Boots & Sabers

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Category: Off-Duty

Around the Bend by Judy Steffes

Festival Foods is coming to Hartford. The story broke Monday night on

“We’re hoping to start construction in 2021 with an opening in 2022,” said Brian Stenzel with Festival Foods.

The company is family and employee-owned and operates 31 full-service, state-of-the art supermarkets in Wisconsin. On December 18, 2020 it closed on the purchase of Hartford Plaza.

The location, 1201 Bell Avenue, and 1275 Bell Avenue, had been vacant more than four years following the departure of Sentry Foods to the west and Kmart to the east.

“We looked through numerous opportunities that come across our desk and we just saw the community as one that we could serve well with our store,” Stenzel said.

The grocery is expected to bring about 200 new jobs to the community both full and part time.

While Festival Foods plans to open in the old Kmart section of the strip mall, Stenzel said they are keeping their options open on the west side of the property. “We have no plans at this time,” he said. “We will look at opportunities for that space on down the road.”

This will be the first new grocery for the City of Hartford since Aldi opened in mid-December 2014 and Walmart opened in May 2007. Questioned whether the company is nervous about the current uncertainty in the economy Stenzel said building new store is always a gamble.

“We believe it is a good, calculated risk just because of what we have to offer,” he said. “We have great customer service and our model of serving the community with a clean, inviting grocery store is something we take great pride in.”

Although the strip-mall property has been on the market a while and is a bit set back from Highway 60 it does sit near, what some say, is a diamond corner with McDonald’s, Walgreens, and Kwik Trip.

“We always look for areas that have a lot of rooftops to be convenient for people to shop or a busy hub where people can get a lot of things done outside of grocery shopping as well,” Stenzel said.

While the news about a Hartford opening is settling in there was some rumbling about a Festival Foods opening to the south in Menomonee Falls.  Stenzel said “there is nothing confirmed there.”

The City of Hartford is unique in that its liquor ordinance prevents any grocery or convenience store from selling alcohol. The ordinance was passed to protect the mom-and-pop liquor stores in the community.

Currently Hartford has four liquor stores including Hartford Wine and Spirits on Sumner Street, B&S Liquor on S. Grand Avenue, Hilldale Liquor on E. Sumner Street, and Stop-N-Go Convenience Center.

Stenzel said the alcohol ordinance did not impact their decision. “It is something we will certainly work with the City and certainly obey any ordinance that is in place,” he said. “It is nothing that swayed our decision one way or the other.”

Hartford Plaza sold

The Hartford Plaza located south of Highway 60 and just west of County Highway K in the City of Hartford has sold. The Washington County Register of Deeds reports the two parcels, 1201 Bell Avenue, and 1275 Bell Avenue, sold December 18, 2020.

Equitable Bank sold both parcels to MKB Hartford II LLC for $925,000 each.

MKB Hartford II LLC is listed as “a Wisconsin Domestic Limited-Liability Company filed on December 4, 2020. The company’s filing status is listed as Organized and its File Number is M113433. The Registered Agent on file for this company is Kirk Stoa and is located at 3800 Emerald Dr E, Onalaska, WI 54650.”

Kirk Stoa and 3800 Emerald Drive in Onalaska is also the address tied to Festival Foods and Stoa is listed as Executive Vice President & Chief Financial Officer at Festival Foods.

Festival Foods defines itself as, “A family and employee-owned company that operates 31 full-service, state-of-the art supermarkets in WI.”

The closest Festival Foods are in Fond du Lac, Sheboygan, Portage and Oshkosh.

City Administrator Steve Volkert was informed of the sale by

“Residents have been interested in seeing a new owner for the building so there can be a new use for the facility,” said Volkert. “We’re looking forward to what will come.”

There are currently three businesses operating out of the strip mall including NAPA, Cost Cutters and Edward Jones Financial.

Volkert said the old Kmart, located on the east side of the strip mall, closed in early 2016. The Sentry Foods store, on the west endcap of the strip mall, closed around 2010.

This is a 17.79-acre site with 150,000 square foot multi-tenant shopping center.

The property was initially listed for lease in September 25, 2016.

ABOUT PROPERTY – Located in a high traffic area, surrounded by many prominent retailers, this property has tremendous potential for all incoming tenants. Built in 1990, with a 7,200 SF addition built in 1998. Lot size is 17.79 acres, with 800+ parking spaces, Zoned B-2 (Community Business District) 9 separate suites ranging from 1,200 SF to 86,480 SF.  Located 5.5 miles west of I41

Volkert said the rumor mill has been running fast and furious the past year about potential incoming tenants.

“We’ve heard everything from an Amazon distribution center to Festival Foods,” he said. “Nothing has come before us or the Plan Commission.”

If a rumor about another grocery is true, can Hartford support four grocery stores? Hartford currently has Aldi, Walmart, and Fox Bros. Piggly Wiggly (previously County Market).

“It is more than the City of Hartford to consider,” said Volkert. “So, you take a 5-mile radius outside of the city limits and that’s your market; if that is the case, they are obviously doing their due diligence for an additional grocery store.

“People may feel the City controls it but it is a lot of work done by the developer to research the community, the facility and the area and make a business decision that suits their needs. Blaming or giving credit to the City is not warranted because we haven’t been working with anybody.”

To add more fodder to the rumor mill is a job posting found on Google. While the post may say “Hartford” the location for the job is listed as Oak Creek, WI and then at the end of the post it also says “Hartford.”

Starbucks in Hartford

There appears to be a retail development boom in Hartford as a new Starbucks is expected to break ground in March or April 2021.

“Hartford is hot right now,” said Tom Hostad, executive director of the Hartford Area Development Corporation. “People are looking at what can come here and I do see 2021 as a good year for commercial development in Hartford.”

Real estate firm Mid-America posted designs for the new store at 1502 E. Sumner Street; the property is formerly home to the Clark gas station and car wash. That property was posted for sale in February 2019. It featured 8 pumping stalls, 38-feet for frontage on Highway 60, the car wash and convenience store. The building dated to 1980 and the assessment was $563,800.

According to Mid-America the new construction would feature a side-by-side development with Starbucks opening to the west with a drive-thru. There would be additional 1,800 – 2,300 square feet available for lease on the east portion of the building.

City Administrator Steve Vokert said the construction was approved in 2020 by the Hartford Plan Commission but “at that time they had not verified what beverage business it was going to be.”

On Monday, broke the story about Festival Foods purchasing the Hartford Plaza. The grocery will be developed in the former Kmart location on the east side of the mall. The west endcap, formerly home to Sentry Foods, has yet to be determined.

John Dyke, commercial real estate broker with Encore Real Estate said, that intersection in Hartford is the “holy grail of commercial real estate.”

“You have McDonald’s, Kwik Trip, and Walgreens and if you ever want to find the best corner in town this is it,” he said.

Dyke said the properties in that area sat empty for a while for one reason. “Amazon,” he said. “Who is building a big box store anymore. There are a lot of empty storefronts including Boston Store and Macys but we were always confident a grocery would go in there.”

When the Hartford Plaza first went on the market Dyke said Festival Foods and Menards were at the top of the list. “Now that Festival has committed development will be attractive to a lot of people because it brings so much foot traffic or car traffic,” he said. “It wouldn’t be beyond the realm of doubt to see a Buffalo Wild Wings (not confirmed) because Hartford is underserved for any high-level dining.”

The Ponderosa is currently under contract with an accepted offer; however, the property has not sold.

Festival Foods has confirmed it has not purchased that property. Ponderosa, 1285 E. Sumner Street, was listed in late November and had an accepted offer, according to real estate agents, within 10 days.

“Highway 60 in Hartford is going to develop; they have very good population growth and the affordable apartments coupled with the industrial park makes Hartford really attractive,” Dyke said.

Pete Rettler’s record-setting fundraiser celebrating 27 years of running  

Pete Rettler of West Bend wrapped up 2020 in record fashion as he completed his 27th year of running daily and raised double the amount intended for the Wisconsin 9-11 Memorial in Kewaskum.

“I’ve been blown away by all the support,” said Rettler.

On New Year’s Day the newly minted grandfather pushed his 2-month-old granddaughter, Reagan, in a stroller 3.1 miles. To put a bow on the run Rettler also raised $4,700, far more than the $2,700 goal he set.

“We held a virtual event this year but I had 12 sponsors and we picked up $1,500 from 29 door prizes,” he said. “People were extremely generous and I received a lot of support from my colleagues at Moraine Park Technical College.”

Rettler’s running streak dates to January 1, 1994 and a bet made with a former wrestling teammate. The pair vowed to run daily for an entire year to return to their wrestling weight of 126 pounds. They both stayed true to their word and then Rettler took it to the next level and kept going – daily for 27 years.

Over that time, he has endured challenges such as kidney stones, a lightning storm and below freezing temperatures during Wisconsin winters.

“If there was a year my streak might come to an end, I thought 2020 would be it,” he said.

While Rettler avoided contracting COVID he was tormented by a couple injuries. “It was a hard year because this summer I tore a hamstring while water skiing,” he said. “It was sore but I kept running and when I started feeling better it popped again.”

A regime of ice and heat, wrapping and moderate running and Rettler, at 56, bounced back.

“I’m really very blessed,” he said.

On Friday morning about 30 people gathered at the Annex in Kewaskum to take part in Rettler’s annual run. Rev. Pat Heppe blessed the event

“I look at the world and God looked at all of us and said ‘there’s great potential here’ so He sent His son Jesus and told us how to activate that potential. This is part of that too, actuating the potential we have as human beings to make the world a better place and to go above any type of tragedy.

Paul to the Philippians said, “I can do everything through Christ who gives me strength” and Hebrews talks about “Let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. The beauty of this is God has a race marked out for all of us.”

Gordon Haberman, one of the founders of the Wisconsin 9-11 Memorial, said a couple words.

“I did a rough calculation and today would be the 9,855th day that Pete has put on his running shoes and braved the elements to keep his streak going,” said Haberman. “That’s amazing. This marks the second anniversary Pete has designated the Wisconsin 9-11 Memorial as the recipient of donations from his run.”

Haberman said it is expected construction of the Wisconsin 9-11 Memorial will be completed in mid-2021.

Record-breaking year for Enchantment in the Park                                  By Lori Yahr

Thank you West Bend for another great Enchantment in the Park season.

There were over 45,000 people who visited beautiful Regner Park, 18,750 pounds of delicious food was collected and given to Washington County pantries, and $45,355 was given back to local nonprofits who help setup, takedown and operate Enchantment in the Park, 2020.

A big shout out to our generous sponsors; West Bend Mutual, Seek Careers and Staffing, Schmitz Ready Mix, Westbury Charitable Foundation, Lynch Buick GMC, Husar’s House of Fine Diamonds, Strachota Family, Delta Defense, Midstate Insurance, Weasler Engineering, Jeff and Chris Potts, Kohler Credit Union, West Bend Friends of Parks and Recreation, Washington County Insider, Kilian Management Services, Pet Supply Plus, Paul and Karen Rice, Baird, the Chlupp and Hall Group, The Chris Chlupp Family, Moraine Park Technical College, Morries Honda, Johnson Family Foundation, Dave Baldus Family, and A & W Iron and Metal.

Thank you to all of our energetic group volunteers who helped setup, takedown and volunteer at Enchantment, Immanuel Church, WB Boys Basketball, Casa Guadalupe, WB Snowboard Team, WB Winter Guard, Slinger Kiwanis, Jackson JHawks Baseball, West Bend Rotary, WB East Dance, WB Sunrise Rotary, Slinger Allenton Rotary, Slinger SkillsUSA, WB Early Risers Kiwanis, Kohler Credit Union, St. Peter’s Youth, Menomonee Falls Rotary, Kewaskum Girls Basketball, West Bend Lightning Softball, WB Dance, WB Swim Club, Joel Schneider and team, Peter German Family, Jon Corbett Family, Dylan Moore, Paul Hayden Family, Moraine Park Electrical Department, Jon Schlindwein, Gary Wachs, and Jessica Schmitz and Kat Trago team.

