News April 6, 2009

New Chief Starts Work in BD

4/6/09 – This is the first full week on the job for the new Beaver Dam fire chief. Alan Mannel, a second generation firefighter, came to Beaver Dam from the Matteson, Illinois Fire Department where he was a Lieutenant who served as arson inspector and EMS Coordinator. He is also a certified paramedic, and he says his background will bring valuable expertise to the city’s fledgling paramedic program. He says the first days have gone great. After getting acquainted with his staff, Mannel says he logged a lot of miles meeting with local emergency management representatives and getting a lay of the land. Mannel, who describes himself as a family man, is married with two kids. His son is in eighth grade and daughter a freshman in college. He replaces George Sheets who resigned abruptly in the weeks following the June floods last year, after 18 months with the department.

BDUSD Singles Out Outstanding Alum/ Friends of Education

4/6/09 – The Beaver Dam School District held their 13th Annual Wall of Fame Induction Ceremony last night. Wisconsin State Veterinarian Dr. Robert Ehlenfeldt was recognized as this years Outstanding Alumni. Ehlenfeldt was able to draw a connection between himself and the first-ever Wall of Fame Inductee, Fred MacMurray. He says when he discovered the film star was from his hometown he asked his grandmother if she knew him. His grandmother said, “Know him, I turned him down for a date.” Ehlenfeldt was introduced by his former chemistry teacher, Elaine Possin, an educator he credits with inspiring him early on to work hard toward achieving his dreams. Former Elementary School principal and long time district volunteer Bob Gartzke was singled-out last night with a Friends of Education Award. In fact, Gartzke was Dr. Ehlenfeldt’s principal when he went to Washington Elementary School. The Exchange Club of Beaver Dam was also presented with a Friend of Education award for their long history of community service and continued efforts to search for meaningful and innovative ways to empower youth. Representatives with the Exchange Club will join Bob Gartzke and Dr. Ehlenfeldt with us on Community Comment this afternoon at 12:35pm.

Kamps Honored

4/6/09 – A founding member of the Beaver Dam Community Theater was honored this weekend. Friends, family and colleagues gathered Saturday afternoon to celebrate the four plus decades that Annette Kamps has dedicated to theater and the arts in the Beaver Dam area. Kamps officially retired from both the Community Theater and Arts Association last Tuesday. Community Theater Board President Roger Van Haren detailed her accomplishments, starting with the establishment of the theater in 1964, then the creation of the kid’s Tell-A-Tale Theater ten years later, the purchase of their current building in the 80’s. He says her biggest feat was creating a paid position seven years ago that only she could do and convincing the board to hire her. Van Haren says, “it worked, but she is done, so now what are we going to do?” In the end, the honoree choked backed tears as she thanked the audience, saying she looks forward to being a continued part of the arts in the Beaver Dam area and calling her retirement, “just the beginning.”