Local News

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Mon
31
Aug

Train carrying corn derails near Campion Boat Landing

Three railroad cars owned by Avalon Grain, of Madison, derailed and a fourth was damaged near the Campion Boat Landing in Prairie du Chien Sunday, Aug. 30, between 5 and 6 p.m. The train was headed to Mexico and carrying around 4,000 bushels of corn per car. According to a local grain authority, the current going rate for corn is $3.60 per bushel­—meaning a potential loss of more than $50,000 in corn alone. The train was traveling on Wisconsin & Southern Railroad track, about to switch to Burlington Northern Santa Fe track, at the time of the derailment. A witness said there were about a dozen people who saw the cars fall over as the train was moving at a relatively slow speed. “The noise was deafening. It was kinda scary. Everybody got away from the tracks,” said the witness, who did not want to be identified. The derailment caused a big hole next to the tracks.

Mon
31
Aug

Gun safe stolen in burglary

On Sunday, July 26, the Crawford County Sheriff’s Department initially investigated a report of a residential burglary at 106 Railway Ave. in the village of Soldiers Grove.

During the night hours of Saturday, July 25, or the early morning hours of Sunday, July 26, the residence was entered and a black gun safe was stolen. The 59” x 20” gun safe contained Browning rifles, ammunition, cash, and a Michael Jordan rookie card.

The Crawford County Crime Stoppers urges anyone having information about this or any other crimes to call 326-8933 or 1-866-779-PAYS. Anyone calling either of these numbers with a Crime Stoppers tip will remain anonymous and a reward of up to $1,000 will be paid for a tip which solves a crime with an arrest, charges being filed or recovery of stolen property.

Mon
31
Aug

Counterfeit bills used

By Correne Martin

A suspect is being investigated in relation to four cases of counterfeit bills presented at Crawford County businesses over the last couple months, according to Sheriff Dale McCullick.

Fake $100, $20 and $10 bills were used to purchase goods at The Port, Tractor Supply and Piggly Wiggly, all in Bridgeport Township. Also, a customer attempted to use an imitation bill at Casey’s General Store, in Prairie du Chien Township, but the clerk caught it before it was accepted.

‘These were smaller than normal size bills and the color was off,” McCullick said, noting that they were likely made via a home computer and printer.

In these four cases, the businesses that accepted the bills may be out the money in the long run. McCullick said the sheriff’s department sends them into the U.S. Secret Service and the businesses aren’t always reimbursed.

Mon
31
Aug

Closure of 3 city TIF districts will put money back on tax roll

By Correne Martin

Two of Prairie du Chien’s six tax increment financing (TIF) districts are expected to close at the end of 2015 and a third in the first half of 2016, putting about $3.5 million back on the local levy for city taxpayers.
“We still have to go through the official audit and notify the state that they’re being closed,” City Administrator Aaron Kramer said. “But it’s essentially like we’re closing out a checking account.”

To realize the impact of this, it’s important for taxpayers to understand the complexity that is a TIF or a TID, aka, a tax increment financing district.

Here’s an explanation.

Wed
26
Aug

Get ‘Circus, Circus’ entries ready for McGregor-Marquette Labor Day parade

On Saturday, Sept. 5, the McGregor-Marquette Chamber of Commerce will be hosting its annual Labor Day parade. This year’s theme is once again “Circus, Circus” in celebration of the upcoming 150th birthday of John Ringling, co-founder of the Ringling Bros., and later co-owner of the Barnum & Bailey Circus. The parade steps off at 11 a.m., beginning near St. Mary’s in McGregor and continuing north on Main Street.

“Come line up on Main Street for the fun, stay for the Hole in the Sock Gang’s theatrical performance in front of Uncle Sam’s at 1 p.m., enjoy lunch at one of many eateries, enjoy a historical boat tour and get in some shopping while in town. There is plenty of fun and activities for everyone,” Chamber of Commerce Director Carolyn Gallagher said.

