Tag Archives: Judy Steffes

Around the Bend by Judy Steffes

Hotel, gas station and housing planned across from Fair Park

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

City crews dredge weeds above Barton Dam

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Creepy coincidence during Hartford Historical Society’s Cemetery Tour

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Successful GERMANfest

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

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

Neighbors ask motorists to slow down for injured crane

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

Village of Kewaskum accepts property donation

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

WBSD Facility Advisory Committee begins meeting this week

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

Kettle Moraine Symphony prepping for a new season

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

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

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

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

The Kettle Moraine Symphony season begins Oct. 1.

Update & tidbits

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Theater seats have arrived at Kettle Moraine Playhouse in Slinger

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

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

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

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

 

Around the Bend by Judy Steffes

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Update on Pizza Ranch

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

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

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

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

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

Wedding gifts stolen from Fillmore Turner Hall

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

More than 80 customers scammed at local grocery   

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

Menchie’s Frozen Yogurt to close in West Bend

 

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

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

Kettle Moraine Symphony preps for 2017-2018 season

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

The KMS season begins Oct. 1.

 

Paying tribute to historian Irene Blau of Germantown

 

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

 

No Halloween Express in West Bend this year

 

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

 

Cobblestone Hotel breaks ground in Hartford

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

Updates & tidbits

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

On a history note

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

 

Around the Bend by Judy Steffes

Washington County Fair officials react to death of Troy Gentry

Neighbors in Washington County are stunned by the news of the death on Friday, Sept. 8 of Troy Gentry from the country duo Montgomery Gentry.

According to a Twitter post from @mgunderground, the 50-year-old Gentry “was tragically killed in a helicopter crash which took place at approximately 1 p.m. today in Medford, New Jersey.”

Montgomery Gentry headlined the Silver Lining Amphitheater on July 27 during the Washington County Fair.

Washington County Fair Park executive director Kellie Boone said, “All of us at the Washington County Fair Park were deeply shocked and saddened to hear about Troy Gentry.  We were fortunate to have them at the Fair twice in the last several years. They were so nice to work with and very genuine about having fun on stage for their fans. Our thoughts are with their family, friends, and fans.”

160th anniversary celebration Sunday at St. Mary’s Immaculate Parish in Barton

Archbishop Jerome Listecki will join honored guests at 9:30 a.m. for a 160th anniversary Mass and celebration on Sunday, Sept.10 at St. Mary’s Parish in Barton. Following Mass there will be a breakfast in the Parish Center and the unveiling of the new interior church design.

West Bend crossing guard bouncing back from accident

West Bend crossing guard Phyllis Wendt was extremely lucky this week following a two-vehicle accident at Seventh Avenue and Decorah Road. Witnesses said the accident happened about 7:30 a.m. Wednesday as two vehicles collided, jumped the curb and Wendt, 92, dove out of the way.

Wendt was taken to St. Joseph’s Hospital. West Bend Police “determined a 35-year-old male driver was southbound on S. Seventh Avenue and stopped for the stop sign at W. Decorah Road.

The male proceeded from his stop and struck a vehicle eastbound on W. Decorah Road. The vehicle that was struck was driven by a 36-year-old female from West Bend. There were no injuries to the drivers or occupants of the vehicles that collided. The investigating officer issued the 35-year-old male a citation for Failure to Yield Right of Way.

Wendt said the doctor told her to take it easy. During a visit at her University Drive apartment on Thursday we spent about 30 minutes reading everybody’s nice notes and well wishes. Phyllis laughed at the note from the woman who said she was the best babysitter and now her son is 39 years old.

Phyllis said the intersection of Seventh and Decorah is pretty dicey and she reminded motorists to slow down. Phyllis also wants to tell everybody “thank you” for the prayers and well wishes.

Plan Commission questions Kwik Trip about store No. 2

The West Bend Plan Commission had quite a few concerns about the development of a Kwik Trip gas station/convenience store on the corner of Decorah and Main Street in West Bend in the location formerly home to Walgreens.

During the Tuesday night meeting commissioner Jed Dolnick listed off a number of issues he presumed could cause safety and traffic problems. “From a business standpoint it’s a perfect location but this is not in the best interest of the city,” he said.

Dolnick questioned traffic patterns of a gas station combined with the high volume of vehicles from the schools and the location of the driveways onto Fifth Avenue.

Fellow commissioner Jim White had concerns about traffic congestion and he gave the example of the backup when exiting onto Decorah from the West Bend Plaza shopping center.

Neighbor Karen Wachholz addressed the Plan Commission about several of her concerns regarding the development, much of which dealt with construction noise and music and speaker announcements from the station attendants.

After about 20 minutes of presentation and discussion the Plan Commission voted to table its decision until a traffic study was completed by Kwik Trip.

MOWA unveils design for Cultural Center

Architect Jim Shields took members of the West Bend Plan Commission on a great virtual tour of the proposed Cultural Campus at the Museum of Wisconsin Art. There are two acres of vacant land just south of MOWA and plans are to add mature trees and flower beds and have a paved walkway that flows gracefully from the bridges over the Milwaukee River through the park and to the museum or the Eisenbahn State Trail.

Some of the plants on Veterans Avenue and Water Street include white oak, flowering pear, sugar maple, hydrangea beds and an aspen grove. Following the presentation Plan Commission member Jim White asked who would be paying for the park and maintaining it and Shields said MOWA would take care of it. A date for construction has yet to be determined.

Bank Mutual to consolidate with Associated Bank

There’s more movement in the banking industry and it is probably going to affect the landscape in West Bend. According to an article in the Biz Times the Bank Mutual branch in West Bend is one of 36 branches in Wisconsin that will be consolidating with Associated Banc-Corp.

According to the Biz Times “The companies plan to close 28 Bank Mutual branches and eight Associated Bank branches.”

In a July 20, 2017 release, Associated Banc-Corp (“Associated”) and Bank Mutual Corporation (“Bank Mutual”) jointly announced they have entered into a definitive agreement under which Bank Mutual will merge with and into Associated.

The Biz Times published a list of branches in Wisconsin that will be affected.

Bank Mutual, 1526 S. Main Street in West Bend, is one of 28 branches that will consolidate with Associated. The receiving branch is the Associated Bank, 715 W. Paradise Drive.

So far there is no timeline on the deal however the Biz Times is reporting “the transaction could close in the first quarter of 2018.”

On a history note:  Paradise Auto Wash sold Nov. 23, 2013

Paradise Auto Wash has been sold. Associated Bank bought the property at 715 W. Paradise Drive for $1.15 million. According to the minutes from the Plan Commission meeting the Green Bay-based Associated will raze the carwash and build a 3,830 square-foot bank.

Other Associated Bank locations in Washington County are on Highway 60 in Jackson and Slinger and another in Germantown.

Doug Pesch owned the car wash. “I bought it with a couple other partners in 1996 and sold the house and garage on the property for $1,” said Pesch. That house was moved to Alpine Road and later that year Pesch built the five-bay carwash. The 2013 assessment was $486,200.

Village of Kewaskum reviews land donation

More than 150 people crowded into the Municipal Annex building in Kewaskum on Wednesday night to take part in a discussion on whether the village should accept a donation of 31 acres from the Reigle family.

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

Some highlights from the meeting in Kewaskum:

Quite a few neighbors were concerned about parking, kids walking through their yards to get to the park, the safety of the 2-acre pond, who would maintain the park, will there be lights and night games, what’s the potential cost to the village, and how many mature trees will be removed.

