Boots & Sabers

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0717, 30 Sep 17

Around the Bend by Judy Steffes

Dave Sukawaty inducted into Slinger High School Hall of Fame            By Samantha Sali

On Friday prior to kickoff of the Slinger High School homecoming game, the community of Slinger tipped its hats to Dave Sukawaty inducting him into Slinger High School’s Hall of Fame.

“Dave’s just thrilled to be inducted into the Hall of Fame,” said mom, Eileen Sukawaty. “He loves all sports and he doesn’t miss anything.”

Sukawaty will be inducted as a distinguished service member, chosen specifically because of his passion for supporting the school’s sporting events and his adoration for all the people in the community.

Sukawaty has been involved in sports since he attended Slinger High School in the mid 1970’s. He helped where he could and was manager of the Slinger boys’ basketball state-qualifying team.

Sukawaty graduated in 1978 and is still actively involved in today’s activities.  Sukawaty runs the scoreboard at the little league park, he takes water to the refs during games, and works the entrance gate during football season.

Because of his involvement, everybody in Slinger knows Sukawaty and everyone says he an exuberantly generous person.

“He’s a gem of a man,” said Daren Sievers, Superintendent of Slinger School District. “He’s at every sporting event. He lives for sports. We have him on staff as a light-duty custodian because he lives and breathes Slinger and the Owls. Slinger is the center of his universe and we all support him.”

Slinger High School Principal Phil Ourada echoed those thoughts. “Dave is Slinger. You will not find another person who cares more about our coaches, athletes and our teams than Dave. He is a special person and has a heart of gold!”

Sukawaty has definitely made a huge impact on school staff. Athletic Director Mike Daniels said, “Dave is the epitome of Slinger pride. Everything he does is for Slinger. He’s a great man and a great example of why this community is so supportive of its members.”

The High School’s football and basketball coaches agree. “He’s a good guy. He loves everyone in Slinger and everyone loves him,” Coach Jacklin said. “He’s always in the community doing things for people. Always at games and church and always wants to talk sports. You wouldn’t meet a more upbeat kinda guy. He’s a really positive part of the community and I am just ecstatic he gets to be a part of our Hall of Fame.”

Basketball coach Nate Grimm nodded his head to how impactful Sukawaty has been in the community. “Dave has been a consistent and passionate supporter of Slinger athletics since I came here,” said Grimm. “Dave shows up consistently to all sports and is eager to let you know he’s supporting the team.  Dave will often ask coaches ‘Can we do it? Can we win this week?’  Dave works quietly behind the scenes to build relationships with community members, the athletic directors, and officials involved with Slinger sports.  Dave’s consistent and passionate support for Slinger athletes and coaches makes him a worthy inductee into the Hall of Fame.”


Sukawaty was tremendously enthusiastic when talking about Friday’s induction. “I was really happy and excited about being chosen,” he said. “I support all sports – I see the teams to every game and to the championships. It’s an honor to be in the Hall of Fame.”

This Friday gives the community of Slinger a chance to turn the tables and shower Sukawaty with the love and respect he has shown them.

Two other Hall of Fame inductees were Dr. John Riesch and Tracy Roever.

Property on W. Washington Street has been sold

The parcel of land on W. Washington Street where Pick ‘n Save north is located has been sold.

Records in the city assessor’s office show property owners Gencap West Bend LLC sold the parcel to Exchangeright Net Portfolio 17 LLC for $18,186,840. The property has a 2017 assessment of $5,835,200.

Gencap West Bend LLC originally purchased the property Feb. 17, 2009 for $4 million from WBHG LLC.  Pick ‘n Save north was built in 2009.

On a history note: On July 6, 2004 – West Bend Royale a Wisconsin Limited Partnership sold the property to WBHG LLC for $1,437,600. Prior to that in Sept. 1976 Kassuba Inns a Florida Corp. sold through a quick claim to Behtesda Corp. for $1 million.

