Around the Bend by Judy Steffes

Is there life ahead for Sausage Plus in West Bend

The West Bend Common Council voted unanimously Monday night on an Original Class A Combination liquor license and the name of the business was West Bend Sausage Plus.

The address on the license application was 1435 W. Washington Avenue (Street). Neighbors in West Bend are familiar with that location as it was formerly Ries’ Sausage Plus.

It was February 2018 when we first reported “Neighbors coming home from work Thursday afternoon reacted with a bit of shock to find the doors closed at Ries’ Sausage Plus Spirits Meat & Deli, 1435 W. Washington Street in West Bend.”

A white sign on the door read ‘We are closed until further notice. Thank you.’

Sammy Toor of Illinois had been the previous owner of the business.

Over the past five months there’s been little movement at the store.

Paperwork at City Hall show Ben Houle of Cedarburg applied for the liquor license May 17, 2018. A bit of research on Houle links him to a business called Butchers Catering.

The web page and business Facebook page talk about, ”Our open grill concept allows your guests to watch the pig or rotisserie chickens openly spin over hot coals for hours during your event.”

Calls have been placed to Houle. Early word is there are plans to open after July 4. We’ll bring you more details when they become available.

Executive Director of Camp Awana dies at 43

Kurt Halvorsen, the Executive Director of Camp Awana in Fredonia, WI, passed away Thursday, June 7, due to a stroke.

Camp Awana issued this statement on Facebook, “It is with a heavy heart that we share that our executive director, Kurt, unexpectedly went home to be with the Lord this morning.”

Halvorsen, 43, joined the staff of Camp Awana in 2012 where he served until the time of his death.

He was raised in Elmwood Park, IL, and graduated from Moody Bible Institute in Chicago, IL, with a BA in Youth Ministry. He served for 15 years in youth ministry. Halvorsen leaves behind his wife, Kristy, and three children, Bryce, Trent and Mackenzie. Funeral services are pending.

Slinger H.S. grad makes Junior World Championship team

The past two days have been rather surreal for Lexi Bullis. The 18-year-old graduated Slinger High School, was making plans to leave in August for college in Colorado and she woke up to find Monday morning that she made the snowboard Junior World Championship team and will be going to New Zealand to compete.

“I’m one of three girls in the U.S. to be invited to participate and the only one from the Midwest,” said Bullis.

It was early Monday when Bullis was surfing the web on her phone when she found her name on the list. “I was freaking out,” she said. “I ran down the stairs and told my mom and we’re all real excited but it’s very nerve wracking but it’s also a huge opportunity I don’t want to pass up.”

Bullis started snowboard racing three years ago after switching over from downhill ski racing.

“My competition will be in my age group but the best snowboarders from around the world,” she said.

Bullis said her strength is she’s fearless going downhill and she knows how to “work the board.”

“My ultimate goal is to get to the World Cup and this may actually help me get there,” Bullis said.

Below is the official notice Bullis received from the FIX SBX Junior World Championships.

Bullis said she will be dry-land training the next few months and fundraising to help cover the costs for the upcoming travel/competition.

West Bend teen Salutatorian at St. Mary’s Springs                   By Chelsea McKay

Leah Zimmer, the daughter of Greg and Mary Zimmer of West Bend, is the St. Mary’s Springs Academy Salutatorian of the 2018 graduating class.

In addition to her outstanding academic record, Leah has been involved in National Honor Society, the Academic Bowl, Student Ambassadors, Parish Youth Leadership group, the Chess and Math teams and VEX Robotics/Ledger Logistics serving as the Design Engineering Secretary.

She has been a part of the SMSA Varsity tennis team, Drama Department, and Musical Liturgy group.

Leah was very active in the community by assisting as a tutor, alter server at Mass, a volunteer at Parish Festivals, preparing meals and serving at Loaves and Fishes.

Additionally, Leah received many honors and awards including being named Flyway Conference Academic Excellence Award as one of the top 10 graduates of 2018, Rotary Student of the Month, Youth Optimist Senior Award Recipient, and Student Achiever Award in Achievement and Effort.

Leah will attend St. Norbert College in the fall and plans to major in Secondary Education in English and Physics, hoping to one day become a high school teacher or an editor.

MOWA secures City of West Bend Tourism Grant

The City of West Bend Tourism Commission recently handed out $15,000 in tourism grants.

