Courier Press

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Wed
05
Aug

Orlyn David Chunat

 

Orlyn David Chunat, 91, of Prairie du Chien, died Friday, July 31, at Prairie Maison, Prairie du Chien. 

Orlyn David Chunat was born on Dec. 26, 1923 to George and Lydia (Kuchenbecker) Chunat. He graduated from Wauzeka High School in 1942 and joined the United States Air Force. Orlyn was co-pilot on a B17 named the Lady Alta and was part of the 303rd Bomb Group, 8th U.S. Air Force. On their twenty-first mission, the plane was shot down over Germany. Orlyn was wounded, taken prisoner and considered MIA. He was a POW for approximately five months before the POW camp was liberated by Patton’s 3rd Army.  Orlyn was awarded the Purple Heart.

Tue
04
Aug

Annual Blues Fest brings in a groovy crowd


It's all about that bass: Kerry Clark, the bass guitarist for Larry McCray’s band, was an animated entertainer on the main stage Friday night at the 18th annual Prairie Dog Blues Festival on St. Feriole Island. Thousands of fest-goers from all over the country enjoyed the global talent and the beautiful weather over the weekend in Prairie du Chien.

Fun from the land down under: Owen Campbell, an Australian musician, and his band graced the beer tent stage all evening Friday at the Prairie Dog Blues Fest. Campbell, a former Australia's Got Talent contestant, played a mean slide guitar for a rousing crowd. (Photos by Correne Martin)
Tue
04
Aug

PdC International Club visits homelands of Big Ben, romance and pasta


Janet Key, Ellen Antoniewicz and Tammy Antoniewicz are picture perfect in front of the famous Eiffel Tower.

Some students posed in front of the Roman Forum: (front, left) Nick Adamany, Ethan Kilbey, Jamie Kozelka, Jacqueline LaHaie and Maria Skemp; (back) Gunnar Kravchuk, Lindsey Ohlert, Erin Morvits and Ellen Antoniewicz. (Submitted photos)

By Addison Mumm and Tammy Antoniewicz

The Prairie du Chien High School International Club had the experience of a lifetime this summer traveling to some of Europe’s main capitals: London, Paris and Rome. The nine-day trip started out with an eight-hour flight from Chicago O’Hare airport to London, where the students hit the ground running.

They met up with their tour guide, Richard, who had over 25 years of experience as a guide.

The students saw Trafalgar Square; Buckingham Palace, where they witnessed the changing of the guard; Kensington Palace, where Prince William and Kate reside; Big Ben; the Houses of Parliament; and Windsor Castle. While in London the students were able to dine on the popular fish and chips­­—the American equivalent is fish and french fries.

“My favorite memory was the opportunity to try a variety of appetizers, entrees, and desserts from different areas of Europe,” said Gunnar Kravchuk.

Tue
04
Aug

Relay for Life raises $46,000 to help kick cancer with hope

  

Tue
04
Aug

Local man charged with fifth OWI

A 41-year-old Prairie du Chien man has been charged in Crawford County Circuit Court with one count of operating a motor vehicle while intoxicated - fifth offense.

Robert L. Whetzal faces up to six years in prison and a $10,000 fine if convicted.

According to the criminal complaint, Whetzal was stopped for speeding in the city of Prairie du Chien and then placed under arrest for OWI.

Whetzal was previously convicted of OWI four times, according to the complaint.

Tue
04
Aug

Blackjack Billy to rock PdC at local country music festival, Aug. 6-8


Blackjack Billy prepares to take the Country on the River stage on Saturday, Aug. 8, at 4:30 p.m. (Photo submitted)

By Caitlin Bittner

If you’re gearing up for Prairie du Chien’s annual country music festival, Country on the River (COTR), you’ve no doubt spent a lot of time pouring over the schedule and checking out the performers slated to rock the three-day event beginning Aug. 6. One group you wouldn’t want to miss is the up-and-coming Blackjack Billy, who will take the stage on Saturday, Aug. 8, at 4:30 p.m.

As a group, Blackjack Billy started to gain traction after their song “Booze Cruise” was released in 2013. Their latest hit is called “Why God Made Summertime.” Which, Rob Blackledge, bassist and vocalist for the group, said is perfect for a festival like COTR.

“We’re lucky if we have a set list an hour before the show and we redo it every couple of times to keep it interesting,” commented Blackledge.

Tue
04
Aug

Camping fees to increase at state parks

Camping fees for Wisconsin state parks, state forests, state trails and state recreation areas increased July 28.

The fee increases were enacted as part of the 2015-2017 biennial state budget. The legislation calls for the fee increases to go into effect as soon as changes can be made to the camping reservation system.

The increase in camping fees is based on a three-level rate structure that will place the parks at a camping rate depending on demand, uniqueness, location and other factors. Camping rates will increase between $3 and $6 per night for residents and between $6 and $9 per night for non-residents. There is an increase in the per night charge for electrical service from $5 to $10.

Tue
04
Aug

The Queen is coming


The 10-year-old American Queen reaches 418 feet long and is the largest, authentic paddlewheel steamboat in America. (Submitted photo)

By Addison Mumm

The American Queen, America’s largest steamboat, will stop at the docks of Prairie du Chien once again. This authentic paddlewheel steamboat previously visited Prairie du Chien several years ago.

The 418-foot steamboat will tentatively dock at St. Feriole Island on Wednesday, Aug. 12. The boat will arrive if the weather and river levels permit. As part of the “Shake, Rattle and Rollin’ on the River” cruise, the roundtrip St. Paul nine-day journey will visit St. Paul, Minn.; Winona, Minn.; Dubuque, Iowa;  Prairie du Chien; La Crosse; Red Wing, Minn., and again to St. Paul, Minn. This schedule is always subject to change anytime because of fog, mechanical problems or water levels.

“Even if the American Queen is unable to make it, the special events and activities will still go on in Prairie du Chien,” said Prairie du Chien Tourism Coordinator Patti Wacker.

Tue
04
Aug

Explosive material at Cabela’s disposed of

On Aug. 1, at approximately 3:24 p.m., the Prairie du Chien Police Department was notified by Cabela’s retail staff of several suspected explosives located at their store. Officers responded and met with Cabela’s staff. It was determined that a customer had purchased Tannerite with intentions of using it for recreational purposes. The customer returned the Tannerite because it failed to operate properly. Cabela’s staff determined that the returned item was potentially an explosive hazard and removed it from the store.

The Prairie du Chien Police Department requested mutual aid from the Dane County Bomb Squad, which provided essential information on Tannerite, its explosive nature and the precautions that needed to be taken. A perimeter was established and access was restricted at the front of the Cabela’s store.

Tue
04
Aug

PdC man drowns at Campion Boat Landing

On Aug. 2, at approximately 7:43 a.m., the Prairie du Chien Police Department was notified of a possible drowning at the Campion Boat Landing in Prairie du Chien at the Mississippi River.

Officers and Tri-State EMS were dispatched and found Donald R. Cavender, 54, of Prairie du Chien, under a fishing pier located at the landing. Tri-State staff and a police officer were able to free the man from the water with assistance by a citizen, who was fishing nearby with a boat, in efforts to bring the man to shore.

Life saving measures were initiated on scene and the man was transported to Crossing Rivers Health where he was pronounced dead.

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