Category Archives: Off-Duty

Warning: Falling Iguanas

Duly noted.

The concern for people in South Florida is that these iguanas often sleep in trees, so when their bodies go dormant, they appear to fall from the sky onto streets, cars, pools, or even people walking around. And since iguanas are large — adult males can reach 5 feet in length, and weigh up to 20 pounds — this can be dangerous if one lands on top of you.
The invasive species can’t handle cold temperatures very well because they are cold-blooded. In general, iguanas begin to get sluggish or lethargic once the temperature drops below 50 degrees Fahrenheit.
Once the temperature drops below 45 degrees Fahrenheit the iguanas go into a dormant or cold-stunned state. They appear to be dead, but they are not. They remain breathing with critical body functions still operating.

Around the Bend by Judy Steffes

Paying tribute to Margaret “Peg” Ziegler

Neighbors in West Bend are paying tribute to Peg Ziegler as a “matriarch of the Ziegler family,” someone who was direct and leaving a legacy in the community.

Ziegler died at her home on Wednesday, January 15, 2020; she was 94.

Washington County Circuit Judge Andrew Gonring was taken aback when informed of the news. “Peg did so much for the community; both she and Bernie,” said Gonring. “All you have to do is take a look at the Kettle Moraine YMCA and see many improvements she funded, all in the name of kids and all in the name of making that facility available to members of this community in a way it wasn’t before.

“She was a tremendous matriarch of the Ziegler family. West Benders will be eternally grateful for what she’s done,” he said.

Questioned how he would identify Peg Ziegler, Gonring said “she was about as West Bend as they come.”

“She had down-home roots; she never put on airs or pretended to be someone she wasn’t. She truly was a great West Bender in all aspects,” he said.

Margaret “Peg” Ziegler, nee Gumm, attended West Bend High School. She graduated 1943 and her name is listed first as one of the editors of the high school yearbook.

“Peg was a sharp and classy lady that I had the utmost respect for,” said former West Bend Mayor Kraig Sadownikow. “On several occasions I would get a call or email from her letting me know, very directly, her opinion. Usually she was in Arizona and still paying close attention to her home. She had a deep love for West Bend and its people.”

During her senior year in high school Margaret Gumm was involved in everything from band to choir, Latin Club, variety show, Christmas Play, Clipper Staff and Bend Editor and she was even elected Prom Queen.

“She was always a good friend,” said Gunter Woog. “We went at it tooth and nail but we were good friends.”

Woog said “she was always there when we needed her.”

He praised Ziegler for her donations to the community including Enchantment in the Park.

“If we needed a donation to Jam for Kids or anything the Zieglers always helped out,” he said.

Woog laughed at some memories of his friend Peg, saying a good word to describe her was “cantankerous.”

“One time she told me to move back to Germany if I didn’t like it,” Woog said. “She held her ground but had a big heart. Even when we were fighting, we really liked each other. It’s the kind of relationship people don’t have today.”

Betty Nelson, another legacy of West Bend, was good friends with Peg Ziegler. “Bernie and Peg introduced Cliff and me,” she said about her future husband. “We went to the auto races at State Fair Park. That was back in 1948 and we were married in ’49.”

Nelson, 96, described Peg and Bernie as “close friends for years.”

“She was such a generous woman. She was interested in West Bend; everything about West Bend or everything that pertained to West Bend and she was very active in raising money for the Y and all manner of things,” said Nelson.  “We were fast friends because the Ziegler’s were a lot of fun. Peggy had a good sense of humor and I think that took her through a lot of tough times.”

Barb Justman, owner of BJ and Company, spent time with Ziegler weekly; visiting her home every Thursday to “do her hair.”

“She was spirited,” said Justman. “When I’d be there, she would talk about things like the art museum and the trees or bushes planted by the museum. Someone would have taken her for a ride and she just always wanted to know what was going on in West Bend,” said Justman. “The museum and the historic theatre were always hot topics of conversation for her. She really wanted to be kept up on local news.”

Former Washington County Board Chairman Ken Miller said he had the pleasure of working with Peg on several occasions. “She always knew what she wanted but could compromise if necessary. She was feisty but kind. I admired her for just being “her”. She was unselfish and always willing to “pitch “in. She is one of the great philanthropists that makes Washington County a great place. Her “mark” is all over the area not just Washington County and West Bend. She will be missed. What a great Lady.”

Ric Leitheiser of West Bend said Peg Ziegler made a significant impact in the community. “Peg carried on the Ziegler legacy and made her own in more ways than I’m sure people realize. What I remember most is her interest in kids. She always had a soft spot for kids and children will benefit from her generosity for generations. She will be missed,” said Leitheiser.

Nancy and Jerry Mehring were good friends of Peg Ziegler. Jerry Mehring would drive her to medical appointments. “She asked for Jerry specifically as a driver with Interfaith,” said Nancy. “She was a proud lady and I felt bad because was such a wonderful person.”

Mehring remembered working for Peg’s husband Bernie years ago at the West Bend Company. “Bernie and Allan Kieckhafer and Harry Haugen were all in wholesale and premium. Peg was always so kind and sweet and it’s no wonder Bernie could do as much as he did because they worked together as such a good team,” said Nancy Mehring.

One-year Bernie Ziegler gave Nancy Mehring a pale green cashmere sweater for Christmas. “It was so special and it was a gift and I treasured that so much and I always told Peggy how much that meant.  West Bend is missing a great lady; West Bend was lucky to have the Zieglers and their generosity.”

Peggy is survived by 3 children:  Bernard Ziegler, Jayne (Jim) Wayne and J.J. (Annette) Ziegler; 10 grandchildren:  Brooke (Nicholas) Novaczyk, Sara (Joe) Humann, Laura (Grant) Sommer, Jim (Aurelia) Wayne, Nick (Priscilla) Wayne, Carri Wayne, Lucy Wayne, Keller Ziegler, Charlie Ziegler and Drew Ziegler; 13 great-grandchildren; 1 sister Dorothy Barnes; other relatives and friends.

In addition to her husband and parents, she was preceded in death by 1 daughter Marna Ziegler, 1 daughter-in-law Liz Ziegler and 1 brother Robert Gumm.

Visitation will be on Thursday, January 23 from 10:30 a.m. until 1:15 p.m. at the Schmidt Funeral Home in West Bend.  Funeral services will follow at 1:30 p.m. with private interment.

Skinny Vic’s location in West Bend revealed

The location for the new Skinny Vic’s Diner & Coffee Stop is being revealed.

“It looks like everyone nailed it,” said owner Vicki Lehnerz.

The initial story about the new restaurant was posted as a tease on Saturday morning. Folks in the community offered an array of guesses.

Lehnerz said her new eatery is going into the former Golf Etc. storefront, 804 W. Paradise Drive; in between Petco and Anytime Fitness in the strip-mall location by Home Depot.

“This is the place to be,” she said.

It was two years ago, June 2018, when Lehnerz closed her diner in Slinger.  She gravitated to West Bend, looking for a larger space.

“I’ll have 1,300 more square feet in this location and my Coffee Stop, with the grab-and-go items, will be larger,” she said. “I’ll be selling my bread, soups, salads; it’ll be like a Starbucks or Panera counter inside the restaurant.”

Lehnerz plans to be open for breakfast and lunch and then dinner on Friday night.

The build out for the new Diner & Coffee Stop is underway. Lehnerz is expecting a soft open with special invites around April and then officially launching by May.

“I have an incredible passion for what I do and my food is amazing and people want me back and that’s what keeps me going,” she said.

Sharpshooters prepping to trim the deer population at two parks in West Bend

 Sharpshooters will be conducting a managed hunt in the coming weeks at Lac Lawrann Conservancy and Ridge Run Park in West Bend in an effort to better manage the growing population of deer in the City.

This is the third such hunt since a Deer Management Committee was formed in 2017.

The City of West Bend allowed a managed hunt for two years. The first effort in 2018 was coordinated in house and included three bow hunters who had to pass a marksmanship test to qualify to take part.  Hunters spent five days in the park and shot a total of three deer.

The Deer Management group and West Bend Common Council followed up with a more aggressive plan in 2019 and hired sharpshooters in an effort to trim the herd by 60 at Ridge Run Park and Lac Lawrann Conservancy.

Sharpshooters totaled 56 deer in 2019 and are looking to trim the herd by an equal amount or better this year.

District 1 alderman John Butschlick is part of the Deer Management Committee.

“The sharpshooters will conduct the managed hunt in January and February,” he said.

Some neighbors have already voiced their concern saying they felt the number of deer in the City has dramatically declined. Butschlick said that’s not the information they’ve received.

“They did a drone search of the parks and I was shocked at the number of deer they found at Lac Lawrann,” he said.  “Three or four weeks ago hunters spotted 150 deer.”

This past year Bicentennial Park and its deer population was also discussed.   Butschlick said the deer are extremely heavy on 18th Avenue especially near Miller Street and Hilltop Drive. “The deer trails in that area are just like runways,” he said.

The City applied for a $5,000 Urban Wildlife Damage Abatement and Control grant to help offset the expense which totaled a little more than $9,000.

Butschlick said the paperwork has already been filed and with advisement from the DNR he hopes to secure the grant to cover the cost of the 2020 managed hunt.

The city is targeting a reduction in deer numbers to reduce deer damage to habitat, property and car/deer collisions.

Former Mayor Kraig Sadownikow praises new S&P long-term bond rating for City of West Bend

Former West Bend Mayor Kraig Sadownikow said the news release from the City of West Bend, today January 13, 2020, is great news for the community.

Sadownikow said the effort took a lot of hard work and commitment.

The City of West Bend announced Standard & Poor (S&P) Global Ratings has assigned its ‘AA’ long-term rating to the City of West Bend series 2020A taxable general obligation (GO) community development bonds.

The AA rating declares the City to be “at a very strong capacity to meet financial commitments due to its leadership, organizational policies, and financial stability. It will position the City to receive the best possible interest rates on future borrowings.”

“The City of West Bend has made a tremendous commitment to its short- and long-term financial wellness,” said City Administrator Jay Shambeau. “This improved rating reflects the hard work and dedication of City Council members, the Finance Department staff, and our department head team.”

Sadownikow said the bond rating issue goes back to 2011 when he was elected and met with a Washington County Supervisor.

“That supervisor said the city is on a collision course with a financial tsunami,” said Sadownikow. “It took about a year and a half to figure out what he was talking about …. but he was exactly right.”

Sadownikow praised the West Bend Common Council for it’s aggressiveness and dedication to “reduce debt and increase reserves.”

“Moody’s was the City’s bonding agency for more than 20 years and during our annual conference calls their reps would lay out what the City had to do to increase its bond rating,” he said. “We did that but I didn’t feel the City was getting the respect it deserved.”

In 2019, Sadownikow threw out the challenge for the City to change rating agencies and that’s where S&P comes in.

“S&P looked at the information and said you guys are a lot stronger than Moody’s was giving you credit for and that’s where we are today,” he said.

Details in the latest S&P report upgraded the City’s bond rating, last conducted by Moody in 2019, from Aa3 to AA. In summary, the rating reflects S&P’s assessment of the City’s:

Strong economy with access to a broad and diverse metropolitan statistical area (MSA). The city has a projected per capita effective buying income of 98.3% of the national level and per capita market value of $93,945. Overall, the city’s market value grew by 6.9% over the past year to $3.0 billion in 2020. The county unemployment rate was 2.5% in 2018.

Strong management with good financial policies and practices under our Financial Management Assessment (FMA) methodology. West Bend conducts line-by-line budgeting, relying on historical information to determine trends.

Very strong budgetary flexibility with an available undesignated fund balance in fiscal 2018 of 28.3% of operating expenditures.

Very strong liquidity with total government available cash at 78.8% of total governmental fund expenditures and 3.3x governmental debt service, and access to external liquidity we consider strong.

Adequate debt and contingent liability profile, with debt service carrying charges at 23.9% of expenditures and net direct debt that is 128.7% of total governmental fund revenue, as well as low overall net debt at less than 3% of market value and rapid amortization, with 89.3% of debt scheduled to be retired in 10 years.

Strong institutional framework score.

“What this does is put the City in a position where raising taxes at random and increasing debt at random puts the City right back where it was,” he said. “What it takes is some time, energy, and question asking to understand what made us strong, because we know what made us weak.”

Questioned whether the AA rating is now good enough so all the roads can be fixed in West Bend, Sadownikow said…

“Can we finally fix the roads? If that means someone’s going to say let’s borrow $20 million, I would say no,” he said. “The amount of money the City is putting into roads is potentially over the next three years higher than it’s ever been. It allows the City to invest more into roads but it has to be done in an intelligent manner or we end up right back where we were.

“The report recognizes the reduction in debt; that debt is more manageable and more sustainable than it was in the past.  It also recognizes that the City’s reserves are at a really comfortable level and that’s what gives bonding agencies comfort is knowing a community is financially strong,” said Sadownikow.

“If taking on a bunch of debt willy nilly and to raise taxes by taking on a bunch of willy-nilly debt, I would say that’s not a good solution and it would put the City right back onto a path of a financial tsunami. I’m super proud the common council took a position seven years ago to put some mechanisms in place to put the City in the position it’s at right now.”

“The Finance Department is very pleased with the upgraded bond rating,” said Finance Administrator Carrie Winklbauer. “The City of West Bend is continuing to move in a positive financial direction.”

WBHS club teams complain about budget cuts but they really overspent allotted amount

During the Jan. 6, 2020 meeting of the West Bend School Board, students packed the board room.  High school students and parents spoke about funds being cut for clubs like forensics and debate and the school music program was even mentioned.

When students in attendance were asked where the information about funding cuts came from, none could answer.

At the meeting students and parents spoke about the “importance of band, the cost of transportation to events and registration not being covered.”

“I don’t know why the arts don’t get funded like sports teams do. We have football fields, a brand-new tennis court that got resurfaced… The kids in the arts… are a team as well. They are a club as well. They need to be recognized. They need to be funded.”

“I want to know how the budget is put together and how can that budget be changed in the middle of the school year.”

Emily Colton – “I’m here to address the recent defunding of the East forensics program… Who can reverse this decision.”

After the public speaking portion of the meeting Superintendent Don Kirkegaard said, “I don’t believe the board and or the district cut any funding for co-curricular programs.”

Following the meeting Kirkegaard asked for a hold on any story until he could look into it further.

Superintendent Kirkegaard spoke this week about what they found.

Kirkegaard – “There were no cuts at all to any of the forensics or music budget. There was no cut at all to the budget but last year between East and West they overspent by about $5,000 between the two. The cut was actually based on not actually having the ability to spend as much this year as they did last year and that had nothing to do with the approved budget.”

Kirkegaard – “I just visited with both principals and we are going to suggest or tell the advisers that we’re going to spend up to where we were last year and then this spring when we look at those funds we’ll then make the decision whether we will live within the budget or amend the budget to better reflect the expenses we have.”

Kirkegaard – “If they had overspent in the past and told they couldn’t overspend in the future then I can see where supervisors would think they don’t have as much to spend this year as they did last year but we truly have adjusted it making sure we’re not going to hold them specifically to that amount but we’re going to try to live within what we spent last year which was a little bit over what was budgeted for last year and now we need to make sure we budget appropriately or spend in accordance with the budget.”

District Finance Director Andy Sarnow- “Debate is a combined team but there’s a forensics team for West Bend East and another for West. I’ve only heard about discussion with regard to forensics. I’ve heard of no further discussions for band; I don’t know where that came from. There have been discussions with the forensics coach. I’ll have to get back to you on the budget numbers. We are coming up with a document to share with the board.”

Sarnow – “In 2018-2019 and East and West forensics is separate and each has a budget of $6,700. The total for forensics is $13,400. Last year they overspent by about $4,950 within forensics. So just under $5,000. That was both teams together. Total they spent that year $18,500 and overspent just under $5,000.”

Sarnow – “Going over budget by 25% – 30% is significant. We don’t want to make a big deal about it because they do some wonderful stuff. Don Kirkegaard did reference they did spend $9,500 last year for transportation and that was a little more than previous years. We put a lot of things together and put it into one line item in our chart of accounts and I can’t say that account went over budget but they spent a little bit more so that was another couple thousand dollars that was more than anticipated.”

Sarnow – “The prior year they were within about $1,500; not a big concern but it does go back to the original message Mr. Graff shared is ‘boy, we just have to do a little bit better job living within our budget.’ There were no budgets that were abused, nothing like that it was just more of an effort to be proactive because we have a defined revenue limit. We can’t just ask taxpayers for more money and get it we’re just trying to be a little more sensitive to that.”

Sarnow – “By site the principals oversee their school allocations. My department, I work with them as well to take a look at things and are monitoring that regularly.”

WCI questioned if now the spending is being monitored or was it before?

Sarnow – “We have been, but in going back they had more activities that had been anticipated. They went a lot longer than I believe; they had activities from the end of September 2018 to the end of May 2019. So, I think there were more activities; I don’t know if there were more students participating but I do know they went to more events.”

WCI – Is it busing only or hotel stays or admission costs?

Sarnow – “It’s busing but travel; events further away where students are spending the night. Hotels, meals, and students are also contributing. Above the district allocation each school is also fundraising approximately $10,000 a year and spending about that so that’s additional money that’s spent on travel and coaches and going to these events.”

WCI – parents and students did speak for over 45 minutes at the board meeting about spending being cut.

Sarnow – “That’s not accurate.”

WCI – How did that get out there?

Sarnow – “I don’t know. There were discussions that dated to August but you should call WB East principal John Graf. (Calls have been placed to Graff with no response.)

WCI – The board then asked for more money to cover expenses. Where is that money coming from?

Sarnow – “Again, there were no budget reductions. We’re trying to get them to live within their budget. If we do need to get them a little additional money that’s equal to what they spent last year there is a little discretionary money the principals have and they could shift around and cover any overages. And that’s exactly what happened last year. At year end they had a little money left over so they were able to absorb the deficit within their budget.”

WCI – Should someone else get involved in overseeing how the money is spent so students don’t get rattled like this again?

Sarnow – “Myself, I don’t see any concerns or have any issues with the way we’ve been monitoring it. Are we going to pay a bit more closer attention, sure. But I don’t have any concerns from a financial perspective.”

WCI – How is the money being spent.

Sarnow – “I believe, based on coding and how we describe the expenditures we incur, it may indeed have included the one combined East and West debate team but primarily speaking this is mostly forensics.”

Sarnow did not know how or why band funding was brought into the discussion.

Calls have been placed to school board members for their response.

Hope Demler promoted to Deputy Sheriff Lt. for Washington Co. Sheriff Martin Schulteis

A nice tribute to Hope Demler as she was promoted to Deputy Sheriff Lieutenant for the Washington County Sheriff’s Office.

Demler has been with the Sheriff’s Department for nearly 19 years. She started in February 2001 and was promoted to detective in April 2006.

During a Public Safety Committee meeting on Wednesday morning, January 15, Sheriff Martin Schulteis recognized Demler for her service as a Patrol Deputy, DARE Instructor, Detective, Dive Team Member, CVSA Operator and Evidence Custodian.

“During that time, she received multiple acknowledgements, commendations and letters from private citizens and fellow professionals regarding her outstanding performance serving the citizens of Washington County.”

Demler was also recognized for her service as a U.S. Navy veteran and for her “honor, integrity and respect.” Sheriff Schulteis then promoted Demler to Deputy Sheriff Lieutenant effective January 16, 2020.

Slinger/Hartford snowboard team brings home the hardware   By Delaney Braun

The Slinger Snowboard team had two fantastic races over the weekend at Alpine Valley Ski Resort.

A notable highlight featured Slinger girls’ varsity earning the top three spots on the podium. Gold went to the SHS junior Marisa Reyes, silver to Kallie Weyer a freshman, and bronze was awarded to freshman Ava Stortz.

Slinger is also proud of Pun Worakulpisut, a foreign exchange student from Thailand. He raced for his first time ever. Great work Pun.

All of the Slinger medalists included (back row) Jack Bullis, Luke Schmitt, Ethan Smith, Brady Jackson, Marisa Reyes, (middle row) Kallie Weyer, Ava Stortz, Emma Smith, McKinley DeLong, (front row) Kennedy Weidmeyer, and Jax Weidmeyer.

Front row – Kennedy Wiedmeyer Jax Wiedmeyer. Second row – Kallie Weyer, Ava Stortz, Emma Smith, McKinley DeLong. Third row- Luke Schmitt, Ethan Smith, Brady Jackson, Marisa Reyes. Back row – Jack Bullis. Medalists not pictured Joe Hefter and Henry Wolf.

The course was extremely slick and rutted, which made it even more difficult for racers. The conditions were questionable going into the weekend but ended up with no severe storm.

Falls were commonplace by many racers on other teams, but with looking at the results the 2020 Slinger Snowboard Race Team had some of the strongest and most talented snowboarders in the Midwest.

West Bend Philanthropist to be named Assembly ‘Hometown Hero’ | By Rep. Jim Steineke

The Wisconsin State Assembly will recognize Pete Rettler of West Bend as a “Hometown Hero” at the upcoming Assembly session on January 21.

Rettler, who was nominated by his State Representative, Rick Gundrum (R-Slinger), has been devoutly involved in the United Way Washington County, raising funds for projects and initiatives throughout the community.

In 2019, Rettler coordinated the largest dollar amount and overall percentage increase in Washington County United Way fundraising history.

“Pete has exemplified what it means to give back to one’s community through his work with the Washington County United Way,” said Assembly Majority Leader Steineke (R-Kaukauna), who selected Rettler for the award. “We’re honored to recognize his giving spirit and dedication to Washington County.”

Rettler’s impressive fundraising for the area has not gone unnoticed by others in the community. In 2019, he was awarded the prestigious West Bend Area Chamber of Commerce’s Betty Pearson Community Leadership Award.

The Wisconsin State Assembly sees giving back to the community as one of the most valuable characteristics one can have.

The Assembly Hometown Heroes program seeks to identify and recognize individuals from around the state who give of themselves to make a difference in our communities and in the lives of those around them.

Hometown Hero Award winners are invited and introduced as a special guest at an Assembly floor session and given the opportunity to speak.

Hartford Union HS’s Mary Scherr named Gymnastics Coach of the Year

Hartford Union High School (HUHS) is proud to announce Mary Scherr, Varsity Girls Gymnastics Team Head Coach, named 2018-2019 Central Section Girls Gymnastics Coach of the Year by the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS).

In September of 2019, Mary Scherr was named Gymnastics Coach of the Year for Wisconsin by the NFHS.

“I was very surprised and feel honored to be receiving this award. I want to thank my daughter Bobbi and son Michael for all the time and effort they put into coaching with me. I would not be receiving this award without their help,” said Mary Scherr.

Mary was specifically nominated by the Wisconsin Interscholastic Athletic Association as the most deserving recipient for this honor among coaches of the sport in Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, and Wisconsin.  Honorees were selected based upon their performance in the 2018-2019 school year, lifetime community involvement, school involvement, and philosophy of coaching.

“We’re excited for Mary to be recognized at the National level.  Our student-athletes are lucky to be working with such a high-caliber coach,” said Scott Helms, HUHS Athletics & Activities Director.

18th annual Hunt for a Cure for MS is February 1  

Join the Bell family at the 18th annual Hunt for a Cure for MS at Circle B in Cedarburg is Saturday, February 1.

On a history note: The hunt started in a garage in Saukville and to date it has become one of the most popular fundraisers for multiple sclerosis in Wisconsin. The humble family of Don, 88, and Eileen Bell, 87, are the force behind the effort.

The Bell Family Rabbit Hunt began in 2002.

“It started because of our two children that left this earth early,” said Don. “Marge and Rich were both devastated by multiple sclerosis and at that time there were no drugs for it. Now at least there is stuff that can control it and slow it and people are at least a little more comfortable rather than being so debilitated and bedridden.”

The Bell family includes seven children: Margie, Janet, Richard, Gordon, twins Ann and Alan and Brian.

“Margie was our oldest and she came down with MS first when she was a student at UW-Oshkosh,” said Eileen. “Her first symptoms were when she was 20 years old.”

Marge left college, married her boyfriend and after she had her first son, she developed more symptoms. In 1979 she was diagnosed with MS, a disease of the central nervous system.

“The body starts to attack itself and the nerves to the muscles start to sort of short circuit,” said Eileen. Doctors told the Bell family the disease was not hereditary.

Rich, the third oldest son, started developing symptoms when he was 27 years old. “Rich was very athletic and he would fall and he blamed it on the concrete sidewalk and it was really toe drop,” said Don. “He went to Madison for an MRI and they found lesions around the brain.”

The Bell children had MS at the same time. Rich returned home in 1991 and died in 1999. Margie passed away in 2003.

Don said the idea of holding a fundraiser was hatched following a rabbit hunt in Saukville.

“My nephew called and told me to come to Saukville and go rabbit hunting,” said Don. “My brother Jerry went along and we were sitting in the garage drinking beer and talking smart and the word fundraiser came up. I suggested we do it for MS and boom it got started.”

The first family hunt was a neighborhood thing. “We were in a garage for two years and we made $10,000 in one year,” said Don. “I’m not kidding you; they auctioned off empty paper boxes to meet the goal. They knew they were empty but they bid on them and we raised money for MS.”

After outgrowing the garage and shed the Bell family moved the event to the Railroad Station in Saukville. For 15 years the fundraiser was held there until it moved again in 2018 to Circle B Recreation in Cedarburg.

“We had 300 initially turn out and now we’re up to 500,” said Don Bell. “It’s almost $400,000 that we made for the Wisconsin Chapter of the MS Society.”

Families and friends from Madison, Green Bay and Eau Claire make up a majority of those in attendance along with people who have experienced MS.

Proceeds from the Rabbit Hunt Fundraiser are divided between research ($50,000 annually), helping people with mobility issues and student scholarships. “If families affected by MS can’t afford education for their children, we help provide scholarships for them,” said Eileen.

“This year we’re putting $3,000 into one scholarship,” said Don.

The day of the hunt

The day begins with three-person teams hunting anywhere in southeastern Wisconsin where hunting is permitted before arriving Circle B Recreation from 11:30 a.m. – 5:30 p.m.

Fifty teams took part in the 2015 event, which raised $50,000 that was donated to MS. The funds came from the $225 team registration fees for the hunt and from general donations, although a large percentage was donated by proceeds from auction items and sales of raffle tickets.

Team names are part of the fun including: Briar Patch Bandits, The Haasenpfeffers (with the Haas family) and Hare Today Stew Tomorrow.

“In 2018 we had 235 rabbits,” said Don. “Nothing goes to waste and everyone gets a prize because we have so many prizes donated.”

Don brings out several 5×7 photos which show hundreds of rabbits strung on a line.

Most teams take their rabbits with them and those that are left are processed free of charge by a man in Grafton who cleans them and sponsors a meal for hunter education classes. “He also makes sausage and that goes to the Lasata Nursing Home in Ozaukee County,” Don said.

Hunters, along with family and friends, then spend the afternoon enjoying food, beverages, games, music, raffles and auctions. “People donate items and the gun raffle is really big,” said Don.

“Our granddaughters put on bunny ears and they walk around the room selling raffle tickets,” said Eileen.

One year Don won a boat cover, which was a little ironic since he owns Cedar Lake Sales and Service in West Bend.

“This little boy and his dad came by me and said, ‘That cover would fit our boat and how much do you want for it?’” said Don. “I gave that to him along with an anchor. It just made his day.”

The Bell family believes it is making an impact on research and so does the MS Society. “We just received a plaque for the biggest and most unique fundraiser in the state,” said Eileen. “We are leaving a legacy and we have the deepest appreciation for the volunteers and the generosity and support to make an impact on the lives of many individuals affected by MS.”

 

About Multiple Sclerosis

Multiple sclerosis is an unpredictable, often disabling disease of the central nervous system that interrupts the flow of information within the brain, and between the brain and body. Symptoms range from numbness and tingling to cognitive challenges, blindness and paralysis. The progress, severity and specific symptoms of MS in any one person cannot yet be predicted, but advances in research and treatment are moving us closer to a world free of MS. Most people with MS are diagnosed between the ages of 20 and 50, with at least two to three times more women than men being diagnosed with the disease. MS affects more than 2.3 million worldwide, including more than 11,000 children, women and men in Wisconsin – believed to be one of the higher prevalence rates in the nation.

Around the Bend by Judy Steffes

Neighbors in Town of Hartford disappointed in County Board annexation vote

Neighbors in the Town of Hartford left the Washington County Courthouse upset and frustrated following a 15-8 vote authorizing a petition for annexation of the Washington County Golf Course and Family Park to the City of Hartford.

Those voting in favor of the annexation included supervisors: Mike Bassill, Chris Bosert, Russell Brandt, James Burg, Kris Deisss, Brian Gallitz, Chris Jenkins, Denis Kelling, Don Kriefall, Mark McCune, Carroll Merry, Tim Michalak, Jeffrey Schleif, Keith Stephen, and William Symicek.

Supervisors voting against the annexation include Richard Bertram, Marcella Bishop, Rock Brandner, Joe Gonnering, Robert Hartwig, Brian Krebs, Marilyn Merten, and Peter Sorce.

Supervisors John Bulawa and Roger Kist were not in attendance.

County Administrator Joshua Schoemann began the meeting saying, “what the county board is deciding today is not if the annexation of the Golf Course is going to happen but when the annexation of the Golf Course will happen.”

Schoemann said because “this was a business meeting” the public would not be allowed to speak.

Two people from Gehring View Farms, 4630 Highway 83, Christine and Derik Gehring sat in the front row holding photos of their family farm. Derik is a seventh-generation farmer.

The county indicated the sale of the property meant future development and revenue for the county.  Schoemann said he visited neighbors to the County Golf Course on Monday, January 6 and “none of those folks have any interest in annexation and several of them said to me one day they knew this would happen.”

Neighbors in the Town of Hartford said they feared two things with the annexation including higher taxes in the City of Hartford and losing their view with subdivisions in their backyard.

Laurel Jaeke from the Town of Hartford said the bottom line was money. “The supervisors even said it in their discussion that it was for money,” she said. “This is going to hurt farmers because the annexation of the golf course will open the gateway to continued development and …. with the continued march up and outside of the city into agricultural lands prevents farmers from growing crops they need to support their cows. This is a sad day for the Town of Hartford.”

Supervisor Marcella Bishop – “I feel very strongly this County Board is jumping the gun on this local municipality. We should let the local municipalities take care of their own business.”

Supervisor Richard Bertram – “I was told we should look at parks as quality of life. Where can people take their kids. All of a sudden now this particular parcel here doesn’t seem like that’s a good quality of life. Now we want to change this. As far as us selling parks was not to make a ton of money but I can honestly tell you….  if I gave property to the county, I’d be one ticked off person that the county is trying to make money on what I gave them to have a park.”

Supervisor Kris Deiss – “Everything that has been done is just the way government functions and I understand that for people who aren’t a county board supervisor or involved in government it’s always so hard to understand what the heck we’re doing. But we’re trying the best we can.”

Supervisor Chris Bossert tried to compare the situation to eating a large pizza and then his girlfriend also eating a large pizza. “This is not a money grab,” he said. “I saw a comment on Facebook that this proposal if the annexation goes through the people in the Town of Hartford would see their taxes double.” County administrator said “no, this will have nothing to do with that.”

Supervisor Mark McCune – “It does come down to money. One of my favorite hobbies; I like money. This helps our county to have more money.”

