Category Archives: Off-Duty

Around the Bend by Judy Steffes

Rumor resolved regarding possible Denny’s restaurant at Kwik Trip in Richfield

 There’s been quite a bit of scuttlebutt regarding the future Kwik Trip at the old Richfield Truck Stop, 2900 State Road 167 in Richfield. Yes, it’s true the old Richfield Truck Stop has been leveled. It’s true a new Kwik Trip is moving in. It will include a new gas station, convenience store and car wash and is expected to employ up to 80 people.

But no, it is NOT true a Denny’s restaurant will be included in the plan.

Troy Mleziva is the head of real estate for Kwik Trip. “Richfield… no Denny’s at the Kwik Trip there. That’s just somebody’s rumor.” One of the thoughts that may have sparked the rumor is Denny’s and Kwik Trip have teamed up in the past. In 2015 posted a story in its food service column about four new Kwik Trip stores carrying Denny’s restaurants.

Kwik Trip Inc. has forged a deal with Denny’s to open full-service restaurants at four of the convenience-store and travel center retailer’s locations, Denny’s CEO John Miller said during the company’s third-quarter earnings call. The Kwik Trip in Richfield is expected to open in November/December 2019.

Erin Hills to host 2025 U.S. Women’s Open and 2022 U.S. Mid-Amateur Championships

Erin Hills has been selected as the host site for the 2025 U.S. Women’s Open and 2022 U.S. Mid-Amateur Championships.

The U.S. Women’s Open, the ultimate test in women’s golf, will be contested May 29-June 1. The 2022 U.S. Mid-Amateur will be played Sept. 10-15, with Blue Mound Golf and Country Club, in Wauwatosa, Wis., serving as the stroke-play co-host course.

“We are thrilled to return to Erin Hills, and to bring the U.S. Women’s Open and U.S. Mid-Amateur to such a memorable and deserving course,” said Mike Davis, CEO of the USGA. “To bring these championships to a public facility all golfers can enjoy is especially exciting for us. The USGA has a great relationship with the facility, and Erin Hills has proven to be one of the premier golf venues in the nation as well as an excellent test.”

The championships will be the fourth and fifth USGA championships conducted at Erin Hills.

Tree dedication in Hartford on Saturday, April 20 for Logan Johnson

There will be a tree dedication for Logan Johnson at noon on April 20. All are welcome and encouraged to attend.

Logan Johnson was a healthy 8-year-old boy when he was diagnosed with an illness called Myocarditis (Inflammation of the heart) which doctors believe was caused by Parvovirus B-19 (known as 5th disease).

The nightmare began May 6, 2017. Logan played a soccer game that morning. He had been sick with a low-grade fever the day before and seemed to be feeling better, but the game wore him out and the fever returned. Later that day, he complained of pain in his chest and abdomen. He collapsed at home and was taken by ambulance to Children’s Hospital. After many hours and extensive tests, ultrasounds, and lab work – he was diagnosed with Myocarditis. He was placed on life support to try to save him.

After three excruciating weeks in the hospital, Logan went to heaven and is now safe in the arms of Jesus. Two days prior to becoming ill Logan asked his mom what his purpose was and why God made him. Little did this 8-year-old know that his story and journey would touch so many lives and bring people closer to their faith in God.

On April 20 there will also be free lunch from 12:30 to 2:30 at the concession stand consisting of a hot dog and chips. Everyone is invited to get together to remember Logan.

Additionally, there will be “A Love for Logan” fundraising jar out on April 20 at the concession stand, all proceeds for “Love for Logan” go to Children’s Hospital.

The Hartford Soccer club has planted several trees at Independence Park to honor the memory of our players whose lives have ended too young, as an outward remembrance for those missed and to remind everyone to enjoy life and “get out there and play.”

This most recent tree planted and to be dedicated on April 20 at noon is in honor of Logan Johnson, a Hartford Soccer Club player who passed from heart disease in 2017. We look forward to everyone coming to celebrate Logan’s life with us!

The rainbow eggers are selling like hot cakes at West Bend Elevator

The chicks are in at West Bend Elevator and they’re selling like hot cakes. The chicks are a day or two old.  “We’d name our chicks Peach and Fuzz,” said Dana. The chicks are yellow, black, and orange and if you get the ones with the colorful heads then the eggs will be multicolored (true fact those are called rainbow eggers). The weather is still a bit cool and West Bend Elevator recommends a heat lamp. The chicks are all about a day or two old and they’re going for $4.50 apiece. If these sell out, he next shipment is expecting May.

Kettle Moraine Lutheran High School Succeeds at State Forensics | By Megan Himm

Students from Kettle Moraine Lutheran High School (KML) participated in the state forensics meet on April 13. The event took place on the campus of the University of Wisconsin, Madison.

Students only did their piece once and immediately received score sheets after all performances in the room were completed.  After they took their score sheets back to their coach who would later get their medals.

A perfect score of 25 earned a gold medal, a score of 23-24 earned a silver medal, a score of 20-22 earned a bronze medal, and a score of 5-19 earned a small bronze medal.

A total of six students from KML earned gold medals. After everything in Madison wrapped up, KML followed tradition and stopped for food and ice cream on the way home. As the forensics season ends, students look forward to the end of the year party, with more ice cream and awards.

Gold winners include Amy Deibert (senior), Maria Zimmerman (senior), Emily Gliniecki (senior), Megan Himm (junior), Madelyn Lechmaier (junior), Amelia Pfund (freshman).

Silver medalists include Megan Parbs (senior), Megan Moeller (junior), Amelia Neuwirth (junior), Abigail Kesting (junior), Elizabeth Farley (junior), Claire & Emma Semenske (junior and freshman), Kayla Nommensen (junior), Libby Markgraf (junior), Josie Jacklin & Brayden Smith (freshmen), and Emilia Lechmaier (freshman). Rebekah White and Jenna Young (junior)- bronze, Logan Hennen (freshman)- bronze

Kettle Moraine Symphony and Choruses performs at Holy Hill May 5    By Connie Schulist

Kettle Moraine Symphony and Moraine Chorus along with members of Bel Canto Chorus return to the Basilica at Holy Hill Sunday, May 5 at 3 p.m. to perform Lauridsen’s “Lux Aeterna”, along with Mozart’s “Vesperae solennes de Confessore” and “Exsultate Jubilate”, conducted by Dr. Richard Hynson. The Moraine Chorus is directed and rehearsed by Dr. Peter Gibeau, UW-Washington County professor of music and KMS principal contrabassist.

Tickets are $18 for adults, $15 for seniors, $5 for students. Due to its length, this concert is not recommended for children under 12. Tickets may be purchased online by going to the KMS website at, or by check made out to the Kettle Moraine Symphony, PO Box 52, West Bend, WI 53095. Tickets are also available at the following outlets: Horicon Bank in West Bend. More information is available on the website or by calling 262-334-3469.

Operation Avery’s Playroom | By Crystal Zurn

Justin Handrow grew up in Hartford and graduated Hartford High School.  Justin, Liz, and their children now live in Grafton. The couple have three children including a daughter Avery who is suffering cancer. Below is a story by Crystal Zurn from Slinger who is hoping to help the Handrow family with a remodeling project for their children.

“It’s cancer,” — two words that no one ever wants to hear, and if you do, one can’t imagine the painful way that it irreversibly flips your world upside down.

Those are the words the Handrow family heard on February 23, 2018 regarding their 1-1/2-year-old daughter, Avery. They later found out Avery has rhabdomyosarcoma, cancer in her face muscle. Despite several chemo and radiation treatments, in September 2018 they got more heartbreaking news that her cancer had spread to her lungs and lymph nodes.

This family has gone through an insurmountable amount of pain and heartbreak, and they need a beacon of hope in their lives. As Avery continues her treatments and care, it is imperative she stay as healthy as possible. Her immune system is very weak, so she often must be quarantined at her home and is unable to go outside. Spending this much time indoors has become a challenge for the Handrows, as they need more room for their kids to play, run, imagine, and grow (and for all of the toys that allow them to do this!)

We have spoken with the family and decided we are going to help them by finishing off their basement and creating a large playroom for Avery and her siblings! We have dubbed this project

We have volunteers and contractors who are willing to donate their time and efforts towards seeing this project through, but we need your help! We are looking for the following to be donated to successfully complete this project:

– Building materials such as lumber, drywall, etc.

– Monetary gift towards Operation Avery’s Playroom, which will go towards purchasing supplies, paint, decorations, and furnishings.

Our goal is to raise $7,500 for this project. Any amount, no matter how small, will go towards making a significant improvement to the lives of Avery and her family.

If you can’t give, but still want to support our cause, please share our page with your friends, family members, and coworkers. With more people aware of our cause, we will be one step closer to reaching our goal.

West Bend woman runs the U.S. to raise awareness for MS             By Tabetha Wolfe

Tabetha Wolfe of Germantown is helping bring awareness to multiple sclerosis (MS) via the MS Run the US. “The run is dedicated to raising awareness and funds to support multiple sclerosis (MS) research, while also supporting those living with disability due to MS,” said Wolfe.

The running events focus on promoting a healthy lifestyle while inspiring individuals to maximize their capabilities and become more active to help those in need.

The MS Run the US- Relay is an annual 3,260-mile relay run across America for multiple sclerosis. On Monday, April 15, Wolfe started Segment 2 of the MS Run the US relay across America. She will be running a marathon a day for eight days (204 miles) from Barstow, CA to Las Vegas, NV. Below is a story from Wolfe about her fourth day on the road.

Day 4✔ 28.06 miles with 112.6 miles covered over the last four days. Over half-way done.

Our first night camping in the desert started out with a bang as we were getting ready to turn in for the evening the generator for the RV went out. The crew tried to get it going but were unsuccessful. So, we spent the night without the generator…not a big deal. But this will propose some interesting camping tonight.

Today started out rough, I went up hill covering over 2,000 feet in elevation. The first three miles I was not mentally in the right place but kept repeating a quote from the letter my daughter wrote me… “Everything you need is already within.”

I also reflected on why I am out in the middle of the Mojave Desert. I am here from my mother-in-law Betty and my cousin Kelly Witte along with all the others that suffer with MS and to make this invisible disease VISIBLE! And that got me through.

Although it was rough, I kept plugging away. At mile 9 Peter told me it flattens out over the next three miles then it’s all down. Well the next three miles were all up, and big up. But after mile 12 I finally hit the down. It was great to open and pick the pace a bit.

I finished at an old train station that has been changed into the visitor center. This was an awesome place to end since the generator is broken, we can’t shower so I was able to use the bathroom to clean up and then sit in air conditioning. Now we are eating then enjoying the desert night sky. Until tomorrow. Which will bring another 2,000 feet in elevation…. again.

West Bend’s Memorial Day observance will be Monday, May 27, 2019

Line up for the parade will be on S. Main Street between Oak Street and Decorah Road between 8:15 a.m. and 9:15 a.m. with the parade stepping off at 9:30 a.m. sharp. The parade will end on Sixth Avenue and Poplar Street at the Memorial Plaza just north of the old Washington County Courthouse. The program is scheduled to begin at approximately 10:30 a.m. In case of inclement weather, the program will be held inside the Old Courthouse Museum. Boy Scout troop 780 will again be selling brats, hot dogs and soda at the Plaza.

Updates & tidbits

-On Saturday, April 20, 2019 from 8 a.m. to 10:30 a.m., the West Bend Police Department will be selling approximately 70 abandoned bicycles. The bike sale will occur at the West Bend Police Department at 350 Vine Street.

-The West Bend Moose Lodge is hosting its annual free Easter dinner. This year the meal will be served promptly at noon on Easter Sunday, April 21.

– Tickets go on sale April 21 for the 32nd annual Washington County Breakfast on the Farm. It will be held June 21 at Highland Dairy, LLC this year in Kewaskum. Mike, Linda and Corey Enright are set to roll out the red carpet and invite guests to tour the robotic farm, listen to live music and share in some eggs, ham, pancakes and applesauce.

Miss Wisconsin USA Danika Tramburg of Richfield to compete in Miss USA

Miss Wisconsin USA 2019 Danika Tramburg of Richfield will be leaving Sunday to compete for the Miss USA crown on May 2 in Reno Tahoe.

Tramburg, 22, is a graduate of Living Word Lutheran High School in Jackson and she completed college at Concordia University Wisconsin in three and a half years earning a Bachelor of Science in Sport and Entertainment Business. She won the title of Miss USA Wisconsin in September 2018. Tramburg will be one of 51 women competing in the pageant in Reno Tahoe.  She sat down at the Museum of Wisconsin Art to talk a bit about the upcoming pageant and what will be required should she win.

“The difference between my title and Miss America is that Miss America has a talent portion of competition and they recently got rid of the swimsuit portion. Miss USA, we compete in interview, swimsuit, evening gown and then there’s an on-stage question and Miss USA then continues to Miss Universe so there’s that international component.”

“Aside from the title of Miss Wisconsin USA, and my sash and crown it’s really a year of service,” she said. “When you go into this and win you have to understand this is a platform and you have the opportunity to share your voice about something you’re passionate about and that’s what Miss Wisconsin USA means to me and it gives me the opportunity to spread awareness about human trafficking  platform and it gives me a greater voice to do so that’s what this whole title embodies.”

Behind the scenes, Tramburg said she’s pretty much the girl next door.

“I work a full-time job, I have two planners, I’m super close to my family and there are always things that are being thrown at you including a lot of requests that come out of nowhere so you just have to be on your toes,” Tramburg said. “It takes a strong individual and a well-organized individual to handle everything that comes at you and I’ve been really fortunate growing up playing sports and it’s given me a sense of time-management, dedication and determination to handle all those things.”

Tramburg currently works as a full-time marketing associate at Kapco in Grafton. She uses her profile to bring awareness to the cause of fighting human trafficking. She volunteers with Wisconsin organizations including Washington County Anti-Trafficking Advocates, Susan G. Komen Foundation, Hunger Task Force, Juvenile Diabetes Association, and Special Olympics.

Tramburg recently sat down for a one-on-one interview at the Museum of Wisconsin Art where she spoke about her pageant titles, how she’s preparing for Miss USA and she talked passionately about her faith.

“Honestly faith…  that’s the glue to everything,” said Tramburg.“There’s always things life is throwing at you and my faith is everything and I don’t think I would honestly be where I am right now in this position where I can be a voice for the community and I believe God put me here for a reason.”

Tramburg said her faith has kept her “grounded and humble.”

“My strong faith has carried me through this journey we call life. From working the Super Bowl to engaging in philanthropic initiatives with the National Basketball Wives Association, playing college basketball to being Miss Wisconsin United States 2017, continuing to place in the top 10 at Miss United States and now holding the title of Miss Wisconsin USA 2019…I am always amazed to see what God has in store for me. Volunteerism is a passion of mine. Giving back is the start of creating a loving world. A topic that is truly moving to me is human trafficking and I strive to spread awareness of this horrific crime against humanity using my voice for those who are voiceless.

I believe we are all placed on this earth for a unique purpose. Although we may get caught up in the day to day struggles, there are so many great things to keep our focus on. I find comfort in the words of John 16:33 “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” My mission is to help others discover their unique purpose through recognizing their gifts and talents and utilizing them to be the best they can be and help others in the process.

See Danika’s social media pages on Facebook and Instagram for details on her Miss USA journey and her lifestyle blog PerfectYourPurpose.

Women reminisce about tradition to show off Easter dresses

Easter Sunday is a day to celebrate the resurrection of Jesus Christ. That day also represents the advent of spring fashion with sweaters instead of heavy coats, anklets instead of knee socks and lighter colors with jubilant patterns. Since the 1870s women and girls have followed tradition using that Sunday to show off their Easter dresses and neighbors in West Bend have done the same.

Joan Hoff, 79, of Cedar Ridge grew up in Milwaukee and later the Campbellsport area. Years ago, she too kept an eye on the forecast as Easter approached.

“I especially remember two weeks before Easter I hoped it would be warm enough, so we didn’t have to wear a coat over our new dress,” said Hoff. “It was a big deal if it was going to be raining.”

Hoff remembered her dress was “something fluffy with a full skirt.”

“And we always wore hats to church; kind of a bonnet and as an adult it was a pillbox.

Hoff attended St. Aloysius in West Allis and when she had daughters of her own, she got them “spiffed up, especially for Easter Mass.”

“I sewed tons,” said Hoff noting her daughters were far enough apart in age that she never dressed them alike. “I used whites or pastels; you would never have a red plaid or navy blue.”

Hoff remembered sleeves on the dresses often with a button on the back and a little zipper on the side to pull it over their head. And her girls always “had white shoes, even though it wasn’t Memorial Day”

“My younger daughter had a purse passed down from her cousin and it was shaped like a little parasol with a curved handle. That was her purse going to church and she loved it,” said Hoff.

Mary ‘Sis’ Eberhart, 64, grew up in Milwaukee and we got her Easter dress at Schuster’s Department Store on 12th and Vliet.

“It’s where we always went shopping,” said Eberhart. “I was 12 at the time and had an Easter hat with little flowers and my dad always bought me good shoes.”

Mary Radovich, 86, from Cedar Ridge remembered the financial woes of the Great Depression and how “when you got something new for Easter you always managed to get a dress.”

“You bought it a Goldman’s where the price was the cheapest,” said Radovich recalling the $1.98 spent on the dress.

At the time Radovich attended church at St. John’s on Ninth and Mineral. “The dress was pink with satiny material; I can just see myself,” she sighed. “You normally bought the dress two sizes bigger than what you really needed because it had to last that long for Sunday church. “I didn’t have a hat or purse – I was just lucky to get a dress,” she said.

While growing up, Radovich and her family struggled financially and were resigned to living on the county dole.

“At that time, we had only one choice of style shoe and it was made in Waupun – always at the prison,” said Radovich of the black Oxford county-issued shoes.

“Once a friend of mine gave me a pair of sandals; she had worn them out and there was a hole in the sole but she gave them to me and I put cardboard in and then nobody knew I had county shoes,” she laughed recalling how sly she felt in her cobbled shoes.

Barb Justman from BJ & Company recalled wearing a pastel yellow dress with lots of ruffles.

“I also had a flowery hat, white gloves, and of course those dandy white leotards,” said Justman whose mom would lay everything out the night before Easter so they would be ready to go for 6 a.m. church service.

“My dress would hang from the living room chandelier so as not to wrinkle,” said Justman. “And I even got to wear the dress ALL day!”

Lori Lynn Radloff remembered the Easter hats with the elastic under the chin. “My brother would pull and snap it. I think everyone goes thru that,” said Lynn Radloff.

Cathy Majkowski of West Bend grew up with four sisters and each had a homemade Easter dress. “I always worried about getting chocolate from the big candy bunny on my dress,” she said.

One year the Easter Bunny brought the Majkowski family a pair of white albino bunnies which they promptly determined were girls and named them Melanie and Tina. Another year Majkowski insisted on a new pair of shoes to go with her dress.

“I did not want hand me downs for Easter; my mom said ‘no’and I threw a hissy fit in the store, only to find the shoes in my Easter basket in the morning,” she said.

Jill Clare, 80, from Cedar Ridge grew up in West Bend and had five girls. “We were members of Holy Angels and I made all their dresses,” said Clare confirming five handmade dresses each year.

“I only used pastels and one year I made them all in a purple gingham check, lavender and white and by the time that passed down I didn’t want to see lavender anymore – nor did the girls,” said Clare.

The style of Clare’s handmade dresses featured little puffed sleeves, Peter Pan collars, with a button by the opening in the back, a full skirt and always a small bow.

For accessories, Clare relied on the five and dime Ben Franklin discount stores.

“They all had little caps with a bow under their chin, white gloves, and patent leather shoes with anklets and tiny drawstring purses,” she said.

“I always made my husband wear a suit because Easter Sunday was a dress up day,” said Clare.

This article was originally published in 2012.

Find local news 7 days a week at

Knowing Christ through Prayer

Scott Walker has a beautiful column in the Washington Times today. Go read the whole thing.

During the first presidential debate in Cleveland in August 2015, I was asked what kind of impact God had on my life. First, I mentioned that I am a sinner and that it is only by the blood of Jesus Christ that I am saved. I try to do His will every day but it’s not like God sends us an email with instructions on what we are supposed to do (it would be much easier if He did). No, instead God asks us to have a personal relationship with Him. Prayer is a way to help understand God’s will.

Which brings me back to that sermon in Iowa. After describing the wonderful image of prayer, the visiting professor told us of how he received a call from the staff at the nursing home a few days after his visit. They thanked him for coming by to see their patient as he passed away during the previous night.

Amazingly, the man who had been confined to a bed for some time had found the strength to get out of that bed and crawl across the room. When they found him in the morning, he was laying with his head on the seat of the chair — he had found his final comfort resting his head in the lap of Jesus.

As we observe Good Friday today and celebrate Easter on Sunday, I pray that each of us can find that comfort — here on earth and in heaven.

• Scott Walker was the 45th governor of Wisconsin. You can contact him at or follow him @ScottWalker.

Cooper’s Hawks Thriving in Chicago

Never underestimate the power of nature to adapt.

In a study released late last year, University of Wisconsin researchers revealed that hawks, once in decline as a species, have recovered in numbers substantial enough that they are successfully expanding their territories into urban areas in Chicago.

Using data from decades of sightings faithfully reported by feeder watchers like Noe, University of Wisconsin professor of forest and wildlife ecology Benjamin Zuckerberg was able to show that only 20 percent of feeder watchers in the Chicago area spotted a hawk during the 1990s. Today that number is closer to 70 percent.

“Hawks like the Cooper’s and sharp-shinned (a similar, smaller species) are classic woodland hawks,” says Zuckerberg. “They were always traditionally thought about as these species that were really well adapted to big, uninterrupted forests. They’re the quintessential woodland predators.” Which is why Zuckerberg was surprised to see numbers rising sharply in city neighborhoods. “It turns out that many of these hawks are able to use urban areas, which is sort of unusual because you wouldn’t expect them to be able to use an urban habitat.”


One factor that makes Chicago a hospitable home for hawks, Zuckerberg says, is that “they have enough prey.” Larger and more common red-tailed hawks will hunt pigeons, rabbits or rats in alleyways and elsewhere in the city — they have even been spotted hunting alongside the “L,” following trains that flush out pigeons. But for Cooper’s hawks, which typically specialize in prey about the size of a robin or dove, bird feeders are key. “Now that you’ve got a lot of people feeding birds,” says Zuckerberg, “the secret is sort of out for these hawks.”

Beef Suspected in Food Poisoning Outbreak

The Romaine lettuce people are laughing now.

Health officials say ground beef is the likely source of a food poisoning outbreak that has sickened more than 100 people in six states.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Friday said no specific brand or source of the meat has been determined yet.

The CDC says people can continue to eat ground beef. The meat should be cooked thoroughly to 160 degrees to kill germs.

The outbreak started in early March. So far, 109 people have been infected with E. coli O103, an unusual strain of the bacteria. They reported eating ground beef at home and at restaurants. Seventeen people have been hospitalized. No one has died.

Blackhole Breakthrough


The first image of a black hole has been captured by astronomers, heralding a revolution in our understanding of the universe’s most enigmatic objects.

The picture shows a halo of dust and gas, tracing the outline of a colossal black hole, at the heart of the Messier 87 galaxy, 55 million light years from Earth.

The black hole itself – a cosmic trapdoor from which neither light nor matter can escape – is unseeable. But the latest observations take astronomers right to its threshold for the first time, illuminating the event horizon beyond which all known physical laws break down.

Pictures of Black Hole Coming Wednesday

So exciting!

Black holes are some of the most intriguing and mysterious objects in the universe, inspiring entire libraries of both scientific research and science fiction, from Einstein to the movie Interstellar. Yet despite the hold that their inconceivable gravity has on our imaginations, as well as our understanding of physics, humans have never actually seen a black hole.

That appears set to change Wednesday with the impending release of the first image taken of Sagittarius A, the black hole at the center of our Milky Way galaxy. It’s a landmark moment for both science and technology made possible by the Event Horizon Telescope, which is actually an array telescopes spread out across the Earth.


The EHT is actually an array of radio telescopes on different sides of the globe that are linked to create what’s called a Very Long Baseline Interferometer (VLBI) the size of the Earth itself. The basic idea here is that radio telescopes in different locations are combining their signals to boost their power.

If you’ve seen pictures of the Very Large Array in New Mexico (featured prominently in the 1997 movie Contact) with its multiple telescopic dishes all working together, then you can visualize the concept: Just imagine Jodie Foster tapping into an array of dishes that are separated not by meters but by thousands of miles instead.

This planet-sized observatory is necessary because, as the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory explains in the below animation, while Sagittarius A is 4 million times as massive as our sun, it’s still really far away — a distance of about 26,000 light years.

This is, of course, good news for all people interested in not getting sucked into a black hole, but it makes the thing very hard to photograph; it would be comparable to trying to see the dimples on a golf ball in Los Angeles… from New York. Better get out your super zoom lens, which is also kind of what the Event Horizon Telescope is.

Deadly Chicago

For birds.

Scientists estimate that at least 100 million and maybe as many as a billion birds die each year in the US when they collide with buildings, especially glass-covered or illuminated skyscrapers. And, in a new report, conservationists now have a better idea which American cities are the deadliest for those on the wing.

Chicago, with its many glass superstructures that spike into what is the busiest US avian airspace during migration, is the most dangerous city for those feathered travelers. More than 5 million birds from at least 250 different species fly through the Windy City’s downtown every fall and spring.

They journey twice a year, many thousands of miles, going north in the spring from Central and South America, across the Great Lakes to Canada, and back south in the fall.

Poacher Gets Comeuppance


A man attempting to poach a rhino in the Kruger National Park was crushed to death by an elephant before being eaten by a pride of lions leaving behind his skull and a pair of pants.

Around the Bend by Judy Steffes

Cannabis Collective LLC opens in West Bend

 Cannabis Collective LLC is now open in West Bend; it’s located inside Cherry Pickin’s Home Furnishing, 549 W. Washington Street.

“We specialize in CBD oil,” said owner Melissa Collett.

CBD stands for cannabidiol which is naturally found in hemp plants. “Research is showing and people’s anecdotical evidence shows people who use CBD experience relief from anxiety or chronic pain, muscle pain, and it helps you sleep,” said Collett.

While the raw product or flower may look like marijuana and carry a similar aroma, the product is legal. In Wisconsin hemp was officially legalized by Gov. Scott Walker in April 2017.

“We carry an isolate product which has zero percent THC and we have full plant or full spectrum with a legal limit of 0.3 percent THC,” Collett said.

The boutique shop is in a cozy corner on the first level of Cherry Pickin’s. Simple glass cabinets carry three tiers of shelving with a variety of CBD products including oils, Gummy morsels, sprays, flowers and products for your pets.

While CBD outlets are becoming more common in music stores and craft stores, Collett said the items she carries are handpicked for purity.

“We have the least amount of extra ingredients in our products,” she said.

Dyes and preservatives are common in a variety of CBD items. “Most people don’t have many negative side effects, but I’ve seen people come in with their old bottles and when you read the label there are all sorts of artificial ingredients,” Collett said.  “Our products don’t have that.”

One of the manufacturers carried at Cannabis Collective is Wisconsin Hemp Scientific based in Sussex, WI. “Everything is grown locally and all of it is lab tested,” said Collett. “Most of the bottles have a scan code and with the scan you can see the full lab results.”

Customers at Cannabis Collective are extremely inquisitive about the product.  “Typically, the people I see are ones who have pain or migraines or a muscle strain. We have products for all of it,” she said. “These products don’t get you high or drugged, you just feel calm,”

Cannabis Collective carries a variety of items including body balm, soft gels, Gummies, and oral spray. “You can smoke it or put it in your vaporizer or place the oil under your tongue or topically on the back of your neck,” said Collett. “If people don’t like the texture of the oil, we do carry gel capsules and we have shampoo and conditioner.”

Prices of CBD items vary. Collett invites people to come into the store and look around and ask questions. She said they will only sell items to people 18 and older.

Even though Cannabis Collective opened just a couple weeks ago, Collett said she is hoping to expand with other outlets in neighboring communities. “We have the best quality product and the most educated staff and that’s what will set us apart from the other stores,” she said.

Cannabis Collective is open weekdays from 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. and Saturday from 10 a.m. – 3 p.m.

West Bend woman runs the U.S. to raise awareness for MS             By Tabetha Wolfe

Tabetha Wolfe of Germantown is helping bring awareness to multiple sclerosis (MS) via the MS Run the US. “The run is dedicated to raising awareness and funds to support multiple sclerosis (MS) research, while also supporting those living with disability due to MS,” said Wolfe.

The running events focus on promoting a healthy lifestyle while inspiring individuals to maximize their capabilities and become more active to help those in need.

The MS Run the US- Relay is an annual 3,260-mile relay run across America for multiple sclerosis.

 Tabetha Wolfe’s story is below

I was selected from a pool of runners to run Segment 2 of the MS Run the US relay across America. So, in April, I will be running a marathon a day for eight days (204 miles) from Barstow, CA to Las Vegas, NV in honor of my mother-in-law Betty and my cousin Kelly whom both suffer from Multiple Sclerosis (MS) and all those suffering from MS.

I began running and completing obstacle course races following a lifestyle change in 2015, where I have completed numerous races ranging from a 5K to a 50K.

I landed a few podium spots…most notably the Husar’s Diamond Dash in 2018. I love the medals, t-shirts, and the occasional beer, but I wanted to put my passion for running to use in a way that could make a difference in my community.

I saw a post last year on Facebook; a friend was looking for donations. She was running Segment 14, of MS Run the US.

After contacting her and doing research on my own, I quickly became intrigued by what this relay was about, and I knew it was my calling. As soon as I saw their post about accepting applications for 2019 ultra-runners, I filled one out and sent it in. In August of 2018 I was contacted to set up an interview to become an ultra-runner and I was super excited, but also shocked they chose me.

After I interviewed with Ashely, I felt great about the organization and the journey that awaited. After what seemed like an eternity, I received my acceptance letter to be an ultra-runner and run Segment 2.

I quickly realized my segment began in April and that was only seven months away. I have been training and running races since my acceptance.

I have had my ups and downs during the training process, but I try to stay positive. This run wasn’t so much a goal to complete but a way for me to use what I love to honor those I love.

It is for my mother-in-law, my cousin, friends, and 2.2 million people living with MS.

 The Relay begins each year mid-April in Santa Monica, CA and finishes mid-August in New York, NY. Relay runners are selected via an online application process; each person participates as an individual segment runner as a part of the Ultra Relay team.

To participate each runner commits to fundraising $10,000 over 10 months and to running approximately 160-miles over six consecutive days during his or her assigned Relay segment.

There are 19 segments total in the relay spanning from California to New York. Once selected each runner spends months training and fundraising before the event as they prepare to devote one week on the road with the nonprofit while completing their segment’s miles.

Each runner’s section is logistically coordinated back-to-back as a part of the collective team effort to run 3,100-miles over the duration of 4.5 months.

Helicopter delivery for downtown’s Historic West Bend Theatre

A locally-owned company in Barton has been awarded the bid to install new heating and air conditioning at the downtown West Bend Theatre, 125 N. Main Street. Albiero Plumbing and HVAC will be adding some aerial flare to its effort as they use a helicopter to deliver the new units to the rooftop of the downtown theatre.

“We’ll use the helicopter to remove the old units and then deliver four new ones,” said Albiero’s John Bohn. Albiero Plumbing is still working out the logistics with the City of West Bend, the Police Department, and the helicopter company.

Staging for this install will be at the former Gehl Company parking lot, just off Water Street and S. Forest Avenue. “We’re going to be flying the equipment back and forth between the theatre and staging,” said Bohn.

There will be some big safety issues to consider about this type of special delivery. Bohn said the roads they fly over, including Water Street and Veterans Avenue, will be closed during the project which is estimated to take four to six hours.

Albiero’s Travis Roell said logistically it wasn’t possible to complete the project from the ground because of restrictions on closing Main Street in the Downtown West Bend Business District.

