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July 30: 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 – Kruizenga sweet corn is ready, and now for sale in front of Gasser’s in Viroqua…A ‘Hell on Hooves’ rodeo will take place on August 15 at 925 Nelson Parkway in Viroqua. This will be a NFPB-sanctioned rodeo, and they will be doing a Bulls and Barrels Rodeo. Also during the rodeo they will also have a Calf Scramble for the kids. Admission: Adults $20, kids age 9-16, $10, and children age eight and under get in free. Barrel Racing Slack runs from 1-5 p.m. Admission for this event is $2… Last week, the Viroqua Chamber Main Street gave a huge shout out to County Seat Laundry. “Huge shout out to County Seat Laundry and everyone who’s donated to their free wash program! If you are struggling financially you can reach out to them, and they will wash and dry your clothes for free. If you are able to contribute to the fund, they are always looking for donations to sustain the program! Clean clothes are more important than ever during this pandemic, and we wanted to recognize their contribution to our community…” Mark your calendars for a fundraiser BBQ by the Rooted Spoon Kitchen Table on August 1. The money will go to the 40 Acres & a Mule Project, which is creating sustainable farm-to-table possibilities for small, black-owned farms. In typical wonderful community fashion, if you choose to enjoy your meal outdoors in a picnic style, you’ll also get to hear Viroqua’s very own The Parrishes, Catherine and Ted play live music. Take out will also be available… Week before last, Doug Avoles of the Vernon County Land Information Office gave a presentation to the Zoning Committee about the proposed GIS-based disaster tracking system to be used for county disasters. He described it as a dashboard that linked all agencies involved, for example in a severe flood event. He said it would help with grants, and also show repetitive disaster areas.

LA FARGE –At a short meeting that lasted only 15 minutes on July 15, the LaFarge Village Board made some changes to their Tax Incremental Financing District (TID). The original TID was used for facilities where Organic Valley is located. The original TID will be extended for three years due to changes in state law. The other change involved an amendment that will create a Main Street rehabilitation project for replacement of water and sewer lines, and allow for the relocation of the municipal electrical substation site. Tax money collected for the past several years, as well as money collected during the three-year extension, will be used to pay for these projects… The Kickapoo Valley Reserve (KVR) Board met on July 16, and approved cancellation of the Dam Challenge and Winterfest events. Reserve surveys had indicated that Dam Challenge participants wanted to keep the event going, but many of the 100 volunteers were not willing to work for fear of coronavirus. The Winterfest concern was that if the virus were still active, the KVR Visitor’s Center would have to remain closed… A recent garden walk was held in the LaFarge area, hosted by the Friends of the Kickapoo Valley Reserve as a fundraiser. Several flower and other types of gardens were showcased, and all reports indicate it was a great success.

ONTARIO – The Ontario American Legion has a new home  the Ontario Village Board decided at a recent meeting. The Legion will lease a room in the new Ontario Community Center (the former Ontario Elementary School gymnasium). Rent will be $200 per month, but in lieu of that, the Legion will pay $12,000 to contractor Garage Force to install all-new flooring with the exception of the gym area. The Legion lost its structure in the August 2018 flood, and is still hoping for reimbursement from FEMA… The Royall School District administration planned to propose a fall reopening plan that included in-person instruction, according to Superintendent Mark Green… Police suspect that an 86-year-old woman had a medical emergency that prompted her single-vehicle accident in the Town of Jefferson last week. According to the 911 call, Leona Dillon had run over the caller’s dog and then gone into the ditch. Dillon was nonresponsive, but breathing, when deputies arrived on the scene… The Monroe County Local History Room & Museum, and the Deke Slayton Memorial Space & Bicycle Museum, both located in the same building in Sparta, have reopened their exhibit spaces to the public by reservation. Guests must reserve their museum visit by calling 608-269-8680.

PRAIRIE DU CHIEN –Prairie Catholic School has announced that fall classes will reopen with face-to-face instruction five days per week. This is in contrast to the hybrid of virtual and face-to-face education that local public schools are choosing during the COVID-19 pandemic… The September 18-20 Rendezvous Flea Market was given the go-ahead by a unanimous Prairie du Chien Common Council vote recently. A couple of stipulations were asked of the Prairie du Chien Firefighters, however. The group needs to determine a way to track attendance, ensuring there are less than 250 people on the grounds at one time. This number does not include employees at the market. They will also not be allowed to have a band for entertainment… After taking the initial steps to incorporate, officials from the Town of Bridgeport have dropped their lawsuit against the City of Prairie du Chien, and withdrawn their case from Crawford County Circuit Court. Instead, the parties hope to enter into a cooperative service agreement in which they will set common boundary lines… The City of Prairie du Chien has seen continued support of financial donations from 3M corporation over the years to the police, fire, parks and other entities. Most recently, 3M gave $10,000 to the Prairie du Chien Fire Department Association, a separate group that helps financially support the department.

RICHLAND CENTER– The Richland School District Board of Education moved closer to putting a building and operational referendum question before voters in the November 3 election at their most recent meeting. Voters are also likely to vote on whether to reduce the district’s current configuration from five to three buildings, or move to a four-building configuration with plans to reduce the number of school buildings used to three in seven years… This year’s ‘Walk with Grace’ event, planned for August 14, will look a little different, but still offer many of the items participants are used to. Calendar raffle tickets are currently on sale. Luminary bags will be displayed this year at Stori Field, and will be lit at 8 p.m. Bags can be picked up at the GRACE office, and must be turned in by August 12. A survivor parade will replace the survivor and caregiver laps, which would involve public gatherings… A local 14-year-old is looking forward to a unique competition in August. Gavin Templen has earned the right to compete in the 39thannual AMA Amateur National Motorcross championships in Tennessee. Templen qualified for the national at a recent regional competition in Kansas. The young rider actually qualified for the Nationals in three events, but will be limited to two. Gavin rides a Ktm 125 cc dirt bike, and will compete in the 125c and 250c limited classes.

BOSCOBEL – The Boscobel School District recently conducted a Family Survey in light of the COVID-19 pandemic. Of 309 responses, 60 percent said they would prefer “all in-person” school time if appropriate safety measures were in place. Twenty-eight percent favored “a mix of in-person and virtual distance learning,” and 12 percent favored “all virtual distance learning.” Interestingly, of the 60 percent that favored all in-person, only 27 percent said they were comfortable having their children return to the building… A lightning bolt during a thunderstorm is responsible for the fire that destroyed the Muscoda Sportsmans Club’s clubhouse. Although most contents inside the structure were lost, the Muscoda firemen were able to save some items that are cherished by club members. A Go Fund Me site has been set up to receive donations to rebuild… In spite of a storm, the recent Boscobel Farmers Market Festival was a great success, with 27 vendors and over 400 visitors… Josefine Jaynes made a campaign stop in Wauzeka recently – she is running for the Democratic nomination for the 96thWisconsin State Assembly seat. One of her main issues is keeping young people from the district in the district after high school or post secondary school graduation.