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Wed
05
Sep

Hydrological technicians deploy RC boat to record data


Zachary Scott, a hydrologic technician with the United States Geological Survey, prepares a jet-powered, remote controlled boat Thursday morning, Aug. 30, to test the river flow at Steuben. Jo’s Kountry Bar in the background was inundated with water after the river flowed over the sandbag wall. (Photos by Ted Pennekamp)

Hydrologic technician Clay Utzig checks with fellow technician Zachary Scott Thursday morning as he prepares to move the remote-controlled boat out into the main current at Steuben. The boat relayed information such as current flow to a monitor in a USGS van. Playground equipment is in the background, including a swing set.

 

By Ted Pennekamp

 

The record-setting flood on Aug. 29 and Aug. 30 in Steuben of 19.84 feet caused a lot of problems for area residents and business owners, but it was the perfect time for two hydrologic technicians to gather information and test theories.

Wed
05
Sep

$5.84M in damages estimated already


The railroad tracks along Highway 35 washed out from heavy rain Monday night, Sept. 3. The washout caused a minor train derailment. (Photo by Todd Myers)

This is some of the damage to the park in Soldiers Grove caused by the recent record flood of the Kickapoo River. (Photo by Dennis Pelock)

This is part of Highway 171 on Orchard Hill that got damaged due to heavy rain Monday night. (Photo by Todd Myers)

 

By Ted Pennekamp

 

The rain just keeps coming and causing major problems for Crawford County and the surrounding area. Directly on the heels of a record-setting Kickapoo River flood that affected numerous homes and businesses in Soldiers Grove, Gays Mills and Steuben, heavy rain Monday night caused parts of Highway 35 and other roads to fill with mud, branches and other debris. Some county roads were damaged as well. 

Fri
31
Aug

Not much damage to Crawford County roads


Blacktop that floated over from the park in Soldiers Grove covers part of County C. Crawford County Highway Commissioner Dennis Pelock said there was very little damage to county roads. There might be a small amount of shoulder repairs required along with clearing the roads of mud and debris. (Photo by Dennis Pelock)

This is some of the damage to the park in Soldiers Grove caused by the recent record flood of the Kickapoo River. (Photo by Dennis Pelock)

The Kickapoo River over County S near Petersburg was raging Aug. 28 and Aug. 29. (Photo by Dennis Pelock)

Sam Groom enjoys floating on some calm flood water in Steuben Thursday afternoon. (Photo by Ted Pennekamp)

Some vehicles drive through water going over Highway 60 near the intersection with Highway 131 near Wauzeka Thursday afternoon. Highway 60 was later closed to traffic at this location. Highway Commissioner Dennis Pelock said the last time the Kickapoo River went over Highway 60 was in 2008. (Photo by Ted Pennekamp)

Unfortunately, water went over the sandbag wall at Jo's Kountry Bar in Steuben on Wednesday. This photo was taken Thursday. (Photo by Ted Pennekamp)

An elderly man is rescued from his vehicle by the Crawford County Swift Water Rescue Team on Highway 131 Wednesday, Aug. 29. The man had driven into flood waters. (Photo by Dennis Pelock)

 

By Ted Pennekamp

 

Crawford County roads did not sustain much damage, said Crawford County Highway Commissioner Dennis Pelock Thursday morning, Aug. 30.

Wed
29
Aug

Record flooding in Soldiers Grove, Gays Mills, Steuben


Kickapoo River Bridge on Highway 61 near the Vernon County line. (Photos by Dennis Pelock)

Bridge in "old town" Soldiers Grove. It is hoped that the bridges in Crawford County do not give way under the pounding of the raging river.

County B near Gays Mills was one of several roads that were closed in Crawford County.

Highway 131 in Soldiers Grove remains closed.

This is another view of the bridge in "old town" of Soldiers Grove Tuesday morning.

This was part of Gays Mills Tuesday morning. The river is still rising and is expected to set a record.

 

By Ted Pennekamp

 

Crawford County emergency and Highway Department personnel are prepared and continue to monitor the Kickapoo River, which is predicted to reach record flood levels. Sandbagging was done at Soldiers Grove, Gays Mills and Steuben the morning of Aug. 28 in anticipation of the flood.

Wed
29
Aug

Carriage Classic now the largest pleasure-driving equestrian event


The Villa Louis Carriage Classic is a one-of-a-kind event where spectators can experience elegant drivers compete with their horse-drawn carriages in the most lavish styles known.

Now holding the title of the largest pleasure-driving equestrian event in the country, the Villa Louis Carriage Classic will take place Sept. 7-9, in Prairie du Chien. 

From 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. each day, drivers will elegantly command their horses and carriages of all breeds, styles and time periods through the arena and obstacles, presenting to a crowd of people from all over the United States. The event will host the finest horses and ponies and over 100 new and restored carriages. 

2018 is the 38th year of the Carriage Classic.

“The largest show in the country didn’t happen this year,” stated Mike Rider, show organizer. “So we are the largest.”

Wed
29
Aug

Q94 morning show’s Dan and Kelly will give last show Aug. 31


Kelly Renner and Dan Moris will air their last morning show with “Dan and Kelly” on Prairie du Chien’s Q94/WPRE Aug. 31. Both are leaving the radio station on new life adventures. (Photo by Correne Martin)

By Correne Martin

Dan and Kelly themselves officially broke the news, on the Great Country, Q94/WPRE airwaves Aug. 24, that they are leaving the radio station. The lively morning show pair will sign off from their last show, Friday, Aug. 31. All week, they’ve been reminiscing about their moments together.