“We couldn’t bring in a crane because we’d have to shut down the road for two days,” said Roell. “This probably hasn’t been done before ….  we’ve not done this before.”

Years ago, when the theatre was built in 1929, Roell speculates a crane had to be used to install the heating system. “Who knows… they could have taken them up there with ropes for all we know,” he said.

Safety is a big factor and according to Bohn the helicopter company will require two crews for the project.

“One will be on the ground in the staging area to hook the equipment to the helicopter and another crew on the roof to guide it into place,” he said.

Midwest Helicopter from Illinois will be assisting Albiero Plumbing with the project. Below is a video of some of its work as it lifted a Beach Bonanza B36 out of a bean field and back to DuPage Airport.

“We’re pretty excited about this project,” said Roell. “We’re wishing we could get into the helicopter, but I don’t think that’s going to happen for anybody, but it’ll be interesting to see.”

Right now, the exact date for instillation is still in flux.

Right now, there are four rooftop heating units and the AC is ingenious.

“There’s a six-foot tall giant squirrel cage in the basement and back in the day it would cycle water from the river with a huge fan and it would blow that cool air into the theatre,” said Roell. “That unit is still in the building, we’ve seen it… it’s kind of a piece of history in and of itself.”

Hunter Zaskowski from West Bend takes the podium at Nationals | By WBHS Team

Hunter Zaskowski, WBHS Snowboard alumni and season coach, has been competing at a national level for five years.  On Thursday, April 4, Zaskowski took the podium receiving a bronze medal in Giant Slalom.

After winning his own race in the JAMS bracket, he went back to the top of the course to coach Brian Pomeroy, a junior at WBHS-East.  Brian had a great day by advancing to finals and placing 4th of 32 competitors in the 16-17 age bracket.

What a great outcome after being only his second year competing at a national level.

Cole Rummel, who is in the same bracket as Brian, unfortunately was unable to race today due to injury. Although this wasn’t how Rummel wanted to end his national experience, he had a fantastic season.

Ethan Benedict was also on the GS course today and placed 25th of 42 competitors. Ethan has had a great week as well.

Lauren Nast had an experience on her first national boardercross course. She placed 29th feels good about her time, while looking forward to future races on a technical course such as this. No local hill can prepare you for what nationals offers.

Kelci Waters was off and got to enjoy her time strolling through beautiful Breckenridge, and treat herself to a favorite, Starbucks.

 Slinger High School marketing class rebrands local business       By Alexia Kossow

Slinger High School’s Advertising and Promotion class was presented with the task of re-branding the outdated frozen yogurt shop, “Fill N’ Chill” located in downtown Slinger.

Students were asked to make improvements regarding the name and logo, refinishing adjustments, as well as other important business elements including the hours of operation and positioning the frozen yogurt store.

In the beginning, the students began the process by taking notes on the subject matter and openly discussing with their team their thoughts and ideas. After that, the teams considered all ideas and came together to determine which ideas would meet the requirements and needs of the newest owner, Kerri Ast.

The process continued with the students taking their ideas and constructing them to become real life. The students used computer programs to build logos and floor plans, and then assembled information on their recommended business plans to later present to the owner of Fill N’ Chill.

On presentation day, students made their final preparations and rehearsed their presentations to ensure they maintained the professionalism the project was aiming towards. A lot of nerves were present leading up to the presentation, but overall many of the teams had a wide variety of ideas that all contributed to owner Kerri Ast’s overall business plan.

Slinger student Owen Zaskowski said, “Our team suggested a name change and created ‘Myogurt,’ and a color scheme of dark green, light green, and Irish cream color, in hopes of developing a feel that is healthy, yet fun.”

Even though Ast decided to keep the name Fill N’ Chill, she was so impressed with all the student ideas. Students applied their in-class knowledge on basic business principles and applied them to the real-world business atmosphere.

This Fill N’ Chill business presentation allowed Slinger High School students to get a real-life experience on how to create a business plan and present their ideas confidently and professionally. Students have been given the opportunity to encounter the types of things that marketing agencies observe every day.

Participant Mackenzie Bruger said, “This project has been a great learning experience for all of us and has most definitely furthered my business knowledge. It has been important for all us to tie in what we’ve been learning with a real-life situation.”

This project was very beneficial in introducing a real-world marketing atmosphere to Slinger High School students, and the Village of Slinger is looking forward to seeing the improvements owner Ast gives the local frozen yogurt shop.

West Bend Plan Commission gives green light to Kwik Trip No. 3

It took about four minutes worth of discussion and the West Bend Plan Commission wrapped up a public hearing for a conditional use permit and gave Kwik Trip a green light for development at 1300 E. Paradise Drive. The store is the former Citgo station also known as Egbert & Guido’s Express.  It’s on the northwest corner of Paradise Drive and S. River Road at the roundabout.

Plans below show a new design for the corner as the old Citgo building will be leveled and the store will be moved to the northwest back of the lot with the front facing the roundabout by S. River Road and Paradise Drive.

Plan Commission member Jed Dolnick had some concerns about the exit for the car wash possibly merging with three areas of cross traffic within the Kwik Trip parking lot. Troy Mleziva with Kwik Trip said if there is a way to work with staff on signage Kwik Trip would be happy to work to make sure it isn’t an issue.

This will be the third Kwik Trip in West Bend. The other stores are located on Silverbrook Drive just north of Paradise Drive and on the corner of S. Main Street and Decorah Road.

Recognizing Boltonville Fire Chief Ken Ramthun                               By Ron Naab

 The Boltonville Fire Department honored one of its own on Saturday, March 30. The celebration commemorated Ken Ramthun’s 47 years serving as a Chief Fire Officer for the department.

Ramthun started in 1969 and after three years of training and attending fire service educational programs he was chosen to be an Assistant Chief.

Assistant Chief Ramthun served in this capacity up until 2012 when he was elected Chief of the Boltonville Fire Department.

Ramthun was the Training Officer for many of his years as Assistant Chief. In addition, Ramthun was an adjunct instructor for Moraine Park Technical College teaching Firefighter I and Firefighter II courses along with Fire Apparatus Driver/Operator.

Town of Farmington Chairman Chris Elbe presented Ken with a formal resolution recognizing his many years serving as a Chief Officer.

Ron Naab, President of the Badger Firefighters Association, presented a citation plaque recognizing Ramthun’s years of mentoring and sharing his knowledge with others to be better firefighters.  The department had a very nice Maltese Cross plaque made with an axe in the center recognizing Ramthun for his outstanding leadership.

There were approximately 100 people in attendance, which included Ramthun’s immediate family and several firefighters from the area.

Deer Management meeting is Monday, April 8 in West Bend

A final report from the Deer Management Committee will be presented during a meeting April 8 at 5 p.m. Earlier this week during the Monday night Common Council meeting details were released on the number of deer killed during the 2018-19 program at Ridge Run Park and Lac Lawrann Concervancy. According to the agenda a recap will be presented by Certified Wildlife Biologist Charles Lovell. There will also be discussion about what’s ahead for 2020 and a possible deer removal program. The meeting next Monday, April 8 is open to the public and will be held at the Park & Rec Conference Room at City Hall.

 Open House is Saturday, April 6 at West Bend Airport

The Kettle Moraine chapter of the Experimental Aircraft Association announces the availability of a flight training scholarship for young adults ages 15 – 19. Up to $10,000 will be awarded to an interested local candidate who is considering an aviation career and who is committed to flight training in the West Bend area.

The Ray Aviation Scholars program, administered by EAA, provides up to $10,000 in scholarships to young people who are seeking to learn to fly. The Ray Foundation seeks to improve the flight training success rate and assist young people in their interests in aviation.

The Ray Foundation is furthering the legacy of James Ray, an EAA lifetime member who was dedicated to aviation and youth education. The initiative is designed to help meet the tremendous future demand for pilots and associated aviation careers.

Interested young adults and parents should attend an open house Saturday, April 6 from 9 a.m. – 1 p.m. at the Kettle Moraine EAA Educational Facility, 310 Aerial Drive at the West Bend Airport to learn about the scholarship opportunity and other programs available for youth.

The local EAA chapter also hosts a week-long camp for youths ages 12-19 that features hands on STEM and aviation activities. This year’s event runs from June 17-24.  For more information, come to EAA open house on April 6 or call 262 338 – 8411.

DNR Spring Hearings are Monday, April 8

On Monday, April 8, starting at 7 p.m. in each county of the state, individuals interested in natural resources management will have the opportunity to provide their input and testimony on proposed rule changes and advisory questions relating to conservation and fish and wildlife management in Wisconsin.

This year’s Spring Hearings will offer additional opportunity for the public to weigh in.

The DNR and WCC will provide an online option for input for those people who aren’t able to attend a hearing in person or for those who’d rather provide input at the hearing using their smart phone. The online version of the Spring Hearing questionnaire will be posted on the Spring Hearing website ( search keywords “spring hearings”). The input form will go live at 7 p.m. on April 8 and remain open until 7 p.m. on April 11.

The Spring Hearing input process allows the public the opportunity to comment and register their support or opposition to DNR proposed rule changes as well as Congress proposals that could someday become the rules that regulate fishing, hunting, trapping and other outdoor recreation activities in Wisconsin.  This year the DNR will be presenting 49 proposed rule change questions for input. Citizens may also submit ideas to address conservation needs or concerns they observe through the WCC resolution process and vote for WCC delegates to represent them on the Conservation Congress. However, providing input on resolutions or participating in the WCC election will continue to require in-person participation.

People interested in attending the hearings are encouraged to review the questionnaire online prior to the April 8 hearings and should arrive at the hearing location early to register before the hearings begin at 7 p.m. Washington County Spring Hearing is at Kewaskum High School, 661510 Bilgo Ln, Kewaskum, WI

Ozaukee County Spring Hearing is at Ozaukee County Fairgrounds, Ozaukee Pavilion North, W67 N866 Washington Avenue, Cedarburg, WI 53012

Dodge County Spring Hearing is at Horicon Marsh DNR Education and Visitor Center, Auditorium, N7725 Highway 28, Horicon, WI 53032

Fond du Lac County Spring Hearing is at Theisen Middle School, Auditorium, 525 East Pioneer Road, Fond du Lac, WI 54935

Updates & tidbits

 Jack Russell Memorial Library in Hartford is celebrating National Library Week, April 8 – 13. The community library will be offering various swag during the week including tote bags, magnets, and pens.

 -There is a public information meeting Thursday, April 11 for improvements to North Wacker Drive in the City of Hartford. The meeting will be from 5 p.m. – 7 p.m. at Hartford City Hall. There will be a presentation at 6 p.m. Hartford is proposing to replace the bridge carrying North Wacker Drive over the Rubicon River. The project is approximately 0.2 miles north of the junction with WIS 60.  The project is currently scheduled for 2020. The roadway will be closed to through traffic during construction.

– Get your tickets today for the Saturday, April 13 Brunch with the Easter Bunny brought to you by the West Bend Kiwanis. The event is from 7 a.m. – 11 a.m. at The Columbian, 3245 Lighthouse Lane in West Bend.

-Come out and help support your local fire department at the Fillmore Fire & Rescue Fish Fry on Friday, April 12 from 5 p.m. – 8 p.m.  Tommy Schwai will be manning the fryer.

– Hartford Union High School’s (HUHS) Board of Education announced it hired a new superintendent to start the 2019-2020 school year, Jeffrey A. Walters, Principal, Kettle Moraine High School.

-On Saturday, April 20, 2019 from 8 a.m. to 10:30 a.m., the West Bend Police Department will be selling approximately 70 abandoned bicycles. The bike sale will occur at the West Bend Police Department at 350 Vine Street.

– Tickets go on sale April 21 for the 32nd annual Washington County Breakfast on the Farm. It will be held June 21 at Highland Dairy, LLC this year in Kewaskum. Mike, Linda and Corey Enright are set to roll out the red carpet and invite guests to tour the robotic farm, listen to live music and share in some eggs, ham, pancakes and applesauce.

-The Exclusive Company in West Bend, 144 N. Main Street, is hosting its annual Record Store Day on Saturday, April 13.  The event is a week earlier than normal because Easter Sunday is April 21.

– Auto Safety Center, 3700 W. Washington Street, in West Bend is offering a free Car Care Clinic on April 17.  There will be free food and drinks as guests watch master mechanics pass along some simple tips on how to keep your vehicle running smoothly. This clinic will be designed to help teach you the basics of car care. ASE Master technicians from Auto Safety Center will be on hand to answer any question. The clinic will be open to women, men, new drivers, experienced drivers, and even soon-to-be drivers. Please RSVP by calling 262-334-7241.

Cedar Lake Sales to celebrate 50th anniversary

Cedar Lake Sales in West Bend is prepping to celebrate its 50th anniversary. The Bell family hosted an after hours meet and greet and shared tours of its store, 3820 Highway 33.

Brian Bell provided a trip down memory lane with details on how the store got its start as Cedar Lake Simplicity. “Mom and Dad received news they were awarded the Simplicity brand with lawn and garden equipment,” he said.

The Bells started the business at their house where they expanded to chainsaws and snowmobiles.

Details posted on the Cedar Lake Sales web page: In late February of 1969 Don and Eileen incorporated the business and signed a lease to rent a building on Hwy 33, our current location. A franchise agreement was signed with Arctic Cat Snowmobiles and Chrysler Boats and Motors from Hartford, Wisconsin.

Their business began to grow year after year, so in 1972 they doubled the size of the building. With this improvement they sold 350 Arctic Cat snowmobiles in 1972 alone. In 1974, Don and Eileen signed on the Lowe Boat franchise and now had two boat lines to sell.

With business continuing to grow, 1975 meant “acquire as many franchises as you can in one year.” So Cedar Lake Sales added Johnson outboard motors, Forester Boats, Mirrocraft Fishing Boats, Kayot Pontoon Boats and Puma pop up campers. In 1977, the Sylvan Boat franchise signed on the 1978 model year.

Don Bell recalled when he first opened a couple of the fellas including Walter Koehn and Fred Sager sat on an old church pew at the entrance to the store. “They said, Don we wish you well but you ain’t going to last six months out here… you’re in the boondocks,” he said. “That was 50 years ago.”

Alan Bell said over the years Cedar Lake Sales has made a big impact in the number of boat sales and that’s after his Dad got his start by selling snowmobiles. “Since the snowmobile business was incredible.. we then moved to Crestliner boats and we were ranked No. 1 in the world in sales,” he said.

Coming up April 11-13 Cedar Lake Sales is celebrating its 50th milestone with seminars, food, prizes and in-store specials.

 Slinger Man Donates $500 to the Slinger Pantry from hobby-turned business      By Dan Durbin

 Sam Mountjoy, of Slinger, has turned his hobby of making maple syrup into a small side-business this year and the first $500 he made was given to the Slinger Food Pantry last week. “Until this year it was a hobby, and still is really, but I was only making about five gallons a year,” he said.  “Most was given away to family and friends.”

Mountjoy became interested in syrup making when he noticed a friend’s father making it up north.  He immediately started researching the craft.

Last year, Mountjoy, 42, only had eight taps for production, but this year he had 155.  His style of boiling the sap, his storage capacities, and overall operation needed to be drastically changed in order to produce the 30-gallons he hoped to create.

“I did a lot of research and knew I couldn’t justify spending money on commercially-built units and an osmosis system, so I decided to design my own,” he said.  “Once designed, my friend Jason Peeso, helped fabricate the evaporator I used this season.  It really turned out great and has helped my production abilities immensely.”

Thus, “Iggie’s Acre” was born. “I was always outside working on the lawn or cutting firewood,” he said.  “Jason was giving me a hard time one day and called me Farmer Iggie as a joke and the name kinda stuck.”

Mountjoy chose the Slinger Food Pantry for the donation because a few years ago his father was given food by the pantry when he was dealing with cancer.  He eventually passed away from the disease.

The $500 donation came to be when he posted on FACEBOOK that he would be taking offers for three pints of maple syrup and would take the money from the highest bidder and donate it to the pantry.

“It went really well so I offered the top four bidders the same deal and came up with a donation of $445,” he said.  “Besides the 12 pints of maple syrup, Sarah and I then kicked in the extra $55 to get to an even $500.”

“I really don’t do it for the money at all,” he said.  “I just like being outside and working on it and hanging out with my helper, my youngest son Lincoln. Having built the equipment from the ground up even makes it more rewarding.”

Mountjoy does not have a website for purchasing product but he can be contacted on the Iggie’s Acre Facebook page.

Vietnam veteran Allen Polachowski of West Bend on April Honor Flight | By Samantha Sali

Vietnam War veteran Allen Polachowski, of West Bend, is heading to Washington D.C. on the April 6 Stars and Stripes Honor Flight.

Polachowski was born in 1944 in Milwaukee. His mother was a secretary for a company in Milwaukee called Vilter Manufacturing, while his father served in the Army during World War II. “My father, Erwin, was serving when I was born,” said Polachowski. “My daughter is an only child as well and she was also born when I was in Vietnam.”

Thankfully, Polachowski’s father made it home safe because he was lucky enough to have served within the U.S.

In 1955, his family left Milwaukee and moved to St. Francis. Polachowski graduated Don Bosco High School in 1963, an all-boys, parochial school. In the early 70’s, Don Bosco High School merged with Pio Nono High School, establishing the current Saint Thomas More High School in Milwaukee.

After graduating high school, Polachowski attended college at UW-Eau Claire to study economics and political science. “It was the furthest from Milwaukee that I could find at the time. I wanted to be, shall we say, footloose and fancy free,” Polachowski said.

The day of his college graduation, in 1968, Polachowski was drafted into the Army. “At the time, there was an active draft, no lottery,” he said. “I had a deferment of an S2, which meant I was a student. 1968 was one of the high points of the war, so they were eager to get anyone they could. Anyone on my block that was a male was drafted.”

Polachowski was able to enroll in UW-Milwaukee to pursue his master’s degree, the draft board allowing him to finish his first semester as long he enlisted in their College Op program. Polachowski said that the advantage of joining the army the way he did gave him the ability to choose which OSC (Officer Candidate School) he wanted to attend. “I selected armor because there wasn’t a lot of armor in Vietnam,” Polachowski chuckled.

Both Polachowski’s Basic Training and AIT (Advanced Individual Training) was completed in Fort Dix, New Jersey. “Obviously the majority of people there knew where they were going after, it was one step away from jungle school or some other form of advanced training,” Polachowski said.

After AIT, Polachowski married his high school sweetheart, Lynda, and was transferred to OCS in Fort Benning, Georgia. “By the time I got done with my basic schooling, armor school had been closed,” he said. “They said too bad, you’re now going to infantry school.”

Polachowski was commissioned in April of 1969, his first duty assignment was a training officer in Fort Jackson, South Carolina, “My wife and I lived in there until November when I signed up for Heavy Mortar Platoon Leader School. At the completion of that, I was sent to Vietnam on December 24, 1969,” Polachowski said.

In Vietnam, Polachowski was assigned to the biggest division, Americal (or 23rd Infantry Division), which was in Chu Lai, “You probably know the division from a guy named Lieutenant Calley, who was responsible for the 1968 My Lai massacre,” said Polachowski. “The division consisted of three brigades. The 11th, which was part of the massacre, I was in the 198th Brigade, which was in the central part of their area of operation, and the final brigade was 196th.”

Polachowski became a rifle platoon leader and was responsible for 36 infantrymen. “The primary objective we did was patrolling, which meant we went from our base camp and would search through an area,” he said. “We would patrol for about three weeks at a time; It was what they called search and destroy. We kept patrolling until we were hit by the enemy, in which case they would reinforce us with a larger unit that would augment us. We also had to defend the engineers who had to clear a road, or if a helicopter went down, we’d have to go out and try to recover the pilot if he was still alive. We also did a lot of ambushing at night.”

Polachowski shared that his platoon would be sent clothes every other week. “The clothes would just rot off your body,” he said. “We didn’t have daily changes of clothes or showers or bathrooms. This one particular time, they shipped us hot food, but the food they sent us was spoiled chicken and everyone in my platoon came down with dysentery.”

Polachowski’s time serving the 198th Brigade in Vietnam lasted a year, ending because he got shot. “After I recuperated, they were going to send me back to the bush, but it just so happened there was a job available; they were looking for an officer who had a college degree,” Polachowski said.

Working in Vietnam in Division Headquarters, Polachowski became Commanding General Briefing Officer. While he was serving, his daughter, Stacy, was born. “I wanted to save my life as much as I could so my last duty assignment in Vietnam was working as an operations officer at the G5 Psyop,” said Polachowski.

December 1970 was his last month of service, leaving Vietnam as a 1st Lieutenant. His daughter was four months old by the time he arrived home. Jobs were scarce during that time, so Polachowski ended up working for Xerox for a few years. In 1971, his family moved to West Bend. In 1976, he entered the Army Reserves, leaving after seven years as a Major. His wife, Lynda, worked in the West Bend School District for 26 years.

Recently, in his spare time, Polachowski gives presentations on Vietnam. “They last about 45 minutes – breaks down what the army was like, how it was organized, the missions, the weaponry, interesting facts….I’ve been giving them to rotary, ladies clubs, schools if they ask,” said Polachowski.

Polachowski’s daughter will be his guardian on the flight. “I’ve was in D.C. before the Vietnam memorials were up,” said Polachowski. “I’m excited to go. Ninety-seven guys were killed in my company and I’d like to see their names and numbers.”

Find local news 7 days a week at

Around the Bend by Judy Steffes

New Ozaukee Christian School to open in Town of Trenton

There’s a new school for K3 through eighth graders opening in Washington County. Ozaukee Christian School will open in the Town of Trenton, 1204 Highway 33 across from West Bend Lakes Golf Course.

Ozaukee Christian School describes itself as “offering outstanding, Christ-centered, non-denominational educational opportunities for students from K3 to eighth grade. We are dedicated to academic excellence with a uniquely Christian perspective—one that places Jesus at the center of everything we do and acknowledges the Bible as our ultimate authority.”

The school is opening in the former Spearmint Rhino Gentlemen’s Club.

“The unusual building conversion is an answer to prayer that ends a years-long search for a building to call our own,” said Dave Swartz, OCS Board President. “God has given the leadership of OCS a big vision for growth while providing us what we need for each step of this project.”

OCS is a non-denominational Christian school founded in 1990. It has had several homes over the years. It started at Portview Christian Center in Port Washington, then moved to Friedens Church in Port, back to Portview and then to St. John XXIII in Saukville for the last 19 years.

Details released by Ozaukee Christian School: But we have felt God leading us to a building of our own that will allow us to grow, to expand our ability to work with special needs children and to reach families of Washington County.

The property will allow us to do all this and more. We are purchasing a strip mall that we will renovate into classrooms, offices, a cafeteria and a multi-purpose room. Future additions include a gym with stage and locker rooms, and a new classroom wing.

We reached an agreement last week, March 18, 2019  to purchase the property from California-based Spearmint Rhino. We hope to occupy the building in time for the start of the 2019-2020 school year.

We are trusting God to provide the funds for this project, just as He cleared the way for us to buy this building. We have raised $425,000 so far and are seeking a total of 2.2 million to complete the purchase and initial renovation of the property. At this point we have hired a general contractor, and we also have many volunteers planning to assist in the building project. Anyone interested in helping with this work is encouraged to contact us.

“We have felt God leading us to a building of our own that will allow us to grow, to expand our ability to work with special needs children and to reach more families in Washington County, all the while maintaining strong ties with our families in Ozaukee County,” said Kris Austin, OCS Administrator.

How it came to be: Several school leaders became independently aware the property in January 2017, and after visiting the site and felt it could be a great fit. OCS reached out to Spearmint Rhino but were initially told they weren’t interested in selling. In July 2017, however, the company reached out and offered to sell the building.

The price was beyond what OCS was prepared to pay, but nevertheless the board began meeting with architects and contractors about potential designs. “We also launched a fundraising drive in April 2018 so we would be ready when God opened the door for us. In the meantime, we have done prayer walks at the property with staff, parents and alumni. Students regularly gathered to pray for the process. And we had a group of 140 ’email prayer warriors’ doing the same,” said Austin.

“After months of phone conversations, emails and the abundant prayers of God’s people, we were blessed with a signed purchase offer at a price we could handle. We have enjoyed getting to know Mr. Peter Garrell (attorney for Spearmint) and Ms. Joann Castillo (senior executive assistant) over these many months — and praying with them as well. It is a journey unlike anything we could have imagined. It is a story only God could write.”

Anyone desiring to help with the funding of the building project or donating time/talent/materials to the renovation can contact the school through its website, click HERE or by calling the school office at 262.284.6980.

History of Ozaukee Christian Academy courtesy the school website.

Ozaukee Christian School started because a group of parents wanted to make a difference in the lives of their children. They wanted an educational opportunity that offered sound academic, as well as Biblical, instruction. They also understood the importance of the bond between the home, the church, and the school, and wanted an educational environment that embraced this. The momentum behind Ozaukee Christian School began in the late 1980s, after much prayer and hard work, by this group of parents. The doors of the school opened for the first time in August of 1990, with thirteen students in grades K-4.

Today, the school has grown to over 80 students in grades K3-8. We are located in Saukville, the heart of Ozaukee County. OCS students are carrying the experience and education they receive at OCS to high schools and colleges around the country, where they continue to excel academically and serve the Lord in their homes, schools, and churches.

Guest Editorial: Member of CFAC Committee to vote ‘No’ on $74 million total West Bend School Referendum   By Dan Krier

As a long-time resident of the West Bend School district, and an advocate for quality education in West Bend, I need to share my experience in regard to the proposed referendum. I have read and heard so many say it’s for education so we have to vote for it.

If it were about education I could vote for it, but it isn’t. It is about buildings, and more specifically the maintenance of and lack of planning in regard to the buildings. And, the fact that some just want a new school to provide the fancy alternative work spaces that Bray Architectural Firm is flashing before them. We had an alternative learning program in our charter school and we chose not to fund that. Yet we want to push for the alternative space, which is what the new school is really about. Is our school district in the business of buildings, or is it education. I would choose spending on education. I went to a school built in the 1800s and when I entered West Bend East HS I was ahead of most of my class. The building certainly didn’t deter from my education.

I have been very active in getting information in regard to this referendum as I was on the Citizen Facilities Advisory Committee (CFAC). I believe this referendum will do more damage to the district than good. I was at the city council meeting when superintendent Kirkegaard presented the plan. Many of the Aldermen were concerned with the level of debt this would levy on the district. They know the city was strapped for several years under massive debt. And it was only when they got the debt under control they are able to now repair the roads that so desperately need it. They and I know that this debt will strap the district just as it did the city. The approximate $105 million of debt would dwarf that of the entire city of West Bend.

Besides the debt issue, at least one alderman had issue with the presentation stressing need. He said to Kirkegaard that while you claim you are not dictating which way to vote, it certainly sounds as if you are. Yes it was definitely a sell job as I was at several of the presentations.

This district continues to be dishonest with the citizens. And while many support the decisions, I wonder how many wouldn’t, if they knew just how dishonest this process has been and the truth behind the spending. The level of dishonesty is to the point where the lack of credible planning to address objective issues, is a detriment to the district. Even many of the School Board members either don’t know enough to realize it, or are just taking an administrators word. Some said these fixes will prevent spending on maintenance in the future. That couldn’t be farther from the truth. Many of the real issues have not even been addressed when instead we are fulfilling someone’s wish list. Poor planning got us to where we are today, just as the current lack of credible planning will have the district back at the table for more money in the near future. Yes another referendum in just a few short years.

Back to CFAC. We took tours of both Jackson and the high school during the first couple meetings of the CFAC. The committee was supposedly assembled to address the objective needs. But on the 4th meeting Bray presented a list of needs to the committee including 113 items from Jackson and 76 From the HS most of which we never even discussed. Objective needs like “dated doors.” Not worn, rusted or unusable, but dated. When questioning where they came from, there was a lot of uncertainty and the Bray representative finally even admitted that we were not there for what we were told. We were there because the 25 year plan said Jackson and the HS are the items to address next, and we were gathered to decide on how to sell it to you the people.

That was not the first but certainly the most telling statement, that the district has no intention of being honest with its citizens. The committee ended up not having all of the meetings we were supposed to and was never even allow to report to the school board. Apparently they did not care what we had to say. We were just window dressing.

I can assure you, that while the district led you to believe the CFAC committee’s findings led to the adoption of the questions in the survey, it was absolutely not the case. And the survey report was definitely insulated from all of the real issues addressed in the survey. This whole process is sleazy.

Think about this, why would the district hire an architectural firm to run meetings to tell the district if we should spend more money with them. In what business model is that acceptable? There are many resources in the community that would be happy to give their time to help with the real issues. I have talked to many of them. That would also open it up to a trusting relationship and gain community buy in and support.

As far as the conditions of the buildings, let me first say that the person in charge of maintenance at the HS is doing a phenomenal job. I just wish his boss that oversees the district was as good. The mechanical that they say has outlived its life is in good condition. Yes we could certainly do some updating of controllers and such, but the general condition is decent. Even many of the committee members didn’t see the concerns the administration seems to have. The restructuring of the offices is definitely something that was planned poorly in the past. Who would put these separate school offices in the middle of the building away from the main entrances? While security wasn’t as crucial when that was done, it was certainly a factor.

The other main issue at the HS is the updating of the STEM area. There have been many opportunities over the years to update that area and some of the administrators and even teachers turned the money and assistance away. Looking beyond past mistakes, The real needs within the HS certainly wouldn’t come near $25.5 million. Keep in mind we are not getting any additional space, just re-purposed space for that large sum.

In Jackson, only the oldest portion of the school really needs to be addressed. Most of the school is in good condition. Yes it can use some updates but is certainly workable. Once again my biggest concern was with some of the poor quality planning and work of the past. The main electrical room has giant sump pumps in it. And they are positioned in a way that if you did that at your house it would be illegal. I cannot understand how this work could have been allow by inspectors or anyone within the district that knows code. Much of Jackson could be efficiently and effectively reworked. But none of that was seriously looked at. They just want a new school.

The main reasons were the extra alternative space which I already mentioned. And the others were due to traffic situations and a landlocked parcel that was too small. But now they want to build a bigger school while enrollment is declining. They are building on a landlocked parcel that is smaller than recommended for an elementary school. That lot is also chopped up with a residential property in the middle and utility access on the south side. And it is by the Rec. Center where there is already somewhat of a traffic issue. If we truly need to build a new school, can we not plan better than that? Moving to the same issues we trying to move away from?

Once again to spend the kind of money we are spending, without the real sincere planning needed to accomplish any specific and objective goals, is irresponsible. I have heard several say they need this money because they don’t have enough for maintenance. Yet we constantly see waste. We spent $300,000 to push out a superintendent someone didn’t like. We spend hundreds of thousands on non-essential issues that should wait behind the needed maintenance. And we often don’t hold contractors accountable for their work. Why should the district pay extra for contractors mistakes.

I will be voting NO to hopefully send the board and administrators back to the drawing board with the intent of coming back with objective goals and real needs for the betterment of education for this district.

Dan Krier

Stop sign swap at Eighth Avenue and Walnut Street in West Bend

Motorists in West Bend who travel Eighth Avenue and Walnut Street should pay attention to a switcheroo with stop signs. Motorists traveling east and west on Walnut Street used to have to come to a complete stop at Eighth Avenue.

This week the city changed the signs and now motorists traveling north and south on Eighth Avenue have to come to a complete stop at Walnut Street. The change at the intersection was discussed and approved at the January 22, 2019 Safety Committee meeting. The committee approved removing the stop signs on Walnut at Eighth Avenue and adding stop signs on Eighth Avenue at Walnut. In an effort to flag motorists the stop signs have red blinking lights around the perimeter of the octagon.

Date change for Record Store Day

The Exclusive Company in West Bend, 144 N. Main Street, is hosting its annual Record Store Day on Saturday, April 13. The event is a week earlier than normal because Easter Sunday is April 21. Jesse Averill, manager at the West Bend Exclusive Company, said the day will include sales, free food and live music as the store celebrates its independence.

