Category Archives: Off-Duty

Around the Bend by Judy Steffes

$74 million referendum total for West Bend School District  

The West Bend School Board set the initial resolution for the April 2, 2019 referendum question at $47 million. The true cost with interest at about 4.25 percent, according to Robert W. Baird & Co., will bring the total to $74 million which includes $27 million in interest.

Following a presentation by Baird’s John Mehan and the district’s Tim Stellmacher the board discussed how the referendum sat with them.

Board member Ken Schmidt felt $74 million was a lot to ask for.

“I’m one who knows about history and there are cycles in our economy and those cycles are impacted by elections,” said Schmidt. “If we get other administrations who decide they are going to create a negative business climate that’s going to impact our economy and what happens to jobs, it’s also going to impact what happens to the valuation of property. We saw that in 2007 and property values went down. One of the reasons we’ve got phenomenal property values is we have a super-great economy on steroids. Wages are going up we can’t find enough workers for all the jobs. That can turn around and that’s what I’m concerned about. I’m concerned about a cycle like that and the West Bend taxpayer ends up with not such a rosy picture. I also have a problem with the present proposal and it’s really being overbuilt, considering the projections of declining enrollment. I really wonder if we’re doing the wisest thing in the world. I have some grave concerns.”

Board member Joel Ongert spoke about not including interest on the referendum question. “The first step in the referendum process is to pass the initial resolution. Parameters on what is to be included in the initial resolution are set forth in section 67.05 of the Wisconsin state statue to include the purpose and the maximum principal amount of the bond issued,” he said. “I’ve reached out to Quarles and Brady and the attorney I spoke with they said they’ve never included interest in the referendum questions.”

Taking a look at the current referendums the West Bend School District is paying off….

In April 2009, voters in West Bend approved a $29.3 million plan to renovate, as well as build an addition to Badger Middle School.

In November 2012 the West Bend School District passed a $22.8 million referendum to close Barton Elementary School, expand Silverbrook School and add classrooms and a gym at Green Tree Elementary School. The actual total cost of the referendum with taxes and interest was $31.975 million with a 15-year payback on borrowing.

After the Nov. 2012 referendum passed the $31.9 million total was added on top of the $29.3 million payment for the 2009 Badger referendum.

According to Mehan “as of January 14, 2019 the District has principal debt outstanding” including $29,420,000 from Fund 39 referendum and Fund 38 non-referendum approved debt of $5,011,000.

The target date to completely pay off the current debt on referendums is 2028.

Cobbling together the outstanding debt of $34,431,000 plus the proposed referendum and interest of $74 million the total, if approved it would bring, the West Bend School District debt on referendums to $108,431,000. Mehan said the $74 million debt would run 19 years.

Prior to the board discussion on referendum total of $74 million a woman from West Bend spoke during the public presentation portion of the meeting about the referendum topic.

“What is the total cost with interest and secondly I have friends and family in real estate and they admit there is a declining interest in living in Jackson, which is part of this referendum cost. One of the things is there is a decline in the birth rate but also families with young children who have concerns about the 55,000 gallon gasoline spill in 2012. People with young children don’t have much interest when they can buy homes in surrounding areas because they have concerns about that gas spill.

“Also what is the plan. A plan for that money, where is it going? A plan for the school in Jackson a plan for the remodel of the schools. Will that remodel include transgender bathrooms, transgender locker rooms. What is the plan for those things,” said the woman.

Following the public speaking portion of the meeting board member Nancy Justman instructed the superintendent to get the woman who spoke a copy of the plan. On Thursday, Jan. 17  Superintendent Don Kirkegaard said there is no plan available yet. Kirkegaard said it is expected to be completed in the “next week or two.”

WBSD plans to eliminate Pathways in West Bend

Parents and students lined up at Monday night’s West Bend School Board meeting to express their displeasure about the district’s plan to possibly eliminate Pathways Charter School.

According to documentation posted on the School District site a recommendation will be made for Pathways to be eliminated.

Diana Swillinger, a parent of four children in the district, sits on the Pathways Governance Council. She was direct and disappointed questioning a lack of transparency in numbers and “misplaced priorities, a lack of vision, disinterest in the needs of the students, and a knee-jerk reaction to a struggling budget.”

Diana Swillinger comments to school board, January 14, 2019

Good evening. I am Diana Swillinger. A parent of 4 children in this district and a Pathways Governance Council member.

I have a small amount of time to say a lot, so I will not mince words, I will read right from my statement and speak as fast as I can. Please know I say all of this with the utmost respect for the board. I appreciate your service.

I had intended today to share my opinion about the future of Pathways, and I will, however, I would like to address a concern first.

Late Friday afternoon, the district presented the school board with a report of Pathways, created by a lone critic from Black and Associates. The Governance Council was told when the evaluation happened that it was to inform Pathways’ accountability plan and were not told it would be shared outside of that purpose. The evaluation period was in the 2017-2018 school year, yet the results were not shared with Pathways staff or Governance Council in any written form. Ever. We were introduced to the document only when it was shared with you, just one business day before the Superintendent–who to the best of my knowledge and in my opinion, has not completed his own observation and evaluation of Pathways–is likely to recommend a discontinuation of the contract.

In the kindest terms we could call this move strategic and clever. But when we consider the impact it will have on the educational, vocational, and developmental journey of real children, real students… our children… this move could be seen as manipulative and self-serving. At best, this is not something I would use as an example to share with my own children to demonstrate good business, good politics, or good will. I find the lack of disclosure with Pathways staff and governance council and last-minute exposure to the board disappointing and discouraging.

Now to my original comments:

Pathways has produced a plethora of positive results as you heard testimony to in December. To discontinue the partnership with Pathways would be to displace dozens of students from the rigorous and unique education they credit for their success and it would be a mistake–a mistake based on an incompatible, formulaic report card that is skewed on many levels as has been previously addressed. 

I am a fiscally responsible person, I have seen the budget for Pathways, and in the grand scheme of the district spending, it really is a drop in the bucket. To eliminate the partnership based on money, would be a disproportionate reaction to the value it provides to the many students who’ve attended there and are yet to attend.

As the world starts to embrace the reality that students in neat rows of desks with one-size-fits-all education under serves our children and their future, Pathways is leading the way. This school started with an innovative and courageous dream… please tell me you aren’t ready to quit that dream. We are just getting started.  

Please tell me you won’t quit because we hit a couple obstacles. What will we tell the kids if the contract to the only school that has awakened their desire to learn isn’t renewed? “Sorry kids, we hit a snag in the budget and the state report card doesn’t accurately display the amazing things happening here and in your life, so we quit.“

For much of Pathways existence, the district administration has taken little interest. And now their interest seems to only lie in the obstacles while paying little attention to the successes and not embracing the incredible character development and educational journey of the students…. the things that don’t fit into standardized reports and spreadsheets. 

If the contract isn’t renewed it will be viewed by many as misplaced priorities, a lack of vision, disinterest in the needs of the students, and a knee-jerk reaction to a struggling budget.

If the contract is renewed it will be viewed by many as an investment in the future of an amazing and creative population of students, the ingenuity of education, rigor of studies, and evolving path of education.  Thank you.

Chelsea Doman Davis, a parent of four, from Jackson also spoke to the board and wondered what prompted the decision to close if money and preparing students for college isn’t the issue.

Good evening Board members and fellow parents. My name is Chelsea Doman Davis. I live in Jackson …. Last month I talked as a parent of four children in the district and shared my very personal reasons for needing the charter at Pathways to be renewed. Tonight, I again have skipped my own PTO meeting to address you but as a concerned citizen and outside of the emotion of how my family would directly be adversely affected by the dissolution of Pathways Charter School.

I have several points I hope the Board will consider in this matter.

First, the Charter School provides options, which is a choice we value in Wisconsin.

Other school districts in the area have launched or are launching similar efforts, such as the Riveredge Outdoor Learning School in neighboring Northern Ozaukee School District. By removing options here, you are encouraging families to go elsewhere. The Revenue Limit here has been negatively impacted in the past due to students attending other districts.

At Pathways, the students have to engage in the learning process. They drive it. My eighth grader recently protested when his father told him to think creatively about a problem at home because he gets too much practice. He said, “At my school it’s all about working creatively.”

This student-led learning and innovation should be SPREADING to other classrooms, not fighting to stay alive. As you know, the vision of the West Bend School District is to prepare all students for college readiness AND career success. Pathways supports this vision more fully than the other options in the upper grades.

Second, Charter schools are a really great thing.

Stanford University recently conducted a survey of charter schools in 41 urban areas around the nation. Their findings showed that the typical charter school student accumulated 40 additional days’ worth of learning in math and 28 days of reading than their peers in traditional classrooms. Over the four-year study, positive results increased.

This school hasn’t been given enough of a chance. It opened for grades 7-10 in 2013 and added a class per year until the start of the 2015 school year. In other words, it is only in its fourth school year serving all of the intermediate and secondary grades. By dissolving this school while it’s gaining momentum, you’re cutting off the experiment much too soon.

Additionally, why hasn’t the school district promoted Pathways?

At this point, there shouldn’t be any parent who doesn’t know about the school and yet I repeatedly explain the vision of Pathways to parents I meet at the library and the baseball diamond and school drop off and museums and community events. When I talk about the career readiness, the community involvement, and project-based approach, everyone is interested in the affordable alternative to traditional classrooms.

I question what the issue really is here.

It can’t be a money issue because the Equalized Assessed Value (EAV) of the District has increased 4 years in a row, and the tax rates for education have decreased. The S&P rating for the district is commendable AA. Last year’s budget promised no reduction in programming and courses, so what has changed. As Superintendent Kirkegaard explained in a November meeting, the District has the lowest debt ratio when compared to the surroundings areas.

So if money is not the problem and you want families to have choices within the District, it seems renewing the charter is an obvious decision. Thank you.

Jennie Duller from Germantown and her son Austin, who graduated from Pathways, also spoke Monday night.

Austin said, “I would still be in high school now if it wasn’t for the change of pace, change in thinking and most importantly, because of the coaches.  Because of Pathways I was able to complete my freshman, sophomore, junior, and senior year and graduate on time, over the next 3 years. I was able to acquire skills that have helped me in the workplace, as well as create a plan for after high school now.”

Duller echoed those thoughts. “I guarantee there are many students out there that would benefit from this program, parents that want the best education possible for their students. Pathways was the best thing that could have come along for us.”

Superintendent Don Kirkegaard responded to parents by apologizing for not making public the independent audit on Pathways. “I made some assumptions I should not of,” he said.

Kirkegaard then said the decision on whether to go forward was to review the purpose of Pathways and whether it is meeting the goal.

Kirkegaard then reviewed five elements including cost, enrollment, student performance, anticipated change in location, and the independent audit.

Kirkegaard mentioned the successful Charter programs at Kettle Moraine High School.

Kirkegaard mentioned how there were three Charter programs all located in the high school. “They have a phenomenal program,” he said. “Their program is more spelled out in each particular area.”

“Immediately we need to make sure to address all of the concerns of people in Pathways,” he said.

As far as location at Badger School or the high school. “We can make that happen at either school,” said Kirkegaard. “It will require some time and effort but the space is available especially as we look at some declining enrollments going forward.”

Board member Nancy Justman asked for a work session to have a conversation. Board member Joel Ongert said he wanted the board work session to direct it to the teachers.

Scheduling of that work session is underway and the board hopes to have a final decision on the future of Pathways Charter School at its meeting Jan. 28.

After the meeting parent Jennie Duller said, “I feel like it is true that the school district has failed Pathways. They really need to take a step back and gather all of the facts before making a final decision and not operate based off of assumptions that had been preconceived. I am very happy to hear that they will be doing just that next week and meeting with school officials and teachers. I believe from what I heard this evening that here is hope for Pathways to continue on after this year.”

Doman Davis said she felt disappointed. “I was proud of the way the students from Pathways advocated for themselves, and I thought the testimonials from the other parents were inspiring. I am deeply discouraged that the Board appears to not be moved by the very real and long-lasting impact this will have on so many families. I moved to the West Bend area specifically for my oldest child to attend Pathways. If Pathways is closed, I will have to transfer him to a high school outside the district or resume homeschooling. My three other children will transfer to a different district after they complete sixth grade.”

GameStop in Hartford closing                                     By Samantha Sali

GameStop in Hartford, 35 Liberty Avenue, is closing this Sunday, January 20, 2019. The news was confirmed by GameStop store manager, Zack Cull. “It is what it is,” he said. “We appreciate the community and our customers. A lot of people reached out to us and shared how upsetting the news was to hear.

The GameStop in Hartford is located in a strip center owned by Galway Companies. The Hartford location will be merging with the GameStop in West Bend, 1325 W. Paradise Drive.

The store manager in West Bend said they have already received some product from Hartford. Store officials said all gift cards will be valid at any GameStop location and if a Hartford customer has pre-ordered an item that will be available at the West Bend location on Paradise Drive.

The Hartford store is offering discounts until its closes, along with giveaways on the last day, Sunday, Jan. 20. GameStop has been in business since 1999.

Shopko Optical to remain open in West Bend, Grafton, Sussex

In the wake of Wednesday’s announcement regarding the bankruptcy filing and closure of neighborhood Shopko stores there is word a portion of the chain will remain open.

West Bend is on the list of store closings. Its last date is April 15, 2019.

According to Shopko, “All Optical locations below will remain open to serve you during store closing. Your Optical center will be relocated very soon to a new location with the same patient care you have come to expect from your Shopko Optical center.”

More details were posted in a press release from Shopko.

In order to position the Company for future success, Shopko has announced that it will be closing an additional 38 stores, relocating over 20 Optical centers to freestanding locations, and conducting an auction process for its pharmacy business. Throughout this process, all Shopko Optical centers and pharmacies remain open and continue to deliver the high-quality products and services to which its customers are accustomed. All other stores remain open as the Company continues to optimize its store footprint.

Additionally, encouraged by the performance of the four freestanding Optical centers that were opened in 2018, Shopko plans to continue to grow its optical business by opening additional freestanding Optical locations during 2019.

On the list of the Shopko Optical centers that will remain open include West Bend, Sussex and Grafton are on the list. As far as the new location is concerned it appears that information has yet to be released to the public. Clerks at the store indicated all information would have to come from Shopko Corporate.

In Mequon the Shopko Optical, 10996 N Port Washington Road, is on an end cap in a strip center across from the Chancery.  Aside from Shopko Optical the other store, Payless Shoes, may need to relocate. Staff at the shoe outlet located inside the Shopko in West Bend had no idea the future of Payless. The Payless website reads, “Entire Site Is 40% OFF Or More! Price Reflects Discount – Includes Clearance!

Updates & Tidbits

-The sale price for Egbert & Guido’s Express, Inc. in West Bend to Kwik Trip has been posted at $966,000. The store was owned by George and Kathy Muth. The parcel, 1300 E. Paradise Drive, sold on Jan. 4, 2019. That land was originally owned by Marie Muth and sold in March 19, 1997 as vacant land. It was turned over in a trust for $75,000. The current assessed value (2018) of the former Citgo property is $1,022,200.

– Meet outstanding teachers and staff during the Sunday, Jan. 27 St. Frances Cabrini Open House and Pancake Breakfast. Come join us 8:30 a.m. – noon.

– Hartford Union High School will name its next Superintendent on Jan. 28. Two candidates for the position include Cassandra Schug and Conrad Farner.

– Wednesday, Jan. 23 is Hamburger Night at the VFW Post 1393. Order your burgers to eat in the hall and enjoy a cocktail, or order your food to go for a small take-out charge.

-A new menu has been rolled out at ‘Eddie’s Moonlighting,’ 326 Commerce Street, in Barton. Eddie Daniel is leasing the popular Barton eatery. He opened Dec. 28, 2018. The new menu is a work in progress. Daniel said he will kick things off with a limited menu including pizza and burgers. He said all items from the heyday of Moonlighting will return including Joe’s fish fry.

– 19th annual Bridal Fair at Washington County Fair Park is Jan. 27. Over 70 vendors with everything from dresses to cakes, wedding venues to entertainment. Tickets $5 Pre-Sale $6 Day-Of

-Cedar Community Annual Chili Social and Used Book Sale is Saturday, Jan. 26, 2019 from 10 a.m. – 1 p.m. at Cedar Ridge Campus, 113 Cedar Ridge Drive, West Bend. Visit the train room. Tours of Cedar Community’s independent living apartments will also be available by appointment. Enjoy our famous chili, hot ham and cheese croissant, fruit, fresh baked cookie, coffee or hot apple cider – all for only $8.50! Quarts of chili to go for $7.75.

-St Lawrence and Resurrection K.C.’s are sponsoring a 14th annual card party Sunday, Jan. 27 at 1 p.m. at the Resurrection Parish Hall in Allenton. Entry fee is $5 includes play and lunch.

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Around the Bend by Judy Steffes

Wife of WBW girls basketball coach dies following collapse after game

The wife of West Bend West girls basketball coach Joe Pintens has died. West Bend Fire Chief Gerald Kudek confirmed they responded to an emergency call at the West Bend High Schools on Tuesday, Jan. 8 at 8:19 p.m. for a woman unconscious.

Kudek said the woman was taken to an area hospital. The West Bend West team had a home game against Port Washington on Tuesday night. Games for both high school teams these next two days are being changed.

Andrea A. “Andi” Pintens, 65, of West Bend, passed away unexpectedly on Tuesday, January 8, 2019.

Andi was born on April 12, 1953, in Milwaukee, the daughter of the late Albert and Carol (nee Klemens) Dirkx.  At the age of eight she moved from Milwaukee to Harrison, Wisconsin where she grew up on a dairy farm.   On May 26, 1973, she married her best friend Joseph Pintens at St. Augustine Catholic Church in Harrison.   After marriage, Andi and Joe moved to West Bend, Wisconsin where they have resided since.

Andi studied cosmetology and was a licensed beautician who worked at Creative Cut for a number of years.   She began working at Badger Middle School as an Administrative Assistant to the Principal, where she retired after 25 years of service.  She was a decorated forensics coach at Badger, leading numerous individuals and teams to championships.  An extremely creative individual, she found numerous outlets for her talents. She was active in West Bend Children’s theatre, playing various roles in the annual production. An accomplished seamstress, she enjoyed sewing and creating clothes. What began as a hobby of making “Mittens by Pintens,” ultimately became a business, which expanded into making unique skirts, sweaters and other apparel for boutiques across the country. Andi led a very active lifestyle, exercising long before it became en vogue.  She enjoyed spending time at the cabin at Washburn Lake, where she was able to relax, fish, tube with grandkids, cross country ski and snowshoe.   In fact, she still holds the record for the largest bass ever caught at Washburn Lake, which will not be broken.  Above all, Andi enjoyed spending time with her family, particularity her grandchildren.   She loved adventure, and anything her grandchildren were interested in, quickly became her interest.

Those Andi leaves behind to cherish her memory include her husband, Joe; four children, Craig (Jill) Pintens Los Angeles, CA, Jill (Aaron) Smith of Colorado Springs, CO, Megan (Miles) Conrad of San Francisco, CA, and Scott (Jamie) Pintens of Wauwatosa, WI; 10 grandchildren with two more on the way,

A Memorial Mass for Andi will be held 5 p.m. on Sunday, Jan. 13, 2019, at Holy Angels Catholic Church, 138 N. 8th Avenue, in West Bend.

Andi’s family will greet relatives and friends at the church on Sunday from 2 p.m. until the time of Mass. In lieu of flowers and memorials, please do something special with your family, give them a hug and tell them you love them before going to bed in Andi’s memory. The Myrhum Patten Miller & Kietzer Funeral Home has been entrusted with Andi’s arrangements.

Hartford woman went to school with suspect in Jayme Closs abduction case

The name of the man accused in the abduction Jayme Closs and alleged killing of her parents struck a chord with a woman in Hartford. Samantha Sali of Hartford lived in the small community of Gordon in 2008 and attended Northwood Elementary School in Minong.

Jake Patterson, 21, the man named by Barron County Sheriff Chris Fitzgerald as the man in custody in the Closs case.

“It was a really small; kindergarten to high school.” Sali was 13 years old at the time.

“When the story broke, I thought the last name sounded familiar but I was more so struck by the community because I have relatives in that area,” she said.

Sali’s grandfather lives in Gordon, WI. Matter of fact he’s just a few doors down from the Patterson family. According to Sali, if he had been looking out his window at the right time he would have seen Closs walk past his house on Thursday.

On Friday after the Barron County Sheriff’s Department press conference Sali went in search of her old Northwood Elementary Yearbook.

She said she remembered Erik Patterson, the older brother of Jake. “I thought he was cute,” she said. “He was tall and always wore shorts. I even found a note about the shorts thing in my keepsake journal.”

Patterson, she recalled, has an older sister Katie and a younger brother Jake. The father’s name is Pat Patterson. Although Sali moved out of the community in 2010 she kept in touch with her grandfather.

“There was normal small-town talk about everybody. His name would come up with minor things but it’s really just gossip,” she said.

Sali, who is a reporter for WashingtonCountyInsider.com, did run Eric and Jake Patterson’s criminal record. “Erik has a lot of small drug charges,” she said. “There was a fourth-degree sexual assault charge and a couple driving without insurance charges and speeding.”

Sali has been in communication with her grandfather. She confirmed he has been interviewed by the FBI. Sali was last in Gordon in 2014. “I really would not have ever thought this could happen in Gordon,” she said. “It was always the place we went on vacation and we would go tubing on the river or where my grandpa taught me how to fish. Just some nice memories and I know it’s a very close-knit community. The July 4 fireworks are always packed and everyone just watches out for each other.”

“My No. 1 question is ‘how many people were involved and to what extent,’” she said.

Future of Shopko in West Bend

It appears some neighbors in West Bend received a pamphlet in the mail this week for Shopko with up to 70% off the entire store. The question arose about the future of the store, 1710 S. Main Street in West Bend. In December 2018 an article was posted at WashingtonCountyInsider.com regarding the pharmacy at Shopko transferring prescriptions to Kroger-owned grocery stores. Shopko is based in Ashwaubenon, WI. Details on the future of the retailer were recently published in the Green Bay Press Gazette. A portion of the latest article is below.

Shopko could file for bankruptcy protection from creditors as soon as next week, according to a pharmaceutical drug supplier that says the retailer owes it $67 million. Jeff Garfinkle, an attorney for San Francisco-based McKesson Corp., said during a hearing Monday in Brown County Circuit Court, that Shopko is expected to file for bankruptcy Jan. 15.

Washington Co. Board supports 9/11 memorial in Kewaskum

Gordon Haberman of Kewaskum addressed the Washington County Board on Wednesday night regarding the 9/11 memorial in Kewaskum.

