Local News

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Mon
23
Jul

Work on Parrish Street intersection starts Aug. 6

Gerke Excavating plans on starting work on Parrish Street on Monday, Aug. 6. Once this stage begins, Parrish Street, from the intersection of Marquette Road to the railroad, will be closed for up to 19 days. There will be no pedestrian access to cross Parrish Street on the highway during this stage. Pedestrians will need to use the streets on the east side of Marquette Road to access businesses and residences. The contractors will do their best to notify foot traffic of closures via barricades and signs.

Mon
23
Jul

Unconscious man found, OWI arrest made

A Woodman man was arrested for a number of alcohol-related charges Thursday after a Wauzeka landowner found the man lying on his back unconscious in the landowner’s driveway, according to the Crawford County Sheriff’s Department.

On July 19, at about 3 p.m., a 911 call came into dispatch from the owner of a Winegar Lane property in Wauzeka Township. The landowner reported finding the man unconscious and making gurgling noises. Tri-State EMS responded to find the man confused and uncooperative. The man got back into his vehicle and began driving away, down a driveway, before an investigator with the sheriff’s department arrived and blocked the vehicle from leaving the scene.  The sheriff’s department’s K-9 unit arrived and identified the driver as Derek Kammrad, 37. 

Mon
23
Jul

21st annual Prairie Dog Blues Fest ready to rock


Dana Fuchs is among the acts coming to Prairie du Chien this weekend, July 27-28, for the 21st annual Prairie Dog Blues Festival. She is touted as a Jagger blues jammer, Otis soul sister, juke-joint Janis and Sexy Sadie all rolled into one world class performer. See her Saturday at 8:30 p.m. on St. Feriole Island.

The Kris Lager Band held a huge crowd in the blues fest beer tent last year. So many fans are excited they are returning to the 2018 lineup. If you’ve never seen this Omaha-based band, don’t miss this chance to see them locally and dance, clap and sing along with their funky energetic style of music, at the Prairie Dog Blues Fest.

By Correne Martin

What happens on the island, stays on the island! And no matter what happens, it’s all about rocking and singing killer blues tunes, celebrating positive vibes, sweating and dancing to soulful live music—all at one of the most beautiful venues around. 

The 21st annual Prairie Dog Blues Festival will once again bring 12 regional and internationally-renowned acts to St. Feriole Island in Prairie du Chien for two days, July 27-28. 

Thu
19
Jul

If Amundson trial proceeds, jury selection will be more involved than most other cases

Motion to dismiss charge remains on the table

By Correne Martin

A motion to dismiss a potential trial for Aaron Amundson, the Bluff View principal charged with felony child abuse, remains on the table, following a status conference in Crawford County Court Monday afternoon. 

According to the motion, Amundson, through his attorney, Corey Chirafisi, requested the “court dismiss the charge on the grounds that the court was unable to find [he] has committed a felony.”

Thu
19
Jul

Father and son forge farrier, blacksmithing duo


Dan and Danny Tesar stand among their forges, anvils and handmade tools inside their small blacksmith workshop in rural Wauzeka. (Photos by Correne Martin)

These j-hooks and other art pieces demonstrate the kind of ornamental blacksmithing Dan Tesar has been creating for years. One of his trademarks is the leaf seen here. Aside from making and selling horseshoes as a farrier, Dan also sells the types of items pictured: candle holders, trivets, keychains, corkscrews and much more.

Dan Tesar hammers on a horseshoe in his workshop.

Danny Tesar Jr. demonstrates using some of the tools needed to create nail holes in a horseshoe.

By Correne Martin

“Functional art” seems to sum up the style of ornamental blacksmithing and farrier work Dan Tesar, of rural Wauzeka, has been creating for over 20 years.

Examples of such sturdy and practical pieces stand out upon walking into the lower level of the country barn workshop where he and his son, Danny Jr., 19, spend hours together behind anvils and in front of forges. 

“My wife (Joeann) says it’s like stepping 100 years back in time,” he laughed, admitting, “You expect to see this lavish shop, but when you step foot inside, it’s like a Mr. Ed thing. The north half (of the basement) has the animals and the south half is the shop.”

Mon
16
Jul

County Farm Bureaus host 96th Assembly District candidate forum

Crawford, Monroe and Vernon County Farm Bureaus will be hosting a forum for candidates in the 96th Assembly District on Monday, July 23, at 7 p.m. at the Viroqua VFW.

 The focus of the forum is for candidates to give a brief introduction of themselves and to have an opportunity to weigh in on key issues facing the agriculture industry today.

“The upcoming election is incredibly important to our counties and this forum will give voters a chance to hear the candidates’ views on agriculture issues that will impact their farms and businesses going into the future,” Robert Nigh, Vernon County Farm Bureau president, said.

Mon
16
Jul

War of 1812 reenactment ties history to PdC


The British forces fired their three-pound cannon at Fort Shelby during the War of 1812 Battle of Prairie du Chien reenactment in 2017. The community is invited to attend the reenactment battles and other festivities this weekend at the Villa Louis. (Courier Press file photo)

This painting, attributed to Peter Rindisbacher, shows the abandonment of Fort McKay by the British at the close of the War of 1812.

Although Prairie du Chien belonged to the United States after the American Revolution, its pioneer residents were tied by trade, tradition and family to the French-British community at Mackinac and to the St. Lawrence River ports.

During the War of 1812, Gov. William Clark of Missouri recognized the strategic importance of Prairie du Chien’s location, and sent about 150 soldiers to build a fort here. When it was dedicated June 19, 1814, the American flag was raised for the first time over a Wisconsin fort.

Pro-British residents alerted the British at Mackinac and a force of 150 militia and 400 Indians was quickly sent to Prairie du Chien. Fort Shelby was surrendered on July 20 and was renamed Fort McKay by the British.

Mon
16
Jul

Winneshiek County suspect arrested in PdC

Authorities reported that a “dangerous” man accused of a brutal assault in Winneshiek County, Iowa, Thursday, July 12, was arrested Friday in Prairie du Chien.

The Prairie du Chien Police Department located Dalton Adam, 18, at a local residence and he was arrested without incident, according Police Chief Chad Abram. Items of bloody clothing were also taken by authorities and sent to Winneshiek County authorities for their investigation. 

The Winneshiek County department reported that Adam was arrested on warrants charging felony willful injury causing serious injury and that his bond amount is $50,000. Adam will be held in Crawford County Jail pending extradition. 

Mon
16
Jul

Prison program fills need at Couleecap while focusing on good inmate behavior

By Correne Martin

An earned release program (ERP) at the local prison is giving minimum security inmates positive behavioral reinforcement while also sustaining the needs of Couleecap in Prairie du Chien. 

Once a week, three inmates from the Prairie du Chien Correctional Institution (PDCCI) are released to Couleecap for three hours to perform volunteer labor, accomplishing work such as sorting and pricing clothing, testing electronics, sorting games and puzzles, putting away food pantry groceries, folding bags and otherwise performing innumerable other jobs. This is all under the supervision of PDCCI’s Sgt. Tanner, alongside the regular Couleecap and Bargain Boutique workers and community volunteers.

Mon
16
Jul

Crossing Rivers partners with area agencies in wake of announcement

“We’ve made great progress since the announcement a few weeks ago regarding the strategic discontinuation and restructuring of a number of our services,” said Bill Sexton, Chief Executive Officer at Crossing Rivers Health. 

Sexton said the organization is eager to share more information with the community and its collaborative partners. Administration would also like to extend its sincere gratitude to all who have come forward in support since the announcement.

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