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0807, 16 Sep 17

Around the Bend by Judy Steffes

Henry Sausen Jr. of Hartford is one of five veterans from Washington County on today’s Stars & Stripes Honor Flight.

Sausen Jr., 86, said he knew he was going to be drafted. “My dad took me to the bus and I said I was going to volunteer for the Marine Corps and my dad said ‘kid are you crazy?'” said Sausen. “I’d probably seen too many John Wayne movies.”

It was 1951 and Sausen was living in Shiocton. At 21 years old he was working the family farm when he went to basic training and then moved to an Army base in Fort Riley, Kansas.

“After four weeks if you weren’t cutting the grades you were gone,” said Sausen. “I managed to make it eight weeks and then they shipped us to Fort Lejeune, North Carolina.”

Sausen served on the destroyer U.S.S. Lloyd and work in reconnaissance.  Although most of his unit went overseas to serve in the Korean War, Sausen had only two months left in service and remained in the states.

After the service Sausen pursued a career in cheese making. At 24 years old he was encouraged to go to school at University of Wisconsin. He went into systems automation in the dairy and food industry.

Sausen has been to Washington D.C. before while in service.  His son John will be his guardian.

Others on today’s Honor Flight to Washington D.C. include Korean War veteran and Morse code interceptor Dennis Bingen of Kewaskum,  Vietnam War Navy veteran Thomas Gentz of Germantown, Vietnam War Army veteran Dennis Muench of West Bend and Korean War Army combat veteran Erv Wicklander of Colgate.

Archbishop Jerome Listecki helps St. Mary’s celebrate 160 years

Hundreds of people filled the pews at St. Mary’s Parish in Barton on Sunday, Sept. 10 for a Mass with Archbishop Jerome Listecki as the church on Jefferson Street celebrated its 160th anniversary.

Dressed in green vestments with a violet zucchetto the Archbishop talked about “coming together as a community” and “trust.”

“What we have today is because of the sacrifices made by so many in the past,” said Listecki.

Whitey Uelmen has been a member at St. Mary’s since 2000 and his family has been part of the parish since 1969. “This was really a neat celebration and Rev. Nathan did a great job putting this together,” said Uelmen. “We were really, truly honored to have the Archbishop attend this ceremony and put his blessing on the church.”

Hannah Helmbrecht, an eighth grader at Badger Middle School, was one of six servers at the Mass. “We signed up and had a few practices,” said Helmbrecht.  “I was really honored to be able to serve with the Archbishop. This was just really, really cool.”

Rita Dricken, 89, was baptized and married at St. Mary’s Parish. “There was a lot of community feeling when I started with the church,” Dricken said. “The Archbishop had a wonderful understanding of why we’re celebrating and he gave a lot of credit to the founders.”

During Mass the altar at St. Mary’s was crowded with familiar faces including Rev. Enrique Hernandez, Rev. Justin Lopina, Rev. Nathan Reesman and Rev. Patrick Heppe from Holy Angels Parish in West Bend.

During communion the choir sang “One Bread One Body.” After Mass the Archbishop thanked everyone for their participation including the servers, ushers, choir and the Knights of Columbus.

West Bend teen donates stuffed animals to St. Joe’s Hospital

Savanna Rose Bonlender hobbled through the emergency room doors at St. Joseph’s Hospital in the Town of Polk today with a brace on her knee and carrying huge plastic bags crammed full of stuffed animals.

It was the culmination of the 3rd annual Savanna Rose Teddy Bear drive from the West Bend Farmers’ Market.

For the past few years Savanna Rose, 17, has been collecting tips from her performance at the downtown market and using the money to purchase teddy bears and stuffed animals for Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin. Savanna heard there was a need for stuffed animals in the ER at St. Joseph’s/Froedtert in West Bend and this year she chose to donate to both hospitals.

On Wednesday afternoon, joined by Jerry Beine from Modern Woodmen, Savannah Rose was greeted by nurses from St. Joes who helped bring the gifts into the hospital.

“I am hoping to become a nurse practitioner and I really enjoy helping others and I eventually would like to help people medically but is the best I can do getting into a hospital setting,” said Savanna.

In her first year Savanna collected about $500 to buy toys and art supplies for Children’s Hospital. This year she raised more than double that collecting $806 in three hours. Jerry Beine of Modern Woodmen of America said he would like to help and chipped in a $300 donation to raise the total to $1,106 this year.

