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2057, 24 Feb 19

Around the Bend by Judy Steffes

Pat on the back for Brian Bell and 15-year-old daughter Liz

“Right place, right time,” according to Brian Bell. The co-owner of Cedar Lake Sales and his daughter Liz, 15, were presented with appreciation pins from retired DNR Wardens Rick Wolff and William Mitchell this week.

Bell said the story behind the story happened two weeks ago, Saturday, Feb. 9, in the Upper Peninsula in Bond Falls. The father and daughter were snowmobiling and riding back on the trail along the road when they saw three emergency vehicles.

“The Michigan D.N.R. guy locked eyes with me, walked over, said there was a bad injury accident and asked if he could borrow our sleds to get to the scene,” Bell said. The Michigan Forestry agent Zach Painter and conservation officer Josh Lopac with the Michigan D.N.R.  loaded a defibrillator and some emergency gear onto the snowmobiles and they were off. “That’s pretty much what we did,” said Bell.

For the next hour Bell and his daughter stood around listening to the scanner. “We heard they pulled her out on a sled and then we heard Flight for Life landing… somewhere,” he said.

The two officers returned and told the Bells, “You helped save a life today.”

Minimal information was released on the accident. For as much as Brian Bell could determine, a woman was seriously injured after crashing her snowmobile into a tree. “All we were told is there will be a lot of recovery ahead of her,” Bell said.

In hindsight, Bell said the accident just reinforces the safety needed when out on a snowmobile or any motorized vehicle.

Building formerly home to tavern in Barton has been sold

There was an interesting property sale recently in Washington County that carries with it a lot of history.


The two-story was originally built in 1870 and an addition was put on in 1991.

The latest property listing shows the parcel belonged to Catherine Barbercheck. If that name rings a bell….. it should.

For quite a few years the building was home to the Trio Bar. Records in the city assessor’s office show Bonnie Kudek was a previous owner.

Kudek, 64, died June 20, 2013. Her obituary read, “During her years of employment, Bonnie worked for Amity in West Bend, managed the Trio Bar in Barton for numerous years and was employed at the Citgo station in Kewaskum for many years.Bonnie will fondly be remembered as a “people person” who will be deeply missed by her family and by all who knew her.”

The location, 1727 Barton Avenue, was sold Jan. 20, 2019 from Catherine Barbercheck to C & A Wilde Investments LLC from Cedarburg. The property was assessed at $280,400 and was sold for $285,000.

What do you remember about The Trio Bar in Barton? And what was in the building immediately to the north where Sandy’s Barton Cafe is currently?

-Tom Brace – The building next door, which is Sandy’s, was Don’s Appliance.

-Cathy Larsen Barbercheck – It was also Lownik’s Restaurant before it became Sandy’s Cafe

Former Washington County Sheriff’s Lt. Mike Hetzel has died

Michael J. “Mike” Hetzel, 69, of West Bend, passed away on Wednesday, Feb. 20, 2019, at Froedtert Hospital with his family at his side.

Mike was born on September 3, 1949, in Hartford. Mike did everything for everybody.   He enjoyed spending time with his family and friends and enjoyed activities including camping, riding his motorcycle, and working on DIY projects.    Mike worked for the Washington County Sheriff’s Department for 35 years and retired as a Lieutenant for the department in 2007.   He continued to work for the department part time as a special deputy.

Memorial services for Mike will be held at 4 p.m. on Saturday, March 2, 2019, at the Myrhum ~ Patten Funeral Home in West Bend. In lieu of flowers please contribute donations to the Lymphoma Research Foundation.

Paula Anderson wrote about Mike – “Anyone who ever had to call Lt. Hetzel on the phone knows his signature line and how he said it. “This is Hetzel.”  He was my second shift Lieutenant when I was brand new and he was always kind and patient with me, even after I accidentally paged the SWAT team out by mistake, AND put the sally port door down on the back of a squad.  Rest In Peace LT.

City of West Bend to sell Mutual Mall

There is an accepted offer on the old West Bend Mutual Mall, 1043 S. Main Street.

For many in West Bend the building is the former home of Larsons Family Furniture.  An advertisement from a phone book cover reads, “Where Value is Measured by Quality at Modest Prices.”

Photo courtesy Kirk Dyken

The phone book cover from 1962 shows an address of 723 N. Main Street.  Jim Larson moved the business to S. Main by 1964.

“I knew Jim Larson and when he built there on S. Main Street it was way out of town and everybody thought boy that’s way out there and he’s not going to have any business out there,” said Jerry Mehring of West Bend. “He built beyond Decorah Road and we thought what’s he doing way out there.”

