Governor Scott Walker on Monday appointed Black River Falls City Attorney Daniel Diehn to serve as Jackson County district attorney.

Diehn fills a vacancy created by the death of Gerald Fox.

Diehn volunteers his legal services to Together for Jackson County Kids and Black River Falls Athletic Boosters, and he is a board member of Friends Sharing Food, the Boys & Girls Club of the Greater Chippewa Valley and the Black River Memorial Hospital. He also serves on the Jackson County Courthouse Security Committee and the Jackson County Treatment Court Steering Committee.

“Dan has been dedicated to serving the needs of the citizens of Black River Falls, and I am confident he will do the same for of Jackson County,” Black River Falls Police Chief Kelly Bakken said.

Diehn earned his law degree from Arizona State University College of Law and his undergraduate degree from the University of Wisconsin Eau Claire. He lives in Jackson County with his wife and their two daughters.

Daniel Diehn

Story Courtesy of the La Crosse Tribune



Officer Ethan Shaffer has been assigned as the Black River Falls Police Department’s new canine handler.  Officer Shaffer and the department’s new canine, Ilo, are currently training at Jessiffany Kennels, Iron Ridge, Wisconsin. I anticipate that Officer Shaffer and canine Ilo will be certified and working by the middle of March.

It is clear that the community wants and needs a canine program.  Having an efficient, effective, competent, and well respected canine program is the mission of the police department.  I am confident that Officer Shaffer is a good choice for the canine assignment.  Officer Shaffer is dedicated to this department and to making Black River Falls a great community.

After speaking to different canine trainers and handlers it was decided we would not be bringing canine, Mattis, back into the department.  Jessiffany Kennels agreed to trade Mattis for a different fully trained canine of our choice.  It can be difficult to bring a former canine back into the same department with a new handler, but more importantly the canine needs to be a good fit for the handler.  I believe that Officer Shaffer and canine, Ilo will make an excellent team.

Although a canine will never replace and officer, a trained canine is a valuable asset, which enhances law enforcement performance.  Because of a canines superior sense of smell, hearing and physical capabilities they are an asset in making the community safer environment for the citizens. Our canine is a valuable asset in fighting crime.  I look forward to what Officer Shaffer and Ilo will do for the community.

Chief Kelly Bakken


Officer Ethan Shaffer and Ilo


Two Common Council members for the City of Black River Falls have decided not to run for re-election, leaving one of those seats currently without a registered candidate for the April 3rd election.

Ward 1 Alderperson Jeriah Rave, Sr. was appointed to the position on December 6, 2016 to represent Ward 1 during Alderperson Ryan Simonis’ military leave of absence.  Simonis filed a notice of non-candidacy on June 29, 2017 and Rave is not seeking election for this office.

Ward 2 Alderperson Laura Colloton Chrest was elected to the position in April 2016 and is not seeking re-election.  To date, registered write-in candidates for the Ward 2 seat in the April election are Tasha Koresh and Travis Brown.

Ward 3 Alderperson John Ross did not file nomination papers to appear on the ballot but has since registered as a write-in candidate for Ward 3.

Ward 4 Alderperson Joel Busse is seeking re-election and will appear on the April 3rd ballot.

Anyone interested in serving as a Ward 1 representative on the Black River Falls Common Council should register as a write-in at City Hall.

To be eligible, a candidate must be a qualified elector of the city and aldermanic district and reside in the district at the time of election.  A qualified elector is defined in Wis. Stat. §6.02 as a U.S. Citizen, 18 years of age or older, who has resided in the election district for at least 28 consecutive days before the election at which he/she offers to vote and who is not disqualified by virtue of one or more of the impediments described in Wis. Stat. §6.03.

Detailed ward maps are available at City Hall.

The deadline for registering as a write-in candidate for the April 3rd election is 12:00 noon on Friday, March 30, 2018.



Police Committee Meeting

Friday, February 23, 2018

2:00 P.M.

City Hall, 101 South Second Street, Black River Falls, WI


  1. Call Meeting to Order
  2. Roll Call
  3. Open Public Hearing on Charges Filed by Chief Kelly Bakken against Patrol Officer Jeremy James
  4. Close Public Hearing – Action
  5. Adjourn in to Closed Session for the Purpose of Deliberation Which is Authorized by Section 19.85(1)(a) of the Wisconsin Statutes – Action
  6. Reconvene in to Open Session to Take or Announce Action, if any and if Appropriate
  7. Adjourn


The Police Committee of the City of Black River Falls will meet at City Hall in the City of Black River Falls on Friday, February 23, 2018 at 2:00 P.M.

At the conclusion of a public hearing, the presiding officer will announce to those present that the Police Committee intends to convene into closed session for the purpose of deliberating which is authorized by Section 19.85(1)(a) of the Wisconsin Statutes.

Immediately following the closed session, the Police Committee of the City of Black River Falls will convene in to open session.


Alex B. Chown
City Administrator
City of Black River Falls


The Mayoral seat for the City of Black River Falls will not appear on the ballot at the April 3, 2018 election due to a clerical error.  The current Mayor’s term will end on April 17, 2018.  At that time a vacancy will occur because there will be no properly elected Mayor.  Once a vacancy occurs, the Common Council has the option of appointing a Mayor to serve until the special election takes place and a Mayor is properly elected.

Mayor Jay Eddy has stated his intention to run for office but was unaware his term ended in April of 2018.  When the 2018 Type A Notice of Spring Election was published as required, the office of Mayor was not included.  This is an oversight that should have been caught by City Administrator’s office, but unfortunately was not.  We recently confirmed that the current Mayor’s term does in fact expire in April of 2018.  Since the Mayoral seat was not noticed for this election previously, it cannot be on the April 3, 2018 ballot.  The date for a special election is yet to be determined and must be ordered by the Common Council.  A special election cannot be ordered until the vacancy occurs on April 17, 2018.  Just as with any other election, a special election will be necessary regardless of how many candidates submit nomination papers.

Meanwhile, the Council has the option of making a temporary Mayoral appointment until a Special Election can be held.  In accordance with the City’s ordinance for filling vacancies for Alderperson and Mayor, media sources have been notified of the upcoming Mayoral vacancy, and we are accepting letters of interest.  City residency is required to be eligible for this position.  The deadline for submitting a letter of interest is March 15, 2018.


The Mayoral seat for the City of Black River Falls will not appear on the ballot at the April 3, 2018 election due to a clerical error.  This will require a special election to be scheduled.  The current Mayor’s term will end on April 17, 2018 at which time there will be no one that has been properly elected to take the seat which will create a vacancy.  The Common Council could appoint someone to serve until the special election takes place and a Mayor is properly elected.

The City of Black River Falls will be accepting letters from city residents interested in serving as Mayor until a special election takes place.  Letters of interest need to be submitted to the City Administrator no later than March 15, 2018.  All eligible applicants will be invited to address the Common Council on Tuesday, April 17, 2018 at which meeting the Common Council may vote on appointing an applicant to fill the vacant position.

Letters of interest should be delivered in person or mailed to:

City of Black River Falls
101 South Second Street
Black River Falls, WI 54615
Attention: A. Brad Chown, City Administrator

Posted: February 2, 2018