Courier Press

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Van G. Ferguson


Van G. Ferguson, 61, of Richland Center, died on Monday, Feb. 2, following a nine-month struggle with cancer. 


Georgian P. “Cookie” Halverson


Georgian P. “Cookie” Halverson, 92, of Fennimore, formerly of Prairie du Chien, passed away Sunday Feb. 1, at Grant Regional Health Center Lancaster. 

She was born on March 2, 1922 in Minneapolis, Minn. to Charles and Matrona (Golvin) Vaubel. She was married on July 12, 1948, in Janesville to William E. Halverson and he preceded her in death on Oct. 28, 2012. She was a member of St. Gabriel’s Catholic Church in Prairie du Chien. 


‘Come Hell or High Water’ shown at old Metro Theatre

By Correne Martin

In recognition of the 50th anniversary of the flood of April 1965, the Prairie du Chien Historical Society will present “Come Hell or High Water” at the Metro Theatre (inside Kramer Auction Service, 203 E. Blackhawk Ave.) in Prairie du Chien. The film will be shown at 4 p.m. on Sunday, Feb. 8. Pop and popcorn will be available.

“Come Hell or High Water” originally aired on PBS after the historic flood of 1965. Through the first-hand accounts of then-Prairie du Chien residents, the film relives the major flood and its affects on the community, particularly the old Fourth Ward (St. Feriole Island), which was relocated in the 1970s.

“Some of the people who lived on the island explained what it was like growing up there and how hard it was to move,” said Bob Ziel, member of the Prairie du Chien Historical Society. “There’s a lot of talk about the river and the high water. There are clips from the island and some of the mess left behind.”


Three-quarters of a million raised at Eagles Telethon

Pictured are Hosts Dan Moris (left) and Tom Nelson (right) talking to singer April (Tesar) Bouzek about her friend and one-time performing partner, the late Danny Ruehlow, who was an emcee on the telethon before he passed away in 2000. Bouzek has been performing at the telethon since she was 5 years old.

Also pictured, Bob Sebastian has been associated with the telethon since the beginning. He has counted every dollar of the donations over four decades, and proudly pointed to the $750,000 mark, late in the night. For more photos, see page 4, visit or find Courier Press Newspaper on Facebook.

Caricaturist John Mundt, of Prairie du Chien, helped raise funds again this year by drawing imitations of the people attending the telethon, as well as this friendly dog, Skittles.

Steve Cash (left), of Gundersen Clinic Research Center, appeared in person on the live telethon to share appreciation from his organization for all that the Eagles Heart and Cancer Telethon has helped Gundersen to accomplish over the years. He is shown with Host Tom Stram.

From left: Joyce Czajkowski, Deb Wachter and Mary Antoine, of the Women’s Civic Club, answered phones for hour one of the telethon. Antoine has been doing this duty for three years and she said the first hour this year was the busiest she’s experienced.

Isaac Sweet, of Guttenberg, sang and played several ballads for the telethon audience.

Gretchen Faulkner, who rarely misses a live telethon, picks out some goodies from the Boy Scout food stand. Tending to her are Scouts (front row, from left) Ethan Gramlich, Adam Chase; (back row) Jason Johnson and Jayden Johnson.

Host Tom Nelson accepts a $500 donation on-air from Cheryl and Pinkie from Lady Luck Casino of Marquette, Iowa.

96th Assembly Rep. Lee Nerison presented the Eagles Heart and Cancer Telethon with a governor’s proclamation recognizing the fundraising event’s 40 years.

The Eagles Club mascot appeared on the live broadcast with members as well as (pictured) Host Natalie Stram.

Eagle Paul White spoke about being a part of the telethon for 40 years.

A yearly record of $40,003 was raised by the end of the Eagles Heart and Cancer Telethon Saturday night in Prairie du Chien, pushing the total over $750,000 for the past 40 years of this community fundraiser. Telethon organizers are still accepting donations, which can be made at (click on the red “donate” button).

