Category Archives: Off-Duty

Around the Bend by Judy Steffes

Ponderosa has finally sold and Pizza Ranch is coming

It’s been quite the saga for Matt and Stacy Gehring regarding development of a Pizza Ranch in West Bend but on Tuesday, Oct. 31 the couple signed on the dotted line… several times, and bought the future home of Pizza Ranch.

The Gehrings closed on the deal with Steve Kilian and purchased the former Ponderosa building, 2020 W. Washington Street.

“Finally, huh?” said Stacy Gehring. “We were pretty relieved at the closing… it really felt like crunch time. We just had to wait for all the drawings and for permits to get finalized and we’re hoping to break ground the end of November or beginning of December.”

Stacy guesstimates construction will take about three to four months and they’re hoping to be open sometime in March 2018.  “As long as things go well through the winter,” she said.

The general contractor on the job will be Maple Creek Construction from Columbus, Wisconsin.

“We can only use three walls and the steel roof trusses otherwise everything will be brand new,” said Stacy. “We’re also going to do a little addition to the back.”

Neighbors in West Bend and even city officials have been eagerly awaiting the start of construction on the new locally-owned restaurant.

“There’s no limit to the amount of congratulations we can give you and hopefully this is the one that makes it happen,” said Mayor Kraig Sadownikow during the August common council meeting.

Kilian confirmed during a phone call Tuesday evening they closed on the sale of the building.

“The time it took to sell the building was just normal business,” said Kilian. “I had other potential buyers but they were direct competitors; I’m happy about the Pizza Ranch. The Gehrings are good people.”

Kilian owns the McDonald’s restaurant that’s within a stone’s throw of the new Pizza Ranch property. Watch for a ground breaking in the next few weeks and for trucks to be on site for the remodel later this month. A groundbreaking will be held Tuesday, Nov. 21 at noon at 2005 W. Washington Street.

Filling the seat in Assembly District 58

Within moments of Gov. Scott Walker calling for a special election to fill the vacant seat in the 58th Assembly District, local businessman Steven J. Stanek announced his candidacy for the Wisconsin State Legislature.

Governor Walker called a special election to fill the 58th Assembly District seat after Rep. Bob Gannon passed away unexpectedly last month.

Stanek, a Republican from West Bend, said he became motivated to run after meeting with residents, business leaders, and community leaders throughout Washington County.

“I will fight hard for fiscal responsibility and a smarter, leaner government like the previous representatives of this district,” said Stanek. “I am eager to continue the legacy of strong, trustworthy, conservative leadership.”

Stanek said he will emphasize “active leadership and accountability” to guide his priorities in the Wisconsin State Assembly.

Stanek and his wife, Linda, live in West Bend where they are raising three teenage children. As a business owner Stanek has experience in budgeting, negotiation, finance, compromise, and leadership.

Stanek’s current and past community service includes West Bend Sunrise Rotary Club Board, Holy Angels Parish Council, Holy Angels School Board Liaison, City of West Bend Value Task Force, Kettle Moraine YMCA youth athletics volunteer, Slinger Gridiron Football Club board member, Slinger Hoops Youth Basketball Coach, founding member of the Washington County Kings Baseball Club, West Bend Little League Coach, Washington County Boys and Girls Club Basketball Coach, West Bend East High School Assistant JV Basketball Coach, and West Bend RUSH Lacrosse Board Member.

Assembly District 58 includes the city of West Bend, the village of Slinger, and the village of Richfield in Washington County.

A formal announcement is also set for Monday, Nov. 6 as Tiffany Koehler is expected to set into the ring as a candidate for the open seat in the 58th Assembly District.

For the past 11 months Koehler has served as the policy advisor and legislative aide to Rep. Bob Gannon. The seat in the 58th Assembly District opened last month following the untimely death of Rep. Gannon.

Earlier this week Gov. Scott Walker called for a special election to fill the post. A primary will be held Dec. 19 and the election is set for Jan. 16, 2018.  In 2014 Koehler came in second to Gannon in a three-way Republican primary. Candidates must collect 200 signatures which are due Nov. 21.

A moment of silence in Madison for Rep. Bob Gannon

A moment of silence this week at the State Capitol in Madison as the Wisconsin State Assembly recognized Rep. Bob Gannon (R-West Bend). The moment was broadcast live on wiseye.org just after 1:15 p.m. Wednesday.

Assembly Speaker Robin Vos said, “Bob we remember for his big heart, his even bigger passion for politics, he will be remembered as a successful business owner, a community leader,  someone who came to this place for all the right reasons…. he didn’t come for the money, he didn’t come for the fame… even though he got a little.

“He did come because he cared and he wanted to truly show the best of what Wisconsin is. Unfortunately this teaches us all a lesson that no matter what age you are we should live life every day because you never know when it’s your turn to meet your maker. If we can all please rise for a moment a silence to remember one of our former colleagues who passed away too young.”

Rep. Bob Gannon died unexpectedly Tuesday, Oct. 3, 2017. Following the moment of silence Rep. Jason Fields offered a couple of words and a prayer with Rep. Gannon in mind.

Breakfast with a veteran at Hartford Union High School

Hartford Union High School (HUHS) is hosting a free Veterans Breakfast on Monday, Nov. 13, 2017 from 7:15 a.m. to 8:15 a.m. to commemorate all those who served our country. All Hartford area veterans are cordially invited to attend the event, which includes a cooked breakfast, music, and a keynote speaker.

The courtesy of an RSVP is requested by November 8. Veterans can RSVP for this free event by calling Julie Buser, Superintendent’s Assistant, at (262) 670-3200, extension 209; emailing julie.buser@huhs.org; or by visiting goo.gl/3E6udt.

Students in HUHS’s Leadership and Project Management class are the primary hosts of the breakfast, which is designed to offer thanks and pay respect to those in our area who have served in any branch of the US Armed Forces, either in wartime or peacetime.

“This is an excellent opportunity for the school community and members of the community at large to come together, break bread, and say thanks,” said Dr. Attila J. Weninger, Superintendent of HUHS. “We are especially pleased to honor our local veterans, whose service and sacrifice make our way of life possible.”

The Leadership and Project Management class at HUHS will greet the attending veterans and visit with them during breakfast. High school teachers and staff who are veterans, along with members of the administrative team and the School Board, will also be in attendance.

The HUHS band will perform music appropriate to the occasion, and a keynote speaker, School Board President and veteran Joshua Schoemann, will offer brief remarks to welcome the veterans and express appreciation for their service and commitment.

Celebrating 60 years at St. Frances Cabrini School

With great pride the 60th-anniversary memory quilt was unveiled during St. Frances Cabrini’s Sunday celebration.

Some of the talented ladies that assembled the quilt included LaVerne Doll, Nancy and Angie Ruplinger, Judy Peters, Arlene Doll and Dolores Koenig. The quilt-making process started in February as the ladies gathered memories about school history and they also stocked up on supplies with generous donations from Royce Quilting. A list of the contributors to the quilt is on one of the squares.  The quilt will be hung in the hallway at St. Frances Cabrini School.

Slinger equestrian team ties for fifth at WIHA state meet                   Courtesy Kerri Ast

The Slinger High School Equestrian team tied for fifth in Division C at the WIHA state meet Oct. 27-29. There were 77 schools that participated in the 10th annual event at the Alliant Energy Center in Madison. Of the 13 schools in Division C, Slinger was voted to receive the Spirit Award.

Team members and their horses participated in various events including Trail, Showmanship, Equitation, and Speed. The team includes Macy Ragsdale, Lola, Kayla Ormiston, Brooke Kiefer, Josie Odermann, coach Heather Woehrer, Team Manager Heather Kiefer, Mariah Kiefer and Jazmin Kropp as Hootie.

Veterans Tribute at Moraine Park Technical College

Common Sense Citizens of Washington County is organizing a Veterans Tribute on Monday, Nov. 6 at Moraine Park Technical College. The event will pay tribute to all veterans but special recognition will be given to all women who served and continue to serve. The event is free and open to the public. It will be held in the cafeteria at MPTC beginning at 6:30 p.m.

Make plans to attend Veterans Day program

Veterans Day is Saturday, Nov. 11 and the traditional Veterans Day program will be held “at the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month.” Next Saturday local veterans will gather at 10:45 a.m. at Veterans Plaza at Fifth Avenue and Poplar Street in West Bend.

At 10:55 a.m., a brief statement will be read followed by a moment of silence. At 11 a.m., the siren will sound and the West Bend Veterans Color Guard will fire the traditional three-round volley followed by the playing of Taps.

Cards for Veterans at West Bend Memorial Library

The American Legion Post 36 of West Bend will again sponsor the “Cards for Veterans” program at the West Bend Memorial Library. From Monday, Nov. 20 through Friday, Dec. 15, patrons visiting the library will find a display of Christmas and holiday cards.

All are encouraged to select a card, write a message to a veteran, and place the sealed cards in the box provided.  There is no cost for this service. On Dec. 15, the cards will be distributed to veterans living in the West Bend area. Donations of cards would be greatly appreciated. We wish to thank all of those who participated in this project in previous years.

Traffic jam for annual We Energies Cookie Book distribution

It felt a smidge like rush hour in Milwaukee… but without the road rage. And that looooong line of cars from the West Bend Police Department on Main Street to Decorah Road and then up Indiana Avenue to Sand Drive on Wednesday was all because of that popular We Energies Cookie Book.

Volunteers, staffers and retirees from We Energies were busy handing out about 6,000 books. It’s not just ANY cookie book by the way – it’s THE cookie book of the season and it’s tradition in West Bend to wait in line to get yours. How popular is it? West Bend Police and the State Patrol were out swinging traffic from about 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Cars started lining up at 8 a.m.

Book World closing – neighbors recall Fireside Books

Book World, 1602 S. Main Street, in West Bend is closing. According to a report in the Wisconsin Rapids Tribute, Book World announced today it will close all its 45 stores in seven states.

Book World, which touts itself as ‘family owned since 1976,’ opened its store in the Paradise Pavilion in October 2014.

According to Book World, “The company will begin liquidation sales Nov. 2. Each sale will run until all of inventory is sold.”

Company officials say a change in shopping habits and online sales impacted their decision.

Neighbors in West Bend remember January 2014 when Gary and Karen Christianson and his wife made the difficult decision to close Fireside Books & Gifts.

Tough decision for Fireside Books & Gifts

Some interest is being generated on the sale of West Bend’s hometown book store, Fireside Books & Gifts.

“Despite our accountant’s advice we put a sign in the store, feeling that a local person who knows the business might be interested and we’ve had several people contact us. We’re hoping something will come together,” said Karen Christianson, co-owner of Fireside Books with her husband Gary.

After more than 30 years in business the Christiansons are selling the shop at 1331 W. Paradise Dr. “My husband had some health problems,” Christianson said. “It was a hard decision but balanced against health you have to say this is what we’re going to do.”

The Christiansons have posted the store on Craig’s List and they sent an email blast along with direct-marketing mailings to gift and book shop owners in southeast Wisconsin. The latest step has been the basic ‘For Sale’ sign in the store window.

“We’ve operated in a high-traffic location for the last 15 years and the big bonus is our 30-year history of success,” said Christianson. “This is not a start-up business; we have wonderful staff that’s trained and can help customers find books, even out-of-print books. It’s such a pleasant business to be in because people want what you have to sell.”

A profitable business, Christianson said the competition with e-books and ordering online hasn’t really affected them. “We have maintained a good, strong customer base and a lot of people are moving away from e-books, except for vacation reading because they just like the feeling of a book.

“Also many more people say they really like the experience of coming to the store and supporting local merchants; don’t want to be dealing with an Amazon that doesn’t even create local jobs,” Christianson said.

Questioned whether they would close if the business is not sold by a certain timeline, Christianson said they “haven’t made that decision yet, we’ll see what happens.”

“Lots of people are saying ‘we don’t want to see this business go away and we want you to find somebody,’” said Christianson.

Update & tidbits              

-Stuff the Lifestar Rig with non-perishable foods from Piggly Wiggly, 1100 E. Commerce Blvd. in Slinger to benefit the Slinger Food Pantry. Lifestar crew members will be in the Piggly Wiggly parking lot from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. All food will be donated to the Slinger Food Pantry.

– The Salvation Army is kicking off its Red Kettle Campaign today and celebrity bell ringer Tinker will be on hand at Cabela’s in Richfield from noon – 2 p.m. The miniature horse is one of the more popular attractions for the Salvation Army.   Donations will be collected through Christmas Eve.  The goal this year is $3.8 million and all money raised stays local.

– There was a check presentation this week at Slinger High School as students from Hartford Union High School and Slinger teamed up to raise money and awareness during the 7th annual Slinger vs. Hartford “Coaches vs. Cancer” football game. This year the event raised over $12,000.  To date the event has contributed over $83,000 towards the fight against cancer.

– U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin participated in a roundtable discussion at Washington County Heroin Task Force and Elevate in Jackson on Friday.

– Hartford Union High School (HUHS) is hosting a free Veterans Breakfast on Monday, Nov. 13, 2017 from 7:15 a.m. to 8:15 a.m. to commemorate all those who served our country. All Hartford area veterans are cordially invited to attend

-Help is available to families in Washington County that need assistance with winter heating bills. Contact Kay Lucas with the Washington County Human Services Department which oversees the Energy Assistance Program. The number is 262-335-4677.

– Buy your ticket today from the West Bend Sunrise Rotary and have a chance at a $5,000 grand prize. Drawing is Nov. 25 at 7 p.m. at Enchantment in the Park. Tickets available at Jeff’s Spirits on Main, Pleasant Valley Tennis & Fitness and any Sunrise Rotary member.

– There will be a reunion Wednesday, Nov. 8 for the former employees of the old St. Joseph’s Hospital in West Bend. “The Best of St. Joe’s” are having another get together, according to Carol Ann Daniels. The gathering will begin with a social hour at 11 a.m. at the Top of the Ridge at Cedar Ridge in West Bend, 113 Cedar Ridge Drive.

