Local News

Mon
16
Feb

Construction underway at rail loadout site


Rough grading and foundation digging have begun at the Wisconsin & Southern Railroad rail loadout site along the Highway 18 Bypass in Prairie du Chien. The construction marks the onset of a new seven-track switchyard and $1 million building to enclose much of the current outdoor operations. Shown here, heavy equipment operators work on the south end of the property. (Photo by Correne Martin)

Brush currently sits piled on the north end of the WSOR property.

By Correne Martin

Wisconsin and Southern Railroad has begun changing the landscape of its rail loadout site along the Highway 18 Bypass in Prairie du Chien. According to Tim Karp, director of business development with WSOR, rough grading as well as foundation digging have taken place to prepare the location for a seven-track switchyard and a 6,000-square-foot, 94-foot-high, $1 million building that will enclose much of the current outdoor operations.

“If all things go well, we’re looking at late-May to mid-June for a completion date. Of course, a lot is dependent on the weather,” Karp said. He also noted that the public won’t begin seeing the structure take shape for at least one more month.

“[The new construction] will provide a lot more efficiency for us and it will also free up our main line so we can serve all of our Prairie du Chien area customers better,” he pointed out.

Mon
16
Feb

Love blooms via local floral shops on Valentine’s Day


Shelly Zinkle, co-owner of Zinkle’s Piggly Wiggly & Blooming Basket, stands surrounded by floral bouquets she and her staff created Thursday, Feb. 12, to be sold the next day. The Blooming Basket delivered about 150 to 200 orders locally on Friday and expected around the same number on Saturday. (Photos by Correne Martin)

For Valentine’s Day, Dan Shimala, of Prairie du Chien, special ordered a large clear vase with a dozen long-stemmed roses—each a different color—for his wife

Pictured in the walk-in cooler at Kemble’s Greenhouse are local residents’ Valentine’s Day orders for Friday afternoon.

A display of red and pink valentine's flowers fill the display cooler at Kemble's.

By Correne Martin

Sweet messages of love are spread every Valentine’s Day in various ways. Some choose sentimental cards, tried-and-true chocolates, a romantic dinner, or special homemade gifts. But, flowers may be the most beautiful way to express one’s endearment to another.

On Friday, Feb. 13, two local floral shops, Kemble’s Greenhouse and Zinkle’s Piggly Wiggly & Blooming Basket, were abuzz with the excitement of flower orders, florists arranging bouquets and delivery vehicles packed with blossoms of vibrant reds, pinks, peaches and violets.

“The phone was ringing off the hook, starting around 7 this morning. Our delivery workers are already on their second run,” Kemble’s Owner Wendy Wachter said around 10:30 a.m. Friday. “It’s much smoother this year, with Valentine’s Day falling on Saturday, so we’ve had a lot of business deliveries today and more of the personal ones will go Saturday.”

Mon
16
Feb

The Big Dance


The Hawkettes perform their pom routine at the State Dance Competition Feb. 7.

 

Hawkettes enjoy state competion

Will host Blackhawk Bleacher Bash show Feb. 22

Wed
11
Feb

Voters will pick from five River Ridge School Board candidates in primary

By Correne Martin

The River Ridge School District has a momentous primary election approaching. On Tuesday, Feb. 17, district voters will be asked to select two individuals from five who are running for two at-large school board seats. The top four vote-getters on Tuesday will seal their spot on the April 7 spring election ballot, from which two will be named the new board members.  

Primary candidates include newcomers Justin Campbell, Jason Drone, Emilie Mumm and Cory Raisbeck. Bob Mathre is the only incumbent whose name will appear on the ballot. Current school board member Bob Key is not running for re-election.

Primary builds up to second referendum
The motivation behind the five candidates running in the primary could be, in large part, due to the referendum that will also appear on the spring ballot.

Wed
11
Feb

Newest Fair Ambassador succeeds sister in role


A sister crowned her sister as the Fair Ambassador at the Jan. 30 Crawford County Fair Gala in Eastman. Bridget Achenbach (left), 19, will hold the 2015 spokesperson title, handed down by older sister Sarah Achenbach, 21. Both are students at UW-La Crosse and the daughters of Lonnie and Jane Achenbach, of rural Eastman.

The 2015 Future Fair Ambassador Aubree Larson, daughter of Koren and John Gunderson, of rural Ferryville, was crowned by outgoing Future Fairest of the Fair Marie Achenbach, one of seven children of Lonnie and Jane Achenbach. Aubree is a sixth grader at DeSoto Middle School.

