Category Archives: Off-Duty

Around the Bend by Judy Steffes

Pete Rettler and 25 Runs of Gratitude receives call from The Ellen Show

On the eve of Pete Rettler’s 25 Runs of Gratitude a conversation was held between Rettler and a staffer at The Ellen Show. That’s The Ellen Degeneres Show …. if you’re not familiar.

The hot topic of conversation is Rettler’s runs and how he is going to spend the next 25 days running 2.5 miles, trying to raise $25,000 for charities connected to the United Way of Washington County.

It’s his way of celebrating 25 years of good health, running every single day, and supporting the wonderful non-profit organizations in the community.

As far as the phone call from The Ellen Show. Rettler said his phone blew up while he was out on a run Tuesday afternoon. The call was coming from Burbank, California which is home to Walt Disney and Warner Bros. studio. He thought it was a spam call until he listened to the message.

The call was from Sommer Green, a staffer at The Ellen Show.

The pair talked about 15 minutes and then set up a Skype interview for Wednesday afternoon. Rettler conducted the interview from his office at Moraine Park Technical College.

“We talked about whether I watched The Ellen Show and then she asked if I could tell Ellen anything what that would be and I told her I was watching the George Bush funeral today and they mentioned his humor and making fun of himself and Ellen does the same thing. She tries to stay away from politics and I think that’s good because there are great people on both sides of the aisle,” said Rettler.

At one point Rettler said he thought he referred to Ellen as Roseanne … but he wasn’t quite sure.

“This definitely has ignited a spark and companies are coming forward to sponsor the run,” he said. Rettler will be culminating the 25 Runs of Gratitude with a big event New Year’s Eve Day, Dec. 31.

We are seeking sponsorships of $1,000 or less per day.  The $1,000 gift will be matched $1 for $1 as a new corporate leadership gift by West Bend Mutual Insurance and Commerce State Bank.  United Way will send an invoice for pledge made.  If you would like to be a sponsor call at 262-338-3821 or kbrandner@unitedwayofwashingtoncounty.org.

Pair of bald eagles spotted on Silver Lake

Curt Rudy and his wife got up Saturday morning and saw a unique sight out their bedroom window on Silver Lake. “We have high windows and cathedral ceilings and we saw him just sitting out their beautifully,” said Rudy.

“We look to the side and about 10-feet away there was a second one.”

The Rudys’ spotted not one but two bald eagles.

“I did some research and they hang around in pairs, for life, and the only time when they’re together is when they’re mating,” he said. “They mate anywhere from November to January.”

Rudy’s photo from his wife’s cell phone.

The Rudys’ live on the east side of the lake on Quaas Drive. “We’ve been out here 35 years,” he said. “This fall my neighbor about two doors down said he saw a bald eagle hovering over the lake.”

Rudy said the eagle was in one of their trees. Fascinated by the eagles, Rudy searched to see if anyone posted about the birds in the past or if there was a nest in the Washington County area.

“I found something that said there was a nest reported in 2016 in Washington County,” said Rudy.

Neighbors in Kewaskum have seen bald eagles. Doug Gonring phoned in a couple months ago that he spotted a bald eagle along Highway 45. Others have seen the majestic bird near Hon-E-Kor Golf Course in Kewaskum.

World War II veteran Howard Knox has died

It’s with a heavy heart we relay the news of the death of World War II veteran Howard Knox.

Knox and his trusty bugle were a familiar sight across Washington County. Knox was part of River City Irregulars. When he wasn’t playing in the band he was holding high the military signs to salute those who had been in service.

Most recently Knox addressed students during a Veterans Day Assembly at Addison Elementary.

Knox was the first Cub Scout in the state of Wisconsin and he received a bugle when he was 10 years old. “The bugle was given to me by the scout master and he used it during World War I,” he said. Knox was attending the University of Wisconsin when he joined the U.S. Navy.

Howard Knox died Wednesday morning, Dec. 5.  He was 99 years old. Knox will be buried in a private service at a cemetery in Whitewater next to his wife Pearl. A memorial service will be announced shortly.

Update on construction on Carl M. Kuss Field

It was August 7, 2018 when a ceremonial groundbreaking was held to signify the official start of the reconstruction project at Carl M. Kuss Field at Regner Park in West Bend.

The project would include a synthetic turf baseball field with a new, ADA equipped grandstand.

A grant from the Cal Ripken Sr. Foundation helped spark the $2 million project. Back in May, West Bend Mayor Kraig Sadownikow said “the $500,000 grant from the Cal Ripken Sr. Foundation was a game changer for the project.”

Then in October the West Bend Mutual Charitable Trust presented a $500,000 gift to help move the new field closer to fruition. Following Monday night’s, Dec. 3, Common Council meeting Sadownikow said the park will be done by June 15, 2019.

“Progress is going well. Soil borings are scheduled to be out on site before Christmas which is the first step in the process,” he said. “My understanding is fundraising is on schedule and we expect baseball by the summer of 2019.”

Sadownikow said if the current schedule holds the demolition work will be underway in March.

The WIAA spring baseball season begins March 23, 2019 with the first game slated for March 31.

The current scenario, which could possibly change, looks like the first season for WIAA spring baseball in West Bend will be played at the high school field on Decorah Road.

Franklin Bales has died

It is with a heavy heart to relay the news of the death of Franklin Bales of West Bend. Franklin and his wife Margaret were featured in an article this past October 25 highlighting their 70th wedding anniversary.

It was Sept. 25, 1948 when Franklin Bales and Margaret Weninger recited their vows to remain faithful and committed for the rest of their lives.

Franklin and Margaret Bales celebrate 70th wedding anniversary. Franklin, 91, was born on the family farm on Rusco Drive in West Bend. He and Margaret, 90, met at a dance.

“Our farm was just a mile west of Gonring’s Resort. I had broken up with a different guy and me and my girlfriends were standing there and then he (Franklin) came over and asked me to dance. Then he asked to take me home, then he asked me to another dance and from there we kept on going.”

Margaret said she “didn’t think of marriage right away. She just liked being with him.”

“I liked his laugh,” said Margaret. “We had fun.” Margaret was 18 years old when she met Franklin. She worked at Amity Leather at the time. Franklin was 19 and a half and he worked on the family farm. “I like her because she was easy going,” he said. “I could handle that.”

When Margaret turned 20 she and Franklin tied the knot. The wedding photos look straight out of ‘June Bride’ featuring an elegant Margaret and a dapper Franklin surrounded by a wedding party of eight set against a backdrop of blue skies, two meaty columns and drapes.

“The photographer didn’t come to the wedding, we had to go to the photographer,” Margaret said.

Franklin recalled a delayed honeymoon as chores on the dairy farm took precedent. “She had to can pears before we left and I had to fill the silo again,” he said.

A couple days later the pair were off gallivanting. “We drove into Canada and circled around a bit just so we could tell our friends we were in Canada,” said Margaret.

The couple moved in to Franklin’s home. “I’ve always live here,” he said. “Our bedroom is the room I was born in.”

Franklin C. Bales, 91 of West Bend passed away on Wednesday, December 5 at his home surrounded by his family. Franklin was born February 14, 1927, Valentine’s Day. This was appropriate since there was great love shown by Franklin for each of the family members in his very large extended family and he was loved by each family member as well. The greatest love was for his wife of 70 years, Margaret.

This special 70th anniversary on September 25, 2018 was honored with an event at the family farm attended by more than 40 family members. This was the dairy farm that Franklin was born on, grew up on, worked as a dairy farm and continued to live on in retirement until he passed away. The farm will be a century farm next year being in the Bales family for 100 years.

Franklin will always be known for his happy laugh, storytelling, willingness to help anyone no matter how busy farm life kept him, being a trusted advisor and always leading by example on how to live a good Christian life. But most of all Franklin was devoted to Margaret and as a team they grew more than crops and produced more than milk on their beloved family farm. They grew and produced a strong family as well. Franklin and Margaret never missed Sunday Mass until age prevented travel. Mealtime prayers, evening rosary, while holding hands and prayers throughout the day exemplified their devout faith.

Well into his 80’s Franklin volunteered at the Samaritan Health Center, St. Frances Cabrini and Meals on Wheels. Over the years extensive travel was made throughout the country. Sheepshead was a passion of his and Franklin and Margaret had several groups of friends they played with over the years. Franklin has now played his last hand but we are sure that if sheepshead is played in heaven, he is already dealing out the cards.

Visitation will be on Monday, December 10 from 2:00 p.m. until 3:45 p.m. at St. Frances Cabrini Catholic Church, 1025 S. Seventh Ave, West Bend with a Mass of Christian Burial at 4:00 p.m. Burial will take place Tuesday in Holy Angels Cemetery, Memorials, in lieu of flowers to the Paul Bales Memorial Scholarship at UWM Washington County or to St. Frances Cabrini Parish are appreciated.

Our family has lost a real treasure but we are all blessed to carry a bit of his spirit within us. The Schmidt Funeral Home in West Bend is serving the family.

Hartford musical raises money for LOVE>hate project               By Samantha Sali

The Hartford Union High School’s fall production of Little Shop of Horrors Musical raised $1,330 for the Sojourner Peace Center and LOVE>hate Project. “In Little Shop of Horrors, Audrey is abused by her boyfriend,” said Musical Advisor, Shelia Parker. “While the musical makes light of this situation, the students felt that they needed to take this opportunity to assist women who find themselves in abusive situations and to work to curb violence against women.”

The students in the production were able to collect $580 audience donations for the Sojourner Peace Center in Milwaukee and $750 for The LOVE>hate Project in Hartford. “The students will be meeting with Buck Blodgett, founder of The LOVE>hate Project, on December 20th to present a check to him for the donation,” said Parker.

Blodgett was extremely appreciative of the students’ decision to not only donate to the LOVE>hate Project, but raise awareness on the important topic of male against female violence. “I’m so very grateful that these talented students chose to remember Jessie and advance her mission,” Blodgett said. “Their giving will go directly into spreading Jessie’s messages far and wide through videos, social media, live radio campaigns, local projects to raise awareness and call to action, and more.”

Updates & Tidbits

Slinger High School and its production of “Wizard of Oz” has been nominated for 11 Jerry Awards.

– The Amity Rolfs Nativity has found a new home in West Bend. The display, which is a hallmark of the holiday, is in place on the front lawn of Holy Angels Parish on 138 N. Eighth Avenue.

– The Hartford-Slinger Boys Swim Team broke a relay record at their home meet on Saturday, December 1, 2018. The new meet record of 1:35:72 was for the 200 yard Free Relay with Adam Marx, Logan DeBack, Robert Klockow, and Dylan Webb.   Hat tip Samantha Sali

– Citizen Advocates Board of Directors promoted Jessica Frederick as the organization’s new Executive Director. Frederick has been a part of Citizen Advocates for 11 years, serving as a Community Organizer, then as the Program Coordinator.

– Don Muth and the University Ambassadors will host a breakfast for students on campus on Thursday, Dec. 13 at 8:30 a.m. – 10:30 a.m. as part of week-long events before final exams start.

-Rick Takacs at Meadowbrook Farm in West Bend has fresh balsam and Fraser fir Christmas trees for the upcoming holiday. Takacs gets his trees from the same vendor in Oconto County who once supplied the tree to the White House in Washington D.C. Tackas said he really liked the trees from the Vander Velden’s farm because they’re “tall and have super color.” Meadowbrook Farm is located at 1270 Meadowbrook Road.

– Tickets are now on sale for the amazing Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra Holiday Pops Concert on Dec. 11 at the West Bend High Schools Silver Lining Arts Center.

– Santa is flying in from the North Pole on Saturday, Dec. 8 and he’s landing at the West Bend Airport. Come out and have breakfast and give Santa a warm Washington County welcome! Santa lands around 8:30 a.m.

Hidden mural uncovered at Historic West Bend Theatre

A bit of an archeological find this week in downtown West Bend as colorful murals have been uncovered in the balcony level of the Historic West Bend Theatre.

“This is the first exposure and it’s the same pattern in each of the red panels,” said conservator Brian Fick with Evergreene Architectural Arts. “It’s a five-color stencil pattern on a shield shape with two birds; it looks a bit Germanic which, in an art-deco context is a little odd but it kind of suits the area.” Fick uncovered the mural using solvents and gels. A large breathing apparatus is on the floor next to the dusty theatre seats.

“I knew there was something there because I could see a bit of shadow,” he said. Pointing to the ceiling Fick highlights some of the black lines of another pattern of work.

“This piece will be documented and I’m taking samples,” Fick said. “We take the paint from the plaster it’s painted on all the way through to the top layer. We then cut that so you see the paint layers in cross section and that can give a better, more accurate representation of what the color was.”

Fick walks up the stairs in the balcony and points to another square of art behind some scaffolding.

“The painting that’s on these urns and the backgrounds is all original,” he said. “It’s just very dirty.” The iconic theatre dates to 1929.

“There are some historic photographs where you can see in black and white some painted decorations you just can’t make it out because the photos aren’t distinct enough,” said Fick. ”

Fick speculates on the reason the murals may have been painted over. “There may have been damage in some area and the thought was ‘who would fix this?’ Or they just wanted to lighten and brighten the place and they thought the easiest thing to do would be to paint everything a lighter color.” This phase of the research project started Monday and Fick is working through Friday.  A report will be delivered to the theatre board on the mural finding in a couple of weeks.

There are red rectangles below each decorative urn. Fick said the same exact pattern will be unveiled in every block.

Find local news for free 7 days a week at WashingtonCountyInsider.com

Packers Fire McCarthy

Wow.

GREEN BAY –  The Green Bay Packers relieved coach Mike McCarthy of his duties after a 20-17 loss to the Arizona Cardinals at Lambeau Field dropped the club to 4-7-1 on the season.

McCarthy is the first coach in the history of the franchise to be fired before the end of a full season.

“The 2018 season has not lived up to the expectations and standards of the Green Bay Packers. As a result, I made the difficult decision to relieve Mike McCarthy of his role as head coach, effective immediately,” Packers president and chief executive officer Mark Murphy said in a statement released by the team.

“Mike has been a terrific head coach and leader of the Packers for 13 seasons, during which time we experienced a great deal of success on and off the field. We want to thank Mike, his wife, Jessica, and the rest of the McCarthy family for all that they have done for the Packers and the Green Bay and Wisconsin communities. We will immediately begin the process of selecting the next head coach of the Green Bay Packers.”

Offensive coordinator Joe Philbin was named the interim head coach.

I think everyone assumed that McCarthy would not be the head coach of the Packers next year. It is time for a change. But to fire him in the middle of the season was a classless move by the Packers. I have no doubt that he will land a new head coaching job very shortly, and I have equally little doubt that the Packers made this move without having a real replacement in mind. Great… you fired the coach, Murphy… now what?

And frankly, looking at the game today, McCarthy didn’t lose the game. The players did. They played like crap. Specifically, Aaron Rodgers played like crap. And when it was the 4th quarter and the Packers were a touchdown behind, Rodgers was sitting on the bench in his big coat shooting the breeze with another player. He wasn’t engaged. He wasn’t fired up. He wasn’t leading. He was pouting.

It’s a bad day for the Packers organization, and it has nothing to do with the outcome of the game.

Around the Bend by Judy Steffes

Hartford shocked by death of community leader

Hartford is mourning the loss of a community leader as word spreads about the sudden death of Brian Wendorff.

Wendorff was president of Hartford Finishing. He reportedly died unexpectedly this morning, Nov. 27, of a massive heart attack.

Brother Gary Wendorff said the family is “doing as good as we can under the circumstances.”

“Brian took over for me as president of Hartford Finishing and I will now have to retake those responsibilities until we find another person,” said Gary Wendorff.

Hartford City Administrator Steve Volkert said the entire Wendorff family is truly like family to the city of Hartford. “Not only because of their businesses and the amount of people they employ but how much they do beyond the business world in their sponsorship of different things and their true passion for Hartford so we wish the Wendorff family our sincere condolences,” he said.

“I’m greatly surprised and saddened by the passing of Brian,” said Hartford mayor, Timothy Michalak. “The Wendorff family has been very generous to the Hartford community and it is an incredible loss. Our prayers truly go out to their family in this time of mourning.”

Hartford Area Development Corp.’s Executive Director,Tom Hostad, shared his condolences, “The Wendorff family has made significant contributions to the Hartford community over the years both as key employers through their SteelCraft, Hartford Finishing and Sno-way businesses and as exemplary corporate citizens providing significant financial support to numerous community improvement projects. As president of Hartford Finishing, Brian was a key member of the Wendorff team and he will be missed. Our thoughts and prayers are with the Wendorff family.”

Family will greet relatives and friends Sunday, December 2, 2018 from 2:00p.m. -6:00 p.m. St. Matthew Lutheran Church (308 Herman Street Iron Ridge, WI 53035) concluding with a Prayer Service and Reflections.

Additional visitation will be held Monday, December 3, 2018 from 10:00 a.m.-10:45 a.m. at St. Matthew Lutheran Church with Funeral Services at 11:00a.m. with Rev. Larry Mose officiating.

Immediately following services, Brian’s interment will take place in St. Matthew’s Lutheran Cemetery, Iron Ridge. Brian Wendorff was 52.

Kewaskum H.S. football coach resigns

Kewaskum High School varsity football coach Jason Piittmann, 48, announced to his team this week he was stepping down. “I have a lot on my plate,” said Piittmann. “Between teaching, being Athletic Director and coaching…”

Piittmann has been coaching 20 years at KHS.  The Indians finished the 2018 season with an overall record of 4-5 and 2-5 in conference. “I’m very proud of what we’ve done,” Piittmann said. “I know I’m going to miss it a lot.”

Piittmann has three children and said he knows he’ll be coaching again in his future. “It’s in my blood,” he said. “My 8-year-old son was most upset about missing his high school friends because he’s enjoyed coming to practice the last few years,” he said.

JV Football – 1999-2000 Varsity Assistant Football – 2001-2002 Head Football – 2003-2018.

Blessing this week for new Habitat ReStore in Germantown

Staff, volunteers and members of the board of directors of Habitat for Humanity Washington/Dodge Counties gave thanks Tuesday morning, Nov. 27 for the many gifts and support to make its new store happen in Germantown.

Habitat Executive Director Russ Wanta offered praise for help on the closing on the purchase of the store. “We had a very generous man from the Minneapolis area who generously donated the down payment so we could ultimately make this our Germantown ReStore,” said Wanta.

Habitat for Humanity purchased the former Gander Mountain building, W190 N10768 Commerce Circle in Germantown.

“I truly believe that it was simply by the Lord Almighty that this thing came about,” said Wanta. “This will be similar to Goodwill with a drive thru and if you really want to know what a God thing this is – Germantown Iron and Steel and I met structural Roger Enters who volunteered to engineer and then Keller Inc. out of Germantown called and they agreed to build another section on the back of the building and do it pro bono.”

“In a very, very short amount of time the pieces came together for our drive thru,” said Wanta. “And that really is how the Lord works. You lift up something in prayer and you can hear from Him.” Pastor Mike Moran from Kettlebrook Church in West Bend offered a prayer of thanks.