His goal was to encourage supervisors to vote on a resolution to make the beam, salvaged from the twin towers in New York, recognized as the official memorial in the county and soon statewide.

Haberman spoke to the County Board for about 20 minutes alongside Andrew Johnson of Mayville. Johnson’s son David died in 2012 while fighting in Afghanistan.

Below is a summary of the board’s actions courtesy Ethan Hollenberger.

The Washington County Board unanimously passed a resolution to designate the Wisconsin 9/11 Memorial as the official memorial in Washington County to commemorate the terrorist attacks. The resolution asks the State of Wisconsin to also make the monument the official memorial of the state.

Supervisor William Symicek of Kewaskum represents the memorial and moved to approve the resolution.

The board heard a presentation from members of Kewaskum Remembers, Inc., who have been planning the memorial designed around a piece of I-beam from the north twin tower. Kewaskum Remembers was organized by Gordon Haberman, who lost his daughter Andrea in the twin tower attacks. The steel arrived in Kewaskum in 2014.

“The Wisconsin 911 Memorial will remember all who have lost their lives on 9/11 and since due to the ensuing conflicts,” said County Board Chairman Don Kriefall. “The memorial will serve to educate Washington County residents and beyond of the terrorist attacks that changed our country nearly 18 years ago. This resolution ensures Washington County will never forget those who died nor those who volunteered at ground zero or to wear a uniform in the aftermath.”

At the September 2018 memorial event, Kewaskum Remembers approached County Administrator Joshua Schoemann to secure county support. County staff and Kewaskum Remembers already have started working with State Senator Duey Stroebel (R-Cedarburg) who commented, “The Wisconsin 9/11 Memorial is an excellent opportunity to honor and remember those who lost their lives on 9/11, including Andrea Haberman.  I look forward to working with Washington County and Kewaskum Remembers on this important project.”

Kewaskum is located within two hours of over 80 percent of Wisconsin’s population making the memorial easily accessible.

Pearl of Canton in West Bend awarded liquor license

During Monday night’s West Bend Common Council meeting the Pearl of Canton, 102 S. Main Street, received a Non-Reserve Original Class B Combination Liquor License.

Pearl of Canton was awarded the license over two other applicants. Pearl of Canton is near completion on its remodel. An opening date is expected to be announced soon.

Owner BeBay Luu purchased the 2-story building in 2017 and had hoped to be open in early January however, flipping an old retail outlet into a restaurant proved to be a challenge.

Now, almost two years later, the new Vietnamese, sushi and Chinese restaurant is on the cusp of opening.

Lead contractor Ron Dibble opened the door for a quick sneak peek. Dibble said work is nearly complete in the kitchen. That project was a bit daunting considering the installation of plumbing and updating the electrical.

The new look resembles a luxurious Asian restaurant with high recessed ceilings and 6,000-square-feet of space on the first floor. The color scheme is rich burnt reds and browns. There are arched entryways and black string curtains to separate rooms. Some of the art features Buddha statues and paintings along with decorative wood dividers that set off table spaces closer to the walls.

Firefighter sworn in to City of West Bend FD

West Bend City Clerk Stephanie Justman swore in Aaron Zuehlsdorf as a West Bend firefighter this week during the Monday night Common Council meeting.

Zuehlsdorf’s father, Ron, pinned Aaron’s badge. Zuehlsdorf grew up in Oconomowoc. He attended Waukesha Technical College for firefighter and paramedic training and earned a Fire/Medic Associates Degree. Zuehlsdorf worked with the Western Lakes Fire Department as an intern for 2.5 years while attending school.

Rep. Pat Strachota’s daughter making headlines                      By Samantha Sali

Former Assembly Rep. Pat Strachota’s daughter is making headlines. Elizabeth Benz, was recently named one of the Milwaukee Business Journal’s 2019 “40 Under 40.” Every year, the Milwaukee Business Journal honors 40 “young business and community leaders from throughout southeastern Wisconsin” under the age 40. Benz, a Saint Frances Cabrini and Divine Savior Holy Angels alum, is currently the Vice President of Government Programs for Network Health. Her mother, Patricia Strachota, is a local politician who served on the Washington County Board of Supervisors (1986-2002) and served in the State Assembly as Assembly Majority Leader (2005-2015).

West Bend Police following up on bank robbery

It was a story you heard first on WashingtonCountyInsider.com. An armed robbery occurred around 1:20 p.m. Monday afternoon, Jan. 7, 2019 at Chase Bank, 801 W. Washington Street.

West Bend Police said the incident is still under investigation. No injuries were reported. Holy Angels Principal Mike Sternig said “There was no danger to anyone at our school. I wanted you to be aware that everyone is safe. This should not affect the usual pickup (unless you use the bank parking lot… and are not supposed to.)

Holy Angels School is located across the street from the bank at 230 N. Eighth Avenue. The last bank robbery in West Bend was Feb, 25, 2016 when Westbury Bank was robbed.

Winners from Nabob Prairie Riders Fisheree

A successful day of fishing at the 20th annual Nabob Prairie Rider Fisheree. Winners included: Walleye: Brad Handel 24 ½, Aaron Sterman 24 ¼

Bass: Aaron Nadelhoffer 18 inches and 16 ½ inches, Ryan Strzallio 15 ¾

Crappie: Addison Boolen 13, Dan Bogdan 12 ½, Austin Pelzman 12

Perch: Tony Moenburger 9, Tyler Ritger 8 ¾, Mitch Hartmann 8

Bluegill: Marvin Truss 9, Nick Brazeam 8 ¾, Austin Pelzman 8 3/8

Sunfish: Tie for first place between Dan Bogdan and Bruce Rolston who caught an 8 ½ and there was a tie for third place with 8-inch sunfish caught by Bruce Rolston, Nick Zangl 8

 

Citizen Representatives needed

The City of West Bend expanded the Board of Public Works and Finance Committee to include citizen representatives. Please consider applying today.

CHANGES TO STRUCTURE BEGINNING APRIL 2019:  in accordance with Ordinance No. 2822, the Finance Committee shall consist of four (4) alderpersons, the mayor, and not more than two (2) citizens of the City of West Bend.  The Mayor shall designate the alderpersons to serve as members of the Finance Committee, subject to approval by the Common Council.  The alderpersons designated for the Finance Committee shall not also serve on the Board of Public Works.  The mayor may, in his discretion, appoint not more than two (2) citizens of the City of West Bend to serve on the Finance Committee, subject to approval by the council.  The city clerk shall serve as secretary.

CHANGES TO STRUCTURE BEGINNING APRIL 2019:  in accordance with Ordinance No. 2822, the Board of Public Works shall be composed of four (4) alderpersons, the mayor, and not more than two (2) citizens of the City of West Bend.  The Mayor shall designate the alderpersons to serve as members of the Board of Public Works, subject to approval by the Common Council.  The alderpersons designated for the Board of Public Works shall not also serve on the Board of Public Works.  The mayor may, in his discretion, appoint not more than two (2) citizens of the City of West Bend to serve on the Board of Public Works, subject to approval by the council.  The city clerk shall serve as secretary.

Superintendent interviews slated in Hartford Union School District

Two candidates for the Hartford Union High School Superintendent position, Cassandra Schug and Conrad Farner. The new Superintendent will be named at Jan. 28 Board of Education meeting.

Disciplinary action expected during Monday West Bend School Board meeting

The following was posted by the West Bend School District and will be addressed during Executive Session of Monday’s, Jan. 14 meeting. Adjourn into Executive Session Type Action Recommended Action I move to enter into executive session pursuant to Wis. Stats. 19.85(1)(f) and (c) to consider financial, medical, social or personal histories or disciplinary data of specific persons, preliminary consideration of specific personnel problems or the investigation of charges against specific persons which, if discussed in public, would be likely to have a substantial adverse effect upon the reputation of any person referred to in such histories or data, or involved in such problems or investigations, and to consider employment, promotion, compensation or performance evaluation data of any public employee over which the governmental body has jurisdiction or exercises responsibility, and take any such action, if necessary, based on its discussion, namely:

Later in that same session there will be “Non-renewal administrator contract.”

That same meeting the district will also be looking for an update on filling the Director of Finance position. Meeting gets underway at 5:30 p.m.

Updates & Tidbits

– Meet outstanding teachers and staff during the Sunday, Jan. 27 St. Frances Cabrini Open House and Pancake Breakfast. Come join us 8:30 a.m. – noon.

– 19th annual Bridal Fair at Washington County Fair Park is Jan. 27. Over 70 vendors with everything from dresses to cakes, wedding venues to entertainment. Tickets $5 Pre-Sale $6 Day-Of

-Cedar Community Annual Chili Social and Used Book Sale is Saturday, Jan. 26, 2019 from 10 a.m. – 1 p.m. at Cedar Ridge Campus, 113 Cedar Ridge Drive, West Bend. Enjoy items for sale by ceramics, crafters and Nimble Thimbles. Cedar Ridge Resale will be open with a 50-percent off sale on all items and furniture. Visit the train room. Tours of Cedar Community’s independent living apartments will also be available by appointment. Enjoy our famous chili, hot ham and cheese croissant, fruit, fresh baked cookie, coffee or hot apple cider – all for only $8.50! Quarts of chili to go for $7.75.

– Holy Angels Students of the Month for December include Rachel Nagel, Kate Wiedmeyer, and Tadd Jamieson.

-St Lawrence and Resurrection K.C.’s are sponsoring a 14th annual card party Sunday, Jan. 27 at 1 p.m. at the Resurrection Parish Hall in Allenton. Entry fee is $5 includes play and lunch.

Find local news for free 7 days a week at WashingtonCountyInsider.com

Milwaukee Bus Driver Saves Toddler

Hats off to a Ms. Ivic.

(CNN)A Milwaukee bus driver went above the call of duty when she stopped to save an unlikely would-be passenger: a baby.

Irena Ivic was driving on a freeway overpass when she spotted a barefoot baby, Milwaukee County Transit System spokesman Matt Sliker said. The baby, wearing a red onesie and a diaper, was quickly walking to an intersection.
[…]
“Oh my God. Oh my God. I am shaking,” Ivic said in the video as she sat down in the driver’s seat with the baby.
A passenger on the bus took off her winter coat and draped it around the baby girl, who was cold to the touch. The temperatures were freezing that day, on December 22, according to the transit system.
Ivic sat talking to the coat-swaddled baby, stroking her hair. The little one soon fell asleep in her arms, as seen in the video.
The 19-month-old had been cold and scared but was otherwise unharmed, police said.
The child went missing after officials believe the child’s mother had a mental health crisis, the transit system release said. “Authorities eventually reunited the baby with its father,” Sliker said.

Around the Bend by Judy Steffes

Muth family says “Thanks” to community for 21 years of business

There’s a U-Haul moving van backed up to the entrance of the Egbert & Guido’s Citgo station,  1300 E. Paradise Drive in West Bend as the Muth family has confirmed it has sold its gas station to Kwik Trip.

“We have been very blessed with the most dedicated staff,” said Kathy Muth.

She and husband George took a break from lunch for a couple of quick comments as they wrapped up 21 years at the family-owned business.

“We have an outstanding manager, Carolee, who is a great team leader along with our assistant manager Cindy and they all surprised us last night when we closed the store and we took a group picture. They’re family,” said Kathy Muth.

It was Dec. 22, 2018 when WashingtonCountyInsider.com confirmed the Muths were selling the Citgo station Kwik Trip.

“We’ve had a couple tearful days this week along with a lot of our loyal customers who were sad to see us closing the store,” said Kathy. “It wasn’t an easy decision but it made sense.”

The corner of northwest corner of Paradise Drive and River Road has been in the Muth family since 1847. “That was always farm field,” said George Muth. “It was corn, soybeans and hay and I farmed it when I was young and I was fifth generation to farm it.”

George remembered all four corners were farm field and Paradise Drive was “a very skinny, one-lane road.”

The sign on the corner of Paradise by the roundabout reads, “Thanks for 21 years. Bon voyage.”

“That was the employees’ idea,” said George.

A yellow ribbon flaps in the wind as it has cordoned off the pumps in the parking lot. A colorful sign on the door reads, “Thank you for 21 great years! We will always be grateful for loyal customers and dedicated staff! God’s Blessing in 2019! George and Kathy Muth.”

“We are not retiring,” said George. “It’s just a business we’re selling. We still have the dairy farm in Fillmore. The gas station was something my wife ran.”

Below is the press release issued today, Jan. 4, 2019 by Kathy Muth.

 

Egbert & Guido’s Express, Inc. announced today that after 21 years of business they have decided to sell their store. George and Kathy Muth, store owners, said their property has been sold to Kwik Trip, Inc. The Muths built and opened the Citgo gas station and convenient store in February of 1998. The store is located on the corner Paradise Drive and River Road which is part of the farm homestead George grew up on.

George said the business name has always created curiosity. The store was named after his father, Egbert Muth and his great Uncle, Guido Schroeder and has been a thriving business for over 21 years. “We are pleased and honored that we have been able to serve thousands of loyal customers over the years, many from the local neighborhoods.”

Kathy added, “The real blessing has been the dedicated and friendly staff that we have had over the years. There have been many tears shed this week as we have said good-bye to our loyal customers and fellow staff members who are like family.”

Muths said they were contemplating making changes with the business when the opportunity to sell came along and decided it was a good time to change ownership. Muths thank the community for their support and patronage for over two decades.

Egbert & Guido’s Express, Inc.

Contact has been made with Kwik Trip officials regarding the future of the store. Early word is Kwik Trip will be remodeling the store. Employees were told they had to reapply for their jobs.

This is the third Kwik Trip in West Bend. The other stores are located on Silverbrook Drive and 806 S. Main Street.

April 2 ballot order for Kewaskum School Board

Four candidates, including two incumbents, are running for two seats this April on the Kewaskum School Board. Three candidates filed paperwork on the Jan. 2, 2019 deadline including incumbent Timothy Ramthun along with Doug Gonring and Craig Staffin.

Gonring ran as a write-in in April 2017. Ramthun has been on the board five years. Mary Miller is also running as an incumbent. She’s been on the Kewaskum School Board for 12 years.

The two open seats each carry three-year terms. The drawing for the Spring 2019 Election took place Thursday afternoon.  The official order for the 2019 Spring Election (April 2, 2019) ballot is: Timothy Ramthun, Doug Gonring, Mary B Miller, Craig Staffin

Charming Paws opens second location in Grafton

A celebration in Grafton as Charming Paws has opened a second location. Owner Ashley Skinkis has been in the dog daycare business since March 2017.  After opening her first outlet in West Bend, 1410 Lang Street, Skinkis knew there was more opportunity ahead.

“We are leasing space at Twin City Plaza in the Village of Grafton,” said Skinkis. “We know there’s a demand in Grafton but nothing was available. We’re a perfect fit.”

The new shop, 1754 Wisconsin Avenue, in Grafton is located in the former Ace Hardware store. The dog hotel, daycare and grooming shop features many of the personal amenities offered in West Bend. “Our landlord Barb is a great partner for us,” Skinkis said. “She really cares about the dogs and she’s making sure we have nothing but the best to offer our customers.”

The new Grafton shop includes over 5,000 square feet and an outdoor dog play area.

“We can accommodate 20 dogs but we’re looking to grow,” said Skinkis.

Courtney Weibye of Allenton helps run Charming Paws in Grafton. “People like it that this is so clean and how our doggy daycare is included in boarding,” she said.

“We don’t have a ton of extra charges,” Skinkis said. “If you want peanut butter inside a dog toy we just do it. We are here for the care of the dogs and not a lot of up charging.”

The crew at Charming Paws goes out of its way to accommodate its customers. “I wanted a place that values relationships and we’re that place for your dog,” said Skinkis. “People can trust who is watching their dogs.”

Charming Paws in Grafton also features a cozy dog-grooming room and 11 personal dog suites for overnight care. “There are cameras in all the suites to monitor them and we come back at 11 p.m. to let the dogs out for the night before returning at 5 a.m.,” said Skinkis.

Congressman Glenn Grothman proposes Medal of Honor for FDL veteran

U.S. Rep. Glenn Grothman (R-Glenbeulah) introduced legislation to award Fond du Lac native James “Maggie” Megellas the Medal of Honor. The bill authorizes and requests President Donald Trump to award Megellas with the United States’ highest military honor for the courage he showed during the Battle of the Bulge.

“More than 70 years ago, Maggie displayed a heroism in the face of one of WWII’s bloodiest battles that is deserving of our nation’s highest award. He saved countless lives and stopped the advance of enemy troops without thought of his own life,” said Grothman. “I hope that my colleagues can come together in a bipartisan manner to recognize that Mr. Megellas is a true American hero who deserves to be awarded the Medal of Honor.”

Background: On Jan. 28, 1945, First Lieutenant Megellas led his platoon in a successful attack on an enemy battalion near Herresbach, Belgium, that outnumbered it ten-to-one. After the attack, he advanced his platoon towards the town when a German Mark V Panther tank pinned them down. Megellas weathered enemy fire to attack and destroy the tank himself with just two grenades and his submachine gun. He then led his platoon to secure Herresbach for advancing Allied forces. Under Megellas’ command, his platoon did not suffer a single casualty that day.

Megellas is the most-decorated soldier from the 82nd Airborne Division, receiving the Distinguished Service Cross and the Silver Star for his actions during the Battle of the Bulge. He was born and raised in Fond du Lac, Wisconsin, and graduated from Ripon College. He currently lives in Colleyville, Texas.

Three candidates file to run for West Bend School Board

Three candidates filed to run for two open seats on the West Bend School Board. Their names will appear on the ballot: Paul Fischer, Christopher Bach, and Erin Dove. The election is April 2, 2019.

National Exchange Bank building sold

A familiar name in real estate has invested in the former National Exchange Bank building, 2412 W. Washington Street, in West Bend. In September 2018 it was reported on WashingtonCountyInsider.com that National Exchange Bank on W. Washington Street in West Bend would close.

According to officials at National Exchange Bank, “The decision to close the West Bend, Washington Street office is the result of the completion of a thorough branch sustainability analysis including the evaluation of traffic and transactions, past performance and predicted future performance, customer mapping and proximity to other NEBAT locations, among other factors.”

The property on W. Washington Street went up for sale shortly after the Sept. 28, 2018 closure.

This week the Dec. 20, 2018 sale to Steve Kearns was posted. Kearns paid $425,000. The property, which was built in May 1990 had a 2018 assessment of $668,500. No word yet what Kearns plans to do with the property which has 4,885 feet of space on the first floor and 4,885 feet of space in the lower level.

Early word is another neighboring building to the east also has an accepted offer. Stay tuned…

Swearing-in ceremony for Washington Co. Sheriff Martin Schulteis

It was a family affair Thursday night at the Old Washington County Courthouse as Martin Schulteis took the oath of office and was sworn in as the 47th Sheriff of Washington County, WI.

Schulteis follows in the footsteps of his father, Robert, who was Sheriff in Washington County from “I beat the incumbent Clarence Schwartz,” said Robert Schulteis, 76. “This January it will be 30 years.” Schwartz was Washington County Sheriff for 16 years, followed by Robert Schulteis and then Jack Theusch was elected Sheriff in 1996. Theusch died of a heart attack in the middle of his third term April 8, 2003.

Brian Rahn was appointed Sheriff by Governor Jim Doyle and then Dale Schmidt ran against Rahn and won. Schmidt announced his retirement in February 2018 and now another Schulteis is taking over as Washington County Sheriff.

“I was surprised that he ran but he did a good job,” said Robert Schulteis. The swearing-in ceremony began with a benediction and opening prayer from Rev. Jacob Strand.

Superintendent interviews slated in Hartford Union School District

Two candidates for the Hartford Union High School Superintendent position, Cassandra Schug and Conrad Farner, will visit January 8 and 9, 2019. Community members, parent/guardians, staff and students are invited and encouraged to attend community forums: Tuesday, Jan. 8, from 4 p.m. – 5 p.m. HUHS Library Media Center and Wednesday, Jan. 9, from 4 p.m. – 5 p.m. HUHS Library Media Center. The new Superintendent will be named at the Jan. 28 Board of Education meeting.

West Bend Safety Committee to discuss adding more stop signs in town

There’s a full agenda set for the Safety Committee meeting on Jan. 8 in West Bend. Among the hot topics will be to review the timing of traffic signals on Paradise Drive.

There’s been quite a bit of discussion regarding the construction on 18th Avenue in West Bend but a sidebar story has neighbors concerned about the future of the stop signs at Silverbrook and Decorah. When construction started on 18th Avenue there was an increase in traffic on Decorah Road. To make it safer the city put up a 4-way stop at Decorah and Silverbrook. After the road reopened the 4-way stop remained in place at Decorah and Silverbrook.

Aside from the future of that intersection the Safety Committee will also weigh in on whether additional stop signs are needed at Seventh Avenue and Decorah Road. That’s a high-traffic area, especially when school is in session.

If you remember in September 2017 crossing guard Phyllis Wendt was hospitalized after she dove out of the way after two vehicles collided at that intersection. City engineer Max Marechal said the city has cut back some of the brush going up Decorah Road to make visibility better in that area.

The meeting Tuesday, Jan. 8 gets underway in the council chambers at City Hall at 6:30 p.m. The meeting is open to the public.

Updates & Tidbits

– Join the Nabob Prairie riders on Jan. 5, 2019 at the House of Heileman’s on Big Cedar Lake for the annual Winterfest/Fisheree. Fishing is from 6:30 a.m. to 3 p.m., entertainment in the tent includes music, food and drink all available from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m.

– Kettle Moraine YMCA – West Bend Winter 1 session begins Monday, Jan. 7 and there is still time to register for your favorite programs.

– 19th annual Bridal Fair at Washington County Fair Park is Jan. 27. Over 70 vendors with everything from dresses to cakes, wedding venues to entertainment. Tickets $5 Pre-Sale $6 Day-Of

-Cedar Community Annual Chili Social and Used Book Sale is Saturday, Jan. 26, 2019 from 10 a.m. – 1 p.m. at Cedar Ridge Campus, 113 Cedar Ridge Drive, West Bend. Enjoy items for sale by ceramics, crafters and Nimble Thimbles. Cedar Ridge Resale will be open with a 50-percent off sale on all items and furniture. Visit the train room. Tours of Cedar Community’s independent living apartments will also be available by appointment. Call 262.338.4615 for a tour by Friday, Jan. 11 and receive your lunch for FREE! Only those with a tour reservation will receive a free lunch. Enjoy our famous chili, hot ham and cheese croissant, fruit, fresh baked cookie, coffee or hot apple cider – all for only $8.50! Quarts of chili to go for $7.75.

Remembering Howie Knox                                          By Karen Knox

Hundreds of friends joined the Knox family on Monday, Dec. 31 at St. Luke Lutheran Church in Slinger to pay tribute to Howie Knox, who died Dec. 5, 2018.