Supervisor Brian Krebs – “Before we go through the process of annexing this piece of property, I think it’s better if the county goes through and actually takes the time to acknowledge what the future of the golf course will be. I think we should take an honest look at what do we want with the golf course.”

Supervisor Joseph Gonnering referenced the Washington County 4-H students who were honored at the start of the meeting. “Where would they be today if we didn’t have Fair Park? There was a time when it was being looked at to get rid of Fair Park. But where would these kids be today without our parks system as a whole and people who live in this county and outside of the county use the parks whether they’re mowed or not. We threw a lot of money into Family Park to start with and it’s a shame we’re not keeping it up, but to get rid of it is not a good thing to do.”

Supervisor Robert Hartwig – “My wife said to me now that you’re retired, we should take the grand kids to all the parks. That’s my question for people who go to Family Park. How many people from the subdivision attend this park? That’s one of my big reasons… why would we want to get rid of this. The golf course is paid for. We should hang onto it and not annex at this time. Plus, I see a gentleman in the audience with a picture of his farm. I can see his concern, if the golf course gets annexed down the road there will be subdivisions moving out and the next thing you know they’ll be after his farm as well. This kid caught my eye and it helped make my mind up to vote no.” With the approval of the annexation the county will now submit a letter to the Department of Administration and then a letter will also be written to the City of Hartford. The process should take about two months before it gets to the City of Hartford.

After the meeting some of the Town of Hartford people in the gallery talked about how the project was rushed through. One person talking in the hallway outside the county board chambers indicated the upcoming April 7, 2020 election may have played a part in the timing of the annexation.

An icon in Hartford will retire Friday, January 10 from McDonald’s on Highway 60

That lady at the McDonald’s drive thru in Hartford. The one who has been there the past 26 years. The one who knows you by the sound of your voice or your specific order. You may want to take a moment Friday, January 10 to stop and visit and say “thanks” because tomorrow Sandy Thiele is retiring.

She’s been called an “icon” in Hartford. Folks around town know her. She’s the lady in the drive thru; the one that calls everybody ‘Hunny.’

“It’s time,” said Thiele. “I’ve been here at this McDonald’s since I was 40.”

Hired by her manager Jon Schmidt, Thiele still has the spunk, common sense and customer service that’s made her a recognizable face in the community.

Thiele, 66, recollects about the changes she’s seen in her two decades plus. “We didn’t have all these coffee specialty drinks,” she said.

“We always had the hamburger and cheeseburger… but they were cheaper back then. Do you remember the brats? And the McRib… those were fun,” she said.

Thiele said the “customers are the best people in the world.”

“One lady gets a large coffee, two cream, shot of caramel, and one egg biscuit and all she does is pull up and says my name and I put her order in,” said Thiele.

Customers recognize her voice too…. or her signature Green Bay Packer hat or the familiar face in the first drive-thru window at McDonald’s. Thiele’s there at work, Monday through Friday at 6 a.m.

Thiele’s view outside her window has changed over the last 26 years. “Walgreens wasn’t there,” she said. “The dry cleaners was there; and then they moved that. Kwik Trip wasn’t there. Culvers was a Hardees and that wasn’t Piggly Wiggly it was County Market and we had a Blockbuster back there.”

On Friday there will be a ‘thank you’ celebration at McDonald’s in Hartford. Feel free to stop in and wish Sandy well.

Accolades pour in as WB alderman and WC supervisor Roger Kist resigns from office

Accolades are flooding in following word West Bend Dist. 8 alderman and Washington County Dist. 2 Supervisor Roger Kist has submitted a letter of resignation.

According to West Bend Clerk Stephanie Justmann the letter was presented Friday, January 10 just after noon.

Dated January 10, 2020 the letter says: “After careful consideration and conversations with family, I am tending my resignation as City of West Bend Alderman for District 8 effective immediately, pursuant to Section 17.01, Wis. Stats., due to my current health issues. It has been an honor and privilege to serve the people of the City of West Bend, Wisconsin in this position since April 2009.”

There are few communities as lucky as Washington County to have a plethora of people dedicated to helping make it a better place. One of the notable community leaders is Roger Kist. Officials from Washington County, the City of West Bend and local non-profits offered a comment when they heard the news with many of the notes focusing on the same theme of “dedication and community service.”

Washington County Supervisor and former Washington County Clerk Marilyn Merten – Way before Roger was on county board, I worked with him on Land Use and Parks. He got things done around the courthouse, so it looked appropriate. Roger was always someone who was willing to help keep the county in good operation. He was a very dedicated individual who wanted to do service to the public. His idea on the county board was service. When he was Ranger Roger he was always dedicated to the parks and he did whatever he could to see the parks were taken care of. I remember Roger would stop into the clerk’s office to see everything was kosher. Roger had a very old-school type of dedication.

Former West Bend Mayor Kraig Sadownikow – It is not too often someone truly dedicates a lifetime to public service. Roger is one of rare individuals who has. My most sincere Thank You and utmost gratitude go out to both Roger and his family for their dedication to West Bend and Washington County.

Former Washington County Board Chairman Ken Miller – Roger was in parks for a long time and managed all the parks in the county. I didn’t always agree with Roger’s vote as a representative with the county, but he sure did manage the parks well and he kept them top notch. As chairman of the Republican Party he did a good job letting everybody know what was going on.

Former Washington County Fair Park Executive Director Sandy Lang – We always knew him as Ranger Roger from the parks system. I’ve known Roger and Denise more so as friends from their community service and church. He’s an all-around great guy. Roger always took on a lot; when he said he was going to do something he did it to completion.

Assembly Rep. Rick Gundrum – I enjoyed serving with Roger on the Washington County Board. He was a very dedicated public servant who took his role as County Supervisor seriously. Roger made it a priority to attend all committee meetings so when it was time to vote he’d be well informed on the issues. Whether he agreed with you or not on an issue Roger was always respectful of your views and opinions.

Janean Brudvig, Executive Director of Interfaith Caregivers of Washington County – Roger has been a wonderfully dedicated friend of Interfaith Caregivers of Washington County. We got to know Roger better several years ago when he was looking for help with his brother. As he learned about our organization and how we help the elderly in our community – Roger did what Roger does so very well – he became an advocate of our mission, helping folks age independently, and he became involved!! Since then, Roger has served an active role, supporting and attending many of our events and activities. Roger was also a member of our newly formed Senior Corps Advisory Board, helping to get it off the ground.

Kist announced in November 2019 he would not be running for reelection to the County Board in April 2020. He served as a supervisor since winning election in April 2016. Kist turned in his non-candidacy papers early. Joseph R. Vespalec has already turned in signatures to run for the seat in April 2020.

Kist is still a sitting alderman in West Bend District 8.  His current term on the council was scheduled to end in 2021.  Kist was elected District 8 alderman in 2009. He beat incumbent Neal Narveson; Kist has won reelection to the two-year term ever since. In April 2014, Kist took out papers to run for mayor of West Bend. He challenged incumbent Kraig Sadownikow and lost, however he retained his aldermanic seat in Dist. 8.

The West Bend Common Council will meet to determine how to fill the seat in Dist. 8. According to the City Clerk the open seat will not be added to the April 7, 2020 ballot. In the past the city has accepted applications and following a review the council has appointed a replacement.

Kist retired as manager of Washington County Parks in September 2003; he held that position for 35 years.

Kist joined the Washington County Convention and Visitors Bureau in September 2003.

Kist was a young pup when he moved to Ridge Run Park in November 1967. Originally hired as caretaker of the park, Kist said it “reminded me a lot of when I worked on the farm.” A supervisor at the park, Kist sported a handlebar mustache and eventually became a fixture known as Ranger Roger.

“When I was on the council, I was also chairman of the local Republican Party,” said Kist. “I remember Mike Schlotfeldt was elected alderman and he chaired the Democratic Party. When he sat down, he looked over at me like the devil had just shown up.”

Kist took his time and built a relationship with the representative from Dist. 6. “When Mike decided not to run again, we had a little party and he said to me, ‘Roger you’re the only friend I’ve got.’”

Over the years Kist has made quite a few friends and below are some comments from those he’s met along the way who talk about the impact he’s made in this county.

West Bend Police Chief Ken Meuler: I met Roger before he ever ran for alderperson as he has always been actively involved in the community. He donates his time to a number of community events, and supports almost every community function. Anyone out in the community will see him at Music on Main, Farmer’s Market, church festivals, parades, and numerous fundraisers in the community. During his time as an alderperson he has not been someone that pounds his fists or grandstands, but he always speaks up on issues that are important to him and his constituents. He has called me on a number of police issues to get a better understanding of our policies and practices. He has been a strong supporter of the police throughout his tenure as alderperson. I have always enjoyed working with Roger as an alderperson and appreciate all he has done for the community. More important, I value his friendship.

Leah Baughman at Interfaith Caregivers of Washington County: “Roger Kist is very active and in touch with the West Bend community and knows what is needed to help support its citizens. When asked if he would like to be a part of the Interfaith/RSVP Advisory Council Roger very graciously accepted right away. Even though this venture has just begun he has been an important member that has contributed many great ideas and support.”

Todd Tennies remembered Kist when he worked and lived at Ridge Run Park. “As a little boy I can remember going to Ridge Run Park and riding bikes past the log cabin as we headed to our favorite fishing spot. Roger would always stop and say ‘Hi’ and ask us how the fishing was. He was always friendly and willing to talk to us kids. After his retirement from the county he settled in and served the community through his involvement in city government. He did a great job and always had an interest in what was best for the community. His interest in our county also carried over into the Tourism Committee for Washington County. He did an extraordinary job promoting the Washington County Fair Park as well as all of our wonderful parks we have in this county. Great job Roger.”

Dist. 5 alderman Rich Kasten said Kist is somebody he really admires. “The things he’s accomplished at the county and city and he can still walk down the street and people know him from Ridge Run Park. I wish I could be more like him with his ability to relate to people and between him and his wife the way they’re prepared for every meeting. I’m very lucky I’ve been able to spend time on the council with him.”

Dist. 4 alderman Chris Jenkins -“I am shocked to see Roger, who is such a pillar in our community, step away from serving, but considering the amount of time and dedication he’s put into our community over many of our lifetimes – this is a well-deserved rest. I will remember Roger as the guy who would pull me aside and give me his straight-forward unabashed opinion no matter what. He spoke up during meetings whenever he felt compelled, he attended every event and meeting he could, and his lifetime of service is one to be admired. I thank him for the opportunity to serve alongside him on the West Bend Common Council and Washington County Board and wish him and his wife nothing but the best as he enjoys retirement!”

West Bend City Administrator Jay Shambeau said Kist’s name is relatively synonymous with park land and this community. “To promote the development, use and preserving of parks and the fact he has not wavered in his opinion is really a tribute to him. He’s everywhere. He’s the longstanding West Bend member of the Mid-Moraine Municipal Association and he attends league conferences and the Alliance meetings.”

Former West Bend city clerk Amy Reuteman spent 15 years at City Hall and noted, “Roger Kist has been there forever. And he’s early; you can always count on Roger to be early.”

Thank you, Roger Kist, for your dedication and service to help make West Bend and Washington County a great community.

Property 111 – 117 N. Main Street in downtown West Bend has sold

The property in downtown West Bend that’s home to R. W. Baird & Company, 111 – 117 N. Main Street, has been sold.  Ascendant Holdings has sold the building to TRS105, LLC for $650,000.

TRS105, LLC also owns the building to the south at 105-107 N. Main Street. Adam Williquette, president of American Commercial Real Estate handled the transaction for Ascendant.

This leaves Ascendant Holding with one property in downtown West Bend located at 262 N. Main Street which is also still available for sale through American.

Also, this week, an American Commercial Real Estate sign for lease was put up on the former Gehl site. This location will be home to a 68-room TownPlace Suites and 15,000 square foot office building that will break ground in spring.  There is still approximately 8,000 square feet available for lease with occupancy of both properties targeted for fall 2020.

Ballot order for local races on April 7, 2020 Spring Election

The deadline to turn in candidacy papers for the April 7, 2020 Spring Election was Tuesday, January 7 and now the next task is to determine how the names are listed on the ballot.

In West Bend city clerk Stephanie Justmann oversaw the process on Wednesday afternoon at City Hall.

For the West Bend mayor’s race Rich Kasten will be listed first followed by Chris Jenkins.

District 3 alderperson will have Mary Ann Rzeszutek listed first and Brett Berquist second.

District 7 alderman will have incumbent Justice Madl first and Oscar Estrada second.

There is also an election in Dist. 1 and Dist. 5 however those seats are uncontested. Incumbent John Butschlick is running again in Dist. 1 and Jed Dolnick is running for alderman in Dist. 5.

The mayor’s seat carries a 3-year term in office and aldermen are elected to 2-year terms.

In the Village of Kewaskum there are four people running for three seats on the Village Board. They are all elected at-large on a non-partisan ballot to two-year terms.

Sarah Severance (I), Richard Knoebel (I), Richard Laubach (I), Rob Klein

In Washington County there are 26 seats on the County Board up for election and in five of those districts there are contested races.

In the Germantown School District, there are two seats open; No. 3 and No. 5. For seat No. 3, Lester Spies is the incumbent and running against Amanda Reinemann. For seat No. 5, incumbent Bob Soderberg is running against Tracy Pawlak.

Fire sprinklers activated following smoke at The Pavilion at Glacier Valley in Slinger

There was a bit of smoke and at The Pavilion at Glacier Valley, 1900 American Eagle Drive, on Monday afternoon, January 6. Slinger Police Captain Joshua Gullickson said the initial call came in at 4:20 p.m.

The call was for a sprinkler system activation. “When officers arrived, smoke was visible but no flames,” said Gullickson. “Slinger Fire Department was dispatched to the scene and the cause of the sprinkler activation was an overheat malfunction of a heating unit in one wing of the facility.”

Gullickson said residents were moved to a different part of the building. No injuries were reported to residents, staff or emergency responders. The Pavilion is described as “short-term rehabilitation, respite and long-term care.”

January 7 West Bend Plan Commission public hearing for No. 5 Kwik Trip postponed

Just received word the agenda for the Tuesday, January 7 West Bend Plan Commission has changed. The 6:01 p.m. public hearing for a request for a conditional use permit to allow a gas station use at 1613 and 1637 W. Washington Street, by Leah Berlin Kwik Trip Inc. has been rescheduled and it will be held at the February Plan Commission meeting instead.

City officials said the public hearing was postponed because there were a number of items Kwik Trip still needed to address and it would be easier to reschedule the meeting so all items could be discussed.

Kwik Trip will also be organizing a neighborhood meeting soon to answer questions from the community. Stay tuned. The public meeting is held in the council chambers and at City Hall.

Brett Berquist files to run in Dist. 3 for West Bend Common Council

The deadline is Tuesday, January 7, 2020, for all candidates to file paperwork and signatures if they plan on participating in the April 7, 2020 Spring Election. According to the Wisconsin Election Commission Washington County Circuit Court Judge Branch 2 Justice James K. Muehlbauer has filed the appropriate number of signatures to run again.

In West Bend another candidate filed papers to run for common council. Brett Berquist will be running for District 3 alderman. Berquist, 59, is a former West Bend Police Officer. A life-long resident of West Bend and Washington County.

“I worked as a prison guard, at the Washington County Sheriff’s Office and I was at Moraine Park and then I was sworn into the West Bend Police Department in 1994 and worked 20 years for the city and retired in 2014,” he said.

Berquist also went overseas as a member of National Guard. “I went to Iraq in 2003 -2004,” he said. “I was there for 14 months total.”

After retirement Berquist said he was looking for something to do and wanted to get back to serving the community. “I’ve always been about service,” he said. “My career was part of it and the military; when I got out of police work, I found a new connection with my faith and it’s good timing to give back.”

Berquist said he spent seven hours recently collecting signatures. “I managed to get two blocks in my district,” he said. Some of the hot topics were roads and the special assessment for neighbors following construction on 18th Avenue.

“As far as roads are concerned if we want to have good stuff, we have to pay for it,” he said. “Bottom line is we would like to be fiscally conservative and keep taxes low but there are also requirements.”

Berquist said this is his first time running for a political position.

He called his former co-worker, interim mayor Steve Hoogester, for advice. “This isn’t about me or an ego it’s about doing the right thing,” he said.

Incumbent Dist. 3 alderman Andrew Chevalier turned in his non-candidacy papers on Dec. 11, 2019. Chevalier followed in his father’s footsteps and was elected to the council in April 2018.

There will be a race for the seat in Dist. 3 as Mary Ann Rzeszutek filed a declaration of candidacy in December.

New restaurant in Germantown makes list of Top New Restaurants in 2019

Congrats to Chef Jodi Kanzenbach of Germantown as her restaurant, Precinct Tap & Table, has made the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel list of the Top New Restaurants in 2019.

Reporter Carol Deptolla writes: Much of the menu is shareable plates that change with the seasons or when the chef wants to try something new — things like ginger chicken in crisp tempura with mango sticky rice, or shrimp with rice cakes browned in miso and butter, curry pickles on the side.  It’s good to see a chef bring the sort of plates to a suburban restaurant that neighbors would have had to drive downtown for before.

It was May 2019 when Kanzenbach announced on WashingtonCountyInsider.com that she was closing Cafe Seourette in downtown West Bend and investing in a new location in Germantown, W161N11629 Church Street.

April 2020 contest for District 3 on Hartford Common Council

There will be a race for alderman in Hartford in spring. Three of the aldermanic seats are up for election. Dennis Hegy, alderperson in District 2 is running again as is Jeff Turchi in District 1.  Both will be unopposed.

In District 3, Hartford City Council President Barry Wintringer filed non-candidacy. He has been in office nine years.

As of the 5 p.m. deadline tonight there were two people who filed papers for that district including Kyle Sikora and Kathy Isleb. Some may recognize Isleb’s name; she used to be an alderperson several years back. Ironically Isleb was the incumbent in District 3 when she lost to challenger Barry Wintringer in 2011. The race in District 3 in Hartford will be on the April 7, 2020 ballot.

Updates & Tidbits

-Two Catholic schools in West Bend are inviting the community to come visit and learn about the great educational opportunity available. St. Frances Cabrini School, 529 Hawthorn Drive, is hosting a pancake breakfast and open house on Sunday, January 26 from 8:30 a.m. – noon. Holy Angels School, 230 N. Eighth Avenue, is holding an open house and kindergarten roundup from 10:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. on Sunday, January 26.

-On Wednesday evening, January 8, the Hartford Police and Fire Commission unanimously approved the appointment of Scott MacFarlan as the eighth Police Chief in Hartford history. MacFarlan is currently the Administrative Lieutenant at the HPD. He has held this position for the past 13 years. MacFarlan has been with the HPD a total of 24 years. He will replace Chief David Groves who will retire February 10, 2020. Groves served as Chief of Police since July 27, 2006.

– Auto Safety Center and Interfaith Caregivers teamed up this past holiday to collect food for the Full Shelf Food Pantry in West Bend. On Friday, January 3 the locally owned Auto Safety Center and the non-profit pooled their donations and turned them over to the Full Shelf Food Pantry. Many thanks to everyone who participated.

– Beginning January 1, 2020, Tony Burgard assumed the position of Fire Chief for the Richfield Volunteer Fire Company after being elected in December 2019. Chief Burgard takes over for Chief John Schmitz, who retired at the end of 2019.

– Learn why excellent Christian schooling is the No. 1 choice for families today. Take a tour during the January 21 Open House at Ozaukee Christian School, 1214 Highway 33, West Bend.

Small, safe classes, develop resilient Christ-followers, teachers go the extra mile for you and your child, need-based financial aid available (up to $100,000) Open House is TUESDAY, JANUARY 21, at 6:30 p.m.

– The Hartford Rotary Club and Hartford Union High School are pleased to announce that Abigail Holappa, Katie Pulvermacher and Bryce Zimdars were honored recently as Rotary Students of the Month.

– Cedar Community annual Chili Social and Used Book Sale is January 25. Enjoy chicken quesadillas, our famous chili with all the fixings (corn chips, sour cream, shredded cheddar cheese, jalapenos, and onions), fruit, cookie, coffee, lemonade, or hot apple cider–all for only $8.50. Quarts of chili to go for $8. 10 a.m. – 1 p.m. Grand Hall – Cedar Community, Cedar Ridge Campus, 113 Cedar Ridge Drive, West Bend

Letter to the Editor | Is Washington County Board proposed development putting local farming at risk | By Elaine Gehring 

I am writing to express serious concern about the agenda item on Wednesday’s County Board Meeting agenda regarding the issue of seeking annexation of the golf course property by the City of Hartford.  I believe that the decision made on this issue reaches much farther than the golf course property itself.

The golf course property is the gateway that opens the way for further long-range development into valuable existing farmland north of the City of Hartford. I believe the county supervisors need to carefully consider this annexation issue and the delicate balance between city development and the agricultural economy of Washington County.

I understand that change is inevitable and agree with Supervisor McCune when he stated at a recent Executive Committee Meeting that “we could be looking at something completely different 20 years from now with the game of golf.”  Supervisor McCune also stressed the need for flexibility in the use of this golf course property; however, please consider how this whole issue has developed.

Earlier this year, the Town of Hartford Zoning Board refused to rezone a three-acre parcel just west of the Family Park so that several lots could be developed and sold.    When that Board declined to approve the rezoning, the response by Supervisor McCune was to bring forth to the Executive Committee the discussion on seeking annexation for all of the county-owned land at that location, including the golf course.  For many of us taxpayers looking on, this has rapidly grown from a small issue into an enormous question with significant long-lasting impacts.

These impacts could endanger the future of rural agriculture in the immediate area for years to come – long past the 20 years referred to by Supervisor McCune.  It is no secret many farmers in our area and all around Wisconsin are struggling; part of that struggle involves the farmers’ ability to rent or secure enough acreage to maintain their dairy herds.  For dairy farmers, their milk checks are their primary income – if they can’t grow and provide enough feed for their herds, they are out of business.

So how does this relate to the annexation of the County’s golf course by  the City of Hartford?   Annexation by the City of Hartford isn’t just about flexibility or the capability to hook up utilities.

As I mentioned earlier, the golf course property serves as the gateway for further annexation by the City of Hartford and further residential development into valuable existing farmland – farmland that currently enables local farmers to feed their herds and stay in business.  Currently the surrounding farmland is protected from development because the golf course property is within the Town of Hartford, so adjoining land cannot be annexed; the proposed annexation would change that.

Perhaps that development will come in the future and may even be necessary – but today’s not that day…

This issue will be discussed at the County Board meeting this Wednesday evening at 6 p.m. at the Washington County Administrative Building on Hwy 33 – please consider attending the meeting or contacting County Board Supervisors to ask them to vote no to this resolution or at least to table the resolution to provide opportunity and time for further consideration and for a public meeting and taxpayer input.

Please help us protect the delicate balance that exists in Washington County between city development and the valuable agricultural economy.

Elaine Gehring    Hartford

Letter to the Editor | County Board proposed annexation in Town of Hartford could challenge future of farming | By Derik Gehring

I am a seventh-generation dairy farmer in the Town of Hartford. I hope you can take a minute to read this.

I don’t know the full story or background on this issue, but I just learned about this new challenge to the future of farming and agriculture in our area, as well as the country lifestyle the residents of rural areas enjoy, and I thought you’d want to be aware of it.

The County Board is moving toward asking Hartford to annex the golf course and will be discussing it at the County Board Meeting this Wednesday.

The golf course is currently within the Town of Hartford. Recently the Town’s zoning board refused to rezone the Family Park and some land on Clover Road to residential as the County wanted to sell lots there. The follow-up is that the Executive Committee is now pushing to have the City annex the whole golf course and take it out of the control of the Town of Hartford completely.

As Hartford Mayor Michalak makes clear in a West Bend Times Press article, this will clear the way for annexation and further development of land beyond the golf course. The issue I see with developing land leads to further loss of valuable land for agriculture and the country lifestyle for the rest of the Town residents. It appears that the value/needs of rural and agricultural interests in our county are taking a backseat to city development. Annexation by the City of Hartford of the golf course opens the door to such development.

This issue appears to be on a fast track with the issue going to the County Board on Wednesday. At the very least, it seems this should be put on hold to provide opportunity for taxpayer input and public meetings, etc. As concerned citizens have asked county supervisors in the past, about other issues, what’s the rush?!

***As a concerned citizen of the Town of Hartford, please consider contacting county supervisors and ask them to vote No on the annexation of land to the City of Hartford.

I will be sharing the contact info of the supervisors in the comments, but here is a link to the contact information of the county supervisors: www.co.washington.wi.us/departments.iml…

Open the “Supervisors” tab and “more” opens their email address you can click and send your comments to. IT IS VERY IMPORTANT TO VOICE YOUR OPINION TO THEM! They need to be asked to vote No on the annexation of the golf course to the City of Hartford.

The county board meeting takes place THIS WEDNESDAY January 8, 2020 at 6p.m. at the Washington County Courthouse in West Bend, WI. The public is welcome and may or may not get a chance to speak, but presence will show how important this issue is to us. If you would like to attend, you may.

Feel free to share the information to others. Thank you and have a great day!

Derik Gehring     Town of Hartford

Letter to the Editor | Town of Hartford residents push back on development proposal by County Board | By Karen and Greg Romagna

This is in response to the Washington County Board wanting to have the City of Hartford annex the Washington County Golf Course and the Family Park.

Contrary to what Mr. Michalak says, we in the Town of Hartford around the golf course are not interested in having further development around the golf course and do not wish to be part of the City of Hartford now or in the future.

We are rural and agriculture land. As Mr. Michalak makes clear annexing will clear the way for there to be further development of land beyond the golf course than the Town of Hartford rules allow, meaning loss of valuable rural and agricultural land in order that the City of Hartford can expand.

We are in the subdivision east of the golf course in the Town of Hartford and wish to remain rural and do not want to have subdivisions going up around us with barely half-acre lots and tons of houses and more loss of farming land.

This issue appears to be on the fast track with it going to the County Board on Wednesday, January 8 at 6 p.m.

What is the hurry on it, why were meetings canceled, and where is the opportunity for taxpayer and residents of the area input and public meetings, etc?

We are asking the County Board to hold off on passing the resolution until there is further discussion with all parties involved.

Thank you,  Karen and Greg Romagna      Ernst Dr., Town of Hartford

Letter to the Editor | Annexation followed by proposed reduction in size of Washington County Board | By Diane Pedersen

Recently I read two Letters to the Editor regarding annexing the Washington County Golf Course from the Town of Hartford into the City of Hartford.

While that may not seem like a big issue to some it means the golf property would be subject to the zoning rules of City of Hartford. That might just be the tip of the iceberg as adjoining properties could then be annexed into the City based on WI State Statutes for new development reducing the size of towns.

In addition to the golf course issue it is important to know your Washington County Board of Supervisors has discussed reduction of the number of districts, reducing the number of Supervisors. How does that affect you?

Currently there are 26 Supervisor Districts and district borders are determined by calculating each district with a similar population number. Currently nine (9) district Supervisors represent towns. The remaining 17 Supervisors represent cities and villages.

The current Washington County population is approximately 135,000 resulting in approximately 5,200 residents per district. If the districts are reduced to 21 the result is approximately 6,450 residents per district. Where will the approximately 1, 250 residents come from to determine the new districts? It could be worse if the number of districts is less than 21.

One possible plan could be to expand all the districts within current cities and villages. If that is the ultimate outcome all the Washington County Board of Supervisors would come from cities and villages. Residents who live in towns would not have a county representative who thinks and supports town and agricultural culture.

If the idea of NO representation for residents living in towns bothers you, call ALL 26 Washington County Supervisors and let them know your concerns.

Just 26 phone calls to let your voice be heard. Phone numbers can be found by clicking HERE.

Diane Pedersen  Richfield

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

Womanizing Tortoise Saves Species

Good for you, dude.

(CNN)A womanizing tortoise whose rampant sex life may have single-handedly saved his entire species from extinction has retired from his playboy lifestyle, returning to the wild with his mission accomplished.

Diego’s unstoppable libido was credited as a major reason for the survival of his fellow giant tortoises on Espanola, part of the Galapagos Islands, after being shipped over from San Diego zoo as part of a breeding program.
When he started his campaign of promiscuity, there were just two males and 12 females of his species alive on the island.
But the desirable shell-dweller had so much sex he helped boost the population to over 2,000. The Galapagos National Parks service believe the 100-year-old tortoise is the patriarch of around 40% of that population.

Snowmobilers Die After Breaking Through Ice

It’s a shame, but there is no doubt in my mind that alcohol an/or drugs were involved.

Two snowmobilers died and a third survived after their sleds hit open water on Lake Nokomis about 3 a.m. Sunday.

The men were on separate snowmobiles when they hit thin ice and then plunged into the water, Sheriff Grady Hartman said Monday

David Erdman, 31, of Hubertus, and Kurtis Shernell, 27,of Hustisford, died. Twenty-six-year-old Austin Zillmer, of Sussex, was able to make it out of the water and called 911. The sheriff did not know Zillmer’s condition.

Hartman said it’s not yet known whether alcohol was involved in the deaths.

Don’t be stupid out there, folks. It can kill you.

Around the Bend by Judy Steffes

Public hearing for old Fleet Farm property in West Bend

Neighbors in the area of Highway 33 and 18th Avenue in West Bend have received notification from the City of West Bend regarding an upcoming public hearing. See the notice below.

The notification ties to a request for a conditional use permit for 3.2 acres of land at 1637 and 1613 W. Washington Street; that’s the former home of the old Fleet Farm in West Bend.

The old Fleet Farm closed Nov. 17, 2019 when the new Fleet opened at 3815 W. Washington Street.

The building at 1637 W. Washington Street has been listed for sale and priced at $3,250,000 for the 49,680-square-foot parcel.

The application for the parcel and the conditional use permit was made by Kwik Trip, Inc.

District 6 alderman Steve Hoogester is currently acting mayor in West Bend. He also is heading up the West Bend Plan Commission.

News about the notice being sent was something Hoogester said he was unaware of.

“I know there have been rumors about Kwik Trip going in there but all I know is it’s up for sale,” said Hoogester. “Obviously, the sooner we get something in there the better but we’re going to have to figure out what will work with the traffic flow in that area.”

The City of West Bend currently has two Kwik Trips with two more on tap as construction is set for a new store on Highway 33 east and on Paradise Drive and River Road.

“I don’t think West Bend is unique as Kwik Trip tries to develop,” Hoogester said. “I know people who work at various Kwik Trips and they love it there. Kwik Trip is a good employer in this community; they’re hiring a lot of people.”

According to the notice the public hearing will be held January 7, 2020 at 6:01 p.m. in the council chambers at City Hall, 1115 S. Main Street.

The hearing will be a “request for a conditional use permit to operate a gasoline service station (20 fuel pump stations on 5 pump islands) on approximately 3.2 acres of land at 1637 and 1613 W. Washington Street. The public hearing is being held so that the West Bend Plan Commission may hear those persons who have an interest in the proposed conditional use permit. The City Plan Commission, following the public hearing, will take action on the request for the conditional use permit.”

Calls to Kwik Trip and Fleet Farm were placed Tuesday, Dec. 17, 2019.

Special WB School Board meeting on wage increases is Monday, December 16

The West Bend School Board will hold a Special Board of Education Meeting on Monday, Dec. 16, 2019 at 5:30 p.m. to discuss wage increases for staff and administration.

