Tag Archives: Judy Steffes

Around the Bend by Judy Steffes

Ten veterans from Washington Co. on Saturday’s Honor Flight

There will be 10 veterans from Washington County participating in Saturday’s Stars and Stripes Honor Flight to Washington D.C.

One of the oldest vets on the flight will be 95-year-old WWII veteran Dave Lowe from the Town of Erin.

Lowe was drafted was 19 years old when he entered service Feb. 1, 1943 and served until Feb. 23, 1946.

“I went to Biloxi, Mississippi for basic training and then to Tishomingo, Oklahoma to learn how to take care of airplanes,” said Lowe.

Army training had Lowe shipped to Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in Dayton, Ohio, Kelly Field in Texas and to Tinker Air Force Base in Oklahoma, to Seattle and then onto Guam in November 1944.

“It took 32 days to get from Seattle to Guam,” he said about traveling by merchant ship.

Lowe worked as a clerk typist and then onto the warehouse and finally he worked as a corporal as an orderly. “I swept the day room, took care of letters and I was in charge of the beer supply,” he said. “Everybody got two cans of beer a week and we had cases of it back where I got the mail. When somebody would ask for an extra can or two for their friends, I couldn’t give them a can but I could give them a case.

“I had a lot of friends,” Lowe said.

Lowe’s son James Lowe from Madison will be going with his dad as his guardian on the flight.

Dave Lowe said he is looking forward to seeing the WWII Memorial in Washington D.C. His friend Rocky Rococo sent him a post card from Hawaii in 1944 and then never made it home because he was involved in an accident with a military vehicle.

Other veterans from Washington County participating in Saturday’s Honor Flight include:

Colgate: Wayne Fischer, Vietnam War Army, Germantown: Greg Eggum, Vietnam War Army, Hartford: Brad Wing, Vietnam War Navy, Kewaskum: Thomas Kohn, Vietnam War Marines, West Bend: Jerry Goratowski, Vietnam War Navy, John “Pete” Pedersen, Vietnam War Army, James Meinberg, Vietnam War Air Force pilot, James Pogantsch, Vietnam War Army , William Crowley, Vietnam War Army.

Special local tribute during Saturday’s Packer Tailgate Tour

While many football fans across Washington County can say they’re the BIGGEST Green Bay Packer supporter, two women will be highlighted Saturday, April 14 for their dedication to the Green and Gold.

Kay Thomas, 54, of West Bend was a long-time employee at The Threshold Inc. and a top-notch Green Bay Packer fan.

Ida Motiff, 98, of West Bend was also a hard-core Green Bay Packer fan. Probably one of the oldest too as Ida was born the year the Packers were established. Her obituary read, “Ida was also devoted Green Bay Packer fan holding season Packer tickets since 1950. She went to at least one game every year until she was 96 years of age.”

At Cedar Ridge Ida would wear her green and gold tennis shoes and wave her pom poms during every Packer game. She loved them even when they lost.

As part of Saturday’s Tailgate a special tribute will be made to both women who died earlier this year. The 13th Annual Green Bay Packers Tailgate Tour which will visit with fans and thank them in person for their support.

On Saturday, April 14 from 11 a.m. – 3:30 p.m., the Packers Tailgate Tour is making its final stop at the West Bend High School Fieldhouse.  One hundred percent of the proceeds for the event will benefit the Threshold, Inc.

Tour celebrities will include Packers President/CEO Mark Murphy, players Kenny Clark, Blake Martinez, and Ty Montgomery, and Packers alumni Rob Davis, Antonio Freeman and Bubba Franks.

John Bloor, Executive Director for the Threshold said, “This will be an exciting, once-in-a-lifetime event for the Threshold and for this entire community!”

Laura Eggert, Director of PR/Fund Development for the Threshold said, “We are thankful to our friend, Josh McCutcheon of PeopleServe in West Bend.  Josh is an avid Packer fan and encouraged the Packers to make a stop in our great city!  We are so thrilled and we feel blessed to have been chosen as the last stop of the tour.”  Tailgate party ticket prices:  $40 all-inclusive ticket (only 600 available) – Includes food, giveaways, Q&A sessions and autographs of all seven celebrities (bring one item per person or use Packers’ giveaway item) and $10 ticket general admission ticket – Includes access to the Q&A sessions as well as tailgate party activities.  Food and beverages will be available for purchase.

American Star Excellence in Customer Experience Award agent

Donald Patnode and his team at American Family Insurance in West Bend have been recognized for earning the 2017 American Star Excellence in Customer Experience Award for outstanding customer experience.

The team at American Family Insurance in West Bend includes Nancy Monday, Mary Mikkelson, Cindy Moran, Susie Patnode, Tim Novotny and Christine Heuer.

“Our goal is to strive to always do our best,” said Patnode. “We take care of our customers’ needs directly and by phone not voicemail.”

American Family Insurance in West Bend has won the award in consecutive years since 2014. Patnode said that shows the consistency in company service and high praise to be recognized and respected by its customers.

“The award reinforces that taking care of our customers is our No. 1 goal,” he said. “It’s our customers telling us we are doing a good job.”

The service excellence distinction was determined through an evaluation process conducted under guidelines established through the company’s American Star Excellence in Customer Experience Certification Program. The process consists of a customer satisfaction survey which measures customers’ overall experience with their current American Family agent.

Grandparents Day celebrated at Holy Angels School                          By Mike Sternig

This year’s annual Grandparents Day took on a whole new level of activity as grandparents (and grandpals) joined Holy Angels students in a morning of adventure and fun.

The special guests were introduced to the morning’s activities as they gathered in the gym (with bleacher seating)…no small feat, but many were experienced from watching volleyball or basketball games through the years.  The Holy Angels Chorus provided some entertainment and then it was off to meet with grandkids and see the school.

Activities in the classrooms included: making slime (a very popular stop!), creating Madlibs, sharing stories of then and now, grandparent interviews, ecosystem game, bucket lists, photos and snacks, gym activities, and much more. The Book Fair in the library was filled with students and grandparents.

Everyone gathered in church for a special Grandparents Mass. Rev. Pat Heppe reminded everyone of the importance of sharing our “good news” with each other. Good news can be our own stories of faith as well as the really big story of Jesus’ Resurrection and gift of New Life.

Crowded field in 59th Assembly District race

It’s becoming quite the crowded field as another hat is thrown in the ring to take over Rep. Jesse Kremer’s seat in the 59th Assembly District.

This week Village of Kewaskum native Timothy Ramthun from the Township of Auburn in Fond Du Lac County announced he was filing candidacy papers.

“Representative Kremer has given the 59th District much to be grateful for, with commitment to protect the pre-born, our 1st and 2nd Amendment rights, initiatives to aid in improvements for police and firemen protections, and enhancements to the farming industry. These were all difficult subjects to address and Mr. Kremer did not waiver. Should I be blessed to serve as his successor, I will continue in these and many other causes we share passion in, ensuring the best chance for completion of unfinished business,” said Ramthun.

Ramthun joins Ty Bodden of St. Cloud and Rachel Mixon of Hartford who announced their candidacy earlier this year.

The 59th District encompasses municipalities in Washington, Fond Du Lac, Sheboygan and Calumet Counties. The Republican Primary is Tuesday, August 14 and the general election is Tuesday, Nov. 6.

Cal Fitness expands in Slinger

Village Beverage in Slinger rang up its last sale over the weekend. After 43 years in business the local liquor store closed but it won’t be empty long.

Cal Fitness & Performance, 311 E. Washington Street, is moving in. “I’m partnering with another couple and our plan is to expand the fitness club into the liquor store area,” said Cal Fitness owner Tony Callen.

“The area will focus on strength training and there will be more space for turf and push and pull sleds. We will have more area to train the high school kids and the middle schoolers.”

Callen is the strength and agility coach at Slinger High School.  He has been in business three years. The changeover is currently under construction and the new space should be open in the next month.

A note of thanks to Ken Stellmacher and Monte Schmiege

A salute Monday night to outgoing West Bend School Board members Tim Stellmacher and Monte Schmiege. Board member Ken Schmidt praised Schmiege for his commitment to the board including treasurer and policy chairman. Schmidt was thankful for Schmiege who did his homework, research and he had “integrity, urgency and he made our school district better in many ways including his oversight of curriculum.”

“Monte acted with honesty, courtesy, respect, humility, fact and research-based decision making,” said Schmidt. Stellmacher was also praised by Schmidt for his financial acumen.

Former School Board candidate Mary Weigand also praised Schmiege for his “integrity, wisdom, and thoughtful research and you’re going to be missed by the community of West Bend.”

“Monte was one of two board members who voted against an immoral and inappropriate questionnaire for minors that will be happening potentially this spring. I know it’s very difficult to accomplish things in the humanistic, government-run education system but Monte you fought and you persevered and you spent three years of your life caring about the education of our kids and I really want to thank you for that,” said Weigand.

Also during Monday night’s meeting:

-The district has received 22 applications for Superintendent. According to a report from the search firm some of the candidates they “feel terrific about and some not so terrific.” Nobody knew Monday night the total number of applicants as there were 25 applications the district received after the job was posted by a board member last December.

-Karen Herman was introduced as the new head of finance.

St. Frances Cabrini 4th graders roll out historic Wax Museum

A nice turnout Wednesday afternoon at St. Frances Cabrini as neighbors looked for a history fix.

In attendance were film maker Walt Disney, inventor Thomas Edison, and strong women like Sacagawea, Jacqueline Kennedy, Princess Diana and Louis Braille.

Miss Tanking’s 4th grade class held its annual Wax Museum history display. Students picked a noteworthy person in history and conducted months of research.

Wednesday was the big reveal with tri-fold displays and historic reenactments. Some of the Wax Museum displays featured American author Helen Keller and fabled Johnny Appleseed.

Updates & tidbits

– Drake University senior Meghan Walters of West Bend has been offered a prestigious 2018–2019 Fulbright Scholarship. With her acceptance to the Fulbright English Teaching Assistant program in Bulgaria, she joins a lengthy list of Bulldogs to have been offered the Fulbright scholarship.

– Mai Fest is coming to Friedenfeld Park in Germantown on May 18, 19 and 20. There will be fantastic beers, fabulous music and dancing and good old-fashioned fun. There will be food from Schwai’s Fish Friday (Friday night only), Germantown Kiwanis Club, Brats, Frankfurters, Hamburgers, and Potato Pancakes. Come enjoy the fun.

-The Downtown West Bend Association is gearing up for the 6th annual Banner ArtWalk. Fifty hand-painted banners will be on display at the Museum of Wisconsin Art on Saturday, May 12.

– The 31st annual Washington County Breakfast on the Farm is at Gehring View Farms this year, 4630 Highway 83 in Hartford. The host family will be Eugene and Christine Gehring and their family Derik, Jordan and Emily. This year’s Breakfast will be Saturday, June 9, rain or shine.

-Moraine Park Technical College’s student senate is hosting a free public event with Green Bay Packer legend Jerry Kramer. Students, staff, and community members are invited to the Fond du Lac campus commons area, on Tuesday, April 10 from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., to listen to the two-time Super Bowl champion’s story. Kramer was recently announced as an inductee into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

Holy Angels School recognizes alum Gayle (Juech) Ritter                            By Mike Sternig

As part of the annual celebration of Catholic Schools Week each year, Holy Angels School recognizes past students with the National Catholic Educational Association’s Distinguished Graduate Award.

The school’s mission statement begins with the words: “We belong to a Catholic community which gathers together to proclaim the gospel, serve others and praise God.”

This year’s distinguished graduate was not available during the January celebration which delayed the presentation until this past weekend. The 2018 award recipient is Gayle (Juech) Ritter, a member of the Class of 1970.

Principal Mike Sternig noted, “Gayle has certainly embodied our mission statement by her service to others. She has been affiliated for the past 25 years with a charitable organization called MEDICO (Medical Eye Dental International Care Organization) which serves the impoverished population in Honduras. She has accomplished volunteer work in remote villages throughout that Central American nation.  Much of this volunteer work has focused on assisting the dentists and optometrists in the field as well as providing post-surgical rehabilitation to patients that have suffered severe injuries as a result of working on the banana and coffee plantations.”

The Distinguished Graduate and her husband have been the group leaders for several groups consisting of between 8 to 25 volunteer members and have most recently traveled to the Mosquito Coast which is in the southeastern region of the country and is a desolate and remote jungle-like area inhabited by mostly indigenous tribes.

In 1998, she was a part of a delegation of medical volunteers to provide medical care to those who suffered injuries from Hurricane Mitch, one of the deadliest hurricanes to hit the Western Hemisphere in more than 200 years. Additionally, she has provided care and therapy to children and adults alike suffering from a myriad of disabilities.

This husband and wife team has made several interactive presentations to the students of Holy Angels regarding their volunteer trips and they have been the encouragement for students to become involved with serving others through outreach efforts.

Regarding her formation at Holy Angels, Ritter made it clear, “My Catholic education has instilled a strong foundation of empathy, care, and compassion for the less fortunate members of both our local and international community.”

Around the Bend bu Judy Steffes

Rumors are hot about a new store for Fleet Farm in West Bend

If you leave Fleet Farm in West Bend these days most neighbors will say “an employee told them that a new Fleet Farm will be built soon.”

There’s also word from the same unnamed employee that “ground will be broken soon on a new Fleet Farm in West Bend.”

The long-rumor activity of a new Fleet Farm in West Bend dates to 2004 when Fleet Farm announced it was going to build ‘the largest store in the state’ on a 30-acre parcel along Highway 33 and County Highway Z.

The Mills brothers also acquired 40 adjacent acres and plans were on track for a 274,000-square-foot store.

In January 2016, the Mills family sold its business to New York-based investment firm KKR.

In the first quarter of the year, KKR met with store managers. This is the message passed along, “We anticipate investing significantly in the business adding infrastructure, stores and local jobs,” said Nate Taylor, then with the retail portion of KKR.

Over the next 13 years, nothing was built. But now the rumor mill is churning fast…. and there maybe some news waiting in the wings.

Some businesses along Highway 33 west have claimed there’s been activity on some of the land owned by Fleet Farm. A call to Elaine Johnson at the DNR confirmed that ‘yes’ there was some soil sampling about a month ago, but that was for the incoming Morrie’s Honda dealership and that property is adjacent to the 40 acres Fleet owns.

Johnson’s note is below. She answered whether someone from Fleet or KKR is sniffing around to finally build.

As requested, I checked our records for waterways and wetlands projects located in Section 16, Township 11N, Range 19E in the City of West Bend, Washington County.

Apart from the recent 2018 wetland fill application and wetland delineation for the proposed Honda dealership, our most recent record after that starts in 2012. In other words, apart from the Honda dealership, the Waterways and Wetlands Program hasn’t reviewed any projects in this area for the last 5-6 years or so. That said, we do not have any applications in for a proposed Fleet Farm or Olive Garden (or other development).  Thank you, Elaine Johnson

Water Management Specialist (Kenosha, Washington and Walworth counties)  Division of External Services  Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources.

“However, checking a bit closer to home City Administrator Jay Shambeau confirmed the new owners of Fleet Farm have reached out. “Yes, the city has been having conversations with the new ownership of Fleet Farm,” said Shambeau following Monday night’s council meeting.

“We’ve been staying in contact with them, although they’re not moving forward with any type of design or development proposal at this time.”

A conversation Tuesday with officials at the corporate office of Fleet Farm were friendly and brief and noncommittal regarding any sort of development in West Bend.

On a final note, a spokesperson from Fleet Farm Corporate promised if Fleet Farm decides to build a new store in West Bend they will make the announcement first on WashingtonCountyInsider.com  Stay tuned.

Wax Museum at St. Frances Cabrini School

Fourth grade students at St. Frances Cabrini School in West Bend are hosting their Wax Museum event on Wednesday, April 11 from 3 p.m. – 4 p.m. in the multi-purpose room.  Some of the students shot promo videos to help inform neighbors about the free event. Ashlyn Fortney chose to speak about Malala Yousafzia, but she’s really excited to hear about another well-known figure in U.S. history. Some of the other people of note will include George Washington, Johnny Appleseed and Walt Disney. The event is free and open to the public.

Green Bay Packer Tailgate Tour in West Bend on Saturday, April 14

The Green Bay Packers 13th Annual Green Bay Packers Tailgate Tour, will be in West Bend on Saturday, April 14 from 11 a.m. – 3:30 p.m., at the West Bend High School Fieldhouse.  One hundred percent of the proceeds for the event will benefit the Threshold, Inc. Tour celebrities will include Packers President/CEO Mark Murphy, players Kenny Clark, Blake Martinez, and Ty Montgomery, and Packers alumni Rob Davis, Antonio Freeman and Bubba Franks.

Ticket sale locations:  Threshold – 600 Rolfs Avenue, West Bend, Associated Bank – 715 W. Paradise Drive, West Bend and the West Bend Area Chamber of Commerce – 304 S. Main Street, West Bend.

Tailgate party ticket prices:  $40 all-inclusive ticket (only 600 available) – Includes food, giveaways, Q&A sessions and autographs of all seven celebrities (bring one item per person or use Packers’ giveaway item) and $10 ticket general admission ticket – Includes access to the Q&A sessions as well as tailgate party activities. Food and beverages will be available for purchase.

Outdoor dining deck to be added to former Dublin’s

It’s a story you will see first at WashingtonCountyInsider.com as plans have been submitted to add a second-story outdoor dining area at the former Dublin’s restaurant, 110 Wisconsin Street, in West Bend. The proposed deck will extend off the west side of the building and include an exterior set of stairs to the patio below.

The former tenant, Dublin’s, closed at the end of March after the owners moved out of state.

On Monday afternoon a trailer full of chairs was seen exiting the property. The exterior signs had also been removed. The interior is getting a fresh coat of paint and a thorough cleaning is in the works.

According to Mark A. Piotrowicz, Assistant Director Department of Development with the City of West Bend, said a site plan was needed and not just a permit for the deck. “This is a commercial enterprise and the plans are changing the appearance of the structure and it will require site plan approval,” he said.

The West Bend Plan Commission will have to review the proposal. While the next meeting is April 10, the deck will not be on that agenda. Piotrowicz said it looks like the earliest the Plan Commission will review the site plan is in May.

One other caveat is The Museum of Wisconsin Art has an agreement with the City of West Bend that allows MOWA to comment. “It’s part of MOWA’s development agreement,” said Piotrowicz.  “If the item is located in specific boundaries surrounding MOWA and this site plan will go to them and they have an opportunity to comment before Plan Commission reviews.”

In the past MOWA has reviewed plans for Affiliated Clinical and QUAM Engineering.

According to building owners Kevin and Amy Zimmer there is a contract in place for a new owner to move in and that should close in June.

Washington County teen Attends 2018 National 4-H Conference  By Amy Mangan-Fischer  

Wisconsin’s delegation to National 4-H Conference in Washington, DC, will join 300 youth and adults from around the country to share ideas and form recommendations in guiding future national 4-H youth development programs in their communities.

Wisconsin delegates attending the conference April 7-12, 2018 include: Bridget Dean, Washington Co., Tyler Franklin, St. Croix Co., Joelle Heller, Waukesha Co., Brianna Jones, Waukesha Co., Veronica Klenke, Chippewa Co., Allison Olson, Eau Claire Co., Linnea Tabaka, Green Co., Sydney Tone, Dane Co., and Camron VanLoo, Fond du Lac Co. Sarah Tarjeson, Sheboygan County Youth Development Educator and Joshua Chrest, Pierce County volunteer will accompany the group as their Adult Advisors.

Conference includes workshops and other activities that emphasize civic engagement, youth-adult partnerships and professional development. During roundtable discussions and a town hall meeting, delegates will share ideas and form recommendations for the future of 4-H.

While in Washington D.C., delegates will meet with their state legislators during Capitol Hill Day to represent youth from Wisconsin and discuss state 4-H programs with Congressional members and their staff.

In 1927, the USDA implemented the first National 4-H Camp/Conference. Known as the “Secretary’s Conference,” the National 4-H Conference continues to be the major annual youth development event for USDA. Wisconsin 4-H Foundation provides financial support for the Wisconsin delegation.

A note of ‘thanks’ to WBPD Lt. Duane Farrand

The West Bend Common Council took a moment during its Monday night meeting to honor Lt. Duane Farrand for 27 years with the West Bend Police Department.

“This feels great,” said Farrand.”

Farrand will turn 50 years old on April 9 and he will retire on April 10. Farrand started his career as a police dispatcher with the Germantown Police Department. After nine months he joined the West Bend PD.

“When I started in West Bend Jim Skidmore was Chief of Police,” Farrand said.

Other chiefs included James Schwartz, Whitey Uelmen, and Ken Meuler.

“When I started we had French blue uniforms with gray pants and we had Stetson hats,” said Farrand. “It was great in the summer time and when it rained it was great but they were very cumbersome.”

The squads were V8s and there was no traction control. “Very different from today,” he said.

Farrand was also with the department when it was on the corner of Highway 33 and Main Street. “We were upstairs and the Fire Department was downstairs,” he said. “I remember our booking was actually a closet and we’d open the door and it would have a swing out board and we’d thumbtack the suspect’s name and booking number and we’d take a Polaroid of them.”

Farrand said he wasn’t sure what he would do in retirement. He said he will still be active on the Deer Management Committee. His advice to incoming officers, “Take care of your community and your community will take care of you.”

Updates & tidbits

-The Gift of Giving fundraiser is April 7 from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. at King Pin Bowl and Ale House, 1022 S. Main Street in West Bend. Bo’s Heavenly Clubhouse is a nonprofit charity organization that was formed when Amanda Hartwig’s family experienced the loss of their 10-month-old son, Bo. “We had nowhere to turn for grief support and aid for mental anguish,” she said.

– Help support the Fillmore Fire & Rescue during the annual Fish Fry on Friday, April 13 at the Fillmore Fire Department. 8485 Trading Post Trail Road. Serving begins at 5 p.m.  Bring a non-perishable food item and get a free dessert.

– Les Belles Voix, the Advanced Women’s Choir at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, under the direction of Karen Wysocky, will be presenting a concert at Holy Hill Basilica on Friday, April 13 at 7 p.m.

– The West Bend Police Department annual Spring Bike Sale will be Saturday, April 7, 2018 at 8 a.m. There are 95 bikes for sale with a majority in good condition. The sale will be on the north end of West Bend City Hall, 1115 S. Main Street.  The bikes are sold “as is” and all sales are final. No warranty, refunds, or exchanges. All bikes are $20, which includes a bike license. Yes all bikes will be sold with a bike license. CASH ONLY.

-Les Belles Voix, the Advanced Women’s Choir at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, under the direction of Karen Wysocky, will be presenting a concert at Holy Hill Basilica on Friday, April 13 at 7 p.m.

-The Downtown West Bend Association is gearing up for the 6th annual Banner ArtWalk. Fifty hand-painted banners will be on display at the Museum of Wisconsin Art on Saturday, May 12.

– The 31st annual Washington County Breakfast on the Farm is at Gehring View Farms this year, 4630 Highway 83 in Hartford. The host family will be Eugene and Christine Gehring and their family Derik, Jordan and Emily. This year’s Breakfast will be Saturday, June 9, rain or shine.

-Moraine Park Technical College’s student senate is hosting a free public event with Green Bay Packer legend Jerry Kramer. Students, staff, and community members are invited to the Fond du Lac campus commons area, on Tuesday, April 10 from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., to listen to the two-time Super Bowl champion’s story. Kramer was recently announced as an inductee into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

-UW-Washington County men’s basketball coach Stephen Murphy was named the 2018 Wisconsin Collegiate Conference Coach of the Year.

-Slinger Public Library will host State of Craft Beer author and photographer Matthew Janzen on Monday, April 9 from 6:30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m. as he guides neighbors on a vivid tour of Wisconsin’s craft beer industry.

– Moraine Park Technical College students, Jose Bustos of Fond du Lac and Queenie Weesen of West Bend, were recently recognized by Wisconsin Campus Compact, an association that recognizes those who have shown excellence in civic engagement. Bustos was the winner of the Jack Keating Student Civic Leadership Award, recognizing students that have taken a leadership role in creating change in their community. Weesen was the recipient of the Newman Civic Fellows Award, recognizing community-committed students who look to create long-term social change. Weesen is a current nursing student at Moraine Park.

Around the Bend by Judy Steffes

Dublin’s to close March 31

There’s been some rumbling around West Bend the past few weeks regarding the future of Dublin’s, 110 Wisconsin Street.

On Wednesday afternoon those rumblings were confirmed as Dublin’s owner Todd Ceman said they are closing the Irish pub at the end of the month.

“My wife Jamie relocated and accepted a job in California,” said Ceman. “It was too good of a job to pass up.  She moved in the early part of February and I moved with her and that unfortunately left Dublin’s and I was unable to continue running it from California.”

Ceman said they looked at a couple different options to possibly pass the business along to employees but “unfortunately the stars did not align.”

“Yes, the business is closing but not out of distress,” Ceman said.  “This is really a bittersweet decision. There was a lot of work effort and we made a lot of friends, consistent customers and I will miss this a lot.”

Ceman wanted to make sure to recognize his great staff. “They have been my rock for the last four-and-a-half years. They’re the highest levels of integrity and they’re the reason people patronized the business,” he said.

Ceman runs the business in partnership with Dave and Kristin Toman; the couples have two other restaurants in Oshkosh. He said those establishments will remain open.

“The employees are OK with all this. They’re extremely awesome but they are sad about the closing,” Ceman said.

Shelby Neelis is a server and bartender at Dublin’s. “Todd Ceman is one of the best bosses we could have asked for, we’re sorry to see him move to California but all his employees are going to stick it out until the end,” she said.

Jordan Zeitler is a bartender/ server at Dublin’s. “I was sad when I heard but we appreciate everything Todd has done for us here; we all care about him,” he said.

Customers were shocked to hear the news. “I had one lady say ‘I’m going to just go out and recommend this place to all my customers’ and I appreciated that but this is it,” Zeitler said.

When employees found out, Neelis said everybody was sad. “Unfortunately it’s not going to stay open just for us but at the same time we’re happy as long as Todd is happy,” she said. “He’s been there through thick and thin with us and he knows all our names and we know he cares about us.”

The atmosphere and the 40 beers on tap is what Neelis said was a big draw and helped make Dublin’s a success.

Neelis said the building has been a mainstay in the community. She remembered the train through the rafters and the popcorn machine in the entry when it was The Binkery.  (and the head in the upstairs window)

Kelly Jordan of West Bend has been coming to Dublin’s since it opened and before that she patronized The Binkery. “I really liked the Irish food here and the old building,” said Jordan. “We’d come off the Eisenbahn bike trail and have lunch outside. This has always been a wonderful place to sit and have dinner and take mom and have an Irish beverage and Irish meal after work.”

Marlene Jennings of Slinger said she loved coming to Dublin’s. “I would look forward to spring and summer on the patio and my Irish whisky,” she said.

The Dublin’s name is owned by Ceman. For people with Dublin’s gift certificates, Ceman said those will be accepted in Oshkosh.

The owner of the building is Kevin and Amy Zimmer. So far the couple has no comment on the future of the location. On an editorial note, if anyone is familiar with the Zimmers and their connections it’s likely the building will not sit empty for long.

Dublin’s last day will be Saturday, March 31, 2018.

On a history note:  It was Sept. 15, 2009 when the former Binkery was moved from W. Washington Street to Wisconsin Street in downtown West Bend. There was a slow-moving parade to the east.

Sharpshooters may be next step for deer management in West Bend

Three months after the city of West Bend tried using bow hunters to trim the deer population the Deer Management Committee is regrouping to discuss Plan B.

On Monday, March 26 the committee will talk about using sharpshooters for deer management. During a five-day test program for deer management in West Bend in January 2018, five bow hunters killed a total of three deer. Their goal was 40.

Now the Deer Management Committee is regrouping. Sharpshooters have been discussed in the past. Some of the concerns were cost and safety. Tom Isaac with the DNR presented some details during a meeting in August 2016.

Bullet points (pun intended) include:

-The average park size in West Bend is 14 acres up to 140 acres.

-Options to control deer include sterilization, sharpshooters, and trapping.

-Mayor Kraig Sadownikow said the ultimate goal is to manage the herd. Another suggested option was to get volunteers to qualify as sharpshooters and maybe close a park for 2-3 days to try and solve the problem.

In 2009 in neighboring Ozaukee County officials in the City of Mequon brought in sharpshooters for $11,000 to help cull the deer herd by 100. According to a report from the Parks Director the sharpshooters used bait, shot the deer from tree stands at night while the park was closed.

Monday’s meeting in the Conference Room at West Bend City Hall is open to the public and begins at 5:30 p.m.

On a side note – Hallway conversation in 2016: After the meeting some of the neighbors in attendance talked about the huge problem of deer in their yards on Deer Ridge Drive. One suggestion that helped keep deer from destroying plants was Irish Spring soap.

Can Washington Co. Clerk work elections if spouse is running for office?

The question has come up in several instances in Washington County with regard to the April 3 election and whether it is legit that candidates and their spouses can work the polls.

This election Justin Reichert is running for District 3 alderman in West Bend. Reichert’s wife, Ashley, is the Washington County Clerk who oversees the election results. Reichert said it is perfectly kosher for her to complete her job on Election Day because the poll duties are completely separate from her husband’s municipal race.

“I’m only providing the supplies and the general support to oversee the election,” said Ashley Reichert.  “I’m not the filing officer for that position; the filing officer is the city of West Bend and I’m completely removed from all of that.”

Reichert said the database programs at the county are hired out so there’s complete separation.

Canvassing, also for those municipal races happens at the municipal level.

“I only canvass county races, state and federal so I’m completely removed from that,” she said.

Reichert said a county clerk is also an elected position and if her name were on the ballot she would recuse herself from the canvass.

Reid Magney is the public information officer with the Wisconsin Elections Commission.

“If you’re using the example of Justin Reichert, he was required to submit nomination papers to the city clerk and not the county clerk,” he said.

“When a decision is made on reviewing the required number of signatures to run for office, that decision is made by the city clerk and not the county clerk.

“When they put together the ballot the city clerk determines the order the names are on the ballot and not the county clerk.”

Magney said the county clerk does print the ballot but the information comes from the city clerk.

“When it comes to counting the ballots the county clerk has nothing to do with that because it’s a municipal office and it only goes up as high as that office,” he said. “There’s a municipal board of canvassers that will double check the results after the election but that information never goes to a county board of canvassers.

“The county board of canvassers will only deal with county races and state races in this election so she won’t have anything to do with the counting of the votes,” Magney said. “There is absolutely no issue in an election like this.”

Location announced for Eaton’s Fresh Pizza in West Bend

In February we announced Eaton’s Pizza would be returning to West Bend. The franchise owner was coming in from Fond du Lac.  According to the owner Eaton’s Fresh Pizza will be located at 830 E. Paradise Drive. That’s in the strip mall across from Blue Dog Golf Course.

The owner is looking at a target opening date of July 1. He said he will need about 10 employees. Watch for upcoming job postings at WashingtonCountyInsider.com

Brenda Hetebrueg joins Horicon Bank in West Bend

Horicon Bank is pleased to announce Brenda Hetebrueg has joined their team in West Bend as a Branch Manager. Originally from West Bend, Hetebrueg comes to Horicon Bank with over 30 years of banking experience. After graduating West Bend East High School, Hetebrueg earned several banking diplomas, including one from the American Institute of Banking School.

She started her career in banking as a teller, and later became a teller supervisor, Branch Operations Service Manager and Bank Officer. Hetebrueg is an active member of the West Bend community. She currently serves as a board member for Roots and Branches as well as Big Brothers Big Sisters of Washington County.

As a branch manager, Hetebrueg said she enjoys building relationships with her customers.

“I love working with customers – being able to help them with their financial needs,” said Hetebrueg. “As a branch manager, that also means mentoring and empowering my team in West Bend to do the same.”

Hetebrueg said she enjoys this role at Horicon Bank because of the bank’s philosophy toward the community. “I enjoy working for a community bank,” she said. “I am amazed how much we contribute back to the community. Our vision is all about our customers, community and employees – to enjoy working together to make lives better and more secure.

Advisory referendum question on April 3 ballot in West Bend

There will be four questions on an advisory referendum on the April 3 ballot for taxpayers in the city of West Bend. All questions are intended to gauge the interest of taxpayers and how critical they feel it is to spend more money on roads.

Dist. 5 alderman Rich Kasten – West Bend

-Advisory referendum and road maintenance. How to finance road repair and road fixes.

-Remember to vote on all four questions. All four are Yes / No questions

-First two questions talk about increasing property taxes

-Question 3 deals with a wheel tax – this tax can only be used for transportation and road type issues

-No. 4 is to ask Washington County to share 25% of their sales tax with all municipalities.

-Washington County reps have so far said – that will not happen.

-Three major road fixes include 7th Avenue, 18th Ave from Vogt to Paradise and Main Street south of Humar and each project is $5 million.

-$20 wheel tax would be added on at the state level

-How do you sunset the tax – we don’t have a true sunset.

-Anticipated revenue on vehicle registration fee is $600,000 a year applied to borrowing

-Total debt now at city of West Bend is $50 million – down from $80 million six or seven years ago.

Updates & tidbits

The Washington County Fair is coming up July 24 – 29 and notice went out this morning about when word will be released regarding headliners at the Silver Lining Amphitheatre.

-The City of West Bend is proud to announce Albiero Plumbing as Business of the Year. Join us at the award presentation: Wednesday, April 4 at 5 p.m. Albiero Plumbing · HVAC 1940 N. Main Street, West Bend

-The Gift of Giving fundraiser is April 7 from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. at King Pin Bowl and Ale House, 1022 S. Main Street in West Bend. Bo’s Heavenly Clubhouse is a nonprofit charity organization that was formed when Amanda Hartwig’s family experienced the loss of their 10-month-old son, Bo. “We had nowhere to turn for grief support and aid for mental anguish,” she said.

– The West Bend Police Department annual Spring Bike Sale will be Saturday, April 7, 2018 at 8 a.m. There are 95 bikes for sale with a majority in good condition. The sale will be on the north end of West Bend City Hall, 1115 S. Main Street.  The bikes are sold “as is” and all sales are final. No warranty, refunds, or exchanges. All bikes are $20, which includes a bike license. Yes all bikes will be sold with a bike license. CASH ONLY.