– The annual VFW Essay contest is underway. The Patriot’s Pen Contest is for all 6th, 7th, and 8th grade students.  The theme is “America’s Gift to My Generation.” The Grand Prize is $5,000.  The Voice of Democracy Contest is for all high school students.  The theme is “American History: Our Hope for the Future.” The Grand Prize is a $30,000 scholarship.

St. Frances Cabrini at 60: How can the years have passed so quickly? | By Ann Marie Craig

Her hair was a bit whiter than the last time I saw her and moving around seemed to be more difficult for her, but the memories were spilling over as we shared stories about sixth grade so many years ago. Sister Jean patted my cheek as she said, “Let me look at your face.”

Standing outside the windowed black doors under the west veranda while waiting our turn to walk into St. Frances Cabrini School last Sunday brought back memories of wearing wet snow pants and mittens during cold, cold recesses and waiting for those very doors to open so we could come back inside and warm up.

There was no reprieve from frozen playtime when we were students at St. Frances Cabrini School.

The best we could do was play hard to stay warm, or hop around near the doors in hope of being first in line to get back into the building when the bell rang. The years fell away as my sisters and I – and our mother – stepped through those very doors along with several hundred other former students and parents to reminisce and celebrate the school’s 60th anniversary.

How can the years have passed so quickly?

There have been many changes to the physical plat of the school since we were students. Classrooms have been rearranged and some have been appropriated for activities other than daily academics. The old stage is gone and the former gym is reclaimed as a multi-use space and cafeteria. Library books line the walls of the old Chapel.

The bathrooms are the same as they were years ago – my sisters made certain to check – and aqua tiles still line the long corridors. Locker number 376 probably still harbors that little wooden bead I dropped behind it decades ago. I don’t suppose I will ever get it back…..

It is the shared experience of growing up and working and worshiping together in this space that brings us back with a sense of pride and no small bit of curiosity about who we have become since we left St. Frances Cabrini School.

Paging through yearbooks and poring over class photos from every one of those 60 years sparked giggles over siblings’ looks and memories of friends and hard work and fun.

“I loved school, and it is wonderful to be back at Cabrini again,” said Nancy Kruepke of Jackson( Class of ’74). “One of my fondest memories is when Judy Jessup and I were picked to crown the Mother Mary in second grade.”

Katie (Mueller) Noetzel of Cedarburg, WI (’86) commented, “I could remember the music room distinctly with the painted murals of the Muppets on the blue walls and was disappointed to see those were gone and the space was repurposed.

“Walking into the library, however, was like stepping into a time capsule. How amazing to see those same tables and chairs I sat in so often during my eight years there. I enjoyed the opportunity to remember my grade school days and that time in my life when I was immersed in the Cabrini community.”

The 60 years of St. Frances Cabrini School’s existence is an accomplishment and the memories continue to be made. This year’s graduates will join the ranks of the alumni as will the classes following, each having experienced the Cabrini community of faith and learning in unique ways.

Celebration of the commitment of the parishioners and greater community will continue as well with annual bestowal of alumni awards. We will see, in a very real way, the contributions of Cabrini graduates to the greater good of the world.

The pat of Sister Jean’s hand on my cheek seemed to be a touch of the love that binds all of us together as the Cabrini family then and now. She said to me, “…we had a saying, ‘Cabrini, a good place to be.’ It really was.”  It really still is.

Washington County veterans on today’s Honor Flight                By Samantha Sali

Vietnam War veteran and former mayor of Hartford, James ‘Jim’ Core, will be heading to Washington D.C. on the Stars & Stripes Honor Flight on Saturday, Nov. 4.

Born and raised in Waupun, Core graduated Oshkosh Technical Institute with an Associate’s Degree in Accounting in June of 1967. Just as he started working at International Paper Company in Fond du Lac, he was drafted and entered into service in November of 1967.

Core completed eight weeks of basic training at Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri.  “It was not fun,” he said. “Nothing like my desk job.”

After basic Core was transferred to Fort Polk, Louisiana where he had nine weeks of advanced infantry training.

After a 30-day leave, he was shipped to Vietnam in May 1968. “I landed in Da Nang, Vietnam,” said Core, “I was at a base there for 4-5 days before I was assigned to the 1st Cavalry Infantry Company, stationed out of Quang Tri. Our mission was search and destroy and we would be taken by helicopter to various villages.”

His missions quickly came to an end, five months later, when he was wounded by a booby trap. When he was well enough, he was transported to Japan for recovery time.

When he was strong enough to make the trip to the United States, he was admitted to Fitzsimmons VA Hospital in Aurora, Colorado. “I was out there a few months,” Core said, “I got home safe, which I’m thankful for, and I received the Purple Heart.”

Core was discharged in November 1969. He moved to Hartford in 1970 and was hired at Chrysler Outboard Corporation, and married his sweetheart, Kathy. He eventually decided to serve the city of Hartford for 25 years (alderman 1992-1998 and 2004-2012) and mayor for six years (1992-1998). He also served two terms as a supervisor on the Washington County Board.

His wife Kathy is delighted her husband is getting honored, “He keeps serving his country and his city and I’m proud of him,” she said. Their son, Jeff, is excited to be accompanying him on the Honor Flight as his guardian.

Core said the Honor Flight will be a very rewarding trip but he also expects it will be emotional and somewhat stressful as he will see the Vietnam War Memorial. Two names on that wall served in Core’s squad and were killed in action. Though it will be hard Core said he can take comfort knowing it will give him some closure as he honors his fallen comrades.

There are 16 veterans from Washington County on Saturday’s Honor Flight out of Milwaukee including:

James Coplin, Richfield, Vietnam War Air Force, Vietnam Army veteran Ron Wesloski from Germantown, Raymond Fairbanks, West Bend, Vietnam War Army, Frederick Grauberger, Germantown, Korean War Army, Russ Guillaume, West Bend, Vietnam War Army, Gregory Henson, Colgate, Vietnam War Army, James “Jonesy”  Korth, Kewaskum, Vietnam War Marines, William Kulas, Kewaskum, Vietnam War Marines, Russ Lamb, Hartford, Korean War Army, John McCauley, Sr., Jackson, Vietnam War Marines, Frederick “Fritz” Mueller, Slinger, Korean War Army, Ken Quade, Germantown, Korean War, Jerry Schneider, Kewaskum, Vietnam War Army, Bill Stueckroth, Germantown, Korean War Navy

New Chamber Discovered in Great Pyramid

Cool. That’s probably where all of the souls of the undead are hidden.

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Around the Bend by Judy Steffes

St. Frances Cabrini School to celebrate 60 years                                By Ann Marie Craig

There is going to be a party in West Bend on Oct. 29 and it will include a trip down memory lane for former and present students, parents, teachers, and administrators of St. Frances Cabrini School.

Sixty years of education is an accomplishment. SFC Alumni & Development Coordinator Kristin Bayer described the purpose of the anniversary celebration. “We’re excited to share where the school is today, while remembering all those who helped get it to this point over the past 60 years. It’s a great chance for our parishioners, families, and the community to come together and see how far we’ve come.”

The celebration will begin at 10 a.m. with a Mass celebrated by former pastor Bishop Jeffrey Haines. Visiting guests include former principals Sr. Jean Hasenberg and Janice Stauske, former and current teachers, including Sr. Jolene Heiden and Sr. MaryAnn Kempa.

At 2 p.m. the Memory Quilt created by school and parish families will be revealed and the first-ever Alumni Awards will be presented. Everyone is invited and welcome.

The old Otten’s Food Market is for sale in Barton

The old Otten’s Food Market, 1805 Barton Avenue is for sale. The building also includes residential units at 1803 and 1807 Barton Avenue. The property has had many lives; the most notable is when Gene and Susie ran it as Otten’s Food Market. That business was an institution in Barton…. as was Gene’s black “discount” pen.

Gene Otten was a God-fearing man and had a long history of helping his neighbors. Gene owned and operated Otten’s Food Market for over 50 years, serving customers in the Barton area. He loved his work and always made sure the people of Barton were taken care of.

The building is for sale by owner. The property includes the retail/office space and a couple of separate apartments. The property is assessed at $151,000.  The asking price is $139,000.

Call or text Henry for more information at 414-eight 81-908 six.

On a history note: Gene Otten died June 11, 2016. Below is a note from Jay Stone, which was posted following the news of Gene’s death on WashingtonCountyInsider.com

Mr. Eugene Otten, a true Barton Icon. Growing up in Barton felt like a privilege to me as a young man. Barton was a family, Gene was like the father. I worked for Gene and Suzie stocking shelves, shaking rugs, delivering groceries and fetching his nightly drink from the Long. Branch. “Amen Brother” was very common to hear from Gene’s mouth a man who cared more about his friends and customers I’ve never met! He marked down the price of every item purchased, always made me laugh thinking why he’d have me price as i stocked the shelves.

Gene had a drawer with cards, every card in that drawer was a credit extended to his customers. Not only would he give out his groceries on credit he would have Cora deliver them for free.

I know that man had a HEART of GOLD !!!

All in fun but us kids would stack the milk crates as high as we could behind the building then knock them over knowing Suzie would come out yelling at us damn kids. Jake , Mark or myself would have to restack them before we left work.

I had the pleasure of growing up living next to one of the most incredibly caring man I’ve known. Gene spoke at my father Max Stone’s funeral, he spoke well of my father and declared him a man of service. I guess this is my chance to recognize and thank Mr. Eugene Otten for all he unknowingly taught me as a unruly teenager. Genie was truly a blessing and a man of service to all who were lucky enough to have known him. Thank you Mr. Otton for the memories brother may you walk the streets of gold nobody’s more deserving than you my friend ! R.I.P Gene til we meet again Jay Stone

Veterans Tribute at Moraine Park Technical College

Common Sense Citizens of Washington County is organizing a Veterans Tribute on Monday, Nov. 6 at Moraine Park Technical College. The event will pay tribute to all veterans but special recognition will be given to all women who served and continue to serve. The event is free and open to the public. It will be held in the cafeteria at MPTC beginning at 6:30 p.m.

Make plans to attend Veterans Day program

A note from VFW Commander John Kleinmaus regarding the upcoming Veterans Day program in West Bend. Despite the fact Veterans Day is on a Saturday this year the traditional Veterans Day program will still be held “at the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month.”  On Saturday Nov. 11, area veterans will gather at 10:45 a.m. at Veterans Plaza on the corner of Fifth Avenue and Poplar Street in West Bend.

At 10:55 a.m., a brief statement will be read followed by a moment of silence. At 11 a.m., the siren will sound and the West Bend Veterans Color Guard will fire the traditional three-round volley followed by the playing of Taps.

Each year the number of citizens attending this brief service has increased and we hope this trend continues this year. We are inviting all citizens of Washington County to stand with us as we remember our veterans.

New bike racks in West Bend a cooperative-educational effort

A collaborative educational effort between local businesses, Bike Friendly West Bend and students at Moraine Park Technical College came to fruition today with the installation of the first student-created bicycle rack in West Bend.

“The idea was to have technical college students gather requirements, design some custom racks and then fabricate the racks,” said Jeff Puetz from Bike Friendly West Bend. “The skill set MPTC to their students is very marketable in the current economy.”

Jeff Szukalski from Jeff’s Spirits on Main hosted a check donation and unveiling Monday morning in front of his store, 821 S. Main Street.

“This means I can ride my bike to Jeff’s and I don’t have to lock it to the mailbox,” said Andrew Schumacher from Bike Friendly West Bend.

Moraine Park Technical College received donated materials from Willard Tool and Mercury Marine. “Gene Wendorff from Hartford Finishing Inc. donated the powder coating and now every bike rack will be sold for $200 – $250 and all that money will go to a scholarship foundation for MPTC,” said Szukalski.

There are three different bicycle rack designs including a tree, a bicycle and a simple round frame with legs.

Cards for Veterans at West Bend Memorial Library

The American Legion Post 36 of West Bend will again sponsor the “Cards for Veterans” program at the West Bend Memorial Library. From Monday, Nov. 20 through Friday, Dec. 15, patrons visiting the library will find a display of Christmas and holiday cards.

All are encouraged to select a card, write a message to a veteran, and place the sealed cards in the box provided.  There is no cost for this service.

On Dec. 15, the cards will be distributed to veterans living in the West Bend area.

Donations of cards would be greatly appreciated. We wish to thank all of those who participated in this project in previous years.

Update & tidbits

-– “Brass, Wood, Voice” the setting is magnificent, the colors are gorgeous, the music is beautiful, and the Packers have a bye that day. The Nordic Brass, the Hesternus Early Music Consort, and the Jubilate Chorale will present a collaborative concert on Sunday, Oct. 29 at 4:30 pm in the Basilica at Holy Hill. The concert is open to the public, and a free-will offering will benefit the Basilica. The address of the Basilica of the National Shrine of Mary, Help of Christians at Holy Hill is 1525 Carmel Road in Hubertus.

-Help is available to families in Washington County that need assistance with winter heating bills. Contact Kay Lucas with the Washington County Human Services Department which oversees the Energy Assistance Program. The number is 262-335-4677.

– Buy your ticket today from the West Bend Sunrise Rotary and have a chance at a $5,000 grand prize. Drawing is Nov. 25 at 7 p.m. at Enchantment in the Park. Tickets available at Jeff’s Spirits on Main, Pleasant Valley Tennis & Fitness and any Sunrise Rotary member.

– Awakening Healing & Yoga is opening in the Slinger Centre, 413 E. Washington Street. It’s going into the location formerly home to Romualda Photography. . Yoga studio owner Traci Eberly hopes to open Nov. 4.   By Ruth Marks

– The first Family Fun Day of this season is scheduled for Saturday, Nov. 4 from 10 a.m. – 11:30 a.m. at the West Bend Community Memorial Library. Themed with the upcoming symphony concert program, these Saturday morning programs usually feature a book, a craft or other hands-on project, and musical listening which combine to show the connection between literature, music and the arts. This is a joint venture between the Kettle Moraine Symphony and the library. The program is geared for ages 4-12, but all ages (including adults) are welcome.

