Category Archives: Off-Duty

The Weed Worries the Heart

Huh. Who would have thought that lighting a plant on fire and inhaling the smoke might cause health problems? Where have we seen that before?

Cannabis is bad for the heart and may trigger heart attacks and strokes, doctors have warned.

The American Heart Association (AHA), who reviewed the available evidence, now recommend avoiding cannabis to protect the heart.

In a scientific statement, it said smoking cannabis has some of the same harms as tobacco, which is known to be a leading cause of death worldwide.

Research has shown the recreational drug may have health benefits — but smoking cannabis has been linked with a slew of damaging heart problems.

Chemicals inside the drug can cause heart rhythm abnormalities within an hour of smoking, studies show.

The toxins can alter blood pressure, heart rate and trigger inflammation, all of which are underlying culprits of heart disease and strokes.

The AHA warning applied to people who use the drug recreationally, as well as and for medicinal purposes.

Bo Black Gone

Bo Black, who was the legendary powerhouse behind Summerfest for years, has passed away. I must have been hiding under a rock, because I didn’t know this:

Black became a Playboy cover model in 1967, after attracting a magazine scout’s eye while she was just 21 years old and a cheerleader at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Black appeared on the cover of the September 1967 issue of Playboy, despite refusing to pose naked inside the magazine
Black appeared on the cover of the September 1967 issue of Playboy, despite refusing to pose naked inside the magazine

Black posed for the scout – in town looking for co-eds to feature in the upcoming college issue – while wearing a short brown skirt and yellow turtleneck sweater, earning $25 for the trouble.

Black, a Catholic who went to mass daily, said that she didn’t tell her parents what she’d done because her ‘mother would have had a fit,’ she told the Arizona Republic in 2018.

The jig was up when someone from Playboy called Black’s home because they’d liked her photo and wanted her to pose for the cover.

Black said that her parents finally agreed to let her participate in the Playboy shoot as long as she kept her clothes on.

That was how she wound up being featured in the now iconic September 1967 Playboy cover, wearing a green-and-white jersey and matching knee socks, while holding a football helmet under one arm.

She received $100 as payment for the cover shoot, but could’ve made $5,000 if she had agreed to pose naked for the magazine’s centerfold – which she refused to do.

‘Are you kidding?’ I wanted to be a nun!’ she told the newspaper.

Anyway, Godspeed to someone who did so much for Wisconsin.

Around the Bend by Judy Steffes

Hartford City Hall addresses five cases of COVID

It was July 10, 2020 when officials at Hartford City Hall confirmed three cases of Covid-19 linked to a family who worked for the City.

“One particular case was three members of a family who work for us in different departments,” said City administrator Steve Volkert. “They came to work with it, they did not catch it here. They were all tested and sent home and never worked a day after that. They have mild cases and are recovering quickly.”

Volkert said the City conducted its own contact tracing per CDC guidelines. “We tested those people who had been within 6 feet and those who spent 15 minutes with the employees and the results came back negative,” Volkert said.

“We had two others work in the same department and those tests came back positive. The City did contact tracing and everyone else also came back negative.”

The City of Hartford, according to Volkert, monitors employees daily who have direct contact with the general public including the Rec Center, the aquatic center and the Jack Russell Memorial Library.

“All employees have their temperatures taken before they get to work, they wear masks, they are behind plexiglass, and we have not had any other case of people having symptoms,” said Volkert. “We anticipate the five individuals will be back to work next week after 14 days of quarantine and no symptoms for three days prior to coming back.”

Volkert said if any of the employees show signs of symptoms they will not be allowed back until they can clear three days without symptoms.

Following the confirmed cases Volker said all department heads and all departments at Hartford City Hall were made aware. “We’ve always had precautions in place to test before you come in, test when you get here, and wear a mask if you’re in public,” he said.

Volkert said one person was a morning employee at the aquatic center and that person would not have had contact with the public. “As soon as we found out, that person was taken off the schedule, no other staff reported symptoms,” said Volkert.

To protect the community, Volkert said all touch surfaces were heavily sprayed at Hartford City Hall, Hartford Rec Center and the aquatic center. “We sent a note to the Wash/Oz Health Department that the ‘Office has been heavily sprayed by electrostatic sprayer with non-fuming, non-standing tri-chloride-based sanitizer,’” said Volkert.

“We never closed City Hall and we cleaned the entire area and very quickly did all the contact tracing and took care of everything,” said Volkert. “We made sure all the residents were safe.”

 

 

West Bend Parks Commission approves changes regarding dogs in City parks

There was a lively discussion Thursday night, July 23, 2020, as the West Bend Parks Commission took another look at an ordinance regarding dogs in City parks in West Bend.

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

District 8 alderwoman Meghann Kennedy wanted to expand the list of parks to include all City parks. That idea was then amended to include parks but not Regner Park or Lac Lawrann Conservancy, park buildings, otherwise posted areas or in the park during special events.

Discussion went round and round several times. A couple of hot topics included people who take their dogs off leash, those who fail to pick up waste or do pick up waste and then leave the bag on the trail or in the park, how to police allowing dogs but not during special events, dog waste and urine in the parks or on soccer fields and volleyball courts.

Following a couple votes a measure to change the ordinance passed by a vote of 4 – 3. The revised ordinance would also include a statement about dog owners picking up and removing animal waste.

Those voting in favor of the change included Mike Chevalier, Meghann Kennedy, Steve Hoogester, and Jim White. Those dissenting were Allen Carter, Mike Weston and Mike Staral. The amended ordinance must still go before the West Bend Common Council for approval.

Update to Dogs in City of West Bend Parks

Ordinance to be updated:

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

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

Update:

Dogs shall be allowed in all city parks, except for prohibited park areas. All dogs must be on a leash no longer than 6 feet at all times, and under owners’ control -unless in Rolfs dog park leash-free area. Any pet owner who fails to control their pet, create public nuisance, or disturb

others may be asked to leave. All pet waste must be picked up and disposed of in garbage receptacles. Bags, scoops, or other implements for the removal of pet waste must be carried by any person bringing a pet onto park property.

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

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

West Bend Police release more details on man’s body found in Milwaukee River

A couple more details are being released regarding the body pulled Tuesday morning from the Milwaukee River, 900 block of N. Main Street, in West Bend across from the old West Bend Company.

West Bend Police said, “Investigators have identified the victim and the family has been notified. Although the investigation is on-going, we do not suspect any danger to the public.”

According to officials the man is Justin E. Bentrup, 40, of Colgate.

The initial police statement from Tuesday, July 21, 2020 is below.

On Tuesday, July 21st 2020 at 8:48 AM a citizen called the police department to report a body floating in the Milwaukee River.

West Bend Fire Department Technical Rescue and police officers located a deceased victim in the river adjacent to the 900 block of North Main Street.

The victim is an adult male. The victim’s body did not have any obvious signs of trauma. Officers did not find any identification on the victim or in the immediate area.

Remodeling update at Wallace Lake Supper Club

A unique opportunity this week as Kevin Zimmer provided a rooftop tour of Wallace Lake Supper Club. The former Walden – A Supper Club is undergoing a serious remodel / expansion.

The colorful facade was unveiled as contractors pulled back the exterior siding.

Kevin and Amy Zimmer purchased the restaurant on Wallace Lake in February 2020. “We are committed to keeping the restaurant open while making improvements, yet preserving the Wisconsin supper-club feel,” said the Zimmers.

During a review of every nook and cranny, Kevin Zimmer managed to find a hidden treasure above the ceiling on the second floor on the southwest side of the building.

“We’re really trying to identify how old the building is…. I thought it was the early 1930s…. but then you find things like this…,” said Kevin Zimmer.

Zimmer climbs a ladder and reaches back above the ceiling tiles and into the rafters and pulls out a pair of brown, pointy, well-worn shoes.

Sewn on the inside of the shoe is a label for Leonard, Shaw and Dean; a manufacturer of men’s footwear in Middleborough, Massachusetts. “This shoe style was made from 1885 – 1910,” said Zimmer. “The shoes were together with this bottle; a 12-ounce prescription bottle and I found it ironic they were placed between the joists.”

According to lore “long ago people purposely placed shoes in rafters in between walls as they added onto a building. This represented good luck and wellness.”

County Highway Department honors Ben Falter            By Ethan Hollenberger

This week a county highway plow truck is parked in the county courthouse parking lot along STH 33 in West Bend. The truck was used by Ben Falter, who passed after a short battle with cancer.

Ben was an employee of the Highway Department for the 22 years and was a very hard worker with a lot of knowledge and a great skill set on many pieces of equipment. If you’ve seen the Highway Department’s wheeled excavator at work around Washington County over the years, there’s a good chance Ben was in the cab working the controls.

Ben also spent countless hours behind the wheel of a double-wing plow truck keeping US Highway 45 clear and safe during the winter months so the community can get to work and back home safely to our families.

Ben will be missed and his spirit around the Highway Department will never be replaced. The county extends its sincere condolences to Ben’s family and friends. We’re very thankful for everything that Ben did for Washington County over his many years with us.

New town board chair in Town of Barton

A nice salute to Richard Bertram who stepped down July 21, 2020 as chairman of the Town of Barton. A resolution was read in his honor.

Resolution 20-004

A RESOLUTION TO COMMEND RICHARD L. BERTRAM FOR HIS SERVICE AS TOWN CHAIR FOR THE TOWN OF BARTON

WHEREAS, Richard L. Bertram has served the Town of Barton as Chairman for 16 years commencing June 2004

WHEREAS, Richard L. Bertram has served the Town of Barton for 11 years as Town Supervisor commencing April 1993 through June, 2004.

WHEREAS, Richard L. Bertram has chosen to retire effective July 21, 2020.

THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, by the Town Board of the Town of Barton, Washington County, Wisconsin, on behalf of the citizens of the Town of Barton, we appreciate and express our gratitude to Richard L. Bertram for his service and support to the community in his capacity as Town Chairman and Chair for the Planning Commission, and wish him the best of health and happiness in his retirement.

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the Town Clerk of the Town of Barton, Washington County, Wisconsin, forward a copy of this resolution to Richard L. Bertram.

PASSED and ADOPTED this 21st day of July 2020:

Bertram served a total of 27 years on the town board. At 73 he said it was time to retire and travel.

“I can let somebody younger than me take over,” he said.

Following the resolution, a small celebration was held with cupcakes. The new interim chair is Kris Turner. She will fill the remainder of Bertram’s term which will be on the April 2021 ballot.

The Town of Barton needs to fill a supervisor vacancy. Any resident interested should make their intentions known to the board.  The Town has a 60 – 90 days to fill Turner’s term as supervisor which expires in 2022.

Jim Geldreich receives Wisconsin Award              By Carroll Merry

Jim Geldreich, center, chairman of the Washington County Republican Party, receives the Wisconsin Award during the state GOP convention held July 10, 11 in Green Bay.

The award recognizes the county in the state that performs at the highest level of membership retention, community events involvement, event organization, media interaction and maintaining an independent campaign office.

Presenting the award are, at left, Andrew Hitt, chair of the Republican Party of Wisconsin, and, at right, Jesse Garza, chair of the RPW County Chair organization. WCRP was a finalist for the award in 2019.

Horicon Bank announces new Senior Vice President | By Grace Bruins

Horicon Bank recently announced the promotion of Sue Garman to Senior Vice President.

As an active member of the West Bend community, Garman has served on the Big Brothers Big Sisters Board of Washington County, the Board of Washington County United Way and continues to serve as a member of the West Bend Noon Kiwanis, the West Bend Music for Youth Board member, and a member of the SSADH Association Fundraising Board.

Garman said community involvement is one reason she enjoys working for Horicon Bank.

“I enjoy working for an organization whose decisions are made locally and who supports the communities in which it operates,” said Garman. “Employees at Horicon Bank are proud to work here because of our commitment to our communities.”

President Fred F. Schwertfeger said Garman’s dedication to customers and streamlining efficiencies within Horicon Bank have made her a valuable asset to the team.

“Sue has been instrumental in improving applications at the bank,” said Schwertfeger. “She exhibits Horicon Bank’s mission to be a caring banker who values our communities, customers and associates.”

Horicon Bank has 20 locations in 14 communities and has been serving Wisconsin since 1896.

What does Briggs & Stratton bankruptcy filing mean for Germantown facility

It was October 9, 2018 when ground was broken on Highway 167 in Germantown on a new 706,000-square-foot industrial distribution facility for Briggs & Stratton Corporation. The development was part of the future Gateway Corporate Park.

Today, July 20, 2020, Briggs & Stratton Corp. filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection and officials in the Village of Germantown offered some insight.

Village President Dean Wolter said he had not heard the full story when we called but offered the comment below.

“I’m sorry to hear for a company that has been around as long as Briggs it has come to the point it has to file for Chapter 11. I hope it works out best for them. As far as how it impacts Germantown, currently that building is leased from Zilber Property Group so the owners of that building will remain the same. The ownership group does not change; it is a Briggs & Stratton facility but it is leased.

Steve Kreklow is Village Administrator in Germantown. “It’s too early to tell any specific impacts at this point but the building is actually owned by Zilber Property Group and it is leased to Briggs & Stratton. It is a shipping and distribution facility that has a lot of value and regardless of the ownership structure at Briggs & Stratton I think there is a lot of value in that facility that someone will be utilizing in the near future.”

Questioned whether the Chapter 11 filing made Kreklow nervous, he said he is kind of concerned about the economy in general. “When you look at individual businesses there is always ups and downs but as long as the overall economy is healthy our communities and tax bases are solid and we are able to continue to provide services. The biggest concern is where is the economy going from here and what is the recovery going to look like. We are still seeing a lot of residential construction and the housing market seems to be solid yet and I hear there is a lot of optimism on the commercial side that business owners and investors believe the economy will bounce back quickly. Time will tell.”

Below is the Briggs & Stratton bankruptcy announcement courtesy Market Watch

Briggs & Stratton Corp. BGG, -5.26% said Monday it has filed for chapter 11 bankruptcy protection and reached an agreement to sell most of its assets to KPS Capital Partners. The Milwaukee-based company, which makes gasoline engines for outdoor power equipment, said it has secured debtor-in-possession financing of $677.5 million from KPS and its existing lenders to allow it to continue normal operations ahead of the closing of the deal. “Over the past several months, we have explored multiple options with our advisors to strengthen our financial position and flexibility,” Chief Executive Todd Teske said in a statement. “The challenges we have faced during the COVID-19 pandemic have made reorganization the difficult but necessary and appropriate path forward to secure our business.” Shares fell 27% premarket, and are down 88% in the year to date, while the S&P 500 SPX, +0.84% has fallen 0.2%.

The 140-acre Germantown Gateway Corporate Park site was acquired by Zilber Property GroupSM (“ZPG”) in 2018 and, in addition to the 706,000 square foot Briggs & Stratton facility, is capable of accommodating an additional 1.4 million square feet of institutional-quality industrial development.

Nicole Pretre wins Milwaukee Business Journal Chief Marketing Officer of the Year Award | Carrie Sturn

Nicole Pretre, Vice President of Development at Cedar Community, has been named among the Milwaukee Business Journal’s 2020 Chief Marketing Officer of the Year award winners. The award recognizes the important work of those in senior marketing positions in southeastern Wisconsin.

Pretre is the executive leader of the marketing, sales, and fundraising teams of Cedar Community, where she and her teams have transformed the vision and messaging of Cedar Community’s brand proposition. Under her leadership, the marketing team has won six national Aster Awards for marketing and advertising over the past three years, as well as a national Telly Award for video content.

“Nicole’s creative vision and strategic acumen, combined with her broad industry experience has been invaluable to Cedar Community,” said Lynn W. Olson, Chief Executive Officer. “Nicole is truly a 360-business professional who understands how to creatively, strategically, and effectively craft and deliver messaging to propel and support revenue goals across key functional areas.”

Within the greater West Bend community, Pretre serves on the Board of Directors for both the West Bend Area Chamber of Commerce and United Way of Washington County. She is a 2014 graduate of the West Bend Leadership program and has continued to be active in various volunteer and mentorship roles in the community.

Additionally, she was awarded the 2017 Champions of Change Emerging Leader Award through the Volunteer Center of Washington County. Pretre, who is also a Credentialed Professional Gerontologist, is regularly consulted as an issue expert and thought leader in senior living, and is a local, state, and national speaker and educator in senior living and healthcare.

Prior to her professional career in long-term care services, Pretre was an Emmy-nominated television journalist and producer, who holds numerous awards from the Associated Press, the Wisconsin Broadcaster’s Association, and the Milwaukee Press Club.

To be eligible for the award, candidates had to be based in Milwaukee, Waukesha, Walworth, Washington, Ozaukee, Racine, and Kenosha counties and held their current role for at least two years. Candidates were selected from a nomination process with judging conducted by an independent panel.

Tracking down some Fleet Farm history

The Cyclone fencing is up around the old Fleet Farm and Tri-Par building, 1637 W. Washington Street, in West Bend.

Rick with Robertson Brothers Environmental was kind enough to allow a last look inside the building. He said there has been a bit of a delay because the electricity inside the building hasn’t been turned off yet.

Demolition crews will drop an excavator on site this Thursday or Friday and then next Monday the gas tanks will be removed.

Terry Becker with You Know You Are from West Bend…. posted some great history about the original northeast corner of the Fleet Farm building. His story is below …

West Bend History is Fleeting!