Big shout out to our marketing teams, Epic Creative and Washington County Insider and a special thank you to the West Bend Police Department for keeping the traffic flowing and the West Bend Parks for keeping the paths clean.

Happy New Year to all. See you again in 2021!   The Enchantment in the Park Team

Man rescued after breaking through ice on Pike Lake

A 65-year-old man was rescued after falling through the ice on Pike Lake in Hartford on Wednesday afternoon, December 30.

According to Hartford Fire Chief Paul Stephans the call came in at 1 p.m. about a man through the ice about 400 feet from the beach area at the State Park. People hiking on the trail called 9-1-1 after hearing calls for help.

The Washington County Dive Team was activated along with Flight for Life via protocol.

“The man fell through the ice but he did not go below the surface so we were able to rescue him with our ice rescue suits and bring him ashore,” said Stephans. Hartford Fire and Rescue transported the man to Advocate Aurora / Hartford Hospital.

“He was alert and conscious and suffering from hypothermia after being in the water for 40 minutes,” Stephans said. One member of the Hartford Fire Department did suffer a shoulder injury and he is being treated at Advocate Aurora. There is no prognosis update on the firefighter.

“The ice is not safe yet,” said Stephans. “I know it is a great feeling for the ice fishermen to get out on the first ice but it is way, way too dangerous with the weather we’ve had through December and today was proof of the instability of the ice.”

Sharon Ruplinger retires after 47 ½ years with McDonald’s

After 47 1/2 years with one employer Sharon Ruplinger is ready to retire from McDonald’s and Kilian Management Services.

Ruplinger, a McDonald’s veteran, started in 1973 when she was a 15-year-old sophomore at West Bend East High School.

“I was there when the special sauce for the Big Mac was mixed at the store and when the Hamburgler crawl thing, bouncy fry girls and metal slides were in the outdoor play land,” Ruplinger said. “We had to shut down the play area when it was really hot because kids would burn their legs on that metal slide.”

As a teen Ruplinger had to know all the prices and the tax table, add by hand on a piece of paper, and cook by sight – not by computer.

Ruplinger started working behind the counter at McDonald’s when the store was located at 915 S. Main Street; currently home to AutoZone. That store had a one-window drive thru and the popular sandwich was the McLean Deluxe. She was there in 1988 when the uniforms were baby blue with polyester pants and a blue striped button-up top.

Ruplinger advanced within the ranks and worked as Steve Kilian’s assistant and local marketing manager. She was there when the McDonald’s offices were in the basement of the Kilian home to when it was in the Frisby House on the hill at S. Main and Poplar Street and now on

Ruplinger has worked for Steve Kilian and Steve Jr. ever since Jr. was 7 years old.

“She said my brother and I were running around as kids and my dad and mom were there so we kind of grew up with Sharon in our house every day,” said Kilian Jr. “It was very unique but amazing how it worked out.”

“She is the hardest working, most loyal person you could ever meet,” said Steve Kilian Jr. “She cares about everybody here and wants to see everybody succeed and that’s just a great quality and she cares so much and wants to do the best and she’s come to work every day doing that which has been outstanding and we’re just thankful she’s stayed with us for so many years.”

Kilian said the secret to Sharon’s success came from hard work.

“She earned the respect of her peers, both the people who work for her and the people she worked for,” he said. “She never would ask someone to do something she wouldn’t do herself and she was honest. That’s how people earn respect.”

Kilian Jr. said it was 2019 when Ruplinger gave her 1-year notice. “It was a very emotional moment,” he said. “She said she is always a phone call away and it was really important for her to have a replacement in place so nothing would fall through the cracks. She wanted to leave knowing everyone would be set up for success once she was gone and that’s a real special thing.”

Jane Sterr is one of the Day Ladies at McDonald’s who has also had a long career at the Golden Arches. She worked alongside Ruplinger. “That was when we had an outdoor play area where someone stole the full-size Ronald McDonald.”

“Sharon took care of a lot of parties and she kept the dining area clean,” said Sterr. “Sharon is awesome; she would do anything for you,” said McDonald’s Day Lady Karen Wentz. “Whenever we had any celebration she was always there.  Everybody loved her.”

Deb Swenson started with Kilian Management in 1999 and has worked with Sharon “forever.”

“Everybody loves her and she’s been crying for a couple days already because the feedback on the emails has been just tremendous,” she said. “Sharon will be sorely missed. She is very accommodating; she is the face of McDonald’s. She was instrumental in planning the Threshold Shamrock Shake Day and the teacher appreciation nights.  We did a fund raiser for Ronald McDonald House and Cars for a Cause. The Kilian’s are so generous and always giving back to the community.”

“I’m really sad. This is very sad,” said Steve Kilian Sr. “She was going to retire in August and then her husband was going to retire at the same time and she said she could then stay until the end of the year when he is retiring.”

Kilian said he had a million Sharon stories. “When I came to West Bend in 1990 and she was working for the previous owner she was pretty emotional about the changes we made and she cried then and now that she’s leaving, she’s crying again,” he said.

“I spotted her and thought she was capable of a lot of things. She did some bookwork for me and she became close to my family because she came to work at my house every day,” said Kilian. “She would sometimes babysit or throw birthday parties; she did what we needed her to do.”

Kilian said Ruplinger evolved from being a helper to being a consultant. “I would ask her opinion on so many things,” he said. “Her confidence grew and she was a big voice in our company. She got to the point where she did my thinking for me, she got to know me so well.”

Kilian credited Ruplinger with having great instincts. “She became the marketing person. She had no formal training but we learned the business together,” he said.

While Ruplinger’s career spanned nearly 48 years, the last 31 years were with Kilian Management.

“I am going to miss her tremendously,” said Kilian. “She’s become, not only a member of my company but of my family and she had a tremendous effect on my business and my family and I sincerely thank her for that.”

“I could not be more proud of the dedication and work ethic of 47 years at the same employer.  This is the last of a generation of worker devoted to their employer for life.   Also, having grown up on McDonalds cheeseburgers since they were a quarter, I hope my kids will realize that fast food can provide a lifetime of support to a family.  Sharon has her home family and her McDonald’s family, and only the time of day determined which she worked harder for.” – Scott Ruplinger (Son)

“My mom has been proud to be part of McDonald’s for her entire career.  I am grateful that I witnessed her strong work ethic and loyalty.  Her example made us better.”  – Kim Raschick (Daughter)

“We grew up with McDonald’s. From Mom bringing home the newest happy meal toy to breaking in the new play-places. Every birthday party we had was with our McDonald’s family at the restaurants. Looking back, I can’t think of a time when I heard my Mom complain about work. She loves her job and her co-workers. Her work ethic lessons have been taught to us and we will pass down to our kids.” – Kelly Bubolz (Daughter)

Ruplinger sent a note December 10, 2020

This email is to inform the business associates (which I will call my Friends) that I have worked with over the many years. I will be retiring at the end of the year from McDonald’s/Kilian Management Services.

My one and only job started on April 30, 1974. I have worked for McDonald’s for 47 ½ years with over 30 years with the Kilian’s. I’ve attached our Christmas card from this year with my 9 reasons to retire.

COVID has been rough with not seeing our Grandkids. Hoping after COVID I’ll be the Grandma I want to be. You hear when people retire how they will miss the people they’ve worked with. I can tell you from the bottom of my heart working for the Kilian’s is and was like working with my Family. Steve Jr was 7 yrs old when I started working for them in their office in their house. I’m so proud to say I was here to watch Steve Jr grow up and become a successful 2nd generation Operator.

My Assistant for many years Deb Swenson will be taking over my job and is your contact for Kilian’s schedules and anything else you will need.

Thank you for all the years of help and patience.

Sharon Ruplinger

Happy New Year

Happy New Year!

Remember that while you may not have full control over your circumstances, you do have complete control over how you approach life. 2020 was whatever you made of it. 2021 will be the same.

Make it a good year.

2020 Predictions Review

For the past few years, RightWisconsin has solicited predictions from local malcontents and ne’er-do-wells. As I think through my predictions for next year, let’s see how I did this year. Now, to be fair, COVID really messed with some of them, but my predictions are worth exactly what you paid for them. Here we go…

Carrie Underwood will win the Entertainer of the Year award from the Country Music Association. If not Carrie, it definitely won’t be a dude after the CMAs took so much heat in 2019 or failing to honor a woman.

WRONG. It was Eric Church. I underestimated the CMA’s political correctness.

2020 will see the first major political scandal that results from a politician saying something stupid/racist/sexist/illegal/etc. that is recorded by a smart speaker and leaked.

WRONG. At least, I can’t think of anyone, but it will happen.

LSU will win the College Football National Championship.


Preparing for the inevitable, the Green Bay Packers draft a quarterback.


2020 will end with the Democratic National Committee still owing money to Milwaukee and Wisconsin for the costs of their convention.

WRONG. This is one of those that COVID messed up. If there had been an in-person convention, this would have been correct. As it was, they just abandoned Milwaukee completely.

Speaking of the Democratic Convention, Senator Tammy Baldwin will not be given a prominent speaking slot despite the convention occurring in her home state.


After Scott Fitzgerald wins a seat in Congress, State Senator Van Wanggaard is elected to be the next Senate Majority Leader.


Scheduled lock closures on the Illinois River will last longer than scheduled causing a small spike in corn and soybean prices.

WRONG. Hats off to the Army Corps of Engineers

Governor Tony Evers will finally beat his wife at pickleball.

I’m going to call this one CORRECT despite a lack of video evidence. But they played a LOT of pickleball this year. Surely he won at least once.

The United Kingdom’s economy will boom after they leave the European Union.

UNDETERMINED. Their economy sank due to COVID and it’s not possible to measure the Brexit impact in isolation.

Wonder Woman 1984 will be the biggest movie of the year.

WRONG. Well, as of now it’s wrong, but this is another one where COVID disrupted the results. As of now, Bad Boys for Life is the highest grossest movie of 2020 because it came out on January 17th. It grossed $206 million domestically. I would have to think that WW84 would have beaten that.

The Sprint & T-Mobile merger will pass legal challenges and be completed.


Despite increasing the age at which people can buy vaping products to 21, more people will die from vaping in 2020 than in any previous year.

UNDETERMINED. I made this prediction based on the mysterious vaping deaths that were happening at the end of 2019. Remember that? Anyway, I can’t even find current statistics on this and death statistics from the CDC tend to take some time. I hope I’m wrong.

Finally, the wave of populism continues with the reelection of President Trump.

WRONG. The wave of populism has continued, but Trump was not reelected. Although, I do not have confidence in the election results.

Any suggestions for next year?

Side Effects from the Vaccine

The news feed is starting to fill up with examples of people having adverse effects from the Coronavirus vaccines and some are using it as a reason to eschew getting it.

Last week, two health-care workers in the United Kingdom who were among the first batch of people to get the vaccine after it was authorized developed anaphylaxis, a severe allergic response.

Both were known to have a history of severe allergic reactions, and both were treated and recovered. A third person reportedly suffered a rapid heartbeat. British authorities issued new guidance saying people with a history of anaphylaxis should consult with their doctor before taking the vaccine. Researchers do not know what substance in the vaccine formula triggered the severe allergic response.

“When you make a decision to launch a vaccine like this, it’s not because you know everything,” said Paul Offit, a pediatrician and vaccine expert at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia and member of a Food and Drug Administration advisory panel that endorsed the vaccine Thursday. But, he added, “I think we know enough.”

Of course there will be side effects. And of course they will be different for different people. Humans are complex organisms and the injection or ingestion of any substance will have varying effects.

Demands of 100% safety are not reasonable? That various vaccines will likely help a lot of people avoid getting COVID-19. It will also likely hurt and kill a few people. There are risks. There are also risks if you don’t get the vaccine, and those risks are also different for different people. It is up to each of us to weigh the risks and make the best decision we can.