West Bend School Board candidate forum

Four candidates vying for two seats on the West Bend School Board participated in a candidate forum this week at West Bend City Hall. Two candidates will be elected to fill two seats on the West Bend School Board. Election Day is Tuesday, April 3.

Kurt Rebholz – son of two public school teachers, went to UW-Stevens Point, worked at Amity Leather, lived her 24 years, has two kids, my kids got a wonderful education here, business owner, hired a lot of students, have passion for community, lets reverse trend of 400 kids leaving the district, let’s hire a superintendent.

Monte Schmiege – in last three years I’m the most senior member of current board, bachelors degree, worked at WB Company and Regal Ware, three adult children, volunteered at Good Shepherd Lutheran and with Habitat for Humanity, treasurer of board and policy chairman, I’m engaged with work on the board, most important aspect is teaching and learning, what’s being taught and how effectively, district has many great things going for it,

Mary Weigand – attended school board meetings for years, current member of CFAC and served on human growth and development committee, have a vast knowledge of curriculum, home schooled children, US Naval academy in 2005 they went away from celestial navigation to GPS and 10 years later went back to celestial navigation. We in WBSD have lost our course and I often hear education needs to change to fix the 21st century. Run for school board and say ‘talk about curriculum’ because that’s the meat and potatoes of education.

Chris Zwygart – chief legal officer at WB Mutual and there for 23 years, I help manage our board of directors and also board on St. Joseph’s Hospital and proud of that work. I’m running because we have a fantastic school system and they wanted to establish a public school foundation and we researched how that would be done and under management of several great boards raised several million dollars. What a gem we have in the community. It’s one of the few areas where if we do our job well, everybody wins. Better educated children means better educated workers. We have challenges with superintendent and facilities. I want to help and I have the skills to help.

Address challenges of declining enrollment

MS – the district could improve the education because that can attract parents and families. Maintain a solid financial footing in the district and don’t want to blow up our budget. In the near future we need to look at facilities and make it possible for growth where needed and attract families.

MW – the district motto is we are a destination. If that’s so – we need to set ourselves apart – the choice to use common core standards is a mistake. Parents in Slinger, Mequon and WB say they can’t understand the new math. If we want to be a destination we could work to stabilize curriculum and local communities can set their own standards. That could set us apart. The white privilege test did not help this district.

CZ – need to take a look at demographics and how many children we expect in the future. Partner with city and council and what can we do to attract new citizens to the area. How do we differentiate ourselves – I spoke with a 9th grader about journalism and I noted these were not classes offered to me. It’s amazing the different opportunities we have. We have scale on our side to offer attractive classes. We need to work on our reputation. It’s undeserved but true – we need to make sure as a school board that we don’t micromanage. That creates distrust.  Let’s look why they are school choicing out.

KR – Student school choicing out to Slinger and Kewaskum. What are they doing better than we are? Let’s work to draw more families to the community. We need to promote school district and hire a good superintendent. We have an outstanding curriculum and promote trades education. This used to be a manufacturing town. We need a trades renaissance. Controversy drives teachers away. Curriculum changes – that’s controversy, that’s makes student leave. Let’s promote the good school system, and community we are.

Is a board member a representative of the community or as a representative of the school system and why

MW – hard to differentiate between the two. I have friends and neighbors and colleagues that send kids to schools here. As a SB member my job is to advocate for the school district. I’m a hard worker and love to research. I talked to a 3rd grader – her words were, “I get to learn cursive.” She said, “Her teacher got them all cursive handwriting books and none of the others are learning cursive.” I thought how great that was. I would push for more kids to learn cursive. I don’t know I can separate between community and school system.

CZ – school system is asset of the community. Answer is both. One of toughest jobs is the community isn’t always aligned in their views. It’s important to listen and set personal bias aside. We need to focus on what we do best – we act as listeners and advocates in the community. Important to navigate and that 100% won’t be aligned

KR – first is to be a rep of school system. So many businesses that want to support and we can expand and save tax dollars with public/private partnerships. We need to get behind the students and learning even if they aren’t going to college.

MS – a school board member is a rep of the community. You’re elected to work and guide the entire school district. Work with the superintendent to set the vision and establish goals. Working with the superintendent and you have to balance between the community and the school district. You need to collaborate and represent all parties. Parents, families and children are foremost.

How to attract and retain teachers and future leaders

CZ – critical issue. We need to attract, recruit and retain quality staff. Our reputation is not great and it’s unfortunate because we live in an era of social media but ironically so many of those opinions are captured on the permanent internet. When trying to attract a new superintendent or teacher they will surf the net. I don’t know they’ll like what they see. Compensation is important and we need a model to attract and recruit and retain good workers.

KR – we have great teachers in the school system. We need to stop them from leaving. Some great teachers and admin left for Slinger. We made a bad superintendent hire and we don’t have three of top admin and that creates uncertainty. We need a good superintendent that knows the students. Superintendent needs to be active in the community. If we have a great leader we stop the flow out and create atmosphere of teamwork

MS – in 2016 statistics from DPI our teacher force at WB is a bit more experienced and more degrees than average for the state. We have rather low turnover compared to other areas of the state and we also had a study that our compensation is in the top range relative to other districts. Some of those things need to be looked at again. Competitive compensation. We also have to establish good culture within our schools and teacher engagement. We need to have a superintendent who can work from the top down. Bring in good administrators and build a good system. The community is attractive and have manufacturing, businesses and stores.

MW – if I were a teacher it would be important to me to have clear expectation with benefits, salary, and classroom conduct. Having clear expectations helps. In our budget drivers is a provision that teachers and staff meet – it will meet what the others pay and we are in the top 5% in teacher salary. The superintendent we hire – it’s a juggling act and we need a solid leader and clearly spell it out.

What school district should WB most resemble?

KR – Slinger is run well top to bottom. They’re smart and recruited some of our admin and teachers. There are things we could do to emulate others. Tax benefit wise – 30 – 40% of school districts take advantage of energy performance contracts. These cost-saving measures for energy improvements.  We need to emulate what other districts are doing.

MS – I compare WB with Neenah, Wisconsin. We’re fairly comparable. Need to consider factors. Size we’re comparable to Neenah. When I look at budget – there are similarities. To some extent comparing us to a district like Slinger or Kewaskum it’s like comparing apples and oranges. When you look at HS we have great CTE program and AP classes. We are offering many good things with arts and music and athletic programs.

MW – my brother in law is the finance admin in Wisconsin Rapids. I think we have a better school district here. At cost per student in Slinger they spend less per student than WB and I think there is a perception that Slinger School District is more conservative than WB.

CZ – we’re a unique community. This has to work for our own community. We can look at other district for better ideas. Other reason this is important to identify. We want the best and brightest ideas to fit here.

District employees and taxpayers – how to choose between the two

MS – the budget is somewhat limited by the revenue limits so you have to work within that budget or you will have to bring up an operational referendum. We are working well within our budget. Between employees and taxpayers – we have to consider what’s needed for the employees. We have to be competitive and meet or exceed the market. What’s happened with Act 10 the old structures and now different districts have different formulas. We would need regular repeated studies to help fit within our revenue limit. We need to keep in mind the repairs needed and we don’t budget ourselves into the corner.

MW – we have budget drivers and the staffing portion is 70%. The budget drivers are a nice tool and the board evaluates them frequently. Decisions for anything else we should make data-driven decisions. At some point the board needs to lead and it’s a juggling act between valuing people’s input and using data for decision. There have been energy savings implemented and Johnson Controls helped implement many energy savings and that’s been a great asset.

CZ – as I’ve talked to taxpayers – why would angry taxpayers show up at a school board meeting? The perception we’re raising taxes and wasting money and the other is we have administrators leaving. That comes down to budget. We need to deal with them with transparency. I think teachers understand budgetary constraints. Don’t work in isolation as a school board

KR – I’m a fiscal conservative and a supporter of WBSD. Taxpayer – we’re a conservative community and want to hold taxes down. I have some good fiscal ideas. Dave Ross has done a good job but we can help with energy contracts. There are facility improvements with an energy performance contract. An $80 million budget need to put resources to attract and retain good teachers.

Changes in school curriculum

MW – Common core was adopted without board approval. The English language arts will be approved next winter. Looking at advanced 8th grade and I see it’s supposed to be with good literature with character building and teach values and vocabulary. This curriculum is 180 school days and has 40 days on sustainability of U.S. food supply.  The love of learning is being sucked out of our students.  We can’t teach everything – we need to choose the best curriculum. There’s so much good stuff out there.

CZ – it is absolutely true that school board oversee curriculum. I can’t imagine the state thought we’re going to take a group of part time people and appoint them the arbitrator. It would be absurd for teachers to obtain permission from the board. We should not turn curriculum into a political football. I’m passionate about this. We employ experts. We should oversee the process and that it’s working but leave the curriculum to the experts.

KR – I agree with Chris. We’re first to none in advanced curriculum. Curriculum can’t be a controversial topic. We’re a public school system and curriculum can’t be chosen on what books are good or bad. This drives teachers and students away. We need to have a cohesive school district.

MS – leaving curriculum to the experts – the experts are the liberal professors in the liberal universities in the non-government organizations that drive the choices of curriculum that are passed down to states and school districts. That is what some people object to what they finally find out – like the privilege test what’s going on. A teacher chose to use a test compatible to engage New York curriculum. When you leave the curriculum to the experts this is what you’re getting – I would agree with Mr. Zwygert that you can guide the selection of curriculum – but change happens fast .

How to stress accountability – who is accountable to the school board and how do you measure performance

CZ – accountability can be a scary concept. School board interacts with the superintendent and that’s where the accountability lies. IN private industry that can be shared responsibility. A board member has to work with the superintendent. The next choice is critical. The school board works with the superintendent.

KR – how we’re measure on accountability and performance. Can we reduce the trend of students leaving. That’s a measurable action to measure success. Board actions to help that. Board unity. I was part of superintendent search committee. It’s a serious decision to hire the next superintendent. Is the longest serving the way to have a school board in WB. I want to support unity and a positive direction. We need to compromise, be accountable to the superintendent and be judged on how we attract students.

MS – superintendent is the only employee of the school board. I’ve been working behind the scenes to collect sample evaluation instruments for the superintendent. We tried a superintendent evaluation last year and it was bumbling along. Before that – in my experience – we didn’t do much evaluating of the superintendent. We have to have strategic goals and the board needs to monitor performance. Thinking of a dashboard where the superintendent presents to the board with where the district stands on certain parameters. Mr. Neitzke had a bulletin board with facts and we need something that puts the data before the board.

MW – the board oversees the superintendent and the super oversees the admin. The school board is accountable to state law and the community – one thing we’ve seen is the lack of transparency. Recently every meeting hasn’t been taped – lately the admin and the board decided not to tape it. We’re accountable to the community. At the superintendent search and Dave in charge of HR and we talked about the pyramid and there is a protocol.

How does school board work to prepare HS student for college or technical training or workforce training

KR – our board needs to help students whether they choose college or trades path. That’s a passion of mine where I believe let’s promote more advance placement classes. Our community is concerned about trades education. Local companies have helped promote trades education. As a business owner I’d like to promote and bring more community resources in and enhance the curriculum.

MS- we want to have as wide a variety of options available. We have students getting college credits in HS, AP courses, CTE and well supported by the community. Different companies provide equipment. In seventh and 8th grade the students can get credits for H.S.  There are a wide range of opportunities and we need to have a strong counseling program.

MW – change in recent years that students don’t need to go to college. Not everyone will do that and I like the change that’s happening with trades and technical school. We can do a better job informing kids that these are really good jobs. We can encourage students to get out of school in three years and I’d like to open that environment. That’s a really valid aspect.

CZ – take a look at school board’s mission statement. College readiness and career success. If they want to go directly into a career the student will be prepared under both scenarios. We have the scale to offer unique classes and we’re doing more with regard to trades. Anything we can do to bring more community resources in. We can train students to earn a fantastic wage in a trade and we need to encourage that. Use our size and scale to distinguish ourselves.

Social media – how do you improve the situation?

MS – Social media has somewhat subsided. Not sure how relevant that question is. We do have a communications person in the district who is working with a consultant to improve the communications aspect. We did a communications audit. Long process to get that going. We’re working on it. We need to have positive communications coming out of the district about the achievements and successes and we need to respond to complaints or objections that arise. We need to respond to that readily and a communications person would help in that area.

MW – not aware of anything with social media. Communication is the key. Talking to parents – from individual schools the communication is good. If parents are communicated with by the parents or teachers. The district office needs to work on that more from the top. Transparency. Everyone should have access and openness

CZ – do something to do what we can to avoid controversy. There will always be unusual controversy. We need to social media and use it as an advantage. Why are we seeing that. We need to promote and tell the truth. That’s simple. Tie into transparency and communication because if you don’t communicate there’s a different version of the truth. Transparency. Social media record stays out there a long time.

KR – positive and negative social media. Sometimes it’s self inflicted. We haven’t had an effective leader for multiple years. The teacher hasn’t felt they’ve had a good leader. School curriculum and challenging teachers and that brings negative social media. Once we have a great superintendent in place let’s put a great communication in place. Let’s talk to everyone and tell us how great a district we have.

Why are candidates running in tandem?

MW – when I took out my papers I didn’t know who else was running. I didn’t know the other two at all. Until tonight I didn’t know their views. I would be happy to serve with Monte as we have the same goals and concerns. It’s interesting how that happens.

CZ – when I started I wasn’t sure who would throw their hat in the ring. With regard to the signage – yes, there’s more clustering with Mr. Rebholz. Perhaps it’s intentional. Talked about school as a business and issues like budgets and contracts and there are business concepts to manage district affairs. In addition we’ve heard differing viewpoints. Differences on curriculum and managing teachers. We want to leave curriculum to the experts – that is one of the contributors to why the signs are clustered.

KR – I endorse Chris Zwygert for school board. I knew of Chris by name and he’s of impeccable character. Monte and Mary are great family people and community members. Our sons played together with Mary’s kids. You and Dave have a great family. When I met Monte I really didn’t know you. When you said curriculum was your first choice and policy was your second. I had to work with Chris.

MS – there are curriculum concerns and I’m happy to work with Mary. I think some of our supporters have brought us together. I have utmost respect for all the candidates and what they might bring to the table but clearly there is a difference. Curriculum, for many years, has been left to the ivory tower. I have the utmost respect for our teachers and I attempted to do that with the science and I was not permitted to have a separate work session for discussion.

What is role of School District in regard to vitality of district and how will you accomplish

CZ – economic growth and vitality – this education thing, everybody wins when we do it well. If we can have students well prepared for the workforce, that will help.  It means people with a better education can earn a higher wage. We want to attract people to move to the community. Keep property values high and make sure people are ready to work. It raises the standard of living for everyone

KR – 21st largest school district in the state. We’re a large entity. Retired teachers have encouraged me to run and promote unity.

MS – first responsibility is education of children. College and career ready. Students who go on to college hopefully they will return. Have to have an attractive education and we need employee satisfaction so that keeps the good teachers in the district. There is a strong connection with Moraine Park and UW-WC. If we have a good solid education program then good things happen. WBSD moved up in state report card and now ‘exceed expectations.’

MW – mission of district is to educate kids. We want them to be respectful and have a good work ethic and collaborate with community and schools. We need to let district know we respect parents and parental rights. There are a lot of choices – some home school, online learning, parochial – if we want them to come here we need to make it a destination with solid curriculum that parents can trust and let parents know they’re respected.

When people ask if West Bend is a great school district, what do you say?

KR – I will shout it from the rooftops. More passionate than ever to fix our communication issue. This is a great school district. Let’s reduce the controversy

MS – is WB a good district, Yes. In spite of what people say our teachers are staying more than average and more experienced and more degrees than state average. We have strong programs at the high schools of wide range and career possibilities. Whole range of activities and these are attractive to draw people to the district. Our community is top notch with safety.

MW – being a student from 4th grade on up with the ski team and band and when our kids were school age and our daughter was home schooled the district was wonderful in working with us. She took AP science and they have a great relationship with the community. Our son participated in sports and other son participated in automotive and our daughter is a professional violinist and if someone said – it’s not perfect but if I get on the board I will help make it better.

CZ – this is a district of a larger scale which gives us opportunities. We have quality teachers who care and they sacrifice their own time and go above and beyond. I want to add that we have a school board that’s supportive of the district with a top notch superintendent.

Final remarks

Monte Schmiege – served on board for 3 years. Attended three Wisconsin Association of School Board conferences to increase my knowledge in this area. I spend a lot on school board weekends to review and analyze the packet. I’ve worked hard to get a grasp on board policies. We need solid policies. I’ve delved into school board policies. District has some conservative practices and we would like to continue that. WB could use some longevity on the board.

Mary Weigand – I’m a nurse and I could look at some issues as a nurse in triage. Right now the bleed is the superintendent. We need a good super, and hire some good admin, stabilize the district and communicate with the community. I have a lot of questions I would like to propose to a superintendent candidate. I am a hard worker with community values and I want to restore community values. Board has a responsibility – board doesn’t teach curriculum they approve the curriculum. I want my community better and I desire to hear from more people in the community. Strong solid conservative.

Chris Zwygart – everyone intends the best but we have different approaches. I want to say why I can help – I am an attorney and my job will be to keep the board out of trouble and focused. School finances are difficult and I’m a CPA so if there are issues we can resolve them. I’ve recruited top level execs. With issues like finance and budget and regulation I have the skills needed. With curriculum, there’s talk about this set up by liberal professors – we employ people to review curriculum. This should not be a political football.

Kurt Rebholz – we’re four conservatives sitting and running for school board. Serious issues include hiring a superintendent and saving the community taxpayer dollars and look at the $80 million budget and let’s retain and attract teachers. Let’s not push a curriculum agenda – with school board members with that view we may lose more good teachers. My dad talked to me about good grades – and he praised an A effort. I will give an A.

Around the Bend by Judy Steffes

Major renovation underway at St. Mary’s Parish in Barton

There’s a major renovation underway inside the worship space at St. Mary Immaculate Conception Parish in Barton.

In 2016 repairs were made to the historic steeple and exterior church surfaces. In 2017, the parish completed major updates to the church’s heating and ventilation systems.

Now the parish is working on an interior renovation that includes new paint, new floor surfaces, new upholstery, new statues and statue restoration, new matching high altar, ambo, and altar of sacrifice, sound system upgrade, new exterior main church doors, and parish center lobby restroom updates.

The transformation is well underway and rather shocking if you haven’t been inside the church in a while. One noticeable difference, aside from the scaffolding on the altar, is there are now pews. They’ve all been dismantled. The sides are sitting in a pile and the red cushion seats are in a heap in the back of the church.

“Worthless particle board” said one church volunteer. One would have thought since the church celebrated its 160th anniversary these may have been collector items. “We can’t even give them away” said the volunteer.

There’s an ongoing fundraiser to collect $375,000 to help pay for the renovation. The new interior will look much like the plans below.

Thomas Cullen accepted to West Point Military Academy

Living Word Lutheran High School senior Thomas Cullen has been accepted to West Point Military Academy.

“My mom cried and my dad was very proud,” said the 6-foot-3 Cullen recalling the afternoon he returned home to find his acceptance letter. “I think she was happy but I think she was a little scared too.”

The 17-year-old Cullen started the application process last year and finished it earlier this year. “It was a lot of personal information, essays, awards, honors and I had to get a nomination from Congressman James Sensenbrenner,” he said.

Cullen said he’d always wanted to join the Army and get a world-class education. “I’m an enlisted soldier right now,” he said. “I went to boot camp at Fort Jackson South Carolina over the summer and after I finish West Point I’ll be an officer.”

For the past four years Cullen said Living Word Lutheran has really helped lay a good foundation with education, leadership and guidance. “This is really like a family here; it’s a good student-to-teacher ratio,” he said.

A true student athlete Cullen, who is on National Honor Society and carries a 3.9 GPA, has been active in football, basketball, baseball and wrestling.

He said his athletic ability helped him during boot camp. “We’d wake up at 5:30 a.m., complete an hour of exercise, eat, go to class or to the shooting range for 8 to 10 hours a day,” he said. “The toughest thing was the 12-mile march with 125-pounds in a rucksack; that started at 8 p.m. and ended at 6 a.m. Everything we learned is teaching us to be uncomfortable so when you’re in an uncomfortable situation your performance is better.”

Cullen is a strapping 6-4 and sturdy. An Eagle Scout he knows the commitment of starting a project and following through. For his Eagle Scout badge he built a flag pole behind the concession stand at the high school.

West Point is amazing because of the architecture and the people. “It’s amazing to see 4,000 people marching around in the same uniform every day,” said Cullen.

Cullen will graduate with his class on May 28 and then he will start at West Point the first week in July.

Revamp ahead for Galactic McDonald’s in West Bend

In February the West Bend Plan Commission reviewed and approved a new, updated facade for the Galactic McDonald’s, 1140 S. Main Street.

Now comes word the facade is not the only thing that will be getting a makeover.

Owner Steve Kilian Jr. said the galactic playground will be removed and a new play land with interactive technology will be put in its place.

“The galactic theme will be going away,” said Kilian Jr. “McDonald’s is going with a more modern, contemporary theme. We’re still going to keep a kids play area but it will more relevant to today’s kids.”

Kilian Jr. said there will still be an area for kids to runaround and play.

“There will not be a ball pit but there will be a climbing apparatus within the play land,” said Kilian Jr.

The changes will take place in August.  Kilian Jr. said their goal is to “remain open during construction.”

On a history note: The Galactic McDonald’s first opened Feb. 28, 1996.

“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,” Sharon Ruplinger said recalling how they had to shut down the play area when it was “real hot because kids would burn their legs.”

Sign goes up at Pizza Ranch in West Bend

The West Bend Police Department annual Spring Bike Sale will be Saturday, April 7, 2018 at 8 a.m. There are 95 bikes for sale with a majority in good condition.

The sale will be on the north end of West Bend City Hall, 1115 S. Main Street. (north side, between City Hall and the Mutual Mall) Do not come the Police Department entrance, as the sale is on the opposite end of the building. You can park in the City Hall parking lot or the Mutual Mall parking lot.

The bikes are sold “as is” and all sales are final. No warranty, refunds, or exchanges. All bikes are $20, which includes a bike license. Yes all bikes will be sold with a bike license. CASH ONLY.

The license is good for the life of the bike. Bicycles will be sold on a “first come, first serve” basis, and one bicycle per person. For any questions regarding the sale, call Lt. Richard Lucka at (262)335-5012.  Bicycle must be removed by the purchaser from the Police Department immediately following its sale.

Advisory referendum question on April 3 ballot in West Bend

There will be four questions on an advisory referendum on the April 3 ballot for taxpayers in the city of West Bend. All questions are intended to gauge the interest of taxpayers and how critical they feel it is to spend more money on roads.

Dist. 5 alderman Rich Kasten – West Bend

-Advisory referendum and road maintenance. How to finance road repair and road fixes.

-There have been a lot of complaints about roads on social media and phone calls.

-There are mixed messages on how good the roads are

-People are concerned about property taxes

-Best way to determine how to address problem with an advisory referendum

-Remember to vote on all four questions. All four are Yes / No questions

-Truly a fact-finding mission

-First two questions talk about increasing property taxes

-Question 3 deals with a wheel tax – this tax can only be used for transportation and road type issues

-No. 4 is to ask Washington County to share 25% of their sales tax with all municipalities.

-Washington County reps have so far said – that will not happen.

-Three major road fixes include 7th Avenue, 18th Ave from Vogt to Paradise and Main Street south of Humar and each project is $5 million.

-$20 wheel tax would be added on at the state level

-How do you sunset the tax – we don’t have a true sunset.

-Anticipated revenue on vehicle registration fee is $600,000 a year applied to borrowing

-Total debt now at city of West Bend is $50 million – down from $80 million six or seven years ago.

Gift of Giving fundraiser for Bo’s Heavenly Clubhouse

The Gift of Giving fundraiser is April 7 from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. at King Pin Bowl and Ale House, 1022 S. Main Street in West Bend. Bo’s Heavenly Clubhouse is a nonprofit charity organization that was formed when Amanda Hartwig’s family experienced the loss of their 10-month-old son, Bo. “We had nowhere to turn for grief support and aid for mental anguish,” she said.

Updates & tidbits

-Courtney Rummel from West Bend is currently on the Toyota U.S. Revolution Tour.  She just took 2nd place in snowboarding.

 – The earliest anyone in Washington County will be able to vote absentee for the upcoming general election is March 19. Election Day is Tuesday, April 3.

– The city of West Bend will spend $10,650 with a Brookfield firm to do a traffic count and signal-timing project on a stretch of Paradise Drive that runs from Seventh Avenue to 18th Avenue.

– The Washington County Fair Park will be celebrating this St. Patrick’s Day with an indoor concert featuring Irish and Scottish folk tunes and classic pub songs from bands Tallymoore and Ceol Carde. Headlining the event will be U2 Zoo.

-The City of West Bend is proud to announce Albiero Plumbing as Business of the Year. Join us at the award presentation: Wednesday, April 4 5 p.m. Albiero Plumbing · HVAC 1940 N. Main Street, West Bend Please arrive any time between 5 p.m. – 5:15 p.m. The presentation

will begin at 5:15. A celebration will follow with drinks and appetizers, with the event concluding at 8 p.m.

Candidate forum in Village of Jackson

Four candidates vying for two seats on as Trustee on the Village of Jackson Board took part in a forum on Thursday at the Jackson Area Community Center.  The very respectful forum was hosted by the Greater Jackson Business Alliance.

Village of Jackson Trustee – Two seats for two years

Keith Berben –  advocate for stewardship – waste not, want not, affordable solutions with set budget. Business owner, find an affordable solution. Jackson will continue to grow and will advocate for smart development. Work with Park and Rec to plan for events.

John Kruepke (I) –Grew up on farm in Jackson. Has farmer work ethics. Graduated from UW-Madison and then got into gas station business. Wife of 50 years and two sons and seven grandchildren, past member of Jackson FD from 1978. Current member of Plan Commission and personnel committee, past member of Park & Rec and DPW. Business owner and has learned a lot on Village Board

Debra Kurtz (I) – Homeowner for 18 years in Village of Jackson. Works in Glendale as accounting mgr. On the Village Board for two years and got on because she’s seen good and bad and thought it best to be a part of change. Wants to grow with Jackson

Gary Malcolm – love Jackson.  Member of ethics committee. In industry for 35 years. Marine Veteran and member of Trinity Lutheran Church.

Capital projects for village and how to pay

JK – couple major projects and one is the new school in Jackson. It’ll be a major project. As a board we don’t have to come up with funds. Other project is new PD and new FD. PD is working out of what used to be FD. Buildings will be $10 million and working with financial advisors to see how it works with revenues and TIF district. Tax money will have to come from public. We don’t want this to be heavy impact on taxpayers.

DK – School project vs safety building. Discussion about where school should be and where FD should be and I’m concerned about spending money on property that is in my mind we don’t need. We have 6.5 acres where FD is now. Why can’t we build right there. I don’t know what type of agreement with WBSD and now there’s talk of school building. There’s word the school wanted to buy the house. I’m for schools and safety buildings but we have more discussion.

GM – our school is obsolete. We need a new school and I don’t know about the finances.

KB – my kids are in a private school. I’m for a new school but it would make Jackson grow. The FD needs to make changes and would be nice to have larger space. Not sure how to pay for it. The PD is fine where it is.

How to lure more industry to Village

DK – No answer now

GM – we need industrial park

KB – if we can make it easier for companies to come in and work with them. Make it easier for biz to come into village

JK – TIF districts would help bring biz into town. Biz park there are large industrial buildings and small incubator buildings.  Putting in place TIF No. 6 and as these fill up we need to extend the TIF districts.

Action in Jackson and declining attendance – should it be replaced with a new event

GM – Action in Jackson has become a beer drinking party and not a wholesome type of family thing to have in Jackson. Replace it with

KB – Always loved AIJ. How do you replace? Not sure there’s room for fireworks but that would be great. Get more softball and volleyball tournaments, but how to get people involved and then competing with other surrounding events is an issue.

JK – As time went on the population that came to AIJ dwindled. Work to put it on increased but less volunteers. Legion getting older. Food stand was a horrendous job. When FD had beer stand then a lot of income was generated. Eventually beer stand went away. Bands have to be paid to be in parade. I have no idea and I give all the blessings in the world

DK – AIJ has history of fun and family. Want to see some it stay but needs changes. One good thing is our Sprecherfest has brought in a lot of people. Bring more family stuff in for village.

Village growth and lots for single family housing are fewer – how to grow

KB – We need to find land and then develop. Doesn’t come with a lot of cost. Need to update sewer in Village if we bring in more housing. All for development but thinks it’s a big risk for a developer.

JK – No matter what type of housing it depends on what public is interested in. Went from condos to now single family. Need a developer who can make a buck. As a village we can work with developers best we can. We can make the process as simple as possible. You need a balance in the community. We have a percentage laid out for various housing.

DK – We don’t need more apartments or condos, single families we could use but not sure how to make that happen.

GM – appalled at resistance from the Town not to be joined with the Village. In former home the community simply annexed the neighboring property. Why can’t that happen in the Village.

Raising chickens and bees in Jackson

JK – chicken is the buzz word. We’re looking at other communities and exploring ordinances. This will end up at Plan Commission and it would be logical to set parameters. Chickens yes and roosters no.  How many chickens, size of lot, coops – all will be discussed. If someone wants it the neighbors have to agree.

DK – not a big deal for chickens but neighbors have to agree.

GM – how about a minimum of 1 acres to have chickens or bees. Hesitate to bring into small neighborhood.

KB – I’m for chickens. There are noise concerns. Bees scare me. Need more land.  I’m allergic to bees.

Steps to strengthen or repair town of Jackson and Village

DK – that’s tough because there’s a lot of animosity. Not sure how to repair that situation. Hopefully with time – that will be healed.

GM – at one time the Village and Town got along great. Need to talk to each other and have meetings to settle differences.

KB – There are a lot of old time farmers in the Village and we all just have to be adults and come to a conclusion and plan our futures.

JK – Talked about 1970s when pres of Village and Town wouldn’t talk to each other. Over the years new blood helped end lack of communication.  Some reports make it off kilter. I think the two parties are working together and now it’s in hands of the state.  We’ll have to wait and see decision. No matter what happens the Village will work with the Town. We’re too far in to not do it.  This will heal itself.

Level of village debt and new trend

GM – not know enough

KB – spoke with John Walters and he said Village is doing well financially. Will numbers stay this way, I hope so but I think upcoming projects will put a damper on the budget numbers and roads.

JK – financially we’re ok.  Water utility and treatment plant are both paid for. User fees help with maintenance issues and expansion issues. Village is down to $7 million in borrowing and with police and fire building will need help with that. Working hard with financial advisors.

DK – Village has worked hard to be in positive financial situation and I see things getting better.

If you had to identify single most important topic facing village and why

KB – School needs to happen. Sooner than later. It will open many doors to community. As far as paying for it – has to go through WBSD and one board meeting they tried to do this and people in WB wouldn’t vote for it.

JK – you can’t pick a number one thing. Everything hinges on everything else, TIF, PD, FD… everything takes money. Need to work together.  PD and FD have been patient. Jackson people want Jackson PD and Jackson people want Jackson FD.  They need a safe place to work out of.  Need for FD and PD to be happy or there will be a budget buster for a fulltime FD.

DK – School not sure what answer is. There’s only 276 students and that’s not a lot of kids. Many kids are going to private schools and a lot of parents are choosing that option. It’s trying to find balance.

GM – children are our future. As far as money goes – there’s free money from government programs and there’s a possibility to do the same thing.

What motivated you to run for office?

JK – I started when I moved here in 1976 to run for Village Board. I campaigned. I got elected and it just grows under your skin to help the community.  You work with these people and it’s challenging at times. My son says, “I don’t know how you can stand that.”  But you learn to work with people.

DK –  I wanted to know where my tax dollars are being spent and for me that was to run for a village position. This gives me a better understanding of how my money is spent.

GM – I have a lot of passion for this community. I show my passion by volunteering.  Started in transportation and now for 3 years I deliver meals to shut-ins and also volunteer at Jackson Area Community Center.

KB – I’m young. I’m a sponge. I want to learn. Knowledge is power. The economy is going good. I want Action in Jackson to prosper and be able to build up Jackson with more homes. I want to be here the rest of my life.

Closing remarks

GM – I’m passionate and want to put that to use

DK – Look forward to serving another term

JK –  Happy to be trustee for a couple years.  I have enough of a mind to benefit the village

KB – This has been fun, even though I was scared. I hope you vote and thanks for coming out.  I want to learn

Around the Bend by Judy Steffes

Thanks to Roger Kist for being a great community leader

There are few communities as lucky as Washington County to have a plethora of people dedicated to helping make it a better place. One of the notable community leaders is Roger Kist.

Kist, 81, was a young pup when he moved to Ridge Run Park in November 1967. Originally hired as caretaker of the park, Kist said it “reminded me a lot of when I worked on the farm.” A supervisor at the park, Kist sported a handlebar mustache and eventually became a fixture known as Ranger Roger.

Aside from the parks and Washington County Tourism, Kist has been a familiar face in politics on both the West Bend common council and as a supervisor, elected in April of 2016, to the Washington County Board.

“When I was on the council and I was also chairman of the local Republican Party,” said Kist. “I remember Mike Schlotfeldt was elected alderman and he chaired the Democratic Party. When he sat down he looked over at me like the devil had just shown up.”

Kist took his time and built a relationship with the representative from Dist. 6. “When Mike decided not to run again we had a little party and he said to me, ‘Roger you’re the only friend I’ve got.’”

Over the years Kist has made quite a few friends and below are some comments from friends and coworkers about the impact he’s made in this county and the community.

West Bend Police Chief Ken Meuler: I met Roger before he ever ran for alderperson as he has always been actively involved in the community. He donates his time to a number of community events, and supports almost every community function. Anyone out in the community will see him at Music on Main, Farmer’s Market, church festivals, parades, and numerous fundraisers in the community. During his time as an alderperson he has not been someone that pounds his fists or grandstands, but he always speaks up on issues that are important to him and his constituents. He has called me on a number of police issues to get a better understanding of our policies and practices. He has been a strong supporter of the police throughout his tenure as alderperson. I have always enjoyed working with Roger as an alderperson and appreciate all he has done for the community. More important, I value his friendship.