The Exclusive Company opens for 12 hours of sales from 8 a.m. – 8 p.m.

Holy Angels Rummage Sale is this weekend            By Mike Sternig

Don’t forget the Holy Angels Rummage Sale is this weekend. Doors open Saturday, March 30 from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m., and Sunday, March 31 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.  This event not only helps raise funds for Holy Angels School, but it also connects the school with the greater community by offering much needed items at low prices. Each year the Holy Angels rummage sale draws families from West Bend but also Milwaukee and surrounding areas. This is also a great opportunity for high school students who need service hours. Many thanks to all for helping to support our school’s mission.

Flagpole parade in Barton-effort underway to name Edward F. Groth Memorial Park

There’s a bit going on behind the scenes in Barton. Early Monday morning, with temperatures a crisp 34 degrees, a small crew including Jeff Slais from Wisconsin House Woodworks, Dan Vrana from Vrana Body Shop and Michael Kohnke from Commonwealth Construction Corp. worked to save history.

Slais led the effort to recycle the flagpole that formerly sat in the yard at Barton Elementary School.  “We’re planning on adding it to Overlook Park on N. Main Street,” he said.

With the help of Kohnke who manned a forklift the flagpole was set on a trailer followed by the red rocket jungle gym.

Slais said the flagpole is being moved to the park overlooking Barton Pond. “We’re going to leave all the battle scars on it and put it back up,” said Slais.  The flagpole dates to around 1960. Salvaging the pole saved the Barton Association about $4,200.

On Thursday, representatives from Barton Business Association went before the West Bend Park & Rec Commission to request permission that the bluff at 1305 N. Main Street be named Edward F. Groth Memorial Park.

West Bend Park & Rec Commission to review policy regarding dogs on the Riverwalk

The West Bend Park & Rec Commission reviewed a resolution Thursday, March 28 regarding a policy to allow dogs on the Riverwalk.

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 Trail only (3) West Bend Riverwalk- Sidewalk/Trail portion only (4) Old Settlers Park- entire park (5) Vest Pocket Park- Sidewalk portion only.

In December 2018 a request was made to allow dogs in the parks. Police Chief Meuler stated his department would be in favor of a policy in which dogs are allowed on the entire stretch of the Riverwalk, on trails only, and that this policy be extended across to the west side of the river, and through sidewalks of Vest Pocket Park and Old Settlers Park.

Commissioners present were also in favor of allowing dogs on a six-foot leash, on the marked trails, through the entire length of the Riverwalk, with installation of ample signage. Policy will also need to be approved by the Common Council on April 15. Policy should be in place for summer of 2019.

The West Bend Milwaukee Riverfront Parkway currently runs a continuous 3.1 miles along the Milwaukee River, beginning at River Road and extending northwest to Roosevelt Drive.

Check out The Gym WB opening in West Bend

 A neighborly welcome to The Gym WB, 820 S. Main Street, opening soon on the north end of the West Bend Plaza. The Gym WB is a partnership business. Nathan and Meghan Mueller are co-owners along with Ray Vazquez, MikenAbbe Somerhalder and Jackie Michaels. “This is going to be more of a kettlebell gym,” said Nathan.

The Gym WB is still a work in progress as equipment is being brought in and set up. This is a new business for the West Bend area run by people who live in the community. There will be a soft opening of the business in mid-April and a grand opening in May.

District 2 aldermanic candidates in West Bend appear at Common Sense Citizens

 Two candidates running for District 2 alderman in West Bend, Mike Christian and Mark Allen, spoke before Common Sense Citizens of Washington County this week.

Incumbent Mike Christian – Downtown area in West Bend is what makesup the district. Love participating in public service and have time and energy. Lived in West Bend since 1990. Started at a restaurant. Took job at Jeff’s Spirits on Main and volunteered with Washington County Youth Hockey, Washington County Humane Society and History Center of Washington County Board of Directors. Event planning and community relations. Most recently Christian started a music festival at Regner Park – Homegrown Music Festival. Now it’s in its fifth year. “When you’re passionate about your community you get a buy in from the community. I represent my community well. In one year, I was appointed alderman, when Steve Hutchins left and in that time I’ve taken hundreds of phone calls and emails.

“My mission is to listen to the issue at hand. Talking through issues with people is one thing I’m good at and not projecting an opinion but figuring out a solution.  It’s what makes sense for the whole. I am happy to gain your support for Dist. 2 alderman.

Mark Allen is also vying for Dist. 2 alderman in West Bend – After high school started career for 12.5 years at U.S. Coast Guard. Enlisted. Left service and moved into private sector and filled six jobs. Lived in West Bend since 1998. “Learned in Coast Guard is importance of following, leading and being part of a team. I will bring that to the position if elected.  My priorities are public safety, maintenance and training,” said Allen.

Need excellence in police and fire departments. Important to do maintenance and focus on infrastructure including potholes. We need to come up with a program for this. If elected I propose an easy streamline method for community to report with possible hotline. Propose stop new construction on roads without safety issue until we get 90% of potholes filled. Look at public private partnership.  Entire professional life worked in engineering including computers and electrical and mechanical engineering, civil engineering with bridges and tunnels. I’ve learned how to solve problems and approach it in a rational manner.  I’m a big believer in taking tax resources and making use of them effectively.

Spring election is April 2, 2019. Polls are open from 7 a.m. – 8 p.m.

Candidate forum at Common Sense Citizens – Town of West Bend Supervisor race

Two candidates on the April 2 ballot vying for the No. 2 Supervisor seat in the Town of West Bend participated Thursday night in a candidate forum at Common Sense Citizens of Washington County. Incumbent Frank Carr spoke first followed by Troy Zagel.

Frank Carr – supervisor Town of West Bend (I) – Has lived in the Town of West Bend since 2008. Two family places on Big Cedar Lake for 60 years. Familiar with the area. Serenity for Big Cedar Lake has been pleasant and spurred his following of conservation issues to preserve rural character of town. Experience and knowledge matter in this race. Town of WB Supervisor appointed to Town of WB Plan Commission and part of Big Cedar Lake Protection and Rehabilitation District. As Washington Co. Supervisor Carr is on Human Services committee, ADRC, Little Cedar Lake PRD and Silver Lake PRD. Active volunteer in community with History Center of Washington County, Richfield Historical Society, Washington County Visitor and Convention Bureau. Canvassing in the town and meeting people and has a lot of endorsements from all people he’s worked with. West Bend is a lake county sanctuary and given the experience and ability I’m best candidate.

Troy Zagel – running for Town of WB – Supervisor seat No. 2 – Wife Penny and daughter live in Town of West Bend. Third generation resident. Motivation to run came after leaving Town of WB meetings. Wants to maintain quality of life. Common sense approach to government. Fiscal responsibility and conservative ideals. My commitment to involvement in community is lifelong. Over 30 years working with budgets. Donate time to church and other local organizations. Self-funded campaign. Vote Brian Hagedorn and Troy Zagel.

Polls open for the Tuesday, April 2 election at 7 a.m. and close at 8 p.m.

Weasler Engineering honored by Department of Defense for supporting employee who serves in USA Army Reserve | By Bonnie Shudarek

Tammy Riebe of Weasler Engineering has been awarded a Patriot Award presented by Kenneth J. Schuetz of the Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve (ESGR). Tammy was recognized for her continuing support of one of our own employees currently serving in the USA Army Reserve.  Sergeant Corrine Miller is a member of the Army Reserve 826th Ordnance Corps Madison and has nominated Weasler Engineering because of their support for military employees and their families. We thank you Corrine for your service to our country and your ongoing dedication to Weasler Engineering.

Dodge Co. Airport receives government funding for project

Governor Tony Evers approved funding totaling $82,000 to acquire an aviation easement at the Dodge County Airport, in Juneau, to help protect the airport’s airspace. According to Lucas Ward, P.E., airport development engineer with the Wisconsin Department of Transportation (WisDOT) Bureau of Aeronautics, the easement allows for the trimming and clearing of trees which are presently an obstruction to the runways.

Funds from the state, Dodge County and Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) will be used for this project.  Funding Breakdown   State = $4,100  Dodge County = $4,100   FAA = $73,800

This project is currently scheduled to be completed by April 2019. Airport improvement projects are administered through the WisDOT Bureau of Aeronautics.

Dodge County Airport is one of 97 facilities included in the Wisconsin State Airport System Plan, which makes it eligible for state and federal funding.

Updates & tidbits

–  On Monday, April 1 at 10:08 a.m., Aurora Medical Center in Hartford, 1302 Sumner St., will host a flag-raising ceremony to raise awareness on the importance of organ donation.

– On Wednesday, April 3, 2019, a meteorologist from the National Weather Service (NWS) will conduct Severe Weather Safety and Spotter Training in the Gathering Hall at the Jackson Area Community Center, N165W20330 Hickory Lane. Two identical sessions will be held from 2 p.m. – 4 p.m. and an evening session from 6:30 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.

-Come out and help support your local fire department at the Fillmore Fire & Rescue Fish Fry on Friday, April 12 from 5 p.m. – 8 p.m.

-On Saturday, April 20, 2019 from 8 a.m. to 10:30 a.m., the West Bend Police Department will be selling approximately 70 abandoned bicycles. The bike sale will occur at the West Bend Police Department at 350 Vine Street.

– Tickets go on sale April 21 for the 32nd annual Washington County Breakfast on the Farm. It will be held June 21 at Highland Dairy, LLC this year in Kewaskum. Mike, Linda and Corey Enright are set to roll out the red carpet and invite guests to tour the robotic farm, listen to live music and share in some eggs, ham, pancakes and applesauce.

-There is a public information meeting Thursday, April 11 for improvements to North Wacker Drive in the City of Hartford. The meeting will be from 5 p.m. – 7 p.m. at Hartford City Hall. There will be a presentation at 6 p.m. Hartford is proposing to replace the bridge carrying North Wacker Drive over the Rubicon River. The project is approximately 0.2 miles north of the junction with WIS 60.  The project is currently scheduled for 2020. The roadway will be closed to through traffic during construction.

– Get your tickets today for the Saturday, April 13 Brunch with the Easter Bunny brought to you by the West Bend Kiwanis. The event is from 7 a.m. – 11 a.m. at The Columbian, 3245 Lighthouse Lane in West Bend.

-The 2019 ArtWalk Sneak Peek Party at the Museum of Wisconsin Art. Get an up-close look at the 2019 hand painted banners by local artists before they are displayed on light poles in downtown West Bend.

– Auto Safety Center, 3700 W. Washington Street, in West Bend is offering a free Car Care Clinic on April 17.  There will be free food and drinks as guests watch master mechanics pass along some simple tips on how to keep your vehicle running smoothly. This clinic will be designed to help teach you the basics of car care. ASE Master technicians from Auto Safety Center will be on hand to answer any question. The clinic will be open to women, men, new drivers, experienced drivers, and even soon-to-be drivers. Please RSVP by calling 262-334-7241.

-Mike Darrow, President and Chief Operating Officer of the Russ Darrow Group, has been elected chairman of the Wisconsin Automobile & Truck Dealers Association (WATDA) for 2019.

Letters to the Editor | Vote ‘No’ on the total $74 million West Bend School District referendum | By Dave Weigand

Dear Editor,  I am voting NO to the $74 million-plus (including the interest costs) West Bend School District (WBSD) referendum on April 2. I ask all District residents to join me.

I served on the WBSD School Board 2010-2013. We unanimously passed Policy 615, which states in an indisputable manner in its last paragraph, “any additional communication (e.g., mailed materials to District residents, …) … must continue to disclose” the principal amount, total interest cost, total dollar amount (i.e., $74,037,838), and all major assumptions and factors.

The District deliberately violated this policy by only including the principal cost in its half-page postal card mailed to all District residents and received by us on March 22. What were they trying to hide?

Few may be aware the payback for this referendum is stretched out over 19 years. This is not a financially responsible decision. Most likely the building will need significant maintenance before it is even paid for. From where will that money come?

I will be voting NO to the referendum. The WBSD has not been good stewards of our public tax dollars; they have been the opposite.

No genuine effort was made to fix Jackson Elementary and/or update the oldest parts. Instead, the District deliberately let it run down by putting little, if any, maintenance into it the last several years to try to force taxpayers to approve this overpriced referendum. Now with declining enrollment district-wide and at Jackson in particular, WBSD wants us to pay for an extravagantly huge new school that is literally more than twice the size needed based on the District’s own cited Value of Good Design document from just 11 years ago.

Enough is enough. Please join me in voting NO to this irresponsible, unaffordable, and wasteful referendum. Thank you.

Most sincerely,  Dave Weigand

Letters to the Editor | Vote Judge Brian Hagedorn for State Supreme Court | By Rev. Joseph Fisher

To the Editor: I am writing because I am a pastor who teaches the Ten Commandments to young and old and this State Supreme Court race has troubled me because the breaking of the Eighth Commandment has reached new heights.  Just the refresh, the Eighth Commandment is You shall not give false testimony against your neighbor.  Luther’s Small Catechism explains this What does this mean?  We should fear and love God so that we do not tell lies about our neighbor, betray him, slander him, or hurt his reputation, but defend him, speak well of him, and explain everything in the kindest way.[1] And I know I haven’t jumped into every political race in the past, but this race for the Court has reached some troubling lows.  As the attacks appear to be saying that anyone who is a conservative Christian should not be allowed to run for office, and that is truly troubling.  I will not dare to tell you who to vote for that is on your conscience.  I do encourage you to vote on or before April 2.

This response is to a series of articles published in the West Bend Daily News, in the commentary section calling into questions the suitability of Judge Brian Hagedorn because of his personal beliefs based on his conservative Christian views.  The commentary has continually promoted a false narrative that has been contrived by the “progressive left” to attempt to paint Judge Hagedorn as a hateful bigot who will possibly seek to discriminate against LGBTQ groups.  Yet, this view is not supported by facts but rather by statements being taken out of context or the worse possible meaning being applied.  Which at best is unintentionally misleading or a blatant smear campaign by those who desire to legislate from the bench rather than interpret the law.  In less than an hour of research, I was able to refute the claims made in the ads and “news” articles.

In the commentary published on March 23rd, 2019, in the West Bend Daily News, there were no rulings by Judge Hagedorn called into question.  No cases where he let his personal religious beliefs trump the law.  Not one ruling called into question his ethics or suitability for office.

Fact:  Judge Brian Hagedorn, is a current Wisconsin Court of Appeals judge and former legal counsel for Scott Walker.

Fact:  Judge Hagedorn “discriminatory” blog post is part of a summary of a dissent made by the late Supreme Court justice Antonin Scalia.  The dissent was on a case about Texas sodomy laws, in which Scalia’s dissent was attempting to point out that by striking down a law against sodomy claiming states are constitutionally forbidden from banning any sexual activity citizens consider “immoral and unacceptable” also eliminates the legal basis for “criminal laws against fornication, bigamy, adultery, adult incest, bestiality, and obscenity.”  Hagedorn simply was paraphrasing Scalia’s concerns.  In fact, Scalia went on to encourage LGBTQ groups to persuade their fellow citizens that sodomy bans were wrong and work to change the laws rather than seeking to eliminate the legal basis on which states criminalize socially disapproved sexual behaviors.

While the progressive media and campaign ads run against Hagedorn have claimed he supports “hate groups” it is based on the Southern Poverty Law Center labeling the Alliance Defending Freedom as a “hate group”.  This is the organization that helped defend the Colorado cake baker and seems to be part of the basis on which the Alliance is called a hate group.  This is itself an unfair and biased claim.

Hagedorn religious’ beliefs are most definitely being attacked.  Yet, to this date, I have not seen any proof that Hagedorn’s beliefs have clouded his judgments in any case before him. We must remember that the United State Constitution states in article six, “no religious Test shall ever be required as a Qualification to any Office or public Trust under the United States”.

Finally, to the question of the Christian school he and his wife help start and still support.  This school and the teachers and students are being smeared as some horrible LGBTQ hating organization.  When in fact it is a conservative Christian School that has a standard for sexual ethics for both heterosexual and homosexual staff that requires in the school’s conduct code forbidding “teachers from participating in immoral sexual activity (defined as any form of touching or nudity for the purpose of evoking sexual arousal apart from the context of marriage between one man and one woman).”

This is not “hate speech” or bigotry, it is simply a conservative religious conviction.  And yes, this is protected by the Constitution.  So, please stop the smears, we the people of Wisconsin deserve better.

Rev. Joseph Fisher

[1] Luther. (2017). Luther’s Small Catechism with Explanation (p. 110). St. Louis, MO: Concordia Publishing House.

Letters to the Editor | Vote ‘No’ on the $74 million total referendum | By Jim Geldreich

Dear Editor: School referenda are reaching an epidemic level in Wisconsin including here in Washington County.  Local referenda saddle modest sized school districts such as ours with overwhelming debt, which translates to billions in new debt statewide.  This is not a sustainable trend, and brings me to the current $74 million West Bend school referendum, the third referendum imposed upon taxpayers in the past ten years!

Not only is this an obscene and outrageous amount of new borrowing, it is being proposed during a period of declining enrollment.

When added to the other two referenda in 2009 and 2012, it totals $103 million in total debt (source: WB District website).  This is 1/3 of the taxpayer portion for the construction of Miller Park ($310 Million), which took five heavily populated counties 24 years to repay!

The latest piece of mailed literature I received from the district doesn’t reveal the total amount of the borrowing ($74 million), thereby being neither forthright nor transparent with the constituents of the district.  I recall attending a candidate forum a couple years ago where the candidates (now members of the current board) all tripped over themselves proclaiming how transparent they would be if elected.

According to Policy 615 Disclosure of Financing and Total Cost of All Referenda document on the WB School District website, any information distributed on a proposed referendum must disclose the total amount of the referendum including principal, interest and associated costs.  This aforementioned mailed literature is in clear violation of this disclosure policy voted upon and approved by the West Bend School Board on January 23, 2012.

Additionally, some current school board members have been publicly cheerleading for the referendum, which is arguably inappropriate.

I urge the voters of the district to vote “No” on the current school referendum.

Jim Geldreich

Town of West Bend

Disclaimer: Opinions and letters published in are not necessarily the views of the Editor, or Publisher.

Find local news 7 days a week at

Around the Bend by Judy Steffes

Guest Editorial | Lack of transparency in total $74 million West Bend School District referendum | By Carol Heger

Dear Editor: I will be voting “No” on April 2 on the total $74 million West Bend School District referendum.  The WBSD referendum is being forced on West Bend citizens by the school district and its school board.  They have been waging a less than transparent campaign with less than honest facts for several years now.

Item 1:  The Superintendent, Don Kirkegaard, does not like to mention that the referendum will cost taxpayers $74 million (which is a figure that includes estimated interest over the course of 19 years).  He prefers to mention only the amount that the district will be borrowing:  $47 million.  How can a referendum be discussed honestly if the Superintendent doesn’t want to share that there will be about $27 million that the community will owe as a result of interest payments?  By the way, the community – your tax money – is still paying on the two previous school referendums:  a total of $34 million won’t be paid off for 9 more years (until 2028).

Item 2:  The Superintendent is refusing to talk about the fact that the number of children in West Bend/Jackson, as well as in Wisconsin, has been declining drastically for about a decade.   He says that the referendum is not about “capacity.”  In fact, the low birth rate is historic, and projections state West Bend will lose another 500 students by 2024.  Reasons are many for the dramatic decline in enrollment, in addition to the birth rate, such as the rise of parental choice schools (like Good Shepherd and Kettle Moraine Lutheran), an increase in home schooling, open enrollment where many students attend districts like Slinger and Germantown, virtual schools/online learning, and the liberal ideology of our public schools.  Riveredge Nature Center is even opening a charter school.  By 2024, five years from now, I suspect there will be disappearing students and idle classrooms at Jackson and other West Bend schools, and as a result there will be less tax dollars coming into the WBSD coffers. (State funding is based on the number of pupils in a district.)  Less income means staffing cuts and not enough money to maintain (and continue paying for) the gleaming new edifice that is to be built south of Rt. 60.

Item 3:  The Superintendent did not answer questions from the audience at the large informational meetings held at Jackson and the high schools. He referred the audience to “experts” stationed at tables at the rear of the room, a convenient way to prevent audience members from learning the “rest of the story” by listening to each other’s questions.  Just another tactic to keep the playing field uneven for the taxpayers.

Item 4:  The Citizens Facilities Advisory Committee (CFAC) that met during the 2017-18 school year was used as a prop to justify the “needs” of Jackson Elementary and the high schools.  First, many of its members were WBSD employees, retired employees, or their family members.  The majority of committee members nodded and agreed when the architects led the discussions and created the list of “needs.”  The natural gas pipeline that is adjacent to the site of the new Jackson School was obviously not a safety concern of the majority of CFAC members or with the architects.  Bray Architects is the same firm that will get the contract to build the new school at Jackson and the renovations at the high schools.  Believe it or not, CFAC was not even given a chance to present a final report of its findings, although the committee was initially told it would make recommendations regarding the district’s needs.  Yet the referendum survey created by School Perceptions last summer stated that not Bray, but CFAC “developed the options explored in this survey.”  If the referendum wins, I predict there will be a tall, energy-inefficient lobby or atrium that will be built at the new Jackson School, designed by Bray Architects but paid for by the taxpayers.  (Check out Bray’s 2-story open, window-filled space at Kewaskum Middle School that is furnished on two levels with sofas & chairs.  How much learning is being done there?)

Item 5:  Jackson Elementary has been presented on tours as a dungeon-like building, while in contrast it’s a warm, welcoming facility with classroom cabinetry and furniture in good shape and classic style.  Many of the “needs” that were tallied by the architects were maintenance items that had been deferred over the years (replacing ceiling tiles, new urinals, etc.).  Replacing Jackson’s roof is listed on the referendum flyer as a “need,” but CFAC members learned from the WBSD Facilities and Operations Manager that roofing is always included in the operating budget, and each summer a different roof or several are replaced totaling $800,000 per year.  Why then is Jackson’s roof used as a referendum need? At its peak, Jackson held about 525 students compared to the current 350 that are pupils.  Moving the fifth graders to Silverbrook about five years ago freed up four classrooms.  The current building, larger than needed, could be re-configured and consolidated to take advantage of that extra space.  It wouldn’t surprise me if the old 1900 portion might not even be needed, thereby eliminating the use of steps and an elevator.

There are many questions that have not been adequately answered about remodeling the current Jackson, including the cost.  Does anyone know what it would cost to remodel or simply upgrade Jackson Elementary?  Certainly, the Superintendent must know as do the school board members, but no one’s telling the taxpayers.    At a school board work session on April 30, 2018, a board member stated that he thought it was a waste of money to investigate what it cost to close Jackson and build new.  He thought spending money on boilers and air conditioners (i.e., maintenance upgrades) was not worthwhile.  The referendum plan calls for a new building at a price tag of $24,400,000 (not including 19 years of interest).  And the number of students is continuing to decline annually.

Item 6:  The twin high schools’ 50-year-old “major building system components,” as described on the referendum flyer, have “exceeded their useful life” and “are in need of replacement.”  After the CFAC behind-the-scenes tour, positive comments were made by committee members that it was “a clean and solid plant” and “well-maintained” and “a sense of pride” was evident.  Older equipment with a good operator is sometimes better than new equipment, a member suggested.  “Newer isn’t always better” was added by another member, while other members recalled that a new storage tank installed at the new Badger Middle School had ruptured.  (CFAC meeting, Oct. 17, 2017)

Commentators have weighed in, stating that the desire of Wisconsin voters for “world class” programs and facilities is apparent, since 90% of 82 communities in 2018 voted in favor of school referendums.  (Daily News, March 6, 2019)  Of course, does that mean that the West Bend population of lemmings should jump off the tax-and-spend cliff because others have?

The three candidates for the school board have finally been identified and appear to be following in quick step behind the previous trio of self-described “fiscally conservative” board members who were elected a couple years ago.  One candidate has stated the WBSD “has worked hard to carefully steward the money given for the upkeep of the buildings.” (Daily News, March 9, 2019)  He obviously has slept through the last year or so when the school board rewarded all teachers with a $1 million raise across the board, not taking into account any merit, innovation, or awards, something that is allowed due to Act 10 (see below).  The school board also presented the last two superintendents with hefty salary increases above each previous administrator:  Erik Olsen was awarded a higher salary than Ted Neitzke before him, and Mr. Kirkegaard was given $20,000 more than Mr. Olsen.  This is particularly disrespectful to taxpayers since the school board also voted to pay Mr. Olsen $300,000 so that he would resign from his position.  Yes, he received $300,000 for not working for our schools and our children!  In addition, usually when an employee moves to take a new position, their benefits include moving costs.  Do you think that the school board will let us know how much they paid for Mr. Kirkegaard to move from South Dakota to southeastern Wisconsin?  Let’s not forget that $360,000 was appropriated to re-pave the high schools’ tennis courts last summer, when the school board knew that they would be headed to a referendum.  And the school board even spent $16,500 of tax money on a referendum survey designed to persuade taxpayers to vote “Yes” on this same referendum!  So how conservative has our school board been, how careful have they been to “steward” the tax money provided by its hard-working residents?

Another candidate for the school board states “there is no reasonable alternative” if the referendum fails. (Daily News, March 9, 2019)   She obviously wasn’t paying attention to the teachers protesting in our state capitol building when Act 10 was passed.  Act 10 provides the tools for school districts to create savings without taxing their residents. The largest portion of a school district budget involves salaries and benefits.  Prior to Act 10, teachers and other state employees paid no share of their health insurance premiums.  Their health insurance was free. (I don’t have enough space to talk about their lack of pension contributions as well.)  Act 10 gave districts the ability to negotiate with health insurers other than the WEA Trust (run by teachers), so that employees would pay at least some share of their health insurance, as is done in the private sector and even by federal employees.  But West Bend has not availed itself of the hundreds of thousands of dollars it could save from using cost-effective insurers.  Since Act 10, which dates to 2011, WBSD teachers are paying as little as 3% for their share of health premiums and taxpayers pick up the remaining 97%!  Compare this 3% share with the state average of almost 12%.  Most people who work in the private sector pay about 33% of the cost of their health insurance.  (Boots & Sabers, July 25, 2018)  The resulting savings could go towards operating, maintaining and improving all the schools in West Bend/Jackson.  There would be no need to close schools, as yet another school board candidate has threatened, if the referendum fails. (Daily News, March 9, 2019)  The school district could also wait for Gov. Evers’ promised $1.5 billion in state aid to schools. (Washington Post, Nov. 1, 2018)

By the way, don’t be fooled by another threat heard from these school candidates: that the safety of our students will be in question if the referendum fails.  The WBSD has already received something like $350,000 for upgrading the security of our schools; this is a state grant and is separate from the money requested by the referendum for security upgrades at Jackson and the high schools.

Finally, Jackson student test scores consistently rank among the highest in the district, second only to McLane among elementary schools.  Both Jackson and McLane are the oldest buildings in the district.  Although the school board has plenty to say about the age of Jackson, it can’t list any educational needs that the school lacks.  In general, some of the best test results come from older buildings and low-funded schools.  The amount of money spent on education has no relationship with educational outcome.  As mentioned, the largest portion of a district’s budget is spent on personnel.  How does paying more for benefits such as expensive health insurance improve the education of our children?  Why one district is “better” than another is not because of its fancy buildings or the amount of tax monies spent on a referendum.  Spending a fortune on upgrading facilities means nothing when it comes to learning.

One last point:  Jackson Elementary – students, faculty, and parents — recently raised about $10,000 to buy books for their library.  The great success of this effort suggests that maybe WBSD should contract with the Jackson students to raise money to pay for the “needs” of their own school.  Obviously, the high school tennis courts were more important to the school board than funding the Jackson library with new books or upgrading the school’s physical plant.

Let’s hold the line on out-of-control spending by this current school board.  Do you want to be stuck holding the bill for 20 years of referendum payments?  Vote “No” on Tues. April 2!

Sincerely, Carol Heger

Disclaimer: Opinions and letters published in are not necessarily the views of the Editor, or Publisher.

 New traffic lights by Fleet Farm on Highway 33 and Shepherds Drive

 Business owners on the west end of Highway 33 have received an update regarding plans to add turn lanes and a traffic signal at the intersection of STH 33 and Shepherds Drive. Details were released in a one-page letter along with photos outlining the plans, which also include median modifications and closure of a median.

Construction on the new 192,000-square-foot store began Nov. 12, 2018. Motorists can see development is well underway just south of Highway 33 and just east of CTH Z.

A portion of the letter to property owners reads: Dear Sir or Madam: I am writing this letter as a representative of R.A. Smith Inc., the civil engineering firm retained by Fleet Farm for the design of their new West Bend retail store site development plans and associated STH 33 road improvement plans.

Road construction is planned to commence March 2019, with an estimated duration lasting 8 months (until October 2019). The scope of general planned modifications consists of the addition of turn lanes into the Fleet Farm site, median closures and median modifications, utility installation, street lighting and road signing. Additionally, traffic signals are to be installed at the intersection of STH 33 and Shepherds Drive. Traffic control measures will be in place throughout the duration of the project, which will allow the state highway to remain open throughout construction.  The new Fleet Farm is expected to open September 2019.

Articles about Honor Flight Veterans appreciated                                 Tanya Burg

Thanks for all the healing you are helping to facilitate.  So many of these veterans, especially the Vietnam ones, don’t even realize the healing they need.

Back in October I had a personal reflection regarding the Honor Flight experience. I still feel a stab in my heart thinking back to the morning of my Dad’s Honor Flight.

We stayed by his sister & brother-in-law and they were driving us in the dark morning hours to the airport. Dad and I were in the backseat and he looked over to me and asked quietly, “So all these people at the airport will know I was in Vietnam?”

I responded yes, since the Honor Flight color codes your jackets, the pale blue signifies Vietnam.  He was very serious, which is not his demeanor typically, and after a short time thinking about it he looked back at me and said, “Just so you know, they are going to say really nasty things to me that you shouldn’t hear.”

He truly still thought that was going to be the experience and was trying to shield me from it.  I just took his hand and said, “Not today, Dad, not this time.”

When we landed and got off to the first round of people smiling and reaching out to thank dad and shake his hand, he only made it a few people in and had to move away.

He turned back to me with tears in his eyes and fighting so hard to keep composure said, “No one has ever thanked me before.”

I’ve never been so humbled and ashamed.

Wittenberger Bus was generous upon asking and donated a bus to take Dad’s family (he is the youngest of 11) and friends from the Rubicon area to the Homecoming in Milwaukee, unbeknownst to him.

Toward the end of the incredible walk of celebration home at the end of a truly life changing day – from “hosing down of the plane honor” (I can’t remember the correct name for that), through the heartfelt silent salute from what had to be hundreds of kind eyes that shared my tears, to the boy scout gifting, the grand gala of a booming patriotic band, to the Marilyn Monroe greeting kiss, vets and loved ones flanking the isles … he saw his family waiting and waving for him toward the end.

Stars and stripes caught his expression as he realized the depth of who was there, through their amazing attention to every detail.

My dad was able to be welcomed home, 50 years later, in a way that was so deserved but wasn’t possible the first time – when one sister picked him up after officers’ spit on his shoes for that homecoming.

My Dad and I are very close.  In my 43 years with him before that flight, I had heard things about his time in service perhaps a dozen times.  Since the flight, in the past 5 months, he brings up a memory (good and bad) at least 3 out of the 5 times I see him in a week.

I recall in my lifetime seeing him cry maybe once.  Now he tears up but to my gratitude. It is incredible the damn that has burst, the processing and healing that has taken its place.

I will FOREVER be grateful to the Honor Flight and have pledged to spread its amazingness and help fund future veteran flights.

Thank you for giving me another opportunity by thanking you and your role in thanking all the deserving veterans. Thank you for giving me another opportunity by thanking you and your role in thanking all the deserving veterans.

