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January 16: Years Ago…
Years Ago

‘Years Ago’ is a compilation of newsy tidbits as published in the Crawford County Independent & Kickapoo Scout on this week ten, twenty, thirty, forty, fifty or sixty years ago.


JANUARY 14, 2010 – Forest Jahnke is pictured harvesting spinach for Driftless Organics in Star Valley. The group recently formalized with a mission of growing a sustainable local food economy through community collaboration and education that creates mutually beneficial relationships between producers and consumers… Janet McCormick presented Lois Swiggum and Bonnie Young with a pin for their 50-year membership in the American Legion Auxiliary.


JANUARY 13, 2000 – The calendar may say January, but the Kickapoo River doesn’t look like it. As of last Sunday there was only a little snow and ice along the bank in Gays Mills… The bridge near the dam in Gays Mills was built in 1926 and is scheduled to be replaced in 2002 with a new structure located between the present bridge and the dam on the river.


JANUARY 18, 1990 – The town of Utica, anticipating strict new federal regulations concerning landfills, is closing its landfill as of March 1. The Utica landfill is one of the few still open in northern Crawford County. “The dump has kept very well,” said the Utica Town Clerk Shirley Latham. “Especially considering people were able to come any time.” But the town board agreed that there has been misuse and non-residents have been caught dumping illegal refuse such as old tires. The future plan would likely include marked dumpsters that would be available one day a week with a paid attendant on duty and with certain dumping restrictions. The cost of hauling the garbage away might cost as much as $7,000 a year, and taxes would have to be levied to pay the bill.  


JANUARY 17, 1980 – Mrs. Carol Mullen, North Crawford School District Librarian, has been receiving additional help from mothers in organizing libraries at Mt. Sterling School–including Mrs. Bob Smith, Mrs. Richard Rubasch and Mrs. Frank Cleven. These mothers have spent time mending books, color coding the primary library, discarding outdated or damaged books, labeling books and replacing lost cards…The old Dobson building in Gays Mills (now named the Belmar Building) is beginning to take on a new look as the windows are replaced with smaller ones. The street level portion will be a Mister G’s Clothing Store and the second floor will be divided into apartments, according to owners Dick and Betty Bell. 


JANUARY 14, 1970 – Grade school students from the DeSoto were shaken up, but escaped serious injury, January 7 when a car being towed collided with the school bus. The children, all from the Prairie View area, were transferred to other vehicles, as the bus was too badly damaged to be driven… The new agri-mechanics building is the first permanent structure on the campus of the Southeast Wisconsin Vocational Technical School at Fennimore. Until now the agri-mechanics students have been holding classes in the business operations building, an open-air laboratory in a parking lot and in Fennimore’s city storage building.


JANUARY 14, 1960 – The first grand championship award ever given at a Northern Wisconsin Tobacco Exposition, held in the county highway building in Viroqua, was won by Merlin Dregne, who farms near Towerville in northern Crawford County. For the first time since the start of the annual exposition six years ago, an over-all champion was chosen and awarded an engraved plaque in addition to first prize money. The winning sample was valley grown… Mrs. W. C. Carroll spoke at a meeting of the Kickapoo  Scribes, held at the home of Mrs. Addie Pomeroy. Mrs. Carroll described an interesting and informative project being carried on by her seventh and eighth grade pupils at the Lynxville School. Each student wrote to their favorite author, asking questions about the author’s work.