Tag Archives: Judy Steffes

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:


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

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

Washington County proposed POWTS fee may be dead

The Washington County Land Use and Planning Committee will meet Thursday, Aug. 22 at 7:30 a.m. and one of the agenda items includes making a recommendation to the full County Board on the special charge tax assessment for the Private On-Site Wastewater Treatment System Maintenance Program.

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).

During a public hearing July 25, 2019 more than 50 people spoke against the special assessment and county officials read 46 pages of letters that also were against the proposal.

County Administrator Joshua Schoemann said he is going to make a recommendation at the August 22 meeting.

“At that meeting I will recommend to that committee to vote ‘No’ on implementing the POWTS fee,” he said.

During the Sept. 11 County Board meeting, Schoemann said he will again recommend the County Board vote ‘No’ on the POWTS fee.

“We’ve recognized the situation and the outcry and citizens clearly have no interest in doing the fee or the tax; call it what you want it’s a tax. So I had a budget workshop and I don’t think this board has the votes,” he said.

On the other hand, if the board does have the votes to pass the fee Schoemann said come October the County Board would have to pass the budget with the POWTS fee and that needs 18 votes. “I don’t think there’s 18 votes on the County Board to pass the budget with the fee in it,” he said. “So, the board is properly responding to the constituents, I’m trying to be responsive to the constituents; they don’t want the fee and we’re not going to implement the fee.”

Trend in Washington County government

While Schoemann said he will recommend a ‘No’ vote there has been a trend in county government lately to bring an issue back to the full County Board for a second vote, even if the item was initially defeated.

“That has happened about five times in the last 15 months,” said Schoemann.

One of the most recent instances was the county board’s vote against an elected executive director. While the item failed on a 13-13 vote, a couple of supervisors have revived the issue and put it back on the table.

Schoemann said it is up to the full County Board to decide on the special assessment POWTS fee, however one of the factors playing into the issue is timing.

“If the fee passes, we need time to put it on tax bills,” he said. “If it’s voted down in September then October is the last chance, they can do it and if it doesn’t come back in October then it can’t come back at all.

“I don’t expect it to come back… especially if I’m recommending, they vote no; but I can’t imagine someone would bring it back,” Schoemann said.

Informational meeting August 27 at Washington County Fair Park

After the July public hearing the county was scheduled to have an informational meeting about the POWTS proposal, however that meeting was cancelled.

Schoemann indicated an informational meeting has now been scheduled, but it will be after the Land Use and Planning Committee meeting August 22.

Please be advised that the County has rescheduled the Fiscal Health Informational Meeting for Tuesday, August 27 at 6 p.m. at the Washington County Fair Park Pavilion Exhibit Hall.   An update regarding the status of the proposed POWTS Special Assessment will be provided in addition to a discussion about the County’s fiscal health and budget.

“I want people to know what’s going on with the county fiscally,” said Schoemann.

In the past Schoemann has detailed how Washington County is “falling off a financial cliff.”

“That’s how the POWTS fee came up in the first place because there is a financial cliff. We’ve been directed not to raise taxes at all so fees or cuts is what we’re doing. I’m going to recommend the POWTS fee not be passed.”

2019 Allenton Parade dedicated to volunteer firefighter and EMT Bruce Ellis | By Ron Naab

The Allenton Annual Picnic Committee announced this year’s parade will be dedicated to Bruce Ellis with the Allenton Volunteer Fire Department.

Ellis was nominated for the Washington County American Legion Council for his outstanding contributions as an EMT to the department and those they serve.   Ellis won the county nomination and was then nominated for the Second District of the Wisconsin Department of the American Legion, which he won as well and was then nominated for State recognition.

On July 21 Ellis received the 2019 EMT of the Year award from the Wisconsin Department of American Legion. Ellis joined Allenton Volunteer Fire Department in January 2014; this was a result of Allenton FD responding to a call to help his grandson.

This the second time Ellis has been involved serving others as a firefighter and EMT; he served previously with Bark Lake Rescue.

Ellis has willingly taken courses to improve his skills to be an outstanding provider of emergency medical treatments.

According to the nomination letter, “Each time Bruce’s help and expertise has been requested, he has stepped up and offered to help, always with the statement ‘l will help with whatever you want me to do.’”

Ellis has served with many committees within the department from setting guidelines, sharing his skills, working with youngsters and purchasing equipment.

The Allenton Parade kicks off at 10:30 a.m. on Sunday, August 18. Watch for a live broadcast at Washington County Insider.

Egbert & Guido’s Citgo in West Bend has been demolished

The old Egbert & Guido’s Citgo station, 1300 E. Paradise Drive, in West Bend met its demise today as crews tore down the building on the corner of Paradise Drive and River Road.

It was Dec. 22, 2018 when owners George and Kathy Muth confirmed they had sold the business and building to Kwik Trip. “It wasn’t an easy decision, but it made sense,” said Kathy Muth.

The corner of northwest corner of Paradise Drive and River Road has been in the Muth family since 1847.

“That was always farm field,” said George Muth. “It was corn, soybeans and hay and I farmed it when I was young, and I was fifth generation to farm it.” George remembered all four corners were farm field and Paradise Drive was “a very skinny, one-lane road.”

Plans for the new east side Kwik Trip include a car wash, 20 fueling stations, and it’s anticipated the location will offer 20-25 jobs.

The convenience store will also be flipped and face River Road and the roundabout off Paradise Drive. It’s a different setup than what Egbert & Guido’s offered. Construction, according to Kwik Trip, is set to get underway in 2020.

There will soon be four Kwik Trips in West Bend with stores on Silverbrook Drive, S. Main Street and Decorah Road, Highway 33 east (the former East Side Mobil), and the store on Paradise Drive and River Road.

Halloween store to open this month in former Shopko building in West Bend

There are boxes and crates and grocery carts full of costumes and Halloween displays all waiting to be unwrapped at the former Shopko, 1710 S. Main Street, in West Bend. That’s as the empty big box store will open temporarily as the home to the new Spirit Halloween.

According to its website: Spirit Halloween has one single goal, to deliver the very best Halloween experience possible to all our guests. We are the largest seasonal Halloween retailer in the world and the premier destination for everything Halloween.

The store carries Halloween costumes, accessories, animatronics, décor and more. The district manager in West Bend Teri Kennedy said the franchise was headquartered in New Jersey. The Halloween supply store will only take up about a third of the front of the former Shopko building. The business started to unload stock August 5. Spirit Halloween is expected to open at the end of August and run through November.

Shopko stores across Wisconsin officially closed in June 2019.

Plans underway to move playground at Sandy Knoll County Park

About a dozen people turned out for the initial open house at Sandy Knoll Park to discuss adding a proposed 10-acre fenced-in dog exercise area. If approved this would be the second dog park in the Washington County Park System; the first was Homestead Howl Dog Park installed in 2018 in the Village of Germantown.

Comments at the open house ranged from the height and type of fence, whether there would be an added cost to get into the dog exercise area, who would monitor the dog park, would dogs need proof of rabies vaccines, would there be a small dog area and would a small pond at Sandy Knoll be included in the dog park. Eric Hyde, Washington County Park and Trail Manager, said the county received a nice five-figure donation to help pay for the setup of the dog park.


Playground changes at Sandy Knoll Park

One of the other topics during the meeting was about moving the children’s playground located at the entrance of Sandy Knoll. The idea would be to disassemble the setup and move the playground to another area at Sandy Knoll or possibly relocate it to Homestead Hollow in Germantown.

Hyde said moving the play area was in response to the recent release and placement of registered sex offender Kenneth Crass.

On July 23, 2019 Crass was released back to his home on Wallace Lake Road, which happens to be located next to the kid’s playground at Sandy Knoll Park.

In July, when Crass was released, Washington County Sheriff Martin Schulteis addressed his placement near an area with children. “I’ve been in touch with the County Parks Department and we’re looking at different options,” said Sheriff Schulteis. “Whether it’s signage or fencing; it’s certainly something we’re aware of.

“Aside from the children’s playground there’s a rental unit belonging to the county and they want to make sure renters know about the registered sex offender.”

The County Parks Department said it will be placing a notice at the rental unit, regarding a registered sex offender. A decision on the future location of the playground has yet to be determined.

West Bend School Board to hear Private Task Force report Monday, Oct. 14

The West Bend School Board voted to move its Committee of the Whole meeting from Oct. 7 to Oct. 14, 2019 so it can hear a report from the District Private Task Force which has been studying facility and operational efficiencies in the district.

The Task Force was formed in the wake of a failed referendum in April of 2019.  The goal of the referendum was the construction of a new K-4 elementary school in Jackson and safety and infrastructure enhancements at the high schools.

The group has been reviewing forecasted maintenance and capital improvement needs at the facilities, studying projected enrollment data and comparing new information to the District’s 25-year plan which was compiled almost 10 years ago. Task Force organizer Kraig Sadownikow will be ready to report October 14, 2019. He said it will take 60-90 minutes.

“We do not expect to make recommendations to the School Board. Instead, we will present findings within the context of the District’s long-range improvement plan,” Sadownikow said.  “The School Board was elected to make decisions.  With that in mind, we will offer our independent thoughts and findings, allowing the School Board to draw its own conclusions and take action accordingly.”

Task Force members are Kevin Steiner, Tim Schmidt, Kraig Sadownikow, Randy Stark, Ed Duquaine, Dan Garvey, Mike Chevalier, Owen Robinson, Chris Kleman, Chris Schmidt and the education team from Zimmerman Design Studios.  Members were chosen based on their design, construction, facilities management and communication expertise.

For additional information on the West Bend School District Private Task Force contact Kraig Sadownikow at www.teamacs.net.

9/11 Memorial in Kewaskum starting to take shape

The 9/11 Memorial in Kewaskum is starting to take shape. After more than 200 people attended a groundbreaking ceremony in June, work got underway to start constructing the Memorial which is located on the southeast corner of Fond du Lac Avenue and First Street.

“Primary in our goals is that this memorial will for generations to come, stand as a historical touchstone linking the past event of 9/11/2001 to the present,” said organizer Gordon Haberman.

“The memorial will be a physical structure which respectfully honors the memory of those lost that day and in the resulting conflicts afterwards. It will stand as an important source of information for young people in understanding the sacrifices of 9/11, yet also portray the strength, spirit and resolve of America.”

Former WBHS shop teacher Dick Trinkl has died

Richard (Dick) James Trinkl May 7, 1948 to August 13, 2019. Richard taught 35 years in West Bend Public Schools, the majority at Badger Middle School as a shop teacher. He will be remembered most for his love for Jesus, his family, and any person he met. A memorial service will be held at Crossway Church, W156N10041 Pilgrim Road, Germantown on Sunday, Aug. 18 with visitation at 2 p.m. and the service at 3 p.m.

Washington County 4-H Open House

Young people with an interest in developing leadership skills, volunteering in the community and looking for new and fun ways to learn are encouraged to attend an upcoming Washington County 4-H Open Houses. 4-H is a volunteer-driven organization offering a wide variety of research-based and youth development programs ranging from photography, cooking and raising livestock, to learning about STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) through robotics and more.

During the open houses, attendees will be able to meet 4-H club members and leaders, try out hands-on activities, check out the archery range (open for ages 8-19 on Aug. 21), and enjoy light refreshments.

Open House is Wednesday, August 21, 2019 from 5:30-7:30 p.m.

Washington County Fair Park, Small Animal Building, 3000 Pleasant Valley Road (Hwy PV), West Bend, WI 53095.

Hartford Union HS District CNA classroom ready for new school year | By Teri Kermendy

Hartford Union High School (HUHS) is excited to announce the CNA classroom is ready for the new school year.

For the first time students at HUHS can earn the Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) certification as part of a normal school day and earn MPTC credits and elective credits.  The classroom was the final piece of this program.

The CNA course is a semester long course in which 15 students first semester are enrolled and 16 students second semester.  Students will earn three MPTC credits and 1 HUHS elective credit for taking this course.

“Having this course at HUHS is a huge convenience for our students,” said Jon Duhr, director of teaching and learning.  “In the past, students were driving to Beaver Dam to take this course and driving 45 minutes for nine weeks in the middle of winter.”

“This is a fantastic opportunity for students,” said Duhr.  “Once students complete the certification they can begin working as a CNA right away which is really important to our local health care facilities looking to fill those much-needed positions.  Students interested in pursuing a career in the medical field, can use this certification as a steppingstone for their future.”

The instructor for this course is Tina Cordell from Moraine Park Technical College.

“We’d like to thank all of the supporters for this project, without them this would not be possible,” said Duhr.

The equipment needed for the course were provided from funds from the Carl Perkins Grant, Aurora, (specifically Hailey Nenonen and Karen Bialas), Cheribini and from Medical Staff of Aurora Medical Center Washington County.

Updates & tidbits

-The deadline is August 30, 2019 to cast a sealed bid for a 2008 conversion van Interfaith Caregivers of Washington County is retiring from its fleet.  According to Interfaith “the vehicle has been well maintained and service records are available upon request.”  More information is at 262-365-0902.

– Horicon Bank’s free Shred Day is Saturday, Sept. 14 from 10 a.m. – noon. Horicon Bank, 1535 W. Paradise Drive, in West Bend will be collecting donations for the Wisconsin Honor Flight at its Shred Day event.

-Scouts chartered by the West Bend Moose Lodge will host “Experience the Adventure” at an Open House on Tuesday, August 27 from 6:30 p.m. – 8 p.m. at the West Bend Moose Lodge, 1721 Chestnut Street, West Bend. There will be interactive activities including camping, backpacking, cooking, pioneering (rope and knots), orienteering (map and compass) and more.

The Scouts recently returned from a week at summer camp at Ed Bryant Scout Reservation and a high adventure backpacking trip to Cloud Peak, Wyoming and will gladly share stories and photos about these recent adventures.

Scouting is a premier youth development program – preparing young people to become responsible citizens and make ethical and moral choices over their lifetimes. Anyone with an interest in camping, the outdoors, developing leadership skills and service to the community is encouraged to attend.

-The Kettle Moraine Ice Center in West Bend has a try hockey free weekend Sept. 6-8, a women’s hockey tournament Sept. 13-15, a mini clinic specially designed for little kids and beginners the weekends of Sept. 21 and 28, and a girls only try hockey on October 5.

Around the Bend by Judy Steffes

Bob’s Main Street Auto finds interesting face under the hood

It was not a normal day at Bob’s Main Street Auto & Towing after mechanics opened the hood of a Dodge Nitro 2007 and found a face staring back at them.

“We opened the hood and it looked at us for a quick second when everything got bright and then it scurried way back behind the steering shaft,” said service writer Greg Rate. “It kind of wedged itself back down in there and it took us a good 40 minutes to get it out unharmed.”

Rate said the animal was pretty scared. “We put some welding gloves on and tried to pull it out as softly as we could,” he said.

Initially Rate thought it was a raccoon. “Those are more common… or we’ve run into squirrels or mice or rodents because they like to chew on the plastic. We’ve also had a huge problem with them chewing on air filters, but a woodchuck is the last thing I would have expected,” he said.

Shop owners Bill and Laurie Rate made sure everyone, including the woodchuck, stayed safe throughout the process.

“It was less than a productive morning…. but it sure wasn’t a boring day,” said Rate.

The owner of the vehicle was asked whether he had a rodent issue by his home, and he admitted he saw a couple woodchucks running around; but he didn’t expect one to be under his hood.

The vehicle and its passenger made it to Bob’s Main Street Auto following an accident.

“The wheel of the vehicle came off on the highway and we towed it to the south store, and it sat in the shop a couple days. So that little guy had a pretty wild ride,” Rate said.

After safely removing the 10-to-15-pound woodchuck staff took it down the Eisenbahn State Trail and let it go.

Midas to reopen in West Bend

West Bend Auto Enterprises, owner of the Midas store in West Bend is currently in negotiations with a buyer.

“The business is temporarily closed; it’s in the process of being bought out by somebody else,” said a spokesperson for WB Auto Enterprises. “It will possibly remain a Midas store.”

Negotiations are currently underway. A spokesperson said they hope to close on the deal before October 2019.

The Midas store, 2334 W. Washington Street, closed July 20, 2019. A note on the door said, “warranties will be honored at other Midas locations.”

Also Auto Safety Center, 3700 W. Washington Street, in West Bend will also honor the Midas warranties.

ALDI to temporarily close in September for expansion construction

Watch for a change in signage outside ALDI, 1114 S. Main Street, of West Bend. The local grocery is going through an expansion on the west side of the store.

More warehouse storage space is being added. There is also some interior refrigeration work currently underway. The store was expected to close temporarily in September, around Labor Day, however that has been pushed back to mid-September possibly the week of Sept. 15. The closure is expected to last up to 30 days.

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.

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

 The parking lot will be not be altered.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Deer Management Committee to request another controlled hunt in West Bend parks

The City of West Bend Deer Management Committee will appear before the Common Council at its next meeting to ask for backing for one more year of a controlled hunt in two city parks including Lac Lawrann Conservancy and Ridge Run.

There’s also going to be a request to fund a survey on Bicentennial Park and Silverbrook Creek Parkway. “We want the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture to see where the deer are located,” said District 1 alderman John Butschlick. “If we find the deer are in Bicentennial Park and Silverbrook Creek Parkway then we want to include those two areas in the upcoming hunt.”

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 of West Bend has allowed a managed hunt for the past two years. The first effort in 2017 was coordinated in house and included three bow hunters who spent five days in the park and shot a total of three deer.

In 2018 the city hired sharpshooters on a managed hunt designed to remove 30 deer from Ridge Run Park and Lac Lawrann Conservancy.

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

Some in the community have questioned whether the deer are still a problem and Butschlick said he is still fielding calls about deer cleaning out bird feeders and ravaging flowers and gardens.

Country Inn & Suites in West Bend sold…. again

Country Inn & Suites, 2000 Gateway Court, in West Bend has been sold. According to records in the city assessor’s office West Bend Lodging Inc. sold to JNP Management LLC, Jatin Patel, for $2,550,000.

History on the sale of the three-story hotel overlooking Highway 45 shows West Bend Properties sold to West Bend Lodging LLC on Dec. 29, 2015 for $1,538,750. The property had a 2015 assessed value of $2,189,900. Previous owner Jim Walker bought the property Oct. 1, 2007 for $3,350,000. The 58 room Country Inn & Suites originally opened in May 1998.

WB Plan Commission approves rezoning and 15 new duplexes for Cedar Community

Four people spoke Tuesday night during the public hearing before the West Bend Plan Commission in regard to a proposed rezoning and 15-unit duplex housing development on 101 Cedar Ridge Drive, just north of the Cedar Ridge Campus.

All who spoke were generally in favor of the project with only one neighbor concerned about keeping a tree line between his backyard and the new senior living housing.

Joan Adler lives on Kilkenny Court in West Bend. Adler, who used to be the past president of the Cedar Community Board of Directors, lives right behind where the 15 duplexes are proposed. “My main concern is maintaining the tree line between our houses and the Ridge and I’m concerned about bright lights and the quality of houses and maintaining access to easily get into Ridge Run Park,” said Adler. “Our first choice is to have nothing ever built there but that’s unrealistic, so I’ll speak in favor.”

Tom Boyer also lives on Kilkenny Court. He was concerned about the setback. “My house has a 57-foot setback. I walked off from the lot line to the end of the tree line. That means houses on the north will have 27 feet of green space. I’m concerned about the set back on northern ridge to the north. Neighbors want to keep tree line,” he said.

Bill Hansen is a second-generation resident at Cedar Ridge as is his wife. Hansen spoke in favor of the project citing the quality of care Cedar Ridge has with its residents and properties.  “There’s not a match to it. The site plan, beautiful trees and pond. The property is over 30 years old because it’s so well taken care of,” he said.

Bill Myers lives on Village Drive and has also been on the Cedar Community Board of Directors. “I urge support of the amendment and zoning change,” he said. “I believe the homes will be very attractive and similar to what’s at Elkhart Lake. This will be a good addition to West Bend.”

The Plan Commission voted unanimously in favor of the rezoning and for the development plans. Adam Hertel with American Construction Services said he will begin drawings and house plans. Hertel said the development of the units will be done in stages with construction hopefully starting in early fall.

The proposal still must be approved by the West Bend Common Council.

Cedar Communities submitted a request to consider a comprehensive land use plan change and a zoning change for approximately 9.8 acres located at 113 Cedar Ridge Drive. The request is for the northern portion of the 49-acre parcel. The request is to consider a change in land use from the existing multi-family residential to two family residential land use for the northern portion of the Cedar Ridge Campus.

“Cedar Community has a years-long waiting list for active seniors who are looking for larger apartments and homes,” said Julie Gabelmann, Cedar Community Vice President of Resident Experience. “The twin homes we hope to build will help meet that growing demand, while providing the natural beauty of the 50-acre Cedar Ridge Campus, and the access to all of Cedar Community’s services and amenities.”

WI-33 in Allenton to be closed for 5 days at end of August          By Ron Naab

Goods sources have indicated that the end of August, WI-33 and the Canadian National Railroad Crossing will be closed for a five-day period to have a FULL renewal of rails, ties, ballast and approach surfaces.  This will be a project of the Canadian National NOT the town of Addison or Washington County Highway Department.

According to Canadian National they believe to be doing a FULL renewal (rail, ties, ballast, surface) requiring a M-F closure at the end of August at the STH 33 crossing in Allenton.

Fleet Farm in West Bend to hire more than 150 Team Members

Fleet Farm is announcing plans to hire more than 150 team members to expand the staff for the new Fleet Farm in West Bend. The new store on Highway 33 will more than double in size when it opens in November. The new store is less than two miles from the existing store and will offer a greatly expanded breadth and depth of products and services.

Company representatives are interviewing for full- and part-time team members to staff a variety of departments throughout the store. In addition to the sales floor team, the new West Bend Fleet Farm will hire for specialty roles to work in the automotive service center and Fleet Farm will offer a gas station.

“Fleet Farm is honored to be a part of the West Bend Community for nearly 60 years,” said Robert Foster, general manager. “We are proud to reinvest into this loyal community, open a greatly expanded store and add team members to this talented workforce.” The new West Bend Fleet Farm will include a 190,000 square-foot store and a 7,000 square-foot convenience store.

