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Wed
13
Jul

Man dies after falling into Mississippi

An Iowa man has died after being pulled from the Mississippi River just south of Clayton.

Charles Petersen, 60, of Dysart, Iowa, was a passenger on a boat operated by his wife, Deborah Petersen, 54, when he fell into the river from the rear of the boat at about 7:30 p.m. Monday, July 11.

Charles Petersen was not wearing a life jacket when he fell in and two other passengers in the boat threw him a life jacket before entering the water themselves to try to assist him. They were able to get him back to the boat, but were unable to get back on board the vessel.

A rescue boat from the Garnavillo Fire Department responded to the scene and emergency personnel were able to get Charles Petersen loaded on their boat and back to shore where he was assisted by Garnavillo paramedics. He was transported by ambulance to Guttenberg Municipal Hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

Wed
13
Jul

Name of man who allegedly led three-county car chase released


Mark Alan Smith, 50, of La Crosse, led law enforcement officers on a three-county chase before he was finally roadblocked by policemen south of De Soto. (Vernon County Sheriff’s Department photos)

The name of the man arrested following a three-county car chase Sunday has been released by area law enforcement.

According to Vernon County Sheriff John Spears, Mark Alan Smith, 50, of La Crosse, was booked into the La Crosse County Jail but will also face additional charges in Vernon and Crawford Counties.

The chase began following a call to a home on State Street in La Crosse. Smith, the driver and lone occupant of a black Ford Expedition, told law enforcement he was suicidal and repeatedly told officers “I want to kill myself.”

The pursuit, mainly on State Highway 35, entered Vernon County and eventually Crawford County, before it ended with Smith’s arrest just south of De Soto. Pursuing officers from all three counties, reported speeds of 70 to 80 mph. Allamakee County, Iowa, was also notified of the pursuit, in case Smith had attempted to enter Iowa.

Wed
13
Jul

Local business support, YouTube videos help teens start aquaponic farming


Friends and co-workers Hunter Boone (left), a junior at MFL MarMac, and Andrew Horner, a junior at Prairie du Chien, started a small aquaponic system, with a simple YouTube education and some assistance from their employer, Kemble’s Greenhouse. (Photo by Correne Martin)

By Correne Martin

Two local high schoolers have put their YouTube education to the test on a hand-built aquaponic farming system.

Both employees at Kemble’s Greenhouse in Prairie du Chien, Andrew Horner and Hunter Boone, both juniors at PdC and MFL MarMac, respectively, constructed a small arrangement of vegetable and herb plants in a symbiotic environment with 15 tiny bluegills. They started in mid-June and their project is maturing nicely.

Wendy Wachter, Kemble’s owner and the boys’ mentor, allowed them space for their aquaponic structure behind her greenhouse and encouraged them to follow their interests. Of course, she has the resources to help them along their way too. Jim Frey Fish Hatchery, of West Union, Iowa, also worked with the pair to provide their bluegills.

Wed
13
Jul

Group wants to keep another rural school from vanishing


Fritz Bradley, Franklin Gilkes, Chuck Stagman and Joe Stagman are the four men leading the Brodtville School Preservation group, which hopes to raise funds toward the restoration of the rural school. (Photo by Correne Martin)

Perhaps the most fascinating piece of history inside the old Brodtville schoolhouse is an enormous, hand-painted, fabric banner that spans over half the one room’s width and all of its height. The banner shows an honor roll of sorts of Patch Grove, Bloomington and Bagley area businesses from yesteryear. The Brodtville School Preservation members would love to know the banner’s origin and artist if area citizens would hold the key to that information. (Photo by Correne Martin)

By Correne Martin

Last fall, the town of Wyalusing was looking at the future of the old Brodtville schoolhouse on County Highway P. The township considered tearing it down, as taxpayer dollars were being spent to maintain the rarely-used, historical building, with what was thought to be a decrepit foundation.

But a newly-formed organization, Brodtville School Preservation Inc., stepped in and requested the town deed them the 152-year-old building. And that is what happened. The town will continue to maintain the land and adjacent cemetery, but since the $1 transfer of ownership between the two entities, the new organization has taken over restoration of the one-room schoolhouse—a once traditional monument that’s all but vanished in rural America.

