Around the Bend by Judy Steffes

Village of Slinger surprised by plans for Casey’s General Store

“It was the biggest shock last week,” said Village of Slinger Administrator Margaret Wilber. “Casey’s called and is stopping the project.”

The project in question is the razing of the Casey’s General Store and car wash, 651 E. Washington Street, in Slinger.

A spokesperson for Casey’s called WashingtonCountyInsider.com and issued the following statement. “We are not planning to proceed with construction as we are focusing store development efforts in other areas. We appreciate the support the Slinger community had for this store.  We will continue to work with the local Village and ensure the site is in good condition.”

The demolition of the corner gas station began Wednesday, September 2, 2020.

Plans had already been approved for development of a new store until a voicemail was left Thursday, Sept. 4 with Gregory Darga the Village Building Inspector/Zoning Administrator. That’s when the project went sideways.

“Mid-day we were informed that Casey’s cancelled the project,” said Darga.  “So, at this point they will complete the demolition, restore the site to grass and then there won’t be anything there for the foreseeable future.”

Wilber pointed out that Darga’s voicemail was from the project manager, so someone not related to Casey’s.

“They were called and ordered to stop the project,” said Wilber.

Village officials spent all day Friday, before the long Labor Day holiday weekend, trying to contact someone at Casey’s.

“I finally spoke with a couple of people who confirmed an executive decision had been made and they weren’t going to continue at this time,” Wilber said. “They were going to restore the lot and the decision hadn’t been made yet whether they would put a new building up or put it on the market.”

“It was quite a surprise because they went through all the trouble of starting the teardown,” Wilber said.

The Village of Slinger Plan Commission approved plans for a new Casey’s convenience store and car wash in July 2019. “It was approved almost a year ago,” said Wilber. “At that time, the Plan Commission approved the site, architectural, lighting, landscaping, and stormwater.”

The property was purchased by Casey’s General Store in December 2018. Tri-Par previously owned the 1.92-acre site. The sale price was $850,000. The latest assessed value is $1.292 million.

Wilber has been the Village Administrator for a year but has been with the Village for 20 years. “This has completely taken us by surprise,” she said. “It did cross our mind that the project may have been paused because of Covid… but…”

Darga has been with the Village for eight years. “I’ve never seen anything like this,” he said. “The permits for the building had been issued and the demolition permit had been issued and after months and months of trying to get this thing going, finally they were starting and as soon as we started they pulled the project.”

“We’re very disappointed,” said Wilber. “We’re going to try to keep in touch with Casey’s and monitor their progress and continue to get updates on the plans.”

A representative for Casey’s, Jim Sklada, told Wilber there had been no decision whether the property would be put up for sale.

Slinger lemonade stand and food pantry                        By Corbin Stover (5th grade)

At Slinger Schlesinger Village kids in the neighborhood did a lemonade stand during our last week of summer in August. Jovy, Corbin, Alex, Soffy, Elliot, Elvlyn, and Noah wanted to do this for people that are homeless and it was the right thing to do.

Me and my friends did this for fun too. We made $275.85 in donations and a big bucket of food. Corbin and Jovy collected food from 20 to 30 homes. We started at 2:30pm and ended at 5:30pm. We got 75 to 80 customers it was crazy big. We got so excited when we got customers. We loved it so much, it was awesome. I was mesmerized by the money we got and the food. The food pantry people were mind blown.

93-year-old female mechanic goes for spin in ’57 Chevy Bel Air 283

It was a memorable day for Ellen Hembel as a friend from Just Like Home in Jackson brought his 1957 Chevy Bel Air to take her for a spin.

Ellen is 93-and-a-half years old. She is more than familiar with the Chevy Bel Air having been an auto mechanic most of her life.

“My dad worked on cars,” said Ellen.

She said she got her start when “his hands didn’t work so well.”

Ellen was part of the family business, when Hembel’s had an auto shop off Highway 41.

“The first car I worked on was an Essex,” she said. “I got all the cars running.”

With family gathered on a rainy Thursday morning, Ellen took a look under the hood before she climbed in the passenger seat.

“This is the battery and the engine and the radiator and the horn,” she said.

Jim Bird has owned car for 44 years. “It has been a pleasure to meet a lot of people,” he said.

Bird bought the car in Iowa; paid $1,200. “I drove it back to Fond du Lac. We had no muffler or lights.”

As the engine roared to life, Ellen smiled. “Nice and tuned up,” she said.

Ellen’s chauffeur slowly put the pedal to the metal and at 5 miles per hour they left the carport and made one slow lap around the driveway and back home.

“Wonderful,” said Ellen hugging her great grandchildren. “Simply wonderful.”