Due to applicant volume, interested job candidates are encouraged to search job opportunities and complete the short, 7-minute online. As applications are reviewed, chosen candidates will be notified by email to self-select a convenient date and time for their in-person interview. In addition to a competitive wage and benefits package, Fleet Farm employees also receive a generous employee discount.

“Our goal is to hire and train a knowledgeable team who can speak to the extensive product assortment at the new Fleet Farm, and retail experience is always a plus,” said Jackie Walz, Regional Human Resources Manager.

The new West Bend Fleet Farm is located at 3815 West Washington St. West Bend, WI 53095.

Trees leveled outside Holy Angels Rectory in West Bend

There’s a new look to the landscape outside Holy Angels Rectory in West Bend as work crews were on site early Wednesday morning leveling a couple trees and pulling up bushes.

Wollner Excavating pulled a permit on Tuesday, Aug. 6 to take out a 60-foot pine tree and other landscaping as the parish prepares to upgrade its sewer lateral and extend it to the street.

John Butschlick is one of the Holy Angels crew members helping with the cleanup. He said the pine was nearly at its life expectancy. Eighth Avenue in front of Holy Angels Parish is currently under construction. City Engineer Max Mareschal said letters were sent to property owners on Eighth Avenue encouraging them to upgrade their laterals at this time if needed since the street was open at this time.

The four blocks of street construction includes 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. The $1.3 million project is expected to take five months. It started in May 2019 and should be completed in October, depending on weather.

Hartford Plan Commission to hold public hearing on development of new TID

The Hartford Plan Commission meets Monday, August 12 and one of the items on the agenda is approval of a new sign for Puebla’s Kitchen, 28 E. Jackson Street.

The wall sign will be placed above the main entrance door. Puebla’s Kitchen will be in a blue font with the words ‘Authentic Mexican Cuisine’ in black. The new signage is below.

At 7 p.m. the Plan Commission will hold a public hearing as it looks to rezone three properties; two of the rezoning requests will be to change from A-1 Agricultural District to M-3 General Industrial District, the third request will be to change from M-4 Industrial Park District to M-3 General Industrial District.

Hartford City Administrator Steve Volker said the rezoning is basically to create a connection between two roads that currently do not meet; once complete it will expand the industrial park by 62 acres.

“We have someone interested in building so we’re putting the infrastructure in the roads including water and sewer, electric and storm sewer,” he said. “The total cost of the project is roughly $3 million. In the big picture this will help bring one or two more buildings to the industrial park as well as open the door for companies to build on the remaining acres.”

The Plan Commission is working to develop a new Tax Incremental Financing District in the 1500 block of Innovation Way. According to the executive summary “The creation of TID 12 is intended to allow for development of industrial park land between the Dodge Industrial Park and the Western Industrial Park and facilitate the completion of multiple public purpose projects for the City of Hartford.”

Monday’s Plan Commission meeting begins at 5:30 p.m. in the council chambers at Hartford City Hall, 109 N. Main Street. The meeting is open to the public.

Historic West Bend Theatre sign relighting Sept. 5

 The iconic West Bend sign in front of the Historic West Bend Theatre will be re-lit Thursday, Sept. 5.  As part of the “Light Up the Bend” ceremony, the board of directors of Historic West Bend Theatre, Inc. (HWBT) ask the community to help fund the renovation of the 1929 Art Deco structure into a performing arts center and community gathering place.

“We have come a long way toward raising the necessary funds, a goal of about $3.5 million, but we need everyone’s help,” said Nic Novaczyk, HWBT president.

The relighting event will start at 5:30 p.m. Former employees of the theatre will be recognized and a short history will be presented. The actual re-lighting will be at 6 p.m.

Poblocki Sign Company took down the perimeter-lit sign over the marquee in December 2018 for a complete overhaul. Called “the blade,” it will to be re-hung in mid-August in time for the relighting.

Supporters will have three ways to contribute to the restoration campaign. The first is to buy a bulb for $100 to help pay for the refurbished “blade,” selling out the words “WEST BEND” in capital letters with 470 bulbs, and the marquee, which is lit by an additional 194 bulbs, for a total of 664.

The second part of the campaign is the sale of shares in the non-profit corporation for $200 apiece. “It worked for the Green Bay Packers, and we hope the sale of stock works for the theatre,” said Dan Dineen, HWBT board member and corporate counsel.

The stock offers no dividends or capital gains. “It does offer a sense of ownership in the restored community asset,” he added. When you buy a share of “The Bend,” your name will be placed on our donor board.”

The shareholders can vote annually for one member of the board of directors. Twenty-four shares have already been sold.

The third community fundraiser is the sale of 325 seats at $300 apiece. The “Seat the Bend” dollars will allow the purchase of comfortable period-appropriate seats for many kinds of events.

There are 125 seats on the main floor and 200 seats in the balcony. The original 1929 movie and vaudeville house had 400 seats on the main floor and 227 in the balcony. Patrons can combine all three donations in a $500 package for one light bulb, one share of stock and one seat.

Contributors can make their donations on-line at www.historicwestbendtheatre.com or in person at 102 N. Main Street, West Bend.

All donors will receive a booklet on the history of the former “movie palace.”

Around the Bend by Judy Steffes

Property sale price released following Kwik Trip purchase in West Bend

The sale price has been listed as Kwik Trip has purchased property on E. Washington Street and River Road for the stores fourth location in West Bend.

According to records in the city assessor’s office Kwik Trip Inc. closed on the purchase of three parcels July 19, 2019.

The largest property, the Mobil gas station, 1610 E. Washington Street, sold for $1,301,000.

The Mobil station was owned by Bob Yahr and his family. The seller was listed as BC Properties 1016 Washington LLC.

Two lots next door were also sold; the 3.33-acre parcel belonging to Hallmark Leasing sold for $299,000 and the .772-acre lot on N. River Road belonged to Koness Properties LLC and sold to Kwik Trip for $100,000.

The total for all three parcels equals $1.7 million.

According to the clerk in the city assessor’s office the last two parcels did not have addresses because they are vacant lots.

The Mobil station on Highway 33 East in West Bend closed Tuesday, July 16 as Bob Yahr sold the property to Kwik Trip. “We built that store in 1992,” said owner Bob Yahr. “That was the Lang farm and the Convenient store was across the street.”

Yahr said it was a hard decision to sell the gas station just east of River Road. “My brother and father, Steve and Curt, opened the store and I was the manager for three years, so I really know the customers,” he said. “The gas station industry is changing so fast; if you’re not a big chain you’re going to get wiped out.”

Yahr said Kwik Trip liked his site because of its location. “When Kwik Trip comes in, they like to have a store on each artery coming into town,” he said.

In a systematic fashion Yahr ticks off the Kwik Trip locations in West Bend:  Silverbrook Drive, S. Main Street, east end of Paradise Drive with the former Egbert & Guidos and now his store on E. Hwy 33. The City of West Bend is considering putting in a traffic signal at Hwy 33 and Schoenhaar Drive.

Early indications are Kwik Trip will not start converting the Mobil nor the old Egbert & Guido’s until 2020.

No shuttle service from GO Riteway from Washington County to Wisconsin State Fair

For years GO Riteway Transportation Group helped folks from Washington County get down to the Wisconsin State Fair. It was an easy ride back and forth for a reasonable cost.

That’s not happening this year.

“We’re not able to do it this year again,” said Lisa from GO Riteway in Richfield. “The ridership has been down, and we just can’t do it again this year.”

In 2018 the local bus company issued a statement: “GO Riteway has decided that due to the underutilization of our shuttle service to the Wisconsin State Fair, we will no longer provide this service.”

Neighbors are not too thrilled; many say it was super convenient.

The Wisconsin State Fair does provide some options. There are shuttles and Freeway Flyers that run out of Park & Ride lots, but it looks like you must get as close to Brown Deer Road or jump into neighboring Waukesha County if you want to take advantage of that.

Many said there is a very convenient Park & Ride at Watertown Plank Road, however it’s advised you get there early as it fills up fast. The Wisconsin State Fair runs Aug. 1 – 11.

New restaurant opening this week in Germantown

In May 2019 a story on WashingtonCountyInsider.com highlighted a new restaurant opening in Germantown.

The Precinct, by Jodi Janissee-Kanzenbach, was taking an old-school location (the former Germantown Police Department) and turning it into a new trendy eatery.  The location is just around the corner from Barley Pop Pub, N116 W16137 Main Street.

The restaurant is now set to open and Janissee-Kanzenbach has received a fantastic write up by Lori Fredrich from onmilwaukee.com  A portion of the article is below.

A brighter, modern space

“I opened my first restaurant by the seat of my pants, but I wanted to do this the right way,” says Janisse-Kanzenbach, who says the decision to close Cafe Soeurette and open The Precinct was a combination of necessity and serendipity

“Operating a restaurant in a leased space for so many years made eventually owning our own building pretty important to us. We wanted the opportunity to build a concept from the ground up, and we loved the idea of making the restaurant accessible to a larger market.”

To find the right spot, she enlisted the help of Deb Reinbold at the Economic Development of Washington County, who assisted her in identifying locations with favorable demographics and affordable real estate.

Along the way, a business partnership developed. Reinbold and her husband Don – who also own and operate the Barley Pop Pub & Restaurant in Germantown – brought on Janisse-Kanzenbach and her husband Cory as operating partners for their restaurant.

They also offered up a long vacant building – which once housed the Germantown Police Department – as the site for Janisse-Kanzenbach’s new restaurant. It was a win-win.

“We have a dedicated parking lot,” she adds. “The restaurant is ADA accessible, and we’ve built the restaurant that we really wanted.”

The restaurant sports an eclectic industrial chic vibe that’s underscored by raw brick, visible steel beams and exposed ductwork. The look is softened by details like warm wood flooring and walls painted in vibrant shades of blue, purple and deep teal.

West Bend School District Private Task Force making progress | By Kraig Sadownikow

The West Bend School District Private Task Force (WBSDTF) continues its work and is on schedule to report findings to the school board in October of this year.

The Task Force was formed in the wake of a failed referendum in April of 2019.  The goal of the referendum was the construction of a new K-4 elementary school in Jackson and safety and infrastructure enhancements at the high schools.

“We have formed sub-committees who are focusing on the key areas we identified during our tours and discussions with staff.” stated task force organizer and City of West Bend Mayor Kraig Sadownikow.  “Elementary School Deployment, priorities at the High Schools and Operational Efficiencies are the sub-committee topics”, he said.

The Task Force added research of Decorah and Fair Park Elementary Schools to its original tours of Jackson Elementary and the High Schools.  The group has been reviewing forecasted maintenance and capital improvement needs at the facilities, studying projected enrollment data and comparing new information to the District’s 25-year plan which was compiled almost 10 years ago.

“We are looking to see if the input data used for the 25-year plan is still valid and accurate.  We want to make sure our findings use the most current information available,” said Task Force member Chris Schmidt.

The Task Force is comprised of district taxpayers, many of whom did not know one another prior to their service.  Local columnist and Task Force member Owen Robinson recognized, “It has been an uplifting experience to witness a group of people from different backgrounds and with diverse perspectives work so hard and well together.  Our shared goal is to ensure the WBSD provides an exceptional education for our kids and those kids who follow.  This drives our purpose.”

WBDSPTF members are Kevin Steiner, Tim Schmidt, Kraig Sadownikow, Randy Stark, Ed Duquaine, Dan Garvey, Mike Chevalier, Owen Robinson, Chris Kleman, Chris Schmidt and the education team from Zimmerman Design Studios.  Members were chosen based on their design, construction, facilities management and communication expertise.

For additional information on the West Bend School District Private Task Force contact Kraig Sadownikow at www.teamacs.net.

Public hearing for expansion at Cedar Community is August 6

There will be a public hearing at the Tuesday, Aug. 6 West Bend Plan Commission meeting as Cedar Communities asked for a change in 9.8 acres of land located at 113 Cedar Ridge Drive, Cedar Ridge Campus.

The recommendation was to change the land use from multi-family residential to two-family residential. Below are details from James Reinke, Business & Development Planner for the City of West Bend.

Cedar Communities has submitted a request to consider a comprehensive land use plan change and a zoning change for approximately 9.8 acres located at 113 Cedar Ridge Drive. The request is for the northern portion of the 49-acre parcel.

The request is to consider a change in land use from the existing multi-family residential to two family residential land use for the northern portion of the Cedar Ridge Campus.

“Cedar Community has a years-long waiting list for active seniors who are looking for larger apartments and homes,” said Julie Gabelmann, Cedar Community Vice President of Resident Experience. “The twin homes we hope to build will help meet that growing demand, while providing the natural beauty of the 50-acre Cedar Ridge Campus, and the access to all of Cedar Community’s services and amenities.”

The surrounding existing land uses are; residential and agricultural town uses to the west and south, single family and two-family residential uses to the north, and park, recreation and open space to the east. Given the surrounding existing uses the size of the parcel and the overall density, staff finds the proposed request to be an acceptable alternative for land use. The two-family residential use would be used as a transition from the existing multi-family use to the single-family use. The possible resulting residential density is less than that permitted under the current land use and zoning designation.

If the Comprehensive Plan change is endorsed by the Plan Commission, a zoning amendment to rezone that portion of the parcel will be requested to change the zoning from RM-4 Multi-Family Residential District to RD-2 Two-Family Residential and to add a Planned Unit Development Overlay (PUD) District.

At the same meeting, a second public hearing would be held for the rezoning of that portion of the property from RM-4 Multi-Family Residential district to RD-2 Two-Family Residential District and a PUD overlay district.

pc: Adam Hertel, American Construction Services

Cedar Community said the expansion is necessary considering the demand in the house market for active seniors.

Washington County POWTS information meeting rescheduled

Washington County Parks Department is rescheduling the POWTS Special Assessment Informational Session scheduled for Tuesday, August 6 at 6 p.m. at Richfield Volunteer Fire Station #1 due to concerns about seating and room capacity.

Following the public hearing the County has reason to believe a larger location is needed.

“We feel it is extremely important to ensure the public has the opportunity to learn more about the public policy surrounding this discussion and participate further,” said Jamie Ludovic, Central Services Director at Washington County.

The meeting will be rescheduled prior to any County Board action on the subject but the Land Use and Planning Committee may discuss the item at its committee meeting August 22.

Attendance totals for MOWA Art & Chalk Fest top 20,000+ | By Jessica Wildes

The Museum of Wisconsin Art (MOWA) presented its third annual Art & Chalk Fest on Saturday, July 27 and Sunday, July 28, 2019.

This free, outdoor arts festival featured a juried selection of 60+ fine artists selling their work and 17 chalk artists from across the nation creating ephemeral masterpieces. The museum was also free for the entire weekend.  This is the second year that MOWA has welcomed more than 20,000 visitors to the festival.

“Art & Chalk Fest 2019 was an extraordinary success. The new MOWA Gardens and West Bend Riverwalk East provided an expansive space for visitors to enjoy and stay for an entire weekend,” said MOWA Executive Director | CEO Laurie Winters.

Art & Chalk Fest featured a juried selection of fine artists selling original, handmade artwork in a variety of media: basketry, ceramics, fiber, fine art, furniture, glass, jewelry, leather, mixed media, photography, and wood. Visitors could shop from one-of-a-kind items and stop by each booth to meet the artists.

The museum parking lot became a concrete canvas for chalk artists to create ephemeral masterpieces, many of which were interactive and offered a three-dimensional illusion. Festival attendees also voted for their favorite chalk artworks.

MOWA was free and open to the public for the entire weekend of Art & Chalk Fest. The summer exhibition, Among the Wonders of the Dells: Photography, Place, Tourism, took visitors on a trip through 150 years of photography by eight historical and contemporary artists, telling the story of how the Wisconsin Dells transformed from remote natural wonder to the “Waterpark Capital of the World” and the state’s largest tourist attraction.

Art activities for all ages were offered throughout the festival. Attendees created their own chalk drawings outside on Veterans Avenue and took a break from the heat inside the museum with interactive art projects. In addition to art, Art & Chalk Fest featured live music and entertainment, food vendors, and a beer garden.

Since last year’s festival, MOWA’s surrounding four-acre green space transformed into spectacularly landscaped gardens. The MOWA Gardens include a field for activities, 800 quaking aspen trees, 1,200 hydrangeas, outdoor sculptures, and interconnected walkways perfect for wayfinding or meandering. It’s a must-see destination in the heart of downtown West Bend and is framed by the stunning Milwaukee Riverwalk, white footbridges to shops and restaurants, and Eisenbahn State Trail.

Ozaukee Christian School closes on property purchase in Town of Trenton

Ozaukee Christian School has closed on its property purchase.

“The prayers of God’s people have leveled the mountains before us,” said Ozaukee Christian School administrator Kris Austin.

Ozaukee Christian School will open in the Town of Trenton, 1214 Highway 33 across from West Bend Lakes Golf Course.

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

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

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

Kris Austin submitted an update on where the school is about opening and registration:

We are currently working hard on cleaning out the building to prepare it for the fall. Due to time constraints, we have tweaked our original building plans so that we occupy the west portion of the building for this first year. That will allow us to continue working on the remainder of the building for the following year.

We have re-worked our school calendar to accommodate our workers. The first day of school is now Monday, Sept. 16. Our last day of school is one week later, June 5.

Other days throughout the year are now student instructional days as well.

We have enjoyed a warm welcome from the Town of Trenton and West Bend. We are anxious to serve families seeking a non-denominational school option in both Ozaukee and Washington Counties. We have a K3 – 8th Grade OPEN HOUSE on Tuesday, August 6. Because our building will not be ready for guests yet, Calvary Assembly has graciously offered us the use of its sanctuary that evening.

Jackson PD to host National Night Out | By Officer Jennifer Gerke

The Jackson Police Department will be hosting its first National Night Out on August 6, 2019 at Hickory Lane Park from 5 p.m. – 8 p.m.

National Night Out is an annual community-building event that promotes strong police-community partnerships and safety.

We are excited to announce we have a fun-filled family night planned! A variety of emergency vehicles will be on display from Jackson PD, Washington County Sheriff’s Office, Wisconsin State Patrol, and Jackson Fire Department.

We are kicking off National Night Out with a Flight for Life helicopter landing! The helicopter will be landing at 5:20 p.m.  (dependent on calls for service) and staying for about an hour.

In addition to all the emergency vehicles on display, there will be other local vendors providing information on a variety of safety related topics.

There will also be a free children’s raffle for a chance to win one of 10 bicycles. All the bicycles will include a helmet. We will also be giving away gun locks, fingerprint/ID kits for kids, and goodie bags containing coloring books and other items.

No need to eat dinner beforehand, Jackson Community Center will be on-hand and selling some grilled deliciousness. Plan on bringing your family to Hickory Park to join us for this fun-filled night.

This is our first time hosting a National Night Out event and we’re hoping for a great turnout from our community. We have some great prizes to give out so please join us at this family-friendly event on August 6.

Pioneer Kids Day at History Center of Washington Co.

On Thursday, August 8 from 9 a.m. to noon at The History Center of Washington County, children entering 1st – 5th grade are invited to travel back to a time when Wisconsin was part of the frontier in our nation’s expansion westward.

Activities include a blacksmith demonstration, log cabin construction, cornbread baking, and a group sing along. Cost: $8 per child after Aug. 1.

Cedar Community annual Butterfly Release is Saturday, August 17

The annual Cedar Community Butterfly Release on Saturday, Aug. 17 is an uplifting celebration of life where friends and families join in the release of hundreds of butterflies, honoring their loved ones. Guests enjoy musical entertainment, an activity area for all ages, memorial wall and food and beverages available for purchase.

Admission with one butterfly: $5 (six and older) Five and under receive free admission and no butterfly.

Kettle Moraine Symphony schedule for 2019-2020 season

During the 2019-20 season the Kettle Moraine Symphony is touring Washington County to take advantage of four of the six great performing arts facilities available in the county. A free bus for non-drivers will again be available for each concert.

September 29 at 3 p.m. – Kettle Moraine Lutheran High School Performing Arts Center

Britten: “The Young Person’s Guide to the Orchestra” narrated by Judge Andrew Gonring

Vivaldi: “Autumn” from “The Four Seasons” with WBHS Chamber Strings

Tchaikovsky: Symphony No. 4

November 3 at 3 p.m. -The Silver Lining Arts Center at West Bend High School

Veterans Concert –  Robert Lowden: “Armed Forces Salute”

Gershwin: “An American in Paris”  Dvořák: Symphony No. 9 “From the New World”

February 23 at 3 p.m. – Kewaskum Performing Arts Center

“Chamber” Orchestra Concert –  Mozart: Symphony No. 40 Strauss: Serenade No. 7

Beethoven: Symphony No. 8

May 3 at 3 p.m. – Location to be announced Winds & Percussion

Claude T. Smith: “Flight” (high school bands collaboration project)

Rachmaninoff: Symphony No. 2 (full orchestra)

Around the Bend by Judy Steffes

Billy Sims BBQ to open in West Bend

A new BBQ restaurant will open before the end of the year in West Bend.

Clay Covert is opening a 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.  “I have the plans done and they’re with the city,” he said.

A resident of Slinger, Covert previously ran his own marketing firm. “I’m going to use that marketing experience and develop the franchise,” he said.

A native of Detroit, Covert was familiar with former NFL player and Heisman Trophy winner Billy Sims. “He played for the Detroit Lions and a few years ago he partnered with someone and decided to open a couple restaurants and franchise them,” said Covert. “This is a small, up-and-coming franchise with stores primarily in Oklahoma, Kansas and a couple in Detroit, Iowa and Colorado but this will be the first foray in Wisconsin.”

Covert describes it as a “southern BBQ chain” that features pulled pork, brisket, turkey, chicken and ribs. “One of the unique things they serve is baloney and what really sets it apart is all the meat is smoked with pecan wood; it gives it a sweeter taste,” he said.

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.

The franchise format is considered “fast casual.”

“There will be plenty of seating, carry out and we will do a lot of catering,” he said. “The style is similar to a Qdoba where you place your order, go down the line and get your food.”

Covert is expected to employ about 15 part timers and is expected to open in late fall.

Adam Williquette, Broker and Owner of American Commercial Real Estate oversaw the lease of the space.

