Tag Archives: Around the Bend

Around the Bend by Judy Steffes

Another Kwik Trip coming to West Bend

Plans are in the works to build another Kwik Trip in Washington County.

Hans Zietlow, director of real estate for Kwik Trip, said they do have a piece of property currently under contract and they’re working through the process.

The property is the former Walgreens, 806 S. Main Street in West Bend.

That location, according to the West Bend City Assessor’s office, has been vacant since late 2010 when Walgreens closed because its new store opened just south of Paradise Drive.

Halloween Express did open in this location, but that was temporary and seasonal.

If this site plan is approved by the city of West Bend this would be the fifth Kwik Trip in Washington County. There’s one currently on Highway 60 in Slinger and another further up the road in Hartford, Germantown has a Kwik Trip on Maple Road and West Bend’s first Kwik Trip opened on Silverbrook Drive on Oct. 27, 2016.

Zietlow said he likes this location for several reasons, but primarily because it’s the center of town.

“West Bend by any stretch of the imagination doesn’t have a bad part but this is a central location,” said Zietlow. “Everything else is going to the edges such as Highway 33 and Paradise Drive so this leaves us a little bit of gap in the center.”

On more of a neighborhood note, folks on Decorah Road will appreciate it because they’ve been without a convenience store since Pat’s Jiffy Stop closed in November 2016.

Zietlow said Kwik Trip has not submitted any paperwork yet to the city. “Until we have the approval we can’t really set a time frame on when we will be opening,” he said.

A couple other notes about the proposed Kwik Trip site on Main and Decorah:

– the 2017 property assessment for the empty Walgreens is $2.52 million

– Zietlow’s comment about being welcomed in West Bend. “I don’t think we’ve ever been as warmly received in a community as this one. I’m going to guess we’re going to be even more well received the second time around.”

– The first Kwik Trip in West Bend opened Oct. 27, 2016 in the 1700 block of Silverbrook Drive just about a half-block north of Paradise Drive.  Zietlow it’s doing “very, very well.”

-The lot size on Main and Decorah is about 1.4 acres. The lot size on Silverbrook is about 3.02 acres.

-The gas station/convenience store on Silverbrook is 7,000 square feet with 26 gas pumps on five islands and a car wash. Zietlow said plans for the station/convenience store on Main and Decorah will not have a car wash.

-Questioned if there will be two Kwik Trips in West Bend could there be three? “Well there’s room for three but we don’t have any other plans for anything else,” said Zietlow.

-If this Kwik Trip would get approved it would build it in 2018.

-Zietlow said Kwik Trip is looking at building about 50 new stores in 2017 and having several acquisitions as well. “We’re actually looking at building 50 new stores a year for the next five years,” said Zietlow.

Booklet for Junior Livestock Auction has arrived  

 This week the UW-Extension mailed its 48th annual Washington County Fair Jr. Livestock Auction booklet to area businesses. The 5-page booklet contains a list of potential 4-H youth exhibitors for swine, beef and sheep. The annual auction at the Farm Progress Show Arena gets underway at 6 p.m. on Thursday, July 27.

West Bend School Board votes on high school principals

After a little more than 35 minutes of discussion the West Bend School Board on Thursday night, during a special meeting, voted 4 – 1 to implement a standard of two principals at the West Bend High Schools rather than the current standard of one principal for both schools.

Tiffany Larson, Tonnie Schmidt, Nancy Justman and Joel Ongart voted in favor of the two principal motion. Monte Schmiege was the lone dissenting vote. Ken Schmidt and Tim Stellmacher were not in attendance.

Details such as cost, salary and implementation of a two-principal structure were not discussed.  Calls have been placed to school board candidates and we will post those details once more information is provided.

Below are some bullet points from the meeting:

Tiffany Larson – “If two principals in the original setup can improve the responsiveness and the understanding and the identity communication then I would regret waiting another year to promote that kind of positive change.”

Monte Schmiege – “Was the listening session about dividing up into two principals?”

Tiffany Larson – “There’s been multiple listening panels over the past year. The most recent one was, no not about dividing into two principals it was it was simply the wonderings after the interview session and one of the wondering was I wonder if we’d function better with two principals.  Is this job too big for one person?”

Monte Schmiege –  “This has come up rather quickly, in my opinion too hastily to provide the opportunity for the entire community to express their opinions and …. you know I believe the superintendent was intending to have this matter looked at in this coming year and have it studied and come up with a reasonable recommendation to divide into two principals I would certainly endorse that plan and approve it without any hesitation. But it has not been studied so this is just a hasty move.”

Monte Schmiege – “I find it a little surprising that there’s an agenda that says ‘high school administrative reorganization’ and we have three or four speakers who already know it’s about two principals. I don’t know how the community would know that from this notice but four people currently know about it.  So I don’t think the community has been properly involved in making this decision.”

Monte Schmiege – “I’m in favor of delaying this decision until there’s been a proper study and input by the community on the decision.”

Tiffany Larson – “In my opinion the two-principal structure was studied for about 40 years and then we studied the one principal arrangement for three or four and we decided it just wasn’t working as effectively as the old model. So I don’t see it necessarily as a hasty decision as much as one that was perhaps three years in the making. And we’re finally at a point where we can actually make a decision and I consider it really doing what’s best for kids…”

Joel Ongert – “I’d like to make a motion. I don’t have a prepared motion in front of me so I apologize for that.  I move to proceed with the hiring of a principal for East High School and a principal for West High School for the upcoming school year.”

Update posted Friday – In less than 24 hours since five of seven members of the West Bend School Board voted 4 – 1 to hire two high school principals for the 2017-2018 school year it appears the board is ready to “possibly approve appointments.”

The Monday, July 24 agenda shows an action item: “Possible Board appointment of East High School principal and appointment of West High School principal.”

Calls have been place for the second time to elected members of the school board following Thursday’s 5:10 p.m. meeting.

 Pizza Ranch at Ponderosa moving forward

 Designs for the proposed Pizza Ranch in West Bend will go before the West Bend Plan Commission on Tuesday, Aug. 1. Last April, WashingtonCountyInsider.com reported Pizza Ranch had a purchase agreement in place with Steve Kilian for the former Ponderosa building, 2020 W. Washington Street.

A segment of the April article read:

For the past year, since its initial announcement in March 2016, neighbors have been supporting the development of Pizza Ranch in West Bend. Many chimed in on social media, itching for the restaurant chain to take over the old Ponderosa building on W. Washington Street which has been vacant since Kilian purchased the property in 2011.

During a Friday afternoon conversation, Miller acknowledging the Ponderosa parcel was actually one of their first preferences.

“We looked at this property a while back, but because of the higher price we didn’t really think it made sense,” said Miller. “After considering the better location with the frontage road, we are real comfortable with the whole situation and we signed the purchase agreement. Steve Killian has been excellent to work with in putting this deal together.”

As far as the timeline on moving forward, Miller said it should be rather swift. “The nice thing about the old Ponderosa is it has concrete walls, which we can keep as well as the steel roof support. We’ll completely gut the interior and upgrade the facade to Pizza Ranch standards.”

Miller said the “site also requires no excavation work, allowing for a quicker start.”

Miller said that the principal owners Matt and Stacy Gehring will be managing the property.

It’s taken several months to draw up new plans to remodel the old Ponderosa.

Some of the details to be reviewed by the Plan Commission on the 1.9-acre lot include:

– a 5,154-square-foot building

-100 parking stalls

– two proposed building additions including one pickup area

The West Bend Plan Commission gets underway 6 p.m. in the council chambers at West Bend City Hall.

 West Bend aldermen to vote Monday on deer management 

There will be a recommendation before the West Bend Common Council on Monday concerning the Deer Management Assistance Program.

During a meeting in November 2016 the Deer Management Assistant Program reviewed whether to issue special permits to allow bow hunting to trim the deer herd in local parks as neighbors asked city officials to help manage the deer in the city.

According to Park and Rec director Craig Hoeppner the Park and Rec staff did an old-fashioned deer drive and the count was 28 deer at Lac Lawrann, Ridge Run Park had 41 deer, Regner had 9 and Silverbrook Parkway had 18.

In March, Lac Lawrann voted unanimously that it be a test and sample site for a controlled hunt.

The Park & Recreation Commission voted unanimously at its June 29 meeting to forward the following recommendations to the Common Council regarding deer management in city parks.

Primary recommendation is to take no action at this time, for the following reasons:  Public Safety, costs to the City of West Bend, DNR has stated this is not a big problem overall and recent hunts in similar communities have had limited success and effectiveness.

Secondary recommendation, if the Common Council feels there is a deer problem in West Bend that needs to be addressed, it is strongly recommended to start with a test pilot program at Lac Lawrann Conservancy only.  The test to be done in the wintertime, during weekdays and under controlled circumstances.

Monday’s Common Council meeting begins at 6:30 p.m. in the council chambers at City Hall. The meeting is open to the public.

 The Corner Score is closing

The Corner Score, 104 N. Main Street in West Bend is closing. Owner Mary Jo Joyce opened the business three years ago.  The building, on the corner of Walnut and Main Street, is owned by Ron Gundrum. The Corner Score, which sells vintage toys and books and whatnot, is due to close the end of August. The space is approximately 4,000 feet total, with 2,000 on the first floor and a full basement for additional storage. Adam Williquette with Anderson Commercial Group is listing the property. The lease is $1,700 a month.

On a history note: That location at 104 N. Main Street has had quite a few businesses over the years. Many neighbors remember Alice’s Flower Shop and Heuer’s Sewing. There was also Schoeber’s Camera followed by Schoeber’s Jewelers. J&L Business was in there for a while and Jeanne Mueller had a shop as well. There was also an exercise place in there and a religious book store.

Updates & tidbits

  A new T-Mobile store has opened in the West Bend Shopping Center. T-Mobile is a national provider of wireless voice, messaging, and data services. There are a bunch of T-Mobile stores in the Milwaukee area. The new store is in the strip mall space north of Papa Murphy’s Pizza.

 -Pete Rettler and Steve Volkert have joined the St. Joseph’s Hospital Board of Directors. Each will begin a three-year term. Rettler is the campus dean for the West Bend Campus at Moraine Park Technical College and Volkert is the city administrator for the City of Hartford.

– The Downtown West Bend Association is looking for vendors for Maxwell Street Day on Wednesday, Aug. 2. The event will run 8 a.m. – 6 p.m. Contact at 262-335-3909.

– The Local Collective is moving out of downtown West Bend to Hartford on August 1. Moving into its former location on N. Main Street is Wood N Art, currently located at 111 N. Sixth Ave. above Slesar Glass. Owner Janalee Bach has custom-made wood signs and photography.

– The Starbucks on 18th Avenue in West Bend has been issued an occupancy permit.

-The annual Cedar Community Butterfly Release is Saturday, Aug. 12 at Cedar Ridge Campus. This fundraising event benefits Cherished Moments, Cedar Community at Home’s hospice program, and helps with the purchase of a new pontoon boat for residents. Reservations are $25 and the deadline is Friday, July 28.

-The Kettle Moraine YMCA will hold its 16th annual Golf Outing Friday, Aug. 14 at the West Bend Country Club. All proceeds benefit the YMCA’s Annual Campaign. The Kettle Moraine YMCA provides over $325,000 in financial assistance, helping a total of 1,600 individuals, which is one in six of our members. Register today – a foursome is $700.

-The annual Jingle Bell Open is Monday, August 7 at West Bend Lakes Golf Course. The fundraiser is for the West Bend Community Christmas Parade. Registration is 10 a.m. with an 11 a.m. shot gun start.

-The Washington County Fair opens Tuesday, July 25. Here’s a story by Kate Delcore from Washington County 4H – Something new and exciting for this year’s Washington County Fair, is the 4-H Feathers & Fur Auction. The traditional Poultry Champions Auction has been expanded so that this year there will be Champion birds along with more meat birds and even some rabbits. That means more opportunities to bid and support 4-H youth! This event will take place on Friday July 28, 2017. Registration is at 5:30 p.m. with the auction starting at 6:30 p.m. While you are waiting for the auction to start, you will be able to view the animals that will be in the auction and see (or participate) in the amateur rooster crowing contest. Feel free to stop by the small animal barn if you have any questions. See you at the fair.

Around the Bend by Judy Steffes

Kiwanis Early Risers Duck Derby winners announced

The winners of the West Bend Early Risers Duck Derby held on July 4 at Regner Park are as follows:

Business Race:
1st Grafton Transit
2nd Technology Techs
3rd Schmidt Funeral Home

Best Dressed:
1st Phillip Funeral Home
2nd Big Brothers Big Sisters
3rd Froedtert Health hometown Pharmacy

Family Race:
1st Robin Konstanz
2nd Mike Kiezer
3rd Paul Gerbard

Best Dressed:
1st Katelyn Taylor
2nd Gail Burkel
3rd Janet Jeziorski

Town of Trenton accident claims life of young Kewaskum man

On Wednesday, July 5 at 5 a.m. the Washington County Sheriff’s Office was notified of a single-vehicle accident at the intersection of Indian Lore Road and E. Newark Drive in the Town of Trenton. The caller reported a single vehicle struck a tree and there was an unresponsive person on the ground adjacent to the vehicle. Boltonville Fire Department and Kewaskum Rescue were dispatched to the scene along with deputies from the Sheriff’s Office. When the first sheriff’s deputy arrived, he located the vehicle up against a tree about 45 feet south of the paved portion of the roadway. He also located the unresponsive subject on the ground and determined the subject was deceased.

The evidence at the scene indicated the driver was southbound on Indian Lore Road and failed to negotiate the 90 degree curve where Indian Lore Road turns into Newark Drive; driving off the south shoulder of Newark Drive and striking the tree head-on ejecting the driver of the vehicle, who was the sole occupant.

The operator was 19-year-old village of Kewaskum resident, Ruben Padilla-Castaneda. This is Washington County’s third traffic fatality of the year.

City of Hartford responds to complaints over illegally placed signs

The City of Hartford has begun taking a more direct approach to the growing problem of illegally placed signs within City owned properties or city right-of-way.  Starting last week, city staff started pulling or moving signs which were illegally placed within the right-of-way or on city parkland.  Signs for help wanted, rummage sales, retails sails, services rendered or realtor open houses were removed in an attempt to clean up what had once again become a problem throughout the city.

“This is not the first time we have had to do this, nor is this law unique to Hartford.  Every community has some sort of laws regarding keeping the city right of way free from any distractions, visual blockages, or possible liabilities,” City Administrator Steve Volkert said.  “Every so often, the amount of signs starts to build up as a few place them illegally, then a few more and it just keeps growing.”

The normal procedure whenever an illegal sign is placed in these areas if for the city to take the soft approach of removing the sign and contact the owner to ask them to remove all signs or move them as to not be illegal.  Then after a week, if all illegally placed signs are not removed, the City will fine the owners and remove the signs themselves.  “We truly don’t have time to be patrolling every street for illegally placed signs,” Volkert said, “so we nicely ask that the owners move them.”

Most recently, more and more signs were popping up so the city instructed staff to pull any signs they saw during their normal travels throughout the city.  Many of those signs were either moved in from the curb or removed and taken to the city garage for keeping.

Placing signs of this nature is not illegal as long as they are placed on private property with the property owners consent.  The easiest way to determine where the City right-of-way ends and private property starts is by using the sidewalk or 10 feet in from the back of the curb.  If the sign is placed inside the sidewalk, it’s usually good.

“We want our city to look clean and uncluttered, and would prefer not to have our staff confiscating these signs,” said Volkert.  “If you are going to put up rummage sale or business signs, make sure they are not placed within the city right-of-way.”

The City ordinance does not allow signs close to the curb for safety reasons.  1) Signs can blow off and cause traffic issues and liabilities to cars, 2) signs can block the clear vision of turning vehicles when placed on corners, 3) signs can distract drivers taking their eyes off the road to read.  This law is similar to all other communities throughout the state.

City Hall was receiving several complaints from businesses and residents alike on all the signs illegally placed.  The city plans on continuing to pull signs through the summer whenever they come across any of them to hopefully curtail this issue and help improve the clutter which they were causing.

Asphalt pavement repairs, overlays work to start on Monday in West Bend

West Bend’s sewer utility staff televised the storm sewers located under the Vine Street employee parking lot this week. The city had been hoping to crack-fill, seal-coat and restripe the Vine Street lot at the conclusion of the Mad Max improvements. Mad Max is complete with their work but it appears as though the asphalt, one storm sewer line and one manhole will need to be fully reconstructed. Staff is determining the best long-term fix for this parking lot and the city is reluctant to invest limited funds into failing infrastructure. Cost estimates are being prepared by the engineering department before moving forward. The Department of Public works staff will restripe the parking stalls on the existing asphalt later in 2017.

Centenarian principal passes away but leaves legacy of faith

On July 29, 2017, Sr. Marlena Janis, SSND, the first principal of St. Francis Cabrini School, passed away on June 29, 2017. Cabrini alum Kristin Bayer, writes, “This past summer, I had the opportunity to meet S. Marlena, and visit with her a few times. I found her to be a dynamic, funny, interesting woman, filled with kindness, good stories, and a deep love of God. She shared some memories of her time at Cabrini, and her long career as a School Sister of Notre Dame.

When asked why she became a nun, S. Marlena laughed and said, “It was like going into the family business.” Her family was Catholic. Her church was Catholic. Her school was Catholic. Her neighborhood was Catholic.

Her first teaching job was in Chicago, at St. Alphonsus. Her next placement was as the principal of a brand new Chicago school, St. Helena of the Cross. After nine years, she was sent to West Bend to open another new school, Saint Frances Cabrini.

The school was the first building constructed on our campus. There was no church building, no convent, and no rectory. Although the School Sisters typically lived in a convent on the grounds of the school they served, with no convent that wasn’t possible here at first, so Cabrini’s School Sisters shared the Holy Angels convent, and drove back and forth. S. Marlena smiled as she remembered, “I spent my whole life coming and going. But I enjoyed every minute of it.”

Her students had a great deal of respect for S. Marlena. She was sometimes referred to as the Little General, and indeed, she didn’t put up with much. One student reportedly said he was in the office so much that he spent more time with S. Marlena than he did with his own mother. But more than that, her students loved her, and when they reminisce, they do it with a smile.

Turning 100 seemed to amaze Sister Marlena, and led her to some self-reflection. During one of our visits, she shook her head in bemusement and said, “Just think of it. Every one of my hairs is 100 years old.” On another visit, she said that although she’d enjoyed good health most of her life, once she turned 100, she started to feel “icky.” As time passed, that feeling grew “ickier.” But she saw the blessing in it, saying that finally she had learned to accept whatever God had in store for her. “Poor God,” she said. “He had to wait 100 years for that.”

Updates & tidbits from the road

Amazing Ride for Alzheimer’s is on the road: This year’s Amazing Ride for Alzheimer’s bicycle tour is on the road to the Netherlands. Please log onto imthebikewriter.blogspot.com for updates. Cheers!

-Stopped at a fish market in Volendam. With encouragement from some readers to tell more about some of the foods of the Netherlands, I was set to take the herring challenge; however, eels won out instead.

The fully intact eels were about 15 inches long and had angry faces. The filleted eels looked a bit more manageable … and they had been smoked.

The experience was a bit slimy.  It did  slide easily off the toothpick and there was a definite smokey taste. The consistency was what you would imagine; eels are more chewy and less flaky, with a very recognizable fish flavor.

Let me just be clear, “eels” has a definite aftertaste that’s challenging to get rid of. My dinner was followed by a series of “eels burps.”  Simply not pleasant, but a good reminder of what was for supper.

– The storms that swept through the campsite just south of Amsterdam last night were so fierce they knocked the waterproofing right off my tent. It was actually a series of storms with brilliant lightning followed by violent cracks of thunder and pummeling rain. Sleeping outdoors made you feel part of it as it did when it rained inside the tent, too. Good thing my maps and post cards pulled in a lot of the water.

– Making my way north of Amsterdam and a whole new atmosphere; it’s not as densely populated, there is a lot more agricultural base and more tourism – think, Wisconsin Dells.

– I am never alone on the bike trails. However, my skills are minimal compared to the Dutch. They bike with purpose and enthusiasm – they can also bike with no hands and text at the same time.

– A true cultural treat is the stroopwafel which is made from two thin layers of baked dough with a caramel-like syrup filling in the middle. No way was there any thought given to eating a whole one. They were the size of a healthy pancake the likes of Breakfast on the Farm.

– Let’s just be clear, if I sat on a broom I’d crush it; there would be no sailing about. But no matter, according to the executive director of the Museum de Heksenwaag, also known as the Witches Museum, in Oudewater.

According to the museum docent and executive director, Jeanette Blake, people from across Europe and beyond flocked to Oudewater to be weighed and given a certificate declaring they were not a witch. It wasn’t the scale in Oudewater that was specifically spot on ….it was a matter of the person manning the scale being honest.

I agreed to be weighed and tested. Blake had to admit, “there was really no way to win.”

Around the Bend by Judy Steffes

Get ready for local fireworks and 4th of July parade

Tuesday, the annual 4th of July parade kicks off at 9:30 a.m. in West Bend with the parade route as follows (same route as last year):

The lineup will take place on Main Street in front of Badger Middle School. The route will proceed north on Main Street through downtown, west on Cedar street, north on 7th Ave. crossing Hwy 33 to North Main Street and ending in Regner Park. The route is about one mile long.

After the parade, festivities at Regner Park will include food, kids games, Duck Derby, karaoke, Regner beach swimming and splash pad fun.

At Riverside Park, 6 p.m. – DJ Music and dancing, West Bend Tumbling Troupe, food and beverages.

Fireworks sponsored by Horicon Bank will begin at dusk.

Starbucks Corporate sends update on 18th Avenue store

Starbucks Corporate responded to a recent inquiry regarding the open date of its new store on 18th Avenue in West Bend.

Interesting to note how many stores Starbucks is aware of in its West Bend market.

“Thanks for reaching out to the press line. Starbucks is always looking for great locations to better meet the needs of our customers, and we are happy to confirm that we will be opening a new location 360 N. 18th Avenue in West Bend, WI later this summer. This new location will feature a free-standing drive-thru and is our second store in the market. Feel free to reach back out later for update on the store opening timing.

Thank you for your interest in Starbucks. You may attribute this information to a Starbucks spokesperson.”

Asphalt pavement repairs, overlays work to start in West Bend

The City of West Bend states the following locations will be periodically closed to through traffic beginning Monday, July 10, 2017 until approximately late August for street resurfacing:

o    Maple Street: 8th Avenue to 7th Avenue

o    Walnut Street: 8th Avenue to 7th Avenue

o    Poplar Street: 5th Avenue to Main Street

o    10th Avenue: Hickory Street to Walnut Street

o    Cottonwood Court: Hawthorn Drive to Termini

o    Barberry Place: Cottonwood Court to Termini

o    Walnut Street: 12th Avenue to 11th Ave

The general contractor for the project is Payne & Dolan Inc of Waukesha, Wisconsin. There will also be a number of subcontractors working at various times during the project.  Street resurfacing will include partial removal of the existing curb and gutter, complete removal of the existing asphalt pavement using a milling machine, placement of concrete curb and gutter followed by placement of asphalt pavement.

Motorists are reminded to abide by all traffic control signs and devices as well as be aware of ongoing construction activities.  Alternate routes should be planned to avoid construction whenever possible.

West Bend Noon Rotary Club names Lora Buck as Paul Harris Fellow
On Thursday, Lora Buck was nominated for her service with the West Bend Noon Rotary and named a Paul Harris Fellow.

Outgoing club president Kellie Boone will be replaced by Amy Salberg who takes office as the new Rotary president on July 1.

West Bend Early Risers Kiwanis Dedicates Bench to Al Moehr

The West Bend Early Risers Kiwanis dedicated a bench at Regner Park this week to Al Moehr. The ceremony was held prior to the July 4 Kiwanis Duck Derby. Moehr was a huge supporter of the derby as he sold quite a few ducks from Toucan Custard for the event.

The bench in honor of Al Moehr is next to the Duck Derby section of the river at Regner.

Al Moehr died at his home on Friday, Dec. 23, 2016. He was 70.

West Bend Mayor testifies in Madison on “DarkStore” loophole

West Bend Mayor Kraig Sadownikow testified this week before the Wisconsin Assembly Ways and Means Committee in an effort to encourage lawmakers to close a loophole in a law that allows viable big box stores to contest their property assessments and ask their store be charged the same rate as a store that is closed.

Sadownikow testified, “In West Bend, we have an intelligent constituency that pays attention to their local governmental activities.” He furthers, “They understand the Dark Store Theory and Walgreen challenges to assessments put at risk the financial stability of communities in Wisconsin.  They know current law will place an undue burden on small business, manufacturing, agriculture and homeowners.”

Within a week of opening its doors in West Bend the new Meijer grocery fought its assessment of $20 million. They claim they should only be assessed at $9 million.

Meijer paid $6 million for the land and then constructed a 200,000 square foot building. 

The city assessor’s office in West Bend confirmed Meijer representatives played the dark store card. Other stores across the state fighting assessment include Walgreens, Walmart, Menards and Shopko.  So far the courts have ruled in favor of the stores which then pay less property taxes. In the end the communities that shop at the stores are the ones hit the hardest.

In West Bend the School District had to give back $80,000 after the courts ruled in favor of two Walgreens stores that fought to have its assessment lowered to less than $5 million even though the stores sold for a combined $14 million.

Sadownikow went on to talk about the “slippery slope” that has been created with other challenges from WalMart, Menard’s and ShopKo, “Walgreens and Meijer are not being asked to pay someone else’s property tax, just their own, under the same format Wisconsin has been using for decades.  I would like them to stop demanding that we pay theirs.”

UW announces promotions and tenure; two Washington county faculty on list

Two UW-Washington County faculty have received promotions and tenure.  The announcement was made by Cathy Sandeen, Chancellor of University of Wisconsin Colleges/University of Wisconsin-Extension, who noted, “these colleagues will continue to make valuable contributions to ensure that the UW Colleges meets its vital mission within the State of Wisconsin.” Earning a promotion and/or tenure requires a rigorous academic review and the UW System Board of Regents confirmed the chancellor’s recommendations.

Receiving promotions at UW-Washington County were: Jennifer Heinert (English) was promoted from Associate Professor with tenure to Professor with tenure. Mohan Thapa, photo (Mathematics) was promoted from Assistant Professor to Associate Professor with tenure.

The UW System Board of Regents formally voted to approve the promotions or tenure at their June meeting, and they are effective July 1, 2017, for UW Extension, and August 28, 2017, for UW Colleges, which is the first day of the 2017-2018 academic year. 

Updates & tidbits from the road

Amazing Ride for Alzheimer’s is on the road: This year’s Amazing Ride for Alzheimer’s bicycle tour is on the road to the Netherlands. Please log onto imthebikewriter.blogspot.com for updates. Cheers!

– Adventure by the seat of my pants … is quickly becoming the standard method of travel on these tours.

Rode the jet stream from Detroit into Amsterdam and landed an hour early. Cobbled together my bike, which included repair to a broken spoke and a flat tire, and I was off. Don’t ask me “where to” as I had no maps and, yes, I can see your eye rolls all the way in Europe.

I got lost six or seven times, and it was beautiful.

– Met storekeep Dirk Smits at his corner grocery “Smits Traiteur” in the old part of Hoofddorp. The neighborhood grocery was open six days a week. “Sunday is closed,” said Smits. “We’re Christians.  If you give me a million we wouldn’t open the store. We see the Bible as the holy book of God.”

– Stopped to help Fernando at the side of the road; his chain slipped off. The unique thing about a cycle in Holland is that they all seem to have wrap-around chain guards. Good at keeping grease off a pant leg but a total hindrance with small screws if you need to fix. We teamed up and solved it.

– Fields of flowers decorated both sides of the bike path as I make my way from Amsterdam to Leiden. The tree-lined canals run through all the towns with designated bike lanes on each side. It is cozy and beautiful all in the same breath.

– Leaving Lisse after 22 miles out of Amsterdam on Monday and a wonderful stay with Eduard and Marthy at Bed & Rest – De Dahlia. A beautiful house with energetic neighbor boys, Sam and Simon. Simon and Sam found me. The pair were up to no good summertime shenanigans. Digging a tunnel to China next to a covered bike port where I was taking a rest.

Eventually, after chucking rocks onto the roof and making honking noises at the entry, they were brave enough to come in and try to have a chat. I found interesting, even with the language differences, some of the things we had in common, and their genuine “kid” sense of humor.

What resonates internationally with children? Try starting with Frozen and Star Wars.

I got a kick at how hilarious Sam found my name.

– Spent quite a bit of time in Leiden at the Hortus Botanicus; it’s the oldest garden in the Netherlands, founded by Leiden University in 1590, and the most beautiful.

– The bicycling community is fantastic; so many kids on bikes.

– There’s a saying in the Netherlands, “Have faith in God but lock your bike.”

– This is something I never read in a travel guide…the businesses in Holland are basically boycotting VISA. They’re all sick of the hefty fees that come with processing every transaction. “That’s bad news on this end,” said the female biker who travels with a dedicated VISA.  I have a VISA debit card, too. They won’t take that, either, so it’s off to the cash machine or “robo cash” as it’s called here. This will make for an interesting trip.