Amity Apartment building has been sold

The 36-unit Amity Apartment building has been sold. According to the West Bend city assessor Amity Apartments LLC sold the building at 723 S. Main Street to JNG West Bend LLC for $2,232,000. The 2017 assessed value on the property is $1,771,700.

On a history note: At one time the Amity Apartments were attached to the West Bend School District office. That was later split in a certified survey map.

The apartment section, then owned by Amity Leather, sold in August 1997 to West Bend Economic Development. That property sale was listed as “exempt.” In that same year the building at 735 S. Main Street was sold to the West Bend School District for $900,000.

Then, four years later in December 2001, West Bend Economic Development sold its north end of the building to Amity Apartments for $400,000.

On a side note: The Pizza Ranch purchase of the former Ponderosa building, 2020 W. Washington Street in West Bend, will close this week. The remodel should begin in October.

Wisconsin Supreme Court to hear man’s appeal in murder of Jessie Blodgett                      By Samantha Sali

On July 15, 2013 the city of Hartford was rocked by the news of the brutal murder of Jessie Blodgett, 19, who was found dead in her family’s home. In 2014, Blodgett’s classmate Daniel Bartelt was convicted of killing Jessie and sentenced to life in prison. Today, the saga continues, as Bartelt is pursuing an appeal with the Wisconsin Supreme Court.

Buck Blodgett and his wife, Joy, received a letter two weeks ago from the State. It was the first they heard Bartelt was trying to appeal and seeing those words was “a knife in Joy’s heart,” said Buck Blodgett.

This isn’t the first time Bartelt has appealed his conviction. Last year, Bartelt appealed to the appellate court; it did not rule in his favor. Bartelt is now taking that appeal to the Wisconsin Supreme Court. This is the last step Bartelt can take regarding this specific appeal.

“He’s not appealing his conviction because he’s innocent,” Buck Blodgett said, “He’s appealing his conviction because he’s hoping there will be a ruling in his favor about his Miranda rights, so he can get off even though he is guilty.”

Bartelt claims his Miranda rights were not properly followed the day he voluntarily talked with law enforcement about Jessie’s murder.

“According to the police, the judge in the trial, and the appellate court, ruled there was no violation of Miranda rights,” said Buck Blodgett. “So now we will see what the Supreme Court says.”

Although Bartelt is reopening the wound for the Blodgett family, Buck Blodgett said he has faith in the justice system to make the right decision about the appeal. “I have zero complaints with anything,” he said.  “The Justice Department has been great every step of the way. My only complaint is with Dan and his choice to waste resources that could be better used elsewhere.”

If the appeal is denied, that is not the end of Bartelt trying to get released from prison. “If the Supreme Court does not rule in his favor, he can start over and appeal a different point,” said Buck Blodgett. “Dan has done enough destruction and damage. He ruined and ended one life, but he doesn’t get to do that with mine.”

Buck Blodgett will not attend the appeal, but he has said numerous times, he is still open to connecting with Bartelt if he ever reaches out – given he genuinely admits and apologizes for what he did.

Based on the appeal process Bartelt is pursuing, Buck Blodgett may never see that day but he still speaks of forgiveness of his daughter’s killer.

“What he is doing is extraordinarily hurtful to people and it makes me upset sometimes, but I still forgive him,” he said.  “And I’m going to practice that forgiveness every day because forgiveness and love aren’t feelings, they’re commitments. And I’m committed to forgiving Dan.” The Supreme Court oral argument will be broadcast live at 9:45 a.m. on Nov. 14.

New restaurant to open in Slinger                                                            By Ruth Marks

A new restaurant will be opening in Slinger next month as Tony Herrera, owner of Polanco Mexican Restaurant & Cantina, opens a pizza place at 140 Kettle Moraine Drive North across from Bergmann Appliance & TV.

The bright yellow and green building was previously home to Heros Sandwich Shoppe, which opened in October 2010 and closed a couple weeks ago.

Prior to that it was Slinger’s original location for Subway and before that it was a gas station.

