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0736, 19 Sep 15

Around the Bend by Judy Steffes

Rolfs Foundation helps grow Wash. Co. Shop with a Cop

Washington County’s Shop with a Cop program is growing. Next week an official announcement will be made regarding a major donor and a partnership with another established holiday organization.

Shop with a Cop in Washington County started 12 years ago. Deputy Mary Woerner organized her friends in law enforcement, teamed with area volunteers and took children Christmas shopping.

Moving forward, Woerner said the program is partnering with the Gingerbread House, another local organization that provides holiday gifts to more than 600 families throughout Washington County.

“We’re looking at doing a bigger program to reach more families and offer assistance to the Gingerbread House,” Woerner said.

The partnership means Shop with a Cop will also move to a larger location. “We outsized ourselves at the Moose Lodge,” said Woerner. “We’re moving to the Washington County Fair Park Ziegler Expo Center because it’s a central location and it’s big enough so we’ll never outgrow it.”

The goal, according to Woerner, is to take more kids shopping for their families and help alleviate some of the need for organizer Linda White at the Gingerbread House.

“We never addressed providing presents for parents to take home and have them under the tree,” Woerner said. “We just never thought about it but it there is a need for that surprise gift from Santa.”

The other major announcement is that the Rolfs Family Foundation will be making a generous donation to the program. “It’s to help make this a bigger and better program,” Jeff Szukalski, a board member with Shop with a Cop, said. “The Rolfs family wants to take care of all the kids in Washington County and they will be helping for the next few years.”

Last year Shop with a Cop worked with 65 kids and 125 volunteers including First Bank Financial Centre, Serigraph, West Bend Mutual, Fraternal Order of Police Kettle Moraine Lodge, Delta Defense, West Bend Moose Lodge, Johnson Bus, and the West Bend Walmart.

“We’re not looking at growing so much this year,” Woerner said. “Because we’re implementing so many changes we’re going to try to stay the same size and get the bussing down and getting our new care packages put together.”

Woerner said the partnership with the Gingerbread House will mean both programs will have a long term solid foundation in the community.

Police search for gunman following shooting at Washington House Pub

West Bend police are still looking for a person who brought the gun into the situation last Sunday, Sept. 13 at the Washington House Pub. Police were called to the tavern, 228 N. Sixth Ave., after a fight broke out and then a shot was fired in the women’s bathroom.

Timothy Jackson, 36, of Milwaukee was charged this week in Washington County Circuit Court.  West Bend Police Chief Ken Meuler said the case remains under investigation and they’re still looking into who provided the weapon. “Bottom line is a couple people got into an argument, pushing and shoving and at that time neither one of them was armed,” Meuler said. “Somebody else decided to go and introduce a gun into a pushing match. When they gave the suspect the gun is when it escalated.” Meuler said there is no evidence this investigation has anything to do with gang activity.

Golfing for Gromo

There’s a golf outing Sept. 27 at West Bend Lakes Golf Club and proceeds will go to the Luke Gromowski Ironman Scholarship Fund. Luke Gromowski, a senior at West Bend East, died in a car accident in November 2014. A $1,000 scholarship will be presented each year to a senior from West Bend East and West High School that participated in football from fifth grade through their senior year. Registration for the outing is at 9 a.m. with a 10 a.m. shotgun start. The cost is $60 per player. More information is available by contacting Ed Duquaine at 262-305-1177.

Interfaith comes to the rescue for WWII veteran

WWII veteran Bill Wilde of West Bend took part in last Saturday’s Stars & Stripes Honor Flight and a note of thanks going out to Interfaith volunteer Dick Stommel, a Marine Corp. veteran from the Vietnam era, stepped forward to give Wilde a ride to the airport.

“Bill deserved to go and he really needed a wheelchair van to get him down there,” Stommel said. “I’ve been blessed, I served my country in the military, Bill’s going to enjoy this and I’m going to get him there.”

Stommel served in the Marines from 1961-64. A volunteer driver for more than 12 years he got up at 3:45 a.m. to deliver Wilde to the airport and later went back to Milwaukee in the evening to safely deliver him home.

Wilde served in the U.S. Army from Nov. 1945 – 1946. A graduate of Marquette High School, Wilde was drafted when he was 18 years old.  There are 23 veterans from Washington County on last week’s Honor Flight.

Victims in West Bend to receive clergy-abuse settlement


Several residents in Washington County are awaiting a scheduled court hearing in Milwaukee Bankruptcy Court regarding a settlement reached August 24 with the Milwaukee Archdiocese. The settlement awarding $21 million to 330 survivors who claimed they were sexually abused by priests in the Archdiocese.  In West Bend two former priests from St. Frances Cabrini Parish are on the list of substantiated abusers including Rev. Edmund Haen and Rev. Charles Walter.


The number of claimants in the community has not been revealed.  Two local victims sued the Archdiocese directly and were awarded $50,000 and $70,000 respectively.  One victim from West Bend told the Around the Bend that he filed a claim 59 years ago and “finally the nightmare is over.”  More information on the final settlement will be released following the Sept 29 hearing.


Rev. Edmund H. Haen was ordained in 1923. He died in 1997 and had served at St. Lawrence, Milwaukee; St. James, Mequon; St. Kilian, Hartford; and St. Frances Cabrini, West Bend. Charles W. Walter was ordained in 1974. He is not currently allowed to function as a priest.


Moving the gazebo


Steve Awve was the man in charge of moving the 144-square-foot gazebo from Old Settlers Park to Schwai’s in Cedar Creek this week. The transport started Tuesday afternoon as Awve, armed with a forklift and some handyman know-how, hefted the giant circular piece of metal and started the slow 8-mile trek to Cedar Creek.


