Boots & Sabers

The blogging will continue until morale improves...

Category: Off-Duty

Watch out for Sharks

It’s going to be a bitey season.

PORTLAND, Maine — Scientists with a Boston aquarium are encouraging beachgoers to report sightings of white sharks this holiday weekend after signs of shark bites were observed on multiple marine mammals.


Memorial Day weekend marks the unofficial start of summer in New England, and the region has been experiencing beach weather already. That’s a good reason to be on the lookout for the sharks, often referred to as great whites, said John Chisholm, an adjunct scientist at the New England Aquarium’s Anderson Cabot Center for Ocean Life.


The aquarium received a report of a minke whale with a white shark bite off Chatham, Massachusetts, recently, and this is also the time of year scientists expect to see the sharks head to inshore waters to hunt seals, the aquarium said Thursday.

Killing Owls to Save Owls

Maybe just let nature take its course. Every species was invasive at some point.

In a last-ditch effort to rescue the northern spotted owl from oblivion and protect the California spotted owl population, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has proposed culling a staggering number of barred owls across a swath of 11 million to 14 million acres in Washington, Oregon and Northern California, where barred owls — which the agency regards as invasive — are encroaching. The lethal management plan calls for eradicating up to 500,000 barred owls over the next 30 years, or 30% of the population over that time frame. The owls would be dispatched using the cheapest and most efficient methods, from large-bore shotguns with night scopes to capture and euthanasia.


Karla Bloem, the executive director of the International Owl Center in Minnesota, is conflicted over the prospect of killing one species to protect another. “The concept of shooting birds is awful — nobody wants that,” she said. “But none of the alternatives have worked, and at this late date no other option is viable. Extinction is a forever thing.”

WIAA considers implementing NIL

My column for the Washington County Daily News is online and in print. Here’s a part:

On Wednesday, the Wisconsin Interscholastic Athletic Association, the voluntary governing body for high school sports in the state, will take up the question of whether high school athletes should be allowed to profit from their name, image, and likeness (NIL) as in college sports. I strongly urge the WIAA to reject this proposal.


To date, 31 other states have already allowed NIL in high school sports. Wisconsin’s high school athletic directors, who comprise the membership of the WIAA, have been reluctant to follow suit, but it appears that such reluctance may have been overcome.


At issue is the definition of “amateur.”


The simple definition is that if one is not directly paid to compete in a sport, then one is an amateur. For decades, high school and college sports insisted that their athletes be true amateurs to preserve the competitive balance of sports. We did not want rich schools to pay professional athletes to dominate a sport. The loophole in the system was that wealthy school supporters would give gifts or highly paid noshow/ low-show jobs to talented athletes to attract them to a particular school. To combat this, the WIAA, NCAA, and other athletic governing bodies banned athletes from profiting from the fact that they are athletes. These governing bodies tended to over-enforce the rules to the point that athletes were wary of even having a regular job for fear of losing their amateur status.




While I support NIL for college sports, high school sports are different for one significant reason. The athletes are minors.


They are dependents of their parents who are responsible for their care. Money made from the athletes’ NIL does not go to the athlete, but to the athlete’s parent or guardian.


This fact makes NIL at the high school level take on the attributes of exploitation of a minor rather than freeing the athlete from exploitation.


The other movement in sports that corrupts this issue is the spread of legal sports gambling. Americans have always gambled on sports, but it was relegated to shadowy corners of society. We shunned it from the light because of the corrosive nature of gambling on competition. The availability of online sports betting and a growing cultural acceptance has made sports betting a big business and many people participate.


The corrosive effect of gambling is already seeping into high school sports. Infusing NIL money and influences into high school athletics will only increase the incentives and abilities of bad actors to corrupt the games.


It is not difficult to imagine someone with a betting interest in a high school sport using NIL influence to change the outcomes. We have a long history of cheating on sports to win a bet.


It is important for high school athletes to be able to work a job or receive reasonable gifts without jeopardizing their amateur status and ability to compete. The WIAA should work to clarify those rules so that athletes can work and compete without fear. But the WIAA should reject implementing NIL in Wisconsin. The risks to the athletes and their sports are not worth the rewards.

Rescued Boater Wanted for Dropping Fish at Goonies House

What a strange world. If you haven’t seen the video of the boat being rolled, it’s stunning.

