Tag Archives: Around the Bend

Around the Bend by Judy Steffes

Final sale price for former Fleet Farm building in West Bend

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Other details from the Kwik Trip:

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

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

Oaken Hogg bourbon bar opening in downtown West Bend

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

Dear Volunteers & Community Partners,

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

With Gratitude,

Janean Brudvig

 

Help needed finding sentimental property stolen in West Bend

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Guest Editorial | Looking for leadership                          By Kraig Sadownikow

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Around the Bend by Judy Steffes

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Enchantment in the Park makes donation to local food pantries

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

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

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

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

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

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

Teachers at St. Frances Cabrini channel a summer camp tradition

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

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

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

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

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

The teachers made 27 visits.

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

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

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

Sunday morning flight in West Bend

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

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

Interfaith Caregivers hosts Drive-thru Percolate to celebrate volunteers

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Around the Bend by Judy Steffes

Is a new event center a possibility for West Bend?

Developers are looking to bring an event center to West Bend. The area they have in mind is the south end of the former Gehl Co. property.

“I’m already doing the hotel and office building at the corner of Water Street and S. Forest Avenue and just south of that will be the event center and to the west of that will be an 80-unit apartment building,” said developer James Kupfer.

Kupfer and is daughter Bailey Kupfer met with city officials earlier this month.

It was Sept. 29, 2019 when an announcement was made about a new Marriott TownPlace 68-suite hotel and office building in downtown West Bend. The location of the development was the former Gehl Co. property.

Kupfer said after the hotel and office building development there will be about four acres left to the south on the Gehl parcel and that’s where he’s proposing an 80 unit, 3-story apartment building with an elevator and a 12,500-square-foot event center.

“We’ve been looking to build the event center for a number of years,” said Kupfer. “Most event centers will draw people from a 50-mile radius and Washington County doesn’t have any real, premium event centers. There are places that hold events using some other business like a restaurant or bowling alley or a club or a church that has a hall, but the trend now is to build a space that’s dedicated to events.”

Kupfer acknowledged there are large, 40,000 to 50,000-square-foot facilities in the area but he said an event center can accommodate the needs of a 25-year-old millennial bride.

“The event center will have amenities like a private room to retreat to so the bride or groom can get ready,” he said.  “An exhibition hall or large place is sometimes much too large and you feel like you’re in a warehouse. We will be specifically built for events and we’ll cater to 80 to 90 percent of weddings.”

Kupfer said he picked the location south of the Marriott TownPlace Hotel specifically to drive occupancy.

“I also own the Hampton Inn on the other side of West Bend and I get a weekly report that shows the business we turn away. This week there were 8 – 10 events we had to turn away because we were already booked,” he said.

A feasibility study has already been completed and Kupfer said he “sees the demand” and “there’s definitely demand for weekend leisure business.”

Parcel to the south on former Gehl Co. property with Forest Avenue to the east and the Eisenbahn State Trail will be to the west.

For the multi-family, Kupfer said that would be a niche development as well. “There’s no true apartment that’s attractive to the millennial,” he said. “We’re doing 60 percent one-bedroom apartments and 40 percent two-bedroom apartments. Amenities will include an exercise room, community room, underground parking.”

Kupfer alluded to the City of West Bend having a couple of development plans on the table for that same parcel. However, he said he already had equity and financing in place.

City Administrator Jay Shambeau declined comment because discussions about the project, from the City standpoint, were held in closed session. Shambeau did indicate Kupfer was probably correct about multiple plans in the mix.

One plan that is now off the table is the active senior living complex that was proposed in June 2019.  Nick Novaczyk, with RTN Development, said the timing for that project just didn’t work out and they backed off.

Kupfer predicted more information on the proposed event center would probably be made available within the next few weeks.

Public meeting March 19 for WIS 60 rehabilitation

There’s a pretty significant road project starting in April 2020. It will include Highway 60 from Eagle Drive in the Village of Jackson to WIS 181 in Grafton. The traffic detour is posted below. Construction is expected to last into September 2020. An informational meeting is Thursday, March 19 from 5 p.m. – 7 p.m. at the Cedarburg Town Hall, 1293 Washington Avenue, Cedarburg.

Kettle Moraine Lutheran High School rolls out virtual education plan

Education leaders at Kettle Moraine Lutheran High School in Jackson are unveiling the school’s virtual learning program in an effort to keep students on their path to reach educational goals in the 2019 – 2020 school year.

Administration shared the letter below with students and parents.

Dear KML Family,

Governor Evers and the Wisconsin Department of Health Services have issued a statement requiring the closure of all public and private schools in Wisconsin.

KML will have normal face-to-face school on Monday, March 16 and Tuesday, March 17. There will be no face-to-face instruction at KML beginning Wednesday, March 18.  All co-curricular activities are suspended as of Monday, March 16 through Sunday, April 5.

KML will be transitioning to virtual learning, and we will share that plan with parents and students prior to Wednesday, March 18. We are planning to resume face-to-face instruction and co-curricular activities on Monday, April 6.

At this time, we are also canceling the following events:

Sacred Concert – Tuesday, March 17, Donkey Basketball – Saturday, March 21, Family Music Fest – Friday, March 27

In all things, we trust in God’s care and protection.  Please join us in praying for those affected by this virus and the medical professionals who are caring for those infected.  Pray for our students who may be struggling. Pray that we, as a family of believers, can be beacons of hope in a difficult time to point others to Christ and His saving work for mankind.

Private School Choice Programs

During the 2020-2021 school year, KML will once again participate in the Wisconsin Parental Choice Program (WPCP) and the Milwaukee Parental Choice Program (MPCP).

As part of the application process, students new to the Choice Program must provide proof of income and residency documentation. Continuing Choice students only need to provide residency documentation.

Open enrollment for WPCP is February 3-April 16. Open enrollment for MPCP is February 3-20, March 1-20 & April 1-20. All required supporting documentation must be received by KML during the open enrollment periods.

KML was accepted as a WPCP school beginning in the 2015-2016 school year and entered the Milwaukee Parental Choice Program (MPCP) in the 2016-2017 school year. We are excited to offer the opportunity for families who qualify to receive a voucher from the State of Wisconsin to pay for their children’s tuition.

WI Department of Instruction Website

In order to apply, you will need either your 2019 federal tax return (first two pages of Form 1040; signed and dated) or your Social Security Number. We recommend using the Department of Public Instruction (DPI) Process of income verification rather than the Department of Revenue (DOR) method especially if your financial circumstances have changed over the last several years.

After you apply online, you will need to provide proof of residency and proof of income documentation to our office at KML. Proof of residency is typically a utility or phone bill. Proof of income is typically your federal tax return. The WI DPI will give you a full list of acceptable documentation.

Milwaukee and Wisconsin Parental Choice Program Income Limits (For families living in any city or town other than Milwaukee or Racine. Also note that $7,000 is subtracted from your Adjusted Gross Income if you are married.)

Presentation Explaining the Application Process (This presentation explains eligibility requirements and how to apply.) For more information, contact Principal Jamie Luehring 262-677-4051 x1104; jamie.luehring@kmlhs.org

Regal Ware announces recipients of 2020 J.O. Reigle Scholarships

Emma Penfield and Faith Mertzig are the latest recipients of the J.O. Reigle Scholarships awarded annually by Regal Ware. The scholarship program was established in 1963 in honor of Regal Ware’s founder, the late J.O. Reigle.

The award recognizes the outstanding scholastic achievements of one or more graduating high school seniors in Kewaskum and is designed to assist the recipients in their pursuit of a college education. To be eligible for the $28,000 J.O. Reigle Scholarship a student must have attended Kewaskum High School for at least the previous two years and maintained at least a “B” average for the first 3½ years of high school.

Emma, the daughter of Brian and Marcy Penfield of Kewaskum, plans to major in Biology. Emma served in leadership roles in Student Council and National Honor Society. She was also a member of KEY Club, Spanish Club, HOPE Club, Forensics, and Freshman Mentors. Her community involvement includes attending the Wisconsin Association of Student Council (WASC) Leadership camp and being a tutor for Math and English students. Emma’s leisure time interests include running, hiking, swimming and time with family.

Faith, daughter of John and Tina Mertzig of Campbellsport, plans to attend St. Norbert College to study Elementary Education. Faith has served in leadership roles in National Honor Society, Academic Bowl, Badger Girls’ State, Global Education and HOPE Club. Her community involvement includes serving on the leadership team of Four ThirTeen Youth Ministry and helping as an aide at Holy Trinity Religious Education, Good News for Children and Women of Grace Childcare. Her hobbies include reading, running, watching movies, and spending time with family and friends.

Four basketball players from UWM at Washington County receive post-season awards | By Debbie Butschlick

Four basketball players from UWM at Washington County have earned post-season accolades from Wisconsin Collegiate Conference.

UWM at Washington County student athlete David Britton has been voted Conference Player of the Year. Britton is the perfect example of hard work paying off. Britton made 1st team All-Conference for the second year in a row.  He averaged 35 points per game, 11.5 rebounds per game, and 4.0 assists per game.  He was a scoring machine tallying over 30 points over 10 different games. Britton also scored over 40 points three times and had a season high 54 points against UWO at Fox Cities.  Britton shot over 50 percent from the field, 40 percent from beyond the arc, and 85 percent from the free throw line.  Britton grew as a team leader this season.  His work ethic and maturity were constant for the team.

Madison Aubry blossomed as a player this year for the Wildcats women’s basketball team.  The starting point guard was voted 1st team All-Conference. Aubry lead the team to a final four appearance for only the second time in the last 20+ years.  Aubry lead the team in scoring during the second semester. She averaged 13.7 points per game and over 6 rebounds per game from the guard position.  She played her best game under the biggest lights and scored a season-high 20 points during the final four game.  Aubry was as fierce as she was talented.  Her competitiveness and drive to succeed was second to none.

Freshmen Seth Perez and Zach Smith were voted Honorable Mention to the All-Conference team. Perez was also voted to the All-Defensive Team and was runner-up for Defensive Player of the Year.  Perez was the second leading scorer for the Wildcats averaging 17.8 points per game.  As an undersized guard, he averaged over six rebounds per game and lead the team with 2.6 steals per game.  Smith averaged 16.3 points per game and was second on the team with 7.6 rebounds per game.  Smith had a season high 30 points in the Wildcats first game after Christmas break.  Both players were major contributors to the team’s success.  Combined with Britton’s scoring, the trio combined for over 80 percent of the team’s points per game.

Fatal accident in Germantown under investigation      By Germantown Police Department

On Friday, March 13, 2020 Germantown Communications received a 911 emergency call from a worker at International Concrete Products. The caller reported that a large concrete panel had fallen on a worker and that the worker was still trapped under the piece of concrete.

The Germantown Fire Department/Rescue and Germantown Police Department were dispatched. Upon the arrival of first responders, workers were moving the piece of concrete. Personnel from the Germantown Rescue Department determined the worker was deceased.

This matter is still under investigation and no further information will be released at this time.

Bond set at $500,000 for Town of Kewaskum woman facing possible homicide charge

A $500,000 cash bond has been set in Washington County Circuit Court for a 50-year-old Town of Kewaskum woman in connection with the death of a 43-year-old man this week at a home on County Highway H.

According to reports from the Washington County Sheriff’s Department the woman was arrested Monday, March 11 for the alleged homicide of her husband. The death reportedly occurred during a domestic dispute.

During the bail hearing Judge Todd Martens said “there was probable cause” that the woman did “commit a crime.”

In an effort for the state to finalize its charging decision the next hearing will be March 27 at 11:15 a.m. No charges were issued during the Friday, March 13 court appearance.

According to the Washington County Sheriff, deputies were called to the home on Wednesday, March 11, 2020, at 9:20 a.m. after receiving a 911 call from the suspect.  The suspect was arrested at the scene without incident.  The deceased victim was located inside the home by the first responding officers. The preliminary investigation suggests he suffered a stab wound during the altercation.

The woman accused in the case is currently being held at the Washington County Jail.

The Sheriff said the incident is still under investigation as they await the results of the autopsy.

The sheriff’s office requested charges of 1st-degree intentional homicide. “Our office has been working closely with the Washington County District Attorney’s Office to maintain the integrity of the investigation,” said Sheriff Martin Schulteis.

The sheriff’s office would like to thank the Kewaskum Police and Fire Department, the Wisconsin State Patrol and the Washington County Medical Examiner’s Office for the assistance in this investigation.

West Bend H.S. band trip to Italy canceled because of “international health concerns”

The West Bend School Board voted Monday, March 9 on a list of extended trips for students. This June, high school band students were prepping to go to Italy. According to board documents “a revised band trip that will occur in June of 2020.  This trip is rescheduled due to international health concerns.”

According to the World Health Organization the Italian government has issued a quarantine of northern Italy and it’s implementing a lockdown on tourism. The measures are tied to attempts to prevent the spread of Coronavirus.

It appears the board will vote Monday to approve a band trip this June to Hawaii.

Background:

Students in our High Schools have the opportunity to participate in a variety of experiences to extend and apply their learning which require travel outside the State of Wisconsin or even outside of the United States.  As in past years teachers and co-curricular coaches are seeking opportunities to take students to the following locations during the 2020-21 school year. The trips on this list are those that have yet to be approved by the school board.

High school administrators have met with the staff proposing the trips to verify information required and. Building and district administration have reviewed the details of the trip relative to the Board policies and Administrative Rule 352.1 and support the participation in these experiences.  It should be noted that 352.1 AR includes procedures to review the status of the trip at least 25 days prior to departure.

This request for approval also includes a revised band trip that will occur in June of 2020.  This trip is rescheduled due to international health concerns.

West Bend School Board to vote on updating science textbook

On Monday, March 9 the West Bend School Board will vote on updating science textbook.

There was a curriculum update, February 24, presented by Kevin Hyde, Laura Jackson, Robert Muelbauer, and Timothy Harder.

Members of the community were invited to give feedback and the topic generating the most comments involved the new science textbooks.

Instructor Muelbauer said several science teachers from the high school had gone on learning walks and there was a lot of discussion about Badger and Silverbrook.

“We were at Silverbook looking at the amplified curriculum and how they interacted with science and eventually we’ll get those kids through Badger and at the high school but currently we’re dealing with some textbooks that are 15, 18, and 20 years maybe since we’ve gotten a new one and in no way does it resemble the way they would interact with the primary resource at those grade levels,” said Muelbauer. “So, that’s part of the main driver of wow we need to really up our game here to meet the kids where they’re at and so we can build them from there.”

Laura Jackson said the board will be asked to purchase the textbooks on March 9.

“All of the major textbook companies will have a biology-specific textbook,” said Jackson. “There’s also a way to purchase unit by unit.”

“Our state standard testing for science has been very high,” said board  member Kurt Rebholz. “So obviously there’s been many right decisions along the lines for many years to select the right curriculum to prepare our students for their next level.”

There was community feedback from a handful of neighbors. “We tried to make it as convenient for parents as possible and nobody showed up but at night five community members were there,” said Jackson. “The comments related to the textbook are below.”

Jackson clarified the meeting times for the public to review the potential new Biology instructional resource: Thursday, Feb. 6, 2020 from 6:45 a.m. – 8 a.m. and 2:30 p.m. – 4 p.m. “There was a late night meeting by request,” said Jackson.

“The times selected were intended when parents were coming to pick up or drop off students so they could potentially stay a little longer and hopefully make that work for them,” said Jackson.

The textbook being reviewed was over 100 pages in length and there was supplementary resource also available for review which includes a student journal or a glossary of terms. “Generally we have a window of time so people can choose to spend as much time as they want. Some end up coming back.”

Jackson said several notifications went out about the book review time: “Student information system sends a biweekly newsletter to families; it goes to every family in the district unless a family has blocked it. That email total is in the thousands. It also went to school messenger through Badger families and high school families – freshman and sophomore. The number of student families receiving that would be in the thousands. A notification was also posted on the district Facebook page, so the general public would be notified.” Jackson did not know how many times that notification was posted.

Questioned about how encouraging it was to send out notification to thousands and have five people participate. “That turnout is pretty consistent,” said Jackson. ”

The board asked no questions about the specific community feedback.

A couple bullet points on topic:

– Jackson said the “public comments (above) will be shared with the teachers when they begin training.”

– Jackson addressed the parent concerns. “We have evidence our glaciers are melting or pieces are falling off and when you look historically we have had changes we refer to as ice ages and stuff like that over the history of the earth, where we have evidence of glaciers coming down. It is theory and it is presented as a theory,” said Jackson. “I’m going to have to look at the resource and look at the standards.”

– “If this resource purchase is approved then we will move forward with our training and we will look at if we’ll tweak any of our sections and provide specific evidence or are we going to handle it as is,” said Jackson.

– Jackson said instructors would be trained “partially in June and partially in August.”

– After the meeting Muelbauer said he didn’t have time for a couple questions because he was hungry.

-Board member Paul Fischer said he had not seen the textbook in question, however he was traveling out of state and would catch up on his return.

-Board member Chris Zywgart said he had not seen the textbook nor the parent comments.

-Emails were sent to the rest of the board and as of 10 p.m. Sunday there was no response.

-The board will vote Monday, March 9 on the textbooks. Jackson said the input review from the community was posted in the board members Board Docs information.

-The board votes to approve the text as the resource and the dollars,” said Jackson. “It’s not typical for the board to have physically reviewed all the textbooks. You call around and ask other districts and other school boards; do they actually sit down and review the textbooks. Only those who ask, that’s typical. They’re approving the resource and they’re trusting their admin to move forward with a resource that will meet the student need.”

Jackson also noted, the question below that was in student learning material has been addressed and removed.

“The Problem: Mr. and Mrs. Jones have been married eighty years. During this time, Mrs. Jones has had three children. Recently Mr. Jones found out that Mrs. Jones has been secretly dating another man, Mr. Smith, throughout their marriage. Mr. Jones now questions if he is truly the father of the three children. Using a blood sample from Mr. Jones, Mrs. Jones, Mr. Smith, and each of the three children, determine if any of the three children are Mr. Smith’s, and not Mr. Jones’.

Letter to the Editor | Oscar Estrada for District 7 alderman in West Bend | By Derek Brzeski

To whom it may concern,

I spent 26 years growing up in West Bend; Fair Park Elementary, Badger Middle School, and am a proud West Bend West Spartan – class of 2004. Through those years I had the pleasure of watching the city grow and flourish. I still remember when the highway exit for Paradise Drive was nothing but farm fields.  Years later, well into my professional career, I had the privilege of working with Oscar Estrada as part of Continuous Improvement team for a food manufacturing company. Oscar was not only the Director of my team spanning 7 plants, but also a coach and a mentor for me.

During that time, Oscar’s strengths and leadership skills were showcased. These strengths were grounded in leadership, problem solving, and people skills.

Oscar was able to lead teams from shop-floor employees to senior leadership, from small to large group sizes, and from many different cultural backgrounds. Leading these teams required identifying and utilizing each and everyone’s strengths as well as motivating the teams to work together to reach a common goal. To solve a problem and drive bottom line cost savings both creating stability and growth potential for a company.  Oscar had the innate ability to keep people motivated and build excitement and eagerness for change.  To build trust and relationships.

These skills are found in strong Six Sigma professionals, and are no doubt, accelerators in a strong representative for a collective group of people within the community. I have complete confidence Oscar will utilize all the above strengths and abilities to serve the city and municipality greatly. To deliver cost savings and lower taxes. To develop relationships, to seek improvements and change, and to keep people excited to call West Bend “home.”

Mr. Oscar Estrada will receive my vote for District 7 Alderman.

Derek Brzeski  West Bend

Letter to the Editor | Overview of Dist. 7 aldermanic candidate Oscar Estrada | By Keli Ismajlaj

I’ve known Oscar Estrada for approximately 27 years. We met in College in 1993 and became close friends soon thereafter.   Initially, what drew us together was our dedication to family, work and education. After college we’ve kept in touch and worked together at several companies. On company in particular was Federal Mogul lighting in Franklin Park. They were struggling and losing over $6 million yearly.  They hired Oscar to get them out of their financial predicament. Oscar is very good at looking at situations and figuring how to best make changes that increase profits.

For example reviewing and reducing the follow,

Over producing or spending, Excess inventory, Scrap Overtime in the labor force, and Expediting freight. He is very passionate and motivates people with his vision.  In order to address the above issues he had to change the way of thinking.

First, he spent time with all the managers and employees.  Explaining how the current way of business was not in the company’s best interest.  Then he creates teams to do special events.  Once the teams accomplished their goals they’d celebrate.  This had a positive effect in the company culture and made it easier for other projects.

Second, Oscar gathered all the vendors and informed them of his vision and how we were going to control purchasing and incoming inventory.

Third, had the vendors come to the plant and showed them our Kanban or Pull system for ordering. This had a positive effect with the vendors and with our plant. Doing all this within 2+ years the plant went from losing $6M+ to making $2M.

I can go on and on about all the things that Oscar has accomplished but, I just gave a small insight into his capabilities.

That being said, I believe Oscar would be a great asset to the community. Between being a devoted husband and father who supports his daughters in their education and sports.

Some key attributes I believe he has and are very important to run a community and city are:

Creating team concepts, he knocks down barriers between departments so everyone is working for the better good. Being a Master Black Belt in Six Sigma, has skill sets that most do not have.

Thinks outside the box.  Many people have limited skill sets.  Oscar has worked in many industries and has prevailed.  As mentioned before with improvements that have a major positive effect on the company’s bottom line and morale.

Finally, another example of his effect on people, to this day some of our key professors from college still call on him to socialize or make a class presentation.

I hope this letter gives you some insight into the man Oscar Estrada.

Sincerely,

Keli Ismajlaj

Chicago, Illinois

Around the Bend by Judy Steffes

Look WHOOOooooo is back!

For the third year in a row a Great Horned owl is nesting in what looks like an old vent in the side of a building in West Bend. The photo below was snapped this week by Greg Lofy from ASP Images.

Mary Holleback is one of the educators at Riveredge Nature Center in Newburg. “The owls have already had their eggs and they’ve already hatched,” said Holleback. “At this point they’re little fluff balls. Give it a week or two and you might see a few heads poking up in there.”

Holleback said the owls are done mating, they’ve laid their eggs and they’ve hatched and there’s a chance the owls have some soft down on them already.

The website asknature.org has a great article on the feathers of an owl and how it aids in reducing noise in flight to make the owl a silent predator.

This fringe breaks up the air further as it flows off the trailing edge, resulting in a large reduction in aerodynamic noise. Then, any remaining noise that would be detectable by the owl’s prey is absorbed by velvety down feathers on the owl’s wings and legs. These soft feathers absorb high frequency sounds that most prey, as well as humans, are sensitive to. All together, these feather features enable owls to remain undetected when they fly.

Temperatures this March 2020 have been rather mild, even though overnight temps have dropped below freezing. “This is the way it is every year with the owls trying to get a head start on the season,” said Holleback. “The Great Horns are the first ones to mate in Wisconsin and towards the end of the month the barred owls and screech owls will start nesting too. The Great Horns start early because it takes so long for their young to get mature enough to take off and get on their own before the end of summer. The owlets need to be self-sufficient before winter.”

While one owl has been spotted so far this season, Holleback said “usually the same adult pair come back to the same spot.”

“Say, last year they had a brood and if successful those young will fledge and they will disperse; they won’t go too far but the young don’t usually take the nest site from the adults,” said Holleback. “If the adults were not successful and the young died or froze to death then they usually look for another location. The whole name of the game is to reproduce and make more offspring for the next generation.”

Located below the nesting site is a rather graphic collection of last night’s dinner.  Owls will take in food and then yack up hair and bones and what not; a lot of that is in a small grassy area right under the nest. (you have been warned). If you happen by and don’t see the mother owl, take a look in the surrounding trees by the Milwaukee River. That’s good hunting area for them.

No. 5 Kwik Trip moving forward in West Bend

The West Bend Plan Commission, minus two members, at the Tuesday night meeting unanimously moved forward with Kwik Trip No. 5. The latest proposal is for a Kwik Trip to be built at 1613 and 1637 W. Washington Street at the former location of Fleet Farm.

A rendering of the design was submitted to Plan Commission and Kwik Trips Troy Mleziva walked us through what the layout will look like.

“The store will face north toward Washington Street and the fuel canopy will be closest to Washington Street. It’ll be built pretty much where the Fleet Farm building sat along with the old Tri Par,” he said.

“We’re taking a bunch of green space and adding it to the south of the property to create a buffer with the neighbors on Concord Lane.”

The space on the hill to the east of 18th Avenue will have some green space added and some will remain paved as there’s a possibility for more development, possibly a restaurant. “We don’t have anything determined yet, or the zoning but current zoning is commercial,” said Mleziva.

There will be shared-access driveways on 18th Avenue and three entrance/exit on W. Washington Street. If you drive past the location there is quite a drop off in elevation on the property. Mleziva said that is going to be changed. “The grade change between the old Fleet Farm base elevation and the new Kwik Trip is about four to five feet,” he said.

Only one neighbor, Lois Biron, spoke during the public hearing. Biron has lived on Concord Lane for 20 years. Concord abuts the western edge of the new Kwik Trip.

Biron was concerned with the development design that would remove a 50-foot tall line of Evergreen trees and how the new store would be about 60-feet off the property line.

She said another concern was there would now be ongoing traffic since the store would be open seven days a week and the reports to the Plan Commission showed a 75% increase in traffic to the area and even more if a restaurant will be built.

“Kwik Trip is a 24-7 operation and we’ll no longer have holidays with no noise or quiet at night and with added development there are added concerns,” said Biron. “From 15th Avenue and 18th Avenue there are other businesses coming in and our concern is this will be another Paradise Drive. This will directly impact the enjoyment we have along with the four other neighborhoods behind us.”

Biron was primarily concerned about the noise and how they would be able to hear things in the summer when their windows would be open. “We accept Kwik Trip,” said Biron. “But still have concerns about a number of things.”

Plan Commission member Jed Dolnick expressed concern about the exterior speakers. Initially the plan said the speakers would be turned off from 10 p.m. – 6 a.m. Representatives from Kwik Trip quickly complied with his request that the speakers be turned off from 9 p.m. – 7 a.m.

Dolnick also put to rest rumors about how City government worked with regard to who could open a business and what the alternatives would be concerning the possible reuse of the old Fleet Farm building.

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

Other details from the Kwik Trip:

– There will be 56 parking spaces and 6 handicap parking spots at the W. Washington Street location

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

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

Kettle Moraine Lutheran wins Regional Final against Lake Country Lutheran   By Megan Himm

Twenty-four hours after playing USM, Kettle Moraine Lutheran (KML) took on the Lake Country Lutheran (LCL) Lightning for the regional finals of the Division 3 WIAA 2020 Boys Basketball Tournament. The Chargers were able to come out victorious with a final score, 74 – 67.

Both schools went into the game with equal records of 20–3. KML’s No. 2 seed allowed them to play No. 3 LCL at home. The stands were packed and additional bleachers were pulled out to accommodate the large crowd. The energy translated to the court and was felt by the players.

The game started slow with neither team scoring for the first two minutes. LCL was the first to score.

With three minutes left in the first half, the Chargers were able to tie the Lightning. By halftime, the Chargers were up 35 – 32.

Senior Cole Biesterfeld describes the comeback, “We were down by a lot right away, but we had the will to come back. At the end of the day, it comes down to working hard and that’s what we did. We’ve been playing together for a really long time and we know each other so it just kicked in. That chemistry created the comeback.”

Leading the Charges in scoring was Jacob Stoltz with 28 points. Austin Wagner followed with 17 and Austin Schaff finished with 16.

Looking ahead, Biesterfeld said, “We just won our second regional final. We can enjoy that today, but we have bigger plans. We have to look onto our next game and get ready for that.”

An upset resulted in No. 4 Brown Deer defeating No. 1 Dominican at home with a final, 103 – 102. The Chargers will play Brown Deer on March 12 at Brown Deer.

Public hearing regarding special assessment for neighbors on 18th Avenue in West Bend

It appeared almost all of the 70 homeowners and their spouses were in attendance at Monday night’s West Bend Common Council meeting as a public hearing was held on a special assessment for neighbors in the Westminster Place subdivision located in the area of Decorah Road and 18th Avenue. The special assessment is tied to road improvements on 18th Avenue between Decorah Road and Vogt Drive along with curb and gutter, street lights, sidewalk, etc. About 85 properties are included in the special assessment.

The group appeared in an organized effort to try and convince the council to back off on a special assessment that could tag properties an additional $1,757.14 to $5,449.47 to over $16,000. That last increase is for an address that houses a non-profit organization on 18th Avenue.

Brett Berquist kicked off the public hearing with a list of prior court cases, details of municipal code, and developers’ agreements.

Steve Ahles – 9,600 vehicles per day use 18th Ave. Subdivision is 70 homes. Deficiencies in the road. 18th Ave has had a rural cross section and the subdivision not the reason why it should be an urban road. Road is generally flat, if our subdivision were the reason for this or make sure we’re safe then why take until 2019 to open the road.  Few N & S arterial streets in WB. Next road is 2 mi to the east. Allows travel from Paradise Drive biz and serves as alternate to US 45. Would adding a bike lane to two blocks of road make it safer for bikers. How much do adjacent property owners benefit vs the traveling public. Please consider who really benefit from the reconstruction of 18th Avenue. Go back, sharpen your pencil and rework your numbers.

Brett Berquist – special benefits. Ignore those that support the people.

City engineer report shows direct benefits to subdivision.

No. 1 – curb and gutter result in improved roadway. The subdivision as some reverse frontage lots. New curb and gutter benefits the entity who pays for it. After road done the city became responsible for maintenance.

No. 2 – pedestrian and bicycle access. S. 18th Ave. is part of larger network of bike and walking trails.

No. 3 – wider road for improved vehicle capacity. When does increased number equal benefit to subdivision.  Basically road is no wider than it was – other than

No. 4 – improved emergency vehicle access

No. 5 – improved safety with street lighting. Only helps drivers and not property owners.

No 6 – benefits have to be articulated and detailed showing an uncommon advantage. Developer would waive future rights and there’s wording in developers agreement. Reconstruct 18th Avenue on “some future date.”

Clear on provisions in state statutes – the use of a special assessment to recoup costs. This would not pass legal scrutiny.

Comments – in 2017 as part of design process – the traffic forecast was 8300 cars in 2013. More vehicles from community use 18th Ave than residents of subdivision.

Arterial road – 18th Ave benefits general public – 2020 land use plan – any street must move people efficiently and safely and provide direct access to homes.

Heavy volumes of traffic can’t be in a subdivision.

A street with heavy traffic is not attractive for neighboring subdivisions.

Other cities have chosen special assessments – except on two blocks of Eighth Avenue.

Not a benefit to Westminster Place Subdivision.

Tim Riedl –It’s obvious any sort of road improvement helps the city overall. There are times in life when you have the right to do something or it’s the right thing to do. In this case this is clearly not the case. Please do the right thing when making a decision.

Harry Shaw –  Examine the issue of special assessment through a different lens. First word is integrity. Definition according to Webster – an unimpaired condition. Two examples – website gets hacked and impaired. It no longer has integrity. Military code broken it’s compromised. The issue at hand is the local contract. I feel integrity was compromised when Joseph G. Altschaefl – was part of the Plan Commission and then the agreement was passed along to future property owners. I firmly believe this was not an oversight.  No. 2 ethical – conforming to accepted standards of conduct. City has to file rules for state statutes of conduct. To not follow these would compromise the city’s responsibilities. I find it incomprehensible the city engineer is trying to pass off that the improvements are for our subdivision and not the city as a whole.

Bob Roecker – The city shall have the right to impose special assessments. It doesn’t say the city must.  We’re being assessed over $11,000; this increases speed and volume of traffic and we have to do snow removal. This benefits all of West Bend.  Why isn’t the cost distributed evenly among all taxpayers? Are all road improvements in the city of WB financed by special assessments? Then if not – why this one? This money doesn’t fall from the sky. This isn’t fair or ethical. I hope you will decide to levy this tax on all taxpayers evenly.

John Peterson – 18th and Schloemener – few years ago received notice that I’m from the government and I’m here to help you. I attended public hearings. I raised objections. Was told this would be for the greater good of the city. A hill was created in my yard and I lost five trees and now there’s 150 feet of sidewalk that I must shove. Lived on corner since 1989. I paid school taxes even though my family has gone to private schools since ????.  Why should I be charge for a street that I only use a couple times a week.  My assessment is $13,000.

Lay Rosenheimer – board of directors of Friends, Inc. In existence for 42 years and shelter is on S. 18th Avenue. Not in the subdivision but on 18th. This is a non-profit agency. Operate 20 bed shelter for people experience abuse and human trafficking. Provide 7,000 bed nights annually. Shelter and transitional living make up half of annual budget of $480,000.

As the rest of residents impacted – we have an assessment of just under $15,000 and that’s a crippling amount. We don’t receive county support anymore but do receive United Way funding. I’m asking this committee to reconsider charge to Friends, Inc. It’s the largest amount for all homeowners involved. We were cut out of county budget in 2017. These families experience trauma in their homes and if we were not here to provide this. Our budget is set on grants, donations. To relay the cost to our services – it could me a loss of 428 advocacy sessions. 441 education lessons. This loss would be felt throughout the county.

Lay’s words – I’ve been a city resident for 26 years and in the county for 60 years. We have problems in our community and we exist to help victims of the crimes. This is a substantial assessment and this is a nice road but it’s difficult. This agency relies on donations, grants and an assessment like this is damaging.

Louie Santini – this is an arterial roadway joining north and south West Bend to the west. The special benefits have been challenged. These benefit the general public. City six statements – curb and gutter on 18th Ave. Subdivision was already designed with water diversion easements. Helping other modes of transportation. This will benefit the city as a whole. Improved vehicle capacity with wider roads – will that rally benefit the subdivision? Improve emergency vehicle access – that’s not improved just if the road is new. Lights help road and not Westminster. City is asking developer that there’s a special benefit to Westminster. Without acknowledgement the project would have been denied. The road was widened on Eighth Avenue but no special assessment happened there.

No sunset provision in this developer’s agreement. Will this go on into perpetuity. Developers agreement says city MAY not SHALL issue a special assessment. We ask respectfully to vote no to resolution

Douglas Kieckhafer – lifelong 626 S. Eighth Avenue. I’ve traveled 18th many times. As I heard about this – when I drive through 18th from Decorah – every time I think how ridiculous this type of assessment would be. The people here that are affected have been well behaved. If I had been living in that area – or the non-profit I would be quite upset. My concern is this setting a precedent. Might you start doing this elsewhere. One important thing – 9,600 cars per day and something says the subdivision people in attendance are small. Other people are benefiting… as are the businesses on Paradise Drive. How ridiculous this assessment is. Who ever would go along with this should be ashamed of themselves.

Following about 45 minutes worth of comments the public hearing was closed.

The council then discussed the issue for about 15 minutes hashing over items like the developer’s agreement, state statute and escrow.

“This is a tough situation here and I feel sorry for all these residents because of one person, the developer,” said District 1 alderman John Butschlick. “If we relinquish and say we won’t hold them accountable then in the last minute the city has no rhyme or reason – would it be the property owner or city.”

The council eventually voted unanimously to table the issue until the next meeting. After the meeting neighbors from the subdivision gathered in the entrance to City Hall. They praised each other for maintaining a professional demeanor and for giving the council “something to think about.”

“The feeling I got was the council members received a lot of information tonight,” said Westminster subdivision spokesman Louie Santini. “I didn’t think they felt they could make a decision on the resolution based on what they heard tonight. I think they will do their own research as to what’s the right thing to do in this situation. We truly believe this is not a fair assessment to S. 18th Avenue residents and the Westminster subdivision.”

West Bend Mayor Candidate Forum

The two candidates running for Mayor of West Bend, Chris Jenkins and Rich Kasten, participated in a candidate forum at City Hall.

Chris Jenkins – Married with five children. Dist. 4 alderman in West Bend. On finance committee and long-range planning committee. Pres. of WB Early Risers Kiwanis. Village Adm for Elmwood Park. Lots of experience. Lead our city to next decade.

Rich Kasten – Married with three grown children. Homeowner for 22 years. Grad of MU and working now as IT manager. Serving Dist. 5 alderman. Chaired public works and finance committee. Former member of CFAC committee, crime prevention patrol and on committees at St. Frances Cabrini. Budget and strategic planning.

With low unemployment businesses struggle – how do you entice talent?

RK – Vision I have for WB is to get us out of this bedroom community. Have WB be known as a great, safe, place to live, dine, work and play. At that point we’ll have better individuals to get to workforce.

CJ – Public safety, strong infrastructure and quality of life. A strategic plan can spread out to larger values. We need to be open-minded and have broad array of housing.

If City received $1 million grant how would it be used and why?

CJ – Roads. We’ve increased funding towards roads. The plus is our overall debt has been lowered by $40 million

RK – Roads is No. 1 issue. Also want to be cognizant we’re not doing roads at the expense of quality of life.

If elected will you follow through on riverbank restoration?

RK – yes, absolutely. The corridor between downtown and MOWA we’re lucky to have it. We need to continue the momentum.

CJ – We’re only half-way complete. It’s a great example of public and private partnership.

Deteriorating roads is a hot topic – will you spend more money than previous administration?