Mon
11
Jul

Three county car chase leads to arrest


Vernon County Sheriff John Spears reported no one was injured in the three-county vehicle pursuit. Sheriff Spears and Sgt. Kenneth Frye, deputies from Vernon County, Crawford County and a Lansing officer helped set up for the roadblock that eventually stopped driver Mark Allan Smith, 50, of La Crosse. Both Sgt. Frye and Sheriff Spears were able to control the suspect vehicle to the side of the road, ending the pursuit.

Vernon County Sheriff John Spears emphasized that the suspect will be facing several charges as a result of his poor decisions and putting people’s lives in danger.

One person is in custody following a three-county car chase that ended just south of De Soto Sunday afternoon. The chase resulted in multiple charges against Mark Alan Smith, 50, of La Crosse.

According to the Vernon County Sheriff’s Department, the chase began following a call to a home on State Street in La Crosse. Smith, who was driving a black Ford Expedition, told law enforcement he was suicidal and repeatedly told officers that he wanted to kill himself.

The pursuit of the suspect started in La Crosse and traveled southbound down Highway 35 into Vernon County. Vernon County Sheriff’s Department attempted to set up road spikes, but Smith swerved toward a ditch in an attempt to strike a Vernon County deputy.

Mon
11
Jul

Local author’s books teach children social values through fun animal stories


Author Jeff Lessard, of Woodman, has released three children’s books since February and plans two more this year.

By Correne Martin

Most young children are not awake at 3 a.m., but for Jeff Lessard, that seems to be a prime time for creativity. In fact, he wrote each of his five recently-released children’s books during those wee hours of the morning.

“When I decide to write, I write. It doesn’t matter the time,” said the Woodman author and retired 22-year Prairie du Chien Schools employee.

All composed in 2007, “Magic Dance” was released in February of this year, and “The Little Bug” and “The Circle” were available beginning early June. “The Mouse and the Monkey” and “The Mouse, the Monkey and the Rock” will be up for grabs in August and October, respectively.

Lessard teaches social values through each of these fun animal stories, published internationally by Tate Publishing and Enterprises, of Oklahoma.

Mon
11
Jul

Highway 18-60 Project


This photo was taken above Ward Road facing towards Prairie du Chien. Ward Road was closed to allow for construction of an 8’ x 8’ x 726 linear foot precast box culvert as well as grading of the new westbound US 18 lanes. The box culvert was delivered in 111 separate pieces, each weighing more than 23,000 pounds. (Photo courtesy of the Wisconsin DOT)

 

Stage 1 of Highway 18-60 

Project delayed but overall project 

expected to get back on schedule

By Ted Pennekamp

 

Wed
06
Jul

Ideal Decorating


Ideal Decorating offers a variety of furniture, accessories, rugs and home decor.

 

Ideal Decorating store opens in Prairie du Chien

By Ted Pennekamp

 

A new furniture and home decorating store is now open in Prairie du Chien. Ideal Decorating, housed in the south half of the former Kozelka’s Men’s Wear building, opened on Monday, June 27. 

Wed
06
Jul

Bagley Parade


A girl peeks through patriotic glasses and wears colorful head gear while riding in a boat float in the Bagley Independence Day Parade Sunday morning. (Photos by Ted Pennekamp)

Two girls patriotically peddle along as representatives of Clarkview Farms Sunday morning in Bagley.

The water man, as always, was quite popular during the Bagley Parade.

The driver for Southwest Collision Center gets ready to toss a handful of candy.

Great guitar pickin’ is always a hit at the Bagley Independence Day Parade.
Wed
29
Jun

To reduce the meth problem: Attack it from all angles

Editor’s note: This article is the third in a short series regarding methamphetamine and the serious problem of meth abuse in Crawford County.

By Correne Martin

As the Courier Press focuses on bringing attention to the severity of the prevalence of methamphetamine use in Crawford County, the newspaper continues to publish frequent reports of arrests and charges of abusers. Coincidentally, the June 27 issue included the second story in this series, right alongside an article about five Prairie du Chien residents busted with meth, as well as heroin and psilocybin mushrooms.

This latest instance of a search warrant leading to arrests is an example of Crawford County law enforcement’s continued battle against the problem. The county judicial system will now decide how to handle this case as it considers other meth cases, which have become all too familiar.

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