As for me, I’ve already had it, so I don’t need the vaccine. I’ve been naturally inoculated. Some of y’all might want to think about getting the vaccine when it is available. Some of y’all might be young and healthy and decide that it is not worth the risk because there is a 99.9% survival rate from COVID-19 for your demographic.

Make good choices!

Zodiac Killer’s Cipher Broken After 51 Years


(CNN)More than 50 years after the so-called Zodiac Killer first began terrorizing the streets of Northern California, a code-breaking team is believed to have finally cracked one of the killer’s mysterious coded messages sent to the San Francisco Chronicle in 1969.

Dubbed the “340 cipher,” the message was unraveled by a trio of code breakers — David Oranchak, a software developer in Virginia, Jarl Van Eycke, a Belgian computer programmer, and Sam Blake, an Australian mathematician.
Decoding the cipher revealed the following message. It was sent in all capital letters without punctuation and included the misspelling of paradise:
“I hope you are having lots of fun in trying to catch me
That wasn’t me on the TV show which brings up a point about me
I am not afraid of the gas chamber because it will send me to paradice all the sooner
Because I now have enough slaves to work for me where everyone else has nothing when they reach paradice so they are afraid of death
I am not afraid because I know that my new life will be an easy one in paradice death.”

Python Filets

I’m down for some snake.

Wildlife officials in Florida are trying a new way to combat the spread of pythons in the state by convincing the public they’re a delicacy.

In an effort to combat the booming population of the invasive species, believed to have started when people released pets into the wild, the state is trying to encourage more hunting, the Sun-Sentinel reports.

Some citizens have begun killing and using the snakes in cooking, comparing the taste to a pork chop, according to the Sun-Sentinel. A seven-and-a-half-foot snake can provide up to four pounds of meat in a five-foot long filet.

Insect of the Minute

“I’d like to thank all of my friends who supported me… oh, they’re dead.

BERLIN (AP) — The Danish Mayfly was selected Friday by an international group of entomologists and others as the Insect of the Year for 2021, but it won’t have long to celebrate its 15 minutes of fame.

The insect, whose scientific name is Ephemera danica, only has a few days to fly, mate and lay new eggs.

“What makes the mayfly unique is its life cycle: from the egg laid in the water to the insect capable of flight and mating, which dies after a few days,” said Thomas Schmitt, chairman of the commission of scientists and representatives from research institutions and conservation organizations from Germany, Austria and Switzerland that made the choice.

Shorn Sheep Make Better Babies

Who ewe?

Everyone feels better after a good haircut, sheep included.

Ewes that are sheared more often are happier and produce lambs with better wool, according to a new study.

Researchers from Australia’s University of Queensland say Merino ewes who are trimmed twice during pregnancy, rather than the typical once, have higher wool productivity.

Around the Bend by Judy Steffes

Plan Commission questioned about property sale to DQ

The owner of Jumbo’s Frozen Custard, Jeff Kern, spoke before the West Bend Plan Commission on Wednesday evening asking how they could justify selling the Mutual Mall to Dairy Queen.

Kern said he appeared before the Plan Commission in 2003 when he proposed investing over $1 million to redevelop the A&W property after it sat vacant following a fire and make it into an independent custard shop.

“While I’m not at all against Kevin or the Dairy Queen to reestablish itself in West Bend it is amazing to me that the City would sell a piece of property to a business that competes directly against me,” said Kern.

“I’m a free-market guy but I don’t understand the purpose of planning commission when the City is actively involved in putting the same frozen dessert-treat service with similar hot dogs, similar hamburgers, similar French fries, as a matter of fact the person who delivers my custard mix will go right across the street and deliver to Kevin.”

“It seems to me that’s a lack of foresight among the City of West Bend in allowing something like that to happen.”

Kern said DQ offered a layout of a beautiful building and expressed a lot of opportunity in West Bend for the business to move forward but questioned why they would locate it across the street from a similar business.

“I just don’t understand why it goes directly across the street from me,” Kern said. “And hits me right in the wallet the minute this vote goes through.”

Kern said “Any opportunity for future sales will be directly related to the vote happening right now.  Evidently the $1.3 million I invested in Jumbo’s when I built, the 17 years of community service and support, the $6 million or $7 million in payroll means nothing to the people sitting in this room.”

“For you to sell a parcel to these people so I can look out the window of my business at my competition. I just want to go on record saying that’s disappointing and I will be here to fight for every customer I have but this chamber is making it very difficult to succeed in this endeavor,” Kern said. Kern said DQ offered a beautiful building and expressed a lot of opportunity in West Bend for the business to move forward but questioned why they would locate it across the street from a similar business.

“I just don’t understand why it goes directly across the street from me,” Kern said. “And hits me right in the wallet the minute this vote goes through.”

Kern said, “Any opportunity for future sales will be directly related to the vote happening right now.  Evidently the $1.3 million I invested in Jumbo’s when I built, the 17 years of community service and support, the $6 million or $7 million in payroll means nothing to the people sitting in this room.”

“For you to sell a parcel to these people so I can look out the window of my business at my competition. I just want to go on record saying that’s disappointing and I will be here to fight for every customer I have but this chamber is making it very difficult to succeed in this endeavor,” Kern said.

City of West Bend development director Mark Piotrowicz said the property was zoned B-1 commercial and the decision to sell the property was up to the Common Council and not the Plan Commission.

The Plan Commission then voted unanimously in favor of the site plan for Dairy Queen. Those voting included Jed Dolnick, Bernie Newman, Sara Fleischman, Steve Hoogester, Chris Jenkins and Max Marechal.

Absent from the Plan Commission were Mike Staral, Bryce Gannon and Chris Schmidt.  The site plan must still go before the Common Council for approval.

Opening of Dunkin’ / Baskin Robbins delayed until December 2020 / January 2021

The facade signs are in place at the new Dunkin’ / Baskin Robbins location in West Bend however neighbors are going to have to wait a bit longer than expected for the opening.

The store, 1610 W. Washington Street, was slated to open in October and then pushed to mid-November. Now media spokesman Louis Lessor said their goal is still a late 2020 opening but that could possibly be delayed to early 2021.

The store is still waiting on a couple pieces of key equipment including several hand-washing stations. Construction got underway June 10, 2020 in the lot formerly home to Pizza Hut.

The 2,160-square-foot property is nearly complete. Signage was installed October 29. The building must still pass building inspection before it can open.

Spaulding Clinical increases stipends

Spaulding Clinical in West Bend has an easy way for people who may have lost their job to make money. Cassie Erato is CEO for the Phase 1 pharmaceutical testing firm. “We really have a good message for our community,” said Erato.

Spaulding Clinical currently has 12 studies available that are paying extremely high stipends.

“Because of COVID-19 it is more difficult to recruit right now,” said Erato.  “We have an abundance of trials to choose from and everyone is increasing their stipends.  So, the amount our clients are paying per day is very high, even though the risk is no greater.”

A sampling of what the stipends are like:

– One study is 20 days and it pays $7,500.

– There is a sunscreen trial that is 5 nights, sunscreen is applied and there are blood draws and it pays $3,200.

– Another study is 7 nights and 9 outpatient visits.  It pays $6,800 and that is for an FDA approved drug for high cholesterol.

“People in the community can really benefit from clinical trials, especially if maybe their restaurant jobs shut down, people are turning to clinical trials for income,” said Erato.  “We are providing so much in stipends right now; we’re sending hundreds of thousands of dollars out each week.”

“We have this abundance of trials to choose from, all for healthy volunteers.  You can take your pick from a quick, short stay or five days and being able to work around your work schedule,” she said.

There are 12 studies currently available and they can talk to our recruitment department to see what they are comfortable with.  There are a lot of different

“I’ve been in this industry for 13 years and I’ve never seen stipend payments like this before,” said Erato. “There was a small surge in 2006 right before the recession but it was not like this.”

Al and Sally Tennies Celebrating 67th wedding anniversary

Please wish Al and Sally Tennies a happy 67th anniversary. The couple were married Saturday Nov. 7, 1953.

“We just believe it’s important to cherish every milestone going forward and 67 years is amazing,” said daughter Melissa Tennies

Al & Sally Tennies met in high school, became high school sweethearts and got married on November 7, 1953 at Holy Angels Church at 10 in the morning.

After church, their driver Webster Tennies whisked them off to Lunch, Dinner and Drinks at the Moose – KC Hall on Sixth Avenue above what was called Carol’s House.

After dinner, the reception took place at Laufer’s Roller Rink where lots of dancing and memories took place.

The secret to a long marriage has always been to talk to each other during dinner, have fun and laugh, be friends and grow old together.

Every Love Story is Beautiful, but our Parents is our Favorite

9 Loved Children 804 Months and Countless Memories

18 Amazing Grandchildren 24,455 Days Laughter, Vacations, Good Times, and Endless Smiles

13 Wonderful Great Grandchildren 586,920 Hours Love Family Forever

35,215,200 Minutes & Counting


Candidate interviews Nov. 11, 2020 for open seat on Kewaskum Board of Education 

Ten people have applied to fill one open slot on the Kewaskum School Board. The position opened after Mark Sette quit the board after moving out of the district. The candidates who filed paperwork before the October 30, 2020 deadline are listed below.

Candidate interviews are slated for Wednesday, November 11 at 6 p.m. The board will vote to fill the seat at its next regular meeting. Mark Brunner, Lori Bruno, Clayton Frounfelker, Samantha Goehring, Richard Leitheiser, Andrew Mazurek, Rachel Moore, Trevor Owen, Chris Sabish, and Lawrence Wheaton. The board will select a new member at its meeting November 12. That person will serve for six months as the seat is officially up for election in April 2021.

The Antidote opens in West Bend

After 14 years in the restaurant/bar business Wes Feest, 32, has decided to step out on his own and this Thursday, November 5 he opens The Antidote, 302 N. Main Street.

“We’re going to be a little cocktail lounge and after our kitchen is installed, we’ll have food after New Year’s Day,” said Feest.

After some contemplation Feest said he decided to branch out on his own. “This is a great opportunity for my wife and myself,” he said. “I love this location and the brick. There’s a charm and character to the building with all the natural wood inside.”

The name The Antidote came as a response to the dismal 2020 business climate. “With the shutdown we’re hoping this is the cure for the worst year restaurants have had,” Feest said.

In September 2020, the old Foz’s aka Fasciano Properties, LLC was sold to 301 Properties, LLC for $325,000.

The 2020 assessed value was $277,500.  Foz Enterprises LLC purchased the property April 1, 2001 for $210,000. On October 17, 1996 Barbercheck and Gundrum purchased the property for $186,000.

That corner building has been home to many locally owned tavernkeepers. Over the years other tenants in the tavern included Herbie Lundquist who named it The Blue Room. Bob Corbett dubbed it Corby’s. Bob Weston changed it to The Pub. The tavern was The Mixing Place and then Al May moved in with Kings Guard Pub and Don Zimmel later ran it as Three Old Guys with Russ Vermillion and Randy Miller.

Bloomin’ Lights / Bloomin’ Holidays at Museum of Wisconsin Art

The Museum of Wisconsin Art is being transformed into an outdoor movie theatre this weekend and in the spotlight is Milwaukee artist Gabrielle Tesfaye with an animated show for Bloomin’ Lights.

The entire north-facing façade of MOWA features a multicultural painting and then blends the theme of Bloomin’ Holidays with an array of colorful flowers growing under a slow procession of blue clouds.

The animation cycles through every four minutes and is free to view from 5 p.m. – 10 p.m. this Saturday, November 7 and Sunday, November 8.

Stop out at 5 p.m. and as the night sky grows dark watch as the brilliant colors come to life.

Letter to the Editor | Save the trees in Town of Erin      | By Susan Graham

Dear Town of Erin Board,

My name is Susan Graham. I am not a resident of your lovely town, but I enjoy visiting my sister and her family here often. My sister is Jenny Graham, who as you probably remember has attended some of your meetings regarding her strong concern about the plan to clear-cut trees along some of the rustic roads in Erin Township. She asked for my assistance in looking at the trees along some of the rustic roads that are marked orange for removal. As background, my undergraduate degree is in botany, and I learned tree identification and took many ecology courses. As a naturalist, I know about restoration and habitat health. I currently work as a water resources scientist. I hope this information will help you make good decisions about how the tree removal project moves forward.