The northeast portion of the old Fleet & Farm building dates back to March 1, 1949, the date the old “West Bend Pilot” newspaper was sold to brother investors Alan and Robert Pick along with their nephew Andrew J. Pick Jr.. The new endeavor, “The Pilot Press Inc.”, combined newspaper publishing and commercial printing all under one new roof built on W. Cherry (now Washington) Street during their first year at the helm. Tragedy also struck that first year when the young, vibrant Andrew Pick Jr. age 35 died of a cerebral hemorrhage on January 20, 1950 just three days after becoming father to his new baby daughter. The grueling newspaper portion of the business merged with the West Bend News in 1954. The commercial printing portion of the business continued on until 1959 when it was sold to Alfred Ramsthal’s Serigraph Sales. Equipment and files were moved to Serigraph’s new plant on Indiana Avenue, thus ending the final chapter of the “Pilot.” The vacant building would soon become home to West Bend’s “Fleet & Farm”!

WIAA Votes to Continue with Fall Sports

I’m surprised, I admit, but good for the WIAA.

MADISON, Wis. — The body that oversees Wisconsin high school sports recommended Thursday that schools offer fall sports but delay start dates by several weeks as the coronavirus surges across the state.

The Wisconsin Interscholastic Association Board of Control voted 8-3 to approve pushing back the start date for girls golf, tennis and swimming to Aug. 17. Girls and boys cross-country also will start on that date.

Sports that create a higher risk of virus transmission and infection, including football, volleyball and soccer, will start the week of Sept. 7. Whether the WIAA will offer any postseason state championship tournaments remains unclear. Board members said they just want to get the fall seasons started.

The delay doesn’t make much sense to me. I don’t see how delaying football practice a few weeks does anything to mitigate the spread of the virus, but at least they are supporting moving ahead with fall sports. Good for them.

Around the Bend by Judy Steffes

In-person absentee voting starts Monday, July 20, 2020

Below is a preview of the ballot for the August 11, 2020 partisan primary. The winners in the primary will advance to the November 3, 2020 election.

Please note, you can only vote along party lines in this August 11, 2020 partisan primary.

Below is the second half of the ballot that will affect six voters in the City of West Bend.

A couple other bullet points to keep in mind:

– After filling in voter party at the top of the ballot (Democratic, Republican, or Constitution) then voters need to mark the candidate along party lines that they want to vote for in the individual races.

– Expected turnout in West Bend for the August 11, 2020 partisan primary is anticipated at 5,000 voters.

– In-person absentee voting begins in Washington County on Monday, July 20, 2020.

– On July 22, 2020 the Federal Court will rule on in-person absentee voting and whether it can start only two weeks before a primary. (Yes, the clerk understands the ruling will be issued after in-person absentee voting begins in West Bend/Washington County)

-Voters should bring their driver’s license or an official ID to the polls or City Hall if they are attempting to vote in-person absentee before the close of business Friday, August 7, 2020.

-The clerk’s office in West Bend will be from 8:30 a.m. – 4 p.m.

-On Friday, August 7 hours will be extended until 5 p.m.

Executive Director of Miller Park District says Department of Revenue to request Miller Park Surplus be returned

On Friday, July 10 a story posted on WashingtonCountyInsider.com about how the “Wisconsin Department of Revenue overpaid the Southeast Wisconsin Professional Baseball Park District $4.3 million. The district executive director asked to return the money and the Department of Revenue told him not to.

Today, Sunday, July 12, 2020 the Executive Director of the Miller Park District, Mike Duckett, sent an email saying the situation has been resolved and money will be returned to the Department of Revenue and hopefully to taxpayers.

Mike Duckett <mduckett@millerparkdistrict.com>

Sent: Sunday, July 12, 2020 6:45 PM

To: Judy Steffes <judy@washingtoncountyinsider.com>

Subject: Miller Park District

Hi, Judy:

I noticed your recent article in the Washington County Insider regarding the Miller Park District and the “over payment” of $4.3 million to the District from the Wisconsin Department of Revenue.

I received a telephone call from the Wisconsin Department of Revenue yesterday (Friday, July 9, 2020).  The Department has indicated that they “will be sending the District a letter asking that the District return the $4.3 million to the Department.”

The District will be pleased to comply with this request.  It sounds like the funds will subsequently be distributed to the five counties, as originally hoped and intended.

Thanks,    Michael R. Duckett, P.E.

Executive Director

Miller Park District

Miller Park

One Brewers Way

On Monday, July 13, 2020 we will check with the Department of Revenue and inquire about the surplus timeline and how it plans to distribute the money to the five counties, including Washington County, in the Southeast Wisconsin Professional Baseball Park District.

Calls have also been place to officials in Washington County as they were the ones who initially pushed to have the money returned.

See story below from July 10, 2020.

It was 1996 when taxpayers in Washington County joined Milwaukee County, Ozaukee, Waukesha, and Racine counties in paying 0.1% sales tax to the Southeast Wisconsin Professional Baseball Park District.

Miller Park statement

The sales tax would help pay for the construction of Miller Park. That five-county sales tax was promised to end in 2019 or 2020.

The Associated Press reported:

“After 23 years, the five-county sales tax that paid for construction of Miller Park in Milwaukee will end March 31, 2020. Members of the board that oversees the Southeast Wisconsin Professional Baseball Park District decided unanimously Tuesday to end the tax. Gov. Tony Evers signed a bill last November to end the tax by Aug. 31. The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports the tax has collected about $605 million.”

One note however, according to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel the “Wisconsin Department of Revenue overpaid the Southeast Wisconsin Professional Baseball Park District $4.3 million. The district executive director asked to return the money and the Department of Revenue told him not to.

Washington County Executive Josh Schoemann issued the following statement:

Last fall, the legislature finally ensured the baseball district would end this tax in 2020. Act 28 was intended to ensure the Department of Revenue could properly sunset the tax.

Washington County taxpayers have waited too long for this tax to sunset and now Madison bureaucrats cannot figure out how to end the tax. Mike Duckett and the Park District Board are trying to do the right thing by returning the money to the taxpayers.

If the Department of Revenue cannot figure out how to properly return the money, first thing next session, legislators should introduce a bill which would require the overpayment returned to the taxpayers of the five counties in the most efficient way possible.

In 2017 the Miller Park District put out a question-and-answer statement:

How much sales tax is collected each year? In 2016, the District received $30 million in sales tax revenues.

What does the Miller Park sales tax cost each resident of the five-county District each year? In 2016, it is estimated that each resident of the five counties, on average, contributed approximately $11.

Mary Gumm is now banking on retirement

Mary Gumm is a familiar face at First Citizens Bank, formerly Guaranty Bank, in West Bend.

Pleasant, helpful, and now after more than 45 years in the industry Gumm is retiring.

“It was 1974 and I was a senior in high school when I started at the bank,” said Gumm.

Sitting behind her desk in her corner office, drive-thru traffic passing by her window, Gumm recalled the day her counselor, Orv Sommers, walked into homeroom. “He said does anybody need a job and I raised my hand and said I do and he said, ‘Come with me.’”

“I sat in his office and he said, ‘You need to be at Guaranty Bank right after school for an interview for a teller. Go home, get dressed up and go to the bank.’”

“I walked into the branch on S. Main Street and talked to Dave Ponath. He asked me a couple questions including when could I start and he told me to come back tomorrow, I would work 4 p.m. – 8 p.m. Mondays, Thursdays, and Fridays.

“We only had savings accounts at that time; we didn’t have checking,” said Gumm.

“My friends were flipping burgers at McDonald’s and I had this job and I loved it. I was making, I think $4 an hour. Originally I wanted to be a teacher but I loved working with numbers.”

Nine months later Gumm’s dream job came to an end. “Mr. Ponath called me into his office and said he was going to have to let me go because we were closing on Mondays and Thursdays,” said Gumm.

“I was heartbroken and I went into the back in the kitchen area and I was just crying,” she said. “I remember Nanci Rauch came and asked me why I was sobbing and I said I was being let go because there wasn’t enough work for me. She grabbed my hand and said, ‘You’re not leaving.’”

The two marched into the manager’s office and Rauch laid it on the line. “She said she wasn’t going to tell anybody she was pregnant but she told Dave and said she wasn’t going to come back and then he called me in and said, ‘Never mind; forget what I told you. As soon as you’re out of school you’re going to be full time.”

“To this day if it wasn’t for her… I wouldn’t be here,” Gumm said.

Through the years Gumm has worn just about every hat from teller to accounting to almost a manager while she was still in her teens.

“I remember when they moved me to the Richfield branch which was next to the hardware store on the east side of Highway 175 in the strip mall,” she said. “There used to be a pharmacy in back and now the Piggly Wiggly is there.”

“They wanted to make me a manager but I was only 19 years old and you had to be 21; so, I was a head teller,” she said.

Soon Gumm was back in the West Bend office. “I did the mortgage processing. It involved legal descriptions and I did it all on an electric typewriter. It was an IBM Selectric with the little ball and a bottle of whiteout at my side.” Gumm laughs at the memories.

From there Gumm operated out of a branch at Northridge in Milwaukee where she worked in the personal loan department. In 1984, following the birth of her second daughter, Gumm returned to West Bend.

The biggest change Gumm has seen over the years has been the focus on sales in banking.

Asked if she would miss it, Gumm said she would miss the interaction with the people.

While there have been a lot of changes within the building, Gumm said the past four decades have also brought a lot of change to S. Main Street as well.

“Kohls food store use to be on the corner by Decorah and there was a pharmacy. I think the two stores were connected at one time…,” she said. “Ben Franklin was here, the JC Penny, the sewing store and Alston’s; it was a women’s clothing store. They were located here in the West Bend Plaza strip mall and in Cedarburg.”

Gumm remembers the Sentry grocery across the street along with Kuhn’s Liquor in the Decorah Shopping Center and when the Greyhound Bus pulled in for pickup at George Webbs. “People always used to sit along that side of the building,” said Gumm pointing to the south side of Webbs. “There was also Toy World which is where Main Street Café is.”

Gumm also remembers when the bank was built. “When this place was being built, the Domino’s building to the south was Burger Hut and we went in there temporarily,” she said. “This was 1973 and I started in 1974.”

One of the memorable lessons Gumm learned in banking came from her dad. “He would take $100 from me each month and tuck it aside,” she said. “That is how I learned to save. He said, if you don’t have it you won’t spend it.”

Gumm will wrap up her career at the end of July. “It’s a good time because I have my health and I will be able to spend more time with my grandkids,” she said.

Update on Highway 60 construction from Jackson to 5 Corners in Cedarburg

It was April 20, 2020 when Highway 60 was closed from Eagle Drive (Piggly Wiggly) in Jackson to Highway 181 by 5 Corners in Cedarburg.

The extensive summer project included milling off the top two inches of roadway, and laying four new inches of pavement. The paved shoulder width will also be increased to six feet, and bypass lanes and right turn lanes at intersections will be added or extended as needed.

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

Kurt Flierl is the Construction Project Manager with the DOT.  He provided a brief update on the project.

Weather has had minimal impact on department contractor schedule.

Roundabout construction at the intersection of County Y is on schedule.

Contractor is nearing the halfway point of 90 calendar day requirement to reopen the intersection.

Intersection grading and curb and gutter construction at the remaining intersections will be complete by the end of July

Asphalt paving and pavement repairs began in June.  All lower layers of asphalt pavement with the exception of pavement at new roundabout construction, will be placed in July.   Asphalt pavement construction will then resume in mid-August as roundabout construction is completed.

Bridge deck replacement at WIS 60 over Cedar Creek is complete.  Department contractors will complete grading and guardrail installation at the bridge approaches in late July.

WIS 60 remains closed to through traffic, and the intersection of County Y will be closed through August.

The department appreciates the patience and assistance of local community in adhering to signed detour and local alternate routes as construction progress continues.

The entire stretch of road from Eagle Drive to Five Corners will be closed to through traffic during construction. A detour route is posted. Local and emergency access will be maintained throughout the project.

Questions should be directed to Kurt Flierl at WisDOT. His contact information can be found below. Kurt Flierl P.E., WisDOT Project Manager Phone: (414) 750-3085

Washington Co. Dist. 22 Supervisor resigns

There is an opening on the Washington County Board after Dist. 22 supervisor Rock Brandner resigned.

Brandner served on the Washington County Board since April 2016. He was reelected in April 2020 and represented the Germantown and Richfield areas.

Washington County Sheriff Martin Schulteis said, “I am grateful for the opportunity to have worked closely with Rock on the Public Safety Committee. His years of dedicated service to our community has made Washington County a better place for all.”

Washington County is now looking for applications from District 22 to fill the unexpired Board term ending April of 2022.  Interested candidates must reside in District 22, attend County Board meetings including regular meetings held on the second Wednesday of the month at 6 p.m. and attend regular standing committee meetings.

The Washington County Board of Supervisors is vested with powers of local, legislative character to act upon matters of general government, public safety, transportation, health and human services, court services, land use, planning and the conservation of land resources as delegated to the counties of Wisconsin by State Legislature.

To apply:    Email applications to Don Kriefall, County Board Chairperson at don.kriefall@co.washington.wi.us Subject: District 22 Applicant – Last Name

Mail or drop off applications to P.O. Box 1986, 432 E. Washington Street, West Bend, WI 53095  Attn: Don Kriefall – District 22 Candidate

Applications may include a resume and statement of interest but at a minimum, must contain an address and brief biography.  The deadline for applications is Wednesday, July 22, 2020, at 4 p.m.

Water refill stations reopen at Kroger Pick ‘n Save stores in West Bend

If you haven’t stumbled upon this yet… the water refill stations are open again at the Kroger Pick ‘n Save stores in West Bend. The self-serve bottle refill machine was shut down in April/May because of Covid.

 

Memories of the old Fleet Farm in West Bend

The old Fleet Farm building, 1637 W. Washington Street, was constructed in 1961. The open-span warehouse was famous for its farm supplies, narrow aisles, and advertisement that read, “Not available in West Bend or Clintonville.”

After the old Fleet Farm closed Nov. 17, 2019 a contractor was brought in to liquidate the shelving, lighting, and fixtures. That’s when this walkthrough took place. Neighbors shared some of their memories.

Tammy Matter-Clyse Kinda heartbroken 💔

Remember picking out fishing poles n tackle to go fishing with my dad, dreaming over hunting schtuff, then got my first car….oooo! Had big, shiny dreams for that ’76 Cutlass! And when we got horses…..it was over with! Never, ever forget standing in the aisle and picking up the red n white lead rope for my first pony, Colonel ♥️♥️♥️

Thanks for being a trusted staple in the West Bend community. Thanks for the memories….there are many!

Rick Klamik Parking in the lot and seeing President Reagan’s motorcade go down the street. He had lunch at the Washington House and was coming from Hartford and a visit to the Broan factory

Yvonne Tackes Sitting in the lot outside for over an hour while they tried to find the cat food.

Brad Kuhn The “dated” bathroom 😝

Di M Man Sad! My dads 2nd home!

Kristin Altendorf They had the best malted milk balls. Strange I know but they were!

Dean Pok Loved the buckets catching water when it rained.

Sharon Brand Narrow aisles and the small-town feel

Cyndi Rieger-Peffer Best angel food, chocolate covered peanuts and licorice!

Julie Newhauser It will forever be the smell of the new rubber tires!

Jerry Bohmer Always liked the smell of the new tires lol

Lori Rieger The smell of tires.

Dan Kindler Not going to miss that store for a second

Jeff Watzig Crashing into other people’s carts in the narrow aisles!

Marge Breuer Kufahl A bigger store was needed but the new one’s location isn’t ideal and they don’t seem to have a lot of the expected items in stock.

Andrea Peterson Riding into town with Dad, stopping a Tri Par for gas and candy cigarettes then on to Fleet Farm and holding my breath in the stinky garden/lawn chemical aisles. Backing your cart all the way down an aisle or going 3 aisles over so you can get your cart near the checkout. Decades later shopping there for my kid’s Christmas present when the seasonal toy shop opened.

Laurie Wagner The smell when you first walked in!

Melissa Collett When I worked there a deer tried to run in the exit. 😳

Karen Wahlgren I worked with school supplies and we couldn’t get rid of yellow folders or tablets that year because the kids said you were different.

Dawn Bachman Bugalski Shannon Walsh Our second home growing up. The threat of having to go back to school shopping for clothes there still haunts me! 😂 😂 😂

Postponed 2019 Washington County property taxes due July 31, 2020 | By Jane Merten

The Washington County Treasurer would like to remind taxpayers that their postponed/second installment 2019 property taxes are due on or before July 31, 2020. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we strongly encourage you to mail your payment to the Washington County Treasurer.

If you are paying by check, please make sure that the numeric and written portions of the check are the same and that your check is signed otherwise the check will be returned, and this could result in interest and penalty charges, if postmarked after the due date. Postdated checks will not be held and will be returned to you. Checks should be made payable and mailed to the Washington County Treasurer, PO Box 1986, West Bend, Wisconsin, 53095. If you would like a receipt, please enclose a self-addressed, stamped envelope.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the County Treasurer strongly encourages you to mail your property tax payment. Please do not wait until the last week of July. Mailing your payment early helps make sure the USPS postmark is timely and provides greater opportunity to correct errors before the due date deadline. “The cost of missing the July 31 deadline is severe. Under state law, interest and penalty charges are 1.5% per month back to February 1, (10.5% in August 2020) and continue to accrue until the taxes are paid in full. It is imperative to pay property taxes on time to avoid delinquent charges.”

You can also pay your property taxes online using a credit card or electronic check through Point & Pay. Please be advised that Point & Pay will charge you a convenience fee of 2.39% of the amount that you put on your credit/debit card or $1.50 for an electronic check. Please visit our website at www.co.washington.wi.us, click on Departments, then County Treasurer, and Pay Real Estate Taxes Online. You will need your tax parcel number as well as the amount due.

I you have any questions, please contact the Washington County Treasurer’s office at 262.335.4324.

