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Wed
19
Aug

National Geographic Map

 

Area counties to be part of 

National Geographic MapGuide 

which will help promote tourism

Local people can help create MapGuide website

By Ted Pennekamp

 

Mon
17
Aug

Authorities exhume body for DNA testing in 1984 cold case


Investigator Matt Sutton and Lt. Investigator Scott Bjerkos of the Vernon County Sheriff’s Department seal the coffin of “Jane Doe” at the Viroqua Cemetery Aug. 12. The coffin was being prepared to be sent to the Wisconsin Crime Lab in Madison for DNA testing.

By Matt Johnson, Vernon County Broadcaster, Viroqua

Bludgeoned to death with her hands cut from her body, “Jane Doe” was left along a rural Vernon County, Wis., roadside in May of 1984 with no clue of her identity or the circumstances surrounding her death.

Wednesday afternoon, Aug. 12, Vernon County Sheriff John Spears watched as “Jane Doe’s” casket was removed from the Viroqua Cemetery to be sent to the state crime lab, so the body can go through DNA testing.

“It didn’t come lightly, our decision to exhume the body,” Spears said. “Thinking positively, we’re hoping further investigation will lead to her being identified. Her family will know that we never gave up.”

Spears is the third sheriff in Vernon County to assume investigation into one of two cold cases—the other being the circumstances surrounding the death of Terry Doloway, whose body was found in rural Vernon County in 1985.

Mon
17
Aug

‘Many Pathways, One Mission’ Opportunity Center marks 50 years


Every year, Kenny Bradley makes a new vehicle. This year’s model is a car that is quite sturdy. “I’d love to get it up on wheels,” said Angie Engrav, program director at the Opportunity Center. (Photos by Caitlin Bittner)

Jackie Valentine checks, counts and boxes “84s,” tough scouring pads, for 3M as part of her job.

Brett Kramer puts boxes onto the conveyer belt. When they come out on the other side, they are shrinkwrapped together.

By Caitlin Bittner

This year, the Opportunity Center in Prairie du Chien is celebrating its 50th anniversary in business, a feat that executive director Pam Ritchie knows could not have been reached without the support of Prairie du Chien and surrounding areas. “Everyone who works here is an independent worker the same as anyone else. All they want is a chance to be normal. What’s more normal than getting up to go to work every [week] day?” said Ritchie.

The Prairie du Chien Opportunity Center serves all of Crawford County and part of Grant County. “We run seven bus routes a day. Some people spend two hours on the bus just to come to work,” commented Ritchie.

A lot of traffic comes and goes from the Opportunity Center as it receives a truck each morning and puts in an order nearly every afternoon for whatever they’ll need the next day.

Mon
17
Aug

Design a button for Oktoberfest

Prairie du Chien Oktoberfest is conducting a button design contest for the sixth annual Oktoberfest celebration, which will take place Oct. 17. The city is searching for a button design that symbolizes festivities for the coming year and celebration. Oktoberfest Committee will select a winner from the button designs submitted. The contest is based on best graphic representation of the theme and Oktoberfest in general.

Contest information and rules:

•Entrants must include their name, age, address and contact information (phone number and/or email address) with their design.

• Design is to be submitted as a six-inch circle. However, designers should be mindful that the selected artwork may be used in various media and in various sizes (from two inches to six feet in diameter).

Mon
17
Aug

Pair of grants continue efforts of enhancing La Riviere Park


Dennis Kirschbaum, volunteer naturaxlist at La Riviere Park, holds a new sign to be placed with money the park received from grant funding. The signage to be placed will help to explain geological and biological aspects of this part of the park. (Photos by Caitlin Bittner)

If you go to the park at the right time of the year, you might just see thousands and thousands of black-eyed Susans.

As a natural area, there is a myraid of wildlife that call the park home just like this deer.

Milkweed plants are very popular for people who wish to have butterfly gardens and there are many people who wonder what the seeds look like. “They come in pods like these,” explained Kirschbaum.

Another rare plant found within La Riviere Park is poppy mallow. The last recorded case of a natural poppy mallow growing in Crawford County was more than 100 years ago in 1870.

Queen Anne’s lace is an invasive species that grows in La Rivere Park, and without proper maintenance, Kirschbaum said it could easily overwhelm and choke out smaller plants.

