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New company to invest $2 million, create 24 jobs in Prairie du Chien

Lt. Governor Rebecca Kleefisch was in Prairie du Chien Monday to announce WEDC assistance of $100,000 in business development tax credits to Solomon Corporation.

Prairie du Chien City Administrator Aaron Kramer (left) and Mayor Dave Hemmer (center) talk with officials about the institution of Solomon Corporation in the community’s North Gateway Business Park. A special announcement event, held Monday at the spec building Solomon will occupy, featured Lt. Rebecca Kleefisch announcing WEDC financial incentives for the company. (Submitted photos)

Solomon Corporation, headquartered in Solomon, Kan., will invest over $2 million in a previously vacant 20,000 square-foot facility, equipment and other initiatives to expand its manufacturing operations in Prairie du Chien. The company has existing operations in Kansas, Tennessee, Colorado and Texas.

The Courier Press first reported, in early December, that Solomon Corporation planned to open its fifth regional location in a North Gateway Business Park spec building, owned by Bill Adamany.
Solomon has already hired 14 employees and projects to employ 24 people when it opens later this year.


New Montessori offering a non-traditional education for 3-5 year olds

Grayson (center) and Wyatt (right) enjoy hearing the various sounds produced by the wooden Montessori shakers, as Addison builds a tower in the background. The object of the shakers is to match the sounds from a red one to those emitted from a blue one. Both boys did well identifying the matching sounds.

Addison, Wyatt and Grayson collaborated in a tower-building exercise in the Montessori classroom at Crossing Rivers Health Child Care last week. (Photo by Correne Martin)

The students in Montessori play with the various materials.

Kristi Shaffer reads to the kids in the Montessori program during circle time.

By Correne Martin

Crossing Rivers Health Child Care is offering an alternative, non-traditional choice of education for 3-5 year olds in the Prairie du Chien area this fall. Its new Montessori program is based on self-directed activity, hands-on learning of practical skills and collaborative play. The unorthodox approach also emphasizes learning through all five senses.

“Every child is recognized as individual and unique. Through Montessori, they can enjoy freedom within limits. It’s very different from preschool where every kid does the same thing,” said Mari Beth Valley, Crossing Rivers child care director. “Expectations at school are so much more than they used to be. This model lines up more with the Wisconsin early learning standards. It helps prepare them for school and sets them up to be successful.”


Two airlifted following Thursday evening crash

Two people were airlifted following a two-vehicle crash on Highway 18 Thursday evening, March 17, around 6:25 p.m., near Ward Road in Bridgeport Township, according to the Crawford County Sheriff’s Department.

William E. Hampton, 55, of Prairie du Chien, was operating a 2000 Chevy Malibu eastbound on State Highway 18 when he lost control of the vehicle on the shoulder of the roadway. Hampton attempted to correct the vehicle and get back onto the roadway and in his lane of travel. Once on the pavement, Hampton’s vehicle started to spin out of control, crossed the center line, and entered the westbound lane of traffic backwards.

Hampton’s vehicle was struck by a 2013 GMC Yukon operated by Michael R. McKinney, 68, of Houston, Minn. McKinney attempted to avoid the Hampton vehicle by swerving onto his shoulder of the roadway but was unable to avoid the collision. The vehicles crashed and stopped off the north side of the roadway.


Five children injured in buggy versus truck accident

One child was airlifted and four others taken to the hospital after the Amish buggy they were riding in was hit by a pickup truck on Mt. Zion Hill in Scott Township Friday morning, March 18, according to the Crawford County Sheriff’s Department. The driver who reportedly hit the buggy is expected to be charged with innattentive driving.

Authorities said that, around 9:30 a.m. Friday, James Gobin, 86, of Fennimore, was driving a 1998 GMC truck north in the slow lane of U.S. Highway 61 when he struck the back end of a horse-drawn buggy. The buggy, which was also headed north in the slow lane, was driven by an 11-year-old Mt. Zion boy and equipped with a slow-moving vehicle sign as well as hazard and turn lights. The young driver was headed to school with five passengers, ages 6 to 11, all from Mt. Zion.

According to the sheriff’s department, the buggy sustained heavy damage from the collision and three of the passengers were thrown onto the roadway.


Used shoes of any variety are needed

RABAS holding unique fundraiser

Save your gently used shoes for Rivers and Bluffs Animal Shelter and you could help the organization earn $1,000 toward its establishment of a shelter in the Prairie du Chien area.