Around the Bend by Judy Steffes

Neighbors along Hwy 144 ask for safety improvements

There were about 30 people at Padway’s Supper Club on Friday afternoon as neighbors gathered with state officials to discuss the speed limit on State Highway 144.

The safety meeting was prompted by those living along the Highway who had concerns about the safety of people crossing the road and the kids crossing to get to the piers on Big Cedar Lake.

The objective of the meeting was to ask the State Department of Transportation to help improve safety for pedestrians by reducing the speed from 35 miles per hour to 25 mph on a just a small .7 mile section of road between the Cedar Lake Yacht Club and the curve to the south, just past Padways.

There were four representatives from the State Department of Transportation including John Haug and traffic supervisor Stacey Pierce. Washington County Sheriff’s Captain Bruce Theusch was also in attendance along with a member of the Washington County Highway Department.

State Assembly Rep. Bob Gannon said his office worked with the State DOT to put up radar in the Padway’s parking lot. “That happened in March 2017 and they found the speeds were not excessive,” said Gannon. “The state was pretty cooperative and said they were willing to put up radar again.”

There was discussion about placing a sign with flashing lights in the area to notify motorists to adhere to the 35 mph speed limit. There is a speed change in that area as it drops from 45 mph to 35 mph as you drive south toward the Cedar Lake Yacht Club.

State officials did acknowledge, according to Gannon, that the road is not built to state standards. “But you have to be careful what you ask for because if that road is upgraded then it would take a lot of the front yards of property owners along Hwy 144,” he said.

Data from DOT accident reports showed there were not enough accidents in that area to initiate change. “Seventy-five percent of accidents in that section are property damage only,” said Gannon. “That tells them it’s not the most serious area in the state.”

Some of those in attendance offered other suggestions such as installing speed bumps, putting in a bike path and even allowing the county to take over the road. “There were a lot of ideas shared but the DOT took time to explain some of the ramifications of each of those ideas,” Gannon said.

Neighbors who left the meeting were pretty satisfied with the response from the DOT. “They were hopeful,” said Gannon. “The state also made it clear they would try other corrective measures before resorting to dropping the speed limit.”

Pierce from the DOT said if they were to put in flashing lights around the speed-limit signs that would take about two to three weeks.

On a side note: All state highways start at the speed limit of 55 mph and then there has to be justification for the DOT to raise that limit.

City of Hartford Plan Commission to review 4-story hotel

During Monday’s Plan Commission meeting in Hartford officials will review a proposal for a new 60-room Cobblestone Hotel & Suites. The four-story hotel will be at 110 E. Sumner Street (Highway 60) and will feature a restaurant, bar, outdoor dining, exercise room and pool.

Earlier this year the city of Hartford bought three adjacent parcels specifically so it could have a large enough area to develop a hotel. Part of the development agreement is Bismark Builders, LLC will buy the combined parcel at 110 Sumner Street for $600,000 and then within five days of closing the city will reimburse it $599,999.

Monday’s meeting gets underway at 5:30 p.m. in the council chambers at Hartford City Hall.

American Towman ceremony coming through West Bend


American Towman is putting on its largest campaign ever to promote awareness to the Slow Down Move-Over law and pay tribute to the emergency workers who have sacrificed their lives on America’s roadways (www.atspiritride.com).


On Thursday, July 6 a custom-built casket will pass through West Bend. The “Spirit Casket” is being transported from the west coast to the east coast by over 300 towing companies.


The Threshold, Inc. receives Founders’ Service Award

John Bloor, executive director of The Threshold, Inc., accepted the Founders’ Service Award presented this week by the West Bend Community Foundation.

“This is a very nice surprise,” said Bloor.

The West Bend Community Foundation looked at non-profit organizations in Washington County, the services provided, the longevity and what the organization means to the community.

“We have been recipients of some funding from the Foundation in the past. I’m sure there are other worthy non-profits in the community but this means a lot,” said Bloor.

The Threshold, Inc. has been in place 54 years making a difference in the lives of 1,000 people with disabilities each year in Washington County.

Kevin Steiner is chairman of the Foundation’s grant committee. “This year we awarded about $150,000 to 16 organizations; the Founders’ Service Award is made in honor of Cliff Nelson and Doug Ziegler,” he said.

“The Threshold is a pillar of the community and a good role model for other non-profits; it’s amazing the spectrum of services they provide.”

West Bend Mutual works directly with The Threshold, Inc. and its Project Search.

“We all should be proud The Threshold is part of this community,” said Steiner.

The award reads, “In sincere appreciation for outstanding vision, dedication, service, and commitment to the community of Washington County.”

Remembering Ron Krauss from WBKV and WTKM in Hartford

Ronald “Ron” Krauss, who had a radio career at WBKV in West Bend and WTKM in Hartford died last week, June 16, at the age of 76.

Krauss graduated from Marquette University High School 1959. He married Donna Stofflet in 1963. The Krauss’ moved to Germantown where Ron worked in and later owned the family grocery business, Krauss Food Ranch.

Later in life, Ron moved back into his early passion of radio and was a talk show host and announcer at both WBKV and WTKM for over 30 years. Neighbors chimed in on social media when they heard the news offering their memories.

Tricia Tennies Held – Ron could recite a recipe like no one else on Housewives’ Exchange!

Claudia Weiss -I ❤ listening to Ron. He reminded me of Gordie from WTMJ.

Jed Dolnick – I had the pleasure of working with Ron when I was a part-timer at WBKV. His friendliness on the air wasn’t an act; that’s how he was.

Anita Zimmerman – My deepest sympathy to the family I always enjoyed listening to Ron with the recipes

Mary Wenzlaff – Such a treasure to our community….will never be forgotten!

Alexandria Scherr – He was such a gentleman.

Kim Zimdahl – Thank you Ron, for so many years of enjoyable radio.

Kiwanis Early Risers to dedicated park bench to Al Moehr

The West Bend Early Risers Kiwanis will dedicate a bench at Regner Park on Thursday, June 29 to Al Moehr. The dedication with the Moehr family will take place at 8:30 a.m. The dedication is being held prior to the July 4 Kiwanis Duck Derby. The bench for Moehr will be next to the Duck Derby section of the river. Moehr was a huge supporter of the derby and sold quite a few ducks from Toucan Custard for the event. Al Moehr, 70, died at home Friday, Dec. 23, 2016.

Third Starbucks in West Bend may open in mid-July

It’ll be the third Starbucks in West Bend….once it opens and according to contractors that’s still several weeks away yet. Inside the new location on 18th Avenue the flooring still needs to go in as well as a sink or three. The outside looks great with blacktop on the driveway and the little patio seating area. On a side note:  If I said mid to late July for an opening date I don’t think I’d be too far off.  Calls have been placed to Starbucks for a hard opening date. The other two Starbucks in town are on Paradise Drive and inside the new Meijer on S. Main Street.

Richfield woman to compete in national pageant


Danika Tramburg of Richfield is the current Miss Wisconsin United States. A graduate of Living Word Lutheran High School in Jackson, Tramburg will be competing at Miss United States Organization’s National Pageant on July 8 in Orlando, Florida.

IRS fraud calls bothering neighbors in Washington County


The IRS fraud phone calls are hitting Washington County again. The phone number they’re calling from is a 209-297-2847.


The conversation basically goes something like, “You have to call in 24 hours or the local cops will be coming to get you.” The Washington County Sheriff says there’s nothing they can do and just disregard the calls.



Keith Franz from Venerable Fire Collection has died

Keith F. Franz, 87, Town of Polk, passed away June 14, 2017. Keith was born on July 9, 1929 in Waukesha to the late Delbert “Doc” and Ruth (Schmid). Keith owned Boehck Equipment Co. from 1982 until it closed in 2001.

Keith was Chief of the Cedar Lake Fire Department and past President of the Washington County Fire Chiefs, International Fire Buff Associates, Society for the Preservation and Appreciation of Antique Fire Apparatus of America, the Milwaukee Fire Bell Club, Fire Museum Network, the Venerable Fire Collection, Boehck Equipment Company, and Associated Equipment Distributors.

Keith served as Executive Secretary of the Wisconsin State Fire Chiefs Association. He was active in the Masonic Lodge, Scottish Rite, and DeMolay. He served on the board of the Cedar Lakes Conservation Foundation, the Milwaukee Fire Historical Society, and the Wisconsin Automotive Museum. In addition, he was an active member of the Friends of the Maltese Cross and his church.

Keith’s family will greet relatives and friends on Sunday, July 9, 2017 from 1 p.m. – 4 p.m. at the Eernisse Funeral Home, 1167 Washington Ave. Cedarburg, with a Fire Department walk-thru at 2 p.m. A Christian Science memorial service will follow. In lieu of flowers, contributions to the Venerable Fire Collection, Inc. (4349 Hillside Road, Slinger, WI 53086) are appreciated.

Updates & tidbits


-On Saturday June 24, the Harley-Davidson dealership in West Bend is hosting its annual Honor Flight Ride to raise donations for the Stars and Stripes Honor Flight. VFW Post 1393 in West Bend will be selling brats and hamburgers at the Harley-Davidson dealership that day.

– The next Cars and Coffee at Auto Service Center,   is Sunday July 9 from 8 a.m. – 11 a.m.

– Tommy Schwai spent Saturday afternoon celebrating his 60th birthday with about 100 of his closest friends and family. “It’s just another day,” said Schwai while welcoming handshakes and hugs. Nobody left Tommy’s party hungry as there were plenty of homemade brats, fabulous salads and heavenly desserts. Tommy’s favorite was the pineapple upside down cake.  “We’re not going to blow out the candles because they’re sitting on the counter at home,” said Tommy’s wife Kathy.

-The annual Cedar Community Butterfly Release is Saturday, Aug. 12 at Cedar Ridge Campus. This fundraising event benefits Cherished Moments, Cedar Community at Home’s hospice program, and helps with the purchase of a new pontoon boat for residents. Reservations are $25 and the deadline is Friday, July 28.

-The Kettle Moraine YMCA will hold its 16th annual Golf Outing Friday, Aug. 14 at the West Bend Country Club. All proceeds benefit the YMCA’s Annual Campaign. The Kettle Moraine YMCA provides over $325,000 in financial assistance, helping a total of 1,600 individuals, which is one in six of our members. Register today – a foursome is $700.

– The Kewaskum Area Chamber of Commerce is gearing up for its 2017 Party on the Pavement, on Tuesday, June 27 starting at 10 a.m. Money raised from vendor booths and beer tent go to support Kewaskum Area Community Projects.

 Amazing Ride for Alzheimer’s is on the road


This year’s Amazing Ride for Alzheimer’s bicycle tour is on the road to the Netherlands. Please log onto imthebikewriter.blogspot.com for updates. Cheers!

Around the Bend by Judy Steffes

Washington Co. to implement park stickers in 2018

This week the Washington County Board approved the Parks Fiscal Sustainability Plan.

The plan aims to operate County Parks and Trails independent of the Property Tax Levy and sets course to achieve this over the next three years in order to maintain and improve parks for current and future generations of park users.

A major component of the plan includes new user fees in 2018 – daily entrance fees or annual park entrance stickers for County Parks to include the following parks: Glacier Hills Park, Ackerman’s Grove Park, Heritage Trails Park, Sandy Knoll Park, Leonard J. Yahr Park, and Homestead Hollow Park.

“We will be encouraging park and trail users and non-users to consider purchasing annual park stickers to support park maintenance and improvements,” said Central Services Director Jamie Ludovic.

“Parks and trails offer many economic and social benefits to our community that we intend to pay for through new and innovative revenue streams. We plan to structure this in a way that transparently demonstrates that money collected for parks and trails, stays with parks and trails.”

Eisenbahn Trail users will be encouraged to support the parks and trails by purchasing annual stickers.

However, the fee is planned to be assessed per vehicle entering the parks and no charge will be enforced for walkers, ATVs, snowmobiles or bikers at this time.

“We’re still hopeful that these user groups will support our system by purchasing the stickers,” Ludovic added.

Fee prices will be authorized as part of the County’s 2018 budget but are being recommended as follows: Residents would pay $5 daily or $30 for an annual sticker. Non-residents pay $5 daily or $40 annual. Senior Citizens pay $5 daily or $25 annual. A sticker for a second vehicle would be $20 annual. A bus would be $10 daily and the boat launch passes, which include park entrance, would be $8 daily or $80 annual.

Keith Franz, director of Venerable Fire Museum has died                            By Ron Naab

Keith Franz, the director of The Venerable Fire Museum Inc., on Hillside Road in Slinger has died. Word of the death was initially posted by the Milwaukee Fire Bell Club.

Franz was well known in the Wisconsin fire service and in many national venues of fire service.

Under Franz’s guidance, inspiration, and direction his non-profit Cedar Lake Venerable Fire Museum was created and is maintained.

“Keith really worked to promote the history of the fire service,” said Ron Naab, President of Badger Firefighters Association. “He was very meticulous; he had furniture from old fire stations and he restored fire trucks to like new condition.”

Naab raved about Franz’s collection of fire boxes. “Keith lived and breathed fire history,” said Naab. “Even though he was never a true firefighter he was respected for his knowledge and dedication by career and volunteer firefighters.”

On Labor Day of 1961, the Cedar Lake Fire Company was created and later became the Venerable Fire Museum, Inc.

This fire museum is considered as one of the five best fire museums in the United States.

Franz also served a number of years as the Wisconsin State Fire Chiefs Association Executive Secretary, along with serving as Secretary of the Washington County Fire Chiefs Association.

The Venerable Fire Museum was featured in the John McGivern series Around the Corner on PBS. Details on memorial services will be posted as soon as the information is available.

Stocky’s Fast Track auction is Tuesday, June 20

There’s an auction June 20 at Stocky’s Fast Track in the Town of Trenton. Owner Jeff Stockhausen announced Sunday, May 28 he was closing after 16 years in business. Stockhausen said he’d like to sell the business but since he didn’t get any takers he is opting to lease the space. The building is roughly 21,000 square feet and the asking price through Boss Realty is $1.25 million. The auction starts at 10:30 a.m.

Town Hall meeting for veterans

The Milwaukee (Zablocki) VA Medical Center and Milwaukee VA Regional Office will jointly host a town hall/claims clinic for veterans, service members, their families and survivors, to discuss VA benefits and health care.

Community members and organizations that assist veterans with their benefits, as well as the general public are also invited to attend.

The meeting will take place at UW-Washington County on Wednesday June 21 from 4:30 p.m. –  5:30 p.m. The VA has reserved Room 201 at UW-Washington County for this free event.

Tom Hostad wins Cliff and Betty Nelson Award

United Way of Washington County presented Tom Hostad with the Clifford A. & Elizabeth M. Nelson Volunteer Leadership Award. The award was created to recognize an individual in Washington County who has demonstrated notable community leadership and a long-term commitment to volunteering.

Hostad has championed and led causes in human services, economic development, arts, religion, service clubs, and youth.  He is a long-standing member of Rotary, serving as president for both Hartford Rotary and the Hartford Rotary Foundation.  He is also a founding member and chairperson of the Washington County Workforce Alliance.

Advocating for the improvement of lives and community conditions, Hostad currently volunteers as board president for United Way of Washington County.  He has served three board terms, and chaired the United Way Campaign in 2004.

Additionally, Hostad is a current board member of The Threshold and has volunteered in leadership roles for Boys & Girls Clubs of Washington County, Waubun and Great Blue Heron Girl Scout Councils, Schauer Arts Center, Hartford Area Chamber of Commerce, and Redeemer Lutheran Church.

40th annual Steak in the Park is Tuesday, June 20

Don’t miss the chance for some great food and a good time on Tuesday, June 20 at Regner Park as the West Bend Noon Kiwanis Club holds its 40th annual Steak in the Park fundraiser.

Proceeds will be generously designated to the Threshold’s Birth to 3 Program. There will be steak or chicken dinner, raffles, music, fun for only $20 per person.

Updates & tidbits

Shop indoors this weekend at Rummage-A-Rama!at Washington County Fair Park. There’s free parking next to the building and admission each day has been dropped to only $1 at the door.

-The Kewaskum Area Chamber of Commerce is gearing up for its 2017 Party on the Pavement. Money raised during the Tuesday, June 27 event will support Kewaskum Area Community Projects.

-Holy Angels Student of the Month for May 2017 include: 6th grader Kaylee Schiller, 7th grader Isabelle Sternig and 8th grader Jordyn Wedemayer.

-The Richfield Historical Society  invites you to Step Back In Time on Sunday on July 9  and August 13. The Historical Park’s Messer/Mayer Mill, Mill House and Lillicrapp Welcome Center will be open and staffed with tour guides.

-There are 59 new units being added in Phase II construction at Cast Iron Luxury Living in West Bend.  Phase II is officially over 25% pre-leased. Cast Iron is located in the former West Bend Company building. An opening celebration of Phase II is scheduled for Saturday, August 12. It will feature a pig roast with live entertainment.

– Horicon Bank has stepped up this year to sponsor the fireworks during the July 4th celebration at Riverside Park in West Bend.

-The Kettle Moraine Sport Riders 34th Annual Motorcycle Hill Climb is Father’s Day Sunday, June 18 at Sunburst Ski Hill. Gates open 9 a.m. and the first bike goes up the hill at noon.

– Tennies Ace Hardware in Jackson is looking for full and part-time sales associates. The locally-owned hardware store is looking for someone who enjoys working with people and is handy with home repair projects.

 – After meeting with National Weather Service officials and the Osceola  Management Director Tuesday afternoon, Fond du Lac County Communications and Emergency Management Director Bobbi Hicken said it was determined an EF-0 tornado hit the Town of Osceola Monday night.

Around the Bend by Judy Steffes

Gehl Foods building in West Bend sold to Austrian company for $5.4 million

Gehl Foods, headquartered on Whitney Drive in Germantown, has sold its West Bend plant, 825 Rail Way, to a plastic bottle manufacturer from Austria.

Records obtained from the Register of Deeds shows Alpla Inc. closed on the purchase of the property May 31, 2017 for $5,430,000.

The property on Rail Way was built in 2006. The building is assessed as a manufacturing company and in 2016 the assessed value was $3,741,600.

Alpla Inc. describes itself as “an internationally active company that grows with its global customers. Leadership in innovation together with operational excellence are key success factors. ALPLA’s corporate culture is characterized by a hands-on mentality and with a deep identification of family values. With this in mind, ALPLA provides professional on-the-job training with attractive entry-level career opportunities.”

Gehl Foods was acquired by Wind Point Partners of Chicago in March 2015. Just last month the company went before the Germantown plan commission with a request to expand its Main Street plant.

Ice Age Trail developing new connector point to Ridge Run Park

There’s been somewhat of a flurry of property sales on Highway 33 west in West Bend in recent months and paperwork came through the city assessor’s office this week regarding the sale of a 1.38-acre parcel on W. Washington Street.

The Living Trust of Sharon E. Marth was the previous owner of the woodsy lot just north of the RE/MAX building.

According to the register of deeds, that parcel had been in the Marth family since March 27, 1972 when William J. Marth bought it from Richard J. Sander and his wife Jeanne A. Sander. Records show the lot sold June 1, 2017 for $360,000 to the Ice Age Trail Alliance, Inc., A Wisconsin Corporation.

Mike Wollmer, executive director with Ice Age Trail Alliance, said the acquisition of the Marth property will extend the trail from Ridge Run Park out to Highway 33. “It will eliminate the long road walk that currently exists between Camp Silverbrook and Highway 33,” he said.

The Ice Age Trail Alliance had its eye on the property for the last 15 years. “It’s a great connector point,” said Wollmer. “It makes for a much safer opportunity for people to hike the trail.”

The connection is about 1 mile in length. “As the crow flies it may be shorter but depending on how it’s laid out it could be about a mile,” Wollmer said.

The Alliance plans to develop the trail which will include construction of a bridge. “There are going to be significant structures,” said Wollmer. “We anticipate investing as much as $100,000 to make the connection on the property for the trails.”

The timeline on the project is still several years off. Wollmer cited more government oversight such as surveying the property, regulatory issues, water regulations, and archaeological surveys.

“We’ve got to also learn the land a little more than what we see from the street,” he said. “How the water moves through the property and then make a determination the best route for the trail.”

Wollmer said the deal to purchase the property was a team effort. “The Department of Natural Resources, the National Park Service, the City of West Bend and Sharon Marth and Gloria Dawn Strickland were helpful in making this an affordable acquisition. “This has been a long effort and we’re thrilled it came together,” he said.

Subway in Slinger hosts donation for Honor Flight

Korean War veterans from Washington County participated in a check presentation this week as SUBWAY® outlets in Wisconsin and Illinois partnered with Honor Flight hubs to raise funds to send approximately 167 World War II, Korean War and Vietnam War veterans on Honor Flights.

Korean War veteran Gerald Schwalbach, 86, of Jackson said, “It’s a wonderful thing to see the support behind the vets.” Schwalbach was drafted and served in the Army from 1951 – 1953. “The Honor Flight is an awesome day and I would recommend it to anybody.”

Korean War veteran John Hensen, 88, of Hartford served at the tail end of the Korean War from 1947 – 1951. “The Honor Flight is very emotional,” said Hensen. “That’s all I’ll say.”

The check presentation, for $83,786, was made on the 73rd anniversary of D-Day and just a few days before the Honor Flight’s 40th “mission” on Friday, June 9.

Five veterans from Washington Co. were on Stars & Stripes Honor Flight

Five veterans from Washington County were aboard Friday’s Stars and Stripes Honor Flight including Korean War Air Force jet mechanic Chuck Campbell of Jackson, WWII Marine Ralph Simoneau of Germantown, and three Korean War veterans from West Bend Richard Klumb, Gus Szalewski and Steve Zacher.

State title reunion

There was a nice reunion Thursday at Carl Kuss Field in West Bend as the 2002 West Bend East WIAA State Champion Baseball team gathered to celebrate the 15th anniversary of its state title.

The team held a number of impressive records including an overall record of 28 wins and 4 losses, 16- 0 North Shore Conference, defeated Muskego 7-6 in the 2002 championship game.

“The major highlight was Josh Boyer hitting a home run in the bottom of the ninth to give us the victory,” said Andy Kastner. “We never even saw it because it was so foggy.”

Kastner recalled the game against Muskego was played at Bukolt Park in Stevens Point. There was a long, long rain delay and they didn’t finish the game until midnight. Bob Dohr called the game for WBKV along with Mike Elliott. “I remember Mike Elliott said ‘The Green Tree Gator’ when Boyer hit the home run,” said Kastner.

Players from the 2002 team included Shawn Pasbrig, Josh Heisdorf, Josh Boyer, Andy Schneider, Ryan Gonwa, Adam Wiedmeyer, Ryan Rohlinger, Mark Adams, Andy Kastner, Joe Lord, Luke Sternig, Aaron Feucht, Chris Kilian, Nick Chesak, Mike Chiannelli, Mike Brock Cranney, Randy Bratten, Paul Olson and coaches Doug Gonring, Craig Larson and Curt Schroeder.

Downtown BID approves $50,000 for new bridge

The Downtown West Bend Business Improvement District approved donating $50,000 to help sponsor a new pedestrian bridge over the Milwaukee River. This bridge is south of the now removed theatre bridge AKA bridge to nowhere.

The bridge being replaced is sometimes referred to as the Mountain Outfitters bridge. The project is part of the overall $1.5 million plan to revamp the river walk.

Park and Rec director Craig Hoeppner said the new south bridge would come in around $64,000 but then installation, bridge supports and concrete would bring the total to about $125,000.

Mayor Kraig Sadownikow and city administrator Jay Shambeau are helping spearhead an effort to recruit outside private funds for the project. At one point in the BID meeting, board member Peggy Fischer suggested the BID increase its donation to cover the entire $64,000. Larry Porter echoed her thought.

The final vote on $50,000 for the bridge project was approved 3 – 2.  Board members Herb Tennies, Brian Culligan and Wayne Kainz were absent and Adam Williquette abstained.

Voting in favor were John Hafeman, Mike Husar and Tony Jasen.  The two discenting votes were Fischer and Porter. The BID discussed a number of other items at its Tuesday meeting including the success of a recent cleanup of the flowerbeds and the success of its marketing plan with the DIVA group.

Stocky’s Fast Track has closed

There’s an auction June 20 – 21 at Stocky’s Fast Track in the Town of Trenton. Owner Jeff Stockhausen announced Sunday, May 28 he was closing after 16 years in business. Stockhausen said he’d like to sell the business but since he didn’t get any takers he is opting to lease the space. The building is roughly 21,000 square feet and the asking price through Boss Realty is $1.25 million.

Updates & tidbits

-The USGA has relocated one of the two main complimentary spectator parking lots for fans attending the 117th U.S. Open Championship at Erin Hills. The RED Lot has been moved to the Washington County Fair Park in West Bend. The USGA made the decision this week to use the alternate site because it would better manage adverse weather conditions.

– A public visitation in remembrance of Dylan Steffen will be held Wednesday, June 14, 2017 from 2 p.m. – 6 p.m. at the Myrhum Patten Miller & Kietzer Funeral Home, 1315 W. Washington St., West Bend.  Steffen, 22, a2013 graduate of West Bend West High School passed away Wednesday, May 31, 2017.

-The West Bend Bier Garten is June 10 – 11 at the Regner Park Pavilion. Sponsored by West Bend Friends of Park and Rec. Music, food, dancing and beer at the Silver Lining Stage.

– The 30th annual Washington County Breakfast on the Farm is Saturday, June 10 at the Golden ‘E’ Dairy Farm on 8262 Orchard Valley Road in the Town of Farmington.

-There are 59 new units being added in Phase II construction at Cast Iron Luxury Living in West Bend.  Phase II is officially over 25% pre-leased. Cast Iron is located in the former West Bend Company building. An opening celebration of Phase II is scheduled for Saturday, August 12. It will feature a pig roast with live entertainment.

-Homes for Independent Living is holding on-site caregiver interviews Wednesday, June 14 from 1 p.m. – 4 p.m. at 2395 W. Washington Street. Mention this post and earn a signing bonus up to $1,000.

– Action in Jackson is June 10 – 11 at Jackson Park in Jackson. Highlights include the woodcarving auction, music, food, amusements, and a noon parade Sunday.

-The Kettle Moraine Sport Riders 34th Annual Motorcycle Hill Climb is Father’s Day Sunday, June 18 at Sunburst Ski Hill. Gates open 9 a.m. and the first bike goes up the hill at noon.

A big day for grandma June Behm

It’s a big day for Grandma June Behm who turned 100 years old on Friday, June 9.

Behm was born June 9, 1917 when Woodrow Wilson was president of the United States. Behm was an only child, born in Cambridge, WI. She excelled in education and graduated high school at 16.

After school she went to work for the state government in the Industrial Commission in Madison. Behm was 24 when she married on May 10, 1941. She came to West Bend and worked for 25 years as a legal secretary at the O’Meara Law Office when it was located on the triangle, where Old Settler’s Park currently stands.

“They should have never torn down that building,” said Behm. “That was quite a landmark and they didn’t believe in keeping the antiques there. This was on the Main Street and it was featured on one of the telephone fliers.”

Behm recalled some of the attorneys at the firm including Jim Pouros, Steven O’Meara and Tom O’Meara.

“When I worked downtown I used to go shopping at Campbells and the Penny’s store,” she said. “They had a first floor and then clothing for sale in the balcony.”

A member of St. John’s Lutheran Church, Behm said she liked West Bend because it was “always friendly.”

Fondly referred to by her family as “The Dessert Queen” Behm could whip up some famous desserts including poppy seed torte and hoho cake.

The secret to longevity? “I don’t think anybody really knows,” laughed Behm. “Part of it is your ancestors.”

