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Young winner recognized

Paige Schneider, 14, of Prairie du Chien, was the young artist who submitted the winning design for this year’s Oktoberfest button design contest. She is pictured with a prize basket awarded by the Oktoberfest committee. She also earned her family event T-shirts and will participate in the activities in Prairie du Chien on Oct. 21. The Schneider family is pictured with the Oktoberfest committee (front row, from left): Mike Ulrich, Cathie Nelson, Melanie Schneider, Elle and Max Schneider, Paige Schneider, Breck Schneider, Suzette Cunningham and Tom Nelson. (Photo by Correne Martin)

By Correne Martin

Prairie du Chien’s Oktoberfest is just a few short weeks away. The community will once again celebrate great seasonal fun for the whole family, Oct. 21, on St. Feriole Island. Nationally-renowned musical acts, authentic German cuisine and beverages, children’s activities and crafts and much more will highlight the daylong event.

This year, the structure of the festivities has changed slightly to accommodate the growth of this annual fest. While many aspects of the fest will remain the same, the food/beer and music will be located in different tents.


Keep moving this off-season with parks and rec activities

Be it youth soccer or basketball, adult water aerobics or family fun nights for Halloween or Christmas, there are plenty of activities to do for free or for a nominal fee in Prairie du Chien this fall and winter. (Courier Press file photo)

The Hoffman Hall pool is just one of numerous amenities available for people of all ages during the off-season months. (Courier Press file photo)

By Correne Martin

Just because the temperatures are cooling, it doesn’t mean community members have to go into hibernation. The Prairie du Chien Parks and Recreation Department and Hoffman Hall have a great deal of activities for youth, adults, athletes and leisure-seekers. With all there is to offer, there’s no excuse to not be active this fall and winter 2017-2018 season.

Many of the programs require a fee to participate, while some of them are also free. Residents and non-residents are welcome. To register, visit to sign up easily, or mail or drop off a registration form (found in the parks and rec activity guide) to the City of Prairie du Chien Parks and Recreation Department, 214 E. Blackhawk Ave., P.O. Box 324, Prairie du Chien, WI 53821. Call 326-7207 with any questions.


Prairie du Chien Homecoming

Reid Koenig gains good yardage on a kickoff return versus Lancaster. (Photos by Ted Pennekamp)

Gavin Gillitzer nears the end zone on a 49-yard touchdown run in the first quarter Friday night.

Stephen Ronnfeldt (76) hits Evan Gates of Lancaster hard and causes a fumble in second-quarter action Friday night.

Behind the blocking of Reid Koenig and the Prairie du Chien offensive line, Tyler Smock finds running room on the outside.


Flying Arrows 

spoil Blackhawks’ 

Homecoming game

By Zach Mara



Crawford County SafeRide


Crawford County SafeRide program continues to grow

By Ted Pennekamp


The SafeRide program continues to grow in Wisconsin and in Crawford County. Each year, more people are given safe, free rides home rather than driving while impaired by alcohol, thus making the roads safer for everyone.


Dominic Reichmann


Dominic Reichmann, infant son of Samantha Jung and Ryan Reichmann passed away Tuesday, Sept. 26, 2017 at the Methodist Hospital in Rochester, Minn. 


He is survived by his parents, Samantha and Ryan of Wauzeka; maternal grandparents, Robert and Lori Jung, of Bloomington; and paternal grandparents, Fred and Lynette Reichmann, of Prairie du Chien.


Hawaiian Homecoming Parade

Blackhawk athletic supporter Cousin Cletus tells folks along the parade route Wednesday evening how the Blackhawks are gonna defeat the Flying Arrows of Lancaster. (Photos by Ted Pennekamp)

The Prairie du Chien football team greets the crowd during the Hawaiian Homecoming Parade Wednesday evening.

Members of the Prairie du Chien High School Marching Band march along the parade route Wednesday.

The Hawaiian Homecoming theme was evident on this float.

The Halls of Terror bus was a fan favorite.

Students from Brenda’s School of Dance joined in the fun.