 New store hours for Hankerson’s Country Oven Bakery in West Bend

 Hankerson’s Country Oven Bakery, 2107 W. Washington St., in West Bend is updating its schedule. The family-owned bakery will now be closed Tuesdays until further notice.

Owner Ryan Hankerson said that one day will allow staff to attend to some of the normal behind-the-scenes business. The bakery and diner will be open on Tuesdays during the holidays to accommodate special orders and family gatherings.

Hankerson’s was sold to Ryan Hankerson in September 2018. Since then the hometown bakery also added Colectivo Coffee. Hankerson’s operates on a normal 5 a.m. – 3 p.m. schedule except Sunday which is 5:30 a.m. – 2 p.m.

 Look whooooo is back nesting at the old Lithia Brewery

It was May of last year when Ric Koch found a Great Horned owl nesting in what looks like an old vent in the side of the old Lithia Brewery building on Franklin Street in West Bend.

Koch moved into Rivershores and was out on his bike when he spotted the trail of dung on the side of the building. Next, he saw the baby owl. While we were filming the mother, owl flew the coop. (what are the chances?)

Located below the nesting site is a rather graphic collection of last night’s dinner.  Koch said owls will take in food and then yack up hair and bones and what not; a lot of that is in a small grassy area right under the nest. (you have been warned)

Calls were placed to Law Lawrann Conservancy to see if someone could identify the species and we were between a Great Horned Owl, a Burrowing Owl or even a Screech Owl.  (no Saved By the Bell jokes please).

Chris Schmidt, who owns the brewery building, stopped to take a look. The conversation gravitated to what happens when the baby tries its first flight? The nest is about 25 feet off the ground and below is cement. Schmidt, who rents space in the building to the West Bend Dance and Tumbling Troupe, suggested he go inside and bring out a couple of tumbling mats to help cushion the fall.

Now the mother owl has returned and a passerby on Tuesday said he’s already seen a couple of white tufts, possibly owlets, in the nest. If you happen by and don’t see the mother owl, look in the surrounding trees by the Milwaukee River. That’s good hunting area for them.

 City of West Bend selects 2018 Business of the Year

 The City of West Bend presented an award for the 2018 Business of the Year this week to First Bank Financial Centre, 1811 W. Washington Street. Mayor Kraig Sadownikow praised First Bank for being “truly a hometown community bank.”

“The award is a wonderful recognition of the commitment of our employees,” said Jeff McCarthy, First Bank marketing director and vice president. “Our employees spend about 15,000 a year volunteering in local communities and at the West Bend branch alone in 2018 spent nearly 400 hours volunteering.

“A lot of banks offer savings accounts and checking accounts but for us it’s about charitable giving and volunteerism that really makes a difference. The awards are nice but that’s not why we do it, we do it to make lives better.”  First Bank Financial Centre employs over 300 people and has branches in Hartford, West Bend and Germantown. Opened in 2002 and remodeled in 2017 the bank on W. Washington Street has nearly doubled the size of its branch on the west side of town.

 Kettle Moraine YMCA’s Dynamite Gymnasts Place at YMCA State Meet   By Kayla Teske

The 2019 YMCA State Gymnastics Meet “West Coast Dreams” was hosted by the La Crosse YMCA. The gymnastics competition was held at the Lacrosse Central High School in La Crosse, WI. The Dynamites’ team consisted of gymnasts in USAG Girls’ Levels 1-8, Xcel Gold, and Platinum.

YMCA gymnastics Event Champions:

Level 2 – 9-year-old – Floor Ex – Jordan Jashinsky (9.5), Ages 11 & up- Floor Ex – McKenzie Uniewski (9.3)

Level 3 – 10-year-old – Bars – Hope Konrath (9.2)

Level 4 – 11-year-old – Beam – Mallory Spaeth (9.35)

Level 6 – Ages 14 & up – Bars – Kayla Barker (8.9)

Ages 13 & under – Bars – Makayla Cibulka (9.0)

Ages 14 & up – Vault – Isabelle Thomas (9.225)

Gymnasts who placed 1, 2 or 3 in All Around:

Level 2 – 9-year-old – Jordan Jashinsky – 1st AA (36.65)

Level 6 – ages 13 & under – Makayla Cibulka – 1st AA (36.625)

ages 14 & up – Isabelle Thomas – 3rd AA (35.975)

Xcel Platinum

All Ages – Sloane Freitag – 3rd AA (33.4)

Team State Champions:  Level 6 with a team score of 108.8

The Dynamites will be competing in the 2019 YMCA Gymnastics National Championship in Wisconsin Dells, WI, June 19-23. The 2020 YMCA State Gymnastics Competition will be hosted by the Heart of the Valley YMCA.

 Hartford Union High School down to two finalists for superintendent.

 Ronald Russ and Jeffrey Walters are the two finalists for HUHS Superintendent position. Approximately 40 candidates applied for the position. Nine candidates were interviewed by the Board and four semi-finalists were selected for second-round interviews. A record check shows Walters signed the Walker Recall and Russ did not. Hartford Union High School District (HUHS) Superintendent, Attila J. Weninger, Ph.D., will retire his position effective June 30, 2019.

Celebrating the 100th anniversary of American Legion Lt. Ray Dickop Post 36

A special evening Saturday night, March 16 as members of the American Legion Lt. Ray Dickop Post 36 gathered to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the post. Commander Bart Williams oversaw the ceremony which paid tribute to veterans past and present and recognized the history of Lt. Ray Dickop. West Bend Mayor Kraig Sadownikow was the keynote speaker.

“Leading, motivating and inspiring” were words Sadownikow focused on as he jumped into a short speech about veterans, the Tea Party, and the meaning behind the Don’t Tread on Me flag.

“The flag is actually called the Gadsen flag and named after General Christopher Gadsen of the Continental Marines during the Revolutionary War,” said Sadownikow.

The snake featured on the flag is described as “magnanimous.”

“It means to be gracious and noble in victory or defeat,” he said. “That is our service men and women, that is our Armed Services and that is the United States of America. That is all of you, gracious and noble in victory defeat.” Quoting Ben Franklin, Sadownikow said the snake in the Gadsen flag followed three rules to live by, “Never, always, never.”

“Never looking for trouble, always giving warning and if a snake is tread on it never surrenders,” said Sadownikow. “It will fight to the death to protect its home, family, itself and presumable its snake friends. I’m looking right now at a bunch of red blooded, American rattlesnakes.”

Also recognized during the ceremony were two of the oldest veterans in the room.  Joe Zadra, 96, who served in the U.S. Army and fought in the Battle of the Bulge and Allan Kieckhafer, 95, who joined the Navy when he was 18 and fought at Iwo Jima, Saipan, Guam and Okinawa.

Wrapping up the ceremony Williams and Sadownikow unveiled a plaque that would be a tribute to Lt. Ray Dickop. Below are details from the write up.

Ray C. Dickop was born on May 30, 1891, in Beloit, WI.  His mother, Ada (1872-1913), and his father, John (1861-1904), predeceased him.  Census records show Ray Dickop lived with his mother at 7 Maple Ave, South Beloit, IL in 1912.  Old maps show the location of his home at 7 Maple St.  Maple was renamed to Dickop Street after his death to commemorate this great national hero of World War I.  He also had a paternal aunt, Hilda Schiller, and cousin, Lena Schiller, who lived in West Bend, WI.

Dickop was 2nd Lieutenant in Company L, 1ST Wis. Infantry, Wisconsin National Guard, at Beloit, WI, when mobilized July 15, 1917.  He was assigned to Co. L when the U.S. Army’s 127th Infantry was organized and rode to France aboard USS George Washington.  He was promoted to First Lieutenant (Infantry), U.S. Army Company L, 127th Infantry Regiment, 32D ‘Red Arrow’ Division, American Expeditionary Force (A.E.F.). Lt. Dickop was killed in action (KIA) while serving with Company L, 127th Infantry Regiment in France during WWI.  He was posthumously awarded the Distinguished Service Cross for extraordinary heroism.

Updates & tidbits

 The Washington County Sheriff’s Office released the names of the deceased operators from the March 17, accident on County Highway NN. John David Johnson, 52, from Town of Barton and Michael George Roeber, 51, from West Bend. The Sheriff’s Office continues its investigation.

– In-person absentee voting for neighbors in the City of West Bend ends Friday, March 29, 2019. Voting at the City Clerk’s office is from 8:30 a.m. – 4 p.m.  Remember to bring a valid I.D.

– Cedar Community recently announced renovation plans for its Top of the Ridge Restaurant on the Cedar Ridge Campus. American Construction Services, in partnership with American Architectural Group and Studio Lux design firm, will manage renovations at the restaurant. Renovations begin March 27, 2019 with completion by the middle of June. Renovation includes new walls, carpet, furniture, the addition of a bar, and lounge area in the restaurant lobby.

– Tickets go on sale April 21 for the 32nd annual Washington County Breakfast on the Farm. It will be held June 21 at Highland Dairy, LLC this year in Kewaskum. Mike, Linda and Corey Enright are set to roll out the red carpet and invite guests to tour the robotic farm, compete in pedal tractor pull, listen to live music and share in some eggs, ham, pancakes and applesauce.

– Adam Kirchhoff, a resident of West Bend and an RN on the Medical/Surgical Unit, has been recognized with Froedtert & the Medical College of Wisconsin St. Joseph’s Hospital’s second quarter DAISY Award for his support and politeness.

-There will be a public information meeting for improvements to North Wacker Drive in the City of Hartford on Thursday, April 11, 2019.  The meeting will be held from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. at Hartford City Hall, in Scherger Hall Community Room (Room 101), 109 N. Main Street.  The City of Hartford is proposing to replace the bridge carrying North Wacker Drive over the Rubicon River.  The project is located approximately 0.2 miles north of the junction with WIS 60.  The project is currently scheduled for 2020. The roadway will be closed during construction.

– Common Sense Citizens of Washington County will meet Thursday, March 28 at the West Bend Moose Lodge at 7 p.m. Any person running for office in Washington County on the April 2 ballot is invited to introduce themselves. There may be time for questions from the audience depending on the number of candidates present. The meeting is open to the public.

– Get your tickets today for the Saturday, April 13 Brunch with the Easter Bunny brought to you by the West Bend Kiwanis. The event is from 7 a.m. – 11 a.m. at The Columbian, 3245 Lighthouse Lane in West Bend.

-The 2019 ArtWalk Sneak Peek Party at the Museum of Wisconsin Art. Get an up-close look at the 2019 hand painted banners by local artists before they are displayed on light poles in downtown West Bend. Admission to the event and galleries is free.

Vietnam veteran Gary Thetford of West Bend on April Honor Flight     By Samantha Sali

Vietnam War veteran Gary Thetford, 71, of West Bend is heading to Washington D.C. on the April 6 Stars and Stripes Honor Flight. Born in 1947 in Toledo, Ohio, Thetford was drafted into the Army in 1968. “I remember the day, the first time I heard Otis Redding, ‘Sitting on the Dock of the Bay’,” he said.

Thetford completed Basic Training at Fort Knox, Kentucky and was then stationed in Fort Belvoir, Virginia to be trained as a printing press operator. “When I first went in after being drafted, chances were I’d be in infantry, so I took an extra year so I could pick my duty,” said Thetford. “I chose to be a printing press operator because I figured I wouldn’t have to go to Vietnam.”

After three months at Fort Belvoir, Thetford was sent to Vietnam, assigned to a topographical unit attached to Military Assistance Command, Vietnam. “I was a part of one of the field teams they sent, stationed on the Central Highlands,” said Thetford. “I traveled around the area, going to villages, showing movies, throwing leaflets out of helicopters or airplanes. We would go in with loudspeakers before some of the troops would make an assault on a village, to give the people a chance to surrender.”

Thetford’s service in the military ended on Christmas Eve in 1971, ranked as an E5. “One week after I left, the compound I was assigned to was overrun and I never got anything back,” Thetford said. “I had left all my gear behind to be shipped home. I don’t have any pictures or anything like that from serving.”

After his service, Thetford worked for the 7Up Bottling Company, until taking a job at a chemical company. He was eventually transferred to West Bend as a regional sales manager, over 35 years ago. Thetford shared while he’s never seen the current memorials and monuments, he has been to Washington D.C., while stationed at Fort Belvoir in 1969. “That was back when they had thousands of protesters on the memorial grounds. They sent us in there to do some guard duty,” he said.

Going on the Honor Flight and seeing the memorials is something Thetford is looking forward to but shared his concerns about his PTSD. “At first, I wasn’t going to go on the Honor Flight because I’ve had some bad experiences with some of the things that happened in Vietnam,” he said. “When they had the traveling wall war memorial in Germantown last year, I had a really bad experience with recalling things. When my wife put me in for the Honor Flight, I told her I’m glad she did but I really don’t want to go. Now that I’ve been going to the VA to get help, they thought it would be good to go.”

 Veteran Norvin Lehman of Slinger on April Honor Flight             By Samantha Sali

 Korean War veteran Norvin Lehman, 81, of Slinger, is heading to Washington D.C. on the April 6 Stars and Stripes Honor Flight. Born in 1937 in Washington County, Lehman attended two years of high school in Slinger before eventually volunteering to enlist in the Army in 1955 when he was 18 years old.

“My basic training was at Fort Leonard Wood in Missouri and after that I went to Quartermaster School in Fort Lee Virginia,” Lehman said. After 10 weeks of training, Lehman was sent to France where he drove truck. “It was exciting over there, all the places I’ve seen. I’ve gone from the English Channel down to Spain, just driving trucks,” said Lehman. “I drove all over those European countries and it was rough at times, but there wasn’t too much I could complain about. I’m grateful for the experiences.”

Lehman’s service in the Army ended in September of 1956, retiring as a Private First Class. “After a while, I worked for the Wacker Corporation and drove semi for them for a while until I officially retired in 1990s”

Lehman remembered coming home to nobody but his sister waiting to drive him home. Lehman retired because he had a heart transplant a few months later, “My heart wasn’t pumping,” said Lehman. “It was only working at three percent.”

Lehman shared that his family is happy he can go on the Honor Flight. “It’s something they had been hoping would happen,” he said. “I’m looking forward to seeing the buildings and monuments, but it’s not the first time I’ve seen it. A long time ago, I was there during a bowling trip.”

Lehman’s son, Steven, will be his guardian on the flight. Lehman also has two daughters and met his wife over 59 years ago. “She was milking cows when I met her,” he said. “I just popped right in to talk to her and that was history.” Before the interview ended, Lehman wanted to impart some marital advice to the younger generation. “You gotta take the good with the bad,” he said. “Not everything is peaches and cream. Don’t toss it when it’s broken.”

On a side note: During a sentimental moment Lehman went from talking about the service, to buying his first car to the love of his life Eileen. Throughout the afternoon, Lehman teared up. He’s currently going through treatment at the VA and he was truly gracious for the opportunity to go on the Honor Flight and to have spent his life with someone who has stood by his side in good times and bad.

Find local news 7 days a week at

Around the Bend by Judy Steffes

Finance Director explains nearly $106 million in total referendum debt and interest for West Bend School District

There were experts available at the open house in Jackson to tour the Elementary School and ask questions about the upcoming April 2 referendum.

Andy Sarnow is the newest finance director in the West Bend School District. He explained the facts regarding the remaining referendum debt and interest from Badger and Silverbrook and then calculated the grand total should the total $74 million referendum pass in April.

-“We still have debt existing,” said Sarnow. “The existing debt we have to pay off over the next 10 years (2028) is approximately $28 million. The additional interest over the next 10 years is approximately $3.5 million.”

-“So about $32 million to $33 million left to pay for Badger and Silverbrook referendum.”

-Regarding the April 2 referendum. “So as we look at the authority that the referendum is to issue $47 million in bonds the projection at this point in time, and it’s conservatively high… we’re using 4.25 percent, recent issues are lower than that, but at 4.25 percent it’s $27 million in interest that will be paid over the life of the bond over the next 19 years (2038) and that total is $74 million,” said Sarnow.

-“Badger and Silverbrook are about $28 million to $29 million plus the interest we said was about $4.5 million,” said Sarnow.

-$32 million (Badger and Silverbrook) + $74 million (April 2 referendum) is about $106 million total to be paid off should the April 2 referendum pass.

-“$74 million and $32 million…. do you have a calculator? I know you have one on your phone,” said Sarnow.

– “That’s not how it’s commonly referred to,” said Sarnow regarding the word ‘debt.’

– “You go to a bank and you take out a mortgage for $200,000 to buy a home and you are $200,000 in debt. Does that mean you’re not paying any interest? No, you’re paying interest…. so I don’t want to say we’re ‘in debt $106 million’ that is the amount we will be repaying to be debt free.”

History on current referendums in West Bend School District

Taking a look at the current referendums the West Bend School District is paying off….

In April 2009, voters in West Bend approved a $29.3 million plan to renovate, as well as build an addition to Badger Middle School.

In November 2012 the West Bend School District passed a $22.8 million referendum to close Barton Elementary School, expand Silverbrook School and add classrooms and a gym at Green Tree Elementary School. The actual total cost of the referendum with taxes and interest was $31.975 million with a 15-year payback on borrowing.

After the Nov. 2012 referendum passed the $31.9 million total was added on top of the $29.3 million payment for the 2009 Badger referendum.

According to Baird “As of January 14, 2019 the District has principal debt outstanding” including $29,420,000 from Fund 39 referendum and Fund 38 non-referendum approved debt of $5,011,000.

The target date to completely pay off the debt and interest on current referendums is 2028.

The April 2 referendum would extend over 19 years to be paid off in 2038.

April 2 referendum question

Shall the West Bend Joint School District Number 1, Washington County, Wisconsin be authorized to issue pursuant to Chapter 67 of the Wisconsin Statutes, general obligation bonds in an amount not to exceed $47,000,000 for the public purpose of paying the cost of a school building and improvement program consisting of: construction of a new Jackson Elementary School; safety, security, building infrastructure, technical education and engineering lab improvements, remodeling and capital improvements at the High School; and acquisition of related furnishings, fixtures and equipment?

On a history note: Below is a list of some of the heads of the finance department in the West Bend School District over the past three years. Brittany Altendorf held the position for six years until 2017 and after that four people in the post including two three-month spans where Tim Stellmacher filled in before the next person was hired.

July 2011 – July 2017​​​ Brittany Altendorf

August 2017 – March 2018 ​​CESA 5 (Dave Van Spankeren)

April 2018 – July 2018 ​​​Tim Stellmacher

April 2018 – December 2018​​ Karen Herman

January 2019 – mid March 2019​​ Tim Stellmacher

February 18, 2019 – current​​ Andy Sarnow  March 8, 2019

Silver Alert driver stopped for going wrong way on I41

Some great work Wednesday night by the Washington County Sheriff’s Department after they safely stopped a vehicle going the wrong way on I41.

“The driver was part of a Silver Alert notification out of Manitowoc,” said Sheriff Martin Schulteis.

Manitowoc Police issued the Silver Alert at 7 a.m. on March 13 for 75-year-old Dennis Ullman who left a wellness center and did not return. Around 10:44 p.m. the dispatch center at the Washington County Sheriff’s Department received multiple calls about a driver going the wrong way on I41.

“Menomonee Falls Police actually got a call that he was northbound in the southbound lanes,” said Schulteis.

Washington County Sheriff’s Deputies managed to stop the vehicle at the 41/45 split. ”That’s a good 7 to 8 miles he was going northbound in the southbound lanes,” Schulteis said. “The deputies said he was extremely confused and unaware of what road he was on.”

The man was brought to the Sheriff’s Department where his family came to pick him up.

Schulteis said the department has a policy not to chase a person in the opposite direction on the Interstate. This is the second such wrong-way incident in Washington County in about a week. On March 8 a wrong-way driver on Highway 33 was involved in a fatal accident after the driver was headed east in the westbound lanes.

“In this case it was an elderly driver with a medical issue and in the earlier accident it looks like alcohol was involved,” said Schulteis. “Overall, it’s just an important lesson about not driving in the left-hand lane when on divided highways because when people are confused or intoxicated, they think they’re in the right-hand lane. It’s an important aspect and I have a young son who I teach not to drive in the left lane at night and it’s just for that reason.”

Why so much foam in Hartford                                         By Steve Volkert

 A large amount of foam closed a portion of Rural Street in Hartford on Thursday morning as the large white mass moved across streets and bridges.

Hartford Sewer Utility Director David Piquett said the foam, which was between the Rural Street Bridge, is a seasonal anomaly.  “There is NO toxicity in the foam or causing the foam. The Dissolved Organic Carbon (DOC) is high which happens especially during this time of year.

DOC elevates when naturally produced surfactants (organic pollutants) released from algae blooms and aquatic plants dissolve in water. The combination of DOC that is already in the river along with the amount that comes from our storm sewers and soils that border the river will cause foam.

The reason for the Rural Street build-up is due the high DOC which is agitated by the high flow coming through the dam. The water level is up to the top of the bridge and is acting as a skimmer, because of the short distance between the dam and the bridge. Dissolved Organic carbon is in the water year-round, but this level will drop pretty quickly along with the height of the river. I know it is unsightly, but it is a natural occurrence. Hope this helps explain a little.

Building home to Walmart in West Bend for sale

There’s quite a bit of property changing hands in West Bend and Washington County. One of the latest big box buildings posted for sale is the property at 1515 W. Paradise Drive. Many people know it as the building that’s home to Walmart.

Asking price for the 205,000-square-foot building is $18,829,629. The real estate listing said the building was constructed in 1998. According to the city assessor the current 2018 assessed value is $12,585,800.

The listing reads, “Walmart has been at this location for 20 years and recently exercised its first renewal option.”

Calls have been placed to the city assessor’s office to find out the last time the building was sold and the current assessment.  Other property changes include a new owner for the building at 105 N. Main Street.  Tracey Serwatt bought the property that’s home to Portrait’s Today for about $315,000.

Also watch for Woody’s Flooring to move from its shop on Stockhausen Lane to 830 S. Main Street in the West Bend Plaza strip center where George Webb’s is on the end cap.

There will also be a new CrossFit business moving into the north end cap of the same West Bend Plaza strip center, across from Kwik Trip.

A ‘rookery’ of penguins stepped out in downtown West Bend

A bit like ‘March of the Penguins’ on Thursday as ‘a colony, a rookery or a Waddle’ of colorful penguins stepped up N. Main Street in downtown West Bend. The appearance was part of a promotion to draw attention to the upcoming performance of Madagascar by the West Bend Children’s Theatre. Shows are April 10, 11, and 12.

Updates & tidbits

– In-person absentee voting for neighbors in the City of West Bend starts Monday, March 18, 2019. Voting at the City Clerk’s office is from 8:30 a.m. – 4 p.m.  In-person absentee voting ends Friday, March 29, 2019 at 5 p.m.  Remember to bring a valid I.D.

-There will be a public information meeting for improvements to North Wacker Drive in the City of Hartford on Thursday, April 11, 2019.  The meeting will be held from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. at Hartford City Hall, in Scherger Hall Community Room (Room 101), 109 N. Main Street. There will be a brief presentation at 6 p.m. The City of Hartford is proposing to replace the bridge carrying North Wacker Drive over the Rubicon River.  The project is located approximately 0.2 miles north of the junction with WIS 60.  The project is currently scheduled for 2020. The roadway will be closed to through traffic during construction.

– Common Sense Citizens of Washington County will meet Thursday, March 28 at the West Bend Moose Lodge at 7 p.m. Any person running for office in Washington County on the April 2 ballot is invited to introduce themselves. Tentatively, each candidate will be given five minutes to speak about themselves, not their opponent. There may be time for questions from the audience depending on the number of candidates present. The meeting is open to the public.

– Get your tickets today for the Saturday, April 13 Brunch with the Easter Bunny brought to you by the West Bend Kiwanis. The event is from 7 a.m. – 11 a.m. at The Columbian, 3245 Lighthouse Lane in West Bend.

-The 2019 ArtWalk Sneak Peek Party at the Museum of Wisconsin Art. Get an up-close look at the 2019 hand painted banners by local artists before they are displayed on light poles in downtown West Bend. These banners turn Main Street in West Bend into an outdoor gallery May through October. Take a piece of the ArtWalk home with you as a silent auction of banners from 2017 will take place during this event. Come prepared to bid for your favorite banners. Enjoy music, food and a cash bar. Admission to the event and galleries is free.

– Hartford Union High School’s (HUHS) Board of Education announced it has four semi-finalists for the Superintendent position. Stephen T. Plank, Principal, Middleton High School, Middleton-Cross Plains School District Ronald D. Russ, Superintendent, Merton Community School District Ralph Schlass, Principal, West Bend West High School and Jeffrey A. Walters, Principal, Kettle Moraine High School, Kettle Moraine School District. A record check shows Walters, Schlass and Plank all signed the Walker Recall.

-Numerous stretches of roadways experienced high water levels on Thursday as temps in the 50s combined with torrential downpours to create some hazardous in Washington County. Some of the road closures included State Highway 144 from Highway 33 to I41 and County Highway DW from County Highway W to State Highway 175

– Hartford Union High School senior Miranda Parker will once again tour the state of Wisconsin this summer with Kids from Wisconsin. Joining her this year as an understudy is freshman Connor Martin. This is Parker’s second year as a Kid.

Honor Flight veterans from Washington County

There will be 15 veterans from Washington County on the Stars and Stripes Honor Flight on April 6. This will be the 50th mission as two planes leave Milwaukee Mitchell International Airport with 172 veterans on board.  Interviews with some of the veterans are below.

Vietnam veteran Judith Pierce of Hartford on April Honor Flight            By Samantha Sali

Vietnam War veteran Judith Pierce, 73, of Hartford is heading to Washington D.C. on the April 6 Stars and Stripes Honor Flight.

Born in Hartford on March 25, 1945, Pierce was raised in Rubicon with her seven siblings, attending school St. John Catholic Church. The school closed in the late 60’s.

After graduating high school, Pierce attended nursing school in St. Agnes in Fond Du Lac.

“I didn’t even know a nurse, I chose the profession because I just wanted to help people,” said Pierce.  “I’ve always been a people person and I always felt the need to do something and help people and I figured I could accomplish that with a nursing education.”

Around 1966, military recruiters came to St. Agnes, giving a talk to the nursing students about how they needed nurses for the war in Vietnam.

“When I asked my dad to help me pay my tuition, he said I had to pay him back because it would be unfair to give me money for college and not my other siblings,” said Pierce. “When the recruiters came to St. Agnes, they told us they’d start paying us our senior year, as if we were a private already in the service. Of course, you have to pay them back time, but the little calculator in my mind was just buzzing. I thought if I went in then, I could start paying my dad back, so I raced up there and was the first one to get the paperwork.”

Despite being 20 years old, Pierce had to take a permission slip to her parents over the weekend in order to be allowed to serve as a nurse in the military.

”Both of them said no,” said Pierce. “They weren’t narrow minded, but for that era, you didn’t really hear about women serving. By Sunday, I told them I was already living outside of the home, told them they did a great job raising me, and said I already am what I am, that I will be what I will be. My mom looked at my dad and they said I was right and signed the permission slip.”

After Pierce graduated and became board certified, she entered active military duty in 1966. She received Basic Training in Texas and then to Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri.

From there, she was assigned to Korea. “They had what they called hardship tours, one in Korea and one in Vietnam. I actually wanted to go to Vietnam at first, but when given the choice, I chose Korea. I was so idealistic, comparing myself to Florence Nightingale, thought I was going to save the world. I grew up so sheltered, in such a small area, I was so naive. I thought everyone was white, German, and Catholic. Going into the military was one of the best moves of my life.”

Last year, Pierce was able to take her family to South Korea to watch the 2018 Winter Olympics and show where she served 50 years ago.

“I was stationed at the 43rd Surgical Hospital in Uijongbu, which is mentioned in the TV show MASH. They even show across the street a Rosie’s Bar and that’s where I had my farewell party when I left,” Pierce said.

While in South Korea, Pierce lived in a Quonset hut. “It was so cold in the winter, just like Wisconsin, so I used to sleep in my military-issued coat because the huts weren’t insulated,” she said. “During monsoon season, frogs would jump in the bathrooms and there was a light in the closet that had to stay on all of the time or our shoes and clothes would mold from the rain.”

After Pierce retired as a Lieutenant in 1969, she went back to college in Oshkosh and received a bachelor’s degree in Psychology.

After graduating, she worked at the VA in Milwaukee until around 1971, “I had served the VA for about a year when my roommate asked me to join her on Project Hope,” said Pierce. “It was a hospital ship, traveling to foreign countries and give medical care to people in need. I donated a whole year, working in Kingston, Jamaica on the SS Hope.”

“I’ve always been an opportunist. When opportunities came along, I just went. When I worked at the VA, a group of friends invited me to a 3-week ski trip in Europe. I’d never went skiing before, but said yes, ran over to Little Switzerland to learn how to ski, and had a blast.”

Despite being almost 74, Pierce has never let go of her love of sports and you can still find her on hills at Little Switzerland in Slinger with her grandchildren.

”When they called me to let me know it was my turn for the flight, they asked me if I needed a wheelchair or cane. I was skiing at Little Switzerland,” Pierce said.

“My daughter, Tiffany Lucas, is my guardian for the flight. I’ve been to the memorials before, but I’m looking forward to the comradery with the other veterans on the flight. It’s great to be finally recognized for our service in Vietnam. When the war ended, no one really thanked us for our service or even recognized military members for serving. They really didn’t start thanking Vietnam veterans until 10 or 15 years ago.”

After the Honor Flight, you’ll be able to find Pierce at Little Switzerland or ice skating with her grandchildren. Once summer arrives, she plans on taking up water skiing.

Veteran, Gerald Gramins Sr., of Hartford to fly on Honor Flight | By Samantha Sali

Vietnam War veteran Gerald Gramins Sr., 80, of Hartford is heading to Washington D.C. on April 6 as part of Stars and Stripes Honor Flight.

Born March 7, 1939 in Milwaukee, Gramins attended Custer High School and Boys Tech, now known as Bradley Tech. He then enlisted in the Navy on Aug. 22, 1956 at age 17. “I remember it like it was yesterday,” Gramins said.

Once enlisted, Gramins was sent to Great Lakes, Illinois Naval Station for Basic Training. After graduating from basic training, he was transferred to Norman, Oklahoma. “I went for what they called AMP School. With that, I held an aviation rating for the Navy.”

From there, Gramins served aboard the USS Shangri-la, “It’s a CVA 38 Aircraft Carrier and I was an Aviation Guided Missile Technician,” said Gramins.

In 1961, Gramins went into the Navy Reserves until 1974 when he retired from the Navy as a 3rd Class Petty Officer.

He then decided to join the Army. “I was a machinist, served with the 961st Combat Engineers in Milwaukee. After a couple of years, I joined the 84th Division Army, stationed in Milwaukee as well,” said Gramins.

In 1992, Gramins retired from the military at the age of 53, as an E8 First Sergeant.

He and his wife, Dolores, moved to Hartford a few years ago, “We’ve been married almost 43 years, met at a country western bar. Dolores is somewhat disabled, and we moved here when a condo opened up by happenstance,” said Gramins.

Gramins and his wife were blessed with five sons, one of which is his guardian for the flight. ”I picked Gary to be my guardian because some time ago I took his twin brother to Norfolk, Virginia and now I figured it was Gary’ turn to go,” said Gramins.

Gramins shared that while he looks forward to seeing the memorials, he is most excited about spending time with the other veterans on the flight. “I’m looking forward to the comradeship. A lot of them are a lot more deserving than I am.”

Vietnam veteran Edward Patoka of Hartford on April Honor Flight | By Samantha Sali 

Vietnam War veteran Edward Patoka, 80, of Hartford is heading to Washington D.C. on the April 6 Stars and Stripes Honor Flight.

Born in Milwaukee on February 8, 1939, Patoka was drafted in 1962 at the age of 22.

Once drafted, Patoka was sent to Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri for Basic Training. From there, he was sent to Heavy Equipment Operator School and was shipped to Vassimcourt, France in June 1962.