Below are some memories from her great grandchildren:

She crocheted me these cute little slippers that I still have! I wore them all the time and they were made with love. Also this beautiful needle point picture that hung on my bedroom wall my whole life… announcing my birth. So special to have those family made treasures! I can’t believe the amount of time and love that went into that given how many grandkids and great grandkids she has! It’s mind blowing. What a labor of love all those things were! And she never forgot a birthday or celebration – despite having so many family members to keep track of! I always got a card in the mail. That is dedication! She is such a gem. Also I can’t forget the forbidden peanut M&M jar on top of the dresser in her upstairs room.. one of my favorite parts of going there I must admit! Oh so many memories coming up… the lemon poppy seed torte and hoho cakes at her house in the summer. The long line of food – rolls, baked beans, coleslaw mm mm – going all through her kitchen. The park across the street. Crayfish in the stream. So many memories! All the owls on the table in her front room. I still remember the smell of her home and the art work on the walls and the mustard colored couch. —Kristin, Great granddaughter

I always loved going there and counting how many owl decorations and knick knacks she had, I counted all the way up to 80 or 90 I believe! Ha! —Marlissa, Great Granddaughter

I remember walking to her house after work, just to talk. We talked about everything from World War II and the Kennedy assassination to the recently elected Scott Walker. I always thought it interesting that all of those historical moments felt so far removed from myself but for her, seemed just like yesterday. Such a wealth of knowledge! —Joshua, Great Grandson

Most of my favorite memories were when we went out to Arizona to visit her and grandpa. We would always go out to their favorite Mexican restaurant, play cards and go hiking in Saguaro National Park. I also remember her taking us to this restaurant in the old western city that was decorated like a saloon. Ties weren’t allowed so we went to Goodwill to buy old ties and wear them to the restaurant and they would cut them off. Another fun memory was her taking us to Nogales, Mexico and getting a picture of us riding a donkey with a sombrero on. —Jamie, Great granddaughter

Peanut M&Ms; Ho Ho Cake; Poppy seed Torte; pool table in basement; holidays and various special occasions at Grandma and Grandpa’s; Christmas in October; Playing at the park across the road; Catching crayfish in the creek across the road; Sitting on the back patio looking on their well-kept yard; Rabbits, birds and squirrels in the back yard; Always happy to see you; always “proper”, never uncouth, etc.; Very loyal; Intelligent; Always enjoyed good conversation; faith and morals; strong opinions; “everything in moderation”; Good sense of humor; Dignified; Played cribbage with Grandpa every night; Enjoyment of sports (Badgers, Packers, Nascar—Matt Kenseth); Love of animals and nature; Used to fish with Grandpa, and went fishing with me a few times on Bass Lake.  Caught a nice 26” Northern Pike one time; Good with dogs and cats.  She used to take care of our cat Kookie during vacations, and when she’d sternly tell her to stay out of a certain room, she did!; In my adult life, she took care of our cat Felix at least once also; Staying at their place in Arizona; Grandma and Jake, our dog.  She would feed him buttered pumpernickel bread.  She insisted he liked it buttered best, so that’s what he got.  But he wasn’t allowed on the couch, and he obeyed her when she told him so; married 70 years and they still liked each other!; Lunches at Gma & Gpa’s, sometimes with friends of theirs or extended family – I believe this is how I first met folks like Inez and Arden; Their neighbors in AZ – “happy hour”; Personal appearance always nice; Stories she would tell; She seems to have always seen the best possible me in me, and that makes me want to be that person.  —Myles, Grandson

Grandma was a great wife.  She was always respectful, forgiving, supportive.  I remember her telling me once that she would always fix her hair a little and at least put a little lipstick on in the morning before making Grandpa’s breakfast for work because she didn’t want him to remember her looking like she just got out of bed.  I guess it paid off, since they were married for 70 years!  And if Grandpa were still here, he’d find her just the same.  She is always in full dress: hair done, face made-up, outfit and jewelry coordinated.  Maybe that’s what keeps her young!  That and her social nature.  She loves to visit and has always been wonderful at keeping in touch through the mail and the phone.  When I think of Grandma Behm, I think of the perfect Grandma…what you think of when you say, “grandmotherly,” yet few of us really have contact with such people.  She’s a beautiful combination of love and affection and stern expectations.  When I married into the Muckerheide family, I gained many blessings, and she is most definitely one of them.  Paula, Granddaughter-in-law

Grandma and Grandpa Behm had a cottage on Long Lake, which is north of Newald, getting close to the northern border of Wisconsin. When I was around 5 years old, my brother Mitch and I were staying overnight at their cottage. In the morning, grandma got us ready for church and told us NOT to get dirty while we were outside. Needless to say, I fell in the lake! ..or was I pushed?”–Matt, grandson

Around the Bend by Judy Steffes

New mammoth silo at West Bend Elevator

There’s a new silo on campus at West Bend Elevator on County Trunk Highway D and it’s quite the mammoth contraption. Construction started a couple weeks ago as crews built the roof first and then raised the silo from there. A crane was brought in for one day as the side panels were riveted into place.

The silo is about 80-feet high, which is about 8 stories, and the base includes 80-feet of cement. “That’ll hold 300,000 bushels,” said West Bend Elevator Vice President Doug Gonring.

The new silo is made up of 19 rings of panels and will be used for storage. In comparison, a silo being built at Adell Cooperative, located just west of Batavia, is 188-feet high. “That’s a pig of a bin,” said Gonring. Standing next to the other three silos it looks like one of those Russian nesting dolls.

Germantown Health Center to be renovated

Froedtert & the Medical College of Wisconsin is preparing to remodel more than just the West Bend Health Center as the Germantown Health Center, W168 N11237 Western Ave., Germantown, will also be renovated.


“To better meet the needs of our patients and accommodate future growth,” said Tim Olsen, manager of public relations.


Changes in Germantown include the addition of eight primary care rooms, along with four specialty rooms and a procedure room.


“The renovations support more efficient workflows and room use, and increase coordination of care for patients,” Olsen said. “The renovations also include site improvements to plumbing, heating/cooling, electrical, and security systems.” Olsen said the renovations to the Germantown Health Center will be complete in late fall.

On May 10, Olsen confirmed the remodel of West Bend Health Center, 1700 W. Paradise Drive.

That facility was built in 1990. The plan includes the relocation of the West Bend Surgery Center to the St. Joseph’s Hospital campus. The current health center, according to Olsen, will remain open to serve patients while the construction is underway.  A new West Bend Health Center is expected to begin in summer 2018.

Ron Zarling of West Bend on Honor Flight

It was an early rise and shine for Ron Zarling of West Bend today as he raced down to Milwaukee Mitchell International Airport to take off for Washington D.C. on the 39th mission of the Stars & Stripes Honor Flight.

Zarling was 19 years old when he was drafted. Living in Milwaukee and a 1952 graduate of West Division High School, Zarling was working at a typewriter shop when he got his marching orders from Uncle Sam.

“The typewriter shop was on 30th and Vliet Street and the business was called Rudolphs,” he said. “A father and son ran the shop and I was a delivery person and I also checked out typewriters.”

Underwood, Royal and Remington were all in a day’s work for Zarling. Once he entered service his first stop was Fort Leonard Wood for basic training.

It was April 1954 and it was 8 weeks of basic in the armored division of the U.S. Army and after that Zarling went into clerk/typist school.

“After basic I got my orders and it said I was going to Germany,” he said. “We took a troop ship and it was a slow freight and it took us three weeks to get to Germany.”

Zarling said the only good thing about the trip was getting a pass and stopping for a day in England.

Onto Heidelberg, Germany and Zarling was stationed at European Headquarters Command where he worked in the Machine Records Unit. “I had no idea what I would be doing and the next day they turned me into a keypunch operator and that was my career in the service,” Zarling said.

“We’d enter data onto the cards and after it went through the machine it would go up into the hopper. This was the first infrastructure of data processing.”

Logging morning reports, equipment inventory and personnel assignments would all cross Zarlin’s desk during a regular 8-hour day, 5 days a week. Zarling’s wife came over to Germany during his service. “Our first apartment was just one room in a building that used to be barracks for the Germans,” he said.

Stationed for two years Zarling said there was no conflict during his service. He was discharged in 1956.

Zarling has been to D.C. before. He said he is going to try to find his second cousin’s name on the WWII Memorial. Zarling’s guardian on the Honor Flight will be his oldest daughter Judy Ish.

West Bend Memorial Day details   

The Memorial Day parade in West Bend will step off at 9:30 a.m. on Monday, May 29 and head north from South Main Street and Oak Street to Hickory Street and back down Sixth Avenue to Poplar Street.

A ceremony will follow in the old Courthouse Square. That program begins at 11 a.m. and will feature World War II veteran Allan Kieckhafer as master of ceremonies.

The Reverend Clarissa Martinelli of Fifth Avenue Methodist Church will give the Invocation and Benediction. Other tributes will include a Preamble of the Constitution by West Bend East sophomore Grace Peplinski, Gettysburg Address by West Bend East sophomore Rachel Roeber, a reading of the poem “In Flanders Field” by West Bend West junior Anna Pitz and performances by the West Bend High School Band and the River City Irregulars.

The Memorial Day Speaker is Vietnam veteran Richard Lindbeck. In case of inclement weather the ceremony will move to the second floor chambers at the Old County Courthouse.

Assistant Principal for a day at St. Frances Cabrini

St. Frances Cabrini Principal Aaron Hilts had help from 2nd grader Taylor and 3rd grader Noah as the two boys were Assistant Principals for the day. The opportunity was an auction item at the annual St. Frances Cabrini Dinner Auction; their parents were the lucky winners.

The boys took the job seriously, even wearing suit jackets for the day. Among the tasks assigned was brainstorming some good new rules to suggest to their classroom teachers. They both produced lengthy lists that included ideas such as a no-homework afternoon, a Lego day, an out-of-dress code day, a kickball tournament, and extended time for gym and recess.

Construction on Hwy D

Some frustration for motorists on the north end of West Bend as construction got underway this week on County Trunk Highway (CTH) D. The work runs from the Highway 45 northbound ramps to Green Tree Road.

The road closure is a bit handcuffing as there’s no easy way around. Detours are marked. Neighbors in the nook of Young America will see a rather large increase in traffic as motorists are routed round the back way by the old Lighthouse Lanes and over the white knuckle wood bridge.

According to the Washington County Highway Department construction will begin by closing the road to thru traffic and then removing and replacing the concrete segment between USH 45 and Lighthouse Lane.

The driveway to West Bend Warehouse will be realigned and a left turn lane for traffic turning north onto Lighthouse Lane will be added to improve safety.

Construction will be staged to allow access between USH 45 and Lighthouse Lane and also to provide uninterrupted access for trucks traveling to and from West Bend Warehouse.

The contractor will also be repaving Lighthouse Lane from CTH D to the eastern entrance of The Columbian banquet hall. The construction should be finished by mid-August.

Motorists are asked to follow the posted detour route: USH 45, State Trunk Highway (STH) 33, and STH 144 (Main Street). Neighbors are asked to use extra care when driving in the construction area and obey all flagmen and construction signs. Alternate routes should be used if possible to avoid delays.

Updates & tidbits     

Financial adviser and Sunrise Rotary member Mike Nowak and West Bend Park & Rec Director Craig Hoeppner split the 2017 Betty Pearson Community Leadership Award. Pearson was the former executive director of the West Bend Chamber of Commerce.

– The West Bend  Veterans Honor Guard and the Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War met at 1 p.m. Saturday, May 20 at Holy Angels Cemetery in West Bend for a short ceremony to dedicate a new Memorial Monument for the Civil War veterans buried in that cemetery.

-More than 150 people turned out for a flag memorial dedication at the American Legion Lt. Ray Dickop Post 36. The ceremony was dedicated to the thousands of men and women who served their state and nation admirably.  The Post acknowledged their heroism and express sincere appreciation for their sacrifices. Guest speakers included the Honorable James Porous and comments from Janet and Andy Koehn, the daughter and grandson of D.J. Kenny.

– A note of thanks and hat tip of congratulations to Battalion Chief Todd Van Langen for 25 years of service at the West Bend Fire Department. Van Langen pulled his last shift this week.

-There is a ribbon cutting May 31 at the new Delta Defense headquarters on Freedom Way. The ceremony starts at 3 p.m. with a building blessing by Rev. Nathan Reesman followed by comments from USCCA’s Tim Schmidt, Mayor Kraig Sadownikow and Senator Ron Johnson.

-The West Bend Bier Garten is June 9 – 11 at the Regner Park Pavilion. Sponsored by West Bend Friends of Park and Rec. Music, food, dancing and beer at the Silver Lining Stage.

-Steve Wietor from Roffler Styling sold his property, 403 S. Seventh Avenue, to Kand’E Shop LLC for $147,000. The assessed value is $147,900.

– The 30th annual Washington County Breakfast on the Farm is Saturday, June 10 at the Golden ‘E’ Dairy Farm on 8262 Orchard Valley Road in the Town of Farmington.

-There are 59 new units being added in Phase II construction at Cast Iron Luxury Living in West Bend.  Phase II is officially over 25% pre-leased. Cast Iron is located in the former West Bend Company building. An opening celebration of Phase II is scheduled for Saturday, August 12. It will feature a pig roast with live entertainment.

– Action in Jackson is coming up June 9 – 11 at Jackson Park in Jackson. Highlights include the woodcarving auction, music, food, amusements, and a parade on Sunday.

– Volunteers joined in with crews from the city of West Bend and members of the Business Improvement District to plant flowers as part of Spring Clean-Up Day in downtown West Bend.

Remembering Prescott’s Pick ‘n Save

There were a lot of grocery updates in the local news this week as Meijer opened on S. Main Street in West Bend and the two Pick ‘n Save stores added new signage as an interior remodel slides into its final stage.

There’s quite a bit of scuttlebutt on how the stores will compete in a small town of 30,000+.

Some neighbors say the grocery bar has been set pretty high in West Bend primarily because of the performance of George Prescott and his team at the old Prescott’s Pick ‘n Save.

The Prescott legacy dates to 1971 – 1972 when Ed Prescott, George’s father, started the family-owned grocery.  It was a SuperValue store located on S. Main Street in West Bend in the old West Fair Mall.

A post on the blog Stores Forever indicated “Prescott’s took up 15-20k square feet ….large for a supermarket at the time and for the size of the city at the time. A larger Kohl’s Supermarket was up the street, in one of West Bend’s first shopping centers, West Bend Plaza.”

The Milwaukee Business Journal reports in “1978, George Prescott purchased the West Bend store, and then bought his father’s three remaining stores in Ripon and Oshkosh in 1981.”

It wasn’t until 2002 when Prescott sold his two Pick ‘n Save stores in West Bend along with several others to Roundy’s. The standards at Prescott’s Pick ‘n Save carry quite the legacy in West Bend.

Folks remember George knew the names of all his employees. He had a college investment program for staff. When Pick ‘n Save sold a winning lottery ticket, George shared the kickback from the Wisconsin Lottery with staff.

There was also a slot at the courtesy counter when you walked into the south store and you could mail your We Energies bill without a stamp.

Some of the notable high-caliber people on George’s team included the friendly faces of Chuck Benjamin, Greg Grimm, Jerry Hardy, and Ralph Prescott … to name a few.

Leslie wrote in to Stores Forever, “And actually, the mall did open into Prescott’s. There was a right angle with a ramp down to the grocery store at the far end of the mall. I know that for a fact because my sister and I would get into trouble riding carts down that ramp! Great memories.”

   What do you remember about George and the standards set at Prescott’s Pick ‘n Save?

Shellie Becker – I remember him always interacting with the customer’s and he always had a smile on his face. His plaid suits.

Cathy Lawton – Yes the plaid suits and that infectious smile. He is quite a man.

Dustin Denis – I worked for him for 5.5 years in high school and college. Was one of the best business owners I’ve ever met. Down to earth and really cared about his people. I was a no name bagger kid in high school yet he’d stop by to say hi and see how things were going. I think the majority of his employees through the years respect that man to this day.

Patty Engstad Peterson – Mr. Prescott hired my mentally challenged brother in the 70’s, he will always be a hero in my eyes. In return my brother was a hard working man who gave 100%, I will forever be grateful for what this man did!

Becky Trzebiatowski – Gaynor I worked for George for many years at Pick N Save South. He was always friendly, caring, and knew his employees by their first name. He would stop and talk with his employees to catch up on what was going on. I also appreciated the dollars for scholars program as I was saving money for college. I am proud to say I use to work for him.

Sue Drews Rindfleisch – George by far was the best businessman I have ever had the privilege to work for. He cared about every single one of his employees and it showed every time you saw him. Truly a very caring and giving man in many ways!!!

Deb Anderson – I worked in the floral department (now the entry to the new senior center!). George Prescott always had a warm greeting and smile for his employees. There was a very different relationship in those days between employers and employees. They appreciated…See More

Barb Peterson – I moved to West Bend in ’84 and remember Prescott’s Shoprite before it became P&S South. Employees not only bagged your groceries, but helped load it into your car. In the winter, people left their cars running in the parking lot to keep them warm. Unheard of now-a-days.

Chris Uhrig Steiner – I worked for George at the Super Val from 74-76 when I went away to college. He was a fantastic boss & a great neighbor! I learned so much and was given the opportunity to work in many areas of the store. It was a privilege to have George as my first boss

Sherrie Rumick – I worked at Prescott’s Super Value/Shop Rite 1978-1984. What a great working experience for a student going through school. Was a pleasure to work with George and Judy, and rest of the crew!

Wendy Hofmann-Galecki – He was one of the best people I’ve worked for. Always addressed all his employees by name and recognized you for something you did great in the store. Very friendly and visible in his store. Pick and Save’s have never been the same since George left

Jerry Fellenz – I shopped at the South Main store most every week. I would see him greet customers as they entered the store and always thank them as they left. A good guy who worked hard and an asset to the community.

Sue Stautz Meyer – He always had a smile and a kind word. No one was beneath him. His student program helped many a child succeed. He was sincere…you can’t fake that.

Jim Strowig – When I was a kid he has asked me if I needed help finding anything, I always said I know where everything is, always smiled and was cheerful

Tracy Wilson – Great man! Great business! 10 years I worked for him in the floral dept! Those were the good ol days! Loved the team, loved the job, and learned a lot!!

Ryan Lesperance – Best boss I have ever had. You felt proud working hard for him. One of the most generous people I have ever met

Ed Tennies – When the tornado hit WB he opened his heart and store to the community.

Helen Wolf – He was always very friendly and spent a lot of time actually walking around the store talking with employees and customers.

Diane Johns DelVecchio – I worked for George at the store and appreciated all he did for the community. Not only did he have dollars for scholars he had the homeowner program. He would contribute money in a fund for you and after so many years you could use that money to buy a new house, or to do improvements on your existing house. When he sold the business he could have just said sorry that I can’t pass this on to Roundys. He actually distributed the contributions to us. He is the best boss I ever have had!

Mary Rieder I worked at the Pick n Saves from the time George opened the north store in West Bend till he sold to Roundys. Meet my husband there & all 6 of our kids worked at the Pick n Saves at one time or another. We appreciated the Home Ownership program & all of our kids got involved in Dollars for Scholars. George was a great business owner and I have never regretted staying at one job for so many years.

Bob Hamacher George was the best boss I ever worked for. He treated everyone with respect and made you want to give your all for him.

Kerianne Wolf Prescott’s Pick n Save was my very first job as a teen. George was always smiling and asking staff and customers how they were doing and if he could assist in any way. What a great man to work for. He held his everyone to very high standards.

Jim Schwartz We used to live just down the street when Judy and George came to town and managed Super Value they went to work early in the day and came home late. They were both hard workers and community ordinated. Over the years they have contributed many hours, goods and much good will to West Bend. Thanks Judy and George wish you the best

Heather Yahnke-Klump I worked at the North store throughout college. The dollars for scholars program helped me immensely. George was a very nice guy who was very interactive with customers and staff.


Judy Steffes, Editor

Washington County Insider


Around the Bend by Judy Steffes

West Bend WWII veteran Dorthy Bein on Sunday Honor Flight

A big weekend ahead for Dorothy Bein, 96, of West Bend as she will be one of only two women who served during WWII on this Sunday’s Stars and Stripes Honor Flight.

“I am delighted,” said Bein. “My son Dan Eggerding has done most of the arranging and I think he’s more than I am.”

Sitting in her apartment at Cedar Bay West on a rainy afternoon Bein spoke about how she enlisted in the U.S. Coast Guard when she was 22 years old.

“I was a teacher and I was working in northern Wisconsin,” she said. “One of the teachers on staff came across an advertisement looking for a person who was a mathematician and I applied for it and strangely enough I got it.”

The year was 1945 and Bein went to Atlanta, Georgia and trained Navy pilots to “fly” in flight trainers or a Link Trainer.  “I went for three months where I got training in math and equipment,” she said. “I was an Instrument Flight Instructor; my rank was Specialist T and the ‘T’ stood for teacher.”

The Link Trainers simulated flight instruction for pilots. One of the main reasons the U.S. won the war against Japan was because pilots could be trained quickly and efficiently.  Once the very experienced, very well trained Japanese pilots died when their carriers sank, there were no real replacements. Bein was a part of that effort.

According to her son Dan, his mom actually landed on an aircraft carrier in a two-seater fighter to experience what it was like as a pilot. ” I remember her telling me about it when I was young,” he said. “It was very advanced for its time.”

After training, Bein was transferred to Elizabeth City, North Carolina. “It was the largest Coast Guard air base at the time,” she said.

For the next three years Bein taught pilots on the Link Trainer. “We’d put a hood over the cockpit so the pilots couldn’t see – almost like they were flying blind,” she said.

The simulator could be made to bank and maneuver. “At times we would put in rough weather,” she said. “There was some digital equipment that tracked the flight plan and we’d send signals via Morse code with dots and dashes and with that they’d find their way to the airbase.”

Bein recalled how her mother discouraged her from entering the Coast Guard. “I thought it was excellent being a woman in the military,” said Bein. “I was thrilled to be able to do it.”

Bein was 25 years old when she met and married Milferd Eggerding, a Sergeant in the U.S. Army. The couple moved to Chicago and had two boys. Milferd was tragically killed in an auto accident after he was struck by a train at a blind crossing.

Bein raised the two boys for 15 years by herself. She later remarried. Bein is looking forward to seeing the monuments in D.C.  Her son Dan will be her guardian.

Robert Schotzko on Sunday Honor Flight                              By Ann Marie Craig

As he sat at his kitchen table, Robert Schotzko of West Bend thumbed through the yellowed and well-worn War Department Technical Manual TM10-412, a leftover from WWII, but useful even today. It is one of Robert’s prized possessions and one that he used frequently when serving during the Korean War. He was an Army cook in Darmstadt, Germany, and this was his Army Recipes cookbook.

Robert is now 85 and is one of the veterans participating in the upcoming May 21 Stars & Stripes Honor Flight to Washington DC. Originally from Eau Claire, Wisconsin, he joined the Army right after high school, inspired because of the loss of his best friend who served in the US Army on Korean soil. He began Basic Training at Fort Chaffee in Arkansas and was transferred to Darmstadt, Germany with the 816th FA Battalion for further training.

“Shortly after my arrival in Germany,” he tells the story, “I was riding in a half-track and a jeep pulled up alongside.” “Can anybody in here cook?” came the shout from the jeep.” Robert paused for a moment in the telling with a twinkle in his eye. “I didn’t hesitate for a moment,” he said. “I just answered, ‘I can!’”

“We served meals in two shifts of more than 100 personnel at each sitting and had to make sure there were enough leftovers for anyone who came late.

There were five cooks on duty at all times and they rotated through the kitchen at various stations; one day I would prepare all the meats, another day I would work on vegetables or desserts.

We took turns. I can still remember the first time a General came through the line – he was first in line – but he ate the same regular breakfast as everyone else.”

Holiday meals were a bit more special. Tablecloths would adorn the tables and a special menu would be prepared.

One Thanksgiving Dinner included fresh shrimp cocktail, roast tom turkey, dressing, mashed potatoes with giblet gravy, sweet potatoes, lima beans, salads, hot rolls, pies, coffee, fruit, candies, and nuts.

Cooking in the field was different than cooking at the base and could be intense if supplies were low.

Robert remembered a certain mashed potato incident where kitchen magic, which will remain a secret, saved the day.

He remained in Darmstadt as a cook for the extent of his service, but was able to travel a bit in Germany and Holland and France. He found the rebuilding of Darmstadt, which was flattened by English bombs during WWII, fascinating. “I paid close attention to the placement of cobblestones and learned a bit about masonry as I watched them rebuild the city,” he said.

After his tour of duty, Robert returned to Eau Claire to help his father on the farm. He married Marie and moved to the Milwaukee area to work at American Motors. One day he saw a pamphlet that mentioned West Bend and he was intrigued. He and his wife decided to move here and they raised seven children together in West Bend. He found work at Simplicity in Port Washington and worked there until his retirement.

Robert is excited to have the opportunity to look around Washington DC, where he has never been before. His son Skip, of Eau Claire will be his guardian. His daughter Jane, of West Bend, is also going as the guardian of one of Robert’s closest friends.

Other Washington County veterans on Sunday’s flight include Don Gloede of West Bend a vehicle driver in the Army during the Korean War, Ron Zarling of West Bend, a record keeper in the Army during the Korean War, Ken Matheny of Hartford an MP in the Army during the Korean War, and Richard Schuetz who served in the Navy during the Korean War.

Former Packer Donald Driver in Hartford on Monday

Students at Hartford’s Central Middle School will have their green and gold on this Monday as former Green Bay Packer Donald Driver will be paying them a visit. This past April students in Hartford donated 164,170 items during the Goodwill Pack’er Up Donation Challenge. Hartford students competed against 717 schools and won a visit from the Super Bowl Champ. Hartford Mayor Tim Michalak will present the “key to the city” to Driver during the all-school assembly.

New signs for Pick ‘n Save

A rather interesting scenario of events on Tuesday as the new Meijer store opened on S. Main Street in West Bend. There was quite a bit of fanfare with a ribbon cutting and donations to the West Bend School District and the West Bend Parks Department.

While that was going on there was some activity to the north as Pick ‘n Save put up its new signage. The Kroger Co. took over Roundy’s last year and the two stores in West Bend are undergoing a major remodel. The sign change is part of the process along with revamping the interior.

Neighbors have noticed the floral department has been moved to the front of the store near the produce. There’s new shelving and signage and a brighter look to the entrance of the store, new self-check machines at the checkout and the pharmacy area and facade for the liquor department have been revamped.

New T-Mobile opening in West Bend

A new T-Mobile store is going to open next month in the West Bend Shopping Center. T-Mobile is a national provider of wireless voice, messaging, and data services. There are a bunch of T-Mobile stores in the Milwaukee area. The new store in West Bend will be in the strip mall space to the north of Papa Murphy’s Pizza. It’s expected to open in June.

Town of Kewaskum approves a shelter for vulnerable men

There was quite a bit of debate Monday night at the Town of Kewaskum board meeting as members of the Plan Commission reviewed a conditional use permit for development of a Community Living Arrangement at 4265 County Highway H.

A public hearing before the Town Board started with a statement from Russ Wanta, executive director with Habitat for Humanity of Washington and Dodge Counties. Wanta talked about using the teachings of Jesus Christ to help rehabilitate men who may have strayed off a productive path in life.

Wanta and Kettlebrook pastor Troy Loether are the ones behind the Kairos Ranch; a property owned by Roger and Ann Neumann, is described as a “Community Living Arrangement consisting of a self-sustaining, self-funding Christian boarding house/transitional living ranch to reconcile vulnerable men to God.”

There were a number of people who spoke against the proposal as neighbors expressed concerns about safety, a drop in property values, and a lack of information on how the program would operate.

During the Town Board discussion Sandy Pasbrig brought up a number of issues including what the term “vulnerable man” actually meant.

There were also questions about the level of violent criminal past of some of the residents, how to screen potential residents with background checks, qualified staffing issues, neighborhood safety, how long a resident would be at the facility, and how contact with law enforcement would be measured.

After two hours of discussion the Plan Commission added several stipulations to the original proposal and then voted 6 – 1 to allow the proposal to move forward. Pasbrig was the only dissenting vote. The Town Board voted 3 – 0 and passed the proposal.

After the meeting Rick Martens, who lives next to the property, spoke about his displeasure. “Ultimately from day one they hung ‘religion’ on it and at that point the board’s hands were tied,” he said. “I’m dead set against it … but it is what it is. They’re going to bring in the felons and just at the end of the day this was pushed down our throats.”

Bonnie Will lives adjacent to the property on Highway H. She said she wished she had been notified about the proposal. “I would just like to know more about it,” she said. “We’ve been neighbors with Neumanns forever and I just feel hurt they couldn’t explain or stop in and just stay something to us to let us know what’s happening.”

After the meeting Loether said he is excited but he also wants to do right by the community. “We want to address any concerns people have,” he said. “They expressed valid concerns tonight and we want to make sure we have our team ready to go and work hard toward that end.”

Loether said the home needs some rehab and this will take some time just to get things going.

Cedar Lake Yacht Club

A large gathering at Cedar Lake Yacht Club on Saturday for the dedication of a 1941 Wooden Palmer C Scow that now hangs in the foyer of the club. Bruce Rosenheimer and Hugh Wakefield relayed details about the restored wood sea boat that belonged to the Wrigley family. The boat had been in storage 70 years and was rescued by Wakefield, restored and sold to Rosenheimer who donated it to the club.  Olympic gold medal winner and National Sailing Hall of Famer Harry “Buddy” Melges, Jr. was the guest speaker at the dedication.

West Bend Memorial Day details

The Memorial Day parade in West Bend will step off at 9:30 a.m. on Monday, May 29 and head north from South Main Street and Oak Street to Hickory Street and back down Sixth Avenue to Poplar Street. A ceremony will follow in the old Courthouse Square. That program begins at 11 a.m. and will feature World War II veteran Allan Kieckhafer as master of ceremonies. Other tributes will include a tribute to the American flag, Preamble of the Constitution, Gettysburg Address, a reading of the poem “In Flanders Field” and performances by the West Bend High School Band and the River City Irregulars. In case of inclement weather the ceremony will move into the second floor chambers at the Old County Courthouse.

Staffing firm to open in former Ole’ Time Cleaners

Alliances Services, Inc. is moving from the Industrial Park in Jackson into the former Ol Tyme Cleaners, 910 S. Main Street in West Bend.

