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Year in Review - part 2
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A State of Emergency was declared for Crawford, Grant, Richland, Vernon, Iowa, and Ashland Counties in response to the damaged caused by flooding on June 23…Crawford County Dispatch Director Julie Cipra explained the lack of calls on the new CodeRed emergency alert system during the flooding event of late June as the result of being too time consuming to make since the dispatch center was swamped with calls at the time…The Crawford County Board voted to uphold the termination of Crawford County Highway Department employee Sherry Jazdzewski……The Soldiers Grove Village Board was informed of significant pending interest charges on the bill for radios to replace the seven reported missing from the Soldiers Grove Fire Department at some point in the previous six months. The board, uninformed of the purchase before it was made, denied its payment pending completion of the investigation into the theft.....Seneca and North Crawford Schools were upgrading their computer networks and making laptops available for the students to use. Seneca intended to provide its freshmen students with Chromebooks in the future. North Crawford purchased 250 Chromebooks, primarily for use beginning with the eighth grade, with each incoming class supplied in the future.


Crawford Stewardship Project submitted an Administrative Law Hearing Request with the DNR regarding the frac sand mining proposed for Bridgeport Township. They contended the mine would compromise the Wisconsin River and pose a risk to several protected species and species of concern…The Gays Mills Village Board denied the $178,097 proposal made by Julia Henley to replace corroded iron shelving at Song’s Mushroom Farm with flood recovery funds…Star Valley Flowers hosted an aronia growing field day. The fruit is a potent antioxidant well suited to the area’s environment…It was perfect weather for the Crawford County Fair, with crowds that appeared to be larger than usual…Crawford Stewardship Project was awarded $5,000 by the DNR to conduct water monitoring around the proposed frac sand mining site in Bridgeport Township…The Gays Mills Arts Collective opened a new show focusing on the emotional process of death and life after the death of loved ones…HSR Associates presented five possible plans for a fitness center at North Crawford Schools. The center would be partially funded through the PEP grant received by the school. The architects noted the school needed more space for the center, which would be best created by building an addition…The Lower Wisconsin State Riverway Board denied the permit application by Pattison Sand Company that would have allowed them to frac sand mine within the LWSR boundaries.


Four Town of Bridgeport residents and the Crawford Stewardship Project filed suit with the Crawford County Circuit Court seeking to halt the frac sand mine in Bridgeport Township…The Soldiers Grove Library expansion was completed and the facility was reopened. An Open House celebration for the library was planned……The Village Greenhouse in Gays Mills added a mural to the side of the building facing the village green space created when Lana’s Family Haircare's former building was demolished as part of the flood recovery and relocation effort. John Tully and Pete Hodap created the mural…Tension was growing between the Village of Soldiers Grove and their fire department as the board continued to hold off on paying the bill for replacement radios, which the department purchased after realizing they were missing six. The board ultimately approved payment of the $11,999.94 bill, but agreed to pay only $599.99 of the $8,399.96 in interest billed by Bill Zirk of D and Z Rescue Emergency Products for 90 days past due. Zirk is also an officer on the fire department and serves as the organization’s secretary… Rolling Ground farmer and Crawford County Board Chairperson Pete Flesch announced his plans to challenge Wisconsin State Representative Lee Nerison in the next election…The orchards were producing bumper crops despite drought conditions and windstorms earlier in the year…Mary K. Janka was sentenced to ten years in prison after shooting at her lover’s wife the previous fall. 


Wyalusing Academy was ordered to close the facility after a restraint incident left a teenaged resident paralyzed. The facility appealed the state’s decision, which came after an investigation by the Wisconsin Department of Children and Families uncovered a history of violations…Chef Monique Hooker’s latest enterprise was taking off. Hooker makes and sells pastry crusts through the Kickapoo Culinary Center, a shared-use kitchen located in the Gays Mills Community Commerce Center…Both Crawford County District Attorney Tim Baxter and Crawford County Sheriff’s Department investigator Wade Hutchison believed that the missing fire department radios in Soldiers Grove were stolen, but evidence was lacking for prosecution…Artist John Craig was awarded the Peoples Choice award by the Driftless Area Art Festival…The Village of Gays Mills had attorney Eileen Brownlee contact tenants of the Mercantile Center with rents in arrears by 30 days or more. The village was owed approximately $8,500 in overdue rent… Pattison Sand Company announced they would challenge the Lower Wisconsin State Riverway Board’s decision to deny their permit to mine within the Riverway boundaries in Bridgeport Township…..Wisconsin State Senator Tom Tiffany (R-Hazelhurst) introduced legislation that would limit local control of frac sand mining operations. Neither Wisconsin State Senator Jennifer Shilling nor Wisconsin State Representative Lee Nerison co-signed the bill, with Shilling coming out in opposition to the draft bill… Building Automation Products, Inc. (BAPI) in Gays Mills celebrated their 20-year anniversary…Plans for a fitness center at North Crawford Schools were progressing. Vernon Memorial Healthcare was interested in partnering with the school, possibly managing the site and offering rehabilitation services.


The owners of Wyalusing Academy announced they would no longer pursue the closure appeal with the Wisconsin Department of Children and Families and would voluntarily close their residential treatment facility in Prairie du Chien… North Crawford Playhouse presented the musical ‘Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat’…The corn harvest was still underway as the first snow of the season arrived mid-month…Soldiers Grove Library was facing $7,000 in reduced funding for the upcoming year. Reduction of the village contribution to library operations in 2012 led to lower overall spending, a number used in figuring the county’s contribution for 2014…Cold, windy weather held the number of deer killed down for the gun season. The Ridge and Valley Conference denied players on the North Crawford volleyball team placement on the all-conference team for “unacceptable behavior” on social media. North Crawford did not sanction the girls for an athletic code violation.


More information was obtained about the Wyalusing Academy teen whose injury led to the facility’s closure. Brandon Chrisp was left paralyzed after being denied medical care for more than 24 hours for an injury that at least one staff person immediately reported to nursing staff. Chrisp had been at the facility for less than a week at the time of the incident…The Soldiers Grove Fire Department drew on their reserve account to cover paying the firemen and officers salary and to fund the annual Christmas party, since their checking account was insufficient to cover all of the expenses. The department will be working in the coming year with the village board to create a budget…The Crawford County Board passed a resolution in opposition to the Tiffany legislation that would undermine local control over frac sand mines. Hillcrest Orchard owner Bob Zimpel shot one of two 300-plus pound feral sows taken in an abandoned orchard near Frank Road above Gays Mills.