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Klema, Scherer top ‘fair story’ contest

Sue Klema was the Grand Champion winner of the Crawford County Fair’s “Every Person Has a Fair Story” writing contest. Sue’s story will be entered into the state contest at the state fair convention in January.

The Reserve Grand Champion honor went to Wendy Whitney-Scherer.


Glory in the Showring

By Sue Klema

I grew up showing Holstein cattle at the Crawford County fair, so when my husband, Arnie, brought home a Jersey cow from the UW-Platteville sale, I didn’t know what to think. Who would have thought that I would fall for this lovely breed? We have had the pleasure of being in the presence of many of these amazing animals with the beautiful eyes and gentle souls.


Kickapoo predicted to flood


The Kickapoo River is expected to have minor flooding in Crawford County within the next few days, according to the National Weather Service in La Crosse.

The river at Soldiers Grove was at 8.63 feet on Sept. 19 and is predicted to reach 14.3 feet on Sept. 21. The river is then expected to recede rapidly. Minor flood stage at Soldiers Grove is 13 feet.


Work readying new 4th Ward Marina for 2020

Earthmoving and work to reestablish the city of Prairie du Chien’s marina property has been visible at the new 4th Ward Marina over the past few weeks. Blair Dillman has an agreement with the city to offer boating services along the marina. 

According to advertisement in the Courier Press, the marina will have covered boat slips available for the 2020 season and reservations are now being taken. For more information and reservations, contact Barron Dillman at 326-2141. 


Wauzeka man sets citizen recycling example for community

Mike Mullikin stands on his rural Wauzeka farm among the loads of recyclables he personally collected from mainly two events in his community this summer. He encourages the public to do their part toward citizen recycling efforts and taking care of the earth. (Photo by Correne Martin)

By Correne Martin

Mike Mullikin took it upon himself this summer to enact a citizen recycling project in the community of Wauzeka. 

He was noticing overflowing dumpsters, specifically at village summer rec activities, that had just as many recyclables in them as actual garbage. He felt compelled to do his part in taking care of the earth.

“I keep seeing these stories about plastic in the ocean and how our landfills are filling up. These materials don’t decompose very well,” he noted. “A little encouragement could go a long way toward keeping some of this stuff out of the landfills.”


Local contractors still fighting to get paid for Lawler School Lofts project


By Ted Pennekamp


Numerous Prairie du Chien and area contractors who worked on the $8.7 million Lawler School Lofts project are still quite angry and still fighting to get paid, more than a year later. Lawler School Lofts is a 40-unit apartment complex. It was the former Wyalusing Academy and is located at 601 S. Beaumont Road in Prairie du Chien.


Two arrested for drugs

On Sept. 14, at 3:32 a.m., a deputy of the Crawford County Sheriff’s Office observed a 2005 Mercury Grand Marquis turn off of S. Main Street and drive against traffic on W. Wisconsin Street (one-way street), in the city of Prairie du Chien.   

The deputy made contact with the driver, Samuel H. Hirsch, 44, Waterloo, Iowa. Hirsch exhibited signs of drug-related impairment and nervousness while speaking with the deputy. A woman passenger was asked to exit the vehicle for further questioning. Upon doing so, the woman passenger exhibited signs of nervousness and refused to identify herself. However, a second deputy arrived on scene and was able to identify her as Goldie L. Farmer, 20, Prairie du Chien. It was determined that Farmer had active arrest warrants through Crawford and Grant counties.


Special event lineup to enliven PdC community

Editor’s note: This is the final part of a three-part series about upcoming recreational offerings in Prairie du Chien. 

By Correne Martin

Prairie du Chien’s got it when it comes to fall and winter events, especially family-friendly and tourist attracting opportunities.

It’s hard to believe Halloween is around the corner, but the annual Halls of Terror, hosted by Scream Extreme at the Cedar Building on St. Feriole Island, will start on Friday, Oct. 11. It will be held every Friday and Saturday thereafter from 7 to 10:30 p.m. On Sunday, Oct. 27, from 1 to 3 p.m., there will be a kid-friendly haunt. Prior to that, there will be a kids costume contest at noon. 


River of Lakes still a local paradise after 60 years

At the 60th anniversary event for River of Lakes, members of the Irish and Schiffman families enjoyed their time. Pictured (from left) are Lori Irish, Pam (Irish) Myhre, Tom Irish, Ken and Jean Irish, Mick and Sue (Schiffman) Redman, Rob and Mickey Irish. (Submitted photo)

Jean Irish holds their daughter Pam, alongside husband Ken and his business partner Don Schiffman, with a string of fish they caught at River of Lakes in May 1960.