“We’re a health care staffing firm,” said owner and director of nursing Georgianna Dee. “We staff .long term facilities including Cedar Community, Lasata, The Pavilion at Glacier Valley in Slinger and major hospitals in Wisconsin including Aurora, Ascension and University of Wisconsin Hospital.”

Alliance Services, Inc. has been in business 17 years. Dee said they have between 100 active staff and over 300 in their data base. “I used to live in West Bend and when I saw there was a building available I got excited because I like the community, especially the restaurants,” said Dee. Watch for new signage to go up shortly at Alliances Services, Inc.

Teens arrested for vandalism to Downtown West Bend Theatre

West Bend Police have taken four teens into custody in connection with a storyWashingtonCountyInsider.com reported on Tuesday about vandalism to the downtown West Bend Theatre, 125 N. Main Street.

On Tuesday May 16 2017 at 8:45 a.m., a City of West Bend employee found the rear door to the downtown West Bend Theatre unlocked. Police checked the building and observed thousands of old movie tickets scattered throughout the building and found numerous shattered light bulbs on the floor. Investigators identified four suspects; an 18-year-old male, a 15-year-old male, and two 14-year-old males.

On Wednesday, May 17, West Bend Police took the four suspects into custody for Entry to Locked Building and Criminal Damage to Property. A request for charges against the adult was sent to the Washington County District Attorney’s Office and the three juveniles were referred to Juvenile Authorities.

Updates & tidbits     

-There is a ribbon cutting May 31 at the new Delta Defense headquarters on Freedom Way. The ceremony starts at 3 p.m. with a building blessing by Rev. Nathan Reesman followed by comments from USCCA’s Tim Schmidt, Mayor Kraig Sadownikow and Senator Ron Johnson.

– The Richfield Historical Society invites you to “Never Curse the Rain” by Jerry Apps, on Thursday, May 25, at 7 p.m., at the Richfield Fire Hall, 2008 State Road 175. Admission is free and open to the Richfield Historical Society Members.

-Steve Wietor from Roffler Styling sold his property, 403 S. Seventh Avenue, to Kand’E Shop LLC for $147,000. The assessed value is $147,900.

-There are 59 new units being added in Phase II construction at Cast Iron Luxury Living in West Bend.  Phase II is officially over 25% pre-leased. Cast Iron is located in the former West Bend Company building. An opening celebration of Phase II is scheduled for Saturday, August 12. It will feature a pig roast with live entertainment.

-The annual Dancing for a Difference was last Friday at the Chandelier Ballroom in Hartford. The fundraiser for Citizen Advocates of Washington County featured Christophe Jenkins, Abbey Boehm, Mary Beth Emmer, Austin Luedtke, Amy Zimmer, Scott Bicknell, Amy Pingel Schultz, Sue Bietsch, Bonnie Heshelman and a performance by special ‘mystery dancer’ Scott Lopas. The winner of the Popular Vote Trophy was Amy Zimmer and Scott Bicknell had a perfect 30 and was the winner of the Technical Trophy.

Around the Bend by Judy Steffes

Special Mother’s Day at Hillcrest Farms in Allenton

A triplet set of Meridian heifer calves were born Thursday to one of the oldest cows at Hillcrest Farms in Allenton.

“We were anticipating twins but we didn’t know there were triplet heifer calves in there,” said Shannon Dwyer. “It’s pretty rare to have triplets but it’s even more rare to have females. Normally when you have multiple births one is a female and another is a male; it’s just extremely rare.”

Dwyer works the farm with her parents Tom and Mary Dwyer. It’s the original homestead of her grandparents Harold and Margie Seyfert who started the farm in the early 1950s.

Dwyer said all the calves were born unassisted. Each calf weighed about 65 pounds at birth. “Each one is healthy and very spunky,” she said.

While the girls are doing fine, Dwyer said the 6-year-old mama cow is actually doing great.

“This is a pretty stressful experience for her,” said Dwyer. “This cow is amazing. She looks great, is in great condition and she had enough milk to feed all three calves and then some so she’s really impressed us.”

Preparing for the births Dwyer said the vet came out to check the pregnancies. “We make note of anyone who has a multiple birth,” she said. “We’ll give them more time off from the milking herd.

“We gave her some extra attention last night; she had been through a lot. We already had her checked out so we’ll continue to give her special care.”

Just a day ahead of Mother’s Day weekend, the calves are settling in and Mary Dwyer has already welcomed them into the family.

“My mom named the girls Billy Jo, Bobbi Jo, and Betty Jo,” said Shannon Dwyer.

One odds maker said the chances of having triplet heifer calves is about 1 in 400,000.

Old pedestrian bridge For Sale

The Bridge to Nowhere is for sale. Steve Awve, owner of West Bend Crane Inc., put the bridge on the market the day after removing it from over the Milwaukee River in downtown West Bend. Awve was paid $24, 500 to remove the 40,000-pound steel bridge. He is working to refurbish the bridge, put in a new steel deck and “make it look nice.” Awve said three other cities are already interested in the bridge, which he will build to suit. Contact Steve Awve for more information 262-689-7728. On a side note: Awve would like to extend a thank you to West Bend city engineer Max Marechal for “being great to work with” during the bridge removal process.

New facility for West Bend Health Center

A new facility is in the works for the West Bend Health Center, 1700 W. Paradise Drive in West Bend. In an effort to best serve the community of West Bend, the Froedtert & the Medical College of Wisconsin health network is working on a comprehensive plan to address “meeting long-term community needs for health services.”

Tim Olsen is the manager of public relations at Froedtert & the Medical College of Wisconsin

“The new building will enable more efficiencies and better support care processes and technology that have developed since the West Bend Health Center was built in 1990,” Olsen said.  “The current health center will remain open to serve patients while the construction work is underway.”

Olsen said Froedtert is in the “early, early stages” of planning and the new design is still a work in progress.

The plan does include the relocation of the West Bend Surgery Center to the St. Joseph’s Hospital campus.

“The plan will follow the Froedtert & Medical College of Wisconsin philosophy of providing the right care in the right place at the right time,” said Olsen.

“This level of commitment is a reflection of how important the West Bend community and Washington County are in the health system’s growth plans.”

West Bend Mayor Kraig Sadownikow confirmed early Tuesday he had heard rumblings there could be some new construction ahead for the West Bend Health Center.

“An organization as significant as Froedtert does not take infrastructure investment lightly,” he said. “I’m certain their decision points to the strength of our local economy and community.”

The news about more construction in West Bend follows on the heels on several other significant developments including a new corporate headquarters for Delta Defense, Meijer opening Tuesday, May 16, a new Honda dealership coming to West Bend, and finally Pizza Ranch to open in the former Ponderosa building.

Sadownikow qualifies the development as a well-rounded growth patterns.

“Residential construction is strong and we have seen expansion and growth in our commercial and industrial markets as of late. When these markets are strong healthcare and retail expansion typically follow closely behind,” he said. “Fortunately West Bend continues to have strong education, strong job opportunities, and is a safe community that really is attractive to people of all ages.” Construction of a new West Bend Health Center is expected to begin in summer 2018.

Juliene Riffel Hefter to receive national Paragon Award

A nice honor for Juliene Riffel Hefter of West Bend who was recently notified she will be receiving the 2017 Paragon Award in the category of Recreational Swimming. Bruce Wigo, CEO/ President International Swimming Hall of Fame, said the award recognizes Riffel Hefter’s “outstanding service and contributions towards advancing the aquatic discipline of Recreational Swimming.” Riffel Hefter said she is honored and humbled to receive the award.

“Aquatics has been my passion since I was very young and I’ve been truly blessed to be able to do what I love to do for a lifelong career and promote drowning prevention and education to so many communities nationally and internationally,” she said.  “Being recognized by Pentair and the International Swimming Hall of Fame is amazing and it’s especially rewarding as I can remember swimming at the Hall of Fame pool for college training and it was an experience of a lifetime. Getting recognized there will only add to that experience.”

Riffel Hefter is the Executive Director/CEO for the Association of Aquatic Professionals. She is a 1982 graduate of St. Frances Cabrini School, a 1986 graduate of West Bend West High School and started her career as the Manager of Recreation Services for the City of West Bend.

The award will be presented Friday, August 25, 2017 at the International Swimming Hall of Fame in Fort Lauderdale, on the occasion of the 2017 ISHOF Honors Weekend.

Setting veterans markers in Washington Co. Memorial Park cemetery

There were sunny skies and a bit of a breeze on Saturday but more-than-desirable working conditions for a group of volunteers who replaced veterans markers on graves at Washington County Memorial Park. Hundreds of markers were measured to a standard 8 inches and the plastic marker noting the time of service was replaced with a metal marker. The project is being done prior to Memorial Day. The West Bend Memorial Day parade will step off at 9:30 a.m. Monday, May 29. A ceremony will follow at the Old Courthouse Square on Fifth Avenue and Poplar. The keynote speaker will be Vietnam veteran Richard Limbeck.

 Jim Spella to be honored by Greater Milwaukee Foundation

Community-minded attorney James Spella is being named the Greater Milwaukee Foundation’s 2017 Professional Adviser of the Year for his decades of thoughtful service to clients in West Bend and beyond.   Spella is a partner at Schloemer Law Firm in downtown West Bend.

Law Enforcement Memorial

May 15 through May 20, 2017 is National Police Week in the U.S. On Thursday, May 18, 2017 at 7 p.m. at the Washington County Fair Park Pavilion, Washington County Law Enforcement Agencies will host a Law Enforcement Memorial Service to honor Washington County Law Enforcement Officers that died in the line of duty, and to pay tribute to all police officers throughout the country that have paid the ultimate sacrifice. All citizens are invited and encouraged to attend this ceremony.

KML student to cover U.S. Open at Erin Hills

Kettle Moraine Lutheran High School junior Jacob Moeller will have quite the summer experience as he was just notified he will be part of the media covering the U.S. Open.

Moeller is a student reporter for WashingtonCountyInsider.com

This year he has covered the sports scene at KML reporting on boys basketball, soccer and cross country.  Moeller is a strong writer whose story content makes you feel like you’re on the sideline. He turns in assignments on deadline and manages to juggle a busy schedule with school, sports, work and his commitment to his faith.

Watch for stories and video updates from Moeller during the U.S. Open coming to Erin Hills, June 12 – 18 on WashingtonCountyInsider.com

Updates & tidbits

-This year’s recipients of the Rolf’s Educational Foundation Teacher Awards: Mark Drake – High School Category, Donna Goetz – Professional Special Services Category, Kylie Thompson – Middle School Category, Mickiah Wolff – Elementary Category.

-On Monday, May 15 at 7 a.m. the traffic signals outside the new Meijer store, 2180 S. Main Street in West Bend will switch to full rotation. This past week the lights flashed yellow and red in an effort to prepare motorists for the new traffic pattern at the intersection of Humar and S. Main. Meijer opens Tuesday, May 16.

-Forward Dental in West Bend is now providing Pediatric Dental Care. Dr. Stephen Froehlich will be accepting patients ages 13 years and under.

-There will be a dedication ceremony Saturday, May 20 at 1 p.m. at Holy Angels Cemetery on Main and Decorah to recognize the Civil War memorial stones being installed at all cemeteries in Washington County. This is the first of a number of ceremonies honoring our county’s Civil War vets.  This effort was, in large part initiated by Gene Wendelborn and Terry Vrana.

-Rep. Bob Gannon presented Dr. Tom Albiero of West Bend with the Hometown Hero Award this week in Madison. Gannon praised Albiero’s work and volunteer spirit with the Albrecht Free Clinic in West Bend.

– Two people in the district office in the West Bend School District have turned in their resignations including Chief Operating Officer Valley Elliehausen and Director of Accountability and Assessment Kurt Becker. Elliehausen has been with the district since 1997. Pending approval Elliehausen’s resignation will be effective June 14 and Becker on June 30.

– Holy Angels Student of the Month for April includes Emily Rauch, Alex Gonzalez and Nate Waech. Emily is a kind and friendly person who combines these personality traits with hard work and effort. Alex is smart and outgoing, with a lot of energy. Nate is a polite, confident, likable student.

– Jacob Beine, a junior at West Bend East, and Liam Hupfer, a junior at West Bend West High Schools both earned the highest possible ACT composite score of 36.

-The annual Ride of Silence is Wednesday, May 17 in the parking lot just south of the Museum of Wisconsin Art. The Ride of Silence aims to raise the awareness of motorists, police and city officials that cyclists have a legal right to the public roadways.

-The Eleventh Annual SAMBA Chicken Dinner is Saturday, May 13 in the Lions Pavilion in Allenton Veterans Memorial Park.

-Thanks to generous family foundations, corporations, community organizations, civic organizations, and the COLUMNS Foundation, West Bend High School seniors were presented with more than $680,000 in scholarships and awards. The Scholarship/Awards Night was held at the Silver Lining Arts Center.

What do you remember about the May 10, 1990 snowstorm?

This week neighbors across Washington County remembered 27 years ago and the snowstorm that occurred May 10, 1990.

It was late spring, baby birds were in the nest, trees and plants were blossoming and Mother Nature decided to heave 10 inches of heavy, wet snow into our lap. What do you remember?

Melissa Schubert I remember that day. We were so excited to start wearing shorts in May – school rules- and then that happened.

Rob McKnight We were moving to Wisconsin from Alaska and the blizzard stopped our moving truck. Welcome to the real frozen tundra!

Sarah Stier Rescuing my geraniums, snowman with the kids, no telephone!

Jodi Pisarski Aderman I was a senior in high school. I thought my mom was kidding when she woke me up to tell me there was no school. Part of our tree fell on top of our house. My dad, who was a West Allis cop, had to work overtime from 3rd shift because of all the accidents and came home so tired, my brother and I shoveled the driveway.

Samantha Tennies Hearing the trees Crack over my head as I was trying to walk to my son’s day care. They had heat. My apartment did not. Did not make it. Was picked up by my friend Susie and spent the day with her family making snowmen. One of my fondest memories.

Terry Rosenthal I counted 11 cars in the ditch on HWY 45 from Jackson to Kewaskum. When I arrived at the HS, I found out that was school was canceled. the trees looked really strange in the sunlight because the leaves glowed green with the snow covering them.

Denis Kelling One of the most fun days of my life! I was working at Coca Cola and had a ride along on the truck with me that day. A gentleman from Australia! Never seen snow in his life!

Steve Hoogester My kids waking me up saying school was cancelled because of snow. My response was …nice try. Then they make me look out the window.

LJ Eggert My husband and I JUST moved back from Mesa Arizona! We rolled into the Appleton area, experiencing Mother Nature’s sense of humor, and wondered where in the back of our rental truck our winter coats resided! YIKES! We were quite cold in our little spring jackets!

Schalon Schleicher I was in my senior year of high school. I worked at the nursing home and they came to pick me up for work. I could not drive at the time. lol that seems like a lifetime ago!

Debby Wolfe-Schmid I remember my wash lines hanging half way to the ground with several inches of snow accumulating on them and propping our clump birch tree up with 2x4s

Andy Perreth Our lilacs were in full bloom when it hit. Lost them all.

Laurie Schloemer Aleven I was walking to my last final exam at UWM! When I got there… found out it was cancelled…ugh!

Donna Kuhaupt I remember going for a walk and seeing the nest of beautiful blue robin eggs surrounded by snow…so sad.

Naomi Hanson Schueller I remember my mom driving us to school and picking up the science teacher, who was walking, on the way!

Dave Kearns I remember that the next major snowstorm that year came on October 10th. Five months to the day after the May 10th storm.

Michele Baertlein Jackett I remember my parents waking me up to bring plants in!

Kristopher Haessler My 13th birthday and no school, what a great present!

Around the Bend by Judy Steffes

Four branches of Guaranty Bank closing in Washington County

The Feds have shut down Guaranty Bank in Milwaukee and the fallout will affect four branches located in stores across Washington County. According to the federal Office of the Comptroller of the Currency – Guaranty Bank branches inside retail outlets that will not reopen in Washington County include the Walmart locations in West Bend and Hartford, the Pick ‘n Save in Germantown and the Piggly Wiggly in Slinger. Branches in Washington County that will re-open during normal business hours include the West Bend branch at 876 S. Main Street.

New Honda car dealership coming to West Bend.

There’s a Honda car dealership coming to West Bend. Morrie’s Automotive Group of Minneapolis was officially awarded “the point” in April.

“We’re excited to open a Honda store in West Bend,” said Karl Schmidt, CEO with Morrie’s since 2009.

“They are specific in their naming structure so it would be Honda of West Bend or Morrie’s Honda –something like that.”

Schmidt was in West Bend on Friday, April 31 scouting properties. “We met with Ben Weiland from CBRE and we flew over and looked at real estate and made a few calls,” Schmidt said.

An exact location for the new dealership is expected to be determined within the next week; the new store should be operational in 12 months.

“In order for that to happen we have to start construction in 4 to 5 months from now,” Schmidt said. “The manufacturer has an expectation to function on five acres and the store will probably have $60 to $70 million in total revenue selling 1,500 to 2,000 new and used cars a year.”

Mayor Kraig Sadownikow said the Morrie’s group sounds a bit like “the Twin Cities version of Russ Darow.”

“It’s absolutely exciting for West Bend,” said Sadownikow. “Honda is a big name and not only from a development standpoint but bringing visitors from outside the area; we’re looking for that.”

In terms of another car dealership coming to West Bend, Sadownikow said overall the city’s business base is pretty well rounded.

“It’s a positive we’re an attractant for a national automobile dealer franchise,” he said. “It’s a positive our community is being recognized as being viable not just for Ford, Chevy, GMC and Chevy which we’ve had for a long, long time but now Nissan and Honda taking a look at West Bend is important.”

Craig Sorbo, general manager of Russ Darrow Chrysler, said West Bend will be a good fit for Honda. “The more the merrier; it’s just going to drive more people to this community,” he said.

Sorbo talked about a strong bond with other area auto dealers like Heiser and Boucher. “Right now everybody’s on the same page and we want to do what’s best for the community, what’s best for the customers and I think this is great.”

The new Honda dealership will be full service; carrying new and used vehicles, parts and service.

“We’ll bring 60 to 70 new jobs, which is exciting for the area and for us,” said Schmidt. “We love the Wisconsin market and hope to be a good partner in the area and do well.”

On a side note:

-Morrie’s has a Mazda store between Chippewa Falls and Eau Claire.

– The closest Honda dealership is 91st and Brown Deer Road in Milwaukee. There’s also a dealership in Appleton and Sheboygan.

-Morrie’s Automotive Group started as a family business by Morrie Wagener in the early 1960s. Wagener worked with imports in the Twin Cities area and over the years acquired different franchises and built the business.

Mary Hafeman featured on the Golf Channel this week

PGA Professional Mary Hafeman of West Bend was on the Golf Channel Tuesday morning and she sure did put West Bend and the West Bend Country Club in the spotlight.

Hafeman, owner of Mary Hafeman Golf Experience and a 1975 graduate of West Bend East High School, was live in the TMJ 4 studio on Capital Drive in Milwaukee and spoke with the Golf Channel’s Cara Robinson about her success with player development.

Hafeman credited her roots in West Bend and her family for her success. “I grew up in West Bend, Wisconsin. My dad had to learn how to play golf and he got my whole family, my six brothers and sisters out on the course. We joined a club and my PGA Professional Don Hill at the West Bend Country Club made the most fun experience on the course and we just couldn’t wait to go to junior golf and play.”

Watch for more golf updates from Mary Hafeman as she reports for the WashingtonCountyInsider.com during the U.S. Open at Erin Hills, June 12 – 18.

Meredith Vande Zande awarded Rick Riehl Scholarship

West Bend East High School basketball player Meredith Vande Zande was presented the Rick Riehl Memorial Scholarship during Monday’s Class of 2017 Scholarship & Awards Program.

Vande Zande, 17, said she returned home from a school trip to Peru and received the letter of notification about the award. “I am so excited,” said Vande Zande.

A scholar athlete, Vande Zande carries a 4.0 G.P.A. and will be named class valedictorian. She plans on attending the University of Minnesota and will study nursing.

“I went to one of Rick Riehl’s basketball camps at Concordia when I was in middle school and they’re really such a great family and I feel very honored to get this scholarship,” she said.

Details of the scholarship read: Rick Riehl was an educator and coach in the West Bend Schools for 32 years, teaching high school English and coaching more than 60 sports seasons. Rick was a tireless advocate about the importance of sports. He dedicated much of his life to strengthening the quality of athletics in both the youth and high school programs.  Type: Technical or Academic   School:East or West  Amount:$10,000 ($1,250 per semester)

“This scholarship will help me tremendously,” said Vande Zande. “Just thinking about the number of hours I’d have to work to earn $10,000 is insane and this will just be so helpful.”

Funds for the award were donated by friends, family, and those that knew Riehl since his battle with what was likely Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease.

Royce Quilting sign

The Royce Quilting sign leaning up against the side of the building on S. Main Street in the West Bend Plaza has been a bit of a conversation starter. Many wonder about the future of the store but the simple answer is – during the last snow storm a semi was unloading in front of the store, hit the sign and ripped it off the side of the building. While the ladies inside Royce Quilting are skilled at mending, this is going to take more of an industrial fix…. and a hydraulic lift.  The repair should be underway shortly.

Mayor Sadownikow speaks in Madison

West Bend Mayor Kraig Sadownikow joined lawmakers in Madison on Wednesday at a joint news conference to talk about several bills regarding the “dark store theory” which is a question on whether operating stores should be taxed the same as a closed retail business location.

The mayor’s comments are below.

“In West Bend we have a pretty smart, intelligent community and we understand the issue and that is there’s a loophole in the law. Some smart folks identified that loophole and businesses such as Walgreens are choosing to exploit that loophole to the detriment of our home owners, agricultural and small business and we’re simply asking for that loophole to be closed.

A real-world example is that West Bend has two Walgreens stores and combined they sold most recently for $14 million. Through court action they are now being assessed at less than $5 million. Approximately a third of the sales price and what that means to us is about $175,000 in revenue split up between the city, the county, tech college and the school district. Checks had to be cut back to Walgreens and in fact our West Bend School District cut an $80,000 check back to Walgreens – of course, more than a full-time equivalent of an educator.

We’re simply asking for the loophole to be closed.”

Vote for Green Tree Elementary teacher Kelly Louk

There’s an effort underway in West Bend to push Kelly Louk, the 2nd grade teacher at Green Tree Elementary, to the top of the charts at b933fm.com

Nicole Manriquez reached out and asked for help. I nominated my daughter’s teacher for teacher of the month at b933fm.com. She won back in March and I recently found out she is now a finalist for Teacher of the Year. I nominated her because my daughter can be extremely challenging and I feel Kelly plays a huge part in her success. Kelly is kind, loving, patient and just has a way of communicating with her. It takes a special person to be a teacher, but some teachers go above and beyond. I am hoping she wins teacher of the year. It’s a great way for her to know she is appreciated. Voting can be done daily and runs through noon on May 22.

West Bend firefighters receive Heroism Award

Badger Firefighters Association President Ron Naab presented Heroism Awards this week to Lt. Alan Hefter and Motor Pump Operator Kyle Demler for their lifesaving efforts on September 16, 2016 when they saved an 18-year-old woman from the basement of her burning house.

Owner of Chapman’s Market dies

Raymond (Chappy) Chapman, 96 from West Bend died this week. Chappy’s career included working in a factory, painting, working as an apprentice electrician and meat cutting. In 1959, Ray opened Chapman’s Market on the north side of town.  His meat market was famous for its summer sausage, brats, and minute steaks.  He serviced customers across the country and forwarded summer sausage to soldiers in Vietnam. His business success was attributed to a strong work ethic and a jovial personality which he whole-heartedly shared with his customers, friends, and family. A Mass of Christian Burial is Friday, May 12 at 11 a.m. at St. Frances Cabrini Catholic Church.

Updates & tidbits

The 5th annual Banner ArtWalk is May 13 at the Museum of Wisconsin Art. Fifty hand-painted banners will hang from the second-floor railing in the atrium entrance of museum. Those attending can explore the Museum of Wisconsin Art free of charge.

-Wednesday, July 26 is Senior Citizens Day and Military Day at the Washington County Fair. Special discounted admission for ages 60 and older is $5 for the day as well as Sunday, July 30. Also, any card-carrying military person and a guest are admitted FREE on Wednesday, July 26. This year the Washington County Fair Military Committee will be recognizing all Women Veterans and Gold Star Families.

– Thursday, May 18 at 7 p.m. at the Washington County Fair Park Pavilion, Washington County Law Enforcement Agencies will host a Law Enforcement Memorial.

– The annual Ride of Silence is Wednesday, May 17 in the parking lot just south of the Museum of Wisconsin Art. The ride starts at 7 p.m.

– There’s music and food and a live auction at the 11th annual Samba Chicken Dinner on Saturday, May 13. Tickets are available at Romie’s BP in Allenton, Landmark Credit Union-Hartford, Bergmann’s Appliance in Slinger or from any music director at Slinger High School.

Remembering the Outlet Mall

The process started Tuesday and wrapped up Friday afternoon as the locally-known ‘bridge-to-nowhere’ was removed from downtown West Bend.

That landmark brought back memories about the Outlet Mall. Below is an article I wrote in February 2006.  Remembering the Outlet Mall.

Last week we gave an update on what was happening around the old Outlet Mall in West Bend. City Engineer Judy Neu said Veterans Avenue will be narrowed this summer and the road will be raised about four feet to bring it above the flood plain.

Discussing the Outlet Mall, led to questions about ‘what stores used to be IN the mall?’

“Maus Jewelers started out in there,” said Judy Neu. “I think the Shoe Rack was in there, along with a little restaurant and there was also a place to buy kitchen utensils,” said Neu recalling a West Bend Company Outlet which she thought was also in the mall.

Prior to the Outlet Mall Neu said there was an old bar and a bunch of little buildings tucked up along the river. “There used to be an old milk house in there and I’m finding it as I dig,” Neu said about all the old foundations from the buildings and the water mains and storm sewers from days gone by.

Local historian Joe Huber also remembered the Outlet Mall. “Going down the east side of the hall there was a Quality Candy, and a restaurant, and then Regal Ware had an outlet, and then Minnesota Woolens, and then there was a pot and pan and kitchen gadget store that had everything,” said Huber. “On the north end of the west side was The Paper Tree, the West Bend Company had an outlet, and then for a while there was an outfit that sold grandfather clocks.”

Former mall owner Steve Picus also recalled a house wares outlet and a party store and a couple of other things.

“There was a Manhattan clothing store which was more of a men’s store and there was a restaurant on the north end and the cookie lady was in there too for a while,” said Picus who believed The Cookie Lady was the name of the shop.

“When Field’s Furniture took over the mall the sausage place was there, the house wares outlet was there and the Paper Factory were the only three left in the building, almost until the bitter end.”

In its heyday, Picus said there were about 20 stores in that building and you could walk from one shop to the other. “The whole center of the furniture store was the center isle of the Outlet Mall and there were stores on both sides,” said Picus painting a picture of the interior of the mall.

Former Alderman Tom O’Meara remembered the Outlet Mall as a HUGE attraction that pulled in people from across the state.

“It was busier then hell, there were buses all the time,” said O’Meara about the shoppers that came in from Green Bay, Minneapolis, La Crosse, Eau Claire, Dubuque, and Chicago.

“It was really major, major stores. There was no big anchor tenant, just a series of small shops,” said O’Meara remembering an old ice cream parlor. “What finally killed the Outlet Mall in West Bend is when an even bigger mall opened in Racine.”

Checking with the Washington County Historical Society we came up with this list of stores that once made up the West Bend Outlet Mall: The Cookie Jar, Dinner ware Incorporated Factory Outlet, House ware Outlet Store, Maus Jewelry Imports, Newport Sportswear, Paper Factory, The Sock Market, General Shoe Factory, Knit Pikker Factory Outlet, Little Red Shoehouse, Uncle Wonderful’s Ice Cream Parlor, The Card Shop Inc., Cheese Outlet and Sandwich Shop, Decor Drapery Outlet, Mitchell Handbags and Active Sportswear, Mountain Camper, Svoboda Industries Inc, Oshkosh B’gosh, Bass Shoe Outlet, Van Heusen Factory Outlet, Genuine Article, Regal Outlet, and Rainbow Fashions,

Michelle Marie I remember this little kiosk!

Shirley McDaniel Schwartz I can see your Mom behind the counter at Maus Jewelry.

Marty Angell My kids n I and my friends wld go shopping there all the time. Walk the bridge n then walk down town. SPEND Hrs THERE! N money! !! Was fun back in the day! ♡:)

Kathleen Sell Use to shop there all the time! My mom bought one of the grandmother’s clock from Svaboda & my husband & I put it together & stained it. I inherited it & it stands in my front hall today!

Around the Bend by Judy Steffes

Celebrating Loyalty Day in West Bend

The city of West Bend will be celebrating Loyalty Day today with a huge parade and dignitaries from across the state. Loyalty Day is observed nationally. All VFW Posts will be invited to take part, but so are all other veterans’ organizations, bands, marching units and others from across Wisconsin.

