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July 16: 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 – Viroqua Sidewalk Sales will take place on July 24-26. Businesses will be offering discounts all weekend long. Watch for extended business hours especially on Saturday and deals you won't want to miss right on the curbs of Main Street. With the Viroqua Farmers Market downtown and the sales happening, we're sure that it'll be a great time. So make the most out of your time in downtown Viroqua. The Viroqua Food Cooperative’s June 2020 ‘Give Where You Live’ recipient was Community Hunger Solutions. With VFC shoppers help rounding up their purchases at the register, they collected $2,675.14 for CHS. Community Hunger Solutions is dedicated to connecting surplus local food with community members who lack access… County Seat Laundry has been selected as Best Laundromat in the LaCrosse Tribune’s ‘Reader’s Choice’ competition… Heck’s Roadside Market near Genoa has harvested their berries, and it shows. Last weekend, in addition to Donuts and Cream Puffs, they offered: Pies with Red Raspberry, Blackberry, Strawberry Rhubarb, and a Rhubarb Custer in the fridge. Fry Pies we have Red Raspberry, Blackberry, and Blueberry & Lemon or enjoy your morning coffee with Cinnamon Rolls. Jam/Jellies we have Blackberry, Red Raspberry, Strawberry, Rhubarb, Strawberry Rhubarb, Cherry, Apple, Cranberry, also Apple Butter, Amish-made Maple Syrup and local raw Honey.

LA FARGE –LaFarge cancelled Fourth of July events this year in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, but that didn’t deter the LaFarge VFW Post 9075 from organizing a small parade down Main Street and up to the Veteran’s Memorial for a 21-gun salute and the playing of Taps. Also one police car, one ambulance, two DAR and WRC cars, one pickup pulling a trailer with riding vets, and two antique convertibles joined the parade… Lyle Dorscheid has been the observer, custodian and record keeper of the Kickapoo River gauge in LaFarge since 1983. He took over the job from Orv Jensen, who started in 1967 or 1968. Prior to that, Carson Lawrence handled it for many years. Recently, USGS called and stated they no longer needed his services as of July 1. It appears that satellites, computers and cell phones put Lyle out to pasture… The Village of Viola has received a grant from the Economic Development Administration to prepare an Economic Recovery Plan in response to the 2018 flood event. As part of the process, the public is encouraged to participate in a series of public workshops to gather input. A series of three workshops will be hosted at the Viola Community Building, and will begin at 7 p.m., on August 6, October 1, and November 5… On Tuesday, June 16, an officer with the Hillsboro Police Department responded to reports of a gunshot at the Kwik Trip located in the City of Hillsboro. An investigation revealed that the gunshot was the result of an accidental discharge… The Westfork Sports Club is eight miles from Viroqua in Avalanche, at the intersection of Countys Y and S.  They could use a hand in cleaning up from the flood of 2018.  Does anyone have a group (scouts, church, teens) looking for some service projects? They need people to pick rocks and put in piles so they can reclaim our lawn for people to get to the stream…

ONTARIO – The Village of Ontario has received a grant from the Economic Development Administration to prepare an Economic Recovery Plan in response to the 2018 flood event. As part of the process, the public is encouraged to participate in a series of public workshops to gather input. A workshop will be hosted at the Ontario Village Offices, and will begin at 6 p.m., on July 15… The Kendall Community Club faced the same COVID-19 issues that forced many other festivals to cancel their annual event. Kendall Fest, which was scheduled for Labor Day weekend (September 4-6), was cancelled after a vote by club members. The tough decision was made after two months of discussions and looking at all options. After the vote was cast to cancel, the club did look at possibly hosting a one-day event on the Saturday of that weekend. After much discussion, that was also voted down… Preparing for the possibility that the coming school year may call for more closures, the Norwalk-Ontario-Wilton Board of Education gave Superintendent Travis Anderson permission to purchase electronics and other items to help students learn from home. The district recently received $338,000 in federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Relief funds, of which about $110,000 will be used to purchase new laptops and hotspots.

PRAIRIE DU CHIEN –A father-daughter hiking expedition at Big Springs Nature Park, located along the Great River Road just north of Guttenberg, Iowa, has revealed a rare fossil find. The Big Springs coldwater stream that originates on the property cascades down a series of limestone bedrock features, creating a natural stair step effect. The water’s total vertical drop within the 11-acre parcel is over 100 feet.  At the park, Scott Boylen, teacher, outdoor photographer, and Driftless Area Wetlands Center board member, and his daughter, Ayla, art major at Mount Mercy University, discovered a fossil Dasycladacean Green Algae Ischadites species while hiking at the park. The fossil is a bisquit-like algal ball with an internal calcareous supporting structure that grew in a carpet-like layer on the bottom of the ancient Iapetus Ocean that once covered the tri-states. It is from the Dunleith Formation in the Upper Ordovician Age, making it 450 million years old… For about the last three weeks, restoration work has been underway on a house of historical significance on St. Feriole Island in Prairie du Chien. The work began on June 22 to restore what is known as the St. Germain dit Gauthier-Coorough House. According to Mary Antoine, President of the Prairie du Chien Historical Society, many local families are descended from the people who lived in the log house for over 150 years.

RICHLAND CENTER– As rates of COVID-19 climb in Wisconsin, Richland County Public Health strongly recommends wearing a mask in public… The Richland School District’s current plans for the 2020-21 school year remain as uncertain as its future configuration following the most recent meeting of the Board of Education. The district’s plans for instruction this fall will depend on the status of emergence from COVID-19 pandemic concerns. Currently, district officials say they are hoping for the best but preparing for the worst… Southwest Tech agriculture staff recently delivered 50 thank you buckets to area farmers. These farmers all have connections to the college through serving on advisory boards, working with interns, offering their time on campus or in a variety of other ways. Each bucket contained items from the college as well as from local business partners.

BOSCOBEL – Will Connelly knows the ins and outs of Boscobel Bowl and Banquet. After all, he’s been cooking there since he was 21 years old. So, when longtime owners Jan Richter and her brother Stacey Karsten decided to sell the popular establishment on July 1 – 26 years to the day that they bought it from Quent and Gloria Hurtz, they couldn’t think of a better buyer. Connelly says he’ll be adding daily specials, but won’t be changing anything else… The surrounding countryside was ablaze with amazing pyrotechnics on the Fourth of July, as people celebrated Independence Day, and that was certainly the case at the rural Muscoda farm of Jonny Zadrazil, owner of Rock and Roll Pyrotechnics. With many community fireworks displays cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic, Americans took matters into their own hands and purchased their own displays for family and friends at home… The Boscobel Chamber of Commerce began a ‘Shop Local’ promotion recently, with weekly winners receiving $20 in BoscoBucks through September 18. To enter, make a purchase at a Chamber member business and ask for your receipt which you should staple to the BoscoBucks drawing slip, and fill out the drawing slip and mail it in.