Washington County Supervisor Marilyn Merten: “Roger has always been a considerate and caring individual and he’s willing to do a good job at whatever he did.” Merten was county clerk and worked with Kist when he was at the Washington County Planning and Parks Department. “I’d contact Roger to help make the grounds look nice at the county building. Roger would always take care of it.”

Leah Baughman at Interfaith Caregivers of Washington County: “Roger Kist is very active and in touch with the West Bend community and knows what is needed to help support its citizens. When asked if he would like to be a part of the Interfaith/RSVP Advisory Council Roger very graciously accepted right away. Even though this venture has just begun he has been an important member that has contributed many great ideas and support.”

Todd Tennies remembered Kist when he worked and lived at Ridge Run Park.  “As a little boy I can remember going to Ridge Run Park and riding bikes past the log cabin as we headed to our favorite fishing spot. Roger would always stop and say ‘Hi’ and ask us how the fishing was. He was always friendly and willing to talk to us kids. After his retirement from the county he settled in and served the community through his involvement in city government. He did a great job and always had an interest in what was best for the community. His interest in our county also carried over into the Tourism Committee for Washington County. He did an extraordinary job promoting the Washington County Fair Park as well as all of our wonderful parks we have in this county.  Great job Roger.”

Dist. 5 alderman Rich Kasten said Kist is somebody he really admires. “The things he’s accomplished at the county and city and he can still walk down the street and people know him from Ridge Run Park. I wish I could be more like him with his ability to relate to people and between him and his wife the way they’re prepared for every meeting. I’m very lucky I’ve been able to spend time on the council with him.”

Mayor Kraig Sadownikow said serving the community is in Roger’s blood. “Whether it’s an elected position, or in his career or during his time off he’s always been committed to service and giving back to the community.

West Bend City Administrator Jay Shambeau said Kist’s name is relatively synonymous with park land and this community.  “To promote the development, use and preserving of parks and the fact he has not wavered in his opinion is really a tribute to him. He’s everywhere. He’s the longstanding West Bend member of the Mid-Moraine Municipal Association and he attends league conferences and the Alliance meetings.”

Former West Bend city clerk Amy Reuteman spent 15 years at City Hall and noted, “Roger Kist has been there forever. And he’s early; you can always count on Roger to be early.”

Thank you Roger Kist for your dedication and service to help make West Bend and Washington County a great community.

Plans scrapped to raze old West Bend Brewery building

City officials in West Bend have confirmed development plans have fallen through regarding razing the old West Bend Brewery on N. Main Street and building a 90-unit apartment complex.

City administrator Jay Shambeau said Robert Bach from P2 Development Company, LLC is no longer pursuing the development.

Since November 2017 Bach was moving forward with a proposed multi-family residential development which would have leveled the brewery building from Franklin Street and Main to the north and include retailers RT Speed Shop, Casa Guadalupe, Pruett’s Floor Covering, Ray’s Shoes, and Fuge Plumbing.

“Everything was progressing in a positive manner,” according to Shambeau. “And then just like that he (Bach) informed Chris Schmidt, the building owner, he was no longer interested.”

The project made an initial pass before the West Bend Plan Commission last November 2017 and a site survey was underway.

“We’re disappointed the development is not going forward but we’re hopeful that this idea has paved the way for someone else to take the ball and complete a project,” Shambeau said.

The old brewery building is owned by Chris Schmidt and Clifton Davis. Schmidt said, “I can’t speak for P2 Development, but I can tell you we are continuing to work with the City and discussing development options with a few different people.  There are a lot of good things happening in West Bend, and we believe the property can be improved and be a positive catalyst for the west side of the river, north of Washington Street.  I thought P2 Development’s plans would have been successful, but we are currently looking into various uses, in addition to a residential component.”

Building tenant, Ray Carlson owner of Ray’s Shoes, 459 N. Main Street, was pleased to hear the news. Carlson has run his cobbler shop out of the old brewery office building for nearly 20 years.

When the story about razing the brewery first broke in November neighbors were disappointed and heart sick at the loss of another piece of history in West Bend.

Shirley McDaniel Schwartz – My heart high has no skin or money in the game says “ no, no, no.” My brain, as simple as it is, sees the problems and the money needed to take an old building and make it doable in today’s codes. I hope whatever is done is tasteful for downtown and the history it holds and not the ultra modern, industrial look that says nothing to the history of downtown West Bend.

Russ Lange – There surely can be something that could go into the building to preserve it and not another multi-family building.

Richard Frank – Is the WB Company Apartments 100% occupied that more are needed? Sad to see bits and pieces of Historic West Bend removed bit by bit.

Adam Bunkelman West Bend can find more ways to destroy the history than saving it. Why can’t it be rehabbed in its current state? Leave the structure and history. They did it with the Enger Kress building and Amity building. Maybe think outside the box. It can’t be cheap to tear it down!!

Chris Weston That is sad that so much of West Bend’s history has become irrelevant.

Calls have been placed to Bach and building owner Chris Schmidt. Their comments will be posted when information becomes available.

Shambeau said the city is still moving forward with plans to vacate Franklin Street. That item will go before the council during its next meeting in March.

Former Barton State Bank and Barton TV sold

The building formerly home to Barton State Bank, Barton TV and currently Woodland Iron & Firearms, 1715 Barton Avenue in West Bend, has been sold. According to real estate records at City Hall the property sold Feb. 21, 2018 for $91,200.

Joseph and Mary Eisen of West Bend bought the parcel from Roger and Barbara Landvatter.

The 2017 assessed value was $77,000. The Landvatters purchased the property from the VFW in July 1983 for $22,000.

Records show an addition was put in the back in 1985.  The commercial lot is identified as “Old Bank Bld (building) – T.V. Showroom and Store.  An added note: Women’s toilet room – plumbing disconnected.

The Eisens are owners of Eisen Arms LLC, 409 Main Street, in Kewaskum. The store carries handguns, rifles, shotguns, and ladies lines of concealed-carry purses and Glock clothing.

The Eisens opened in Kewaskum in October 2016. “Barton will be our second location,” said Mary Eisen. “We were welcomed with open arms in Kewaskum and we’re just going to see if both stores will work out.”

The Eisens happened to be looking for a property. They said they made an offer on the Barton location because it basically “fell into our lap.”

“We’ll have the stores running simultaneously, but we’ll make the Barton location the hub,” she said.

The timeline includes an update on the Kewaskum store and, with a tenant in the Barton building, that opening will be this summer possibly in June. “We liked the Barton location because it’s closer to home, the property is larger and we’ll have more retail space and more space for classes,” Mary Eisen said.

On a history note: The building at 1715 Barton Avenue was built in 1915. According to the book A History the Village of Barton by Richard H. Driessel the bank “was a substantial brick building with a fireproof vault and a burglar alarm system.”

Also written by Richard H. Driessel: The stock market collapse of 1929 is well-remembered. Locally a rather large manufacturing plant, the Barton Axle Company, at first created much optimism and employment but did not survive.

Several housing developments, ambitious for the size of the village no doubt for the hurt the local economy. In 1930 the bank was strain to the point where it closed its doors and eventually declared bankruptcy, which was the fate of so many others soon afterward.

The assets and liabilities were assumed by a bank in West Bend and eventually the depositors recovered almost all of their funds, although several years elapsed.

At our time in history it’s hard to understand why a bank would fail during that so-called period of prosperity. The fact is that the prosperity was not on a solid foundation and they were basic flaws in the post-war economy.

To put the Barton State Bank situation in proper perspective it’s only fair to point out that between 1921 and 1928 the number of banks in the United States which close their doors was 5,214.

The bank was vacant for several years but later was used for other purposes. It was purchased by Joseph Kirsch in 1932 and used as a harness shop.  In 1941 Louis Kritz had as a tailoring and dry cleaning establishment.

In 1945 Baltus Rolfs bought it and started the Ivo Chapstick Company which manufactured a lip balm and applicators. The Veterans of Foreign Wars Adrian Neubauer Post 8658 but the building from Lip Ivo Inc. in 1954 to use it as their clubhouse. Later it was used as a commercial building.

Upgrades in store for the former Sears building

The old Sears building in downtown West Bend is going to get a face lift. This week the West Bend Plan Commission reviewed a site plan for exterior architectural building alterations the incoming Pearl of Canton restaurant, 102 S. Main Street and 515 Hickory Street.  The property is zoned B-2 Central Business District.

Architectural Building Elevations:

o       The north elevation of the building will be updated with an “Antique White” colored EFIS treatment that will be constructed over the main door entrance Hickory Street.  The Existing brick will be also repainted “Antique White”.

o       All of the existing windows have been or will be replaced during the renovations.

As a part of the improvements, a wall sign is proposed on the east and north sides of the building above the entrances.  The exact size of the sign is not shown and will have to conform to the zoning code size requirements.  Staff has no concerns with the sign location.

Gift of Giving fundraiser for Bo’s Heavenly Clubhouse

The Gift of Giving fundraiser is April 7 from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. at King Pin Bowl and Ale House, 1022 S. Main Street in West Bend. Bo’s Heavenly Clubhouse is a nonprofit charity organization that was formed when Amanda Hartwig’s family experienced the loss of their 10-month-old son, Bo. “We had nowhere to turn for grief support and aid for mental anguish,” she said.

West Bend School District notifies parents of student walkout

The West Bend School District sent a note to parents today notifying them about a potential student walkout next week.

According to School Board member Joel Ongert, “This is a national thing and we have not heard much chatter about it in our district with our middle or high school kids,” he said.

The letter was initiated by Laura Jackson Assistant Superintendent for Teaching and Learning/ Lead District Administrator. “Laura felt we need to let parents know we are aware of this and here are our expectations of students,” Ongert said.

The district reportedly took its cue on the walkout from social media. “We’ve been in touch with West Bend P.D. to make sure kids are safe,” said Ongert.

When questioned who is in charge in the West Bend School District, Ongert said Laura Jackson is in charge.

“Laura has been asking principals, homeroom teachers and to see if kids are talking about this and if they want to participate and we want to be prepared,” he said. “If there’s a national campaign for a walkout we want to make sure if our kids participate they’re going to be safe.”

Questioned whether students are safer during the day in school or out of school Ongert said “in school, absolutely.”

Questioned whether this will disrupt education that day, Ongert said “we certainly hope it won’t disrupt.”

In Slinger Superintendent Daren Sievers said they too have heard about the day to bring national attention to school safety and the concerns following the school shooting in Florida.

“What we’re doing is we’re trying to channel the kids to do something positive,” he said.

At 10 a.m. on March 14 students in the Slinger School District will be participating in a school-wide moment of silence for 17 seconds.

“Mr. Ourada will go on the P.A. and announce the 17 students lost in the Florida shooting and then at lunch we’ll have banners where the kids can come write down a pledge in support of eliminating school violence,” said Sievers.

A couple of students at Slinger High School will also release 17 balloons following the moment of silence.

Note from West Bend School District: Administrators and teachers at West Bend Joint School District #1, West Bend East High School, West Bend West High School, and Badger Middle School are aware of the potential peaceful school walkout on March 14 at 10 a.m. by students to show their concerns about school safety.

The West Bend School District will not penalize students who choose to assemble peacefully for 17 minutes on March 14. After talking with students and staff, the school principals have developed plans to maintain the safety of the participating and non-participating students and to minimize interference with educational programming.

Those students who wish to participate in the walkout will be monitored and supervised by school staff to ensure that any walkout is safe and orderly. The West Bend Police Department will also help to ensure the safety of students to assemble in pre-designated areas.

Students who choose to participate will be expected to return to class in a timely manner and resume the school day. Students who fail to return to class will be considered truant in violation of school rules. For students who choose not to participate, school administrators and teachers are planning for classroom instruction to continue.

No media will be allowed on school grounds during this event to help maintain the safety of all involved.

Mike Christian is the new Dist. 2 alderman in West Bend

There’s a new District 2 alderman in West Bend. During Monday night’s meeting the Common Council reviewed two applications to fill the seat left vacant following the resignation of former alderman Steve Hutchins.

Two applicants submitted resumes by the Feb. 26 deadline including Mike Christian and Sonja Hanrahan. The pair made brief 3-minute presentations before the council and then Dist. 7 alderman Adam Williquette made the motion to select Christian.

“What I really like about Mike is that he’s been involved in the community with various boards and organizations and then he ran for city council,” said Williquette. “He’s going to be a good fit and he’s been following from the sidelines.”

Christian was then sworn into office by city clerk Stephanie Justman. “I feel like a lot of what I have done over the past years has led me to this point,” said Christian. “This is the next natural step for me and my dedication to the city of West Bend.”

Two UW-WC basketball players selected All Conference

Meghan MacFarlane and Marissa Kaul have been named to the Wisconsin Collegiate Conference 2nd team All-Conference team. MacFarlane averaged 12.3 points per game and made at least one 3-point shot in 10 straight games. She shot 48% from the field and 48% from behind the arc. MacFarlane led the team in blocked shots with 1.2 blocks per game, and she was tied for first on the team with 1.8 steals per game.

Kaul, the captain of the Wildcats, was voted All-Conference because of her all-around play.  She averaged 9.5 points per game and grabbed a team high 8.3 rebounds per game.  She also shot 51% from the field and 80% from the free throw line. Kaul was also tough on defense as she consistently guarded the opposing teams’ best player and often was undersized.  Kaul led the team with 33.1 minutes per game, and played in every single game this season.

Updates & tidbits

Dundee’s St. Patrick’s Day parade is tomorrow, Sunday, March 11.

-Former Washington County Clerk Arthur Degnitz has died. Degnitz was County Clerk from 1985 to 1994. He died Wednesday, March 7. A memorial service will be held at 2 p.m. on Saturday, March 17, 2018 at the Myrhum Patten Miller & Kietzer Funeral Home in West Bend.

– March is Youth Art Month and the West Bend School District has its Mile of Art on display in downtown West Bend. This is the 16th year for the exhibit, according to Decorah Elementary School art teacher Mickiah Wolff. “This will be an exciting way to display the students’ work in a more public atmosphere,” said Wolff.

 – The earliest anyone in Washington County will be able to vote absentee for the upcoming general election is March 19. Election Day is Tuesday, April 3.

– The city of West Bend will spend $10,650 with a Brookfield firm to do a traffic count and signal-timing project on a stretch of Paradise Drive that runs from Seventh Avenue to 18th Avenue.

– The Washington County Fair Park will be celebrating this St. Patrick’s Day with an indoor concert featuring Irish and Scottish folk tunes and classic pub songs from bands Tallymoore and Ceol Carde. Headlining the event will be U2 Zoo.

– United Way of Washington County announced the approval of new board officers for the 2018-2019 term. Pete Rettler, dean of Moraine Park Technical College’s West Bend campus, has been selected board president. “Serving as Chair of the Community Impact Committee the last few years allowed me to learn about some incredible programs being provided in Washington County,” Rettler said. “It also showed me how our United Way dollars are tied directly to measurable outcomes that positively impact our communities. I am very humbled to lead a very influential group of community leaders and looking forward to working with Kristin and her team.” The other board officers are: vice president Josh Schoemann, Washington County; treasurer Tom Hopp, Commerce State Bank; and secretary Cory Neuy of Regal Ware.

– A nice sendoff Friday for Judy Steinert, 63, who has worked for Washington County the past 35 years. “I started in the old courthouse in Social Service and that was my first job for about eight years,” said Steinert. “Then I went to Planning and Parks Department for two years and then I worked in Economic Development with Marcia Theusch for eight years and then when they created administration I was here.”

Gordon Ellis was Steinert’s first boss and after that she worked for Doug Johnson and eventually Josh Schoemann.

Jamie Ludovic was one of several dozen county workers who came to show their appreciation for Steinert. “There’s nothing more important than the people who work for the county and who are committed and dedicated,” she said. “The most important thing we can do is recognize that.”

Steinert said in retirement she will spend more time camping and more time with her grandchildren. “Yes, I do have my Washington County Parks sticker,” she said.

Around the Bend by Judy Steffes

Ries’ Sausage Plus has closed

Neighbors coming home from work Thursday afternoon reacted with a bit of shock to find the doors closed at Ries’ Sausage Plus Spirits Meat & Deli, 1435 W. Washington Street in West Bend.

“Did you know about this,” said Barb Justman. She stopped just before 4 p.m. to pick up a small deli tray of sausages. “Oh come on…..”

Justman was obviously disappointed.

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

Another neighbor named Paul pulled up in his pickup truck, got out and started walking toward the store.

“They’re closed,” said Nick Thill from Honey Grove Ice Cream.  He was walking his dog across 15th Avenue. “I had honey and some ice cream in there,” Thill said. “He paid up front so I’m not worried.”

Glancing through the store windows Thill’s wife said the shelves “looked empty” as well as the deli.

Businesses in the strip mall said other customers came in Wednesday night asking why the store was dark. One person said there was a semi out back earlier in the day.

In February 2016 Steve and Karen Ries sold the store to Sammy Toor of Illinois.

Toor made some changes, including replacing Kewaskum Frozen Foods line of meats and sausage with the Boar’s Head brand. Customers complained and the traditional Kewaskum Frozen Foods was brought back, albeit short term.

In late 2017 an unsubstantiated rumor filtered around social media announcing the store’s demise.

Toor said it was not true and spent months advertising and trying to market for Christmas sales.

There’s been no response to messages left at the store today.

Officials at City Hall in West Bend said they had no update and a direct phone number for the owner was not available.

Some neighbors are concerned because they’re made reservations for fundraising brat frys this summer at the little Red Shed Brat Haus on Highway 33. Ries’ Sausage Plus handled the rental of that facility and often supplied the meat for the various organizations.

Funeral services for Bob Pick Jr.

Funeral services for Bob Pick Jr., 76, will be held Monday, Feb. 26 at St. James Episcopal Church, 148 S. Eighth Avenue in West Bend.

Mother Mindy Valentine Davis will preside over the service. Myrhum-Patten Funeral Home is handling arrangements. Visitation will be from 1 p.m. – 2:50 p.m. The memorial service will be at 3 p.m. with a reception afterwards.

Bob Pick Jr. died the evening of Friday, Feb. 16 at Froedtert Hospital in Milwaukee.

Doug Gonring was with Pick in his final hours. “I really didn’t know his condition and I walked into his room and asked him what he was doing lying around because we had spring training right around the corner,” said Gonring.

Doctors spoke with Doug and his wife Karen. The Gonrings spent several hours at Pick’s bedside. They even held a cell phone to his ear as Pick’s sister Suzanne offered a prayer to her older brother and reassured him it was OK to be with the Lord.

“I said if you hear God’s voice and you want to go to heaven you can go,” said Suzanne. “I release you because they told me you’re very sick. I told him you can see mom and dad and Jenny and Tim and I prayed for him. I said right now Bobby be at peace with other people so you can be in heaven.”

Gonring said the prayer drove everyone in the room to tears.

After the Gonrings returned home Friday evening they received a call around 6:40 p.m. that Pick had died.

Gonring penned a piece for Pick’s obituary  –  Bob was the best teammate on a baseball field I ever had 30 years of never missing a game, take that back he missed one because of some dental work. Bob showed young men what was imperfect in baseball and what is so perfect about baseball. He showed them respect, accountability, and dedication but most of all for 30 years he showed each team or family how important it is to have friends. Bob, by his own account,  never was good enough to play but boy did he show us how to be a great scorekeeper and do it with his unique humor. Will be missed by my family.

Other tributes and memorials are below.

Robert C. Pick III – Thank you for being a great father and for all you did for the city of West Bend.

B.J. Royes  – Indeed, Bob was a West Bend legend.  Never anything negative to say about the athletes, the coaches, or the officials – just a loyal supporter of local athletics.  He loved to be seen and to be a part of the scene.  I’ll miss Bob shuffling into the Fieldhouse or into Regner Park – a hot dog in one hand, and his brown leather bag hung over his shoulder.  RIP old friend.

Jerry Mehring – My memories of Bob Pick go back to our High School days.  He was behind me in High School.  Every day when he met someone new at school he would offer them a stick of gum from his “Gold Gumtainer.”  It was a gold colored container that held a pack of gum with a flip lid.  He was so proud of it.  After High School Bob and his sister Jenny went into the Navy.  When they would be home on leave you would see them both walking up and down Main Street on Friday nights. When we had the Dairy Queen, on South Main Bob would come in every week during football and basketball season to make sure our manager had the home game schedules so that they would schedule enough help to handle the crowd after the games. Whenever you would meet Bob around town he always had a memory or story or joke.  He was definitely a fixture in West Bend and I will be missed by many including me.

Liquor license for Boro Buzdum at former Long Branch Saloon

There was a thorough grilling for Boro Buzdum during Monday night’s West Bend Licensing Committee meeting as Police Chief Ken Meuler held a 1-inch folder of information and violations connected with establishments related to Buzdum.

The Licensing Committee was reviewing a Reserve Class B Combination License for Buzdum’s Pub & Grill in Barton, formerly Long Branch Saloon.

Chief Ken Meuler documented a troubled past for Buzdum.

Dist. 7 alderman Adam Williquette said he spoke with Lt. Duane Farrand regarding the liquor license to be contingent on reviewing building permits for the property.

Dist. 5 alderman Rich Kasten had some concerns about the violations at Buzdum’s establishment in Germantown. “I just question if this decision is the right one,” said Kasten.

Dist. 6 alderman Steve Hoogester and Dist. 1 alderman John Butschlick both said they had reservations as well.

City attorney Ian Prust said West Bend Police have been extremely proactive in the enforcement of over-serving violations and following up on OWI offenses. “I don’t disagree with your interpretation of the situation but it’s not quite there to deny it from a legal standpoint,” said Prust.

The council voted 5-2 to approve the license with Dist. 5 alderman Kasten and Dist. 8 alderman Roger Kist dissenting.

Buzdum currently owns Buzdums Pub & Grill on Maple Road in Germantown. Buzdum previously owned Sophia’s Pub and Eatery in the Dove Plaza in Slinger. That opened in June 2015 and has since closed.

In 2012 Buzdum purchased the former Players Pub & Grill and opened Spearmint Rhino Gentlemen’s Club on Highway 33 east in the Town of Trenton.  That establishment opened in 2013 and closed a couple years ago.

In 2016 the West Bend Common Council did pass a cabaret ordinance which prohibits adult entertainment within the city limits.

Early word is Buzdum is gutting the building on Barton Avenue. He’s expected to open the small corner bar this summer and he will occupy the apartment above.

Try hockey for free at the Kettle Moraine Ice Center

The Washington County Youth Hockey Association invites boys and girls to the Kettle Moraine Ice Center on Saturday, March 3 for a Try Hockey For Free clinic as part of Hockey Weekend Across America.

From 2-3:30 p.m. local youth, ages 4 to 9, are encouraged to experience ice hockey for the first time and learn the basic skills in a fun, safe environment.

“We look forward to welcoming families to the rink to try our great sport of ice hockey” said WCYHA President Todd Filter. “Our goal is for these families to enjoy watching their kids learn new skills with big smiles on their faces.”

USA Hockey’s Try Hockey program, with the support of the National Hockey League and NHL member clubs, among others, is designed to provide youth hockey associations with a national platform to introduce new kids to the sport. Pure Hockey and Liberty Mutual Insurance are official sponsors of Try Hockey For Free Days. USA Hockey has close to 400 locations offering this unique opportunity to kids nationwide.

To register for this Try Hockey For Free event, please visit TryHockeyForFree.com. For more information, please contact: Brandon Bayer, CIT General Manager Kettle Moraine Ice Center (262)335-0876

Allenton Fire Department hands out awards                                 By Ron Naab

The Allenton Fire Department recognized Bruce Ellis with the George Moser Member of the Year award. Ellis was involved in the late 1980’s to early 1990’s with the Bark Lake and later Richfield Fire Departments.

He joined Allenton four years ago after the rescue squad responded to an incident in which his grandson was injured in a lawnmower accident.

Ellis is dedicated to helping others and is a shining light as he volunteers for many events the AFD sponsors, including Special Valentine’s Day Cards from the kids at Allenton Elementary.

 Updates & tidbits

The annual Bowl-A-Thon for the Washington County Dive Team is coming up Saturday, March 3. The event is held in memory of Michael Mann who fell through the ice on Big Cedar Lake and died in 2003.

– The Washington County Fair Park will be celebrating this St. Patrick’s Day with an indoor concert featuring Irish and Scottish folk tunes and classic pub songs from bands Tallymoore and Ceol Carde. Headlining the event will be U2 Zoo.

-The 7th annual Diamond Dinner & Benefit for the West Bend Baseball Association is March 3 at The Columbian. There will be a tribute to athletes who made their mark in local baseball circle including Mark Scholz, Adam Rohlinger, Bob Meyer, Bob Kissinger and TJ Fischer.

Nice funeral Mass for Jerry Butz

There was a nice turnout Tuesday at St. Frances Cabrini as friends and family gathered for the funeral Mass for Jerry Butz. The service started with a tribute by Sister Nancy Butz who provided a eulogy.

“Jerry’s outlook on life was ‘Don’t worry, be happy,’” read Sister Butz.

The tribute to Jerry Butz focused on his strong standards. “Jerry led by example. He was respectful and treated everyone with compassion.”

“Their house always had an open-door policy. Jerry would make you feel at home immediately.”

Jerry and his wife Karen were married nearly 60 years. Sister Butz said, “Jerry said that Karen was ‘one of a kind. I tell you that, she is perfect for me.’”

“He will be remembered for his smile, signature laugh, a man of deep compassion and a gentle giving spirit.”

Rev. Justin Lopina presided over the service and while he had a long list of memories he said one comment from the children of Jerry and Karen Butz stood out, “We’re all a little dad.”

The Knights of Columbus and veterans from the local VFW Post were in attendance to present military honors. Those in attendance included many community leaders and fellow business owners who expressed their condolences.

“When I heard that he passed the first thought in my mind was that he was a man who always had a smile on his face,” said West Bend Mayor Kraig Sadownikow.

“Always had a good laugh and a few years ago we proclaimed it Jerry Butz Day in West Bend and we had a little parade around the block and we ended up at his house for his 80th birthday.”

Gerald “Jerry” A. Butz, 84, passed away peacefully on Thursday, Feb. 15, 2018 at The Kathy Hospice in West Bend, surrounded by family.

Jerry will be remembered as an active member of the West Bend community and always enjoyed giving his time to charities. Jerry was an avid golfer, enjoyed gardening, traveled the world and especially loved spending time with his extended family and friends. Jerry will always be remembered for his smile and signature laugh.

Remember the old mom-and-pop grocery stores

As word filters around West Bend about the news surrounding Ries’ Sausage Plus there was a day when a small corner grocery was the buzz of activity in town.

Long before Piggly Wiggly, Pick ‘n Save, Sentry, Red Owl, Kohl’s Food Store and A&P – West Bend was home to a number of mom-and-pop groceries and food marts set up in the downtown and on quiet street corners.

In the 1930s there was the Perry-Page Grocery store on Seventh Avenue and Chestnut. It was run by Ida Page and Rev. Perry. That corner building, 403 S. 7th Ave., was home to Roffler Styling.

National Tea was the National Food Store located on Main St. just south of the West Bend Theatre; Edward Schmidt was the manager. National Tea later moved to N. Main St., just south of the brewery and Gene Stark was manager.

In the 1930s and 1940s Held Food Mart had three stores in West Bend. Harvey Held ran the store at 241 N. Main St.; it was in the Gonring Building where Grasshopper Restaurant is currently located.  Another Held’s was at 121 S. Main St.; the current home of Ted Newman Signs. Held and Kirsch was also a local store.

Richard Krueger owned a little neighborhood grocery called the West Side Cash Store; it was on the southwest corner of Tenth and Cedar Street.

Flitter’s Queen’s Quality Grocery, 1270 Chestnut St., was on the northeast corner of Silverbrook and Chestnut where Tyberg Dental Clinic is located.

Kash N Karry was at 1411 W. Washington St. just to the west of Myrhum Patten Funeral Home, where West Bend Furniture and Design currently stands.

Otten’s Store was at 1805 Barton Ave. in what’s currently Small Town Bait & Tackle. The Otten family ran the store and the last member of the family business was Gene Otten.

Schuster’s Grocery, 1779 Barton Ave., was run by Tom Schuster; the store was across from the Gadow Roller Mills. Xpressions bead and yarn store is in the old grocery.

George Carbon’s IGA was across from the Washington House. The grocery was the old Central Hotel run by BC Ziegler’s father.

Winter Grocery was on the southwest corner of Oak and Main St. was a store started by Flora Huber who later added a little lunch room. Later the business was run by Bill Hess.

Henry E. Peters had a store in the 500 block of Hickory across from Winkler’s Office City. William Peters had a huge mercantile store in the same

Wegener’s Red Bell Market was a store on Hickory St. east of Sixth Avenue. It was run by Reuben Wegener. “Reuben would fill telephone orders for my mother,” said Kevin O’Meara.

Heipp General Store was at Fifth Avenue and Walnut. A photo shows Fred Heipp at the reigns with his dog Putzy. The horse was named Nancy and she served as the delivery horse for Heipp General Store since she was 6-years-old.

At age 38, Nancy collapsed on the street and was unable to get up without help. Heipp retired Nancy and replaced her with a younger horse called Babe.

“Fritz Heipp delivered ice to our home for our refrigerators, before the electric models,” said Peg Ziegler.

The Heipp General Store was later home to Mehring’s Fishery, John’s Photography, and is currently Hometown Talents & Treasures.

Researchers at the Washington County Historical Society helped cobble together this partial list of grocery stores in West Bend.

Note on grocery stores

I read with interest your recent story regarding small Mom & Pop grocery stores that were in business prior to the typical big grocery stores coming into town.  I would offer the thought that you missed a really good one that was right in the middle of downtown West Bend – the Bye Low grocery – a full service grocery that had a full service meat department, bakery and general grocery store.  Having spent a lot of time there as a child (my Dad owned the store – this would have been in the 1950’s) it was a great little store with lots of the old time businesses in the downtown area in full operation when West Bend was still a small town – some of these businesses were well known outside of town (BC Ziegler, The West Bend Company, Amity and others). Just an additional thought and maybe a follow up to your story?! Thanks  Steve

Around the Bend by Judy Steffes

Bob Pick Jr. has died

A piece of West Bend died Friday evening, Feb. 16, 2018, as word came out of Froedtert Hospital in Milwaukee that Bob Pick Jr. passed away. Pick entered the hospital on Tuesday, Feb. 13 and declined thereafter.

The news comes as a shock to many as Pick was a fixture in West Bend, especially at sporting events.

“It will be hard for any male or female athlete that went through the West Bend High School system in the last 40 years, not to have a memory of Bob Pick,” said West Bend Mayor Kraig Sadownikow.

“He made an impact on literally thousands of people, he was a guy who was always in a good mood, a guy who always thought he had a funny joke…. whether they were or not and just an icon on every athletic field, gym or court in West Bend.”

Pick was part of the fabric of the community.

Former coach and Major League Baseball player Willie Mueller of West Bend said Bob’s been “a part of the baseball scene and such a helpful person for years.”

“He was a unique kinda guy but he will be truly missed,” said Mueller.

The sporting community wrapped its arms around Bob Pick; many said you “couldn’t help it because he was everywhere.”

“If there was anything going on he was at that game and he’d always bring scorecards or programs back,” said Mueller.

“It was truly amazing what he did. If the 7UP team was playing he’d come in after the high school games were done or he’d be walking down and getting a burger or brat and he’d have his Navy hat on.”

In 2017 Bob Pick was inducted into the West Bend Baseball Association Wall of Fame and recognized for his dedication to meticulous score keeping for over 50 years.

“Good evening friends of baseball. This ride has lasted over half a century and the reason that’s happened is because I’ve lived long enough,” said Pick.

“West Bend is a baseball town,” said Pick. “People have a passion for the sport. I thank the Association for the award and for the friendships that came with it.”

Deb Butschlick, athletic director at UW-Washington County, said Bob’s dad started the Robert D. Pick Male and Female Athlete of the Year Award in 1988.  “Once his parents passed Bob always represented the family at our athletic banquets,” said Butschlick. “Bob always greeted the student athletes and talked to them and he was always a big part of that.”

Mitch Knox played for the Lithias in 1983. “Bob was one of the friendliest guys you would ever meet; I don’t know that he ever knew a stranger,” said Knox. “He was always on the ball field or the track or cross country.”

Knox said Bob Pick would always come armed with a gift, either a simple scorecard or a t-shirt. “He knew I went to Kentucky and the next thing you know he gives me a shirt from Kentucky for the kids.”

Knox recalled another time, years ago, when he was with Bob Pick at a Foghat concert at the old MECCA in Milwaukee.  “Bob was with us and he ended up knowing the security guard and he got us all in for free,” laughed Knox.

“And he took in his bag of peanuts and his warm skim milk in a bag. I remember we went to a Milwaukee Brewer game too and he knew the security guard there as well,” said Knox.

Funeral arrangements for Bob Pick are pending. He was 76 years old and would have turned 77 next week.

Eaton’s Pizza coming to West Bend

It looks like Eaton’s Pizza will be returning to West Bend. The franchise owner in Fond du Lac posted today that a new pizza place would be opening soon in West Bend. Neighbors who have lived in the community a while will remember when Eaton’s Fresh Pizza was located downtown West Bend at 105 S. Main Street. Dale Hochstein ran it until 2004 when it was sold and turned into The Daily Grind.

The Daily Grind eventually sold to Miguel Herrera who opened Jaliscos and now the location is home to Casa Tequila.

Back in the day of Eaton’s Pizza in West Bend the store had great sub sandwiches and you could order 2 different meats or cheese on a ticket then 5 veggies and they’d stuff it full of goodness and wrap the sandwich tight in cellophane. I think they even wrapped a peppermint with every sandwich. Also there was somewhat of a gift shop with white lattice-work and green cloth draping. The new Eaton’s Pizza will not be going downtown. It will open by July 1. Stay tuned.

Cougar confirmed in Washington County

The DNR said the Feb. 7 video of a cougar caught on security camera happened in Colgate in Washington County. Dianne Robinson, DNR wildlife biologist for Washington and Ozaukee Counties, said the area was “residential but surrounded by a bit of agriculture.”

“It’s not in the city but it is around other houses,” she said.

The video shows a cougar walking up a paved area near a building and next to what appears to be a fenced-in yard with bird feeders. Robinson said there were no reports of small animals missing.