Bob Zarling spoke from the heart. “The motto of the Kiwanis Club is to help the children of the town, one child at a time. Jim Reigle has been a member of Kiwanis for over 50 years and he’s been a very generous supporter. Jim has lived here since 1947 and he’s had his kids in school here and he kept his factory here and he loved the village and to turn down a gift of about $640,000 would be a real slap in the face to a man who has given his life to this community.”

The village will receive about $4,000 a year in taxes from the proposed park.

Funding for the park would come from private donors and corporate sponsors.

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

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

The early drawings of the proposed park were deemed “a concept plan” as the design is expected to change.

One board member said quite a bit of money could be raised by selling the timber on the property.

The overall feeling in the room appeared to be support for the project…. but many aspects of the proposed plan still needed to be determined.

The Village Board will vote on Monday, Sept. 18 whether to accept the donation. If approved the Village Board will then have to apply for rezoning the land from residential to park/institutional.

New tenants announced for strip mall on S. Main Street

An intimate groundbreaking this week at1721-1775 S. Main Street in West Bend as officials from Inland Real Estate made their new strip mall project official.

Larry Sajdak, Executive Vice President – Leasing at Inland Commercial Real Estate Services, talked about the 7,200-square-foot addition that’s being built by American Construction Services Inc. of West Bend.

Sajdak outlined a couple new businesses that would be moving in including ATI Physical Therapy, Cricket Wireless (which is currently located inside GameStop on Paradise Drive), and a nail salon. Sajdak said they are also in talks with Firehouse Subs and they should lock in that deal shortly.  “These businesses will really help drive a lot of business to the area,” he said. “The stores are necessity based and Internet resilient.”

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

National Guard soldiers from West Bend to deploy this month

Nearly 30 Wisconsin Army National Guard Soldiers will deploy to the Middle East in support of Operation Spartan Shield this fall. An element of the West Bend, Wisconsin-based Detachment one, Company B, 248th Aviation Support Battalion is deploying to the Middle East with UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter maintenance support personnel.

The unit’s Soldiers have trained extensively for this deployment, focusing on aircraft maintenance and their standard soldiering skills. Soldiers from the 248th Aviation have deployed overseas multiple times in support of military operations since Sept. 11, 2001, including in 2010-11 to Iraq and 2006-07 to Kosovo.

The Wisconsin National Guard is currently planning a sendoff ceremony for the deploying soldiers and will announce those details as the unit’s deployment draws near.

Girls try hockey FREE Event at Kettle Moraine Ice Center

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

Public meeting Sept. 14 on reconstruction CTH P

The Washington County Highway Department will be reconstructing County Trunk Highway P from State Highway 60 north to Woodland Drive in the Village and Town of Jackson in 2018.

The project area will be designed to meet current and future traffic needs and improve the safety for the traveling public. The roadway will be closed to through traffic during construction. A public meeting will be held on Thursday, Sept. 14, 2017 at the Gathering Hall at the Jackson Community Center (N165 W20330 Hickory Lane) from 6 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.

Updates & tidbits

-Cobblestone Hotels will host a ground breaking for its newest addition to the Cobblestone Family and Wissota Chop House in Hartford on Wednesday, Sept. 13 at 11 a.m.

– There will be a groundbreaking Sunday, Sept. 10 at 9:15 a.m. at Good Shepherd Lutheran Church (WELS)  in West Bend as the church/school prepares for a $3.2 million expansion. The expansion will include four additional school classrooms, renovated bathrooms, and a new welcome center. The groundbreaking is open to the public; everyone is reminded to bring their own shovel.

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

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

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

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

-The last big bash of the summer is Saturday night, Sept. 9 at the Boltonville Fire Department. The Street Dance starts at 5 p.m. with food and refreshments. There is an $8 donation at the door to see Rebel Grace. Proceeds benefit the volunteer Fire Department.

West Bend Elevator celebrates 70th anniversary with a few hundred friends

The crew at West Bend Elevator rolled out the red carpet for hundreds of guests to help the Gonring / Kratz family celebrate the 70th anniversary of the West Bend Elevator.

Farmers, vendors and friends were treated to an open bar, as well as Nesco’s full of thick slices of steak. Many in attendance spent the evening recounting their affiliation with the mill and memories about owner Johnny Kratz. “I was three years old when my parents bought the mill,” said Joyce (Kratz) Gonring referencing the purchase by Johnny and Grace Kratz in 1947.

Johnny Kratz got his start working at Thiel’s Mill in Slinger. “When Mr. Thiel’s son came out of the service my dad knew there wasn’t room for two young men to be in that company and he went to West Bend,” said Gonring.

The mill was a lifestyle for the Kratz’s. Joyce recalled her youth of being underfoot, her mother driving truck and, as a teen, how her dad called on the boy down the street, 15-year-old Dave Gonring.

“I was outside my home on N. Ninth Avenue in West Bend, the Kratz’s lived one house over and Joyce came up and said my dad wants to talk to you,” said Dave Gonring.

“I went down to see what he wanted and he asked if I wanted a job. I think he wanted to find out if I was good enough to take his daughter out.” Shortly thereafter, in 1957, Dave Gonring stepped into the elevator business.

“I had yet to acquire a driver’s license so I was assigned to shovel off trucks, unload cars and I learned how to tie a miller’s knot; I was a dumb city kid ya know,” said Dave Gonring.

Those were the days when the elevator’s primary business was grinding feed, corn and small grains, later shipped in bags.

For 120 years the elevator was located on a modest site at 204 Wisconsin St.

Neighboring businesses included Kasten Oil to the south of the mill, Standard Oil, Brittingham & Hixon Lumber Company, Gehl Company, Cooley Box Factory, Cooley International, Enger Kress, White House Milk and Home Lumberyard to the north.

There were dedicated employees at the West Bend Elevator like Herbie Melbinger, Syl Van Beek, and Ira Weber Jr. The mill was a gathering place in town and John Kratz new ‘99.9 percent of his customers by name.’

“He was a jolly man,” said Loran Butzlaff of Kewaskum. “I knew him for over 50 years; he had a good reputation and was a good businessman.”

Joyce Gonring, 74, recalled the challenges of operating alongside the Chicago and North Western Railway. “It would just be forever when they were moving trains and how long it would take to get across Highway 33 to the elevator,” she said.

Active in the community and on the County Board, John Kratz knew he was hemmed in downtown and had the foresight to invest in seven parcels by, what was then a two-lane road called Highway 45.

“The West Bend Elevator had no room for expansion and that was very much in the plans,” said Joyce Gonring.

In May of 1980 the West Bend Elevator completed the move to its current location on Hwy D.

In January 1987, John Kratz passed away and Dave, 75, and Joyce Gonring took over the business.

“We have about 700,000 bushels of storage now in our silos,” said Dave Gonring. “We’re up to 31 employees and we like to hold these gatherings just to show appreciation for all the people who have shown their support all these years.”

The sad part, according to Dave, is all the people that are missing. He hesitates to start listing names including Tony and Bud Goebel. “Those fellas were from up in the Holy Land,” said Dave. To this day the West Bend Elevator has been staffed by four generations of the Kratz/Gonring family and the Elevator has stayed true to its mission statement instilling a tradition of dedication to customers and providing them with the high quality supplies and service.     History photo courtesy West Bend Elevator

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Around the Bend by Judy Steffes

Cedar Community Campus expansion in discussion phase

The Town of West Bend Plan Commission and Big Cedar Lake Protection and Rehabilitation District discussed a proposed expansion on the Cedar Lake Campus on County Road Z by Cedar Community Campus.