Anne Zuern is manager of Ambulatory Surgical Services at Froedtert & the Medical College of Wisconsin. “This is just a wonderful donation,” said Zuern. “Especially from someone so young… you just don’t see that a lot.”

Savanna will be starting college next year and majoring in nursing with hopes of becoming a pediatric nurse practitioner.

Update on Pizza Ranch

It’s probably the most frequent question these days…. “What’s the latest on Pizza Ranch?”

The last update was Aug. 2 when the West Bend Plan Commission unanimously approved a site plan for architectural building changes and minor parking lot alterations to the location, 2020 W. Washington Street. That site is the old Ponderosa location owned by Steve Kilian.

“There’s no limit to the amount of congratulations we can give you and hopefully this is the one that makes it happen,” said Mayor Kraig Sadownikow during the August meeting.

Matt and Stacy Gehring are the local owners of Pizza Ranch West Bend LLC. Kilian confirmed during a phone call Wednesday that they will close on the sale of the building in the next two weeks. Kilian indicated the deal is on track and was confident the sale will close.

So far there’s no timetable on how long the remodel will take, however the Gehrings indicated it will be quicker to remodel than start with new construction. Stay tuned!

Wedding gifts stolen from Fillmore Turner Hall


The Washington County Sheriff is investigating a theft following a wedding Saturday night at Fillmore Turner Hall. According to the sheriff the couple from Newburg, Lance Rohan and Jennifer Falter, got married on Saturday, Sept. 9, and presents from the wedding were loaded into a vehicle.


It is believed someone entered the unlocked vehicle just after midnight. Jenny said their gift box was roughly a 3.5-foot x 2.5-foot chest. It was heavy and incredibly ostentatious.


“At the end of the night our sober best man carried it out to our parent’s vehicle. It was the absolute last thing loaded, and other gifts were moved on top of it,” she said. “Our parents stepped inside the door to say goodbye with the vehicle parked less than 10 feet away, and in less than five minutes their vehicle was opened, the other gifts were tossed off the top, and the chest was removed. It was not taken due to a lack of care.


“We would like to be clear that our reason for agreeing to speak with media is not because we would like any monetary handouts. We DO NOT have a Go Fund Me page and have absolutely no interest in starting one. Bad things happen and you deal with it and move on.


Our only motivation is that we would like to know if this has happened to anyone else (besides the Mayville wedding), and if so, we would really appreciate them reaching out to us.


This is the second time within about a month wedding gifts were stolen from a vehicle during a reception. Last month, August 19, in neighboring Dodge County gifts were stolen from a truck as a wedding reception wrapped up at the Mayville Golf Course.  Mayville Police are offering a $1,500 reward.


More than 80 customers scammed at local grocery   


A 19-year-old West Bend man is facing felony charges in Washington County Court in connection with allegedly stealing money/identity from the store or customers and then converting it into gift cards for himself.


The criminal complaint alleges Alexander Deaton worked at Pick ‘n Save north and used the company’s “make it right” return policy to enter in fraudulent returns and swap it out for gift cards. West Bend police said about 80 customer complaints have been filed.


One victim, who prefers to remain anonymous, said she spent two days at her bank trying to straighten out the damage to her account. The manager at Pick ‘n Save confirmed the scam and confirmed the employee has been terminated.


According to the criminal complaint Deaton allegedly found a way to complete returns without items actually being returned and he would do fraudulent returns and put the money obtained from the return on Amazon and MasterCard gift cards and that each gift card had a different value. Deaton did not have permission from anyone to take the money from Pick ‘n Save North


The complaint said Deaton told police he started stealing money from Pick ‘n Save sometime in late March 2017 to about July 7, 2017 and he would enter in returns and put the money in to Amazon or MasterCard gift cards and he would do this twice a week. He would also do returns and get cash back. Deaton said he accumulated about $30,000 while doing this and spent a good portion of the money on random things.


The defendant used the “make it right” program code at multiple registers some showing he entered approximately $3195.25 under the paper bag refund. He would enter in multiple paper bag refunds and some transactions and then cash out and remove whatever total he had entered and then place that amount of cash in his pocket.


Deaton is due in Judge Todd Martens court for arraignment on October 10, 2017.


