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Wed
19
Dec

Christmas display lights up local neighborhood


This life-size singing and dancing Santa Claus greets visitors to Joe and Arlene Morovits’ great room. (Photos by Correne Martin)

Joe Morovits puts up so many Christmas lights and decorations at his home on Stuckey Road that he’s lost count. New this year, inside the home he shares with wife Arlene, is this Christmas village display tree he personally handcrafted.

People have enjoyed the Christmas light display so much that it was suggested to Joe and Arlene that they take in donations toward the cost. Instead of personally accepting them, they give all contributions to the local Operation Santa program and Couleecap Food Pantry.

Santa in his sleigh with his reindeer has been a focal point of the family’s outdoor holiday display for several years now.

Life-sized Christmas figures are aplenty inside the Morovits home.

Another new addition at Joe and Arlene Morovits’ home is this scene, featuring the Grinch and two snowmen carolers that have cutout faces. Families are invited to stop, stroll through the scenery and enjoy themselves.

By Correne Martin

“Before we moved here, you couldn’t find a bigger Ebenezer Scrooge than me. We put a 3-foot tree up Christmas Eve, and it was down by noon on Christmas,” admitted Prairie du Chien’s Joe Morovits, chuckling, knowing very well how his house on Stuckey Road is now decorated from every nook to every cranny.

The passion Joe and his wife Arlene have for the season has grown so vast, with numerous new decorations added every year, that their property has become quite the attraction. Even better, it benefits the Crawford County Operation Santa program and Couleecap Food Pantry in Prairie du Chien. Just drop a contribution in the donation box alongside his driveway and share your appreciation while also giving local charity. 

Wed
19
Dec

Former police chief officially accepts administrator role


Chad Abram

By Correne Martin

The interim part of Chad Abram’s title no longer needs to precede the city administrator label. Abram, who’s served in that capacity since Oct. 17, 2017, while also holding his former role as police chief for the city of Prairie du Chien, was officially named administrator after closed session of Tuesday night’s common council meeting. 

Abram and the council agreed to a contract, effective Jan. 1, 2019. According to the city budget for next year, which was presented at a special Dec. 11 budget hearing meeting, the city has allocated wages of $103,768.62 for the position for 2019. The city has also budgeted $2,000 toward 2019 city administrator education.

Wed
19
Dec

Community Fund helps numerous organizations

 

By Ted Pennekamp

 

The Crawford County Community Fund presented nine awards totaling $7,500 to various organizations during the Crawford County Board meeting Tuesday morning.

Wed
19
Dec

Prairie du Chien High School grads serving in Middle East


Brian McNett, Trestan Richardson, Colton Babb, Wyatt Lawrence and Mike Steiner, all from the Prairie du Chien Class of 2015, are serving in the Middle East. (Photo submitted)

 

By Ted Pennekamp

 

United States Military personnel around the globe always appreciate cards, letters and care packages from home, especially during the holiday season.

Mon
17
Dec

James J. 'Jim' Wachter

James J. “Jim” Wachter, 88, of Harpers Ferry, Iowa, died Saturday, Dec. 15, 2018, at his home in rural Harpers Ferry. 

James Joseph Wachter was born April 13, 1930, in Waukon, the son of Joseph and Leona (Livingston) Wachter. 

Mon
17
Dec

Wilma J. Troester

Wilma J. Troester, 84, of River Falls and formerly of Prairie du Chien and Garnavillo, Iowa, passed away Saturday, Dec. 15, 2018, at the Gundersen Health System in La Crosse. 

She was born July 5, 1934, in Clayton County, Iowa, the daughter of Homer and Bernice (Frederick) Wilke. She married Curtis Troester on June 15, 1953, in Glenview, Ill., and they later divorced. She worked at Knapp’s Furniture and the Piggly Wiggly in Prairie du Chien. Wilma later owned and operated the Villa Oasis in Prairie du Chien for several years and later worked at the Marquette Cafe. She enjoyed knitting, crocheting and needlepoint and loved to travel. She was a member of the Garnavillo Legion Auxiliary. 

Mon
17
Dec

Pastor Loretta 'Lorie' Irene Betz

Pastor Loretta “Lorie” Irene Betz passed away on Friday, Dec. 14, 2018, at the age of 66.

Lorie was born in Milwaukee, and grew up in La Crosse. She graduated from Central High School and the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse. Lorie taught school in Prairie du Chien, and taught piano lessons to many young pianists over the years.

Later in life, Lorie chose to follow a longtime passion. She attended Wartburg Seminary and earned a Masters of Divinity. After years of serving the Methodist Church, Lorie was called to serve in the ordained ministry of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. Recently, Lorie served as Chaplain at Bethel Home and Services in Viroqua.

Mon
17
Dec

Michael R. Bartz

Michael R. Bartz, of Prairie du Chien, passed away Wednesday, Dec. 12, 2018, at Crossing Rivers Health in Prairie du Chien. 

He was born Aug. 25, 1941, in Milwaukee, the son of Harold and Florence (Hackbarth) Bartz. 

Michael served in the United States Marine Corps from 1959 to 1963, during the Cuban Missile Crisis in the Florida Keys. He married Vivian Wall on April 18, 1964, in Elm Grove. Michael served the city of Wauwatosa as a police officer for 27 years until his retirement. 

He is survived by his wife of 54 years, Vivian Bartz of Prairie du Chien; his son, Michael (Michele) Bartz of Bagley; and a sister, Lynda (Wayne) Parfitt of Gays Mills. 

Mon
17
Dec

Virgie M. Taylor

Virgie M. Taylor, 92, of Lancaster, passed away Sunday, Dec. 16, 2018, at her home surrounded by her loving family.

 She was born May 11, 1926, in Bloomington, the daughter of Arthur and Hazel (Oates) Chapman. Virgie graduated from Bloomington High School in 1945.

She was united in marriage to Herbert W. Taylor on Sept. 6, 1945. Herb and Virgie raised their family in Lancaster, and operated Taylor Christmas Tree Farm. In 1965, Virgie became a member of the Lancaster Country Club, where she enjoyed socializing, playing in many golf tournaments and winning awards. She was also a member of the Lancaster United Methodist Church, its Ruth’s Circle, and the Red Hatters. Virgie enjoyed bridge club, playing cards, dancing and traveling. 

Mon
17
Dec

George E. Sutton

A well-respected and active member of the Prairie du Chien community, George E. Sutton, passed away Friday, Dec. 14, 2018, at the Prairie Maison Care Center in Prairie du Chien, at the age of 95. 

George was born on May 1, 1923, in Lynxville, the son of Amos and Amy (Davis) Sutton. 

He married Adeline Chamberlain on June 17, 1944, in Prairie du Chien. He was an active member of St. Peter’s Lutheran Church. George worked as a real estate broker and, in 1957, he established Sutton Insurance in Prairie du Chien. He was a past school board president and a Shrine member of the Masonic Lodge. George was a hunting and boater safety instructor and active in the Chamber of Commerce, being named Prairie du Chien Businessman of the Year. George and Adeline were an integral part of the local Opportunity Center. 

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