CJ – Yes, with a caveat that we have a plan in place. The advisory referendum gave us mixed results. We’re looking at efficiency and we don’t want to hinder tax burden.

RK – We’re realizing results of decreasing our debt and we’re getting space to use for roads. Need to look at different strategies. Don’t want to spend wildly. Maybe do smaller sections of road.

What’s the last job you succeeded in and how does that fit the mayoral position?

RK – we delivered our latest project on time and under budget. I have that experience to drive toward success and stay on target. That’s part of being a good mayor.

CJ – being a village admin one of the things we developed was a new strategic plan. We brought a group together to look at values and that made decision making process easier. We can do this too at City level.

What 3 steps to put City on firmer financial footing?

CJ – Create a strategic plan, make sure our budgets align to goals, and follow through.

RK – Continue following policies we’ve put in place on borrowing and spending. We have key components set so our bond rating is as solid as possible. Challenge our department heads. There shouldn’t be any fear to try new things. Work with Dept. Heads to address zombie issues and a strategic plan will help.

How are we welcoming to new and diverse population?

RK – residents of WB are welcoming. If we can get the message out for people looking for diversity and flag organizations like Casa Guadalupe. Wants Chamber of Commerce to return to a welcome wagon for new homeowners.

CJ – be welcoming through community development. Housing needs and support nonprofits and community events.

What are we spending too much on as a City and not enough money on?

CJ – We’ve done a good job at holding city departments accountable. Spending more money on infrastructure and public safety. Police, fire and medical services

RK – what do we spend too much on – I don’t think we do that. We provide more than enough for police and fire. Not spending enough on roads. It comes down to how we can best spend those dollars.

One thing at City level to impact future of WB

RK – getting involvement of residents. We have committees and commissions with smart people who can help. Most committees are advisory but they can help mold the city.  Growing involvement of the city.

CJ – create a strategic plan. Why our previous mayor succeeded with the task force, the goals and conservative fiscal discipline. Which includes citizen involvement and predictable spending.

Define a successful term

CJ – making sure the issues we face on city council are less burdensome. Create a plan and setting objectives and carry out the plan.

RK – Did I earn the respect of residents, employees and the council. That would say a lot for the success of the term. Did we achieve the challenges with measurable results. We have greater involvement by residents and committee.

The West Bend Mayoral race will be on the April 7 ballot in the City of West Bend. Rich Kasten will be listed first followed by Chris Jenkins. Voters are asked to cast one vote in this non-partisan race.

In-person absentee voting begins in the City of West Bend on Monday, March 16 and runs through Friday, April 3 at 5 p.m.  Remember to bring identification to the polls.

Neighbors complain about amount of dog waste on Eisenbahn State Trail in West Bend

There has been a growing number of complaints in West Bend regarding the amount of dog waste on the Eisenbahn State Trail and the downtown Riverwalk.

Warm, sunny weather brought a lot of people out to the trail on Saturday including bikers, runners and neighbors walking their dogs.

Bill Casey has lived in the Barton area since 1961. “I’ve got Douggie and Nellie with me,” he said about the dogs on the leash.

“Most people probably pick it up …. but there are those few,” he said.

Casey has his plastic bags for dog waste stored with the dog leashes so he remembers to take them every time he goes out. “If they had more garbage cans it would be nice, but there is a receptacle by the Train Depot; it’s not difficult to carry and then throw it in the garbage,” he said.

Between Highway 33 and Barton on Saturday there was a purple plastic bag of dog waste sitting on a bench. Several other blue plastic bags of waste had been tossed into trees and brush on either side of the Eisenbahn Trail.

Kathy Cira of West Bend was walking Riley around noon on Saturday. “We are on this trail all the time,” she said. “We live right off of Creek Road and we walk through here.”

“I really don’t appreciate seeing the waste left behind. Most of the dog owners I know do pick up,” Cira said.

Without any prompting Cira reached inside her jacked pocket and pulled out a number of blue, plastic bags. “These are really accessible to buy and I use the garbage facilities by Cast Iron,” she said.

‘Questioned how some of the bags of excrement end up in the trees or bushes or just left along the trail, Cira had one word. “Lazy,” she said. “People don’t care. I’ve lived here 15 years and this is annoying to see. I always pick up after my dog.”

Cira indicated West Bend was “a dog orientated community.”

“I really think the few are ruining it for the many,” she said.

There was some suggestions on how to reduce the instances of people leaving dog waste on the trail, both relied on more police presence. “I guess the police have to be out here more and if they see them fine them,” said Cira. “Make sure consequences are enforced.”

Casey echoed that thought. “They should have a guy on a bike riding patrol and giving out $250 tickets,” he said.

It was April 15, 2019 when the West Bend Common Council passed an ordinance allowing dogs on the Riverwalk.  Upon passage the council was clear this would be a one-year trial.

West Bend alderman candidate forum for Dist. 3 and Dist. 7

A candidate forum was held recently at West Bend City Hall. Candidates included Brett Berquist and Mary Ann Rzeszutek vying for Dist. 3 alderman and Oscar Estrada and Justice Madl vying for Dist. 7 alderman in the April 7 Spring Election.

Opening statements

Dist. 3 – Brett Berquist – Went to UWWC, 25 years in Military with three deployments, retired WBPD. Public safety, growing community and responsible with tax dollars. Top issue is roads and attracting new business.

Dist 7 – Oscar Estrada – Dist 7 – lived here 11 years with two daughters. Eucharist minister and member of Knights of Columbus.

Dist. 7 – Justice Madl – Incumbent. Business owner in Barton. Increased pressure on police department and be careful to remain safe. Work with new mayor, focus on roads and  and make Barton safe and clean.

Dist. 3 – Mary Ann Rzeszutek – Recently moved from NY. WB is a beautiful place to live. I have no agenda and can look strategically at issues. Works part time at WB public library. Want to be active member of community. Experience with local government. Was in manufacturing with Kodak Co.

What qualities do you bring to council that would benefit district and community?

OE – 29 years of experience and working with customers. I would work united. Would spend more time listening. Improve and grow WB. Quality of products and people and drive cost out but doing right thing for people of WB.

JM – Direct line to how people in district feel about issues

MAR – I’m a good problem solver. Good at communicating. Broad background. Experience to spend money wisely. I would treat taxpayer money like I do my own.

BB – I like working as a team. I can see the big picture and help communicate. As a former police officer I can think on my feet. I’m just one person but I want to work for taxpayers.

If your campaign is successful how will it affect area business?

JM – HBBA has put on 10 local events. Installed bike racks. I’m already doing it.

MAR – I have experience in biz and residents of Dist. 3 are concerned about empty stores. Thriving business means thriving community.

BB – Positive impact. I shop local. Work as a team and I’m going to rely on others and learn about developers agreements and special assessments. Look out for what’s best for the community.

OE – My strength is working with businesses around the world. I know how to develop growth and bring people into the city of West Bend. I’d look at marketing and our great safety factor. Key is to develop trust and respect, understanding, sincere, and providing time to listen to taxpayers to help grow home.

What’s more important building more homes and commercial space or rehabbing, expanding existing storefronts?

MAR – Using the existing storefronts and space is important. Effectively fill empty stores.

BB – It’s a fine line. We don’t want to be stagnant. Don’t want to limit housing. Empty buildings – it would be great to encourage business growth and development. Biz are in biz of making money. Yes, City is involved but important to allow them freedom to want to come here. Teamwork is important to get to the point to benefit biz and community.

OE – WB is home. Attractive part is the local stores. At times other businesses are needed. There are opportunities for us to grow.

JM – There has to be a combination. Can’t always afford to tear something down and build new. Bermico building needs to come down.

City roads are hottest topic in community. Should city spend more to address problem?

BB – We’ve been trying to address it. Important to be part of the solution. Instead of tearing up roads how about just resurface and make a short-term fix. If a road needs to be replaced then it has to be considered.

OE – If we can do assessment by district and look at worst roads by volume of vehicle. Try something different – look at it from total cost of operating. Review bidding process and rate bidders. Look at all corners of WB to please everybody.

JM – City has PASER rating to rate the roads. We’ve improved debt situation. Roads are tough.

MAR – Spoke to city engineer. There is an evaluation process along with traffic count. City has prioritized roads and it’s a good plan to follow. City does a good job to fix roads when it coincides with sewer and water repair. Suggests taxpayers may be ready to spend more.

One thing to be done at government level to have biggest impact on West Bend?

OE – Public safety. Want to make sure people feel safe.

JM – Staff. Work with new marketing person.

MAR – Better communication.

BB – Teamwork. The important thing is the taxpayers. People want someone to listen to them.

How are you different than other candidates?

JM – I have an ability to connect with my constituents.

MAR – I’m learning about the city, have an open mind and clean slate.

BB – I have strong communication skills.

OE – I’m more like a coach and help to get the best out of people.

What challenges has no one started discussing yet?

MAR – Safety and make sure WBPD and WBFD are funded adequately

BB – Where do we want to go from here. What are our priorities

OE – Barton Park improvements

JM – Improve downtown Barton

What does a successful term in office look like to you?

BB – Work on issues and find important things to address and work towards a better community for all.

OE – Build trust with constituents, provide support with businesses and increase activities for all ages.

JM – I’ve been very successful the last two years. New banners, bike racks, Christmas decor….

MAR – Have a good relationship with residents.

Polls open at 7 a.m. on Tuesday, April 7, 2020.

First anchor tenant commits to new Water Street Suites in Downtown West Bend By Deb Reinbold

American Commercial Real Estate, an American Companies affiliate, has signed a 10-year lease to Stifel, one of the nation’s leading full-service wealth management and investment banking firms, for occupancy in the new Water Street Suites.

The anchor tenant is the first to commit to the new space, planning to occupy 7,035 square feet of Class A office space within the 15,500-square-foot facility. Both of Stifel’s existing West Bend offices will be consolidated into this new location once construction is complete this fall.

“I’ve had the pleasure of working as the property manager for Stifel at their current location on 18th Avenue since 2009,” said Jo Sadownikow, Principal of American Commercial Real Estate.  “We explored many options and I’m pleased to be able to continue this relationship with them at Water Street Suites.”

“Downtown West Bend is a highly-desirable destination for new and expanding businesses,” said City Administrator Jay Shambeau. “With the transformation of the Riverwalk, and this exciting site redevelopment, we are exploring all economic development opportunities that will support and enhance the community.”

American Construction Services began site construction in mid-February for the Water Street Suites and a 68-room Marriott TownePlace Hotel, located on an adjacent property. Construction began shortly after the February 7 sale of 3.3 acres from the City of West Bend, a portion of the site formerly home to Gehl Company’s manufacturing facility.

“We could not be happier to make our new home in this exciting development in the historic heart of our community,” said Matt Andrews, Senior Vice President of Investments for Stifel.  “We’re proud to be a part of downtown West Bend. Our new office will greatly benefit our eleven financial advisors as well as their clients.”

Established in 1890, Stifel serves clients from more than 400 offices across the nation and ranks as the nation’s seventh-largest full-service investment firm in terms of number of financial advisors. It is a leading provider of investment banking services to the middle market, a top-ten municipal bond underwriter, and home to one of the industry’s largest equity research franchises. Parent company Stifel Financial Corp. is publicly traded on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol “SF” and has achieved twenty-four consecutive years of record net revenues.

For additional details about availability in the Water Street Suites, contact Jo Sadownikow at 414-303-1837 or Adam Williquette at 262-424-3217 of American Commercial Real Estate.

$20,000 in grant funding awarded by City of West Bend Tourism Commission | By Jessica Wildes

The City of West Bend Tourism Commission has awarded grants totaling $20,000 to support promotional efforts for local summer events held by area nonprofit organizations.

Grant awards include:

  • $12,500 for the Museum of Wisconsin Art to support Art & Chalk Fest 2020 held on July 25-26. This is the fourth year of the event which welcomed more than 20,000 visitors the past two consecutive years. MOWA anticipates more than 20,000 visitors and over 200 overnight leisure visitors.
  • $3,750 for Habitat for Humanity of Washington and Dodge Counties to support GERMANfest 2020 on August 27-30. This is the 35th year of the event and fifth year run by Habitat for Humanity. It is estimated this multi-day event will welcome 10,000 attendees.
  • $3,750 for The Hometown Foundation Inc. to support Homegrown Music Festival on July 10-12. This expanding event started in 2015 and anticipates 3,000 attendees.

Six nonprofit organizations submitted applications for consideration. A total of $53,000 was requested of the available $20,000. Funds requested are designed to promote tourism and provide economic impact on the City of West Bend from May 1-September 30, 2020.  The primary purpose for using these funds is to generate overnight stays at West Bend hotels.

Marketing directed outside of the West Bend/Washington County area is given priority. The three entities awarded best demonstrated the highest likeliness of attracting overnight visitors and bringing attendees from outside of the local community to West Bend. The Tourism Commission met on the evening of Tuesday, March 3 to review each application and award available funding.

“The Tourism Commission is responsible for distributing the hotel room tax that’s generated throughout the year,” said Commissioner Jay Shambeau.  “This is the highest number of grant applications received as well as the most funds requested to date. As this grant program gets more competitive, we’re seeing the quality of marketing plans and promotional efforts become more sophisticated and impactful.”

In addition to the spring/summer promotion grant, the Tourism Commission offers the Fall/Winter Tourism Promotion Grant totaling up to $20,000. Funds may be requested to promote tourism and economic impact for events held between October 1, 2020-March 31, 2021. The application deadline is Friday, May 15, 2020 at noon.

West Bend Plan Commission approves development of Taco Bell on W. Washington Street

The West Bend Plan Commission has approved development of a new Taco Bell at 2356 W. Washington Street. That property is currently home to Matrix Title..

The current building will be razed and a new 1,763-square-foot restaurant will be constructed. The new restaurant will feature a drive thru, concrete patio with decorative fence and tables, more than 20 parking spots.

According to records at City Hall the property used to be owned by Bridgeman Foods. The building permit dates to November 20, 1985.  The building sold in 1992 for $315,000 to St. Francis Bank. In 1997 the bank sold for $390,000. At one point PNC Bank was located at that site. In June 2014, John Rehman from Matrix Title Co. purchased the former PNC Bank building, 2356 West Washington Street.

Word that a second Taco Bell was opening in West Bend has been met with some speculation by neighbors in the community, since the fast food outlet currently located on S. Main has locked its doors during the noon hour and operated solely through the drive thru. Management has said it’s because of a staffing shortage. Construction on the second restaurant is expected to get underway this year. So far no permit has been pulled to demolish the Matrix Title building.

Letter to the Editor | Questions about curriculum transparency in West Bend School District | By Jody Geenen

Yet another transparency issue with the West Bend School District!  As the only new candidate running for School Board, I am frustrated with the district’s deceit in pretending to seek public input regarding new curriculum.

For example, the district sent a memo to certain parents/guardians and taxpayers (not me) inviting them to review the new 9th grade biology curriculum.

A friend received the email and was frustrated with the inconvenient times offered ~ 6:45 a.m. – 8 a.m. and 2:30 p.m.- 4 p.m., when most parents are traveling to work or working. There were no evening or weekend sessions.

I emailed the Curriculum and Instruction Department to request an evening viewing. While they were willing to hold a private viewing, they refused to open it up to the public except to let me invite guests. So I brought four.

Laura Jackson presented the curriculum and was aware the public was not invited to the evening session. Yet, she praised herself at the February 24 School Board Meeting for inviting public  input. She said she offered convenient times to parents who were dropping students off at school or picking them up and that there was an evening session.

Really? There were zero (0) people, other than a teacher, who attended the two early sessions, and the five of us who attended the evening session from which she provided our written feedback to the board. Were inconvenient viewing sessions offered because there was something to hide from the public?

Were they just pretending to be accommodating to avoid any negative reaction to the curriculum? If you’re tired of the lack of transparency and you believe children’s education should be a partnership between parents and teachers, then vote for Jody Geenen on or before April 7 for West Bend School Board.    Jody Geenen  West Bend

Letter to the Editor | Curriculum questions in West Bend School District | By Jean Bury Weymier

Dear Editor, I am writing to share my personal experience with the West Bend School District putting out a new book and curriculum for 9th grade Biology. First, there was an open viewing of the book and curriculum to anyone who pays taxes but the only means of notification to the public was an email to limited audience. I was told that this was open to the public but later found out that whoever was in charge of putting out the invitation refused to let people know there was an evening viewing. What are they trying to hide?

Second, the book filled with non-science and pseudo-science topics such as climate change, population control and evolution.  Instead of teaching the Science of Biology it is a total indoctrination of agenda-driven propaganda. I do not want my taxes paying for this type of brain-washing. This situation reminds me of the way the West Bend Community Hospital relocation to where it is now was accomplished.

Then, only after the outcry by many people from this community did an open and faux meeting occur. The move proponents pretended to care what we thought, only to do what they wanted in the end anyway. We need change in our school district so kids learn what they should and not a political agenda.  If you want change in our district vote for Jody Geenen for the West Bend School Board on April 7.     Jean Bury Weymier   West Bend

Letter to the Editor | Letter of recommendation for Oscar Estrada as Dist. 7 alderman in West Bend | By Jeffrey P. Cartwright

It is my pleasure to recommend Oscar Estrada to you as Dist. 7 alderman in West Bend.  He has worked for me directly in two separate roles at different companies where we turned around struggling businesses to profitability within a relatively short time.  Oscar is a dedicated leader who routinely worked long hours in a whatever-effort-is-required mode.

Additionally, he has a strong sense of team and motivates individuals to rally together for the greater good of the enterprise.   The difficult things we accomplished were based on a strong foundation of treating each and every individual with respect and dignity.  Oscar has the ability to positively interact and engage with all levels of the organization from the Chief Executive Officer to the factory line worker.  He consistently demonstrated the ability to teach, train, and develop those around him.

Beyond the tactical attributes described above, Oscar has a strong sense of strategic vision and is able to keep the long term in mind while executing the shorter-term objectives.

Following, the direct roles above, I have hired Oscar to assist me in a number of consulting engagements where we have been able to positively impact the results of the client organization in a matter of a few days.

I highly recommend Oscar as a servant leader, as well as, an individual contributor.

Best regards,  Jeffrey P. Cartwright

Disclaimer: Opinions and letters published in http://www.washingtoncountyinsider.com are not necessarily the views of the Editor, or Publisher. The http://www.washingtoncountyinsider.com reserves the right to edit or omit copy, in accordance with newspaper policies.

Around the Bend by Judy Steffes

Property sale complete for new TIF District 14 in West Bend

The property sale of 28.57 acres east of S River Road (Hwy G) and north of Highway NN is complete. According to records at West Bend City Hall the sale from John Renner to the City of West Bend was finalized February 7, 2020.

The parcel sold for $20,927 per acre which equals a total sale of $597,900. The transfer fee was $1,793.70. That property is connected to the new TIF District 14 which will a business/industrial park and be home to the new development of Milwaukee Tool.

Interfaith Caregivers thankful for $82,500 grant from Senior Corps

Interfaith Caregivers of Washington County is singing the praises of its volunteers and giving “thanks” to Senior Corps for an $82,500 grant it just received.

“This is exciting news for our organization and the community,” said Interfaith Executive Director Janean Brudvig.

The mission at Interfaith is to connect senior citizens with caring volunteers in Washington County.

“The grant will further allow us to recruit and engage our volunteers who provide rides to medical appointments and the grocery store,” said Interfaith Communications Director Clare Robbe. “Our volunteers also visit and bond with lonely and isolated seniors and the grant will help engage volunteers with elder-abuse prevention.”

“The grant will allow us to impact needs of senior citizens in our community and thanks to all the volunteers; we couldn’t do this without you,” said Brudvig.

Interfaith Caregivers provided over 14,000 rides to senior citizens who need transportation to critical services including the doctor, appointments,

“Our services provide a family feel,” said Robbe. “Our clients can rely on our volunteers and they like that volunteers sit with them and wait at their appointments so they don’t feel alone.”

Interfaith Caregivers of Washington County: Senior Corps RSVP volunteers will provide transportation for home bound seniors and veterans to preventive/medical appointments and other services that allow them to live independently; be trained in Elder Abuse Prevention in order to identify and mitigate elder abuse of financial fraud, abuse and/or neglect; provide education on Elder Abuse prevention to at-risk seniors and their caregivers and provide outreach and education within the community; operate a durable medical equipment loan and resource referral program. ($82,500 grant; 185 Senior Corps members)

Giving time to Interfaith Caregivers is a rewarding experience. Whether it’s getting a group together to clean up an elderly neighbor’s yard or simply folding a fresh load of laundry, your time makes a real difference! In the end, don’t be surprised if you forget who’s helping who.

If you want to check out come and hear more about Interfaith Caregivers, join us Friday, March 6 at 8 a.m. to 9 a.m. for Percolate, a chance for coffee, bakery and conversation, is held at the Interfaith office in West Bend, 2374A W Washington Street.  Come join us!

Kewaskum Police officers receive Life Saving Award     By Kewaskum Police Department

Kewaskum School Resource Officer Kevin Kohn and Officer Luke Wilhelm have each been issued a Life Saving Award from Kewaskum Chief of Police Thomas Bishop for their actions February 13, 2020.

On that date, both officers responded to a medical call for a male subject who possibly overdosed. Upon arrival, officers began life saving measures as the subject was unconscious and turning blue. NARCAN was administered to the subject and, after a short time, the subject regained consciousness. He was then transported via Kewaskum Rescue to Froedtert West Bend Hospital.

The 17-year-old male has been charged with Possession of Narcotic Drugs and Possession of Drug Paraphernalia.

The Kewaskum Police Department is trained in the use of Narcan in an effort to combat overdose deaths associated with opiate use and addiction. The quick actions of these officer’s directly resulted in saving this young man’s life, while placing themselves in a potentially dangerous situation — these efforts deserve recognition.

“On behalf of the Kewaskum Police Department and citizens of the Village of Kewaskum, I am proud to issue this award to Officer Kevin Kohn and Officer Luke Wilhelm for their outstanding performance on February 13, 2020,” said Kewaskum Police Chief Tom Bishop.

Holy Angels Students of the Month for January 2020 | By Anne Weise

Holy Angels School in West Bend is recognizing three students for the month of January 2020 including Michael Held, Lyra Keegan and Brady Barnes. 6th Grade:  Michael Held is an all-American kid.  He is a good student, with nice study skills. He is a friendly, positive, happy person who enjoys participating in a variety of activities and is a natural leader. He likes pizza and baseball. In fact, he plays many sports including basketball and football. When he isn’t shooting layups, Mikey is probably playing video games or hanging around with his family and friends.  At school, he helps out by serving at Mass and is also on the Forensics team.

7th Grade:  Lyra Keegan – is a very detail-oriented student. She pays close attention in class and will always ask questions about any piece of the concept she doesn’t feel comfortable about. She is not satisfied with doing less than a stellar job.  In addition to being strong academically, she is very artistic. Lyra participates in Forensics and helps out at school as a patrol and as a server for Mass.  Outside of school, she enjoys biking and swimming. Lyra is particularly passionate about running cross country.

8th Grade:  Brady Barnes is a quiet, funny, kind eighth grader. When he isn’t walking around on crutches, Brady participates in basketball and plays golf. He has impressed his teachers with his academic focus this year. He has improved his study skills and shown a willingness to ask for help when necessary. Brady serves at Mass and is part of the 8th grade Bells Choir.  When he isn’t hanging out with his family and friends, he enjoys playing Fortnite.

West Bend School District discusses November referendum

As the West Bend School District is in the midst of searching for a new superintendent it is also moving forward with discussion on a November 2020 referendum proposal. Some of the items reviewed at the Monday, Feb. 24 meeting.

The timetable included administration working with consultants and stakeholders from January through May, May through late July there would be mailings and school community groups soliciting feedback, interpreting feedback, confirm and finalize projects and cost and establish full scope. By Monday, August 3, 2020 the board would need to approve a resolution for referendum which would be on the November 3, 2020 ballot.

The early though was an elementary school in Jackson with a size between 550/600.

The existing referendum and debt listed at $33,245,000 through 2027-28. There is a board workshop slated for March 16 with a final boar resolution deadline of Aug. 24. In April 2019 a proposed $47 million referendum with a $74 million total failed in the West Bend School District.

In October 2019 the West Bend School District Private Task Force unveiled a solution to the West Bend School District’s facility needs. The Task Force, which was an independent body, reported it could address the issues, including funding and declining enrollment, without raising property taxes.

Board President Joel Ongert questioned the Task Force’s findings and invited them back to explain.

West Bend School Superintendent position posted

The job opening for a superintendent in the West Bend School District has been posted. This follows an announcement Superintendent Don Kirkegaard is returning to South Dakota to take a job in his previous school district.

The timeline for receiving applications is 11:30 a.m. on March 12, 2020. A new superintendent is expected to be announced by April 27, 2020 with a start date of July 1, 2020.  The posting by the consulting firm in Omaha, NE initially posted the opening February 13, 2020.

The West Bend School District will now have had five superintendents over the last four years. Kirkegaard was hired after former Superintendent Erik Olson submitted his resignation December 14, 2017. Olsen was hired June 2016. The School Board approved a two-year contract with Olson at a salary of $155,000. In 2017 that contract was extended another two years. The payout to Olson was about $300,000.

Prior to Olson, Ted Neitzke served as superintendent from 2011 – June 2016 when he resigned and Laura Jackson served as interim superintendent after Olson left and prior to Kirkegaard.

Slinger High School student recognized for logo design for Washington County Drug Treatment Court

Washington County Judge Todd Martens praised Slinger High School student Morgan Rogacki during a meeting this week of the Slinger School Board.

Rogacki was the winner of a contest to design a logo for Washington County’s new Drug Treatment Court. She was presented with a plaque and recognized for her art work, which was selected from over 30 submitted logos from five high schools across Washington County.

According to Judge Martens, “The goal of Drug Treatment Court is to help persons with substance abuse problems get sober, stay sober and rebuild their lives.  Congratulations to Morgan and thanks to her for submitting a design which we felt best embodied the mission and spirit of Drug Treatment Court.  The logo will be used in Court program documents, Court letterhead, and certificates given to Court participants. We appreciate all the hard work put in by students to design Drug Treatment Court logos.  The designs were all excellent, and we thank you!”

Simon Weinandt of West Bend receives Eagle Scout pin

Simon Weinandt received his Eagle Scout pin during an Eagle Scout Court of Honor ceremony for Scouts BSA Troop 762. The celebration was in the old gym at St. Mary’s Immaculate Conception in Barton. Following the posting of the colors and an invocation by Rev. Andrew Infanger, Weinandt, 18, was praised for his leadership, love of the outdoors, and his dedication to scouts.

Weinandt was featured in an article in November 2019 when there was a special blessing for his Eagle Scout project. He built 14 Stations of the Cross in the park across from St. Mary’s Immaculate Conception Parish in Barton.

The 14 Stations feature a stone base, a large wooden cross and a series of bronze images “portraying events in the Passion of Christ from his condemnation by Pontius Pilate to his entombment. “The most challenging part was not at all in the building, but it was in the planning,” said Weinandt. “People are eager for it to be used.”

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

Chess and music making are two other merit badges that rank high on his list of accomplishments. Earning the highest rank of Eagle Scout was also one of his goals. “There’s a saying that only two-percent of people make it to Eagle Scout,” Weinandt said. “But I had a standard that was set by my dad, brother Spencer, uncle and cousin; they all achieved it and I wanted to too.

During the Eagle Scout ceremony Weinandt’s parents participated in swapping out his red neckerchief for a royal blue neckerchief with red and white trim.

Weinandt will be attending tech college in Red Wing, Minnesota where he will study to be a luthier, a maker of string instruments like violin, bass, and cello.

GUEST EDITORIAL | Why is it difficult to find volunteer firefighters            By Ron Naab

The issue of finding people to fill the boots of a firefighter or EMT is challenging. It is a societal issue. We are now in the mindset of what others can do for us and not what we can do for others. I have had conversations with younger generation.  Following is a post in response to the Slinger Fire Department asking for help over the weekend to dig you fire hydrants, when I suggest to an individual to join a fire department; “no thanks, time is all I have in this life and I don’t give that away for free.”  How do we change that mind set?

How did we create a generation that is not willing to sacrifice their time, their skills, or their talents to help others?  I had a mentor tell me once, “Your kids are what you make them.  The apples don’t fall far from the tree.”

I have read many times that our Wisconsin fire service is made up of approximately 78% volunteers.  These individuals that are willing to leave a kid’s birthday party, get up at 3 a.m. for a fire call that could last until 8 a.m. and still go to work, are willing to give 2 to 3 nights a month to be trained and hone their skills or are willing to spend hours to design and purchase and verify construction of a new piece of apparatus or building.

WHY!! Because of pride, pride in their membership to an elite group of individuals that all love helping others.

Pride in that they have successfully completed 100+ classroom hours to become a Firefighter 1 or 180 hours to become an EMT.  Plus, to become a IV Tech is another 100 hours. They have pride in the fact you were able to help someone at a very terrifying or tragic time in their lives so they can “see the light at the end of the tunnel.”

After the educational requirements and training we still ask our members to give up hours to help raise money to buy equipment.  How many other government or quasi-government entities must do fund raisers to purchase their trucks, or their equipment?

We expect our firefighters to enter building made of lightweight construction filled with furniture made of petroleum-based products, that burn hotter and faster.

Firefighters pride in their department maybe because of the equipment or the building they have for a fire station that was purchased with fund raising dollars and taxpayers supported dollars.

Former Chief Chuck Himsel of Mount Horeb Fire-Rescue stated once to his fire district board, “We have 50 people respond to any type of call at any time of day, on any given day of the year for NO money.  All we as a department and as a community have to offer is pride.  Pride in who we are, what we do and what we have.  So, if the members want a bell on a fire truck or an area to have an antique apparatus on display, this is nominal to the dollars we would have to pay them for each call.

We as fire departments and as communities need to look at ways of attracting younger generation members of our community so they will get involved.  Our department, Allenton, has had an Explorers Club, their other departments that have similar program where 8th graders through seniors can be a part of the fire department to be part of training and do support duties at an emergency scene. These programs have been very successful, it takes a group of adult fire-rescue members to be willing to support this group.

Another factor that makes operating and funding a department in today’s world is the cost of equipping a firefighter with a helmet, with a hood, firefighting and rescue gloves, turnout coat and pants, boots along with a pager to alert them.  Total cost is approximately $2,500 plus.  This does not include Self Contained Breathing Apparatus [air packs] we are at $6,500+ and the cost go on.  A single-axle truck to haul water is in the range of $275,000.  In 1973 you could do this vehicle for less than $13,000.

Our community governments and businesses need to be supportive of our volunteer and paid-on-call emergency services. There was a time that employers would allow their employees to respond to calls with NO dock in pay.  NOW we have a difficult time getting these entities to allow them to respond.  One reason is the owners are not residents of the community.  There was a time that local municipalities allowed fire departments to have a few extra things so as to pay wages.  I understand tight budgets, we need to be creative to get businesses to support our volunteers.  We need to work with state legislators and those representing us in Washington, D.C.  I believe that valid avenue to help get people involved and to support our volunteer fire-rescue squads is having a tax credit for employers based on allowing employees to go on calls.  We need to get tax credits for firefighters and emergency medical responders for time being served, training and responding.

This year alone there are probably 15 bills that would have supported our firefighters.  Some of these bills introduced were to give tax credits to volunteers, with more years of service the greater the credit.  The Length of Service Award changed to Service Award Program which was funded by local governments and the state was changed to allow younger, less time served firefighters and EMTs to cash out.  The payout was raised but the funds were not set aside this some that retired this year are still waiting for funds.  There was a bill to increase the penalties for those that caused bodily harm or death and accident scene.  There was a bill to help get timely reimbursement to those departments that are involved in Wisconsin’s Urban Search and Rescue Task Force.   WHAT HAPPENED TO THESE BILLS?  They died at a committee chairman’s desk or at the legislator in-charge of the assembly or senate.

In my opinion, our state and our federal government need to get involved!  We need to have representatives that will follow through and not make promises and not to follow through to get the legislation completed.

Around the Bend by Judy Steffes

2020 Washington County Breakfast on the Farm is at Sunset Farms in Allenton

The family at Sunset Farms, 6600 Sunset Drive in Allenton, will be hosting the 2020 Washington County Breakfast on the Farm on June 13.

Sunset Farms is a sixth-generation family farm. This will be the fourth time hosting Washington County’s Breakfast on the Farm; the last time was 2013.

A 2014 article by Dairy Professional Development featured Sunset Farms:

The farm employs 26 full-time and 6 part-time and seasonal workers, milks approximately 900 cows, has about 100 dry cows, raises most of their young stock and steers and crops 3,200 acres. Fifth- and sixth-generation family members, along with a few employees, own the farm.  Sunset Farms includes Albert and Mildred and their sons and wives, Ray and Anne, Dan and Ellen, Bernie and Cindy, and Paul and Sue. In addition, some of the next generation has joined the family corporation, including Karen Hughes who serves as herd manager; Carl, Ed and Dave Wolf; and Tim Baier.

“We continuously strive to improve our farm and the care of our cows. Cow comfort is what drives our modernization,” says herd manager Karen Hughes. The farm’s mission is to produce safe nutrition, create a good quality of life for employees as well as neighbors and friends, and ensure everyone involved enjoys their work together.

Breakfast on the Farm kicks off Saturday, June 13 at 6:30 a.m. and features all-you-can-eat pancakes served with scrambled eggs, applesauce, cheese, sausage, milk and coffee.

Activities include wagon ride to the farm, barn tours, petting zoo, pedal tractor pull, live music, Roden Barnyard Adventures, antique tractors, $1 Sundaes or Root Beer Floats   Tickets in advance – $6 Tickets at the door – $7 and Children 3 and under FREE.

West Bend Common Council selects District 8 alderwoman

On a vote of 6 – 1 the West Bend Common Council selected Meghann Kennedy as the new representative to fill the vacant aldermanic seat in District 8. Kennedy, who currently is part of the West Bend Park & Rec Commission, will fill the remaining term following the resignation of alderman Roger Kist.

Kennedy was one of four people who interviewed for the seat. Others vying for the seat included Aaron Zingsheim, Clifford Van Beek, and Alice M. Iaquinta. During a 5 p.m. interview before the Common Council, Kennedy spoke for 15 minutes outlining her work at Kohl’s Corporate where she meets with senior leadership, analyzes revenue and business trends.

Kennedy manages a multi-million-dollar business and specializes in digital processing. She has a strong background in math and analytical skills.

A resident of Villa Park for seven years, Kennedy said she wants to serve the community. “I’m good at working in collaboration,” she said. “I’ve already established relationships within government and City Hall and I look to hit the ground running.”

Questioned why she wanted to serve the community; Kennedy expressed a desire to “be part of the solution.” She described herself as a “fiscal conservative” who was interested in a “balanced budget.”

“I want to see the City grow effectively and efficiently,” she said.

Questioned about the current testing in the Villa Park subdivision and her knowledge about the gas emissions and the landfill, Kennedy mentioned she had discussions with the DNR and the city’s Doug Newman. “Villa Park is not only going to affect District 8 but the entire City,” said Kennedy. “We have good people in place and I look forward to working with consultants.”

“I’m excited to serve, it’s a good challenge and I’m interested in learning and help guide the future for families,” she said.

Kennedy received an endorsement from Mike Staral, who heads the City Park and Rec Committee.

After one round of ballot voting, Kennedy was announced the winner.

City Clerk Stephanie Justmann swore in Kennedy who immediately took her seat on the council. She will fill the remaining term in District 8, which will run to election day April 2021.

It was Friday, January 10, 2020 when alderman Roger Kist submitted his letter of resignation to the city clerk. Kist had served on the Common Council since he won election in April 2009.

Commerce Financial Holdings, Inc. in West Bend sold to Nicolet Bankshares, Inc.

Nicolet Bankshares, Inc. (NASDAQ: NCBS) (“Nicolet”) and Commerce Financial Holdings, Inc. (“Commerce”) today jointly announce the execution of a definitive merger agreement, pursuant to which Nicolet will acquire Commerce and its wholly-owned banking subsidiary, Commerce State Bank (“Commerce Bank”).

Based on the financial results as of December 31, 2019, the combined company will have pro forma total assets of $4.3 billion, deposits of $3.6 billion and loans of $3.2 billion, as Commerce would represent approximately 16% of the combined company’s year-end assets.

Mike Daniels, President and CEO of Nicolet National Bank said, “We are excited to partner with great people who have a purpose very complementary to ours: to serve our customers, shareholders, and each other. Both Nicolet and Commerce are entrepreneurial organizations that know what it’s like to build a business from scratch. This quality allows us to relate to each other and our customers and will be a driving force as we move toward integrating our two cultures in the coming quarters.”

Bob Atwell, CEO and Chairman of Nicolet said, “In each merger, we have purposefully found partners who focus on serving customers and the community.  When we combine our resources and cultures, we can positively impact the community banking landscape of Wisconsin.  The geography isn’t as important as the characteristics of the communities and the passion of the people.”

Joe Fazio, CEO of Commerce said, “We have known Nicolet for a long time and we like their reputation for doing things the right way.  We are going to leverage the combined strengths of Commerce and Nicolet, which are our people and relationship-focused attitudes, to accelerate our growth.  The time feels right for the next chapter.”