October 28, 2019 the board approved the budget:  B.  Motion to proceed with decreasing the defeasance by approximately $800,000 for a total 2019-20 defeasance of $2.35M due to the increase in the private school voucher levy resulting in a 2019-20 district-wide levy of $41,977,315 translating to the same mill rate as was previously included at $7.97 per $1,000 of assessed value on average across all district municipalities and property owners. Further, motion for the final 2019-20 budget resulting in an all-fund budget of $99,180,543 in revenues and $96,646,585 in expenditures.

Support staff compensation proposal Recommended Action: I move to approve the adoption of the 2019-20 Support Staff Compensation Proposal.

Subject:  2019-20 Administrator compensation proposal Recommended Action: I move to approve the adoption of the 2019-20 Administrator Compensation Proposal.

Subject: 2019-20 Teacher Base Wage Negotiations Resolution Recommended Action: I move to declare negotiations with the WBEA (West Bend Education Association) for 2019-20 at impasse, to approve the 2019-20 Teacher Base Wage Negotiations Resolution, and to implement the District’s teacher compensation proposal for 2019-20. That resolution will provide staff members with a 2.0% base wage increase, and additional salary increases per the terms of the teacher salary compensation model totaling a combined $515,723 in additional compensation.

Second person involved in fatal accident on I41 has died from injuries

A second person involved in a multiple vehicle accident on Sunday, Dec. 8 on I41 in Germantown has died from injuries suffered in that accident. Germantown Police Lt. Todd Grenier confirmed to WashingtonCountyInsider.com that Theodore Walters, 20, of West Bend died December 11 from his injuries.

Walters was a passenger in the backseat of the Subaru SUV.

On Sunday, December 8, 2019 at approximately 10:22 p.m. the Germantown Police Department Communications Center received multiple 911 calls reporting a traffic crash on northbound Interstate 41 south of STH 167/Holy Hill Road in the Village of Germantown.

The investigation indicate that a Subaru SUV being operated by a 20-year-old male resident from Jackson, WI was being driven on the wrong side of the divided highway. The vehicle collided with a northbound Chevy sedan that was being operated by an 18-year-old female resident of the Town of West Bend. A second northbound vehicle being driven by a 33-year-old male from Kaukauna then struck the Subaru. All the involved vehicles came to a rest on the roadway, blocking the highway. The driver of the Subaru was extricated by Germantown Fire personnel and was transported to Froedtert Hospital in Wauwatosa with serious injuries.

A 20-year-old male passenger from West Bend also had to be extricated and was transported to Froedtert Hospital with serious injuries. A 21-year-old male passenger from Juneau, WI was able to exit from the vehicle and was transported to Froedtert Hospital – Menomonee Falls. He was later transferred to Froedtert Hospital in Wauwatosa with serious injuries.

The driver of the Chev sedan died at the scene. A 20-year-old male passenger of the vehicle had to be extricated by fire personnel and was transported to Froedtert Hospital in Wauwatosa with serious injuries.

The third involved vehicle was occupied by the driver, a 31-year-old female passenger, and their four children. The children were 10, 8, and 6-year-old sisters, and a 4-year-old brother. None of the family members were injured.

The investigation is fluid and ongoing, however alcohol appears to be a factor in the crash. Weather conditions at the time of the crash were not a factor. Names of the subjects involved will not be released pending the notification of family members.

The victim of the fatal crash on USH 41 has been identified as 18-year-old, Shellie A Becker, of West Bend.

Final call for retiring Germantown Police Chief Peter Hoell          By Anne-Marie Hoell

An emotional goodbye for Germantown Police Chief Peter Hoell who officially called in 10-42 on Friday, December 20, 2019. Hoell served Germantown P.D. for 30 years; he’s spent the last 16 years as Chief. Hoell is being replaced by Captain Mike Snow. His start date is Jan. 3, 2020.

City of West Bend hires first Marketing and Communications Director

The City of West Bend is pleased to announce the hiring of its first Marketing and Communications Director, Jessica Wildes. Serving as the marketing department head, Wildes will create the first-ever marketing and communication plan for the City.

Wildes will develop and design materials to support new programs, initiatives, and advertising to attract new business and tourism. Wildes will also represent the city in media communications, oversee Community Television programs and operations, and serve as chief social media contact.

“We are excited to promote the City of West Bend in an expanded, innovative, and strategic manner,” said City Administrator Jay Shambeau. “Having Jessica join our team will provide us with a new opportunity to build awareness of the tremendous assets within West Bend. Her marketing expertise and professionalism will be welcomed with open arms by our City family.”

Wildes has more than 10 years of marketing and communications experience. She will transition to the City from her role as Director of Communications and Marketing at the Museum of Wisconsin Art (MOWA) in West Bend. During her time at MOWA, Wildes worked to build solid relationships with local government and regional organizations.

She earned more than $83,000 in grant funding for marketing exhibitions and special events, and elevated brand awareness to support significant increases in museum attendance and engagement. Wildes holds a Master’s Degree in Integrated Marketing Communications from Eastern Michigan University and is Vice President of the Visit Washington County Executive Committee.

“I’m honored to serve as the first Marketing and Communications Director for the City of West Bend,” said Wildes. “West Bend is a vibrant community with incredible resources, attractions, and opportunities for economic growth. It has boundless potential and I look forward to contributing in meaningful ways.”

Wildes begins her new role as Director on Monday, January 6, 2020.

Candidates jump in and out of races for City Council in West Bend

Candidacy papers are starting to fly as political deadlines near in Washington County.

In the City of West Bend former Jackson Police Chief Jed Dolnick filed candidacy papers on Monday, Dec. 16 to run for 5th District Alderman.

The seat is currently held by Rich Kasten, however he filed non-candidacy for that aldermanic district on Dec. 2, 2019. Kasten was also first to file candidacy to run for mayor of West Bend.

Dolnick has experience on the council, he served as the 6th District Alderman from 1981-1985 and the 5th District Alderman from 1998-2002.

Each time Dolnick chose to step down after two terms.

Dolnick was also a citizen member of the West Bend Plan Commission from 1988-1998 and he’s been currently serving on the Plan Commission since 2003.

Dolnick retired as Jackson Police Chief in 2018. He had been Chief since 2001 and prior to that worked at the Washington County Sheriff’s Department.

Dolnick is also a former part-time radio newsman at WBKV in West Bend.

There will also be a new look to the West Bend Common Council as Dist. 3 alderman Andrew Chevalier turned in his non-candidacy papers. Chevalier followed in his father’s footsteps and was elected to the council in April 2018. Chevalier beat Justin Reichert to win the seat. Chevalier submitted his non-candidacy papers on Dec. 11, 2019.

Candidates running for Washington County Board, county executive, alderman and mayor have until Jan. 7, 2020 at 5 p.m. to turn in required signatures to get on the April 2020 ballot.

Aldermen need to collect between 20 – 40 signatures and mayoral candidates needs to collect 200 – 400 signatures. As of Monday, Dec. 16, Dist. 1 alderman John Butschlick has been the first incumbent on the West Bend Common Council to submit 39 signatures.

Candidates running for Washington County Board Supervisor must submit 50 -100 signatures and candidates running for County Executive must submit 500 – 1000 signatures.

Candidates have until December 27, 2019 by 5 p.m. to file a certificate of non-candidacy if they do not plan to run in April 2020.

New valet service at West Bend Health Center

Valet service will be available at the new West Bend Health Center, 1700 Paradise Drive, in 2020.

“Patients and visitors will be offered complimentary, customer-friendly temporary parking options such as valet, shuttle service and drop-off options,” said Froedtert West Bend Hospital public relations manager Tim Olsen.

The new West Bend Health Center on Paradise Drive and 18th Avenue is near completion.  When the new facility opens there will be limited parking as the old facility is razed. There will be some parking available but there will also be about a 20-foot drop from where the parking is to where the entrance of the new health center is located.

A ramp will be available to get to the entrance of the hospital, but administration realizes that may not be practical so Froedtert will have valet service and shuttle service from that parking lot to the front entrance of the building to minimize any inconvenience.

Once the current building is demolished the whole area in front of the health center will be convenient for patients. Froedtert is trying to get through the 6-month window and the inconvenience to park.

Olsen said the valet and shuttle services take effect Feb. 17, 2020, until August 2020 or until construction efforts are complete. “Patients can still self-park and walk to the entrance if they prefer,” he said.

There will be job postings shortly as 15 to 20 drivers will be needed.  Five to six valet drivers will be on each shift and each shift depends on whether the jobs are full time or part time.

“For patient safety due to construction, we need to separate patient and construction traffic, and prepare for demolition of the existing West Bend Health Center,” said Olsen.

“We anticipate we will have less parking area than we do today during demolition and want to offer patients the most convenient and safest options.”

Touring the old Barton Elementary School

A year ago, Dec. 31, 2018, the Barton Elementary School building sold for $600,000 and contractors from Commonwealth Construction Co. in Fond du Lac were hired to turn the former school into a 22 unit multi-family adaptive apartment along with three six-unit townhomes by Barton School Apartments, LLC.

The original Barton School, 614 School Place, dates to 1924. Through the years there had been additions in 1955, 1960, 1969 and 2000. According to the Wisconsin Historical Society the original architect was Auler and Jensen-1924; that was followed by Roger Herbst-1955 and Lawrence Monberg and Associates-1960.

Barton Elementary School closed in June 2014 as part of the West Bend School District’s 25-Year Facilities Plan and the 2012 referendum to remodel and add to Silverbrook and Green Tree.

Contractors did their best to retain some of the historic character of the building including the stamped concrete, the vintage water bubblers and some of the classic student artwork left on the walls before the elementary school closed.

One short year later the old school has people living in some of the 14 units on the first floor and eight units on the second floor. The school gym remains and be used for recreation and the former school library is a Community Room complete with the reading loft and media area.

The mosaic is just one piece of art that will be rehung at the former Barton Elementary School. Do you remember which class made this and where it was originally? It’s currently being stored in a back room off the kitchen area behind the Barton Bobcat painting in the gym.

Remember the ‘Bobcat Pledge?’ The information board below still hangs outside the office at the entrance to the old Barton School.

Quite a few Barton Bobcats have been chiming in with their memories about the old elementary school as a remodel is nearly complete. The school, built in 1924 with several additions, is now home to 22 apartments.

Part of a video tour sparked memories including the climbing ropes in the gym.

Kristina Kuester Walesa I still have nightmares about the rope Makes me want to move in. Excited to see what the apartments look like.

Anna Marie Kristina Kuester Walesa the rope!! I remember the horrible peg wall on the gym and loved jump rope competitions and square dancing.

Alora Schweiner I went to Barton from 2000-2005 and now I live right across the river and can see it from my house! This video brings back so many memories; the reading loft, the gym ropes, having to go into the kitchen area for tornado drills, the rocket on the playground, playing red rover in the field, and getting to be a crossing guard when you hit the 5th grade!! so many feels.

Barb Eckes James Landrum Ryan Esselmann Tyler Esselmann I can hear The Beach Boys when I see the gym!

Cassy Markham OMG Nick Casper I remember it like it was yesterday.! I love how they kept the gym the same & those ropes we used to climb!

Sammi Wanke I love that the loft is still there! I cant tell you how many times I would waste my library time by hiding up there and reading Scary Stories in those bean bags.

Anna Marie Sammi Wanke it was called “The Book Nook” the year it was created. I only got to go up in it once I think.

Lauren J. Polenske Such a sap…crying ol crocodile tears..attended Barton from 65 to 68. Remembering Mrs Buntrock, Miss Omeara Miss Hertzig, and so many faces of children I was friends with, Timmy, Cathy, Brenda. The Monkey Bars and the Rocket!

No fire at library in Hartford

There is no fire at the Jack Russell Memorial Library in Hartford. According to library executive director Jennifer Einwalter a chiller in the building along with a seal malfunctioned and created smoke on Sunday afternoon, December 15.

Hartford firefighters were called to the scene and are currently venting the building.

Nobody was injured. Einwalter said “more will be known Monday when the city maintenance supervisor takes a closer look. He’s a member of the fire department so he was on site when this took place today.”

November Students of the Month at Holy Angels School in West Bend | By Anne Weise

November 2019 students of the Month at Holy Angels School in West Bend.

6th Grade:  Jaylee Heinen – Jaylee is famous for taking her time to do everything right. She is willing to come back as many times as it takes to get something done exactly the way she wants it. As a result, her work is impeccable, a testament to her focus on learning. Her assignments are always high quality. She has time for anyone in need, singing in chorus for Mass, and helping out a variety of teachers with out-of-classroom projects. Outside of school, Jaylee enjoys playing soccer or going on vacation with her large extended family.

7th Grade:  Kaylee Spaar – Kaylee is the kind of student teachers dream of having in class. She is one of the nicest people you will ever meet. She pays attention, follows the rules, works well with her peers, and puts a lot of effort into learning. She isn’t afraid to ask for help and is willing to spend extra time when a new concept is difficult to learn. She enjoys reading and listening to music when she isn’t playing volleyball or swimming. Kaylee is a beloved patrol for the first graders.

8th Grade:  Kade Rossebo – In a class full of competitive boys, Kade holds his own. In spite of all the activity that goes on around him, he manages to stay focused on the task in front of him. He consistently works hard and turns in good work. Kade enjoys being physically active and says gym is his favorite class. He spends time outside of school playing football, basketball and video games.

Froedtert West Bend Hospital nurse honored for live-saving care             By Tim Olsen

Laura Borrelli, a resident of Richfield and an RN in the Birth Center, has been recognized with Froedtert West Bend Hospital’s second quarter DAISY Award for her life-saving care of a patient.

“From the minute I met her I knew I was in good hands and I would be taken care of,” said her nominator. “Little did I know that she would not only take care of me, but she would also be a part of the team that ultimately saved my life.”

Laura’s nominator praised Laura for her care and encouragement during the birth of the patient’s first child. “But this is not the only reason she deserves the DAISY award,” continued the nominator. “A couple hours after giving birth she was the one that realized I was massively hemorrhaging. The next thing I know I’m having emergency surgery because I lost two liters of blood. She was there for me this entire time and I don’t know if I would have been as calm as I was without her.

She also was there for my husband, my newborn baby and my family as they were extremely worried about what would happen to me. She is an amazing person and is fantastic at her job. I am so happy to have met her and she deserves the Daisy Award.

The DAISY Foundation, an acronym for Diseases Attacking the Immune System, recognizes nurses as unsung heroes of our society who deserve more recognition and honor than they receive. More than 1,900 hospitals throughout the United States participate in The DAISY Award program.

The DAISY Foundation provides each recipient with a sculpture, “A Healer’s Touch,” which is hand-carved for the foundation by artists of the Shona Tribe in Zimbabwe. The sculpture is made of Serpentine stone that comes from the mountains “where the most powerful shaman” live in Zimbabwe. The foundation chose this design not only because it depicts the relationship nurses have with their patients, but also because the Shona people hold their healers in a position of great importance to the community and feel about their healers the way The DAISY Foundation and Froedtert West Bend Hospital feel about nurses.

At Froedtert West Bend Hospital, Laura was honored at a recent ceremony at which he received a certificate, pin and the sculpture.

Happy 109th birthday to Clara Moll of Barton

A happy 109th birthday to Clara Moll of Barton. Moll was busy finishing lunch with her family, and she was accepting birthday wishes. Clara is looking as fit as ever. She couldn’t stick around for the chatting at in the kitchen as she grabbed her walker to make a couple laps around the house.

“I have no pain,” said Moll as she did laps with her walker up and down the hall and making a sweeping turn through the kitchen.

”I’m not going to be bedridden,” she said with spunk.

Clara visited the doctor this week and they presented her with a carrot cake.

Below is a picture of Clara, on the right, and her older sister Martha. The photo is believe to be from 1918 when Clara was 8 years old.

Below is Clara’s birthday story from 2017.

Dec. 21, 2017 – How often can you say that you sang the “Happy Birthday song” to someone who turned 107 years old.

This week in a cozy farmhouse in Barton, Clara Moll celebrated her 107th birthday. She was born in 1910, right after the coffee filter and paper cups were invented.

“Exercise is what keeps you young,” said Clara. She was making a couple laps in the dining room area. Thick white shoes, long strides and an aluminum walker for balance.

Clara bragged that at 107 she didn’t need glasses but she admitted her hearing was going…. or gone, but it didn’t seem to matter.

At 107 she was still loving life. “I’ve lost my taste buds….,” she said. Her daughter Mary, her primary caretaker, said that had been going on the past few months.

A big wicker basket full of birthday cards sat on the kitchen table. It was surrounded by sweet rolls wrapped in clear plastic bags, daily prayer books, and the latest edition of the Wall Street Journal.

“I’m going to live until 110,” said Clara confidently as she clumped with her walker into the kitchen.

Mary said that declaration can change.  “Most often… we’re just taking it one day at a time.”

Below are some of the articles I’ve written about Clara over the years.

Dec. 18, 2015 – Clara Moll turns 105  and Happy 105th birthday Clara Moll.

“The biggest thing that’s changed on this block is the makeup of the family,” Moll said. “My husband died when he was 74 and he said, ‘Clara you watch, when women all go to work there will be nobody home to cook and there will be nobody home for the kids; you’re going to have hard times.’” Animated, Moll points out the window from house to house to house announcing she has dubbed the block “Divorce Street.”

Clara Moll is a pip! On Sunday, Dec. 18 the life-long Barton gal turned 106 years old.

She celebrated with family and friends. Pizza, her favorite, was the supper of choice.

We prayed and passed a plate.

Clara reminisced. She was prompted by her daughter Mary. “Remember in 1976 when you took advantage of the Greyhound Bus offer… 99 days for $99?”

Clara remembered. She traveled the U.S. and saw all her relatives. “Don’t get married,” she advised. “Travel.”

Meantime the group at the party tried to recollect where the Greyhound stops were in West Bend; the consensus was on S. Main Street in front of the Centrum building and outside George Webbs in the West Bend Plaza.

Clara touted “exercise” as the secret to longevity.  She wore out roller skates and proclaimed she would “rather dance than eat.”

A peek inside the ongoing restoration of the Historic West Bend Theatre

There’s a hum of activity inside the historic West Bend Theatre, 215 N. Main Street, as a full, interior restoration is underway. Charles Dwyer is with Conrad Schmitt Studios. Click the video below as he leads a tour atop three-stories of scaffolding as we walk atop planks within inches of the ceiling of the theatre.

Dwyer was born in West Bend but his art has taken him around the world. His biography said he “graduated Valedictorian from the Milwaukee School of Art and Design in 1984. He enjoyed early recognition when the West Bend Art Museum exhibited his work in 1985.”

On a cold December afternoon Dwyer was working on restoring the art in the landmark theatre in downtown West Bend.

“Right now, we’re about as high up in the theatre as you can get; the ceiling is just inches from my head,” said Dwyer.

Dressed in a blue-grey knit hat and tortoise shell glasses, Dwyer provided insight as we explored the edges of theatre walking along makeshift particle-board flooring to get an up-close look at the stenciled art that covers the pilasters; spaces below eight well-preserved urns, beams and ceiling.

Theatre memory by Carol A. Feypel – West Bend Theater lights. One of my favorite entertainment locations. Started going summer before 1st grade; 10 cents in 1938. My Sunday afternoon entertainment. Earned the money dusting Mrs. Collins furniture. Mr. Collins was President of First National Bank. Their house side yard met with our back yard on Poplar and then on Ninth Avenue.

“There will be decorative work on the ceiling, the walls, the proscenium arch. Although it is mainly a conservation project, so we’re saving as much of the decorative finishes as possible there’s been a historic documentation of the paint finishes and we’re following that guide and putting it back to what it was in the 1920s,” he said.

With three long strides Dwyer walks toward the narrow wooden plank that leads up to the temporary floor. He grabs a pair of drawings that resemble what the theatre is designed to look like. Brushing off the plaster dust Dwyer points out the color and vision for the decorative painters.

“We’ll put stenciled aluminum leaf on the ceiling; it will have a stained-glass effect,” he said. “That was original to the decorative scheme. All the urns will stay. We will leave the original paint finishes and applying new paint finishes.”

Theatre memory by Andrea Olsen – I can still remember the smell of their bathrooms, same as Artistic Roller Rink, that cherry air freshener.

“Because we’re conserving and saving the old as much as we can, when we do put new paint finishes on it’s important to think that we don’t want that to look too new so our job is to knock that back a little bit so we have a historic finish,” said Dwyer.

The face above the stage will get glazed and the columns at the sides of the stage will also receive a gold finish.

The urns were recently removed so an electrician could put dimmable light behind them. “There were soft, dim lights behind the urns before,” said Dwyer. “The old, cloth-wire lights were removed and then rewired in the back.”

“The original colors were very bright,” he said. “As a kid we remember a lot of maroon. The proscenium arch is a lot of Art Deco with combinations of aluminum leaf and gold and kind of bright colors.”

The project has been documented at ever step, including the color pallet. “Everything is to the report that was done for historic purposes,” said Dwyer.

Light fixtures and cloth wiring pulled from behind the urn sculptures

The artwork was painted over sometime during its 90-year history with maroon paint.

Tracings and digital photos of the stencil patterns will guide Dwyer in replicating the bright and colorful artwork throughout the historic building.

Theatre memory Rick Riehl, October 11, 2014 – Rick Riehl of West Bend was among those gingerly stepping through the rubble, talking about the days when the theater featured vaudeville acts. Riehl said the sculptured face above the main stage traced to ancient Greek when ‘masks,’ made from clay or wood, served as a universal symbol for drama. “The sculptures had huge wide-open mouths and I thought there were three satyr, comedy, and tragedy, in the main theatre,” Riehl said. “I also recall they found gargoyles around the sides above the suspended ceiling when they put in a second level of theatre. Somebody took those; very sad.”

“This theatre was built under one direction, however it changed over the years until it was painted maroon but now, we’re starting to bring it back to what it was,” said Dwyer. “I just can’t wait to see it when it’s lit and there’s a performance. I think people will be shocked this exists in West Bend and I give them credit for even attempting to go ahead with it. It takes courage.”

Theatre history: West Bend Theatre was built in 1927; it opened in 1929 as a single-screen theater. Twinned in the 1970s and later triplexed around 1992 the theatre is currently made up of two narrow theatres on the main floor. The balcony serves as the third auditorium and sports a 35-footwide screen. The property has been through six previous sales starting in July 1985 when Albert and Nick Frank sold to Robert and John Johnson for $300,000. In July 2004 the Johnsons sold to Family Cinema LLC for $550,000. A quick three months later the business was sold to West Bend Cinema LLC for $340,000. In Nov. 2006, Buddies Two, LLC bought the theatre for $475,000 and in mid-2007 turned it over to Michael Reineck/Albert Kolkmeyer on a quit-claim deed.

Theatre memory by Sherry Abbott – I fell on that darn step going into the ladies’ room and broke my arm.

Pulsating Penis Fish Invade Northern California

This seems somehow symbolic.
Fat innkeeper worm in Bodega BayImage copyrightKATE MONTANA, INATURALIST CREATIVE COMMONS
Image captionA beachgoer holds a fat innkeeper worm in California

Thousands of creatures resembling penises have washed up on a beach in California.

The pulsating creatures are fat innkeeper worms, or Urechis caupo.

Although they are a type of worm, they are widely referred to as the “penis fish”.

The worms bury themselves deep beneath the sand, but recent storms have uprooted them and Drakes Beach, about 50 miles north of San Francisco, has been covered in the creatures.

Around the Bend by Judy Steffes

West Bend School Board discusses steps needed to possibly merge high schools

The West Bend School District Committee of the Whole met Monday, Dec. 2. It reviewed the district’s current and future facilities.

Aside from reviewing replacement vs. repair costs, energy needs, transportation and the dynamics surrounding an operational referendum the board talked about the declining enrollment and how that will affect the West Bend High Schools in the coming years.

In October 2019, Superintendent Don Kirkegaard said, “unless there is a change in enrollment trends, the district can expect declining enrollment for the next 8-10 years.”

Predicted enrollment trends, including numbers from the high schools which show a drop in enrollment from 2019 at 2,184 to 1,669 in 2028.

Board member Joel Ongert brought up Policy 188: Should the Board decide to further consider reconfiguration of the high schools, the Board must proceed to a non-binding referendum at the next Gubernatorial or Presidential election balloting. The next Presidential election is Nov. 3, 2020.

Policy 188 was put into place in 2015; it was the last time the district broached the subject of combining the two high schools.

Joel Ongert – “The way this policy reads and all the steps, this could take potentially years…  So, I think it’s time we look at this policy. I’m not saying we totally eliminate it; I’m not saying that we … maybe not necessarily start from scratch. I think it’s time we start looking at this policy, just in case in the future the declining enrollment numbers … It would be easier for us to close an elementary school than it would be to combine the two high schools.”

Chris Zwygart – “It’s worthy of at least examining. Prior boards, I understand at that time there was very interesting discussion and a lot of passion so I can understand the intent, but I think we need to balance that with our current circumstances and …. to give ourselves the flexibility and options to do. So, I’m supportive a review of it.”

Ongert – “There’s $45 million worth of work at the high school and we’d be remiss not to think about … if we were to get $45 million and talk about paint. Do we start painting everything blue and maroon again? Or do we start talking about maybe it’s time we combine the two high schools and maybe that becomes part of a referendum question and you know we want to borrow $45 million and a separate advisory question is do you want us to combine the high schools.”Tonnie Schmidt – “I agree to have the policy reviewed. We don’t need to decide right now … but if we’re going to spend a lot of money, I would like to consider seeing it spent in such a way, say 10 years from now… we don’t have to redo things.”

Paul Fischer – “It’s important we look at what the financial implications are. Would we go to one athletic director? Probably with that amount of students, probably not – it’s an A.D. and an assistant. I came out in 2015 as a passionate supporter of two high schools. If enrollment continues to decline and we see more co-op teams, we also need to consult Erin and Kevin to find out how quickly can we tell the WIAA that one of our schools no longer exists.”

Don Kirkegaard – “It truly will be a lengthy process, and this is a huge decision. We like this heritage – we don’t throw this out just on a whim, but you have to look at all the financial and enrollment data.”

Ongert – “I find it interesting it would take a lot of time for us to combine the high schools following this policy versus closing an elementary school or some other major decision. I understand why the board put the policy in place at the time but that was a while ago.”

Maintenance Shed:

One of the other topics of discussion included the district’s maintenance shed.

The board made several references to the report presented by the West Bend School District Private Task Force. One of the findings by the Task Force involved a suggestion to create one central campus.

Construct one new school (783 capacity) at a south side location and expand Green Tree. Close/sell Jackson School, Jackson land, Decorah, Fair Park, District Offices, Rolfs & Maintenance. Develop a single central campus on the south side of West Bend.

Task Force member Kraig Sadownikow said, “As a district there are multiple campuses at wide geographical locations. That means maintaining and monitoring is difficult. This makes operating the district more expensive.”

“Money is the solution to the problem – more money may not be.”

“Finally – the capital maintenance budget is inadequate. It’s underfunded. Can’t consider a new investment in new facilities without considering how to maintain what we currently have. Building new while avoiding maintenance is a losing situation.”

Director of Facilities Dave Ross talked about the maintenance building. “It’s not in bad shape. The replacement cost would be $1.4 million with $176,000 worth of repairs that need to be done.”

Joel Ongert – “Would we be saving a lot of money by closing the shop?”

DR – “We have a full-time custodian and a little maintenance but there’s not a heck of a lot. All office partitions were donated to district. It doesn’t cost a huge amount of money.”

Joel Ongert – “Does it still serve the purpose of protecting our vehicles and doing maintenance in the shed.”

Dave Ross – “Yes. Both functional buildings.”

PF – “If implement the Task Force’s recommendation to consolidate to a single campus you may reduce some level of custodial service but you’re going to need custodial services for the rest of that facility so at the end of the day maybe it’s a net reduction – maybe half or 20 hours a week. It’s marginal, I guess. It’s not that far out of line to be enticing to do the consolidation model.”

The meeting wrapped up with Superintendent Kirkegaard talking about the timing of an upcoming referendum.

“I’d suggest we put to rest that there will be no referendum in April. We need to know that by January. There’s just no way possible we’re ready for a referendum in April. Earliest I could see is November 2020, but we have a lot of work to do before that.”

West Bend Christmas Parade viewed around the world

Chilly temps and some winter white and neighbors dressed in knit hats, boots and blankets lined the street for the annual West Bend Christmas Parade. (note of correction – NOT the 5th annual as said in the video – as WB Parade is one of the oldest in Wis.)

There were 66 entries including floats, bands, decorated vehicles and the entry from West Bend Children’s Theater really stood out. It was worthy of a Macy’s Parade as the Children’s Theater promoted its upcoming play, Seussical The live broadcast was viewed around the world. Below are some of the comments from social media:

Jacalyn (Hansen) Sullivan – Viewed from Sunnybank. Queensland, Australia … love the hometown Christmas parade! Have a blessed Christmas and glorious New Year!

Elaine Bartol · Watching your parade from Elfrida, Arizona! Hi to my families in Wisconsin!

Terry A. Becker · Greetings from the Blue Ridge Judy, thanks for bringing us home once again for Christmas!

Susan Kist – Thanks so much for broadcasting the Christmas Parade as I really wasn’t able to be outside watching it this year.  Because of you I didn’t need to miss the 2019 parade. The West Bend Christmas Parade has been a part of my life since the 1950’s when I marched in it as a member of the Grafton High School Band.  Many years I marched with my kids.  Sometime it was with 4-H, other years with a church float.  Other years I just watched it live.

Renee Newton Reese ·  Greetings from Kent, Ohio

Carol A. Feypel · THANK YOU!!! Carol FEYPEL LOVING IT.

Katie Bastian Singer · Carol A. Feypel so glad you got to watch it from Georgia

Tom Pfotenhauer · Watching from Jekyll Island, GA

Linda Theisen · Watching from Marietta, Georgia. .

Nancy Reisner –  I always enjoy everything you cover!  That meeting last night was really informative!  The parades and everything else is great!  I’m pretty much home bound due to the neuromuscular disease I have, so I’m guessing I appreciate your coverage more than anyone. It keeps me connected!  Thanks for all you do Judy and have a wonderful Christmas season!

Hat tip to BOSS Realty for allowing us to broadcast from its balcony overlooking Main Street.

This year’s live broadcast will be brought to you by Slesar Glass, 115 N. Sixth Avenue, So Fly Fashion, 125 S. Main Street, West Bend, and Alpha Dog Audio

Here are the parade winners from tonight’s Christmas parade:

Adult:    1st place – West Bend Moose Lodge, 2nd place – West Bend Kettle Trailblazers, 3rd place – Kettle Moraine Bible Church

Youth:    1st place – West Bend Children’s Theatre, 2nd place – Faith United Church of Christ, 3rd place – West Bend Middle School Dance/Guard

Business:    1st place -Auto Safety Center, 2nd place – C&K Services, 3rd place – Meijer

County Supervisor Marilyn Merten files non-candidacy

The paperwork is in and Washington County District 15 Supervisor Marilyn Merten has filed non-candidacy for the April 2020 election.

Merten has served on the Washington County Board for 12 years. A long-time public servant Merten’s career in government started after she graduated high school.

“I worked in the county superintendent’s office and I was there for four years,” she said.

With only a brief pause, Merten said she was on the Civil Service Commission and the Samaritan Home Board of Trustees.

