Tag Archives: Judy Steffes

Around the Bend by Judy Steffes

The ordination of Bishop Jeffrey Haines    By Jill Maria Murdy

Hundreds turned out Friday for the ordination of Bishops Jeffrey Haines and James Schuerman at the Cathedral of St. John the Evangelist in Milwaukee. Jill Maria Murdy, Director of Liturgy and Music at Saint Frances Cabrini Parish was selected to attend as a representative from the Cabrini and she filed this update for WashingtonCountyInsider.com

It was a beautiful liturgy, bursting with the rich sounds of organ, choir and brass, a train of priests and 20 bishops, and the church overflowing with God’s people.

There were so many symbols: the incense, being anointed with holy oil, the Eucharist, placing the Gospel Book over the Bishop’s heads.

Scriptures about God’s calling were prevalent (Jeremiah 1: 4-9, Psalm 139, 1 Peter 4: 7b-11, and Luke 5: 1-11.)

In his homily, Archbishop Listecki reminded the Bishops that it was not an honorary area title.  Bishops were to be the servants of their people. Their shepherds and servants.

Taking all these wonderful elements of the prayer and then remembering Bishop Haines was the one who hired me and brought me to Wisconsin, and it made for one powerful day, filled with tears of joy.

I felt very blessed to be able to represent Saint Frances Cabrini Parish.

Teacher from Fair Park Elementary wins Herb Kohl Foundation award

Fair Park Elementary School teacher Renee Wilberg is one of 100 teachers being awarded $3,000 by the Herb Kohl Education Foundation. Each year the foundation recognizes students, teachers and principals for their excellence in academics, leadership and high achievement.

Local students recognized this year include Mackenzie Mas from West Bend who is a student at St. Mary’s Springs Academy, Fond du Lac and Jiexin (Jessica) Yang from Kettle Moraine Lutheran High School in Jackson.

Wilberg, Mas and Yang will be presented with their awards during a banquet in April.

Chicken discussion Monday at the West Bend Common Council meeting   

On Monday, March 20 the West Bend Common Council will talk about possibly amending the municipal code regarding keeping live chickens within the city limits. Currently the city’s ordinance bans keeping livestock in outdoor pens or sheds.

Live chickens in urban areas is a hot topic. Over the years Madison and Green Bay adopted ordinances allowing chickens while other communities, like Wauwatosa, have given the idea a 1-year trial run.

In Washington County, the Village of Slinger approved chickens in 2015. Some of the stipulations include having up to six hens, no roosters, the building inspector must approve a coop, and there’s a $10 license fee.

Dist. 4 Alderman Chris Jenkins is the one bringing the bird to the table, so to speak. He acknowledged there is quite a bit to discuss. “We’d talk about things like noise and cleanup and how much of a distance the coop would be from your neighbor’s lot line,” he said.

After Slinger passed its ordinance in 2015, the Village of Kewaskum broached the subject.

“I’ve looked into it and Oshkosh allows chickens, Janesville and Mequon just passed an ordinance allowing chickens within the city limits,” Jenkins said. “I think allowing self sustainability is great.”

Jenkins researched obstacles that may arise. “Obviously no roosters and keeping it small is a good idea,” he said. “All the communities I’ve talked to didn’t really have a problem.”

In 2013 the Common Council debated whether to allow teacup pigs as a family pet, rather than as the ordinance listed, as livestock.

The city attorney has drafted an ordinance. Some of the particulars include a license fee of $8 per chicken, no slaughtering of chickens and a total of four chickens will be allowed per property.

People who are passionate about chickens are encouraged to show up on Monday. The meeting gets underway at 6:30 p.m. in the council chambers at City Hall.

Buildings sold on Schoenhaar Drive

Two of the original buildings on Schoenhaar Drive have changed hands. Vic and Frank Albiero constructed two buildings in the industrial park in April 1971. Those two buildings, 601 and 605 Schoenhaar Drive both sold for a total of $550,000.  The current tenants purchased the properties on Feb. 28, 2017 – Craig’s Auto and Habitat for Humanity.

St. Lawrence Fire Company honors its own        By Ron Naab

The St. Lawrence Fire Company took time to thank those that support the organization. Former Fire Chief and president of the fire company Anthony “Tony” Montag was honored for 50 years of dedicated service.  Lieutenant Andy Messig was awarded Member of the Year and former Fire Chief Gary Karntiz was recognized for his work. Karnitz joined the fire company in 1986 and served as chief for 21 years. Presenting Karnitz with awards were the Allenton Volunteer Fire Department, Badger Firefighters Association and the St. Lawrence Fire Company.

Updates & tidbits

In-person absentee voting for the April 4 Spring Election begins Monday, March 20 in Washington County. In-person voting runs through Friday, March 31. Some of the races on the ballot include State School Superintendent, Circuit Court Judge Branch 3, and school board races in Kewaskum, West Bend, and Hartford Joint #1.

Congressman Jim Sensenbrenner has a series of town hall meetings coming up in Washington County. On Saturday, March 18 the Congressman will be at West Bend City Hall at 9 a.m. and Richfield Village Hall on Sunday, March 19 at 1 p.m.

The Downtown West Bend ArtWalk is Saturday May 13 from 4 p.m. – 7 p.m. at the Museum of Wisconsin Art. The event will feature free admission to MOWA and a silent auction of banners. The banners by local artists hang along Main Street and Sixth Avenue creating an outdoor gallery from May through October.

The Allenton Buffalo Feed has been modernized! Come out for a steak dinner on Saturday, April 22 and do some gambling in the casino. Who would have ever thought…gambling in Allenton! The evening is being presented by the Allenton Area Advancement Association.

March is Youth Art Month and the West Bend School District has its Mile of Art on display in downtown West Bend. This is the 15th year for the exhibit, according to Decorah Elementary School art teacher Mickiah Wolff.

-Free Easter dinner at the West Bend Moose Lodge on Sunday, April 16. Please call to make reservations, 262-338-8122.

-On Monday, March 6 a ceremony was held as Russ Darrow broke ground on his new Nissan dealership on Highway 33. Within a short 7 days contractors have cleared the land to make way for construction of a new 24,449-square-foot dealership.

-Tickets are on sale for the 22nd Annual Newburg Lions Big Raffle. The Grand Prize is $5,000. There will only be 500 tickets sold. There will be five $100 “Early Bird” drawings from April – August. Drawing will be held Saturday Sept.9 at 1 p.m. at the Newburg Fire Department. Everyone is welcome to attend. All profits go to local charities. Tickets are $50 a piece. For tickets contact any Newburg Lions member or call 262-338-0432

– The West Bend Korean War Veterans Post 111 will be hosting a brat fry on Friday and Saturday, April 7 and 8 at 1421 W. Washington Street, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.  Proceeds will go to the Honor Flight Program, The National Flag Day Foundations and other veterans’ programs.

-The city of West Bend will be hosting Loyalty Day in 2017.  The event will feature a parade Saturday, April 29.  Loyalty Day is observed nationally. All VFW Posts are invited to take part.

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

-Make your Easter plans early and come out to The Columbian on Saturday, April 18 for the 35th annual Kiwanis pancake-sausage brunch with the Easter Bunny.  Tickets are available at Horicon Bank in West Bend, The Columbian and Minuteman Press.

Hartford F.D. to make honorary walk-through

There will be a special walk-through service Sunday for Cade Peter Werner, 14, of Rubicon who died March 14 following a car accident in neighboring Dodge County. Family will greet relatives and friends at the church from 1-6:45 p.m. with a Prayer Service at 7 p.m.   The Hartford Fire Department will be present at 1:30 p.m. for an honorary walk-through.

Remembering former W.B. Police Chief Jim Skidmore

There was a respectful sendoff to former West Bend Police Chief Jim Skimore on Saturday as police, veterans, family and friends gathered at Calvary Church to pay tribute. The service began with a final salute as police and veterans in uniform gathered at the front of the church.

Skidmore was recognized for the impact he had on the lives of kids, his dedication to his faith, family and the community.

“Chief Skidmore taught us to be strong but not unkind. Treat everyone with respect,” said daughter Lynn. While tough as nails in his demeanor, Skidmore’s family recalled he was “good at talking smack” and he “made The Claw famous” – a reference to WWF wrestler Baron von Raschke.

Former West Bend Police Chief Whitey Uelmen said a few words remembering Skidmore for his integrity, moral guidelines and his love of handing out nicknames. His family recalled how Skidmore “taught us to be strong and always to work hard.”

The West Bend Police Honor Guard presided over the flag-folding ceremony and a gun salute. The local VFW played Taps. Some local police, active and retired in attendance included Mike Hartwell, former Police Chief Steve Rinzel, Captain Tim Dehring, and Chief Ken Meuler… to name a few.

Skidmore served from Sept. 1, 1978 – Dec. 31, 1993. Skidmore died Saturday, Feb. 25, 2017 in Florida. He was 79.

Principal at school in Jackson camps out on rooftop on snowy Monday

Fifteen inches of lake-effect snow on Monday didn’t dissuade Trinity Ev. Lutheran principal Dennis Leckwee and teacher Jim Speerschneider from paying off a bet. The pair promised to camp on the roof of the school if students reached a goal of $500 for the third-quarter offering.  The goal was met March 10 and students studied the 7-day forecast.

Their go-to day ended up being Monday, March 13.  Snowmageddon for much of Washington County.

“As you know the weather was crazy but they had made a promise and they followed through with it,” wrote school secretary Kathy Minzlaff.

Thecla Richter – life of a West Bend nurse during WWI     By Lee Krueger

Resident historian Lee Krueger is highlighting his great aunt Thecla Richter, who served as a nurse during WWI.  Below are two letters home from Richter dated July 14, 1917 and July 26, 1917 and Aug. 26, 1917.

July 14, 1917  (received Aug 6, 1917)

I wish that you could see the city of tents around here.  There is one hospital right next to another. And all are about 2000 patient capacity.  Seems awful to see hundreds of men wounded daily, many killed and little or nothing gained. Let me know in your next letter how many troops have been sent from the United States.

I do hope that they will send enough to start with so that their strength will really be felt and hopefully hasten the end of this awful slaughter.

The gains for either side are not very marked, at least not according to reports we hear.

July 26, 1917 (Received Aug 14)

I wish that you could see the hill of poppies here.  They grow wild and really are considered a weed.

…..  The only kind of meat that we ever get is beef.  Wouldn’t pork chops taste good.  Our bread is a heavy dark bread and we eat it without butter two meals a day.

We are getting some heavy rubber boots from the Red Cross Society in England.  It rains so much that we certainly cannot get along without boots, umbrella, raincoat and rain hat.  Are also receiving sleeping bags for the winter.

I have read how much the U.S. Red Cross is doing.  I think it is the best thing they can do because no one at home can realize how much the Red Cross has done for this war and the help that they give us.  Of course what we have been receiving now has been mostly from the British Red Cross.

August 26, 1917  (received Sept 17)

The American Red Cross gave each of the nurses a warm heavy soft woolen sleeping bag…..  Money that anyone has given or is going to give to the Red Cross is certainly well spent.  You actually see what they do with it.

……  We have seen many train loads of American soldiers going by our hospital to training camps and it is a big problem to get enough food into France to feed thousands and thousands of people.

We are expecting 35 additional nurses any day now.  We will give them a hardy welcome as we are in great need of them. Are my letters censored badly?   I try to be very careful and not write anything that would not pass the censor.thecla-richter-operating-room

Around the Bend by Judy Steffes

Turning a family tragedy into a legacy

Herb Ellis and his daughter Alina were a pretty high-profile pair in the educational arena in Washington County.

Herb was a retired teacher in the Hartford School District and Alina ran an extremely popular in-home nanny care business called The Hoot House.  It’s the impact they had on families and children that makes their deaths last week even more difficult to swallow.

On March 2, Herb Ellis, 79, and his daughter Alina, 38, died after complications from different forms of influenza. The real anomaly, according to Alina’s older sister Carine Krull, is that Alina and her dad were born on the same date, June 8, and they died on the same day.

“This was absolutely unexpected,” said Krull. “When I talked to them Tuesday night Alina had the flu and dad had a cough. A day later they’re both in heaven; I’m just blown away.”

The family of Herb and Alina Ellis are overwhelmingly touched by the outpouring of support from the community and as they prepare a Saturday service, Krull said they are also working to take a tragic event and turn it into a memorable legacy.

Leaders in education…

During a one-on-one conversation Thursday night Krull described her father as “a teacher at Hartford High School forever.”

“He was very well loved and respected; he was quite the character very dramatic and really good at his job,” she said. Sister Alina was “a nanny who just loved, loved, loved children.” Krull raved about her sister’s in-home nanny care, The Hoot House.

“It just wasn’t like a regular child care. She had full-on lesson plans and on superhero day they had firemen outfits and capes and they’d visit the police department,” she said. “During the letter ‘P’ week they’d stop at Sal’s Pizza and learn how to make pizza and play with the dough.”

Riveredge Nature Center, MOWA, and the West Bend Public Library were some of the normal stomping grounds for the Hoot Nanny and her owlets.

“People who were lucky enough to be part of this program – it’s like the most magical thing in the world,” said Krull.

Keeping the Hoot House memory alive

Krull said Alina and her dad were like “two peas in a pod.”

“We are a very close family,” said Krull. “Dad took care of mom and Alina took care of both of them.”

In an effort to keep Alina’s passion of giving alive, Krull is working to continue her Owls for Owies program.

“Alina’s approach with children was about love and compassion,” she said. “Just the idea of helping others.”

Up to the very end, Krull said Alina helped. “She was able to donate her heart and kidneys to bring a new outlook on life to three individuals,” she said. “The St. Luke’s team worked really hard to make that happen. The staff with the Organ Donor Network was so kind to our family.”

Alina’s favorite program was The Owls for Owies. “Every year she’d collect money and they’d take the stuffed toy owls into the hospital at St. Joe’s and donate them to the sick kids,” Krull said.

In an effort to continue this program and grow Alina’s legacy, Beanie Boo Owls or funds to help the program are being collected. Questions can be addressed to:  owlsforowies@gmail.com

A memorial service in honor of Alina and Herb will be held Saturday, March 11 at 2:30 p.m. at Immanuel United Church of Christ, 501 Walnut St., West Bend.  The family will greet relatives and friends at the church on Saturday from 11:30 a.m. until the time of service.

Former Gehl property is a hot-ticket item

On March 20 city officials in West Bend will be reviewing a couple development proposals regarding the former Gehl Co. parcel on East Water Street.

The city acquired the Gehl property in 2005 and the mayor said cleanup should be completed in 2017.  The property is designated mixed use and the 8 acres on East Water Street and South Forest Avenue could become multi-family housing or commercial space. Mayor Kraig Sadownikow said development on a small grassy field north of Dublins is also in the mix.

Shepherd Centre I is sold on W. Washington Street

Steve Kearns has sold Shepherd Centre I, 3700 W. Washington St. in West Bend to Joe Valind, the owner of Auto Safety Center. Valind purchased the property for $1.4 million. “We’ve been here since January 2013 and we closed on the purchase on Feb. 24,” said Valind. “I really like West Bend; I was born and raised here (1996 WBE) and it’s always been a goal to own a location.”

On a history note: Auto Safety Center dates to 1965 when it was on N. Main Street between the old Habitat Restore/St. Vincent de Paul and the Mexican Grocery. The shop was owned by Ralph Schmidt and he called it the Schmidt Safety Center.

Roger Berth purchased the business in 1983 and coined it Auto Safety Center. Valind bought the business in 2005; he moved it to the Shepherd Centre in 2013. Some of the other businesses in the strip mall include Miller Monument, Hertz Rent a Car, Signature Studios and West Bend Optical.

Pizza Ranch easement approved – construction expected to start shortly

During this week’s West Bend Plan Commission meeting a green light was given to a new easement for Pizza Ranch. The driveway on the south end of the property was moved to the west. Stacy and Matt Gehring are expected to close on the purchase of the property on W. Washington Street in the coming weeks. The builder expects construction to get underway shortly with the restaurant open later this summer.

The Plan Commission also quickly approved a new oversized LED monument sign for Hawthorn Drive at Sixth Avenue. The LED sign is 40.7 square feet and one of the stipulations is the sign will have an automatic dimming effect to reduce glare at night.

Finally, traffic will be rerouted starting Monday, March 13 as underground utilities will be installed between Franklin Place and Rusco Drive; work will run until the beginning of April.  Rusco Drive will be closed to through traffic periodically during construction.

Memorial service for former WB Police Chief Jim Skidmore

A memorial service is Saturday, March 11 for former West Bend Police Chief Jim Skidmore. The service will be at 1 p.m. at Calvary Assembly of God on Decorah Road. Skidmore died Saturday, Feb. 25 in Florida. He was 79. Skidmore was hired as police chief in West Bend, Sept. 1, 1978 and retired Dec. 31, 1993. Skidmore retired to Florida with his wife and his family said he suffered a stroke a number of years ago and then his health declined recently before his death.

7 year old from McLane Elementary awarded Legislative Citation

A big day at McLane Elementary in West Bend as local lawmakers Rep. Bob Gannon and state Senator Duey Stroebel presented 7-year-old Serenity Sunde with a Legislative Citation for her work to help save a building from fire. Sunde’s story was first reported at WashingtonCountyInsider.com

She was in the car with her uncle when she spotted red flames atop Badger Car Wash on W. Washington Street. Sunde encouraged her uncle to check it out and he helped put out the fire. The entire second-grade class at McLane watched Friday afternoon as Sunde was presented with the citation.

“This just shows how important you are to everything that goes on in this world,” said Stroebel.

Rep. Gannon said because of encouraging actions like Serenity’s our future is in good hands. “It was a pleasure to visit Serenity’s class and award this commendation,” said Gannon. “The whole class was reminded that we all need to look out for others and to be helpful whenever possible.”

Padway’s on Big Cedar Lake is open for business

Padway’s on Big Cedar Lake is open for business. “We’re enjoying a booming business,” said owner Joe Weinshel.  During a Saturday afternoon conversation Weinshel stood at the end of the bar and looked out at the view over Big Cedar Lake. “In the last two and a half years we’ve come a long way,” he said. “I’m proud of our staff, the quality of our food and the enjoyment of our customer base that has grown with us.”

A couple weeks ago a real estate listing featured photos of Padway’s restaurant and the interior. Information was misinterpreted.

It’ll be three years this August when Weinshel closed on the purchase of the old Wegner’s Cedar Lake Inn. He was a young pup of 66. Weinshel changed the name of the business to Padway’s on Big Cedar Lake. “Padway was my mom’s maiden name,” he said. The goal at the time was to bring the restaurant back to an era of excellent food with a menu that screamed “American supper club.”

Mission accomplished, according to Weinshel. We’ve done an excellent job of balancing a true “American Style” supper club feel with unparalleled quality of food with a fun & lively atmosphere.  From the weekly live music, to patio dining over the lake to drinks at the tiki bar, our guests absolutely love it.

General Manager Amy Bellehumeur and Exec. Chef  Tomas Dodge are gearing up for the busy season with new menu items, Easter brunch, Mother’s Day brunch and Outdoor Patio Dining. The famous Tiki Bar will open in May.

Aiden Abbott testifies in Madison on Rare Disease Day

Aiden Abbott is 12 years old and a sixth grader at Slinger Middle School. Abbott suffers from a rare disease and recently went to the State Capitol in Madison to talk to lawmakers about dental care and health insurance coverage. Abbott penned this story for WashingtonCountyInsider.com

On Monday, Feb. 27 my family and I went to the Capitol in Madison, Wisconsin to attend Rare Disease Day 2017.  We were there to advocate for the Ectodermal Dysplasia community and families with other rare diseases. Many families from the rare disease community, representatives and their aids came along too.

I was lucky enough to get a tour of the State Capitol from an aide serving in Senator Duey Stroebel’s office. He let us sit in the chairs on the senate floor and go up to the podium. We also went to Rep. Bob Gannon’s office and my family shared my story with his staff.

I spoke to a group of legislators, families who have rare diseases, and medical professionals about the difficulties of living with a rare disease, and the troubles getting my dad’s health insurance to pay for my teeth.

We also spent a lot of time talking with Senator Tammy Baldwin’s aide… describing my health problems. Me and my family suggested a federal law should be created mandating health coverage to include dental coverage for all health insurance plans when it is a result of a congenital anomaly. I am hoping that sharing my story will help all families that struggle with insurance coverage and that will change soon. Rare Disease Day 2017 was an adventure and fun and meaningful time I will never forget.

Updates & tidbits

Congressman Jim Sensenbrenner has a series of town hall meetings coming up in Washington County. On Saturday, March 11 the Congressman will be at Germantown Village Hall at 9 a.m. Sensenbrenner will be at Hartford City Hall on Sunday, March 12 at 1 p.m.,  West Bend City Hall on Saturday, March 18 at 9 a.m. and Richfield Village Hall on Sunday, March 19 at 1 p.m.

The Kettle Moraine YMCA Dynamites Gymnastics team is hosting the state meet in West Bend this weekend, March 11 and 12. This is an annual event that rotates between all of the Wisconsin YMCAs that have a competitive gymnastics team.

Crimson Cowl Comics and Collectibles is opening today at1749 Barton Avenue next to Revive Salon Studios. David Gloyd, Curt Schoob and some of their muscular cohorts (friends… not superheroes – at least not that they know) helped heft boxes full of thousands of comics last Sunday. “We’re excited to be joining the Barton business community,” said Gloyd.

Paul Backhaus was presented the 2016 Slinger Firefighter of the Year Award at the Slinger Firefighter annual banquet. Backhaus joined the Slinger F.D. in March 2014. He is currently a firefighter with designations of motor pump operator, rapid intervention team.

-Groundbreaking is March 17 for the 911 memorial in Kewaskum.

– The West Bend Korean War Veterans Post 111 will be hosting a brat fry on Friday and Saturday, April 7 and 8 at 1421 W. Washington Street, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.  Proceeds will go to the Honor Flight Program, The National Flag Day Foundations and other veterans’ programs.

-The city of West Bend will be hosting Loyalty Day in 2017.  The event will feature a parade Saturday, April 29.  Loyalty Day is observed nationally. All VFW Posts are invited to take part.

-Delta Defense/USCCA has moved into its new headquarters on Freedom Way off Corporate Center Drive in West Bend.

-Signs of a pending remodel can be seen at Pick n’ Save south on S. Main Street in West Bend. Shelves are being emptied and pallets of items are on sale. Watch for the floral department to be moved to the entryway by produce. The remodel is part of the intended restructuring Kroger had in mind following its $866 million acquisition of Roundy’s Supermarkets in Dec. 2015.

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

-The Kettle Moraine Geological Society (KMGS) is holding its 55th annual show March 11 and 12 at the Washington County Fair Park. The event features club speakers, demonstrators and a variety of displays. For schools, the KMGS is a valuable resource for earth-science curriculum.

-The Washington County Ice Squirt C team has won the Wisconsin Amateur Hockey Association Squirt 2C State Championship.

Thecla Richter – life of a West Bend nurse during WWI     By Lee Krueger

Resident historian Lee Krueger is highlighting his great aunt Thecla Richter, who served as a nurse during WWI. Below are two letters home from Richter dated June 14, 1917 and July 1, 1917.

June 14, 1917

Our trip from England to France was very uneventful.  We all expected to be sick because the English Channel is very rough.  We were well convoyed by destroyers and also by two dirigibles floating about above us.

We were all taken to our hospital in large buses. Most of the nurses were assigned to huts for sleeping and living quarters.  A few had to go in tents because there were not enough huts.  I feel quite fortunate because I am in a hut. The rooms are absolutely bare with the exception of a board bunk but that has been replaced by very comfortable cots. We brought some material from London and now are busy covering boxes for tables and putting up shelves. I also brought two pillows and have our steamer rugs on our cots.  Now our room looks real homelike.

July 1, 1917

….  The hospital which we have charge of can take care of 2000 patients.  All patients are in tents with the exception of the most serious cases which we keep in huts.  We have three huts of 30 beds each.

It is the saddest place to go into these huts and see all these strong men wounded so seriously that they cannot get well, or crippled, but this is war.  At present we have a few American soldiers in our hospital but the majority are Scotch, Australian, New Zealanders, etc. I am not having the luxuries I had been having in Evanston but really I am happier and feel as though life were worth more.

Our unit is invited over to another American hospital (a Boston unit) for tea on the 4th of July.  There are four hospitals right around us so even though we are in the country, we are never alone. The Y.M.C.A. is quite popular here.  They give concerts of some kind or other almost every night.  We always go.  They are given mainly for officers and nurses.  Occasionally they give some out door concerts which are attended by everybody.

If you send any food, pack it in tin boxes and sew a piece of muslin around it.  Write address on the muslin and also on paper which is on the outside.   Thecla   No. 18 General Hospital British Expeditionary Force Francethelca-flag-nurse

Around the Bend by Judy Steffes

Six from West Bend involved in balcony collapse in Florida

There was a local tie to a bad accident in Destin, Florida this week as 11 people, including six from West Bend, were injured when a second-story balcony collapsed.

According to DailyMail.com the accident happened as the group was on the balcony celebrating an 82-year-old’s birthday.

Dick and Ruby Stommel from Holy Angels in West Bend were at the gathering.

Dick, who used to drive for UPS, said he was the only one “not on the deck.”

Stommel’s wife Ruby suffered a fractured ankle and injuries to her back.

Bernie and Mona Werner of West Bend were also injured. Mona suffered a broken leg and fractured her back. Bernie, who used to work for Jecklyn Shoes, reportedly had a broken ankle.

Wally and Gladys Wenzloff of West Bend were also on the deck but only received bruises.

The cause of the accident remains under investigation.

Lillian Oelhafen has died

Lillian Oelhafen who died at her home on Friday in Kohlsville; she was 100 years old.

This past November more than 400 friends and family turned out to help Lillian celebrate her century birthday. Although she officially turned 100 on Dec. 24, Lillian said she simply wanted to see all the people who touched her life.

“She was a fixture at Germanfest,” said Todd Tennies. “She got to see all her old friends. People enjoyed walking up and talking to her because she was so friendly.”

Lillian Oelhafen was born Dec. 24, 1916 when Woodrow Wilson was President of the United States, Charlie Chaplain dominated films, and the Saturday Evening Post first featured a painting by Norman Rockwell on the cover.

Oelhafen was a small woman with an easy smile.  She has spent the past years writing her memoirs and was often a frequent resource to help document the history of Washington County.

During the Washington County Fair, Oelhafen recalled attending the fair as a child in the 1920s. She remembered growing up in Kohlsville and how she would go to the fair with her family.

“It was very dusty,” said Oelhafen. “There was always a dark man with a good suit on and he was standing where you entered the fair and he had a whisk broom and he would offer to brush the men’s suits because it was so dusty.”

Oelhafen said it was normal for families to go to the fair together. “They had rides like a Ferris wheel and merry go round,” she said. “And kids would show their animals.”

In September 2015 Oelhafen took part in her 80th high school reunion. She was one of two students left from the Class of 1935. Details on funeral services for Lillian Oelhafen will be posted shortly.

Former WB Police Chief Jim Skidmore has died

Former West Bend Police Chief Jim Skidmore has died. His family said he died Saturday, Feb. 25 in Florida. Skidmore, who hailed from Lebanon, Pennsylvania, was hired as chief in West Bend on Sept. 1, 1978.

Paul Hetebrueg was captain at the time. “Jim brought the department up to more modern times,” said Hetebrueg. “He improved the training we were getting.”

Former Chief Whitey Uelmen was a patrol office when Skidmore first came to town. “He was an advocate of morality,” said Uelmen. “When they wanted to open massage parlors and tattoo shops he was pretty much against that.”

Washington County Supervisor Mike Miller was an alderman when Skidmore came on board. “He did a wonderful job bringing West Bend up to a first-class police department,” said Miller. “Just the discipline; being an ex Marine, he just brought that Marine discipline to the department.”

Travis Gordon remembered Skidmore as his little league coach when he was 8 years old. “I played for him for 3 years,” said Gordon.  “He always had a kind smile and lots of patience with us. I was a tiny kid and he always told me to eat my spinach so I would grow big and strong. I always looked up to him and have many fond memories.”

Nancy Hoerz Wagner worked with Skidmore at West Bend City Hall. “He was my son’s little league coach for 4 years. Liked him a lot,” she said. Skidmore retired Dec. 31, 1993 and moved to Florida with his wife. His family said Skidmore suffered a stroke a number of years ago and then his health declined recently before his death. A memorial service is being planned at Calvary Assembly of God on Decorah Road in West Bend.

Former Washington Co. Fair manager Joyce Albrecht has died

Joyce Albrecht, a former manager of the Washington County Fair has died.  Albrecht became the Home Economist for the University of Wisconsin Extension Office in Washington County and served as the Washington County Fair Manager until her retirement in 1997.

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

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

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

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

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

Albrecht, 74, died after a lingering illness on Feb. 28, 2017. Funeral Services will be held Sunday, March 5 at Trinity Lutheran Church, Seventh Avenue in West Bend. Visitation starts at 1 p.m. followed by a memorial service at 2 p.m.

7-year-old girl from McLane notifies authorities about fire

The keen eye of a 7 year old helped save the day this week as Serenity Sunde spotted a fire atop the former Badger Car Wash on W. Washington Street.

“I was driving with my uncle and he was going to get some papers and I saw the light and knew it was probably a fire,” she said of the red flames.

The second grader from McLane Elementary School said it took a bit to convince her uncle what she saw was real. “He was driving away and I started crying and saying he had to go back and check,” Sunde said. “I was crying because I didn’t want anybody to be hurt.”

The pair turned around, drove in, saw the fire and started beeping the horn.

Sunde’s uncle left the vehicle and helped pull scaffolding over so an attendant at the car wash could climb up to the roof and use a fire extinguisher to put out the fire.

On Tuesday a number of West Bend firefighters gathered outside the car wash to meet Sunde and hear her story. Dressed in yellow turnout gear the firefighters listened to what Sunde learned in class about fire safety.

“We learn stop, drop and roll if you have a fire on you and if there’s a in your house crawl on your knees or how low you can get,” she said. “If one door is blocked and you don’t have any more doors go through a window.”

Sunde’s aunt Becca Steines said she was extremely of her niece. “We have discussed fire safety in our house and I told her I was proud she could recognize an emergency and knew she had to tell an adult,” said Steines.

Firefighters praised Sunde for being in the right place at the right time.  “For a 7 year old to be that alert and to even be that cognizant to see a fire and know it’s bad ….. that’s pretty special,” said Lt. Alan Hefter. “So somebody really trained her well.”

The fire occurred late Monday afternoon. The amount of damage was undetermined and the cause of the fire remains under investigation.

New owner for Planet Mobile in West Bend

Terrance Kesler has taken over the Planet Mobile, 121 S. Main Street in downtown West Bend.

The Appleton native has worked in the phone industry since graduating high school. “I started at U.S. Cellular right out of school and also held jobs at Verizon and AT&T for the last 15 years,” he said.

For the past 10 years Kesler has been operating an online phone repair business called The Phoneyard. “I recycled cell phone batteries and learn about trouble shooting and I’ve done quite a bit of fundraising,” he said.

Kesler said he was attracted to the location downtown because of the visibility and foot traffic. “I want to be part of all of the events down here,” he said. Some of the new policies at the store will be a quick turnaround on all repairs and a solid schedule of hours. “Most phones I can get fixed in three days,” said Kesler. “I want to have this place be a one-stop shop; I’ll work on Galaxy phones and iPhones and I’ll have the repairs completed on a timely basis.”

Kesler uses words like “ethical” and “honest” to describe his business practices. “I follow up with people and the communication with customers is really important,” he said.  “I’m also going to start offering data recovery, so if you crash your phone I’ll be able to grab your photos and I’ll have free loaner phones.” New hours will be Tuesday – Saturday, 10 a.m. – 5:30 p.m. during the week and Saturday’s from 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.