It wasn’t long into maneuvers when the clunky parade came to a halt at Chestnut and Eighth Avenue. “Stop, stop, stop,” said lead man Mike running from his car. “You’re never going to make it under the wire.”


Awve set down the gazebo, scampered up the arm of the forklift and onto the top of the bell of the building to remove the cupola. An easy tilt of the 2-foot cap and they should were good to go, if only Awve had known about the bees.


“We got bees in here,” said Awve, with a couple one-handed swats. “I hate bees.” It sounded just like Harrison Ford when Indiana Jones came face-to-face with snakes in the Temple of the Forbidden Eye.


Mike seemed to hate bees even more. The pair worked and swatted and within minutes removed the metal lid, dodged the bees and they were on the road again. Getting under the wire was the easy part. There were more challenges with the Highway 45 overpass on Paradise Drive and darkness was setting in. Awve finally received a police escort out of town. A Washington County Sheriff’s Deputy took the final leg of the tour which wrapped up about 9 p.m.


The gazebo, purchased by Kevin and Amy Zimmer for $18.45, had to be removed from Old Setters Park, which is going through a major remodel.


Meijer purchase

Meijer property purchase cleared in West Bend: It’s a story you read first at Washington County Insider in January 2014 as Meijer grocery was preparing to announce it would build in a 192,940-square-foot grocery in the former Bend Industries lot on S. Main Street behind Menards.

This week the property transaction cleared and Meijer Stores purchased 30.65 acres from Bend Real Estate Holdings, LLC for $6.1 million. Meijer Stores also purchased .357 acres from Glacier Hills Credit Union for $150,000.

Construction causing headaches US 41                                         

The lane closure on US 41 southbound from US 45 to STH 145 are causing quite a few headaches for drivers headed to Milwaukee during the work week. The DOT has posted alternate routes but Michelle Lofy said those roads aren’t much better.

“The backups this week have been ridiculous from Pleasant Hill Road all the way to Highway 167,” she said about Highway 164.

Brian DeNeve, spokesman with the DOT, encouraged people to use the official alternate routes. “One of the problems is there are four-way stops and that leads to some congestion,” he said. “We are working with law enforcement and the project team is looking at it now.”

Suggestions on using a temporary signal were downplayed because of the short-term extent of the project. “I’m sure it doesn’t feel short term when you’re in the car in the morning but we’ll look at some flagging,” he said. Staying on US 41 is an option, DeNeve said “no matter what, there are going to be delays.”

Washington County Sheriff’s are aware of the delays and encouraged motorists to drive with caution. The DOT said the culvert work in that area should be finished Sept. 30.

Updates & tidbits

-The 35th Annual Fish Boil at Divine Savior Lutheran Church in Hartford is today from 3 p.m. – 7:30 p.m. Adult tickets $9 {advance} or $10 at the door. Child $4.50 or $5 at the door. Hot dog plate for child $4.

-Registration is underway for the 6th Annual Race to Safety: Family Violence Stops Here! 5k Run/Walk.  This year’s event is Oct. 3 at 9:30 a.m. at Regner Park.

–  Due to a lack of registered participants, the Sunrise Rotary has cancelled the Amazing Race set for Sept. 26. As of Friday, Sept. 11 only 20 teams had signed up. The goal was 60 teams. Rotarians said they did not “feel it is fair to our event sponsors to accept their generous donations if we don’t have a great or even good turnout for the event.” Race organizer Jeff Szukalski said, “We have refunded teams and we will send them a check from our club.”

-Concerned Citizens of West Bend will meet Monday, Sept. 21 at 6:30 p.m. at West Bend City Hall. Featured speakers include Washington County District Attorney Mark Bensen and a member of the Metro Drug Enforcement Unit. Concerned Citizens, a local organization started by former Dist. 4 alderman Randy Koehler, is designed to promote neighborhood awareness.

-The West Bend Community Library is selling tickets to its Oct. 17 fundraiser, “The Sly Mr. Read: A Night of Mystery.” The after-hours event will raise money for development and initial installation of a new Digital Creation Lab.

-The West Bend High School drumline was featured this week on the Bob & Brian morning show on FM 102.9 The Hog.  The drumline was part of the shows Small School Ass Whupping segment.  Section leaders Troy Matenaer and Ben Kroll were interviewed live on the air.

West Bend man wins 2015 Harley-Davidson

Jim Tock of West Bend is riding away on a one-of-a-kind 2015 Dyna 75th anniversary Sturgis-themed Harley-Davidson. The victory was celebrated this week at Open Road Harley-Davidson in Fond du Lac.

“I was shopping at the dealership in June to pick up something for my birthday and a guy told me to sign up,” said Tock, a 1982 graduate of West Bend West High School. “I put my name in one time and a couple months later I got a call saying I won.”

Lori Thiel, managing partner at Open Road Harley-Davidson in Fond du Lac, said they were elated too.  “We got a call saying the drawing happened and the person who won made his entry at our store,” Thiel said.  About 600 dealerships across the country participated in the Road to Sturgis sweepstakes. The contest ran June 1 – July 12.

The motorcycle was made in Milwaukee, valued at $24,000 and features ghost lettering, orange and black color-matched rims and blacked-out accents. “This bike was in production for two years,” Thiel said. “The milestone of the 75th anniversary of Sturgis makes it that much more special.”

Tock said he’s going to “park it in my living room for a while and then see how I like to ride it.”

Open Road Harley-Davidson celebrated with a big cake and special Harley ice cream from Kelley Country Creamery.

History photo celebrates Officer Appreciation Day

Today’s 1935 photo, courtesy the Washington County Historical Society, is to pay tribute on this Officer Appreciation Day. Can you name these two vintage men in blue?

motorcycle cops 1935 George Brugger and Bill Johnson  copy


0736, 19 September 2015


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