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0824, 23 Apr 16

Around the Bend by Judy Steffes

Remembering Randy Miller

There will be a memorial service Monday, April 25 for Randy Miller who died tragically last Monday in Palm Springs, California after being struck by a vehicle while crossing the street.

Miller, 63, of Kewaskum retired from the Washington County Parks Department in August 2014 after a 39-year career. Miller was the resident ranger at Sandy Knoll County Park for 37 years.

According to a post in the San Diego Union Tribune, “A suspected drunk driver hit and seriously injured a pedestrian who was jay walking in Chula Vista Sunday night, police said. The person was crossing north on E Street near Woodlawn Avenue about 9:45 p.m. when a vehicle headed west struck the victim, police said. The pedestrian was taken to a trauma center with serious injuries. The driver was arrested on suspicion of drunken driving.”

Former County Board Chairman Herb Tennies confirmed the death. “Apparently he was out in California with his wife to do some fishing and he got hit by a car,” said Tennies.  “He was a good employee and I remember I recently saw him at a retirement party and he was looking forward to traveling.”

Monday’s memorial service gets underway at 1 p.m. at St. Andrew Lutheran Church.

Funeral Saturday, April 23 for Pastor George Mumm

The funeral is today for former St. John’s Ev. Lutheran pastor George Mumm who died Friday, April 15. The service will be held at 11 a.m. on Saturday, April 23, 2016, at St. John’s Ev. Lutheran Church, 809 S. Sixth Ave., in West Bend, with entombment following at Washington County Memorial Park in West Bend.

The Mumm family will greet relatives and friends at the church from 10:00 a.m. until the time of service.

The Rev. George A. Mumm was ordained into Holy Ministry on June 12, 1955, at St. Martins Lutheran Church of What Cheer, Iowa which he served together with Calvary Lutheran Church of Deep River and Grace Lutheran Church of Montezuma.  In June of 1957 he was installed as Pastor of St. Mark’s Lutheran Church of Wausau where he served until 1966.  Then in October of 1966 the Rev. Mumm was installed at St. John’s Ev. Lutheran Church in West Bend where he served for 39 years.

2004 West Bend H.S. grad killed in accident

A 2004 West Bend High School graduate has been killed following an accident near Copper Mountain in Colorado. According to the Summit Daily, Brianna Martz, 29, was a passenger in a vehicle that was traveling Wednesday evening on Interstate 70. Another vehicle, driven by a 23-year-old man, struck them head on. Martz was killed, the driver of her vehicle suffered serious injuries and the man who hit them also had serious injuries. Authorities suspected alcohol played a part in the accident. Martz was a “pediatric emergency nurse at Sky Ridge Medical Center in Lone Tree. She had studied nursing at the University of Wisconsin.”

MOWA secures green space

The West Bend Common Council pulled the trigger Monday night on the sale of a very visible and valuable parcel of property in the downtown West Bend business district.

On a 4-3 vote the council agreed to sell 1.2 acres on Veterans Avenue to the Museum of Wisconsin Art. The decision was dicey because the location in a TIF district carries a heavy debt of $12,621,667.  Keeping the property green space will provide little in the way of revenue; however Mayor Kraig Sadownikow said sometimes it’s not all about the money.

“Being that MOWA and the property to the south is in a TIF district, the council and I have been careful to balance the financial responsibilities of the TIF with the benefits to MOWA and the community,” Sadownikow said.  “I fully understand the benefits to this sale may not show up in a TIF District financial report. Rather, the benefits will be seen in an enhanced museum, increased quality of life and an even more vibrant downtown area. All of this will lead to additional private investment in West Bend.”

Details involved in the agreement include:

-Land Purchase Price – $35,000

-PILOT – $150,000 per year for 5 years totaling $750,000

-$65,000 grant to Parks which has been earmarked for the East Bank River Revitalization project

-The existing Dumpster corral will be maintained by MOWA instead of the city

-The existing drive and parking will remain as city property and maintained as such for the benefit of the public and MOWA

-The city maintains a first right of refusal should the property be sold to an unrelated entity

The three aldermen voting against the sale to MOWA included alderman Steve Hutchins, Chris Jenkins and Adam Williquette. Dist. 8 alderman Roger Kist had an excused absence.

Meijer construction is underway

Construction started this week at the new home for Meijer on S. Main Street in the lot behind Menards that was formerly home to Bend Industries.

There was a backhoe tearing into the building in the back of the lot and a machine had already been through to break up all the pavement on the 30.6-acre site and that was pretty much all there was to see because project superintendent Alec Ribco was quick to intercept my nosing around.

He said Meijer was pretty private about its developments and kindly asked that I not post any photos. Ribco also inquired about who I was and how I got onto the site and I pointed to the open gate. There was no sign saying not to enter … but, alas, that sign was posted on the gate on the opposite side of the lot.

So Ribco said he’d contact his boss to see if I could post updates in the future. I told him neighbors in the community would really appreciate it because they were very excited about “all things Meijer.”  On a side note – folks can watch the development from the public side of the Cyclone fence on Parkway Drive.

Meijer is building a 192,940-square-foot grocery. In September 2015 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.

Local jeweler a finalist in CanadaMark competition

Matt Fehring, owner of MF Diamonds, 239 N. Main Street in West Bend is one of 2 U.S. finalists and one of 15 worldwide in the CanadaMark jewelry competition.