This week the City of West Bend reviewed a purchase agreement from ICAP Development.

The city owned the property since purchasing the City Hall parcel, formerly West Bend Mutual Insurance. West Bend Mutual reportedly owned the location to the north for possible expansion.

“The building (Mutual Mall) is in need of lots of work,” said city administrator Jay Shambeau. “When we walked through with some commercial realtors they quickly said it had potential for redevlopment.”

Shambeau said ICAP Development and Dan Jeserig, Senior Vice President of Acquisitions and Development, have 90 days to do its due diligence and make a decision on the parcel. “They will work with someone to redevelop it,” said Shambeau. “Similar to other sales we did, like with Qualm Engineering, we set some standards.”

The purchase price of the parcel is $500,000. There was no assessed value because it was owned by the City and therefore tax exempt. “We talked about the $2 million minimum value regarding the new development and it will be great to get it back on the tax rolls,” Shambeau said.  ICAP has 90 days to make its decision.

On a history note: What do you remember about the former Larson’s Family Furniture?

-Jerry Mehring – “Jim had a lower level to his store and that was pretty unique for the time.”

–Cathy Lawton – “Larsons Furniture was a beautiful store. I bought pottery pieces made in Portugal from there and still have them to this day.”

–Joseph Hynst – “Kettle Moraine Fitness Center used to be on the lower level. Owned by Todd & Jay Pruitt.” 1980’s and early ’90s.

-Sarah Hupfer – “Don’t forget The Wooden Nickel.”

Saying goodbye to Leah Baughman from Interfaith Caregivers of Washington County

A bit of a shocker this week at Interfaith Caregivers of Washington County as Leah Baughman announced she is leaving her post to move back up north with her family.

Over the years Baughman has become a fixture at Interfaith and in the community.  Leah is always volunteering at local events. She and her family are often spotting at the Downtown West Bend Farmers’ Market or at the local chili cookoff.

A note from Baughman is posted below.

Dear Interfaith Family,

I wanted to take a moment to let you know I am leaving my position here at Interfaith in the next few weeks. My family and I will be moving to the Northwoods back to my roots and closer to family.

I can’t even begin to tell you how much I have enjoyed working at Interfaith, meeting all of the wonderful volunteers and working with some spectacular gals in the office. The past two years has been an amazing experience that has enriched my life and truly warmed my soul to see so many people giving their time and love to brighten the lives of seniors.

Even though I will miss all the clients, volunteers and great people I have met on this journey, I am looking forward to this new challenge and to starting a new phase in life.

Please keep in touch, I would love to hear from you!!

Thank You for everything! I wish you all the best.

Yours truly,


P.S. Thank You!! Thank You!! Thank You!! I really don’t have the words for how much I have enjoyed working with and getting to know you all. This really is the most awesome and kindest group of people I have ever met.

Please stop in to say Good Bye at the March Percolate Friday, March 1 – 8 a.m. to 9 a.m.

I would love a chance to say Good Bye, please stop in at the next Percolate. If you are unable to stop then and would like to, please drop by when you can.

January 2019 Students of the Month at Holy Angels                      By Mike Sternig

Holy Angels School has named Sam Ciriacks, Tyler Sernig and Estella Lambie as the January 2019 Students of the Month.

6th Grade:  Sam Ciriacks – Sam’s teachers have noticed him growing into his role as a junior high student. While he was somewhat tentative at the beginning of the school year, Sam has shown ever-increasing confidence. Sam is always willing to volunteer for new experiences and participates strongly in all of his classes. Sam is an easy-going, friendly student who enjoys sports and video games.  He is especially interested in football, following the Packers and playing the sport himself.

7th Grade:  Tyler Sternig – Tyler is an intense competitor who sets high standards for himself. He takes pride in doing well in all of his classes, aiming for straight A’s every quarter. Tyler loves science, but all of his teachers applaud his participation, work ethic, and effort. Outside of the classroom, Tyler helps out at school by serving at Mass and working as a patrol. He likes sports, particularly baseball, participating in many summer tournaments.

8th Grade:  Estella Lambie – Estella is a likable student who has shown steady growth in organization and responsibility throughout her junior high years. Her teachers appreciate her willingness to work with a variety of partners, and her friendly personality. She is always in a good mood and spreads positive energy. This year, Estella has pushed herself outside of her comfort zone, particularly by joining Honors Choir. She serves at Mass. Her interest in helping others makes her consider teaching and pediatrician as possible careers.