By Correne Martin

Fairest of the Fair 2014 Sarah Achenbach crowned her younger sister, Bridget Achenbach, as her successor on Jan. 30 during the Crawford County Fair Gala in Eastman. Bridget, the second daughter of Lonnie and Jane Achenbach, from rural Eastman, will hold a new title as the first Crawford County Fair Ambassador. She will still be the official spokesperson for the fair. The change in title was made earlier in January as a way to more “fully represent Crawford County and the fair.”

“The fair has always been a big part of my life,” 19-year-old Bridget stated, noting that she’s been showing animals for about 15 years. “It’s given me so many qualities I don’t get anywhere else. I want to be able to share those qualities with the communities of Crawford County so they can experience what I have and come to love the fair as much as I do.”

Wed
11
Feb

Sand mine ruling

 

Judge Day rules 

in favor of town of Bridgeport regarding frac sand mine

By Ted Pennekamp

 

Grant County Circuit Court Judge Craig Day has ruled in favor of the town of Bridgeport regarding a lawsuit filed against the town by the Crawford Stewardship Project and four town residents who objected to the granting of permits for a sand mine in the town.

Mon
09
Feb

65th Ice Fisheree


Members of the McLenehan clan of Iowa and Janesville, Wis. hold up the lone finny that they had hauled in to that point on a warm Saturday morning on Gremore Lake, a largemouth bass caught on a minnow. Everyone on the lake was in good cheer throughout the event.

 

 

Warm temps greet large 

turnout for 65th Ice Fisheree

First event in 1951 gives historical perspective

By Ted Pennekamp

 

Mon
09
Feb

Local RadioShack franchise unaffected by the corporation’s Chapter 11 filing

By Correne Martin

A recent announcement by RadioShack Corporation regarding reorganizing the company through a Chapter 11 filing may have the public wondering about the status of the Prairie du Chien RadioShack. But, according to Owners Roger and Marlene Dyer, there is nothing to worry about locally.

RadioShack Corporation represents only the company-owned stores. These company-owned stores are mostly located in larger regional and metropolitan population areas, such as La Crosse and Madison. These types of stores are the only ones that may be affected by the Chapter 11 filing.

Mon
09
Feb

New equipment donated for Hoffman Hall pool in memory of local man


Six new benches made of recyclables now grace the pool deck at Hoffman Hall, thanks to a generous donation in memory of the late Jim Coorough, who passed away last August. A basketball hoop and volleyball nets for the pool were also purchased with the donation, and the remainder of the $6,000 gift has been added to the Hoffman Hall Improvement Fund. Pictured is Jim’s wife, Pat, along with Parks and Rec Director Mike Ulrich and Instructor/Lifeguard Suzette Cunningham. (Photo by Correne Martin)

By Correne Martin

The state-of-the-art pool at Hoffman Hall recently received a few new additions, thanks to a donation in memory of the late Jim Coorough, a native of Prairie du Chien, an Army veteran and a retired Wolf Machine Shop machinist. Jim and his wife, Pat, have been active members of Hoffman Hall for years. After his passing in August 2014, Pat and the Coorough children contributed a memorial of almost $6,000 so that six benches, a basketball hoop and volleyball nets could be purchased for use in the pool area. A portion of the gift has been placed in the Hoffman Hall Improvement Fund as well.

“The pool was more or less our entertainment,” Pat stated. “We came nearly every day. We met a lot of good friends.”

Mon
09
Feb

Prairie du Chien woman pursuing her dream in Nashville


Prairie du Chien native Chellanie (Adams) Grunwald has been pursuing her dream in country music for a decade.

Chellanie (Adams) Grunwald (right) is shown with two singer/songwriter friends, Kathy Hudson (left) and Karen McNatt, after playing a club in Nashville. (Photo by Barbara Potter Photography)

By Correne Martin

Since she was a little girl growing up in Prairie du Chien, Chellanie (Adams) Grunwald has wanted to become a singer. These days, she’s paying her dues in the country music capital of the world and, after 10 years there, is pleased with her progress. She’s songwriting frequently, playing clubs and honky tonks in Nashville regularly, is recording a new album and is continuing to work her way up in the music business.

“There are so many musicians and everybody is fabulous,” Chellanie said. “It’s very hard sometimes, hence the day job, but it’s a dream and you have to work at it.”

After graduating from Prairie du Chien High School in 2000 and UW-Platteville in 2005, Chellanie moved to Nashville, where she integrated herself by waiting tables during the day and singing at night. Now, she spends her days working as a loan processor in the mortgage business. Then, she plays live one or two times per week at songwriters’ nights.

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