Jack Enea, Chairman of Commerce said, “This merger creates an opportunity for shareholders to rapidly get to the next level of our strategic plan.  We have created a strong bank that centers on talented and experienced people.  That model will continue and expand through our combination with Nicolet.”

Transaction Information: Under the terms of the merger agreement, Nicolet will acquire Commerce with Nicolet being the surviving corporation. In the merger, Commerce shareholders shall receive 1.15 shares of Nicolet common stock for each share of Commerce stock. Based on Nicolet’s closing price of $72.32 as of February 14, 2020 the merger consideration is valued at approximately $129.6 million, which excludes Nicolet’s pre-existing ownership of Commerce shares.

The merger agreement provides for a cap and collar to potentially re-set the exchange ratio or change the mix of consideration should the Nicolet Common Stock Price, as defined in the merger agreement, rise above $82.00 per share, or fall below $62.00 per share.

The estimated transaction value is a 1.9 multiple of Commerce’s tangible book value as of December 31, 2019 and equates to approximately 18x Commerce’s 2019 after-tax income. Additional assumptions and metrics can be found with the attached Financial Supplement.

Leadership/Employee Information: Post-merger, Joe Fazio will join the Board of Directors of Nicolet Bankshares and Nicolet National Bank. Tom Hopp and Dave Borchardt, Commerce’s President and CFO/COO, respectively, will join Nicolet National Bank.  All customer-facing employees of Commerce are expected to stay on in the same capacity.

Approvals and Closing Date: The transaction has been unanimously approved by the boards of directors of both companies.  It is subject to Commerce shareholder approval, regulatory approvals and other customary closing conditions and is expected to close in the third quarter of 2020.  Upon consummation of the transaction, all branch offices of Commerce Bank are expected to open as Nicolet National Bank branches.

Primary election results in Washington County

Unofficial election results are in for two primary races in Washington County. The polls closed at 8 p.m. and while there was a predicted turnout of about 10 percent in Washington County it appears the turnout may have exceeded 20 percent.

There was a primary for Justice of the Supreme Court. Advancing to the April 7 election will be incumbent Justice Daniel Kelly and Jill J. Karofsky.

In Washington County Kelly received 75 percent of the vote while Karofsky received nearly 19 percent of the vote.

In the Slinger School District four candidates advance to the April election where there are two open seats on the Slinger School Board. Candidates advancing to the April 7 election include Bruce Hassler (Incumbent and Vice-President), Jen Novotny, Jody Strupp, and David Zukowski (Interim Incumbent).

A Community Forum will be held Tuesday, March 24 at 6:30 p.m. in the Slinger Middle School cafeteria. The forum is designed to provide community members an opportunity to meet the Slinger School Board candidates and ask questions about their candidacy.

April 7 is the election to determine who will gain the two seats on the Slinger School Board.

Canvassing for all results will occur before the end of the week.

Slinger and Hartford HS Snowboard teams finish season strong | By Delaney Braun

The Hartford and Slinger High School snowboard season has wrapped up with an excellent finish. All members on the girls’ team and six of the student athletes on the boys’ team competed in the toughest race yet at Mt. LaCrosse.

The state qualifying boys included Brady Jackson, Conor Schmitt, Gabe Kebbekus, Zak Raskin, Isaac DeWalt, Ethan Smith, and Brayden Wiedmeyer. All of the girls’ team qualified as well and the team was able to come home with some pretty amazing accomplishments.

Friday was met with some frustration and hard training from the racers to prepare them for the race the next day. The coaches were strategic with the courses and amount of time they required the racers to prepare.

The courses on Saturday were challenging. Marisa Reyes took second in boardercross, following Kallie Weyer in 11th and Ava Stortz in 15th and the girls took second overall.

For the boys boardercross Cole Rummel of West Bend took first along with Ethan Benedict in ninth and Brian Pomeroy in 15th. Ethan Smith and Brady Jackson took the 12th and 13th spots and Isaac DeWalt finished 17th.

Giant slalom was the next event. Reyes took an unfortunate fall during her race. That left Kallie Weyer scoring highest for Slinger in 12th place and Sophia Parkinson of Hartford taking 14th.

Ava Stortz had a nice finish in 17th. For the boys, Rummel again took fourth, Smith from Slinger took fifth. DeWalt finished 14th and Pomeroy in 15th. An honorable mention to Conor Schmitt, taking 22nd, beating all but one boy on the Slinger team that event.

Last but not least was Slalom. Reyes took ninth place and Weyer finished 15th. Rummel took fourth, Smith was seventh, Pomeroy 12th, and Jackson 14th. Benedict and DeWalt were close with Benedict taking 18th and DeWalt was 19th.

For the event team results, the Hartford and Slinger ladies took second in boardercross and third in giant slalom and slalom. That is a huge accomplishment for them. For the boys, they took fourth in all events.

Congratulations to the West Bend snowboard team for taking first place overall in boardercross. Overall results were third place for girls and fourth place for the boys.

Thank you to all the parents for the constant support this season, the racers really could not do it without you.

Socks in the Frying Pan coming to UWM at Washington County on Friday, March 6

Get your tickets today to Socks in the Frying Pan. Performance at UWM at Washington County on Friday, March 6 at 7:30 p.m. Don’t miss this award-winning trio from County Clare Ireland – the universal hub of Irish traditional music. Socks in the Frying Pan includes Aodán Coyne on guitar and vocals and the accomplished Hayes brothers — Shane on accordion and Fiachra on fiddle and banjo.

They blend Irish traditional melodies with their own personal flair, which has gained them critical acclaim and accolades including New Band of the Year by the Irish Music Association.

Public hearing on special assessment for property owners on 18th Avenue

There’s going to be a public hearing on March 2 at 6:30 p.m. in the council chambers at West Bend City Hall. The special assessment is tied to the reconstruction of 18th Avenue between Vogt Drive and Decorah Road.

“The way the assessments are calculated are based on the frontage of the lot,” said City Engineer Max Maréchal. “We’ve established the cost of lineal foot of project and we multiply that by the frontage of each property. If your frontage is smaller than you will get a smaller assessment.”

According to preliminary numbers the total for the special assessment varies from $1,757.14 to $5,449.47 to over $16,000. That last increase is for an address that houses a non-profit organization on 18th Avenue.

“That will be up to the common council to address,” said Marechal. “This is what the public hearing is for so aspects can be addressed between the public and the council.”

The special assessment, overall, is based on an existing policy. “When there are new improvements the property that benefits directly the government entity has power to assess for the cost of installing those new improvements,” said Marechal.

Improvements on the 18th Avenue project include curb and gutter, streetlights, sidewalk, etc. About 85 properties are included in the special assessment.

Neighbors on 18th Avenue and Decorah Road question, if the entire community is using the streets and sidewalks, then why are only the property owners in that area charged with a special assessment to cover the cost of improvements?

Marechal went back to his statement of “property that benefits directly” from the work. “Direct benefit to the property,” he said. “Are there properties immediately adjacent that will benefit.”

Marechal said his office is receiving phone calls. “Most of the people understand what’s going on but we’re also open to answering any other inquiries,” he said.

The reconstruction project on 18th Avenue between Vogt Drive and Decorah Road was completed in October 2018.

The entire first portion of the project was less than a mile in length. There’s a second phase of the project waiting in the wings which will run from Vogt Drive south to Paradise Drive.

“Obviously we will follow the same process as the first phase,” said Marechal. “Which means we will go to the City common council and ask them whether they intend to assess for new improvements; will that directly benefit those properties or not and we’ll go from there.”

Slinger HS student wins design contest for Drug Treatment Court | By Todd Martens

The Washington County Drug Treatment Court Team invited students from Washington County high schools to submit designs for its county-wide Drug Treatment Court logo design competition.  Students from five County high schools submitted over 30 logo designs for the team’s consideration.

The team appreciates all the hard work students put into submitting designs which reflect this important new program.  The goal of Drug Treatment Court is to help persons with substance abuse problems get sober, stay sober and rebuild their lives.

After careful consideration and considerable debate, the team chose the design submitted by Slinger High School student Morgan Rogacki.  Congratulations to Morgan and thanks to her for submitting a design which we felt best embodied the mission and spirit of Drug Treatment Court.  The logo will be used in Court program documents, Court letterhead, and certificates given to Court participants.

The decision was a difficult one.  The winning design received six votes, and the runner up received five.  Both designs were outstanding.  The team would like to specially thank and acknowledge the design which came in second place—it was submitted by Germantown High School student Hannah Hermann.

We appreciate all the hard work put in by students to design Drug Treatment Court logos.  The designs were all excellent, and we thank you!

Washington County Drug Treatment Court Judge Todd K. Martens will recognize Morgan Rogacki and her contribution to the Washington County Drug Treatment Court in a ceremony during the Slinger School Board meeting at 7 p.m. February 24, 2020.

Downtown West Bend establishment may have cracked the recipe for Dick’s Pizza

The Inferno Bar & Grill, 140 N. Main Street, in West Bend thinks it may have cracked the recipe for Dick’s Pizza.

In the 1980s Dick’s Pizza was an institution in West Bend. The original Dick’s Pizza dates to the 1950s when Dick Turnquist opened on north Main Street near where West Bend Tap & Tavern is located.

“In 1977 Turnquist started building the new restaurant on 18th Avenue but he was killed in a car crash three weeks before even opening,” said owner Earl Richter about the crash on Paradise Drive when Turnquist swerved to avoid hitting a dog.

An employee at the restaurant, Paul Schloemer became the new owner and ran the business for three years before Dave Wolf bought the pizza place in March 1980. Twenty-one years later in December 2001 Richter bought the business.

“We really grew the sales within the first three or four years,” said Richter. “My sales were probably fifty percent higher than anything they’d ever done but all of a sudden one restaurant after another started opening in this town.”

Neighbors remembered a number of things about Dick’s Pizza; from the thin crust to the spicy tomato sauce to the hot cheese.

The Inferno Bar & Grill will have pizza samples available on Thursday, February 20 starting at 3 p.m. through dinner.

Sample pizzas will be made on the spot so they stay warm and fresh.  Everyone that comes in can get a free slice of pizza.  It will be served party style, so it is cut into small squares.

Pizza will be available for sale with a $3 off pizza special every Thursday.  The full pizza menu is below. It also includes the soup of the day and chili options.  You can also combo the soups with sandwiches for discounts, and there is a “half a sandwich/cup of soup” option.

The Inferno is also contracting for delivery. For those who want to call in and get food to go –  (262) 353-9016.

Around the Bend by Judy Steffes

Walden – A Supper Club has sold

There will be new life for Walden – A Supper Club as the restaurant on Wallace Lake is under contract for purchase.

Kevin and Amy Zimmer gathered with staff at the restaurant Friday afternoon and introduced themselves as the new owners.

“We are very excited to preserve an iconic property,” said Kevin Zimmer.  “We were most attracted to the dedicated staff as well as the faithful clientele that we saw every time we came out for dinner. Waldens has been our go-to restaurant for many years. We are committed to keeping the restaurant open while making improvements yet preserving the Wisconsin supper-club feel.”

The supper club is located on the shores of Wallace Lake; it started as a summer home in the 1940s.

The future of the popular restaurant had been in question after the former owner, Bob Walden, died October 4, 2019.

Walden moved to West Bend in 1974 where he was a principal at Jackson and Green Tree Elementary.

In 1989 Bob owned and operated Walden – A Supper Club.  In his younger years, he was a member of the Musical Masquers theater group in West Bend. Bob liked solving crossword puzzles, driving cool cars, and being a restaurant owner. He enjoyed vacations in the Eagle River and St. Germain areas, fly fishing, and watching the Packers.

The supper club on the lake has quite a bit of history. “Bob purchased the restaurant in 1989,” said Karen Walden, Bob’s wife. “It used to be Benike’s before we got it. George and Carol Benike purchased the club from Dot who ran it as Dot’s Club.”

Dot and her husband Nick added the cocktail lounge in 1974.

David and Nancy Slinde lived down the block from the supper club. “Bob has been a great neighbor on Wallace Lake,” said David.  “He had an understanding of his customers by offering a familiar setting and great food.  His restaurant is a historic place in the Barton community.  While many said he should do this with the building or that with the building, he stayed firm in offering the community a historic supper club pure and simple and rich in memories.”

Neighbors across Washington County are familiar with the supper club that sits on the south shore of Wallace Lake.

According to supper-club website,

Walden presents a Northwoods ambiance of knotty pine and lake shore, a relaxed fine dining experience. Excellent service and delicious entrees accompanied by mouth-watering salads, breads, potatoes, and desserts.

Prime Rib, the house specialty for over 50 years, is served every night. A dry aged center-cut tenderloin steak is also very popular. Walden also features Bavarian Pretzel Chicken, Frog Legs, Lobster Tails, Shrimp, Salmon, a most delicious Shaum Torte. Several other exciting entrees are served including Fish Frys on Fridays, nightly specials and sandwiches.

Walden is available for larger group luncheons and for banquets depending on availability. Several weddings followed by wedding banquets have been held along the shores of the lake.

The dining room seats up to one hundred guests. the cocktail lounge, overlooking the lake seats 52 people at the bar and side bars.

A bit more history on the supper club is below.

Walden-A Supper club began life as a summer home for Lucy and her family from the Milwaukee area in the early 1940’s. Emil Kufahl and his family operated the White Oaks Resort using the current dining area as a bar and four cabins once located along the western boundary of the property.

Kufahl’s were convinced by several Friday customers that they should start offering a Friday Fish Fry. In addition to adding a small kitchen, Kufahls added a bait shop lake side. Rental cabins, boat rental, fish bait sales, bar business and Friday Night Fish Fries kept the White Oaks Resort quite busy.

Several owners succeeded Kufahls each bringing a uniqueness in talent, interest and personality, blending to give Walden a character all its own.

Karl and Mush Hansen greatly expanded the dinner menu beyond the Friday Fish Fry. At this time, the bar was located across the fireplace wall. The Hansens sold the supper club to Nick and Dorothy Jonas who named the restaurant Dot’s Club.

Over a 22-year period, Dot’s Club became an even more inviting place to enjoy the food, the company, the lake and turtle soup. Nick and Dot added the Cocktail Lounge in 1974. The knotty pine was added to the dining room along with the beautiful field stone fireplace.

The Waldens made significant changes in the kitchen, enabling them to expand the menu. Windows were added to the dining room for the view and expanse. Booths were added in the area which had been a front porch for Lucy. Banquets were added to the Cocktail Lounge. And a beautiful patio has been added outdoors, lakeside, next to a waterfall garden.

The property was last assessed at $496,800. Fair market value is listed at $533,100.

WWII veteran Joe Demler who survived Nazi prison camp has died

World War II Army veteran Joe Demler of Port Washington has died. Demler was 94 years old. Demler was recognized around the world after a photo of him was published in Life Magazine. Demler was 19 years old and lying in a bunk while in a Nazi prison camp, Stalag 12-A in Limburg, Germany. He was a mere 70 pounds.

Demler was featured in the 2012 documentary film “Honor Flight: One Last Mission.”

A note from the Honor Flight reads:

Joe told us that he learned while he was a prisoner of war that “every day is a bonus,” which has become the motto of Stars and Stripes Honor Flight. He has spent countless hours over the years helping to raise funds so his fellow veterans could take an honor flight.

Funeral services for Joe Demler are pending. Details will be posted when information becomes available.

West Bend School Superintendent contacted Meade School District in South Dakota on January 13, 2020

Just a day after WashingtonCountyInsider.com broke the story about West Bend School Superintendent Don Kirkegaard looking to return to his former school district and expressing interest in the interim superintendent position in the Meade School District the story got picked up by Rapid City Journal in South Dakota.

Reporter Jim Holland writes:

STURGIS | Former Meade 46-1 superintendent of schools Don Kirkegaard has offered his services as an interim superintendent of the district, following the release of current superintendent Jeff Simmons in January.

Kirkegaard also confirmed he had contacted the Meade 46-1 Board of Education about the superintendent’s opening, but only in an interim capacity. “If you decide you’re going to do an interim (superintendent). I would be interested in being considered,” Kirkegaard said.

“If you’re going to do a full-fledged search, I will do everything I can to help you get the right candidate, but I’m not going to re-apply for the position,” he said.

Dennis Chowen, president of the Meade 46-1 Board of Education, confirmed Tuesday that Kirkegaard had contacted the board the day after a Jan. 13 meeting in which the board and Simmons announced a mutual agreement of his release from the remainder of his three-year contract.

“He (Kirkegaard) has certainly expressed interest, but the board, at this time, hasn’t officially made any statement one way or the other whether he’s going to be offered…

Kirkegaard started in West Bend in July 2018 after a search firm, McPherson & Jacobson, LLC, was hired by the school board to find quality candidates. The district also held stakeholder meetings.

Kirkegaard came from South Dakota. He said he and his wife Lois are returning to the home they built in the Black Hills. “We did not sell our house in the Black Hills,” said Kirkegaard. “We kept it with the idea that we knew that’s where we would retire.”

Kirkegaard is 62 years old and spent 60 years in South Dakota.

Kirkegaard’s last day in West Bend School District will be June 30, 2020.

The West Bend School District will now have five superintendents over the last four years. Kirkegaard was hired after former Superintendent Erik Olson submitted his resignation December 14, 2017. Olsen was hired June 2016. The School Board approved a two-year contract with Olson at a salary of $155,000. In 2017 that contract was extended another two years. The payout to Olson was about $300,000.

Prior to Olson, Ted Neitzke served as superintendent from 2011 – June 2016 when he resigned and Laura Jackson served as interim superintendent after Olson left and prior to Kirkegaard.

American Construction Services is part of $132 million redevelopment in West Allis

West-Bend based American Construction Services Inc. is one of the contractors in a $132 million redevelopment underway in West Allis.

ACS is working with an Iowa-based firm to develop a 1128-room Home2 Suites by Hilton hotel. The project is part of the Allis Yards redevelopment on 70th Street.

According to an article by reporter Sean Ryan in the Milwaukee Business Journal,

Crews are clearing the southern parts of that office building first to open land for the new Hilton, according to an emailed statement by Scott Yauck, president and CEO of Cobalt, Milwaukee. Yauck’s development group last week sold 2 acres at South 70th and West Madison streets for $1.83 million to the hotel’s developers, according to state records.

Iowa-based Kinseth Hospitality Cos. is co-developer and operator of the Home2 Suites. It is working with West Bend general contractor American Construction Services Inc., led by Kraig Sadownikow. Yauck said the same team previously teamed up on a Home2 Suites in Menomonee Falls at White Stone Station, another Cobalt-led project.

Cobalt Partners is the lead developer.

American Construction Services was started by Kons Sadownikow in 1980. The company, founded as West Bend/American Building Systems, later became American Companies. In 1997 Kons hired his son Kraig who is now President of American Companies.

“I’m proud of the pace we’ve been able to grow the company that my father started 39 years ago,” said Kraig Sadownikow.  “We believe in investing in our people and we work hard as a team to provide exceptional service to our clients.  Construction projects are significant investments for a company and I’d personally like to thank each one we’ve worked with; we don’t take your business for granted.”

Germantown man killed in motorcycle accident in Colorado

A Germantown family is mourning the loss of their son after he was involved in a motorcycle accident January 31 in Thornton, Colorado. According to police Patrick Olson, 29, was killed after crashing into an SUV that turned in front of him.

Olson was a graduate of Germantown High School. Family and friends are rallying to help support the family.

Below is a note from Patrick’s mother Mary Kay.

“I was overwhelmed with the love and support for my son Patrick Olson. After going through Patrick’s paperwork in Colorado and coming across a paycheck stub, we found he donated $50 per paycheck to a children’s toy foundation and was paid twice a month. It brought tears to eyes; I never knew. Patrick loved Christmas and wanted to make sure every child had a Merry Christmas. All donations received will go towards keeping his memory alive and will be donated half to Colorado and half to Wisconsin Salvation Army. Patrick helped shop for toys this past Christmas, he was a big kid.”

Mary Kay Olson said she is working on funeral details. She said the service will be held with Rev. Mike Petrie at St. Boniface Church in Germantown, hopefully February 22 at 1 p.m. with a reception to follow. More information will be posted when details become available.

Washington County Sheriff investigating Thursday crash on Hwy 60 off ramp

The Jackson Police Chief said the 22-year-old West Bend man who crashed his vehicle at Highway 45 and the Highway 60 off ramp on Thursday afternoon is listed in critical condition at a Milwaukee hospital.

Chief Ryan Vossekuil said charges against Adrian Jollie are still pending. Police said the vehicle Jollie was driving exited onto the off-ramp for State Highway 60 at a high rate of speed and crashed into a guardrail on the off-ramp.

The driver suffered serious injuries as a result of the crash. He was transported by the Jackson Fire Department to Froedert West Bend, and subsequently flown by Flight for Life to Froedert Milwaukee.

There had been a warrant out for Jollie’s arrest. The crash remains under investigation by the Washington County Sheriff’s Department.

Don Pridemore announces candidacy for 13th State Senate District

Former State Assembly Rep. Don Pridemore is announcing his candidacy for the 13th State Senate District. Pridemore issued the statement at 4 p.m. on Friday afternoon, February 7.

“Today I am announcing my candidacy for the soon-to-be-vacated elected office of the 13th State Senate District. I am very confident the current occupant of that seat, Senator Scott Fitzgerald, will win the right to represent Wisconsin’s 5th Congressional District, replacing Congressman James Sensenbrenner; I am making this announcement early. The election of Donald J. Trump has given me new hope that reforming government is a high priority of the electorate.

What is causing today’s youth to look favorably at socialism is what is happening in our classrooms. What is being taught in history and social studies classes makes no mention of American exceptionalism and too often takes the tone of blame America first.

I currently serve on the Hartford Joint 1 School Board and have seen how local control can make a difference in the lives of children. If elected I will lead Wisconsin out of the education swamp and address the problems our cities like Milwaukee have and address the problems which have made them unique and underserved.

Pridemore was elected to the Wisconsin State Assembly in 2004.  In April 2014, Pridemore stepped away from his seat in the Assembly.

Spaulding Clinical names new CEO

Spaulding Clinical has names Cassandra Erato as chief executive officer. Erato has been with Spaulding since its inception in 2007. “We are very excited about her taking the helm and leading us into the future,” said Spaulding Clinical spokesman.

Randy Spaulding will still be an integral part of the team, assuming the role of founder, chairman, and chief visionary officer. “Our vision is to continue to deliver new technologies that enable our customers to make decisions faster and bring new, life-enhancing drugs to market faster than before”

“I am honored to assume leadership of Spaulding Clinical. Mr. Spaulding built our Phase 1 site based on the vision of building the first fully paperless Phase 1 CRO and a world-class cardiac safety testing site,” said Erato. “He was clearly 10 years ahead of his time, as we’ve seen other Phase 1 units start to adopt eSource solutions in the past year. He has introduced many new functionalities and integrations; recently, he introduced a new functionality that allows us to deliver flash results faster than anyone in the industry. I am committed to continuing to grow Spaulding Clinical and build upon the excellent foundation that has been laid.”

Randy Spaulding will continue an active role as managing member and will focus on the next innovations of the company.

“Our vision is to continue to deliver new technologies that enable our customers to make decisions faster and bring new, life-enhancing drugs to market faster than before,” said Spaulding. “Mrs. Erato is the best person to execute on this vision and help us achieve our next phase of growth. This enables me to focus even more time on developing new technologies for the pharmaceutical development industry.”

Erato is currently the COO of Spaulding Clinical and has held the position since 2015. She has been with Spaulding Clinical since its inception in 2007 and has played a key role in developing the operational procedures and systems in place today.

Erato will be attending SCOPE 2020 in Orlando, Florida, the week of February 17 and is available for interviews.

New seating being installed at Historic West Bend Theatre | By Kine Torinus

The Historic West Bend Theatre, 215 N. Main Street, is starting to take shape.  Theatre seats were installed today and it looks like Kevin and Amy Zimmer stopped in to give them a test run.

The renovation of the “The Bend,” its new brand name, is nearing completion. The old seats were beyond saving, so the HWBT board decided to buy new seats from Irwin Seating Co., a Michigan company that specializes in theatre seating.

Former Gehl site sold for Marriott hotel development in West Bend | By Jessica Wildes

The sale of 3.3 acres in Downtown West Bend has been sold from the City of West Bend to construct and manage a new 68-room Marriott TownePlace extended stay hotel and 16,000-square-foot multi-tenant commercial office building in the heart of downtown.

Paul Stangl of RafRad LLC led the purchase on behalf of the Downtown West Bend Hotel Associates (DWBHA).

DWBHA has partnered on the development with Iowa-based Kinseth Hospitality Companies and American Companies. A portion of the site is formerly home to Gehl Company’s manufacturing facility.

DWBHA has partnered on the development with Iowa-based Kinseth Hospitality Companies and American Companies to construct and manage a new 68-room Marriott TownePlace extended stay hotel and 16,000-square-foot multi-tenant commercial office building.

The same group was also part of the development team for the Hampton Inn and Suites on 18th Avenue in West Bend, managed by Kinseth since opening in 2008.  Construction on the buildings will start this spring.

The City of West Bend acquired the property from Gehl Company (now Manitou Americas) in 2008 when it relocated itsheadquarters to a larger site two blocks east. Recognizing the potential for the site located in the heart of downtown West Bend, the City took on the responsibility of the remediation and demolition of the multiple buildings that were obsolete for future manufacturing.

“This is an extraordinary location for a hotel,” said City Administrator Jay Shambeau. “Visitors will have the unique opportunity to explore and enjoy downtown West Bend. They can frequent our thriving restaurants and shops, the Riverwalk, Eisenbahn State Trail, farmer’s market, Museum of Wisconsin Art, and newly–renovated Historic West Bend Theatre, all within walking distance.”

West Bend is a founding member of the Washington County Site Redevelopment Program (SRP). The SRP was awarded two U.S.Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Brownfield grants and contributed $18,000 for a Hotel Market Demand Study by Patek Hospitality Consultants, Inc. which determined current and future demand for hotel accommodations in the market area.  The study proved the viability for the hotel and was instrumental in securing the interest of Marriott and the development team.

The site was considered by other developers in the past, primarily for apartment buildings and commercial office space.“We knew this site had high potential for redevelopment and are pleased to present the first hotel located in downtown West Bend,” stated Kraig Sadownikow, President of American Construction Services and American Architectural Group. “This is the type of project that will enhance the community and attract new visitors and businesses.”

Approximately 7,000-square-feet of Class A office space is available for lease within the new office building.  For details, please contact Adam Williquette of American Commercial Real Estate at (262) 424-3217.

Mike Jentsch approved as new Park, Rec and Forestry Director for City of West Bend

The West Bend Common Council unanimously approved the appointment of Mike Jentsch as the new Director of Parks, Recreation and Forestry for the City of West Bend.

The Parks and Recreation Commission also recommended the appointment on Thursday, January 30, 2020. An employee of the City of West Bend since 1999, Jentsch will transition from his current role as Parks and Forestry Superintendent.

“Mike has been a standout employee with the City of West Bend for 21 years. It is with great excitement to welcome him to our department head team,” said City Administrator Jay Shambeau. “Mike’s knowledge of our community and his ability to complete projects made this promotion an easy decision for the Parks and Rec Commission and Common Council. Congratulations, Mike.”

Jentsch, 50, said there are a couple projects he’s eager to tackle including the update on Carl Kuss Field and the remodel of the west side of the downtown River Walk.

“If we were to pencil something on the calendar, we’re targeting utility work this year,” he said. “It means we’ll tear out the west side of the River Walk and We Energies, Charter and AT&T and all the utilities will be upgraded. In 2021 we’d upgrade from the north pedestrian bridge to Veterans Avenue and then the next year target north of the bridge to Highway 33.”

Jentsch expects that work to begin around June 2020.

The Director of Parks, Recreation and Forestry is responsible for implementing acquisition and development plans for new and existing park facilities, and for ensuring the provision of park and recreational programs and facilities for the public.

As department head, Jentsch will administer the operational budget, policies, plans and projects, and the Parks and Recreational Facility Developmental Program. He will engage in community and media relations, and coordinate cooperative activities with other city, county, state, and private organizations.

“I look forward to working with the Council, Parks and Recreation Commission, service clubs, and local businesses to keep moving West Bend forward,” said Jentsch. “Team Green is a group of highly dedicated professionals who enjoy serving the community. Our staff goes above and beyond to make West Bend a place we can all take great pride in.”

The position of Park, Recreation and Forestry director opened in mid-July 2019 after Craig Hoeppner resigned to take a similar job in Oconomowoc.

Property home to Le’s Bridal in Downtown West Bend sold | By Adam Williquette

The building home to Le’s Bridal, Darling Diva Boutique, and Exhale Salon in downtown West Bend has been sold.

AH 262 N. Main, LLC has sold the building at 262-4 N. Main Street to Elmazi Real Estate, LLC for $400,000. Adam Williquette, president of American Commercial Real Estate handled the transaction. The property is made up of multiple units. It was last assessed by the City of West Bend in 2018 at $338,500.

Other spaces available downtown through ACRE include the first floor of the Alexssa building at 301 N. Main Street. Alexxsa purchased the former Chase Bank branch at 801 W. Washington Street in January 2020. There is also 3,000 square feet available at the 801 W. Washington building, as Alexssa will only be occupying the first floor.

New to the market is also the former RiverShores Chiropractic space at 705 Village Green Way. Located in the same building as Tochi Ramen, Café Floriana, and Children’s Hospital, the space will be available in June of this year when they move to their new building at 235 N. 18th Avenue.

Questions about commercial real estate? Contact Adam at 262-424-3217 or adam@americancre.net.

West Bend business owner creates frozen luminaries for Feb. 8 hike at Pike Lake State Park

A local business owner has become inspired by the beauty of the annual Luminary Walk at Pike Lake State Park. The event is Saturday, February 8 starting at 6 p.m.

Jim Sprouse from Property Loss Management in West Bend has been working with a couple staffers on making Glowing Ice Luminaries.

“We use a five-gallon plastic bucket and we’ve lined the bucket with some weeds from Pike Lake State Park as decorations,” he said.

The water freezes from the sides down and the secret to creating a clear hurricane lantern is well water. “If we used City water from the tap because it’s cloudy,” said Sprouse. “We go down to the neighbor’s farm and we use his well water; that’s not chlorinated and it’s super clear.”

“I was so moved by this project and we called the Ranger Station for some help and then started making some on our own,” he said.

There are four miles of trail at Pike Lake State Park and two miles are lit with luminaries.

31st Annual Pike Lake Candlelight Ski and Hike Time: 6 p.m. to 9 p.m.

Activities: Astronomy, Candlelight events, Cross country ski, Hike, Night event, Outdoor activity, Snowshoeing  Location: Kettle Moraine SF – Pike Lake Unit

This whimsical event is one the whole family is sure to enjoy. Bring the skis or hiking boots to enjoy the park from a whole new perspective. There will be a total of 2 miles illuminated by candlelight, so you are welcome to be out for however long you’d like. Afterwards, meet at the North Shelter for a bonfire, complimentary treats, guest presentation on WI mammals, and of course hot chocolate! Please help us reduce our waste by bringing along your own mug or thermos. Meet at the Beach.

Kettle Moraine Lutheran’s Jacob Stoltz hits career 1,000 points | By Megan Himm

With a three-point shot Kettle Moraine Lutheran High School senior Jacob Stoltz was able to secure the 1,000th point of his high school career. Going into the game, Stoltz only needed to score five points. After the shot, the achievement was announced to the crowd, who erupted with cheers as the team congratulated Stoltz. The Chargers would go onto win the game against Winneconne, 93 – 57.

Stoltz started playing basketball when he was just a toddler. He remembers playing at the YMCA, “It really was my dad just putting a basketball in my hands and going through stuff with me at a really young age.” Stoltz would continue improving his skills while playing on his grade school team at St. Lucas, for the KML Junior Chargers, and Kewaskum Youth Basketball.

Cole Biesterfeld, a senior, has played with Stoltz since fifth grade, “One thing that has always remained the same throughout those years has been his love of the game. He is one of the smartest basketball players I have met and has an abundant amount of knowledge and passion for the game. He will do everything in his power to help benefit the team and help us will our way to victory no matter what it takes.”

Once in high school, Stoltz landed a spot on the JV team as a freshman. The next year, he was on varsity. It was that first year on varsity when KML had its state-run. Describing the experience, Stoltz said, “Being new to the team it was right away a hard adjustment to go to the varsity level and play with a bunch of new guys. About halfway through the season, I finally got good with the guys, and then we put on a nice run where we all gelled together and we were able to make it to state.”

This year, Stoltz has been a true leader both as a teammate and as a scorer. Austin Wagner, a sophomore on the team, describes Stoltz as “a great leader and someone that the whole team can count on. The energy he brings every game is huge for us; it pushes the whole team to bring energy. He wants to win and he pushes the rest of the team to be as successful as we can be.”

With a scoring average of 23, he has led the team in scoring for most games. Earlier this year, during a game against Sheboygan Falls, Stoltz tied the school record, scoring 35 points. “Being able to lead more than scoring is big for me. Being able to be a leader, being able to pass, and helping my teammates get better is just as big as me scoring. I try to motivate my teammates to keep scoring. I wouldn’t score as much as I do without them. They set screens for me, they drive and pass to me and let me shoot. They are right with me through it all, so definitely give credit to them.”

Looking ahead, Stoltz said we can’t get complacent. “We have to keep working hard, we have to keep getting better. At practices we need to work harder and get better each game. Once we do have some hard games, we need to be ready to attack them and play our best.”

While basketball may be his passion, it’s not the only sport he has played at KML. Stoltz ran cross country his freshman and sophomore year and played football his junior and senior year. A broken arm halted his junior year, but he was still able to have a successful senior season. In the spring, Stoltz is a member of KML’s baseball team. Freshman year he was able to earn a spot on the JV team. His sophomore year on JV was cut short when he tore a ligament in his knee, but he was able to come back his junior year on varsity. Stoltz is planning to play baseball again this spring.

Stoltz is the embodiment of a student-athlete. Not only does he excel on the court, but he also does well in the classroom. As a member of the National Honor Society, he has demonstrated scholarship, leadership, service, and character. Stoltz is also an honor roll student, maintaining a GPA of 3.3 or higher. Second quarter he achieved high honor roll with a GPA of 3.6 or higher. Some of the classes he’s taking this year include World Literature, Transition to College Math, Lifetime Sports, Computer Application, Word of God, and United States Government.

Stoltz uses his leadership skills outside of sports as a member of Cross Trainers. As such, he is paired with a freshman and serves as a mentor to that freshman.

2020 winners from Kiwanis Early Risers Chili and Soup Cook off

The annual Kiwanis Early Risers Chili & Soup Cook off was a huge success. Twenty-six teams were won over the record crowd on Saturday, February 1. There were so many people additional seating had to be created and many of the vendors started running out of chili around noon. The event lasted until 2 p.m. Winners are listed below.

People’s Choice Chili: 1st West Bend Firefighters, 2nd Olde Cedar Inn, 3rd Badger Transmissions

People’s Choice Soup: 1st Brazen Head Pub, 2nd Riverside Brewery and Restaurant, 3rd Sandy’s Barton Café

Judge’s Choice Business Chili: 1st Badger Transmission, 2nd Don Patnode Agency, 3rd Minuteman Press

Community Service Chili: 1st Interfaith Caregivers, 2nd West Bend Firefighters, 3rd West Bend Noon Kiwanis

Restaurant Chili: 1st Olde Cedar Inn, 2nd El Pig’s Butt Bar-B-Que, 3rd Billy Sims Barbeque

Restaurant Soup: 1st M&JS Moonlighting, 2nd Brazen Head Pub, 3rd Riverside Brewery and Restaurant

Thanks to everyone who participated and a special shout out to Property Loss Management for its donation of water.

Around the Bend by Judy Steffes

City of West Bend selects new Park, Rec and Forestry Director

The City of West Bend has selected a new Director of Park, Recreation and Forestry and they didn’t have to go far from home.

According to the upcoming Jan. 30 Park & Rec Commission agenda, Mike Jentsch will take over the position. Jentsch had been filling the post in the interim along with City Administrator Jay Shambeau.

“We evaluated the structure within the department and had a conversation about joint ventures and decided against that,” said Shambeau. “I initially spoke with Mike and as more time passed his interest peaked.

“Mike’s excited for the position and he’s got some good ideas and I think it’s a great fit.”

Jentsch has a unique employment history; he started with the City of West Bend as a summer worker when he was a teenager.

“Mike has been with the City for 21 years,” said Shambeau. “After college he was in the Marines and most recently, he was Parks Superintendent.”

Shambeau said although Jentsch is advancing internally, his old position won’t be posted but it will be filled by two current employees who will share responsibilities. “The Superintendent roll will be retitled to Parks Supervisor and that post will be filled by our lead arborist Dan Farvour and Kevin Lisko.

The language on the Jentsch appointment is below. It still needs to be approved by the Parks Commission and then it will be voted on by the Common Council at its February 3 meeting.

City Administrator, Jay Shambeau and Human Resources Director, Michelle Hoey ask for your assistance in approving the recommended appointment of Mike Jentsch to position of Director of Parks, Recreation and Forestry Department. Mike brings over 20 years of experience in the field of Parks and Forestry as well as over 15 years in management.