Comic book store opening in Barton

A new comic book store will be opening in Barton. David Gloyd and Curt Schoob will be opening Crimson Cowl Comics and Collectibles. The store will be at 1749 Barton Avenue next to Revive Salon Studios. “We’re excited to be joining the Barton business community and will do our best to promote other Barton businesses,” said Gloyd.

The pair has been working to bring a comic book store out of their home space to West Bend. A grand opening is planned for March 11. The store will be open four days a week. More details can be found at Crimson Cowl Comics and Collectibles.

Lenten Prayer Service starts in March  

West Bend area Churches will be hosting a Lenten Ecumenical Prayer Service over the Wednesday noon hour. Each service will last from 12:15 p.m. to about 12:45 p.m. The theme is about Seeds of Hope found within Sacred Scriptures and our lives. The service schedule: March 8 Trinity Lutheran Church – Rev. Clarissa Martinelli, March 15 Cedar Ridge—Jill Maria Murdy, March 22 Saint Frances Cabrini Parish –Rev. Kathryn Kuhn, March 29  Saint James Episcopal Church – Rev. Shoob, April 5  Fifth Avenue Methodist Church – Mother Mindy Davis (soup lunch to follow) A free-will offering will be taken for a local charity to be announced.

Updates & tidbits

-You could see the lights in the sky for miles last Saturday night and if you traced them they led to Main Street in downtown West Bend where Kelsey and Wes Krimmer were celebrating the 2nd anniversary of Krimmer’s Restaurant.

-Homes for Independent Living is holding a day in West Bend for on-site caregiver interviews. It’s Tuesday, March 7 at 2395 W. Washington Street Suite 206 from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m.  There’s a $1,000 sign-on bonus for mentioning the post in WashingtonCountyInsider.com

– Treat yourself Irish style! On Saturday, March 4 from 5 p.m. – 8 p.m. there will be Irish music, food, beer, raffle prizes, dancing and plenty of other fun at the Jackson Community Center Live music by Frogwater, The Celtic Company and Rambler. Frogwater plays from 5 p.m. – 6 p.m. Don’t miss them no matter what!

– A near-capacity crowd at the first Mass on Ash Wednesday in the newly renovated St. Peter Catholic Church in Slinger. One of the hymns, “All Are Welcome in this Place.”  Hat tip Ruth Marks.

– Two student athletes from the UW-Washington County womens basketball team have been selected to the Wisconsin Collegiate Conference All-Conference team Megan Breuer was named first team all conference and Kimberly Zimmel was named honorable mention.

-Callie Olinski, 16, of Campbellsport will be the soloist with the Kettle Moraine Symphony on Sunday, March 5. The concert begins 2 p.m. at Our Savior’s Lutheran Church in West Bend.

-Katherine Gehl is the featured speaker March 8 at the MOWA Women’s Forum of Wisconsin. Gehl is a business entrepreneur and former president and CEO of Gehl Foods in Germantown.

– The city of West Bend will be hosting Loyalty Day in 2017.  The event will feature a parade Saturday, April 29.  Loyalty Day is observed nationally. All VFW Posts are invited to take part.

-Groundbreaking is March 17 for the 911 memorial in Kewaskum.

-Delta Defense/USCCA in West Bend will be moving to its new headquarters on Freedom Way off Corporate Center Drive next week Thursday and Friday.

-The Joseph Marest Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution honors seven high school seniors on March 16 who have been named by their schools as DAR Good Citizens. The 2016-2017 Good Citizens are: Chloe Christiaansen, Hartford Union High School, Kara Conley, West Bend West High School, Maria Tischer, Living Word Lutheran High School, Kayla Fixel, Germantown High School, Hailey Herriges, Kewaskum High School, Alison Wolf, Slinger High School and Meredith Vande Zande, West Bend East High School. These seniors have demonstrated outstanding dependability, service, leadership and patriotism.  Daughters of the American Revolution awards $150,000 in scholarships and aid each year.

-Preliminary signs of a pending remodel can be seen at Pick n’ Save south on S. Main Street in West Bend. Some shelves are being emptied and pallets of items are on sale. Watch for the floral department to be moved to the entryway by produce. In January, WashingtonCountyInsider.com reported the remodel was part of the intended restructuring Kroger had in mind following its $866 million acquisition of Roundy’s Supermarkets in Dec. 2015.

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

-The Kettle Moraine Geological Society (KMGS) is holding its 55th annual show March 11 and 12 at the Washington County Fair Park. The event features club speakers, demonstrators and a variety of displays. For schools, the KMGS is a valuable

Around the Bend by Judy Steffes

West Bend Farmers’ Market ranked one of the top in the state

The Downtown West Bend Farmers’ Market is receiving some positive publicity.

A recent article in the ‘Onlyinyourstate’ webpage lists the downtown market as one of the top 17 farmers’ markets in Wisconsin. The market, organized by the Downtown West Bend Association, has more than 70 vendors selling everything from homemade jams and breads, fabulous flowers and seasonal vegetables and fruits.

“It was even voted a top 10 market in the world by Vogue Magazine in 2014,” according to the article. The downtown West Bend Farmers’ Market starts May 20 at 7:30 a.m. – 11 a.m.

Final day for Century Farmhouse Soap

After 15 years everything is now happening for the last time at 136 S. Main Street in West Bend as it’s the end of an era for Ann Marie Craig and Century Farmhouse Soap.

On a sunny Tuesday afternoon Craig made the final pour of a soap that will be ‘Thank you West Bend’ which is made with bits of lemongrass. “One of the soaps we sold the most of in West Bend was our ‘Lemongrass Safari’ soap which was designed specifically for an event for the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra,” said Craig.

‘Thank you West Bend’ is also scented with Tea Tree oil.

The final soap is named ’15’ for the 15 fabulous years of making soap, buying soap and following Century Farmhouse Soap. As Craig gently placed sheets of wax paper on top of the molds she explained the thought process behind the last soap which smells like grapefruit surrounded by sweet fresh air.

“It’s scented with mint for enthusiasm and fun which is what I hope everyone remembers about the store,” she said.

Earlier in the week – Under sunny skies and unseasonably warm mid-February temperatures Mike Hoeft of Kewaskum worked with his assistant to gently remove the signature logo that marked the back entrance to Century Farmhouse Soap the past four years.

Shop owner Ann Marie Craig stood on the curb, camera in hand capturing the end of an era.

Craig announced Feb. 15 that she would be closing her retail location after 15 years and taking her business in a different direction.

The overall decision to close the store “has been extremely difficult” according to Craig but the timing is right both personally and professionally. Moving forward the Century Farmhouse brand will focus more on education rather than soap production and retail.

The Studio shop IS OPEN through today/Saturday until 4 p.m. You can order online at centuryfarmhouse.com

Ion Sports Pub to open on Paradise Drive

After a couple of weeks of mulling over business names the owners of the former Benders Restaurant & Sports Pub are revealing their new name. “It’ll be Ion Sports Pub,” said Nora Sanchez. “It’s a combination of the business partners first names Isaac, Oscar and Nora.”

Oscar Steinbauer Jr. and Sanchez were working with family to clean up the site with hopes of opening in April. Aside from the name change they’ve been some spiffing up of the interior with new paint, flooring and colorful lighting strips above the bar.

Sanchez said they could have red lighting when the Wisconsin Badgers play and green when the Packers are on one of their multiple 55-inch TVs. Watch for the menu at Ion Sports Pub to be released in the coming week. Sanchez said they will feature gourmet burgers, pizza, wings and fish fries on Friday. There will also be Mexican fare including fajitas and margaritas. The beer selections will be standard along with IPAs and Guinness.

Names drawn for ballot position in West Bend School Board race

Names were drawn Friday morning for the April 4 ballot position in the West Bend School Board race. West Bend School Board clerk Therese Sizer had the honor of drawing the names.

Voters will choose up to three candidates when they head to the polls on April 4.  The three top vote getters will be elected to fill three open seats. Name order: Joel Ongert, Ryan Gieryn, Nancy Justman, Tonnie Schmidt, Richard Cammack, and Bob Miller.

Fire alarm malfunctions, several times, at Fair Park School

The fire alarm malfunctioned after school this week at Fair Park School. It happened again Friday morning during student drop off. Students were evacuated briefly to the Washington County Courthouse to stay warm. The West Bend Fire Department responded quickly and assured everyone that all was safe. Students were escorted back to Fair Park by staff. No one was marked tardy. Maintenance is working diligently to find a solution and ensure the fire alarms are fully operational.

New menu rolled out at Café Soeurette

Some menu changes were rolled out Friday night at Cafe Soeurette, 111 N. Main Street in downtown West Bend. Head chef and restaurant owner Jodi Janisse-Kanzenbach has been fielding comments from customers and she is listening!

“Based on our comment cards from customers we’re going away from our large plates and doing more small plates and shared items,” she said. “We are able to do this with our same culinary twist and I’m really excited about the change.”

A couple of the popular menu items include Butter Poached Lobster Deviled Eggs, Grilled shrimp/grilled pineapple salad/tortilla chips, and Bacon Bison Meatloaf.

St. Peter Church to celebrate Mass on Ash Wednesday in newly renovated parish

St. Peter Catholic Parish, Slinger, will celebrate its first Mass on Ash Wednesday, March 1, 2017, in the newly renovated and expanded church. The expansion project of the original 1892 building broke ground a year ago, Feb. 29, 2016.

After Mass on Wednesday the parish’s copper-box time capsule was sealed that morning at the church and then set on a shelf in the wall inside the main covered entryway at St. Peter; the area is referred to as the grand stairway.

A gold-plated plaque was hung gently over the opening.  The plaque, donated by the Knights of Columbus Council read ‘Preserving yesterday. Celebrating tomorrow. This time capsule is lovingly placed by the parishioners of St. Peter congregation.  Slinger, WI’

Lenten Prayer Service starts in March  

West Bend area Churches will be hosting a Lenten Ecumenical Prayer Service over the Wednesday noon hour.   Each service will last from 12:15 p.m. to about 12:45 p.m.

The theme this year is about Seeds of Hope found within Sacred Scriptures and our lives.

The service schedule: March 8 Trinity Lutheran Church – Rev. Clarissa Martinelli, March 15 Cedar Ridge—Jill Maria Murdy, March 22 Saint Frances Cabrini Parish –Rev. Kathryn Kuhn, March 29  Saint James Episcopal Church – Rev. Shoob, April 5  Fifth Avenue Methodist Church – Mother Mindy Davis (soup lunch to follow)

A free-will offering will be taken for a local charity to be announced.

Three players from UW-WC mens basketball selected WCC All-Conference

Three players from the UW-Washington County mens basketball team have made the Wisconsin Collegiate Conference All-Conference Team.

De’Andre Johnson, 21, is a sophomore and was selected 1st team All Conference. “Dre was our leading scorer this year and I believe he led the conference in shooting percentage,” said coach Stephen Murphy. “He’s really improved this year in terms of his passing and defense.”

Evan Rathke, 23, is a point forward on the team. Rathke was selected 2nd team All Conference. “Evan is a very complete player,” said head coach Stephen Murphy. “He’s probably the best all-around player I’ve ever coached. He’s amazingly intelligent and he’s always in the right place at the right time; his footwork is perfect and he knows what to do, executes well and he’s a real leader for us.”

Shaun Fischer, 20, was named Honorable Mention.  “Shawn brings a double double to the table almost every night,” said Murphy. “He gets a lot of rebounds and a lot of points and he brings a lot to the team.”

UW-WC finished third in the Eastern Division of the WCC.  UW-Marathon won the conference in the west and that’s the team the Wildcats will face Saturday in the State Tournament.

Updates & tidbits

-The city of West Bend approved a $50 donation by Margaret Buntrock to West Bend Crime Prevention. Chief Ken Meuler said Buntrock also volunteers her time to the city.

– This week Washington County Administrator, Joshua Schoemann, presents a check for $750 to Ronna Corliss and Ron Naab to support the work of the Heroin Task Force of Washington County. “We put together an employee-appreciation event in January and of the money we made went above and beyond and is now being donated to a good cause,” said Schoemann. “Heroin is one of the biggest concerns across Washington County and we’re seeing its impact first hand, so this was a pretty easy choice because it touches so many of the people that work in the county each day.” Naab said the donation shows how everyone in the county is well aware of the epidemic. Corliss said the money will be a huge help in printing of materials to help build awareness of the Heroin Task Force.

– The West Bend Scholastic Cadets 5th – 8th grade Winter Guard just won 1st place in its second competition in Hersey, Illinois. The team also took 1st place in the first competition in Cedarburg.  The students are from Silverbrook and Badger.

– Tim Pruett died unexpectedly this week. The 63 year old reportedly died while up north with friends.  Pruett owned Benders Restaurant and Sports Pub on Paradise Drive. The family will hold a celebration of life at a later date.

– The city of West Bend will be hosting Loyalty Day in 2017.  The event will feature a huge parade Saturday, April 29.  Loyalty Day is observed nationally. All VFW Posts will be invited to take part.

– Cathy Jahnke of Slinger, RN in the Intensive Care Unit, has been recognized with Froedtert & the Medical College of Wisconsin St. Joseph’s Hospital’s second quarter DAISY Award for her patient care and professionalism.

-Groundbreaking is March 17 for the 911 memorial in Kewaskum.

– West Bend’s Aidan Abbott is headed to the capitol in Madison on Monday to discuss his rare disease and changes needed to state dental laws. Abbott, 12, is a rare-disease advocate. “In the past year I have traveled to Washington DC and shared my story on Capitol Hill,” he said. “For the past few years I’ve been trying to get state laws changed to include dental coverage under medical insurance for kids who suffer from major dental issues and many missing teeth.”

– American Legion Auxiliary Post 36 West Bend is holding a Craft Fair at the Post, 712 Park Ave, West Bend on April 8 from 9 a.m. – 3 p.m.

– The Wisconsin Department of Transportation (WisDOT) Southeast Region is scheduled to begin work on WIS 175 from Maple Road to Beechwood Industrial Court and from Polk Street to WIS 60 in March.

-Mercury Marine presented Cedar Lake Sales of West Bend, its prestigious Service Customer Satisfaction Index (CSI) Award for 2016. Cedar Lake Sales won the Service CSI Award for its ongoing commitment to providing exemplary customer service based on the responses of customers who had warranty work performed at the dealership during the past year.

The history of Thecla Richter – life of a West Bend nurse during WWI.

Resident historian Lee Krueger is looking to highlight his great aunt Thecla Richter, who served as a nurse during WWI. Below is a letter home from Richter dated June 11, 1917.

We are leaving London today and I hate to leave it because we have been having such a wonderful time. Everybody has been so cordial and entertained us in every possible way.  I cannot take time to write the details, but will just write about the wonderful farewell party at Sir Thomas Lipton’s home.

Four double decker trams called for us at the hotel on Sunday P.M.  Sir Lipton lives about 10 miles outside of London.  We were very much impressed with the place. It was all decorated with U.S. flags which we do not see very much in England.

We were all introduced to Sir Thomas Lipton and then taken into his lovely home. Here we were all given a beautiful corsage bouquet of red, white and blue flowers.  Then we were shown his many trophies which he had won.

We were then ushered to a large tent outside where refreshments were served and all were presented with beautifully woven American flags…..  We all left his place at about 6:30 P.M., each with a box of chocolates. Sir Lipton took five of us back to London in his own car.  I happened to be one of them.  I was real lucky.

Enough said about our good times as we certainly having them, but our work will begin soon and we are all anxious to get to work.thelca3

Around the Bend by Judy Steffes

Century Farmhouse Soap to close

Century Farmhouse Soapnbegan at the West Bend Farmers’ Market during the summer of 2001 and the LLC was formed in December 2001.

“West Bend is my home and some of my very first customers still come through our doors to buy soap,” said Ann Marie Craig, owner and founding member of Century Farmhouse.

It was Craig’s work with Country Living Magazine in 2006 that launched her from a “very small” home-kitchen operation to a storefront.

“We were living in my inky dinky little house with 3,000 bars of soap and I had to move it out,” she said. “Someone had to leave and it wasn’t going to be me.”

Finding space took quite a while. Initially located in Barton from 2010 – 2013, Craig was on the verge of closing when the former Hemauer building / paint store opened on Main Street in downtown West Bend.

The adventure in the triangle building included an appearance on John McGivern’s Around the Corner, signature events with West Bend’s DIVA group, and soap-making classes that featured bundles of wonderful lavender.

“Some of the soaps I’ve done for Country Living have had everything from sawdust to ice cream in it,” said Craig. “That was called ‘A Day in the Country.’”

The creations at Country Living have no boundaries and included other items from Mother Nature including melted snow, Hudson River water and even chicken feathers.

The overall decision to close the store “has been extremely difficult” according to Craig but the timing is right both personally and professionally.

Moving forward the focus of the Century Farmhouse brand will broaden toward education rather than soap production and retail.

“I will make tiny batches of soap but the plan is to broaden into more do-it-yourself projects,” said Craig. “If I needed something or wanted something I had to make it because that’s how I grew up so I’m just hoping to capitalize on some of those fun things.”

Although the shop venue will close, Craig will continue to work within the Century Farmhouse brand as a speaker and teacher.

“This was an exceedingly hard decision,” Craig said. “The very hardest thing about this change is saying goodbye to people who have become not just customers but friends, and I want to be certain to thank everyone who has played a role in our successes over the years.”

Working in downtown West Bend, according to Craig, has been extremely rewarding. “The environment in downtown West Bend is fabulous,” she said. “Everybody works together and the DIVA group is an amazing group; it’s a fluid group and we really work hard to make the downtown a total shopping experience for everyone.”

Soaps from Century Farmhouse will still be available online for the next few months and on a few Saturdays at the West Bend Farmers’ Market this summer; those dates have yet to be determined.

Store hours through Saturday, Feb. 25: Wednesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays 10 a.m.  – 6 p.m. and Saturdays 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.  Website: centuryfarmhouse.com

Online orders can be picked up at other local downtown shops – notification of where will come with the confirmation of your order. Soap club cards and gift certificates will continue to be honored as long as soap is available.

Please direct questions to the comment section of the website or directly to Ann Marie Craig.

email: annmarie@centuryfarmhouse.com  Thank you, West Bend.  Ann Marie Craig

Four walls are up at Starbucks on 18th Avenue in WB

Contractors are taking advantage of the warm weather as they make significant progress on the third Starbucks in West Bend. Four walls are now up at the shop under construction on 18th Avenue, just south of Highway 33. The new Starbucks is expected to open in spring. The other two coffee shops are located on Paradise and Main and inside the new Meijer on S. Main Street.

MC Sports in West Bend is closing

MC Sports in West Bend is closing. Staff received word this week. The store on Paradise Drive has been open since November 1999. The corporate store in Michigan sent out a press release citing a number of issues including bankruptcy, which was filed Feb. 14, 2017.

The store is beginning liquidation sales. There is currently 10% off merchandise. According to a company statement it was “unable to reach an agreement on a viable out of court proposal” to restructure its balance sheet and operating performance.

Court filings show MC Sports has millions in trade debt and millions owed to companies like Under Armour and Nike with thousands owed to Adidas Group, Columbia Sportswear and Wilson Team Sports, and others. A company statement said MC Sports operates 68 stores in seven states.

Schaarschmidt Chiropractic has moved


Some changes on 18th Avenue in West Bend as Schaarschmidt Chiropractic has moved out of its building, 235 N. 18th Ave.  Kurt and Janine Schaarschmidt sold the property last April. They said at the time they would continue to operate their clinic out of the location.


That’s changed now as the Schaarschmidts are out.  A note on the door said, “We will be merging our practice with McCormack Chiropractic of West Bend effective Wed. Feb. 1. Dr. Schaarschmidt will be seeing all of his patients at the McCormack office on Shepherds Drive in West Bend. Julie and Janine are going along with Dr. Schaarschmidt, so you can expect the same friendly service you experienced at the Schaarschmidt Castle.  Sincerely, Dr. Kurt Schaarschmidt, D.C.”


The professional building on 18th Avenue is now for lease. In April 2016 the Schaarschmidt Chiropractic building was sold to Daniel Hess from Glendale for $625,000. The 2015 assessment on the property was $760,500.


“This used to be an apple orchard owned by the Barth sisters,” said Kurt Schaarschmidt. “We opened Dec. 20, 1991 and Larry Bunkelman from Bunkelman Builders was our builder.” Schaarschmidt said he was going for an English Tudor look. “Originally it was a house plan out of Arizona and we adapted it to a clinic,” said Janine Schaarschmidt.


Milwaukee Archbishop says Catholics can eat meat on St. Patrick’s Day


Milwaukee Archbishop Jerome Listecki is giving Catholics a pass this Lent as St. Patrick’s Day falls on a Friday. Here is Listecki’s note allowing meat on Friday, March 17: The disciplinary practice of abstaining from meat on the Fridays in Lent is an important dimension of the penitential nature of the season. This year, the Feast of St. Patrick, March 17, 2017, falls on a Friday in Lent. Given the many celebrations that occur on this day and especially as we in the Archdiocese of Milwaukee will be ordaining our two new auxiliary bishops, in accord with the norm of law, I herewith grant to all Catholics of the Archdiocese as well as all present here that day, a dispensation from abstinence from meat and meat products. I encourage all who make use of this dispensation to engage in another sacrificial or charitable act that day.


Popular Senior Conference in Washington County is canceled

Word is spreading across the community that the popular Senior Conference at the Washington County Fair Park has been canceled. The conference is an annual event that started 20 years ago. It featured vendors and guest speakers and was a one-stop-shop of information for senior citizens in the community.

Tammy Anderson with the Washington County Aging and Disability Resource Center said the cut is due to the county’s new priority-based budgeting, which basically means any program that’s not mandated by the state or federal government would be at risk of getting cut.

“This cost the Aging and Disability Resource Center about $23,000 a year,” said Anderson, who was made aware of the cut about six months ago when she first started. “This is an expensive program to run and no it did not end because Linda Olson retired.”

Thousands of senior citizens have enjoyed the conference over the years, they even adapted when it moved from Cedar Community to the Washington County Fair Park. So far only a couple of regular vendors have called the county asking about the event. Local senior citizens are upset. Many say, “government always taking away something from the senior; what a shame.”

Hartford runs a senior fair in the spring and fall.  An effort to “wrangle” other groups to take over the conference has not come to fruition.

Former Washington Co. Attorney Kim Nass to be hired in Dodge County

Former Washington County Attorney Kim Nass is expected to be approved next week, Wednesday, Feb. 22 as the new lead attorney for Dodge County. Nass would begin her duties Monday, Feb. 27. Nass interviewed for the post along with two other candidates.  Supervisors in Dodge County were reportedly impressed with her broad range of experience as a corporation counsel.

Polls open 7 a.m. Tuesday, Feb. 21 for the primary election

There are only a couple of items on the ballot for the Feb. 21 primary election. Polls open at 7 a.m. on Tuesday. Races include State School Superintendent. In West Bend there are seven candidates running for 3 seats on the West Bend School Board.  Six of the top vote getters will advance to the April 4 election. In reality there are six candidates running for three seats. Tina Hochstetter announced she is not running but her name will still be on the ballot. In the West Bend School Board race the ballot order is: Nancy Justman, Richard Cammack, Joel Ongert, Tina Hochstaetter, Ryan Gieryn, Tonnie Schmidt, Bob Miller.

Updates & tidbits

A new salon “The Hair Affair” has opened at 2131 W. Washington Street in West Bend.

– The Elbe family from Golden “E” Dairy on Orchard Valley Road and Shalom in the Town of Farmington will host the 2017 Washington County Breakfast on the Farm on June 10.

– The gloves come off Feb. 25 at Washington County Fair Park as Tiny Love, Justin Dredd and Damon Knight climb into the ring for Mayhem for Mason. Money will be raised for Mason Holbrook and family.

– West Bend Youth Football registration is Saturday, Feb. 25 at 8 a.m. at Silverbrook School.

– Paul Eve as Johnny Cash Alive is coming to the West Bend Moose Lodge on Feb. 25.  Eve has portrayed Johnny Cash since he was 9 years old; he captures the essence of the Man in Black.

– There will be casino games and prizes at the annual Vegas Night at Fillmore Fire Department on Feb. 25 starting at 7 p.m.  Information or tickets call Judy 262-692-9434 or Dale at 689-4799.

– The deadline is coming up March 3 to take part in the 2017 Washington Co. Tree Program.

Rallying 103 birthday cards for 103rd birthday

It is an overcast Thursday morning and Lucille Christianson is wheeling herself through the hallway on the third floor of the Samaritan Home.

Her soft pink slippers push along the flat carpet. It’s a slow process although Lucille is in no hurry.

It’s easy to spot Lucille; her name is in big, bold letters on the back of her wheelchair. I shout her name and she looks up. A nurse caretaker hands me a small microphone that’s attached to her headphones. It makes for much easier communication.

“I understand you’re going to be 103 years old,” I yell into the microphone.

Lucille nods as if it’s no big deal. Just another day. We return to her room and chat. The microphone squeals as I shout and try to maneuver the small black box to reduce the feedback.

Lucille is soft spoken and admittedly a bit confused. She said she grew up on a farm in the area; the family had cows which meant she had chores ….  the rest is a little foggy.

Born in 1914 when Woodrow Wilson was president of the United States, Lucille recalls very little. A gold frame with the number 50 sits on the windowsill. There’s a photo of Lucille and her husband Phil. The date reads October 20, 1931.

A family member has sent a photo of Lucille and Phil in their prime. The couple sit on the bumper of a car in a happy embrace.

Lucille’s family is working on a goodwill project as they try to rally 103 birthday cards to help her celebrate her 103rd birthday on Feb. 18.

There are already piles of cards on a nearby coffee table. We sift through a few and I read the notes aloud. One person asks Lucille who the president was when she was born. Another handmade card features a cake with 103 candles on top.

Lucille puts her hands to her face and starts to cry. “I don’t even know these people and they took the time to send me a birthday card,” she said.

It’s hard to tell, but she said it makes her happy. I try to distract Lucille and ask her what kind of cake she’ll have. “Plain vanilla,” she said. Mostly, she’d like her family to visit but she said “she understands.”

If you would like to help make Lucille’s day special you can send her a birthday card too. Cards can be mailed to Lucille Christianson, Samaritan Health Center  531 E. Washington St., West Bend, WI  53095


Around the Bend by Judy Steffes

Toucan’s Custard is For Sale

The Moehr girls are notifying staff today that they’ve made a family decision.

“We are announcing as a family we’ve decided to sell our business Toucan Custard,” said Rebecca Moehr-Lambrecht. “It’s been a huge part of our life and a part of our heart for the past 27 years and with our dad’s passing this year it feels fitting that the torch also be passed with Toucan.”

During a Friday morning gathering at Toucan the Moehr girls discussed their decision while taking frequent breaks to reminisce about growing up the daughters of Al Moehr and working at Toucan.

“The frozen custard shop was our dad’s baby and it was a great part of our childhood,” said Jacquelyn Heise. “I’ve been here all 27 years.”

Al Moehr bought Toucan when Jacquelyn was 14 years old. “I didn’t really have any thoughts on it,” she laughed. “I had my own thing going on.”

Rebecca vividly remembered walking down the hill with her brother Allen to get ice cream. “I was 9 years old and we lived close and my brother and I walked down here and it was fall and although it was cold we sat outside eating a black forest ice cream cone,” she said. “We were by ourselves and we were able to get whatever we wanted.”

The girls recall having instant jobs and climbing the ladder from the entry-level position of making waffle cones to serving custard and on to manager.

“None of us really wanted to cook,” said Jacquelyn.

“I remember I was a manager at 14 years old because my dad needed one,” said Rebecca. “I cried and said ‘I can’t be a manager.’”

Rebecca remembered training people who were 16 years old. “It was so weird,” she said.

Just in their teens and running a business the girls said their dad was normally just a phone call away.

“Oh dad would call down here like six times a shift,” said Rebecca. The pair then mimicked Al’s grilling. “How are things going? How much custard do you have? Do you need help?”

The decision to sell the business came from a couple different angles. Larry Porter and his wife own the building with a business partner and he passed away in April. The girls said they too had concerns about their mother’s health.

“For us mom had been sick and she’s recovered but this is a family thing and if the whole family is not here, with dad gone it just seems kind of bittersweet that it should go with him,” said Rebecca.

The business was quietly listed a couple months ago at $99,900; now it’s at $89,900.

Mentioning how Toucan is an institution in West Bend, hits the girls right in the feelings. “That’s the part that makes me want to cry,” said Jacquelyn as she dabbed away tears.

“We have a strong emotional attachment to it, that’s for sure,” said Rebecca.  “We hope someone who loves it as much as we do will take it and make it the same.”

Some people who found out earlier about the family’s decision are adamant that nothing change with the sale. “Everybody wants it to be what it is because everybody has a memory,” she said.

The girls told their children earlier this week about their decision and that didn’t go over well.

“They were devastated,” said Jacquelyn. “My daughter laid on the floor and cried.”

The Moehrs understand their children’s reaction as they too grew up in the business.

“We’d bring our babies to work, sitting in highchairs gnawing at cones while we’d do setup,” said Rebecca.

Toucan has also been a drop site for vintage memorabilia. Look around the walls of the checker-floor restaurant and you’ll see a number of toucans, a donated framed picture of Elvis, and a car. “The picture belonged to the parents of one of our customers and she had a little plaque made for it because her parents loved it down here,” said Jacquelyn.

There was also the 3-foot stuffed toucan a woman won at the county fair that hung out in the corner of the restaurant for a while.

“Remember the Toucan car?,” said Rebecca.

Al always drove Cavaliers when he worked for AT&T. “He’d pile the miles on and he eventually put Toucan on the side and the address on the back and he got Toucan license plates and when we were 16 we had to drive that car because he knew we’d behave in the Toucan car,” said Rebecca.

That car, so the story goes, once had a toucan on top that held a magnetic sign advertising the flavor of the day. “Dad went under a parking structure and ripped that bird off the top,” Rebecca said.

The girls told their children earlier this week about their decision to sell… and that didn’t go over well.

“They were devastated,” said Jacquelyn. “My daughter laid on the floor and cried.”

The Moehrs understand their children’s reaction; they too grew up in the business.

“We’d bring our babies to work, sitting in highchairs gnawing at cones while we’d do setup,” said Rebecca.

Thoughts of Al Moehr creep back into the conversation. “He had a lot of great one liners like ‘that one’s as sharp as a marble’ and he’d always want us to have our lips on,” said Rebecca. “He just thought if you didn’t have lipstick on it made you look tired; lipstick meant you were ready for the day.”

For a teenager in the restaurant business – Friday nights meant fish and working with your dad. “But it was really stressful in the cooking line because mom and dad were both there and we couldn’t talk,” said Jacquelyn.

“He’d yell at someone to get the phone or he’d be throwing stuff at us but he made it fun,” said Rebecca. “He’d be pushing his glasses up and say with urgency, ‘Beck can you believe this? Can you believe what’s goin’ on down here right now?’

“I’d say, no dad I can’t believe it,” said a mono-tone Rebecca. “He just loved it because it was so busy.”

While Al Moehr had his own unique personality, the girls developed a following as well.

“Da’ Moehr girls down at Toucan,” said Rebecca with a Midwest-Bender accent.

They acknowledge they look alike and it’s difficult to tell them apart.

“We had one customer, a 12-year-old boy, and he’d look at our shoes and that’s how he’d know which one was which,” said Rebecca.

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

Al Moehr’s legacy is a long list from the creation of the Duck Derby Kiwanis to the taco cheeseburger to the fried baloney sandwich. “Dad was watching a travel channel show and there was a place in Michigan that sold 3,000 a day … so he thought he’d try it,” said Jacquelyn.

Some people, according to the girls, still ask for it.