The tribute below was presented by daughter-in-law Karen Knox.

Our family is here from far and wide this New Year’s Eve to say goodbye to our beloved father, uncle, grandfather, and great-grandfather. You already know this is hard to do because we want you back right now. For us it wasn’t time yet but, we know Howie, at 99, accepted his own passing with the anticipation of joyful meetings and reunions and freedom from his weary body.

Howie’s working life started with that paperboy job. He was on the move doing, fixing, serving – working all his life until about six weeks ago. Eagle Scout, runner, Navy skipper, college grad, county agent, recreation director, pastor, camp director, photographer, trumpeter, singer, horn player, volunteer, organizer of people and programs, generous giver.

Four years ago our family gathered for a happier occasion in a huge house near Somerset, PA, to celebrate Howie’s 95th birthday. To write a tribute for the occasion, I asked everyone for ideas. I’ve modified parts of the tribute to share with you now so you can better understand how we treasured and admired Howie.

I’m speaking now as if I am addressing Howie at his 95th.

The times were grim when you arrived in 1919 in the aftermath of World War I and the great influenza epidemic. Who knew the day you were born in Mount Sinai Hospital, Milwaukee that you would be celebrating your 95th birthday was 17 of your nearest and dearest nestled in a lovely house in a lovely wood?

Who knew that you would reach 95, sharp, healthy, adventuresome, a world traveler, storyteller extraordinaire, player in two bands, singer in two choirs, and still a paperboy on the double at 6:30 every morning.

We honor you for so many reasons. All your life you have been physically fit and active. You have run cross country, lifted hay bales, played tennis, driven horses, skied and toboggan and biked with your brother from South Milwaukee to Marion to court your Pearl and back (150 miles on a single-speed foot-break bikes each way!) You ran and biked to the hospital in Lancaster to make your pastoral calls. You have consistently chosen action, discipline and striving. How many people are still running at a national level when they hit 80?

Yeah.  You smile and say, “The competition is a lot weaker now!”  How many are playing instruments at 95? Only as your legs have started arguing with you, have you begun to slow down. You inspire us to exercise, run, swim, row, referee, stay on the move.

You are a devoted and loyal son of the cities of Milwaukee and West Bend and the state of Wisconsin. You know Wisconsin’s forest, eskers, kettles and moraines, its farms, crops, produce, its roads, rivers, and lakes. You taught it to your kids especially when you were in the car. Little Nancy’s question was how come our other kids don’t know what a drumlin is? They don’t know what glaciation did.

The Brewers and Badgers and Packers are your teams. Move you to Florida and it isn’t you anymore. Take you to Minnesota for Christmas and you are edgy to get back to holy ground.

Music makes your spirit sing. You brought John and Nancy into that awesome world and begin Nancy’s lifelong passion for sacred music. Trumpet and band started that whole love affair for you. We know you played while sitting, standing, marching down the street and in the stadium. You probably played lying on your back. You played for dances you weren’t allowed to dance at. You called for square dances, taught folk dances, joined band after band and choir after choir. Music is one reason you are here today at 95; it has kept you young.

You can talk to anyone. On a Philadelphia subway sitting next to a total stranger in dark, baggy, street-smart clothes with long, dirty hair.  Hunched over and not very approachable, you said, “So have you ever been to Milwaukee?” The guy laughed aloud, started talking to you.  You have an amazing talent for finding out how everyone is connected to everyone else.

You are a great teacher about the world and the amazing things to be seen in other countries as well as our own. You showed us how to love natural beauty, pack up a tent and sleeping bags, leave indoor comfort‘s behind and have fun. You’re really good at teaching people how to play cribbage, helping them find points they didn’t even notice, then really teaching them who knows how to play by skunking them. You have shown us if we want something enough and are willing to work really hard we can achieve it. Even the impossibility of supporting a family of four while changing careers and going to seminary, you and Pearl made possible.

You are a proven leader promoting community and goodwill, always ready to be of service at the Ridge with your congregations, family, friends and neighbors. Your goal in each encounter is to make someone else smile or laugh and get involved. You generously donate your time and talents, slideshows, docent tours, Kiwanis, Ye Old School, music programs, pastoral listening, shopping for the lady down the hall, on and on.

You lead with a calling in church ministry and with persistence on church councils. You showed Lancaster the vision of a beautiful new church and build it. We honor you for your service in the Navy especially aboard the USS Tawasa, for becoming the commanding officer at age 24 after an emergency removed the skipper.

Thank you for telling us your World War II stories over and over and over and over. Your experiences have become real for us. You stepped up then to lead as you do again and again when you see a need.  You and Pearl knew how to stretch a dollar.  As one of five children and the son of a plumber you found the roaring 20s mighty tight.

Groceries were expensive with three growing boys, even if the girls didn’t eat much, even though your mother made everything she could from scratch, even though maple syrup for those many meals of pancakes was boiled water with brown sugar thrown in.

Then came the Depression when relatives who had lost everything moved in with you with their own three boys. The squeeze was on. Your dad’s customers who could not afford food and rent did not pay the plumber.  Your dad told them “pay me later when you have it.” That was a fantasy to help everyone save face.

One night coming back from the band gig your older brother told you, “Howie you gotta leave home. Dad can’t feed you.” You showed up on the UW campus in Madison with $54 in your pocket. Registration was $25, lab fees $10.  You had $19 to your name. You found an elderly woman who would let you sleep on the closed-in unheated porch of the boarding house for $2 a month if you can make all the beds every day and clean every Saturday.

You got another job at a little diner so you could eat. You could never afford a book so you studied the ones the library had. By the time you scrimped through college and then seminary with you and Pearl working odd jobs, you made it to your first call, a three-point parish, which paid over $3000 a year.

With chickens brought over every so often from the church farmers. On that you raised your two children and sent them both to college. I give Pearl a lot of credit for that.  She earned a degree in home economics and dedicated herself to being a 110% mother, wife, nutrition specialist and homemaker. The two of you wasted nothing. Nothing was thrown away. Even now you usually keep whatever is broken for parts, you wear your clothes until you can see through them, your shoes have cracks in the soles and some hand me downs have holes enough to fit your little toe can stick out.

It’s OK to wear new socks, jackets, shirts in your closet and dresser but we know you feel. You must first use up the old ones God gave you. You and Pearl were devoted environmentalists before most of us knew what that was.

How could you know that your stewardship and frugality would be rewarded a thousand times over when you entered your 50s?  At 95 you don’t have to think about money anymore but you still live as if you are trying to survive the Depression. And every year you quietly, very generously gave away more than you earned in the combine 12 years of your first ministry.

You are a cheerful giver. We are grateful for all you have given us and churches and people in need with incredibly little income for so many years. You and Pearl could’ve kept every dime for yourselves in fear of financial insecurity instead, even in those lean and now-how-will-we-make-it years you tithed and built and supported and then gave him more as others needs became apparent.

Words from the great grandchildren.

I like you grandpa Howie because: You read to me. You tell me stories. You give us your Big Dog blanket. You have no hair.

When I called for these thoughts from our family it was remarkable how often some version of the words “amazing, generous and inspiring” came flying at me in the emails. Know that these are the words that come to mind when your family thinks of you, Howie.

Finally we treasure you and Pearl for together creating a stable, well-grounded, exploring family. From this have come spiritual meaning, justice seeking, love for neighbors, open doors, adventures and advantages far beyond what you even dream you are providing. We will be forever grateful.

We have come full circle now. Today, Howie, one of your granddaughters is delivering babies at Mount Sinai, where you first draw breath.  She held your hand here when you took your last. We say in gratitude for 99 years of life, “Go Howie, thou good and faithful servant, go with God.  May the longtime sun shine upon you, all love surround you, and the pure, pure light that’s within you guide your way home.”

Find local news for free 7 days a week at WashingtonCountyInsider.com

“Why don’t you die!!”

I can relate.

A man with a “serious fear” of spiders prompted an emergency call by Western Australia police on New Years’ Day.

According to police, a passerby raised the alarm after hearing a “screaming” toddler and a man repeatedly shouting “Why don’t you die?”

But after arriving at a home in suburban Perth, they found the man had merely been trying to kill a spider.

In a tweet, police said there had been no injuries during the incident – “except to spider.”

“It’s just one of those jobs where you go expecting to see one thing and see another,” police spokesman Samuel Dinnison told the BBC.

“It’s great that it’s only an incident involving a spider.”

Around the Bend by Judy Steffes

Grasshopper Restaurant in West Bend has closed…. “permanently”

There’s a note on the front door of Grasshopper Restaurant in downtown West Bend announcing the business is “permanently closed.” A laminated note hung on the door at 241 N. Main Street:

Grasshopper is permanently closed.  Thank you for your devoted patronage over the years. I have enjoyed creating and maintaining a place where quality of food has never wavered. My passion in both food and teaching are about to come together as I embark on a brand new adventure. I hope to bring you knowledge and the joy of making delicious and healthy eats for family and friends. My Dad always told me that if you love what you do and do what you love you will never work a day in your life. I believe this to be true and I wish the same for you. Follow your passion and embrace great changes in this brand New Year!!!

Stefanie Ulma, owner of Grasshopper Restaurant, 241 N. Main St., purchased the building with her father Al Ulma in June 2009.

An article in Comings & Goings, a publication designed to promote the Downtown West Bend Business District, read: Al Ulma and his daughter Stefanie are the new owners of the building on the southeast corner of Main and Cedar Streets. The Ulma’s are planning a facelift for the shops 237, 241 and 243 N. Main Street. The Ulma’s have also been approved for a Combination Class B liquor license however they’ve yet to disclose what business they’ll open. The license was taken out under the name Grasshopper & Café.

Grasshopper opened in March 2010. It started as a cozy place to get high-quality food for breakfast and lunch in an atmosphere that was uber trendy with an old school Audrey Hepburn/Frank Sinatra flare. Since then it’s grown and morphed to a relaxed indoor library setting with a long bar yet the excellent food remains.

“I’m excited to do something else for West Bend that’s different than just this restaurant,” said Ulma. “One thing that will stay the same will be delivering to the customer the best of the best. It’s never been about the money it’s been about giving a great product to the people.”

Historic West Bend Theatre sign removed

You could reach out the window from the projector loft overlooking N. Main Street and come eye-to-eye with the crew from Poblocki Sign Company as it worked in the rain Thursday to remove the sign from the Historic West Bend Theatre.

The crew was in town just after 7 a.m. setting up to take down the iconic sign which weighed about 2,000 pounds. Orange sparks flew as the team from Poblocki Sign used a rotary power saw to cut the braces holding the sign to the I-beam.

Four cuts later, tethered to the crane above, it sounded like a gong as the sign broke free from its metal support. A little hand wiggle from the crew and the mammoth West Bend Theatre sign was lifted off its frame.

Once airborne the mighty crane moved the sign away from the canopy and the crew below readied it for placement on the flatbed trailer.

Crew chief Karl Haase said the process “went rather well considering the sign is over 70-years old.”

While the crew in bucket lifts worked to cut the sign from its base they were careful to not damage the tree branches nearby.

“The most challenging part was laying it down on the truck,” said Haase. “We’ve worked on larger pieces but this one is odd because it’s so old and with rust there was just an element of the unknown.”

Haase said the “I-beam is not in the greatest shape and we’re going to have to address that problem.”

“It went pretty good… nothing drastic happened,” he said.

Over the next few months the sign will be refurbished and then returned to the side of the building later this summer. During the sign removal, the Historic West Bend Theatre Group received a nice $25,000 donation from the West Bend Rotary Club.

Washington County’s first human resources director has died

Washington County’s first human resources director has died. Moschea died Friday night, Dec. 21.

Former Washington County Board Chairman Herb Tennies said Moschea’s brother called him with the news. “Gary was a great guy and well liked,” said Tennies. “He dealt with most of the county employees and he had a good relationship with people. He was a good county employee and he was fair with the unions and the labor force. Though out the state he was well known and he was part of state associations.”

Tennies said Moschea was a great friend. “He always wrote me a letter after every election to congratulate me,” he said.

Moschea was the human resources director for 35 years in Washington County. He retired April 2007. Former Washington County Fair executive director Sandy Lang said Moschea is the one who originally hired her. “Back in the olden days when the personnel office was two people, Gary and Mary Heltemes, and we were in the little office in Annex II,” said Lang. “I got along with them very well over all the years.”

District 17 Washington County Supervisor Marilyn Merten worked as county clerk when Moschea was in personnel. “Gary was very thorough in what he did,” said Merten. “He knew his job. If anyone went to him with a question you got an answer. He was a valued employee.”

Merten said Moschea was a fixture at the Kiwanis Steak Fry.

Former County Board Chairman Ken Miller remembered Moschea. “I worked with him for a number of years,” said Miller. “He was always receptive to my thoughts and he did a good job in the H.R. Department. He was a very likable person. As usual there were always differences of opinion but those were always resolved.” Moschea was 77 years old.

A Liturgy of The Word Service will be held at 10:30 a.m. on Saturday, Dec. 29 at St. Frances Cabrini Church (1025 S 7th Ave. West Bend) with Rev. Nathan Reesman presiding.

Rev. Heppe blesses Rolfs Nativity

It is the third Sunday of Advent and on Saturday night Rev. Pat Heppe, dressed in purple vestments, took a moment to bless the Rolfs Nativity on Eighth Avenue.

At the end of 4 p.m. Mass Rev. Heppe talked a bit about some national attention being drawn to West Bend and the Rolfs Nativity. “Last week a reporter from the New York Times was here,” he said. “He interviewed folks at the Downtown West Bend Association and came over here to Holy Angels because he heard about the nativity that was vandalized last year.”

Rev. Heppe went through a brief retelling of how the nativity stood for years in front of the Amity building and in 2017 was in Old Settlers’ Park in downtown West Bend where the baby Jesus figure was stolen.

Parishioner Terry Vrana got a hold of the remnants of the figure and carved a new head for the baby Jesus and reattached the hands. On Saturday, in front of about two dozen parish members, Rev. Heppe gave a blessing and Vrana placed the baby Jesus in the crèche.

“The practice of erecting such mangers was a practice begun by Saint Francis of Assisi as a means to set forth the message of Christmas,” said Heppe. “When we look upon these figures, especially these historic figures, the Christmas Gospel comes alive and we are moved to rejoice in the mysteries in the incarnation of the Son of God.”

As the church bell tolled sharp in the cold, dark, night Rev. Heppe blessed the nativity with holy water.

Slinger School Board candidates file paperwork                 By Samantha Sali

Three seats on the Slinger School Board are up for election April 2, 2019. The three incumbents whose seats are up are Gary Feltz (Treasurer), Joe Havey (Member), and Roman Weninger (Member). Wendy Michalski, Slinger School District Secretary, said all three incumbents have filed candidacy. The new term starts April 22, 2019 and will last three years (April 2022).

A Campaign Registration Statement and Declaration of Candidacy must be filed by 5 p.m., Wednesday, Jan. 2, 2019, in the Slinger School District’s Clerk Office (207 Polk Street, Slinger.

Two seats up for election on Hartford School Board               By Samantha Sali

Two seats are up for election on the Hartford Union High School’s (HUHS) Board of Education Election. The terms are up are Craig Westfall (Deputy Clerk/Treasurer) and Bill Savage (Clerk)

The new term starts April 22, 2019 and will last three years (April 2022). A Campaign Registration Statement and Declaration of Candidacy needs to be filed by 5 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 2, 2019, in the Superintendent’s office (805 Cedar Street, Hartford, WI)

Two candidates file to run for West Bend School Board

Two candidates have now filed papers to run for two open seats on the West Bend School Board as two incumbents have filed non-candidacy papers.

According to Deb Roensch from the Education Service Center said incumbents Ken Schmidt and Tiffany Larson have both filed non-candidacy papers. The pair were elected to the West Bend School Board in April 2016.

On Friday, Dec. 21, Paul Fischer, an elder at Kettlebrook Church, filed candidacy papers. On Dec. 23, Erin Dove, posted an announcement on social media about her intentions to run. A portion of her announcement is below.

My husband and I settled in Jackson in 2002 and are raising our three daughters here. Our oldest is a sophomore at West Bend West High School and we have twins in 8th grade at Badger Middle School. When they were younger, I spent a lot of time volunteering in different capacities at Jackson Elementary School. I’ve been an advocate for their education and am l looking to the prospect of helping shape the educational environment for other children.

Interested individuals are required to file a Declaration of Candidacy form and a Campaign Registration statement. These completed forms can be dropped off at the Education Service Center, 735 S. Main Street, West Bend (across from Badger Middle School).

The deadline to file papers to run for School Board is 5 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 2, 2019.  Declaration of Candidacy form and a Campaign Registration statement must be completed and can be dropped off at the Education Service Center, 735 S. Main Street, West Bend (across from Badger Middle School).

To all qualified electors of West Bend Joint School District No. 1: A school board election will be held on Tuesday, April 2, 2019 to fill two at-large seats on the West Bend School Board, each with an expiration date of April 2022.

Please note ESC offices will be closed Dec.  31 and Jan. 1. If you have any questions, please call 262-335-5435.

West Bend nativity featured in article in N.Y. Times

West Bend and the Rolfs nativity were featured recently in an article in the New York Times. Reporter Mitch Smith was in town Dec. 20 and met with Rev. Pat Heppe at Holy Angels, Rick Takacs at Meadowbrook Market and the Downtown West Bend Association.

The focus of the article was about vandalism and steps various communities are taking to keep their nativities safe. Below is a portion of the article.

In West Bend, Wis., north of Milwaukee, a baby Jesus figurine was stolen twice last year. After the first theft, the statue’s torso was found nearby, but the rest of it was missing. The faithful were outraged, and someone donated a new Jesus doll for the Nativity set, which had been displayed around town for decades.

A few days later, early on Christmas Eve, an alert police officer saw a woman “cradling something” on West Bend’s Main Street. It was the replacement baby Jesus. “I yelled ‘Police, stop,’” the officer wrote in his official report of the incident. Once confronted, the woman dropped the figurine and took off running.

The thefts took a toll in West Bend, a city of about 30,000 residents, where churches are central to public life and longtime residents recall admiring the old Nativity set as children.

The article goes on to talk about the security steps being taken to prevent further theft.

Revisiting the great chicken debate in West Bend

The West Bend Common Council will review the issue again of whether to allow neighbors in the community to raise chickens at its first meeting in January 2019. Early leanings against chickens include Dist. 1 alderman John Butschlick, Dist. 6 alderman Steve Hoogester, and Dist. 8 alderman Roger Kist. Dist. 5 alderman Rich Kasten said he was not in favor but open to listening to suggestions. Those in favor of chickens include Dist. 2 alderman Mike Christian, Dist. 3 Andrew Chevalier, Dist. 4 Chris Jenkins, and Dist. 7 Justice Madl.

Superintendent interviews slated in Hartford Union School District

Two candidates for the Superintendent position will visit Hartford Union High School (HUHS) January 8 and 9, 2019. Names of the two candidates will be released after school has reconvened January 2, 2019.

Community members, parent/guardians, staff and students are invited and encouraged to attend both of the community forums: Tuesday, Jan. 8, 2019 4 p.m. – 5 p.m. HUHS Library Media Center and Wednesday, Jan. 9, 2019 4 p.m. – 5 p.m. HUHS Library Media Center. The new Superintendent will be named at the Jan. 28, 2019 Board of Education meeting.

Updates & Tidbits

-This winter season marks the 45th anniversary of the Nabob Prairie Riders Snowmobile Club. Please join the Nabob Prairie riders on Jan. 5, 2019 at the House of Heileman’s on Big Cedar Lake for the annual Winterfest/Fisheree. Fishing is from 6:30 a.m. to 3 p.m., entertainment in the tent includes music, food and drink all available from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m.

-Moonlighting Bar & Grill in Barton has reopened. Eddie Daniel is the new owner.

-Kewaskum High School junior Courtney Zarda two tickets to Super Bowl 53 and the National Fuel Up To Play 60 Program is covering the airfare and hotel and the Wisconsin Dairy Council added $500 spending money. Zarda was awarded the tickets for her leadership in the community through the Fuel Up To Play 60 Program.

– A Memorial Service will be held Monday, Dec. 31 for Howard “Howie” Knox who died Dec. 5, 2018. Knox was a World War II veteran and highly visible in the community. The service will start at 11 a.m. at St. Luke Lutheran Church, 4860 Arthur Road, in Slinger.

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Around the Bend by Judy Steffes

Can West Bend support three Kwik Trips? How about four?

There’s been a lot of talk going around West Bend this past month about another Kwik Trip… or maybe two coming to West Bend.

Customers leaving the Citgo Station, also known as Egbert & Guido’s, 1300 E. Paradise Drive, say the clerks behind the counter are saying the store is being sold to Kwik Trip.

“The employee also said they’ll have to reapply for their jobs,” said customer Greg Lofy. “Sounds like this is going to happen Jan. 3, 2019.”

Management at the store, so far, has refused comment.

Kwik Trip officials in La Crosse have not returned calls, although officials in the City of West Bend say they have been in conversations with Kwik Trip. No further details were released.

If the sale of the family-owned Citgo on Paradise Drive is true, this will be the third Kwik Trip in West Bend.

The first opened Oct. 27, 2016 on Silverbrook Drive, just north of Paradise Drive. The second Kwik Trip opened Aug. 2, 2018 at 806 S. Main Street in the former Walgreens location.

According to records at City Hall the parcel on Silverbrook Drive is 3.025 acres, the lot on Main Street and Decorah Road is 1.401 acres and the potential lot on Paradise Drive and River Road is 2.23 acres.

Egbert & Guido’s is owned by Muth Bros. LLC. That land was originally owned by Marie Muth and sold in March 19, 1997 as vacant land. It was turned over in a trust for $75,000.

The current assessed value of the Citgo property is $1,022,200.

Designs for a new store would have to go before the West Bend Plan Commission. If the sale comes to fruition the next available meeting would be February 2019 as the current Jan. 2, 2019 agenda has already been released.

Earlier in the week there were rumors about a Kwik Trip possibly opening in the Skate Country location, 1950 N. Main Street. Skate Country owner John Mangold said on record, “I have one word for you, NO!”

A 2017 article in Convenience Store News said Kwik Trip is definitely adding stores and “the family-owned company plans to open 40 to 50 new stores annually, including a significant number in Wisconsin.”

With the development of a new Fleet Farm in West Bend there is a lot of conversation about who will take over the property on the southeast corner of Highway 33 and 18th Avenue.

Kwik Trip is a hot topic for that location however no official buyer has been confirmed.

Happy 108th birthday to Clara Moll of Barton

More than a milestone this week as Clara Moll of Barton celebrated her 108th birthday on Dec. 19.