– There will be a reunion Wednesday, Nov. 8 for the former employees of the old St. Joseph’s Hospital in West Bend. “The Best of St. Joe’s” are having another get together, according to Carol Ann Daniels. The gathering will begin with a social hour at 11 a.m. at the Top of the Ridge at Cedar Ridge in West Bend, 113 Cedar Ridge Drive. If you plan on joining us, please contact Carol Daniels, 262-689-1089 for further information.

– Fillmore Fire & Rescue is hosting a fish fry on Friday, Nov. 3 from 5 p.m. – 8 p.m. Bring a non-perishable food item and get a free dessert.

– The annual VFW Essay contest is underway. The Patriot’s Pen Contest is for all 6th, 7th, and 8th grade students.  The theme is “America’s Gift to My Generation.” The Grand Prize is $5,000.  The Voice of Democracy Contest is for all high school students.  The theme is “American History: Our Hope for the Future.” The Grand Prize is a $30,000 scholarship.

– UW-Washington County Volleyball player Courtney Peters made the Wisconsin Collegiate Conference All-Tournament Volleyball team. There were 12 teams that participated in the State Tournament and only six players were voted to the All –Tournament team.

– This November, Salon Effervescence in Hartford is moving to a new location. Established for six years at 211 Main Street the salon will be relocating to 55 East Sumner.  By Samantha Sali

– The West Bend Theatre Company is moving this year’s annual production of “A Christmas Carol” to the Silver Lining Arts Center at the West Bend High School. Production manager Nancy Storrs said the West Bend Theatre Company will share proceeds with the High School choir programs and they plan on sharing with a different nonprofit organization for each show they produce. Next year the donation will be to the Historic Downtown West Bend Theatre.

Halloween memories across Washington County

Costumes have changed but many Halloween traditions have stayed the same. Below are local memories from Halloweens past including embarrassingly-treasured homemade outfits and candy swapping on the kitchen floor.

Paula Anderson, Hubertus – “Since we had a very large family and it was the 70s and money was tight, we generally all had to share two hard plastic face masks. You know the ones, where a skinny elastic band was connected to the mask with mini-staples which would catch your hair and leave little bald patches on the side of your head.

The mask only had a slit for you to breathe and you could stick your tongue through, thereby slicing your tongue and having it hurt for a week. We would make the rest of the costume; we had lots and lots of hobos which included old flannel shirts rolled up at the sleeves, dirt smeared on our cheeks, and a stick with a bandana tied around.

There was the hobo clown, which was the old flannel shirt rolled up, pants cuffed, along with two different socks and two different shoes, and the face painted with a red lipstick.  The lucky ones with the masks would have the old flannel shirts rolled up and some sort of bottoms.

Lastly, and I think this was just for laughs, the parents would take the youngest girl and put her in mom’s dresses and underwear and pack it full of pillows to look like a big fat old lady. We would find a wig (who knows where that came from) and some red lipstick to complete the outfit.

Back in those days money was tight so there was no driving around to houses, and there weren’t a lot of subdivisions, so we could only trick or treat on our road which consisted of about five houses.

Now, five houses isn’t going to give you nearly enough candy to last four days or even two days, so once we hit the five houses we would go home and the ones with the plastic masks would trade off and give them to the ones that didn’t have them, and then paint their faces and we would hit all the same houses!  As if the neighbors couldn’t figure out our scam.

The candy we would bring home and dump on the floor and sort it by suckers, hard candy, chocolate, and nasty chewy stuff.

There would be sub-categories like good suckers (anything cherry) and bad suckers, good hard candy and bad hard candy (candy cigarettes and bottle caps ROCKED!!), good chocolate (Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups were AWESOME AND STILL ARE), and bad chocolate, which was anything with coconut.

Once each person’s candy was sorted, the wheeling and dealing started. Almost always the older kids said, “I will trade you two of these for one of those.” Being a smaller kid, you thought you were really getting a deal if you got two for one so I would always say “sure”…and there went my only Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup for two icky salt water taffy blobs.”

Kathy Lofy of West Bend.  When she was growing up her family got plastic masks (a mousey gerbil thing and clown face) from Schultz Brothers in downtown West Bend. The masks were nothing but a hot mess. “You never wore those masks that long because your face would be dripping from the sweat just from breathing in it. All you had was a tiny slit in the lips and two little nostril holes, like that was supposed to help. And it was never quite the size of your face, it was an abnormal oval. Whose face was ever shaped like a big oval? Everybody ended up wearing the mask pushed up on top of their head because nobody could stand wearing it on their face.”

Shelly Kehoe of West Bend – “We’d spread all our candy around on the floor. We had so much I just felt like rolling in it, like we were filthy rich in candy. I loved it.”

JB Anon of West Bend – “I don’t think any of my friends had store-bought outfits.  That almost seemed too fake.  I remember a witch, which was a hat made out of black construction paper, black clothes, and the black nylon cape that my mom put around us when she cut our hair. A paper bag was always the candy catcher and candy bars were the favorite.  Circus peanuts were the worst.”

Jacci Gambucci of West Bend – “Halloween was in the dark. Our parents did not come along and had no way of knowing where we were. We had no cell phones, they just trusted we would land safely back on our own doorstep.  A pillowcase was the container of choice – large, strong, easy to carry.  We made a beeline to the “pillar house” on Spring Street because they gave full size boxes of Cracker Jack.  Worst treats were popcorn ball and candy corn. Costumes were definitely homemade, with the exception of perhaps a store-bought witches’ hat.”

Lori Lynn-Radloff of West Bend – “I remember going into Kliner’s Club, I lived down the street across the bar on Park Ave by Regner. When a group of kids walked in he would throw a handful of “full size” candy bars (those “big” candy bars were a big deal) on the floor and we would dive to get them. Sometimes people would give us pennies or apples. I do remember we never worried about what was in our bag. I don’t remember our parents checking our candy at the end of the night.”

Vegas Killer’s Laptop Hard Drive is Missing

Huh.

A laptop computer recovered from the Las Vegas hotel room where Stephen Paddock launched the deadliest mass shooting in U.S. history was missing its hard drive, depriving investigators of a potential key source of information on why he killed and maimed so many people, ABC News has learned.

Paddock is believed to have removed the hard drive before fatally shooting himself, and the missing device has not yet been recovered, sources told ABC News.

Investigators digging into Paddock’s background also learned he purchased software designed to erase files from a hard drive, but without the hard drive to examine it is impossible to know if he ever used the software, one source said.

Assuming that he did remove it in the room, where did it go? One presumes that the room has been searched thoroughly. Did he toss it out the broken window? Or was there another shooter that took off with it? Curious.

Homecoming Queen Kicks Winning Field Goal

Cool.

High school kicker Claire Jeffress decided a Texas high school football game by sinking a game-winning field goal.

With the contest tied 35-35, the Dawson High School senior hit a 30-yard kick to beat the Eagles’ rival, Pearland, on Friday night.

[…]

Jeffress, who also plays for the school’s soccer team, was crowned Homecoming Queen last week.

Around the Bend by Judy Steffes

Mother’s Day Restaurant closes

There was little notice, but the doors were locked Tuesday at Mother’s Day Restaurant, 501 Wildwood Road in West Bend. Now comes word Sam Fejzuli has closed the business.

It wasn’t a hard decision according to Fejzuli. He said he had trouble getting employees and it was also difficult to “keep everybody happy.”

Fejzuli purchased the property in May 2015 for $260,000.  It was previously a Dairy Queen; the property had been in foreclosure since January 2014, and was listed at $390,000.

Originally from Macedonia, Fejzuli has been in the U.S. for 29 years. Fejzuli owned the Mother’s Day Restaurant in Horicon. Questioned whether the closure was temporary, whether Fejzuli would open elsewhere or sell the property, he said, “You ask me questions I don’t have the answers to.”

Second Kwik Trip approved in West Bend

The West Bend Common Council approved development of a second Kwik Trip in the city. This one will be in the former Walgreens building, 806 S. Main Street. “Congratulations Kwik Trip and thanks for choosing to do business in West Bend,” said Mayor Kraig Sadownikow.

On Oct. 4 the West Bend Plan Commission voted in favor of the development, however it charged Kwik Trip with completing a traffic study.

As part of the development Kwik Trip will tear down the old Walgreens building. Construction is expected to start in summer 2018. The first Kwik Trip in West Bend opened on Silverbrook Drive just north of Paradise Drive on Oct. 22, 2016.

New stores coming to town

The new strip mall just south of Pick ‘n Save south is taking shape. Larry Sajdak, Executive Vice President – Leasing at Inland Commercial Real Estate Services, said the 7,200-square-foot addition is being built by American Construction Services Inc. of West Bend.

A couple new businesses moving in include ATI Physical Therapy, Cricket Wireless (which is currently located inside GameStop on Paradise Drive), and a nail salon. Sajdak said they are also in talks with Firehouse Subs and they should lock in that deal shortly.

“These businesses will really help drive a lot of business to the area,” he said. “The stores are necessity based and Internet resilient.”

Sajdak said they are currently in discussion with Kroger regarding the former Grimm’s Dollar Express on the north side of the grocery store. Sajdak mentioned a “fuel pad” but said it’s “very early in the conversation.”

Saying thanks to a local hero

A special honor for Nick Busalacchi of West Bend who was recognized by the West Bend Common Council for helping save people following an apartment fire at the Wayne Road Apartments.

According to Fire Chief Gerald Kudek, “on June 1, 2017, Nick Busalacchi smelled smoke in his Wayne Road Apartment. Nick went into the hallway to investigate and found smoke coming from around the doorway of a downstairs apartment. He went outside and noted heavy fire coming from the patio doors of the apartment. Nick knew there were residents still in the apartment so he began to pound on the windows to alert them. He looked into a bedroom window and saw an occupant and he advised her to get out immediately. The occupant then climbed out of the bedroom window.

Once all occupants were accounted for Nick jumped into action and used a garden hose in attempts to control the fire until the Fire Department arrived. Mr. Busalacchi’s quick actions at great risk to his personal safety, saved lives and limited damage.”

Make plans to attend Veterans Day program

A note from VFW Commander John Kleinmaus regarding the upcoming Veterans Day program in West Bend. Despite the fact Veterans Day is on a Saturday this year the traditional Veterans Day program will still be held “at the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month.”  On Saturday Nov. 11, area veterans will gather at 10:45 a.m. at Veterans Plaza on the corner of Fifth Avenue and Poplar Street in West Bend.

At 10:55 a.m., a brief statement will be read followed by a moment of silence. At 11 a.m., the siren will sound and the West Bend Veterans Color Guard will fire the traditional three-round volley followed by the playing of Taps.

Each year the number of citizens attending this brief service has increased and we hope this trend continues this year. We are inviting all citizens of Washington County to stand with us as we remember our veterans.

Man who founded Jam for Kids has died

Robert “Bob” E. Cross, age 73, passed away peacefully on Tuesday, October 17, 2017 at the Lawliss Family Hospice in Mequon.  Bob had a place in his heart for the Special Olympics, donating his time and being the Founder of Jam For Kids.

Through his efforts, thousands of dollars were raised for the Special Olympics of West Bend.  Bob also had a passion for art, creating all the different logos of Jammin’ Sam and sharing his work with others. A Celebration of Life will be 7 p.m. Monday, Oct. 23 at the Phillip Funeral Home Chapel in West Bend with Pastor Roger Knowlton presiding

Update & tidbits

– Weasler Engineering on Highway 45 just north of County Highway D in West Bend has a number of job openings. Mark your calendar for Tuesday, Oct. 24 from 1 p.m. – 5 p.m. for the Weasler Career Fair. Jobs include benefits, health care, and shift premiums.

– AT&T in West Bend has relocated from 1442 W. Washington Street to 1606 S. Main Street. The location in the strip mall on W. Washington Street is now for lease.

– ‘Welcome Naskull Fans!’ to this year’s Holy Hill Halloween display presented by Jimmy Zamzow. The rowdy crowd of skeletons is highlighted in a NASCAR theme. The helmets to prevent head injuries are rather hilarious. The display is on Highway 167 as you make your way west to Holy Hill.

– The first Family Fun Day of this season is scheduled for Saturday, Nov. 4 from 10 a.m. – 11:30 a.m. at the West Bend Community Memorial Library. Themed with the upcoming symphony concert program, these Saturday morning programs usually feature a book, a craft or other hands-on project, and musical listening which combine to show the connection between literature, music and the arts. This is a joint venture between the Kettle Moraine Symphony and the library. The program is geared for ages 4-12, but all ages (including adults) are welcome.

– There will be a reunion Wednesday, Nov. 8 for the former employees of the old St. Joseph’s Hospital in West Bend. “The Best of St. Joe’s” are having another get together, according to Carol Ann Daniels. The gathering will begin with a social hour at 11 a.m. at the Top of the Ridge at Cedar Ridge in West Bend, 113 Cedar Ridge Drive. If you plan on joining us, please contact Carol Daniels, 262-689-1089 for further information. Reservations must be received no later than Oct. 25, 2017.

– The Richfield Historical Society is hosting an event: “Wisconsin Petroglyphs” by Dale Van Holten, on Thursday, Oct. 26 at 7 p.m., at the Richfield Fire Hall, 2008 State Road 175. This presentation will introduce you to petroglyphs discovered in Waterloo, Wisconsin. Admission is free and open to the Richfield Historical Society Members and the general public.

– Fillmore Fire & Rescue is hosting a fish fry on Friday, Nov. 3 from 5 p.m. – 8 p.m. Bring a non-perishable food item and get a free dessert.

– The annual VFW Essay contest is underway. The Patriot’s Pen Contest is for all 6th, 7th, and 8th grade students.  The theme is “America’s Gift to My Generation.” The Grand Prize is $5,000.  The Voice of Democracy Contest is for all high school students.  The theme is “American History: Our Hope for the Future.” The Grand Prize is a $30,000 scholarship.

– The West Bend Theatre Company is moving this year’s annual production of “A Christmas Carol” to the Silver Lining Arts Center at the West Bend High School. Production manager Nancy Storrs said the West Bend Theatre Company will share proceeds with the High School choir programs and they plan on sharing with a different nonprofit organization for each show they produce. Next year the donation will be to the Historic Downtown West Bend Theatre.