Jenny and I walked the length of Emerald Drive from Donegal Rd to St Augustine. We tied blue flags on orange flagged trees that we urge you to spare in the course of your upcoming road repair project.

We found a very small number of ash trees, already marked orange. We support the removal of these trees if they would fall on the road. There are literally millions of ashes dying in forests across the Midwest, and the only ones being actively removed are in urban areas, or managed yards. If they lean away, and they are well off the road, it’s not clear why the Town would spend the money to remove them but in the big picture, we don’t have a problem with it.

We mostly blue-flagged basswood trees as they were the most common species along the road. These trees are excellent native trees — yes, they are “softwood” but this is no reason to cut them in particular. The cut trees are not being used as firewood, so there is no difference between softwood or hardwood in this context. They produce profuse flowers in spring, providing a veritable feast for honeybees and many other pollinators. As most of you probably know, pollinator insects on the North American continent are declining, and efforts across all levels of government, nonprofits, and private people are working to support them for the benefit of our agricultural industry. Pollinators need all the help we can give them.

A possible misperception about basswood trees is that because most have multiple trunks arising from the ground together that they are in unhealthy condition. This is not the case — it is a normal growth pattern for basswoods. Some people also call these linden trees, and they are plentiful in urban areas.

After basswoods, the other tree species we put blue flags on large-toothed aspen, American aspen, slippery elm, sugar maple, shagbark hickory, and hop hornbeam. These are all wonderful, native trees growing in a healthy forest community. None of the trees I observed along Emerald Dr. are invasive species or problematic in and of themselves — with one exception. There was one buckthorn shrub marked for removal closer to St. Augustine Rd. If this shrub is killed, it would be doing this lovely forest a favor to reduce the spread of this species as it is extremely harmful ecologically, but the stump MUST be treated with an appropriate herbicide or it will resprout readily, with even more sprouts. The forests in this area are really remarkable in that they aren’t already infested with buckthorn, honeysuckle, burning bush or any other harmful invasives that are so common in most other places.

After carefully considering each tree slated for removal, we did mark a lot of them with blue ribbon to ask that they not be removed. Our concern with the proposal to remove the orange flagged trees is that there appears to be no clear rationale to justify the expense. Jenny and I spent a lot of time trying to discern the reason(s) with no conclusion. It seems that all trees within 12′ of this road are slated for removal. But the 12′ distance appears to be completely arbitrary and without justification.

If it’s for driver safety, people simply need to do what people do on roads everywhere — drive the speed limit, unimpaired, and not too fast for conditions. If it’s for school buses to pass each other safely, well, they should not be driving off the roadway to begin with, and again, safe speeds would obviously be called for. All bus drivers are hired with this good sense and trained to reinforce that. A good number of the trees flagged orange are on top of a soil bank, well out of the way of any swerving traffic or other conceivable road navigation. Driver safety is clearly not the reason for removing those.

If the reason is to make snowplowing easier, (and we did note two trees on Emerald that showed damage consistent with being dinged by the lower corner of a plow blade), the plow drivers should slow down just a little, and accommodate the trees that make these roads so scenic and special. They accommodate mailboxes, fire number posts, and utility poles, in addition to the banks of soil in places. I’m sure it’s quicker to plow a wide-open highway but doing a careful job in a variety of conditions is something civil servants take pride in doing. It is just necessary in spots along these rustic roads. As we inspected the orange blazed trees, it was clear that this rationale didn’t apply in the vast majority of cases as they were up on top of a soil bank, down low off the slope of the roadway, or just back off the road where they aren’t in the way of snowbanks.

If the tree removal is because of some sense of stewardship of the woods, the removal of most trees marked orange would be contrary to sound ecological forest management. The forest through which these roads travel is not being actively managed. Dead trees are generally left to provide food and habitat for woodpeckers and many other species of birds that rely on standing deadwood and fall when they are ready as they have in unmanaged forests long before Europeans settled here. Many species of birds and some mammals need standing dead wood.

Some of the trees along Emerald marked for removal are growing up into the canopy of old oak trees. These shorter trees we did not mark to save, because these younger trees penetrating an oak’s canopy will cause the untimely death of large branches, harming the oaks. If the Town wants to be in the business of managing roadside trees for ecologically sound purposes, this would be one small example, but it doesn’t look like that is your purpose, either.

Some trees are growing near the power line. Removing these trees to reduce conflict with the line is the power company’s responsibility, not the Town’s.

Are the trees considered a serious falling hazard to drivers, pedestrians and bicyclists using the road? Even removing the trees near the road will not reduce that hazard due to the sheer number of large trees — this is a mature forest. Very few of the trees marked for removal are leaning over the road, and many are leaning away, but still marked for removal. One was nothing but a 10′ tall stump, about 10 to 12′ from the roadway, leaning away from the road. Cutting this makes no sense. Clearly this falling hazard is not the purpose to remove them.

One last possible rationale we could imagine is if someone felt tree roots near the road would interfere with digging down to refresh the bed of the road during reconstruction. Well, those roots would be present for many, many years whether or not the trees near the road are removed this winter. I know the road reconstruction is scheduled to happen soon, so that can’t be the reason either. Tree roots do not continue to grow after a tree is felled (with the exception of buckthorn, which isn’t killed by chain sawing).

The trees we added a blue ribbon to are stately and beautiful, providing shade and cool during the summer, and habitat for pollinators, birds, and mammals throughout the year. They are a crucial element of a healthy forest and were a prime incentive to the Town of Erin’s original designation of these rustic roads. The trees we marked to save are well off the road, not creating a maintenance problem or any special hazard. They are not hurting other trees, leaning excessively, and not interfering with normal snowplow operations. Many are large and must be very expensive to remove. During the few hours we were walking and talking and looking at the trees, we saw so many people bicycling, driving slowly on that cool Sunday morning, and we spoke with no fewer than 4 curious drivers who stopped to ask what was going on. All 4 individuals or families were unhappy to learn of the proposal to remove the trees, and one already knew, and vehemently stated their opposition, although they want the road resurfaced.

Finally, we could not imagine any other logical justification for this very expensive, disruptive and unpopular proposal. After all the objections, why do residents still have to wonder what is the reason for it? What possible benefit is there to the Town residents?

In summary, by being more judicious about tree removal along these roads, you, the Town board, have the opportunity to save a significant amount of taxpayer money. You can also protect the unique aesthetic pleasure for those who treasure this rustic road. The newly renovated road will be a beautiful place to walk, cycle or drive without the excessive number of trees removed. The area will continue to attract visitors who marvel at the beauty of this township, with outstanding fall color, intimate feel of the forest enclosing the roads, and contributing to the business interests in the area. We feel that in the absence of clear, logical justification, the Town should significantly scale back this arbitrary, harmful, and unpopular waste of taxpayer money, and listen to the residents you were elected by.

Thank you for listening,

Susan Graham

Around the Bend by Judy Steffes

Bull elk spotted on trail cam wandering near Holy Hill

Bow hunter Nathan Heinritz of Hartford said he and his wife had to watch the trail camera footage about 10 times because they couldn’t believe what they were seeing.

“That is a 4×4 wild bull elk,” said Heinritz. “We’ve seen turkey and whitetail deer and all of a sudden a giant elk… we couldn’t believe it.”

After binge watching the 20-seconds of video Heinritz called the DNR and it confirmed the bull elk is tagged and comes out of Jackson County, WI.

“The tag number is 323 and this bull elk along with a cow elk have been moving down south in search of other elk,” Heinritz said. “The rut for the elk is September through October.”

The elk came ambling through an area near Holy Hill and Highway 164 on Tuesday, October 20 at 11:44 p.m. The video shows some precipitation and the grey and white elk moving directly toward the camera.

“I pulled the camera the next day and that evening my wife and I were looking through the video and we couldn’t believe our eyes,” he said. “We didn’t even know there were elk in this area.”

Heinritz grew up in Pewaukee and his wife in St. Lawrence.

“We have a lot of family who are hunters and nobody ever mentioned elk.  We didn’t even know it was possible… it was just crazy.”

Heinritz, 31, returned to the trail and found monster hoof prints left by the elk.

“Matter of fact you can see the elk’s breath at the end of the video and its antler or nose flipped open the cover of the trail cam and you can hear that in the video,” he said. “When I checked the camera, I wondered why the cover was flipped open but it was the bull elk tampering with the trail cam.”

As far as the size and weight of the bull elk, Heinritz said he could not even estimate but the DNR said the herd is doing well.

“There is a herd in Jackson County called the Black River herd of elk and they were released a couple years ago and they’re all doing very well,” said Heinritz. “The cows are having calves and the population is expanding and that’s encouraging to hear.”

The gun-deer season is ahead and Heinritz confirms an elk tag is needed and those tags are very hard to come by.

According to the DNR the elk hunting season is open Oct. 17 – Nov. 15, 2020 and Dec. 10-18, 2020. Only Wisconsin residents are eligible to receive an elk tag.

“When thousands of people apply for an elk tag only 10 hunters get it and they normally hunt north in the Hayward, WI or Clam Lake area,” Heinritz said. “There is a herd up there and that population is about 160 so there’s a better chance of seeing one.”

Because the gun deer season is Nov. 21 – 29 Heinritz thought it best to report the elk sighting to the DNR. “I wanted it on their radar so they could share the information and warn hunters,” he said. “You really need to know your target and beyond. Hunters need an elk tag to shoot and elk but those tags are very rare.”

The DNR told Heinritz “this is the first time a wild bull elk has come this far south into Washington County.”

Right before Heinritz called in his sighting the DNR said it fielded a report from Waukesha County. “It was a day or two prior and after I posted my video on October 23 there was a reporting of the same elk in Fond du Lac County,” he said. “So that elk is on the move. He came through here at midnight so he must be moving at night”

An education in elk at Shalom Wildlife

On Monday, October 26 a story was posted at about a bull elk seen in the Holy Hill area near Highway 164.  Nathan Heinritz shared an awesome trail cam video of a large young bull elk walking at 11:44 p.m. on October 20.

The animal is a bit out of place and according to the DNR they’ve been tracking it since it came out of the Jackson County area.

David Fechter from Shalom Wildlife has several elk, bull and cows. He said this is mating season for the elk and the young buck has one thing on his mind.

“One boy gets all the girls,” said Fechter about the elk population. “What they do is the dominant elk chase the young bulls away and then they go off and try to find new territory.”

Fechter said normally in January, after the mating season is over, the young bulls can go back and rejoin the herd.

Shalom has a pasture full of elk including one Fechter thinks is the size of the young bull that has been traipsing through Washington County. “The young guy in the photo will make a lot of miles in a day, sometimes 30 to 40 miles a day, but he won’t find anything down here… unless he comes to Shalom… which is possible,” he said.

The dominant elk at Shalom, named Buttercup, is 10 years old. Fechter refers to him as a Royal elk because he has six tines on his antlers. If he had seven tines he would be an Imperial and eight would be a Monarch.

We got pretty lucky during a stop at Shalom Wildlife as the bull elk let go its bugle mating call. “That’s pretty rare to see,” said Fechter.

Then things went very National Geographic got together for a little afternoon delight. “Well now that’s very rare to see,” said Fechter.

Within minutes the bull elk was sniffing the air again. “It’s called scenting the air and he’s checking to see if there are any other cows in heat,” he said.

The bull made a brief advance in the direction of the young bull elk but the youngster kept his distance.

“The bull elk can mate 20 or more times in a matter of weeks,” said Fechter. “Sometimes a couple times a day. The bull elk can lose up to 25-to-30 percent of its body weight during the mating season because they’re trying to keep other bulls away while keeping all the girls together.”