“We have many great memories of working together as a family and with all our great employees both past and present,” said Rebecca. “We want everyone to know we’re not closing but we’re hoping to find somebody who loves Toucan as much as we do who can carry on this awesome tradition.”

The Moehr girls said they will be “here until the end” and will celebrate the eventual sale with a big party. “We’re going to make a memory book…. something so our kids can remember this too,” said Jacquelyn.

Former Washington Co. Attorney Kim Nass to be hired in Dodge County

Former Washington County Attorney Kim Nass is expected to be approved later this month as the new lead attorney for Dodge County.

According to WBEV Radio Beaver Dam the Dodge County Board’s Executive Committee selected Nass to be the county’s lead attorney.  Nass interviewed for the post along with two other candidates.  Supervisors in Dodge County were impressed with her broad range of experience as a corporation counsel.

Dodge County is looking for someone to provide legal oversight including contract reviews, traffic and civil cases and human services matters. The Dodge County Board will confirm the position at its meeting Wednesday, Feb. 22. If approved, Nass would begin her duties Monday, Feb. 27.

Recognizing West Bend Firefighters for their heroism

West Bend Fire Department Lt. Al Hefter and Motor Pump Operator Kyle Demler were recognized this week for their heroic efforts after they rescued an 18-year-old woman from a fire at her home Sept. 26, 2016.  The West Bend Fire Department was requested to respond for a fire and possible explosion with an 18 year old trapped in the basement.

There was heavy smoke coming from the structure and Lt. Hefter and MPO Demler were advised by a family member that his sister was trapped in the basement.

After a short search they were able to locate the victim who was unconscious on the couch. The pair pulled her from the home to the front yard where rescue efforts continued. The victim was unconscious but breathing. The fire conditions worsened and the structural integrity of the building was deteriorating fast. It is the West Bend Fire Departments belief that Lt. Hefter and MPO Demler put those conditions aside while completing their task of saving the girl.

For their efforts the WBFD honored Hefter and Demler with the Lifesaving Award.  The award is based on an intentional act to save another person’s life and they take substantial steps in saving a life where a person would have otherwise suffer a grave consequence.

Rallying 103 birthday cards for 103rd birthday

Neighbors in Washington County are a helpful lot and WashingtonCountyInsider.com is working with a family on a good-will project. Lucille Christianson is at the Samaritan Health Center and on Feb. 18 she will turn 103 years old. The family is trying to rally 103 birthday cards to help Lucille celebrate. “It’s not every day someone turns 103,” said the request. Cards can be mailed to Lucille Christianson, Samaritan Health Center  531 E Washington St., West Bend, WI  53095

Local family walks away with cash on Family Feud

Liz Borden was preparing to settle in for the second night of Family Feud as her family had advanced to the next round. “I cannot believe it. What wonderful timing! Not!!!!,” wrote Borden. Her TV went on the blink. She ended up watching the Tuesday night episode at a friend’s house.

“We did not win but we had so much fun,” Borden said. “We won about $1,100. It was an amazing experience and it’s something not many families get to do together.”

West Bend School Board candidates share views during forum

About 75 people turned out for the candidate forum at the West Bend Moose Lodge on Wednesday night. West Bend School Board candidates included Rick Cammack, Ryan Gieryn, Nancy Justman, Bob Miller, Joel Ongert, and Tonnie Schmidt

Opening statements

Richard Cammack – Lived in West Bend for 22 years and excited about running for school board. I turned on WVCY and preacher Charles Stanley said, “Don’t quit. People who quit miss opportunities.” This is one of the ways I can help guide your kids to a better future. Three things important to me are family, students and teachers. Local business is also important to me.

Ryan Gieryn – I’m from West Bend and a grad of WBW in 1994 and graduated UW-Madison. Two kids in district. Wife is a teacher in Menomonee Falls. I just wanted to make a difference, work for our kids and education.  We hired a good superintendent in Erik Olson and I’d like to stay and work on things with him.

Nancy Justman – Lived in West Bend for 18 years and has three daughters in school district. Work in marketing in Brookfield. Excited about opportunity and working with the superintendent

Bob Miller – Lived in WB for 19 years and have three kids in the WBSD. Strong supporter of the arts. Works for Charter.  Appreciate your vote.

Joel Ongert – Running because I care. This district used to be one of the best, people would choose to live here but we’ve lost that. We lose great teachers and administrators each year. Lived here for 8.5 years and two kids in school district. Worked entire career at Caterpillar. Want to turn this back into the excellent district we all deserve

Tonnie Schmidt – Co owner at Delta Defense and employ over 100 people and I’m running on their interests. I feel comfortable dealing with big numbers and familiar with politics and red tape with big government. Lived in WB for 18 years and have three teens who have attended local schools. We talk to people and are involved in the community and I feel we’re in a position to help.

Common core – what’s your opinion and how should WBSD handle it?

TS – We need standards but believe in local control and teachers should develop their own curriculum.

JO – Common Core is the standard and not the curriculum. We need to equip parents with tools to get through math. In favor of having teachers set their own curriculum.

BM – Not a fan of Common Core and there are other alternatives out there. Like to see our kids succeed and if we can go above.

NJ – Want to see student excel and Common Core is a standard and want to see teachers and curriculum directors work together.

RG – Common Core is just a set of minimum standards and in WB we strive to be better than minimum standards. It should be left up to teachers to decide what works best.

RC – Looked at Galileo standards and gone to lectures in the past that are against Common Core. Need to sit with teachers and see what they think. I’m opposed to Common Core but I think if there’s something we can use then it’s worth looking at.

Proper way to evaluate teacher performance – competency vs. tenure-based pay?

JO – We can look at surrounding districts to see what they’re doing to see why our teachers are leaving. How about common-assessment tests. Use observations in the classroom. We need to give our teachers more credit and let them come together and write a common assessment.

BM – In some instances teachers can submit questions – don’t need to 100% testing on Galileo. Look into another assessment program. Check with the parents.

NJ – Important to look at a well-rounded evaluation. Observations and grading of students is one thing that’s important. Don’t look at just one quarter – evaluate over the entire year.

RG – Well-rounded evaluation. Research shows basing a teacher’s performance solely on test grades doesn’t work.

RC – A lot more I have to learn to make a sound decision.

TS – Interesting question. Lots of excited and energetic young teachers. Want to have a standard set and there would be an improvement plan on the table. Let teachers with great reputations teach and we should get out of their way.

What’s proper relationship between board and school superintendent/administration?

BM – Superintendent reports to the board. Super should be a resource

NJ – Super reports to the board. Staff underneath reports to Super. Board is also there for guidance and to help portray proper goals and image.

RG – Board is the governing structure that sets the vision. The super is the CEO for acting out that vision. Important for the board to be visible.

RC – Superintendent is the head and the board is the hands and feet but both have to work together. Important that the board gets out to meet people.

TS – Board and Super have a good relationship. Board represents stakeholders and Super executes mission. Board can ask questions of the Super and all actions should be transparent. It should be encouraged for board members to talk to teachers and parents

JO- Board needs accountability. Great opportunity to challenge and support the Superintendent. Board’s job to make sure that happens.

Parents are opting students out – why is this happening, how to win students/parents back?

NJ – Not sure why parents are opting kids out. We could speculate but win them back by instilling school pride and help teachers be happy in district. Get staff to be proud of district.

RG – Lots of reasons people leave including size and travel. Some are threatened by size of the high school. Studies show kids learn better in smaller environments. How to change size of H.S.? How do you make large environment feel smaller.

RC – Main goal is to study this question. Why are people leaving? Traffic pattern is a problem. We have to stop this from happening – it’s going on at UW-WC too. Vital issue we need to address.

TS – We have too much standardized testing, we focus on bare minimum and not excellence, we don’t offer as many AP classes and teacher pay is tied to testing.

JO – We have to ask the families why they’re leaving. Is it testing, is it bullying and we need to do exit interviews with teachers to find out why they’re leaving.

BM – Board does do exit interviews and contact families. We need to make the answers transparent on why they’re leaving. We should focus on the children first and not so much on the politics.

What conditions would you propose operational referendum to raise taxes?

RG  – If we were looking at cutting programs from our schools that would be the first indicator for an operational referendum.

RC – Priorities dictate what we do. We need to talk as a community on what our priorities are.

TS – Until we fully understand how our taxpayer money is spent and the structural makeup of administration. I need to understand our costs. I won’t vote for an operational referendum.

JO – We’ve yet to see an operational budget. What are we spending? We should see a transparent budget. I won’t vote for an operational referendum.

BM – Only if we’re cutting back on arts and creativeness.

NJ – Agree we need to see line-item budget. Want to see budget. Don’t want to see programs cut.

Common Sense Citizens lean towards conservative – how do you keep your position nonpartisan while still pleasing all stakeholders?

RC – I call myself a realist – what is the issue and how do I address it. Important to think about reality.

TS – I’m a conservative and believe in checks and balances. Everybody can voice their opinion and I want to work with the adults in the room.

JO – I consider myself a conservative but I have a big heart for teachers and students. This is for the betterment of teachers, students, and community. Need transparency in budget.

BM – I’m conservative but we have to listen to everyone

NJ – School district is backbone of community. Most important to think of what’s best for students and community.

RG – Politics don’t play a part in education. As part of the board we represent everybody

Why are you the best candidate?

TS – I’m one of the top 3 candidates. I’m very invested in this community. I have experience and I’m locked into this community.

JO – I care about teachers, kids and the community. I want to rally behind our superintendent

BM – I’m one of the best because I was born and raised here and I can make tough decisions

NJ – I care about causes. We can make this an amazing experience but we need to work together

RG – First year is like drinking from a fire hose. Big thing about being on the board is longevity. I know what it’s been like for three years and I can continue to do good work

RC – For the last 10 semesters I’ve been going to UW-WC and define what best is.  I love learning and it’s my passion and that’s my biggest asset

Closing remarks:

RC – I’ve been visiting schools and principals. I want to bring a future of hope

RG – I’ve had opportunity to do the job of hiring a superintendent. We have a $70 million budget and we’re the largest employer. The super is doing what the board has asked him to do.

NJ – I understand difficulty of reporting to a board. I want the super to stick around and the district to be successful. We need to communicate better.

BM – I have a strong passion for kids.

JO – Not easy and there are some challenges.  I’m the guy who can help make this a destination district

TS – I want to know cost, alternatives, criteria to determine facts and I’m running because I’ve had a hard time getting answers. I’m good at asking questions.

There will be 7 candidates for West Bend School Board on the Feb. 21 primary ballot. Six of the top vote getters will advance to the April 4 Spring Election. There seven candidates running for three open seats on the West Bend School Board.

In reality there are six candidates running for three seats. Tina Hochstetter has announced she is not running but her name will still be on the ballot.

In-person absentee voting is open until Friday, Feb. 17. Voters are reminded to bring an ID.

In the West Bend School Board race the ballot order will be: Nancy Justman, Richard Cammack, Joel Ongert, Tina Hochstaetter, Ryan Gieryn, Tonnie Schmidt, Bob Miller

Updates & tidbits

– Students and staff at St. Kilian School in Hartford packed over 400 lunches for the House of Peace as a service project during Catholic Schools Week.

– West Bend City Clerk Stephanie Justmann swore in three new police officers Nicholas Ratas, Shawn Spencer and Brock Bateman during Monday’s Common Council meeting.

– The Elbe family from Golden “E” Dairy on Orchard Valley Road and Shalom in the Town of Farmington will host the 2017 Washington County Breakfast on the Farm on June 10.

– In-person absentee voting is underway and runs through Friday, Feb. 17. You must bring an ID to vote. There are only a couple of items on the primary ballot for the Feb. 21 spring election.

– The gloves come off Feb. 25 at Washington County Fair Park as Tiny Love, Justin Dredd and Damon Knight climb into the ring for Mayhem for Mason. Money will be raised for Mason Holbrook and family.

– A Safe Space workshop is Feb. 22 at the Democratic Party of Washington County, 132 N. Main Street in West Bend. The event is free and open to the public.

– West Bend Youth Football registration is Saturday, Feb. 25 at 8 a.m. at Silverbrook School.

– Paul Eve as Johnny Cash Alive is coming to the West Bend Moose Lodge on Feb. 25.  Eve has portrayed Johnny Cash since he was 9 years old; he captures the essence of the Man in Black.

– There will be casino games and prizes at the annual Vegas Night at Fillmore Fire Department on Feb. 25 starting at 7 p.m.  Information or tickets call Judy 262-692-9434 or Dale at 689-4799.

– The deadline is coming up March 3 to take part in the 2017 Washington Co. Tree Program.

– Ice racing on Wallace Lake on Sunday, Feb. 12 has been cancelled.

Frieden’s Church to go to auction

There’s quite a bit of history behind the old church that sits on the corner of County Highway P and Cedar Creek Road. Local historians Terry Becker and Steve Kissinger chimed in with some interesting facts.

Frieden’s Church was founded in 1852.  The first church was a log structure.  The present church was built in 1878.  The church was remodeled in 1927 and again in 1952. History photos show an original steeple on the building.

The church was in use until June 1991 when the congregation joined with Peace Evangelical Reformed church of Jackson and they moved into a new building.

It is now called New Hope United Church of Christ. The minister still lives in the house across the street.

The bank currently owns the building. Over the weekend a crew out of Racine put a new roof on the building. The church will go up for auction in a few weeks.

County Highway Commissioner Scott Schmidt said there will be work done to add sidewalk and curb and cutter on Highway P.

There was word the state was going to build a roundabout at that intersection and raze the church – that, however, is false.

On a side note: The church or rather its cemetery has a tie to West Bend.  B.C. Ziegler’s grandparents along with extended family members rest in the church cemetery.friedens5

Around the Bend by Judy Steffes

The Hideout Sports Pub is opening in former Benders

There’s a new business going into the former Benders Restaurant location on Paradise Drive. Oscar Steinbauer Jr. is partnering with Nora Sanchez; the pair are preparing to open The Hideout Sports Pub.

The name has already ruffled a few feathers especially at an establishment on Park Avenue called Al’s Hideout.

Steinbauer, who is from Random Lake, said he did a license check and did not come across Al’s Hideout. During a follow-up review he found the name and now he’s discussing how to move forward with his business partner.

Steinbauer is in the business of buying and selling equipment for restaurants and Sanchez has been in the restaurant industry for 20 years.

For the past few weeks the business partners have been working with family to clean up the interior of the building. There’s new paint and flooring and updates are being made in the kitchen and behind the bar.

The pair said they’ll have a small menu of 35 items with gourmet burgers, pizza, wings, and Friday fish fries. “We’ll also have Mexican fare including fajitas and margaritas,” he said.

The beer selections will be standard along with IPAs and Guinness.  The Pub will open 11 a.m. for lunch and dinner. They hope to open in West Bend in April. The location is formerly home to Benders Restaurant and Sports Bar, 1102 Paradise Drive.

Ann Taylor presented with Mother Cabrini Award

The Mother Cabrini Award was presented this week to Ann Taylor who has worked at St. Frances Cabrini School for 14 years. The award has been given to a staff member at school since 1989 to a person who has qualities of perseverance, missionary zeal, simplicity, and educational mission:  An attitude that demonstrates love for children

Taylor’s peers had this to say: “She is a hard-working and dedicated teacher.  She always comes in early and takes on extra duties.  She is thoughtful and caring.

“She is humble and grace-filled.  She goes out of her way to balance the responsibilities of school with the needs of her family.  She does everything with an attitude of thoughtfulness, kindness and care.

“She never complains but instead gives her students and colleagues the very best of who she is.  Ann lives her life using her God-given gifts always in service of others.”

Relay for Life of West Bend is relocating

Some changes in store this year for Relay for Life of West Bend as organizers shift the event to one day in July.  The event honor survivors of all cancers and raises money for the American Cancer Society. Normally held at Badger Middle School in West Bend the event will shift this year to Regner Park. “It’ll help us save a little money,” said Relay board member Clyde Lofy.

Over the past few years Relay for Life has struggled with fundraising and participation numbers. By moving the event to Regner Park the organization will be able to take advantage of the park’s facilities and cut back on expenses, primarily for tents. Relay for Life is slated for Saturday, July 22 from 12 p.m. – 10 p.m.

Gov. Walker salutes National Guard troops in WB

Military representatives from Wisconsin’s National Guard as well as Gov. Scott Walker gathered at the Armory in West Bend on Thursday as 33 soldiers were shipping out to Afghanistan.  Numerous speeches sent encouragement to the families and loved ones of the troops and repeatedly sent the message to the soldiers that the Badger State honors them and their service to our country.

“You’re the best of the best,” said Walker as he presented a Wisconsin state flag to the troops. “You’re well trained and well prepared. Think of the impact of what it means to be from Wisconsin and there are men and women from across the state that will be lifting you up in prayer all the while you’re deployed.”

The troops traveled south for 3 weeks of training before being shipped overseas. They’re expected to return in December.

More than 250 neighbors miffed about Reliever Route meeting

Bill Schellinger of Hartford and Anne Gehring from Stone House Dairy in Hartford had some real concerns following Tuesday night’s meeting on the proposed Reliever Route. The plan is designed to go through the rural towns of Hartford, Slinger and Addison.

Schellinger and Gehring said trucks traveling at 55 miles per hour, combined with farm equipment on the road and school buses for Addison and Slinger had everyone worried about safety. “We have fender benders now,” said Gehring. “But those will turn into fatalities with those trucks and tractors and speeds at 55.”

According to the No Reliever Route group, “The Reliever route comes at the request of a few large corporations in Hartford based out of the Industrial Park and the city of Hartford.  It is a Highway 60 bypass cutting north through farms and the town of St. Lawrence eventually connecting with Interstate 41. The intention is to divert semi truck traffic off of Highway 60.”

The county has projected the cost at $23.9 million. There is no state money available for the project.  It is anticipated Washington County taxpayers will be responsible for funding the project.

Regis Hairstylists in West Bend has closed

Regis Hairstylists in the Paradise Pavilion has closed. All that remains is an empty storefront and shadows of the lettering on the building facade. According to a former employee the store got a call in mid-January to let them know they were one of 300 salons in the franchise that were being shut down. The last day for the salon was Jan. 17. On a side note, stylist Laura has relocated. Her clients can call or text 414-416-9231.

Winners of Optimist Club Oratorical Contest

Four students from West Bend participated in the inaugural Optimist Club of West Bend Oratorical Contest. Students, age 12 through 17, spoke on the theme, “What the World Gains from Optimism.”

Taking first place was 14-year-old Natalie Heinrich, 14, took first place and Libby Willkomm, 15, took second place. Both advance to compete Saturday, April 8, 2017 at the Pauline Haas Public Library in Sussex.

“All the students did a wonderful job presenting their speeches around the topic being presented,” Club President Mike Hartwell said. “The members of our Optimist Club have no doubt all the students have bright futures.”

The Optimists thanked sponsors The Law Offices of John A. Best, Toucan’s Food and Custard, the Kettle Moraine YMCA and Michael and Lucy Bloedorn.

Evan Powers presented with Optimist Club Explorer of the Year Award

The West Bend Optimist Club presented its 2016 Explorer of the Year Award today to Evan Powers.

The 22-year-old is a West Bend West High School graduate. Powers is currently enrolled at UW-Waukesha County and currently studying criminal justice.

“This is my third year in Explorers and I joined because I wanted to get real-life experience,” he said. “I’ve volunteered 200 hours to community service and I’ve learned I have to maintain professionalism when dealing with people.”

Powers has also spent 100 hours on ride alongs with West Bend Police. “He’s volunteered with the July Fourth Parade and he volunteers at the high school with special education,” said mom Kim Powers.

Powers said he enjoys working at Wheels on Main the most. “We rotate shifts and it’s a great atmosphere,” he said.

Optimist President Mike Hartwell said they were really impressed with the amount of hours Powers committed to volunteer service. “Evan does a real good job with the hours he volunteers and that helps free up other officers for police work,” he said.

Hartwell said Powers is a good listener and consciousness about following through on every project.  The Optimist Award, along with a $250 scholarship award was presented at noon on Thursday at New Perspectives Lighthouse in West Bend.

Germantown H.S. senior finishes Eagle Scout project.

Tony Matheny of Germantown is working on his Eagle Scout Badge. The 17-year-old with Troop 271 was busy Friday afternoon putting the finishing touches on 18 footstools for the NICU unit at West Allis Hospital.

“I got a lot of the materials from the Habitat ReStore in Germantown,” he said. “We’re using rescued wood from the trees taken down because of Emerald Ashe Borer.”

Matheny has been in scouts more than 7 years. He was contacted by a family friend about the need for the stools at West Allis Hospital.

The project started last August. After Matheny secured the materials he worked with carpenters, mentors and shop teachers to plane the wood.

In a test of leadership, Matheny guided six younger scouts who helped sand and stain the wood. “It was a good test of working in a group,” said Matheny. “No one got hurt.”

Matheny has put in about 70 hours on the project. Later this morning he will present the footstools to staff at West Allis Hospital.

“It’s nice to be able to make a difference,” he said. “Knowing that a mom who holds her baby for the first time will also be using the footstool. It serves a great purpose.”

To be eligible for the Eagle rank a scout must have 21 merit badges; Matheny has 22. In the coming months his project will be reviewed by the Council Service Center and National Headquarters. If accepted Matheny will receive his new rank during the Eagle Court of Honor.

Updates & tidbits

– Holy Angels School in West Bend recognized Pamela Carter with the National Catholic Educational Association’s Distinguished Graduate Award during this year’s Catholic Schools Week celebration.   Principal Mike Sternig presented the honor and noted Carter has certainly embodied the school’s mission

-Mary Hafeman has been selected a Top 50 US Kids Coach. Hafeman is a golf pro from West Bend.

-On Monday, Feb. 6 Casa Tequila in West Bend will host the viewing party for the Borden family as they will be featured on Family Feud on WVTV Channel 18. The show starts at 6 p.m.

-The city of West Bend will be hosting Loyalty Day in 2017.    The event, which will feature a huge parade, will be Saturday, April 29. Loyalty Day is observed nationally. All VFW Posts will be invited to take part.

-Vegas Night is Feb. 25 at 7 p.m. at the Fillmore Fire Department.  Proceeds benefit the Fillmore Fire Department.

-There was a sendoff ceremony Thursday in West Bend for 33 National Guard troops being deployed to Afghanistan. Gov. Walker explained how to create the Wisconsin Badger “W” to the crowd. He then had those gathered simultaneously show the “W” to the deploying troops so they would remember there are those here at home who are thinking of and supporting them.

– Jeff’s Spirits on Main along with West Bend Mutual will welcome author and master distiller Fred Noe to a backyard Bourbon Q this spring. All proceeds benefit the MACC Fund.

-John Roy Volkert, 92, of West Bend died this past week. On a history note Volkert owned Sports Apparel Plus in West Bend for 8 years. First in the Kohl’s mall on South Main, then it moved downtown next to the theater (currently the Candy Man).

– Allan Kiekhaefer was at a Republican Party event last week when he took a spill by the stairs. He said a nice young man came along and helped him to his feet. That “nice young man” ended up being U.S. Senator Ron Johnson.

– On Monday the West Bend Common Council will present a Fire Department Life Saving Award to West Bend Fire Lt. Alan Hefter and MPO Kyle Demler. The pair saved the life of Emily Craig, 18,

-During Monday’s West Bend Common Council meeting the Board of Public Works will discuss possible changes to the Public Works Drop-Off Yard Stickers for 2017. According to Mayor Sadownikow there will be no price increase, just a clarification on who can use the sticker; the city is trying to open the process up to more West Bend businesses.

– Next Saturday, Feb. 11 the sturgeon spearing season gets under way on the Lake Winnebago system. The harvest cap for adult females is 855, up from 740 last year. This year the DNR is asking spearers to donate the head from their fish as the DNR is doing a comprehensive study to evaluate different methods for estimating age and growth of lake sturgeon. One of the methods is the use of otolith (ear bones).

– West Bend Mutual CEO Kevin Steiner is the chairman of the 2017 United Way of Washington County campaign. “I said yes for five reasons,” said Steiner. “This next year’s campaign will be the biggest ever.”

-There will be three incoming West Bend Police Officers who will take the Oath of Office on Monday including Officers Brock N. Bateman, Nicholas D. Ratas and Shawn K. Spencer.

-Reality Day is coming up Feb. 15 in the south gym at the West Bend High Schools. College-and-Career Day is March 15 and 16 at Washington County Fair Park.

– The gloves will be coming off Feb. 25 at Washington County Fair Park as Tin Love, Justin Dredd and Damon Knight climb into the ring for Mayhem for Mason. Money will be raised for Mason Holbrook and family.

History photo – celebrating Catholic Schools Week.

Holy Angels picnic 1959 – courtesy Dan Berres

Around the Bend by Judy Steffes

Man who fell on ice has died

 Neighbors in Barton mourned the loss of Jeff Dolde, 61, this week after word came he fell on the ice and spent the overnight outdoors. Dolde died a week after being hospitalized.

On January 17, WashingtonCountyInsider.com reported Dolde, locally known as Schnapps, fell on the ice just outside Bagg End Tavern.

Dolde was walking Monday evening. Friends said he apparently could not get up and every time he tried he slid further from the road. Dolde reportedly hit his head and was found in the snowbank outside the closed tavern the next morning.

Dolde was taken to Froedtert Hospital in Milwaukee. Friends said he was walking and talking and appeared to be recovering. Word came Tuesday, Jan. 24 that he died.

Services will be held at a later date.

Rev. Haines appointed Auxiliary Bishop by Milwaukee Archdiocese

Former St. Frances Cabrini priest Rev. Jeffrey Haines has been appointed by Pope Francis as Auxiliary Bishop for the Archdiocese of Milwaukee.

Details from the Archdiocese are below.

Milwaukee native Fr. Jeffrey R. Haines has been appointed by Pope Francis as Auxiliary Bishops for the Archdiocese of Milwaukee.  The appointments were announced in Rome, January 25, and Haines will be ordained bishop by Milwaukee Archbishop Jerome E. Listecki at the Cathedral of St. John the Evangelist.  The ordination date has not been announced, but should be within the next five-to-eight weeks.

“Praised be Jesus Christ; this is a proud moment for the Church in southeastern Wisconsin,” Archbishop Listecki said.

Auxiliary bishops serve the Church by assisting the archbishop in the pastoral and spiritual leadership of the archdiocese.  They assist the diocesan bishop in his role as shepherd – teaching, leading, serving and celebrating the sacraments with the people of God.

“I always have considered the vocation of priestly ministry in the Church to be the greatest of gifts, because each and every day I am blessed with the opportunity to proclaim the saving Gospel of Jesus Christ in Word and Sacrament and thus encounter Him in the people I serve,” said bishop-elect Haines.

“This ‘new calling’ as an Auxiliary Bishop brings the grace-filled opportunity to expand the parameters of this joyful service to the whole archdiocese.  I am profoundly humbled by this calling and keenly aware of my shortcomings, but I find strength and inspiration in the powerful presence and vitality of the Holy Spirit emerging in the implementation of our recent Archdiocesan Synod.  I look forward to assisting Archbishop Listecki in fulfilling the pastoral priorities of this mission.  I give praise to God and thanksgiving to His Holiness Pope Francis for the honor of this Episcopal appointment.”

Bishop-elect Haines, 58, was ordained to the priesthood on May 17, 1985, by Archbishop Rembert G. Weakland, O.S.B., and is currently serving as Rector and Pastor of the Cathedral of St. John the Evangelist, Milwaukee.

After ordination in 1985, Father Haines was appointed Associate Pastor of St. Nicholas in Milwaukee. In 1996, he was appointed pastor of St. Frances Cabrini Parish in West Bend.  He was granted temporary leave to study canon law at Catholic University in 2002.  In 2003, he returned as Pastor of St. Frances Cabrini Parish in West Bend, and was given additional responsibility as assisting priest of Immaculate Conception/St. Mary’s, West Bend in 2004.  In 2011, he was appointed Rector of the Cathedral.

Ooh La La… accessories closing

After nearly 8 years in business Ooh La La…. accessories in downtown West Bend is closing.

Shop owner Kim Riley posted this note: “We are saddened to say that Ooh La La… accessories will be retiring our West Bend location.

It has been a true honor to be part of the West Bend community and business district. We have been blessed to have such wonderful friends come into our lives over the past 8 years! We hope to continue our friendships at our Menomonee Falls location. It is still our mission to help you with “adorable and affordable” fashion accessories.

Also, I want to assure everyone that gift certificates you may have from West Bend are always welcomed at our Menomonee Falls store. Thank you all for your friendship and love. Sincerely, Kim Riley

Downtown WB Theatre will be featured Sunday on CBS 58

This Sunday the downtown West Bend Theatre will be featured in a story on CBS 58. Photojournalist Dan Blanchard spent some time on N. Main Street this week talking to a couple of entities involved in the debate over the future of the theatre.

The facility is owned by neither party but plans have been drawn up and funding has been raised by at least one party. Mayor Kraig Sadownikow was interviewed for the piece, although the city has zero to do with the project since the building is privately owned.

Claire Rolfs was also interviewed for the piece about her proposal to keep the facade of the building and take the back end and make it into an open-air amphitheater.

Slinger grad named Big 10 Conference Field Athlete of the Week

Slinger High School alum Kiley Sabin is making a name for herself in the college ranks. The 2014 grad is a sophomore thrower on the University of Minnesota women’s track & field team.

This week the 20-year-old Sabin was named the Big Ten Conference Field Athlete of the Week after breaking Minnesota’s program record in the shot put to lead the Gophers to an 82-80 win over Wisconsin in the third-annual Minnesota-Wisconsin Dual.

Sabin threw 17.17m (56-04.00) to win the shot put, improving on one of Minnesota’s oldest program records by nearly two feet.

When Sabin was in high school she was already making her mark, not only athletically but also academically. The 4-time track-and-field letter winner was on National Honor Society and German National Honor Society. Sabin owns Slinger school records in the shot put (46-2) and the discus (143-0).

Students from Holy Angels, Cabrini and St. Mary’s attend March for Life in D.C.

This week a delegation of 17 students and 5 chaperones from the West Bend Catholic Churches of Holy Angels, Saint Frances Cabrini, and St. Mary’s Immaculate Conception attended the National March for Life in Washington, D.C. The March for Life is an annual event that “provides all Americans with a place to testify to the beauty of life and the dignity of each human person.”

Catholic Schools Week Jan. 29 – Feb. 4 – the value of a parochial education

Catholic Schools Week is about to get underway across Washington County as schools participate in Mass, dress-up day and the naming of the winner of the Mother Cabrini award. On that note we reached out to graduates of parochial schools in the community to get their reflections on how a Catholic School education impacted their life.

Ann Enright: I attended Holy Trinity Catholic School, Kewaskum, from 1951-1959.  Our teachers were nuns from the order of The Sisters of St. Agnes. Their motherhouse 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.

Jayne A Peplinski: I feel very blessed I was able to attend a Catholic School.  The education I received was fantastic.  I was able to attend higher-level classes in high school because of it. I also am grateful for the religious education I received. It wasn’t just in religion class, but in all classes.

They incorporated the importance of being kind to each other and treating others like we would treat ourselves into each lesson. I believe this has helped me throughout my life. It was such a wonderful experience for me that my husband and I moved back to West Bend many years ago so all of our 5 children could attend the school I did; St Frances Cabrini.  I have thanked my parents many times for their sacrifice to send me and all my siblings to a Catholic school.

Updates & tidbits

There will be ice racing on Wallace Lake to raise money for Big Brothers, Big Sisters of Washington County is Sunday, Feb. 12 at Eddie’s Lake House (formerly Pier 144) at 7138 Highway 144 N, West Bend. Southwest side of the lake. Spectators watch for free, beverages and food available.

It’s been a beehive of activity at the new Mad Max, 1229 S. Main St. in West Bend. The gas station/convenience store/coffee shop opened Friday morning.