WIS 33 over the Milwaukee River in the Town of Trenton closed Monday, Sept. 14

Construction crews will be out Monday, September 14 at the WIS 33 bridge over the Milwaukee River doing bridge deck repairs and an overlay. Work includes bridge deck repair and over

Full closure of WIS 33 over the Milwaukee River for approximately 3 weeks starting September 14. Through traffic will be detoured along County M and Main Street in Newburg.

Local access will be available up to the road closure located at the bridge. The signed detour takes motorists along County Road M, but locals more familiar with the area may look to alternate routes. WIS 33 is scheduled to open in early October.

Fond memories found in the kitchen cupboard

A bit of a Hallmark moment this week for Jodi Janisse-Kanzenbach of West Bend as she worked in her favorite room in the house. The head chef and owner of Precinct Tap & Table in Germantown was doing what she does best when she found the items, she was working with hit her right in the feelings.

“Brought peace to me tonight baking in hand-me-down loaf pans I’ve had for 20 years. Using my Dutch oven from my husband, Pyrex bowls from a friend, and eating our dinner in vintage soup bowls kindly gifted to me after being found in a shed up north on my father-in-law’s property. This is part of the problem I have with owning entirely too much kitchenware.”

On that note, other Good Housekeeping type stories started to emerge as it appears many women have strong ties to their kitchens and tools of the trade.

Carol H. writes – “I inherited six of these Fire King ovenproof dishes from my mom who passed away in 2018. I think these were supermarket premiums. My mom used them mainly on special occasions or for special recipes like French onion soup. They were ideal for placing in the oven for melting the cheese on top of the soup.”

Here’s a baking pan (8 x 10” in size) with a sliding cover. I remember my mom using this pan for baking goodies like Blonde Brownies or Lazy Daisy Cake.

Stefanie Ulma of West Bend owned The Grasshopper Restaurant on N. Main Street. She was the head chef and made the beautiful bakery displayed in the glass case.

A photo is held tight to her home refrigerator with a magnet of the Pillsbury Doughboy. It shows a kitchen with relatable wooden cabinets, large-print wallpaper and three ladies working at the counter. Ulma said she started young, learning from her mother and grandmother.

“Since I learned my passion from my Mom …of course I have all her recipe books along with notes on the sides of what to add and how good it was. I still use her big countertop mixer… the dough hook is a constant reminder that my Mom was an excellent bread maker (I only have a few recipes under my belt).

“This time of year, especially. there was always a covered bowl in a warm spot in the house rising with some type of bread or pastry. At Christmas time I bring out her spritz cookie maker and her cookie cutters.

“Baking always reminds me of entering in the State Fair with my Mom. We would bake all day and night before and then sit all day with all these other women we made friends with from years before. We would cheer them on too and spend the day exchanging recipes and ideas and watch the judges take tiny bites of our items. My Mom won the Archway competition one year. Such an awesome memory.  I also have her aprons which I really wish SHE was still wearing ..showing me the ropes… I have so much more I wanted to learn from her.”

Lori writes – Nothing in the kitchen from my mom. I do have a cast iron fry pan from my girlfriend’s mom; she was a true hoarder.

I have a handwritten cookbook from my Mom…but not much else. Oh, the two Miracle Maid West Bend Company cake pans…. that is what husband brought into the marriage 41 years ago.

RoxAnn Witkowski – What a great article. It made me go to my kitchen cupboards and see what I could find (besides, it was time to straighten).

There were the cast iron pans that were my grandmother’s. Still great for browning meat and making Dutch baby pancakes. The Duncan Hines cookware made by Regal Ware in Kewaskum. It was waterless! I remember the time and planning my mother put into a dinner party. By hosting she got a discount on the purchase of the cookware. Fifty plus years later it is still being used daily.

She was very active in a homemaker’s group. They would take trips around the state of Wisconsin. From Mirror aluminum in Manitowoc, I have an angel food cake pan and star Jell-O mold. Oh, the time it took to layer all that Jell-O. From West Bend the cake pans in all sizes. Those cake pans have been to hundreds of functions. Then there is the Pyrex ware. The design may be old but the durability speaks for itself. Taste of Home in Greendale I think was her favorite. She saved every cooking magazine from them. My sister and I still make many of the recipes and have passed them on to our children. Thank you for sharing. I may no longer live in Wisconsin, but the memories are priceless. Take care y’all.

Darlene Hefter from Allenton – I use my mom’s good china every time I have a sit-down formal dinner since I never had china and mom always said you see and get that someday. Love her loaf pans for baking bread; always gets so nice and brown in her pans. Always use her hand mixer for beating up eggs.  I do treasure wine glasses and other design glasses from my Grandma’s and cut-glass relish trays I always use from my mom.

Kitten rescued from engine compartment by Bob’s Main Street Auto

As cooler weather is slowly approaching, Bob’s Main Street Auto & Towing would like to remind everyone to check their vehicles for furry little friends. This week Bob’s Main Street Auto & Towing in West Bend received a call from police that someone saw a kitten climb up underneath their car. After towing the vehicle to the shop, technicians Brett and Zach and tow truck driver Chris never heard a single noise which made the search even more challenging.