This new sign for the resort was erected this summer adjacent to the Bagley community sign. (Photo by Correne Martin)

Business partners Ken Irish and Don Schiffman stand on their handbuilt docks in May 1960, less than one year after purchasing River of Lakes Resort.

Don and Ken tend to the self-service minnow tanks back in May 1960.

After buying River of Lakes and opening on July 1, 1959, Don Schiffman and Ken Irish stand in front of one of the original cabins—Florida, which was among three others named Wisconsin, Iowa and Illinois—in May 1960.

The current River of Lakes campground business is run by Tanya and Bruce Clark and Greg and Shelly Page. Here is the store as it is today. (Photo by Correne Martin)

Jean and Ken Irish are pictured with their son, Tom, and his wife, Lori, in one of the lead cars for the 60th anniversary golf cart parade and celebration.

By Correne Martin

Another day in Sportsman’s Paradise, at the resort known as River of Lakes in Bagley, is one that embraces nature, fishing, boating, camping, grilling and good company. 

There may be more UTVs buzzing around the streets than golf carts or motor scooters, but 60 years after the popular vacation spot got off the ground, River of Lakes is still a reflection of the simple life.

Buying and forming the resort

Friends Ken Irish and Don Schiffman, from Lancaster, saw an ad in the local pennysaver that Art Dearborn had four wooden boats for sale. 


7.57 inches of rainfall in PdC, floods cripple the area

A filthy mess remained just north of County K along Highway 35.

Prairie du Chien public works crews focused on clearing the streets and helping homeowners on the eastern portion of the city nearest the bluff overnight Thursday into Friday. This is an alleyway in the vicinity of Buchanan and State streets.

Mud scraped from the streets of Prairie du Chien was piled in the vacant Blackhawk Junction space.

A crew of Burlington Northern Santa Fe workers were north of Prairie assessing and attempting to repair Mother Nature’s damage to their railroad tracks.

The bottom of Mill Coulee Road looked like a pond by late Thursday into Friday.

Burlington Northern started bringing in breaker rock to restabilize the railroad property.

More rock was hauled in and dumped in an effort to fix the railroad bed washout that occurred along Highway 35.

City employees skidsteered mud off of Cass Street in Prairie.

These chairs washed down Picatee Creek Road.

Cliffwood Drive near Prairie du Chien’s North Gateway Business Park was covered in sludge.

A cornfield on Cliffwood Drive was essentially leveled.

From County K and the Cliffwood intersection, facing east, another large pond formed.

A pump at Godden’s pit along Fremont Street worked to drain the retaining pond Thursday afternoon, Sept. 12, hours before heavy storms dumped rain and brought flash flooding to the community of Prairie du Chien.

An amazing amount of landowners’ belongings were relocated by rushing water, thick mud and moving debris.

A new lake north of Pedretti farms formed along County Highway 35.

Road construction signs for the County N road project were splashed with mud, likely from plows that were out pushing it off roadways like Highway 35.

A farm sign was overtaken by muck.

A driveway on Picatee Creek Road was still oversaturated Friday morning.

Fences all around looked like this one on Picatee Creek Road, snagged with uprooted grass and mud that floated in on the high waters passing by.

Some large trees came down Picatee Creek.

Trees and rocks washed up everywhere. Here, the pavement just south of the Spring Lake Inn was buckled by mud.

This railroad bridge along Highway 35, just a few miles north of Prairie, was undermined.

Workers at Solomon Corp. in the North Gateway Business Park had plenty of cleanup to do this morning.

The intersection of State and Cass streets was nearly impassable Friday morning, with numerous inches of mud making passing through very difficult.

By Correne Martin and Ted Pennekamp

Strong to severe thunderstorms rolled across the area from early afternoon through the late evening hours of Thursday, Sept. 12. The storms produced very heavy rainfall, resulting in flash flooding across portions of southwest Wisconsin and northeast Iowa, along with rises on many rivers and streams.

In addition, the National Weather Service of La Crosse reported that strong to damaging winds accompanied some of the storms (including one EF-0 tornado that touched down in rural Winneshiek County, Iowa, just south of the town of Ossian). 


Bird hired as new district administrator for Prairie du Chien

Bryce Bird


By Ted Pennekamp


Bryce Bird has been hired by the Prairie du Chien School District to become the district’s new superintendent. Bird is replacing former superintendent Robert Smudde who is leaving for the Dodgeville School District.


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