-Good news for the Walk for a Cure for Diabetes held at Ridge Run Park in West Bend. The American Diabetes Association ranked the walk No. 11 in the 2016 Top 20 list of Community Walk Events.  Dave Reed organizes the event.  In three years it has raised $2,164.  “This is a real grassroots effort and the people who are involved are normally touched by diabetes,” said Reed.

-United Way of Washington County will hold its annual celebration Thursday, Feb. 2 at the West Bend Mutual Insurance Prairie Center. Watch for a new 2017 campaign chair to be announced.

-There’s a group deploying to Afghanistan from the National Guard and a ceremony will be held Feb. 2 in West Bend. Either Gov. Scott Walker or Lt. Gov. Rebecca Kleefisch will be in attendance.

–  This year’s West Bend Youth Football Fundraiser, “The Washington County Beer Tasting” is Friday, Feb. 3 2017 at Washington County Fair Park.

-On Feb. 8 the City of West Bend will be hosting a Community Blood Drive at City Hall from 12 p.m. to 5 p.m. The American Red Cross remains in the midst of a severe blood shortage and has issued an

-West Bend West H.S. alum Jamie Griffin rang the closing bell at the New York Stock Exchange this week. Griffin, who graduated Class of 1999, is executive director with Women in Bio, Inc.

-The City of West Bend officially has a new clerk in office. During Monday night’s Common Council meeting Megan Gundrum swore in Stephanie Justmann.

– Casa Tequila will host the viewing party for the Borden family as they will be featured on Family Feud on Feb 6 on WVTV Channel 18. The show starts at 6 p.m. Liz Borden advises people get there by 5:30 p.m. if they want to purchase tacos or drinks.

-The Family Adventure Pool at the Kettle Moraine YMCA reopened this week. The pool was recently cleaned, the deck stained and new play features including a bulldozer slide were added.

-Longtime Assistant County Attorney Brad Stern has been appointed the new Washington County Attorney.  Stern has served as an Assistant County Attorney since 2004.

-I was leaving the West Bend Public Library the other day and a man held open the door for me. I recognized him but just couldn’t remember his name.

Me: Thank you. How are you?

Man: Good, how are you?

Me: Good.

Man: I ran into your husband the other day.

Me: Really? ..said genuinely surprised. Did you tell him he should come home?

WWI nurse Thecla Richter from West Bend              By Lee Krueger

Resident historian Lee Krueger is looking to highlight his great aunt Thecla Richter, who served as a nurse during WWI.

During the years after “The Great War” Thecla Richter was asked to make a number of presentations telling about her time in France as a Red Cross Nurse.  The following introduction to one of these talks was written by Edith Heidner, noted West Bend historian and good friend of Ms. Richter.

World War I started in 1914. At that time the countries involved included Germany, France, Italy and Great Britain. Assisting Great Britain were her colonies which included Australia, New Zealand, Scotland, Wales, Ireland and Canada. The year of 1916 was a horrible year in the War with a staggering loss of life. The battles of Verdun and Sommes, alone, had resulted in over two million casualties. It appeared that this horrific loss of life would continue into 1917.

The United States did not enter the war until April 6, 1917. After the declaration of war it would take a number of months to organize the U.S. effort and to get troops and supplies ready to be deployed to Europe.

Small groups of civilians could react more quickly and, immediately after our country’s declaring war on Germany, a group of doctors affiliated with Northwestern University organized a medical unit to give service during this World War.

Representatives of this group were sent to the various hospitals associated with Northwestern University to obtain volunteers to join the unit.  The personnel of this newly formed unit were to consist of 35 doctors, 60 nurses and 200 enlisted men.

The newly formed medical team was on its way to Europe within a month.  But, because there were no American units on European soil, the deployment plan had the group joining the Red Cross, being assigned to and working with British units that were already deployed.

This Red Cross medical unit included Thecla Richter, a West Bend nurse, who felt the need to serve her country and who had recently graduated from the Northwestern University School of Nursing.

History photo – Celebrating Catholic Schools Week

As we prepare to celebrate Catholic Schools Week we take a look at Holy Angels classroom from 1941. Photo courtesy Karen Halverson.12

Around the Bend by Judy Steffes

West Bend man recovering in ICU after being pulled from snowbank

A West Bend man, 61, is being treated at Froedtert Hospital in Milwaukee after being found lying in a snowbank Tuesday morning on N. Main Street.

According to West Bend Police Lt. Duane Farrand, the man was reportedly found before 6 a.m. in the 1300 block of N. Main Street.

Neighbors in Barton said a member of Asplundh Tree Service found the man in the snowbank just outside Bagg End Tavern. The man was cold and wet.

Patrons at Joker’s 5 Bar & Grill said they knew the man as Jeff and said “he walked everywhere.”

Lt. Farrand said they were called to the scene for someone who had “slipped on the ice.” Farrand did not know if the man suffered hypothermia.

Vrana Body Shop shares the same driveway as Bagg End Tavern. Staff said they were aware police were on scene Tuesday morning. They said the driveway was a “sheet of ice” and even the trucks from Asplundh had a tough time with traction.

The man’s relatives said he was walking around 8 p.m. Monday when he slipped and fell on the ice. Every time he tried to get up he fell again and slid further down the driveway away from the road. The final time the man tried to get his footing he fell and hit his head. The man did not regain consciousness until he was found the next morning.

The man is still at Froedtert Hospital in Milwaukee.

New events director for Downtown West Bend Association

Anna Jensen, 25, is relatively new to the community of West Bend. A transplant from Edgerton, Wisconsin, Jensen moved to town for a job in radio sales. Now a short year and a half later she’s the new events director for the Downtown West Bend Association.

Jensen studied meteorology in college. She took courses like physics and chemistry and interned at a couple of TV stations in the weather department.

“I’m really more into the people and less into the computers,” she said, while visiting Tuesday morning in the Main Street office of the DWBA.  “That’s what kind of brought me into sales. I can start a conversation with a stranger and have no problem talking to anybody.”

Aside from her strong social skills, Jensen has managed to successfully network in West Bend and surrounding communities. She’s a member of the green coats with the West Bend Chamber of Commerce and she’s with the Hartford Chamber.

Last year Jensen worked closely with the DWBA marketing several events including the Downtown West Bend Concourse/ToAD, Maxwell Street Day and Music on Main.

“I’d really like to grow the current events and maybe build another event in the following year,” she said.

Carol Baranyk will be working alongside Jensen. “She’s a perfect fit for this position,” said Baranyk. “She’s not afraid to strike up a conversation with someone, she’s enthusiastic, and hopefully with meteorology in her background she’ll be able to predict the weather and keep the rain away for Music on Main.”

West Bend-area family to be featured on Family Feud

A family from the West Bend area will be appearing next month on The Family Feud as their episode airs Feb. 6 at 6 p.m. on WVTV Channel 18.

Liz Borden said her family was on the Feud over the summer. “We said we are from Hubertus, since that’s where we grew up,” said Borden. “We are spread out now but I’m in the Newburg area and my sister is in Jackson.”

The family in the picture with Steve Harvey starting from the left is brother Chris from Milwaukee, sister Kim from Jackson, myself Liz, mom Janet and dad Gary who split time between Nekoosa and Green Valley, AZ.

The family auditioned in Milwaukee in November 2015. “We found out they only took 25 families from Wisconsin and then when you went to Atlanta and you had to try out again,” she said. “So there was a chance you might have gone to Atlanta but not actually make it on.”

The show paid the families travel expenses and the word at the network was, “They told us they only take the best of the best.”

Borden raved about show host Steve Harvey. “He is amazing and the funniest guy you will ever meet,” she said. “He will crack jokes all day long on and off camera.

“He is a very down-to-earth guy; very heartfelt and faithful but he sure can make you laugh.”

Borden said she can’t say if they won. She said they are excited to see how they will edit the episode “because we were laughing the whole time.” Borden said she is planning a viewing party.

Semi crosses 2 lanes of traffic and clips old Held’s Meat Market

A semi traveling northbound on I41 crossed the median and crashed on the other side of the I system near Sherman Way.  Washington County Sheriff Dale Schmidt said the accident happened just after 10 a.m. on Thursday.  He said the semi driver choked on his soda, lost control of his rig, went through the median, across the southbound lanes of I41, through the ditch and the fencing. The semi clipped the corner of the former Held’s Meat Market building.  The driver suffered minor injuries but was not transported. No other vehicles were involved in the accident. The rig was from Aim Trucking.

Noon Rotary exhibit helps detect drug use

The Noon Rotary Club of West Bend is partnering with Elevate, the Heroin Task Force of Washington County and Moraine Park Technical College to bring forward a program that focuses on educating parents on the critical issue of prescription drug abuse, underage drinking/tobacco consumption and other forms of illegal drug use.

Located at Moraine Park Technical College in West Bend, Hidden in Plain Sight is an interactive display of a teenager’s bedroom with many items hidden or in plain view that helps to identify areas where teens may hide drugs, alcohol and other paraphernalia.

It also points out household items that can be used to either cover up drug and alcohol abuse or can be used to facilitate drug and alcohol use. The purpose of the program is to educate family and caregivers about the signs that can be an indicator of drug abuse.

Guided tours of the exhibit bedroom will run Saturday’s from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. and on Thursday’s from 5 p.m. – 8 p.m. through February 23. It is free to attend and open to everyone 18 and older. The exhibit is located next to the MPTC Library at the West Bend Campus.

New LED sign at Regner Park

Hat tip to the West Bend Noon Rotary as it completed a project donation to the community and Regner Park. A new LED sign is in place on N. Main Street just north of Silverbrook Drive. The programmable sign will highlight events at Regner Park including concerts and events at the Silver Lining Stage.

Fillmore Fire Department Awards night                             Courtesy Bob Bonenfant

The Fillmore Fire Department held its annual awards banquet at the Fillmore Fire Hall.

Chief Jeff Steinert then gave his report of the departments 2016 activity which included 19 fire calls, one structure fire, two vehicle accidents and 35 EMS calls.

A number of members were honored for years of service: Jake Guttman, DJ Neumann and Eric Spaeth received 10 year service certificates, Duane Taylor was recognized for 20 years and Jeff Steinert honored for 25 years of service. Larry Polanske was the recipient of the First Responder of the Year plaque.

Dale Spaeth was honored as Firefighter of the Year and Judy Spaeth was recognized as Social Member of the Year, an award given to an individual who lends a hand in any way to help the department.

Updates & tidbits

The West Bend Kiwanis Early Risers 9th Annual Chili/Soup Cook-off is Saturday, Feb. 4 from 11-2 p.m. at Silverbrook Intermediate School. There are over 25 entries in 4 categories: restaurants, business, First Responders and non-profits. There is a new category this year for First Responders which will be a competition between the West Bend Fire Department and the West Bend Police Department.

-Mary Hafeman, from Missing Links, has been named to U.S. Kids Golf’s annual list of Top 50 Kids Teachers. The Award recognizes the world’s most outstanding youth golf instructors, and Hafeman is part of a select group that earned Top 50 accolades among nearly 350 applicants.

– The Elbe family from Golden “E” Dairy in the Town of Farmington will host the 2017 Washington County Breakfast on the Farm. The dairy is located at the corners of Orchard Valley and Shalom. Advance tickets will be available in April.

Sunday, Feb. 12 the 12th annual Motorcycle Ice Races will be raising money for Big Brothers, Big Sisters of Washington County. Races will take place on Wallace Lake with event headquarters at Eddie’s Lake House, 7138 Highway 144 N, West Bend.

-Local Girl Scouts will soon be hitting the streets and offices with their colorful grid of cookie sales including thin mints, shortbread, Thanks-A-Lot and Lemonades. Scouts will be taking orders through the end of February.

– The Washington County Dairy Promotion Committee is looking for volunteers to serve on its board (3-year term). Three positions will be voted on at the Feb. 2 annual meeting. Contact President Bill Hinckley if interested at williamh921@charter.net or 262-365-9734.

– Someone with the West Bend Theatre project will address the common council during its Jan. 23 meeting. Mayor Kraig Sadownikow made clear the council has no say in the project as the building is owned by a private party.

-Paul Eve as Johnny Cash Alive is coming to the West Bend Moose Lodge on Feb. 25. Tickets to dinner and a show are $30. Call and make your reservations at 262-338-8122.

– The gloves will be coming off Feb. 25 at the Washington County Fair Park as Tin Love, Justin Dredd and Damon Knight climb into the ring for Mayhem for Mason. Money will be raised for Mason Holbrook and family.

– Donald and Barron Ryan, a talented father and son piano duo, will take the stage at UW-Washington County on Friday, January 27 to present their brand of classic and contemporary music.

Remembering the old tower fire escape

Today’s 1919 photo, courtesy Steve Kissinger, is posted as a tribute to Catholic Schools Week, Jan. 29 – Feb. 4.

According to the archives in the Research Center at the WCHS, ‘The public grade school was located at the head of Elm Street where it intersects with Eighth Avenue. The view looks northwest and was taken from Eighth Avenue. Notable with this view is the addition of the tower fire escape.  The building was later sold to Holy Angels Catholic Church, which used it as an elementary school. The building no longer exists.’


Dick Klumb of West Bend wrote a book in 2001 about the ‘History of Holy Angels.’ “The Public School was constructed in approximately 1888,” said Klumb.


“In 1939 after McLane School was built Holy Angels purchased this school from the West Bend School District and it became Holy Angels grade school. An addition to the south side of the school was added in 1950 and in 1963 the original Public School was torn down and the current building was completed.”


Roger Strack of Kewaskum was in second grade when he moved to McLane School. He said he didn’t recognize the Public School as much as he did the big merry go round on the north side of the playground and the fire escape. “I remember we’d open the steel door and climb up the slide,” Strack said.


Washington County Judge Andrew Gonring said his father, Mike, went to school when it was Holy Angels. “He used to say, a lot of famous fannies slid down that fire escape,” said Gonring. “At the annual Valentine’s Day party at school you could slide down it for two cents.”


Corey (Kohl) Wuebben said he “spent some of the happiest years of my life in that building.”  Wuebben said the “old part of the building where the fire escape is pictured was demolished” and is now the site of the food stand and band tent during the annual parish festival.


Mary Ann Goeden Hupfer of West Bend went to school at the original Holy Angels in the mid 1940s when Sister Agatha was principal and Rev. Stehling would “teach religious ed and hand out jellybeans.”


“I remember the really long cloak room in the sixth grade,” Hupfer said. “It had hooks and we’d all hang our coats and caps in there because we had no lockers.”   Hupfer also remembered marching with music. “When we’d go outside for recess there was an old Victrola in the lobby and we’d march in procession and you wouldn’t talk until you were down the street,” she said.


Hupfer also remembered an incident in first grade when she was in Sister Robert’s class. “My friend Marcella broke her crayon in half and we got caught giggling in the back of class. I had to stay after school until 4 o’clock with my finger on my mouth,” laughed Hupfer.


Kay Baker Michels was a 1963 graduate of Holy Angels School. “Both my husband, Terry Michels, and I attended this school and I taught at Holy Angels for 26 years as a second grade teacher and librarian.” Michels said the connection with the photo was that it tied into celebrating Catholic Schools Week. “I also remember the old fire escape,” said Michels. “Everyone wanted to be in Sister Hildebrand’s class as you got to take a ride in it each time there was a fire drill.”


James Fellenz went to Holy Angels back in the 1950s. “I’ll never forget the fire escape,” Fellenz said. “The janitor took our shoes and we had to walk home bare footed. It was in March; talk about having cold feet.”


Doug Jaeger also recalled how “some of us kids used to climb up that outdoor emergency escape chute and slide back down.”


Maureen Dick of West Bend was a student at Holy Angels until in 1963. “I was in the eighth grade and that was the first year for the new addition on the north side of the building,” she said. “If I remember correctly the old building wasn’t taken down until the new one was completed.”


Dick recalled that was also the beginning of the Holy Angels picnic. “At the first picnic we were allowed go inside and pay to swing a sledge hammer at a wall,” she said referencing the demolition.


Some of the teachers connected to Holy Angels included Sister Mary Marks; she ran the candy store in the basement at lunch time. Sister Mary Agatha, Sister Mary Lisetta, Sister Mary Ventura, Sister Mary Hildebrand, Sister Cyril, Ms. Brown, Sister Lillian, Mrs. Rice, Sister Marinella, Sister Mary Floria, and Sister Mary Amabilis.

On a side note: One of the notable talking points was the fire escape. Jim Dricken wrote, “When they took the building down in the mid 1960s, my dad Len Dricken, saved the fire escape to be used as a fun item for kids. The fire escape, named ‘The Tower,’ is still in use at Lake Lenwood Beach and Campground.12

Around the Bend by Judy Steffes

Wash. Co. 4-H members file stories from Presidential Inauguration   By Mariah Mihm

Hi, our names are Mariah and Ashley Mihm.  We are two of 11 delegates from Washington County 4-H going to the Presidential Inauguration in Washington D.C. This is a highly sought after opportunity and we are excited to be part of it.

We found out about this trip in November 2015, a year before the actual election.

Washington County 4-H did a great job promoting the opportunity, sending information packets and e-mails, explaining the activities involved as well as reminders on the sign-up date.

In March 2016, applications became available online. At 6 p.m. when the application opened, members would fill out simple questions about themselves and submit it within a couple minutes.

Delegates were chosen on a first-come, first-serve basis; there were 31 spots available for all Wisconsin 4-H members.

My sister Ashley and I decided to double up on the application system. I sat at the kitchen table on the laptop as Ashley was on the desktop. We logged in at 5:30 p.m. and anxiously waited for the process to open at 6 p.m. Once the application was available, we quickly filled out the questions.

After waiting a couple of months for an answer from the state, we both got letters congratulating us for securing a spot on the trip.

Our 5-day adventure to Washington D.C. begins Tuesday, Jan. 17. All delegates are departing from the Milwaukee airport around 1 p.m. The inauguration of the President of the United States is Friday, Jan. 20.

Watch for updates from the Presidential Inauguration as members of Washington County 4 – H file stories at WashingtonCountyInsider.com

Retired Slinger band teacher facing sex assault charge

Charges were officially handed down in on Wednesday in Washington County Circuit Court as former Slinger High School band director David T. Hanke, 66, was charged with a Class D Felony for alleged sexual assault of a student by school staff. If convicted Hanke faces up to $10,000 in fines, up to 10 years in prison, or both.

Hanke appeared in court Wednesday afternoon before Judge James Pouros.

Hanke had a court appearance for a bail/bond hearing before Washington County Judge Andrew Gonring on Dec. 14, 2016 at which time a $3,000 signature bond was signed and Hanke was told to have “no unsupervised contact with females under age of 16. No contact with HLB or RAS.”

The criminal complaint was filed by a former Slinger High School student who was under 18 years old when the alleged assault occurred around September 1999 or 2000. The complaint said the girl was a band student in Hanke’s class. She recalled going to his house, drinking a beer and then going to the basement of the home where a back massage turned to “grabbing and groping.”

In 2004 – 2005 the complaint said the woman wrote an anonymous letter to the school but did not want to disclose the incident. In 2016 she reportedly wrote another signed letter to the principal at Slinger High School and he turned it over to authorities.

“We’re very troubled by the news about our former colleague and we have tremendous compassion and sadness for what the alleged victim went through in this circumstance,” said Slinger High School Superintendent Daren Sievers.

“We will be fully supportive and cooperative of all aspects of this investigation and the pending charges and it’s disappointing to see Slinger School District attached to this type of accusation.”

Sievers said the school district is “prepared to be supportive to anything connected to these accusations.”

“We need parents to trust that these accusations are very much isolated to the year 2000,” said Sievers. “We’re doing everything we can every day to provide a top educational experience and a safe educational experience for their kids.”

Sievers also stressed “it’s important for parents to talk very openly about what they’re experiencing in school so they know what they’re feeling and experiencing.”

Hanke retired in June 2012 after a 37-year career in the Slinger School District. Sievers described him as a “valued member and a high-performing band teacher with quality programming for kids.”

Sievers said, “Our heart goes out to the victim until we know more.” Hanke was ordered to return to court on January 30, 2017 at 8:15 a.m.

Slinger High School evacuated Friday following dryer fire

It’s been a one-two punch for the Slinger School District this week but administrators are handling it with a great deal of professionalism and organization.

District Superintendent Daren Sievers said a clothes dryer in the basement of the high school caught fire this morning. “It’s an industrial-strength dryer and some towels were in there,” he said. “The phy ed teacher found it along with head of maintenance and the principal and AD chipped in and got fire extinguishers and put the fire out.”

The smoke forced evacuation of the building. Nobody was injured. Sievers said the Slinger Fire Department has determined that toxin levels are low enough for people to return to the building.

Long Branch Saloon for sale


Watch for the Long Branch Saloon, 1800 Barton Avenue, in Barton to go up for sale. The local restaurant at the corner of Barton Avenue and Commerce Street closed in early 2016. The building went to a sheriff’s sale and then got hung up in the system. Paula Becker with Re/Max United is listing the property for $184,500. The property was last assessed at $242,200.


The property is described: Former popular restaurant and tavern needs new owners to breathe new life into it. Priced right, the dining room is in great shape, as is most of the bar area. The kitchen needs a renovation to be usable again. Historic building sits on a very visible corner, well traveled by those entering Barton/West Bend from the NE. Spacious two-bedroom apartment upstairs with separate entrance can also be accessed from the bar. Parking pad for two cars, shed, and little yard to the east.


New wine bar opening in West Bend


Remodeling is underway for the new Riverview Arts & Spirits, 277 S. Main Street in West Bend. “This is a natural expansion and the town needs it,” said owner Tammy Denz.


The space for wine and art is connected to Denz current business, Zodiac on the River, which is a “unique shop that offers seasonal full service Kayak/River Tube Adventures/Rentals, an Internet Café, an Event Venue for rent and Electronic Cigarettes, MODS, and over 100 E- Juices.”


Denz said she was exploring a venue similar to Board & Brush in Cedarburg. “This isn’t just wine and art it’s stained glass and people can come in and use the expensive equipment like our pottery wheel and we’ll have days where members can come in for classes and eventually we’ll expand out to the river with a deck,” she said.


The past few weeks Denz has been taking the space, connected to the south of her store, down to the bare walls as she prepares to add the bar, some high-top tables and bring in more light.


“The bar will be open until 11 p.m. and over here we’ll have large windows overlooking the river and there will be tables made out of the recycled wood from the Habitat Restore,” she said.


An opening date is tentatively around mid February. Denz is looking to establish a local connection with a wine vendor. Anyone interested can contact Denz at riverviewartsandspirits@gmail.com


The space next to Zodiac opened after the owner of ROOTZ purchased the old John’s Decorating building, 536 S. Main Street.


Laura Pedersen purchased the building for $80,000 and will re-open her business. Pedersen opened ROOTZ (Fair Trade and Locally Made) in 2011.

New sous chef at Café Soeurette

Café Soeurette will celebrate 10 years in business this year and owner Jodi Janisse-Kanzenbach is preparing to take the S. Main Street restaurant in West Bend to the next level.

One of the primary steps has been to hire sous chef Kyle Pett, 30.

“Jodi’s farm-to-table concept is what drew me in,” said Pett.

A native of Lake Mills, Pett went to Waukesha County Technical College for culinary management along with hotel and restaurant management. After spending time at the Oconomowoc Lake Club and La Merenda in Milwaukee, Pett was ready for a new adventure.

“Jodi had been talking with one of my old mentors and our paths crossed and she was looking for someone and here I am,” he said.

Starting in 2007 Executive Chef Janisse-Kanzenbach has morphed Café Soeurette into a trend-setter that’s been helping set the restaurant scene in West Bend.

She has opened her doors to host cooking classes, taken her restaurant to the middle of Main Street for Dish Downtown and inspired by seasonal produce Janisse-Kanzenbach struck up a partnership with vendors at the local Farmers’ Market. She has pickled and canned produce that would rival any grandma’s pantry.

Janisse-Kanzenbach has also grown her family and with a 2 year old in the mix she said investing in another sous chef was needed. “It’s just time to take the restaurant to that next level,” she said. “With farm-to-table and my kid, my time is a little more limited. I’m still in the kitchen but now I have somebody who can take care of these things and create new menu items while I’m running the business and working on marketing.”

Janisse-Kanzenbach spent several months looking for the right person to add in the kitchen. “I almost didn’t even bring Kyle in because I felt he was overqualified for the position,” she said. “I’m glad I took the leap because we have a lot of the same flavor profiles and we believe in the same things from a culinary aspect.”

WB common council approves salary for new city clerk

During this week’s West Bend common council meeting Mayor Kraig Sadownikow read a proclamation declaring January 16-20, 2017 as Adult School Crossing Guard Recognition Week. There were a couple of crossing guards in attendance out of 16 that help safely guide students to school in the morning and get them home in the afternoon.

“West Bend is proud of our school crossing guards and commend them highly for their continued commitment to the safety and well-being of our children,” said Sadownikow.

“And tell that guy at the corner of Main and Decorah to put some pants on,” said Sadownikow referencing crossing guard Chucky Fellenz.

In other action during Monday’s meeting the council voted unanimously to hire Stephanie Justmann as its new clerk.

Justmann takes over from Amy Reuteman, who left at the end of December to take over the clerk’s position in Rome, Wisconsin. Justmann’s salary was approved at $65,985. She will start the job January 23.

With that hire brings a vacancy at clerk in the Village of Kewaskum. Administrator Matt Heiser said they’re currently accepting applications and said Justmann will be missed.

Meeting on the No Reliever Route

There is an open meeting Wednesday, Jan. 18 at 7:30 p.m. at the Hartford Town Hall on Highway K about the latest developments regarding the proposed Highway K reliever route.

The Washington County Board is moving closer to making decisions regarding this reliever route option.

The preliminary engineering report will be presented at a joint meeting of the Executive Committee and the Public Works Committee of the County Board on Tuesday, Jan. 24, at 7 a.m. The meeting will be at the Ziegler Building at the Washington County Fairgrounds.

Questions/comments will not be taken from the public at this meeting. A “listening session” for public feedback on this reliever route alternative will be scheduled for February.

Updates & tidbits


-The West Bend East National Honor Society will be presenting a check today for $1,085.94 from its holiday loose-coin drive to the family residing in the new Habitat for Humanity home on Bender Road in West Bend.


-Nabob Prairie Riders Snowmobile Club is hosting its 18th annual Winterfest & Fisheree on Saturday, Jan. 14 on Big Cedar Lake. There will be raffles, cash prizes, food and music at House of Heileman’s. Winterfest tent opens at 9 a.m.  Fish judging at 3 p.m.

-There will be a 50th Anniversary of the founding of the Kewaskum Junior Women’s Club on Sunday, Jan. 15 at Hon-E-Kor Country Club, Kewaskum. Noon lunch followed by a program.

– Sonny’s Party & Variety in Slinger is holding a 70% off sale. In true five & dime store fashion, Sonny’s ad reads like a carnival barker for retail. “This is your last chance to stock up on items you’ll need soon anyhow. A whopping 70% off everything. Bargains galore at Sonny’s Party store on Highway 175 in the Village Square Shopping Center in Slinger. Free peg board and scrap wood. Weekday hours 11 a.m. – 5 p.m.

– The Washington County Dairy Promotion Committee is looking for volunteers to serve on its board (3-year term). Three positions will be voted on at the Feb. 2 annual meeting. Contact President Bill Hinckley if interested at williamh921@charter.net or 262-365-9734.

– Someone with the West Bend Theatre project will address the common council during its January 23 meeting. Mayor Kraig Sadownikow made clear the council has no say in the project as the building is owned by a private party.

– The gloves will be coming off Feb. 25 at the Boys and Girls Club in West Bend as Tin Love, Justin Dredd and Damon Knight climb into the ring for Mayhem for Mason. Money will be raised for Mason Holbrook and family.

– The Optimist Club of West Bend 2017 Oratorical Contest is Tuesday, Jan. 31 at the Lighthouse of West Bend. There are cash prizes and a chance to advance to Zone, District, and World Championship with a potential $22,500 in scholarships. Deadline to register is Jan. 20. Request more inform at WestBendOptimist@gmail.com

History photo

Today’s c.1940s photo, courtesy the Washington County Historical Society, features an ice harvest on Big Cedar Lake. For six weeks beginning in January, men came armed with sharp-toothed saws and steel tongs and cut blocks of ice from the frozen lake.12

Around the Bend by Judy Steffes

Interior remodel on tap for Pick ‘n Saves in West Bend

In the next few months The Kroger Co. is expected to complete an interior remodel of the Pick ‘n Save stores in West Bend.

Some might say this is “the Meijer effect” as the new chain retailer based in Grand Rapids, Michigan is opening a new store in West Bend, 229 S. Main Street, in March/April. Other say it’s part of the intended restructuring Kroger had in mind following its $866 million acquisition of Roundy’s Supermarkets in Dec. 2015.

Staff at the Kroger stores in Fond du Lac said all the stores in the “Fox Valley area” are being remodeled.

The Pick ‘n Save in Fond du Lac has all new cases, new produce tables, new refrigeration equipment along with a new interior-and-exterior decor package.

Grocery industry analyst David Livingston offered some insight on the proposed remodel.

“Anything under $2 million in my opinion is just routine maintenance,” he said.  “Over $2 to $3 million is a remodel.  If a store is just adding a coat of paint, buying employees new t-shirts, putting up new signs, replacing shopping carts, and blocking off the excess cash registers no longer used, that to me is not a remodel.”

Questioned whether Meijer is impacting the Kroger decision, Livingston gave an example of what happened in neighboring Waukesha County.

“In Waukesha a new Meijer opened on Sunset Drive and there is a Pick ‘n Save across the street and another Pick ‘n Save a mile west on Sunset,” he said. “The one a mile west they remodeled and put up new signage. The one across the street was left untouched and is a museum.”

There’s no confirmation from Kroger on the remodel. Livingston was correct in his prediction, “Kroger is not going to tell you anything.” As far as which Pick ‘n Save will be remodeled first, there are bets it’ll be the store on S. Main Street… because it’s closer to the incoming Meijer.


RR crossing at Highway 33 in Allenton  

Highway 33 in Allenton will be shut down Tuesday, Jan. 10 from 7 a.m. – 5 p.m. as another repair is completed on the approach at the Canadian National Railroad crossing. The issue is the same one that’s been hindering the crossing the past year as the approach is unsafe and could damage vehicles.

Former Washington County Supervisor Ron Naab said the product around the rails doesn’t hold and creates a divot on either side of the track.  “They use a rubber composite for the road bed instead of wood ties but the bolts used down don’t hold and the studs come up and stick up 3 to 4 inches,” said Naab.

Crews from the Washington County Highway Department were on hand Friday to fix it again.

Washington County Highway Commissioner Scott Schmidt said the problem is multifaceted. “It’s a combination of the cold weather, the composite material, the bolts used and the lumber around it being old as well as being located in a swampy area,” said Schmidt.

Naab said the “middle lanes of traffic” are where the biggest problems occur.  “Last Sunday they had to put a squad down there,” he said. “The two center lanes are the problem. That’s the worst.” Last November when the area was repaired a spokesperson with Canadian National Railroad said “it’s a rough crossing.”

Pizza Ranch moving forward in West Bend

West Bend, WI – The Pizza Ranch in West Bend took one more step towards fruition tonight as the Plan Commission green lighted its new proposal.

The primary sticking point for the location on W. Washington Street about 300-feet west of 18th Avenue had been acquisition of an entrance/exit at the southern end of the property. The developer has been working with Sendik’s and while terms and conditions haven’t been finalized a second access would be through the southern property line.

With the new egress the parking was shifted a bit on the east side of the lot and the other change is the original standard ground sign will now be a coordinated development sign with Sendik’s.  No final design has come in yet but the location is acceptable to the city.

