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1902, 17 Apr 16

Around the Bend by Judy Steffes

[Note from Owen: I apologize for getting this out late this week. For those who live in Wisconsin, you know that this was the first, real BEAUTIFUL weekend of Spring and I enjoyed it immensely.]

Thank you proclamation Monday for Dist. 3 alderman Ed Duquaine

A proclamation will be read at the West Bend Common Council meeting Monday in honor of outgoing Dist. 3 alderman Ed Duquaine who is wrapping up a six year term.

Mayor Kraig Sadownikow said even though it’s the end of Duquaine’s term is it not the end of his service to this community.

“Ed sets the bar high, believes in personal responsibility and smaller government,” Sadownikow said. “Ed led by example, brought more efficiency to West Bend government, and is leaving the community a better place than when he first ran for office six years ago.”

Duquaine was first elected in 2010, replacing Richard Lindbeck. “I am proud to have been a part of so many great things that have been accomplished,” said Duquaine. “Without sugar coating, the city’s finances were a complete mess six years ago.

“We were allocating nearly $1 million a year of our day-to-day operational costs to our TIF districts (basically, financing and paying interest on daily operations over a 20-year period).

“Our operations (in some areas) were not nearly as efficient as they could have been. We had no succession planning, little to incentivize career advancement, and a culture that didn’t promote it.

“Our community development department had a reputation of being non-welcoming, tough to deal with and our process was viewed as cumbersome. That has all changed,” he said.

Duquaine said he would have liked to have stayed on for another term, maybe two.  “I would have liked to be around to eliminate all capital borrowing,” he said. “And we’re getting close to the hump with our budgetary woes.”

Duquaine reflected on his career during a recent one-on-one conversation at his office on Highway NN. “I had fun and I learned a lot,” he said. “I learned about municipal government and I’m proud of the people we have working for the city.”

Paul Wilke is a member of Common Sense Citizens. He described Duquaine as a no-nonsense, roll-up-your-sleeves kind of guy. “Ed has been a great asset to the community of West Bend,” he said. “He spear-headed the addition of artificial turf for our high school football field and lent his business savvy and talent to our community as Alderman.  During his tenure the city of West Bend has lead the way in finding ways to provide outstanding service to its citizens at the same time reducing property taxes.”

Local real estate agent Scott Schneiberg also praised Duquaine. “Ed’s is one of several key leaders to integrate common sense, efficiency, and accountability into our city’s operational and financial decisions,” said Schneiberg. “His commitment to serve our citizens has been second to none.”

Duquaine will be replaced by Mike Chevalier, president of MCR Services LLC in Richfield. Chevalier served on the city’s Value Task Force from July 2011 – April 2013, was a former president of Common Sense Citizens, on the facilities committee with St. Frances Cabrini, and Chevalier is a member of the West Bend Sunrise Rotary.

On a side note: The city was prepared to honor Herb Tennies for his years as Washington County Board Supervisor/chairman however that recognition has been postponed as the Village of Slinger will recognize Tennies on Monday night.

Big week ahead for newly elected officials

On Monday and Tuesday there will be quite a bit of ceremony as the local School Districts, County Board and City Councils will swear in newly elected candidates and appoint committees. At Tuesday’s Washington County Board meeting outgoing Chairman Herb Tennies will pass the gavel to his successor. Dist. 16 Supervisor Rick Gundrum is expected to be nominated as well as Dist. 14 Supervisor Joe Gonnering for the position of Chairman. Others may throw their hat in the ring. Early word is Gundrum is likely to win the post.

Celebrate Record Store Day

The Exclusive Company, 144 N. Main St., in downtown West Bend is celebrating Record Store Day this Saturday, April 16 opening 8 a.m. – 8 p.m.

In West Bend, The Exclusive Co. has carried the torch for vinyl records. But some predecessors that served the musical beat for groovy chicks and hippy dudes in West Bend included places like Loomans & Hicken and Plischounigs on Main Street.

Jeanne Mueller was about 20 years old when she worked as a clerk at Plischounigs in the early 1950s. “It was just one big store and Mr. Plischounig had his records in the back and that department grew so much he moved it downstairs and filled the whole basement with records,” said Mueller. Selections at Plischounigs included Elvis, the Beatles, and Liberace. A 45-RPM record cost 99 cents and albums were between $4 and $5. “Mr. Plischounig liked music too,” said Mueller. “If a new album came in, I’d put it on the turntable just to see what it was like so I could talk about it.

Rev. Enrique Hernandez to be reassigned

An announcement is printed in this Sunday’s church bulletin at St. Mary’s Parish and St. Frances Cabrini that Rev. Enrique Hernandez is leaving.

“It is with renewed trust in God that I share this news with you. Archbishop Listecki has asked me to take a new assignment beginning on June 21, 2016. At this time, I do not know the details of my new assignment; however we will let you know in May, as all the assignments will be announced at that time.  I am very thankful to all of you for making the experience of my first assignment a wonderful blessing. Please pray for me during this time of transition.  Blessings! Father Enrique”

Rev. Enrique first arrived at St. Frances Cabrini three years ago. He was the first bilingual resident clergy that the parish had in quite some time.

