Local News

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Mon
24
Aug

Area man charged with sexual assault of child

A 70-year-old rural Wauzeka man has been charged with second degree sexual assault of a 14-year-old girl, a Class C felony punishable by up to 40 years in prison and a $100,000 fine. A preliminary hearing for Roland K. Groom was held Monday, Aug. 17, in Crawford County Circuit Court.

According to the criminal complaint, on July 19, a woman called the Crawford County Sheriff’s Department to report that her daughter had possibly been sexually assaulted by Groom at his home in Marietta Township the day before. A detective spoke with the girl, who said Groom pulled her on top of him and inappropriately touched her before her mother walked into the room.

The girl also said that, about a week earlier, Groom had sexually assaulted her at his residence while she was watching television.

The detective spoke with Groom on July 19, and he did not deny the girl’s disclosures and admitted there had been some “inappropriate” touching.

Mon
24
Aug

Woman injured in crash, car starts on fire

A rural Wauzeka woman’s vehicle was a total loss following a fiery crash that occurred near her home Monday night, Aug. 17, according to the Crawford County Sheriff’s Department.

Just before 10 p.m., the sheriff’s department received a report of a vehicle fully engulfed in flames on Plum Creek Road, two miles east of Mill Road in the township of Wauzeka.

Peggy Weirich, 59, was operating a 2005 Chrysler Sebring west on Plum Creek Road when her vehicle left the roadway, striking an embankment and tree. Weirich exited her vehicle and walked to her residence to call for medical attention. After she left the scene, her vehicle started on fire. Firefighters later secured the scene.

Mon
24
Aug

Free and reduced meals fill a need


Donna Heilmann, food service director for Prairie du Chien public schools, said 50 percent of Prairie du Chien’s students are enrolled in the free and reduced-price meal program. (Courier Press file photo)

By Addison Mumm

With a population over 16,000, and over 2,000 people below the poverty level in Crawford County (from 2009 to 2013), the free and reduced meals is the only way some children can afford lunch and breakfast at school.

Created by the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction, free and reduced school meals offered through the National School Lunch and School Breakfast Programs give in-need families the opportunity to supply meals to their children. Many child care facilities and school districts in Wisconsin, including the Prairie du Chien district, take advantage of the option.

Wed
19
Aug

Prison sentences given

Clayton County Attorney Alan Heavens recently reported numerous prison sentences imposed for crimes committed in Clayton County. Two had ties to Crawford County.

Wed
19
Aug

Council approves application for water rate increase, improvements to North Prairie Street

A profusion of topics kept the Prairie du Chien Common Council quite busy Tuesday night, Aug. 18, during its regular bimonthly meeting.

•One of those topics involved considering a 3 percent water rate increase. The council unanimously approved applying for the increase under a Simplified Rate Class Application. More information will be available as the application process continues.

•Another topic that affects an extensive amount of the public involved plans for improvement to North Prairie Street. The asphalt surface on the street, from Cedar to Miller, is deteriorated to the point of being unsafe for motorists, pedestrians and city public works staff to do snow removal. Staff recommended that as much of the old broken surface as possible be removed and then the surface be overlayed with new hot mix asphalt. The council approved the asphalt overlay on a $9,000 budget from the 2014-2016 Capital Fund.

Wed
19
Aug

St. Mary’s Academy classmates tour old school after 50 years


The tradition of the lantern procession was done every year in May at St. Mary’s Academy in order to honor the Blessed Virgin Mary. The young women attending the academy would gather at the steps on the west side of the building (seniors on the steps, underclassmen on the lawn) and then proceed with lanterns down the sidewalk and steps toward the grotto, where Mary was crowned. On Sunday, the class of 1965 re-enacted a lantern procession. (Photo by Correne Martin)

The class of 1965, including graduates from Prairie du Chien High School, Campion Jesuit High School and St. Mary’s Academy gathered for a reunion this past weekend. On Sunday, those women who graduated in ‘65 from St. Mary’s, as well as a few who attended a couple years there, toured the old academy. They included (front row, from left, maiden names only) Teresa Cipra, Sharon Shulka, Patricia Mulry, Catherine Caya, Sheila Traub, Virginia Huser, Carole Peterson, Kathleen Elliott, Linda Reisberg (the only former aspirant to go on to become a sister), Kathleen Kane; (back row) Ann Irlbeck, Margaret Artero, Rebecca O’Rourke, Mary Ellen Weyer, Julie Titlbach, Carol Titlbach, Marilyn Rausch, Kathleen Farrell and Mary Evelyn Mahan.