“There is a sense of urgency for a bull elk to pass along its genes as fast and as often as he can because he only has a couple years to really do that,” Fechter said.

Old-fashioned pumpkin patch field trip at St. Frances Cabrini School

The temps were a little chilly Tuesday morning but the kids at St. Frances Cabrini School were dressed for the weather and a traditional field trip.

Mittens, check. Knit hat, check. Pillowcase, check. And off went Mrs. Pat Kraemer’s kindergarten class with little red wagon in tow to the pseudo pumpkin patch in the grassy area next to the old Cabrini convent….. and ooooooh were the kids excited!

“Oh, my goodness… look at all these pumpkins,” said Mrs. Kraemer.

The kids sloshed through leaves to find the perfect pumpkin. They were all of a pretty manageable size.

Halloween on Indian Lore donated the pumpkins for the event which included K3 and K4 classes. “The kids are pretty excited, which is good,” said Principal William Waech.

Kewaskum man on the mend following horrific accident

Neighbors across Kewaskum and Washington County are praying for Joey Donald after he was involved in a horrific accident Thursday afternoon, October 22 on eastbound I-94 in Waukesha County.

The accident happened at 2:48 p.m. at HWY G just west of Grandview Road. The call came in as “one person pinned under pickup truck.”

Joey’s wife Carrie relayed how the accident happened.

Joe was on I-94 east when he saw a lady spin out and hit the median 3 times. In Joe fashion, he quickly pulled over to make sure the lady was ok. He went up to her window, confirmed she was ok and then took her phone and called 911. That is all he can remember… Thank God.

Suddenly, another lady came down the road and hit the exact spot that the lady Joe was helping hit and also hit the median. She then flew into the truck that Joe was helping which then rear ended his work truck and threw it 100 feet.

When she rear-ended the car Joe was helping, it threw him into the median, the car ran over him and pinned him against the median. Fire truck had to use a winch to get the truck off Joe because they could not get to him.

Carrie and Joey have been married five weeks and have two children.

First, we want to thank you for all your prayers. I just wanted to share with all of you Joe’s condition. In case you did not hear yet, I got a horrific call yesterday from Froedert informing me that Joe was hit by a car. I am writing this cause as much as I to respond to all of you, my time needs to be with Joe. He is down at Froedert in the SICU right now.

He had a broken pelvis, broken humerus, 2 broken ribs, 2 cuts by his right eye, fractured L1, L2 and a puncture in his bladder. He had surgery today on his pelvis where they had to put in plates and screws to put it back together.

During surgery he lost 2 liters of blood, so they had to do a blood transfusion. When they got all that under control, they then went into his bladder and repaired the tear that the pelvis ripped. Everything finished great.

His humerus bone did not get fixed today because with the transfusion and the extra time under sedation. They want to wait till next week so he has time to heal before the next big surgery. They are keeping him sedated overnight along with a breathing tube to keep him relaxed and rest easy. I also got the chance to talk to the police officer that was at the accident yesterday.

We need your continued prayers as this will be a long recovery for Joe. But in the words of Joe before surgery, “There ain’t no way a Ford is gonna kill me!”

We love you all and thanks for all your kind words and prayers.

Slinger School District partners with Allenton American Legion

As a tribute to Veterans Day members of the Allenton American Legion Fohl-Martin Post 483 gathered for photos and to recite the Pledge of Allegiance.

The Fohl-Martin Post is working with the Slinger School District to gather memories and answer questions for students in lieu of visiting the classes this year.

Coming up watch for more videos as members of the Allenton American Legion answer student questions about being in the military, what they did for a job, where they slept, what they ate and if they missed their mom.

Jackson man recognized for his efforts to save a life

Doug Sewell, 42, of Jackson received a commendation from Washington County in October for his efforts to save a life while working for the Shared Ride Taxi Service.

On September 21, 2020, Sewell picked up a client from the nursing home and quickly noticed at a stoplight the woman was unresponsive. “I pulled over, checked her pulse and called 911 and started CPR until paramedics came,” said Sewell.

The woman eventually died at the hospital however Sewell received a commendation for “going above and beyond” in his efforts and for being a man of strong “character, quick action, and demonstration of love for his neighbor.”

“The recognition makes me feel appreciated,” said Sewell. “I tried to stay calm and just do the best I could.”

Scott Stortz to announce candidacy for Village of Slinger president

While most election eyes are focused on Tuesday, November 3 there are some people looking ahead to the April 2021 election including Scott Stortz.

Later today Stortz is expected to announce his candidacy for president of the Village of Slinger.

“Current Village President Russell Brandt has indicated he will not be running again and I bring some unique insight and skills to the table and want to give it a shot,” Stortz said.

A familiar name in the area, Stortz has been in local real estate for close to 30 years and is owner of Star Properties, Inc. for the past 24 years.

“I bring business skills to the table with a successful, well-known company. I’m used to negotiating with real estate sales and troubleshooting and I have many years of serving the community from county level to the Village of Jackson and Slinger,” he said.

Stortz is not a stranger to local politics. In early 2000 he was a supervisor on the Washington County Board and while living in the Village of Jackson he was on the Plan Commission and Village Trustee.

Stortz touts his work with the Boys & Girls Club and public-private partnerships.

A father of two children in the Slinger School District, Stortz said he has a good grasp on young families and growing the community.

“I have fresh ideas and fresh perspective on ways of thinking through things,” he said.

Questioned how he would fill the corner on Highway 60 and Highway 175 after Casey’s General Store razed its building and then announced it would not be moving forward with new construction, Stortz said he sees opportunity.

“Not only that corner but downtown Slinger as well,” he said. “In this time of businesses closing or struggling, I find my clients are coming up from Milwaukee to the small towns and I think that is going to be true for smaller companies as well that want the small-town atmosphere and smaller storefronts rather than the chaos of the bigger cities.”

Stortz, 51, was born in Richfield. He lives in the Village and touts the strengths of the community starting with the Slinger School District, robust rail line, local ski hill, and racetrack as well as the positive, strong family values and work ethic.

The election for the non-partisan seat in the Village of Slinger is April 6, 2021.

Candidates can start pulling papers Dec. 1, 2020. Signatures are due January 4, 2021 in order to qualify to be on the April 6, 2021 ballot.

“I’m not running against anybody, I’m running for the position,” said Stortz.

Russell Brandt has been Village President in Slinger since 2003. He has previously served as a supervisor on the Washington County Board and in November 2019 filled non-candidacy papers.  In the late 1980s and early 1990s Brandt served for six years as a Village Trustee in Slinger.

Day 17 and Town of Barton man has not received requested absentee ballot

Terry Lyons of the Town of Barton is not a happy camper. Lyons contacted about the status of his absentee ballot. His story is below.

“My absentee story: I am going to be away for the election, so I ordered an absentee ballot on 10/9/20. Sherry Eckert, Town of Barton Clerk, who is a longtime friend, mailed the ballot to me on 10/12. Well here it is 11 days for the USPS to deliver, but no ballot. So I went and did in-person absentee voting and cancelled the absentee ballot. This tells me that the post office worries are valid.

Sherry was extremely surprised. Asked me to let her know if it ever shows up. I feel I do not trust the USPS for voting issues. They sure can get a pile of junk mail to me everyday yet can’t get a ballot across town! Do not vote by mail. Go to in-person absentee voting if need be. There are no crowds.

If they have ordered a ballot, it can be cancelled when going in for absentee voting.

And yes, it makes me angry!  Signed Terry Lyons”

Sherry Eckert is the clerk in the Town of Barton. She said she is familiar with Lyons.

“I don’t have a lot of people who have called me saying they have not received a ballot,” she said.

“Eleven days is excessive. I usually try to find out and I look at to see if there was a mistake in the address. A lot of time they are entering the address so it could be a small error in anything.”

Eckert’s advice on dropping a ballot in the mail is to monitor it closely.

“They should closely monitor the website and it would show when the ballot is mailed. I would give it 10 days and then call the clerk,” she said.


“They can also come in to vote. I had one person where I issued the ballot, he didn’t receive it and I welcomed him to come in and vote. We spoiled his ballot; he didn’t have one to turn over but people should vote in person if they’re concerned.”

Lyons contacted on Tuesday night and said his ballot still had not arrived and that would make it 16 days since the request was submitted.

Dean Krueger is postmaster at the US Post Office in West Bend.

He said the ballot requests are sent down to Milwaukee for processing. “We do not hold anything in the local Post Offices because they want to be sure they’re processed to the right address, there’s tracking information built into the barcode on that ballot and that will show when that piece is processed with the date and time and then it comes back usually within the next day or two to be delivered,” said Krueger.

“Depending on this man’s address it could be delivered by West Bend Post Office or it could be delivered by Kewaskum Post Office. But once it goes down to Milwaukee it gets processed and delivered by the carrier to the customer.”

Questioned whether he could explain the 11, now 16 days without receiving a requested ballot. “That seems extremely excessive and I don’t know,” he said.

“We want the requests sooner than later so everything can be processed. Without having seen that piece or knowing the address I can’t give you an exact reason for the delay.”

Lyons asked who is being held accountable?

“The actual tracking of the individual ballots is not something the USPS is capable of monitoring. I can tell you the steps we take locally is we sweep our buildings in the morning, mid-day and night to make sure nothing is left in the building. We do surveys and that goes to the district to show the sweeps are being done.

“If we have ballots that come to our office that are not for our office, we send them via express mail to the intended office to ensure they get there. We had an Allenton ballot and I personally drove it to the Allenton polling station so it got there.

“We deliver in a timely manner right up until the election,” said Krueger.

Lyons advised people “go in person if you want your vote counted.”

“I’m teed off,” he said. “My faith in the USPS has evaporated.”

Election Day is November 3, 2020.

Big 10 and Pac-12 Teams Shouldn’t Be Eligible for Championship

Since I’ve enjoyed a watching some really great college football games this weekend – including watching my Aggies upset the Florida Gators – it really annoys me that the Big 10 and Pac 12 are starting their truncated seasons nearly a full month after the other conferences, will play fewer games, but are still eligible for the national championship playoffs. Injuries and weariness weigh heavily in the playoffs of any sports league. It is rarely the best team at the beginning of the season that wins it all. It’s usually the team that has the best players left playing at the end of the season. In this case, teams like Ohio State will end their season with two or more fewer games than the teams they might be playing. When the Big 10 and Pac 12 decided to not have a season, they should have been excluded from playoff contention. The fact that they decided to have a season after all is good for their players and their schools, but they made their choice.

On another note, I think I like the teams playing only conference games. Every game matters and there are much fewer lopsided games.

Murder Hornets Near Slaughter Phase

Well then

“Asian giant hornets this time of year start going into what we call the slaughter phase,” said Sven-Erik Spichiger, an entomologist at the Washington state department of agriculture.

In this phase, the hornets launch attacks on honeybee colonies, decapitating workers and dividing up their bodies as food for their young. The prospect is worrisome for farmers who rely on the bees to pollinate key crops, such as blueberries and raspberries.

Around the Bend by Judy Steffes

Remodel nearly complete at Washington House

The remodel of the tavern in a landmark location in West Bend started just a couple months ago and over the past few weeks a noticeable transformation has taken place.  How long did it take you to pinpoint the location?

The building at 228 N. Sixth Avenue in West Bend is listed in the National Register of Historic Properties.

From the book The Story of Washington County by Carl Quickert there was a brief mention of Baltazar Goetter.

“B. Goetter who in the spring of 1849 opened up the first brewery and later erected the “Washington House,” one of the largest and finest hotels in the State at the time, and for many years the preferred rendezvous of the German pioneers.”

From the sign out front of the cream city brick building.

“This building was one of the first brick building erected in West Bend. It was built in 1849 by Baltazar Goetter. It replaced a wooden hotel built in 1852.  That building was destroyed by fire on January 1, 1864.

The Italianate structure reopened October 15, 1864 as a headquarters for travelers along the “Old Stage Coach Road” serving coach and ox-cart alike.

