‘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– Santikaro, a local Buddhist teacher, is presenting a series of talks on the Noble Path of Practice as sketched by the Buddha. The Buddha was interested solely in suffering and how to live free of it. Whatever your spiritual orientation, the down-to-earth pragmatism of these teachings will give you food for reflection. Previous knowledge of Buddhism is not required; while open-minded inquiry is essential. These talks with Q&A will be held at Yoga for Life Studio, 500 E. Jefferson St. Viroqua, in the Landmark Building Room 105 starting on June 20 with subsequent talks on July 18, August 8 and September 19. Starting time is 7 p.m. and ending at 8:30 p.m. There is no fee but donations may be made… The Viroqua Legion baseball team will host its annual tournament June 21-23. Games will be played in Viroqua’s Park Bowl and in Westby.
VIOLA– Luke Zahm, of Driftless Café and a LaFarge High School alumni, is the new host of the PBS ‘Wisconsin Foodie’ program beginning in January 2020… Emily Andrews, a member of the Kickapoo High School Trap Team, came home with a first place finish as the top female shooter in the Wisconsin High School Clay Target League State Tournament held June 8 in Rome, Wis.
LA FARGE– Organic Valley’s retail store in La Farge is re-opened with bigger and huge improvements in the store that was badly damaged in the August 2018 flooding. The complete renovation is over twice as big as before. Freezers and coolers cover one side of the store on W. Main Street. Other areas have supplies of bulk items and specialized drinks, which can be purchased in special bottles or jars. The outside area of the store has been landscaped and flowered… Enjoy Music in the Park at the La Farge Village Park Monday June 24. Music by ‘Viroqua Community Band’, serving food at 5 p.m., music starts at 6 p.m. Food sales benefit Friends of the Library.
ONTARIO– Controversy of Ontario’s new food-cart ordinance was an issue at the recent village board meeting. Ontario Community Club president Ron Campbell requested the board suspend the ordinance for July 4, arguing that it would be burdensome to local residents, who often set up for the day and sell ethnic food. RiversEnd Bar and Wildcat Bar & Grill owners expressed concern that opening to outside vendors would destroy one of the best days of the year for them, noting that last year’s sales were reduced. But Wilmer Pearson disagreed, noting that in his more than 30 years of running the Kickapoo Paddle Inn that they could never keep up during the July 4thholiday and other food businesses were welcome. Some at the meeting blamed the heat last year for decreased sales. After much contentious discussion, the board agreed to suspend the ordinance for the July 4 holiday… The Wildcat Mountain State Park, E13660 Highway 33, Ontario, will host the following events this summer. All of the programs are free of charge, however, a vehicle admission sticker is required. ‘Raptors 101’ will be presented at the park amphitheater, Saturday June 22, at 7 p.m. ‘56 State Parks in One Year’ will be presented at the amphitheater, Saturday, July 6, at 7 p.m.
HILLSBORO– The 37th Cesky Den festival kicked off with a welcome and the Czech National Anthem in both Czech and English by Rachel Smith. Keith and Jacqui Davison took over as King and Queen. Dane Davison was crowned as the 2019 Prince and Jillian Novacheck is this year’s Princess. James Anderson and Sydney Johnson were each awarded $500 scholarships in recognition of their completion of their first year of college. 2019 scholarship winners, Peyton Miller and MacKenzie Morris, will receive their checks at next year’s Cesky Den… ‘Now Showing at the 122ndElroy Fair!’ is the theme of this year’s Elroy fair, scheduled for June 27-30. Approximately 50 events, including livestock shows and non-animal judging, various stage shows and musical entertainment, and long-time favorites such as the Truck and Tractor Pull, Bull Riding, and Mutton Busting are scheduled throughout the four-day fair which will take place at Schultz Park in Elroy. Amusement passes for Spectrum Carnival rides will be sold at the fair starting at $25 for a one-day session, and $50 for a Mega Wristband which is good from Thursday, June 27 at 5 p.m. until Saturday, June 29 at 10 p.m. Advanced wristband sales will be available at Royal Bank until June 25 for $20 for a one-day session, and $40 for a Mega Wristband. There will be no fair events on Sunday.
RICHLAND CENTER– Recently, the Richland Center Historic Preservation Commission unanimously voted to add the Jacob Wilson Huston house, 932 West Seminary Street, to the Local Register of Historic Places. This home is popularly known as ‘the Castle.’ Current homeowners Derek Kalish and Jason Coy plan to renovate and restore ‘the Castle’ to its original grandeur.
BOSCOBEL– The Boscobel Swimming Pool is open. Swimming lessons and the swim team started on opening day but it’s not too late to join… Charles P. Schneider, the last Grant County Civil War soldier to be buried, was honored with a special ceremony at the Hillside Cemetery in Lancaster. The Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War conducted the ceremony with help from the Grant County Historical Society and the American Legion post in Lancaster. The Sons fired a three-volley salute over Schneider’s grave with Civil War muskets after reading the funeral ritual of the Grand Army of the Republic… The public is reminded of warnings when enjoying recreation on the Wisconsin River. Sadly, the river can be a source of tragedy. At Muscoda, both boat landings have signs warning –‘Wading Not Advised’. At the upper boat landing, a self-service life-jacket station reminds us ‘Kids Don’t Float.’ Riverway Conservation Warden Scott Thiede included many reminders in a recent story regarding our river including advice that exposed sandbars are not an indication of shallow water conditions suitable for wading or swimming. Exposed sandbars worsen the situation by providing a way for people to get close to the deep, fast currents of the river. People wading in a few inches of water along the sides or downstream end of a sandbar can find themselves in the deep channel when the saturated sand drops away unexpectedly from under their feet. The undertows in this deep water are an incredible force that tugs at a person and may likely result in drowning. Wading and swimming in the river is not advised at any time.
FENNIMORE– The Lemon Door, a coffee shop, café and pop up venue owned by Melodie Betts will be opening their bright yellow doors on June 20 in downtown Fennimore. The shop will feature an artist’s wall, ‘goofy windows,’ locally-sourced, fresh, organic items, freshly made granola, mayos and salad dressings, lemonade, organic tea, and of course coffee. Their coffee was rated one of the top 10 by Forbes Magazine and is roasted in Madison. There will be big sandwiches, salad, cold soups, and beer cheese soup in the wintertime. Betts is also passionate about the sustainability movement and the reduce, reuse, recycle life style. Customers are encouraged to bring their own bags for purchased items to go and their own reusable straws. There will be no plastic flatware. Betts and her staff will provide clean flatware for carry out customers to take, with a donation jar for replacing the pieces that don’t come back, but customers are welcomed to bring it back and The Lemon Door will wash it in their dishwasher for use again.
PLATTEVILLE– The Hidden Valleys Amateur Radio Club and the University of Wisconsin - Platteville Amateur Radio Club are FCC licensed amateur radio operators from the tri-state area. Over 35,000 U.S. hams will participate in their annual Field Day on Saturday June 22, and Sunday, June 23. Field Day is an emergency preparedness exercise held annually on the fourth weekend in June. Hams assemble a radio station away from their homes using alternative power sources such as batteries, portable generators, or solar energy for twenty-four hours from 1 p.m. on Saturday until 1 p.m. on Sunday. They will be making as many contacts in the U.S. and foreign countries as possible. In addition to testing equipment and preparing for a real emergency, they have fun doing it. Many people in Southwest Wisconsin are not aware of the contributions to the area rendered by local hams. HVARC and UWPARC members have been involved in many public service events.