Trick or treat times and locations

Halloween falls on a Tuesday this year; Oct. 31 but quite a few neighbors in Washington County are holding trick or treat on the weekend.

Barton, West Bend and Trenton will have trick or treat Saturday, Oct. 28 from 4 p.m. – 6 p.m.  Newburg and Richfield are also Saturday but from 3 p.m. – 6 p.m. and Town of Farmington is Saturday, Oct. 28 from 4 p.m. – 7 p.m. and Village of Kewaskum is from 5 p.m. – 7 p.m.

In the Village of Jackson the Jackson Area Community Center will host Ghoul Gala on Sunday, Oct. 29 from 3 p.m. – 5:30 p.m. and then trick or treat is 5:30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.

The Village of Slinger will hold trick or treat Saturday, Oct. 28 from 5 p.m. – 7 p.m. Families are welcome to a free event after as Spooky Slinger will be held from 7 p.m. – 9 p.m. at Slinger Community Park with music, pumpkin carving contest, costume contest, and refreshments.

Allenton and Addison trick or treat is Sunday, Oct. 29 from 3 p.m. – 6 p.m.   Hartford is also Sunday from 5 p.m. – 7 p.m.

Germantown celebrates Halloween on Tuesday, Oct. 31 from 5:30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.

Hilda Rasmussen from West Bend completes Stars & Stripes Honor Flight

Korean War veteran Hilda Rasmussen of West Bend was one of 11 veterans from Washington County that took part in last Saturday’s Stars & Stripes Honor Flight to Washington D.C.

Rasmussen was 20 years old when she enlisted in the Army. A southerner who grew up in North Carolina and Virginia, Rasmussen was working at Rose’s Five and Dime when a friend whose sister was in the Army suggested she join so she could finish school.

“I enlisted against my parents’ wishes,” said Rasmussen. “My mom had breast cancer and there just wasn’t any money for school. It was hard to get jobs because there were so many wives from the Navy base looking to get jobs.”

Rasmussen said she and her friend were going to go into the service on the Buddy Plan, which meant if two people went in together the military kept them together during service.

“I came home and told my parents and that didn’t go well,” said Rasmussen. Adopting a stern voice she mimicked her mother’s response. “No you’re not,” she barked. “That’s not something a young lady does.”

Rasmussen was upset and later that night had a change of heart when she heard her mother crying. “The next morning at breakfast I told them I prayed about it and didn’t want them to be disappointed in me and said I wasn’t going,” she said.

Rasmussen’s mother had a change of heart too and gave her daughter the OK. “We’re not going to have it said we wouldn’t let you do what you wanted so you’re going,” Rasmussen recalled.

A graduate of Deep Creek High School in Deep Creek, Virginia a young Rasmussen left the cotton and tobacco fields and headed to basic training at Fort McClellan in Anniston, Alabama.

With a goal to continue her education, Rasmussen attended correspondence school at Fort Belvoir, Virginia. She worked in courts and boards and eventually ended up in food service.

A petite soldier who “didn’t even wear a size one dress” Rasmussen was known to colleagues as ‘Danni.’

“It was short for Daniel Boone,” said Rasmussen. “I did pretty well on the rifle range as a sharpshooter.”

Rasmussen pulls out a small, narrow white box full of medals labeled sharpshooter and marksmen; these were post Army service and something she earned when she joined the NRA.

“I had boys after the service and I didn’t want to stay home,” she said. “I went to NRA classes so I could go hunting with them.”

Rasmussen picked up her military story with details on her years in food service and how on Sundays the stewards from various mess halls would invite her over to eat. “They had linen table cloths and real china and they made special desserts for me,” she said laughing. “I had some of the most luscious desserts you ever tasted.”

Following on Sunday feast at the Air Force mess hall, Rasmussen was challenged to leave like everyone leaves in the Air Force. “They made me jump out of a tower,” she said.

Hooked up to a harness with a parachute Rasmussen was fearless. “The only thing was I came in uniform that day and I was wearing a skirt,” she said. “I had two pins in my purse and I pinned my skirt like culottes. I think every man in that mess hall stayed that day to see me jump.”

Rasmussen relays her stories while perched on the edge of her living room couch. Her memories are detailed and her speech pattern is a bit rushed with excitement.

Rasmussen spent her entire military career stateside at Fort Belvoir. She met her husband, who was also stationed at the base. They married March 17 so the military wouldn’t send her overseas to Germany.

After her discharge on July 12, 1956, Rasmussen worked for specifications at Fort Belvoir and later spent nearly five years just outside Washington D.C. as military air-transport service for the plane for the President of the United States.

“I really liked that job,” she said. “There were four girls in the office and 12 men. The building was basically a Quonset hut,” laughed Rasmussen.

In 1960, Rasmussen and her husband moved to the Campbellsport area. “I started my first job at Local Loan Finance Company in Milwaukee. I worked at 21st and North Avenue and I was there 15 years and we were robbed five times,” she said.

As years past Rasmussen’s life changed. Her first husband died and she later remarried. She had two sons and one was killed in a traffic accident in California.

Rasmussen lives with her other son Kevin Nelson. He was her guardian on the Honor Flight.

This was the 42nd “mission” for the Honor Flight since 2008.  There were 90 Korean War vets on the flight along with 10 WWII and 50 Vietnam War veterans.

Week in Review

I’ll be on WPR’s Week in Review at 0800. Host Kate Archer Kent will referee as Mike Browne, from One Wisconsin Now, and I discuss the issues of the week. Up this week… Wisconsin ends the year in surplus; Republicans working on tax reform; Walker releases a commercial; Vukmir and Nicholson battle it out to take on Baldwin; hemp in Wisconsin?; NFL; etc.

Need coffee…

Around the Bend by Judy Steffes

Celebration of life for Bob Gannon

There will be a Celebration of Bob’s life on Sunday, Oct. 15 from 12 p.m. – 4 p.m. at West Bend Mutual Prairie Center. A note regarding the celebration is being circulated and friends said this was Bob’s wish to forego a funeral.

On Wednesday neighbors in West Bend were shocked as news spreads about the death of Assembly Rep. Bob Gannon. Early word is around 9 p.m. Tuesday night the Allenton Fire and Rescue responded to a call for an unresponsive male in a vehicle at Gonring Drive and West Lake Drive. Washington County Sheriff said Gannon died of natural causes. The Sheriff responded to a 911 call at Gonring Boat Launch and found Gannon unresponsive behind the wheel.

Gannon was first elected as a representative in the 58th Assembly District on Nov. 4, 2014. He was extremely active in the community on boards such as Family Promise and the Washington County Youth Hockey League. Gannon had also been a member of the West Bend Sunrise Rotary.

Gannon owned Richards Insurance Agency and was previous owner of the AmericInn Hotel in West Bend.

West Bend Mayor Kraig Sadownikow was shocked at the news. “He’s a one-of-a-kind guy, that’s for sure,” said Sadownikow. “His voracious appetite for all that is good about the state of Wisconsin will be missed.”

Jeff Szukalski is a close friend of the Gannon family and a member of the West Bend Sunrise Rotary. “It’s just a shock,” said Szukalski. “I saw him a week ago and he was in great spirits and great shape. No thought that he would have any problems right now so I’m guessing any health problems he may have had were undetectable.”

Gannon’s co-worker in the assembly office Tiffany Koehler said she didn’t want to believe it. “My heart and prayers go out to the Gannon family at this difficult time and to all our neighbors in Assembly District 58,” said Koehler.

Dan Martin worked with Gannon as a member of the West Bend Jaycees in the early 1990’s. “Bob was a guy with a lot of ideas and he knew how to work with people to get things done,” said Martin.

Former Dist. 58 Assembly Rep. Patty Strachota released a statement: I am deeply saddened by the sudden loss of a friend and my successor in the 58th Assembly District. My sincere and deepest condolences go out to Kris, his family and friends.

Bob Gannon was a true fighter for the conservative cause and a passionate man who was dedicated to his family and country. His large personality was only matched by his generosity to the charities he believed in. Bob made a difference in the lives of many people in Washington County. He will be missed. . Pat Strachota

Fellow Assembly Rep. Jesse Kremer (R-59 Kewaskum) issued the following statement.

“I was deeply saddened to learn early this morning of Bob Gannon’s passing. While he and I may not always have seen eye-to-eye on how to achieve all of the conservative goals of Washington County constituents, Bob’s passion toward accomplishing those goals will be greatly missed. I would like to offer my deepest condolences to Bob’s family and friends, and most especially to his wife, Kris.”

Senator Duey Stroebel (R-Cedarburg) released the following statement,

“My wife, Laura, and I offer our deepest condolences and prayers to Kris and the rest of the Gannon family. Bob was a friend and colleague who showed zeal for serving his community. Bob was committed to finding solutions to issues facing the urban areas of our state. Earlier this year he held hearings in cities around Wisconsin talking to people facing poverty.

Bob wore his passion on his sleeve. Rarely did a room of constituents not know where Bob stood on any issue. Bob was not interested in being a politician. He went to Madison to do the right thing and came back to the district to serve his neighbors. Bob served God, his family and his neighbors in that order.

Bob “gave em’ heck” and all that mattered was improving the lives of Wisconsinites. I will miss Bob’s jovial personality. There was not a day that Bob did not put a smile on someone’s face.”

West Bend alderman Christopher Jenkins said Gannon was a mentor to him and his family. “He gave us guidance and was always willing to point us in the right direction. I enjoyed working with him in the different facets and our family is mourning with the Gannon family for this sudden loss.”

Gannon was married with two children. He was a 1977 graduate of West Bend East High School.

Bob Gannon was 58 years old. Please keep the Bob Gannon family in your thoughts and prayers.

Washington County Veterans on the Oct. 14 Honor Flight

The next Stars and Stripes Honor Flight is Oct. 14 and veterans from Washington County on that flight include: Hilda Rasmussen who served in the Women’s Army Corps (WAC) in the 1950’s.

Tom Landvatter, West Bend, Korean War Army fire control repairman, Charles Sawyer, Germantown, Korean War Marines 1st Marine Div teletype operator, Ron Pollpeter, Germantown, Korean War Navy fireman, Norman Toll, Slinger, Korean War Marines teletype operator, Procopio “Nick” Sandoval, West Bend Vietnam War Army, Mark Cayner, Kewaskum, Vietnam War Army MP, Mike Orban, West Bend, Vietnam War Army, infantry, Bronze Star, PTSD speaker. This will be 42nd “mission” for the Honor Flight since 2008. There will be 90 Korean War vets on the Oct. 14 flight along with 10 WWII and 50 Vietnam War veterans.

Three local doctors to open private practice: West Bend Medical

Three popular local doctors from West Bend have moved to private practice and opened their own clinic.

Partners in family practice, Dr. Chad Tamez, Dr. Brian Wolter and Dr. Carey Cameron are starting West Bend Medical at W178 N9201 Water Tower Place Suite #200 in Menomonee Falls.  The phone number is 262-355-8010.

“We’ve been toying with the idea for over a year,” said Tamez. “We just wanted to make sure it’s viable and it is.”

Tamez, 42, and his business partners are excited about a number of new opportunities especially providing more personalized care.

“Being able to run our patient experience the way we think is best is important to us,” he said. “We want to try to make it a little more personal and bring back the feel of small-town medicine.”

Because Tamez and his business partners are leaving a current clinic, the no-compete contract stipulates they have to be 15 miles from their primary location for the next 18 months. A no-solicitation clause has also prevented the doctors from saying more, to this point.

Long term, Tamez believes the practice will eventually open a location closer to West Bend.

“The relationships I’ve developed and fostered with my patients for the past 12 years are deeply personal and important to me,” said Tamez. “And if I can do this in 12 years, working within the constraints of a large system, imagine what I can do in the next 20 while being able to customize every aspect of the care I choose to deliver.”

Dr. Tamez and Dr. Wolter trained together at the Medical College of Wisconsin both in medical school and residency. Tamez has been at the West Bend Clinic since 2005 with Wolter joining in 2008.  Dr Cameron has been with the clinic since 2003, spending most of that time in Jackson.

Tamez is a local product, graduating West Bend West High School in 1994.

West Bend Medical officially opened its phones Oct. 4 and doctors begin seeing patients Oct. 10.

 Plan Commission approves Kwik Trip No. 2 in West Bend

The West Bend Plan Commission voted 4-1 with two members absent to approve development of a Kwik Trip, 806 S. Main Street. The location is the former Walgreens site on the southwest corner of Decorah Road and Main Street.

This was the second time representatives from Kwik Trip appeared before the Plan Commission. During the Sept. 5 meeting the Plan Commission requested a traffic study be conducted.

Kwik Trip submitted two packets of information with the conclusion:  No intersection modifications are expected to be necessary to accommodate the proposed Kwik Trip development. All movements are expected to continue to operate desirably with the completion of Kwik Trip.

Several commission members had concerns about traffic patterns considering the two schools in the vicinity including St. John’s Lutheran and Badger Middle School.

There were also concerns about an outdoor speaker system. Kwik Trip said it amended its plan and the overhead speakers would be used only for emergency, no music would be played and the pumps would have speakers built in.

Plan Commission member Jed Dolnick had several questions about the traffic study including Exhibit 6 where there would be 3,260 driveway trips. Dolnick voted in opposition to the zoning change, indicating he still had concerns about “a lot of traffic at the corner during peak hours” and he was concerned about moving a driveway closer to Decorah.

“As I expressed last month I think we’re making a mistake,” he said.

The Plan Commission also talked to Kwik Trip real estate development manager Troy Mleziva about how semis would refrain from backing up onto Fifth Avenue or Main Street.

“We will provide those details in writing,” he said. “We can control the time we deliver during non-peak times.”

This would be the second Kwik Trip in West Bend. The plans detail a 7,316-square-foot building with 20 gas pumps on five pump islands.

The development must still be approved by the Common Council. That will likely be on the Oct. 16 agenda. If approved Mleziva said construction would start in 2018.

