s tableware for a new Villa Louis guidebook that will be available this coming tourist season. Samantha Matern, education specialist and lead interpreter, is ready with another piece of silver to be photographed. (Photos by Correne Martin)

Susan Caya-Slusser (left) and guidebook co-author Mary Antoine peruse the Villa Louis storage shelves for artifacts needed for a project.

These original samples of floral wallpaper will be included in the new guidebook.

Some of the original textiles in storage at the Villa Louis lie below boxes of other items put away for the season.

By Correne Martin

The tourist season ended in October and, for the first time, due to spectacular fall weather, the Villa Louis kept its doors open to public visitors through November. It’s presently the off-season, but that doesn’t mean the hallways in the historic Victorian mansion or the grounds of the elegant local attraction are silent.

Staff has plenty of work to do, mainly deep cleaning of the Dousman family collection, conducting inventory, planning for a new guidebook, preparing for the next summer season and keeping up with maintenance. Three full-time and three part-time employees, out of 29, remain on staff throughout the year. (The rest are mainly seasonal interpretive staff.)

Wed
11
Jan

Intent to deliver charges pending, Crawford County K-9 part of investigation


During a search of a vehicle driven by Steven Gauger, 52, Prairie du Chien, local authorities located one ounce of meth, four ounces of marijuana and other drug-related items. They also located marijuana and drug paraphernalia on Gauger himself, who was arrested Saturday, Jan. 7. (Submitted photo)

A local man may be charged with intent to deliver drugs after he was arrested for drug possession and operating with a restricted, controlled substance last week in Prairie du Chien, according to the Crawford County Sheriff’s Department. The arrest was a result of an investigation involving Crawford County K-9 Breck.

On Jan. 7, the sheriff’s department conducted a joint narcotics investigation, along with the Prairie du Chien Police Department and the Wisconsin State Patrol. Investigators located Steven Gauger, 52, of Prairie du Chien Township, at the Casey’s General Store on Highway 35 in Prairie du Chien Township. The county K-9 unit arrived on scene and K-9 Breck was utilized for an open free air sniff of the vehicle Gauger was operating. Breck alerted to the presence of one or more controlled substances he is trained to detect, authorities said.

Wed
11
Jan

Pickup hits a tree

On Monday, Jan. 9 at 5:58 a.m., the Crawford County Sheriff’s Department was notified of a one-vehicle accident in Bridgeport Township on Velvet Lane.

A 2010 Ford pickup owned and operated by Ken Jahnke, 58, rural Prairie du Chien, was negotiating a sharp corner when the vehicle left the road, entered a ditch and struck a large tree. Jahnke claimed no injuries. The vehicle had heavy damage and was removed by Bob’s Towing.

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