“Cougars move relatively quickly so I’d be surprised it was still in the area at this point in time,” she said. While more details about the cougar are not known, Robinson said she’s pretty sure it’s not a female.

“We’ve never confirmed a female moving through Wisconsin as far as we can tell, they’re young dispersing males from South Dakota.” While the DNR has not confirmed other sightings, neighbors have chimed in with their own cougar stories.

Dan Strzyzewski lives in Wayne Township on Wilson Drive. He said early Monday morning, Feb. 12, he went to clear 2-3″ of snow off his quarter-mile paved driveway and observed “never before seen cat-like paw prints in the fresh snow.”

“They were leading 450 feet from the road to our home, around the home and heading into our woods at rear of the house.” Strzyzewski said the “gait was noticeably longer” than an ordinary house/feral cat, print size/diameter larger also.

“Given the size of the paw, toe count and gait length I determined prints I saw were made by a very large cat. Cougar?”

Strzyzewski said since the sighting on Feb. 7 was in the southern part of Washington County and he lives in the northwest corner of the county he believes there could be more than one “of these creatures in the general area.”

On Wednesday morning the cougar sighting in Colgate was a hot topic at the West Bend Elevator. “I warned the people at the checkout that if they have small pets, cats/lap dogs etc, beware,” he said.

Strzyzewski also wonders if the cougar is to blame for the lack of deer, raccoons, opossums this winter. “We’re normally flush with wildlife out here, but this year everything seems to have vanished, without explanation,” he said. “In any event, I know what I saw. Just my humble opinion but it’s critical word gets out regarding this development, regardless what the DNR says.”

Video footage of a large cat recorded by landowners in Washington County on Feb. 7 has been verified by Department of Natural Resources biologists as a cougar. This is likely the same cougar that was recently identified in Fond du Lac County and is now out of the area. The DNR said the video was taken in the southern part of the county in the Colgate area.

Currently, there is no evidence of a breeding population in Wisconsin. The nearest established cougar population is in the Black Hills area of South Dakota, and animals dispersing through Wisconsin are believed to originate from this population.

Former Long Branch Saloon has sold to Boro Buzdum

The former Long Branch Saloon in Barton has been sold. The property, 1800 Barton Avenue, was listed through Re/Max United and Paula Becker. It was initially priced at $184,500 and eventually dropped to $139,000.

The parcel sold Friday, Feb. 9, 2018 to Boro Buzdum for $100,000. The property was last assessed at $242,200.

Step out back the building and there’s a huge Dumpster as contractors are already gutting the interior. The local restaurant at the corner of Barton Avenue and Commerce Street closed in early 2016.  Over the years the building went to a sheriff’s sale and then got hung up in the system.

On Monday, Feb. 19 Buzdum will appear before the West Bend Licensing Committee for a Reserve Class B Combination License for Buzdum’s Pub & Grill in Barton.

There’s expected to be some scrutiny of the request as West Bend Police Chief Ken Meuler has documented in an 8-page report a troubled past for Buzdum.

Buzdum currently owns Buzdums Pub & Grill on Maple Road in Germantown. Buzdum previously owned Sophia’s Pub and Eatery in the Dove Plaza in Slinger. That opened in June 2015 and has since closed. In 2012 Buzdum purchased the former Players Pub & Grill and opened Spearmint Rhino Gentlemen’s Club on Highway 33 east in the Town of Trenton.  That establishment opened in 2013 and closed a couple years ago. In 2016 the West Bend Common Council did pass a cabaret ordinance which prohibits adult entertainment within the city limits.

Joyce Albrecht Lane coming to Washington County Fair Park

The Washington County Fair Park will be naming one of its roads after longtime fair manager Joyce Albrecht who was heavily involved in the County Fair before and after her retirement.

“It was the decision of the Ag and Industrial Society Board that because of her years of dedicated service as a fair director and a volunteer through Washington County 4-H and the home economics projects we felt she deserved special recognition,” said Kellie Boone, executive director of Washington County Fair Park.

This week the Washington County Administrative Committee reviewed a proposal: Should the Administrative Committee recommend authorization for the renaming of a road at Fair Park?

DISCUSSION: At the 12 December 2017 AIS Board Meeting, the board approved a recommendation to rename Hartford Savings Circle to Joyce Albrecht Lane upon approval from the County. It has been the tradition at Fair Park that roads signs be named in honor of contributors and supporters of Washington County Fair Park. As the Hartford Savings Bank is no longer in business, the AIS is requesting to rename the existing Harford Savings Circle to Joyce Albrecht Lane. Joyce served Washington County as the Home Economist for UW-Extension and as the Washington County Fair Manager and continued to volunteer her services at the Washington County Fair for many years after retirement.

After some discussion the committee voted to approve the resolution. “This is very, very deserving,” said former Fair Manager Sandy Lang. “She was always active in the home economics area with cake decorating and quilting and with the ladies at Trinity Lutheran Church.”

County Board Supervisor District 14 Marilyn H. Merten said “Joyce did an awful lot for the county” and is very deserving of this tribute. “She was a good supporter of Fair Park and she was very involved in the Build-a-Brick fundraiser, and 4-H,” she said. “Joyce was so passionate about working with kids and working with ladies, formerly known as homemakers.”

Albrecht taught at Big Foot High School for two years and then became the Home Economist for the University of Wisconsin Extension Office in Washington County and served as the Washington County Fair Manager until her retirement in 1997.

Ann Marie Craig first got to know Joyce Albrecht through 4-H. “I did projects like baking, canning, and sewing along with other projects nearly every year of the 9 years I was in 4-H and she was always at the dress reviews,” said Craig.

“Joyce also worked behind the scenes with the home arts judges at the Fair. She is another icon that several generations of 4-Hers and others in her field will remember and miss.”

Agnes Wagner was with Washington County for 18 years.  Wagner and Albrecht were both extremely visible when the fair grounds were located in Slinger.  “Joyce was a great worker and a great friend,” said Wagner.

Albrecht was a regular guest on the “Neighbor to Neighbor” show on WBKV AM-1470 with Steve Siegel.

Judy Etta said Albrecht was a fixture with 4-H at the County Fair. “She was a dear person,” said Etta. “She was smart and witty and a good person even after she retired.”

Albrecht, 74, died after a lingering illness on Feb. 28, 2017. Joyce attended and graduated from Waukesha South High School in 1960. She continued her education at the University of Wisconsin Stout campus where she majored in Home Economics Education.

During her career, Joyce was very active in the State & National Home Economist Association. She was active in the Washington County Retired Educators, the West Bend Women’s Club and was an active member at Trinity Lutheran Church in West Bend.

Joyce enjoyed basket weaving, quilting, needle work, chair caning, and having fun playing Bridge. She loved to travel and downhill ski. She had a large collection of kitchen aprons and enjoyed collecting vintage items. She also enjoyed entertaining and hosted many “Packer Dinners.”

Joyce was proud that she inspired one of her own goddaughters to pursue a career in Home Economics Education, now known as Family & Consumer Education.

Declining enrollment projections in WB School District

The West Bend School Board received a review of 2018 -2019 enrollment projections for the school district. Interim director of finance and support services Dave Van Spankeren reviewed the numbers from the Robert W. Baird forecast model.

“You can see the decline, the gradual decline,” said Van Spankeren. “I know the districts done studies before, we have some of that information; this is just a projection it’s about 1.5 percent each year declining.  But this all could change with the economy changing, jobs changing, but this has been a pretty normal trend in many school districts.”

School board member Monte Schmiege said he had a difficult time making sense of the numbers. He said he didn’t understand how numbers could be dropping in kindergarten and then hold steady at 408 moving from 2019 – 2023.

Former School Board president advises on superintendent search

At Monday night’s West Bend School Board meeting, during the 3-minute public comment portion, former West Bend School Board President Charlie Hillman offered some wisdom on the district’s search for a new superintendent.

“I’ve walked a mile in your shoes,” said Hillman who explained his role on a school board that had to dismiss a superintendent and hire a new one.

At that time the board dismissed Randall Eckart and conducted a search to eventually hire Dr. Patricia Herdrich. Currently the board is looking for a superintendent to replace Erik Olson

On Monday night, Hillman offered the board three pieces of advice.

Maintain high expectation. “West Bend has historically had a very good reputation in the state. There are 426 public school districts in Wisconsin and West Bend is in the top 5 percent in terms of size. What that means is there are 400 sitting superintendents in Wisconsin for whom coming to West Bend would be a step up.”

“If you look at the districts that are bigger than we are and you add another 20 to 30 assistant superintendents and that might be interested and I think we might have what we need right here.”

“We are a desirable district and we deserve top talent and we should act like it.”

Take your time. “This is the most important task the school board has.  We all hope for a hire who will settle in West Bend. In order to take enough time to ensure success is to have a parallel effort on an interim superintendent. It’s a common gate for retiring superintendents to double dip for a while and are flexible in their tenures.”

“The idea is to hire an interim to shore up administrative resources at central office, help us with the selection of a superintendent and then go away.”

There are at least 40 people who may be interested.

Involve the community. “When the city had to replace TJ Justice as an administrator it was very clear they could not make a mistake and wisely they brought in community groups. The more people you involve the less probability of making a mistake.”

On a side note: There has been scuttlebutt in the community as two local names keep coming up for the superintendent job. John Engstrom is an administrator in the Friess Lake School District. That district is consolidating with Richfield Joint #1. A new administrator has been selected for that Holy Hill Area School District. That new administrator, Tara Villalobos will start July 1.

Engstrom worked in the West Bend School District before leaving for Friess Lake around 2012.

Another name is Jim Curler, currently the assistant superintendent in the Slinger School District. Curler was also previously employed in the WBSD for over 13 years as principal at the high schools.

In January 2018 after the job for a new superintendent in West Bend was posted at the Wisconsin Education Career Access Network website Tiffany Larson, West Bend School Board president, was asked about the two possible candidates.

Her response was “At this time the board encourages all qualified candidates to submit their applications via WECAN, we have not discussed individuals.”

The School Board will meet Monday, Feb. 19 “to go over the executive search firms for the superintendent search. The board will interview the search firms,” according to assistant superintendent of teaching and learning/ lead district administrator Laura Jackson.

Demolition of former Walgreens

Demolition of the old Walgreens, 806 S. Main Street, in West Bend is underway. A crane was brought onto the site and into the north parking lot off Decorah Road on Tuesday.

The Walgreens building is being demolished to make way for a second Kwik Trip 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 20 pumps running parallel to S. Main Street.

-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.

This will be the fifth Kwik Trip in Washington County. West Bend’s first Kwik Trip opened on Silverbrook Drive on Oct. 27, 2016.

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

Updates & tidbits

Tuesday, Feb. 20 is Election Day. Polls open at 7 a.m.  There’s a race for a seat on the West Bend School Board. Vote for two candidates, the top four will advance to the April 3 election. There’s also a county supervisor race and a race for the State Supreme Court.

The annual Bowl-A-Thon for the Washington County Dive Team is coming up Saturday, March 3. The event is held in memory of Michael Mann who fell through the ice on Big Cedar Lake and died in 2003.

– Join the Wisconsin Antique Power Reunion for its 19th annual Farm Toy Show on Sunday, Feb. 18 at Circle B Recreation in Cedarburg from 9 a.m. – 3 p.m. The show will feature over 50 tables for dealers and displays. Food and refreshments available.

– The Washington County Fair Park will be celebrating this St. Patrick’s Day with an indoor concert featuring Irish and Scottish folk tunes and classic pub songs from bands Tallymoore and Ceol Carde. Headlining the event will be U2 Zoo.

-The 7th annual Diamond Dinner & Benefit for the West Bend Baseball Association is March 3 at The Columbian. There will be a tribute to athletes who made their mark in local baseball circle including Mark Scholz, Adam Rohlinger, Bob Meyer, Bob Kissinger and TJ Fischer.

In honor of Valentine’s Day – a true story of love

There’s a familiar couple that walk arm in arm around West Bend; their pace is steady, their love is evident:

Nancy Schultz and Jerry Cash.

Cash and Schultz – it sounds like a country-western band.

“We met one another at The Threshold 34 years ago and we’ve never had an argument,” said Jerry.

At 80 years old Jerry is sharp and spry, and he tells it like it is.

He holds on to Nancy’s arm while they walk so she doesn’t stumble and fall.

Nancy, 66, said she holds onto Jerry because she loves him.

Jerry graduated from Barton Grade School 66 years ago. “Then I went to work on the farm with my parents,” he said. “I’m an old-time West Bender.”

Several years ago Jerry volunteered his time at The Threshold. “I sat down next to Nancy to talk to her and she said ‘I’m not even going to look at you,’” he said, recalling his first meeting with the love of his life, “And now look at us.”

The couple belong to Good Shepherd Church in West Bend. Nancy embroiders, makes colorful tablecloths with butterflies and she collects church bulletins. “If you have any church bulletins or tell your parents to save their bulletins for us,” she said. “I save them and when it’s raining or icky outside I take a hand full and read them.”

Nancy and Jerry talk about the simple things in life. Nancy said they have a washer and dryer at their house, they have a brand new vacuum, and she likes watching birds.

Nancy reaches out and tenderly strokes the back of Jerry’s head. She readily expresses her genuine love for him.

“I sing him beautiful songs,” said Nancy.  “The Polish Lullaby, May you Never be Alone Like Me and What a friend we have in Jesus.”

Jerry said he loves Nancy because of what she can do. “She can cook, she can bake, she’s always got a wonderful smile, she talks very polite to everybody and she likes children,” he said.

Ten years ago, Jerry wrapped up a 15-year career working at the Old Fashioned Bakery. “Rich Schommer was my boss,” he said, “I went in late at night. I made donuts, bread, everything.. you name it.”

The pair are walking on a sunny Sunday to McDonald’s for supper; it’s about 11:30 a.m.  “I really like their salads,” said Nancy.

McDonald’s is an easy jaunt for the couple who walk from their home on East Decorah Road across from the high school. “We’ll walk to Walmart and back,” said Jerry, “That’s about 10 miles and sometimes we even walk out to Burger King.”

During lunch Nancy talks about her sisters, how her father has died and how her mother can’t wait to join him.

And then the conversation shifts to polka.

“We love polka,” said Nancy. The pair listen to the music Sunday morning on the radio. “I listen every day, every day,” she said, “We have cassette tapes and we listen and we embroider and then when 10 o’clock comes we close up shop for the night because then it’s time to go to bed.”

As I wrap up my visit, the couple make a simple request.

“If you see any polka music or nature tapes, just put it in the bag next to our door and mark it Schultz and Cash,” said Nancy. “We just love polka music and this has been such a good day because I can’t believe you took our picture.”

Around the Bend by Judy Steffes

MJ Stevens Pub ‘N Restaurant has been sold

 Mark Jug poured himself a cola out of the soda gun at MJ Stevens Pub ‘N’ Restaurant on Friday afternoon. You could hear the din grow as customers came in for lunch.

Slowly Jug, 64, tried to get comfortable and leaned heavy into the end of the bar to share the news he had sold the business.

“You know I feel it was time to go a little smaller,” he said. “I’ve worked 32 years here.”

It was 1979 when Jug took over the Long Branch in Barton. In 1985 he took over the bar that ran alongside then Highway 41. “It was called the Timber Inn,” he said. Owners were John Kreilkamp and Harold Hefter.

“I leased it from them for three years and then I bought it,” said Jug.

Over three decades there were plenty of memorable moments at MJ Stevens. “We had two New Year’s Eves in a row that we got hit with snow storms and we lost both those nights,” said Jug.

If that wasn’t bad enough… “We also had two Father’s Days in a row and some guy hit a pole and knocked all of our electricity out and then the next year Mother Nature hit something electrical again and down we went that year too,” he said. “How the hell does that happen?”

Over the years the “traditional pub-style restaurant with an old-world traditional flavor” grew in popularity. Neighbors would wait an hour for a Friday fish fry, prime rib or Sunday brunch. The time would pass swiftly with a Bloody Mary at the bar or a traditional Old Fashioned.

Jug credits his 80 employees for making the business a success. During a recent Christmas party he made a list of all his long-time employees and read it aloud.

“When we started here it was just Brian the bartender, Manny, who is still with me, he was the server and I did the cooking and dishes,” said Jug. “The first Friday we sold 25 pounds of fish and I was so happy. Now we do 600 – 700 pounds.”

After a heavy pause Jug admitted he had been thinking about selling the business for a while. “It’s a big place; big operation,” he said. “I’m going to do something… it’s going to be hard to let go here.”

Recently Jug bought a place in Lomira. His intentions were to do a bit more catering. “I’m still working on that,” he said. “I do want to go back to a place like Long Branch. Small bar and grill and that’s it.”

It was last May when Jug listed the business with a realtor that specializes in bars and restaurants. “I thought it would take more time, maybe two years.” Jug whistles, like a firework taking off. “It went quick, quick, quick.”

Asked if he was happy about the speedy offer and Jug’s eyes tear up. “I have mixed emotions,” he mumbled.

A company executive from Iowa is how Jug describes the new owner. “I like him,” he said. “He’ll bring new ideas. He did this kind of work years ago and always wanted to own his own place.”

Jug said the new owner has agreed to “keep the name of the business the same, keep all the traditional recipes and the employees.”

On Thursday, Feb. 15 the Town Board of Addison will consider a “Class B” Beer and Liquor License, SAC Corporation, Andrew Kraus, agent, 5260 Aurora Road, Hartford. (M.J. Stevens Pub ‘n Restaurant). Jug said the transfer of ownership is expected to take place in mid March.

Tim Schmidt of USCCA in West Bend featured on 60 Minutes this Sunday

There will be a familiar face on national TV this Sunday, Feb. 11 as Tim Schmidt, president and founder of the U.S. Concealed Carry Association, is featured on 60 Minutes. The show, according to cbsnews.com focuses on legislation moving through Congress that would allow “state-issued concealed carry permits to be recognized nationwide.” Schmidt was interviewed by reporter Steven Kroft.

Honda dealership approved for West Bend

There’s a Honda car dealership coming to West Bend.  A vote was taken Tuesday by the West Bend Plan Commission to annex property from the Town of West Bend so development can move forward on a new Honda location.

Karl Schmidt, CEO with Morrie’s Automotive Group of Minneapolis, was officially awarded “the point” for the Honda dealership in April 2017.

Shortly thereafter Schmidt flew to West Bend to scout a location for the new store. The property search proved a bit more challenging than first expected. Schmidt finally honed in on a parcel on the west side of Highway 33 and Scenic Drive.

“I like the corner and visibility and it was kind of serendipitous because we flew into the West Bend Airport and one of the people at the airport, his family owns this land,” he said of the Devenport family.

The past few months have been filled with working with the Wisconsin Conservation Congress and the Department of Natural Resources.

City administrator Jay Shambeau said the annexation is necessary so the property can hook up the utilities, like sewer and water.

“This is a 40-acre property involved in the attachment and it’s part of the boundary agreement with the Town of West Bend,” said Shambeau. “Upon request that land has to be annexed to the city of West Bend.”

The property is currently owned by Devenport Family Limited Partnership #1.

According to Washington County the parcel was purchased in 1988 by Douglas Devenport. In 1996 it was transferred to Craig Devenport and the Devenport Family Limited Partnership #1.

The 2017 assessment is for two parcels. One is 37.2 acres and its assessed value is $217,700. The second, much smaller parcel closer to the Highway is about a 3-acre strip valued at $7,700.

Morrie’s Auto representative Lynn Robson said construction will start as soon as the property sale and licensing is complete.

Schmidt said, moving forward, the design is pretty straight forward and hopefully they can break ground in a couple months. “We’re already in the process of designing the building with a manufacturer and what we’re really working through right now is the annexation and being able to proceed,” he said.

Schmidt expects to start building in late spring or early summer. “We’d like to be open yet this year,” he said. “We’ll see how the plan goes.”

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.”

Prepping for the Amazing Ride for Alzheimer’s

No better time to release details on the 2018 Amazing Ride for Alzheimer’s then when an Olympic hopeful, who will be tagging along on this year’s tour, is on Milwaukee TV.

Audrey Steffes, 15, is my niece and she was recently featured on TMJ4 in an Olympic-preview piece about the Wisconsin Speed Skating Club. In the video, the great thing about the club is how the participants are able to skate alongside some of the current Olympic athletes including Mitch Whitmore, Shani Davis, and Brian Hansen.

Audrey is a freshman at Milwaukee Rufus King and a fabulous athlete. She will be touring with me this summer as we head out on a bicycling adventure to raise money and awareness for Alzheimer’s. This year, following a request from Bike Friendly West Bend, the tour will raise money for a rickshaw bicycle to be donated to The Samaritan Home in West Bend.

The bicycles cost about $10,000 and allows seniors to be able to enjoy the exhilaration of bicycling again.

On a side note: This will be a rather large learning curve to have someone pedaling with me on tour. Normally this is a solo adventure. However, Audrey and I did a 20-mile test ride and since we didn’t have to call the cops on each other – we figure we can be pretty compatible on the road for three weeks.

The early thought is to bicycle around the entire state of Wisconsin, crossing over into Minnesota, Michigan, and Illinois although those plans are bound to change on a teenager’s whim.

More details on the 2018 Amazing Ride will be forth coming. Donations are tax deductible and the Tax ID No. 39-1741288. Please mail donations to:

Ozaukee Washington Land Trust, Inc.

William Taylor

P.O. Box 786 Cedarburg, WI 53012-0786

All money stays within Washington County and 100 percent will be donated to a bicycle for the residents at The Samaritan Home in West Bend.

Renovation of east side Riverwalk in West Bend to begin this summer

The City of West Bend is moving forward with construction of the Downtown Riverwalk project on the east side of the Milwaukee River. The $2 million project is being funded with a combination of grants from the Department of Natural Resources, funds from the City of West Bend and donations from private foundations and businesses.

The downtown portion of the Riverwalk, located between Washington Street and Water Street was originally constructed in the early 1980’s.  Reconstruction of the Downtown portion on the east bank of the river includes removal and replacement of existing retaining walls, addition of new walkways, plazas, stairs to the river for direct water access, a new pedestrian bridge, and new seating and lighting.

West Bend Mutual Insurance Company Charitable Fund, West Bend Economic Development Corporation, West Bend Business Improvement District, Serigraph, the Ziegler Family Foundation, the Johnson Family Bus Foundation, We Energies, Walmart and Roots & Branches have all contributed funding towards the project. “The Riverwalk improvements will enhance tourism and economic development opportunities for our entire city,” said City Administrator Jay Shambeau. Construction is expected to begin this summer and be completed in late fall of 2018.

West Bend Common Council to select representative to serve as Dist. 2 alderman

The West Bend Common Council hashed over its options Monday on how to fill the seat recently vacated by Dist. 2 alderman Steve Hutchins. After a short discussion the council voted to select an alderperson within the next 45 days.

City attorney Ian Prust said applications would be accepted and interviews would be held in early March and then fill the seat which will carry a term that ends April 2019.

Following on the heels of that decision the mayor filled some of the key committee positions. Dist. 6 aldermen Steve Hoogester was voted the new council president. Hoogester was also named to the Licensing Board. Dist. 5 alderman Rich Kasten was voted onto the Plan Commission. Dist. 4 alderman Chris Jenkins was voted onto the Community Cable TV Committee.

Hutchins turned in his resignation Tuesday, Jan. 30. Hutchins had been alderman since April 2009. Kasten was first elected in 2014. He said Hutchins, as the longest-serving member on the council “always helped bring a historical perspective to the table.”

While Hutchins served as Council President he also was on a large number of committees including Plan Commission, Redevelopment Authority, Community TV, Solid Waste and Recycling Committee, Long Range Transportation Committee, and Deer Management Committee.

The city has already received interest in representing District 2 as Mike Christian called to inquire about the post. Christian has been involved in the community. He currently sits on the board for the History Center of Washington County and he’s on the Community Cable Committee. Christian also ran for mayor of West Bend in 2008 and lost to Kristine Deiss.

New look for Galactic McDonald’s on S. Main Street

The Galactic McDonald’s, 1140 S. Main St., in West Bend is going to get a bit of a makeover. The West Bend Plan Commission approved a facade update, reconfigured building signage and designs for a newly laid out parking lot. Aside from the signage on the building the other big change will be the layout of the parking lot, especially on the south side of the building as a new one-way drive aisle and a lane for parallel parking will be added for customers waiting for orders.

Hartford in the spotlight on Discover Wisconsin

Discover Wisconsin, a long-running tourism TV show, put Hartford in the spotlight last weekend with an episode, “Bike Nights and Fall Sights in Southeastern Wisconsin.”

The show kicked off in Milwaukee at the Harley-Davidson Museum before Haberman headed out on motorcycle to Holy Hill. In Hartford the crew checked out The Mineshaft, met up with the local Hartford Hog chapter outside of Pike Lake State Park and then stopped at Mickey’s Frozen Custard, Scoop DeVille, and the Erin Inn. The Westphal Mansion Inn was also featured.

Third candidate to step into race for 59th Assembly District

Watch for another candidate to enter the race to succeed Rep. Jesse Kremer in the 58th Assembly District. Ty Bodden is scheduled to formally announce his candidacy in the coming days.

“I’ve been into politics almost my whole life,” said Bodden.  He put a start date to his interest at 2004 when he met President George W. Bush. Bodden was Jesse Kremer’s campaign manager in 2014. He assisted Duey Stroebel in a special election campaign in 2015 and has worked in the past with Congressman Glenn Grothman. The 24 year old is currently a member of the Stockbridge Village Board.

Born in Madison, Bodden moved to Highland Avenue in Kewaskum before residing in St. Cloud. Bodden attended Stockbridge High School and received his Bachelor’s degree in Political Science and Public Administration, along with a Business Administration minor, from the University of Wisconsin–Green Bay. Bodden is currently the Farm and Nonprofit Manager of Cristo Rey Ranch.

A pro-life advocate and an NRA member, Bodden is a strong supporter of 2nd amendment rights. He promises to protect and support the Constitution of the State of Wisconsin, as well as the Constitution of the United States of America. One of his main goals is to create and support policies that help farmers. In addition he wants to make sure there are more job training opportunities for high school and college students, especially tech school students.

Bodden is the third candidate to announce his intentions for the 59th Assembly District. On Jan. 28, Rachel Mixon announced at the Washington County Republican Lincoln Day Lunch she was running and Fond du Lac County Supervisor Ken Depperman will reportedly make a formal announcement about his candidacy later this month.

The 59th Assembly District extends through portions of Calumet, Fond du Lac, Sheboygan, and Washington counties.

Updates & tidbits

-Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner will have a town hall meeting Sunday at 1 p.m. at West Bend’s City Hall.

– The 2018 sturgeon spearing season on the Winnebago System gets underway on Saturday, Feb. 10.

– On Jan. 17 West Bend West senior Alex Rondorf scored 37 points against Nicolet and was presented a plaque for reaching 1,000 points in her high school career. Rondorf is only the second girl in school history, aside from Meghan Conley, to achieve this. Rondorf has received a full-ride scholarship to Michigan Tech.

– County music star Jon Pardi will headline this year at the Fond du Lac County Fair. Pardi will perform July 20. Tickets go on sale Feb. 12.  The country music star is known for hits, “She Ain’t In It” and “Dirt On My Boots.”

– Molly Riebe, Campbellsport, RN on the Modified Care Unit, has been recognized with the Froedtert & the Medical College of Wisconsin St. Joseph’s Hospital third quarter DAISY Award for her “huge heart” and compassion.

– St. Frances Cabrini alum Brianna Vitkus, a sophomore at West Bend East, and Jillian Wedin, a senior at West Bend West became selected members for their solo performances at the 2018 WACPC State Championships, held at the La Crosse Civic Center on Saturday, Feb. 3. The West Bend West team also performed at State, and placed 5th in D2 Pom and 8th in D1 Kick.

The West Bend East Dance Team is hosting a dance camp for grade school and middle school students on Saturday, Feb. 10 from 3 p.m. – 7 p.m. at West Bend East High School.

– Join the Wisconsin Antique Power Reunion for its 19th annual Farm Toy Show on Sunday, Feb. 18 at Circle B Recreation in Cedarburg from 9 a.m. – 3 p.m. The show will feature over 50 tables for dealers and displays. Food and refreshments available.

-There’s a motivated seller for the West Bend Wash, 2110 W. Washington Street in West Bend. The six-bay car wash features 2 automatic bays, 4 self serve bays, 3 vacuum pods, various dispensers and large billboard sign with LED scrolling message board. It is located to the west of the new Pizza Ranch. There sale price by BOSS Realty lists the property at $750,000.

– The Washington County Fair Park will be celebrating this St. Patrick’s Day with an indoor concert featuring Irish and Scottish folk tunes and classic pub songs from bands Tallymoore and Ceol Carde. Headlining the event will be U2 Zoo.

-The 7th annual Diamond Dinner & Benefit for the West Bend Baseball Association is March 3 at The Columbian. There will be a tribute to athletes who made their mark in local baseball circle including Mark Scholz, Adam Rohlinger, Bob Meyer, Bob Kissinger and TJ Fischer.

Letter to the Editor: County proposes wasting $5 million on road to nowhere   By Elaine Gehring

This past Wednesday evening, Feb. 7, 2018, I attended an informational meeting at the Addison Town Hall in Washington County held by the Washington County Road Commissioner. At that meeting I learned that the state together with the county plans to spend $5 million to build a brand new road in the Township of Addison that nobody in the community wants and even the county admits will not get used much.

If you look carefully at this map you will clearly see that the proposed new road will be constructed between two existing roads a half mile or less from where this road will be. All three of these roads connect with the exact same two roads, Hwy 83 and Hwy 175.

In a time when the state is scrounging to find dollars to fund repairs for its existing aging roads and bridges, even seriously considering installing tolls on some of our major roadways, the WiDOT is planning on wasting millions of taxpayer dollars on building a very expensive new road in a tiny township, in the middle of NOWHERE, that the local community does not want, that the county expects very few people to use and doesn’t really go anywhere!

When we in the Addison community objected to this wasteful use of Wisconsin taxpayers’ money, the county insisted that the new road is necessary for safety.

But when the citizens asked the county to document how building yet a THIRD road between two already existing roads within a half mile of the proposed road improves safety and doesn’t just spread out the problem to more intersections, they told us not to worry about it because the road won’t be used much.

Well if the road is necessary to improve safety but it isn’t likely to be used much then how can it possibly be necessary? This is a circular logic shell game intended to confuse Wisconsin taxpayers and hide the fact that this new road is entirely unnecessary.

Rather than improve the safety at the intersections of our EXISTING roads, the WiDOT and Washington County’s absurd safety solution is to build yet a THIRD road instead! In the process, the state is going to destroy many acres of valuable farmlands and unnecessarily bisect and ruin a number of large farm fields.

Our farmers are having it hard enough trying to make a go of farming, now they have to fight the WiDOT and the county from paving over their fields. This is an INSANE waste of taxpayer’s money and it needs to be stopped. We absolutely do not need THREE roads within a one mile stretch that all connect the very same road!

The estimated $5M cost to build a road that local taxpayers did not ask for and do not want can and should be used to repair and restore Wisconsin’s EXISTING transportation infrastructure to benefit motorists and taxpayers in the entire state of Wisconsin.

Thank you for your consideration of this very serious matter

Anne Gehring

For further information please contact me at: 262-224-0712 centuryfamilyfarms@gmail.com

4830 State Road 83 Hartford, WI 53027

Around the Bend by Judy Steffes

Honda dealership finds a location in West Bend

 

There’s a Honda car dealership coming to West Bend.  On Monday the West Bend Common Council was scheduled to approve annexation of 43.2 acres from the Town of West Bend so development could move forward. That meeting has been rescheduled.

 

Karl Schmidt, CEO with Morrie’s Automotive Group of Minneapolis, was officially awarded “the point” for the Honda dealership in April 2017.

 

Shortly thereafter Schmidt flew to West Bend to scout a location for the new store.  Honda of West Bend or Morrie’s Honda were names Schmidt batted about last year.

 

The property search proved a bit more challenging than first expected.

 

“Typically property owners are a bit opportunistic and they want twice as much as what they originally paid for their property,” he said.  “I can’t blame them.”

 

Schmidt finally honed in on a parcel on the west side of Highway 33 and Scenic Drive.

“I like the corner and visibility and it was kind of serendipitous because we flew into the West Bend Airport and one of the people at the airport, his family owns this land,” he said of the Devenport family.

 

The past few months have been filled with working with the Wisconsin Conservation Congress and the Department of Natural Resources.

 

City administrator Jay Shambeau said the annexation is necessary so the property can hook up the utilities, like sewer and water.

 

“This is a 40-acre property involved in the attachment and it’s part of the boundary agreement with the Town of West Bend,” said Shambeau. “Upon request that land has to be annexed to the city of West Bend.”

 

The property is currently owned by Devenport Family Limited Partnership #1. According to Washington County the parcel was purchased in 1988 by Douglas Devenport. In 1996 it was transferred to Craig Devenport and the Devenport Family Limited Partnership #1.

 

The 2017 assessment is for two parcels. One is 37.2 acres and its assessed value is $217,700. The second, much smaller parcel closer to the Highway is about a 3-acre strip valued at $7,700.

The council meeting gets underway at 6:30 p.m. in the council chambers at City Hall.   

 

Schmidt said, moving forward, the design is pretty straight forward and hopefully they can break ground in a couple months. “We’re already in the process of designing the building with a manufacturer and what we’re really working through right now is the annexation and being able to proceed,” he said.

 

Should the annexation move through Schmidt expects to start building in late spring or early summer. “We’d like to be open yet this year,” he said. “We’ll see how the plan goes.”

 

Celebrate Catholic Schools Week across Washington County

 

Catholic Schools Week will begin Monday across Washington County as schools participate in Mass, a Catholic Quiz Bowl, and naming the winner of the Mother Cabrini award.

 

In an effort to celebrate the week we reached out graduates of parochial schools to get their reflections on how a Catholic School education impacted their life.

 

Ann Enright of Boltonville: I attended Holy Trinity Catholic School, Kewaskum, from 1951-1959.  Our teachers were nuns from the order of The Sisters of St. Agnes. Their mother house was and still is in Fond du lac, WI.

 

There were four classrooms with two grades per room.  The nuns were pious about their faith, well educated and loved their jobs. They expected respect and students to work up to their abilities, no less.

 

Demanding quality personal effort was a motivator for me which I have continued to apply in my careers as wife, mother, real estate broker and citizen.