Dan Moris and Kelly Renner are the local radio personalities behind the light-hearted morning program of talk, music and news from 6-9 a.m. every day on 94.3 (rebroadcast from 11-2 on 104.3). Listeners have welcomed the beloved duo into their homes for three years, including the days when they “woke up” with Dan, Todd (Crotty) and Kelly.

The two current hosts are moving on to new things. 

Wed
29
Aug

Wauzeka Fire and Rescue wins grain bin rescue tube


Firemen from a number of other Crawford County fire departments joined the Wauzeka Fire and Rescue Department for a grain bin rescue training Aug. 18. They are pictured with the grain bin rescue tube Wauzeka Fire won from Nationwide Insurance and the National Education Center for Agricultural Safety (NECAS).

Tyler Aspenson, a member of the Seneca Fire Department, volunteered to be “sunk” in a half bin full of corn up to his belly button. He said he couldn’t move his legs at all while trapped in the grain, before his fellow volunteers rescued him with assistance from the grain bin rescue tube. (Photos by Correne Martin)

Wauzeka Fire’s Assistant Chief Nick Zeeh uses a diamond-blade saw to cut through galvanized steel, a material from which many grain bins are constructed. Standing behind him are trainer Dan Neenan, and some of the area firemen who participated.

Two of the men partaking in the Aug. 18 training work to advance the rescue tube down into the corn.

Area firemen practiced rescuing someone from a grain bin. They are shown connecting the six panels as straight as possible around the “victim.” Once they place them all together, two of the rescuers will step on the exterior panel steps, opposite one another, and use their body weight to force the tube down two to three inches at a time. As the tube is advanced, grain can be scooped from within. More grain can be removed as it continues sliding down, and eventually, the victim can get free.

By Correne Martin

Twenty-nine fire departments in 19 states were each recently awarded a grain bin rescue tube and four hours of training, valued at roughly $5,000, as part of the fifth annual Nominate Your Fire Department Contest. The Wauzeka Fire and Rescue Department was one of the applicants selected and is the first agency in Crawford County to receive this life-saving piece of equipment. The contest is sponsored by Nationwide Insurance and the National Education Center for Agricultural Safety (NECAS).

As a result, Wauzeka is collaborating with neighboring departments—including six others in Crawford County, and Boscobel in Grant County—to pursue supplemental hardware and gear that will ensure the area is prepared to respond to any grain bin entrapment scenario safely and efficiently.

Tue
28
Aug

Crawford County preparing for huge Kickapoo River Flood


Volunteers sandbag and construct a wall around Jo’s Kountry Bar in Steuben Tuesday morning in anticipation of a near record setting flood of the Kickapoo River. The river is expected to set records at all other communities in Vernon and Crawford counties. (Photo by Ted Pennekamp)

This shows the flooding at Readstown the morning of Aug. 28. The river is expected to crest at a record 20.5 feet at Readstown later on Aug. 28. The current record is 19.6 feet set on June 9, 2008. (Photo courtesy of Dennis Pelock)

This is another view of the flooding that was happening in Readstown Tuesday morning. (Photo courtesy of Dennis Pelock)

The Burlington Northern Santa Fe railroad tracks washed out south of Stoddard along Highway 35 on Aug. 28. (Photo courtesy of Dennis Pelock)

 

By Ted Pennekamp

 

Numerous adults, children, and personnel from area fire departments have been busy sandbagging in Steuben and Gays Mills in preparation for a possible record-setting flood of the Kickapoo River by Aug. 29 and 30. 

Tue
28
Aug

Mary Ruth (McDonald) Peterson

Mary Ruth (McDonald) Peterson passed away peacefully on Sunday, Aug. 26, at the Waunakee Manor. 

Mary Ruth was born on Jan. 21, 1924, the second of three children to George and Bridget Anna McDonald, of Soldiers Grove. She grew up surrounded by a large, extended Irish family with devout Catholicism at its center. After attending Soldiers Grove High School, Mary Ruth earned her degree from St. Mary’s School of Nursing in Madison. She was a diligent and caring RN, practicing in hospitals in St. Louis, Denver, Racine and Prairie du Chien. On June 17, 1947, Mary Ruth married her high school sweetheart, James Ole Peterson, at St. Philips Catholic Church in Rolling Ground. They enjoyed 67 years together, raising their eight children while celebrating a shared love of faith and family. 

Mon
27
Aug

Greta A. Otteson

Greta A. Otteson, 87, of Prairie du Chien, passed away Saturday, Aug. 25, at Prairie Maison, after a long battle with Alzheimer’s. She died peacefully, surrounded by her family. 

Greta Arlene, the daughter of Lloyd and Dorothy (DuCharme) Anderson, was born Aug. 7, 1931, in Prairie du Chien. She attended St. John’s Parochial School and graduated from St. Mary’s in 1949. Greta was united in marriage with Kenneth Otteson on Sept. 2, 1950, at St. Gabriel Catholic Church in Prairie du Chien. Kenneth preceded her in death on July 9, 2015. Greta was a homemaker for her family and she managed the Gundersen Clinic in Prairie du Chien for 32 years.

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