The Plan Commission gave unanimous approval with the stipulation six conditions were met which included submission and approval of an erosion plan, landscaping, a storm water management plan, revision of site plan for some technical corrections, and the Plan Commission gives staff  the ability to approve final details for the coordinated development sign.

The only question from the Plan Commission was whether motorists could use the driveway and exit the restaurant parking lot back onto Highway 33. The answer was “yes, but only making a right turn out.” No action will be needed by the common council on the easement.

After the vote, business owners Stacy and Matt Gehring said they felt relieved.  “I know the community is behind us on this because I see it every day on the Insider,” said Matt Gehring.  “This has been going on a long time and we’re just excited to be in West Bend.”

Pizza Ranch developer Bjorn Kaashagen with Umbrella City Holdings said groundbreaking on the restaurant should happen the end of February or March 1. “A lot depends on the weather and how much frost is in the ground,” he said. “It’s about a four-month build so we’re looking at a mid-summer opening.”

Also during the Tuesday meeting the Plan Commission approved an LED panel sign for Valvoline, 829 S. Main Street. The commission also approved combining two lots in the Glenn Ivy Subdivision for Tim and Julie Ann Luetschwager, 220 Upper Woodford Circle.

Change in Chief at St. Lawrence Fire Company       Courtesy Ron Naab

After 21 years at the helm, St. Lawrence Fire Company (SLFC) Chief Gary Karnitz has stepped down.  Karnitz was a mentor and leader who helped guide his department over the last 31 years to better serve the community and those traveling through the St. Lawrence area.

“I knew the time was right to step out,” said Karnitz who took over for Chief Mike Schmidt in 1996. “I have great people behind me and I felt that I want them to experience this too.

“I’m still going to be involved with the department but now it’s going to be fun to watch it grow under someone else,” he said.

Karnitz, 51, signed on with the department when he was 30 years old. “When I first started we were one of the few departments in the county that still rode on the back of the fire trucks,” he said. “It was 1986 and we rode the tailboard on two of the trucks. We were belted in but in winter it was cold.”

Some of these innovations Karnitz helped implement included sharing emergency medical response personnel with Allenton Fire Department and Hartford Fire-Rescue.  Another was developing and instituting an “automatic mutual response” with Allenton Fire Department.  This helped both departments respond with more people and with shared equipment on all calls.

During an annual meeting this week Captain Jeff Infalt was elected to the position of fire chief for a 3 year term. Infalt has served many years as Captain of the department and is a local businessman with great leadership skills.

Infalt has served as picnic chairman for18 years.  He is respected and appreciated by all of the members of the St. Lawrence Fire Company.

Elected as president of the non-profit corporation was Bryon Messig who comes with an extend background in management and leadership roles.

Four candidates are running for three open seats on the Hartford School Board.


Two of the incumbents turned in non-candidacy papers including William Savage and Barbara Lindert, who resigned because she moved out of the district.


Incumbent Adam Majerus is running along with Josh Smith, Greg Erickson and former State Superintendent candidate and state Assembly Rep. Don Pridemore. The top two vote getters will get full time spots the third will finish the Lindert term of one year.


Primary election ahead for WB School District


Six out of seven candidates will advance to the spring election following a Feb. 21 primary. Voters can cast a vote for up to three candidates. Tina Hochstetter, who turned in paperwork, has already announced she is not running however her name will still be on the February ballot. If she wins in the primary her name will still advance to the April ballot for the spring election.


A new draw for ballot order in the April election will take place after the February primary.


In the West Bend School Board race the ballot order will be: Nancy Justman, Richard Cammack, Joel Ongert, Tina Hochstaetter, Ryan Gieryn, Tonnie Schmidt, and Bob Miller.

Candidate profile: Tonnie Schmidt to run for West Bend School Board

Tonnie Schmidt, 45, of the Town of West Bend is throwing her hat into the ring to run for the West Bend School Board.

“The number one reason I’m running is because we support West Bend,” said Schmidt. “Being an employer in town we owe it to our employees and the ones we’re trying to attract, to have a strong public school system.”

Schmidt and her husband Tim have lived in the community over 18 years. They own Delta Defense/USCCA which employs over 110 people. “That represents over 100 kids being educated in the West Bend Public Schools and that’s why I’m running,” said Schmidt. “Plus we’ve made such an investment in West Bend it’s important for us the public schools remain strong.”

Schmidt said her second goal is to help the superintendent define a good responsibility chart for administration.  “I want to know what people actually do in the school district,” said Schmidt. “My big issue is to get a legitimate accountability chart because I think people work better when they know what their job description is and responsibilities are.”

The Schmidts have three children; the oldest attends an online private school and the other two, 16 and 13, go to the University School of Milwaukee.

“We had our children in the public schools and the private schools in West Bend for a number of years,” said Schmidt. “We just wanted our kids to be educated in a smaller environment and I think I can bring what USM is doing and what’s working to the public schools here. I’ve experienced a number of school formats first hand and I can bring that point of view and strategies to the table.”

A couple of bullet points on Schmidt:

Goal: “My goal for serving on the WB School Board is rooted in a simple desire to bring accountability back as a core value of our district.”

Common Core: “It was developed to help gauge teacher performance but unfortunately it’s had a negative effect. While I’m in favor of measuring teacher performance I’m not in favor of the way Common Core teaches math. Teachers want parents to help their kids with homework but with Common Core it hinders that teamwork.”

Setting aside money for future Jackson School:  “It’s financially responsible to sock money away so you don’t have to ask for it later and it could still be spent on the students if the need came about. I don’t think there’s anything irresponsible in spending less money in planning for the future.”

Walker recall: Did not sign the Scott Walker recall.

Candidate profile: Joel Ongert to run for West Bend School Board

There are three open seats this spring on the West Bend School Board and it appears a primary may be in the offing as a handful of candidates are stepping forward.

Joel Ongert of West Bend has thrown his hat in the ring. “I’ve just always had a passion for teachers and I’m a proponent of great public schools,” said Ongert, the son of two public school teachers.   “We’ve got a great public school system in West Bend and I’m just excited to be a part of it.”

Ongert has lived in the community with his wife, Tina, for 8 years. The couple has two children who attend Decorah Elementary School. Ongert has spent the last 13 years at Caterpillar, Inc. He has been active on different committees and boards through work and Our Saviors Lutheran Church in West Bend.

“Now is a really cool time with a new superintendent; he’s approached the job well with listening to parents and teachers and I think we’re on the brink of a culture change with the positive things going on in the district,” Ongert said.

Things that have impressed Ongert include creating a positive and uplifting culture and having open and honest communication with staff, business owners, teachers and parents.

A couple of bullet points on Ongert:

Walker recall: Did not sign the Scott Walker recall.

Galileo testing: “The kids don’t like it the teachers don’t like it and I’m sure the district pays a lot of money for that and it’s something we need to look at and make changes to.”

Goal: “It starts with listening to the teachers; empowering the teachers and principals to run their schools at a building level and not micromanage the district from the central office and I think the new superintendent brings in a perfect opportunity to start that culture change of being more positive.”

Common Core: “We need to follow the principles of Common Core to get the funding we need but our new U.S. President hates Common Core and if he gets rid of it I’ll be celebrating with all the other parents and teachers and students around the state.”

Galileo testing: “I work for Caterpillar which is one of the largest companies in the U.S. We’re a very conservative company that wants to create jobs; looking out for shareholders is a huge part of working for a big public company so we’re very conscious of the dollars we spend.  Bringing that kind of a background to a school board and questioning what type of return we’re getting out of an initiative, that should be our approach with Galileo testing; we probably spend tens of thousands of dollars on it every year and if we’re not getting our return on it that’s a bad investment.”

Setting aside money for future Jackson School: “The school district owns buildings and cars and tracks and football fields and if we want this district to survive capital improvements has to happen. The board has a 25-year plan in place but part of the budget will also be saving and improving the assets we have. Building a new Jackson Elementary School is going to happen and saving for that and preparing for that is a good thing instead of asking taxpayers to vote on a multimillion dollar referendum; if we can save for it now and sock away some money so we don’t have to do that down the road I’m all for it.”

Election platform: A Champion for Students, A Champion for Teachers, A Champion for the Community! “Is it good for the students, is it good for the teachers, and is it good for the taxpayers.”

Updates & tidbits

– Sonny’s Party & Variety in Slinger is holding a 70% off sale. In true five & dime store fashion, Sonny’s ad reads like a carnival barker for retail. “This is your last chance to stock up on items you’ll need soon anyhow. A whopping 70% off everything. Bargains galore at Sonny’s Party store on Highway 175 in the Village Square Shopping Center in Slinger. Free peg board and scrap wood. Weekday hours 11 a.m. – 5 p.m.

– Charity wrestling event ‘MAYHEM for Mason’ is Saturday, Feb. 25. Proceeds benefit Mason Holbrook and family.

– The Washington County Dairy Promotion Committee is looking for volunteers to serve on its board (3-year term). Three positions will be voted on at the Feb. 2 annual meeting. Contact President Bill Hinckley if interested at williamh921@charter.net or 262-365-9734.

– The West Bend Common Council on Monday will issue a proclamation declaring January 16-20, 2017 as Wisconsin Adult School Crossing Guard Recognition Week.

-The Students of the Month for January 2017 at Holy Angels School in West Bend Are 6th grader Sophie Dahlberg, who is a careful worker, turning in work that is complete and thoughtful. 7th grader Owen Schmidt is willing to put in the work it takes to learn difficult concepts and 8th grader Laura Zautner is a nice blend of serious and bubbly which is one reason she is such a great patrol leader for the K4 kids.

– Someone with the West Bend Theatre project will address the common council during its January 23 meeting. Mayor Kraig Sadownikow made clear the council has no say in the project as the building is owned by a private party.

-The Ice Rink at Regner Park officially opens Saturday, Jan. 7. The warming house will be open and rink lights will be on in the evenings.

– The gloves will be coming off Feb. 25 at the Boys and Girls Club in West Bend as Tin Love, Justin Dredd and Damon Knight climb into the ring for Mayhem for Mason. Money will be raised for Mason Holbrook and family.

-Baby New Year came in on Monday, Jan. 2 at St. Joseph’s Hospital in the Town of Polk as Ashley and Matt Kimlicka of West Bend and big brother Max welcomed Avalynn Muriel. She was born at 4:19 p.m. and weighed in at 7 pounds 2 ounces.

-The Downtown West Bend Business Improvement District Board will meet Tuesday, Jan. 10 and agenda items include election of officers, and update on the bridge behind the downtown West Ben Theatre and a discussion of blighted buildings. That’s become a hot topic as several buildings on Main Street have fallen into disrepair with boarded up windows and poor curb appeal.

– Doug Jaeger remembered his teacher Gwendolyn (nee Birkholz) Puestow, 93, of West Bend, who died Christmas Eve. Puestow taught fourth grade for 37 years at St John’s Lutheran School.  “We all had Miss Birkholz for first and second grade during 1948 and 1949.  I thought I was unusual reminiscing about the many times I was sent to “The Closet.”  Probably a 4′ X 4′ storage closet toward the back of the classroom full of jump ropes, library paste, soft balls, and various other stuff. Mostly we had to stand because the space was tight.  No lights but the gap under the door was fairly large so it was not completely dark. I remembered eating library paste, goiter pills, and feeding jump ropes under the door which my classmates continued to pass down the aisles. A classmate remembered being sent to the closet with one of the girls in our class and two of the guys shared the closet with each other at least once.  Of course we all visited the principal at various times. Thinking back, Miss Birkholtz was one of our very best teachers as she cared; strict but caring. We did not have Dunce stools, our knuckles were not rapped with rulers, and we did not have our mouths washed with soap but we always had THE CLOSET !!

Around the Bend by Judy Steffes

Do over on Pizza Ranch site proposal goes before Plan Commission on Tuesday

A revised site plan for a new 5,786-square-foot Pizza Ranch will go before the West Bend Plan Commission on Tuesday, January 3. According to the agenda the plans will include a second entrance and egress to the south of the proposed restaurant with traffic flowing into the same lot as Sendik’s.

The new Pizza Ranch is proposed on W. Washington Street just west of 18th Avenue.

During an initial appearance before the Plan Commission several months ago there were concerns about parking and the entrance and egress.

Commission member Jed Dolnick said the driveway exit onto W. Washington Street would only allow people to travel east.

Dolnick felt motorists who had to head west would either try to cross three lanes of traffic and make a U-turn at the signals or dodge over, turn left, go north on 18th Avenue and then cut through the McDonald’s lot and wind their way back to Highway 33.

The new proposal to allow an easement into the Sendik’s lot will be discussed during next week’s Plan Commission meeting starting at 6 p.m. in the council chambers at City Hall.

Bart Williams will not run for another term on West Bend School Board

This week Bart Williams turned in non-candidacy papers as he made the decision to not run for another term on the West Bend School Board. “It’s time to pass the torch,” said Williams. “There’s never a great time to step back. I’d love to serve forever but you can’t.”

Williams was first elected in 2011. “I’m most proud of keeping my promise on my 24-point conservative-action plan and I led the charge to keep our two high schools,” he said.

Full and Total Disclosure of all Referendum Costs was another measure Williams accomplished during his six years on the board. “That was part of my 24-point action plan and another was letting the public speak for two minutes at any regular board meeting,” he said.

Aside from Williams, who served as the vice president on the School Board, Rick Parks, the president of the Board, will also not run for another term. Board member Ryan Gieryn is running as is newcomer Nancy Justman. Watch for another candidate to turn in papers on Tuesday.

The election will be Tuesday, April 4, 2017 to fill three at-large seats on the West Bend School Board, each with an expiration date of April 2020.  A Declaration of Candidacy Form and a Campaign Registration Statement must be filed by 5 p.m. on Tuesday, Jan. 3, 2017.


Pier 1 Imports in West Bend is closing

Pier 1 Imports in West Bend is closing. The store, known for home decor and furniture, opened Nov. 1, 2000 in the West Bend Corporate Center. The 8,700-square-foot store is in the same area as Boston Store, Wal-Mart, Office Max, MC Sports, Great Clips, Check n’ Go and Subway.

Over the years Pier 1 Imports, which is based in Fort Worth, Texas, had over 800 stores. It recently opened its fifth Milwaukee-area store in Grafton in February, 2015. That same year there were 20 Pier 1 Import stores across the state of Wisconsin.

Calls to corporate regarding the closing of the West Bend store have yet to be returned.

When Pier 1 Imports first opened there were a variety of other stores that made their way in and out of the WB Corporate Center including Great Party!, Little Professor Book Store, and The Paper Factory. The last day for the West Bend store Pier 1 store will be at the end of February, 2017.

Pizza Hut will open Jan. 3, 2017

Doors will open on the new Pizza Hut in West Bend in 2017. According to a spokesperson from Wisconsin Hospitality Group the new Pizza Hut in the Paradise Pavilion will open Tuesday, January 3. The store, 1460 S. Main Street, is just north of Regis Hairstylists.

Pizza Hut closed its old location on W. Washington Street Feb. 1, 2016. The new store will have a couple of tables up front but it will be nothing like the sit-down service at the old restaurant in West Bend. Because of the setting in the strip mall there will also be no drive thru.

Challenge in Branch 3 of Washington Co. Circuit Court

There will be a challenge in Branch 3 of Washington Co. Circuit Court as incumbent judge Todd Martens faces Robert T. Olson.  The judge’s position is a 6-year term.

Martens, 54, was appointed by Gov. Thompson as District Attorney in Washington County in 1999. Martens ran unopposed 5 times until 2010 when Judge Dave Reschke retired. Martens received the gubernatorial appointment and then ran successfully the next year.

Robert Olson was born in West Bend, attended the University of Minnesota-Carlson School of Management and received a Bachelor’s degree in Business with a major in Finance. He has been a practicing attorney for 15 years and said he wants to “restore faith in our legal system one case at a time.”

Elsewhere – signatures for the Spring election are due Tuesday, Jan. 3. In West Bend aldermen up for election include Dist. 2 Steve Hutchins, Dist. 4 Chris Jenkins, Dist. 6 Steve Hoogester, and Dist. 8 Roger Kist. As of Thursday, Dec. 29 – Kist had turned in his required signatures as had Chris Jenkins. Mayor Kraig Sadownikow also turned in his required signatures. Two others have taken out paperwork in Dist. 2 including Kevin Aubery and Elijah Jackson.

Main Street business owners weigh in on future of WB Theatre

The downtown West Bend Theatre remains a hot topic of conversation. Quite a few conversations during Christmas get-togethers honed in on plans to save the façade and marquee and convert the rest to an open-air park. Others talked about saving the theatre.

After plans were released some long-time business and building owners on downtown Main Street chimed in with their thoughts and the reaction of many will probably surprise you.

Sager’s Men’s Apparel has been on Main Street in downtown West Bend since 1932. Second generation owner Scott Sager has watched many businesses come and go on and he reacted positively to the news about the theatre.

“I think the open-air concept is pretty cool,” said Sager. “Matt Prescott is right, it’s going to take a bundle of money to get it back to a theatre and then how do you sustain it? How do you make the venue go?”

Sager said it all comes down to dollars and cents. “You can embrace the past but you have to have that forward vision,” he said.

On a similar note, Sager mentioned the Milwaukee Symphony and how it had its eye on the former Warner Grand Theatre on Wisconsin Ave.  The symphony would like convert the 1930’s theatre into its new concert hall. The cost is $120 million. The building has been unoccupied since 1995 and the sticking point is how to fill the other dates in the year-long calendar to make for a viable, 1,750 seat facility.

“They’re looking at an astronomical amount they have to raise,” said Sager.  “And in town we already have UW-WC, the new Silver Lining Art Center at the West Bend High Schools, the Schauer Center in Hartford, and the new amphitheatre at the Fair Park. It would be wonderful if someone had an unlimited pile of money and they could do it for fun, but there are some things unfortunately in today’s economy that are just not going to be dollar feasible.”

Kevin Schultz from Mountain Outfitters said he was indifferent. “Whatever makes for a viable situation and doesn’t cost the taxpayers or the BID any more money,” he said. “The BID shouldn’t have had to front the bridge. The BID money could have been better spent elsewhere.”

Mary Gamerdinger, Executive Director of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Washington County, has worked downtown since the 1990s. “I really have mixed feelings about it,” said Gamerdinger. “I grew up here; I saw my first movie as a kid… I remember seeing Bambi and I always thought it was a neat balcony and I’d love to see it restored but I don’t know the business.”

“I don’t know if it can compete as a theatre and how much it would be used now with the new theatre at the high school,” she said. “I manage an old building here and I know it can be tough but that one is bigger, older and has been sitting empty longer and in the end I’m afraid it’s going to come down to what’s going to be financially feasible and sustainable.”

Larry Porter owns a building on N. Main Street and he’s a member of the BID Board. “My biggest fear about restoring that – well, everybody wants to go to heave but nobody wants to dies, if you know what I mean,” he said. “Everybody says we’ve got to save the theatre, which is great, but with whose money?

“It’s something you’re going to have to feed forever; the city doesn’t want to pay for it so if you’ve got some deep endowment pockets go ahead and save it but I don’t see that happening,” Porter said.

“I see people saying you have to save it, well pony up. To have the plan that Claire is talking about to leave the façade and leave the sign, basically not interrupt the storefronts but have a passageway into this neat park that oversees the river.”

Todd Tennies is a second-generation owner of Tennies Ace Hardware. The store has been on S. Main Street since 1964. “Keeping the exterior façade would be great,” said Tennies. “The building could be used as a retail department store such as J.C. Penny used to be over there; the building is there it just needs some renovation to be able to adequately represent it as a retail or service-oriented location.

“If it were to be a park, if it was a park where you could walk out and look over the river and it joined with the 2017 plan to renovate the riverwalk it would be a neat thing,” said Tennies.

As far as rehabbing the theatre, Tennies said there were too many unknowns about how to pay for it and then create revenue.

Tom O’Meara III was heavily involved in the downtown representing the district as an alderman from 1992 – 2004. O’Meara now lives in Utah but has been keeping an eye on West Bend via WashingtonCountyInsider.com. “Claire Rolfs has a great plan with an open air and performance center down near the river and seating on a grassy slope, that’s marvelous,” he said.

“As far as the history is concerned, it was a great theatre and had a beautiful chandelier inside. But saving the façade and the marquee would be really important. When you see the picture of my father and U.S. Senator Jack Kennedy that marquee was in the background. It’s a landmark in many respects with that little piece of history.”

Behind-the-scenes of the fire on Silver Lake

Mark Helmle turned 52 years old on Wednesday. He was at home with his father at 11 p.m. when he awoke coughing and unable to breath. A fire was racing through the Helmle home on Silver Lake.


Mark ran upstairs to get his 83-year-old father Julius out of the house. The pair were rescued by Washington County Sheriff’s and West Bend Police Officer Lee Goodman. Mark and his father are recovering from smoke inhalation and second-degree burns at Froedtert St. Joseph’s Hospital. “It was my birthday and our family home burned down,” said Helmle. “But I got the best gift ever because both me and my father are alive.”

Julius Helmle, 83, said he is lucky to be alive. Resting in his hospital bed on the second floor of Froedtert St. Joes, Helmle has a white gauze bandage on his right arm. His blackened toes are covered with a bed sheet. “Second-degree burns,” he said with a thick German accent.

Helmle came to the U.S. in 1945. He made his way to Madison and then with the encouragement of his brother he came to West Bend. “More work here,” he said.

At home on Wednesday night Helmle was awakened from his sleep and told to get out of the house to save his life. Helmle extended a strong “thank you” to all the firefighters and law enforcement for their help.

Neighbors in the community will recognize Janice Stauske; she was the former principal for 14 years at St. Frances Cabrini School.  Stauske is also the neighbor of Julius and Mark Helmle; the father and son lost their home to a devastating fire Wednesday night on Silver Lake.

Stauske said a Washington County Sheriff’s deputy pounded on her door at 11:15 p.m. and order her and her sister to evacuate. Stauske saw her neighbor Julius on a stretcher and prayed for his recovery. While recounting the events and vision of the fire with flames as high as the treetops, Stauske took some time to thank all the firefighters and law enforcement for their quick action and dedication.

The cause of the fire remains under investigation. The home was a total loss.

Three to be inducted during WB Baseball Association Diamond Dinner

The 6th annual Diamond Dinner & Benefit will be held Jan. 21 and three who will be inducted into the West Bend Baseball Association Diamond of Honor Wall of Fame include Jim Hughes, Robert Pick II and Stuart Walter.

Updates & tidbits

-There was a funeral this week for Gwendolyn (nee Birkholz) Puestow, 93, of West Bend, who died Christmas Eve. Puestow taught fourth grade for 37 years at St John’s Lutheran School. Former student Jay Watzlawick wrote, “She was one of the strictest teachers I ever had. Goofing off in class and she would drag me out the room by my ears and if you ever got the hiccups she would grab your head and stare into your eyes until they went away. I also remember washing her old Buick a few times and she would give me a hand full of lemon drops.”

– The Cyclone fence is up and the heavy equipment is in place as work is set to begin on the new Starbucks on 18th Avenue in West Bend.

-Retiring West Bend Police Officer Steve Seitz was honored this week for 23 years of service.

-Neighbors in the Town of Erin will host an emergency meeting, Thursday, Jan. 5 at 6:30 p.m. at the Erin Town Hall as the state works to place a convicted sex offender in their community. Discussion will focus on Terry Olson, a convicted sex predator jailed in 1990 for child molestation. The Wisconsin Department of Health Services is interested in placing Olson in a home at 1898 Terry Road which is less than a half mile from Erin School.

-Energy assistance is available to families in Washington County who need help with winter heating bills. Kay Lucas oversees the Energy Assistance Program with Washington County Human Services Department.  For more information contact Lucas at 262-335-4677.

-A joint meeting is set for Tuesday, Jan. 24 at 7 a.m. in the Ziegler Building at the Washington County Fairgrounds where details will be presented regarding the Highway 60 Reliever Route 30 percent engineering study. The meeting will be strictly between the Executive Committee and the Public Works Committee. No public comment will be taken at that time.

Do you remember Shady Side Lane

Two weeks ago I ran a story about Delta Defense/USCCA and its new street name Freedom Way. That prompted some input on the origin of other street names in the community. Here’s a tidbit from former West Bend City Engineer Ken Pesch.

“In your recent story about the city renaming streets, Valley Avenue did indeed get its current name when The Valley Bank Corporation bought the lot along the east side of Valley Avenue immediately south of Washington Street. When they purchased that property, Valley Avenue was called Shady Side Lane. The bank requested the name change because they did not want their facility to be known as their Shady Side branch. I was the city engineer when the request for the name change was received at City Hall and I chuckled when I heard the reason for the request. The property was subdivided by Dave and Audrey Bohn so you can ask them why they chose the name Shady Side Lane when they prepared the plat for the area.” Ken Pesch

Around the Bend by Judy Steffes

Local business leader Al Moehr has died

It is with a heavy heart to pass along the news Al Moehr, long-time owner of Toucan Custard has died. Moehr owned the business with his wife Debby since around 1992 when he bought it from his brother Dennis. “Dennis owned it in 1989 and he bought it from us,” said Larry Porter.

Porter said when he and his wife Chris started the business with Bob Sivilotti that lot on Main Street was nothing but a vacant lot. “We opened it in 1985 and called it Toucan,” Porter said. “The name just sounded like the antithesis of what you’d expect for a tropical frozen custard joint.”

Porter recalled how they named the sundaes for tropical birds. “The turtle sundae was named a hawksbill because that’s a tropical sea turtle and the raspberry sundae was a kookaburra because that’s the one that was always giving you the raspberries.”

Porter had high praise for Moehr, his energy and commitment to the community. “If you didn’t know Al he was one of the most dynamic people I ever met in my life,” Porter said.  “He had so much energy and vim and vigor and I met him in Kiwanis Early Risers and whenever there was something to be done Al would do it. He was just a dynamo and a wonderful guy.”

A strong Republican in West Bend, Moehr was foremost a supporter of the community. “He was a major backer of mine and every time I ran for office he’d put my banner out front on the railing,” said card carrying Democrat Tom O’Meara III.

“He was a dear, dear fellow even though we were almost opposite ends of the political spectrum,” said O’Meara.  “He was beyond a Tea Partier; we respected each other, liked each other, never got angry even when talking politics.”

Glenn Peterson remembered Moehr as a frequent customer. “When I owned that tiny Glenn’s Grill on N. Main Street Al was always a customer, especially when he worked for the telephone company,” Peterson said.  “Al was a small guy, thin and very, very nice.”

Reflecting on the history of Toucan, Peterson said the location was previously a car lot. “Harry Schremmer bought the Boltz Cadillac and Pontiac, where the vet clinic is now. He bought that car dealership from Lauri Boltz and he parked his cars over there where Toucan is now.

Prior to that Peterson remembered a house on the property. “I think the Troedels lived there,” he said.

Bob Bonenfant knew Moehr for a long time. “He was really a local guy and very political but he loved his business,” he said. “His kids were raised in that business and now they’re working in there.”

Moehr is also being remembered as a strong family man. “He just really cared about the kids,” O’Meara said. “He was willing to take ‘bad kids’ in and teach them some business sense.”

Take a look at the interior of Toucans and you’ll see Moehr’s commitment to the Kiwanis Early Risers and its annual Fourth of July Duck Derby.  “He always one of the biggest sellers of ducks for the derby,” said O’Meara.

Bonenfant agreed. “He was one of the big promoters of the Duck Derby and you could buy your ducks from there,” he said.

“He was just a super nice guy,” said Peggy Fischer, owner Shooting Star Travel. “He was really fun and he was really involved in the community.”

Randy Koehler makes decision about running for WB Dist. 4 alderman

Randy Koehler has made it official; he will not be running for Dist. 4 alderman in West Bend.

Koehler issued this statement: “After much discussion and thought I will not be filing papers for District 4 Alderman. Being a realist in a volatile political world does not serve my best interests. This city likes status quo, not someone who challenges the system and expresses opinions. Therefore I will continue challenging both the social and political leaders of this community from outside of the establishment.”

WBHS senior accepted to Harvard

West Bend East High School senior Emmanuel Garrison-Hooks has been accepted into Harvard University. “I’ll be part of the class of 2021,” he said humbly.

Garrison-Hooks filled out the application for Harvard in October. The results arrived Tuesday, Dec. 13. “I rushed home from wrestling practice and I waited until my parents got home,” he said. “It was 6:15 p.m. and we all opened the letter at that time.”

While Garrison-Hooks refers to the notice as “a letter” he said it was actually “an update online on my Harvard application status portal.”

He said he held the cursor over the “view” button for a while before finally clicking the update. “I was nervous,” he said. “I was scared.”

“I was comfortable with whatever result I was going to get because I absolutely put my soul into my application,” he said of his supplemental essay.

Garrison-Hooks wrote about himself. “It was about how I viewed the world; it was very introspective,” he said.

The application to Harvard University is the only one Garrison-Hooks submitted.

For all his trepidation the 18-year-old is a confident yet quiet-spoken young man. During an interview this week in the Silver Lining Arts Center, Garrison-Hooks sat in a chair, his light brown Allen Edmond shoe perched on the opposite knee and he smoothed the leg of his pants in nervous strokes while he spoke.

For the past four years Garrison-Hooks has been a student at West Bend East; prior to that he was at St. Peter Emmanuel on the north side of Milwaukee and Morgandale School on the south side of Milwaukee

During his final year of high school, Garrison-Hooks is doing anything but coasting. “I have AP-physics, AP-literature, AP-U.S. History, French 5, and AP calculus,” he said.

With an eye on majoring in neuroscience and a career in the medical field, Garrison-Hooks said his current off-hours reading is designed to push him ahead of his peers. “I’m reading two books right now; one on neuroplasticity and one on development of the mind over time,” he said.

A part of the East Sun’s wrestling team Garrison-Hooks said he’s able to balance his academics and athletics on little sleep. “Lots of late nights, but doing both has really taught me how to allocate my time,” he said.

A self-described “serious student,” Garrison-Hooks said he worked extremely hard to get to where he is today. “I basically killed myself to get here,” he said.

Garrison-Hooks expects to graduate with honors. His next step will be to get to Boston. “I haven’t even visited the campus,” he said. “That’s already scheduled for April 22 – 24 and I cannot wait. The level of excellence there is going to be other-worldly and I’m going to love it.”

Renovations proposed for West Bend Theatre

During Monday night’s West Bend Common Council meeting an update about the downtown Business Improvement District and its timeline on removing or refurbishing the pedestrian bridge morphed into a proposal about the future of the West Bend Theatre.

David Stroik, president and CEO of Zimmerman Architectural Studios made the presentation. He outlined saving the façade of the theatre along with the iconic marquee and turning the rest into an open-air park.

“It’s not like a Western storefront but the façade of the building and the easterly 12 – 15 feet would be saved,” he said. Drawings showed the front of the theatre building intact with trees and green space visible through the door frames.

Stroik said the 3-story brick façade, which previously housed the projection room, would help maintain the structural viability of the building; he said that space could eventually hold restrooms and storage.

Painting a picture of the proposed design, Stroik walked through the theatre doors onto a natural grade of a terraced park with a vision of the Milwaukee River and the Museum of Wisconsin Art.

“That area could be used for anything,” said Stroik.  “We would preserve the essential part of Main Street without leaving the space a missing tooth; keep the façade, keep the sign and encourage a performance venue and theatre activity in hopes a time would come when something could be built or it could stay like that in perpetuity.”

“The beauty of it at this point is it’s not a facility that needs bookings to make a go of it,” said Claire Rolfs, one of the people involved in the project. “It can just be a park.”

Rolfs said her involvement comes from her passion for the community. “I was born and raised in West Bend, I love the community and I view this as an opportunity to do something positive,” she said.