A man saved by a US coast guard rescue swimmer at the mouth of the Columbia river as a massive wave rolled the yacht he was piloting on Friday was wanted for a bizarre incident in which police said he left a dead fish at the Astoria, Oregon, home featured in the classic 1985 film, The Goonies.


Officers had been looking for the man since Wednesday, when an acquaintance alerted them to a video he posted on social media of himself leaving the fish at the house and then dancing around the property, said the Astoria police chief, Stacy Kelly.


Kelly identified the man as Jericho Labonte, 35, of Victoria, British Columbia. Labonte is also wanted in British Columbia on criminal harassment, mischief and failure to comply cases, Kelly said.


Early on Friday afternoon, the coast guard shared stunning video of a rescue made a few hours earlier in which a newly minted rescue swimmer lowered by cable from a helicopter swam to a 35ft yacht struggling in heavy surf.


As the swimmer approached the vessel, a large wave slammed into it, rolling the boat and throwing a man, later identified as Labonte, into the water.

Racoon Rescued After Testicles Froze to Track

Oof. Glad he’s okay.

A male raccoon was rescued after its private parts became frozen to a railway track in southern America.


A railway worker was braving -12C conditions in Cochran, Georgia, when he and a colleague came across the distressed animal on the line. It was seen straddling the rail with its testicles stuck to the metal.


Neil Mullis used warm water and a shovel to dislodge the raccoon in a process that took five minutes – after which the animal ran free.


He told local media: “I poured the warm water under his bottom while a co-worker worked the shovel under his butt to try and break him loose.


“After about five minutes of slowly working him loose, he was free. He jumped off the rail and ran in the woods, never looking back.”

No Good Cholesterol

Heh. It’s a good reminder that real science never considers itself “settled.” Keep learning. Keep exploring. Keep questioning.

There may be no such thing as ‘good’ cholesterol after all, a federally-funded study suggests.


Researchers found that high levels of high-density lipoprotein (HDL) were not associated with a lower risk of developing heart disease.

Marijuana is the New Tobacco

Huh. Who would have thought that burning one plant and inhaling the fumes into your lungs might have the same impact as burning another plant and inhaling it into your lungs. I expect that one would get similar results if one burned hay and inhaled it into one’s lungs.

Cannabis has been dubbed ‘the new tobacco’ by doctors after a raft of new research revealed it is as damaging to the heart as smoking cigarettes.


In regular users, the drug was found to increase blood pressure and heart rate significantly in a similar way that heavy smoking does, according to the results of one study.


In the trial, scientists in Canada – where recreational use is legal – gave 21 otherwise healthy volunteers who smoked cannabis frequently a ‘vape’ containing the drug.

A single session of inhaling it was enough to alter the part of nervous system responsible for blood pressure and pulse, according to scans.


The changes could be enough to increase the risk of a heart attack in less healthy patients, they warned.

Ian’s Rage

Stunning devastation.

Fort Myers was one worst battered by Ian, with apocalyptic photos showing homes decimated by its wrath as roads turned into rivers with the tsunami of floodwater.

Naples and nearby Sanibel Island were also rocked by the ‘historic’ hurricane, with images of the latter showing a beachside pool overwhelmed by water as the region saw winds in the excess of 155mph.


The images show the current, embattled state of the Sunshine State’s southwest coast, with now nearly 2million out of power and forced to their home’s rooftops as water levels are still reported to be on the rise.

It always hits closer to home when you have a personal connection with a place. We spent about seven weeks in the Ft. Myers beach/Sanibel/Cape Coral area through December and January. We celebrated the new year while anchored on the backside of Sanibel. In the silence of the bay, we watched the fireworks in the distance while listening to the dolphins breathe as they fished in the bay. The places we called home for those seven weeks will never be the same.

More Pollution Leads to Fewer Hurricanes

Smog saves lives. If we could afford it, everyone should let their cars run in the driveways to prevent the unnecessary loss of lives.

Cleaner air in United States and Europe is brewing more Atlantic hurricanesa new U.S. government study found.


The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration study links changes in regionalized air pollution across the globe to storm activity going both up and down. A 50% decrease in pollution particles and droplets in Europe and the U.S. is linked to a 33% increase in Atlantic storm formation in the past couple decades, while the opposite is happening in the Pacific with more pollution and fewer typhoons, according to the study published in Wednesday’s Science Advances.