“Jesus identifies with the downtrodden,” said Moran. “He identifies with people in need and that’s our calling as well. The new Habitat ReStore is hoping to open Jan. 2, 2019 in Germantown.

It was March 2017 when Gander Mountain Company announced it filed Chapter 11 bankruptcy and the store in Germantown would be one of four in southeastern Wisconsin to close by May 2017. Habitat for Humanity currently owns about 7,000-square feet within a stone’s throw of the building on Commerce Circle. That ReStore is located at W188 N10707 Maple Road in Germantown.

The old Gander Mountain building had been initially listed for $3.9 million. Wanta said he worked on negotiating the sale directly with building owner Bill Lloyd. “We worked on the deal a long time and settled on a price of $1.8 million,” said Wanta.

West Bend School District to purchase property in Jackson

There was an 84-14 vote of the electorate (residents 18 years old and older and living in the West Bend School District) on Monday, Nov. 26, during a special meeting in the West Bend School District.

The vote encouraged the board to move forward with the purchase of a 7.3-acre parcel in Jackson.

During the regular board meeting on a vote of 4-1 the board approved moving forward with the purchase of property in Jackson. Chris Zwygart, Tonnie Schmidt, Joel Ongert, and Tiffany Larson voted in favor of purchase. Board member Ken Schmidt was the only dissenting vote. Board members Kurt Rebholz and Nancy Justman were absent.

The board said the purchase would not be more than $750,000.

A couple of notes:

-Taking a look at the current referendums the West Bend School District is currently 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. The target date to completely pay off the debt on both referendums is 2028.

-The referendum costs in August 2018 for a new Jackson Elementary and renovations to the high schools was estimated at about $50 million with an additional $35 million in interest for a total estimated at $85 million. The proposal for a current April 2019 referendum have not yet been released.

-Board member Ken Schmidt has talked about the interest costs being posted on the ballot to give a clear picture of how much the referendum would total. Board President Joel Ongert said in a meeting in August the interest would not be on the ballot.

-The West Bend School District last reported a drop in enrollment of 85 students.

-The School Board has regularly set aside $250,000 for the Jackson Elementary Fund, also known as Fund 46. During a meeting in May it was noted there was $4 million in Fund 46 however $2.5 million was designated for Jackson Elementary.

-WBSD for 2018-19 school year has mill rate $7.97 cents.

-Fund 46 would have been used to offset the cost of a future referendum involving Jackson Elementary. This year, for the first time since the fund started, the board approved setting aside $20,000 for the Jackson Fund. Superintendent Don Kirkegaard said they would see “how our budget is performing.” He said the district would look at whether to contribute to the Jackson Fund in spring 2019.

-During a meeting in August, Bray Architects recommended the Jackson Fund not be saved to reduce the referendum but instead to pay down debt.

-In August the board discussed a new two-story Jackson Elementary.

-Over the summer the district spent $16,500 on a survey regarding the future of Jackson Elementary and the West Bend High Schools.  Only some, not all, of the survey results were shared with the community.

Hit-and-run driver damages fence at St. Peter Parish

Rev. Richard Stoffel of St. Peter Church in Slinger is offering thanks that nobody was hurt, that’s after Slinger police contacted him Sunday afternoon with news a hit-and-run driver damaged property at the church on Hwy 175 and Beine Street.

“Police said the driver damaged a portion of fence in the parking lot by church office,” said Stoffel. “The sad thing is volunteers just finished putting up the fence and gate as part of play space for children.”

Stoffel said a witness, who is also a parishioner, saw someone ram into the fence, get tangled it in and then ran off.

“What’s kinda sad is we just spent $3,000 on it and bam boom it gets wiped out,” said Stoffel. “This is a fence that protects our children during playtime and it segregates our groups using the church. It’s kind of disappointing.”

The parish has turned in paperwork to Catholic Mutual. Police were also given a description of the vehicle and a partial license plate was left behind along with other parts.

Slinger police issued the post below:

On 11-25-18 around 3:35 PM, Slinger officers were requested to respond to a Hit and Run single-vehicle crash near Hwy 175 and Beine Street.

The suspect vehicle is described by a witness as a dark-colored pickup truck with a hitch cargo carrier. The truck caused a significant amount of property damage to a local church, and left the scene without stopping.

The suspect vehicle will be missing a headlight and part of its chrome bumper trim. The suspect vehicle is believed to be a 2003-2007 Chevrolet Silverado or Avalanche based on vehicle parts left at the scene.

If anyone has any information regarding this incident or knows the identity of the driver, we ask that you please contact the Slinger Police Department at (262)-644-6441.

Oh deer…. In downtown West Bend shopping district

The downtown West Bend Business Improvement District is teeming with deer as a herd of 30 decorative figures have been set up strategically in the shopping district. The BID paid for the deer and Chris and Larry Porter along with Anna Jensen from the Downtown West Bend Association assembled the figures. Some of the deer are lit with white lights. The wire figures include majestic bucks, does nestling on the ground and young, smaller figures. The BID has been working to brighten up the downtown for the Christmas shopping season.

The deer join decorative wreaths and boughs and the swags on the light poles.

Students at Holy Angels celebrate 175th anniversary of Milwaukee Archdiocese

More than 300 students at Holy Angles School in West Bend gathered on the playground Wednesday morning to ring in the 175th anniversary of the Milwaukee Archdiocese.

“I liked it a lot because it was really fun,” said second grader Gianna Reisweber.

Students stood in a sun puddle on the blacktop as the clock struck 10 a.m. and the mighty toll of the church bell kicked off the celebration.

Bundled in winter coats and knit hats the students’ clenched bells on a string.

“Bell ringing was really fun because we got to do it with whole school,” said 7-year-old Addison Schrauth.

Principal Mike Sternig took a moment to explain the history of the start of the Milwaukee Archdiocese and how Bishop John Martin Henni and four priests help serve the areas known as the Midwest territory.

Seconds after Sternig’s 101 primer on the Archdiocese anniversary the bells of Holy Angels tolled and students energetically joined in.

Below is the homily from Archbishop Jerome Listecki regarding the establishment of the Diocese of Milwaukee 175 years ago.

In my homily, I mentioned the appointment of Bishop John Martin Henni. He was given the task of leading a diocese that covered the entire territory of the state of Wisconsin, plus additional Midwest areas. He was assigned only four priests to cover this vast responsibility. He had no financial resources. Is it any wonder that Bishop Henni was reported to have gone down to the shores of Lake Michigan to cry?

Bishop Robert William Muench, a native son who preached the 100th anniversary celebration, claimed that Bishop Henni’s valiant apostolic soul broke for a moment in grief, and gushed forth its flood of tears. At that moment, he turned to the Lord for help. The community of his brothers and sisters of the faith all placed their trust in God, and they began the work given to them.

175 years later, we stand on the shoulders of the men and women who have used their tears, the sweat of their brows and their personal sacrifices to carry out the mission. They plowed the fields, planted the seeds and harvested the bounty of God’s graces to produce parishes, hospitals, schools, orphanages, and the charitable and devotional organizations that define us.

Relax U opens in Downtown West Bend

Just in time to help relieve the stress of the holiday season a new store, Relax U, has opened, 155 N. Main Street in Downtown West Bend. Relax U is owned and operated by Evan Mills.

“We provide a unique, relaxing massage experience, in fully-automated massage chairs that cater to your every need,” said Mills.  “In addition to providing a relaxing experience, we also sell massage chairs so you can enjoy a perfect massage every day in the comfort of your home.”

Appointments can be booked online, or walk in and make an appointment for a 30-minute massage. That is available for $15 if you buy a 10 pack. One-hour massages are also available.

“The chairs will recline and put you in a zero-gravity position,” said Mills. “The chairs are pre-programmed; there are eight settings and the chairs heat up.”

Relax U opens daily from 10 a.m. – 6 p.m.  You must be 18 years old to participate.

Call to make an appointment at 262-346-8448. Gift certificates are also available – a perfect gift for the person who has everything. One size fits all.

Updates & Tidbits

– Don Muth and the University Ambassadors will host a breakfast for students on campus on Thursday, Dec. 13 at 8:30 a.m. – 10:30 a.m. as part of week-long events before final exams start. “Keep Calm and Study On” includes ‘Nerf Wars’ in the gym, Therapy Dogs, Coffee/Games/Puzzles on 3rd, Origami in the Library and some free snacks throughout the week.

– Pat Groth is teaching snowmobile safety class Dec. 4, 5 and 6 at Riverside Park in West Bend.

-Rick Takacs at Meadowbrook Farm in West Bend has fresh balsam and Fraser fir Christmas trees for the upcoming holiday. Takacs gets his trees from the same vendor in Oconto County who once supplied the tree to the White House in Washington D.C. Tackas said he really liked the trees from the Vander Velden’s farm because they’re “tall and have super color.” Meadowbrook Farm is located at 1270 Meadowbrook Road.

– Tickets are now on sale for the amazing Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra Holiday Pops Concert on Dec. 11 at the West Bend High Schools Silver Lining Arts Center.

– Santa is flying in from the North Pole on Saturday, Dec. 8 and he’s landing at the West Bend Airport. Come out and have breakfast and give Santa a warm Washington County welcome! Santa lands around 8:30 a.m.

– Judges have turned in their final decision regarding entrants during Sunday night’s West Bend Christmas Parade.

Adult:    1st place – West Bend Children’s Theatre

2nd place – West Bend Moose Lodge

3rd place – Shepherd of the Hills

Youth:    1st place – Faith United Church of Christ

2nd place –  US Snowboard

3rd place – West Bend Catholic Schools

Business:    1st place – City of West Bend Public Works

2nd place – Hawk Construction

3rd place – All Above Dance Company

Tradition of staking wooden geese for Christmas 

While growing up in Whitefish Bay my father had a workshop in the basement. There were nearly 10 table saws, a drill press, a lathe, screwdrivers and wrenches for any emergency and an assortment of worldly glues and fassen-alls.

My dad had quite the reputation for being able to repair anything. One Halloween someone smashed my 4-year-old cousin’s pumpkin. She said, “I’m not worried… Uncle Al can fix it.”

Evenings were spent in the basement roller skating around his sawdust. He’d encourage our creativity and say, “You draw it and we’ll make it together.”

One year my mom found a pattern for holiday geese in a Good Housekeeping magazine. She received the same instructions, “You draw it and we’ll make it.”

So she gave it to me – the one who could draw.

Together my dad and I made four wooden geese. Cut them out on the jigsaw and painted them.

Together, during the cover of night, we placed them in the front yard to surprise my mother the next morn.

During the day, from the living-room window the geese looked like they just landed; red bows around their necks, taking a break from their holiday flight.

That tradition of placing the geese in the yard continues.

My father is almost 93 now, he is strong like bull but Alzheimer’s has robbed him of his memory. We take it in stride.

He doesn’t remember making the geese, so I remind him.

Then we slip outside.

He asks, more than once, “Do you have a hammer? Do you have a stake to get these started?”

I do. I’m prepared, I had a good teacher.

Then he’ll say, “This isn’t a good hammer.”

It’s his hammer from his workshop that I now have in my basement.  I remind him it has sufficed in the past.

We set up the geese together.

They’ve become weather worn over the years … a little like my dad. He is slow to get to the ground and take a knee, but his hammer strikes are strong and steady.

I know wielding a hammer makes him feel worthy. He has a gruff, German determination.

The ground is wet and his nose drips from the cold.

He finishes the setup in about five minutes and steps back to quietly review his work. Somewhere in there I know he still feels it’s a nice holiday surprise for his wife, who will look out their second-story window and see the geese have landed again for the season.

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Safest Hunt on Record

Nice work, hunters!

MADISON, Wis. (AP) – The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources says this year’s gun deer season set a record for hunter safety.

Three hunters suffered non-fatal shooting injuries during the hunt that began Nov. 17 and ended Sunday. DNR conservation warden Jon King says that make it the state’s safest gun deer season ever. Prior to this year, the DNR considered 2014 the safest with four non-fatal shooting injuries.

The Journal Sentinel reports there hasn’t been a shooting fatality during a Wisconsin gun deer season since 2015, when there were three.

Around the Bend by Judy Steffes

Habitat for Humanity Washington Co. buys new building in Germantown

Habitat for Humanity Washington/Dodge Counties will close on the purchase of the former Gander Mountain building, 10862 Commerce Circle in Germantown.

Russ Wanta, executive director of Habitat for Humanity of Washington and Dodge Counties Wisconsin, said they are hoping to close on Nov. 25.

“A prayer service is set for Nov. 27 if the whole transaction goes smoothly and we plan to occupy the building.”

The building was listed for quite a while but the sale was “completely negotiated between myself and Bill Lloyd, the owner of the building,” said Wanta.

“We’d been looking at the building ever since the announcement came Gander Mountain would be leaving,” said Wanta.

The initial asking price for the property was $3.9 million. “That’s where it started and we worked a long time and settled on a price of $1.8 million,” he said.

“I believe this is a good investment because No. 1 we have so much product in storage right now and when you’re in the thrift business having product in storage is not an effective way to operate,” he said. “So we have literally filled up well in excess of 6,000-square-feet of storage and we need more square footage and this building offers us that.

“We’re not as donor friendly as we wish to be and we look at how St. Vincent De Paul and Goodwill does its thrift business and we really want to make our building much more donor friendly and we will be putting on an addition to have a drive-thru drop off and things of that nature to better serve our donors. In the thrift business donors are the key.

No. 3 – we aren’t competing with the internet. The reason big box stores are downsizing or going out of business is because they cannot compete with online business. Being in the thrift business all of our product is unique and we feel this is a good investment.

Finally the prices of renting spaces throughout Washington County are growing. For literally a quarter of the space  – it’s a good fiscal decision as well.

For all these reasons we felt this was a really good purchase for us.

Allenton man killed in two-vehicle accident

A 58-year-old Allenton man was killed following a two-vehicle accident Thursday, Nov. 22, in Portage County. According to the Portage County Sheriff’s office: On Nov. 22, 2018, at approximately 6:24 p.m., the Portage County Sheriff’s Office received a 9-1-1 call of a two-vehicle crash on US Highway 10 near County Highway B in the Town of Amherst.

Upon arrival, deputies discovered a full-sized Dodge Ram pick-up truck towing a loaded utility trailer, was eastbound on Highway 10 crossing the bridge over Highway B.

The driver of the truck, 58-year-old Douglas Curley from Allenton, Wisconsin, lost control of his vehicle and entered the median. Once in the median, the trailer detached from the truck, and the truck became airborne entering the westbound lanes.

A Jeep Cherokee, operated by 61-year-old Michael Shimeta from Cudahy, along with his passenger, 62-year-old Terry Scheer from Franklin, was westbound on Highway 10, when the Dodge landed partially on the Jeep, before rolling off and striking the outside guardrail.

Emergency crews arrived and extricated the two occupants of the Jeep, who were transported to Saint Michael’s Hospital with serious injuries. Curley did not survive the crash, and was the only occupant of the Dodge.

West Bend Christmas Parade is Sunday, Nov. 25

Looks like it will be a pleasant evening with comfortable temps for the 66th annual West Bend Christmas Parade. The event will step off at 5 p.m. on Sunday, Nov. 25. The parade will head south from the corner of Silverbrook and Main Street, turn east on Cedar Street and jump back onto Main Street and through the downtown. Click here to see complete details on the parade route.

This year the parade is expected to have the largest draw ever with floats, animals, and bands.

Also note a switch up in the start time for Enchantment in the Park on that Sunday.  Enchantment will open at 6 p.m. Don’t forget to sign up for the Dec. 2 Husar’s Diamond Dash at 4:30 p.m.

Behind-the-scenes: Fixing the Baby Jesus from the Amity Rolfs Nativity

On Monday, Nov. 19 the Downtown West Bend Association will work alongside volunteers and set up a new nativity in Old Settler’s Park. The nativity is sponsored by a generous donation from Thrivent Financial.

In 2017 the vintage Amity Rolfs Nativity experienced a pretty rough season. The life-size nativity display is a holiday hallmark for West Bend. During the initial setup one of the wise men suffered a bad accident and needed a head transplant as the hard, foam material simply gave way.

August Peters from the Museum of Wisconsin Art was hired to mend the wise man. He said it wasn’t the first time the head broke off and he managed to repair it in a timely fashion.

However, tragedy struck shortly thereafter when someone vandalized the 60-year-old nativity, ripping the baby Jesus figure from its crèche. Police found the remains of the figure however its arm was broken off and the head was missing.

A reward was offered but the case quickly went cold and the entire nativity was moved to storage shortly after Dec. 25 to avoid anymore vandalism. Behind the scenes the remains of the baby Jesus were put in a box and later retrieved from the West Bend Police Department.

Quietly, over the summer, the figure was repaired. Locksmith and avid woodcarver Terry Vrana crafted a new head and reattached the hands on the figure.

Vrana said he felt it important to rescue as much of the original piece as possible. The repair took months of dedication and Vrana’s top-notch craftsmanship is evident; you cannot even see a seam in his handiwork. While a new nativity will be placed in the center square the original Rolfs nativity has been adopted by Holy Angels Parish and will be on display this year near the rectory.

If you see Terry Vrana please offer him a kind-hearted ‘thank you’ for using his time and talents to return the original centerpiece to the Amity Rolfs Nativity.

Unveiling the new nativity in West Bend

There was a nice muffled-mitten applause Monday afternoon as the Downtown West Bend Association unveiled its new nativity.

The display was made possible via a very generous donation from Thrivent Financial. Ramiro Paz with Thrivent Financial said the employees at the company thought sponsoring the nativity was a perfect fit with their mission and giving back to West Bend.

“We felt we just had to,” he said. “There was a need in the community and we were happy to step up.”

The Downtown West Bend Association put the wheels in motion to secure a new nativity after some vandalism in 2017 to the historic Amity Rolfs nativity. The baby Jesus figure has been mended, thanks to the time and talents of local locksmith Terry Vrana. The Amity Rolfs nativity is being moved and will be on display at Holy Angels Parish. A trail camera is now in place to help deter vandalism.

Lomira man dies in farming accident

Family and friends in the Slinger and Allenton area are mourning the loss of 36-year-old Timothy Schwinn. Shawano County Coroner Brian Westfahl said an emergency rescue call came in Friday, Nov. 16.

“The incident occurred in the Town of Navarino,” said Westfahl. Shawano County Sheriff’s Captain Tom Tuma said Theda Star was requested at 7:32 p.m.

Westphal said there “was a gravity box and Tim ended up pinned underneath it by a tire.” A gravity box is used to haul grain. Tuma said the incident is not under investigation. Schwinn was reportedly working on his cousin’s farm when the accident occurred.

