Local News

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Mon
05
Oct

You’re ‘willkommen’ to celebrate Oktoberfest


The hammerschlagen contest challenges participants of all ages to drive a nail into a stump as far as they can with just one swing of the “claw end” of a hammer. This is just one of many family-oriented activities Oktoberfest-goers may enjoy Oct. 17 on St. Feriole Island. (Courier Press file photo)

By Correne Martin

Prairie du Chien’s Oktoberfest is as elaborate as any celebration around. And it’s even bigger and better this year, with entertainment for every member of the family—German or not.

In its sixth year, Oktoberfest will welcome, or “willkommen,” partiers to St. Feriole Island in Prairie du Chien Saturday, Oct. 17, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. The fall colors will adda vibrancy to the already lively activities, which collectively serve as a fundraiser for the Memorial Gardens.

Mon
05
Oct

Ruffed Grouse

 

Southwest Wisconsin landowners 

can help increase ruffed grouse population

By Ted Pennekamp

 

Wed
30
Sep

Get creative for Fallfire Art Contest


“Fall Cardinal Look-Alike,” by Kim Suetmeyer, was the grand prize winner of Fallfire last year.

The two-dimensional art winner for Fallfire last year was Mike Kabele with “The Holdouts.”

The Other Media winner, Vase of Life, was created by Brooklyn Elliott.

The Peoples Choice for 2014 was "The Marsh," by Suzy Tegge.

Photography winner Clarissa Oehler captured "A Gentle End" for her Fallfire submission.

Get creative for Fallfire Art Contest With the support of several area businesses, cartoonist John Mundt, Esquire, of Prairie du Chien, is hosting the 12th Annual Fallfire Art Contest now through Oct. 31. Open to artists of any age, and in all mediums, Fallfire 12 is now accepting submissions.

Inspired by the sights and sounds of autumn, Mundt, illustrator of The Collected Short Stories of L. Frank Baum, founded the contest in 2004 to challenge artists to “flex their creative muscles.” Participants are asked to create a work inspired by the word “fallfire.”

Wed
30
Sep

One block of Illinois Street by B.A. Kennedy will be two-way starting Monday

By Correne Martin

One block of Prairie du Chien traffic on South Illinois Street, from Webster Street to Cass Street, will become two-way, and parking will be prohibited on either side of that stretch of road, thanks to an ordinance approved Tuesday night by the Prairie du Chien Common Council. The change is effective Monday, Oct. 5.

According to Police Chief Chad Abram, the need for this adjustment came to the department’s attention through the common council.

“The aldermen in that district felt something needed to be done to alleviate congested traffic issues in the area of B.A. Kennedy Elementary School,” Abram said. “This is just the simplest solution we could provide for parents driving vehicles dropping off and picking up children at B.A. Kennedy. It’s a difficult area; the school is landlocked and there is no off-street parking. The long-term solution would be to look at creating a parking lot for staff.”

Wed
30
Sep

Public input sought for future of historic Brodtville school


The Brodtville School sits empty among the hills of farmhouses in Wyalusing Township, between Bagley and Patch Grove. At one time, 100 school children filled the one-room facility with the sounds of learning. Today, the town board is seeking public input as they decide what to do with the rundown building. (Photo by Correne Martin)

Taking up a large space within the historic walls of the schoolhouse landmark is this hand-painted fabric banner showing an honor roll of sorts of Patch Grove, Bloomington and Bagley area businesses from yesteryear.

A one-time class schedule for the Brodtville School might bring back fond memories for former schoolchildren.

These old photographs are just begging for people to reminisce near them about the days when the one-room Brodtville School was filled with young learners seated two per desk. Several former students in these photos are still alive today.

By Correne Martin

In 1852, some 163 years ago, a one-room schoolhouse was built on the settlement of Brodtville. Twelve years later, in 1864, the original building sold for $71, and a new 26x40 schoolhouse was constructed for $285 in taxes from the township—which was then Patch Grove Township and is now Wyalusing Township.

