Current Stories

What a difference a day makes

Steuben flood

Steuben, WI - Saturday September 24, 2016 - The Kickapoo River is running amok in Steuben again.  It is at 16 feet much above flood stage.  The good news according to Bob Atkinson of Lou’s R & R Station Bar and Restaurant, on the left in the above picture, is that the river levels are slowly receding.  The water flooded his crawl space and came to within 1 inch of the floor. 
   Bob said they have been flooded five times in the last few years. Three time by the river in 2007, 2008 & 2016, and twice in 2013 & 2015 by flash floods overflowing a drainage ditch and culvert that runs next to their building.  When I asked how he coped with it, he said, a good cigar and a shot of Brandy.  More rain is expected Sunday.

Steuben flood Jo's

Bud & Jo’s Kountry Bar has sandbags holding the water back.  It must be working because the bar signs are on.  They have good draft beer, so it might be worth the challenge.

Drive through water covered road ends in fatality

Vernon County Sheriff John B. Spears reports a single vehicle accident resulting in a Fatality.  The accident occurred on Maple Dale Road, just south of Pierce Hill Road, Town of Viroqua, shortly after 11:00 AM on September 22nd.
   The operator of the vehicle, Joseph B. Menne, age 79, of rural Viroqua, left his residence at approximately 11:00 AM, approximately 2 miles from the accident location.  Mr. Menne was en route to pick up cattle near Soldiers Grove.  He was reported missing to the Sheriff’s Office at approximately 6:57 PM. 
   When deputies arrived on scene at the accident location, it appeared Mr. Menne attempted to drive through a water covered road.  The cattle trailer jackknifed causing the truck and trailer to become stuck in the water, which reached approximately 6 feet.  The water eventually filled the passenger compartment of the truck.  Mr. Menne was pronounced dead at 9:08 PM.  This marks Vernon County’s 3rd traffic Fatality for 2016.
   Assisting the Sheriff’s Office were the Viroqua Fire Department, Vernon County Emergency Management, and the Vernon County Coroner’s Office.  The accident remains under investigation.

Mud slide take house & owner with it, fatality

September 22, 2016 - Vernon County Sheriff John B. Spears reports a mudslide along State Highway 35 in the Town of Wheatland, north of Desoto, WI has claimed the life Michael T. McDonald age 53. 
   At approximately 4:51 a.m. the Sheriff’s Office was notified that a residence was washed down the hill onto State Highway 35.  It is believed Mr. McDonald was in the residence at that time.  A search began and he was located deceased at approximately 1:17 p.m.
   Assisting at the scene were the Wheatland Fire & First Responders, Genoa Fire Department, Desoto Fire Department, Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, Wisconsin State Patrol, Tri State Ambulance, Vernon County Highway Department, Vernon County Coroner’s Office and Lepke Trucking

Mud slide causes two vehicle crash

Mud crash red
Mud crash2CS

Sheriff John B. Spears reports a two vehicle crash that involved a mud slide on State
Highway 35 north of Victory in the Town of Wheatland.
   On September 22, 2016 at approximately 7:45pm, Jonathan L. Fruth age 38 of rural Desoto, WI was traveling on State Highway 35 along with three passengers, when a mudslide came off the hill and hit the Fruth vehicle.
   A dump truck driver Abraham J. Ebert age 31 of rural Sparta,WI was traveling south when he saw headlights ahead of him and attempted to slow down but was not able to avoid the mud and debris that was in the roadway.
   Fruth was treated and released at the scene, but refused any further medical attention. The other three occupants in the Fruth vehicle escaped without injury. Ebert was also not injured.
   Assisting at the scene were the Wheatland Fire, Wheatland First Responders, Vernon County Highway Department and Tri-State Ambulance.  All occupants were wearing seatbelts at the time of the crash.  The accident remains under investigation by the Sheriff’s Office.

BNSF train derails near Ferryville, WI

Ferryville, WI - September 22, 2016 - A BNSF train derailed near Ferryville due to a track washout at 5:40am today.  Five cars and two locomotive engines derailed.  One of two engines leaked approximately 1000 gallons of fuel.
   BNSF crews placed booms on the Mississippi River to contain the fuel that spilled into the water.  No one was injured

Stand-off during home break-in ends in arrest

Beetown Township - On September 20, 2016 at approximately 9:10 PM the Grant County Sheriff’s Office was dispatched to a residence on County U in the Village of Beetown for complaint of a male subject who was breaking into the residence.
   Several Deputies arrived on scene and found the back door of the residence broken open. After investigation it was found that Joe Koelker, age 29 of Cassville, was inside the residence. Koelker refused to cooperate with law enforcement which resulted in a standoff, lasting several hours.
   The Grant County Crisis Resolution Team was dispatched to assist officers on scene, which includes officers from the Grant County Sheriff’s Office, Platteville Police Department and the Iowa County Sheriff’s Office.  Additionally a negotiator from the Grant County Sheriff’s Office was on scene. After several hours, Koelker surrendered and was taken into custody without further incident.
   Koelker was transported to the Grant County Jail and is being held on charges of burglary, criminal damage to property and disorderly conduct. This incident remains under investigation.

Grant County Health Department
Seasonal Flu Shot Clinics Announced

The Grant County Health Department has scheduled its public seasonal flu shot clinics for the 2016-17 season.  This year the quadrivalent vaccine includes both a H1N1 and a H3N2 strain as well as a B/Brisbane like strain and a B/Phuket like strain.  
   A supply of high dose flu vaccine is available for those 65 years of age and older.  Vaccination is recommended for all persons aged ≥6 months unless there is a medical reason why vaccination is not recommended.   
   Children under 9 years old receiving seasonal flu vaccine for the first time and those not completing a series in previous year may need a booster shot one month or more after the first shot to gain the highest level of protection.   Grant County Health Department has free flu vaccine available at these clinics for children on Medical Assistance/Badger Care or for children with no insurance coverage for influenza immunizations.  There is also a supply of vaccine available to others for a fee.
   In addition to the posted schedule, seasonal flu vaccinations are now available at the Grant County Health Department located at 111 South Jefferson Street in Lancaster from 8:30 a.m. -12:00 p.m. and from 1:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m. Monday-Friday.  Additional clinics will be announced later in the season including school based clinics beginning later in the fall.




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