The Museum of Wisconsin Art secured a $12,500 grant for its upcoming Art & Chalk Fest, July 28 and 29.

“We applied for the grant in May and we put together a marketing plan that showed how our event would bring people to the city and especially how the event would encourage people to spend the night,” said MOWA Director of Communications and Marketing Jessica Wildes.

“We’re really excited to be awarded the grant and it will really help cover our marketing budget with ad placements in Chicago and Madison.”

There were four proposals reviewed by the West Bend Tourism Commission.  Another local entity to receive money was Habitat for Humanity and Germanfest in August.

Over 10,000 people attended the inaugural Art & Chalk Fest in 2017. “This year we’ve already received over 16,000 RSVP’s on our Facebook page and we can feel the momentum is building for the event,” said Wildes.

In its application MOWA described the Art & Chalk Fest as:

MOWA’s Art & Chalk Fest is a celebratory weekend of art and an opportunity to feature all that West Bend has to offer. The festival will take place on the museum campus July 28–29, 2018 with an anticipated audience of 15,000+ visiting downtown West Bend over the two-day period. Festival hours are 9:00–5:00 on Saturday and 10:00–4:00 on Sunday.

The festival is the largest of its kind in Washington County. MOWA’s parking lot turns into a canvas for artists to create unbelievable ten foot by ten foot masterpieces in chalk that dramatically unfold throughout the weekend. The area surrounding the chalk artists offers activities for all ages. This year, the festival will expand to Veterans Avenue to accommodate more festival fun.

MOWA explained in its grant proposal how it would use the grant to benefit other entities in the community.

One of the primary goals of Art & Chalk Fest is to attract visitors to West Bend not only for the museum and event, but for the entire weekend to shop, dine, stay in hotels, explore the Eisenbahn State Trail and Milwaukee Riverwalk, and enjoy all of the fantastic amenities that the city offers. The festival was designed to be something truly unique that would draw visitors from more than 150 miles of West Bend, which includes Chicago, Rockford, Madison, Oshkosh, Appleton, Green Bay, Sheboygan, Milwaukee, Wausau, Dubuque, and more.

Art & Chalk Fest will increase traffic at local businesses through exposure in marketing and sponsorship materials, direct communication, and the ease of access to shops, restaurants, and hotels. MOWA is working with various downtown businesses to build partnerships that will maximize their exposure. For example, the Hampton Inn & Suites has offered a special Art & Chalk Fest event discount on rooms in exchange for promotion on the event website and social media. Other types of partnerships include food donations from local restaurants, in-kind media trades for maximum event exposure, and personalized sponsorship opportunities for businesses to present their brand.

The remaining $5,000 from the Tourism Commission will be put into its account for future tourism promotion opportunities.

Skinny Vic’s to relocate to West Bend

A change in hours for Skinny Vic’s Diner & Coffee Shop, 335 E. Washington Street, in Slinger.

Restaurant owner Vicki Lehnerz said starting June 2, Skinny Vic’s will be open Saturdays and Sundays only, through June 24.

After that date, the Slinger location will close permanently.

Lehnerz would like to thank her valued customers and employees and hopes to see you soon.

Lehnerz is planning to reopen in a new location in West Bend this fall. Keep watching WashingtonCountyInsider.com for future updates.

Carson Pizzino dubbed Deputy Mayor for a day

It was hard to tell who was beaming more Monday afternoon as Tony Pizzino watched his 7-year-old son Carson walk across the hardwood gym floor at McLane School to be officially named ‘Deputy Mayor for the Day’ in the City of West Bend.

The first grader was dressed in a new blue shirt and striped tie. He walked with confidence and offered an impressive handshake to Mayor Kraig Sadownikow who then presented him with a city ID badge and read a proclamation.

“I Mayor Kraig Sadownikow do hereby declare Carson Pizzino to be Deputy Mayor for the Day and this certificate is presented to him on June 4, 2018,” he said.

Neighbors are going to see Carson in action on July 20 when he introduces the Movie in the Park at Regner Park.

Carson’s dad bid on the Deputy Mayor honor during an ice cream social fundraiser.

Teacher Pam Esselman said Carson was such a great choice. “He is very proud to be in charge of things but he’s very caring and compassionate and he really cares about what other people think,” she said.

Carson did tell Mrs. Esselman he thought people would like “not to have homework for a night.”