The position of Park, Recreation and Forestry director opened in mid-July 2019 after Craig Hoeppner resigned to take a similar job in Oconomowoc.

Could West Bend taxpayers be faced with a referendum for two new elementary schools

The West Bend School District Committee of the Whole reviewed several discussion items during its Monday night meeting with board members agreeing the Village of Jackson needed a new elementary school and possibly two new elementary schools were needed in the district.

In April 2019 voters in the West Bend School District turned down a proposed $47 million referendum, which would have totaled $74 million with interest.

In June 2019 a Private Task Force approached the district with a plan to use private funds to study an alternative way to assess existing conditions in the district and bring the expertise of how modern educational facilities should be designed.

Findings were presented by the Private Task Force in October 2019. A long-term sustainable approach was rolled out which included new facilities and a way to fund the project without increasing taxes. “Money is the solution to the problem – more money may not be,” said Task Force leader Kraig Sadownikow.

Fast forward to Monday night’s 2-and-a-half-hour meeting where the Committee of the Whole began with growth projections for the West Bend School District.

Village of Jackson President Mike Schwab and Village Administrator John Walther talked about development of single family and multifamily homes and they anticipated possible commercial development after the new municipal complex was completed.

Board member Paul Fischer asked for a breakdown of new housing starts over the last five years.

Schwab and Walther believed a school in Jackson was important to its identity as a Village. “It’s important for the future and the kids,” said Schwab. “Yes, we believe an elementary school is vital.”

Schwab also indicated the parcel the district purchased for $750,000 at W204 N16722 and W204 N16690 Jackson Drive was a better location for a new school than the current site.  “It’s close to the community center, the new site is safer and it eliminates kids crossing Highway 60 to get to the Boys and Girls Club,” he said.

Questioned about the marketability of the current Jackson Elementary School, Schwab indicated it would “take careful planning.” He believed it could be an attractive site if it was “repurposed in a quick fashion.”

Economic development manager Adam Gitter then presented an overview of growth and development in the City of West Bend. “Residential growth has been slow,” said Gitter.

The City, according to Gitter, has seen an increase in development of housing for senior citizens and the former Barton School is “workforce housing.”

The City is expanding into a new 216-acre industrial park on River Road and Highway NN. There was also a review given of newer business growth with additional Kwik Trips, Morrie’s Honda and the new Fleet Farm.

Questioned several times on where residential growth is most likely to occur, Gitter said it would be “pushing toward the east side of Highway 33.”

Christian G. Tscheschlok, executive director of Economic Development Washington County, presented an in-depth look at business growth and trends nationwide and then he brought the vision closer to West Bend.

He mentioned how “businesses need to sell products outside of Washington County” in order to succeed.

“Economic development is measured in jobs and new investment,” he said.  “Over the last 10 years the trend is suggesting each project had job creation but that trend has declined because it’s hard to find employees.”

One of the key trends, said Tscheschlok, is the speed with which a business can develop. “Decisions are made in less than 90 days and the trend is end users don’t want to own properties but lease properties,” he said. “Project needs location, workforce and to be competitively priced.”

Questioned whether West Bend is prime for development Tscheschlok said the key factor was “availability of land.”

Enrollment question

The district has been discussing future enrollment trends ever since October 2019 when administration indicated “unless there is a change in enrollment trends, the district can expect declining enrollment for the next 8-10 years.”

What are wishes of the board?

Following the presentation of data, board members weighed in on the future of Jackson Elementary. In October one of the findings of the Task Force had been to close Jackson and build a new school to the north by about a mile to serve students in both West Bend and Jackson.

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

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

Paul Fischer – I can’t personally see a community of 7,000 not having its own elementary school. It’s pretty obvious there’ s more growth happening in Jackson than in WB. It warrants having a K4 facility.

Erin Dove – I live in Jackson and my three kids went to Jackson Elementary. It was walk able for us and it feels like community. I can’t imagine leaving a community with 7,000 people and it’s hard to stomach.

Chris Zwygart –  It would be ill-advised not to have a school there (in Jackson). We need to be a good partner.

Kurt Rebholz– We can’t afford to turn our back on Jackson and a whole student and parent population. Being bold do we put a K-6 school there. Getting into how do we fund it. I said before – getting out of the taxpayer base and being responsible for facilities the trend is for public sector communities to rent or lease space.

Superintendent Don Kirkegaard – We have ability to lease buildings too. Because we’re a low spending district all that will come out of Fund 10. The way you would pay for that is take it out of Fund 10 and that’s already strapped and where do we get the money to pay for the lease.

There was some discussion about closing an elementary school in West Bend; possibly closing Fair Park or Decorah Elementary and then building another elementary school. The board acknowledged a declining enrollment and debated the best scenario.

Finally, Superintendent Kirkegaard laid out three options. 1) new elementary in Jackson 2) what would cost be to renovate or add on to one of two elementary facilities 3) what would be cost to replace Fair Park and Decorah Elementary and build a school to the east.

There was also a proposal to move the Rolfs Education Center and relocate the Head Start program to Silverbrook while also moving the district office, possibly to Badger School. Kirkegaard said he is also exploring working with Moraine Park Technical college on a joint program to enhance building trades rather than remodeling the area at the high school.

The board did not address funding for the new school proposals other than referendum.  Maintenance projects such as locker rooms at the high school were suggested could be paid for by fundraising and/or a private partnership with area businesses.

The Task Force indicated funding in lieu of a referendum could be generated through consolidation of the campus, selling property, and outsourcing jobs.

Communities in Washington Co. receive over $8 million in General Transportation Aids

Neighbors in Washington County may want to buckle in for this next story. It looks like cities, towns, and villages across Washington County are set to receive over $8 million in local road funding.

The true total for Washington County for transportation-related projects for 2019-2020 is $8,236,273.

The money is coming from the Wisconsin Department of Transportation. It falls under the category General Transportation Aids, Connecting Highway Aids and Expressway Policing Aids.

Below is a tidbit from the General Transportation Aids website:

Program overview: The General Transportation Aids (GTA) program enables local governments to receive state aid payments to offset the cost of county and municipal road construction, maintenance, and traffic operations. The funding sources of these aid payments are the fuel taxes and vehicle registration fees collected by the state. GTA is WisDOT’s second largest program.

Distribution of GTA funds is based on a six-year costs average or a statutorily set rate-per-mile. Transportation-related expenditures and revenues incurred by local governments are necessary factors in the calculation process. This financial information is taken directly from the Municipal Financial Report Form that each local government files annually with the Wisconsin Department of Revenue. The Cost Reporting Manual provides guidance in identifying the eligible expenditures and deductible revenues that are applicable to GTA.

Below is a list of how communities across Washington County will be impacted. According to Tim Olusegun with GTA the first quarterly installment was already received this month by local governments. The amount received is 10 percent more than what the state budgeted in 2019.

According to Hartford City Administrator Steve Volkert, the funding will help offset the increase the City has already seen in the price of road salt.

Community                        MILES JURISDICTION STATE AIDS MAINTAINED

WASHINGTON COUNTY $2,414,744       N/A

CITY OF HARTFORD $603,098      71.13 mi.

CITY OF WEST BEND $1,327,163     134.43 mi.

VILLAGE GERMANTOWN $1,077,507    130.70 mi.

VILLAGE JACKSON $340,857       27.00 mi.

VILLAGE KEWASKUM $204,788     18.24 mi.

VILLAGE NEWBURG $55,900      5.57 mi.

VILLAGE RICHFIELD $386,500     147.07 mi.

VILLAGE SLINGER $231,635        29.41

TOWN OF ADDISON $169,637     64.55

TOWN OF BARTON $121,598      46.27

TOWN OF ERIN $149,008       56.70

TOWN OF FARMINGTON $171,135   65.12

TOWN OF GERMANTOWN $11,721   4.46

TOWN OF HARTFORD $127,379      48.47

TOWN OF JACKSON $155,893      59.32

TOWN OF KEWASKUM $99,995  38.05

TOWN OF POLK $152,871           58.17

TOWN OF TRENTON $174,525   66.41

TOWN OF WAYNE $142,611       58.55

TOWN OF WEST BEND $117,708 44.79

TOTAL $8,236,273

Two people apply for open seat as District 8 alderman in West Bend

As of Thursday afternoon, two people had expressed interest in the opening for District 8 alderman in West Bend.

City Clerk Stephanie Justmann said Meghann Kennedy has turned in paperwork for the position along with Aaron Zingsheim.

Kennedy is currently on the West Bend Park and Rec Commission. She is fulfilling the term of Jennifer Koehn, which expires in 2021. Kennedy works at Kohls Corporate in Menomonee Falls and is a digital business category analyst.

Zingsheim is a fifth-grade teacher at Silverbrook School in West Bend. He lived in Milwaukee nine years and then moved to West Bend in 2014.

The seat in Dist. 8 opened when Roger Kist submitted a letter of resignation on January 10, 2020.

The City posted the position and are now seeking interested individuals who reside in District 8 to fill the vacancy.

The Council will review required materials and interview candidates at the Common Council meeting on February 17, 2020. The successful appointee will represent District 8 for the remainder of the term, expiring in April 2021.

To be eligible to serve, an individual at the time of the appointment must be:

A citizen of the United Sates and the state of Wisconsin; An elector of the city of West Bend; and A resident of District 8. Official maps of the districts are available at the City of West Bend Clerk’s Office.

Those interested in being considered for the District 8 aldermanic appointment are required to submit the following materials: Letter of interest with brief summary of what they feel they bring to the position. Resume or statement of qualifications

Required materials are due to the City Clerk by February 10, 2020 at 4:30 p.m. delivered, mailed, or emailed to: City of West Bend Attn: City Clerk Stephanie Justmann

Candidates will be reviewed at the Common Council meeting on February 17, 2020.

Kewaskum resident receives Froedtert WB Hospital Sunflower Award       By Tim Olsen

Sara Groeschel, critical care technician on the Modified Care Unit and Kewaskum resident, has been recognized with Froedtert West Bend Hospital’s semi-annual Sunflower Award for the dignity and respect she provided a patient.

“Sara was kind and compassionate while tending to mom’s cares,” said one of her nominators. “Sara gave her dignity and respect as she deserves. Sara always went above and beyond, asking if anything was needed. God bless you.”

The Sunflower Award honors extraordinary nursing support staff who demonstrate devotion, strength and compassion to ensure the well-being of patients, family and staff.

Froedtert West Bend Hospital recognizes two nursing support staff member each year. Each Sunflower honoree is recognized at a public ceremony in his/her unit with a certificate, a Sunflower Award pin and a hand-carved stone sculpture titled “Supporting Heart.” The sunflower was chosen as the award theme because the sun symbolizes warmth and strength, and the flower represents devotion, compassion and enthusiasm.

Patients, visitors, nurses, physicians and staff may nominate a support staff member by filling out the form available in the hospital lobbies and nursing stations and following the instructions or through Excellence in Action.

Kwik Trip on E. Washington Street in West Bend goes out to bid

The demolition of the old Mobil station on E. Washington Street happened in late December 2019 and this week bids went out for the new Kwik Trip on East Washington.

According to plans the incoming Kwik Trip No. 4, 1610 E. Washington Street, would include 10 pump/dispenser islands with a total of 20 fueling spaces. The diesel canopy will accommodate 2 fueling positions.  It appears construction will get underway in spring, after the frost is out of the ground.

Then trusses will arrive in early August and framing will begin around August 10. The gas canopy will be installed August 17 and signage and graphics should be in place by October.

It looks like Kwik Trip is aiming for an early November, maybe between Nov. 2 – 6, opening.

Bids are due to the Construction Manager (Thrive Construction) on January 31. West Bend has two Kwik Trips currently in operation; one is on Silverbook Drive just north of Paradise Drive and the second is on Main Street and Decorah Road. There is another site set for development of a Kwik Trip on E. Paradise Drive and River Road and then the No. 4 Kwik Trip on E. Washington Street and Schnoenhaar Drive.

A fifth Kwik Trip has been proposed for the former Fleet Farm site on W. Washington Street and 18th Avenue. That public hearing regarding a No. 5 Kwik Trip has yet to be rescheduled.

Rep. Gundrum presents Hometown Hero Award to Pete Rettler                  By Jason Knack

Rep. Rick Gundrum (R – Slinger) kicked off Wednesday, Jan. 22 on the Assembly Floor Session with recognition of special guest, West Bend constituent and philanthropist Pete Rettler, who was joined by his son, Max Rettler.

Pete Rettler was nominated by Rep. Gundrum to be a recipient of the Hometown Hero Award. This award is reserved for individuals who have gone the extra mile to benefit his or her community and improve the lives of its residents. For 26 years, Pete Rettler has dedicated himself to causes and programs that fit this exact description.

To date, Pete has logged over 23,700 miles since 1994, not missing a single day of running over the 26-year span. He has used this remarkable track record to raise money, recruit volunteers and sponsors, and highlight the work of non-profits in Washington County.

Just over a year ago, Pete Rettler coordinated the largest donation to the United Way of Washington County and largest overall percentage increase in fundraising history through his “25 Runs of Gratitude.”

“It is my sincere honor to have nominated Pete Rettler to be a recipient of this year’s Hometown Hero Award. Pete has been a pillar of the community for many years, and his contributions to numerous non-profits, charities, and projects in Washington County are worth this recognition,” said Rep. Gundrum. “Over the past 26 years, Pete has been an outstanding example of what it means to give back to the community by donating his time and resources to improve the lives of residents in the 58th Assembly District.”

Pete served for four years as the director of Mental Health Clinic Lutheran Social Services, has served for 13 years as the Dean at the Moraine Park Technical College’s West Bend Campus, and is a past President of the United Way of Washington County.

His past, present, and future efforts are a testament to the impact one individual in a community can make.

Eulogy for Margaret “Peggy” Ziegler                                                  By Nicholas Novaczyk

A beautiful tribute Thursday afternoon at the Schmidt Funeral Home in West Bend as friends, family and neighbors paid their respects to the family of Bernie and Margaret Ziegler.

Peg Ziegler died January 15, 2020.

The funeral parlor was packed with old friends including Ken and Marge Miller, Allan Kieckhaefer, Gloria Dawn Strickland, Nancy and Vern Van Vooren …. to name a few. There were flowers and flags of Peg’s favorite sports teams including the Brewers, Badgers and Packers.

Rick Gilbertson, accompanied by piano and violin, sang a couple of hymns including “I come to the garden alone” and “In the Garden.”

Nicholas Novaczyk presented a touching eulogy that defined Peg Ziegler as a champion blessed with a gift of compassion and an opinion.

The Matriarch

Good afternoon. For those who don’t know me, I’m Brooke’s husband, and by marriage, a grateful and proud grandson to Gum Gum. Bernie, Jane, and JJ asked if I could say a few words on behalf of the family today, to mark the incredible life of their Mother.

Which gladly I will, but first let’s start with some housekeeping, please take out your phones and delete every email forward that you have ever gotten from Peg, she was prolific, and it should save you about 5 gigabits in space….

February 22, 1925 a day that set-in motion the 94 years that will define an impactful life. The reaches of which are hard to assess, But I sense we all have a collective idea of how vast and deep Pegs influence on our lives are marked. The space and time that is filled between that day and January 15, 2020 is a legacy that I think we all can look to as a standard, as a goal, and as an achievement.

We all have our own stories of Peg, each of whom has shared and individuals memories that help us define what she meant to us, the subtle memories of a mother, the connect gift of a sister, The comfort of a grandmother, and the laughter and trouble making of a friend, but to define Margret Ziegler we may need a little more runway. Our world in which God has placed us is less today because of our loss.

*West Bend and Washington County have lost their champion, Wisconsin has lost a favorite daughter, and our Country has lost the strength and grace of a depression and war-era Matriarch.

So much can be learned from the examples that Peg set. Her gifts were many, and even more remarkable was her willingness to share them. Some might argue that her greatest gift was that of having an opinion, which in turn gave her the moniker of the “The General” This stern and rigid reputation was widely known and depending upon who you were, either blessing or a curse.

I would argue that her greatest gift was that of compassion, that gift, so often hides behind the above-described. Peg was straightforward and direct, but was also loving and kind, and connected these traits as well as anyone I have ever met. The world has changed so much of the last 94 years, throughout her life, as we all do, she felt loss and uncertainty, suffered tragedies and pain, but each time, she made a choice to not let those events and circumstances define who she was. She became better because of them.

I would suggest that she used those times as fuel to shine and be a light. Her leadership as head of her family, her leadership as a community member, and her devoted moral compass are many small examples of her storied life. The success she enjoyed in life was earned through her determination and resolve.

Her marriage to Bernie is a great American love story. Blessed are those who were able to witness that story unfold over the decades, I can only imagine what those early years together were like, as they planned and worked to create such legacy that will leave us so much better off because of them. I had the privilege many years ago to talk about Bernie and his life. I recall finding the words to describe him, as the Caddies and the Kings, after talking to one of his golf caddies in Arizona.

This was a man that could inspire the least of us and greatest of us without a changing tone. What I didn’t know then, and I certainly know now, is that this very well may be the case of the Women that made the man. Through letters and stories, and simple pictures or memories, she was to Bernie as she was to all of us.

*She made us better people, stronger people, Better Fathers, Better Mothers, better stewards of all the blessings that God has given us. This was not a request, she demanded we be better. I’m glad she did, and I’m hopeful that she will continue to demand us to be better as we move on from this day without her.

There is no doubt that Peg in the later stages of her life was truly blessed. Her strength carried her to 94 years old, her health stayed steady for most of those years, and her children surrounded her in the last hours. The void she leaves is vast, as often is the case with Matriarchs, there is no replacement, there is only the chance that we lead our lives with purpose, and with respect paid to what Peg wanted for all of us. Happiness, success, health, and the chance to make the world around us a better place.

A complete life is a rare site, but on occasion the example is so clear and bright, it is worth for us to stop and recognize that our Friend and Mother, had the good luck, the good fortune, the good looks, and the good lord beside her to make each of her 94 years on earth count in spectacular fashion.

*I can see the dusty roads of the 20’s and 30’ when she grew up in an American that was just becoming, I can imagine the pause when she watch our country head to a War that would define her generation,  The created memories she made raising a family in the great decades of the 50’s and 60’s. While I have no confirmed reports that she attended Woodstock in 1969, the next 30 years were spent building and shaping her family and her state, Peg turned the century as a strong and beautiful example of what the freedoms of America can produce. As her husband’s legacy does, Gum Gum belongs to the ages now. We all are eternally grateful for her and what she meant to all of us.

As her book is ending, those of us left to live our lives will watch the sun rise in morning. We get to decide on our actions and our choices we make each day on how to live, I think Peg left us with many indelible guiding moments for us to learn from. In honor and memory of this Ziegler’s life, I am going to ask you all to think about completing a task.

*It can be as small or as large as you can creatively organize. I’m going to ask that at some point in your life in years to come, you make a meaningful difference in the lives, communities, and country that you are a part of. The kind of difference that Peg so often made. The kind of impact that changes lives and makes it a little easier for others to achieve what maybe they couldn’t without a nudge or a little support.

****But here is the catch, after you do, and after the rewards are felt and seen, you can’t tell anybody it was you. You can silently say a prayer and remember that Peg wanted all of us to be better, and that is enough I am certain, for anybody in all walks of life to aspire too.

Around the Bend by Judy Steffes

Paying tribute to Margaret “Peg” Ziegler

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Skinny Vic’s location in West Bend revealed

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

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

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

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

“This is the place to be,” she said.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Strong institutional framework score.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Superintendent Kirkegaard spoke this week about what they found.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Sarnow – “That’s not accurate.”

WCI – How did that get out there?

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

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

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

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

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

WCI – How is the money being spent.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Bell Family Rabbit Hunt began in 2002.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The day of the hunt

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

About Multiple Sclerosis

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

Around the Bend by Judy Steffes

Neighbors in Town of Hartford disappointed in County Board annexation vote

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

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

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

Supervisors John Bulawa and Roger Kist were not in attendance.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

April 2020 contest for District 3 on Hartford Common Council

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

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

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

Updates & Tidbits

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Elaine Gehring    Hartford

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Derik Gehring     Town of Hartford

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Diane Pedersen  Richfield

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

Around the Bend by Judy Steffes

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Maintenance Shed:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Dave Ross – “Yes. Both functional buildings.”

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

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

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

West Bend Christmas Parade viewed around the world

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

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

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

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

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

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

Renee Newton Reese ·  Greetings from Kent, Ohio

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

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

Tom Pfotenhauer · Watching from Jekyll Island, GA

Linda Theisen · Watching from Marietta, Georgia. .

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

County Supervisor Marilyn Merten files non-candidacy

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

WBSD Task Force report at Jackson Community Center

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

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

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

Questions in Jackson.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Man – Where is the Task Force report going?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Two candidates in race for Mayor of West Bend

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

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

Below is Jenkins letter to his constituents.

“Dear Residents of West Bend,

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Thank you!”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

School board candidates do not need to collect signatures.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Around the Bend by Judy Steffes

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Jim Groh – Was a great store over the years

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

Connie Thull – A West Bend landmark! Enjoy retirement!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Heidi Belger Schulz Many well-dressed men have walked out of those doors! They will be missed!

Angela Bins – Thank you for making my wedding day great with your rentals and for helping my dad purchase his father of the bride suit. You’ll be greatly missed.

Susie Janel – End of an era for sure! Your business will be missed but enjoy retirement.

Karen Liepert – Best wishes on your retirement. Enjoy your outdoor activities. Thank you for your commitment to the community.

Michael Sterr – Congrats to the Sager’s! Not many businesses can last that long. They will be missed in downtown

Cyndi Seefeldt – 87 years!!!!!! That’s impressive! Sad to see a family business go!

Suzanne Weinert Tennies – Wonderful, generous, community minded family. Appreciated your community involvement. Best wishes in the future. Hope your retirement is filled with many blessings.

Josh McCutcheon – Wish the Sagers the best. Scott was awesome and went out of his way many times for my developmentally disabled clients. All my business suits came from there. Happy retirement…you will be missed!!

George Prescott inducted into Wisconsin State Hall of Fame Boys & Girls Club

Local philanthropist and former grocery and restaurant owner George Prescott has been elected to the inaugural class of the Wisconsin Boys and Girls Club Hall of Fame.

Prescott, 72, said he’s busy these days with about a dozen grandkids was honored to receive the award.  said

“Working with Jay and feeling the success that comes out of this entity is just beyond believe,” he said.

Dressed in blue jeans and a red sweater and sneakers Prescott was soft spoken and humbled by the award.

According to Jay Fisher, executive director of the Boys and Girls Club, there were 22 people nominated for the award and six were selected.

“The standards for the award were for people who served on different committees and boards and really stood out in the community,” he said.

The Boys and Girls Club is West Bend is 21 years old and has served about 60,000 kids.

“We’re so lucky and what makes it happen is connections,” said Prescott.  “We call on the people to make it happen and they outperform.”

Prescott was inducted with others including former U.S. Senator Herb Kohl, former Major League Baseball Commissioner Bud Selig and philanthropist Marty Stein.

“This award is so big it makes me feel little,” said Prescott. “We just did what we had to do to make this happen; I feel proud.”

The initial Hall of Fame Award was presented over the summer in Madison. Prescott was out of town at the time, so Fisher said the Boys & Girls Club Board presented Prescott with the award in July.

“Obviously George has spent time here,” said Fisher. “He’s donated a lot of dollars; his name is on the building and he really helped get the Boys and Girls Club started with Sharon Ziegler and this wouldn’t be possible without George.”

Prescott is still part of the Board of trustees.

“He’s done more for the Boys and Girls Club in this community as anyone has in the state of Wisconsin,” said Fisher.

The Boys and Girls Club opening in West Bend in 1998. A gym was added in 2003 and an addition with an art room, kitchen and technology center was completed in 2016.

In 2001 when Prescott owned the Pick ‘n Save stores in West Bend a customer, Janice Weninger spent $1 on the Megabucks lottery and won part of the $20.3 million jackpot.

The store owners also received some money from the Wisconsin Lottery for selling the ticket. Prescott spread the wealth to his employees and even donated to the Boys & Girls Club.

Below is a story about George Prescott and the Boys & Girls Club in 2010

George Prescott presents lessons in Parkinson’s             Around the Bend  May 29, 2010         

George Prescott made a guest appearance at the Boys & Girls Club last Friday to give kids an education on Parkinson’s disease.

The children at the club hosted a nickel carnival and all proceeds were donated to a Parkinson’s charity in honor of Prescott.

The former owner and chief executive officer of Prescott Supermarkets, Inc. and current owner of Timmer’s Resort on Big Cedar Lake is a strong supporter of the local Boys & Girls Club.

Prescott spoke for about 15 minutes, talking about when he first received the diagnosis in 2001.

“My wife would bug me because my left arm had no control. I initially blamed it all on an old motorcycle accident but then the doctor told me I had Parkinson’s,” said Prescott.

Children at the Club, who ranged in age from 7 to 11, asked a variety of questions and Prescott’s answers were simple but direct. “I take 15 to 20 pills a day,” he said, “some supplements, others medication.”

Prescott talked about exercising and getting down on the ground with a foam roller. “It’s mostly on my left side and I’m right-handed, but I can tell it’s starting to affect my penmanship.”

Prescott spoke briefly about the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research. Few youngsters in the room were familiar with Fox. Prescott mentioned how Fox’s tremors were so bad his children would call him ‘shaky daddy.’

Other questions ranged from ‘does it hurt’ to ‘do you tilt?’ One little girl asked his name, to which Prescott responded confidently, “I’m George. George the grocer.”

Another asked how old he was. “I’m 62 and going to be 63 in September.  How old are you and when is your birthday?” he asked the little girl.

Then about 80 hands went into the air; everybody wanted to tell Prescott their birthday.

A couple of final questions had students naming other people afflicted with Parkinson’s. One little boy said Hitler, another mentioned Johnny Cash and then proceeded to sing Cash’s “Cry Cry Cry” in about as deep of a baritone as a 7-year-old boy can muster.

Then a final question, “Are you rich?” said a little voice from the back of the room. Prescott played it cool and said he was wealthier than average and “yes I have a bit of money.”

After receiving dim stares, he humbly said he was a millionaire. A boy in the back of the room shouted in wry fashion and with an innocence of youth, “Oh yeah, RIGHT!”

Prescott, who arrived without an entourage, earring or body art – some of the standards held by trendy, higher profile millionaires – took the comment in stride.

He then opened his wallet and donated a crisp $100 bill to the nickel carnival.

After the Q&A, club director Jay Fisher joked with Prescott.

“We start ‘em young here at the Boys & Girls Club, George – ‘How old are you and how much are you worth.’”

Washington County Dist. 2 Supervisor files non-candidacy papers

Washington County District 2 Supervisor Roger Kist, 82, has filed non-candidacy papers. Kist said he will not be running for election to the County Board in April 2020. He indicated he wanted to file early “to give others the opportunity to consider filing papers.”

Kist has been a member of the Washington County Board since April 2016.

Kist is also alderman in District 8 in West Bend. He said his current term on the council ends in 2021. Kist did not discuss his seat on the council other than to say he has been asked by several people if he’s going to run for mayor.

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

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

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

Kist has been active in politics and parks his entire life; he’s been dedicated to making Washington County a better place.

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

Aside from the parks and Washington County Tourism, Kist has been a familiar face in politics on both the West Bend common council and as a supervisor.

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

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

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

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

Washington County Supervisor Marilyn Merten: “Roger has always been a considerate and caring individual and he’s willing to do a good job at whatever he did.” Merten was county clerk and worked with Kist when he was at the Washington County Planning and Parks Department. “I’d contact Roger to help make the grounds look nice at the county building. Roger would always take care of it.”

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

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

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

Former Mayor Kraig Sadownikow said serving the community is in Roger’s blood. “Whether it’s an elected position, or in his career or during his time off he’s always been committed to service and giving back to the community.

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

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

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

On a side note: In 2017 I hosted an evening at Music on Main. It was right before the school year was to get underway and I challenged readers of WashingtonCountyInsider.com to bring their school picture to the event and I’d treat them to a beverage of their choice. Roger Kist was the first attendee to respond. I told him I thought he looked a lot like Dennis the Menace.

Special blessing for Eagle Scout project in Barton

An Eagle Scout project completed by Simon Weinandt, 18, with Scout Troop No. 762 in West Bend received a special blessing in the park across from St. Mary’s Immaculate Conception Parish in Barton.

Reverend Andrew Infanger led a small procession across the lawn following 9:30 a.m. Mass on Sunday.

Following a reading from the First Letter of the Apostle Peter, Rev. Infanger prayed a blessing over the Stations of the Cross.

“Oh God, your son was delivered up to death and raised from the dead in order that we might die to sin and live lives of holiness. By the favor of Your blessing draw near with mercy to Your faithful people who devoutly recall the mysteries of Christ’s passion. Grant that those who follow His footsteps and bearing their cross patiently may receive as their reward the vision of Christ in His glory. For He lives and reins with You for ever and ever.”

Rev. Infanger then blessed the Stations with holy water and incense.

After the ceremony Weinandt received compliments about the “beauty of the completed project” and “this is quite an Eagle Scout project, you should be proud.”

“I built the Stations of the Cross at St. Mary’s and it’s been a lot of work,” he said. The 14 Stations each feature a stone base, a large wooden cross and a series of bronze images “portraying events in the Passion of Christ from his condemnation by Pontius Pilate to his entombment.”

“The most challenging part was not at all in the building, but it was in the planning,” said Weinandt. “People are eager for it to be used as soon.”

Weinandt will be attending tech college in Red Wing, Minnesota where he will study to be a luthier; it’s a maker of string instruments like violin, bass, and cello.

Washington County leasing space for Solar Now Program

There are about 12 acres on the southwest corner of River Road and Creek Road in West Bend that will soon be home to solar energy panels.

The project is starting to take shape as a field of beams are being driven into the ground.

According to Washington County Public Affairs Coordinator Ethan Hollenberger the county is leasing property to We Energies. “The county is not responsible for any of the capital required to build or maintain the solar generation,” he said.  “Washington County will not own the solar generation.”

It was June 2019 when Washington County Supervisors voted on a resolution approving the Solar Now Pilot Program.

“The Solar Now program, as approved by the Public Service Commission, is for governments to lease land for this purpose,” said Hollenberger.  “We are receiving a lease payment based on the generation of the site. Next year, it is just over $98,000.”

“This is a great program for County as it allows us to continue to invest in budget areas the public believes are priorities such as public safety,” Hollenberger said.

Saukville and New Berlin are a couple of the other communities also investing in the Solar Now Program. Waukesha County is also exploring the opportunity. The County anticipates energy generation to begin in 2020.

Two supervisors file non-candidacy on Washington County Board

As of 12:25 p.m. on Wednesday, Nov. 6, 2019 there were two Washington County Supervisors who filed certificate of non-candidacy paperwork.

District 2 Supervisor Roger Kist filed his papers on Friday, Nov. 1 announcing he would not seek another term. On Wednesday, Nov. 6, Dist. 4 Supervisor Chris Jenkins filed a certificate of non-candidacy.

Chris Jenkins is with his son filing paperwork at the Washington County Clerk’s office.

“I did so now, as Roger did, to allow adequate time for someone to consider running in my place,” said Jenkins.

Jenkins was first elected to the Washington County Board in April 2018. He said he will serve out the remainder of his term which ends following the election in April 2020 when the new candidate is sworn in.

“Over this term, the County Board and how it currently operates was not my cup of tea,” said Jenkins.  “I hope the efforts to shrink the size of the Board, and change how the policy-making process occurs, improves things. I am optimistic that a county executive will produce the strong leader the county-level of government sorely needs.”

Jenkins also serves as District 4 alderman in the City of West Bend.  “I will take this added time to better focus on my roles and responsibilities at the city level,” he said.

Candidates have until December 27, 2019 by 5 p.m. to file a certificate of non-candidacy if they do not plan to run in April 2020. Candidates who are running may begin circulating papers to collect signatures on December 1, 2019. Those signatures must be turned in by 5 p.m. on January 7, 2020.

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

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

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

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

Paving of Eighth Avenue in West Bend complete

Dump trucks hauling hot, black asphalt came and went on a regular cycle Monday, Nov. 4 as two layers were put down on a section of Eighth Avenue in West Bend. The four-block stretch between Highway 33 and Walnut Street had been under construction since May when the Holy Angels Festival was underway.

The costs of the reconstruction project was $1.35 million and it took a little more than five months to complete.  The general contractor for the project was Wood Sewer & Excavating, Inc. from New London, Wisconsin.

There were several subcontractors working at various times which included sanitary sewer installation, water main installation, storm sewer installation, roadway excavation, curb and gutter installation, curb ramp replacement, roadway reconstruction and restoration of disturbed areas.

There was a strong smell of rich asphalt in the air along with a consistent hum of heavy equipment as dump trucks unloaded a sea of asphalt into the pavers. In their wake a series of steel wheel rollers chased up and down the road, packing the pavement and removing any visible seems.  By mid-day contractors were skeptical they would finish the project but by 4:45 p.m. they were just wrapping up the second layer. Landscaping around the curbs and pavement markings should be completed in the coming weeks.

West Bend Common Council to honor veterans tonight including one of their own

Common Sense Citizens of Washington County is teaming with the West Bend Common Council in an annual tribute tonight, Monday, Nov. 4 to honor local veterans.

All veterans will be recognized including District 1 alderman John Butschlick, 72, who served in Vietnam and is taking part in Saturday’s Stars & Stripes Honor Flight.

Butschlick was 19 years old when he enlisted in the Army. A 1965 graduate of Campbellsport High School, Butschlick had played trumpet in Mr. Jacobs class for four years.

“I wanted to play in the band so I would NOT go to Vietnam,” he said.

Butschlick’s dad was diagnosed with a bad heart they sold the family farm in Campbellsport and moved to Kewaskum.

“I worked at Regal Ware for about a year and then enlisted,” he said. Basic training was at Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri.

After eight weeks of basic, Butschlick’s name was mixed up with someone else and he went on as a clerk typist and remained at Fort Leonard Wood.

“But I got my orders in December 1967 and that said I was going to San Francisco and then onto Vietnam,” he said. “Needless to say, my recruiter was not my best friend and my plan did not work.”

Butschlick said Vietnam was horrible from the start. “The stench,” he said. “There was nothing sanitary there; all feces were burned, and it was warm and humid.”

Butschlick was assigned to an artillery group as a fuel administrator. “My first six months I couldn’t believe I was even in a war zone,” he said. “We played volleyball, we had hot meals, our sergeant was a fantastic cook and it wasn’t bad at all.”

In August, Butschlick reup for six more months in the military; he also signed up for leave over Christmas however his new captain denied the leave in December and pushed it off another month.

While dropping off paperwork a warrant officer changed Butschlick’s leave but the captain caught up with him and that brief favor cost Butschlick his assignment.

“I got back from leave and I was sent on the first chopper out; I was on a gunner,” he said. “I lost my field position.”

Nervous, Butschlick met with a pastor and within a couple weeks he was transferred and assigned to headquarters as a commanding officer jeep driver. “This was during the Tet Offensive and I thought I was lucky to be a driver, but my buddies said the snipers would pick off a driver first and then go after the captain,” he said.

“My second tour was scarier than hell.”

Butschlick credits his mother for helping keep him safe. “I didn’t know it at the time but she said a prayer every day and in that prayer she was always asking God to protect me while I was in Vietnam and I firmly believe my mom’s faith brought me back safely,” he said.

Butschlick has kept the copy of his mother’s prayer. It’s on a weary index card, the print is from an old-school typewriter and there are pencil marks where Rose Butschlick wrote in cursive the correct pronoun.

“My faith is what got me through this whole thing… and my mom’s,” he said. “When I got out of the service my mom gave me the prayer cards.”

Butschlick was discharged in 1969 when he was 22 years old.

When he returned to the states he stayed in Chicago and worked at First National Bank as a margins clerk. “Life was actually moving too fast for me over the next three years and then I moved back home and worked at Fleet Farm before I bought the Tastee Freeze and turned it into Little John’s Drive in,” he said. “John Heisdorf worked at the restaurant with me; we called him Big John and I was Little John.”

Little John’s was located on Highway 33 in West Bend in the lot behind the Fleet Farm; that building was there in there in the 1970’s. Alice Kohlman was the cook at Little John’s. “Alice was the best and I loved working with the people,” he said.

The restaurant eventually closed and Butschlick sold it in 1980. “That was when Pizza Hut was across the street, along with Dick’s Pizza, Kentucky Fried Chicken and the Red Owl was next door to the east,” he said.

Butschlick returned to work at Fleet Farm before taking a job with the City of West Bend.

In April 2014, Butschlick was elected Dist. 1 alderman in West Bend. He won reelection in 2016 and 2018. Butschlick is up for election in April 2020.

Join the Common Council for tonight’s recognition of veterans. Other council members who served include Dist. 2 alderman Mark Allen was in the Coast Guard 1971 – 1984 and Dist. 8 alderman Roger Kist.