Timothy Donald Schwinn, 36, of Lomira, passed away on Nov. 16, 2018 from a tragic farming accident. Timothy was born on Feb. 2, 1982 at St. Josephs Community Memorial Hospital in West Bend. He attended Slinger High School, graduating in 2001, and continued his education at MPTC graduating with a degree in CNC technology. He married Melanie Schwartz on June 30th, 2007 at Resurrection Catholic Parish in Allenton. He was employed at DMT Workholding.

He was also a member of Allenton Sno Pacers, Campbellsport gun club, Ashford Sportsmens Club, T&A BBQ, and Sheboygan Walleye Club and a proud member of the NRA.

The family would like to thank Navarino-Lessor first responders and EMS, Flight for Life crew, and Shawano County Sherriff. Private services were held.

New sport complex complete at Regner Park

The new Milwaukee Bucks West Bend Court Project is complete. The complex is part of the upgrade at Regner Park, 800 N. Main Street. The sport court is made of a grid of super-strong material for year-round play. The hoops have a glass backboard and the height can be adjusted. There is also a pulley and crank system to raise or lower nets for volleyball or pickleball.

Debbie Butschlick named Coach of the Year

After capturing the Wisconsin Collegiate Conference divisional and state titles in volleyball, UWM at Washington County volleyball coach Debbie Butschlick was honored with the conference coach of the year award.

Butschlick who serves as both athletic director and volleyball coach, began coaching the Wildcats volleyball team in 1985. Since then, the team won the WCC conference championship nine times, advanced to the final-four state competition 15 times and earned the state title five times (1992, 2002, 2003, 2013, 2018). This is the 10th time Butschlick has received the coach of the year honor.

Wisconsin’s Hunting Heritage                                   By Al Wisnefske

Over 600,000 hunters are expected to fill Wisconsin’s landscape for the 2018 gun deer season. To put this number into perspective, the amount of hunters would make it the 5th largest army in the world. According to the Wisconsin DNR, deer hunting alone is estimated to contribute $2.5 billion annually to Wisconsin’s economy. And don’t forget “Widows Weekend.” From big box stores to local bars, hunters and non hunters converge this time of year.

Conservation groups such as the Quality Deer Management Association (QDMA) are investing resources everyday to protect this hunting heritage on a national level. Since 1988, the QDMA has worked to promote sustainable, high quality deer populations, wildlife habitats, and hunter experiences. They do this through research, education, advocacy, and hunter recruitment.

To bring it home on a local level, they rely on volunteers to start QDMA Branches and spread the word about sound deer management, and most importantly, the protecting and expanding of the hunting heritage. They currently have over 60,000 members and over 180 branches throughout the country.

The QDMA Kettle Moraine branch serves southeastern Wisconsin, and is stationed in West Bend. Back in July we held our first banquet and exceeded our estimates for participation. It was a fantastic event that will open the door for more events in 2019. To help spread the word we are currently looking to book our 2019 events. Ideas that have been tossed around our food plots and property tour days and another banquet. We are always looking for more volunteers and interested parties to attend events.

If you are interested in volunteering or attending events please contact Branch President Al Wisnefske at (262) 305-7494, awisnefske@ucbadgerland.com.

West Bend to start first Girl Troop through Boy Scout Association  By Steve Naumann

Attention:  Are you a female between ages 11 and 17? Do you enjoy being outdoors?

Have you always wanted to do what boys do in Boy Scouts?

Join West Bend’s very first Girl Troop through the Boy Scout Association. Come learn more on Nov. 26 at 7 p.m. at Fifth Avenue Methodist Church 323 S. Fifth Ave.

Note: A parent or guardian must accompany the female youth at this free informational meeting.

Updates & Tidbits

The 4th Annual West Bend Santa Ramp-up kicks off at 10 a.m. at West Bend Tap & Tavern on Sunday, Nov. 25. Get your red on and join the ride.

There will be a meeting Monday, Nov. 26 at 5:15 p.m. as the West Bend School District reviews a request for a $50 million school referendum ($85 million in real dollars with interest) to build a new elementary school in Jackson, remodel the high schools’ cafeteria, expand the weight room, fitness center and locker rooms, as well as improve safety and security. This referendum is on top of the current $130 million referendum debt. The meeting is at the WBSD Office, 735 S. Main Street, West Bend.

-On Nov. 27 at 6:45 p.m. there is an event at the West Bend Community Library regarding a presentation about the teachings of evolution. The event is free and open to the public.

– Don Muth and the University Ambassadors will host a breakfast for students on campus on Thursday, Dec. 13 at 8:30 a.m. – 10:30 a.m. as part of week-long events before final exams start. “Keep Calm and Study On” includes ‘Nerf Wars’ in the gym, Therapy Dogs, Coffee/Games/Puzzles on 3rd, Origami in the Library and some free snacks throughout the week.

– Pat Groth is teaching snowmobile safety class Dec. 4, 5 and 6 at Riverside Park in West Bend.

-Rick Takacs at Meadowbrook Farm in West Bend will be unloading fresh balsam and Fraser fir Christmas trees from his truck as he preps for the upcoming holiday. Takacs gets his trees from the same vendor in Oconto County who once supplied the tree to the White House in Washington D.C.   Tackas said he really liked the trees from the Vander Velden’s farm because they’re “tall and have super color.” Meadowbrook Farm is located at 1270 Meadowbrook Road.

– Tickets are now on sale for the amazing Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra Holiday Pops Concert on Dec. 11 at the West Bend High Schools Silver Lining Arts Center.

-The Allenton Area Advancement Association (AAAA) is hosting “Lighting of the Bridge” on Friday, Nov. 30 at Riveredge Park in Allenton. The park is located on WI-33 (Main Street) on the west side of Allenton along the banks of the Rock River.

Historic Timmer’s Resort remembers food served

Barbara Johnson’s book ‘Timmer’s Resort at Big Cedar Lake …a journey through time’ is available for sale at Timmer’s Resort.

During this Thanksgiving there are quite a few citations in Johnson’s book about food and service at Timmer’s Resort. It was an era that started in the mid-1860s after President Abraham Lincoln delivered his Gettysburg Address and Mathias Timmer married Margaretha Gehl.

“When guests completed their long and rugged journey to the resort and their horse-drawn conveyance deposited them at the Timmer carriage stone, oldest daughter Mary Timmer, in her official capacity as hostess, was there to greet them.

“Caring for guests was as rugged as their ride, as there was no running water, electricity or indoor plumbing. Water for pitchers and bowls in the guest rooms had to be pumped and carried from the hand pump at the well. Hams and bacons were smoked, and bread and pies baked in the ovens in the original stone house which still stands adjacent to the main building.” – Beryl Timmer

Feeding men who came to harvest ice on Big Cedar Lake was a full-time job according to Beryl Timmer. 

“Cecilia fed the workers well. The meal consisted of canned beef or pork, which she had canned herself. Potatoes and vegetables rounded out the meal with probably a lot of homemade bread. The vegetables would have been canned beans or cabbage or carrots from their root cellar. Cabbage was also made into sauerkraut in large crocks. By the time Cecilia finished feeding and cleaning up for one meal it was probably time to start fixing the next meal.”

Hotel Timmer: John and Beryl Timmer managed the resort and then became owners in 1952.

“When we took over the resort it was during the worrisome years of the Second World War with the ensuing problems of food and gas rationing. Guests were reluctant to relinquish their precious food and gas stamps as requested by the government so much time was spent by the management on bartering and improvising so (our) guests could be housed and fed.”

“A large garden was planted for fresh fruits and vegetables, but later the surplus was picked and canned and placed in the basement until the hotel inspector said “home canned” foods could not be served to guests… That ended the garden and poor Henry’s (the Gardner) job as well as (my) profession of food processor. The garden was supplanted by badminton and shuffleboard courts.”

LaVonne “Vonnie” (Conrad) Mueller worked as a waitress at Timmer’s Resort through the summers of 1953 and ’54. She shares her experiences from that time:

“We would state our day at 7 a.m. and finished around 7 – 8 p.m. Coffee was made by the waitresses in the large coffee urns (or vats). Miniature creamers were filled for coffee drinkers… juice pitchers prepared. Butter packs were placed on mini butter places (creamers and plates matched the dinnerware). Tables were set and cleared after each meal by the waitresses. The dishes were restaurant style of heavy-duty, plain white stoneware. Thick, sturdy glassware was used.

Breakfast and lunch were served in an informal fashion… paper napkins used. White linens were used for dinner in a more formal fashion. My mother taught me the proper place setting for setting the table. Of course, Beryl gave us specific instructions to: the correct way of serving our guests… “Sere from the left, remove from the right;” the order in which the courses should be served; handling of trays; taking guests’ orders; efficiently serving our guests – always with a pleasant smile!

The waitresses didn’t just wait tables. We also would be called to do certain things in the kitchen like make radish roses or clean the leaf lettuce that was grown in the garden on the property.

Beryl would pick the leaf lettuce and then we’d clean it. Beryl did her major shopping at the A&P in West Bend and she personally selected for each menu.

We’d serve the three meals a day to the guests who had two choices to pick from breakfast, lunch and dinner. We took our meals after the guests had eaten. Yummy homemade tortes, cakes and pies were a special treat for guests.

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Scientists Want to Blot Out the Sun to Fight Global Warming

What could possibly go wrong?

(CNN)Scientists are proposing an ingenious but as-yet-unproven way to tackle climate change: spraying sun-dimming chemicals into the Earth’s atmosphere.

The research by scientists at Harvard and Yale universities, published in the journal Environmental Research Letters, proposes using a technique known as stratospheric aerosol injection, which they say could cut the rate of global warming in half.
The technique would involve spraying large amounts of sulfate particles into the Earth’s lower stratosphere at altitudes as high as 12 miles. The scientists propose delivering the sulfates with specially designed high-altitude aircraft, balloons or large naval-style guns.

Poop Cubed

Huh.

(CNN)A team of scientists claims to have unraveled one of the animal kingdom’s more peculiar mysteries: why wombat poop is cube-shaped.

The wombat, native to Australia, produces about 80 to 100 cubes of poop each night. It is known to use the dung to mark its territory, depositing piles of the stuff outside burrows and on top of rocks and logs, according to Australian Geographic.
But how the wombat produces the cubed shapes is a phenomenon that has puzzled many observers of the furry marsupial.
Researchers, led by the Georgia Institute of Technology’s Patricia Yang, said they have uncovered the digestive processes behind the mystery and presented their findings at the 71st Annual Meeting of the American Physical Society’s Division of Fluid Dynamics in Atlanta on Sunday.
The wombat’s cubed faeces is a trait that’s unique in the animal world, the researchers said, as cubes are usually created by cutting or molding.
“In the built world, cubic structures are created by extrusion or injection molding, but there are few examples of this feat in nature,” authors of the project said in the study’s abstract.

Around the Bend by Judy Steffes

New café and bakery coming to West Bend

There’s a new bakery and cafe opening in West Bend. Katherine Schenk and her sister Sara Young will be opening Cafe Floriana in one of the retail spots on the lower level of the Cast Iron building, 611 Veterans Avenue.

“Our parents live in the building and we would come visit them and there was no place to get a cup of coffee and a sandwich or muffin,” said Schenk. “We recognized there was a need here in the building and there was space available.”

The space for the cafe is currently under construction. “We’re about 10 – 12 weeks away from completion and we hope to be open in mid-February,” Schenk said.

The sisters do not have any experience in the restaurant industry. “Neither waitressing or hostessing,” said Schenk. “My background is Active-Duty Coast Guard and I was a middle school math and science teacher.”

Young has a background in child development and finance. “I was doing a lot of project management and office management,” she said.

The sisters often talked about going into business together. “Sara is an awesome home baker,” said Schenk. “That’s why we honed in on opening the cafe.”

Homemade pie is Young’s claim to fame. “Our grandmother baked and our mother had a catering business for a while in Alaska and we helped with that so the baking has always been in the family and it seemed a really good fit,” she said.

“It does go beyond the coffee and pie because we really want to be part of the community and offer a gathering place for the residence and the people in the neighborhood and our focus will be the hospitality aspect and making our customers feel welcome,” Schenk said.

The sisters have been working on the bakery idea for a while. They found they’re on the same page with a majority of their business plan including a primary goal of providing “hospitality.”

“The culture we want to install is really important to both of us,” said Young.  “We want people to feel welcome with delicious food and delicious coffee and we’re on the same page with the hospitality aspect. Growing up it’s something our parents instilled in us; the caring for people and food is love.”

Aside from crafting a menu and a business plan, the sisters also spent time tasting a lot of coffee.

“I wasn’t familiar with the Stone Creek brand out of Milwaukee,” said Schnek. “We had our list of cafes to visit and the Stone Creek coffee is smooth and delicious and their work ethic and vision is similar to ours.”

A friend with graphic-art talent designed the logo for the cafe. Young scrolled to a photo on her phone of a pallet of colors, blues and light blues that will be the theme. Asked to describe the interior Schenk said “I can see it in my mind.”

“It’s going to smell so good,” she said. “You’ll get that coffee, cinnamon, vanilla, warmth and it will make you want to come in, sit down and stay awhile.

“It’ll be modern and clean and inspired by my time spent in Malta.”

While homemade pies will be one of Young’s specialties, she said they will have a variety of delicious bakery to fit the rhythm and the culture of the community.

“We were looking for something quick for the to-go crowd and we are talking about in the future, on evenings or weekends, to do dessert night,” said Young. “We want people to enjoy a wider variety from pies to crisps to cobblers and all the lovely local fresh fruits we can use.”

While the idea of the cafe has been on the table since February 2018, the sisters have been busy the last few months getting an education on the food-service industry.

“We’ve been taking coffee-making classes at Stone Creek in downtown Milwaukee as they’ll be providing our coffee,” said Schenk. “We’ve also gone to food-handler safety courses and food hygiene classes and a couple business classes at Moraine Park Technical College and we took some baking classes at the MPTC Fond du Lac campus.”

On the flip side, Young has been baking up a storm. “We’ve been testing recipes and tasting them and fine tuning our menu,” Schenk said.

The new cafe will be located on the lower retail level of the Cast Iron facility. The shop will be located in 1,500-square-feet of a spot just around the corner and to the east of the Children’s Hospital corner. “There are five suites on that side and we’ll be in the middle because it just best suited our needs size-and-space wise,” said Schenk.

We took a peek at the new space under construction. The ladies were surprised as much as anyone about the extent of demolition needed to put in plumbing. Contractors apparently ran into a subfloor. Anyone with knowledge of the old West Bend Aluminum Company and what might have been in that area is welcome to chime in.

Cast Iron was once home to the West Bend Aluminum Company and in 2016 owner, Jane Hendricks, completed a major remodel and turned the old factory into high-end apartments featuring 13-foot ceilings with exposed duct work, granite counter tops and stainless steel appliances. While the studio units and 2-and-3-bedroom apartments rented out Phase II of development started. The retail began to take off with Tochi Ramen and the Rivershores YMCA next door along with new neighbor Children’s Hospital which moved in January 2018.

In its heyday the West Bend Company was a place where men met their wives, where their children worked and their children worked. West Bend Company was one of the largest employers in the community as entire families would be on the lines manufacturing aluminum cookware or electrical appliances. The new Cafe Floriana should be open in early 2019.  The early plan is to employ about a dozen people and be open seven days a week.

Café Soeurette celebrates 11-year anniversary

When you meet a person for the first time, typically one of the first questions you ask is “What do you do for a living?” or “Where do you work?” Years ago, for an individual with special needs there was not always an answer. Times have changed.

When Drew was born with Down syndrome 29 years ago, the last thing we were thinking about was “What will he do for a job? “ As he entered West Bend High School however, the “what’s next after graduation?” was an important question for the future.

Easterseals of Southeast WI helped Drew discover the job he now loves. Their Lilyworks employment programs offer a variety of training programs designed to help individual succeed in the workplace.

The commercial training and catering kitchen teaches certification in ServSafe food handling and all aspects of prep, cooking, cleanup and service for the hospitality industry. After graduating from one of their programs Drew immediately landed his first job at the former Dublins here in West Bend.

His experience made him the perfect candidate for the new Culaccino, now at that location. His job provides what we all want for our children, to be happy and successful at whatever they do. Drew takes pride in saying he has a job, like dad and mom and his brother.

He loves the inclusive camaraderie of the kitchen and of course the paycheck. For most individuals on SSDI there is not a lot of discretionary income for things other than basic needs. Those paychecks help Drew access the things that make his life fulfilling. He is currently trains twice a week, working on a second degree black belt at Cho’s Martial Arts and is an assistant instructor to beginners on Tuesday evenings.

He is able to have a Y membership, join a bowling league and have a weekly night out for dinner with his friends, and let’s not forget the ability to afford those superhero DVDs or save for a vacation to Disney. Yes, times have changed and the future looks bright.

The opportunities for employment are as endless as the potential and desire of each individual. Easterseals taps that potential through programs like Lilyworks in Waukesha and Project SEARCH at St. Josephs Hospital in Jackson. For information visit eastersealswise.com

Stop out Saturday night, Nov. 17 and help Cafe Soeurette celebrate 11 years in business. One of the specials – 11% will be taken off of you dinner bill or donate your 11% to Easterseals and the Lilyworks program.

Churches gather to share Thanksgiving prayers               By Colleen Mas

Churches throughout the area will come together to celebrate Thanksgiving in shared ecumenical services next week.

The West Bend Area Ecumenical Group will gather for an open Evening Prayer of Thanksgiving on Tuesday, Nov. 20 at 7 p.m.  This year’s event will be hosted by Fifth Avenue United Methodist Church in West Bend, with similar gatherings the following evening at Peace United Church of Christ in Kewaskum, and St Luke Lutheran in Slinger.

Several area churches will participate in the services, which will include a shared prayer in both West Bend and Kewaskum.

“While the world around us may emphasize our differences and encourage independence, we gather as one community to thank God and to recognize our shared blessings,” said Pastor David Schoob, Trinity Lutheran West Bend, who penned the shared Prayer of Thanksgiving several years ago. As a group of people of faith, we feel it is important to come together with one voice and acknowledge God who sustains each of us.”

Each year a free-will offering is collected in support of area non-profit organizations. The gathering concludes with an annual Pie Social, featuring a variety of pies brought and shared by volunteers of the participating churches.

This year’s West Bend gathering was planned by Pastor Clarissa Martinelli of Fifth Ave. with Jill Maria Murdy, Director of Liturgy and Music at St. Frances Cabrini Catholic Church, including ministers from Cedar Community, Holy Angels Catholic Church, St. James Episcopal Church, Trinity Lutheran Church, and others. The Kewaskum gathering includes Peace UCC Church and Holy Trinity Catholic Church. The Slinger gathering at St Luke Lutheran includes ministers from St. Peter Catholic Church, St John’s United Church of Christ, and Faith United Church of Christ.

Moonlighting in Barton closed

Moonlighting, 326 Commerce Street, in Barton has been listed for sale with broker/owner Adam Williquette of American Commercial Real Estate in West Bend. The tavern/restaurant was founded in 1995 and has been a popular restaurant in the Barton area ever since.