 

English, History and Geography were my favorite subjects.  High School classes were a breeze because I had such a good foundation.  I think I can still diagram a sentence and say most of the Gettysburg Address thanks to those nuns.

 

Religion was taught with enthusiasm and that enthusiasm has remained with me to the present.  I am still learning and taking Bible classes.

 

Daily activities at St. Frances Cabrini and Holy Angels School.

 

If your school would like to submit its schedule of events email it to washcoinsider@gmail.com

Schedule of events at Holy Angels School in West Bend

 

Beginning January 28, Holy Angels School in West Bend will join schools throughout the country in celebrating Catholic Schools Week. Over and above the excellent curriculum, Holy Angels emphasizes the Catholic faith, strong moral values, Catholic social teaching and service, a sense of community, and respect for others.

 

There is also a “pre-week” activity planned by Parent Activities Committee on Saturday, Jan. 27. All are welcome. During Catholic Schools Week, the school will celebrate many of the important aspects of our school which make it special…academics, faith formation, extra-curriculars, community building, family involvement.

The week’s activities will include:

+ Saturday (January 27th) – CSW Kickoff Celebration (5:00-7:30pm)

+ Sunday –  Open House (10:30am-12:30pm);  Kindergarten–K3, K4, K5-RoundUp (10:45am)

+ Monday –  Morning Assembly with Mr. Peace (how to make a more peaceful world)

+ Tuesday – Catholic Quiz Bowl (8:25 – primary, 9:10 – intermediate, 10:30 – jr high)

+ Wednesday – Buddies Service Day…to honor veterans not able to make the Honor Flight to DC

+ Thursday – WB Catholic Schools Mass at Cabrini

+ Friday – Student/Faculty Basketball Game (1:40pm).

The Kindergarten RoundUp on Sunday will be held in the Cedar Room of the school.  Parents interested in more information about Holy Angels are encouraged to attend.  Registration materials will be available at the event.  Holy Angels is located at 230 N. Eighth Avenue.

 

Slinger Junior Girl Scout Troop raises awareness for Foster Care Program

 

Junior Girl Scout Troop No. 6244 made up of fifth graders from Addison Elementary School in Slinger worked toward earning their bronze award (first of three levels in the Girl Scout program).

 

The girls chose to raise awareness for the Foster Care Program in Washington County. They just completed their project this week and handed over 50 new backpacks filled with special gifts (pillows, journals, fidget spinners, and homemade pillow cases made by the girls) for kids in the program.

 

The girls hope was that the new backpacks would be able to replace the garbage bags kids normally use and provide hope and a smile as they transition to the foster home or back to their permanent home. The girls used a video to raise awareness via social media and helped bring in all the amazing donations.

 

Changes ahead for Action in Jackson

 

There’s a bit of revamping for this year’s 48th annual Action in Jackson.

Organizers have tweaked the lineup and the annual festival will be trimmed to two days and the Sunday parade has been cancelled.

 

“We’ve been having it the second weekend in June for quite a long time and West Bend High School changed its graduation for both East and West to the Sunday of our event,” said Jackson Recreation Director Kelly Valentino.

 

Last year, the coinciding events devastated the Sunday parade.

 

“I lost so many units including the bands and anybody who has family that’s a graduate of East or West got pulled out of the parade.”  Valentino said it was just “not good for our event and I had about two dozen units last year drop just two days before the parade.”

 

Organizers had been talking about how to can add new life to the event. Valentino said Action in Jackson has seen change before. “It started out as a one-day event and the dates have changed, so this isn’t anything super crazy off the grid,” she said.

 

Listening to feedback from neighbors this year’s Action in Jackson will feature a fireworks show on Saturday night. “We decided we can’t have a parade and have fireworks … so this year we’ve opted for fireworks,” she said.

 

“Once we get through the event and have the fireworks I think that will knock down any negative comments.”

 

Valentino said Action in Jackson will be more manageable as a two-day event. “It takes a lot of work,” she said. “It’s been a struggle to get a core group of volunteers and after three days we’re just shot.”

 

For the staff, it’s a quick turnaround as The Jackson Beer Garden starts two days later.

Action in Jackson will be held, June 8 and 9 at Jackson Park.  There will still be the small carnival and live music, Friday fish fray, a pancake breakfast, car show, talent show and the chainsaw woodcarvers.

 

“I also think changing this format will help add 10 years to my life,” joked Valentino.

In the big picture, she feels encouraged by the changes.

 

“Some people may be a little disappointed but once they see our attendance and our numbers from a financial standpoint, I can see us being a bit better off and not stretching it out,” she said.

Action in Jackson is a family-friendly festival.  And remember the big fundraiser for Jackson Park and Rec is coming up Saturday, Feb. 3

 

West Bend couple in Hawaii during missile alert

 

A West Bend woman is sharing her story about being on vacation in Hawaii on January 13 when the state’s Emergency Management Agency issued a missile alert.

 

Ellie Dowden and her husband Travis were traveling with family and making breakfast when all their phones went off sounding the alert.

 

“We didn’t know what to do and there was nothing we could do,” she said.

Dowden said the alert sounded like an Amber alert … but with a message about “ballistic missiles.”

 

“About five to 10 minutes later some things started to pop up on Twitter. No one was sure…. and it finally came on the news and no one on the news knew either.”

 

Dowden said about 30 minutes after the initial alert they found out it was fake. “It was a stressful 30 minutes but there was nothing we could do,” she said.

 

Dowden and her family were scheduled to fly back to Wisconsin the next day. Follow-up reports blame the faux alert on employee error and The Washington Post said it was “poor design” of the computer program.

 

On a more positive note: Watch for an upcoming story about Ellie Dowden, the new owner of Cornerstone Dental in Barton. And if the name Travis Dowden sounds familiar, you can find him running Bibinger’s in Cedar Creek.

 

Future of Deer Management Program to be reviewed by Common Council

 

There was quite a bit of data, analysis, reflection and suggestions during Tuesday’s post Deer Management follow-up meeting as hunters and committee members gathered to explore how to move forward with managing a growing deer population within the West Bend city limits.

Committee chairman and Dist. 1 alderman John Butschlick started the meeting by outlining stats from the five-day hunt.

 

Final numbers included hunters seeing dozens of deer in the area of Lac Lawrann Conservancy, three deer were killed in a span of five days and that included an adult doe, yearling doe and yearling buck.

 

The discussion on how the program was carried out was well analyzed:

-there was an overall feeling that things could have gone better if it wasn’t such a tight timeline to get everything going in a 3-week timeframe right around the holiday.

-Parks and Forestry Superintendent Mike Jentsch recommended there should not be any restrictions to hunt near the trails. Since the park is closed it would “give hunters more opportunities and less restrictions.”

-Safety was a big concern. Police were notified that even though the park was clearly marked ‘closed’ a runner went through Lac Lawrann Conservancy while hunters were in the woods.

-West Bend police Lt. Duane Ferrand had reservations about shooting horizontally. The hunters were required to shoot from a tree stand. It was determined the council would have to approve a new ordinance to shoot from a blind or a ridge.

-There was overall agreement that many in the community did not understand bow hunting and those who were selected for the program said “just because we’re hunting in a park, that doesn’t mean it’s easy.”

-The hunters were sure the deer realized they were there. The conclusion = deer are smart.

-Jennifer Wiedmeyer of West Bend spoke as someone who lived in the community 31 years and didn’t feel hunting deer in a city park was the right thing to do.

-Wiedmeyer felt the problem with the deer was because West Bend is growing and the city is invading the natural habitat of the deer.

-Wiedmeyer though more signs should be put up around the community warning people about deer crossings.  “This makes me frustrated that it’s come to this in West Bend. I just think it’s sad. I wish city would spend money on signs and make people more aware about how prevalent the deer population is here. I don’t have a problem with deer being hunted, it just shouldn’t happen within our city limits.”

 

-Butschlick told the story about how he’s seen a big change in his neighborhood over the years with the increasing number of deer. “I’ve stopped feeding the birds because of the deer and within the last five or six years the deer have been a menace. I have a garden with a 12-foot net and that’s the only thing that’s been able to keep them out. The deer are starting to get to a point where every year a doe will have two more.”

-Bringing in sharpshooters was discussed as a way to improve success but there were strong concerns about safety and, of course, justifying the expense.

 

-Restrictions on the qualifications to hunt, whether five days was an adequate timeframe and if the program should be run during months like September and October were also discussed

-Jentsch questioned what an expected harvest per year should be. Many in attendance thought even if 20 deer per park per year were harvested, that would still take a long time to get the situation under control.

 

The final consensus was this was one season and one hunt and the committee would recommend to the Common Council to try another hunt and implement some suggested changes and then let the council decide what is best. Target dates for another Deer Management Program are January 2 – 6, 2019.

 

Cougar spotted in neighboring Fond du Lac County                                         By Bob Nelson

 

A very large cat moved through Fond du Lac County early this month. A trail camera captured a photo of the animal in the Rosendale area.

 

Jane Wiedenhoeft is an assistant large carnivore specialist with the DNR. She said it sure looks like a cougar in the photo. She said, “Not many photos are as clear as this one. This animal looks pretty obviously like a cougar.”

 

Wiedenhoeft said there were quite a few cougar sightings in Wisconsin last year including sightings last month near Merrill and Antigo. This may be the first real sighting in Fond du Lac County, although there were reported sightings of a cougar in the Eden area in the summer of 2012.

 

Wiedenhoeft said typically it’s a young male cougar looking for a mate. “Those young males sometimes can disperse pretty far looking for a mate. And they get this far and they have a long ways to go to find any other cougars so they just usually keep going,” she said. The tail camera photo was caught Jan. 5, 2018 in the Rosendale area. Wiedenhoeft said this was the latest sighting of a cougar in the state and the farthest south.

 

Updates & tidbits

The West Bend East Dance Team is hosting a dance camp for grade school and middle school students on Saturday, Feb. 10 from 3 p.m. – 7 p.m. at West Bend East High School. The cost is $20 in advance and $30 the day of the camp.  If you have questions contact Coach Kaylee at krossman@wbsd-schools.org

Join the Wisconsin Antique Power Reunion for its 19th annual Farm Toy Show on Sunday, Feb. 18 at Circle B Recreation in Cedarburg from 9 a.m. – 3 p.m. The show will feature over 50 tables for dealers and displays. Food and refreshments available.

The new shelter for men and women in Washington County will host a grand opening Tuesday, Feb. 6 from 4 p.m. – 7 p.m.  The $1.4 million facility designed by American Construction Services of West Bend is located on Water Street will be called Karl’s Place in honor of Karl Glunz of Richfield.    

 

-There’s a motivated seller for the West Bend Wash, 2110 W. Washington Street in West Bend. The six-bay car wash features 2 automatic bays, 4 self serve bays, 3 vacuum pods, various dispensers and large billboard sign with LED scrolling message board. It is located to the west of the new Pizza Ranch. There sale price is listed at $750,000.

 

-The 3rd annual Rock and Jazz Fest at the West Bend High School Silver Lining Arts Center is Wednesday, Feb. 7 at 7 p.m.  Prior to the concert, from 4:30-6:30 in the East Cafeteria, the West Bend High School Bands will host a soup fundraiser that includes a silent auction and raffle.    

 

The Slinger Cub Scout pack is holding its annual Pinewood Derby on Saturday, Jan. 27 from 9 a.m. – noon in the old EVS dealership, 1180 S. Spring Street in Port Washington   

Food will be collected for Slinger Food Pantry.

 

The 18th annual Bridal Fair at the Washington County Fair Park is January 28. There will be over 70 vendors on hand with everything from dresses to cakes, wedding venues to entertainment. Tickets: $5 Pre-Sale $6 Day-Of *Children 12 and under are free. Tickets available at the Fair Park office and Amelishan Bridal.

Saturday, Jan. 27 at Cedar Ridge is the annual Chili Social and Book Sale, 10 a.m. – 1 p.m.  

– The Washington County Fair Park will be celebrating this St. Patrick’s Day with an indoor concert featuring Irish and Scottish folk tunes and classic pub songs from bands Tallymoore and Ceol Carde. Headlining the event will be U2 Zoo. 

 

-The 7th annual Diamond Dinner & Benefit for the West Bend Baseball Association is March 3 at The Columbian. There will be a tribute to athletes who made their mark in local baseball circle including Mark Scholz, Adam Rohlinger, Bob Meyer, Bob Kissinger and TJ Fischer.

Forum for West Bend School Board candidates

Common Sense Citizens of Washington County hosted a candidate forum Thursday night for three of the four candidates running for two open seats on the West Bend School Board.

In attendance were Monte Schmiege, Chris Zwygart and Mary Weigand. Candidate Kurt Rebholz was not in attendance due to a prior commitment and candidate Carl Lundin has taken himself out of the race, although his name will still appear on the Feb. 20 primary ballot.

During the primary voters will select four candidates and the top four vote getters will advance to the April 3 Spring Election.

Below are bullet points from the candidate introductions followed by video of the first question regarding role of school board.

Monte Schmiege – elected in 2015, served three years and in last three years saw six new members join the board. Treasurer of school board. Working to be actively engaged.  Review 100 series of policies on board operations. Adopt 200 series on administration. Superintendent evaluations important. Concerned about maintaining financial direction. Lots of turmoil and in spite education goes on.

Chris Zwygart – grew up in Iron Ridge, parochial grade school and Horicon H.S. and graduated Marquette Univ and law school grad in 1995. Attorney at West Bend Mutual, board secretary and knows how top-notch board works. Chair of St. Joseph’s Hospital Board. Running because I want to help.  I know how a board should behave. We have key leadership vacancies in the district and I have experience filling top-level leadership roles. I will use my experience to find ways to review expenditure and minimize cost and maximize value.

Mary Weigand – lived in WB since 4th grade and grad of WB East. Have been attending board meetings. In 2005 the US Naval Academy went from celestial navigation to GPS. They had figuratively speaking, lost their way and needed to get back to the basics. I feel we’ve lost our course in WB. We have lost the ground work. Mr. Uelmen said they don’t know how to use a tape measure. But kids took a white privilege survey. Bring common sense community values. I’m concerned about curriculum and common core in West Bend schools.

QUESTION: Proper role of board in working with superintendent, administration and teachers.

MW – Admin runs day to day of district. Board writes policies, oversees curriculum and standards. Board needs to see where superintendent stands on Act 10 and Common Core. The teachers are in the classroom and board must support professional staff. Teachers are paid in the top 5% in the state. Superintendent has to understand our community.

MS – Proper role of board with regard to super is – work on policies with board and superintendent; relationship and how they work together. Superintendent deals with day to day of district. Board participates in strategy and setting goals. Board also has to evaluate superintendent based on goals and strategies worked out between board and super.  Board does not employ teachers and admin. Board can’t do all of that work that would be too many different opinions.

CZ – Board acts as a whole. When we have board members out on their own that’s a problem.  Board has to help with leadership vision and holding the district and superintendent accountable. The execution is left up to administration.  Board is part time and the idea of micromanaging is not a good idea because it can breach trust. Proper role is a lot of listening.

Around the Bend by Judy Steffes

US Cellular to expand next to Hankersons in West Bend

 Melissa Nurkala, owner of Studio 33, took the news in stride as she received word from the owner of the strip mall on Highway 33 that she’d have to give up her spot because the tenant next door, Connect Cell, would be expanding.

“In the beginning I was heartbroken,” she said. “I cried two days straight. Mostly because of the unknown and thinking where do I go in the middle of winter and right before Christmas. There was no money set aside and I just had been through a big remodel and the hardest thing was wondering if I’d lose my clients or if they’d come with me.”

Nurkala, 46, said she had a hunch a change was in the works. “Keith Hankerson, the owner of the building, approached me about three years ago and asked me how things were going,” she said. “I told him I was doing well and planned on staying.”

Hankerson then informed her US Cellular wanted her spot. “I told them no and he said he was behind me,” she said.

Two months ago there was a similar conversation and Connect Cell /US Cellular was starting to explore its options. On Black Friday, Nov. 24 she got the news and agreed Hankerson would be foolish to not embrace an expansion of the phone store. “I understand this was a business decision,” she said.

It was May 2003, about 15 years ago, when Studio 33 first opened next to Hankerson’s Bakery. Nurkala brings out a framed photo of the ribbon cutting and the first dollar she earned.

The business was an open-concept chair-rental salon. “When I first got here Ponderosa was across the street and I replaced an internet store in this spot,” said Nurkala, wracking her brain for the name of the business.

When Studio 33 first opened perms were big. “The young generation doesn’t do perms anymore. You see a lot more bold and bright color,” she said. “They’re replacing volume with color and bangs are coming back.”

Nurkala started in the business as a manager at Great Clips, the chain salon, when it was located by the former Pier One across from the Walmart on Paradise Drive. “Then I spent six years at Cost Cutters and a lot of the original girls that started here worked with me at Cost Cutters,” she said.

In an odd twist, as Connect Cell plans to expand into Nurkala’s salon space in the coming months she recalled how when she first opened each station had its own landline phone and answering machine. “Fifteen years ago you’d hear ring, ring, ring and the message was left and now everyone is using their own cell phone,” she said.

Nurkala has already found a new home for her salon at 105 N. Main Street Suite 102 in downtown West Bend. She’ll be in the walkway of the building connected to Portrait’s Today. She will also be changing the name of the business to Hair By Melissa.

Two of the other beauticians in the shop, Debbie Hall and Sarah Van Beek, will be moving into Revive Salon Studios, 1747 Barton Avenue. The last day for Studio 33 will be January 31.

Connect Cell is planning to expand in the next few months.  Store manager Andrew Smith said over the years the business has created a solid customer base and they would like to add a couple more employees and work stations.

The wall separating the location will be opened up. Contractors are slated to come in by February. The store will stay open during construction.

Final numbers on Deer Management Program in West Bend

Final totals are in for the Deer Management Program at Lac Lawrann Conservancy in West Bend. Five bow hunters had five days to try to trim the deer population by 40 deer and while hunters saw a lot of deer the final results will surprise you.

The harvest after five days was three deer. All were shot by Brian Beck.

Beck hunted four days with 13 hours in the stand and saw 27 deer. Beck took a total of three shots, used and retrieved three arrows and harvested three deer. The deer were females and antlerless and he donated the animals.

Brad Zuba hunted four days, 15 hours in the stand saw 27 deer and took zero shots.

Eric Esselman hunted for five days, 23 hours in the stand and saw two deer and took zero shots

Jeffrey Bach hunted for four days, 12.5 total hours in the stand and saw 17 deer. Bach mentioned he saw more than 20 deer walking out of Lac Lawrann Conservancy on to Schmidt Road.  He took zero shots and recovered zero deer

Steve Kraker hunted for four days, 17 hours in the stand and saw 10 deer and took a zero shots.

“I wish people would realize how hard it is to hunt deer, even in a park,” said Bach. “It’s amazing; it’s nature.”

As far as moving forward, Bach said he wishes the city would try it again. “But I hope they do it at a different time of the year,” he said. “This time of year is very cold and a couple people were deterred by the weather.”

Hunters had rain and snow to deal with over the five days, Jan. 10-14. “A fall hunt would be good, when the regular hunt is on and deer are in rut,” Bach said.  “Also if they could plan it ahead of time. To figure deer out in a week was difficult and giving hunters more time would help with the setup.”

While Bach saw about 50 plus deer in the vicinity of Lac Lawrann over the five days he believed they knew the hunters were there for a purpose.

“The deer knew we were there,” he said. “We did feed them corn but at one point in time they stopped eating it. The deer were moving around.”

The goal of the pilot hunt is to manage the deer population. A follow-up meeting will be held Jan. 23, 2018 at 5:30 p.m. at West Bend City Hall.

Building that housed former Holy Angels convent has been sold

The building at 105 S. Seventh Ave., on the corner of S. Seventh Avenue and Hickory Street in West Bend has been sold. Edward Daniels purchased the building for $180,000. The property was previously owned by Dan Fuge. The 2017 assessment was $315,500.

Doug and Sally Fuge purchased the building in 1987 and they split it with Dan Fuge for $200,000. Prior to that Tom Timblin owned the property.

On a history note: The post card, courtesy Terry Becker, features the second church Holy Angels built at Seventh and Elm in 1866 (lower right), and the old Holy Angels convent and school at Seventh and Hickory 1880 (upper right).

According to archives courtesy Holy Angels Church: In the year 1851, West Bend Catholics came together to buy two city lots for $15.  By late 1852 the first church building had been erected. They called this church Mary, Mother of Sorrows.

However when Fr. Casper Rehrl built a church in Barton with the name St. Mary’s Immaculate Conception the decision was made to change the West Bend Parish’s name to Holy Angels to avoid any confusion.

By 1863 Holy Angels had outgrown the original building so two more lots were purchased, on the corner of 7th and Elm (currently where Trinity Lutheran stands), and in 1866 a new church was built.

This new church was able to hold the parish for almost 50 years.  But the congregation was again growing so in 1913 plans to build a new church started forming. Holy Angels classes were moved to the old high school building on 8th and Elm in 1926 after the new high school (Badger) was built in 1925.

A number of businesses occupied the old convent and school, 105 S. Seventh Avenue, including the Wiskirchen Schoolhouse Tavern and Landvatter’s TV & Appliance.

City of West Bend expands façade grant to businesses in Barton

The West Bend Common Council voted 6-0 to take over the Façade Improvement Grant Program.

The Façade Improvement Grant (FIG) program, previously run by the West Bend Economic Development Corp., is designed to provide an incentive for private sector improvement of commercial buildings in the Downtown Business Improvement District (BID) and the Historic Barton Commercial Area (HBCA).

District 7 alderman and Barton representative Adam Williquette said this will be “a matching grant for up to $5,000.”

“This was originally created for the BID district and I’m excited to see Barton included,” Williquette said. “We’ll see if anyone takes advantage of it.”

The program is geared toward façade projects that protect the historic integrity of the building and improve the overall appearance of the downtown area. The addition of façade grants to businesses in Barton was well received by business owners along N. Main Street.

Sheila Kruepke is the Urban Farm Girl at 1829 N. Main Street. “Who wouldn’t want to have their building renovated with a little help,” said Kruepke. “The façade grant is a huge opportunity.”

Over the past two months Kruepke along with Katie Fechter Laverenz turned a small building at 1829 N. Main Street into a cozy shop that’s home to a number of locally-owned businesses.

“We’re hoping more people are going to join us and we’re not just some area where people are passing through,” said Fechter Laverenz, owner of Kiera’s Kloset in the Meraki building.

John Backhaus, owner and master plumber at Albiero Plumbing, 1940 N. Main Street, said the facade grant is coming at a good time. “Barton is usually the neglected child when it comes to the city of West Bend,” he said. “There’s a lot of history in Barton and people have been making upgrades here.” Backhaus felt the inclusion of the facade grant program was encouraging.

Pizza Ranch update

One of the most frequently asked questions is about Pizza Ranch and when is it going to open. Drove past this week, 2020 W. Washington Street in West Bend, and saw roofers at work.

The back of the building (north wall) has been framed out and the wall is up. This is going to be the pick-up door. The windows have all been removed and big honken pieces of plywood cover up the holes until the new windows are in place.

The Dumpster outside the building is filling up fast. The groundbreaking for the new Pizza Ranch in the former Ponderosa was Nov. 21, 2017 and contractors are really moving along. Owner Stacy Gehring said they are still “hoping for an early 2nd quarter opening, but we will know a more exact date as construction continues.”

On the job front, Pizza Ranch is now accepting applications for kitchen manager and guest services manager.  If you know someone who is interested, please apply at www.pizzaranch.com/careers.

WB School Board candidate steps out of race

For the second time in two years a West Bend School Board candidate has pulled out of the race although a primary will still be held and their name will still be listed on the ballot. Carl Lundin said he is withdrawing his candidacy.  Lundin declined to expand on a reason.

Because five candidates filed to run for two seats, a primary must be held. That is scheduled for Feb. 20, 2018. The top four vote getters will advance to the April 3 Spring Election. The names listed in ballot order for the Feb. 20 primary include Monte Schmiege, Chris Zwygart, Mary Weigand, Kurt Rebholz, and Carl Lundin.

In 2017 a similar incident happened in the West Bend School District when one of the seven candidates running for West Bend School Board bowed out. Tina Hochstaetter announced she would not be part of the Spring Election. However, her name still remained on the ballot.

Assistant superintendent for HR in West Bend School District resigns

Hired in August 2017, Russell Holbrook the assistant superintendent for HR and operations, has now announced his resignation.

According to a memo from Laura Jackson, superintendent of teaching and learning in the West Bend School District, “Russell Holbrook announced his resignation which will go to the School Board on Monday, January 22, 2018. More information about the transition in leadership will be shared following the School Board meeting.”

The memo continued, “We appreciate the effort Russ Holbrook gave as he served in the role of Assistant Superintendent of Human Resources and Operations.” Calls have been place to the district for more information about the reason behind the resignation.

Holbrook was hired after Chief Operating Officer Valley Elliehausen and Director of Accountability and Assessment Kurt Becker resigned in June 2017.  Elliehausen had been with the district since 1997.

The open H.R. position adds to the number of administrative positions the district has yet to fill.

Currently the district is without a superintendent and a director of finance person as Brittany Altendorf, the director of finance and support services, resigned in July 2017.  Altendorf’s successor Michael Fischer also resigned several months later.

West Bend School District pays out Superintendent

Following an open records request the West Bend School District released its resignation agreement with former Superintendent Erik Olson. Olson was hired June 2016 and officially resigned effective Dec. 14, 2017.

When hired the School Board approved a two-year contract with Olson at a salary of $155,000. In 2017 that contract was extended another two years. Olson’s salary upon termination was $155,000 a year. The amount of benefits received in the agreement were not disclosed and are part of a second open records request.

The agreement also indicates Olson would receive full salary “less applicable withholdings” for the remainder of his contract. He will also receive moving expenses of $10,000 and unused vacation of $10,432.63.

Updates & tidbits

The new shelter for men and women in Washington County will host a grand opening Tuesday, Feb. 6 from 4 p.m. – 7 p.m.  The $1.4 million facility designed by American Construction Services of West Bend is located on Water Street will be called Karl’s Place in honor of Karl Glunz of Richfield.

-There’s a motivated seller for the West Bend Wash, 2110 W. Washington Street in West Bend. The six-bay car wash features 2 automatic bays, 4 self serve bays, 3 vacuum pods, various dispensers and large billboard sign with LED scrolling message board. It is located to the west of the new Pizza Ranch. There sale price is listed at $750,000.

-The 3rd annual Rock and Jazz Fest at the West Bend High School Silver Lining Arts Center is Wednesday, Feb. 7 at 7 p.m. The Rock n’ Jazz Fest is a concert designed to showcase a variety of the co-curricular offerings in the West Bend band program.  Prior to the concert, from 4:30-6:30 in the East Cafeteria, the West Bend High School Bands will host a soup fundraiser that includes a silent auction and raffle.    

The Slinger Cub Scout pack is holding its annual Pinewood Derby on Saturday, Jan. 27 from 9 a.m. – noon in the old EVS dealership, 1180 S. Spring Street in Port Washington

Food will be collected for Slinger Food Pantry.

– The 18th annual Bridal Fair at the Washington County Fair Park is January 28. There will be over 70 vendors on hand with everything from dresses to cakes, wedding venues to entertainment. Tickets: $5 Pre-Sale $6 Day-Of *Children 12 and under are free. Tickets available at the Fair Park office and Amelishan Bridal.

– The 31st annual Washington County Breakfast on the Farm will be at Gehring View Farms this year, 4630 Highway 83 in Hartford. The host family will be Eugene and Christine Gehring and their family Derik, Jordan and Emily. This year’s Breakfast will be Saturday, June 9.

Stop in Saturday, Jan. 27 at Cedar Ridge for the annual Chili Social and Book Sale, 10 a.m. – 1 p.m. Enjoy a warm, delicious lunch, browse the book sale and take a tour of the independent-living apartments at Cedar Ridge, 113 Cedar Ridge Drive in West Bend.

– The Washington County Fair Park will be celebrating this St. Patrick’s Day with an indoor concert featuring Irish and Scottish folk tunes and classic pub songs from bands Tallymoore and Ceol Carde. Headlining the event will be U2 Zoo.

– Cast Iron Luxury Living has a unique short-term leasing special. The remodeled West Bend Aluminum Company located on the scenic Milwaukee River is offering a month of free rent if you move-in before the end of January 2018. There are one and two-bedroom apartments available. For more information 262.334.7943 or castiron@hendricksgroup.net

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

The old Barton Opera House has been sold

The old Barton Opera House has been sold. According to records in the West Bend City Assessor’s office Mike Smith sold the property, 1741 Barton Avenue, to Jay Mundinger for $332,500. Mike “The Mailman” Smith died in Nov. 2017. He was 67.

The 2017 assessed value was $235,200. Smith originally purchased the property in July 1997. He acquired it on a land contract for $220,875. Smith tried to sell the property in July 2012. He listed the multi-unit building at $399,900.

The property was previously home to the disco 2G’s, Dan Berres Studio, C&C Business Management and In Your Face Tattooz.

On a history note:  The property used to be Gerhard Otten’s Farmer’s Home Hotel, also known as the Barton Opera House. According to Richard H. Driessel’s book “A History The Village of Barton” there were a number of “events and appearances” at the Gerhard Otten’s Farmers Home saloon between 1892 and 1919.

The list includes: Electric piano concert, The Quaker Doctors entertainment, The Quaker Medicine Co., lecture on “WHITE SLAVERY,” The Don C. Hall Co., a play, “Duke Costello.”

Another segment of Driessel’s book reads: “Most of the traveling shows used the Otten hall, after Van Bree sold it, first called the

Farmers Home and later the Barton Opera House operated by Henry Otten and later by his brother Gerhard, but there were other halls associated with hotels or saloons which continue to be busy with public dances or semi-private and private parties.

These were so frequent and popular that it is sometimes hard to believe. The period between 1890 and 1917 seems to have been the heyday, so to speak, for public dances just as it was for traveling shows, although the dances did continue as a weekly event for a while after the war.

The occasional dances of the earlier years became more and more frequent until in some weeks there were three or more.

The list of reasons for having a dance party became longer and longer. Besides regular Saturday night dances there were leap year parties, birthday parties, honorary dances, dances by fraternal organizations and clubs, “Fastnacht” parties, Easter dances, Easter Monday dances, harvest dances (sometimes two in a week), masquerade dance is called mask balls, (again sometimes two a week), masquerade golden wedding dances, Sylvester eve (New Year’s) balls, barn dances, July 4 parties, mid-summer dances, dances for the summer visitors, grand opening balls, married people stances, and hard times parties.

Between January 14 and 21, 1916 there were a leap year dance, married people‘s dance, a Fireman’s ball, a fastnacht ball, and a grand opening ball, probably in anticipation of the Lenten season.

The music for the dancers was provided by live bands and orchestras most of them either from the village and its environs or from West Bend. Some of them survived for years; some were heard but one time.

Luckow and Bantin’s orchestra, The Williams Combination, Brown’s band, Obermeyer’s orchestra, the Schloemer, Koch, and Wolf orchestra, Willkomm’s orchestra, Seliger’s orchestra, The Harmony orchestra, Kocher’s orchestra, and the Neu Family Orchestra all performed during that time period, 1892 to 1917.

In 2015 the Facebook page, ‘You know you are from West Bend if….’ Carol A. Feypel chimed in with a post about the building on Barton Avenue.

“That building Barton Opera House was built by my grandma Elizabeth (Lizzy Obermeyer) Bastian’s brothers who were builders during the day and musicians evenings and weekends. Most of the musical entertainment for Barton was held in the Barton Opera House. 1800’s and early 1900’s. Second floor large dance and music hall. Including weddings and etc.”

Around the Bend by Judy Steffes

Perkins Restaurant & Bakery in WB officially closed 

Word circulated around West Bend on Monday, Jan. 8 about the closure of Perkins Restaurant & Bakery, 2400 W. Washington St. A manager at the store confirmed the business had closed. The property is owned by Mizpah Beach Properties LP of San Diego, California.  The property was purchased Aug. 1, 2006 for $1,807,024.

The Perkins franchise is owned by Pat Correll with CBT. Correll said corporate Perkins is mandating a remodel be completed by December 2018.

“That means franchisees like myself have to remodel all of our stores to their specifications by 2018 and that probably contributed to our decision at this time that it was not economically feasible at that location to move forward,” Correll said.

CBT leased the location since Rocky Rococo closed in late 1990. “I’ve been in there about 28 years as a Perkins,” Correll said. CBT has eight other Perkins locations in the Greater Milwaukee area. “Those locations will be in the process of remodeling however the West Bend location did not make the cut,” he said.

Staff said it was extremely surprised by the news and they didn’t know. There was a note on the door of the business Monday, Jan. 8 notifying customers the location, 2400 W. Washington St., was to close “permanently!!!!!”

Neighbors are starting to ask about gift cards. Those can be used at other Perkins outlets including those in Milwaukee on Port Washington Road and in West Allis.

UPDATE | Just four short days since the news broke there is some scuttlebutt about other interested parties moving into the location.

The closure of Perkins follows another restaurant closure in that area as Mother’s Day Restaurant, 501 Wildwood Road, closed its doors Oct. 17, 2017. Owner Sam Fejzuli said he had trouble getting employees and it was also difficult to “keep everybody happy.”

On a history note: Perkins restaurant was built in 1990 and prior to that, according to the city assessor’s office, the location used to be home to Pizza Slices Inc., which did business as Rocky Rococo in May 1985. In June 1988 Pizza Slices Inc. sold to RAL West Bend Inc. and it sold again in 1991 to Julia E. Schloemer.

Deer Management

There are two more days left in the Deer Management Program in West Bend as bow hunters try to trim the deer population by about 40. Five hunters qualified to take part in the program and after two days they’ve managed to harvest one deer.

“Nobody’s seen a thing today,” said Brad Zuba about his hunt at Lac Lawrann Conservancy. “But then Jeff and I walked out to Schmidt Road down that trail and we saw 20 deer. But we saw nothing sitting in the woods.”

Zuba said it was raining most of the afternoon on Thursday and deer normally hunker down in the thick brush off Schmidt Road. “They should be out moving again tomorrow,” said Zuba. “We just have to wait and see what the weather does. If it gets cold again they’ll be moving around.”

