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Wed
18
Feb

PdC city council opposes limitations on residential accessory structures

The Prairie du Chien Common Council has had several attempts at bat with an ordinance that would limit height and size for residential accessory structures, such as garages and sheds, within the city. After tabling the issue a couple of times and sending it back to the plan commission for review, the council reconsidered it Tuesday night and ultimately denied it. Eight Aldermen Mark Thein, Todd Myers, Sharon Boylen, Karen Solomon, Kyle Kozelka, Nate Gilberts, Mike Jones and Ken Fleshner were all opposed to the proposed maximum height limit of 20 feet and maximum size limit of 1,000 square feet.

Also during the council’s regular monthly meeting Tuesday night, the group:

•reviewed final plans and bid authorization for the North Ohio Street reconstruction project, which is scheduled to begin later this spring.

Wed
18
Feb

Flood mitigation project gets go-ahead

By Correne Martin

More than a year and a half after the June 2013 storm that caused flooding and property damage in the city of Prairie du Chien, the common council has approved a preliminary flood mitigation project at the base of the Highway 27 watershed. The Wisconsin DNR has awarded the city a municipal flood control grant for $463,050 toward the project, to which the city must provide a match of about $255,000. The city’s cost share will be funded via a state trust fund loan, payable at about $18,000-$20,000 per year for 15 to 20 years.

Wed
18
Feb

Enjoy live raptors, nature discussions and more Feb. 27-28


Luke Hart, of the Macbride Raptor Project at the University of Iowa, presented a live hawk and owl program at the 2014 Bald Eagle Appreciation Days event in Prairie du Chien.

Professional photographs by Harold Schaefer, of Fennimore, were quite popular with event-goers at last year’s event. (Courier Press file photos)

The annual Prairie du Chien Bald Eagle Appreciation Days, Feb. 27 and 28, offers a free weekend of educational entertainment for raptor lovers of all ages and interests.

Not only is the weekend a good one for excellent viewing of eagles locally, but the programming on Friday and Saturday is sure to thrill audiences with live bird and reptile demonstrations, life-sized bald eagle mounts and nest displays, nature activities for kids, as well as several informative talks about the eagles and other raptors of the Upper Mississippi River.

Two Friday night presentations kick off the weekend. At 6 p.m., Author/Photographer Ty Smedes will discuss “Iowa’s Bald Eagles” at Country Inn and Suites. At 7 p.m., at the AmericInn, Brenda Kelly, WDNR’s Mississippi River wildlife biologist, will share information about the “Waterfowl of the Mighty Mississippi River.”

Wed
18
Feb

A lot of interest brewing in Driftless Brewing Company, Soldiers Grove


Michael Varnes-Epstein, Scott Noe, Cynthia Olmstead and Christopher Balistreri enjoy a moment at their Driftless Brewing Company in Soldiers Grove.

By Ted Pennekamp

 

Something new and distinguished is brewing in a former grocery store in Soldiers Grove. 

Indeed, with labels such as Kick-Axe Pale Ale, Dirt Brown Ale, Metamorphosis, Solar Town Stout, Rolling Ground IPA and The Local Buzz, the Driftless Brewing Company is making quite a name for itself with its alive, unfiltered and unpasteurized beer.

Mon
16
Feb

Construction underway at rail loadout site


Rough grading and foundation digging have begun at the Wisconsin & Southern Railroad rail loadout site along the Highway 18 Bypass in Prairie du Chien. The construction marks the onset of a new seven-track switchyard and $1 million building to enclose much of the current outdoor operations. Shown here, heavy equipment operators work on the south end of the property. (Photo by Correne Martin)

Brush currently sits piled on the north end of the WSOR property.

By Correne Martin

Wisconsin and Southern Railroad has begun changing the landscape of its rail loadout site along the Highway 18 Bypass in Prairie du Chien. According to Tim Karp, director of business development with WSOR, rough grading as well as foundation digging have taken place to prepare the location for a seven-track switchyard and a 6,000-square-foot, 94-foot-high, $1 million building that will enclose much of the current outdoor operations.

“If all things go well, we’re looking at late-May to mid-June for a completion date. Of course, a lot is dependent on the weather,” Karp said. He also noted that the public won’t begin seeing the structure take shape for at least one more month.

“[The new construction] will provide a lot more efficiency for us and it will also free up our main line so we can serve all of our Prairie du Chien area customers better,” he pointed out.