Around the Bend by Judy Steffes

Fleet Farm to be razed this week

Contractors from Robinson Brothers Environmental will meet with City of West Bend officials on Monday, July 13 for a final walkthrough of the old Fleet Farm,1637 W. Washington Street, before demolition begins later this week.

The old Fleet Farm and the site of the former Tri-Par, 1613 W. Washington Street, were sold on May 8, 2020 to Kwik Trip Inc. Corp.

Records show Kwik Trip Inc. Corp. paid $3,100,000 for the former Fleet Farm site on the southeast corner of Highway 33 and 18th Avenue.  The parcel was last assessed in 2019 at $2,174,700.

The former Tri-Par parcel just to the east of the large former Fleet building sold for $190,000 to Kwik Trip Inc. Corp. That parcel was last assessed in 2019 at $250,000.

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

Mike Robinson is vice president of Robinson Brothers Environmental. “The building will come down pretty quickly, in about two to three days, but the concrete below will take a bit more time,” he said.

The building is described as an open-span warehouse. According to Robinson the asbestos in the building was removed last week.

“Metal and concrete will be recycled,” Robinson said. “The gas station will also come down; another company will come in and take care of that.”

Robinson said they are set to start demolition this week. The area will be fenced off Wednesday, July 15 and then the building will come down.

The old Fleet Farm building was constructed in 1968.

Kwik Trip is not expected to start construction on its new store until 2021.

Washington Co. Exec asks Dept. of Revenue to request return of Stadium tax overpayment

It was 1996 when taxpayers in Washington County joined Milwaukee County, Ozaukee, Waukesha, and Racine counties in paying 0.1% sales tax to the Southeast Wisconsin Professional Baseball Park District.

The sales tax would help pay for the construction of Miller Park. That five-county sales tax was promised to end in 2019 or 2020.

This week the Associated Press reported:

“after 23 years, the five-county sales tax that paid for construction of Miller Park in Milwaukee will end March 31, 2020. Members of the board that oversees the Southeast Wisconsin Professional Baseball Park District decided unanimously Tuesday to end the tax. Gov. Tony Evers signed a bill last November to end the tax by Aug. 31. The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports the tax has collected about $605 million.”

One note however, according to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel the “Wisconsin Department of Revenue overpaid the Southeast Wisconsin Professional Baseball Park District $4.3 million. The district executive director asked to return the money and the Department of Revenue told him not to.

Washington County Executive Josh Schoemann issued the following statement:

Last fall, the legislature finally ensured the baseball district would end this tax in 2020. Act 28 was intended to ensure the Department of Revenue could properly sunset the tax.

Washington County taxpayers have waited too long for this tax to sunset and now Madison bureaucrats cannot figure out how to end the tax. Mike Duckett and the park district board are trying to do the right thing by returning the money to the taxpayers.

If the Department of Revenue cannot figure out how to properly return the money, first thing next session, legislators should introduce a bill which would require the overpayment returned to the taxpayers of the five counties in the most efficient way possible.

In 2017 the Miller Park District put out a question-and-answer statement:

How much sales tax is collected each year? In 2016, the District received $30 million in sales tax revenues.

What does the Miller Park sales tax cost each resident of the five-county District each year? In 2016, it is estimated that each resident of the five counties, on average, contributed approximately $11.

Ozaukee County Fair cancelled

Officials with the Ozaukee County Fair have come out with an extended announcement canceling the 2020 fair.

A portion of the announcement reads:  “We will not be utilizing Firemen’s Park this year for any events, we will not have food vendors or any shows which the public can attend.

“The Fair Board met this week and decided to limit this year’s Fair to the judging of 4-H and Open Class exhibits and holding the traditional livestock and small animal auctions. Attendance will therefore be limited to those necessary events and will not be open to the public.”

The Ozaukee County Fair Board cited “recommendations from the health department” as its primary reason for canceling the 2020 fair. Vendors said they had been informed of the closure earlier this week.  The Ozaukee County Fair had been scheduled July 29 – August 2, 2020.

The full announcement from the Ozaukee County Fair Board is below.

Contrary to misinformation in the community and media, the Ozaukee County Fair Board has enjoyed a very collegial and productive relationship with the Washington and Ozaukee Health Department, Ozaukee County, the Cedarburg Fire Department and City of Cedarburg.

As we have stressed in prior announcements, we have been working closely with the health department for the past several months in monitoring the frequently changing situation as to what events could be held. To that end we relied on recommendations from the health department, including the Guidance for Fairs and Festivals that was released in mid-June, to formulate a safety plan that was shared with multiple organizations.

The planning and recommendations were influenced by positive trends in statistical information that led to changes in recommendations not only for fairs but restaurants and other businesses by the health department. Those positive statistics continued through most of June when the Fair Board was moving forward with its planning.

Unfortunately, the positive trends changed last week and have continued in a negative trend this week.

In keeping with the Fair Board’s stated intent to continue to monitor the situation and be responsive to changes in the situation, and as a result of close communications with the health department, the Fair Board met this week and decided to limit this year’s Fair to the judging of 4-H and Open Class exhibits and holding the traditional livestock and small animal auctions.

Attendance will therefore be limited to those necessary events and will not be open to the public. We will not be utilizing Firemen’s Park this year for any events, we will not have food vendors or any shows which the public can attend. It is with great frustration and regret that we will not be able to hold our traditional fair events, an event that we recognize would be of tremendous morale value to the Ozaukee County community, but prudence dictates otherwise

under the circumstances. While the nature of the Ozaukee County Fair allowed us greater flexibility and time in monitoring events in our planning process, the recent developments required this decision in fairness to our loyal vendors and the community in general.

Field of solar panels to be installed at Regal Ware in West Bend

Regal Ware, 1100 Schmidt Road, in West Bend will soon be home to a field of solar panels. The setup with We Energies is similar to the solar field just a couple blocks away on the corner of Creek Road and N. River Road.

Tyson Strankman from Sunvest Solar Inc. was on hand this week to answer questions as the West Bend Plan Commission reviewed putting solar panels on the grassy area to the east of the Regal Ware building and more panels on the roof of the building.

“It is about 6,186 solar modules,” said Strankman. “It is just a little smaller than the field on Creek Road.”

Half of the 40-inch x 60-inch panels will be installed on the ground and the other half on the roof of the Regal Ware building.

Strankman said the energy created will feed onto the grid and projections are it will generate enough to power 1,400 homes for a year.  “Since Regal Ware is the closest load it will physically go into their plant but they will have to buy it back,” he said. “Otherwise it is basically a power plant that’s feeding the grid.”

Regal Ware is leasing the equipment from We Energies, similar to the agreement Washington County has with its setup on Creek and River Road.

Strankman said there are currently no other plans on tap now for any other solar panel fields in Washington County.  The timeframe for construction is expected to be fall 2020.

Man who drowned on Big Cedar Lake identified

An autopsy is being conducted today on the 50-year-old Wausau man who, according to the Washington County Sheriff’s Department, accidentally drowned Friday, July 3 on Big Cedar Lake.

According to WDEZ Radio in Wausau the man who drowned was Brett Lucht; he was Market Manager of Midwest Communications in Wausau.

According to the radio station web page:

Brett joined Midwest Communications in 1998. He became Market Manager for the company’s Central Wisconsin radio stations (WSAU, WRIG, WDEZ, WOZZ and WIFC) in 2004.

“For many of us, Brett is the only General Manager we’ve ever known,” said Chris Conley, Operations Manager. “Although you’d almost never hear him on-air, he shaped the sound of all five of our radio stations in Central Wisconsin. He either hired or approved the hiring of everyone you hear on-air. Brett was a great leader and a personal friend to so many of his co-workers. It is a devastating loss.”

Tom King said in his blog at wsau.com: “There are so many thoughts that swirl when someone you know passes suddenly. You think of potential unfulfilled. You think of what the person’s last thoughts were as the situation became reality. But mostly you think of the children. I didn’t know Brett that well outside of the office but I can say with some degree of certainty that his last thoughts were on his family. He doted on his wife and three daughters.”

Brett is survived by his wife, Stacy, and three daughters. His sister Lisa is a marketing consultant for Midwest Communications’ WIXX in Green Bay.

Below is the post from the Washington County Sheriff’s Department.

On July 3, 2020, at 7:58 pm, the Washington County Sheriff’s Office received a call of a man who dove into Big Cedar Lake and had not surfaced.

Big Cedar Lake PRD boat patrol responded along with Sheriff’s Deputies, and Wisconsin State Patrol. Allenton Fire Dept. and West Bend Intercept were dispatched to the address in the 5700 block of West Lake Dr, in the Town of West Bend.

The 50-year-old Wausau man was brought out of the water and lifesaving efforts were attempted on scene.  Ultimately, the man did not recover, and was pronounced deceased.

The case remains under investigation by the Washington County Sheriff’s Office and the Medical Examiner’s Office.

Name released of Kewaskum woman, 68, killed in Ozaukee County

The Ozaukee County Sheriff’s Department confirmed the woman killed in a two-vehicle accident this week on State Highway 33 just east of Newburg was Jane Strobel of Kewaskum.

Strobel was a passenger in a vehicle that was struck head on around 11:49 a.m. Wednesday, July 8 just east of Singing Hill Road in the town of Saukville.

Authorities said the accident happened when Jane Strobel and her husband Michael, 67, were driving their SUV eastbound on Highway 33 when a westbound vehicle attempted to pass a semi in a no-passing zone.

The westbound vehicle was driven by a 34-year-old Milwaukee woman; she was taken to the hospital with non-life-threatening injuries. The driver of the SUV was also treated for non-life-threatening injuries.

Jane Strobel was hospitalized and eventually died from her injuries on Thursday morning, July 9.

Strobel has strong ties to law enforcement in Washington County. She is the sister-in-law to James Schwartz who used to be the Chief of Police in West Bend. Schwartz retired in 2000 after spending 34 years with the West Bend PD. Schwartz’s brother Clarence Schwartz was Washington County Sheriff.

Jane and Mike graduated Kewaskum High School in 1970. Jane Strobel’s mother, Bonnie Theusch, of West Bend died recently at 101. The Ozaukee County Sheriff said the accident remains under investigation.

Slinger on Base U14 boys baseball team wins Field of Dreams tournament 

By Jenny Roemer

A hat tip to Slinger on Base U14 boys and coach Mark Leoni as the team won the “Field of Dreams” tournament in Iowa over the July 4 weekend.  The championship tournament was played on the actual field where the movie was filmed. Leoni has coached the boys since they were 10 years old.

 

 

Washington Co. Dist. 22 Supervisor resigns

There is an opening on the Washington County Board after Dist. 22 supervisor Rock Brandner resigned. Brandner served on the Washington County Board since April 2016. He was reelected in April 2020 and represented the Germantown and Richfield areas.

Washington County Sheriff Martin Schulteis said, “I am grateful for the opportunity to have worked closely with Rock on the Public Safety Committee. His years of dedicated service to our community has made Washington County a better place for all.”

Washington County is now looking for applications from District 22 to fill the unexpired Board term ending April of 2022.  Interested candidates must reside in District 22, attend County Board meetings including regular meetings held on the second Wednesday of the month at 6 p.m. and attend regular standing committee meetings.

The Washington County Board of Supervisors is vested with powers of local, legislative character to act upon matters of general government, public safety, transportation, health and human services, court services, land use, planning and the conservation of land resources as delegated to the counties of Wisconsin by State Legislature.

To apply:    Email applications to Don Kriefall, County Board Chairperson at don.kriefall@co.washington.wi.us Subject: District 22 Applicant – Last Name

Mail or drop off applications to P.O. Box 1986, 432 E. Washington Street, West Bend, WI 53095  Attn: Don Kriefall – District 22 Candidate

Applications may include a resume and statement of interest but at a minimum, must contain an address and brief biography.  The deadline for applications is Wednesday, July 22, 2020, at 4 p.m.

Memories of DQ in West Bend

Following the release of Saturday’s story about the possible return of Dairy Queen to West Bend the opportunity came about to share some of the personal memories of DQ.

One included a story about how CURLEY – the ice cream cone mascot at Dairy Queen fell over on Main Street and couldn’t get back up.

At the time the story ran – – we kept the identity of Curley secret – – but we will reveal that the gem making the best of the sweaty time in the cone was none other than Nancy Mehring.

Early reports read: Curly was outside the DQ on Main Street encouraging people to come to inside. Curly fell over and could not get up because of the cumbersome costume.

“It was really easy to fall….my top is bigger than my bottom,” bragged Curly.

The chicken-wire-mesh seam inside the plaster costume helped cushion Curly’s fall.  Cries for help were drowned out by a sudden increase in din as passing cars honked their horns.

“People mistook my flailing for waving and that damn Curly has a smile pasted on its face – so I guess everybody thought I was break dancing and having a gay old time,” said Curly.

D.j. Kleinke photo of curly

Karen MacFarlane – My first job at age 15 was at the DQ on Barton Hill- which has been gone for many years. Many fond Memories of making Dilly Bars-Peanut Buster Bars and those Delicious Chili Dogs. Many Thanks to Jerry and Nancy for Many Years of Hard Work-which brought Many families Fond Memories!

Bernie Nielsen  – Remember it well, great people and business.

Rita Schmitt  – With sincere appreciation and love, for all Nancy and Jerry have done for our community, and the families who have been employed with them, including ours. We thank them for their hard work, dedication, and friendship. God Bless you always…The Schmitt’s…

Jennifer Buchholz – I worked at DQ South for many years. Nancy and Jerry made everyone feel like a part of the DQ family. Thanks for the memories.

Janet Shirkey Sivula – I remember when there was only one Dairy Queen…at the base of Barton Hill. We used to walk there for dilly bars, hoping to get a “free dilly” stick. Thank You Nancy and Jerry for the memories and all your community support !!!

Samantha Danielson I remember the free dilly sticks. I grew up in Barton and I remember going there in the 80’s as a kid. Anyone remember the baseball helmet sundaes?

Ann Sippel Will greatly miss this place…as i still miss Mehrings Fishery downtown on the corner! :(

Joan Wichlacz Thank you to all the Dairy Queens for employing so many young people. Both of my sons worked there after school and on weekends along with many other area teenagers. I loved the bubble gum dilly bars and the buster bars!

Joy Kristine – I met my husband at DQ West in the early 90’s…Jerry and Nancy were always great to their employees. We had a “lock in” overnight at the West side DQ and they let us make/eat all the ice cream we wanted!

Terri Balistreri – I was about 9 or 10, and my parents took us for a ride on a summer day and we ate at DQ on Main. After dinner we went and got our dog Lucky! I will always think of DQ when I think of that special day!

Chelsea Swanson – For my 16th birthday my friends took me to that DQ and surprised me with a group of our out of town friends. We had blizzards before going out to a local concert. It’s one of my favorite memories, only a handful of my friends could drive at the time so it was amazing that they all came for my birthday :)  Oh to be 16 again!

Sarah Harrison – I remember walking there from St John’s school for a tour. And we got to make our own ice cream cones when we were done.

Therese Falter – My husband & I used to meet at this DQ for lunch once a week when we were dating.

Carolyn Rehm Inman – I rode my bike there often as a kid.

Dianne Laatsch Pesch – Such a treat to stop at the Dairy Queens when our kids were young!!

Dawn Weiss – Thank you to Mehrings for many great years. We really miss DQ in West Bend. Many fond memories of taking my family there and also taking my Girl Scout troops there when I was a Girl Scout leader.

United Way Of Washington County – The Mehrings have always been great supporters of United Way Of Washington County! We are grateful for all the years they hosted Blizzard Days for United Way.

Chris Burkart – I remember going in there with friends Steve and Carrie, dropping a few coins in the juke box, and rockin out to Elvis’ Teddy Bear and Jerry Lee Lewis’ Great Balls of Fire. Great memories!

Christy Gagan I can’t believe both of them are gone for good. DQ is my favorite ice cream place and I went there all the time. So sad when I found out they were closed. :(

Gloria Witt I decorated cakes there throughout college. I could make my own hours as long as the freezer was full, backups available, and orders filled! Best job ever! I seriously cried when I became a nurse and had to quit! lol

Gloria Witt – One day I came in for work in the back door… as I walked past the office a guy was in the safe in there…he saw I saw him and came and literally bowled me down and then ran out the back door!!!! I got up and ran to the manager and said, ” I think we were just robbed” the police came and I got to ride in a cop car and taken to the station and worked with a caricatures artist!!! I was like 18 years old….

Around the Bend by Judy Steffes

Is West Bend ready to see the return of a Dairy Queen franchise

It was 2014 when West Bend lost its Dairy Queen stores and now the franchise famous for its Blizzards and Dilly Bars maybe coming back to town.

“I am doing diligence on returning DQ to West Bend,” said Kevin Scheunemann, owner of the DQ’s in Kewaskum and Jackson.

“I have applied for the DQ franchise for West Bend with International Dairy Queen, and I am working with International Dairy Queen to find a site that meets both our expectations.

“I did review potential sites last week with a representative of International Dairy Queen.”

Scheunemann cannot reveal the potential sites in West Bend but said he is actively looking. “If we find a location suitable for all parties involved and get approval for the project from the City of West Bend, our hope is to be open nine months from that point in time,” he said.

“DQ has a long, rich, heritage and history in West Bend and are excited to bring forward the day we can restore that storied West Bend DQ  heritage with a new, modern, and fresh, DQ Grill and Chill 3.0 Design.”

History of DQ in West Bend

There is a certain charm to the history of the locally owned Dairy Queens in West Bend. All the DQ’s have ties to the Jerry and Nancy Mehring family.  Jerry and his brother Richard took over their first DQ in West Bend in 1956 when they started leasing the store at the bottom of Barton Hill. The second store on South Main Street went up in 1968 and the third on West Washington Street was built in 1985.

