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0839, 20 Aug 16

Around the Bend by Judy Steffes

Woman dies following medical emergency at Hartford pool

At 4 p.m. Friday afternoon a patron in her 40s was at Veterans Memorial Aquatic Center in Hartford with her family when she experienced a medical emergency in 3 feet of water. During a one-on-one interview with Hartford City Administrator Steve Volkert said the woman was by herself in the pool.

Volker said, “CPR was immediately initiated by staff at the pool and staff was assisted by an emergency room doctor who happened to be on the premises. Hartford police and EMS responded within minutes.”

An off-duty Sheriff’s Deputy also assisted with an AED which was on site. Volker said “the woman was taken to Aurora Hospital in Hartford and was pronounced dead.”

The name of the woman is being withheld at this time.  The woman was not a resident of Hartford.

“The medical emergency is something that could have happened at any location,” said Volkert. “She was somewhat fortunate there were people trained in CPR that were as close as they were. Not only the trained staff but also people who were at the pool. Unfortunately they were not able to reverse the situation.”

Veterans Memorial Aquatic Center was closed following the incident around 4:15 p.m.

Hartford’s pool opened July 9. This is the second emergency situation in the last month and a half. On July 25 a 2-year-old boy was pulled from the water and resuscitated.

Wash. Co. considering entrance fee for park access

The Washington County Board is going to be considering a new entrance fee for the county park system.

Jay Shambeau, Washington County Planning and Parks Administrator, said the entrance fee is only in the discussion phase. He said the fee is being proposed as part of the county’s priority based budgeting. “We need to either stop funding the parks or raise revenue in another manner,” Shambeau said.

Bullet points on proposed entrance fee:

-“The fee would be similar to the state park sticker where you purchase a daily or annual entrance-fee sticker and then put it in your window,” said Shambeau.

-The proposed rate is $5 for daily park admittance or $25 for an annual sticker to get in the parks.

-Waukesha County has already enacted a similar plan to help off-set the cost of maintaining the parks. Its fee is $4 a day or $22 for an annual pass. Shambeau said Waukesha County is already in discussions to raise its fee.

-Washington County has 13 county parks with 7 major parks where the fee would make some sense. “Sandy Knoll, Leonard J. Yahr, Ackerman’s Grove have a public beach and this fee would have a summer impact.  Homestead Hollow, Heritage Trails and Glacier Hills are day-use parks popular for hiking and weddings.”

-Details on who would monitor the stickers are still being worked out. Parks staff and the Washington County Sheriffs have been mentioned. “We’ve also been discussing a part-time ranger program,” Shambeau said.

-Next year’s county budget is being rolled out Wednesday, Aug. 24.  Depending on discussion this could be implemented Jan. 1, 2017.

-Other options debated with the parks and priority based budgeting include: reducing programs and services, eliminating some of the parks, look at other fee-generating opportunities.

-How much revenue is brought in would really depend upon how the program is implemented.

-Public policy discussion by the Public Works Committee will focus on whether the fee amount is prohibitive.

-Shelter reservations are a big revenue stream for the park system. Discussions would have to determine whether ever vehicle that attends is part of a wedding or event at the county park would have to pay the fee.

Funeral Thursday for former WBHS track coach

The funeral is Thursday for former West Bend High School teacher and track coach Craig Timothy Syron, 47. Syron’s family was notified of his death by the U.S. Embassy after he was found August 12, 2016 in Slemmestad, Norway. No foul play is expected, said a family member. Syron taught English and was the head Throws Coach at West Bend West High School for 11 years.  A memorial service at St. John’s Lutheran Church in West Bend is Aug. 25 at 2 p.m. Visitation begins at 1 p.m.  There will be a reception following in the church fellowship hall.

West Bend to name new city administrator on Monday

The city of West Bend has been working with an interim city administrator since late April and on Monday, Aug. 22 a new city administrator will officially be named. A special meeting has been called for 5:30 p.m. in the council chambers at City Hall. This past Monday, Aug. 15, the council went into closed session to amend some of the wording in the contract.

The city posted the position in mid-May and received about 29 applications. Working with recruitment organization GovHR USA and city department heads, that field of candidates was trimmed to four including Lowell D. Crow, Illinois, David W. Nord, Illinois, Andrew Vickers, Wisconsin and Jay Shambeau, Wisconsin.

Former city administrator T.J. Justice resigned from the post in April after he was arrested for soliciting a 15-year-old girl for sex. Justice is facing a pair of felony charges and he is due back in Waukesha County Court on Aug. 22.

$500 giveaway at Thursday’s Music on Main

Music on Main will play host to Saving Savannah on Thursday, Aug. 25 and special guest during intermission will be the West Bend High School Drumline. There will also be a $500 cash prize giveaway. Free tickets can be picked up at the beverage tent. The drawing will be at 9:30 p.m. and you must be present to win. The evening entertainment is sponsored by Delta Defense.

New Mexican restaurant opens in Slinger                               Story courtesy Ruth Marks

Polanco Mexican Restaurant & Cantina has opened in the Dove Plaza in Slinger. Owner Tony Herrera has 25 years in the restaurant industry, including at Johnny Manhattan’s.  This is his first time he’s going out on his own.  The restaurant, 1858 Commerce Blvd (Highway 60) will be 11 a.m. – 10 p.m.

Updates & tidbits

-The launch of the Kewaskum School District referendum project is Monday, Aug. 22 at 7 p.m. during the annual meeting in the Kewaskum High School auditorium. The Nov. 8 referendum is for $28.4 million. With interest that total is close to $40 million.

