By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
August 22: News from around the Driftless Area
News From Around the Arrea

‘News from Around the Driftless Area’ is a compilation showcasing the excellent work and interesting tidbits from the community journalists sprinkled throughout our area.

VIROQUA– The inaugural Vernon County National Night Out drew a large crowd to the Vernon County Fairgrounds in Viroqua, Tuesday, Aug. 6. Vernon County Sheriff’s Deputy William Zirk said preliminary numbers now that between 1,500 and 1,700 were in attendance. The free event featured food, numerous demonstrations, children’s games, health and wellness booths and a display of 35 to 40 emergency vehicles from each agency in the county. The event was hosted by the Vernon County Law Enforcement, Fire and EMS associations. Deputy Zirk said people should mark their calendars now for August 4, 2020… The Vernon County Historical Society will hold its second annual Pork Chop Dinner on Friday, Aug. 23, on the lawn of the Sherry-Butt House at 795 N. Main Street, Viroqua. Hours will be 4 to 7 p.m. or until all the dinners are gone. Grill master Maynard Cox will prepare freshly barbecued pork chops served with a full meal of baked potato, baked beans, coleslaw, apple sauce, rolls and dessert. The cost is $10 per person and carryouts will be available… The Coon Valley Business Association is partnering with local organizations to host the Coon Creek Canoe Race and family-friendly festival on Saturday, Aug. 24. Money raised at the event will be donated to the village to help with flooding issues. The village’s park will feature a wide variety of activities for all ages from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m., including three bands, local beers and wines, local foods, games, a bounce house, fireworks, and the National Guard rock-climbing wall. More information can be found at

LA FARGE– Time stood still in LaFarge the week before last when the familiar clock at the bank became faulty overnight, and by early morning it was mourning its final moments. By mid-morning, time stopped, making some residents believe the electrical power had failed. Time returned when a huge crane replaced a stepladder that had been being used to try to repair the clock, and soon the village was back on Central Standard Time… Jessica (Purvis) Slaney has been named the new Lawton Memorial Library director. She is a LaFarge native and a graduate of LaFarge High School… When Susan Wilson and Al Maldonado of rural LaFarge were recently married, a special happening occurred. Al and his siblings were separated when they were youngsters living in Brooklyn, New York. Al knew he had a sister in California, but had never met her since being separated 45 years ago. Wilson had contacted her, and as a surprise for Al, had her come to LaFarge for the wedding. The first time greeting was videotaped and written up in the Episcope. The tape was put on You Tube, two firms saw it, and they now want to market it worldwide. The two newlyweds have a signed contract and will receive a payment each time the video is shown on commercial television.

ONTARIO– Though Jeremy Likely, Wilton’s police chief and ambulance director, has obtained a new full-time job as a drug investigator with the Ho-Chunk Nation, he still hopes to work for the village on a more limited basis, he told the village board at its recent meeting. Likely’s Wilton position will become part time on September 4, and the village’s other part-time officers will be requested to work more hours to make up the difference. Also, the village will no longer pay for Likely’s health insurance as the Ho-Chunk Nation will assume that responsibility… Kendall has hired a new clerk/treasurer to replace Lynne Hanson who will retire on October 12. Jessica Palamaruk will start work on September 3, training with Hanson in her remaining time… The Ontario Village Board took several steps forward on the former Ontario Elementary School property it had purchased earlier this year. First on the docket is replacing the gymnasium roof, which has been leaking for some time. Board president Mark Smith said he thinks the structure could be used as a temporary replacement for the Ontario Community Hall.

PRAIRIE DU CHIEN– On August 10, at approximately 11:50 a.m., the Prairie du Chien Police Department was dispatched to the area of South Prairie Street and West Wisconsin Street for a report of someone impersonating a police officer. According to the 17-year-old reporting party, she was traveling west on Wisconsin Street, near the intersection of South Beaumont, when she observed red and blue lights flashing in a vehicle behind her. She reported to the police department that she pulled her car over on South Prairie Street and a male party approached her vehicle. According to the victim, the male party engaged her in conversation about where she was coming from. After asking a few questions, the suspect told the victim she was free to leave. In light of this incident, the police department is advising drivers that, at any time, if you are directed to pull over by an emergency vehicle and you feel as though the vehicle directing you to pull over is not a police vehicle, you should turn your hazard lights on, reduce your speed and drive to a well lit and populated area… Recently, the Prairie Rod and Gun Club voted to not have their annual Deer Show in 2020. The show had been the only fundraiser, and had had a run of 21 years. According to club member Dennis Kirschbaum said that reasons for the decision included attendance having fallen in recent years, a lack of deer or wildlife related vendors, and a lack of volunteers to work the event.

RICHLAND CENTER– On Saturday, June 27, two horses that changed the lived of two young women were honored in a retirement ceremony. Fate had a hand in these lives, as both horses had been headed to the slaughterhouse. Both horses were saved by Judy Elliott of Richland Area Rescue. Grace’s story starts back in March of 2008, when Judy got a call from a woman about a horse being starved. The horse was surrendered to the rescue and that is when 15-year-old Grace came into Becky Elliott’s life. The dressage-trained horse needed months of loving care to get better. Becky nursed her back to health, and began competing with her. Honeycomb’s story started in May of 2001 when Judy Elliott bought her at a sale barn. She outbid a kill buyer to get her. In June, Jennifer Layer was asked to foster her. Layer bought Honeycomb, a four-year-old part Arabian that was scared and confused. After recovery, the horse was gifted to Layer’s daughter Mary, who started showing her in 4H, where they won Grand Champion Halter Horse… Producer Taylor Carruthers and videographer Andy O’Connell from the ‘Discover Wisconsin’ TV show team were in Richland Center on August 8 exploring and taping historic buildings and homes, the downtown, Galaxie Skate Center and other sites. Their show about Richland Center will air on February 2, 2020.

BOSCOBEL– Tucked away in a beautiful valley, just east of Boscobel and north of the Wisconsin River, is an inspiring institution dedicated to fostering leadership skills in young people with promise. Lake Valley Camp has existed in the area since 2003. One of their programs, for high school students who have been with them since elementary school, is called the Leaders in Training (LT) Program. Until recently, most of the youth in the LT program had been from Milwaukee. But that changed when Sadie Johnston of Boscobel was recruited into the program. Recently, Johnston facilitated an opportunity for students from the camp to go into Boscobel and work on various community service projects. According to Camp Director Samone Hooper, this allowed the camp to achieve a ‘pivotal turning point’ in integrating with the Boscobel community where their camp is located… Taste of Boscobel will take place on Saturday, Sept. 7. The fun begins at noon. There will be live music at Double K’s and at other businesses in  town. Come sample and vote on local great foods, wines, beers, Kickapoo Coffee samples, crafts and more… The Sixth Annual Hike/Bike Banquet will take place on Saturday, November 9. Organizers report they recently received a kayak donation from Cabela’s. To purchase tickets, contact Denise Fisher at