(Photos by Correne Martin and Randy Paske)


Seneca-WS Co-op Football Team

Wauzeka-Steuben and Seneca will not be competing against each other in football for the next two seasons. The two teams will be combined into one for the benefit of all. (Courier Press file photo)


Seneca, Wauzeka-Steuben to have co-op football team

By Ted Pennekamp


Due to low numbers of football players at each school, Seneca and Wauzeka-Steuben high schools will combine their football programs to form a co-op team. The co-op team will commence in the fall of 2015 and run for two seasons.


Too many stray cats a concern

Tammi, an adult female tabby cat, is just one of the friendly felines Crawford Area Shelter for Animals took in last fall. According to Dhjana Franson, of CASA, Tammi is still available for adoption. For more information about her, visit her Petfinder page:

Crisse Reynolds is Crawford County’s first state-certified humane officer, appointed by the county board in October. She, along with a number of area resources, have been working together to decrease the overpopulation of stray and feral cats in the county.

Professionals push spaying, neutering

By Correne Martin

The overpopulation of stray and feral cats in Crawford County has led to frustration and concern for residents, veterinary clinics and county officials. Unprecedented numbers of unwanted cats are being taken in by the Crawford Area Shelter for Animals (CASA), local vet clinics and sympathetic volunteers connected to the Rivers and Bluffs Animal Shelter (RABAS) effort. Though such havens are overcrowded and underfunded for these in-kind services, each resource is determined to work where it can toward lessening this public nuisance and providing avenues through which the public can help as well.


James A. “Jim” Parkins


James A. “Jim” Parkins, 77, of Glen Haven, passed away on Thursday, Jan. 29, at Grant Regional Health Center, Lancaster, unexpectedly due to a heart attack. 

He was born on Nov. 5, 1937, in Bloomington, the son of Rollo and Pauline (Hampton) Parkins. Jim graduated from Bloomington High School in 1956. After graduation, he farmed the family farm. Jim began his own business as a carpenter and retired in 1997. On July 26, 1999, he was united in marriage to Terri Beesecker. Jim enjoyed his vegetable and flower garden and was an avid outdoorsman. He loved the Wisconsin Badgers and was a very hard worker his entire life. Jim enjoyed spending time with his grandchildren and attending their activities.


Helen B. Meyer


Helen B. Meyer, 91, formerly of Prairie du Chien passed away peacefully on Saturday, Jan. 24, in Sylvia’s Hospice House, Ocala, Fla. 

She was born to Al and Pearl (Fingold) Freeman in Chicago, Ill. She married Dave Meyer, Nov. 7, 1944. Helen was active in and volunteered with many organizations while she lived in Prairie du Chien. She moved back to her hometown of Chicago in 2000 and lived there until relocating to Ocala, Fla., in March 2014, to be closer to family. 


Martha Lynn “Princess” Sauer


Martha Lynn “Princess” Sauer, 53, died on Monday, Jan. 26, at Gundersen Health System in La Crosse. 

Martha was born Oct. 31, 1961 to Charles and Ivanelle (Corlett) Sauer in McGregor, Iowa. Martha graduated from Mar-Mac High School, McGregor, Iowa in 1980. After graduation she traveled all over the United States and Germany, making friends far and wide. Martha worked at The Isle of Capri in Marquette, Iowa for many years and most recently was employed at Greene in Monona, Iowa. 


Esther M. Hamann


Esther M. Hamann, 88, of Prairie du Chien passed away in her sleep Wednesday, Jan. 28, 2015. 

She was born Dec. 7, 1926 in Prairie du Chien the daughter of John V. and Amelia (Berentgen) Check. She married Harold “Brownie” Hamann on Sept. 10, 1947. He preceded her in death on May 12, 2007. Esther cooked for Dunbar’s Café in Prairie du Chien and later for St. Gabriel’s School for many years. She was an active member of St. Gabriel’s and a devoted mother, grandmother and great grandmother.