“I was with the P Company, 97 Engineers and when I got to my outfit, they said us heavy equipment operators were a dime a dozen,” Patoka said. “They asked me what I did as a civilian and I told them I worked in an office. They asked if I could type and when I told them I learned to type in high school, they told me I was their new company clerk.”

One of the most memorable days in service for Patoka was Nov. 22, 1963. “It was the day President Kennedy was shot and a French man is the one who told me,” he said.

Patoka served in France until December 31, 1963 and came home on inactive duty for four years. “When I got home, I went right back to work and got in trouble because they thought I was on vacation. Everyone only ever asked me how my vacation was and the only people who ever told me, “Welcome Home,” were my family.”

Patoka switched careers and became a letter carrier for the U.S. Postal Service until he retired in 1992. He moved to Hartford in 1995 with his wife, Patricia, whom he married two years before being drafted. The couple had two adopted children, Elizabeth and John.

Their son John passed away in 2012. “He had medical issues and it was very sad and difficult. You never think as a parent you’d have to bury a child,” said Patoka.

“I’m still very busy. I work at Lincoln School three days a week, working with kindergarteners to 3rd grade. I love it and I have no intentions of giving it up. They read to me and I help them learn how to tell time or about money, whatever the teachers ask of me. The kids at the school call me Mr. Ed and come up to me, thanking me. They are proud of what I did and ask me things about the service. One kid asked me if I ever shot someone. I said no, and that’s never something that you’d want to do.”

Patoka said he’s looking forward to seeing the memorials and sharing the moments with the other veterans on the flight.

His son-in-law, Paul, will be his guardian on the Stars and Stripes Honor Flight, “He’s served in the Marines and he’s never been to Washington D.C. I thought this was a good guy to go with because I like him as a son-in-law, he’s a great guy, and he served four years. It will do him good to get away and see everything,” Patoka said.

Patoka admitted he waited quite a few years to sign up for the Honor Flight because he wanted to give other veterans a chance to go first, “I was an in-betweener, I served during the Vietnam War, but wasn’t actually there. My buddy told me I did what I had to do, so yeah, I guess I’m proud to have served. I might have not done much, but I did what I had to do.”

Find local news 7 days a week at

Around the Bend by Judy Steffes

One more season at Carl M. Kuss Field before the remodel

After a big ‘last hurrah’ at the end of the 2018 baseball season at Carl M. Kuss Field in West Bend it appears there will actually be one more season before reconstruction starts.

It was during Monday night’s West Bend Common Council meeting when Dist. 6 alderman Steve Hoogester made the first announcement.

“And the baseball field with the redo of the Carl Kuss Field at Regner Park it’s looking more and more right now like they won’t start working on it probably ‘til August because of different things they’re still trying to work out.” said Hoogester.

It was Jan. 22, 2019 when the last update on construction was presented to the Council. It was announced the project would be completed in several phases.

According to West Bend Park and Rec director Craig Hoeppner the group, including WBBA, Cal Ripken Sr. Foundation and the City, and Fields Inc. stated they are working on final designs and plans for the field, which includes surveying, geo-tech and storm water design work.

Hoeppner said another priority is refining the budget which is currently around $1.4 million. It appears there are still a number of questions on actual costs which the group stated were being worked out.

Phase I includes the synthetic field, fencing and dugouts. Phase II would include the lights, grandstand, concessions and restrooms. At this time, funding is around 60-percent complete for Phase I.

Hoeppner said all Phase I funding will need to be completed before any construction begins. Once construction begins, it will take about 100 days to complete. Early hopes, according to Hoeppner are that construction begins this Spring. Another meeting is slated for Feb. 1 for more updates.

Willie Mueller with the West Bend Baseball Association confirmed Tuesday afternoon that it looks like another season before construction. “The diamond will be status quo until August 15,” said Mueller. “It’s alright to play one more season here. According to the West Bend Baseball Association we could start March 8 but now the field is still playable and we’ll be able to do a little more fundraising this summer.”

The timetable from the Cal Ripken Sr. Foundation regarding its donation is normally 18 months to fund a project from the time it commits until construction is underway.

Even though Carl M. Kuss Field will be playable this summer, Mueller said there will be no way it’s ready for spring ball. Remember, all WIAA baseball teams now play spring ball which starts March 18.

“Even when the boys had summer ball, early May to late April, there would be water in right field,” said Mueller. “Criminy, I just talked to a guy up north and they still have 70 inches of snow on the ground up in Crivitz. Spring ball starts in 13 days… what do you think it looks like here… do you think we’re playing?”

Mayor Kraig Sadownikow confirmed Tuesday night construction would start at the end of summer in August 2019. “The hope is to have spring ball there … but according to Doug Gonring and Billy Albrecht and some of the guys I consider baseball experts, this is a foolish exercise in Wisconsin that to have some happy middle ground probably would have made some sense to start this April 15 or June 15,” he said.

Funeral set for Bob Zarling of Kewaskum

Funeral details for Bob Zarling of Kewaskum have been released. Zarling died Tuesday, March 5 while wintering with his wife Char in Texas. Zarling was a long-time senior vice president of sales and marketing for Regal Ware and a dedicated member of the Kiwanis Club in Kewaskum.

In an article published on on March 6, Kevin Schneumann paid tribute to Zarling and his mentorship.

“That’s a devastating loss for the Kiwanis Club in Kewaskum,” said Kiwanis Club vice president Kevin Scheunemann. “He was the bedrock of our club and I have to personally thank Bob Zarling for getting me involved in Kiwanis because he was persistent and finally after eight or 10 visits he got me to join the club.”

Scheunemann described Zarling as a “tenacious recruiter” for Kiwanis in Kewaskum. “I’m still the new guy with 25 years in the club but Bob had about a half century of service in to Kiwanis. It’s a momentous loss to the club and the community.”

“My deepest sympathies to his wife and family and we’re all really saddened by the loss,” Scheunemann said. “Tireless” was one of the words Scheunemann used to describe Zarling. “His commitment to the community was incredible from membership recruitment to fundraising, service time and the guy just made me tired by looking at him by how much he did for the club.”

“Bob Zarling was a big member of the American Legion and one of the great pillars of Kewaskum and it’s a sad day for the entire community,” said Scheunemann.

“It’s unfortunate but I have confidence in Bob’s faith that he’s home with The Savior,” said Scheunemann. “I have no doubt about Bob’s Christian faith. He worked because of his faith in Christ, he didn’t do it for himself.”

Aaron Laatsch wrote, “Bob was such a great supporter of everything Kewaskum! He was especially supportive of the development of Reigle Family Park and spoke passionately about how important that development is for Kewaskum.”

Visitation for Bob Zarling will be Saturday, March 16 starting at 10 a.m. at St. John’s Lutheran Church, 809 S. Sixth Avenue, West Bend 53095. A memorial service will follow at 11 a.m.

New tenant for former Bank Mutual location in West Bend

It looks like it’ll be another bank moving into the former Bank Mutual location, 1526 S. Main Street in West Bend. The property on S. Main Street sold to ENDF3DK LLC on Sept. 27, 2018 for$1,065,420.

The parcel was last assessed at $1,563,000. A spokeswoman for Landmark Credit Union, based in New Berlin, said it did purchase the property and they are remodeling.

“It will match the look and feel of the other branches we have,” said Katie Monfre, communications manager for Landmark Credit Union.

“It offers our members a number of advantages including private offices, a drive-thru lane, a drive-up ATM and it will give us both an in-store presence in West Bend and one location as a stand-alone branch.”

Landmark Credit Union is currently located in the Kroger Pick ‘n Save stores in West Bend. A larger, standalone branch is located at 1400 Schauer Drive in Hartford. “We’re always looking for the right opportunity for our members,” said Monfre. “This happened to be an excellent opportunity so we took advantage of it.”

Monfre said they “don’t have an exact open date yet” but they are looking at late summer or early fall.

In September 2017 a story was posted about Bank Mutual consolidating with Associated Bank. Bank Mutual, 1526 S. Main Street in West Bend, was one of 28 branches that consolidated with Associated. The receiving branch is the Associated Bank, 715 W. Paradise Drive.

Fifteen veterans from Washington County on April 6 Honor Flight to Washington D.C.

There will be 15 veterans from Washington County on the Stars and Stripes Honor Flight on April 6. This will be the 50th mission as two planes leave Milwaukee Mitchell International Airport with 172 veterans on board.

Vietnam veterans include Army veteran Gerald Gramins Sr. of Hartford, Edward Patoka of Hartford, Judith Thorbahn Pierce of Hartford, Richard Langreck of Hubertus, Jerald Lowther of West Bend, James Mathia of West Bend, Robert Graff of West Bend, James Bokelman of West Bend, Gary Thetford of West Bend, and Allen Polachowski of West Bend.

Korean War veterans include Norvin Lehman of Slinger, Roland Nowak of West Bend, Erwin Wergin of West Bend, and Melvin Walters of West Bend.  WWII veteran is Lon Loebel of West Bend.

If you know any of these veterans and wish to pay tribute please feel free to submit their photo and watch for follow-up stories in the coming weeks.

Sharp shooters quietly trim herd in West Bend Parks

It’s been a while since anyone has been updated on the sharp shooters and their success at trimming the number of deer in Ridge Run Park and Lac Lawrann Conservancy.

It was December 2018 when Tommy Schwai walked us into the freezer area to seven deer turned in by sharp shooters. Schwai’s is processing the deer free of charge and donating the meat to the Full Shelf Food Pantry in West Bend.

The sharp shooters were contracted by the City of West Bend for a managed hunt at $9,002. The cooperative service agreement with the USDA Wildlife Service indicates the sharp shooters will target the removal of 30 deer per park.

The City applied for a $5,000 Urban Wildlife Damage Abatement and Control grant to help offset the expense. As of Monday night, March 4 the city confirmed 33 deer had been removed by the sharp shooters and the effort would continue through mid-March. The city is targeting a reduction in deer numbers in an effort to reduce deer damage to habitat, property and car/deer collisions.

“Our contracted sharp shooters have been making good progress toward the overall herd-reduction goal,” said Mayor Kraig Sadownikow. “We are happy with their efforts to date and are pleased thus far.”

This is the second year the City is attempting to reduce the deer population. During an archery hunt at the end of December 2017 three hunters managed to kill three deer in a span of five days. Thirty-five pounds of venison was donated to the Full Shelf Food Pantry.

The licensed sharp shooters are performing the hunt during the evening at Ridge Run Park and Lac Lawrann Conservancy. The hunt will be conducted while the parks are closed. Thanks to Tommy Schwai for processing the meat free of charge and donating it to the Full Shelf Food Pantry in West Bend.

West Bend Plan Commission approves additions to ALDI and Krimmer’s Restaurant  

The West Bend Plan Commission gave the green light to a number of developments ahead including an expansion at ALDI, a 1,213-square-foot addition and outside patio at Krimmer’s Restaurant, 114 N. Main Street, a reduction in parking spots at the new Morrie’s West Bend Honda on southwest corner of W. Washington Street and Scenic Drive W.  An original total of 581 vehicle stalls were provided on site.

The developer will be removing approximately 136 parking stalls.  Finally, Kevin Dittmar from Dittmar Realty will be building eight cold storage units and mini warehousing on the southwest corner Lang Street and N. River Road on the east side of West Bend.

S.A.M.B.A fundriser is March 23 at Slinger High School PAC                 By Ron Naab

The Slinger Area Music Booster Association (S.A.M.B.A.) will hold its annual fundraiser in the new Slinger Performing Arts Center. The event is March 23 from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. There will be five-star entertainment including Slinger High School drum line, jazz band, the middle school select choir, and high school choirs.

There will also be a special performance by Slinger alum Hannah Mrozak who performed on The Voice. The featured performance will be the nationally touring Dueling Pianos show from Milwaukee, WI – TOP Dueling Pianos. Your ticket also includes a specialty nonalcoholic drink from Milwaukee’s Concoctions Drink Deliciously company, delectably delicious desserts, and light appetizers. The first 500 tickets sold will also receive a commemorative “Slinger Soiree” stem less wine glass.

There will be silent auctions, raffles, a wine pull, and live auction. Prizes include Billy Joel Tickets, Brewer tickets, Slinger Owl Fire pit, top of the line beverage and wine fridge, dinner for 8 and drinks at West Bend’s Tap and Tavern, and many more amazing prizes!

3 players from UWM at Washington County named to Wisconsin Collegiate Conference All Conference | By Deb Butschlick

Three players from the UWM at Washington County basketball team were named to the Wisconsin Collegiate Conference All-Conference team. Sammie Brown a Kewaskum graduate majoring in Business Communications was selected to Wisconsin Collegiate Conference Second Team All-Conference for the Wildcats this year. Brown is a player and athlete who affects the game in many ways. She led the team in points per game with 11.3, second on the team in rebounds per game with 7.5, and she led our team in assists per game with 2.7. Brown can also guard anywhere from the shooting guard position to the center position. She has played at every spot in our zone defense. Above all, Brown became a “player-coach” for us this year. With an inexperienced team, Brown took the time to teach and help her teammates learn and develop throughout the year. As team captain her patience and leadership helped the team improve every day.

Kayla Boehm a Slinger graduate majoring in Business was selected to Wisconsin Collegiate Conference Honorable Mention for the All-Conference team. Boehm never played basketball before this year; however, she still averaged 8.6 points per game, 13.7 rebounds per game and 1.4 blocks per game. Boehm had three games where she grabbed 22 rebounds, 19 rebounds, and 17 rebounds respectively. Also, she only had two games where she did not grab more than 5 offensive rebounds. Throughout the year, Boehm began to learn the defensive side of basketball, and she became one of the top shot blockers in conference. At semester break, Boehm only had two blocks total, but she finished with 15 blocks in the final four games alone; including one game with four blocks, and another game with six blocks.

Brianna Beilfuss a Port Washington graduate majoring in Nursing was selected to Wisconsin Collegiate Conference Honorable Mention for the All-Conference team. Despite joining the team at semester, Beilfuss averaged 10.8 PPG shooting 35% from 3PT territory including a 5 for 9 3PT performance in one game. She averaged 7.0 RPG and continuously brought energy and hustle to our team. If it was tracked as an official stat, Beilfuss would’ve led the conference in diving for loose ball. She always made the winning plays for the team, and those plays don’t always show up on a stat sheet.

Fatal accident on Hwy 33 in West Bend                    By Washington County Sheriff

 Washington County suffered its first and second fatal accidents within hours of each other on Friday night, March 8. At 8:28 p.m., the Washington County Sheriff’s Office was notified of, and dispatched Deputies to, a two vehicle crash with injuries in the area of Hwy 33 and Riesch Road in the township of West Bend. Additionally, Allenton Rescue and West Bend Rescue were called to the scene.

It was reported by one witness that the operator of the first vehicle was trapped inside and there were no signs of life. Upon arrival of West Bend Rescue, it was confirmed the operator was deceased. The operator of the second vehicle suffered no apparent injuries and was released on scene. The passenger of the second vehicle was transported to Froedtert Hospital by ambulance with leg and back injuries.

Preliminary investigation shows the first vehicle was operating eastbound in the westbound lanes of traffic on Highway 33 (opposite lane of travel). The second vehicle was westbound on Hwy 33 in the left lane. The vehicles then collided head-on.

Weather and road conditions were not a factor in the crash. The westbound lanes of Hwy 33 were closed to traffic for approximately three hours to facilitate the investigation and clean-up.

The deceased operator is a 43-year-old male from Jackson, Wisconsin. The operator of the second vehicle is a 38-year-old male from Eden, Wisconsin, and the injured passenger is a 31-year-old female from Eden, Wisconsin. This is Washington County’s first traffic fatality in 2019. No further information is being released at this time and the crash remains under investigation.

Fatal accident in Slinger                                                        By Washington County Sheriff

On Friday, March 8, 2019 at 9:28 p.m., the Washington County Sheriff’s Office was notified of an incident in which a Canadian National train struck a person in the Town of Polk, near Maple Ave South in the Village of Slinger.

Slinger Police Department Officers and Washington County Sheriff’s Deputies responded, along with Lifestar Rescue and Slinger Fire Department. Upon arrival to the area, a deceased woman was located near the tracks. Further identification is withheld pending notification to the family. Train traffic was held on the tracks for approximately six hours, and the incident remains under investigation.

Military tribute to veteran Robert Henschel

More than 100 people stood silently in the back parking lot of the V.F.W. on Sand Drive in West Bend to pay their respects to veteran Robert Henschel. The West Bend Color Guard fired a three-round volley and then sounded Taps. A folded U.S. flag rested on the same table as a simple wooden box holding Henschel’s ashes.

Two members of the military performed the ceremonial unfolding and refolding of the flag. The purpose is done as a lasting tribute to the family as the flag previously draped the casket of the deceased veteran.

According to Flag Protocol the flag is placed on a closed casket so the union blue field is at the head and over the left shoulder of the deceased. After Taps is played, the flag is carefully folded into the symbolic tri-cornered shape. A properly proportioned flag will fold 13 times on the triangles, representing the 13 original colonies. The folded flag is emblematic of the tri-cornered hat worn by the Patriots of the American Revolution. When folded, no red or white stripe is to be evident, leaving only the blue field with stars.

It is then presented as a keepsake to the next of kin or an appropriate family member.

During the presentation of the flag to the family the following is said. ‘On behalf of the President of the United States, (the United States Army; the United States Marine Corps; the United States Navy; or the United States Air Force), and a grateful Nation, please accept this flag as a symbol of our appreciation for your loved one’s honorable and faithful service.’

Henschel, 70, was struck by a hit-and-run driver on Feb. 21. Henschel had been vacationing in Florida when the accident occurred. The Florida Highway Patrol said Henschel had run out of gas and was talking to a woman on the side of the Beachline turnpike when he was struck by another vehicle.

Lenten fish fry at The Columbian

The Lenten fish fry season is underway at The Columbian, 3245 Lighthouse Lane, in West Bend.          Helping Hands Fish Fry Fundraiser is 4 p.m. – 7:30 p.m. and includes 2 to 3 piece of baked or fried cod. Just a little history note on the season of Lent: “Lent is the six-week period leading up to Easter. Lent is frequently seen as a time of solemn observance and preparation for the celebration of the death and resurrection of Jesus at Easter. From its start on Ash Wednesday until its conclusion on Easter Sunday, April 21, Lent has been a traditional time for fasting or giving something up or abstinence.”

Updates & tidbits

-The Hartford Fire Department was on scene Thursday afternoon at John’s Hobbies, 54 N. Main Street in Hartford. According to City Administrator Steve Volkert some people coming out of a neighboring business saw flames and smoke and called in the fire. That was around 4:10 p.m. Main Street was closed to traffic while firefighters extinguished the fire. The cause of the fire was outside the business and deemed electrical in nature. Nobody was injured.

– On March 15 the Kettle Moraine YMCA will hold its annual Party with a Purpose at Terrace 167.  The Annual Campaign is designed to make sure everyone has affordable access to the YMCA.

-The 2019 ArtWalk Sneak Peek Party at the Museum of Wisconsin Art. Get an up-close look at the 2019 hand painted banners by local artists before they are displayed on light poles in downtown West Bend. These banners turn Main Street in West Bend into an outdoor gallery May through October.

Take a piece of the ArtWalk home with you as a silent auction of banners from 2017 will take place during this event. Come prepared to bid for your favorite banners. Enjoy music, food and a cash bar.

Admission to the event and galleries is free.

-Cafe Floriana, 611 Veterans Ave Suite 104, in West Bend is open. Sisters Sara and Kat feature fresh, homemade bakery, sandwiches, soups and hot Stone Creek Coffee. The business opened on the first level of the former West Bend Company building, currently Cast Iron Luxury Living.

– The Washington County Deer Advisory Council (CDAC) will meet March 11 at 6 p.m. at Moraine Park Technical College. The CDAC will review data and form preliminary 2019 antlerless quota, permit and season structure recommendations. Following the March meetings, an online public comment period will take place from April 1-10, with a final council meeting being held in late April 15 to allow the council to review public feedback before making final recommendations on the antlerless quota, permit and season structure.

-Kettle Moraine Lutheran High School’s cheer team traveled to La Crosse on March 1 to compete in the Wisconsin State Cheerleading Championship. The team won first place.

 Jackson Police rescue owl                                                                        By Jackson Police

An interesting night at the Jackson Police Department as Officer Brinks was in charge of watching over a screech owl. The bird was hit by a Washington County Taxi and brought to the Jackson PD.

Officer Brinks kept watch over the owl overnight and made sure it was comfortable until they could contact Marty at Wanakia Wildlife. Marty picked up the owl Tuesday morning and said it suffered a concussion but should be ok. The owl spent the night in a holding cell in case it started to feel better and tried to fly the coop.

UW Marching Band performs at Slinger High School PAC

It was a sold-out show Friday night at the Slinger High School Performing Arts Center as the UW Marching Band performed a nearly two-hour show under the direction of Mike Leckrone.

It was a special performance that was three years in the making. The evening was sponsoring by the Slinger/Allenton Rotary and the event coincided with the 150th anniversary of the Village of Slinger.

The UW Marching Band warmed up the crowd as the seven tuba players ducked through the entryway and took their place in front of the stage. “How’s everybody doing tonight,” yelled the tuba player. “Ready for some fun.”

Then it was onto some classics including “When you say Wisconsin you’ve said it all” and “On Wisconsin.” Dressed in black pants and red sweaters emblazoned with the letter W the band followed some brief comments from the Rotary, Village President Russell Brandt and Slinger Superintendent Daren Sievers.

Some of the music included a medley from Lionel Richie, Neil Diamond, Frankie Valley, The Music Man, and Jesus Christ Superstar. Then the band jumped into the traditional Fifth Quarter with The Chicken Dance, Hey Baby, and the Beer Barrel Polka.

Leckrone was dressed in white pants and tennis shoes and a flashy red and white striped jacket. The 82 year old announced in 2018 that after 50 years at the helm this would be his last season with the Marching Band.

Time Investment family says ‘happy retirement’ to Gloria Fleischman

The Time Investment family, 100 N. Sixth Avenue in West Bend, rolled out the red carpet for long-time employee Gloria Fleischman.

“Gloria we love you,” said Tom Hafeman.  “We hired Gloria in 1999; Prince sang about her.”

Hafeman was the master of ceremonies during Fleischman’s retirement party where gifts were given. lunch was served and tears were shed as a 20-year employee wrapped up her career.

Ady Lennartz has worked at Time Investment since 2001.  “Gloria has always been one we can count on and she was always here in any type of weather; she was here no matter what. She was always happy, willing to help anybody else and a great person to know.”

Wendy Dubois has been with Time Investment for 20 years. “Gloria and I talk every day,” said Dubois. “I just love her. She’s so sweet, polite and helpful and always looking out for you. She will be missed.”

Tom Hafeman said Fleischman has been ‘the best employee.’  “I was there in 1999 when we hired Gloria and she came from a factory setting,” he said. “She was all nervous because she said she wasn’t that good of a typer but I gotta tell you it’s been a real pleasure the past 20 years because Gloria really has made a big difference in our company.”

Hafeman raved about Fleischman’s punctuality, especially when she would drive in from Campbellsport in winter. “She was always on time and she never miss work,” he said. “There could be 10 feet of snow and 30 degrees below zero and who would be here, Gloria!”

Hafeman said he even tried to spoil Fleischman on her last day by letting her clock out early… but she would have none of it. “We’d let her leave early, pay her until the end of the day…. and she wants to stay! I said Gloria… it’s your last day go enjoy your family. That’s just some dedication,” he said.

John Hafeman said Fleischman is a unique employee. “She has grown with us from when we were very small to where we are today,” he said. “She will be sorely missed; it has just been a real pleasure to work with her.”

Jayne Peplinski and Sara Struebing said Fleischman showed them the ropes. “She welcomed me like crazy and it was funny because she laughs about being a bad typer… and she was a fun lady and just super nice,” said Peplinski.

“I really thanked them for the opportunity to work here,” said Fleischman about the Hafeman family. “I hadn’t used a typewriter in 20 years so I took a typing course. It’s been a long road… but a good road.”

Fleischman said when she started the company was located in a pole building on River Road in West Bend. “When I started everything was done manually including deposits and data entry. We’ve come a long way, now it’s automated and there are so many new entities.”

“This started with a few of the Hafeman family in the basement of their home and now their kids work here.

“The Hafemans have been very good to me and I have nothing but good things to say,” she said.

Fleischman said during retirement she will work on things on the farm and straighten things out since her husband, Norman’s, passing. “One step at a time… that’s what life is all about,” she said.

Find local news 7 days a week at

Scientist to Make Flu More Deadly

This is the beginning of a disaster movie.

Controversial research at UW-Madison to make a deadly flu virus more dangerous, halted by the government in 2014, has been approved to start again.

The work by campus scientist Yoshihiro Kawaoka involves modifying bird flu viruses such as H5N1 so they can spread among ferrets, an animal model for studying the flu in humans.

The research aims to identify changes that could cause the viruses to spread easily among people, “so that public health officials can monitor for these changes in nature and begin to stockpile vaccines and antivirals to combat it,” Rebecca Moritz, the university’s manager for select agents — or germs considered bioterrorism threats — said in a statement.

The flu still kills twice as many people in the U.S. than people with guns. I certainly support efforts to combat it, but let’s be careful, eh?

Around the Bend by Judy Steffes

ALDI in West Bend planning to expand

ALDI in West Bend, 1114 S. Main Street, is going to expand. On Tuesday, March 5 the West Bend Plan Commission will consider several requests including a public hearing to rezone a portion of S. Main Street. The lot in question is about 1.56 acres. The property sits to the northwest of the current ALDI grocery.

According to records at City Hall “the purpose of the rezoning request is to clean up a legacy zoning district from previous uses and to accommodate the sale of the western portion of the parcel for the expansion of ALDI.”

The rezoning would remain consistent with the recommended land use of the 2020 Comprehensive Plan for the City of West Bend. The purpose is to reconfigure three lots into two. ALDI Corporation, which has 2.5 acres, is proposing a building addition to the west and is acquiring 2.47 acres of land from the adjacent owner (King Pin) for that expansion.

The site plan is for a 2,440 square-foot commercial building addition located on the west side of the building with minor architectural building alterations proposed to the remaining building.

 The 1.8 acre lot is zoned B-1, Community Business District. The owner is acquiring additional lands to the west and north for the expansion.

 As a part of the site plan, the two existing storage buildings and the existing pavement within this area will be demolished to accommodate the expansion of the building.

 The parking lot will be not be altered.

 The area to be acquired from King Pin contains pavement and parking area that was originally used for the bowling alley use. The pavement will be removed and curbing will be installed. As a park of the site plan, the parking lot striping will be redone on the King Pin site to redefine the drive aisle and parking stalls in the area that is being altered by the land acquisition.

 The existing retaining wall will be modified to accommodate the new building addition.

 The building materials for the building addition will match and be consistent with the existing “St. Simon Blend” brick veneer. The existing building will receive the following upgrades:

o A tan accent band color changing to a slate gray color, at the entrance area above the windows.

o The building materials will change from an aluminum composite panel to a “Cedar (vintage wood)” looking fiber cement board.

o The “Food Market” signage on the east and north sides of the building will be removed and new “ALDI” signs will be replaced.

In 2017 ALDI announced a nationwide “plan to remodel and expand more than 1,300 U.S. stores by 2020.” Early plans indicate ALDI will spend “more than $37 million dedicated to enhancing stores in the Milwaukee-area.”

Long time volunteer at Full Shelf Food Pantry Al Carrier has died

 Word is starting to spread around West Bend about the sudden death of Al Carrier.

“Al was a long-time Volunteer and Board Member at Full Shelf Food Pantry,” said Michelle Mayer, Full Shelf Food Pantry Board Secretary.  “In fact, he volunteered just yesterday, Thursday, morning. On behalf of the Board of Directors, Al will be greatly missed.”

Carrier was also active in the local tennis community.

“Al will be missed but leaves quite a legacy in the West Bend tennis community,” wrote John Gambucci. “He was a master at getting kids to relax on the court. Al was also great at showing his players that life lessons could be taught through the game of tennis. He was a coach for all the right reasons and encouraged his athletes to be better people through the lessons they learned on the court.”

John Rozak of West Bend said Carrier passed away Thursday. “Al was just a great person and a great tennis coach for years at West Bend High School,” said Rozak. “Every morning Al was at the Food Pantry. He was just a great person.”

Greg Straub played tennis with Carrier. “I played tennis with Al and over time grew to understand and admire the person within the gruff exterior.  Al was a fiercely competitive person but valued the true principals of fairness and sportsmanship beyond the passion to win.  Always ready with a quick-witted comment, Al will be dearly missed by all that had the opportunity to truly know him.”

Funeral arrangements will be posted when information becomes available.

Quiet opening for Cafe Floriana

“Finally my own coffee shop and bakery,” said a woman from Cast Iron Luxury Living as she relished in the samples of sweets at the new Cafe Floriana, 611 Veterans Avenue, Suite 104, West Bend

The new bakery and coffee shop, which sits on the first level of Cast Iton  Luxury Living, quietly opened to friends and family on Friday, March 1.

Owners Katherine Schenk and her sister Sara Young have been busy attending to every detail including the lovely icing on top of the luscious cinnamon rolls.

The glass display case at the front of the store held a brilliant selection of homemade cookies, scones and breads including a thick slice of banana bread and one remaining lonely slice of savory lemon bread.

There was a printed menu with a variety of hot drinks from Stone Creek Coffee. Click HERE for a the store menu which includes soups and homemade sandwiches. The grand opening of Cafe Floriana is set for 6 a.m. Monday, March 4.

House fire closes E. Washington Street on Friday, March 1

West Bend firefighters are on scene at a house fire at 167 A E. Washington Street.  The call came in just after 8:30 a.m. Friday morning. One of the residents in the home, James Hess, said he was awakened by his neighbor pounding on his door telling him his kitchen was on fire. “I went and checked and my kitchen wasn’t on fire but there was smoke coming out of my attic,” said Hess.

There were three people who lived in the home including Hess, his wife and son and three cats. Two people also lived in the lower level, along with their cats.

“Everything was a blur but the smoke is in the attic area,” Hess said.

West Bend firefighters had an aerial truck and firefighters entered through a back porch to gain entry to the upper level of the home. Neighbors said around 9 a.m. you could see flames coming out the top of the home.

West Bend police on scene said nobody was injured and everybody got out safe, including the cats.

A press release was issued by the West Bend Fire Department.

On Friday, March 1, 2019 at 8:25, the West Bend Police Department 9-1-1 center received multiple calls of a house on fire in the 100 block of E. Washington Street. Battalion 1, Engine 1, and Engine 3 responded. Battalion 1 observed smoke and flames coming from the attic of a three-story duplex.

Battalion 1 activated MABAS Box 15-1-1 for a working still. Safety Officer, Truck 1, Jackson Fire Department engine and chief, and Med 21 responded.

A single occupant of the upper unit was the only person home at the time of the fire and was able to safely exit the structure. His two cats were later rescued. There was a partial collapse of the roof. No firefighter injuries were reported. The cause of the fire was found between the walls in the bathroom and may be electrical in nature. The cause of the fire was not suspicious according to Battalion Chief John Spartz.

The 2019 Mother Cabrini award winner is…..

With a bit of a delay, St. Frances Cabrini finally managed to present the 2019 Mother Cabrini Award. Normally the honor is the highlight of Catholic Schools Week, but following a snow delay, followed by another snow day and then an encore snow day …. the award was finally presented Tuesday afternoon in the gym at St. Frances Cabrini.

The annual Mother Cabrini Award was established in 1988. The committee consisting of winners from three previous years, as well as, the Principal and the Pastor reviewed criteria which is considered but not limited to include: Perseverance, Missionary Zeal, Simplicity and Educational Mission.

This year’s winner has been a teacher with St. Frances Cabrini for some time now. She has been described by her co-workers as an honest and fair person in the building.

She leads by example and is always pushing for the betterment of all kids in our building.  She has been involved with: multiple hiring committees, created the duty schedule, helped design the academic schedule for teachers over the summer, and leads 2 Together Event Committees.

