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Three discovered hiding in van, face methamphetamine charges

Crawford County K-9 Breck is pictured with items seized from a van in Gays Mills during a search Nov. 21. (Submitted photo)

Three individuals from outside Crawford County are facing drug charges after the county’s K-9 unit stopped a suspicious vehicle in the village of Gays Mills last week, according to the Crawford County Sheriff’s Department.
The K-9 officer was patrolling Nov. 21, when he observed a 1994 Chevrolet Astro van that, when it pulled onto Rebecca Street, the driver turned off the headlights. The deputy made contact with the vehicle and found three occupants all hiding in the rear of the van. The occupants were identified as David Roberts, 34, and Brandy Robinson, 39, both from La Crosse, and Cassandra Neff, 30, of Fennimore. Roberts and Neff were both discovered to be on active probation for possession of methamphetamine, according to a news release from the sheriff’s department.


Santa Sightings

Friday, Dec. 1—Holiday Parade, Downtown PdC, 5:30 p.m., visit with Santa in the Knowlton House before and after

Saturday, Dec. 2—Wake Up Santa, PdC City Hall Community Building, 8:30 a.m.
Saturday, Dec. 2—Seneca Lions Breakfast with Santa, Town Hall, 8-10 a.m.
Saturday, Dec. 2—MFL Lions Club Lighted Holiday Parade, Monona, 6 p.m.
Sunday, Dec. 3—Christmas Tree Lighting, Ferryville, 6-7 p.m.
Sunday, Dec. 3—Christmas Right Here, Crossing Rivers Health, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Thursday, Dec. 7—Canadian Pacific Holiday Train, Marquette riverfront, 4:15 p.m.
Saturday, Dec. 9—Santa at the Driftless Area Wetlands Centre, Marquette, 1-4 p.m.
Saturday, Dec. 9, Christmas in Bagley, 3-6 p.m., Santa will arrive via fire truck at Bruggeman’s Tire Shop at 4 p.m.
Saturday, Dec. 23—Santa at the Mt. Hope fire station, 1:30 p.m.


Holiday parade brings joy of the season to PdC Dec. 1

The annual Holiday Parade presented by the Prairie du Chien Area Chamber of Commerce will be held Friday, Dec. 1, at 5:30 p.m., on Blackhawk Avenue downtown. Any business or organization wishing to participate in the parade is asked to begin lining up at 5 p.m. on St. Feriole Island. There is no fee to participate. Entrants are encouraged to decorate their floats with lights and holiday scenes and play seasonal music as well.

“This festive parade in historic downtown Prairie du Chien officially kicks off the holiday season and serves as a reminder to ‘Shop Local, Shop Prairie du Chien’ this holiday season for all gift giving needs,” said Chamber CEO Bob Moses.

Santa and Mrs. Claus will make a special trip to Prairie du Chien to wish all parade-goers a “Merry Christmas.”


Crawford County 4-H members recognized for their achievements

Members in grades 9 through one year after high school (front row, from left) were honored: Emma Payne, Samuel Kramer, Theresa Kramer, Matthew Kramer, Alexis Snyder; (middle row) Sawyer Brown, Ashley Bedtka, Jessica Bedtka, Cecilia Kramer, Veronica Kramer, Faith Morga; (back row) Laura Cornwall, Brooklynn Nagel, Cathleen Anderson, Becca Cornwall, Kelsey Achenbach, Elliot Anderson and Kylie Zimmerman.

Members in grades 6-8 recognized for their achievements were (front row, from left) Lydia Kramer, Marie Achebach, Faye Brassington, Autum Butler, Isaac Kramer, AJ Morga; (back row) Isabella Sprosty, Taylor Snyder, Lily Mitchell, Matthias Gerhards, Maximus Cooley and Maureen Cooley.  

Members in grades 3-5: (front row, from left) Camryn Lenzendorf, Alex Morga, Mia Olson, Sophia Walz, Ben Payne, Claudia Walz, Carson Sime, Madelyn Kramer; (middle row) Emma Hady, Alisha Brassington, Dallas Butler, Julius Cooley, Benjamin Kramer, Clint Mitchell, Macy Mitchell; (back row) Nicholas Walz, Brooke Mitchell, Michaela Cauffman, Blake Mitchell, Robert Cooley, Lindsey Nolan, Rita Achenbach, Jacob Payne, William Zander and Gracie Sime.

Graduating Cloverbuds are (front row, from left) Violet Mitchell, Danielle Hromadka, Avi Olson, Hope Cornwall. Back Row (L-R): Grant Sime, Lauren Otte, Bailey Otte and Colette Kramer.

Cloverbuds recognized included (front row, from left) Jackson Butler, Simon Kramer, Aaron Hromdaka, Warren Snyder; (back row) Kendra Mitchell, Hesston Brownlee, Nathaniel Walz, Millie Dahlberg and Hayley Mitchell.

Crawford County 4-H members were recognized on Oct. 20 for their achievements in 4-H for the 2016-2017 year. In order to receive recognition, members must have completed a record book for the year. The 4-H record book is an excellent way for members to keep track of their goals and accomplishments throughout the year.

Cloverbuds (members in grades K-1) who were recognized that evening were Devyn Kay Allert, Halo Aspenson, Hesston Brownlee, Jackson Butler, Millie Dahlberg, Aaron Hromadka, Jacob Kramer, Simon Kramer, Hayley Mitchell, Kendra Mitchell, Warren Snyder, Nathaniel Walz and Stetson Zeeh.

