Local News

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Wed
11
Mar

Railroad double crossovers


Employees of Meyer Construction of Maple Grove, Minn. work at the site of a double crossover near Spring Lake Restaurant Tuesday morning. The double crossover will allow for trains to pass each other farther apart and with increased efficiency and safety.

 

High speed crossover being constructed on 

railway near County N to be one of several in the area

By Ted Pennekamp

 

Wed
11
Mar

Summer lessons can teach kids about horses as well as themselves


As the smile on her face can tell, Taylor Kozelka enjoyed basic horse lessons at the Childrens Ranch last season.

By Correne Martin

For parents looking to find the perfect summer activity for their kids, you might consider horse riding lessons at the Childrens Ranch in Prairie du Chien. Held throughout June and July in three-week sessions three days a week, or one-week sessions five days a week (two hours per day), these lessons teach kids not only to ride and interact with horses but also to have self-confidence and be willing to challenge themselves.

“We never lead them. From day one, they ride by themselves on their own,” Childrens Ranch Manager Gracie White said. “The horses I use are kid-safe and kid-broke. Even in the winter, I work with them. They’re perfect horses for these lessons.

“Sometimes the kids are nervous at first, but once they realize they can do it all on their own, they get a huge smile on their faces.”

Wed
11
Mar

Local policemen recognized for lifesaving efforts in 2014


Detective Stacy Polodna (left) and Officer Jeff Henry (far right) received lifesaving award pins recently from Chief Chad Abram for their actions conducted while on duty in 2014.

Officers Ashley Erickson and Josh Hemmer were honored with lifesaving award pins for their actions last year.

Four Prairie du Chien police officers and a detective were recently recognized by the city’s police and fire commission for their lifesaving actions in 2014.

On Feb. 26, during a joint meeting of the police department and the police and fire commission, Officers Ashley Erickson, Steve Herbers, Josh Hemmer and Jeff Henry, as well as Detective Stacy Polodna, were presented lifesaving award pins for their efforts on three separate calls last year.

According to Police Chief Chad Abram, the complete details of each incident could not be revealed due to confidentiality matters. However, the events occurred as follows:

Wed
11
Mar

Prairie du Chien updating municipal major disaster plan

By Correne Martin

Ironically, just two days before a 103-car train carrying crude oil derailed and caught fire south of Galena, Ill., the Prairie du Chien Common Council discussed plans March 3 to review and update the municipal major emergency and disaster response plan. Certain city departments regularly update their emergency plans, as they are required to do so. However, the city’s overall plan is about six years old, and local officials believe specific attention should be paid to the portions of the plan dealing with train derailment, evacuation and cleanup procedures.

Mon
09
Mar

Everyone is Irish for St. Patty’s in PdC


The McGinleys and McCoys are just a few of the many families with Irish roots who will proudly march through the St. Patrick’s Day Parade Saturday at 10 a.m. in downtown Prairie du Chien. (Courier Press file photo)

By Correne Martin

Everyone is Irish and the whole community seems painted green when Prairie du Chien celebrates its annual St. Patrick’s Day festivities. This year, the jubilant day of green pride will take place on Saturday, March 14, featuring a lively and lengthy parade downtown and Irish music and specials all over the city.

Even a Shamrock Shuffle 5k is offered for those looking to start the party bright and early. Register from 7 to 7:40 a.m. at Hoffman Hall, where the second annual run/walk will begin at 7:45 and end after participants complete the 3.1 miles. People of all ages are invited to come out in their best green attire. There is a fee per person to run or walk and any non-perishable food items donated at the event will benefit the Couleecap Food Pantry in Prairie du Chien. Proceeds benefit the Hoffman Hall Improvement Fund.

Mon
09
Mar

U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary

 

Local Coast Guard 

Auxiliary Flotilla seeks new 

members, continues to get better

By Ted Pennekamp

 

Wed
04
Mar

Bridgeport Fire Department presents service awards, accepts generous donation


Former Chief John Gillitzer (center) received a special tribute from the Rural Bridgeport and Prairie du Chien Fire Department during its annual meeting last week for dedicating over 50 years of his life to the department. Assembly Representative Lee Nerison (right) was present to give Gillitzer a state award for his service. Also pictured is John’s son and the current chief, Russ Gillitzer. (Submitted photos)

The Rural Bridgeport and Prairie du Chien Womens Auxiliary awarded a donation in the amount of $10,000 to the Bridgeport Fire Department during its Feb. 24 annual meeting. Pictured with the check are Norma Gillitzer and Alisha Smrcina, representing the Womens Auxiliary, and Fire Chief Russ Gillitzer.

Rich Picha (right) was recognized for 15 years of service to the fire department by Chief Russ Gillitzer.

Alisha Smrcina has been a member of the Rural Bridgeport and Prairie du Chien Fire Department for five years. She was also honored with a plaque for her service.

By Correne Martin

The Rural Bridgeport and Prairie du Chien Fire Department held its annual awards banquet on Feb. 24, recognizing one firefighter for half a century’s worth of service to the department and receiving a large donation from the womens auxiliary.

Former Chief John Gillitzer was honored for giving 50 years of service to the department. He was presented with a state plaque signed by Assembly Representative Lee Nerison and Senator Jennifer Shilling. Nerison was present at the meeting to hand Gillitzer the plaque. A special cake was also served in his honor.

Mon
02
Mar

Seneca man faces porn, marijuana and firearm charges

On Feb. 24, the Crawford County Sheriff’s Department conducted a search warrant at the residence of Ricky T. Olson, 56, Seneca. Olson, who lives on Stoney Point road in Seneca Township, was arrested for allegedly exposing a child to harmful materials. The search warrant was conducted after an investigation by the sheriff’s department revealed that Olson had sent alleged pornographic pictures and videos to a 12-year-old girl. The investigation also showed that Olson received alleged pornographic materials from the girl.

The Wisconsin Division of Criminal Investigation was contacted to assist with the collection of computer and phone evidence.

 
Olson is being held in the Crawford County Jail awaiting a bond hearing. Olson also faces charges of possession of marijuana and felon in possession of a firearm stemming from evidence found at the residence during the search warrant.

Mon
02
Mar

Area man charged with fourth OWI

A 37-year-old Viroqua man has been charged in Crawford County Circuit Court with one count of operating a motor vehicle while intoxicated (fourth offense in five years), one count of operating while revoked, and one count of failure to install ignition interlock device.

Joseph W. Fortney faces up to seven and a half years in prison and fines totalling $13,100 if convicted of all three counts.

According to the criminal complaint, Fortney was pulled over for allegedly driving 76 mph in a 55 mph zone on Highway 61 in Crawford County. The state trooper then administered field sobriety tests and arrested Fortney for alleged OWI.

Fortney has previously been convicted of OWI on June 10, 2008, on June 26, 2008, and on Jan. 2, 2011.

 

 

Mon
02
Mar

Packers Tailgate Tour coming to Prairie du Chien


Hall of Famer Dave Robinson was an outstanding linebacker for the Green Bay Packers for 10 seasons. He also played for the Washington Redskins for two seasons.

Jerry Kramer (64) leads the Packer sweep. Kramer had a stellar 11-year career for the Green Bay Packers.

By Ted Pennekamp

 

Green Bay Packers fans in Prairie du Chien and the surrounding area should be excited to know that the Packers will be here for a visit on April 15 as part of their 10th Anniversary Tailgate Tour. 

“It’s a big thing for the city,” said Dan Schickert, of the St. Feriole Island Ballpark Committee. “It gets our name out there. The community is starting to get very excited already.” 

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