Effort underway to save Great Horned owls by the old brewery building in West Bend
There was quick action taken in the community of West Bend as Bill Mitchell from the DNR stepped in to help save a baby great horned owl from its possible future demise.
On Tuesday two owl carcasses were found below the power lines near a pine tree just north of the dam on Highway 33 in West Bend.
For the past few month’s neighbors had been watching the growth of three owlets nesting inside a vent on the south side of the old brewery building. The owls had been ready to take flight when it appears two of them hit the power line and were killed.
Ric Koch of West Bend visited the owl site daily over the past few months. He spotted the dead owls on Tuesday and removed them Wednesday night to bury them. “It was pretty gruesome,” said Koch. “Their wingspan is about 6 feet and the branch of the pine tree was right up next to the power line.”
“The one baby was at that level this morning (Thursday) and the mother is in the tree to the north,” he said.
The baby, according to Koch, is pretty active. “It’ll flit around that pine tree and then go closer to the brewery building during the day to get away from the crows and then it will come back to that spot at night,” he said.
On Wednesday, after the death of the birds was reported to We Energies as tree-trimming crew came out and cut back some of the branches.
Mitchell said it’s unsettling the young owls have fallen victim to the power lines two years in a row.
Brendan Conway from We Energies said a couple crews from the West Bend service center went out today, Thursday, to look. “We can put some extra equipment on wires to help insulate them in case they’re known to be a high-traffic area for birds,” he said. “We also noticed a tree was close to the power lines so we’ve trimmed back the branches but at least they won’t come in contact with the line.”
Mitchell said he is going to work to have the tree topped off so it is significantly below the power line and less of a hazard in the future.
Enchantment in the Park makes donation to local food pantries
Organizers of Enchantment in the Park in West Bend stepped up in May 2020 with a $50,000 donation to food pantries in Washington County.
“We feel the timing could not be better with what is going on in our communities,” said Enchantment organizer Lori Yahr.
The Full Shelf Food Pantry has been a vital resource in the community since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. It has helped families who have suffered job loss and unexpected furloughs.
Road construction on Paradise Drive in West Bend finishes ahead of schedule
A quick finish to a road project on Paradise Drive from Indiana Avenue to River Road in West Bend. Contractors began the pavement construction April 20, 2020 and finished well ahead of the mid-May deadline.
Construction included pulverizing existing roadway, grading and evaluation of roadway base, and placement of hot mix asphalt pavement overlay. The general contractor for this project was Stark Pavement Corp. from Brookfield, Wisconsin.
Teachers at St. Frances Cabrini channel a summer camp tradition
Pat Kraemer and Deb Lehnerz are teachers from St. Frances Cabrini who wanted to do something special for their K4 students.
When Mrs. Kraemer’s own children would go off to summer camp, she would pack a letter a day for them to open while they were gone; that tradition sparked an idea for Cabrini staffers.
The K4 teachers got together to make an envelope a day for each student to open with a special activity inside. Stickers to make a pattern, googley eyes to go on a scavenger hunt; fun little things for each day and the teachers delivered them along with a personal pizza to celebrate the week’s theme of Kids in the Kitchen.
“I just feel like a worksheet or video or computer wasn’t enough,” said Kraemer. “We thought if one special thing every day to open… that would make a bigger impact.”
Both teachers felt they would have mixed emotions because they would want to hug the kids … but seeing them would be a good way to connect.
The teachers made 27 visits.
“It’s great to see their faces,” said Kraemer.
“This is a part of the year where they’ve grown so much and things are really clicking … we’re such a family,” said Lehnerz.
Special thanks to Papa Murphy’s Pizza for helping make the event a success.
Sunday morning flight in West Bend
A lone kite flyer took advantage of the brisk winds Sunday morning, May 3, 2020 and launched his Symphony Beach, 2.2 meter para-foil kite on the grassy field across from the old Amity Leather in West Bend.
The winds lifted the read, orange and yellow kite – similar to the old Astros MLB uniform colors. The kite hummed and whipped and zipped through the air.
Interfaith Caregivers hosts Drive-thru Percolate to celebrate volunteers
The first Friday of the month Percolate gathering at Interfaith Caregivers of Washington County has become a tradition for many in West Bend. The local non-profit opens its doors and volunteers pour in the celebrate their mission and share coffee, conversation…. and possibly a donut or two.
Over the past month that camaraderie has been tested by the Safer at Home situation.
Early in the week however, the staff sent a memo and encouraged all volunteers to participate in a drive-thru Percolate. “Bring your own coffee… we’ll supply the donuts and masks.” What happened next is part of the power of the Interfaith organization.
“In lieu of a gathering inside we’re having a Percolate parade. We’ve safely packaged our donuts and water,” said Janean Brudvig, executive director of Interfaith Caregivers of Washington County.
“We know a lot of our volunteers are doing a lot of things behind the scenes with our kindness calls and food delivery and we miss them and want to show our appreciation for all they do.”
In March when the state issued a Safer at Home order the team at Interfaith put together a program to touch base with senior citizens. Kindness Calls were a way to make sure the elderly were not being forgotten.
Volunteers at Interfaith also wrote letters to senior citizens and they helped with the shopping.
Below are some details if you would like to become part of the team at Interfaith Caregivers of Washington County.
A simple phone call goes a long way. Many of Interfaith’s clients are alone and shut-in during this crisis. Some are not allowed to even leave their room.
Would you have a few minutes to make a phone call to help break up their day? Offer a Kindness Call, to check-in and connect with some of our lonely seniors? For more details, please call our office 262-365-0902
On top of that, if you would like to write a card to clients we can help you get in contact with them via mail as well.
Again, if you are interested please contact the Interfaith Office.
Thank you for all you do! “Together we will create a community of kindness”