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Mon
18
Jun

Eastman Mets created a movement in fastpitch softball


Eastman Mets fastpitch softball team members on the first team in 1964 were (front row, from left) Chester Kramer, Ray Byerly, Terry Kramer, Pete Swanson, Gary Lenzendorf, Charlie Wall; (back row) Larry Pelock, John Pelock, John Swatek, John Kramer, Roger Wall, Tom Wagner, Dave Swanson and Mark Martin.

Remnants from the Eastman Mets continued on to play with league leaders Bob’s Bar and Slama’s Bar softball teams, where they mixed their talents with other players from the area. Above are Frank McCormick, Al Gillingham, David Swanson, Dennis Fuller, Pete Swanson, Mel Dearborn, John Kramer, Jim Pitzer, Tom Lydon and Bob Kuckenbecker. Below are LaVerne DuCharme, Ronnie Hollenberger, John Trautsch, Roger Feye, Roger Wall, Loyde Beers, John Swatek, manager Pete Mara, Bernie Zach and Mike Kilburg. Not pictured are John Slama and Dennis Lenzendorf. Visit the Courier on Facebook and Instagram for additional pictures of other area league teams who competed against the Mets.

By Correne Martin

This is a small-town tale about how high school fastpitch softball teams started developing in Eastman and other southwest Wisconsin communities in the 1960s. 

But this story is more than just another account of a masterful and passionate ball team. It’s the kind of story that allows you to envision a group of unpretentious sandlot ball buddies who sparked a community revolution simply by their love of the game. 

In the early 1960s, fast pitch was gaining ground in the area, but there were no young kids playing—except for every noon hour on the Eastman school playground. There, a mess of boys would organize a pick-up game. Some girls grabbed bats too—many of whom were just as good as the boys.

Wed
13
Jun

Where the best and the brightest go next after the last word of the speech


Brent Bloyer Chrissie Alioto Kristine Pettis

By Rachel Mergen

 

As area high school graduations are done for another year, past graduates reflect on their own experiences. Valedictorians, especially, have important connections with their commencement ceremonies, as they addressed the audiences and represented the best and brightest of the school. But, once the diploma is accepted and the graduates walk out of their schools, what comes next for the top of the class? 

Kristine Pettis

Kristine Pettis achieved the honor of Valedictorian in 2008 at Seneca High School. 

Wed
13
Jun

Kids can explore the garden for free


Ashlin Nolan, daughter of John and Carrie Nolan, forms soil around a plant in the Memorial Gardens. Through hands-on gardening activities such as this, children can learn about the earth and its bounty at this summer’s Kids in the Garden program, which starts today (Wednesday, June 13), from 4 to 5:30 p.m., and will continue every second and fourth Wednesday of the month. (Submitted photo)

Kids in the Garden is a free program at the St. Feriole Island Memorial Gardens every second and fourth Wednesday morning and afternoon, sponsored by the Crawford County Master Gardeners. Class times are 9:30 to 11 a.m. and 4 to 5:30 p.m. Children ages 5-14 and their parents or guardians (for those under 10) are invited to explore the garden setting, including the harvesting of vegetables, tasting of them, talking about using them and enjoying a story walk, snack and beverage.

June 13—Planting Our Garden and Construction of a Bug Condo

Seeds and plants will be planted and labels made. There will be story time and time for exploring bug guests in the bug condo. Hummingbird feeders will also be filled and installed, that way the kids can watch hummingbirds all summer.

Wed
13
Jun

Prairie du Chien man says he saw black cougar


This track was photographed by Larry Stluka’s son, who has relatively wide hands.

By Ted Pennekamp

A black cougar (also known as a panther) has killed several pigs and damaged a cow and two dogs according to a rural Prairie du Chien man who says he saw the large cat about two weeks ago on his farm.

Tue
12
Jun

Amundson pleads not guilty

By Ted Pennekamp

 

Bluff View Principal Aaron Amundson entered a plea of not guilty at his arraignment in Crawford County Circuit Court Tuesday afternoon to a charge of child abuse-recklessly causing harm.

Mon
11
Jun

Be aware of elderly self-neglect

By Rachel Mergen

June is awareness month for elderly and vulnerable people self-neglect. To help the community become more aware of the warning signs and what to do if they are concerned self-neglect may be occurring, a panel will be held on Wednesday, June 27, from 9 to 11 a.m., with registration at 8:30 a.m., at the Crawford County Administration Building in Prairie du Chien. 

The panel will feature Drs. Ann and Mark Grunwald, Ryan Fradette, of the Crawford County Sheriff’s Department, and Dan McWilliams, of the Crawford County Health and Human Services Department. Refreshments will be offered, along with door prize drawings. 

Mon
11
Jun

Soldiers Grove foster family reminds all that it takes a village to raise a child


Pictured, Colleen and Wade Dull, at their Soldiers Grove home, have raised biological, foster and adopted children for more than two decades. (Photo by Rachel Mergen)

By Rachel Mergen

As the biological parents of four children—three sons and a daughter—Colleen and Wade Dull had experienced both the joys and the hardships of parenting. They knew it wasn’t easy to be everything that a child needed, but they gave their children safe, happy lives. 

The couple wanted to be certain more children had the same happiness their own children had, which led to opening their seven-bedroom home and farm for foster children for the past 20 years. 

Mon
11
Jun

Driftless Development creating ‘Pathway to Progress’

By Ted Pennekamp

Mon
11
Jun

Rotary Club taking over Jaycees' Op Santa

Though the Prairie du Chien Jaycees recently disbanded, the remaining club members realized how important the successful continuation of the Operation Santa project is to the community. With that in mind, the Rotary Club of Prairie du Chien has agreed to take the lead on organizing the event moving forward.

Operation Santa has assisted hundreds of families in the area around Christmas time with a food box, gifts for children, personal hygiene products, hats, mittens, gently-used coats, etc. This community project and the need for it is why many of the Jaycee members were members in the first place. 

Mon
11
Jun

Michigan Street construction underway

The city of Prairie du Chien is beginning the Michigan Street reconstruction project. The project includes street and utility replacement on North Michigan Street, from Blackhawk Avenue to Perry Street; Haydn Street, from Michigan Street to Illinois Street; and Park Street from Michigan Street to Illinois Street. The street construction will include removing the existing street and installing new sanitary sewer, water main, storm sewer, base course, curb and gutter, asphalt pavement, concrete sidewalk and driveway aprons.

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