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Wed
14
Aug

No Prairie Rod and Gun Club Deer Show in 2020


For its first 15 years, the Prairie du Chien Deer Show averaged about 180 nice deer mounts per show. For most of its existence, the show was held in the Prairie du Chien Armory.

 

By Ted Pennekamp

 

Recently, the Prairie Rod and Gun Club voted to not have their annual Deer Show in 2020. The Deer Show has been the club’s only fundraiser and has had a run of 21 years.

Club member Dennis Kirschbaum said there were several factors in deciding not to have the show.

Wed
14
Aug

Inmates file lawsuit against Prairie du Chien Correctional employees

 

Ten inmates at the Prairie du Chien Correctional Institution have filed a lawsuit claiming they were repeatedly exposed to asbestos and black mold and were denied access to cleaning supplies.

Eleven prison employees are listed as defendants in the lawsuit, filed in U.S. District Court, Western District of Wisconsin. The inmates are collectively seeking approximately $15 million in damages and are also asking for inmates to be taken to minimum-security facilities in the interest of inmate safety.

Wed
14
Aug

Prairie School District to borrow $1.3 million

 

By Ted Pennekamp

 

At its regular meeting Monday night, the Prairie du Chien School Board approved of revenue borrowing in the amount of $1.3 million to cover operating expenses during the 2019-2020 school year. The borrowing will be repaid in June of 2020 and was done due to the timing of state, local and federal revenues that will be coming to the district later this school year.

Wed
14
Aug

Public Health: More than just shots- Water quality and safety


Members of the Driftless Area Water Study (DAWS) met on April 12 to discuss a tri-county well testing effort for Crawford, Vernon and Richland counties. Attendees at the meeting included, back row: Crawford County Conservationist David Troester, Eli Mandel of Crawford Stewardship Project, Vernon County Conservationist Ben Wojahn, Sydney Garvalia, Vernon County Public Health sanitarian, Tom Lukens of Valley Stewardship Network, Forest Jahnke of Crawford Stewardship Project and Melissa Luck, Richland County Board supervisor and member of Richland County Land Conservation Committee. In the front row: Richland County Conservationist Cathy Cooper and Crawford County Director of Public Health Cindy Riniker.

By Peyton Meisner

This is a series about the Crawford County Health Department and the array of services they provide.

Crawford, Vernon and Richland counties have teamed up to help fight clean drinking water issues that plague southwest Wisconsin. 

The three counties have formed the Driftless Area Water Study (DAWS) and are currently looking to secure funding to undergo the area’s first expansive groundwater study. 

A recent Southwest Wisconsin Groundwater and Geology Study (SWIGG), finished its first phase of testing of more than 800 wells in nearby Iowa, Grant and Lafayette counties. 

Wed
14
Aug

Prairie du Chien hosts Upper Mississippi River Response Exercise


The Upper Mississippi River Response Exercise was held Aug. 8, at Lawler Park. First responders and local, state and federal agencies practiced a coordinated response to a simulated hazmat railroad derailment along the Mississippi.

By Peyton Meisner

 

Burlington Northern Santa Fe (BNSF) Railway hosted a specialized training and on-river exercise in Prairie du Chien Aug. 8. A classroom tabletop exercise was held in the morning and was followed by a boom deployment and response activity on the Missippi River. The training exercise helped practice coordination and response among first responders and local, state and federal agencies to a simulated railroad derailment involving hazardous materials on the Upper Mississippi River. 

“The hands-on aspect is huge,” Jim Hackett, Crawford County director of emergency management, said. “We want to make sure we are prepared in the event of a train derailment.”

Wed
14
Aug

Hartig family drops by PdC retail pharmacy as new generation takes over


Two generations of the Hartig family visited the Prairie du Chien Hartig Drug store Aug. 1, as a farewell stop for one of them who is retiring and an introduction for his sons who are stepping up to run the company. Pictured (back row, from left) are Wes, Dick and Charlie Hartig; (front row) Manager Jennifer Stoehr and Pharmacist-in-charge Erin Greenya. (Photo by Correne Martin)

By Correne Martin

A new generation of Hartigs is overseeing the local retail pharmacy chain of 22 tri-state stores, including the Prairie du Chien location. 

Dick Hartig is retiring after 46 years in the family business, started by his grandfather A.J. Hartig in 1904. Brothers Charlie and Wes Hartig, the fifth generation, are “excited to face the challenges” of the Dubuque, Iowa-based company, according to their father.

Charlie slid into his new role of Hartig Drug CEO in March 2018, while his brother Wes manages one of the company’s subsidiaries, MedOne Health Care Systems. 

Mon
12
Aug

ICAN intergenerational group tours sculpture park


Jim Rux was impressed with the great detail each of the sculptures in the Mississippi River Sculpture Park had. When taking a tour last week, he fell in love with the exciting history he learned about his community.