The Mehring’s built the store on the southwest corner of Main and Vine in 1967. “It was an empty lot owned by Shell Oil with plans to open a gas station,” Jerry Mehring said. “Shell changed their mind and put the lot up for sale and with the advice of our attorney, Clyde Schloemer, we purchased the lot from Shell Oil.”

Mehring said, “There was an additional 25-foot strip to the west, which the city had set aside for an alley. Later the city abandoned it and we purchased it from the Diel’s family.”

In the mid-1970s the Mehrings added a side dining room and the Brazier food line. “After that we added the front dining room and drive thru-window. It was the first drive-thru in West Bend,” he said.

In February 2014 Jerry and Nancy Mehring reflected on the news their restaurants in West Bend were closing. AROUND THE BEND       February 22, 2014   By JUDY STEFFES

It has been about a month since news hit in West Bend that the Dairy Queen stores were closing. Many expressed concerns but also wondered how former DQ owners Nancy and Jerry Mehring were fairing.

“The news was obviously devastating,” said Jerry Mehring during a one-on-one interview with his wife Nancy at his side.

“The customers and the people we met and worked with were the best in the world,” said Nancy.

The Mehring’s initially heard the news via a friend. “I had to sit down because of the shock,” said Jerry. “That’s 60 years of Dairy Queen in West Bend we’re talking about.”

Over the past few weeks, the Mehrings have been flooded with calls and notes of thanks.

“We’ve had a lot of calls from friends, relatives and former employees,” said Jerry. “We had one guy who had done work for Dan (Schuster) and wanted to know if there was anything, he could do to help keep it going,” said Mehring of Bob Schumacher.

The Mehrings shared an email from DQ owners Dan and Ashley Schuster. It talked about the High School swim team that came in every Tuesday night stopping before the store closed on S. Main and asking how much was needed to save the store. When Dan told them, their eyes got wide and the captain said, “Wow! We were all going to chip in $20, but I guess that won’t work,” said Jerry.

The email continued saying the team bought ice cream for all the employees at the store to thank them for all the “fun nights we’ve had here.”

Ashley Schuster said another girl down the street who is in K5 took up a ‘save DQ’ collection.

“She searched her couch cushions, emptied her purse and even went through all her personal belongings to see what she would be willing to sell to save the stores,” said Schuster. “That included her Nintendo DS! What a sweetheart.”

Nancy Mehring, who often volunteers as a greeter with her husband at Holy Angels Church, said the news has been a big test of faith. “It was about a week of praying and crying,” said Nancy. “We had a lot of emails of support and my son kept saying ‘when God closes a door, he opens a window’ so we’re hanging in there.”

The Mehrings will both be 75 years old this summer (2014). “We’d gladly go back and work at the Dairy Queen if we felt there was any chance. We sincerely thank all the community for their support and friendship,” said Nancy.

Last Monday the keys to both businesses were turned over to the bank. Although there has been a lot of scuttlebutt in the community regarding the future of the buildings no sale of the properties has been confirmed.

Previous DQ in West Bend timeline:

-July 19, 2014 West Bend Dairy Queens were sold at a sheriff’s auction. Both restaurants, 501 Wildwood Road and 1200 S. Main St., owned by Dan and Ashley Schuster, closed in 2014. The opening bid for the store on South Main started at $550,000 and sold for $550,001 to a pair of investors from out of town. The store on the west side of town on S. Main Street had an opening bid of $220,000. There were no other offers.

– The DQ on S. Main Street was razed June 23, 2015. A Panda Express was built in its space on the southwest corner of Main and Vine Street.

– Samet Fejzuli purchased the former DQ property at 501 Wildwood Road in May 2015; the parcel had been in foreclosure since January 2014. Two short years later Fejzuli closed Mother’s Day in October 2017.  Don Ramon Mexican Restaurant opened in the summer of 2018.

Drowning in Big Cedar Lake under investigation | By Sgt. K. Uhan

On July 3, 2020, at 7:58pm, the Washington County Sheriff’s Office received a call of a man who dove into Big Cedar Lake and had not surfaced.

Big Cedar Lake PRD boat patrol responded along with Sheriff’s Deputies, and Wisconsin State Patrol. Allenton Fire Dept. and West Bend Intercept were dispatched to the address in the 5700 block of West Lake Dr, in the Town of West Bend.

The 50-year-old Wausau man was brought out of the water and lifesaving efforts were attempted on scene.  Ultimately, the man did not recover, and was pronounced deceased.

The case remains under investigation by the Washington County Sheriff’s Office and the Medical Examiner’s Office.

Germantown student receives $10,000 Emerson National Scholarship | By Connor Hayes

Alexandra Nonn, a Germantown resident and 2020 graduate of Divine Savior Holy Angels High School, has been awarded an Emerson National Scholarship. She is among 30 recipients of the scholarship awarded annually to children of Emerson employees nationwide.

Nonn plans to attend University of Wisconsin-Madison and study biomedical engineering.

Nonn is the daughter of David Nonn, who works at Emerson’s ASCO Numatics business in Florham Park, N.J.

The winners of the Emerson scholarship receive $2,500 per academic year for four years. Selection is based on academic performance of the applicants: grade point average, class rank, and national test scores. Participation in school activities and community involvement are also considered in the selection process.

Emerson (NYSE: EMR), headquartered in St. Louis, Missouri (USA), is a global technology and engineering company providing innovative solutions for customers in industrial, commercial and residential markets.

What July 4th means to me from the team at 5 Corners in Cedarburg

Neighbors across Washington and Ozaukee Counties will be celebrating Independence Day on July 4. The team at 5 Corners Dodge Chrysler Jeep Ram and Isuzu Truck & Auto gathered this week to discuss the importance of July 4 in their life.

Roman Weninger, CEO and Co-Owner at 5 Corners Dodge Chrysler Jeep Ram, in Cedarburg said Independence Day is about freedom, liberty and justice for all.

Randy Kannenberg said he’s proud of the people, including his family, who served in the military and fought for this country’s freedom.

Bill Seeger served from 1970 – 1976 in the US Army. “When people stand and salute the flag it means a lot to me,” he said.

Randy Strupp said July 4 means “getting together will family to celebrate the independence of our country.”

Robert ‘Spike’ Ulickey said July 4 is a time to reflect on this great country. “Freedom isn’t free,” said Ulickey. “The world is constantly changing and if it wasn’t for those men and women who gave their lives for us …. we would not be doing what we’re doing right now.

Eric Weninger said the Declaration of Independence was signed 244 years ago. “Since then many battles were fought and heroes gave their lives so we can be free,” he said. “On July 4 I like to reflect and be thankful for the freedoms we have because so many people sacrificed so much for us.”

Paying tribute to Washington County Judge Richard T. Becker

Celebration of Life for Washington Co. Judge Richard T. Becker

It was a who’s who from the legal field at the Schauer Arts Center in Hartford on Tuesday afternoon as friends, family and fellow lawyers and judges gathered to remember former Washington County Judge Richard T. Becker.

Becker passed away June 22, 2020, at the age of 84. He had a well-respected career as Washington County District Attorney from 1961 to 1966 while also serving the people of Washington County in private practice in Hartford. He also served as a judge for Washington County from 1978 until his retirement in 1999.

State Supreme Court Justice Annette Ziegler was the first speaker. She praised Judge Becker for “administering justice with an even hand” and “demonstrated integrity.”

“Judge Becker was a steadfast and true judge who administered justice with an even hand. He demanded people be prepared, hard-working, and respectful. He was a public servant in the truest sense. Whoever appeared before him knew they would meet a fair and impartial jurist.”

Washington County Judge Jim Pouros practiced law at the same time Richard Becker was an attorney.

“I admired him immensely. I am old enough that I practiced law in cases with him before he became a judge. He was without a doubt the single most skilled private practice lawyer in Hartford.

“I like to recall there was a time when he was practicing privately in Hartford but was also the part time Washington County District Attorney and a part time what was at the time Corporation Council, now it is called County Attorney.

“He did those two very important part-time jobs while practicing privately. I think he, and my experience goes back 50 years, he is the most scholarly judge we ever had in this county and much admired.

“He was diligent; he worked extremely hard. He carried all that hard work, that application of himself as a private lawyer to the bench and he an acute intelligence that showed itself regularly in the courtroom.

“The lawyers were comfortable in his courtroom because they knew that he knew the law.”

During the ceremony in Hartford Judge Pouros offered a detailed tribute to his former colleague citing his “hard work, preparedness, and professionalism.”

“I will give one example to prove how Attorney Becker was held in the highest esteem When he decided he would like to run to be judge – – he called every lawyer in the county to say what he aspired to do. Every single attorney he called, – – those older than Dick and those younger. All told him that was a great idea, that he should do it and that he would be a fine judge. He was the obvious best choice. Everyone wanted him to take the bench, but at the same time we were sorry he would no longer be there as a practicing attorney.”

“He was one of the lawyers in the last jury trial held in our historic magnificent Old Courthouse and was a lead community advocate for the maintenance of that treasured building and its collection by and for the people of Washington County and he donated countless hours conducting tours there.”

Pouros concluded, “Judge Richard T. Becker – You were the Dean and Mentor of our Judiciary and we all miss you and your guidance.”

Retired Washington County Judge Andrew Gonring said Judge Becker was an inspiration to him on how he tried to conduct himself during his 20 years on the bench.

“From my standpoint he got things done,” said Gonring. “He knew the case; he knew the law and he got things done and there was no doubt about how you were going to conduct yourself in Richard T. Becker’s courtroom.”

Gonring held Judge Becker in high esteem; he also chose to follow in his footsteps.

“Of all the judges I went before in my 23 years as a private practice lawyer the one judge I tried to model myself after was Judge Becker,” said Gonring.

“I liked the way he conducted himself. He was a great judge but he was a no-nonsense judge. He expected people to do their job and he proceeded accordingly. I modeled myself after Dick Becker more than any other judge.”

Public Works Announces Electronics Recycling Event

Advanced Disposal will host an annual Electronics Recycling Event on Saturday, July 11 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at 803 N. River Road. Wisconsin’s electronics recycling law states all electronics are banned from landfills. In response, the City’s recycling contract with Advanced Disposal provides City of West Bend residents with an opportunity to dispose of electronics and computers at no cost during the Electronics Recycling Event.

Items accepted include: Computers, Desktop printers and printer/fax/copier/scanner combinations, Video display devices with displays of at least 7” in the longest diagonal direction, Televisions, Laptop computers, Computer monitors, Computer peripherals, including keyboards, mice, hard drives, and other devices, Fax machines, DVD players, VCRs, and other video players (i.e., DVRs)

Upon arrival, residents are required to present proof of residency (i.e. driver’s license, utility bill, etc.). For questions, please contact the City of West Bend Public Works Department at 262-335-5079.

Mickey’s Frozen Custard in Hartford reopens after fire

A steady flow of customers lined up outside Mickey’s Frozen Custard in Hartford on Wednesday evening to patronize the locally owned business damaged in an electrical fire June 18. The business reopened July 1 and started scooping out orders for Cookies & Cream and the new Special Sundae: Red, White and Blue Explosion: Creamy vanilla custard smothered in sweet red raspberries topped with month-watering blueberries, sprinkled with crunchy almonds and a red cherry.

St. Frances Cabrini shares inspiring news about SFC alumni

St. Frances Cabrini shared some inspiring news this week about three of its alumni who are working to dedicate their lives to Christ.

We would like to share our wholehearted excitement for three of our recent SFC Alumni (within the last 10 years) who are following Jesus in selfless ways by becoming a missionary, priest and nun.

They are Kara Conley, Zachary Galante, and Rachel Kruepke and each has shared with us how SFC parish and school helped guide them toward these paths. See below…

Please congratulate them, thank them, but most importantly pray for them as they each go through these wonderful new journeys.

KARA CONLEY

“Attending St. Frances Cabrini gave me the moral foundation I needed to choose and strive to live a life of holiness. Without the people and the joy, I encountered at Cabrini, I can say I never would have decided to invest more deeply in my faith in college and let alone become a missionary. Thanks to all the priests, teachers, and fellow students who helped me grow in my faith from grade school and beyond!”

ZACHARY GALANTE

“I count it as one of the greatest blessings of my life to be a graduate of St Frances Cabrini school. The culture of faith, excellence in all areas of life, friendships made, and deep care for others has deeply grounded me throughout my life. Entering year four of seminary, I am constantly reminded of God’s providential love and care for me throughout the early, formative years of my life, and how He has continued to act in my life through my home parish community. I am deeply grateful for all the ways Cabrini has cultivated my vocation. God bless SFC and go knights!”

RACHEL KRUEPKE

“I will always look back on my years at St. Frances Cabrini with utmost gratitude and great joy! I cherish the memories of close friends, joyful and caring teachers, and learning about the Catholic faith at a young age. My education at Cabrini provided a strong foundation for my relationship with the Lord, which has only grown more over my high school and college years. I am so grateful for the Lord’s work in my life as a student, and I hope to be a witness to Christ in my own classroom someday. Thank you to everyone who has been involved in my Cabrini education and life in the parish. You have loved me so well and shown me how I can learn to love and follow the Lord wherever He calls. You are all in my prayers!”

West Bend Police searching segment of Eisenbahn State Trail

A short section of the Eisenbahn State Trail was closed to bicycle and pedestrian traffic on Wednesday afternoon as West Bend Police responded to a neighbor complaint.

The trail segment that was cordoned off around 3:20 p.m. was between Decorah Road north to Kilbourn Avenue. An officer on scene said he had no comment.

About an hour later a marked police vehicle was on the trail as an officer scanned the grassy area with a metal detector.

Police Chief Ken Meuler put to rest unconfirmed social media posts. “There is no active shooter,” said Meuler. “It was a neighbor issue and we’re still investigating everything and nobody has been injured.”

Meuler said the officers have been “searching for a weapon an actor may have had.” The Eisenbahn State Trail has sinced reopened to through bike/pedestrian traffic.

Saying goodbye to Schwai’s in Cedarburg

It has been 11 years since Schwai’s first opened its store at W62 N601 Washington Avenue, Cedarburg.

Schwai’s was the perfect fit as Hoffmann’s Meats wrapped up 91 years at the storefront. A small writeup on Schwai’s predecessors was published in the book Wisconsin’s Hometown Flavors: A Cooks Tours of Butcher Shops, Bakeries, Cheese Factories & Other Specialty Markets by Terese Allen.

Schwai’s opened in Cedarburg on Nov. 16, 2009 after owners Tom and Kathey Schwai closed their shop on Tillie Lake Road in Jackson. After five years in the strip mall to the west of Highway 45 that storefront struggled and the Schwai’s thought it was time for change.

The old butcher shop in Cedarburg had been closed since 2008.

Tom Schwai was quoted in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel saying the move to Cedarburg was a “no-brainer.”

“Everything’s there. The coolers. Everything. How could you go wrong?” Tom Schwai said. “The old-time doors are there. It’s an old-time butcher shop.”

On Saturday, June 27, 2020 the hinges on the screen door to the shop got a workout as did its clerks. Dressed in matching pink Schwai’s shirts Kathey and her longtime coworker Amy filled order after order after order. Strawberry brats were the hot topic of the day. It was supposed to be the weekend for Cedarburg’s Strawberry Fest, however that had been canceled because of COVID.

Kathey weighed and wrapped hot sticks and brats. Customers seemed to come in already well aware the store was closing.

“I have aged and matured and would like to cut back on my workload,” said Kathey. “Tom thinks he’s very young but he is now overwhelmed with a lot of work so I think it would be better for all of us if we just have the one location in Fredonia.”

Questioned whether she was sad to leave Cedarburg, Kathey said she was sad to “leave the people but I’m very happy for the time we’ve had here and I have a feeling they will continue to follow us; they love the brats and they will continue to support us in Fredonia.”

“I want to thank everyone in Cedarburg and I can’t leave out our out-of-towners because we do have a lot of people from Illinois,” she said. “I’m so grateful for everyone that has supported us and as I say we came in here in faith that we would be supported and that’s how we’re leaving with faith and we’ll see you in Fredonia.

Around the Bend by Judy Steffes

Slinger School District to release survey results about fall reopening

 The Slinger School District (SSD) will release all information next week from its recent public survey regarding plans for the 2020 – 2021 school year.

“This is not the response I anticipated,” said Slinger School District Superintendent Daren Sievers. “We’re getting an amazing response with more than 50-percent of people participating.”

In 2015 when the SSD pitched a $42.28 million referendum and sent out a district-wide survey it received a 22-percent response.

“Normally when you survey the public if you get 10 percent or more you can use that as guiding data because it represents the breadth of public opinion,” said Sievers. “This question of what the fall school year should look like and how spring went we have five times the acceptable amount of data so this is going to be extremely good guidance on what we can do to start putting a fall plan in place.”

Sievers will initially release the results to the school board on Wednesday, June 24 and then all results will be released to parents on Thursday, June 25.

Sievers said the district will know more when it receives more information from the health department on Tuesday, June 23.

“I don’t think we can lock ourselves into a year-long plan because if a second wave (COVID) comes we have to stay nimble like we were this past year,” he said.

The goal of the survey, according to Sievers, was to offer a plan to parents by August 2, 2020.

“Parents will be able to know what’s available and then they can make a choice based whether to keep their kids at home for online school or if they come back to the classroom,” he said.

The Slinger School Board will meet Monday, June 22 at 7 p.m. Click HERE for the agenda. There is also a special meeting at 6 p.m., June 24, 2020. Click HERE for the agenda and a phone number to call in to access the meeting and make public comments

Catholic Schools across Washington County to reopen in fall 2020

The Milwaukee Archdiocese just announced Catholic schools in West Bend and Washington County will be back in session in the fall!