Registered sex offender to live across from children’s play area at Sandy Knoll Park

Neighbors by Sandy Knoll Park on Wallace Lake Road and Trenton Road in the Town of Trenton are receiving information today from the Washington County Sheriff’s Department regarding a registered sex offender moving into the area.

Washington Co. Sheriff’s Sgt. Michael Hennes is visiting neighbors with an information sheet about Kenneth E. Crass who will be released from prison July 23, 2019.

Crass was convicted in 2014 of five counts of possession of child pornography. The Sheriff’s notice said Crass will reside at 7150 N. Trenton Road.

Neighbor Tim Wollak has lived by Sandy Knoll Park for nearly four years. He said he understands the “rehabilitation” process but questions the choice of location.

“It’s completely unacceptable,” said Wollak.  “This playground abuts the property of a convicted sex offender. I am not sure how it was even remotely considered a good location by those involved.”

A release will be posted Wednesday, July 17 from the Washington County Sheriff’s Department. In it Sheriff Martin Schulteis states, “Kenneth E. Crass will have numerous rules and restrictions to follow including wearing a live tracking GPS unit. The GPS monitoring unit will have exclusion zones set up alerting WI-DOC if there is a violation of the exclusion zone rules. One exclusion zone will be Sandy Knoll Co. Park.”

Wollak believes there are holes in the monitoring process. “What if a child wanders on to his property or if the technology stops working,” he said. “The GPS unit does not prevent a crime from occurring, it simply alerts the agent he left his property. Furthermore, it appears he will be able to view the children’s play area from his property which is very concerning as he was convicted of five counts of possessing child pornography.”

The release from Schulteis also states Crass’s “criminal history places him in a classification level which reflects a low potential to re-offend.”

The release given to neighbors by Sgt. Michael Hennes also said, “This sex offender has served the prison sentence imposed on him by the courts. He is NOT wanted by law enforcement at this time. This notification is not intended to increase fear, but rather it is our belief that an informed public is a safer public.”

Hennes said there is one Public Relations D.A.R.E. officer, Deputy William Niehus, who visits registered sex offenders in Washington County twice a year.

According to Wisconsin Department of Corrections Sex Offender Registry there are 195 registered sex offenders living in Washington County.

Crass is scheduled to be released from prison Tuesday, July 23, 2019. He will be on probation until July 29, 2024.

A note of clarification: In 2014 Crass pleaded guilty to five counts of possession of child pornography, however a check of Wisconsin Circuit Court Access shows there were five additional Felony D charges of possession of child pornography. According to CCAP those charges were dismissed but read in.

Crass appeared before Washington County Judge James Muehlbauer.

Washington Co. Sheriff said registered sex offender will live by children’s play area at Sandy Knoll Park in Town of Trenton

The Washington County Sheriff’s Department is issuing more information regarding a registered sex offender who will be released and living at a home next to the kid’s playground at Sandy Knoll Park.

Clare Hendricks from the State Department of Corrections offered a bit of insight on how Crass will be monitored once he is released.

Our top priority as the Department of Corrections is to ensure the safety of the public while assisting those in our care. We encourage anyone that suspects an individual is not complying with their rules of supervision or is acting unlawfully to reach out to local law enforcement and the Division of Community Corrections.

Mr. Crass is expected to be released from prison on 7/23/19 and will be living in Trenton, WI. He is required to meet with his probation officer every week. He will be on GPS monitoring and will not allowed in any parks next to or near his residence.

Mr. Crass is required to register with the Wisconsin Sex Offender Registry. He is on standard sex offender community supervision rules including he may not have unsupervised contact with minors, may not enter taverns, bars and liquor stores, may not use an alias, and may not have contact with previous victims.

Craig Hoeppner leaving for Oconomowoc Parks Department

West Bend Park, Recreation and Forestry director Craig Hoeppner is leaving West Bend to take a similar job in Oconomowoc.

On Tuesday, July 16 the City of Oconomowoc approved Hoeppner as its new director of Parks, Rec and Forestry. The job was posted May 17 at a salary between $90,790 to $116,730.

Hoeppner will replace Oconomowoc Park and Rec director John Kelliher, who recently left for a similar position in Brookfield.

Hoeppner has been with the City of West Bend since 2004. A couple standout projects where he played an integral part include the completion of the east side of the Downtown Riverwalk, helping oversee construction in 2018 of the basketball/pickleball/volleyball courts at Regner Park and of course the launch of the popular Dirty Ninja Mud Run.

In 2016 Hoeppner received the “Professional Award of Merit,” the highest award given by the Wisconsin Park & Recreation Association to a park and recreation professional in the State of Wisconsin.  Hoeppner was the second person in the West Bend Park and Rec Department to receive the Professional Award of Merit. Juliene Hefter also received the award and she began her career as Manager of Recreation Services for the City of West Bend.

In 2017 Hoeppner was a co-recipient of the Betty Pearson Community Leadership Award along with Mike Nowack.

West Bend City Administrator Jay Shambeau said he will fill in the position in the interim along with West Bend Park and Forestry Superintendent Mike Jentsch.

St. Lucas Lutheran to Host National Night Out Block Party August 6 

On Tuesday, August 6, neighbors in Kewaskum and Washington County are invited to join forces with thousands of communities nationwide for the 36th Annual National Night Out crime and drug prevention event. National Night Out which is sponsored by the National Association of Town Watch and cosponsored locally by St. Lucas Lutheran Church and School, will involve over 16,790 communities from all 50 states, U.S. territories, Canadian cities, and military bases around the world.  In all, over 38.6 million people are expected to participate in “America’s Night Out Against Crime.”

National Night Out is designed to: (1) Heighten crime and drug prevention awareness; (2) Generate support for, and participation in, local anticrime efforts; (3) Strengthen neighborhood spirit and police-community partnerships; and (4) Send a message to criminals letting them know neighborhoods are organized and fighting back.

A block party for our whole community will be hosted Tuesday, August 6, 5:30- 8:30 p.m. at St. Lucas Lutheran Church and School, 1410 Parkview Drive. Parkview Drive will be closed and activities will take place in the church parking lot and the school grounds. Handicapped Parking will be available along the alley between Parkview Drive and Bilgo Lane. Bring a lawn chair and stay a while. Food and refreshments will be available.  Free entertainment for children will include a bounce house and various games.

The Kewaskum Police Department and Kewaskum Fire Department will have equipment on display. The West Bend Community Band will perform at 6 p.m.  The Kewaskum Big Band will follow at 7:30 p.m. Both groups will perform in the church parking lot. In case of rain, the event will be held in the St. Lucas Lutheran School Gymnasium.  On National Night Out, we invite neighborhoods nationwide to join us and “give crime a going away party.”

Students from Washington Co. make Dean’s List at UW-Parkside

Lauren Treptow of Kewaskum, WI was named to the Dean’s and Provost’s Lists at the University of Wisconsin-Parkside for the Fall 2018 semester.

Alexa Bingen of Slinger, WI was named to the Dean’s List at the University of Wisconsin-Parkside for the Fall 2018 semester.

Jodi Simmelink of West Bend, WI was named to the Dean’s and Provost’s Lists at the University of Wisconsin-Parkside for the Fall 2018 semester.

To qualify for the Dean’s List, students must earn at least a 3.5 grade-point average. To qualify for the Provost’s List, students must earn at least a 3.8 grade-point average.

Postponed 2018 Property Taxes                       By Jane Merten Washington Co. Treasurer

The Washington County Treasurer would like to remind taxpayers their postponed/second installment 2018 property taxes are due on or before July 31, 2019.

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

The County Treasurer encourages mailing your property tax payments early and not waiting until the last week of July.  Mailing your payment early helps make sure the USPS postmark is timely and provides greater opportunity to correct errors before the deadline. “The cost of missing the July 31 deadline is severe.  Under state law, interest and penalty charges are 1.5% per month back to Feb. 1, (10.5% in August for 2017 taxes) and continue to accrue until the taxes are paid in full. So, it is imperative to pay property taxes on time to avoid delinquent charges.”

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

The Washington County Treasurer’s office hours are Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.  You can contact the office at 262.335.4324.

Buck Blodgett impacting state prison inmates                             By Samantha Sali

On July 15, 2013, six years ago this week, the city of Hartford was rocked by the news of the brutal murder of 19-year-old Jessie Blodgett. Today, her father, Buck Blodgett, has made headlines for forgiving his daughter’s murderer, Daniel Bartelt, during the sentencing hearing and for starting up a non-profit called The LOVE > hate Project, targeting to end male-on-female violence.

One of the key parts of Blodgett’s nonprofit is giving presentations around the state titled, A Message from Jessie. To date, Blodgett has presented Jessie’s story to hundreds of people at college campuses, high schools, conferences, and community groups. He also travels to prisons, impacting inmates around the state of Wisconsin.

Buck Blodgett said he has done “about two dozen” presentations for the state prison system in the last two years, reaching 3,000 inmates and staff. “As The LOVE > hate Project returns to prisons this year that we visited last year, we are hearing more and more stories of the impact,” Blodgett said.

Blodgett said last year at Prairie du Chien Correctional, an inmate stood up during the Q&A after the presentation. The inmate said, “I don’t believe you forgave your daughter’s killer; don’t believe you could, don’t believe you would. I know I couldn’t, and I definitely wouldn’t.”

Blodgett replied, “I didn’t drive across the state and come to prison today to hear you say you can’t and won’t. We need you. You’re getting out soon and your calling needs you to answer it.”

When Blodgett returned to Prairie du Chien Correctional this year, he witnessed the same inmate attended the presentation with an entirely different attitude. He learned that Prairie du Chien had since started their own program called The Forgiveness Class. The inmate leader for the class was the same inmate who expressed his opposing viewpoints just the year prior.

Blodgett shared his new goal of expanding his reach within the prison system with a new, 4-part, faith-based series. “I’m hoping to distribute the video series farther and wider than I can do in person in other states,” he said.

“Buck has been invited into all the prisons within the state of Wisconsin. He’s made such an impact that it has caught the attention of the wardens and the chaplains. The chaplains wanted a faith-based presentation, so this series is called The F-Words…think Faith, Forgiveness, etc.,” said John Bass, pastor at Cedar Springs Church, 3128 Slinger Road, Slinger. Bass also serves as the Director of Promotions and Fundraising on The LOVE > hate Project’s Board of Directors.

“Buck is just a dynamite guy. Cedar Springs Church has just fallen in love with him and his message of love and forgiveness,” Bass said. “Our church has taken on The LOVE > hate Project as one of our missions because it’s about something we are passionate about; love, forgiveness, and overcoming and conquering hate. He’s been a huge part of our church; people look up to him and follow his example. The congregation has grown through Joy and Buck’s forgiveness,” said Bass.

The series is being recorded at Cedar Springs during its 9:30 a.m. service. Part 3 will be recorded Sunday, July 28, 2019.

Public info meeting for roundabout at CTH Q and Hillside Road in Village of Richfield

There is going to be a public information meeting for possible improvements to the CTH Q and Hillside Road Intersection in the Town of Lisbon / Village of Richfield in Washington and Waukesha Counties:

Wednesday, July 31 – 6 p.m. to 7 p.m.        Presentation at 6:05 p.m., followed by Q & A

Richfield Village Hall, 4128 Hubertus Road, Hubertus, WI 53033

Washington County is planning to apply for funding to construct a roundabout at the intersection of CTH Q and Hillside Road. The project is designed to improve safety at the intersection. Construction timing will be based on the approval of funding with an estimated construction schedule of 2021 or 2022.

Please attend to view displays, learn more from Washington County Highway Department staff, review informational displays, and provide your input on these proposed improvements.

Those unable to attend can submit comments to scott.schmidt@co.washington.wi.us Informational displays will also be available on the County Highway Department website on August 1. Feel free to contact the Washington County Highway Department with any questions at 262-335-4435.

Welcoming Smart Warehousing to the Village of Germantown

A ceremonial “Massive Panel Raising” will officially welcome Smart Warehousing to the community of Germantown with the construction of Germantown Gateway Corporate Park’s newest industrial building.  The building is one of two industrial buildings currently under construction within the newly established 140-acre corporate park located less than one mile east of the I-41 and Holy Hill Road/CTH 167 interchange.  The Panel Raising will occur on Monday, July 22 at 3 p.m. on the construction site.

With completion scheduled this fall, the 200,000 square foot industrial building will be home to Kansas City-based Smart Warehousing.  Smart Warehousing is an industry leading warehousing, fulfillment and logistical solutions company with operations located throughout the country.

The developer, Zilber Property GroupSM, recently completed a 706,000 square foot build-to-suit for Briggs & Stratton Corporation’s global distribution operations and is also currently developing an additional 200,000 square foot speculative building at the park.  Additional land sites are available for development.

Participating in the “Massive Panel Raising” will be Dean Wolter (Village of Germantown President), Mark Barbari (Executive Director of Strategic Accounts, Smart Warehousing) and John Kersey (Executive Vice President, Zilber Property Group).  The panel raising ceremony will begin promptly at 3:15 p.m.

Public hearing July 25 for Washington Co. special assessment on septic / Private On-site Wastewater Treatment System

On Thursday, July 25 in Room 1014 at the Washington County Courthouse there will be a public hearing at 7:35 a.m. regarding a proposal to place a special assessment on property tax bills for the tracking and maintenance of the Private On-site Wastewater Treatment System (POWTS) throughout Washington County.

According to the County website:

This assessment is currently estimated at $11 annually per parcel served by POWTS or $11 annually per system located on a single parcel, whichever is greater.

The report on the Special Assessment is available HERE or for inspection at the County Clerk’s Office and Parks and Planning Department Office during business hours.

In short, this report details the proposed special assessments intended to recover or defray Washington County’s costs related to developing, maintaining and enforcing a POWTS inventory tracking system as required by §145.20 Wis. Stats. The assessment district includes all incorporated and unincorporated areas of Washington County within which POWTS are located. We continue to evaluate programs and costs in Washington County in order to best serve all County residents and ensure that we are mindful of the future. As such, the County has passed a preliminary resolution authorizing this report, a letter to homeowners and a public hearing because the cost of this program makes sense to be borne by users rather than taxpayers at large. Roughly 40% of properties within the County are serviced by POWTS (an estimated 20,313 parcels as of 6/13/2019) and the remaining properties are serviced by sewer. 25 other Counties throughout Wisconsin currently use fees to support POWTS system programming.

Some frequently asked questions include:

Q: Why are you holding the public hearing in the morning?

The public hearing is scheduled during the Land Use and Planning’s monthly standing meeting. We are considering the addition of a possible additional evening information session in order to accommodate a variety of residents and stakeholders. Any comments received in writing, via email or letter, will be added to the record of the public hearing. Written comments received on or before Wednesday, July 24 will be distributed to the committee prior to the hearing. Written comments received after the public hearing will be distributed to the committee via email. All written comments will be posted to the county’s website.

Q: What would the fee pay for?

The proposed fee is for the administrative costs of the county to administer the POWTS maintenance program as required by state law. This includes maintaining the inventory of systems and sending maintenance reminders to POWTS owners when their system is due for maintenance. If compliance is not obtained, then a Wisconsin Uniform Municipal Citation may be written and an appearance in court may be necessary. Other duties performed within the program include database management, analysis and quality control of the POWTS program, mailing and emailing information, reconciliation reports and general customer service duties.

Q: Why do you mail postcards? Could you save money by sending reminder e-mails?

The county looks to employ technology whenever possible. Our current systems do not have a way to email owners instead of mailing a card. Even mass email clients could require yearly subscription fees. Additionally, when property ownership changes, the email would be obsolete. It’s more accurate to mail property owners, because mailing addresses are updated with ownership changes.

Q: $225,000 for this program cost annually is a lot.

The preliminary/proposed program costs are outlined on the county’s website. These were developed based on a series of assumptions for public and County Board dialogue. Costs shown are based on the county’s estimated current programming costs for Land Use Programming. A quick note, the fire capacity for Room 1014 is 100. County officials are planning for overflow; however, those details have not yet been released.

In addition to the public hearing, an informational session will be held August 6 at Richfield Fire Station #1 at 6 p.m.

Letter to the Editor | Objections to Washington Co. special assessment for Private On-Site Treatment Systems | By David L. and Lynn S. Williams

I choose to present my strong objection to the Special Assessment for properties with Private On-Site Treatment Systems in written form and trust that as the letter to residents states, “Written comments will be read at the public hearing and will be given the same weight as oral testimony.”

My comments follow relevant sections of the synopsis…..

EXCERPTS FROM: Private On-Site Wastewater Treatment System (POWTS) Maintenance Program Special Charge Tax Assessment Report June 2019

(1) ” …..because the cost of this program makes sense to be borne by users rather than taxpayers at large.”

“Program Benefits

Land Resources programming in Washington County has a vision for “protected and improved land & water resources.” One of the primary reasons for POWTS regulations and properly maintaining POWTS is the health of families, communities and the environment. When septic systems fail, inadequately treated household wastewater is released into the environment and human contact can pose a significant risk to public health. Failing systems can contaminate nearby wells, groundwater, and drinking water sources. (EMPHASIS ADDED) …”

RESPONSE: The benefit of POWTS monitoring DOES benefit ALL taxpayers. As stated, failing systems can contaminate groundwater and drinking water sources. All homeowners , including those on on city sewers, DO realize a benefit from the program.

CONCLUSION: The cost for monitoring POWTS should be borne by all taxpayers and be part of the county budget, as it has been ever since monitoring became required.

(2) The allocation of 40% of “Salary & Wages” (and similarly in all the line items) in the proposed 2020 Budget to the POWTS program is excessive.

RATIONALE: Proof of compliance is only required every third year. Therefore, in any year only one-third of the 20,000 POWTS owner need to be contacted, i.e. 6,666. Suppose that 80% of the owners comply after the first post card mailing, then only 1,333 require further follow-up.

CONCLUSION: If there is to be Special Assessment the Board should require the Department to evaluate and justify how it could possibly require $227,527 to monitor the program.

Respectfully submitted,

David L. and Lynn S. Williams

 Letter to the Editor | Attention owners of Washington Co. Private On-site Wastewater Treatment System | By Frank Mayer

Attention Washington County POWTS Owners

RE: Public Hearing on July 25 at 7:35 a.m.

I have numerous questions and thoughts regarding this Public Hearing

#  1  This seems to be a strange time for a Public Hearing.

#  2  This special Assessment does not fully explain what this money will be used for.

#  3  The notices for pumping have been sent out for  19 years and the pumpers send in their report to Planning and Parks  Department. If the money $11 per household is used for computer entry only, this seems like a money grab. $11 per year times 3 years per household. This is way out of line for such little work. What’s next $11 per well?

#  4  If onsite inspections were done with this money, and consider 8 inspections per day per household, ( counting travel time ) 40 per week and 200 per year it would take 9 years just to complete the Town of Farmington which has 1900 households give or take. The County has 20313 systems. At $11 per year per household in the County times 20313 that comes to  223,443 per year for computer entry. Systems are pumped every third year. In a three year period this would amount to  670,329. What a windfall for Planning and Parks.

#  5  Special Assessments on the TAX BILL ARE NOT TAX DEDUCTIBLE.

#  6  I would hope you, Jamie Ludovic ( Central Services Director )  would consider holding another Public Hearing or an extension of such hearing at a future date and time between 6 p.m. and  8 p.m.

Concerned Town of Farmington Resident

Frank Mayer


Disclaimer: Opinions and letters published in http://www.washingtoncountyinsider.com are not necessarily the views of the Editor, or Publisher.

Around the Bend by Judy Steffes

Independent Task Force to examine facilities in West Bend School District

There was a presentation Monday, June 17 at the West Bend School Board meeting as a community group stepped up to complete a facilities study in the West Bend School District. The Task Force is led by West Bend Mayor Kraig Sadownikow, West Bend Mutual Insurance CEO Kevin Steiner and Tim Schmidt of Delta Defense.

Topic and Background from WBSD Superintendent Don Kirkegaard: In May I had a discussion with three individuals from the community: Mayor Kraig Sadownikow, Kevin Steiner/West Bend Mutual Insurance, and Tim Schmidt/Delta Defense that are forming a committee to look at our facilities. They have asked to have access to our facilities and have an opportunity to visit with Mr. Ross to discuss projects that have been completed, as well as projects that are being planned.

There is no district involvement with the committee.

They will submit a report to the Board in September and/or October. The Board can use all of or part of the information as the Board determines future facilities’ improvements.

The committee is not authorized by the Board or the Superintendent. The report will be informational only with the Board being responsible to make any and all decisions.

Board member Joel Ongert: “Are you off and running with this Task Force? Do you have a group of individuals in mind?”

Kevin Steiner: “The committee has been chosen so it’s construction experts, facility management, communication experts and so it’s really a diverse group of people and we have met and they’re on board and anxious to get going.”

Tim Schmidt: “In terms of messaging it’s very important to us and all the folks on this team that we want people to understand we’re supporting you; we’re working to support the school board.”

Board member Nancy Justman: “I heard you spoke of Jackson and the high school… but I wonder if there’s any opportunity to take a look and include in your time and study the other elementary schools. We’re looking at everything on a whole and the community is coming together on this one and can you look at those schools as well.” ((West Bend also has Decorah Elementary, McLane Elementary and Green Tree Elementary))

Steiner: “This group is very willing and perhaps it’s a conversation we could have with the group as we go forward. We’d like to demonstrate this is helpful and still allow you to do your job and so certainly we thought Jackson and the high school is a good way to start but there are opportunities to move beyond that.”

Schmidt: “It’s critical that we address this from a clean-slate mentality. We don’t like to use the April referendum as some starting point but rather wipe the slate clean and figure out from our perspective what we think.”

Steiner: “There are actual committee members that have worked with Mr. Ross (WBSD facilities director) in the past on the long-range plans so there is some knowledge from this group who perhaps also bring some expertise to see how far we’ve come.”

Board member Kurt Rebholz: “It’s eye opening to go through some of these facilities; we have equipment from 1940s and ’50s.”

Board member Paul Fischer: “I’m interested in the scope of the findings. Is it more infrastructure and plant related or will you get into areas like library modifications and without making recommendations will you include potentially include findings such as, this is outdated in terms of instructional type situation or is the focus on more of the physical plan itself.”

Tim Schmidt: “It’s my understanding we won’t look into instructional anything.”