Cloverbuds who are in second grade graduated from the program to regular 4-H members. They were Hope Cornwall, Danielle Hromadka, Colette Kramer, Violet Mitchell, Avi Olson, Bailey Otte, Lauren Otte, Lena Schmidt, Grant Sime, Kristina Sletten and Jazzmine Walters.


Crawford County levy increases slightly

By Correne Martin

The Crawford County Board of Supervisors approved its 2018 budget Nov. 14, increasing its portion of the tax levy for landowners slightly, by 0.4 percent, to cover $9,986,122 in total proposed funds.

“After assembling initial departmental requests for this budget, it was $662,000 above the allowable levy limit,” said Duane Rogers, board vice chairman.

To balance the 2018 budget, the board’s key moves will involve pulling $300,000 from the general fund and reducing highway department requests by $250,000 ($64,000 of that will be paid by unused borrowing from last year).

Though Rogers acknowledged the disappointing news that the total of all fund balances had decreased—for the second consecutive year—he said it increased in the years leading up to this and believes the county is “still in pretty good shape.”


Arts center advisory council forms in PdC district

By Correne Martin

An official advisory committee for the Prairie du Chien School District’s new arts center has formed and, last week, was fully recognized by the board of education at its Nov. 13 meeting. This council is tasked with creating a vision of how the arts center—the grandiose facility on the front end of Prairie du Chien High School—will function as part of the community.

“A survey will be coming back out to the public,” Board President Christine Panka said. “What we heard during the referendum is [residents] wanted this facility utilized to the max for the community, in addition to what the school wants to do.”

So the intention of the committee is to determine the best functionality possible.


Country on the River takes year hiatus

Organizers of Country on the River have decided to take a year off in 2018 and come back “bigger, better...and even more country” in 2019, according to the Country on the River Facebook page.

A statement on the page reads, “Thank you to all of you who have supported Country on the River for the past eight years. We have tremendous appreciation for everything you have done to make this event happen every single year.

However, we regret to announce that the festival will not be returning in 2018. Instead, we’ll be taking a year off to look at improvements to make to the event.”

The post goes on to invite patrons to its sister festival, WE Fest, in Detroit Lakes, Minn.

There have been many rumors that Country on the River is considering relocating to another city, though the Courier Press has not been able to confirm any such details.


Vehicle located at bottom of Mississippi near Marquette

This vehicle was first spotted by a fisherman using side imaging sonar in August. It cannot be recovered at this time, though arrangements for a dive have been made for 2018.

Officials from the Clayton County Sheriff’s Department and the La Crosse County Dive Unit located a vehicle at the bottom of the Mississippi River near Marquette, following a tip from a local fisherman. (Submitted photos)

The Clayton County Sheriff’s Office received a report on Aug. 17, of a vehicle discovered in the Mississippi River near Marquette. The information was reported by a local fisherman who was using new side imaging sonar and discovered what appears to be at least one vehicle on the bottom of the west channel of the river.

On Nov. 2, the sheriff’s office enlisted the assistance of the La Crosse County Dive Unit and conducted a successful dive, locating the vehicle. Water clarity, depth and swift current prohibited a thorough processing of the vehicle. The vehicle could not be recovered and arrangements are being made for a 2018 dive.

Specifics on how, when or why the vehicle ended up in the river are unknown. The sheriff’s office is releasing this information to enlist the assistance of the public in gathering information to unanswered questions. If you have information, contact the Clayton County Sheriff’s Office at (563) 245-2422.


Area school district open enrollment better than last year

By Ted Pennekamp

The Seneca School District gained this school year with 48 students who open enrolled into the district, said Seneca Superintendent David Boland.

“We had a few more students open enroll this year,” said Boland, who noted that Seneca had 43 students open enroll last year.

“The overall increase in open enrollment funding this year is $31,030 higher than last year, which goes into the general fund for staffing, programming, and day-to-day operations,” Boland said. “We feel our school’s small size and dedicated staff allow all students to maximize their talents and reach their potential as they strive to accomplish their goals.”

“Open-enrollment numbers are very important to all public school districts. We saw a net increase through open enrollment of seven students from last year,” said Wauzeka-Steuben Superintendent Robert Sailer.


GUILTY: Defendant murdered girlfriend

Jimmy McDaniel personally testified Friday and Monday to his rocky relationship with Linda Kline as well as to the events of what happened Oct. 4-5, 2016, in Bridgeport. He was convicted by a jury of his peers of two separate counts, first degree reckless homicide as well as strangulation and suffocation. (Photos by Correne Martin)

Crawford County District Attorney Tim Baxter points to body camera footage of the defendant hovering overtop Linda Kline, as if performing CPR, when the first officer arrived at the murder scene.

Jimmy McDaniel looks at the jury toward the end of the trial.

Prosecuting Attorney Tim Baxter gives his closing remarks to the jury. Baxter put together an impressive murder case, with which the jury ultimately agreed.

By Correne Martin

After seven hours of jury deliberation Monday, Jimmy McDaniel was found guilty of first degree reckless homicide in addition to strangulation and suffocation in the Bridgeport murder of his girlfriend Linda Kline, Oct. 4, 2016. As the verdict was read, McDaniel, 50, dropped his head showing little emotion, while Kline’s family—including her mother, brother and children—cried tears of gratification.

The 12-member Crawford County jury gave the guilty verdict around 10:45 p.m. Monday, in front of Judge Lynn Rider, following five days of testimony from local law enforcement, family, neighbors and forensic pathology experts.


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