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May 14: 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 Viroqua Cemetery Association is seeking volunteers to help plant geraniums in the Viroqua Cemetery. Volunteers are needed from May 13-16 in the afternoons only. In case of inclement weather, the planting days will be cancelled. Volunteers are encouraged to bring a small hand garden spade with them and should report to the lower equipment shed. If you would like to volunteer or have questions, contact coordinator Gail Frie at… Cashton FFA will hold a plant sale Friday, May 8 through Sunday, May 10. Plants will be located outside the Ag Room at the Highschool, and  plants will be restocked from 1:30-2:30 as needed. Social distancing will be practiced… Due to Club liability issues and restrictions necessary to address health and safety issues the 2020 Coon Creek Rendezvous at Coon Valley, WI has been cancelled… Chaseburg Manufacturing, makers of the Scrusher Shoe and Boot Cleaner, are extremely happy to announce a new partnership with the North American Invasive Species Management Association prevention program PlayCleanGo* Stop Invasive Species In Your Tracks® to enhance opportunities of invasive species prevention across publicly accessible lands. The shoe and boot cleaners have long been a fixture for footwear cleaning stations throughout the world, for water, trail, and recreation. With a greater appreciation for open spaces today, please take the time to enter and leave these spaces as you found them.  Enter with clean apparel/equipment, leave clean by using the Scrusher Shoe and Boot Cleaners, and repeat at all of your favorite outdoor activities to prevent the spread or introduction of invasive species to your favorite  natural area!

LA FARGE –The Town of Whitestown did not hold their Spring Clean-Up last weekend due to the social distancing order. It will be re-scheduled, hopefully in June. There will be a large dumpster available the weekend of June 13th for sure… New on the KVR Learning Outside Blog is this week’ feature of a guest post by Meaghan Gustafson, La Farge Schools District Administrator, parent and KVR enthusiast. She writes about getting out with her family and their special ritual of collecting natural things on their land. They’d love to hear about what you notice when you are out and exploring.…/05/collection.html… The LaFarge Schools Senior Awards and Scholarships Night is Wednesday, May 20, 2020 at 7:00 p.m. A link for the live Zoom program will be posted here and on the school website. Please contact Amy Lund at with any questions… Kickapoo School District thanks Mr. Mithum, Mrs. Goodrich and Mr. and Mrs. Wiegel for delivering caps and gowns along with signs to our Seniors on Friday… Due to the continued Safer at Home order, the Viola Sportsmens Club canceled the Tuesday, May 5th monthly meeting. At this time they plan to meet in June for the regular monthly meeting. As a reminder, the ranges remain open. They ask that you follow the social distancing guidelines set by the state. Memberships are currently availble at the Viola Quick Stop, Bens Gun Shop or on our website @

ONTARIO – Families of graduating seniors from the Norwalk-Ontario-Wilton School District  received a yard sign last Friday, and seniors received a box that included balloons, memories written by teachers, and some other goodies. … As of May 1st, park stickers and trail passes are once again required at Wildcat Mountain State Park. The park is open from 6 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily, but closed to the public on Wednesdays. All bathrooms are closed and drinking fountains are not available. Pack out everything you bring with you, help keep the park clean! As always dogs must be on a leash no longer than eight feet at all times… Norwalk Lions Club Chairman Glen “Ope” Degenhardt and staff have decided to go ahead with the 54th annual Regional III Pull on Aug. 14–16. The following is the schedule: Friday - 5 p.m., fish fry/American Mini Pullers; and 8 p.m. live music; Saturday — All-school reunion: Norwalk, Ontario, and Wilton and Brookwood alumni all are welcome at village hall at 1 p.m.; 12 p.m., duck race; 4 p.m., pedal pull; 6:30 p.m., NTPA Regional Pull; and 8:30 p.m., live music; Sunday — 11 a.m., charcoal chicken; 11:30 a.m., parade; and 12:30 p.m., truck and tractor and semi pull.

PRAIRIE DU CHIEN – Bette (Knapp) Bushnell can now add living during the coronavirus pandemic to her list of life’s accomplishments over the course of the past century. She will turn 100 on May 10. She is a current resident at Bluff Haven Assisted Living in Prairie du Chien. Bette Rheo made a grand entrance into the world on 5-10-20 (1920) in Platteville. In 1942, Bette married WWII serviceman Don Knapp in California. They moved to Prairie du Chien in 1945, where they started Knapp Floor Company in the back of the Courier Press… Wisconsin Badger Camp announced April 15 that it would not welcome back more than 800 campers this summer. With many of the typical campers having compromised immune systems, and some of the staff coming from overseas, the nonprofit camp’s board and Executive Director Brent Bowers felt it was the most responsible decision to cancel the 2020 season. Also, Bowers said the rural Prairie du Chien camp’s medical director did not know if he would get the OK to staff Badger Camp this summer. That left another uncertainty.  So, the decision to cancel was made. Already hired staff was contacted, and the announcement went public.

RICHLAND CENTER – Richland County Sheriff Jim Bindl announced last week that former department sergeant Clay Porter has accepted a promotion to Chief Deputy… Chief Billy J. Jones and the City of Richland Center announce the promotion of Officer Jared Wilson to the position of Sergeant, effective April 21, 2020. Wilson has been with the Richland Center Police Department since 2014 and before that worked as a Jailer-Dispatcher for the Richland County Sheriff’s Department… The Richland School District Board of Education modified the grading scale for RCHS students during its most recent meeting. The board voted, 5-1, in favor of a proposal will mean that below 50 – not 70 – will be an F. The changes will also mean that late assignments will be accepted without penalty and final exams will be eliminated for the 2019-20 second semester… UW Platteville-Richland held its annual Scholarship and Awards evening on Thursday, May 7, at 7 p.m., via virtual video conference. A formal commencement ceremony has been postponed until a later date. A link to the videoconference and livestream of the presentations will be at 

BOSCOBEL – The search continues for a Boscobel man who fell out of a small fishing boat and into the Wisconsin River after hitting a submerged log early Sunday afternoon west of the Boscobel boat landing. Another man and child were able to make it to shore safely. The search began about 1:30 p.m. on May 3, with boats from the DNR, Southwest Wisconsin Regional Technical Rescue Team, sheriff’s departments and most area fire departments participating. Cadaver dogs and underwater sonar and cameras were also used… A 50-year-old Richland Center man suffered serious injuries when he crashed this truck near Avoca on April 30. Anthony C. Vorndran was driving a 2005 International quad axle truck that was hauling fertilizer on Highway N in Iowa County at 1:51 p.m. when he lost control while rounding a curve. The truck went off into the opposite ditch and rolled onto its side. Vondran was extricated by Avoca Fire & EMS personnel and transported to a nearby hospital with serious injuries.