“Thank you for Kwik Trip to continue to do business in West Bend,” said Mayor Kraig Sadownikow.

Children’s Hospital is moving to Cast Iron

The tower at the former West Bend Aluminum Company building on Veterans Avenue is going to have a new look. During Tuesday night’s Plan Commission meeting a sign for Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin/West Bend Pediatrics was approved.

“Do you think people might think it’s a hospital?” asked commission member Sara Fleischman.

Mayor Kraig Sadownikow said, “I think it does give the appearance this is a hospital.”

The sign will be up above second floor. The clinic is on the first floor, currently undergoing a build out on the northeast corner. The sign is on the stair tower which is a full floor higher than the rest of the building.

Fleischman also expressed concern that people will want signs on different sides of tower.

Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin spokeswoman Maureen Goetz said the sign will help with direction and visibility. “Families come with a level of stress and anxiety and we want them to find us,” she said.

Originally the sign was proposed at a lower height but because of light emission the request was made to put it higher to reduce conflict with any adjacent residential window.

Commission member Bernie Newman asked it Children’s Hospital would also have signage at the entrance to the buildings on Highway 33 and N. Main Street. Goetz confirmed they would.

“This brings life to the side of the building,” said commission member Chris Schmidt. “The signage is good when done tastefully.”

The Plan Commission unanimously approved the sign. The clinic is relocating from its site on W. Washington Street and Shepherds Drive to the Cast Iron building. The new location will feature three doctors providing pediatric care.

Update & tidbits

The new pizza restaurant going into the old Heros Sandwich Shoppe, 140 Kettle Moraine Drive North in Slinger will be called Angelos Pizzaria. The sign will simply read Angelos Pizza. Update courtesy Ruth Marks.

-Interfaith Caregivers is holding its 2017 Campfire Tea fundraiser on Sunday, Oct. 8 from 1:30 p.m. – 4 p.m. at the Prairie Center at West Bend Mutual. This year’s event features celebrity waiters, an amazing silent auction, the popular purse auction, and a 50/50 raffle. Tickets are $35.

– The annual VFW Essay contest is underway. The Patriot’s Pen Contest is for all 6th, 7th, and 8th grade students.  The theme is “America’s Gift to My Generation.” The Grand Prize is $5,000.  The Voice of Democracy Contest is for all high school students.  The theme is “American History: Our Hope for the Future.” The Grand Prize is a $30,000 scholarship.

– American Construction Services Inc. of West Bend is heading up development of the new Grafton Towne Place Suites hotel on Gateway Drive, just to the east of Highway 43 in neighboring Ozaukee County. The 4-story hotel is located south of Highway 60.

-Governor Scott Walker will be visiting Spiros Industries in Kohlsville on Monday, Oct. 9 from 12:45 p.m. – 1:55 p.m. Spiros is hosting a Manufacturing Day and the Gov. will be touring the facility and interacting with employees.

– The winner of Roots and Branches Business Beautification Award for 2017 is “The Red House” Creative Cuts, 530 Walnut Street. Verna Reindl accepted the award at Roots and Branches Garden Party in the Vineyard.

– Dress in your Halloween best and trick or treat in downtown West Bend during Fall Fest, Oct. 13. A new addition to Fall Fest is Pumpkin Bowling. Roll a hand-sized pumpkin, knock down pins and win prizes.

– The Kettle Moraine YMCA has partnered with United Way of Washington County and the West Bend School District to install a Born Learning Trail at the Y’s West Washington Street location. A ribbon cutting and grand-opening celebration will be held on Oct. 16 at 9:30 a.m. Born Learning is an initiative that uses research-based activities to build language and literacy.

Trick or treat times and locations

Halloween falls on a Tuesday this year; Oct. 31 but quite a few neighbors in Washington County are holding trick or treat on the weekend.

Barton, West Bend and Trenton will have trick or treat Saturday, Oct. 28 from 4 p.m. – 6 p.m.  Newburg and Richfield are also Saturday but from 3 p.m. – 6 p.m.

Town of Farmington is also Saturday, Oct. 28 from 4 p.m. – 7 p.m.

In the Village of Jackson the Jackson Area Community Center will host Ghoul Gala on Sunday, Oct. 29 from 3 p.m. – 5:30 p.m. and then trick or treat is 5:30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.

The Village of Slinger will hold trick or treat Saturday, Oct. 28 from 5 p.m. – 7 p.m. Afterward families are welcome to a free event as Spooky Slinger will be held from 7 p.m. – 9 p.m. at Slinger Community Park with music, pumpkin carving contest, costume contest, food and beverages.

The Village of Kewaskum will hold trick or treat Saturday, Oct. 28 from 5 p.m. – 7 p.m.

Allenton and Addison trick or treat is Sunday, Oct. 29 from 3 p.m. – 6 p.m.   Hartford is also Sunday from 5 p.m. – 7 p.m.

Germantown celebrates Halloween on Tuesday, Oct. 31 from 5:30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.

Grimm’s Fairytales exhibit opens at MOWA

“We’ve never done an exhibit like this… and it’s pretty impressive,” said Laurie Winters, executive director at the Museum of Wisconsin Art, during a break Thursday while helping set up the new Gerit Grimm’s Fairytales exhibit.

“A lot of it is based on Grimm’s Fairytales which are known to be fairly graphic even though they’re read to children,” said Winters. “Some of it is based on classical mythology and a little bit of it is historical subjects.”

Winters describes Grimm’s as a pretty dramatic transformation.“Here is an artist who a decade ago was working in a former East German pottery factory making small, utilitarian teacups and plates and she comes to the United States and gradually evolves into making this life-size sculpture that’s kind of quirky and humorous and irresistible in its appeal,” she said.

Grimm has been living in Wisconsin for six years and teaches ceramics at UW-Madison.

“She has this remarkable ability to create personalities for her figures,” said Winters. “It’s almost as if she’s creating a motionless stage theater with these figures. They’re strong and powerful…. you almost feel like they’re human figures on a stage.” This is the first venue for Grimm’s exhibition.

Honoring last Civil War veteran buried in Washington County

An intimate military ceremony Sunday at the St. Lawrence Parish cemetery as the last Civil War veteran buried in Washington County was recognized.

Records show John Kauper, 91, the last of Hartford’s Civil War Veterans, died Feb. 21, 1939 at the home of his daughter in Harvey, Illinois.

Kauper is one of 16 names on a Civil War monument blessed by Rev. Davies Edassery. “It is a way to offer tribute and honor them with this monument,” said Edassery.  “We thank them for their service and pray for their eternal reward and we continue to support all other service men and women.”

The gathering of about 25 people then recited the Our Father, Hail Mary and Glory Be to the Father and Edassery sprinkled the monument with holy water.

Tony Montag, co-chair of the Washington County American Legion, thanked the Knights of Columbus for making a donation to pay for the monument. Seven Legion veterans then fired a three-round volley followed by the playing of Taps.

Following the prayer there was a brief ceremony to recognize Kauper and his great grandson Jim Kauper gave a little history.

“John immigrated to the U.S. from Bavaria, Germany on March 17, 1848 when he was 7 years old,” said Jim Kauper.  “The family settled in St. Lawrence when he was 14 and because there were no computers, TVs I’m sure the war looked like a great adventure to the young man.”

John Kauper ran away when he was 17 to join the Union Army. His dad went down to Milwaukee and dragged him back. That lasted a couple weeks and Kauper ran away again to Fond du Lac County and joined the Union Army under the name John Herman so his dad couldn’t find him.

“This means quite a bit,” said Jim Kauper.

The names of the other Washington County Civil War veterans listed on the monument include: Wilhelm Blenker, George Derfuss, Simon Dressel, Bertram Floss, John Fohn, Michael Geheim, Henry Guenther, John Gutschenritter, Johann Mehringer, Gustave Schlageter, Joseph Schuh, Adam Schwabenlander, John Schweitzer, Lawrence Schwerbel, John Stoffel and Peter Stoffel.

A portion of the presentation read at the ceremony: “Therefore, we the Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War gather at this memorial in sacred memory of our fathers and their sacrifices.” If I may be so bold as to quote from the epitaph from another time and place “Tell them of us and say, For their tomorrow we gave our today.”

Look For the Helpers

What a hero. Amid all of the bad, there is so much good.

ohh5gkbn

The man who was photographed covering a woman in a viral Las Vegas massacre photo was identified as a U.S. Army soldier.

 The picture of Matthew Cobos was snapped by a Getty photographer. He was lying on top of a young woman in an attempt to shield her from the bullets on Sunday night.[…]

Cobos, it was reported, then “ran back into the danger zone to help others who had been injured” after the woman was got to safety.

To stop bleeding, he apparently used a belt as a tourniquet and placed his fingers in bullet holes of victims.

Dangerous Pumpkin Spice

Ummmmnnnnn

Officials evacuated a Baltimore school Thursday afternoon after hazardous materials crews were called for a strange odor.

Fire and hazmat crews were called around 2:30 p.m. to Crito Rey Jesuit High School. The school was evacuated and Eastern Avenue was closed near Chester Street, SkyTeam 11 reported.

It turns out, the source of the irritant was a pumpkin spice air freshener, fire officials said.

But that might be in dispute, as the school’s president said, the odor might have been a burned-out light bulb.

Officials said two students and three adults were taken to hospitals with unknown injuries. One of the adults suffered an issue not related to the incident.

Officials said dozens of students were triaged at the scene.

I can see evacuating the school because of a strange smell. They don’t know what it is and better safe than sorry. But how the heck does the smell of an air freshener or burned out light bulb send FIVE PEOPLE TO THE HOSPITAL!?!?

Killing in Vegas

Wow. Prayers for the victims and the people of Las Vegas.

(CNN)At least 50 people were killed in a mass shooting overnight on the Las Vegas Strip, police said, the deadliest in modern US history.

A hailstorm of bullets and the subsequent stampede left more than 200 people injured, officials said. The crowd was watching a concert by country music superstar Jason Aldean, Las Vegas Sheriff Joseph Lombardo said Monday morning.
The gunman, 64-year-old Stephen Paddock, was firing from the 32nd floor of the nearby Mandalay Bay hotel, Lombardo said. Paddock was eventually killed by police.
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Like thousands and thousands of other people, I was there last week. I spent most of last week at the Delano (the other gold tower that’s part of the Mandalay Bay complex).

Man Parks Tank on Property

I admit… I’m a bit envious.

A history buff has managed to upset his entire neighborhood after he parked his  Second World War tank outside his multi-million home.

Attorney Tony Buzbee’s huge armored vehicle – one of the tanks used on D-Day to help liberate France – is currently sitting on River Oaks Boulevard in Houston, Texas.

Buzbee had bought the piece of history overseas for $600,000 and it has taken him almost a year to get it over to the US.

Attorney Tony Buzbee's huge armored vehicle - one of the tanks used on D-Day to help liberate France - is currently sitting on River Oaks Boulevard in Houston, Texas

Attorney Tony Buzbee’s huge armored vehicle – one of the tanks used on D-Day to help liberate France – is currently sitting on River Oaks Boulevard in Houston, Texas

But his neighbors are already petitioning him to get rid of the tank, claiming it was a safety issue’ and causes extra traffic in the area as cars slow down to get a better look.

‘It’s not violating any ordinance, but for some people it makes the homeowners association uncomfortable,’ said Buzbee. ‘If you’re offended just lighten up, my goodness it isn’t hurting anyone.’

Eerie Juxtaposition

I’m not saying that these stories are linked, but the BBC did put them next to each other…

knifeattack

Around the Bend by Judy Steffes

Dave Sukawaty inducted into Slinger High School Hall of Fame            By Samantha Sali

On Friday prior to kickoff of the Slinger High School homecoming game, the community of Slinger tipped its hats to Dave Sukawaty inducting him into Slinger High School’s Hall of Fame.

“Dave’s just thrilled to be inducted into the Hall of Fame,” said mom, Eileen Sukawaty. “He loves all sports and he doesn’t miss anything.”

Sukawaty will be inducted as a distinguished service member, chosen specifically because of his passion for supporting the school’s sporting events and his adoration for all the people in the community.

Sukawaty has been involved in sports since he attended Slinger High School in the mid 1970’s. He helped where he could and was manager of the Slinger boys’ basketball state-qualifying team.

Sukawaty graduated in 1978 and is still actively involved in today’s activities.  Sukawaty runs the scoreboard at the little league park, he takes water to the refs during games, and works the entrance gate during football season.

Because of his involvement, everybody in Slinger knows Sukawaty and everyone says he an exuberantly generous person.

“He’s a gem of a man,” said Daren Sievers, Superintendent of Slinger School District. “He’s at every sporting event. He lives for sports. We have him on staff as a light-duty custodian because he lives and breathes Slinger and the Owls. Slinger is the center of his universe and we all support him.”

Slinger High School Principal Phil Ourada echoed those thoughts. “Dave is Slinger. You will not find another person who cares more about our coaches, athletes and our teams than Dave. He is a special person and has a heart of gold!”

Sukawaty has definitely made a huge impact on school staff. Athletic Director Mike Daniels said, “Dave is the epitome of Slinger pride. Everything he does is for Slinger. He’s a great man and a great example of why this community is so supportive of its members.”

The High School’s football and basketball coaches agree. “He’s a good guy. He loves everyone in Slinger and everyone loves him,” Coach Jacklin said. “He’s always in the community doing things for people. Always at games and church and always wants to talk sports. You wouldn’t meet a more upbeat kinda guy. He’s a really positive part of the community and I am just ecstatic he gets to be a part of our Hall of Fame.”

Basketball coach Nate Grimm nodded his head to how impactful Sukawaty has been in the community. “Dave has been a consistent and passionate supporter of Slinger athletics since I came here,” said Grimm. “Dave shows up consistently to all sports and is eager to let you know he’s supporting the team.  Dave will often ask coaches ‘Can we do it? Can we win this week?’  Dave works quietly behind the scenes to build relationships with community members, the athletic directors, and officials involved with Slinger sports.  Dave’s consistent and passionate support for Slinger athletes and coaches makes him a worthy inductee into the Hall of Fame.”

