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0717, 27 Jan 18

Around the Bend by Judy Steffes

Honda dealership finds a location in West Bend


There’s a Honda car dealership coming to West Bend.  On Monday the West Bend Common Council was scheduled to approve annexation of 43.2 acres from the Town of West Bend so development could move forward. That meeting has been rescheduled.


Karl Schmidt, CEO with Morrie’s Automotive Group of Minneapolis, was officially awarded “the point” for the Honda dealership in April 2017.


Shortly thereafter Schmidt flew to West Bend to scout a location for the new store.  Honda of West Bend or Morrie’s Honda were names Schmidt batted about last year.


The property search proved a bit more challenging than first expected.


“Typically property owners are a bit opportunistic and they want twice as much as what they originally paid for their property,” he said.  “I can’t blame them.”


Schmidt finally honed in on a parcel on the west side of Highway 33 and Scenic Drive.

“I like the corner and visibility and it was kind of serendipitous because we flew into the West Bend Airport and one of the people at the airport, his family owns this land,” he said of the Devenport family.


The past few months have been filled with working with the Wisconsin Conservation Congress and the Department of Natural Resources.


City administrator Jay Shambeau said the annexation is necessary so the property can hook up the utilities, like sewer and water.


“This is a 40-acre property involved in the attachment and it’s part of the boundary agreement with the Town of West Bend,” said Shambeau. “Upon request that land has to be annexed to the city of West Bend.”


The property is currently owned by Devenport Family Limited Partnership #1. According to Washington County the parcel was purchased in 1988 by Douglas Devenport. In 1996 it was transferred to Craig Devenport and the Devenport Family Limited Partnership #1.


The 2017 assessment is for two parcels. One is 37.2 acres and its assessed value is $217,700. The second, much smaller parcel closer to the Highway is about a 3-acre strip valued at $7,700.

The council meeting gets underway at 6:30 p.m. in the council chambers at City Hall.   


Schmidt said, moving forward, the design is pretty straight forward and hopefully they can break ground in a couple months. “We’re already in the process of designing the building with a manufacturer and what we’re really working through right now is the annexation and being able to proceed,” he said.


Should the annexation move through Schmidt expects to start building in late spring or early summer. “We’d like to be open yet this year,” he said. “We’ll see how the plan goes.”


Celebrate Catholic Schools Week across Washington County


Catholic Schools Week will begin Monday across Washington County as schools participate in Mass, a Catholic Quiz Bowl, and naming the winner of the Mother Cabrini award.


In an effort to celebrate the week we reached out graduates of parochial schools to get their reflections on how a Catholic School education impacted their life.


Ann Enright of Boltonville: I attended Holy Trinity Catholic School, Kewaskum, from 1951-1959.  Our teachers were nuns from the order of The Sisters of St. Agnes. Their mother house was and still is in Fond du lac, WI.


There were four classrooms with two grades per room.  The nuns were pious about their faith, well educated and loved their jobs. They expected respect and students to work up to their abilities, no less.


Demanding quality personal effort was a motivator for me which I have continued to apply in my careers as wife, mother, real estate broker and citizen.


English, History and Geography were my favorite subjects.  High School classes were a breeze because I had such a good foundation.  I think I can still diagram a sentence and say most of the Gettysburg Address thanks to those nuns.


Religion was taught with enthusiasm and that enthusiasm has remained with me to the present.  I am still learning and taking Bible classes.


Daily activities at St. Frances Cabrini and Holy Angels School.


If your school would like to submit its schedule of events email it to

Schedule of events at Holy Angels School in West Bend


Beginning January 28, Holy Angels School in West Bend will join schools throughout the country in celebrating Catholic Schools Week. Over and above the excellent curriculum, Holy Angels emphasizes the Catholic faith, strong moral values, Catholic social teaching and service, a sense of community, and respect for others.


There is also a “pre-week” activity planned by Parent Activities Committee on Saturday, Jan. 27. All are welcome. During Catholic Schools Week, the school will celebrate many of the important aspects of our school which make it special…academics, faith formation, extra-curriculars, community building, family involvement.

The week’s activities will include:

+ Saturday (January 27th) – CSW Kickoff Celebration (5:00-7:30pm)

+ Sunday –  Open House (10:30am-12:30pm);  Kindergarten–K3, K4, K5-RoundUp (10:45am)

+ Monday –  Morning Assembly with Mr. Peace (how to make a more peaceful world)

+ Tuesday – Catholic Quiz Bowl (8:25 – primary, 9:10 – intermediate, 10:30 – jr high)

+ Wednesday – Buddies Service Day…to honor veterans not able to make the Honor Flight to DC

+ Thursday – WB Catholic Schools Mass at Cabrini

+ Friday – Student/Faculty Basketball Game (1:40pm).