The event will kick off with a parade beginning at Badger Middle School at 9:30 a.m., followed by a celebration at Regner Park.

There’s only one Loyalty Day parade in each state each year. Last year Pleasant Prairie was the host city.  For more information on the event and parade, visit wisconsinloyaltyday.com

On a history note: Loyalty Day was first celebrated in 1921 as “Americanization Day.” It was a way for people to reaffirm their loyalty to the United States and recognize the heritage of American freedom. The first national observance was declared by President Dwight D. Eisenhower on May 1, 1955; three years later it was deemed an annual holiday.

West Bend featured in AARP magazine

The title of the article in AARP Magazine is “If You Lived Here, You’d Be Happy Now.”

The online post went on to name 31 cities on the AARP Livability Index that it defined as “can help you find places worth moving to or staying put.”

Some of the other “worthy” locations included Madison as the No. 1 choice in the medium population category. In the small population category La Crosse was No. 1 followed by Fitchburg at No. 2.

AARP touted West Bend at No. 10 across the country in the small population category. The city was tagged with the comment, “Public works of art punctuate the Riverwalk which snakes three miles through downtown along the Milwaukee River. If it’s snowing duck inside the Museum of Wisconsin Art.”

St. Mary’s Parish recognizing school history

St Mary’s Parish is to creating a living history of St. Mary’s School by resetting brick pavers from a fundraising effort in 2006-2007 to get new playground equipment.

Matt Pederson and Debbie Quevy from Heritage Hill Nursery in Cedarburg worked together to set the pavers. A committee has been established to direct the project, it’s called the St. Mary’s School Living History Core Group. Watch for more updates as St. Mary’s Parish celebrates its 160th anniversary this summer.

5th annual Banner ArtWalk is May 15

The 5th annual Banner ArtWalk is May 13 at the Museum of Wisconsin Art. Fifty hand-painted banners will hang from the second-floor railing in the atrium entrance of museum.

Artist and banner organizer Chris Porter said the idea started as a way to help beautify the downtown. “We didn’t have the money for flower baskets and it was a good way to take old Christmas banners and repaint them,” she said.

“The first year we learned a lot, the second year we learned more, and from year to year it’s getting better; we have a lot of talent here and I’d love to see it continue forever and ever.”

Those taking in the event will also be able to explore the Museum of Wisconsin Art free of charge. The banners are painted by local artists who have received rave reviews in the past.

“They’re beautiful and unique and everyone has its own little story,” said Jan Nesladek of West Bend.

“It beautifies our downtown and it gets people to go downtown,” said Grace Wright. “I give Chris Porter a lot of credit this had to be a huge project.”

“I’m really impressed with the artwork and especially the fact there are a lot of students involved,” said Carol Casadonte, formerly of Tomahawk.

Banners from previous years will be auctioned off. Money raised will support the banner ArtWalk project.

ION Sports Bar to open Monday, May 1

Friends and family were treated to a special night this week as ION Sport Pub in West Bend held a test run for its kitchen and wait staff.  ION Sports Pub, 1102 E. Paradise Drive, will officially open Monday, May 1.

Major remodel underway at Pick ‘n Save south

Neighbors in West Bend may have noticed shelving and stock being moved at Pick ‘n Save south in West Bend.

Here’s a note from one reader: I was just at Pick N Save South this morning.  It is full of staff (folks I have never seen before) that are busy clearing off (completely) shelves all over the store.  At first I thought that they were just doing a major re-arranging of the store, but now I am wondering if they are closing the store? Perhaps you might want to take a look.

To be clear, the store is prepping for a major remodel. It’s a story WashingtonCountyInsider.com posted this past January. The Kroger Co. is completing an interior remodel of the two Pick ‘n Save stores in West Bend.

Some might say this is “the Meijer effect” as the new chain retailer based in Grand Rapids, Michigan is opening a new store in West Bend, 229 S. Main Street, in March/April.

Other say it’s part of the intended restructuring Kroger had in mind following its $866 million acquisition of Roundy’s Supermarkets in Dec. 2015. Staff at the Kroger stores in Fond du Lac said all the stores in the “Fox Valley area” are being remodeled.

Rick Riehl Memorial Scholarship to be awarded Monday, May 1

The Rick Riehl scholarship will be awarded for the first time during Monday’s Scholarship Award Ceremony at 7 p.m. at the West Bend High Schools Silver Lining Art Center. Funds for the award were donated by friends, family, and those that new Riehl since his battle with what was likely Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease. The Rick Riehl Memorial Scholarship reads: Rick Riehl was an educator and coach in the West Bend Schools for 32 years, teaching high school English and coaching more than 60 sports seasons. Rick was a tireless advocate about the importance of sports. He dedicated much of his life to strengthening the quality of athletics in both the youth and high school programs.

Type: Technical or Academic   School:East or West  Amount:$10,000 ($1,250 per semester)

Qualifications: A female basketball player who has proven to be hard working and motivated in both the classroom and gymnasium. Community service and school service will be considered. Financial need will be considered

Updates & tidbits

-Wednesday, July 26 is Senior Citizens Day and Military Day at the Washington County Fair. Special discounted admission for ages 60 and older is $5 for the day as well as Sunday, July 30. Also, any card-carrying military person and a guest are admitted FREE on Wednesday, July 26. This year the Washington County Fair Military Committee will be recognizing all Women Veterans and Gold Star Families. Washington County Fair would like to thank Delta Defense for its support of Military Day at the Washington County Fair.

– Students from Central Middle School in Hartford dropped off over 95,000 items at the Goodwill West Bend Store and Donation Center on Friday. The students hope to earn a visit from former Green Bay Packer Donald Driver on May 22.

– Word traveled fast across Washington County over the weekend about the death of Richard Rosche, the former owner of Links Hideaway in Jackson and Links II in Kewaskum. Rosche was killed in an accident last week Friday morning in Illinois.

– The Hartford Police Department is investigating several instances of individuals passing counterfeit $100 bills. The bills look authentic except for the fact they say “For Cinema Use Only” in several spots on the front and back of the bills.

– Volunteers with West Bend Firefighters Local 2025 and members of Friends of West Bend Park & Rec took advantage of the nice weather this week to pack up what remained of Enchantment in the Park.

– Holy Angels School in West Bend salutes the March Students of the Month including Ellie Eckert, Ericka Beistle, and Andrew Glaszcz.

– There’s music and food and a live auction at the 11th annual Samba Chicken Dinner on Saturday, May 13. Tickets are available at Romie’s BP in Allenton, Landmark Credit Union-Hartford, Bergmann’s Appliance in Slinger or from any music director at Slinger High School.

– First Bank Financial Centre in West Bend recently made a nice donation to the Downtown West Bend Association for its Concourse Bike Race. The money will fund the Kids Roll.

– This was the second best year for the most cans collected at American Metal & Paper Recycling during Earth Week with a total of 157,284 pounds. That’s about 5.33 million cans.

– Grace Braeger, AKA 57 Lady, is featured in the latest edition of AggressiveCars.com Grace can be seen in her 1957 Chevy Bel Air tooling around West Bend. She’s also popular at local car shows.

Thecla Richter: a West Bend nurse serving during WWI

Resident historian Lee Krueger is highlighting his great aunt Thecla Richter, who served as a nurse during WWI. Below are letters home from Richter dated February 9, 1918, Feb. 10, 1918 and March 18, 1918.

February 9, 1918 (received on March 9)

……  I never realized how much I cared about coffee until I got to a place where we could not obtain it.  Even in Paris we were not able to obtain a good coffee and I certainly regretted the fact that I did not take my little stove, Sterno heat and coffee with me.

Paris had its first air raid while we were there on our leave. I never heard anything more weird than the warning sound of the siren.  After only a few moments and we could hear the humming of the engines of the German aeroplanes and the whiz of the bombs before they exploded.  It was not my first experience so I really was not panicky although I would be quite pleased if it were the last raid I would have to witness.  I viewed the skies from a balcony and it sure was a spectacular sight….  A beautiful moonlight night, skies were dotted with star shells used for lighting purposes.  We could also see the planes because some of them were lighted.  I think the ones we could see were French planes that carried lights in the wings.

Much damage was done and quite a number of people were injured and killed.  One plane was brought down only a few blocks from where we were staying.

Feb. 10. 1918  (received on March 9)

At the present time we have only about 800 patients but we will be getting large convoys of wounded very soon if the nice weather continues.  Each year all people look forward to the big spring drives to have all important work accomplished and of course that will mean many casualties.  I dread to think of all the splendid young men coming over from the United States to face hardship unheard of before this frightful war but I suppose that they will withstand the strain as well as the Tommys and Colonials.

Met quite a few friends and acquaintances while in Paris. It really seems strange to be meeting people you know way over here.

I received a great many splendid Kodak pictures from Hank Regner-a splendid Christmas box from him.

March 18, 1918  (received April 6)

I am on night duty at the present time.  This is the first night duty I have had since coming over…….

Just admitted a convoy of patients.  Have been receiving patients almost daily for the past week.  One notices the difference at once.  As soon as the nice weather comes along we have more patients admitted.

I have been working in the wards actually caring for the patients since I returned from my leave.  I do enjoy the work so much more than I did doing office work and certainly am feeling better than I ever did.  I certainly am getting fat.  I know that I have gained several pounds this last week.  Please don’t worry one bit about me.  Of course we do go out and buy food from the peasants…. eggs and bread are the most important items.

…. I am sure that the French people will have more money after this war than they ever had before.  Even in the houses around our camp you see new stores every day.  The people turn their kitchens or any available place for a counter into a store and sell something.


Around the Bend by Judy Steffes

Kewaskum mourns loss of community leader Larry Ammel

Neighbors in the Village of Kewaskum are mourning the loss of former Kewaskum High School band teacher and community leader Larry Ammel.

“He was a pillar of the community,” said Jeanne Goeden. “He was the one who organized Music in the Park and people really like that.”

Ammel had retired from the Kewaskum School District years ago but while there he was active in many of the musicals including Fiddler on the Roof.  “He was a very beloved teacher,” Goeden said.

Ammel was also extremely active in Kewaskum Kiwanis, he was the choir director at Peace UCC in Kewaskum and he was involved in the upcoming memorial dedication for Andrea Haberman.

“He used to do beginning band camp at Slinger Middle School,” said West Bend High School Band Director Leah Duckert. “He taught me a lot; he taught me beginning trombone.”

Duckert recalled Ammel’s humor during Friday band camp.

“Trombones are derived from an instrument called a sackbut and Larry brought in these brown paper bags and each kid taped a paper bag to their butt and so then they were all sackbuts. It was hysterical,” she said.

Duckert described Ammel as “jolly.”  “He was the type of guy you wanted to hug every time you saw him,” she said.

Kewaskum Police Chief Tom Bishop said Ammel really gave back to the community. “He will definitely be missed,” said Bishop. “He was a heck of a good guy.”

Funeral services from Larry will be 11 a.m. on Saturday, April 29 at Peace United Church of Christ, 343 First Street, in Kewaskum, with Rev. Eric Kirkegaard officiating. Larry’s family will greet relatives and friends at the church on Friday, April 28 from 4 p.m. – 7 p.m. Visitation will continue at the church on Saturday from 9 a.m. until the time of service. Larry Ammel was 73.

Pipe break forces delayed opening at ION Sports Pub

The owners of ION Sports Pub are asking for the community’s patience as they work through some new issues that have forced them to delay opening by a couple weeks.

Oskar Steinbauer Jr. said he came to the restaurant, 1102 Paradise Drive, this week to find water in the parking lot and some damage inside the building. The new sports pub was supposed to officially open on Monday, April 24 The new official opening will be the first week in May. Steinbauer and his business partner Nora Sanchez will keep the community informed on their progress. A new sign for the restaurant was installed Friday.

Removal of old WB Theatre bridge

The removal of the elevated bridge over the Milwaukee River is underway.  The contractor staging area is on the west side of Veterans Avenue.  The general contractor for this project is West Bend Crane, Inc. from West Bend.

Work will consist of removing the existing bridge over the Milwaukee River.  A crane will be used to move the bridge to the right of way where it will be dismantled and hauled away.

Mass of Dedication at St. Peter Parish on Saturday, April 22

St. Peter Catholic Parish in Slinger will celebrate a Mass of Dedication and Blessing with Archbishop Jerome Listecki at 5 p.m. on April 22 in the newly renovated and expanded church.

The dedication and blessing will consecrate the new newly renovated building as a permanent worship space. Archbishop Listecki will be blessing not only the physical church building and altar, but other items and areas of the church as well.

There will be a reception to follow in St. Peter Church Hall. Please note the usual 8 p.m. Mass will be cancelled Saturday, April 22, 2017. The construction project expanding the original 1892 building began a year ago on February 29, 2016.

The goal to increase church seating capacity has been met, as 740 people can now sit in the main nave, as compared to the original 450 seating capacity. New meeting rooms, an expanded gathering space, and a more spacious church hall and kitchen have also been constructed.

Parishioners are also in the midst of completing a $600,000 furnishing campaign. This campaign will pay for and install all of the church’s stained glass windows and other new furnishing items throughout the building. An open invitation to worship and celebrate Mass is extended to all.

John McGivern to film in neighboring Dodge County

Fans of John McGivern in Washington County are familiar with his PBS show “Around the Corner with John McGivern.” The Emmy award-winning show highlighted West Bend in 2016 and Hartford was featured in 2014.

Now, our neighbors to the west will be featured as McGivern will be filming in Mayville this July. Here’s a note from the Main Street Mayville, Inc.  “We are excited to announce that Milwaukee PBS “Around the Corner with John McGivern” will be filming in Mayville this July. We are seeking interested (and interesting!) parties who may be willing to be filmed and participate in the episode.

Kohlsville Fire Department celebrates gift

Volunteers from the Kohlsville Fire Department gathered under cloudy skies Tuesday afternoon to celebrate a strong donation by neighboring business Spiros Industries.

The locally-run manufacturer donated nearly $10,000 so the fire department could purchase its first jaws of life.

“We’ve always thought about getting one,” said Fire Chief Curt Martin. “Allenton has one and Kewaskum has one but if they’re 10 minutes out we can at least try to rescue a person who may be trapped in a vehicle.”

Spiros Industries recently used the back parking lot at the fire station while its building was undergoing some renovation. As a thank you the company made a generous donation.

“You don’t find a local business that too often does something like that for a volunteer fire department,” Martin said. “It’s amazing what people in the neighborhood do.”

Dennis Backhaus, president of Spiros Industries said they try to do something every year for the firefighters.  “When we’re running out these are the guys who are running in,” he said.

Jim Maronde is a partner at Spiros Industries. “These are really a dedicated bunch of guys,” he said. “We’ve been fortunate in business and we like to help out where ever we can.”

On Tuesday afternoon the Kohlsville Fire Department also showed off its new ambulance. “Our old ambulance was 26 years old and that one we got second hand from Allenton,” said Martin.

The new ambulance is a 2017 E450 Ford custom cab and built by Foster Coach in Illinois. Kohlsville FD ordered the vehicle in December and it just arrived this week.

Foerster Signs in Slinger finished up the signage. The vehicle cost just under $120,000.

Herb Kohl Education Foundation winners

Neighbors in West Bend and Jackson can be proud of Fair Park teacher Renee Wilberg and students Mackenzie Mas from West Bend and Jiexin (Jessica) Yang from Kettle Moraine Lutheran High School in Jackson.

The threesome will be recognized during an awards luncheon, Sunday, April 23 by the Herb Kohl Educational Foundation. The event begins with a reception at noon at Waupun Junior and Senior High School in Waupun. The awards program follows at 1 p.m.

Each year the foundation recognizes students, teachers and principals for their excellence in academics, leadership and high achievement.

Wilberg is one of 100 teachers being awarded $3,000 by the Herb Kohl Education Foundation.

Updates & tidbits

West Bend Friends of Park and Recreation need volunteers for the U.S. Open. “We have been invited to volunteer at the event entrances for checking bags and credentials,” said Lori Yahr. “There will be a 4 hour mandatory training session and you have to commit to working three 8-hour days.” The U.S. Open is June 12 – 18 at Erin Hills in the Town of Erin. Contact Lori Yahr by April 30 at loriyahr@gmail.com

– The annual Kohlsville Fire Department Smoker is Saturday, April 29 in Kohlsville.

-The West Bend American Legion Post 36 will be hosting a brat fry on Friday, Saturday and Sunday, April 28, 29 and 30 at 1421 W. Washington Street from 9 a.m. – 4 p.m. Proceeds go to local projects and veterans programs.

– April 28 is the annual Grandparents for Lunch at Holy Angels School in West Bend.

– The DIVA Spring Bling is coming up Thursday, April 27 in downtown West Bend. Proceeds from umbrella and specialty ring sales benefit Chix 4 a Cause.

– On Monday, May 8 there is a free community education forum at the West Bend High School Auditorium featuring internationally recognized researcher of suicide Dr. Thomas Joiner.

– Horicon Bank has stepped up this year to sponsor the fireworks during the July 4th celebration at Riverside Park in West Bend.

-The 30th annual Washington County Breakfast on the Farm is set for Saturday, June 10 at the Golden ‘E’ Dairy Farm on 8262 Orchard Valley Road, in the Town of Farmington.

-The Exclusive Company in West Bend will celebrate Record Store Day on April 22. The day includes sales, free food and live music as the store, 144 N. Main St., celebrates its independence. The store opens for 12 hours of sales from 8 a.m. – 8 p.m.

Celebrating the Day Ladies at McDonald’s in West  

This original story ran in 2014 in Around the Bend by Judy Steffes.  Local McDonald’s owner Steve Kilian and son Steve Jr. took the time to offer a McSurprise to four long-time employees at the Galactic McDonald’s on Main Street after receiving a letter from a customer praising the Day Ladies for their friendly service.

“They call them the Day Ladies and each has worked for Steve Kilian for 20 years or more,” said Sharon Ruplinger, a McDonald’s veteran who started in 1973 when she was a 15-year-old sophomore at West Bend East High School.

“I was there when the special sauce for the Big Mac was mixed at the store and when the Hamburgler crawl thing, bouncy fry girls and metal slides were in the outdoor play land,” Ruplinger said recalling how they had to shut down the play area when it was “real hot because kids would burn their legs.”

As a teen Ruplinger had to know all the prices and the tax table, add by hand on a piece of paper, and cook by sight – not by computer. Ruplinger now works as Steve Kilian’s assistant and local marketing manager.

She said the Day Ladies have similar stories; they’re a unique group recognized by customers for their courtesy, commitment, and familiarity.

“I think we enjoy the customers as much as they enjoy us,” said Vicki Montanez, a Day Lady and an employee since Aug. 1, 1990.

“I was 36 when I started and the menu was really basic, we made all the biscuits for breakfast by hand and we had to bake and frost the cinnamelts ourselves and now it’s all done ahead of time.”

Montanez, who previously sold real estate, gravitated to McDonald’s because of the fast-paced environment but found she loved it for the flexible schedule. “It was really good because if my kids got sick at school I was able to leave in a second and that was really important,” she said.

Customers know the Day Ladies by name, they know their families, and many times their days off.

“You have the same people that come each day, some we know by name and others we know by order,” said Karen Wentz who knows a regular customer simply as ‘large coffee, seven cream, seven sugar.’

Wentz started in January 1997, when she was 33. She worked during the era when McDonald’s would bring breakfast to the high schools serving pancakes, cinnamon rolls, and egg McMuffins.

“We’d set up in one of the cafeterias and the kids just loved it,” she said.

Day Lady Caroline Schwartz started at McDonald’s in 1988 when the uniforms were baby blue with polyester pants and a blue striped button-up top. “I started because all my friends worked here,” she said. “I’ve stayed 25 years because it fit my schedule and the Kilians treated me like family.”

Schwartz talked about working alongside Steve Jr. when he was 12 years old and the appreciation shown by the owner.

“Steve sent us to the Packer game with a chauffeur and then they took us out to lunch at the Ninja Japanese Steakhouse; just so nice,” she said about Kilian who bought his first McDonald’s in West Bend in 1990.

Jane Sterr has been with McDonald’s since May 2, 1981. “I was 18, at West Bend East High School and the restaurant was across the street where Auto Zone is now,” she said. “We had a one-window drive thru and the popular sandwich was the McLean Deluxe.”

Camaraderie and customer service are reasons Sterr has stayed for 33 years. “We have our very regular customers and we joke around; we can still work while having fun. It’s a very good atmosphere,” she said.

Customer Judy Essig brought Jane a gift for her anniversary last year. Questioned about the longevity of the Day Ladies she said, “It speaks highly for the employer and the way they’re treated.”

Sterr admitted, she never thought she’d be at McDonald’s this long. “It’s hard work but we all work well together, we get along, and it’s amazing because we’re just dedicated.”

Around the Bend by Judy Steffes

Game changer for Pizza Ranch as land in WB is sold

A bit of a game changer for the location that was going to be home to a future Pizza Ranch in West Bend. On Monday, April 10, MG Development, LLC sold the site at 2001-2005 W. Washington Street, in West Bend to West Bend Enterprises, LLC, which is a partnership that owns the neighboring Sendik’s lot.

That 1.7-acre parcel will be cleaned up and soon available as a build-to-suit outlot to Sendik’s.

Adam Williquette from Anderson Commercial Group and Dave Hazenfield represented the seller in the transaction.

That parcel, just west of 18th Avenue, had been a hot topic as Matt and Stacy Gehring had their eye on it for a future Pizza Ranch. The couple had gone before the Plan Commission several times as they worked through revised site plans and easements.

One of the business partners in the Pizza Ranch development, Bob Rehm, said Monday afternoon that a “Pizza Ranch in West Bend is inevitable.”

A new location is being explored and more details will be released when they become available.

Side note: If you’ve been following the Pizza Ranch story from the start you’ll recall this isn’t the first time the location has been changed.

In March 2016, WashingtonCountyInsider.com was the first to report on a Pizza Ranch possibly coming to the community. Two short months after that, speculation was confirmed as site development plans were on the table.

The first location was on W. Washington Street just to the west of Westbury Bank.

On August 15, 2016 PRWB Real Estate LLC closed on the purchase of 1.7 acres on W. Washington Street for $300,000.

Then, within a couple weeks, PRWB Real Estate LLC flipped the property and sold the parcel for $500,000 to Steve Kearns.

The Gehrings and PRWB regrouped and announced a new location in October at 2001-2005 W. Washington Street, just to the west of 18th Avenue.

There were several more trips before the Plan Commission with easements and whatnot.

And that brings us to today – when the 1.7 acre lot on W. Washington Street was sold to West Bend Enterprises, LLC.

Rue21 in West Bend is closing

Rue21 is closing its store in West Bend. The retailer, 1331 W. Paradise Drive, is the third corporate store in the strip mall east of Wal-Mart to announce its closing. In February, WashingtonCountyInsider.com was first to report MC Sports was closing and at the end of December 2016 the Insider first announced Pier 1 was closing on Paradise Drive.

Rue21 first opened in West Bend in June 2014. It specializes in clothes for teens and young adults. There are currently sales, 20% to 40% off the entire store. Store management did not have any insight on why the store was closing. A record search shows the corporation may have some financial concerns and could be restructuring. Rue21 is based in Pennsylvania and has more than 1,000 stores in 48 states. Early word, the store closing in West Bend should take about 8 weeks.

ION Sport Pub to open April 24

ION Sports Pub, 1102 E. Paradise Drive, in West Bend will be opening in a couple weeks. The restaurant is a partnership between Oscar Steinbauer Jr. and Nora Sanchez. The pair have been working with their families to revamp the former Bender’s Sports Bar. There’s decorative strip lighting above and below the bar, new carpet, and the addition of 17 big-screen TVs. New signage will be put in place on April 21 and the restaurant will officially open Monday, April 24.

New facility for Double J Transport

Double J Transport LLC is building a new facility in the Town of Polk.

“We’ve come a long way since my dad and grandpa started the business out of a farmhouse on Highway 60,” said company vice president Keith Fechter.

For the young Fechter the olden days include memories of a transport company that ran out of Fechter’s Hwy 60 You Pick ‘Em strawberry farm. The business office later graduated from the farmhouse to a remodeled machine shed.

In 2004 the company then moved to Industrial Drive in Jackson and now 13 short years later, after experiencing 10-percent annual growth, Double J Transport is on the move again. (pun intended)

“We have 115 employees and 93 trucks here and we’re crowded,” Keith Fechter said. “Our office, shop, and the parking lot is crowded. We have to rent a lot behind our current facility to park trailers. We need a new facility to accommodate that growth.”

Family patriarch and company president Jerome Fechter said they seriously started thinking about a new facility in October 2013. “We knew we had to do something,” he said.

The new facility is going to be on the west side of County Highway P in the Town of Polk. “The freeway, Highway 45, is right there,” said office assistant Janice Fechter. “So it’s location, location and visibility.”

The new facility, contracted through American Construction Services Inc. of West Bend, will features a driver’s room with showers, Laundromat, a lounge and television and double the amount of office space. “It’s going to be similar to our current shop but a lot bigger and a lot nicer,” said Keith.

Quite a few truckers at Double J Transport are from out of state and the Fechters, who make vehicle maintenance a top priority, said they want to make the over-the-road drivers comfortable while in town as their vehicle is being serviced.

As far as the construction timetable, there are already earth movers on site and ground has been broken. The new facility should be finished by November.

DNR Spring hearings

There were 117 people that turned out Monday night in Washington County for the DNR’s Spring Fish and Wildlife Public Hearing at the Washington County Fair Park.

There were a couple hot topics on the night including whether the DNR should develop a hunting season for sandhill cranes. Bill from West Bend was short and sweet with his support.  “I’ve shot sandhills in North Dakota and they’re delicious,” he said.

A handful of other hunters voiced their support for hunting sandhill cranes; many cited the crop damaged caused by the cranes and how legislation was a bit messed up because if a farmer shoots sandhills to save his crops he can’t legally eat them.

A nature journalist named George said he was opposed to hunting sandhill cranes for a number of reasons. “Like most of you I believe in eating what I kill. I doubt people would eat it.  It might take like chicken or great horned owl,” he said.

“A biological point, the sandhill birds mate for life and if we remove one of the birds that removes the reproductive system. Most importantly, sandhills look a lot like whooping cranes and whoopers will be killed if this is approved.”

Tashina Peplinski spoke as a resident and not as a member of the DNR pane. “Sandhill crane are reaching a point where they’re becoming a nuisance population,” she said. “We need a way to find to do it safely. Other things to keep in mind is people say they look like whooping cranes, well the first thing we’re taught in hunter safety is to know your target and what’s beyond.”

Another topic that drew the most input on the evening was about reinstating back tags. In March 2016 Governor Walker signed a bill eliminating back tags worn by hunters.

A majority of those who spoke on the issue were in favor of returning the tags. Some of them mentioned how it’s easier for land owners to identify who is on their property. One man mentioned how ATVs, cars and snowmobiles have number ID’s or licenses “so why is it any different than a guy in the woods with a gun. I think it’s safer,” he said.

Pat Campbell of West bend brought up the 2004 incident in Rice Lake where six hunters were killed by Chai Soua Vang. “Vang shot a hunter who wrote his tag number on an ATV and that helped find the guy,” he said.

The tags were used as a way for law enforcement to identify hunters in the field. Dennis from Hartford spoke against the back tags and called them an inconvenience. “If it rains and I put on a jacket what do I do with my back tag,” he said.

The final hot topic dealt with a question about online voter accessibility.  “Would you support the Wisconsin Conservation Congress and the DNR working to offer an online option of the public to provide input on the questionnaire? The elections of the WCC delegates would remain in-person at each Spring Hearing location only.

Corky Meyer, 65, of Kewaskum spoke several times against it. “If they want to vote make them show up,” he said.

There were comments about having no restrictions on who takes the survey. J.R. Salinas of West Bend said, “If you don’t have the time to come down and vote then stay home.” The hearing lasted about two hours. Survey results will be available online as soon as they are compiled.

Proposal for deer pickup in winter

During this week’s annual DNR spring hearing at the Washington County Fair Park a resolution was proposed regarding dead deer pickup. The issue is becoming a rather hot topic since budget cuts have limited large animal carcass removal.

J.R. Salinas from West Bend offered a proposal at the end of the meeting where he suggested a 1-800 number to register the time a deer was killed and then people could have 20 hours within the fall and winter to salvage the animal. “There’s a lot of meat out there to be used,” said Salinas. “This would help get the carcasses off the roads.”

Local DNR warden Tom Isaac said considering logistics this may be difficult to work out. “The whole car-deer pickup system involves so many different agencies and townships and I don’t know if they’re looking for more work,” he said. “But if there’s any way to use the deer more that would be a good thing.”

The DNR will have to officially register the resolution but in the meantime do you think this is a viable process? Would you pick up a deer from a vehicle hit at the side of the road within a certain time frame and then process the meat?

St. Peter Dedication

St. Peter Catholic Parish in Slinger, will celebrate a Mass of Dedication and Blessing with Archbishop Jerome Listecki at 5 p.m. on April 22 in the newly renovated and expanded church.

