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1507, 24 Jun 17

Around the Bend by Judy Steffes

Neighbors along Hwy 144 ask for safety improvements

There were about 30 people at Padway’s Supper Club on Friday afternoon as neighbors gathered with state officials to discuss the speed limit on State Highway 144.

The safety meeting was prompted by those living along the Highway who had concerns about the safety of people crossing the road and the kids crossing to get to the piers on Big Cedar Lake.

The objective of the meeting was to ask the State Department of Transportation to help improve safety for pedestrians by reducing the speed from 35 miles per hour to 25 mph on a just a small .7 mile section of road between the Cedar Lake Yacht Club and the curve to the south, just past Padways.

There were four representatives from the State Department of Transportation including John Haug and traffic supervisor Stacey Pierce. Washington County Sheriff’s Captain Bruce Theusch was also in attendance along with a member of the Washington County Highway Department.

State Assembly Rep. Bob Gannon said his office worked with the State DOT to put up radar in the Padway’s parking lot. “That happened in March 2017 and they found the speeds were not excessive,” said Gannon. “The state was pretty cooperative and said they were willing to put up radar again.”

There was discussion about placing a sign with flashing lights in the area to notify motorists to adhere to the 35 mph speed limit. There is a speed change in that area as it drops from 45 mph to 35 mph as you drive south toward the Cedar Lake Yacht Club.

State officials did acknowledge, according to Gannon, that the road is not built to state standards. “But you have to be careful what you ask for because if that road is upgraded then it would take a lot of the front yards of property owners along Hwy 144,” he said.

Data from DOT accident reports showed there were not enough accidents in that area to initiate change. “Seventy-five percent of accidents in that section are property damage only,” said Gannon. “That tells them it’s not the most serious area in the state.”

Some of those in attendance offered other suggestions such as installing speed bumps, putting in a bike path and even allowing the county to take over the road. “There were a lot of ideas shared but the DOT took time to explain some of the ramifications of each of those ideas,” Gannon said.

Neighbors who left the meeting were pretty satisfied with the response from the DOT. “They were hopeful,” said Gannon. “The state also made it clear they would try other corrective measures before resorting to dropping the speed limit.”

Pierce from the DOT said if they were to put in flashing lights around the speed-limit signs that would take about two to three weeks.

On a side note: All state highways start at the speed limit of 55 mph and then there has to be justification for the DOT to raise that limit.

City of Hartford Plan Commission to review 4-story hotel

During Monday’s Plan Commission meeting in Hartford officials will review a proposal for a new 60-room Cobblestone Hotel & Suites. The four-story hotel will be at 110 E. Sumner Street (Highway 60) and will feature a restaurant, bar, outdoor dining, exercise room and pool.

Earlier this year the city of Hartford bought three adjacent parcels specifically so it could have a large enough area to develop a hotel. Part of the development agreement is Bismark Builders, LLC will buy the combined parcel at 110 Sumner Street for $600,000 and then within five days of closing the city will reimburse it $599,999.

Monday’s meeting gets underway at 5:30 p.m. in the council chambers at Hartford City Hall.

American Towman ceremony coming through West Bend


American Towman is putting on its largest campaign ever to promote awareness to the Slow Down Move-Over law and pay tribute to the emergency workers who have sacrificed their lives on America’s roadways (


On Thursday, July 6 a custom-built casket will pass through West Bend. The “Spirit Casket” is being transported from the west coast to the east coast by over 300 towing companies.


The Threshold, Inc. receives Founders’ Service Award

John Bloor, executive director of The Threshold, Inc., accepted the Founders’ Service Award presented this week by the West Bend Community Foundation.

“This is a very nice surprise,” said Bloor.

The West Bend Community Foundation looked at non-profit organizations in Washington County, the services provided, the longevity and what the organization means to the community.

“We have been recipients of some funding from the Foundation in the past. I’m sure there are other worthy non-profits in the community but this means a lot,” said Bloor.

The Threshold, Inc. has been in place 54 years making a difference in the lives of 1,000 people with disabilities each year in Washington County.

Kevin Steiner is chairman of the Foundation’s grant committee. “This year we awarded about $150,000 to 16 organizations; the Founders’ Service Award is made in honor of Cliff Nelson and Doug Ziegler,” he said.

“The Threshold is a pillar of the community and a good role model for other non-profits; it’s amazing the spectrum of services they provide.”

West Bend Mutual works directly with The Threshold, Inc. and its Project Search.

“We all should be proud The Threshold is part of this community,” said Steiner.

The award reads, “In sincere appreciation for outstanding vision, dedication, service, and commitment to the community of Washington County.”

Remembering Ron Krauss from WBKV and WTKM in Hartford

Ronald “Ron” Krauss, who had a radio career at WBKV in West Bend and WTKM in Hartford died last week, June 16, at the age of 76.

Krauss graduated from Marquette University High School 1959. He married Donna Stofflet in 1963. The Krauss’ moved to Germantown where Ron worked in and later owned the family grocery business, Krauss Food Ranch.

Later in life, Ron moved back into his early passion of radio and was a talk show host and announcer at both WBKV and WTKM for over 30 years. Neighbors chimed in on social media when they heard the news offering their memories.

Tricia Tennies Held – Ron could recite a recipe like no one else on Housewives’ Exchange!

Claudia Weiss -I ❤ listening to Ron. He reminded me of Gordie from WTMJ.