The book The Spirit of West Bend by Dorothy E. Williams has a section on the hotel fire involving the Washington House.

“Perhaps the most dramatic moment in the life of the Washington House occurred on January 1, 1864. It was a severely cold day, as New Year’s days usually are. Every room o fthe hotel was filled. The many stoves were crammed full of wood to ward off the frigid air, and inside in the cheery atmosphere the men played billiards, cards, or told stories to while away the holiday.

Suddenly the dread cry of “FIRE!” brought everyone to his feet. The roof was a fire! Instantly, townspeople and guests set to work to save what they could. There was no local fire department as yet, and the only equipment the village had was a “donkey engine” with 20 feet of hose, entirely inadequate to reach the river, which at any rate was frozen solid. Willing hands pitched blankets, beds, pitchers, washbasins, luggage, and looking glasses from the upper floors to the frozen ground below. After the entire first floor was cleared, men went into the cellar to rescue the sauerkraut jar and carried the heavy burden all the way up the steps and outside to safety.

Other helpers managed to carry out the cumbrous hotel range, with the holiday turkey still in the oven. The turkey promptly froze. Most of the food in the basement was well enough insulated so it did not freeze – the apples, potatoes, etc. When it was all over, the only item remaining on the spot where the hotel had been was the cast iron stove which had overheated and probably caused the terrible conflagration. There is no record of where the guests spent the rest of the day, but probably the townspeople took them in.


Almost at once Mr. Goetter began to rebuild, this time a three-story cream-colored brick building of local clay that rivaled the famed Crem City brick from Milwaukee, according to local observers. It could accommodate 100 guests and was ready for occupancy by October 15 of that same year. By this time West Bend had its own cabinet maker, Mr. Roecker, who made some of the furniture for the new rooms.

Many famous Americans have stayed at the Washington House including William Jennings Bryan, William Barkley (Vice President), and John F. Kennedy and it is the oldest business left in the city, having celebrated both the centennial and bicentennial.

West Bend School District responds to social media post about students and face masks

A note of clarification regarding face masks in the West Bend School District. There was recently a post on social media about face masks that claimed middle school students in the West Bend School District were being asked to remove some political masks and not others.

Superintendent Jen Wimmer was asked about the allegations regarding the masks and responded.

“We have been made aware of a person posting information on a local Facebook group page that alleges a staff member at Badger Middle School told a student to remove a face mask because it featured a political candidate. The Badger administrative team, supported by our Director of Human Resources, is conducting a thorough investigation.

As that investigation takes place, families and the community can be assured that the West Bend School District believes students have the right to exercise non offensive and non-disruptive free speech. Supporting a political candidate or advocating for a group (i.e. BLM, Blue Lives, flag, military, etc. as Ms. Kellom notes) is allowed in our schools. There is no policy or practice that would discourage this (unless as part of that message it included offensive language or imagery).”

Wimmer said, “Thank you for reaching out and helping to correct public perception regarding our practice. Again, we support our students’ rights to express themselves in a non-offensive and non-disruptive manner.”

An email from the district’s communications manager Nancy Kunkler initially denied the incident took place. “The person also alleges the students in the West Bend School District cannot wear anything that supports police. The incident the person described did not take place; no one at Badger Middle School was told to remove a mask with a political or election-related matter.”

Parents of the students involved in the incident have contacted and confirmed it was a male teacher that confronted the student and requested that a mask supporting President Donald Trump be removed. The parent of the girl who reported the incident said it occurred in the hallway on the third floor.

Below is the original post from Facebook and Sue Kellom.

“I learned today that students at the Badger School are not allowed to wear any Trump mask and were asked to remove them as they were “Offensive” however BLM mask are allowed. I’m so sick of this double standard BS! You can have a School named after Barack Obama but Trump is offensive!?

I encourage everyone to write an email or call the West Bend School District to stop this discrimination. I understand political things however if you allow BLM then you also need to allow Blue Lives Matter, Military Lives matter, Trump mask and the American Flag mask.”

National Life Chain is Sunday, October 4 in Hartford          By Terese Hummel

The annual, national Life Chain event returns to Hartford and West Bend on Sunday, October 4, 2020. Beginning at 2 p.m., pro-life individuals and families from Washington County will gather at the east parking lot of Willowbrook Park and spread out along Highway 60 (E. Sumner Street) in Hartford. There will also be a gathering at 2 p.m. at the corner of Paradise Drive and S. Main Street.

Held each year on the first Sunday of October, Life Chain is a legal, peaceful, quiet display of people in our area communities gathering to publicly and silently state that there are alternatives to abortion and healing is possible.

There are no disturbing images for passing motorists, only thought-provoking statements including “Adoption, the Loving Option,” “Jesus Forgives and Heals,” and “Pregnant? Need Help? 800-712-HELP.”

The display will line Highway 60 in Hartford until 3:30 p.m., in unison with other Life Chains across the country. From its small beginnings as a local witness in Southern California, the Life Chain has spread to more than 2,000 cities all over North America. The first Sunday of each October is National Life Chain Sunday.

We believe it is time for the Church to fight for the unborn with spiritual weapons. The battle for life will not be won in the courtroom or the voting booth until it is first won in prayer. We call for pastors to lead the Church in repentance for our nation. When God’s people humble themselves, pray, seek His face, and turn from their own ways, we believe that God will hear from heaven, forgive our sins, and heal our land (2 Chronicles 7:14-15).

Uniform signs will be available free of charge on October 4 at Willowbrook Park’s east parking lot. On the back of each sign, participants will find Scripture and praise-and-hymn lyrics.

For more information, please contact Terese Hummel at 262-689-3742

Log home in Town of Wayne lost to fire

A dire house fire over the weekend in the Town of Wayne went from bad to worse. On Saturday, September 19, 2020 at approximately 10:38 p.m. a dozen fire departments responded to a house on fire at 9115 Woodlawn Drive.

After the fire was extinguished the Washington County Sheriff shared photos of the damage. See video below. But then on Sunday the logs in the home that dates to 1902 held in so much heat the fire started again. Firefighters bought in an excavator and leveled the historic home.

Homeowner Michael Ziegelbauer was devastated by the fire.

On Monday, he stood in the middle of the charred remains. “I had just finished remodeling a couple rooms,” he said.

Ziegelbauer, 29, was at a loss.

The two-story had once been home to Orville and Ruth Kern. They owned it from 1948 until 2006.

“We bought the property when we got married,” said Ruth. “We bought it for $700. We used every bit of money we had.”

Ruth, who now lives in Kewaskum, farmed the land with her husband and raised six children.

“The kids had this painted for me,” said Ruth about the picture of the old homestead. “The log home has been cleaned up a bit. This is when it had windows added and we had a man name Muckerheide level off the front yard.”

Ruth met Orville at a bar. “I was with somebody else,” she said. “They introduced us and he asked me out. We dated for a year and a half and then got married. I was 19 years old.”

“Orville was so kindhearted, a wonderful guy. He was town clerk for 25 years,” she said.

Ruth and Orville worked hard and spruced the place up when they could afford it.

“Our windowsills were really deep,” said Ruth holding her hands more than a foot apart. “Everybody envied it. We remodeled the whole thing… little by little.”

Orville built a new outhouse and installed plumbing. “My husband dug a well by hand; we didn’t have running water. The first thing we did was build a toilet and then when we had money we put in hot water.”

“We had a wood heater and that pipe from the wood heater would heat the living room too,” she said. “We wallpapered the upstairs because the plaster was bad. Even when I sold the place the real estate agent said that was pretty wallpaper.”

“I worked for George Hess, personnel manager at West Bend Aluminum Company. I worked there until we got married and then my husband didn’t want me to work because he said it didn’t work when we live on the farm but we sure could have used the money.”

The Kerns lost their first child, a girl, when she was 20 weeks old. “She had a heart condition,” said Ruth. “After that we had three girls and three boys.”

Ruth recalled the good times and bad on Woodlawn Drive. The ice storm from 1976 and when the fire department brought a generator so the milk would not freeze. “We bought seven cows,” said Ruth.

The cash crops are where the Kerns made a lot of money. “We had sweet corn and field corn and peas,” she said.

The fire departments that assisted in the fire call were Kewaskum, West Bend, Theresa, Lomira, Allenton, Boltonville, St. Lawrence, Slinger, Knowles, and Eden Fire Departments.

Baskin Robbins / Dunkin’ staff training to begin as opening nears

The address, 1610 W. Washington Street, has now been posted in the window at the new Baskin Robbins / Dunkin’ store in West Bend.

Construction got underway June 10, 2020 in the lot formerly home to Pizza Hut. “We’re hoping for a late October opening for our new Dunkin’ and Baskin restaurant in West Bend,” said owner Emily Kettinger.

“Equipment will be coming in early October and then it’s just getting everything installed and the final touches coordinated. Hopefully, we’ll be training new staff in the coming weeks.”

The 2,160-square-foot property is nearly complete as signage is expected in the coming weeks and the parking lot will be paved.

Neighbors have been eagerly anticipating the opening of the ice cream store and coffee shop. This is the second time West Bend will be home to a Baskin Robbins 31 Flavors. In 1974 Ken and Shirley Leisman opened the first Baskin Robbins in the West Bend Plaza.

“It was by the old Kohl’s Food Store in the mall on Main Street,” said Kathy Leisman Suchon, the daughter of the owners. “On the other end of the mall was Alston’s clothing store and we were right in that middle by the garden area on the right-hand side. I remember the whole front and side of the store were all windows.”

Suchon also remembered a Ben Franklin in the strip mall and RadioShack, 842. S Main Street.

Suchon said her parents got into the ice cream business because they really wanted to do something together. “They thought what is better than an ice cream parlor that brings families together and everyone is happy when they get ice cream and they just thought it would be really fun,” she said.

Outdoor Fun at Fall Harvest Fest

Shepherd of the Hills Lutheran Church, 6869 Wildwood Road in West Bend, invites the community to attend Fall Harvest Fest, Saturday, October 17, outside on the church property from 1 – 4 p.m. Guests are encouraged to come in costume. This event is free and open to the public.

A variety of family activities are planned. Trunk or Treat will be set up on the top tier of the parking lot where treats will be handed out. Nearby a craft tent will be available for a make and take craft kit (parental supervision required). Following a map of hidden clues, children can venture out on a scavenger hunt. Then kids can kick a few balls at the soccer station while learning about an upcoming soccer camp.

Other activities for the day include a free hot dog lunch while supplies last. Praise band Unworthy will play Christian cover songs from 2 p.m.– 3 p.m. Bingo for adults and kids, with prizes will round out the fun from 3 – 4 p.m.

A contingency plan is in place in case of rain. Any questions can be directed to the church office at 262-334-9892 or visit for more information.

Andrew Wundrock named new President of Wisconsin Pharmacal

Wisconsin Pharmacal Company, LLC has announced Andrew Wundrock has been appointed to the position of President of the company effective September 2020. Wundrock has been with Wisconsin Pharmacal for over 25+ years in various roles – most recently Senior Vice President Sales & Marketing.

Wundrock’s thorough understanding of the consumer product space, Wisconsin Pharmacal’s core strengths, and his unique relationship with the retail trade position him well to advance the company forward in this competitive landscape.

“Andrew has demonstrated a keen understanding of our business throughout the years. His dedication to the company and attention to detail, along with his long-tenured relationships with our major retail partners, make him an excellent choice to lead our company”, said John Wundrock – CEO.

Wisconsin Pharmacal and its subsidiary, Lake Consumer Products, manufacture and market a wide variety of outdoor health and safety, first aid, and feminine health & wellness products across a widevariety of retail outlets – including Walmart, CVS, Walgreens, Target, Amazon, and others.

“It is with a great deal of enthusiasm that I accept the position of President of Wisconsin Pharmacal. I am highly confident we have the best team in place to help us advance the company forward in a very competitive landscape. I am proud of our accomplishments to date and look forward to new challenges and opportunities.” said Wundrock. Wisconsin Pharmacal is a diversified consumer products company that is FDA & EPA approved and manufactures and distributes long-established brands in the OTC Health/First Aid and Outdoor/Safety markets.