In 2017 the owner of the property, Joe Stefanko, attempted to sell/lease the property to Chad Goeman. With that lease coming to an end and not coming to successful terms to continue, the property has now come available for sale or lease.

The asking price for the +/-6,000-square-foot tavern/restaurant with attached living quarters is $725,000. Lease terms are negotiable.

“With my strong ties to the area and involvement in the community, I am both happy and sad Joe has picked my firm to represent him in a sale of this iconic Barton landmark,” said Williquette.  “It has always been sad to see business move out of the Barton area, but I am confident we will find a buyer who will get it back up and running and continue/start a thriving business at this location again.” Any interested parties can contact Adam at 262-424-3217 or adam@americancre.net.

Unveiling the new nativity

On Monday, Nov. 19 the Downtown West Bend Association will unwrap the new nativity. For the past few years the DWBA has been discussing the condition of the historic Amity Rolf’s nativity. The pieces date to the late 1960s. Spending Christmas season in the elements of harsh Wisconsin winters has taken a toll on the set and last year vandals destroyed the baby Jesus.

Donations were accepted to try and replace the figurine but then Thrivent Financial stepped forward to fund a new nativity. Representatives from Thrivent Financial that contributed to the donation include: Lisa Senkbeil, Nikole Kohn, Paz and Peter Kapler. “The nativity scene plays an important role in our community and wanted to do what we could to bring the replacement to fruition,” Lisa Senkbiel said.

Peter Kapler added, “Thrivent Financial is an organization of Christian members, who seek to enhance our community and spread our mission of living generously by giving back to the people and communities that are important to us.”

There are 10 pieces in the life-size nativity. The new nativity will be unveiled Monday, Nov. 19 at 3 p.m. at Old Settlers Park. The Amity Rolfs nativity will remain on display at Holy Angels Parish.

Local athletes sign college letters of intent

A big day for student athletes at West Bend West High School as Lauren Downs, Ethan Coughlin and Isabelle Holbrook signed college letters of intent during National Signing Day.

Downs will be headed to play basketball at Lakeland University. “I’ve always wanted to play at the college level; it’s been a dream of mine so long,” said Downs. “I think Lakeland is impressed with my hard-work ethic.” Downs holds a G.P.A. of 3.75 and plans on studying broad field social studies with an emphasis on history/political science/psychology with a major in secondary education.

Ethan Coughlin signed a National Letter of Intent to attend Canisius College ub Buffalo, NY and play lacrosse. “It’s a great opportunity for me,” said Coughlin. A hockey player, Coughlin said he picked up lacrosse as a freshman. “I’m really a very raw talent and I can be molded into what they need me to be,” he said. Hand-eye coordination is one of Coughlin’s strengths. “My coaches were excited for me and happy to see how my hard work paid off,” Coughlin said.

Coughlin carries a 3.2 G.P.A. and plans on studying finance. “I’ve visited the campus and I like it because it’s an urban campus and has a Marquette sort-of feel,” he said.

Isabelle Holbrook signed a letter of intent to swim Division 1 at the University of North Texas. “I visited in October and I fell in love with it the moment I stepped on campus,” said Holbrook. “It’s just that feeling where everything is so right and if you don’t do it you’re going to regret it for the rest of your life.” Coaches, according to Holbrook, were looking for mid-distance freestyle swimmers. “This is a very goal-based university and I think I can achieve a lot there,” she said. As a student Holbrook carries a 3.6 G.P.A. and she plans on studying finance.

Updates & Tidbits

-St. Vincent De Paul in Washington County is having a 50% off sale on Nov. 17 at all three stores from 7 a.m. – 6 p.m. Mattresses, box springs and bed frames are excluded from the sale.

– Pat Groth is teaching snowmobile safety class Dec. 4, 5 and 6 at Riverside Park in West Bend.

-On Nov. 27 at 6:45 p.m. there is an event at the West Bend Community Library regarding a presentation about the teachings of evolution. The event is free and open to the public.

-Rick Takacs at Meadowbrook Farm in West Bend will be unloading fresh balsam and Fraser fir Christmas trees from his truck as he preps for the upcoming holiday. Takacs gets his trees from the same vendor in Oconto County who once supplied the tree to the White House in Washington D.C.   Tackas said he really liked the trees from the Vander Velden’s farm because they’re “tall and have super color.” Meadowbrook Farm is located at 1270 Meadowbrook Road.

– Tickets are now on sale for the amazing Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra Holiday Pops Concert on Dec. 11 at the West Bend High Schools Silver Lining Arts Center.

– St. Mary’s Immaculate Conception, 406 Jefferson Street, and St. Frances Cabrini in West Bend are holding a Women’s Morning of Reflection on Saturday, Nov. 17 following 8 a.m. Mass.

-Almost a year to the day and the Arby’s and Wendy’s properties in West Bend have sold again. Records in the city assessor’s office show SWEP No. 2 LLC sold the property at 730 W. Paradise Drive (Arby’s) on Oct. 23, 2018 to Fountains Mobile Home Park LP. Sale price was $1,460,000. The 2018 assessed value $1,126,200. The Arby’s, 730 W. Paradise Drive originally opened in October 2004. In 2017 the sale price to SWEP No. 2 LLC out of West Lake Village, California was $1,411,666. The 2017 assessed value is $832,300. The Wendy’s next door, 650 W. Paradise Drive, opened in March 2005. In 2017 it too sold to SWEP No. 2 LLC for $1.3 million. The 2017 assessed value was $837,000. Latest records show SWEP No. 2 LLC sold to Fountains Mobile Home Park LP on Oct. 22, 2018 for $1,340,000.

West Bend man living in Thousand Oaks says he’s “ready to evacuate”

There’s a West Bend tie to the tragic stories going on in Thousand Oaks, California.

Steve Kissinger of West Bend has split his time between his hometown and a teaching job at California Lutheran University in Thousand Oaks for the past 28 years.

On Saturday, Kissinger spoke from his home in Thousand Oaks about the wildfires and the recent shooting at the Borderline Bar & Grill.

“I’m OK but it has been a horrible two days,” said Kissinger. “With the mass shooting that happened here at Thousand Oaks; one of the kids who got killed had been a student of ours. He graduated about two years ago from Cal Lutheran.”

Kissinger quickly shifted gears to the deadly wildfire. “About 2 p.m. Friday the fires broke out. I have fires burning on two sides of me and one fire

Friends of mine had to spend the night here because they were evacuated and the fire on the other side of me, they were evacuated. That’s getting a little too close for comfort and there’s an evacuation zone about a quarter mile from my house.”

Kissinger said his cable and Internet went out, although he still has power. “I can’t really keep track of what’s going on…. so I’m just waiting for the evacuation notice,” he said.

A truck outside his home already loaded with pictures and papers. “It’s exciting,” he said with a nervous laugh. Kissinger said the Santa Ana winds are “what fueled the fire.”

“Right now it’s really pretty calm outside but every once in a while there’s a little gust of wind and the helicopters are out dropping water.

“The fire that burned my friend’s neighbor’s house… that fire has now burned down to the ocean and the entire City of Malibu (southeast of Thousand Oaks) has been evacuated and it’s burning mansion after mansion.”

“I guess what makes this really bad is we had that mass shooting a couple days ago and it was mostly students involved. I don’t know how much is being broadcast in West Bend but the City of Thousand Oaks is usually rated as one of the safest cities in the country and we’ve lost that rating big time now,” Kissinger said.

The shooting happened Wednesday night, Nov. 7 at 11:30 p.m. Kissinger said the bar had a country theme and was popular with students. “I went to bed early that night around 8:30 p.m. and by 4:30 a.m. my iPhone and iPad were ringing with multiple calls and notifications,” Kissinger said.

“I got up and the messages were from friends with their condolences about the shooting. When I turned on the TV I was just in disbelief. People say you just can’t believe this would happen in your own town…. and it does.”

Kissinger said he then spent the entire day watching TV. “School was closed and so was the campus,” he said. “Then once the fire broke out the shooting was overtaken by fire coverage.”

Questioned whether he was safe Kissinger said “not necessarily.”

“If I were to put money on it I’d say I’m fine but after that fire that happened last year in Ventura County which is about 30 miles from here, and also the one that happened up north last year …. nobody’s safe,” he said. Kissinger said there is smoke all around but he can’t see the fire from his house.

“I haven’t really noticed the smell of smoke but my eyes have been burning all day and my nose has been stuffed up,” he said. “I’ve had all my windows and doors closed because it’s just not safe.”

Kissinger has lived through major fires before where he said it “looked like it was snowing because of all the ash” but he’s not seeing that this time.

“There are houses all around and usually the fires you hear about are out in the hillside and mountains and the brush is all burned and that’s how I used to think about these fires but it’s not that way anymore,” he said. “When a house in the city starts burning those winds take those embers and they can start bonfires anywhere in the city. So technically no, I’m not safe. My house could still burn down…. but because the winds have died down I don’t think it will happen.”

Over the weekend Kissinger said he was staying close to home. “I’m not driving around looking at anything because if there’s an evacuation alert I want to be ready and most of the roads around here are closed anyway,” he said. “The main freeway to town is closed and if I did have to evacuate I can’t tell you exactly where I would go.

“When the city is surrounded by fire you’re kind of limited. I think I would go north but I’m not sure.” Aside from the roads being closed Kissinger said the grocery stores and restaurants are also closed. The community where Kissinger lives has a population of about 131,000. “It may sound big but it seems like a small town,” he said. “It feels very much like West Bend with a small, friendly feel.” Kissinger is preparing to return to West Bend later this month for the Thanksgiving holiday. Stay tuned, we’ll bring you another update when Kissinger is back in town.

 Letter to the Editor | $85 million referendum will not improve student performance | By Valery Brussat

Did you receive, or do you give money for a good report card?

The West Bend School District will be asking for a $50 million school referendum ($85 million in real dollars when you add interest) to build a new elementary school in Jackson, remodel the high schools’ cafeteria, expand the weight room, fitness center and locker rooms, as well as improve safety and security.

This referendum is on top of the current $130 million referendum debt.

It has been proven time and time again that once the basic safety and space needs for school buildings are met, spending more on buildings does not result in better education.

With a declining enrollment, WBSD has more than adequate space, and monies received from a grant from the State of WI in the amount of $190,741 were awarded to WBSD on 9/26/2018 for school safety and security.

The WI State Report Card for Badger Middle School shows an overall score of 74.9%, while Slinger Middle School scored 83.6%, even after a Badger Middle School $27 million renovation in 2011.

Overall, the West Bend School District is at the bottom of all the WI State Report Card grades in Washington County. The numbers say it all: Slinger 87.1, Kettle Moraine Lutheran 84.9, Kewaskum & Richfield 81.8, Hartford 80.6, Germantown 79.0, and West Bend 75.4.

Given this week’s WI State Report Card scores, I believe it would be more prudent to look at spending money on curriculum to improve students’ performance and success than asking taxpayers for money for bricks and mortar.

Please join me on Monday, November 26 at 5:15 p.m. at the WBSD Office, 735 S. Main Street, West Bend as the School Board discusses this very important issue affecting everyone in West Bend.   Signed Valery Brussat

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A Bad Year

These kids think they have it bad now.

Bubonic plague, famine, war and flu pandemics have made some periods of human history infamous for death and suffering but one year stands above the rest in terms of misery; 536AD.

According to research from a Harvard professor, it is a prime candidate for the unfortunate accolade of the worst year in the entirety of recorded history.

Europe, the Middle East, and parts of Asia were plunged into 18 months of solid darkness by a mysterious fog.

It caused snowfall in China, continental-scale crop failure, extreme drought, famine and disease throughout most of the northern hemisphere.

The bleak year was triggered by a cataclysmic Icelandic eruption, scientists say, and was an ominous omen for a bleak century of suffering and death.

Bags of Poo Found in Hartford Home

Ew.

Based on the inconsistencies between the resident’s statements, the reported information, the observations of the officer, the concern for the health and welfare of any animals in the residence, as well as for the public health in general for the residential area of the residence, the City Building Inspector served an inspection warrant on the residence on Nov. 5, 2018.

Over a dozen large garbage bags full of feces and bedding were located stacked just inside the back door of the residence, and an extensive system of animal cages were located in the basement of the home.

An officer accompanying the building inspector on the inspection observed 3 dogs, 3 cats, 2 ferrets, 21 rabbits, 90 guinea pigs, 5 mice, 3 rats, 3 quail, and 6 button quail being kept within the home.

Around the Bend By Judy Steffes

Allan Kieckhafer wins Cliff and Betty Nelson Volunteer Leadership Award

Allan Kieckhafer of West Bend is this year’s winner of the Cliff and Betty Nelson Volunteer Leadership Award.

During an interview Thursday morning at Kieckhafer’s home overlooking Big Cedar Lake the 94-and-a-half year old spoke enthusiastically about his dedication to West Bend.

Kieckhafer noted, the only other time he had been this thrilled about being recognized was when Betty Pearson with the West Bend Chamber of Commerce recognized him in May 1987. It was a day the mayor proclaimed Allan Kieckhafer Day.

Over the years the Kieckhafer has spent his time, talent and treasure giving back to the community. Those qualities are something the past winners of the award look for in a recipient.

The United Way of Washington County created the Clifford A. and Elizabeth M. Nelson Volunteer Leadership Award to honor an individual in Washington County who has demonstrated a long-term commitment to volunteering.

The award is named in honor of West Bend resident Cliff and his wife Betty, known for their outstanding volunteer efforts on behalf of human service, civic, and arts organizations. Allan Kieckhafer shaking hands with a scout

Kieckhafer is a strong advocate for the Boy Scouts, Kieckhafer has also been a supporter of the Museum of Wisconsin Art, Veterans in West Bend and UWM at Washington County.

Friend Nancy Mehring worked for Kieckhafer when she was 18 years old. “He was my boss at the West Bend Aluminum Company,” said Mehring. “Allan is a doer as well as a giver. He is the most lovable man, he always has a smile for everyone and the best thing about him when I worked for him was he was always kind and a gentleman.”

Betty Nelson said she has known Kieckhafer since they went to Sunday school and kindergarten together. “It’s good he got the award because Allan has been involved in more stuff than you can imagine,” she said.

“He’s always been the chairman for the Memorial Day celebration and Veterans Day, Kettle Moraine Symphony, the Museum of Wisconsin Art, UW-Washington County, and he’s been in scouting for years. “He’s very loyal to friends,” said Nelson. “When people in our high school class died from the Class of 1941, he still went to their funerals. They may not have been much of friends through the later years but he’s so loyal.”

Previous winners of the award were part of the selection committee and Kieckhafer was a unanimous choice.

United Way’s Volunteer Leadership Award was created to recognize an individual in Washington County who has demonstrated community leadership and a long-term commitment to volunteering. The award is named in honor of the late Cliff Nelson and his wife Betty, who are known for their outstanding volunteer efforts on behalf of human service, civic, and arts organizations. Each year, past Nelson Award winners nominate and select a new recipient.

“United Way has a legacy of bringing people together to improve lives and community conditions,” said Kristin Brandner, Executive Director of United Way of Washington County. “This award celebrates leaders in our community who do just that. It honors volunteers who have spent a lifetime giving their time and talents to make a lasting impact in Washington County.”

“Allan Kieckhafer is a dedicated and treasured member of this community,” Brandner said.  “His unwavering support of so many organizations and projects that are integral to Washington County is astounding.  Everyone on the selection committee felt that without his commitment and support, this community would not be what it is today.”

Kieckhafer is the oldest living United Way Campaign Chair. In 1977 he was the first to achieve the $100,000 milestone for the annual fundraising drive.

As a proud Navy veteran, Kieckhafer has spent over 40 years as a member of the Memorial Day services committee for the City of West Bend, and has performed the role of Master of Ceremonies for many years.

Kieckhafer established Boy Scout Troop 780 at Fifth Avenue Methodist Church and continued working on behalf of the Boy Scouts for over 50 years as President of the Badger Boy Scout Council and a Trustee for the Bay Lakes Council. He was awarded the Silver Beaver award for his outstanding service to the Boy Scouts.

Additionally, he was instrumental in founding the University Ambassadors council at the University of Wisconsin in Washington County. He served as the Council President in 1975 and continues to act as an Ambassador at the campus. Kieckhafer has also volunteered as an Ambassador and a member of the Executive Board for the West Bend area Chamber of Commerce. He is an active member of the Noon Rotary Club of West Bend, and has received 10 Paul Harris awards for his support of the organization.

A life-long resident of West Bend, Kieckhafer spent 38 years at the West Bend Aluminum Company working in sales management. “Allan has done so much for our community,” said Nancy Mehring, who worked with Kieckhafer at the West Bend Aluminum Company.

Assistant Fire Chief in Waubeka killed in motorcycle accident

Bruce Koehler, 53, of Waubeka, passed away unexpectedly following a motorcycle accident Friday night. Bruce was born in Port Washington on June 22, 1965, son of Frederick “Fritz” Koehler Jr. and Betty Reimer Koehler. From an early age Bruce’s family always came first. He grew up in Little Kohler, helping the family in their businesses, Lehn’s Catering and Lehn’s Tavern. He took pride in starting his mother’s school bus for her every morning and caring for the Koehler Family Pond. He attended school in Random Lake, graduating with the class of 1983.

Bruce worked as a Head Maintenance Engineer for the Clothes Clinic in West Bend.

His calling in life was helping people. He was a longtime member of the Waubeka Fire Department where he currently held the rank of Assistant Chief, a team leader for the HazMat Team and a Rescue Boat Crew member for Ozaukee County Emergency Management, President of MABAS Division 119, a member of the Southeast Wisconsin Incident Management Team, an advisor for the Random Lake Area District Explorers Program, a member of the Ozaukee County and the Wisconsin State Fire Chief’s Associations, and the Badger Firefighters Association.

Funeral services will be celebrated Saturday, Nov. 10, at 2 p.m. at St. John’s Lutheran Church, 824 Fredonia Ave., Fredonia. Visitation will take place at the church from 10 a.m. – 1:30 p.m. when the Fire Department walk-through will take place.

Morrie’s Honda officially breaks ground in West Bend

The crew from the new Morrie’s Honda gathered in West Bend on Thursday morning, Nov. 1, at the corner of Highway 33 and Scenic Drive to introduce themselves and talk about the future of the dealership. Karl Schmidt, CEO with Morrie’s Automotive, started his career with Morrie’s about 30 years ago. Watch for the new store to open in July/August 2019.

Five players from UWM at Washington Co. volleyball make WCC All-Conference

UWM at Washington County placed five players on the Wisconsin Collegiate Conference All-Conference Volleyball team.

Kayla Boehm led the Eastern Division with 83 kills as a middle hitter and hitting at a 46% kill rate. She also led the division with 30 blocks. Boehm was selected First Team All-Conference and named Player of the Year.

Kayla Schommer led the Eastern division in two categories as a setter, she had 179 assists for kills, and also had a division high 42 ace serves with 93% serving accuracy.  Schommer also had 19 kills and 38 digs.  She was selected First Team All-Conference and named Setter of the Year for a second year in a row.