West Bend Common Council votes on how to fill mayoral vacancy

West Bend Common Council has unanimously voted to appoint Council President Steve Hoogester as acting mayor until the April 7, 2020 election. According to City Attorney Ian Prust, said Hoogester can still retain his seat as District 6 alderman and he does not have to run for council again just by taking this post.

Prust said, should there be a tie vote on an issue, Hoogester has to notify the council ahead of time that he will abstain as alderman to make a vote as mayor. City administrator Jay Shambeau and Prust said a tie situation would be extremely rare as a council member would need to be absent to create a situation for a tie vote to occur.

The mayoral seat became vacant Oct. 21 following the resignation of Mayor Kraig Sadownikow who cited a conflict between his private business and his elected position with the City. The decision to have Hoogester serve in the interim took about 25 minutes.

On a side note:

District 2 alderman Mark Allen was in favor of selecting a citizen from the community to fill the post. He noted, that would avoid creating a situation with a district not being represented for the next five months.

District 8 alderman Roger Kist said he ran for mayor twice during his career and would be interested in being appointed mayor.

Former Dist. 7 alderwoman Deb Anderson was in the audience at the special meeting and had inquired about serving as a citizen mayor until the 2020 April election.

Updates & tidbits:

-Interfaith Caregiver’s Kindness Crews will be rolling out a group volunteer opportunity starting in December. Kindness Crews are a group opportunity for individual volunteers to help a number of clients in one day with services. Volunteer by yourself, a friend, or bring a whole group! Kindness Crews will go out on the third Thursday of every month from 10 a.m.-12 p.m. Join us after percolate on December 6 at 9:00 am for a short information meeting to learn more.

There will be 21 veterans from Washington County on the Nov. 9 Stars & Stripes Honor Flight to Washington D.C. Veterans include: Vietnam Army Ralph Charette of Germantown, four veterans from Hartford including Vietnam Air Force Jeffrey Lauenstein, Korea Army Edgar Loomis, Vietnam Air Force Jeffery Hoppens, and Vietnam Army Jerrold Green. Two veterans from Kewaskum including Vietnam Army Ronald Amerling Kewaskum and Vietnam Air Force James Dorn. Vietnam Army William Schneider Richfield Vietnam Army Donald Thies Slinger

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

In order to do justice to the Sager family, below is the obituary that ran in 2005 for Fred Sager.

Longtime local businessman and community leader, Donald Frederick Sager, 66, passed away peacefully surrounded by his family on March 17, 2005, at St. Joseph’s Community Hospital in West Bend after a courageous battle with cancer. Born September 5, 1938. Beloved husband of Maradel, (nee Honold). Loving father of Scott (Karen), Susan (Todd) Zeeb and Sara (Michael) Lehner. Dear grandfather “Bumpa” of Kailee, Jonathan, Claire, Lauren and Hannah. Preceded in death by his parents, Frederick A. and Cloris A. Sager, and granddaughter, Amanda Lynn Zeeb. Survived by brother, Steve (Mary) Sager of Fond du Lac and sister, Marjorie (Glen) Klug of Boltonville, and many nieces, nephews and cousins. Donald is lovingly remembered by many friends and business acquaintances.

Donald was born and raised in West Bend. As a boy he loved to fish and hunt with his dog, Tucker. An athlete in high school and college, he played football and basketball. He attended Valparaiso University and was a member of Sigma Phi Epsilon Fraternity. He graduated in 1960 with a Bachelors’ Degree in Business Administration. Donald returned home to take his place at his father’s side in the family clothing business. He met the love of his life, Maradel and they married on August 12, 1961 and together raised a beautiful family.

Donald’s father, Fred Sager opened Sager’s Mens Apparel in 1932. Donald worked alongside his father through high school and college. He took over the business from Fred in 1970 and made it his own. At one time, Sager’s Mens Apparel operated in four locations, West Bend, Port Washington, Grafton, and Fond du Lac. Sager’s Mens Apparel, in downtown West Bend, continues a rich tradition of formalwear and men’s clothing through his children Scott and Sara. Donald was known for his swift use of a tape measure, he’d size you up in seconds, fit you with a suit or tuxedo and send you out the door. His philosophy was “We always try to sell a better product, and our customers aren’t really our customers, they’re our friends.” His favorite time of the retail year was Prom season because he loved to tell the young men how to dress appropriately, tuck in your shirt, pull up your pants, open the car door for the young lady, shake her father’s hand and ask “What time should I return your daughter, sir?” He also enjoyed working with wedding parties and reminding the nervous groom his first sentence should be, “I’m sorry, honey.”

Donald was past president of the West Bend Area Chamber of Commerce and served on St. Joseph’s Community Hospital Board for many years. He was a long-standing member of the Downtown West Bend Businessmens’ Association and was a member of the founding organizational team of the Teen Factory, predecessor of the Boys and Girls Club of West Bend. In 1985, Donald along with his son, Scott and five other men started the West Bend Hunter Education Program. This program has instructed over 3000 students in the safe and responsible handling of firearms in the past twenty years. Don always felt, “That if you take your kid hunting, you’ll never have to go hunting for your kid!”

Donald was an avid outdoorsman and master tinkerer. He loved to train dogs, pheasant hunt, make lunch for deer hunting, hunt for ducks on the Mississippi River with his brother, fish for panfish and walleyes with his buddies, play with his grandchildren and use a 10-penny nail to fix everything. He had a great gift for painting, if it moved, he painted it and usually himself in the process, too.

He was a caring and loving man and would give you the shirt off his back if you needed it, or better yet, sell you one. He continually supported his family and community, and gave more than he ever had. He never said no. He will be greatly missed by his family and the community, he touched many lives.

Visitation for Donald will be Sunday, March 20, 2005, from 2 PM to 5 PM at Phillip Funeral Homes, 1420 W. Paradise Drive in West Bend. Funeral services will immediately follow.

In lieu of flowers, memorials to the Boys and Girls Club of West Bend, would be appreciated. Donald always felt that “our kids are our greatest gift.”

The family is grateful to Dr. Rajesh Trivedi and his staff and the many other doctors and caring nurses who tenderly cared for Donald at St. Joseph’s Community Hospital in West Bend, St. Luke’s Hospital, and Froedert Hospital in Milwaukee.

Around the Bend by Judy Steffes

Grand opening date posted at new Fleet Farm in West Bend

The shiny, new Fleet Farm on the hill on W. Washington Street in West Bend is getting set to open. A sign on the door of the stores announces the grand opening will be Friday, November 22. That’s a week ahead of Black Friday, Nov. 29.

One new product customers in West Bend will find on the shelves at Fleet will be beer, wine and spirits.

The city clerk in West Bend confirmed Fleet secured a license to carry alcohol. It will be at both the store and the Fleet convenience store/gas station.

“Fleet Farm stores that have opened since 2018 carry a selection wine and beer, as well as packaged grocery items,” said Christopher Zulfer, Division Vice President, Fleet Farm. “Our beer selection includes more than 200 beer items, including national and local craft beers. Our wine selection includes more than 225 items from a wide variety of vineyards.”

A record check in the city assessor’s office shows Fleet Farm Properties LLC sold the 69.7 acres of vacant land to Store Spe Mills Fleet II 2017-7 LLC for $3 million on June 19, 2019.

Challenging process of picking an interim mayor in West Bend

On Monday, Nov. 4 the West Bend Common Council will hold a special meeting at 5 p.m. The hot topic will be, Discussion on the Vacancy Created by the Resignation of the City of West Bend Mayor  2. Filling the Office of Mayor

On Monday, Oct. 21, 2019, at the West Bend Common Council meeting Mayor Kraig Sadownikow announced he was resigning his seat effective immediately. Sadownikow stepped down citing a conflict between his business and his position with the City.

The state has a legal process on filling the vacant mayoral seat, which comes up for election in April 7, 2020.

City administrator Jay Shambeau said filling the seat will “not be an easy answer to come to.”

There are three options on the table; the council can appoint the council president or an alderman or a citizen from the City.

Option 1: appoint council president

The current council president is Dist. 6 alderman Steve Hoogester. In the past, when the mayor needed to recuse himself from an issue before the council it would be Hoogester who would take over the meeting.

“If Hoogester or another alderman, is appointed mayor then he must resign as alderperson, so he no longer has that seat,” said Wisconsin Election Commission staff counsel Michael Haas. “The statute says if there’s a vacancy in the office of mayor then it’s filled by the common council unless a special election is ordered which is probably not likely if it’s a short-term vacancy. The council would need to decide, and the alderperson would need to decide.”

Hoogester has been council president since February 2018 after Dist. 2 alderman Steve Hutchins resigned. “It’s an interesting thought,” said Hoogester about the mayoral position. “It’s something I’d be willing to do and fill in for five months; do the best I can and keep things moving forward.”

A wrench in the works, however, is if Hoogester would leave his seat as alderman, he would have to run for office again. “My aldermanic seat is not up for election in 2020 and if I’d have to vacate after five months I’d be out. That’s not on my list of priorities,” he said.

Hoogester said he would take a “wait-and-see approach” on how things shake out at Monday’s meeting.

Option 2 : leave the seat vacant or appoint an alderman

Another option, the council could choose to leave the office vacant and just delegate authority to the council president or someone else to do whatever the mayor would do whether it’s signing documents, etc.

An alderman could also be appointed. Then their seat would be vacant and that could be filled by appointment as well.

On October 17, Dist. 5 alderman Rich Kasten announced his candidacy for mayor.   According to Haas, “In a non-partisan election you can actually run for mayor and alderperson and if you win both you can choose which office you want.”

Kasten said last week, he is not interested in filling in the next five months as mayor however he is committed to running for the seat in April.

Option 3: city representative

The City could take applications from anybody interested and then, according to Haas, “everybody has a fair shot at applying and trying to convince the council they’re the right person.”

Deb Anderson was the alderperson in District 7 from April 2010 until April 2012 when she chose not to run for re-election. Anderson stopped at City Hall to inquire about being appointed to fill the short-term seat.

In a Wednesday night phone call Anderson said she did not want to run for mayor, but she could fill in for the next five months. She said her schedule was flexible and this way an aldermanic seat would not be unrepresented until the April 7, 2020 election.

During Anderson’s one term on the council she was a member of the Library Board, she helped drum up attention for the Barton Business District, and she expressed caution in 2012 when then Mayor Sadownikow encouraged aldermen to sign “Budget Pledge” to not raise the tax rate.

Anderson used to be the property manager for River Bend Senior Village. Most recently she headed up the Washington County Senior Center. Now she volunteers at the Senior Center.

On a side note: The city council will be voting on its 2020 budget in the coming weeks. On the table is a discussion on whether to keep a flat tax rate of $7.79 or raise it six cents to $7.85 for 2020.

Monday’s Special Meeting begins at 5 p.m. in the council chambers at City Hall, 1115 S. Main Street, in West Bend. The meeting is open to the public.

West Bend School District report on declining enrollment

West Bend School District Superintendent Don Kirkegaard outlined enrollment trends during the Monday night, Oct. 28, School Board meeting. The district indicated “unless there is a change in enrollment trends, the district can expect declining enrollment for the next 8-10 years.”

Superintendent Kirkegaard:

-Our enrollment has been going south. It has been for quite a few years and it’s going to go for quite a few more years.

-We’re down about 600 students since 2006

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

-Projections: I made an assumption that the kindergarten class would stay the same and every kid who is in school this year stays in school throughout their whole career. If you go to the high school, we’re at 2184 this year. If you look at current students in the school, I added 50 kids every year once they become 9th graders, based on Holy Angels and Cabrini, typically the last few years we picked up 50 parochial kids that come to high school. You’re down to 1669 students with both east and west together.

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

-There are certain districts in the state of Wisconsin that are going up (with enrollment), much of Wisconsin is not and we’re part of that.

-The reason for the decline is we don’t have as many kids coming through the system. Most people have two kids, one kid, three kids…

-The second Friday in January there is another student count. Typically, the January count is less than the September count.

-The third Friday of September is the official count date for district enrollment. See first chart below. The second chart shows a 14-year comparison of actual students in seats at schools in the West Bend District.

Chart 5 shows a 9-year projection of enrollment based on current students in the district and a flat kindergarten enrollment based on 364 students.

On a side note: The West Bend School District Private Task Force studied the school district and its facility needs over the summer. It released a report of findings on October 14. One of the findings considered the declining enrollment and loss of state aid.

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

Options: We could do nothing. Keep spending $1.5 mil a year on facilities.  Retain all building and come up with money and address immediate capital needs however the design characteristics with concerns can’t be changed. Even if come up with $22.5 mil – we still have 80% of square footage is getting older.

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

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

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

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

West Bend Common Council to honor veterans on Monday, November 4

On November 4 the West Bend Common Council will honor all Veterans during its regular Monday night meeting as elected officials pay tribute to those who have served our country.

The event is organized by Common Sense Citizens of Washington County. The ceremony begins at 6 p.m. in the West Bend High School Silver Lining Auditorium.

All veterans will be recognized. Anyone in need of free transportation is encouraged to call 262-335-5123. The event is free and open to the public. Items for Support the Troops will be collected during the event and distributed as care packages to troops serving in the U.S. military.

Railroad crossing in Allenton expected to open Saturday, November 2

Work crews are taking advantage of the 40-degree temps and finishing the approach to the Canadian National Railroad crossing on Highway 33 in Allenton.

Contractors expect the road to reopen Saturday, November 2.

Wisconsin Central Ltd. (Canadian National Railway), has been reconstructing its railroad crossing located between Weis Street and County Road W since Monday, October 28.

To complete this work, crews required a full closure of WIS 33 at the crossing from Monday, October 28 until Friday, November 1.

The Town of Addison and Washington County Highway Department received numerous complaints about the crossing being hazardous and the noise when crossing was unsettling.   This crossing was repaired in 2014 and Canadian National has had to make repairs since.

Part of the major repair will include a complete removal of the base material, the ties and rails along with the approach from both sides of the track. Railroads own and are responsible for the track and up to 50 feet on each side.  This crossing was originally scheduled to be done in August.

On a side note: A train passed through the construction area at 1:38 p.m. on Monday. Interesting because the contractors are going to be pulling up the track during this repair.

Morrie’s West Bend Honda announces opening date

The street sign is in place, the parking lot has been blacktopped and the driveway to Highway 33 has been poured and Morrie’s West Bend Honda has officially announced its opening date.

According to general manager Bob Splitstoesser the West Bend Honda store will open Friday, Nov. 15. Contractors broke ground in November 2018. Morrie’s West Bend Honda is at 3215 W. Washington Street on the southwest corner of Highway 33 and Scenic Drive.

Morrie’s new Honda facility will create approximately 60 new good-paying jobs. Morrie’s West Bend Honda will feature customer parking for 40 standard and two barrier-free parking stalls.

The site plan identifies 248 stalls for vehicle display and loaners, 6 rental stalls, 75 service stalls, 74 employee stalls.

Bloomin’ Holidays Wine Walk is sold out                     By Jessica Wildes

Bloomin’ Holidays Wine Walk  is Saturday, Nov. 9 from 4 p.m. – 7 p.m.  Shop, sip, and swoon over the sights of downtown West Bend at the inaugural Bloomin’ Holidays Wine Walk. Start at the Museum of Wisconsin Art for your first taste and explore floral arrangements in the art galleries and an indoor artist marketplace. Then head to 20 more nearby destinations for wine, treats, and shopping along the way.

SOLD OUT! Join the wait list. Contact Jessica at 262-247-2266 or jwildes@wisconsinart.org. Please note that we cannot add additional registrants. If a registered participant cancels, we will work from the wait list. Registered Participants: Keep an eye out for event details in your email on Monday, November 4.  At check in, plan to bring your photo I.D. to verify your age (21+). No tickets are needed since everyone has pre-registered online. Your reservation will be held under your last name at check-in.

UWM at Washington County golf team wins major awards in final season | By John Minz

The UW Milwaukee – Washington County State Championship winning Golf Team had four members earn top spots on the WCC All-Conference Teams.

Antonio Feciskonin is the Wisconsin Collegiate Conference Player of the Year.  He was medalist in both the Wildcat Invite at WCGC and the Wombat Invite at The Bull.  He finished the state tournament, held at Mascoutin CC, 10 strokes ahead of 2nd place.  He’s the 4th Wildcat in the last five years to be named Player of the Year.

Jacob Eichline is on the WCC First Team All-Conference for a second year.  Jacob improved his play from last year finishing 3rd in both the Invites and 4th at State to earn a spot on the 1st team.

Second year player Brad Halverson made the WCC Second Team All-Conference also for a second year. Brad had placed in the top 10 in both the Invites, and a strong 6th place finish at state, to earn a spot on the 2nd team.

Josh Bohn also made WCC Second Team All-Conference.  Despite not playing on a high school golf team, Josh worked hard posted a top 10 in the Wildcat invite and placed 7th at State earning him a spot on the 2nd team.

These are great honors to the Wildcat players for their post season play and their Wisconsin Collegiate Conference State title.

Washington County Trail Sharks wrap up successful season | By Julie L Willmas

The season for the Trail Sharks has come to an end with the State Race on the Trek Trails in Waterloo for the mountain bike team.

With the course being muddy and technical, the athletes were excited to race.  The racecourse was filled with fans, as the 850+ riders slid up and down the slick hills and turns. The Washington County Trail Sharks did not give up as they raced to an 11th place finish for the season.

The team was led this season by medalists Kendra Schmitt (Kewaskum) 1st place, Mike Spangenberg (West Bend) 4th place, and Anja Lanser (West Bend) 1st place. Medalists for the state race….Kendra Schmitt (Kewaskum) 2nd, Anja Lanser (West Bend) 1st

Top 10 in their age group…Gabe Rogaczewski (Slinger) 9th, Fiona Shaw (West Bend) 10th, Mike Spangenberg (West Bend) 7th

Other team athletes… (1 lap)-Aiden Schubert (West Bend) 27th, Nate Sajdak (West Bend) 45th, Brandon Paulson (Slinger) 81st, Kira Zechlin (West Bend) 14th, Ayla Abraham (West Bend) 29th, Shiri Zechlin (West Bend) 43rd

(2 laps)- Lexi Schubert (West Bend) 17th, Will Mauney (West Bend) 12th, Christian Spaeth (West Bend) 21st, RJ Goldberg (Hartford) 22nd, Gabe Kebbekus (Slinger) 44th, Carson Phillips (Slinger) 46th

(3 laps)- Nick Skaalen (Hartford) 33rd

Signing 9/11 Wisconsin Memorial Highway bill into law

An effort to name a 9-mile section of highway that runs through Kewaskum the 9/11 Memorial Highway came to fruition on a snowy afternoon in October as Governor Tony Evers signed the bill into law.

“This Memorial will serve as an important reminder to the people of Wisconsin of the loved ones we lost and the heroes that ran towards danger without a second thought and our nations grit and resilience in times of tragedy,” said Evers.

“Now that we’re 18 years removed from the 9/11 attacks it’s important, we remember and honor this history including the nearly 3,000 innocent lives lost that day including 12 known individuals with connections to Wisconsin and of course Kewaskum’s own Andrea Haberman.”

The bill was spearheaded by Assembly Rep. Tim Ramthun and state Senator Duey Strobel.

Ramthun said the entire process has been a team effort. “This is overdue and it’s the right thing to do,” said Ramthun. “The value of this and the memorial factor will allow us all to never forget what happened to our nation and our state on 9/11; the enduring value is forever.”

Grand opening this week for Ozaukee Christian School in the Town of Trenton

There was a big celebration this past week as Ozaukee Christian School officially opened in the Town of Trenton. Parents, students and staff gathered early Monday morning to give praise and thanks and then cut the red ribbon to enter their new education space.

School administrator Kris Austin was beaming. She said the move to a new, permanent location has been quite a long road but “we just took it day by day and we let God take care of the things we couldn’t control.”

“It’s pretty amazing,” she said. “We had school at Camp Awana on Friday and here we are today with classrooms fully ready to receive kids. We’ve got a great staff, parents and volunteers.”

School board member Keenan Kerrins said it was a phenomenal day to celebrate. “This is our first permanent facility in the 30-year history of Ozaukee Christian School and we are so excited we’ve been able to come this far and to give such opportunity for students and parents alike to be able to experience school and God together,” he said.

Ozaukee Christian used to be located nine miles to the east of their current site in Saukville. As far as enrollment is concerned, Austin said there’s been some loss but great gain.

“We lost a few because this location is just too far for some families, but we picked up 14 new families, primarily from the West Bend area,” she said. “We will also be picking up another new family next week.”

OCS is a non-denominational Christian school founded in 1990.  The current location is 1214 State Highway 33 across from West Bend Lakes Golf Course. Ozaukee Christian School describes itself as “offering outstanding, Christ-centered, non-denominational educational opportunities for students from K3 to eighth grade. We are dedicated to academic excellence with a uniquely Christian perspective—one that places Jesus at the center of everything we do and acknowledges the Bible as our ultimate authority.”

Around the Bend by Judy Steffes

Washington County Board sets County Executive salary at $140,000

After lengthy discussion the Washington County Board voted 15 – 7 to set the salary for the incoming Washington County Executive at $140,000.

Benefits and/or bonuses for the position have yet to formally be discussed.

Voting NO on the proposed $140,000 salary were: Supervisors Chris Bossert, Frank Carr, Brian Krebs, Richard Bertram, Robert Hartwig, Marcella Bishop, and Marilyn Merten.

Voting in favor of the salary were Supervisors Roger Kist, Chris Jenkins, Mike Bassill, Denis Kelling, William Symicek, Keith Stephan, Russel Brandt, Timothy Michalak, James Burg, John Bulawa, Donald Kriefall, Rock Brandner, Brian Gallitz, Jeffrey Schleif and Carroll Merry.

There were four supervisors absent from the meeting including Kristine Deiss, Joseph Gonnering, Mark McCune and Peter Sorce.

Quite a few supervisors said a salary of $140,000 was needed to attract a well-qualified candidate to run for the position.

Prior to the final vote there were several amendments made to change the salary. The initial motion was to postpone the vote, then a motion to set the pay scale at $114,000 was made by Supervisor Brian Krebs. That was defeated by a vote of 19-3. Those voting to set the pay at $114,000 were Supervisors Brian Krebs, Richard Bertram and Marcella Bishop.

The second amendment was a proposal by Supervisor Bossert to increase the pay to $125,000. That too failed by a vote of 13-9.

Those against were Supervisors Kist, Bassill, Kelling, Symicek, Stephan, Brandt, Michalak, Burg, Bulawa, Kriefall, Gallitz, Schleif and Merry.

Those in favor of the $125,000 were Supervisors Bossert, Jenkins, Carr, Krebs, Bertram, Hartwig, Bishop, Merten, and Bradner.

Some of the discussion between votes included:

Supervisor Tim Michalak – “If you look at what the current administrator is earning, with the bonuses and everything, this is actually quite a cut.” (Chairman Don Kriefall later said the Washington County Administrator is making $190,000 with bonuses and benefits included)

Supervisor Marilyn Merten – “What is this salary proposal based upon? Did we do comparisons with other executives. I have no idea.”

Chairman Don Kriefall – “We looked at what the salaries are within Washington County and we placed initially that that person would be among the top paid in the county. The range for our directors, Health and Human Services is $127,000 to max $149,000. Deputy County administrators $126,000 – $147,000 and so on. So having the leader of the county paid substantially below what the directors are paid would not be fair or equitable.”

Supervisor Buzz Carr – “I’m a little surprised at how this has been presented. With the other elements we had to vote on tonight there was lots of backup material but not with this. There is no backup material on state payment or why our county executive would be the highest paid in the state.”

Supervisor Brian Krebs – “Pay ranges of existing county executives in the state of Wisconsin range from $86,000 a year to $134,000 a year. I’ll argue that some of these salaries have not been adjusted in a while, but they are fair market.”

One of the changes in regard to the salary came at the Executive Committee meeting where the committee voted unanimously to drop the annual salary increase for the position.

Under the original draft the pay would have grown by over $2,000 annually and in its fourth year the Washington County executive would have made $148,569.12. Click HERE for details.

The election for County Executive is set to appear on the April 2020 ballot; if a primary is needed that would be in February 2020.

County Administrator Joshua Schoemann has already filed papers to run for the seat. Declaration of candidacy papers must be filed by January 7, 2020. Candidates must collect a minimum of 500 signatures. Those papers can start being circulated Dec. 1, 2019.

One note, when supervisors voted Sept. 11, 2019 in favor of an elected county executive, the supervisors knowingly violated the terms of the contract signed with Washington County Administrator Josh Schoemann.

A clause in his contract indicates the county will have to pay Schoemann $130,000 because of a violation of the original terms of agreement.

That $130,000 is taxpayer money.

 Initial story about Elected County Executive proposed pay

A draft of the resolution shows the salary starting at $140,000 and then increasing annually to $142,800, $145,656 and in the fourth year $148,569.

A record check shows the prospective pay for the newly elected Washington County Executive would be more than any elected county executive in the state of Wisconsin.

Dane County –  $134,218

Milwaukee County – $129,000

Waukesha County – $108,826

Fond du Lac County – $108,100

Winnebago County – $115,800

Brown County – $98,046

The Governor of Wisconsin – $146,786

Members of the Washington County Executive Committee include: Supervisors Michael Bassill, John Bulawa, Kristine Deiss, Donald Kriefall, Mark McCune, Timothy Michalak and Jeffrey Schleif.

One note, when supervisors voted Sept. 11, 2019 in favor of an elected county executive, the supervisors knowingly violated the terms of the contract signed with county administrator Josh Schoemann. A clause in the contract indicates the county will have to pay Schoemann $130,000 because of a violation of the original terms of agreement.

VIDEO | Washington Co. Supervisors vote a final time on elected County Executive  

Several members of the Executive Committee were reached for comment:

Supervisor Mike Bassill – “The pay is going to be higher than the other county executives in Wisconsin; including Milwaukee. We came to the conclusion that their contracts – when they get up for election theirs will be going up. We’re still going to be saving around $35,000 than what we’re currently paying the county administrator presently, with the $140,000.

“At the time I said I wasn’t 100-percent on board but after reflecting on the Executive Committee meetings I think it’s the right scale. Correct, it will be more than what the governor makes in four years. That’s what we decided.

For more than a year Schoemann toured Washington County talking about the dire straits of the budget and repeating “the county is falling off a financial cliff.”

How can county supervisors justify violating the terms of Schoemann’s contract which means a loss of $130,000 in taxpayer money? The first year of the county executive

“I just believe this is the right avenue. I think our track record is we’ve been fiscally conservative and that’s why I’m so excited now; that’s why I’ve wanted this county executive for a long time. I want that person to be accountable to the taxpayers so if he’s going to be paid more money – absolutely, but that person will be accountable to the taxpayers.”

Why not wait until the contract expired: “Wait broke the bridge down,” said Bassill.  “I’ve been on this for 10 years now. My entire premise is this person needs to be accountable to the taxpayers. But I just believe this is going to be a game changer for Washington County.”

Is this a good use of taxpayer money: “Yes. I’ve been after to do this since the day I got on the Washington County Board. I think this will pay two-fold. I think this will pay for itself in a heartbeat.

Taxpayers in Washington County are already losing $130,000 in this deal. The first year it’s like paying $270,000: “Correct. I just believe this is the right avenue. Are there going to be up-front costs, absolutely.

Supervisor John Bulawa – “I believe the salary will probably be the highest; I know it’s very close to the top but we’re proposing $140,000. So, it’s actually less expensive than what we’re paying right now for Josh’s position.

Question: Annual increase:

Bulawa – “I don’t know how they came up with the yearly increase, that is one of my questions. I don’t know if that’s the standard cost-of-living increase per year or how they came up with that number but yes it does step up significantly each year.”

Why the urgency to push forward on an elected county executive. Why not wait until 2022 when Schoemann’s contract would have expired? Then taxpayers would not be on the hook for $130,000 for violating the terms of Schoemann’s contract.

Bulawa – “We are trying to find a quality candidate. If Josh were not running, we want to make sure we have a quality candidate to run the county. We want to have the incentive to make that a full-time position for them.”

Bulawa “I know that with the approval of it they had to do the election right away. We could have delayed the vote by a couple of years but once the vote was in place it has to go into place for the next term.

With regard to the urgency to push the elected position forward, Bulawa said there were questions about “Would Josh stay or would he go.” However, when Schoemann was questioned about whether he was considering leaving, he indicated he was not.

Bulawa said, “What he says may not indicate everything that is going on; I don’t know specific things, but he is a highly sought-after young man.”

Questioned about paying him top dollar and he could still leave. “Part of the board wanted to secure him in staying at the county and another thing was to enable him to work in a different capacity for the county and advocate for issues in a way the county executive can, and a county administrator isn’t able to.”

Kriss Deiss – “We discussed the salary at the last County Executive Committee meeting. The pay scale is in the ballpark. I know we have the information (salary is the highest in Wisconsin). I know the average is $131,000. I had thought around $130,000 would be better but it will be up to what goes before the County Board as they will have a say in it as well. We have to set the salary in a certain timeframe so whoever takes out papers knows what the salary is going to be and I looked at what’s coming up Wednesday at County Board and I don’t know if this is on the County Board agenda or not.”

“The majority of the Executive Committee seemed to be ok with the salary, but it’ll have to go before the full County Board to see what their opinion is.”

Paying out $130,000 for contract violation. “I don’t know what the urgency was. I did vote in favor to proceed with an elected county executive. Taking the vote on the item Deiss said, “There wasn’t any urgency that I remember.” I voted in favor of it because now is the right time.”

Questioned about the $130,000 contract violation fee. “We weren’t talking about dollars at that point,” said Deiss. “There was no mention of salary when this was brought up before County Board. The cart wasn’t exactly before the horse. You also need to look at what the highest paid position is in the county, you want to make sure who ever is elected is paid more than those people.” Mention the governor’s pay. “Everybody is going to have feelings on this, and I think it has to play out in front of the County Board and we have to hear from the public too.”

Don Kriefall – “Right now as I understand it the salaries range from around $108,000 to $139,000 from looking at… a lot of the county executive salaries were set. I’m thinking the most recent one was set in the early 1990s.  All those were set also a long time ago and have not been adjusted for inflation.”

Why does Washington County have to be the highest? “That’s a starting figure. From my recollection of the meeting the discussion was if you’re going to be able to attract a qualified candidate you want to have a salary commensurate with what you would expect to attract that kind of a person. Tim Mihaleck’s job is human resources and based on that recommendation we went with that figure. As you know, it’s a recommendation to the board and the board doesn’t always go on the recommendations of the Executive Committee. We did not take into consideration what the governor makes. We

Questioned about making more than the governor: Kriefall said he wasn’t sure. Kriefall also said he did not know what sort of benefits the position would include.

When you voted for an elected executive: “We still want to make sure we have good, quality candidates that run for the office.

Why not wait until the term is up? The money he gets is basically earned. Most of that is earned already in benefits he’s accrued. There’s a severance package also.

The Executive Committee will move into closed session at the end of Wednesday’s meeting: “Closed Session Entertain a motion to convene in Closed Session pursuant to §19.85(1)(c), Wis. Stats., considering employment, promotion, compensation or performance evaluation data of any public employee over which the governmental body has jurisdiction or exercises responsibility; specifically, “to conduct the annual performance evaluation of the County Administrator.”

Public info meeting on landfill testing in West Bend

The City of West Bend will be hosting a public informational meeting on Wednesday, October 16, 2019, regarding the ongoing landfill testing results.  The meeting will take place at 6 p.m. at Shepherd of the Hills Lutheran Church, 6869 Wildwood Road, West Bend.  Doors open at 5:30 p.m.

The following groups will have representatives present to provide information and to answer questions: City of West Bend, AECOM (City of West Bend’s environmental testing consultants), WI-Department of Natural Resources, WI-Department of Health Services, Washington/Ozaukee County Department of Health

The City of West Bend is working closely with consultants and state agencies to investigate for impacts related to groundwater contamination from the City’s closed landfill site.

Residents of Villa Park are encouraged to attend. Please contact Doug Neumann if you have any questions at (262) 335-5079 or via email at neumannd@ci.west-bend.wi.us.

The Great Apple Crunch at Allenton Elementary School

Students at Allenton Elementary School joined in The Great Apple Crunch on Wednesday morning. It was an effort to promote farm to school. Nearly 500 students took part. This collective crunch encourages healthy eating and supports farm to school and local food initiatives throughout the Great Lakes Region.

At the same time students celebrated the 50th birthday of the school. After students were done with the apples, they followed tradition and in perfect Midwest fashion chucked the apple cores into the woods. A good time was had by all.

Bob Walden from Walden – A Supper Club has died

Condolences to the Walden family as Bob Walden, owner of Walden – A Supper Club, on Wallace Lake has died.

Walden was 76 years old. He and his wife Karen owned the supper club on the south short of the lake for 30 years.

“Bob purchased the restaurant in 1989,” said Karen. “It used to be Benike’s before we got it. George and Carol Benike purchased the club from Dot who ran it as Dot’s Club.”

Dot and her husband Nick added the cocktail lounge in 1974.

Lee Stehling from Ace Canvas worked on the bar rail at Walden’s. “Bob was the classiest guy to deal with,” he said. “He was such a great customer and the supper club was part of the fabric of the community. Who hasn’t been to Waldens? This is a sad loss for this area.”

Dennis Fechter from the Boltonville Fire Department said he’d run into Bob regularly at The Copper Penny. “He was a guy who would always take the time to say hi,” he said. “Nice guy.”

Bob worked in education at the start of his career. He was principal at Jackson Elementary School about 40 years ago.

David and Nancy Slinde lived down the block from the supper club. “Bob has been a great neighbor on Wallace Lake,” said David.  “He had an understanding of his customers by offering a familiar setting and great food.  His restaurant is a historic place in the Barton community.  While many said he should do this with the building or that with the building, he stayed firm in offering the community a historic supper club pure and simple and rich in memories.”

Neighbors across Washington County are familiar with the supper club that sits on the south shore of Wallace Lake.

According to supper-club website, Walden presents a Northwoods ambiance of knotty pine and lake shore, a relaxed fine dining experience. Excellent service and delicious entrees accompanied by mouth-watering salads, breads, potatoes, and desserts.

Prime Rib, the house specialty for over 50 years, is served every night. A dry aged center-cut tenderloin steak is also very popular. Walden also features Bavarian Pretzel Chicken, Frog Legs, Lobster Tails, Shrimp, Salmon, a most delicious Shaum Torte. Several other exciting entrees are served including Fish Frys on Fridays, nightly specials and sandwiches.

Walden is available for larger group luncheons and for banquets depending on availability. Several weddings followed by wedding banquets have been held along the shores of the lake.

The dining room seats up to one hundred guests. the cocktail lounge, overlooking the lake seats 52 people at the bar and side bars. According to Karen, Bob died Friday, October 4.

A bit more history on the supper club is below.

Walden-A Supper club began life as a summer home for Lucy and her family from the Milwaukee area in the early 1940’s. Emil Kufahl and his family operated the White Oaks Resort using the current dining area as a bar and four cabins once located along the western boundary of the property.

Kufahl’s were convinced by several Friday customers that they should start offering a Friday Fish Fry. In addition to adding a small kitchen, Kufahls added a bait shop lake side. Rental cabins, boat rental, fish bait sales, bar business and Friday Night Fish Fries kept the White Oaks Resort quite busy.

Several owners succeeded Kufahls each bringing a uniqueness in talent, interest and personality, blending to give Walden a character all its own.

Karl and Mush Hansen greatly expanded the dinner menu beyond the Friday Fish Fry. At this time, the bar was located across the fireplace wall. The Hansens sold the supper club to Nick and Dorothy Jonas who named the restaurant Dot’s Club.

Over a 22-year period, Dot’s Club became an even more inviting place to enjoy the food, the company, the lake and turtle soup. Nick and Dot added the Cocktail Lounge in 1974. The knotty pine was added to the dining room along with the beautiful field stone fireplace.

The Waldens made significant changes in the kitchen, enabling them to expand the menu. Windows were added to the dining room for the view and expanse. Booths were added in the area which had been a front porch for Lucy. Banquets were added to the Cocktail Lounge. And a beautiful patio has been added outdoors, lakeside, next to a waterfall garden.

Mark Herbert – Condolences to the family. We LOVE Walden – A Super Club. Great prime rib, and the best baked French onion soup I have found.

Kerri Schultz – Great boss, great food. Started going there around 1973 as a kid.

Bernice Kreis Behlke – My sympathies to his family. Mr. Walden was my principal when I was a little tike at Jackson Elementary. I couldn’t have asked for a kinder, sweeter principal; West Bend School District was fortunate to have him for so long!! I met him a few times as an adult out at Walden, still the same, kind, funny, sweet man.

Ron Colleen Kruepke – I worked for Bob and Karen several years, they were wonderful people to work for! Great Times, Great Memories & Great Friendships at Walden A Supper Club. My sympathy to the Walden family.

Travis Roell – My sympathies to family as many have already said Bob was a great boss and my 1st employer. Rest in Peace Bob you will be missed by many!

West Bend Park & Rec supervisor returns to his old job

An interesting scenario in the West Bend Parks Department as Nick Lemke resigned his position in late September to take a job in Green Bay… and now he’s back.

City Administrator Jay Shambeau said the City left the door open should Lemke ever decide he wanted to return and in less than two weeks Lemke came a knockin’ and the City gave him his old job back. “It happened late last week, and we were in the process of posting the position and we were able to bring him back,” said Shambeau.