The Kindergarten RoundUp on Sunday will be held in the Cedar Room of the school.  Parents interested in more information about Holy Angels are encouraged to attend.  Registration materials will be available at the event.  Holy Angels is located at 230 N. Eighth Avenue.


Slinger Junior Girl Scout Troop raises awareness for Foster Care Program


Junior Girl Scout Troop No. 6244 made up of fifth graders from Addison Elementary School in Slinger worked toward earning their bronze award (first of three levels in the Girl Scout program).


The girls chose to raise awareness for the Foster Care Program in Washington County. They just completed their project this week and handed over 50 new backpacks filled with special gifts (pillows, journals, fidget spinners, and homemade pillow cases made by the girls) for kids in the program.


The girls hope was that the new backpacks would be able to replace the garbage bags kids normally use and provide hope and a smile as they transition to the foster home or back to their permanent home. The girls used a video to raise awareness via social media and helped bring in all the amazing donations.


Changes ahead for Action in Jackson


There’s a bit of revamping for this year’s 48th annual Action in Jackson.

Organizers have tweaked the lineup and the annual festival will be trimmed to two days and the Sunday parade has been cancelled.


“We’ve been having it the second weekend in June for quite a long time and West Bend High School changed its graduation for both East and West to the Sunday of our event,” said Jackson Recreation Director Kelly Valentino.


Last year, the coinciding events devastated the Sunday parade.


“I lost so many units including the bands and anybody who has family that’s a graduate of East or West got pulled out of the parade.”  Valentino said it was just “not good for our event and I had about two dozen units last year drop just two days before the parade.”


Organizers had been talking about how to can add new life to the event. Valentino said Action in Jackson has seen change before. “It started out as a one-day event and the dates have changed, so this isn’t anything super crazy off the grid,” she said.


Listening to feedback from neighbors this year’s Action in Jackson will feature a fireworks show on Saturday night. “We decided we can’t have a parade and have fireworks … so this year we’ve opted for fireworks,” she said.


“Once we get through the event and have the fireworks I think that will knock down any negative comments.”


Valentino said Action in Jackson will be more manageable as a two-day event. “It takes a lot of work,” she said. “It’s been a struggle to get a core group of volunteers and after three days we’re just shot.”


For the staff, it’s a quick turnaround as The Jackson Beer Garden starts two days later.

Action in Jackson will be held, June 8 and 9 at Jackson Park.  There will still be the small carnival and live music, Friday fish fray, a pancake breakfast, car show, talent show and the chainsaw woodcarvers.


“I also think changing this format will help add 10 years to my life,” joked Valentino.

In the big picture, she feels encouraged by the changes.


“Some people may be a little disappointed but once they see our attendance and our numbers from a financial standpoint, I can see us being a bit better off and not stretching it out,” she said.

Action in Jackson is a family-friendly festival.  And remember the big fundraiser for Jackson Park and Rec is coming up Saturday, Feb. 3


West Bend couple in Hawaii during missile alert


A West Bend woman is sharing her story about being on vacation in Hawaii on January 13 when the state’s Emergency Management Agency issued a missile alert.


Ellie Dowden and her husband Travis were traveling with family and making breakfast when all their phones went off sounding the alert.


“We didn’t know what to do and there was nothing we could do,” she said.

Dowden said the alert sounded like an Amber alert … but with a message about “ballistic missiles.”


“About five to 10 minutes later some things started to pop up on Twitter. No one was sure…. and it finally came on the news and no one on the news knew either.”


Dowden said about 30 minutes after the initial alert they found out it was fake. “It was a stressful 30 minutes but there was nothing we could do,” she said.


Dowden and her family were scheduled to fly back to Wisconsin the next day. Follow-up reports blame the faux alert on employee error and The Washington Post said it was “poor design” of the computer program.


On a more positive note: Watch for an upcoming story about Ellie Dowden, the new owner of Cornerstone Dental in Barton. And if the name Travis Dowden sounds familiar, you can find him running Bibinger’s in Cedar Creek.


Future of Deer Management Program to be reviewed by Common Council


There was quite a bit of data, analysis, reflection and suggestions during Tuesday’s post Deer Management follow-up meeting as hunters and committee members gathered to explore how to move forward with managing a growing deer population within the West Bend city limits.

Committee chairman and Dist. 1 alderman John Butschlick started the meeting by outlining stats from the five-day hunt.