Dear Parents,

When we chose “We teach you like family” as our Archdiocese of Milwaukee Catholic Schools theme for the 2019-2020 school year, we never envisioned how fitting it would become, in light of the work-from-home transition that took place within our schools during the recent pandemic.

Our mission of providing students with a solid foundation for every aspect of their lives begins with the recognition that they need and deserve educators who take seriously their responsibility to be role models of faith, competence and character.

Students in our Catholic schools are formed and supported by everyone in our school communities who contributes to their spiritual, intellectual, social and moral growth.

In amazing ways, our Catholic school educators stepped up to the challenge of abruptly transitioning into virtual learning in mid-March, yet they still closed out the academic year with remarkable success. This strong and almost seamless continuation of learning could not have happened without you.

Thank you for your understanding, hard work, and support throughout these difficult months in assisting teachers remotely with your child’s education. As is the case in any family, through the toughest of times and through the most daunting challenges we become stronger than ever – together.

As we look forward to the coming 2020-2021 school year, we will continue Catholic education this fall stronger than ever and back together again. We are currently working with our schools to plan for the fall and will continue to provide updates, regulations, and advice as we alter and adjust to the constantly changing effects of the pandemic. With safety as our first concern and in compliance with appropriate guidelines, we want you to know we are planning for our schools to re-open in a traditional manner at the end of the summer break.

With 102 schools within the 10 counties of southeastern Wisconsin, the first day of school may not look the same for everyone. Schools may have different plans and procedures due to their locations and communities. Regardless of circumstances, the assurance of a safe, caring and Christ-centered environment will continue to be a top priority within all our Catholic schools.

We have received some specific questions pertaining to the 2020-2021 school year.

Please see the Q&A below which includes some of our most-asked questions. Also, please take a look at some of the recent case studies that highlight Catholic school success.

From pre-kindergarten through high school, our schools are shaped by communion and community, both inside and outside the classroom. Through this pandemic, these are values we have come to hold more strongly than ever. As we approach the coming school year, be assured that we look forward to welcoming your children back into our schools, “teaching them like family,” and continuing their preparation for success in this world and the next.

No matter how cautiously or carefully we will need to “come back,” we look forward to it as a true home-coming for us all.

Please join us in celebrating and praying for the continued success of our Catholic schools and be assured of our prayers for you and your family.

Sincerely yours in Christ,

Link to Q&A and Case Studies: archmil.org/Education

Electrical fire temporarily closes Mickey’s Custard in Hartford  

The owners of Mickey’s Custard, 675 Grand Avenue, in Hartford are working to bounce back quickly following an electrical fire Thursday night, June 18.

According to Hartford Fire Chief Paul Stephens, a call came in around 7:15 p.m. Thursday for a possible electrical fire at Mickey’s Custard.

“A neighbor reported he saw smoke coming from the roof and notified the occupants and also called 9-1-1,” said Stephens.

“We arrived on scene and noticed quite a bit of smoke coming from behind the frozen custard neon sign. We immediately laddered the building and exposed the fire and extinguished it in the roof rafters,” he said.

There were some flames visible prior to the fire departments arrival, but Stephens said once on scene the crew opened the roof used a minimal amount of water to put out the fire.

“There wasn’t much water damage and there was little smoke inside the business,” he said. “We had the fire under control in less than a half hour. We did have to shut all electrical and gas off but in speaking with the business owner they had an electrician out last night and were able to reenergize the freezers and coolers so they did not lose much product.”

Some electrical wiring across the roof is what was deemed the cause of the fire. Nobody was injured.  Stephens praised law enforcement for doing a great job in clearing the parking lot prior to their arrival. Mickey’s had its Thursday night collector car show in its parking lot and there were more vehicles on site than normal. “They helped get the customers out of the way and we had no trouble accessing the area when we arrived,” Stephens said.

Mickey’s Custard has a note posted on its webpage that it is temporarily closed. It will notify customers when it will reopen.

Hundreds gather in Dodge Co. for proposed guidelines for public health and safety

 More than 250 people turned out Tuesday night, June 16, 2020 in a call to action regarding a draft proposal co-sponsored by the Dodge County Health & Human Services Committee. According to Dodge County Supervisor Mary Bobholz the purpose of the ordinance was to give the county a guideline on public health and safety.  Members of the community felt the guidelines were an overreach.

According to reports from the scene:

-There were over 200 people at the meeting. It was a very respectful group that chanted “Please vote no” and “toss in the trash” as the representatives/committee member walked into the building.

-About 100 people were allowed in different rooms and the hallway of the building to maintaining social distancing. The rest were instructed to go on the south lawn and speakers were getting set up so we could hear.

-It was awesome at points we all cheered and clapped. It was a great feeling all our calls and presence was noticed and made a difference.

According to Dodge County Administrator James Mielke

-Mielke said the issue was “not tabled.” The item was on the agenda for informational purposes only so there would not be a vote. There was never the intent to have a vote.

-“There was discussion at the board meeting and the county board chair said the Wisconsin County Association (WCA) has a work group established that is reviewing an ordinance template of how to address this issue.

-“Dodge County does not have a legal template in place to issue an order, if that would ever be necessary. This is not directly related to COVID; it is looking long term at what would happen if there’s another type of virus or disease that would threaten public health and how that would be handled.”

-“This issue has generated the most emails and phone calls of any issue the county has had in recent memory,” according to Mielke.

-“The biggest negative is the understanding by the public that this decision would solely rest upon one individual; the appointed public health officer. What is clear in the draft ordinance is if an order needs to be written it would need to be cosigned by the county board chair and then ratified by the county board of supervisors. There was considerable discussion about whether the board would call an emergency meeting to address whether any order would be issued.”

-Questioned whether the ratification by the board during an emergency meeting would need approval by a simple majority of 17 or by a super majority of 26 of the 33 board members. Mielke said there was nothing discussed regarding a vote. “This is a draft and that can be addressed.”

-“Is there a mandate that Dodge County adopt the recommendations by the WCA, the answer is no.  But is it prudent to have that legal framework, the answer is yes.”

-“The recent State Supreme Court decision has led to counties realizing there are some limitations and to address that hole in our ordinances and help us look long term moving forward.”

-“There is a major difference between what the Supreme Court struck down and what is in the proposed Dodge County ordinance. What the Supreme Court struck down was the general nature of some of the orders at the state level and what Dodge County wants with this draft is it would have to be specific, not general. The ordinance makes it specific and if there is an order it has to reasonably address the identified issue so having the specifics narrowly defined makes this different from what the State Supreme Court struck down.” Mielke then quoted the draft language below.

-“This language is designed to be specific and not general,” said Mielke. “The Dodge County public health officer would be the one who would make the determination and do the investigation and articulate the rational basis for the order and then have the co-signature of the county board chair in order to have the order countersigned. She would also have to articulate those to the county board to have those specifics ratified.”

-Mielke said the lockdown by the state had a negative impact on businesses in Dodge County. “It definitely had a devastating and negative impact and there is a concern nobody wants to return  to that state but that’s not the goal either; this is designed to provide a specific legal framework rather than the general outline provided by the State.”

-Mielke said the WCA is a statewide committee. He confirmed various communities were affected differently by the recent COVID outbreak regarding the number of people affected.

-Dodge County Corporation Council Kim Kass is on the WCA committee drafting a template. A full list of members is posted below.

The county board chair indicated the WCA has established a work group to work on a template. That first meeting was June 16, 2020. There are representatives from across the state meeting June 23, 2020 and hopefully the work will conclude in three to four weeks and recommendations could be made by mid-July.

“At that point it would go through the committee structure with the Health Association and the Executive Committee before it goes the county board,” said Mielke.

In neighboring Washington County, a statement will be released in the next 24 hours regarding WCA and the recommended guidelines. Early word is Washington County government is expected to take a hard pass on the WCA guidelines.

The Dodge County Board Room is on the fourth floor of the Dodge County Courthouse, 127 E. Oak Street, Juneau, WI.

First story posted Tuesday, June 16 – Neighbors in Dodge County are rallying a call to action as a meeting is being held at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, June 16, 2020 regarding the “health and safety” of the public.

Teresa Roll is a resident of Dodge County. She started reading a draft of the agenda (posted below) and indicated “it made her stand up and take notice” because of new restrictions the county may impose.

“I want to know where our checks and balances are because it seems the Dodge County Health Department is pushing this along pretty fast,” said Roll.

“There’s verbiage in there that they can remove you from the county. I want to know where they’re moving me to,” she said. “They can come in and confiscate whatever they deem they need to for whatever disease maybe contagious.”

“Let’s be clear, the World Health Organization doesn’t know jack beans about COVID-19 and what it does; they keep changing their minds.”

Roll said she was most put off by the idea that a hired health nurse with a Bachelor of Science degree would make suggestions and then go to the board for approval.  “I love all nurses, but she will be making decisions to go to the board or issue a special warrant if someone does not let the county in. There is so much stuff done in this state that was unconstitutional and I don’t want to see it on the county level,” she said.

“American people are wonderful. We got sideswiped by this thing, whatever people want to believe it is. It’s here but at the same time we need to use common sense,” she said.

Roll contacted two Dodge County Supervisors. “One of the supervisors sent me and email and another said they are receiving a lot of feedback,” she said.

County Supervisor Mary Bobholz said the worries and concerns about this proposal are overblown. “The items in the draft are just being presented on Tuesday and the Health & Human Services Committee is co-sponsoring this proposal,” she said. “The whole purpose of the ordinance is to give a guideline.”

During a telephone interview Bobholz used the example of a hypothetical case of Hepatitis C being traced to a salon. “The health officer can request an order be drawn up against the salon and that order has to be co-signed by the county board chairman and then it has to go before the whole county board to be voted on before it can be presented to that person. If the person being questioned chooses not to do anything about the order then they can be fined at that time.”

Bobholz said the ordinance was drawn up by Corporation Council Kim Nass.

“This is a health ordinance against any communicable health hazard including COVID,” she said. “This is a general health ordinance. This is happening now because of COVID because we had nothing in place.”

Bobholz said they are not trying to shut businesses down or make people stay home.

VFW presents Scout of the Year Award

There was a brief ceremony at Pike Lake State Park in Slinger this week as the VFW presented its Scout of the Year Award to Eagle Scout Simon Weinandt of West Bend.

It was February 2020 when Weinandt received his Eagle Scout pin during an Eagle Scout Court of Honor ceremony for Scouts BSA Troop 762.

A scout since he was 6 years old, Weinandt sports a tan sash crowded with 48 merit badges. “Wilderness survival is probably the one I’m most proud of,” he said. “I got that in my first year in scouts and it was one I really wanted because you have to build your own shelter in the woods and start fires.”

Weinandt was recognized by John Kleinmaus from VFW Post 1393 in West Bend and Ken Hemingway from VFW 6th District commander. “Simon was the first-place winner at our post,” said Kleinmaus. “His entry moved onto the next level and he also received first place in the district.”

Closed-door meeting Monday, June 15 on Villa Park Landfill in West Bend

During Monday night’s, June 15, West Bend Common Council meeting the council will move into closed session to discuss the Schuster Landfill. This will happen during a special meeting at 5 p.m. prior to the regular common council meeting. The agenda is below along with a map of the area in question.

It was October 2019 when the City of West Bend held its first public meeting about the landfill. At the time a company from Milwaukee, AECOM, talked about monitoring a plume of Trichloroethylene (TCE) which had been found in the air and in the groundwater in Villa Park.

TCE was used by factories to clean metal and it was in paint. TCE migrates via ground water and can “gas off.” It can enter a house, very similar to radon. Click HERE to read more.

Also neighbors in the Villa Park area received notice about a virtual public information meeting regarding landfill testing results. That meeting is set for Tuesday, June 23 at 6 p.m.

The Villa Park Landfill Virtual Meeting is scheduled for June 23 at 6 p.m.

Residents will be able to watch the meeting from home by watching the meeting live on cable channel #986 and online at westbend.viebit.com and residents may also submit questions that come up during the meeting by calling or texting 262-343-6253.

web portal: www.ci.west-bend.wi.us/villapark

Fourth of July Fireworks at Lincoln Fields will not be the same show | By Steve Volkert

While the July 4th fireworks are still a go in Hartford, the show at Lincoln Fields will be different.

First, it is strongly advised that due to Covid-19, most families stay at home to watch it safely while distancing from the crowds. To help promote people staying at home, there will be no ground displays lit off at Lincoln Fields so in essence, you aren’t missing anything by not being at Lincoln Fields.

Next, if you are unable to see the works from your home, it is asked that you drive to one of the local parking lots near the fields and stay in your car to watch them.

Please note the Chandelier Ballroom parking lot will not be open for the general public that night.

If you can’t see them while in your car, then please park and watch from alongside your vehicle to keep a good distance between you and others in the lot. Also, if you park in the adjoining streets, please stay out of the street with chairs and blankets to keep traffic lanes open.

Finally, if you still plan on laying out a blanket near the fields, understand that the majority of the park will be signed off so that no one is permitted to be within 410 feet of the actual staging area.

The City of Hartford has taken a great deal of requests to carry on this longtime tradition of having 4th of July fireworks during a time in which most others have chosen to cancel their works. We now just ask everyone to do their part to help make them safe.

City of West Bend moves forward with July 4 fireworks         | By Jessica Wildes

The City of West Bend will hold its annual Horicon Bank Fourth of July Fireworks display however the public will not be allowed to attend. During discussion of the event City administrator Jay Shambeau said, “the main goal is to provide a safe operation.”

Among the new things for the fireworks, there will be no ground display. Snow fence will be installed around the 100-acre park. People cannot physically attend the fireworks at Riverside Park.

District 2 alderman Mark Allen had concerns. “What if 100 people break down the fence to get into the park to watch the fireworks?”

Police Chief Ken Meuler said, “If people storm the park then fireworks will be canceled. I have faith the citizens of West Bend will respect what we’re trying to do.”

Allen asked how many people were expected to attend and Chief Meuler said that was “hard to tell.”

Below is a list of caveats:

  • Fireworks will launch from Riverside Park on July 4, 2020 at dusk. The park will be closed to spectators. The show will not include ground displays. Instead, it will incorporate all high-flying fireworks to make the show visible from afar.
  • Residents are encouraged to watch the fireworks from their homes or live on the City of West Bend Facebook page.
  • Parking is available on streets and public parking lots within proximity to Riverside Park. Spectators are asked stay near their vehicles and to be respectful of resident driveways.

After much consideration, the West Bend Fourth of July Parade and Regner Park activities will not take place this year. Riverside Park will be closed for the entire day in preparation for the fireworks display. There will be no concessions or public restrooms available for the event.

First look at interior remodel at the new Badger Burger Co. in Richfield

On May 20, 2020 the WashingtonCountyInsider.com was first to report on the sale of Sobelman’s Pub & Grill in Richfield and unveil the name of the buyer and new restaurant coming into the building.

Mark Weiss is preparing to open Badger Burger Co. North, 1872 State Highway 175. He currently owns Badger Burger Co. in Mukwonago.

Over the weekend Weiss shared some of the extensive remodeling he’s doing at the Richfield location.

Weiss said he loves the historic building, which he described as “architecturally perfect.”

“We are going to put in outside seating for seven in the front of restaurant,” said Weiss. “A retaining wall has been removed from the front of the building along with some overgrown trees and bushes.”

There will be a separate to-go area pickup in the lobby. “Customers can order online or call in,” said Weiss.

“We’re also repaving the parking lot for 65 vehicles and there will be four to five designated spots for pick up or meals can be delivered to the customer’s vehicle.”

“We are going to add a small party/event room upstairs, add family-friendly booth seating, more open spaces on both levels and the floors are beautiful.” Earlier this week the new pizza oven and other equipment was delivered. There will also be a full-service bar and 12 craft beer taps upstairs.

Badger Burger North will have a menu that matches the south location. Weiss expects to open mid-July.

Road closures and detour starting June 19 in Washington/Waukesha County

The Germantown Police Department is posting a reminder about upcoming road work that will affect motorists in Washington and neighboring Waukesha Counties. WisDOT Bridge Work – STH 145 Road Closures – WIS 145 over abandoned RR (B-67-217) & WIS 145 over Menomonee River (B-66-99)

Project flyers show closures of WIS 145 related to bridge work beginning Friday, June 19: WIS 145 over abandoned railroad, Waukesha County (between WIS 100 and County Line Road). WIS 145 will be closed at the bridge for approximately three weeks. WIS 145 over Menomonee River, Washington County (north of Freistadt Road). WIS 145 will be closed at the bridge for approximately three weeks.

USDA releases West Bend Deer Management report 2019/2020

The West Bend Deer Management committee will meet Tuesday, June 23 and one of the agenda items is to review a Deer Removal Recap report by District Supervisor/Certified Wildlife Biologist Charles Lovel. A copy of the initial report is below.

The committee is also going to discuss the possible 2021 Deer Removal Program. That meeting June 23 will begin at 6:30 p.m. in the council chambers at West Bend City Hall, 1115 S. Main Street. The meeting is open to the public.

Cedar Community announces phased approach to reopening

This week the Washington/ Ozaukee Public Health Department posted an update reducing the standards on the COVID lockdown. Click HERE to read more.

Part of the new standards reduced the immediate lockdown of all long-term care facilities. However, Cedar Community in West Bend said it is reviewing the orders and working on a “phased approach.”

Below is a copy of the statement of review from Cedar Community.

All of us at Cedar Community are eagerly awaiting the opportunty to have safe visitation options for residents and families. With the local health department lockdown orders now lifted, we are working on a phased approach to allow visitors.

