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Wed
12
Sep

LaVonne E. 'Bonnie' Hines

LaVonne E. “Bonnie” Hines, 82, of Prairie du Chien passed away unexpectedly Sunday, Sept. 9, at the Grant Regional Health Center in Lancaster. 

Wed
12
Sep

Familiar flood scene leaves bar owners in despair again


Bob Atkinson shows the utility pole flood mark where the Aug. 28-30 Kickapoo River crested at a historic 19.84 feet in Steuben. (Photos by Correne Martin)

A hose pumped out the remaining muddy waters from Lou’s R&R bar and restaurant in Steuben Sept. 4, several days after a record flood once again filled Bob and Lou Atkinson’s bar with around 4 feet of river water.

Lou’s R&R dries out and gets cleaned up after another devastating flood hits the bar, which Bob and Lou Atkinson have owned in Steuben for over 31 years.

Thrown out to the curb were some of Lou’s damaged appliances and structural materials.

By Correne Martin

The day after Labor Day, intensely arduous amounts of work continued in the village of Steuben to clean up the ruins the record flooding Aug. 28-30 left behind. 

It was a scene all too familiar to Steuben’s tiny population of residents, vacationers and those who grew up there who returned to help during yet another time of devastation.

Rugs hung out to dry in the refreshing sun. Barn fans stood in doorways. Damaged plywood and insulation wept at the curb. Worn sandbags sat piled together with debris unclogged from the bridge. Muddy foliage hung on community playground equipment. Four-wheelers and loaders navigated their way around dumpsters growing with wreckage. Shovels and wheelbarrows were aplenty.

Wed
12
Sep

Driftless Area Art Festival moved to Gays Mills fairgrounds


Master guitarist Bruce Hecksel and singer-songwriter Julie Patchouli blend music from their two musical projects, Patchouli and Terra Guitarra. They’ll perform at the Driftless Area Art Festival at the fairgrounds in Gays Mills. (Submitted photo)

Can floods cancel one of mid-America’s favorite art festivals? Not in the Driftless Area! And not when beauty and friendship can do much to help in weathering storms like those that have hit communities across the Driftless region.

So, 81 of the finest visual artists from across the region will gather in a new, temporary location Sept. 15 and 16, for the 14th annual Driftless Area Art Festival. Instead of Beauford T. Anderson Park in Soldiers Grove, the festival will take place less than 10 miles away, on the grounds of the Crawford County Fair, just outside Gays Mills.

They’ll be joined by 10 local culinary artists and four musical groups—some familiar names from previous years and some new to the festival. 

Wed
12
Sep

Iowa woman arrested for 9th OWI

On Sunday, Sept. 9, at 7:06 p.m., the Crawford County Sheriff’s Department received a traffic complaint on County Road K near Limery Road in the township of Prairie du Chien. The caller reported that a black car had pulled off the road multiple times and was driving north and south on County K continuously. The caller said that the driver may be intoxicated. It was reported that the vehicle was varying speed and pulled off the road in multiple areas and then back on the roadway again. 

Wed
12
Sep

Trial in October for Bloomington man accused of sexual assault

The Bloomington man accused of inappropriate contact with a youth who visited his business is moving toward a trial.

James Crubel, 59, was in Grant County Circuit Court for a status conference on the seven felony counts against him. The case was given a final status hearing Oct. 3, with an expected two-day trial set for Oct. 22.

Crubel has been charged with two counts of repeated sexual assault of the same child—contact equal to first degree sexual assault more than three times. The charges have maximum sentences of up to 60 years, and the first charge calls for a minimum of 25 years for a bifurcated sentence. 

Wed
12
Sep

Apple Fest to go on as planned

The village of Gays Mills has announced that its Apple Festival celebration will be held as scheduled, despite recent flooding in the area.

Village President Harry Heisz said the 60th Annual Apple Festival will be held Friday, Saturday and Sunday, Sept. 28-30. 

“We’re confident that the streets and other grounds will be free of flood waters and cleaned up before the end of the month,” he said. “We’ve had tremendous help from many volunteers, organizations, village staff and other government agencies, and feel we’re in good shape for the festival.” 

Apple Fest consists of many food stands, an arts and crafts show, a huge flea market, carnival rides, music, a run-walk, tournaments and the Apple Fest parade on Sunday.

Wed
12
Sep

Two drivers sustain injuries in accident

On Tuesday, Sept. 11, at 7:38 a.m., the Crawford County Dispatch Center was notified of a two-car crash on Highway 60, near Riverview Lane in Wauzeka Township.

Jennifer Schramm, 38, rural Muscoda, was driving a 2005 Ford Mustang west when she slowed in traffic for a farm tractor. She was rear-ended by a 2017 Chevy Malibu driven by Timothy Bray, 46, rural Gays Mills. Bray had taken his eyes off the road for a second then saw Schramm slowing, but was unable avoid the collision.

Schramm sustained possible whiplash and was taken to a hospital.

Bray sustained a bump to the head and a bruise to his left wrist but refused medical transport. Both vehicles sustained disabling damage and were towed from the scene. Bray was cited for inattentive driving.

Tue
11
Sep

Jess F. Riness

Jess F. Riness, 89, of Prairie du Chien, passed away Monday, Sept. 10, at Crossing Rivers Health in Prairie du Chien. 

He was born Aug. 12, 1929, in Vassar, Mich., the son of Jess and Mary Grace (Valley) Riness. Jess served in the U.S. Navy during the Korean Conflict. He married Hazel Ronkoski on June 15, 1963. He worked at National Decorated Metals and later retired from 3M Company in Prairie du Chien. Jess also did some construction work over the years. 

He is survived by his daughter Sharon Riness, of Prairie du Chien, and his brother Jerry (Sharon) Riness of Viroqua. He was preceded in death by his parents; his wife, Hazel; and his brothers, Richard and Jack Riness.

Tue
11
Sep

Anna M. Steffensmeier

Anna M. Steffensmeier, 87, of Prairie du Chien, passed away Monday, Sept. 10, at the Gundersen Health System of La Crosse. 

She was born May 27, 1931, in Patch Grove, the daughter of Alonzo and Ivanelle (Taylor) Wilkinson. She married Cletus Steffensmeier on Aug. 27, 1960, at St. John’s Church in Patch Grove. Together, they farmed most of their lives in the Patch Grove area before retiring in Prairie du Chien in 1988. Cletus preceded her in death on March 19, 2011. 

Tue
11
Sep

Paul Sebastian

Paul Sebastian, adored and cherished husband, father, and grandfather, found comfort in the arms of his loving Savior on Tuesday, Sept. 4, 2018, at the age of 84.

Paul’s life story began on June 7, 1934, in Prairie du Chien—where he spent his childhood helping on his grandparents’ farm and fishing for bluegill on the Mississippi River. Upon graduation from Campion College Preparatory School, Paul served in the U.S. Army from 1954 to 1956, and received an honorable discharge. Several years later, he graduated from UW-Madison with a BBA in accounting and earned his CPA distinction. While living in Madison, Paul met his future wife, Beatrice Cimpl, after a Badger football game. The rest was history. Paul and Bea were married in August of 1959, and their love story continued into parenthood with the adoptions of son, Tom, and daughter, Mary. 

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