She is a leader and people value her opinion. At the end of the day life is simple for her; she loves her family, and loves this school. I am proud to announce that this year’s Mother Cabrini Award Recipient is Mrs. Emily Graper.

“I was very surprised,” said Graper. “It’s an honor to be chosen but I just see it as I’m here to do my job and help the kids with their education.”

Graper is a 2004 graduate from Slinger High School.  She then went on to receive her degree from Marian University in Fond du Lac.

Graper started at St. Frances Cabrini as a kindergarten teacher in 2009. “My first class from when I started is now in eighth grade,” said Graper. “It’s cool to see them grow and the impact of a parochial education has really been evident. We’re educating the whole child, it’s about having a spiritual basis and having a purpose and showing kindness and compassion to people and it’s great to see it in their character.”

“Mother Cabrini is an example of someone who is driven by her love of children,” said Graper. “That’s a great basis to start our school and our classroom.

“Faith is a part of our day. We talk about it from the minute we walk in to the last thing we say before we walk out the door; Mother Cabrini is inspiring to us.”

Past winners include: Mrs. Gardon, Mrs. Endlich, Mrs. Vogel, Mrs Taylor, and Mr. Mac.

Garden Lounge opening in downtown West Bend

There was a soft opening this week at the new Garden Lounge, 258 N. Main Street in downtown West Bend. Owner Jeremy Hahn has been working on the business the last six months.

The inside of the lounge features a comfortable setting decorated mostly in white, black, and gray.

The Garden Lounge will open daily at 8 a.m. and feature Collectivo Coffee along with breakfast sandwiches, sausage, egg and cheese biscuit, donuts and Bloody Marys.  Hahn has a full bar along with phone charging stations in the back. The menu will also include fried pig wings, mozzarella sticks, toasted ravioli, pizza,

SPARK! at MOWA engages people with memory issues

Kindergarteners from Holy Angels School in West Bend spent a little time Tuesday morning sharing their artistic talents with senior citizens.

SPARK! is a free monthly program at the Museum of Wisconsin Art in West Bend.

The program, which is held the last Tuesday of each month, is designed for people with memory loss and their caregivers; the goal is to engage participants in conversation about Wisconsin art.

This week there was some intergenerational learning as a class from Holy Angels led the way and showed off their skills using colors and shapes.

Jessica Wildes, director of communications at MOWA, said the program really helps people with memory issues to “make connections.”

“Today seems to be successful and it’s a wonderful moment as the kids engage the seniors,” Wildes said. Each session of SPARK! includes a facilitated discussion about works of art in the galleries followed by time for coffee and mingling in the studio.

MOWA has been part of the regional SPARK! Alliance since 2009, thanks to seed support from the Helen Bader Foundation, and offers this program to highlight and promote self-expression and mental stimulation.

Coming up during the March 26 session, SPARK! will focus on Treasures from the Collection:  Be among the first to see MOWA’s newest acquisition to the collection. Take part in an engaging conversation about its content and through a facilitated discussion, interpret the meaning of the work and relate it to your own life.

SPARK! is a free program for participants with memory loss and their caregivers. Registration is requested one week in advance.

Rep. Knodl Statement on Governor Evers’ Budget Address

Rep. Dan Knodl (R-Germantown) issued the following statement regarding Governor Evers’ Budget address at the Capitol in Madison:

“When the legislative session started, my colleagues and I sent the new administration an extensive list of issues we believe we could work together on. After listening to the Governor’s budget address this evening, I was disappointed that he missed an opportunity for true bipartisanship. Instead of reaching across the aisle, his proposal includes divisive policies that will move our state backwards.

“Last week, Governor Evers vetoed a Middle Class Tax Cut. He followed that up this evening by introducing a budget that increases taxes, in-state tuition and driver’s licenses to illegal immigrants, and takes away education opportunities for families.

“Divided government shouldn’t mean nothing gets done, and I look forward to reviewing the budget further. It will be introduced in the Joint Finance Committee as legislation, which is standard procedure under state law. The committee will hold hearings around the state to get input from the public in the coming weeks.

“Our goal will be to find common ground and pass a budget that keeps Wisconsin moving forward. We must build on the success we’ve had as a state over the last eight years, and it’s unfortunate we didn’t see much of that from the Governor tonight.”

Special blessing with Auxiliary Bishop Schuerman for St. Gabriel Parish Education Center

Auxiliary Bishop James Thomas Schuerman from the Archdiocese of Milwaukee will be the special guest on Sunday, March 3 as a special Mass is held to celebrate the completion of the St. Gabriel Parish Education Center, 1200 St. Gabriel Way, Hubertus.

“Any time a Catholic Church, School or building of other purpose is constructed in the diocese it is blessed by the bishop,” said Jerry Gariety from St. Gabriel. “Unfortunately Archbishop Jerome Listecki was available for Sunday, March 3 but. Bishop Schuerman will preside over the Mass and blessing of the New Education Center. We are hoping many take the opportunity to join us on Sunday to view our St. Gabriel Church and New Education Center.”

Party with a Purpose for the Kettle Moraine YMCA

On March 15 the Kettle Moraine YMCA will hold its annual Party with a Purpose at Terrace 167.  The Annual Campaign is designed to make sure everyone has affordable access to the YMCA.  This year the Y celebrates its 50th year, honoring one of the original founders, Vic Albiero.

In 1969 Bernie Ziegler had a vision to create a YMCA in West Bend.  His first stop in order to share this vision was at the home of Vic Albiero.

He was in full support and honored to be asked to be a part of the process. As quoted per Vic, “the three horsemen were Bernie Zeigler, Cliff Nelson and Norman Schowalter. They made certain the plan was on sound footing.”

Shortly after the conversation at his home, West Bend was declared a branch of the Milwaukee YMCA. Vic was elected the first Board President of the YMCA, and still holds the record for most years as Chairman at five.

At that time services were held throughout the community, including swim lessons in the backyard of people’s homes.  Vic’s daughter Jacci Gambucci taught for this program with cousin Pat from 1973 until leaving for college in 1978.  In 1973 the KMYMCA separated from Milwaukee and became an independent association.

A capital campaign raised $2 million in 1977, and in 1978 the original building opened.  Since then there have been numerous expansions.

“My family is very proud of our father’s part in shaping the YMCA,” said Gambucci. “He was involved in numerous community projects, but was most gratified with his work developing the Y.  He would be so pleased with where it is today, serving so many by helping them lead healthy lives through programming for chronic illnesses and giving the disadvantaged a place to belong through member scholarships.”

Gambucci and brother Tom Albiero are excited to host this year’s Party with a Purpose in honor of their father, and will be joined by 3 out of 4 of their siblings who reside out of state.

Jacci and Tom would like to encourage the community to come celebrate their father’s legacy and the 50th anniversary of the Kettle Moraine YMCA.

Party with a Purpose is designed to bring the community together to create awareness, while building momentum to support our friends and neighbors in need.

“Most importantly this happens over friendships, new and old, food, cocktails, auction, and live entertainment.  A true sense of community is when you can’t get your guests off the dance floor as good times were had by all,” said JennyZaskowksi, YMCA Director of Donor Development.

“As we celebrate our 50th Anniversary, this year’s 2019 Annual Campaign goal is $300,000.  This goal is achieved with the help of the Albiero family, our 18th annual golf outing in May, board, staff and community donations.  Today our West Washington and River Shores Branch serves more than 13,000 members.  With our campaign initiatives, approximately one-in-six receive some form of assistance to make certain they can continue to participate in our services.”

Please order before March 8. Join the Gambucci/Albiero family and let The Love Monkeys help kick off your St. Patrick’s Day weekend ~ a good time will be had by all!

Lenten fish fry at The Columbian

The first Lenten fish fry of the season at The Columbian, 3245 Lighthouse Lane, is March 8          Helping Hands Fish Fry Fundraiser 4 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.  The Helping Hands evening includes 2 to 3 piece of baked or fried cod. Just a little history note on the season of Lent: “Lent is the six-week period leading up to Easter. It’s one of the most important times of year for many Christians around the world, particularly those within the Anglican, Catholic and Orthodox tradition. Lent is frequently seen as a time of solemn observance and preparation for the celebration of the death and resurrection of Jesus at Easter. From its start on Ash Wednesday, March 6, until its conclusion on Easter Sunday, April 21, Lent has been a traditional time for fasting or giving something up or abstinence.”

Update on Cabela’s in Richfield

A pretty common question across Washington County is, “When will Cabela’s in Richfield reopen?” There was a small fire at the store Feb. 21, 2019. A note from the Washington County Sheriff’s Department is below.

February 21, 2019 Cabela’s Fire Authority:  Sergeant Uhan 415

On Thursday, February 21, 2019, at 11:17PM, the Washington County Sheriff’s Office was notified of a fire alarm at Cabela’s, 1 Cabela Way, in the Village of Richfield, Washington County. Deputies responded along with Richfield Fire Department. Upon locating the presence of smoke, fire departments from Germantown, Hartford, Jackson, and Slinger responded.

The fire originated from the shooting gallery arcade game on the second floor, and was extinguished by the sprinkler system. The fire appeared to be electrical. It was estimated by fire personnel that approximately 3,000 gallons of water was expelled from the sprinkler system. There was smoke and water damage to about 5,000 square feet. The incident remains under investigation, and no one was injured as a result of it.

Jack Schliessen is with Bass Pro Shops in Springfield, MO. “We are planning on opening the store in the next two weeks,” he said. “We know there’s been a lot of pent-up demand and certainly an unanticipated closure.”

Schliessen said Cabela’s has “crews and team members on site working hard to get things ready to be operational as soon as possible.”

Because of the uncertain date to reopen the Washington County Deer Advisory Council is changing its March 11 meeting location to Moraine Park Technical College.

“Cabela’s cannot guarantee the Richfield store will be open to the public, because of fire and water damage, hence the change of venue,” said Brett Weir.

Below is a press release from the CDAC:

The Washington County Deer Advisory Council (CDAC) will meet to review data and form preliminary 2019 antlerless quota, permit and season structure recommendations. This meeting will be held at Moraine Park Technical College on March 11 starting at 6 p.m.

While this is a working meeting of the council, the public is encouraged to attend and will have a formal opportunity to provide insight during the public comment period of the meeting.

CDACs are part of an effort to provide more public input on deer management issues and give stakeholders a greater responsibility in managing local deer numbers.

Councils will review and discuss the previous year’s hunting season results and long-term harvest trends, accept public comments and develop preliminary antlerless quota, permit and season structure recommendations. Recommendations will be sent to the Natural Resources Board for approval in May.

Citizens are encouraged to attend their CDAC’s March meeting and provide comments to the council. Local Department of Natural Resources staff will be on hand to present information and answer any questions.

Following the March meetings, an online public comment period will take place from April 1-10, with a final council meeting being held in late April 15 to allow the council to review public feedback before making final recommendations on the antlerless quota, permit and season structure.

Those unable to attend their county’s meeting can view meeting minutes on the department’s CDAC website.

Zuern Building Products recognizes long time employees Larry Breuer and Eugene “Geno” Wolf

There was a family-style celebration at Zuern Building Products in Allenton on Monday as business owners, employees, family and friends gathered to recognize Eugene “Geno” Wolf for his 50 years with the company.

Wolf started at the lumberyard in Allenton when he was about 15 years old. His partner in crime was Larry Breuer. “When I started, June 15, 1968, I didn’t have a driver’s license,” said Breuer. “I didn’t know ‘Geno’ at first. He came along working at the company right after I started and then we were almost like brothers at Zuern.”

Breuer said the thing he liked best about Wolf with his mindset. “He thought just like I did,” said Breuer.

In an effort to maintain tradition, after naming a shed after Breuer in 2018 when he celebrated 50 years at Zuern, the crew at ZBP dedicated a shed to Wolf.

Below are some memories of “Geno” and Larry as told by their coworkers.

Jim Zuern – Eugene has a distaste for all things “TOLKO,” in any lumber market at any time of the year. As a buyer he is my go to for advice on good lumber mills, going to miss his good advice when he retires.”

Jim Zuern – “Larry was nicknamed the energizer bunny for good reason he keeps going and going. ZBP can count on his farm-boy mentality and common-sense approach to a problem, if given a task he will get the job done on time and on budget.

Larry is the man who has a memory like an elephant. Old customers, old employees, when a piece of equipment was purchased, what was shipped to a job two weeks prior, where or when something came from……Larry remembers.

Larry makes sure everybody has a nick name. Male, female, new employee, employee from another store…he’s got one for you.

Chris Greuel  – It is hard to put into words what these two have meant to me over 28 years.  Their work ethic, dedication to ZBP and customers, and loyalty are unmatched.  I was amazed how they could be in to work before 4 a.m. and did not finish until 5 p.m.

One particular story I remember with “Geno” is when one woman made some comment about how she loves the smell of cedar.  She said this as she walked by the little hole where we kept the cedar shims in the old Shed A. “Geno” and I both laughed as this was not cedar she smelled.  This area of the old shed was often used to relieve oneself.

A story with Larry is when Andy Strupp and I were pulling 2×12-24′ for a Badger job. It was winter and the wood was frozen.  I pried one loose and pushed it so Andy could grab his end. Being iced, the 2×12 really slid and slammed Andy’s fingers against a pile of wood.  I can still hear the naughty words from Andy.  Larry was nearby on a forklift and came flying over.  He jumped off the lift before it stopped to come to Andy’s aid.

Arlene Mantel – I reflect on their 50 years, the one thing that stands out to me is the incredible dedication these two gentlemen committed to ZBP. They started working right after high school in the yard, loading customers, receiving product from vendors, unloading rail cars, loading trucks, driving trucks, Inventory Management, maintaining the cleanliness in the yard, and daily maintenance on equipment and property.  They have done this for 50-plus years in rain, snow, ice, hot, cold, wind.  Incredible feat!

With the transition from Don, Bob & Joe Zuern (2nd generation) to their family, third generation, (David, Jim, Greg, Jenny and Tom) Eugene and Larry were very positive and supported the transition very well.

Joe Zuern, 2nd generation owner – As our company grew, Geno was the behind-the-scenes driving force who kept the outside and shipping running, as we sent Larry to break new ground at new sites. Watertown/Cedarburg, both of them played an important part in our growth over the many years.

Larry observed new employees and then couldn’t help but find a nickname for them.

Geno loved Sue’s egg salad sandwiches during Lent (Good Friday)

Although they were employees, we always thought of them as extended family.

Greg Zuern, General Manager  – Eugene and Larry are the true pioneers of ZBP’S reputation for great service.  I grew up working with Eugene and Larry and they taught me many important life lessons like being on time, working hard, and dedication to customer service. Most days for Eugene and Larry started at 4:30 a.m. and I recall many of times in my youth getting a wakeup call from Eugene, it was very important to Eugene and Larry that are deliveries were on time even if it meant waking up the boss (Don Zuern) and telling him to get his kid out of bed and down to work.  I want to truly thank Eugene and Larry for 50 years of service and dedication to ZBP.

Jerry Priesgen – Larry issues everyone a nickname and they all fit the person or their personality. Cricket,  Dude, Lot to Learn, Counter girl, Big Kahuna, Daisy, Pretty Boy, MVP, Mud Duck, Gramps, Chicken, Blondie, Doberman and Bullet.

Wolf’s last day was March 1. Breuer said he plans on sticking around a little bit yet. “I got a couple other guys I can count on,” he said.

Find local news 7 days a week at

Around the Bend by Judy Steffes

Pat on the back for Brian Bell and 15-year-old daughter Liz

“Right place, right time,” according to Brian Bell. The co-owner of Cedar Lake Sales and his daughter Liz, 15, were presented with appreciation pins from retired DNR Wardens Rick Wolff and William Mitchell this week.

Bell said the story behind the story happened two weeks ago, Saturday, Feb. 9, in the Upper Peninsula in Bond Falls. The father and daughter were snowmobiling and riding back on the trail along the road when they saw three emergency vehicles.

“The Michigan D.N.R. guy locked eyes with me, walked over, said there was a bad injury accident and asked if he could borrow our sleds to get to the scene,” Bell said. The Michigan Forestry agent Zach Painter and conservation officer Josh Lopac with the Michigan D.N.R.  loaded a defibrillator and some emergency gear onto the snowmobiles and they were off. “That’s pretty much what we did,” said Bell.

For the next hour Bell and his daughter stood around listening to the scanner. “We heard they pulled her out on a sled and then we heard Flight for Life landing… somewhere,” he said.

The two officers returned and told the Bells, “You helped save a life today.”

Minimal information was released on the accident. For as much as Brian Bell could determine, a woman was seriously injured after crashing her snowmobile into a tree. “All we were told is there will be a lot of recovery ahead of her,” Bell said.

In hindsight, Bell said the accident just reinforces the safety needed when out on a snowmobile or any motorized vehicle.

Building formerly home to tavern in Barton has been sold

There was an interesting property sale recently in Washington County that carries with it a lot of history.


The two-story was originally built in 1870 and an addition was put on in 1991.

The latest property listing shows the parcel belonged to Catherine Barbercheck. If that name rings a bell….. it should.

For quite a few years the building was home to the Trio Bar. Records in the city assessor’s office show Bonnie Kudek was a previous owner.

Kudek, 64, died June 20, 2013. Her obituary read, “During her years of employment, Bonnie worked for Amity in West Bend, managed the Trio Bar in Barton for numerous years and was employed at the Citgo station in Kewaskum for many years.Bonnie will fondly be remembered as a “people person” who will be deeply missed by her family and by all who knew her.”

The location, 1727 Barton Avenue, was sold Jan. 20, 2019 from Catherine Barbercheck to C & A Wilde Investments LLC from Cedarburg. The property was assessed at $280,400 and was sold for $285,000.

What do you remember about The Trio Bar in Barton? And what was in the building immediately to the north where Sandy’s Barton Cafe is currently?

-Tom Brace – The building next door, which is Sandy’s, was Don’s Appliance.

-Cathy Larsen Barbercheck – It was also Lownik’s Restaurant before it became Sandy’s Cafe

Former Washington County Sheriff’s Lt. Mike Hetzel has died

Michael J. “Mike” Hetzel, 69, of West Bend, passed away on Wednesday, Feb. 20, 2019, at Froedtert Hospital with his family at his side.

Mike was born on September 3, 1949, in Hartford. Mike did everything for everybody.   He enjoyed spending time with his family and friends and enjoyed activities including camping, riding his motorcycle, and working on DIY projects.    Mike worked for the Washington County Sheriff’s Department for 35 years and retired as a Lieutenant for the department in 2007.   He continued to work for the department part time as a special deputy.

Memorial services for Mike will be held at 4 p.m. on Saturday, March 2, 2019, at the Myrhum ~ Patten Funeral Home in West Bend. In lieu of flowers please contribute donations to the Lymphoma Research Foundation.

Paula Anderson wrote about Mike – “Anyone who ever had to call Lt. Hetzel on the phone knows his signature line and how he said it. “This is Hetzel.”  He was my second shift Lieutenant when I was brand new and he was always kind and patient with me, even after I accidentally paged the SWAT team out by mistake, AND put the sally port door down on the back of a squad.  Rest In Peace LT.

City of West Bend to sell Mutual Mall

There is an accepted offer on the old West Bend Mutual Mall, 1043 S. Main Street.

For many in West Bend the building is the former home of Larsons Family Furniture.  An advertisement from a phone book cover reads, “Where Value is Measured by Quality at Modest Prices.”

Photo courtesy Kirk Dyken

The phone book cover from 1962 shows an address of 723 N. Main Street.  Jim Larson moved the business to S. Main by 1964.

“I knew Jim Larson and when he built there on S. Main Street it was way out of town and everybody thought boy that’s way out there and he’s not going to have any business out there,” said Jerry Mehring of West Bend. “He built beyond Decorah Road and we thought what’s he doing way out there.”

This week the City of West Bend reviewed a purchase agreement from ICAP Development.

The city owned the property since purchasing the City Hall parcel, formerly West Bend Mutual Insurance. West Bend Mutual reportedly owned the location to the north for possible expansion.

“The building (Mutual Mall) is in need of lots of work,” said city administrator Jay Shambeau. “When we walked through with some commercial realtors they quickly said it had potential for redevlopment.”

Shambeau said ICAP Development and Dan Jeserig, Senior Vice President of Acquisitions and Development, have 90 days to do its due diligence and make a decision on the parcel. “They will work with someone to redevelop it,” said Shambeau. “Similar to other sales we did, like with Qualm Engineering, we set some standards.”

The purchase price of the parcel is $500,000. There was no assessed value because it was owned by the City and therefore tax exempt. “We talked about the $2 million minimum value regarding the new development and it will be great to get it back on the tax rolls,” Shambeau said.  ICAP has 90 days to make its decision.

On a history note: What do you remember about the former Larson’s Family Furniture?

-Jerry Mehring – “Jim had a lower level to his store and that was pretty unique for the time.”

–Cathy Lawton – “Larsons Furniture was a beautiful store. I bought pottery pieces made in Portugal from there and still have them to this day.”

–Joseph Hynst – “Kettle Moraine Fitness Center used to be on the lower level. Owned by Todd & Jay Pruitt.” 1980’s and early ’90s.

-Sarah Hupfer – “Don’t forget The Wooden Nickel.”

Saying goodbye to Leah Baughman from Interfaith Caregivers of Washington County

A bit of a shocker this week at Interfaith Caregivers of Washington County as Leah Baughman announced she is leaving her post to move back up north with her family.

Over the years Baughman has become a fixture at Interfaith and in the community.  Leah is always volunteering at local events. She and her family are often spotting at the Downtown West Bend Farmers’ Market or at the local chili cookoff.

A note from Baughman is posted below.

Dear Interfaith Family,

I wanted to take a moment to let you know I am leaving my position here at Interfaith in the next few weeks. My family and I will be moving to the Northwoods back to my roots and closer to family.

I can’t even begin to tell you how much I have enjoyed working at Interfaith, meeting all of the wonderful volunteers and working with some spectacular gals in the office. The past two years has been an amazing experience that has enriched my life and truly warmed my soul to see so many people giving their time and love to brighten the lives of seniors.

Even though I will miss all the clients, volunteers and great people I have met on this journey, I am looking forward to this new challenge and to starting a new phase in life.

Please keep in touch, I would love to hear from you!!

Thank You for everything! I wish you all the best.

Yours truly,


P.S. Thank You!! Thank You!! Thank You!! I really don’t have the words for how much I have enjoyed working with and getting to know you all. This really is the most awesome and kindest group of people I have ever met.

Please stop in to say Good Bye at the March Percolate Friday, March 1 – 8 a.m. to 9 a.m.

I would love a chance to say Good Bye, please stop in at the next Percolate. If you are unable to stop then and would like to, please drop by when you can.

January 2019 Students of the Month at Holy Angels                      By Mike Sternig

Holy Angels School has named Sam Ciriacks, Tyler Sernig and Estella Lambie as the January 2019 Students of the Month.

6th Grade:  Sam Ciriacks – Sam’s teachers have noticed him growing into his role as a junior high student. While he was somewhat tentative at the beginning of the school year, Sam has shown ever-increasing confidence. Sam is always willing to volunteer for new experiences and participates strongly in all of his classes. Sam is an easy-going, friendly student who enjoys sports and video games.  He is especially interested in football, following the Packers and playing the sport himself.

7th Grade:  Tyler Sternig – Tyler is an intense competitor who sets high standards for himself. He takes pride in doing well in all of his classes, aiming for straight A’s every quarter. Tyler loves science, but all of his teachers applaud his participation, work ethic, and effort. Outside of the classroom, Tyler helps out at school by serving at Mass and working as a patrol. He likes sports, particularly baseball, participating in many summer tournaments.

8th Grade:  Estella Lambie – Estella is a likable student who has shown steady growth in organization and responsibility throughout her junior high years. Her teachers appreciate her willingness to work with a variety of partners, and her friendly personality. She is always in a good mood and spreads positive energy. This year, Estella has pushed herself outside of her comfort zone, particularly by joining Honors Choir. She serves at Mass. Her interest in helping others makes her consider teaching and pediatrician as possible careers.

Updates & Tidbits

– Primary Election Day, Feb. 19, was sunny and a bit chilly and in Hartford 117 of 2,694 registered voters went to the polls to cast a ballot in the race for Dist. 1 alderman. The top two vote getters Erin Wilk (48 votes) and incumbent Joseph Fulop (34 votes) advance to the April 2, 2019 election.

– If this doesn’t give you a shot of summer. The sign at Mills Fleet Farm on Highway 33 in West Bend reads, “Now accepting honey bee orders.”  It looks rather facinating. It looks like the bees will come via U.S. Postal in May. There’s a note to “warn your postmaster of the impending shipment.” I will have to review the ordinance in West Bend but good grief we just allowed chickens so for sure bees would be ok. Right?

Prepping for Lenten fish-fry season at The Columbian

The Columbian, 3245 Lighthouse Lane, is starting to prepare for the Lenten season.

Here is the Lenten Fish Fry Schedule at The Columbian:

March 8          Helping Hands Fish Fry Fundraiser  4 p.m – 7:30 p.m.

March 15        Bryan’s Buffet  4:45 p.m. – 8 p.m.

March 22        Beads of Hope Fish Fry Fundraiser  4:30 p.m. – 8 p.m.

March 29        KC Third Degree Fish Fry  4:30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.

April 5            KC First Friday Fish Fry    4:30 p.m. – 8 p.m.

April 12          Helping Hands Fish Fry Fundraiser  4 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.

April 19          Bryan’s Buffet  4:45 p.m. – 8 p.m.

The Helping Hands and Beads of Hope Fundraiser evenings include 2 to 3 piece of baked or fried cod.

Bryan’s Buffet features a $14 buffet includes sirloin tips, fish, chicken, salads, coffee, milk and desserts.

Just a little history note on the season of Lent:

“Lent is the six-week period leading up to Easter. It’s one of the most important times of year for many Christians around the world, particularly those within the Anglican, Catholic and Orthodox tradition.

“Lent is frequently seen as a time of solemn observance and preparation for the celebration of the death and resurrection of Jesus at Easter. From its start on Ash Wednesday, March 6, until its conclusion on Easter Sunday, April 21, Lent has been a traditional time for fasting or giving something up or abstinence.”

 Sold-out performance for John McGivern at UWM at Washington County

Emmy Award winner and master storyteller John McGivern performed in front of a sold-out crowd Friday night at UWM at Washington County.

The animated McGivern told stories about true kid life including paper routes, working hard because “you didn’t want to have the word ‘lazy’ written on your gravestone,” growing up in an Irish Catholic family, not being allowed another glass of milk because your dad said “we’re poor.”

Dressed in comfortable blue jeans, white shirt, brown sweater and jacket, McGivern brought the audience into his life of growing up on the east side of Milwaukee. The “closer to the river” east side Milwaukee not so much the Lake Michigan east side Milwaukee.

His family was his favorite fodder and the common thread was, aside the vintage vehicles like a Rambler and VW Beetle, his topics which melded into a rhythm we could all relate.

”I had to race from my morning paper route to school because every morning at St. Peter & Paul grade school we had Mass,” said McGivern. “I’d be running up the stairs with $7 worth of dimes in my pocket and there would stand Sr. Mary Ray Nitschke.”

Armed with a heavy Midwestern accent McGivern would impersonate his mother. He even told a delicate story of his aging parents, his father’s stroke, his dad’s love of a toupee and cleaning out his mother’s dresser.

”There were delicates in there,” he said of her  undergarments. “And underneath the underwear…. I found my dad’s teeth.”

Brazen, bold and boisterous. McGivern cracked himself up on stage which made it all the more fun for the audience.

“John McGivern is simply the best,” wrote Danette Daliege.

After reading from a white 3-ring binder a collection of some nasty emails directed to his show, Around the Corner with John McGivern, the house lights were brought up and McGivern fielded questions from the audience a’la Carol Burnett.

One woman had a strong suggestion that McGivern do a show on Allenton. Another man flagged McGivern as a fellow classmate at seminary, McGivern’s seminary teacher John Craig was even in the audience.

After the show McGivern came out to the lobby to meet with fans, shake hands, take photos and help create more memorable moments.

“Another great performance,” wrote Lisa Ryan.

“Wonderful night, tons of laughs, great show!” wrote Catherine Schmidt.

“He is a gem,” wrote Cathy Lawton. “Good clean humor.”

Around the Bend by Judy Steffes

Hey, I made the ATB!

Update on refurbishing West Bend Theatre sign

It felt similar to visiting an old friend in the hospital. The good thing to note is the historic West Bend Theatre sign is in good hands.

This week Cindy Wendland at Poblocki Sign Company in West Allis opened its workshop for a look at the progress being made on the historic West Bend Theatre sign.

Project manager Mike Carter gave an update on how metal reinforcements have been added, wiring stripped and holes patched.  “Essentially we’re refurbishing the entire sign,” said Carter. “We’ve torn out the electrical and we’re replacing it with high-efficiency LED bulbs and the structure that holds the sign is being rebuilt because of the age of it.”

The iconic theatre, 125 S. Main Street, dates to 1929.

The new frame for the sign, which includes a series of metal cross braces, was resting on saw horses at the foot of the vintage marquee.

“This will essentially attach to the back,” said Carter. “The framing had deteriorated and needed to be replaced.”

Carter indicated although the sign was weathered it was extremely well built.  “It’s an interesting construction. They don’t make them like this anymore,” he said.

The points of weakness where the sign attached to the metal braces on the theatre building also had to be reinforced.

Veteran journeyman Bob Poblocki has spent 38 years in the sign business. During a conversation with his uncle he found out his grandfather, who started Poblocki Sign Company LLC, actually worked for the company that originally built the West Bend Theatre sign.

“The sign used to have old incandescence bulbs,” said Poblocki. “We’ll come in with new drivers and LED bulbs.  It will look like the old bulbs but they will be high efficiency.”

After a bit of a review regarding rust and repair the conversation went a bit Jurassic Park with some Indiana Jones flare.

“There was a lot of spiders in the wiring; big ones,” said Poblocki. “We found some hornets nests… petrified ones, like they had been there for decades.”

The new sign will return its ability for chase lighting.  “It’s where they wire every fourth bulb in a series and it will do that again,” said Poblocki. Chase lighting is an illusion where lights give the appearance of “moving along on a string.”

Coming up in the next couple of weeks the paint will be matched, the sign sandblasted and painted, electronics reinstalled and the I-beams coming off the theatre wall on S. Main Street will be inspected.

Poblocki said the I-beams coming off the theatre building will be inspected and the canopy will be stripped as Poblocki Sign Company puts new sides on the face along with new lighting.

“Our current plans to reinstall are now looking at April but it depends on the theatre plans,” said Carter.

Xpressions Yarn, Bead, & Gift Boutique in West Bend is moving

Xpressions Yarn, Bead, & Gift Boutique, 264 N. Main Street, in downtown West Bend is relocating. “I’m moving to the WB Mercantile, 258 N. Main, right down the street,” said owner Andrea Gundrum Cybell.

“It was a blessing in disguise and I’m really excited as are they.”

The move will take place from March 5 – 15. This will be Gundrum Cybell’s third move. For about 10 years she was in Barton at 1779 Barton Avenue and then seven years at current location.

The move was prompted after a sale of the store fell through in 2017.

“I love my business and my accountant advised we not close but downsize and look for a smaller location,” she said. “The space at WB Mercantile came up with Jeremy and Brandy and now I’m reinvigorated and this is going to work out so well for everyone.”

Gundrum Cybell said she will be offering new classes and carrying some new products including Door County wine.

Headliners announced for two nights at Washington County Fair

Washington County Fair officially announced two nights of headline entertainment for the West Bend Mutual Insurance Silver Lining Amphitheater.

Kicking off three nights of National Entertainment on Thursday, July 25, will be Dylan Scott.

With his romantic, PLATINUM certified No. 1 hit “My Girl,” and GOLD-certified Top 5 smash “Hooked,” Scott has transformed real-life experience into chart-topping success.  .