On Wednesday night about 100 people turned out for the Big Cedar Lake Protection and Rehabilitation District annual meeting where a similar discussion took place as Cedar Community explores whether to build 42 single-family homes and two buildings with a dozen units each of independent/assisted apartments.

Cedar Community CEO Lynn Olson said they’ve been in “very preliminary talks with the Town Plan Commission about potential new housing on the Big Cedar Lake Campus” just west of County Highway Z. “This campus is all covered by a conditional use permit and every time you amend that permit it has to be done by the appropriate process,” Olson said.

The expansion plan was initially floated in May 2017 and then brought back again in June 2017.

Meeting minutes from June showed some concerns by the Plan Commission: A schematic of the campus detailing proposed dwelling sites was distributed to commission members prior to the meeting, as well as a record of past conditional use permits issued since 1967.

The presentation included facts and figures citing a 245-acre campus, 10 acres wetlands, 4 acres retention ponds, and 8.23 acres of building footprint.  The need for expansion was measured by forecasted increasing demand for senior housing in Washington County, as well as the need for increased revenue to offset losses due to Medicaid under funding, and subsidies for independent living residents who run out of money.

It was also noted that expansion would allow the ministry to reach more people. With Washington County as the seventh fastest growing Wisconsin county, forecasted trends in long-term care and senior living were then described.

It was maintained that the Cedar Campus offers existing roadways, utilities, a unique natural setting, highest consumer demand, and the broadest continuum of care including independent, assisted, skilled, home and hospice care.  A summary of the Cedar Community’s economic benefit to the overall community was described. This was followed by a description of the 15 year master plan in three phases.

Phase 1; 7 homes in Kettle Heights, 8 homes in new Lodge Lane Village, 6 homes in North Village, 3 homes in new Lakeside Village. Phase 2; 20 homes in Moraine Village East, 4 homes in Lakeside Village. Phase 3; 8 homes on extended Lodge Lane, 16 homes in Moraine Village West, 4 homes in Lakeside Village, 8 single or 24 hybrid homes in new Heritage Village.

Proposed are 84-100 new units.

Some discussion followed regarding sewer capacity both with the existing force main and the City of West Bend’s potential accommodation.  Moore indicated that within a 15-year window 170 homes would be sited on the property and expressed concern about precedent.

Moore also discussed the prospect of fire suppression in newly constructed dwellings. Some questions as to future plans to sell or subdivide were expressed. Concern about runoff to the south across German Village Road was also expressed. And, past experience with fire calls were discussed.

It was noted by Town Chairman Jim Heipp that the town annual budget approximates $950,000 with $550,000 dedicated to fire contracts and fire related costs with neighboring municipalities, and that about half of the annual fire calls are generated from the Cedar Lake Home campus.

This put forth in the context of the general property tax exemption. Noted also was that vehicular access to both German Village Road and Paradise Drive are not planned.

Todd Maclay asked about lake pier placement on the eight proposed lakefront dwellings, and indicated that the parcel’s primary environmental corridors need to be mapped. Maclay then read an excerpt from a letter dated 6/8/1988 written by Rev. L.C. Riesch to the West Bend Town Board indicating that the Cedar Lake Home had no intention to construct additional single family residential retirement dwellings upon the Home’s property in the Town of West Bend.

Maclay further noted the area between the existing villages and German Village Road had intended to be a buffer, and that the campus riparian lands are some of the last remaining substantial vestiges of open space/natural areas on Big Cedar other than those surrounding Gilbert Lake.

Some discussion followed regarding the intent of these proposals, and what is being presented is substantially different than that of a month ago. Further discussion ensued as to how the proposal might be modified in future meetings.

During Wednesday night’s meeting, neighbors on Big Cedar Lake and from the Town expressed mixed reviews on the proposal. Scott Rolfs, a lifelong resident on the lake, praised Cedar Community for being a “big asset to the community” but he had some concerns about it’s consistent desire to expand. “This is really now more of an adult-lifestyle community … and it concerns me this could someday be similar to the Lake Lawn Lodge Marina.”

Steve Simon also spoke from a property owners association position. “We have a tool that can protect green acres around the lake,” he said.

Representatives from Cedar Community have met with neighbors along County Highway Z and those around the lake. “We’re still in the early parts of an exploratory process,” said Olson.  “We’re trying to listen, articulate our position and develop a plan we think works for Cedar Community, the neighbors and the town.”

 

Olson said neighbors are mostly concerned about nature and preservation and maintaining the lake appearance and the natural character. “We think we’ll be right in step of maintaining the character,” he said.

No formal presentation has been made to the Plan Commission yet. “One thing I can say is none of our proposals involves lakefront development,” said Olson.

Other concerns neighbors brought up during the PRD meeting included the amount of slips being proposed as compared to the amount of lake frontage Cedar Community owned. They also wanted to know what sewer and water systems they used (it was city sewer and well water).

During the Wednesday night meeting a copy of some key points of the Cedar Community proposal were passed out to the audience.

Olson said Cedar Communities Village Homes are “typically full with a waiting list.”

There are currently 85 Village Homes.

During a June meeting Town Chairman Jim Heipp had questions about emergency calls in the town and how that factored into the demand from the residents at Cedar Community.

A record search shows: The Town paid $519,913 for fire protection in 2016.

Cedar Community paid $5,100 for 6 fire calls from 2016. Cedar Community also made a $12,500 donation in 2016.

A document provided by the Town clerk shows the number of fire and EMS calls in the Town of West Bend and Cedar Community.

Olson said he is “just being patient through this process” and as soon as all the data is gathered a presentation will be made to the Plan Commission.

“We’re not pushing this at all we just want to make sure people are fully informed,” he said.  “We hope to present a final plan in the coming months that will reflect all of that input.”

Following Thursday’s Plan Commission meeting, Olson indicated they would be ready to again discuss the project near the end of September.

West Bend West senior auditions for Milwaukee Idol

A heck of a night for West Bend West High School senior Madelyn Koepp as she was one of the top 60 chosen to audition for WISN Milwaukee Idol.  Koepp, 17, spent much of the day on Thursday at auditions at the Mitchel Park Domes in Milwaukee. “I sang Everybody’s Got Somebody But Me by Hunter Hayes,” said Koepp. “I was a little nervous but more excited than anything. The girls I was grouped with were so nice.”

“I was not selected for a front-of-the-line pass for Chicago but I can still audition in Chicago,” said Koepp.

“Performing today was so amazing; I’ve wanted to do this since I was like 8 years old. It was a dream come true just to put myself out there and actually get this chance Being on camera was so crazy too; I felt so out of place but all the girls with me were so nice.”

Out of 60 performers five were chosen by celebrity judges and allowed to be first in line when American Idol debuts Sept, 11 in Chicago.

Second Kwik Trip for WB to be discussed at Tuesday Plan Commission

Designs and a layout for a second Kwik Trip in West Bend will go before Plan Commission next week Tuesday, Sept. 5.

On July 19, WashingtonCountyInsider.com was the only local news outlet to report a second Kwik Trip coming to West Bend.

Hans Zietlow, director of real estate for Kwik Trip, said they 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.

According to the city:

-Kwik Trip will be leveling the building and removing all the asphalt in the parking lot.

-The new building will be smaller than the current Walgreens; the front of the building will face S. Main Street.

-There will be a canopy with five islands and 25 pumps running parallel to S. Main Street.

-The driveway on S. Main is 220.84-feet from Decorah Road.