Piece by piece was removed from the car until the entire front end was disassembled. After what felt like forever, the black kitten, which was smaller than the technician’s hand was rescued from a small compartment near the engine.  During the changing seasons animals will look for warm places to stay; it is not uncommon to find a cat perched inside a wheel well. Bob’s Main Street Auto would like to remind everyone to keep their vehicles and furry friends safe and look over your car before driving. If you find yourself thinking, or knowing, you have an animal hiding in your vehicle, please give us call and we will be happy to assist you and the stowaway.

Graffiti in West Bend and Kewaskum

Police in West Bend said they were aware of multiple instances of graffiti on S. Main Street. Someone with red and blue spray paint tagged a number of businesses including the Decorah Shopping Center, the old Shopko and Kohl’s Department Store.  Police said the business owners will be contacted. They would then have 24 hours to clean up the graffiti. Police are expected to visit businesses along S. Main Street to see if there is any surveillance video. More details are expected to be released when information becomes available.

Aside from West Bend, the bridge on Fond du Lac Avenue just south of Highway 28 west was also tagged. There’s no confirmation on whether the tagging incidents are related.

West Bend man’s marathon on Eisenbahn Trail to raise awareness

Thaddeus Bath, 34, will be running the Boston Marathon virtually in West Bend on the Eisenbahn State Trail this Saturday, September 12. Bath is running for himself and to bring attention to narcolepsy, a diagnosis he received about five years ago. By using Taekwondo and running, Bath has found a way to fight daily battles of addiction and the sleep disorder.

“Running, especially trail running, is a therapy for me,” said Bath. “Taekwondo has been great for me with the discipline and structure. It helped me become an all-around better person.

“Being active does help me with some of the narcolepsy symptoms. I have a little more energy during the day if I stick to my schedule of running/working out.” Tabetha Wolfe said her brother has worked hard to get where he is today.

“Not only training but bringing awareness and fundraising for the nonprofit Wake Up Narcolepsy,” said Wolfe. “Running the marathon virtually is not the same as being in Boston but if I can get enough community support it will make it that much more memorable for Thaddeus.”

Bath will be running September 12 starting at noon. He will start on the Eisenbahn Trail near Legacy Martial Arts, 111 E. Decorah, Road, West Bend. He will run south to Paradise Drive then north to Highway 33 and back. He will run out and backs until he reaches 26.2 miles.

Letter to the Editor |   Looking ahead to November election             By Ken Miller

Recently I have heard from a number of Conservatives/Republicans, having doubts about Pres. Trump. Very disturbing. I do not like some of his tactics, verbiage, and temperament. He is a “shoot from the hip” type and can be blunt not mincing words.

He demeaner is bordering on I’itis These traits can be annoying and rather unproductive. But he’s not a diplomate or politician, he’s all business accustomed to getting things done his way and that, my friends is working.

His successes are many such as the border wall, NAFTA rescinding and a new fair-trade agreement. NATO allies paying their fair share. Holding Russia at bay. Cutting off China and brokering agreements such as Israel and UAE, all but destroying ISIS and bringing troops home.

During his term, the economy rose to record heights and stock market it all time high. The list of course is incomplete and does leave out some unsuccessful attempts. But the point is he has done more in 4 years discounting the pandemic which Dem’s claim he did not solve fast enough.

Let’s look at the Liberal side. Joe Biden is the savior of the party along with Kamala. They tout the accomplishment of Joe.  His reviving of the economy in 2008, was that his, Really? I am convinced it was Obama’s which he went along with, during his Vice Presidency we heard little of his betterment of the country. He was afraid, (up to now) [’ to debate Trump.

Biden has barely condemned the riots, looting, destruction of businesses which are another plus for the Dem’s claiming Trump has not done enough. They are not saying that the Democratic Governor’s refused the help.

His health plan is a plan to bankrupt America. To further the spending of non-existent money he wants open borders and health care and funding benefits for all. His leadership skills wane against Trump and his program will take us back to the oppressive Obama years. It is incumbent to vote for a proven leader that has brought this country to becoming a world leader again.

Kenneth F. Miller   Germantown

Former President, Washington County Republican Party  Former County Board Chairman

Disclaimer: Opinions and letters published are not necessarily the views of the Editor, or Publisher. The http://www.washingtoncountyinsider.com reserves the right to edit or omit copy, in accordance with newspaper policies. Letters to the Editor must be attributed with a name, address and contact phone number – names and town of origin will be printed, or may be withheld at the Editor’s discretion. During the course of any election campaign, letters to the editor dealing with election issues or similar material must contain the author’s name and street address (not PO Box) for publication.

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