Man gets 15 years prison for crash that killed couple

Brandon Ballweg, right, in court Monday with his lawyer, John Smerlinski. (Photo by Ed Treleven)

By Ed Treleven, Wisconsin State Journal

Seven months after he lost control of the car he was driving at high speed, sent it careening across a Madison highway and killed a Cottage Grove couple, a rural Stoughton man was sentenced Monday to 15 years in prison.

Brandon L. Ballweg, 27, accepted responsibility quickly for what he did, Dane County Circuit Judge John Hyland said, but his crime was so grave that it demanded a prison sentence that will keep him locked up into his 40s to protect the public.

On Feb. 25, Ballweg was driving at speeds estimated by the State Patrol at 87 to 92 mph when he crossed the Highway 30 median near Fair Oaks Avenue, went airborne and struck a Ford Explorer driven by Kirk U’Ren, 37, who was headed to a Badgers basketball game with his wife, Jennifer Steiner, 34. U’Ren died at the scene, while Steiner died about two weeks later.

They left behind 1-year-old twin sons, now being raised by family members.


TNT Gymnastics’ future as dynamic as its program

The layout of the new TNT Gymnastics facility will allow plenty of space and equipment for those who train there. It will include multiple balance beam and bar opportunities, trampolines, a large floor exercise square, soft landing spaces, etc., via modern equipment.

Children as young as 2.5 can start gymnastics with TNT in Prairie du Chien. Ages then range through the teenage years for girls and boys of all ability levels. (Submitted photos)

Boys like to flip and fly and they can do just that via TNT’s ninja, acrobatics, wrestling and flexibility classes. They also tend to enjoy open gym time.

Whitney Steldt shows off a pose on the balance beam.

A black and white version of the gym layout is shown.

By Correne Martin

Prairie du Chien has truly been the home of TNT Gymnastics’ Cinderella story. The program started at the community roller rink 18 years ago and, during that time, it has utilized several cramped, sometimes unsuitable, gym spaces.

Until now, that is.

TNT Gymnastics will break ground on an ultra-modern new facility on La Pointe Street, behind the Windsor Place, in mid-October, and expects the gym to be open by the first of the year. There will be a grand opening in the spring.
Getting to this point has very much been a rags to riches tale.

Tracy (Steldt) Troxel started TNT in an old karate studio in Boscobel 19 years ago. The following year, she expanded, adding locations in Prairie du Chien and Richland Center.

“I contacted the local high school coach, told her I ran a tumbling program and wanted to work with her,” Tracy remembered. “She welcomed me in and we opened up in the old roller rink on Sundays.”


Motorcyclist injured in two-vehicle crash

On Friday, Sept. 22, at 4:23 p.m., the Crawford County Sheriff’s Department received a report of a car versus motorcycle in Marietta Township, at the intersection of Highway 61 and Highway 60 near the Boscobel Bridge.

A 2016 Harley Davidson motorcycle owned and operated by Craig J. Ron, 44, Cross Plains, Wis., was eastbound on Highway 60.

A 2013 Dodge Avenger owned and operated by Samantha Offerdahl, 34, Boscobel, was westbound on Highway 60 and made a left-hand turn into the path of the Ron vehicle.

Ron received multiple serious injuries and was transported to the Boscobel hospital and later to UW Hospital in Madison by Med Flight.

Offerdahl and her passenger refused treatment.

Both vehicles had heavy damage.

Offerdahl was cited for failure to yield while making a left turn.


McGregor man dies in grain bin accident

Rescue crews worked for approximately one hour to locate and free the victim, Duane Walter, 88, of McGregor, from the grain bin. He was transported to Central Community Hospital where he was pronounced dead.

A McGregor man died Monday after being trapped in a grain bin in rural Luana.

On Sept. 25, at 1:40 p.m., the Clayton County Sheriff’s Office took a 911 call of a subject trapped in a grain bin at 18081 Dove Ave., in rural Luana. Deputies, along with the Luana, Saint Olaf, Farmersburg and Postville Fire Departments and the Postville Ambulance, were dispatched to the scene.

According to a release from the Clayton County Sheriff’s Office, rescue crews worked for approximately one hour to locate and free the victim from the grain bin. Duane Walter, 88, of McGregor, was transported to Central Community Hospital, in Elkader, where he was pronounced dead.

A preliminary investigation determined that Walter became completely submerged after entering the grain bin to break up some corn.


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