Board member Chris Zwygart: “It’s important this board maximize this group’s independence.  If you can confirm none of the board members are participating on the committee and no district employees.”

Schmidt and Steiner confirm.

Ongert: “We’re not paying you to do this. What are our resources, Dave Ross, access to buildings….  ”

Superintendent Kirkegaard: “We’ll provide any information you need, we’ll give you access to the buildings. One of the things in the referendum people talked about was that when you had the architects telling you to do X and for all the dollars you spend the architects get additional money because they get a percentage. Or you had the builders tell you to do X and they become the contractor. This really does provide an opportunity, not for an outside recommendation, but they have no vested interest other than they want to do what’s best for our community and our school.”

After the meeting Task Force Chairman Kraig Sadownikow submitted the following comment.

CEO’s Kevin Steiner of West Bend Mutual and Tim Schmidt of Delta Defense are pleased to announce their organizations’ financial support for a private task force that will provide independent findings relative to the long-term sustainability and capital improvements at Jackson Elementary and the West Bend High Schools.   A referendum failed to gain taxpayer support in April of 2019.  The referendum targeted enhancements at the West Bend High Schools as well as the construction of a new K-4 elementary school in Jackson.  “The referendum showed that our community is divided on whether these investments are necessary.  The Task Force will take a fresh, independent look at the needs of the district and will share findings with the school board.  I applaud all the members of the Task Force for stepping up and taking action to help bring our community together around this issue,” said Steiner.

The West Bend School District Private Task Force is not a publicly created committee. Rather, it is a private collection of concerned taxpayers.  Schmidt noted, “The voters in the District spoke loud and clear. They were uncomfortable with the April referendum question.  Delta Defense works hard at attracting more and more families to join our team and move to West Bend. Having strong, competitive schools is critical in this effort. I’m excited to dig in and find an efficient and responsible solution for West Bend schools.”

“We live in a very intelligent and generous community whose citizens rally around causes while being careful to thoroughly analyze efforts and projects prior to supporting them,” stated City of West Bend Mayor and businessman Kraig Sadownikow.  “The purpose behind this independent task force is to offer the School Board and district taxpayers an unbiased, educated opinion regarding the potential needs in Jackson and at the High Schools.”  Sadownikow is also Chairman of the Task Force.

Task Force members were chosen based on their construction, facilities management, and communication expertise.  They will tour schools, investigate alternative solutions to current challenges, validate current needs, and report findings to the West Bend School Board in October of 2019.  According to Sadownikow, Task Force members are committed to asking questions that have never been asked before and to communicate openly, consistently, and independently.  Zimmerman Architectural Studios has been retained by the Task Force and will offer consultation pertaining to facility best practices in the education environment.

“We do not expect to make recommendations to the School Board. Instead, we will present findings within the context of the District’s long-range improvement plan,” Sadownikow said.  He added, “the School Board was elected to make decisions.  With that in mind, we will offer our independent thoughts and findings, allowing the School Board to draw their own conclusions and take action accordingly.”

For additional information on the West Bend School District Private Task Force contact Kraig Sadownikow at www.teamacs.net.

Historic West Bend Theatre sign primed and painted

A hat tip to the wonderful staff at Poblocki Sign Company in Milwaukee for opening its doors so we can give you a behind-the-scenes look at the latest stage of refurbishing for the Historic West Bend Theatre sign.

On Dec. 27, 2018 the landmark was removed from the side of the theatre in Downtown West Bend; it was loaded onto a semi and brought to the shop to give the 90-year-old iconic sign a face lift.

On Wednesday after the letters and decorative edges had been tightly taped off with fine precision the final spray-painting process got underway.

Poblocki’s Paul Kaminski tried to give an update over the din of the ventilation in the room. “The yellow is a primer color,” said Kaminski. “The reason it’s taped off in the letter troughs is because it’s going to be a lighter color than the teal blue of the sign.”

“We took a chip of the original paint and put it under the spectrophotometer which gave us a computer analysis and spectrum of the color,” Kaminski said. “The computer generated an exact match.”

Kaminski said we were standing in a “heated booth” and the final coat would be “baked on like painting a car.” After watching the start of the painting process the fumes from the spray paint forced us out of the area and we watched through a window in the door. Poblocki’s Cindy Wendland said the staff knew we were coming so they cleaned off the window for a clear view.

Up next, after the paint dries the tunnels in the letters will be painted and electronics will be installed.

The sign is expected to be returned later this summer as the Historic West Bend Theatre undergoes a major renovation.

Building home to Walmart in West Bend has been sold

In March 2019 a story was posted at WashingtonCountyInsider.com about the property at 1515 W. Paradise Drive being for sale. Many people know it as the building that’s home to Walmart.

According to state records the property has been sold. An article in Biz Times reads:

A 21-acre property that includes a Walmart store in West Bend was sold to a San Diego-based real estate investment firm for $17 million, according to state records.

The commercial property located at 1515 W. Paradise Drive was purchased by an affiliate of Realty Income Corp. from Continental 76 Fund LLC, an affiliate of Menomonee Falls-based Continental Properties.

According to city records, the property includes the single 205,600-square-foot Walmart building, which was constructed in 1998 and underwent a roughly $1.4 million remodel in 2016. The property is assessed at nearly $12.59 million.

Dedication of Civil War Monument in West Bend

There was an intimate ceremony Monday, June 17, 2019, as veterans, friends and family members gathered at Pilgrim Rest Cemetery on Chestnut Street to pay respect to Civil War veterans from the community.

Jen Fechter is with a group called “Remembering Our Civil War Veterans.”

“Our mission is to put monuments, like the one we’re dedicating today, in all the cemeteries in Washington County where Civil War veterans are buried,” she said. “Our mission is to honor those that served in the Civil War and make sure their legacy is always remembered through these monuments. It goes a long way to preserving the history in the community.”

The monument is sponsored by VFW Post 1393 Auxiliary. The memorial honors veterans that served in the Civil War 1861-1865 and who are buried at Pilgrim Rest Cemetery. Names on the grey, granite monument include Henry Bannenberg, John Huebner, John Kahnt, Martin Lampert, John H.W. Peters, Friederich Roennbeck, Rudolph Roennbeck, Moritz Tschoepe, and Gottlieb Zeiher.

Tom Brown, commander of Alonzo H. Cushing Camp No. 5 in Saukville, provided some history on the monument.

“To VFW Post Auxiliary and the City of West Bend in the name of the Sons of Union veterans of the Civil War, representing as we do all the soldiers and sailors who defended the integrity and authority of the nation, thank you and those whom you represent, for this monument.

This monument assures us that dead are held in remembrance – those who served for the security of the citizen and union of states. It is significant of brave and loyal obedience to the command of the nation always and everywhere, since the obligations of citizenship are not restricted to time or place, or to the conflict of arms. It gives encouragement for the future, since the recognition and approval it gives of patriotic fidelity and heroism, will be an incentive for display of public valor and virtue in all coming time.

There can be no doubt that the honor we pay to these patriotic dead, and to their memorable deeds will serve not only to make American citizenship in these days more reputable, but also to maintain and perpetuate, through all future generations, the union and authority of the United States of America.”

The family of John H. W. Peters was well represented at the ceremony. Glenn Peters spoke extensively about his great grandfather. “He never talked much about the war,” said Peters.

Private William Peters served in the 34th Regiment; he was on the Union side in Company K.  The 34th Regiment, Wisconsin Infantry organized in Madison, WI in December 1862. It moved to Columbus, Ky., Jan. 31- Feb. 2, 1863. Attached to District of Columbus, Ky., 6th Division, 16th Army Corps, Dept. of the Tennessee, to August 1863. (Six companies attached to 4th Brigade, District of Memphis, Tenn., 5th Division, 16th Army Corps, May to August).

Signs up for new Shopko Optical in West Bend

It was January 2019 when neighbors in West Bend learned about the fate of Shopko. The retail chain filed bankruptcy, however Shopko noted “All Optical locations below will remain open to serve you during store closing. Your Optical center will be relocated very soon to a new location with the same patient care you have come to expect from your Shopko Optical center.”

A freestanding Shopko Optical will open soon in the strip center to the south of Pick ‘n Save, just to the south of SportClips in the 1700 block of S. Main Street.

The store clerk said the move across the street will occur at the end of June 2019; the exact date has not yet been determined.

More details were posted in a press release from Shopko. In order to position the Company for future success, Shopko has announced that it will be closing an additional 38 stores, relocating over 20 Optical centers to freestanding locations, and conducting an auction process for its pharmacy business. Throughout this process, all Shopko Optical centers and pharmacies remain open and continue to deliver the high-quality products and services to which its customers are accustomed. All other stores remain open as the Company continues to optimize its store footprint. Parties interested in receiving additional information about the Company’s pharmacy auction process should send inquiries to shopko@hl.com.

Additionally, encouraged by the performance of the four freestanding Optical centers that were opened in 2018, Shopko plans to continue to grow its optical business by opening additional freestanding Optical locations during 2019.

The future of Fund 46 in the West Bend School District

During a portion of the Monday, June 10, West Bend School Board meeting a discussion came up about Fund 46.

Andy Sarnow, WBSD finance director, said Fund 46 was established in July 2014.

“We established our Fund 46 five years ago, probably to the day. We do have the ability to spend the money as of July 1, 2019. At this point in time we’re not planning to spend it.”

Superintendent Don Kirkegaard said “some of the money in Fund 10 was spent last year, 2018.”

“With the proposed referendum we were talking about using a couple million dollars in Fund 46,” said Kirkegaard.  “We were talking about using some of that for offsetting some of the referendum dollars. The Jackson fund, we did spend some of that last year when we bought additional land. We used Fund 10; we couldn’t spend anything out of Fund 46 until July 1, 2019.”

Board member Joel Ongert questioned how much money was in Fund 46 and how was it being used by the district.

Sarnow did not know the number off the top of his head and Kirkegaard said it was “In the $2.1 million range.”

Ongert said: “And we’re able to start spending that July 1; I guess just a thought is we outlined all kinds of needs around our facilities and the referendum failed and if those needs are urgent needs and we’ve got $2 million sitting in a fund to tackle security, safety, whatever then I think it’s time to start thinking about whether we use it because if we’re waiting for referendums to pass we could be waiting forever and we’ve got $2 million sitting there that could be renovating the entire library, or could be tackling all of our safety and security issues right now. So that’s something we’ve always talked about the Jackson savings account and the community didn’t think it was time for Jackson right now and we’re sitting on $2 million and we could put in to Jackson with that new blacktop on in Jackson so it’s just something to think about that Fund 46.”

Board member Paul Fischer: “In light of the facilities tour and what we’ve seen and what Dave (Ross) and his team are doing with $1.5 million a year is it reasonable to think we’d have a maintenance driver in the budget? Something that gives us a little more meat to be able to take care of the 1.2 million square feet that we’ve got in the district. I’ve done a little homework and we’re woefully under…. credit to Dave and his team for doing what they’re doing but I believe we’ve optimized the experience in the classroom at the expense of some of the buildings. How do we invest in these facilities so they don’t end up costing us too much down the road.”

According to the Department of Public Instruction money used in Fund 46 has more restrictions and must coincide with an established long-term capital improvement plan.

Long Term Capital Improvement Trust Fund (Fund 46)

A school board with an approved long-term capital improvement plan (minimum of 10 years) may establish a “trust” that is funded with a transfer from the general fund. The contribution from Fund 10 to Fund 46 (Long-term Capital Improvement Trust Fund) is recorded as the expenditure for shared cost and equalization aid purposes. Future expenditures from Fund 46 are not part of shared costs. A school board is prohibited from removing money deposited into Fund 46 for a period of five years after the fund is created. After the initial five year wait period is over, funds may only be used for the purposes identified in the approved long-term capital improvement plan. Fund 46 assets may not be transferred to any other school district fund.

On a history note:

-The School Board regularly set aside $250,000 for the Jackson Elementary Fund, also known as Fund 46. During a meeting in May 2018 it was noted Fund 46 carried $2.5 million and was designated for Jackson Elementary.

-Fund 46 would have been used to offset the cost of a future referendum involving Jackson Elementary. In 2018, for the first time since the fund started in 2014, the board approved setting aside $20,000 for the Jackson Fund. Superintendent Don Kirkegaard said they would see “how our budget is performing.” He said the district would look at whether to contribute to the Jackson Fund in spring 2019.

-During Monday’s meeting, June 10, 2019 district finance director Andy Sarnow said no money is being designated toward the Jackson Elementary Fund/Fund 46 in the upcoming budget.

-In a follow-up email Kirkegaard outlined the funds.

There are actually three different areas or funds coming into play with this topic.   The Jackson Fund were monies set aside and earmarked for a future Jackson project and it is currently held in our General Fund (Fund 10) as a “committed” fund balance.  As of July 1, 2018, there was $2,224,981 in the Jackson account.  The board spent $750,000 from the Jackson account for the purchase of land in the Village of Jackson from the Village of Jackson next to the property the district owned.  The current balance of the Jackson Account in Fund 10 is $1,474,981, again in a committed fund balance in the District’s General Fund.

Fund 46 (Long Term Capital Improvement Trust Fund) was established in July of 2014.   No money can be spent from Fund 46 until July of 2019 per state statute.  It is anticipated that there will be a balance of $1,740,000 at fiscal year-end, 6/30/2019.  There are no specific spending requirements for Fund 46 as long as it is for capital improvements.  It has been generally understood that Fund 46 would also be used for Jackson.

There is a second facilities fund, Fund 41 (Long Term Capital Expansion Fund) dating back to the 2008-09 school year.  Fund 41 is anticipated to have a balance of approximately $740,000 at fiscal year-end.  These two funds, Fund 41 and Fund 46, have historically been talked about as one fund but they are two different accounts.  Going forward we will correctly refer to each fund separately.

A discussion about the mill rate was initiated toward the end of Monday night’s budget discussion.

Board member Ongert: “So are you suggesting the mill rate could go down even more during the 2019-2020 budget?”

Andy Sarnow: “I don’t know yet, so I don’t want to say because I haven’t made that calculation.”

Board member Nancy Justman: “Well considering some of the criticism we endured during the referendum that we need to ‘live within our means’ I would say dropping the levy or not taxing to the max would be detrimental to us. I’m not sure why we would even think about doing that personally.”

Ongert: “Plus I heard loud and clear people think we have too much debt in the West Bend School District and if that’s what’s preventing people from voting ‘yes’ on the referendum then let’s maintain the mill rate and pay down even more debt, if that’s what our community wants. Dropping the mill rate just to see how low we can go, um… I think is detrimental to our facilities to our staff, to our students. I don’t want to tax the crap out of the community, but we need to be able to pay down the debt.”

Justman: “Obviously we have a lot of capital things we have put off. The fact we have carpeting in that building we can assume is at least 40 years old* (statement not confirmed) is frightening. Correction, 48 years*(statement not confirmed).. even more frightening. The idea we have put off items but we also need to make sure we have this balance with our students, we still want to be a destination district. I’m just not in favor at all or decreasing the mill rate at all. I guess you’d have to really come up with some amazing plan to sell me on a plan to do that. I think we should look at increasing it and look at some of these projects that we haven’t been able to get done. I see Dave Ross is happy dancing in the background… as I go on with my rant here. But we really need to prioritize some of these things. We can’t have carpeting that’s 48 years old*(statement not confirmed) and we can’t have projects that Dave is holding together with binder twine to try and get things done. I mean we really need to look at some of these things and if that requires us to raise the mill rate than so be it.”

Ongert: “And our taxpayers are telling us we can’t have any debt.”

Justman: “Well the word was ‘live within your means’ but we don’t sell anything, so we have no means but apparently some people don’t understand, so I just want to point out I’m not in favor of decreasing the mill rate.”

Sarnow said a preliminary budget will be presented Monday, June 17. The annual meeting is set for Monday, Sept. 23 at 7 p.m.

*Note of clarification – During the meeting board members Nancy Justman and Tonnie Schmidt said the carpet in the WBW library was “40” and then “48 years old.” Two former staffers confirmed the carpet in the WBW library was replaced in the late 1980s. Emails were sent on Thursday, June 6, 2019, to both Justman and Schmidt asking where they received their information. So far, as of June 17, 2019, neither has responded.

Also note, the school board toured the schools in the district on May 24, 2019. According to facilities manager Dave Ross, neither Justman nor Schmidt were on the tour.

On Monday, June 17 a community group will address the School Board about conducting its own review of facilities in the WBSD.

How many were served at 32nd annual Washington County Breakfast on the Farm?

A note of thanks to all volunteers who helped at the 32nd annual Washington County Breakfast. Highland Dairy and the Enright Family Farm in Kewaskum were fantastic hosts this year. According to Mike Strupp with the Washington County Dairy Promotion Committee volunteers served 3,702 people.

That included: 12,000 Pancakes, 5,200  Half Pints of Milk, 440 dozen eggs, 380 lbs. Cheese Curds, 640 lbs. Sausages and 120 Gals. of Ice Cream

The Dairy Promotions Committee was very happy with the turnout. “I would like to thank the Enright family for hosting this year’s breakfast,” said Strupp. “We had 238 volunteers help and the Diary Promotions Committee handed out three $1,000 scholarships to Teagen Herman , Leah Weninger , Leann Gehring.”

Updates & Tidbits

– The Jack Russell Memorial Library will extend its hours beginning July 1. The public library will open 9 a.m. Monday through Saturday.  In celebration there will be cookies all day July 1 and July 2.

– Hannah Mrozak of Richfield returned to Wisconsin on Tuesday, June 18 as her girl group Citizen Queen opened for Pentatonix at the Fiserv Forum. Mrozak posted a note on social media, “I’m gonna cry. I hope to see as many of your lovely faces as possible. Show starts at 7:30 pm. So so excited!!!! Ahhhh!!!!!! 💕” It was May 1, 2019 when Mrozak and her Citizen Queen announced it “has been SIGNED to RCA Records AND we are the first opening act for select dates on #PTXTheWorldTour !!!” Citizen Queen opened its tour in Oakland on May 11, 2019.

Around the Bend by Judy Steffes

Future of St. Joseph’s statue determined as hospital in Town of Polk changes name

On June 6 a story was posted on WashingtonCountyInsider.com about the pending name change for St. Joseph’s Hospital in the Town of Polk.

Tom Duncan, vice present and COO of Froedtert South said the new name would be Froedtert West Bend Hospital. “By emphasizing community location and the Froedtert name, we will identify to local residents that they have access across the region to the high-quality service for which Froedtert Hospital is known,” said Duncan in an article published at the Journal Times.

After the announcement neighbors had a couple questions regarding the extent of the name change and what would happen to the St. Joseph’s statue. The answers were provided by the hospital’s Rita Schuetz.

The only health center changing names will be the current St. Joseph’s Health Center, 3200 Pleasant Valley Road, West Bend, located in a building adjacent to St. Joseph’s Hospital. It will be Froedtert & the Medical College of Wisconsin Pleasant Valley Health Center.

The public will begin seeing the name changes go into effect in fall 2019.

The St. Joseph’s statue on the hospital campus will remain to honor the legacy of St. Joseph’s Hospital.

On a history note: The small nameplate at the base of the statue reads, ‘Original statue from St. Joseph’s Hospital Chapel West Bend, Wi – Circa 1930.’

The name of St. Joseph’s Hospital dates to the late 1920’s when the cornerstone of the original hospital was ‘laid in November 1929 and in spite of a rigorous winter, building progressed rapidly, and the dedication ceremony took place July 2, 1930.’

At the time St. Joe’s was located on the corner of Silverbrook and Oak Street in West Bend.

The Olla family of Kewaskum makes strides as it continues to mend | By Fay Olla

The Olla family of Kewaskum has been posting updates following an accident at the end of May involving five of their boys.

Three of the brothers in the accident have been released from the hospital and Luciano is making strides toward recovery. Below is an update from mother Fay Olla.

Every day with Luc is an adventure full of unexpected turns and terrain. Tony and I never quite know what to expect. On Monday he was still very sleepy… and when he would wake up—there wasn’t too much of Luc yet. He has a large wound on his left side and on his ankle— the stitches were taken out and the wounds are healing nicely.

As he continues to be weaned from his meds, he is awake longer and there are little bits of speaking. He knows Tony and I and his siblings.

He has several sessions of therapy a day— occupational, physical, and speech. Wednesday was a big day— he ate pancakes for breakfast and as long as he continues to eat well and drink enough fluids he will not need to have the NG tube in any longer. (Nasogastric intubation involves the insertion of a plastic tube or NG tube through the nose, past the throat, and down into the stomach).

Thursday we also saw a huge change as he was awake and rearing to go. He now wants to stand, walk, eat— do everything on his own.

The challenge now is that he is very confused and frustrated. He doesn’t understand why he is in the hospital— or why people come to visit and then have to leave.

He is very aggressive and has no filter on what comes out of his mouth. This phase of recovery is very challenging, and Tony and I are doing our best to trust that our Luc is going to emerge from this still. Thank you for always thinking of us an sending your love and prayer.

Help spread the word!

On Saturday, June 1 the Olla family announced the passing of their 15-year-old son Valentin. The family said his organs were donated so others may live.

Debate about traffic signals or roundabout at Kwik Trip on E. Washington Street

The proposed Kwik Trip at 1610 E. Washington Street in West Bend was a hot topic at Tuesday night’s Plan Commission meeting. Aside from public hearings on zoning and conditional use permits there was a lengthy discussion on whether traffic signals were necessary at the intersection of Schoenhaar Drive.

Motorists in West Bend realize there is already a traffic signal at E. Washington Street and River Road. Installing another traffic signal at Schoenhaar Drive could create a lot of stop-and-go within a one-block radius. Right now, River Road is the last signal for motorists headed east out of town. Those headed west would hit another signal about a half mile up the road at Highway 33 and Indiana Avenue.

Plan Commission member Jed Dolnick said he would have a difficult time voting in favor of the Kwik Trip development without first seeing a traffic impact analysis and what would happen to businesses on the south side of E. Washington Street.

City engineer Max Marechal said they did review a traffic impact study and a signalized intersection at Schoenhaar Drive was one of the first things discussed.

“All of the improvements will go through a plan review and we will make sure those improvements match our standards and then my office will oversee those improvements,” said Marechal.