Final numbers included hunters seeing dozens of deer in the area of Lac Lawrann Conservancy, three deer were killed in a span of five days and that included an adult doe, yearling doe and yearling buck.


The discussion on how the program was carried out was well analyzed:

-there was an overall feeling that things could have gone better if it wasn’t such a tight timeline to get everything going in a 3-week timeframe right around the holiday.

-Parks and Forestry Superintendent Mike Jentsch recommended there should not be any restrictions to hunt near the trails. Since the park is closed it would “give hunters more opportunities and less restrictions.”

-Safety was a big concern. Police were notified that even though the park was clearly marked ‘closed’ a runner went through Lac Lawrann Conservancy while hunters were in the woods.

-West Bend police Lt. Duane Ferrand had reservations about shooting horizontally. The hunters were required to shoot from a tree stand. It was determined the council would have to approve a new ordinance to shoot from a blind or a ridge.

-There was overall agreement that many in the community did not understand bow hunting and those who were selected for the program said “just because we’re hunting in a park, that doesn’t mean it’s easy.”

-The hunters were sure the deer realized they were there. The conclusion = deer are smart.

-Jennifer Wiedmeyer of West Bend spoke as someone who lived in the community 31 years and didn’t feel hunting deer in a city park was the right thing to do.

-Wiedmeyer felt the problem with the deer was because West Bend is growing and the city is invading the natural habitat of the deer.

-Wiedmeyer though more signs should be put up around the community warning people about deer crossings.  “This makes me frustrated that it’s come to this in West Bend. I just think it’s sad. I wish city would spend money on signs and make people more aware about how prevalent the deer population is here. I don’t have a problem with deer being hunted, it just shouldn’t happen within our city limits.”


-Butschlick told the story about how he’s seen a big change in his neighborhood over the years with the increasing number of deer. “I’ve stopped feeding the birds because of the deer and within the last five or six years the deer have been a menace. I have a garden with a 12-foot net and that’s the only thing that’s been able to keep them out. The deer are starting to get to a point where every year a doe will have two more.”

-Bringing in sharpshooters was discussed as a way to improve success but there were strong concerns about safety and, of course, justifying the expense.


-Restrictions on the qualifications to hunt, whether five days was an adequate timeframe and if the program should be run during months like September and October were also discussed

-Jentsch questioned what an expected harvest per year should be. Many in attendance thought even if 20 deer per park per year were harvested, that would still take a long time to get the situation under control.


The final consensus was this was one season and one hunt and the committee would recommend to the Common Council to try another hunt and implement some suggested changes and then let the council decide what is best. Target dates for another Deer Management Program are January 2 – 6, 2019.


Cougar spotted in neighboring Fond du Lac County                                         By Bob Nelson


A very large cat moved through Fond du Lac County early this month. A trail camera captured a photo of the animal in the Rosendale area.


Jane Wiedenhoeft is an assistant large carnivore specialist with the DNR. She said it sure looks like a cougar in the photo. She said, “Not many photos are as clear as this one. This animal looks pretty obviously like a cougar.”


Wiedenhoeft said there were quite a few cougar sightings in Wisconsin last year including sightings last month near Merrill and Antigo. This may be the first real sighting in Fond du Lac County, although there were reported sightings of a cougar in the Eden area in the summer of 2012.


Wiedenhoeft said typically it’s a young male cougar looking for a mate. “Those young males sometimes can disperse pretty far looking for a mate. And they get this far and they have a long ways to go to find any other cougars so they just usually keep going,” she said. The tail camera photo was caught Jan. 5, 2018 in the Rosendale area. Wiedenhoeft said this was the latest sighting of a cougar in the state and the farthest south.


Updates & tidbits

The West Bend East Dance Team is hosting a dance camp for grade school and middle school students on Saturday, Feb. 10 from 3 p.m. – 7 p.m. at West Bend East High School. The cost is $20 in advance and $30 the day of the camp.  If you have questions contact Coach Kaylee at

Join the Wisconsin Antique Power Reunion for its 19th annual Farm Toy Show on Sunday, Feb. 18 at Circle B Recreation in Cedarburg from 9 a.m. – 3 p.m. The show will feature over 50 tables for dealers and displays. Food and refreshments available.

The new shelter for men and women in Washington County will host a grand opening Tuesday, Feb. 6 from 4 p.m. – 7 p.m.  The $1.4 million facility designed by American Construction Services of West Bend is located on Water Street will be called Karl’s Place in honor of Karl Glunz of Richfield.    