Jed Dolnick – I had the pleasure of working with Ron when I was a part-timer at WBKV. His friendliness on the air wasn’t an act; that’s how he was.

Anita Zimmerman – My deepest sympathy to the family I always enjoyed listening to Ron with the recipes

Mary Wenzlaff – Such a treasure to our community….will never be forgotten!

Alexandria Scherr – He was such a gentleman.

Kim Zimdahl – Thank you Ron, for so many years of enjoyable radio.

Kiwanis Early Risers to dedicated park bench to Al Moehr

The West Bend Early Risers Kiwanis will dedicate a bench at Regner Park on Thursday, June 29 to Al Moehr. The dedication with the Moehr family will take place at 8:30 a.m. The dedication is being held prior to the July 4 Kiwanis Duck Derby. The bench for Moehr will be next to the Duck Derby section of the river. Moehr was a huge supporter of the derby and sold quite a few ducks from Toucan Custard for the event. Al Moehr, 70, died at home Friday, Dec. 23, 2016.

Third Starbucks in West Bend may open in mid-July

It’ll be the third Starbucks in West Bend….once it opens and according to contractors that’s still several weeks away yet. Inside the new location on 18th Avenue the flooring still needs to go in as well as a sink or three. The outside looks great with blacktop on the driveway and the little patio seating area. On a side note:  If I said mid to late July for an opening date I don’t think I’d be too far off.  Calls have been placed to Starbucks for a hard opening date. The other two Starbucks in town are on Paradise Drive and inside the new Meijer on S. Main Street.

Richfield woman to compete in national pageant


Danika Tramburg of Richfield is the current Miss Wisconsin United States. A graduate of Living Word Lutheran High School in Jackson, Tramburg will be competing at Miss United States Organization’s National Pageant on July 8 in Orlando, Florida.

IRS fraud calls bothering neighbors in Washington County


The IRS fraud phone calls are hitting Washington County again. The phone number they’re calling from is a 209-297-2847.


The conversation basically goes something like, “You have to call in 24 hours or the local cops will be coming to get you.” The Washington County Sheriff says there’s nothing they can do and just disregard the calls.



Keith Franz from Venerable Fire Collection has died

Keith F. Franz, 87, Town of Polk, passed away June 14, 2017. Keith was born on July 9, 1929 in Waukesha to the late Delbert “Doc” and Ruth (Schmid). Keith owned Boehck Equipment Co. from 1982 until it closed in 2001.

Keith was Chief of the Cedar Lake Fire Department and past President of the Washington County Fire Chiefs, International Fire Buff Associates, Society for the Preservation and Appreciation of Antique Fire Apparatus of America, the Milwaukee Fire Bell Club, Fire Museum Network, the Venerable Fire Collection, Boehck Equipment Company, and Associated Equipment Distributors.

Keith served as Executive Secretary of the Wisconsin State Fire Chiefs Association. He was active in the Masonic Lodge, Scottish Rite, and DeMolay. He served on the board of the Cedar Lakes Conservation Foundation, the Milwaukee Fire Historical Society, and the Wisconsin Automotive Museum. In addition, he was an active member of the Friends of the Maltese Cross and his church.

Keith’s family will greet relatives and friends on Sunday, July 9, 2017 from 1 p.m. – 4 p.m. at the Eernisse Funeral Home, 1167 Washington Ave. Cedarburg, with a Fire Department walk-thru at 2 p.m. A Christian Science memorial service will follow. In lieu of flowers, contributions to the Venerable Fire Collection, Inc. (4349 Hillside Road, Slinger, WI 53086) are appreciated.

Updates & tidbits


-On Saturday June 24, the Harley-Davidson dealership in West Bend is hosting its annual Honor Flight Ride to raise donations for the Stars and Stripes Honor Flight. VFW Post 1393 in West Bend will be selling brats and hamburgers at the Harley-Davidson dealership that day.

– The next Cars and Coffee at Auto Service Center,   is Sunday July 9 from 8 a.m. – 11 a.m.

– Tommy Schwai spent Saturday afternoon celebrating his 60th birthday with about 100 of his closest friends and family. “It’s just another day,” said Schwai while welcoming handshakes and hugs. Nobody left Tommy’s party hungry as there were plenty of homemade brats, fabulous salads and heavenly desserts. Tommy’s favorite was the pineapple upside down cake.  “We’re not going to blow out the candles because they’re sitting on the counter at home,” said Tommy’s wife Kathy.

-The annual Cedar Community Butterfly Release is Saturday, Aug. 12 at Cedar Ridge Campus. This fundraising event benefits Cherished Moments, Cedar Community at Home’s hospice program, and helps with the purchase of a new pontoon boat for residents. Reservations are $25 and the deadline is Friday, July 28.

-The Kettle Moraine YMCA will hold its 16th annual Golf Outing Friday, Aug. 14 at the West Bend Country Club. All proceeds benefit the YMCA’s Annual Campaign. The Kettle Moraine YMCA provides over $325,000 in financial assistance, helping a total of 1,600 individuals, which is one in six of our members. Register today – a foursome is $700.

– The Kewaskum Area Chamber of Commerce is gearing up for its 2017 Party on the Pavement, on Tuesday, June 27 starting at 10 a.m. Money raised from vendor booths and beer tent go to support Kewaskum Area Community Projects.

 Amazing Ride for Alzheimer’s is on the road


This year’s Amazing Ride for Alzheimer’s bicycle tour is on the road to the Netherlands. Please log onto for updates. Cheers!


1507, 24 June 2017


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