Courier Press

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Lester E. Weisensale


Lester E. Weisensale, 68, of Prairie du Chien passed away Monday, July 27, at his home surrounded by his family, following a courageous battle with cancer. 

He was born Jan. 26, 1947 in York, Pa. the son of Lester and Gladys (Stauffer) Weisensale Sr. He entered service in the U.S. Navy in 1966 and later served in the U.S. Marine Corps being honorably discharged in 1973. He married Janette Belken on Oct. 20, 1973 at the Castle Rock Lutheran Church. Lester enjoyed his work as an EMT for the Prairie du Chien Rescue Squad and was an animal lover. 


Woman pulled over by fake officer, sheriff urges to report any similar incidents

Grant County deputies are looking for a man who impersonated a police officer and pulled over a woman on U.S. 151 Thursday night.

The Grant County Sheriff’s Department said the woman drove past a dark-colored SUV on 151 south of Platteville around 11:55 p.m. When the woman passed the SUV, it pulled out behind her and activated a red and blue dash light, the sheriff’s office said.

When the woman pulled over, a man in his 40s wearing a black T-shirt approached her vehicle with a flashlight. The man asked the woman if she knew why she was stopped, then asked her to leave the car to see an equipment violation, the sheriff’s office said.

The woman asked the man for ID, and when he didn’t show any, she said she was going to call 911. The SUV then drove off to the north, the sheriff’s office said.

Sheriff Nate Dreckman said several area law enforcement agencies use unmarked vehicles, with “multiple sources of emergency lights and a siren.”


Dump truck overturns in ditch near Rush Creek Road, sustains moderate damage

On Monday, July 20, at 11:18 a.m., the Crawford County Dispatch Center was notified of a one-vehicle rollover crash on Rush Creek Road, one mile east of Highway 35 in Freeman Township.

Lawrence Meinholz, 59, Harpers Ferry, Iowa, was driving a 2002 Freightliner dump truck east on Rush Creek Road when he met a westbound 1990 Peterbilt semi pulling a grain trailer, driven by John Johnson, 72, Genoa. Meinholz’s dump truck got onto the soft shoulder, causing the dump truck to overturn once before coming to a stop on its wheels in the ditch.

Meinholz was taken to Crossing Rivers Health where he was treated for bumps and bruises sustained in the crash and later released.

The dump truck sustained moderate right side damage and was towed from the scene.

Assisting at the scene were the De Soto and Ferryville First Responders, De Soto Fire Department, Ocooch Mountain Rescue Squad and Bob’s Towing.

The crash remains under investigation.


Knights of Columbus hold summertime contest youth throughout the area asked to participate

Campion Council 1840 of the Knights of Columbus ,who offer charitable services to the community, youth and persons in need, would like area youth to participate in a summer contest for three different age groups with a choice of a $20 Dairy Queen or Culvers’ gift certificate for the selected winners. Each group will be asked what it means to be helping hands in the community or family.

First through fourth grades are asked to submit a picture with  two or three sentences that describe their picture. They will be rated on originality, hand artwork (no stickers or tracing), and how the picture is described.

Fifth through eighth grade are asked to submit a one- to two-page definition of what it means to be helping hands in the family and in our community. Likewise, high school teens are asked to submit a three- to four-page statement on what it takes to become helping hands in the family and the community.


McCluskey charged in Grant County sexual assault case

On May 21, Boscobel Police met with a 15 year-old female who had recently given birth. The female told police that a rural Prairie du Chien man was the father of her child.

After conducting an interview with the female, the case was referred to the Crawford County Sheriff’s Department since the alleged sexual assault was said to have occurred in their county. An investigator with the Crawford County Sheriff’s Department was able to locate Jacob McCluskey, 19, of rural Prairie du Chien, and conduct an interview with him.

McCluskey admitted to having sexual intercourse with the 15-year-old female on two separate occasions in the city of Boscobel. After the investigation was concluded, the case was then referred to the Grant County District Attorney’s office.