“I have no pain,” said Moll as she did laps with her walker up and down the hall and making a sweeping turn through the kitchen. ”I’m not going to be bedridden,” she said with spunk.

Moll takes enough time to catch her breath and admire the vase full of pink roses, a birthday gift, that sits on the kitchen table. Clara was born in 1910; right after the coffee filter and paper cups were invented.

“I’m going to live until 110,” said Clara confidently as she clumped with her walker into the kitchen. Daughter Mary said that declaration can change. “Most often… we’re just taking it one day at a time.”

Paul Fischer files to run for West Bend School Board

There are two seats up for election April 2, 2019 on the West Bend School Board and on Friday afternoon Paul Fischer threw his hat in the ring.

Today I proudly announce my candidacy for the West Bend School Board.

My wife Sandie and I have enjoyed raising our family in the West Bend community since 1994. We love the quality of life here, and our three daughters have received an outstanding education through the West Bend School District. Our oldest daughter is a first year graduate student in Concordia University’s Physical Therapy program, our middle daughter will complete her Culinary Arts degree from Fox Valley Technical College in May 2019, and our youngest is a junior at West Bend East who is ready to take on the world. Many thanks to all of their teachers, past school boards, and administrative personnel for making all this possible!

I’m excited to step out and offer to serve our community, helping to pay it forward for the next generation of young families. I won’t claim to know everything, and I will seek to understand the issues and concerns of our community as it pertains to providing a quality and fulfilling education for our children.

I look forward to the many conversations to come, and humbly ask for your support as we continue the positive momentum of the West Bend School District.

The deadline to file papers to run for School Board is 5 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 2, 2019.  Declaration of Candidacy form and a Campaign Registration statement must be completed and can be dropped off at the Education Service Center, 735 S. Main Street, West Bend (across from Badger Middle School).

Board member Ken Schmidt filed non-candidacy papers on Tuesday morning, Dec. 18 which means he will not be running for another term.  Schmidt and Tiffany Larson are up for re-election. Both elected to the West Bend School Board in April 2016

To all qualified electors of West Bend Joint School District No. 1: A school board election will be held on Tuesday, April 2, 2019 to fill two at-large seats on the West Bend School Board, each with an expiration date of April 2022.

Please note ESC offices will be closed Dec. 24, 25, 28, and 31 and Jan. 1. A small number of employees will be in the office on Dec. 26 and 27. If you have any questions, please call 262-335-5435.

New shoe store coming to Hartford                           By Samantha Sali

A popular Midwest shoe store, Shoe Sensation, is coming to Hartford. A “Coming Soon” sign has been added to the old Hibbett Sports store on Liberty Avenue in Hartford, right next to Dollar Tree and across from Walmart. According to the website, Shoe Sensation’s mission is “to provide quality and brand name footwear for the entire family. From toddlers to seniors, our large selection of shoes has something for everyone as the typical Shoe Sensation will showcase over 10,000 pairs of the latest styles.” Store management is currently hiring an Area Director, Store Manager, Assistant Store Manager, Part-Time Back-Up Assistant, Manager-In-Training, and Sales Associates.

Revisiting the great chicken debate in West Bend

The West Bend Common Council took up the issue of whether to allow neighbors in the community to raise chickens. The discussion went on for about 40 minutes during Monday night’s meeting.

Highlights included:

-Discussions about noise, smell, feces.

-Are chickens pets or are they wild animals.

-Dist. 3 alderman Andrew Chevalier recommended a flat annual fee of $50 for chickens rather than charging a fee per bird.

-Aldermen noted chickens draw more rodents and predators to town including fox and raccoons.

-Neighbors including Joe Zaremba and Jim Tews spoke in favor of allowing chickens. Tews warned the council not to put a test window on the idea because if the city determined it a failed experiment and a chicken would have to be taken away from a child it would be like taking a dog away.

-City of West Bend Director of Development Mark Piotrowicz noted there were a number of conflicts in some of the current laws on the books including the use of chicken wire for fencing.

-Future chicken owners would be asked to notify neighbors about possibly bringing chickens to their yard.

-The council agreed to table the discussion and allow city staff to explore some of the questions brought up at the meeting before a vote would take place.

-The Common Council will review the issue again at its first meeting in January 2019.

-Early leanings against chickens include Dist. 1 alderman John Butschlick, Dist. 6 alderman Steve Hoogester, and Dist. 8 alderman Roger Kist. Dist. 5 alderman Rich Kasten said he was not in favor but open to listening to suggestions.

-Those in favor of chickens include Dist. 2 alderman Mike Christian, Dist. 3 Andrew Chevalier, Dist. 4 Chris Jenkins, and Dist. 7 Justice Madl.

Ribbon cutting at Bob’s Main Street Auto in West Bend

A ribbon cutting this week as Bob’s Main Street Auto, 115 W. Decorah Road, in West Bend.

A major addition and remodel was just completed by Keller, Inc. The plan includes approximately 3,300-square-foot building addition.

KELLER, Planners, Architects, Builders, a Design/Build General Contractor, will build an addition and remodel current facilities for Bob’s Auto Main Street – Decorah Road under the direction of Keller Project Manager, Scott Lausten and Architect, Chris Manske.

Bob’s Main Street Auto also raised $1,437 from customer donations for the Gingerbread House.  Bill and Laurie donated an additional $500.

The locally-owned auto repair business also spent around $2,000 on toys and games for children of all ages.

Students from Allenton Elementary publish book         By Ms. Rebecca (Becky) Schuett

Students at Allenton Elementary School, 1st and 4th grade buddies were busy authors in November working on book-publishing kits through Student Treasures. They read an animal book to gather facts, wrote clues describing their animal, and illustrated their animal in its habitat. The buddy books are entitled “What am I?”

The books include a title page, dedication page, clue and illustration pages, and photographs of the buddies. It was a wonderful cooperative learning activity.

The students looked very proud as the books were shared with them during a publishing party which included juice and popcorn. Students who ordered books were very excited to take them home to share with families over the holidays.

Our 1st and 4th graders really enjoy working together and always look forward to our next visit and activity. Thank you for your interest in this special student celebration.

Superintendent interviews slated in Hartford Union School District

Two candidates for the Superintendent position will visit Hartford Union High School (HUHS) January 8, and 9, 2019. Names of the two candidates will be released after school has reconvened January 2, 2019.

Community members, parent/guardians, staff and students are invited and encouraged to attend both of the community forums: Tuesday, Jan. 8, 2019 4 p.m. – 5 p.m. HUHS Library Media Center and Wednesday, Jan. 9, 2019 4 p.m. – 5 p.m. HUHS Library Media Center. The new Superintendent will be named at the Jan. 28, 2019 Board of Education meeting.

Updates & Tidbits

– Today is the last day for Sweet Creations Village Bakery in West Bend, 825 S. Main Street, is closing.  A note was posted on the window of the business thanking customers for “years of loyalty and patronage.” Owner Derek Van Alstyne said the store in Slinger, 310 E. Washington Street, will remain open and gift cards may be redeemed at that location. Sweet Creations Bakery in West Bend opened in June 2013.

– Horicon Bank recently announced the promotion of Rosemary Petitte to its Senior Management team.

– The iconic perimeter-lit “West Bend” sign on the Historic West Bend Theatre (HWBT) will come down Dec. 27 for restoration to its original luster.  Poblocki Sign Company will restore both the sign and the marquee. It will be transported to the Poblocki shop for electrical, carpentry and painting. The reinstallation of both the sign and marquee is targeted for this summer. There are 235 bulbs on each face of the sign, for a total of 470. That doesn’t include the bulbs on the marquee.

-Rick Takacs at Meadowbrook Farm in West Bend has fresh balsam and Fraser fir Christmas trees for the upcoming holiday. Takacs gets his trees from the same vendor in Oconto County who once supplied the tree to the White House in Washington D.C. Tackas said he really liked the trees from the Vander Velden’s farm because they’re “tall and have super color.” Meadowbrook Farm is located at 1270 Meadowbrook Road.

-This winter season marks the 45th anniversary of the Nabob Prairie Riders Snowmobile Club. Please join the Nabob Prairie riders on Jan. 5, 2019 at the House of Heileman’s on Big Cedar Lake for the annual Winterfest/Fisheree. Fishing is from 6:30 a.m. to 3 p.m., entertainment in the tent includes music, food and drink all available from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m.

– A Memorial Service will be held Monday, Dec. 31 for Howard “Howie” Knox who died Dec. 5, 2018. Knox was a World War II veteran and highly visible in the community. The service will start at 11 a.m. at St. Luke Lutheran Church, 4860 Arthur Road, in Slinger.

Slinger Historical Museum

An open letter to my fellow “Slinger-ites”;

We will celebrate 150 years of Schleisingerville starting in one week and we have the chance to show our history to the world.

Did you know 90 percent of communities in Wisconsin with a population of 1,000 or more have some form of museum or Historical Society? Bayfield, which has a population 460, has a museum.

We have a museum established – the Slinger Historical Museum Inc., a 501c3 non-profit entity.

We are officially state-affiliated with the Wisconsin Historical Society; Slinger High School is helping to document and curate our history; we have the support of the village and Washington County to establish a museum; we have displays highlighting the founders and industrial pioneers of our community and “dollars to donuts,” you are related to one of these ingenious and brave women and men.

What we don’t have is a place. I have tried for over a year to find our physical address to no avail.  This initiative is a labor of love, not a profit-making venture.  The Slinger Historical Museum is near and dear to my heart, I admit it.  I am an eighth generation Rosenheimer and live in a “Rosey” (then Storck) house built in 1890.

But this is not about my family; this is about your heritage. I am not asking for money. I am asking you, Slinger community members, to put your mind to task to find a home for our museum. The rest is all in place; grants, docents/tour guides, excitement and an interest in volunteering, both young and old.

Please help. A small building that you are not using, a spot of property that we could move an already identified Historical Landmark building from the 1880’s that could “house history,” an abode for our artifacts. If you have something, or know of something, ring me at 262-707-2811 and let’s begin the conversation. Let’s ignite a love of history in our community of 5,400.

Sincerely, Wendy R. Olsen, Founder, the Slinger Historical Museum

Find local news for free 7 days a week at WashingtonCountyInsider.com

Around the Bend by Judy Steffes

New owner for Timmer’s Resort on Big Cedar Lake

There’s a new owner for Timmer’s Resort on Big Cedar Lake.

It was August 23, 2018 when the story ran on WashingtonCountyInsider.com that George Prescott and his wife Judi confirmed Timmer’s Resort was up for sale.

“I decided after 10 -12 years I have a nice sense of accomplishment that I brought the resort back to life and I’ll turn it over to somebody else now to let them take it on,” George Prescott said.

The new owner is F Street Hospitality in Milwaukee. “We are looking forward to celebrating the history and tradition that makes Timmer’s Resort so special,” said owner Scott Lurie. “And to ensure guests receive the same experience they’ve grown accustomed to after all of these years.”

Lurie said the name of the resort will remain the same. “It will be business as usual; we are changing very little,” he said. “We’re buying a great brand and that’s why we’re excited for this opportunity.”

Timmer’s Resort has a number of outstanding gift cards and Lurie said all of those will be honored and accepted. “At some point we will eventually start issuing new gift cards that can be redeemed at our other Hospitality Restaurants but anything existing will be honored.”

Lurie has been visiting Timmer’s Resort for the past two years and was familiar with the area. “That’s what attracted me to this purchase,” he said. “I had an opportunity to go out on the lake and I fell in love with it.”

The current general manager, Fran LeGrand Wagner, is retiring today, Dec. 14, and her position will be filled by Ashley Feucht Gregoriou of West Bend. She most recently worked at Shully’s in Thiensville and at the Centennial Bar & Grille in Mequon.

George Prescott has been working on the sale of Timmer’s for several months. “The business is in good hands,” said Prescott. ”

The closing on the sale happened Friday morning, Dec. 14 and Prescott said he was feeling a little “spent.”

“This was a difficult decision but very bittersweet,” he said.

“I liked Scott because he was the most proactive on where he thought he could take Timmer’s Resort and restaurant. I think they’re going to do some good things for Timmer’s, the community and Big Cedar Lake.”

Asked what he’s going to do now with all his free time Prescott said one thing. “Grandkids. Grandkids,” he said. “I haven’t succeeded much in the past with retiring but I think this time it’s going to stick.”

The Prescotts, who live on Big Cedar Lake, paid $1.75 million for Timmer’s Resort and restaurant in October 2007. That was a little more than half the original $3.49 million asking price.

Today’s sale price has not been released.

Kewaskum Frozen Foods has been sold

Kewaskum Frozen Foods, 118 Forest Ave, in Kewaskum has been sold.

Brian Schumacher is the new owner. “I’m really excited about the opportunity in Kewaskum with this business.  We’re at a very busy time of year and our focus right now is on taking care of our customers and provide the best product and service for everyone.”

Schumacher, 42, lives in Wauwatosa. He said he goes skiing and hunting in this area.

New to the world of meat markets and retail, Schumacher has switched gears after spending 20 years in corporate America. “I have a passion for food, an appreciation for meat and an appreciation for the small town,” he said. Schumacher purchased the store from the Ries brothers, Steve, Allen and Paul. Prior to that the business was owned by Bob Biesbier.

Silver Lining Amphitheater featured in new Montgomery Gentry video

Washington County Fair Park and the Silver Lining Amphitheater are celebrating the exposure received in the new Montgomery Gentry video.

Montgomery Gentry headlined at the 2017 Washington County Fair.

The band released a video October 2018 for its Drink Along Song. During many segments in the video the crowd and the Silver Lining Amphitheater are highly visible.

Fair Park executive director Kellie Boone said she saw the video Friday morning. “This was all a surprise,” she said.

Boone said the stage looked “awesome” and the people from the community were very recognizable. “I saw our electrician Lance and one of our bouncers and our EMT people,” she said. “Can’t beat free exposure and we’re in a majority of the video. Our venue really is helping attract national attention.”

Memorial Service set for Rev. Howard “Howie” Knox

A Memorial Service will be held Monday, Dec. 31 for Howard “Howie” Knox who died Dec. 5, 2018. Knox was a World War II veteran and highly visible in the community. The service will start at 11 a.m. at St. Luke Lutheran Church, 4860 Arthur Road, in Slinger.

The River City Blaskapelle will be playing during the luncheon. Knox was an active part of that band and could be seen around town and at events with his trusty bugle.  “I loved sitting next to Howie and driving him to gigs, we all miss him a lot,” said fellow River City band member Karen Wachholz.

Blaskapelle members Pat Otten and Mark Kandel wrote, “Howard Knox has been a performing member of the River City Blaskapelle since our formation in 1986.  He played the Trumpet and the Peck horn.  Howie contributed countless hours of his talents over the years, but even more important than his dedication was his friendship.  He touched the lives of everyone in our group and we know that we speak for every member when we say that his friendship enriched our lives and our organization.  The Blaskapelle will go on without Howie but it will never be quite the same.”

Private burial services were held. Knox is buried in a cemetery in Whitewater next to his wife Pearl.

Silver Lining Amphitheater featured in new Montgomery Gentry video

Washington County Fair Park and the Silver Lining Amphitheater are celebrating the exposure received in the new Montgomery Gentry video. Montgomery Gentry headlined at the 2017 Washington County Fair.

The band released a video October 2018 for its Drink Along Song. During many segments in the video the crowd and the Silver Lining Amphitheater are highly visible. Click HERE to watch the video and see who you might recognize.

Fair Park executive director Kellie Boone said she saw the video Friday morning. “This was all a surprise,” she said. “I think the video was taken just before Troy Gentry died.”

Boone said the stage looked “awesome” and the people from the community were very recognizable. “I saw our electrician Lance and one of our bouncers and our EMT people,” she said. “Can’t beat free exposure and we’re in a majority of the video. Our venue is really helping to attract national attention.” The video can also be seen on County Music Television (CMT).

$47 million referendum could equal $80 million total for West Bend School District

The West Bend School Board discussed moving forward with an April 2019 referendum involving Jackson Elementary School and updates to the West Bend High Schools. Although the board did not put a final figure on the bonding amount the discussion centered on $47 million.

During the meeting board member Ken Schmidt thought the amount the district should ask for in the referendum should be “the lowest possible.”

“I still contend we are over building,” said Schmidt. “There are things that are wants and things that are needs and that’s my concern. We may be over building and the enrollment projections are not there and as I indicated with the high school, I was in favor of safety and the tech ed improvements but some of the other I’m not sure.”

The school board has discussed the districts declining enrollment a number of times.

As far as referendum debt, the WBSD currently has between $38 million and $40 million in referendum debt.

Taking a look at the current referendums the West Bend School District is currently paying off.

-In April 2009, voters in West Bend approved a $29.3 million plan to renovate, as well as build an addition to Badger Middle School.

-In November 2012 the West Bend School District passed a $22.8 million referendum to close Barton Elementary School, expand Silverbrook School and add classrooms and a gym at Green Tree Elementary School. The actual total cost of the referendum with taxes and interest was $31.975 million with a 15-year payback on borrowing.

-After the Nov. 2012 referendum passed the $31.9 million total was added on top of the $29.3 million payment for the 2009 Badger referendum. The target date to completely pay off the debt on both referendums is 2028.

During previous meetings discussion of a $50 million referendum would have actually totaled $85 million with interest, according to Baird. No interest was provided on the $47 million proposal but one could assume it will come in near the $80 million range.

That means taxpayers in the West Bend School District would have current referendum debt totaling between $118 million – $120 million if the April 2019 referendum is approved.

So far no interest figure for bonding has been determined. Board member Chris Zwygart, speaking as a person, said, “It has not been determined at this time whether the district is going to referendum at all.”

One item he did make clear was with regard to a house, occupied by a family that is adjacent to the newly purchased property on Jackson Drive.

“That parcel is not essential to the school property,” he said. The house is at 16640 Jackson Drive. The board needs to determine a ballot question by early January 2019 in order for it to be place on the April ballot.

Bus accident involving West Bend West bowling team

The Washington County Sheriff’s Department has issued a statement regarding Monday night’s school bus accident in Kewaskum.

According to a report on Fox6now.com “Washington County officials said an investigation determined the bus driver disregarded the stop sign at Highway 45, and in turn, caused the crash. Speed also appears to have been a factor, officials said.”

The statement below was issued by Sgt. Vanderheiden on Monday, Dec. 10.

On Dec. 10, 2018 at 6:07 p.m. the Washington County Sheriff’s Office was notified of a 2 vehicle crash involving a school bus that occurred on Highway 45 at County Highway V, in the Township of Kewaskum. Sheriff’s Deputies, Kewaskum Police and Kewaskum Fire/Rescue were also summoned to the scene.

Upon the arrival of the first squad, it was determined that there were 10 occupants on the bus; a 63 year old operator from West Bend, 8 juvenile passengers and 1 adult chaperone. The operator of the second vehicle had 2 occupants; a 36 year old Campbellsport man and a juvenile passenger. In total, 4 patients, all with minor injuries, were transported to St Joseph’s Hospital via Kewaskum Rescue.

The crash investigation showed the school bus was operating eastbound on County Highway V and disregarded the stop sign at Highway 45. A second vehicle was operating northbound on Highway 45, slowing to turn westbound on County Highway V when it was struck by the school bus entering the intersection. Speed appears to be a contributing factor to the crash and there were no signs of impairment for either driver.

Sweet Creations Village Bakery in West Bend is closing

Sweet Creations Village Bakery in West Bend, 825 S. Main Street, is closing.  A note was posted on the window of the business today, Saturday, Dec. 8, thanking customers for “years of loyalty and patronage.” Owner Derek Van Alstyne says the store in Slinger, 310 E. Washington Street, will remain open and gift cards may be redeemed at that location. The last day for Sweet Creations in West Bend is December 23, 2018. Sweet Creations Bakery in West Bend opened in June 2013.

The future of Shopko pharmacy in West Bend

It looks like the Pick ‘n Save stores in West Bend will soon be acquiring the prescriptions from Shopko pharmacy. A portion of an article from Progressive Grocer is below.

The deal brings pharmacy files at 42 Shopko stores – including 25 Wisconsin locations – to the Cincinnati-based grocery giant, which will transfer the subscriptions to Kroger-owned grocery stores near the affected Shopko pharmacy customers, the news outlet (Milwaukee Journal Sentinel) noted. Stores that will receive the prescriptions include Pick ‘n Save, Metro Market and Copps locations, all of which are part of Kroger’s Roundy’s subsidiary.

Wisconsin Kroger locations to receive the new customers include ones in Appleton, Fond du Lac, Grafton, Green Bay, Kenosha, Kimberly, Manitowoc, Marshfield, Menasha, Neenah, Oshkosh, Plover, Racine, Rothschild, Sheboygan, Stevens Point, Sussex, Watertown, Wausau, West Bend and Wisconsin Rapids.

Kroger acquired Roundy’s supermarkets in December 2015; that deal included the two Pick ‘n Save stores in West Bend.

Shopko is located in the Paradise Pavilion in West Bend, 1710 S. Main Street. Terms of the agreement have not been disclosed and a prescription-transfer date has not yet been released.

Parents and students fight for Pathways Charter School in West Bend

A full house at the Monday night West Bend School Board meeting as parents and students expressed support for Pathways Charter School. The School Board will be discussing whether to renew or dissolve Pathways Charter School at its meeting January 14, 2019. A decision is expected Jan. 28, 2019.

One of the items the board agreed on was not to renew its contract with the city of West Bend for the current location of Pathways Charter School in the Mutual Mall, 1043 S. Main Street. Three options for a new location were discussed including going back to middle school, moving to the high school or finding another location in town. The current location was not an option. No new location decision was made Monday evening. Fifteen people including parents and students spoke before the board about the positive aspects of the school.

There is a letter below read by parent Chelsea Doman Davis of Jackson.

Good evening, Board members, educators, and fellow parents.

My name is Chelsea Doman Davis. I live at … in Jackson. I have four school-aged children. My oldest son is Henry, an eighth grader at Pathways for the second year. I stand before you this evening with a strong hope of persuading you to grant a long-term contract for Pathways Charter School.

Seven years ago, Henry was struggling in school, though not with learning. He typically works above grade-level standards; however the very structure of school was difficult for him; the usual methods of teaching in the usual classroom did not facilitate learning for him in an easy way. We struggled at two different schools in two different states before we decided home school was the best solution. And for four years, it was amazing.

Then last year we moved to Wisconsin so my husband could join a dental practice in Slinger and we decided to give traditional school another try due to the high standards of education in this state. We considered living everywhere within a 45-minute radius of Slinger. We heard and continue to hear how amazing the Slinger School District is.

