Loading
Search
TOP STORY

DNR warden, homeowner tell story of rescuing bear cub from open Eagle River basementSubmitted: 06/22/2018

Play Video
EAGLE RIVER - After a long night shift, DNR Conservation Warden Supervisor Dave Walz answered his phone with some anxiety early Wednesday morning.

"Oh, phone ringing at 1, 2 in the morning, this can't be good," Walz said.

That anxiety turned to excitement.

"They said they had a homeowner with a bear in a basement," Walz said.

A bear cub, to be exact. Vilas County dispatchers sent Walz to Steve Sickler's home just north of Eagle River. Sickler is in the process of adding on a sun room with a poured concrete basement.

"[My wife] woke me up and said, 'Steven, there's a bear in the addition basement, and I said, 'What? Are you kidding me?" Sickler said.

Sickler wasn't available until past deadline to talk to Newswatch 12 in person on Friday, but he explained over the phone, his dogs woke the family around 1 a.m., but didn't want to go outside. That's when he heard the cub.

Sickler and his wife stayed inside, safe from the mother bear, and waited for Walz to arrive.

"You just can't trust what they're going to do," Sickler said of fully grown mother bears.

Sickler suggested Walz use his 10-foot aluminum ladder. They slid it down the 8-foot-high wall, and watched the cub figure out how to go up it just moments after Walz got to the site.

"Less than five minutes," Walz recalled. "Yup. That's the quickest and easiest response I think I've ever had."

The cub easily climbed the ladder and joined his family in the woods. It was a simple solution, but one the DNR is thankful ended safely for everyone.

"If there's one thing that's predictable, it's wild animals are unpredictable," Walz said.

Walz's smartphone video got plenty of attention, too. First shared on the DNR's YouTube page, it spread to TV stations in Green Bay to Indianapolis to Cincinnatti, spreading footage from a night Seve Sickler will never forget.

"This is like a one-in-a-million type thing you'll ever see... I don't have a doubt in my mind that we will remember this all the rest of our lives," Sickler said.

Walz says sicker did exactly the right thing given the circumstances: stay inside and call police or the DNR.

Story By: Lane Kimble

Text Size: + Increase | Decrease -
 Print Story Print Story | Email Story Email Story



 LOCAL NEWS

Play Video

- In the last week, more than a dozen people in the Wausau area found their cars damaged or broken into.

In a span of six days, at least 17 vehicles were either keyed, had windows bashed in or had stuff stolen from them.

"Some weirdo doings some weirdo stuff that's how I look at it," said Jon Radtke who lives in the neighborhood where items were stolen from a handful of unlocked cars."It's kind of (strange) for this area. We really don't have a lot of problems in the area."

Last Friday, two vehicles parked at the East High Apartments on Street and Adams Street and three more just down the street were broken into.

"We're working on who [is doing] this," said Wausau Police Officer Brian Burkhardt.

He says a few days after the break-ins around 7th Street; he received calls of 12 cars being vandalized, nothing stolen just vandalized.

+ Read More

Play Video

EAGLE RIVER - Every year people take steps to inch closer to find a cure for cancer at Eagle River's annual Relay for Life.

This event helps raise money for cancer research.

It also allowed cancer patients and their families to meet others who know what they are going through.

"It's terribly important for us to have this opportunity to gather in an arena where we are all caregivers of each other", said Joy Turpin, the Event Lead for Relay for Life of the Northwoods. "We all want to see each other pull through this and saturate each other with hope."

+ Read More

ONEIDA COUNTY - A Lake Tomahawk man pleaded no contest to sexually assaulting a child.

Robert Aufrere was found guilty of third degree child sexual assault in Oneida County Court Friday. 

+ Read More

Play Video

RHINELANDER - The Rhinelander District Library creates several programs each year for its library summer reading program. This year, the library is adding a twist to the typical craft contest.

The overall theme of this year's summer reading program is "The Library Rocks." One of the programs for adults is "The Chopped Craft Contest."

+ Read More
+ More Local News



 REGIONAL NEWS

CHIPPEWA FALLS - A World War II veteran who spent more than a year as a prisoner of war is finally being awarded the Purple Heart.

The Leader-Telegram reports that 94-year-old Max Bergen will receive the medal Friday. The Wisconsin man says he's overwhelmed and stunned by the honor.

Bergen was serving on a bomb squadron when he was shot down over Germany in 1944. He was held prisoner at a camp in Austria for 14 months.

Bergen suffered shoulder and ankle wounds in the crash, but he had no paperwork about the injuries because he was immediately taken prisoner. Such documentation is needed for the medal that honors troops injured in combat.

+ Read More

MADISON - High school students from Parkland, Florida., visit Wisconsin to advocate for stricter gun control laws and to register young people to vote.

The students from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School are making three stops in Wisconsin as part of a nationwide March for Our Lives: Road to Change tour. They plan to hold events Friday in Janesville and Madison and on Saturday in Milwaukee.

+ Read More

MADISON - The second Democrat in as many days has dropped out of the race for governor.

State Representative Dana Wachs, of Eau Claire, announced Friday that he is ending his campaign and endorsing Tony Evers.

+ Read More

MADISON - The Wisconsin Department of Health Services has issued a warning about synthetic marijuana products that have recently sent multiple people to the hospital with severe bleeding.

The state has had seven confirmed hospitalizations caused by the use of the synthetic drug since March.


+ Read More
+ More Regional News
Search: 








Click Here