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July 11: 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– Driftless Music Festival will be Saturday July 13. The free event is held at Viroqua’s Eckhart Park and features music, food and family fun. The Yellow-Bellied Sapsuckers take the stage at 1 p.m. followed by Honky-Tonk Jump at 2:30 p.m. At 6:30 p.m. Josh Hoyer and Soul Colossal will play their Midwest-flavored rhythm and blues and the headliners of the evening, the Brotherhood Singers begin at 8:30 p.m.

VIOLA– After nearly nine months of closure following the August 2018 flooding that devastated areas along the Kickapoo River, the LaFarge-based Organic Valley retail store is once again open for business, which was made official at grand opening held Saturday, June 29. Visitors to the event were treated to tasty samples and also had the chance of winning raffle prizes. The store is open Monday through Friday 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Saturday 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

LA FARGE– Dale Klemme, who heads up the Community Development Alternatives, out of Prairie du Chien was in LaFarge Monday evening, June 24 at a public hearing. Klemme is well known in the village for obtaining state and federal grant money for various projects in the community. His most recent success was obtaining money for the addition to the Lawton Memorial Library. Now, once again, the citizens have asked for his assistance. This time it is for two different projects. One would help cover a proposed Main Street project, and it would also help with enhancing the appearance of Main Street… Music In The Park at the La Farge Village Park will feature music by La Farge High School Band. Food will be served at 5 p.m. and music starts at 6 p.m. Food sales benefit school band programs… Play dominos on Wednesdays in La Farge at the La Farge Free Methodist Church at 9 a.m. All are invited to join the fun. 

KENDALL– Kaitlyn Ladwig of Elroy was named this year’s Fairest of the Fair, and Emily Powell of Norwalk was named first attendant… A free community concert will be at Kendall’s Central Park on Thursday, July 11, beginning at 6:30 p.m. In addition to the music, everyone will be treated to sundaes compliments of Culver’s. Also, Three Sisters Treasures Store will offer hotdogs for sale. The musical group, ‘The Sheriff & The Outlaw’ will bring its Nashville-style show to Kendall. Jeff Lombardo and Doug Ross bring ‘country to town.’ The band comes from Mt. Horeb.

RICHLAND CENTER– The 54thAnnual Wisconsin River Canoe & Kayak Race will be held on Sunday, July 14, with races for paddlers with a variety of skill levels. The finish line will be at Victora Riverside Park in Muscoda, where the Lions Club will serve food and refreshments. Races will begin from Spring Green, Lone Rock and Gotham. In addition to the highly competitive long races, the Muscoda Lions Challenge features a special race for area service club members, but it is with aluminum canoes only. The Lions Challenge takes place on the eight-mile course from Gotham to Muscoda. Online pre-registration is recommended.

PRAIRIE DU CHIEN– Hundreds of anxious customers waited hours for the remodeled Prairie du Chien Aldi store to open last week. Following a giveaway of 100 golden tickets (gift certificates ranging from $5-100) and an official ribbon cutting around 8:25 a.m. the long line swarmed inside the shopping center to view its new look, browse the new products and shop for the first time since the store was closed in late May… Stark’s Sport Shop in Prairie du Chien put together a Guinness Book of World Records attempt at the world’s largest Spotted Cow display, which included 1,031 cases of the Wisconsin brew. Staff sent photographic proof of the display to Guinness for consideration, which may take a couple months. This is Stark’s 75thanniversary year. Starting, Monday, July 1, Stark’s is offering 30 giveaways for anyone who visits the enormous display and signs up… Kyle Kozelka of Prairie du Chien, will replace Dennis Pelock, as Crawford County Highway Commissioner. Pelock is scheduled to retire in early August… Excavation and earth moving has begun for the $2.2 million River Ridge athletic fields project. The project will improve the grounds of the Patch Grove School by adding a football field, practice football field, eight-lane rubberized track, lighting for all fields, and a concession stand/press box/restroom building. The district plans to have a referendum in either February or April of 2020 to refinance the project, which will save the district about $500,000 from the project cost if the referendum passes.

MUSCODA– Last week a crew from Bear Valley Concrete of Blue River, were working to complete four concrete pads for permanent campsites in Riverside Park. The plan is to complete four more 12x40 foot slabs this summer. Electricity, water and sewer utilities are in place for all eight sites. The sites are large enough to accommodate a storage unit and a deck on the camper… Schmitt Woodland Hills has kicked off the summer trishaw-riding season. They have added four new pilots for this season. They now have coverage just about every day of the week. Their residents can now hitch a ride and feel the wind in their hair just about any time. They would also like to start a process to see if early evening and weekend rides can be provided as well with the hope of spreading Cycling Without Age into the Community.

LANCASTER– The Lancaster Community Fund celebrates 20 years of service. The group received its initial donations in February of 1999… Last week, the ShopKo Hometown store in Lancaster closed its doors, part of the closure of the entire chain of stores nationwide due to bankruptcy... Local VFW District 3 Rider Group motorcycled to area VFW Posts on June 22 to collect state raffle tickets. The group started in Richland Center, rode to Montfort, then to Platteville, and ended up in Benton. Membership is offered to any VFW member with a motorcycle… Sinsinawa Mound is sponsoring a summer camp aimed at youth ages 7-10, designed to connect children with the natural world. No Child Left Inside will be held August 7-9, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. each day. This camp will engage kids in games and activities within the forest and gardens of Sinsinawa Mound, aiming to cultivate a sense of deep respect and wonder for one another and Earth. There is a limit of 12 participants, and the registration deadline is July 31. The fee is $40 and participants need to bring their lunch. To register, call Janice DeMuth at 608-748-4411 or visit our website at

PLATTEVILLE– A significant mudslide took place along the Burlington Northern/Santa Fe rail line running along the Mississippi River south of Glen Haven, which caused a partial derailment of a train carrying empty semi trailers. The incident forced the temporary closure of the line, as well as the Glen Haven boat landing, which is being used as a staging area for crews there for cleaning up the damaged cars. There were no injuries in the incident… The Public Service Commission held the first two of the final series of public hearings to get input into the proposed Cardinal-Hickory Creek 345,000-volt transmission line that would run from Madison to Dubuque County. With around 200 people in attendance during the two sessions in Lancaster, all but two who entered testimony into the record spoke against the project, citing either its impact on the landscape, its impact on their property, on potential health effects, on whether the idea was fiscally responsible, or if the area receives a benefit… The City of Platteville is considering making North Bonson Street one-way southbound between West Furnace Street and Market Street. The change is proposed for safety reasons because of the high accident rate of the intersection of North Bonson and West Furnace, due in part to visibility issues near the First Congregational United Church of Christ Building… Platteville Special Olympics had 19 athletes participate in summer athletics this season both in track and field, and swimming.