-Significant progress has been made as signage and a canopy has been erected at the new Kwik Trip on Silverbrook Drive in West Bend. Construction got underway June 7.  Kwik Trip is expected to be open for business by October.

-Wisconsin’s largest gluten-free food expo is coming to Washington County Fair Park on Saturday, Sept. 24 from 10 a.m. – 3 p.m. The event is sponsored by Wellness Found Organic Foods.

– Setup is underway as Halloween Express makes its home at the former Walgreens on Decorah and S. Main Street in West Bend. Watch for a soft opening Sept. 1. Halloween Express secured its lease until Nov. 2 through Adam Williquette at Anderson Commercial Group.

-Mike Christian made a pair of check presentations to the Downtown West Bend Farmers’ Market and The History Center of Washington County. Christian donated $2,000 to each organization; the money came from proceeds from his 2nd annual Homegrown Music Festival.

– Kettle Moraine Lutheran High School is welcoming its biggest freshman class ever. About 128 students went through freshman orientation on Wednesday.  Monday, Aug. 22 is the first day of school.

– The Jackson Historical Society Raspberry Festival is Sunday, Sept. 11, from 12 p.m. – 4 p.m. at the Jackson Historical Society Museum Grounds, 1860 Mill Road in the Town of Jackson.   Come to an old-fashioned family ice cream social with Amish-made raspberry pie.

West Bend Mutual Insurance Company, along with independent insurance agents who represent the company and key business partners, raised $644,398 for the MACC Fund, Midwest Athletes Against Childhood Cancer. This is the seventh time West Bend has hosted this biennial event which, to date, has generated nearly $1.7 million for the MACC Fund.

– Slinger’s Honours, Inc. will be holding its 3rd Annual 5K Run/Walk on Saturday, Aug. 27 at 9 a.m. with a kids run starting at 8:20 a.m. to raise funds for its scholarship endowment for Slinger High School students.  The run begins and ends at the Slinger High School football field.

– Beginning the week of Monday, August 29, the Wisconsin Department of Transportation (WisDOT) is scheduled to begin resurfacing work on the US 45 and WIS 33 Interchange in Washington County. The contractor is planning to complete the $230,000 project later this fall.

-West Bend District 7 alderman Adam Williquette donated $100 to purchase four 9/11 Flags of Honor. The flags are part of a fundraiser by Kewaskum Remembers Memorial Park, a non-profit project dedicated to building a 9/11 memorial in the town of Kewaskum which will feature a 2,200-pound steel I-beam from the north World Trade Center.  West Bend-area native and Kewaskum High School graduate, Andrea Lyn Haberman was on the 92nd floor of the north World Trade Center and died on 9/11. More about the project is at

-A Memorial Mass for long time Washington County Sheriff’s deputy Daniel J. “Jocko” Marx, 65, of the town of Kewaskum, was held this past week. Marx worked for the Sheriff’s Department for 35 years, retiring in 2013. He passed away Saturday, Aug. 13 at the Kathy Hospice, with his family by his side.

Milestone reached at WashingtonCountyInsider

Earlier this week my Facebook page Washington County Insider reached a milestone of 15,000 likes. The to date has had 1.4 million views and I just wanted to reach out and thank everyone for their support. Hard to believe the page is only about a year old.

I love keeping the community up to speed and being first to tell you all the things happening in the neighborhood. Something special happened Saturday that shows me how much of an impact this page can have.

I ran into Ari Martin at Barton Day. She was having the time of her life enjoying the games, music and the face painting. I met Ari last year just before the start of school when she was being introduced to her robot that would help her in class, especially on the days she’d have to stay home when her immune system would be compromised.

During Barton Day, Ari said she was enjoying summer and getting ready to start second grade at Fair Park School. Ari also mentioned she had been traveling and “people keep looking at me and staring at me….”

What she said next…. made me cry. “I’m just so famous…,” said Ari in her squeak of a voice.

There was no ego…. just genuine 7-year-old perspective. Ari did get quite a bit of media and TV attention when she got her robot and it’s wonderful when positive coverage of a great local story can make someone’s day.

Thanks West Bend and Washington County for sharing your stories with me.  Sincerely, Judy Steffes

Decorative archways bring old-world charm to WB’s Germanfest

There’s going to be some new art making its way to Germanfest this year as Dave Gutbrod with Germantown Iron and Steel has created three beautiful new arched entryways.

Several months ago Gutbrod gave an Insider look at the art in its development stage as it went from a concept plan to a finished product.

“All finished and powder coated and in… shop for the colors on the letters. Will complete this weekend,” said Gutbrod.

-“This is going to be a good visual, welcoming experience,” said Gutbrod.

– Two of the archways will be right over the street on Fifth Avenue and there will be by the alley off Walnut Street, just west of Fifth Avenue. The Stammtisch will be inside the tent next to a picket fence area that can hold up to 25 people and it will have beer-hall style benches and sponsors will pay $500 for a 2-hour block to get prime seating for the band and the bar.

-German definition of Stammtisch is “regular get-together or “a table in a bar or restaurant which is reserved for the same guests at the same time every day or every week.”  (Definition courtesy

-Daren Lehto is the shop foreman at Germantown Iron and Steel. Far from the days of old with forging, sweat and anvil, Lehto used new technology laser cutting and an autoCAD file to cut the pieces which were heated and raised.

-West Bend’s annual Germanfest runs Aug. 25 – 28 in downtown West Bend.

History photo: Remember the Germanfest mural

For years a hand-painted mural hung on the south side of the old Mehring’s Fish Market building on Walnut Street. The mural was a tribute to Germanfest and the volunteers that made it a success. Do you remember who painted the mural and the frothy beer steins at the entrance to the downtown? The answer next week.



0839, 20 August 2016


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