Menchie’s Frozen Yogurt to close in West Bend


Quite a few changes with regard to frozen dairy treats in the West Bend area over the past few months/years. Remember when West Bend had two Dairy Queens? Those stores closed in 2014.

A couple weeks ago the Moehr family transitioned Toucan Custard to new owners and now Menchie’s Frozen Yogurt is closing.


A note was posted on the door of the store on Thursday, 1733 S. Main Street in West Bend.


“It is with sadness we inform you we have to close the store location permanently effective September 17. We have been negotiating new lease terms with the landlord for the past 6 to 8 weeks and they informed us as of last night they are no longer willing to move forward with the terms we agreed upon. We want to give the public as much notice so you may come in to redeem any coupons gift cards etc. These will still all be valid at all the other Menchie’s locations.”


Menchie’s Frozen Yogurt and its predecessor have had a tough go of it in West Bend.  Cherry Berry Self-Serve Frozen Yogurt opened in West Bend in February 2013. That switched over to Menchie’s Frozen Yogurt in January 2015 and now Menchie’s is closing up shop.


This afternoon Shannon Lehnerz and Brooke Tilidetzke were the only customers in the store. They were both a little bummed the store would be closing. “We’ve been coming here since it was Cherry Berry,” said Lehnerz. “It’s sad.”


Kettle Moraine Symphony preps for 2017-2018 season


A lively Thursday evening at Our Saviors Lutheran in West Bend as the Kettle Moraine Symphony held its weekly practice. Dr. Richard Hynson is the new director this year.


According to the KMS website, “Hynson is well-known in the Milwaukee area as the director of the Bel Canto Chorus and Orchestra. He has contributed to the greater Milwaukee community as conductor, published composer and teacher for the past 30 years.


His past conducting roles include serving as music director of the Milwaukee Chamber Orchestra from 2006 to 2014, music director for Gathering on the Green from 2008 to 2013 and as music director and conductor of the Waukegan (IL) Symphony Orchestra from 1990 to 1998.


Hynson’s local guest conducting engagements have included performances with the Milwaukee Symphony, Skylight Opera Theatre, and the Racine, Sheboygan and Waukesha Symphony Orchestras. He has also conducted numerous other ensembles nationally and internationally.


For Kettle Moraine Symphony, Hynson has created programs audiences will not want to miss, and the orchestra is eager to begin the 2017-18 season with him at the helm.


The KMS season begins Oct. 1.


Paying tribute to historian Irene Blau of Germantown


On Saturday, Sept. 16 at 3 p.m. an exhibit will be unveiled by the Germantown Historical Society to honor Irene Blau and her 35 years of service. Blau has been actively involved in the community since moving to Germantown in 1963. Blau will be honored during a ceremony at the Christ Church starting at 3 p.m. There will be light refreshments and at 5 p.m. there will be the traditional ringing of the church bell that used to call farmers in from the fields marking the end of the work day. Saturday’s event is free and open to the public.


No Halloween Express in West Bend this year


Halloween Express will not have a store in West Bend this season. Owner James M. Purvis Sr. said the former Walgreens location at S.Main and Decorah is under contract by Kwik Trip. The good news is there are two locations in the Washington County area. One is at 1520 E. Sumner Street /Hwy 60 in Hartford. The store is next to Sal’s Pizza and Piggly Wiggly. The other shop is in Menomonee Falls at N96W18930 County Line Road next to World Market and Petco. It’s eight blocks west on County Line Road and Hwy 41/45.  Purvis said there’s also no Halloween Express in Fond du Lac this year.


Cobblestone Hotel breaks ground in Hartford


Groundbreaking in Hartford this week as Cobblestone Hotel celebrated its newest addition. The hotel on Highway 60/ 110 E. Sumner Street will be built along with Wissota Chop House restaurant.


Jeremy Griesbach, a 1992 graduate of Hartford Union High School, is the president of development with BriMark Builders, LLC a division of Cobblestone Builders. He felt there’s always been a missing piece to the hotel puzzle in Hartford.


“For the past 20 years of so I’ve always thought we were missing that business hotel in town and that quality lodging,” Griesbach said. “We were always losing those people to the surrounding communities and anytime somebody doesn’t stay here they’re not eating here or buying gas here and now we’re finally getting something done.”