NOAA hurricane scientist Hiroyuki Murakami ran numerous climate computer simulations to explain change in storm activity in different parts of the globe that can’t be explained by natural climate cycles and found a link to aerosol pollution from industry and cars — sulfur particles and droplets in the air that make it hard to breathe and see.

Couple Dies from Fractal Burning Accident

Be careful out there.

“Foul play has been ruled out and the deaths were found to be accidental in nature and are believed to be caused by electrocution from fractal wood burning — a technique in which high-voltage electricity is used to burn lightning or tree-like patterns into wood that has been soaked in a chemical solution,” the department said in the statement.


“Through the investigation, it was determined that the fire started in the garage before spreading to the home,” the department continued. “We believe that the fractal wood burning equipment that caused the electrocutions likely caused the fire.”


The technique — which involves using a high-voltage transformer, often repurposed from a microwave — is employed by woodworkers to decorate various wooden items, including decor items and wooden cutting boards.

Pilot Fakes Qualifications

I desperately want to know what that button was.

Between April 2016 and March 2018, he was employed as a pilot by BA CityFlyer, operating out of London’s City Airport, and by the now-collapsed Irish regional airline Stobart Air, which was owned by Aer Lingus. He was with each carrier for a year, per court documents reported by the newspaper.


Officials at BA CityFlyer first became suspicious after an incident “on the ground” in Switzerland when the pilot pressed a button “no qualified pilot would,” a source told The Times, without providing further details.


He was investigated by the CAA, which took legal action.


The Times reported that the pilot manipulated the log recording his flight hours while working for a previous employer, Hangar 8 Management, which operates the same Embraer 190 jet as BA CityFlyer. He also falsely said he’d held a private pilot’s licence since 1998, according to court documents quoted by The Times.

Monkeys On the Loose

This sounds like the beginning of a horror movie.

Jamie Labar was working at the front desk at a Super 8 hotel in Montour County, Pennsylvania, on Friday when she heard that there had been a crash on the highway nearby.


“I thought it was just another car accident because there’s always accidents there,” she said.


But it was not just another accident. The Pennsylvania State Police said that a pickup truck with an enclosed trailer full of 100 monkeys had collided with a dump truck and that four of the monkeys had escaped.

Tornadoes Tear Up Midwest

Prayers for all those affected. Mother Nature can be a B sometimes.

A devastating tornado outbreak has killed dozens of people across multiple states, with Kentucky possibly seeing its deadliest tornado system ever, officials said.


As many as 70 people are believed to have been killed in western Kentucky, and the death toll could exceed 100, according to Gov. Andy Beshear. Those numbers “could rise significantly,” he said Saturday afternoon.




The Associated Press has confirmed the deaths of 30 people across five states, including 22 in Kentucky, from the storms, as search and rescue missions are ongoing.


“Dozens” were killed at a candle factory in Mayfield, where 110 people were working when the storm hit Friday night, Beshear said at a 4 a.m. press conference. Around 40 people were evacuated, although the facility had major structural damage from the storm and housed dangerous equipment, he said late Saturday morning.

We just recently spent a fair amount of time in Western Kentucky. It’s a wonderfully beautiful area with good people. Horrible to see this happen.

Vaccinated Are Dying

Again, the real value of the vaccine appears to be that it lessens the severity if you are infected.

More than 2,500 fully vaccinated over 50s have died from COVID-19 in the past month in England, new data shows.


In a report published by the UK Health Security Agency analysis revealed 2,683 fully vaccinated over 50s have died within 28 days of positive COVID test in the last four weeks.


Some 511 unvaccinated people died in the last four weeks of COVID-19.


The figures reflect the fact that the vast majority in this age group has had at least two COVID vaccines.


Death rates among the unvaccinated are significantly higher.


For people aged over 80, the unvaccinated have a death rate of 125.4 per 100,000 compared to the vaccinated 54.9 per 100,000 in the past four weeks.


For 70-79 the gap is even wider, with the unvaccinated death rate at 103.8 per 100,000 compared to 16.2 for the vaccinated.

Around the Bend by Judy Steffes

Casey’s General Store in Town of West Bend sold

The signage for Casey’s General Store on CTH P in the Town of West Bend came down earlier this week as the sale closed on the property just north of Mile View Road.

The Casey’s General Store, 5105 Highway P and the store in Hustisford sold to Lakhbir Sing.