At 81 years old Merten said her decision not to run for County Board is not exactly a signal she’s retiring. “I’m still volunteering and I’m a member emeritus for the Washington County Historical Society Foundation and I’m on the Agricultural Industrial Society Board; I’m up for reelection as a member-at-large,” she said. “I serve on the administrative committee, finance committee …. you’re not totally rid of me.”

Questioned why she filed non-candidacy Merten said it was time. “I put in a lot of years as a public servant and I’ve always done the best I could for the citizens I represented and it’s a time where things are not going the way I normally see them so I really feel I’ve done my duty as a public servant,” she said.

Merten said this was not a difficult decision. “I’ve been thinking about it for some time,” she said. “People have been telling me I really need to run, and I just figured I have to make a decision. I have things with my children and grandchildren I want to spend some time with.”

Merten and her husband had seven children together. She’s grandmother to 11 grandkids. “Only 11,” she said.

Over the years Merten has developed a reputation as a stickler for rules. She’s been dubbed a walking “Robert’s Rules of Order;” she is well versed in parliamentary procedure.

“There are times I challenge what’s going on because I don’t believe it’s correct but if somebody can point out to me that it is, I guess I have to relent,” she said.

Not only was Merten in county government, she also spent 21 years on the Germantown School Board. “I learned a lot from our school attorney and feel I gained a lot of knowledge through those years,” she said.

Merten was elected Washington County Clerk in 1994. She worked with board chairmen such as Reuben Schmahl, Ken Miller, Tom Sackett, Herb Tennies and Don Kriefall.

Questioned whether she thinks the size of the County Board needs to be reduced, Merten said “definitely not.”

“People don’t understand what the County Board does and what it’s supposed to do, and I really believe the number of people representing you on the County Board level is small enough,” she said.

For most of her time on the County Board Merten represented the Town of Polk. After redistricting she extended into the Town of Jackson.

Candidates have until December 27, 2019 by 5 p.m. to file a certificate of non-candidacy if they do not plan to run in April 2020.

Candidates who are running are circulating papers to collect signatures which must be turned in by 5 p.m. on January 7, 2020.

Candidates running for Washington County Board Supervisor must submit 50 -100 signatures and candidates running for County Executive must submit 500 – 1000 signatures.

WBSD Task Force report at Jackson Community Center

Common Sense Citizens of Washington County hosted an informational meeting Thursday night at the Jackson Community Center as a member of the West Bend School District Public Task Force gave a presentation on its findings.

Owen Robinson spent about an hour outlining details from the Task Force which spent the summer reviewing facilities in the West Bend School District.

Following the presentation Robinson took questions from the audience. There were nearly 20 people in attendance including Village of Jackson administrator John M. Walther.

Questions in Jackson.

Woman in audience read a statement about how the Task Force was made up of all businessmen from West Bend.

Owen Robinson: “I was invited by Kraig Sadownikow and he was looking for people with facilities management.  I was invited because I was a vocal opponent and I have some experience in infrastructure in my private life. As far as makeup of the committee he tried to get some who were for and others against.”

Woman:  were all the costs factored in including bussing and special education.

OR: “Bussing yes, it would be an extra $180,000 but we talked facilities.”

Man: “I’m opposed to put an elementary school kid on a school bus. A kid feels security being into town. Moving elementary school out of town is a major hit to the community. Moving it outside is not a positive thing.”

OR – “Bussing – we did a lot of thinking about this. Community schools’ matter and there is value in kids walking to school. However, in our modern society fewer kids do that. There are plenty of kids who live .7 miles from school, and they will drive them because it’s safer.

OR – “Hit to Jackson by removing it’s school. There is an economic impact that can’t be ignored. The mission to WBSD is to educate kids and not worry about the economic impact to the Village. Do what we can for education.”

Man – “As you’re looking at operational costs. Totally agree not contracting out teachers but why not outsource administration.”

OR – “I think there is room to outsource administration. You look at payroll or expense management. I don’t think you can outsource superintendent or principal but as far as thing that don’t deal with education it can be evaluated.”

Man in red – “783 capacity and then expanded to 1,000. In terms of dealing with elementary school kids – value is better with smaller numbers. What’s more efficient is developing social skills. They get lost in a crowd. When you say reduce staffing – then what happens with guidance.”

OR – “Rough mockup with possible expansion and out to 1,000 students. Statement is about bigger may not always be better. It’s worth looking at. Looking at construction with pod structure would be like a lot of smaller schools put together. If there’s an opportunity to reducing staffing – you have to be smart about it.”

Man in red – “Parents are dropping kids off – but if you get up to 1,000 then it’s a concern.”

OR – “If we’re faced with decision 10 years from now … we were saying from a facilities long-term planning. You’re trying to stay flexible. We’re trying to make sure it’s well constructed, well maintained and built in a way it can be expanded.”

Woman in stripes – “Would you consider transfer WB students from WB schools; close to Badger and leave Jackson without busing.”

OR – “Look at busing to Jackson instead. We looked at a few options. Didn’t look at how to incorporate Badger or Silverbrook. One option is to close Fair Park or Decorah and we’re at 100% capacity and put those kids elsewhere.”

OR – “We’re at 79% capacity for elementary schools in WB. You could take kids from one school that closed and put them in other schools.  I’d take umbrage with “your kids and our kids,” these are all WBSD kids. We’re educating kids from Newburg, to Jackson to towns. Important to approach with all the kids in the district and not your kids and our kids.”

Woman – “I stand corrected. But WB has pushed Jackson into the dark ages. WB is bigger and thinks it has more clout but if we lose our school it’s not good for the village. If your kids get bussed why wouldn’t you want to build new school here and bus WB kids to Jackson.”

OR – “It is an option. We looked at site and sewer and water. Having a Jackson site – you’re talking added busing costs MORE than $180,000 we calculated.  How do you best serve with new facilities to more kids? If you do traffic studies, putting it on north side of Jackson that would be fine.

Woman – “The financial numbers you gave won’t exist and how can you say there will be a potential surplus of $2 million. You can’t guarantee the dollar amount.

OR – We did get some actual commercial bids and dropped the amount. We did our best and you have to start somewhere.

Woman – “Your $2 million surplus that’s not a lot.”

OR – “In the context of overall operational budget $2 million is a conservative number. But it is enough of an operational savings.”

Woman – “Money stashed away for Jackson school – what would happen to that money?”

OR – “As far as fund of money we started saving a few years ago. We spent some of that money to date ($750,000) so what’s left would go into the plan to help with school. That’s a school board decision.”

John Walther – “I understand your economics of scale. There are certainly economies of scale and the Village of Jackson is doing the same thing. The Village board has committed $14 million to $16 million for a new village hall and new police station and fire station. We’re talking services and not bodies or children. One of the main reasons the Village board made the commitment was to pave the way for the school district to build a school directly north of here. The Public Works has already moved to a new facility. It was a good-faith effort. A couple prior superintendents were working hard with the village in constructing that school but unfortunately the momentum was lost but the Village is still making the effort for a neighborhood school. I do understand this is facilities driven and this does make sense from that standpoint, but the reality is you’re dealing with small children.”

OR – “We did look at it from a facilities lens and not an educational impact. We did work with Zimmerman and asked them for state-of-the-art to make sure it was right. Part of the thinking is this would be in place for five generations – even if we look at how kids are laid out it will not be the same in 10 years or 50 years. We built an infrastructure that has access to major trunk roads with flexibility to adjust.”

OR – “First point was Village had an eye on new Jackson Elementary and was looking at that for a long time. As a school district we could build a new elementary school, but it’s failed twice. But with facts on declining enrollment and declining budget how do we get the most bang for our buck. We think with this plan we can serve a lot more kids with this money. Does this break a promise, maybe but how could a superintendent three supers ago make this type of promise?”

Walther – “I believe Jackson is one of largest communities without its own school district. If Jackson is removed the WBSD will really get cut.”

OR – “Should Village break off. Jackson can … but it’s a monster process but it can be considered. In the long-term vision of WBSD – it could be reduced in size.. then so be it. If you look at districts around the country that generally speaking – economies of scale could make sense. WB does have a different demographic makeup.”

Woman in blue – “Why kids are enrolling out. Some are very unhappy with the HS. I know enrollment in some districts are getting smaller.”

OR – “Why are kids open enrolling or school choicing out of WBSD.  We did not look at that. We looked at enrollment as fact and how do you manage facilities with enrollment projections. One note – if you look at open enrollment going out – it’s virtually static and 69-70 percent were never enrolled in the district.  There are some population centers on the edge of district, and it has nothing to do with the district. Religious reasons are separate reasons. The Task Force did not look at that. The enrollment decline – the lions share is a decline in the district period.”

Man – “Why doesn’t Jackson have its own school district.?”

OR – “We had a radical look – Slinger has its own district and Jackson does not. If Jackson wants to look at it that’s a major investment. Or to have a feeder school into the high school. From a WBSD standpoint – I would say the school board needs to approve.”

Man – “Jackson has been treated like an ugly stepchild but what does it take to get the ball rolling – let’s do it.”

OR – I don’t know why it hasn’t looked at it. Being perceived as an ugly stepchild – nobody ever talked about it that way. Our decisions were made by economies of scale. We made facilities discussions that way.

Woman in front – “History nugget. Mr. Wiziarde, former superintendent, was approached about 20 years ago making Jackson its own school district and WB said “no” because they welcome our tax base.”

OR – “Right now the Village and town of Jackson are 18% of tax base in the district. My hope is we start and end with what’s best for most …”

Man – Where is the Task Force report going?

OR – “The school board seems to be evaluating our findings. I was encouraged by other ways to approach the facilities issue. If we’re talking declining enrollment and declining revenue – and just replacing by being reactive. If you’re looking at where the district is and how to serve the most kids if you have X amount of money. The board patted us on the head for a couple things. Recently they were in cycle on consolidating the libraries and looked at the maintenance shed. We were just trying to inject a different view. I will say, as an aside, time is not to be wasted and these buildings are declining so the sooner they start making decisions the better.”

OR – “The Task Force did homework, we’re sharing, and we hope it gave you a different viewpoint. We were nine people in a room trying to figure out a puzzle.”

Woman in stripes– How did you come about Maintenance and Rolfs into new plan.

OR – Maintenance is by VFW on Sand Drive and Rolfs is behind the district office on Fifth Avenue. Just looking at facilities and put in a single campus; it would be easier say when it snows… if you have fewer facilities then there’s more efficiencies.

Woman in Stripes – I’m a victim of consolidated schools when I was a kid I rode the bus and it’s hard on kids and mental health is in a crisis and I don’t want to see Jackson kids get bused to WB and I don’t want WB kids to be bused here.

OR – Neighborhood schools have value and less busing and more walking. We as a district can have more buildings scattered out. It’s a cost factor. The second point – it’s not all about the money – it’s about the kid but we have a limited amount of money. Every dollar we spend on carting around for snowplow will hinder teacher raises. We have to be good fiscal stewards.

Man – if the Village is going to do something, they need to do it now.

OR – “Why wasn’t McLane included in study? It is the second-best school from a facilities perspective. It’s a matter of limited amount of money and you start with the worse problem and work up from there.”

Dave H. – “Has study affected attendance at School Board meeting.

Kurt Rebholz – “No. I would encourage more people to come and voice opinion. Now is time the task force is being reviewed.”

West Bend Police Chief sent notice to families in West Bend School District about threat

West Bend Police Chief Ken Meuler sent a note to parents and students in the West Bend School District regarding a reported threat on social media.  Below is his message.

“On November 7, 2019, a 19-year-old female reported to the West Bend Police Department that she saw a message on social media that said on December 2 there would be a shooting at the high school. The message did not specify a high school or city. The woman stated because she lives in West Bend she assumed the message was directed towards one of the West Bend High Schools. The woman did not save the message and West Bend Police investigators were unable to retrieve the message from her phone.

This past week and this weekend, rumors have surfaced regarding this reported message. The West Bend Police interviewed a number of students who stated they heard about this possible social media message. No student stated they saw the message. West Bend Police reached out to a number of law enforcement agencies in Washington County and throughout Wisconsin. No other law enforcement agency received any reports of anyone seeing this message. West Bend Police and West Bend School District officials have also been monitoring social media sites and have not observed any similar messages.

The West Bend Police Department and West Bend School District encourages anyone that sees or hears something that may endanger anyone to immediately report it to police. In regard to this particular reported message, if anyone has previously or more recently seen a message that indicates violence directed at any school on December 2, please call the police department.

West Bend Police and West Bend School District officials have been in contact throughout the weekend. We are in agreement that there is no evidence that this message existed nor that it was directed at any West Bend school. All West Bend schools will be open tomorrow, Monday, December 2. As we do every school day, school liaison officers will be in the schools and officers on patrol will pay special attention to the schools.”

Two candidates in race for Mayor of West Bend

The race is on in West Bend as a second candidate has announced his intentions. District 4 alderman Chris Jenkins notified the constituents in his district of his intentions.

Jenkins is the second candidate to file along with Dist. 5 alderman Rich Kasten who announced October 17.

Below is Jenkins letter to his constituents.

“Dear Residents of West Bend,

After much consideration, thought and prayer with family, friends, and colleagues, I am announcing today my candidacy for Mayor of West Bend.

I have been actively involved in our community for quite some time. Beginning with a small role in Mayor Sadownikow’s task force, I then moved to the West Bend Library Board. In a matter of months, I was elected President of that Board and for 3 terms lead that department on a path of fiscal sustainability and strategic planning.

From there, I was elected Alderman of District 4 on the West Bend City Council where I currently sit today. In this role, I’ve had the opportunity to be a part of our hiring, budgeting, and road planning processes while working with my fellow Aldermen on various policies to move our City forward while maintaining a fiscally sound approach.

In addition to these roles, I sit on the Washington County Board of Supervisors, am President of West Bend Early-Risers Kiwanis, am President of Musical Masquers theater company, as well as sit on various other community boards and committees.

During the day, I work as the Village Administrator for Elmwood Park, WI where I have the responsibilities of Treasurer and Clerk as well.

While my resume is important, it’s likely more important to know what I’ll do as your Mayor:

First, I’ll bring people to the table of all different backgrounds, experiences, and opinions to continue to develop creative solutions for our City. I have proven experience doing that.

Next, we’ll create a new strategic plan with goals for 2020 and forward, aligned with new values, to better budget and track our progress. I have experience doing that as well.

And finally, we cannot squander the strong economic position Mayor Sadownikow has placed us in. We must continue to push ourselves towards less debt, more savings, and more value for our tax dollars.

That’s it, I’ll keep it simple and focused. I look forward to an opportunity to talk between now and the election. Let’s discuss why we love our community and choose for this to be our home to raise our families in. I hope I can earn your support.

Thank you!”

Candidates in some races can start circulating papers today, December 1, 2019

Candidates running for Washington County Board, county executive, alderman and mayor can start collecting signatures today, Dec. 1, to get on the April 2020 ballot.

Those signatures must be turned in by 5 p.m. on January 7, 2020.

Candidates running for Washington County Board Supervisor must submit 50 -100 signatures and candidates running for County Executive must submit 500 – 1000 signatures.

Candidates have until December 27, 2019 by 5 p.m. to file a certificate of non-candidacy if they do not plan to run in April 2020.

Candidates running for the city council need to submit 20-40 signatures from people in their district. Mayoral candidates must submit 200-400 signatures to run for office.

As of Tuesday, Nov. 12 Dist. 7 alderman Justice Madl filed papers to run again for West Bend city council.

On Oct. 17, WashingtonCountyInsider.com posted a story about Dist. 5 alderman Rich Kasten announcing he would run for mayor in the City of West Bend. Click HEREfor the story.

School board candidates do not need to collect signatures.

Two people are currently vying for the newly elected county executive post in Washington County: Joshua Schoemann and Adam Gitter.

It was Sept. 11, 2019 when the Washington County Board voted a second time to switch from a hired county administrator to an elected county executive.

Children Shop with a Cop at Meijer in West Bend | By Amelia Neuwirth

The Meijer parking lot in West Bend was crawling with cops tonight, but there was no crime.

Meijer’s annual Shop with a Cop event, sponsored by Kettle Moraine Lodge 10 Fraternal Order of Police, saw children teaming up with police officers to find the perfect Christmas presents for their families.

Each child had a budget of $30, which was graciously donated by Meijer. Carts were filled with gifts ranging from toys, to candles, to fishing poles.

Children and police officers wore Santa hats, antlers, and giant smiles. This was a special night for shoppers, children, and police officers alike.

Amity Rolfs Nativity taking shape at Holy Angels Parish in West Bend

It was a blustery day Wednesday but some hearty volunteers in the community stepped up to assemble the manger for the popular Amity Rolfs Nativity. It’ll be on display in front of the parish office at Holy Angels Church on Eighth Avenue.

The first thing to be assembled is the manger. Although showing signs of age, the manger was built old school. Heavy cedar boards have stood the test of time. While some beams look like Swiss cheese with numerous holes, the pieces still held enough bite and the manger went together in about an hour.

Coming up next will be the refurbished pieces from the Amity Rolfs Nativity.

Over the past year an anonymous member of the community stripped, mended and painted the 15 pieces in the nativity.

With care of a seasoned and skilled craftsman the Nativity figures will be returned to the manger for another year of celebrating the birth of the Christ child.

The life-size nativity display is a holiday hallmark for West Bend. Originally brought to the community by brothers Tom and Bob Rolfs, the pieces, handmade in Germany, were originally placed in front of the tower of the Amity building on Main Street. The nativity later moved to the front of the Amity Outlet on Highway 33 and in 2007 it was donated to the Downtown West Bend Association. From 2007 until 2014 the nativity was set up in front of Westbury Bank on S. Main Street.

The project was completed silently as a pledge had been made to bring the Rolfs Nativity back to its full glory.

While the craftsman wanted to remain anonymous, his name will be published in this week’s Holy Angels Church bulletin.

Cheating Man Busted by Food Critic

Ouch.

A scorned wife claims she caught her husband cheating after a restaurant critic inadvertently photographed him dining with his mistress for a recent review.

The anonymous woman made the claim during a weekly question and answer with Tom Sietsema, food critic for the Washington Post.

Around halfway through the session, a post appeared which read: ‘Well Tom your latest review is accompanied by a picture of my husband dining with a woman who isn’t me!

‘Once confronted with photographic evidence, he confessed to having an ongoing affair. Just thought you’d be amused to hear of your part in the drama.

40% of Wisconsin’s Corn is Still in the Fields

Confirmation of my comment about the weak harvest for opening weekend of the gun deer season. The deer are sitting in the corn fields.

As winter weather moves into the state, Wisconsin farmers have not finished harvesting this year’s corn crop.

The latest crop progress report from the state’s U.S. Department of Agriculture office shows only 57 percent of corn for grain has been harvested. That’s 22 days behind last year and 18 days behind the five-year average.

Jerry Clark, agriculture educator for University of Wisconsin-Extension in Chippewa County, estimates about 20 percent of his county’s corn crop is still in the fields.

“The corn crop is usually harvested and in storage by Thanksgiving here in western Wisconsin,” Clark said. “The moisture content is the real kicker this year because it’s still high as far as being in the upper 30 percent moisture.”

Clark said grain moisture percentage is usually in the low 20s or teens by this time of year. But late planting this spring and challenging weather throughout the season delayed crop maturity.

Opening Weekend Harvest Down

Interesting

The herd appears to as robust as ever. The Department of Natural Resources has estimated nearly 2 million deer are roaming the landscape. For the first time in a decade the department allowed hunters this season to kill does in every county, a telltale sign that the herd is strong and there’s no need to protect female deer and preserve their reproductive capabilities.

But hunters managed to kill only 90,286 deer on Saturday and Sunday, according to preliminary DNR data. That’s down nearly 27% from 123,090 deer killed during opening weekend last year. Hunters felled 46,866 bucks, down 30% from 2018.

As of midnight Sunday the DNR had sold 555,227 licenses that allow someone to kill a deer with a gun during the state’s multiple fall hunting seasons. That’s down 1.5% from opening weekend 2018 — as of midnight of that Sunday the department had sold 564,052 licenses — but it’s impossible to tell how may hunters ventured out, or how much time they spent in the woods.

I’m always fascinated by how these numbers shift. I was in the woods all weekend. Here’s why I think the harvest is down:

  • The weather was awesome. Warm(ish), clear, light or no wind… great for sitting. But it’s also great for the deer. They were as comfortable as we were.
  • The late hunt is way after the rut is over.
  • Because of the wet fall, there are still a lot of crops up. Lots of food and plenty of water makes for lazy deer.
  • There isn’t any snow, so the deer are harder to spot.

Any other thoughts?

For the record, I saw 11 deer so far, but didn’t harvest any. I still have a couple of hundred pounds of venison in the freezer. I’m only looking for horns this year.

Around the Bend by Judy Steffes

Washington County Circuit Court Judge announces retirement

Washington County Circuit Court, Branch 4 Judge Andrew Gonring will be retiring March 28, 2020.

“My wife and I always talked about me retiring in that time frame,” said Gonring during a one-on-one interview. “She’s gone and I promised her I’d retire at the end of March and that’s what I’m going to do.”

Gonring’s wife Patti, 67, died October 10, 2019 following a 10-year battle with cancer.

Gonring said he had no idea what he would do in retirement. “I’m just going to take some time off, regroup and figure out where I want to go and what I’m going to do,” he said.

“The decision to retire was difficult from the standpoint of my wife passing and did it make sense to stay or do I keep my promise to her and I decided I’d keep my promise.”

Gonring was first elected April 4, 2000.  He ran unopposed and replaced retiring Judge Leo F. Schlaefer. Gonring won re-election in 2006, 2012 and April 2018. His current six-year term would expire in 2024.

Gonring went to school with his wife Patti at St. Norbert College in De Pere, WI. He earned his undergraduate degree and then his Juris Doctor from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Gonring worked as an attorney for Bell, Metzner, & Gierhardt from 1977-79 before becoming a partner at the firm of O’Meara, Eckert, Pouros & Gonring in West Bend in 1979.

Locally Gonring served on the West Bend School Board, the West Bend Police and Fire Commission and West Bend Economic Development Commission.

Gonring was also a familiar presence on the local theater scene. He recently performed as the narrator for Benjamin Britten’s A Young Person’s Guide to the Orchestra as part of the season opening performance of the Kettle Moraine Symphony.

Gonring was also the celebrity narrator at the KMS November 11, 2018 concert featuring Copland’s Lincoln Portrait.

Gonring also performed with Musical Masquers and the History Center of Washington County. He was also a familiar sight at summer picnics in West Bend, donning dark sunglasses and singing Roy Orbison’s, “Oh, Pretty Woman.”

Gonring said he will be 68 years old when he retires. Gonring filed his letter to Gov. Evers this past Wednesday, Nov. 20. He also filed copies to the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, the Director of State Courts, his Chief Judge and his District Court Administrator.

“I can recommend a replacement to the Governor,” said Gonring. “If I have strong feelings about one of the final candidates, I suppose I could voice that to the Governor… likely I won’t do that, but I could.”

Gonring suspected there would be several qualified candidates that would throw their name in as his replacement. “I suspect the process will start pretty soon,” he said.

During Wednesday’s meeting of the local Bar Association, Gonring made an announcement about his retirement. “The group was somewhat shocked; they didn’t see that one coming,” he said.

State Supreme Court Justice Annette Ziegler worked alongside Judge Gonring for seven year on Washington County Circuit Court.  “Judge Gonring brought a great deal of experience to the bench from his many years in private practice and he earned a reputation for being a jurist of the utmost integrity,” said Ziegler.  “His keen legal mind and dedication to public service will be missed.”

Over his 19 years on the bench in Washington County, Judge Gonring has presided over 160 jury trials. “Nothing really stands out in my mind. You get it done and move onto the next one,” he said.

“The nature of the cases we handle now has changed compared to 20 years ago. The drug cases just exploded and they’re reflective in everything we do. I can remember my first cocaine case,” he said. “I had about two years on the bench and I had a cocaine case and I was kind of stunned we had cocaine in Washington County and now we have dozens and dozens of heroin cases with people dying. It’s changed quite a bit.”

In February 2018, Judge Gonring swore in Assembly Rep. Rick Gundrum.

Questioned whether he would stay in the area following retirement, Gonring said he just needs time to regroup.

“I will definitely stay in the area,” he said “I just need to step back and reevaluate what I want to do. I’m sure I will keep busy one way or another.”

Kwik Trip in Richfield set to open.

Now that Highway 167 is open and some new traffic lights are in place the opening of the new Kwik Trip can’t be far behind. The store is located on Hwy 167 just to the west of I-41.

Shannon Broecker is the store leader. “We will open Black Friday, November 29. We still have some shelving to put in and stock the store,” she said.

The fire inspector was in on Thursday, Nov. 21 and gave the store clearance for occupancy.

The store in Richfield will employ between 50 – 60 people. There are 24 overnight parking stalls in back of the store for semis along with a scale for truckers to weigh their vehicles and separate diesel fuel pumps.

There are 20 pumps for customers, an extra-long counter for people to sit inside and eat and the store will be open 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

There are currently five Kwik Trips in Washington County with at least two more opening in West Bend.

Stores currently are W188N10963 Maple Road, Germantown, 1411 E. Sumner Street, Hartford, 200 E.Commerce Blvd, Slinger, 1750 S. Silverbrook Dr, West Bend and 806 S. Main St, West Bend. Two other stores set for construction in West Bend are at 1300 E. Paradise Drive in the old Egbert & Guido’s, and 1610 E. Washington Street in the former Mobil station owned by Bob Yahr.

Civil War monument dedication at St. Augustine Cemetery in Washington County

The sun was out early Saturday morning as a small group gathered at the edge of St. Augustine Cemetery off Holy Hill Road and St. Augustine Road to dedicate another Civil War monument.

Veteran Mark Baldwin led the ceremony to recognize Civil War veterans Casimere Goetz and Jacob Kramer.

“The county’s Civil War monument group is made up of veterans from all the different groups and part of this project is to make sure we honor all our Civil War veterans buried in Washington County,” said Baldwin. “The project to recognize Civil War veterans is a labor of love. This project was started by Gene Wendelborn, a key researcher at the Washington County Historical Society, and he passed away before we ever got to this phase of placing monuments.”

Tony Montag, co-chair of the Washington County American Legion, thanked the 25 Sportsmens Club for making a donation to pay for the monument.

Recommendation to consolidate libraries at West Bend High Schools

The West Bend School District Committee of the Whole met Monday night, Nov. 18 and one of the topics of discussion was High School Library configuration.

Topic and Background: On June 10, 2019 the Board of Education was presented and a discussion held about the high school libraries and the need for updates to the facilities. It was discussed that the district would be studying the potential of going to one library at the high school as part of the renovation process.

Rationale: Since the June board meeting, a group consisting of the Library Media Coordinator, High School Principals, Director of Facilities, Director of Technology and the Superintendent have visited three other school libraries that have been built or remodeled in the past few years, looked at 21st century library design ideas, discussed the idea of going to one library and worked with an architect to have a conceptual plan developed to see if space would allow for one library to meet the needs of students/staff at both East and West High Schools.

After reviewing all information, it is the recommendation that the high schools consolidate to one library to provide an updated space for students/staff, provide access to additional resources for students/staff and provide efficiencies in our high school library system.

School Board member Paul Fischer send more details in an email:

“Regarding the West High School library renovation project, the budget for this work is $1.2 million, broken into $200,000 in this year’s budget and the balance in the July 1, 2020 – June 30, 2021 fiscal budget.  This amount covers all construction, HVAC, plumbing, and electrical components, as well as an allowance for furniture, fixtures, and equipment (FF&E).  The specifics on the FF&E elements have not been finalized yet, but certain existing FF&E components may be used in the renovated space if it makes sense, while recognizing that many of these components may have 20+ years of use on them, surpassing their useful life.  In addition, with the focus on creating a collaborative workspace for the students, some of the existing furnishings could likely be replaced with components that better foster a collaborative setting.”

So far there’s no data on what the consolidation would cost or if any of the current tables and chairs, desks and equipment would be used in the consolidation.

This past summer when the West Bend School District Private Task Force unveiled its findings and it pegged the cost of consolidating and modernizing the high school library and study hall at $1,750,000.

During the Oct. 14, 2019 report Task Force organizer Kraig Sadownikow said, “We challenged ourselves to ask tough questions. It’s critical to take a long term, sustainable approach. Over the mid and long term these are best choices. It can’t be business as usual. Funding and enrollment is declining.”

Other findings from the Task Force included:

“As a district there are multiple campuses at wide geographical locations. That means maintaining and monitoring is difficult. This makes operating the district more expensive.”

“Communication is critical with residents; currently it isn’t transparent. Erring on side of too much communication is better than too little.”

“Money is the solution to the problem – more money may not be.”

“Finally – the capital maintenance budget is inadequate. It’s underfunded. Can’t consider a new investment in new facilities without considering how to maintain what we currently have. Building new while avoiding maintenance is a losing situation.”

The District also discussed declining enrollment and projects over the next 10 years.

During an Oct. 29 meeting Superintendent Don Kirkegaard said, “unless there is a change in enrollment trends, the district can expect declining enrollment for the next 8-10 years.”

Superintendent Kirkegaard:

Our enrollment has been going south. It has been for quite a few years and it’s going to go for quite a few more years. We’re down about 600 students since 2006

There are about 60 kids that open enroll out of Jackson. Jackson area is the largest open enrolling out of the district.

Projections: I made an assumption that the kindergarten class would stay the same and every kid who is in school this year stays in school throughout their whole career.

If you go to the high school we’re at 2184 this year. If you look at current students in the school, I added 50 kids every year once they become 9th graders, based on Holy Angels and Cabrini, typically the last few years we picked up 50 parochial kids that come to high school. You’re down to 1669 students with both east and west together.

This isn’t doom and gloom, it’s just reality.

The West Bend School District Private Task Force also studied the declining enrollment and loss of state aid.

Randy Stark – task force member: How do we take older inventory off line and replace it.

Options:

We could do nothing. Keep spending $1.5 mil a year on facilities

Retain all building and come up with money and address immediate capital needs however the design characteristics with concerns can’t be changed. Even if come up with $22.5 mil – we still have 80% of square footage is getting older.

Replace Jackson – in 25-year plan – solves some problems but only addresses one building.

“Perhaps a school in Jackson is no longer justified,” said Randy Stark from the Task Force.

Construct one new school (783 capacity) at a south side location and expand Green Tree. Close/sell Jackson School, Jackson land, Decorah, Fair Park, District Offices, Rolfs & Maintenance. Develop a single central campus on the south side of WB.

Doug Barnes from Zimmerman Architectural Studios – “Other school districts that have consolidated include New Berlin which has closed four schools and Beaver Dam has closed elementary schools and consolidated and Racine.”

Superintendent position posted for Germantown School District

It was in June 2019 when Germantown School District Superintendent Jeff Holmes announced he would retire at the end of the 2019-2020 school year. This week, the Germantown School District officially posted the opening. It’s online at the Wisconsin School Leadership Center. Holmes has been superintendent in Germantown since 2013. He took over for outgoing Superintendent Susan Bordan.

In May 2016 Holmes announced his intentions to run for State Superintendent of Public Instruction. That effort was short lived after Holmes failed to turn in enough signatures by the January 3, 2017 deadline. In 2018-2019 Holmes salary was listed at $165,966 with benefits of $45,749. Holmes last day is officially June 30, 2020.

