The River Ridge School Board has approved a contract for Dr. Jeff Athey to take over the Superintendent and Principal position in the school district. Athey has verbally accepted the job. He was one of three finalists to participate in a public forum last week, and was then interviewed by the River Ridge School Board. Athey has served as the Dodgeville High School Principal since 1988. Current interim River Ridge District Administrator, Tom Andres, replaced Lee Pritzl at the end of February. Pritzl moved back to the Marshfield area due to serious health issues in his family.

This fall’s NFL schedule has quite a Thanksgiving Day treat for those in the Midwest. For the first time since 1923, the Green Bay Packers will host a Thanksgiving Day game. The Packers will take on the Chicago Bears the night of November 26. That evening will also feature a special ceremony where the Packers will put former Green Bay quarterback Brett Favre’s retired number 4 in the ring of honor at Lambeau Field. Favre’s number will be retired this summer when he’s inducted into the Packer’s Hall of Fame. The entire 2015 NFL schedule is set to be released Tuesday night.

The search for a missing 5-year-old girl will resume Tuesday. Richland County officials are still looking for Angela Girton, who fell into the Wisconsin River near Gotham on April 6. The search was called off last week due to low visibility, high water and strong currents on the Wisconsin River. Richland County Emergency Management said crews have been waiting for the river level to go down, but a boat and dog team did search the area Saturday. Officials say there is no estimate of whether the search will ever be called off, but they are planning to ramp up search efforts over the next couple of days.

County Deer Advisory Councils are preparing final antlerless quota and permit recommendations during the last round of spring meetings. The councils were established by the state in every Wisconsin county to provide guidance to the DNR on deer issues. DNR big game section chief Bob Nack says the public input will help the DNR set deer quotas. The next meetings begin Monday in Grant and Crawford Counties. Those meetings are Monday night, April 20, at Lancaster High School and Prairie du Chien City Hall. Tuesday evening, DNR spring meetings will be held in Lafayette County at Darlington Elementary School and in Richland County at Melville Hall on the UW-Richland Campus. And, Wednesday night, Iowa County will host a meeting at the DNR Service Center in Dodgeville. Each meeting is scheduled to run from 7:00 to 9:00 p.m.

Now that a $15 million referendum has passed in Platteville, it’s time for the district to start getting things in order for building projects. The Platteville School Board will hold a special meeting Monday night, April 20, to begin discussing steps needed to accomplish the referendum goals. Those steps will include preparing Requests For Proposals from contractors to complete the work at each building. The board will also use this special meeting to review and make any recommendations for changes to the Employee Handbook for next school year. No action will be taken at this meeting – which begins at 6:00 p.m. Monday at the O.E. Gray Building.

A Prairie du Chien man has been taken to La Crosse after he was struck by a train early Saturday. The Prairie du Chien Police Department says officers responded about 1:15 a.m. Saturday to a report of a pedestrian hit by a train at the East Blackhawk Avenue railroad crossing. The 22-year-old Prairie du Chien man was taken to Crossing Rivers Health and later flown to Gundersen Hospital in La Crosse by Medlink Air. The train had been traveling at a reduced speed since a crew change had occurred about a mile and a half from the collision site. The incident remains under investigation, and Prairie du Chien police would like anyone who witnessed this to call the department at 608–326-2421.

Area Fire and EMS were called late last night to a house fire on Hwy 81 near Budworth School Rd in Bloomington.

Scanner reports say the house became fully engulfed and it is unknown at this time if there were any injuries.

Bloomington Fire and West Grant EMS were assisted by Lancaster and Patch Grove fire departments.

The City of Dubuque will be conducting a pavement rehabilitation project on the section of Asbury Road between Matthew John Drive and J.F. Kennedy Road. The contractor, Iowa Erosion Control, Inc., plans to begin work on Monday, May 4.

Over the past few years, the condition of this section of Asbury Road has degraded due to deterioration of pavement joints. Full-depth pavement patching and dowel bar reinforcement repairs will be made to transverse joints as part of the rehab project. Once pavement repairs are made, the concrete pavement will be resurfaced using a grinding method to provide a smoother ride.

The project is anticipated to be completed by July 3, 2015, weather dependent. No road closures or detours are anticipated, as one lane of eastbound traffic and one lane of westbound will flow at all times. City staff and Iowa Erosion Control, Inc. will work with businesses and residents on accessibility to their respective properties during construction.

On Tuesday, April 21, the City will host an informational meeting from 5–6:30 p.m. at the Tri-State Independent Blind Society, 3333 Asbury Rd. All general public, businesses, and residents along the project corridor are invited to attend to learn additional details and to ask questions.

Beginning Monday, May 18, and occurring every two weeks thereafter throughout the project, the City will hold construction progress update meetings for the general public, businesses, and residents. These meetings will be held at Tri-State Independent Blind Society during the lunch hour, 12–1 p.m. Meeting dates include May 18, June 1, June 15, and June 29.

For more information, questions, or concerns, please contact the City of Dubuque Engineering Department at 563-589-4270.

UW-Platteville has announced a three-phase plan to address a potential reduction of $10 million in its budget over the next two years. The university is facing a $5 million structural budget deficit that needs to be addressed by the end of this fiscal year on June 30. And UWP’s share of the proposed state budget cuts range from $2 to $5 million. Chancellor Dennis Shields said that the first phase will include the university eliminating 22 vacant positions and transferring 23 positions to other funding sources. UWP will also generate extra revenue of about $900,000 through a tuition increase of $600 for Tri-State Initiative students. The entire UW System will learn in the coming weeks how much the state budget will be cut, but Shields feels confident that Platteville is ready. UW-Platteville will host a series of open forum discussions this month on the budget decisions. The first will be held Tuesday, April 21, at 9:00 a.m. in the Nohr Gallery. The next will be later on Tuesday, April 21, at 4:15 p.m. in Doudna Hall Room 136. And the last forum will be Monday, April 27, at 10:00 a.m. in the University Rooms inside the Markee Pioneer Student Center.

Overwhelming support against a ban on pit bulls in Platteville has led the city to not change its pet ordinance. An online petition was started to oppose the ban, and numerous people spoke against the change over the past month. Kirk Halma, a dog trainer from Woodstock, IL, told the Platteville Common Council that almost all national organizations agree that breed specific legislation does not work. The common council also received a recommendation from the Freudenreich Animal Care Trust Fund Committee to remove any prohibition against specific dog breeds. Platteville Police Chief Doug McKinley agreed with the recommendation from the committee. The council voted 4 – 2 to reject the proposal.