Wed
26
Aug

River Ridge presents new staff

New staff in the River Ridge School District for 2015-2016 gathered recently for a group picture. From left: Clay Koenig, high school principal; Samantha Jung, grade 3; Bret Iverson, high school ag; Deb Martell, administrative secretary; Linda Moser, middle/high school math; Tina Dilley, middle/high school business and career education; Katrina Ellis, high school math; Trudy DeSimons, special education director; Dr. Jeff Athey, superintendent/elementary principal.

Wed
26
Aug

Trailer and $19,000 of tools stolen in PdC

A United Expressline trailer was stolen from the area of the 400 block of South Main Street and the Highway 18 Bypass in Prairie du Chien sometime between 9:30 p.m. on Sunday, Aug. 23 and 6:15 a.m. on Monday, Aug. 24. The trailer is black and gray with hail damage and no license plate. It is large enough to hold a full-size car. At the time of the crime, the trailer was full of construction tools, valued at around $19,000, that have the contractor’s initials, “RS,” engraved on them. Anyone with information is asked to call Crimestoppers at (866) 779-7297.

The trailer was reportedly seen on the bypass heading south out of Prairie du Chien around the times above. The Prairie du Chien Police Department is asking anyone who had a video camera recording traffic, or saw this trailer, to contact them via Crimestoppers.

Wed
26
Aug

Man allegedly reveals routine morphine usage

A 27-year-old Prairie du Chien woman and a 36-year-old Prairie du Chien man have each been charged in Crawford County Circuit Court with one count of possession of narcotic drugs and one count of possession of drug paraphernalia as a party to a crime.

Tiffany J. McKittrick and Shawn R. Otterson, who were both staying in the same motel room on South Marquette Road, each face up to a $10,500 fine and three years and seven months imprisonment if convicted of both counts.

According to the criminal complaint, Prairie du Chien police officers responded to a report of a disturbance at the motel. When questioned as part of the investigation, Otterson admitted that he and McKittrick use morphine routinely, the complaint said.

Items of drug paraphernalia, including a syringe were seized following a search. A piece of cotton tested positive for opiates/morphine, according to the complaint.

Wed
26
Aug

Local woman charged with meth possession

A 26-year-old Prairie du Chien woman has been charged in Crawford County Circuit Court with one count of possession of methamphetamine.

Christine Marie Barnhart faces up to 3.5 years in prison and a $10,000 fine if convicted.

According to the criminal complaint, a baggie containing a white powdery substance accidentally dropped from Barnhart’s hand and landed on the self-checkout stand as she was paying for merchandise at Wal-Mart in the town of Bridgeport. Barnhart left the baggie behind and it was turned over to the Crawford County Sheriff’s Department.

When later questioned by a deputy, Barnhart admitted that the baggie contained meth, the complaint said.

Wed
26
Aug

Locally-raised animals up for bid at county fair


Exhibitor Lily Mitchell is pictured with buyer Ben McCullick, of Christianson Feed Mill, Wauzeka. Mitchell had the grand champion steer last year. (Submitted photos)

Exhibitor Chad Achenbach is pictured with buyer/processor Kevin Schaaf, of Eastman Locker, and last year’s grand champion market hog.

By Correne Martin

A great way to put locally-raised meat in your freezer and help support Crawford County youth at the same time would be to attend the Meat Animal Auction at the Crawford County Fair Saturday, Aug. 29, at 1 p.m. The showing and bidding takes place in the sheep and swine building on the fairgrounds and lasts a couple hours. Water and lemonade will be provided in case of hot weather.

This year, 52 young fair exhibitors, ages 9 to 19, will take their beef and dairy steers, sheep, swine, and possibly rabbits, to auction. Each of those can exhibit up to two animals, and many of the kids do, so there’s typically an average of 50 to 70 animals up for sale, auction emcee Lonnie Achenbach explained. Participation in the Meat Animal Auction provides the kids a fun experience with the sales and market process and it affords them the opportunity to make money for their future college education or agricultural business.

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