Working through the Human Resources Department the City was able to reconnect Lemke with his benefits. “As of today, Nick Lemke is our Recreation Supervisor,” said Shambeau during Monday night’s Common Council meeting.

Paul Harris Fellowship Award winner cheered for dedication to Enchantment in the Park

Some well-deserved recognition was bestowed on Gary Wachs as the West Bend Sunrise Rotary presented him with a Paul Harris Fellowship Award. Mike Phillips did the honors. “This is a very prestigious award and you can get it one of two ways, either by donating money or by selecting people who give of them self,” he said.

Enchantment in the Park was started by two Rotary clubs, West Bend Sunrise, West Bend Noon and then the Slinger Rotary Club and Hartford Rotary Club joined and a few years later the Menomonee Falls Club jumped on board.

“All these clubs recently pooled their points and presented the Paul Harris Award to Wachs for the tremendous work he does at Enchantment,” Phillips said. “Gary works year-round and does a great job.”  Wachs said Enchantment in the Park isn’t a job but a passion. “This allows me a creative outlet,” he said.

Lori Yahr is a three-time Paul Harris Award winner. She said Wachs is extremely deserving. “The number of hours he puts in at Enchantment is phenomenal,” she said. “He has a creative mind and is always the last one to leave on a Saturday. He starts building stuff the day we close in January.”

If you swing through Regner Park in West Bend, you’ll see the setup has already started for the 2019 Enchantment in the Park. Washington County’s Premier Holiday Light Show begins November 29.

Gov. Evers to sign 9/11 Memorial Highway bill in Kewaskum on Oct. 31

On Tuesday, October 8, 2019, the Wisconsin Senate unanimously passed Senate Bill 433. Senator Duey Stroebel (R-Saukville) and Representative Timothy Ramthun (R-Campbellsport) authored this bill that would designate a portion of State Highway 28 near Kewaskum as the “Wisconsin 9/11 Memorial Highway.”

The bill would also require the Department of Transportation to erect and maintain directional signs in the area for the Wisconsin 9/11 Memorial Education Center in Kewaskum.

The bill would also require DOT to identify the 9/11 Memorial Highway and Memorial and Education Center on future editions of state highway maps.

After the vote, Stroebel made the following statement: “I am thankful the 9/11 Memorial Highway Bill has unanimous support on the Senate Floor earlier today. Honoring and remembering the victims of 9/11 is crucial and I am glad Senators of both parties recognize the importance of this Memorial Highway.

“I am also proud of the work of the dedicated Wisconsinites that have worked for years to establish the Wisconsin 9/11 Memorial and Education Center in Kewaskum.  This site will help educate future generations about the events of 9/11 for years to come.”

Gov. Tony Evers is scheduled to sign the bill on the 9/11 Memorial Highway in Kewaskum at noon on Thursday, October 31.

Sale price posted for Landmark Credit Union

Landmark Credit Union in West Bend is preparing to shift locations as it moves kiddie corner from inside Pick ‘n Save south to 1526 S. Main Street in West Bend.   The credit union will close Saturday, Oct. 12 and open in the new location on S. Main Street on Monday, Oct. 14 at 9 a.m.

The signage is in place at the new location of Landmark Credit Union in West Bend.

A City Hall the deed of sale just passed through the city assessor’s office.

On September 26, 2019 the parcel changed hands as owner ENDF3DK LLC sold to Landmark Credit Union for $3 million.

It was almost a year to the day when ENDF3DK LLC bought the former Bank Mutual property on Sept. 27, 2018 for $1,065,420.

The parcel was last assessed at $1,563,000.

A history check shows that corner property has been through some changes over the years.

The first sale at that location was in August 1997 when Boro Buzdum sold to Gerald Smith and Classic of West Bend for $389,200.

Johnny Vassallo then changed the ownership to NAHGEM LLC and that later sold to Bank Mutual in November 2005 for $750,000.

A spokeswoman for Landmark Credit Union, based in New Berlin, said the property is being remodeling.

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

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

Landmark Credit Union is currently located in the Kroger Pick ‘n Save stores in West Bend. A larger, standalone branch is located at 1400 Schauer Drive in Hartford.

Washington County Board votes 12 – 10 to defeat $11 POWTS fee

The Washington County Board took up the Private On-site Wastewater Treatment Systems (POWTS) issue during its Wednesday night meeting, October 9.

2019 Resolution 36 – Resolution Exercising the Powers Under §§145.20(4) and 66.0703, Wis. Stats., to Set Special Assessments for Costs Related to the Inspection and Pumping of Private On-site Wastewater Treatment Systems (POWTS) Required Under §145.20, Wis. Stats.

If you’re not familiar, the basic premise of the special tax would be to assess at $11 per parcel annually properties served by POWTS or $11 per system, whichever is greater based on the above cost estimate. Approximately 20,209 parcels (99.5%) would be assessed an $11 fee ($11 x 20,209= $222,299).

The vote on Wednesday was defeated 12-10 with four supervisors absent.

Voting in favor of the $11 fee were: Supervisors Roger Kist, CHris Jenkins, Mike Bassill, Denis Kelling, James Burg, John Bulawa, Rock Brandner, Brian Gallitz, Jeffrey Schleif and Carroll Merry. Voting against the fee were: Supervisors Chris Bossert, Frank Carr, Brian Krebs, Richard Bertram, William Symicek, Keith Stephan, Robert Hartwig, Marcella Bishop, Marilyn Merten, Russel Brandt, Timothy Michalak, and Don Kriefall.

Four supervisors absent were: Kris Deiss, Joseph Gonnering, Mark McCune, and Peter Sorce.

On a side note: the initial vote was 11-11 however Supervisor Bertram said he pressed the wrong button and was voting against the fee.

Questioned whether the proposal could be brought back for discussion, County Administrator Joshua Schoemann said “technically yes, but I don’t think it’s going to happen.”

During a public meeting on the county’s fiscal health on September 4, 2019, Schoemann said he would recommend to the board to “vote no” on the POWTS fee.

At that meeting Schoemann then went on to discuss the county’s structural deficit and the challenges caused by annual expenses outpacing property tax limits.

Updates & tidbits

The West Bend Water Utility will be performing bi-annual city-wide flushing of the water system the week of October 13, 2019. Opened fire hydrant later leak spray in residents open fire hydrants Flushing will begin the evening of Sunday, October 13, 2019, and conclude the morning of Friday, October 18, 2019. If you experience discolored water during this period, flush your cold-water line for approximately 10 minutes.

-The Germantown Historical Preservation Commission is presenting a Historic Designation Plaque to Frank and Irene Blau, W148 N12297 Pleasant View Drive. The presentation will be Sunday, October 13 at 2 p.m.

-The City of West Bend Public Works will begin the 2019 Leaf Collection on Monday, October 21, 2019. Citizens are reminded that leaves are to be placed into the street gutter area for collection.  Bags of leaves will not be collected

St. Frances Cabrini grad wins award

Timothy Fischer Jr. (TJ) of West Bend is in line for a “Life Saver” award from the Fond du Lac Police Department. Fischer is graduate of St. Frances Cabrini in 2008, Fischer went on to graduate St. Mary’s Spring Academy and Marion University.  He spent three years with the West Bend Police Department as a Community Service Officer and is currently a Fond du Lac Police officer since 2015.  On Oct. 29 the Fond du Lac Police Department will host its 23rd annual awards banquet and Fischer will receive an award for saving a man’s life while on duty.

Drug takeback in Washington / Ozaukee counties on Saturday, Oct. 26

The Washington Ozaukee Public Health Department and Washington County Sheriff’s Office in cooperation with the Wisconsin Department of Justice (DOJ) and the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), will participate in National Prescription Drug Take Back Day on Saturday, October 26 at the Washington County Highway Department, 900 Lang Street, in West Bend from 8 a.m. – 12 p.m.

Drug Take Back Day provides a safe, convenient, and responsible means of disposal, while also educating the community about the potential abuse and consequences of improper storage and disposal of these medications.

Unused or expired medicine should never be flushed or poured down the drain. Water reclamation facilities are not designed to remove all of them and trace amounts of pharmaceuticals are showing up in rivers and lakes.

GUIDELINES: All waste pharmaceuticals must be generated by a household – no businesses are allowed.

Bring: Prescription (controlled and non-controlled) and over-the-counter medications, ointments, patches, inhalers, non-aerosol sprays, creams, vials and pet medications.

Do Not Bring: Illegal drugs, needles/sharps, acids, aerosol cans, bio-hazardous materials (anything containing a bodily fluid or blood), personal care products (shampoo, soaps, lotions, sunscreens), household hazardous waste (paint, pesticides, oil, gas), mercury thermometers.

  • Participants may dispose of solid, non-liquid medication(s) by removing the medication from its container and disposing of it directly into a disposal box or into a clear sealable plastic bag. Plastic pill containers should not be collected
  • Liquids will be accepted during this initiative. However, the liquids, creams and sprays must be in their original packaging. Liquids without the original packaging will not be accepted.
  • Illicit substances such as marijuana or methamphetamine are not a part of this initiative and should not be placed in collection containers.

Russ Darrow Group ‘Thanks’ to office manager Patti Rossa for 47 years of dedication

The Russ Darrow Group paid tribute to office manager Patti Rossa who retired after nearly 47 years at the locally owned dealership.

Hired when she was 17 years old, Rossa said she interviewed and was hired right away. “There were a lot of older gentlemen who worked there but it was like family,” she said.  “By the time I was 18 I was an office manager. The car business just got in my blood.”

At that time, in 1972, the Russ Darrow dealership was located on S. Main Street. “My office was pretty close to where the drive-in window is at the McDonald’s,” said Rossa. “We were next to Schleif’s Gas Station, Weiland’s is still there, and Coachman House was down the street.”

Mike Darrow presided over the gathering which included nearly 100 of Rossa’s current and former coworkers.  “The turnout today is truly a testament to the person Patti is,” he said. “Many of you have heard me say over the years that a company is only as good as its people and with Patti, she has helped make these stores in West Bend and our company much better.”

Russ Darrow said he was impressed with the alumni who showed up to recognize Rossa. “I want to tell you how proud my wife Sue is and I am and Mike and our family of the loyalty we’ve had over the years,” he said.

Darrow then went onto read off a list of that have been with him for decades. Mike Darrow wrapped up the luncheon by presenting Patti and her husband with a trip to anywhere in the United States.

“I just would like to thank Russ Darrow and his family for giving me the support at my job; they’ve let me hire the people I wanted to hire and promote the people I wanted to promote. They were always there for me. I was invited to a lot of family things and I just love them all and what I really like is they’re just so personable, professional and they’re just good people,” said Rossa.

Around the Bend by Judy Steffes

Kettle Moraine Lutheran High School in Jackson hits record enrollment | By Megan Himm

Kettle Moraine Lutheran (KML) High School in Jackson started the 2019 – 2020 school year with record enrollment of 508 students. This is the first time the school has seen its student population surpass 500.

“We are thankful families and students who want the Christian education we provide are choosing KML as their high school,” Principal Jamie Luehring said.

Enrollment at KML has seen continuous growth over the past five years, with an increase of over 100 students since the 2014-2015 school year.

Luehring said students are coming from seven different counties as well as 14 different school districts. The majority of freshman come from KML federation grade schools, but there are some who transfer in from public schools.

To accommodate the increase in enrollment, more teachers have been added to the faculty to keep class sizes small. The student to teacher ratio is 13:1; most classes do not exceed the low 20s.

District administration was forward thinking as it looked to the next five years; in 2018 fundraising began for $4.7 million for a new science and innovation wing. That construction was completed in 2019.

The expansion includes classrooms, labs, and office space. Students appreciate the modern designs and new opportunities to learn. KML senior Grace Biermann said, “The science and innovation wing allows us to have a larger environment to study and learn about God’s creation and how it works.”

Looking to the future, KML Superintendent David Bartelt said more growth is expected.

“We are excited about our growing KML family,” he said.

Addison Elementary Principal Joel Dziedzic conquers the Grand Canyon

“It was a long day. Happy to be done.” That was the brief message from Addison Elementary School principal Joel Dziedzic who, along with his brother, spent their Friday running across the Grand Canyon.

“Just finished!  One of the toughest things we have ever done!!,” wrote Dziedzic.

The pair completed the 48-mile course in just under 15 hours.

Dziedzic story is below.

It was a chilly 38 degrees when we started our run at the top of the canyon.  By mid-day as we climbed the north rim and the whole way back, the heat took a toll on us. It was 96 degrees for several hours while we were out there.

The picture of us having lemonade is the famous lemonade at Phantom Ranch canteen.

Thank goodness we got there when we did, they closed right after we were left.

I would have been extreme sad to have missed that. The canteen is at the bottom of the canyon. It was delicious. We had three large glasses each

Dziedzic and his brother completed a run called the Rim 2 Rim 2 Rim in the Grand Canyon.

The unique aspect of crossing the Grand Canyon is that you first descend 9 miles, then run across the floor for 7 miles, before hitting the steepest part of the North Kaibab Trail where you’ll climb 7 miles up a 15% – 20% grade. Pacing yourself is the key to finishing R2R2R.

On a side note: Dziedzic had more photos but his phone was dead at the end of the day.

INITIAL STORY: Friday, Oct. 4. Addison Elementary Principal Joel Dziedzic has already been up for a couple hours this morning as he preps to take off on a run across the Grand Canyon.

“The run is called the Rim 2 Rim 2 Rim in the Grand Canyon and I’m doing it with my brother,” said Dziedzic.

The R2R2R is 47.5 miles. A couple notes about the course are posted below.

The unique aspect of crossing the Grand Canyon is that you first descend 9 miles, then run across the floor for 7 miles, before hitting the steepest part of the North Kaibab Trail where you’ll climb 7 miles up a 15% – 20% grade. Pacing yourself is the key to finishing R2R2R.

The views in the canyon as the sun kisses the walls change with every hour. Take your time to enjoy all that the Grand Canyon has to offer.

Make time to visit Ribbon Falls just off the North Kaibab Trail. Take a dip but don’t stay too long as you have a long day ahead of you. The falls are about a mile off the trail. Take the bridge exit off of the trail to get there.

The trail is about the width of 1/2 a fire road and is very technical with big exposed drop-offs. There are big steps (depending on your height), and the puddles of mule pee are widespread so watch you step and don’t face plant.

Watch the weather. During this trek, we were caught in a flash flood and experienced lightning, rockslides, and crossed 7 muddy, fast, rushing (new) streams.

Dziedzic runs daily and has been practicing for the huge climbs in Arizona by training at Little Switzerland ski hill in Slinger and running the Ice Age Trails at Pike Lake State Park and climbing the tower at Powder Hill.

“Weather looks to be gorgeous. Full sun and 90 at the Grand Canyon,” said Dziedzic. “I’m a little nervous that it will be REALLY warm at the bottom, but we’ll see.”

Dziedzic was meticulously packing this past week. Casting a glare in the photo is the reflective gear he’ll use on the trek along with water bottles, a headlamp, iPod and the always-hand Duct tape.

This past spring Dziedzic and his brother finished the Ice Age Trail 50K in the southern Kettle Moraine (La Grange).

“Not too many kids from school know I’m doing this yet,” said Dziedzic.  “I’m hoping to do a video for the teachers to play for the kids before the walk a thon on Friday, telling them what I’m doing and wish them well. They’re walking for an hour; at their age that might seem like eternity, now imagine running the entire school day… and beyond.”

Questioned whether he’s wary of some of the wildlife or snakes in the Grand Canyon, Dziedzic brushed that off for more serious issues.

“I’m sure there is plenty of wildlife out there, but I haven’t read any crazy stories about any encounters that have me nervous,” he said. “My biggest concerns are staying hydrated, having enough food and not being too affected by the elevation.”

“Many folks say once you do Rim 2 Rim 2 Rim you are never the same. Not totally sure what they mean by that, but I guess I’ll know more after the weekend,” Dziedzic said. “I can’t wait to enjoy the beauty of the Grand Canyon. I’ve never been there but have read and heard so much about its natural beauty and enormity.”

Kyle Knoeck receives Police Officer of the Year for City of Stoughton | By Tom Brugger

Kyle Knoeck, the son of Tom and Sheryl Brugger of West Bend, was awarded Police Officer of the Year for the City of Stoughton. Knoeck is a 2007 West Bend West graduate; he received his Bachelors Degree from the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh with a major in criminal justice.

Knoeck credits his mom, Sheryl, for much of his success. Knoeck’s father died when he was very young, and his widowed mother did an amazing job raising him and his two brothers. She had strong faith, love, and commitment in giving them the best childhood possible and preparing them for adulthood.

Kettle Moraine Lutheran Girls Golf advance to Sectionals | By Megan Himm

The sky was overcast and the course was wet, but the girls golf team from Kettle Moraine Lutheran (KML) High School pushed through.

Mere hours after storms passed through, Racine St. Catherine’s hosted the Division Two regional match at Ives Grove Golf Links. The girls played the white and red nines. Due to course conditions, special rules were enacted. The girls were allowed to mark, lift, clean and place their balls, as well as remove them from standing water.

The cloudy sky only let the sunshine through on a few occasions during the match. Temperatures stayed in the upper 50s with a slight breeze to keep it cool.

The KML girls struggled on the front nine but turned it around on the back.

Megan Himm shot a 55 and a 44 for a 99. Himm had a par on holes 11, 12, and 13. Abby Shambeau shot a 61 and a 57 for a 118. Maddie Lechmaier shot a 66 and a 62 for a 128. Kayla Samman shot a 69 and a 61 for a 130. Samman had a par on hole 12. Emmi Lechmaier shot a 73 and a 62 for a 135. Lechmaier had a par on hole 15. The team scored a total of 475.

The top four teams advanced to sectionals, as well as the top four individuals not on the advancing teams. Lakeside Lutheran finished first with a 410. They were closely followed by The Prairie School which shot a 413. Winneconne came next with a 417. KML finished up the list of advancing schools with 475.

The top four individuals advancing included Taylor Peterson from Clinton, Olivia Morality from Racine St. Catherines, and Kendall Peterson and Rebecca Schildgen from Turner.

Sectionals will take place October 7 at Ridgeway Country Club in Neenah.

About the author: Megan Himm is a senior at Kettle Moraine Lutheran High School. She is the captain of the golf team and a member of the forensics team. After high school, Megan plans on majoring in mathematics and science. To help prepare, she is currently taking AP Chemistry, Physics, and Calculus 3. Megan has been writing for WashingtonCountyInsider.com since November of 2018. Most of her stories are about activities Kettle students participate in, such as math meets, forensics meets, and golf matches.

Designs unveiled for new Towne Place Suites Marriott in downtown West Bend

Plans will be reviewed this week for a new 68-suite hotel and an office building to be located at the corner of E. Water Street and S. Forest Avenue in downtown West Bend.

The development is one of five items to be addressed by the West Bend Plan Commission on Tuesday, Oct. 1.

Initial hotel and office designs by Adam Hertel of American Architectural Group, are below.

The parcel for the development is the former Gehl Co. property across the street from the new West Bend Medical and kitty corner to Culaccino Bar + Italian Kitchen. The site is south of the Museum of Wisconsin Art and to the east of the Eisenbahn State trail. West Bend Transit is across the street on S. Forest Avenue to the east.

The 3-story hotel, Towne Place Suites Marriott, will be 15,244-square feet; it will feature a pool and include a pair of driveways off S. Forest Avenue and the other on E. Water Street. There will be 153 standard parking and 8 barrier-free parking stalls.

One of the entrances off S. Water Street will lead to a parking lot which will be in the middle of the entrance to the hotel and, to the west, will be the entrance to the Water Street Office Building.

The Water Street Office Building will be a single-story structure and it will share the parking lot with the hotel.

Both developments are being proposed by Paul Stangl, RAFRAD, LLC, of Germantown.

Tuesday’s Plan Commission meeting starts at 6 p.m. in the council chambers at West Bend City Hall, 1115 S. Main Street.

On a side note: The proposed hotel and office building are on the front end (Water Street) of the former Gehl Company lot. On the back end is a proposed active senior living complex. That facility will be 5-to-6 stories and is being proposed by RNT Development of Minnesota.

Horicon Bank in West Bend makes strong donation to Stars & Stripes Honor Flight

In September, Horicon Bank on Paradise Drive in West Bend hosted its annual SHRED Day. While the event was free any donations collected would go to the Stars & Stripes Honor Flight.

This week Horicon Bank presented a check for $4,000 to the Honor Flight. The ceremony was attended by several local veterans including John Fink, Tom Landvatter and Nick Habersetzer. Amy Luft from the Honor Flight accepted the donation.

“This is such a great partnership we have with Horicon Bank,” said Luft.

Brenda Hetebrueg, branch manager at Horicon Bank, said this year the community really stepped forward to help support the veterans. “We were able to present a check in 2018 to the Honor Flight for $2,000 and this year we’re donating $4,000,” said Hetebrueg. “Horicon Bank also contributed to make it the $4,000 and the bank picked up the cost to have the shredding machine on site September 14.”

“It was just remarkable that day and just amazing to see everyone come together that day and make such phenomenal donations,” she said. Also special, according to Hetebrueg, was how the public interacted with the veterans on site and showed them such warmth and appreciation.

Ribbon cutting to celebrate expansion at Hartford Municipal Airport

A celebration this week for the City of Hartford as a ribbon cutting was held to officially recognize the completion of the runway expansion at Hartford Municipal Airport.

“Our city planner Justin Drew, city engineer Jason Shaw and last but least Daryl Kranz, head of Department of Public Works and Airport Manager. For people who do not know, Daryl, he has been like an expectant father the last three years,” said City Administrator Steve Volkert.

“Daryl would often encourage us to take tours of every step forward made with this airport project.

“This is definitely one of the things Daryl can highlight as a big accomplishment as part of his career in the City of Hartford.”

The $7.5 million renovation features a renovated runway which now runs directly west and east vs. the previous northwest to southeast direction while adding 400 linear feet to the previous 3,000-foot runway.

This will allow for easier takeoffs and landings for the many planes housed at the airport along with those coming into Hartford for business and leisure.

City officials in Hartford started planning a runway renovation in 2005; the proposal finally got through state and federal political hoops and the project got underway in early 2018. It was substantially completed last month.

Of the estimated final $7.5 million cost, 90 percent was picked up by the Federal Aviation Administration, 5 percent by the state and the final 5 percent by Hartford Municipal Airport. Room tax dollars were used to offset the $375,000 portion of the cost to the City of Hartford.

Weasler in West Bend makes generous donation to Trot for Troops

Over $14,500 was donated by Weasler in West Bend to Trot for Troops.

The donation was made up of monies raised from the annual Weasler Golf Outing held in July and coordinated by Dennis Zolp, a company match and additional donations. There were 76 golfers that took part in the 18-hole event.

In the last year Trot for Troops has donated over $20,000 to support local organizations that help veterans and currently serving military members in the state of Wisconsin.

Morrie’s West Bend Honda on track for Nov. 1 opening

Construction is on track for the November 1, 2019 opening of new Morrie’s West Bend Honda, 3215 W. Washington Street.

Contractors have been making significant progress and motorists on Highway 33 at Scenic Drive have recently seen signage on the facade, landscaping along with the Honda emblem put in place.

Coming up will be the completion of the interior (we’ll see if we can get a sneak peek inside) and lighting and blacktop will be put in place before the end of October.

Opening date announced for new Billy Sims BBQ in West Bend

The new Billy Sims BBQ restaurant has announced an official opening date for its store in the Washington Plaza, 1442 W. Washington Street, in West Bend.

Below you can see the build out is nearly complete. According to franchise owners, Billy Sims will be coming to West Bend to participate in a couple grand opening events.

According to Billy Sims marketing director Tena Wooldridge, the store in West Bend will open in mid-November. Wooldridge said there have been some contractor delays and an initial mid-October opening has now been pushed off a couple weeks.

Thursday, November 14- Billy Sims to arrive in West Bend, WI

Friday, November 15- Possible school event Friday afternoon, Friday evening 5 p.m. – 7 p.m. dinner rush with Billy (autographs and giveaways)

Saturday, November 16 – 11 a.m. – 1 p.m. Lunch, 5 p.m. – 7 p.m. dinner with Billy (autographs and giveaways)

Clay Covert of Slinger is the one behind the opening of the Billy Sims Barbecue in the Washington Plaza, 1442 W. Washington Street. It’s the strip mall on the north side of the road that includes Little Caesar’s Pizza, Subway, and China Town.

Skeletons on tap this Halloween on Hwy 167 in Richfield

Jimmy Zamzow’s annual Halloween display on Highway 167 in Richfield looks like it was a rip roarin’ good time for many of those in attendance.

Each year Zamzow creates a theme display, using an array of skeletons. This year’s creation is extremely familiar to anyone in the Midwest. The party scene is complete with a friendly game of pool, a night with friends in the hot tub, a couple pitchers with friends, and there’s even a well-documented instance of someone who have had one too many.

1940s Homecoming meant a search for the toothpick

As high schools across Washington County are in the midst of homecoming celebrations, some old timers in West Bend recall the mischief that happened back in their day.

There was the usual float building, selecting the Homecoming Court and in West Bend there was the epic search for the toothpick. The winner would be awarded the chance to light the bonfire.

The article below was published in 2008 in Around the Bend by Judy Steffes

According to Carl Kircher, who graduated in 1945, homecoming was highlighted by “a student search for the toothpick.”

“It was a little stick, like a Tinkertoy, about six inches long, decorated red and white. One of the school janitors would run out and hide it on the football field,” said Kircher referencing Harvey Bruhy Field, behind Badger Middle School, the former location of West Bend High School.

“The janitor would hide the toothpick and then around 10 o’clock in the morning all the students would run out and look for it.”

Kircher said the search would take about 15 minutes. Newspaper archives show Willis Jacklin found the toothpick in 1942 and John Neuy in 1945.

The prize for finding the toothpick would be to light the bonfire.

“We’d have a big bonfire in the middle of the field about a week before homecoming and the big thrill was to see how many outhouses, we could get stacked up on it,” said Kircher recalling one year when students collected 13 outhouses.

People living on Big Cedar Lake were often the primary targets of outhouse theft. “Oh yah, they had them all over the place out there and the kids would go at night, bring them in and throw them on the pile,” laughed Kircher.

James Kuehn, who graduated in 1950, said farmers would keep watch at night over their outhouses. “They had to, or they wouldn’t have a place to go in the morning,” said Kuehn.

“Sure, they stole them, there was always an outhouse on the top of the pile, and nobody got in trouble,” he said.

The big football rivals in West Bend were Hartford, Berlin, and Waupun; that’s when the West Bend Badgers played in the Little Ten Conference. Football coaches at the time included Bob Caldwell, Carl Kuss, and Jack Runkle.

Fire Prevention Week Activities in Washington County | By Ron Naab

Fire Prevention Week begins tonight, Friday, October 4 as the Richfield Fire Company 26th Annual Fire Prevention Week Kick-Off starts at 6:30 until 9 pm.

There will be a huge display of fire trucks and emergency equipment along with a landing of the Flight for Life Ambulance Helicopter at 7:45 p.m.

This will be followed by the other departments in the county hosting activities throughout the week.

Listed below are Fire Prevention Week activities at Fire Departments across Washington County:

Allenton Vol. Fire Department and St. Lawrence Fire Company​ Pancake Breakfast & Open House on Sunday, October 13, 8:00-12 noon at the Allenton Fire Station; ​ Accident response with Flight for Life landing at 10 am

Boltonville Fire Department​Open House at Boltonville Fire Station on Monday, October 7, 6:00-8:00 pm

Fillmore Fire Department​Open House on Saturday, October 12, 1:00-3:00 pm

Hartford Fire-Rescue​Open House along with Hartford Autumn Fest, Fire Station on Saturday, October 5, 2018, 10 am – 1 pm, in conjunction with Hartford Fall Fest

Jackson Fire Department​Open House at the Jackson Fire Station on Wednesday, October 9 from 6 pm-8 pm

Kewaskum Fire Department​Open House at the Kewaskum Fire Station on Thursday, October 10, 6:30-8:30 pm

Kohlsville Fire Department​Open House at their station on Thursday, October 10  6:00-8:00 pm

Slinger Fire Department​Open House at the Slinger Fire Station on Tuesday, October 8, 6:00-8:00 pm

West Bend Fire Department​Open House at Station #1 on Saturday, October 12, 10:00 am – 1:00 pm

History of Fire Prevention Week

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

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

This horrific conflagration killed more than 250 people, left 100,000 homeless, destroyed more than 17,400 structures, and burned more than 2,000 acres of land.

However, the same day in the same year a more devastating fire occurred here in Wisconsin in the Peshtigo area.

The fire destroyed 1.2 million acres and estimated 2,500 people perished.  The total area burned was twice the size of Rhode Island.

At the same time these two fires occurred, there was the Great Michigan Fire.  It is thought that these three fires occurred because of extremely dry weather conditions combined with strong winds over the entire Midwest. Both fires started on October 8 and intensified on October 9.

The “firestorm” that could generate 2,000 degrees Fahrenheit with winds of 110 plus miles per hour, at times the firestorm would create its own tornadoes ranging 1,000 to 10,000 feet in diameter.

The Peshtigo fire came to a halt when it reached the shores of Lake Michigan.

It is the intent that during Fire Prevention Week to educate children and adults of all ages on being safe in case of a fire.  Across the nation firefighters will attempt to decrease casualties caused by fire through a weeklong education opportunities.

The teaching theme for this year’s Fire Prevention Week is: Not Every Hero Wears a Cape. Plan and Practice Your Escape!™   Be aware of your surroundings because fire can happen anywhere.

Look for places fire could start around your home, your workplace and the places you have fun at.  Listen for the sound of the smoke alarm.

Test your smoke detectors, if they are 10 years old replace them.  Plan two escapes from each room and from the house. Do a drill so all know what to do and where to go.

SOURCES:  Wikipedia and Stacy Conradt contributing writer to mental floss since 2008.

Around the Bend by Judy Steffes

A note of thanks to West Bend crossing guard Chucky Fellenz

A note of thanks to longtime, dedicated crossing guard Chucky Fellenz for his 10 years of service as he helped kids cross safely at the busiest corner in Washington County.

For years Fellenz has been a fixture on the corner of Decorah and Main Street in West Bend. He worked two shifts daily during the school year and crossed about 200 kids a day.

“Every day was the best,” said Fellenz. “I loved my corner; there was no sitting in the car reading papers. I had hundreds of kids a day and they come really fast. I never had a kid get hit.”

Aside from his dedication and concern for the safety of the children, Fellenz had a penchant for some unique attire. One would have thought the 79-year-old had been dreaming about wintering in Florida as he showed up to work year-round almost always wearing shorts. Even in the winter.

Below is a story from March 2016 when Washington County got socked with a late-season snowstorm and Chucky Fellenz dashed out of the house to go to work.

The robins are flitting around the late winter white saying, “What are this?” The hearty purple crocus are pushing their faces through the heavy blanket of ice and Chucky Fellenz wife shakes her head as her little boy leaves the house in a fluorescent lime green jacket, hat and shorts.

“I put my pants away three weeks ago,” said Fellenz with confidence. “I just had a lady roll down her window and yell at me. I hollered back ‘I’m not cold.’”

Fellenz has been working the corner of Decorah and Main as a crossing guard in West Bend about a dozen years and he’s not gonna let Mother Nature tell him what for.

On Wednesday afternoon school kids ducked their heads as they braced against the pelting rain. Traffic moved slowly as windshield wipers pushed away the heavy, damp snow and Fellenz knew enough to stay 2-feet back from the curb.

“These cars come along and they hit that puddle and the water carries up over in a good slosh,” he said. White chicken legs exposed to the elements, Fellenz gives a sharp blow to his whistle, lifts his stop sign and safely crosses students to the opposite side of Main Street.

He dances back up on the sidewalk, his white tennis shoes soaked. He’s a poster boy for every mother’s winter-wardrobe nightmare. “My wife bought me a pair of heated gloves,” he said. “I got them on low. Put your hand in here. “My ears may get a little cold, but the rest of me is just fine.”

Thank you Chucky Fellenz for all your years of service and keeping children safe in West Bend.

Demolition of home on River Drive in Barton

A two-story brick home that once served as the rectory to St. Mary’s Parish in Barton was razed Friday afternoon. The home, 317 River Drive, was originally constructed in 1860. Neighbors said the pink sand brick is a pretty rare commodity.

The parish, which was once located on the corner of Barton Avenue and River Road, eventually sold and a new church built in 1909 where St. Mary’s currently stands, 406 Jefferson Street.

The old rectory eventually became a private home owned by David Binney. He lived out of town and neighbors in Barton started to complain when the home fell into disrepair. There were obvious holes in the roof; plastic tarps were held down by long boards nailed to the roof.

Local real estate agents said there was extensive mold and water damage inside the home and neighbors often complained about a fence in the yard that had fallen down and there was a sense the property was vacant and unkempt.

Contractors said the building was originally very structurally sound. “Whenever you have an abutted structure you want to pull the building into the middle and that’s what we’re trying to do,” said the contractor.

The city ordered the building be razed. The cost of the demolition is now expected to be forwarded to the property owner.

Celebrating Constitution Day in West Bend

“I’m handing out copies of The Constitution so people can understand how the country was founded and the rights we have,” said Del Ellefson, a veteran from West Bend.

Ellefson was armed with two red bags filled with softcover books containing The Constitution of the United States and The Declaration of Independence.  Ellefson stood on the corner of Decorah and River Road distributing the copies to students walking to school on Tuesday.

This is U.S. Constitution Day. The day commemorates the Sept. 17, 1787 signing of The Constitution of the United States.

In 2004, Public Law 108-447, Section 111 was passed requiring the following:

“Each educational institution that receives Federal funds for a fiscal year shall hold an educational program on the United States Constitution on September 17 of such year for the students served by the educational institution.

“…each Federal agency or department shall provide educational and training materials concerning the United States Constitution to each employee… on September 17 of each year.”

Ellefson said he found importance in The Constitution for several reasons. “Being a military veteran, I think it’s pretty nice to be able to have a Constitution, which we fought for, and we’d like to maintain that for the rest of duration for our country,” he said.

Remember School House Rock and the song that helped grade school kids learn The Preamble to The Constitution? Many students who received a copy were unaware of U.S. Constitution Day.

Asked what they knew about The Constitution a 15-year-old responded, “That’s where they signed The Bill of Rights” and another 14-year-old said, “It’s from America.”

Ellefson was joined by several other local veterans in his distribution effort.

West Bend Park & Rec activities not affected by staffing changes

Registration for fall activities is underway at the West Bend Park & Rec Department. Courses include things like youth flag football, archery, little hitters baseball, judo, fall soccer and instructional football.

City Administrator Jay Shambeau said all program registrations are on schedule and moving forward as normal.

The City did receive notice from Park and Rec supervisor Nick Lemke that he was resigning his position. Lemke is moving to Green Bay; his last day will be Friday, September 20.

“When Nick shared with me, he was moving on from his recreation position we discussed the fall activities and quickly came to the decision we were keeping all fall programming in place as planned,” Shambeau said.

Earlier this summer in July the City received notice from Park & Rec director Craig Hoeppner that he was leaving for a similar position in Oconomowoc. Currently the department is being overseen in the interim by Shambeau.

Possible increase in water and sewer rates in the City of West Bend

There will be a meeting of the West Bend Board of Public Works on Monday, September 23, 2019 at 6:25 p.m. and discussion will center around a 2-year audit. City leaders say the findings from that audit may lead to a proposed 3-to-9 percent increase in city water and sewer service.

According to City Administrator Jay Shambeau “water is a proposed 3-percent increase and sewer service is possibly a 9-percent increase.”

Records show the City of West Bend has not had an increase in the water rate since 2011. The sewer rate has not increased in the City of West Bend since 2006.

Shambeau said the City isn’t looking at an increase “just because it hasn’t been done in a while.”

“The reason to raise the utility fees is to keep up with the infrastructure that’s needed,” he said. “We have an aging facility and we have a lot of water and sewer lines under our city streets that need to be upgraded. The audit looks at all of those scheduled capital improvement projects and then we, as staff and the mayor, have been reviewing those projects and the impact of the cost.”

The Public Works Department will make the original audit presentation and then the council will react and possibly ask for more information.

Shambeau said there are a number of steps to take before the council votes on a proposal. He said the earliest increase may possibly be by January 2020. “We’re been working on this diligently for a while,” said Shambeau.

West Bend Utility Director Ruth Mueller said she would prefer to comment on the proposed increase closer to the meeting, after more data becomes available.

The Board of Public Works meeting is held in the council chambers at City Hall. All meetings are open to the public.

On a side note: The City of West Bend water and sewer discussion has nothing to do with the recent Private On-Site Wastewater Treatment System Maintenance Program (POWTS) issue discussed by the Washington County Board.

Washington County Administrator Joshua Schoemann has asked that the proposed $11 POWTS fee be turned down. The full County Board will vote on the issue at its October 9 meeting. The POWTS issue was supposed to be discussed at the full county board meeting on Sept. 11, however it was removed from the agenda.