It was November 2018 when Casey’s first moved into the Town of West Bend. Casey’s purchased the former Tri-Par station owned by brothers Steve and Mark Gall.  In 2018 they sold seven Tri-Par stations in Washington, Dodge, Ozaukee, and Sheboygan counties.

Amber Mayer is the manager of the new Refuel Pantry West Bend. “This will be a BP,” she said. “We liked this location because we’ve heard good things about the products, the food is great including the chicken and fish, this is a nice road and it’s a good location.”

Mayer said based off of prior sales they looked at Casey’s numbers and compared that to Tri-Par receipts and thought there was room for growth.

Lakhbir Sing owns 22 gas stations including locations in Oshkosh, Lake Mills, Oxford, Sun Prairie, Fall River, and Hustisford to name a few. According to Sing’s LinkedIn page he has an economics degree from UW-Parkside and is the principal owner of Refuel Pantry since August 2014. Sing is also the owner of a Big Apple Bagel store in Liberty Station since 2014.

As far as gas prices are concerned Mayer said Refuel Pantry West Bend will be “competitive.” Asked to define the word “competitive” Mayer said, “We are generally cheaper than most places; it will be competitive to local which is equal or less.”

The new Refuel Pantry West Bend will be open 5 a.m. – 10 p.m. There are 11 employees at the store on Highway P.

 Rededication of Schowalter Sculpture

Residents, family, friends, and staff at Cedar Community gathered Sunday for the rededication of the sculpture donated in 1989 as a memorial tribute to Rev. Philip Schowalter.

A writeup from Cedar Community read: Rev. Louis Riesch, Cedar Community visionary and founder, commissioned the work “Eternal Life” in 1989 as a memorial to Rev. Philip Schowalter in thanks and gratitude for his faithful service.

In 1990, the work was dedicated at the northwest entrance to the Cedar Ridge campus where Philip and his wife, Audrey, served as the first managers of the newly constructed campus. The abstract work was intended to evoke the strong spiritual legacy of Pastor Schowalter.

Words from the original dedication describe the work this way.

  • three steel triangular sections representing the Holy Trinity and a strong spiritual foundation
  • two outstretched steel arms representing welcome and service
  • one stainless steel ring in the center of the sculpture, representing the fulfilment of Christ’s redeeming work

Audrey Schowalter said she very much appreciated the rededication and was touched by the memorial stone and the large turnout at the ceremony.

“Today, August 22, 2021, we proudly rededicate the work to honor Rev. Philip and Audrey Schowalter for their faithful service, joyful commitment, and legacy of leadership here at Cedar Community,” said Nicole Pretre, CEO at Cedar Community. A large turnout of the Schowalter family for Sunday’s ceremony.

Designs unveiled for new clubhouse at West Bend Lakes Golf Club

It has been nearly six months since a devastating fire raced through the clubhouse at West Bend Lakes Golf Club, 1241 Highway 33 in the Town of Trenton. It was March 14, 2021, and 15 area fire departments responded.

Kicking through the rubble of what was once a 100-year-old building, the Merkel family counted its blessings as no one was injured and they worked quickly to pick up the pieces. With generous support from the community the 18-hole course opened for the season.

Below are the first drawings to be released of the new clubhouse. Designs are courtesy American Construction Services.

“Team American is proud to be working with the Merkel family to restore full operations of West Bend Lakes,” said company President Kraig Sadownikow.  “Their golf course is a landmark in the West Bend area and we are excited to be associated with a family business that gives so much to the community.”

The building is approximately 4,000-square-feet which includes bar/dining area, pro shop, full kitchen, office, and storage. “Our design intent was a small homage to the Augusta National Clubhouse,” said Adam Hertel with American Construction Services.

The Merkel family said it is pleased to be moving forward. Some statements from the family are below. “I like the openness and the country style with the porch. We are blue collar but we wanted to keep it with a ‘country feel. We’re not going for a high-end, white collar, fancy. We want it to be a clubhouse where people could come and relax.

“The new design features all one level, no second story. From the customer side it will be more user friendly so you don’t have to go down 10 steps to get outside.

“The ground level of the first floor will be lower than what it used to be because it was built on stilts. There will be fewer steps to get in or out.

“This is a little bit smaller than we want but today’s costs are just not conducive to that. It will work very efficiently for us. I’m hoping to get it started pretty soon.”