Local Korean War Veteran Nick Habersetzer has died

It’s with a heavy heart to report the passing of Korean War veteran Nick Habersetzer, 83. According to his family Nick passed at 10:20 p.m. at the VA Hospital in Milwaukee on Thursday, November 14.

Nick was a well-respected veteran and a very familiar face at events in the community. He was often seen with his friend Norbie Carter serving brats and burgers at the little red shed on Highway 33.

Habersetzer was also part of a group that returned to South Korea in 2016.

Habersetzer was 18 and a half years old when he enlisted in service on Sept. 26, 1955. “I graduated West Bend High School in 1954 and got a job at the Gehl Company,” said Habersetzer. “They gave me three years of service time.”

For eight weeks Habersetzer went through basic training at Fort Carson, Colorado and then went to jump school at Fort Bragg for three weeks. “We jumped out of C-19s,” he said. “My older brother went so I had to go and then my next brother also went. I was actually the scaredy cat of the three.”

Habersetzer served shortly after the Korean War ended and was part of the Army’s 82nd Airborne Division. “We went to Korea by ship and I was very sick,” he said.

While in Korea, Habersetzer worked in the 120 MEDEVAC hospital just outside Incheon, Korea. Ranked a Spec-4 Army corporal, Habersetzer worked as a diet cook in the kitchen at the hospital until his discharge in 1958.

“I hitchhiked home from Fort Sheridan, Illinois and got to about this side of Chicago and got another ride,” said Habersetzer. “Then a guy gave me a ride within a mile of my house. He bought me a beer in St. Anthony and then I walked to Kohlsville where my parents lived.

“I was carrying a duffel bag and didn’t have much in it; only two sets of clothes because I had to leave the rest in Korea because of disease.”

Habersetzer returned to the Gehl Company and worked in tool and die for 46 years. Nick Habersetzer was a man of great faith. He was a fixture at St. Mary’s Immaculate Conception. He never had a bad thing to say about anybody.

West Bend West varsity football coach resigns

West Bend West High School football coach Mitch Draxler announced his resignation from coaching. A note was sent to parents this afternoon, Nov. 20.

It was June 28, 2016 when it was announced Draxler was the new head coach of the Spartans. A portion of that article is below.

Draxler served on the Spartan staff for the past six years in various positions, both offense and defense. Most recently, he served as the offensive coordinator for the Spartans. “Mitch has been with the program for the past six years on both sides of the ball. His dedication to West football, as an alumni and coach, will provide stability from which to build a quality program,” said Brian Heimark, Athletic Director for West High School. Draxler is currently a physical education teacher at Holy Angles Catholic School and serves as the school’s Athletic Director.

In 2019 Spartans finished the season with a record of 0-9.

Dear Football Players, Parents and Guardians,

Please read the message below is sent to you from Varsity Head Coach Mitch Draxler.

Dear Spartans,

After much consideration, I have come to the decision that I will resign from my position as Head Football Coach at West Bend West effective immediately.  After 11 years as a part of the football coaching staff, the time is right for me to look forward to the next chapter of my life and explore other opportunities.

I’d like to thank Wendy Reitz and Kyle Butters for their help keeping our athletes healthy, and of course Doctor Gary Herdrich for his many years of service to the program.  Additionally, the athletic department staff past and present for all of the work they do and have done for our athletes.

Lastly and most importantly, I’d like to thank every single player that has put pads on for this program the past 11 years as well as every coach who I had the pleasure of coaching with during that time span.  It is those relationships that makes this sport so great.  I wish the players nothing but the best of luck in their future endeavors.

Regards, Mitch Draxler

On behalf of West Bend West High School, I want to publicly thank Coach Draxler for his hard work and dedication to the Spartan football program for the past 11 years.  Coach Draxler genuinely cares about each and every one of the players in our program.  He has gone out of his way to welcome me into the Spartan family and he has worked countless hours for the betterment of our student athletes.  Thank you Coach Draxler, I wish you nothing but the best in your future endeavors. Sincerely, Erin Felber    West Bend West High School Athletic Director

UWM at Washington County dominates WCC First Team All-Conference volleyball | By Deb Butschlick

UWM at Washington County not only finished as the Runner-up in the Wisconsin Collegiate Conference State Volleyball Tournament but it has placed four players on the Wisconsin Collegiate Conference All-Conference Volleyball team.

Kayla Boehm was second in the Eastern Division with 79 kills as a middle hitter and hitting at a 30% kill rate. She led the division with 33 blocks.  Boehm was selected First Team All-Conference and named Player of the Year for a second year in a row.

Caryn Hamm led the Eastern division as a setter, she had 305 assists for kills, 10 ace serves with 91% serving accuracy.  Hamm also had 64 digs and 3 blocks.  She was selected to First Team All-Conference and named Setter of the Year.

Heather Pokowski was our defensive specialist and led the Eastern Division with 308 digs.  She also had 12 ace serves with a 90% serving accuracy, Pokowski was selected First Team All-Conference and named Defensive Specialist of the Year.

Morgan Kappler was an outside hitter and ranked 3rd on the WCC All-conference Team. She led the Eastern Division with 90 kills with a 20% kill rate, 21 ace serves, serving accuracy at 90% and 181 digs.  Kappler was selected to the First Team All-Conference.

“I am so proud of these players especially for all the hard work they put into the season,” said coach Deb Butschlick.   “The Conference coaches truly saw the skills each one of our players had.  To have one or two players make the WCC All-Conference Team is a blessing, but to have four players on the All-Conference team and three players receiving the highest honors given by the Wisconsin Collegiate Conference is truly amazing.  Even though four players received the honors, it was an entire team effort to have such an outstanding season.”

5 UWM at Washington County soccer players selected WCC All-Conference | Mitch Bury

Five members of the UWM at Washington County soccer team have received post-season accolades.

The Wildcats had four players awarded WCC First Team All-Conference: Maxwell Breit, Austin Ulickey, Brenden Rice, and Zach Ross.

Noah Karimi was awarded WCC Second Team All-Conference.  Zach Ross was also named WCC Offensive Player of the Year. These five players contributed 22 goals and 9 assists during the season, helping the Wildcats to take second place in the conference.

Their efforts led the Wildcats to victory in the Wisconsin Collegiate Conference semi-final State Tournament beating UWO – Fond du Lac 5-1 and winning the Championship against UWO – Fox Cities 2-1.

West Bend woman named new head soccer coach at Wisconsin Lutheran College

A familiar name in soccer circles across West Bend and southeastern Wisconsin has been tabbed as the new head coach of the women’s soccer program at Wisconsin Lutheran College.

Waech played in West Bend throughout grade school and high school. She went on to play college at Cardinal Stritch University and then transferred to Concordia University.

Wisconsin Lutheran College posted the coaching write up below:

Wisconsin Lutheran College Director of Athletics Skip Noon has appointed Maggy Waech as the next head coach of the Warriors women’s soccer program, it was announced today. Waech becomes the sixth head coach in the history of the program’s recently completed 25th season.

“I am honored to be named head coach of the Wisconsin Lutheran College women’s soccer team,” said Waech. “I would like to thank the administration team that has entrusted the program to me and to my family for their continued support. I look forward to serving the young women of the program for many years to come. God is good. Go Warriors!”

Waech, who has served for a total of four seasons – two as a graduate assistant and two as a part time assistant – on the Warriors’ coaching staff, spent the 2018 season as the development coach at NCAA Division II Barton College (N.C.). She helped lead the Bulldogs to a 10-6-2 overall record and a 5-5-1 conference record, which included a first-round win in the conference tournament.

Waech’s coaching experience also includes serving as Washington County FC U-10 boys’ head coach in 2014 and the WCFC U-10 girls’ head coach in 2015. She was also an assistant girls’ varsity soccer coach at West Bend East High School in 2016, when the Suns claimed the Wisconsin Little Ten Conference championship. Waech was the head girls’ junior varsity coach at Wauwatosa East High School in 2017. She also assisted with the Raiders’ run to the WIAA Division 2 State Girls Soccer championship game.

“We are excited to have Maggy as our next women’s soccer head coach,” said Noon. “She is a proven recruiter and has a passion for Warriors Athletics. We look forward to her leading the program for many years.”

Waech played striker for one season (2012) at Cardinal Stritch University, appearing in 10 games and scoring two goals as a freshman for the Wolves. After a career-ending injury her freshman year, she transferred to Concordia University Wisconsin where she graduated from in 2016 with a degree in exercise physiology. Waech lettered in basketball and soccer at West Bend West High School, where she graduated from in 2012.

Waech, who earned a Master of Arts in leadership and innovation from WLC in May 2018, resides with her husband in Wauwatosa.

Debbie Butschlick named Wisconsin Collegiate Conference Volleyball Coach of the Year

UWM at Washington County volleyball head coach Debbie Butschlick was honored with the Wisconsin Collegiate Conference Coach of the Year award.

Butschlick serves as both athletic director and volleyball coach at UWM at Washington County. Butschlick began coaching the Wildcats volleyball team in 1985.

Since then, the team won the WCC conference championship nine times, WCC Eastern Division Title 12 times, advanced to the final-four state competition 16 times, State Runner up seven times, and earned the state title five times (1992, 2002, 2003, 2013, 2018).

UWM at Washington County posted a second-place finish in the WCC Eastern Division with a 4 – 2 record and 9-4 overall. The team finished the Wisconsin Collegiate Conference State tournament with a 7 – 3 record earning the Runner up State trophy

The team also placed four players on an eight-person WCC all-conference team. Three players earned the highest honors of player of the year, setter of the year and defensive specialist of the year.

This is the 11th time Butschlick has received WCC Coach of the Year.

In 2018 the UWM at Washington County team put together a video praising coach Butschlick for her direction on the court and support in the classroom.

The team gathered to sing the praises of their coach and share their thoughts on how discipline, integrity and determination help them work together to secure the 2018 WCC state title.

“She was a great coach for many reasons – she was able to coach each individual player.

She wasn’t afraid to fight for us on the court especially when it cames to chatting with the refs.

She has high expectations and pushes us to our full potential.

During a group huddle after one match she would say the right thing and get us fired up.

She not only pushed us on the court, but she set the standards high in the classroom as well.

From the beginning Deb told us we weren’t just a team but a family.

Thanks to Deb Butschlick for such a wonderful season.”

Donna Kleinmaus honored with Women Veterans Impact Award | By Amelia Neuwirth

Veteran Donna Kleinmaus of West Bend recently received the Wisconsin Department of Veterans Affairs, Women Veterans Impact Award.

Kleinmaus began serving in the Women’s Army Corps when she was only 19 years old. As it was her last year as a teenager, she felt the need to do something that would leave a big impact.

Seeing the posters of Uncle Sam saying, “I WANT YOU!” inspired her to join the military to find “fun, travel, and adventure.”

After basic training in Ft. McClellan, Alabama, she was assigned to Permanent Party Status in the Finance Division in Fort Ord, California. Because Kleinmaus was the secretary to the secretary of her post’s Finance Adjutant, a typical day consisted of transcribing her boss’s shorthand, typing it up, and sending it on its way.

On pay days, she would supervise the officers as they counted the money to make sure that it was all accounted for.

Since her time in the Women’s Army Corps, Kleinmaus has been busy raising her family and volunteering in her community. She helps perform Veterans Military Honors for the family of deceased veterans; on average it’s 65 to 75 funerals each year.

As an executive board member of Lt. Ray Dickop Legion Post 36, Kleinmaus has organized a number of different projects. She orchestrated a banquet and program for the 100th birthday of the national American Legion, and a brat fry for the 100th birthday of Post 36. This included decorating the post to look like it was in 1919 and organizing a 100th Anniversary Directory.

Additionally, Kleinmaus and her husband, John, work with student veterans at UW Washington County and march in the Fourth of July and Memorial Day Parades.

She also sets up POW/MIA tables around West Bend and is working with another legionnaire to create one for Veteran’s Day. Furthermore, she organized a brat fry to support two young veterans and their wives who walked the county to raise money for the Memorial Day Flag Program so that no grave will remain undecorated for any veteran who has served his or her country.

She is also the Kitchen Commander so she prepares and plans meals for on a monthly basis and for special occasions.

Kleinmaus and her husband also greet veterans at the airport as they return from the Stars and Stripes Honor Flight, and they were honored to go on that flight November 3, 2018.

It is not only all of these accomplishments that earned Kleinmaus the nomination for Woman Veteran of the Year, from her County Service Officer, but also her work in the West Bend Veterans Honor Guard, volunteering in her community, charities, and her church.

This year the Women’s Veterans Impact Award was created, and any Woman Veteran of the Year nominee who scored over 200 points was given this honor.

Four out of 17 nominees were given this award, including Kleinmaus. She is very thankful for this award. “I’m terrifically honored,” she said. “I am completely flabbergasted at the accolades and cards and congratulations being sent my way by complete strangers.”

Updates & tidbits

-Ozaukee Christian School is cordially inviting everyone to join in on Sunday, December 8, for the Christmas Open House, 2 p.m. – 4 p.m. and Dedication Service at 4 p.m. The community is invited join in and celebrate God’s faithfulness to His kids at Ozaukee Christian School.

– Santa is flying in from the North Pole on Saturday, Dec. 14 and he’s landing at the West Bend Airport. Santa lands around 8:30 a.m. The airport is at 201 Aerial Drive in West Bend. Breakfast is $7 and Santa will be taking wish-list requests from good girls and boys.

-Recently the Washington County Dive Team wanted to purchase a trailer for their boat. The folks at Cedar Lake Sales & Service decided the Dive Team shouldn’t pay for it and donated it to them. Happy to help this service in our community

-Senior Citizen Activities, Inc. is hosting its 2nd Annual Christmas Cookie Walk & Crafts on Saturday, Dec. 7 from 8 a.m. – noon at 2378 W. Washington St. Suite A, West Bend.

Reminiscing about the old Fleet Farm in West Bend

It was a rainy afternoon on Sunday, November 17. No Packer game and neighbors from across Washington County were filtering into the old Fleet Farm, 1637 W. Washington Street for one final experience in the 49,680-square-foot building that dated to 1968.

Over the years, especially the last 30 or so, neighbors in West Bend groused about the narrow aisles, the ads that read: ‘Not available in West Bend or Clintonville,’ and there was the promise of a new Fleet that never came to fruition….. until now.

“I started shopping here in 1979 when I bought the building across the street,” said Bink Steinbach, former owner of the popular tavern The Binkery. “That was before they put on a number of additions here; there was no McDonald’s across the street, there was no Kmart which later became Planet Fitness, the Tri Par gas station was a pretty busy place and there used to be a little burger place called Tastee Freeze next to that and that’s back when there used to be a Red Owl on the other corner where Rogan’s Shoes is now.”

Steinbach had a shopping cart with two containers of blue windshield washer fluid and some bags of candy corn.

“One of the things that’s been really amazing about Fleet Farm over the years is they seem to have everything you need and things you don’t even think you need…. they have it,” he said.

Employees with the most longevity lined up outside the store this week. “We added up all the years for Rodney, Jeff Patasius, Lisa Freitag, Lynn Bogdan and Jason it came out to 160 years,” said Freitag. She’s one of the employees with the most longevity at 31 years.

Employees were hard at work as if it were any other day. The only thing changing for them will be their drive to work and the updated atmosphere as the new Fleet Farm opens today at 4 p.m.  The grand opening for the West Bend store is Nov. 22 at 6 a.m.

Pork. The Other Wild Meat.

Kaepernick’s “Workout”

What a clown. He wanted a media stunt – not a tryout. He has to keep his public profile up to keep the endorsement dollars flowing. He’s going to be 66 and still saying “I’m ready.”

The league said in a statement that Kaepernick called them at 2:30 p.m. ET, saying he would not appear at a workout set up by the league at the practice facility for the Atlanta Falcons. The quarterback held a session in Riverdale, south of Atlanta. Dozens of people flocked to see him.
Representatives for Kaepernick said their client had asked for the session to be open to the media and the NFL had balked. Agent Jeff Nalley and attorney Ben Meiselas also said Kaepernick had been denied being able to have his own film crew.
“From the outset, Mr. Kaepernick requested a legitimate process and from the outset the NFL league office has not provided one,” Kaepernick’s reps said in a statement.
Kaepernick’s camp was also upset with the liability waiver the NFL wanted the player to sign, saying it was “unusual” and “addresses employment-related issues.” They said the NFL rejected the standard waiver they had proposed.
The NFL said the waiver it sent was the one used by NFL teams to sign free agents and at the combines for draft prospects.
“At noon today, Colin’s representatives sent a completely rewritten and insufficient waiver,” the NFL said Saturday.

Around the Bend by Judy Steffes

An end of an era as Sager’s Mens Apparel in West Bend has closed

After 87 years in business Sager’s Mens Apparel in West Bend has officially closed.

The store sign came down Tuesday, Nov. 5, before the snow. Above the entryway is now the old West Bend Pilot sign. That’s expected to be restored.

Fred Sager opened Sager’s Mens Apparel in 1932. Donald Sager took over the business from is father in 1970. Scott Sager and his sister Sara ran the business until it closed.

Sager’s Men’s Apparel, Inc. has been in the men’s clothing business since 1932. We specialize in tuxedo sales and rental, men’s suits, sport coats, and dress slacks. We distribute tuxedos from Nedrebo’s and DuBois formalwear, and carry an extensive selection of our own in-stock formalwear. Our Store is in downtown West Bend.

Below are some reactionary comments to Sager’s announcement posted on social media:

Kenneth Wendland – I remember that store when I was a kid growing up on Parkfield Drive. Said to see it go.

Alex Gaeth – Well that sucks, it was a great place, great customer service, and I liked it that it was a small, family company.

Sandy Erdman – Best of luck to them! I remember when we repeated our wedding vows and I wore my wedding dress and Sager’ s decked my hubby out in white trousers and purple vest. Our colors. So handsome he was!!!!

Nicole Moederndorfer Nooo! They were phenomenal! Amazing service! No one will compare.

Jim Groh – Was a great store over the years

Cheryl-Sheri Hay – Sad day in West Bend. Sager’s was a family store that was committed to friendly customer service. Happy Retirement

Connie Thull – A West Bend landmark! Enjoy retirement!

John Steffan – Congratulations on your retirement you will be greatly missed got my 1st tuxedo from them

Van Kline – I bought a suit there when I got home from Viet Nam. Time goes on I guess.

Rich Zerillo – We so loved it when Sager’s would “donate” (let a couple of us guys borrow for the evening) a tuxedo, so we would look super-sharp @ Januli’s for Diva Night. Thanks for all you have done over the last 87 years as a small business in our great little city of West Bend!!

Jo Ann Taylor – Sager’s was the “Go to Place”, to dress my Husband! Doug Trusted the Mr. Don Sager’s opinion over His Mine! Happy Retirement!

Dianne Brisingamen – Congrats on retirement, but man, you will be very missed!

Tim Stern – Thank you to Scott and family, Sagers was a staple in the West Bend community and downtown, I certainly hope you are able to enjoy retirement Scott!

Shirley McDaniel Schwartz – Sager’s was always an anchor store in downtown West Bend. They will be missed! Enjoy the hunting and fishing Scott!

Lisa Brown – So sad! They actually knew how to fit a ‘husky’ man. Other competitors just assume the ‘skinny’ fit works on everyone. Enjoy your retirement!!

Heidi Belger Schulz Many well-dressed men have walked out of those doors! They will be missed!

Angela Bins – Thank you for making my wedding day great with your rentals and for helping my dad purchase his father of the bride suit. You’ll be greatly missed.

Susie Janel – End of an era for sure! Your business will be missed but enjoy retirement.

Karen Liepert – Best wishes on your retirement. Enjoy your outdoor activities. Thank you for your commitment to the community.

Michael Sterr – Congrats to the Sager’s! Not many businesses can last that long. They will be missed in downtown

Cyndi Seefeldt – 87 years!!!!!! That’s impressive! Sad to see a family business go!

Suzanne Weinert Tennies – Wonderful, generous, community minded family. Appreciated your community involvement. Best wishes in the future. Hope your retirement is filled with many blessings.

Josh McCutcheon – Wish the Sagers the best. Scott was awesome and went out of his way many times for my developmentally disabled clients. All my business suits came from there. Happy retirement…you will be missed!!

George Prescott inducted into Wisconsin State Hall of Fame Boys & Girls Club

Local philanthropist and former grocery and restaurant owner George Prescott has been elected to the inaugural class of the Wisconsin Boys and Girls Club Hall of Fame.

Prescott, 72, said he’s busy these days with about a dozen grandkids was honored to receive the award.  said

“Working with Jay and feeling the success that comes out of this entity is just beyond believe,” he said.

Dressed in blue jeans and a red sweater and sneakers Prescott was soft spoken and humbled by the award.

According to Jay Fisher, executive director of the Boys and Girls Club, there were 22 people nominated for the award and six were selected.

“The standards for the award were for people who served on different committees and boards and really stood out in the community,” he said.

The Boys and Girls Club is West Bend is 21 years old and has served about 60,000 kids.

“We’re so lucky and what makes it happen is connections,” said Prescott.  “We call on the people to make it happen and they outperform.”

Prescott was inducted with others including former U.S. Senator Herb Kohl, former Major League Baseball Commissioner Bud Selig and philanthropist Marty Stein.

“This award is so big it makes me feel little,” said Prescott. “We just did what we had to do to make this happen; I feel proud.”

The initial Hall of Fame Award was presented over the summer in Madison. Prescott was out of town at the time, so Fisher said the Boys & Girls Club Board presented Prescott with the award in July.

“Obviously George has spent time here,” said Fisher. “He’s donated a lot of dollars; his name is on the building and he really helped get the Boys and Girls Club started with Sharon Ziegler and this wouldn’t be possible without George.”

Prescott is still part of the Board of trustees.

“He’s done more for the Boys and Girls Club in this community as anyone has in the state of Wisconsin,” said Fisher.

The Boys and Girls Club opening in West Bend in 1998. A gym was added in 2003 and an addition with an art room, kitchen and technology center was completed in 2016.

In 2001 when Prescott owned the Pick ‘n Save stores in West Bend a customer, Janice Weninger spent $1 on the Megabucks lottery and won part of the $20.3 million jackpot.

The store owners also received some money from the Wisconsin Lottery for selling the ticket. Prescott spread the wealth to his employees and even donated to the Boys & Girls Club.

Below is a story about George Prescott and the Boys & Girls Club in 2010

George Prescott presents lessons in Parkinson’s             Around the Bend  May 29, 2010         

George Prescott made a guest appearance at the Boys & Girls Club last Friday to give kids an education on Parkinson’s disease.

The children at the club hosted a nickel carnival and all proceeds were donated to a Parkinson’s charity in honor of Prescott.

The former owner and chief executive officer of Prescott Supermarkets, Inc. and current owner of Timmer’s Resort on Big Cedar Lake is a strong supporter of the local Boys & Girls Club.

Prescott spoke for about 15 minutes, talking about when he first received the diagnosis in 2001.

“My wife would bug me because my left arm had no control. I initially blamed it all on an old motorcycle accident but then the doctor told me I had Parkinson’s,” said Prescott.

Children at the Club, who ranged in age from 7 to 11, asked a variety of questions and Prescott’s answers were simple but direct. “I take 15 to 20 pills a day,” he said, “some supplements, others medication.”

Prescott talked about exercising and getting down on the ground with a foam roller. “It’s mostly on my left side and I’m right-handed, but I can tell it’s starting to affect my penmanship.”

Prescott spoke briefly about the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research. Few youngsters in the room were familiar with Fox. Prescott mentioned how Fox’s tremors were so bad his children would call him ‘shaky daddy.’

Other questions ranged from ‘does it hurt’ to ‘do you tilt?’ One little girl asked his name, to which Prescott responded confidently, “I’m George. George the grocer.”

Another asked how old he was. “I’m 62 and going to be 63 in September.  How old are you and when is your birthday?” he asked the little girl.

Then about 80 hands went into the air; everybody wanted to tell Prescott their birthday.

A couple of final questions had students naming other people afflicted with Parkinson’s. One little boy said Hitler, another mentioned Johnny Cash and then proceeded to sing Cash’s “Cry Cry Cry” in about as deep of a baritone as a 7-year-old boy can muster.

Then a final question, “Are you rich?” said a little voice from the back of the room. Prescott played it cool and said he was wealthier than average and “yes I have a bit of money.”

After receiving dim stares, he humbly said he was a millionaire. A boy in the back of the room shouted in wry fashion and with an innocence of youth, “Oh yeah, RIGHT!”

Prescott, who arrived without an entourage, earring or body art – some of the standards held by trendy, higher profile millionaires – took the comment in stride.

He then opened his wallet and donated a crisp $100 bill to the nickel carnival.

After the Q&A, club director Jay Fisher joked with Prescott.

“We start ‘em young here at the Boys & Girls Club, George – ‘How old are you and how much are you worth.’”

Washington County Dist. 2 Supervisor files non-candidacy papers

Washington County District 2 Supervisor Roger Kist, 82, has filed non-candidacy papers. Kist said he will not be running for election to the County Board in April 2020. He indicated he wanted to file early “to give others the opportunity to consider filing papers.”

Kist has been a member of the Washington County Board since April 2016.

Kist is also alderman in District 8 in West Bend. He said his current term on the council ends in 2021. Kist did not discuss his seat on the council other than to say he has been asked by several people if he’s going to run for mayor.

Kist was elected District 8 alderman in 2009. He beat incumbent Neal Narveson; Kist has won reelection to the two-year term ever since.  In April 2014, Kist took out papers to run for mayor of West Bend. He challenged incumbent Kraig Sadownikow and lost; however, he retained his aldermanic seat in Dist. 8.

Kist retired as manager of Washington County Parks in September 2003; he held that position for 35 years.

Kist joined the Washington County Convention and Visitors Bureau in September 2003.

Kist has been active in politics and parks his entire life; he’s been dedicated to making Washington County a better place.

Kist was a young pup when he moved to Ridge Run Park in November 1967. Originally hired as caretaker of the park, Kist said it “reminded me a lot of when I worked on the farm.” A supervisor at the park, Kist sported a handlebar mustache and eventually became a fixture known as Ranger Roger.

Aside from the parks and Washington County Tourism, Kist has been a familiar face in politics on both the West Bend common council and as a supervisor.

“When I was on the council, I was also chairman of the local Republican Party,” said Kist. “I remember Mike Schlotfeldt was elected alderman and he chaired the Democratic Party. When he sat down, he looked over at me like the devil had just shown up.”

Kist took his time and built a relationship with the representative from Dist. 6. “When Mike decided not to run again, we had a little party and he said to me, ‘Roger you’re the only friend I’ve got.’”

Over the years Kist has made quite a few friends and below are some comments from those he’s met along the way who talk about the impact he’s made in this county.

West Bend Police Chief Ken Meuler: I met Roger before he ever ran for alderperson as he has always been actively involved in the community. He donates his time to a number of community events, and supports almost every community function. Anyone out in the community will see him at Music on Main, Farmer’s Market, church festivals, parades, and numerous fundraisers in the community. During his time as an alderperson he has not been someone that pounds his fists or grandstands, but he always speaks up on issues that are important to him and his constituents. He has called me on a number of police issues to get a better understanding of our policies and practices. He has been a strong supporter of the police throughout his tenure as alderperson. I have always enjoyed working with Roger as an alderperson and appreciate all he has done for the community. More important, I value his friendship.

Washington County Supervisor Marilyn Merten: “Roger has always been a considerate and caring individual and he’s willing to do a good job at whatever he did.” Merten was county clerk and worked with Kist when he was at the Washington County Planning and Parks Department. “I’d contact Roger to help make the grounds look nice at the county building. Roger would always take care of it.”

Leah Baughman at Interfaith Caregivers of Washington County: “Roger Kist is very active and in touch with the West Bend community and knows what is needed to help support its citizens. When asked if he would like to be a part of the Interfaith/RSVP Advisory Council Roger very graciously accepted right away. Even though this venture has just begun he has been an important member that has contributed many great ideas and support.”

Todd Tennies remembered Kist when he worked and lived at Ridge Run Park.  “As a little boy I can remember going to Ridge Run Park and riding bikes past the log cabin as we headed to our favorite fishing spot. Roger would always stop and say ‘Hi’ and ask us how the fishing was. He was always friendly and willing to talk to us kids. After his retirement from the county he settled in and served the community through his involvement in city government. He did a great job and always had an interest in what was best for the community. His interest in our county also carried over into the Tourism Committee for Washington County. He did an extraordinary job promoting the Washington County Fair Park as well as all of our wonderful parks we have in this county.  Great job Roger.”

Dist. 5 alderman Rich Kasten said Kist is somebody he really admires. “The things he’s accomplished at the county and city and he can still walk down the street and people know him from Ridge Run Park. I wish I could be more like him with his ability to relate to people and between him and his wife the way they’re prepared for every meeting. I’m very lucky I’ve been able to spend time on the council with him.”

Former Mayor Kraig Sadownikow said serving the community is in Roger’s blood. “Whether it’s an elected position, or in his career or during his time off he’s always been committed to service and giving back to the community.

West Bend City Administrator Jay Shambeau said Kist’s name is relatively synonymous with park land and this community.  “To promote the development, use and preserving of parks and the fact he has not wavered in his opinion is really a tribute to him. He’s everywhere. He’s the longstanding West Bend member of the Mid-Moraine Municipal Association and he attends league conferences and the Alliance meetings.”

Former West Bend city clerk Amy Reuteman spent 15 years at City Hall and noted, “Roger Kist has been there forever. And he’s early; you can always count on Roger to be early.”

Thank you, Roger Kist, for your dedication and service to help make West Bend and Washington County a great community.

On a side note: In 2017 I hosted an evening at Music on Main. It was right before the school year was to get underway and I challenged readers of WashingtonCountyInsider.com to bring their school picture to the event and I’d treat them to a beverage of their choice. Roger Kist was the first attendee to respond. I told him I thought he looked a lot like Dennis the Menace.

Special blessing for Eagle Scout project in Barton

An Eagle Scout project completed by Simon Weinandt, 18, with Scout Troop No. 762 in West Bend received a special blessing in the park across from St. Mary’s Immaculate Conception Parish in Barton.

Reverend Andrew Infanger led a small procession across the lawn following 9:30 a.m. Mass on Sunday.

Following a reading from the First Letter of the Apostle Peter, Rev. Infanger prayed a blessing over the Stations of the Cross.

“Oh God, your son was delivered up to death and raised from the dead in order that we might die to sin and live lives of holiness. By the favor of Your blessing draw near with mercy to Your faithful people who devoutly recall the mysteries of Christ’s passion. Grant that those who follow His footsteps and bearing their cross patiently may receive as their reward the vision of Christ in His glory. For He lives and reins with You for ever and ever.”

Rev. Infanger then blessed the Stations with holy water and incense.

After the ceremony Weinandt received compliments about the “beauty of the completed project” and “this is quite an Eagle Scout project, you should be proud.”

“I built the Stations of the Cross at St. Mary’s and it’s been a lot of work,” he said. The 14 Stations each feature a stone base, a large wooden cross and a series of bronze images “portraying events in the Passion of Christ from his condemnation by Pontius Pilate to his entombment.”

“The most challenging part was not at all in the building, but it was in the planning,” said Weinandt. “People are eager for it to be used as soon.”

Weinandt will be attending tech college in Red Wing, Minnesota where he will study to be a luthier; it’s a maker of string instruments like violin, bass, and cello.

Washington County leasing space for Solar Now Program

There are about 12 acres on the southwest corner of River Road and Creek Road in West Bend that will soon be home to solar energy panels.