But after Henry’s previous struggles in the classroom and our years of homeschooling, we needed options outside of current tradition. We needed to find a different classroom experience that would help Henry learn in his way and with an environment conducive to developing skills requite for successful adults. When I found Pathways in my research, I knew we had to live in the WBSD, despite all evidence pointing to Slinger.

I am happy to report that at Pathways, Henry is not just surviving but is thriving. He has grown immensely. For example, when my son started attending Pathways, he sat in the corner of the lunchroom every day with his coat on and his hood up. But now, and for the first time ever, he has friends at school. Friends who accept him as he is. They encourage each other to do their best and they help each other. Those are true friends. Can you put a price tag on that?

I know test scores were recently published and they weren’t as high as they could be. But do test scores really reflect the potential of an individual? Education is not only about numbers. It’s about the entirety of a person. Let’s remember that like Stephen Hawking and Bill Gates, these are the kids who think outside the box, who need to know the whys and wherefores and will dig deep to find them. They need more convincing than the average teenager that filling out bubbles is worth their effort. I am certain had they realized the charter was up for renewal and the future of their school was literally in their hands, they would have given their best efforts.

When considering all of the numbers please don’t lose sight of the population a school closure would hurt and the ripple effect it would cause. In the words of one of my son’s classmates, “Too many kids need this school.” Thank you.

Holy Angels Students of the Month for November                 By Mike Sternig

Holy Angels Students of the Month for November 2018 include Kylee Altendorf, Maria Olson, and Jack Sadownikow.

6th Grade:  Kylee Altendorf entered junior high with all the personality traits needed for success. She has confidence, patience and wonderful study habits. She likes to challenge herself, and always tries her best.  In school, she particularly likes reading and writing. In addition to academic success, Kylee is an excellent volleyball player. She contributes to our school by being helpful and kind to others, and by serving at Mass.

7th Grade:  Maria Olson – It’s hard to imagine a more well-rounded student than Maria. She excels in all classes, participating in class activities, turning in high quality work, and pushing herself to learn everything the school offers. She is highly self-motivated in school activities and in extra-curricular. She reads, plays the violin, and crochets, as well as participates in volleyball and basketball. She also finds time to hang out with friends. She contributes at school as a patrol with the kindergartners and serves at Mass.

8th Grade:  Jack Sadownikow – Jack has always been a friendly individual, liked by both adults and students. His laid-back attitude makes him an easy person to be around. He particularly likes being active, in sports, on the farm and just being outside. It’s no surprise that he hopes to be a park ranger when he gets older. This year, his teachers have noticed, and appreciate, that he is putting forth strong effort in his academic classes, showing independent motivation to turn in quality work and experiencing success. He is a responsible student who helps out at school as a patrol.

Elaine Shanebrook wins award

The Board of Directors of The Catholic Community Foundation was proud to recently present their Community Partner Award to Attorney Elaine Shanebrook in appreciation of her dedicated service of bringing awareness of The Catholic Community Foundation to clients seeking to include philanthropy in their estate plans to provide charitable giving in perpetuity to causes dear to their hearts that fulfill the mission of the Catholic Church.

Elaine was the founding partner of Shanebrook & Falkowski Law Office, LLP, West Bend and before retiring this last June, she practiced law in the areas of estate planning, real estate, trusts, probate and elder law for over 41 years. She has achieved many accomplishments during her career – Elaine was the first woman from Wisconsin to be elected to the American College of Trust and Estate Counsel.

She has been active with the State Bar of Wisconsin, having served as past chair and director of the Real Property, Probate and Trust Law Section and director of the Taxation Section.  She has been listed in “Best Lawyers in America” and “Wisconsin Super Lawyers.” Over the years, Elaine has volunteered her time by serving on many not-for-profit corporations’ board of directors.

Crafting retreat house taking shape in Hartford                        By Samantha Sali

A crafting retreat house may soon be coming to 209 West Lincoln Avenue in Hartford.

According to the Planning Commission Agenda, the crafting retreat house “…would be a place that groups of up to 12 could rent for the weekend or overnight in order to work on craft projects in a group setting. In addition, the retreat house would host classes and open sewing nights during the week.”

Similar crafting retreat houses are located in Beaver Dam, Waukesha, Waldo, Janesville, Lake Geneva, Cambridge, and Black River Falls. These examples provided by the applicant, Jean Harley, are also located in residential zones.

This week the Planning Commission approved the request for rezoning the property. The item was reviewed by the City Council during Tuesday’s meeting. The property is owned by Redeemer Lutheran Church.

Café Floriana taking shape at Cast Iron in West Bend

Just three short weeks after the making the initial announcement about a new cafe/bakery opening in West Bend the new Cafe Floriana is starting to take shape. Katherine Schenk and her sister Sara Young will be opening the new shop in the lower level of the Cast Iron building, 611 Veterans Avenue.

“Our parents live in the building and we would come visit them and there was no place to get a cup of coffee and a sandwich or muffin,” said Schenk. “We recognized there was a need here in the building and there was space available.”

During a recent tour Schenk outlined what’s ahead. “You’ll have to excuse the mess,” she said. “We have walls up, the concrete floor is in, plumbing is in and HVAC is underway.”

Using a little imagination Schenk detailed some of the interior layout including the service bar, bakery counter, espresso bar, food prep for muffins and breads.

“We’ll be able to seat 35 to 40 and our menu will have a lot of items to-go,” she said. “We’re also bringing in special wood beams across the ceiling and that will help dampen some of the echoing.”

Schenk said “construction is on schedule and hopefully we’ll open in early to mid-February.”

Updates & Tidbits

– Don Muth and the University Ambassadors will host a breakfast for students on campus on Thursday, Dec. 13 at 8:30 a.m. – 10:30 a.m. as part of week-long events before final exams start.

-Rick Takacs at Meadowbrook Farm in West Bend has fresh balsam and Fraser fir Christmas trees for the upcoming holiday. Takacs gets his trees from the same vendor in Oconto County who once supplied the tree to the White House in Washington D.C. Tackas said he really liked the trees from the Vander Velden’s farm because they’re “tall and have super color.” Meadowbrook Farm is located at 1270 Meadowbrook Road.

-This winter season marks the 45th anniversary of the Nabob Prairie Riders Snowmobile Club. Original founding members include families like the Dornackers, Kedingers, Rileys, Retzlaffs, Stoeffels, Holtz’s, and Ritgers who formed the club to more closely focus on the trail system within the Nabob area. Please join the Nabob Prairie riders on Jan. 5, 2019 at the House of Heileman’s on Big Cedar Lake for the annual Winterfest/Fisheree. Fishing is from 6:30 a.m. to 3 p.m., entertainment in the tent includes music, food and drink all available from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m.

– Legendary Whitetails in Slinger collected winter coats for the Fox 6 Coats for Kids coat drive and exceeded its goal with 80+ coats, snow pants, hats and mittens. Hat tip Renee J. Jenkyns.

-Horicon Bank, 1535 Paradise Drive, in West Bend has a new electronic street sign. The sign is twice as big as the previous model and has an array of colors for larger graphics and messaging.

 

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Around the Bend by Judy Steffes

Pete Rettler and 25 Runs of Gratitude receives call from The Ellen Show

On the eve of Pete Rettler’s 25 Runs of Gratitude a conversation was held between Rettler and a staffer at The Ellen Show. That’s The Ellen Degeneres Show …. if you’re not familiar.

The hot topic of conversation is Rettler’s runs and how he is going to spend the next 25 days running 2.5 miles, trying to raise $25,000 for charities connected to the United Way of Washington County.

It’s his way of celebrating 25 years of good health, running every single day, and supporting the wonderful non-profit organizations in the community.

As far as the phone call from The Ellen Show. Rettler said his phone blew up while he was out on a run Tuesday afternoon. The call was coming from Burbank, California which is home to Walt Disney and Warner Bros. studio. He thought it was a spam call until he listened to the message.

The call was from Sommer Green, a staffer at The Ellen Show.

The pair talked about 15 minutes and then set up a Skype interview for Wednesday afternoon. Rettler conducted the interview from his office at Moraine Park Technical College.

“We talked about whether I watched The Ellen Show and then she asked if I could tell Ellen anything what that would be and I told her I was watching the George Bush funeral today and they mentioned his humor and making fun of himself and Ellen does the same thing. She tries to stay away from politics and I think that’s good because there are great people on both sides of the aisle,” said Rettler.

At one point Rettler said he thought he referred to Ellen as Roseanne … but he wasn’t quite sure.

“This definitely has ignited a spark and companies are coming forward to sponsor the run,” he said. Rettler will be culminating the 25 Runs of Gratitude with a big event New Year’s Eve Day, Dec. 31.

We are seeking sponsorships of $1,000 or less per day.  The $1,000 gift will be matched $1 for $1 as a new corporate leadership gift by West Bend Mutual Insurance and Commerce State Bank.  United Way will send an invoice for pledge made.  If you would like to be a sponsor call at 262-338-3821 or kbrandner@unitedwayofwashingtoncounty.org.

Pair of bald eagles spotted on Silver Lake

Curt Rudy and his wife got up Saturday morning and saw a unique sight out their bedroom window on Silver Lake. “We have high windows and cathedral ceilings and we saw him just sitting out their beautifully,” said Rudy.

“We look to the side and about 10-feet away there was a second one.”

The Rudys’ spotted not one but two bald eagles.

“I did some research and they hang around in pairs, for life, and the only time when they’re together is when they’re mating,” he said. “They mate anywhere from November to January.”

Rudy’s photo from his wife’s cell phone.

The Rudys’ live on the east side of the lake on Quaas Drive. “We’ve been out here 35 years,” he said. “This fall my neighbor about two doors down said he saw a bald eagle hovering over the lake.”

Rudy said the eagle was in one of their trees. Fascinated by the eagles, Rudy searched to see if anyone posted about the birds in the past or if there was a nest in the Washington County area.

“I found something that said there was a nest reported in 2016 in Washington County,” said Rudy.

Neighbors in Kewaskum have seen bald eagles. Doug Gonring phoned in a couple months ago that he spotted a bald eagle along Highway 45. Others have seen the majestic bird near Hon-E-Kor Golf Course in Kewaskum.

World War II veteran Howard Knox has died

It’s with a heavy heart we relay the news of the death of World War II veteran Howard Knox.

Knox and his trusty bugle were a familiar sight across Washington County. Knox was part of River City Irregulars. When he wasn’t playing in the band he was holding high the military signs to salute those who had been in service.

Most recently Knox addressed students during a Veterans Day Assembly at Addison Elementary.

Knox was the first Cub Scout in the state of Wisconsin and he received a bugle when he was 10 years old. “The bugle was given to me by the scout master and he used it during World War I,” he said. Knox was attending the University of Wisconsin when he joined the U.S. Navy.

Howard Knox died Wednesday morning, Dec. 5.  He was 99 years old. Knox will be buried in a private service at a cemetery in Whitewater next to his wife Pearl. A memorial service will be announced shortly.

Update on construction on Carl M. Kuss Field

It was August 7, 2018 when a ceremonial groundbreaking was held to signify the official start of the reconstruction project at Carl M. Kuss Field at Regner Park in West Bend.

The project would include a synthetic turf baseball field with a new, ADA equipped grandstand.

A grant from the Cal Ripken Sr. Foundation helped spark the $2 million project. Back in May, West Bend Mayor Kraig Sadownikow said “the $500,000 grant from the Cal Ripken Sr. Foundation was a game changer for the project.”

Then in October the West Bend Mutual Charitable Trust presented a $500,000 gift to help move the new field closer to fruition. Following Monday night’s, Dec. 3, Common Council meeting Sadownikow said the park will be done by June 15, 2019.

“Progress is going well. Soil borings are scheduled to be out on site before Christmas which is the first step in the process,” he said. “My understanding is fundraising is on schedule and we expect baseball by the summer of 2019.”

Sadownikow said if the current schedule holds the demolition work will be underway in March.

The WIAA spring baseball season begins March 23, 2019 with the first game slated for March 31.

The current scenario, which could possibly change, looks like the first season for WIAA spring baseball in West Bend will be played at the high school field on Decorah Road.

Franklin Bales has died

It is with a heavy heart to relay the news of the death of Franklin Bales of West Bend. Franklin and his wife Margaret were featured in an article this past October 25 highlighting their 70th wedding anniversary.

It was Sept. 25, 1948 when Franklin Bales and Margaret Weninger recited their vows to remain faithful and committed for the rest of their lives.

Franklin and Margaret Bales celebrate 70th wedding anniversary. Franklin, 91, was born on the family farm on Rusco Drive in West Bend. He and Margaret, 90, met at a dance.

“Our farm was just a mile west of Gonring’s Resort. I had broken up with a different guy and me and my girlfriends were standing there and then he (Franklin) came over and asked me to dance. Then he asked to take me home, then he asked me to another dance and from there we kept on going.”

Margaret said she “didn’t think of marriage right away. She just liked being with him.”

“I liked his laugh,” said Margaret. “We had fun.” Margaret was 18 years old when she met Franklin. She worked at Amity Leather at the time. Franklin was 19 and a half and he worked on the family farm. “I like her because she was easy going,” he said. “I could handle that.”

When Margaret turned 20 she and Franklin tied the knot. The wedding photos look straight out of ‘June Bride’ featuring an elegant Margaret and a dapper Franklin surrounded by a wedding party of eight set against a backdrop of blue skies, two meaty columns and drapes.

“The photographer didn’t come to the wedding, we had to go to the photographer,” Margaret said.

Franklin recalled a delayed honeymoon as chores on the dairy farm took precedent. “She had to can pears before we left and I had to fill the silo again,” he said.

A couple days later the pair were off gallivanting. “We drove into Canada and circled around a bit just so we could tell our friends we were in Canada,” said Margaret.

The couple moved in to Franklin’s home. “I’ve always live here,” he said. “Our bedroom is the room I was born in.”

Franklin C. Bales, 91 of West Bend passed away on Wednesday, December 5 at his home surrounded by his family. Franklin was born February 14, 1927, Valentine’s Day. This was appropriate since there was great love shown by Franklin for each of the family members in his very large extended family and he was loved by each family member as well. The greatest love was for his wife of 70 years, Margaret.

This special 70th anniversary on September 25, 2018 was honored with an event at the family farm attended by more than 40 family members. This was the dairy farm that Franklin was born on, grew up on, worked as a dairy farm and continued to live on in retirement until he passed away. The farm will be a century farm next year being in the Bales family for 100 years.

Franklin will always be known for his happy laugh, storytelling, willingness to help anyone no matter how busy farm life kept him, being a trusted advisor and always leading by example on how to live a good Christian life. But most of all Franklin was devoted to Margaret and as a team they grew more than crops and produced more than milk on their beloved family farm. They grew and produced a strong family as well. Franklin and Margaret never missed Sunday Mass until age prevented travel. Mealtime prayers, evening rosary, while holding hands and prayers throughout the day exemplified their devout faith.

Well into his 80’s Franklin volunteered at the Samaritan Health Center, St. Frances Cabrini and Meals on Wheels. Over the years extensive travel was made throughout the country. Sheepshead was a passion of his and Franklin and Margaret had several groups of friends they played with over the years. Franklin has now played his last hand but we are sure that if sheepshead is played in heaven, he is already dealing out the cards.

Visitation will be on Monday, December 10 from 2:00 p.m. until 3:45 p.m. at St. Frances Cabrini Catholic Church, 1025 S. Seventh Ave, West Bend with a Mass of Christian Burial at 4:00 p.m. Burial will take place Tuesday in Holy Angels Cemetery, Memorials, in lieu of flowers to the Paul Bales Memorial Scholarship at UWM Washington County or to St. Frances Cabrini Parish are appreciated.

Our family has lost a real treasure but we are all blessed to carry a bit of his spirit within us. The Schmidt Funeral Home in West Bend is serving the family.

Hartford musical raises money for LOVE>hate project               By Samantha Sali

The Hartford Union High School’s fall production of Little Shop of Horrors Musical raised $1,330 for the Sojourner Peace Center and LOVE>hate Project. “In Little Shop of Horrors, Audrey is abused by her boyfriend,” said Musical Advisor, Shelia Parker. “While the musical makes light of this situation, the students felt that they needed to take this opportunity to assist women who find themselves in abusive situations and to work to curb violence against women.”

The students in the production were able to collect $580 audience donations for the Sojourner Peace Center in Milwaukee and $750 for The LOVE>hate Project in Hartford. “The students will be meeting with Buck Blodgett, founder of The LOVE>hate Project, on December 20th to present a check to him for the donation,” said Parker.

Blodgett was extremely appreciative of the students’ decision to not only donate to the LOVE>hate Project, but raise awareness on the important topic of male against female violence. “I’m so very grateful that these talented students chose to remember Jessie and advance her mission,” Blodgett said. “Their giving will go directly into spreading Jessie’s messages far and wide through videos, social media, live radio campaigns, local projects to raise awareness and call to action, and more.”

Updates & Tidbits

Slinger High School and its production of “Wizard of Oz” has been nominated for 11 Jerry Awards.

– The Amity Rolfs Nativity has found a new home in West Bend. The display, which is a hallmark of the holiday, is in place on the front lawn of Holy Angels Parish on 138 N. Eighth Avenue.

– The Hartford-Slinger Boys Swim Team broke a relay record at their home meet on Saturday, December 1, 2018. The new meet record of 1:35:72 was for the 200 yard Free Relay with Adam Marx, Logan DeBack, Robert Klockow, and Dylan Webb.   Hat tip Samantha Sali

– Citizen Advocates Board of Directors promoted Jessica Frederick as the organization’s new Executive Director. Frederick has been a part of Citizen Advocates for 11 years, serving as a Community Organizer, then as the Program Coordinator.

– Don Muth and the University Ambassadors will host a breakfast for students on campus on Thursday, Dec. 13 at 8:30 a.m. – 10:30 a.m. as part of week-long events before final exams start.

-Rick Takacs at Meadowbrook Farm in West Bend has fresh balsam and Fraser fir Christmas trees for the upcoming holiday. Takacs gets his trees from the same vendor in Oconto County who once supplied the tree to the White House in Washington D.C. Tackas said he really liked the trees from the Vander Velden’s farm because they’re “tall and have super color.” Meadowbrook Farm is located at 1270 Meadowbrook Road.

– Tickets are now on sale for the amazing Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra Holiday Pops Concert on Dec. 11 at the West Bend High Schools Silver Lining Arts Center.

– Santa is flying in from the North Pole on Saturday, Dec. 8 and he’s landing at the West Bend Airport. Come out and have breakfast and give Santa a warm Washington County welcome! Santa lands around 8:30 a.m.

Hidden mural uncovered at Historic West Bend Theatre

A bit of an archeological find this week in downtown West Bend as colorful murals have been uncovered in the balcony level of the Historic West Bend Theatre.

“This is the first exposure and it’s the same pattern in each of the red panels,” said conservator Brian Fick with Evergreene Architectural Arts. “It’s a five-color stencil pattern on a shield shape with two birds; it looks a bit Germanic which, in an art-deco context is a little odd but it kind of suits the area.” Fick uncovered the mural using solvents and gels. A large breathing apparatus is on the floor next to the dusty theatre seats.

“I knew there was something there because I could see a bit of shadow,” he said. Pointing to the ceiling Fick highlights some of the black lines of another pattern of work.

“This piece will be documented and I’m taking samples,” Fick said. “We take the paint from the plaster it’s painted on all the way through to the top layer. We then cut that so you see the paint layers in cross section and that can give a better, more accurate representation of what the color was.”

Fick walks up the stairs in the balcony and points to another square of art behind some scaffolding.

“The painting that’s on these urns and the backgrounds is all original,” he said. “It’s just very dirty.” The iconic theatre dates to 1929.

“There are some historic photographs where you can see in black and white some painted decorations you just can’t make it out because the photos aren’t distinct enough,” said Fick. ”

Fick speculates on the reason the murals may have been painted over. “There may have been damage in some area and the thought was ‘who would fix this?’ Or they just wanted to lighten and brighten the place and they thought the easiest thing to do would be to paint everything a lighter color.” This phase of the research project started Monday and Fick is working through Friday.  A report will be delivered to the theatre board on the mural finding in a couple of weeks.

There are red rectangles below each decorative urn. Fick said the same exact pattern will be unveiled in every block.

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Packers Fire McCarthy

Wow.

GREEN BAY –  The Green Bay Packers relieved coach Mike McCarthy of his duties after a 20-17 loss to the Arizona Cardinals at Lambeau Field dropped the club to 4-7-1 on the season.

McCarthy is the first coach in the history of the franchise to be fired before the end of a full season.

“The 2018 season has not lived up to the expectations and standards of the Green Bay Packers. As a result, I made the difficult decision to relieve Mike McCarthy of his role as head coach, effective immediately,” Packers president and chief executive officer Mark Murphy said in a statement released by the team.

“Mike has been a terrific head coach and leader of the Packers for 13 seasons, during which time we experienced a great deal of success on and off the field. We want to thank Mike, his wife, Jessica, and the rest of the McCarthy family for all that they have done for the Packers and the Green Bay and Wisconsin communities. We will immediately begin the process of selecting the next head coach of the Green Bay Packers.”

Offensive coordinator Joe Philbin was named the interim head coach.

I think everyone assumed that McCarthy would not be the head coach of the Packers next year. It is time for a change. But to fire him in the middle of the season was a classless move by the Packers. I have no doubt that he will land a new head coaching job very shortly, and I have equally little doubt that the Packers made this move without having a real replacement in mind. Great… you fired the coach, Murphy… now what?

And frankly, looking at the game today, McCarthy didn’t lose the game. The players did. They played like crap. Specifically, Aaron Rodgers played like crap. And when it was the 4th quarter and the Packers were a touchdown behind, Rodgers was sitting on the bench in his big coat shooting the breeze with another player. He wasn’t engaged. He wasn’t fired up. He wasn’t leading. He was pouting.

It’s a bad day for the Packers organization, and it has nothing to do with the outcome of the game.

Around the Bend by Judy Steffes

Hartford shocked by death of community leader

Hartford is mourning the loss of a community leader as word spreads about the sudden death of Brian Wendorff.

Wendorff was president of Hartford Finishing. He reportedly died unexpectedly this morning, Nov. 27, of a massive heart attack.

Brother Gary Wendorff said the family is “doing as good as we can under the circumstances.”

“Brian took over for me as president of Hartford Finishing and I will now have to retake those responsibilities until we find another person,” said Gary Wendorff.

Hartford City Administrator Steve Volkert said the entire Wendorff family is truly like family to the city of Hartford. “Not only because of their businesses and the amount of people they employ but how much they do beyond the business world in their sponsorship of different things and their true passion for Hartford so we wish the Wendorff family our sincere condolences,” he said.

“I’m greatly surprised and saddened by the passing of Brian,” said Hartford mayor, Timothy Michalak. “The Wendorff family has been very generous to the Hartford community and it is an incredible loss. Our prayers truly go out to their family in this time of mourning.”