Catherine Tucker was our defensive specialist and led the Eastern Division with 184 digs. She also had 17 ace serves with a 94% serving accuracy. Tucker was selected First Team All-Conference and named Defensive Specialist of the Year.

Breanna Cronin was an outside hitter and ranked No. 3 in the Eastern Division for attacks and defense. She had 61 kills with a 40% kill rate, 73 digs, 27 ace serves with an 89% serving accuracy. Cronin was selected First Team All-Conference.

Morgan Kappler was an outside hitter and ranked 5th in the Eastern Division for attacks and defense. She had 47 kills with a 35% kill rate, 16 ace serves, serving accuracy at 89% and 67 digs.  Kappler was selected Second Team All-Conference.

Coach Debbie Butschlick said, “I am so proud of these players especially all the hard work they put into the season. The Conference coaches truly saw the skills each one of our players had. To have one or two players make the WCC All-Conference Team is a blessing when there are seven teams in the Eastern Division, but to have five players on the All-Conference team and three players receiving the highest honors given by the Conference is truly amazing. Even though five players received the honors, it was an entire team effort to have such an outstanding season.”

Construction begins on new West Bend Fleet Farm

The logging trucks and bulldozers have cleared a majority of the trees from the nearly 42-acre lot as contractors make way for the 192,000-square-foot Fleet Farm to the south of Highway 33 just east of County Highway Z. An aerial view shows a tree line to the south at the back of the lot. Black fabric outlines the edge of the proposed development to the west. Reddish-orange fencing circles a small wetland area in what appears the near middle of the property.

Along with the new store there will also be 652 parking stalls and another 7,100-square-foot convenience store. About a mile east on Highway 33 the old Fleet Farm on 18th Avenue sports its seasons sign touting “Toyland Now Open.” It’s the last time that sign will be displayed at this location as the new Fleet Farm is scheduled to be completed September 9, 2019.

Updates & Tidbits

Election Day is Tuesday, Nov. 6 and polls open at 7 a.m.

-The West Bend Common Council will hold its regular Monday night meeting at the Museum of Wisconsin Art on Nov. 5 as elected officials pay tribute to veterans. The event is organized by Common Sense Citizens of Washington County.

– The development of a new sports complex at Regner Park is moving along quickly. Within the last two weeks the land has been cleared, fencing removed, cement poured and now six basketball hoops are in place.

-The Kettle Moraine Symphony will honor veterans during its concert Sunday, Nov. 11, 2018 at 3 p.m. Free admission for Veterans. The community celebrates its veterans when KMS collaborates with local organizations to honor Americans who have served in the military.

– Tickets go on sale Nov. 11 for the amazing Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra Holiday Pops Concert on Dec. 11 at the West Bend High Schools Silver Lining Arts Center.

– The Kettle Moraine Lutheran Chargers fell to East Troy in the WIAA Division 2 State Championship at the Resch Center in Green Bay. East Troy (31-8) def. Kettle Moraine Lutheran (31-11) – 25-22, 25-19, 25-13.

A strong turnout of volunteers Saturday morning help sweep clean Veterans Plaza in West Bend as we count down the days to Nov. 11 and Veterans Day. Thanks to all who helped give of their time and talents.

– A burial will be held Sunday, Nov. 4 for Robert B. Pick II, 76, who passed away peacefully in his sleep on Friday, Feb. 16, 2018 after a brief illness at Froedert Hospital in Milwaukee.

– A huge thank you to members of the West Bend Noon Rotary Club: Chris Wenzel, Amanda Follett, Jerry Mehring and Richard Klumb. These Rotarians helped the Downtown West Bend Association remove the ArtWalk banners from the light poles this week.

– Grab your family and bundle up because the 32nd Annual Hartford Christmas Parade is just around the corner. The theme of the Nov. 10 parade is “Christmas Lights.” Start time is 3 p.m.

Large turnout to remember Bob Neja

A large turnout Tuesday as neighbors, friends and family turned out to pay their respects to Bob Neja. Robert H. Neja, 84, of West Bend, entered Eternal Life with Jesus on Thursday, Oct. 25, 2018 after 62 wonderful years of marriage with Anne “Dolly” Neja. Bob passed away at home, surrounded by his family, after his battle with pancreatic cancer.

During the funeral Mass at St. Frances Cabrini, Neja’s youngest son Peter offered some kind words about his father.

This will be brief so please pay attention. Thank you all for coming to celebrate the life of an amazing man. Bob Neja.

Dad was a very disciplined yet sensitive and sometimes goofy man. He was an incredible husband, dad, gramps, friend, teacher, athlete and coach.

He spent his life walking with Jesus. In fact during his final weeks reflecting alone in his bedroom, saying the rosary daily with his Dolly and getting to Mass were more important than the Brewers or anything else.

Everyone around him benefited from his faith and lifestyle, especially his Dolly. Bob and Anne’s bond is one that people pray for.

Young Bob was smitten with Anne from the start. So much that his competitive nature faltered at his high school teammates repeatedly nag him for arriving late to practice because he was off gallivanting with his Anne.  As they spent more time together they developed an unwavering love for one another that continued for 62 years.

While celebrating their 60th wedding anniversary one of Bob’s grandchildren asked Gramps, “What advice can you offer to make it through 60 years of marriage?” With complete sincerity he instantly replied, “To marry Anne.”

As they built a family it was no surprise that he emulated that same level of love onto his kids and grandkids. The Nejas’ lives were full of fun and competition, family vacations, lots of games, cards included!

He was always up for celebrating as long as it didn’t involve fireworks, which he made us watch from the car to avoid the crowd.

Obviously Dad was competitive. He competed, sometimes intensely, and always in a fun way.

For example at a family reunion softball game he picked up third base and ran away with it to keep his nephew from scoring. If he was losing you sure would hear about it, but it was all in good lighthearted fun and certainly nothing a brownie with extra frosting would not fix.

People may think it’s difficult to be in high school with a parent as a teacher. Dad was so well respected by colleagues, students and athletes that he made it is easy for us. We all were so proud to have him as our father.

Although leading many teams to championships as an athlete and coach led to inductions into several Halls of Fame, Dad’s real legacy was the positive influence he had on lives.

You see, being a teacher and coach was not just a job for Neej, but a way of life.

His philosophy was “grow the kids into great people first and hopefully enjoy winning along the way.”

No matter what subject he taught or sport he coached or where he bumped into you, Dad would have an ever lasting impact on your life.

As I lived Dad again for the past 3 to 4 months I was reminded about how much of a positive effect you had on the lives he touched. So many students, athletes, friends and family reached out by visiting him in person, by calling and by sending notes.

Dad had the gift of making anyone feel like they were special and his priority.

In turn his family loved and respected him in a way that drove them to strive at following in his footsteps living a loving, faithful lifestyle that Neej could be proud o.

He was a role model for the entire Neja clan and everyone close to him.

His impact will continue to live on and the world is a better place because of him. Amen!

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Whitey Whacked

Actions have consequences.

A Mafia hitman and career criminal is suspected of leading the fatal attack on notorious Boston mob boss James ‘Whitey’ Bulger because he hated informants.

Fotios ‘Freddy’ Geas, 51, is under investigation for allegedly instigating a group of men to beat wheelchair-bound Bulger to death with a lock wrapped in a sock and partially gouge his eyes while in maximum security prison Tuesday.

‘Freddy hated rats,’ private investigator Ted McDonough said of Geas, who is serving a life sentence after he was ratted on for the murders of former Genovese crime family mob boss Adolfo ‘Big Al’ Bruno and associate Gary D Westerman in 2003.

Bulger had cut a sweet deal to serve as an FBI informant as far back as 1975, giving him virtual impunity to commit any crime he wanted for decades – except for murder.

The former head of south Boston’s Winter Hill Gang was convicted in 2013 of killing at least 11 people and was serving two life sentences at the time of his death.

‘Freddy hated guys who abused women. Whitey was a rat who killed women. It’s probably that simple,’ McDonough, who became friendly with Geas while working for him as an investigator, revealed to The Boston Globe.

Around the Bend by Judy Steffes

West Bend couple celebrate 70th wedding anniversary

It was Sept. 25, 1948 and Franklin Bales and Margaret Weninger, 90, recited their vows to remain faithful and committed for the rest of their lives. This year the couple celebrated its 70th wedding anniversary. Franklin, 91, was born on the family farm on Rusco Drive in West Bend. He and Margaret, 90, met at a dance.

“Our farm was just a mile west of Gonring’s Resort. I had broken up with a different guy and me and my girlfriends were standing there and then he (Franklin) came over and asked me to dance. Then he asked to take me home, then he asked me to another dance and from there we kept on going.”

Margaret said she “didn’t think of marriage right away. She just liked being with him.”

“I liked his laugh,” said Margaret. “We had fun.”

Margaret was 18 years old when she met Franklin. She worked at Amity Leather at the time.

Franklin was 19 and a half and he worked on the family farm.

“I like her because she was easy going,” he said. “I could handle that.”

When Margaret turned 20 she and Franklin tied the knot.

“We got married at St. Matthias Church and had dinner at noon in the school basement. Some of the neighbor women cooked the meal and then we went to Gonring’s Resort for a dance,” said Margaret.

During the conversation the black-and-white wedding photos from Kind Studio – Barton, Wisc. are passed around the room. “I bought my dress in Chicago,” said Margaret. “I had aunts and uncles living in Chicago and a couple times I went down on the train and we went shopping for the dress. It was nothing fancy.”

The wedding photos look straight out of ‘June Bride’ featuring an elegant Margaret and a dapper Franklin surrounded by a wedding party of eight set against a backdrop of blue skies, two meaty columns and drapes.

“The photographer didn’t come to the wedding, we had to go to the photographer,” Margaret said.

Franklin recalled a delayed honeymoon as chores on the dairy farm took precedent.

“She had to can pears before we left and I had to fill the silo again,” he said.

A couple days later the pair were off gallivanting. “We drove into Canada and circled around a bit just so we could tell our friends we were in Canada,” said Margaret.

The couple moved in to Franklin’s home. “I’ve always live here,” he said. “Our bedroom is the room I was born in.”

The Bales had seven kids. Daughter Kathy Bales/Stodola shared some memories:

-Mom and Dad showed us by their example the importance of helping others. Sharing Mom’s amazing cinnamon rolls and produce from the garden with those who needed a pick-me-up visit.

-Volunteering at St. Frances Cabrini: ushering, counting lunch tickets, quilting, helping at the annual Rummage Sale

-Driving their older friends to doctor’s appointments

-Volunteering at Samaritan every Wednesday evening for years

-Catholic Family Life Insurance- Mom was secretary. Helped organize annual picnic and Christmas party.

-Mom and Dad also instilled in their children a love of learning. We had few books of our own at home except for a complete set of the World Book encyclopedia and the Childcraft set. We would page through the books endlessly and often look up topics for our school projects. I still recognize poems and artwork from those volumes.

-There were always trips to our WB Public Library. We would eagerly search for books to take home with us. The stack grew to a dozen or 20 but I think we only lost a couple in all those years!

-On Sunday drives, one or the other parent would say “I wonder where that road goes” and we’d turn and see!  Even though, being on a farm, travel was limited they managed to take us all to the Milwaukee Museum or Zoo several times and it turned out that all their children are avid travelers looking to see where the road takes them. Fortunately, Dad and Mom retired early enough to enjoy quite a few long trips to places such as Mexico, California, Alaska and many more.

Recognizing anniversaries

Ever since cresting their 25th wedding anniversary the couple recognize their longevity together every 5 years. There are homemade posters from some of their 16 grandchildren still taped to the door from the last family gathering. “We also have 12 great grandchildren … with one more on the way,” said Franklin.

The Bales celebrated their 70th wedding anniversary in the barn. “Our son cleaned it up and it looked just like a ballroom,” said Margaret.

When asked their secret to a happy marriage, Margaret talks about their evening routine. “At 7 p.m. we listen to the Rosary and Mass on Relevant Radio and then we hold hands every night and his hands are always cold. Then we go to bed at 8 o’clock and we talk a few minutes and then I say ‘good night, love you’ and he knows that’s the end of the conversation and he falls asleep very fast.”

Daughter Rosemary Kutz had fond memories growing up.  

-Polka dancing with dad at dances with the Julida Boys

-Finding a note on the refrigerator when I got home from school that said we should come down and help pick stones but first we could have the warm potato salad or other good food mom had left for us on the stove.

-Blackberries and cream on soft white bread.

-Watching for Santa upstairs and hearing a loud “Ho Ho Ho” and bells ringing and then mom or dad saying “Come down, Santa was here”

-Learning how to be young volunteers by going with mom and dad to Samaritan

-Mom and dad always taking time to listen to us and seeming interested – no matter the subject

-Always saying just what I needed to hear if I was doubting a decision

-Teaching me to put God as a priority

Blessed with strong faith

Sitting in the living room the Bales overstuffed chairs are nestled next to each other. They’re close enough they reach out and hold hands throughout much of the conversation.

Raising seven children Margaret stressed how important it was for her to be home when the kids got home from school. “I did a lot of baking,” she said. “Sweet rolls, bread and pies and we had 3 eggs, toast and bacon for breakfast each morning. I never thought of it as work, we just did it.”

Margaret talked about when the kids were young and she’d hold one child on her hip and turn the crank on the ringer washer with the other.

Faith, according to the Bales, played a big factor in their lives. “We’d take the seven kids to church at St. Frances Cabrini and we’d pile in the car,” said Margaret. “We prayed the rosary during Lent when they were small and we had a prayer before meals.”

“We always tried to work things out,” said Franklin. “Things are easier if you try to work it out.”

“Patience,” said Margaret. “Patience is the key.”

Daughter Geralyn Kobs recalled growing up in a family of seven kids:

-Growing up in a family of 7 kids lends itself to memories of busy times, quiet moments, happy and sad days. Meals always began with a prayer and nearly always included potatoes, vegetables, meat and dessert. Mom is a fantastic cook and baker and could scrounge up a meal in no time.  All the boys (left handed) sat on one side of the table and all the girls (right handed) sat on the other to prevent elbow jabbing fights!

-Mom always read books to us and a happy memory was going to the library in WB and checking out a fresh stack of books.

-Christmas memory – the tree would be trimmed for days but the lights would not be turned on and baby Jesus would not be added to the nativity set until Christmas Eve.

-Dad coming in from early morning milking with a metal jug of fresh milk, giving Mom a kiss, and sitting down to his breakfast of eggs.

-Dad telling us – ‘put a sweater on, I’m cold’ or ‘go to bed, I’m tired.’

-Giving up candy for Lent (seemed to be mandatory) and then getting chocolate covered peanuts in our Easter baskets.

-Mom sprinkling holy water around the house and on us during bad thunderstorms.

Daughter Joan Blankenship – Some things I remember:

-Not putting baby Jesus in the Nativity set until Christmas Eve and coming downstairs on Christmas Eve after watching out the window for Santa, and seeing all the presents under the lit Christmas tree. It was so magical. Our tradition was to not turn on the Christmas lights until Christmas Eve.

-Mom not liking to wake us up in the morning so she would throw a sock on our bed to wake us up gently.  But every morning in the winter, I could hear Mom down by the wood furnace opening up the door of the furnace, and the noise radiating upstairs.

-Coming home from school and always having delicious snacks to eat – potato salad, homemade bread, coffee cake, peanut squares, Rosettes.

-Going out to the field to tell Dad, who was driving tractor, about some exciting occurrence at school. He would always stop, idle the tractor and listen, no matter how busy he was.

-Going swimming in between loads of hay.  That pool was so enjoyable.

-Two plates with huge stacks of sweet corn placed on the window sill to cool off.  Mom always gave me the lighter-color ones because they were easier for me to digest.

-I remember Dad always reading the paper every night while drinking a bottle of beer. He was always current with local, and world events.

-We had a set up encyclopedias which were so helpful when doing reports for school. We made many a trip to the library. They paid for all of the kids’ college tuition.

-We always had holy water in the hallway. Mom would sprinkle us with the holy water before we left on trips to help keep us safe and she would sprinkle around the house during thunderstorms to keep us safe. It worked. We always said Grace before meals. After my brother Paul passed away, they added another prayer to say, to always include and remember him and others who passed away.

Thank you for being the best parents ever. I always felt safe and cared for and loved. I always appreciate how you took such an interest in our life and activities. You’ve always been so helpful and generous. I feel so lucky to have you as my parents. I could not ask for more.

Trees are leveled as construction begins on new Fleet Farm

The logging trucks are clearing the 192,000-square-foot lot to the south of Highway 33 just east of County Highway Z for the new Fleet Farm. On Thursday a tree-cutting operation quickly moved through the property cutting trees and leveling the land for future development. Start date is listed as Oct 1, 2018. Completion is listed as September 9, 2019. 192,000-square-foot retail store and 7,100-square-foot convenience store and 652 parking stalls

Aside from the store there will also be a 7,162-square-foot gas station and convenience store. The proposed gas station would include 18 fuel pumps and 9 islands. Fleet Farm opened the existing West Bend store in 1961 as the sixth store in the company’s fleet. The existing 45,000-square-foot West Bend Fleet Farm will close when the new store opens in the fall of 2019.

Devenport family home is raised to make way for West Bend Honda Subaru

The demolition of the Devenport family home on the southwest corner of Highway 33 and Scenic Drive started at 8 a.m. Friday, Oct. 26, 2018.

It was a mere 28 minutes later and the old red brick two-story farmhouse was no more. The live broadcast drew thousands of viewers; many lamented the loss of a fine structure and some expressed sadness at what may be deemed “progress.”

According to records in the West Bend city assessor’s office the Devenport property on W. Washington Street, was annexed into the city in February 2018. The 39.575 acres sold to Morries West Bend H RE, LLC.

Long time teacher and coach Bob Neja has died

Robert H. Neja, 84, of West Bend, entered Eternal Life with Jesus on Thursday, Oct. 25, 2018 after 62 wonderful years of marriage with Anne “Dolly” Neja.  Bob passed away at home, surrounded by his family, after his battle with pancreatic cancer.

Bob was born on Jan. 16, 1934 in Milwaukee to the late Daniel and Marion Neja.  Bob started his athletic career at St. Boniface Catholic Grade School and continued at Messmer High School, becoming a three sport letter winner in basketball, baseball and football.  After graduating from Messmer High School in 1952, he attended St. Norbert College, earning a degree in Education.  While at St. Norbert, Bob lettered four years in basketball and baseball. He was named Most Valuable Athlete. He also earned All-Midwest Catholic College Basketball team honors.

Bob married the love of his life and high school sweetheart, Anne Poehlmann on June 30, 1956.  He then entered the U.S. Army on July 6, 1956 and was honorably discharged July 5, 1958 as a First Lieutenant MSC.

After the Army, Bob began his illustrious teaching and coaching career at his Alma Mater, Messmer High School in Milwaukee. During his time at Messmer from 1958 to 1970, Bob taught biology and coached football, track, baseball and basketball. He accumulated a record of 158 wins and 63 losses as head basketball coach and his teams were Conference Champions four years and WISAA State Champions in 1966 and 1968. They were State Championship Runners-up in 1967, losing the title game by one point.