Stroik outlined the simplicity of an open-air concept compared to spending millions to renovate the existing theatre. “The difficulty that most of the theatre spaces have is the tremendous amount of effort it takes to keep bookings and to keep the venue active,” he said. “Most in small communities struggle.”

Stroik was clear “this is simply an idea at this point.” Financing for the project has yet to be secured.  Rolfs said they’ve been working with George and Matt Prescott since September.

“They’re well aware of it and supportive,” she said. “Matt would like to see something positive done with the theatre and right now he’s not married to any specific plan.”

Questioned whether the building is structurally sound, Stroik said rarely is an old building flawed in its structure. “It’s the other systems that fail including the mechanical system, plumbing, electrical and the roof,” he said. “Plus what you’re going to do in the future with the seating, flyways, dressing rooms, and staging will be different, so the structure is a minor component.”

There have been other unsubstantiated plans for the buildings that also, apparently, do not restore the theatre to its original structure.

Mike Husar, president of the BID Board and owner of the building next door to the theatre, said the “most critical part of the building is the front of the building and the sign.”

“Are you in love with the sign or in love with the theatre,” he said. “With the way the building is right now the cost to fully restore it is potentially $5 million verses let’s save the part that is iconic to West Bend which is the façade and the sign and make it functional at a reasonable cost.

“We’re not saddling the rest of the community to keep it operational and if there ever comes a point a group raises enough money to put three more walls and a roof on, then so be it,” he said.

As far as the pedestrian bridge is concerned, the proposed plan is to remove the bridge, cut down the footings and replace it with a bank-to-bank bridge, similar to the MOWA bridge to the north.

The future park space, titled Performance Park, would eventually be donated to the city of West Bend.  The current construction estimate for the park and the bridge is about $400,000, according to Stroik.

Husar made clear “the BID cannot own property” and the BID will have nothing to do with the purchase of the building. The BID, however, is on the hook for $75,000 to remove or repair the bridge by Jan. 31, 2017. The mayor said an extension will not be granted.

On a history note: Matt Prescott and his business partner Erik Nordeen with Ascendant Holdings,  purchased the building, 125 N. Main St., in May 2012 for $100,000.


The 2016 assessment for the property is $100,000, with taxes at $1,883.64 and $300 for the Bid Assessment.

Matt Prescott talks WB Theatre proposal

The downtown West Bend Theatre is a hot topic as a proposal was presented at Monday’s Common Council meeting to keep the façade and marquee of the theatre, raze the eastern portion of the building and turn it into an open-air park.

Matt Prescott owns the theatre. He purchased it with business partner Eric Nordeen in May 2012 for $100,000.

When Prescott purchased the building 4 years ago he said, “Nothing like a decrepit old building to get you going,” he laughed.  In 2012 Prescott said, “I see the theater as an asset to the downtown. I just wanted to take a chance, control an important part of downtown and see what we can do to make it better.”


Prescott made clear he will keep the West Bend marquee but he does not intend to restore the theater to its historic status. Instead, he simply wants to demo the newer additions inside, hollow it out and get it back to the configuration of the old theater. “I want to stabilize it, get the roof back in shape and clean it up – so we know what we’re sitting on and see what uses people might come up with,” he said.

During a conversation Monday night, Prescott reiterated his initial thought. “Plans for the building remain same as it always has,” said Prescott.  “Hopefully find the group that has the next life figured out for the building and sell it to them.”

“It was always the plan to stabilize the building, do some selective demo and then hand it off,” he said. “That still remains the plan.” Briefed on the plan presented Monday by Mike Husar, Claire Rolfs and David Stroik, Prescott qualified it as “definitely interesting.”


“It’s something I could get behind,” said Prescott. “I’m not trying to make a giant moral decision on my end as far as whether the building stays or goes. It did surprise me a bit but the plan has grown on me since they first bounced it off me and it’s an interesting asset for downtown.”


Prescott made clear he has no specific agreement to sell the theatre. “I have said I would be cooperative as they pull their plans together and they may make an offer or they may not but I haven’t done anything beyond having them keep me informed,” Prescott said.


Another proposal to refurbish the theatre is being floated. Prescott said he’s aware of it.


“The two plans are quite a bit different, and tearing the building down or not… that’s something I never planned to get caught between,” he said. “But it’s not surprising to have different ideas.”


Prescott and Ascendant Holdings own several properties in West Bend including the Baird building, 111 N. Main St., Le’s Bridal & Alterations, 262 N. Main St., and Portrait’s Today, 105 N. Main St.


The theatre has been a “unique asset” according to Prescott. “Getting a viable theatre plan in place is no easy thing,” he said. “It’s taken a while and a little longer than I hoped to be waiting to see what it’s next life will be.”

Prescott said he’s very happy with the theatre. “It’s stable, it’s in good shape and people are very interested in it,” he said. “Whether something happens now, three months from now, six months or a year from now – it is what it is. I’m just looking to have something good happen for downtown.”

Questioned whether he is looking to profit from the sale of the building, Prescott laughed. “No, not looking to profit I don’t think there’s any chance that could happen,” he said. “Not with the money we have in it. I’m not looking to pass it off for free but I’m looking to move it over at a very reasonable price to start its next phase in the world.”

Naming Freedom Way in West Bend

The West Bend Common Council voted unanimously in favor of a request this week to add a unique street name for the new headquarters for Delta Defense. The company owned by Tim Schmidt is building a new 64,000-square-foot facility between Corporate Center Drive and State Highway 45.

Delta Defense requested the driveway extending east of Corporate Center Drive become “1000 Freedom Way.” Although the request isn’t standard addressing practice for the city, it has approved similar requests in the past for a corporate campus or commercial development. The council voted to give its full approval.

On a history note: Can you name other roads in the city named after businesses or developments?

One Gehl Way  – named for the Gehl Company but now it’s the Manitou Group. Metalcraft Road – named for Metalcraft of Mayville and its plant off Progress Drive. Was Silverbrook named for the school or the school named for the road?

Heather Bruss – Chopper Drive, where the National Guard armory is. It’s an aviation unit, helicopters to be specific.

Jeffrey Kenkel – Valley Avenue, named after the now gone Valley Bank. Randall Koehler – I think Valley Avenue was there before the bank. Kenkel They both opened at about the same time. Not sure who the developer of the road and adjoining lots was, but they probably had a pre-sale arrangement with the bank.

Richard Bechler – University Ave

Randall Koehler – Rolf’s Road, Cedar Ridge Drive, Stockhausen Lane.

Jeffrey Kenkel Continental Drive, named after the developer of the West Bend Corporate Center.

Shannon Lynn – Johnson Street for Johnson Bus

Updates & tidbits


A mighty respectable moment this week at Holy Angels School as Peter James German Jr. received his Eagle Scout Award. German received a pair of certificates including a signed certificate with a gold seal from state Senators and a plaque from County Board Chairman Rick Gundrum and County Clerk Brenda Jaszewski.


– Town of West Bend chairman Paul Rice turned in his non-candidacy papers this week. Rice said 20 years is enough. “I gave the papers to Town Clerk Rebecca Schuster and told her to hang onto it just in case I changed my mind.” Rice signed the paperwork a couple weeks ago. “A lot of my ideas have gotten tired and worn out and it’s time for new blood,” said Rice.


– A joint meeting is set for Tuesday, Jan. 24 at 7 a.m. in the Ziegler Building at the Washington County Fairgrounds where details will be presented regarding the Highway 60 Reliever Route 30 percent engineering study. The meeting will be strictly between the Executive Committee and the Public Works Committee. No public comment will be taken at that time.


There was cake for Bert Neuburg this week as he retired following a 38-year career in the Washington County Park System.  


The Allenton Volunteer Fire Department received a commendation from the Washington Co. Board this week for the positive outcome following a fire call at Allenton Elementary School on Oct. 19. The incident was a false alarm but the department handled the call and safely evacuated 400 students.


The new Pizza Hut sign is in place at its new location, 1460 S. Main St., in the Paradise Pavilion. The store is just north of Regis Hairstylists.


-The West Bend Police Department recently recognized School District Crossing Guard Barbara Krell for 25 years of dedicated service.


– The United Performing Arts Fund (UPAF) is celebrating its 50th Anniversary Campaign in 2017 and this week UPAF was at the West Bend High Schools filming a video that will be used as its 50th Anniversary Campaign.


– Anna Jaeger, 74, of West Bend, passed away on Monday, December 19, 2016. Jaeger worked as a waitress at Dick’s Pizzeria in West Bend for over 25 years.

– A check presentation this week as proceeds from the 2nd annual Diamond Dash were turned over to Lori Yahr and Enchantment in the Park. This year the Diamond Dash raised $7,629.29.

-Energy assistance is available to families in Washington County who need help with winter heating bills. Kay Lucas oversees the Energy Assistance Program with Washington County Human Services Department.  For more information contact Lucas at 262-335-4677.


– Natalie Dorrler is the winner of coming up with a new slogan for the Washington County Planning and Parks Department. “Your Washington County. Your Parks.” Dorrler won 18 holes of weekday golf for 2 at the Washington County Golf Course.


Clara Moll turns 106 years old


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; prompted by her daughter Mary. “Remember in 1976 when you took advantage of the Greyhound Bus offer… 99 days for $99?” Clara 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 Clara 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.

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.merry-christmas-wci-fb-cover-vintage

Around the Bend by Judy Steffes

Time capsule to be placed at St. Peter Church in Slinger              courtesy Ruth Marks

As the expansion of St. Peter Catholic Church in Slinger nears completion, members of the congregation are preparing a special time capsule to be buried in the walls; a special collection of mementos to relay the significance of this time in years to come. A possible time capsule already exists in the 1897 portion of the church.

“It’s most likely in the cornerstone,” said Rev. Rick Stoffel. “The parish chose not to open it during the current renovation.”

A new time capsule in a copper box donated by the Knights of Columbus, will be placed inside the main covered entryway or grand stairway at St. Peter. Construction crews will cut into the drywall, place the capsule within the wall, reseal it and place a plaque over the seal. No specific date, according to Rev. Stoffel, will be set for it to be reopened.

The time capsule will contain the following items: A scroll containing the signatures of parish members, a collection of four of the church’s recent pictorial directories, including one not dated but believed to be from the 1980s, one from 1993, one from St. Peter’s Sesquicentennial in 2006, and the current edition from 2013, an edition of the Archdiocese Catholic Herald  from October of 2016, containing an article about St. Peter’s renovation project, a 2017 Slinger Advancement Association calendar, a medallion commemoration of the 2014 Archdiocese Synod, a coin from World Youth Day in Krakow Poland 2016, several Knights of Columbus medallion coins, a coin from the Extraordinary Jubilee Year of Mercy from Dec. 8, 2015 through Nov. 20, 2016 and a copy of the prayer from the Extraordinary Jubilee Year of Mercy, a magnet commemorating the canonization of St. Theresa, who was canonized as a saint during the renovation project, a pencil and leaflet from the St. Peter’s school children, a rosary made by the religious education children, a jumpdrive containing sounds and sights of parish life during the year, a brass bell from the school children, pictures and the yearbook from 2013, a pair of Precious Feet pin commemorating the Parish’s support of the Right to Life of the unborn, and a letter from the artist involved in the restoration of the altar, detailing what he did and how he did it.

Slinger H.S. senior wins welding competition

Moraine Park Technical College held a welding competition at its Jackson campus. Students from West Bend and Slinger High Schools competed. The students could pick either gas metal arc welding GMAW or shielded metal arc welding, SMAW, or both. Slinger Senior Rachel Hau took first place in both competitions.

Beer garden being proposed for Ackerman’s Grove County Park

There’s discussion underway in Washington County regarding possible development of a beer garden at Ackerman’s Grove County Park on Little Cedar Lake.


The development is being floated by Eric Hyde, Parks Property Manager for Washington County. “We are in the very preliminary stages of discussing this and would like to keep the public informed and give them a chance for input,” said Hyde.

The thought is, since the county implemented priority-based budgeting it has to come up with new revenue streams. Hyde cites the success of beer gardens in Milwaukee County parks.

Washington County’s Public Works Committee is going to hash this over next week’s and the topic will be part of future parks discussions. A couple of public input forums have been scheduled for January 23 and 24. More details will be released in the coming weeks.

Property tax bill in the mail

Most every neighbor in Washington County received their property tax bill this past week. The lottery-tax credit for this year is $109 which is a bit more than last year, $92.02. The first-dollar credit is $57.96, which is a smidge more than last year, $56.96. How did your taxes end up compared to last year?

Car crashes into Habitat Restore in West Bend

Some excitement at the Habitat Restore on N. Main Street in West Bend as a car crashed into the front of the store. Clerks said they heard a loud crash last Friday morning. They came outside and found a car in the wall. Nobody was hurt. Apparently the driver’s foot slipped and hit the gas. Employees at Habitat said the wall got pushed in a bit and the glass cracked. The window was removed and boarded up. Habitat is checking with its insurance to get a damage estimate.

Pizza Ranch to go before Plan Commission in January

There have been quite a few requests for updates on what’s going on with the Pizza Ranch development in West Bend.  Well, the item regarding a proposed development will be on the January 10, 2017 Plan Commission agenda. Word is a traffic study has been completed and the Pizza Ranch people are talking with the Sendik’s people about an easement.

Pizza Ranch is looking to build on Highway 33 just west of 18th Avenue. During an initial appearance before the Plan Commission two months ago there were concerns expressed about parking and the entrance and egress. Those details have reportedly been worked out.

Coming up in the WB School District

Coming up Dec. 22 at 12:55 p.m. at Decorah Elementary School community dignitaries will participate in Running Reindeer.  Here’s the skinny….it’s a madhouse.  Dignitaries are given a book and a set time to finish reading the book to a classroom of kids, then the music plays over the PA and they have to rush to the next room and read the book…and then it starts over again, and again. It is really fun and crazy!


Bailey Dove of Jackson featured in Aaron Rodgers 12 Days of Christmas


Some high-profile exposure for 11-year-old Bailey Dove of Jackson who appeared in Aaron Rodgers 12 Days of Christmas campaign.


Aside from being featured on Aaron Rodgers 12 Day of Christmas Facebook page, there was also a full-page ad taken out in the Monday edition of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.


The ad said Bailey was a 6th grader at Silverbrook Intermediate School in West Bend. She was diagnosed with high risk acute lymphoblastic leukemia in Mach, 2015. Her identical twin sister, Lily, was diagnosed with leukemia 21 months before that.


This tragic scenario prompted her mom to say “With Lily, we feared the unknown. With Bailey, we feared the known.” Bailey is being treated under the care of Medical College of Wisconsin and Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin Physicians with a 108-week chemotherapy regimen in the MACC Fund Center at Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin Physicians where her sister Lily is also seen having completed her treatment in August, 2015.

Highway 60 reliever route

A joint meeting will be held at the end of January 2017 regarding a pair of studies connected to a proposed Highway 60 reliever rout. Washington County Administration Office will present the findings of the preliminary Engineering Study and the Economic Impact Study to a joint meeting between the County Executive Committee and Public Works Committee sometime between Jan. 23 and 31. It is expected at the meeting a recommendation will be made to move forward to  the full County Board in February

Updates & tidbits

Breakfast with Santa is Saturday, Dec. 17 at the Kettle Moraine Ice Center from 8 a.m. – noon. Breakfast includes sausage, applesauce, and all-you-can-eat pancakes.

– During Monday’s West Bend Common Council meeting there will be a resolution to approve a private street name and unique address for Delta Defense LLC Corporate Office building. Tim Schmidt, owner of USCCA, is building a new headquarters on Corporate Center Drive in West Bend. The building can be seen from Highway 45 just south of Paradise Drive.

– The River Shores YMCA group donated 110 pounds of food and $135 to the Full Shelf Food Pantry. Donations were raised as the Y staff cooperated in hiding an Elf on the Shelf every morning at 5 a.m. Staff then validated those who located the hidden Elf, filled out a ticket, and hoped their name would be drawn for a Y contributed prize. Everyone had fun, and the little Elf certainly had a grand tour of the River Shores Y! The culmination of the Elf’s hiding was the Holiday Party on Dec. 13 at the Kingpin Bowling Alley.  Hat tip Kathy Fish

The ice skating rink at Regner Park is expected to open Dec. 22 at the earliest.

-Part of the success of this year’s Taste of Washington County included a live auction where four sessions to spend a day with the Washington County Swat Team were auctioned off and each session sold for $7,000.

– The final phase of improvements is underway at the West Bend Cinema as the new reclining chairs are being installed.

– The final edition of the St. John’s cookbook ‘Our Favorite Recipes’ is available at several businesses in West Bend. Todd Tennies at Tennies Ace Hardware has a strong supply of the popular church cookbook, which began in 1949.

-Sunday, Dec. 18 there will be a Candlelight Vigil at Richfield Fire Station No. 1 on Highway 175, starting at 5 p.m. The vigil is to support those that have suffered the loss of a loved one and to remember those that have died from an addiction.

-West Bend Mayor Kraig Sadownikow will name a new member to the Downtown West Bend BID board on Monday. Board member Lauri Gundrum is stepping off and it’s expected Peggy Fischer will be named as her replacement.

– Monday, Dec. 19 the West Bend High School choirs will perform their annual holiday concert. This will be a free event at the Silver Lining Arts Center, 1305 E. Decorah Road.

– There will be a primary Feb. 21 as four candidates are running for state school superintendent including: Tony Evers – Incumbent, Jeff Holmes – Administrator, Germantown School District, Lowell Holtz – Former superintendent, Beloit School District and Remy Gomez – 2016 candidate for mayor of Tomah.

The pet peeves of winter…

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 honestly wish all that recognition happened a little less often… especially when I just want to get out of the store with my tampons and hair color.

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” back. 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.

Fond memories of McLane Elementary School sledding hill aka The Hollow

There must have been 100 kids playing in the snow this week during recess at McLane Elementary School. The lucky students had a sledding hill all their own. Quiet a few neighbors recalled their days on the hill in The Hollow.

Timothy Thomas – Back in probably 1977 we found a sledding path down that hill that took us past that tree in the foreground and onto the sidewalk on Chestnut. A great 20-30 second ride for sure.

Judy Knoebel Lewis – I am now 68, but I still remember sliding down that hill. The thing I remember most about the hill was we used cardboard from old boxes to slide down the hill. My mom made me wear snow pants so I wouldn’t have to sit in wet clothes the rest of the day.  My boots were made of rubber and the snow would get packed into them. So, even though my clothes were dry, my feet were soaked. I went to school at McLane from 4th – 8th grade.  We had such great times sliding in the winter, and playing softball or kickball in the spring and fall.

Mary Bauer Hotchkiss – I remember having a long jacket that worked better than a sled! I would go down the hollow on my back and then switch jackets with a friend so they could use my coat!

Mitch Ryan – The good ol days. Bringing roll up sleds to school with us was the best!

Kathy Peterson – Was just reminiscing about the hallow and bringing the roll up sleds to school. All our boots lined up in the hall next to lockers, snowmobile suits crunched in the lockers. Vivid memory is 1st grade Miss Muehl’s room. 1971. Also had Miss Honey, Mr. Dione. We would play fox chase the rabbit with a big snow maze in 4th grade. Best of times!!

Jillinda Baldwin Hatch – Remember we got 3 recesses? I loved bringing my toboggan to sled in the hollow. When I was in 4th grade I had a nightmare that Gene Simmons and all of KISS tried to jump on my sled with me, and it really scared me. Lol

History photo of ice skating on the river

Date: Dec 26, 1926 Title: Ice Skating on Milwaukee River Description: Ice skating on the Milwaukee River. The building in the center with the smokestack is West Brewing Company. In the distance is the Washington County Courthouse and the White House Milk Company.021-543-ice-skating-on-the-milwaukee-river

Around the Bend by Judy Steffes

Randy Koehler pulls papers for Dist. 4 alderman


There’s been some activity at the clerk’s counter at City Hall in West Bend in connection with the April elections as former Dist. 4 alderman Randy Koehler has pulled papers.

Koehler took out papers Dec. 1. He said it was just for the heck of it. “Not sure if I am running yet, I stopped to wish Amy good luck and grabbed a package just in case,” he said.

Koehler ran for office in 2011. He always maintained a strong conservative stance and said he listened to his constituents. Koehler also was popular with city staff, visiting individual departments and learning how the city worked. Koehler ran for reelection in April 2015 and lost to challenger and current Dist. 4 alderman Chris Jenkins.

As of Thursday, Jenkins and Dist. 8 alderman Roger Kist had turned in all their necessary paperwork including signatures.

Aldermen in the even-numbered districts in West Bend are up for election and along with the mayor. Aldermen include Dist. 2 Steve Hutchins, Dist. 4 Chris Jenkins, Dist. 6 Steve Hoogester, and Dist. 8 Roger Kist.

Mayor Kraig Sadownikow has already indicated he’d run for another term in office.

Also, Kevin Aubery has picked up a packet for Dist. 2. So far no other paperwork has been submitted.

Aldermen began circulating papers December 1. They need to collect between 20 – 40 signatures and the mayor needs to collect 200 – 400 signatures, which are due Jan. 3, 2017.

If more than three candidates run for a seat a primary would be held February 2017.

Separation agreement with Washington Co. attorney to be finalized Dec. 13

The agenda has been released for the Dec. 13 Washington County Board meeting and it appears the separation agreement with County Attorney Kim Nass will be finalized during a closed session.

Closed Session: Entertain a motion to convene in Closed Session pursuant to §19.85(1)(c), Wis. Stats., considering employment, promotion, compensation or performance evaluation data of any public employee over which the governmental body has jurisdiction or exercises responsibility; specifically, “Discuss the personnel situation and separation agreement of the County Attorney.”

There’s been no public comment regarding the circumstances behind this decision. On Oct. 20, WashingtonCountyInsider.com was the first to report on Nass being missing from her office. She has not returned to the county since the story broke.

Diamond Dash participation up 27%

Combine the first light snow of the season with more than 500,000 Christmas lights and throw in 370 runners and walkers and you have a very successful 2nd annual Husar’s Diamond Dash at Regner Park. Sixteen-year-old Luke Guttormson from West Bend West High School ran the 3.1 mile course in 16 minutes and 55 seconds.

Monica Schaefer, 29, of Adell was the first female finisher; she crossed in 21 minutes and 21 seconds.  The top finishers received a watch valued at $500 from Husar’s House of Fine Diamonds. Money raised goes to Enchantment in the Park.            On a side note, the WIAA contacted Husar’s and it had to pull back its prize for Guttormson because it violated rules for a high school athlete participating in state sports.

Germanfest mural is burned

 A news tip came in last week that hit me like a punch in the gut. Someone said the Germanfest painting by Eileen Eckert that hung on the building on Walnut Street had been destroyed.

A simple call to Eckert proved it was true.

“I think they burned it,” said Eckert. “It told them to a couple years ago to get rid of it and it looks like they finally did it.”

The three-panel mural dated to 2007; it was a commemoration to downtown West Bend’s annual Germanfest celebration. The middle panel featured Ernst Frankenberg hoisting a frothy stein of beer.

“I never met Ernst but struck up a kinship with him because of our similar German heritage,” said Eckert who painted Frankenberg from a photo. The mural featured Frankenberg in a traditional green German hat and lederhosen.

“Lu Harder gave me a bunch of photos to help flush out the local German flavor and I picked Ernst because he depicted what I wanted to portray with his connection to Sprecher, beer making and Germanfest,” said Eckert.

“That painting was in such bad shape,” said Eckert. “It wasn’t meant to be outdoors all the time but it was such a monster to put up and take down.”

The painting measured 8-feet high and 12-feet long. “If I ever would do it again I would have made it in three separate panels,” she said. “The bottom was a 2 x 4 and that was just Masonite and it got wet on the bottom and it wicked up.”

Asked whether she was working on something else to replace it, Eckert said no. “Nobody from Habitat for Humanity (the organization that took over Germanfest in 2016) has contacted me,” she said. “I was waiting and if they would want me to do something, winter is when I can do things, but nobody has contacted me.”

Eckert said she asked Germanfest organizers to remove the painting several years ago. She was told “the community loves it.”

“At least my name weathered off so I was less embarrassed by it,” said Eckert.

Herb Tennies, the founder of Germanfest, said storage of the painting also became a problem. The mural hung for years on the south side of the building on Walnut Street that used to be home to Mehring’s Fish Market.

On a history note: Ernst Frankenberg died Jan. 1, 2009 at the Cedar Lake Health Center.

New owners for Coachwork Auto Body on Highway 33.

Mike Held and Jason Lisko are the new owners of Coachwork Auto Body, 5709 State Highway 33, just east of Allenton. The pair took over from Pat and Patricia McIntee who started the business in 1980.

“I actually got my start here with Pat and Pat,” said Held. A graduate of Slinger High School, Held first applied at Coachwork Auto Body in 1999. “They hired me on the spot and I started washing cars,” he said.

Soon thereafter Held rented a space by the County Fairgrounds. “I was so small,” laughed Held. “I did everything that came through the door. The weirdest thing I ever painted was a Christmas ornament for a guy’s yard.”

In 2010 Held’s Auto Body was born. “I grew enough to buy the shop in Hartford,” he said.

Always in touch with the McIntees the conversation soon gravitated to thoughts of retirement and Held taking over. “This ended up working out and it’s a team effort,” he said of his partnership with Lisko.

“I want to continue the foundation set here with the same sound quality and service,” said Held.  “I don’t have a lot of plans to change anything other than upgrade the repair process and get more tech savvy to change; traditional customer relations will stay the same.”

City taxi rates on the rise

The cost of taking a taxi in West Bend is going to go up in a couple of weeks. New ridership rates take effect January 1, 2017.  Fares increase 50 cents for each individual ride and riders will be responsible for the additional cost of 50 cents per ride on all previously-purchased ride coupons after the increase has been implemented.

New rates include: Adults (Age 18-64) are $4.50 and $45 for 10 ride tickets, Youth (Age 5-17)    $3.50 and $35 for 10 ride tickets, Elderly (Age 65 & Older)  $3.50 and $35 for 10 ride tickets,                                   Disabled $3.50 and $35 for 10 ride tickets. Children (Age 4 & under w/adult) are free.

Successful Shop with a Cop in Washington County

Wednesday night in West Bend it was Shop with a Cop at Walmart. The kids came in waves; a Christmas list in hand and an officer on their arm. The uniform of the day was a red Santa hat and a smile… for the kids too.

Shoppers stared. The kids buckled down and took care of business gathering gifts for their parents, siblings and even a dog named ‘Monster.’ The officers took orders well. They offered opinions and a bit of guidance in the makeup aisle, sniffed candle after candle in a section filled with way too many scents; corny hats were the biggest attraction.

Men and women from various Washington County law enforcement wrapped their arms around their evening assignment including Germantown PD, Kewaskum PD, West Bend PD, Jackson PD, Slinger PD, Newburg PD, Hartford PD, and the Washington County Sheriffs.

Arlene Kuehl is a school crossing guard in West Bend and a volunteer wrapper at Shop with a Cop. “This really affects the kids’ lives in such a positive way,” Kuehl said. “Every year it gets better and better and better.”

Back at headquarters, aka West Bend Mutual Prairie Center, the kids and their cohorts received a warm supper and elves volunteered their time in a back room wrapping gifts to make for a better surprise on Christmas day.

Addison from Kewaskum had a 10-star rave review on her experience. “It was amazing and fun and I enjoyed it so much,” she said. “Just trying to figure out what to buy for friends and family for Christmas and then everybody was looking at me.”

Addison, 10, said she wanted to laugh at some of the onlookers because she was in the store with an officer at her side. “I’m sure kids were like ‘What? No fair!’ and I think they were jealous,” she said. “I actually felt bad for them because it would have been enjoyable for them to go too.

“This whole experience actually wasn’t about the gifts but about the time I was able to spend with people who felt joy in helping me.”

“This is a wonderful opportunity for the kids to see police officers and law enforcement as something other than a negative,” said volunteer Sue McNutt with the Slinger Police Department. “Too often, especially if kids come from a disadvantaged situation, police are seen as a bad thing, so this helps teach them officers are friendly and they’re here to do good.”

Shop with a Cop was run by the Fraternal Order of Police this year; the Kettle Moraine Chapter took over from the Washington County Sheriff’s Department. Although Lieutenant Matt Rohlinger and organizer Tina Beres were a bit nervous the evening went off without a hitch.

“Matt and Tina really did a great job and they were very organized,” said volunteer Wendy Heather.  “There are 42 kids who are shopping and just really excited.”

Heather said she was also very impressed with how police interacted with the kids. “Everybody looks like they’re having so much fun and it’s a healthy environment for everyone,” she said.

Beres was dressed in Christmas green and red and said she was pleased with all the support from volunteers and area businesses. “A lot of work went into this and it’s very satisfying seeing the smiles on the children’s faces and the officers are happy and enjoying this as much as the kids,” she said. “We want to give back to the community and show the officers just aren’t here to do their job but also to give something in return.”

Beres said they’re looking to grow the event in the future. “This year we add the pajamas and blankets for all the children to take home,” Beres said. “In the coming years we hope to be able to add more children to the program.”

Updates & tidbits

St. Mary’s Immaculate Conception Parish in Barton is one of five winners of the Catholic Community Foundation’s $15,000 grant. The grant is being awarded for St. Mary’s proposal to transform its former school playground into an evangelization space and community park.

-The 2017 Tour of America’s Dairyland bicycle race is coming to West Bend. Thanks to generous support the race will be called the Downtown West Bend Concourse presented by Delta Defense. The event is slated for Monday, June 19.

– A West Bend-based company is overseeing development of a new four-story hotel in the Village of Grafton. Developer Kraig Sadownikow of American Construction Services laid out designs for a new 87-room TownePlace Suites. The hotel would be operated by Marriott and located east of I-43.

– A couple of hardy souls braved the cold temps and put up a new sign for Bibinger’s. The restaurant, 3747 Cedar Creek Road, opened this past August in the former Schwai’s. There’s some historical significance to the placement of the sign at Highway 60 and Scenic Road as it’s the location of the former Schwai’s billboard.

-Interviews begin Monday as the Downtown West Bend Association looks to fill its event manager position. Seven people have applied for the job previously held by Kellie Boone.

-In less than 1 year WashingtonCountyInsider.com has climbed to the top of the Google search engine as the No. 1 and No. 4 news source in Washington County, Wisconsin.

UW-Washington County’s Moraine Chorus will present a winter concert Sunday, Dec. 11 at 2 p.m. in the campus theatre.  The chorus is directed by Dr. Peter Gibeau, Professor of Music at the campus. Admission is free although a free-will offering is appreciated.

– Santa will fly into the West Bend Airport again this year but he’s on an earlier flight. Santa will land at 8:30 a.m. on Saturday, Dec. 10.

-The West Bend Parks Department will fill Regner Park Pond for ice skating this winter. The rink and the warming house are expected to open Dec. 17 at the earliest, once weather permits.

– Kettle Moraine Lutheran High School will present a Christmas choral concert on Saturday, Dec.10 at 7 p.m. in its Performing Arts Center. The concert will feature KML’s Kantorei Choir, Concert Choir, Traveling Choir, and Echoes. The Kantorei Choir is the co-ed freshman choir who participate in multiple concerts throughout the year.

– The Kettle Moraine Ice Center, 2330 S. Main Street in West Bend, has added Public Skate Times for the upcoming holidays. Daily Dec. 26 – Dec. 30 from 12 p.m. – 2 p.m.

Memories of Shopping for the holiday 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., currently home to Ooh La La.

“Jeklin’s Shoes was on the corner of Main and Cedar Streets and just south of that was a hardware store called Gambles and I bought my first bicycle there, I think it was a Hiawatha,” said Wolf.

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 none existent 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.

“Locally-owned businesses employ people that live in our community and the staff is well trained in product knowledge and customer service,” said Tennies. “Shop Small Saturday is a golden opportunity to be recognized and supported.” Small Business Saturday is Nov 29.