Dolnick questioned how the signals would be synchronized within a one-block radius and then he opened the door on roundabouts.

“I hate to blaspheme but I wonder if a roundabout would be appropriate at Schoenhaar instead of a signal so close to River Road,” he said. “I’m sure if you’re Kwik Trip their heads are exploding now because a roundabout is really expensive.”

Marechal basically said a roundabout is more expensive and requires more property.

“It’s more expensive than a traditional intersection because it requires substantially more real estate and then I would anticipate the need to purchase private property in order to install a roundabout at this location,” Marechal said. “At this point without substantial actions a signalized intersection is the best option at this time.”

Plan Commission member Rich Kasten asked of there was a way to modify traffic flow so the city could avoid a signal at Schoenhaar Drive.

“We don’t like to have signal intersections close to each other,” said Marechal. “Look at the distance between Main and Paradise and then a signal by Meijer. Sometimes we don’t have a choice, but we do regularly have traffic counts done and look at if we can refine signal coordination.”

Plan Commission member Chris Schmidt questioned which entrance/exit to the Kwik Trip would be used the least. Early indications were it would be the entrance/exit off Schoenhaar Drive.

“If you put a traffic light at Schoenhaar Drive and it’s the least used of the three entrances then I don’t see the need for it (the traffic signal),” he said.

The Plan Commission ended up voting to move forward with development of a Kwik Trip on E. Washington Street.

The approval came with four contingencies: 1. Approval of a site plan for all required improvements prior to the issuance of the conditional use permit. 2. Approval of a traffic impact analysis.  3. Approval of a certified survey map combining the three lots.  4. Approval of the zoning amendment and 2020 Comprehensive Plan for the development.

New restaurant opening in former Wa Wa building in Hartford | By Samantha Sali

A new restaurant is coming to Downtown Hartford at 48 N. Main Street. The two-story building, originally constructed in 1884, is located between Creative License and Faith and Giggles. The last business that occupied the building was the ‘Wa Wa’ Chinese restaurant.

“The Wa Wa building has been vacant for around a decade,” said Scott Henke, executive director of Hartford Area Chamber of Commerce.

Two sales are disclosed for the parcel in the Washington County property tax database. The first sale in 1999 with Tommy Lin listed as the previous owner. The second sale was recorded in January 2019, listing the current owner as Vicente Flores-Martinez.

The 2018 assessed value for the property was $233,000. The new owner of the property, Flores-Martinez, currently owns and operates Main Street Café in Evansville (south of Madison).

The Cafe serves American Mexican food, carries a medium-priced menu and is open daily from 6 a.m. – 8 p.m.  Flores-Martinez indicated the new Hartford restaurant will have the same name, menu, and hours as the Evansville location. He said the reason he was drawn to Hartford was because the city has a “reasonably priced business district.”

He also said the Evansville location will remain open and this will be his second location. The grand opening of the Hartford restaurant will be sometime in July or August. Real estate company Berkshire Hathaway posted the property sold January 22, 2019 for $130,000.

Washington Co. Board votes on creating office of elected County Executive

Earlier this week after several long hours of discussion the Washington County Board voted 13-13 on a resolution to change the form of government to an elected county executive, rather than an appointed county administrator. A tie vote resulted in failure of the motion.

However, the issue could come back for another vote.

According to Washington County Public Affairs Coordinator Ethan Hollenberger, “A person on the prevailing side (no vote) would have to request reconsideration be placed on the agenda and move reconsideration at the July board meeting.  At that time, the resolution is live and can be voted on again, amended, sent to committee, or tabled.”

Hollenberger said a “citizen petition for referendum would be out of the board’s control.”

However, the board could put a non-binding advisory referendum on any regularly scheduled ballot.

Below is how votes were cast Wednesday, June 12 by the 26 members of the Washington County Board. The question involved a resolution changing Washington County’s form of government to create the office of the County Executive of Washington County.

Aye votes included:  Roger Kist, Chris Bossert, Mike Bassill, Denis Kelling, William Symicek, Tim Michalak, James Burg, John Bulawa, Mark McCune, Don Kriefall, Rock Brandner, Jeffrey Schleif, Carroll Merry

No votes included: Kris Deiss, Chris Jenkins, Frank Carr, Brian Krebs, Richard Bertram, Keith Stephen, Joseph Gonnering, Robert Hartwig, Marcella Bishop, Marilyn Merten, Russell Brandt, Brian Gallitz, Peter Source


9/11 Memorial groundbreaking in Kewaskum

Over 200 people turned out Thursday afternoon for the groundbreaking ceremony for the 9/11 Memorial in Kewaskum. The event was held at the future home of the Memorial on Fond du Lac Avenue and First Street. Guest speakers included Kewaskum Village Administrator Matt Heiser, 9/11 Memorial founder Gordon Haberman, and Washington County Administrator Josh Schoemann.

“Primary in our goals is that this memorial will for generations to come, stand as a historical touchstone linking the past event of 9/11/2001 to the present,” said Haberman. “The memorial will be a physical structure which respectfully honors the memory of those lost that day and in the resulting conflicts afterwards. It will stand as an important source of information for young people in understanding the sacrifices of 9/11, yet also portray the strength, spirit and resolve of America.”

According to the 9/11 Memorial website: The Wisconsin 9/11 Memorial is being built to serve as a space of reflection and remembrance for those lost on that fateful day. It will serve as a place of education for students and citizens from our local community, our county, our state, and our nation. ​Some will visit seeking knowledge. Others will come to honor the memories of those lost. All will be able to reflect on a day that challenged and changed America. It will be a symbol of the resolve, strength, resilience and compassion of her people. As time passes from the events of 9/11/2001, the Memorial will forever give meaning to the words, “NEVER FORGET.”

Community group to review facilities in West Bend School District

There will be a presentation Monday, June 17 at the West Bend School Board meeting as a community group steps up to complete a facilities study in the West Bend School District.

6:42 Facilities Study by Community Group

Presentation: Facility Study by Community Group – Kevin Steiner and Tim Schmidt

Topic and Background: In May I had a discussion with three individuals from the community: Mayor Kraig Sadownikow, Kevin Steiner/West Bend Mutual Insurance, and Tim Schmidt/Delta Defense that are forming a committee to look at our facilities. They have asked to have access to our facilities and have an opportunity to visit with Mr. Ross to discuss projects that have been completed, as well as projects that are being planned.

There is no district involvement with the committee. They will submit a report to the Board in September and/or October. The Board can use all or part of the information as the Board determines future facilities’ improvements.

The committee is not authorized by the Board or the Superintendent. The report will be informational only with the Board being responsible to make any and all decisions.

Kevin Steiner and Tim Schmidt are scheduled to attend the June 17 meeting to summarize the committee’s intent. Monday’s meeting begins at 6:30 p.m. in the district office. The meeting is open to the public.

Cedar Communities eyes rezoning for two-family residential land use

There will be a request for a public hearing at the Tuesday, June 11 West Bend Plan Commission meeting as Cedar Communities is asking for a change in 9.8 acres of land located at 113 Cedar Ridge Drive, Cedar Ridge Campus.

The recommendation is to change the land use from multi-family residential to two-family residential. Below are details from James Reinke, Business & Development Planner for the City of West Bend.

Cedar Communities has submitted a request to consider a comprehensive land use plan change and a zoning change for approximately 9.8 acres located at 113 Cedar Ridge Drive. The request is for the northern portion of the 49-acre parcel.

The request is to consider a change in land use from the existing multi-family residential to two family residential land use for the northern portion of the Cedar Ridge Campus.

The surrounding existing land uses are; residential and agricultural town uses to the west and south, single family and two-family residential uses to the north, and park, recreation and open space to the east. Given the surrounding existing uses the size of the parcel and the overall density, staff finds the proposed request to be an acceptable alternative for land use. The two-family residential use would be used as a transition from the existing multi-family use to the single-family use. The possible resulting residential density is less than that permitted under the current land use and zoning designation.

If the Comprehensive Plan change is endorsed by the Plan Commission, a zoning amendment to rezone that portion of the parcel will be requested to change the zoning from RM-4 Multi-Family Residential District to RD-2 Two-Family Residential and to add a Planned Unit Development Overlay (PUD) District.

If the Plan Commission finds the proposal to be acceptable, staff would recommend that a public hearing be set for August 6, 2019 at 6 p.m. to hear any concerns pertaining to the land use change for the 2020 Comprehensive Plan for the City of West Bend.

At the same meeting, a second public hearing would be held for the rezoning of that portion of the property from RM-4 Multi-Family Residential district to RD-2 Two-Family Residential District and a PUD overlay district.

pc: Adam Hertel, American Construction Services

Cedar Community said the expansion is necessary considering the demand in the house market for active seniors.

“Cedar Community has a years-long waiting list for active seniors who are looking for larger apartments and homes,” said Julie Gabelmann, Cedar Community Vice President of Resident Experience. “The twin homes we hope to build will help meet that growing demand, while providing the natural beauty of the 50-acre Cedar Ridge Campus, and the access to all of Cedar Community’s services and amenities.”

Modern Woodmen of America donates to Kettle Moraine Lutheran | By Daniel Frey

Financial Representative Sarah Grotelueschen presented a check to Jody Hansen the Business Manager of Kettle Moraine Lutheran High School.

This check was a matching fund Grotelueschen donated to KML’s recent Mad Science Charity Auction.

Modern Woodmen Fraternal Financial is a Not for Profit Financial Services organization that provides full holistic financial planning while putting back 100 percent of its profits into the local communities it serves.

West Bend resident recognized with St. Joseph’s Hospital Award | By Tim Olsen

Brittnie Dohl, West Bend, critical care tech on the Modified Care Unit, has been recognized with Froedtert & the Medical College of Wisconsin St. Joseph’s Hospital’s semi-annual Sunflower Award for being a “rock star” and positive influence.

“Brittnie is certainly a “rock star” at her job,” said one of her nominators. “She made sure she went out of her way to make me comfortable during my 18-day stay. Brittnie always gave me positive vibes when I was feeling down. Brittnie is a great asset to your team and deserves to be recognized!”

The Sunflower Award honors extraordinary nursing support staff who demonstrate devotion, strength and compassion to ensure the well-being of patients, family and staff. St. Joseph’s Hospital recognizes one nursing support staff member twice a 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 CHD hospital lobbies and nursing stations and following the instructions or through Excellence in Action.

Hike to Mary Mother of the Church

About a dozen people from the Washington County area took part in a Hike to Mary this week. The group gathered outside St. Peter Church in Slinger and following a prayer set off on a 12-mile walk to Holy Hill in the Town of Erin. Steve Tennies said the inspiration came from a new feast day following Pentecost. The event was sponsored by John Paul II Men’s Group.

The annual pilgrimage hike celebrated the newly-proclaimed Memorial of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of the Church, on Monday June 10, 2019.

This new Marian Memorial is always celebrated on the Monday after Pentecost Sunday.

Around the Bend by Judy Steffes

West Bend Plan Commission to consider Kwik Trip No. 4

The West Bend Plan Commission will hold a public hearing Tuesday, June 11 to consider a rezoning and a request for a conditional use permit for a gas station on 5.9 acres of land.

The parcel involves 1610 E. Washington Street, the vacant land adjacent to the west of that property and the vacant lot on S. River Road north of 411 E. Washington Street.

The request is being made by Kwik Trip. If approved this would be the fourth Kwik Trip in West Bend. Early plans show two entrances off Schoenhaar Drive, an entrance off River Road and another off E. Washington Street, a convenience store and a car wash.

The public hearing is being held for a request to amend the 2020 Comprehensive Plan for a change in recommended land use from industrial land use to commercial land use for approximately 0.77 acres of land located on the east side of N. River Road, approximately 300’ north of E. Washington Street, by Kwik Trip, Inc.

On May 7, 2019 the Plan Commission reviewed the request for a change in land use from industrial to commercial and zoning from M-2 Heavy Industrial to B-1 Community Business District for an approximately 0.77 acre outlot located approximately 300’ north of E. Washington Street on the east side of N. River Road. As a part of the review, the Plan Commission set a public hearing date for June 11, 2019 at 6:00 pm to hear any comments or concerns regarding the proposed land use change and zoning request.

In 2014, the then owner of the property obtained a land use and zoning change for the outlot. The outlot was going to be combined with the industrial lands to the north for a building expansion. Kwik Trip is now requesting a change to return the land use and zoning for the outlot to a commercial use to allow this outlot to be combined with adjacent commercially zoned lands for development.

The surrounding existing land uses are; industrial to the north, commercial to the west, south and east of the outlot. Given the surrounding existing uses, staff finds the proposed use would be an acceptable alternative since the lands would be combined with other commercial lands to the east for development.

Prior to revising the zoning from M-2 Heavy Industrial District to B-1 Community Business District, as requested, the City’s 2020 Comprehensive Plan would need to be amended to be consistent with the proposed zoning. The Plan Commission meeting gets underway at 6 p.m. on Tuesday, June 11 in the council chambers at City Hall. The meeting is open to the public.

Longbranch for sale in Barton    

The former Long Branch Saloon in Barton is for sale…. again. Adam Williquette, Broker and Owner of American Commercial Real Estate, listed the property this week for $425,000.

The parcel, 1800 Barton Avenue, last sold Feb. 9, 2018 to Boro Buzdum for $100,000.

In 2018 the property was listed through Re/Max United and Paula Becker. It was initially priced at $184,500 and eventually dropped to $139,000.

The property was last assessed at $242,200. The local restaurant at the corner of Barton Avenue and Commerce Street closed in early 2016.  Over the years the building went to a Sheriff’s sale and then got hung up in the system.

Scharschmidt Chiropractic building has been sold

The former Schaarschmidt Chiropractic building, also known as the castle building, 235 N. 18th Avenue in West Bend has sold.

Kurt and Janine Schaarschmidt built the 5,385-square-foot office space.  “This used to be an apple orchard owned by the Barth sisters,” said Kurt Schaarschmidt. “We opened Dec. 20, 1991 and Larry Bunkelman from Bunkelman Builders was our builder.”

Schaarschmidt said he was going for an English Tudor look. “Originally it was a house plan that came out of Arizona and we adapted it to a clinic,” said Janine Schaarschmidt.

Daniel Hess from Glendale closed on the purchase of the building March 23, 2016 for $625,000. It has been vacant and for lease since February 2017.

The 2019 assessment on the property was $720,900. Dr. Krysti Wick from River Shores Chiropractic in West Bend purchased the property.  The sale price was $560,000.

“This is going to be our forever home in West Bend,” said Wick.

A couple of things that attracted Wick to the property were that it was a chiropractic clinic before so “there’s not a ton of setup needed inside.” Wick expects to relocate her practice within the next year. “It has a homey, family feel,” she said. “My hope is we’ll move into the building sometime next year at this time.”

Adam Williquette, Broker and Owner of American Commercial Real Estate oversaw the transaction.

Washington Co. Board to vote Wed., June 12 on county executive form of government

There will be a meeting Wednesday, June 12 when the Washington County Board Executive Committee is expected to vote to convert Washington County to a county executive form of government.

Washington County currently operates with an appointed county administrator. The proposal is to make that a non-partisan elected position.

There was a public discussion held May 22. County Supervisors and members of the community who favored the change mentioned things like “managing development” and needing “new ideas and new people.”

Those against electing a county executive noted things like having “less representation from less populated areas” and “giving too much power to one man.”

Diane Petersen of Richfield brought up a number of points at the public discussion including the fact the county administrator could be removed by the county board but an elected county executive could only be removed by the governor.

After the public meeting some neighbors in attendance expressed concern about losing farmland to development, having little representation from smaller towns and villages in the county and concerns about a comment made by a county supervisor to reduce the size of the county board again, which would mean more power held by a few.

County attorney Brad Stern said once the resolution is approved there’s no going back. “The only way to undo it is for the community to file a petition and ask for a referendum,” he said. “The county board just can’t change it’s mind and go back to the old way of doing thing.”

Stern said according to statute the decision on changing the county’s form of government could be done by a petition referendum or the decision could be made by the county board.

Also note, in the resolution language, the termination of the contract with the current county administrator would cost “approximately $130,000 and does not include wages and benefits due under the contract terms through the date of transition. Additional fiscal impact is indeterminate at this time including possible additional election costs.”

Restoring the interior art at the Historic West Bend Theatre   | By John Torinus

Historic West Bend Theatre, Inc. (HWBT) has selected Conrad Schmitt Studios, Inc., of New Berlin, along with renowned local artist Chuck Dwyer, as its contractor for replication of the artwork that decorated the original 1929 interior of the “house.”

A historic paint analysis revealed elaborate artwork throughout the movie house. Much of it was stenciled art that covers the pilasters, spaces below eight well-preserved urns, beams and ceiling.

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

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

Eileen Grogan of Conrad Schmitt said a process similar to the original stencil process would be used in the restoration.

“All the history is there,” she said. “We are going to restore it by the book.”

Conservator Brian Fick with Evergreene Architectural Arts was the one who uncovered the five-color stencil pattern on a shield shape with two birds. “It looks a bit Germanic which, in an art-deco context is a little odd but it kind of suits the area,” he said.

Fick uncovered the mural using solvents and gels. A large breathing apparatus is on the floor next to the dusty theatre seats.

“I knew there was something there because I could see a bit of shadow,” he said.

Pointing to the ceiling Fick highlights some of the black lines of another pattern of work.

“This piece will be documented and I’m taking samples,” Fick said. “We take the paint from the plaster it’s painted on all the way through to the top layer. We then cut that so you see the paint layers in cross section and that can give a better, more accurate representation of what the color was.” The cost of the artwork reparation will be about $100,000.

“We had not expected to discover that added historical element for the building,” said Nic Novaczyk, HWBT president. “We did not budget for this unforeseen expense, so we are asking our broad base of supporters in the community to help raise this added amount.”

There will be a community event July 18 to help with that ask.

Conrad Schmitt president Gunar Gruenke said the firm has retained Dwyer, a well-known regional artist in the intricate project. Dwyer was Valedictorian from the Milwaukee School of Art and Design (now MIAD) and studied in Europe. His restoration assignments include the Cathedral of Notre Dame and the murals at the Waldorf Astoria Hotel in New York City.

Dwyer said he didn’t much notice the artwork in the theatre when he was a kid at movies. “I was more worried about whether I could hold the girl’s hand,” he said.  “I’ll do the best job I can. It will be a lot of fun.”

Saying goodbye to the legacy of St. Joe’s Hospital as name changed to Froedtert West Bend

Froedtert hospitals including St. Joseph’s Hospital Campus in the Town of Polk is going to have a name change. Community names, according to Tom Duncan, vice present and COO of Froedtert South, is the goal.

According to an article in The Journal Times Duncan was quoted saying, “By emphasizing community location and the Froedtert name, we will identify to local residents that they have access across the region to the high-quality service for which Froedtert Hospital is known.”

The name of St. Joseph’s Hospital dates to the late 1920’s when the cornerstone of the original hospital was ‘laid in November 1929 and in spite of a rigorous winter, building progressed rapidly, and the dedication ceremony took place July 2, 1930.’

At the time St. Joe’s was located on the corner of Silverbrook and Oak Street in West Bend.

Former nurses and doctors recalled a community hospital where staff was family.

The news of a name change felt like the next shoe to drop according to former St. Joe’s staff including Carol Daniels.

“I knew that would happen; there’s no way they would not advertise their business,” said Daniels of West Bend.

Shirley Laufer, 80, has been retired from St. Joe’s for 13 years.

“It’s a sign of the times,” said Laufer. “To anybody that’s new in the area they consider it Froedtert but you think St. Joe’s you think West Bend. I still think the name St. Joe’s kinda gives you an idea of where it’s at and to people who live in the area will always know it as St. Joe’s.”

New active senior living apartment complex in downtown West Bend

A proposed five to six-story active senior living apartment-style complex is being proposed near downtown West Bend. The site is 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 and in closed session at Monday night’s, June 3, Common Council meeting entered into an with the City. The purchase of the property is still being negotiated.

Todd Novaczyk, is CEO with RTN Development.  “This will be a market-rate rental,” said Novaczyk. “There will be about 130 to 150 units with underground parking.”

The new development is proposed to be for active seniors who will then have the luxury of enjoying our vibrant downtown while living in a facility with outstanding amenities provided by company with a proven track record of success.

Novaczyk said the timeline on the development hinges on several factors. “If we can get through City Council and get our plans done and get approvals, we could conceivably break ground this fall,” he said. That former Gehl Company property had been under remediation for the past 7+ years.

MOWA | DTN opens Tuesday, June 4 in Milwaukee

The Museum of Wisconsin Art is expanding as a satellite gallery opens in the new Saint Kate Arts Hotel today in Downtown Milwaukee.

“I’m really excited for this extended space,” said MOWA Executive Director Laurie Winters.

The new hotel is the former InterContinental Hotel, 139 E. Kilbourn Ave; it’s part of the Marcus Hotels & Resorts Inc. One of the first pieces of art at MOWA | DTN features a poet phone by Mark Claussen. “If that takes you back a couple of decades, it should,” said Winters. “It’s a revitalized booth from the late ’70s and if you pick up the receiver you hear poems by seven of the greatest poets in Wisconsin all about downtown in keeping with the theme of the exhibition.”

Listen in as Winters explains part of the inspiration toward expanding MOWA’s reach. “The river will carry your mission throughout the state,” said artist Truman Lowe.

Winters said Greg and Linda Marcus invited MOWA to be part of the Saint Kate Art Hotel and the “answer was a resounding yes, absolutely.”

“It took us about two seconds to make the decision because Greg and Linda have the highest standards and they have an incredible vision for art.

The first exhibition for MOWA | DTN is called ‘Downtown.’

“We asked 10 artists to reflect on what downtown means to them,” said Winters. Each room at the Saint Kate Arts Hotel comes with a red phonograph and a ukulele. MOWA | DTN at Saint Kate The Arts Hotel is free and open to the public.

RSVP Interfaith of Washington County Senior Corps Program of the Year  

The Interfaith RSVP program through Interfaith Caregivers of Washington County began in 2017. Based in West Bend, their mission is “to connect seniors with caring volunteers” with a vision that “all seniors in Washington County will have access to the resources necessary to                maintain safe, healthy independence and age in place.”