The dedication and blessing will consecrate the new newly renovated building as a permanent worship space. Archbishop Listecki will be blessing not only the physical church building and altar, but other items and areas of the church as well. There will be a reception to follow in St. Peter Church Hall. Please note the usual 8 p.m. Mass will be cancelled Saturday, April 22, 2017.

Updates & tidbits

Jacob Loehr and Hailey Herriges are the latest recipients of the J.O. Reigle Scholarships awarded annually by Regal Ware. The $18,000 award recognizes the outstanding scholastic achievements and is designed to assist with a college education.  

Interfaith Caregivers is in desperate need of volunteer drivers, especially those who would be willing to take an elderly veteran down to the VA, drive an Interfaith van for a wheelchair-bound client, or take a lady or two to the grocery store. Volunteers can call Interfaith at 262-365-0902.

– On Monday the Main Stage headliners will be announced for the Washington County Fair which runs July 25 – 30.

-The Coffee Syndicate, 1229 S. Main Street in West Bend, is giving away a free Kindle Fire 8GB. Customers must enter to win at the location.

– Saturday, April 22, from 8 a.m. – 10:30 a.m. West Bend Police will sell its spring 2017 inventory of 60 abandoned/recovered bicycles. The sale will be at the West Bend Police Department, 350 Vine St. All bicycles are $15 which includes a City of West Bend Bicycle License which is required for all sales.

-Tim Wiedmeyer is the new owner of the “Fill-N-Chill” in Slinger.

– April 22 is the Money Smart Women’s Conference at UW- Washington County.

– The DIVA Spring Bling is Thursday, April 27 in downtown West Bend. Proceeds from umbrella and specialty ring sales benefit Chix 4 a Cause.

-Record Store Day at The Exclusive Company, 144 N. Main St., in West Bend is April 22. The day includes sales, free food and live music. Store open for 12 hours of sales from 8 a.m. – 8 p.m.

Fond memories of Easter dresses

One of my favorite stories to write is memories of Easter finery. The frilly ensembles hearken to the day when people wore their Sunday best to give to the glory of God.

The history photo, courtesy Jeanne Goeden of Kewaskum, features a 1954 picture of Goeden’s grandma Esther Eggert. “Grandma made our pinafores,” said Goeden pictured above with her sister Sandra Berres Ohmann. The photo was taken in Kewaskum in 1946.

Goeden’s story of homemade dresses sparked memories from others who also reflected on the extra effort families made to dress in bows and lace with a special outfit for Easter Sunday.

Carol Johnson Cler grew up on a farm in the mid-1950s in the Norwegian Valleys of Black River Falls. “My mother made all my dresses out of flour sacks we got at the A&P; the flour sacks were pretty in those days,” said Cler.

“Sometimes, when I was lucky she’d buy material. My cousin, my best friend and I all had the same dresses because our mothers shared the pattern and they were all blue and white dotted swiss.”

Accessorizing for Easter included costume jewelry borrowed from different aunts. Tights were not in the budget so Cler combined cotton socks with a pair of Buster Brown shoes. “I loved saddle shoes. We’d get one pair in the fall when we started school and they had to last all year,” she said.

Dolores Koenig was a volunteer at the recent Holy Trinity Women’s Social in Kewaskum. “I was in seventh grade and I got a new green, three-quarter length coat,” Koenig said.

Wide-brim Easter hats were an annual fashion staple for Koenig as were white gloves. “My mom did a lot of shopping at Schuster’s Department Store in Milwaukee,” she said. “I remember one dress from high school was purple. It was 1948 and I really, really liked that dress.”

Joan Albers has lived in Kewaskum 45 years. “Easter was always a time for new spring clothes; nice hats, cutesy purses and ruffles and lace.”

Albers grew up in Port Washington in the 1950s when the city had two stores with clothes. “We shopped at the Smart Shop on Main Street. They didn’t have ‘chubette’ size and I used to take chubby sizes because I have always been chubby,” said Albers. “They would try and squeeze me into little sizes and therefore my feet were always hurting or dresses were too tight – which was not too flattering but we made it,” she said.

Merriann Rose-Cudewicz, 72, of Kewaskum grew up in Milwaukee. “I was a citified country girl and a graduate of St. Agnes High School in 1961,” she said.

Spoiled by an aunt from San Francisco, Rose-Cudewicz said little girls always got new clothes for Easter. Her mother worked for people like Pabst and Schlitz Uihleins. “She didn’t have a lot of money but she knew how to dress,” she said recalling shopping at stores like Chapman’s and Boston Store in Milwaukee “My aunt sent me an organdy white dress with blue trim for Easter. Dresses made me feel elegant and I was only six years old and felt really fancy,” she said.


Judy Steffes, Editor

Washington County Insider


Around the Bend by Judy Steffes

Russ McCrimmon on today’s Honor Flight                          By Ann Marie Craig

A sobering scene was unfolding at the beach when his ship docked after the trans-Pacific journey to Korea in 1950. With minimal ceremony, but with discretion and respect, fallen U.S. soldiers were being evacuated for burial onto a neighboring vessel.

Russ McCrimmon and his shipmates were at first confused by the scene that greeted them, but pretty quickly it was understood life as a U.S. Marine in Korea could be a grim business.

“It was the smell of death to us,” said McCrimmon.  “I turned 18 before I got there, some guys were straight out of boot camp and there were a lot of young men that very soon became men.”

McCrimmon sat Marine-straight at his dining room table in West Bend, and spoke softly and clearly about his military experiences; a vintage map of Korea placed on the table in front of him helped tell the story.

Boot camp at Parris Island, South Carolina in August of 1949 was the beginning of McCrimmon’s term of service but he didn’t get there without knowing a bit about the military beforehand.

One of McCrimmon’s uncles was in the Navy at Pearl Harbor, Dec. 7, 1941, during WWII.

Seventeen cousins served in various branches of the U.S. military; one of whom served as a guard at The Tomb of the Unknown at Arlington National Cemetery.

It was the inspiration of a friend in the Marine Corps in the South Pacific however, who inspired McCrimmon to enlist in the Marines at the age of 17, even before he had finished high school.

The GI Bill created after WWII allowed him to get credit for his senior year in high school in Batavia, IL. He graduated from high school and also earned a military GED certificate, making it possible for him to attend aircraft mechanic school, study at Quantico, and go on to be part of the HMR161 Squadron – the first helicopter transport squadron of any branch of the U.S. military.

He asked questions and learned about the testing of the new aircraft ejection seats. He participated in tests to 40,000 feet in a decompression chamber without a G-suit. Ask McCrimmon to tell you how to sew silk: he learned to make and repair silk parachutes and to pack them.

He also was one of the first to test ripstop nylon – the new material that became the standard for parachute construction. He rode in the back of the F7F-3n Grumman Tiger Cat – his name was actually hand painted in the cockpit.

He traveled extensively in Korea with his squadron, worked at the fronts and behind the lines, and after an injury spent two weeks on a hospital ship where he learned about the depth of compassion for the injured and dying soldiers.

With three months left of his tour of duty, he returned to the States to be in guard company at Great Lakes in Illinois. He and his family moved to the West Bend area.

McCrimmon is now 84 years old; he will turn 85 on the day after the Stars and Stripes Honor Flight. He is one of 90 veterans who will fly to Washington D.C. on April 8.

His guardian is his daughter Dr. Cathy Evans, who is a neuropsychologist working with military personnel suffering with PTSD, and this will be an opportunity to share his story with her in a very real way.

He is anticipating visits to the monuments, and is also hoping to at least drive by the corner of 12th Street and Pennsylvania Avenue where he used to play sandlot baseball with his friends from Quantico.

One of his boyhood friends died in Korea, and he’d also like to honor him by visiting the Black History Museum.

McCrimmon lives in West Bend with his wife Ann, and they have three grown children.


Merle Norman is moving to downtown Main Street

Merle Norman will be moving to downtown West Bend. The cosmetic shop is currently in the Paradise Pavilion, 1630 S. Main Street in West Bend.

“We’re hoping to be open sometime around June 1,” said Vicki Bressler, owner and certified makeup artist. Bressler has been in West Bend three years and really likes the downtown. “It’s trendy, has a lot of great little shops and phenomenal restaurants,” she said.

Merle Norman will be moving into 138 N. Main Street as Ooh La La…accessories is moving out. Its last day is April 15.

Old Friedens Church is for sale

The old Friedens Church, 2889 Cedar Creek Road, in Jackson is for sale. The asking price is $74,200.   The church dates to 1878 when a group of German settlers met to organize a congregation named Friedens Evangelical Church. According to UCC Hope Church, “In 1852 a log structure was built housing the congregation until 1878 when a brick structure was built at the intersection of Hwy P and Hwy C in the Town of Jackson.

In 1957, Friedens Evangelical and Peace Reformed, joined the newly established denomination, the United Church of Christ. On June 2, 1991, the last service held at Frieden’s and the church building was then sold in to a private party as a home and workshop.  Frieden’s parsonage still houses the minister and his family.”

The property was recently in the processes of being gutted. Property is being sold as is online auction starting March 20, 2017 and ending June 7, 2017.

Opening day announced for Meijer in West Bend

Bob Bastian of Kewaskum is gloating …and he should run out quick and buy a lottery ticket.  Bastian chimed in on March 29 when neighbors lodged a guess on when the Meijer grocery in West Bend would open.

“Well Judy looks like I nailed it on the head. They just announced May 16,” wrote Bastian. And true that! Meijer will debut its new super center in West Bend, 2180 S. Main St., on May 16.

Lisa Ebert guessed the correct day as did Mary Scharrer… so now it’s just going to be one big party in the garden center at Meijer.

The #priceless prize was a sandwich, drink of choice and then gathering in the garden center at the store to talk cheeky about how smart we were.

 Developments in West Bend

Watch for development of a new residential building in the vacant lot just north of Dublin’s, 110 Wisconsin Street.

“This is a .37 acre parcel,” said city administrator Jay Shambeau. “Urban Vantage LLC will build a 10-unit, market rate residential building that will also have 2,400-square-feet of commercial space on the first floor which will be home to Quam Engineering.”

According to the concept plan there will be 2 units on the first floor along with office space for Quam Engineering and 4 units on the second and third floors.

“The tenant, Quam Engineering, will stay in West Bend and hopefully expand in West Bend,” said Shambeau. “We’re super excited about it.”

Plans show a parking lot toward the front of the property on Wisconsin Street and the residential building on the west side overlooking the Eisenbahn State Trail.

Market-rate apartments are now “low income apartments or anything subsidized by government programs.” A good local example of market-rate apartments are those at Cast Iron Luxury Living in West Bend.

The city sold the property for $1. Revenue generated will add to the tax base in that TIF District.

There are a couple pretty large construction proposals on the table in West Bend including the construction of an 111,047-square-foot indoor storage facility, located east of 1605 Corporate Center Drive. The location is in an empty field right across the street from the new headquarters of Delta Defense/ USCCA.

Also on tap is development of a 61,830-square-foot, 3-story 32 unit apartment building, on vacant land west of 1275 Shadowood Circle. That plan received a little pushback by neighbors. Another meeting is set between the builder and neighboring condo association on April 17.

And there’s a proposed addition 560-square feet on the west side of the building at 18 E. Washington Street. That building was previously home to Glacier Hills Credit Union and the West Bend Company Museum. It’s currently home to Salberg Law Office.  The property is owned by Howard Henrich Iron Ridge Properties, LLC 207 Lincoln Avenue South West Bend.

Controlled deer hunt in West Bend

There will be a public-input session next month as the West Bend Park and Rec Department follows up on a request to help manage deer in the city.

During a meeting in November 2016 the Deer Management Assistant Program reviewed whether to issue special permits to allow bow hunting to trim the deer herd in local parks.

According to Park and Rec director Craig Hoeppner the Park and Rec staff did an old-fashioned deer drive and the count was 28 deer at Lac Lawrann, Ridge Run Park had 41 deer, Regner had 9 and Silverbrook Parkway had 18.

In March, Lac Lawrann voted unanimously that it be a test and sample site for a controlled hunt.

Going forward the Park and Rec Commission will work with the DNR this month on a proposal and then in May there would be a public input session. Hoeppner said the Park and Rec Department would then bring a proposal back to Common Council to determine how to move forward.

Wax Museum at St. Frances Cabrini

Miss Tanking’s class at St. Frances Cabrini hosted a Wax Museum day on Thursday. Students picked an historic figure, researched for months, put together a tri-fold display and had to speak publically about the person.

One of the best moments was at the Sandra Day O’Connor display. The student portraying Justice O’Connor stood stock still with confidence and seriousness; one hand raised to take the oath to uphold justice while the other hand was on the Bible.

And then a little kid walked by and slapped her five.

Papa Murphy’s Pizza in West Bend has a new owner

 Papa Murphy’s Pizza, 815 S. Main Street, in West Bend is under new ownership.  Earlier this year Carla Schmit retired and sold the business to Derek Strom of Jackson. Strom owns about eight Papa Murphy outlets.  On a side note: A big thanks to Carla for supporting schools and events while she owned her business in West Bend.

Updates & Tidbits

 Funeral services were held Friday for Harold Strohmeyer, 82, of St. Michaels, passed away unexpectedly on Saturday, April 1, 2017. Harold was a fixture at the West Bend   Farmers’ Market. An expert gardener he was at local Farmers’ Markets from 1979 to his last market October 2016.  Harold was known by many people to just strike up a conversation with you, giving his advice usually about growing the best vegetables.  

Keberle, Patrykus & Laufenberg, LLP in West Bend welcomes its new Paralegal, Claudia McGuire. McGuire graduated Marquette University in 1997 with a Bachelor’s Degree in Economics. She has been in the legal field for 20 years and is fluent in Spanish.

“We are very fortunate to have her,” said attorney Dan Patrykus.

– Saturday, May 6 as Washington County hosts its annual Clean Sweep. Registration is limited. To pre-register you may either pay online at washcoparks.com or mail the registration found at co.washington.wi.us/cleansweep.  Forms can also be picked up at the Planning and Parks Department, 333 E. Washington Street in West Bend or call 262-335-4808.

– The DIVA Spring Bling is coming up Thursday, April 27 in downtown West Bend. Proceeds from umbrella and specialty ring sales benefit Chix 4 a Cause.

– Come to The Columbian on Saturday, April 8 for the 35th annual Kiwanis pancake-sausage brunch with the Easter Bunny. Tickets at Horicon Bank in West Bend, The Columbian and Minuteman Press.

– Friday, April 14 Fillmore Fire & Rescue Fish Fry at the Fillmore Fire Department. Tommy Schwai will also be making shrimp. Free desserts for donating a non-perishable food item!

– Horicon Bank has stepped up this year to sponsor the fireworks during the July 4th celebration at Riverside Park in West Bend.

-The West Bend American Legion Post 36 will be hosting a brat fry on Friday, Saturday and Sunday, April 28, 29 and 30 at 1421 W. Washington St. from 9 a.m. – 4 p.m. Proceeds to local projects and veterans programs.

-The Exclusive Company in West Bend is already advertising this year’s Record Store Day as April 22. The day includes sales, free food and live music as the store, 144 N. Main St., celebrates its independence. The store opens for 12 hours of sales from 8 a.m. – 8 p.m.

– Fundraiser Saturday, April 8 for Jeremy Rauch of Slinger who is moving forward following a paralyzing accident. Please come enjoy the fun and offer the Rauch family your support.


Judy Steffes, Editor

Washington County Insider


Around the Bend by Judy Steffes

West Bend woman to be inducted into 2017 Wisconsin Senior Olympics’ Hall of Fame

This Saturday, 93-year-old Edith Schultz of West Bend will be inducted into the 2017 Wisconsin Senior Olympics’ Hall of Fame.

“I have made already 20 copies of this letter to send to my family and friends,” said Schultz with a thick German accent. Earlier this month Schultz received a letter of notification.

“A remarkable achievement and an inspiration to athletes of all ages,” said the note from Senior Olympics executive director Mollie Bartelt.

An avid swimmer, Schultz will be recognized for her 10-year history of competing in the Wisconsin Senior Olympics.

A self-taught swimmer, Schultz has mastered three strokes including the breast stroke, back and side stroke. “I get three gold medals every year,” she said. “Except the first year I got only two.

“I have 29 medals and that’s more than Michael Phelps; he has only 27,” she said comparing hardware with the well-decorated Olympic swimmer.

Schultz lives at Cedar Ridge in West Bend. She chose the facility because it has a pool.

Schultz comes out of the back bedroom in her apartment wearing three of her Senior Olympic medals.  “If we take a picture of them in the sunlight they shimmer like gold,” she said.

Down to only a handful of medals in her collection, Schultz has been distributing them as gifts over the past few years. “I give them to my children, grandchildren, great grandchildren and special friends too,” she said. “I give one to my tax man because he does a good job.”

Schultz even rewarded her doctor who fixed her kneecap when she fell and broke it into four pieces. “He had tears in his eyes when I gave him this medal; he was so emotionally happy,” she said.

A handwritten card accompanies each gift. It reads, “Always do your very best.” Signed Edith Schultz

A tiny woman with round glasses, Schultz has heaps of spunk and a fascinating history.

Edith Hentschel was born in Lodz, Poland in 1923; she survived WWII and the Hitler Youth, became a war bride in 1947 and immigrated to the U.S.

Schultz has written a 214 page book about her life, “From Riches to Rags to Riches with the Grace of God.”

Schultz details growing up in a Christian family, singing in the choir, learning English and reading stories of Robin Hood.

In 1939 Schultz wrote about rumors Hitler would go to war against Poland. “German troops came into our town. We were issued ID cards. The Jews had to wear arm bands.

“In January 1945 chaos broke loose. My hometown of Lodz was bombed. I reached Berlin with the horse and wagon in four days just staying ahead of the Russians bombing and shooting. My faith in the Lord helped me get through those tough times.”

Doug Gonring throws hat in the ring for Kewaskum School Board

This week Doug Gonring submitted paperwork to run as a write-in candidate for the Kewaskum School Board. In a letter to the editor at WashingtonCountyInsider.com Gonring questioned the integrity of the School Board, especially its building plan concerning the referendum and the remodel of the middle school.

A portion of Gonring’s letter is follows. “An article was published in the Feb. 9, 2017 Kewaskum Statesman, ‘Kewaskum School District Considers New Building Plan.’

It said after 18 months of development by administration, the Long Range Planning Committee, Bray Architect and CD Smith, that 60 days after the referendum passed a board member indicated, “The whole board will be eating crow because it is the right thing to do.”

How can that happen? How do you meet for 18 months and the building plan you forward to referendum is not right?

How could board members and administration support referendum mailings, brochures, meetings to the public at the townships and fire departments and all of sudden without knowledge to the public, they choose a different path?

How could all those things which cost time and money become fruitless? Unless the administration and certain board members knew all along the total conceptual plan was never an option.

That isn’t honest and it shows a great lack of integrity and judgment by the elected members on the school board. This is just a good old slap in the face to taxpayers.

There are things that are needed to be addressed in our district but to campaign on one front and change the plan because you now have our money, is very misleading to all of us.

Are we ever going to have a long-range maintenance plan for our other aging facilities in the future so we don’t have to have referendums every 20 years?

This administration and majority school board has been disgraceful to each other at times. It lacks respect and dignity to others on the board or committees members that actually do live here.

This upcoming election gives us an option to make a difference and get some new blood on the board. We know for a fact the majority board that does exist hasn’t been honest to taxpayers.

We need a change of leadership just like the changes we have seen in our federal and state governments. We need leaders willing to stand up for the people who elected them not the ones they have hired.

If you’re ready for a change, so am I.  On April 4, use your 3-votes to elect Bradley A. Petersen and Gregg Denman, and write-in Doug Gonring for Kewaskum School Board. Doug Gonring

Three other candidates on the ballot include incumbents Troy Hanson, Jay Fisher and Sue Miller. Board president Hanson declined comment.

Bob Brandt WWII Army vet on April 8 Honor Flight

Bob Brandt, 89, of West Bend is one of 90 veterans on the upcoming April 8 Stars & Stripes Honor Flight to Washington D.C.

Brandt was drafted at 18 years old; he had just graduated Wauwatosa High School. “They asked me what branch of the service I wanted,” he said. “My dad had been in the Navy and I said ‘Navy’ and the guy stamped it Army.” Brandt pounded the table and laughed at the memory.

Brandt completed basic training at Fort Lewis, southwest of Tacoma, Washington. He then shipped out of Fort Lawton, Seattle for Japan. “I was stationed in Shinagawa, just south of Tokyo by about five railroad stops,” he said.

The year was 1946; WWII was over and it was the Army of Occupation.

Brandt was initially stationed in Tokyo Bay on an island where ships would unload supplies that would go to a warehouse.  “I took my break and went to the typewriter,” he said. “I would just hunt and poke but a sergeant came down and saw me typing and the next day I got an order to report to headquarters.”

Brandt recalled being told to sit down in front of a typewriter. “They gave me a stack of court-martial cases to transcribe,” he said. “You could only have three errors per page and there were duplicate copies and I called the sergeant over and said I can’t do that, I can’t transcribe.”

Brandt said he managed to remain a clerk at headquarters but he was replaced by a Japanese girl who could type.

“It was a good deal because we had good meals and it was like going to work,” he said. “We had three Japanese boys in our barracks that shined our shoes and made our beds.”

In April 1947, Brandt received his notice of separation; he returned to the states and received an honorable discharge. “It was odd because I went in April 24, 1946 and got out on the same day just a year later,” he said.

At 19 years old Brandt picked up a couple part time jobs, went to Marquette University to study marketing and met his wife Audrey.

“I worked two years for Swift and Company, a meat packing company,” he said. “We were selling canned goods, meats and baby food, and we sold to a lot of corner grocery stores.”

Transferred to the meat department, Brandt quit and went to work for Broan NuTone, now Broan Manufacturing. “I started as assistant office manager and when Broan moved to Hartford I went out there with them,” he said.

Brandt stayed with the company for nearly 39 years.

Eager for the Honor Flight, Brandt said this will be a return trip to D.C. “I’ve seen the Vietnam Memorial but I haven’t been to the WWII Memorial,” he said.

A.J. Brandt, a grandson, will be Brandt’s guardian. “He kind of picked me,” laughed Brandt. “I wasn’t going to do this because I don’t really feel like a veteran. I had a vacation in Japan for a year courtesy of the government. These fellas who went through so much, I didn’t feel it would be right for me to take up a place.”

Brandt talked to a few other vets who had been on the Honor Flight and they convinced him he was worthy enough to go.

Two other Washington-County area veterans on the April 8 flight include Raymond Grund of West Bend and Bill Mayer of Hartford, both served in the Korean War Army.

 New principal hired at Addison Elementary

There will be a familiar face taking over as principal at Addison Elementary in the Slinger School District as Joel Dziedzic has been selected for the job.

Dziedzic, pronounced jay-jeets, is the principal at Kewaskum’s Charter School and a part-time principal at Kewaskum High School. He will officially come before the Slinger School Board on April 17.

“Joel was a unanimous choice by a committee of 17 people,” said Slinger Superintendent Daren Sievers. “He has a warm personality and a relationship focus with his leadership and we really value that in Slinger.”

Sievers said he was also impressed with Dziedzic knowledge of technology. “We think he’ll bring a fresh perspective in that regard and it’ll be a great addition to our staff and technology in the classroom,” Sievers said.

Dziedzic will take over in Addison on July 1.

“He will be invited to meet the Addison staff for the first time on Monday, April 3 and then I’m going to take him on a driving tour of the district to meet all five principals and see all the buildings and be welcomed by our staff,” Sievers said.

Behind the scenes: Sievers said his interview with Dziedzic was memorable because it happened during the big Monday snowstorm where accidents shut down I-41 and Slinger High School was selected to serve as a safe space.

“As we were interviewing Joel and my phone blew up that Germantown was having early release,” said Sievers.

“I left the meeting, talked to the bus company and local law enforcement, learned about the accidents and decided rather than early release we’d just keep the kids safe at school.”

Sievers sent a note and a phone call to all parents in the district telling them the kids would be staying put.

“I had to duck out of Joel’s meeting and then interview him by phone, even though the entire committee said, ‘this is our guy,’” he said.

“So the only interview I missed, because of the snow storm, was the guy we chose.”

Updates & tidbits

Job interviews for on-site caregivers on Tuesday, April 4 from 2 p.m. – 4 p.m. at Homes for Independent Living on W. Washington Street in West Bend.  Print this ad and show recruiter to receive a $1,000 signing bonus.

– The move to a new corporate headquarters for Delta Defense/ USCCA appears to be complete as the American flag is now in place on Freedom Way just off Corporate Center Drive in West Bend.

– The DIVA Spring Bling is coming up Thursday, April 27 in downtown West Bend. Proceeds from umbrella and specialty ring sales benefit Chix 4 a Cause.

– Make your Easter plans early and come out to The Columbian on Saturday, April 8 for the 35th annual Kiwanis pancake-sausage brunch with the Easter Bunny.  Tickets are available at Horicon Bank in West Bend, The Columbian and Minuteman Press.

– Mark your calendars for the Friday, April 14 Fillmore Fire & Rescue Fish Fry at the Fillmore Fire Department. Tommy Schwai and his team will also be busy making shrimp.  There will be free desserts for donating a non-perishable food item!

– Horicon Bank has stepped up this year to sponsor the fireworks during the July 4th celebration at Riverside Park in West Bend.

-The West Bend American Legion Post 36 will be hosting a brat fry on Friday, Saturday and Sunday, April 28, 29 and 30 at 1421 W. Washington Street from 9 a.m. – 4 p.m. Proceeds to local projects and veterans programs.

-Students at schools across Washington County including West Bend, Kewaskum, Slinger and Germantown are competing for a traveling trophy as they come up with an Anti-Drug slogan. The best anti-drug slogan will be used county wide at future anti-drug events. Judging will be April 6 at 6 p.m. at the West Bend Mutual Prairie Center.


-The Exclusive Company in West Bend is already advertising this year’s Record Store Day as April 22. The day includes sales, free food and live music as the store, 144 N. Main St., celebrates its independence. The store opens for 12 hours of sales from 8 a.m. – 8 p.m.

Around the Bend by Judy Steffes

New floral business moving into downtown West Bend

It didn’t take long for the building at 136 S. Main Street in West Bend to acquire a new tenant. The triangular two-story on the corner of Fifth Avenue and Main, formerly home to Hemauer Paint and then Century Farmhouse Soap will now host a florist.

“I feel really, really blessed to have such a fantastic location in downtown West Bend,” said Amanda Strassburg, owner of Consider the Lilies.

For over six years Strassburg has operated her business of her home and her historic barn in Barton. She said she was drawn to the shop on S. Main and its brilliant interior.

“The gorgeous lime green tin ceiling is my favorite thing,” Strassburg said. “I love the color lime green and it’s appropriate this year because the Pantone Color Institute, based in the United States, projects color trends of the year for home interiors, floral and clothing design. This year the color for 2017 happens to be greenery. Plus I’ve used green a lot in my marketing and branding and when I saw the ceiling I instantly knew.”

Strassburg gravitated to downtown West Bend because of the variety of shops, restaurants and locally-owned establishments.  “People from outside the community seem to really want to come and explore the downtown,” she said.

Originally from Menomonee Falls, Strassburg got her start working weddings and events. “I did not go to school for floral design,” she said. “I got a lot of my education through the industry, working different seminars and conventions and traveling around the country.”

The style of Consider the Lilies is described best by Strassburg as “modern floral art.”

“I like to take the flowers and materials people are used to seeing and design them in a different way; something you haven’t seen before,” she said.

An example would be using garden mesh in a floral arrangement. “I want people to look at it and say, ‘I know what that is but I’ve never seen it in a floral arrangement before,’” Strassburg said. “I love getting that response.”

Planning the move from a larger space to a triangle interior is more inviting than intimidating for Strassburg. She gushes about the windows and the well lit front room.

“The beautiful natural light; flowers look best in natural light. They will really pop with the white background and the green ceiling,” she said.

And the storefront windows, according to Strassburg, are like a built in stage. “People really enjoy seeing artists of all type and I’m excited to put my workbench right in the window and create,” she said. “If people want to stand on the sidewalk and watch that would be great, if they want to come in and ask questions I welcome that as well.”

During a walkthrough of the empty building, Strassburg quickly laid out the back area as her primarily work area to process flowers and get arrangements for events.  The storefront will be for displays and customer consultations; modern floral books will be available so customers can sit and learn.

The space is also inviting for classes. “It’s one part of my career as a floral designer that I absolutely love,” she said. “I love teaching design and holiday decorating and being able to host classes and parties.”

Another form of education Strassburg will feature involves introducing a unique flower a week. “Then I’ll focus my displays on that flower along with some different containers and plants so when people walk in they’re not bombarded with too much going on but they really get excited with the things on display,” she said.

Consider the Lilies is expected to open by the end of April. “I’ll have limited hours to start but I’ll be fully open in May,” Strassburg said. “I’m very excited; we have lots of plans for different things the shop will offer and to get involved in the community.”