-There’s a motivated seller for the West Bend Wash, 2110 W. Washington Street in West Bend. The six-bay car wash features 2 automatic bays, 4 self serve bays, 3 vacuum pods, various dispensers and large billboard sign with LED scrolling message board. It is located to the west of the new Pizza Ranch. There sale price is listed at $750,000.


-The 3rd annual Rock and Jazz Fest at the West Bend High School Silver Lining Arts Center is Wednesday, Feb. 7 at 7 p.m.  Prior to the concert, from 4:30-6:30 in the East Cafeteria, the West Bend High School Bands will host a soup fundraiser that includes a silent auction and raffle.    


The Slinger Cub Scout pack is holding its annual Pinewood Derby on Saturday, Jan. 27 from 9 a.m. – noon in the old EVS dealership, 1180 S. Spring Street in Port Washington   

Food will be collected for Slinger Food Pantry.


The 18th annual Bridal Fair at the Washington County Fair Park is January 28. There will be over 70 vendors on hand with everything from dresses to cakes, wedding venues to entertainment. Tickets: $5 Pre-Sale $6 Day-Of *Children 12 and under are free. Tickets available at the Fair Park office and Amelishan Bridal.

Saturday, Jan. 27 at Cedar Ridge is the annual Chili Social and Book Sale, 10 a.m. – 1 p.m.  

– The Washington County Fair Park will be celebrating this St. Patrick’s Day with an indoor concert featuring Irish and Scottish folk tunes and classic pub songs from bands Tallymoore and Ceol Carde. Headlining the event will be U2 Zoo. 


-The 7th annual Diamond Dinner & Benefit for the West Bend Baseball Association is March 3 at The Columbian. There will be a tribute to athletes who made their mark in local baseball circle including Mark Scholz, Adam Rohlinger, Bob Meyer, Bob Kissinger and TJ Fischer.

Forum for West Bend School Board candidates

Common Sense Citizens of Washington County hosted a candidate forum Thursday night for three of the four candidates running for two open seats on the West Bend School Board.

In attendance were Monte Schmiege, Chris Zwygart and Mary Weigand. Candidate Kurt Rebholz was not in attendance due to a prior commitment and candidate Carl Lundin has taken himself out of the race, although his name will still appear on the Feb. 20 primary ballot.

During the primary voters will select four candidates and the top four vote getters will advance to the April 3 Spring Election.

Below are bullet points from the candidate introductions followed by video of the first question regarding role of school board.

Monte Schmiege – elected in 2015, served three years and in last three years saw six new members join the board. Treasurer of school board. Working to be actively engaged.  Review 100 series of policies on board operations. Adopt 200 series on administration. Superintendent evaluations important. Concerned about maintaining financial direction. Lots of turmoil and in spite education goes on.

Chris Zwygart – grew up in Iron Ridge, parochial grade school and Horicon H.S. and graduated Marquette Univ and law school grad in 1995. Attorney at West Bend Mutual, board secretary and knows how top-notch board works. Chair of St. Joseph’s Hospital Board. Running because I want to help.  I know how a board should behave. We have key leadership vacancies in the district and I have experience filling top-level leadership roles. I will use my experience to find ways to review expenditure and minimize cost and maximize value.

Mary Weigand – lived in WB since 4th grade and grad of WB East. Have been attending board meetings. In 2005 the US Naval Academy went from celestial navigation to GPS. They had figuratively speaking, lost their way and needed to get back to the basics. I feel we’ve lost our course in WB. We have lost the ground work. Mr. Uelmen said they don’t know how to use a tape measure. But kids took a white privilege survey. Bring common sense community values. I’m concerned about curriculum and common core in West Bend schools.

QUESTION: Proper role of board in working with superintendent, administration and teachers.

MW – Admin runs day to day of district. Board writes policies, oversees curriculum and standards. Board needs to see where superintendent stands on Act 10 and Common Core. The teachers are in the classroom and board must support professional staff. Teachers are paid in the top 5% in the state. Superintendent has to understand our community.

MS – Proper role of board with regard to super is – work on policies with board and superintendent; relationship and how they work together. Superintendent deals with day to day of district. Board participates in strategy and setting goals. Board also has to evaluate superintendent based on goals and strategies worked out between board and super.  Board does not employ teachers and admin. Board can’t do all of that work that would be too many different opinions.

CZ – Board acts as a whole. When we have board members out on their own that’s a problem.  Board has to help with leadership vision and holding the district and superintendent accountable. The execution is left up to administration.  Board is part time and the idea of micromanaging is not a good idea because it can breach trust. Proper role is a lot of listening.


0717, 27 January 2018


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