Local News

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Mon
06
Feb

Prairie du Chien has a place in Ringling history


On the far right of this photograph, behind the house, is the old barn in Prairie du Chien in which the famed Ringling brothers got their start practicing trapeze in the hay loft. The barn was torn down, but stood along County K near the Calvary Cemetery. Pictured is the William and Ida Swingle family, which lived in and also owned the home when the Ringlings rented it.

Betty Nolan, of rural Prairie du Chien, was a Swingle—daughter of Dan Swingle and granddaughter of William Swingle. Her grandfather hob-nobbed with the Ringling brothers in their boyhood days and, at one time, owned the old Ringling home in Prairie du Chien.

By Correne Martin

The Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus will host its final performance in May. After 146 years, the iconic circus is closing because high operating costs and declining ticket sales have made the circus an unsustainable business for parent company, Feld Entertainment, CEO Kenneth Feld announced last month.

While many associate the Ringlings with Baraboo, where the circus was founded in 1884, and several landmarks keep the legacy alive publicly, Prairie du Chien has a place in the family’s history as well.

German-born harness and shoemaker Augustus Ringling and his wife Marie Salome first moved from Milwaukee to Baraboo in 1855, then to Prairie du Chien somewhere around 1858-1859. In 1860, they moved to McGregor, where four of the boys—Charles, John, Henry and Alf T.— were born. The family home still stands at 14463 Walton Ave.

Mon
06
Feb

School districts get ratings, strive for improvement

By Ted Pennekamp

 

Most school districts throughout Wisconsin meet or exceed expectations on their 2015-2016 report cards according to the State Department of Public Instruction (DPI), and area districts are no exception.

Wed
01
Feb

PdC Skate Park


The Children’s Advisory Board of Crawford County recently donated $5,000 towards the final phase of the Prairie du Chien Skate Park. Members of the Children’s Advisory Board shown here are Lisa Trumm, Jane Schaaf, Amy Mitchell (Chair), Lorie Floyd, Bill Miller, Darcy Knapp, Rick Peterson and Karen Sjoberg. (Photos courtesy of Mike Ulrich)

The area in gray represents the new addition to the Prairie du Chien Skate Park.

 

Final push underway for final phase of skate park

By Ted Pennekamp

 

The final phase of the Prairie du Chien Skate Park is in its final push. The Children’s Advisory Board of Crawford County recently gave $5,000 to the project and just $3,000 more is needed.

Wed
01
Feb

Unofficial information released, not authorized by Clayton County officials

A news release that was not authorized by either the Clayton County Sheriff’s Office or the Clayton County Attorney’s Office, was circulated recently about a case involving David Allen Pennington, Jr., a criminal defendant who received a five-year prison sentence.

“We felt this news story was sensationalized and misleading and that it was important for us to respond,” Sheriff Mike Tschirgi and Attorney Alan Heavens said in a statement.

First, as the official press release from the county attorney’s office said, the defendant was convicted of enticing a minor under the age of 16, not sexual abuse as the unofficial press story stated. Ultimately, the crime involved sexual contact between the defendant and the victim, who were both carnival workers. This was illegal because the defendant was 27 years old and the victim was 14.

 
The unofficial news release also appeared to emphasize that the incident occurred at the Clayton County Fair.

Wed
01
Feb

Making a difference: One person, one story, one photo at a time


Shannon Ready is a hobbyist photographer whose recent photography projects have featured real people and real emotions: “I Am Strong,” “Lasting Legacy” and “We Are Entrepreneurs.” (Photo by Correne Martin)

By Correne Martin

Shannon Ready believes everyone has a unique story of what it means to be strong. As a hobbyist photographer in Eastman, she had a black and white image of a solemn woman in her mind. She envisioned creating that still picture and also sharing the saga of the true experiences behind that strong woman. She wanted to make an impact, to make a difference in others’ lives.

So, Shannon, a 23-year-old mom of four children under age 4, put a call out on her business’ Facebook page for models and quickly received a positive response.  Then, she photographed the models, at no charge, put their images and short narratives together and published them on Facebook.

Wed
01
Feb

Villa Louis head Caya-Slusser takes new position in history


Villa Louis Director Susan Caya-Slusser, who is pictured in December 2015, greeting Governor Scott Walker on the mansion’s front walkway, will leave her post at the Villa for a newly-created position, the director of southwest regional sites. (Photo by Correne Martin)

The Wisconsin Historical Society has appointed Susan Caya-Slusser to the newly-created position of director of southwest regional sites. This position will provide vision, leadership and general management to the Villa Louis in Prairie du Chien, Stonefield in Cassville, First Capitol in Belmont and Pendarvis in Mineral Point. The job will be based at Pendarvis.

“Susan prevailed in a search, which attracted top candidates from across the country,” according to Brian Thompson, administrator of the society’s museums and historic sites division. “Her strengths in building strong public programs and deepening community ties make her the perfect person to champion these four magnificent sites.”

Mon
30
Jan

67th Ice Fisheree


The Prairie du Chien Ice Fisheree is always well attended, and the 67th annual event should be no exception.

 

67th Annual Prairie du Chien 

Ice Fisheree is February 4 and 5

By Ted Pennekamp

 

The 67th Annual Prairie du Chien Ice Fisheree will be held on Feb. 4-5. The event is headquartered at the Lakeview Marina Bar, three miles north of Prairie du Chien on County Road K.

Mon
30
Jan

Eagles Heart and Cancer Telethon raises over $40k

For the third year in a row, over $40,000 has been raised for heart disease and cancer research through the Heart and Cancer Telethon. For the 42nd year, the telethon has become a true community celebration. Though its organized by the Prairie du Chien Eagles Club, it’s the community that makes it an entertaining and heartfelt production. For more photos and information, visit eaglestelethon.org.

Mon
30
Jan

Pet Expo is Feb. 11

Pet enthusiasts are invited to attend the fifth annual Pet Expo at Nelson True Value on Saturday, Feb. 11 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Co-sponsored by Nelson True Value, Rivers and Bluffs Animal Shelter, Tender Care Animal Hospital and Howe Printing, this event benefits the local effort to build an animal shelter.

The Pet Expo will include a bake sale featuring home-made treats—just in time for Valentine’s Day—and a food stand.

An entire slate of pet-related activities will be featured. At 9:30 a.m., watch a dog obedience demonstration by local residents and their dogs that have been in training for several months.

A best pet trick contest will take place at 10 a.m. The first 10 pets registered will compete for prizes donated by True Value and Prairie Cinema. To register for the contest, call Bev Pozega at 326-2914. Come to the expo to vote for your favorite trick.

Mon
30
Jan

Snow a factor in accident

On Wednesday, Jan. 25, at 7:10 a.m., the Crawford County Sheriff’s Department was notified of a one-vehicle crash on Highway 131 in the village of Gays Mills just south of the Crawford County Fair Grounds.

When a deputy arrived on scene, there was no vehicle at the scene but the deputy noticed where the vehicle lost control, crossed the center line, went over the north side embankment and through a fence. The vehicle was able to drive through a field to get back onto the roadway.

While the deputy was investigating the crash, the driver of the vehicle, Logan J. Lomen, 20, Wauzeka, called the Sheriff’s Department to report the crash. Lomen informed deputies that he was traveling north on Highway 131 in his GMC Envoy when he lost control of the vehicle due to the snow covered roadways.

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