RSVP Interfaith of Washington County provides volunteer transportation and other assistance services for anyone in the county who is over the age of 60 and is of limited means and                mobility. In 2018, RSVP Interfaith of Washington County volunteers served over 1,000 elderly citizens in Washington County with 11,708 rides in a volunteer’s personal vehicle or in one of Interfaith’s fleet of 8 wheelchair accessible minivans.

In 2018, RSVP volunteers drove over 220,000 miles to 290 unique service destinations, with over 2,000 of these rides serving wheelchair-bound seniors and over 3,500 to out of county destinations where public transportation does not serve.

Interfaith RSVP volunteers also provided over 5,000 “other” assistance services, including spring and fall yard clean-up, friendly visits, therapy dog visits, reassurance calls, light housekeeping, home repair, snow shoveling, stock box and meals on wheels delivery, and other services as requested

Additionally, RSVP volunteers operate a durable health equipment lending program at two sites in Washington County and a community resource referral program, making it possible to loan out over 1,000 pieces of equipment. Through the transportation services that allow seniors to continue to live independently, the socialization and companionship provided to home bound seniors through friendly visits, and to seniors as a whole through other services, Washington County is a better place for its aging population because of the service of RSVP Interfaith of Washington County volunteers.

Updates & tidbits

– St. John’s Lutheran in West Bend raised $1,950 with the Eaton’s Fresh Pizza fundraiser program.  They were able to put the money towards getting a new drinking fountain/ bubbler with a water bottle dispenser.

– Richfield Village Administrator James Healy was elected President of Washington County Convention and Visitor Bureau Board.

– West Bend City Clerk Stephanie Justmann swore in Matthew Casey during this week’s Common Council meeting. Fire Chief Gerald Kudek said Casey worked at County Rescue Services in Green Bay and served the Village of Howard Fire/Rescue as a part-time employee. Casey received his paramedic associate degree from Northeast Wisconsin Technical College. Casey also served in the military and was deployed overseas. He was awarded the Army Achievement Medal for mission success in Guantanamo Bay.

– The Knights of Columbus are sponsoring Dad’s Day 2019.  The event is June 15 at St. Mary’s Parish in Barton from noon – 4 p.m.  There will be activities including a Bounce House with slide, food and games including a Wiffle Ball tournament.   

Letter to the Editor | No need for elected Washington County executive | By Jed Dolnick

Since Washington County was established in 1853, its county boards made it through the Second Industrial Revolution, the Civil War, two world wars, the Great Depression, and the Information Age.

Two courthouses, a modern jail, highway system, and a fair park were built.  Neither the boards nor their chairmen were intimidated by the challenges of those times.

A board that had vision and courage now has members who want a county executive to, as Vice-Chairman Mark McCune told a newspaper reporter, “make the tough decisions.”

To listen to Chairman Don Kriefall, you would think a county executive is the single, essential person necessary for the county’s economic development. It’s as if the combined talent and resources of county staff, each municipality’s development office, and the public-private partnership of Economic Development Washington County don’t exist.

Or perhaps this is the opening gambit to “consolidate” (i.e. take over) those functions. To just perform his current duties, the existing county administrator is assisted by a “deputy county administrator” and a “public affairs coordinator.”

How many additional positions would this potential Development Czar need? Promises of “none” are often forgotten. Currently, supervisors representing their districts’ residents pass ordinances and resolutions, and decide how tax money is used. All of those decisions can be vetoed by a county executive. It’s difficult to believe that a board that can’t make tough decisions could summon the strength to overturn such a veto.

Mr. Kriefall asserts that an elected executive will assure our “quality of life.”

The cities and villages see their parks as valuable assets; the county officially ranks its parks as a low priority. Our municipalities have successfully pursued commercial, industrial, and residential development appropriate for their communities. It’s not the county executive’s job to, as he wrote, “work with developers to construct housing.”

Mr. Kriefall’s vision of county government insinuating itself into the operations of our cities, towns, and villages with “one voice, one leader” is unnecessary and unwelcomed.

An elected county executive will look to interest groups for their endorsements and money and will need the voting blocs in West Bend and Hartford to stay in office. We don’t need a county executive. We need 26 county supervisors willing to make tough decisions.

Jed Dolnick  West Bend

Disclaimer: Opinions and letters published in http://www.washingtoncountyinsider.com are not necessarily the views of the Editor, or Publisher.

Around the Bend bu Judy Steffes

Restoration underway on a much-loved holiday hallmark

A transformation is underway for a much-loved seasonal display in West Bend. A local shopkeeper is using his hidden talents to repair and restore the figures in the Rolfs Nativity.  With the patience of a saint he’s stripped the figures to their natural color and mended the hands, head and crowns.

The holiday hallmark is weathered… and that’s putting it nicely. Heavy metal staples are visible around the neck of the life-size Joseph statue, segments of crusty foam are visible on the tattered robes of the Wise Men and the Shepherd Boy looks diseased. The project has silently been underway for months as a pledge has been made to bring the Rolfs Nativity back to its full glory.

Slinger High School student achieves top ACT score

Allan Elfe Jr., son of Allan Elfe and Laura Elfe, and a junior at Slinger High School, earned the highest possible ACT composite score of 36.

Only around two-tenths of 1 percent of students who take the ACT earn a top score.

In the U.S. high school graduating class of 2018, only 3,741 out of more than 1.9 million graduates who took the ACT earned a top composite score of 36.

The ACT consists of tests in English, mathematics, reading and science, each scored on a scale of 1–36. A student’s composite score is the average of the four test scores. The score for ACT’s optional writing test is reported separately and is not included within the ACT composite score.

In a letter to the student recognizing this exceptional achievement, ACT CEO Marten Roorda said, “Your achievement on the ACT is significant and rare. Your exceptional scores will provide any college or university with ample evidence of your readiness for the academic rigors that lie ahead.”

The ACT is a curriculum-based achievement exam that measures what students have learned in school. Students who earn a 36 composite score have likely mastered all the skills and knowledge they will need to succeed in first-year college courses in the core subject areas.

ACT scores are accepted by all major four-year colleges and universities across the US.

There are 11 veterans from Washington County on June 1 Stars and Stripes Honor Flight.

Eleven veterans from Washington County are on today’s, June 1, Honor Flight. They include: Vietnam Army Douglas Janzen of Germantown, Vietnam Army James Miller of Hartford, Vietnam Army George Marquardt of Hubertus, Vietnam Navy Charles Nornberg of Jackson, Korea Army Gerald Wentlandt of Jackson, Vietnam Navy Jerold Donath of Kewaskum, Vietnam Air Force Martin Fochs of Kewaskum, Vietnam Marines John Fleischman of Kewaskum, Vietnam Navy Daniel Lukaszewicz of West Bend, Vietnam Air Force Bruce Witt of West Bend, Vietnam Army Robert Graff of West Bend. The June 1 Honor Flight will be the organization’s 52nd “mission.”

Museum of Wisconsin Art receives $22,600 JEM Grant from Wisconsin Dept. of Tourism

The Wisconsin Department of Tourism (Travel Wisconsin) presented a $22,600 check this week to the Museum of Wisconsin Art to help support its upcoming exhibit Among the Wonders of the Dells.

Anne Sayers, deputy secretary with the Wisconsin Department of Tourism, received a sneak peek of the exhibit. “I saw photos online but just being in this space it’s an incredible thing to be a part of,” she said. “This is an exhibit that will be of great interest to Wisconsinites and others.”

MOWA executive director Laurie Winters said the Joint Effort Marketing (JEM) Grant will help promote the “160-year legacy of The Dells.”

Among the Wonders of the Dells presents more than 100 photographs from eight artists recounting the fascinating history and transformation of Wisconsin Dells.

There will be an Opening Party on Saturday, June 1 for the latest exhibit.

Among the Wonders of the Dells will feature photographs by Leroy J. Gates, the first photographer of the Dells, H. H. Bennett, the great nineteenth-century photographer touted as “the man who made the Wisconsin Dells famous,” Bennett Studio, John A. Trumble, who documented the Dells’ postwar tourist boom in the twentieth century, Dennis Darmek, and three contemporary Wisconsin photographers commissioned by MOWA to spend a year photographing the Dells from their unique perspectives: Mark Brautigam, Tom Jones, and Kevin J. Miyazaki.

Korean War vet Gerald Wentlandt, 86, of Jackson on Honor Flight | By Samantha Sali

Korean War veteran Gerald Wentlandt, 86, of Jackson, is heading to Washington D.C. on the June 1 Stars and Stripes Honor Flight.

Wentlandt was born in 1932 and grew up in Milwaukee. “I graduated from Boys Tech in 1950 and then got a six-year apprenticeship at a printing company,” he said.

Wentlandt had two years of the apprenticeship under his belt before being drafted into the Army to serve in the Korean War. “That was in March 1952,” he said. “I think at that time they had a draft office set up downtown, so my folks took me down in the morning and dropped me off. They gave me a physical, but it wasn’t a real physical, just more of a once over. I can’t remember if we were sworn in that day, but afterward they took us out for lunch at at an Italian place called Mimi’s.”

With a few extra hours to spare, Wentlandt and the other new draftees were told they could call their parents to come down and spend time with them before leaving. “I’m an only child, so saying goodbye the first time to my mom was the hardest,” he shared. “My mom was crying and kept looking up at my dad to do something, which of course he couldn’t do anything. I didn’t want to call again and do the goodbyes again.”

Wentlandt was taken to Camp Chaffee, mostly an artillery base, in Arkansas for Basic Training. “The difference between a Camp and a Fort is that a Camp is temporary, and a Fort is permanent,” he explained. “My experience wasn’t too bad because I had just gone to Boys Tech. It was almost like going to high school again, just a little stricter. I thought I adjusted pretty good. They had really old, wooden barracks…nothing like it is today.”

After Basic Training ended, Wentlandt stayed in Camp Chaffee for four extra weeks, where he took a Fire Direction Control (FDC) course. When that was finished, he was able to go home for 10-15 days and then received his shipping orders. “If you got orders to report to New York or New Jersey, you were probably going to wind up in Germany,” Wentlandt said. “If you were to report to Fort Lewis, you were probably going to end up in Korea. I read my orders and I had to go to Fort Lewis. I waited two weeks for more orders and one day the sergeant comes walking through the barracks telling us to pack up and move out. It turned out that the last four guys on the roll-call roster were being sent to Alaska.”

Wentlandt shared that once the weather hit 40 degrees below zero, there was nothing they could really do except keep warm and keep the vehicles running. “When I reported to headquarters, they asked me if I could type…I couldn’t,” he said. “They were just filling holes where they needed someone. I wound up in FDC battalion. At the time, there was only one railroad connecting Anchorage to Fairbanks. There were no roads that went into Fairbanks because of the mountains and rivers. It was really cut off up there. The Northern Lights you could really see. I went back 50 years later, and Fairbanks hasn’t changed.”

Wentlandt’s service ended in 1954 and he went back to Milwaukee to finish his apprenticeship. After that, he worked at Trade Press until he eventually retired.

Not long after his service ended, Wentlandt and his friends went to The Eagles dance hall one evening. It was there that he met his wife, Joan. Together, they have two children, six grandchildren, and soon will have five great-grandchildren.

“My son, David, is the Police Chief in Butler,” said Wentlandt. “He wanted me sign up for the Honor Flight. I didn’t really want to at first. I thought this Honor Flight was for the guys that saw action, but David said that I could and should go. David goes down there and helps get things organized for the Honor Flights and he was really the one that talked me into going.”

Modern Woodmen of West Bend supports Medical Foundation of Hartford | By Daniel L Frey

Sarah Grotelueschen Financial Representative with Modern Woodmen Fraternal Financial recently presented a check for $1,000 to Deb Holtan with the Medical Foundation of Hartford. The check was a matching fund from recent events at Faith and Giggles in Hartford along with the Medical Foundation of Hartford. The event was “Denim Days” and it helps people in the community to consider giving donations to or support a victim of sexual assault or domestic violence.

Vietnam veteran James Miller of Hartford on June Honor Flight | By Samantha Sali

Vietnam War veteran James Miller, 72, of Hartford, is heading to Washington D.C. on the June 1 Stars and Stripes Honor Flight.

Miller was born in 1946 to Franklin, a car salesman, and Angeline, a housewife. Miller and his family lived in Milwaukee, where he graduated St. John’s Cathedral High School. Miller remembers his first car a 1955 Plymouth.

After high school, he attended and graduated from MIT (now MATC) before getting a job in the accounting department of BlueCross BlueShield. Not long after working for BlueCross, Miller was drafted into the military. “I got my notification December 1967. I was nervous and scared overall,” he said.

Miller completed Basic Training in Fort Benning, Georgia. “It was a real treat,” said Miller. “At the time, basic was eight weeks. It was tough. I was not a physically fit person at that time and had to really keep it up to make it through.”

“After seven weeks, you start prepping for graduation and you get your orders,” Miller said. “Most of the draftees were being sent to Fort Polk, which was called Little Vietnam, for infantry training. Ten of us didn’t get orders on the day everyone else did. We were called to the Captain’s office two days later and told the 10 of us have been pulled and we’d be remaining at Fort Benning and going into the finance company for post…I ended up doing permanent personnel payroll.”

Miller admitted he was extremely lucky to have been able to serve his entire length of service in Fort Benning, “For a draftee…talk about getting down on your knees and thanking the Lord.”

Miller’s service ended in January 1969 and when he came home, he went back to work at BlueCross for six months before pursuing other accounting jobs. He officially retired in April 2015.

He and his wife of 48 years, Nancy, have three children together and Miller plans on being outside this summer, enjoying his favorite pastime of tending to yard work and mowing the lawn.

Aside from being excited to see the memorials in Washington DC, Miller opened up about the other reason he’s looking forward to the flight. “When we went home, we weren’t acknowledged. Our commanding officer told us we should try to avoid wearing our uniforms in the airport due to protesters and stuff like that. My friends and family welcomed me back, but when the Honor Flight came up, I just felt it would be nice thing to do.”

Hy-Brid Lifts in Richfield featured in Wall Street Journal for creative hiring practices

Hy-Brid Lifts in Richfield recently was featured in an article in the Wall Street Journal regarding what to do to fill jobs and keep production on track in a tight labor market.

The article by Ruth Simon is titled, ‘I Don’t Want to See Him Fail’: A Firm Takes a Chance on Ex-Inmates

Terry Dolan is President and CEO of Hy-Brid Lifts. “Like a lot of small manufacturing companies in the state of Wisconsin, we’ve been dealing with the difficulty of hiring employees especially bringing them into manufacturing, so we’ve gone a couple of different routes,” said Dolan.

Aside from working with local high schools and creating more part-time shifts, Hy-Brid Lifts has also partnered with the Department of Corrections.  “We’ve brought people in who are currently serving time but going through an educational program through the Milwaukee Area Technical College,” he said.

“This has worked fantastic. The employees show up every day on time, they’re brought from their facility to our facility, they’ve been assigned a mentor and each one is learning a trade; they’ve been great employees.”

Questioned whether the company or its regular employees had any reservations, Dolan said “not at all.”

“We had experience with a person we hired who was on work release, we also talked to our employees and we felt confident working with our mentors and the Department of Corrections.”

Dolan said his peers in the industry and others across the state realize they’ve got to find unique ways to keep production moving forward.

“This is a challenging time,” he said. “We’re at less than 3 percent unemployment in the state of Wisconsin, we’re not the biggest company so we really had to find unique ways to secure our employee base and bring in talented workers who want to be here and learn a trade.”

A portion of the article in the Wall Street Journal reads:

America’s tight job market has employers looking beyond their traditional labor pools—hiring workers needing flexible hours, letting more work from home, lowering education requirements.

At tiny Progressive, Mr. Walters is experimenting with putting former inmates into vacancies. He is experiencing both the ups and downs: Hiring people with criminal records can pay off but keeping them on the job sometimes presents heart-rending dilemmas.

“The tough part of it,” Mr. Walters says, “is how much rope do you allow? How much leniency do you give before you become unfair to the business or other employees?”

Is there a line between being a good boss and a good person? “It’s something I struggle with.”

Former inmates often grapple with issues that test the most motivated among them—homelessness, strained family relationships, substance abuse. Many return to troubled neighborhoods.

Dolan said he’s very connected with the shop at Hy-Brid Lifts and monitors production and staffing closely. “I’m extremely appreciative of the people who work here,” he said. “The people are always thanking us for the opportunity and talking to me about what they’ve learned.”

Dolan said we are all fighting for employees and “we have to help our community and I think this is an excellent way for us to satisfy the need and be responsible to our community.”

West Bend Defenders baseball team gives back to the community | By Ray Luokka

West Bend Defenders baseball team does not only play baseball, but every other month will give back to the community by volunteering for various community projects.

WEST BEND DEFENDERS ⚾️ “If You Build It, They Will Come”

May 18, 2019 was a fun fulfilling day for the U11 West Bend Defenders. They had a chance to give back to the community by helping with improvements to the Villa Park baseball field.  “You teach them by the way you conduct yourself. Be a good role model and don’t cause them to stumble”

Updates & tidbits

– Get your tickets for Washington County Breakfast on the Farm on Saturday, June 8. Doors open at 1207 Highland Drive at 6:30 a.m. as Breakfast on the Farm will be held at Highland Dairy, LLC this year in Kewaskum. Mike, Linda and Corey Enright are set to roll out the red carpet and invite guests to tour the robotic farm, compete in pedal tractor pull, listen to live music and share in some eggs, ham and applesauce. Tickets at the door are $7 and in advance $6. Children 3 and under are free.

– Bango, the mascot from the Milwaukee Bucks, was in West Bend on Tuesday, May 28 to help dedicate the new basketball/pickleball/volleyball courts at Regner Park. Bucks at ribbon cutting for basketball court. The complex is part of the upgrade at Regner Park, 800 N. Main Street. The sport court is made of a grid of super-strong material for year-round play. The hoops have a glass backboard and the height can be adjusted. There is also a pulley and crank system to raise or lower nets for volleyball or pickleball.

– Holy Angels Parish, 138 N. Eighth Ave., West Bend will hold its “Festival of Angels” June 7, 8 and 9 this year with fun for the whole family. Just two blocks south of Hwy 33 on Eighth Avenue, the fun starts at 5 p.m. Friday.

– The Knights of Columbus are sponsoring Dad’s Day 2019.  The event is June 15 at St. Mary’s Parish in Barton from noon – 4 p.m.  There will be activities including a Bounce House with slide, food and games including a Wiffle Ball tournament.

– The City of West Bend announced that Menards three-year property tax assessment challenge has ended. Menards has withdrawn its case that had been scheduled to go to the circuit court in June 2019. “West Bend has been a leader in combating the dark store theory,” said City of West Bend Mayor Kraig Sadownikow.  “I am proud of our city council and staff for their resistance to buckle to the big box pressure to accept a settlement offer. Any type of settlement would have caused a tax shift to other city property taxpayers. This was unacceptable in my opinion.” Mayor Sadownikow now calls on the Wisconsin State Legislature, “to have intestinal fortitude to adopt statewide legislation which closes the dark store loophole thereby preventing these frivolous and costly lawsuits from reoccurring in the future.”

Remembering “a true cow man” Richard “Dick” Henry Mayer, 84, of Slinger

Richard “Dick” Henry Mayer, 84, of Slinger, slipped away to be with his Lord in the early hours of Thursday, May 30. Dick graduated from Slinger High School in 1953 and farmed with his father and brothers Bob and Fritz. Mayer Farms was well known for developing outstanding Holstein genetics. Dick was a true cow man. He judged numerous county and state Holstein shows, and served on numerous All-American Selection Committees. He was active in the County, State, and National Holstein Association, and served on the Washington County Holstein Board for many years, where he started the County Junior Holstein Association. He also served on the Wisconsin Holstein Board for 12 years. Funeral Services for Dick will be held at 4 p.m. on Sunday, June 2 at Faith UCC Church (2895 Slinger Rd. Slinger) with Rev. Sharon Stier presiding. Visitation will be held on Sunday at the church from 12:30 p.m. until time of service. Interment will be at Faith UCC Cemetery.

Vietnam veteran Jerold Donath of Kewaskum on June Honor Flight | By Samantha Sali

Vietnam War veteran Jerold Donath, 72, of Kewaskum, is heading to Washington D.C. on the June 1 Stars and Stripes Honor Flight.

Donath was born in 1947 to Orin, a meat cutter, and Mildred, a stay-at-home-mother. He was raised around the Kewaskum and West Bend area, graduating from high school in 1965.

He worked at Gehl until he decided to enlist into the Navy in 1966. “I don’t know why I chose the Navy,” Donath said. “At that time, you either enlisted or you were drafted.”

Donath was sent to Basic Training in Great Lakes, Illinois shortly after enlisting. “It was in the middle of winter and it was very limited to what we could do outside. There was a lot of indoor classwork. After Basic, I was in Reserves for a year. We had weekly meetings and more classes…  just general studies.”

In 1967, Donath went into active duty. “I was home ported in San Diego and left for Vietnam on the USS Colonial on November 1967.

Donath was a machinist on the USS Colonial. “It was just day-by-day. We traveled up and down the coast, starting in Saigon,” he said.

On December 1968, Donath’s service ended, coming home as an E4, “When I came home, I went back to work at Gehl and then worked for the 7up bottling company for 30 years before retiring in 2013,” he said.

Donath and his wife, Lauren, have been married 52 years and have three children and four grandchildren, the youngest being 10 years old.

While Donath did have friends, who shared their memorable experiences on past Honor Flights, it was his son, Jon, who asked if Donath wanted to sign up. Jon, who works for Gordon Food Services, will be his father’s guardian on the flight.

After the Honor Flight is over, Donath plans on doing yard work this summer and maybe a road trip with his wife.

Homer Justman of the Town of Trenton has died

It’s with a heavy heart to report the passing of Homer Justman, 74, of the Town of Trenton. According to his wife Barb, Homer died Monday afternoon, May 27, around 3:30 p.m.

Bob Bonenfant, former morning guy with WBKV AM 1470, remembered Homer for his music and kindness.

“I never saw Homer without a smile on his face,” said Bonenfant.  “He truly enjoyed life…whether it be working, playing drums in various bands (particularly Revival) or socializing with others when he and Barb came along on our gambling bus. I never heard him utter a bad word about another person. He will be missed.”