PHOTO: Remember the talking tree? Photo courtesy Tennies Ace Hardware.


Around the Bend by Judy Steffes

Christmas tradition lives on

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

That tradition of placing the geese in the yard continues.

My father is almost 93 now and we take his Alzheimer’s in stride.

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

Then we slip outside.

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

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

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

We set up the geese together.

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

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

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

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

Doug Gonring named to WBCA Hall of Fame

Long-time baseball coach Doug Gonring has been selected to enter the Wisconsin Baseball Coaches Association Hall of Fame.

“Doug was an easy choice for the committee because the success he has had at different levels and different schools,” said Joe Waite, publications director for the WBCA.  “He is well known and respected as a great teacher of the game, which is evidenced by the success he has had year in and year out.  He is truly deserving and speaking for all of us on the committee, the WBCA is honored to induct him into our Hall of Fame.”

Gonring has racked up a stellar career in baseball. He played college ball at Florida Atlantic University and is part of that school’s Baseball Hall of Fame. He coached nine seasons at West Bend East from 1994 – 2003 and led the Suns to State baseball titles in 1999 and 2002.

Gonring developed players who advanced to the major leagues including former Suns pitcher Jason Wiedmeyer (San Diego Padres) and Mike Mueller (Atlanta Braves) pitched professionally after college and third baseman Ryan Rohlinger played for the San Francisco Giants.

Gonring also coached from 2008 – 2016 at Kewaskum High School.

In July 2016 he notched his 400th win as a coach when the Kewaskum Indians downed Southeastern Wisconsin Home School Association, 11-3.

Gonring spent several seasons as a catcher in the Houston Astro and Toronto Blue Jays organizations prior to professional baseball retirement in 1988. Gonring said it was 1986 when he had a run in with Yogi Berra during spring training.  By that time, Gonring had earned the nickname “Little Yogi.”

“‘Where is this Little Yogi,’” said Gonring doing a gruff Berra impersonation. “I stood up and raised my hand and he looked at me and said, ‘You’re too damn big to be a Little Yogi’ and he turned and walked out. I knew he liked me from then on.”

During a conversation Friday afternoon Gonring said he was honored by the selection. “I really thought this just went to older people,” he joked.

Gonring celebrated his 54th birthday last Sunday. “I guess I’m old now and I’ll be in that book,” he said.

In an effort to put 22 years of coaching and a lifetime of baseball into perspective, Gonring said he did it for the players. “I never played a game for myself,” he said. “They endured some hard times with me and I know I’m tough but I learned that through Gary Perkins and Steve Traylor and Kenny Bolek. “The parents and the kids have bought into my program and it’s been a better career for me coaching than it has as a player,” he said. Gonring will be inducted Saturday, Feb. 11 at the WBCA Honors and Hall of Fame Banquet at the Marriott Madison West.

Family escapes house fire Friday night on Indiana Avenue

Three adults and their 3 animals escaped a fast-moving fire that totaled their home Friday night at 753 S. Indiana Avenue in West Bend. Lisa Haubrich lived in the home with her mother in law and her girlfriend Christina Doerr.

Haubrich, 30, said she had just left to go to the gas station around 6:30 p.m. Friday and when she got home she saw the flames. “We were only gone about 10 minutes and when we got back and pulled in the driveway I was like we don’t have Christmas lights and then I saw the house was on fire,” said Haubrich.

Doerr’s mother was in the backyard with a dog and cat; the other dog, Molly, was stuck in the house. The dog was alive in the basement.

The official cause of the fire has yet to be determined; however Haubrich said they saw smoke in a back bedroom and smoke was coming out of the vent. The Red Cross is working with the family to find accommodations. Haubrich said she will be headed back to Children’s Hospital to take care of her baby. The child was not home at the time of the fire.

The Washington County Humane Society is helping care for the animals. The amount of damage has yet to be determined.

Pizza Hut gets new sign

The new Pizza Hut sign is on order for the restaurants new location, 1460 S. Main Street in West Bend. The Wisconsin Hospitality Group, LLC has leased 1,613 square feet from Brixmore Paradise Pavilion, LLC.  The new Pizza Hut will be to the north of Regis Hairstylists. A build out of the interior is currently underway. The opening date is expected to be within the next 30 days. Pizza Hut closed its store on Highway 33 on Feb. 1, 2016.

West Bend Christmas Parade winners

Lucky Mutts Rescue is the official winner of the Marv Husar Spirit Award for the 2016 West Bend Christmas Parade.  As a reward they received a $500 donation on behalf of Husar’s House of Fine Diamonds, along with a trophy for bragging rights.

Other winners: Adult: 1st place: West Bend Kettle Trailblazers, 2nd place: West Bend Moose, 3rd: place: Lucky Mutts Rescue. Youth: 1st place: Badger/Silverbrook Dance/Guard, 2nd place: West Bend West Dance Team, 3rd place: West Bend Catholic Schools. Business: 1st place: All Above Dance, 2nd place: Country View Equestrian Estate, 3rd place: Sport Clips West Bend

 Downtown WB Theatre

Is the Historic West Bend Theatre a road paved with good intentions? Neighbors are starting to wonder. Last weekend the theatre doors were opened as people took tours, signed petitions and had their photos taken in the theatre balcony.

“I would like to see shows like comedians and old movies,” said Elizabeth Bartelt, one of 300 who toured the building. “Bring back the nostalgia of why the theatre was here in the first place. It would be a shame for an 80-plus year building to go to the wayside.”

Scott Evenson also toured inside the theatre. “I would like to see it stay; it’s the anchor of our city,” he said.

Several displays presented during the open hours offered options on what direction people would like to see the theatre take. Choices included foreign films, live bands, plays, and events like weddings.

“The most popular listed on the board was classic films,” said Evenson. “For myself I’d like live bands and musicals.”

The theatre is a hot topic. It marked its 87th anniversary on November 26.Since around 2007 it has gone dark and there have been some recent rumblings about a possible sale or even razing the building for an outdoor amphitheater. None of the rumors have been confirmed by building owner Matt Prescott.

What has been confirmed is a December deadline regarding the renovation or removal of the bridge behind the theatre. The downtown West Bend Business Improvement District has put forth a $75,000 surety to save the pedestrian bridge that extends from the back of the West Bend Theatre over the Milwaukee River.

That deadline, now a year later, is just a couple weeks away.

During Sunday’s West Bend Christmas Parade an attempt was made by historian Terry Becker to rally some support for the future of the theatre by having people gather below the West Bend marquee for a photo.

About 30 people drifted over to the theatre but came away disappointed. “It’s just disorganized,” said Bartelt. “People are looking at information. I asked if they were going to do the community picture and nobody answered me.”

Chris Witt of West Bend came away frustrated too. “I want something to be done with it,” he said. “It’s too historical of a building to just be sitting empty for as long as it has been. There’s discussion of bringing Music on Main inside during the winter. We need to bring people to downtown; there are too many dead buildings. The entire community needs to be behind this.”

Becker said he thought a rally under the marquee may raise awareness and possibly bring about a “miracle offer” to save the theatre. “I saw the turnout; it’s just so disappointing,” Becker said.

However, Becker’s “hail Mary” may have worked. A man did express interest in the theatre. He said he was rebuffed by organizers gathered under the marquee. Attempts are being made to contact the man and see how he intends to move forward.

Wreaths for Gov. Walker come from Washington Co.

A family from West Bend is able to boast that two of their handmade wreathes will hang this Christmas in the Wisconsin State Capitol in Madison.

Jane Muench is the creator and artist behind the wreaths. She works for her brother and sister in law at Christmas on Indian Lore. “I made it look rustic and I threw in the pheasant feathers because I know Governor Walker is a hunter,” she said. There are five different kinds of evergreens woven into the wreaths including cedar, balsam, Fraser, white pine and scotch.

Muench is a well decorated wreath maker in her own right. She won a pair of grand champion awards last January at the annual Wisconsin Christmas Tree Producers Association.

Updates & tidbits

-The WBHS Culinary Arts and Child Care Skills classes are hosting Breakfast with Santa on Saturday, Dec. 3 at 8:30 a.m. – 11 a.m. in the West cafeteria. Proceeds benefit “The Gingerbread House” gift-giving program to aid families in need this holiday. Tickets available at the door!

– Sandy Lang has been hired as a consultant at the Washington County Fair Park. Lang will be helping fill the entertainment calendar for the 2017 Washington County Fair and she’ll be showing new executive director the ropes. Kellie Boone starts at the Fair Park on Monday.

-In less than 1 year WashingtonCountyInsider.com has climbed to the top of the Google search engine as the No. 1 and No. 4 news source in Washington County, Wisconsin.

UW-Washington County’s Moraine Chorus will present a winter concert Sunday, Dec. 11 at 2 p.m. in the campus theatre.  The chorus is directed by Dr. Peter Gibeau, Professor of Music at the campus. Admission is free although a free-will offering is appreciated.

-A certificate of appreciation was presented to West Bend city clerk and assistant city administrator Amy Reuteman this past Monday. Reuteman was recognized for 15 years of leadership, dedicated service and tireless contributions to West Bend.

– Froedtert & the Medical College of Wisconsin St. Joseph’s Hospital will host its 30th annual Love Light Tree event Sunday, Dec. 4, at 6:30 p.m. in the hospital’s Garden Cafe.

– There was $7,540 raised during the 15th annual Jeff & Bink’s Monday Night Football Party to benefit the Full Shelf Food Pantry in Washington County. The event was held at Pilllars Pub.

– Santa will fly into the West Bend Airport again this year but he’s on an earlier flight. Santa will land at 8:30 a.m. on Saturday, Dec. 10.

– Winter street parking rules are now in West Bend. The rule is even-numbered side of the street on an even calendar date and odd – numbered side of the street on odd calendar date.

Lillian Oelhafen celebrates her 100th birthday with a few friends

The parking lot at Zion Evangelical Lutheran Church on Highway D in Allenton was packed last Sunday afternoon and it was the friendship of Lillian Moritz Oelhafen that brought everyone together.

Oelhafen was celebrating her 100th birthday; she decided to invite a few friends. “I think there are about 400 people here today,” said daughter Judy Etta yelling over the din in the church hall. “We ordered narrow tables so we could fit everyone in here for lunch.”

Etta, who runs the dessert tent at Germanfest in West Bend, prepped for the day by baking 600 cupcakes.

Lillian Oelhafen was born Dec. 24, 1916 when Woodrow Wilson was President of the United States, Charlie Chaplain dominated films, and the Saturday Evening Post first featured a painting by Norman Rockwell on the cover.

Lillian dressed in purple for the century celebration.  She wore a light purple blouse with a rich purple satin jacket and a decorative corsage of yellow and red roses. Her white hair was perfectly coifed and her smile was as big as the room.

Lillian sat at the back of the church hall, her coffee and plate of food grew cold as the line to wish her happy birthday stretched through the doorway, down hall and up the stairs. To say she was “a little overwhelmed at the turnout” was an understatement.

“She said I want all the people who have touched my life to come to my birthday,” said Etta.  “You know she taught Sunday school here.”

Lester Hahn, 60, said Lillian was his first grade Sunday school teacher. “I got gold stars, you can ask her about me – she was 45 when I was in that class,” said Hahn. “The wisdom that’s her whole life. You look at people here and how could all these people possibly come together at this church without her. “You couldn’t plan a party to get this many people here in fellowship. It’s awesome,” said Hahn.

Lillian grew up in Kohlsville; during the school year she lived with her grandparents on Highway 33, also known as Cedar Street. She graduated West Bend High School in 1935 when D. E. McLane was principal and the top hit on the billboard charts was Fred Astaire and ‘Cheek to Cheek.’

Orv Schulz was a neighbor to the Oelhafen family. “She’s a tough, tough lady,” said Schulz. “Her whole family was hard working.”

Oelhafen’s great grandparents, Ferdinand and Wilhelmina Sell, emigrated from Germany and came to America on their honeymoon in the 1800s. The couple set up their homestead in the Kohlsville area because it reminded them of their home in Germany. Ferdinand bought the local saw mill in 1893. There was also a grist mill by the lower pond and during winter they’d harvest ice.

“She’s an inspiration to everyone,” said Suzanne Tennies. “For her positive outlook, her joyfulness, always smiling. She’s just a wonderful, great lady.”

For hours Lillian received hugs, held hands and caught up with old friends. “Happy, happy, happy, happy, happy – I can’t say it 100 times,” said Herb Tennies.

The two held hands as they spoke. Fast friends drawn together by the love of German music and polka. “I danced with her one time when she was younger,” reminisced Tennies. “She was at the dessert tent at Germanfest and everybody loves to see her.”

People came from Arizona, Minnesota and Milwaukee to wish Lillian well. “She’s such an inspiration,” said Ron Schmidt of Milwaukee.   Lillian is his great aunt. “She’s kind and warm and always caring. She’s so active and such a good historian.”

Schmidt launches into a story Lillian told about harvesting ice off the lake. How it was dangerous business. Farmers Frank and Ernest Rusch, they were bachelors; they had a good strong team of draft horses. They came with their bobsled and load it up to haul ice to the shed and one day they broke through the ice and the horses drowned. “It was just horrible,” said Lillian.

Ruth Jansen’s tie to Lillian dated back 52 years. “She made our wedding cake,” said Jansen. “If you were getting married and needed a wedding cake, Lillian was the go to.”

Lillian’s 100th birthday cake was white with multiple tiers and surrounded by cupcakes and a pew full of presents. Friends and family sang happy birthday and Lillian sang a quiet reply of thanks.

Her thoughts were passed around on simple white sheets of paper for guests to take home and cherish. The note read: It is by the grace of God that I am here today. I can’t thank the majority of people who have helped me in life, as they are dead and gone.  Remember to thank those in your life before you can’t anymore. Thanks to all of you for coming and being a special part of my 100 years. Enjoy the day! Love Lillian Oelhafen.skate

Around the Bend by Judy Steffes

A tribute to Tom Strachota

There was a pall cast over the community of West Bend this week as neighbors try to wrap their head around the recent deaths of Tom Strachota, Doug Devenport and Dan Fuge.

There is a sense of shock from many regarding the news of Strachota’s death; he died suddenly following a heart attack Monday night at Pleasant Valley Tennis Club, he was raced to the hospital down the road but lifesaving measures weren’t enough.

Friends and neighbors are recalling Strachota as a man of conviction and community spirit.

“Tom had a real commitment to West Bend,” said John Rozek. “It showed in his family’s commitment to Regner Park and he was very involved in all different aspects.”

Robb Mehring golfed with Tom Strachota during a Notre Dame outing at the West Bend Country Club.

“He was really a great person. He always made everyone feel important.” said Mehring. “They say you are remembered not by how you treated people but how that person made you feel and Tom made people feel important and respected. I will never forget that about him.”

Tom and Patty Strachota were involved in a variety of community projects. The pair teamed with local civic organizations and helped refurbish and dedicate the Strachota bandstand at Regner Park in 2010. It was part of the 75th anniversary celebration of Regner.

The Strachotas also co-chaired the 2015 United Way Campaign in Washington County and they were part of Roots & Branches.

Robby Robrahn was part of the 2015 campaign. “Tom was quiet but he always had that smile,” said Robrahn. “Tom was one of our celebrities last year during our fundraiser for Roots & Branches. He was very community minded and a backbone of the Strachota family.”

Strachota was general manager at Dairyland Seed in Kewaskum; the company started by his grandfather Simon in 1907.

Word of Strachota’s death rocked the agricultural industry. Strachota had leadership roles within the seed industry, and the American Seed Trade Association.

Gary Leeper, a sales leader at Dairyland Seed, was quoted by industry publication Seed World.

“It is truly a sad day for all of us as we have lost not only our leader, but a dear friend to every one of us,” said Leeper. “Few people enjoyed their dealers, customers or co-workers more than Tom. He always carried a smile and was genuinely happy to see and talk with everyone with whom he came into contact.

“Tom’s death is a tragic loss for all of us who considered him a close friend and co-worker as well as a loss for Dairyland Seed, our dealers, the community of West Bend, the state of Wisconsin and the U.S. seed industry,” said Leeper.

George Prescott, local philanthropist and owner of Timmer’s Resort, said he remembered when Tom paid him a visit, prior to August 2008, when Dairyland Seed was sold to Dow AgroSciences.

“He came to me when he was thinking about selling the company and I was kind of flattered by that,” said Prescott.  “I thought the world of him. He had a responsibility to the family, who were his stakeholders, and he took very good care of family, shareholders, customers and suppliers.”

Prescott said it was also quite a compliment that Tom was pursued by Dow AgroSciences. “They kept him on for about five years after the sale, which is almost unheard of,” he said. “Tom was always taking the high road, representing strength and leadership. He always just did a great job.”

A Mass of Christian Burial will be Monday, Nov. 28, at 6 p.m. at St. Frances Cabrini Catholic Church. Visitation will be at the church on Monday from 2 p.m. until 5:30 p.m.  Burial will be in Holy Angels Cemetery.

Doug Devenport

Douglas Dean Devenport, 81, passed away peacefully on Tuesday, Nov. 22, 2016 in his home surrounded by family.  He was born January 11, 1935 to Leverette (Earl) and Ethel (nee Jones) Devenport.

Doug attended the University of Wisconsin where he met his wife Norrine.  Doug was a member of the UW wrestling team and the Alpha Tau Omega Fraternity.

Douglas and Norrine (nee Blaha) were married on January 15, 1956 at the Corinth Mississippi Methodist Church.  Doug was born and raised in West Bend and was President and CEO at Level Valley Dairy Co. in West Bend, and Cumberland Creamery in Nashville, TN.  Doug and his brother Roger, grew the company to where it was ranked in the top 30 companies on the WI 100 list of largest privately held corporations.

Doug and Norrine have been long time benefactors to their community, contributing the “Ajuga Daydream” sculpture at Riverside Park, the Devenport Family Stage at the Washington County Fairgrounds, and were major benefactors of the Washington County Ice Center and the Museum of Wisconsin Art as well as many other organizations and causes throughout the community.

Doug was a member of the Fifth Avenue United Methodist Church, past member of the board of directors of M&I First National Bank, a loving husband, father, grandfather and great-grandfather.  Doug enjoyed hunting, fishing and golfing with family and friends, as well as watching his race horses run at the track.

A Funeral Service will be 12 p.m. on Monday, Nov. 28 at the Phillip Funeral Home Chapel, 1420 W. Paradise Dr. West Bend, with Pastor Jeff Hesse officiating. Visitation will be at the funeral home from 10 a.m. until the time of service.  Interment will follow at the Washington County Memorial Park.

Remembering Dan Fuge

Dan Fuge died this week. “He had pancreatic cancer,” said his cousin Bob Fuge. “I don’t think they discovered it until it was Stage 4.”


Dan owned Fuge Heating & Air Conditioning; it was a business started by his father, Herb and uncle, Robert H. Fuge. At one point Fuge Hardware Co. was in downtown West Bend.

“Do you remember when the Fuge building was across the street,” said Todd Tennies from Tennies Ace Hardware. “It was across Main Street just to the south of Collin’s Deck Bar by Tony Jasen’s building.

“During Thanksgiving the Fuges would put two live turkeys in the window,” said Tennies.

Tim Stern remembered the turkeys. “My grandfather Robert Fuge continued that tradition when the store turned into Fuge Plumbing & Heating” he said. “My brother and I along with the family would always help get the window ready and take care of them.”

Bob Fuge remembered a contest and the prize was a turkey, sometimes a live turkey. “I was very involved with doing those turkey windows and finally I talked my dad into going to frozen turkeys because it was such a hassle with those live turkeys,” he said.

Robby Robrahn was a good friend of Dan Fuge. “He was a big Indy race fan,” said Robrahn.  “He also sponsored a duck every year in the Duck Derby. He was a quiet guy but supportive in the community.”

Dan Fuge was a life-long resident of West Bend. He attended local schools, graduating from West Bend High School. He also was a member of St. John’s Lutheran Church. Dan Fuge was 60.

Operation Warm

For the third year in a row members of the West Bend Professional Firefighters Union gathered this week with members of West Bend Early Risers at Decorah Elementary to carry out Operation Warm; a program where more than 200 down winter coats are distributed to students in need. Alyana, 9, got a turquoise coat. “It’s my favorite color and it’s totally warm,” she said.

Ayden, 9, said he already had a coat. “I have one but this one is better because it’s softer,” he said.  “I also like dark colors because it’s easier to hide when I play hide-and-seek.”

On a side note: As kids were gathering in the classroom waiting for the coat distribution to begin they plopped themselves on the floor and looked at the adults in the room. Pretty soon one man was tossing out arithmetic problems. “What’s 11 minus 9,” he asked.  A couple hands went up.  “What’s 7 plus 5,” he said. Then from the back of the room one of the firefighters said, “What’s 4 and 6?  Third place in the NFC.”

Husar’s holiday ornament

Husar’s House of Fine Diamonds has unveiled a new glass ornament for the holidays. For the past seven years the Husars have been highlighting West Bend with Norman-Rockwell flair. The first year the ornament featured the Husar building with the West Bend Theatre marquee in the background. This year the ornament features the Gehl Company building.

Husar’s President Mike Husar said his dad, Marvin Husar, was the one who came up with the idea of featuring significant buildings in the community as the ongoing theme for the annual ornament. The ornaments are painted using a Chinese form of age-old art called Li Bien, which means “inside.” The ornaments are for sale at Husar’s House of Fine Diamonds.

Declaration of candidacy papers distributed

City and Village clerks in Germantown, Hartford, Slinger, Kewaskum, and West Bend are prepping for a primary in February 2017.

Aldermen in the even-numbered districts in West Bend are up for election and along with the mayor. Aldermen include Dist. 2 Steve Hutchins, Dist. 4 Chris Jenkins, Dist. 6 Steve Hoogester, and Dist. 8 Roger Kist and  Mayor Kraig Sadownikow who already indicated in July he’d run for another term in office.

Aldermen can start circulating papers December 1. They need to collect between 20 – 40 signatures and the mayor needs to collect 200 – 400 signatures, which are due Jan. 3, 2017.

In Slinger, Village President Russell Brandt is up for election as are trustees Rick Gundrum, Richard Kohl, and Dean Otte. Each seat carries a 2-year term.

In Germantown, 4 of the 9 trustees are up for election including Dist. 1 David Balm, Dist. 2 Rick Miller, Dist. 3 Robert Warren, and Dist. 4 Jeffrey Hughes.

In Kewaskum, Village President Kevin Scheunemann is up for reelection along with trustees Jim Wright, Jim Hovland and David Spenner.

In Hartford, Dist. 1 alderman Robert Jewell is up for a 1-year term, Dist. 1 Randy Meyer for a 3-year term, Dist. 2 Dennis Hegy for a 3-year term and Dist. 3 Barry Wintringer for a 3-year term.

In Richfield Village President John Jeffords, and Trustees Rock Brandner and Sandy Voss are up for election. All terms are 2 years, and 20 signatures are required for each position.

There will be a primary Feb. 21 as four candidates are running for state school superintendent including: Tony Evers – Incumbent, Jeff Holmes – Administrator, Germantown School District, Lowell Holtz – Former superintendent, Beloit School District and Remy Gomez – 2016 candidate for mayor of Tomah

Updates & tidbits

Circle your calendar for this year’s West Bend Christmas Parade. The theme is Let it Snow. The parade steps off at 5 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 27 from the corner of Main and Silverbrook across from Tochi and Rivershores.

-Enchantment in the Park got underway Friday, Nov. 25. Tonight, Nov. 26 at 7 p.m. is the big raffle drawing with a top prize of $5,000.

The West Bend Parks Department will fill Regner Park Pond for ice skating this winter. The rink and the warming house are expected to open Dec. 17 at the earliest, once weather permits.

-A Christmas Tea will be held Monday, Dec. 5 at 1:30 p.m. in the Grand Hall at Cedar Ridge. The tea will be presented by Jessica Michna in Margaret Cummins “Christmas at Balmoral.” Michna will take at look at the traditional celebration of Christmas as seen through the eyes of the head housekeeper at the Balmoral castle.

– Sunday, Nov. 27 is the First Sunday of Advent.

-Earlier this week there was frost on the grass, kids were actually wearing coats, the temperature read 25 degrees and West Bend crossing guard Chuck Fellenz showed Mother Nature who’s boss by wearing khaki shorts during his shift on the corner of Decorah and Main.

– The Jack Russell Memorial Library in Hartford had new audio/video equipment installed this week. The library also received a new train table and Lego table through a very generous donation from a private foundation.

-Ashley Lynn of Campbellsport, a RN in the Birth Center, has been recognized with Froedtert & the Medical College of Wisconsin St. Joseph’s Hospital’s first quarter DAISY Award for her patient care and professionalism.

-Equipment problems have delayed the project to repair building lights in downtown West Bend. Work is scheduled to resume on Main Street on Monday, Nov. 28. The project, funded by Downtown Business Improvement District (BID), will replace the small light bulbs that extend across the tops of the buildings.

– Konnor Sadownikow, 12, is the talk of the town at Holy Angels School in West Bend as the story made the rounds this week about how he took down a 14-point buck on Sunday.

-Last Saturday, Nov. 19 was opening day of the gun-deer season in Wisconsin. On the west side of the Washington County Courthouse in the city of West Bend motorists stopped to take note of  a buck and a doe standing on the grass. “It’s like they’re mocking us,” said Marge Gengler.

– The Madrigal Dinner is Friday, Dec. 2, from 7:30 p.m. – 9:30 p.m., at the West Bend East High School cafeteria. Musical entertainment is presented by students from the Choir & Orchestra programs. A limited number of tickets are available at the door the nights of the performances.

– Kettle Moraine Lutheran High School purchased a new marimba for its band and percussion ensemble. Band director Dan Hubert said the new instrument is top of the line. “You can’t get one any better than this,” said Hubert. Story courtesy Jacob Mueller.

Promoting Small Business Saturday

Businesses in downtown West Bend are working to promote Small Business Saturday; Nov. 26.

The day after Black Friday is one of the busiest shopping weekends of the year dedicated to supporting small businesses. Small Business Saturday was an effort launched by American Express; the goal is to encourage area families to shop small, independently owned businesses in their community and help fuel the economy.

“Family-owned businesses have big advantages over big box stores,” said Todd Tennies with Tennies Ace Hardware. “You see us in our stores, we know the factory representatives, we stand behind our products, and we generally go the extra mile when it comes to customer service,” said Tennies.

“Family-owned businesses often support community events, fund raisers and local sports teams,” said Tennies. “And we have a great deal of concern for what happens in our community.”

Phil Dhein is a longtime Tennies Ace Hardware employee.

“We work to understand the customer’s problem; whether it’s showing them how to repair a toilet or install a light switch. We also follow up on special requests and orders that are a normal part of the job with local businesses,” said Dhein.

“Big-box stores often lack the ability to take the initiative to order unusual items or they think there isn’t enough profit in it.”

Tennis Ace Hardware is a well established business in West Bend dating back more than 40 years.

There are many other locally-owned businesses in downtown West Bend including Sager’s Men’s Apparel, Husar’s House of Fine Diamonds, Mountain Outfitters, Idle Hour or Two, Café Seourette, and Laurel’s Camera and Gift. “Money spent at a locally-owned business is more likely to be spent again at another locally-owned business,” said Pat Fehring from Laurel’s Camera.

As the holiday shopping season kicks into high gear the business community in downtown West Bend is encouraging neighbors to spend their money locally.

Today marks the 87th anniversary of the West Bend Theatre

November 26 marks the 87th anniversary of the grand opening of the Historic West Bend Theatre. In an effort to mark holiday traditions past, present and future there is an effort afoot led by local historian Terry Becker to gather below the West Bend marquee for a photo and to show support for the preservation and renovation of this cherished downtown landmark fondly remembered as simply “The Show House.”

The gathering will take place after the 64th Annual Christmas Parade on Sunday, Nov. 27. Neighbors are invited to please take a few minutes after the parade to gather and share memories, hopes and dreams for the future of downtown. Without community support the theatre’s future is uncertain and may very well be in jeopardy.elmersign

Around the Bend by Judy Steffes

Bobcat sighting in Town of Farmington

This week WashingtonCountyInsider.com posted a video from a reader who spotted a bobcat while he was up north hunting in Oneida County.

That video prompted a comment about a person in West Bend who also saw a bobcat this week at Leonard J. Yahr County Park, 7999 Orchard Valley Road, in the Town of Farmington.

“It was sitting upright in the bend of the trail over there,” said Lana Alexandra of West Bend.

Alexandra bicycles through the park around 6:30 a.m.  She said it was Tuesday, a little foggy but what she saw was definitely a bobcat.

“It was probably about three times the size of a big house cat,” she said. “It was sitting up and the ears were pretty big.”

Local DNR agent Tom Isaac said there very well could be bobcats in Washington County. “We had one up near Lomira the last year or the year before and one was spotted near Fond du Lac County,” said Isaac.

Sightings have been reported near the Jackson Marsh or the Colgate area. “Bobcats are in most counties,” Isaac said. “We even had a sighting November 5 and it was standing in the intersection of Highway 167 and Scenic Road in the Town of Richfield. It ran in front of a guy’s car and he got a real good look at it.”

The bobcat was described as weighing 30 pounds and with a short tail. “It also has short ear tufts,” he said. “They’re pretty much in their territory across Wisconsin.”

Chad Cook is the Washington County Parks Superintendent.  “I had seen a black farm cat hanging out in the field by the park but this is the first I’ve heard of a sighting but it doesn’t surprise me,” he said.

Gearing up for Shop with a Cop in Washington County

Shop with a Cop in Washington County is Wednesday, Dec. 7 at West Bend Mutual’s Prairie Center.

The program is being organized by the Fraternal Order of Police along with local volunteers. Forty kids have been selected to participate in this year’s event and organizers are reaching out for a little help.

“We’re putting together gift baskets for the families and we’re hoping businesses in town can help supply items for children ages 8 – 12,” said volunteer Tina Beres. “We’re looking for thing like board games or something kids can play with their family.”

West Bend Police Lieutenant Matt Rohlinger said this is the first year the Fraternal Order of Police are running the event.

“When we heard the future of Washington County’s Shop with a Cop was at risk the executive board met and felt strongly we should keep it going,” Rohlinger said.  “This is great interaction with the kids and in this current environment it’s critical to send a positive message.”

Rohlinger said one of the big changes will be the amount of support staff and officers involved. “We’re trying to recruit more officers so kids actually do shop with a cop,” he said.

This year’s event will include a shopping trip to Walmart, hot dogs at The Prairie Center, a rousing game of Bingo called by Police Chiefs Tom Bishop of Kewaskum and Jed Dolnick of Jackson, and a special visit from Santa.

Neighbors who would like to make donations to Shop with a Cop in Washington County can send a check to Shop with a Cop at PO Box 149, Kewaskum, WI  53040

Questions can be directed to Tina Beres at  Cyberes@gmail.com

Amity Rolfs nativity

The life-size nativity display, a holiday hallmark for West Bend, was erected this week. Originally brought to the community by brothers Tom and Bob Rolfs, the pieces, handmade in Germany, were originally placed in front of the tower of the Amity building on Main Street. The nativity later moved to the front of the Amity Outlet on Highway 33 and in 2007 it was donated to the Downtown West Bend Association. From 2007 until 2014 the nativity was in front of Westbury Bank on S. Main Street.

On Thursday, volunteers with the Downtown West Bend Association and staffers from Bits ‘n’ Pieces Floral spent a couple hours assembling the nativity and a hat tip to West Bend Elevator donating the straw for the manger.

Search is on to replace WB city clerk

The city of West Bend has begun its search to fill the opening of West Bend City Clerk and assistant City Administrator as Amy Reuteman is leaving. “Amy has been a stalwart at the city and a confidant of mine the last six months as we’ve gone through some challenges but this is an exciting time for her and her husband to relocate to their vacation home,” said Mayor Kraig Sadownikow.  “I certainly wish her well in her next endeavors.”