Bob continued his teaching and coaching career at West Bend East High School from 1970 to 1995.  He was the West Bend East Boys Basketball coach for five years and the West Bend East Girls Tennis coach for over 20 years. His tennis teams won eight conference championships, while qualifying numerous players and teams to the State Tournament.

His positive influence on students and athletes cannot be overstated. His philosophy was to help the kids grow to be great people first, winning along the way.

In honor of his years of success, Bob has been inducted into several Halls of Fame: Messmer High School, St. Norbert College, Wisconsin High School Basketball Coaches Association, Wisconsin High School Tennis Association, West Bend East High School, and the Old Time Ballplayers’ Association.

Bob was an active member of St. Frances Cabrini Catholic Church and the Knights of Columbus Fr. Casper Rehrl Council #1964. His faith was his priority in life.

Funeral services in honor of Bob will be held on Tuesday, Oct. 30 at St. Frances Cabrini Catholic Church (1025 S. 7th Ave, West Bend) with visitation from 2 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. followed by a Knights of Columbus service at 4:45 p.m. and Mass of Christian Burial at 5 p.m.  After the Mass a reception will be held in the church hall.

 Updates & tidbits

 In-person absentee voting is underway in Washington County for the Nov. 6 General Election.

– Sale price the Seed of Hope Center in West Bend paid for the former Graymont Western Lime building, 206 N. Sixth Avenue was $350,000. The building on the northwest corner of Sixth Avenue and Elm Street was built in 1961. It went on the market in March 2016 and was listed by RSM Property Management & Realty for $495,000. The 2018 assessment was $414,500.

-This week the West Bend Common Council approved a request to install a Civil War Memorial at Pilgrim Rest Cemetery on Chestnut and Summit in West Bend.

– Stephanie Salentine, Med/Surg RN, has been recognized with the Froedtert & the Medical College of Wisconsin St. Joseph’s Hospital first quarter DAISY Award for her care and comfort.

-The city of West Bend Police Department, in cooperation with the Wisconsin Department of Justice and the Drug Enforcement Administration will participate in National Prescription Drug Take Back Day on Saturday, Oct. 27, 2018 from 9 a.m. – 1 p.m. at 1115 S. Main St., in the parking lot in front of West Bend City Hall.

– Details on the sale of the property for the Bob Fish Dealership show four parcels were involved and Lynch Ventures LLC paid $2.4 million for the land and building at 2275 S. Main Street.

The second white bridge arrived in downtown West Bend on Wednesday, Oct. 24 and placed over the Milwaukee River. The bridge is installed to the south of where the ‘bridge to nowhere’ used to be located.

Slinger Honorary Fire Fighter Ed Wolf, 76, passed away Wednesday morning, Oct. 24. Slinger Fire Department will be performing a bell ringing ceremony and walk through at 2 p.m. on Sunday, Oct 28. Members of Badger Firefighters association are welcome to attend. We will be meeting at Peace Lutheran Church in Hartford at 1:40 PM to line up.

Find local news for free 7 days a week at WashingtonCountyInsider.com

Around the Bend by Judy Steffes

15 vets from Washington County will be on the Nov. 3 Honor Flight

Fifteen veterans from Washington County will be on the Nov. 3 Stars & Stripes Honor Flight.

This will be the 49th mission for the Honor Flight. Two planes carrying 75 vets each will take off from Mitchell International Airport. Since 2008 the Stars & Stripes Honor Flight has flown 6,199 local veterans.

Vietnam vets on this flight include: Robert Hertzfeldt, Army, from Jackson.

West Bend veterans who served during Vietnam include Louis Malmarowski, Army, Michael O’Leary, Army, Donald Harter, Army, Robert Pfeifer, Marines, Theodore Harris, Army, Robert Mueller, Army, Ronald Henderson, Army, and the husband-wife team of John and Donna Kleinmaus.

Hartford veteran Darrell Malmarowski Shadow, Army and David Wierzba, Air Force.

Germantown veteran Robert Drewek, Army and William Eusebio, Army, and Dale Schuldt from Hubertus.

Gov. Walker and Senator Johnson participate in George Webb hamburger giveaway

The line was pretty manageable Thursday, Oct. 18 as Brewers’ fans in West Bend lined up at George Webb on S. Main Street to get free burgers. The promotion was part of the George Webb promise of one free burger per customer if the Milwaukee Brewers win 12 games in a row.

Staff at George Webb were surrounded by volunteers who helped keep customers happy and the line moving. Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker stopped by for a bit to greet Brewers fans and U.S. Senator Ron Johnson took a shift behind the grill flipping burgers. Store management planned to serve 3,000 people during the one-day event.

New concert series announced at Washington Co. Fair Park

The inaugural Junction 45 Music Festival is set to rock Washington County Fair Park on Saturday August 24, 2019 with festival headliner Hairball.

“Hairball has been the No. 1 requested band since I came on board and their fan base here would agree they are the perfect fit to kick off the first-ever Junction 45 Music Festival.” said Kellie Boone, Executive Director of Washington County Fair Park & Conference Center.

“We are thrilled to offer more events in addition to the annual County Fair that showcase The Silver Lining Amphitheater; it is an asset to Washington County Fair Park and the entire county.”

Hairball is a Rock & Roll experience with lights, sound, smoke, fire, bombs, and screaming hordes of avid fans. There will be three to four more bands featured at the festival that will be announced soon. Tickets for Junction 45 go on sale for AIS Members on Monday, Oct. 22 at 8 a.m. and to the public on Friday, Oct. 26 at 9 a.m. Tickets start at $15 for general admission lawn seating and range between $25 and $35 for the reserved seating and the pit area. More information on Junction 45 can be found at wcfairpark.com/Junction45.

Culaccino Bar + Italian Kitchen open in West Bend

Culaccino Bar + Italian Kitchen, 110 Wisconsin Street, in West Bend is now open. The interior has retained some of the familiar architecture from the old farmhouse days as The Binkery but the design and feel of the establishment are a blend of elegant, chic and classy.

The menu features wood-fired pizzas including Margherita featuring San Marzano tomato sauce, fresh mozzarella and basil or Fig and Prosciutto featuring goat cheese, fig mostarda, spinach, roasted garlic and olive oil.

Pasta includes Chicken Carbonara with features papradelle, pancetta, peas, egg and cream or Beef Short rib which features red wine braised beef, red wine sauce, papradelle, charred carrot, and balsamic marinated onion. Culaccino is accepting reservations at this time.

Work underway for new basketball/volleyball/pickleball courts at Regner Park

Work is underway at Regner Park for the new Milwaukee Bucks Court Project. The basketball court, volleyball and pickleball court are being built in the current area of Softball Field A which is located to the north of Carl Kuss Memorial Field, to the east of the parking lot and to the south of the Urban Fishing Pond.

The Milwaukee Bucks and West Bend Mutual Insurance joined together to donate $150,000 for the sports complex. This week the field was leveled, the backstop fencing removed and the new court framed out. According to Park & Rec Dept. head Craig Hoeppner the concrete will be poured next week followed by installation of a sportcourt. The project should be completed by mid-November.

The Sounds of the Season is theme of Germantown Christmas Festival

Germantown’s Christmas Parade and 5K Candy Cane Run/Walk is Nov. 10. That’s the day for the annual Germantown Christmas Festival.

“This year’s theme is ‘The Sounds of the Season’ and we are really happy to have three musical groups providing holiday music along the parade route,” said Lynn Grgich, executive director of the Germantown Chamber of Commerce.

The 5k Candy Cane Run/Walk will kick-off at 10 a.m. from the parking lot of the Germantown Police Department.

Holiday and patriotic music will fill the parade route with three musical groups set to perform. The Germantown Community Band will be featured as the Parade Marshall. “This is the 20th anniversary of the band and we are certainly pleased that the group has been named the Parade Marshall,” says Jim Barnes, the director of the group.

Grgich expects 50 to 60 ‘units’ in the parade and “at least 1,000 people marching.” There are no fees to take part as an entry in the parade but pre-registration is required as a way of managing the order of the units. Parade lineup will be at 12:30 pm and the parade will get underway at 1:30 at Pilgrim Road and Sylvan Circle, immediately north of Mequon Road. The parade will travel north to Fond du Lac Avenue, onto Main Street to Squire Drive, then turn south onto Squire Drive ending in the Life Church parking lot.

At the close of the parade, events will shift to the Germantown Community Library. There will free, horse-drawn carriage rides, hot beverages and treats, Christmas caroling, KID IDs by the Germantown Police Department, a gift basket sale by Friends of the Library, and visits with Santa when he is finished with his work with the parade.

“The actual lighting of the official Village Christmas Tree will take place around 4:15,” said Grgich.

170th anniversary at Fifth Avenue Methodist Church    By Pastor Clarissa Martinelli

We greet you in the name of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. We would be honored if you would be a part of our 170th Church Anniversary Jamboree.

This year Fifth Avenue Methodist Church in West Bend will celebrate its 170th Anniversary. The Jamboree will kick off Saturday, Oct. 20, 2018 at 5 p.m. with an enlightening program rejoicing in our past, present, and future, followed by a dinner celebration.

Our Sunday, Oct. 21, 2018 at 10 a.m. our worship service celebration will be a combination of all the wonderful memories of the past 170 years, rejoicing in God’s richest blessings now, and looking forward to a great future! We are honored to have Bishop Hee-Soo Jung, resident bishop in the Wisconsin Annual Conference, as our guest speaker.

This year’s theme: “RESET FOR TRANSITION”, Making a Commitment to Improvement through Alignment and Involvement, derived from, Haggai 2:9 (The Message).

You have been an essential part of Fifth Avenue United Methodist Church’s history, I hope you will come and help make this an exceptional 170th Church Anniversary.

Please join us in praying that the Lord Jesus will be honored and glorified through all the reflections, singing, preaching, and worship on these special days!

Yours in Christ,  Pastor Clarissa and Martin Martinelli

Ground breaking for new West Bend Medical

A ground breaking was held this week for the new West Bend Medical at 140 E. Water Street in West Bend. The 13,125-square-foot building will be located on the northeast corner of Water Street just east of Wisconsin Street (across from the old Dublin’s Restaurant). “We are excited for the opportunity to bring our brand of healthcare back to the heart of West Bend,” said Dr. Chad Tamez.

“We (the physicians and staff of West Bend Medical) have dedicated our careers to helping our community be healthier both inside and outside the office,” said Dr. Carey Cameron.

Doctor Wolter said, “Redeveloping an unused site in the downtown area is simply an extension of our commitment to making West Bend a better place to live.”

Sex offender released in Town of Jackson

The Washington County Sheriff’s Office informed the public this week of the release of a sex offender. According to authorities his criminal history places him in a classification level which reflects the potential to re-offend.

Christian Petak, 48, will reside at the 1725 CTH NN in the Town of Jackson; while he attempts to locate a residence and employment. During 1999 in Washington County Petak was convicted of 1 count of 2nd Degree Sexual Assault of a Child, 1 count of 3rd Degree Sexual Assault of a Child and 1 count of Traveling Interstate with the Intent to Engage in Sexual Act with a Minor.

Petak will be on probation until Feb. 19, 2022 and will be monitored closely by WI-DOC Division of Community Corrections agents. Petak will have numerous rules and restrictions to follow including wearing a live tracking GPS unit.

An education at the West Bend Airport

More than 100 students from McLane Elementary learned a bit about the dynamics of flight as volunteers from the EAA1158 chapter at the West Bend Airport held demonstrations, gave tours and passed along lessons about flight. The parachute drop was popular with kids along with a chance to sit behind the steering column inside a real plane. There was also a lesson about the power of air … which was presented using a common household item; a hairdryer. Students were able to explore a plane and they were treated to a drone demonstration.

Halloween Trick or Treat in Washington County                By Samantha Sali

Halloween is almost here. Here are some of the trick-or-treat times for Washington, Ozaukee, and Dodge Counties.

Thursday, October 25, 2018  – Mayville (Downtown), 6:00 – 7:30 p.m.

Saturday, October 27, 2018  – Cedarburg, 5 – 8 p.m., Grafton, 5 – 8 p.m., Farmington, 4 – 7 p.m., Hartford (Downtown), 1:00 – 2:30 p.m., Kewaskum, 5 – 7 p.m., Port Washington, 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. Downtown Trick or Treat (Participating businesses will have a pumpkin in the window.) 4 – 7 p.m. city-wide trick or treat, Richfield, 3 – 6 p.m., Slinger, 5 – 7 p.m. (Afterward families are welcome to a free event as Spooky Slinger will be held from 7 p.m. – 9 p.m. at Slinger Community Park with music, pumpkin carving contest, costume contest, food and beverages.), Trenton, 4 – 6 p.m., West Bend, 4 – 6 p.m.

Sunday, October 28, 2018 – Addison, 3:00 – 6 p.m., Belgium, 4:00 – 7:00 p.m., Jackson, 5:30 – 7:30 p.m., Mayville (City), 1:00 – 3:00 p.m., Mequon, 4:00 – 7:00 p.m., Saukville, 4:00 – 7:00 p.m., Thiensville, 3:00 – 6:00 p.m.

Wednesday, October 31, 2018  Halloween – Germantown, 5:30 – 7:30 p.m. Hartford (City), 6 – 8 p.m.

Updates & tidbits

In-person absentee voting is underway in Washington County for the Nov. 6 General Election.

-The city of West Bend Police Department, in cooperation with the Wisconsin Department of Justice and the Drug Enforcement Administration will participate in National Prescription Drug Take Back Day on Saturday, Oct/ 27, 2018 from 9 a.m. – 1 p.m. at 1115 S. Main St., in the parking lot in front of West Bend City Hall.

-American Legion Post 36 will host a brat fry on Friday and Saturday, Oct. 26 and 27 at Highway 33 and 15th Avenue in West Bend. Hours will be from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Proceeds go to local veterans programs.

– Rally Time Sports Bar and Grill in West Bend is looking for a part-time line cook position. Rally Time has a family-friendly team atmosphere. The position is primarily day shift and coverage as needed. Call Dan at 262-389-1142 or Cindy at 262-389-0839 or stop at the bar for an application.

The Hartford community remembers the generous spirit of Terry Lutz  By Samantha Sali

Neighbors in Hartford are singing the praises and saying goodbye to local philanthropist and former President of Signicast Terry Lutz.

Walter “Terry” Lutz died Friday, October 12, 2018 at the age of 78.

Former Hartford Mayor and current Director of the Chamber of Commerce Scott Henke said, “I’m going to miss Terry’s generosity and warm heart. He’s done so many things for the city…we are always indebted to him for those community donations.”

In February 2013 Terry Lutz wrote his autobiography In Pursuit of Manufacturing Excellence – The Signicast Story. In the book Lutz relayed how he “transformed a small job shop on the outskirts of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, into the largest commercial investment casting company in the United States.”

According to the book, “Lutz grew up in Haddonfield, New Jersey and received a Bachelor of Science degree in Metallurgical Engineering from Lafayette College in Easton, Pennsylvania. After working many years at Haynes Stellite Company in Kokomo, Indiana, Lutz moved his family to Cedarburg in 1974 and joined Signicast as a General Manager in Brown Deer.”

By 1978 Lutz was the President of Signicast and in 1981, purchased the company. He led the company from sales of $1 million and 30 employees in 1974 to $149 million in sales and 690 employees by 2012.

Lutz reluctantly sold Signicast in 2008 to The Pritzker Group but stayed on as president until retiring in 2012.

In early 2018, Signicast renamed its auditorium in honor of Lutz. This week Signicast released a statement on its website as a tribute to its former owners.

“Terry Lutz contributed in many immeasurable ways to Signicast, the investment casting industry and to our local community. As visionary for the Signicast business we know today, it was his persistent way that revolutionized the industry. His drive, inquisitive nature, dedication to continuous flow manufacturing, use of automation and application of world class process engineering, opened new possibilities for the application of investment casting. Along the way he taught many others because of his own inquisitiveness and allowed them to expand their own careers in the process. After selling Signicast, he directed that same drive and passion toward donating both his time and financial resources in support of his local community. On behalf of all Signicast employees, our hearts and best wishes are with Terry’s family and loved ones.”

As Lutz made a significant impact on the growth and development of Signicast, his dedication to Washington County is equally noteworthy.

Creating the Lutz Family Foundation, Terry Lutz was a benefactor for high-profile landmarks in Hartford. His most noteworthy monetary gifts were to the Harford Recreation Center Signicast Family Pool, Schauer Arts Center, Jack Russell Memorial Library, the Chandelier Ballroom, and Veterans Memorial Aquatic Center.

In 2017, he also donated over $2 million to Waukesha County Technical College.

The Dean of Applied Technologies at Waukesha County Technical College, Mike Shiels, said Lutz was very involved in education.

“Terry had an incredible passion and vision for technical education and he really understood what it takes to deliver that quality education,” said Shiels. “He was willing to make significant investments to ensure education could be delivered and could carry on for generations to come. While he was an employer at Signicast, he sent many apprentices to us and hired many of our graduates. He will be missed and it was in honor to have known him.”

Michele Price, Executive Director of the Chandelier Ballroom, said Lutz had always been a huge supporter of the Ballroom and all of the projects through the years.

“I feel as though the Ballroom would not be standing here today without Terry’s support,” Price said. “His generous spirit is like nothing I’ve ever seen. He was so successful in life, paid it forward, and to be around a person like him was really special. He’s an amazing man and I’m so proud to have known him and been able to be a part of the wonderful things he’s done for the city.”

Hartford Park and Recreation Director Mike Herman said Lutz was extremely generous and quick to step forward to make the community a great place to live.

“One of the first major gifts he made was in 1999 when we were building the Hartford Recreation Center,” said Herman. “He gifted the Signicast Family Aquatic Center. Terry and his wife were also our honorary campaign chairs for raising money for the Veterans Memorial Aquatic Center. They made a major donation of $1.5 million and inspired the community to step forward; we ended up raising $2.3 million. It was a pleasure working with Terry and his wife through the campaign.”

Please keep the Lutz family in your thoughts and prayers. Visitation was Thursday, Oct. 18, 2018 at the Chandelier Ballroom. In lieu of flowers please donate to the Hartford Boys and Girls Club or to the Washington County Humane Society.

Find local news for free 7 days a week at WashingtonCountyInsider.com

Around the Bend by Judy Steffes

New baseball coach for West Bend West Spartans

West Bend West has a new head baseball coach as Dan D’Amico has been hired to fill the post following the end-of-season retirement of Billy Albrecht. D’Amico, 31, is currently a teacher at Waukesha North High School.

“An opportunity to coach a team like West Bend West doesn’t come up every day,” said D’Amico. “Having coached a summer team for the last six years and playing high school summer baseball myself the tradition of West Bend West is hard to miss. I was well aware going in of what success coach Albrecht had in the past.”