This prickly pear cactus can be seen in a few areas of La Riviere Park. Although rare, cacti are able to grow in the sandy soil of this area of the park. Volunteer naturalist Dennis Kirschbaum hopes that more cacti will continue to grow in the area. (Photo by Dennis Kirschbaum)

By Caitlin Bittner

As a natural place where wild flowers and wildlife are abundant, La Riviere Park is a cherished part of the Prairie du Chien community.

Within the past year, La Riviere has received two different grants from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Partners for Fish and Wildlife Program and the Upper Iowa Audubon Society.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service grant was for $1,000 and it assisted in the purchase of prairie plants seeds. The park received this grant as part of an initiative to help restore habitats for the benefit of federal trust species. Some of the species classified as federal trust species are monarch butterflies, lark sparrows, north flickers and field sparrows. According to Dennis Kirschbaum, a volunteer naturalist at La Riviere, butterflies, moths and birds may all benefit greatly from the initiative.

Thu
13
Aug

School continues work on new gymnasium


St. Gabriel’s new gymnasium will have a daycare and office spaces attached to it. (Photo by Addison Mumm)

By Addison Mumm

 

As hammers and nails build up walls, St. Gabriel’s Catholic School remains in the process of getting a new gym. The idea for a new gymnasium was introduced 12 to 13 years ago, according to St. Gabriel’s Catholic Church Father James C. Weighner, before he arrived in Prairie du Chien. The administration continued to talk about additions and a new gym until funding and timing made the project a reality.

 

“The new, full-size gymnasium will have a daycare and office center attached to it,” said Weighner. “It will have seating for about 100 to 150 people.”

 

Ground was broken in April of this year, but the construction has gone a little bit longer than expected and has no official end date yet.

 

Thu
13
Aug

Visit the local farmers markets for fresh fruits and vegetables


Kathy Moczulewski sells and educates customers about her delicious heirloom vegetables. She also provides herbs for purchase at the Prairie Street Farmers Market. (Photos by Addison Mumm)

Jim Fox has been growing produce his whole life. Fresh fruits and vegetables are available every weekend at the West Side Farmers Market.

Prairie Street Farmers Market is open every Saturday starting in May and ending in October.

By Addison Mumm

 

With growing health concerns, many people have turned to organic foods. What better place to get healthy fresh fruits and vegetables than at local farmers markets.

 

For years, farmers markets have been available to Prairie du Chien and the surrounding areas. Depending on the growing season, fruits, vegetables, baked goods and meats are available for the choosing.

 

Tue
11
Aug

Pickup truck causes damage to two other vehicles

On Aug. 7, at 8:44 p.m., the Crawford County Communications Center received a report of a two-vehicle car crash on County Road E near Easter Rock Lane in the township of Marietta. During the investigation, it was determined there were three vehicles involved in the crash.

Aspen S. Jacobson, 38, Steuben, was operating a 1999 Chevrolet Silverado pickup truck westbound on County Road E. The Jacobson vehicle struck a legally parked 2012 Dodge Ram pickup truck, which was pushed into a legally parked 2000 Chevrolet pickup truck. Both of the legally parked vehicles were owned by Bradley E. Wellner, 58, Boscobel.

Jacobson was cited for failure to maintain control and operating a motor vehicle without proof of insurance.

Assisting the Sheriff’s Department was Terry’s Tire and Tow.

Tue
11
Aug

Man faces drug, disorderly conduct charges

A 30-year-old Eastman man has been charged in Crawford County Circuit Court with several counts including the manufacture of marijuana, possession of drug paraphernalia, misdemeanor bail jumping (two counts), disorderly conduct (domestic abuse), and resisting an officer.

Pierre Diante Gardner faces up to six years and three months imprisonment and fines totalling $41,500 if convicted of all counts.

Tue
11
Aug

Man arrested after nearly hitting pole

On Aug. 8, at 2:50 a.m., a deputy with the Crawford County Sheriff’s Department was patrolling the village of Soldiers Grove when he observed a 2001 Ford Explorer drive off Highway 61, nearly striking a light pole at the intersection of Highway 61 and New Well Road. The vehicle continued driving across New Well Road, went up a steep embankment, through a yard, and then drove back onto Highway 61 traveling southbound.

The deputy initiated a traffic stop on the vehicle and identified the driver as Anthony E. Visgar, 38, Soldiers Grove. The deputy observed signs of alcohol impairment and asked Visgar to perform standardized field sobriety tests. Based on the results of the standardized field sobriety tests, Visgar was placed under arrest for operating a motor vehicle while under the influence.

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