 

Sukawaty was tremendously enthusiastic when talking about Friday’s induction. “I was really happy and excited about being chosen,” he said. “I support all sports – I see the teams to every game and to the championships. It’s an honor to be in the Hall of Fame.”

This Friday gives the community of Slinger a chance to turn the tables and shower Sukawaty with the love and respect he has shown them.

Two other Hall of Fame inductees were Dr. John Riesch and Tracy Roever.

Property on W. Washington Street has been sold

The parcel of land on W. Washington Street where Pick ‘n Save north is located has been sold.

Records in the city assessor’s office show property owners Gencap West Bend LLC sold the parcel to Exchangeright Net Portfolio 17 LLC for $18,186,840. The property has a 2017 assessment of $5,835,200.

Gencap West Bend LLC originally purchased the property Feb. 17, 2009 for $4 million from WBHG LLC.  Pick ‘n Save north was built in 2009.

On a history note: On July 6, 2004 – West Bend Royale a Wisconsin Limited Partnership sold the property to WBHG LLC for $1,437,600. Prior to that in Sept. 1976 Kassuba Inns a Florida Corp. sold through a quick claim to Behtesda Corp. for $1 million.

Amity Apartment building has been sold

The 36-unit Amity Apartment building has been sold. According to the West Bend city assessor Amity Apartments LLC sold the building at 723 S. Main Street to JNG West Bend LLC for $2,232,000. The 2017 assessed value on the property is $1,771,700.

On a history note: At one time the Amity Apartments were attached to the West Bend School District office. That was later split in a certified survey map.

The apartment section, then owned by Amity Leather, sold in August 1997 to West Bend Economic Development. That property sale was listed as “exempt.” In that same year the building at 735 S. Main Street was sold to the West Bend School District for $900,000.

Then, four years later in December 2001, West Bend Economic Development sold its north end of the building to Amity Apartments for $400,000.

On a side note: The Pizza Ranch purchase of the former Ponderosa building, 2020 W. Washington Street in West Bend, will close this week. The remodel should begin in October.

Wisconsin Supreme Court to hear man’s appeal in murder of Jessie Blodgett                      By Samantha Sali

On July 15, 2013 the city of Hartford was rocked by the news of the brutal murder of Jessie Blodgett, 19, who was found dead in her family’s home. In 2014, Blodgett’s classmate Daniel Bartelt was convicted of killing Jessie and sentenced to life in prison. Today, the saga continues, as Bartelt is pursuing an appeal with the Wisconsin Supreme Court.

Buck Blodgett and his wife, Joy, received a letter two weeks ago from the State. It was the first they heard Bartelt was trying to appeal and seeing those words was “a knife in Joy’s heart,” said Buck Blodgett.

This isn’t the first time Bartelt has appealed his conviction. Last year, Bartelt appealed to the appellate court; it did not rule in his favor. Bartelt is now taking that appeal to the Wisconsin Supreme Court. This is the last step Bartelt can take regarding this specific appeal.

“He’s not appealing his conviction because he’s innocent,” Buck Blodgett said, “He’s appealing his conviction because he’s hoping there will be a ruling in his favor about his Miranda rights, so he can get off even though he is guilty.”

Bartelt claims his Miranda rights were not properly followed the day he voluntarily talked with law enforcement about Jessie’s murder.

“According to the police, the judge in the trial, and the appellate court, ruled there was no violation of Miranda rights,” said Buck Blodgett. “So now we will see what the Supreme Court says.”

Although Bartelt is reopening the wound for the Blodgett family, Buck Blodgett said he has faith in the justice system to make the right decision about the appeal. “I have zero complaints with anything,” he said.  “The Justice Department has been great every step of the way. My only complaint is with Dan and his choice to waste resources that could be better used elsewhere.”

If the appeal is denied, that is not the end of Bartelt trying to get released from prison. “If the Supreme Court does not rule in his favor, he can start over and appeal a different point,” said Buck Blodgett. “Dan has done enough destruction and damage. He ruined and ended one life, but he doesn’t get to do that with mine.”

Buck Blodgett will not attend the appeal, but he has said numerous times, he is still open to connecting with Bartelt if he ever reaches out – given he genuinely admits and apologizes for what he did.

Based on the appeal process Bartelt is pursuing, Buck Blodgett may never see that day but he still speaks of forgiveness of his daughter’s killer.

“What he is doing is extraordinarily hurtful to people and it makes me upset sometimes, but I still forgive him,” he said.  “And I’m going to practice that forgiveness every day because forgiveness and love aren’t feelings, they’re commitments. And I’m committed to forgiving Dan.” The Supreme Court oral argument will be broadcast live at 9:45 a.m. on Nov. 14.

New restaurant to open in Slinger                                                            By Ruth Marks

A new restaurant will be opening in Slinger next month as Tony Herrera, owner of Polanco Mexican Restaurant & Cantina, opens a pizza place at 140 Kettle Moraine Drive North across from Bergmann Appliance & TV.

The bright yellow and green building was previously home to Heros Sandwich Shoppe, which opened in October 2010 and closed a couple weeks ago.

Prior to that it was Slinger’s original location for Subway and before that it was a gas station.

The new pizza place will offer pickup and delivery, online ordering, and a few tables for indoor dining. Herrera said due to the small size of the building, there will be a limited menu but additional selections will be unveiled once the eatery opens.

Herrera is leasing the building. “I was driving past, saw it was available and liked it because it was on Highway 144 and close to both Highway 175 and I41,” he said. The front half of the formerly bright yellow cement block building was painted red this weekend. Herrera said he’s tossing around a couple names for the business but so far nothing is set in stone.

Update & tidbits

On Saturday, Sept. 30 the West Bend VFW Post sponsors Cub Scout Pack 3791 will hold a Flag Retirement Ceremony” at 10 a.m. at the VFW Post, 260 Sand Drive. The public is invited.

-The Kettle Moraine Symphony opens its season Sunday, Oct. 1.

Interfaith Caregivers is holding its 2017 Campfire Tea fundraiser on Sunday, Oct. 8 from 1:30 p.m. – 4 p.m. at the Prairie Center at West Bend Mutual. This year’s event features celebrity waiters serving wonderful tea and scrumptious appetizers. There will also be an amazing silent auction, the very popular purse auction, and a 50/50 raffle. Tickets are $35 per person.

Stop in and check out the transformation of the former Ol Tyme Cleaners, 910 S. Main Street in West Bend, as it has morphed into a nurse staffing company. Alliance Services, Inc. specializes in finding nursing jobs for various health care facilities. There will be an Open House on Friday, Oct. 6 from 5 p.m. – 7 p.m.

-Bob’s Main Street Auto is hosting a free Wheels for Women car care clinic on Thursday, Oct, 5 at 5:30 p.m. at 1200 N. Main Street in West Bend. Learn everything you need to know about your vehicle during this hands-on clinic.   

On Wednesday, Oct. 4 the fall lecture series at UW-WC will focus on the United Kingdom. Graeme Reid, the Director of Collections at the Museum of Wisconsin Art, presents a Survey of Scottish photography. The 6:30 p.m. lecture is free and open to the public.

– New Perspective Senior Living – West Bend, formerly Lighthouse of West Bend, set a new record for Washington County donations to the Alzheimer’s Association of Southeast Wisconsin. Since the beginning of the year it has donated almost $15,000 to the local Alzheimer’s Association chapter and close to $50,000 since 2012.

– Dress in your Halloween best and trick or treat in downtown West Bend during Fall Fest, Oct. 13. Yup…. that’s Friday the 13th. A new addition to Fall Fest this year is Pumpkin Bowling. Roll a hand-sized pumpkin, knock down pins and win prizes.

-Washington County’s annual Clean Sweep is Saturday, Oct. 7 from 8 a.m. – noon at the Washington County Highway Facility, 900 Lang Street.

-The West Bend VFW Post 1393 is looking for a bar manager, full-time and part-time bartenders. Please send resumes to PO Box 982 West Bend, WI 53095.

Children’s Hospital opens pediatric clinic at Cast Iron

Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin | West Bend Pediatrics is moving into the first level of the Cast Iron building, 611 Veteran Avenue. The clinic is relocating from its site on W. Washington Street and Shepherds Drive. Nurse Chelsea Kandel said the location is closer to the downtown and will provide more visibility. The clinic on Shepherds Drive opened in November 2015.

The location in the Cast Iron building will feature three doctors providing pediatric care. During Tuesday’s Plan Commission meeting a site plan for an urban design exception for a wall sign above the second story window sill at 611 Veterans Avenue will be considered.

Grace Braeger says it’s time to sell 57LADY

After 60 years behind the wheel of the same vehicle, a 1957 Chevy Bel Air, owner Grace Braeger said it’s time to sell it. “Sixty years was my goal,” said Braeger. It was 1957 when Braeger traded in her old car, put $2,250 on the counter and drove away from King Braeger in Milwaukee with her black Chevy with whitewall tires and rich red interior.

Over the years Braeger could be seen motoring around West Bend and she was an avid participant at local car shows. In August 2011 Braeger got some time in the media spotlight when she used her warranty and to get another new muffler for her vehicle.  That ’57 Chevy actually has two mufflers and Midas took pride in honoring the warranty. Braeger even has the original warranty from June 15, 1962.

Man Attacks Church

It can happen anywhere.

Police have identified the masked gunman behind the fatal mass shooting at a Nashville church on Sunday as Emanuel Kidega Samson.

Melanie Smith, 39, of Smyrna, died and another six were injured when Samson, 25, opened fire in the parking lot of Burnette Chapel Church of Christ, 30 minutes southeast of Nashville in Antioch, as services let out at 11.15am.

The attack only stopped thanks to the brave actions of an armed church usher.

Robert Engle, 22, identified by friends on social media, had ran up to confront Samson and was pistol-whipped by the shooter, Aaron explained.

‘There was a significant struggle between the two,’ he said. ‘During the struggle, the gunman shot himself, probably not intentionally.’

‘This particular church member has a handgun carry permit,’ Aaron added. ‘The usher went to his vehicle, got his gun, came back inside and made sure the gunman didn’t make anymore movements until the police department arrived.’

The shooter’s condition is not life-threatening and he is under heavy police guard at Vanderbilt Medical Center, Aaron said.

Around the Bend by Judy Steffes

Hotel, gas station and housing planned across from Fair Park

The landscape across from the Washington County Fair Park is going to look mighty different in the coming years as the Francis and Rita Peters have sold their property to a developer.

Tom Timblin and his business partner and high school friend Mike Koepke closed on the purchase of the 80.6-acre farm on the southwest corner of Pleasant Valley Road and County Highway P. “There are 14 lots right now,” said Timblin. “Four of them are commercial and 10 of them are multifamily.”

The town of Polk rezoned the property last year from farming to business/commercial. “With the commercial lots we’re hoping to get a gas station, convenience store and a hotel and some offices possibly,” said Timblin.

The property, dubbed Pleasant Valley Farms, is currently being marketed by Koepke and Emmer Real Estate Group.

Timblin and Koepke have been working on purchasing and developing the property for the past two years.

“We’re hoping to start development in 2018,” Timblin said. “It’s a unique property because there are a lot of moving parts. It’s got a West Bend address but the sewer and water is in the Village of Jackson and the property is located in the town of Polk.”

Timblin said he’s had conversations with potential hotel and gas station developers. He said, “Now we’re going to start talking in earnest to get quotes on the property.”

There is sewer on the property that was installed around 2002 to service the hospital and Fair Park. Timblin confirmed water “is close” on CTH P.

As far as the property is concerned, the location is wonderful according to Timblin. “It’s highly visible and the key is it’s by the on and off ramps at Pleasant Valley,” he said.

The purchase price for the property has not yet been released.

Farm photo of the original Peters homestead is courtesy Terry Becker/Ryan Lesperance. That farm was a bit further west where the Highway 45 bypass is located. This farm was eliminated when the bypass was constructed. The Peters farm that just sold is to the east of Highway 45.

City crews dredge weeds above Barton Dam

Public Works crews from the city of West Bend were up to their armpits in muck and weeds this week as they worked to remove vegetation from the Milwaukee River.

“We don’t want this vegetation to float down river against the dam so we’re trying to remove them as part of our dam maintenance,” said Public Works director Doug Neumann.

The process was slow as two men in a jon boat worked with a big claw-like apparatus made of rebar to hook the weeds and then a bulldozer would pull it to shore and a crane would extract the glop of mud and weeds.

Neumann worked with an aquatic biologist and the DNR. He said some of the weeds include things like canary grass and yellow flag.  “The problem is the seeds are floating,” said Neumann. “We did this a few years ago and pulled them out and the problem is the seeds are still there and we’re trying to pull the roots.”

The weeds are not attached to the bottom of the river.

Neumann said the best solution is to dredge and excavate the weeds out of the river. He said that option is over $100,000. “We decided to take a less expensive route and pull them to shore and excavate them ourselves,” he said. “This is certainly not a long-term solution.”

It took crews a while to get their system of dredging down. By the end of the day, Thursday, they were able to pull larger clumps of vegetation to shore.

Some neighbors in Barton said the grassy weed is called wild rice. They said the ducks love it and the weeds will die once cold weather hits.

Creepy coincidence during Hartford Historical Society’s Cemetery Tour

Nearly 100 people spent a warm September day exploring the Pleasant Hill Cemetery on Highway 60 as the Hartford Historical Society hosted a cemetery tour.

During the 3-hour event local historians dressed in period costume brought the dead back to life with stories of their careers, families and …. in some cases, local scandal.

“It’s an old custom where people used to come on Sunday afternoons with their picnic basket and grandma and grandpa were in the ground and the families would clean up the area and then have a picnic lunch,” said historian Jean Knoll.

Aside from the history of the cemetery, the docents also provided detail on cemetery etiquette. “When you enter the cemetery from Highway 60 you’ll notice the beautiful gates and what those represented is whenever you entered a cemetery you were leaving your world of the living and you were coming into the city of the dead and they wanted you to show the respect of the people buried there,” Knoll said.