Nicole Dilley had to hug and pose alone with each of the intricate figures in the sculpture park. (Photos by Correne Martin)

The artist responsible for the statues that have gone into the sculpture park, Florence Bird, showed pictures and explained to the ICAN visitors the process of making a clay, then bronzed sculpture.

Sculpture park board president Randy Paske shows Matt Roach how the augmented reality application on his smart phones helps to bring the statues to life to tell their stories.

The group posed by each one of the statues for a picture altogether with artist Florence Bird.

The group gathers around Emma Big Bear to see the great detail showcased in the sculpture, which was the last one installed in the park, in 2011.

Some of the intergenerational group members posed by the sculpture of Voyageur Julian Coryer at the Mississippi River Sculpture Park Aug. 7. Pictured (from left) are Charlie Marx, Nicole Dilley, the voyager statue, Darin Dilley, Matt Roach, Sculpturist Florence Bird, Deb Larson, Lisa Hendrix, Jim Rux, Scott Tippery, Lorrie Duff and Danny Dremsa.

By Correne Martin

A dozen local individuals with disabilities received a personalized tour of the Mississippi River Sculpture Park Aug. 7. The men and women from the Intergenerational Community Activity Network, aka the ICAN program, met Chief Blackhawk, Voyageur Julian Coryer, a Victorian Lady, Emma Big Bear, and Dr. William Beaumont and son Israel. They also learned about Aunt Marianne LaBuche (and baby Louisa), as well as the park board’s intention to install her as the next life-size bronze statue as soon as a finalizing $11,000 is collected in donations.

Mon
12
Aug

Trading the fast pace of life for furs


Eleanor Lybeck was born and raised in Prairie du Chien. She now lives in Decorah, Iowa, but brought her five grandchildren—from St. Louis and New York—back to her hometown for the fur trade-themed Fridays at the Fort. She took a moment, here, to help Ainsley sew her suede medicine bag. Pictured (above), down the line, are granddaughters Avery, Addison and Taryn. Below, her youngest, Derrick, learns how to stitch around the outside of his bag, with some help from instructor Abbey Harkrader, of Clayton County Conservation. They all got to take their bags home. (Photos by Correne Martin)

Pictured are examples of the many animal pelts that were traded centuries ago. In trading, one beaver pelt was equal to 1.5 pounds of gunpowder, 2 pounds of sugar, 1 pound of lead, 30 musket balls, 1 brass kettle, 10 finger rings, 4 knives, 1 silver fur trade cross, 25 sewing needles, 3/4 pound of colored glass beads, 1/2 pound white beads, 8 moose hooves, 10 pounds of feathers, 1 pound of castoreum, 2 deer skins, 2 otter pelts, 2 wolverine pelts and 1 fisher pelt.

A history of the fur trade and the French, British and American eras of the 250-year time span was retold as part of the free, educational Fridays at the Fort program Aug. 9, at Prairie du Chien’s Ft. Crawford Museum. 

Around 20 children and adults heard a summary of this pivotal part of the region’s past. They learned about the Native American, French and British traders and the goods they exchanged, which included pelts from fur bearing animals that roamed the area at the time. Fridays at the Fort participants felt the softness of various animal pelts, from the small weasel on up to a black bear. 

Mon
12
Aug

See Villa Louis’ nooks and crannies, become a Friend at Summer Social


The Friends of Villa Louis have been a great support for the historic site in many ways, most recently helping the Villa install new interpretive markers across the grounds.

By Correne Martin

The Friends of Villa Louis are hosting a Summer Social with a nooks and crannies tour of the mansion, highlighted by a peek into the attic and a look at parts of the collection kept there. This special event will be Friday, Aug. 16, with a social hour and hors d’oeuvres from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m., followed by the exclusive views behind the scenes. 

“The nooks and crannies tour will show the inner workings of how things happen at the Villa Louis that the general public doesn’t necessarily get to experience,” stated Sarah Hohlfeld, guest experience coordinator at the historic site.  

Mon
12
Aug

Blue boxes being relocated for safer, easier mail dropoff downtown


The Prairie du Chien street department crew constructed this new U.S. Postal Service blue mailbox kiosk, located within the parking lot between the Courier Press and Century Link, off Beaumont Road.

The city and postal service are working together to complete the amenity for users within the coming weeks, which will include relocating the mailboxes from in front of the post office to this spot. (Photos by Correne Martin)

By Correne Martin

A change in location is happening for the two U.S. Postal Service blue collection boxes in front of the Prairie du Chien Post Office on Beaumont Road, as was decided and paid for by the city’s Redevelopment Authority (RDA).

The mailboxes will be reconfigured, in the coming weeks, within the new city parking lot between the Courier Press office and CenturyLink station. One blue box will face the north and the other will face the south. This will allow drivers to pull up on either side, drop mail into one of the boxes, then drive away. Drivers may enter off of Beaumont Road and exit in the alleyway, or vice versa.

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