The project is starting to take shape as a field of beams are being driven into the ground.

According to Washington County Public Affairs Coordinator Ethan Hollenberger the county is leasing property to We Energies. “The county is not responsible for any of the capital required to build or maintain the solar generation,” he said.  “Washington County will not own the solar generation.”

It was June 2019 when Washington County Supervisors voted on a resolution approving the Solar Now Pilot Program.

“The Solar Now program, as approved by the Public Service Commission, is for governments to lease land for this purpose,” said Hollenberger.  “We are receiving a lease payment based on the generation of the site. Next year, it is just over $98,000.”

“This is a great program for County as it allows us to continue to invest in budget areas the public believes are priorities such as public safety,” Hollenberger said.

Saukville and New Berlin are a couple of the other communities also investing in the Solar Now Program. Waukesha County is also exploring the opportunity. The County anticipates energy generation to begin in 2020.

Two supervisors file non-candidacy on Washington County Board

As of 12:25 p.m. on Wednesday, Nov. 6, 2019 there were two Washington County Supervisors who filed certificate of non-candidacy paperwork.

District 2 Supervisor Roger Kist filed his papers on Friday, Nov. 1 announcing he would not seek another term. On Wednesday, Nov. 6, Dist. 4 Supervisor Chris Jenkins filed a certificate of non-candidacy.

Chris Jenkins is with his son filing paperwork at the Washington County Clerk’s office.

“I did so now, as Roger did, to allow adequate time for someone to consider running in my place,” said Jenkins.

Jenkins was first elected to the Washington County Board in April 2018. He said he will serve out the remainder of his term which ends following the election in April 2020 when the new candidate is sworn in.

“Over this term, the County Board and how it currently operates was not my cup of tea,” said Jenkins.  “I hope the efforts to shrink the size of the Board, and change how the policy-making process occurs, improves things. I am optimistic that a county executive will produce the strong leader the county-level of government sorely needs.”

Jenkins also serves as District 4 alderman in the City of West Bend.  “I will take this added time to better focus on my roles and responsibilities at the city level,” he said.

Candidates have until December 27, 2019 by 5 p.m. to file a certificate of non-candidacy if they do not plan to run in April 2020. Candidates who are running may begin circulating papers to collect signatures on December 1, 2019. Those signatures must be turned in by 5 p.m. on January 7, 2020.

Candidates running for Washington County Board Supervisor must submit 50 -100 signatures and candidates running for County Executive must submit 500 – 1000 signatures.

For the city council, aldermen need to submit 20-40 signatures from people in their district. Mayoral candidates must submit 200-400 signatures to run for office.

On a side note: Two people are currently vying for the newly elected county executive post in Washington County: Joshua Schoemann and Adam Gitter.

It was Sept. 11, 2019 when the Washington County Board voted a second time to switch from a hired county administrator to an elected county executive.

Paving of Eighth Avenue in West Bend complete

Dump trucks hauling hot, black asphalt came and went on a regular cycle Monday, Nov. 4 as two layers were put down on a section of Eighth Avenue in West Bend. The four-block stretch between Highway 33 and Walnut Street had been under construction since May when the Holy Angels Festival was underway.

The costs of the reconstruction project was $1.35 million and it took a little more than five months to complete.  The general contractor for the project was Wood Sewer & Excavating, Inc. from New London, Wisconsin.

There were several subcontractors working at various times which included sanitary sewer installation, water main installation, storm sewer installation, roadway excavation, curb and gutter installation, curb ramp replacement, roadway reconstruction and restoration of disturbed areas.

There was a strong smell of rich asphalt in the air along with a consistent hum of heavy equipment as dump trucks unloaded a sea of asphalt into the pavers. In their wake a series of steel wheel rollers chased up and down the road, packing the pavement and removing any visible seems.  By mid-day contractors were skeptical they would finish the project but by 4:45 p.m. they were just wrapping up the second layer. Landscaping around the curbs and pavement markings should be completed in the coming weeks.

West Bend Common Council to honor veterans tonight including one of their own

Common Sense Citizens of Washington County is teaming with the West Bend Common Council in an annual tribute tonight, Monday, Nov. 4 to honor local veterans.

All veterans will be recognized including District 1 alderman John Butschlick, 72, who served in Vietnam and is taking part in Saturday’s Stars & Stripes Honor Flight.

Butschlick was 19 years old when he enlisted in the Army. A 1965 graduate of Campbellsport High School, Butschlick had played trumpet in Mr. Jacobs class for four years.

“I wanted to play in the band so I would NOT go to Vietnam,” he said.

Butschlick’s dad was diagnosed with a bad heart they sold the family farm in Campbellsport and moved to Kewaskum.

“I worked at Regal Ware for about a year and then enlisted,” he said. Basic training was at Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri.

After eight weeks of basic, Butschlick’s name was mixed up with someone else and he went on as a clerk typist and remained at Fort Leonard Wood.

“But I got my orders in December 1967 and that said I was going to San Francisco and then onto Vietnam,” he said. “Needless to say, my recruiter was not my best friend and my plan did not work.”

Butschlick said Vietnam was horrible from the start. “The stench,” he said. “There was nothing sanitary there; all feces were burned, and it was warm and humid.”

Butschlick was assigned to an artillery group as a fuel administrator. “My first six months I couldn’t believe I was even in a war zone,” he said. “We played volleyball, we had hot meals, our sergeant was a fantastic cook and it wasn’t bad at all.”

In August, Butschlick reup for six more months in the military; he also signed up for leave over Christmas however his new captain denied the leave in December and pushed it off another month.

While dropping off paperwork a warrant officer changed Butschlick’s leave but the captain caught up with him and that brief favor cost Butschlick his assignment.

“I got back from leave and I was sent on the first chopper out; I was on a gunner,” he said. “I lost my field position.”

Nervous, Butschlick met with a pastor and within a couple weeks he was transferred and assigned to headquarters as a commanding officer jeep driver. “This was during the Tet Offensive and I thought I was lucky to be a driver, but my buddies said the snipers would pick off a driver first and then go after the captain,” he said.

“My second tour was scarier than hell.”

Butschlick credits his mother for helping keep him safe. “I didn’t know it at the time but she said a prayer every day and in that prayer she was always asking God to protect me while I was in Vietnam and I firmly believe my mom’s faith brought me back safely,” he said.

Butschlick has kept the copy of his mother’s prayer. It’s on a weary index card, the print is from an old-school typewriter and there are pencil marks where Rose Butschlick wrote in cursive the correct pronoun.

“My faith is what got me through this whole thing… and my mom’s,” he said. “When I got out of the service my mom gave me the prayer cards.”

Butschlick was discharged in 1969 when he was 22 years old.

When he returned to the states he stayed in Chicago and worked at First National Bank as a margins clerk. “Life was actually moving too fast for me over the next three years and then I moved back home and worked at Fleet Farm before I bought the Tastee Freeze and turned it into Little John’s Drive in,” he said. “John Heisdorf worked at the restaurant with me; we called him Big John and I was Little John.”

Little John’s was located on Highway 33 in West Bend in the lot behind the Fleet Farm; that building was there in there in the 1970’s. Alice Kohlman was the cook at Little John’s. “Alice was the best and I loved working with the people,” he said.

The restaurant eventually closed and Butschlick sold it in 1980. “That was when Pizza Hut was across the street, along with Dick’s Pizza, Kentucky Fried Chicken and the Red Owl was next door to the east,” he said.

Butschlick returned to work at Fleet Farm before taking a job with the City of West Bend.

In April 2014, Butschlick was elected Dist. 1 alderman in West Bend. He won reelection in 2016 and 2018. Butschlick is up for election in April 2020.

Join the Common Council for tonight’s recognition of veterans. Other council members who served include Dist. 2 alderman Mark Allen was in the Coast Guard 1971 – 1984 and Dist. 8 alderman Roger Kist.

West Bend Common Council votes on how to fill mayoral vacancy

West Bend Common Council has unanimously voted to appoint Council President Steve Hoogester as acting mayor until the April 7, 2020 election. According to City Attorney Ian Prust, said Hoogester can still retain his seat as District 6 alderman and he does not have to run for council again just by taking this post.

Prust said, should there be a tie vote on an issue, Hoogester has to notify the council ahead of time that he will abstain as alderman to make a vote as mayor. City administrator Jay Shambeau and Prust said a tie situation would be extremely rare as a council member would need to be absent to create a situation for a tie vote to occur.

The mayoral seat became vacant Oct. 21 following the resignation of Mayor Kraig Sadownikow who cited a conflict between his private business and his elected position with the City. The decision to have Hoogester serve in the interim took about 25 minutes.

On a side note:

District 2 alderman Mark Allen was in favor of selecting a citizen from the community to fill the post. He noted, that would avoid creating a situation with a district not being represented for the next five months.

District 8 alderman Roger Kist said he ran for mayor twice during his career and would be interested in being appointed mayor.

Former Dist. 7 alderwoman Deb Anderson was in the audience at the special meeting and had inquired about serving as a citizen mayor until the 2020 April election.

Updates & tidbits:

-Interfaith Caregiver’s Kindness Crews will be rolling out a group volunteer opportunity starting in December. Kindness Crews are a group opportunity for individual volunteers to help a number of clients in one day with services. Volunteer by yourself, a friend, or bring a whole group! Kindness Crews will go out on the third Thursday of every month from 10 a.m.-12 p.m. Join us after percolate on December 6 at 9:00 am for a short information meeting to learn more.

There will be 21 veterans from Washington County on the Nov. 9 Stars & Stripes Honor Flight to Washington D.C. Veterans include: Vietnam Army Ralph Charette of Germantown, four veterans from Hartford including Vietnam Air Force Jeffrey Lauenstein, Korea Army Edgar Loomis, Vietnam Air Force Jeffery Hoppens, and Vietnam Army Jerrold Green. Two veterans from Kewaskum including Vietnam Army Ronald Amerling Kewaskum and Vietnam Air Force James Dorn. Vietnam Army William Schneider Richfield Vietnam Army Donald Thies Slinger

-Senior Citizen Activities, Inc. is hosting its 2nd Annual Christmas Cookie Walk & Crafts on Saturday, Dec. 7 from 8 a.m. – noon at 2378 W. Washington St. Suite A, West Bend.

In order to do justice to the Sager family, below is the obituary that ran in 2005 for Fred Sager.

Longtime local businessman and community leader, Donald Frederick Sager, 66, passed away peacefully surrounded by his family on March 17, 2005, at St. Joseph’s Community Hospital in West Bend after a courageous battle with cancer. Born September 5, 1938. Beloved husband of Maradel, (nee Honold). Loving father of Scott (Karen), Susan (Todd) Zeeb and Sara (Michael) Lehner. Dear grandfather “Bumpa” of Kailee, Jonathan, Claire, Lauren and Hannah. Preceded in death by his parents, Frederick A. and Cloris A. Sager, and granddaughter, Amanda Lynn Zeeb. Survived by brother, Steve (Mary) Sager of Fond du Lac and sister, Marjorie (Glen) Klug of Boltonville, and many nieces, nephews and cousins. Donald is lovingly remembered by many friends and business acquaintances.

Donald was born and raised in West Bend. As a boy he loved to fish and hunt with his dog, Tucker. An athlete in high school and college, he played football and basketball. He attended Valparaiso University and was a member of Sigma Phi Epsilon Fraternity. He graduated in 1960 with a Bachelors’ Degree in Business Administration. Donald returned home to take his place at his father’s side in the family clothing business. He met the love of his life, Maradel and they married on August 12, 1961 and together raised a beautiful family.

Donald’s father, Fred Sager opened Sager’s Mens Apparel in 1932. Donald worked alongside his father through high school and college. He took over the business from Fred in 1970 and made it his own. At one time, Sager’s Mens Apparel operated in four locations, West Bend, Port Washington, Grafton, and Fond du Lac. Sager’s Mens Apparel, in downtown West Bend, continues a rich tradition of formalwear and men’s clothing through his children Scott and Sara. Donald was known for his swift use of a tape measure, he’d size you up in seconds, fit you with a suit or tuxedo and send you out the door. His philosophy was “We always try to sell a better product, and our customers aren’t really our customers, they’re our friends.” His favorite time of the retail year was Prom season because he loved to tell the young men how to dress appropriately, tuck in your shirt, pull up your pants, open the car door for the young lady, shake her father’s hand and ask “What time should I return your daughter, sir?” He also enjoyed working with wedding parties and reminding the nervous groom his first sentence should be, “I’m sorry, honey.”

Donald was past president of the West Bend Area Chamber of Commerce and served on St. Joseph’s Community Hospital Board for many years. He was a long-standing member of the Downtown West Bend Businessmens’ Association and was a member of the founding organizational team of the Teen Factory, predecessor of the Boys and Girls Club of West Bend. In 1985, Donald along with his son, Scott and five other men started the West Bend Hunter Education Program. This program has instructed over 3000 students in the safe and responsible handling of firearms in the past twenty years. Don always felt, “That if you take your kid hunting, you’ll never have to go hunting for your kid!”

Donald was an avid outdoorsman and master tinkerer. He loved to train dogs, pheasant hunt, make lunch for deer hunting, hunt for ducks on the Mississippi River with his brother, fish for panfish and walleyes with his buddies, play with his grandchildren and use a 10-penny nail to fix everything. He had a great gift for painting, if it moved, he painted it and usually himself in the process, too.

He was a caring and loving man and would give you the shirt off his back if you needed it, or better yet, sell you one. He continually supported his family and community, and gave more than he ever had. He never said no. He will be greatly missed by his family and the community, he touched many lives.

Visitation for Donald will be Sunday, March 20, 2005, from 2 PM to 5 PM at Phillip Funeral Homes, 1420 W. Paradise Drive in West Bend. Funeral services will immediately follow.

In lieu of flowers, memorials to the Boys and Girls Club of West Bend, would be appreciated. Donald always felt that “our kids are our greatest gift.”

The family is grateful to Dr. Rajesh Trivedi and his staff and the many other doctors and caring nurses who tenderly cared for Donald at St. Joseph’s Community Hospital in West Bend, St. Luke’s Hospital, and Froedert Hospital in Milwaukee.

Around the Bend by Judy Steffes

Grand opening date posted at new Fleet Farm in West Bend

The shiny, new Fleet Farm on the hill on W. Washington Street in West Bend is getting set to open. A sign on the door of the stores announces the grand opening will be Friday, November 22. That’s a week ahead of Black Friday, Nov. 29.

One new product customers in West Bend will find on the shelves at Fleet will be beer, wine and spirits.

The city clerk in West Bend confirmed Fleet secured a license to carry alcohol. It will be at both the store and the Fleet convenience store/gas station.

“Fleet Farm stores that have opened since 2018 carry a selection wine and beer, as well as packaged grocery items,” said Christopher Zulfer, Division Vice President, Fleet Farm. “Our beer selection includes more than 200 beer items, including national and local craft beers. Our wine selection includes more than 225 items from a wide variety of vineyards.”

A record check in the city assessor’s office shows Fleet Farm Properties LLC sold the 69.7 acres of vacant land to Store Spe Mills Fleet II 2017-7 LLC for $3 million on June 19, 2019.

Challenging process of picking an interim mayor in West Bend

On Monday, Nov. 4 the West Bend Common Council will hold a special meeting at 5 p.m. The hot topic will be, Discussion on the Vacancy Created by the Resignation of the City of West Bend Mayor  2. Filling the Office of Mayor

On Monday, Oct. 21, 2019, at the West Bend Common Council meeting Mayor Kraig Sadownikow announced he was resigning his seat effective immediately. Sadownikow stepped down citing a conflict between his business and his position with the City.

The state has a legal process on filling the vacant mayoral seat, which comes up for election in April 7, 2020.

City administrator Jay Shambeau said filling the seat will “not be an easy answer to come to.”

There are three options on the table; the council can appoint the council president or an alderman or a citizen from the City.

Option 1: appoint council president

The current council president is Dist. 6 alderman Steve Hoogester. In the past, when the mayor needed to recuse himself from an issue before the council it would be Hoogester who would take over the meeting.

“If Hoogester or another alderman, is appointed mayor then he must resign as alderperson, so he no longer has that seat,” said Wisconsin Election Commission staff counsel Michael Haas. “The statute says if there’s a vacancy in the office of mayor then it’s filled by the common council unless a special election is ordered which is probably not likely if it’s a short-term vacancy. The council would need to decide, and the alderperson would need to decide.”

Hoogester has been council president since February 2018 after Dist. 2 alderman Steve Hutchins resigned. “It’s an interesting thought,” said Hoogester about the mayoral position. “It’s something I’d be willing to do and fill in for five months; do the best I can and keep things moving forward.”

A wrench in the works, however, is if Hoogester would leave his seat as alderman, he would have to run for office again. “My aldermanic seat is not up for election in 2020 and if I’d have to vacate after five months I’d be out. That’s not on my list of priorities,” he said.

Hoogester said he would take a “wait-and-see approach” on how things shake out at Monday’s meeting.

Option 2 : leave the seat vacant or appoint an alderman

Another option, the council could choose to leave the office vacant and just delegate authority to the council president or someone else to do whatever the mayor would do whether it’s signing documents, etc.

An alderman could also be appointed. Then their seat would be vacant and that could be filled by appointment as well.

On October 17, Dist. 5 alderman Rich Kasten announced his candidacy for mayor.   According to Haas, “In a non-partisan election you can actually run for mayor and alderperson and if you win both you can choose which office you want.”

Kasten said last week, he is not interested in filling in the next five months as mayor however he is committed to running for the seat in April.

Option 3: city representative

The City could take applications from anybody interested and then, according to Haas, “everybody has a fair shot at applying and trying to convince the council they’re the right person.”

Deb Anderson was the alderperson in District 7 from April 2010 until April 2012 when she chose not to run for re-election. Anderson stopped at City Hall to inquire about being appointed to fill the short-term seat.

In a Wednesday night phone call Anderson said she did not want to run for mayor, but she could fill in for the next five months. She said her schedule was flexible and this way an aldermanic seat would not be unrepresented until the April 7, 2020 election.

During Anderson’s one term on the council she was a member of the Library Board, she helped drum up attention for the Barton Business District, and she expressed caution in 2012 when then Mayor Sadownikow encouraged aldermen to sign “Budget Pledge” to not raise the tax rate.

Anderson used to be the property manager for River Bend Senior Village. Most recently she headed up the Washington County Senior Center. Now she volunteers at the Senior Center.

On a side note: The city council will be voting on its 2020 budget in the coming weeks. On the table is a discussion on whether to keep a flat tax rate of $7.79 or raise it six cents to $7.85 for 2020.

Monday’s Special Meeting begins at 5 p.m. in the council chambers at City Hall, 1115 S. Main Street, in West Bend. The meeting is open to the public.

West Bend School District report on declining enrollment

West Bend School District Superintendent Don Kirkegaard outlined enrollment trends during the Monday night, Oct. 28, School Board meeting. The district indicated “unless there is a change in enrollment trends, the district can expect declining enrollment for the next 8-10 years.”

Superintendent Kirkegaard:

-Our enrollment has been going south. It has been for quite a few years and it’s going to go for quite a few more years.

-We’re down about 600 students since 2006

-There are about 60 kids that open enroll out of Jackson. Jackson area is the largest open enrolling out of the district.

-Projections: I made an assumption that the kindergarten class would stay the same and every kid who is in school this year stays in school throughout their whole career. If you go to the high school, we’re at 2184 this year. If you look at current students in the school, I added 50 kids every year once they become 9th graders, based on Holy Angels and Cabrini, typically the last few years we picked up 50 parochial kids that come to high school. You’re down to 1669 students with both east and west together.

-This isn’t doom and gloom, it’s just reality.

-There are certain districts in the state of Wisconsin that are going up (with enrollment), much of Wisconsin is not and we’re part of that.

-The reason for the decline is we don’t have as many kids coming through the system. Most people have two kids, one kid, three kids…

-The second Friday in January there is another student count. Typically, the January count is less than the September count.

-The third Friday of September is the official count date for district enrollment. See first chart below. The second chart shows a 14-year comparison of actual students in seats at schools in the West Bend District.

Chart 5 shows a 9-year projection of enrollment based on current students in the district and a flat kindergarten enrollment based on 364 students.

On a side note: The West Bend School District Private Task Force studied the school district and its facility needs over the summer. It released a report of findings on October 14. One of the findings considered the declining enrollment and loss of state aid.

Randy Stark – task force member: How do we take older inventory offline and replace it.

Options: We could do nothing. Keep spending $1.5 mil a year on facilities.  Retain all building and come up with money and address immediate capital needs however the design characteristics with concerns can’t be changed. Even if come up with $22.5 mil – we still have 80% of square footage is getting older.

Replace Jackson – in 25-year plan – solves some problems but only addresses one building.

“Perhaps a school in Jackson is no longer justified,” said Randy Stark from the Task Force.

Construct one new school (783 capacity) at a south side location and expand Green Tree. Close/sell Jackson School, Jackson land, Decorah, Fair Park, District Offices, Rolfs & Maintenance. Develop a single central campus on the south side of WB.

Doug Barnes from Zimmerman Architectural Studios – “Other school districts that have consolidated include New Berlin which has closed four schools and Beaver Dam has closed elementary schools and consolidated and Racine.”

West Bend Common Council to honor veterans on Monday, November 4

On November 4 the West Bend Common Council will honor all Veterans during its regular Monday night meeting as elected officials pay tribute to those who have served our country.

The event is organized by Common Sense Citizens of Washington County. The ceremony begins at 6 p.m. in the West Bend High School Silver Lining Auditorium.

All veterans will be recognized. Anyone in need of free transportation is encouraged to call 262-335-5123. The event is free and open to the public. Items for Support the Troops will be collected during the event and distributed as care packages to troops serving in the U.S. military.

Railroad crossing in Allenton expected to open Saturday, November 2

Work crews are taking advantage of the 40-degree temps and finishing the approach to the Canadian National Railroad crossing on Highway 33 in Allenton.

Contractors expect the road to reopen Saturday, November 2.

Wisconsin Central Ltd. (Canadian National Railway), has been reconstructing its railroad crossing located between Weis Street and County Road W since Monday, October 28.

To complete this work, crews required a full closure of WIS 33 at the crossing from Monday, October 28 until Friday, November 1.

The Town of Addison and Washington County Highway Department received numerous complaints about the crossing being hazardous and the noise when crossing was unsettling.   This crossing was repaired in 2014 and Canadian National has had to make repairs since.

Part of the major repair will include a complete removal of the base material, the ties and rails along with the approach from both sides of the track. Railroads own and are responsible for the track and up to 50 feet on each side.  This crossing was originally scheduled to be done in August.

On a side note: A train passed through the construction area at 1:38 p.m. on Monday. Interesting because the contractors are going to be pulling up the track during this repair.

Morrie’s West Bend Honda announces opening date

The street sign is in place, the parking lot has been blacktopped and the driveway to Highway 33 has been poured and Morrie’s West Bend Honda has officially announced its opening date.

According to general manager Bob Splitstoesser the West Bend Honda store will open Friday, Nov. 15. Contractors broke ground in November 2018. Morrie’s West Bend Honda is at 3215 W. Washington Street on the southwest corner of Highway 33 and Scenic Drive.

Morrie’s new Honda facility will create approximately 60 new good-paying jobs. Morrie’s West Bend Honda will feature customer parking for 40 standard and two barrier-free parking stalls.

The site plan identifies 248 stalls for vehicle display and loaners, 6 rental stalls, 75 service stalls, 74 employee stalls.

Bloomin’ Holidays Wine Walk is sold out                     By Jessica Wildes

Bloomin’ Holidays Wine Walk  is Saturday, Nov. 9 from 4 p.m. – 7 p.m.  Shop, sip, and swoon over the sights of downtown West Bend at the inaugural Bloomin’ Holidays Wine Walk. Start at the Museum of Wisconsin Art for your first taste and explore floral arrangements in the art galleries and an indoor artist marketplace. Then head to 20 more nearby destinations for wine, treats, and shopping along the way.

SOLD OUT! Join the wait list. Contact Jessica at 262-247-2266 or jwildes@wisconsinart.org. Please note that we cannot add additional registrants. If a registered participant cancels, we will work from the wait list. Registered Participants: Keep an eye out for event details in your email on Monday, November 4.  At check in, plan to bring your photo I.D. to verify your age (21+). No tickets are needed since everyone has pre-registered online. Your reservation will be held under your last name at check-in.

UWM at Washington County golf team wins major awards in final season | By John Minz

The UW Milwaukee – Washington County State Championship winning Golf Team had four members earn top spots on the WCC All-Conference Teams.

Antonio Feciskonin is the Wisconsin Collegiate Conference Player of the Year.  He was medalist in both the Wildcat Invite at WCGC and the Wombat Invite at The Bull.  He finished the state tournament, held at Mascoutin CC, 10 strokes ahead of 2nd place.  He’s the 4th Wildcat in the last five years to be named Player of the Year.

Jacob Eichline is on the WCC First Team All-Conference for a second year.  Jacob improved his play from last year finishing 3rd in both the Invites and 4th at State to earn a spot on the 1st team.

Second year player Brad Halverson made the WCC Second Team All-Conference also for a second year. Brad had placed in the top 10 in both the Invites, and a strong 6th place finish at state, to earn a spot on the 2nd team.

Josh Bohn also made WCC Second Team All-Conference.  Despite not playing on a high school golf team, Josh worked hard posted a top 10 in the Wildcat invite and placed 7th at State earning him a spot on the 2nd team.

These are great honors to the Wildcat players for their post season play and their Wisconsin Collegiate Conference State title.

Washington County Trail Sharks wrap up successful season | By Julie L Willmas

The season for the Trail Sharks has come to an end with the State Race on the Trek Trails in Waterloo for the mountain bike team.

With the course being muddy and technical, the athletes were excited to race.  The racecourse was filled with fans, as the 850+ riders slid up and down the slick hills and turns. The Washington County Trail Sharks did not give up as they raced to an 11th place finish for the season.

The team was led this season by medalists Kendra Schmitt (Kewaskum) 1st place, Mike Spangenberg (West Bend) 4th place, and Anja Lanser (West Bend) 1st place. Medalists for the state race….Kendra Schmitt (Kewaskum) 2nd, Anja Lanser (West Bend) 1st

Top 10 in their age group…Gabe Rogaczewski (Slinger) 9th, Fiona Shaw (West Bend) 10th, Mike Spangenberg (West Bend) 7th

Other team athletes… (1 lap)-Aiden Schubert (West Bend) 27th, Nate Sajdak (West Bend) 45th, Brandon Paulson (Slinger) 81st, Kira Zechlin (West Bend) 14th, Ayla Abraham (West Bend) 29th, Shiri Zechlin (West Bend) 43rd

(2 laps)- Lexi Schubert (West Bend) 17th, Will Mauney (West Bend) 12th, Christian Spaeth (West Bend) 21st, RJ Goldberg (Hartford) 22nd, Gabe Kebbekus (Slinger) 44th, Carson Phillips (Slinger) 46th

(3 laps)- Nick Skaalen (Hartford) 33rd

Signing 9/11 Wisconsin Memorial Highway bill into law

An effort to name a 9-mile section of highway that runs through Kewaskum the 9/11 Memorial Highway came to fruition on a snowy afternoon in October as Governor Tony Evers signed the bill into law.

“This Memorial will serve as an important reminder to the people of Wisconsin of the loved ones we lost and the heroes that ran towards danger without a second thought and our nations grit and resilience in times of tragedy,” said Evers.

“Now that we’re 18 years removed from the 9/11 attacks it’s important, we remember and honor this history including the nearly 3,000 innocent lives lost that day including 12 known individuals with connections to Wisconsin and of course Kewaskum’s own Andrea Haberman.”

The bill was spearheaded by Assembly Rep. Tim Ramthun and state Senator Duey Strobel.

Ramthun said the entire process has been a team effort. “This is overdue and it’s the right thing to do,” said Ramthun. “The value of this and the memorial factor will allow us all to never forget what happened to our nation and our state on 9/11; the enduring value is forever.”

Grand opening this week for Ozaukee Christian School in the Town of Trenton

There was a big celebration this past week as Ozaukee Christian School officially opened in the Town of Trenton. Parents, students and staff gathered early Monday morning to give praise and thanks and then cut the red ribbon to enter their new education space.

School administrator Kris Austin was beaming. She said the move to a new, permanent location has been quite a long road but “we just took it day by day and we let God take care of the things we couldn’t control.”

“It’s pretty amazing,” she said. “We had school at Camp Awana on Friday and here we are today with classrooms fully ready to receive kids. We’ve got a great staff, parents and volunteers.”

School board member Keenan Kerrins said it was a phenomenal day to celebrate. “This is our first permanent facility in the 30-year history of Ozaukee Christian School and we are so excited we’ve been able to come this far and to give such opportunity for students and parents alike to be able to experience school and God together,” he said.

Ozaukee Christian used to be located nine miles to the east of their current site in Saukville. As far as enrollment is concerned, Austin said there’s been some loss but great gain.

“We lost a few because this location is just too far for some families, but we picked up 14 new families, primarily from the West Bend area,” she said. “We will also be picking up another new family next week.”

OCS is a non-denominational Christian school founded in 1990.  The current location is 1214 State Highway 33 across from West Bend Lakes Golf Course. Ozaukee Christian School describes itself as “offering outstanding, Christ-centered, non-denominational educational opportunities for students from K3 to eighth grade. We are dedicated to academic excellence with a uniquely Christian perspective—one that places Jesus at the center of everything we do and acknowledges the Bible as our ultimate authority.”

Around the Bend by Judy Steffes

Washington County Board sets County Executive salary at $140,000

After lengthy discussion the Washington County Board voted 15 – 7 to set the salary for the incoming Washington County Executive at $140,000.

Benefits and/or bonuses for the position have yet to formally be discussed.

Voting NO on the proposed $140,000 salary were: Supervisors Chris Bossert, Frank Carr, Brian Krebs, Richard Bertram, Robert Hartwig, Marcella Bishop, and Marilyn Merten.

Voting in favor of the salary were Supervisors Roger Kist, Chris Jenkins, Mike Bassill, Denis Kelling, William Symicek, Keith Stephan, Russel Brandt, Timothy Michalak, James Burg, John Bulawa, Donald Kriefall, Rock Brandner, Brian Gallitz, Jeffrey Schleif and Carroll Merry.

There were four supervisors absent from the meeting including Kristine Deiss, Joseph Gonnering, Mark McCune and Peter Sorce.

Quite a few supervisors said a salary of $140,000 was needed to attract a well-qualified candidate to run for the position.

Prior to the final vote there were several amendments made to change the salary. The initial motion was to postpone the vote, then a motion to set the pay scale at $114,000 was made by Supervisor Brian Krebs. That was defeated by a vote of 19-3. Those voting to set the pay at $114,000 were Supervisors Brian Krebs, Richard Bertram and Marcella Bishop.

The second amendment was a proposal by Supervisor Bossert to increase the pay to $125,000. That too failed by a vote of 13-9.

Those against were Supervisors Kist, Bassill, Kelling, Symicek, Stephan, Brandt, Michalak, Burg, Bulawa, Kriefall, Gallitz, Schleif and Merry.

Those in favor of the $125,000 were Supervisors Bossert, Jenkins, Carr, Krebs, Bertram, Hartwig, Bishop, Merten, and Bradner.