These days, when most of the men mentioned in those historical minutes now lie in the graveyard behind the schoolhouse, the future of the 151-year-old deteriorating facility is up in the air.

Wed
30
Sep

Wisconsin River Trail

 

Wisconsin River Trail 

project gets $200,000 grant

By Ted Pennekamp

 

The Wisconsin River Trail Organization (WRTO) has been awarded a $200,000 Knowles Nelson Stewardship Grant to go towards starting construction of the Wisconsin River Trail, which will eventually run from Boscobel to Wauzeka. 

Mon
28
Sep

Slow-no wake

 

Proposed slow-no wake at Campion Boat Landing considered for safety

By Ted Pennekamp

 

The process of possibly implementing a slow-no wake zone at the Campion Boat Landing is continuing. Prairie du Chien City Administrator Aaron Kramer said that the permit application has been sent to the Wisconsin DNR for review and fine tuning. 

Mon
28
Sep

Many elements of old hospital to be reused by local schools, cities


Area schools and city governments have had the opportunity in recent weeks to walk the halls of the former Prairie du Chien Memorial Hospital building on Taylor Street in hopes of taking materials and equipment that can be recycled and repurposed. Now, Clayton County Recycling, of Monona, Iowa, will begin demolition of the site this week. They will collaborate with Robinson Brothers Environmental on asbestos abatement.

Removing a light fixture from the former hospital property are (from left) Father James Weighner; Jeff Mink, Crossing Rivers Health maintenance; and Steve Rickleff. (Submitted photo)

By Correne Martin

Demolition of the former Prairie du Chien Memorial Hospital facility on Taylor Street is targeted to begin sometime this week, according to Crossing Rivers Health officials. With that on the horizon, nearly every interior element from the old building was recently claimed by area school districts, cities and non-profit organizations free of charge for potential recycling and repurposing. An online auction, which ended Friday, sold commercial kitchen and other large hospital equipment to the general public.

The demolition contract was awarded Friday to Clayton County Recycling, of Monona, Iowa, who can start work as early as Tuesday, Sept. 29.

Mon
28
Sep

Meet historic people on annual tour of six Prairie du Chien cemeteries

It’s now fall, which means it’s time for the very popular event, Visiting Our Ancestors, a tour of Prairie du Chien’s six historic cemeteries, sponsored by the Prairie du Chien Historical Society.

On Saturday, Oct. 3, there will be a guided tour of the six cemeteries, beginning at 1 p.m., at the Fort Crawford Museum, 717 South Beaumont Rd. Participants should gather at the museum, where they will board vans to travel to the cemeteries, beginning with the Old French Cemetery and ending at the Brisbois Cemetery high above on the bluffs. At each cemetery, the costumed host of the tour will give a short history of the burying grounds and then she will introduce the resident.

The French Catholic Cemetery is the oldest cemetery still in existence in the State of Wisconsin and may be the oldest cemetery in the upper Mississippi Valley. Few of the graves are marked but much is known about the people who are buried there beginning in 1816.

Mon
28
Sep

Prairie du Chien making water system improvements

Prairie du Chien’s continued efforts toward improving the municipal infrastructure system will focus on the city’s water system over the next several months. Earlier this year, the city contracted with Municipal Management, Inc., of Madrid, Iowa, to do an extensive survey of the water system to identify any underground leaks. These leaks result in water loss, plus additional operational costs for the water system and, ultimately, the customers. Over 20 leaks were identified, with over half of them being classified as major.

“It appears that many of these leaks may have been caused by the extreme cold weather we experienced two winters ago,” Water Department Manager Larry Gates said. “Additionally, we have an old system, with some of the water services dating back to the 1940s. The water department will make every attempt to repair these water leaks in a timely fashion to decrease the amount of unaccounted water.”

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