Noelle Braun is Executive Director of Casa Guadalupe Education Center. She was at the Spanish Mass last week at St. Mary’s when Rev. Enrique explained he would be leaving in June.

“It’s really disappointing we’ll be losing him,” Braun said. “He has served the Latino community well.” Braun said she has seen the congregation grow since Rev. Enrique has been the shared priest at St. Mary’s and St. Frances Cabrini.  “A lot of people respect him and they come to him for counsel; he’s helped with baptisms, quinceaneras, and he’s part of their lives,” she said.

On Sunday, Braun said she wished Rev. Enrique the best. “This is a very bitter-sweet moment and I believe God has a plan and I’m praying we’ll continue to see the Latino community have a focal point in the church,” she said.

On average about 100 people from the Hispanic community come to Sunday’s Spanish Mass at St. Mary’s in Barton. Katie Schaitberger, Director of Evangelization at Saint Frances Cabrini, acknowledged Rev. Enrique has been a tremendous priest for the West Bend community. “He will be deeply missed,” said Schaitberger. “We have been fortunate to walk with Father Enrique through his first years of priesthood – this is a true privilege for our entire community.

“Father Enrique is a wonderful example of what it means to be a missionary in the Catholic Church. He strives each day to live his faith, and help others on their journey to heaven.  We will miss him, but look forward to all that the Lord has in store for us here in West Bend.”

Rev. Enrique was born and raised in Colombia, South America. He is fluent in Spanish and English.

Rev. Enrique was ordained to the Priesthood of Jesus Christ on Nov. 3, 2012 and worked the past three years as a shared associate pastor at both St. Frances Cabrini and Saint Mary’s Immaculate Conception Parish in West Bend. It is not known whether the Archdiocese of Milwaukee will place another Spanish-speaking priest in the community. Schaitberger said “the Spanish community will not be unserved, although it might look different.”

High-jump record broken at Kewaskum H.S.

Kewaskum High School senior Jason Hanson set a new school high jump record at Tuesday’s meet. Hanson broke the 20 -year-old outdoor record of 6-feet 6-inches set in 1995 by Travis Jacak. Hanson cleared 6-feet 7-inches in the first outdoor meet of the year. Hanson tied the 20-year-old indoor record of 6-feet 4-inches on March 17 at the first indoor meet of this season. Tuesday’s jump makes Hanson the top high jumper in the state for Division 2. Hanson qualified to compete in high jump at the state track meet the last two years.

St. Mary’s School gearing up for 50-year reunion

Alan ‘Fuzzy’ Duenkel has organized a 50-year grade school reunion for St. Mary’s School. It will be April 22 and coincide with the St. Mary’s Celebration on April 23. “Celebrating St. Mary’s” is for alumni, staff, parents, and parishioners. The evening begins with Mass at 4 p.m. followed by fellowship, food, and fun in Parish Center. The school will also be open for self-guided tours and reminiscing right after Mass. The comedy sports troupe, Fish Sticks, will perform at 7 p.m. Tickets are in the school office or church. Register online at

Kearns sells Barton Shell

Steve Kearns has cut a deal with Steve Magestro and Janiece Maxwell, owners of M Six International Properties, has a lease-to-buy agreement for the Shell filling station, 1650 N. Main St., in Barton. The couple has been laying a foundation for their Mad Max gas stations in West Bend. Last August they purchased The Clothes Clinic building, 1221 S. Main St. next to the BP gas station they also purchased, 1229 S. Main St.

Magestro and Maxwell plan to raze the old Clothes Clinic building and expand and remodel the neighboring gas station.  M Six International Properties owns more than a dozen gas stations across southeastern Wisconsin including outlets in Saukville, Fond du Lac, and Sheboygan. In Barton they have an agreement with Kearns that could turn into a full-on purchase in a couple months. Kearns purchased the Barton property in 1998. In December 2012 Kearns sold the Shell station on Highway 33 to Bud Osowski.  Kearns had purchased that property in June 2008 for $900,000.

BID kicks in to pay for repair of downtown lights

The Downtown West Bend BID board voted unanimously this week to spend $16, 213 to replace the lights bordering the buildings on Main Street. Steiner Electric said this will be a six-day project and cover up to 6,000 lights. Steiner will install the lights at night so as to not interrupt downtown parking.  Also Kevin and Amy Zimmer purchased lights for the West Bend Theatre marquee and Steiner’s crew will install those as well – since they already have the articulating lift, what the heck – it just makes sense.  Decker dubbed this a “transition year” as the hope is the volunteers will be able to put some pretty into the downtown and save taxpayers money.

Updates & tidbits       

Kettle Moraine Bowl on Highway 60 has a pre-season car and swap meet Saturday, April 16 from 9 a.m. – 1 p.m.

-The 38th annual Allenton Advancement Association Buffalo Feed is April 23 from 4 p.m. – 8 p.m. at Addison Town Hall.