There were a number of local business leaders that gathered in the empty lot on Park Avenue across from the Jack Russell Memorial Library including Hartford mayor Tim Michalak, city administrator Steve Volkert, and Hartford Chamber executive director Scott Hanke who said the development is definitely a “shot in the arm for the community.”


“This especially helps with tourism as we now have places to stay and play as well as another dining option and 60 more rooms,” he said.


The city of Hartford will give Cobblestone Builders an incentive of $650,000 when hotel occupancy is approved. Cobblestone basically purchased the property for $1. Griesbach said their deal with the city includes a commitment of “a minimum of $110,000 in property taxes a year for the next 10 years.”


Brian Wogernese is with Cobblestone Builders. “Since 2015 we’ve been talking about adding more lodging for business clientele here in Hartford,” said Wogernese.


City administrator Volkert, dressed in a brilliant orange tie, said “this is a good first step to development of the TID.”


“This will hopefully lead to more development because it’s like keeping up with the Jonses in the downtown; hopefully this steamrolls,” said Volkert.


Contractors have already broken ground on the project, which is just a block east of The Mineshaft. Wogernese said they’re working to get the “footings in before winter and start framing.” The project should be finished by summer 2018.


Updates & tidbits

– Kevin Steiner – CEO of West Bend Mutual and 2017 Campaign Chair, and 400+ volunteers from more than 30 local organizations will kick off the United Way of Washington County’s annual campaign on Thursday, Sept. 21 from 3 p.m. – 7 p.m. at the Washington County Fair Park. Volunteers will be packaging 2,500 personal care (hygiene) kits for distribution through local food pantries, churches, schools, and nonprofit organizations.

– Three students from the West Bend School District scored super high on the state of Wisconsin PSAT exam. The smarty pants include Jacob Beine, Liam Hupfer and Olivia McClain who have been named semifinalists for the National Merit Scholarship.

– Delta Defense LLC, based in West Bend, and the City of West Bend received a Business Retention & Expansion Award at the 3rd annual Community and Economic Development Awards banquet, held at Edgewater Hotel in Madison. This award recognizes efforts in which a community successfully mobilized to retain and/or expand a business. Winning projects demonstrate extensive cross-community collaboration and the ability to adapt and respond quickly to unforeseen events within the last three years.

– On Sept. 23 at 1 p.m. the Kettle Moraine Ice Center and Washington County Youth Hockey Association are sponsoring a Girls Try Hockey Free Event for ages 4-14. All gear will be provided; many coaches and older skaters will be at the rink, ready and eager to help. This is a great opportunity for girls to experience firsthand a featured winter Olympics sport with no monetary commitment.

-The 19th Annual Richfield Historical Society Thresheree is Sept. 16 and 17 from 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. There will be wonderful family-fun activities including a live auction, tractor parade, and kids can build a scarecrow.

-One of the largest car shows in Washington County is Sunday, Sept. 17 in Kewaskum. Muscle cars, vintage, hot rods and racers. The show runs 7 a.m. – 3 p.m. and is in downtown Kewaskum, just to the east of Fond du Lac Avenue.

-A full lineup of music and outdoor fun is ahead as the Jackson Park Beer Garden gets underway September 27 – October 1 at Jackson Park. The festivities will run from 4:30 p.m. – 9 p.m.

-Washington County’s annual Clean Sweep is Saturday, Oct. 7 from 8 a.m. – noon at the Washington County Highway Facility, 900 Lang Street.

-The West Bend VFW Post 1393 is looking for a bar manager, full-time and part-time bartenders. Please send resumes to PO Box 982 West Bend, WI 53095

– Crossroads Music Fest is Saturday, Sept. 23. This year’s free Christian music event is being held at Hartford Town Hall on County Road K in Hartford. From noon – 7 p.m. there will be live music, food, a silent auction, and lots of family-friendly activities.

On a history note

A bit of a face lift for the old firehouse in Barton as the building from 1921 gets a new paint job. Some neighbors were concerned whether the Build, Boost & Buy Barton ad will return to the side of the building, 1411 N. Main Street. Building owner Terry Vrana took time Monday night to trace the ad on a big piece of plastic. Vrana then signed off on a note on the side of the building. Vrana said the Build, Boost & Buy in Barton will be back. On a history note: Good Shepherd Lutheran Church recently broke ground on a new addition for the church/school on Indiana Avenue and Decorah Road. When the church first started it held its services in the firehouse in Barton.



0807, 16 September 2017


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