Hartford Area Development Corp.’s Executive Director,Tom Hostad, shared his condolences, “The Wendorff family has made significant contributions to the Hartford community over the years both as key employers through their SteelCraft, Hartford Finishing and Sno-way businesses and as exemplary corporate citizens providing significant financial support to numerous community improvement projects. As president of Hartford Finishing, Brian was a key member of the Wendorff team and he will be missed. Our thoughts and prayers are with the Wendorff family.”

Family will greet relatives and friends Sunday, December 2, 2018 from 2:00p.m. -6:00 p.m. St. Matthew Lutheran Church (308 Herman Street Iron Ridge, WI 53035) concluding with a Prayer Service and Reflections.

Additional visitation will be held Monday, December 3, 2018 from 10:00 a.m.-10:45 a.m. at St. Matthew Lutheran Church with Funeral Services at 11:00a.m. with Rev. Larry Mose officiating.

Immediately following services, Brian’s interment will take place in St. Matthew’s Lutheran Cemetery, Iron Ridge. Brian Wendorff was 52.

Kewaskum H.S. football coach resigns

Kewaskum High School varsity football coach Jason Piittmann, 48, announced to his team this week he was stepping down. “I have a lot on my plate,” said Piittmann. “Between teaching, being Athletic Director and coaching…”

Piittmann has been coaching 20 years at KHS.  The Indians finished the 2018 season with an overall record of 4-5 and 2-5 in conference. “I’m very proud of what we’ve done,” Piittmann said. “I know I’m going to miss it a lot.”

Piittmann has three children and said he knows he’ll be coaching again in his future. “It’s in my blood,” he said. “My 8-year-old son was most upset about missing his high school friends because he’s enjoyed coming to practice the last few years,” he said.

JV Football – 1999-2000 Varsity Assistant Football – 2001-2002 Head Football – 2003-2018.

Blessing this week for new Habitat ReStore in Germantown

Staff, volunteers and members of the board of directors of Habitat for Humanity Washington/Dodge Counties gave thanks Tuesday morning, Nov. 27 for the many gifts and support to make its new store happen in Germantown.

Habitat Executive Director Russ Wanta offered praise for help on the closing on the purchase of the store. “We had a very generous man from the Minneapolis area who generously donated the down payment so we could ultimately make this our Germantown ReStore,” said Wanta.

Habitat for Humanity purchased the former Gander Mountain building, W190 N10768 Commerce Circle in Germantown.

“I truly believe that it was simply by the Lord Almighty that this thing came about,” said Wanta. “This will be similar to Goodwill with a drive thru and if you really want to know what a God thing this is – Germantown Iron and Steel and I met structural Roger Enters who volunteered to engineer and then Keller Inc. out of Germantown called and they agreed to build another section on the back of the building and do it pro bono.”

“In a very, very short amount of time the pieces came together for our drive thru,” said Wanta. “And that really is how the Lord works. You lift up something in prayer and you can hear from Him.” Pastor Mike Moran from Kettlebrook Church in West Bend offered a prayer of thanks.

“Jesus identifies with the downtrodden,” said Moran. “He identifies with people in need and that’s our calling as well. The new Habitat ReStore is hoping to open Jan. 2, 2019 in Germantown.

It was March 2017 when Gander Mountain Company announced it filed Chapter 11 bankruptcy and the store in Germantown would be one of four in southeastern Wisconsin to close by May 2017. Habitat for Humanity currently owns about 7,000-square feet within a stone’s throw of the building on Commerce Circle. That ReStore is located at W188 N10707 Maple Road in Germantown.

The old Gander Mountain building had been initially listed for $3.9 million. Wanta said he worked on negotiating the sale directly with building owner Bill Lloyd. “We worked on the deal a long time and settled on a price of $1.8 million,” said Wanta.

West Bend School District to purchase property in Jackson

There was an 84-14 vote of the electorate (residents 18 years old and older and living in the West Bend School District) on Monday, Nov. 26, during a special meeting in the West Bend School District.

The vote encouraged the board to move forward with the purchase of a 7.3-acre parcel in Jackson.

During the regular board meeting on a vote of 4-1 the board approved moving forward with the purchase of property in Jackson. Chris Zwygart, Tonnie Schmidt, Joel Ongert, and Tiffany Larson voted in favor of purchase. Board member Ken Schmidt was the only dissenting vote. Board members Kurt Rebholz and Nancy Justman were absent.

The board said the purchase would not be more than $750,000.

A couple of notes:

-Taking a look at the current referendums the West Bend School District is currently paying off….

In April 2009, voters in West Bend approved a $29.3 million plan to renovate, as well as build an addition to Badger Middle School.

In November 2012 the West Bend School District passed a $22.8 million referendum to close Barton Elementary School, expand Silverbrook School and add classrooms and a gym at Green Tree Elementary School. The actual total cost of the referendum with taxes and interest was $31.975 million with a 15-year payback on borrowing.

After the Nov. 2012 referendum passed the $31.9 million total was added on top of the $29.3 million payment for the 2009 Badger referendum. The target date to completely pay off the debt on both referendums is 2028.

-The referendum costs in August 2018 for a new Jackson Elementary and renovations to the high schools was estimated at about $50 million with an additional $35 million in interest for a total estimated at $85 million. The proposal for a current April 2019 referendum have not yet been released.

-Board member Ken Schmidt has talked about the interest costs being posted on the ballot to give a clear picture of how much the referendum would total. Board President Joel Ongert said in a meeting in August the interest would not be on the ballot.

-The West Bend School District last reported a drop in enrollment of 85 students.

-The School Board has regularly set aside $250,000 for the Jackson Elementary Fund, also known as Fund 46. During a meeting in May it was noted there was $4 million in Fund 46 however $2.5 million was designated for Jackson Elementary.

-WBSD for 2018-19 school year has mill rate $7.97 cents.

-Fund 46 would have been used to offset the cost of a future referendum involving Jackson Elementary. This year, for the first time since the fund started, the board approved setting aside $20,000 for the Jackson Fund. Superintendent Don Kirkegaard said they would see “how our budget is performing.” He said the district would look at whether to contribute to the Jackson Fund in spring 2019.

-During a meeting in August, Bray Architects recommended the Jackson Fund not be saved to reduce the referendum but instead to pay down debt.

-In August the board discussed a new two-story Jackson Elementary.

-Over the summer the district spent $16,500 on a survey regarding the future of Jackson Elementary and the West Bend High Schools.  Only some, not all, of the survey results were shared with the community.

Hit-and-run driver damages fence at St. Peter Parish

Rev. Richard Stoffel of St. Peter Church in Slinger is offering thanks that nobody was hurt, that’s after Slinger police contacted him Sunday afternoon with news a hit-and-run driver damaged property at the church on Hwy 175 and Beine Street.

“Police said the driver damaged a portion of fence in the parking lot by church office,” said Stoffel. “The sad thing is volunteers just finished putting up the fence and gate as part of play space for children.”

Stoffel said a witness, who is also a parishioner, saw someone ram into the fence, get tangled it in and then ran off.

“What’s kinda sad is we just spent $3,000 on it and bam boom it gets wiped out,” said Stoffel. “This is a fence that protects our children during playtime and it segregates our groups using the church. It’s kind of disappointing.”

The parish has turned in paperwork to Catholic Mutual. Police were also given a description of the vehicle and a partial license plate was left behind along with other parts.

Slinger police issued the post below:

On 11-25-18 around 3:35 PM, Slinger officers were requested to respond to a Hit and Run single-vehicle crash near Hwy 175 and Beine Street.

The suspect vehicle is described by a witness as a dark-colored pickup truck with a hitch cargo carrier. The truck caused a significant amount of property damage to a local church, and left the scene without stopping.

The suspect vehicle will be missing a headlight and part of its chrome bumper trim. The suspect vehicle is believed to be a 2003-2007 Chevrolet Silverado or Avalanche based on vehicle parts left at the scene.

If anyone has any information regarding this incident or knows the identity of the driver, we ask that you please contact the Slinger Police Department at (262)-644-6441.

Oh deer…. In downtown West Bend shopping district

The downtown West Bend Business Improvement District is teeming with deer as a herd of 30 decorative figures have been set up strategically in the shopping district. The BID paid for the deer and Chris and Larry Porter along with Anna Jensen from the Downtown West Bend Association assembled the figures. Some of the deer are lit with white lights. The wire figures include majestic bucks, does nestling on the ground and young, smaller figures. The BID has been working to brighten up the downtown for the Christmas shopping season.

The deer join decorative wreaths and boughs and the swags on the light poles.

Students at Holy Angels celebrate 175th anniversary of Milwaukee Archdiocese

More than 300 students at Holy Angles School in West Bend gathered on the playground Wednesday morning to ring in the 175th anniversary of the Milwaukee Archdiocese.

“I liked it a lot because it was really fun,” said second grader Gianna Reisweber.

Students stood in a sun puddle on the blacktop as the clock struck 10 a.m. and the mighty toll of the church bell kicked off the celebration.

Bundled in winter coats and knit hats the students’ clenched bells on a string.

“Bell ringing was really fun because we got to do it with whole school,” said 7-year-old Addison Schrauth.

Principal Mike Sternig took a moment to explain the history of the start of the Milwaukee Archdiocese and how Bishop John Martin Henni and four priests help serve the areas known as the Midwest territory.

Seconds after Sternig’s 101 primer on the Archdiocese anniversary the bells of Holy Angels tolled and students energetically joined in.

Below is the homily from Archbishop Jerome Listecki regarding the establishment of the Diocese of Milwaukee 175 years ago.

In my homily, I mentioned the appointment of Bishop John Martin Henni. He was given the task of leading a diocese that covered the entire territory of the state of Wisconsin, plus additional Midwest areas. He was assigned only four priests to cover this vast responsibility. He had no financial resources. Is it any wonder that Bishop Henni was reported to have gone down to the shores of Lake Michigan to cry?

Bishop Robert William Muench, a native son who preached the 100th anniversary celebration, claimed that Bishop Henni’s valiant apostolic soul broke for a moment in grief, and gushed forth its flood of tears. At that moment, he turned to the Lord for help. The community of his brothers and sisters of the faith all placed their trust in God, and they began the work given to them.

175 years later, we stand on the shoulders of the men and women who have used their tears, the sweat of their brows and their personal sacrifices to carry out the mission. They plowed the fields, planted the seeds and harvested the bounty of God’s graces to produce parishes, hospitals, schools, orphanages, and the charitable and devotional organizations that define us.

Relax U opens in Downtown West Bend

Just in time to help relieve the stress of the holiday season a new store, Relax U, has opened, 155 N. Main Street in Downtown West Bend. Relax U is owned and operated by Evan Mills.

“We provide a unique, relaxing massage experience, in fully-automated massage chairs that cater to your every need,” said Mills.  “In addition to providing a relaxing experience, we also sell massage chairs so you can enjoy a perfect massage every day in the comfort of your home.”

Appointments can be booked online, or walk in and make an appointment for a 30-minute massage. That is available for $15 if you buy a 10 pack. One-hour massages are also available.

“The chairs will recline and put you in a zero-gravity position,” said Mills. “The chairs are pre-programmed; there are eight settings and the chairs heat up.”

Relax U opens daily from 10 a.m. – 6 p.m.  You must be 18 years old to participate.

Call to make an appointment at 262-346-8448. Gift certificates are also available – a perfect gift for the person who has everything. One size fits all.

Updates & Tidbits

– Don Muth and the University Ambassadors will host a breakfast for students on campus on Thursday, Dec. 13 at 8:30 a.m. – 10:30 a.m. as part of week-long events before final exams start. “Keep Calm and Study On” includes ‘Nerf Wars’ in the gym, Therapy Dogs, Coffee/Games/Puzzles on 3rd, Origami in the Library and some free snacks throughout the week.

– Pat Groth is teaching snowmobile safety class Dec. 4, 5 and 6 at Riverside Park in West Bend.

-Rick Takacs at Meadowbrook Farm in West Bend has fresh balsam and Fraser fir Christmas trees for the upcoming holiday. Takacs gets his trees from the same vendor in Oconto County who once supplied the tree to the White House in Washington D.C. Tackas said he really liked the trees from the Vander Velden’s farm because they’re “tall and have super color.” Meadowbrook Farm is located at 1270 Meadowbrook Road.

– Tickets are now on sale for the amazing Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra Holiday Pops Concert on Dec. 11 at the West Bend High Schools Silver Lining Arts Center.

– Santa is flying in from the North Pole on Saturday, Dec. 8 and he’s landing at the West Bend Airport. Come out and have breakfast and give Santa a warm Washington County welcome! Santa lands around 8:30 a.m.

– Judges have turned in their final decision regarding entrants during Sunday night’s West Bend Christmas Parade.

Adult:    1st place – West Bend Children’s Theatre

2nd place – West Bend Moose Lodge

3rd place – Shepherd of the Hills

Youth:    1st place – Faith United Church of Christ

2nd place –  US Snowboard

3rd place – West Bend Catholic Schools

Business:    1st place – City of West Bend Public Works

2nd place – Hawk Construction

3rd place – All Above Dance Company

Tradition of staking wooden geese for Christmas 

While growing up in Whitefish Bay my father had a workshop in the basement. There were nearly 10 table saws, a drill press, a lathe, screwdrivers and wrenches for any emergency and an assortment of worldly glues and fassen-alls.

My dad had quite the reputation for being able to repair anything. One Halloween someone smashed my 4-year-old cousin’s pumpkin. She said, “I’m not worried… Uncle Al can fix it.”

Evenings were spent in the basement roller skating around his sawdust. He’d encourage our creativity and say, “You draw it and we’ll make it together.”

One year my mom found a pattern for holiday geese in a Good Housekeeping magazine. She received the same instructions, “You draw it and we’ll make it.”

So she gave it to me – the one who could draw.

Together my dad and I made four wooden geese. Cut them out on the jigsaw and painted them.

Together, during the cover of night, we placed them in the front yard to surprise my mother the next morn.

During the day, from the living-room window the geese looked like they just landed; red bows around their necks, taking a break from their holiday flight.

That tradition of placing the geese in the yard continues.

My father is almost 93 now, he is strong like bull but Alzheimer’s has robbed him of his memory. We take it in stride.

He doesn’t remember making the geese, so I remind him.

Then we slip outside.

He asks, more than once, “Do you have a hammer? Do you have a stake to get these started?”

I do. I’m prepared, I had a good teacher.

Then he’ll say, “This isn’t a good hammer.”

It’s his hammer from his workshop that I now have in my basement.  I remind him it has sufficed in the past.

We set up the geese together.

They’ve become weather worn over the years … a little like my dad. He is slow to get to the ground and take a knee, but his hammer strikes are strong and steady.

I know wielding a hammer makes him feel worthy. He has a gruff, German determination.

The ground is wet and his nose drips from the cold.

He finishes the setup in about five minutes and steps back to quietly review his work. Somewhere in there I know he still feels it’s a nice holiday surprise for his wife, who will look out their second-story window and see the geese have landed again for the season.

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Safest Hunt on Record

Nice work, hunters!

MADISON, Wis. (AP) – The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources says this year’s gun deer season set a record for hunter safety.

Three hunters suffered non-fatal shooting injuries during the hunt that began Nov. 17 and ended Sunday. DNR conservation warden Jon King says that make it the state’s safest gun deer season ever. Prior to this year, the DNR considered 2014 the safest with four non-fatal shooting injuries.

The Journal Sentinel reports there hasn’t been a shooting fatality during a Wisconsin gun deer season since 2015, when there were three.

Around the Bend by Judy Steffes

Habitat for Humanity Washington Co. buys new building in Germantown

Habitat for Humanity Washington/Dodge Counties will close on the purchase of the former Gander Mountain building, 10862 Commerce Circle in Germantown.

Russ Wanta, executive director of Habitat for Humanity of Washington and Dodge Counties Wisconsin, said they are hoping to close on Nov. 25.

“A prayer service is set for Nov. 27 if the whole transaction goes smoothly and we plan to occupy the building.”

The building was listed for quite a while but the sale was “completely negotiated between myself and Bill Lloyd, the owner of the building,” said Wanta.

“We’d been looking at the building ever since the announcement came Gander Mountain would be leaving,” said Wanta.

The initial asking price for the property was $3.9 million. “That’s where it started and we worked a long time and settled on a price of $1.8 million,” he said.

“I believe this is a good investment because No. 1 we have so much product in storage right now and when you’re in the thrift business having product in storage is not an effective way to operate,” he said. “So we have literally filled up well in excess of 6,000-square-feet of storage and we need more square footage and this building offers us that.

“We’re not as donor friendly as we wish to be and we look at how St. Vincent De Paul and Goodwill does its thrift business and we really want to make our building much more donor friendly and we will be putting on an addition to have a drive-thru drop off and things of that nature to better serve our donors. In the thrift business donors are the key.

No. 3 – we aren’t competing with the internet. The reason big box stores are downsizing or going out of business is because they cannot compete with online business. Being in the thrift business all of our product is unique and we feel this is a good investment.

Finally the prices of renting spaces throughout Washington County are growing. For literally a quarter of the space  – it’s a good fiscal decision as well.

For all these reasons we felt this was a really good purchase for us.

Allenton man killed in two-vehicle accident

A 58-year-old Allenton man was killed following a two-vehicle accident Thursday, Nov. 22, in Portage County. According to the Portage County Sheriff’s office: On Nov. 22, 2018, at approximately 6:24 p.m., the Portage County Sheriff’s Office received a 9-1-1 call of a two-vehicle crash on US Highway 10 near County Highway B in the Town of Amherst.

Upon arrival, deputies discovered a full-sized Dodge Ram pick-up truck towing a loaded utility trailer, was eastbound on Highway 10 crossing the bridge over Highway B.

The driver of the truck, 58-year-old Douglas Curley from Allenton, Wisconsin, lost control of his vehicle and entered the median. Once in the median, the trailer detached from the truck, and the truck became airborne entering the westbound lanes.

A Jeep Cherokee, operated by 61-year-old Michael Shimeta from Cudahy, along with his passenger, 62-year-old Terry Scheer from Franklin, was westbound on Highway 10, when the Dodge landed partially on the Jeep, before rolling off and striking the outside guardrail.

Emergency crews arrived and extricated the two occupants of the Jeep, who were transported to Saint Michael’s Hospital with serious injuries. Curley did not survive the crash, and was the only occupant of the Dodge.

West Bend Christmas Parade is Sunday, Nov. 25

Looks like it will be a pleasant evening with comfortable temps for the 66th annual West Bend Christmas Parade. The event will step off at 5 p.m. on Sunday, Nov. 25. The parade will head south from the corner of Silverbrook and Main Street, turn east on Cedar Street and jump back onto Main Street and through the downtown. Click here to see complete details on the parade route.

This year the parade is expected to have the largest draw ever with floats, animals, and bands.

Also note a switch up in the start time for Enchantment in the Park on that Sunday.  Enchantment will open at 6 p.m. Don’t forget to sign up for the Dec. 2 Husar’s Diamond Dash at 4:30 p.m.

Behind-the-scenes: Fixing the Baby Jesus from the Amity Rolfs Nativity

On Monday, Nov. 19 the Downtown West Bend Association will work alongside volunteers and set up a new nativity in Old Settler’s Park. The nativity is sponsored by a generous donation from Thrivent Financial.

In 2017 the vintage Amity Rolfs Nativity experienced a pretty rough season. The life-size nativity display is a holiday hallmark for West Bend. During the initial setup one of the wise men suffered a bad accident and needed a head transplant as the hard, foam material simply gave way.

August Peters from the Museum of Wisconsin Art was hired to mend the wise man. He said it wasn’t the first time the head broke off and he managed to repair it in a timely fashion.

However, tragedy struck shortly thereafter when someone vandalized the 60-year-old nativity, ripping the baby Jesus figure from its crèche. Police found the remains of the figure however its arm was broken off and the head was missing.

A reward was offered but the case quickly went cold and the entire nativity was moved to storage shortly after Dec. 25 to avoid anymore vandalism. Behind the scenes the remains of the baby Jesus were put in a box and later retrieved from the West Bend Police Department.

Quietly, over the summer, the figure was repaired. Locksmith and avid woodcarver Terry Vrana crafted a new head and reattached the hands on the figure.

Vrana said he felt it important to rescue as much of the original piece as possible. The repair took months of dedication and Vrana’s top-notch craftsmanship is evident; you cannot even see a seam in his handiwork. While a new nativity will be placed in the center square the original Rolfs nativity has been adopted by Holy Angels Parish and will be on display this year near the rectory.

If you see Terry Vrana please offer him a kind-hearted ‘thank you’ for using his time and talents to return the original centerpiece to the Amity Rolfs Nativity.

Unveiling the new nativity in West Bend

There was a nice muffled-mitten applause Monday afternoon as the Downtown West Bend Association unveiled its new nativity.

The display was made possible via a very generous donation from Thrivent Financial. Ramiro Paz with Thrivent Financial said the employees at the company thought sponsoring the nativity was a perfect fit with their mission and giving back to West Bend.

“We felt we just had to,” he said. “There was a need in the community and we were happy to step up.”

The Downtown West Bend Association put the wheels in motion to secure a new nativity after some vandalism in 2017 to the historic Amity Rolfs nativity. The baby Jesus figure has been mended, thanks to the time and talents of local locksmith Terry Vrana. The Amity Rolfs nativity is being moved and will be on display at Holy Angels Parish. A trail camera is now in place to help deter vandalism.

Lomira man dies in farming accident

Family and friends in the Slinger and Allenton area are mourning the loss of 36-year-old Timothy Schwinn. Shawano County Coroner Brian Westfahl said an emergency rescue call came in Friday, Nov. 16.

“The incident occurred in the Town of Navarino,” said Westfahl. Shawano County Sheriff’s Captain Tom Tuma said Theda Star was requested at 7:32 p.m.

Westphal said there “was a gravity box and Tim ended up pinned underneath it by a tire.” A gravity box is used to haul grain. Tuma said the incident is not under investigation. Schwinn was reportedly working on his cousin’s farm when the accident occurred.

Timothy Donald Schwinn, 36, of Lomira, passed away on Nov. 16, 2018 from a tragic farming accident. Timothy was born on Feb. 2, 1982 at St. Josephs Community Memorial Hospital in West Bend. He attended Slinger High School, graduating in 2001, and continued his education at MPTC graduating with a degree in CNC technology. He married Melanie Schwartz on June 30th, 2007 at Resurrection Catholic Parish in Allenton. He was employed at DMT Workholding.

He was also a member of Allenton Sno Pacers, Campbellsport gun club, Ashford Sportsmens Club, T&A BBQ, and Sheboygan Walleye Club and a proud member of the NRA.