There was also an educational element about how to care for your headstone. It was presented by Rex Melius and it had an unplanned and very creepy ending. Melius has spent hours shining up headstones and grave markers. On Saturday with spray bottle and brush in hand he was cleaning the moss, dirt and debris off the stone belonging to Irma Emmer.

The work is tedious. Each stone takes about 30 minutes to clean. After his presentation the question was asked how he picked Irma’s headstone. Without missing a beat Melius said it because she was next to Harvey. Sure enough…the stone for Harvey John Emmer was right next door.

Melius said, “That wasn’t planned… but it sure is a little creepy.” For those not up on current events – the two recent hurricanes to hit the south were named Harvey and Irma.

Man who took over Rick’s Tap in Barton has died

Allen J. “Whitey” Rick, 89, of West Bend, passed away on Sunday, Sept. 17, 2017, at the Clement J. Zablocki Veterans Association Hospital in Milwaukee.

Whitey was born on July 19, 1928, in Barton, the son of the late Allen and Bernadina (Tina) (Stellpflug) Rick. On June 15, 1950, he was united in marriage to Harriet Schroeder. Whitey grew up in Barton.  He proudly served his country in the U.S. Army during World War II.  In 1960, he took over the family business and operated Rick’s Tap in Barton for the next several years.  Whitey was also a volunteer fireman for the Barton Fire Department. His funeral was Friday.

Successful GERMANfest

Organizers of this year’s GERMANfest in West Bend have some great news. “We raised $70,000 net,” said GERMANfest’s Lisa Jensen. “We could not have done it without the community sponsorship’s, in-kind contributions, volunteers and participation! We have enough now to cover the material costs of a home as well as the land to build a house.”

The annual German festival in downtown West Bend is organized by Habitat for Humanity of Dodge and Washington Counties.

Neighbors ask motorists to slow down for injured crane

Neighbors on Schmidt Road in West Bend are encouraging motorists to slow down because of what appears to be an injured Sandhill Crane in the area. Kenlyn from The Sign Shop on Schmidt Road said there is a pair of Sandhill Cranes that continually cross the road and one has an injured leg. “We have been in contact with Wanakia Wildlife Rehabilitation and they are aware and are trying to help with the situation,” she said. On a side note: Sandhill Cranes mate for life.

Village of Kewaskum accepts property donation

The Kewaskum Village Board has voted unanimously to accept a donation of 31 acres from the Reigle family.

The land is on Edgewood Road and County Highway H. Early plans are to turn the parcel into a sports complex with youth soccer fields and baseball/softball diamonds.  Officials said the park would help ease overcrowding at the Kiwanis Park.

Dave Spenner, a trustee on the Village Board, said this is a great opportunity for the community.

“We are greatly indebted and thankful to the Reigle family for such a generous donation; we feel really blessed,” Spenner said. “Many of its users will participate in its development and share in the cost and it will benefit more than just the village itself.”

At the Sept. 7 listening session several neighbors were concerned about a number of things including, parking, possible trespassing, and there was a safety concern regarding the 2-acre pond on the property.

“The planners and Kewaskum athletic programs are genuinely committed to working with the neighbors to make sure this is a good experience for everyone,” said Spenner.

“We have the Milwaukee River running directly through town and we don’t fence every waterway.

“The final plans aren’t in yet. What we looked at is conceptual and there’s much more planning that needs to be done.”

The next step for the village is to execute the donation agreement with the Reigle family, zoning has to be changed from residential to recreational and an agreement has to be completed with the soccer organizations and other sports teams.

Property donor Jim Reigle has lived in Kewaskum since 1947; the gift of property is estimated at about $640,000. The village will receive about $4,000 a year in taxes from the proposed park. Funding for the park would come from private donors and corporate sponsors.

The village does not anticipate any expense to maintain the park as that job would be split between the Kewaskum Athletic Association (KAA) and the Kewaskum Youth Soccer Organization.

The village would own the land but would lease it to the Kewaskum Youth Soccer Organization and the KAA.

WBSD Facility Advisory Committee begins meeting this week

The first meeting of the West Bend School District Facility Advisory Committee is Sept. 27, from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. in the library at Jackson Elementary, W204 N16850 Jackson Dr., Jackson. The district is exploring facility needs at Jackson Elementary School and East/West High Schools. Bray Architects won the bid at $35,000 on a 3-phase proposal to oversee the first part of the project which includes community engagement, architectural, engineering and interior design services.

Kettle Moraine Symphony prepping for a new season

A lively Thursday evening at Our Saviors Lutheran in West Bend as the Kettle Moraine Symphony held its weekly practice. Dr. Richard Hynson is the new director this year.

According to the KMS website, “Hynson is well-known in the Milwaukee area as the director of the Bel Canto Chorus and Orchestra. He has contributed to the greater Milwaukee community as conductor, published composer and teacher for the past 30 years.

His past conducting roles include serving as music director of the Milwaukee Chamber Orchestra from 2006 to 2014, music director for Gathering on the Green from 2008 to 2013 and as music director and conductor of the Waukegan (IL) Symphony Orchestra from 1990 to 1998.

Hynson’s local guest conducting engagements have included performances with the Milwaukee Symphony, Skylight Opera Theatre, and the Racine, Sheboygan and Waukesha Symphony Orchestras. He has also conducted numerous other ensembles nationally and internationally.

The Kettle Moraine Symphony season begins Oct. 1.

Update & tidbits

Crossroads Music Fest is today, Saturday, Sept. 23. This year’s free Christian music event is being held at Hartford Town Hall on County Road K in Hartford. From noon – 7 p.m. there will be live music, food, a silent auction, and lots of family-friendly activities.

The Faith, Hope & Run! 5K Run/Walk is Sunday. Registration is also available Sunday starting at 10:30 a.m. Kids Race at 1:15 p.m. and 5K at 2 p.m. More information is at faithandfamilyfest.org

-Cast Iron Luxury Living in West Bend, formerly the West Bend Aluminum Company factory building, is now high-end apartments and the Apartment Owners and Managers Association (AOMA) just recognized the managers of Cast Iron with the Property Excellence Award.

Interfaith Caregivers is holding its 2017 Campfire Tea on Sunday, Oct. 8 from 1:30 p.m. – 4 p.m. at the Prairie Center at West Bend Mutual. The annual fundraiser helps positively impact the lives of Washington County seniors. This year’s event features celebrity waiters serving wonderful tea and scrumptious appetizers. There will also be an amazing silent auction, the very popular purse auction, and a 50/50 raffle. Tickets are $35 per person.

– A full lineup of music and outdoor fun is ahead as the Jackson Park Beer Garden gets underway Sept. 27 – Oct. 1 at Jackson Park. The festivities run from 4:30 p.m. – 9 p.m.

Officers from the West Bend Police Department performed well at the 2017 Wisconsin Professional Police Association State Police Shoot. The matches consisted of the traditional Bullseye Match, a Rifle Match, and a Sub-Compact Pistol Match. West Bend was represented by active officers Robert Lloyd and Justin Klopp and retired officers Kenneth Johnson and William Matheus. Multiple trophies and medals were received.

– Dress in your Halloween best and trick or treat in downtown West Bend during Fall Fest, Oct. 13. Yup…. that’s Friday the 13th. A new addition to Fall Fest this year is Pumpkin Bowling. Roll a hand-sized pumpkin, knock down pins and win prizes.

– More than 400 volunteers this week from more than 30 local organizations were at the kick off of the United Way of Washington County’s annual campaign. Volunteers packed 2,500 personal care (hygiene) kits for distribution through local food pantries, churches, schools, and nonprofit organizations

-Today, Sept. 23 at 1 p.m. the Kettle Moraine Ice Center and Washington County Youth Hockey Association are sponsoring a Girls Try Hockey Free Event for ages 4-14. All gear will be provided; many coaches and older skaters will be at the rink, ready and eager to help. This is a great opportunity for girls to experience firsthand a featured winter Olympics sport with no monetary commitment.

-Washington County’s annual Clean Sweep is Saturday, Oct. 7 from 8 a.m. – noon at the Washington County Highway Facility, 900 Lang Street.

-The West Bend VFW Post 1393 is looking for a bar manager, full-time and part-time bartenders. Please send resumes to PO Box 982 West Bend, WI 53095.

Theater seats have arrived at Kettle Moraine Playhouse in Slinger

They sold the event as a “flash mob” of sorts as volunteers gathered outside the Kettle Moraine Playhouse to unload a truck full of new theater seats. “Well…. they’re new to us,” said Playhouse facilities director Lyle Krueger.

The green cushioned theater seats came out of a Bible theme park in Oklahoma. “The operators didn’t get permits and when they tried to open they failed inspection and the seats went on eBay,” Krueger said. Volunteers worked for about an hour in assembly-line fashion on a steamy Friday evening unloading and stacking nearly 70 cushions, seat backs and armrests.

The former St. Paul’s Church, 204 S. Kettle Moraine Drive in Slinger, is being remodeled into an intimate 64-seat theater.  The entryway to the theater was completed by Keller, Inc.  Local contractors and Playhouse volunteers are doing a majority of the interior remodel.

The Kettle Moraine Players are on track to “open the Playhouse this fall” with a five-show season. Today volunteers will be installing the seats. The inaugural season at the Kettle Moraine Playhouse will get underway with the performance of “Blind Dating at Happy Hour” on October 20, 21, 26, 27 and 28 at 7:30 p.m., October 21 at 4 p.m., October 22, 29 at 2 p.m.

 

LGBT Activist Shot by Police

Looks like a suicide by cop.

Police in the US state of Georgia have shot and killed an LGBT student activist, leading to an independent investigation.

Police encountered Scout Schultz at a campus in Atlanta after a call about “a person with a knife and a gun” late on Saturday, officials say.

Footage has emerged apparently showing Schultz, 21, refusing to obey multiple police commands to drop a knife.

Schultz’s mother said police should not have used lethal force.

In a video filmed by fellow students at the Georgia Institute of Technology, Schultz is heard saying “Shoot me!” while continuing to advance on the officers. One of them then opens fire.

It also looks like this poor kid had some severe issues. If it was a suicide by cop, it’s a shame that he chose to ruin some poor police officer’s life too.

Medicare for All

They already have it in Venezuela.

As the food shortages deepened, nearly three-quarters of Venezuelans polled said they had lost at least 19 pounds last year, one poll found.

Shortages of basic medicine and proper medical equipment – as in Deivis’ case – are common. More than 750 women died during or shortly after childbirth in 2016, a 66% increase from 2015, according to the Venezuelan health ministry. Nearly 11,500 infants died, a 30% jump. Malaria cases soared to 240,000, a staggering 76% increase. That last one is especially telling: Venezuela had already eradicated malaria more than 50 years ago. I met three paramedics in a week who all said they’re low or out of gauze, gloves and bandages.

Galindez, Deivis’ mother, found a matching kidney to replace one of her son’s failing ones. But it was a temporary victory: Doctors stopped performing kidney operations in April because they didn’t have the resources needed for the operation, according to Dr. Belen Arteaga, the head of the nephrology unit at Hospital de Niños Dr. J.M. de los Ríos, where Deivis was treated.

Around the Bend by Judy Steffes

Henry Sausen Jr. of Hartford is one of five veterans from Washington County on today’s Stars & Stripes Honor Flight.

Sausen Jr., 86, said he knew he was going to be drafted. “My dad took me to the bus and I said I was going to volunteer for the Marine Corps and my dad said ‘kid are you crazy?'” said Sausen. “I’d probably seen too many John Wayne movies.”

It was 1951 and Sausen was living in Shiocton. At 21 years old he was working the family farm when he went to basic training and then moved to an Army base in Fort Riley, Kansas.

“After four weeks if you weren’t cutting the grades you were gone,” said Sausen. “I managed to make it eight weeks and then they shipped us to Fort Lejeune, North Carolina.”

Sausen served on the destroyer U.S.S. Lloyd and work in reconnaissance.  Although most of his unit went overseas to serve in the Korean War, Sausen had only two months left in service and remained in the states.

After the service Sausen pursued a career in cheese making. At 24 years old he was encouraged to go to school at University of Wisconsin. He went into systems automation in the dairy and food industry.

Sausen has been to Washington D.C. before while in service.  His son John will be his guardian.

Others on today’s Honor Flight to Washington D.C. include Korean War veteran and Morse code interceptor Dennis Bingen of Kewaskum,  Vietnam War Navy veteran Thomas Gentz of Germantown, Vietnam War Army veteran Dennis Muench of West Bend and Korean War Army combat veteran Erv Wicklander of Colgate.

Archbishop Jerome Listecki helps St. Mary’s celebrate 160 years

Hundreds of people filled the pews at St. Mary’s Parish in Barton on Sunday, Sept. 10 for a Mass with Archbishop Jerome Listecki as the church on Jefferson Street celebrated its 160th anniversary.

Dressed in green vestments with a violet zucchetto the Archbishop talked about “coming together as a community” and “trust.”

“What we have today is because of the sacrifices made by so many in the past,” said Listecki.

Whitey Uelmen has been a member at St. Mary’s since 2000 and his family has been part of the parish since 1969. “This was really a neat celebration and Rev. Nathan did a great job putting this together,” said Uelmen. “We were really, truly honored to have the Archbishop attend this ceremony and put his blessing on the church.”

Hannah Helmbrecht, an eighth grader at Badger Middle School, was one of six servers at the Mass. “We signed up and had a few practices,” said Helmbrecht.  “I was really honored to be able to serve with the Archbishop. This was just really, really cool.”

Rita Dricken, 89, was baptized and married at St. Mary’s Parish. “There was a lot of community feeling when I started with the church,” Dricken said. “The Archbishop had a wonderful understanding of why we’re celebrating and he gave a lot of credit to the founders.”

During Mass the altar at St. Mary’s was crowded with familiar faces including Rev. Enrique Hernandez, Rev. Justin Lopina, Rev. Nathan Reesman and Rev. Patrick Heppe from Holy Angels Parish in West Bend.

During communion the choir sang “One Bread One Body.” After Mass the Archbishop thanked everyone for their participation including the servers, ushers, choir and the Knights of Columbus.