McCluskey was charged with second degree sexual assault of a child in Grant County.


Suspect caught after high-speed chase

On Tuesday, July 21 at approximately 9:27 p.m., the Crawford County Dispatch Center was notified of a high-speed pursuit that was in the state of Iowa and was headed toward Crawford County and the city of Prairie du Chien.

Dispatch notified both county deputies and city patrol officers of the incident. Prairie du Chien patrol officers positioned squads on the bridge approach and deployed “stop sticks,” a tire deflation device, prior to the suspect vehicle passing their location. Officers then pursued the vehicle another seven blocks until the car was disabled near Marquette Road in the city of Prairie du Chien.

The suspect then proceeded on foot from the patrol officers and headed east in Prairie du Chien. Officers established a perimeter and a K9 track was initiated.

A short time later, officers learned that the suspect was inside a business in Prairie du Chien. Officers went to that location and the suspect was taken into custody without incident.


PdC pool to transform into the ‘Big Easy’ July 29

Slide on down to the new “Big Easy” at the Prairie du Chien Aquatic Park on Wednesday, July 29. In conjunction with the Prairie du Chien Parks and Recreation Department, the pool will be hosting a Mardi Gras-themed pool party from 7 to 8:30 p.m.

Everyone is invited to come and enjoy activities like the zombie splash contest, bead toss, diving for doubloons, Big Easy slide races and Mississippi River limbo. Live music will be provided by Twisted Vision and southern dogs, voodoo pizza and rajun Cajun popcorn will be available.

For more information, please contact Parks and Recreation Director Mike Ulrich at 326-7207.


Many acts to hit stage for annual Prairie Dog Blues Fest

Devon Allman

Owen Campbell

By Caitlin Bittner and Addison Mumm

Blues star and singer Devon Allman will be one of the headliners at the annual Prairie Dog Blues Fest to be held Friday and Saturday, July 31 and Aug. 1.

Allman, originally from St. Louis, Mo. will headline July 31, on St. Feriole Island. His mix of blues, rock and soul music has captured many listeners’ ears. Allman recently released his third solo album, “Ragged and Dirty.”

A world-traveled singer, Allman will take time out of his Ragged and Dirty Tour to perform on the Blues Fest stage at 11 p.m. He graced the stage five years ago. Although he doesn’t remember the event vividly, he said he did have a good time in little Prairie du Chien.

Performing since he was 17 years old, Allman enjoys writing and performing his music for crowds.

“The connection with the audience and that energy exchange is worth the travel and wait,” Allman said.


3M donates confined space rescue equipment to Prairie du Chien Fire Department

The cost of the new confined space equipment donated to the Prairie du Chien Fire Department by 3M is close to $20,000. Pictured, from left, are Tom Harris, 3M plant manager; Bob Irvine, 3M plant engineer; Harry Remz, Prairie du Chien fire chief; Tim Deluhery, Prairie du Chien deputy fire chief and 3M employee; and Joel Arnold, 3M plant engineering manager. (Photo by Caitlin Bittner)

By Caitlin Bittner

On Tuesday, July 21, 3M officially donated new confined space equipment to the Prairie du Chien Fire Department.

“We’re required to have a back up rescue team,” explained Bob Irvine, 3M plant engineer.

For this rescue team, confined space training is a must, which is why 3M also paid to send a few members of the fire department to Southwest Wisconsin Technical College in Fennimore to be certified in confined space rescues.

“The equipment cost about $20,000 and we really hope that the only time we have to use it is when we train,” said Deputy Fire Chief Tim Deluhery.


Former hospital to be torn down

The former Prairie du Chien Memorial Hospital building will no longer exist by the end of the year.

For more than two years, since planning for the new Medical Center began, the old Prairie du Chien Memorial Hospital building has been listed for sale with little interest generated. Hospital leadership also sought input and ideas regarding reuse, and contacted several organizations to promote their consideration of utilizing the building.


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