-The driveways will remain the same with one entrance/exit onto S. Main and the same two driveways out the back onto Fifth Avenue.

-The proposed Kwik Trip building is 7,316 square feet, which is the same size as the Kwik Trip on Silverbrook Drive.

– The Walgreens measures 16,459 square feet, so the Kwik Trip building will be about half that size.

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.

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.

On Tuesday, Sept. 5 the Plan Commission will make a recommendation to the common council on the zoning amendment and they will be asked to approve a site plan and conditional use permit for the gas station.  One of the questions may be about the traffic impact on the adjoining roads.

 

Cultural campus south of MOWA to be reviewed by WB Plan Commission

During the Sept. 5 West Bend Plan Commission meeting there will be discussion for a Cultural Campus located on the two acres of vacant land just to the south of the Museum of Wisconsin Art. Some of the plants for the area on Veterans Avenue and Water Street included in the design are white oak, flowering pear, sugar maple, hydrangea beds and an aspen grove.

There will be lit railings, a translucent glass screen wall, and expanded parking. The Plan Commission meeting gets underway at 6 p.m. in the council chambers at City Hall on Tuesday.  Other items on the agenda include the review of a proposed Kwik Trip on the corner of Decorah and Main Street.

Rally Time Sports Bar 

Scott and Dan Festge, a father-son team, will be reopening the former Bagg End Tavern on Sept. 11. The new establishment will be Rally Time Sports Bar and Grill.

“We’re cleaning it up and making it look prettier,” said Dan Festge. Contractors have been at the tavern, 1373 N. Main Street, West Bend, the past few weeks refinishing the hardwood floors in the back area by the pool tables and fixing up the outdoor deck by the volleyball court.

“We’re going to have dart and volleyball leagues, but a lot depends on the weather,” Festge said. “We plan on squaring up the fence in back and also putting up a couple horseshoe pits. We’re also working on a behind-the-bar kitchen so we can do full-service food.”

The family already has a successful Rally Time Sports Bar in Saukville.

Funeral services Saturday for Rev. James Strupp

Rev. James A. Strupp, 77, of West Bend died on Wednesday, August 30, 2017 at St. Joseph’s Hospital. He attended and graduated from Holy Angels Grade School. After graduating from West Bend High School with the Class of 1958, began his priestly formation at St. Francis Minor Seminary. He completed his studies at St. Francis de Sales Major Seminary during the period of 1960 -1967.

On May 20, 1967, he was ordained to the Priesthood by Archbishop William E. Cousins at the Cathedral of St. John the Evangelist in Milwaukee. Rev. Strupp celebrated his first Mass on May 21, 1967 at Immaculate Conception Church in Saukville. His first appointment was as curate to serve Our Lady Queen of Peace Parish in Milwaukee. He later went on to serve as associate pastor at St. Mary’s Parish in Menomonee Falls, Holy Redeemer Parish in Milwaukee and St. Francis Borgia Parish in Cedarburg from.

On November 28, 1978, he was released for studies in Clinical Pastoral Education, and on March 27, 1979, he was appointed Director of Chaplain Services for St. Joseph’s Community Hospital in West Bend.

For many years, he served as a chaplain for West Bend area health care facilities, retiring from active ministry on October 31, 1992.

He was a member of the Fr. Casper Rehrl Knights of Columbus Council 1964, Our Lady of Holy Hill Assembly 1677 Fourth Degree Knights of Columbus, the Washington County Ministerial Association, National Association of Catholic Chaplains, Apostolate of Suffering and was a co-founder and executive officer of Friends for Life, Inc.

A Mass of Christian Burial will be held on Saturday, September 2 at 11 a.m. at Holy Angels Catholic Church with Most Reverend Jeffrey Haines presiding. He will be buried alongside his parents in St. Mary’s Cemetery in Port Washington. Visitation will be at the church on Saturday from 8 a.m. – 10:45 a.m. There will be a reception following Mass in the church hall. The Schmidt Funeral Home of West Bend is serving the family.

Girls try hockey FREE Event at Kettle Moraine Ice Center

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

Slinger Wrestling Team receives prestigious award                    By Ron Naab

The Slinger High School boys wrestling team was recognized prior to the start of the Owl’s varsity football game last week as it received the WIAA/Rural Mutual Insurance Sportsmanship Award.

Every team that participates in a WIAA state tournament is eligible. The selection process includes input from contest officials, tournament management, police and security personnel, crowd control, ushers, and WIAA staff.

Teams are judged on conduct and sportsmanship of coaches and athletes, cheer and support groups, mascots, bands, student groups and adult spectators. School administrators and chaperones are measured during the tournament as well, to keep team support positive and enthusiastic.  Officials from the WIAA may solicit input from hotels, restaurants and business people in the city where WIAA state events take place

The Rural Mutual Insurance State Tournament Sportsmanship Award is a community award. Gina Fritsch and Bill Dorrance of Rural Mutual Insurance presented the award.

Five veterans from Washington Co. on Sept. 16 Honor Flight

There will be five veterans from Washington County on the Saturday, Sept. 16 Honor Flight out of Milwaukee. Among the local veterans on the flight include: Korean War Marine veteran Henry Sausen Jr (Hank) of Hartford, Korean War Army Morse code interceptor Dennis Bingen of Kewaskum,  Vietnam War Army veteran Dennis Muench of West Bend, Army combat Erv Wicklander, and Navy veteran Thomas Gentz of Germantown.

Updates & tidbits

-Wheels on Main is looking for 20 volunteers for its event Sunday, Sept. 3 in downtown West Bend. Volunteers receive a free meal and beverages. Opportunities include registration, assistant in beverage tent, selling donuts and coffee, 50/50 raffle tickets, soda & water. New this year Bloody Marys and root beer floats. Contact anna@downtownwestbend.com or 262-338-3909.

– Popular Elvis impersonator Radney Pennington will be performing live for one show at the West Bend Moose Lodge on Thursday, Sept. 7. Come see this talented, amazing young man. He sings everything from Buddy Holly to Johnny Cash and of course Elvis.

-Cobblestone Hotels will host a ground breaking for its newest addition to the Cobblestone Family and Wissota Chop House in Hartford on Wednesday, Sept. 13 at 11 a.m.

– Archbishop Jerome Listecki will join honored guests for a 160th anniversary Mass and celebration Sept.10 at St. Mary’s Parish in Barton.

– Good Shepherd Lutheran Church (WELS) on the corner of Decorah and Indiana in West Bend will hold a ground breaking ceremony Sunday, Sept. 10 at 9:15 a.m. for its recently adopted building project.

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

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

– Classes at UW-Washington County get underway Tuesday, Sept. 5.

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

-The last big bash of the summer is Saturday night, Sept. 9 at the Boltonville Fire Department. The Street Dance starts at 5 p.m. with food and refreshments. There is an $8 donation at the door to see Rebel Grace. Proceeds benefit the volunteer Fire Department.

Around the Bend by Judy Steffes

Final flavor of the day selected at Toucan Custard

“That’s A -Moehr –A” a Smores custard with chocolate flakes,  marshmallows and graham crackers will be the flavor of the day today as the Moehr family works its final day at Toucan Custard.

After 27 years as owners of a landmark business in West Bend the Moehr family is moving forward with their lives announcing the sale of Toucan Custard. “We’ve been in the process of trying to sell Toucan,” said Jacquelyn Heise.

“Our last day here will be August 19 as we have found different owners and they will take over and kinda keep Toucan the same which we are very, very excited about,” said Jacquelyn Moehr Heise. “We’re sad to go but happy at the same time and want to thank you all very, very much for the last 27 years.”

