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No lifeguards at La Crosse beaches this year



‘Swim at your own risk’ will be the message on La Crosse public beaches this summer, as the city park board has decided to try a swimming season without lifeguards at the beach. 

New full-time park director Jay Odegaard says more people tend to visit the La Crosse beaches during hours when guards are not on duty. 

Also, it has become hard to find guards to put in the hours needed at Pettibone and the Black River beach. 

Odegaard says hundreds of people will head to the city’s beaches soon, once the temperatures start hitting the 70s, even though the beaches don’t open officially until June.

The park board approved Odegaard as park director Thursday, following an extensive search after the retirement of former director Steve Carlyon.


A native of Prairie du Chien, Brad graduated from UW - La Crosse and has worked in radio news for more than 30 years, mostly in the La Crosse area. He regularly covers local courts and city and county government. Brad produces the features "Yesterday in La Crosse" and "What's Buried on Brad's Desk." He also writes the website "Triviazoids," which finds odd connections between events that happen on a certain date, and he writes and performs with the local comedy group Heart of La Crosse. Brad been featured on several national TV programs because of his memory skills.

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