However, current visitor restrictions will remain in place while we await clear directions on what those phases will look like based on Wisconsin Department of Health Services and the Wisconsin Bureau of Assisted Living guidelines. Both agencies are working on documentation for “Practicing Safe Visits” for long-term care organizations and we hope to have that information very soon.

We understand the continued restrictions are undoubtedly frustrating, but it is important to remember that our residents live among their neighbors, many of whom have serious underlying health conditions and remain vulnerable to COVID-19, a virus that is still a threat.

We are cautiously optimistic, and we thank you for your support and understanding. We will continue to post updates on our phased plans as they are developed!

#CedarCommunityStrong

Hartford Union High School names new girls varsity volleyball coach | By Teri Kermendy

Hartford Union High School District has hired a new girls varsity head volleyball coach, Shannon Klink.

Since November of 2019, Klink has been working in downtown Milwaukee at a consulting firm doing sales and marketing.  She is a Hartford Alumni, class of 2012 and played volleyball in high school from 2009-2012.

Klink played college volleyball at St. Cloud State in Minnesota and coached for a year as a student-assistant.

Klink coached several years of club and camps at Wisconsin Premier. In 2018, She joined HUHS’s staff as the assistant varsity coach under Taylor Klinzing and is now headed into her third season with this program.

“I’m very excited to be taking on this new role. Volleyball has always been a huge passion of mine and I’m looking forward to coaching these young women in the upcoming seasons,” said Klink. “I’ve been very fortunate to share the love of the game with my family. My parents, Jim and Karen, have always been there to support me in playing and coaching. My mom coached at Hartford for several years as well and I’m excited to be carrying on the tradition. I also have two older siblings, Marcus and Leah, both of whom have also shared the love of the game. I’m looking forward to the 2020 season and many more to come. Go Orioles.”

“We are excited Shannon will be continuing her coaching career here at HUHS,” said Scott Helms, Athletic and Activities Director at HUHS. “This is the perfect progression for her to step up into the head varsity coaching position.  Her experience and love of the game will be felt by our team.”

Man Walks Dog in KKK Garb

Oh, Wisconsin

A Wisconsin man was seen wearing a Ku Klux Klan robe and hood while walking his dog on Friday, police said.

The Vilas County Sheriff’s Department identified the man as Charles Michael Booth, 50, of Conover. The police said he was “out walking his dog, wearing a Ku Klux Klan shirt, drinking a beer and waving at the traffic,” the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported.

A photo of a man dressed in a white and green robe and hood walking along the road with a black dog was shared on Facebook on Saturday.

Around the Bend by Judy Steffes

Badger Burger Co. going into former Sobelman’s Pub & Grill in Richfield

Remodel is underway at the former Sobelman’s Pub & Grill in Richfield as the new owner, Mark Weiss, prepares to open Badger Burger Co.

“We’re probably going to call it Badger Burger North,” he said. “Our Mukwonago location is 25 minutes to the south; I think that makes the most sense.”

Weiss has been in the restaurant industry since he was 14 years old. “I was a dish washer and worked at the Mexican restaurants cutting onions, cheese and jalapenos in Racine,” he said. “I learned everything and always loved the restaurant business. Then got out of the business for a while and now I’m back in and wanted to expand.”

Weiss was aware of the current climate surrounding opening a business, especially a restaurant.

“I’m not one to back down from a challenge but having a restaurant is crazy to begin with,” Weiss said.

One of the big hooks to opening in Richfield was the historic building. “This is fairly well built and very beautiful,” said Weiss. “My wife Ana loved it the moment we saw it.”

Weiss described the building, as “architecturally perfect.”

“We are going to put in outside seating in the front of restaurant, take down some overgrown trees and bushes hiding the natural beauty of the building, and spruce things up a bit,” he said. “We are going to add a small event room upstairs, add family-friendly booth seating, more open spaces on both floors and the floors are beautiful.”

Weiss was especially impressed with the modern and functional elevator. Badger Burger North will have a menu that matches the south location. Weiss expects to open mid-July.

Groundbreaking announced for Baskin Robbins/Dunkin’ Donuts in West Bend

The last time Dunkin’ Donuts and Baskin Robbins were in conversation with the City of West Bend was the September 5, 2019 Plan Commission meeting.

Now comes word groundbreaking for the new coffee, donut and ice cream franchise at 1610 W. Washington Street, formerly home to Pizza Hut, will be this week, Wednesday, June 10.

On Monday, June 8 a confirmation note was received.

Good Morning Judy,

I hope your Monday is going well. It is great to hear West Bend is excited to have us open.   We are very excited as well to be joining such a great community as West Bend. We are slated to break ground on June 10, 2020. Please let me know if you have any additional questions. Have a great rest of the day.

All the best,   Louis Lessor

Redevelopment of 1610 W. Washington Street – 2,160 square foot. Property is zoned B-1. Parking – use existing driveway and 21 standard stalls. Required storm water management. Request added signage on west side of building and east side of building. Majority of building is mountain red brick and accents on walls and a cool grey tower. Orange colored awnings. Part of site plan also remove asphalt on east side of the lot.

An October 2020 opening is anticipated, however that can change depending on weather.

Sandy Paws Dog Park opens at Sandy Knoll

Sandy Paws Dog Park located in Sandy Knoll County Park is now open. The new park consists of a small dog area and an 8-acre large dog area featuring open play areas and hiking trails.

A couple of four-legged visitors took their humans for a walk on Friday afternoon. All chimed in with rave reviews about the cleanliness of the park, the trails and even the animal education signs.

Sandy Paws is the second dog park for Washington County Parks fully funded by contributions from the community.

“I toured the new dog park with Curt and Dale Stockhausen,” said County Executive Josh Schoemann.  “Without their generous donation, this dog park would not be possible. The Stockhausens’ generosity ensures many more generations will enjoy the park; it was privilege to open this dog park with them. Recreation activities have always been important to our community and are even more critical to our quality of life.”

West Bend-based aviation unit deploying to Middle East this summer

Approximately 35 Soldiers from the Wisconsin Army National Guard’s G Company, 2nd Battalion, 104th Aviation will deploy to the Middle East this summer.

Based in West Bend, the unit will mobilize in support of Operations Spartan Shield and Inherent Resolve.

The Wisconsin National Guard continues to maintain a high operations tempo with hundreds of Citizen Soldiers and Airmen deployed overseas including approximately 200 Red Arrow Soldiers with the 1st Battalion, 128th Infantry currently serving in Afghanistan and approximately 160 Red Arrow Soldiers from the 32nd Infantry Brigade Combat Team headquarters who deployed to Ukraine in fall 2019 where they are overseeing a group of multinational “partner and advise training teams” – or PATTs – based at the International Peacekeeping Security Center in western Ukraine.

Approximately 150 Soldiers from the 829th Engineer Company and another 20 Soldiers from the 924th Engineer Facilities Detachment remain deployed to the Middle East. The 1967th Contracting Team also deployed to the Horn of Africa in the winter.

Approximately 200 troops from the 128th Infantry have returned from Afghanistan over the past two months. The deployments in support of the National Guard’s federal mission overseas come amidst a series of unprecedented Wisconsin National Guard mobilizations in Wisconsin.

More than 1,200 Citizen Soldiers and Airmen continue to support the state’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Approximately 1,500 troops also mobilized in late May in response to requests for assistance from Milwaukee, Madison, Green Bay, Kenosha, and Racine to help preserve public safety and ensure individuals had the ability to peacefully demonstrate.

More than 2,400 troops also mobilized in April to serve as poll workers during the state’s spring election after the COVID-19 pandemic resulted in a critical shortage of poll workers across the state.

Covid pause affects some construction in West Bend

As groundbreaking is slated to get underway this week for the new Baskin Robbins/Dunkin’ Donuts store in West Bend another project is put on hold.

“We are moving the start of construction of our West Bend projects from 2020 to 2021,” said Troy Mleziva with Kwik Trip.

City Administrator Jay Shambeau said he is not surprised some of the commercial businesses are taking a “pause due to COVID.”

“We do know the Kwik Trips are still a go for 2021… they are just not being constructed in 2020,” he said. “We realize there’s a nationwide pause going on but we’re still fortunate some growth is positive and continuing in West Bend.”

Kwik Trip has three projects pending in the City of West Bend.

Kwik Trip No. 3 is proposed for Paradise Drive and River Road. It’s the location of the former Egbert & Guido’s.

Store No. 4 is at 1610 E. Washington Street at the former Yahr Mobil station.

Kwik Trip No. 5 is the former Fleet Farm location on W. Washington Street.

While Kwik Trip takes a pause in its development there are plenty of projects moving forward in West Bend.

Title Max is getting closer to opening in the former Midas location, 2334 W. Washington Street. The sign for the new business was put in place this week. Some remodeling is still ahead as the store prepares to open later this summer.

Across town on Water Street and S. Forest Avenue there’s visible progress being made on the Marriott TownePlace Suites and the neighboring office complex.

The new 68-suite hotel will feature a pool and an office building that will share the same parking lot.

On the west side of town Cedar Community is in the midst of a large construction project as the new Cedar Ridge Homes are being constructed on Cedar Community’s Cedar Ridge Campus. Eleven new homes are being built with occupancy set for later this year.

The new Milwaukee Tool should be breaking ground on River Road in August 2020.

A couple other projects include the new event center in West Bend, the new Taco Bell on W. Washington Street, and the possibility of a new senior living complex in the old Paradise Springs location.  The photo below is from January 6, 1999 when the facility was first built. The assessed value is $1,778,400 and the current asking price is $1.7 million.

July 4 fireworks in City of West Bend may be in jeopardy

The West Bend Parks Department is currently putting together a plan regarding the July 4 fireworks.

Mike Jentsch, Park, Rec and Forestry Director for City of West Bend said they have met several times and are evaluating the Washington County Health Department’s Blueprint to Reopen.

“We’re evaluating everything from public safety to what happens if West Bend and Hartford are the only communities in Washington County to have fireworks? How many people will we see traveling into the community?

“At this point in time we do not have an answer whether we will have fireworks on July 4 or not,” said Jentsch.

The discussion, according to Jentsch, is ongoing between the Parks Department, Police and Fire, city administration and the mayor’s office.

“Right now, our answer is, we don’t know for sure,” Jentsch said.

District 4 alderman Randy Koehler encourages people to contact their district aldermen who will be voting on the issue at the Monday, June 15 meeting. “The Parks Department will make a recommendation and the council will then decide to accept it or move in another direction,” said Koehler.

“At some point in time we have to quit living in fear and move on with life,” said Koehler. “It is time to get back to as near normal as possible. The local fireworks to celebrate the country’s freedom is an important event and I think it should go on as in past years.”

“In Kewaskum the community was a little surprised by the vote but the common council in West Bend is going to vote on its fireworks so contact your elected official and let them know how you feel,” said Koehler.

District 8 alderperson Meghann Kennedy said it is important we hear from people about the issue. “I hope we are able to reevaluate. I know there was hope for the fireworks and hopefully we’ll still do the fireworks even if they don’t do the July 4 parade,” she said.

Kennedy said the parade is up in the air right now as well. “That’s an evolving situation and we want the events to happen; we have to keep in mind is it best for the city,” she said.

Kennedy said she has not seen a spike in COVID-19 cases and personally she is living a life of supporting local businesses. “I’m going to restaurants and I’m not afraid for myself and I’m definitely on team ‘let’s open things up,’” Kennedy said.

A check Wednesday, June 7 of the Washington/Ozaukee Health Department COVID-19 statistics show 37 confirmed cases in 53090 area code and 47 confirmed cases in 53095.

Jentsch said part of the administration discussion is where to hold the fireworks. Normally Riverside Park is used but alternatives are being reviewed. “I’d rather not discuss the site at this point… it’s not a big secret but we just want to make sure what we bring forward is the right choice for West Bend,” he said.

The fireworks are sponsored by Horicon Bank. It is still onboard to support the event.  If fireworks are moved to another location, there may be more funding issues on the table.

West Bend Mayor Chris Jenkins said, “I believe it is important for both the morale of the City and as an opportunity for our residents, to carry out this celebration of the birth of our nation. I would be in favor of doing so and have made that known to both staff and the Council. I look forward to having this discussion, and hopefully, moving forward with a plan that allows us to celebrate our Independence Day in whatever fashion that may be.”

New County Highway M bridge now open

The new bridge on County Highway M is now open. The project just south of Highway 33 that runs over the Milwaukee River was completed two months ahead of schedule.

Washington County Executive Josh Schoemann said, “Washington County continues to lead the way to #JustFixIt by implementing our plan which 100% funds the maintenance, resurfacing and reconstruction of all county highways and bridges for the next three decades without raising taxes.”

The County Highway M bridge reopened Friday, June 5.

The bridge project was a united effort involving the Wisconsin Department of Transportation, Washington County, and Pheifer Bros. Construction.

The bridge project included improvements to the bridge approaches and replacing the narrow and deteriorating bridge structure originally built in 1952 with a safer and wider bridge that will serve Washington County travelers for several decades.

The bridge was completed using the Wisconsin Department of Transportation’s replace in kind policy, which saves taxpayer money by not overbuilding. Construction was completed approximately two months ahead of schedule and under budget.

Updates & Tidbits

  • The Museum of Wisconsin Art is preparing to reopen in July.
  • Cedar Community is now officially a Great Place to Work certified company by Activated Insights, an independent research and consulting firm. The certification process evaluated more than 60 elements of team members’ experience on the job, including employee pride in the organization’s community impact, belief that their work makes a difference, and feeling their work has special meaning.
  • The Allenton Volunteer Fire Department and American Legion Post 483 announced “due to the COVID-19 virus and the uncertainty ahead, American Legion Post 483, Allenton American Legion Auxiliary and the Allenton Fire Department have decided to cancel the Allenton Picnic August 14 – August 16, 2020. The American Legion Post 483 and Auxiliary along with the Allenton Fire Department have a mission to protect and serve our community. Your safety and the safety of our personnel are more important than our picnic in 2020.”
  • The Washington County Farm Bureau held its annual Wisconsin Ag in the Classroom Essay Contest this past spring and was open to all 4th and 5th grade students in Washington County.Nearly 50 students entered the contest. Essays were judged on content, grammar, spelling, originality, and creativity and between 100 – 300 words. First place winners receive $50 and $25 was awarded for second and third places. These winners went on to compete at the district level. All winners are from Allenton Elementary School. 1st place: Isabella Kratz, daughter of Rich and Kelly Kratz, 2nd place:  Ella Stensaas, daughter of Tyler and Heather Stensaas, and 3rd place:  Riley Odenwald, daughter of Brian and Crystal Odenwald

 

West Bend Sunrise Rotary presents Disaster Response Grant          By Mary Beth Seiser

The West Bend Sunrise Rotary made a generous donation to the Albrecht Free Clinic in West Bend this week.

Presenting the check were Rotarians Jon Sacks, Todd Vance and Mary Beth Seiser.

The Rotary Foundation has a Disaster Response Fund.  When the coronavirus pandemic began, the foundation set aside $1 million for Disaster Response Grants for districts, maximum $25,000 each, with the goal of enabling clubs to help their local communities combat the virus.

That was quickly dispersed, they added another $2 million, and with the help of donations and an online telethon, they added another $2 million.

To date nearly $5 million has been dispersed and applications are still pending.

(There are more than 500 districts in the world so $5 million would have benefitted 200 districts – the need is still great.)

When this program was announced, several clubs in our district contacted me about applying for one of these grants.   We are able to identify four clubs with Covid-19 related projects and filed our application.   We were in the queue for about a month, however as more funds became available, we eventually received word we would receive our $25,000 grant.   Four clubs in our district are now purchasing and delivering food to those in need, donating to Feeding America, and purchasing face masks, face shields, and other PPE’s for local first responders and fire departments.

The West Bend Sunrise Rotary received one of those grants and is using its share to provide Personal Protective Equipment for the Albrecht Free Clinic.   This will include a Splash Guard for the reception area, and face masks and shields for the safety of staff members and clients.

Rotary District 6270 also had funds available from an earlier Rotary Foundation grant and we were able to utilize that money for Covid-19 related projects.   Thirteen clubs in Southeastern Wisconsin applied for and received smaller amounts and were able to provide food, PPE’s, and other equipment and devices for their local communities.    The Rotary clubs of both West Bend Sunrise and West Bend Noon received funding under that program as well and used the funds to provide care packages to children in the Casa Guadalupe program.

Rotarians are people of action!

Chucky Fellenz of West Bend has died

It is with a heavy heart to announce the passing of Chucky Fellenz of West Bend.

For years Fellenz was 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.”

This past April Chuck celebrated his 80th birthday.

Aside from his dedication and concern for the safety of the children, Fellenz had a penchant for some unique attire. One would have thought he had been dreaming about wintering in Florida as he showed up to work year-round almost always wearing shorts.

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.

Below is a tribute from his niece Tiffany Fellenz.

I’ll miss my uncle Chuckie so much; we all do! We lost him yesterday. 🙁He had the HUGEST infectious smile (third one from rt) with the “Fellenz brothers,” laugh, and cared immensely about his family & friends. When us cousins were small, he always pulled fun pranks on us.

I recall my hamster 🐹 disappearing 😳 only for seconds though ha ha , finding coins behind our ears, and whistles! He was the best whistler. Denise shared a video I posted here. He preferred talking face to face. I recall he was not a fan of the phone.

I have the best countless memories of Christmases when growing up. Visiting my aunt & uncle‘s home & being in our basement celebrating with family. He was the owner of the fondly remembered bar in West Bend, Pitchers Mound and I will forever see that Charlie Brown on the building out front.