On a side note: The name Consider the Lilies is faith based. “A friend of mine suggested it to me long before I even started my business,” said Strassburg. “It comes out of scripture but I love the thought of considering the lilies; remembering the flowers. Every occasion in life is a great opportunity to celebrate with flowers and I have to remind people of that.”

Former Sears building for sale

The old Sears building, 102 S. Main St., in downtown West Bend is for sale. Paula Becker with Re/Max posted the listing this week for $269,000. Prime location in the heart of downtown West Bend. Historic building once housed Peters General Store, the very beginnings of Amity Leather Products Co, Sears Roebuck, and most recently Generations Christian Fellowship Church. Over 13,400 square feet of space, zoned B-2 which allows for a multitude of uses. Large windows along Main St. and Hickory would be ideal for retail. Property has an apartment with full BA, roughly 15 multi-functional rooms, 4 restrooms and a 4,200-square-foot basement. Sold AS-IS.

Records in the city assessor’s office show the bank took the building in 2017 at $161,800.  The building is partially assessed at $157,600.

Last week to vote in-person absentee before April 4 election

Friday, March 31 is the last day to vote in-person absentee before the April 4 election. West Bend city clerk Stephanie Justmann said 50 people vote in-person since Monday, March 20.

Couple from Hansen’s Piggly Wiggly die 12 days apart

The couple that started Hansen’s Piggly Wiggle has died.  Doris Ansay met Jack Hansen during WWII. They were working at the Wisconsin Chair Factory together. The war ended, the couple married and settled in Saukville. Jack was a traveling salesman but soon grew weary of the job and moved his family to Hubertus where they ran a tavern and grocery store. Years later the family operated several Piggly Wiggly grocery stores in Washington and Ozaukee County under the name of Hansen’s.

On March 10 Doris died and on March 22 Jack died at the age of 92. The obituary read, “Jack joined Doris in heaven, she preceded him in death 12 days prior.” The couple had been married 70 years.

County Board reverses property sales, forced to give back money       By Ron Naab

The Washington County Board passed four resolutions this month that rescinded property sales made in February.

There were six resolutions passed by the County Board in February to sell six properties. The county had taken possession of the parcels because no taxes had been paid on them for five or more years. Daisy Hill Properties LLC, from Hartland, purchased most of the properties.

On March 14 the board was forced to rescind the sale of three properties to Daisy Hill Properties and another to Steve and Michelle Brandt for a total of $128,034.

According to Supervisor Tim Michalak, city of Hartford, there was an oversight by the County Treasurer’s Office in doing complete and thorough research for any liens or mortgages on the properties.  Michalak filed a request with the Human Resources Department to inquire how these four errors occurred.   Supervisor Chris Bossert thanked County Clerk Ashley Reichert and her staff for doing diligence and finding this problem.

Michalak state it appeared the four buyers were no longer interested in purchasing the properties and the county is out a fair amount of money due to the error.

The County Treasurer’s Office and County Administrator Joshua Schoemann referred all comments to County Attorney Bradley Stern. “In light of the County Board’s action, I am reversing the tax deeds, so we’re conveying the properties back to the property owners,” said Stern. “Additionally, the successful bidders will receive refunds.  For the Treasurer’s part, she is going to resend the Notice for Application of Tax Deed to the necessary parties to start that part of the process over again.”

Stern qualified the mistakes during the title searches as “simply the result of human error.”

Moving forward, the county indicated once the title searches are completed and clear of any mortgages, etc., the properties will again be listed for sale.

Therese Sizer resigned from the West Bend School Board.

Therese Sizer has resigned from the West Bend School Board. Sizer, a clerk on the board, read a prepared statement following a vote on policy 511.1 which related to nepotism within the district.

The board passed the policy on its second reading with a 6 – 0 vote; Sizer abstained as she has a daughter that works in the West Bend School District.

The policy essentially made clear that a board member cannot vote on a measure that affects a direct relative. After the measure passed Sizer read a 3-page statement and left the meeting.

“I didn’t take it that she was upset,” said board member Ryan Gieryn. “She made clear that she didn’t try to do anything that would have an effect on her daughter and she’s always been very ethical.”

Gieryn described Sizer’s statement as “eloquent.” During her statement Sizer mentioned how the nepotism policy would only allow her to vote on minute amounts and she’d have to recuse herself so much that she could not fulfill her responsibilities on the oath she took to perform her duties on the board.  At the close of Sizer’s statement she mentioned “do not go around spreading rumors about each other.”

Sizer chose to refrain from making any comments after the meeting. Sizer had one more year left on her term. Gieryn will fill in the next meeting as board clerk.

The board will also review the process to fill the seat during its next meeting April 3.

In other action the board named Jeridon Clark the new principal for the West Bend High School.  Clark is currently the Executive Director of Information & Technology in the Mequon-Thiensville School District. Clark will take over for interim principal Tracy Conners who will return to her position as Director of Elementary Education.

Side note: Replacing Therese Sizer on the school board cannot be completed in the April 4 election. Those ballots have already been printed and in-person absentee voting is already underway. There are three seats that will be filled in the April 4 election.

Gieryn said the current school board will not make a motion to fill the seat. He said that will be up to the new board.

New executive director of activities at Washington Co. Senior center

There is a new executive director of activities at the Senior Center in Washington County.  Mary Russell is stepping out to help with her husband’s business and Paula Hader will take over. Hader has extensive work with senior citizens as she held a long-time position as activities director at Cedar Community.

Updates & tidbits

West Bend Deputy Chief Chuck Beistle, Firefighter/Paramedic Alec Hakes, and Firefighter/Paramedic Jake Lodl participated in the annual American Lung Association Fight for Air Climb. Last weekend all three successfully climbed the 47 floors of the US Bank Center building in Milwaukee, while wearing full turnout gear and an air pack.

The Downtown West Bend ArtWalk is Saturday May 13 from 4 p.m. – 7 p.m. at the Museum of Wisconsin Art. The event will feature free admission to MOWA and a silent auction of banners.

The Allenton Buffalo Feed has been modernized. Come out for a steak dinner on Saturday, April 22 and do some gambling in the casino. Who would have ever thought…gambling in Allenton! The evening is being presented by the Allenton Area Advancement Association.

-Free Easter dinner at the West Bend Moose Lodge on Sunday, April 16. Please call to make reservations, 262-338-8122.

-Tickets are on sale for the 22nd Annual Newburg Lions Big Raffle. The Grand Prize is $5,000. There will only be 500 tickets sold. There will be five $100 “Early Bird” drawings from April – August. Drawing will be held Saturday Sept.9 at 1 p.m. at the Newburg Fire Department. Tickets are $50 a piece. Contact any Newburg Lions member or call 262-338-0432

– The West Bend Korean War Veterans Post 111 will host a brat fry on Friday and Saturday, April 7 and 8 at 1421 W. Washington St., from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.  Proceeds will go to the Honor Flight Program, The National Flag Day Foundations and other veterans’ programs.

-The city of West Bend will be hosting Loyalty Day in 2017.  The event will feature a parade Saturday, April 29.  Loyalty Day is observed nationally. All VFW Posts are invited to take part.

-The 30th annual Washington County Breakfast on the Farm is Saturday, June 10 at the Golden ‘E’ Dairy Farm on 8262 Orchard Valley Road, in the Town of Farmington.

– The 35th annual Kiwanis pancake-sausage brunch with the Easter Bunny is being held Saturday, April 8 at The Columbian.  Tickets are at Horicon Bank in West Bend, The Columbian and Minuteman Press.

Thecla Richter – life of a West Bend nurse during WWI     By Lee Krueger

Resident historian Lee Krueger is highlighting his great aunt Thecla Richter, who served as a nurse during WWI.  Below are two letters home from Richter dated August 30, 1917 and  Sept. 28, 1917.

Aug. 30, 1917 (received Aug 30)

“Somewhere in France”

Dear Brother….. Will you do me a favor and order some candy at Webers or the Princess for me.  Ask father to give you the money.  I have enough at home.  Put in a standing order for them to send one pound every week and have them send it directly to me so it won’t be any trouble for you.  They could send you the bill with postage each month…..   I don’t want chocolate creams but do want an assortment of hard centered chocolates such as nougats, caramels, puddings, coated nuts, peppermints.  Also some of their assorted caramels.

It is absolutely impossible to buy any sugar. Our foods such as rice, tea and puddings are sweetless….. If they send me one pound a week I will at least get quite a bit and still allow some to Fritz to feed the fishes.

Now for some real news. We had an air raid the other night but not a German air raid.  It was a real wind storm. We had to abandon a great part of our hospital. Fifty-three marques (small tents) were abandoned and are lying in ruins.  That means 1000 beds are out of commission-a loss estimated to be $100,000.

Have many of the boys from West Bend come over? But then I must not go into details because it would all be censored….

…. I do not want any chocolate creams because they do not come in good condition.

Sept. 28, 1917   (received Oct. 17)

Almost a week has passed and I haven’t written but we have been so very busy. When we receive several hundred new patients a day it means that everyone works as hard as they can and all day.  Really it is pathetic the condition of some of these patients are in.  Even at the very worse they try to be cheerful and patient.

Sometimes these cases are sent back to England to recuperate. Many are permanently unfit for service and others whose injuries are not as severe stay at the base hospitals until they are ready to go to a convalescent camp or to their own base camp and then go back into line to do their bit.

The other day I met a man from the same town in Scotland where Miss Wood lived. You remember, Miss Wood was the Evanston girl killed on the boat coming over here. We were glad to see him.  He had visited at Miss Wood’s home only several weeks ago.

Undoubtedly you read about the bombing of hospitals. It is true but fortunately no one was hurt in our camp and I really don’t think it was meant for hospitals and probably won’t happen again.

Judy Steffes, Editor

Washington County Insider


Around the Bend by Judy Steffes

The ordination of Bishop Jeffrey Haines    By Jill Maria Murdy

Hundreds turned out Friday for the ordination of Bishops Jeffrey Haines and James Schuerman at the Cathedral of St. John the Evangelist in Milwaukee. Jill Maria Murdy, Director of Liturgy and Music at Saint Frances Cabrini Parish was selected to attend as a representative from the Cabrini and she filed this update for WashingtonCountyInsider.com

It was a beautiful liturgy, bursting with the rich sounds of organ, choir and brass, a train of priests and 20 bishops, and the church overflowing with God’s people.

There were so many symbols: the incense, being anointed with holy oil, the Eucharist, placing the Gospel Book over the Bishop’s heads.

Scriptures about God’s calling were prevalent (Jeremiah 1: 4-9, Psalm 139, 1 Peter 4: 7b-11, and Luke 5: 1-11.)

In his homily, Archbishop Listecki reminded the Bishops that it was not an honorary area title.  Bishops were to be the servants of their people. Their shepherds and servants.

Taking all these wonderful elements of the prayer and then remembering Bishop Haines was the one who hired me and brought me to Wisconsin, and it made for one powerful day, filled with tears of joy.

I felt very blessed to be able to represent Saint Frances Cabrini Parish.

Teacher from Fair Park Elementary wins Herb Kohl Foundation award

Fair Park Elementary School teacher Renee Wilberg is one of 100 teachers being awarded $3,000 by the Herb Kohl Education Foundation. Each year the foundation recognizes students, teachers and principals for their excellence in academics, leadership and high achievement.

Local students recognized this year include Mackenzie Mas from West Bend who is a student at St. Mary’s Springs Academy, Fond du Lac and Jiexin (Jessica) Yang from Kettle Moraine Lutheran High School in Jackson.

Wilberg, Mas and Yang will be presented with their awards during a banquet in April.

Chicken discussion Monday at the West Bend Common Council meeting   

On Monday, March 20 the West Bend Common Council will talk about possibly amending the municipal code regarding keeping live chickens within the city limits. Currently the city’s ordinance bans keeping livestock in outdoor pens or sheds.

Live chickens in urban areas is a hot topic. Over the years Madison and Green Bay adopted ordinances allowing chickens while other communities, like Wauwatosa, have given the idea a 1-year trial run.

In Washington County, the Village of Slinger approved chickens in 2015. Some of the stipulations include having up to six hens, no roosters, the building inspector must approve a coop, and there’s a $10 license fee.

Dist. 4 Alderman Chris Jenkins is the one bringing the bird to the table, so to speak. He acknowledged there is quite a bit to discuss. “We’d talk about things like noise and cleanup and how much of a distance the coop would be from your neighbor’s lot line,” he said.

After Slinger passed its ordinance in 2015, the Village of Kewaskum broached the subject.

“I’ve looked into it and Oshkosh allows chickens, Janesville and Mequon just passed an ordinance allowing chickens within the city limits,” Jenkins said. “I think allowing self sustainability is great.”

Jenkins researched obstacles that may arise. “Obviously no roosters and keeping it small is a good idea,” he said. “All the communities I’ve talked to didn’t really have a problem.”

In 2013 the Common Council debated whether to allow teacup pigs as a family pet, rather than as the ordinance listed, as livestock.

The city attorney has drafted an ordinance. Some of the particulars include a license fee of $8 per chicken, no slaughtering of chickens and a total of four chickens will be allowed per property.

People who are passionate about chickens are encouraged to show up on Monday. The meeting gets underway at 6:30 p.m. in the council chambers at City Hall.

Buildings sold on Schoenhaar Drive

Two of the original buildings on Schoenhaar Drive have changed hands. Vic and Frank Albiero constructed two buildings in the industrial park in April 1971. Those two buildings, 601 and 605 Schoenhaar Drive both sold for a total of $550,000.  The current tenants purchased the properties on Feb. 28, 2017 – Craig’s Auto and Habitat for Humanity.

St. Lawrence Fire Company honors its own        By Ron Naab

The St. Lawrence Fire Company took time to thank those that support the organization. Former Fire Chief and president of the fire company Anthony “Tony” Montag was honored for 50 years of dedicated service.  Lieutenant Andy Messig was awarded Member of the Year and former Fire Chief Gary Karntiz was recognized for his work. Karnitz joined the fire company in 1986 and served as chief for 21 years. Presenting Karnitz with awards were the Allenton Volunteer Fire Department, Badger Firefighters Association and the St. Lawrence Fire Company.

Updates & tidbits

In-person absentee voting for the April 4 Spring Election begins Monday, March 20 in Washington County. In-person voting runs through Friday, March 31. Some of the races on the ballot include State School Superintendent, Circuit Court Judge Branch 3, and school board races in Kewaskum, West Bend, and Hartford Joint #1.

Congressman Jim Sensenbrenner has a series of town hall meetings coming up in Washington County. On Saturday, March 18 the Congressman will be at West Bend City Hall at 9 a.m. and Richfield Village Hall on Sunday, March 19 at 1 p.m.

The Downtown West Bend ArtWalk is Saturday May 13 from 4 p.m. – 7 p.m. at the Museum of Wisconsin Art. The event will feature free admission to MOWA and a silent auction of banners. The banners by local artists hang along Main Street and Sixth Avenue creating an outdoor gallery from May through October.

The Allenton Buffalo Feed has been modernized! Come out for a steak dinner on Saturday, April 22 and do some gambling in the casino. Who would have ever thought…gambling in Allenton! The evening is being presented by the Allenton Area Advancement Association.

March is Youth Art Month and the West Bend School District has its Mile of Art on display in downtown West Bend. This is the 15th year for the exhibit, according to Decorah Elementary School art teacher Mickiah Wolff.

-Free Easter dinner at the West Bend Moose Lodge on Sunday, April 16. Please call to make reservations, 262-338-8122.

-On Monday, March 6 a ceremony was held as Russ Darrow broke ground on his new Nissan dealership on Highway 33. Within a short 7 days contractors have cleared the land to make way for construction of a new 24,449-square-foot dealership.

-Tickets are on sale for the 22nd Annual Newburg Lions Big Raffle. The Grand Prize is $5,000. There will only be 500 tickets sold. There will be five $100 “Early Bird” drawings from April – August. Drawing will be held Saturday Sept.9 at 1 p.m. at the Newburg Fire Department. Everyone is welcome to attend. All profits go to local charities. Tickets are $50 a piece. For tickets contact any Newburg Lions member or call 262-338-0432

– The West Bend Korean War Veterans Post 111 will be hosting a brat fry on Friday and Saturday, April 7 and 8 at 1421 W. Washington Street, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.  Proceeds will go to the Honor Flight Program, The National Flag Day Foundations and other veterans’ programs.

-The city of West Bend will be hosting Loyalty Day in 2017.  The event will feature a parade Saturday, April 29.  Loyalty Day is observed nationally. All VFW Posts are invited to take part.

-The 30th annual Washington County Breakfast on the Farm is Saturday, June 10 at the Golden ‘E’ Dairy Farm on 8262 Orchard Valley Road, in the Town of Farmington.

-Make your Easter plans early and come out to The Columbian on Saturday, April 18 for the 35th annual Kiwanis pancake-sausage brunch with the Easter Bunny.  Tickets are available at Horicon Bank in West Bend, The Columbian and Minuteman Press.

Hartford F.D. to make honorary walk-through

There will be a special walk-through service Sunday for Cade Peter Werner, 14, of Rubicon who died March 14 following a car accident in neighboring Dodge County. Family will greet relatives and friends at the church from 1-6:45 p.m. with a Prayer Service at 7 p.m.   The Hartford Fire Department will be present at 1:30 p.m. for an honorary walk-through.

Remembering former W.B. Police Chief Jim Skidmore

There was a respectful sendoff to former West Bend Police Chief Jim Skimore on Saturday as police, veterans, family and friends gathered at Calvary Church to pay tribute. The service began with a final salute as police and veterans in uniform gathered at the front of the church.

Skidmore was recognized for the impact he had on the lives of kids, his dedication to his faith, family and the community.

“Chief Skidmore taught us to be strong but not unkind. Treat everyone with respect,” said daughter Lynn. While tough as nails in his demeanor, Skidmore’s family recalled he was “good at talking smack” and he “made The Claw famous” – a reference to WWF wrestler Baron von Raschke.

Former West Bend Police Chief Whitey Uelmen said a few words remembering Skidmore for his integrity, moral guidelines and his love of handing out nicknames. His family recalled how Skidmore “taught us to be strong and always to work hard.”

The West Bend Police Honor Guard presided over the flag-folding ceremony and a gun salute. The local VFW played Taps. Some local police, active and retired in attendance included Mike Hartwell, former Police Chief Steve Rinzel, Captain Tim Dehring, and Chief Ken Meuler… to name a few.

Skidmore served from Sept. 1, 1978 – Dec. 31, 1993. Skidmore died Saturday, Feb. 25, 2017 in Florida. He was 79.

Principal at school in Jackson camps out on rooftop on snowy Monday

Fifteen inches of lake-effect snow on Monday didn’t dissuade Trinity Ev. Lutheran principal Dennis Leckwee and teacher Jim Speerschneider from paying off a bet. The pair promised to camp on the roof of the school if students reached a goal of $500 for the third-quarter offering.  The goal was met March 10 and students studied the 7-day forecast.

Their go-to day ended up being Monday, March 13.  Snowmageddon for much of Washington County.

“As you know the weather was crazy but they had made a promise and they followed through with it,” wrote school secretary Kathy Minzlaff.

Thecla Richter – life of a West Bend nurse during WWI     By Lee Krueger

Resident historian Lee Krueger is highlighting his great aunt Thecla Richter, who served as a nurse during WWI.  Below are two letters home from Richter dated July 14, 1917 and July 26, 1917 and Aug. 26, 1917.

July 14, 1917  (received Aug 6, 1917)

I wish that you could see the city of tents around here.  There is one hospital right next to another. And all are about 2000 patient capacity.  Seems awful to see hundreds of men wounded daily, many killed and little or nothing gained. Let me know in your next letter how many troops have been sent from the United States.

I do hope that they will send enough to start with so that their strength will really be felt and hopefully hasten the end of this awful slaughter.

The gains for either side are not very marked, at least not according to reports we hear.

July 26, 1917 (Received Aug 14)

I wish that you could see the hill of poppies here.  They grow wild and really are considered a weed.

…..  The only kind of meat that we ever get is beef.  Wouldn’t pork chops taste good.  Our bread is a heavy dark bread and we eat it without butter two meals a day.

We are getting some heavy rubber boots from the Red Cross Society in England.  It rains so much that we certainly cannot get along without boots, umbrella, raincoat and rain hat.  Are also receiving sleeping bags for the winter.

I have read how much the U.S. Red Cross is doing.  I think it is the best thing they can do because no one at home can realize how much the Red Cross has done for this war and the help that they give us.  Of course what we have been receiving now has been mostly from the British Red Cross.

August 26, 1917  (received Sept 17)

The American Red Cross gave each of the nurses a warm heavy soft woolen sleeping bag…..  Money that anyone has given or is going to give to the Red Cross is certainly well spent.  You actually see what they do with it.

……  We have seen many train loads of American soldiers going by our hospital to training camps and it is a big problem to get enough food into France to feed thousands and thousands of people.

We are expecting 35 additional nurses any day now.  We will give them a hardy welcome as we are in great need of them. Are my letters censored badly?   I try to be very careful and not write anything that would not pass the censor.thecla-richter-operating-room

Around the Bend by Judy Steffes

Turning a family tragedy into a legacy

Herb Ellis and his daughter Alina were a pretty high-profile pair in the educational arena in Washington County.

Herb was a retired teacher in the Hartford School District and Alina ran an extremely popular in-home nanny care business called The Hoot House.  It’s the impact they had on families and children that makes their deaths last week even more difficult to swallow.

On March 2, Herb Ellis, 79, and his daughter Alina, 38, died after complications from different forms of influenza. The real anomaly, according to Alina’s older sister Carine Krull, is that Alina and her dad were born on the same date, June 8, and they died on the same day.

“This was absolutely unexpected,” said Krull. “When I talked to them Tuesday night Alina had the flu and dad had a cough. A day later they’re both in heaven; I’m just blown away.”

The family of Herb and Alina Ellis are overwhelmingly touched by the outpouring of support from the community and as they prepare a Saturday service, Krull said they are also working to take a tragic event and turn it into a memorable legacy.

Leaders in education…

During a one-on-one conversation Thursday night Krull described her father as “a teacher at Hartford High School forever.”

“He was very well loved and respected; he was quite the character very dramatic and really good at his job,” she said. Sister Alina was “a nanny who just loved, loved, loved children.” Krull raved about her sister’s in-home nanny care, The Hoot House.

“It just wasn’t like a regular child care. She had full-on lesson plans and on superhero day they had firemen outfits and capes and they’d visit the police department,” she said. “During the letter ‘P’ week they’d stop at Sal’s Pizza and learn how to make pizza and play with the dough.”

Riveredge Nature Center, MOWA, and the West Bend Public Library were some of the normal stomping grounds for the Hoot Nanny and her owlets.

“People who were lucky enough to be part of this program – it’s like the most magical thing in the world,” said Krull.

Keeping the Hoot House memory alive

Krull said Alina and her dad were like “two peas in a pod.”

“We are a very close family,” said Krull. “Dad took care of mom and Alina took care of both of them.”

In an effort to keep Alina’s passion of giving alive, Krull is working to continue her Owls for Owies program.

“Alina’s approach with children was about love and compassion,” she said. “Just the idea of helping others.”

Up to the very end, Krull said Alina helped. “She was able to donate her heart and kidneys to bring a new outlook on life to three individuals,” she said. “The St. Luke’s team worked really hard to make that happen. The staff with the Organ Donor Network was so kind to our family.”

Alina’s favorite program was The Owls for Owies. “Every year she’d collect money and they’d take the stuffed toy owls into the hospital at St. Joe’s and donate them to the sick kids,” Krull said.

In an effort to continue this program and grow Alina’s legacy, Beanie Boo Owls or funds to help the program are being collected. Questions can be addressed to:  owlsforowies@gmail.com

A memorial service in honor of Alina and Herb will be held Saturday, March 11 at 2:30 p.m. at Immanuel United Church of Christ, 501 Walnut St., West Bend.  The family will greet relatives and friends at the church on Saturday from 11:30 a.m. until the time of service.

Former Gehl property is a hot-ticket item

On March 20 city officials in West Bend will be reviewing a couple development proposals regarding the former Gehl Co. parcel on East Water Street.

The city acquired the Gehl property in 2005 and the mayor said cleanup should be completed in 2017.  The property is designated mixed use and the 8 acres on East Water Street and South Forest Avenue could become multi-family housing or commercial space. Mayor Kraig Sadownikow said development on a small grassy field north of Dublins is also in the mix.

Shepherd Centre I is sold on W. Washington Street

Steve Kearns has sold Shepherd Centre I, 3700 W. Washington St. in West Bend to Joe Valind, the owner of Auto Safety Center. Valind purchased the property for $1.4 million. “We’ve been here since January 2013 and we closed on the purchase on Feb. 24,” said Valind. “I really like West Bend; I was born and raised here (1996 WBE) and it’s always been a goal to own a location.”

On a history note: Auto Safety Center dates to 1965 when it was on N. Main Street between the old Habitat Restore/St. Vincent de Paul and the Mexican Grocery. The shop was owned by Ralph Schmidt and he called it the Schmidt Safety Center.

Roger Berth purchased the business in 1983 and coined it Auto Safety Center. Valind bought the business in 2005; he moved it to the Shepherd Centre in 2013. Some of the other businesses in the strip mall include Miller Monument, Hertz Rent a Car, Signature Studios and West Bend Optical.

Pizza Ranch easement approved – construction expected to start shortly

During this week’s West Bend Plan Commission meeting a green light was given to a new easement for Pizza Ranch. The driveway on the south end of the property was moved to the west. Stacy and Matt Gehring are expected to close on the purchase of the property on W. Washington Street in the coming weeks. The builder expects construction to get underway shortly with the restaurant open later this summer.

The Plan Commission also quickly approved a new oversized LED monument sign for Hawthorn Drive at Sixth Avenue. The LED sign is 40.7 square feet and one of the stipulations is the sign will have an automatic dimming effect to reduce glare at night.

Finally, traffic will be rerouted starting Monday, March 13 as underground utilities will be installed between Franklin Place and Rusco Drive; work will run until the beginning of April.  Rusco Drive will be closed to through traffic periodically during construction.

Memorial service for former WB Police Chief Jim Skidmore

A memorial service is Saturday, March 11 for former West Bend Police Chief Jim Skidmore. The service will be at 1 p.m. at Calvary Assembly of God on Decorah Road. Skidmore died Saturday, Feb. 25 in Florida. He was 79. Skidmore was hired as police chief in West Bend, Sept. 1, 1978 and retired Dec. 31, 1993. Skidmore retired to Florida with his wife and his family said he suffered a stroke a number of years ago and then his health declined recently before his death.

7 year old from McLane Elementary awarded Legislative Citation

A big day at McLane Elementary in West Bend as local lawmakers Rep. Bob Gannon and state Senator Duey Stroebel presented 7-year-old Serenity Sunde with a Legislative Citation for her work to help save a building from fire. Sunde’s story was first reported at WashingtonCountyInsider.com

She was in the car with her uncle when she spotted red flames atop Badger Car Wash on W. Washington Street. Sunde encouraged her uncle to check it out and he helped put out the fire. The entire second-grade class at McLane watched Friday afternoon as Sunde was presented with the citation.

“This just shows how important you are to everything that goes on in this world,” said Stroebel.

Rep. Gannon said because of encouraging actions like Serenity’s our future is in good hands. “It was a pleasure to visit Serenity’s class and award this commendation,” said Gannon. “The whole class was reminded that we all need to look out for others and to be helpful whenever possible.”

Padway’s on Big Cedar Lake is open for business

Padway’s on Big Cedar Lake is open for business. “We’re enjoying a booming business,” said owner Joe Weinshel.  During a Saturday afternoon conversation Weinshel stood at the end of the bar and looked out at the view over Big Cedar Lake. “In the last two and a half years we’ve come a long way,” he said. “I’m proud of our staff, the quality of our food and the enjoyment of our customer base that has grown with us.”

A couple weeks ago a real estate listing featured photos of Padway’s restaurant and the interior. Information was misinterpreted.

It’ll be three years this August when Weinshel closed on the purchase of the old Wegner’s Cedar Lake Inn. He was a young pup of 66. Weinshel changed the name of the business to Padway’s on Big Cedar Lake. “Padway was my mom’s maiden name,” he said. The goal at the time was to bring the restaurant back to an era of excellent food with a menu that screamed “American supper club.”

Mission accomplished, according to Weinshel. We’ve done an excellent job of balancing a true “American Style” supper club feel with unparalleled quality of food with a fun & lively atmosphere.  From the weekly live music, to patio dining over the lake to drinks at the tiki bar, our guests absolutely love it.

General Manager Amy Bellehumeur and Exec. Chef  Tomas Dodge are gearing up for the busy season with new menu items, Easter brunch, Mother’s Day brunch and Outdoor Patio Dining. The famous Tiki Bar will open in May.