Plans for the new clubhouse must still be approved by the State of Wisconsin.

The Merkel’s credit businesses in the community for their help including Tommy Schwai, Jeff’s Spirits on Main, Jeff Lamby, and Equipment Rentals. The cause of the fire was electrical in nature.

Six veterans from Washington County on Saturday, August 28 Honor Flight

Six veterans from Washington County will be participating in Saturday’s Stars & Stripes Honor Flight to Washington D.C.

The local veterans include WWII Army veteran Anthony Elsinger, Vietnam Army Lloyd Westerman of Kewaskum, Vietnam Army Thomas Foshag of West Bend, Korea Army Eugenie Olsen of West Bend. Vietnam Army Walter Kohler of West Bend and Vietnam Air Force Richard Lindbeck of West Bend.

Walter Kohler was drafted in 1956. “I was honored I could do my part for my country,” said Kohler.  He talked about receiving a good conduct medal and he scored pretty high with his shooting skills. “When I came home, everybody was waiting for me and that made me feel pretty good. When you’re away from your family for almost two years it’s pretty nice to get back home,” he said.

Richard Lindbeck served in the U.S. Air Force. During his time in service Lindbeck was part of the military police in Saigon. He recalled being “shelled by the Vietcong” during his service in Vietnam. Lindbeck is a former alderman in West Bend and he served as the president of the Wisconsin Chapter of Vietnam Veterans.

Hartford welcomes new alderman                                                              By Steve Volkert

On Tuesday night, the Hartford Common Council unanimously voted in Justin Webb onto the Common Council to replace Rachel Mixon. Webb is an attorney in Milwaukee dealing in cyber security and has lived in Hartford for the past 14 years. Webb’s term is up in April 2022 at which time he will need to run for the position in the Spring election.

Bob’s Main Street Auto successful school supply drive                     By Rachel Espitia

Bob’s Main Street Auto & Towing in West Bend had another successful year for its School Supply Drive.  This year the locally owned auto repair shop raised $738.18 to purchase over 800 school supply items. The supplies were taken to a local non-profit organization and will benefit over 500 children in Washington County. Bill and Laurie Rate, owners of Bob’s Main Street Auto & Towing said, “We can’t thank our community enough for their support. It’s a great feeling knowing we are able to help over 500 children here in Washington County.”

Hartford teen wins People’s Choice Award at 2021 Art & Chalk Fest

The Museum of Wisconsin Art’s 2021 Art & Chalk Fest People’s Choice Winner was Kaylee Goodman of Hartford. Goodman, 17, chalked a portrait of Amelia Earhart.

Kaylee Goodman is one hot mess, but in a good way. The smiley teen is a making her mark as a budding chalk artist. Armed with a case of soft pastels and brilliant fluorescent sticks of chalk, Kaylee sits down on her pallet of hard concrete and gets lost in the zone.

This isn’t school-yard scribbling, but a splash of magic that pours from the stained fingertips of a 17-year-old. “If she’s late for supper we normally find her in the driveway,” said mom Sandi.

She good naturedly chides her daughter on how she leaves her own unique Hansel-and-Gretel trail of breadcrumbs. “We know when she’s been in the car because there’s a chalk smudge on the visor,” she said.

Most often Kaylee’s face looks like she’s been made up for a school play as there’s streaks of chalk across her forehead and often the bridge of her nose. Though it all, Kaylee smiles. “I originally went to Chalk the Walk in West Bend at the shopping mall on S. Main Street and I chalked a mermaid,” said Kaylee.

The larger-than-life mermaid with long, flowing hair and flared blades of a fish tail caught the attention of teachers who referred Kaylee to a show at the Museum of Wisconsin Art.

“It was past the deadline and I didn’t think I could get into their event but they still wanted me,” she said. The Art & Chalk Fest in West Bend was a sunny day and a bit of a swelter; at least that’s what Kaylee remembered.

“It was very warm and I chalked both days but it was fun,” she said. “I’ve done chalk drawings for a couple years and there’s something different from just drawing on a piece of paper. I love how you can get creative, even on concrete,” she said.

Kaylee reminisces about her early career and waves it off as a learning experience when she talks about her “nothing drawings.”

“They were stick people when I started but I ventured into faces and people and I’m getting better; now I kind of show off what I can do,” she said. Art teachers in the Slinger School District have worked to give Goodman confidence. “They tell me I’m very good,” she said modestly.