Many people remember Homer as the guy who bagged their groceries. He worked at several stores including the former Reuben’s Market in Hartford or most recently at Piggly Wiggly in Slinger.

Homer even had a little grocery in his basement. It was the most well-organized food pantry. He kept it stocked with canned goods and items from his garden and every spring he loved moving Barb’s 100-pound cactus up the stairs to the back porch as it wintered in the basement.

Homer and Barb were high school sweethearts. They were frequently seen at Kiwanis Steak Fries, chili cook offs, and even the recent Breakfast with the Easter Bunny.

Jeff Szukalski from Jeff’s Spirits on Main said Homer knew his diagnosis wasn’t good, but he didn’t let that get him down.

“He was always in a good mood,” said Szukalski. “I saw him about a month ago and he was still upbeat even though he looked tired. He was always a positive influence on everybody. Sorry to hear he passed.”

Homer was the leader of the local band ‘Revival.’ He could be seen behind the drum set at local taverns and events including the Washington County Fair.

“He was such a good people person and a great musician and really enjoyed himself,” said Joan Stoffel of Campbellsport.  “I know my sister Diane and I would go with Barb and Ross Bradt, about 39 years ago, and we’d go listen to the band and the band wives would hang out and we’d polka and they were a good band and Homer was a good guy.

West Bend Mayor Kraig Sadownikow recalled Homer was always smiling. “He always was in a good mood,” said Sadownikow. “I smile when I think about him.”

In addition to his parents, Homer was preceded in death by eight brothers, Harry, Harvey, Hillary, Hilbert, Henry, Herbert Jr., Herman, and Howard Justman; three brothers-in-law, Harold Westerman, Harry Beall, and Richard Ehnert.

A funeral service for Homer was held Thursday, May 30, in Kewaskum.  Church services were Friday in New Fane.

Around the Bend by Judy Steffes

Sherry Lutz remembered with Exceptional Service Award

St. Frances Cabrini recently held its academic awards ceremony and a presentation was made for the Exceptional Service Award. This year, it was presented posthumously to Sherry Lutz.

The Exceptional Service Award was created several years ago in honor of Shirley Weasler.

Shirley was a devoted mother and loving wife. She had six children who all attended school at St. Frances Cabrini. She was described by a close friend as “an angel on earth.” She was very humble and was always willing to do anything to help someone in need.

She was never judgmental, full of wisdom and grace. Shirley was truly an inspiration to anyone that knew her.

Unfortunately, Shirley unexpectedly passed away when her youngest daughter was still a student at SFC. In order to help honor her wonderful spirit and true dedication to helping others the Exceptional Service Award was created.

The person we honor today was very much like Shirley.

Sherry Lutz was always around, whether that meant coaching, running the lunch program, assisting teachers, or organizing the Christmas cookie exchange for the teachers, a tradition we carry on today in her memory. She was a loving mother and wife and she is greatly missed by family, friends and the St. Frances Cabrini community.

This morning we had a small dedication service of our Multi-Purpose room to Sherry. It was a wonderful celebration of her with the family. A plaque has been made and will be placed on the wall right by the serving area of the kitchen. A sign has been created and will hang above the serving area and will say “Sherry’s Place’ to recognize all the time she devoted to this school.

Cabrini Alumni of the Year Award winners

Students, parents, teachers and alumni gathered in the gym at St. Francis Cabrini School on Friday as academic award winners were announced. Many students were recognized for their achievements in math, robotics, penmanship and art.

There were also alumni awards presented to Mary Hafeman and Tony Koebel.

The SFC Alumni of the Year Award is an honor bestowed annually on two alumni, a male and female, who are wonderful role models for our students. These individuals have brought credit to themselves and to Cabrini through their service and accomplishments in one or more of the following area: Business or professional life, community affairs at the local, state or national level and support of and commitment to Saint Frances Cabrini Parish and School.

This award was presented for the first time at the 60th anniversary reunion and celebration to Cathy (Johnson) Spies, Class of ’71 and David Wiesner (’81). An Alumni Wall of Fame is being created near the gym, where their pictures will be displayed.

“This is a very special award for me,” said Hafeman. “I have very many special memories from St. Frances Cabrini School and along with my parent’s support, we developed a solid Christian foundation that helped us throughout our lives.  In addition, all the friendships we made continue to this day!”

Hafeman grew up next door to Cathy Spies on Orchard Street. “It’s great to follow her,” said Hafeman. “We had so much fun and competition growing up as next-door neighbors; it was a special neighborhood.  Also, our parents were founding members of Cabrini school too.”

Mary Hafeman is a professional golfer and professional golf coach. She is a long-time member of the LPGA, and she was one of the first women admitted to the PGA. In fact, she has always been a trailblazer for the sport. Shew as the first girl to win the WIAA State title in golf. She was named East’s top athlete in 1974 and is credited for her integral role in establishing the sport of girls’ golf at West Bend East.

Mary has received many honors and awards, and she is a member of the West Bend East Sports Hall of Fame, the University of Florida Athletic hall of Fame, and the Wisconsin Golf Hall of Fame.

She has won titles as a golfer, including the Women’s Eastern Amateur Champion, the Women’s Western Amateur Champion, and she played on the Curtis Cup team.

She is owner of Mary Hafeman Golf Experience, an internationally known golf academy, and she has been recognized and honored many times as a golf coach and teachers. She has the attitude that anyone can golf, and she enjoys teaching golfers of all ages and ability levels. Recognizing that many deals and business relationships are made on the golf course, she is especially proactive about teaching women in business to golf.

In 2016 she received the PGA’s National Player Development Award for her extraordinary and exemplary contribution and achievement in the area of player development. Mary was chosen from a pool of PGA Members: 28,500 mean and 800 women to win the award.

Despite this acclaim she is known for being very down-to-earth and friendly, a regular person. She is the oldest of seven children and has always been deeply committed to her family and faith.

Tony Koebel also was recognized as Alumni of the Year. Koebel is a graduate from 1993 and he was noted as “a man with many talents who is a successful entrepreneur, a skilled carpenter and best known for his generosity and big heart.”

Safe Routes to School program in West Bend

There was an old-school effort that began today to encourage kids to walk to school in West Bend. The Safe Routes to School program is a collaborative effort between Bike Friendly West Bend, Aurora Health Care, the Washington-Ozaukee Health Department, students in Concordia University Wisconsin’s nursing program, St. John’s Lutheran School and Saint Frances Cabrini School.  The fundamental goal of the project is encouraging parents and children to walk or bike to school more often, as a healthy lifestyle initiative.

Crossing guard Cliff Van Beek was working the corner at Seventh Avenue and Hawthorn. He said the crossing guards and respectful drivers make for a safe environment for children to get to school. Organizers say the goal of the program is to expand countywide, school by school, city by city. The next day for the Walking School Buses for St. John’s Lutheran is May 22 and 29.

Another bank closing a branch in West Bend

There seems to be a growing trend in West Bend as another bank is closing a branch office.

A letter dated May 3, 2019 was received by customers today, May 11, notifying them the CHASE branch at 801 W. Washington Street in West Bend would be closing as of August 1, 2019. CHASE also has a branch at 600 W. Paradise Drive.

The interesting thing about the CHASE location on Highway 33 is that it is the branch with the safe deposit boxes. The letter below indicates CHASE will release more details in the next 30 days.

Over the past few months similar changes have occurred across Washington County. In September 2018 National Exchange Bank, 2412 W. Washington Street, in West Bend closed.

In September 2017 in West Bend the Bank Mutual, 1526 S. Main Street, announced it was consolidating with Associated Bank on Paradise Drive. In March 2019 the property sold and will be the new home of Landmark Credit Union.

On a history note: Remember when the factories, West Bend Company, Amity Leather, and Enger Kress, were in West Bend and on Fridays the banks were open late because people lined up to cash/deposit their checks. At noon some tellers even noticed customers had a little beer on their breath after having a 10-cent tapper during lunch.

New principal announced at Holy Angels School in West Bend

Holy Angels School in West Bend is announcing a new principal to succeed Mike Sternig, who is retiring after 45 years at Holy Angels. His service started teaching junior high math and religion, also serving as Youth Minister, before landing his dream job in 1989 when he became principal at Holy Angels School.  A letter from Rev. Patrick Heppe about the new principal at H.A.S. is below

Dear Holy Angels School Family,

It is with great joy that I can announce that the search for the next principal has concluded and I have accepted the recommendation of the Principal Search Ad Hoc Committee. It is my pleasure to announce that Anne Weise has accepted the call to serve as principal of Holy Angels School.

I greatly appreciate the countless hours that the Principal Search Ad Hoc Committee devoted to the task. Beginning in early December, the committee has been part of a journey that resulted in the unanimous choice of Anne Weise to serve as the next principal.

Members of the committee included: Angela Bell, Peter German, Phylis Gibbon, Michele Guminski, Gary Held, Stephanie Rychtik, Michelle Spaeth, Mike Sternig, Sheila Tranel, Rachel Weber, Dave Wietor, and Peter Winkler. It is with special appreciation that I recognize the leadership that Gary Held provided throughout the process.

Here’s a little of Ms. Weise’s background and I’m sure that this community will enjoy meeting and supporting her as she leads our school…

She was born and raised in Peshtigo, Wisconsin. Ms. Weise moved to Tucson, AZ when she started high school. When injuries sidelined her in her career as a tennis pro, she attended the University of Phoenix and received her Bachelor of Science in Business Administration. She went on to attain her MBA as well as a Master’s in Education.

Anne has been devoted to teaching since 2005. She started her teaching career while living in Tucson, AZ. She taught K5 through 3rd grade at Tucson Country Day School. She also became Assistant Principal the last two years at the school.

Anne moved back to Wisconsin in 2010. While working on her Wisconsin teaching certificate, she worked at The Boys & Girls Club of Oshkosh where she was the Childcare Director. In 2012, she moved to the Milwaukee Metro. In April of 2013, she started at the Business and Economics Academy of Milwaukee (BEAM) as a teacher. After teaching 4th grade for a year, she was promoted to the Business and Economics Curriculum Coordinator as well as the Math Curriculum Coordinator. She worked at BEAM until the school closed in 2017. At that time, she transitioned into the Milwaukee Archdiocese’s Seton Catholic Schools Network. Anne has been teaching and serving as a site administrator on duty at St. Martin of Tours Catholic School in Franklin.

She comes to Holy Angels with a strong sense of the culture of our school and a desire to bring Holy Angels to even greater achievements.    In His Peace,  Rev. Patrick E. Heppe

Spaulding Clinical awarded sunscreen research contract from US FDA

Spaulding Clinical Research, the contract research organization tapped by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to conduct a study on the absorption of active ingredients in sunscreen into the bloodstream, announced it is now available to design and execute Maximum Usage Trials (MUsTs) for sunscreen and sunscreen-containing products.

The company, which has conducted numerous MUsTs for the pharmaceutical industry, collaborated with the FDA on the design and execution of the sunscreen trial that helped confirm the long-held suspicion about absorption. It has set up a website, www.keepsunscreensafe.com, to provide an overview of the trial, access to the report published in the May 6 issue of The Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), as well as details on its innovative, industry-leading research services and contact information for companies interested in testing their products.

The City of West Bend to be featured on Discover Wisconsin

The film crew, including show co-host Mariah Haberman, will start filming on Tuesday, May 14.  “Typically, what we do is film one, half-hour show over the next several months,” said Haberman. “The show won’t actually air until Spring 2020.”

Haberman has been with Discover Wisconsin for six seasons. She said the normal format is to produce a show over a one-year time span. “This year we’re doing 25 shows,” she said.

Discover Wisconsin is known as the “longest-running tourism TV show in the country.”

“The idea behind the show is to move the needle in these local economies across Wisconsin,” Haberman said. “The idea for this episode is for people to learn about West Bend and then go online and book a trip and spend money at the local businesses.”

It started in 1987 and is in its 32nd season. “We do a smattering of different things,” said Haberman. “For the West Bend episode, we are going to be at a restaurant to start.”

Discover Wisconsin has filmed episodes in Hartford and neighboring Dodge County. There was one segment on motorcycling the back roads and that ran through the Kettle Moraine in Washington County.

Normally Discover Wisconsin brings a crew of about four people to each video shoot.

“One thing I try to talk to the leaders of tourism about is finding its uniqueness,” said Haberman. “We really work to find what makes them stand out. We try to cover iconic things or hidden gems in the community. We want to surprise our viewers in a positive way.”

Most episodes, according to Haberman, will include six to eight visits from the show.

Discover Wisconsin airs in eight states across the Upper Midwest.  “We reach 11.5 million homes and have a loyal viewership of 600,000,” Haberman said.

On a side note: At 31 years old, Haberman grew up south of Madison. She said the thing she knows about West Bend is it’s a “thriving Milwaukee suburb.”

What would you suggest Haberman focus on during her trip to West Bend.  “It’s going to be exciting for me to see a city like this for the first time,” she said. “I’m prepared to be surprised.”

Shopko Optical has found a new home in West Bend

It was January 2019 when neighbors in West Bend learned about the fate of Shopko. The retail chain filed bankruptcy, however Shopko noted “All Optical locations below will remain open to serve you during store closing. Your Optical center will be relocated very soon to a new location with the same patient care you have come to expect from your Shopko Optical center.”

A freestanding Shopko Optical will open in the coming months in the strip center to the south of Pick ‘n Save, just to the south of SportClips in the 1700 block of S. Main Street.

More details were posted in a press release from Shopko: In order to position the Company for future success, Shopko has announced it will be closing an additional 38 stores, relocating over 20 Optical centers to freestanding locations, and conducting an auction process for its pharmacy business. Throughout this process, all Shopko Optical centers and pharmacies remain open and continue to deliver the high-quality products and services to which its customers are accustomed. All other stores remain open as the Company continues to optimize its store footprint.

Additionally, encouraged by the performance of the four freestanding Optical centers that were opened in 2018, Shopko plans to continue to grow its optical business by opening additional freestanding Optical locations during 2019.

Academic awards at Kettle Moraine Lutheran H.S. in Jackson     By Megan Himm

As the 2018-2019 school year comes to a close, Kettle Moraine Lutheran High School (KML) in Jackson is taking time to recognize the many talented students who walk the halls and fill the classrooms.

Recognition week has a strong focus on the senior class, as well as any others who greatly excel. Each day after chapel, from May 13 through May 17, KML will focus on one academic and athletic aspect and recognize those who have made great contributions.

The class of 2019-Valedictorian, Salutatorian, Academic Leader Awards, Honors and High Honors students were all announced and brought up on stage. Students were given certificates for honor roll, and medals for valedictorians and the salutatorian.

Valedictorians: Amy Deibert, Ariana Miller, Katharine Molkentin, Erica Zeamer

Salutatorian: Joshua Hennen

Academic Leader Awards: Amy Deibert, Ariana Miller, Katharine Molkentin, Erica Zeamer, Joshua Hennen, Molly Krajcik, Jayden Koehler, Rebecca Loescher, Kiley Huckstorf, Mitchell Boline

High Honors (3.6 – 4.0): Amy Deibert, Ariana Miller, Katharine Molkentin, Erica Zeamer, Joshua Hennen, Molly Krajcik, Jayden Koehler, Rebecca Loescher, Kiley Huckstorf, Mitchell Boline, Jayme Soderbeck, Jake Stiemke, Abigail Washburn, Emma Herriges, Amber Heider, Jamie Maas, Megan Sina, Rebecca Vandermus, Carissa Egelseer, Yao Cheng, Elizabeth Bieberitz, Kaitlyn Scherf, Logan Mueller, Andrea Busalacchi, Miriam Helwig, Olivia Schaewe, Benjamin Adams, Melinda Weber, Veronica Fellenz, Maria Zimmerman, Cooper Knoll, Keyi Zou, Daniel Cain, Megan Parbs, Ryan Mantz, Evan Theis, Grace Loeffler, Jared Metz, Amelia Bock Jenna Jahnke, Elaina Guse

Honors (3.3-3.59): Jacob Byhardt, Yue You, Elijah Natzke Isabella Erdman, Courtney Gerboth, Caleb Martens, Ryan Theis, Madison Aubry, Jacob Schmandt, Clara Kugler, Justin Ninmann, Benjamin Washburn, Benjamin Polheber Preston Barrett, Jiahui Jin, Ashlyn Bartz, Amanda Nank

Dr. Mary Lewis honored with St. Joseph’s Hospital’s Excellence in Medicine Award | By Tim Olsen

Dr. Mary Lewis, Emergency Department medical director at Froedtert & the Medical College of Wisconsin St. Joseph’s Hospital, has been honored with the sixth annual Excellence in Medicine Award from St. Joseph’s Hospital.

Dr. Lewis was selected for her leadership; excellence in medical care; teaching and mentoring; collaboration; boards, committees and organizations she has served; community involvement; and overall legacy she has established at St. Joseph’s Hospital.

“Dr. Lewis was one of the first women in the state of Wisconsin to become a director of an emergency department and she has proudly and capably held that position for 27+ years,” said her nominator, Joseph Schwartz, MD, emergency medicine physician at St. Joseph’s Hospital.

“In the past 27 years, Dr. Lewis has been a steady constant, demonstrating excellence in medical care and excellence in leadership as this hospital progressed from an independent hospital to becoming part of Froedtert & the Medical College of Wisconsin network. I first met Dr. Lewis in 1988 when I was a medical student in Milwaukee and she was a resident on the trauma surgery service. Even at that early time, she demonstrated superior leadership skills and was quick to assist those around her with a true team spirit.”

Updates & tidbits

– Welcome Judge Christine Ohlis to Mid-Moraine. This month representatives for the Mid-Moraine Municipal Court system selected Attorney Christine Ohlis of West Bend to serve as the new judge. Ohlis will serve as judge replacing Steve Cain who was elected to the seat in April,

– The Knights of Columbus are sponsoring Dad’s Day 2019.  The event is June 15 at St. Mary’s Parish in Barton.  There will be inflatable activities, including a Bounce House with slide, food and games including a Wiffle Ball tournament. There is a $10 registration fee that will include a T-shirt, all the food- (hot dogs, hamburger, chips, and drink), and access to all the games and activities. Dad’s Day will run from noon – 4 p.m. with a Mass at 4 p.m.

– Mai Fest is coming to Friedenfeld Park in Germantown on May 17, 18 and 19. There will be fantastic beers, fabulous music and dancing and good old-fashioned fun.

After clinching the 2019 Wisconsin Collegiate Conference state championship in tennis, coaches Roger Peterson and Debbie Butschlick from UWM at Washington County were honored with the conference Coach of the Year award. This is the fourth such award for Peterson and fifth for Butschlick. The pair have coached the men’s and women’s tennis teams at the UWM at Washington County campus since 1992. This was the second consecutive year the tennis team took home the top state award.

Around the Bend by Judy Steffes

New restaurant opening in Germantown

There’s a new independent restaurant opening in Germantown in the next couple of months. It’s an old-school location with a unique twist and a recognizable owner.

Jodi Janisse-Kanzenbach is the genius behind a new eatery called The Precinct. It will be in the old Germantown Police Station on Church Street, just around the corner from Barley Pop Pub, N116 W16137 Main Street.

The old PD is being transformed with a 1940’s bar from a tavern up north, a wall of graffiti, an open-concept kitchen, garage doors for European flare and a menu that stays true to the farming heritage of Germantown.

“The plan has been in the process for nearly two year,” said Janisse-Kanzenbach. “It really came to fruition last year when we bought into the Barley Pop and it’s been under lock and key since.”

There were several goals Janisse-Kanzenbach listed as she detailed the closing Café Soeurette in downtown West Bend and opening a new venture.

“This was part of the plan to get our own building, being able to build a concept we wanted and getting out from underground,” she said. “Within the next two to three months Café Soeurette will close and shortly thereafter The Precinct will open.”

The Precinct has amenities attractive to Janisse-Kanzenbach. “We actually have a parking lot, we’re ADA accessible, we were able to design the whole building taking it down to the studs and building it back exactly how we wanted.”

Like Café Soeurette, Janisse-Kanzenbach is working toward an open-kitchen concept. “We always had such a personal relationship with our customers at the Café and we wanted to carry that on,” she said. “I liked talking to the customers and with the window in the kitchen at Café Soeurette people could see who was cooking and they’d know where their food was coming from and that is important to me.”

As far as the location, Janisse-Kanzenbach said she did her homework. “When I opened Café I was young, 28 years old, and I hopped on the first thing that became available. This time I wanted to do my research with demographics and make sure it made even more sense,” she said.

“I wanted to find an area that made sense and my business partner Deb Reinbold owned this building and it was the last one I looked at and it really made sense. At first I looked at it and there were 15 rooms and I didn’t see it at all and then my husband Cory went through, he’s normally the pessimist, and he said I had to just look at it as an open shell; I was shocked he was on board with it. Then it became this transition of buying into the Barley Pop and these properties. I’ve joked with customers it’s kind of the next step of me growing up as an adult. I feel a little adult these days,” she said.

The location across the street from Janisse-Kanzenbach’s other venture, Barley Pop Pub, make sense to her… even if it’s not clear to others.

“It’s two completely different concepts,” she said.

Barley Pop Pub has more of a sports bar atmosphere. “I think people will embrace The Precinct,” said Janisse-Kanzenbach. “It’ll be similar to what we do at Café with supporting local farmers. We’re still working on the menu, but it’ll change quarterly, and we’ll do lunch on Friday and Saturday, and we’ll add a one-a-month brunch with an a ’la carte eggs benedict and bloody Mary’s.  It’s very different than what’s happening at the Barley Pop.”

Staff is completely behind the idea. “I have staff that’s been behind me for so long,” she said. “I’ve been honest from the start, but they’ll be happy they can finally let the cat out of the bag.”

Aside from the open-kitchen concept and garage doors for added light, Janisse-Kanzenbach will bring in an old-school bar that her husband found on Craig’s List.

“We’ve had the bar over a year and a half. It’s an 18-foot back bar, front bar with an art-deco look and it was in amazing shape and we drove up near Marinette and hauled this bar back to West Bend and it’s interesting,” she said.