The family would like to thank Navarino-Lessor first responders and EMS, Flight for Life crew, and Shawano County Sherriff. Private services were held.

New sport complex complete at Regner Park

The new Milwaukee Bucks West Bend Court Project is complete. The complex is part of the upgrade at Regner Park, 800 N. Main Street. The sport court is made of a grid of super-strong material for year-round play. The hoops have a glass backboard and the height can be adjusted. There is also a pulley and crank system to raise or lower nets for volleyball or pickleball.

Debbie Butschlick named Coach of the Year

After capturing the Wisconsin Collegiate Conference divisional and state titles in volleyball, UWM at Washington County volleyball coach Debbie Butschlick was honored with the conference coach of the year award.

Butschlick who serves as both athletic director and volleyball coach, began coaching the Wildcats volleyball team in 1985. Since then, the team won the WCC conference championship nine times, advanced to the final-four state competition 15 times and earned the state title five times (1992, 2002, 2003, 2013, 2018). This is the 10th time Butschlick has received the coach of the year honor.

Wisconsin’s Hunting Heritage                                   By Al Wisnefske

Over 600,000 hunters are expected to fill Wisconsin’s landscape for the 2018 gun deer season. To put this number into perspective, the amount of hunters would make it the 5th largest army in the world. According to the Wisconsin DNR, deer hunting alone is estimated to contribute $2.5 billion annually to Wisconsin’s economy. And don’t forget “Widows Weekend.” From big box stores to local bars, hunters and non hunters converge this time of year.

Conservation groups such as the Quality Deer Management Association (QDMA) are investing resources everyday to protect this hunting heritage on a national level. Since 1988, the QDMA has worked to promote sustainable, high quality deer populations, wildlife habitats, and hunter experiences. They do this through research, education, advocacy, and hunter recruitment.

To bring it home on a local level, they rely on volunteers to start QDMA Branches and spread the word about sound deer management, and most importantly, the protecting and expanding of the hunting heritage. They currently have over 60,000 members and over 180 branches throughout the country.

The QDMA Kettle Moraine branch serves southeastern Wisconsin, and is stationed in West Bend. Back in July we held our first banquet and exceeded our estimates for participation. It was a fantastic event that will open the door for more events in 2019. To help spread the word we are currently looking to book our 2019 events. Ideas that have been tossed around our food plots and property tour days and another banquet. We are always looking for more volunteers and interested parties to attend events.

If you are interested in volunteering or attending events please contact Branch President Al Wisnefske at (262) 305-7494, awisnefske@ucbadgerland.com.

West Bend to start first Girl Troop through Boy Scout Association  By Steve Naumann

Attention:  Are you a female between ages 11 and 17? Do you enjoy being outdoors?

Have you always wanted to do what boys do in Boy Scouts?

Join West Bend’s very first Girl Troop through the Boy Scout Association. Come learn more on Nov. 26 at 7 p.m. at Fifth Avenue Methodist Church 323 S. Fifth Ave.

Note: A parent or guardian must accompany the female youth at this free informational meeting.

Updates & Tidbits

The 4th Annual West Bend Santa Ramp-up kicks off at 10 a.m. at West Bend Tap & Tavern on Sunday, Nov. 25. Get your red on and join the ride.

There will be a meeting Monday, Nov. 26 at 5:15 p.m. as the West Bend School District reviews a request for a $50 million school referendum ($85 million in real dollars with interest) to build a new elementary school in Jackson, remodel the high schools’ cafeteria, expand the weight room, fitness center and locker rooms, as well as improve safety and security. This referendum is on top of the current $130 million referendum debt. The meeting is at the WBSD Office, 735 S. Main Street, West Bend.

-On Nov. 27 at 6:45 p.m. there is an event at the West Bend Community Library regarding a presentation about the teachings of evolution. The event is free and open to the public.

– Don Muth and the University Ambassadors will host a breakfast for students on campus on Thursday, Dec. 13 at 8:30 a.m. – 10:30 a.m. as part of week-long events before final exams start. “Keep Calm and Study On” includes ‘Nerf Wars’ in the gym, Therapy Dogs, Coffee/Games/Puzzles on 3rd, Origami in the Library and some free snacks throughout the week.

– Pat Groth is teaching snowmobile safety class Dec. 4, 5 and 6 at Riverside Park in West Bend.

-Rick Takacs at Meadowbrook Farm in West Bend will be unloading fresh balsam and Fraser fir Christmas trees from his truck as he preps for the upcoming holiday. Takacs gets his trees from the same vendor in Oconto County who once supplied the tree to the White House in Washington D.C.   Tackas said he really liked the trees from the Vander Velden’s farm because they’re “tall and have super color.” Meadowbrook Farm is located at 1270 Meadowbrook Road.

– Tickets are now on sale for the amazing Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra Holiday Pops Concert on Dec. 11 at the West Bend High Schools Silver Lining Arts Center.

-The Allenton Area Advancement Association (AAAA) is hosting “Lighting of the Bridge” on Friday, Nov. 30 at Riveredge Park in Allenton. The park is located on WI-33 (Main Street) on the west side of Allenton along the banks of the Rock River.

Historic Timmer’s Resort remembers food served

Barbara Johnson’s book ‘Timmer’s Resort at Big Cedar Lake …a journey through time’ is available for sale at Timmer’s Resort.

During this Thanksgiving there are quite a few citations in Johnson’s book about food and service at Timmer’s Resort. It was an era that started in the mid-1860s after President Abraham Lincoln delivered his Gettysburg Address and Mathias Timmer married Margaretha Gehl.

“When guests completed their long and rugged journey to the resort and their horse-drawn conveyance deposited them at the Timmer carriage stone, oldest daughter Mary Timmer, in her official capacity as hostess, was there to greet them.

“Caring for guests was as rugged as their ride, as there was no running water, electricity or indoor plumbing. Water for pitchers and bowls in the guest rooms had to be pumped and carried from the hand pump at the well. Hams and bacons were smoked, and bread and pies baked in the ovens in the original stone house which still stands adjacent to the main building.” – Beryl Timmer

Feeding men who came to harvest ice on Big Cedar Lake was a full-time job according to Beryl Timmer. 

“Cecilia fed the workers well. The meal consisted of canned beef or pork, which she had canned herself. Potatoes and vegetables rounded out the meal with probably a lot of homemade bread. The vegetables would have been canned beans or cabbage or carrots from their root cellar. Cabbage was also made into sauerkraut in large crocks. By the time Cecilia finished feeding and cleaning up for one meal it was probably time to start fixing the next meal.”

Hotel Timmer: John and Beryl Timmer managed the resort and then became owners in 1952.

“When we took over the resort it was during the worrisome years of the Second World War with the ensuing problems of food and gas rationing. Guests were reluctant to relinquish their precious food and gas stamps as requested by the government so much time was spent by the management on bartering and improvising so (our) guests could be housed and fed.”

“A large garden was planted for fresh fruits and vegetables, but later the surplus was picked and canned and placed in the basement until the hotel inspector said “home canned” foods could not be served to guests… That ended the garden and poor Henry’s (the Gardner) job as well as (my) profession of food processor. The garden was supplanted by badminton and shuffleboard courts.”

LaVonne “Vonnie” (Conrad) Mueller worked as a waitress at Timmer’s Resort through the summers of 1953 and ’54. She shares her experiences from that time:

“We would state our day at 7 a.m. and finished around 7 – 8 p.m. Coffee was made by the waitresses in the large coffee urns (or vats). Miniature creamers were filled for coffee drinkers… juice pitchers prepared. Butter packs were placed on mini butter places (creamers and plates matched the dinnerware). Tables were set and cleared after each meal by the waitresses. The dishes were restaurant style of heavy-duty, plain white stoneware. Thick, sturdy glassware was used.

Breakfast and lunch were served in an informal fashion… paper napkins used. White linens were used for dinner in a more formal fashion. My mother taught me the proper place setting for setting the table. Of course, Beryl gave us specific instructions to: the correct way of serving our guests… “Sere from the left, remove from the right;” the order in which the courses should be served; handling of trays; taking guests’ orders; efficiently serving our guests – always with a pleasant smile!

The waitresses didn’t just wait tables. We also would be called to do certain things in the kitchen like make radish roses or clean the leaf lettuce that was grown in the garden on the property.

Beryl would pick the leaf lettuce and then we’d clean it. Beryl did her major shopping at the A&P in West Bend and she personally selected for each menu.

We’d serve the three meals a day to the guests who had two choices to pick from breakfast, lunch and dinner. We took our meals after the guests had eaten. Yummy homemade tortes, cakes and pies were a special treat for guests.

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Scientists Want to Blot Out the Sun to Fight Global Warming

What could possibly go wrong?

(CNN)Scientists are proposing an ingenious but as-yet-unproven way to tackle climate change: spraying sun-dimming chemicals into the Earth’s atmosphere.

The research by scientists at Harvard and Yale universities, published in the journal Environmental Research Letters, proposes using a technique known as stratospheric aerosol injection, which they say could cut the rate of global warming in half.
The technique would involve spraying large amounts of sulfate particles into the Earth’s lower stratosphere at altitudes as high as 12 miles. The scientists propose delivering the sulfates with specially designed high-altitude aircraft, balloons or large naval-style guns.

Poop Cubed

Huh.

(CNN)A team of scientists claims to have unraveled one of the animal kingdom’s more peculiar mysteries: why wombat poop is cube-shaped.

The wombat, native to Australia, produces about 80 to 100 cubes of poop each night. It is known to use the dung to mark its territory, depositing piles of the stuff outside burrows and on top of rocks and logs, according to Australian Geographic.
But how the wombat produces the cubed shapes is a phenomenon that has puzzled many observers of the furry marsupial.
Researchers, led by the Georgia Institute of Technology’s Patricia Yang, said they have uncovered the digestive processes behind the mystery and presented their findings at the 71st Annual Meeting of the American Physical Society’s Division of Fluid Dynamics in Atlanta on Sunday.
The wombat’s cubed faeces is a trait that’s unique in the animal world, the researchers said, as cubes are usually created by cutting or molding.
“In the built world, cubic structures are created by extrusion or injection molding, but there are few examples of this feat in nature,” authors of the project said in the study’s abstract.

Around the Bend by Judy Steffes

New café and bakery coming to West Bend

There’s a new bakery and cafe opening in West Bend. Katherine Schenk and her sister Sara Young will be opening Cafe Floriana in one of the retail spots on the lower level of the Cast Iron building, 611 Veterans Avenue.

“Our parents live in the building and we would come visit them and there was no place to get a cup of coffee and a sandwich or muffin,” said Schenk. “We recognized there was a need here in the building and there was space available.”

The space for the cafe is currently under construction. “We’re about 10 – 12 weeks away from completion and we hope to be open in mid-February,” Schenk said.

The sisters do not have any experience in the restaurant industry. “Neither waitressing or hostessing,” said Schenk. “My background is Active-Duty Coast Guard and I was a middle school math and science teacher.”

Young has a background in child development and finance. “I was doing a lot of project management and office management,” she said.

The sisters often talked about going into business together. “Sara is an awesome home baker,” said Schenk. “That’s why we honed in on opening the cafe.”

Homemade pie is Young’s claim to fame. “Our grandmother baked and our mother had a catering business for a while in Alaska and we helped with that so the baking has always been in the family and it seemed a really good fit,” she said.

“It does go beyond the coffee and pie because we really want to be part of the community and offer a gathering place for the residence and the people in the neighborhood and our focus will be the hospitality aspect and making our customers feel welcome,” Schenk said.

The sisters have been working on the bakery idea for a while. They found they’re on the same page with a majority of their business plan including a primary goal of providing “hospitality.”

“The culture we want to install is really important to both of us,” said Young.  “We want people to feel welcome with delicious food and delicious coffee and we’re on the same page with the hospitality aspect. Growing up it’s something our parents instilled in us; the caring for people and food is love.”

Aside from crafting a menu and a business plan, the sisters also spent time tasting a lot of coffee.

“I wasn’t familiar with the Stone Creek brand out of Milwaukee,” said Schnek. “We had our list of cafes to visit and the Stone Creek coffee is smooth and delicious and their work ethic and vision is similar to ours.”

A friend with graphic-art talent designed the logo for the cafe. Young scrolled to a photo on her phone of a pallet of colors, blues and light blues that will be the theme. Asked to describe the interior Schenk said “I can see it in my mind.”

“It’s going to smell so good,” she said. “You’ll get that coffee, cinnamon, vanilla, warmth and it will make you want to come in, sit down and stay awhile.

“It’ll be modern and clean and inspired by my time spent in Malta.”

While homemade pies will be one of Young’s specialties, she said they will have a variety of delicious bakery to fit the rhythm and the culture of the community.

“We were looking for something quick for the to-go crowd and we are talking about in the future, on evenings or weekends, to do dessert night,” said Young. “We want people to enjoy a wider variety from pies to crisps to cobblers and all the lovely local fresh fruits we can use.”

While the idea of the cafe has been on the table since February 2018, the sisters have been busy the last few months getting an education on the food-service industry.

“We’ve been taking coffee-making classes at Stone Creek in downtown Milwaukee as they’ll be providing our coffee,” said Schenk. “We’ve also gone to food-handler safety courses and food hygiene classes and a couple business classes at Moraine Park Technical College and we took some baking classes at the MPTC Fond du Lac campus.”

On the flip side, Young has been baking up a storm. “We’ve been testing recipes and tasting them and fine tuning our menu,” Schenk said.

The new cafe will be located on the lower retail level of the Cast Iron facility. The shop will be located in 1,500-square-feet of a spot just around the corner and to the east of the Children’s Hospital corner. “There are five suites on that side and we’ll be in the middle because it just best suited our needs size-and-space wise,” said Schenk.

We took a peek at the new space under construction. The ladies were surprised as much as anyone about the extent of demolition needed to put in plumbing. Contractors apparently ran into a subfloor. Anyone with knowledge of the old West Bend Aluminum Company and what might have been in that area is welcome to chime in.

Cast Iron was once home to the West Bend Aluminum Company and in 2016 owner, Jane Hendricks, completed a major remodel and turned the old factory into high-end apartments featuring 13-foot ceilings with exposed duct work, granite counter tops and stainless steel appliances. While the studio units and 2-and-3-bedroom apartments rented out Phase II of development started. The retail began to take off with Tochi Ramen and the Rivershores YMCA next door along with new neighbor Children’s Hospital which moved in January 2018.

In its heyday the West Bend Company was a place where men met their wives, where their children worked and their children worked. West Bend Company was one of the largest employers in the community as entire families would be on the lines manufacturing aluminum cookware or electrical appliances. The new Cafe Floriana should be open in early 2019.  The early plan is to employ about a dozen people and be open seven days a week.

Café Soeurette celebrates 11-year anniversary

When you meet a person for the first time, typically one of the first questions you ask is “What do you do for a living?” or “Where do you work?” Years ago, for an individual with special needs there was not always an answer. Times have changed.

When Drew was born with Down syndrome 29 years ago, the last thing we were thinking about was “What will he do for a job? “ As he entered West Bend High School however, the “what’s next after graduation?” was an important question for the future.

Easterseals of Southeast WI helped Drew discover the job he now loves. Their Lilyworks employment programs offer a variety of training programs designed to help individual succeed in the workplace.

The commercial training and catering kitchen teaches certification in ServSafe food handling and all aspects of prep, cooking, cleanup and service for the hospitality industry. After graduating from one of their programs Drew immediately landed his first job at the former Dublins here in West Bend.

His experience made him the perfect candidate for the new Culaccino, now at that location. His job provides what we all want for our children, to be happy and successful at whatever they do. Drew takes pride in saying he has a job, like dad and mom and his brother.

He loves the inclusive camaraderie of the kitchen and of course the paycheck. For most individuals on SSDI there is not a lot of discretionary income for things other than basic needs. Those paychecks help Drew access the things that make his life fulfilling. He is currently trains twice a week, working on a second degree black belt at Cho’s Martial Arts and is an assistant instructor to beginners on Tuesday evenings.

He is able to have a Y membership, join a bowling league and have a weekly night out for dinner with his friends, and let’s not forget the ability to afford those superhero DVDs or save for a vacation to Disney. Yes, times have changed and the future looks bright.

The opportunities for employment are as endless as the potential and desire of each individual. Easterseals taps that potential through programs like Lilyworks in Waukesha and Project SEARCH at St. Josephs Hospital in Jackson. For information visit eastersealswise.com

Stop out Saturday night, Nov. 17 and help Cafe Soeurette celebrate 11 years in business. One of the specials – 11% will be taken off of you dinner bill or donate your 11% to Easterseals and the Lilyworks program.

Churches gather to share Thanksgiving prayers               By Colleen Mas

Churches throughout the area will come together to celebrate Thanksgiving in shared ecumenical services next week.

The West Bend Area Ecumenical Group will gather for an open Evening Prayer of Thanksgiving on Tuesday, Nov. 20 at 7 p.m.  This year’s event will be hosted by Fifth Avenue United Methodist Church in West Bend, with similar gatherings the following evening at Peace United Church of Christ in Kewaskum, and St Luke Lutheran in Slinger.

Several area churches will participate in the services, which will include a shared prayer in both West Bend and Kewaskum.

“While the world around us may emphasize our differences and encourage independence, we gather as one community to thank God and to recognize our shared blessings,” said Pastor David Schoob, Trinity Lutheran West Bend, who penned the shared Prayer of Thanksgiving several years ago. As a group of people of faith, we feel it is important to come together with one voice and acknowledge God who sustains each of us.”

Each year a free-will offering is collected in support of area non-profit organizations. The gathering concludes with an annual Pie Social, featuring a variety of pies brought and shared by volunteers of the participating churches.

This year’s West Bend gathering was planned by Pastor Clarissa Martinelli of Fifth Ave. with Jill Maria Murdy, Director of Liturgy and Music at St. Frances Cabrini Catholic Church, including ministers from Cedar Community, Holy Angels Catholic Church, St. James Episcopal Church, Trinity Lutheran Church, and others. The Kewaskum gathering includes Peace UCC Church and Holy Trinity Catholic Church. The Slinger gathering at St Luke Lutheran includes ministers from St. Peter Catholic Church, St John’s United Church of Christ, and Faith United Church of Christ.

Moonlighting in Barton closed

Moonlighting, 326 Commerce Street, in Barton has been listed for sale with broker/owner Adam Williquette of American Commercial Real Estate in West Bend. The tavern/restaurant was founded in 1995 and has been a popular restaurant in the Barton area ever since.

In 2017 the owner of the property, Joe Stefanko, attempted to sell/lease the property to Chad Goeman. With that lease coming to an end and not coming to successful terms to continue, the property has now come available for sale or lease.

The asking price for the +/-6,000-square-foot tavern/restaurant with attached living quarters is $725,000. Lease terms are negotiable.

“With my strong ties to the area and involvement in the community, I am both happy and sad Joe has picked my firm to represent him in a sale of this iconic Barton landmark,” said Williquette.  “It has always been sad to see business move out of the Barton area, but I am confident we will find a buyer who will get it back up and running and continue/start a thriving business at this location again.” Any interested parties can contact Adam at 262-424-3217 or adam@americancre.net.

Unveiling the new nativity

On Monday, Nov. 19 the Downtown West Bend Association will unwrap the new nativity. For the past few years the DWBA has been discussing the condition of the historic Amity Rolf’s nativity. The pieces date to the late 1960s. Spending Christmas season in the elements of harsh Wisconsin winters has taken a toll on the set and last year vandals destroyed the baby Jesus.

Donations were accepted to try and replace the figurine but then Thrivent Financial stepped forward to fund a new nativity. Representatives from Thrivent Financial that contributed to the donation include: Lisa Senkbeil, Nikole Kohn, Paz and Peter Kapler. “The nativity scene plays an important role in our community and wanted to do what we could to bring the replacement to fruition,” Lisa Senkbiel said.

Peter Kapler added, “Thrivent Financial is an organization of Christian members, who seek to enhance our community and spread our mission of living generously by giving back to the people and communities that are important to us.”

There are 10 pieces in the life-size nativity. The new nativity will be unveiled Monday, Nov. 19 at 3 p.m. at Old Settlers Park. The Amity Rolfs nativity will remain on display at Holy Angels Parish.

Local athletes sign college letters of intent

A big day for student athletes at West Bend West High School as Lauren Downs, Ethan Coughlin and Isabelle Holbrook signed college letters of intent during National Signing Day.

Downs will be headed to play basketball at Lakeland University. “I’ve always wanted to play at the college level; it’s been a dream of mine so long,” said Downs. “I think Lakeland is impressed with my hard-work ethic.” Downs holds a G.P.A. of 3.75 and plans on studying broad field social studies with an emphasis on history/political science/psychology with a major in secondary education.

Ethan Coughlin signed a National Letter of Intent to attend Canisius College ub Buffalo, NY and play lacrosse. “It’s a great opportunity for me,” said Coughlin. A hockey player, Coughlin said he picked up lacrosse as a freshman. “I’m really a very raw talent and I can be molded into what they need me to be,” he said. Hand-eye coordination is one of Coughlin’s strengths. “My coaches were excited for me and happy to see how my hard work paid off,” Coughlin said.

Coughlin carries a 3.2 G.P.A. and plans on studying finance. “I’ve visited the campus and I like it because it’s an urban campus and has a Marquette sort-of feel,” he said.

Isabelle Holbrook signed a letter of intent to swim Division 1 at the University of North Texas. “I visited in October and I fell in love with it the moment I stepped on campus,” said Holbrook. “It’s just that feeling where everything is so right and if you don’t do it you’re going to regret it for the rest of your life.” Coaches, according to Holbrook, were looking for mid-distance freestyle swimmers. “This is a very goal-based university and I think I can achieve a lot there,” she said. As a student Holbrook carries a 3.6 G.P.A. and she plans on studying finance.

Updates & Tidbits

-St. Vincent De Paul in Washington County is having a 50% off sale on Nov. 17 at all three stores from 7 a.m. – 6 p.m. Mattresses, box springs and bed frames are excluded from the sale.

– Pat Groth is teaching snowmobile safety class Dec. 4, 5 and 6 at Riverside Park in West Bend.

-On Nov. 27 at 6:45 p.m. there is an event at the West Bend Community Library regarding a presentation about the teachings of evolution. The event is free and open to the public.

-Rick Takacs at Meadowbrook Farm in West Bend will be unloading fresh balsam and Fraser fir Christmas trees from his truck as he preps for the upcoming holiday. Takacs gets his trees from the same vendor in Oconto County who once supplied the tree to the White House in Washington D.C.   Tackas said he really liked the trees from the Vander Velden’s farm because they’re “tall and have super color.” Meadowbrook Farm is located at 1270 Meadowbrook Road.