Sandi chimes in. “We could draw something in chalk and it would literally look like that thing,” she said. “But when Kaylee chalks … it’s as if they’re right there. People are also starting to recognize her and she’s so dedicated.”

Kaylee does most of her initial drawings in sketch books. “After I sketch, then I ink and then color with marker,” she said. “I normally get them printed before an event so I can sell them to make money to cover my chalk supplies.”

A working artist, Goodman said she’s currently focused on drawing people but she is trying to broaden her horizons with shadowing and landscapes.

On a sunny afternoon, Goodman can be found colorful chalk in hand in her driveway just south of Pike Lake State Park. While her pallet is a little rocky in some areas, she has a large, smooth patch closer to the house.

“Kaylee can sometimes get swallowed up by the expansiveness or her pieces,” said Sandi. One piece measured about 40 square feet. “We just can’t get that big again,” she said.

Washington Co. Executive Committee selects tentative County Supervisory District Plan

After a 20-minute presentation from Washington County data and GIS manager Eric Damkot the County Executive Committee, on a voice vote, selected Plan 3 for an upcoming redistricting map.

It was February 12, 2020, when the full County Board voted 15-7 to reduce the size of the board by the year 2022 from 26 supervisors to 21. The proposed map will have an impact on the April 2022 election which not only includes supervisory seats but also the number of different versions of ballots that will need to be composed by the county clerk.

Every 10 years following the census the supervisory districts are adjusted based on population.

According to Damkok the census data was supposed to be released in March 2021 and the County Board would have 180 days to adopt a tentative plan, select municipalities and wards and then adopt a final redistricting plan before circulating papers started December 1, 2021.

Because of a delay from the governor’s office the census redistricting data was released August 12, 2021. Now the County Board must still select municipalities and wards and adopt a final plan, however the timeline will be crushed into the next 90 days.

There was a lot of intense data that went into the redistricting process.  Three plans with maps and boundary outlines were presented to the executive committee.

Some of the conversation from county supervisors included a shoutout from Supervisor Peter Sorce who felt the process was unfair and politically motivated to get rid of five supervisors.

Damkot said, “We didn’t map supervisors until after the districts were drawn. There were no outside influences.”

Supervisor Lois Gundrum said, “By keeping 5 full districts in West Bend that gives 25% of voting power on the board and townships could lose power. That’s a concern.”

Supervisor Pam Konrath echoed that statement. “Smaller townships do lose their voice,” she said. The next meeting on the issue is September 8, 2021.

Lovey’s last kiss at Shalom Wildlife Sanctuary | By David Fechter | Photo by Jessica Eirich

Five days ago, a video was posted at Shalom Wildlife Sanctuary of Lovey the deer who was dying of old age; she was nursing her twin fawns for one last time.

Lovey is the oldest doe at Shalom. Born on Memorial Day in 2012, she was a bottle-fed fawn that many visitors had the chance to feed.  In the posting we let everyone know that the end was near for Lovey and if any of her fans wanted to say their goodbyes, now was the time.

The next morning when we checked on Lovey, we told her that her friends were coming to see her one more time. To our amazement, Lovey managed to somehow get the strength to make it over to the visitor viewing area by early afternoon that day; she stayed there until last night.

Yesterday afternoon visitors started telling us that a deer had her head through the fence and was kissing a brown bear. As soon as I heard about Lovey kissing a bear through the fence, I checked it out. When I arrived, Lovey was resting on the ground on her side of the fence and Clark the bear was on the other side watching her.

I stayed there for quite a while watching; Lovey was too weak to stand. I thought to myself, did Lovey really kiss a bear, or were they sitting there sniffing each other through the fence, making it looked like a kiss.

This morning Lovey passed away.

Later this afternoon Jessica Eirich who was at Shalom yesterday sent me a picture of Lovey kissing Clark. As soon as I saw the picture, I said out loud “Oh, my God.”

You see, Lovey has been living next to Lewis and Clark every single day since they were cubs. That’s almost eight years. They loved each other; the proof is in the picture.

This morning Lewis and Clark seemed different, very tired.  After seeing Jessica’s picture, I now know Lewis and Clark were not tired, they were heart broken and silently crying inside. So long, Lovey. You will be missed by everyone.