Zuern Building Products purchases 6-acre property in Slinger | By Adam Williquette

On Thursday, September 19, East Mequon Development Corporation sold the building located at 820 Enterprise Drive in the Village of Slinger, WI.

This is the former location of Legendary Whitetails. The industrial property is 69,063 square feet and located on six acres. The buyer, Gen3 Distribution, LLC, a holding company for the third-generation owners of Zuern Building Products, purchased the property for $3,111,870.

Zuern Building Products plans to use the building for their corporate headquarters and distribution center. They also have locations In Allenton, Watertown, Cedarburg and Franklin.

Adam Williquette, President of American Commercial Real Estate, represented the seller and worked with the buyer on the transaction.

“I had been working with Zuern Building Products for about two years to find a new location in the area and happened to list this building. It worked perfectly for their expansion needs,” said Williquette.

Winner of Classics for a Cause

Mike Pyter of Whitefish Bay was the winner of the 1968 Corvette Sting Ray during the 2nd annual Classics for a Cause fundraiser with tickets sold by the Senior Citizens Activities Center.

In 2018 tickets for the fundraiser were $25 compared to $20 a ticket this year. In 2018 there were 3,420 tickets sold and this year about 4,300 tickets were sold.

New sign posted for Morrie’s West Bend Honda

Earlier this week it was noted the Fleet Farm made progress on construction by putting up the sign on the side of the building. Just east of that location on Highway 33 the project at the new Morrie’s West Bend Honda also had signage installed on the facade.

Morrie’s West Bend Honda has a target opening this November.

In the coming week the dealership is hosting a hiring event on September 23. Morrie’s WB Honda will be holding interviews for the following positions: Sales Consultant/Client Advisor – Full-time, Service Advisor – Full-time, Parts Counter Person – Full-time, Service Technician – Full-time, Service Advisors – Full-time, Detailers – Full-time, Sales Manager – Full-time

Signs in place at new Fleet Farm on Highway 33 in West Bend

The signage is on the building at the new Fleet Farm location on Highway 33 in West Bend.

In August the U.S. flag was raised outside the 192,000-square-foot store which is scheduled to open November 22.

In April 2019 the West Bend Plan Commission reviewed a signage request from Fleet Farm as it asked for an oversized electronic message center and a reduced sign separation distance to allow the sign to be closer than 150 feet from a major intersection.

75th annual reunion for West Bend High School Class of 1944

The West Bend High School Class of 1944 held its 75th class reunion on Wednesday, September 18 in the newly remodeled Top of the Ridge Restaurant in West Bend.

There were five classmates in attendance including: Katharine Hassmer Lutzke, Hedwig Bieri Gumm, Eileen Barber Ecker, Darold Hoelz, and Ollie “Bud”Lochen.

The average age at the table was 93 years old.

The tight-knit group has grown smaller over the years but despite age and physical ability the “Badger alumni” look forward to the get together to exchange stories and recollections.

Bud Lochen and his wife drive in from Wausau, Katharine Lutzke comes in from Menomonee Falls and the rest live in West Bend or “Upper West Bend” as Darold Hoelz refers to his nest on the hill in Barton.

Some of the hot topics of discussion included everything from high school jobs, first cars, politics, Packers and updates in technology. Below are tidbits from some of the conversations….

High school jobs: “I used to work at the Rockfield Canning Company in Jackson,” said Hedwig Bieri Gumm. “We canned whatever was available including beans, peas and beets. I did whatever they assigned me to do; you didn’t have a choice.” Hedwig was paid about 30 cents an hour.

“I remember one guy in the canning business who worked daylight ‘til dark,” said Darold Hoelz. “One guy took home a check for $60 and he worked day and night. Not like it is now.”

“I worked in the farm fields,” said Hoelz. “Pulling weeds out of red beets. Got a nickel a row and I think my dad would bring me lunch and the lunch cost more than I made in a day. All the farmers would hire the kids and the farmer would come out at the end of the day with his tackle box and his pennies, nickels, and dimes and pay the kids.”

“At 14 we were able to get a work permit,” said Hoelz. “I don’t know where we got it but, in the summer, everyone worked for the canning company. Women, all the neighbors; they’d sit at those big belts and the peas would come along with those big thistles in them and they’d pick them out.”

“My first job was working for the West Bend Telephone Company,” said Katharine Hassmer Lutzke. “It was upstairs from the bank in downtown West Bend. (possibly above where Sager’s is now.) “My boss was a typical old maid. One day I was sick and I wanted to go home and she said I had to still work but I told her I didn’t feel good and I just wanted to lay down and go to bed and she went to her purse and got out a pill and she said it would help. I didn’t want to take that pill, but she said I should take it and keep working.”

Telephones: “We had a party line,” said Eileen Barber Ecker. “There were four, five or six on the line. It all changes too rapidly.”

“I built my house in 1956 and I still got the telephone on the wall; dial phone and it works,” said Hoelz. “The party line… there was always someone who would listen in and you knew who it was. You could tell them to get off the line but that didn’t mean they did it.”

“When you called it was two rings short and then long and when you were done with your conversation you would give it a real short ring and that would signal you were off the line,” Hoelz said. “It cost 35 cents for three minutes to call Milwaukee.”

“I still have a land line and it hangs on the wall by the kitchen counter,” said Eileen Ecker. “It’s a push-button phone but it doesn’t have the giant cord.”

School: “When I went to school if a note came home, I’d get it twice as bad at home but now they blame the teacher and the teachers can’t touch the kids. My daughter taught first grade and the kids need a hug and you can’t touch the kids,” said Darold Hoelz.

First car: “A 1933 Studebaker touring car,” said Hoelz. “I’m a paid author to Reminisce Magazine for that. And every girl that rode in it from high school we painted her name on the side of the car. We drove that for two years once in a while we’d drive up to school.”

“Gas rationing; the folks had an oil heater in the basement, and I took one-part fuel oil and three parts gasoline, and it would smoke a little bit, but it ran,” said Hoelz.

History and politics: “Franklin Delano Roosevelt was president when we were in high school; He served 12 years and was in for four terms.”

“The big national news at the time was World War II,” said Hoelz. “We built model airplanes in shop class for recognition. They’d take them and give them to the Air Force and Navy, and they’d hang them up from the ceiling. The models were painted black like silhouettes and they would use that for recognition for fighter pilot training. You’d go down during your free period in school and work in the shop; they’d give you plans and then they’d give you a little certificate like you were a commander in the Navy because you made so many models.”

“Remember Billy Jakels and he delivered newspapers in West Bend and on December 7 he said, ‘I never delivered so many newspapers in my life,'” said Hoelz.

“The class before us had several fatalities from those who went into the service,” said Hoelz. “I don’t think our class lost any. There were about four or five of them killed in the war. That was the time of the big pushes.”

“Henry Gumm was a year ahead of us. Our American Legion Post in Jackson is named after him; S/Sgt. Henry F. Gumm Post 486. He was a tremendous athlete,” said Hoelz.

“I enlisted in the military when I was 17,” said Hoelz. “I didn’t want to get drafted, so I went into the Navy.”

Shops and saloons: “Sam Sutherlands had ice cream and a lot of kids went there,” said Eileen Barber Ecker. “It was kind of in the middle of Main Street.” +

“The Mutual Mall used to be Larson’s Furniture,” said Hoelz.

“I miss Boston Store,” said Eileen Ecker. “Penny’s used to be downtown and they had the old cables and you’d send your money up to the second floor in that box.”

“When I was a kid it was $1 a call to see a doctor and that included medicine,” said Hoelz. “When I had my tonsils taken out on the kitchen table the doctor came to the house. The local schoolteacher always roomed with us and we’d walk a mile together to school. One day the doctor came, and I figured something was up, so I locked myself in the bathroom. This Miss Lawrence was our border the teacher and I wouldn’t open the door and she said, ‘Darold you can trust me.’ The minute I opened that door a crack she had her foot in it and then they laid me out on the table and put the mask over my face and now the doctor tells me they came within this much of cutting my vocal cords. It was surely an adventure. It was Dr. Schloemer from Menomonee Falls. A buck a call, no appointment, you went in and sat down just like at the barber shop, waited your turn and the dollar covered your medicine.”

“I lived on the third floor above The Dugout and the tavern had two doors, one right next to the other. The right-hand door went into a room with the tables that was for the women. The left-hand door was the bar room and that was for the men,” said Hoelz. “Women should learn to keep their place in a tavern just like our church men sat on one side and women on the other. We had one German service and one English service. Now it’s Our Saviors UCC in Germantown.”

“Went to the Packer games on Sunday at State Fair Park for $1 and we sat in the bleachers,” Hoelz said. “That was during the Curly Lambeau era. Sunday afternoon you’d ask the fellas what do you want to do? Let’s go down to Milwaukee and go to the Packer game. On the northeast side of Milwaukee, the Brewers played at Borchert Field.”

During the 2017 reunion Marion Otto Ward, 90, remembered teacher Mike Hildebrand who taught citizenship and social studies.

“He’d come over and tap on the desk with his long ruler and he’d say, “Mildred … why aren’t you paying attention?” And I sat there, and he tapped again and said, “Why aren’t you paying attention – what’s wrong with you?” And I said Mildred was my sister and she graduated four years ago; my name is Marion. I’m surprised he didn’t throw me out the window.”

Around the Bend by Judy Steffes

Washington Co. Supervisors vote a final time on elected County Executive 

With two Washington County Supervisors absent, (Roger Kist and Brian Gallitz) the County Board voted for a second time on a resolution to change the form of government to an elected county executive, rather than an appointed county administrator.

It was June 12, 2019 when the Washington County Board voted 13-13 on a resolution to create a county executive position.  A tie vote resulted in failure of the motion.

Electronic vote above from June 12, 2019 meeting 13-13 tie.

Two short weeks later, the issue was brought back for review. On Friday, June 28 Supervisors Chris Jenkins, Russ Brandt and William Symicek requested a county executive resolution be placed on the July 10 county board meeting for reconsideration.

During the Wednesday, Sept. 11 meeting the County Board voted 13 – 11 to approve creating an office of County Executive of Washington County.

This means in April 2020 there will be a race for the seat for Washington County Executive. So far county administrator Joshua Schoemann has not indicated if he will run for the post. He said he’s going to take a couple days and then make a statement on his decision.

A quick look at some of the change in vote since June:

District 1 Supervisor Kristine Deiss changed her vote from an initial ‘nay’ on June 12 to a ‘aye’ on Sept. 11.

District 4 Supervisor Chris Jenkins, who requested the issue be brought back for review, voted ‘nay’ twice on the issue.

District 10 Supervisor William Symicek, who also requested the issue be brought back for review, voted ‘aye’ twice.

District 16 Supervisor Russel Brandt, who also requested the issue be brought back, changed his vote from a June 12 ‘nay’ to a ‘aye’ on Sept. 11.

District 22 Supervisor Rock Brandner changed his vote from a June 12 ‘aya’ to a Sept. 11 ‘nay.’

Moving forward:

A couple notes as the process moves forward:

Supervisor Jenkins – “I brought it back and then voted against it a second time because it still deserved time to do the research and get feedback but for me, I feel our electorate voting has pretty limited knowledge on county government. To me now laying this task on the people in the county to have this very important vote, honestly it scares me a bit. So now that it’s past there’s going to have to be a lot of education on what sort of role (county executive) this is. I also feel the difference in position is we will now be tasking the operations of the county to someone who wins a popularity contest. There’s a role for that in democracy but I hope we find a balance. Finally, I thought it was brought up initially because we lacked leadership. I love Joshua Schoemann (current county administrator) and if he decides to run that will be great but I worry about the monster we just created has just opened the position to anyone who wants to run. Education of the electorate is going to need to be done.”

Voting in favor of now changing the county administrator position to an elected county executive position means the county just violated the terms of Joshua Schoemann’s contract. It means the county will have to pay him $130,000 because of a violation of the original terms of agreement.

Schoemann has been on tour the past year and a half talking about the dire situation of the county’s fiscal health. He’s often compared it to “falling off a financial cliff.”

A question was posted to supervisors about how they could vote to spend $130,000 in taxpayer money in this fashion.

Supervisor Jenkins – “I don’t know. I didn’t vote for it.”

Supervisor Kristine Deiss – “That is a legal binding contract. But what would happen down the road? I don’t think you can equate changing this form of government into the dollar and cents because the supervisors knew that was going to be a cost but I don’t equate that to the decision that had to be made because the decision affects our future and how this county will be run and that’s the bigger picture… as far as I’m concerned.”

Supervisor Peter Sorce – “It’s all Communism. I asked one question, let’s bring in some guys from Milwaukee and let’s talk to them and they told me to go screw myself. That’s the kind of a board we have.”

On a side note: The County Board did not take up the POWTS issue. It was removed from the agenda as the county executive vote was expected to take up a majority of the meeting. The POWTS issue is slated now to be voted on at the October 2019 meeting. Early indications are it is being recommended to vote it down.

Fund for Lake Michigan awards grant to the City of West Bend for Downtown Riverwalk improvements 

Opening of the newly renovated Riverwalk on the east bank of the Milwaukee River in downtown West Bend has fueled excitement over plans to reconstruct the Riverwalk on the opposite bank of the river.

The concept plan for the west bank Downtown Riverwalk was unveiled last month. Improvements include areas for the public to sit and relax along the river, an accessible fishing deck, a kayak launch, and a new bike/pedestrian path under the Washington Street bridge that will link the Riverwalk trail in downtown West Bend to the existing trail north of Washington Street.

“The City of West Bend is grateful to the Fund for Lake Michigan for this design award. Our community prides itself on both quality of life and a strong downtown business district, so there is widespread support and anticipation for the west bank reconstruction,” said West Bend Mayor Sadownikow.

As part of the design, the engineering firm Short Elliott Hendrickson (SEH) Inc. is investigating ways to address water quality issues posed by stormwater runoff from nearby streets, roofs, and parking lots that flows directly into the Milwaukee River.

The design will include green infrastructure to capture and treat runoff in the immediate area of the Riverwalk area. SEH is also exploring the possibility of incorporating stormwater treatment for runoff that flows into the project area from outside of the Riverwalk.

The Fund for Lake Michigan has generously awarded a $100,000 grant to the city to help pay for project design and engineering.

Fund for Lake Michigan Executive Director Vicki Elkin said, “The West Bend project is an opportunity to achieve long-term measurable improvements in water quality while supporting the City’s recreational and economic goals. We are excited to fund it and to see more and more municipalities address their development needs in a way that promotes a sustainable Lake Michigan.”

Designating State Hwy 28 as Wisconsin 9/11 Memorial Highway

On Wednesday, September 11 state Senator Duey Stroebel (R-Cedarburg) and Representative Tim Ramthun (R- Campbellsport) along with leaders from Washington County gathered in the Senate Parlor in the State Capitol to introduce legislation to honor 9/11 victims and designate a portion of State Highway 28 as the Wisconsin 9/11 Memorial Highway.

Seventeen veterans from Washington County on September 28 Honor Flight

There are 17 veterans from Washington County participating in the 54th Stars and Stripes Honor Flight’s (SSHF) that will take off Saturday, September 28.

One of the oldest veterans will be 92-year-old Richard Mihalek of Germantown who enlisted into the Navy in 1945 when he was 17 years old.

Other local veterans on the flight include: Vietnam Army Kenneth Zimmerman Hartford, Vietnam Marines Thomas Kilcourse Hartford, Vietnam Army Dennis Marthaler Hartford, Vietnam Air Force Daniel Maciejewski Hubertus, Korea Army Clifford Conaway Jackson, Vietnam Army Harry Krueger Kewaskum, Vietnam Marines William Richter Slinger, Vietnam Navy Ronald Buechler West Bend, Vietnam Navy Leonard McGinnis Jr. West Bend, Vietnam, Army Paul Fellenz West Bend, Vietnam Army Ronald Hausner West Bend, Vietnam Army James Wollner West Bend, Vietnam Army Roger Kaschner West Bend, Vietnam Navy Bruce Post West Bend, Vietnam Army Michael Reseburg West Bend, Vietnam Army Adrian Krueger West Bend

Two Allegiant Airlines A320 aircraft will leave Milwaukee’s Mitchell Airport at approximately 7:00 a.m. on flight day, bound for Baltimore Washington International Airport with 171 local veterans (and their guardians) ready to experience a full day of honor and thanks.

On that day, Stars and Stripes Honor Flight will welcome 9 WWII veterans, 13 Korean War veterans, and 149 veterans of the Vietnam War.

Southeastern Wisconsin veterans who will be taking their Honor Flight on September 28 have a wide variety of service histories, including service as Vietnam War paratroopers, helicopter pilots, reconnaissance Marines, tank gunners and artillery soldiers.

After the planes land in Baltimore on flight day, the veterans will board coach buses to tour Washington DC’s WWII Memorial, the Korean War Memorial, the Air Force Memorial, the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall, and more. The day will also include viewing the Changing of the Guard at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at Arlington National Cemetery.  A DC Park Police escort will ensure that the veterans do not spend time stuck in traffic.

Be sure to come to SHRED Day at Horicon Bank in West Bend on Saturday, Sept. 14 for ‘After the Honor Flight’ and meet local veterans who have been on the flight and those prepping to take part on September 28. The free event runs 10 a.m. – 12 noon.

“We are so honored to welcome another 171 local heroes to their Stars and Stripes Honor Flight,” said Paula Nelson, president of Stars and Stripes Honor Flight. “Our veterans will join us from all over southeastern Wisconsin for this trip of a lifetime. So many of our oldest veterans came home many years ago without a true homecoming. We look forward to welcoming them home the way they should have been welcomed home decades ago. We are so grateful to our volunteers and our community for their support of our veterans and our mission.”

Prior to the September 28 flight, Stars and Stripes Honor Flight has flown 7,018 local veterans on these trips to Washington, DC since 2008, and has honored more than 50 veterans locally who were not able to fly.

As an all-volunteer organization with no paid staff and no offices, the organization is proud to share that $.97 of every donated dollar goes directly to flying and honoring veterans.

Honor Flight is a national program with more than 130 hubs from coast to coast. The WWII Memorial did not open until 2004 and many veterans are unable to visit Washington DC without assistance. Nationally, hubs in the Honor Flight network have taken well over 223,000 veterans to see their memorials.

Timeline of activities for the Saturday, September 28 Stars and Stripes Honor Flight:

4:30 am –Veterans and their guardians begin check in at Mitchell Airport’s main concourse

5:45 am – National Anthem and boarding entertainment by vocalists “Bounding Main”

6:30 am – Flights depart for BWI Airport, water cannon salute on runway

9:30 am (ET) – Flights arrive at BWI Airport, load buses for DC tour

6:30 pm (ET) -Return to BWI Airport, load planes for departure back to MKE

8:30 pm (CT, approximate) Return flights land at Mitchell Airport, veterans deplane for parade through the airport’s main concourse. The 484th Army Band and the Brookfield Central Lancerettes dance team will provide spirit for the Homecoming parade.

Active senior living apartment complex closer to fruition in West Bend TIF District

The development of a new active senior living apartment-style complex moved one step closer to fruition this week as the West Bend Common Council emerged from closed session to approve a purchase agreement with New Perspectives on the south half of TIF #12.

The proposed five to six-story active senior living apartment-style complex is being proposed on a 4.45-acre parcel on the south end of the former Gehl property just to the west of S. Forest Avenue.

RTN Development, LLC, based in Minnesota, stepped forward with the proposal. The purchase of the property is still being negotiated.

Nick Novaczyk, is CEO with RNT Development.  “This will be a market-rate rental,” said Novaczyk. “There will be about 130 to 150 units with underground parking.”

“With the purchase agreement we will now push our concept forward with regard to how big of a building, how many parking stalls, and other things to get this accomplished,” said Novaczyk.

The project, according to Novaczyk, is to be completed in partnership with New Perspective Senior Living, the very same organization serving the West Bend community with independent living, assisted living and memory care on Continental Drive.

That former Gehl Company property had been under remediation for the past 7+ years.

“We liked this spot in particular because of its proximity to downtown,” said Novaczyk. “Also, the access to the Eisenbahn State Trail, MOWA, and the riverwalk.”

The northern end of the Gehl lot will also be under development as the City announced an agreement on May 6, 2019 with RafRad LLC and Kinseth Hospitality with the intention of constructing a hotel and office building in the downtown on a portion of the 8-acre site formerly home to Gehl on the southwest corner of Water Street and Forest Avenue.

Novaczyk said the timeline on occupancy is expected to be “in early 2021.”

Hartford Union H.S. Mary Scherr awarded 2018-19 NFHS gymnastics Coach of the Year | By Teri Kermendy

Hartford Union High School (HUHS) is proud to announce Mary Scherr has been named 2018-2019 National Federation of High Schools (NFHS) Gymnastics Coach of the Year for Wisconsin.

“I was very surprised and honored to receive this award.” said Mary Scherr.

Annually, the NFHS identifies and recognizes a coach from each state for significant achievement in their sport.  State level recipients are considered for NFHS Sectional Recognition.  National Coaches of the Year are then chosen from the sectional winners in which Scherr will be considered.

“Mary is an outstanding coach to our young athletes at HUHS and promoting the sport of gymnastics. She is well respected not only by the North Shore Conference coaches but also by coaches around the state. HUHS is very lucky to have Coach Scherr.” said Scott Helms, HUHS Athletics and Activities Director.

WBFD receives $169,090 FEMA grant

West Bend Fire Chief Gerald Kudek appeared before the West Bend Finance Committee this week to discuss acceptance of a FEMA grant.

The purpose of the FEMA – Assistance to Firefighters Grant (AFG) program is to protect the health and safety of the public and firefighting personnel against fire and fire-related hazards.

After the extremely competitive grant process, FEMA has determined that our project for the Plymovent Exhaust System in all of our stations was consistent with the AFG Program’s purpose and was worthy of this award.

Diesel engines, used in fire trucks, produce a mixture of toxic gases and particulates from the combustion process. These hazardous vehicle exhaust emissions in a fire station are one of a firefighter’s most significant cancer health risk. It is essential to create healthy and safe working conditions by reducing these risks.

The Plymovent Exhaust System will eliminate this hazard from our fire station with a vehicle exhaust capture and removal systems. The automatic start-up and disconnect source capture systems are the recommended method for controlling exhaust emissions in our three fire stations.

The FEMA Assistance to Firefighters Grant program is a 10-percent match program.

The budget for this project is $186,000. FEMA’s awarded grant amount is $169,090.90, and the City’s portion would be $16,909.10.  The Finance Committee approved the request.

Aldi in West Bend to temporarily close for remodel starting next week

Neighbors in West Bend are going to have to change their shopping patterns as Aldi, 1114 S. Main Street, prepares to close for a month.

The store is undergoing a significant remodel and addition. It will close Wednesday, Sept. 18 and officially reopen October 25.

Clerks at Aldi are handing out the above coupon at the checkout register. The opposite side features $5 coupons* to shop at Aldi in Hartford or Menomonee Falls while West Bend undergoes an upgrade. (*The $5 coupon is only good with a minimum $30 purchase.)

More warehouse storage space is being added along with some interior refrigeration work currently underway.

ALDI Corporation, which has 2.5 acres, acquired 2.47 acres of land from the adjacent owner (King Pin) for expansion.

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

In 2017 ALDI announced a nationwide “plan to remodel and expand more than 1,300 U.S. stores by 2020.”

Early plans indicate ALDI will spend “more than $37 million dedicated to enhancing stores in the Milwaukee-area.”

Gas station in Newburg closes until March 2020

Casey’s General Store, 432 Highway 33, in Newburg has closed temporarily.

“Casey’s is putting in a new store,” said Newburg Village Administrator Deanna Alexander. “The tentative plan is to open in February or March of 2020.”

The Village issued building permits earlier this year. So far, no building/design plans have been submitted to the Village. Work crews were busy taking stock out of the store/gas station this past Monday, Sept. 9. Neighbors in Newburg are familiar with how the store used to look, Tri-Par, before being bought out by Casey’s General Store.

West Bend musician wins New Horizon Award from US Polka Association

A young West Bend musician has received the New Horizon Award from the United States Polka Association (USPA). The award, which is the only national award for a young up-and-coming performer, was presented to Joe Heger at the USPA annual convention in Cleveland, OH.

The USPA is one of two major polka music associations in the United States dedicated to the promotion of the Polish genre of polka music.

The New Horizon Award is given to an outstanding young (under 21) musician who has demonstrated extreme accomplishment in performing polka music.

The USPA award was presented to Heger by Allen Bales, the leader of the Julida Boys Band which has played polka music in the Washington County area and beyond for the past 40 plus years.

Bales was Heger’s first trumpet teacher and ultimately became a great mentor and friend after he discovered a very young Joe playing along and twirling his plastic toy trumpet to the music of Hank Guzevich and his Polka Family Band at the West Bend Germanfest about 13 years ago.

Heger has been busy this summer performing with his own Polka Fusion Band and with the Chad Przybylski Band from Pulaski, WI. Since June he has logged more than 20 performances including Milwaukee Polish Fest and the Minnesota State Fair. Heger be at The Milwaukee Brewing Company and La Crosse Oktoberfest later this month.

Slinger Gridiron Club partnering with local businesses to build team success

Slinger youth football opened its season over the weekend and the Gridiron Club rolled out a partnership with new food vendors including Tony Herrera, owner of Angelo’s Pizzeria.

Bill Brewer, president of the Slinger Gridiron, said they’ve partnered with businesses before to enhance the club’s safety sponsorship and this year they’re trying something new with food vendors. “Angelo’s Pizzeria is running our concession stand this year,” he said. “Tony Herrera supports us with fundraising and our club supports his business.”

Aside from providing fresh food at the concession stand, Angelo’s Pizzeria is also donating 20 percent of the proceeds back to the Gridiron Club.

Herrera said he wants to be a good member of the community and giving back to the kids and the club is a win, win for everyone. “We serve fresh pizza, hamburgers and hot dogs and then we’re doing a 20 percent donation,” he said.

Slinger Gridiron proudly exists to provide the 5th-12th grade students in our School District with the opportunity to play tackle football.  We’ve worked hard to create a fun program that builds character in our players, developing qualities in them like leadership, teamwork, discipline and courage.  Our players learn that hard work is of greater value than natural ability, and that a competitive spirit and a desire to perform to capacity will help them succeed now and in the future.

Teamwork, commitment, and fair play are required, at all times, from all Directors, Coaches, and Players affiliated with Slinger Gridiron.

Germantown’s Anthony Roskopf recognized as 7,000 veteran on Honor Flight

There was a special ceremony at Mitchell International Airport today as 16 veterans from Washington County took part in the 53rd Stars and Stripes Honor Flight.

Korean War Army veteran Anthony Roskopf of Germantown was recognized as the 7,000 veteran to fly on the Stars & Stripes Honor Flight out of Milwaukee.

Roskopf was drafted in 1953 when he was 23 years old. “I worked on a farm at the time in Menomonee Falls,” he said. “The farm is right where COSCO is today.”

Roskopf went to Fort Leonard Wood Missouri for basic training. In July, rather than being shipped to Korea, Roskopf was ordered to go to advanced radar repair school at Aberdeen Proving Ground in Maryland. “While we were there a hurricane came into Chesapeake Bay and tore up the whole base and tipped our trailer over,” said Roskopf.

Roskopf then was stationed in Fort Bliss, Texas however he worked mainly in White Sands, New Mexico. “We worked with a lot of highly classified material,” he said.

Around the Bend by Judy Steffes

West Bend man finds wooden wheel while cleaning river in West Bend

Jim Walters made a unique find as he was walking in the river off Auxiliary Court in West Bend.

Walters thinks the 12-spoke wooden wheel dates to early 1900s; possibly 1910 – 1915.

He found it while walking in the river behind the Seven-Up Bottling Company on W. Kilbourn Avenue.

There are some forums on the Internet that discuss old wooden wheels. An interesting one for Buicks from the 1920 – 1930 looks darn close to what Walters found.

One of the theories on the wooden wheel is there used to be an old Schwartzburg Chevy-Olds dealership on S. Main Street. “People used to clean up by tossing things out of sight and sometimes that meant into the river,” said Walters.

To try and remedy over 100 years of waste dumping, Walters is putting together a Clean Up at the Bend event on September 14 from 8 a.m. to noon starting at Auxiliary Court. The community is invited to take part and volunteer.

Relighting of the Historic West Bend Theatre sign

There was a nice turnout Thursday, Sept. 5 for an historic moment in the City of West Bend as a refurbished West Bend Theatre sign was relit on S. Main Street.

It was a unique moment in West Bend history and over 100 people came down to 125 N. Main Street to celebrate the iconic moment when the landmark of the community was relit.

It was a celebration preceded by storytelling and recognition of former employees. Lester Hahn spoke lovingly of being fired multiple times. He gave several shout outs to people in attendance he recognized as former coworkers.

The 35-minute event culminated with the relighting of the famous sign which was refurbished by Poblocki Sign Company in West Allis.

Germantown’s Anthony Roskopf honored as 7,000 veteran to fly on Honor Flight

There was a special ceremony at Mitchell International Airport today as 16 veterans from Washington County took part in the 53rd Stars and Stripes Honor Flight.

Korean War Army veteran Anthony Roskopf of Germantown was recognized as the 7,000 veteran to fly on the Stars & Stripes Honor Flight out of Milwaukee.

Roskopf was drafted in 1953 when he was 23 years old. “I worked on a farm at the time in Menomonee Falls,” he said. “The farm is right where COSCO is today.”

Roskopf went to Fort Leonard Wood Missouri for basic training. In July, rather than being shipped to Korea, Roskopf was ordered to go to advanced radar repair school at Aberdeen Proving Ground in Maryland. “While we were there a hurricane came into Chesapeake Bay and tore up the whole base and tipped our trailer over,” said Roskopf.

Roskopf then was stationed in Fort Bliss, Texas however he worked mainly in White Sands, New Mexico. “We worked with a lot of highly classified material,” he said.

Other veterans on Saturday, Sept. 7 Honor Flight include:

Vietnam Army Michael Wilhelm of Germantown, Korea Navy Wendel Smith of Colgate, Vietnam Navy Paul Gillis of Hartford, Korea Marines Ronald Fass of Hartford, Vietnam Army James Gilmore of Hartford, Vietnam Army Vincent Strupp of Hartford, Vietnam Air Force Judith Warnecke Strupp of Hartford, Vietnam Navy Dennis Albrecht of Hartford, Vietnam Army Steven Liegl Sr. of Kewaskum, Vietnam Army Ronald Wicke of West Bend, Vietnam Marines Carlos Nava of West Bend, Vietnam Army Stephen Hebel of West Bend, Vietnam Air Force Richard Holbrook of West Bend, Vietnam Marines Lawrence Ketterman Jr. of West Bend, and Vietnam Army Irving Marsh of West Bend

Two Allegiant Airlines A320 aircraft will leave Milwaukee’s Mitchell Airport at approximately 7 a.m. on flight day, bound for Baltimore Washington International Airport with 169 local veterans (and their guardians) on board.  On that day, Stars and Stripes Honor Flight will welcome 9 WWII veterans, 43 Korean War veterans, and 117 veterans of the Vietnam War.

Veterans who will be taking their Honor Flight on September 7 include a 99-year-old WWII submariner, a crew chief on a Huey helicopter, a member of the 101st Airborne “Screaming Eagles” in Vietnam, and a 93-year-old female WWII Navy veteran who was an aide to Admiral Richard Byrd, the Medal of Honor recipient and famed polar explorer.

After the planes land in Baltimore on flight day, the veterans will board coach buses to tour Washington DC’s WWII Memorial, the Korean War Memorial, the Air Force Memorial, the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall, and more. The day will also include viewing the Changing of the Guard at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at Arlington National Cemetery.  A DC Park Police escort will ensure that the veterans do not spend time stuck in traffic.

Honor Flight is a national program with more than 130 hubs from coast to coast. The WWII Memorial did not open until 2004 and many veterans are unable to visit Washington DC without assistance. Nationally, hubs in the Honor Flight network have taken well over 221,000 veterans to see their memorials.

West Bend Plan Commission reviews proposal for Dunkin’ Donuts/Baskin Robbins

The West Bend Plan Commission reviewed the redevelopment plan for 1610 W. Washington Street, formerly home to Pizza Hut. A representative for Dunkin’ Donuts and Baskin Robbins was called before the Plan Commission to answer questions about parking, signage, and traffic.

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

Plan Commission member Jed Dolnick – I have a concern about the traffic flow in and out and driveway is not permittable one way in and one out. Wants to make a left turn onto Washington Street. The type of traffic counts for Washington Street and he doesn’t have an answer. This could be a concern and you can’t get out. Why – unless there isn’t room the drive-up traffic doesn’t get directed straight south. By wrapping it around it conflicts

Is there a monument sign proposed. One on the southwest corner – it’s close to the driveway and possibly over property line.

City Engineer Max Marechal – We usually ask for trip generation calculations. If a traffic impact analysis is warranted it will tell us if we need re-timing of the traffic signals or is road improvement needed. “Probably re-timing the signal – when Kwik Trip came to Main Street and Decorah Road the traffic impact analysis {TIA) noted a re-timing of signals,” said Marechal.

First step is to have a trip generation study done.

Mario Valentini – MRV Architects. Your analysis is spot on. It benefits us to have a bit of a longer stack exiting after the drive thru. If we have a little longer order you can direct someone to park and then bring the order to them. We keep the traffic flow going by doing that. We need the exit plus the opportunity to go in front of the building and park. If there’s an immediate exit – simultaneously east and west exiting. Mid-block we don’t have a big concern to stack cars if needed.

Jed D. asks to widen entrance apron to permit a left turn.

Mario V. said that is possible. There is some concern about shifting lanes and widening it – we were trying to keep the existing apron in an effort to use what’s there.

Plan Commission member Bernie Newman – asks a question about the third sign on the building.

Mario V. – the Baskin Robbins signs are 20 x 22 square feet. Issue is we have two brands in one building. No way to put them together in one box. It’s a tacky look for both. A co-branded building brings about some issues.

Plan Commission member Sara Fleischman – we don’t normally approve slogan signs.

Mario – What you’re seeing with this building is new for Dunkin and new for Baskin. This is a national brand that wants to make some identification, so you have the big slogan “America runs on Dunkin” or “West Bend runs on Dunkin.” The other slogan is a catchy phrase – in the past we’ve had situations where the facades become open and blank and the criticism is can you do something to break it up.

We break up the building with materials we see, and we are open – if it’s concerning, we don’t want too much going on but we do want something.

Sara Fleischman – I agree need to break it up but I won’t support the slogans. I won’t give my vote if slogan stays on the side.

Mario V. – We’re open.

Max M. – add to work with getting the trip generation numbers add that (no slogan sign) as a condition and then determine whether to go forward with a traffic analysis.

Plan Commission member Chris Schmidt – I agree with Sara – not to add slogans on signs of buildings.

Max M. – we can move forward. I don’t have a huge concern in the extent of changes from TIA. We may see an analysis that we don’t need to make any changes. As we move forward with the traffic I can let you know what the study says.

Sara F. – move forward with four conditions and that the slogan on both sides of the building are not allowed.

Jim White – Outlined requirements for developer to meet before development proposal can move forward: erosion control plan, landscape bid, storm water plan, revision of site plan and a trip generation study. Forward all to city engineer and no slog signs on either wall of the building.

Valentini said after the meeting that they hope to break ground yet this year and open in early spring 2020, however their timetable was weather dependent.

Landmark Credit Union moving to new location in West Bend

Landmark Credit Union will soon be moving into the former Bank Mutual location, 1526 S. Main Street in West Bend.

The property on S. Main Street sold to ENDF3DK LLC on Sept. 27, 2018 for $1,065,420. The parcel was last assessed at $1,563,000.

A spokeswoman for Landmark Credit Union, based in New Berlin, said it did purchase the property and they are remodeling.

A sign at the Landmark Credit Union branch inside Pick ‘n Save south is posted below. The credit union will close Saturday, Oct. 12 and open in the new location on S. Main Street on Monday, Oct. 14 at 9 a.m.

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

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

Landmark Credit Union is currently located in the Kroger Pick ‘n Save stores in West Bend. A larger, standalone branch is located at 1400 Schauer Drive in Hartford.

Halloween trick-or-treat for communities across Washington County

Halloween is Thursday, October 31 this year but quite a few communities across Washington County have trick or treat on the weekend.

Town of Addison 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. on Sunday, Oct. 27

Town of Erin 4 pm. to 6 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 31

Village of Germantown 5:30 p.m. – 8 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 31

Hartford is Saturday, October 26, Downtown 1 p.m. – 2:30 p.m. Ages 12 & under who are in costume accompanied by an adult are welcome

Village of Newburg has not yet established a day or time for trick or treat 2019. The information will be be posted when it becomes available.

Village of Jackson 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. is Sunday, October 27

Village of Kewaskum 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 26

Village of Slinger is Saturday, Oct. 26 from 5 – 7 p. m. Afterward families are welcome to a free event as Spooky Slinger will be held from 7 – 9 p.m. at Slinger Community Park with music, pumpkin carving contest, costume contest, food and beverages.

Village of Richfield 3 p.m. to 6 p.m.  on Saturday, October 26

West Bend 4 p.m. – 6 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 26.

