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Mon
15
Jun

Aquatic invasive species coordinator advises to ‘Inspect, Remove, Drain and Never Move’

By Ted Pennekamp

The Crawford County Land Conservation Department has a new person in its office in the County Administrative Building in Prairie du Chien.

Ben Wegleitner is an aquatic invasive species coordinator with the Southwest Badger Resource Conservation and Development Council. Ben will be working to control aquatic invasive species in Crawford, Vernon, La Crosse, Richland and Sauk counties.

“Crawford County’s Land Conservation Department has been one of our partners in the last few years,” said Ben. “Dave Troester (County Conservationist) has been a big help.” Ben noted that Southwest Badger and the Land Conservation Department have helped each other out on various invasive species control efforts, including efforts to get rid of Japanese hops at sites within the county.

Mon
15
Jun

PdC School District considers possible referendum to assist with costs

The Prairie du Chien Public School has been discussing and exploring facility options for years. Prairie du Chien is only one of a few schools that has not gone to referendum to ask for the ability to increase the allowed revenue limit per student. Because of this, the school has been locked in at a low revenue limit level that is far below the average school. District Administrator Drew Johnson stated, “The school has made many cuts over the past years to stay within the revenue as allowed, but there are no more places to cut.”

Mon
15
Jun

After 58 years, hospital makes historic move


A total of three inpatients were stabilized and transported, with nurses by their side in ambulances, from the old hospital to the new medical center on Thursday, June 11—moving day for Crossing Rivers Health. Pictured, the last patient left around 8:40 a.m. (Photo by Correne Martin)

Near the operating room nurses station, Crossing Rivers Health and Hawkeye Movers staff work together to unwrap, wipe down, sanitize and put away equipment.

Crossing Rivers staff readies equipment to be arranged in their new home.

Hawkeye Movers crew members arrange a double-door refrigerator in the kitchen at the new Crossing Rivers Health medical center.

Lab workers test their equipment and supplies to make sure they're ready to be used in the new hospital.

By Correne Martin

Plans were first announced in 2011 to build a cutting-edge, new medical facility in Prairie du Chien. The Prairie du Chien Memorial Hospital board then decided, after establishing a master faculty plan, that it wasn’t feasible to remodel its 58-year-old Taylor Street facility or add onto it for the 12th time. So land was purchased and sights were set on a new location at 37868 Highway 18, where a grandiose medical center, rebranded Crossing Rivers Health (CRH) in 2014, now welcomes people in from the south side of the community.

After years of preparation, last Thursday, June 11, was a highly-anticipated and precisely-orchestrated day for Crossing Rivers. It was moving day, from the outdated and landlocked old facility to the $50 million, 25-bed, 137,000-square-foot new facility. The three-day move, a majority of which happened Thursday, was something a hospital committee has been planning for about a year and a half.

Mon
15
Jun

Forever part of the Rendezvous family


Buckskinner Bob Zuidema (left) browses some of the wares at the 2014 Prairie Villa Rendezvous.

Josie Kramer takes her turn at “nails” while Karly Kramer looks on at the Rendezvous last year. (Courier Press file photos)

Lindsey Nolan and Madeline Fisher, of Prairie du Chien, enjoy a unique tug of war Friday afternoon. The girls were evenly matched, with each winning about half the time.

By Addison Mumm

The Rendezvous may bring vendors to the flea market side, but the buckskinners side was the origin of the Prairie Villa Rendezvous. Celebrating the trades between settlers and Native Americans, the Rendezvous originated in 1976, in McGregor, Iowa, where men with similar interests–and only men–drank beer around the fire and enjoyed conversing. The buckskinners, and other campers who dress the part at the Rendezvous, celebrate pre-1840s living with reenactments, sports such as shooting or throwing, and dressing as they did then.

Wed
10
Jun

Vehicle overturns, man escapes injury

An Iowa man avoided injury in a one-vehicle rollover just north of Prairie du Chien Monday morning, June 8, according to the Crawford County Sheriff’s Department.

On Monday, at 8:30 a.m., the Crawford County Dispatch Center was notified of the rollover crash on State Highway 35 at Frederich Street in Prairie du Chien Township.

Benjamin McCready, 29, Clermont, Iowa, was driving a 1994 Dodge Shadow north on Highway 35 when he went onto the right shoulder of the roadway. The vehicle then crashed into a sign post causing the vehicle to overturn in the ditch.