RABAS has from now through the end of May to collect 2,500 pairs of new or gently used wearable shoes in good condition (no holes) and of any variety: kids, adults, boots, flip flops, tennis, oxfords, etc. Now is the time to clean out your closets and donate those shoes that have been taking up space.


Prairie du Chien at State Tournament

Nathan Banasik goes up for a shot in the second half at the Division 3 State Boys' Basketball Tournament Thursday afternoon. (Photos by Ted Pennekamp)

Connor George looks for a teammate.

Drew Scott looks to score down low.

The Prairie du Chien Band gets the fans pumped up before tip-off.

Zach Neisius pulls up for a jumper in the paint.

Connor George draws three Waupun defenders.

Wesley Schwager backs in.

Chas Sagedahl muscles his way past.

The Hawkettes get their kicks in a rousing halftime performance.

Members of the student section react to a score by Prairie du Chien.

Chas Sagedahl fights for a loose ball.

The Prairie du Chien cheerleaders rev up the crowd.

Prairie du Chien players salute their appreciative fans.

The Prairie du Chien crowd cheers the team as it walks from the court.


Prairie du Chien’s fine season 

comes to an end at State Basketball Tournament

By Ted Pennekamp


Prairie du Chien’s fine boys’ basketball season came to an end Thursday afternoon at the Division 3 State Tournament in the Kohl Center in Madison as the Waupun Warriors defeated the Blackhawks 55-43 in a semifinal contest.


Volunteers host 8th annual Easter Party at Children’s Ranch

Colleen Martin and her daughter, Lila, attended the Children’s Ranch Easter Party last spring and enjoyed petting the horses and feeding them hay. (Submitted photo)

The Children’s Ranch’s annual Easter Party will be held Saturday, March 26 from 1 to 3 p.m. Families can enjoy pony rides, crafts, games, a visit from the Easter bunny and more, all for free admission. A meet-and-greet with the Easter Bunny will take place from 10:30 to 11:30 a.m. Everything takes place rain or shine at 61011 Sebastian Ln., rural Prairie du Chien.

This is the eighth year the Children’s Ranch has hosted its Easter Party.

“It’s a great event to get families outside after the long winter,” according to Gracie (White) Ferries, Children’s Ranch director. “Many grandparents bring their visiting grandchildren. The pony rides are always the most popular event.”

Before entering the barn, each child will be given two tickets good for two free pony rides. For children who might be afraid of riding the horses, there will be a couple of horses just for petting and brushing.


PdC Schools referendum roundtable set

The Prairie du Chien Area Chamber of Commerce’s Advocacy Committee will host a roundtable discussion on the upcoming Prairie du Chien Area School District referendum on Thursday, March 24, from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. in the council chambers of city hall.

School Board President Christine Panka and Superintendent Drew Johnson will be joined by several of the school district’s architectural, design and financial consultants in a review of the April 5 referendum questions. City Administrator Aaron Kramer, a member of the advocacy committee, will serve as moderator. The event will be televised live on local cable access channel 6.


Slow-no wake zone at Campion adjusted in size

The slow-no wake zone adjacent to the Campion Boat Landing was officially approved by the Prairie du Chien Common Council, after a second reading of the ordinance, during its Tuesday night meeting.

City resident Jim Gallagher questioned the need for the zone and said the proposed area, 400 feet north and 400 feet south of the landing, was too large.

The council decided to approve the ordinance with an adjustment to the size of the zone. The slow-no wake zone is defined as follows: 250 feet north of the midpoint of the Campion Street boat landing, then west to a point on Challifaus Island, then south 500 feet along the meandering line of the Mississippi River to a point on Challifaus Island, then east to a point 250 feet south of the midpoint of the Campion Street boat landing, then north along the meandering line of the Mississippi River back to the beginning. The public works committee will be closing the north entrance to the Campion Boat Landing.


State Tournament Memories

The 1985-86 Prairie du Chien basketball team was, front row: Chris Klema, Jeff Nelson, Tom Trautsch, Tom Hinkel and Jim McClusky. Middle row: Name not known, Bob McClain, Mike Heisz, Jaaren Riebe and Scott Shedivy. Back row: Head Coach Mike Urbach, Alex Dearborn, Dennis Esser, Don Steger, Andy Banasik and Assistant Coach Pat Gasser.


Statebound Blackhawks bring back memories

By Ted Pennekamp


The Prairie du Chien Blackhawks have earned a trip to the State Tournament at the Kohl Center in Madison, and that accomplishment has spurred thoughts among area residents of other teams throughout the school’s history that also played at state.


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