Happy 71st wedding anniversary to Norbert and Lucy Carter

A belated happy anniversary wish to Norbert and Lucy Carter. The couple recently celebrated their 71st wedding anniversary.

Norbert and Lucy met at the Newburg Picnic. They have 8 kids; four boys and four girls and 16 grandchildren.

A brief story about Norbert’s military career is below. Norbert Carter was 20 years old and married for a couple years when he was drafted in 1951 into the Army. He entered service in 1952.

“I never got to go to high school,” said Carter. “I was put on the farm to help my uncle because he couldn’t get a hired man during the war.”

Carter was one of 7 boys in the family; four of his siblings were also in the service. “My dad was in World War I; my oldest brother was in the Navy during Pearl Harbor. Two of my brothers were in Germany, two of us were in Korea and my youngest son was in Desert Storm.”

Carter went to Fort Indiantown Gap, Pennsylvania for basic training. That was followed by a stint in Washington and later he spent 17 days on a ship to Japan.

“We spent one night in Japan, got back on the boat and I spent the next 15 months and 22 days in Korea,” Carter said.

Immediately stationed on the front line, Carter recalls his orders.

“We were on night patrol and walked up to one area and were handed a steel vest and they said ‘put it on — this is the area where you need it’ and we walked some more and pretty soon we were up on Old Baldy,” he said referencing the site of five engagements during a 10-month span of the Korean War.

“For 32 days I helped build bridges while we were under fire,” Carter said. “There were some Army tanks on a couple mountains up there and we had to get them back for service work.

“The biggest bridge we had was 280-feet long and it was all steel treadway. We couldn’t work during the day because the enemy could see us and every day for the first five days the bridge was knocked out by artillery, so each day we had to tear it out and start over.”

Carter was discharged in 1953 as a staff sergeant Section B in the Second Division Combat Engineers.  Carter is well-known in the local military circle; he is chairman of the Veterans of Foreign Wars in West Bend and has been commander for 18.5 years.

Carter has been active for 60 years in the local VFW post honor guard and military squad.

Around the Bend by Judy Steffes

New franchises expected to open in former Pizza Hut location on Hwy 33 in West Bend

There’s an interesting item on the Tuesday, Sept. 3, West Bend Plan Commission agenda as a couple of popular franchises are exploring a new location on W. Washington Street.

According to the agenda there’s a site plan for the redevelopment of 1610 W. Washington Street, which is the old Pizza Hut location.  That location closed Feb. 1, 2016 and has sat vacant since.

The plans indicate a restaurant development, by Dairyland Operations, LLC, Dunkin’ & Baskin Robbins.

Applicant: Dairyland Operations, LLC Dunkin’ & Baskin Robbins P.O. Box 120 Wisconsin Dells, WI 53965

Agent: Mario Valentini MRV Architects, Inc. 5105 Tollview Drive, Suite 197 Rolling Meadows, IL 60008

Tuesday’s Plan Commission meeting begins at 6 p.m. in the council chambers at City Hall.

WB Mayor Kraig Sadownikow gives update on city government and West Bend School District Task Force

West Bend Mayor Kraig Sadownikow wore several hats during his appearance this week as the guest speaker at Common Sense Citizens of Washington County.

Sadownikow provided updates on the City of West Bend. Highlights included:

-Developments including the new Fleet Farm and Verizon store on Highway 33 will help spur other development.

-Designs for the west side of the downtown Riverwalk are underway and the 2021 project could include an underpass.

-The City is working to expand the industrial park and in the last few months annexed and purchased 200 acres of land south of Rusco Road.

-Closer to October there will be a 2020 budget presentation and Sadownikow expects the mil rate to remain flat and, with merit pay in place, employees in the City could see a maximum 2.5 percent pay bump which hasn’t been done since 2006.

-Increasing funding for roads and reducing debt are still high priorities.

-After upgrades and repaving of Eighth Avenue is completed it is expected to be a primary thoroughfare when Seventh Avenue is upgraded in 2020.

-Lots of budget discussion including $25 million to run the City, looking for efficiencies through outsourcing, finding success in modernizing the garbage trucks and subbing out legal costs rather than having attorneys on staff. There are about 225 City employees.

-In 2012 the City of West Bend was among the worse 10 percent in the state in terms of debt and now has paid off $40 million in debt and is in good standing in the top 40.

-Dark store theory is still an active discussion and an interesting topic. Walmart in West Bend has been assessed at $12 million. The store has filed a lawsuit to be at $6 million assessed value. Walmart sold June 18, 2019 for $18.8 million.

In the final 20 minutes of discussion Sadownikow focused on the West Bend School District Private Task Force (WBSDTF)

Sadownikow started the WBSDTF after a failed referendum in April 2019. The task force is focused on looking at facilities in the West Bend School District, specifically Jackson Elementary and the West Bend High Schools.

“I did not publicly support the referendum,” said Sadownikow. “I personally did not publicly support it. I feel our schools are in need of some additional maintenance. I did not vote for the referendum because I didn’t think where the dollars were going was communicated well enough.”

Sadownikow said $47 million was a lot of money. “I did not see a picture of the new elementary building, classroom designs or a priority list of where the money would go,” he said.

After the referendum he felt “doing nothing wasn’t an option” and thus was born the WBSDTF.

Sadownikow asked West Bend Mutual and Delta Defense for money to fund a private task force and hire an engineering firm to give an unbiased look at the district.  Zimmerman Design was brought on board to make recommendations for modern facilities.

Within 24 hours Sadownikow had financing, an architectural firm and he cobbled together a task force with electrical contractors, architects and engineers.  “I want to be super clear, while I feel money is part of the solution to our facilities more money probably isn’t part of the solution,” he said.  “How we allocate the dollars in the district will be a key part of our findings.”

The Task Force asked for three things including access to building, access to information and finally to publicly present its findings to the school board on Oct. 14, 2019 at 5:30 p.m.  “We’ve toured the schools, collected information and will present our findings,” said Sadownikow. “There is an effort to appease everyone and that’s tough to do.”

“The Task Force challenged itself to ask questions that may not have been asked before,” said Sadownikow.

The Task Force toured the schools, adding Decorah Elementary and Fair Park to the list, and collected information and currently the group is putting together its findings. “We decided early on we would keep our conversations within the group until we can all agree on a message,” said Sadownikow. “I don’t think our findings will be perfect… but we will go into the community and support our findings.”

One nugget Sadowniknow shared included four general findings. “First category is general findings on the school district as a whole pertaining to communication and the 25-year plan,” he said.

Second item is high school priorities.  “We heard safety enhancements and locker room improvements, but we will list out our priorities and we’ve assigned some dollar ranges,” he said.

Third is elementary school deployment. “How the district offers elementary school education,” he said. “Is it remodeling or a new school… I won’t say now.”

Fourth is operational opportunities. “In running the city, we saved money by outsourcing. Can that be done in the school district,” he said. “Our job is to ask questions that haven’t been asked before.”

Sadownikow said the key statement is, “money may be part of the solution, more money may not be part of the solution.”

Those in attendance then asked several questions about how the district got into this position, were any other school districts used as models of success, possibly leaning towards virtual schools,

“Until we figure out how to make sure we’re maintaining what we have it would be a tough sell to say we need new rooftops. We need to figure out a maintenance budget,” he said.

Some specifics found include a declining enrollment at the elementary school level. “It’s a statewide trend,” said Sadownikow. “We’re at 79 percent capacity now and projections are that number will decline.”

Sadownikow said it’s important to “not use old data to plan new stuff.”

“Are the dollars all being deployed in the most cost-effective manner,” he said. “The easy answer is more. We need more, more money. I like to ask the question, how much and where is it going.”

The WBSD Task Force presentation is slated for Monday, October 14 in the district office at 5:30 p.m. The meeting is open to the public.

Cricket Wireless stores to open in West Bend, Hartford and Fond du Lac

Three new Cricket Wireless stores will be opening in the Washington / Fond du Lac County area in the coming month. There will be a new store 1735 S. Main Street in West Bend; located in the strip mall to the south of Pick n’ Save south. A new store will open at 35 Liberty Avenue in Hartford; in the strip mall between Walmart and the new Casey’s General Store just north of Highway 60. The store in Fond du Lac is already open.

Centrum Building in downtown West Bend has been sold

The Centrum Building, 120 N. Main Street, in West Bend has been sold. According to records in the City Assessor’s office the building sold August 19, 2019 for $1,250,000.

Records show Centrum Building LLC sold to Centrum Rentals LLC. The property was last assessed at $1,593,900.

It was previously sold September 1, 2001 for $1,400,000.

There’s quite a bit of history to the Centrum Building. Do you remember what it was previously called?   Over the years there have been many tenants in the 3-story; below is a list from November 2006. How many do you remember? The building next door to the Centrum Building is currently Krimmer’s Restaurant. What were the names of the previous businesses in that location, 114 N. Main Street.

County Trunk Highway WW is open

The Washington County Highway Department has repaved County Trunk Highway WW from CTH D in Kohlsville to State Highway 33 and the road is now open to all traffic. Sight distances have been improved at the intersection of CTH WW and Beaver Dam Road and drainage improvements have also been made on this 3‐mile stretch of county highway in the towns of Addison and Wayne.

Sixteen veterans from Washington County on the Sept. 7 Stars & Stripes Honor Flight

There are 16 veterans from Washington County on the 53rd Stars and Stripes Honor Flight which takes off from Mitchell Airport on Saturday, September 7.

Vietnam Army Michael Wilhelm of Germantown, Korea Army Anthony Roskopf of Germantown, Korea Navy Wendel Smith of Colgate, Vietnam Navy Paul Gillis of Hartford, Korea Marines Ronald Fass of Hartford, Vietnam Army James Gilmore of Hartford, Vietnam Army Vincent Strupp of Hartford, Vietnam Air Force Judith Warnecke Strupp of Hartford, Vietnam Navy Dennis Albrecht of Hartford, Vietnam Army Steven Liegl Sr. of Kewaskum, Vietnam Army Ronald Wicke of West Bend, Vietnam Marines Carlos Nava of West Bend, Vietnam Army Stephen Hebel of West Bend, Vietnam Air Force Richard Holbrook of West Bend, Vietnam Marines Lawrence Ketterman Jr. of West Bend, and Vietnam Army Irving Marsh of West Bend.

Kewaskum School Board votes to fill open seat

There were three candidate interviews conducted Monday night as the Kewaskum School Board works to fill an open seat. In July board member Jay Fisher announced his resignation. Four candidates applied for the post and three showed up for interviews including Dennis Aupperle, Wayne Sargent and Mary Miller.

Neal Weare did not attend.

Each candidate was asked the same six interview questions by the board and then recommendations were made.

Board member Troy Hansen recommended Mary Miller; that was seconded by Sue Miller.

Board member Jim Leister recommended Aupperle; that nomination was seconded by Doug Gonring.

Each candidate then received three votes with board president Mark Sette giving a nod to Miller and Tim Ramthun casting his vote for Aupperle. According to the school district attorney a tie vote would mean the board president would have 60 days to break the tie and make an appointment to fill the remaining term for the seat, which will expire in April 2020.

Sette said he will meet with Miller and Aupperle and make a decision at a later date. Sette spoke favorably about Miller. “Both Mary and Dennis gave phenomenal interview. They bring positivity,” said Sette.  “I know Mary didn’t win in last election, but I don’t think that speaks to her qualifications. With Mary I know what I’m getting. Mary brings a lot of knowledge on policy and was the WASB delegate. That’s not to take away from Dennis and his history and commitment to the community. I feel with Mary we know what she brings to the table.”

Below are highlights from the candidate interviews:

Dennis Aupperle –

Strengths bring to board: Community oriented. Lived here entire life. 2000-2013 coached wrestling and then operated a driving school. I know people and listen and work with people in the community.

Why apply for position: Have attributes that would help the board and community. This is a great school district, HS and sports complex. Dennis graduated KSD and so did his kids and he wants to be part of that.

Board’s role and responsibility: Enforcing the bylaws of the district. Oversee the school district and direct the district administrator and make sure everything runs smoothly. Most important responsibility- makes sure everything runs smooth and staff is happy and keep a positive influence in the school district from top to bottom.

Explain how you would handle requests/ complaints if approached by group: Chain of command. School board president to district admin and then full board works it out.

How would you envision keeping students first when making school board decisions: School board needs to be set by bylaws and rules set in place. Overall the rules are in place for a reason and that’s a benefit to the students.

What is the vision for education in this community: creating a positive learning environment, positive staff. Keeping a positive attitude and moving in the right direction.

Wayne Sargent –

Strengths bring to board: I’ve always been a leader. Inside and outside the workforce. Love of children. Passion to help others. Work around the community. Positive attitude.

Why apply for position: Throughout the last couple years the board has been lacking democracy and not in a positive manner. The board needs to move in the right direction and follow code of ethics.

What is board’s role: Assure the children have free education and ensure we’re moving in a positive position. Stay active within the community.

Explain how you would handle requests/complaints if approached by group: go through the chain of command and then be brought to the full board to solve the problem

How would you envision keeping students first when making school board decisions: Students should always be first and foremost with regard to any decision made by the school board.

What is vision for education in community: Keep current and try to stay ahead of neighboring communities – prepare them for what’s next so there’s no surprises.

Wayne’s question of the board: If appointed to board – what does board expect. “Carry out duties of board and that’s what board’s function is,” said Sette.

Mary Miller – She started by passing out copies of her resume

Strengths bring to board: In my profession before retiring. I worked with people. The residents and collaboration and worked with employees and setting up programs so they could be successful in employment. Also bring years of service on the board and different committees and referendum, facilities, and what other districts are envious of. On policy committee for 10 years and continued as policy chair and belief in collaboration.

Why apply: my belief in value with what’s happening in this district. With our kids, our scores, the building process and what is happening.

What is board’s role and responsibility: Most important is providing best education within financial constraints. Uphold the policies and support the staff. Retaining the individuals working in the district.

Explain how you would handle requests/complaints if approached by individual/group: there is a process to be followed. Parent can discuss with teacher and then go up the line. The board is the last group that has to review any complaints if there is no satisfaction along the way. There are specific policies that address that.

How to keep students first when making school board decisions: Students should always be first. Always the student is first.

What is vision for education in community: Education needs to improve. Not everybody is college bound. Great need for trades but nee a technical education and that has been addressed in the district. Technical classes and I’m fortunate my husband grew up in this district and was an educator in this district and my kids all graduated from KSD.

Any question for board. I’ve been at all the meetings and I’ve been at other meetings. Well acquainted with operations of the board.

Jack Russell Memorial Library recognized for making a difference | By Steve Volkert

The Jack Russell Memorial Library Staff was recognized as the Washington County Anti-Trafficking Advocates PUZZLE PIECE OF THE MONTH award recipient at its July 29 meeting.

The award is a token of their gratitude for both the library’s willingness to engage a piece of the puzzle by allowing meetings to be held at the library at no cost, and also for the continued cooperation and wonderful customer service that has always been provided to the group.

“This award is just a token, but our gratitude is priceless and we appreciate the library staff for all it does to help us educate our community about human trafficking issues in our own communities and beyond,” said Wendy Smith, a co-founder of the group.

Access reopened along WIS 167 near WIS 164 construction project

On August 28, construction crews reopened access along WIS 167 (Holy Hill Road), including east/west access through the newly completed roundabout at the intersection of WIS 164 and WIS 167 in Washington County.

Motorists are now able to head east and west along WIS 167 across WIS 164.

The Department of Transportation said, “completing this work before Labor Day helps alleviate traffic impacts to the adjacent Friess Lake School.”

Remaining Work: WIS 164, both north of the entrance to Friess Lake School and south of WIS 167, remains closed to all but local traffic. By mid-September, WIS 164 south of WIS 167 is scheduled to be complete and reopened. The seven-mile rehabilitation of WIS 164 is scheduled for completion in October. This work is weather dependent and subject to change.

New temperature and humidity-controlled storage units coming to Slinger | By Olivia Wills

My Choice Self Storage is adding a Temperature and Humidity Controlled Storage Building to their Slinger Self-Storage location coming September 2019. This facility is located just east of I41 off of Highway 60 in Slinger, WI.

The temperature-controlled units will range in size from 7’ x 7’, 10’ x 7’ and 10’ x 20’. Call today to be placed on the waiting list.

A special gardening segment during SPARK! at the Museum of Wisconsin Art

The Museum of Wisconsin Art hosted a special SPARK program this week for adults with memory loss and their care partners as special guest Susan Steinhafel from Roots and Branches put together a decorative garden arrangement.

Steinhafel took the group on a tour of their senses and let everyone experience the sweet aroma of the colorful flowers and feel some of the rough leaves and woody stems included in her beautiful arrangement.

SPARK! is designed for people with memory loss and their caregivers. SPARK! is a free monthly program that engages participants in conversation about Wisconsin art. Each session includes a facilitated discussion about works of art in the galleries followed by time for coffee and mingling in the studio.

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

Still theatres after all these years | By Poblocki Sign Company

When Poblocki Sign Company began creating architectural signage in 1932, movie theaters were becoming the rage. Theaters had to capture attention from passing cars, and so the signage extended outward closer to the street and overhanging canopies were introduced.

The blade signs on the side of the building allowed people to see the theater from a distance. There was scrollwork, chasing lights, hundreds of light bulbs, flashing words and a lot of excitement. The canopies earned the name “electric tiaras.”

Over the years, the theater signs have become a street marker and identification for area businesses directing customers. The signage has also started to deteriorate from weather, age and materials available at the time. Fortunately, there is a resurgence of people interested in preserving historical towns and buildings. Many communities involved in downtown revitalization and historical theater renovation have made signage the hallmark of their efforts.

The Historic West Bend Theatre in West Bend, Wisconsin opened in 1929 and has an active board of directors tasked with the theater restoration project. The fundraising goal to restore the theater is an aggressive $3.5 million. They have been overwhelmed by the outpouring of community support for this project as $2.3 million has already been donated by the community. Another $1.2 million will likely be raised through prospective government credits and grants.

The sentiment within the West Bend community is that this sign is an icon of the city. Many people are nostalgic and reminiscent of some childhood connection to the theater. Some contributors even had their first kiss there. This emotional remembrance has led to support unlike any the board have seen before on fundraising initiatives. The board is extremely grateful to the community and excited to return the theater to its grandeur.

The Historic West Bend Theatre will “re-light” their historic blade sign on Thursday, September 5 at 5:30 p.m. at 125 Main Street.

The “electric tiara” includes 478 light bulbs and 460 LED lamps within the blade sign.

Poblocki Sign Company has participated in other notable theatre projects in the recent past including Rivoli Theater in Cedarburg, WI, Harper Theater in Chicago and The Emerson Colonial Theatre in Boston. An upcoming renovation we are thrilled to participate in is The Warner Theatre in Milwaukee which is being renovated as the new home of the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra.

Theater renovation projects can be a rebirth and regeneration for a community. Theater signage gave us our start, and we are proud to be restoring and creating theater signage again after all these years.

Mark your calendar for the big Key Logo T-Shirt Sale in Hartford

Coming up in September there will be a T-Shirt Sale hosted by Key Logo in Hartford. There will be plenty of items to choose from including new merchandise: t-shirts, polos, sweatshirts, jackets, hats and much more.

Many sizes and colors to choose from. The sale, 594 Pine Street, in Hartford will occur Thursday, Sept. 12 and Friday, Sept. 13 from 4 p.m. – 8 p.m. and Saturday, Sept. 14 from 8 a.m. – 12 p.m.

Annual PRD meeting, Aug. 28, 2019, at Town of West Bend Town Hall

There was a huge turnout Wednesday night at the Town of West Bend Town Hall for the annual Protection & Rehabilitation District (PRD) meeting.

Some of the highlights: the 2019-2020 annual budget for the PRD was passed by a vote of 437 – 104. That did not take into consideration the voice vote which was predominantly a ‘yes’ vote.

There was also an election to fill the seat of PRD commissioner Mike Burns as he wrapped up a 10-year term. Candidates were Dave Baldus and Kevin Leitner. The seat carries a 3-year term. Out of 607 total votes Baldus beat Leitner 368-239. Baldus will be sworn in at the next meeting.

A report was also given on the water quality of Big Cedar Lake. Overall the representatives from the USGS thought the efforts taken to help maintain Big Cedar Lake were having a positive effect. While a rating can vary depending on location the USGS said BCL rated between a 7-10.

Troy Zagel – working on a program -do the DNR clean boat/ clean water program at Gonring lanch. Working to stop the spread of invasive species.  Trying to educate boaters. Looking for volunteers.

Congrats to Mike Burns and thanked him for his 10 years on PRD.

Around the Bend by Judy Steffes

Allenton FD and Kohlsville FD share 2018 Flight for Life Scene Call of the Year Award 

It was an emotional Sunday afternoon at Veterans Park in Allenton as rescue crews from Allenton, Kohlsville, West Bend and Kewaskum gathered to accept an award for saving the lives of two young women involved in a horrific car accident July 14, 2018.

The event was made extra special as one of the people injured in the accident, Elizabeth Carroll, walked onto the field to thank everyone as well.

“I just want to say, ‘thank you’ to everyone,” said Carroll. “Everybody keeps saying how strong I was, but it really started with you guys. If you guys hadn’t gotten me out and been strong for me that day, I wouldn’t be standing here or playing tennis or running.”

Carroll and her friend Emma Sievers were involved in a multiple vehicle accident July 14, 2018 on I-41 near Kewaskum.

Carroll said the actions of firefighters and first responders has inspired her. “I’m going to become an EMT basic; I actually passed my psychomotor exam yesterday and then I take my written exam later this month and then I will work for Hartford Fire and Rescue,” she said. “Thanks again and keep doing what you’re doing because winning this award just shows me you guys do the exact right things you need to for training and you’ve done such an incredible job.”

It took one hour to remove Carroll from the vehicle. First responders said she suffered numerous injuries including two broken arms, a broken femur, a broken and dislocated ankle, torn patellar tendon, radius and ulna fractures in both arms and a severe concussion.

“Instead of putting casts on me the doctors put in 48 screws, six plates, a rod and a wire,” said Carroll.

One year later Carroll took second place with Sievers in the same tennis tournament they were headed to when the accident occurred.

West Bend paramedic Don Peil praised Carroll for her strength and unselfish attitude, even while she was at Froedtert Hospital in Milwaukee nursing numerous injuries. “She laid in that bed and all she talked about was her friend Emma,” said Peil. “I’ve told that story countless times since then and I thought that was truly amazing you weren’t concerned about yourself; I thought that was incredible.”

The Allenton Fire Department and Kohlsville Fire Department were jointly awarded the 2018 Flight for Life Scene Call of the Year Award for their roles in patient care.

Assisting Allenton at the scene of the accident were the Kohlsville Fire Department First Responders along with West Bend Fire-Rescue Paramedic Intercept and Kewaskum Fire Department Rescue.

Below are details of the accident from Allenton Deputy Chief of EMS Operations Susan M. Wolf.

Allenton Fire Department responded with mutual aid to Kewaskum Fire Department with an ambulance for a multi-vehicle crash on I-41.  Upon our arrival Kewaskum had left with one patient and when extrication was finished, Allenton FD worked with Flight for Life crew, West Bend Fire paramedics were on scene with Kohlsville Emergency Responders to treat a patient who was transferred to Flight for Life and flown to Froedtert Hospital.  This occurred on Saturday, July 14, 2018.  The patient Allenton FD cared for suffered multiple orthopedic injuries.

Allenton Fire Department and Kohlsville Fire Department will jointly be awarded the 2018 Flight for Life Scene Call of the Year Award for their roles in patient care. Both patients have had full recoveries and went back this year to play at the tennis tournament they were headed when the crash occurred.

Considerable progress on construction of Wisconsin 9/11 Memorial in Kewaskum

There’s been considerable progress made since the last update was posted 10 days ago regarding construction of the Wisconsin 9/11 Memorial in Kewaskum.

Brick layers from Flagstone landscaping of Cedarburg are setting white stone into place for the gallery seating area. Aerial shots paint a good picture of the outline of the park and the concrete pentagon at the center of the mall which will hold the beam of steel recovered from the North Tower of the World Trade Center. Crews on site at Fond du Lac Avenue and First Street expect the first stage of construction to be completed by October.

Winners of the 2019 West Bend Mayor’s Beautification Awards

This week West Bend Mayor Kraig Sadownikow handed out the 2019 Mayor’s Beautification Awards. Winners included: Dist. 1 Bob and Lynn Fuge, Dist. 2 James and Carol Stoltz, Dist. 3. Nancy Luetschwager, Dist. 4 John and Elise Ziarniak, Dist. 5 Jenny and Brad Zuba, Dist. 6 Susan Mueller, Dist. 7 Steve Mazur, Dist. 8 Nancy and Mark Wendt.

Washington County Sheriff presents CPR commendations

Washington County Sheriff Martin Schulteis recognized two people this week for using CPR during emergency situations prior to the arrival of first responders.

Rachel Nelson was recognized for providing CPR to her 59-year-old stepfather during a family gathering in July in the Town of Farmington.

Sheriff Schulteis said Nelson recognized her stepfather wasn’t breathing and had signs indicative of a heart attack. She started CPR until first responders arrived and they used an AED device to help restart his heart. Nelson’s quick action helped save her stepfather’s life.

Matthew Shea was also recognized with a commendation from the Washington County Sheriff for stopping to help at the scene of a single vehicle accident August 6 on I41 in the Town of Polk.

Shea called 911, provided CPR to one of the victims and then assisted a Sheriff’s Deputy and provided CPR to the second victim. Although neither person involved in the accident survived their injuries, Shea is being recognized for exceptional composure under stress and providing CPR at the scene of an accident. Both Shea and Nelson said CPR training is one of the best courses you could ever take.

American Legion Post 36 in West Bend to celebrate centennial

The American Legion, Lt. Ray Dickop Post 36 is turning 100 years old and is planning to celebrate at the post located at 712 Park Avenue in West Bend on Saturday, August 24, 2019 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Everyone is invited!

The post was charted on August 30, 1919 with D.J. Kenny as Post Commander. The organization traces its roots to March 15 – 17, 1919, in Paris, France, in the aftermath of World War I.

The American Legion was federally chartered on September 16, 1919, and quickly became an influential force at the national, state and local levels, dedicated to veterans, military personnel, youth programs and patriotic values.

The American Legion has grown to have more than 13,000 posts around the world and more than 2.2 million wartime-veteran members. Throughout its first century, The American Legion built a legacy on such accomplishments as leading the way to create the U.S. Flag Code, helping start the Veterans Administration, drafting and getting passed the Servicemen’s Readjustment Act of 1944 – the GI Bill – which transformed America in the second half of the 20th century, and helping veterans receive benefits for health-care conditions based on their honorable service.

The American Legion has nearly 3,000 accredited service officers worldwide who assist veterans with their benefits claims and other concerns. Post 36 is named for Lt. Ray Dickop who died in the line of duty in Fismes, France on August 4, 1918. He was awarded the Distinguished Service Cross and is one of Pershing’s 100.

The post is heavily involved in supporting the West Bend Community and surrounding area. They actively sponsor youth programs, community programs, outreach programs, and scholarships. Members of the post make regular health and welfare visits to injured and sick veterans.

The post has taken on the responsibility of placing American Flags on city streets and members dedicate time providing special event services at parades, funerals, cemeteries and special events.

Posts 36’s dedication to the community dates to the beginning. In 1924, Legion members helped fill over 2,000 sandbags to protect West Bend from the flood waters and assisted the police in patrolling West Bend during the flood.

In 1927, the post organized the dedication of the Doughboy monument at the Old Courthouse which brought more than 12,000 people to the event. In 1928, Post 36 was responsible for purchasing and donating the 5 acres of land that the original St. Joseph’s Hospital was built on and in 1930, the post organized the dedication of the West Bend Airport.

The list continues through the decades. Lt. Ray Dickop Post 36 is proud of its accomplishments and would like to invite everyone to help celebrate their 100-year anniversary on Saturday, August 24, 2019 at 712 Park Avenue, West Bend.

Tennies Ace Hardware donates Weber Grill to WB Moose Lodge

The Schwai brats are going to taste even more delicious as Tennies Ace Hardware in West Bend recently donated a new Weber Grill to the West Bend Moose Lodge. Todd Tennies delivered the new grill on Saturday. The West Bend Moose Lodge has a drive-thru brat stand every weekend.

U.S. Flag flying high outside new Fleet Farm in West Bend

A true sign of progress as the U.S. Flag is now flying high outside the new Fleet Farm on Highway 33 in West Bend. The 192,000-square-foot store is scheduled to open in November.

New Mexican restaurant opens in former Ion Sports Pub in West Bend

There are some changes ahead for Ion Sports Pub, 1102 E. Paradise Drive, in West Bend as the restaurant changes to La Cabana Mexican Grill.

West Bend City Clerk Stephanie Justmann said the owner of Ion Sports Pub filed for a name change earlier this summer. Ion Sports Pub opened May 1, 2017. The location was formerly home to Benders Restaurant & Sports Pub.

The name “Ion” was derived from a combination of the business partners first names Isaac, Oscar and Nora. Earlier this summer a note was placed on the door as the business went dark. The sign “closed for remodeling.”

Little activity was seen until recently when the La Cabana signs were posted on the lawn along Paradise Drive. La Cabana has two other locations in Hubertus and Fort Atkinson. The restaurant website now lists West Bend as its newest location. The site indicates, “opening soon.”

La Cabana describes itself:

WE DON’T JUST MAKE DELICIOUS MEXICAN FOOD. WE MAKE PEOPLE’S DAYS. LACABAÑA WAS BUILT ON THE BELIEF THAT MEXICAN FOOD SHOULD BE SPECIAL, AND WE CARRY THAT BELIEF INTO EVERYTHING WE DO.

At La Cabaña, we wanted to bring together two of our favorite things: traditional Mexican cuisine and American-style breakfast. Whether you order an alambre or a steak fajita, you know you’ll get fresh ingredients and bold flavors. As a family-owned restaurant, we wanted to create a place that every member of your family can enjoy — that’s why even our Little Amigo’s menu is diverse. An opening date will be announced shortly.

Washington Co. to install cable guards between Cabela’s and the Dodge County line on I41

Washington County is taking bids to install a median cable barrier this fall on a section of I41. The first section is out for bid and will cover Highway 144 to County Highway K. Since 2018 officials in Washington County have been working with the Department of Transportation to complete the project to improve safety along I41.

In November 2018 the Washington County Public Works Committee heard from Washington County Sheriff’s Captain Bruce Theusch who reported that 24 crossover crashes with seven fatalities had occurred in Washington County’s jurisdiction in the past five years. Twenty-two more vehicles either struck a median barrier or entered a snow filled median. This crash data shows there is a need for median barriers throughout Washington County’s jurisdiction.

Local leaders and organizations requested WisDOT action on the stretch of interstate. The Washington County Farm Bureau passed a resolution requesting action on this issue.

Through discussion with WisDOT, Washington County has learned of two projects that will likely add median barriers. The first project is through a state and federally funded Highway Safety Improvement Program (HSIP). The second project is a resurfacing project in the Statewide Transportation Improvement Program (STIP). The projects will likely run concurrently.

The Public Works Committee said it “is our hope the median barrier issue will be completed with these programs.”

Washington County administrator Joshua Schoemann issued a statement about the project.

“I want to thank Highway Commissioner Scott Schmidt for his diligence on this project. ‘Safe and Secure Communities’ along with ‘Effective Mobility and Reliable Infrastructure’ are two of the county’s strategic priorities. Commissioner Schmidt’s work with the DOT ensures safety on I41 and the reduction in horrific cross-over accidents seen in recent years. Washington County continues to work with the state to create ‘an authentic quality of life’ for all residents.”

The DOT will be phasing in the cable guard over two construction cycles – this fall, 2019, and next year, 2020. There will be other resurfacing and safety improvements as part of the projects.

The DOT has indicated the cable guard costs about $150,000 per mile.

Washington County Highway Commissioner Scott Schmidt had a conference call with WisDOT to confirm cable guard will be added to the entire stretch between July of 2019 and October of 2020. The reason for the long project time is because the project will pause during the winter months.

Build out underway for new BBQ restaurant in West Bend

The build out is underway for the new BBQ restaurant set to open before the end of the year in West Bend. David Ebert from D&D Handyman Services in Allenton is framing out the interior.

Clay Covert of Slinger is the one behind the opening of the Billy Sims Barbecue in the Washington Plaza, 1442 W. Washington Street. It’s the strip mall on the north side of the road that includes Little Caesar’s Pizza, Subway, and China Town.

Covert’s store would be on the east end of the strip mall in the former AT&T location. During his research Covert focused on the West Bend area because he wanted “a community that would be big enough to support the restaurant, but not Milwaukee.”

“West Bend seemed like the perfect choice because it’s close to where I live, it’s a good size city and one of the greatest things is nobody really specializes in barbecue in this area,” he said.

“There will be plenty of seating, carry out and we will do a lot of catering,” he said.

Covert is expected to employ about 15-part timers and is expected to open in late fall.

Ribbon cutting for grand opening of The Garden Lounge and WB Mercantile

A perfect day to ring in a new business at 258 N. Main Street in West Bend and celebrate an established neighboring business. The Garden Lounge and WB Mercantile cut a red ribbon in celebration. Owner Jeremy Hahn took us for a tour of both establishments. The Garden Lounge is a hip and trendy new bar that features specialty drinks, live music and a promotional gaming area that has paid out over $75,000. The WB Mercantile offers an array of handcrafted artisan items along with consignment pieces, retail candles, clothing, beads, yarn and home goods.

Traffic backup on Hwy 60 because of windmill transport

Jackson Police said there is expected to be one more wide load coming down Highway 60 as a company from Illinois makes a trek to Manitowoc. A manufacturer out of Illinois is taking side roads and moving the pieces to the USS Badger in Manitowoc for delivery to Canada. Police warn motorists not to pass the trailer and not to go around the roundabout in the opposite direction just to get through.

Updates & tidbits

-The West Bend Fire Department is celebrating its 150th anniversary this year.  There are two upcoming events to coincide with this momentous observance: September 21 – Dedication of the Firefighter’s Memorial Bluff honoring Barton and West Bend’s bravest and October 12 – West Bend Fire Department’s 150th celebration and firefighter. Stay tuned.

-Horicon Bank, 1535 W. Paradise Dr., in West Bend is hosting Shred Day on Saturday, Sept. 14 from 10 a.m. – noon. This is a free event with donations accepted. Money raised benefits the Stars & Stripes Honor Flight.

-Common Sense Citizen of Washington County will host Mayor Kraig Sadownikow during its meeting August 29. The meeting begins at 7 p.m. at the West Bend Moose Lodge, 1721 Chestnut Street in West Bend. Organizers said Sadownikow will likely talk about the volunteer Private Citizens Task Force that is reviewing the West Bend School District this summer. The meeting is open to the public and organizers welcome neighbors to “bring a common-sense friend.”

-There will be a cancer benefit, Sunday, Aug. 25 from 1 p.m. to 6 p.m. for Kathy McBane. The benefit will be at Jugs Hitching Post in Kohlsville. Funds raised will help with medical expenses for local cancer patient Kathy McBane. There will be basket raffles and a silent auction that closes at 4 p.m. You must be present to claim your prize. Any further questions contact Arlene Kuehl 262-689-5955.

-Hundreds of orange and black monarch butterflies took wing Saturday, Aug. 17 as the residents at Cedar Community and their guests participated in the annual Butterfly Release.

Washington County and FRIENDS, Inc. to partner  

Washington County and FRIENDS, Inc. will partner to streamline services recognizing the overlap between domestic and sexual violence and child maltreatment. Washington County and FRIENDS, Inc. were one of three partnerships within the state that received an award last summer from the WI Department of Children and Families and End Domestic Abuse WI for technical assistance in creating a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to help fill service gaps and create better collaboration between Child Protective Services and Domestic Abuse programs. The partnership will be recognized August 29, 2019 at 10 a.m. at FRIENDS, Inc., 922 S. 18th Avenue.

Letter to the Editor | Transparency in the Kewaskum School District | By Jim Leister

“It’s for the kids.” We always hear that from the administration and certain board members; and what does that really mean? Well if you’re in Kewaskum School district it means they spent thousands of dollars on lawyer fees and wasted administration’s time to persecute board members they don’t agree with.

We were told by the new board president that we wouldn’t do this anymore and we want to be open and transparent. But once again it’s the same old same old, just like it was from the last board president.

When asked why are you attacking board members again and wasting taxpayers money on lawyers’ fees, it was explained that it was important to do this. When I asked why we can’t go through our expenses line by line to explain how we are spending tax dollars, I was told it would cost too much and a waste of the administrator’s time.

This is our money and we should know why it’s getting spent certain ways.

In the April election, you the Public spoke and wanted change. I’m sad to say that even though myself and two other board numbers are trying our best, there has been no change.

We truly have an opportunity for change as we have an open seat now on the board. But before the interview process even began, one board member announced the old candidate that lost, should be reappointed to the board.

This is the same board member that mocked and ridiculed you, the voting public, for your decision in April. We truly do need to make a change with our administration and with our Board President that tells us one thing and does another. Please join me in the interview process so we can make sure we have the right people in the right place.

I write this letter in the spirit of my first amendment right and not as a board member.

God bless  Go Indians   Jim Leister

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