Election Day

Election Day is Tuesday, November 3, 2020.  Over the weekend quite a few neighbors across Washington County received their mail-in ballot via U.S. Postal.

Wisconsin will mail all registered voters an application to vote absentee prior to the election. You can also vote in person as Wisconsin offers early voting.

Details and deadlines for Election Day, November 3, 2020

The following details are per the Wisconsin Election Commission.

The deadline to register online to vote is Wednesday, October 14, 2020.

According to the Wisconsin Election Commission: All voters in Wisconsin can request an absentee ballot be mailed to them for any reason.  Voters must be registered before they can request an absentee ballot.   Voters may request their absentee ballot in writing.

The deadline for registering by mail to vote is postmarked by Wednesday, October 14, 2020.

The deadline to request a ballot by mail is (received by) Thursday, October 29, 2020.

The deadline to register in person to vote is Friday, October 30, 2020.

According to the Wisconsin Election Commission –  Voters may register in-person in their municipal clerk’s office during the clerk’s business hours until 5 p.m. on October 30, 2020.  Find your Municipal Clerk’s Contact Information here.

The early voting period runs from Tuesday, October 20, 2020 to Sunday, November 1, 2020, but dates and hours may vary based on where you live.

You can also register and vote on Election Day, Tuesday, November 3. Polls will open at 7 a.m. – 8 p.m. Remember to bring a valid I.D.

According to the Wisconsin Election Commission – Voters can register to vote at their polling place on Election Day, November 3, 2020.  Find your Polling Place here.

Election questions from the community:

A woman at Cedar Ridge received her absentee ballot and the envelope the ballot arrived in was open. Was this tampered with?

West Bend City Clerk Stephanie Justmann – “It is the mail machine. Sometimes the envelope goes through the machine and doesn’t hit the sealer properly and it doesn’t seal the envelope correctly.”

Can people vote three days after November 3, 2020 with no postmark needed on their mail-in ballot?

West Bend City Clerk Stephanie Justmann – “That is not correct. Right now, all election rules are in place. I have to receive this ballot by 8 p.m. on election night, November 3, 2020. If it comes on Nov. 4 it is past the deadline.  If it arrives on Nov. 4 and it is postmarked Nov. 2 it is after the deadline.  I have to receive all ballots by 8 p.m. on November 3.

How many mail-in ballots has the City of West Bend sent.

West Bend City Clerk Stephanie Justman – “The City of West Bend sent 5,400 absentee ballots out for the Nov. 3, 2020 election as of September 21, 2020. At the last presidential election in 2016 there were a total of 5200. We’ve now mailed out more in total than the last presidential election.”

If I send in my mail-in ballot now… when will it be counted?

West Bend City Clerk Stephanie Justmann – “The mail-in ballots that are returned now will be counted on Election Day. We start at 7 a.m. and at central count we will have three voting machines that will be counting ballots on Election Day. There will be three different groups of central count poll workers.

If the mail-in being stored until Election Day where is it being stored?

 West Bend City Clerk Stephanie Justmann – “The mail-in ballots are held in the vault at City Hall. Everything is alphabetized by district and held there until election day.”

Even though there is postage included on the mail-in ballots, can those ballots be walked into and dropped off at City Hall?

West Bend City Clerk Stephanie Justmann – “Absolutely. The media has been telling people to drop them off at City Hall. You can mail it in or drop it off at the clerk’s office or you can bring it to the polls on Election Day and turn it in.”

Below is a list of polling places for November 3, 2020 in the City of West Bend.  If you need help determining your polling place click HERE.

District            polling location in City of West Bend

Aldermanic District #1           Washington County Courthouse, 432 E. Washington Street

Aldermanic District #2           Washington Co. PAC,  333 E. Washington Street (Indiana Ave.)

Aldermanic District #3           First Baptist Church 2300 S. Main Street

Aldermanic District #4           City Hall, 1115 S. Main Street (West Entrance)

Aldermanic District #5           Washington Co. PAC,  333 E. Washington Street (Indiana Ave.)

Aldermanic District #6           Washington County Govt Center, 432 E. Washington Street

Aldermanic District #7           Moraine Park Technical College, 2151 N. Main Street AMTC Addition, Entrance T2,

Aldermanic District #8           City Hall, 1115 S. Main Street (West Entrance)

Anyone who is not sure in which Aldermanic District he/she resides, may call the City Clerk’s Office at 262-335-5103.  All polling places are accessible to disabled voters.

Preserve Parkway road closure in Village of Germantown starts September 28

There will be a road closure effective Monday, September 28 at 6 a.m., Preserve Parkway in the Village of Germantown will be closed to facilitate the installation of sanitary sewer for Kinderberg Estates.

The road closure starts at Buckthorn Drive (north end of Kinderberg Park) south to Donges Bay Road. This closure will ensure the safety of the traveling public and utility workers. Preserve Parkway will reopen at 7 a.m. on Wednesday, September 30.

Village of Germantown to hold in-person absentee voting on two Saturdays in October

In Person Absentee Voting begins Tuesday, October 20, 2020 for the November 3, 2020 General / Presidential Election.

Below is a list of in-person voting hours in the Village of Germantown.

October 20 – October 22:  8 a.m. – 5:30 p.m.

October 23:  8 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.

Saturday, October 24:  8:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.

October 26 – October 29:  8 a.m. – 6 p.m.

October 30:  8 a.m. – 5 p.m.

Saturday, October 31:  8:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.

October 30 is the last day to register to vote in the Village of Germantown Clerk’s Office prior to the election. There is no absentee voting or voter registration on November 2, the day prior to the election.

You may also make a request in writing to receive an absentee ballot through the mail.

All requests for an Absentee Ballot must be in writing by the elector. Use the Application for Absentee Ballot or write an email or letter requesting an absentee ballot be mailed to you.

The application must be received by the Clerk no later than 5 p.m. on the Thursday, October 29 before the election in order for an absentee ballot to be mailed to you.

Any written requests must include the following information:

Name of the registered voter requesting the absentee ballot.

The address to which you are registered to vote in the Village of Germantown.

The address where the ballot should be sent, if different than your residence.

The signature of the registered voter requesting the absentee ballot. Signature is not required for email requests.

If you have not previously provided a copy of photo ID, photo ID must accompany the request. For the full list of acceptable photo ID visit

Registered Voters may request an absentee ballot via and follow the instructions. Questions may be directed to the Village of Germantown Clerk’s Office at 262-250-4740 or via email at

RIP Gale Sayers


Former Bears running back Gale Sayers, an all-purpose tailback who took the league by storm as a rookie in 1965, has died. He was 77.

The Pro Football Hall of Fame announced Sayers’ passing.

On December 12, 1965, Sayers scored a single-game record six touchdowns in a game against the 49ers, with an 80-yard catch-and-run, four rushing touchdowns (including a 50-yarder), and an 85-yard punt return. He finished his rookie year with 22 touchdowns.

Sayers made it to the Hall of Fame despite playing only 68 regular-season games, due to knee injuries that shortened his career. As explained earlier this year, Sayers forever will be linked to Brian Piccolo, a teammate who died of cancer at 26. Their close friendship became the subject of Brian’s Song.

Lack of Diversity in Car Colors


The vast majority of cars on the road around the world are painted in just a few colors. All of them are what people in the coatings industry call “achromatic.” That means they are colors that are not that colorful: white, black, gray and silver.

Thirty-nine percent of the cars in the world are white, according to data compiled in 2019 by coatings company BASF. Black, gray and silver together make up another 39% of cars on the road. That means nearly 80% of all vehicles are painted with achromatic lacquer.

The most popular chromatic color is blue — about 9% of cars come in that color, and just 7% of vehicles are painted red.

The reasons for this are varied, say some in the coatings industry. Risk averse dealers might choose to stock the most popular colors, thus limiting the overall supply of unusual hues. Risk averse consumers might worry about an odd color driving down resale value.

Round the Bend by Judy Steffes

Election information

Election Day is Tuesday, November 3, 2020.  Over the weekend quite a few neighbors across Washington County received their mail-in ballot via U.S. Postal. Wisconsin will mail all registered voters an application to vote absentee prior to the election. You can also vote in person as Wisconsin offers early voting.

The deadline to register online to vote is Wednesday, October 14, 2020.

The deadline for registering by mail to vote is postmarked by Wednesday, October 14, 2020.

The deadline to register in person to vote is Friday, October 30, 2020.

The deadline to request a ballot by mail is (received by) Thursday, October 29, 2020.

The early voting period runs from Tuesday, October 20, 2020 to Sunday, November 1, 2020, but dates and hours may vary based on where you live.

You can also register and vote on Election Day, Tuesday, November 3. Polls will open at 7 a.m. – 8 p.m. Remember to bring a valid I.D.

Building formerly home to JP Foz’s sold by Adam Williquette

The building that housed JP Foz’s has sold. Fasciano Properties, LLC sold to 301 Properties, LLC for $325,000. The property was sold as an investment for 301 Properties, LLC.

Adam Williquette, president of American Commercial Real Estate handled the transaction. This is the fifth building American Commercial Real Estate has sold downtown West Bend in the last 12 months.

The 2020 assessed value was $277,500.  Foz Enterprises LLC purchased the property April 1, 2001 for $210,000.

On October 17, 1996 Barbercheck and Gundrum purchased the property for $186,000.

That corner building has been home to many locally owned tavernkeepers. Among them “Three Old Guys” and “The Pub.”

The Pub was Bob Weston. Three Old Guys was Don Zimmel, Russ and Randy Miller and Al May was the Kings Guard Pub with “the best hot buttered rum” drinks.

Over the years other tenants in the tavern included Herbie Lundquist who named it The Blue Room. Bob Corbett dubbed it Corby’s. Bob Weston changed it to The Pub. The tavern was The Mixing Place and then Al May moved in with Kings Guard Pub and Don Zimmel later ran it as Three Old Guys with Russ Vermillion and Randy Miller.


Final totals for United Way of Washington County Food Drive

 The United Way of Washington County is toasting the community with three cheers of “Thanks” for participating in the kickoff campaign food drive.

The final total amount of food collected was announced by United Way executive director Kristin Brandner.

“Al Pauli from Full Shelf Food Pantry followed up today that over 5,000 pounds of food was donated.  Al said we exceeded his expectations! Thank you for being our committed partner and being awesome!!! We do have a good time doing good work!”

United Against Hunger was a drive-thru event held at the Washington County Fair Park. Eighty-nine vehicles drove in and hundreds of bags and boxes of nonperishable food items were donated.

Leading this year’s annual campaign are Women in Business: Prudence Pick Hway, Debra Cahoon, Amy Salberg, Rose Petitte and Jacci Gambucci.

Highway 60 open from Jackson to 5 Corners in Cedarburg

Motorists traveling Highway 60 rejoice as the road reopened between Jackson and 5 Corners Dodge in Cedarburg. It was April 20, 2020 when Highway 60 was closed from Eagle Drive (Piggly Wiggly) in Jackson to Highway 181 by 5 Corners in Cedarburg.

Road crews could be seen just west of Cedarburg collecting orange-and-white striped barricades as vehicles zipped up and down the fresh blacktop.

Work included updated signage, pavement marking, restoration, and lighting at the roundabout at County Y.  The extensive summer project included milling off the top two inches of roadway and laying four new inches of pavement. The paved shoulder width was increased to six feet, and bypass lanes and right turn lanes at intersections added or extended as needed.

In addition to the resurfacing, the State reconstructed the intersection of STH 60 and CTH Y with a roundabout to address traffic safety concerns.

American Construction Services recognized by MMAC                By Marie Kohler

American Construction Services is being recognized by the Metropolitan Milwaukee Association of Commerce (MMAC) as an honoree in their Focus on the Future Awards.

American Construction Services was entered in the Pivot Not Panic category with its 40th anniversary story.