D’Amico mentioned the strong tradition of baseball in the community of West Bend overall.

The WIAA spring baseball season starts in March 2019.  D’Amico said he realizes baseball fans are not familiar with starting a season in the snow but it should be an enjoyable experience.

“This will be a good situation for West Bend West because it will allow the kids to play more baseball,” he said. “They’ll get a chance to play for their high school in the spring and they’ll get a chance to play club or with some travel team in the summer.”

D’Amico was more than familiar that he was coming into a new stadium situation as Carl Kuss Memorial Field is undergoing an extensive upgrade. “Fortunately I was able to play in the last regular season game at Regner,” he said. “We played West Bend East in the last game before the playoffs.

“I’m well aware of the history of the stadium and it’s a beautiful stadium and I think the upgrade is going to be a wonderful opportunity for both schools and the community and I’m excited to see what it looks like,” he said.

D’Amico was coach of the Waukesha North boys varsity baseball team for the past five seasons. He started as an Assistant Varsity/JV Head Coach in 2013 and became head coach the last four years. D’Amico attended UW-Stevens Point where he majored in Physical Education. He is currently a Phy Ed teacher as well as a football and track assistant coach at Waukesha North.

Questioned whether he will be changing jobs and teaching in the West Bend School District, D’Amico said, “My students ask me that 15 times a day and right now there’s no teaching job that’s been offered to me and I plan on staying in Waukesha as long as they’ll have me.”

Albrecht coached WB West baseball team for 13 years. He retired the end of the 2018 season.

Soft opening for Culaccino Bar + Italian Kitchen

The opening of Culaccino Bar + Italian Kitchen, 110 Wisconsin Street, is so close…. you can almost taste it. The new outdoor sign went up Friday afternoon just in time for a soft, soft opening this weekend. It’s an invite-only sort of event, which will run the next couple of days as the staff gets its footing. Pronounced cool-lah-chino, the modern Italian restaurant is the homegrown concept of Bibinger’s owner Travis Dowden. Designed to deliver Italian-inspired, honest cooking, with an emphasis on using the highest quality ingredients, locally-sourced whenever possible. The new sign for Culaccino was produced by Odd Job Shop in West Bend.

New sign in place at Washington County Fair Park

The folks at Washington County Fair Park took the new sign on Highway 45 for a test drive on Thursday afternoon and lit up the LED board. The new digital sign is about twice the size of the old and it’s in color; staff said the goal was an easier read for motorists along the highway. Also new: the lettering across the top, a larger banner for the Fair Park & Conference Center and a larger banner for the Washington County 4H. The project was completed by SignEffectz.Inc.

Ground breaking Monday, Oct. 15 for new West Bend Medical

Construction is underway for the new West Bend Medical at 140 E. Water Street in West Bend.

The 13,125-square-foot building will be located on the northeast corner of Water Street just east of Wisconsin Street (across from the old Dublin’s Restaurant). The groundbreaking will be held on Monday, Oct. 15 at 6:15 p.m. “We are excited for the opportunity to bring our brand of healthcare back to the heart of West Bend,” said Dr. Chad Tamez.

“We (the physicians and staff of West Bend Medical) have dedicated our careers to helping our community be healthier both inside and outside the office,” said Dr. Carey Cameron.

Doctor Wolter said, “Redeveloping an unused site in the downtown area is simply an extension of our commitment to making West Bend a better place to live.”

Development in Germantown

Although construction is already underway on 140 acres in Germantown, a ceremonial groundbreaking was held Tuesday afternoon to acknowledge the new Briggs & Stratton facility and Germantown’s future Gateway Corporate Park.

Stats on development include:

-706,000-square-foot industrial distribution facility for Briggs & Stratton Corporation.

-Gateway Corporate Park will be home to future build-to-suit projects up to 1.4 million square feet.

-To put the project into perspective, the Amazon development in Kenosha is 1 million square feet and the Germantown development is 700,000+ square feet.

-Thirty jobs will be created at the distribution facility.

Christian Tscheschlok, Executive Director of Economic Development Washington County, said the county EDWC got involved in April 2018 and made quick work of helping secure the project.

“This is exciting on so many levels because really what it’s showing is the opportunity in front of us right now as it relates to some of the spillover from the Foxconn effect,” said Tscheschlok.

“You’re seeing the market heat up so substantially in southeast Wisconsin and some of the effect for Washington County will be to leverage the position we have to be able to tap into multiple labor sheds, available space and land that is still cost effective for development and new opportunity and a workforce that’s highly skilled and you put all that together and we represent a significant place for economic development that’s going to come off of some of the challenges they’re already facing already in the Kenosha/Racine area.”

-Guest speakers included Chad Navis, Director of Industrial Investments – Zilber Property Group, Dean Wolter, Village Board President in Germantown, John Kersey, Executive Vice President with Zilber Property Group and Bill Harlow, Director of Global Distribution and Warehousing Briggs & Stratton.

-Target completion date for Briggs distribution facility is April 1, 2019.

West Bend School Board votes 6-1 on 2018-19 teacher contract

The 2018-19 teacher collective bargaining agreement was approved on a 6-1 vote during Monday night’s West Bend School Board meeting. Ken Schmidt was the only dissenting vote.

Dave Hammelmann with the West Bend School District said, “We did complete the WBEA teachers union and we had two negotiation meetings in September.

“The negotiations did end in at impasse for both 2017-18 and 2018-19 so in general where we ended up is within the preliminary budget you all approved and authorization was given to that.

“In general it’s a 2 percent across-the-board increase for teachers which includes the teachers making over $70,000 who in the past had been at a cap. So they received in the past a cash-in-lieu-of payment instead of a natural base increase. So this plan does include that so I’m pleased to say that’s where we are.”

Ken Schmidt said he would be voting ‘no’ on the proposed contract.

“I have no problem with the amount of dollars that will be disseminated however the way they are disseminated is a challenge for me. Across-the-board base wages makes us as a district locked into that increase and that can have repercussions for the future, especially if we get into tight budget years.

“This economy is on steroids, we’ve got a great economy and because of that property values are up. There’s a high demand for housing and so on and that means there will be more taxes coming into the coffers but that’s not always going to be the case. Property values can go down and have a bad economy and then what do we do?

“Maybe give a partial across-the-board increase that would be ok with a maybe a bonus but … 2 percent lock it in across the board I think that locks us in as a district to maybe some obligations we may have problems with in the future and have to cut this or that to fund this increase, we could even be facing an operational referendum and I don’t want to see that in the West Bend School District.

“I think there’s a more reasonable way of providing this increase to our faculty and support staff.”

Board members voting in favor of the contract include Tiffany Larson, Nancy Justman, Joel Ongert, Tonnie Schmidt, Chris Zwygart, and Kurt Rebholz.

Details on the compensation package regarding health insurance and benefits included in the contract were not provided.

Superintendent Don Kirkegaard said after the meeting all teachers were treated the same. “Everybody got a flat 2 percent and that was true for all the support staff as well,” he said.

Questioned how teachers will be encouraged to excel if they’re all treated the same, Kirkegaard said, “At this time we do not have a quality process in place that addresses performance, all of the different things. That’s not there and that’s one of the things we’re going to work on for this year is to try to put something back in place so for future years you potentially have a flat amount but you also provide additional incentives based on certain criteria and that’s what we’ll work on this year.”

Paying tribute to Jeff Klotz

Funeral services were held Friday for Jeffrey Steven Klotz who was called to be with the Lord and his older brother, Daniel, on Oct. 5, 2018 at age 61.

Since the news broke about Jeff’s death many have written memories and tributes. A collection of thoughts and comments are below:

Jenny Kruse-Zaskowski – Our thoughts and prayers to Jeff’s family. As a very frequent shopper he is a testimonial to true leadership. He was always working side by side with all of his youth employees. He instilled great work ethic in his entire staff and showed customer and community service like no other. What a loss to our community.

Valery Brussat  – A great loss to our community. Sending prayers to his family.

Debra Jurcek  – What a great loss and shock. Just recently I asked him to stock something for me and a week or so later it was at the store. He really cared for his customers. Prayers to his family.

Grant Baehmann – What a wonderful man and boss he was. He will be deeply missed.

Sharon Grammel (Duckett)  – Jeff was a great boss and mentor when I worked for him and Carole back in the early 80’s at Benidts Red Owl. I am just shocked and saddened. He will truly be missed. My thoughts and prayers are with the entire Klotz family.

Anna Marie – My first summer job. I remember for lunch he’d always ask me to make him a hot ham sandwich on a Kaiser roll with plenty of horseradish sauce. He was a good man to work for and always with a smile on his face.

Barb Datka Redman – So sad. Jeff gave my son his first job. He was/is a very good man and his will be felt by the entire community.

Lisa Ryan – What a huge loss. I will forever remember a tall blonde haired man, always saying hello to me. Jeff? You were a man who cared about his customers and treated those customers as friends. RIP dear man. I wish your family peace and comfort in your memory.

Pattie Coffelt Philipps – So sad to hear this. We’re regular customers and always saw Jeff working at the store. Always a smile and hello. Heartfelt sympathy for his family, friends, and employees.

AnnMarie Corbett- Prayers to the family! He always greeted everyone with a smile and a Hello…The store won’t be the same without him!

Tom Jensen -He will be terribly missed. Jeff was a natural leader who taught by doing and not by intimidation. From him, I learned to importance of hard work, friendliness, and never giving up until the job was done. These examples were important for this snot-nosed kid in 1980 at the old Red Owl on Washington Street. God Bless you Jeff.

Jenny Schulteis – He was absolutely a quiet community leader. He helped D11SC, Inc. With our Thanksgiving and Christmas meal initiatives to provide meals for local families in need. He was happy to so this with a joyful heart.

Larry Last-  I was shocked. Jeff as so many say will be missed. A pillar in the community, always supporting events and teams and more. Gave so many jobs to teens. My most favorite grocer ever. Always ready to great customers with that kind and caring spirit. You have been a great example to me and so so many more. Prayers to all your loved ones Sir. Rest in Peace and we all shall meet again on the other side.

Josh Wiedmeyer – He is going to be truly missed. My daughters and I shop every Saturday morning at the Pig. Jeff always said hi and would go out his way to help. How many grocery store owners today are still on the floor stocking, shelf facing or just being completely approachable? He was one of the very last of those guys and the very reason I would shop a grocery store. He was awesome!

Mark Hoefert – I remember when Jeff started working at the Red Owl store in West Bend, as the Assistant Manager to Gregg Benidt who had purchased the store. The Benidt family owned numerous grocery stores in Waukesha at the time – as I recall, Jeff had worked for them before they bought the West Bend store. Gregg himself died at a young age in a tragic car accident near his home on east Paradise Road in the Town of Trenton. I used to tell Jeff that someday he would own the Red Owl store and he would laugh at me. I was 1/2 right – he may not have become the owner of the Red Owl store, but he did become owner of his own Piggly Wiggly. I don’t think I ever knew a more positive, upbeat guy. Always smiling.

Lisa Lange I can’t wrap my head around this news. I just saw you last week. Jeff I have known you for many years. You always had a smile on your face when I ran into you at the Pig. I watched your kids and even worked for you and Carole in High School. Sending many thoughts and prayers. R.I.P Jeff.

Jeff never met a golf course he wouldn’t play, a mountain he wouldn’t hike, or a person he wouldn’t help. A masterful and hilarious storyteller. A good man, a great man, and a great loss.

Halloween Trick or Treat in Washington County                By Samantha Sali

Halloween is almost here. Here are some of the trick-or-treat times for Washington, Ozaukee, and Dodge Counties.

Thursday, October 25, 2018  – Mayville (Downtown), 6:00 – 7:30 p.m.

Saturday, October 27, 2018  – Cedarburg, 5 – 8 p.m., Grafton, 5 – 8 p.m., Farmington, 4 – 7 p.m., Hartford (Downtown), 1:00 – 2:30 p.m., Kewaskum, 5 – 7 p.m., Port Washington, 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. Downtown Trick or Treat (Participating businesses will have a pumpkin in the window.) 4 – 7 p.m. city-wide trick or treat, Richfield, 3 – 6 p.m., Slinger, 5 – 7 p.m. (Afterward families are welcome to a free event as Spooky Slinger will be held from 7 p.m. – 9 p.m. at Slinger Community Park with music, pumpkin carving contest, costume contest, food and beverages.), Trenton, 4 – 6 p.m., West Bend, 4 – 6 p.m.

Sunday, October 28, 2018 – Addison, 3:00 – 6 p.m., Belgium, 4:00 – 7:00 p.m., Jackson, 5:30 – 7:30 p.m., Mayville (City), 1:00 – 3:00 p.m., Mequon, 4:00 – 7:00 p.m., Saukville, 4:00 – 7:00 p.m., Thiensville, 3:00 – 6:00 p.m.

Wednesday, October 31, 2018  Halloween – Germantown, 5:30 – 7:30 p.m. Hartford (City), 6 – 8 p.m.

Updates & tidbits

– The doors at Good Shepherd Lutheran and Little Lambs Child Care will be open to the community this Sunday, Oct. 14, from 2 p.m. – 4 p.m. Tours of Good Shepherd and Little Lambs Child Care, treats, door prizes and more. Bring your friends and relatives to see the blessings showered on Good Shepherd and the vision to connect to Christ, each other and our community. Join in the activities and the fun.

– There’s a complimentary session on Monday, Oct. 15 at Good Shepherd Lutheran Church in West Bend on how to plan to finance a college education. RSVP at 262-224-5058 or email peter.kapler@thrivent.com

– Keller Inc. carried out its 4th annual Police Dedication and presented about a dozen checks for $2,500 each to area police departments including Germantown Police Department.

In-person absentee voting is underway in Washington County for the Nov. 6 General Election.

– The VFW Post #1393 in West Bend, 260 Sand Drive, is gearing up to host its annual spaghetti dinner on Saturday, Oct. 13 from 4 p.m. – 7 p.m.. All money raised goes to the organizations general fund. Bring the family and come join us.

– The Allenton Volunteer Fire Department and St. Lawrence Fire Company have announced plans for their annual Pancake Breakfast and Open House in conjunction with Fire Prevention Week. This year’s event will be Sunday, Oct. 14 from 8 a.m. to 12 noon at the Allenton Fire Department.

-American Legion Post 36 will host a brat fry on Friday and Saturday, Oct. 26 and 27 at Highway 33 and 15th Avenue in West Bend. Hours will be from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Proceeds go to local veterans programs.

– The annual Interfaith Tea is just around the corner and you’re invited. This year’s theme is Tailgating. Celebrity waiters will serve you and your guests and there will be an amazing silent auction, a fun purse auction, 50-50 raffle and a beer and wine pull. Lots of fun on tap and all for a good cause. Interfaith Caregivers of Washington County is a local organization that matches volunteers with senior citizens to help with doctor appointments, shopping, cleaning and just paying it forward. Reserve your seat today and contact Interfaith Caregivers of Washington County.  See you Oct. 14 at the West Bend Mutual Prairie Center.

– Hartford’s H.e.l.p. Corner at Redeemer Church is slated to open mid-September.

– Rally Time Sports Bar and Grill in West Bend is looking for a part-time line cook position. Rally Time has a family-friendly team atmosphere. The position is primarily day shift and coverage as needed. Call Dan at 262-389-1142 or Cindy at 262-389-0839 or stop at the bar for an application.

Find local news for free 7 days a week at WashingtonCountyInsider.com

Astronaut and Cosmonaut Survive Rocket Malfunction

Wow.

A capsule carrying the two crew members of a Russian Soyuz rocket that malfunctioned on lift-off has landed safely in Kazakhstan.

Russian Cosmonaut Alexey Ovchinin and US astronaut Nick Hague are reported to be “in good condition”, both Nasa and Russian media said.

Search and rescue teams are now en route to the landing site.

The rocket had taken off for the International Space Station (ISS) when it suffered a problem with its booster.

The crew had to return in “ballistic descent mode”, Nasa tweeted, which it explained was “a sharper angle of landing compared to normal”.

Around the Bend by Judy Steffes

Remembering “quiet community leader” Jeff Klotz from Klotz’s Piggly Wiggly

Neighbors in West Bend are mourning the loss of community leader Jeff Klotz.

Klotz was co-owner of the Piggly Wiggly in West Bend, Campbellsport and in April 2016 he purchased a store in Fond du Lac.

George Prescott of West Bend was a fellow grocer. “I’ve got a lot of respect for him,” said Prescott. “He had good service, a good reputation and I’m just shocked.”

Bob Bonenfant, formerly with WBKV Radio, knew Klotz personally and worked with him on radio ads.

“I just liked the guy,” said Bonenfant. “I never saw a person who worked so hard in his life. He was always here at the store and he was working.”

Klotz had a very high profile at the store on Highway 33 in West Bend. He could be seen regularly in the aisles wearing his green Piggly Wiggly apron and talking to customers or stocking product.

“For an owner he did everything from stocking shelves to making sure the carts were picked up,” said Bonenfant.

West Bend Mayor Kraig Sadownikow said, “Jeff Klotz was a quiet leader and a man who gave hundreds of high school kids the opportunity to have their first job.”

Todd Tennies said Klotz was always a big supporter of high school athletics. “I know he had a son who was a good football player and he donated a lot to sports groups. He was always very community minded and I’m saddened by his loss,” said Tennies.

Jeff Szukalski, owner of Jeff’s Spirits on Main, was shocked by the news.

“Jeff was a great guy, great friend, great business guy and he cared about the kids in the community,” he said. “He was always there to pitch in for the Food Pantry and for the West Bend Christmas Parade.”

Klotz’s Piggly Wiggly was previously located on N. Main Street in Barton. The store moved to E. Washington Street in 2004. Jeff Klotz was active in the West Bend Baseball Association, West Bend Christmas Parade, youth sports leagues and the West Bend Food Pantry.

The Washington County Sheriff Deputies were called to Klotz’s home in Kewaskum early Friday morning.

An autopsy shows Klotz died from natural causes related to high blood pressure. Services for Jeff Klotz will be held at St. John’s Lutheran Church in West Bend. Details will be posted shorlty by the Phillip Funeral Home. Early plans are set for Thursday, Oct. 11, 2018 3 p.m. – 6 p.m.

Woman crashes into Big Cedar Lake off CTH K and State Hwy 144

Nobody was hurt following a single-vehicle accident early Wednesday morning at State Highway 144 and County Highway K.

Washington County Sheriff Dale Schmidt said a woman from Fond du Lac was eastbound on CTH K and failed to stop at the intersection, continued east and ended up in Big Cedar Lake.

The accident happened shortly after 4:30 a.m. on Oct. 3. “Another motorist called it in. That person said the woman was driving erratically around I41 and CTH K,” said Schmidt. “The woman missed the stop sign at the bottom of the hill and drove into the lake and landed half on the pier.”

Schmidt said alcohol was not a factor in the accident nor a medical condition.

The woman, 38, told authorities she was on I41 and missed her exit. She got confused and took CTH K and was driving at a high rate of speed and didn’t see the stop sign or the intersection.

