Current Stories

2nd Annual Vernon County National Night Out event!

Night out2

The Emergency Responders of Vernon County would like to announce the upcoming 2nd Annual Vernon County National Night Out event! The date is set for Tuesday, August 3rd 2021 from 4pm-8pm at the Vernon County Fairgrounds. The event, activities and food will again be FREE! 
   After a very successful inaugural event in 2019 with over 1,500 in attendance, the unprecedented COVID-19 pandemic, gave us no option but to cancel the 2020 event. If you missed us two years ago, this is a great opportunity for you and your family to meet members from local Law Enforcement, Fire Department, and EMS agencies. NNO offers emergency vehicle displays, a live mock crash with the helicopter from Gundersen Air and more!
   The inaugural event had over 40 booths set up from area businesses with child friendly games and activities including face painting and the dunk tank! The National Night Out planning committee has listened to your feedback and has a spectacular event planned for this year. We are thrilled to offer you this event and meet members of our community! Don’t forget to check out our Facebook page “Vernon County National Night Out” periodically for updated information. See you all in August at the Vernon County National Night Out!

Woman lost in Reserve overnight found safe

On Saturday March 6, 2021 at approximately 8:05 PM the Vernon County Dispatch Center received a phone call from the sister of Elizabeth R. Cooper, 31 of Waukesha WI. The sister reported Elizabeth Cooper as missing on the Kickapoo Valley Reserve as they had been in contact in the afternoon. At that time Elizabeth reported being lost prior to her phone going dead and no one had been able to reach her. The last phone contact with Elizabeth was at 6:50PM.
   LaFarge Fire Department was dispatched right away, conducting searches of all hiking trails. After being unable to find her, additional manpower for a grid search was requested from; Viola Fire Department, Ontario Fire Department, Westby Fire Department, Cashton Fire Department, Hillsboro Fire Department, Yuba Fire, and Viroqua Fire Department. Also on scene was the Vernon County Department of Emergency Management with their mobile command post and aerial drone. Richland County Sheriff's Office and Middleton Fire Department were requested for their aerial drone capabilities. 
   At approximately 12:10 AM on March 7, 2021 the aerial drone being operated by the Richland County Sheriff's Office was able to detect a heat signature, and guide personnel on foot to the location of Elizabeth Cooper.  Elizabeth Cooper was found safe and refused medical at the scene.
   The Vernon County Sheriff's Office would like to extend it's sincerest thank you to all the volunteer agencies and private citizens that assisted with this call. We would also like to remind everyone to have a plan in place if hiking alone to prevent incidents like this from occurring.

Two men on an ATV fall through ice

On March 4, 2021 at 6:00 p.m. two men fell through the ice near the Stoddard Boat Landing.  James Rhodes, age 62 of Black River Falls was operating an ATV on the ice. Rhodes and his passenger were traveling back to the boat landing after fishing when the ATV fell through the ice.  Both James Rhodes and his passenger, George Riedel, also of Black River Falls fell into the water.  Both Rhodes and Riedel were able to get out of the water on their own and were checked out at the scene by emergency personnel

Please ask the DNR for an
Environmental Impact Statement
 for Roth Feeder Pig ll CAFO

On December 11, 48 groups submitted a letter to the DNR urging them to approve the request for an Environmental Impact Statement for the Roth Feeder Pig II Concentrated Animal Feeding Operation (CAFO).

   The request was submitted by Crawford Stewardship Project and Midwest Environmental Advocates on behalf of over 200 Crawford County residents who are concerned about their water, air, health, and safety. The groups supporting this request include the state and all local chapters of Wisconsin Farmers Union, the local chapters of Trout Unlimited, and a broad coalition of other organizations focused on good governance, agriculture, watersheds, fishing, and the environment.
   The proposed CAFO, in combination with the existing facility a few miles away, would be the largest hog CAFO in the state of Wisconsin. The existing facility is already the only CAFO and largest farm in the county, and the new expansion alone would be the fourth largest hog CAFO in the state.
   The proposed expansion would produce and spread nearly 10 million gallons of liquid manure on steep slopes and over fractured karst bedrock, with the facility perched on a narrow ridge above the Kickapoo River. The sheer size of the operation is unprecedented in Crawford County, and the DNR has already recognized that the existing regulations and “best management practices” do not protect groundwater in karst areas, though the Driftless has yet to be formally recognized as the sensitive area it is.
   If you support this action, please let the DNR know that this is needed to restore science-based decision making to the agency, and to protect the rights of neighbors to clean air and water. Please call Chris Clayton at (608) 267-7656 or email him at and ask for a full Environmental Impact Statement for Roth Feeder Pig II.
Forest Jahnke
Program Coordinator for Crawford Stewardship Project
Rolling Ground, Wisconsin

Sign Petition to the DNR for an
Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for the
Proposed Roth Feeder Pig II CAFO in Crawford Co.

Flyover ll still

The proposed facility, when considered with its sister facility, would be the largest hog Concentrated Animal Feeding Operation in the state.  Flyover ll video
   This fact, on its own justifies preparation of an Environmental Impact Statement. However, a robust EIS would also reinforce DNR’s and the Evers Administration’s stated dedication to restoring science based decision-making to the agency.
   This new operation plans to house 8,000 sows and produce 9.4 million gallons of liquid manure each year, and would be located on a narrow karstic ridge above the Kickapoo River.
                          Sign & Share our Google Form Petition*
          *Must be a resident or land owner in Crawford County to sign.






Copyright, Midwest News, 2001- 2021