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Mon
02
Oct

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.

Wed
27
Sep

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.

Wed
27
Sep

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.”

Wed
27
Sep

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.

Wed
27
Sep

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.

Wed
27
Sep

Traffic stop leads to marijuana bust

On Sept. 22, at 6:05 p.m., a deputy with the Crawford County Sheriff’s Office was patrolling eastbound on State Highway 60, east of Bush Hollow Road, in the township of Wauzeka.

The deputy observed a 1997 Saturn SL1 passing a vehicle in a no passing zone. A traffic stop was initiated and the driver was identified as Justin K. Reuter, 28, Prairie du Chien, and passenger, Daphne L. Bendall, 33, Wauzeka. There was also a 4-year-old child inside the vehicle who was in a car seat but not buckled in.

Reuter is currently on probation for resisting or obstructing an officer and Bendall is on probation for possession of methamphetamine. During the traffic stop, Reuter was found to be in possession of marijuana. Reuter was placed under arrest for possession of marijuana and a probation hold. Bendall violated a condition of her probation requirements and was placed under arrest for a probation hold. The 4-year-old child was released to a family member.

Wed
27
Sep

Medical condition results in accident

On Sept. 22, at 7:20 p.m., the Crawford County Communications Center received multiple 911 calls reporting a traffic complaint of a red 2007 Ford Ranger pickup truck traveling southbound on State Highway 35, south of the village of De Soto, in the township of Freeman. The witnesses stated the Ford Ranger was swerving back and forth from the southbound lane into the northbound lane of traffic. The Ford Ranger was also traveling southbound in the northbound lane for approximately two miles and would occasionally sideswipe the guardrails.  

Wed
27
Sep

Cabela’s, Bass Pro make it official


Shoppers browse the vast selection of outdoor products inside the Prairie du Chien Cabela’s retail store. Cabela’s and Bass Pro Shops made their anticipated merger official Monday. (Photo by Correne Martin)

Cabela’s and Bass Pro Shops have officially joined forces with a vision to become North America’s premier outdoor and conservation company.

“We are excited to unite these iconic American brands to better serve our loyal customers and fellow outdoor enthusiasts,” Conservationist and Bass Pro Shops Founder/CEO Johnny Morris said in a statement Monday, Sept. 25. “As we move forward, we are committed to retaining everything customers love about both Bass Pro Shops and Cabela’s by creating a ‘best-of-the-best’ experience that includes the superior products, outstanding customer service and exceptional value our customers have come to expect. We’re also deeply motivated by the potential to significantly advance key conservation initiatives.”

Wed
27
Sep

River Ridge Construction Update


The outside of the River Ridge school addition is completed. (Photos by Ted Pennekamp)

The floor in the new middle school gymnasium will soon be done.

Playground equipment has been laid out between the current school building and the new gymnasium.

The floors in the hallways and classrooms in the new addition will be polished concrete.

 

River Ridge school addition continues on schedule

By Ted Pennekamp

 

The $8.86 million River Ridge school facilities upgrade project continues to proceed nicely and is on schedule, said Project Superintendent Andy Kraemer of Kraemer Brothers Construction of Plain, Wis., the general contractor. 

Mon
25
Sep

Man proposes highway bridge at Cassville


The iconic ferry has been a part of Cassville’s traditions for 184 years. Though it boosts tourism in the small community, it’s not a 24/7 service and it’s at the mercy of the Mississippi River. A Cassville native is leading a petition effort to someday build a bridge connecting Wisconsin and Iowa, to help spur economic development opportunities in the community.

By Correne Martin

A petition to build a bridge spanning the Mississippi River, from Cassville to Clayton County, Iowa, needs more signatures if it is to attract attention from Wisconsin, Iowa and national legislators. The proposal is one that looks at the future of the shrinking Grant County community and provides a solution for what can be done to bounce back from the blow Cassville sustained when its two electrical power plants closed in late-2015.

Leading the charge, the petition’s creator is Lance Wamsley, who was born and raised in Cassville and whose father was manager of the Alliant Energy plant when its doors closed. Now living in Lancaster, he started the petition Aug. 1. Since then, it has accumulated 1,755 supporters toward a goal of 5,000.

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