A citation will be mailed to the woman. Schmidt said she was not injured.

Accepted offer on former Graymont building in downtown West Bend

The former Graymont building, 206 N. Sixth Ave., in downtown West Bend has an accepted offer.

Seed of Hope Center is looking to purchase the building. The medical clinic, based in West Bend, provides free pregnancy testing, sexual health consultations, and parenting education.

“We have been serving Washington County for 26 years,” said executive director Laura Denk. “We’ve moved around a bit and we’ve been thinking we have so many women that come to us and those who love our services and we wanted to put our roots down in Washington County and make it permanent.”

Seed of Hope Center has moved four times in the last 17 years. It is currently located in the office building, 279 S. 17th Avenue, in West Bend. Prior to that it was located in the Spaulding Clinical building off Oak Street and prior to that it was in two different locations in Hartford.

“We love everything about the building but the biggest thing that attracts us to it is the location,” Denk said. “We work so closely with many different agencies in Washington County and we felt we would be surrounded by other agencies that could provide services some of our moms need.”

Denk mentioned Family Promise, Life of Hope, the Department of Social Services, Froedtert St. Joseph’s Hospital and Friends of Abused Families as key partner agencies in the community.

Currently Seed of Hope Center has about 3,000 square feet of space. The site on Sixth Avenue measures a little more than twice that.

“We want to build an educational kitchen so we can teach,” said Denk. “A lot of our moms learn how to set a menu and grocery shop but some don’t and this would be a good opportunity to teach.”

Seed of Hope Center averages 600 – 800 people that take advantage of classes each year.

“Our future, future goal would be to provide not a shelter, but a home for moms prior to giving birth,” Denk said. “Some of the young ladies that come here were never nurtured and they never learned how to be a parent. We’re looking for a short term 6 to 9 month stay that helps these moms learn life skills, deal with their own life struggles and just to get them on their feet so when their baby is born they could raise their own family.”

Denk said the goal would be to be in the same building but they haven’t even explored that yet.

“Buying this building is just a stepping stone,” she said. “The purpose of buying the building is to be one location for all our services.” Denk credited the multiple donors and supporters for assisting in the purchase of the building. The building on the northwest corner of Sixth Avenue and Elm Street was built in 1961.

According to the city assessor the property was assessed at $414,500 in 2018. The total property tax in 2017 was $9,726.13. The portion that went to the BID assessment was $1,320. Seed of Hope Center is a 501c3 non-profit. The city assessor’s office said it would have until March 1, 2019 to apply for exemption. Seed of Hope Center is planning to move into its new location before the end of the year.

In March 2016 the property went up for sale. Below is the archived story from Around the Bend.

Property updates: The former Graymont building, 206 N. Sixth Avenue in West Bend, has finally hit the real estate market. The property is formerly home to Western Lime Corporation. It changed to Graymont in April 2012 after the company moved from a small office above the Husar building.

Last April, Graymont moved across the street to 215 N. Main Street, formerly the Ziegler building.  The property at 206 N. Sixth Ave. was built in 1961, updated in 1994, is 7,500 square feet and is listed by agent Jodi Brandt from RSM Property Management & Realty at $495,000.

The closing date according to RSM Property is November however that date may be pushed up a bit. We’ll keep you posted.

Fire Prevention Week is underway                       By Ron Naab

Since 1922, the NFPA has sponsored the public observance of Fire Prevention Week. In 1925, President Calvin Coolidge proclaimed Fire Prevention Week a national observance, making it the longest-running public health observance in our country.

Fire Prevention Week is observed each year during the week of Oct. 9 in commemoration of the Great Chicago Fire, which began on October 8, 1871, and caused devastating damage.

This horrific fire killed more than 250 people, left 100,000 homeless, destroyed more than 17,400 structures, and burned more than 2,000 acres of land. Both fires started on Oct. 8 and intensified on Oct. 9. The Peshtigo fire came to a halt when it reached the shores of Lake Michigan.

During Fire Prevention Week the goal is to educate children and adults on being safe in case of a fire. The teaching theme for this year’s Fire Prevention Week is: Look, Listen, Learn. Be aware of your surroundings because fire can happen anywhere. Look for places fire could start around your home, your work place and the places you have fun at. Listen for the sound of the smoke alarm.

Test your smoke detectors, if they are 10 years old replace them. Do a drill so all know what to do and where to go. Finally, learn two ways out of every room and out of your house. Make sure all doors and windows are cleared of any clutter.

In Washington County the week starts off Friday night with the Richfield Fire Company 25th Annual Fire Prevention Week Kick-Off on Friday evening starting at 6:30 until 9 p.m.

There will be a huge display of fire trucks and emergency equipment along with a landing of the Flight for Life Ambulance Helicopter [7:45 pm].    This will be followed by the other departments in the county hosting activities throughout the week.

Washington Co. Fire Prevention Week activities are below:

Allenton Vol. Fire Department and St. Lawrence Fire Company    Pancake Breakfast & Open House on Sunday, Oct. 14, 8 a.m.-12 noon at the Allenton Fire Station

Boltonville Fire Department Open House at Boltonville Fire Station on Monday, Oct. 8, 6-8 p.m.

Fillmore Fire Department Open House on Saturday, Oct. 13, 1-3 p.m.

Germantown FD Fire Safety Fair at Station No. 2 on Edison Dr., Saturday, Oct. 6; 10 a.m. -2 p.m.

Hartford Fire-Rescue Open House on Saturday, Oct. 6, 10 a.m. – 1 p.m.

Jackson Fire Department Open House on Wednesday, Oct. 10, 6 – 8 p.m.

Kewaskum Fire Department Open House on Thursday, Oct. 11, 6:00-8:00 pm

Kohlsville Fire Department Open House on Saturday, Oct. 6, 2 p.m. – 4 p.m.

Richfield Fire Prevention Week Kick-Off at RFC Station 2 on Friday, Oct. 5, 6:30-9:00 pm

Slinger Fire Department Open House at Slinger Community Park on Tuesday, Oct. 9, 6 -8 p.m.

West Bend Fire Department Open House at Station No. 1 on Saturday, Oct. 6, 10 a.m. – 1 p.m.

Washington County Supervisor resignation letter             By William Blanchard

On Thursday, Dist. 11 Washington Co. Supervisor William Blanchard submitted a letter of resignation to the Washington County Board. His letter is below followed by a note from County Administrator Joshua Schoemann

Early on in my life, my parents taught me the importance of giving back to your community.  Whether it was delivering meals on wheels with my dad, mowing the lawn or shoveling the sidewalk of an older neighbor, helping with a handicapped Boy Scout troop or going on mission trips to Mexico to assist with building homes, I have looked for ways to give back and serve those less fortunate.  That sense of giving back has been carried through to my adult life.  For 28 years I have honorably served this country.  I have sacrificed the comforts of home and modern life to serve in other countries.  I have sacrificed time with friends and family for training and deployments.  Additionally, I have volunteered my time as a Firefighter and EMT with Campbellsport Volunteer Fire Department and now as a Firefighter with Boltonville Fire Department.

As my military career winded down and I began to seriously contemplate retirement, I looked for a new way to serve my community.  After serious contemplation and discussions with my family, I decided to run for County Board Supervisor.  I knocked on doors and got to meet many of my neighbors that I otherwise wouldn’t have had the opportunity to meet.  Unfortunately, I didn’t win the election but it was a blessing in disguise as my hero, my Dad, passed away from cancer the day before the election and I needed the time to deal with the loss.  I was thrilled when I learned that the County Board Supervisor position for District 11 was open and even more thrilled when I was appointed to that position in August.

I am devastated that I am now forced, under duress, to resign from my position as Washington County Board Supervisor for District 11.  Over the past few weeks, I have been subjected to harassing calls and threats to resign or else… Why am I being forced to resign?  NOT because I have done anything wrong or committed any ethics violation but, rather, because my mentally ill daughter is receiving services from Washington County.

Therefore, with a heavy heart, I submit this letter as my resignation from my position as Washington County Board Supervisor for District 11.

From: Joshua Schoemann Joshua.Schoemann@co.washington.wi.us Date: Wed, Oct 3, 2018 at 9:16 PM Subject: Resignation Announcement

To: Sent to all County Board Supervisors.

I have received multiple communications from several Supervisors about the email you received from Supervisor Blanchard today announcing his intent to resign as a County Board Supervisor. As with all Board communication I highly advise you to refrain from any discussion amongst yourselves regarding this matter, including any ‘Reply’ or ‘Reply All’ to the original email from Supervisor Blanchard. I only give this advice as the matter may relate to the Open Meetings Law, as it may or may not be discussed by the County Board and as it has been considered by the Ethics Committee.

Please be advised this matter is of a sensitive nature, and thus requires the County’s strictest diligence. While Supervisor Blanchard is certainly allowed to share, as he did, any and all detail he feels appropriate, the County must follow all legal protocols within the ethics realm, as well as within the realm of treating clients and navigating through the court system with clients (if there were to be any).

Please know that Chairman Kriefall, Attorney Stern and I have worked hard to follow these protocols to date, including the process for seeking an ethics opinion via County Code. In the coming days we will work through further protocols to ensure compliance, while informing the Board as legally allowed.

I thank you for your patience, understanding and for not politicizing this 100% non – political matter.

Sincerely and Respectfully,

Joshua Schoemann County Administrator

Slinger student working on Eagle Scout Project             By Alex Lange

I have been very busy these past couple of months with demolition and fundraising on my Eagle Scout Project for the Slinger VFW.

I removed the pergola at Jim’s Place. Then with the help of Kevin Zee Home and Ground Improvement we moved the brat shack, shed and the large tables to allow access to the brick pavers for removal. Later, I removed six light posts and two permanent garbage cans. Some members from my troop volunteered their time to help remove the bricks from the patio and put them on pallets. I also removed the rotted fencing. This Saturday we took the pallets of bricks off the patio and moved them towards the back of the lot with the help of Randy Duquette. This has cleared the way to work on the new foundation.

I have also been very active raising funds. Speaking to local service organizations, churches and businesses that also have been very supportive of my project. Tile sales for the Honor and Appreciation Wall have been steady as well. I have enough funds to begin buying some of the necessary supplies to begin rebuilding, starting with the foundation.

City of West Bend recognized as Ice Age Trail Community

The City of West Bend received special recognition this week as an Ice Age Trail Community.

The Certificate of Special Senatorial Recognition read: Congratulations on your recognition by the Ice Age Trail Alliance as an Ice Age Trail Community. Thank you for your deep respect for the rich history of this area and your commitment to enhancing awareness of the Ice Age National Scenic Trail.  Signed United States Senator Ron Johnson.

Dist. 6 alderman Steve Hoogester presented the announcement during the Common Council meeting.

In June 2017 the West Bend Common Council approved the Ice Age Trail Alliance property acquisition on Highway 33. The woodsy lot belonged to the Living Trust of Sharon E. Marth. The parcel was sold June 1, 2017 for $360,000 to the Ice Age Trail Alliance, Inc., A Wisconsin Corporation.

Mike Wollmer, executive director with Ice Age Trail Alliance, said the acquisition of the Marth property will extend the trail from Ridge Run Park out to Highway 33. “It will eliminate the long road walk that currently exists between Camp Silverbrook and Highway 33,” he said.

West Bend Fire Department Citizen Awards

The West Bend Fire Department handed out a couple of citizen awards during the Monday night Common Council meeting.  This is the 2018 Fire Department Citizen Appreciation Awards.

Deputy Fire Chief Charles Beistle recognized Washington County Sheriff Deputies Timothy Dexter and Justin Jilling and Kewaskum volunteer firefighter Josh Harter were recognized for helping at a house fire in Dec. 20, 2017.

On December 20, 2017, Deputies Jilling and Dexter were enroute to serve a warrant when they noticed an unusual amount of dark colored smoke coming from a residence in the area. Upon investigation they found dark colored smoke originating from the rear of a residence. Already on scene was Josh Harter (a volunteer firefighter from Kewaskum) who works in the area and saw the smoke himself. He stated that he had already called 911 and was attempting to alert the occupants. Deputies and Mr. Harter attempted to alert residents who were not home. They also used extinguishers to attempt to put out the fire. Through the efforts of all the individuals involved they helped reduce the property damage by early notification of fire department and Deputies using their extinguishers. With their efforts they also saved the lives of family pets inside the house, that were later rescued by the fire department.

Steve Eklund and his wife were also recognized for contacting the WBFD about faulty lighting on their Christmas tree. On Monday January 8, 2018, Steve Eklund and his wife were taking down their artificial Christmas tree when it began to smoke. It gave off a choking electrical smell which filled the room. He unplugged the tree which took away any further hazard. He contacted the fire department after investigating and found the LED wiring system had failed and began to overheat. He brought his findings and tree to the fire station and reported his findings. All information was passed on to the United States Consumer Product Safety Commission. Mr. Ecklund was willing to put in the extra interest and effort to try to make sure this doesn’t happen to somebody else. If this would have happened during the night or other times when adults were not right there, I believe it would have been worse results possibly even fatal.

Halloween Trick or Treat in Washington County                By Samantha Sali

Halloween is almost here. Here are some of the trick-or-treat times for Washington, Ozaukee, and Dodge Counties.

Thursday, October 25, 2018  – Mayville (Downtown), 6:00 – 7:30 p.m.

Saturday, October 27, 2018  – Cedarburg, 5 – 8 p.m., Grafton, 5 – 8 p.m., Farmington, 4 – 7 p.m., Hartford (Downtown), 1:00 – 2:30 p.m., Kewaskum, 5 – 7 p.m., Port Washington, 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. Downtown Trick or Treat (Participating businesses will have a pumpkin in the window.) 4 – 7 p.m. city-wide trick or treat, Richfield, 3 – 6 p.m., Slinger, 5 – 7 p.m. (Afterward families are welcome to a free event as Spooky Slinger will be held from 7 p.m. – 9 p.m. at Slinger Community Park with music, pumpkin carving contest, costume contest, food and beverages.), Trenton, 4 – 6 p.m., West Bend, 4 – 6 p.m.

Sunday, October 28, 2018 – Addison, 3:00 – 6 p.m., Belgium, 4:00 – 7:00 p.m., Jackson, 5:30 – 7:30 p.m., Mayville (City), 1:00 – 3:00 p.m., Mequon, 4:00 – 7:00 p.m., Saukville, 4:00 – 7:00 p.m., Thiensville, 3:00 – 6:00 p.m.

Wednesday, October 31, 2018  Halloween – Germantown, 5:30 – 7:30 p.m. Hartford (City), 6 – 8 p.m.

Don’t forget the Downtown West Bend Association will host its annual Fall Fest on Friday, Oct. 12 from 5 p.m. – 7 p.m.  Dress up in your Halloween costume and trick or treat in downtown West Bend. Look for the pumpkin in the window of participating businesses.

There will be lots of spooktacular activities for the whole family to enjoy including face painting by Maverick Tattoos LLC and balloon art by First Baptist Church of West Bend, Wisconsin.   Compete in pumpkin bowling sponsored by Slesar Glass Shop and Sals Pizzeria! Roll a hand-size pumpkin knock down pins and win prizes.

Updates & tidbits

 In-person absentee voting is underway in Washington County for the Nov. 6 General Election.

– Visit Heritage House, Cedar Community’s restored turn-of-the-century farmhouse, located at their main campus, 5595 County Road Z, West Bend, on Saturday, Oct. 6 from 1 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. for a family fun day. Tour Heritage House and Ye Olde School, enjoy complimentary desserts and refreshments, musical entertainment, fall color rides throughout the beautiful trails, old-fashioned school games and pumpkin decorating. This event is open to the public and free to attend.

– The VFW Post #1393 in West Bend, 260 Sand Drive, is gearing up to host its annual spaghetti dinner on Saturday, Oct. 13 from 4 p.m. – 7 p.m.. All money raised goes to the organizations general fund. Bring the family and come join us.

– The Allenton Volunteer Fire Department and St. Lawrence Fire Company have announced plans for their annual Pancake Breakfast and Open House in conjunction with Fire Prevention Week. This year’s event will be Sunday, Oct. 14 from 8 a.m. to 12 noon at the Allenton Fire Department.

– The annual Interfaith Tea is just around the corner and you’re invited. This year’s theme is Tailgating. Celebrity waiters will serve you and your guests and there will be an amazing silent auction, a fun purse auction, 50-50 raffle and a beer and wine pull. Lots of fun on tap and all for a good cause. Interfaith Caregivers of Washington County is a local organization that matches volunteers with senior citizens to help with doctor appointments, shopping, cleaning and just paying it forward. Reserve your seat today and contact Interfaith Caregivers of Washington County.  See you Oct. 14 at the West Bend Mutual Prairie Center.

– Hartford’s H.e.l.p. Corner at Redeemer Church is slated to open mid-September.

– Rally Time Sports Bar and Grill in West Bend is looking for a part-time line cook position. Rally Time has a family-friendly team atmosphere. The position is primarily day shift and coverage as needed. Call Dan at 262-389-1142 or Cindy at 262-389-0839 or stop at the bar for an application.

Find local news for free 7 days a week at WashingtonCountyInsider.com

Fat Bear Week

Vote!

Not in the Alaskan wilderness, where the bears at Katmai national park are unwittingly fighting for the title of the tubbiest in Fat Bear Week – the fourth annual competition to see which bear will be fattest before a half-year hibernation.

“Life as a bear is hard,” Andrew LaValle, a national park ranger at Katmai, told the Guardian in an email. “They come out of the dens in spring looking weak and hungry, and being fat in October or November is a sign of success and resilience.”

[…]

Fat Bear Week kicked off on Wednesday and continues through Tuesday, when a winner will emerge.

It is up to the public to decide which is the most rotund bear.

Each day, two bears are matched against each other on Facebook and the one to get the most likes is the day’s winner and advances to the next round of the bracketed competition.

Girl Retrieves Ancient Sword From Lake

If I remember my history correctly, this means she’s a queen now, right?

While wading in Vidöstern lake in Tånnö, Småland, Saga Vanecek stumbled upon what she thought was ‘some kind of stick’ – but, it turned out to be a sword dating back more than 1,000 years to the pre-Viking era.

Experts are now working to preserve the delicate relic before it’s eventually put on display at the Jönköpings Läns Museum.

Brewers Win!

Somehow, it’s more fun to read about it in the Chicago paper.

After leading the National League Central by five games on Sept. 3, the Cubs’ season has been reduced to a win-or-go-home scenario.

The Brewers applied a blend of timely hitting and dominant pitching Monday to beat the Cubs 3-1 in the division tiebreaker before 38,450 fans at Wrigley Field.

By virtue of their victory, the Brewers earned the NL Central title and won’t play until Thursday, when they host the first of two games of the best-of-five NL Division Series.

The Cubs, whose two-year reign as NL Central champions was snapped, will play host to the loser of the NL West tiebreaker between the Rockies and Dodgers on Tuesday in the NL wild-card game.