– Mason Holbrook will be featured during this 2016 Washington/Ozaukee American Heart Association heart walk. Holbrook was born with Tetralogy of Fallot in March of 2014 and had to have several open heart surgeries within his first few months of life. Sign up for team Mason at

-The Washington County Lacrosse team, West Bend Rush, has its first varsity home game Wednesday, April 20 vs. Kenosha at 5:30 p.m. at Riverside Park.

Kettle Moraine Lutheran High School teacher Sarah Mayer will be leaving KML at the end of this school year. Mayer led the KMLES Band Program and other band courses 13 years.

The DIVA’s Spring Bling is April 28; lots of activities and prizes in downtown West Bend and Barton.

-Shred Fest is Saturday, April 30 from 9 a.m. – noon at Thrivent Financial, 810 Paradise Dr. in West Bend.

-American Metal & Paper in West Bend and Kewaskum is offering 45-cents a pound for aluminum from April 18 – April 23 in celebration of Earth Day.

– Remember to RSVP to the Cast Iron Open House and the West Bend Company Reunion on April 23 from 4 p.m. – 7 p.m.  RSVP at 26-334-7943 or

-Historic Barton Business Association is hosting a Brat Fry at The Sign Shop May 7. Live music will be provided by Mike Sipin and the gang.

– Senator Duey Stroebel is holding 10 town hall stops around the district: Monday, May 2 at 6 p.m. – Slinger Community Library and 7:30 p.m. at Hartford City Hall. Monday, May 16 at 5:30 p.m. at Campbellsport Public Library and 7:30 p.m. at West Bend Community Memorial Library

– Janalee Bach has opened a new business, Wood N’ Art, at 111 N. Sixth Street in West Bend above Slesar Glass. Wood N’ Art is an instructor-led art studio that helps create custom-wood signs. An open house will be held April 30.

Roger Strack on Old Glory flight

Roger Strack of Kewaskum spent Wednesday in Washington D.C. on the Old Glory Honor Flight. This was the 34th mission for the Old Glory Flight based out of Outagamie County Regional Airport in Appleton.

Strack talked about his service in the Army during a Saturday afternoon at his home. “I entered the Army on Feb. 2 1951,” he said.

Strack was 18 years old and had just graduated West Bend High School. He was working as a mechanic at the Ford garage, currently the parking lot of Tennies Ace Hardware. “My brother-in-law Harry Roecker from West Bend enlisted at the same time,” he said.

Strack spoke rather fondly of his time in the service and how he and Roecker were side by side for their tours of duty. After enlisting the pair took a train to Fort Sheridan and another to Fort McNair in Washington D.C.

Early on Strack found himself teaching other soldiers how to drive a 5-ton truck. “I also drove jeep delivering messages to generals,” he said.  “I remember this one sergeant started a logging camp and he got a saw and I said that looks like one where you saw a woman in half.”  Strack wasn’t sure everyone appreciated his sense of humor.

Strack and Roecker were shipped from one base to another. They traveled by train to California and then on to New Jersey and then took a ship to Greenland. “It was only supposed to take two weeks but it took a month because of the ice,” he said.

Talking excitedly Strack recalled how some of his buddies climbed right off the ship onto an iceberg.

“Half way up in the North Atlantic we transferred from a Navy attack ship to a cruiser,” he said. “So we had to haul all our earthly belongings – we had to climb down, go in a boat across the ocean and then back up onto a cruiser,” he said.

Strack was supposed to run M boats in Greenland for about three months, but there were many soldiers and too few jobs and he ended up working in the kitchen on the base. “I had to drive a truck and go get food but there was always beer stashed away so I’d sneak it out and put it under the seat for all the guys,” he said.

Strack is still over 6-feet tall. His memory is extremely sharp and he’s very computer savvy.

Always a shutterbug, Strack purchased his first 35 mm camera at the Post Exchange or PX in the military. He has hundreds of photos copied from scrapbooks and loaded into his computer.

There are pictures of his travels watching bullfights in Europe, on the streets in France and sightseeing in Italy. “We took a lot of air hops,” said Strack. “We’d get on a military airplane and then hitchhike.”

Returning from Greenland, Strack was told he’d get train tickets to Washington. “We were told we’d be able to turn the tickets in for cash and we figured we could make some good money if we sold them and found our own way to Washington,” he said. “Problem was they didn’t give us the tickets until the train was moving so we got them, jumped off the train, had no idea where we were so we hitchhiked.”

Shipped to France in 1952, Strack and Roecker worked as boat coxswain.  “A lot of service felt like I was in Boy Scouts,” Strack said.

Discharged in Jan. 10, 1953 at Fort Custer, Michigan the pair took a train home. “I went right back to the Ford Company and then I went to Larson’s Furniture, but that was real boring,” he said. “I was even repairing televisions for a while and I had no idea what I was doing.”

On May 5, 1958 Strack opened Roger and Dan’s repair shop in Kewaskum. Eager to return to Washington D.C., Strack said he was interested in seeing as much as he could. His guardian was going to be assigned on the flight.

Today’s history photo is courtesy Roger Strack of his time in service.Capturelkjn-213x300


1902, 17 April 2016

1 Comment

  1. Musicmamma

    It’s amazing what makes news :)

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