Mon
16
Feb

Love blooms via local floral shops on Valentine’s Day


Shelly Zinkle, co-owner of Zinkle’s Piggly Wiggly & Blooming Basket, stands surrounded by floral bouquets she and her staff created Thursday, Feb. 12, to be sold the next day. The Blooming Basket delivered about 150 to 200 orders locally on Friday and expected around the same number on Saturday. (Photos by Correne Martin)

For Valentine’s Day, Dan Shimala, of Prairie du Chien, special ordered a large clear vase with a dozen long-stemmed roses—each a different color—for his wife

Pictured in the walk-in cooler at Kemble’s Greenhouse are local residents’ Valentine’s Day orders for Friday afternoon.

A display of red and pink valentine's flowers fill the display cooler at Kemble's.

By Correne Martin

Sweet messages of love are spread every Valentine’s Day in various ways. Some choose sentimental cards, tried-and-true chocolates, a romantic dinner, or special homemade gifts. But, flowers may be the most beautiful way to express one’s endearment to another.

On Friday, Feb. 13, two local floral shops, Kemble’s Greenhouse and Zinkle’s Piggly Wiggly & Blooming Basket, were abuzz with the excitement of flower orders, florists arranging bouquets and delivery vehicles packed with blossoms of vibrant reds, pinks, peaches and violets.

“The phone was ringing off the hook, starting around 7 this morning. Our delivery workers are already on their second run,” Kemble’s Owner Wendy Wachter said around 10:30 a.m. Friday. “It’s much smoother this year, with Valentine’s Day falling on Saturday, so we’ve had a lot of business deliveries today and more of the personal ones will go Saturday.”

Mon
16
Feb

The Big Dance


The Hawkettes perform their pom routine at the State Dance Competition Feb. 7.

 

Hawkettes enjoy state competion

Will host Blackhawk Bleacher Bash show Feb. 22

Wed
11
Feb

Voters will pick from five River Ridge School Board candidates in primary

By Correne Martin

The River Ridge School District has a momentous primary election approaching. On Tuesday, Feb. 17, district voters will be asked to select two individuals from five who are running for two at-large school board seats. The top four vote-getters on Tuesday will seal their spot on the April 7 spring election ballot, from which two will be named the new board members.  

Primary candidates include newcomers Justin Campbell, Jason Drone, Emilie Mumm and Cory Raisbeck. Bob Mathre is the only incumbent whose name will appear on the ballot. Current school board member Bob Key is not running for re-election.

Primary builds up to second referendum
The motivation behind the five candidates running in the primary could be, in large part, due to the referendum that will also appear on the spring ballot.

Wed
11
Feb

Newest Fair Ambassador succeeds sister in role


A sister crowned her sister as the Fair Ambassador at the Jan. 30 Crawford County Fair Gala in Eastman. Bridget Achenbach (left), 19, will hold the 2015 spokesperson title, handed down by older sister Sarah Achenbach, 21. Both are students at UW-La Crosse and the daughters of Lonnie and Jane Achenbach, of rural Eastman.

The 2015 Future Fair Ambassador Aubree Larson, daughter of Koren and John Gunderson, of rural Ferryville, was crowned by outgoing Future Fairest of the Fair Marie Achenbach, one of seven children of Lonnie and Jane Achenbach. Aubree is a sixth grader at DeSoto Middle School.

By Correne Martin

Fairest of the Fair 2014 Sarah Achenbach crowned her younger sister, Bridget Achenbach, as her successor on Jan. 30 during the Crawford County Fair Gala in Eastman. Bridget, the second daughter of Lonnie and Jane Achenbach, from rural Eastman, will hold a new title as the first Crawford County Fair Ambassador. She will still be the official spokesperson for the fair. The change in title was made earlier in January as a way to more “fully represent Crawford County and the fair.”

“The fair has always been a big part of my life,” 19-year-old Bridget stated, noting that she’s been showing animals for about 15 years. “It’s given me so many qualities I don’t get anywhere else. I want to be able to share those qualities with the communities of Crawford County so they can experience what I have and come to love the fair as much as I do.”

Wed
11
Feb

Sand mine ruling

 

Judge Day rules 

in favor of town of Bridgeport regarding frac sand mine

By Ted Pennekamp

 

Grant County Circuit Court Judge Craig Day has ruled in favor of the town of Bridgeport regarding a lawsuit filed against the town by the Crawford Stewardship Project and four town residents who objected to the granting of permits for a sand mine in the town.

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