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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.

Wed
11
Jul

Community opinions welcomed by Gundersen Clinic and Healthy Roots

By Rachel Mergen

 

Gundersen Clinic in Prairie du Chien is currently working with Crawford County Healthy Roots to determine the main needs in the community. The two groups are collaborating to look at the homeless population of the area, which is present to the surprise of many, according to Gundersen Regional Manager Crystal Goltz. The project is in the early stages of development, as it is important to determine if it is the necessary subject to be putting resources toward at this time. 

These two organizations are welcoming community opinions and believe community involvement is the only way to create successful programs an opportunities.

Wed
11
Jul

Smoking Gun Showdown making singing dreams a reality


Pictured above are the members of Smoking Gun Showdown. In the picture below, Leigh Vorwald (left) is shown performing with fellow lead singer April Bouzek. (Photos by KG Photography)

By Rachel Mergen

 

The union of Leigh Vorwald and April Bouzek into one duo was a unique decision. After competing against each other for years in singing competitions, the two powerhouse vocalists realized there was only one perfect answer: they had to join forces to be a band that could get everyone on their feet dancing. In 2015, the Prairie du Chien area women did so, with the help of musicians David Borys, Jeff Goettel, Jeff Gaunitz and Jeff Hanson. Together, they became Smoking Gun Showdown. 

Bouzek started her love of singing at 3-years-old, performing on many telethons in her youth and simply growing her career from there. Her family embraced her singing skills, often watching her belt out tunes in the living room.

Wed
11
Jul

Double trouble times 2


Pictured are the Trappe family's two sets of twins. (Photos by Missy Trappe)

By Rachel Mergen

 

Most couples feel fear when they think about having twins with their first pregnancy, with the thought of that first child being overwhelming enough. Nathan and Missy Trappe, of Monona, Iowa, had a response defined by excitement when they learned the news. Their first two beautiful daughters were born six years ago, named Kinley and Trinly.

The second pregnancy they were overjoyed to welcome another pair of twin girls, Emerie and Kelbie, to their growing family.

One more addition came later, an opportunity for the four girls  to be “mother hens,” according to Missy, when a baby boy, Braycn came along. He is now 18-months-old. 

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