Dugouts installed at Carl M. Kuss Memorial Field in West Bend, WI

One more finishing touch added to the upgrade at Carl M. Kuss Memorial Field in West Bend, WI as the dugouts were installed on Monday. A crane lifted the 10,000-pound dugouts into place. The dugouts are the same size as the former facility and they are even with the playing field so there’s no step to access the field. There is a small closet on the east side of the dugout for storage.

According to Craig Larsen with the West Bend Baseball Association the next thing will be to seed the outfield and eventually put the lights in place. As far as restoring the ivy to the outfield fencing, that won’t happen. “There’s an insect like the emerald ash borer that’s preventing us from putting in the ivy,” Larsen said. The WBBA even consulted with the Chicago Cubs to investigate questions about returning ivy to Carl M. Kuss Field.

STH 175 in Slinger reopen following completion of bridge work              By Ron Naab

Motorists in the Village of Slinger are celebrating the completion of road work as a segment of STH 175/ W. Washington Street from Maple Road over the bridge to Spur Road has now reopened.  According to officials in the Village of Slinger contractors started work July 26, 2021, on WIS 175 over County Shop Drive and the Wisconsin Central Railroad; it would take approximately four weeks to complete bridge deck repairs.

PRD election and $80,000 referendum result

A strong turnout Tuesday night, August 25, 2021 as the Big Cedar Lake Protection and Rehabilitation District held an election at the Town of West Bend Town Hall. Cars were lined up on both sides of the road from 4:30 p.m. until polls closed at 7:30 p.m.

The PRD also held its annual meeting.

The commissioners race included incumbent Dave Claussen and Ross Anderson. The pair ran on the same billboard. Claussen was a no show for the annual meeting. He was also not in attendance to accept the nomination for election. Commissioner Roger Walsh was also up for election but did not run for another term.  Two newcomers secured the win filling two open seats; each will fulfill a 3-year term.

Matt Haldemann 387

Jeff Braun 376

Ross Anderson 244

(I) Dave Claussen 228

$80K Referendum on Genthe Pond  442 yes 109 No

Approve obtaining a contractor to clean-out the Genthe Pond off West Lake Drive south of Peninsula Drive and change the pond infrastructure to lesson future problems for a cost not to exceed approximately $80,000.

Budget 405 yes  149 no                 Levy 363 yes  181 no

WAC veteran Margaret Borsch turns 100 on Sunday, August 22, 2021

Margaret Borchardt doesn’t understand what all the fuss is about.

“A big day? Yes… it’s my birthday today and I’m 100 years old,” she said. “It is unbelievable. I don’t know if there is a secret to getting this old… it just happened.

Borchardt is a resident at The Waterford in West Bend.

Born in Milwaukee on August 23, 1921, to Christine and Peter Borchardt.

Margaret doesn’t recall what hospital she was born at. “Maybe it was at home on the kitchen table,” she said. “I don’t know.”

A middle child, Borchardt had one brother and two sisters.

While growing up Borchardt belonged to St. Gall’s Church in Milwaukee on 3rd Street between Clark and Center. “I went to Riverside High,” she said. “I worked at the City Hall in Milwaukee in the comptroller’s office as a keypunch operator. It was during the Depression so it really was great to have a job.” Borchardt enlisted in the Army in 1942 when she was in her 20s. “I did it because it was something new for women and it gave women a little importance and I thought I always wanted to be a nurse and when they said women could join the medics, I thought that’s for me,” she said.

“My brother was in the Navy and so I thought I’d join. My mother wasn’t too sure; she thought it was kind of risky. She didn’t make a big deal but we knew she was concerned.”

Basic training was at Fort Des Moines, Iowa. Borchardt said she arrived in Iowa either by train or bus. “Our training consisted of learning to march,” she laughed. “I did office work for the most part until I went into the medics and worked at the hospital.”

Borchardt was initially in the machine records unit for a year before becoming a medic for two years. She recalled her duties included making beds, changing dressings, and giving blood.

“They’d make an announcement when they were bringing fellas in from the field that if anyone wanted to give blood they should and we’d go,” she said.

Borchardt was stationed for a year in Dallas, Texas and then at Camp Polk Louisiana. After the service Borchardt served in the Army Reserves. “Every summer for my two weeks training I’d go up to Camp McCoy and I did that for 20 years,” she said.

