‘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 –Over five years after plans were first presented for an Assisted Living apartment building at Vernon Manor, the project has finally been approved. Part of the cost for the 32-unit facility will be paid for with a $1.7 million grant. Also part of the financing package is a $300,000 interest-free loan from Vernon Electric through Dairyland Power… Last week, the Vernon County Museum celebrated the centennial of the first class to graduate from the Vernon County Normal School. The building where it was now located now houses the museum. The school was founded in 1907, and moved into its own building in 1919. Many of the first students to walk through the new doors graduated on June 11, 1920. All members of that class were women. Darlene Anderson went on to teach at Mt. Pisgah, and then at Liberty Pole. Lillie Olson taught at Leum. Evelyn Peterson taught at Clinton, Dilly, Knapp and Rockton. Veronica Foster taught at Brown and Gardner. Aphra Herreid taught at Debello, Greenwood, Hillsboro, Peterson, West Prairie and Wood. Essie Goode taught at Bishop Branch. Hannah Thurin taught at Bishop Branch, Bristow, Genoa and Retreat. Mabel Mellem taught at Sag City, Sunnyside and Tewalt.
LA FARGE –LaFarge is sporting a new business in town in the form of a portable food establishment located at the intersection of West Main and Mill Streets. The business sells regular and foot-long hot dogs, plus drinks, including rootbeer floats. Fresh buns are made daily at Hansen’s Bakery… The Lawton Memorial Library reopened on June 1, with a return to normal hours. The stacks are not open for browsing, but curbside delivery is still available. Computers are available for essential use, but not for gaming. Number of persons in the library at one time is limited to five, and masks are strongly encouraged… The West Lima All School Reunion has been postponed to 2021… LaFarge VFW Post #9075 will soon be obtaining several new members. The post at Hillsboro has discontinued and several comrades will be transferring into the LaFarge post. At their June 8 meeting, the members of the post decided to hold a parade on July 4theven though the village’s Fourth of July celebration has been cancelled.
ONTARIO – In an effort to slow the spread of the coronavirus, the Wilton Pool will remain closed for the season. The Wilton Community Center, village campground and public bathrooms will remain shuttered for at least another month. Both the upper and lower playgrounds, the basketball court, the baseball field, and the volleyball court will open. The village board will reevaluate that decision at their July 13 meeting, and may shut down those facilities if COVID-19 cases appear to be growing… Though nearly all area summer events have been cancelled, Ontario will plunge ahead with an amended version of the traditional July 4thcelebration. The fireworks and parade will take place at the usual time, but there will be no talent show or kid’s parade. All events will take place on Saturday, with a car show, garden tractor and pedal pulls, along with music on the Ontario Community Hall deck or tent, depending on the weather… The status of Kendall’s Labor Day celebration remains in doubt, but the Kendall Community Club will decide on July 6 whether to offer the annual festival. It was reported to the board that because of the insurance company’s recommendations on how to mitigate the dangers of transmission of COVID-19, celebration costs likely will escalate. For example, instead of one porta-potty per 75 attendees, two are now recommended. Also, porta-potties would now have to be sanitized every two hours.
PRAIRIE DU CHIEN –A ‘Black Lives Matter’ peaceful march was held in Prairie du Chien on June 4. Protesters marched from the Tourist Information Center to the Memorial Gardens on St. Feriole Island. Chief of Police Kyle Teynor, the mayor and a local pastor shared positive messages at the start, but did not participate in the march. The protest was organized by a few local Prairie du Chien High School seniors… The carry-out coupon promotion, sponsored by the Prairie du Chien and McGregor/Marquette chambers of commerce, and Supreme Graphics, was an impressive success, according to PdC Chamber CEO Bob Moses. The two-month restaurant promotion ended June 1. Local customers were presented with one coupon with each carryout order from participating establishments. The coupons could be filled out and mailed back to the chamber for a chance to win $100… Crawford County 4-H Summer Kits will provide one month’s worth of fun activities to youth entering K-5 in the fall of 2020 at Wauzeka-Steuben, Seneca, North Crawford and Prairie du Chien. Starting the week of June 15, kids registered will receive one engaging kit per week through the week of July 6. The kits, which include all needed materials, are centered around the ‘Head, Heart, Hands and Health,’ or the four Hs. They involve STEM activities, writing to a special someone, creating a craft, and making a nutritional treat.
RICHLAND CENTER –On the afternoon of Monday, June 8, protesters gathered outside the Richland County Courthouse to show their support for the Black Lives Matter movement, and to protest the untimely death of George Floyd, who was killed by a Minneapolis police officer on May 25 of this year. There were over 20 protesters who came and supported the movement. Further peaceful protests were held on following days. One of the protesters on Monday, Amy Fry of Richland Center, said of the protest and spontaneous community support: “There were so many special moments that made me feel so good about being out there, standing up for what’s right. The positive reactions we received far outweighed the negative reactions, which gives me a lot of hope…” Richland Hospital Emergency Management Coordinator Lyle Kratochwill has announced that as of Monday, June 8, the Richland Hospital Coronavirus Hotline and drive-thru respiratory care services will be CLOSED. Patients needing hands-on medical care should call the hospital main number 608-647-6321 or clinic main number 608-647-6161 before coming to the facility. Patients who are displaying COVID-related symptoms will be served through Urgent Care… On June 8, at approximately 10:19 a.m., the Cazenovia Area Fire Dept. was dispatched to the report of a granary on fire on Quaker Valley Drive in the Township of Westford. The report included fire endangering the house. Units were dispatched and on arrival found the 28’ X 46’ granary completely engulfed in flames. The building and contents are a total loss. The building contained cattle feed, barn boards, tools and shop equipment. The cause of the fire has not yet been determined. Firefighters were on scene for over two hours overall, due to removing metal roof components.BOSCOBEL – The Boscobel Park Commission voted last Tuesday, June 2, to cancel all 2020 Summer Rec activities due to the coronavirus. A decision on the swimming pool was postponed until a joint meeting of the Park Commission and Common Council at 7 p.m. on Monday, June 15 at the Blaine Gym… Community First Bank recently donated $850 to the Boscobel Farmer’s Market from funds procured from a grant provided by the Federal Home Loan Bank… The Southwest Wisconsin Fast Pitch Hall of Fame annual induction and fast pitch tournament in Boscobel has been cancelled due to the current pandemic situation. The inductees for 2020 are; Al Liebfried (Potosi), Randy Mara (Eastman), Roger Feye (Wauzeka), Russ Gillitzer (Bridgeport), Rick McManus (Highland), and Dan Bender (Fennimore)… Boscobel’s Little Free Art Gallery is back for its second year on Elm Street (Highway 61), right across from the A&W, with a whole new look from last year. Painted on a sign, attached to the Gallery, are the words *Take Art *Make Art *Leave Art.