Opening for Scott is Mitchell Tenpenny whose first single and No. 1 hit “Drunk Me” was named one of the New York Times best songs of 2018. The other Special Guest, Travis Denning just released his debut single “David Ashley Parker From Powder Springs” and when not touring is working on recording his debut album.

Rocking the Amphitheater on Friday, July 26, will be Stone Temple Pilots. The Opening Band will be announced at a later date.

VIP Reserved tickets for the Stone Temple Pilots show will go on sale for AIS Members on Monday, February 18 at 9 a.m. and to the public on Friday, Feb. 22 at 10 a.m. Tickets can be purchased online at or at the Fair Park Office Monday-Friday between 8 a.m. and 4:30 p.m.

Ticket prices range from $25-$35 and include admission to the Fair.

New luxury apartments in Slinger nearly complete                      By Olivia Wills

Construction is underway for the next phase of Ridgeview Terrace, a luxury-rental community located off Highway 60 and a quarter-mile east of I41 in Slinger, WI.

Each new apartment home features a one-car attached garage, private entry, granite countertops, plank flooring, in-unit washer and dryer, stainless steel appliances, central air, gas furnace, and private patio.

There are 9-foot ceilings in second-story units and a pet-friendly environment. Apartments should be ready for occupancy in May 2019. Ridgeview Terrace will be the fifth rental community developed and managed by Dittmar Realty, Inc. in Washington County.

Washington County Unveils New Logo

Washington County officially unveiled its new logo today during a ceremony at the Old Courthouse.

According to the county, “The logo includes a picturesque Washington County horizon with the sun.  Most recognize the iconic, rolling Kettle Moraine hills within the brand. The slogan, “Discover. Connect. Prosper.” strives to tie the community together by discovering the county’s natural beauty and rich heritage, connecting with each other, and prospering together with a strong business-and-education climate.”

Washington County Administrator Joshua Schoemann said this will help the county in a number of ways.  “The most important thing is that logo and brand. It’ll help Washington County in the future and bring people to Washington County such as tourists and new home owners.”

The county started with about 20 designs and then trimmed it to three. “We ultimately refined it and the County Board unanimously approved the design,” he said.

Washington County Board chairman Don Kriefall said the logo helps provide “an identity,”

“Even though we’re not the biggest county in Wisconsin, we’re the most innovative county in Wisconsin,” Kriefall said.

Now… do you remember what the old logo looked like? How about the explanation behind the old design? “It was unveiled while Doug Johnson was the administrative coordinator,” said former County Board Chairman Ken Miller. “It dates to 1997-98. It was supposedly a sunrise and the hills to designate the Kettle Moraine and the cursive letter W as an outstanding letter representing the county.” Miller said he thought “the county always needed a logo.”

“I also thought the county needed a flag…. but I never got that far,” he said.

Thanks to West Bend Police for protecting our community

A note of thanks to West Bend Police for keeping the community safe following a brief standoff Thursday, Feb. 14 at a duplex, 108 S. Seventh Avenue. The incident began around 11:30 a.m. with a two-vehicle accident at Seventh Avenue and Walnut Street. Police said one man walked away from the accident and into a home. Following the one-hour standoff one person taken into custody just after 1 p.m. The 31-year-old West Bend man was taken into custody and booked on a number of charges including hit and run causing injury, obstructing and outstanding warrants for violating parole.

Updates & Tidbits

– Kyle Loehr and Genna Alexander are the latest recipients of the J.O. Reigle Scholarships awarded annually by Regal Ware.

-Urban Vantage, 128 Wisconsin Street, is offering a rent special of ½ month free if a person rents during the month of February 2019. Contact 262-353-9732.

– Women’s Morning of Reflection is Saturday, Feb. 23 at St. Frances Cabrini. Starting with Mass at 8 a.m.

Guest Editorial | Pushing Liberalism in West Bend High Schools | By Owen Robinson

At West Bend High School, there is a required, one semester class called “U.S. Government and Law.” The course overview says:

In this course, students will experience how the wheels of government and justice work at the local, state, and federal level. Student activities and hands-on experiences will be emphasized to demonstrate how “We the People” are affected by and function within our government and law. Students electing to take Advanced Placement U.S. History have the option of taking this course in grades 10,11, or 12.

Good, right? I would argue that part of the reason for public education is to equip people to be active participants in our civic society, so this kind of education is good. One semester seems entirely inadequate, but at least it will provide kids with a rudimentary understanding of the levels of government, how legislation works, how the legal system works, etc., right?

Wrong. With one precious semester to teach kids about their government, the teachers at West Bend High Schools are using it as an opportunity to advocate liberalism to the impressionable teenagers under their care.

Here is a description from Esquire, of all places, of what happens in class:

The class recently took a political-opinion poll that places students on a forty-four-point spectrum from Conservative Reactionary (22C) to Liberal Radical (22L). About two thirds of the class were moderate to liberal, falling between 1L and 22L. Ryan says a few kids landed at the extremes: one “conservative radical,” a boy, and three “liberal extremists,” all girls.

Mr. Inkmann then has the students sing two songs written by another West Bend teacher. “The Liberal Song” is set to the tune of “Ode to Joy.” Mr. Inkmann offers to sing first before everyone joins in. “If I were a liberal, liberal, life would be so very great,” the lyrics read, “knowing that in liberal land this other man could marry me.” The students flip through their political-spectrum packets to follow along. One kid snaps his fingers, rocking out. “The Conservative Song,” set to the tune of “Beer Barrel Polka,” includes lines like “I hate social programs, they really make me want to puke / I would rather use the money for a two-ton nuke” and “Welfare is not good, before we had it, people tried / And I hope the biggest criminals are electrified!”

Yes, you’re reading that right. Here are the songs written by the other teacher:

The Liberal Song  Created in 2005 by Mr. Kieser  All Rights Reserved  Tune: Ode to Joy

If I were a liberal liberal, life would be so very grand.

I’d find someone I really loved and take that person by the hand.

   I would be so very happy, happy as a man could be.

   Knowing that in liberal land this other man could marry me.

If I were a liberal liberal, life would be so very great.

Wouldn’t ever need to work lots of free food found on my plate.

   I would never have to fear that to me harm ever’d be done.

   Knowing that in liberal land no one could ever own a gun.

If I were a liberal liberal, my friends and I would have it made.

Anti-nukes and the pro-choicers we’d protest in a big parade.

   We’d end pollution it’s so harmful, very harmful one can see.

   Come with me to liberal land we’ll all join hands then hug a tree.


The Conservative Song Created in 2005 by Mr. Kieser  Tune: Beer Barrel Polka

I’m conservative so listen up closely my son.

I never go out without my loaded shotgun.

  I hate social programs they really make me want to puke.

  I would rather use the money for a two-ton nuke.

I’m conservative so listen to what I have to say.

I think school children should say the Pledge  ‘Allegiance and should pray.

  I dislike high taxes and business regulations are obscene.

  I think women should stay home, pro-create, cook, and clean.

I’m conservative and I’m near the end of my little song.

But did I tell you, I hate gay-marriage and abortion’s wrong?

  And welfare is not good, before we had it people tried.

  And I hope the biggest criminals are electrified!

You can see the difference in the language. The liberal song is positive and uses words and phrases like “loved,” “happy,” “pro-choice,” “protest in a big parade,” “end pollution,” etc. The conservative song is negative and uses words like, “hate,” “women should stay home, pro-create, cook,” “hate gay marriage,” want to puke,” etc. This is a liberal’s caricature of conservatism. It’s a straw man that the teachers then spend the rest of class tearing down. It is not even close to an accurate description of modern conservative philosophy.

This is not isolated. I’m told that in Mr. Kieser’s class, the teacher who wrote the lyrics, it is much the same. The first few weeks of the semester have been spent having kids identify their stances on political issues and then the teacher will spend oodles of time “explaining” to the kids how the liberal positions are the better positions – without outright saying it, of course. The message to the kids is clear, however, if you hold conservative views, you are a violent heartless bigot.

This is not a rogue teacher. This is part of the planned course of study.

There are two outrages here. First, the obvious outrage that the lefty teachers are abusing their positions of authority to push their lefty views on kids. Second, they are wasting educational time on this junk instead of using it to teach the kids about their government and legal system.

It would be easy to fill four years of civics classes with just the mechanics of government and law – without even getting into political philosophies. And yet West Bend is choosing to fill class time with this and leave the kids ignorant about everything except the basics of our government and legal systems. Curriculum is about choices and the West Bend schools are choosing to advance liberalism with the scarce classroom time allotted to them.

Owen Robinson is a local blogger. You can find him at Boots&

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

Find local news for free 7 days a week at

Around the Bend by Judy Steffes

Johnson Bus to be sold to Landmark Student Transportation

Johnson School Bus Service is pleased to announce its impending sale to Landmark Student Transportation. Specialized Transport Services (STS), a subsidiary providing Shared-ride Taxi service to Ozaukee and Washington Counties, will change ownership as well. The sale is expected to be completed by end of February.

A three-generation, family-owned business, Johnson Bus has been a trusted provider of student transportation in southeast Wisconsin since 1942. Founded by Aaron Johnson, the business grew and flourished under the care of his children Chuck and Dianne, then further expanded to 11 locations and more than 450 buses with the guidance of Chuck’s children Steve, Dan and Judy.

In a letter addressed to its school districts and customers, the Johnson family thanked their local communities for their support. “After more than 77 years of family ownership, the third generation has made the difficult decision to sell the family business. Like all business owners, there comes a time to retire and begin enjoying the benefits of a long, successful career. It has been our life’s work to provide safe transportation to the children entrusted to our care. We cherish the memories and the relationships that were built over the years.”

Johnson Bus chose Landmark Student Transportation as a family-based, experienced organization that will continue our culture, identity and strong reputation. Landmark will maintain the same high standards and level of professional pride that the Johnson Bus team has built together over the years.

President Steve Johnson said the local insight and expertise of the Johnson Bus and STS teams will be of great value as we are welcomed into the Landmark organization. Landmark will retain the Johnson Bus and STS names and the employee teams of Managers, Maintenance Support and Drivers are expected to continue in their current capacities at each location. Steve, Dan and Judy will support Landmark through the transition and continue on as advisors.

“The continuity of staffing will ensure a seamless transition for our schools, customers and employees. Moving forward, the new relationships will benefit everyone, especially the students we deliver to and from school safely each day. We wish to extend our sincere thanks for the honor of working together in safety with our school districts, our communities and our dedicated employees. We are very excited to see what the future holds for Johnson Bus and its employees under their ownership.”

Opening date for new Pearl of Can Ton

Neighbors in West Bend have been anxiously awaiting the official opening of the new Pearl of Can Ton. The restaurant, 515 Hickory Street, is located in the old Sears and former Generations Christian Fellowship building in downtown West Bend.

Owner BeBay Luu purchased the 2-story building in 2017 and had hoped to be open in early January however, flipping an old retail outlet into a restaurant proved to be a challenge.

Today the restaurant announced it would open Feb. 14. Contractor Ron Dibble said the project was a bit daunting considering the installation of plumbing and updating the electrical.

The new look resembles a luxurious Asian restaurant with high recessed ceilings and 6,000-square-feet of space on the first floor. The color scheme is rich burnt reds and browns. There are arched entryways and black string curtains to separate rooms. Some of the art features Buddha statues and paintings along with decorative wood dividers that set off table spaces closer to the walls.

Transportation and Future Borrowing Plan for City of West Bend

West Bend City Administrator Jay Shambeau spent about 30 minutes during Monday night’s Common Council meeting rolling out details on the Transportation and Future Borrowing Plan for 2020.

The biggest talking point was how the City has reduced its debt from $80 million to $47 million in a matter of seven years. It was February 2016 when Mayor Kraig Sadownikow first talked about “bending the curve” and working to pay down debt by implementing a program called “truth in budgeting.”

By studying the budget in 2011 the mayor and then Dist. 7 alderman Adam Williquette found “debt payments on borrowing were draining finances.”

Over the past eight years the city buckled down and reduced capital borrowing by initiating a $1.5 million cap on borrowing for three years.

Williquette said “paying down the debt will take time, but it allows the city to continue to move forward without raising taxes.”

Fast forward to February 2019 and the city has knocked $33 million in debt off the books and is in good standing to move forward on a plan to fix the roads without increasing taxes.

“I wasn’t part of this council when you guys started tightening the belts around here but I have to say I’m happy to see we are in the categories that we are regarding comparatives to other municipalities and all the numbers make me feel really good moving forward,” said Dist. 2 alderman Mike Christian.

Mayor Kraig Sadownikow issued the following statement: “The increase in reserves, reduction in debt and hopeful increase in Capital expenditures/Maintenance while still reducing overall debt is the culmination of about 7 years worth of work and promises that ‘we are bending the debt curve downward.’

I believe this is good government in action. We worked hard and took some arrows to make significant changes to how we operate, budget and spend.  We had to right size some areas, completely cut others, and change our standard method of doing business to get to the point where we can begin investing back into the community while still remaining small-ish and efficient.

Rather than taking the easy route and increasing revenue (taxes) when we ran into tough budget challenges, we did what any well run family or business would do, reduce debt.  We have freed up over $1 million in debt payments that can now be re-invested into the community,”

Below is a summary of the data released at the meeting. Aldermen have agreed to review and take up a measure in March regarding a proposal to increase borrowing to $3 million annually and dedicate $2 million to city streets.

Transportation and Future Borrowing Summary

In Fiscal Year 2020 there is a $1.1 million reduction in our current debt schedule. Recommendation from 2018 street referendum included in this increased borrowing. Long Range Transportation Planning Committee reviewed this increased borrowing recommendation last Friday, Feb. 1.

Current debt management policies include total general obligation debt service to non-capital expenditure shall be at no higher than 20%

Additional debt policy proposal to keep the percentage of debt limit no higher than 10% below than the median of comparable communities

Increase annual borrowing to $3 million beginning in 2020. Dedicate $2 million annually to road maintenance/reconstruction

Additional borrowing of $2.7 million in 2021 to fund Seventh Avenue and $1.8 million in 2022 for 18th Avenue. Federal grant funding received for DOT STP – Urban $2.3 million – 57% (2019-2021)

Seventh Avenue to be reconstructed in 2021 and 18th completed in 2022. Overall debt service levy rate levels out at approx. 1.4 – 1.5%. Total debt continues to decline from $47 million to just under $28 million by 2028

National Guard Blackhawk crew from West Bend recognized for rescue | By Capt. Joe Trovato

The crew of a Wisconsin Army National Guard UH-60 Blackhawk that rescued two kayakers stranded in a marsh near Fond du Lac last fall received a major award from the Army Aviation Association of America at Fort Rucker, Alabama, Jan. 30.

Chief Warrant Officer 4 Jason Wollersheim, Chief Warrant Officer 2 Scott Kramer, Staff Sgt. Robert Gibson, and Sgt. Caleb Estenson, all received the Army Aviation Association of America’s Air/Sea Rescue Award.

The four West Bend-based Soldiers responded Sept. 9 to a request for assistance from local rescue crews attempting to reach two kayakers that lost their way in a thick marsh and reached the point of exhaustion. The isolated nature of the marsh and its terrain made a land rescue nearly impossible, prompting local rescue crews to reach out to Wisconsin Emergency Management to seek assistance.

The Wisconsin National Guard was ready and within 90 minutes of receiving the call, had a helicopter in the air. Fifteen minutes later, the crew was hovering over the Eldorado Marsh searching for the wayward kayakers, who had cell phone contact with rescue crews on the ground. With sunlight quickly diminishing and the kayakers stranded in a dark marsh, the crew asked first responders to relay a message to the kayakers to turn on their cell phone flashlight, which, thanks to their night vision goggles, immediately pinpointed the kayakers’ location.

Within minutes, a crew chief was descending into the marsh via the helicopter’s hoist system to retrieve the stranded men and bring them back to safety. The situation could have grown precarious quickly, given that the two kayakers were wet, exhausted and temperatures dropped into the 40s that early fall evening.

“Their training, experience and quick thinking enabled them to successfully conduct a very demanding mission on short notice, saving the two kayakers from a potentially life threatening situation once land and boat rescue efforts by civilian authorities failed,” the award citation read. “Their dedication to fellow citizens and willingness to volunteer on short notice for a hazardous rescue mission reflects great credit upon themselves, the Wisconsin Army National Guard, and the United States Army.”

Brig. Gen. Joane Mathews, Wisconsin’s deputy adjutant general for Army, travelled to Fort Rucker, along with Command Sgt. Maj. Rafael Conde, the Wisconsin Army National Guard’s senior enlisted advisor, to witness the award presentation.

“It was an extremely proud moment for me, knowing these brave and highly professional Soldiers were from the Wisconsin Army National Guard,” Mathews, herself a former helicopter pilot, said. “This crew deserves this recognition for their heroic actions to rescue their fellow citizens. Responding here at home is one of the core missions of the National Guard, and having the opportunity to apply the skills we gain preparing for our federal overseas mission to make a difference locally is truly rewarding.”

The crew was highly experienced. Three of the four crew members aboard the rescue flight – Estenson, Kramer, and Wollersheim – had returned from deployments to Afghanistan less than a year before the incident where they flew rescue missions in support of U.S. and Afghan special forces and U.S. Marines. The fourth – Gibson – had returned from a deployment to Kuwait less than two years prior and deployed to the U.S. Virgin Islands in support of Hurricane Maria relief in 2017. Estenson, who had the task of descending into the marsh that evening, said it was an honor to get recognized but said the most rewarding part of the experience was making a difference in his local community and doing his job.

West Bend Police officers sworn in

The West Bend Police Department grew by two this week as Christopher Brook and Breanne Knutson were officially sworn in.

West Bend City Clerk Stephanie Justman carried out the ceremonial process and then Police Chief Ken Meuler pinned a shiny badge on each new officer.

Meuler took a moment to share a special note of dedication about Officer Brook who started on the job a day early when he spotted a drunk driver and called it in to the WB PD.

Meuler said it was good work by the rookie as he helped get a 5-time drunk driver off the road.

Police Officer Brook graduated from Goodrich High School in Fond du Lac, served in the U.S. Army from 2005 to 2009, earned his Bachelor’s Degree in Criminal Justice from Marian University and successfully completed the State of Wisconsin Basic Recruit School at Fox Valley Technical School in 2013.

Shortly after his graduation from Recruit School he was hired by the Jefferson County Sheriff Department and has worked there until being hired by West Bend. Christopher and his wife Michelle are the proud parents of Ethan, Harper, and Elijah. We welcome Christopher and his family to the community.

Police Officer Knutson graduated from Slinger High School. After high school she enrolled at Concordia College where she earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Justice and Public Policy.

During her senior year at Concordia, Breanne completed an internship at the West Bend Police Department. After graduation from Concordia she completed the State of Wisconsin Basic Recruit School at Fox Valley Technical School in December 2018. We are happy to welcome Brianne to West Bend.

Former Tri-Manor in Barton has sold

The former Tri-Manor, 1937 N. Main Street, in West Bend has been sold. The property was owned by James R. Schulz. It was built in 1949 and had an addition in 1983. According to records at City Hall the property was last sold in 1983 for $118,000. The 2018 assessment was for $445,200. The parcel was sold Jan. 23, 2019 for $222,400 to Danker, Inc, a Wisconsin corporation.


Winners from Kiwanis Early Risers 11th annual Chili/Soup Cook-off

A note of thanks to everyone who came out for the 11th annual Kiwanis Early Risers Chili & Soup Cook-off. There were some fantastic entries and nobody went home hungry.

Winners from this year include:

Community Service Chili: 1) Interfaith Caregivers 2) West Bend Fire Fighters 3) West Bend Noon Kiwanis

Business Chili: 1) American Commercial Real Estate 2) New Perspective 3) Don Patnode and Minute Man Press

Restaurant Chili: 1) Brazenhead Pub 2) The Norbert 3) No No’s Restaurant and Texas Roadhouse

Restaurant Soup: 1) Braising Pan 2) Brazenhead Pub 3) Jug’s Hitching Post

People’s Choice Award: Chili winner: 1) Brazenhead Pub 2) West Bend Fire Fighters  3) Interfaith Caregivers

People’s Choice Award: Soup winner 1) Jug’s Hitching Post   2) Brazenhead Pub  3) Great Outdoors

Coming up April 13, 2019 it’s the Kiwanis Kid’s Free Fishing Clinic. Saturday is the day to attend the Kid’s Free Fishing Clinic sponsored by the West Bend Kiwanis Early Risers in partnership with the Wisconsin DNR and Southeastern WI Trout Unlimited at Regner Park in West Bend.

The kids learn some of the basics of fishing and test their fishing skills at the pond which is stocked with rainbow trout by the DNR, as well as other fish species stocked by the City of West Bend Park, Recreation & Forestry Department.

Holy Angels School looking for new principal

Holy Angels School (HAS) is a K3-8 Catholic grade school that has been educating children for over 150 years. HAS is currently looking for a dynamic principal to lead the dedicated staff, parents, and students to enhance and elevate this high level of Catholic education in West Bend, WI. The preferred candidate would be experienced, enthusiastic, and faith-filled. For other key requirements and responsibilities, go to the home page of the school’s website:  If interested, please send a cover letter and resume to by Feb. 15, 2019.

Hartford Rotary names Students of the Month for January | By Teri Kermendy

The Hartford Rotary Club and Hartford Union High School are pleased to announceMatthew Becker, Katie Brockhaus, and Mike Scepanski were honored recently as Rotary Students of the Month.

The students were given special recognition for their accomplishments at the Hartford Rotary Club’s Thursday noon meetings during the month of January.

Matthew Becker is the son of Cheri and Joe Becker.  Becker is a member of the National Honor Society, the Varsity Math Team, and Student Council.  He is also Percussion Section Leader of the Symphonic Band, a member of the HUHS Concert Choir, and had the lead role of Seymour in the fall musical “Little Shop of Horrors” at the Schauer Arts and Activities Center.

The Hartford Rotary Club and Hartford Union High School announce Matthew Becker, Katie Brockhaus, and Mike Scepanski were honored recently as Rotary Students of the Month.

Becker received special honors in several areas in 2018.  He earned WSMA State Solo and Ensemble Exemplary Soloist recognition in piano and was selected to perform with the WSMA State Honors Band.  Becker was also selected as a National Merit Scholarship semifinalist.

Becker has given back to his community by serving as a Religious Education Teacher’s aide, a member the Bell Choir and playing piano at church and community events at St. Kilian Catholic Church. Becker plans to attend a 4-year university and is considering a major in either math or music.  His top university choices are Michigan, Notre Dame, and Northwestern.

Katie Brockhaus is the daughter of Heather and Michael Brockhaus. Brockhaus is a member of Peers 4 Peers, Mock Trial and the girl’s tennis team at HUHS.  She has been very active in the instrumental music program. Brockhaus is a member of the Symphonic Band, Marching Band, Jazz Band and Pep Band. She is also a member of the Moraine Symphonic Band and Youth and Wind Orchestra of Wisconsin. Brockhaus was a State Solo and Ensemble qualifier in 2018 and performed with the HUHS Marching Band in the New Year’s Day Parade in London, England.

Brockhaus has given back to her community by volunteering her time with Family Promise of Washington County and at Northbrook Church in Youth Ministry. She has served as a youth soccer coach and enjoys giving private bassoon and saxophone lessons to interested students. Brockhaus plans to attend Concordia University to study music education and music performance.  Her goal is to eventually become a high school Music Teacher.

Updates & Tidbits

– United Way of Washington County will celebrate a record-breaking campaign year on Feb. 13 with a luncheon that features highlights from 2018. Awards will be given to several of Washington County’s leading employers and community advocates.

– Jay Anderson received Post 36 American Legion Certificate of Participation from Service Officer Jim Maersch.

-Urban Vantage, 128 Wisconsin Street, is offering a rent special of ½ month free if a person rents during the month of February 2019. Contact 262-353-9732.

-In light of the fatal police officer shooting in Milwaukee this week, Hartford is paying its respects by lighting up the downtown with a thin blue line. All gave some, some give all.

-Common Sense Citizens of Washington County will host a panel discussion on Wednesday, Feb. 13 on the effects and facts of legalized marijuana. Detective Mark Sette from the Washington County Sheriff’s Department, Mary Simon from Elevate, and Jim Giese with Affiliated Clinical will be on hand. The 7 p.m. event is open to the public and held at the West Bend Moose Lodge.

A quick peek inside the new Cafe Floriana in West Bend

A quick peek inside the new Cafe Floriana; it’s the new cafe/bakery opening in the lower level of Cast Iron Luxury Living, 611 Veterans Ave., Suite 104,  in West Bend. (Across from Rivershores YMCA).

Katherine Schenk and her sister Sara Young are the ones behind the project and it is really starting to take shape. So far the floor, lighting, bakery display cases, bathrooms and food prep area are all near completion.

The lighting is very artistic with big globe clear glass shades that reflect in adjacent mirrors resembling decorative windows. There’s also mini pendant lights above individual table seating areas. A textured wall runs the length of the back of the bakery. The wall has somewhat of a tin-ceiling appearance.

Up front it’s counter space and a glass display case awaiting scrumptious selections of homemade sweets and sandwiches. The menu for Cafe Floriana features egg bake, traditional oatmeal, fresh breakfast pastries and muffins, a soup of the day, loose leaf teas, real fruit smoothies, an array of sandwiches, and Stone Creek Coffee.

Owner Katherine Schenk has been at the store daily working through some of the final logistics. The sister duo is working on a schedule for a soft opening later this month with their hearts set on being in business by March.


Find local news for free 7 days a week at

Around the Bend by Judy Steffes

Dates set for 2019 Washington County Breakfast on the Farm

The 32nd annual Washington County Breakfast on the Farm will be at Highland Dairy LLC, 1207 Highland Drive in Kewaskum. Congratulations to Mike and Linda Enright from Highland Dairy LLC, 1207 Highland Drive in Kewaskum. This is a third generation family farm that strives to produce natural, high-quality milk and high-quality beef for the dairy and beef industry. The robotic farm features a New Freestall Barn, Milking Center, Pump Room, Robot Rooms, 6 DeLaval VMS, DeLaval Cow Brushes, Hetwin Feed Pusher, Automated Litter Alley Scrapers, and more.

The Enrights have agreed to host a cozy gathering of about 5,000 to 6,000 people for breakfast on Saturday, June 8.Breakfast will be served rain or shine from 6:30 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.

West Bend Safety Commission gives thumbs up to 4-way stop at Decorah/Silverbrook

On Tuesday, Jan. 22, the City of West Bend Safety Commission held a meeting led by Police Chief Ken Meuler. On the agenda was a citizen request for the installation of traffic lights at Seventh Avenue and Decorah Road.  Meuler said that Traffic Analysis and Design (TADI) experts, who could not be present at the meeting, said it is “possible to put a four-way stop in… but because of the steep incline it was not his recommendation.”

Meuler said the analyst pointed out it would be “a very short distance from Main Street.” No action was taken on this item at this time.

The intersection of Decorah Road and Silverbrook was also discussed. Meuler stated TADI felt that while “we could keep a two-way there, a four-way was warranted based on the crash history at that intersection and the volume of traffic on both Decorah and Silverbrook.”

City Engineer Max Marechal added, “At the intersection of Decorah and Silverbrook, not only is it possible to do both, but in their report they’re saying it would be preferable for the level of service to have the four-way stop.”

Meuler shared a statement from Lance Roell, principal at Silverbrook Middle School, in which Roell stated he was “highly in favor of it and has received favorable comments from parents..who spoke in favor of it.”

Meuler also stated District 1 Alderman John Butschlick lent a statement saying he was in favor of the four-way stop. A motion to approve a four-way stop sign at the intersection of Decorah and Silverbrook passed 5-1.

The committee approved removing the stop signs on Walnut at Eighth Avenue and adding stop signs on Eighth Avenue at Walnut, removing the “No Parking from 3:00 a.m. to 6:00 a.m., December 1 – April 1” restriction for the angle parking stalls on the west side of Shore Lane.

The committee approved no parking on the east side of Rolfs from Lang to Creek and no parking on the west side on Rolfs Avenue from Creek Road 1200 feet south, eliminated parking on Rolfs Avenue 30 feet north of the crosswalk to approximately 50 feet south of the driveway on the west side, and designated the extension of Rolfs Avenue as a Heavy Truck Route.

The committee then reviewed a request from the Police Department to eliminate the “Parking For Crossing Guard Only Zone” restriction on the west side of Ninth Avenue at W. Washington Street and approved this request.

A discussion took place regarding the Paradise Drive corridor traffic signal timing. Marechal suggested talking to the consultant for further clarification and discussion at the next committee meeting as an agenda item. No action was taken on any other agenda items.

Holy Angels School looking for new principal

Holy Angels School (HAS) is a K3-8 Catholic grade school that has been educating children for over 150 years.

With consistent parent involvement, parish support and strong enrollment, HAS has achieved a full accreditation for its focus on high academic standards and unique curriculum (world languages and one-to-one technology). HAS has also received Exemplary Recognition in the area of Mission and Catholic Identity.

HAS is currently looking for a dynamic principal to lead the dedicated staff, parents, and students to enhance and elevate this high level of Catholic education in West Bend, WI.  Under the direction of the Pastor and in consultation with the School Committee, the principal provides both strategic and operational leadership and day to day management in order to achieve the mission of the school and parish.

The preferred candidate would be experienced, enthusiastic, and faith-filled. For other key requirements and responsibilities, go to the home page of the school’s website:  If interested, please send a cover letter and resume to by Feb. 15, 2019.

Milwaukee woman facing charges for threats against Jackson Police

A Milwaukee woman arrested by Jackson Police for a traffic violation at the end of 2018 has been taken into custody and is facing additional charges after allegedly issuing threats against members of the Jackson Police Department.

On Dec. 30, 2018, the Jackson Police Department arrested a 38-year-old Milwaukee woman following a traffic pursuit which began in Jackson and ended in Slinger. After the pursuit the woman resisted arrest by arming herself with a scissors and spit in the officer’s face.

She was arrested and charged with Fleeing, Resisting Arrest, Disorderly Conduct with a Dangerous Weapon, and Discharging a Bodily Fluid at a Law Enforcement Officer. On January 22, 2019, the same woman called the Jackson Police Department and threatened the life of the Police Chief and his family. On January 25, 2019, the woman called the Jackson Police Department and threatened the life of the Lieutenant.

The woman was taken into custody with the assistance of the Milwaukee Police Department and transported to the Washington County Jail. Additional charges are under review.

Remodel of Carl Kuss Field to be completed in stages

An update was presented during this week’s West Bend Common Council meeting regarding the redevelopment of Carl Kuss Memorial Field in West Bend.

A plan to remodel the field has been on the table since January 2016. Plans and financing were flushed out in mid-2018 and towards the end of the year it appeared construction would be underway shortly. The latest news, however, looks like the project will be completed in several phases.

The West Bend Baseball Association, Cal Ripken Sr. Foundation and the City of West Bend met Friday, Jan. 18 to discuss the development of the Carl Kuss field.

According to West Bend Park and Rec director Craig Hoeppner the group, including WBBA, Cal Ripken Sr. Foundation and the City, and Fields Inc. stated they are working on final designs and plans for the field, which includes surveying, geo-tech and storm water design work.

Hoeppner said another priority is refining the budget which is currently around $1.4 million. It appears there are still a number of questions on actual costs which the group stated were being worked out.

Phase I includes the synthetic field, fencing and dugouts.  Phase II would include the lights, grandstand, concessions and restrooms. At this time, funding is around 60-percent complete for Phase I.

Hoeppner said all Phase I funding will need to be completed before any construction begins.  Once construction begins, it will take about 100 days to complete.

Early hopes, according to Hoeppner are that construction begins this Spring. Another meeting is slated for Feb. 1 for more updates.

Construction in Downtown Hartford for 5-story apartment complex | By Samantha Sali

Fencing has started to go up in preparation for the 5-story apartment complex on the corner of Hartford’s Main and State Streets. The apartment complex, which is being developed by the Brookfield-based Brayton Management Co. Inc, will have this multi-family complex completed by Spring 2020.