“His dad does a great job with him,” said Mrs. Esselman. “Carson looks up to his dad so much.”

On a side note: During a video shoot Sunday night at the Pizzino home in West Bend, Carson showed off his wrestling trophies and we talked a bit about the Brewers and Packers.  I asked if he could have an All-Star come to his school for a day… who would it be. After a bit of contemplation he said, “My dad.”

Local Korean War Vets attend Wisconsin Korean War Memorial

Five Korean War Veterans from Washington County traveled on Sunday, June 3 to Plover, WI for the annual ceremony at the Wisconsin Korean War Memorial.

Local veterans in attendance included Norbie Carter, Wally Kohler, Nick Habesetzer, Carl Becker, and Merlin Stockhausen.

Guest speakers included Representative of the Korean Government—Consul Byung-kyoo Ha and Wisconsin Department of Veterans Affairs Secretary Daniel Zimmerman.

Consul Byung-kyoo expressed his government’s appreciation and gratitude for our veterans, especially the 801 Wisconsin soldiers killed in action, including Washington County’s Corporal Richard Bell.

The Consul reminded those in attendance that there has never been a treaty or “end of war” declaration ever made.

Byung-Kyoo reported that with the U.S.A. as their partner they are the 11th largest economy in the world.

Secretary Zimmerman emphasized that as descendants of these brave men and women we should always honor and never forget the sacrifices made during this 38 month long war, normally referred to as a conflict.

Zimmerman said the U.S. is still sending troops to Korea which is still officially at war with a ceasefire signed statement.

Both the Consul and Secretary expressed hopes that we, the U.S.A. and Korea can come to an agreement with North Korea so the war can come to an official end and all Koreans will be free.

In 1990 the Village of Plover offered a 2.5 acre island in Lake Pacawac to be used for the Wisconsin Korean War Memorial.

In 1993 a sand berm connected the north shoreline to the island memorial site and the first ceremony was held later that year.  With help of the fund raising and funding from the State of Wisconsin a full-sized bronze statuary, flag poles and 75,000 pound granite wall had been erected.

Each year, an annual “Homecoming” program has been held at the memorial complex.

Updates & tidbits

– Ever Green Restaurant, 1528 E Sumner Street, in Hartford has reopened. The popular Chinese buffet closed, unannounced, in April. This week the restaurant reopened. Management said there was a family issue with a need to return to China.

-Funeral Saturday, June 9 for Sylvarius (Sam) R. Claas, 79, of West Bend. Claas completed his life on Monday, 4 June, 2018. Sam was a talented musician who sang for weddings and played guitar in the Tony Berres Orchestra. For many years, he was St. Mary School’s most passionate advocate. During his tenure at St. Mary’s, he served as 6th-grade teacher, 8th-grade teacher, principal, basketball coach, guitar teacher, custodian, music teacher, youth choir director, and bat wrangler. More than anything, Sam loved to do things with and for his family. Out of pieces of hardboard and parts from an old swimming pool, he crafted a seat so Lynda could ride behind him on his bicycle. A Mass of Christian Burial will be at 12:00 noon, Saturday, June 9 at St. Mary Immaculate Conception (1610 Monroe St., West Bend) with Father Nathan Reesman presiding.

– Common Sense Citizens of Washington County will host both candidates running for Washington County Sheriff on Wednesday, June 13. Jason Guslick and Martin Schulteis will introduce themselves and field questions from the audience. Both candidates will be asked to address the same question in an alternating format. The meeting begins at 7 p.m. at the West Bend Moose Lodge and is open to the public.

– Rally Time Sports Bar and Grill in West Bend is looking for a part-time line cook position. Rally Time has a family-friendly team atmosphere. The position is primarily day shift and coverage as needed. Call Dan at 262-389-1142 or Cindy at 262-389-0839 or stop at the bar for an application.

– West Bend City Clerk Stephanie Justmann swore in Officers Florencio Garcia and Trevor Heinecke to the West Bend Police Department this week. Also sworn in was Firefighter/Paramedic Luke VanNatta.

– The US Cellular outlet in West Bend will be celebrating its expansion with a ribbon cutting Wednesday, June 13 at 11:30 a.m. The store, 2025 W. Washington Street, has been undergoing a major interior remodel the last few months. Stop in and check out the new look and enjoy refreshments and in-store gifts and specials.

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