Updates & Tidbits

– Primary Election Day, Feb. 19, was sunny and a bit chilly and in Hartford 117 of 2,694 registered voters went to the polls to cast a ballot in the race for Dist. 1 alderman. The top two vote getters Erin Wilk (48 votes) and incumbent Joseph Fulop (34 votes) advance to the April 2, 2019 election.

– If this doesn’t give you a shot of summer. The sign at Mills Fleet Farm on Highway 33 in West Bend reads, “Now accepting honey bee orders.”  It looks rather facinating. It looks like the bees will come via U.S. Postal in May. There’s a note to “warn your postmaster of the impending shipment.” I will have to review the ordinance in West Bend but good grief we just allowed chickens so for sure bees would be ok. Right?

Prepping for Lenten fish-fry season at The Columbian

The Columbian, 3245 Lighthouse Lane, is starting to prepare for the Lenten season.

Here is the Lenten Fish Fry Schedule at The Columbian:

March 8          Helping Hands Fish Fry Fundraiser  4 p.m – 7:30 p.m.

March 15        Bryan’s Buffet  4:45 p.m. – 8 p.m.

March 22        Beads of Hope Fish Fry Fundraiser  4:30 p.m. – 8 p.m.

March 29        KC Third Degree Fish Fry  4:30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.

April 5            KC First Friday Fish Fry    4:30 p.m. – 8 p.m.

April 12          Helping Hands Fish Fry Fundraiser  4 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.

April 19          Bryan’s Buffet  4:45 p.m. – 8 p.m.

The Helping Hands and Beads of Hope Fundraiser evenings include 2 to 3 piece of baked or fried cod.

Bryan’s Buffet features a $14 buffet includes sirloin tips, fish, chicken, salads, coffee, milk and desserts.

Just a little history note on the season of Lent:

“Lent is the six-week period leading up to Easter. It’s one of the most important times of year for many Christians around the world, particularly those within the Anglican, Catholic and Orthodox tradition.

“Lent is frequently seen as a time of solemn observance and preparation for the celebration of the death and resurrection of Jesus at Easter. From its start on Ash Wednesday, March 6, until its conclusion on Easter Sunday, April 21, Lent has been a traditional time for fasting or giving something up or abstinence.”

 Sold-out performance for John McGivern at UWM at Washington County

Emmy Award winner and master storyteller John McGivern performed in front of a sold-out crowd Friday night at UWM at Washington County.

The animated McGivern told stories about true kid life including paper routes, working hard because “you didn’t want to have the word ‘lazy’ written on your gravestone,” growing up in an Irish Catholic family, not being allowed another glass of milk because your dad said “we’re poor.”

Dressed in comfortable blue jeans, white shirt, brown sweater and jacket, McGivern brought the audience into his life of growing up on the east side of Milwaukee. The “closer to the river” east side Milwaukee not so much the Lake Michigan east side Milwaukee.

His family was his favorite fodder and the common thread was, aside the vintage vehicles like a Rambler and VW Beetle, his topics which melded into a rhythm we could all relate.

”I had to race from my morning paper route to school because every morning at St. Peter & Paul grade school we had Mass,” said McGivern. “I’d be running up the stairs with $7 worth of dimes in my pocket and there would stand Sr. Mary Ray Nitschke.”

Armed with a heavy Midwestern accent McGivern would impersonate his mother. He even told a delicate story of his aging parents, his father’s stroke, his dad’s love of a toupee and cleaning out his mother’s dresser.

”There were delicates in there,” he said of her  undergarments. “And underneath the underwear…. I found my dad’s teeth.”

Brazen, bold and boisterous. McGivern cracked himself up on stage which made it all the more fun for the audience.

“John McGivern is simply the best,” wrote Danette Daliege.

After reading from a white 3-ring binder a collection of some nasty emails directed to his show, Around the Corner with John McGivern, the house lights were brought up and McGivern fielded questions from the audience a’la Carol Burnett.

One woman had a strong suggestion that McGivern do a show on Allenton. Another man flagged McGivern as a fellow classmate at seminary, McGivern’s seminary teacher John Craig was even in the audience.

After the show McGivern came out to the lobby to meet with fans, shake hands, take photos and help create more memorable moments.

“Another great performance,” wrote Lisa Ryan.

“Wonderful night, tons of laughs, great show!” wrote Catherine Schmidt.

“He is a gem,” wrote Cathy Lawton. “Good clean humor.”


2057, 24 February 2019


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