The 82-unit complex will have 1-3 bedroom apartments, 117 parking spaces including underground parking, and several amenities including an elevator, conference room, coffee bar, fitness room, and game room.

“The first step will be to perform abatement of any contamination issues within the six buildings on this block followed by demolition of the sight,” said City Administrator, Steve Volkert. “While fencing will be up, there still plans on having the gates open to the parking lot commonly used by downtown businesses and overnight residents in this area of N. Main. Once demolition begins in February, those gates will be closed for safety issues.”

“This corner has been on our radar as a catalectic project and part of the downtown redevelopment since 2015 when a plan was rolled out,” Volkert said. “History has shown when you concentrate market-rate apartments in a walkable downtown; it greatly improves viability for the merchants and property owners in that downtown.”

Celebrating Catholic Schools Week

During the week beginning January 27, Holy Angels in West Bend will join schools throughout the country in celebrating Catholic Schools Week. The local theme for the West Bend Catholic schools is again “The Good News in Education.”  Catholic schools continue to be the good news in what schools can provide in a community of faith.

In addition to a strong core curriculum, there is a continued emphasis at Holy Angels on fine arts and world languages. Holy Angels students use a variety of technologies as tools for learning…junior high students use personal Chromebooks as part of their daily experience. The Project Lead the Way curriculum and Robotics Club offer pre-engineering components for junior high students. The Resource Learning Centers provide a multitude of enrichment opportunities and additional learning support.

Over and above the curriculum, Catholic faith is emphasized at Holy Angels. In fact, the Archdiocese of Milwaukee has awarded Holy Angels School with Exemplary Recognition in the area of Catholic Identity and Mission (see photo).

During Catholic Schools Week, students and staff will celebrate many of the important aspects of the school which make it special…academics, faith formation, extra-curriculars, community building, family involvement.

The week’s activities will include:

Saturday (January 26) – CSW Kickoff Celebration (5:00-7:30pm).

Sunday –  Open House (10:30am-12:30pm)  Kindergarten–K3, K4, K5-RoundUp (10:45am)

Monday – Catholic Quiz Bowl (8:15 – primary, 9:00 – intermediate, 10:30 – junior high)

Tuesday – Career Day: guests are invited to share the wide range of career possibilities

Wednesday – Fun4All Day: students will be enjoying one of several venues in the community for tubing, skating (both roller and ice), and bowling.

Thursday – All-City Mass at Holy Angels (1 pm) with Bishop Schuerman as the celebrant.

Friday – Student/Faculty Basketball Game (1:40 pm).

West Bend Missionaries Nancy and David Slinde

Nancy and David Slinde of West Bend are active in the community but their volunteer spirit knows no bounds. Both are parishioners at Our Saviors Lutheran Church. David, 75, is part of the West Bend Noon Rotary and Nancy, 73, is a member of the West Bend Sunrise Rotary.

What sets the couple apart is their commitment and dedication as missionaries in El Salvador. In January the couple made their 30th trip to the small Central American country where, since 2004, they have worked on 13 projects designed to better education, improve housing, health and business.

The Black Water Project was one of their greatest undertakings and one of the most successful accomplishments.

“Two women in El Salvador took us aside and said our children less than five years old are dying of intestinal problems,” said Nancy. “They needed help.”

That was 2005 and the Slindes got to work. An assessment of the problem was needed and then Engineers Without Borders got involved and the project and team spirit was underway.

“It was important the community we were working with understood that these were people helping people,” said David.

The sewer project included connecting10-inch pipe for one mile from the homes to the opposite side of the Pan-American Highway. Once complete the Black Water Project would serve 3,000 people and over 60 homes.

“It was a large undertaking that included seven partnerships, fundraising, and a buy in from the community,” David said. “Everyone had to help dig the trenches. Men, women and children but that’s what made the overall project such a success.”

Money for the project was multifaceted with funds coming from Our Saviors parish, the two Rotary groups and Nancy was successful in writing a grant for a total of $140,000. It took seven years and the Black Water Project, which helped drain the sewage from the community, was finished in 2012

“We’re happy to say no children are dying anymore because of the poor conditions in that community,” said Nancy.

Embedding themselves in El Salvador

Unassuming in appearance the Slindes are dedicated and have found a calling with their mission work.

David is soft spoken with a sharp sense of humor and keen insight in to human nature. He is methodical and direct and normally sports a three-day growth of gray beard. A graduate of Nicolet High School, David admits he wasn’t the best student. In his professional life he spent a majority of his career in finance at industrial electrical equipment manufacturer Cutler Hammer.

Nancy is petite in stature but a firecracker with unlimited energy, unwavering optimism and the ability to engage anyone in conversation. A 1964 graduate of Whitefish Bay Dominican High School she worked in education most of her career.

In El Salvador, Nancy is the translator, David is able to execute a plan and they both base their accomplishments on a foundation in faith.

“It was 2007 when we returned from El Salvador I just thought there was more we could do,” said David. “That’s when the Lord told me to move to El Salvador. Nancy was on board. Our kids thought we were crazy.”

Becoming immersed in the culture, the Slindes won the trust of the community. They returned in January with another suitcase of donated clothes, crayons and heaps of goodwill.

“They call us the Godparents and once had a sign hanging on the wall of the school for the day we returned,” said David. “Godparent actually means we help finance the education of 23 students; parishioners at our church in West Bend help.”

Funding education and launching a hardware store

Of the 13 projects the Slindes have accomplished they are most proud of their work in education.

However education covers a broad scope from teaching families how to raise chickens and build coops to raising a successful chili crop in homemade greenhouses.

One of the business-development projects David is most proud of is the startup hardware store.

During a recent trip to El Salvador the couple visited a grade school in Tecualuya, located about 12.5 miles south of San Salvador. The stop was highlighted by a generous gift of textbooks and backpacks.

“These are textbooks for every student, in every grade 1st – 6th grade,” said Nancy. “This will be an incredible start for the little ones.”

More than 70 students, dressed in white shirts and blue skirts or pants, greeted the Slindes by holding up individual letters in a homemade sign that read, “Welcome. God bless you.”

Students lined up by grade level as teachers distributed colorful soft-cover books on history, science, and math.

Next it was on to San Luis Talpa. “This is one of the premier schools we’ve been working with since 2017,” said David.

Donations totaling $34,000 have helped fund a new 7th, 8th, and 9th grade and 13 students were assisted independently with scholarships so they could go onto high school. “Our motto has always been education overcomes poverty,” said David.

Of the students the Slindes support in Usulután, they’ve received feedback on three. “One has started his own business and the other two are employed,” said David. “If that’s a representation of what our money did for those three students it is well worth it.”

Airport travel

So far we’ve been the typical travelers you see on TV news stranded at the airport in the midst of a Wisconsin winter storm. (Total honest, when watching the news in my sweet warm chair at home I tend to laugh at the ridiculous people who think they’re going to get somewhere….)

Our first flight out Saturday, Jan.19 was slightly delayed. Hundreds of passengers made it on time however the pilot’s limo ended up in a snow bank. He called an Uber to get him to the Milwaukee airport.

Dawdling around with the plane running prompted a random warning light to pop on and forced everybody to deboard and reschedule.

I’ve been through this drill before and was one of the first to exit and get to the Delta Help desk.

Wouldn’t you know it the clerk seemed familiar and I’m still betting she was the one who “helped” me on my bike tour to New Zealand. That’s the one where I stood in line for an hour as she was certain I needed a visa for vacation. (I didn’t). That was the same bike tour where my luggage showed up 26 days later… the day before I returned home from New Zealand. (I’m tucking that little nugget in my pocket and will warn my travel mates after a beverage.)

Helpful Delta clerk made alternative arrangements. Rather than Milwaukee to Atlanta to El Salvador.  We would travel Milwaukee to Atlanta to Mexico City. We would carry on the next day to El Salvador. While it sounded a bit roundabout we were at least on the move and southbound.

With pilot in place and everyone on board Delta tested our patience one more time…. as it forgot to de-ice the plane. Safety first…. another hour and we were in the air.

Thank you Delta

The Slindes bring their own level of travel savvy to the table. A reroute to Mexico City meant going through customs, twice; once when we arrived and the next day when we would head to El Salvador. “Who is going to pay for that,” asked David.

Vouchers was a hot-button term used by every traveler that day. The Help Desk was also a popular spot.

Sparing you the drudgery and detail a competent Delta clerk, Brandon, saved us from Mexico City. “You’re going to stay in Atlanta tonight and then go direct to El Salvador on Sunday morning,” said Brandon.

He then spoiled us with travel vouchers for a sweet hotel, SpringHill Suites in downtown Atlanta and $15 meal vouchers for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Thanks Delta!

Updates & Tidbits

-Atlanta, George is home to Super Bowl LIII. The game is February 3, 2019 at Mercedes-Benz Stadium. There is A LOT of Super Bowl advertising at the airport as Atlanta preps for the big game.

-The departure/arrival screen at the hotel has an interesting graphic for the weather. 61 degrees was marked with an ice cube. Our team from Wisconsin laughed.

-The weather in Atlanta was rainy and 61 degrees. There were colorful yellow and purple flowers in bloom. Temps in El Salvador are expected to be in the mid-90s with high humidity.

Iglesia El Rosario church in San Salvador

We spent three hours Monday touring San Salvador and learning its history. The most beautiful place was inside Iglesia El Rosario; described as “one of the finest churches in Central America.”

The main street entrance of the church, across from Libertad Plaza, is locked.  The exterior of the church reminds me of the old Bradley Center. You have to turn the corner to find a narrow brick walkway located past a black metal gate and that leads to a side door to get into the church.

The concrete facade of the church is unassuming compared to what you encounter as you cross the threshold.

The arched interior features tiers of stained glass that cast a brilliant rainbow of light throughout the building. The church, completed in 1971, was designed by sculptor Ruben Martinez.

There are quite a few well-thought-out intricacies regarding the interior design; one in particular has a very Indiana-Jones flare.

Across from the altar the wall is sectioned off in small blocks of stained glass. When the sun hits it just right the beam of light comes through the center “eye of God” and shines perfectly on the crucifix of Christ on the opposite wall.

There are a couple of other nuggets of history at Iglesia El Rosario including bullet holes in the concrete facade of the building; remnants from the civil war of the 1980s.

To the right of the altar on the floor is a stone marker; this is where 24 people are buried. They were killed by police May 9, 1979 during an anti-government protest that happened in the town square across the street. According to an article by the BBC,

“Witnesses said the steps of the cathedral were littered with bodies. Freelance photographer Ken Hawkins told the Los Angeles Times there had been no warning from government forces before the shooting started. “There was a continual burst of very heavy fire for about two and a half minutes,” he said. “People started screaming and running to the church but many were hit before they could get there.”

At the other end of the church is an abstract version of the Stations of the Cross. Only the hands and arms are used to represent Christ. The metal used for the sculptures was material that remained following construction of the church.

Updates & tidbits

-I have gotten David and Nancy Slinde from West Bend to do quite a few things on this tour. Photos are always better when we know someone in them.  There are a LOT of armed guards in El Salvador/San Salvador. This fella was in the street market outside the church. A majority of the officers/security I have seen do have large shotguns. I’m told “if” they do shoot… the security guards are the ones that go to jail.  Confused? Me, too….

-On Tuesday we meet up with folks from Habitat for Humanity and later in the week we attend the school the Slindes have helped grow education with books, roofs, and more. Nancy has such a pile of crayons to donate. That hefty cargo broke the handle of the carry-on bag. (Of course, this happened at the airport…. but we make due. No crayons have been harmed during transport.)

-Our tour guide today was Arnoldo Carcamo from Trip Time El Salvador Tours. He was FABULOUS! Very knowledgeable, respectful and he picked up on our groove right away taking us to the city centre, churches and a bank museum.

-Day 3 and our luggage finally arrived in the late afternoon. “I love my wife but I sure do love my lost luggage,” said David.

Saint Oscar Arnulfo Romero y Galdamez

It’s difficult to wrap your head around the impact one person has made especially if the significance occurred in another country. One person in El Salvador who impacted the entire culture through multiple generations is Rev. Oscar Arnulfo Romero y Galdamez.

For the next seven days will post details on the missionary trip of David and Nancy Slinde of West Bend.

This is the couple’s 30 journey to the small Central American country. Over the years, the Slindes have helped improve education, plumbing, and business development.

In May 2015 Pope Francis celebrated the beatification of Salvadoran Archbishop Oscar Romero and in October 2018 Pope Francis declared him a Saint.

Romero was recognized for his dedication working with the poor and speaking out against social injustice. He was assassinated while celebrating Mass on March 24, 1980.  He was 62 years old.

Our tour guide Arnoldo Carcamo took us to Romero’s crypt located in the lower level of the Metropolitan Cathedral of San Salvador.

The real staff for Saint Óscar Arnulfo Romero y Galdámez sits on top of the crypt. There is a round red object in the middle of the crypt symbolizing the bullet that struck Romero in the heart. David Slinde from West Bend pointed to the senior citizens praying at the kneelers on either side of the crypt. “The person who came in with the cane is likely a follower from when Romero hosted a popular radio broadcast,” he said. “The others here are just young whippersnappers.”

According to a post about Saint Óscar Arnulfo Romero y Galdámez and his radio broadcasts:

In these sermons, he listed disappearances, tortures, murders, and much more each Sunday. This was followed by an hour-long speech on radio the following day. On the importance of these broadcasts, one writer noted that “the archbishop’s Sunday sermon was the main source in El Salvador about what was happening. It was estimated to have the largest listenership of any programme in the country.

Updates & Tidbits

-Cedar Community Annual Chili Social and Used Book Sale is Saturday, Jan. 26, 2019 from 10 a.m. – 1 p.m. at Cedar Ridge Campus, 113 Cedar Ridge Drive, West Bend. Visit the train room. Tours of Cedar Community’s independent living apartments will also be available by appointment. Enjoy our famous chili, hot ham and cheese croissant, fruit, fresh baked cookie, coffee or hot apple cider – all for only $8.50! Quarts of chili to go for $7.75.

-Fantastic Sams, 860 E. Paradise Drive, in West Bend has shut down abruptly. The note on the door says, “If you are interested in operating the location call a 715 area code phone number.”

-St Lawrence and Resurrection K.C.’s are sponsoring a 14th annual card party Sunday, Jan. 27 at 1 p.m. at the Resurrection Parish Hall in Allenton. Entry fee is $5 includes play and lunch.

– Meet outstanding teachers and staff during the Sunday, Jan. 27 St. Frances Cabrini Open House and Pancake Breakfast. Come join us 8:30 a.m. – noon.

– Hartford Union High School will name its next Superintendent on Jan. 28. Two candidates for the position include Cassandra Schug and Conrad Farner.

– Karl Howard Terlinden passed away January 22, 2019 amidst a beautiful winter snowfall under a full moon. He courageously fought 7 weeks after being diagnosed with an aggressive brain tumor.

– 19th annual Bridal Fair at Washington County Fair Park is Jan. 27. Over 70 vendors with everything from dresses to cakes, wedding venues to entertainment. Tickets $5 Pre-Sale $6 Day-Of

– Pamela Bremer, School Counselor Secretary at Slinger High School in Slinger, WI, has been recognized as the 2019 Wisconsin School Counselor Secretary/Support Staff of the Year.

Around the Bend by Judy Steffes

$74 million referendum total for West Bend School District  

The West Bend School Board set the initial resolution for the April 2, 2019 referendum question at $47 million. The true cost with interest at about 4.25 percent, according to Robert W. Baird & Co., will bring the total to $74 million which includes $27 million in interest.

Following a presentation by Baird’s John Mehan and the district’s Tim Stellmacher the board discussed how the referendum sat with them.

Board member Ken Schmidt felt $74 million was a lot to ask for.

“I’m one who knows about history and there are cycles in our economy and those cycles are impacted by elections,” said Schmidt. “If we get other administrations who decide they are going to create a negative business climate that’s going to impact our economy and what happens to jobs, it’s also going to impact what happens to the valuation of property. We saw that in 2007 and property values went down. One of the reasons we’ve got phenomenal property values is we have a super-great economy on steroids. Wages are going up we can’t find enough workers for all the jobs. That can turn around and that’s what I’m concerned about. I’m concerned about a cycle like that and the West Bend taxpayer ends up with not such a rosy picture. I also have a problem with the present proposal and it’s really being overbuilt, considering the projections of declining enrollment. I really wonder if we’re doing the wisest thing in the world. I have some grave concerns.”

Board member Joel Ongert spoke about not including interest on the referendum question. “The first step in the referendum process is to pass the initial resolution. Parameters on what is to be included in the initial resolution are set forth in section 67.05 of the Wisconsin state statue to include the purpose and the maximum principal amount of the bond issued,” he said. “I’ve reached out to Quarles and Brady and the attorney I spoke with they said they’ve never included interest in the referendum questions.”

Taking a look at the current referendums the West Bend School District is paying off….

In April 2009, voters in West Bend approved a $29.3 million plan to renovate, as well as build an addition to Badger Middle School.

In November 2012 the West Bend School District passed a $22.8 million referendum to close Barton Elementary School, expand Silverbrook School and add classrooms and a gym at Green Tree Elementary School. The actual total cost of the referendum with taxes and interest was $31.975 million with a 15-year payback on borrowing.

After the Nov. 2012 referendum passed the $31.9 million total was added on top of the $29.3 million payment for the 2009 Badger referendum.

According to Mehan “as of January 14, 2019 the District has principal debt outstanding” including $29,420,000 from Fund 39 referendum and Fund 38 non-referendum approved debt of $5,011,000.

The target date to completely pay off the current debt on referendums is 2028.

Cobbling together the outstanding debt of $34,431,000 plus the proposed referendum and interest of $74 million the total, if approved it would bring, the West Bend School District debt on referendums to $108,431,000. Mehan said the $74 million debt would run 19 years.

Prior to the board discussion on referendum total of $74 million a woman from West Bend spoke during the public presentation portion of the meeting about the referendum topic.

“What is the total cost with interest and secondly I have friends and family in real estate and they admit there is a declining interest in living in Jackson, which is part of this referendum cost. One of the things is there is a decline in the birth rate but also families with young children who have concerns about the 55,000 gallon gasoline spill in 2012. People with young children don’t have much interest when they can buy homes in surrounding areas because they have concerns about that gas spill.

“Also what is the plan. A plan for that money, where is it going? A plan for the school in Jackson a plan for the remodel of the schools. Will that remodel include transgender bathrooms, transgender locker rooms. What is the plan for those things,” said the woman.

Following the public speaking portion of the meeting board member Nancy Justman instructed the superintendent to get the woman who spoke a copy of the plan. On Thursday, Jan. 17  Superintendent Don Kirkegaard said there is no plan available yet. Kirkegaard said it is expected to be completed in the “next week or two.”

WBSD plans to eliminate Pathways in West Bend

Parents and students lined up at Monday night’s West Bend School Board meeting to express their displeasure about the district’s plan to possibly eliminate Pathways Charter School.

According to documentation posted on the School District site a recommendation will be made for Pathways to be eliminated.

Diana Swillinger, a parent of four children in the district, sits on the Pathways Governance Council. She was direct and disappointed questioning a lack of transparency in numbers and “misplaced priorities, a lack of vision, disinterest in the needs of the students, and a knee-jerk reaction to a struggling budget.”

Diana Swillinger comments to school board, January 14, 2019

Good evening. I am Diana Swillinger. A parent of 4 children in this district and a Pathways Governance Council member.

I have a small amount of time to say a lot, so I will not mince words, I will read right from my statement and speak as fast as I can. Please know I say all of this with the utmost respect for the board. I appreciate your service.

I had intended today to share my opinion about the future of Pathways, and I will, however, I would like to address a concern first.

Late Friday afternoon, the district presented the school board with a report of Pathways, created by a lone critic from Black and Associates. The Governance Council was told when the evaluation happened that it was to inform Pathways’ accountability plan and were not told it would be shared outside of that purpose. The evaluation period was in the 2017-2018 school year, yet the results were not shared with Pathways staff or Governance Council in any written form. Ever. We were introduced to the document only when it was shared with you, just one business day before the Superintendent–who to the best of my knowledge and in my opinion, has not completed his own observation and evaluation of Pathways–is likely to recommend a discontinuation of the contract.

In the kindest terms we could call this move strategic and clever. But when we consider the impact it will have on the educational, vocational, and developmental journey of real children, real students… our children… this move could be seen as manipulative and self-serving. At best, this is not something I would use as an example to share with my own children to demonstrate good business, good politics, or good will. I find the lack of disclosure with Pathways staff and governance council and last-minute exposure to the board disappointing and discouraging.

Now to my original comments:

Pathways has produced a plethora of positive results as you heard testimony to in December. To discontinue the partnership with Pathways would be to displace dozens of students from the rigorous and unique education they credit for their success and it would be a mistake–a mistake based on an incompatible, formulaic report card that is skewed on many levels as has been previously addressed. 

I am a fiscally responsible person, I have seen the budget for Pathways, and in the grand scheme of the district spending, it really is a drop in the bucket. To eliminate the partnership based on money, would be a disproportionate reaction to the value it provides to the many students who’ve attended there and are yet to attend.

As the world starts to embrace the reality that students in neat rows of desks with one-size-fits-all education under serves our children and their future, Pathways is leading the way. This school started with an innovative and courageous dream… please tell me you aren’t ready to quit that dream. We are just getting started.  

Please tell me you won’t quit because we hit a couple obstacles. What will we tell the kids if the contract to the only school that has awakened their desire to learn isn’t renewed? “Sorry kids, we hit a snag in the budget and the state report card doesn’t accurately display the amazing things happening here and in your life, so we quit.“

For much of Pathways existence, the district administration has taken little interest. And now their interest seems to only lie in the obstacles while paying little attention to the successes and not embracing the incredible character development and educational journey of the students…. the things that don’t fit into standardized reports and spreadsheets. 

If the contract isn’t renewed it will be viewed by many as misplaced priorities, a lack of vision, disinterest in the needs of the students, and a knee-jerk reaction to a struggling budget.

If the contract is renewed it will be viewed by many as an investment in the future of an amazing and creative population of students, the ingenuity of education, rigor of studies, and evolving path of education.  Thank you.

Chelsea Doman Davis, a parent of four, from Jackson also spoke to the board and wondered what prompted the decision to close if money and preparing students for college isn’t the issue.

Good evening Board members and fellow parents. My name is Chelsea Doman Davis. I live in Jackson …. Last month I talked as a parent of four children in the district and shared my very personal reasons for needing the charter at Pathways to be renewed. Tonight, I again have skipped my own PTO meeting to address you but as a concerned citizen and outside of the emotion of how my family would directly be adversely affected by the dissolution of Pathways Charter School.

I have several points I hope the Board will consider in this matter.

First, the Charter School provides options, which is a choice we value in Wisconsin.

Other school districts in the area have launched or are launching similar efforts, such as the Riveredge Outdoor Learning School in neighboring Northern Ozaukee School District. By removing options here, you are encouraging families to go elsewhere. The Revenue Limit here has been negatively impacted in the past due to students attending other districts.

At Pathways, the students have to engage in the learning process. They drive it. My eighth grader recently protested when his father told him to think creatively about a problem at home because he gets too much practice. He said, “At my school it’s all about working creatively.”

This student-led learning and innovation should be SPREADING to other classrooms, not fighting to stay alive. As you know, the vision of the West Bend School District is to prepare all students for college readiness AND career success. Pathways supports this vision more fully than the other options in the upper grades.

Second, Charter schools are a really great thing.

Stanford University recently conducted a survey of charter schools in 41 urban areas around the nation. Their findings showed that the typical charter school student accumulated 40 additional days’ worth of learning in math and 28 days of reading than their peers in traditional classrooms. Over the four-year study, positive results increased.

This school hasn’t been given enough of a chance. It opened for grades 7-10 in 2013 and added a class per year until the start of the 2015 school year. In other words, it is only in its fourth school year serving all of the intermediate and secondary grades. By dissolving this school while it’s gaining momentum, you’re cutting off the experiment much too soon.

Additionally, why hasn’t the school district promoted Pathways?

At this point, there shouldn’t be any parent who doesn’t know about the school and yet I repeatedly explain the vision of Pathways to parents I meet at the library and the baseball diamond and school drop off and museums and community events. When I talk about the career readiness, the community involvement, and project-based approach, everyone is interested in the affordable alternative to traditional classrooms.

I question what the issue really is here.

It can’t be a money issue because the Equalized Assessed Value (EAV) of the District has increased 4 years in a row, and the tax rates for education have decreased. The S&P rating for the district is commendable AA. Last year’s budget promised no reduction in programming and courses, so what has changed. As Superintendent Kirkegaard explained in a November meeting, the District has the lowest debt ratio when compared to the surroundings areas.

So if money is not the problem and you want families to have choices within the District, it seems renewing the charter is an obvious decision. Thank you.

Jennie Duller from Germantown and her son Austin, who graduated from Pathways, also spoke Monday night.

Austin said, “I would still be in high school now if it wasn’t for the change of pace, change in thinking and most importantly, because of the coaches.  Because of Pathways I was able to complete my freshman, sophomore, junior, and senior year and graduate on time, over the next 3 years. I was able to acquire skills that have helped me in the workplace, as well as create a plan for after high school now.”

Duller echoed those thoughts. “I guarantee there are many students out there that would benefit from this program, parents that want the best education possible for their students. Pathways was the best thing that could have come along for us.”

Superintendent Don Kirkegaard responded to parents by apologizing for not making public the independent audit on Pathways. “I made some assumptions I should not of,” he said.

Kirkegaard then said the decision on whether to go forward was to review the purpose of Pathways and whether it is meeting the goal.

Kirkegaard then reviewed five elements including cost, enrollment, student performance, anticipated change in location, and the independent audit.

Kirkegaard mentioned the successful Charter programs at Kettle Moraine High School.

Kirkegaard mentioned how there were three Charter programs all located in the high school. “They have a phenomenal program,” he said. “Their program is more spelled out in each particular area.”

“Immediately we need to make sure to address all of the concerns of people in Pathways,” he said.

As far as location at Badger School or the high school. “We can make that happen at either school,” said Kirkegaard. “It will require some time and effort but the space is available especially as we look at some declining enrollments going forward.”

Board member Nancy Justman asked for a work session to have a conversation. Board member Joel Ongert said he wanted the board work session to direct it to the teachers.

Scheduling of that work session is underway and the board hopes to have a final decision on the future of Pathways Charter School at its meeting Jan. 28.

After the meeting parent Jennie Duller said, “I feel like it is true that the school district has failed Pathways. They really need to take a step back and gather all of the facts before making a final decision and not operate based off of assumptions that had been preconceived. I am very happy to hear that they will be doing just that next week and meeting with school officials and teachers. I believe from what I heard this evening that here is hope for Pathways to continue on after this year.”

Doman Davis said she felt disappointed. “I was proud of the way the students from Pathways advocated for themselves, and I thought the testimonials from the other parents were inspiring. I am deeply discouraged that the Board appears to not be moved by the very real and long-lasting impact this will have on so many families. I moved to the West Bend area specifically for my oldest child to attend Pathways. If Pathways is closed, I will have to transfer him to a high school outside the district or resume homeschooling. My three other children will transfer to a different district after they complete sixth grade.”

GameStop in Hartford closing                                     By Samantha Sali

GameStop in Hartford, 35 Liberty Avenue, is closing this Sunday, January 20, 2019. The news was confirmed by GameStop store manager, Zack Cull. “It is what it is,” he said. “We appreciate the community and our customers. A lot of people reached out to us and shared how upsetting the news was to hear.

The GameStop in Hartford is located in a strip center owned by Galway Companies. The Hartford location will be merging with the GameStop in West Bend, 1325 W. Paradise Drive.

The store manager in West Bend said they have already received some product from Hartford. Store officials said all gift cards will be valid at any GameStop location and if a Hartford customer has pre-ordered an item that will be available at the West Bend location on Paradise Drive.

The Hartford store is offering discounts until its closes, along with giveaways on the last day, Sunday, Jan. 20. GameStop has been in business since 1999.

Shopko Optical to remain open in West Bend, Grafton, Sussex

In the wake of Wednesday’s announcement regarding the bankruptcy filing and closure of neighborhood Shopko stores there is word a portion of the chain will remain open.

West Bend is on the list of store closings. Its last date is April 15, 2019.

According to Shopko, “All Optical locations below will remain open to serve you during store closing. Your Optical center will be relocated very soon to a new location with the same patient care you have come to expect from your Shopko Optical center.”

More details were posted in a press release from Shopko.

In order to position the Company for future success, Shopko has announced that it will be closing an additional 38 stores, relocating over 20 Optical centers to freestanding locations, and conducting an auction process for its pharmacy business. Throughout this process, all Shopko Optical centers and pharmacies remain open and continue to deliver the high-quality products and services to which its customers are accustomed. All other stores remain open as the Company continues to optimize its store footprint.

Additionally, encouraged by the performance of the four freestanding Optical centers that were opened in 2018, Shopko plans to continue to grow its optical business by opening additional freestanding Optical locations during 2019.

On the list of the Shopko Optical centers that will remain open include West Bend, Sussex and Grafton are on the list. As far as the new location is concerned it appears that information has yet to be released to the public. Clerks at the store indicated all information would have to come from Shopko Corporate.

In Mequon the Shopko Optical, 10996 N Port Washington Road, is on an end cap in a strip center across from the Chancery.  Aside from Shopko Optical the other store, Payless Shoes, may need to relocate. Staff at the shoe outlet located inside the Shopko in West Bend had no idea the future of Payless. The Payless website reads, “Entire Site Is 40% OFF Or More! Price Reflects Discount – Includes Clearance!

Updates & Tidbits

-The sale price for Egbert & Guido’s Express, Inc. in West Bend to Kwik Trip has been posted at $966,000. The store was owned by George and Kathy Muth. The parcel, 1300 E. Paradise Drive, sold on Jan. 4, 2019. That land was originally owned by Marie Muth and sold in March 19, 1997 as vacant land. It was turned over in a trust for $75,000. The current assessed value (2018) of the former Citgo property is $1,022,200.

– Meet outstanding teachers and staff during the Sunday, Jan. 27 St. Frances Cabrini Open House and Pancake Breakfast. Come join us 8:30 a.m. – noon.

– Hartford Union High School will name its next Superintendent on Jan. 28. Two candidates for the position include Cassandra Schug and Conrad Farner.

– Wednesday, Jan. 23 is Hamburger Night at the VFW Post 1393. Order your burgers to eat in the hall and enjoy a cocktail, or order your food to go for a small take-out charge.

-A new menu has been rolled out at ‘Eddie’s Moonlighting,’ 326 Commerce Street, in Barton. Eddie Daniel is leasing the popular Barton eatery. He opened Dec. 28, 2018. The new menu is a work in progress. Daniel said he will kick things off with a limited menu including pizza and burgers. He said all items from the heyday of Moonlighting will return including Joe’s fish fry.

– 19th annual Bridal Fair at Washington County Fair Park is Jan. 27. Over 70 vendors with everything from dresses to cakes, wedding venues to entertainment. Tickets $5 Pre-Sale $6 Day-Of

-Cedar Community Annual Chili Social and Used Book Sale is Saturday, Jan. 26, 2019 from 10 a.m. – 1 p.m. at Cedar Ridge Campus, 113 Cedar Ridge Drive, West Bend. Visit the train room. Tours of Cedar Community’s independent living apartments will also be available by appointment. Enjoy our famous chili, hot ham and cheese croissant, fruit, fresh baked cookie, coffee or hot apple cider – all for only $8.50! Quarts of chili to go for $7.75.

-St Lawrence and Resurrection K.C.’s are sponsoring a 14th annual card party Sunday, Jan. 27 at 1 p.m. at the Resurrection Parish Hall in Allenton. Entry fee is $5 includes play and lunch.

Find local news for free 7 days a week at