The five-day Deer Management Hunt runs from Jan. 10 – 14. Zuba said they had deer standing right in front of them when they put up their tree stands.

“Actually when it gets cold and freezes again that’ll be good because right now it’s so swampy,” he said. The park is closed to the public Jan. 10 – 14. Bow hunters will be able to keep only one deer; the others will be donated to the local food pantries and processing will be covered by the DNR.

The goal of the pilot hunt is to manage the deer population. The hunters were given 8 permits each for a total of 40 deer. There was also encouragement to collaborate during the hunt.

Hunters have to notify West Bend Police before going into the park and call again when they exit the park. Hunters are able to bait the deer with two gallons of corn per person.  Zuba said they set it out and it’s gone the next day.

“There are a lot of deer in there,” he said. “We’ve got two more days and we’ll hit it hard Saturday and Sunday.” A follow-up meeting will be Jan. 23 at 5:30 p.m. at West Bend City Hall.

Washington County Breakfast on the Farm

The 31st annual Washington County Breakfast on the Farm will be at Gehring View Farms this year, 4630 Highway 83 in Hartford. The host family will be Eugene and Christine Gehring and their family Derik, Jordan and Emily. This year’s Breakfast will be Saturday, June 9.

Power outages in Washington Co. will sound like a story in The Onion

There were 1,400 people in West Bend and Kewaskum without power this afternoon… and the reason for the outage is going to sound like a story out of The Onion. “It started at 11:15 a.m. around a power pole on County Road H and Badger Road,” said We Energies media relations Amy Jahns. “That was the source of the issue that caused the fire.”

Neighbors chimed in on Washington County Insider on Facebook that Moraine Park Technical College lost power just after 11 a.m.  The school was running on a generator. Motorists said the traffic lights were out on Highway 33 all the way from 18th and Chestnut to the Villa Park subdivision to the new Russ Darrow Nissan dealership and in Kewaskum.

Jahns said they’ve been seeing similar instances all over southeastern Wisconsin.

“When the weather is warmer with moisture in the air and there’s a lot of road salt, that moisture and road salt can mix and when it gets kicked up onto the power poles it becomes a conductor,” she said. “The electricity is already going through that equipment and sometimes the poles catch fire and that’s what we saw at this particular location.”

Jahns said there have been a dozen such power pole fires since Wednesday, Jan. 10. “We normally see this in the spring time but with the warm up and moisture we had over the past two days we’re seeing it a lot more frequently,” she said.

For the past few weeks much of Wisconsin has been in a deep freeze. On Sunday warmer temps gradually moved into the area and neighbors enjoyed comfortable 40s and even 50 degrees. Late Thursday afternoon there was consistent precipitation and temps dropped dramatically. The National Weather Service is reporting teens through the weekend.

Last day for Book World in West Bend

In October, 2017 the announcement was made that Book World, 1602 S. Main Street, in West Bend was closing.  Actually Book World announced it would close all 45 stores in seven states.

Book World, which touts itself as ‘family owned since 1976,’ opened its store in the Paradise Pavilion in August 2014. The last day for the store in West Bend will be Friday, Jan. 19.

“Since the liquidation sale was announced on Nov. 1, the incredible support of our loyal customers has allowed us to be one of the last stores closed in our chain,” said store manager Dr. Robert Burg. “That is a true testament to the relationship we have had with the larger community and we remain very thankful for that.”  Burg will oversee operations and the deeply-discounted store sales including store fixtures, until end of business at 8 p.m. on Jan. 19.

West Bend East Dance Team shows support for its No. 1 fan

The West Bend East Dance Team gathered Thursday afternoon at Vanity Salon in West Bend to show its support for their No. 1 fan. Cindy Manthey, grandmother of Dance Team sophomore Brianna Vitkus, was recently diagnosed with her second bout of breast cancer.

With chemotherapy on the horizon, Manthey was on her way to the salon to have her head shaved when she was surprised by the girls from the Dance Team.

As Manthey opened the door she was greeted by a flurry of bright pink pompoms and high-pitched squeals and cheers from the girls who offered support on Manthey’s journey.

“I think she’ll be better knowing we’re here to support her through this journey,” said Vitkus.

Vanity Salon stylist Sam Kempf donated her time to Manthey to help ease her into her medical transition. “This is a very emotional time but it’s also pretty inspiring to see how strong some people can be and it’s cool to see how everyone can be supportive,” Kempf said.

Manthey was brought to tears with all the attention. “This is actually very uplifting,” she said.

At the end of the evening Manthey penned a note of thanks.

“Going to get your hair cut preparing for chemo doesn’t seem too exciting UNLESS you have the whole West Bend East Varsity Dance Teamthere to surprise you with pompoms and all! I can’t say enough about coach Kaylee and these special young ladies. Thank you so much for taking time to support me. And just to arrange this wonderful evening – so amazing! And special thanks to my daughter, Laura. Still not sure how she and Brianna kept the secret! That goes for Cambrey and Blake, too!

All of you have given me more than meets the eye. You have given me the feeling of being truly loved and cared for and that is forever in my heart.

And that goes for Vanity Salon LLC, too. They generously donated pink hair extensions for each of the girls. Aly donated her time to deck the girls out with them. And Sam donated her time to give me the cutest hair cut ever! Absolutely LOVE it!

Thank you all for giving so kindly… and for caring. I will remember this forever.

Parents express concern about Privilege Test at Badger School

The White Privilege Test that became a hot topic of discussion prior to the Christmas break, came up again during the public comment section of Monday’s West Bend School Board meeting.

The test was given Dec. 20 to about 150 students at Badger Middle School.  Some parents in the district were upset about the line of questions and what they had to do with education.

Principal Dave Uelmen followed up with a note saying, “During the lesson, some classrooms deployed an optional, anonymous survey that was not derived from district curriculum. The survey was part of a follow up activity to discuss privilege as a lead-in to the “Civil Rights and A Mighty Long Way” module.”

At Monday’s meeting parent Susan True of West Bend addressed the board. Some of her comments are below. (Yes – it’s a little challenging to hear the women. Volume UP!)

– What alarmed me was the recent Privilege Test. When I saw West Bend was on featured on Tucker Carlson and Fox National News I became even more alarmed for the future of my kids in the West Bend Public School System.

– I want to know with this recent West Bend Public Schools making national news for reasons other than academic achievement is this the direction that was referenced by our superintendent Erik Olson upon resignation? And if it’s not what steps are being taken to reduce the exposure of our young minds to the misjudgment of a few teachers?

-This Privilege Survey… is basically in contrast to what Martin Luther King Jr. said, ‘It’s not our outward appearance it’s the content of our character that matters’ and that is why this Privilege Survey was so hard hitting because it’s basically pigeon holing everyone in self reflection on your outward or inward non-character.

Parent Sara Zingsheim then followed with similar comments. She acknowledged once the test came to light parents found it had been given “for the past three years, time in class had been devoted to this non-curricular controversial piece of paper.”

Zingsheim identified herself as a therapist who works with teenagers every day and she noted “disturbing trends have increased since the advent of social media in 2011. Since cyber bullying began almost 80 percent of teens now report being bullied. Two thirds of these teens have at least one suicide attempt.”

-“What do students need more of? Learning how to respect themselves and others, the value of hard work, addressing students’ anxiety and depression with encouraging words, understanding and compassion.”

-“Middle school students don’t need to discover what they should protest or how they’re different. More than any other time in our history we the adults have to realize how our kids are the same. They’re bullied, anxious, overwhelmed, depressed, and suicidal and as parents and teachers we must turn our attention to what our kids need. It’s time that we take a stand.”

Jen Uelmen, wife of Badger School Principal Dave Uelmen, then spoke about following policies and procedures in the school district.

-“My concern is now this is a nationally-known topic because the proper channels were not followed.”

-“I’m wondering if parents are even concerned about how their negative actions towards the teachers and administration affect their children.”

-“I’m hoping in the future parents will follow the proper channels when addressing teachers and administration in our schools.”

-“Our children are leaders for tomorrow and we need to be modeling our behavior that is respectful and sets a good example.”

Badger Principal Dave Uelmen then spoke to the board and praised his staff. “At Badger we have amazing kids,” he said. “We have great families and very supportive families. I’d like to give a shout out to my staff. Bar none, the best staff in my opinion, we have in West Bend.”

The board also addressed the Privilege Test as a follow up during a Jan. 4 meeting on curriculum and policy.

“It was clear in our meeting last week that board members felt the use of this particular questionnaire was inappropriate and the board was assured that this questionnaire will not be used in any of the district schools,” said Board President Tiffany Larson.

Larson said leadership was also encouraged to review Policy 381 when onboarding new teachers and reviewing policy with current teachers at the start of each school year.

Following the meeting board member Joel Ongert was asked how parents will know administration is following through on this directive.

“Laura Jackson (interim superintendent) assured us that onboarding of new teachers at the beginning of the school year and half way through the school year the principals will be reminding their teachers about the policies we have in place in regards to curriculum, what needs to be approved before something is being used in the classroom,” said Ongert.

Questioned whether there were any ramifications for the teacher who brought in the curriculum that was not approved by the district. Ongert said it was “a personnel matter – but the teachers are taking this hard.”

Exclusive ticket offer for St. Patrick’s Day at the Washington Co. Fair Park

The Washington County Fair Park will be celebrating this St. Patrick’s Day with an indoor concert featuring Irish and Scottish folk tunes and classic pub songs from bands Tallymoore and Ceol Carde. Headlining the event will be U2 Zoo.

The Washington County Fair Park is kicking off the concert with an exclusive ticket offer on WashingtonCountyInsider.com. Mention the local news web page and get your tickets for $8 each, a $2 discount. This offer is good until Jan. 15, 2018.

Updates & tidbits

Election Day is Tuesday, Jan. 16 as two candidates look to fill the seat in the 58th Assembly District. Republican Rick Gundrum won the special primary Dec. 19, describes himself as a “pro-life fiscal conservative.” Democrat Dennis Degenhardt is seeking political office for the first time. Degenhardt promised to focus his efforts in Madison on education, family-sustaining jobs, and affordable health care. Polls open at 7 a.m. on Tuesday and close at 8 p.m.

The new shelter for men and women in Washington County will host a grand opening Tuesday, Feb. 6 from 4 p.m. – 7 p.m.  The $1.4 million facility designed by American Construction Services of West Bend is located on Water Street will be called Karl’s Place in honor of Karl Glunz of Richfield.

The Slinger Cub Scout pack is holding its annual Pinewood Derby on Saturday, Jan. 27 from 9 a.m. – noon in the old EVS dealership, 1180 S. Spring Street in Port Washington

Food will be collected for Slinger Food Pantry.

The Knights of Columbus will host a Sheepshead Tournament and Spaghetti Dinner on Saturday, Jan. 20. The card tournament is from 1 p.m. – 5 p.m. and dinner is from 5 p.m. – 7 p.m. Cost is $9 per person and the event is open to the public. Contact Sandy to reserve your spot. (262) 334-9849 email: manager@thecolumbianhall.com

– The 18th annual Bridal Fair at the Washington County Fair Park is January 28. There will be over 70 vendors on hand with everything from dresses to cakes, wedding venues to entertainment. Tickets: $5 Pre-Sale $6 Day-Of *Children 12 and under are free. Tickets available at the Fair Park office and Amelishan Bridal.

Stop in Saturday, Jan. 27 at Cedar Ridge for the annual Chili Social and Book Sale, 10 a.m. – 1 p.m. Enjoy a warm, delicious lunch, browse the book sale and take a tour of the independent-living apartments at Cedar Ridge, 113 Cedar Ridge Drive in West Bend.

– Cast Iron Luxury Living has a unique short-term leasing special. The remodeled West Bend Aluminum Company located on the scenic Milwaukee River is offering a month of free rent if you move-in before the end of January 2018. There are one and two-bedroom apartments available. For more information 262.334.7943 or castiron@hendricksgroup.net

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

Remembering Julie Ann Fabrics in West Bend 

Neighbors in West Bend may remember Rosemarie Alf from the old Julie Ann Fabrics store in West Bend.

Alf and her husband Marshall brought the franchise to West Bend in February 1969. “That shop was located at 120 N. Main Street next to a little diner in the old Marth (Centrum) building,” said Helen Baierl who was a partner with her sister. “We did a good business because people came downtown on Friday nights. We did much better than we thought we would that first year,” recalled Baierl as she talked about people lining up at the door when they initially opened.

Both sisters sewed and while Rosemarie’s husband Marshall helped run the store, sharpening scissors and repairing sewing machines, Helen’s husband Donald took care of the book work.

“When the Westfair mall came into town we moved there,” said Baierl remembering others in the mall in 1972 including Nobel Shoe Store, Koehn and Koehn Jewelers and Bits N’ Pieces Floral.

Julie Ann Fabrics carried everything for sewing including name brand patterns like McCall’s, Vogue, Simplicity and Butterick. “We had a lot of the mod stuff,” said Baierl laughing now about the A-line dresses she made ‘out of gaudy prints.’ Baierl also touted the store’s hands on customer service. “If customers couldn’t lay out a pattern they’d bring it in and we’d put it on the table and lay it out.” Baierl said they were so busy she put her four daughters to work dressing manikins. Other employees included Delores Goeden, Joan Fink, Gert Metrish, Kathy Dohman, Laverne Doll, and Delores Koenig.

“We made our daughter’s wedding dresses and prom dresses and I’d even put mine on the manikins and people would ask if they could buy it,” said Baierl who also did tailoring and upholstering.

Jean Falk was 17-years-old when she started working as a clerk at Julie Ann Fabrics from 1974 to 1984. “I did everything from helping customers select fabrics and patterns, to ordering ribbons and trim.”

Falk said the store was always busy. “That was back in the day when you would see families making christening gowns and wool coats and the schools still had very complete home economic programs.” Falk remembered freshmen making peasant blouses out of cotton and seniors who would do completely lined Pendleton suits.

Julie Ann Fabrics quickly developed a ‘full service’ reputation. “It got to the point where we’d walk and talk people through entire projects,” said Falk. “They’d run down to the store and just open a bag and throw it on the counter and go ok we’re at this point, what could we do.” Falk said she inherited her sewing skills from her grandmother and said when she applied for the job sewing was a prerequisite. “I had been a customer from the day they opened to the day I got hired so they knew,” laughed Falk claiming she was ‘in the store all the time.’

“We’d work with teachers, planning their curriculum and then we’d work with students who would come in to buy the stuff for their projects.” Falk reeled off home economics teacher’s names like it was yesterday including Ginny Froehlich from Kewaskum, Mildred Doss from West Bend and Mrs. Carol Stoltz from West Bend.

As far as Rosemarie was concerned, Falk said she was ‘a wonderful lady.’ “I thought it was cute when they said in her obituary she could burn up a motor in a sewing machine long before the warranty and she did, there was nothing she couldn’t make or fix. A lot of times she didn’t even use patterns she’d just start cutting and pinning and wah-lah there’d be an outfit.”

Rosemarie also put her wing around Falk, taking her to the buyers club to pick out fabrics for the seasons and sales reps would ask Falk’s opinion to ‘get a young point of view.’

As far as pay was concerned, Falk doesn’t remember the dollar as much as the discount. “If I made a fall outfit I could have the fabric and pattern and everything for free as long as I display it. So it was more the fringe benefits and the wonderful people I met while working there.”

Falk said all of the employees at Julie Ann Fabrics were encouraged to sew outfits for themselves. “The more stuff we made for ourselves and wore the better it was, because people would always say ‘what pattern number is that dress’ or ‘what pattern number is that skirt’ so we were always pretty fashion trendy,” said Falk who favored working with denim and often envied Rosemarie for her tailoring ability on suits and jackets.

Falk also got to do some modeling. “That meant a lot to me because I knew there was no way I would ever be a New York Ford model but at least I got my hands in it a little bit.”

Julie Ann Fabrics had celery green colored carpeting, the bolts of fabric were neatly organized and there was a little corner in the back of the store for kids to play while women sat at a counter with eight bar-stool- like chairs pouring over pattern books. “It was like a hangout,” said Falk recalling, ‘when we were in the Westfair Mall that was the buzz of the city.’

Often times, Falk remembered Rosemarie sitting across the hall at the Cookie Cone Café. “You’d see Rosie over there with her pattern book and her cup of coffee deciding what she was going to do next,” said Falk painting the picture of a typical afternoon at the mall.

The most hectic time of the year was inventory. “You would have to count yards of trim and yards of ribbon and yards of fabric on bolts,” said Falk about the project that normally occurred on New Years Day. “They’d run a sale in conjunction with that, like a football widow’s sale and get the women in while the men were at home watching football and we’d all be there counting our yards of fabric.”

Falk said the store would also ‘special order covered buttons and belts.’ “If a woman had a velvet jacket and the buttons would be velvet, we’d send them out and have a place cover the buttons and belts with that fabric.” Rosemarie worked a lot with bridal parties. “She’d make some head pieces and veils and she’d help them design bridal gowns and dresses and she knew just what you would line with lace and taffeta.”

Rosemarie was five years older than Helen, who was in her 30s when they started the business. “Marshall worked every day and Rosemarie and I switched off,” said Baierl admitting ‘if I had known how much work it was going to be I probably would have said we don’t want to do this.’

In 1987 Rosemarie and her husband retired and Julie Ann Fabrics was sold to Linda and Eugene Bodden. The store moved out of the Westfair Mall and into the Decorah Shopping Center where the A&P used to be.

Rosemarie Alf was 80 years old. She died last week Thursday August 16, 2007 under the care of the Kathy Hospice. A Memorial Mass was held Monday at St. Frances Cabrini Catholic Church.

Around the Bend by Judy Steffes

Details on why 4 West Bend teachers resigned last May (warning adult content)

Details are coming out today on a story from May of 2017 when four teachers in the West Bend School District resigned.

At that time, then-Superintendent Erik Olson issued a press release; a portion of which reads:

We wanted to advise you about a change in District staffing at the high schools which may have a short-term impact on the remaining few days of your child’s school year.

Effective today, four of our teachers elected to resign from their positions at West Bend East and West High Schools.

While we understand that the timing of these resignations is not ideal, the District accepted them due to the specific circumstances leading up to the resignations.

Please know that while we wish to be as transparent as possible, due to confidentiality laws and out of respect for the privacy of the educators involved, we are unable to provide further details about the specifics of their resignations.

Local blogger Owen Robinson posted more details on verbatim comments from Google chats sent by the four teachers which were retrieved through an open records request from the West Bend School District. The comments were posted on the district’s Google chats platform. Some of the comments have been posted below.

Calls have been placed to the West Bend Teachers Union and a response will be posted upon receipt. Calls have also been placed to Tiffany Larson, president of the West Bend School Board.

Board member Monte Schmiege responded to questions about the notes between former teachers and how the district addressed the situation.  “The matter was handled fairly,” said Schmiege. “I don’t think they represent the wide body of teachers.”

Laura Jackson, superintendent of teaching and learning in the West Bend School District, was not on staff when the resignation of the teachers occurred. However, she said she believed the situation was handled appropriately.

“In general practice when a situation occurs you gather all the information you need so you can address it properly,” Jackson said. Jackson did not know the timeline when the Google chats by teachers were first discovered by district administration and the time when the teachers resigned.

“Ninety-nine percent of our teachers don’t engage in that,” Jackson said. “We have new staff in place and I would hope this is an oddity and we can make sure it doesn’t happen again because we have really solid hiring practices.”

The teacher resignations were approved by the West Bend School Board on June 12, 2017.

In an attempt to cover how a government body would handle such a situation state Senator Duey Stroebel said “it is now clear former Superintendent Olson handled these inappropriate correspondence correctly.”

“No student, parent or community member should be mocked with explicit language – especially since those using bullying tactics are teachers,” wrote Stroebel.

“Earlier this week, the West Bend Educator’s Association suggested this clear violation of public trust was not handled appropriately. Union teachers need to answer if bullying is OK and how they would have handled the situation.”

Stroebel went on to comment on Thursday’s story about the Privilege Test given to students at Badger Middle School. He called it “a politically-charged survey offered to students.”

“Political agendas must stay out of the classroom,” wrote Stroebel.  “Children must always come first. It is unfortunate the many past achievements made by former board members, administrators and teachers are being shadowed by the lapse of judgment of some teachers.”

A portion of the post from bootsandsabers.com is below.

Here are some examples of how these four teachers discussed their students, parents, and peers. I do have the source documents for these quotes. They are public records. But I’ll leave them off this post in order to not circulate the teachers’ names any more than necessary.

It discussing some petty crime in the parking lot: “It’s all the {expletive] ghetto [expletive] moving up her from Milwaukee to sell their drugs to the idiot kids that live in this town.”

In a discussion over a sexually-explicit book that one of the teachers had their kids read: “[Expletive] it, there are other things parents can complain about. It would just make them look stupid.”

“I hope you’re right! I can’t even blame it on the curriculum!”

In promoting dating techniques to students: “I told them I knew people who internet dated and it worked for them, but high schools promoting it felt weird. It reminded me of how they did a bachelor/bachelorette auction at Brown Deer. That was especially weird because most of the kids were black and it was juuuuust a bit too similar to a slave auction.”

Note the opinion included in the blog posting at bootsandsabers.com is solely that of author Owen Robinson.

West Bend Nativity vandalized – baby Jesus destroyed

West Bend police have found the body and an arm of the baby Jesus figurine after the Amity Rolfs nativity was vandalized sometime between Saturday evening and Sunday morning.

Police found portions of the figurine in the pocket park, Vest Park, across the street from the Old Settler’s Park on N. Main Street in downtown West Bend. Police said the head was missing from the body of the figurine and has not been located.

That nativity setup was handmade in Germany and originally brought to the community in the late 1960’s on special order by brothers Tom and Bob Rolfs.

Anna Jensen, executive director of the Downtown West Bend Association, said she was notified about the missing piece when police knocked at her door at 8 a.m. Sunday.

“That piece was wired to the crib because of concerns it may go missing,” said Jensen. “We didn’t think it would go missing or be tampered with because the park is in the central part of the downtown.”

Questioned whether the rest of the nativity would remain in place through the Christmas holiday, Jensen said that had yet to be discussed. Jensen picked up the remaining sections of the baby Jesus on Monday from West Bend police.

If anyone has information they’re encouraged to call West Bend Police at 262-335-5005 or the Downtown West Bend Association at 262-338-3909.

This is not the first time the nativity has been vandalized but it is the most severe. On a history note in Dec. 3, 2013 the donkey was stolen from the nativity, however it was recovered. The baby Jesus was also stolen sometime in the late 1970’s and early 1980’s however it was found and returned.  There used to be 18 in the set. However a ram was stolen on Nov. 22, 2009; it has never been found nor replaced.

Deer Management Plan moving forward in West Bend

The West Bend Common Council voted 6-1 on Monday night to move forward with its deer management plan. Dist. 8 alderman Roger Kist was the only dissenting vote and Dist. 2 alderman Steve Hutchins absent.

Dist. 1 alderman John Butschlick, who headed the Deer Management Committee, led the discussion about how bow hunters would be tested and then selected in a lottery to participate in a four-day hunt at Lac Lawrann Conservancy and Ridge Run Park.

Butschlick said the committee that organized the details around the local attempt to trim the deer population was extremely thorough, especially when it came to safety.

“There was a lot of discussion about safety and there was a concern if the hunt would occur when the park would be open,” said Butschlick. “It was unanimous to do it when the park would be closed Jan 10 – 14.”

There will be a cost of $30 to local bow hunters who want to participate. A training session will be held Saturday; there will also be a proficiency test and a written test. Those who pass will be entered into a lottery and 40 permits will be distributed.

Only nine people will be selected to participate in the hunt.

Jim White is a member of the Park and Rec Committee and his property is just to the west of Ridge Run Park. White addressed the council to see if they could switch the dates of the hunt.

“My one big concern is how you picked date Jan. 10 – 14 because it’s a Wednesday through Sunday,” he said. “There is a weekend in January and it’s one of the biggest winter activity weekends most notably at Lac Lawrann with a free snowshoe clinic.”

White said Mountain Outfitters owner Kevin Schultz normally donates 150 snowshoes and that’s a free activity. White also noted Ridge Run Park hosts the only premier tobogganing or sledding hill in the community.

“This is when families can enjoy activities. I’m wondering if you can use an alternate date and put it at end of February or the beginning of March,” he asked.

Butschlick noted the DNR won’t cover the cost of processing the meat if the hunt is held after January 31, 2018. Butschlick indicated next year, if the process to trim the herd is needed, the committee would meet with the Park and Rec Department to find open days and make sure there aren’t any conflicts.

Dist. 8 alderman Roger Kist made a motion to deny any hunting in any parks. That motion died after failing to secure a second. Dist. 6 alderman Steve Hoogester questioned why organizers were allowed warm-up shots during the proficiency test. “In my previous life (as a police officer) I never got any warm-up shots,” he said.

Mike Jentsch, with the Parks Department, acknowledged Hoogester had a good question, but…. “This test is not laid out to have people falter or fail. It’s like in hunter’s education, you train to become educated and accelerate and pass the test,” he said. The proposed deer management hunt was approved with one amendment to change the number of permits from 20 to 40.

Monte Schmiege files to run for another term on West Bend School Board

West Bend School Board Treasurer Monte Schmiege filled candidacy papers on Friday, Dec. 22 to run for another term on the West Bend School Board.  Incumbents were required to file notification by Dec. 22.

If elected this would be Schmiege’s second 3-year term. “I’ve started working on things and I need to continue,” he said. “I hate to just throw away things I’ve worked for.”

Schmiege mentioned he put forward a change in policy about a year ago which gives the board the responsibility to adopt curriculum. “Prior to that the board did not adopt curriculum,” said Schmiege. “Looking forward we have to look for a new superintendent, fix the compensation plan, handle the capital improvement projects and those are big things coming up.

“I also think it’s important to have some stability, especially at this time when there’s so much turmoil,” he said.

The deadline to file candidacy is 5 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 2, 2018 at the Education Service Center.

There are two seats up in the April 2018 election. Tim Stellmacher was the other candidate up for election and he already filed non-candidacy papers to announce he will not be running. Stellmacher was appointed to the post in May to fill the seat left vacant following the resignation of Therese Seizer.

West Bend School District searching for new superintendent

The West Bend School Board met in closed session Wednesday evening and emerged to take action on accepting the resignation of Superintendent Erik Olson.

Olson was hired in June 2016 and started his position July 1, 2016. Olson replaced Ted Neitzke, who served as the superintendent since 2011.  In 2016 the Board approved a two-year contract for Olson with a salary of $155,000. In 2017 that contract was extended another two years.

There were a couple remaining questions the press release did not address including how the board would handle the remainder of Olson’s contract if it extended to 2019.

Board member Monte Schmiege said that was something he “couldn’t answer right now” and “that agreement hasn’t been finalized.”

If Olson’s contract would be paid out – that would be taxpayer money. Hiring another superintendent will also be done with taxpayer money. The search for the new superintendent is expected to begin after Christmas.

Parents upset about Privilege Test at Badger Middle School

A parent with a child in the West Bend School District contacted police today after a survey was given to 8th graders questioning their sexuality.

“If I walked up to a 13 year old on the street and started asking these questions I’d be put in the back of a squad,” said the parent, who prefers to remain anonymous to protect his child.

The parent noted he called police because “that teacher and that school subjected all these kids to child abuse today. I was told this was a segue into a new lesson plan about civil rights. The part that concerns me is a whole lot of questions have nothing to do with education whatsoever, especially the ones about parent finances.”

The “Privilege Test” was marked “optional” however the parent said the “kids get scored on participation and that goes on their report card.” Plus he noted, “What’s a child to do when the teacher hands it to you during class… if you’re a good kid you’re doing what you’re told.”

The parent said he felt bad because he’s been telling his kids to “listen to the teacher…. but I never thought they’d be asking them this.”

The parent said a couple weeks ago the kids were asked gun questions and if they had guns in the house. “They’re milking our kids for information and to not tell the parents. Even the principal and vice principal had no idea this was being circulated,” he said.

Another parent who saw the survey posted on West Bend Area Buy, Sell, Trade sent this note:

“Today, a class at Badger Middle School in West Bend (unsure of grade level) was given a survey to take (not the Youth Risk Behavior Survey) in class. It’s hard to read, but I blew it up and could read enough of it that it’s understandable why parents are very upset.

I learned about this survey when it was posted on West Bend Area Buy/Sell/Trade to which I belong. This is a screen shot of the survey. Note: The WBSD said they were not going to consider giving out the YRBS until early next year, and then only to the high school students. Again, this is NOT the YRBS. It is titled, “Privilege Survey.”  That’s why parents are going off the rails on this one. They shut the comments off under the post, then removed the post all together. Too late. I have the screen shot now. Talked to a middle school parent who was unaware of any such survey. .

Some of the questions are:

I have never tried to hide my sexuality.

I have never been called a derogatory term for a homosexual.

I never doubted my parents’ acceptance of my sexuality.

I have never been told that I “sound white”

I am always comfortable demonstrating PDA with people I like.

Nobody has tried to “save me” from my religious beliefs.

Lots of sexual, religious, health and parental finances questions.

About 3:30 p.m. a police squad was seen at the school. Principal Dave Uelmen indicated he had no comment and directed all questions to Nancy Kunkler with the West Bend School District.

West Bend police confirmed receiving a call from a parent and said this was a school district issue. School board members refused to comment on the situation; most said they had no idea this occurred.

Below is a letter Uelmen sent to parents at Badger Middle School.

Dear Families,

Badger Middle School English Language Arts students in 8th grade are currently in the module entitled “Working with Evidence: Taking a Stand.” These units utilize Pulitzer Prize-winning novel To Kill a Mockingbird. The learning target of the lesson was, “I can understand the literal and figurative meaning of Atticus’s word choice in the closing speech. I can analyze how Atticus’s closing speech relates to the themes of taking a stand and the Golden Rule.” During the lesson, some classrooms deployed an optional, anonymous survey that was not derived from district curriculum. The survey was part of a follow up activity to discuss privilege as a lead-in to the “Civil Rights and A Mighty Long Way” module. The survey did not, in any way, count as a grade, nor was it viewed by other students or staff.

I am sharing this information because we understand that as parents or guardians, you may have concerns about today’s survey and discussion. Allow me to assure you that the only intent behind this topic of conversation was to connect students’ prior learning with future topics that may arise in the next learning module. Please feel free to contact the Badger Middle School office at 262-335-5455 with any questions. Thank you for supporting our mission of preparing our students for college readiness and career success. Happy holidays. Dave Uelmen Principal Badger Middle School

Rick Gundrum advances in 58th Assembly District Election

The numbers from Tuesday’s Republican primary came in rather quickly after polls closed at 8 p.m. Candidate Rick Gundrum was briefed on a solid win in the Village of Richfield and Village of Slinger and then he received a phone call from fellow candidate Steve Stanek who made an early congratulations to Gundrum on a successful campaign. Gundrum won the primary and will advance to the Jan. 16, 2018 special election to fill the seat left empty following the death of Representative Bob Gannon.

Washington Co. Parks stickers on sale

Beginning January 1, 2018 visitors to Washington County parks listed below will need to purchase a $5 daily pass or $30 annual sticker. Parks include Ackerman’s Grove County Park,

Glacier Hills County Park, Heritage Trails County Park, Homestead Hollow Park, Leonard J. Yahr County Park, and Sandy Knoll County Park.  Each of the parks listed above will have an entrance station where park visitors will be required to take a pass form unless they already have an annual sticker, have pre-paid, have an event code, or are attending a soccer game.  For more information and a complete list of pricing call the Washington County Planning & Parks Office at 262-335-4445 or visit washcoparks.com

Former Walgreens on Decorah and Main sold in West Bend

The building at 806 S. Main Street has been sold. Last Friday, Dec. 15 Kwik Trip closed on the purchase of the former Walgreens for $1.34 million. Coming up this spring Kwik Trip will demolish the building and construct its own store on the southwest corner of Decorah and Main.

Updates & tidbits

– Cast Iron Luxury Living has a unique short-term leasing special. The remodeled West Bend Aluminum Company located on the scenic Milwaukee River is offering a month of free rent if you move-in before the end of the year, 2017. There are one and two-bedroom apartments available. For more information 262.334.7943 or castiron@hendricksgroup.net

– Hartford’s Elisha Jaeke, sophomore biology major at St. Norbert College, will be studying at Universidad San Francisco de Quito, Ecuador. Jaeke received a $1,000 study-abroad grant given nationally by the Phi Kappa Phi Honor Society.

-The 2018 Washington County Fair will feature four straight days of live music from July 25-28 featuring Saving Savannah, The Now, Bella Cain, and Cherry Pie. The fair is looking to rename its Entertainment Tent. Post your creative suggestions on the Washington County Fair Park Facebook page for a chance to win a 4 pack of tickets to the Fair!

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

Happy 107th birthday to Clara Moll

How often can you say that you sang the “Happy Birthday song” to someone who turned 107 years old.

This week in a cozy farmhouse in Barton, Clara Moll celebrated her 107th birthday. She was born in 1910, right after the coffee filter and paper cups were invented.

“Exercise is what keeps you young,” said Clara. She was making a couple laps in the dining room area. Thick white shoes, long strides and an aluminum walker for balance.

Clara bragged that at 107 she didn’t need glasses but she admitted her hearing was going…. or gone, but it didn’t seem to matter.

At 107 she was still loving life. “I’ve lost my taste buds….,” she said. Her daughter Mary, her primary caretaker, said that had been going on the past few months.

A big wicker basket full of birthday cards sat on the kitchen table. It was surrounded by sweet rolls wrapped in clear plastic bags, daily prayer books, and the latest edition of the Wall Street Journal.

“I’m going to live until 110,” said Clara confidently as she clumped with her walker into the kitchen.

Mary said that declaration can change.  “Most often… we’re just taking it one day at a time.”

Below are some of the articles I’ve written about Clara over the years.

Dec. 18, 2015 – Clara Moll turns 105 and Happy 105th birthday Clara Moll.

“The biggest thing that’s changed on this block is the makeup of the family,” Moll said. “My husband died when he was 74 and he said, ‘Clara you watch, when women all go to work there will be nobody home to cook and there will be nobody home for the kids; you’re going to have hard times.’” Animated, Moll points out the window from house to house to house announcing she has dubbed the block “Divorce Street.”

Clara Moll is a pip! On Sunday, Dec. 18 the life-long Barton gal turned 106 years old. She celebrated with family and friends. Pizza, her favorite, was the supper of choice. We prayed and passed a plate.