Some of the discussion between votes included:

Supervisor Tim Michalak – “If you look at what the current administrator is earning, with the bonuses and everything, this is actually quite a cut.” (Chairman Don Kriefall later said the Washington County Administrator is making $190,000 with bonuses and benefits included)

Supervisor Marilyn Merten – “What is this salary proposal based upon? Did we do comparisons with other executives. I have no idea.”

Chairman Don Kriefall – “We looked at what the salaries are within Washington County and we placed initially that that person would be among the top paid in the county. The range for our directors, Health and Human Services is $127,000 to max $149,000. Deputy County administrators $126,000 – $147,000 and so on. So having the leader of the county paid substantially below what the directors are paid would not be fair or equitable.”

Supervisor Buzz Carr – “I’m a little surprised at how this has been presented. With the other elements we had to vote on tonight there was lots of backup material but not with this. There is no backup material on state payment or why our county executive would be the highest paid in the state.”

Supervisor Brian Krebs – “Pay ranges of existing county executives in the state of Wisconsin range from $86,000 a year to $134,000 a year. I’ll argue that some of these salaries have not been adjusted in a while, but they are fair market.”

One of the changes in regard to the salary came at the Executive Committee meeting where the committee voted unanimously to drop the annual salary increase for the position.

Under the original draft the pay would have grown by over $2,000 annually and in its fourth year the Washington County executive would have made $148,569.12. Click HERE for details.

The election for County Executive is set to appear on the April 2020 ballot; if a primary is needed that would be in February 2020.

County Administrator Joshua Schoemann has already filed papers to run for the seat. Declaration of candidacy papers must be filed by January 7, 2020. Candidates must collect a minimum of 500 signatures. Those papers can start being circulated Dec. 1, 2019.

One note, when supervisors voted Sept. 11, 2019 in favor of an elected county executive, the supervisors knowingly violated the terms of the contract signed with Washington County Administrator Josh Schoemann.

A clause in his contract indicates the county will have to pay Schoemann $130,000 because of a violation of the original terms of agreement.

That $130,000 is taxpayer money.

 Initial story about Elected County Executive proposed pay

A draft of the resolution shows the salary starting at $140,000 and then increasing annually to $142,800, $145,656 and in the fourth year $148,569.

A record check shows the prospective pay for the newly elected Washington County Executive would be more than any elected county executive in the state of Wisconsin.

Dane County –  $134,218

Milwaukee County – $129,000

Waukesha County – $108,826

Fond du Lac County – $108,100

Winnebago County – $115,800

Brown County – $98,046

The Governor of Wisconsin – $146,786

Members of the Washington County Executive Committee include: Supervisors Michael Bassill, John Bulawa, Kristine Deiss, Donald Kriefall, Mark McCune, Timothy Michalak and Jeffrey Schleif.

One note, when supervisors voted Sept. 11, 2019 in favor of an elected county executive, the supervisors knowingly violated the terms of the contract signed with county administrator Josh Schoemann. A clause in the contract indicates the county will have to pay Schoemann $130,000 because of a violation of the original terms of agreement.

VIDEO | Washington Co. Supervisors vote a final time on elected County Executive  

Several members of the Executive Committee were reached for comment:

Supervisor Mike Bassill – “The pay is going to be higher than the other county executives in Wisconsin; including Milwaukee. We came to the conclusion that their contracts – when they get up for election theirs will be going up. We’re still going to be saving around $35,000 than what we’re currently paying the county administrator presently, with the $140,000.

“At the time I said I wasn’t 100-percent on board but after reflecting on the Executive Committee meetings I think it’s the right scale. Correct, it will be more than what the governor makes in four years. That’s what we decided.

For more than a year Schoemann toured Washington County talking about the dire straits of the budget and repeating “the county is falling off a financial cliff.”

How can county supervisors justify violating the terms of Schoemann’s contract which means a loss of $130,000 in taxpayer money? The first year of the county executive

“I just believe this is the right avenue. I think our track record is we’ve been fiscally conservative and that’s why I’m so excited now; that’s why I’ve wanted this county executive for a long time. I want that person to be accountable to the taxpayers so if he’s going to be paid more money – absolutely, but that person will be accountable to the taxpayers.”

Why not wait until the contract expired: “Wait broke the bridge down,” said Bassill.  “I’ve been on this for 10 years now. My entire premise is this person needs to be accountable to the taxpayers. But I just believe this is going to be a game changer for Washington County.”

Is this a good use of taxpayer money: “Yes. I’ve been after to do this since the day I got on the Washington County Board. I think this will pay two-fold. I think this will pay for itself in a heartbeat.

Taxpayers in Washington County are already losing $130,000 in this deal. The first year it’s like paying $270,000: “Correct. I just believe this is the right avenue. Are there going to be up-front costs, absolutely.

Supervisor John Bulawa – “I believe the salary will probably be the highest; I know it’s very close to the top but we’re proposing $140,000. So, it’s actually less expensive than what we’re paying right now for Josh’s position.

Question: Annual increase:

Bulawa – “I don’t know how they came up with the yearly increase, that is one of my questions. I don’t know if that’s the standard cost-of-living increase per year or how they came up with that number but yes it does step up significantly each year.”

Why the urgency to push forward on an elected county executive. Why not wait until 2022 when Schoemann’s contract would have expired? Then taxpayers would not be on the hook for $130,000 for violating the terms of Schoemann’s contract.

Bulawa – “We are trying to find a quality candidate. If Josh were not running, we want to make sure we have a quality candidate to run the county. We want to have the incentive to make that a full-time position for them.”

Bulawa “I know that with the approval of it they had to do the election right away. We could have delayed the vote by a couple of years but once the vote was in place it has to go into place for the next term.

With regard to the urgency to push the elected position forward, Bulawa said there were questions about “Would Josh stay or would he go.” However, when Schoemann was questioned about whether he was considering leaving, he indicated he was not.

Bulawa said, “What he says may not indicate everything that is going on; I don’t know specific things, but he is a highly sought-after young man.”

Questioned about paying him top dollar and he could still leave. “Part of the board wanted to secure him in staying at the county and another thing was to enable him to work in a different capacity for the county and advocate for issues in a way the county executive can, and a county administrator isn’t able to.”

Kriss Deiss – “We discussed the salary at the last County Executive Committee meeting. The pay scale is in the ballpark. I know we have the information (salary is the highest in Wisconsin). I know the average is $131,000. I had thought around $130,000 would be better but it will be up to what goes before the County Board as they will have a say in it as well. We have to set the salary in a certain timeframe so whoever takes out papers knows what the salary is going to be and I looked at what’s coming up Wednesday at County Board and I don’t know if this is on the County Board agenda or not.”

“The majority of the Executive Committee seemed to be ok with the salary, but it’ll have to go before the full County Board to see what their opinion is.”

Paying out $130,000 for contract violation. “I don’t know what the urgency was. I did vote in favor to proceed with an elected county executive. Taking the vote on the item Deiss said, “There wasn’t any urgency that I remember.” I voted in favor of it because now is the right time.”

Questioned about the $130,000 contract violation fee. “We weren’t talking about dollars at that point,” said Deiss. “There was no mention of salary when this was brought up before County Board. The cart wasn’t exactly before the horse. You also need to look at what the highest paid position is in the county, you want to make sure who ever is elected is paid more than those people.” Mention the governor’s pay. “Everybody is going to have feelings on this, and I think it has to play out in front of the County Board and we have to hear from the public too.”

Don Kriefall – “Right now as I understand it the salaries range from around $108,000 to $139,000 from looking at… a lot of the county executive salaries were set. I’m thinking the most recent one was set in the early 1990s.  All those were set also a long time ago and have not been adjusted for inflation.”

Why does Washington County have to be the highest? “That’s a starting figure. From my recollection of the meeting the discussion was if you’re going to be able to attract a qualified candidate you want to have a salary commensurate with what you would expect to attract that kind of a person. Tim Mihaleck’s job is human resources and based on that recommendation we went with that figure. As you know, it’s a recommendation to the board and the board doesn’t always go on the recommendations of the Executive Committee. We did not take into consideration what the governor makes. We

Questioned about making more than the governor: Kriefall said he wasn’t sure. Kriefall also said he did not know what sort of benefits the position would include.

When you voted for an elected executive: “We still want to make sure we have good, quality candidates that run for the office.

Why not wait until the term is up? The money he gets is basically earned. Most of that is earned already in benefits he’s accrued. There’s a severance package also.

The Executive Committee will move into closed session at the end of Wednesday’s meeting: “Closed Session Entertain a motion to convene in Closed Session pursuant to §19.85(1)(c), Wis. Stats., considering employment, promotion, compensation or performance evaluation data of any public employee over which the governmental body has jurisdiction or exercises responsibility; specifically, “to conduct the annual performance evaluation of the County Administrator.”

Public info meeting on landfill testing in West Bend

The City of West Bend will be hosting a public informational meeting on Wednesday, October 16, 2019, regarding the ongoing landfill testing results.  The meeting will take place at 6 p.m. at Shepherd of the Hills Lutheran Church, 6869 Wildwood Road, West Bend.  Doors open at 5:30 p.m.

The following groups will have representatives present to provide information and to answer questions: City of West Bend, AECOM (City of West Bend’s environmental testing consultants), WI-Department of Natural Resources, WI-Department of Health Services, Washington/Ozaukee County Department of Health

The City of West Bend is working closely with consultants and state agencies to investigate for impacts related to groundwater contamination from the City’s closed landfill site.

Residents of Villa Park are encouraged to attend. Please contact Doug Neumann if you have any questions at (262) 335-5079 or via email at neumannd@ci.west-bend.wi.us.

The Great Apple Crunch at Allenton Elementary School

Students at Allenton Elementary School joined in The Great Apple Crunch on Wednesday morning. It was an effort to promote farm to school. Nearly 500 students took part. This collective crunch encourages healthy eating and supports farm to school and local food initiatives throughout the Great Lakes Region.

At the same time students celebrated the 50th birthday of the school. After students were done with the apples, they followed tradition and in perfect Midwest fashion chucked the apple cores into the woods. A good time was had by all.

Bob Walden from Walden – A Supper Club has died

Condolences to the Walden family as Bob Walden, owner of Walden – A Supper Club, on Wallace Lake has died.

Walden was 76 years old. He and his wife Karen owned the supper club on the south short of the lake for 30 years.

“Bob purchased the restaurant in 1989,” said Karen. “It used to be Benike’s before we got it. George and Carol Benike purchased the club from Dot who ran it as Dot’s Club.”

Dot and her husband Nick added the cocktail lounge in 1974.

Lee Stehling from Ace Canvas worked on the bar rail at Walden’s. “Bob was the classiest guy to deal with,” he said. “He was such a great customer and the supper club was part of the fabric of the community. Who hasn’t been to Waldens? This is a sad loss for this area.”

Dennis Fechter from the Boltonville Fire Department said he’d run into Bob regularly at The Copper Penny. “He was a guy who would always take the time to say hi,” he said. “Nice guy.”

Bob worked in education at the start of his career. He was principal at Jackson Elementary School about 40 years ago.

David and Nancy Slinde lived down the block from the supper club. “Bob has been a great neighbor on Wallace Lake,” said David.  “He had an understanding of his customers by offering a familiar setting and great food.  His restaurant is a historic place in the Barton community.  While many said he should do this with the building or that with the building, he stayed firm in offering the community a historic supper club pure and simple and rich in memories.”

Neighbors across Washington County are familiar with the supper club that sits on the south shore of Wallace Lake.

According to supper-club website, Walden presents a Northwoods ambiance of knotty pine and lake shore, a relaxed fine dining experience. Excellent service and delicious entrees accompanied by mouth-watering salads, breads, potatoes, and desserts.

Prime Rib, the house specialty for over 50 years, is served every night. A dry aged center-cut tenderloin steak is also very popular. Walden also features Bavarian Pretzel Chicken, Frog Legs, Lobster Tails, Shrimp, Salmon, a most delicious Shaum Torte. Several other exciting entrees are served including Fish Frys on Fridays, nightly specials and sandwiches.

Walden is available for larger group luncheons and for banquets depending on availability. Several weddings followed by wedding banquets have been held along the shores of the lake.

The dining room seats up to one hundred guests. the cocktail lounge, overlooking the lake seats 52 people at the bar and side bars. According to Karen, Bob died Friday, October 4.

A bit more history on the supper club is below.

Walden-A Supper club began life as a summer home for Lucy and her family from the Milwaukee area in the early 1940’s. Emil Kufahl and his family operated the White Oaks Resort using the current dining area as a bar and four cabins once located along the western boundary of the property.

Kufahl’s were convinced by several Friday customers that they should start offering a Friday Fish Fry. In addition to adding a small kitchen, Kufahls added a bait shop lake side. Rental cabins, boat rental, fish bait sales, bar business and Friday Night Fish Fries kept the White Oaks Resort quite busy.

Several owners succeeded Kufahls each bringing a uniqueness in talent, interest and personality, blending to give Walden a character all its own.

Karl and Mush Hansen greatly expanded the dinner menu beyond the Friday Fish Fry. At this time, the bar was located across the fireplace wall. The Hansens sold the supper club to Nick and Dorothy Jonas who named the restaurant Dot’s Club.

Over a 22-year period, Dot’s Club became an even more inviting place to enjoy the food, the company, the lake and turtle soup. Nick and Dot added the Cocktail Lounge in 1974. The knotty pine was added to the dining room along with the beautiful field stone fireplace.

The Waldens made significant changes in the kitchen, enabling them to expand the menu. Windows were added to the dining room for the view and expanse. Booths were added in the area which had been a front porch for Lucy. Banquets were added to the Cocktail Lounge. And a beautiful patio has been added outdoors, lakeside, next to a waterfall garden.

Mark Herbert – Condolences to the family. We LOVE Walden – A Super Club. Great prime rib, and the best baked French onion soup I have found.

Kerri Schultz – Great boss, great food. Started going there around 1973 as a kid.

Bernice Kreis Behlke – My sympathies to his family. Mr. Walden was my principal when I was a little tike at Jackson Elementary. I couldn’t have asked for a kinder, sweeter principal; West Bend School District was fortunate to have him for so long!! I met him a few times as an adult out at Walden, still the same, kind, funny, sweet man.

Ron Colleen Kruepke – I worked for Bob and Karen several years, they were wonderful people to work for! Great Times, Great Memories & Great Friendships at Walden A Supper Club. My sympathy to the Walden family.

Travis Roell – My sympathies to family as many have already said Bob was a great boss and my 1st employer. Rest in Peace Bob you will be missed by many!

West Bend Park & Rec supervisor returns to his old job

An interesting scenario in the West Bend Parks Department as Nick Lemke resigned his position in late September to take a job in Green Bay… and now he’s back.

City Administrator Jay Shambeau said the City left the door open should Lemke ever decide he wanted to return and in less than two weeks Lemke came a knockin’ and the City gave him his old job back. “It happened late last week, and we were in the process of posting the position and we were able to bring him back,” said Shambeau.

Working through the Human Resources Department the City was able to reconnect Lemke with his benefits. “As of today, Nick Lemke is our Recreation Supervisor,” said Shambeau during Monday night’s Common Council meeting.

Paul Harris Fellowship Award winner cheered for dedication to Enchantment in the Park

Some well-deserved recognition was bestowed on Gary Wachs as the West Bend Sunrise Rotary presented him with a Paul Harris Fellowship Award. Mike Phillips did the honors. “This is a very prestigious award and you can get it one of two ways, either by donating money or by selecting people who give of them self,” he said.

Enchantment in the Park was started by two Rotary clubs, West Bend Sunrise, West Bend Noon and then the Slinger Rotary Club and Hartford Rotary Club joined and a few years later the Menomonee Falls Club jumped on board.

“All these clubs recently pooled their points and presented the Paul Harris Award to Wachs for the tremendous work he does at Enchantment,” Phillips said. “Gary works year-round and does a great job.”  Wachs said Enchantment in the Park isn’t a job but a passion. “This allows me a creative outlet,” he said.

Lori Yahr is a three-time Paul Harris Award winner. She said Wachs is extremely deserving. “The number of hours he puts in at Enchantment is phenomenal,” she said. “He has a creative mind and is always the last one to leave on a Saturday. He starts building stuff the day we close in January.”

If you swing through Regner Park in West Bend, you’ll see the setup has already started for the 2019 Enchantment in the Park. Washington County’s Premier Holiday Light Show begins November 29.

Gov. Evers to sign 9/11 Memorial Highway bill in Kewaskum on Oct. 31

On Tuesday, October 8, 2019, the Wisconsin Senate unanimously passed Senate Bill 433. Senator Duey Stroebel (R-Saukville) and Representative Timothy Ramthun (R-Campbellsport) authored this bill that would designate a portion of State Highway 28 near Kewaskum as the “Wisconsin 9/11 Memorial Highway.”

The bill would also require the Department of Transportation to erect and maintain directional signs in the area for the Wisconsin 9/11 Memorial Education Center in Kewaskum.

The bill would also require DOT to identify the 9/11 Memorial Highway and Memorial and Education Center on future editions of state highway maps.

After the vote, Stroebel made the following statement: “I am thankful the 9/11 Memorial Highway Bill has unanimous support on the Senate Floor earlier today. Honoring and remembering the victims of 9/11 is crucial and I am glad Senators of both parties recognize the importance of this Memorial Highway.

“I am also proud of the work of the dedicated Wisconsinites that have worked for years to establish the Wisconsin 9/11 Memorial and Education Center in Kewaskum.  This site will help educate future generations about the events of 9/11 for years to come.”

Gov. Tony Evers is scheduled to sign the bill on the 9/11 Memorial Highway in Kewaskum at noon on Thursday, October 31.

Sale price posted for Landmark Credit Union

Landmark Credit Union in West Bend is preparing to shift locations as it moves kiddie corner from inside Pick ‘n Save south to 1526 S. Main Street in West Bend.   The credit union will close Saturday, Oct. 12 and open in the new location on S. Main Street on Monday, Oct. 14 at 9 a.m.

The signage is in place at the new location of Landmark Credit Union in West Bend.

A City Hall the deed of sale just passed through the city assessor’s office.

On September 26, 2019 the parcel changed hands as owner ENDF3DK LLC sold to Landmark Credit Union for $3 million.

It was almost a year to the day when ENDF3DK LLC bought the former Bank Mutual property on Sept. 27, 2018 for $1,065,420.

The parcel was last assessed at $1,563,000.

A history check shows that corner property has been through some changes over the years.

The first sale at that location was in August 1997 when Boro Buzdum sold to Gerald Smith and Classic of West Bend for $389,200.

Johnny Vassallo then changed the ownership to NAHGEM LLC and that later sold to Bank Mutual in November 2005 for $750,000.

A spokeswoman for Landmark Credit Union, based in New Berlin, said the property is being remodeling.

“It will match the look and feel of the other branches we have,” said Katie Monfre, communications manager for Landmark Credit Union.

“It offers our members a number of advantages including private offices, a drive-thru lane, a drive-up ATM and it will give us both an in-store presence in West Bend and one location as a stand-alone branch.”

Landmark Credit Union is currently located in the Kroger Pick ‘n Save stores in West Bend. A larger, standalone branch is located at 1400 Schauer Drive in Hartford.

Washington County Board votes 12 – 10 to defeat $11 POWTS fee

The Washington County Board took up the Private On-site Wastewater Treatment Systems (POWTS) issue during its Wednesday night meeting, October 9.

2019 Resolution 36 – Resolution Exercising the Powers Under §§145.20(4) and 66.0703, Wis. Stats., to Set Special Assessments for Costs Related to the Inspection and Pumping of Private On-site Wastewater Treatment Systems (POWTS) Required Under §145.20, Wis. Stats.

If you’re not familiar, the basic premise of the special tax would be to assess at $11 per parcel annually properties served by POWTS or $11 per system, whichever is greater based on the above cost estimate. Approximately 20,209 parcels (99.5%) would be assessed an $11 fee ($11 x 20,209= $222,299).

The vote on Wednesday was defeated 12-10 with four supervisors absent.

Voting in favor of the $11 fee were: Supervisors Roger Kist, CHris Jenkins, Mike Bassill, Denis Kelling, James Burg, John Bulawa, Rock Brandner, Brian Gallitz, Jeffrey Schleif and Carroll Merry. Voting against the fee were: Supervisors Chris Bossert, Frank Carr, Brian Krebs, Richard Bertram, William Symicek, Keith Stephan, Robert Hartwig, Marcella Bishop, Marilyn Merten, Russel Brandt, Timothy Michalak, and Don Kriefall.

Four supervisors absent were: Kris Deiss, Joseph Gonnering, Mark McCune, and Peter Sorce.

On a side note: the initial vote was 11-11 however Supervisor Bertram said he pressed the wrong button and was voting against the fee.

Questioned whether the proposal could be brought back for discussion, County Administrator Joshua Schoemann said “technically yes, but I don’t think it’s going to happen.”

During a public meeting on the county’s fiscal health on September 4, 2019, Schoemann said he would recommend to the board to “vote no” on the POWTS fee.

At that meeting Schoemann then went on to discuss the county’s structural deficit and the challenges caused by annual expenses outpacing property tax limits.

Updates & tidbits

The West Bend Water Utility will be performing bi-annual city-wide flushing of the water system the week of October 13, 2019. Opened fire hydrant later leak spray in residents open fire hydrants Flushing will begin the evening of Sunday, October 13, 2019, and conclude the morning of Friday, October 18, 2019. If you experience discolored water during this period, flush your cold-water line for approximately 10 minutes.

-The Germantown Historical Preservation Commission is presenting a Historic Designation Plaque to Frank and Irene Blau, W148 N12297 Pleasant View Drive. The presentation will be Sunday, October 13 at 2 p.m.

-The City of West Bend Public Works will begin the 2019 Leaf Collection on Monday, October 21, 2019. Citizens are reminded that leaves are to be placed into the street gutter area for collection.  Bags of leaves will not be collected

St. Frances Cabrini grad wins award

Timothy Fischer Jr. (TJ) of West Bend is in line for a “Life Saver” award from the Fond du Lac Police Department. Fischer is graduate of St. Frances Cabrini in 2008, Fischer went on to graduate St. Mary’s Spring Academy and Marion University.  He spent three years with the West Bend Police Department as a Community Service Officer and is currently a Fond du Lac Police officer since 2015.  On Oct. 29 the Fond du Lac Police Department will host its 23rd annual awards banquet and Fischer will receive an award for saving a man’s life while on duty.

Drug takeback in Washington / Ozaukee counties on Saturday, Oct. 26

The Washington Ozaukee Public Health Department and Washington County Sheriff’s Office in cooperation with the Wisconsin Department of Justice (DOJ) and the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), will participate in National Prescription Drug Take Back Day on Saturday, October 26 at the Washington County Highway Department, 900 Lang Street, in West Bend from 8 a.m. – 12 p.m.

Drug Take Back Day provides a safe, convenient, and responsible means of disposal, while also educating the community about the potential abuse and consequences of improper storage and disposal of these medications.

Unused or expired medicine should never be flushed or poured down the drain. Water reclamation facilities are not designed to remove all of them and trace amounts of pharmaceuticals are showing up in rivers and lakes.

GUIDELINES: All waste pharmaceuticals must be generated by a household – no businesses are allowed.

Bring: Prescription (controlled and non-controlled) and over-the-counter medications, ointments, patches, inhalers, non-aerosol sprays, creams, vials and pet medications.

Do Not Bring: Illegal drugs, needles/sharps, acids, aerosol cans, bio-hazardous materials (anything containing a bodily fluid or blood), personal care products (shampoo, soaps, lotions, sunscreens), household hazardous waste (paint, pesticides, oil, gas), mercury thermometers.

  • Participants may dispose of solid, non-liquid medication(s) by removing the medication from its container and disposing of it directly into a disposal box or into a clear sealable plastic bag. Plastic pill containers should not be collected
  • Liquids will be accepted during this initiative. However, the liquids, creams and sprays must be in their original packaging. Liquids without the original packaging will not be accepted.
  • Illicit substances such as marijuana or methamphetamine are not a part of this initiative and should not be placed in collection containers.

Russ Darrow Group ‘Thanks’ to office manager Patti Rossa for 47 years of dedication

The Russ Darrow Group paid tribute to office manager Patti Rossa who retired after nearly 47 years at the locally owned dealership.

Hired when she was 17 years old, Rossa said she interviewed and was hired right away. “There were a lot of older gentlemen who worked there but it was like family,” she said.  “By the time I was 18 I was an office manager. The car business just got in my blood.”

At that time, in 1972, the Russ Darrow dealership was located on S. Main Street. “My office was pretty close to where the drive-in window is at the McDonald’s,” said Rossa. “We were next to Schleif’s Gas Station, Weiland’s is still there, and Coachman House was down the street.”

Mike Darrow presided over the gathering which included nearly 100 of Rossa’s current and former coworkers.  “The turnout today is truly a testament to the person Patti is,” he said. “Many of you have heard me say over the years that a company is only as good as its people and with Patti, she has helped make these stores in West Bend and our company much better.”

Russ Darrow said he was impressed with the alumni who showed up to recognize Rossa. “I want to tell you how proud my wife Sue is and I am and Mike and our family of the loyalty we’ve had over the years,” he said.

Darrow then went onto read off a list of that have been with him for decades. Mike Darrow wrapped up the luncheon by presenting Patti and her husband with a trip to anywhere in the United States.

“I just would like to thank Russ Darrow and his family for giving me the support at my job; they’ve let me hire the people I wanted to hire and promote the people I wanted to promote. They were always there for me. I was invited to a lot of family things and I just love them all and what I really like is they’re just so personable, professional and they’re just good people,” said Rossa.

Around the Bend by Judy Steffes

Kettle Moraine Lutheran High School in Jackson hits record enrollment | By Megan Himm

Kettle Moraine Lutheran (KML) High School in Jackson started the 2019 – 2020 school year with record enrollment of 508 students. This is the first time the school has seen its student population surpass 500.

“We are thankful families and students who want the Christian education we provide are choosing KML as their high school,” Principal Jamie Luehring said.

Enrollment at KML has seen continuous growth over the past five years, with an increase of over 100 students since the 2014-2015 school year.

Luehring said students are coming from seven different counties as well as 14 different school districts. The majority of freshman come from KML federation grade schools, but there are some who transfer in from public schools.

To accommodate the increase in enrollment, more teachers have been added to the faculty to keep class sizes small. The student to teacher ratio is 13:1; most classes do not exceed the low 20s.

District administration was forward thinking as it looked to the next five years; in 2018 fundraising began for $4.7 million for a new science and innovation wing. That construction was completed in 2019.

The expansion includes classrooms, labs, and office space. Students appreciate the modern designs and new opportunities to learn. KML senior Grace Biermann said, “The science and innovation wing allows us to have a larger environment to study and learn about God’s creation and how it works.”

Looking to the future, KML Superintendent David Bartelt said more growth is expected.

“We are excited about our growing KML family,” he said.

Addison Elementary Principal Joel Dziedzic conquers the Grand Canyon

“It was a long day. Happy to be done.” That was the brief message from Addison Elementary School principal Joel Dziedzic who, along with his brother, spent their Friday running across the Grand Canyon.

“Just finished!  One of the toughest things we have ever done!!,” wrote Dziedzic.

The pair completed the 48-mile course in just under 15 hours.

Dziedzic story is below.

It was a chilly 38 degrees when we started our run at the top of the canyon.  By mid-day as we climbed the north rim and the whole way back, the heat took a toll on us. It was 96 degrees for several hours while we were out there.

The picture of us having lemonade is the famous lemonade at Phantom Ranch canteen.

Thank goodness we got there when we did, they closed right after we were left.

I would have been extreme sad to have missed that. The canteen is at the bottom of the canyon. It was delicious. We had three large glasses each

Dziedzic and his brother completed a run called the Rim 2 Rim 2 Rim in the Grand Canyon.

The unique aspect of crossing the Grand Canyon is that you first descend 9 miles, then run across the floor for 7 miles, before hitting the steepest part of the North Kaibab Trail where you’ll climb 7 miles up a 15% – 20% grade. Pacing yourself is the key to finishing R2R2R.

On a side note: Dziedzic had more photos but his phone was dead at the end of the day.

INITIAL STORY: Friday, Oct. 4. Addison Elementary Principal Joel Dziedzic has already been up for a couple hours this morning as he preps to take off on a run across the Grand Canyon.

“The run is called the Rim 2 Rim 2 Rim in the Grand Canyon and I’m doing it with my brother,” said Dziedzic.

The R2R2R is 47.5 miles. A couple notes about the course are posted below.

The unique aspect of crossing the Grand Canyon is that you first descend 9 miles, then run across the floor for 7 miles, before hitting the steepest part of the North Kaibab Trail where you’ll climb 7 miles up a 15% – 20% grade. Pacing yourself is the key to finishing R2R2R.

The views in the canyon as the sun kisses the walls change with every hour. Take your time to enjoy all that the Grand Canyon has to offer.

Make time to visit Ribbon Falls just off the North Kaibab Trail. Take a dip but don’t stay too long as you have a long day ahead of you. The falls are about a mile off the trail. Take the bridge exit off of the trail to get there.

The trail is about the width of 1/2 a fire road and is very technical with big exposed drop-offs. There are big steps (depending on your height), and the puddles of mule pee are widespread so watch you step and don’t face plant.

Watch the weather. During this trek, we were caught in a flash flood and experienced lightning, rockslides, and crossed 7 muddy, fast, rushing (new) streams.

Dziedzic runs daily and has been practicing for the huge climbs in Arizona by training at Little Switzerland ski hill in Slinger and running the Ice Age Trails at Pike Lake State Park and climbing the tower at Powder Hill.

“Weather looks to be gorgeous. Full sun and 90 at the Grand Canyon,” said Dziedzic. “I’m a little nervous that it will be REALLY warm at the bottom, but we’ll see.”

Dziedzic was meticulously packing this past week. Casting a glare in the photo is the reflective gear he’ll use on the trek along with water bottles, a headlamp, iPod and the always-hand Duct tape.

This past spring Dziedzic and his brother finished the Ice Age Trail 50K in the southern Kettle Moraine (La Grange).

“Not too many kids from school know I’m doing this yet,” said Dziedzic.  “I’m hoping to do a video for the teachers to play for the kids before the walk a thon on Friday, telling them what I’m doing and wish them well. They’re walking for an hour; at their age that might seem like eternity, now imagine running the entire school day… and beyond.”

Questioned whether he’s wary of some of the wildlife or snakes in the Grand Canyon, Dziedzic brushed that off for more serious issues.

“I’m sure there is plenty of wildlife out there, but I haven’t read any crazy stories about any encounters that have me nervous,” he said. “My biggest concerns are staying hydrated, having enough food and not being too affected by the elevation.”

“Many folks say once you do Rim 2 Rim 2 Rim you are never the same. Not totally sure what they mean by that, but I guess I’ll know more after the weekend,” Dziedzic said. “I can’t wait to enjoy the beauty of the Grand Canyon. I’ve never been there but have read and heard so much about its natural beauty and enormity.”

Kyle Knoeck receives Police Officer of the Year for City of Stoughton | By Tom Brugger

Kyle Knoeck, the son of Tom and Sheryl Brugger of West Bend, was awarded Police Officer of the Year for the City of Stoughton. Knoeck is a 2007 West Bend West graduate; he received his Bachelors Degree from the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh with a major in criminal justice.