McCready was wearing his seat belt and escaped injury. His vehicle sustained heavy damage a was towed from the scene.

Assisting at the scene were the Bridgeport/Prairie du Chien Fire Department, Tri-State Ambulance, the Prairie du Chien Police Department, the Crawford County Highway Department and Bob’s Towing.

Wed
10
Jun

Prairie du Chien man faces several drug-related charges

A 32-year-old Prairie du Chien man has been charged in Crawford County Circuit Court with operating a motor vehicle while revoked, operating with a restricted controlled substance in his blood (third offense), felony bail jumping, possession of marijuana, and possession of drug paraphernalia.

Nathan Steven Hubanks faces up to 8 years and 7 months imprisonment and $16,000 in fines if convicted of all charges.

According to the criminal complaint, Hubanks was pulled over by police because it was known that his driving license had been revoked. During the traffic stop, Hubanks admitted to the officer that he had recently smoked marijuana. Also, two plastic baggies containing suspected marijuana and two smoking devices were found in Hubanks’ vehicle, the complaint said.

Wed
10
Jun

Kozelka dies after being struck while working on disabled car

A Peterson, Iowa, man, formerly of Prairie du Chien, died Saturday, June 6, after he was struck while working on a disabled vehicle along a Clay County, Iowa, road.

The Iowa State Patrol reported that Steven Kozelka, 37, was working on a car Saturday evening that was disabled on the edge of County Road M27 near 490th Street, between Peterson and Everly. Another vehicle faced that car, as Kozelka was working to jump-start the battery.

The report said the teenage driver of a southbound car on County Road M27 struck one of the cars, which bounced to hit the third vehicle.

Kozelka died from injuries associated with the collision of the vehicles. Authorities have made no charges and are investigating to determine which vehicle struck Kozelka.

The teen driver was taken to Spencer Hospital in Spencer with undisclosed injuries.

Wed
10
Jun

Man charged with fourth OWI, fleeing an officer

A 65-year-old Waterloo, Iowa, man has been charged in Crawford County Circuit Court with operating a motor vehicle while intoxicated (fourth offense), operating with a prohibited alcohol concentration (fourth offense) and attempting to flee or elude a traffic officer.  

Donald Dean Hinrichs faces up to 4.5 years in prison and $12,000 in fines if convicted of all counts.

According to the criminal complaint, a Prairie du Chien police officer attempted to initiate a traffic stop on Hinrichs’ vehicle at 1:45 a.m. on May 23 because the vehicle was operating with its headlights on high and over the centerline.

Hinrichs then led officers on a high speed chase and was eventually caught in Grant County, according to the complaint.

Hinrichs was taken to Crossing Rivers Health in Prairie du Chien and had such extreme difficulty walking that a wheelchair was necessary to transport him into the hospital, the complaint said.

Wed
10
Jun

Dozens of elder abuse cases occur in Crawford County each year

By Correne Martin

World Elder Abuse Awareness Day is Monday, June 15, a day to recognize that neglect, self neglect, emotional and physical abuse and financial exploitation of those 60 and older does happen—even in the rural communities of Crawford County.

“I think the general public feels that if they don’t see it, it must not be happening,” said Bob Rowe, a social worker, since 1995, with Crawford County Human Services’ adult protective services. “I think, in a rural environment, people tend to think their neighbors are doing well and that people are too kind to mistreat others. I would generally agree with that. But there is a segment of our population that’s not doing well.”

Wed
10
Jun

Free weekly concert series starting


A variety of musical entertainment is showcased each year at the family-friendly, free Concerts on the River series at Lawler Park in Prairie du Chien. (Courier Press file photo)

A free music series, “Concerts on the River,” will be held at Lawler Park, along the riverfront on St. Feriole Island, in Prairie du Chien, beginning June 18 and each Thursday night thereafter through July. From 6:30 to 8 p.m., a free concert will be offered each week for a total of seven concerts showcasing a variety of the area’s top musical talents. The Prairie du Chien Parks and Recreation Department and Jaycees are sponsoring the concert series. Bring your lawn chairs, blankets and snacks. For more information, call the parks and rec department at (608) 326-7207.

The concerts will take place as follows:

June 18—River City Connections. The area’s top Dixieland jazz band is back to give you a chance to get that “Big Easy” feel with lots of good time music.

June 25—16 Strings and a Stick. This local trio, which includes a fiddle, will get your toes tapping and hands clapping as they play a mix of country, Celtic, bluegrass and Cajun.

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