This past spring, the American team was looking for a way to celebrate 40 years in business. This was also the time the COVID-19 virus hit.

Even through all the unknowns and the fear of the pandemic, the leadership team knew it wanted to find a way to celebrate by helping the community during the uncertain times.

Dubbed the “40 for 4 and 40 for 40 celebration,” American Construction Services sponsored 40 meals each for four Washington County non-profits from four Washington County restaurants. To go along with that, the service staff at each of the restaurants was tipped 40 percent.

The non-profits that were supported for the celebration were Friends Inc, Karl’s Place, Medical Center Foundation of Hartford, and Interfaith Caregivers.

The meals received were prepared by The Norbert and Poplar Inn, Culaccino’s Bar and Italian Kitchen, Perc Place, and Precinct Tap & Table.

“It was an honor to be able to give back to the community after receiving so much of their support throughout the years,” said American Companies president Kraig Sadownikow. “Thank you to the MMAC for the honor and congratulations to American Companies.”

Trick-or-treat hours across Washington County

Halloween is Saturday, October 31, 2020 and trick-or-treat hours have been posted across Washington County.

Town of Addison 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. on Sunday, Oct. 25.

Village of Jackson 5:30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 31.

Village of Newburg 5:30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 31

Village of Slinger 5 p.m. – 7 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 31.

Village of Germantown 5:30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 31. (Ben from the clerk’s office said, “Trick or treat will go on even if it snows…. like it did in 2019.” He said Germantown received 6 inches of snow. Remember that??)

City of Hartford 4 p.m. – 6 p.m. on Halloween Saturday, Oct. 31

Village of Kewaskum 5 p.m. – 7 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 31.

Village of Richfield 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 31.

West Bend 4 p.m. – 6 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 31

Crack and joint sealing schedule in West Bend

Crack and joint sealing work in West Bend will be performed through the following street segments beginning Monday, September 21, 2020 until approximately October 9, 2020. Please note the project dates may be adjusted due to weather conditions or other circumstances.

5th Ave: Maple St to Oak St   6th Ave: Decorah Rd to Oak St

7th Ave: Vine St to Decorah Rd    8th Ave: Pine Dr to Chestnut St

12th Ave: Walnut St to Chestnut St   18th Ave: Chestnut St to W Washington St

Decorah Rd: University Dr to 18th Ave   Indiana Ave: E Washington St to Oak St

Indiana Ave: Hargrove St to Paradise Dr    Silverbrook Dr: Hawthorn Dr to Paradise Dr

University Dr: Decorah Rd to Campus Dr    N River Rd: E Washington St to Creek Rd

Creek Rd: Schmidt Rd to Trenton Rd    12th Ave: Wayne Rd to Park Ave

13th Ave: Alder St to Wayne Rd      18th Ave: Park Ave to Jefferson St

Motorists are reminded to abide by all traffic control signs and devices as well as be aware of ongoing construction activities. Please plan on using alternate routes to avoid construction whenever possible. Please communicate this information with any delivery vehicles or other interested parties. Construction activities will include cleaning and routing existing cracks, placement of crack sealing material and restoration of disturbed areas.

Planning underway for new displays at Enchantment in the Park 2020

The Christmas season may be months away but this week planning began for 2020 Enchantment in the Park at Regner Park in West Bend.

Founded in 2009, the mission of the event was “to create a holiday adventure where wonder and excitement are experienced through enchanting holiday light displays, music and other performing arts.” According to organizer Lori Yahr there will be some changes this year.

“This year will be a bit different,” said Yahr. “We will still have the holiday light drive thru, fire pit with marshmallows, horse-and-carriage rides, and music in the stage area.”

Also new will be a 50-foot high Grinch and Snoopy characters courtesy Pet Supplies Plus in West Bend. There will also be some new vintage artwork, improved lighting, and decorative pergola by the walkway entrance to the park.

In an effort to be considerate of the current CDC guidelines there will be some noticeable changes. “We reached out to area school groups and they told us they are not having music classes this year so they won’t be able to perform,” said Yahr.

The Enchantment Board also decided not to put up the enclosed pavilion, Santa’s workshop, indoor stage and for now Santa is on hold.

‘We will look at our food collection procedures and see if we have to tweak anything for added safety,” Yahr said. The Senior Center will still be selling snacks in a paired down concession stand. Hot cocoa and packaged snacks will be available. They will work out of the Kiwanis Building and the volunteer groups will move to the Rotary Building.

Enchantment in the Park will be open Friday, Nov. 27 and run through Christmas Eve, Dec. 24.

Setup for Enchantment in the Park begins October 9, 2020.

West Bend Common Council approves new ordinance allowing dogs in City parks

The West Bend Common Council is set to approve an ordinance regarding dogs in City parks. It was July 2020 when the Parks Commission went round and round on the issue.

The final vote was 5-2 with aldermen John Butschlick and Brett Berquist dissenting.  District 4 alderman Randy Koehler was not in attendance.

Currently dogs can be on a 6-foot leash on the Riverwalk, in Old Settlers Park and Vest Pocket Park.

The new ordinance would allow dogs in other City parks except Regner Park, Lac Lawrann Conservancy and park buildings. Special events at City parks would also not be open to dogs.

The new ordinance would be evaluated in one year.

Ordinance to be updated:

20.07 (6) Animals (c) (Rep. & Recr. Ord# 2832 – 5/14/2019) Designated On-Leash Dog Areas. Dogs shall be allowed in the following parks, or the designated area within a park, but shall be restrained by a leash with a length of six feet or less.

  1. Ridge Run Park – entire park. 2. Glacier Blue Hills Recreation Area – Ice Age Trial only.
  2. West Bend Riverwalk – sidewalk/trail portion only. 4. Old Settlers Park – entire park.
  3. Vest Pocket Park – Sidewalk portion only.


Dogs shall be allowed in all city parks, except for prohibited park areas. All dogs must be on a leash no longer than 6 feet at all times, and under owners control -unless in Rolfs dog park leash-free area. Any pet owner who fails to control their pet, create public nuisance, or disturb others may be asked to leave. All pet waste must be picked up and disposed of in garbage receptacles. Bags, scoops, or other implements for the removal of pet waste must be carried by any person bringing a pet onto park property.

Prohibited Areas: Dogs are not allowed at special events, park buildings or picnic shelters, within children’s playground areas, beaches, or athletic fields.

Why: The updates to this ordinance will allow the City of West Bend parks to come in line with both Washington County Parks (which allow dogs in parks on 6-foot leash) as well as Wisconsin State Parks (that allow dogs on 6-foot leash in parks except for prohibited areas).

Hand-me-down dishes hold memories and family history lessons | By Ann Marie Craig

The tines are bent and uneven and the wood handles show more than a century of wear. They live in the far recesses of the silverware drawer and hardly see the light of day anymore, but I cannot bear to part with them because they belong here in the house where they came as new forks to be used by the farming family who became my great-grandparents and grandparents and mother.

Its top edges are pocked a bit and if there ever was a lid it is now missing, but you can still see the swirls on the inside bottom from having been thrown on a pottery wheel many, many years ago. Its outside is roughly salt glazed in an uneven earthy brown and the inside is colored with dark, smooth, brown slip. Great-Grandma Anna’s salt crock is still intact and I guard it carefully even as I use it to hold springtime pussy willows and late fall dogwood and spruce branches. It belongs here too, having been used day after day as she cooked and baked on the wood stove in the tiny kitchen of this tiny log cabin.


It is not unusual for me to reach into a cupboard and grab a pot or a spoon or a bowl or a cake plate that once belonged to someone on my family tree, and every piece has a story or it would not have ended up in my kitchen.

I crawl deeply into the back corner of a lower cupboard with a flashlight twice a year to find the salt crock, each time holding it in my hands, carefully filling it will pretty branches and setting it on a table or deep windowsill, touching and imagining. I never knew my great-grandmother, but I can almost see her, and later my grandmother, reaching into the cellar almost without thinking as they seasoned the meat or vegetables cooking on the wood stove. That wood stove sat just about where my kitchen table now stands and the crock was nearby and used every day.

When I was growing up I would see those old forks in my grandmother’s kitchen utensil drawer. They made fine holders of meats that needed to be held still for cutting, but they probably had outworn their use as everyday tableware. I chose to bring them home with me years later, and they now are seen really only when I get around to cleaning the kitchen cabinets.

They are over 100 years old and saw a lot of use at the farm table in this cabin. What I learned when I brought them back after my mother had a good clear out of her drawers, was that they were used by my great-grandparents and their six children and were left behind when they retired and my grandfather took over the farm.

I look at them and think of stories told about the house and farm and about my grandfather before he married.

My grandparents married in 1920, but just a year or so earlier my grandfather became ill with the Spanish Influenza. No one was certain how he caught it because as a farmer, he almost never went anywhere. It was said that WWI soldiers brought the virus back with them from the front. Was he sneezed upon by someone at the feed mill or the hardware store? Could he have caught it at a dance, perhaps?

Family lore still speculates, but he was very ill for three months. His unmarried sister Mary came to keep house and nurse him, and his brothers helped with the farm work. I am pretty sure he ate with those wood-handled forks left behind by his parents because he didn’t yet have a wife to change the silverware style.

Somehow September and the start of autumn makes me want to nestle into home. I cook and bake and reminisce about the times shared in the kitchen around tables seasoned with family recipes and stories that keep us connected and cozy. It somehow is important to me to touch the things that family before me touched and those links to the past make the present warm and the future inviting.     Find more stories by Ann Marie Craig at

Lust for Green Energy Risks Destruction of Entire Species


Nestled among the slopes of Nevada’s Silver Peak Range are six patches of Tiehm’s buckwheat, a rare flowering plant found nowhere else in the world. Only an estimated 42,000 plants remain on 10 acres. But over the weekend, conservationists discovered that 40% of the total population had been destroyed.

The destruction occurs amid a conflict over the flower’s habitat. For the past year and a half, Donnelly and Naomi Fraga, director of conservation at the California Botanic Garden, have been working to protect Tiehm’s buckwheat from a proposed mine for lithium and boron, elements involved in producing clean energy technology. The operation would encompass the entire range of the plant’s population, risking its extinction in the wild.

“I would not oppose the mine if it was done in a way that didn’t put the whole species at risk, and was environmentally sound,” said Fraga. “What is the cost of green energy if it causes the extinction of whole species?”

Soccer Team Loses 37-0 Due to Social Distancing

Hilarious. Good for Holdenstedt. Take the win.

He added of his players: “They did not go into direct duels and observed the social distancing rules, keeping two metres between them and Holdenstedt players.”
Holdenstedt did not hold back, scoring a goal every two or three minutes.
“There was no reason not to play this game,” Holdenstedt coach Florian Schierwater said.

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 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 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.

The Benefits of Taking Notes By Hand

I totally agree with this.

Whether or not you’re picky, know that tools for the hands are tools for the brain. Handwritten notes are a powerful tool for encrypting embodied cognition and in turn supporting the brain’s capacity for retrieval of information. And secondly, when you take notes by hand, your hands create a robust external memory storage: your notebook.

Taking notes by hand is a win-win, and belongs in every student’s cognitive tool kit. Learning how to take notes by hand effectively, and how to ingrain note-taking as a key learning and study tool, can begin as early as grades 3 or 4, but it’s never too late to begin.

We live in a digital age where daily functioning involves digital communication. Automaticity in keyboarding is an important skill too, and the tools and applications for digital communication will continue to evolve and have their place. But keyboarding does not provide the tactile feedback to the brain that contact between pencil or pen and paper does — the key to creating the neurocircuitry in the hand-brain complex.

I’ve tried a couple of times to pivot to digital notes. They have the benefit of speed (I can type faster than I can write), being searchable, sortable, and easily retrievable. But almost as soon as I finish writing the note, I forget it.

When I write out notes by hand, I will often be able to recall the information far into the future without even actually needing the note. There is something about the act of writing, the spacial use of the paper, the formation of letters, etc. that just set the information into my brain. It’s not efficient, but it works better for me.



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