West Bend teen donates stuffed animals to St. Joe’s Hospital

Savanna Rose Bonlender hobbled through the emergency room doors at St. Joseph’s Hospital in the Town of Polk today with a brace on her knee and carrying huge plastic bags crammed full of stuffed animals.

It was the culmination of the 3rd annual Savanna Rose Teddy Bear drive from the West Bend Farmers’ Market.

For the past few years Savanna Rose, 17, has been collecting tips from her performance at the downtown market and using the money to purchase teddy bears and stuffed animals for Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin. Savanna heard there was a need for stuffed animals in the ER at St. Joseph’s/Froedtert in West Bend and this year she chose to donate to both hospitals.

On Wednesday afternoon, joined by Jerry Beine from Modern Woodmen, Savannah Rose was greeted by nurses from St. Joes who helped bring the gifts into the hospital.

“I am hoping to become a nurse practitioner and I really enjoy helping others and I eventually would like to help people medically but is the best I can do getting into a hospital setting,” said Savanna.

In her first year Savanna collected about $500 to buy toys and art supplies for Children’s Hospital. This year she raised more than double that collecting $806 in three hours. Jerry Beine of Modern Woodmen of America said he would like to help and chipped in a $300 donation to raise the total to $1,106 this year.

Anne Zuern is manager of Ambulatory Surgical Services at Froedtert & the Medical College of Wisconsin. “This is just a wonderful donation,” said Zuern. “Especially from someone so young… you just don’t see that a lot.”

Savanna will be starting college next year and majoring in nursing with hopes of becoming a pediatric nurse practitioner.

Update on Pizza Ranch

It’s probably the most frequent question these days…. “What’s the latest on Pizza Ranch?”

The last update was Aug. 2 when the West Bend Plan Commission unanimously approved a site plan for architectural building changes and minor parking lot alterations to the location, 2020 W. Washington Street. That site is the old Ponderosa location owned by Steve Kilian.

“There’s no limit to the amount of congratulations we can give you and hopefully this is the one that makes it happen,” said Mayor Kraig Sadownikow during the August meeting.

Matt and Stacy Gehring are the local owners of Pizza Ranch West Bend LLC. Kilian confirmed during a phone call Wednesday that they will close on the sale of the building in the next two weeks. Kilian indicated the deal is on track and was confident the sale will close.

So far there’s no timetable on how long the remodel will take, however the Gehrings indicated it will be quicker to remodel than start with new construction. Stay tuned!

Wedding gifts stolen from Fillmore Turner Hall

 

The Washington County Sheriff is investigating a theft following a wedding Saturday night at Fillmore Turner Hall. According to the sheriff the couple from Newburg, Lance Rohan and Jennifer Falter, got married on Saturday, Sept. 9, and presents from the wedding were loaded into a vehicle.

 

It is believed someone entered the unlocked vehicle just after midnight. Jenny said their gift box was roughly a 3.5-foot x 2.5-foot chest. It was heavy and incredibly ostentatious.

 

“At the end of the night our sober best man carried it out to our parent’s vehicle. It was the absolute last thing loaded, and other gifts were moved on top of it,” she said. “Our parents stepped inside the door to say goodbye with the vehicle parked less than 10 feet away, and in less than five minutes their vehicle was opened, the other gifts were tossed off the top, and the chest was removed. It was not taken due to a lack of care.

 

“We would like to be clear that our reason for agreeing to speak with media is not because we would like any monetary handouts. We DO NOT have a Go Fund Me page and have absolutely no interest in starting one. Bad things happen and you deal with it and move on.

 

Our only motivation is that we would like to know if this has happened to anyone else (besides the Mayville wedding), and if so, we would really appreciate them reaching out to us.

 

This is the second time within about a month wedding gifts were stolen from a vehicle during a reception. Last month, August 19, in neighboring Dodge County gifts were stolen from a truck as a wedding reception wrapped up at the Mayville Golf Course.  Mayville Police are offering a $1,500 reward.

 

More than 80 customers scammed at local grocery   

 

A 19-year-old West Bend man is facing felony charges in Washington County Court in connection with allegedly stealing money/identity from the store or customers and then converting it into gift cards for himself.

 

The criminal complaint alleges Alexander Deaton worked at Pick ‘n Save north and used the company’s “make it right” return policy to enter in fraudulent returns and swap it out for gift cards. West Bend police said about 80 customer complaints have been filed.

 

One victim, who prefers to remain anonymous, said she spent two days at her bank trying to straighten out the damage to her account. The manager at Pick ‘n Save confirmed the scam and confirmed the employee has been terminated.

 

According to the criminal complaint Deaton allegedly found a way to complete returns without items actually being returned and he would do fraudulent returns and put the money obtained from the return on Amazon and MasterCard gift cards and that each gift card had a different value. Deaton did not have permission from anyone to take the money from Pick ‘n Save North

 

The complaint said Deaton told police he started stealing money from Pick ‘n Save sometime in late March 2017 to about July 7, 2017 and he would enter in returns and put the money in to Amazon or MasterCard gift cards and he would do this twice a week. He would also do returns and get cash back. Deaton said he accumulated about $30,000 while doing this and spent a good portion of the money on random things.

 

The defendant used the “make it right” program code at multiple registers some showing he entered approximately $3195.25 under the paper bag refund. He would enter in multiple paper bag refunds and some transactions and then cash out and remove whatever total he had entered and then place that amount of cash in his pocket.

 

Deaton is due in Judge Todd Martens court for arraignment on October 10, 2017.

 

Menchie’s Frozen Yogurt to close in West Bend

 

Quite a few changes with regard to frozen dairy treats in the West Bend area over the past few months/years. Remember when West Bend had two Dairy Queens? Those stores closed in 2014.

A couple weeks ago the Moehr family transitioned Toucan Custard to new owners and now Menchie’s Frozen Yogurt is closing.

 

A note was posted on the door of the store on Thursday, 1733 S. Main Street in West Bend.

 

“It is with sadness we inform you we have to close the store location permanently effective September 17. We have been negotiating new lease terms with the landlord for the past 6 to 8 weeks and they informed us as of last night they are no longer willing to move forward with the terms we agreed upon. We want to give the public as much notice so you may come in to redeem any coupons gift cards etc. These will still all be valid at all the other Menchie’s locations.”

 

Menchie’s Frozen Yogurt and its predecessor have had a tough go of it in West Bend.  Cherry Berry Self-Serve Frozen Yogurt opened in West Bend in February 2013. That switched over to Menchie’s Frozen Yogurt in January 2015 and now Menchie’s is closing up shop.

 

This afternoon Shannon Lehnerz and Brooke Tilidetzke were the only customers in the store. They were both a little bummed the store would be closing. “We’ve been coming here since it was Cherry Berry,” said Lehnerz. “It’s sad.”

 

Kettle Moraine Symphony preps for 2017-2018 season

 

A lively Thursday evening at Our Saviors Lutheran in West Bend as the Kettle Moraine Symphony held its weekly practice. Dr. Richard Hynson is the new director this year.

 

According to the KMS website, “Hynson is well-known in the Milwaukee area as the director of the Bel Canto Chorus and Orchestra. He has contributed to the greater Milwaukee community as conductor, published composer and teacher for the past 30 years.

 

His past conducting roles include serving as music director of the Milwaukee Chamber Orchestra from 2006 to 2014, music director for Gathering on the Green from 2008 to 2013 and as music director and conductor of the Waukegan (IL) Symphony Orchestra from 1990 to 1998.

 

Hynson’s local guest conducting engagements have included performances with the Milwaukee Symphony, Skylight Opera Theatre, and the Racine, Sheboygan and Waukesha Symphony Orchestras. He has also conducted numerous other ensembles nationally and internationally.

 

For Kettle Moraine Symphony, Hynson has created programs audiences will not want to miss, and the orchestra is eager to begin the 2017-18 season with him at the helm.

 

The KMS season begins Oct. 1.

 

Paying tribute to historian Irene Blau of Germantown

 

On Saturday, Sept. 16 at 3 p.m. an exhibit will be unveiled by the Germantown Historical Society to honor Irene Blau and her 35 years of service. Blau has been actively involved in the community since moving to Germantown in 1963. Blau will be honored during a ceremony at the Christ Church starting at 3 p.m. There will be light refreshments and at 5 p.m. there will be the traditional ringing of the church bell that used to call farmers in from the fields marking the end of the work day. Saturday’s event is free and open to the public.

 

No Halloween Express in West Bend this year

 

Halloween Express will not have a store in West Bend this season. Owner James M. Purvis Sr. said the former Walgreens location at S.Main and Decorah is under contract by Kwik Trip. The good news is there are two locations in the Washington County area. One is at 1520 E. Sumner Street /Hwy 60 in Hartford. The store is next to Sal’s Pizza and Piggly Wiggly. The other shop is in Menomonee Falls at N96W18930 County Line Road next to World Market and Petco. It’s eight blocks west on County Line Road and Hwy 41/45.  Purvis said there’s also no Halloween Express in Fond du Lac this year.

 

Cobblestone Hotel breaks ground in Hartford

 

Groundbreaking in Hartford this week as Cobblestone Hotel celebrated its newest addition. The hotel on Highway 60/ 110 E. Sumner Street will be built along with Wissota Chop House restaurant.

 

Jeremy Griesbach, a 1992 graduate of Hartford Union High School, is the president of development with BriMark Builders, LLC a division of Cobblestone Builders. He felt there’s always been a missing piece to the hotel puzzle in Hartford.

 

“For the past 20 years of so I’ve always thought we were missing that business hotel in town and that quality lodging,” Griesbach said. “We were always losing those people to the surrounding communities and anytime somebody doesn’t stay here they’re not eating here or buying gas here and now we’re finally getting something done.”

 

There were a number of local business leaders that gathered in the empty lot on Park Avenue across from the Jack Russell Memorial Library including Hartford mayor Tim Michalak, city administrator Steve Volkert, and Hartford Chamber executive director Scott Hanke who said the development is definitely a “shot in the arm for the community.”

 

“This especially helps with tourism as we now have places to stay and play as well as another dining option and 60 more rooms,” he said.

 

The city of Hartford will give Cobblestone Builders an incentive of $650,000 when hotel occupancy is approved. Cobblestone basically purchased the property for $1. Griesbach said their deal with the city includes a commitment of “a minimum of $110,000 in property taxes a year for the next 10 years.”

 

Brian Wogernese is with Cobblestone Builders. “Since 2015 we’ve been talking about adding more lodging for business clientele here in Hartford,” said Wogernese.

 

City administrator Volkert, dressed in a brilliant orange tie, said “this is a good first step to development of the TID.”

 

“This will hopefully lead to more development because it’s like keeping up with the Jonses in the downtown; hopefully this steamrolls,” said Volkert.

 

Contractors have already broken ground on the project, which is just a block east of The Mineshaft. Wogernese said they’re working to get the “footings in before winter and start framing.” The project should be finished by summer 2018.

 

Updates & tidbits

– Kevin Steiner – CEO of West Bend Mutual and 2017 Campaign Chair, and 400+ volunteers from more than 30 local organizations will kick off the United Way of Washington County’s annual campaign on Thursday, Sept. 21 from 3 p.m. – 7 p.m. at the Washington County Fair Park. Volunteers will be packaging 2,500 personal care (hygiene) kits for distribution through local food pantries, churches, schools, and nonprofit organizations.

– Three students from the West Bend School District scored super high on the state of Wisconsin PSAT exam. The smarty pants include Jacob Beine, Liam Hupfer and Olivia McClain who have been named semifinalists for the National Merit Scholarship.

– Delta Defense LLC, based in West Bend, and the City of West Bend received a Business Retention & Expansion Award at the 3rd annual Community and Economic Development Awards banquet, held at Edgewater Hotel in Madison. This award recognizes efforts in which a community successfully mobilized to retain and/or expand a business. Winning projects demonstrate extensive cross-community collaboration and the ability to adapt and respond quickly to unforeseen events within the last three years.

– On Sept. 23 at 1 p.m. the Kettle Moraine Ice Center and Washington County Youth Hockey Association are sponsoring a Girls Try Hockey Free Event for ages 4-14. All gear will be provided; many coaches and older skaters will be at the rink, ready and eager to help. This is a great opportunity for girls to experience firsthand a featured winter Olympics sport with no monetary commitment.

-The 19th Annual Richfield Historical Society Thresheree is Sept. 16 and 17 from 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. There will be wonderful family-fun activities including a live auction, tractor parade, and kids can build a scarecrow.

-One of the largest car shows in Washington County is Sunday, Sept. 17 in Kewaskum. Muscle cars, vintage, hot rods and racers. The show runs 7 a.m. – 3 p.m. and is in downtown Kewaskum, just to the east of Fond du Lac Avenue.

-A full lineup of music and outdoor fun is ahead as the Jackson Park Beer Garden gets underway September 27 – October 1 at Jackson Park. The festivities will run from 4:30 p.m. – 9 p.m.

-Washington County’s annual Clean Sweep is Saturday, Oct. 7 from 8 a.m. – noon at the Washington County Highway Facility, 900 Lang Street.

-The West Bend VFW Post 1393 is looking for a bar manager, full-time and part-time bartenders. Please send resumes to PO Box 982 West Bend, WI 53095

– Crossroads Music Fest is Saturday, Sept. 23. This year’s free Christian music event is being held at Hartford Town Hall on County Road K in Hartford. From noon – 7 p.m. there will be live music, food, a silent auction, and lots of family-friendly activities.

On a history note

A bit of a face lift for the old firehouse in Barton as the building from 1921 gets a new paint job. Some neighbors were concerned whether the Build, Boost & Buy Barton ad will return to the side of the building, 1411 N. Main Street. Building owner Terry Vrana took time Monday night to trace the ad on a big piece of plastic. Vrana then signed off on a note on the side of the building. Vrana said the Build, Boost & Buy in Barton will be back. On a history note: Good Shepherd Lutheran Church recently broke ground on a new addition for the church/school on Indiana Avenue and Decorah Road. When the church first started it held its services in the firehouse in Barton.

 

Never Forget

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