We had some good memories there. Uncle Chuck would always beat you in a game of horseshoes. He was pretty good if I recall. He was a proud member of the Moose Lodge in the 70s and 80s, at least that is what I remember. He even received an honorable recognition for his dutiful crosswalk job. He adored children and took pride in doing that. He loved to ride his bike. These are just some of the best memories that I know and have of our dear uncle Chuck. RIP ❤️I’ll walkways remember 🌹you!❤️

Chuck died Saturday, June 6 just a little after 3 p.m.

Please keep his wife Sally and the Fellenz family in your prayers during this difficult time.

Around the Bend by Judy Steffes

July 4 fireworks may be in jeopardy in West Bend

The West Bend Parks Department is currently putting together a plan regarding the July 4 fireworks.

Mike Jentsch, Park, Rec and Forestry Director for City of West Bend said they have met several times and are evaluating the Washington County Health Department’s Blueprint to Reopen.

“We’re evaluating everything from public safety to what happens if West Bend and Hartford are the only communities in Washington County to have fireworks? How many people will we see traveling into the community?

“At this point in time we do not have an answer whether we will have fireworks on July 4 or not,” said Jentsch.

The discussion, according to Jentsch, is ongoing between the Parks Department, Police and Fire, city administration and the mayor’s office.

“Right now, our answer is, we don’t know for sure,” Jentsch said.

District 4 alderman Randy Koehler encourages people to contact their district aldermen who will be voting on the issue at the Monday, June 15 meeting. “The Parks Department will make a recommendation and the council will then decide to accept it or move in another direction,” said Koehler.

“At some point in time we have to quit living in fear and move on with life,” said Koehler. “It is time to get back to as near normal as possible. The local fireworks to celebrate the country’s freedom is an important event and I think it should go on as in past years.”

Earlier this week the Village of Kewaskum Board voted 4-3 to cancel its July 3 fireworks. By the next day Trustee Jim Wright said he had a change of heart and now the Village is working to take the issue up again.

“In Kewaskum the community was a little surprised by the vote but the common council in West Bend is going to vote on its fireworks so contact your elected official and let them know how you feel,” said Koehler.

District 8 alderperson Meghann Kennedy said it is important we hear from people about the issue. “I hope we are able to reevaluate. I know there was hope for the fireworks and hopefully we’ll still do the fireworks even if they don’t do the July 4 parade,” she said.

Kennedy said the parade is up in the air right now as well. “That’s an evolving situation and we want the events to happen; we have to keep in mind is it best for the city,” she said.

Kennedy said she has not seen a spike in COVID-19 cases and personally she is living a life of supporting local businesses. “I’m going to restaurants and I’m not afraid for myself and I’m definitely on team ‘let’s open things up,’” Kennedy said.

A check Wednesday, June 3 of the Washington/Ozaukee Health Department COVID-19 statistics show 36 confirmed cases in 53090 area code and 42 confirmed cases in 53095.

Jentsch said part of the administration discussion is where to hold the fireworks. Normally Riverside Park is used but alternatives are being reviewed. “I’d rather not discuss the site at this point… it’s not a big secret but we just want to make sure what we bring forward is the right choice for West Bend,” he said.

The fireworks are sponsored by Horicon Bank. It is still onboard to support the event.  If fireworks are moved to another location, there may be more funding issues on the table.

West Bend Mayor Chris Jenkins said, “I believe it is important for both the morale of the City and as an opportunity for our residents, to carry out this celebration of the birth of our nation. I would be in favor of doing so and have made that known to both staff and the Council. I look forward to having this discussion, and hopefully, moving forward with a plan that allows us to celebrate our Independence Day in whatever fashion that may be.”

Balloon release at Regner Park for 19-year-old West Bend man killed in Milwaukee

Friends gathered at Regner Park in West Bend on Thursday afternoon to share memories of their friend who died Wednesday in Milwaukee.

According to Fox6now.com

MILWAUKEE — A 19-year-old Milwaukee man was fatally shot near Sherman Boulevard and Locust Street Wednesday night, June 3. It happened just before 9 p.m. Police said the circumstances leading to the shooting are under investigation. Austin Owsley attended West Bend High School.

Phillip Funeral Home in West Bend is handling the service arrangements. More details will be posted when information becomes available.

Kewaskum Village Board flips on initial vote to cancel July 3 fireworks

A busy week for the Kewaskum Village Board which met again in a special meeting Wednesday afternoon to again take up the issue of July 3 fireworks.

See the note from Village President Kevin Scheunemann below.

Fireworks vote at special Village Board meeting this PM was 5 yes, 0 no, 2 abstaining to hold fireworks on July 3.

The only change will be: Reigle Park will be launching point. Reigle Park will be closed to public and Police Chief Tom Bishop will restrict parking and street access near Reigle Park as he deems necessary.

I discourage large crowds from gathering anywhere in the Village, without social distancing, River Hill Park and Kiwanis Park will be open for viewing. I am hopeful there will be other exciting announcements, in relation to other public viewing opportunities, soon, in relation to this event.

Earlier this week the Village Board voted 4-3 to cancel fireworks this year. The next day Trustee Jim Wright had a change of heart. “Initially I was concerned about attracting more people to Kewaskum and causing more problems in light of all the unrest going on today,” Wright said. “However, after not being able to sleep last night I’m reconsidering that vote.”

Wright said he considered the trend of how everything is being taken away from everybody during this pandemic.

“In Kewaskum we lost our ability to celebrate the 125th anniversary of the community and that was really, really upsetting.  Basically, you are talking about an hour or less time for the fireworks,” said Wright.

The fireworks, according to Wright, would have to be relocated to the new Reigle Park because there’s not enough parking available at River Hill Park. “According to the fire chief and the police chief that would be feasible,” said Wright.

A special meeting was called for Wednesday, June 3 where the board reconsidered and the  fireworks issue passed by majority 5 -0 with 2 abstaining including Dave Spenner and Richard Laubach.

On Monday night, June 1 trustees voting to cancel fireworks were Richard Laubach, Dave Spenner, Jim Hovland and Jim Wright. Their decision was due to concerns about COVID-19.

2020 Washington County Fair canceled amid COVID-19 public health concerns

With the uncertainty of the COVID-19 situation and after discussions with Washington County officials and the Washington Ozaukee Public Health Department, the Washington County Agricultural & Industrial Society Board of Directors (AIS) decided the 2020 Washington County Fair scheduled for July 21-26, cannot take place this year.

The AIS Board considered many factors in making this decision but ultimately concluded the risks associated with proceeding with the fair as planned were too much to overcome.

“Planning the fair is a tremendous undertaking and our hearts break for the long list of people and organizations involved in the fair every year, including the exhibitors, staff, hundreds of dedicated volunteers and groups, sponsors, the carnival, food and commercial vendors, entertainment, equipment providers and the fairgoers who make the fair possible each and every year,” said Kellie Boone, Executive Director.

In place of virtual or in-person judging, the Fair is working on a showcase/tribute to the exhibitors and will be reaching out directly to them with information as soon as it is available as well as options for youth exhibitors aging out of participation this year.

Additionally, the Fair Park Committee will be meeting to discuss a possible alternate celebration of the Fair towards the end of Summer or early Fall. Should that transpire, details will be released as soon as they are available.

Regarding the 2021 Fair; both LANCO and Brantley Gilbert have agreed to move their performances to the 2021 Fair.

LANCO will headline the Silver Lining Amphitheater on Thursday July 22 and Brantley Gilbert on Saturday July 24.

Tickets already purchased will be honored for the 2021 dates. If you are unable to attend the 2021 show, a refund can be requested.

Details will be emailed to all current ticket holders.

The Washington County Fair staff will reach out to sponsors, vendors, exhibitors, and other ticket holders with specific information related to them.

“This decision was extremely difficult, and the impact will weigh heavily on all of us,” said Boone. “We thank our community and fair family for their support and understanding as we move forward to when we can all come back together at the 2021 Washington County Fair to be held July 20-25, 2021.” Paradise Spring Fitness may change to senior living development

There is going to be a public hearing Tuesday, July 7, 2020 before the West Bend Plan Commission regarding a proposal to change the zoning at the former Paradise Springs Fitness, 1414 E. Paradise Drive.

There was a request at this week’s Plan Commission meeting to change the 3.2 acres from commercial /single-family residential to institutional land use in order to open a senior living development. The developer would use the original structure of the building and then add a two-story addition. The facility would be designed for 20 assisted living units, 20 memory care units, and 22 senior apartments.

On a history note: That building had been home to Paradise Spring Fitness from mid-December 2009 until owner Tony Chemer moved his business in Sept. 19, 2018.

The property is currently for sale for $1.7 million.

Total Building Area 15,329 SF  Land Acres 2.86 Acres  Expenses $6.60/SF

Lease Rate $14.00 -16.00/SF Net

Washington County elected officials support cancelation of Washington County Fair

Earlier this week an announcement was made to cancel the 2020 Washington County Fair. The Agricultural and Industrial Society (AIS) cited COVID-19 and the standards of the Washington County Health Department which need to be met should the fair continue.

In an effort to allow Washington County 4-H to showcase their animals, the Fair is working on a showcase/tribute to the exhibitors and will be reaching out directly to them with information as soon as it is available as well as options for youth exhibitors aging out of participation this year.

Additionally, the Fair Park Committee will be meeting to discuss a possible alternate celebration of the Fair towards the end of Summer or early Fall. Elected officials in Washington county offered a note of support for the decisions made by AIS.

 

Hartford Union HS’s Andy Hacker selected Outstanding Educator     By Teri Kermendy

Hartford Union High School’s (HUHS) teacher, Andy Hacker, was selected as a University of Chicago Outstanding Educator, nominated by student, Alexander Byard who was accepted into the University of Chicago Class of 2024.

Each year, newly admitted students can select educators who go beyond everyday teaching and leave an impression that is carried over a lifetime. An Outstanding Educator thinks carefully about their instruction, shares an infectious love for learning, and cares for their students both inside and outside of the classroom. “Recognition from a student of this caliber is extraordinarily humbling and a prime example of the great things our students at HUHS do for the school and community at large. I am honored to know Alex and be able to help support his passions in music and beyond. Helping students realize and reach their goals is rewarding for all teachers and a token of appreciation like this is over the top.

Our HUHS students are incredible individuals and I cannot wait to see where they go as people, scholars, musicians, lovers of music, and professionals. The young adults we work with at HUHS inspire me so much every day.

Franz Liszt said, “For the formation of the artist, the first prerequisite should be the development of the human being.” His words are what drive the instruction at HUHS to help foster lifelong learning and passions.”

St. Lawrence Fire Company cancels 2020 picnic                    By St. Lawrence Fire Company

The St. Lawrence Fire Company made it official today as it announced the cancelation of its 2020 picnic.

St. Lawrence Volunteer Fire Department would like to say THANK YOU to our past, present and future supporters. In one of the most difficult decisions we ever had to make we have decided to cancel our picnic for 2020. We feel terrible for our community and friends. We will be back in 2021 and hope to see you then.

On a follow-up note the Ashippun Firefighter’s Picnic is on for 2020, The Board of Directors of the Ashippun Fire Department has made the decision, to hold the 2020 Ashippun Firefighter’s Picnic. The picnic will be shortened to a one-day event. The date of the picnic, rain or shine, will be Saturday, July 11, 2020. The following events are planned with approximate time frames: Car Show from 8am – 3pm, Big Al and HiFi’s 1pm – 4pm, Wrestling 6 p.m. – 8 p.m., Stetsin and Lace 8:30 p.m. – 12 a.m.

Dollar General moving into Dove Plaza in Slinger       By Ann Bauer

It was a subtle announcement Tuesday, June 2 as a large yellow banner with black lettering was draped across the Dove Plaza sign on Highway 60 in Slinger. A new Dollar General is opening in the stripmall at 1026 E. Commerce Boulavard.

The franchise dollar store will occupy about one third of the shopping center, starting at the corner formerly home to Snap Fitness plus the former Mainly Gold location all the way to Chinatown Kitchen.

There’s a Dumpster out front of the building as the interior remodel is underway. The store is slated to open June 22, 2020. There is currently a Dollar General location in West Bend, 1120 E. Washington Street.

Tuesday Morning to remain open in West Bend

The manager at Tuesday Morning, a home decor store in the West Bend Plaza, said they will remain open for business. Corporate announced it had filed bankruptcy and will close 132 of its nearly 230 locations.

The West Bend store, 828 S. Main Street, first reopened last Friday, May 29 after being shuttered more than a month because of the coronavirus pandemic.

The company said in a statement the stores that were closing were deemed “underperforming” or in an area with “too many locations in close proximity.”

There are two Tuesday Morning locations closing in Wisconsin including one outlet in Green Bay and the other in the Greenway Shopping Center in Middleton.

Lazy days of summer

A gaggle of boys took advantage of the remodeled Riverwalk in Downtown West Bend to launch their innertubes and they were off …. floatin’ down the Milwaukee River. One managed to find a plunger and used that as a paddle. Temps were sunny and about 81 degrees. The kids did not seem to be concerned about water temps… or, for that much, anything.  Even with the storms Tuesday night the water was about at knee level.

Lastly, you have in a VM a couple of days ago asked about unemployment rates and had what sounded like a COVID related question…how we might come out of it. Let me know if you wanted to have that conversation…or if the timing on that is past. I did review current employment information in prep. Happy to offer what I can…can call to discuss.

Tom Schwai sets new fish fry record at Fillmore Fire Hall

For the past two years Tom Schwai has thrown down a challenge to serve 600 fish fries at Fillmore Fire Hall for its fundraiser. In 2019 Tommy promised a Schwai’s hot stick for everyone if he served more than 600. Last Friday, Tom just put out a simple challenge and asked people to respond and help support the Fillmore Fire Department. What happened? Watch the video and see if Tommy and his crew reached their goal.

The newly proclaimed “King of the World” of fish fries will be at the Downtown West Bend Farmers’ Market on Saturday with his famous strawberry brats in tow. Come visit the Schwai booth and give Tommy the business about being the Leonardo DiCaprio of the Friday fish fry

COVID-19 Hospitalizations Decline Dramatically

Good news.

Around the Bend by Judy Steffes

Final sale price for former Fleet Farm building in West Bend

The final numbers are in regarding the sale price of the old Fleet Farm, 1637 W. Washington Street, and the site of the former Tri-Par, 1613 W. Washington Street.

According to the West Bend City Assessor’s office the sale of Fleet Farm to Kwik Trip Inc. Corp. closed May 8, 2020.

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

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

Records show Kwik Trip Inc. Corp. paid $3,100,000 for the former Fleet Farm site on the southeast corner of Highway 33 and 18th Avenue.  The parcel was last assessed in 2019 at $2,174,700.

The former Tri-Par parcel, just to the east of the large former Fleet building, sold for $190,000 to Kwik Trip Inc. Corp. That parcel was last assessed in 2019 at $250,000.

The City of West Bend currently has two Kwik Trips, one on Silverbrook just north of Paradise Drive and the second on Decorah Road and S. Main Street. There are also two more Kwik Trips on tap as construction is set for a new store on Highway 33 east and on Paradise Drive and River Road.

The timetable on development of Kwik Trip No. 5 has yet to be determined. The old Fleet still needs to be razed but the early thought is they’d like to have the store open “sometime next year” in 2021.

Other details from the Kwik Trip:

– There is a car wash at the W. Washington Street location

– Construction will start this year, 2020, on the Kwik Trip No. 3 and No. 4 locations in West Bend. Kwik Trip officials said the two projects may be “staged at the same time” but it is not aware which will be started or completed first.

Oaken Hogg bourbon bar opening in downtown West Bend

“We are a bourbon bar,” said David Casper, owner of the new Oaken Hogg in downtown West Bend. “We’ll be focused on that spirit and all things associated with what comes out of a bourbon barrel.”

Casper and his wife Nicole have had their eye on opening an establishment for a few years. His wife’s family had restaurants and taverns in the Kenosha area. Casper’s background is advertising and alcohol promotions, as well as a love of bourbon.

“I’ve been a bourbon; I hate to say ‘connoisseur’… it’s just one of those things that just came together. We figured it complimented what West Bend already has to offer,” he said.

The Oaken Hogg will serve all types of alcohol and cocktails but bourbon is the focus.

The couple are currently remodeling the former Café Soeurette location, 111 N Main St, West Bend.

Casper said the Oaken Hogg will open in phased implementation. “This isn’t going to be a restaurant,” he said. “We’re opening the bar first and offering charcuterie for the time being. Then we are looking to open a restaurant in 10 to 15 months to coincide with the Riverwalk because we do have space on the riverfront.”

In 2018-19 the City of West Bend redeveloped the east side of the Riverwalk. Adding a new retention wall, decorative paved sidewalk, white bridges, and trees.

The project to redevelop the west side of the Riverwalk is currently in a fundraising/planning stage.

The Caspers have lived in West Bend seven years. “We love the community,” he said. “For a very brief period we looked at some surrounding areas but West Bend is the place.”

Casper believes “any community can be a bourbon community.”

“It’s a quintessential American spirit, very versatile, and it has grown significantly in the last decade; it’s not your grandfather’s drink anymore,” he said.

Bourbon, according to Casper, also appeals to more women than ever before.

“Our goal is to introduce it to those who may not have considered bourbon a drink they would try and make it accessible to people.”

Casper said his flavor of choice is Makers Mark. “They are so many good bourbons out there. I have tried hundreds of them and the best one is always the one in the glass in front of you,” he said.

The initial plan was to have a soft open July 1, however the Caspers said they are playing it by ear right now.