– Tickets are now on sale for the amazing Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra Holiday Pops Concert on Dec. 11 at the West Bend High Schools Silver Lining Arts Center.

– St. Mary’s Immaculate Conception, 406 Jefferson Street, and St. Frances Cabrini in West Bend are holding a Women’s Morning of Reflection on Saturday, Nov. 17 following 8 a.m. Mass.

-Almost a year to the day and the Arby’s and Wendy’s properties in West Bend have sold again. Records in the city assessor’s office show SWEP No. 2 LLC sold the property at 730 W. Paradise Drive (Arby’s) on Oct. 23, 2018 to Fountains Mobile Home Park LP. Sale price was $1,460,000. The 2018 assessed value $1,126,200. The Arby’s, 730 W. Paradise Drive originally opened in October 2004. In 2017 the sale price to SWEP No. 2 LLC out of West Lake Village, California was $1,411,666. The 2017 assessed value is $832,300. The Wendy’s next door, 650 W. Paradise Drive, opened in March 2005. In 2017 it too sold to SWEP No. 2 LLC for $1.3 million. The 2017 assessed value was $837,000. Latest records show SWEP No. 2 LLC sold to Fountains Mobile Home Park LP on Oct. 22, 2018 for $1,340,000.

West Bend man living in Thousand Oaks says he’s “ready to evacuate”

There’s a West Bend tie to the tragic stories going on in Thousand Oaks, California.

Steve Kissinger of West Bend has split his time between his hometown and a teaching job at California Lutheran University in Thousand Oaks for the past 28 years.

On Saturday, Kissinger spoke from his home in Thousand Oaks about the wildfires and the recent shooting at the Borderline Bar & Grill.

“I’m OK but it has been a horrible two days,” said Kissinger. “With the mass shooting that happened here at Thousand Oaks; one of the kids who got killed had been a student of ours. He graduated about two years ago from Cal Lutheran.”

Kissinger quickly shifted gears to the deadly wildfire. “About 2 p.m. Friday the fires broke out. I have fires burning on two sides of me and one fire

Friends of mine had to spend the night here because they were evacuated and the fire on the other side of me, they were evacuated. That’s getting a little too close for comfort and there’s an evacuation zone about a quarter mile from my house.”

Kissinger said his cable and Internet went out, although he still has power. “I can’t really keep track of what’s going on…. so I’m just waiting for the evacuation notice,” he said.

A truck outside his home already loaded with pictures and papers. “It’s exciting,” he said with a nervous laugh. Kissinger said the Santa Ana winds are “what fueled the fire.”

“Right now it’s really pretty calm outside but every once in a while there’s a little gust of wind and the helicopters are out dropping water.

“The fire that burned my friend’s neighbor’s house… that fire has now burned down to the ocean and the entire City of Malibu (southeast of Thousand Oaks) has been evacuated and it’s burning mansion after mansion.”

“I guess what makes this really bad is we had that mass shooting a couple days ago and it was mostly students involved. I don’t know how much is being broadcast in West Bend but the City of Thousand Oaks is usually rated as one of the safest cities in the country and we’ve lost that rating big time now,” Kissinger said.

The shooting happened Wednesday night, Nov. 7 at 11:30 p.m. Kissinger said the bar had a country theme and was popular with students. “I went to bed early that night around 8:30 p.m. and by 4:30 a.m. my iPhone and iPad were ringing with multiple calls and notifications,” Kissinger said.

“I got up and the messages were from friends with their condolences about the shooting. When I turned on the TV I was just in disbelief. People say you just can’t believe this would happen in your own town…. and it does.”

Kissinger said he then spent the entire day watching TV. “School was closed and so was the campus,” he said. “Then once the fire broke out the shooting was overtaken by fire coverage.”

Questioned whether he was safe Kissinger said “not necessarily.”

“If I were to put money on it I’d say I’m fine but after that fire that happened last year in Ventura County which is about 30 miles from here, and also the one that happened up north last year …. nobody’s safe,” he said. Kissinger said there is smoke all around but he can’t see the fire from his house.

“I haven’t really noticed the smell of smoke but my eyes have been burning all day and my nose has been stuffed up,” he said. “I’ve had all my windows and doors closed because it’s just not safe.”

Kissinger has lived through major fires before where he said it “looked like it was snowing because of all the ash” but he’s not seeing that this time.

“There are houses all around and usually the fires you hear about are out in the hillside and mountains and the brush is all burned and that’s how I used to think about these fires but it’s not that way anymore,” he said. “When a house in the city starts burning those winds take those embers and they can start bonfires anywhere in the city. So technically no, I’m not safe. My house could still burn down…. but because the winds have died down I don’t think it will happen.”

Over the weekend Kissinger said he was staying close to home. “I’m not driving around looking at anything because if there’s an evacuation alert I want to be ready and most of the roads around here are closed anyway,” he said. “The main freeway to town is closed and if I did have to evacuate I can’t tell you exactly where I would go.

“When the city is surrounded by fire you’re kind of limited. I think I would go north but I’m not sure.” Aside from the roads being closed Kissinger said the grocery stores and restaurants are also closed. The community where Kissinger lives has a population of about 131,000. “It may sound big but it seems like a small town,” he said. “It feels very much like West Bend with a small, friendly feel.” Kissinger is preparing to return to West Bend later this month for the Thanksgiving holiday. Stay tuned, we’ll bring you another update when Kissinger is back in town.

 Letter to the Editor | $85 million referendum will not improve student performance | By Valery Brussat

Did you receive, or do you give money for a good report card?

The West Bend School District will be asking for a $50 million school referendum ($85 million in real dollars when you add interest) to build a new elementary school in Jackson, remodel the high schools’ cafeteria, expand the weight room, fitness center and locker rooms, as well as improve safety and security.

This referendum is on top of the current $130 million referendum debt.

It has been proven time and time again that once the basic safety and space needs for school buildings are met, spending more on buildings does not result in better education.

With a declining enrollment, WBSD has more than adequate space, and monies received from a grant from the State of WI in the amount of $190,741 were awarded to WBSD on 9/26/2018 for school safety and security.

The WI State Report Card for Badger Middle School shows an overall score of 74.9%, while Slinger Middle School scored 83.6%, even after a Badger Middle School $27 million renovation in 2011.

Overall, the West Bend School District is at the bottom of all the WI State Report Card grades in Washington County. The numbers say it all: Slinger 87.1, Kettle Moraine Lutheran 84.9, Kewaskum & Richfield 81.8, Hartford 80.6, Germantown 79.0, and West Bend 75.4.

Given this week’s WI State Report Card scores, I believe it would be more prudent to look at spending money on curriculum to improve students’ performance and success than asking taxpayers for money for bricks and mortar.

Please join me on Monday, November 26 at 5:15 p.m. at the WBSD Office, 735 S. Main Street, West Bend as the School Board discusses this very important issue affecting everyone in West Bend.   Signed Valery Brussat

Find local news for free 7 days a week at WashingtonCountyInsider.com

A Bad Year

These kids think they have it bad now.

Bubonic plague, famine, war and flu pandemics have made some periods of human history infamous for death and suffering but one year stands above the rest in terms of misery; 536AD.

According to research from a Harvard professor, it is a prime candidate for the unfortunate accolade of the worst year in the entirety of recorded history.

Europe, the Middle East, and parts of Asia were plunged into 18 months of solid darkness by a mysterious fog.

It caused snowfall in China, continental-scale crop failure, extreme drought, famine and disease throughout most of the northern hemisphere.

The bleak year was triggered by a cataclysmic Icelandic eruption, scientists say, and was an ominous omen for a bleak century of suffering and death.

Bags of Poo Found in Hartford Home

Ew.

Based on the inconsistencies between the resident’s statements, the reported information, the observations of the officer, the concern for the health and welfare of any animals in the residence, as well as for the public health in general for the residential area of the residence, the City Building Inspector served an inspection warrant on the residence on Nov. 5, 2018.

Over a dozen large garbage bags full of feces and bedding were located stacked just inside the back door of the residence, and an extensive system of animal cages were located in the basement of the home.

An officer accompanying the building inspector on the inspection observed 3 dogs, 3 cats, 2 ferrets, 21 rabbits, 90 guinea pigs, 5 mice, 3 rats, 3 quail, and 6 button quail being kept within the home.

Around the Bend By Judy Steffes

Allan Kieckhafer wins Cliff and Betty Nelson Volunteer Leadership Award

Allan Kieckhafer of West Bend is this year’s winner of the Cliff and Betty Nelson Volunteer Leadership Award.

During an interview Thursday morning at Kieckhafer’s home overlooking Big Cedar Lake the 94-and-a-half year old spoke enthusiastically about his dedication to West Bend.

Kieckhafer noted, the only other time he had been this thrilled about being recognized was when Betty Pearson with the West Bend Chamber of Commerce recognized him in May 1987. It was a day the mayor proclaimed Allan Kieckhafer Day.

Over the years the Kieckhafer has spent his time, talent and treasure giving back to the community. Those qualities are something the past winners of the award look for in a recipient.

The United Way of Washington County created the Clifford A. and Elizabeth M. Nelson Volunteer Leadership Award to honor an individual in Washington County who has demonstrated a long-term commitment to volunteering.

The award is named in honor of West Bend resident Cliff and his wife Betty, known for their outstanding volunteer efforts on behalf of human service, civic, and arts organizations. Allan Kieckhafer shaking hands with a scout

Kieckhafer is a strong advocate for the Boy Scouts, Kieckhafer has also been a supporter of the Museum of Wisconsin Art, Veterans in West Bend and UWM at Washington County.

Friend Nancy Mehring worked for Kieckhafer when she was 18 years old. “He was my boss at the West Bend Aluminum Company,” said Mehring. “Allan is a doer as well as a giver. He is the most lovable man, he always has a smile for everyone and the best thing about him when I worked for him was he was always kind and a gentleman.”

Betty Nelson said she has known Kieckhafer since they went to Sunday school and kindergarten together. “It’s good he got the award because Allan has been involved in more stuff than you can imagine,” she said.

“He’s always been the chairman for the Memorial Day celebration and Veterans Day, Kettle Moraine Symphony, the Museum of Wisconsin Art, UW-Washington County, and he’s been in scouting for years. “He’s very loyal to friends,” said Nelson. “When people in our high school class died from the Class of 1941, he still went to their funerals. They may not have been much of friends through the later years but he’s so loyal.”

Previous winners of the award were part of the selection committee and Kieckhafer was a unanimous choice.

United Way’s Volunteer Leadership Award was created to recognize an individual in Washington County who has demonstrated community leadership and a long-term commitment to volunteering. The award is named in honor of the late Cliff Nelson and his wife Betty, who are known for their outstanding volunteer efforts on behalf of human service, civic, and arts organizations. Each year, past Nelson Award winners nominate and select a new recipient.

“United Way has a legacy of bringing people together to improve lives and community conditions,” said Kristin Brandner, Executive Director of United Way of Washington County. “This award celebrates leaders in our community who do just that. It honors volunteers who have spent a lifetime giving their time and talents to make a lasting impact in Washington County.”

“Allan Kieckhafer is a dedicated and treasured member of this community,” Brandner said.  “His unwavering support of so many organizations and projects that are integral to Washington County is astounding.  Everyone on the selection committee felt that without his commitment and support, this community would not be what it is today.”

Kieckhafer is the oldest living United Way Campaign Chair. In 1977 he was the first to achieve the $100,000 milestone for the annual fundraising drive.

As a proud Navy veteran, Kieckhafer has spent over 40 years as a member of the Memorial Day services committee for the City of West Bend, and has performed the role of Master of Ceremonies for many years.

Kieckhafer established Boy Scout Troop 780 at Fifth Avenue Methodist Church and continued working on behalf of the Boy Scouts for over 50 years as President of the Badger Boy Scout Council and a Trustee for the Bay Lakes Council. He was awarded the Silver Beaver award for his outstanding service to the Boy Scouts.

Additionally, he was instrumental in founding the University Ambassadors council at the University of Wisconsin in Washington County. He served as the Council President in 1975 and continues to act as an Ambassador at the campus. Kieckhafer has also volunteered as an Ambassador and a member of the Executive Board for the West Bend area Chamber of Commerce. He is an active member of the Noon Rotary Club of West Bend, and has received 10 Paul Harris awards for his support of the organization.

A life-long resident of West Bend, Kieckhafer spent 38 years at the West Bend Aluminum Company working in sales management. “Allan has done so much for our community,” said Nancy Mehring, who worked with Kieckhafer at the West Bend Aluminum Company.

Assistant Fire Chief in Waubeka killed in motorcycle accident

Bruce Koehler, 53, of Waubeka, passed away unexpectedly following a motorcycle accident Friday night. Bruce was born in Port Washington on June 22, 1965, son of Frederick “Fritz” Koehler Jr. and Betty Reimer Koehler. From an early age Bruce’s family always came first. He grew up in Little Kohler, helping the family in their businesses, Lehn’s Catering and Lehn’s Tavern. He took pride in starting his mother’s school bus for her every morning and caring for the Koehler Family Pond. He attended school in Random Lake, graduating with the class of 1983.

Bruce worked as a Head Maintenance Engineer for the Clothes Clinic in West Bend.

His calling in life was helping people. He was a longtime member of the Waubeka Fire Department where he currently held the rank of Assistant Chief, a team leader for the HazMat Team and a Rescue Boat Crew member for Ozaukee County Emergency Management, President of MABAS Division 119, a member of the Southeast Wisconsin Incident Management Team, an advisor for the Random Lake Area District Explorers Program, a member of the Ozaukee County and the Wisconsin State Fire Chief’s Associations, and the Badger Firefighters Association.

Funeral services will be celebrated Saturday, Nov. 10, at 2 p.m. at St. John’s Lutheran Church, 824 Fredonia Ave., Fredonia. Visitation will take place at the church from 10 a.m. – 1:30 p.m. when the Fire Department walk-through will take place.

Morrie’s Honda officially breaks ground in West Bend

The crew from the new Morrie’s Honda gathered in West Bend on Thursday morning, Nov. 1, at the corner of Highway 33 and Scenic Drive to introduce themselves and talk about the future of the dealership. Karl Schmidt, CEO with Morrie’s Automotive, started his career with Morrie’s about 30 years ago. Watch for the new store to open in July/August 2019.

Five players from UWM at Washington Co. volleyball make WCC All-Conference

UWM at Washington County placed five players on the Wisconsin Collegiate Conference All-Conference Volleyball team.

Kayla Boehm led the Eastern Division with 83 kills as a middle hitter and hitting at a 46% kill rate. She also led the division with 30 blocks. Boehm was selected First Team All-Conference and named Player of the Year.

Kayla Schommer led the Eastern division in two categories as a setter, she had 179 assists for kills, and also had a division high 42 ace serves with 93% serving accuracy.  Schommer also had 19 kills and 38 digs.  She was selected First Team All-Conference and named Setter of the Year for a second year in a row.

Catherine Tucker was our defensive specialist and led the Eastern Division with 184 digs. She also had 17 ace serves with a 94% serving accuracy. Tucker was selected First Team All-Conference and named Defensive Specialist of the Year.

Breanna Cronin was an outside hitter and ranked No. 3 in the Eastern Division for attacks and defense. She had 61 kills with a 40% kill rate, 73 digs, 27 ace serves with an 89% serving accuracy. Cronin was selected First Team All-Conference.

Morgan Kappler was an outside hitter and ranked 5th in the Eastern Division for attacks and defense. She had 47 kills with a 35% kill rate, 16 ace serves, serving accuracy at 89% and 67 digs.  Kappler was selected Second Team All-Conference.

Coach Debbie Butschlick said, “I am so proud of these players especially all the hard work they put into the season. The Conference coaches truly saw the skills each one of our players had. To have one or two players make the WCC All-Conference Team is a blessing when there are seven teams in the Eastern Division, but to have five players on the All-Conference team and three players receiving the highest honors given by the Conference is truly amazing. Even though five players received the honors, it was an entire team effort to have such an outstanding season.”

Construction begins on new West Bend Fleet Farm

The logging trucks and bulldozers have cleared a majority of the trees from the nearly 42-acre lot as contractors make way for the 192,000-square-foot Fleet Farm to the south of Highway 33 just east of County Highway Z. An aerial view shows a tree line to the south at the back of the lot. Black fabric outlines the edge of the proposed development to the west. Reddish-orange fencing circles a small wetland area in what appears the near middle of the property.

Along with the new store there will also be 652 parking stalls and another 7,100-square-foot convenience store. About a mile east on Highway 33 the old Fleet Farm on 18th Avenue sports its seasons sign touting “Toyland Now Open.” It’s the last time that sign will be displayed at this location as the new Fleet Farm is scheduled to be completed September 9, 2019.

Updates & Tidbits

Election Day is Tuesday, Nov. 6 and polls open at 7 a.m.

-The West Bend Common Council will hold its regular Monday night meeting at the Museum of Wisconsin Art on Nov. 5 as elected officials pay tribute to veterans. The event is organized by Common Sense Citizens of Washington County.

– The development of a new sports complex at Regner Park is moving along quickly. Within the last two weeks the land has been cleared, fencing removed, cement poured and now six basketball hoops are in place.

-The Kettle Moraine Symphony will honor veterans during its concert Sunday, Nov. 11, 2018 at 3 p.m. Free admission for Veterans. The community celebrates its veterans when KMS collaborates with local organizations to honor Americans who have served in the military.

– Tickets go on sale Nov. 11 for the amazing Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra Holiday Pops Concert on Dec. 11 at the West Bend High Schools Silver Lining Arts Center.

– The Kettle Moraine Lutheran Chargers fell to East Troy in the WIAA Division 2 State Championship at the Resch Center in Green Bay. East Troy (31-8) def. Kettle Moraine Lutheran (31-11) – 25-22, 25-19, 25-13.

A strong turnout of volunteers Saturday morning help sweep clean Veterans Plaza in West Bend as we count down the days to Nov. 11 and Veterans Day. Thanks to all who helped give of their time and talents.

– A burial will be held Sunday, Nov. 4 for Robert B. Pick II, 76, who passed away peacefully in his sleep on Friday, Feb. 16, 2018 after a brief illness at Froedert Hospital in Milwaukee.

– A huge thank you to members of the West Bend Noon Rotary Club: Chris Wenzel, Amanda Follett, Jerry Mehring and Richard Klumb. These Rotarians helped the Downtown West Bend Association remove the ArtWalk banners from the light poles this week.

– Grab your family and bundle up because the 32nd Annual Hartford Christmas Parade is just around the corner. The theme of the Nov. 10 parade is “Christmas Lights.” Start time is 3 p.m.

Large turnout to remember Bob Neja

A large turnout Tuesday as neighbors, friends and family turned out to pay their respects to Bob Neja. Robert H. Neja, 84, of West Bend, entered Eternal Life with Jesus on Thursday, Oct. 25, 2018 after 62 wonderful years of marriage with Anne “Dolly” Neja. Bob passed away at home, surrounded by his family, after his battle with pancreatic cancer.

During the funeral Mass at St. Frances Cabrini, Neja’s youngest son Peter offered some kind words about his father.

This will be brief so please pay attention. Thank you all for coming to celebrate the life of an amazing man. Bob Neja.

Dad was a very disciplined yet sensitive and sometimes goofy man. He was an incredible husband, dad, gramps, friend, teacher, athlete and coach.

He spent his life walking with Jesus. In fact during his final weeks reflecting alone in his bedroom, saying the rosary daily with his Dolly and getting to Mass were more important than the Brewers or anything else.

Everyone around him benefited from his faith and lifestyle, especially his Dolly. Bob and Anne’s bond is one that people pray for.

Young Bob was smitten with Anne from the start. So much that his competitive nature faltered at his high school teammates repeatedly nag him for arriving late to practice because he was off gallivanting with his Anne.  As they spent more time together they developed an unwavering love for one another that continued for 62 years.

While celebrating their 60th wedding anniversary one of Bob’s grandchildren asked Gramps, “What advice can you offer to make it through 60 years of marriage?” With complete sincerity he instantly replied, “To marry Anne.”

As they built a family it was no surprise that he emulated that same level of love onto his kids and grandkids. The Nejas’ lives were full of fun and competition, family vacations, lots of games, cards included!

He was always up for celebrating as long as it didn’t involve fireworks, which he made us watch from the car to avoid the crowd.

Obviously Dad was competitive. He competed, sometimes intensely, and always in a fun way.

For example at a family reunion softball game he picked up third base and ran away with it to keep his nephew from scoring. If he was losing you sure would hear about it, but it was all in good lighthearted fun and certainly nothing a brownie with extra frosting would not fix.

People may think it’s difficult to be in high school with a parent as a teacher. Dad was so well respected by colleagues, students and athletes that he made it is easy for us. We all were so proud to have him as our father.

Although leading many teams to championships as an athlete and coach led to inductions into several Halls of Fame, Dad’s real legacy was the positive influence he had on lives.

You see, being a teacher and coach was not just a job for Neej, but a way of life.

His philosophy was “grow the kids into great people first and hopefully enjoy winning along the way.”

No matter what subject he taught or sport he coached or where he bumped into you, Dad would have an ever lasting impact on your life.

As I lived Dad again for the past 3 to 4 months I was reminded about how much of a positive effect you had on the lives he touched. So many students, athletes, friends and family reached out by visiting him in person, by calling and by sending notes.

Dad had the gift of making anyone feel like they were special and his priority.

In turn his family loved and respected him in a way that drove them to strive at following in his footsteps living a loving, faithful lifestyle that Neej could be proud o.

He was a role model for the entire Neja clan and everyone close to him.

His impact will continue to live on and the world is a better place because of him. Amen!

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Whitey Whacked

Actions have consequences.

A Mafia hitman and career criminal is suspected of leading the fatal attack on notorious Boston mob boss James ‘Whitey’ Bulger because he hated informants.

Fotios ‘Freddy’ Geas, 51, is under investigation for allegedly instigating a group of men to beat wheelchair-bound Bulger to death with a lock wrapped in a sock and partially gouge his eyes while in maximum security prison Tuesday.

‘Freddy hated rats,’ private investigator Ted McDonough said of Geas, who is serving a life sentence after he was ratted on for the murders of former Genovese crime family mob boss Adolfo ‘Big Al’ Bruno and associate Gary D Westerman in 2003.

Bulger had cut a sweet deal to serve as an FBI informant as far back as 1975, giving him virtual impunity to commit any crime he wanted for decades – except for murder.

The former head of south Boston’s Winter Hill Gang was convicted in 2013 of killing at least 11 people and was serving two life sentences at the time of his death.

‘Freddy hated guys who abused women. Whitey was a rat who killed women. It’s probably that simple,’ McDonough, who became friendly with Geas while working for him as an investigator, revealed to The Boston Globe.