“Of course we’d hate to see it completely change but we were at the end of what we were doing and whoever bought it would do whatever they would need to do,” Jacquelyn said.

The sisters said they are looking forward to doing their new thing, which includes a family trip.

“After the sale we’re going to get into several cars and all drive to Graceland,” she said. “Because we can!

“The only way we can go on vacation together is to close Toucan and we could never do that,” Jacquelyn said.

The girls picked Graceland as a promise to their mother who had been battling cancer. “Being able to travel now as a family is just the silver lining in this whole thing.”

On a positive note the Moehr family said they would really miss the people. “We’ll miss the kids,” said Jacquelyn. “They’re like our kids and they’ll tell you this is a family down here.”

As far as a final shebang to go out in a blaze of glory with a big celebration… the girls said they prefer to leave quietly but hope people write their memories.

“It would be cool to get a memory book down here and have people share/write their favorite memory,” said Jacquelyn.

The business was listed by BOSS Realty

Funeral Monday for form Washington County Supervisor John Kohl

The funeral is Monday, Aug. 21 for former Washington County Board Supervisor John B. Kohl of Richfield who died Wednesday, Aug. 16; he was 87.

Kohl was very active in the community. He took over his family farm operations and kept the family-farming tradition going.

Kohl served on the Richfield Volunteer Fire Co. and the Richfield Lions Club for 50 years. He served as a Treasurer and Trustee at St. Boniface Parish, served on the Richfield School Board, was a Town Supervisor for six years before becoming Town Chairman, which he held for 16 years.

Kohl ran for County Board in 1972 and held that position for 34 years as County Supervisor.

Kohl  worked side-by-side with elected officials like Reuben Schmahl, Ken Miller, Herb Tennies and Marilyn Merten.

Kohl also served six years on the Richfield School Board and he was a member of the Ag and Industrial Society.

“He worked in politics for many years,” said former Washington County clerk and now County Board Supervisor Marilyn Merten. “I know when I was county clerk they called and asked if I could look up all the years he served on different boards and committees. They wanted to recognize him for all his years of service.”

“He was a very concerned individual doing what he felt was best for the citizens of Richfield, town of Richfield and Washington County,” Merten said.

Kohl worked on a farm on Highway 175. “They were known for Kohls Corn,” said Merten. “That was one of the trademarks of the Kohls farm.”

Visitation will be Monday, Aug. 21 at St Boniface Catholic Church W204 N11924 Goldendale Rd Germantown, WI from 3 p.m. – 5:45 p.m., followed by a Mass of Christian Burial at 6 p.m. In lieu of flowers, memorials to St. Boniface or the Richfield Lions Club appreciated. There will be a private burial at the church cemetery.

WB East athletic director hits hole in one at YMCA golf outing

Big excitement at the 16th annual Kettle Moraine YMCA Golf Outing at the West Bend Country Club. During this afternoon round Denny Ziegler, the West Bend East High School athletic director, hit a hole in one and won a two-year lease on a 2018 Toyota Camry from Russ Darrow.

“It was on the 17th hole and a 155-yard shot and I used a six iron,” he said about the par-3. “It just hit the flag stick, heard the loud boom, went up and looked and it was in the cup.”

Ziegler, 34, was in shock. “It was just sitting in the bottom of the cup.”

“Overall I’ve been playing ok. I approached this like any other shot and it just happened to work.”

This is a best-ball tournament with a record 39 foursomes participating. “The sponsorship and support from the community has just been wonderful,” said YMCA director of donor development Jenny Kruse-Zaskowski. “All proceeds benefit the Y’s annual scholarship program.”

The goal of the Kettle Moraine YMCA is to raise $50,000. “We just want to make sure the Y is affordable and accessible to everyone in the community,” said Kruse-Zaskowski.

Former St. Paul’s Church in Slinger being transformed into theater

Neighbors in Slinger are keeping a close eye on the transformation of the former St. Paul’s Church, 204 S. Kettle Moraine Drive as it is being transformed into a theater by Kettle Moraine Players.

According to the Wisconsin Historical Society, the Gothic Revival style church was built in 1886. It was last surveyed in 1977. The wall material is made of “cream brick” and in 2016 the building was purchased by Kettle Moraine Players.

Keller Inc. of Germantown is managing the entire project. “The exterior is getting two new additions along with some new concrete in the front and the driveway on the west side,” said Scott Lausten, Design/Project Manager and company co-owner.

Theater lights and trussing have been hung from the ceiling, new lights, electrical, plumbing, and HVAC are all in the process of being installed.

“A new stage, theater catwalk, grandstands, balcony seating, bar, and flooring will all be installed within the next few weeks. Some of those items are being completed by the owner,” said Lausten.

On a theater note: The Kettle Moraine Players are on track to “open the Playhouse this fall” with a five-show season. Work sessions at the Playhouse got underway this evening.

According to Kettle Moraine Players founder John Brandl, “This week we will be framing catwalks, repairing the top of the balcony railing, carpentry work in the balcony and possibly the basement and we will do some cleaning whenever we get somebody who prefers that work. There is great satisfaction in seeing what you’ve accomplished in just a few hours.”

The inaugural season is set to get underway October 20, 21, 26, 27 and 28 at 7:30 p.m., October 21 at 4 p.m., October 22, 29 at 2 p.m.

The annual Allenton Picnic is this weekend                                                  By Ron Naab

The 2017 Allenton Annual Picnic is this weekend August 19-20 at Veterans Park on First Street in Allenton. Saturday there is a 5K Run/Walk through Allenton starting at 10 a.m., a Bags Tournament at noon. Flight for Life air ambulance will land at 1 p.m. followed by Kids Waterfights at 2 p.m. and Fire Department Waterfight Tournament at 4 p.m. In the evening there will be Bingo and music featuring Gary Cross.

Throughout the weekend there will be rides by Voss Marshland Rides and Amusements along with car seat checks at 11 a.m. and a kids’ obstacle course.

Sunday, Aug. 20 at 11:30 a.m. the annual Allenton Parade steps off from the Allenton Fire Station. “We believe we offer one of the most entertaining and enjoyable parades in southeastern Wisconsin,” said Ron Naab, chair of the parade. “This year we have seven bands performing including: West Bend Community Band, Hartford City Band, Oshkosh VFW Band, Pommersche Tansdeel Freistadt, Green Beret Marching Band, Dual County Band and the famous Slinger High School Marching Band.”

Following the parade there will be a concert in the park featuring all seven bands performing.

Updates & tidbits

– Wheels on Main is looking for 20 volunteers for its event Sunday, Sept. 3 in downtown West Bend. Volunteers receive a free meal and beverages. Opportunities include registration, assistant in beverage tent, selling donuts and coffee, 50/50 raffle tickets, soda & water. New this year Bloody Marys and root beer floats. Contact anna@downtownwestbend.com or 262-338-3909.

– Archbishop Jerome Listecki will join honored guests for a 160th anniversary Mass and celebration Sept.10 at St. Mary’s Parish in Barton.

– Keller Inc., a Design/Build General Contractor with an office in Germantown, will build a large freezer, office and product expansion for Angelic Bakehouse under the direction of Keller project manager Nathan Laurent and architect Tony Tislau.

-The West Bend High School Class of 1952 will be celebrating its 65th reunion on August 26, 2017 at West Bend’s Germanfest.

– Good Shepherd Lutheran Church (WELS) on the corner of Decorah and Indiana in West Bend will hold a ground breaking ceremony Sunday, Sept. 10 at 9:15 a.m. for its recently adopted building project.

