Local News

Mon
05
Jan

Opportunity Center will continue with business as usual

By Correne Martin

Employees, clients and supporters of the Opportunity Center in Prairie du Chien can collectively breathe a sigh of relief. Operations will continue as usual thanks to recent federal and state declarations that have allowed services in center settings to carry on for people with disabilities.

“The federal government—Center for Medicaid Services (CMS)—and the Wisconsin Department of Health Services (DHS) have heard our voices loud and clear. And our voices made a difference,” wrote Pam Ritchie, executive director of the Opportunity Center, in a Dec. 23 memo to those directly affected by the decision. “I want to thank this community for standing up for people with disabilities. It is humbling to see the number of people who have supported us. I don’t know that we can provide any further evidence that the programs and services we deliver here are making a positive impact.”

Mon
05
Jan

New Year's Eve smooch

Gettin' Lucky
Pamela Olson of Guttenberg, Iowa will have one year’s worth of good luck after being one of the first people to pucker up and give Lucky the Carp a big smooch on New Year’s Eve in Lucky Park at the entrance to St. Feriole Island in Prairie du Chien Wednesday night during the 14th Annual Droppin’ of the Carp festivities. (Photo by Ted Pennekamp)
Mon
29
Dec

Birding in Ferryville


Visitors enjoy a hike for River Bluff Daze. The guide is Mike Ripp, retired superintendent of Wyalusing State Park. He guided the hikers along the trail and pointed out flowers, caterpillars, butterflies and birds. (Submitted photo)

 

Ferryville continues to 

make strides as a birding destination

By Ted Pennekamp

 

The village of Ferryville continues to work hard to expand birding activities and to remain a birding destination for visitors from throughout the region. 

Mon
29
Dec

Ruck march to raise awareness, funds for PTSD


Prairie du Chien’s Kent Stark and his fellow ruck marchers are shown at an event earlier this month. Stark, a U.S. Navy veteran, is organizing the Wisconsin Winter Ruck March and Polar Plunge on Saturday, Jan. 10, at 10 a.m., in Millville, to raise awareness and funds for treating veterans who suffer from posttraumatic stress disorder. (Submitted photo)

Though Kent Stark himself hasn’t experienced posttraumatic stress disorder, he participates in ruck marches all over the tri-states in support of his fellow veterans suffering from PTSD.

By Correne Martin

Every day, 22 veterans and one active duty soldier suffering from posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) take their own lives. Burdened with the stigma associated with mental health issues and the military “shame” surrounding PTS (posttraumatic stress), they instead turn to suicide as their only option to relieve suffering.

To raise awareness and funds for veterans with PTSD, the first ever Wisconsin Winter Ruck March and Polar Plunge will take place Saturday, Jan. 10, at 10 a.m., in Millville. Participants will ruck march five miles through the hills and bluffs of the Millville Bridle Trail on County C in Grant County and then take a polar plunge into the river. It is hoped that this will become an annual event.

Mon
29
Dec

LED lights in downtown Prairie du Chien paying for themselves


Energy-saving LEDs were installed in October on 85 streetlights in Prairie du Chien’s historic downtown district. They have a more natural glow to them, as compared to the yellow glow of the former metal halide fixtures.

By Correne Martin

The city of Prairie du Chien has been recouping the cost of the recent conversion to LED lights in the downtown district so rapidly that Alliant Energy has taken notice and sent a letter questioning the recorded reduction in electricity.

“The letter asked us to notify them of the reason for the change in usage,” stated Terry Meyer, co-manager of public works. “Our normal usage for two meters was about 6,400 killowatt hours (kwh) per month, but November’s usage (thanks to the LEDs) was under 2,000 total, between the two meters.”

Indeed, Alliant was correct. The city made the change in October, converting 85 street lights from 150-watt metal halide fixtures to LEDs, on Blackhawk Avenue from Marquette Road to Main Street, and on Main Street from Blackhawk to Iowa Street. Meyer applied for and received a $10,000 clean energy grant from the Wisconsin State Energy Office this fall. That was used toward the expenses of the project, leaving the total out-of-pocket cost for the city at $19,155 out of $29,155. The funds have been secured by 2014-2016 Capital Improvement Plan borrowing.

“The expected payback from energy savings is three years but I think it might be even sooner than that,” Meyer explained.

According to Meyer, the changeover has the potential to save the city about 54,728 kilowatt hours per year, equalling an annual savings of about $7,052. The LEDs have a five-year warranty and a life expectancy of 50,000 hours of on-time use, Meyer added. Estimates are that each light would be on approximately 4,300 hours per year. Considering those numbers, the lights should last about 11 and a half years. In total, the overall cost savings during that time period could be around $78,000. The city has been working with E3 Energy Coalition, of Viroqua, on energy-saving projects like this one. (In 2013, the wastewater facility lighting was upgraded with grant funding.)

The next LED conversion project on the city’s list is to install them on St. Feriole Island and the Highway 18 Bypass.

Mon
22
Dec

Clay Target Team


Sixth graders Max Clanton and Conner Martin show the muskrat trap that they built Thursday afternoon in Mr. Kohler’s Into the Outdoors class.

 

Clay target team newest addition to outdoor ed in PdC

By Ted Pennekamp

 

Come April, the Prairie du Chien School District will join the Wisconsin State High School Clay Target League. Bluff View science teacher Kirby Kohler said that the new Prairie du Chien Clay Target Team is expected to have about 25-30 members from sixth through 12th grade. Most team members will be high school students, said Kohler, who will be the coach. 

Mon
22
Dec

Santa Claus chats about Christmas

Christmas is a very busy time of year for Santa Claus and everyone else at the North Pole. Santa graciously took time out of his hectic schedule, bright and early Monday morning, Dec. 22, to call the Courier Press Associate Editor Correne Martin from his mobile phone and answer a few questions she had for him. As Christmas nears, Santa has a lot on his mind and he wanted to share some of his thoughts with all the little boys and girls who are very anxious and full of holiday spirit. A bit of the chat with Santa follows.

Wed
17
Dec

Temporary stop signs now permanent

PdC council denies residential accessory structure regulations

By Correne Martin

The city of Prairie du Chien has a number of new, permanent stop signs in place following common council review and action Tuesday night. During the Marquette Road construction project this summer, signs were installed temporarily on several main streets to aid in traffic safety. Since the project’s completion, the public works committee and council needed to decide whether they should remain indefinitely.

The council approved permanent stop signs at the following intersections: South Dousman and East Iowa, South Dousman and East Crawford, West Blackhawk and Main, and West Washington and North Main. The council also chose to remove the temporary signs at North Ohio and Haydn.

Wed
17
Dec

Time for lights and time for cheer


On the west side of the Highway 18 Bypass in Prairie du Chien, a huge, festive display of Christmas lights by Jerry Krachey is sure to brighten your spirits. Among the spectacle are Santas, snowmen, trees of various colors, penguins, Mickey and Minnie Mouse, a train and much more. (Photo by Correne Martin)
Wed
17
Dec

Carp Fest


John Rook and Erin Paske, who were visiting from the Netherlands, puckered up to kiss Lucky the Carp last year on New Year’s Eve in Lucky Park at the entrance to St. Feriole Island. (Courier Press file photo)

 

 

Bigger and better Carp Fest fast approaching

By Ted Pennekamp

 

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