Local News

Wed
23
Jul

Blues fest performer riffs like Janis, counts Bob Dylan as a fan


How many artists can say that Bob Dylan is a fan? Well Carolyn Wonderland can. This Texas gal is a musical force equipped with the soulful vocals of Janis Joplin, the guitar slinging skills of Stevie Ray along with a huge dose of soulful individuality. She pens many of her own tunes and her music has been used in television series such as Time Of Your Life and Homicide. Besides being a master guitar player, Carolyn also plays piano, accordian, trumpet, mandolin and lap steel. (Photo copyright: R.R. Rodriguez)

Carolyn Wonderland has never forgotten where she came from. On her new album, “Peace Meal,” she brings the hard-won lessons of her own blessed life together with stories from some of the world’s best-known and most beloved songwriters (Bob Dylan, Janis Joplin, Robert Hunter, Elmore James, and Robert Johnson) to create a menu of sustaining, satisfying songs that offers musical food for thought to her growing legions of fans.

The musical force herself will be in Prairie du Chien this weekend for the 17th annual Prairie Dog Blues Fest. She will take the main stage at 8:30 p.m. Saturday, July 26. For details, visit prairiedogblues.com.
Internationally heralded as one of the best vocalists in her adopted hometown of Austin, Texas, Wonderland has also been highly touted as a guitar goddess and is quickly making a name for herself in her competitive neighborhood and far beyond.

Wed
23
Jul

Reflecting on life before (and after) days of electricity


There are currently seven women over the age of 90 living at the Rivercrest Villages apartments in Prairie du Chien. These sweet ladies include (front row, from left) Alice Shulka, 90; Grace Graap, soon to be 98; (back row) Dorothy Konichek, soon to be 91; Mae Motsinger, 92; and Mattie Hutson, soon to be 92. Not pictured are Evelyn Hillman, 91; and Gladys Ertel, soon to be 91. (Photo by Correne Martin)

By Correne Martin
 
When asked to recall their lives before electricity, telephones and running water became conventional, a group of ladies at Rivercrest Villages in Prairie du Chien gushed with amusement and plenty of memories.
Yes, there are days they can vividly remember hand washing loads of clothing, making candles or hauling water by the pail to fill the wood stove reservoir. Now, they just walk around their apartments, flip on the lights, throw the clothes into an electric washing machine, turn on the faucet for a drink of water and then pop their food into the microwave. It’s that easy.

There are currently seven women over the age of 90 living at Rivercrest Villages apartments. Five of them recently took some time away from playing cards and crocheting to chit chat about the many years they’ve lived, how the world around them has changed and the nice home they have together at the apartment building.

Mon
21
Jul

Battle of Prairie du Chien marks 200 years with record numbers


Leading his men in a salute to the audience after Sunday’s re-enactment, British commander Col. McKay (front row, far left) was depicted by Frederick Carsted of Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada. This weekend was the Bicentennial Celebration of the War of 1812 Battle of Prairie du Chien (1814), held on the historic Villa Louis grounds. (Photo by Correne Martin)

Donning grayish-blue and white uniforms, the Americans aimed their fire at the British and Indians from the shelter of “Fort Shelby,” which they eventually surrendered.

Isaac Lawrence, of New Richmond, has been coming to the War of 1812 re-enactment in Prairie du Chien with his dad, Thomas, since he was a “babe in cloth” at 2 months old. This year, he enjoyed camp activities and practicing his hatchet skills during down time.

Dressed in period attire, Dave Lepley, of Viola, is pictured inside his wall tent at the re-enactment camp, with his cribbage board and cards. Lepley has attended the local event since 1989.

By Correne Martin

With the Mississippi River in the distance, in the unseasonable breeze, the trees seemed to whisper the alluring stories of the only War of 1812 battle that took place on Wisconsin soil.

On the documented grounds where it all happened, where the Villa Louis now sits, the Battle of Prairie du Chien was fought in 1814.

This past weekend, re-enactors representing both the American and British causes descended on the grounds, as a sort of big family, to portray and teach history in a way that you can’t find in textbooks or pamphlets.