-The West Bend High School class of 1948 is will hold a reunion luncheon August 19 at noon at the Top of the Ridge.

-There will be a grand opening celebration on Tuesday, Aug. 22 at Consider the Lilies, 136 S. Main Street in downtown West Bend.

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

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

– E.H. Wolf & Sons, Inc. is adding a new 2-story office building to its property in Slinger, 414 Kettle Moraine Drive South. Keller Inc. of Germantown is working on the project; Dave Uttech is Project Manager and Ron Lindstrom is the Architect.

-Orientation for incoming freshmen is Tuesday, August 22 at 10 a.m. at UW-Washington County.  Classes at UW-WC get underway Tuesday, Sept. 5.

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

– More than 4,000 people stopped last weekend in Hartford at the 10th annual Wisconsin Hot Rod Radio car show. Jackie Puzia from Milwaukee was the big winner of a $10,000 engine.

Village Board votes to move 9/11 Memorial in Kewaskum                              By Ron Naab

During a Kewaskum Village Board meeting  there were some concerns brought up during an informal non-agenda discussion, about the proposed location for the 9/11 Memorial.

Following the meeting, Gordon Haberman and Jerry Gosa; members of the Kewaskum 9/11 Memorial Committee, met with Village Administrator Matt Heiser and Fire Chief Mark Groeschel to address these concerns.

Initial plans for the Memorial were for the location to be in front of the Kewaskum Fire Station on the east side of USH 45.  These plans were presented to the Village in September of 2016, and were subject to the approval by the Village Board, which included a Memorandum of Understanding with the Village concerning future maintenance of the structure.

During the meeting with Mr. Heiser (who is also a Board member of the Kewaskum Remembers 9/11 Memorial Inc.), and the Chief, valid issues of concern over this location were expressed including the proposed Fire Department location offered only limited parking availability for the memorial; and if there would be an expansion of the Fire Department, it could be in conflict with the constructed memorial.

Of prime concern was the location of the memorial at the fire station could hinder access of FD personnel responding to calls and perhaps create safety issues both for the public and to EMT’s and firefighters when FD vehicles leave the station for emergency calls.

Since the September 2016 Village Board meeting, the Kewaskum Remembers Committee formally incorporated Kewaskum Remembers 9/11 Memorial, Inc., and is presently awaiting approval of their 501 C-3 application by the Internal Revenue Service. The Kewaskum Remembers Committee has continued to fund raise through the Kewaskum Area Arts Council during this time period and the response has been tremendous from both the community and the surrounding area.

As a result of this meeting, it was agreed by all the parties that the lawn area in front of the Kewaskum Village Annex fronting 45 was a more viable site for the memorial.

There is a tremendous amount of parking available at this site as well as the availability of the Annex building for special events. A subsequent meeting with the architect and designer of the memorial indicated the design will be adaptable to this location and indeed may be easier for construction.

At the July meeting with the Village Board, the Annex site was discussed as a viable location and again subject to the Memorandum Of Understanding and public hearings on the Annex location, a new survey will be completed and moderate design modifications to the Kewaskum Remembers Memorial will be developed.

During the August 7, 2017 Village meeting discussion of the Annex site as well as presentation of a draft Memorandum of Understanding between the memorial corporation and the Village were agenda items.

On Aug. 28 the Village Board will meet again to vote on the Memorandum of Understanding.

Haberman is hopefully their 501 C status will be official shortly and the project can comfortably proceed with the new survey of the site and moderate design changes to the memorial for presentation to the Village Board and the community. The steel from the WTC and the new sign depicting the memorial are now at the Annex site.

Haberman said the concerns about the Fire Department site would have had to been addressed prior to any construction being begun and that the Kewaskum Remembers 9/11 Board is greatly appreciative of the support by the Village in seeing this important memorial become a reality.

Around the Bend by Judy Steffes

New owners for Toucan Custard in West Bend

 After 27 years as owners of a landmark business in West Bend the Moehr family is moving forward with their lives and announcing the sale of Toucan Custard. “We’ve been in the process of trying to sell Toucan,” said Jacquelyn Heise.

The family made the initial announcement in February that they were putting the business up for sale. Gathered in the dining area of the restaurant on Tuesday afternoon the sisters,  Jacquelyn, Rebecca Moehr- Lambrecht and Elizabeth Moehr had a rather tearful update.

“Our last day here will be August 19 as we have found different owners and they will take over and kinda keep Toucan the same which we are very, very excited about,” said Jacquelyn. “We’re sad to go but happy at the same time and want to thank you all very, very much for the last 27 years.”

Since the business went up for sale there were about a half dozen interested parties. The sisters said they would prefer the new owners keep the 1950’s theme of the restaurant but after a while on the market they were more accepting.

“Of course we’d hate to see it completely change but we were at the end of what we were doing and whoever bought it would do whatever they would need to do,” Jacquelyn said.

The buyer, according to the Moehrs, stepped in at the eleventh hour.

“It was to the point where we were going to end up leaving,” said Jacquelyn.

The sisters said the new owners will keep the custard and the business name.

“This is what we wanted; it’s time,” said Jacquelyn. “This is a family thing for us.”

The sisters said they are looking forward to doing their new thing, which includes a family trip.

“After the sale we’re going to get into several cars and all drive to Graceland,” she said. “Because we can!

“The only way we can go on vacation together is to close Toucan and we could never do that,” Jacquelyn said.

The girls picked Graceland as a promise to their mother who had been battling cancer. “Being able to travel now as a family is just the silver lining in this whole thing.” Another silver lining is being able to walk away from the 24-7 demands of the business. “Your phone is always ringing and you’re at work seven days a week,” said Rebecca Moehr- Lambrecht. “It’s going to be weird but phones are going to be quiet.”

On a positive note the Moehr family said they would really miss the people. “We’ll miss the kids,” said Jacquelyn. “They’re like our kids and they’ll tell you this is a family down here.”

As far as a final shebang to go out in a blaze of glory with a big celebration… the girls said they prefer to leave quietly but hope people write their memories.

“It would be cool to get a memory book down here and have people share/write their favorite memory,” said Jacquelyn.

Behind the scenes….

As the last two weeks of business draws to a close the Moehr girls are informing their employees and customers about their decision. “The gentleman who bought my dad’s Mustang was in today and he looked a little sad,” said Jacquelyn.

The business was listed by BOSS Realty

The new owners are a husband and wife, along with the man’s brother.  “They will keep the business mostly the same,” said Jacquelyn. “They will add their touches.”

No word if the new owners will bring back the famous Al Moehr fried baloney sandwich.

The new owners did come in this morning and watched the custard-making process.

Picking the final flavor of the day at Toucan Custard

Word is spreading across the community and Washington County that the Moehr family is selling Toucan Custard in West Bend and moving onto another stage of their life.

While the sisters say they would like to slip away in style they have agreed to have neighbors pick the final flavor of the day.

The cherry on top….. they’re asking you to create a name for the flavor as well.

“My husband has his entry,” said Jacquelyn Moehr Heise. “Thanks a bunch crunch.”

The possibilities seem endless as Toucan Custard has developed an extensive history of memories over the last 27 years in the community.

– Al Moehr, the patriarch of the family, was heavily involved in Kiwanis and the annual Duck Derby.

-Al also was creative with some of his menu selections including the taco cheeseburger and fried baloney sandwich.

-Remember the Toucan car?

-When John McGivern visited to do a segment on Toucan Custard for his Around the Corner show he remarked, “Can Al Moehr have an ugly daughter?”