Clara reminisced. She was prompted by her daughter Mary. “Remember in 1976 when you took advantage of the Greyhound Bus offer… 99 days for $99?”

Clara remembered. She traveled the U.S. and saw all her relatives. “Don’t get married,” she advised. “Travel.”

Meantime the group at the party tried to recollect where the Greyhound stops were in West Bend; the consensus was on S. Main Street in front of the Centrum building and outside George Webbs in the West Bend Plaza.

Clara touted “exercise” as the secret to longevity.  She wore out roller skates and proclaimed she would “rather dance than eat.” “Wiggle your feet when you’re sitting in a chair,” she said.

At 106 she said she feels fine. “I can read without glasses if it has to be,” she said. “But my hearing is going.”

A single-layer chocolate cake with chocolate frosting is placed on the table. Three separate candles that count out 1 – 0 – 6 stand mighty on top of the chocolate frosting. “Believe it or not that number 6 was a 5 last year,” said Mary. A little wax melting helped morph it.

A rendition of Happy Birthday …. “and many more” filled the warm kitchen of the old farmhouse on Salisbury Road in Barton.

Around the Bend by Judy Steffes

Pizza Ranch in West Bend is hiring

A quick update on Pizza Ranch, 2020 W. Washington Street in West Bend. Since the groundbreaking Nov. 21 at the former Ponderosa location the building has been gutted and the remodel is underway.

“The only wall we will be tearing down is the north wall as we will have a small addition to accommodate our pick-up window,” said owner Stacy Gehring.  “We are hoping for an early 2nd quarter opening, but we will know a more exact date as construction continues.”

On the job front, Pizza Ranch is now accepting applications for an Assistant Manager.  If you know someone who is interested, please apply at www.pizzaranch.com/careers.

Also Pizza Ranch in West Bend has a Facebook page at facebook.com/pizzaranchwestbendwi

Remember the post cards for Lithia Christmas Brew?

In 1940, postcards were sent to neighbors around West Bend announcing, “On Wednesday, December 11, 1940, The Famous Lithia Xmas Brew will be ready for distribution. Best ever — try it — you will like it.”

Different labels were designed for the seasonal beer. One paper label featured a green wreath with holly berries and red bow. Inside the wreath was the familiar Lithia logo, underlined by the words “Christmas Beer” in thick German script.

Other designs featured the words “Holiday Brew” above a profile of Santa, who was bordered by pine branches.

There was the red label special dark Christmas beer and the well known Xmas label with six bearded elves each working to stoke the fire under the vat of beer, or pour hops, stir the mix, tap a pint and test the product.

Lithia’s Christmas beer was available nearly all year long. You could only buy Christmas beer in bottles and you needed an opener to get the cap off. The beer didn’t come in cans and it wasn’t on tap.

Lithia’s Christmas beer was sold by the case at liquor stores and at taverns within the West Bend area. Berres Liquor Mart, Triangle Beverage Mart, The Oasis bar (by Gehl Company); Pat’s Tavern (owned by Pat Pault), Kuhn’s Liquor, Palashes Liquor and Janz Liquormart in Barton were just some of the local distributors.

West Bend Noon Kiwanis makes special donation

An early Christmas for a 10-year-old boy from Green Tree Elementary School in West Bend as the West Bend Noon Kiwanis presented Matthew Stauff with an iPad to help him with his speech therapy.

Kiwanis member Ron Tabat had the honors of presenting the computer to Matthew this week at the West Bend Public Library.

“This has been just a wonderful program and to date the Kiwanis district in Wisconsin and Upper Michigan have given away 929 iPads,” said Tabat.  “The West Bend Noon Kiwanis has given away seven iPads to students at West Bend Schools and one to the Slinger School District.”

Tabat said he has seen a significant impact on giving autistic children iPads.

Matthew’s dad Tom said he learned about the donation from his son’s teachers. “His speech teacher Mrs. Anderson suggested he sign up for the donation of the computer so he can work at home at school and at home,” said Tom Stauff. “This is extremely generous of the Kiwanis. This is going to be a wonderful opportunity to establish his learning a bit further and he’s fortunate to have this experience.”

Honoring Pete Rettler for service on Ag & Industrial Society Board

A nice tribute to Pete Rettler this week as he was recognized by the Agricultural & Industrial Society Board for his nine years of leadership.

Rettler was introduced by Washington County Fair Park executive director Kellie Boone who presented Rettler with a commemorative clock. “We got this for you for all your great leadership and support for AIS,” said Boone.

Rettler then praised his mentors and other volunteers on AIS. “I grew up on a farm in Hartford and always attended the fair in Slinger and I always wanted to come to this one,” he said.

Rettler gave kudos to former Fair Park executive director Sandy Lang and “all the dedicated individuals who spent so much time volunteering” including Ken Miller, Robby Robrahn, Tony Warren, Roger Kist, and Marilyn Merten.

“I’m most proud in this last year when you try to replace Sandy Lang and we had a search committee and we knew we had big shoes to fill and whole AIS owes Kellie Boone a debt of gratitude,” said Rettler. The new incoming AIS president is Tracy Oestreich.

Special Primary Election is Tuesday, Dec. 19

Residents in the 58th Assembly District will head to the polls Tuesday, Dec. 19 for a special Republican primary election to fill the seat left vacant following the death of Assembly Rep. Bob Gannon.

Four Republican candidates are running. Their names are listed in ballot order: Tiffany Koehler, Spencer Zimmerman, Rick Gundrum and Steve Stanek.

Polls open from 7 – 8 p.m.  The special general election is Jan. 16, 2018 when the winner of the Republican primary will face Democrat Dennis Degenhardt.

According to West Bend City Clerk Stephanie Justman there were about five people a day who came to City Hall to vote in-person absentee over the past two weeks. Justman said the early prediction on voter turnout next week is about three to four percent.

The 58th Assembly District includes the communities of Slinger, Jackson, Town of Polk, parts of Richfield, Town of Trenton and West Bend. The term for the seat in the 58th Assembly District expires January 7, 2019.

West Bend School Board has two open seats

As of Friday, Dec. 16, 2017, no one has filed for candidacy for two open positions on the West Bend School Board according to Deb Roensch, executive assistant to the Superintendent in the West Bend School District. School Board member Tim Stellmacher, who was selected in May 2017 to fill a one-year term, did file a non-candidacy form. Stellmacher was named to the board to fill the vacancy after Therese Seizer resigned her seat.

The deadline to file candidacy is 5 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 2, 2018 at the Education Service Center.  The deadline for incumbents to file notification of non-candidacy is Friday, Dec. 22 by 5 p.m.

Property tax bills arrive just in time for Christmas

Neighbors across Washington County who went to fetch the mail Monday got their annual property tax statement.

Comparing 2016 to 2017 – Washington County was up 2.3% and Moraine Park Technical College climbed a whopping 4.9%.

The school district and city tax varied depending upon the community you live in. In West Bend the city tax stayed flat and the West Bend School District was down 1.5%.

The lottery-tax credit was $97, which was down from $109 in 2016. The first-dollar credit was $55.43 which is a smidge less than $57.96 last year.

Property assessments in 2017 remained the same in West Bend however there will be a revaluation in 2018. If you pay in installments in West Bend, that first payment is due Jan. 31, 2018.

Washington Co. Parks stickers on sale

Beginning January 1, 2018 visitors to Washington County parks listed below will need to purchase a $5 daily pass or $30 annual sticker. Parks include Ackerman’s Grove County Park,

Glacier Hills County Park, Heritage Trails County Park, Homestead Hollow Park, Leonard J. Yahr County Park, and Sandy Knoll County Park.  Each of the parks listed above will have an entrance station where park visitors will be required to take a pass form unless they already have an annual sticker, have pre-paid, have an event code, or are attending a soccer game. Annual stickers are on sale now. For more information and a complete list of pricing call the Washington County Planning & Parks Office at 262-335-4445 or visit washcoparks.com

Town Tins make a great Christmas gift to encourage shopping local

The Downtown West Bend Association has the one-stop-shop solution to wrap up your Christmas gift giving. The Town Tin features 30 business deals for just $30 and includes $175 worth of savings.

For example Shooting Star Travels features $25 off an all-inclusive vacation value of $1,000 or more, West Bend Tap and Tavern features a free appetizer with purchase of two beverages, Downtown West Bend Association has a coaster for a free beverage at Music on Main.

Many of the offers are graduated offers the more you spend the more you save. Some offers are a percentage off a purchase/service. To pick up your Town Tin contact Anna Jensen at the Downtown West Bend Association, 215 N. Main Street, Suite 109 or call (262) 338-3909.

Updates & tidbits

Elevate, Stop Heroin Now, and the Washington County Heroin Task Force will hold a memorial vigil on Sunday, Dec. 17 at Richfield Fire Station No. 1, 2008 WI-175, from 5 p.m. – 6:30 p.m.

– Cast Iron Luxury Living has a unique short-term leasing special. The remodeled West Bend Aluminum Company located on the scenic Milwaukee River is offering a month of free rent if you move-in before the end of the year, 2017. There are one and two-bedroom apartments available. For more information 262.334.7943 or castiron@hendricksgroup.net

The 2018 Washington County Fair will feature four straight days of live music from July 25-28 featuring Saving Savannah, The Now, Bella Cain, and Cherry Pie. In an effort to follow the likes of the “Do Drop In” and “Why Go By” music stages, the fair is looking to rename its Entertainment Tent. Post your creative suggestions on the Washington County Fair Park Facebook page for a chance to win a 4 pack of tickets to the Fair! The winner will be contacted by Fair Park staff.

-To honor Mother Cabrini and the 100th Anniversary of her death, St. Frances Cabrini is collecting items for the Albrecht Free Clinic whose mission is, “To serve individuals in Washington County who are underinsured, uninsured and otherwise unable to afford medical services.” St. Frances Cabrini Month of Charity runs until Dec. 22.

-Harold W. Groth, born October 30, 1933, died peacefully at his home on Tuesday, December 12, 2017. He was born and raised in Jackson, WI. He was a lifelong dairy farmer. He was past president of the Washington County Farm Bureau, Washington County Supervisor, Town of Polk Supervisor and 4-H Leader. A Memorial Service for Harold will be held Saturday, December 16, 2017 at 1 p.m. at the Phillip Funeral Home Chapel. The Visitation will be at the funeral home on Saturday, Dec. 16 from 10 a.m. until the time of service at 1 p.m..

-The Kettle Moraine Ice Center is hosting Breakfast with Santa on Saturday, Dec. 16 from 8 a.m. – 12 p.m. Tickets are $8 and include all-you-can-eat pancakes plus a public skate voucher for the 2017-18 season. Children 3 years old and younger eat free.  There will be photos with Santa and letters to Santa will be collected.

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

Note from a Good Samaritan

A Good Samaritan passed the note below following a horrible rollover accident Thursday night around 8:30 p.m. on northbound I41 just north of Pioneer Road.

According to Washington County Sheriff’s a northbound vehicle, driven by an 80-year-old Hartford man began to merge into the slow lane and struck the rear portion of a semi-tractor trailer that was traveling north in the slow lane. The vehicle then lost control and began to roll over prior to coming to rest in slow lane of I41.

The driver of the vehicle suffered serious injuries as a result of the accident and was subsequently transported by Jackson Rescue to Froedtert Hospital. He was not wearing a seatbelt. No one else was injured in the crash.

The Good Samaritan’s note is below.

I wanted to take a minute to tell you about how amazing our community is. Last night there was a rollover accident on northbound I41. I came upon the accident moments after it happened.

There were not any police, fire, or EMS on the scene. I was amazed how many people stopped to help the person in the vehicle. There had to be at least a dozen.

People were helping the victim, directing traffic, holding flashlights, getting the person out of the vehicle, attending to medical needs, calling 911, grabbing first-aid kits from vehicles, trying to contact the driver’s family, getting blankets from cars, etc.

It was truly an amazing sight to see so many bystanders take action to help on a cold, dark, windy winter night.  One of the people attending to the victim was actually driving southbound, saw no EMS on the scene, turned around to come northbound and help with medical needs at the scene. Another person was an EMT off duty. I am a RN.

No doubt that the police, fire, EMS, and I believe flight for life there to take over did an amazing job…but the compassion people showed was incredible!

My winter pet peeve brings trouble… and a creepy guy who won’t go away

Just too embarrassing… so I convinced myself I had to share.

There’s a super pet peeve that comes with winter and I still don’t know why it bothers me so much. Wait a minute, yes I do…. it’s because these snowy, dirty ice clumps collect behind my car tires and then normally choose to selectively fall off on my garage floor.

I can’t TELL you how much that just irks me.

So, the other day I went to check on my parents at Cedar Ridge. As I exited my car I saw the aggravating snow clump clutching tight to the area by the wheel well. A couple swift kicks and I conquered it.

Visit the parents, yahdah yahdah, get in the car, run an errand, dart into the grocery quick and then dash back to my car and sure enough – there’s another large clump of dirty snow ice right behind the tire. Are you serious? I didn’t even go that far.

So I make a beeline for it, kick it with my toe. This one chips off. It’s annoying. I blame the frigid temps and maybe some beet juice the city put on the road. I’m working on it, working on it…. telling myself I have better things to do and dang it’s cold, why does this bother me so much….yahdah, yahdah…

Then…. over my shoulder I notice this guy. He’s creepy. Kinda walking in my direction and looking at me. I figure I’ve probably interviewed him before – even though I totally don’t recognize him.

He’s got the look that I get in Walmart. People look at me and smile. I figure they follow the Insider.

I give the ice chunk a back kick with my heel. One last stab. I look up and the guy is right there. Like right there. It’s a little startling.

“Hi there!” I said.  He says “Hi.” Gruff. Direct.

“Can I help you with something,” I asked, really super friendly… even though he’s totally creeping me out.

“That’s my car,” he said dryly.

Around the Bend by Judy Steffes

A prank from heaven… courtesy Bob Gannon

West Bend business owner Jacci Gambucci shared a story during Sunrise Rotary about a recent incident at Milwaukee Mitchell International Airport.

During the security check Gambucci was pulled aside by TSA. Several other TSA arrived, talked in hushed voices, and then turned her over to the Milwaukee County Sheriff.  Gambucci thought she got busted for a pocketknife until the Sheriff told her otherwise. “It looks like you have ammunition in your purse,” said the Sheriff’s deputy.

“But I don’t even own a gun,” said Gambucci. Then it hit her. “It’s Bob!”…as in former state Assembly Rep. Bob Gannon.

A bit of the back story: Following Gannon’s untimely death, his remains were cremated and his wife Kris filled spent bullets with his ashes. Gannon was a big advocate of gun rights and this way his friends could have a piece of Bob to remember him by.

Gambucci received one of the bullets at a Rotary meeting, dropped it in her purse, and there it stayed.  “I could just hear Bob’s big laugh in my head,” said Gambucci. “He would love how ridiculous this situation was and the trouble he caused. It seemed like a prank from heaven.” The Sheriff eventually told Gambucci she could have “Bob” back since the TSA agents believed her story.

“Who could possibly make that up,” she said.

The next conundrum was what to do with Bob since she had to fly back from Atlanta the next day. Throwing the bullet away was not an option, out of respect, but Gambucci told the story at a business dinner that night and a client thought it was great and offered to keep Bob on her desk.

Since Bob loved publicity Gambucci thought it was a great idea, so as soon as she got back to the hotel she sent links that were “All about Bob” so the bullets new owner would have the appropriate back story of who Bob was.

Another Rotary member offered Gambucci his bullet, but she refused for the time being.  “I am flying to Florida for the Orange Bowl and don’t want to risk a repeat,” she said.

Neighbor in Town of Addison calls Washington Co. Sheriff about wolf in his yard

Washington County Sheriff’s got a call Saturday morning about a wolf in a field on William Tell Drive in the Town of Addison. “The homeowner said they thought they saw a wolf,” said Deputy Brian Herbst.  “It was out in the farm field behind their house; it was just lying in the field.”

Deputy Herbst and the homeowner approached it and got within 75 yards and the animal ran off. After it got about 100 yards away it turned around and laid down again.

“We stood and watched a bit, my sergeant came out and said ‘Yup… looks like a wolf.’ We approached it to make sure it wasn’t hurt and it moved away again and then it laid down,” Herbst said.

The homeowner said he had seen a wolf before in his field, about a year or two prior. Herbst said he too had seen wolf but “never down this far.” Herbst contacted the DNR but all of them were busy that morning.

Warden Joe Jerich did follow up and talked to the Deputy on scene. “I asked if he could approach the animal to see if it was injured and then it ran off,” said Jerich.  “We want to give him a chance to survive if he can and if it was injured we’ve have to make a decision how to handle it.”

Currently nobody from the DNR has seen the wolf. Both Deputy Herbst and the land owner said it was much larger than a coyote, even if it would have been a coyote with its fur primed out.

“Wolves could show up in this county but it’s highly unlikely,” said Jerich.  “Their range is generally to the north but coyotes are really common in this county and when their fur is primed out in this weather they look a lot bigger.

Deputy Herbst said the homeowner found wolf scat in his yard. “I haven’t had any other calls,” said Jerich. “We’ll have to see if it turns up again.”

UW-WC Ambassadors and Foundation Board honors Jeff Szukalski

Jeff Szukalski, owner of Jeff’s Spirits on Main, was honored by the UW-Washington County Ambassadors and the UW-WC Foundation Board for his generosity to UW-WC.

In presenting the gift, Joan Rudnitzki, thanked Jeff for his support and many kindnesses. “It was a great honor,” said Szukalski. “This is a great college and foundation and they do great things for the community and the kids. I’m happy to support the college.”

Szukalski said his love of the community is what prompts him to give back. “It’s just a great place to be and a great place to grow up and connect with friends,” said Szukalski. “Being involved is just the right thing to do.” The presentation was made during the annual holiday get together for faculty and staff at UW-WC sponsored by the Ambassador Council with support from the Schlegel Foundation.

West Bend listed in 30 Best Small Cities

We’re number 24! We’re number 24! Travelalot.com has come out with a list of the top 30 best small cities in the United States and the city of West Bend is listed No. 24.

The qualifications for the ranking reads: “Big, crowded cities don’t have a monopoly on cultural offerings. If you’re looking to visit (or move to) a place that flows to a slower pace and has a lower cost of living, these towns under 100,000 residents still have plenty to cool things to do.”

The copy reads: “Riverfront Parkway lines the Milwaukee River in sections just north of the downtown area and the path is dotted with sculptures. On the other side of the river the Eisenbahn State Trail stretches north and south for a total of 25 miles. Those aren’t bad offerings for a southeastern Wisconsin town about an hour outside of a major economic center.”

On Facebook neighbors chimed in on what they thought made West Bend one of the TOP best small cities in the U.S. Some of the answers included the Downtown West Bend Farmers’ Market, locally-owned restaurants, MOWA, and the Kettle Moraine Symphony.

Deer Management committee outlines plan to hunt in parks

The Deer Management Committee met for the first time Tuesday night at City Hall in West Bend to outline some of the parameters in its Urban Deer Management Plan.

Members of the committee included Dist. 1 alderman John Butschlick, Paul Schleif, Chris Dymale, Larry Polenski, Joanne Kline, Duane Farrand, Michael Jentsch and Dist. 2 alderman Steve Hutchins.

In November the West Bend Common Council approved a resolution to allow hunting in two city parks under strict rules that must still be approved by Council. The hunting measure is designed to help manage the deer herd in the city.

The resolution detailed several suggestions and the Deer Management Committee addressed a 14-page packet of guidelines. Only adult bow hunters who pass a proficiency test would be allowed to hunt during a four day time span in January 2018. The only parks where this will be allowed as a test is Lac Lawrann Conservancy and Ridge Run Park. The parks will be closed during the four-day hunt, January 10-14, 2018. Written exam and proficiency test/shooting test as established by the committee. Hunters will only get one shot at a proficiency test. Individual must score 100% on Bow hunter Exam.  Fees will be set yearly with City Council

Some of the issues the committee addressed several times was that safety will be a top priority, this will be a lottery system and six people will receive permits. The participants must stay in their assigned zones. The guidelines drafted by the Deer Management Committee must still be approved by the Common Council. That review will most likely occur at the Dec. 18 meeting.

Albrecht Free Clinic unveils $50,000 matching grants

A big announcement from the Albrecht Free Clinic, 908 W. Washington Street in West Bend, as it unveils $50,000 matching grants from Aurora Health Care and Froedtert & the Medical College of Wisconsin.

According to Ruth Henkle, executive director with the Albrecht Free Clinic, Froedtert and Aurora, have agreed to underwrite a challenge grant as each will provide a $50,000 match.

“As a result, each dollar raised will result in three dollars in funding for our community healthcare services,” said Henkle. “If the rest of us rise to the challenge and contribute $50,000, we’ll generate $150,000 more to continue and expand our mission.”

The Albrecht Free Clinic provides access to basic, quality medical care through the generosity, caring and compassion of volunteers and donors.

Neighbors will receive a mailing from the clinic this weekend that details its medical, dental and behavioral health services and how it has seen a 46 percent increase this past year.

Over $86,000 was recently raised during a matching campaign with the Thomas J. Rolfs Family Foundation.

Carrie Killoran, executive vice president – central region, Aurora Health Care said Aurora Medical Center in Washington County has a long-standing relationship with the Albrecht Free Clinic.

“Aurora Medical Center remains committed through volunteerism and service delivery,” wrote Killoran. “We are especially proud to be a part of this very important initiative to help secure the future of the Albrecht Free Clinic so that they can continue to serve those in need.  Their work aligns perfectly with Aurora’s purpose to help each other live well.”

Henkle said the organization would not be able to exist without the support from both Aurora and Froedtert.

“The majority of our volunteer medical providers come to us from both healthcare systems,” she said. “In addition, they support the care of our patients through a voucher program so our patients can receive labs, X-rays and specialty care they need that we do not provide at our clinic.

“We also send our patients to their pharmacies for medications.  There are many additional things both systems do to support our operation. We have a wonderful partnership with Aurora and Froedtert and they truly value us as a safety net for the uninsured medical population living at 200 percent or below the federal poverty level.”

Donations can be made between now and January 31, 2018 to take advantage of the opportunity to triple your impact by participating in the Aurora/Froedtert challenge grant.

Candidate forum for 58th Assembly District is Wednesday, Dec. 13

There is a special primary election Dec. 19 as four Republicans are running to advance to the special election Jan. 26, 2018 to fill the vacant seat in the 58th Assembly District.

On Wednesday, Dec. 13 Common Sense Citizens of Washington County will host a candidate forum at the West Bend Moose Lodge at 7 p.m.  Candidates include: Tiffany Koehler, Spencer Zimmerman, Rick Gundrum, and Steve Stanek.

Candidates will introduce themselves and then all four will be asked the same questions.

Candidates will be encouraged to stay after the forum to greet the audience and answer individual questions.

In-person absentee voting is already underway. It will run until 4:30 p.m. on Friday, Dec. 15.

The 58th Assembly District includes the communities of Slinger, Jackson, Town of Polk, parts of Richfield, Town of Trenton and West Bend.

The seat in the 58th became vacant following the unexpected death of Rep. Bob Gannon. His term expires January 7, 2019.

West Bend School Board has two open seats

As of Friday, Dec. 8, 2017, no one has filed for candidacy or non-candidacy for two open positions on the West Bend School Board according to Deb Roensch, executive assistant to the Superintendent in the West Bend School District. The deadline for filing for candidacy is 5 p.m. on Tuesday, Jan. 2, 2018 at the Education Service Center.  The deadline for incumbents to file notification of non-candidacy is Friday, Dec. 22 by 5 p.m.

Rezoning West Bend Brewery property

This week the West Bend Plan Commission voted to rezone land on N. Main Street that includes the old West Bend Brewery building along with the strip of other properties to the north.

Bob Bach from P2 Development is planning on razing the buildings for a 99 unit, three-story apartment building. Local businesses that would be affected include RT’s Speed Shop, Ray’s Shoes, Pruett’s Floor Covering, Casa Guadalupe and the cleaning-supply shop on the far north end.  The rezoning would affect 2.65 acres of land 445-485 N. Main Street. The zoning was changed from General Business and Warehouse to Mixed Use District.

Washington Co. Parks stickers on sale

Beginning January 1, 2018 visitors to Washington County parks listed below will need to purchase a $5 daily pass or $30 annual sticker. Parks include Ackerman’s Grove County Park,

Glacier Hills County Park, Heritage Trails County Park, Homestead Hollow Park, Leonard J. Yahr County Park, and Sandy Knoll County Park. Park visitors will have three methods of payment and have up to seven days from the date of their visit to pay, much like a highway toll system. Each of the parks listed above will have an entrance station where park visitors will be required to take a pass form unless they already have an annual sticker, have pre-paid, have an event code, or are attending a soccer game. Annual stickers are on sale now. For more information and a complete list of pricing call the Washington County Planning & Parks Office at 262-335-4445 or visit washcoparks.com

Updates & tidbits

-Join the Festge family as it hosts a Grand Opening Celebration at Rally Time Sports Bar & Grill, 1373 N. Main Street. The celebration runs 11 a.m. – close.

-To honor Mother Cabrini and the 100th Anniversary of her death, St. Frances Cabrini is collecting items for the Albrecht Free Clinic whose mission is, “To serve individuals in Washington County who are underinsured, uninsured and otherwise unable to afford medical services.” St. Frances Cabrini Month of Charity runs until Dec. 22.

  Bob’s Main Street Auto and Towing is collecting toys and money for Family Promise of Washington County’s Christmas Event. This event will help give local, needy children the Christmas they deserve. With a donation the shop is giving a free tire rotation or a set of free wiper blades (max $32 value) with any service. If you are looking to donate toys or help contribute feel free to stop by either of their locations or give a call at 262-338-3670.

-The Kettle Moraine Ice Center is hosting Breakfast with Santa on Saturday, Dec. 18 from 8 a.m. – 12 p.m. Tickets are $8 and include all-you-can-eat pancakes plus a public skate voucher for the 2017-18 season. Children 3 years old and younger eat free.  There will be photos with Santa and letters to Santa will be collected.

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

-Winter on Main in downtown West Bend will be held the next two Fridays in the Downtown West Bend business district. Shop local DIVA businesses, dine at your favorite restaurant and explore Historic Downtown West Bend from 5 p.m. 7 p.m.

-The Kettle Moraine EAA Chapter 1158 Breakfast with Santa is Saturday, Dec. 9 at West Bend Municipal Airport, 310 Aerial Drive. Come have breakfast and watch Santa arrive in a helicopter. Breakfast is 7 a.m. – 11 a.m.  No cost to see Santa. $6 per person for breakfast, children under 4 eat free.

-The Annual Hartford Historical Home Tours is Saturday, Dec. 9 from noon – 3 p.m. Four Historical Homes featured including: George Kissel Home – 215 E. Sumner Street, Charles Uber Home – 505 E. Sumner Street, Louis Kissel Home – 407 East Sumner Street and Adolph Laubenstein Home – 203 Church Street. $15 per person and tickets available through The Schauer Arts Center

Around the Bend by Judy Steffes

Parent bothered by sex questions on Youth Risk Survey

 The West Bend School Board voted 5 – 2 this week in favor of a Youth Risk Behavior Survey.

Prior to the presentation and board vote, parent Mary Weigand addressed the school board and challenged them to “do the right thing.”

Some of Weigand’s comments are below:

“I’m a registered nurse and …. we don’t need a survey to know kids are involved in risky behaviors.”

“I’m concerned about very leading questions – ‘How old were you when you had sexual intercourse for the first time?’ How would you feel if you were asked that question? ‘During your life how many people have you had sexual intercourse with?'”

“Which of the following best describes you: transgender, heterosexual, bisexual, not sure?’ What does this have to do with educating our children?”

“I’m very concerned about offending students and offending parents. I know that parents have to sign off on this but just the thought that this is being brought forth in our schools.”

Later in the meeting Sharon Kailas, Pupil Services Director/ Head Start Director addressed the school board with parent Michelle Simpson who was in favor of the survey.

Parent Michelle Simpson spoke briefly about her family and how it has been affected by risky youth behavior.  Some of Simpson’s comments are below.

“Abigail attended West Bend East for four years and came from a wonderful family and she’s lived greatly and we thought we did everything right…

“She had great grades and was a member of the varsity volleyball team …. and has a gentle soul and she also developed addiction.”

“The Youth Risk Behavior Survey does address a number of risky behaviors, sexual relations or behaviors is one and there are questions about that but there are a slew of other questions about a number of other risky behaviors.”

“I asked my son about it, would you answer questions about this  … he said, ‘Mom, kids will just lie.’ Yes some will, many will. But some of the questions they may not. Do you feel anxious in school? There are kids that could benefit from a lot of assistance if we can identify them earlier.”

The School Board asked several questions prior to voting on the survey.

-“We will only be using this at the high school,” said Kailas.

-“You can apply for grants… and this can bring money into the county,” said Simpson. “If we don’t have data, real data, numbers that say what the problem is in our county you cannot receive money, you just won’t get it because they say ‘how do you know you have a problem.'”

-The survey was presented by Well Washington County.

The West Bend School Board voted 5-2 in favor of the survey. Yes votes: Joel Ongert, Nancy Justman, Tiffany Larson, Tonnie Schmidt, Tim Stellmacher.  No votes: Monte Schmiege, Ken Schmidt

According to the Washington County Health Department all public schools in Washington County voted to approve administering the Youth Risk Behavior Survey to students in their respective school districts.

West Bend has an opt-in policy where parents need to sign and approve their child take the survey. Many of the school districts have an opt-out policy, meaning the students will take the survey unless the parents write in and request their child not take the survey. In West Bend the survey will be administered in spring.

Car crashes into utility pole and rolls into Big Cedar Lake

 Washington County Sheriff’s responded to a vehicle in Big Cedar Lake on Thursday night. According to the Sheriff the northbound vehicle was on Highway 144 just south of Highway K, the driver lost control, struck the utility pole and continued into Big Cedar Lake.

The vehicle did not become completely submerged. The driver, who was not wearing a seat belt, managed to escape on his own and climb to safety. The man told authorities he believed he was in the Oconomowoc area and actually had gone into the Rock River.

The accident happened at 11:21 p.m. The 65-year-old man is from Concord, WI and will be cited for first offense OWI.

Public hearing Tuesday to rezone West Bend Brewery property

There will be a public hearing on Tuesday, Dec. 5 regarding a request to rezone land on N. Main Street that includes the old West Bend Brewery building along with the strip of other properties to the north.

Bob Bach from P2 Development is planning on razing the buildings for a 99 unit, three-story apartment building. Local businesses that would be affected include RT’s Speed Shop, Ray’s Shoes, Pruett’s Floor Covering, Casa Guadalupe and the cleaning-supply shop on the far north end.

During the November Plan Commission meeting Bach unveiled some preliminary drawings of street-level apartments that had a “row-house feel;” upper level apartments would have balconies.

Some local business leaders are asking whether Bach could redesign his proposal to include retail on the first level and apartments above.  Bach has said, “Commercial is pretty tough to do and it would command a pretty high rent.”

The rezoning would affect 2.65 acres of land 445-485 N. Main Street. The request would change from General Business and Warehouse to Mixed Use District. The meeting starts at 6 p.m.

Homeless shelter set to open in February 2018

Construction on Karl’s Place, a homeless shelter on Water Street in West Bend, is moving along smoothly according to American Construction Services of West Bend.

The groundbreaking on the $1.4 million project was Sept. 5.  According to Todd Weyker, vice president of operations at American Construction Services, the project is expected to be completed in February 2018.

“Years ago we recognized our ultimate goal was permanent housing to eliminate homeless,” said West Bend Police Chief Ken Meuler.  “Through this emergency shelter we’ll be able to offer support services and transitional living.”

Family Promise of Washington County will be the owner and operator of the facility which will house up to 18 men and women with six supportive housing apartments.  The shelter will be staffed 24 hours a day and will address the needs of the individuals and assist them with access to food and shelter and assistance to gain employment and manage money.

The facility is called Karl’s Place in honor of Karl Glunz of Richfield who has been a member of St. Vincent De Paul for 52 years.

“There is a need in Washington County for homeless singles, women and men,” said Glunz. “We’ve experience the need over the past four to five years and now we have the opportunity to provide them one building, for both men and women, with all the services they need to work themselves toward independent living.”

Katie Carrier inducted into Hall of Fame

Former West Bend East High School volleyball player Katie Carrier Astrauskas has been inducted into the St. Norbert College Athletics Hall of Fame. Carrier Astrauskas was a 2002 graduate of St. Norbert in De Pere and a four-year letter winner in women’s volleyball.

She is in her eighth season as head coach of the Ripon College volleyball team and ranks third in program history for career victories (89). She has led the Red Hawks to a 36-31 record in conference play and has coached two players to MWC Player of the Year honors.

Santa Ramp Up helps Cycling without Age                                         By Jeff Puetz

Some generous bicyclists during Sunday’s Santa Ramp Up in West Bend as participants donated $275.50 to Bike Friendly West Bend for the Cycling without Age program. Combined with donations from the West Bend Mutual Insurance Co. Bike to Work program a bicycle rickshaw will be purchased for the Cycling without Age program at Samaritan Health Center.

Bike Friendly West Bend and Samaritan Health Center collaborated on a grant application to the West Bend Community Foundation and was awarded $7,000 to fund the Cycling without Age program at Samaritan Health Center.

The committee consists of members from Bike Friendly West Bend, Washington / Ozaukee Health Department, Samaritan residents and family members. The committee will leverage the work done in other Cycling without Age programs to develop routes, rules, guidelines, schedules, destinations, etc.

Bicycle Friendly West Bend expects to kick off the program in May of 2018 with a celebration at Samaritan and the first official rickshaw rides. Excess funds will be used in accordance with Bicycle Friendly funding priorities. The next Cycling without Age meeting is Dec. 13.

Enchanted Raffle winners

On Friday, Nov. 24 the West Bend Sunrise Rotary held its Enchanted Raffle at Regner Park. Winners of the $1,000 prize were L. Nimmer from Colgate, Phyllis Schaefer of West Bend, and Tim Britton of Waterloo, WI. The $5,000 grand prize winner was Menter from Havenwood Court in Jackson. The Rotary winner of the $200 prize was Lori Yahr.

