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July 2: 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.


JUNE 30, 2010 – Marlene Norman, former Director of Nursing at Sannes Skogdalen Heim in Soldiers Grove, recently retired after a long career in nursing… Deborah Conlon, Gays Mills artist, takes advantage of the early morning effects of the sun. With her art supplies tucked into her paint-spattered blue backpack and a small wooden suitcase she sets up a spot outside and captures nature’s beauty in her artwork… During the early morning storms of Wednesday June 23 a tornado briefly, touched down northeast of Gays Mills. Trees were reported uprooted along Del la Mater Road.


JUNE 29, 2000 – After almost a year-and-a-half of study, the recommendation of the Seneca Facilities Committee to build a new K-12 school was approved by the Seneca School Board. The school board is planning the referendum for the fall primary. The committee’s report included a solid list of necessary repairs to the building including extensive roof replacement, brick work, replacement of many doors and windows and handicap accessibility just to name a few… The Kickapoo Reserve Management Board announced that K.E.E. Architects of Madison has been hired by the Department of Administration to design the Visitors’ Center at the Reserve. The $2.3 million project will require a long and complicated 44-step process through the state building commission.


JULY 5, 1990 – Highway 131 was washed out near bridges in two places Friday morning in the Petersburg and Barnum area due to heavy rain causing floods in creeks that empty into the Kickapoo River. Some areas received six inches early Friday… Nineteen pigs owned by Lavon and Kath Smith of Plugtown (Childstown) were washed out of their pens and to their death when a river of water rampaged down Childs Hollow, an effect of the 5 to 7 inches of rainfall in the early morning hours. The river rose so quickly that their son Brian narrowly escaped drowning after he attempted to rescue the family’s pet coonhound. Lavon had to pull his son through waist-deep water with a towrope when the current became too treacherous for Brian to make a safe return.


JULY 3, 1980 – Brian Paul Grancorvitz, 20, Rt. 2, Gays Mills, was sentenced to life imprisonment after being found guilty to first-degree murder. Grancorvitz had been charged with murdering Roger Lind, rural Viroqua, in a stabbing incident that occurred March 13, 1980, outside the Tin Shack tavern in Readstown… The Crawford County Board passed a resolution June 24 halting indefinitely the installation of the 911 Emergency System in the county with board members complaining that the system is state-mandated but not state-funded. The state legislature passed a law in 1978 that the system must be installed throughout Wisconsin by 1987. Other counties have passed resolutions similar to that of Crawford. 


JULY 2, 1970 – Leo McDonald, Bell Center, owns stores in Bell Center and Gays Mills and refers to himself as ‘Mr. Average’. In a recent statement to the press he indicated that he plans to organize a party called the Common Sense Party, (or Society) and is going to attempt to get his name on the ballot for governor… A group of 10 archaeologists, operating under a grant from the National Park Service, will excavate two sites in the Kickapoo Valley this summer; one located on Warner Creek and the other lying within the main valley area. The digs should yield important information on the prehistoric Indian culture of the region. 



JUNE 30, 1960 – The Readstown School District is making its second attempt to join the Viroqua school system… Alan Edge, 35, died Thursday night of injures received in a fall from a telephone pole. Born in North Clayton he lived most of his life in the Soldiers Grove area, and was employed by the Soldiers Grove Telephone Co. He served in the Army for four years during World War II. His wife, the former Irene Maybee, and three children, Brenda, 13, Alanna, 8, and Mark, 5, survive Alan.