Mon
21
Jul

Blake's Prairie Fair

Relaxing at the fair
Cordt Esser of Bloomington shares a snooze with “Apple Pie” Sunday at the Blake’s Prairie Junior Fair. (Photos by Ted Pennekamp)
Horsemanship
Talyia Edge and Emma Rooney compete in the Grades 7 to 10 Horseman, Pony, Walk and Trot Class at the Blake’s Prairie Fair Sunday morning.
Mon
21
Jul

Trout angler touts changes

 

Area trout fisherman lands his day in court

The former fish manager hopes his act of 

‘civil disobedience’ will catch attention, reel in regulations

By Ted Pennekamp

 

Wed
16
Jul

Prairie Dog Blues Fest ready to rock St. Feriole


Whether you’re a fan of the hard-core Chicago blues or the newer blues rock, you will get an up close view of the unbelievable global talent taking the stage at the Prairie Dog Blues Fest in Prairie du Chien, July 25 and 26.

By Correne Martin

Lie back in your chair during the day or kick up your heels by the stage at night. No matter how you choose to take in the Prairie Dog Blues Festival on Friday and Saturday, July 25-26, in Prairie du Chien, the music is bound to keep you movin’ and groovin’ all weekend long.

As always, the lineup will feature a variety of global talent, playing everything from Chicago blues, West Coast jump, hard-driving Mississippi Hill country blues, and New Orleans horns to Texas  boogie, zydeco, gospel and blues rock.

Wed
16
Jul

Ferryville fun-filled event to leave spectators in a Daze


The eighth annual Antique Tractor Pull is hosted and organized by the Ferryville Antique Tractor Association and is part of Ferryville’s River Bluff Daze on Saturday, July 26.

A busy and noisy day is in store for everyone in Ferryville on Saturday, July 26. The day begins at 9 a.m. with Market in the Park featuring Amish goods, produce and variety of products in Sugar Creek Park. Also at 9 a.m., many antique tractors will be arriving at Ferryville Community Center to register for the antique tractor pull.

From noon to 4:30 p.m., the Eighth Annual Antique Tractor Pull begins for all to enjoy. To register for the Antique Tractor Pull, go to www.ferryvilletractor.com. The Antique Tractor Pull is hosted and organized by the Ferryville Antique Tractor Association with raffle tickets on sale now. Raffle Tickets can also be purchased at the event.

All raffle items will be on display and raffle tickets are available all day at the Community Center. These raffle items will be drawn and winners announced at 9 p.m. The Ferryville Tourism Council 50:50 raffle drawing for $500 is at 9 p.m. also.

Wed
16
Jul

One site would cost River Ridge roughly $10 million

Editor’s note: The following includes corrected information from the Monday, July 14, Courier Press article.

By Correne Martin

The River Ridge School Board is taking steps toward moving all of its students under one roof in Patch Grove. The Courier Press reported in Monday’s edition, about the board’s July 9 meeting, that the school board voted, 5-2, to have a resolution drafted in time for its Aug. 23 meeting, calling for a Nov. 4, 2014, referendum, on the one-site option. The Patch Grove location currently has a bigger building, more land and newer updates than the Bloomington site.

Also in Monday’s article, the cost of putting all operations in Patch Grove was provided imprecisely. The actual cost would be around $10 million—$8.5 million to fix up the facilities as they stand plus roughly $1.5 million to move the football field and track there.

Wed
16
Jul

Gypsy moth spraying

Spraying for moths
An airplane treats an area of Wisconsin to help reduce gypsy moth population levels. (Photo courtesy of DATCP)

 

Officials hope for lonely gypsy moths after spraying activity

By Ted Pennekamp

 

On July 9, two areas to the east of Ferryville in Crawford County were sprayed in an effort to slow the spread of gypsy moths. Different parts of Crawford County have been sprayed in the past and the process is biologically interesting as a means of getting rid of the destructive pests. 

Mon
14
Jul

River affects economy

More boaters on river
Boaters have been kept away, in part, by high water at boat landings this season as can be seen in this view of the Campion Boat Landing about two weeks ago. The river has gone down quite a bit lately, however, and more and more boaters are taking advantage.

 

High water tough on local economy, but 

as river goes down, business should pick up

By Ted Pennekamp

 

Each year for a Mississippi River town is different. Some years the weather and the river cooperate and it’s a boon to the local economy. Other years, the river runs high for an extensive period and the local economy suffers. 

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