Borchardt returned to her job at Milwaukee City Hall and worked there until she retired. Never married, Borchardt lived in an upper flat with her baby sister Jane in a duplex on Pierce Street in Milwaukee; her parents lived in the lower level. “For fun, we would go bowling,” said Borchardt.

West Bend boy earns money through lemonade stand for baseball bat of his dreams

Just over one week ago a 10-year-old’s dream of owning a prestigious baseball bat for upcoming tournaments became a reality. Left-handed Bowen LeMay set out with grit and determination, similar to that of his pitching demeanor when on the field with the U11 Bulldogs.

At Bowen’s insistence, he and his dad Bob LeMay, set up a lemonade and sweet treats stand outside their West Bend home. Bowen’s dad gently counseled him that selling lemonade would most likely not cover the cost of the bat he was dreaming of but Bowen’s instinct told him otherwise.

Once the community learned of Bowen’s desire to put in the hard work on one of the hottest days of the year, folks began to pour in to help support the cause. Neighbors could be seen gathered around the lemonade stand conversing with Bowen, Bob and Bowen’s mom, Rhonda LeMay. There were words of encouragement and many donations, both large and small.

It all added up to one thing – a dream come true. Bowen purchased his bat with the proceeds from his hard-earned money and the support of his friends, family, neighbors and surrounding community, some of whom simply came to the stand to give a donation.

Bowen said he and his dad mixed up lots of pitchers of lemonade. His dad would measure and fill and he would stir the beverage. He also handed out a piece of free candy to everyone that made a purchase.

“I want to just say thanks to everyone who gave donations for my new tournament bat fund. I’m going to be using it for my next season with the U11 Bulldogs,” said Bowen.

The LeMay’s immediately went to the local RBI Academy to test it out and Bowen gave the bat a double thumbs up. Bowen said of his newly acquired dream bat, “I just can’t wait to crush some balls.”

Ida Strikes

Stay safe, folks.

Around a million people are without power in southern Mississippi and Louisiana as Hurricane Ida tore through  the region on Sunday, knocking out electricity to all of New Orleans while whipping up sustained winds of more than 150mph and tearing the roof off buildings.


Authorities late Sunday announced the first death as a Louisiana resident died from a fallen tree in Ascension Parish – even as the storm was downgraded to a Category 2 hurricane.


‘APSO reports first death related to Hurricane Ida. Shortly after 8:30pm deputies received reports of a citizen possibly injured from a fallen tree at a residence off of Highway 621 in Prairieville,’ according to the Ascension Parish Sheriff’s Office.

NCAA Opens Door to Paid Collegiate Athletes

I support this.

The NCAA adopted an interim policy that will allow college athletes to benefit from their name, image and likeness, ahead of legislation going into effect in several states which would allow for such compensation.

“This is an important day for college athletes since they all are now able to take advantage of name, image and likeness opportunities,” NCAA President Mark Emmert said in a statement. “With the variety of state laws adopted across the country, we will continue to work with Congress to develop a solution that will provide clarity on a national level. The current environment — both legal and legislative — prevents us from providing a more permanent solution and the level of detail student-athletes deserve.”


The expected approval from the NCAA Board of Directors came a few days after a recommendation from the Division I Council to allow athletes in every state to pursue compensation for their name, image and likeness without jeopardizing their college eligibility.


The NCAA’s decision to suspend restrictions on payments to athletes for things such as sponsorship deals, online endorsements and personal appearances applies to all three divisions or some 460,000 athletes.

While I acknowledge that this will change college athletics forever, it is just Unamerican to not allow adults to engage in a legal commercial exchange. For the vast majority of college athletes, there is no financial future for them in sport. A few will make a professional league, but even that is limited to a handful of sports that have professional leagues. And, let’s be real, this only impacts the best of the best in any sport.

But I just don’t have a philosophical problem with a star tennis player getting paid to do ads for the local car dealership or get a slice of the pie when the school profits off selling something with their face on it.

FDA Approves Aducanumab


Aducanumab addresses Alzheimer’s in a new way compared to currently approved drugs. This therapy slows progression of the disease, rather than only addressing symptoms. It is the first approved therapy of this type; it demonstrates that removing amyloid from the brain may delay clinical decline in people living with Alzheimer’s. Amyloid is the protein that clumps into sticky brain plaques that are a hallmark of Alzheimer’s disease.



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