District 8 alderman Roger Kist said Reuteman is going to be hard to replace because everybody loves her and thinks a lot of her. “Amy brought a lot to the city and she has always been extremely helpful in many, many ways,” Kist said.

“Amy stepped up to the plate following the mess with T.J. Justice and she was so excited when we hired Jay (Shambeau) as the new city administrator.”

Quite a few people connected with City Hall in West Bend have expressed disbelief when told of Reuteman’s departure. Former Dist. 7 alderman Terry Vrana said Reuteman is irreplaceable and a very stabilizing force.

“I was an alderman when Amy first came to the city and she was impressive then,” he said. “She’s a rare find.”

Reuteman started as an assistant to then city Clerk Barb Barringer. “She was always a high-quality person and got along with everybody and very smart and she fit the job perfectly. That’s going to be a huge loss for the city,” said Vrana.  “I always really enjoyed working with her because she was so good at what she did; such a good person and good with everybody.”

John Kleinmaus is one of Reuteman’s trusty poll workers during elections. Kleinmaus was bowled over by the news. “Wow,” he said. “You’re kidding. I wish her well but wow.”

Kleinmaus said, when it came to elections Reuteman knew her stuff. “If I ever had to call her with a question she was always right there on top of it,” he said. “Her job was very stressful but she handled it in a very cool and professional way. I don’t ever remember seeing her get mad; she was always there to help and we could always count on her.”

Kist read from an email that detailed Reuteman leaving for a position up north. “Her last day will be December 1,” said Kist. Reuteman is currently taking some post-election time off and she is unavailable for comment.

No confidence vote moves forward on County Treasurer

The Washington County Executive Committee held a lengthy discussion this week regarding a proposal to pass a ‘vote of no confidence’ for County Treasurer Jane Merten.

The proposal stems from an incident June 1, 2016 when Merten sent two separate wire transfers to fraudulent accounts. The total was $87,760, although the Washington County Sheriff said half of that never went through.

District 1 County Supervisor Kris Deiss felt the public should be the one to determine how the issue is dealt with.  “It’s not our job as a supervisor to issue a vote of no confidence, the public can do that at the ballot box,” said Deiss.

Merten was just reelected to her position as County Treasurer during the Nov. 8 election.  She received 62,455 votes or 98.90%.  Merten ran uncontested.

District 21 Supervisor Donald Kriefall initiated the resolution for a ‘no confidence’ vote. He said, “We’re limited on our actions and to take a vote of no confidence is similar to putting a notice in her file. This is the smallest thing we can do.”

Deiss was adamant it was still up to the voters of this county. “They had plenty of time to decide,” she said.

District 5 Supervisor Mike Bassill asked if there was a way to make the county treasurer post a “non-elected position.” That question was quickly dismissed as it is state statue that the post be elected.

District 20 Supervisor Mark McCune asked if Merten even apologized and to that Dist. 15 Supervisor Marilyn Merten answered from the audience that County Board Chairman Rick Gundrum had received a letter from Jane Merten.

“Isn’t it true you did get a letter from the treasurer,” said Marilyn Merten.

Gundrum said he had not but he would double check his email.

District 17 Supervisor Tim Michalak said if this had happened at a company with a comptroller then that person would be out of work. “I’m not asking for a resolution for resignation but a letter in the file,” he said.

Supervisor Kriefall is now working on a resolution to bring to committee.

Washington Co. parts ways with County Attorney Kim Nass

A unanimous decision this week by the Washington County Executive Committee to enter into a separation agreement with Washington County Attorney Kim Nass.

The committee met in closed session for more than an hour. Once it reconvened the question was called and the decision was made final in less than two minutes. Nass had been on an unconfirmed administrative leave since Oct. 20.

As per direction from the executive committee the County Administrator Joshua Schoemann must provide a summary report to the full county board at the December 2016 meeting.

Schoemann said there are still several steps that have to be completed before this decision is finalized. Questioned about Nass’s last day on the job Schoemann said that had yet to be determined.

Schoemann confirmed the county does have attorneys on staff however he acknowledged they do have a large workload.  He said the county will be exploring various options on how to fill the post moving forward.

County board chairman Rick Gundrum praised the staff in the county attorney’s office for the job they’ve been doing.  Gundrum refused to disclose the reason for the separation with Nass citing “closed session and a personnel matter.”

Former county board chairman Herb Tennies attended the committee meeting. He said Nass had always been professional while he was on the board. He praised her work with the county.

Nass was not in attendance at this week’s meeting.

Lights by Meijer

The streetscape has changed on South Main Street and Humar Street as new traffic lights have been installed. The lights are part of the Meijer grocery development.

The 192,940-square-foot Meijer is under construction on the 32-acre lot that used to be home to Northfield Block and prior to that Bend Industries. Visible from Parkway Drive is the 31,000-square-foot outdoor garden center on the north side of the building; there will also be parking for 970 vehicles.

There will be an exit onto Parkway Drive and another onto S. Main with traffic signals at Humar Street. Construction on Meijer should be completed in March or April of 2017.

Judy Etta enters 4-H Hall of Fame

4-H volunteer Judy Etta of Kewaskum has been inducted into the Wisconsin 4-H Youth Development Hall of Fame. Etta has been a 4-H Club leader for 39 years; she was recognized for outstanding service. Etta helped establish the 4-H American Spirit Experience, taking 4-H members from Wisconsin to historic sites in the eastern United States, to increase their knowledge, and appreciation of America’s heritage.  Etta has been a chaperone/coordinator for Citizen Washington Focus, co-chairs the County 4-H Achievement and Recognition Committee and interviews youth for awards, experiences, and scholarships throughout the year.

Updates & tidbits

Members of the West Bend Professional Firefighters Union will be distributing coats to students in the West Bend School District on Monday. This is the third year for Operation Warm where firefighters provide coats to needy children. About 200 coats will be donated this year.

– A major remodel is underway in downtown West Bend at the space above The Exclusive Company. Boss Realty owner Tom Zernia has cleaned up the space for a new business location. Zernia also plans on renting out space.

– Rick Takacs at Meadowbrook Farm in West Bend has Christmas trees from the same vendor in Oconto County, Dave and Mary Vander Velden’s Whispering Pines Tree Farm, who is supplying the tree to the White House in Washington D.C.

– The Downtown West Bend Association is making a list and checking it twice as it prepares for the annual Winter on Main on Dec. 9 from 6 p.m. – 9 p.m. The family-friendly event includes a special tree-lighting ceremony at Old Settler’s Park along with ornament decorating for the kids and a special visit from Santa.

Max Stowers, 16, a junior at Kewaskum High School is this year’s winner of the Brenda Oelhafen Award which was presented Oct. 15 as Washington County 4-H held its Achievement and Recognition Banquet at the Washington County Fair Park. The Oelhafen family present the award each year in memory of their daughter who was an active member of the Wayne Crusaders 4-H Club and won the Grand Champion Beef Dairy at the County Fair in 1985.

Santa will land at the West Bend Airport again this year but he’s on an earlier flight. Santa plans to arrive at 8:30 a.m. so he can greet more children and take note of items on their wish list. The event sponsored by EAA Kettle Moraine Chapter 1158.

– Saint Frances Cabrini Parish will be hosting an evening of Advent Taizé Prayer on Tuesday, Nov. 29 from 7 p.m. – 8 p.m.  Taizé is an ecumenical prayer based on the pillars of scriptures, song, intercessions and silence.

– 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.

Letter to the EditorMan fights for reimbursement after Daily News cancels e-edition

Letter to the Editor from Terry Wentz. I had a bit of a surprise Monday when I went to the West Bend Daily News website to read my Monday online edition; only Saturday’s paper was available. I called their local office and was told they no longer publish the Monday paper. I explained that I have always had an E-newspaper on Mondays and was unaware it had been discontinued. I was assured of a return phone call with an answer to my question.

When I received the call, I was told by the Daily News staff that they no longer offer an e-edition; it had been discontinued. When I asked why it was discontinued, the person I spoke with told me that it appeared the Daily News did not feel the e-edition was worth anything and also appeared to think subscribers would most likely not care about it. I told them I cared about paying for something I will not get. I asked if I would receive credit for those Monday editions that I had pre-paid with my subscription. In the end, I was offered a 4-week extension on my subscription; we settled on 5. I think there are a lot of people who will not get any compensation if they do not call the West Bend Daily News and ask. I’m afraid the Daily News is hoping to keep the money paid and try to forget about it.   Terry Wentz, West Bend

EDITOR’S NOTE: On Veteran’s Day, November 11, 2016, the West Bend Daily News posted the following notice to their subscribers via email: “To our readers, We are ending publication of our Monday e-edition to refocus resources on our other products. The last Monday e-edition will be published Nov. 7. We will continue to publish e-editions Tuesday through Saturday.”

Around the Bend by Judy Steffes

Kellie Boone takes over as Executive Director of Washington County Fair Park

There’s a familiar face taking over at the Washington County Fair Park/AIS as Kellie Boone has been tabbed as the new executive director.

According to the press release from Search Committee Member Pete Rettler, “The board of directors of the Washington County Agriculture and Industrial Society (AIS) has selected Kellie Boone as its next Executive Director. Boone will be in charge of the 133-acre Washington County Fair Park and Conference center, the site of the annual Washington County Fair and the location of the new Silver Lining Amphitheater donated by West Bend Mutual Insurance.”

Boone has served the past five years as Executive Director of the Downtown West Bend Association.

She will be taking over for Sandy Lang at the Fair Park; Lang resigned in August.

“I’m excited about the opportunity,” said Boone. “I’m looking forward to continuing the success of the Washington County Fair Park and Conference Center.”

Boone said her immediate goal was to secure the success of the 2017 Washington County Fair.

There were 27 people who interviewed for the position. Pete Rettler was on the selection committee. “We had a lot of great applicants and it was a tough decision but Kellie had great relevant experience and she has a history of successful events,” said Rettler.

Boone is the President of the West Bend Noon Rotary and Rettler said that civic involvement was also impressive. “It definitely helped that she is part of the community,” he said.  “Now she’ll have to get as well known in Hartford and Slinger and the other Washington County communities.”

While a new opportunity is on the horizon, Boone said the downtown has been extremely wonderful to work with.

“I’ve developed such great relationships and friendships and my board has been so supportive,” she said. “It’s really difficult to leave but this is a tremendous opportunity. People grow and it’s time for me to move forward. This is just a tremendous opportunity for me and my family.”

Boone said her greatest accomplishment was taking a great lineup of events downtown and growing those to the next level.

“Everything we have down here has grown from the Farmers’ Market to Music on Main to Wheels on Main and I love hearing from the new businesses about how this has been such a nice shift downtown and a lot of that goes back to the events we’ve created,” she said. Boone will start at the Fair Park on December 1.

 Committee to discuss “separation agreement” with Wash. Co. Attorney

The Washington County Executive Committee has a pretty meaty agenda on Tuesday, Nov. 15. The committee will adjourn into closed session to “Discuss the personnel situation and possible separation agreement of the County Attorney.”

On Oct. 20 WashingtonCountyInsider.com was first to report about the job status of County Attorney Kim Nass.

She had not been in the office and no reason was given for her absence. As of Friday, Nov. 11 Nass was still not in her office. The Washington County Sheriff has confirmed Nass is not under any criminal investigation.

County Board Chairman Rick Gundrum refused to comment on the personnel situation as did County Administrator Joshua Schoemann.

Now it appears the Executive Committee will take up the issue and come out of closed session on Tuesday with a determination on the status of Nass and her position as County Attorney.

The other hot topic is revisiting the Resolution of a “Vote of No Confidence” for County Treasurer Jane Merten. On Oct. 18 WashingtonCountyInsider.com was first to report on a “No Confidence Vote” for Merten.

The resolution stemmed from a scam email Merten responded to in June where she sent a pair of wire transfers to a fraudulent account. The initial amount was over $82,000. In September the Sheriff confirmed that half of the money never went through and $32,163.76 was returned to Washington County on Sept. 15, 2016.

On Oct. 25 the County Board failed to act on the “No Confidence Vote” citing some “incomplete language in the resolution.”

A discussion of the resolution on the “Vote of No Confidence” will be taken up on Tuesday, Nov. 15. District 21 Supervisor Donald Kriefall is the one pushing the resolution.

“We’re caretakers of the taxpayer’s money and we need to have some sort of consequence for this error and a vote of no confidence is the least we can do,” said Kriefall. “She made a mistake and this is our way of putting a letter in her file.”

Merten was just reelected to her position as County Treasurer during the Nov. 8 election.  She received 62,455 votes or 98.90%.  Merten ran uncontested.

Other items on Tuesday’s agenda include appointments, discussion of using the Old Courthouse for County Board meetings, and another closed session discussion regarding the Washington County Economic Development Revolving Loan Fund.

Tuesday’s meeting starts at 7 a.m.

Cash Store clerk thanks West Bend PD

There have been some pretty amazing law enforcement actions in West Bend recently that show what an amazing Police Department we have in the community. Another outstanding example just happened this week.

Around noon on Tuesday, Nov. 8 West Bend police were called to the Cash Store, 1021 South Main Street. The clerk behind the counter hit the emergency call button.

“I heard it on the news in the morning that there was someone wanted out of Green Lake County,” said the clerk. “I thought that sounds really familiar and I got to work, Googled her information, said ‘Yeah that’s her’ and then she came through the door.”

The clerk at the Cash Store agreed to an interview if her name was not used as she had concerns about her safety.

“She was a customer of ours,” said the clerk. “She had been in the day before.”

The clerk said the woman just didn’t seem right. That woman, Cynthia Stark-Griffin, 57, was wanted by authorities after she was suspected of trying to kill her father in Green Lake County early Sunday morning.

Authorities said Stark-Griffin allegedly set fires inside her father’s home in the Town of Marquette. Nobody was injured however law enforcement in Green Lake County filed a felony warrant for Stark-Griffin for attempted homicide and arson charges.

“I just didn’t want anybody to get hurt,” said the clerk. “The police were amazing.”

The clerk said the woman had two little dogs and the Washington County Humane Society arrived within 30 minutes to help.

“I was way more scared thinking about when she was in the store the day before, and I didn’t know,” said the clerk.

News reports indicated the woman may have had weapons in her possession. The clerk said Stark-Griffin came into the Cash Store with a big tote. “That really scared me,” she said.

The clerk said the West Bend police were just amazing. “They came in with big shields on and they were all over. They were in the bushes and they put spike strips down behind her vehicle,” she said. “I had to get away from the front of the counter and before you knew it they had her on the ground,” said the clerk.

While the incident was going on the West Bend School District sent a note home to parents saying students in the Pathways program in the Mutual Mall next door were safe. The school district also thanked West Bend police.

“I just can’t say enough how good the police were,” said the clerk. “Even after it was all over the captains came in and asked about appropriate force that was used; they are just so professional.”

Several weeks ago West Bend police dealt were in a standoff with a man on Edgewood Lane. Neighbors heard shots had been fired by the suspect. Police reported the man pointed a gun at the officer and pulled the trigger but the gun misfired. That man was eventually taken into custody and nobody was injured.

Considering what’s going on nationally, West Bend police have to be given a lot of credit for keeping this great community safe.

A note of thanks to volunteer poll workers

A couple notes of thanks to the poll workers in Washington County for all their hard work.

To poll workers in the Town of Barton, I would like to thank the Election Workers from the Town of Barton for their dedication to working long hours at the polls on Tuesday, November 8. It was a busy day and many unusual things occurred throughout the day and my wonderful election workers handled it with grace and commitment to doing all tasks with transparency and commitment to a job well done. My heartfelt thanks to my wonderful “Pollworkers” – I certainly would be lost without you. Aggie Pruner Town of Barton Clerk

To poll workers in the City of West Bend,

Thank you to all of the election inspectors for the City of West Bend.  There were approximately 120 very dedicated and hardworking individuals that truly stepped up and worked long hours to ensure the integrity of the presidential election for West Bend.  Working the polls can be very difficult so I want to make sure you are aware I truly appreciate all of you.  There were individuals that worked from 6 a.m. Tuesday morning until 1 a.m. Wednesday morning and still had a smile on their face.  The City of West Bend owes you a huge Thank You!!!!

Amy Reuteman Assistant City Administrator/HR Director/City Clerk City of West Bend

Updates & tidbits

The funeral is Thursday, Nov. 17, for Jacqueline J. Schlicht (nee Cary, formerly Turnquist). Jackie married Richard “Dick” Turnquist and together they owned and operated Dick’s Pizza in downtown West Bend for many years.

-According to the West Bend Cinema, 2014 Parkway Drive, the new theater seats are on the way and will hopefully be installed before the holiday.

– Enchantment in the Park powered by Westbury Bank opens Friday, Nov. 25 at Regner Park. Don’t forget to sign up for the 2nd annual Husar’s Diamond Dash.

-Holy Angels Students of the Month for October 2016 include 6th grader Jonah Nagel, 7th grader Riley Becker, and 8th grader Kate Davies.

– Saint Frances Cabrini Parish will be hosting an evening of Advent Taizé Prayer on Tuesday, Nov 29 from 7 p.m. – 8 p.m.  Taizé is an ecumenical prayer based on the pillars of scriptures, song, intercessions and silence.

– Randy Dreher of Kewaskum took home a nice trophy buck he got it during bow season. The 8 pointer had a 21-inch inside spread. Dreher was hunting the Kettle Moraine, east of Kewaskum. The buck weighed in at 225 pounds and he shot it at 4:30 p.m.

– One of the best locally-owned franchises in West Bend is getting a bit of a facelift as Keith Novotny’s Cousins Subs will be debuting a new storefront sign.

– 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.

– This is the last week in business for Pat’s Jiffy Stop, 111 E. Decorah Road. Shop owner Pat Labuda is retiring and closing. “I gave December 1 as notice but I think Nov. 18 is going to be my last day,” said LaBuda. The building will soon become an extension of the karate business next door.

Cash and Schultz; A love story in West Bend

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 belongs 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

Former WBHS teacher Ralph Mundinger on Saturday’s Honor Flight

Korean War veteran Ralph Mundinger, 86, of West Bend is one of five veterans from Washington County who will be traveling Saturday to Washington D.C. on the Stars & Stripes Honor Flight.

Mundinger enlisted in the Air Force in 1950 when he was 19 years old. “I was cut from the Chicago Cubs baseball team and I decided I was going to go in the service,” he said.

At 6-foot-3 Mundinger was an intimidating left-handed pitcher with great control and a wicked curve ball. An all star at College High in Whitewater, Mundinger tried out for the Cubs in 1948 but got cut.

“I had a bad arm for a while and I was supposed to go to Janesville on the Cubs team and when I didn’t make it I enlisted,” he said.

In service Mundinger completed basic training at Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio and then moved along and studied radio surveillance at Scott Air Force Base in St. Louis before he was sent to Gibelstaudt, Germany with the 603rd A.C. Squadron.

While in the military Mundinger played basketball and baseball for the military base. “The colonel picked me out,” said Mundinger. While playing ball was familiar, some of the habits among the troops were new to the rookie from Whitewater.

“We’d be marching in St. Louis and when they stopped us they’d say ‘light ‘um if you got ‘um,’” said Mundinger. “I really didn’t know what that meant but the other fellas were smoking so I thought I’d give it a try.”

Lucky Strike was the popular flavor among his peers and 10-cents a pack was the going rate.

A thick scrapbook of black-and-white photographs shows Mundinger with a bat in his hand and a grit dangling from the corner of his mouth. “I remember I coughed a bit,” he said with a laugh. “We used them as barter with the Germans … along with coffee.”

Mundinger spent much of his time traveling to other Air Force bases. “We went all over Germany. The teams we had the most trouble with were in Berlin,” he said. “I was the best hitter on the team with an average pretty close to .400.”

A left-handed hitter, Mundinger could really pull the ball.

In 1952 Mundinger’s tour of duty was extended a year because of a threat from Russia. Discharged as a Sergeant in Feb. 19, 1953, Mundinger enrolled at UW-Whitewater and became a business education teacher in the West Bend School District from 1961- 1992.

“I was also the first girls softball coach,” he said. “I also coached boys golf, football, and I was the assistant basketball coach.” Mundinger has been to Washington D.C. before, but that was only to get on a ship and make his way to Germany.  Mundinger’s son Mark will be his guardian for Saturday’s tour.

Other veterans from Washington County participating in Saturday’s Honor Flight include Korean War veterans Wally Hauser of Germantown, Bill Maiers of West Bend, Willard Wolff of Jackson, and WWII veteran Howard Hart of West Bend.

Traffic backup for annual We Energies Cookie Book

The We Energies cookie book was distributed Thursday on Sand Drive in West Bend and police were called to the scene. Traffic control was needed as the line of cars ran from Jeff’s Spirits on Main, up Decorah Road four blocks and then south along Sand Drive. The hot-ticket item was the 27-page spiral recipe book.

“Merry Christmas everybody,” yelled one We Energies employee. Dressed in florescent lime green vests the staff from We Energies directed traffic into two lines as others doled out the paperback books that were stacked 2-feet high on metal carts.

“Can we have three,” asked one elderly woman who drove up, carpool style, with two of her friends. “We only allow two books per car,” said the We Energies staffer … and then in stealth fashion she slipped one more book through the driver’s side window. “Merry Christmas,” she said.

Traffic for the annual cookie book distribution started lining up around 8:20 a.m. even though the distribution didn’t get underway until 11 a.m. This year’s book is unique as local celebrities have shared their recipes. Actor John McGivern, the host of Around the Corner, submitted Jelly Sandwich Cookies which are featured on Page 16.  “I was the son of an Irish woman who boiled everything,” said McGivern.

He breaks the mold by rolling out some a batch of sugar cookies made with love. Olympic speed skater Bonnie Blair, a supporter of Alzheimer’s research, also contributed a recipe for Killer Brownies and Lemon Shortbread Cookies were shared by Archbishop Jerome Listecki.

New leadership at WB Moose Lodge

Some change in management at the West Bend Moose Lodge as an effort is underway to fix the building, grow membership and get on a solid financial path.

Lodge Treasurer Al Bath of Kewaskum is the new administrator taking over for Curtis Carter. “Curt stepped down,” said Bath. “This will give me a position to help the lodge grow.”

Bath has been a member of the Moose Lodge for four years. Another appointment includes Steve Rohde as the new kitchen manager. “He was unanimously voted in and a great asset to the lodge,” said Bath.

Rohde, who just retired from a career in law enforcement, said he always felt comfortable in the kitchen and behind the grill. The Moose Lodge is already rolling out some new menus on taco Tuesday, burger night and Friday fish fries. Bath said there may be some minor changes in the price of the food but the quality will go up. He said other changes will happen “little by little.”

The West Bend Moose Lodge was founded in 1911. The lodge is committed to community, to Mooseheart in Illinois, and Moosehaven in Florida.  The organizations are designed to take care of the children and seniors of Moose members.

Thank you Carter family

Neighbors hearing news the West Bend Moose Lodge is under new direction are taking a moment to say thanks to Curt Carter and his family for all they did over the years.

“Every organization needs somebody to step up when no one is willing to do it and that person has been Curtis and the entire Carter family,” said Mayor Kraig Sadownikow.

Curt Carter and his family started at the Moose Lodge June 11, 2011. Over the years the family organized a free Easter dinner for folks who so no one would have to spend Easter Sunday alone. The Carters also hosted the Kids Christmas Party and Shop with a Cop.

The Carters hosted celebrities at the Moose Lodge including lawmakers State Senator Duey Stroebel, Congressman Glenn Grothman, Mayor Sadownikow, and they received a resolution from Gov. Scott Walker when the Moose Lodge turned 100 years old.

The Moose could easily turn green and gold as it hosted Green Bay Packers LeRoy Butler, Paul Horning and Dorsey Levens.  “He did a lot and he spent more hours here getting things done; what needed to be done,” said Ellie Muraski, a Moose member since 1974.

The Carter family is still members of the Moose Lodge and they’re hoping to be part of its future success.

Special ceremony for cremated remains

A very special ceremony this past week on All Souls Day, Tuesday, Nov. 1, as members of St. Mary’s Parish and St. Frances Cabrini gathered to bury the cremated remains of their loved ones.

“This was something very special and unique,” said Rev. Nathan Reesman. “All who participated by bringing the remains of their loved ones to be buried found a real sense of peace and closure in the ritual, and in the act of observing our ancient Christian practices.”

Rev. Reesman said he was “so grateful for everyone’s participation and for their sincere care they showed their loved ones by burying their remains.”

Woman rescued from fire doing better

There’s a picture of a smiling Lydia Craig on WashingtonCountyInsider.com this week. It’s been more than a month since an early-morning fire raced through the Craig home on Sept. 26. The 18-year-old was rescued from the lower level of her family’s home. Craig suffered carbon monoxide poisoning. Firefighters Alan Hefter and

This week’s Veterans Day ceremonies

Thursday, Nov. 11 is Veterans Day and there are several local ceremonies on tap.

-The Student Veterans of America Club at UW-Washington County (UW-WC) are commemorating Veterans Day on Friday, Nov. 11, with a ceremony at noon in the campus theatre. All area veterans and their families as well as the general public are welcome to attend.

-West Bend Veterans will be involved in a number of programs on Veterans Day. On Friday, Nov. 11 at 9 a.m. the Color Guard will be at the Lighthouse in West Bend for a brief ceremony. At 11 a.m. there is the traditional Veterans Day Service on the Veterans Plaza at the Old Court House and then the Color Guard will be at UW-WC for its ceremony at noon.

Election Day is Tuesday

Polls open at 7 a.m. on Tuesday, Nov. 8 for the General Election. Locally there are two referendums on the ballot. Germantown School District has a referendum for $84 million. Add on the interest and that brings the total cost to about $114 million according to Superintendent Jeff Holmes.  In the Kewaskum School District a $28.4 million referendum. The total cost with interest according to Superintendent Jim Smasal is close to $40 million.

UW-WC volleyball players honored

Wisconsin Collegiate Conference named its All-Conference volleyball team and UW-Washington County took the top honors in all three possible categories. Amber Herbst was named Player of the Year, Marisa Moser – Defensive Player of the Year, Atira Boyce – Setter of the Year, and Courtney Peter – Second Team All-Conference. “We are so proud to be able to have four players on the All-Conference team,” said coach Deb Butschlick. “What an awesome way to end the season to have coaches recognize these players for their outstanding talents.”

New health and nutrition store opens in West Bend

Nov. 3, 2016 – West Bend, WI – B & F Health and Nutrition has opened in West Bend. The store has made its home in the cream city brick building at 139 S. Sixth Avenue.

Frank Balderston, 28, from Horicon said he has been in the health food industry for about eight years. “I’m an Army veteran and I used this product from GNC while I was in the service,” he said. “The health food industry is huge right now and we thought we could help by offering lower prices and being local.

“We carry workout supplements and protein powders and just about every vitamin under the sun.”

Balderston, who is in business with his wife Magen along with Kristine and Christopher Fallin, will also be offering coffee and smoothies.  “We’re going to start with Colombian coffee but if it goes well we’ll bring in Black Rifle Coffee,” he said. “All our smoothies will include protein powder and we’ll only use real fruit.”

B & F Health and Nutrition is open 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. Monday – Friday and 9 a.m. – 1 p.m. on Saturday. Balderston said he has the entire first floor of the building and the remodel should be completed within the next week.

“We’re using some of the repurposed wood from the trees cut down in the community because of the emerald ash borer,” he said. “We got about 90 percent of the items we’re using from Habitat for Humanity.”

B & F Health and Nutrition is located in the building that’s formerly home to gift boutique Season 2 Season and later The Nail Artist owned by Daryl Feucht. The building dates to 1845 and used to be home horse dealers Dave and Ben Present. Gone is the huge red barn behind the building and the yard on the south side for grazing.

Aside from the brick exterior and an old six-panel door with a church-key lock in the basement most of the history and the hidden character is buried in the building.

Years ago during an extensive remodel the Feuchts found five different wallpapers including designs featuring cats with teapots. The interior still features a large photo of a white orchid behind the front counter.

Updates & tidbits

The funeral for Rev. Rick Wendell’s mother is Saturday, Nov. 5 at 1 p.m. at St. Margaret Mary Parish in Milwaukee. Milwaukee Archbishop Jerome Listecki will preside over the Mass for Patricia Ann Wendell who died Oct. 24, 2016.

-Daylight Saving comes to an end this weekend and neighbors remember to turn clocks back an hour.

A sticky mess for crews with West Bend Public Works as there was an unusual spill of 50 gallons of liquid caramel in the roundabout at River Road and Paradise Drive. The driver must have thought the same thing and didn’t think about stopping. The assumption was it was a bear hunter using it as bait.

– The 8th annual Women of Christ Conference at the Washington County Fair Park is Saturday, Nov. 5.  This is a chance for women to become inspired by their Catholic faith and feel God’s grace.

Winners of the Harvest Moon Celebration Pie Contest at St. Mary’s in Barton included Marlene Bechler, Joan Hetzel, Joan Casseta, and Dick Rowley. Raffle winners included Kay Holbrook, Jay Pruett and Andy Klefsted.

-There was an official ribbon cutting this week as West Bend welcomed Kwik Trip to the community. The new gas station/convenience store opened on Silverbrook. As part of the ceremony Kwik Trip donated $1,000 to the West Bend Police Department and $1,000 to the West Bend Fire Department. The WBFD will buy protective ballistic vests for the firefighters to wear in hostile situations.

-Tommy Schwai’s moment in the spotlight will be extended next week when “Real Milwaukee” comes to his Cedarburg store on Tuesday, Nov. 8.

– Kewaskum’s Kayla Bastian has set a personal record of 1,000 kills as a member of the Truman University volleyball team. Bastian is a 2012 graduate of Kewaskum High School.

– The Museum of Wisconsin Art (MOWA) kicks off the holiday season with Bloomin’ Holidaze on Nov. 11 and 12. The annual two-day event features lush florals throughout the galleries.

-There are job openings for a sidewalk crew and plow drivers at Extra Mile Snow Specialists in West Bend. Pay is $20 per hour. Applications at extramilesnow.com or call 262-334-3011.

-November 12 is Autumn Night Out at St. Frances Cabrini. A night of music, dancing, hearty appetizers and fellowship for $25 per person. Tickets at parish office or 262-338-2366.

-Stop in All in Books, 136 N. Main Street, in West Bend to sign Christmas cards for our military personnel. One card for someone in each branch of the U.S. Military. Also one special card will be given to a Gold Star family. Signing will be hosted through Nov. 12.

-West Bend Park, Recreation and Forestry director Craig Hoeppner has received the “Professional Award of Merit,” the highest award given by the Wisconsin Park & Recreation Association to a park and recreation professional in the State of Wisconsin.

– 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’s free mulch at the Public Works yard, 251 Municipal Drive, in West Bend. No drop-off sticker is required. Mulch available normal business hours and Saturdays, 8 a.m. – 1:30 p.m.

-The 17th annual Taste of Washington County is Nov. 30 at Washington County Fair Park Pavilion. Live auction items include 4 tickets US Open Golf Package Erin Hills June 16, 2017.

Pizza Hut will open hopefully before the end of the year at 1460 S. Main Street, West Bend. A build out of the interior is underway although plans have yet to be disclosed.

-Final weeks for Pat’s Jiffy Stop, 111 E. Decorah Road, as one of the last corner groceries in West Bend is closing. Pat LaBuda has been part of the fabric of the community since 1982. “November 18 is going to be my last day,” she said. Retiring at age 66, LaBuda said the Jiffy Stop space will be leased to the karate business next door.

– Enchantment in the Park powered by Westbury kicks off Friday, Nov. 25 at Regner Park. This year’s event features brilliant holiday lights, a Christmas village, and a volunteer spirit.

Men leaving WWII Ann Neumann (2)