In-person absentee voting starts Monday, Dec. 4

Residents in the 58th Assembly District can begin voting in-person absentee on Monday, Dec. 4. This is the Republican primary for the special election to fill the seat left vacant following the death of Assembly Rep. Bob Gannon.

Four Republican candidates are running for the post. Their names are listed in ballot order: Tiffany Koehler, Spencer Zimmerman, Rick Gundrum and Steve Stanek. The primary is Dec. 19 and the special general election is Jan. 16, 2018 when the winner of the Republican primary will face Democrat Dennis Degenhardt.

In-person absentee voting can be done at the front counter in the clerk’s office in Slinger, Jackson, and West Bend City Hall, 1115 S. Main Street. The clerk’s office is open weekdays from 8 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.

If you’re looking to vote in the town it’s best to call the clerk for their hours as that’s a part-time position. The 58th Assembly District includes the communities of Slinger, Jackson, Town of Polk, parts of Richfield, Town of Trenton and West Bend.

The term for the seat in the 58th Assembly District expires January 7, 2019.

Largest crowd ever for West Bend Christmas Parade

 Scores of families sat on blankets and folding chairs and lined Main Street last Sunday, Nov. 26 for the annual West Bend Christmas Parade. Organizers said it was the biggest turnout in the 65-year history of the parade. Children were delighted with colorful floats, rousing marching bands, and brilliant dance troupes and participants. Parade winners by category include:

Business: 1st place  –  West Bend Water Utility, 2nd place –  Cost Cutters, 3rd Place  –  Lifestar Ambulance

Youth: 1st place  –  Helping Hands Healing Hooves, 2nd place –  Faith United Church of Christ

Adult: 1st place  – West Bend Kettle Trailblazers, 2nd place – West Bend Moose Lodge, 3rd place –  tie – West Bend Children’s Theatre and Kohlsville Cruisers

Updates & tidbits

-To honor Mother Cabrini and the 100th Anniversary of her death, St. Frances Cabrini is collecting items for the Albrecht Free Clinic whose mission is, “To serve individuals in Washington County who are underinsured, uninsured and otherwise unable to afford medical services.” St. Frances Cabrini Month of Charity is Nov. 13 – Dec. 22.

– Adam Gitter has been named the new Economic Development Manager for the city of West Bend. Gitter is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh where he earned a Master’s of Public Administration. He also has an Associate’s Degree from UW-Washington County and a Bachelor’s of Criminal Justice from UW-Oshkosh. “Adam has solid relationship-building skills and will be a great asset to our community. He grew up in this area and currently resides in West Bend,” said City Administrator Jay Shambeau. Gitter is a veteran having served in the U.S. Army as Military Police with one tour supporting Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan.

  Bob’s Main Street Auto and Towing is collecting toys and money for Family Promise of Washington County’s Christmas Event. This event will help give local, needy children the Christmas they deserve. With a donation the shop is giving a free tire rotation or a set of free wiper blades (max $32 value) with any service. If you are looking to donate toys or help contribute feel free to stop by either of their locations or give a call at 262-338-3670.

-The American Legion Post 36 of West Bend will again sponsor the “Cards for Veterans” program at the West Bend Memorial Library. From now through Friday, Dec. 15, patrons visiting the library will find a display of Christmas and holiday cards. All are encouraged to select a card, write a message to a veteran, and place the sealed cards in the box provided.  There is no cost for this service. On Dec. 15, the cards will be distributed to veterans living in the West Bend area. Donations of cards would be greatly appreciated.

– Enchantment in the Park at Regner Park in West Bend is open. The annual light show collects money and food donations for food pantries across Washington County and Menomonee Falls. Husar’s Diamond Dash is Sunday, Dec. 3.

-The Kettle Moraine Ice Center is hosting Breakfast with Santa on Saturday, Dec. 18 from 8 a.m. – 12 p.m. Tickets are $8 and include all-you-can-eat pancakes plus a public skate voucher for the 2017-18 season. Children 3 years old and younger eat free.  There will be photos with Santa and letters to Santa will be collected.

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

– There will be a traditional tree lighting Tuesday, Dec. 5 at Berndt Park in Hartford.

-Winter on Main in downtown West Bend will be held the next three Fridays in the Downtown West Bend business district. Shop local DIVA businesses, dine at your favorite restaurant and explore Historic Downtown West Bend from 5 p.m. 7 p.m.

-Washington County Humane Society Festival of Trees is Saturday, Dec. 2 and Sunday, Dec. 3 at the Washington County Humane Society, 3650 State Road 60 in Slinger. Walk though an enchanted forest of Christmas trees decorated by area businesses. 10 a.m. – 9 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday 10 a.m. – 6 p.m. Adults are $7 and adults over 60 and children under 12 are $5

-Breakfast with Santa presented by the Slinger-Allenton Rotary is Saturday, Dec 2 from 8 a.m. – 11 a.m. at the Slinger High School cafeteria. The cost is $5 and children 5 and under are free

-The Kettle Moraine EAA Chapter 1158 Breakfast with Santa is Saturday, Dec. 9 at West Bend Municipal Airport, 310 Aerial Drive. Come have breakfast and watch Santa arrive in a helicopter. Breakfast is 7 a.m. – 11 a.m.  No cost to see Santa. $6 per person for breakfast, children under 4 eat free.

-The Annual Hartford Historical Home Tours is Saturday, Dec. 9 from noon – 3 p.m. Four Historical Homes featured including: George Kissel Home – 215 E. Sumner Street, Charles Uber Home – 505 E. Sumner Street, Louis Kissel Home – 407 East Sumner Street and Adolph Laubenstein Home – 203 Church Street. $15 per person and tickets available through The Schauer Arts Center

Around the Bend by Judy Steffes

New location for Amity Nativity and then tragedy strikes

Two years in a row and volunteers lucked out and found a pleasant late-November day to put up the old Amity Rolfs nativity.

The pieces were handmade in Germany and originally brought to the community in the late 1960s on special order by brothers Tom and Bob Rolfs.

For years the nativity was displayed on Highway 33 on the front lawn of the Amity Outlet. In 2007 the nativity was donated to the Downtown West Bend Association and on Monday morning four volunteers spent time delicately putting the pieces in place at their new home under the gazebo in Old Settler’s Park on N. Main Street.

The Downtown West Bend Association is renting the park for the Christmas season. Along with the nativity there are white, swirly Christmas trees that look straight out of a Dr. Seuss story. The park will also be the focal point for entertainment during the upcoming Winter on Main events on Friday in December.

As is tradition, the volunteers hoisted a toast of Guinness to former West Bend Alderman Tom O’Meara who spent years setting up the nativity.

A big thanks to several local businesses that helped make the nativity possible including West Bend Elevator, Meadowbrook Pumpkin Farm and Stein’s Garden & Gifts. The nativity was looking fantastic and then the wind whisked through overnight and upended one of the wise men, knocking off not only the crown… but his whole head.

After some reactionary mourning a trip was made to the Museum of Wisconsin Art and it appears the wonderful Gus Peter will be coming to the rescue. Watch for a mended wise man to rejoin his crew in the coming weeks.

Repairs to be made at railroad crossing on Hwy 60 in Jackson

The Wisconsin Department of Transportation (WisDOT) is working with Canadian National Railway to have a new rail crossing installed across WIS 60, (Main Street) just east of Center Street, in the Village of Jackson in Washington County. In addition to the new crossing, crews will also improve the approach pavement on the roadway.

To perform this work, crews require a 48-hour full closure to be in effect from Tuesday, Nov. 28 at 7 a.m., until Thursday, Nov. 30 at 7 a.m.  Please note this work is weather dependent and subject to change. The crossing on Highway 60, especially if a motorist is eastbound, is rather dicey. There’s a pretty significant gap right before the track. Some motorists have been known to swing far to the right … almost to the sidewalk.

If you recall in March 2016, neighbors in Allenton experienced a similar situation that took nearly a year to resolve. Detours will be posted using County Highway G, County Highway NN and County Highway P to direct motorists around the closure.

 New accounting firm opens in Jackson

A new accounting firm with a couple familiar faces has opened in Jackson.  Schensema CPA, Inc. combines the accounting expertise of Adam Schensema, 42, and his wife Michelle, 41.

The pair have nearly 40 years of combined accounting experience and they are growing their new business off Highway 60 with solid standards of trust and accountability.

“It’s the trusted relationships and the personal service,” said Michelle. “We’re very timely and prompt in getting back to people and we realize we’re working on sensitive information and they want to know it’s confidential.”

Schensema CPA caters to small businesses and offers the full gamut of tax accounting including payroll, tax planning, and advising clients by helping them plan properly for retirement and the future.

“If it’s a $275 personal return or a $10,000 business client – we value them equally and we have a great relationship with all of them,” Michelle said.

The Schensemas’ graduated from Marian University of Wisconsin in Fond du Lac. Michelle attended West Bend East High School. “The year 2018 marks my 20th year as an accountant,” she said Michelle.

Adam is originally from Canada. “I actually came to the Fond du Lac area to extend my hockey career,” he said. “Now I run the adult leagues at the Kettle Moraine Ice Center. I think it’s a hidden gem in Washington County.”

The Schensemas’ have three children; their oldest is a junior at West Bend East High School and two children are at St. Frances Cabrini.

Schensema CPA, Inc. opened the end of October at W227 N16867 Tillie Lake Court, Suite 101. (It’s the big three-story building to the northeast of Subway).

“This location in Jackson is really centrally located for us because we have clients in Washington, Ozaukee, Milwaukee County and elsewhere,” said Michelle. “The size of the building also gives us room to grow.”

“We’ve worked with a lot of our clients for a long time so we have a good, solid foundation,” said Adam.

In a letter to clients the couple wrote: It has been our honor to build a trusted relationship with you over the years. We look forward to continuing that relationship as we work to meet your future accounting, tax, payroll, planning, and advisory service needs.  We remain dedicated to providing you with the personal, high-quality service you’ve come to expect with us.

We will be in contact shortly to discuss your immediate needs and a smooth transition, but please don’t hesitate to call if you have questions now. We invite you to stop by the new Schensema CPA, Inc. office. We look forward to working with you soon.

 Bob’s Main Street Auto and Towing makes donation to breast cancer research

Bob’s Main Street Auto and Towing in West Bend, along with 131 independent auto repair shops across 35 states spent the month of October raising funds for a breast cancer vaccine as part of the Brakes for Breast fundraiser.

Bob’s Main Street Auto and Towing raised $2,535.13. One hundred percent was donated directly to research.

With this fundraiser, auto repair facilities give away free brake pads or shoes. This year the brake pads were provided by Advanced Auto Parts in West Bend. This means the customer simply paid the labor and any other necessary parts to complete the brake job. Additionally, the shop donated 10 percent of the brake job to the Clinic. The money raised goes directly to Dr. Vincent Tuohy and the Cleveland Clinic Breast Cancer Vaccine Research Fund.

Without the continued support from customers, their recent fundraisers like Brakes for Breasts and Back to School with the Boys and Girls Club of Washington County would never have been as successful. Bob’s Main Street Auto and Towing’s current campaign is to collect toys and raise money to go toward the Family Promise of Washington County’s Christmas Event.

This event will help give local, needy children in the area the Christmas they deserve. With a donation, in return, the shop is giving a free tire rotation or a set of free wiper blades (max $32 value) with any service. If you are looking to donate toys or help contribute feel free to stop by either of their locations or give them a call at 262-338-3670.

 Snowmobile safety course is at Riverside Park

  Attention snowmobilers if you are 12 years old or born after January 1, 1985 it is required to have a snowmobile safety course. There is one in West Bend at Riverside Park, 700 Kilbourn Avenue on Nov. 28, 29, 30 from 6 p.m. – 9 p.m. You must attend all three nights. The cost is $10 per student and sign up by contacting Pat Groth at (414) 517-1594. More information can be found on the Wisconsin DNR website.

 Cards for Veterans at West Bend Memorial Library

The American Legion Post 36 of West Bend will again sponsor the “Cards for Veterans” program at the West Bend Memorial Library. From now through Friday, Dec. 15, patrons visiting the library will find a display of Christmas and holiday cards. All are encouraged to select a card, write a message to a veteran, and place the sealed cards in the box provided.  There is no cost for this service. On Dec. 15, the cards will be distributed to veterans living in the West Bend area. Donations of cards would be greatly appreciated.

Five candidates in the mix to fill Assembly District 58

Five candidates will vie to fill the vacant seat in the 58th Assembly District. Republican candidates include (in order of filing) Steve Stanek, Tiffany Koehler, Spencer Zimmerman, and this week Washington County Board Chairman and Village of Slinger Trustee Rick Gundrum threw his hat in the mix. Dennis Degenhardt is running as a Democrat. A socialist candidate was denied by the Wisconsin Election Commission for not filing the appropriate paperwork on deadline.  Gov. Walker set a primary for Dec. 19, 2017. The Special Election will be held Tuesday, Jan. 16, 2018. The 58th Assembly District includes the communities of Slinger, Jackson, Town of Polk, parts of Richfield, Town of Trenton and West Bend. The seat in the 58th became vacant following the unexpected death of Rep. Bob Gannon. His term expires January 7, 2019.

Post Office in Hartford celebrates new lobby hours

Community leaders in Hartford held an intimate gathering Tuesday morning at the Hartford Post Office to celebrate a new era in efficiency. The post office, 45 E. Wisconsin Street, will now have its lobby open 24-7. Access to postal blue collection boxes remains the same. Retail hours at the facility are currently from Monday through Friday 8:30 a.m. -5 p.m. and Saturday 9 a.m. – 12 p.m.

“Post Office Boxes are as secure as mailboxes but provide more flexibility for mail pickup,” said Postmaster Diane Jones. “The convenience of earlier mail delivery is helpful to small business owners. Post Office Boxes provide home-based businesses with the ability to separate business and personal mail.”

Update & tidbits

A special commemoration will be presented to the local VFW program on Thursday, Nov. 30. Across this state, a number of Burger King Restaurants raised money for a VFW program called ‘Unmet Needs.’  Collectively in the 2016 campaign, the franchise raised over $71,000 for that program.  The Burger King in West Bend also participated and a plaque will be presented this week at 8:30 a.m.             

Charles O’Meara and Rev. Eric Kirkegaard were recently elected to the Cedar Community Board of Directors.

– Enchantment in the Park at Regner Park in West Bend is open. The annual light show collects money and food donations for food pantries across Washington County and Menomonee Falls. Husar’s Diamond Dash is Sunday, Dec. 3.

-The Kettle Moraine Ice Center is hosting Breakfast with Santa on Saturday, Dec. 18 from 8 a.m. – 12 p.m. Tickets are $8 and include all-you-can-eat pancakes plus a public skate voucher for the 2017-18 season. Children 3 years old and younger eat free.  There will be photos with Santa and letters to Santa will be collected.

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

– There will be a traditional tree lighting Tuesday, Dec. 5 at Berndt Park in Hartford and the much loved Annual Hartford Historical Home Tours are set for Saturday, Dec. 9.

-Winter on Main in downtown West Bend starts Friday, Dec. 1 in the Downtown West Bend business district Shop local DIVA businesses, dine at your favorite restaurant and explore Historic Downtown West Bend. Winter on Main is the first four Fridays in December from 5 p.m. 7 p.m.

-Washington County Humane Society Festival of Trees is Saturday, Dec. 2 and Sunday, Dec. 3 at the Washington County Humane Society, 3650 State Road 60 in Slinger. Walk though an enchanted forest of Christmas trees decorated by area businesses. Time is 10 a.m. – 9 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday 10 a.m. – 6 p.m. Adults are $7 and adults over 60 and children under 12 are $5

-Breakfast with Santa presented by the Slinger-Allenton Rotary is Saturday, Dec 2 from 8 a.m. – 11 a.m. at the Slinger High School cafeteria. There will be face painting, stories with Mrs. Claus, Carolers at 10am, and pictures with Santa. The cost is $5 and children 5 and under are free

-The Kettle Moraine EAA Chapter 1158 Breakfast with Santa is Saturday, Dec. 9 at West Bend Municipal Airport, 310 Aerial Drive. Come have breakfast and watch Santa arrive in a helicopter. Breakfast is 7 a.m. – 11 a.m.  No cost to see Santa. $6 per person for breakfast, children under 4 eat free.

-The Annual Hartford Historical Home Tours is Saturday, Dec. 9 from noon – 3 p.m. Four Historical Homes featured including: George Kissel Home – 215 E. Sumner Street, Charles Uber Home – 505 E. Sumner Street, Louis Kissel Home – 407 East Sumner Street and Adolph Laubenstein Home – 203 Church Street. $15 per person and tickets available through The Schauer Arts Center

– West Bend Police Honor Guard were on hand to post the colors at the swearing in of the Honorable Wisconsin Supreme Court Justice Annette Ziegler on Tuesday, November 21, 2017.

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

Memories of Shopping for Christmas in West Bend

It was an era before Mayfair Mall and the Bay Shore Town Center. It was even before the Westfair Mall and the West Bend Outlet Mall which included stores like The Cookie Jar, Knit Pikker Factory Outlet, Uncle Wonderful’s Ice Cream Parlor, and Rainbow Fashions.

“We shopped downtown because there wasn’t anything on Paradise,” said Jerry Wolf. “The city ended by Badger, which was the high school at the time.”

Wolf was about 10 years old in 1945; he recalled there were three grocery stores downtown including a Red Owl at 138 N. Main St. Jeklin’s Shoes was on the corner of Main and Cedar Streets and just south of that was a hardware store called Gambles.

Cherrie Ziegler Catlin remembered the F.W. Woolworths downtown. “It was a haven for all sorts of trinkets that kept kids busy spending their allowance each week,” she said.

Bonnie Brown Rock remembered Carbon’s IGA grocery on Main Street as well as Naab’s Food & Locker Service. “My parents bought sides of beef which were kept in a freezer at Naab’s store,” said Brown. The business was at 432 S. Main St.

“Dad also went there to get ice cream cake roll on Sundays as our refrigerator didn’t have a freezer,” she said.

Former Washington County Board Chairman Ken Miller remembered Saturday nights were for shopping in West Bend.

“That was in the late 1930s and early 1940s,” said Miller. “J.C. Penny’s was one of the stops for dry goods and the unique thing about the early Penny’s was the cashier was upstairs in a loft. The clerk would put money in a kind of cup, attach it to a ‘trolley’ affair and pull the handle sending the trolley, cup and money to the cashier who in turn would put the change in the apparatus and send it back.”

Parking, recalled Miller, was a problem. Main Street was originally Highway 45 and shoppers parked parallel to the curb, not at an angle as it is today.

“Tight quarters meant shoppers would double park, that meant side by side,” said Miller. “This caused some problems but was later accepted. I believe there was a time limit as to how long one could double park.”

Other unique downtown shopping standards, according to Miller, were grocery stores did not have aisles and display racks, because the grocer got the items from behind the counter. Almost all transactions were in cash as credit cards were nonexistent and checks were few.

“On rare occasions after shopping we would pick up my grandpa and go to Sam Moser’s tavern (currently Muggles) for chili, maybe a hamburger and a small glass of beer,” said Miller. “Yes, beer was OK for kids as soda was not good for you.”

During high school, Miller said Dewey’s Drug Store was the popular hangout. “It was known for its cherry Coke and the Colonial Restaurant for hamburgers,” he said.

Brown Rock also remembered Dewey’s. “They had booths and Mr. Dewey didn’t like the kids to get too loud,” she said. “I don’t remember spending much time there however I had many after school hot-fudge sundaes at the Parkette.”

Todd Tennies, of Tennies Ace Hardware, said the impact the memories people have of shopping 50 years ago in downtown West Bend is still a big part of the community today.

Connie Willer said, “I loved growing up in West Bend! My favorite Christmas memories have to be the Nativity in front of Amity and midnight Mass at St. Mary’s. Mr. Class would play “The Little Drummer Boy” and “Do You Hear What I Hear” on the marimba; it was unforgettable.”

Around the Bend by Judy Steffes

Fond memories at St. Joseph’s Hospital reunion

 The 19th annual St. Joseph’s Hospital reunion was held recently at the Top of the Ridge at Cedar Community. Over 100 former and current employees attended to share stories and memories of the old community hospital on Silverbrook and Oak Street.

Barb Shier was a registered nurse at St. Joseph’s Hospital for 38 years. She recalled the days of the “hometown hospital” were you “knew your coworker’s families.”

Shier remembered Jim Phillips, from Phillips Funeral Home, driving the ambulance. “Ambulance rides when we would transfer patients were always dramatic,” she said.

There was also winters when the helicopter would land.

“When the helicopters would come pick up the patients we didn’t have a helicopter pad so the maintenance men would plow the parking lot and they would make sure it stayed clear until the chopper landed,” said Shier. “We’d put on our coats and push the gurney through the parking lot and that was the beginning of a new trend.” Shier retired in May 2014.

Rex Melius was born at St. Joseph’s Hospital and was a patient twice in the 1950s. “I remember the Roy Rogers themed rooms. I also remember a certain nun who would come visit the children with her pet parakeets. They’d be on her shoulders or flying down the hall following her into our rooms. Great story…”

Molly Erickson was a clinical educator at St. Joe’s and Linda Jansen was a RN in 1982. The pair recollected some of their favorite memories working at the local hospital including sightings of ghosts.

“After the patients were in a rehab situation they would be transferred to the sub-acute area and many of the nuns stayed there,” said Erickson. “Patients or visitors would say ‘I saw a nun down the hallway in their whole garb but there were no nuns in the building anymore.”

“My husband, Al Jansen, worked in housekeeping and maintenance and he would tell me stories of various things the nuns and their communion wines,” said Jansen. “There was only one nun there when I was working.”

There was also the time in October 2000 when nurse Karen Pufahl had Washington County prisoner Thomas Ball as a patient.

“He ran out naked and ran across the street and stole a car,” said Jansen.

“Then the hospital gave us lessons on ‘you have no business tackling a patient,’” said Erickson. “And they installed safety buttons to alert authorities. We were instructed to direct people to the nearest exit.”

Ball escaped the hospital and stole a vehicle from a woman in the area of Silverbrook Drive. Ball drove to Cedarburg where he crashed the car and fled into a field. He was shot in the bare butt by authorities.

One of the most familiar faces at the hospital was Sue McCullough; she held many positions during her 44 years at St. Joe’s. She started as a staff nurse in 1971 and also worked as a physician and administration liaison.

McCullough remembered Christmas parties where staff brought potluck and performed skits.

There were charity bowling and softball games between hospital staff and police or local media.

“We were the Hospital Hot Handlers vs. the Mighty Media Men,” she said. “Myself and a couple nurses were the cheerleaders and we wore our duty shoes and nurses hats and white sweatshirts with big red crosses.”

McCullough also remembered certain things about the old, old part of the hospital.

“At the original old building the ambulance entrance was on the basement level and the emergency room was on the third floor,” she said. “They would page 777 and that meant somebody had to go down to the basement to meet the ambulance and take them up to the ER.

“As a young nurse, having to go down to that creepy basement. There were always rescue squad guys to help us.”

St. Joe’s, according to McCullough, also had a lot of firsts. “I was reading the instruction manual on how to use an external pacemaker while the doctor was inserting it,” she said. “It was our first time using but it was successful and the patient did well.”

“I know Dr. Richard Gibson had to make things because we didn’t have all the equipment,” she said. “We had to sharpen needles back then too. It was about two years after I started they got disposable needles.”

McCullough also recalled Sr. Frieda who didn’t have much faith in her. “She thought I was too young to work on her unit and she had me folding rags and sharpening needles for most of my shift even though I took care of the cardiac monitors on my floor,” she said.

During a speech to Rotary, McCullough described St. Joe’s as a hidden jewel.” It’s constantly evolving,” she said. “It’s state of the art with the biggest advances in safety and infection control.”

Evidenced by the turnout at the reunion McCullough said, “The bottom line is we liked each other. We helped each other out and rallied if anybody needed us for anything – whether in the hospital or personal.”

Sale price for Ponderosa and groundbreaking set for Pizza Ranch

Groundbreaking is Tuesday, Nov. 21 at noon for the new Pizza Ranch, 2020 W. Washington Street in West Bend.  Matt and Stacy Gehring purchased the old Ponderosa and they will begin to remodel and add to the building with the hope of being open in March/April 2018.

Steve Kilian sold the property to the Gehrings for $850,000. Kilian purchased the property Oct. 24, 2011 for $920,700. Prior to that D. Putz had purchased it in 2009 for $920,689.

Deer hunting approved in two city parks in West Bend

The West Bend Common Council voted 5 – 2 Monday night with one alderman absent (Dist. 2 Steve Hutchins) approving a resolution to allow hunting in two city parks under strict rules that must still be approved by Council.

The hunting measure is designed to help manage the deer herd in the city. The resolution below details how only adult bow hunters who pass a proficiency test will be allowed to hunt during a four day time span in January 2018.

The only parks where this will be allowed as a test is Lac Lawrann Conservancy and Ridge Run Park. The deer committee still has to come back to the council with official rules on the effort.

The two aldermen voting against the resolution include Dist. 4 alderman Chris Jenkins and Dist. 8 aldermen Roger Kist.

DEER MANAGEMENT WITHIN THE CITY OF WEST BEND 2017-2018 COMMON COUNCIL

A Resolution Establishing Nuisance Hunt and Deer Management Committee within the City of West Bend

WHEREAS, the City of West Bend has determined there to be an over-population of deer within the City, and

WHEREAS, the City has determined that the over-population of deer constitutes a nuisance endangering the safety and property of the citizens of West Bend, and

WHEREAS, the City has considered a variety of mitigation tactics for the deer population.

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED by the Common Council of the City of West Bend, Washington County, Wisconsin, as follows:

  1. City shall allow a limited regulated nuisance hunt on the conditions established herein to mitigate the deer population of the City.
  2. City shall apply for 20 nuisance permits through the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources to be used during the period of January 10th to January 14th, 2018 in the following parks: Lac Lawrann Conservancy and Ridge Run Park.
  3. The Deer Management Committee shall be established to manage and regulate the hunt. The Committee shall consist of eight (8) members serving on a year-to-year basis appointed by the Mayor and approved by the Common Council. Members shall have expertise relating to hunting and/or the parks system and need not be a citizen of West Bend. The Mayor appoints and Council approves the following initial members of the Committee: Steve Hutchins, John Butschlick, Paul Schleif, Chris Dymale, Larry Polenski, Joanne Kline, Duane Farrand and Michael Jentsch.
  4. All hunters shall be adult citizens of the City and shall pass a proficiency test established by the Committee. Upon passage of the proficiency test, hunters shall be entered into a random lottery for hunting locations and permits.
  5. The Committee shall determine the specific hunting locations within each park. One randomly selected hunter shall be assigned to each designated location in the Committee’s discretion. The Committee may also randomly select alternate hunters to be assigned in the Committee’s discretion.
  6. Baiting shall be allowed for two weeks prior to the hunt as allowed by the rules and regulations established by the Committee.
  7. Each hunter shall be issued nuisance permits for the designated location. The hunter may bow hunt or crossbow hunt for deer from a tree stand. All shots taken shall have a downward trajectory.
  8. Each hunter shall notify the West Bend Police Department prior to entering the stand location and upon leaving the stand location.
  9. The Committee shall be responsible for determining safety regulations for the hunt, including but not limited to, closing a portion or all of a designated park to the public for the duration of the hunt.
  10. Hunters may keep one deer. All other harvested deer shall be donated to local food pantries through Wisconsin DNR’s established program.
  11. All rules established by the Committee shall be in full compliance with state and federal law, the Municipal Code of the City of West Bend, and the terms and conditions contained in this Resolution.
  12. Violation of any rule established herein or by the Committee may result in lifetime revocation of all future hunting privileges or other civil or criminal liability.
  13. This Resolution shall be reviewed by the Common Council prior to the commencement of the 2018-2019 hunting season.

Passed and Approved the 13th day of November, 2017

Cards for Veterans at West Bend Memorial Library

The American Legion Post 36 of West Bend will again sponsor the “Cards for Veterans” program at the West Bend Memorial Library. From Monday, Nov. 20 through Friday, Dec. 15, patrons visiting the library will find a display of Christmas and holiday cards. All are encouraged to select a card, write a message to a veteran, and place the sealed cards in the box provided.  There is no cost for this service. On Dec. 15, the cards will be distributed to veterans living in the West Bend area. Donations of cards would be greatly appreciated.

Six candidates in the mix to fill Assembly District 58

Six candidates have now filed information with the Wisconsin Ethics Commission to run in the upcoming Special Election to fill the vacant seat in the 58th Assembly District.

Republican candidates include (in order of filing) Steve Stanek, Tiffany Koehler, Spencer Zimmerman, and this week Washington County Board Chairman and Village of Slinger Trustee Rick Gundrum threw his hat in the mix.

Two other candidates include Dennis Degenhardt who is running as a Democrat and Christopher Lewis Cook who is with the Independent, Socialist Party.

All candidates must collect between 200 – 400 signatures. Nomination papers are due no later than 5 p.m. on Tuesday, Nov. 21, 2017 in the offices of the Wisconsin Elections Commission.

Gov. Walker set a primary for Dec. 19, 2017. The Special Election will be held Tuesday, Jan. 16, 2018. The 58th Assembly District includes the communities of Slinger, Jackson, Town of Polk, parts of Richfield, Town of Trenton and West Bend. The seat in the 58th became vacant following the unexpected death of Rep. Bob Gannon. His term expires January 7, 2019.

It’s beginning to look at lot like Christmas in Downtown West Bend

The West Bend Christmas Parade is Sunday, Nov. 26 and early Thursday morning volunteers from the DIVA group, Downtown West Bend Association and the city of West Bend spent a couple hours decorating the downtown Main Street for the holiday.

Brilliant red bows and green wreaths were strung across the roadway and white lights and red ribbons were hung on the lampposts. A big thanks to Brian Culligan at West Bend Tap and Tavern and Hankerson’s Country Oven Bakery for the hot coffee and fuel after the morning effort. Many hands made for quick work. Now mark your calendar for Sunday, Nov. 26 and the annual West Bend Christmas Parade. This year’s theme is Christmas Memories.

Testing the lights at Enchantment in the Park

There were nine volunteers hoofing around Regner Park on Wednesday night, bracing against the wind and taking notes as Mike Phillips led a turning-on-the-lights tour of Enchantment in the Park. “Now this key, the longest key in the bunch, opens this door,” he said.

Phillips was wearing a headlamp – something he recommended for the job. “Flip the switches with the blue tape,” Phillips said. “This will obviously be much faster because you can make these rounds in the car.”

The group walked in the dark from one segment of the display to the next. Through the warming house and down into the bowels of the Strachota stage. It smelled musty and old and looked like a bomb shelter. It was awesome!

Enchantment in the Park at Regner Park in West Bend kicks off Friday, Nov. 24. The annual light show collects money and food donations for food pantries across Washington County and Menomonee Falls. Be sure to make note – the popular Disney night is Thursday, Dec. 7. Husar’s Diamond Dash is Sunday, Dec. 3.

Update & tidbits             

– The celebrity bell ringer for the Salvation Army Red Kettle Campaign is Tinker the miniature horse. He and owners Carol and Jim Tackes will at the Washington County Fair Park today, Nov. 18, from noon – 2 p.m. The miniature horse is one of the more popular attractions for the Salvation Army. Donations will be collected through Christmas Eve. The goal this year is $3.8 million and all money raised stays local.

– Moonlighting in Barton will be ringing in the holidays with a Black Friday Meat Raffle on Nov. 24. There will be a raffle every 15 minutes between 2 p.m. – 5 p.m. Lake States Vending will be donating all the meat and proceeds will go to the Gingerbread House, a local organization in its 18th year of providing Christmas gifts to families across Washington County. Stop in and check out the Black Friday Meat Raffle at Moonlighting, 326 Commerce Street in Barton.

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

-Contractors in fluorescent yellow jackets and hardhats can be seen pouring cement and working on scaffolding as the $3.2 million expansion is underway at Good Shepherd Lutheran, 777 S. Indiana Avenue in West Bend. The expansion will include four additional school classrooms and renovated bathrooms. There’s also going to be a new welcome center and gathering space.

– The 3rd Annual West Bend Santa Ramp-up kicks off at 10 a.m. at Dublin’s on Sunday, Nov. 26. Get your red on and join the ride. Other stops include King Pin Bowl & Ale House (11 a.m.), Moonlighting (12 p.m.), West Bend Tap and Tavern (1 p.m.), and The Norbert (2 p.m.). Santa or Christmas attire recommended. Safe biking practices! Come out and kick off the holiday season at one or all the stops!

– There will be a traditional tree lighting Tuesday, Dec. 5 at Berndt Park in Hartford and the much loved Annual Hartford Historical Home Tours are set for Saturday, Dec. 9.

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

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

Around the Bend by Judy Steffes

Ponderosa has finally sold and Pizza Ranch is coming

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Filling the seat in Assembly District 58

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

A moment of silence in Madison for Rep. Bob Gannon

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

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

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

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

Breakfast with a veteran at Hartford Union High School

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

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

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

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

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

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

Celebrating 60 years at St. Frances Cabrini School

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

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

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

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

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

Veterans Tribute at Moraine Park Technical College

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

Make plans to attend Veterans Day program

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

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

Cards for Veterans at West Bend Memorial Library

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

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

Traffic jam for annual We Energies Cookie Book distribution

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

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

Book World closing – neighbors recall Fireside Books

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

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

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

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

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

Tough decision for Fireside Books & Gifts

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Update & tidbits              

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

How can the years have passed so quickly?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Around the Bend by Judy Steffes

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Veterans Tribute at Moraine Park Technical College

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

Make plans to attend Veterans Day program

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

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

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

New bike racks in West Bend a cooperative-educational effort

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

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

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

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

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

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

Cards for Veterans at West Bend Memorial Library

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

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

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

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

Update & tidbits

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Halloween memories across Washington County

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Around the Bend by Judy Steffes

Mother’s Day Restaurant closes

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

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

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

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

Second Kwik Trip approved in West Bend

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

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

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

New stores coming to town

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

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

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

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

Saying thanks to a local hero

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

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

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

Make plans to attend Veterans Day program

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

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

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

Man who founded Jam for Kids has died

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

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

Update & tidbits

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Trick or treat times and locations

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

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

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

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

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

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

Hilda Rasmussen from West Bend completes Stars & Stripes Honor Flight

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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