The new pizza place will offer pickup and delivery, online ordering, and a few tables for indoor dining. Herrera said due to the small size of the building, there will be a limited menu but additional selections will be unveiled once the eatery opens.

Herrera is leasing the building. “I was driving past, saw it was available and liked it because it was on Highway 144 and close to both Highway 175 and I41,” he said. The front half of the formerly bright yellow cement block building was painted red this weekend. Herrera said he’s tossing around a couple names for the business but so far nothing is set in stone.

Update & tidbits

On Saturday, Sept. 30 the West Bend VFW Post sponsors Cub Scout Pack 3791 will hold a Flag Retirement Ceremony” at 10 a.m. at the VFW Post, 260 Sand Drive. The public is invited.

-The Kettle Moraine Symphony opens its season Sunday, Oct. 1.

Interfaith Caregivers is holding its 2017 Campfire Tea fundraiser on Sunday, Oct. 8 from 1:30 p.m. – 4 p.m. at the Prairie Center at West Bend Mutual. This year’s event features celebrity waiters serving wonderful tea and scrumptious appetizers. There will also be an amazing silent auction, the very popular purse auction, and a 50/50 raffle. Tickets are $35 per person.

Stop in and check out the transformation of the former Ol Tyme Cleaners, 910 S. Main Street in West Bend, as it has morphed into a nurse staffing company. Alliance Services, Inc. specializes in finding nursing jobs for various health care facilities. There will be an Open House on Friday, Oct. 6 from 5 p.m. – 7 p.m.

-Bob’s Main Street Auto is hosting a free Wheels for Women car care clinic on Thursday, Oct, 5 at 5:30 p.m. at 1200 N. Main Street in West Bend. Learn everything you need to know about your vehicle during this hands-on clinic.   

On Wednesday, Oct. 4 the fall lecture series at UW-WC will focus on the United Kingdom. Graeme Reid, the Director of Collections at the Museum of Wisconsin Art, presents a Survey of Scottish photography. The 6:30 p.m. lecture is free and open to the public.

– New Perspective Senior Living – West Bend, formerly Lighthouse of West Bend, set a new record for Washington County donations to the Alzheimer’s Association of Southeast Wisconsin. Since the beginning of the year it has donated almost $15,000 to the local Alzheimer’s Association chapter and close to $50,000 since 2012.

– Dress in your Halloween best and trick or treat in downtown West Bend during Fall Fest, Oct. 13. Yup…. that’s Friday the 13th. A new addition to Fall Fest this year is Pumpkin Bowling. Roll a hand-sized pumpkin, knock down pins and win prizes.

-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.

Children’s Hospital opens pediatric clinic at Cast Iron

Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin | West Bend Pediatrics is moving into the first level of the Cast Iron building, 611 Veteran Avenue. The clinic is relocating from its site on W. Washington Street and Shepherds Drive. Nurse Chelsea Kandel said the location is closer to the downtown and will provide more visibility. The clinic on Shepherds Drive opened in November 2015.

The location in the Cast Iron building will feature three doctors providing pediatric care. During Tuesday’s Plan Commission meeting a site plan for an urban design exception for a wall sign above the second story window sill at 611 Veterans Avenue will be considered.

Grace Braeger says it’s time to sell 57LADY

After 60 years behind the wheel of the same vehicle, a 1957 Chevy Bel Air, owner Grace Braeger said it’s time to sell it. “Sixty years was my goal,” said Braeger. It was 1957 when Braeger traded in her old car, put $2,250 on the counter and drove away from King Braeger in Milwaukee with her black Chevy with whitewall tires and rich red interior.

Over the years Braeger could be seen motoring around West Bend and she was an avid participant at local car shows. In August 2011 Braeger got some time in the media spotlight when she used her warranty and to get another new muffler for her vehicle.  That ’57 Chevy actually has two mufflers and Midas took pride in honoring the warranty. Braeger even has the original warranty from June 15, 1962.


0717, 30 September 2017


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