Opening day announced for Skinny Vic’s Diner & Coffee Stop

It is official. Skinny Vic’s announces it will open June 1, 2020.  Owner Vicky Lehnerz took us on a quick sneak peek at her new diner and coffee stop. There has been a lot of work done converting the former Golf Etc. store, 804 W. Paradise Drive, in West Bend into an eatery.

Skinny Vic’s is also in the running for a Class B liquor license with the City of West Bend. The new diner is in the same strip mall as Home Depot. The diner will feature a Coca Cola theme with a 1950’s feel; it will include homemade breakfast and lunch and gluten-free options.

 

Interfaith Caregivers of Washington County Ride ReStart – Update    By Janean Brudvig

Dear Volunteers & Community Partners,

First, a warm THANK YOU to the many who have helped over the past weeks to create a “community of kindness” for our isolated seniors. A very special shout-out and welcome to our 30+ NEW VOLUNTEERS! We could not be more grateful for the many Kindness Calls & Cards, Food Delivery, grocery shopping, and medication pick-up you are providing – what a tremendous difference you are making!

Right now, we are working on “phase-one” to resume our ride service. As we do this, ensuring the health and safety of our volunteer drivers and senior clients continues to be our main concern. As we create our guidelines, we are looking to several sources, including the CDC, Blueprint for opening Washington/Ozaukee Co. and other transportation programs across the state. From these we will craft the best plan for Interfaith Caregivers of Washington County.

We anticipate that with our Board of Director’s approval, the guidelines for Interfaith’s Ride ReStart will be out early next week. “Phase-one” rides will begin on Monday, June 1.

Help Corner will be opening on a limited basis on June 1.

The services we have provided over the past weeks will continue unchanged. This includes outdoor work now that the weather is finally cooperating. Currently, all in-home services remain suspended.

Please watch for Interfaith’s Ride ReStart guidelines early next week. If you have any questions, please give our office a call 262-365-0902 or email me a janean@ifc4seniors.org

When I asked our team to share a “best work moment” from the past weeks – the resounding choice? Percolate Drive-Thru, of course. Sharing a smile (and donut) with so many of you, though from a distance, warmed our hearts. We miss you all very much. Again, thank you from all of us for everything you are doing. Stay healthy and safe, and we will see you soon!

With Gratitude,

Janean Brudvig

 

Help needed finding sentimental property stolen in West Bend

Reaching out for some community support in hopes of helping a young man in West Bend who had some personal items stolen from a storage locker in his apartment on Vine Street. The items are extremely sentimental and any help sharing the story and finding the items would mean the world.

My aunt had to move and gave me her collection of Wizard of Oz memorabilia since it was one of my favorite films. I had them locked in the basement of my apartment building in a wood and chicken wire storage unit. The unit was still locked when I realized the items were missing, unfortunately I don’t check my unit consistently but they had been in there over a year with no issues, but we have had issues with our front door not locking. I know this had to have happened within the last month, around Mother’s Day or so, because I noticed them still in there. There is a gap between the ceiling and the storage units which someone could potentially climb over.

When talking to the police they thought it was possibly someone looking for stuff to sell for drug money. They took a collection of Dave Grossman figurines that were stored in a vacuum box. The person dug through all of my plastic bins and also took an autographed plate with a scene from the film.

I will say this meant more to my family because my aunt had a connection to one of the minor actors from the film and attended a conference where she was able to meet the living cast members and had a few sign the plate; that was one of the items taken.

I understand these are just things but it meant a great deal to my family and I hope I could retrieve them to some capacity; the figurines are replaceable but the plate was the more valuable item.

I have done a little digging and contacted several pawn shops with no luck. I have attached a photo I found online of what the figurines looked like.  If more people know, the opportunity of getting them back might be better.

I created an email for anyone with information could reach out to me, kpsark2020@gmail.com

 

Happy 72nd birthday to Veteran Art Schmid of West Bend | By Delaney Braun

More than 75 cars lined up on Decorah Road in West Bend on Wednesday, May 13 for one of the most special birthday parades held since the State of Wisconsin went into a lockdown.

Art Schmid is an admirer of antique cars and enjoys going to car and motorcycle shows in the summer.

Schmid was born in West Bend on May 13, 1948. He graduated West Bend High School in 1967, studied tool and die at Moraine Park Technical College, married the love of his life Debby Wolf on June 30, 1979 and they had three children together.

Schmid spent three years in the U.S. Army; he fought in Vietnam from 1968 to 1969. During his service overseas, he is one of the many Vietnam veterans impacted by Agent Orange, a herbicide sprayed on trees and vegetation during the war. This fertilizer is known for giving Vietnam veterans like Schmid forms of cancer later in life.

Schmid is currently battling MDS (blood cancer) and since he is exceptionally susceptible to illnesses such as COVID-19 he could not go out to admire the cars and motorcycles that usually bring him extreme happiness.

But that did not stop his family and friends from bringing the cars to him.

Over 75 family members and close friends burned some rubber for a 15-minute long 72nd birthday parade led by the West Bend Police department. He was accompanied by his immediate family cheering him on and celebrating his extra special day. Schmid and his family expressed their gratitude for everyone that came out to help celebrate his 72nd birthday.

As a member of Schmid’s family, it was truly heartwarming to see his grin from ear to ear every single time a car passed by his driveway. Special thanks to Debby Schmid, Kayla Lang, and Karmen Weins for helping plan this extraordinary event! Happy 72nd Art!

Guest Editorial | Looking for leadership                          By Kraig Sadownikow

I’m learning the leadership we thirst for has to be found within each of us because it is not coming from our elected representatives.  The Declaration of Independence makes it clear (I had to check the exact wording from the copy hanging in the lobby where I work) that “All men (people) are created equal” and that we are all endowed by our Creator with certain inalienable Rights.  Among these are “Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness”.  We have all had a history class and we have all heard the words before.  Given the state of our nation reading and typing this today feels brand new, like I have read it for the first time.  The rights are given by our Creator, not the government.  The Declaration today gave me goose bumps….here’s why:

The leadership, and lack of it coming from Madison is inexcusable and disrespectful to those who sacrificed on our behalf.  Prior generations overcame their legitimate fears so we would have the luxury to be afraid today.  Prior generations feared an oppressive British government, they feared starvation if crops did not grow, they feared things like a mainland strike by Japan, dangerous and unsafe work environments, children going off to fight in any number of wars and they feared another terrorist attack.

In every case the American people stood up and fought.  They fought with their brains, hearts, fists, and technology.  They fought alongside their neighbors and their communities, they sacrificed, created, and endured.  They fought for themselves and for us.

The fear we feel today is not new, but our reaction to it is.  Today, we fight to stay at home.  Today, we are thrown a few ‘government’ dollars to keep us quiet until the next allocation and are told where we can go, with whom, when to go and how we should dress.  In an effort to feel safe and unafraid, we are risking our freedom and independence.  We have given up fighting for the rights we were endowed with.

We have a Governor who continues to get away with insulting our intelligence by granting nuggets of freedom as if they are his to give.  He is so confident in our complacency of thought that with a straight face, he announced big box retail can have hundreds of customers while our local flower shop can have only 5, not 6.  We have also been told to limit the size of gatherings to 10.  Which is it?  100’s, 10, 5 or something else? What will it be tomorrow? He has granted us permission to allow our dogs to get a haircut, but not us.  We have been told to accept as logical the idea that we can stand in line to order a sub sandwich to-go, but not sit down and eat it.  Standing good, sitting bad.  We are told he will determine when it is safe enough for him to give us our lives back.

Wisconsin legislative leaders ran to the Supreme Court, crying foul without a substantive plan of action to recommend even if they win the case.  On Tuesday, in a radio interview, Assembly Speaker Vos was asked about GOP elected officials being more vocal and communicating better with constituents.  He claimed they are using every tool at their disposal and standing on the steps shouting and screaming will only harden the Governor’s resolve.  He also inferred the ‘shouting and screaming’ was the people’s responsibility not his.   I guess Robin Vos has a different idea of leadership than I do.  Leaders rally others around passion, commons sense, intelligent thought, decency and the rule of law.  Not shouting and screaming.  Additionally, I take offense to the idea that being a leader of action and representing freedoms does not fall under his job description.  We live in a Representative Democracy which, by definition, means we elect officials to represent us.  Taking action on behalf of the people is his job.  We elect him to do that job, so we can do ours.  I am not asking him to do my job, just begging him to do his.

There is a difference between playing politics and governing.  We need representatives who will govern based on the constitution, our rights, freedoms, liberties, and responsibilities.  Governor Evers, we can see you stealing liberties under the disguise of keeping us safe.  We the people, can keep ourselves safe.  We the people, includes our first responders and health care providers who are doing their jobs.  It includes teachers and students who want to go back to work.  It includes all other business that do not need the ‘magical’ government to dictate how to keep themselves, employees, customers, and family members safe.

Once again, the best thing government can do is lead.  Lead by communicating, lead by educating and lead by getting the heck out of the way.  If you are not out of the way you are (you guessed it) in the way.

I suggest we follow the Declaration of Independence and throw off tyranny to seek out life, liberty and to pursue our own happiness.  If your happiness is found by staying at home, enjoy your time.  If it is found at a local restaurant, I hope to see you there.

Around the Bend by Judy Steffes

Effort underway to save Great Horned owls by the old brewery building in West Bend

There was quick action taken in the community of West Bend as Bill Mitchell from the DNR stepped in to help save a baby great horned owl from its possible future demise.

On Tuesday two owl carcasses were found below the power lines near a pine tree just north of the dam on Highway 33 in West Bend.

For the past few month’s neighbors had been watching the growth of three owlets nesting inside a vent on the south side of the old brewery building. The owls had been ready to take flight when it appears two of them hit the power line and were killed.

Ric Koch of West Bend visited the owl site daily over the past few months. He spotted the dead owls on Tuesday and removed them Wednesday night to bury them. “It was pretty gruesome,” said Koch. “Their wingspan is about 6 feet and the branch of the pine tree was right up next to the power line.”

“The one baby was at that level this morning (Thursday) and the mother is in the tree to the north,” he said.

The baby, according to Koch, is pretty active. “It’ll flit around that pine tree and then go closer to the brewery building during the day to get away from the crows and then it will come back to that spot at night,” he said.

On Wednesday, after the death of the birds was reported to We Energies as tree-trimming crew came out and cut back some of the branches.

Mitchell said it’s unsettling the young owls have fallen victim to the power lines two years in a row.

Brendan Conway from We Energies said a couple crews from the West Bend service center went out today, Thursday, to look. “We can put some extra equipment on wires to help insulate them in case they’re known to be a high-traffic area for birds,” he said. “We also noticed a tree was close to the power lines so we’ve trimmed back the branches but at least they won’t come in contact with the line.”

Mitchell said he is going to work to have the tree topped off so it is significantly below the power line and less of a hazard in the future.

Enchantment in the Park makes donation to local food pantries

Organizers of Enchantment in the Park in West Bend stepped up in May 2020 with a $50,000 donation to food pantries in Washington County.

“We feel the timing could not be better with what is going on in our communities,” said Enchantment organizer Lori Yahr.

The Full Shelf Food Pantry has been a vital resource in the community since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. It has helped families who have suffered job loss and unexpected furloughs.

Road construction on Paradise Drive in West Bend finishes ahead of schedule

A quick finish to a road project on Paradise Drive from Indiana Avenue to River Road in West Bend. Contractors began the pavement construction April 20, 2020 and finished well ahead of the mid-May deadline.

Construction included pulverizing existing roadway, grading and evaluation of roadway base, and placement of hot mix asphalt pavement overlay. The general contractor for this project was Stark Pavement Corp. from Brookfield, Wisconsin.

Teachers at St. Frances Cabrini channel a summer camp tradition

Pat Kraemer and Deb Lehnerz are teachers from St. Frances Cabrini who wanted to do something special for their K4 students.

When Mrs. Kraemer’s own children would go off to summer camp, she would pack a letter a day for them to open while they were gone; that tradition sparked an idea for Cabrini staffers.

The K4 teachers got together to make an envelope a day for each student to open with a special activity inside. Stickers to make a pattern, googley eyes to go on a scavenger hunt; fun little things for each day and the teachers delivered them along with a personal pizza to celebrate the week’s theme of Kids in the Kitchen.

“I just feel like a worksheet or video or computer wasn’t enough,” said Kraemer. “We thought if one special thing every day to open… that would make a bigger impact.”

Both teachers felt they would have mixed emotions because they would want to hug the kids … but seeing them would be a good way to connect.

The teachers made 27 visits.

“It’s great to see their faces,” said Kraemer.

“This is a part of the year where they’ve grown so much and things are really clicking … we’re such a family,” said Lehnerz.

Special thanks to Papa Murphy’s Pizza for helping make the event a success.

Sunday morning flight in West Bend

A lone kite flyer took advantage of the brisk winds Sunday morning, May 3, 2020 and launched his Symphony Beach, 2.2 meter para-foil kite on the grassy field across from the old Amity Leather in West Bend.

The winds lifted the read, orange and yellow kite – similar to the old Astros MLB uniform colors. The kite hummed and whipped and zipped through the air.

Interfaith Caregivers hosts Drive-thru Percolate to celebrate volunteers

The first Friday of the month Percolate gathering at Interfaith Caregivers of Washington County has become a tradition for many in West Bend. The local non-profit opens its doors and volunteers pour in the celebrate their mission and share coffee, conversation…. and possibly a donut or two.

Over the past month that camaraderie has been tested by the Safer at Home situation.

Early in the week however, the staff sent a memo and encouraged all volunteers to participate in a drive-thru Percolate. “Bring your own coffee… we’ll supply the donuts and masks.” What happened next is part of the power of the Interfaith organization.

“In lieu of a gathering inside we’re having a Percolate parade. We’ve safely packaged our donuts and water,” said Janean Brudvig, executive director of Interfaith Caregivers of Washington County.

“We know a lot of our volunteers are doing a lot of things behind the scenes with our kindness calls and food delivery and we miss them and want to show our appreciation for all they do.”

In March when the state issued a Safer at Home order the team at Interfaith put together a program to touch base with senior citizens. Kindness Calls were a way to make sure the elderly were not being forgotten.

Volunteers at Interfaith also wrote letters to senior citizens and they helped with the shopping.

Below are some details if you would like to become part of the team at Interfaith Caregivers of Washington County.

A simple phone call goes a long way. Many of Interfaith’s clients are alone and shut-in during this crisis. Some are not allowed to even leave their room.

Would you have a few minutes to make a phone call to help break up their day? Offer a Kindness Call, to check-in and connect with some of our lonely seniors? For more details, please call our office 262-365-0902

On top of that, if you would like to write a card to clients we can help you get in contact with them via mail as well.

Again, if you are interested please contact the Interfaith Office.

Thank you for all you do! “Together we will create a community of kindness”

Great Ad Placement

Ghoulish, but well done

Aggressive Gator Warning in Florida

Be careful out there.

BRADENTON, Fla. — Around this time of year, Floridians don’t just have to worry about aggressive drivers on the road — they should be on the lookout for aggressive alligators, too, according to officials who on Friday had to remove a 9-foot (2.8-meter) gator from a county road.

The Manatee County Sheriff’s Office warned motorists that it’s that time of year when alligators, um, fall in love but might not always be so affectionate.

“It’s gator mating season. This means they could be more mobile and aggressive than usual,” the sheriff’s office wrote in a Facebook post.

A male gator measuring 9 feet, 2 inches (2.8 meters) had to be removed from a roadway after it was spotted “being aggressive with traffic.” Sheriff’s deputies captured the reptile and relocated him to an alligator farm.

Packers Draft a Quarterback

Yep.

GREEN BAY, Wis. — The Green Bay Packers traded up late in the first round of the 2020 NFL draft on Thursday night, using the 26th pick to select the potential heir to Aaron Rodgers: Utah State quarterback Jordan Love.

I would like to point out that I predicted this at the beginning of the year.

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

NFL Expands Playoffs

Nooooooooooo… I disapprove of the continued “everybody’s a winner” culture. Of course this is about the money. More games = more revenue. This seems like a backdoor way to just lengthen the season.

The NFL’s anticipated playoff expansion officially passed.

League owners voted to approve expanding the postseason to 14 teams beginning in the 2020 season, NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport reported, per a source.

The decision came during a conference call Tuesday, which took place in lieu of the NFL’s Annual League Meeting, which was canceled earlier this month as part of the league’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Changing the playoff format required approval from three-quarters of the 32 NFL owners.

In the new format, AFC and NFC Wild Card games will feature the 2 seed hosting the 7 seed, the 3 seed hosting the 6 seed and the 4 seed hosting the 5 seed.

Concussive Maintenance on Mars

This might be my favorite story of the day. “Hey boss, the drill is stuck!” “Just whack it with the shovel!”

NASA’s InSight lander, which is currently on the surface of Mars, has faced some unexpected problems during its mission to explore and study the planet.

Namely, a digging probe that was built to burrow beneath the surface like a jackhammer got stuck because Mars’ soil is clumpier than scientists expected, Popular Science reports.

After a few failed attempts to get it out, NASA had to get a bit creative. Ultimately, it freed the probe up by giving it a solid thwack with InSight’s shovel.

“87% of… people sickened have recovered from COVID-19”

Some positive news.

Most people who catch coronavirus will only get mild symptoms and recover, recent data from China suggests.

Researchers there found that more than 80 percent of people diagnosed with the disease sweeping the globe only developed fever, cough and some aches and pains

It’s cause for some optimism as deaths in the US surpass 200 and the case count creeps toward 15,000.

In China, 87 percent of more than 80,000 people sickened have recovered from COVID-19, and some studies suggest people become ‘low risk’ for the transmitting virus within just 10 days of starting to feel sick.