“I designed my CanadaMark jewelry competition piece using jewelry CAD software,” said Fehring as he polished the ring with a soft green cloth. “I wanted to create something different, unique and exciting, something that would make anyone say wow and look twice.”

Fehring, 23, designs and sells custom jewelry. “I did this on the computer, 3D printed, and then cast and polished,” he said. The piece is crafted in 14kX1 white gold. The diamond is a .40ct E SI1 Ideal cut CanadaMark, meaning it was mined in Canada and ethically sourced.

The top of the ring features two panther heads holding the diamond in place. “I started with lion heads but liked the look of the panthers more,” Fehring said. “We actually had to re-build the panther heads a few time, they kept turning out funny, like globs.”

Fehring said it took about a month to find the perfect diamond for the piece. “I was very picky,” he said. The winning design will be judged on the number of votes. Cast your vote for Fehring’s piece at  Voting officially closes May 8.

Silverbrook students jump on the Google Expedition

Students at Silverbrook School walked on the moon on Monday and some of them even explored the Grand Canyon; they all went on space-age adventures from the comfort of a chair in the school library.

Setting his eyes into the View Master-type goggles fifth grader Gavin Zieman, 10, was impressed with the 3D effect as he described a trip in space. “I see the moon and a bunch of stars everywhere and now I see a bunch of screens and we’re climbing inside a spaceship,” he said.

The rest of the class looked very Buck Rogers – their faces covered with the large red and white Google virtual reality machines.

“You can see everything you want,” Zieman said captivated by the images. “Now I see a Chinese flag.”  Zieman drifted off into space, literally, as the class took in just about every aspect of science and travel.

“This is the field trip we all dreamed of to go to the moon,” said the teacher leading the class.

“This is like data testing for Google,” said instructor Heather Geldnich.  “Watching it brings the kids who may not get out of West Bend to the Grand Canyon and they even went underwater in the ocean.

“Their engagement level is amazing; you could hear a pin drop.”

Just then the entire class gasped…. as if they fell off a cliff.  Some, goggles still in place, looked down at the floor while others stared up at the ceiling.

“They pulled vocabulary from their reading units and science as they explore,” Geldnich said.  “It’s really engaging and there’s been a lot of good feedback.”

A unique part of the device is the partnership between Google and Mattel; the name of it is View-Master Virtual Reality.

Cleanup underway at entrance to South Industrial Park

There’s a bit of spring cleaning going on in West Bend as a new entrance to the Industrial Park South is underway. Thanks to the generosity of Principle Solutions the raggedy brush covering the park sign is gone and new landscaping is underway.

The West Bend Parks Department green lighted the generosity and then asked if Principle Solutions LLC could tackle the other entrance too at Main Street and Progress Drive. Watch for a cleaner look at both entrances in the coming days at the Industrial Park South in West Bend.

Kris Groth named Support Employee of the Year

Kris Groth is a special education aide at the Rolf’s Education Center and this week she was recognized as the Support Employee of the Year in the West Bend School District.

The award recognizes Groth’s “genuine relationship with students” and how she goes “above and beyond to provide exceptional care and guidance for students.”

Groth said she started as sub when her boys were 4 and 6. “Then I took on a regular position and said I’d do the job until both boys graduated; that was three years ago.” Groth said she has some “awesome friends and coworkers” in the district.

Updates & tidbits

-The Corporate Challenge is upon us and this year’s event starts Tuesday, May 3 at 5:30 p.m. at St. Joseph’s Hospital with the “Great Walk.” It will include staff from companies like Delta Defense, Cedar Community and the Kettle Moraine YMCA.  Contact Lucas Nieman at 262-247-1023 or for more information.


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


-Homer Justman won $5,000 in the Threshold drawing held Tuesday night at the Washington County Fair Park. Barb Justman has already laid claim to the winnings saying she has two teeth that need to be fixed.

-National Independent Bookstore Day is April 30 and All in Books, 136 N. Main Street in West Bend will be celebrating.

-Spring Bling a Diva thing is Thursday, April 28 from noon – 8 p.m. at businesses in downtown West Bend and Barton.

-A hat tip to Johnson Bus and driver John Schmidt, 58, who helped transport Korean War veteran Wally Daggett, 86, of Kewaskum get to Milwaukee on Saturday so he could take part in the latest Stars & Stripes Honor Flight tour to Washington D.C. Schmidt, who has been driving for Johnson Bus for 41 years, just saw it as the right thing to do.

– The Optimist Club of West Bend is holding a brat fry next weekend April 30 and May 1 at the little red shed outside Reis’.

– Slinger High School’s Student Council is holding a Rummage Sale and Bake Sale on Saturday, April 23, from 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. in the SHS Cafeteria, 209 Polk Street. Students have been working hard, advertising, pricing and organizing donations.

Stop Saturday to enjoy history at the West Bend Company


There will be quite a bit of local history on display Saturday during the West Bend Co. reunion/ Cast Iron open house, 611 Veterans Avenue.  The historic factory has been turned into home and neighbors are welcome to tour the former maker of pots and pans and ammo. Doors open at 4 p.m. on April 23.  The event includes free drinks, free food and free tours. Bring your stories and memorabilia and try to find the spot in the factory where you used to work while touring luxury apartments with 30-foot ceilings, exposed duct work, stainless steel appliances and granite counter tops.  Photo courtesy the Washington County Historical Society.Capturejujjjjj


0824, 23 April 2016


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