By Marilyn Garvey

The heat was not coming from the brightly-colored lanterns Sunday afternoon as classmates of St. Mary’s Academy marched with them in procession to the grotto, on the unoccupied grounds of their former school in Prairie du Chien. The heat was coming from the sweltering sun that clearly did not dampen the spirits of the women, who, 50 years ago, passed under a similar arch of lanterns in the lantern procession, a long-standing tradition for St. Mary’s graduates.

Some of these women traveled from great distances around the country and world to, once again, see and reminisce with their classmates from half a century ago. Dr. Margaret Artero came from Kosrae, one of the islands in the Federated States of Micronesia; Dr. Barbara Weber from Arlington, Va.; Patty Mulry from Venice, Fla.; and Mary Evelyn Mahan Schubert from Perris, Calif.

Wed
19
Aug

National Geographic Map

 

Area counties to be part of 

National Geographic MapGuide 

which will help promote tourism

Local people can help create MapGuide website

By Ted Pennekamp

 

Mon
17
Aug

Authorities exhume body for DNA testing in 1984 cold case


Investigator Matt Sutton and Lt. Investigator Scott Bjerkos of the Vernon County Sheriff’s Department seal the coffin of “Jane Doe” at the Viroqua Cemetery Aug. 12. The coffin was being prepared to be sent to the Wisconsin Crime Lab in Madison for DNA testing.

By Matt Johnson, Vernon County Broadcaster, Viroqua

Bludgeoned to death with her hands cut from her body, “Jane Doe” was left along a rural Vernon County, Wis., roadside in May of 1984 with no clue of her identity or the circumstances surrounding her death.

Wednesday afternoon, Aug. 12, Vernon County Sheriff John Spears watched as “Jane Doe’s” casket was removed from the Viroqua Cemetery to be sent to the state crime lab, so the body can go through DNA testing.

“It didn’t come lightly, our decision to exhume the body,” Spears said. “Thinking positively, we’re hoping further investigation will lead to her being identified. Her family will know that we never gave up.”

Spears is the third sheriff in Vernon County to assume investigation into one of two cold cases—the other being the circumstances surrounding the death of Terry Doloway, whose body was found in rural Vernon County in 1985.

Mon
17
Aug

‘Many Pathways, One Mission’ Opportunity Center marks 50 years


Every year, Kenny Bradley makes a new vehicle. This year’s model is a car that is quite sturdy. “I’d love to get it up on wheels,” said Angie Engrav, program director at the Opportunity Center. (Photos by Caitlin Bittner)

Jackie Valentine checks, counts and boxes “84s,” tough scouring pads, for 3M as part of her job.

Brett Kramer puts boxes onto the conveyer belt. When they come out on the other side, they are shrinkwrapped together.

By Caitlin Bittner

This year, the Opportunity Center in Prairie du Chien is celebrating its 50th anniversary in business, a feat that executive director Pam Ritchie knows could not have been reached without the support of Prairie du Chien and surrounding areas. “Everyone who works here is an independent worker the same as anyone else. All they want is a chance to be normal. What’s more normal than getting up to go to work every [week] day?” said Ritchie.

The Prairie du Chien Opportunity Center serves all of Crawford County and part of Grant County. “We run seven bus routes a day. Some people spend two hours on the bus just to come to work,” commented Ritchie.

A lot of traffic comes and goes from the Opportunity Center as it receives a truck each morning and puts in an order nearly every afternoon for whatever they’ll need the next day.

Mon
17
Aug

Design a button for Oktoberfest

Prairie du Chien Oktoberfest is conducting a button design contest for the sixth annual Oktoberfest celebration, which will take place Oct. 17. The city is searching for a button design that symbolizes festivities for the coming year and celebration. Oktoberfest Committee will select a winner from the button designs submitted. The contest is based on best graphic representation of the theme and Oktoberfest in general.

Contest information and rules:

•Entrants must include their name, age, address and contact information (phone number and/or email address) with their design.

• Design is to be submitted as a six-inch circle. However, designers should be mindful that the selected artwork may be used in various media and in various sizes (from two inches to six feet in diameter).

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