-“He’d always want us to have our lips on,” said Rebecca. “He just thought if you didn’t have lipstick on it made you look tired; lipstick meant you were ready for the day.”

The Moehr girls have always been pretty creative with the custard flavors at Toucan. They’re throwing down a challenge and the deadline for submissions is 6 p.m. Wednesday, August 16.

The selected entry will be served on their last day at the store, Saturday, August 19.  New owners take over on Sunday.

Submissions must be submitted to WashingtonCountyInsider.com or Washington County Insider on Facebook.

Some of the early suggestions include: That’s A-Moehr-a! (That’s Amore), Rich Schommer said, “Al would order fresh Apple turnovers from me at The Old Fashioned Bakery, make an Apple Turnover custard and send several pints home with me the next day. ” Al’s Apple Turnover Custard.”  Gary Knoeck suggested “S’moehr (s’mores) what a better send off than to use the family name.” Laurie Kraemer wrote, “Grateful for the MeMoehries: I can’t pick just one favorite , so a mix of favorite flavors!: Butter Brickle (butter/butterscotch custard with toffee pieces) with Caramel swirls, Cashews (and/or pecans) grated chocolate, and to have the “lips on”- cherries on the top.” In tribute to the restaurant’s 1950’s theme and classic car night Billy Spiropoulos wrote “Cadillac CARmel cashew.”

Repairs underway to apartment damaged by fire

Six months after a fire gutted an apartment on Braatz Drive in Kewaskum reconstruction is finally underway. On February 10 at approximately 7:36 p.m., the Kewaskum Fire Department was dispatched to a fire located in the bedroom of 222 Braatz Drive apartment No. 7.All eight units in the building sustained substantial fire and water damage. All residents were safely evacuated.

This week contractors from Timber Ridge Construction LLC began making repairs by putting on a roof and framing out rooms as the interior of the building was gutted to the studs. Construction is expected to be completed by October/November. Building owners said delays in repairs were due to weather and permits.

Business in neighboring Dodge County is closing

A longtime business in neighboring Dodge County is closing. An article in the Daily Citizen is reporting Thunder Pallet, which is a pallet manufacturing and heat treating facility, will end operations this October.

A portion of the article by Ben Rueter reads: “It’s been a great run,” company president Ben Mahsem said. The Department of Workforce Development wrote, the facilities at 625 N. Menomonee St., Theresa, and at 909 River Knoll Drive, Mayville, will begin slowing down production Oct. 2 until the complete closure Oct. 31. A notice of the business closing was received by DWD on Aug. 2. The closure will affect 46 employees, four salaried and 42 hourly.”

Mahsem said the business is closing because of his health and the decision to close down Thunder Pallet was something he did not foresee. The article indicates equipment from Thunder Pallet will be auctioned off in November.

Former local Assembly Rep. Mickey Lehman has died

Michael A. Lehman “Mickey” passed away on August 7, 2017 with family at his side. Mickey would like to thank everyone for their support and express his gratitude in being allowed to serve 8 terms (16 years) in the Wisconsin State Assembly, 2.5 years with the Department of Revenue as Administrator of State and Local Finance, Lastly, serving on the Miller Park Stadium Board for 12 years. Mickey shared; “Appreciate the opportunities God provides you throughout life, and enjoy every day! I SURE DID!” Services for Mickey Lehman were held Friday, August 11, 2017.

West Bend Common Council honors 2017 WIAA Baseball champs

The West Bend Common Council led its Monday night meeting with high praise and recognition for the West Bend West High School baseball team which won the WIAA State Championship and finished the season with a record of 33 – 0.

“More important than the scoreboard is how they won their games,” said Mayor Kraig Sadownikow. “They represented themselves and their school and their families and this community with integrity and a humble manner that is well beyond their years.”

Spartans coach Billy Albrecht introduced a portion of the team in attendance and provided a list of some of the accolades and achievements.

-Three of the seniors on the team got a Division I scholarship to play baseball at college.  “Pretty amazing that in a town our size can put out players that can go to the top level of college baseball,” said Albrecht.

-“We had eight players on our team make All Conference and we had four of our guys Evan Albrecht, Jack Thelen, Anthony Schlass and Nathan Burns named first team All State.

-Evan Albrecht and Anthony Schlass were co-Players of the Year in the Wisconsin Little Ten Conference. Anthony Schlass was named Player of the Year for the entire state of Wisconsin in summer baseball.

-Schlass was also named the Player of the Year in the entire state for all high schools spring and summer baseball. Schlass also won the Dick Falk High School Player of the Year award.

-“I’d like to thank West Bend for its awesome support. I’ve coached a lot of teams and obviously the wins here are special but the way they went about it is more special to me and I appreciate you (the council) honoring them,” said coach Billy Albrecht.

Updates & tidbits

Ashly Kasten of West Bend, RN in the Intensive Care Unit, has been recognized with Froedtert & the Medical College of Wisconsin St. Joseph’s Hospital’s first quarter DAISY Award for her patient care and professionalism.

– Archbishop Jerome Listecki will join honored guests for a 160th anniversary Mass and celebration Sept.10 at St. Mary’s Parish in Barton.

-Allenton Parade is Sunday, Aug. 20. Step off is 11:30 a.m. from the Allenton Fire Station.

– Good Shepherd Lutheran Church (WELS) on the corner of Decorah and Indiana in West Bend will hold a ground breaking ceremony Sunday, Sept. 10 at 9:15 a.m. for its recently adopted building project.

-More than 140 avid golfers took part Monday in the annual Jingle Bell Open at West Bend Lakes Golf Course. Proceeds benefit the annual West Bend Christmas Parade. First place went to American Metal & Paper Team. The 1st Place Co-Ed team was Pillars / West Bend Lakes Team. Most Fun Team – Grafton Transit and BJ and Company and 1st Place Christmas Spirit – Horicon Hills Team.

-The West Bend High School class of 1948 is preparing to relive some of its glory years at a reunion luncheon August 19 at noon at the Top of the Ridge. 1948 was an era when choosing the class ring (the Royal Crown) was a big deal, along with winning the debate championship and taking first place in the American Legion Essay Contest.

-Take a Step Back in Time on Sunday, Aug. 13 from noon – 3 p.m. at Richfield Historical Park, 4399 Pleasant Hill Road. Experience the old-school method of washing clothes, grinding coffee, hauling grain. In olden days they called these things chores.The Messer/Mayer Mill, Mill House, and Lillicrapp Welcome Center will all be open and there will be hands-on activities. There is a $5 tour fee and children 5 and under are free. All proceeds benefit the Richfield Historical Society.

-Orientation for incoming freshmen is Tuesday, August 22 at 10 a.m. at UW-Washington County.   Classes at UW-WC get underway Tuesday, Sept. 5.

Around the Bend by Judy Steffes

New owner for former Friedens Church

One year to the date when Steve Kissinger placed a bid at a sheriff’s sale on the old Friedens Church on Cedar Creek Road his dream came true. “If I find a collection plate I’m going to put it outside the front door,” said Kissinger.

Dressed in blue jeans and a white t-shirt and garden gloves, Kissinger was celebrating his purchase and questioning his future at the same time. “It’s definitely a little overwhelming,” he said.

A year ago Kissinger and friend Terry Becker were completing a cemetery tour. Becker’s father and his grandparents were buried in the cemetery next to the church.

“My great great great grandparents were charter members,” said Kissinger. “And my great great grandparents are buried right next to the church.”

