News – February 25, 2020

(Beaver Dam) Beaver Dam Fire Chief Alan Mannel says he would like to see a referendum on the November ballot asking voters to approve eight new positions. That was among the recommendations in a study unveiled earlier this month on staffing and the construction of a northside substation. Mannel told us yesterday on WBEV’s Community Comment that there are too many times that his department is not properly staffed to perform the job that citizens expect. The study also recommends building a northside substation on County B, west of Highway 151. While he feels a substation is needed, Mannel says he is not asking the community to fund the new facility yet, noting that staffing is an immediate need. You can find a link to the study with this story at

(Mayville) The city of Mayville is looking to establish an incentive program for volunteer firefighters. Officials with the fire department say within five years they will face difficulties with staffing as firefighters continue to retire and there are no qualified individuals to take their place. Mayor Rob Boelk says something needs to be done to encourage people to volunteer and can be done by handing out a more competitive stipend, more pay per hour or helping with student loan debts. The matter was tabled to allow for more research and will be brought back up at future meetings.

(Beaver Dam) The Beaver Dam Police Department is offering a training course for local businesses on how to handle robberies. The call to action comes several weeks after Chase Bank in Beaver Dam was robbed. Officer Tony Karel says the program gives businesses insight into how police handle robberies and tips for employees to do before law enforcement arrives. Contact information to register for the course can be found on

(Wisconsin) Department of Natural Resources officials say with three deaths over the weekend the 2020 snowmobiling season is deadlier than last year. Those three deaths brought the total for the season to 17 compared to 16 in 2019. There have been nine snowmobiling fatalities this month. February is often the deadliest month for snowmobilers. Alcohol, excessive speed, driver inexperience or operator error are the leading causes of snowmobile fatalities. Eleven of last year’s 16 snowmobile fatalities involved operation on public trails or roadways while four occurred on frozen waterways.

(Oshkosh) State Senator Luther Olsen says he’s looking forward to spending time with his wife Joan, watching his grandchildren grow up, and riding his Harley. Olsen announced yesterday that he will not be seeking reelection in the fall. The Republican from Ripon spent ten years representing the 41st State Assembly District and was first elected to represent the 14th State Senate District in 2004.  He says after 26 years in the state legislature he has no regrets and does not believe he will miss it.

(Madison) Governor Tony Evers has appointed a new Adjutant General of the Wisconsin National Guard. The appointment of Brigadier General Paul Knapp comes after Major General Donald Dunbar was asked to resign after his handling of sexual assault/harassment allegations. Knapp will serve a five-year term.

(Lake Winnebago) The 2020 sturgeon spearing season came to a close Sunday. This season, 491 sturgeon were speared on Lake Winnebago and 320 from the Upriver Lakes.

(Wisconsin) Your Friday Fish Fry might be at risk, if you prefer perch. There is a Great Lakes perch shortage and it comes with poor timing.  The Friday fish fries are a part of Badger State culture, especially for Catholics during Lent, and the shortage has been getting worse over the last four months.  Most yellow perch in southeastern Wisconsin come from Lake Erie fishermen in Canada.  The numbers have dropped off so sharply that one restaurant in Burleigh has been forced to bump the price up by six dollars-a-plate.