Aiden Abbott testifies in Madison on Rare Disease Day

Aiden Abbott is 12 years old and a sixth grader at Slinger Middle School. Abbott suffers from a rare disease and recently went to the State Capitol in Madison to talk to lawmakers about dental care and health insurance coverage. Abbott penned this story for WashingtonCountyInsider.com

On Monday, Feb. 27 my family and I went to the Capitol in Madison, Wisconsin to attend Rare Disease Day 2017.  We were there to advocate for the Ectodermal Dysplasia community and families with other rare diseases. Many families from the rare disease community, representatives and their aids came along too.

I was lucky enough to get a tour of the State Capitol from an aide serving in Senator Duey Stroebel’s office. He let us sit in the chairs on the senate floor and go up to the podium. We also went to Rep. Bob Gannon’s office and my family shared my story with his staff.

I spoke to a group of legislators, families who have rare diseases, and medical professionals about the difficulties of living with a rare disease, and the troubles getting my dad’s health insurance to pay for my teeth.

We also spent a lot of time talking with Senator Tammy Baldwin’s aide… describing my health problems. Me and my family suggested a federal law should be created mandating health coverage to include dental coverage for all health insurance plans when it is a result of a congenital anomaly. I am hoping that sharing my story will help all families that struggle with insurance coverage and that will change soon. Rare Disease Day 2017 was an adventure and fun and meaningful time I will never forget.

Updates & tidbits

Congressman Jim Sensenbrenner has a series of town hall meetings coming up in Washington County. On Saturday, March 11 the Congressman will be at Germantown Village Hall at 9 a.m. Sensenbrenner will be at Hartford City Hall on Sunday, March 12 at 1 p.m.,  West Bend City Hall on Saturday, March 18 at 9 a.m. and Richfield Village Hall on Sunday, March 19 at 1 p.m.

The Kettle Moraine YMCA Dynamites Gymnastics team is hosting the state meet in West Bend this weekend, March 11 and 12. This is an annual event that rotates between all of the Wisconsin YMCAs that have a competitive gymnastics team.

Crimson Cowl Comics and Collectibles is opening today at1749 Barton Avenue next to Revive Salon Studios. David Gloyd, Curt Schoob and some of their muscular cohorts (friends… not superheroes – at least not that they know) helped heft boxes full of thousands of comics last Sunday. “We’re excited to be joining the Barton business community,” said Gloyd.

Paul Backhaus was presented the 2016 Slinger Firefighter of the Year Award at the Slinger Firefighter annual banquet. Backhaus joined the Slinger F.D. in March 2014. He is currently a firefighter with designations of motor pump operator, rapid intervention team.

-Groundbreaking is March 17 for the 911 memorial in Kewaskum.

– The West Bend Korean War Veterans Post 111 will be hosting a brat fry on Friday and Saturday, April 7 and 8 at 1421 W. Washington Street, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.  Proceeds will go to the Honor Flight Program, The National Flag Day Foundations and other veterans’ programs.

-The city of West Bend will be hosting Loyalty Day in 2017.  The event will feature a parade Saturday, April 29.  Loyalty Day is observed nationally. All VFW Posts are invited to take part.

-Delta Defense/USCCA has moved into its new headquarters on Freedom Way off Corporate Center Drive in West Bend.

-Signs of a pending remodel can be seen at Pick n’ Save south on S. Main Street in West Bend. Shelves are being emptied and pallets of items are on sale. Watch for the floral department to be moved to the entryway by produce. The remodel is part of the intended restructuring Kroger had in mind following its $866 million acquisition of Roundy’s Supermarkets in Dec. 2015.

-The 30th annual Washington County Breakfast on the Farm is Saturday, June 10 at the Golden ‘E’ Dairy Farm on 8262 Orchard Valley Road, in the Town of Farmington.

-The Kettle Moraine Geological Society (KMGS) is holding its 55th annual show March 11 and 12 at the Washington County Fair Park. The event features club speakers, demonstrators and a variety of displays. For schools, the KMGS is a valuable resource for earth-science curriculum.

-The Washington County Ice Squirt C team has won the Wisconsin Amateur Hockey Association Squirt 2C State Championship.

Thecla Richter – life of a West Bend nurse during WWI     By Lee Krueger

Resident historian Lee Krueger is highlighting his great aunt Thecla Richter, who served as a nurse during WWI. Below are two letters home from Richter dated June 14, 1917 and July 1, 1917.

June 14, 1917

Our trip from England to France was very uneventful.  We all expected to be sick because the English Channel is very rough.  We were well convoyed by destroyers and also by two dirigibles floating about above us.

We were all taken to our hospital in large buses. Most of the nurses were assigned to huts for sleeping and living quarters.  A few had to go in tents because there were not enough huts.  I feel quite fortunate because I am in a hut. The rooms are absolutely bare with the exception of a board bunk but that has been replaced by very comfortable cots. We brought some material from London and now are busy covering boxes for tables and putting up shelves. I also brought two pillows and have our steamer rugs on our cots.  Now our room looks real homelike.

July 1, 1917

….  The hospital which we have charge of can take care of 2000 patients.  All patients are in tents with the exception of the most serious cases which we keep in huts.  We have three huts of 30 beds each.

It is the saddest place to go into these huts and see all these strong men wounded so seriously that they cannot get well, or crippled, but this is war.  At present we have a few American soldiers in our hospital but the majority are Scotch, Australian, New Zealanders, etc. I am not having the luxuries I had been having in Evanston but really I am happier and feel as though life were worth more.

Our unit is invited over to another American hospital (a Boston unit) for tea on the 4th of July.  There are four hospitals right around us so even though we are in the country, we are never alone. The Y.M.C.A. is quite popular here.  They give concerts of some kind or other almost every night.  We always go.  They are given mainly for officers and nurses.  Occasionally they give some out door concerts which are attended by everybody.

If you send any food, pack it in tin boxes and sew a piece of muslin around it.  Write address on the muslin and also on paper which is on the outside.   Thecla   No. 18 General Hospital British Expeditionary Force Francethelca-flag-nurse

Around the Bend by Judy Steffes

Six from West Bend involved in balcony collapse in Florida

There was a local tie to a bad accident in Destin, Florida this week as 11 people, including six from West Bend, were injured when a second-story balcony collapsed.

According to DailyMail.com the accident happened as the group was on the balcony celebrating an 82-year-old’s birthday.

Dick and Ruby Stommel from Holy Angels in West Bend were at the gathering.

Dick, who used to drive for UPS, said he was the only one “not on the deck.”

Stommel’s wife Ruby suffered a fractured ankle and injuries to her back.

Bernie and Mona Werner of West Bend were also injured. Mona suffered a broken leg and fractured her back. Bernie, who used to work for Jecklyn Shoes, reportedly had a broken ankle.

Wally and Gladys Wenzloff of West Bend were also on the deck but only received bruises.

The cause of the accident remains under investigation.

Lillian Oelhafen has died

Lillian Oelhafen who died at her home on Friday in Kohlsville; she was 100 years old.

This past November more than 400 friends and family turned out to help Lillian celebrate her century birthday. Although she officially turned 100 on Dec. 24, Lillian said she simply wanted to see all the people who touched her life.

“She was a fixture at Germanfest,” said Todd Tennies. “She got to see all her old friends. People enjoyed walking up and talking to her because she was so friendly.”

Lillian Oelhafen was born Dec. 24, 1916 when Woodrow Wilson was President of the United States, Charlie Chaplain dominated films, and the Saturday Evening Post first featured a painting by Norman Rockwell on the cover.

Oelhafen was a small woman with an easy smile.  She has spent the past years writing her memoirs and was often a frequent resource to help document the history of Washington County.

During the Washington County Fair, Oelhafen recalled attending the fair as a child in the 1920s. She remembered growing up in Kohlsville and how she would go to the fair with her family.

“It was very dusty,” said Oelhafen. “There was always a dark man with a good suit on and he was standing where you entered the fair and he had a whisk broom and he would offer to brush the men’s suits because it was so dusty.”

Oelhafen said it was normal for families to go to the fair together. “They had rides like a Ferris wheel and merry go round,” she said. “And kids would show their animals.”

In September 2015 Oelhafen took part in her 80th high school reunion. She was one of two students left from the Class of 1935. Details on funeral services for Lillian Oelhafen will be posted shortly.

Former WB Police Chief Jim Skidmore has died

Former West Bend Police Chief Jim Skidmore has died. His family said he died Saturday, Feb. 25 in Florida. Skidmore, who hailed from Lebanon, Pennsylvania, was hired as chief in West Bend on Sept. 1, 1978.

Paul Hetebrueg was captain at the time. “Jim brought the department up to more modern times,” said Hetebrueg. “He improved the training we were getting.”

Former Chief Whitey Uelmen was a patrol office when Skidmore first came to town. “He was an advocate of morality,” said Uelmen. “When they wanted to open massage parlors and tattoo shops he was pretty much against that.”

Washington County Supervisor Mike Miller was an alderman when Skidmore came on board. “He did a wonderful job bringing West Bend up to a first-class police department,” said Miller. “Just the discipline; being an ex Marine, he just brought that Marine discipline to the department.”

Travis Gordon remembered Skidmore as his little league coach when he was 8 years old. “I played for him for 3 years,” said Gordon.  “He always had a kind smile and lots of patience with us. I was a tiny kid and he always told me to eat my spinach so I would grow big and strong. I always looked up to him and have many fond memories.”

Nancy Hoerz Wagner worked with Skidmore at West Bend City Hall. “He was my son’s little league coach for 4 years. Liked him a lot,” she said. Skidmore retired Dec. 31, 1993 and moved to Florida with his wife. His family said Skidmore suffered a stroke a number of years ago and then his health declined recently before his death. A memorial service is being planned at Calvary Assembly of God on Decorah Road in West Bend.

Former Washington Co. Fair manager Joyce Albrecht has died

Joyce Albrecht, a former manager of the Washington County Fair has died.  Albrecht became the Home Economist for the University of Wisconsin Extension Office in Washington County and served as the Washington County Fair Manager until her retirement in 1997.

Ann Marie Craig first got to know Albrecht through 4-H. “I did projects like baking, canning, and sewing along with other projects nearly every year of the nine years I was in 4-H and she was always at the dress reviews,” said Craig.

“Joyce also worked behind the scenes with the home arts judges at the Fair. She is another icon that several generations of 4-Hers and others in her field will remember and miss.”

Agnes Wagner was with Washington County for 18 years.  Wagner and Albrecht were both extremely visible when the fair grounds were located in Slinger.  “Joyce was a great worker and a great friend,” said Wagner.

Albrecht was a regular guest on the “Neighbor to Neighbor” show on WBKV AM-1470 with Steve Siegel.

Judy Etta said Albrecht was a fixture with 4-H at the County Fair. “She was a dear person,” said Etta. “She was smart and witty and a good person even after she retired.”

Albrecht, 74, died after a lingering illness on Feb. 28, 2017. Funeral Services will be held Sunday, March 5 at Trinity Lutheran Church, Seventh Avenue in West Bend. Visitation starts at 1 p.m. followed by a memorial service at 2 p.m.

7-year-old girl from McLane notifies authorities about fire

The keen eye of a 7 year old helped save the day this week as Serenity Sunde spotted a fire atop the former Badger Car Wash on W. Washington Street.

“I was driving with my uncle and he was going to get some papers and I saw the light and knew it was probably a fire,” she said of the red flames.

The second grader from McLane Elementary School said it took a bit to convince her uncle what she saw was real. “He was driving away and I started crying and saying he had to go back and check,” Sunde said. “I was crying because I didn’t want anybody to be hurt.”

The pair turned around, drove in, saw the fire and started beeping the horn.

Sunde’s uncle left the vehicle and helped pull scaffolding over so an attendant at the car wash could climb up to the roof and use a fire extinguisher to put out the fire.

On Tuesday a number of West Bend firefighters gathered outside the car wash to meet Sunde and hear her story. Dressed in yellow turnout gear the firefighters listened to what Sunde learned in class about fire safety.

“We learn stop, drop and roll if you have a fire on you and if there’s a in your house crawl on your knees or how low you can get,” she said. “If one door is blocked and you don’t have any more doors go through a window.”

Sunde’s aunt Becca Steines said she was extremely of her niece. “We have discussed fire safety in our house and I told her I was proud she could recognize an emergency and knew she had to tell an adult,” said Steines.

Firefighters praised Sunde for being in the right place at the right time.  “For a 7 year old to be that alert and to even be that cognizant to see a fire and know it’s bad ….. that’s pretty special,” said Lt. Alan Hefter. “So somebody really trained her well.”

The fire occurred late Monday afternoon. The amount of damage was undetermined and the cause of the fire remains under investigation.

New owner for Planet Mobile in West Bend

Terrance Kesler has taken over the Planet Mobile, 121 S. Main Street in downtown West Bend.

The Appleton native has worked in the phone industry since graduating high school. “I started at U.S. Cellular right out of school and also held jobs at Verizon and AT&T for the last 15 years,” he said.

For the past 10 years Kesler has been operating an online phone repair business called The Phoneyard. “I recycled cell phone batteries and learn about trouble shooting and I’ve done quite a bit of fundraising,” he said.

Kesler said he was attracted to the location downtown because of the visibility and foot traffic. “I want to be part of all of the events down here,” he said. Some of the new policies at the store will be a quick turnaround on all repairs and a solid schedule of hours. “Most phones I can get fixed in three days,” said Kesler. “I want to have this place be a one-stop shop; I’ll work on Galaxy phones and iPhones and I’ll have the repairs completed on a timely basis.”

Kesler uses words like “ethical” and “honest” to describe his business practices. “I follow up with people and the communication with customers is really important,” he said.  “I’m also going to start offering data recovery, so if you crash your phone I’ll be able to grab your photos and I’ll have free loaner phones.” New hours will be Tuesday – Saturday, 10 a.m. – 5:30 p.m. during the week and Saturday’s from 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.

Comic book store opening in Barton

A new comic book store will be opening in Barton. David Gloyd and Curt Schoob will be opening Crimson Cowl Comics and Collectibles. The store will be at 1749 Barton Avenue next to Revive Salon Studios. “We’re excited to be joining the Barton business community and will do our best to promote other Barton businesses,” said Gloyd.

The pair has been working to bring a comic book store out of their home space to West Bend. A grand opening is planned for March 11. The store will be open four days a week. More details can be found at Crimson Cowl Comics and Collectibles.

Lenten Prayer Service starts in March  

West Bend area Churches will be hosting a Lenten Ecumenical Prayer Service over the Wednesday noon hour. Each service will last from 12:15 p.m. to about 12:45 p.m. The theme is about Seeds of Hope found within Sacred Scriptures and our lives. The service schedule: March 8 Trinity Lutheran Church – Rev. Clarissa Martinelli, March 15 Cedar Ridge—Jill Maria Murdy, March 22 Saint Frances Cabrini Parish –Rev. Kathryn Kuhn, March 29  Saint James Episcopal Church – Rev. Shoob, April 5  Fifth Avenue Methodist Church – Mother Mindy Davis (soup lunch to follow) A free-will offering will be taken for a local charity to be announced.

Updates & tidbits

-You could see the lights in the sky for miles last Saturday night and if you traced them they led to Main Street in downtown West Bend where Kelsey and Wes Krimmer were celebrating the 2nd anniversary of Krimmer’s Restaurant.

-Homes for Independent Living is holding a day in West Bend for on-site caregiver interviews. It’s Tuesday, March 7 at 2395 W. Washington Street Suite 206 from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m.  There’s a $1,000 sign-on bonus for mentioning the post in WashingtonCountyInsider.com

– Treat yourself Irish style! On Saturday, March 4 from 5 p.m. – 8 p.m. there will be Irish music, food, beer, raffle prizes, dancing and plenty of other fun at the Jackson Community Center Live music by Frogwater, The Celtic Company and Rambler. Frogwater plays from 5 p.m. – 6 p.m. Don’t miss them no matter what!

– A near-capacity crowd at the first Mass on Ash Wednesday in the newly renovated St. Peter Catholic Church in Slinger. One of the hymns, “All Are Welcome in this Place.”  Hat tip Ruth Marks.

– Two student athletes from the UW-Washington County womens basketball team have been selected to the Wisconsin Collegiate Conference All-Conference team Megan Breuer was named first team all conference and Kimberly Zimmel was named honorable mention.

-Callie Olinski, 16, of Campbellsport will be the soloist with the Kettle Moraine Symphony on Sunday, March 5. The concert begins 2 p.m. at Our Savior’s Lutheran Church in West Bend.

-Katherine Gehl is the featured speaker March 8 at the MOWA Women’s Forum of Wisconsin. Gehl is a business entrepreneur and former president and CEO of Gehl Foods in Germantown.

– The city of West Bend will be hosting Loyalty Day in 2017.  The event will feature a parade Saturday, April 29.  Loyalty Day is observed nationally. All VFW Posts are invited to take part.

-Groundbreaking is March 17 for the 911 memorial in Kewaskum.

-Delta Defense/USCCA in West Bend will be moving to its new headquarters on Freedom Way off Corporate Center Drive next week Thursday and Friday.

-The Joseph Marest Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution honors seven high school seniors on March 16 who have been named by their schools as DAR Good Citizens. The 2016-2017 Good Citizens are: Chloe Christiaansen, Hartford Union High School, Kara Conley, West Bend West High School, Maria Tischer, Living Word Lutheran High School, Kayla Fixel, Germantown High School, Hailey Herriges, Kewaskum High School, Alison Wolf, Slinger High School and Meredith Vande Zande, West Bend East High School. These seniors have demonstrated outstanding dependability, service, leadership and patriotism.  Daughters of the American Revolution awards $150,000 in scholarships and aid each year.

-Preliminary signs of a pending remodel can be seen at Pick n’ Save south on S. Main Street in West Bend. Some shelves are being emptied and pallets of items are on sale. Watch for the floral department to be moved to the entryway by produce. In January, WashingtonCountyInsider.com reported the remodel was part of the intended restructuring Kroger had in mind following its $866 million acquisition of Roundy’s Supermarkets in Dec. 2015.

-The 30th annual Washington County Breakfast on the Farm is Saturday, June 10 at the Golden ‘E’ Dairy Farm on 8262 Orchard Valley Road, in the Town of Farmington.

-The Kettle Moraine Geological Society (KMGS) is holding its 55th annual show March 11 and 12 at the Washington County Fair Park. The event features club speakers, demonstrators and a variety of displays. For schools, the KMGS is a valuable

Around the Bend by Judy Steffes

West Bend Farmers’ Market ranked one of the top in the state

The Downtown West Bend Farmers’ Market is receiving some positive publicity.

A recent article in the ‘Onlyinyourstate’ webpage lists the downtown market as one of the top 17 farmers’ markets in Wisconsin. The market, organized by the Downtown West Bend Association, has more than 70 vendors selling everything from homemade jams and breads, fabulous flowers and seasonal vegetables and fruits.

“It was even voted a top 10 market in the world by Vogue Magazine in 2014,” according to the article. The downtown West Bend Farmers’ Market starts May 20 at 7:30 a.m. – 11 a.m.

Final day for Century Farmhouse Soap

After 15 years everything is now happening for the last time at 136 S. Main Street in West Bend as it’s the end of an era for Ann Marie Craig and Century Farmhouse Soap.

On a sunny Tuesday afternoon Craig made the final pour of a soap that will be ‘Thank you West Bend’ which is made with bits of lemongrass. “One of the soaps we sold the most of in West Bend was our ‘Lemongrass Safari’ soap which was designed specifically for an event for the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra,” said Craig.

‘Thank you West Bend’ is also scented with Tea Tree oil.

The final soap is named ’15’ for the 15 fabulous years of making soap, buying soap and following Century Farmhouse Soap. As Craig gently placed sheets of wax paper on top of the molds she explained the thought process behind the last soap which smells like grapefruit surrounded by sweet fresh air.

“It’s scented with mint for enthusiasm and fun which is what I hope everyone remembers about the store,” she said.

Earlier in the week – Under sunny skies and unseasonably warm mid-February temperatures Mike Hoeft of Kewaskum worked with his assistant to gently remove the signature logo that marked the back entrance to Century Farmhouse Soap the past four years.

Shop owner Ann Marie Craig stood on the curb, camera in hand capturing the end of an era.

Craig announced Feb. 15 that she would be closing her retail location after 15 years and taking her business in a different direction.

The overall decision to close the store “has been extremely difficult” according to Craig but the timing is right both personally and professionally. Moving forward the Century Farmhouse brand will focus more on education rather than soap production and retail.

The Studio shop IS OPEN through today/Saturday until 4 p.m. You can order online at centuryfarmhouse.com

Ion Sports Pub to open on Paradise Drive

After a couple of weeks of mulling over business names the owners of the former Benders Restaurant & Sports Pub are revealing their new name. “It’ll be Ion Sports Pub,” said Nora Sanchez. “It’s a combination of the business partners first names Isaac, Oscar and Nora.”

Oscar Steinbauer Jr. and Sanchez were working with family to clean up the site with hopes of opening in April. Aside from the name change they’ve been some spiffing up of the interior with new paint, flooring and colorful lighting strips above the bar.

Sanchez said they could have red lighting when the Wisconsin Badgers play and green when the Packers are on one of their multiple 55-inch TVs. Watch for the menu at Ion Sports Pub to be released in the coming week. Sanchez said they will feature gourmet burgers, pizza, wings and fish fries on Friday. There will also be Mexican fare including fajitas and margaritas. The beer selections will be standard along with IPAs and Guinness.

Names drawn for ballot position in West Bend School Board race

Names were drawn Friday morning for the April 4 ballot position in the West Bend School Board race. West Bend School Board clerk Therese Sizer had the honor of drawing the names.

Voters will choose up to three candidates when they head to the polls on April 4.  The three top vote getters will be elected to fill three open seats. Name order: Joel Ongert, Ryan Gieryn, Nancy Justman, Tonnie Schmidt, Richard Cammack, and Bob Miller.

Fire alarm malfunctions, several times, at Fair Park School

The fire alarm malfunctioned after school this week at Fair Park School. It happened again Friday morning during student drop off. Students were evacuated briefly to the Washington County Courthouse to stay warm. The West Bend Fire Department responded quickly and assured everyone that all was safe. Students were escorted back to Fair Park by staff. No one was marked tardy. Maintenance is working diligently to find a solution and ensure the fire alarms are fully operational.

New menu rolled out at Café Soeurette

Some menu changes were rolled out Friday night at Cafe Soeurette, 111 N. Main Street in downtown West Bend. Head chef and restaurant owner Jodi Janisse-Kanzenbach has been fielding comments from customers and she is listening!

“Based on our comment cards from customers we’re going away from our large plates and doing more small plates and shared items,” she said. “We are able to do this with our same culinary twist and I’m really excited about the change.”

A couple of the popular menu items include Butter Poached Lobster Deviled Eggs, Grilled shrimp/grilled pineapple salad/tortilla chips, and Bacon Bison Meatloaf.

St. Peter Church to celebrate Mass on Ash Wednesday in newly renovated parish

St. Peter Catholic Parish, Slinger, will celebrate its first Mass on Ash Wednesday, March 1, 2017, in the newly renovated and expanded church. The expansion project of the original 1892 building broke ground a year ago, Feb. 29, 2016.

After Mass on Wednesday the parish’s copper-box time capsule was sealed that morning at the church and then set on a shelf in the wall inside the main covered entryway at St. Peter; the area is referred to as the grand stairway.

A gold-plated plaque was hung gently over the opening.  The plaque, donated by the Knights of Columbus Council read ‘Preserving yesterday. Celebrating tomorrow. This time capsule is lovingly placed by the parishioners of St. Peter congregation.  Slinger, WI’

Lenten Prayer Service starts in March  

West Bend area Churches will be hosting a Lenten Ecumenical Prayer Service over the Wednesday noon hour.   Each service will last from 12:15 p.m. to about 12:45 p.m.

The theme this year is about Seeds of Hope found within Sacred Scriptures and our lives.

The service schedule: March 8 Trinity Lutheran Church – Rev. Clarissa Martinelli, March 15 Cedar Ridge—Jill Maria Murdy, March 22 Saint Frances Cabrini Parish –Rev. Kathryn Kuhn, March 29  Saint James Episcopal Church – Rev. Shoob, April 5  Fifth Avenue Methodist Church – Mother Mindy Davis (soup lunch to follow)

A free-will offering will be taken for a local charity to be announced.

Three players from UW-WC mens basketball selected WCC All-Conference

Three players from the UW-Washington County mens basketball team have made the Wisconsin Collegiate Conference All-Conference Team.

De’Andre Johnson, 21, is a sophomore and was selected 1st team All Conference. “Dre was our leading scorer this year and I believe he led the conference in shooting percentage,” said coach Stephen Murphy. “He’s really improved this year in terms of his passing and defense.”

Evan Rathke, 23, is a point forward on the team. Rathke was selected 2nd team All Conference. “Evan is a very complete player,” said head coach Stephen Murphy. “He’s probably the best all-around player I’ve ever coached. He’s amazingly intelligent and he’s always in the right place at the right time; his footwork is perfect and he knows what to do, executes well and he’s a real leader for us.”

Shaun Fischer, 20, was named Honorable Mention.  “Shawn brings a double double to the table almost every night,” said Murphy. “He gets a lot of rebounds and a lot of points and he brings a lot to the team.”

UW-WC finished third in the Eastern Division of the WCC.  UW-Marathon won the conference in the west and that’s the team the Wildcats will face Saturday in the State Tournament.

Updates & tidbits

-The city of West Bend approved a $50 donation by Margaret Buntrock to West Bend Crime Prevention. Chief Ken Meuler said Buntrock also volunteers her time to the city.

– This week Washington County Administrator, Joshua Schoemann, presents a check for $750 to Ronna Corliss and Ron Naab to support the work of the Heroin Task Force of Washington County. “We put together an employee-appreciation event in January and of the money we made went above and beyond and is now being donated to a good cause,” said Schoemann. “Heroin is one of the biggest concerns across Washington County and we’re seeing its impact first hand, so this was a pretty easy choice because it touches so many of the people that work in the county each day.” Naab said the donation shows how everyone in the county is well aware of the epidemic. Corliss said the money will be a huge help in printing of materials to help build awareness of the Heroin Task Force.

– The West Bend Scholastic Cadets 5th – 8th grade Winter Guard just won 1st place in its second competition in Hersey, Illinois. The team also took 1st place in the first competition in Cedarburg.  The students are from Silverbrook and Badger.

– Tim Pruett died unexpectedly this week. The 63 year old reportedly died while up north with friends.  Pruett owned Benders Restaurant and Sports Pub on Paradise Drive. The family will hold a celebration of life at a later date.

– The city of West Bend will be hosting Loyalty Day in 2017.  The event will feature a huge parade Saturday, April 29.  Loyalty Day is observed nationally. All VFW Posts will be invited to take part.

– Cathy Jahnke of Slinger, RN in the Intensive Care Unit, has been recognized with Froedtert & the Medical College of Wisconsin St. Joseph’s Hospital’s second quarter DAISY Award for her patient care and professionalism.

-Groundbreaking is March 17 for the 911 memorial in Kewaskum.

– West Bend’s Aidan Abbott is headed to the capitol in Madison on Monday to discuss his rare disease and changes needed to state dental laws. Abbott, 12, is a rare-disease advocate. “In the past year I have traveled to Washington DC and shared my story on Capitol Hill,” he said. “For the past few years I’ve been trying to get state laws changed to include dental coverage under medical insurance for kids who suffer from major dental issues and many missing teeth.”

– American Legion Auxiliary Post 36 West Bend is holding a Craft Fair at the Post, 712 Park Ave, West Bend on April 8 from 9 a.m. – 3 p.m.

– The Wisconsin Department of Transportation (WisDOT) Southeast Region is scheduled to begin work on WIS 175 from Maple Road to Beechwood Industrial Court and from Polk Street to WIS 60 in March.

-Mercury Marine presented Cedar Lake Sales of West Bend, its prestigious Service Customer Satisfaction Index (CSI) Award for 2016. Cedar Lake Sales won the Service CSI Award for its ongoing commitment to providing exemplary customer service based on the responses of customers who had warranty work performed at the dealership during the past year.

The history of Thecla Richter – life of a West Bend nurse during WWI.

Resident historian Lee Krueger is looking to highlight his great aunt Thecla Richter, who served as a nurse during WWI. Below is a letter home from Richter dated June 11, 1917.

We are leaving London today and I hate to leave it because we have been having such a wonderful time. Everybody has been so cordial and entertained us in every possible way.  I cannot take time to write the details, but will just write about the wonderful farewell party at Sir Thomas Lipton’s home.

Four double decker trams called for us at the hotel on Sunday P.M.  Sir Lipton lives about 10 miles outside of London.  We were very much impressed with the place. It was all decorated with U.S. flags which we do not see very much in England.

We were all introduced to Sir Thomas Lipton and then taken into his lovely home. Here we were all given a beautiful corsage bouquet of red, white and blue flowers.  Then we were shown his many trophies which he had won.

We were then ushered to a large tent outside where refreshments were served and all were presented with beautifully woven American flags…..  We all left his place at about 6:30 P.M., each with a box of chocolates. Sir Lipton took five of us back to London in his own car.  I happened to be one of them.  I was real lucky.

Enough said about our good times as we certainly having them, but our work will begin soon and we are all anxious to get to work.thelca3