Knoeck credits his mom, Sheryl, for much of his success. Knoeck’s father died when he was very young, and his widowed mother did an amazing job raising him and his two brothers. She had strong faith, love, and commitment in giving them the best childhood possible and preparing them for adulthood.

Kettle Moraine Lutheran Girls Golf advance to Sectionals | By Megan Himm

The sky was overcast and the course was wet, but the girls golf team from Kettle Moraine Lutheran (KML) High School pushed through.

Mere hours after storms passed through, Racine St. Catherine’s hosted the Division Two regional match at Ives Grove Golf Links. The girls played the white and red nines. Due to course conditions, special rules were enacted. The girls were allowed to mark, lift, clean and place their balls, as well as remove them from standing water.

The cloudy sky only let the sunshine through on a few occasions during the match. Temperatures stayed in the upper 50s with a slight breeze to keep it cool.

The KML girls struggled on the front nine but turned it around on the back.

Megan Himm shot a 55 and a 44 for a 99. Himm had a par on holes 11, 12, and 13. Abby Shambeau shot a 61 and a 57 for a 118. Maddie Lechmaier shot a 66 and a 62 for a 128. Kayla Samman shot a 69 and a 61 for a 130. Samman had a par on hole 12. Emmi Lechmaier shot a 73 and a 62 for a 135. Lechmaier had a par on hole 15. The team scored a total of 475.

The top four teams advanced to sectionals, as well as the top four individuals not on the advancing teams. Lakeside Lutheran finished first with a 410. They were closely followed by The Prairie School which shot a 413. Winneconne came next with a 417. KML finished up the list of advancing schools with 475.

The top four individuals advancing included Taylor Peterson from Clinton, Olivia Morality from Racine St. Catherines, and Kendall Peterson and Rebecca Schildgen from Turner.

Sectionals will take place October 7 at Ridgeway Country Club in Neenah.

About the author: Megan Himm is a senior at Kettle Moraine Lutheran High School. She is the captain of the golf team and a member of the forensics team. After high school, Megan plans on majoring in mathematics and science. To help prepare, she is currently taking AP Chemistry, Physics, and Calculus 3. Megan has been writing for WashingtonCountyInsider.com since November of 2018. Most of her stories are about activities Kettle students participate in, such as math meets, forensics meets, and golf matches.

Designs unveiled for new Towne Place Suites Marriott in downtown West Bend

Plans will be reviewed this week for a new 68-suite hotel and an office building to be located at the corner of E. Water Street and S. Forest Avenue in downtown West Bend.

The development is one of five items to be addressed by the West Bend Plan Commission on Tuesday, Oct. 1.

Initial hotel and office designs by Adam Hertel of American Architectural Group, are below.

The parcel for the development is the former Gehl Co. property across the street from the new West Bend Medical and kitty corner to Culaccino Bar + Italian Kitchen. The site is south of the Museum of Wisconsin Art and to the east of the Eisenbahn State trail. West Bend Transit is across the street on S. Forest Avenue to the east.

The 3-story hotel, Towne Place Suites Marriott, will be 15,244-square feet; it will feature a pool and include a pair of driveways off S. Forest Avenue and the other on E. Water Street. There will be 153 standard parking and 8 barrier-free parking stalls.

One of the entrances off S. Water Street will lead to a parking lot which will be in the middle of the entrance to the hotel and, to the west, will be the entrance to the Water Street Office Building.

The Water Street Office Building will be a single-story structure and it will share the parking lot with the hotel.

Both developments are being proposed by Paul Stangl, RAFRAD, LLC, of Germantown.

Tuesday’s Plan Commission meeting starts at 6 p.m. in the council chambers at West Bend City Hall, 1115 S. Main Street.

On a side note: The proposed hotel and office building are on the front end (Water Street) of the former Gehl Company lot. On the back end is a proposed active senior living complex. That facility will be 5-to-6 stories and is being proposed by RNT Development of Minnesota.

Horicon Bank in West Bend makes strong donation to Stars & Stripes Honor Flight

In September, Horicon Bank on Paradise Drive in West Bend hosted its annual SHRED Day. While the event was free any donations collected would go to the Stars & Stripes Honor Flight.

This week Horicon Bank presented a check for $4,000 to the Honor Flight. The ceremony was attended by several local veterans including John Fink, Tom Landvatter and Nick Habersetzer. Amy Luft from the Honor Flight accepted the donation.

“This is such a great partnership we have with Horicon Bank,” said Luft.

Brenda Hetebrueg, branch manager at Horicon Bank, said this year the community really stepped forward to help support the veterans. “We were able to present a check in 2018 to the Honor Flight for $2,000 and this year we’re donating $4,000,” said Hetebrueg. “Horicon Bank also contributed to make it the $4,000 and the bank picked up the cost to have the shredding machine on site September 14.”

“It was just remarkable that day and just amazing to see everyone come together that day and make such phenomenal donations,” she said. Also special, according to Hetebrueg, was how the public interacted with the veterans on site and showed them such warmth and appreciation.

Ribbon cutting to celebrate expansion at Hartford Municipal Airport

A celebration this week for the City of Hartford as a ribbon cutting was held to officially recognize the completion of the runway expansion at Hartford Municipal Airport.

“Our city planner Justin Drew, city engineer Jason Shaw and last but least Daryl Kranz, head of Department of Public Works and Airport Manager. For people who do not know, Daryl, he has been like an expectant father the last three years,” said City Administrator Steve Volkert.

“Daryl would often encourage us to take tours of every step forward made with this airport project.

“This is definitely one of the things Daryl can highlight as a big accomplishment as part of his career in the City of Hartford.”

The $7.5 million renovation features a renovated runway which now runs directly west and east vs. the previous northwest to southeast direction while adding 400 linear feet to the previous 3,000-foot runway.

This will allow for easier takeoffs and landings for the many planes housed at the airport along with those coming into Hartford for business and leisure.

City officials in Hartford started planning a runway renovation in 2005; the proposal finally got through state and federal political hoops and the project got underway in early 2018. It was substantially completed last month.

Of the estimated final $7.5 million cost, 90 percent was picked up by the Federal Aviation Administration, 5 percent by the state and the final 5 percent by Hartford Municipal Airport. Room tax dollars were used to offset the $375,000 portion of the cost to the City of Hartford.

Weasler in West Bend makes generous donation to Trot for Troops

Over $14,500 was donated by Weasler in West Bend to Trot for Troops.

The donation was made up of monies raised from the annual Weasler Golf Outing held in July and coordinated by Dennis Zolp, a company match and additional donations. There were 76 golfers that took part in the 18-hole event.

In the last year Trot for Troops has donated over $20,000 to support local organizations that help veterans and currently serving military members in the state of Wisconsin.

Morrie’s West Bend Honda on track for Nov. 1 opening

Construction is on track for the November 1, 2019 opening of new Morrie’s West Bend Honda, 3215 W. Washington Street.

Contractors have been making significant progress and motorists on Highway 33 at Scenic Drive have recently seen signage on the facade, landscaping along with the Honda emblem put in place.

Coming up will be the completion of the interior (we’ll see if we can get a sneak peek inside) and lighting and blacktop will be put in place before the end of October.

Opening date announced for new Billy Sims BBQ in West Bend

The new Billy Sims BBQ restaurant has announced an official opening date for its store in the Washington Plaza, 1442 W. Washington Street, in West Bend.

Below you can see the build out is nearly complete. According to franchise owners, Billy Sims will be coming to West Bend to participate in a couple grand opening events.

According to Billy Sims marketing director Tena Wooldridge, the store in West Bend will open in mid-November. Wooldridge said there have been some contractor delays and an initial mid-October opening has now been pushed off a couple weeks.

Thursday, November 14- Billy Sims to arrive in West Bend, WI

Friday, November 15- Possible school event Friday afternoon, Friday evening 5 p.m. – 7 p.m. dinner rush with Billy (autographs and giveaways)

Saturday, November 16 – 11 a.m. – 1 p.m. Lunch, 5 p.m. – 7 p.m. dinner with Billy (autographs and giveaways)

Clay Covert of Slinger is the one behind the opening of the Billy Sims Barbecue in the Washington Plaza, 1442 W. Washington Street. It’s the strip mall on the north side of the road that includes Little Caesar’s Pizza, Subway, and China Town.

Skeletons on tap this Halloween on Hwy 167 in Richfield

Jimmy Zamzow’s annual Halloween display on Highway 167 in Richfield looks like it was a rip roarin’ good time for many of those in attendance.

Each year Zamzow creates a theme display, using an array of skeletons. This year’s creation is extremely familiar to anyone in the Midwest. The party scene is complete with a friendly game of pool, a night with friends in the hot tub, a couple pitchers with friends, and there’s even a well-documented instance of someone who have had one too many.

1940s Homecoming meant a search for the toothpick

As high schools across Washington County are in the midst of homecoming celebrations, some old timers in West Bend recall the mischief that happened back in their day.

There was the usual float building, selecting the Homecoming Court and in West Bend there was the epic search for the toothpick. The winner would be awarded the chance to light the bonfire.

The article below was published in 2008 in Around the Bend by Judy Steffes

According to Carl Kircher, who graduated in 1945, homecoming was highlighted by “a student search for the toothpick.”

“It was a little stick, like a Tinkertoy, about six inches long, decorated red and white. One of the school janitors would run out and hide it on the football field,” said Kircher referencing Harvey Bruhy Field, behind Badger Middle School, the former location of West Bend High School.

“The janitor would hide the toothpick and then around 10 o’clock in the morning all the students would run out and look for it.”

Kircher said the search would take about 15 minutes. Newspaper archives show Willis Jacklin found the toothpick in 1942 and John Neuy in 1945.

The prize for finding the toothpick would be to light the bonfire.

“We’d have a big bonfire in the middle of the field about a week before homecoming and the big thrill was to see how many outhouses, we could get stacked up on it,” said Kircher recalling one year when students collected 13 outhouses.

People living on Big Cedar Lake were often the primary targets of outhouse theft. “Oh yah, they had them all over the place out there and the kids would go at night, bring them in and throw them on the pile,” laughed Kircher.

James Kuehn, who graduated in 1950, said farmers would keep watch at night over their outhouses. “They had to, or they wouldn’t have a place to go in the morning,” said Kuehn.

“Sure, they stole them, there was always an outhouse on the top of the pile, and nobody got in trouble,” he said.

The big football rivals in West Bend were Hartford, Berlin, and Waupun; that’s when the West Bend Badgers played in the Little Ten Conference. Football coaches at the time included Bob Caldwell, Carl Kuss, and Jack Runkle.

Fire Prevention Week Activities in Washington County | By Ron Naab

Fire Prevention Week begins tonight, Friday, October 4 as the Richfield Fire Company 26th Annual Fire Prevention Week Kick-Off starts at 6:30 until 9 pm.

There will be a huge display of fire trucks and emergency equipment along with a landing of the Flight for Life Ambulance Helicopter at 7:45 p.m.

This will be followed by the other departments in the county hosting activities throughout the week.

Listed below are Fire Prevention Week activities at Fire Departments across Washington County:

Allenton Vol. Fire Department and St. Lawrence Fire Company​ Pancake Breakfast & Open House on Sunday, October 13, 8:00-12 noon at the Allenton Fire Station; ​ Accident response with Flight for Life landing at 10 am

Boltonville Fire Department​Open House at Boltonville Fire Station on Monday, October 7, 6:00-8:00 pm

Fillmore Fire Department​Open House on Saturday, October 12, 1:00-3:00 pm

Hartford Fire-Rescue​Open House along with Hartford Autumn Fest, Fire Station on Saturday, October 5, 2018, 10 am – 1 pm, in conjunction with Hartford Fall Fest

Jackson Fire Department​Open House at the Jackson Fire Station on Wednesday, October 9 from 6 pm-8 pm

Kewaskum Fire Department​Open House at the Kewaskum Fire Station on Thursday, October 10, 6:30-8:30 pm

Kohlsville Fire Department​Open House at their station on Thursday, October 10  6:00-8:00 pm

Slinger Fire Department​Open House at the Slinger Fire Station on Tuesday, October 8, 6:00-8:00 pm

West Bend Fire Department​Open House at Station #1 on Saturday, October 12, 10:00 am – 1:00 pm

History of Fire Prevention Week

Since 1922, the National Fire Prevention Association has sponsored the public observance of Fire Prevention Week. In 1925, President Calvin Coolidge proclaimed Fire Prevention Week a national observance, making it the longest-running public health observance in our country.

Fire Prevention Week is observed each year during the week of October 9 in commemoration of the Great Chicago Fire, which began on October 8, 1871, and caused devastating damage.

This horrific conflagration killed more than 250 people, left 100,000 homeless, destroyed more than 17,400 structures, and burned more than 2,000 acres of land.

However, the same day in the same year a more devastating fire occurred here in Wisconsin in the Peshtigo area.

The fire destroyed 1.2 million acres and estimated 2,500 people perished.  The total area burned was twice the size of Rhode Island.

At the same time these two fires occurred, there was the Great Michigan Fire.  It is thought that these three fires occurred because of extremely dry weather conditions combined with strong winds over the entire Midwest. Both fires started on October 8 and intensified on October 9.

The “firestorm” that could generate 2,000 degrees Fahrenheit with winds of 110 plus miles per hour, at times the firestorm would create its own tornadoes ranging 1,000 to 10,000 feet in diameter.

The Peshtigo fire came to a halt when it reached the shores of Lake Michigan.

It is the intent that during Fire Prevention Week to educate children and adults of all ages on being safe in case of a fire.  Across the nation firefighters will attempt to decrease casualties caused by fire through a weeklong education opportunities.

The teaching theme for this year’s Fire Prevention Week is: Not Every Hero Wears a Cape. Plan and Practice Your Escape!™   Be aware of your surroundings because fire can happen anywhere.

Look for places fire could start around your home, your workplace and the places you have fun at.  Listen for the sound of the smoke alarm.

Test your smoke detectors, if they are 10 years old replace them.  Plan two escapes from each room and from the house. Do a drill so all know what to do and where to go.

SOURCES:  Wikipedia and Stacy Conradt contributing writer to mental floss since 2008.

Fatberg Autopsy

Huh.

“It was my first time analyzing a fatberg, and when you smell it, you think this is going to be the last time because the smell was honking,” Love said. “It was awful to do, it smelled gross.”

He explained that he and his colleagues wore stab-proof gloves and steel-capped shoes to protect themselves from any potential dangers within the samples. But after weeks analyzing Sidmouth’s fatberg, the scientists realized they had nothing to fear.

The results found no dangerous bacteria or chemicals in the lumps, which were composed of domestic waste glued together by fats used in home cooking.

“We were all rather surprised to find that this Sidmouth fatberg was simply a lump of fat aggregated with wet wipes, sanitary towels and other household products that really should be put in the bin and not down the toilet,” Love said in the statement.

But, the experts discovered, just as the analysis of London’s fatberg revealed some of its residents’ illicit habits, the contents of Sidmouth’s fatberg hinted at the town’s population — or more accurately, the kind of things they threw away or lost.

A set of false teeth was found within it. So, too, were a number of incontinence pads.

“Sidmouth is a small coastal community that is largely populated by retired people, so in a sense that explains it,” Love said. “This is not a hotbed of crime and drug-taking or anything like that,” he added.

Around the Bend by Judy Steffes

A note of thanks to West Bend crossing guard Chucky Fellenz

A note of thanks to longtime, dedicated crossing guard Chucky Fellenz for his 10 years of service as he helped kids cross safely at the busiest corner in Washington County.

For years Fellenz has been a fixture on the corner of Decorah and Main Street in West Bend. He worked two shifts daily during the school year and crossed about 200 kids a day.

“Every day was the best,” said Fellenz. “I loved my corner; there was no sitting in the car reading papers. I had hundreds of kids a day and they come really fast. I never had a kid get hit.”

Aside from his dedication and concern for the safety of the children, Fellenz had a penchant for some unique attire. One would have thought the 79-year-old had been dreaming about wintering in Florida as he showed up to work year-round almost always wearing shorts. Even in the winter.

Below is a story from March 2016 when Washington County got socked with a late-season snowstorm and Chucky Fellenz dashed out of the house to go to work.

The robins are flitting around the late winter white saying, “What are this?” The hearty purple crocus are pushing their faces through the heavy blanket of ice and Chucky Fellenz wife shakes her head as her little boy leaves the house in a fluorescent lime green jacket, hat and shorts.

“I put my pants away three weeks ago,” said Fellenz with confidence. “I just had a lady roll down her window and yell at me. I hollered back ‘I’m not cold.’”

Fellenz has been working the corner of Decorah and Main as a crossing guard in West Bend about a dozen years and he’s not gonna let Mother Nature tell him what for.

On Wednesday afternoon school kids ducked their heads as they braced against the pelting rain. Traffic moved slowly as windshield wipers pushed away the heavy, damp snow and Fellenz knew enough to stay 2-feet back from the curb.

“These cars come along and they hit that puddle and the water carries up over in a good slosh,” he said. White chicken legs exposed to the elements, Fellenz gives a sharp blow to his whistle, lifts his stop sign and safely crosses students to the opposite side of Main Street.

He dances back up on the sidewalk, his white tennis shoes soaked. He’s a poster boy for every mother’s winter-wardrobe nightmare. “My wife bought me a pair of heated gloves,” he said. “I got them on low. Put your hand in here. “My ears may get a little cold, but the rest of me is just fine.”

Thank you Chucky Fellenz for all your years of service and keeping children safe in West Bend.

Demolition of home on River Drive in Barton

A two-story brick home that once served as the rectory to St. Mary’s Parish in Barton was razed Friday afternoon. The home, 317 River Drive, was originally constructed in 1860. Neighbors said the pink sand brick is a pretty rare commodity.

The parish, which was once located on the corner of Barton Avenue and River Road, eventually sold and a new church built in 1909 where St. Mary’s currently stands, 406 Jefferson Street.

The old rectory eventually became a private home owned by David Binney. He lived out of town and neighbors in Barton started to complain when the home fell into disrepair. There were obvious holes in the roof; plastic tarps were held down by long boards nailed to the roof.

Local real estate agents said there was extensive mold and water damage inside the home and neighbors often complained about a fence in the yard that had fallen down and there was a sense the property was vacant and unkempt.

Contractors said the building was originally very structurally sound. “Whenever you have an abutted structure you want to pull the building into the middle and that’s what we’re trying to do,” said the contractor.

The city ordered the building be razed. The cost of the demolition is now expected to be forwarded to the property owner.

Celebrating Constitution Day in West Bend

“I’m handing out copies of The Constitution so people can understand how the country was founded and the rights we have,” said Del Ellefson, a veteran from West Bend.

Ellefson was armed with two red bags filled with softcover books containing The Constitution of the United States and The Declaration of Independence.  Ellefson stood on the corner of Decorah and River Road distributing the copies to students walking to school on Tuesday.

This is U.S. Constitution Day. The day commemorates the Sept. 17, 1787 signing of The Constitution of the United States.

In 2004, Public Law 108-447, Section 111 was passed requiring the following:

“Each educational institution that receives Federal funds for a fiscal year shall hold an educational program on the United States Constitution on September 17 of such year for the students served by the educational institution.

“…each Federal agency or department shall provide educational and training materials concerning the United States Constitution to each employee… on September 17 of each year.”

Ellefson said he found importance in The Constitution for several reasons. “Being a military veteran, I think it’s pretty nice to be able to have a Constitution, which we fought for, and we’d like to maintain that for the rest of duration for our country,” he said.

Remember School House Rock and the song that helped grade school kids learn The Preamble to The Constitution? Many students who received a copy were unaware of U.S. Constitution Day.

Asked what they knew about The Constitution a 15-year-old responded, “That’s where they signed The Bill of Rights” and another 14-year-old said, “It’s from America.”

Ellefson was joined by several other local veterans in his distribution effort.

West Bend Park & Rec activities not affected by staffing changes

Registration for fall activities is underway at the West Bend Park & Rec Department. Courses include things like youth flag football, archery, little hitters baseball, judo, fall soccer and instructional football.

City Administrator Jay Shambeau said all program registrations are on schedule and moving forward as normal.

The City did receive notice from Park and Rec supervisor Nick Lemke that he was resigning his position. Lemke is moving to Green Bay; his last day will be Friday, September 20.

“When Nick shared with me, he was moving on from his recreation position we discussed the fall activities and quickly came to the decision we were keeping all fall programming in place as planned,” Shambeau said.

Earlier this summer in July the City received notice from Park & Rec director Craig Hoeppner that he was leaving for a similar position in Oconomowoc. Currently the department is being overseen in the interim by Shambeau.

Possible increase in water and sewer rates in the City of West Bend

There will be a meeting of the West Bend Board of Public Works on Monday, September 23, 2019 at 6:25 p.m. and discussion will center around a 2-year audit. City leaders say the findings from that audit may lead to a proposed 3-to-9 percent increase in city water and sewer service.

According to City Administrator Jay Shambeau “water is a proposed 3-percent increase and sewer service is possibly a 9-percent increase.”

Records show the City of West Bend has not had an increase in the water rate since 2011. The sewer rate has not increased in the City of West Bend since 2006.

Shambeau said the City isn’t looking at an increase “just because it hasn’t been done in a while.”

“The reason to raise the utility fees is to keep up with the infrastructure that’s needed,” he said. “We have an aging facility and we have a lot of water and sewer lines under our city streets that need to be upgraded. The audit looks at all of those scheduled capital improvement projects and then we, as staff and the mayor, have been reviewing those projects and the impact of the cost.”

The Public Works Department will make the original audit presentation and then the council will react and possibly ask for more information.

Shambeau said there are a number of steps to take before the council votes on a proposal. He said the earliest increase may possibly be by January 2020. “We’re been working on this diligently for a while,” said Shambeau.

West Bend Utility Director Ruth Mueller said she would prefer to comment on the proposed increase closer to the meeting, after more data becomes available.

The Board of Public Works meeting is held in the council chambers at City Hall. All meetings are open to the public.

On a side note: The City of West Bend water and sewer discussion has nothing to do with the recent Private On-Site Wastewater Treatment System Maintenance Program (POWTS) issue discussed by the Washington County Board.

Washington County Administrator Joshua Schoemann has asked that the proposed $11 POWTS fee be turned down. The full County Board will vote on the issue at its October 9 meeting. The POWTS issue was supposed to be discussed at the full county board meeting on Sept. 11, however it was removed from the agenda.

Zuern Building Products purchases 6-acre property in Slinger | By Adam Williquette

On Thursday, September 19, East Mequon Development Corporation sold the building located at 820 Enterprise Drive in the Village of Slinger, WI.

This is the former location of Legendary Whitetails. The industrial property is 69,063 square feet and located on six acres. The buyer, Gen3 Distribution, LLC, a holding company for the third-generation owners of Zuern Building Products, purchased the property for $3,111,870.

Zuern Building Products plans to use the building for their corporate headquarters and distribution center. They also have locations In Allenton, Watertown, Cedarburg and Franklin.

Adam Williquette, President of American Commercial Real Estate, represented the seller and worked with the buyer on the transaction.

“I had been working with Zuern Building Products for about two years to find a new location in the area and happened to list this building. It worked perfectly for their expansion needs,” said Williquette.

Winner of Classics for a Cause

Mike Pyter of Whitefish Bay was the winner of the 1968 Corvette Sting Ray during the 2nd annual Classics for a Cause fundraiser with tickets sold by the Senior Citizens Activities Center.

In 2018 tickets for the fundraiser were $25 compared to $20 a ticket this year. In 2018 there were 3,420 tickets sold and this year about 4,300 tickets were sold.

New sign posted for Morrie’s West Bend Honda

Earlier this week it was noted the Fleet Farm made progress on construction by putting up the sign on the side of the building. Just east of that location on Highway 33 the project at the new Morrie’s West Bend Honda also had signage installed on the facade.

Morrie’s West Bend Honda has a target opening this November.

In the coming week the dealership is hosting a hiring event on September 23. Morrie’s WB Honda will be holding interviews for the following positions: Sales Consultant/Client Advisor – Full-time, Service Advisor – Full-time, Parts Counter Person – Full-time, Service Technician – Full-time, Service Advisors – Full-time, Detailers – Full-time, Sales Manager – Full-time

Signs in place at new Fleet Farm on Highway 33 in West Bend

The signage is on the building at the new Fleet Farm location on Highway 33 in West Bend.

In August the U.S. flag was raised outside the 192,000-square-foot store which is scheduled to open November 22.

In April 2019 the West Bend Plan Commission reviewed a signage request from Fleet Farm as it asked for an oversized electronic message center and a reduced sign separation distance to allow the sign to be closer than 150 feet from a major intersection.

75th annual reunion for West Bend High School Class of 1944

The West Bend High School Class of 1944 held its 75th class reunion on Wednesday, September 18 in the newly remodeled Top of the Ridge Restaurant in West Bend.

There were five classmates in attendance including: Katharine Hassmer Lutzke, Hedwig Bieri Gumm, Eileen Barber Ecker, Darold Hoelz, and Ollie “Bud”Lochen.

The average age at the table was 93 years old.

The tight-knit group has grown smaller over the years but despite age and physical ability the “Badger alumni” look forward to the get together to exchange stories and recollections.

Bud Lochen and his wife drive in from Wausau, Katharine Lutzke comes in from Menomonee Falls and the rest live in West Bend or “Upper West Bend” as Darold Hoelz refers to his nest on the hill in Barton.

Some of the hot topics of discussion included everything from high school jobs, first cars, politics, Packers and updates in technology. Below are tidbits from some of the conversations….

High school jobs: “I used to work at the Rockfield Canning Company in Jackson,” said Hedwig Bieri Gumm. “We canned whatever was available including beans, peas and beets. I did whatever they assigned me to do; you didn’t have a choice.” Hedwig was paid about 30 cents an hour.

“I remember one guy in the canning business who worked daylight ‘til dark,” said Darold Hoelz. “One guy took home a check for $60 and he worked day and night. Not like it is now.”

“I worked in the farm fields,” said Hoelz. “Pulling weeds out of red beets. Got a nickel a row and I think my dad would bring me lunch and the lunch cost more than I made in a day. All the farmers would hire the kids and the farmer would come out at the end of the day with his tackle box and his pennies, nickels, and dimes and pay the kids.”

“At 14 we were able to get a work permit,” said Hoelz. “I don’t know where we got it but, in the summer, everyone worked for the canning company. Women, all the neighbors; they’d sit at those big belts and the peas would come along with those big thistles in them and they’d pick them out.”

“My first job was working for the West Bend Telephone Company,” said Katharine Hassmer Lutzke. “It was upstairs from the bank in downtown West Bend. (possibly above where Sager’s is now.) “My boss was a typical old maid. One day I was sick and I wanted to go home and she said I had to still work but I told her I didn’t feel good and I just wanted to lay down and go to bed and she went to her purse and got out a pill and she said it would help. I didn’t want to take that pill, but she said I should take it and keep working.”

Telephones: “We had a party line,” said Eileen Barber Ecker. “There were four, five or six on the line. It all changes too rapidly.”

“I built my house in 1956 and I still got the telephone on the wall; dial phone and it works,” said Hoelz. “The party line… there was always someone who would listen in and you knew who it was. You could tell them to get off the line but that didn’t mean they did it.”

“When you called it was two rings short and then long and when you were done with your conversation you would give it a real short ring and that would signal you were off the line,” Hoelz said. “It cost 35 cents for three minutes to call Milwaukee.”

“I still have a land line and it hangs on the wall by the kitchen counter,” said Eileen Ecker. “It’s a push-button phone but it doesn’t have the giant cord.”

School: “When I went to school if a note came home, I’d get it twice as bad at home but now they blame the teacher and the teachers can’t touch the kids. My daughter taught first grade and the kids need a hug and you can’t touch the kids,” said Darold Hoelz.

First car: “A 1933 Studebaker touring car,” said Hoelz. “I’m a paid author to Reminisce Magazine for that. And every girl that rode in it from high school we painted her name on the side of the car. We drove that for two years once in a while we’d drive up to school.”

“Gas rationing; the folks had an oil heater in the basement, and I took one-part fuel oil and three parts gasoline, and it would smoke a little bit, but it ran,” said Hoelz.

History and politics: “Franklin Delano Roosevelt was president when we were in high school; He served 12 years and was in for four terms.”

“The big national news at the time was World War II,” said Hoelz. “We built model airplanes in shop class for recognition. They’d take them and give them to the Air Force and Navy, and they’d hang them up from the ceiling. The models were painted black like silhouettes and they would use that for recognition for fighter pilot training. You’d go down during your free period in school and work in the shop; they’d give you plans and then they’d give you a little certificate like you were a commander in the Navy because you made so many models.”

“Remember Billy Jakels and he delivered newspapers in West Bend and on December 7 he said, ‘I never delivered so many newspapers in my life,'” said Hoelz.

“The class before us had several fatalities from those who went into the service,” said Hoelz. “I don’t think our class lost any. There were about four or five of them killed in the war. That was the time of the big pushes.”

“Henry Gumm was a year ahead of us. Our American Legion Post in Jackson is named after him; S/Sgt. Henry F. Gumm Post 486. He was a tremendous athlete,” said Hoelz.

“I enlisted in the military when I was 17,” said Hoelz. “I didn’t want to get drafted, so I went into the Navy.”

Shops and saloons: “Sam Sutherlands had ice cream and a lot of kids went there,” said Eileen Barber Ecker. “It was kind of in the middle of Main Street.” +

“The Mutual Mall used to be Larson’s Furniture,” said Hoelz.

“I miss Boston Store,” said Eileen Ecker. “Penny’s used to be downtown and they had the old cables and you’d send your money up to the second floor in that box.”

“When I was a kid it was $1 a call to see a doctor and that included medicine,” said Hoelz. “When I had my tonsils taken out on the kitchen table the doctor came to the house. The local schoolteacher always roomed with us and we’d walk a mile together to school. One day the doctor came, and I figured something was up, so I locked myself in the bathroom. This Miss Lawrence was our border the teacher and I wouldn’t open the door and she said, ‘Darold you can trust me.’ The minute I opened that door a crack she had her foot in it and then they laid me out on the table and put the mask over my face and now the doctor tells me they came within this much of cutting my vocal cords. It was surely an adventure. It was Dr. Schloemer from Menomonee Falls. A buck a call, no appointment, you went in and sat down just like at the barber shop, waited your turn and the dollar covered your medicine.”

“I lived on the third floor above The Dugout and the tavern had two doors, one right next to the other. The right-hand door went into a room with the tables that was for the women. The left-hand door was the bar room and that was for the men,” said Hoelz. “Women should learn to keep their place in a tavern just like our church men sat on one side and women on the other. We had one German service and one English service. Now it’s Our Saviors UCC in Germantown.”

“Went to the Packer games on Sunday at State Fair Park for $1 and we sat in the bleachers,” Hoelz said. “That was during the Curly Lambeau era. Sunday afternoon you’d ask the fellas what do you want to do? Let’s go down to Milwaukee and go to the Packer game. On the northeast side of Milwaukee, the Brewers played at Borchert Field.”

During the 2017 reunion Marion Otto Ward, 90, remembered teacher Mike Hildebrand who taught citizenship and social studies.

“He’d come over and tap on the desk with his long ruler and he’d say, “Mildred … why aren’t you paying attention?” And I sat there, and he tapped again and said, “Why aren’t you paying attention – what’s wrong with you?” And I said Mildred was my sister and she graduated four years ago; my name is Marion. I’m surprised he didn’t throw me out the window.”