Kissinger started to look at the church and found it in foreclosure. “Last July 31 it went up for auction at the sheriff’s sale. No one bid. I followed it for about six months when it finally went up for auction online,” he said.

The bank, according to Kissinger, “wanted WAY too much for it.” A post published on WashingtonCountyInsider.com in April listed the price at $74,200.

“It never sold and was relisted every week or so. They finally accepted my bid on the July 6 and I closed Friday, July 28,” he said.

Built in 1878 the former church has definitely been neglected for many years. “It is in very poor condition,” said Kissinger. “And that’s being nice.”

All of the church furniture was removed long ago. Although a new roof was put in place last October there is significant water damage and some leakage. Kissinger has already reconciled “this will be a long-term project.”

He also realizes he has to pace himself. “If the steeple cannot be saved I would like to rebuild it to its original 1878 appearance,” he said.  “My friends are calling it St. Stevens.”

Kissinger’s plan is to work on it during the summer and hopefully have it ready by the time he retires in the next five years. “I want to restore it and turn it into my own personal museum for all of my collections including a huge collection of the products from the West Bend Aluminum Company,” he said.

Kissinger also thinks it will be the perfect home for his pipe organ.

In the meantime, Kissinger has moved an old WWII pump organ into the building…. and if you listen close you can hear the hymn “Stand up for Jesus” coming through the doorway as you pass by.

Camera Case in Hartford is sold

On Tuesday the sign on the door at Camera Case in Hartford, 1336 E. Sumner Street, says “This U.S. Cellular location will be temporarily closed on August 1 for an All-Associate meeting.”

According to Scott Henke with the Hartford Chamber of Commerce the shop owned by Bob Stumpner has been sold. “He’s been in business in this community for 40 years,” he said.

Camera Case has reportedly sold to Premier U.S. Cellular. A spokeswoman with Premier in Tulsa, Oklahoma did confirm “Premier has acquired the Camera Case.”

Wendy Drummond from Drummond Communications responded with an update.

Did Premier acquire all 7 U.S. Cellular locations owned by Bob Stumpner?

Premier Locations, authorized agent for US Cellular, acquired 6 Camera Case locations in Hartford, West Bend, Kewaskum, Neenah, Ripon and Saukville on August 1.  The Camera Case store in Green Bay was permanently closed on July 31.

What is the timeline on the Camera Case in Hartford opening?

The store re-opened August 2 and we are planning some fun grand re-opening events soon!

Why did Premier buy these stores?  What made it attractive? The market, the number, the reach, you’re taking over other outlets too?

Premier has owned and operated 5 stores in Germantown, Monona, Oshkosh, Fond du Lac and Plymouth for many years and has always looked for the opportunity to grow.  The CEO of Premier, Wendy Drummond, attended graduate school at the University of Wisconsin, Madison and is a huge Badger and Packer fan, so expanding in Wisconsin has been a strategic goal for some time.  When Bob and Sue Stumpner approached Premier about their upcoming retirement, it was a match made in heaven – the Stumpners were ready to relax and enjoy their retirement and Premier was ready to grow and provide a world-class customer experience to more Wisconsin customers.

I’m checking with the city assessor in Hartford. Did you buy the Camera Case building too on Highway 60?

No, Premier is renting the building from Bob and Sue Stumpner.

 German flare sets the scene for upcoming GERMANfest

A bit of German flare highlights Main Street in downtown West Bend. Thanks to a team effort with the West Bend Fire Department the flags for GERMANfest are now in place. The flags symbolize the start of the annual Germanfest celebration which will be held August 25 – 26 in downtown West Bend. The event is brought to you by Habitat for Humanity of Dodge and Washington Counties.

Pizza Ranch at Ponderosa moving forward

Designs for the proposed Pizza Ranch in West Bend were approved by 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 approved 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.

Next up the Gehrings will close on the purchase of the property at the end of August.

West Bend Noon Rotarians spend afternoon spreading the love | By William Schroeder Sr.

What does a turtle, a beaver, and an otter on a train have in common? It sounds like the beginning of a bad joke but a stroll along the Eisenbahn Trail in downtown West Bend will answer that question.

They’re all statues surrounded by a fresh bed of wood chips at the playground behind the Museum of Wisconsin Art. During lunchtime on Monday, volunteers young and old from the Noon Rotary Club of West Bend stepped up to spread mulch at the small playground. Rotarians Lisa Sanborn and David Slinde spearheaded the project.

“After a Rotary meeting a few weeks ago, we were talking about getting our fifth Monday service projects going again,” Sanborn said. “Slinde reached out to Craig Hoeppner (director of the West Bend Parks, Rec, and Forestry Department) for ideas.”

Forgoing a typical lunch meeting, Noon Rotary plans to participate in hands-on service projects in the community when there is a fifth Monday of a particular month. Service projects are selected to provide non-profit organizations the opportunity to use the labor of Rotarians.

Slinde, who has been a member of Rotary for nearly 15 years, enjoyed volunteering on a sunny Monday, though he wishes more folks would get involved with service organizations.

“Rotary is unique that like-minded people come together from different backgrounds to commit themselves to ‘Service Above Self,” Slinde said. “I believe that by volunteering, everybody can participate in the building and maintaining of our community.”

Everybody indeed! Volunteers ranged from their mid-20s up to their mid-80s. In addition to Sanborn and Slinde, other Rotarians on hand included Richard Klumb, Amanda Follett, and Anna Jensen. Klumb, a spry 86 years old and member of Rotary since 1958, manned a pitch fork to assist with the woodchip spreading.

“We are young, middle aged, and old,” Klumb said. “But (we) work as a team. Yesterday… was a prime example of some of the things we do to make West Bend a great place to live, work, and play.”

The next time a month has five Mondays is October; Noon Rotary is currently exploring opportunities for a service project on that date.

Updates & tidbits

-Registration is underway for the Washington County FC Little Dribblers co-ed soccer program for kids 4 – 6 years old. Outdoor practice is at Ackerman’s Grove Park.

– There was a practice burn in Jackson on Monday night that turned a lot of heads. Huge plumes of black smoke could be seen by passing motorists from Highway 45. Jackson Fire Chief Aaron Swaney said firefighters were conducting a training burn at the old Jackson Lumber Sales. That company moved to a new location in the industrial park.

-West Bend High School class of 1948 is preparing to relive its glory years as there’s a reunion luncheon August 19 at the Top of the Ridge. 1948 was an era when choosing the class ring (the Royal Crown) was a big deal, along with winning the debate championship and taking first place in the American Legion Essay Contest. Dorothy Barnes is coordinating the noon reunion. The cost is $17 and reservations needed by August 10. Call 262-438-5938 or 262-438-5951.

– It was a steamy day for the annual COLUMNS scholarship run on Thursday. Nearly 220 people participated in, Not Just a Walk in the Park, sponsored by Horicon Bank. Alec and Aric Miller lead the pack at the start of the 5k and the brothers ended up finishing No. 1 and No. 2. Brianna Renner, 17, of West Bend was the first female to finish. Her time was 24:24:09. Proceeds from the annual run go to scholarships at the West Bend High Schools.

-The building, 305 W. Kilbourn Avenue in West Bend, has been sold by Thomas and Kathleen Perry to Gregory and Lisa Lorenz. The 680-square-foot building, constructed in 1840, was most recently home to Sarah Campeau Photography. Adam Williquette, Senior Vice President of Anderson Commercial Group represented the seller in the transaction.

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.

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

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

washingtoncountyinsider.com

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.

thecla-richter

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

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