There was a treasure within the treasure as Janisse-Kanzenbach found something behind the mirror. “We took one of the mirrors off and there was a post office box number and combination probably from one of the owners,” she said. “I’m going to frame it and put it on the wall.”

Below is the official announcement made by Jodi Janisse-Kanzenbach

This morning I woke up to a picture of a new baby that was born from a friend and past employee. It put the biggest smile on my face.

Let’s reminisce, this individual somehow found out nearly 12 years ago before it was public that I was going to be opening Café Soeurette and told me he would keep my secret as long as I made one promise that I let him be part of helping get me up and going! I was shocked and happily obliged.

Over the years he came and went as an employee but always one of my biggest cheerleaders for the café, it’s crew, west bend and myself. He even asked me to assist in proposing to a lovely lady (also a long-time customer) at café and I was honored to help and witness it! Then came their rehearsal dinner about a year later also, at café.

About a week ago they stopped into Café and I gave them a gift for the little one they were now expecting. We chatted for some time, catching up, talking about their bundle of joy to arrive. What an exciting time! Over the years it has been an honor for all of us here at the café to share in so many memorable events in people’s lives.

The conversation then turned to Café hosting some music for a local event this summer and I had to decline. I was sad but also happy to let this couple know what was in store for my family, staff, and my partners future!

Birth of a new baby brings so much joy and excitement but if you are a parent you know it also comes along with fear and question if you are doing the right thing daily. I have had all these emotions for quite some time now, but mostly joy and excitement! My staff, partners and I are excited to finally make this amazing news public.

We are in the process of remodeling a building for a new concept restaurant. We own the building and have gotten to design every single aspect to our own specifications, well besides the brick wall we ran into, literally, but hey when life throws you lemons make lemonade right!

I know you all reading this right now are probably like, What? She has Café and Barley Pop and now a new restaurant is under construction is she crazy? Guess I am a little bit crazy! But mostly crazy excited!  Today I announce the Birth of Precinct, Tap & Table!

Doris Romaine Yach of West Bend celebrates 100 years

Doris Romaine Yach of Cedar Ridge is celebrating her 100th birthday on May 9. Sharp, humble, and easy with conversation, Yach said she’s “taking it one day at a time.”

“It creeps up on you,” she said about her age.  “I didn’t do anything special. When the doctor says, ‘How are you?’ I say the bottom half needs a little help, but the top half is doing OK.”

Born in Campbellsport in 1919 to Edgar and Hedwig Romaine, Yach grew up on a farm, the oldest of three children. She went to a small schoolhouse, spent a year at UW Madison and then on to UW-Whitewater where she met her husband in journalism class.

She married Harry J. Yach on July 3, 1943 when she was 24 years old. The couple had six children and Yach said she was “the traditional housewife.”

“There wasn’t a ‘me’ for many years… it was always the kids first,” said Yach. “I tell them today I missed doing a lot of things I should have been doing but I was the typical housewife and the kids came first.”

Kids came home every day for lunch said Yach.  All six kids went to Catholic grade school and high school and some college with her support even though she was not raised in the Roman Catholic religion but converted later.

“We always knew she would help but she also taught us how to be self-sufficient and rely on ourselves to deal with problems,” said son David Yach.

“My West Bend grandfather, Henry Opgenorth, was one of the four men who started the insurance company in 1894 when they had the big fire down in the business section. My grandfather said we’re not going to pay the premiums to the big-city people, we’re going to start our own insurance company,” she said.

Below is an article from the Ziegler Company web page citing an early start to a business with Ben Ziegler.

The Ziegler Companies, Inc. provides a complete range of investment services and is widely regarded as the largest institutional bond underwriter in the United States, not to mention the largest investment banking firm for healthcare finance outside Wall Street.

In 1902, West Bend, Wisconsin, was a small bustling mill town famous for the hotels it had built to put up travelers making the two-day trip between Milwaukee and Fond du Lac. The son of a hotelier and county treasurer, 18-year-old Ben Ziegler had been selling fire insurance policies to area farmers and merchants to supplement his income as an assistant for the county’s treasurer and register of deeds. In 1902 an insurance agency owned by a friend of Ziegler’s father ran into financial trouble; as the agency’s co-signer, Ziegler’s father assumed its debt and the responsibility for finding a new agent for the business. Despite Ben’s young age, Ziegler’s father made Ben that new agent, and the young entrepreneur promptly began selling insurance policies to area businesses out of a room in his father’s hotel. By 1905 Ben had saved up $6,500, which he used to pay off his father’s farm and saloon, and a home for him two years later. By 1906 Ziegler and his former employer in the insurance business, Henry Opgenorth, formed a new agency, Opgenorth and Ziegler, which fell apart only 18 months later after disagreements over the business. Opgenorth and Ziegler split the territories and went their separate ways.

Yach’s grandfather died in 1925.

Yach was the oldest of three children. Both her brother and sister have passed. Yach’s daughter-in-law, Nancy, said “Yach was strict but loving. Her kids could come to her with anything,” she said.

About 80 people visited for Yach’s 100th birthday party including children, grandchildren, relatives and friends from California, Washington, Phoenix, Colorado, Massachusetts, Arizona, Illinois, and Minnesota.

I keep busy and knitted 25 dish clothes for the craft room at Cedar Ridge.

“I’m proud of my family as a unit,” said Yach. “They’ve all worked hard, and they will come to me and say ‘My work ethic… I got from you.’ They’re all good kids.”

“Through the years the friendships are important,” said Yach.

Yach has six children, 15 grandchildren and 13 great grandchildren.  “Doris still sends birthday cards to all the children, grandchildren, great grandchildren and other friends and relatives,” said David A. Yach.  “Doris instilled in me the importance of reading and learning something new every day. Being the teacher, she was we had no choice.”

David Yach said his mother is “dependable, resilient and caring.”

“As my mother has aged, she has been an inspiration to me by never complaining and always dealing with age-related problems with a smile on her face,” said David Yach.

New Verizon store, Pet Supply store and addition to First Baptist Church

The Plan Commission meeting in West Bend this week tackled 106 pages of proposed development. One of the items up is construction of a new Verizon store on W. Washington Street across from Sendik’s.

Plans from MSI General call for two buildings. The first site plan is for a 3,000-square-foot commercial building, located approximately 300’ west of 18th Avenue on the south side of W. Washington Street. The development also has a second commercial building pad proposed to the west. The details for the second building have not been determined and a separate site plan approval will be needed when that development has been determined.

The building location is directly north of Sendik’s and to the west of First Bank and Starbucks.

Neighbors will remember that location was going to be home to Pizza Ranch. It was actually the second proposed location after Steve Kearns bought the original site just to the west of Westbury Bank.

ARCHIVE WashingtonCountyInsider.com April 10, 2017 – The first location was on W. Washington Street just to the west of Westbury Bank. On August 15, 2016 PRWB Real Estate LLC closed on the purchase of 1.7 acres on W. Washington Street for $300,000. Then, within a couple weeks, PRWB Real Estate LLC flipped the property and sold the parcel for $500,000 to Steve Kearns.

Some of the details the Plan Commission will be reviewing include:

· A driveway connection to W. Washington Street is proposed.

· An internal driveway connection is proposed at the southwest corner of the site to provide a second access through the Sendik’s development.

· A traffic impact analysis was originally completed when the Pizza Ranch development was considering the site. An updated analysis is needed to verify that the new specific commercial uses don’t require off-site improvements for W. Washington Street or N. 18th Avenue.

· 19 standard parking and 1 barrier free parking stalls are provided for this phase of the development. Additional parking will be constructed with the next phase.

A couple other items on the agenda include a 1,872-square-foot addition to Affiliated Clinical Services on E. Washington Street, a 7,000-square-foot addition to First Baptist Church on S. Main Street, and development of a new Pet Supply store on S. Main Street in the former location of Grimm’s Dollar Express.

Hotel and office building to be developed on former Gehl lot in downtown West Bend

The City of West Bend has entered into an agreement 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.

In partnership with the Washington County Site Redevelopment Committee (SRC), the City of West Bend completed a hotel study specifically dedicated to the former Gehl site. City staff approached SRC and identified the site as a high-priority redevelopment site.

Paul Stangl, of RafRad LLC, has been a driving force behind bringing a hotel to our downtown. Along with Kinseth Hospitality, Stangl has a history of successful hotel development. Many residents may be familiar with their developments and most specifically with their development of the Hampton Inn and Suites located in the City of West Bend.

 “We feel this project will not only fill a need in the downtown area but will further draw visitors and the community to the area,” said Stangl.

“We have many great initiatives happening in our downtown,” said City Administrator Jay Shambeau.  “Combine those with the positive citywide business and residential energy, there is no question this makes a lot of sense.”

With the east side of the Riverwalk near completion along with multiple nearby developments, the City of West Bend believes the downtown will continue to be a desirable destination to live, work and play.

Korean War veteran Delbert Clay of Hartford on May Honor Flight | By Samantha Sali

Korean War veteran Delbert Clay, 87, of Hartford, is heading to Washington D.C. on the May 11 Stars and Stripes Honor Flight.

Born in 1931 in Missouri to Mary and Grover, Clay’s family moved to Milwaukee when he was 11 years old, where he lived his entire life, until moving to Hartford three years ago. He attended Riverside High School and graduated in 1949.

At 21 years old, Clay received a note from Uncle Sam.  “I was drafted in 1952. It’s a comedian who said, ‘I fought like hell and had to go anyway. You can’t fight the government, you just have to pick up and go,” he said.

Basic Training was in California and while the food was fine, Clay shared a little of what he endured. “It was just a lot of harassment, anything they could do to irritate you,” he said.

After basic training ended, Clay had a 10-day delay-in-route, so he flew home and got married to his high school sweetheart, Audrey. “After that, I went to San Francisco and got shipped out to Korea,” he said.

Clay was assigned to the 23rd Infantry Regiment, 2nd Division. “We were on the line wherever we went and when the war ended, I was back at NCO working with officers and training the guys that would come in.”

Clay was a corporal when his service ended in 1954. “I got wounded and received a Purple Heart. I also got a Combat Infantry Badge and things like that, but those don’t matter much.”

When Clay came home, he continued working for Cleaver-Brooks. “I just couldn’t sit still anymore so I went to work for an insurance company,” he said.

After retirement, woodworking and golf became Clay’s main hobbies. “It used to be bowling, but I can’t bowl anymore. I learned woodworking by just fiddling around. I had a brother in law that could build anything, so he taught me a lot,” he said.

While Clay’s wife, Audrey, passed away in 2016, he reminisced about their early years. “We went out for a blind date when I was 16 and she was 14. We were attached to the hip for 68 years,” he said.

Clay and his wife had three boys, Daniel, Dennis, and Dean, “My son signed me up for the Honor Flight, but I wasn’t really happy with it at the time. There was a reason for that though. I didn’t want to pick one son over the other (Daniel passed in 2013). My other son, Dean, ended up passing away just a few months ago.

Clay is looking forward to the Honor Flight. “Just to see all the memorials again, the plane camaraderie, and the mail call,” he said.

Clay is looking forward to seeing the Korean Memorial but said he’s impressed by a number of them. “The Vietnam Memorial is sad,” he said. “You see a lot of people are crying and sobbing.  Korea wasn’t fun but Vietnam was bad. Those guys came home and were treated like dirt.”

Vietnam War veteran Dale Mueller of Hartford on May Honor Flight | By Samantha Sali

Vietnam War veteran Dale Mueller, 71, of Hartford, is heading to Washington D.C. on the May 11 Stars and Stripes Honor Flight.

Mueller was born in 1948 in Arlington, Minnesota to farmers Harry and Luella. Mueller graduated from Arlington-Green Isle High School in 1966 and got accepted into St. Cloud State University in St. Cloud Minnesota, “I was in St. Cloud for one year, I was looking to become a teacher. I was short on money and was going to skip a year, but the military came around, so I enlisted. I picked the Army because I didn’t want to go for four years and the Army was the only branch at the time that offered a 3-year enlistment,” Mueller said.

Mueller completed Basic Training in Fort Campbell, Kentucky in 1968. “Being from a small town, it was quite an experience, hard, eye-opening, and scary too,” he said. “I got to meet people from all over the country. After that, I went to schooling for transportation for six weeks and then I got my orders for Vietnam.”

Mueller shipped out in the spring of 1969, assigned to Cam Ranh Bay. “I was very lucky,” Mueller said. “My job was to process all the troops coming in and leaving. I’d work with the Air Force in scheduling flights and getting assignments for people. Two weeks after my arrival, we took on incoming rockets, I was so scared I ran out of the barracks. I ran through the barracks screen door, tore the door off its hinges, trying to get the bunker. Everybody was laughing at that. I was so scared, the first couple times, I slept in a flight jacket and helmet.

Mueller shared that while serving was a serious matter, his unit tried to keep things fun and lighthearted at times, often pulling practical jokes on others. “After people landed, we’d put them on buses to be shipped out. We’d tell them that if you hear a loud boom or rocket, the bus would stop, and they’d have to get out and lay in the ditch. So, the bus driver would start driving up the hill and when he’d drive down, he’d make the bus backfire. He’d slam on the brakes and everyone would hop out and lay in the sand and I would say, ‘Welcome to South Vietnam.’”

Mueller’s service ended in the summer of 1971. “I got home and had a good, cold Midwest beer and spent time with my family, went fishing, just getting used to life in the States,” he said.

He met his wife, Sue, in 1972 and married her in 1973, Mueller recalled when they first met. “She was teaching and coaching basketball. I was a basketball official and things sort of took off from there.”

For a few years after his service, Mueller worked in construction before moving to Hartford because his wife got a teaching job at Peace Lutheran. “Then I worked in retail sales and helped start an organization called Builders for Christ,” Mueller said. “I did that until I retired in 2014.”

Mueller and his wife have two daughters that they are extremely proud of, Sarah, who works at Walmart, and Emily, who is an athletic trainer at Kewaskum High School. While he doesn’t have any grandchildren, Mueller has a wonderful grand-dog named Nico. In his spare time, Mueller enjoys hunting, reading, and old classic cars. This summer, he and his wife plan on just enjoying life and taking care of their grand-dog Nico.

Mueller signed himself up for the Honor Flight, without any inclination he’d be chosen. Aside from meeting other people and reminiscing, he’s looking forward to honoring the 58,000 servicemen and women that didn’t come home.

UWM at Washington Co. Teams capture WCC State Tennis Title | By Deb Butschlick

For the second year in a row the men’s and women’s tennis teams captured the Wisconsin Collegiate Conference State Tennis Tournament in Madison at the Neilsen Tennis Stadium.

Players from both teams were able to advance to the finals round in both singles and doubles.  The men scored 18 out of a possible 22 points and the women scored 12 out of 15 possible points. Coach Debbie Butschlick, Paige Airaudi (#2 Doubles Champ) Ariahna Grossenbacher (#1 Singles Runner Up), Sammie Brown (#3 Singles Champ), Meghan MacFarlane (#2 Singles Runner up), Caryn Hamm (#4 Singles Champ), Kayla Boehm (#2 Doubles Champ) Coach Roger Peterson, Daniel Britton (#6 Singles Runner up), David Britton (#5 Singles Champ), Matthew Melsheimer (#1 Singles & #1 Doubles Champ), Brody Jossart (#4 Singles Runner up & #2 Doubles champs) Nathan Melsheimer (#2 Singles Runner up & #1 Doubles Chaps), Seth Wordell (#3 Singles Champs & #2 Doubles Champ)

Pick Award winners at UWM at Washington County

Student athletes from UWM at Washington County were recognized Tuesday evening during the annual Athletic Awards Banquet. A couple of the major award winners included:

Scholar Athlete – Meghan MacFarlane

In 1968 the WCC initiated the Scholar Athlete Award. Each campus would have one scholar athlete award. Scholar athlete is determined by the athletic board. Most important is academics, followed by athletics and finally campus and community involvement.

Pick Female Athlete – Meghan MacFarlane     Pick Male Athlete – Brody Jossart

Former athletic director Tom Brigham said MacFarlane qualifies as a good example of a scholar athlete.

“The three criteria she showed was excellence in academics, excellence in athletics and campus and community involvement,” said Brigham. “She is a fine young lady and the parents did a wonderful job as all the parents have done here.”

MacFarlane was a standout athlete in volleyball, basketball and tennis. MacFarlane is studying nursing and she will continue her education at UW-Milwaukee.

Coach and athletic director Deb Butschlick said MacFarlane leads by example and she has her priorities straight as a student athlete.

“She puts academics first,” said Butschlick. “She is far above a normal player. She can pick up any sport; she never played tennis before, but she can excel in any sport.”

Brody Jossart was 2nd team all-conference in soccer, soccer captain of the year, and men’s tennis he received the coaches award.

“Brody led by example and was always a pleasure to coach,” said Mitchell Bury. “Brody is a dedicated student athlete and he’s been selected WCC all conference for two years in a row,” said Butschlick.

The Pick Family is the proud sponsor of the Female and Male Athlete of the Year awards. This year marks the 32nd anniversary of this award, which was started in 1988 and given annually to the outstanding female and male athletes at UWM-Washington County.

Updates & tidbits

– The Kettle Moraine Symphonic Band will hold a free spring concert on Sunday, May 12 at UWM-Washington County Theatre on the Hill. The concert starts at 3 p.m.

 – New signs are being installed today, Friday, May 3 at Cafe Floriana, 611 Veterans Avenue, Suite 104. The locally owned coffee shop and bakery opened in March 2019. The shop is located on the first floor of Cast Iron Luxury Living which is formerly home to the West Bend Company.

 – It took less than three minutes and the West Bend School Board voted its officers into place for 2019-2020. School board president Joel Ongert retains his seat as president, Nancy Justman was selected vice president, Tonnie Schmidt was selected clerk, and Chris Zwygart was selected treasurer. All nominations were unanimous.

– On Tuesday, May 7, representatives from Kwik Trip appeared before the West Bend Plan Commission with a request to build a larger-than-normal sign at the corner of Paradise Drive and River Road.  A new Kwik Trip is being developed where the old Egbert & Guido’s Express / Citgo used to be. Kwik Trip said it would like to exceed the city standard of 16 square feet and instead place a 21.59 square foot electronic message sign on the corner. Neighbors have been notified and so far, nobody’s complained.

– Holy Angels Students of the Month for April 2019 include Georgia Haddorff, Hailey Kiefer, and Nora Walter.

– It looks like former Green Bay Packer Donald Driver will be paying a visit to students in West Bend. The all-time leading wide receiver for the green and gold is working in cooperation with Goodwill on an annual Pack’er Up Donation Challenge. This year’s event encouraged families to: Clean out your closets and donate any participating Goodwill Store & Donation Center.

Holy Angels principal Mike Sternig confirmed Driver will be coming to school later this month. The students are excited, and it’s been said “it’s the worst kept secret in West Bend.”

Donald Driver is a spokesman for Goodwill. During past school visits in Wisconsin the Packer Hall of Famer reads to students from one of the three children’s books he’s written. Driver played for the Packers for 14 years and later took home the trophy on Dancing with the Stars. Early word his arrival is expected to be May 20.

– The annual Ride of Silence will be Wednesday, May 15 in the parking lot just south of the Museum of Wisconsin Art. The ride will start at 7 p.m.

What I have learned from my Mother (among other things) | By David Yach

Just ahead of Mother’s Day a special tribute to Mom Doris Yach from her son David about the many things he’s learned from his mother. This week Doris turned 100 years old and May 9, 2019 was proclaimed ‘Doris Yach Day’ by the City of West Bend and Washington County.

Son David Yach submitted the article below, “What I have learned from my Mother (among other things)”

I learned many things from my mother –as a young boy, a young man and as a adult with children and grandchildren of my own. Here are just a few of them.

I learned that it puts a smile on a 10-year old boy’s face if you let him ride a horse in Texas. And I sure wish I still had that cool black cowboy hat with the curled-up edges.

I learned that mothers must beam when they see their 7-year old ride in grandpa Edgar’s standard oil fuel truck.

I learned the best way to thaw out frozen hands from playing in the snow with only knitted mittens or cotton gloves is with cold water run under a faucet.

I learned that you can leave long-lasting handprints and footprints in fresh concrete at 90th and Hadley.

I learned that cub scouts can be a lot of fun if you have a mom who is willing to put up with the chaos of being a den mother and be willing to help you turn an old 78-LP record into a super neat ash tray.

I learned that camping with the ENTIRE family must be the only way to enjoy a vacation…… as long as the tent is insufferably hot, the ham steaks are cooked on an open grill, and the duty roster with everybody’s job is typed and posted to a tent post.

I have learned that mothers had to be the most trusting souls in 1956 through 1958 to let Bob and I take the bus to County Stadium to see the Braves play baseball or to the downtown sports show at the Arena. With an extra nickel for the transfer both ways.

I learned that you have to have shoes that fit really well. Never buy cheap shoes. You ‘ll pay for it sooner rather than later.

I have learned that you can teach your children how to play sheepshead and cribbage but then after that…. they’re on their own. And no matter what your age is, winning never, never, never, gets old.

I learned the beauty of music when she played the piano.

I learned the discipline of thrift as she watched the boys count their 8th grade snow shoveling money and their paper route money and marched them to the savings and loan to deposit it all.

I learned how to “ladder CD’s” at her knee.

I have learned that whenever a house guest departs you send them on their way with a cellophane bag of cookies even when you know the cookies will be devoured before the border.

I learned that it when you are in your 80’s and as long as you are in door county it is perfectly acceptable to eat cherry pie for breakfast.

And as long as you are in Door county, a perfect day is traveling from one winery to another and sampling at each and every stop.

I have learned that no matter how far away your children and grandchildren and great grandchildren are, making things like baby blankets, stocking caps, lacey socks, afghans, Christmas tree skirts and scrubbies show them how much you care for them and love them.

First Corinthians chapter 13

For I have learned the very meaning of Love from my mother.

Love is patient. She has taught us patience. Love is kind. She has showed us kindness.

Love is not rude Love does not seek its own interests. She has always put others first.

Love is not quick tempered. It does not brood over injury

Love does not rejoice over wrongdoing but rejoices with the truth.

By her actions, she has showed us how to let our own children grow roots…and wings.

She has showed us…..

Love bears all things. Love believes all things. Love hopes all things. Love endures all things

This is what I have learned from my mother.    By David Yach